Tuesday, March 21, 2017

March Madness

March Madness is upon us... What is March madness you ask? I couldn't explain it any better than Global Anchor Katie Couric in the Yahoo.com video clip below.


 Return home and tell how much God has done for you.” 

~ Luke 8:39 

Presenting with excitement, I introduce to you Testimony Tuesdays!!! A testimony by definition is: a formal written or spoken statement, a public recounting of a religious conversion or experience. The Bible commands us in numerous places to bring praise, glory, and honor to our God by proclaiming, declaring, and telling about His marvelous works to others. That is the purpose and heart behind this installment for my Tuesday posts. Each Tuesday (more or less), a testimony will be shared here involving the recounting of salvation, redemption, overcoming, and/or healing just to name a few; A story that brings glory to our God and in which we might be encouraged, spurred on, and challenged with at the same time.The stories that will be shared will either be of my own personal experiences, excerpts from books, testimonies I find via youtube or other media sources, as well as YOURS! I would love to know and give you the opportunity to share here with us a testimony of your own, of whatever fashion that involves the Lord doing a transforming work in your life. Just email me your testimony and I will see what I can do about posting it on a future Tuesday! You may choose to have your name be known or anonymous. I look forward to hearing from you!

Though I would consider it to be my favorite sport if I had to choose one, don't be fooled; I know practically nothing about basketball. Any enthusiasm that I have for basketball has been birthed out of my dad's enthusiasm for it. I cherish the childhood memories I have of playing the game with my dad and siblings. I haven't retained much knowledge of what those horrid high school gym classes taught me about basketball, but the appreciation I have for the sport is still there. And my appreciation for it has only grown with the connection with my boss' son-in-law, Bryce Drew coaching for The Vanderbilt Commodores men's basketball team, representing Vanderbilt University in Nashville Tennessee. I have become a big fan and have adopted them as my 'favorite team'. ^_^  It was just last year that I got to see Bryce Drew in action and experience a legit basketball game live for the first time! I wrote a blog entry about that HERE.

With Basketball on the brain and with my tradition of sharing testimonies on Tuesdays, Today I would like to introduce to you basketball player #5, Matthew Fisher-Davis, a team member of The Vanderbilt Commodores. I believe a lot of viewers have had their eyes on this talented player, but more than just his stats, I think everyone has got to take a look into this young man's recent conversion story!  Check out the articles below and be encouraged by our Amazing God. Observe how our Lord pursues us and can use any circumstance to draw us nearer to himself. He sometimes uses light and momentary affliction to prepare us for an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison (2 Cor. 4:17). He is a jealous God over us, and is faithful to complete the work he has started in each of us (Phil. 1:6)! Also, the articles below made me marvel at what Godly examples Coach Bryce Drew and Assistant Coach Roger Powell are to their team, and how they really seem to have their priorities straight! To God be the glory! Check out the stories below:

- Vanderbilt's leading scorer gives 'life to God' after benching

- Vanderbilt coach's great response to his player's heartbreaking mistake on the court 

“ we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. For while  we were  still weak,  at  the right  time  Christ  died  for the ungodly."

~Romans 5:3-6 

Happy Tuesday!
Thanks for Stopping by!
For more understanding on why Christ died for us read the rest of Romans 5.
God Bless! Comment, follow, subscribe, and don't be shy! 

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Sunday, March 19, 2017

My Fail-Proof Packing List

It is time to go on tour again! The Ballet Magnificat Alpha Company has shows lined up in Texas, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Louisiana, and North Carolina in the next coming weeks. But we are not the only ones set for travel this month. In less than two weeks the Ballet Magnificat Omega Company will be leaving for their big European tour and the Trainee 2 Events Company will be leaving for a nearly two and a half week mission trip first to Guam and then continuing on to Asia! For more information on our tour schedules, visit our calendar HERE! We are expecting big things from God! Prayers are appreciated!

Along with all the traveling preparations going on around here, and being the well-seasoned traveler that I am, I thought it would be a fun idea to publicly share with you my fail-proof packing list that I've formulated over the years that I refer to when packing for almost every trip I take. I am not going to go into the numbers of how much you should pack since this will vary according to how long your trip will be, but I will supply you with a substantial list of things you want to be sure to bring so you don't forget a thing!  

