Books Read in 2017 (in order & ranked)


  1. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
  2. Illuminae ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  3. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe 
  4. Sideways Stories from Wayside School ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
  5. Throne of Glass  ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
  6. The Wrath and the Dawn ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
  7. Tell Me Three Things ⭐⭐⭐
  8. Paper Girls, Vol. 1  ⭐⭐⭐
  9. Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass, #2) ⭐⭐⭐⭐


  1. The Book Thief ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  2. Caraval 
  3. We Are Okay 


  1. Holes ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
  2. Ready Player One ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
  3. The Odds of Loving Grover Cleveland ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐


  1. The Love That Split the World ⭐⭐⭐
  2. A Court of Mist and Fury ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
  3. Eleanor & Park ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
  4. The Biggest Story: How the Snake Crusher Brings Us Back to the Garden ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐


  1. A Court of Wings and Ruin ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
  2. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them⭐⭐


  1. The Knife of Never Letting Go (Chaos Walking, #1) ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐


  1. Geekerella ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  2. The Hate U Give ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
  3. Sugar ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐


  1. Windfall ⭐⭐
  2. Orphan Island ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
  3. Confessions of an Imaginary Friend: A Memoir by Jacques Papier ⭐⭐⭐


  1. Bridge to Terabithia ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  2. The Doldrums ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
  3. The XYZs of Being Wicked ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐


  1. Wintergirls ⭐⭐⭐
  2. Ghosts ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
  3. The Little Prince ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  4. Juniper Berry ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
  5. Nightmares! ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
  6. Coraline ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐


  1. The Year of Secret Assignments ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  2. Burned ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  3. Holding Up the Universe ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
  4. Such a Pretty Girl ⭐⭐
  5. One of Us Is Lying 
  6. The Sun Is Also a Star ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐


  1. Stolen: A Letter to My Captor ⭐⭐
  2. You Can’t See the Elephants ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
  3. Ms. Marvel, Vol. 1: No Normal ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
  4. The Secret Garden ⭐⭐⭐
  5. Elsewhere ⭐⭐
  6. Milk and Honey ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
  7. The Yellow Wall-Paper ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  8. Drama ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  9. Greenglass House ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐



Here’s Why I’m Totally Obsessed With Smoothies

I’m sure it’s no secret by now that I LOVE SMOOTHIES. And ever since I got my amazing Ninja Blender for Christmas, I’ve made smoothies nearly every day. Not only are smoothies crazy delicious, but they have the ability to be jam packed with the vitamins, nutrients, and minerals our bodies both crave and deserve!

Yeah, I’m not talking about this “ready made smoothie mix-loaded with added nasty sugar-and let me put some ice cream in too” junk. I’m talking about smoothies that contain real fruits AND vegetables (kale FTW!). Healthy smoothies are those that are loaded with natural sugar (found in fruits), vitamins and nutrients, antioxidants, fiber, and even some healthy complex carbs! Say whaaaaaat! I know. Freaking awesome, right?

The FDA recommends that we get at least five servings of fruits and vegetables a day. (And no, fruit loops and veggie straws don’t count.) Now, how many of us can truly say that we are getting that much? Even though I try to eat clean, I often fail to reach that number, especially when it comes to vegetables! That’s where smoothies can be really beneficial.

I often get asked what recipes I follow when I make my smoothies. I can honestly say I’ve never really followed a recipe! That’s one of my favorite things about smoothies. There’s no recipe! Throw your favorite (frozen or not) fruits, vegetables, milk or base of choice, maybe some ice, and BAM. You’ve got a crazy delicious, antioxidant rich, nutrient dense, and super filling smoothie!!

