Wednesday’s Words {Intro to Me!}

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Hey Y’all! I’m so glad that you stopped by. I’m currently sitting on my back porch with a bowl of cotton candy ice cream while my favorite pup is underneath me with her own bowl of peanut butter. It’s a good day. I’m so excited to start this new link up with Jenni from Frankly My Dear & other sweet blogging girls for a good dose of encouragement and community! It’s a brand new community starting TODAY & it’s the perfect replacement for my Wifey Wear Wednesdays I believe!

This week, we were asked to share a little about ourselves & what God is doing in our lives! So, let’s do this.

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I’m Katie. I have a huge love for Jesus, my Savior & BFF, and I daily strive to life my life for Him in all aspects.  A year ago, I was overly blessed and full of JOY to marry the man of my dreams. His name is Joe and he is utterly perfect for me. I still pinch myself at times to make sure this isn’t all a dream. He is romantic, tall and handsome, and takes me on trips all over this green earth. We are super-duper in love and you would quickly learn that if ever you were around us for at least two minutes. He is the most selfless, wise, hilarious, caring, & faithful man I know. He is my joy. We live in a cute house in a fun city and we serve at our local church home & eat way too much good food. Oh, and we also have a Siberian Husky whom we adore & call our child.

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I have a slightly obsessive love for hot tea, coffee, sunshine, Mexican food, spending time early in the morning in the Word, laughing, & reading books. I love Jesus, my big family, & my friends who are as dear as family. I just accepted a job as a nanny during the week after being a SAHW for the first year of our marriage. One day I will write about all the things that I learned from that season of life. I also adore this blog space. The community that it possesses is irreplaceable. I am in the process of growing my blog and I just love meeting new ladies who love Jesus & adore coffee as much as I do. It’s such an awesome thing. I started this blog almost two years ago while sitting in my formerly favorite coffee shop back in my hometown. I have a huge heart and passion with sharing Jesus’ love with everyone I meet. With that passion for Him and a passion to write since I was young, God led me to start this blog over a hot cup of African Sunset Red Tea. He knows the way to my heart. You can read way more in-depth of what and how He spoke to me about this blog here.

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God has been showing me what it looks like to truly follow and live completely for Him. Honestly, I am growing {being stretched} more right now than I ever have in my walk with Christ. He is teaching my husband and I what it looks like to truly die to self and live for Christ even when it’s hard and complicated. I am slowly learning that He is worth it. In my personal life, God is teaching me to open my hands and let Him have the control, the insecurity, and the fear that I have been clinging onto for years and years. He is teaching me that opening my hands means that I am trusting Him for who He is.. GOD. I can’t play God anymore by trying to be in complete control over my life and the people in it. Trust, faith, believing. Surrender. That’s what I’m learning.

Oh, and did I mention that I love chatting with you so let me know that you stopped by! See ya tomorrow dearies for our Romans Summer Bible Study! We’re going over chapter 14.. here’s a sneak peek.. freedom & love!.. you know it will be good!

You are loved!

Katie

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Must Haves for Newlyweds – Kitchen Edition

Hey there, friend! I’m so glad that you have decided to drop by Hot Tea and the Empty Seat today. I hope your Tuesday is off to a great start!

 My husband and I have been married for a little over a year now & I thought it would be fun to share a few of our favorite things around our home that we use everyday. Today is going to be all about the kitchen. Before getting married, I didn’t think much about kitchens or cooking. Honestly, everyone was pretty sure that I wouldn’t be able to cook. Surprisingly, our kitchen has become one of my favorite places to be & I just adore creating home cooked meals for my husband. Whether you have been married for years or are awaiting that big day, enjoy a few of our “must haves” for the kitchen! These items have been life savers for us as newlyweds! Enjoy…

 

 

 

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1} I can’t tell you how often we use these hard plastic mixing bowl set. They are versatile and are super easy to clean which is why I love them so. It also makes cooking a little brighter with all of the fun colors. Our favorite recipe to use these with is our banana chocolate chip pancakes which will be making it’s appearance soon enough… stay tuned 😉

2} An electric can opener. We don’t use canned foods very often but when we do, I personally can’t imagine being without this bad boy. Manual can-openers, as wimpy as it sounds, are a pain to use. This one is easy to store in your cabinets & easy to clean… just wipe it off after use. My kind of work!

3} I love my teal Fiesta ware but there is something about simple plastic plates. We have about six teal & coral ones from Target along with our sturdy ceramic plates. They are super cheap, easy to clean off, & can fit better in the dishwasher than the bulky stuff. They are perfect for little ones since they don’t break if you drop then. Also, places like Target have the cutest designs perfect for each season you find yourself in which is a great little accent to your dinner table.

