Friday, 17 May 2013

a favorite photo

Day 17 of the challenge : a favorite photo of myself and why

This photo was taken on a beautiful sunshine filled summer day in San Francisco a few years ago. I was on a three week road trip adventure with my dear friend Emily. I had just returned from Ecuador, Emily had just finished college and we packed up a car and took an adventure down the entire stretch of the West Coast (as well as a quick stop in Canada) It was the greatest adventure! We stayed with friends and family along the way, camped a couple of nights and even ended up on some guys couch in San Fran. It was such a precious period of processing the year that had just come before, experiencing new things and spending some good old quality time together as friends. It was such a bitter sweet finish when we reach LAX airport and I boarded my plane back to England.

This particular day had been filled with exploring San Fran on foot. We just couldn't get enough of this great city! Or the sunshine for that matter. We were walking along the pier when I spotted this wall in my favorite color. Photos had to to be taken. This photo reminds me of a great adventure, an incredible friend and a day of happiness.

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

day to day

Day 15 of the challenge : day in the life

Today you get the opportunity to hear about a typical day in the life of moi. The morning will always begin with the espresso machine. Yesterday I found out that taking a Political Methods and Statistics exam at 9am with no, well...not a good idea.
My day then goes a little like this: class / coffee date / study / skype date / work out / meetings / class / study / work / hang out with friends or room mates / study / evening fun. There are only two more days in which study and class shall be in this mix. The summer is so so so close. I can feel it...
Here are some moments that pretty much capture this incredibly blessed life I am living right now.

Wake up to these beautiful hills
Class and Study 
Escape to the hills
Work Out 
Time spent with sweet friends
Friends and College Fun
Dear Taylor
Beautiful Sunsets

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

my happy list

Day 14 of the challenge

Ahhh this is a good one : 10 things that make me happy. Now, some of these make me insanely happy. I am one of those people who will cry with happiness. Sometimes God and life are just so so so so good that, well, I just can't quite manage to contain myself.

1) Jesus. Wow, this guy.....blesses my life. He has my back and makes me solid in knowing who I am, what matters most in life and He is the giver of a hope, joy and peace that passes all understanding.

2) Coffee. It's my lifeline and my love.

3) Family. I am including friends here also.....I have friends in my life who I count as family. Friends, true friends, are also your family. How did I ever get so rich in life with friendships?!

4) Being outside. I love being outside and surrounded by natures beauty. I can't sit still inside for too long. If you try and make me I will get serious ants in my pants and just start going a little cray cray.

5) Music. I grew up around music and it was always something my bro and I shared/still share with one another. I have so many great memories of catching the train to London to see incredible shows with my bro. These are some golden memories that I will always treasure.

6) Leaning. I love and hate learning. I love learning in the sense that I gain new understanding, new perspectives and skills. However, sometimes, learning is hard and requires me facing some realities about myself or the world around me that are tough.

7) Dance Parties. Planned or spontaneous....

8) Travelling....the prospect of new adventures....makes my heart so happy.

9) Love.

10) Good food and quality time with dear friends. This is always a winning combination. There is nothing that can beat quality time. (If you have ever read about the 5 love languages, this is one of my top love languages!)

Sunshine and Coffee are always a recipe for happiness

Monday, 13 May 2013

day 13 : an apology

The challenge today is to offer a public apology.

Here we go......

Dear Family,

You got me. Happy days! I know that you (parents) maybe, maybe, knew what you were kind of, sort of, getting yourselves in for...but I am pretty sure having a daughter has greatly exceeded your expectations of craziness, emotional outbursts and I am certain I has tried your patience over and over again. But I guess I wasn't too bad, right? I mean you chose to have one more after guess you liked me enough.

As well as being certain that the journey of my life (in which you guys are hostages) has been a crazy one, I am pretty sure it has been an unexpected surprise where we are today. Living in the United States of America. And, no, not on the East Coast either where things vaguely resemble the UK. But in the west where there are rattle snakes, cowboys, supermarkets that sell guns and HUGE trucks. You both amaze me with your ability to go with the flow - with me and with life. I am sorry that you got caught up in this wild adventure. Thank you for moving all the way across the world for me (because you clearly moved for me and your move clearly had nothing to do with your great new job and loving Jesus). I am sorry for all the lame jokes I tell you, irrational fears I burden you with and the strain I put on your bank account. Yay you have kids!

Sunday, 12 May 2013

what i miss the most

Day 12 of the challenge: what do you miss?

So I had to have grace for myself there for a couple of days...been kind of busy...sorry y'all.
The question today is, what do I miss?

I miss The Netherlands.

I sort of, fell into / fate intervened / God surprised me and I ended up in a little Dutch town called Middelburg, in The Netherlands for my first year of University. It was tough to move. Again. I wasn't the most willing recipient of this new adventure that was handed to me on a plate. But, as time passed, I fell in love with the place, the country and especially the people.

