Saturday, 26 November 2016

Music I've Been Loving

There are all sorts of lovely songs out there but these are the ones I've been loving recently. I am working on a blog post with lots of photos of my adventures for you... but in the meantime, enjoy this one! :)

Pushing Back The Dark by Josh Wilson is all about letting your light shine... it talks about how we might not think we can do much ("a single candle in the dark..... don't have what it takes... who are you to make a change?") but how we can't understimate the God we follow! It's really encouraging!

This next song, Shelter by Joy Enriquez, is one I've played over and over recently. What with all the changes in my life (the most notable being moving across the world for two and a half months), a song about how the Lord is our shelter... how he is our fortress and our guide and always by our side is so encouraging! It's a great song for when you need a reminder of God's promises... or just a great song whenever.

Now we have one that I thought long and hard about including... but eventually decided to leave it in. Breathe by Jonny Diaz is a really neat one for anyone who feels stressed or busy! It reminds us to just breathe... and to come and rest at the Father's feet.

Alone by Hollyn (feat. Tru) is a song I first heard on the radio I listen to while I'm driving. It's a really cool, very upbeat song that makes you want to dance! If you watch the lyric video I embedded below, try to ignore the few wrong lyrics/typos it has. :) Good video otherwise! And a neat song.

Our final one is a song to get you excited about Christmas (which is, in case you had forgotten, right around the corner). Whoop whoop! It's my favourite Christmas carol ever, sung by one of the best acappella groups in the world (well I don't actually know if they are one of the best in the world but they truly are fabulous). Here's O Holy Night by Home Free!

And that's the lot for today! :)

Have you heard them before? 
Have you come across any particularly awesome songs recently?

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My lips will shout for joy when I sing praise to you— I whom you have delivered. Psalm 71:23

Saturday, 19 November 2016

kind of an A + A // American Adventures + Misc

Good afternoon, friends! Well those of you who follow me over on Instagram will know that I'm still alive and having lots of fun over here in the US. We had a couple of days in San Francisco exploring (amongst our exploring we went over and under the Golden Gate Bridge but sadly it was shrouded in fog so our photos are horrific :/) and then we came on to Nashville.

Today has been my second day of work here, slowly learning the ropes. We work in the Above Rubies office from 9-5 doing things like packaging and sending orders, creating digital art to post on the Above Rubies social media, managing the subscribers database, answering the phone and sending off magazines. It's really fun. There are three other helpers here, one of which is also from New Zealand (we came over together). :)

Tennessee in the autumn (well over here they call it 'fall') is absolutely gorgeous. So many beautiful colours! Winter here could get cold, I'm told. We are preparing for a fun Thanksgiving celebration. Last night we went to watch a basketball game. It was awesome going to a real American basketball game! The other young people living nearby are really interested in Kiwi things... such as our money. I brought a $10 bill with me and some coins and they were a hit! Seeing other people's culture is so interesting. I'm loving hearing all the American accents around us!

Not sure how many photos I'll be posting, but hopefully I'll be posting a bit in the next wee while. Definitely not as often as I was this year, but I'm aiming for once a week. We'll see! There's always something happening around here. Anyway I'm enjoying myself wayyy too much to tell you what's happening (well ok I'm kidding guys just kidding just kidding calm down ok :P). But seriously though America is the coolest. Next to NZ of course. :P Everything is just... very American! Lol.

The rest of this post was created before I left New Zealand. I didn't post it on it's own because it's not very long in it's own right but hopefully with my little US trip update and letting you know I'm still alive, you'll be happy. :P Anyway. On with the awkward and awesome!

- Going to bed (a.k.a. walking out to the sleepout) and waiting on the deck while Danella unlocked the door... and discovering what looks like an animal (like a hedgehog or something) sitting quietly on the deck next to you. So you get suitably frightened (I mean come on, it had a snout and everything) and both of you hurry into the sleepout to grab a torch so you can see what it is.
It was an empty potato chip packet.
I have no idea how that got there, we certainly do not eat potato chips in the sleepout (and even if we did, we'd put the empty packet in the rubbish like responsible humans).
Once we got over the trauma of thinking an animal was sitting on our deck, it was quite funny.

- Holding little Michael and cooing at him and having him coo and giggle back... then having him suddenly and without warning let loose a mini fountain of spit up all over you. Then he looked at me and grinned cheekily. I couldn't believe it.