4} Go big on your eating utensils. My husband and I were gifted a great set of good quality Food Network forks, spoons, & knives. Nothing is worse than dull knives and forks that melt in your dishwasher. Plus, you are going to use these every single day so I would definitely splurge.

5} Ah, my favorite items in the whole kitchen: our coffee mugs. There is just something romantic about matching coffee cups. I may be crazy. My husband and I have a tradition of buying a new coffee mug in every new state or country we visit so it’s safe to say that our cabinets are filling up quickly. I highly recommend buying mugs that are dishwasher safe. Coffee mugs are just a fun thing to have around the house. They have become a staple for us every early morning and they have created many sweet talks and devotion times with each other & God. I think coffee just draws people together. You can find out favorite here! {it has our pictures on it!}

6} I love our set of glass containers. Ours have  little cute chalkboard fronts on them so I have “pasta”, “sugar”, and “brown sugar” written on ours. They are so handy, so helpful, & can be a cute little decoration to your countertops. Sometimes when I am feeling silly, I will write things like “pour some sugar on me” on the containers. You may think that’s weird but it creates a laugh or two from my husband and our guests that stroll through our kitchen. Hey, cooking can be fun.

7} I cannot stress enough how IMPORTANT a good, solid cutting board is. In my own opinion, GET PLASTIC ONES… not bamboo ones! Although they may look classier, I made the mistake of cutting raw chicken on my bamboo cutting board and the smell lasted for weeks. I eventually had to throw it out. Which was sad because it was good quality but it just wasn’t for me at all. Plastic cutting boards are dishwasher safe {a huge plus for us} therefore I can rest knowing that there isn’t bacteria growing on them from raw foods. It’s smart to get multiples so that you can use certain ones for certain foods. I like these.

8} And last but certainly not least, good cookware. The cookware shown in the picture is the exact cookware we use. It was gifted to us by my dad & stepmom and I LOVE it. It’s Paula Deen’s Aqua Speckle 15-pc. Signature Porcelain Nonstick Cookware Set. I highly recommend getting non-stick cookware that isn’t stainless steel. This is, of course, simply my opinion. But, we had stainless steel and everything I cooked in it pretty much ruined the cookware. It stuck to the bottom & wouldn’t clean off. It also left water stains  Of course, it depends on the quality but you are better off getting porcelain over stainless steel simply because it’s dishwasher safe unlike stainless steel. The last thing I want to do is stand for an hour scrubbing the heck out of every thing I cooked with. Plus, you can get cute colors to match your kitchen. So, go for the non-stick & porcelain over the not-non-stick & stainless steel. You will thank me!

I hope you found a renewed love for all things kitchen & even have a few new ideas!

You are loved

Katie

Linking up with: Let’s Be Friends Blog Hop

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& Hump Day Happenings!

A savory Feast

Let’s Chat Over Coffee! {highs + lows}

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Hey love! How are YOU doing? If you’re like me, you are so thrilled that Friday finally made it’s appearance. This week has been something of a whirlwind & I am so excited to spend the weekend unwinding and relaxing. Today, I’m linking up with Jenna & Jenna for another edition of Coffee Date. There is nothing quite like pouring your heart out over a big warm mug full of creamy coffee goodness. How I wish I could meet up with you & we could do just that. Over the past year, I have learned how important community is. It knits hearts together, creates lasting and strong friendships, & gives us enough refreshment and encouragement to keep running the race.

If we were talking over coffee right now, here are a few things I would let you in on. I would get super excited about most but then I would ask for your prayers in some.

– Highlights of the week –

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– I started my new job as a nanny! This is the major highlight of the week. God has been so faithful in this. It happened so quickly & I couldn’t have been more blessed with the two precious girls that I am watching over. They are hilarious & such sweet gifts from God.

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– Our Home Reno is up & running again. my hubs & I finally mustered up enough motivation & help to completely destroy the Jumanji jungle {miss you, Robin} that was growing in front of our house {the shrubs were going wild}. The boys pulled all of those bushes and trees up so we now have a clean palette to start over. The next items on our Home Reno list are fix all of the puppy damage to the doorways {thanks penny} & my favorite… paint the front door teal! I have been dreaming about turning our little front porch space into a welcoming morning area but haven’t had the motivation to actually put those dreams into action until this week. I’m excited to post before & after pictures!