It is a very strange feeling to find yourself in one place where you feel at home, yet know that at the same time your heart is longing to return to another place where you felt at home. When I am able to think rationally and I am not over emotional, I can see that living in three countries by the time I am 23 is a blessing - my goodness it is a huge blessing! I have met the most incredible people, had the most wonderful experiences and learnt a lot. But, when I am emotional....I miss The Netherlands. I have a homesickness that I can't shrug for The Netherlands. I miss the people there and the longing to return can overwhelm me and I kick myself for leaving. It is in moments like that in which I don't see my travels as a blessing but more as a terrible heartbreaking curse.

The Netherlands will always hold a special place in my heart. I would love to return some time. It was home for a special season in my life and I had people there who became my family. I miss my Dutch family.

Thursday, 9 May 2013

a moment in my day

Day 9 of the challenge : a moment in my day

Yesterday was the most beautiful day. I was able to sleep in a little longer then normal, run some errands, take a meeting before heading to class. Then one of my class was cancelled so I enjoyed some sunshine and studied. I got to work out and then spend the evening with the wonderful people I work with in the park. It was a great and beautiful day. To all my European friends, it really is great to live in a country where I can wear shorts May - September.

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

A piece of advice

Day 8 of the challenge : A piece of advice

"The beauty of starting somewhere is that you will always end up somewhere else"

Someone spoke these words to me a few years ago and they have stuck with me. I think they have stuck with me so strongly because of how my life has panned out since then....I have started somewhere and ended up somewhere else, normally a surprising somewhere else, time and time again. My life is one great testimony to having adventures and trusting God. I happen to believe that God loves me and He knows my heart for adventure. Therefore, since He is creator of the universe and all and nothing is too big for Him to deal with, well, then He just kind of orchestrates life to enable me to have adventures. Since these words were spoken to me I have relocated to a foreign country multiple times, changed my University major, altered my goals in life and discovered more about the passions in my heart than I have every known before. 

So I give this advice to you also as a gift. Start somewhere and take delight in the fact that you will end up somewhere else, somewhere new and hopefully exciting. Don't stay stationary in life; move on, move towards greater things. I know a lot of you may be graduating college soon - what a great season of change and anticipation this is! It may also be one of fear and anxiety, but hey, we wouldn't be human if we didn't worry, right? When you find your peace and look back, it will be worth it to know you pushed on, trusted, and didn't let fear stand in your way.

Tuesday, 7 May 2013


Day 7 of the challenge : things I am most afraid of

snakes / not finishing university / missing opportunities / letting people down / being alone / pitbull dogs / being old / people graduating college who in fact can not think critically, yet still are able to vote and shape our world / not marrying John Mayer - this would be tragic / not seeing again some of the wonderful friends I have made around the world on my travels / missing "the one" / rolling kayaks in rapids / deep water terrifies me / not performing well with my studies or work / that one day i might just freak out when people skip lines in public places / that I wouldn't "leave a legacy" of some sort / that I would (for some strange reason) stop, or not be able to, have adventures, and become insanely boring / that the world coffee supply might some how run out....then where would I be?!

Sunday, 5 May 2013

what I do

Day 6 of the challenge: what do I do?

Here is a little insight into my life. a student at Boise State University. I try my hardest to approach my education as one of the greatest gifts offered to me in life (Because, let's face it, it's a pretty darn privilege!). I plan on being a learner for life. I love Jesus and I have decided to "do" my life with Him assuming the roles of my bestest bud, lover of my soul, wisest papa, greatest therapist and funniest comedian friend. I try and wake up every morning in a good mood (or quickly get into one) and decide to conquer the day. My current alarm song is Usher.. "They say life is a battlefield...I say bring it on". Yayahh. I try and notice people throughout my day, extend joy and show love. I try my hardest to only say things worth saying. That normally doesn't work out perfectly for me. But I am learning. I do like to laugh and be silly. I can be pretty funny sometimes. I try and work hard - do things well and always seek to improve my performance. I do decided to love Mac over PC's. I do keep my eyes open and heart ready for adventures. I do hide my feelings a lot of the time. I do have a tendency to....errmmmm.....curse like a sailor silently. I do sing rather loudly in my car. I do need to have a good dance session every once in a while. Or every day whilst brushing my teeth, either or. I do love tea. I do love England. And I do love Top Gear and British comedy. I also do love Prince, or should I say, the artist formally know as formally known as Prince. I do love a good hike or trail run. I do worry a lot about money. Again, something I am trying to get over and trust God with more. I do have some pretty strong opinions on some things. I do think it's ridiculous how loud American people tend to be. I do work for the BSU Outdoor Program. This is a new adventure for me and, so far, I am thinking working for them has been one of the best decisions I have ever made. Finally, I do happen to spend a lot of my time at my Mac, or reading, in a coffee store with friends...or I make new ones. Gahh I love this world!

