Desktop Backgrounds for Summer

Hi there! I’m here with another installment of some of my favorite desktop backgrounds! I’m trying to keep my work desktop looking bright and fun during the summer, and these will definitely help me do that.

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Since I change my desktop background every week on Monday (I don’t get people who have had the same one for years – crazy!), I’ve used my fair share of fun images over the past few years. Check out other desktop backgrounds I’ve loved and shared here, here, here, and here!

 

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Recent Reads – May 2018

Ok so first, let me start out by saying that I can’t believe that May is already over. This is nuts and I refuse to believe it. It has completely flown by, but at the same time it’s felt like the looooooooongest month ever (maybe because I’ve had 2 car accidents and my parents came to visit and I went out of town all in 1 month- that’s a lot of stuff going on!) But the fact that it was a super long month meant that I actually got some good reading done for once!

The unfortunate thing, though, is that I wasn’t wow-ed by any of the books I read this month. One I would deem as pretty good, one I would say was ok, and one I just didn’t really enjoy at all. So let’s get into it, shall we?!?

Sweetbitter

“The story of a young woman’s coming-of-age, set against the glitzy, grimy backdrop of New York’s most elite restaurants, in Sweetbitter Stephanie Danler deftly conjures the nonstop and high-adrenaline world of the food industry and evokes the infinite possibilities, the unbearable beauty, and the fragility and brutality of being young and adrift.”

So here’s the thing… I didn’t really know anything about this book before I started it except “set in restaurant” and “going to be a TV show.” I used to work in a restaurant, so I wanted to give it a go! I thought oh maybe it will be about a girl who finds herself, and love, while working in a restaurant! and ummm no I was 100% wrong. Just so wrong. I don’t want to give anything away, but there was SO MUCH DRUG USE. And the main character was just so self-destructive, and I found it very annoying and frustrating. I honestly don’t know why SO MANY PEOPLE loved this book so much, and I have no desire to watch the TV show. Maybe I just wasn’t in the right head space to enjoy a book about somebody just making the worst life choices, maybe I missed the point, but just… sorry no.

The After Party

“Joan Fortier is the epitome of Texas glamour and the center of the 1950s Houston social scene. Tall, blonde, beautiful, and strong, she dominates the room and the gossip columns. Every man wants her; every woman wants to be her. Devoted to Joan since childhood, Cece Buchanan is either her chaperone or her partner in crime, depending on whom you ask. But when Joan’s radical behavior escalates the summer they are twenty-five, Cece considers it her responsibility to bring her back to the fold, ultimately forcing one provocative choice to appear the only one there is.”

I am all about books set in the 50’s, especially if it’s about fancy ladies in the 50’s. So this one set in TEXAS with fancy ladies in the 50’s?!?! I was SO READY for it! And it… was pretty ok… it did seem a bit repetitive at some points (yes, Cece, we get it, you are being torn between being a good friend and being her babysitter). The story seemed a bit one-sided since we really only see things from Cece’s point of view, but the settings were wonderful and that helped me stay interested in the story. I definitely related to the narrator – I’ve felt responsible for explaining away the behavior of a friend when really I should have just ended the friendship. It’s hard to determine when to keep trying to help someone (when they might not even want to be helped) and when to just cut and run, and I feel like the author could have displayed those feelings a little bit better in the book.

Fitness Junkie

When Janey Sweet, CEO of a couture wedding gown company, is photographed in the front row of a fashion show eating a bruffin–the delicious love child of a brioche and a muffin–her best friend and business partner gives her an ultimatum: lose thirty pounds or lose your job. … As Janey eschews carbs, pays thousands of dollars to wellness gurus, and is harassed by her very own fitness bracelet, she can’t help but wonder: Did she really need to lose weight in the first place?

This was definitely my favorite out of the three I read in May. It was on the list of books I wanted to read this summer so I was really excited to get it started! I LOVED another book by the same authors (The Knockoff) and while I didn’t think this one was as good, I still enjoyed it a lot! The story had a lot of ups and downs and things going on which kept it interesting but it wasn’t too hard to keep track of, which was good. This book made me laugh out loud a few times and I definitely recommend it if you want a fun, easy read for your flight or for the pool!

I already have a few books picked out to read during the month of June, and I can’t wait to start them! Have you read any of these 3 books already? What did you think?!?

Turning 30 in Nashville

You guys, I had the BEST 30th birthday!!! My birthday was on a Saturday this year (aka the best day to have a birthday) so I knew it was going to be a good one. I had to be in Nashville the next day for a work trip, so I flew out a few days earlier and had a super fun birthday weekend with friends!

I know a lot of people dread turning 30 (and I guess I kind of did a tiny bit…) but honestly, turning 30 was such an exciting milestone for me. All of the older ladies I know say that their 30’s were SO MUCH BETTER than their 20’s, so I definitely was looking forward to a new decade! I am ready to feel “adult-ier” than I did in my 20’s and love that I can now feel better about going to bed early and not going out as much. Now Liz Lemon can officially be my spirit animal.

I flew to Nashville on Thursday night and stayed the weekend with my friend Michelle who lives there. On Friday, our sweet friend Ashley drove into town to help me celebrate – we just had the best weekend and I felt SO LOVED! On Friday, Michelle and I (who both took the entire day off) both had some work to do, so we spent the morning working hard so we could have the rest of the weekend free for fun.

Once we were finished working, we went to the 12 South neighborhood for a little bit of eating and a little bit of walking! We had lunch at bartaco (they have quite a few locations around the country – it was pretty good!) for tacos and a margarita, and then we moseyed on down to Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams for a little treat. I seriously wanted a scoop of every flavor!! I got a cone with two delish flavors and enjoyed them thoroughly.