Here are some of my staples when it comes to smoothies:

+frozen berries (any and all kinds!)
+spinach (I PROMISE you can’t even taste these!)
+avocados  (healthy fats, yes!!)
+chia seeds
+hemp hearts
+steel cut oats (complex carbs…so good for breakfast or lunch!)
+natural nut butter (almond or peanut is usually what I have, NO added sugar!)
+unsweetened almond, rice or coconut milk 
+coconut water 
+cold pressed, 100% juice bases 

Favorite Toppings:

+caco nibs
+goji berries
+pomegranate seeds
+nut butters
+coconut flakes
+chia seeds
+hemp hearts

Now before you go and make yourself a crazy awesome delicious smoothie, stick around for this information, because it’s SUPER IMPORTANT HOW YOU EAT YOUR SMOOTHIE!

Yeah! I’m serious! The more I research I have found that smoothies NEED TO BE CHEWED. That’s why I make sure mine are thick and topped with tons of goodies! Smoothie bowls specifically are AWESOME because you’re tricking your mind into thinking you’re eating a meal and you’re getting used to chewing your smoothie.

Here’s why  it’s important to swish, or move your jaw up and down, when consuming your smoothie: digestive enzymes. Our saliva contains crucial digestive enzymes that help digest the food from the smoothie and deliver the nutrients to our cells! So if you’re not chewing your smoothies (or juices!), you’re not actually getting all the nutrients you think! In other words, remember that smoothies ARE food, so chew your food! 😉

I hope that this post helped to shed some light as to why I’m totally obsessed with smoothies. You simply cannot beat the nutrients, fiber, antioxidants, and vitamins that smoothies deliver to our bodies.

As always, any questions and comments are welcome. Happy blending, friends!!

**Disclaimer: I am not a certified nutritionist. This information has been taken from a few years of trial and error, research, and studying. If you have any serious questions or health concerns, please seek professional help.

dreams for twenty-sixteen

I LOVE NEW YEARS. Yeah, I’m that girl. I love gold. I love glitter. I love midnight. I love champagne. But most of all– I love fresh starts. I love goals and dreams and all things new, and that is exactly what New Year’s brings.

Here are some of my goals and hopes and dreams for 2016:

+Less time with Netflix, more time in books. My goal is to read and record a minimum of 4 books a month. I LOVE reading, and am really excited to achieve this goal!

+See a really great live show in Memphis. Like, a really, REALLY great live show.  There are so many amazing bands that come through this city, and I want to take advantage of this!

+Continue to study nutrition, and to the best of my ability, attain my certification!

+Get involved in two major ways at a church in Memphis. One of those MUST be leading/sining in a worship team. I’m not sure what the other way looks like, but I’m going to be praying hard that God would reveal this to me in His time. +Run, run, run more!!

+BLOG MORE. At LEAST once a month. I really want to get better at this. I have things to say, but often let fear get in the way of writing. I don’t want to do this anymore!

+Say buh-bye to SUGAR (added sugar, not natural). This year I’ve done fairly extensive research, and the more I study I learn just how insanely TOXIC sugar is to our bodies, and the more I desire to stay far, FAR away.

+Get rid of my scale. This is kind of the craziest one for me, because usually I want to lose a certain amount of weight within the year. However, for the past few months, I have learned so much about nutrition and our bodies, and how incredibly different they are! Because of this, the number on the scale really doesn’t say much of anything regarding one’s health. This is why I am done with my scale.

**This year, health wise, I desire to feed and fuel my body with proper nutrition. I will not be constricted to counting calories, but rather how I feel. I know when I’m feeding myself garbage, and I know when I’m getting my vitamins and nutrients. The scale has nothing to do with that!   Along with that, I will be more intentionally active throughout each day! (see running goal:) )Mentally, I will love myself. I will tell myself truths, and love my body exactly for what it is, the journeys it has been on and will continue to carry me through.

I desire above all else to grow deeper in my relationship with God in 2016. I have so many changes coming so soon with my move to Memphis, and I can’t WAIT to see what 2016 holds. I surrender it to you, Lord. Your will be done. 