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– My husband and I have spent a lot of time in the kitchen lately. We whipped up his mom’s special lasagna one night, my grandma’s amazing chicken casserole another night, & even made a few sweet treats over the weekend. I love making our family’s homemade meals because it makes me feel like we aren’t that far away. My grandma, aka the BEST cook in the entire universe, created a recipe book for me with all of her special homemade goodies & gave it to us at our wedding shower last year. I cried. She cried. My mom cried. It was my most favorite gift ever & I will always cherish it!

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-Speaking of community, my husband and I got to spend some time with one of my closest friends and her husband one night. Nick created this awesome life-size Jenga game & it was definitely a hit. I love spending time with other Jesus followers, always such a sweet time of refreshment.

Today, we are heading to our hometown to spend time with our families! That makes a hard week a little better.

Speaking of hard things, here are a few of the lowlights that have gone on this past week:

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-I can’t share the entirety of this situation but something came up this week that has completely shaken me. It’s one of things that begs the question, “God, what in the world are you doing???” It’s one of those things that makes you sick to your stomach because you don’t want to deal with it. It’s one of those things that makes you want to crawl into your little bubble of comfort and never come out again. It’s also one of those things that God may be using to stretch me, to put my faith to the test, to really break me down. This quote above has been a huge help to me as I deal with this situation. My fears are before me & I’m having to make the decision on if I will give in to them & let the fears control me OR step out in faith, complete faith even though I don’t know what to do but trust God. It’s hard following Jesus. But He never said it would be. I’ve had to ask myself, “is he worth it to you?” if He is, then I must keep walking. even if I am completely in the dark.

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– on a lighter note, I forgot to do all the laundry this week because I have been so distraught with the above situation. That created a problem when my husband got up this morning to go to work. No clean work shirts or socks. Another obstacle to jump over without tripping and falling flat on my face: feeling like a failure as a wife. Praying for God’s grace to cover me.

That’s a serious coffee date, friends. I hope you were encouragement somehow by my transparency & God’s grace in my life lately.

How can you relate?

you are loved!

Katie

Friday Faves!

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Today I’m linking up with some fellow blogging girls for everyone’s favorite day of the week. This week has been my kind of week. We were at the beach the first two days, taught youth group Wednesday, got a ton of housework in, & enjoyed a late night swim party with that same fun youth group from Wednesday. I’m blessed.

1. We fell in love at the ocean…

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The hubs took me to the ocean for our one year anniversary and needless to say, we totally fell in love all over again. With each other and also with the sea, deep and wide. I honestly could walk along the shore for days upon days or let the waves carry me away for hours. It’s amazing. We felt God’s presence all around as we gazed out at the vast ocean that He created and still controls to this very minute. We stayed in a villa on Hilton Head Island and we almost didn’t come back. One morning we woke up at 4:30 am to bike along the shore and watch the sun rise. There were no words to describe how perfect. Gets me pumped for Heaven. Every time I travel to the sea, I leave a little bit of my heart there.

2. I did the deed…

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I cleaned out my fridge for the first time in a year. Seriously, you probably think I am joking. Or you think I am a genius because you haven’t cleaned yours out in a year, oh I hope so. My obsessive love for cleaning washed over me as I was scrubbing and organizing. Needless to say, the hubs came home to a bleach-drenched clean house. Wifey for the win. It’s been interesting learning as a new wife and home-owner what needs to be cleaned daily, weekly, and monthly. A year in and I’m finally wrapping my brain around it. Although the thing never stays clean. And we don’t even have kids yet. How does this happen?

3. What I think about you, August…

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For the month of August, my husband and I aren’t spending any money. Like none. Except of course on gas and a few groceries. This was his idea although I had just finished reading Jen’s book 7 which means it should have been my idea. This whole idea of less is more is really convicting but challenging and I am a sucker for a good challenge. Although my husband will have to pry my greedy little fingers off of Starbuck’s front door, I believe I can do this. I have a few reasons. One- we are going to Haiti on a mission trip in October and every time I think of those Haitian faces, my desire for more of anything, really, ceases. They, like millions around the world, have no excess like I do. Yet they are content. I want that. I desire for joy and contentment without any material possessions. Two- I’m tired of spending money. You see, fashion and I have a reckless relationship. I am drawn to fun fashion but I die a little inside each time I hand over my debit card. Three- I like change and this will definitely be change.  Four– God has called me to be a good steward of our money and although I have only been on one big shopping spree this year, I can always do better. Starbucks adds up.

4. I got stacks…

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And by that, I mean I have a stack of books on my desk getting taller than me and I so wish I had time to sit and read all of them. Have you read any of them? I want to know how they are! I have read half of a lot of them and haven’t gotten around to finishing because I’m a faithful book reader like that. This is my second time with Whispers of Hope.. it’s a must read/do.