- Seeing all my friend's facebook posts after the American election... :O Half of them were thrilled and half were horrified. All elections divide people but this one was the worst I've seen.

- A day trip with some friends to Castle Hill. Guys, this place is the coolest! It's where the battle scenes in the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe were filmed. We had so much fun exploring it and taking photos on top of the rocks. We also went exploring nearby Cave Stream (where you can enter a network of caves/tunnels and, following an underground stream, travel underneath the hill and pop out in daylight on the other side of the hill! It's super cool. We didn't actually do the underground caving bit because we didn't have torches.. but we enjoyed adventuring around near the entrance.
Here are a couple of photos....

Some of the really cool limestone formations. They are way bigger than they appear and this is very high up.

It was a beautiful day.

Posing in one of the Cave Stream entrances.

- Having heaps of fun at a trampoline park with some friends. Doing awesome things with friends in the last few days before I leave makes some neat memories.

- Encouragement in the form of letters and cards in the mail. Pretty sure no one has friends as great as I do!

Well that's all I have for your, friends... tell me, what have you been up to in the last week? 
How is your life going? 
What's the weather like where you live?

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Tuesday, 8 November 2016

Blogger Recognition Award

Well I have now been tagged in the same tag a grand total of twice. :O This tag really is making the rounds of the blogosphere!

I was tagged by Lexi (Times and Seasons of a Beautiful Life) and Paige (Paige's Pages). Go check out the blogs of these lovely ladies! :)

In between my answers to the requirements, I'm going to be inserting some photos of my siblings playing on the trampoline. Because trampolines are awesome.

The Tag Rules (because all blog tags have rules, right?!)
❤ Thank the blogger who nominated you. THANKS LEXI AND PAIGE!!!!
❤ Tell a little bit about how you started blogging.
❤ Give two pieces of advice for new bloggers.
❤ Nominate 15 other bloggers.

How my little blog started:
So I had some friends who blogged. (Their blogs are here, here, here, and here, if you're interested!) After reading/stalking their blogs for a while, I decided to bite the bullet and give it a go (I'm never one to miss out on fun for long...). I created my blog in January 2013 which means next January is my four year blogiversary! I've never stopped blogging for long. The longest break was, I think, the three week break when I went to China last year.
If you want to find out more about how my blog began and why it is still continuing, feel free to have a read here.

Advice for new bloggers #1:

Don't try to make your blog into something that you are not. Let it reflect you. Let it reflect your personality, your life. Don't try and copy other people's blogs because your blog should be a reflection on you, not on other people! :)
Sure, allow other people and their blogs to influence you. But stay true to yourself.

If you try to make your blog something that you are not, it will feel forced. You will rob yourself of much of the joy in blogging!

Don't let other people tell you how you should blog. Listen to them politely and weigh up what they are saying. If it's helpful, keep it. If not, continue to do you.

Advice for new bloggers #2:

Interact with other bloggers! :)

This is super important. If you just write a blog but don't bother about interacting with commenters, commenting on other people's blogs and finding new blogs, you'll be living in a pretty stagnant corner of the blogging world. Besides, meeting new people is a good way to get more followers yourself. Plenty of people will follow you back if you start interacting with them.

Finding other awesome blogs is super easy. Just go to a random blog (like mine - it's easy because you're already here! :) ) and dive down the rabbit hole! Go through the list of followers or read the post/page comments and click on the blogger's names. Read their blogs and find their followers and commenters and continue the process until you find a (or several!) blog you're interested in.

When you find a new blog you like, comment on their 'about' page or one of their recent posts and introduce yourself. Follow their blog and tell them you have. Everyone is thrilled when more people start following and commenting. You make someone else thrilled and you've found a new person who will potentially start reading your blog, too. Everyone wins!

Well actually I'm not going to nominate anyone. I feel like most of my bloggy friends who would do it have already been tagged.

Unless you want to do it... in which case GO FOR IT! And in that case.....

Hope you guys are having a nice life! 
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Wednesday, 2 November 2016

Tea Cup Exchange

I was so privileged to be able to participate in the 9th Annual Tea Cup Exchange through Stephanie's beautiful blog, The Enchanting Rose. You can find the rules of the exchange here and a broad overview of what happens here.