Image Source

Ask Yourself These Questions:

#1  Do you have a suitable, comfortable, set of clothes packed specifically for traveling? Whether your travel days consists of long layovers hanging out in the airport or maybe just one crazy-long flight to some far off destination, you want to make sure you plan on wearing lose comfortable warm clothing. Airports can be cold and you want your clothing to leave room for that uncontrollable swelling that may happen to your body due to high elevation in flight.

#2 Do you have both formal and casual outfits packed? Depending on what your trip entails be sure that you've packed the appropriate styled clothing. Personally I like to make sure I always have at least one outfit packed for working and getting dirty in, and at least one outfit packed that is more formal whether for church or a night out! Sometimes there's no telling what your trip will have in store for you!

#3 If you are traveling for business, do you have the proper supplies and attire with you that you will be needing? If your "business" is anything like mine that would include: 
  • My dance bag with all it's odds and ends, leotards, dance shoes, warm ups etc. 
  •  Performance earrings and makeup 
  •  Teaching clothing

#4 Have you considered what jewelry and accessories can appropriately be paired with your packed outfits?
  •  It is amazing how a simple accessory like a necklace or headband can totally dress up and transform one of those casual outfits you've packed.

#5 Have you considered what shoes can appropriately be paired with your packed outfits?  
  • A good pair of walking shoes 
  •  I usually pack casual light weight slip on shoes, as well as a more formal pair of shoes.
  • Remember socks!

#6  Have you packed an appropriate amount of lounge wear/ sleep attire and underwear? 
  • It is important to me to remember to pack pajamas! And modest ones at that. You never know who you will have to come across while you're lounging around outside the normal comfort and controlled environment of your own home. 
  •  For those special shirts, make sure you've pack the right style and colored undershirts, camisoles, and bras to pair them up with.

#7  Have you considered packing special attire to meet the needs of unique weather conditions? 
  • A raincoat?
  • A swimsuit?
  • Shorts? 
  • A light jacket? 
  • A warm coat? 

#8 Do you have all your essential toiletry and hygiene "supplies" packed?  
  • Protect yourself. Make sure you take sun screen and bug spray.

*When flying, save weight and space by packing these items in travel sized 3oz. containers.

#9 Have you considered packing any/all necessary sustenance?  
  • You may want to consider having some comfort snacks on hand for long travel days or long trips where you might find yourself craving a taste of home. 
  •  Bring a hardy supply of vitamins. Especially Vitamin C to keep your immune system nice and strong. 
  • Dayquil or Nightquil are always nice to have on hand.
    • Ibuprofen seems to be dancers' best friend.

    #10 What are you bringing to kill time, for entertainment, and leisure? 
    • A journal?
    • Ipod/ Mp3 player?
    • Books?
    • Laptop? ( Note, I would not consider taking bulky and valuable possessions as such internationally)

    ***BONUS*** Always double check to make sure these last minute items got packed. Last minute items that are commonly forgotten are:
    • Tooth brush and toothpaste- One time I made the mistake of forgetting to pack mine and so out of desperation I had to buy a 4 dollar 'thin-as-a-twig' tooth brush from a random convenience store in the touristy part of Israel. I hope you won't ever have to do that.
    • A Pen or other writing utensil- Again, learn from my mistakes. Bring your own writing utensils so that you don't have to resort to purchasing items at the airport or at other overly priced convenient stores.
    • Cell phone chargers and other electronic device chargers
    • An extension cord- packing one of these with you will change your whole traveling experience. I recommend carrying it in your carry on.
    • Gum- Who doesn't want nice smelling breath after that nice long nap you had in flight.
    • Chapstick- The air is often very dry in airports and in flight.
    • Passport and/or ID- I don't know what to tell you if you forget to bring these. Don't leave them behind!