Next Meesh and I walked to the famed Five Daughters Bakery to pick up some 100 layer donuts (they’re cronuts) to eat later! They had a few great flavors to choose from, but I’ll tell you now that the regular sugared option was MY FAVORITE!!!

Once Ashley got to town, we got ready to go out to dinner at Tavern. I can’t remember where we tried to eat first, but that place had a CRAZY long wait. It took a while to get a table at Tavern, too, but the food ended up being delicious and the dinner was really fun! After dinner we met up with some of my Dallas friends for a Josh Abbott Band concert! They were also in town a little bit early for the same work trip, and it was fun to see them in another state! The concert was pretty good, and I got to start my actual birthday in the WEIRDEST Uber ride of my life!

Saturday (my actual birthday!!) started out with some delicious cronuts! Even being a day old, THEY WERE SO GOOD! And after eating a treat, what’s the next thing we did? Go to brunch, obviously!! Michelle, Ashley, and I met up with my old friend Jacob for brunch at a place called Hopsmith. The food was great and it was a lot of fun seeing an old buddy (we’ve known each other for about 21 years!)

After eating ALL THE FOOD, we hopped in the car and headed to Franklin, TN! My mom has always raved about how cute it is and how much she loves it, so for my birthday I chose to go there and experience it for myself! My mom was definitely right – it was adorable! We walked, we shopped, we got coffee at Frothy Monkey, and we had a blast!

After a quick pit stop at Chick-Fil-A for an afternoon snack, we all got ready at Michelle’s apartment and then headed out for my birthday dinner. There were quite a few of my work friends in town and so I got to spend my 30th birthday surrounded by 10 of my favorite people while eating delicious burgers at The Pharmacy. We also got delicious milkshakes and I tried rose cider which is the absolute best (and apparently the new big thing so go to your grocery store and try it!)

We all parted ways after dinner (and it started POURING) so us girls went back home to play games and listen to music and finish out my birthday in comfy pajamas. It was such a wonderful day! It’s always a nice feeling to get so many calls and texts and messages from family and friends.

The next morning we woke up and packed up and went to have breakfast at a cute local cafe. Then I went to my hotel and started my work trip!

Even though it was “technically” for a work trip, I just had THE BEST TIME celebrating my 30th birthday in Nashville with some of my very favorite people!! I really feel like I saw (and ate) a lot of great parts of Nashville and I already can’t wait to go back some day! There were so many great things (and lets be real, lots of restaurants) that we just didn’t have time to check out, so I’ll have to keep my list for the next time I get back there.

 

Sparrow Conference 2018

Do you remember last year when I posted about going to a Christian women’s conference? It was so good that I bought my tickets for the next year (aka this year) in advance. Well, the 2018 Sparrow Conference was a few weekends ago and just like last year, it was SO GOOD! I went with two friends and we just had a great time together. The speakers this year (quite a few of them were also speakers last year) were amazing and I filled up my little notebook with so many good little nuggets of biblical truth.

This year it was held at the Music Hall at Fair Park so that more people could attend. The lobby was decorated so well, there were lots of opportunities to purchase books and candles and earrings and things like that, and there was even a super fun photo area!!

All of the (again, incredible!!) speakers led us through the book of 1 John, and I got so many great things out of it- SO MANY- and I wanted to share a few of the things I learned/took away from the weekend! (Just remember that this is all coming from going over 1 John, for context.)

The goal is to experience fellowship with God so we can have fellowship with others.

God made something good. We messed it up. Jesus made it right. One day God will make all things new.

Abiding is a choice. It’s loving Jesus beyond anything else so that is the place we want to be.

If we abide in Christ and not in the world, we will love as God loves. But you can’t abide in both places at the same time- you can’t be bitter, withholding, and unkind AND be nestled in Jesus.

If we abide in Christ, our life patterns will change. We cannot keep in a pattern of sin and also keep in a pattern of loving Christ.

You repeat the actions that matter most to you. God isn’t calling us to be perfect followers of Christ, but to be practicing followers of Christ.

When you’re living a life abiding with God, He will give you the desires of your heart because your desires begin to be His desires for you.

God hears you. He is not a distracted father. He is present and interested and we can have a fellowship with Him.

God’s commands are not burdensome- they are an extension of his good character. Sin IS burdensome, oppressive, and worrisome.

Llama Llove

It’s a well-known fact that I’m a bit (a LOT) obsessed with llamas. They’re just… the best! I’ve loved them for years! Llamas are super trendy right now, which is really fun to have so much llama swag in stores (it’s all amazing!), but I also kind of miss back when llamas were “my thing.” Does that make sense? At all?

Anyway, I get emails from Groupon every now and then – mainly because I keep forgetting to unsubscribe – and I got an email back in the Fall saying something about “Llama Lessons” and I opened it IMMEDIATELY. It was for an hour long llama lesson at a “farm” near Dallas and I signed up so fast!!! A chance to hang with llamas in person?!? Yes, please!!

I convinced a friend to come along with me and we went for our llama lesson! There were about 20 people there, and it was actually really informative! They gave so many fun facts about llamas, and then gave everybody plenty of time to take pictures. Which let’s be honest, is 92% the reason I went.

The black llama was named Barack O’Llama and clearly he is my new best friend. I know he looks indifferent but trust me, the excitement was totally mutual.

The llama lesson was only an hour, but it was plenty of time to enjoy my favorite creatures! I definitely want to go back and take my nephew, but I think we’ll have to wait a while for that. The llamas are just so big and he might get a little nervous around them.

I just had such a fun time at the llama farm and I can’t believe I forgot to post the pictures! If you live in the Dallas area you should definitely go! It’s definitely geared toward kids… but clearly two almost 30-year-old gals went and we had a blast!!