sunday sweetness

Day 5 of challenge: love for a friend

This challenge has actually been the hardest thus far. Not because I don't have friends, in fact it is quite the opposite! I have so many great, wonderful, beautiful friends in my life that I didn't know quite how to share. I do not know how on earth I got so blessed with great friends. With every new season, with every new move to another country, God has blessed me with incredible people in my life and wonderful community. I can not brag enough about my friends. Sweet Yara, who you can find here, was such a great sister to me whilst in The Netherlands - I can not count the times she hugged me whilst I cried about silly things, or stroked my hair whilst I balled about being homesick, had tea dates that brought about great conversations or danced for hours at the bar. That's a great friendship right there; someone you can cry with, drink tea with, talk with and party with. Then there is Simone, who I have written about in the past here, here and here. Wow. That's all I can say there. I have friends who have stuck with me every since I left England some four years ago - we have skyped, Kay even visited me (!!) and we try our hardest to not get too frustrated with the inability to hug. I have wonderful people who have mentored me through the years, and still are, and daily bless my heart. I have made friends in Ecuador who I am still honored to be in touch with. I have a friend from the US who I met in Ecuador and then travelled to Paris with whilst I was in The Netherlands. One of my dearest friends, Laura, and I have known each other for about a year and a half and we have already been to three different countries together.....crazy. Check out our adventures here, here and here

I miss my Dutch Family, you probably know that by now...I mean, I mention it enough! But today I would like to talk about friends here in Boise. I feel like I have one giant family here in Boise. My friends here have really fast tracked it in my life to family status. They tell me the hard things, they cry with me, they don't mind me when I am blowing snot or moaning about school or boys. They have adventures with me and I know when we hit the river and they say, "I got your back", I can really trust them. They also have shared countless cups of tea with me, shared their hearts with me and listened to mine. They even do crazy things like take me on dates when I am going through a break-up to remind me of how I should be treated and to remind me that I am loved. They even buy me crazy awesome tea and tea know who you are.

I met my dear friend Krista soon after I moved to Boise. There was something about Krista that just made me want to know her more. She is a person of integrity, incredible beauty, joy and she sure does have a sense of adventure. So, we had tea and I approached her about being deliberate in being friends. (I am aware that this might sound a little odd, but you know, I have had friendships that just don't turn out as you expect. I am fully aware that people approach friendships differently, some people assume that things are private, and some don't have a problem sharing secrets....etc etc...and you get let down) So I decided to ask Krista about what she valued in a friendship, what she wanted in a friendship and then we decided to be friends. Haha. I am so glad she said yes to my proposal!

She has blessed me immensely with her wisdom, hilarious sense of humor, smile, yummy cooking, kind heart and joy.

Friends are really what make life full of love, joy and happiness on a daily basis. If there is anything you take away from this post, please remember this: value your friends, treat them well, approach them maybe about making positive changes to your relationships and voice your appreciation for them. Happy Sunday, be blessed!

Saturday, 4 May 2013

wise words from peter pan

Day 4 of challenge : my favorite quote

"Would you like an adventure now, or shall we have our tea first?" - Peter Pan

My answer?  Let's always be drinking tea and having adventures.

Happy Saturday

Friday, 3 May 2013

something uncomfortable

Day 3 of the challenge


Today we are talking about things that make us uncomfortable. I stopped by Jenni's place this morning...gosh she choose some good ones. Jenni had me nodding along, "yep, that's uncomfortable". I immediately thought about discussing manners. I am a little bit of a politeness-mania. I know I grew up in Buckinghamshire, England, but really - there is no need to ever be rude, right? I always adored hearing my Granny's version of meeting my Grandfather. She would say, "Now Sally, you know, I had  not intention of getting married. I was quite happy travelling the world and having a ball. But then....your Grandfather came along and, well, he was just so well-spoken and polite I couldn't resist. You can never resist or underestimate a well-spoken man". What a doll! She really is as cute as a button.

However, I decided to take another route and not lecture y'all on manners. (But please, do remember to say your please and thank you's....thank you).

PDA's. Public Displays of Affection. That's what I would like to touch on today. This has actually been a grating point for me and guys I have dated in the past. Call me a prude, call me a conservative, I don't care. I am a firm believer that eating each other's faces off is NOT a public activity. Ok, so maybe the odd peck in public can be cute, but other than that, no, I don't want to see anything else. Please don't get me wrong, some public displays of affection are cute and serve as wonderful reminders to me when I am single about what I want in a relationship. It truly warms my heart when I see a gentleman open a door for a lady, or reach for her hand in the grocery store when he thinks no one is looking. To me, these are signs of respect and honor. It is perfectly possible to be extremely cute and not explicit. So please be cute and not R rated y'all in your PDA's, thank you.