    Consider packing the additional following items for international travel:    
    • Laundry Detergent- If you are traveling international you may want to bring your own detergent that can be used even for hand washing clothing in sinks. I recommend packing the powdered detergent that weighs less and dissolves in water.
    • Arch Supports- If you plan on doing a lot of walking, these are a must-have sneaker accessory.
    • Compression socks- These come in handy to alleviate swelling in flight or when you plan on being on your feet all day.
    • An International Adapter and Converter- These will come in handy when traveling to different countries requiring different electrical outlets and voltages. 
    • Pocket packs of tissues- In some nations, be prepared to enter bathroom stalls, or 'water closets' with no toilet paper. That is when these tissues really come to the rescue!
    •  Travel sized hand sanitizer- Keep yourself protected from harmful germs at all times.
    • Tampons- Sometimes these can be hard to find internationally.
    • A water purifier of some sort- When making trips to less developed nations, the drinking water may not be safe for consumption. Water filters come in many forms and fashions and can be found on Amazon.com  Travel Water Filters at Amazon
      • Fabric softener dryer sheets- A fantastic way to keep your shoes and clothes smelling fresh. Place a couple of these sheets in with your tightly packed clothes, and throw a few sheets into your shoes.
      • Eye mask and ear plugs or headphones- These items will help you to fall asleep any time, any where.
      • A Book light- Read any time, any where.
      •  A scent- I love to bring Vicks vapor rub, and/or Thieves essential oil with me on trips. The familiar scents help me feel at home, and assist me in falling asleep.  
      •  A compact-able easy-to-pack bag or tote- You might find it helpful once you get to your destination to have an extra bag to compartmentalize, separate and organize your things. I like to bring one of those thin 'earth-friend' recyclable grocery bags that are trending these days. I just fold it up all small and tight, and store it in my luggage until needed.
      •  Pillowcase- bringing your own pillow case might also help you feel more at home. it can also double as a sack to out things in. 
      •  A small pickpocket proof purse- Standing out as a 'gullible' tourist in some far off land; the risk of you being targeted by thieves and pickpocketers automatically increases. No need to live in fear, but being smart and taking safety precautions are suggested. One rule of thumb is to do your research. Adopt the cultures style and try to blend in. STAY FAR AWAY FROM FANNY PACKS, for multiple reasons. ^_^ The recommended purse of choice for international trips would be small, and to have a cross body strap so that you can keep your purse in front of you and visible at all times. Purse pockets that can close with zippers would be your best bet. 
      •  A compact travel sized Bible- Do yourself a favor and lighten your load by carrying around a smaller light weight bible that will fit into that smaller light weight purse. ^_~

      *Check out what my pre-travel preparations and packing rituals are HERE!

      Thanks for stopping by! Let me know that you did!
      Have a question you'd like to ask me? Go for it!
       and if there is anything else we should be packing that I forgot to put on the list,
      leave a comment and share it with us below!

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      Wednesday, March 15, 2017

      What's Cooking Wednesday | Pasta Salad

      So that goal I had about cooking more this year... 😂 I guess I haven't done such a hot job at fulfilling that one yet. I have been rocking it with salad assembling, though! Here is one of my favorite salad recipes to make for the work week. It is easy, delicious, and packed with hardy-fuel generating ingredients to get me through the week. And it has bacon! Yum!


      • 2- 1/2 cups of pasta (I used Tortiglioni but I suggest bow tie pasta which works really well too!)
      • 6 cups of leafy greens (I just used whatever I had, but romaine lettuce is recommended)
      • 1 medium tomato, diced 
      • 4 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled (25 seconds in the microwave speedily crisped my bacon to perfection)
      • ½ cup of ranch dressing
      • 1 tablespoon of barbecue sauce
      • 1/4 teaspoon of pepper
      • OPTIONALLY add whatever else you desire...Chicken, Carrots, Crotons... etc. ^_^


      1. Cook pasta, drain and rinse under cold water.
      2. Combine your greens with your pasta and salad toppings.
      3. Mix ranch and barbecue sauce together and drizzle over salad.
      4.  Gently toss, pepper, and serve!

      Buen Porvecho!

      Source: http://life-in-the-lofthouse.com/blt-pasta-salad/#Igt51wpJ
      comment, follow, subscribe, and don't be shy! 

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