Goodbye: 2015

2015, what a year! Here are the highlights:

+I graduated from the most wonderful college on the whole planet, and subsequently, said college closed down. I can only say that I feel so incredibly thankful that I was able to call Northland my home for a year and a half.



+I moved back in with my parents and got closer to my family. Mostly my little sister, whom I love so much and am so grateful we were able to spend more time together. She’s forever my sister, and one of my very best friends. With each passing year, I believe I come to understand the importance of family more and more.



+ I completed my fourth Spartan Race, and got my butt totally kicked. This time around I hardly trained, and barley made it out alive! However, I am so glad that I did it anyways. It’s always such a challenge, but a huge reminder to me of what I have overcome in the last three years!

+I dyed my hair red and lost 20 pounds. Hey thanks, 2015!

+I fell in love with nutrition, and realized my love for learning about it. Especially in the last few months, I have spent a lot of time in research and studying nutrition. I’m uncovering the deep love I have for food, and find myself in awe of how simple being healthy truly can be and how God has given us all the tools we need to heal ourselves through the power of food!

+I got a job at Starbucks! This job totally helped me discover my love for coffee. Not only that, but taking a step back now, I realize how much God had to help me through my shifts at Starbucks. I pray constantly that He would help me to love those around me deeper and it’s definitely not always easy loving customers who haven’t had their daily caffeine fix yet.  I’m so thankful for my time here though, and those I got to meet through the experience.


+Lastly, I fell even more in love with Andrew. Feel free to stop reading now if cheesy writing makes you want to vom, but I can’t talk about 2015 and NOT mention the man who has had made such an impact on my life within the last year and a half. Never in my life have I ever felt so loved by a human being. There isn’t a day that goes by that Andrew doesn’t speak to me in love, light, and truth. He tells me he loves me, and never for a second do I doubt it. This year he moved 14 hours away for school, and though it’s been a difficult transition, never have we been closer. I am so incredibly, unwaveringly, madly, crazy, undeniably in love with him. God has given me such a gift in Andrew that I do not deserve, but earnestly pray that I would never take for granted. Andrew loves me so sacrificially, and it’s through that I am able to ponder the deep love and grace that Jesus has for his children, including me. I think: “If Andrew, a flawed human being, loves me this deeply and is able to forgive me daily,  how much MORE must Jesus love and forgive me…”  It’s thoughts like this leave me in awe and deep gratitude for such a blessing.


Thank you Lord, for another year of growth, love, challenges, and most importantly, deepening my relationship with You. For there is nothing greater.

A Farewell to 2014

I am so thankful for this year. In 2014 God blessed me with so much that it’s actually a bit overwhelming to think about. The people I’ve met, the places I’ve been, and the lessons I’ve learned have all been such a gift and I cannot express how deep my love and gratitude is for getting to experience it all.

Here’s my favorites:

• Northland and everything that comes with it.

• The Tishters;)

• Seeing my little brother get married.

• Spending the Summer in Sturgeon Bay with my brother and sister in law and making many friends there.

• Meeting Andrew and falling in love for the very first time.

• Deepening my relationship with my Heavenly Father and submersing myself in His word and learning more and more about doctrine, theology, and his deep love for me.

• Leading worship in many incredible places with such talented and fantastic people.

• Fighting for my health. (Running, lifting, Spartan races, eating clean, having surgery)

• Seeing my family move out East and have crazy adventures. (Also getting to visit them this Christmas!)

All in all, 2014 has been such a wonderful chapter to my book. I am so blessed and cannot wait to see what 2015 has in store!







This Week: Success and Failure

Tomorrow is another day. Thank you Lord for second chances. …and third chances. …and fourth chances…

I’m pretty sleepy, but this week is about to get CRAZY, and I wanted to make sure I took the time to not leave my blog hanging on the last post I wrote, in which I was pretty upset.

SO. This week has been basically a roller coaster. I’ve had equal success and failure. I’ve actually needed the week weight-wise exactly where I started it. which leaves me to feel kind of indifferent, but definitely disappointed in myself.