5. One of my favorite beachy things…

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about this week was seeing all of the marine life at the beach over the long weekend trip my husband and I took. It was amazing!

We saw two sharks swimming along the shore at the harbor. They accidentally got too close to shore and were splashing around like crazy trying to get off the sand. I snapped a few action shots. We watched families upon families of dolphins frolicking in the ocean right in front of us outside of our villa. They were beautiful. I also got to snap pictures of a sting ray that a fisherman caught one early morning. And last but not least… we got stung by jellyfish. Thankfully, my 6’4″ husband was stung by a baby one and the huge papa jelly came at me like a raging bull. I thought I was getting attacked by both a shark and a lightning bolt. Six days later, I still have the battle scar to prove it. And of course, I got stung the next day again. My legs now look like they survived a war. Cute little squishies, yeah right.

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And that’s my week in a nutshell. Did anyone else have an awesome week?

You are loved 🙂

Katie

Linking up with Amanda, The Farmer’s Wife, & Lauren!

Ta-ta for now!

In honor of our one-year anniversary, my husband is carrying me off to the seashore for a few days of uninterrupted “us time”!

The trip will include no plans, sipping coffee while the sun rises over the ocean, riding our bikes along the sandy pathways, lots of sun-bathing, some tropical drinks, & a ton of time spent together with no distractions which is what I am most excited about!

With that said, I hope you understand that I won’t be blogging until we return.

Lots of pictures to come when we get back home!

You are loved

-Katie

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Our First Year of Marriage

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On July 20th, 2013, I stood outside dressed in ivory and promised my heart and life to my tall and handsome best friend in a coral tie who just so happened to be the man that God created just for me. The words we spoke, straight from our hearts, tied our lives together.

“I do!”

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That was exactly a year ago! The tall & handsome fella in the cream-colored suit who carried me down the aisle is the same strong man who has carried me through sleepless nights, lots of tears, laughing fits, & everything in between. He has been faithful, bold, strong, caring, trustworthy, warm, & gracious. He has been the one I run to when I mess up or get my feelings hurt. He is the one who deals with my mood swings & random crying spells. He is my encourager, my best friend, & my biggest fan. He prays for me daily and I lift him up to our Lord every morning and every night.

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He is the one who makes me frustrated, cry, or laugh until I pee in my pants. He gives me butterflies in my stomach every single time he looks me in the eye. {no joke} I have never gotten tired of having him around. His laugh and sense of humor are both contagious. He gets mad at me when I feel like getting under his skin. He is smart and wise and way better at sports than I am. He supports me in my dreams and provides for my every need, working hard, and will walk around the mall with me and buy every coral dress we spot.

He leaves the toilet seat up and in the middle of the night, I fall in the toilet. I forget to dry his work shirts and he ends up wearing a wrinkled and wet button up.

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In life, We walk together. Some days, he is holding me. Some days, I am pulling him. And some days, we are both too weak to keep going but we do. Our God is in the middle of us.

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My husband is on my side but some days aren’t picture perfect. We are two sinful humans in one home trying to keep from messing up too much. We dream together and sometimes we have to speak reality to one another.
I hurt him and he hurts me. My feelings get crushed over words he speaks and he feels unloved when I choose selfishness. I get way too sassy with him and he gets a little too real with me.

We read our bible together and ask the hard questions. We encourage each other to seek the face of The Lord. We pray and we intercede. We praise and we dance together. We serve in church side by side and he fills in the gaps that I miss. We push each other. We strive to serve God wholeheartedly. Sometimes we forget to read our Bible and sometimes we doubt God’s perfect plan. We ask for forgiveness & do it all over again.

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We fight temptation. We mess up. We pray over each other. He speaks healing and blessings over me. I ask for strength and wisdom over his heart.

This is marriage. This is love. This is life. Joe and Katie. Husband and wife.

And we will do these things and more, each day for the rest of our lives on earth until we finally get Home. And even then, we will meet on our stars and sing praises to the King of Kings who saw it fitting to place two of His children together on earth.

Happy one year, babe! I love you, Joey Donut!

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Beach Vacay Must Haves!

The hubs and I are in the last digits of our countdown for our Anniversary beach trip to Hilton Head!! I wanted to share with you all a few of my favorite {beach} things! Enjoy! What are your must haves for your beach vacations?!

HTATES Beach Must Haves

Beach hat
amazon.com

Sun care
casa.com

Stripe beach towel
$47 – black.co.uk