Happy Friday.

Thursday, 2 May 2013

an education

Day 2 of the Blog Every Day in May challenge. I am suppose to educate you. Preferably on something very important. So I shall. This is very important.

How to enjoy a good tea date.

I happen to think that tea drinking dates are the best - whether they are with someone you are romancing or if they are just a great friend or if it's your sweet grandma - nothing beats a good tea date. Tea has an incredible ability to make the world seem a better place and all those things you were stressing about....they can be pushed aside, out of mind, for just a little bit. Whenever someone is upset or worried, just give them a hug and invite them to share some tea with you. It will make everything a lot better. I am aware that I am bias in the fact that I am British, but the truth is that tea is just the best. Sharing tea with someone is such a beautiful exchange. You don't even need to know a person all that well to say, "fancy a cuppa?". This is British lingo for a good hot cup of tea. "Black or white?", refers to whether you want milk or not and then "one or two?" refers to the sugar you may require. I have had the honor of drinking tea all over the world; the Dutch are crazy for it (in fact I think that it was when I moved to The Netherlands that my real romance with tea began), Ecuadorians enjoy drinking it together right before bed and when I was in Kenya I had the most incredible tea experience where one minute the milk was in the cow and the next in my cup. I am known for my love of tea here in the US. Coffee often rival it but, at the end of the day, I will choose my tea. So, how do you enjoy a good tea date? Surround yourself with people you love, of find a moment of silence for yourself, boil some water and steep your tea in the water for a good amount of time. Then, wrap your fingers around your hot mug, enjoy the smell and drink up your cup of goodness.

(On a side note.....good old English Breakfast is great with a dash of milke. Yogi teas and Tazo teas are divine, especially Yogi Throat Coat if you are feeling under the weather, Green Tea with Apricot is another favorite, and I also like Orange and Ginger. The Duchies have an Autumn Storm Tea which I am pretty sure is sent from heaven).

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

day one : story of my life

Readers, I have something new for you. I have accepted the challenge put forward by Jenni to blog every day in May. I thought I would do this to mark the beginning of a new season - yesterday was my birthday - and now I am entering a new, very exciting season as well as a new month. So, join me for the ride if you will. For the month of May you are guaranteed a new read for every day that you may stop by. My wonderful friend Yara is coming along for the ride also. She is a great new blogger, so drop by her space and show her some love! Here we 1

Story of my life in one paragraph.

My beautiful, stylish Mama and I back in the day

I was born and raised in Buckinghamshire England, surrounded by wonderful parents, an older brother and a younger sister. Yep, I am that awkward middle child. After graduated high school I still had no idea what I wanted to do so I decided to take a "gap year" and I moved to Boise Idaho to spend time studying at the Vineyard College of Mission (VCOM). No, I am not Mormon. I mainly decided to embark on this journey because it sounded like a fun way to spend 7 months: read the bible, find out more about God's incredible love, serve in the local community, travel and spend a month serving in a foreign country where I would be involved in medical relief work, teaching and small building projects. These 7 months changed my life. God reaches out and spoke to my heart about not only His love for me, but also the desires of my heart that He had placed there - I began to figure out what it is that I am most passionate about in life, what I want to do with my time and who I am. At this point I had a place at a UK University on hold, and when I was invited to be on staff for VCOM for the following class I could not say no. So, after a brief time back in England, I returned to Boise to be on staff. After this, God put a passion on my parents heart to be in Boise and miracles happened to make that possible. My families visas didn't allow me to return with them so, after googling "best university in the Netherlands" I applied to a Liberal Arts Honors University called Roosevelt Academy, got accepted and moved to The Netherlands. This was a tough season - moving countries alone is no small task my friends! God was great though, I made friends and created community that I feel so blessed to be a part of. I miss my Dutch home. During my freshman year in The Netherlands I felt my heart stir to move back to Boise....Boise was always on my mind....I felt God nudge my heart about returning to Boise for something. Wheels were put into motion and I have ended up moving back to Boise and transferring to Boise State University. Life here is a whole new adventure, I still get culture shock and cringe every time I see someone wearing camo from heard to toe. I don't like the lack of round-a-bouts or manners. I don't like people doing their groceries in their pj's and I don't like all those "men" in their jacked up trucks blaring thrash thrash burn burn music whilst chewing tabaco and honking their horn at you. I am set to be a Brit for life and this is culture shock. BUT I do adore the mountains, the readily available coffee fix on every block, the snow and the summer's an adventure. Oh, and my parents and sister are here too. That's pretty awesome.