At the start of this past week I was more upset than I had been in a very long time about my weight. I knew I’ve gained some back, but when I stepped on the scale and saw that I was officially the heaviest I’ve been in the past two years… I was sent over the edge. I’ve fought SO hard to lose this weight and I swore to never go back there… so why am I watching this happen?

Anyways, after that day, I buckled down. Counted all my calories, worked out HARD, and drank an entire gallon of water. By the end of that day I felt very proud of myself. I kept that pattern up for the rest of the week and by Saturday I was down 4 pounds.

AND THEN THE WEEKEND. …sigh. This weekend killed me. A and I went out on a special christmas date and I had a panini and fries and then we went out for ice cream after. Then today I hadn’t gotten to eat more than a granola bar and three bites of a salad until we went to a Christmas party and by that time I was SO hungry, I didn’t even care that I had two helpings of dessert. …argh.

Yeah. I know what the scale will tell me tomorrow. I’ll be back up in weight and very disappointed. I’m considering not even getting back on the scale until January first. I have HUGE plans for 2015, so maybe I should just chill on the whole scale thing and just work hard regardless of the number.

The only thing I’ve kept up since I’ve started it, is drinking a gallon(+) of water a day. I’m so grateful that A suggested that I do it. I pee a LOT, but I can feel my body actually getting healthier. My acne is actually clearer; I’ve had no new breakouts. and even though my eating hasn’t been on point, I haven’t been feeling too sick over the foods. I’m really excited about drinking all this water actually and incredibly determined to keep it up!

This week is Christmas and it’s going to get very busy. Will be on the worship team for Xmas eve, so that means I’ll be at church most of that day, and then that following morning I fly out with my siblings to visit our family out East. That will be super fun and I’m beyond stoked. Really praying I will make good choices while I’m there.

I probably won’t write another post for a while, but as of right now, here’s where I’m at:

I’ve made really solid improvements this week and overall in my health. This weekend was a bump in my plans, but one that will not stop me from getting what I want. I am focused, I am determined, and I am calm. Nothing will get in my way of becoming the girl I believe God has created me to be. He has made me strong and stunning. I radiate with the light of Christ, and because of that I know nothing is impossible.


I honestly cannot remember a time when I have been so frustrated, so challenged, and so discouraged while trying to lose weight.

I’ve been at this for a week now. During school I’ve been off my game, so of course I anticipate a bit of weight gain or a plateau. BUT I’ve been going hard every day in my workouts this past week, eating real food and proper portions, drinking tons of water… and I’ve GAINED WEIGHT.

Not only have I gained weight… oh no, I’ve GAINED WEIGHT. I am now officially the heaviest I’ve been in the last two years.

I don’t know what to do. I feel like an absolute failure. I hate this, I hate this. I hate this. I’m trying! I swear I am! How could this be possible? What is going on? Why isn’t this working?

None of this makes sense to me. Nothing adds up. During my entire journey it’s been the same: workout + eating clean = weight loss. So WHY is this not working? I can’t put it together and it’s driving me absolutely insane. I don’t know you guys. I don’t know what to do.

Giving up isn’t an option. It never has been and it never will be. But I’m so blinded by this…

I love being healthy. I love working out. I am STILL overweight and I STILL have a ways to go… so why won’t my body let me? What is happening?

I don’t have answers today. I wish I did, but I don’t. I don’t know… Maybe tomorrow I will. I wish this wasn’t part of the journey, but I guess it is. Sometimes we just have to endure. Sometimes, even when we are facing the wind, we have to keep going. We must make that choice. I guess this is that time for me. I don’t like it at all, to be quite honest. I want results and I want them now. But I guess this is testing my mental strength more than ever before. How bad do I REALLY want it? Will I keep going? Will I push through? Will I endure?

Stay tuned, I suppose…