Posted in lifestyle

Get ready for the 4th of July!

Wow, how is 2019 almost half way over already?! It’s kinda crazy to think that New Years was SIX months ago! Now here we are, one of my favorite holidays, 4th of July! I wanted to share some party decor, clothing, recipes and more with you guys. So, here it is, all of my Independence day favs!

Lets start with some staple 4th of July recipes in the Stafford house! One of our favorite things to make recently is beer battered fish and shrimp tacos with white barbecue sauce! Its so good, and the BBQ sauce gives it a nice tang! The tacos and BBQ sauce are both great finds from Pinterest of course and i’ll be sure to share those with you! They make my mouth water just thinking about them!

Of course what would be the 4th of July without some good ole American hamburgers and hot dogs? Instead of leaving them as they are, why not spice them up a little bit? Try making some homemade corndogs with your kids or significant other instead of doing the traditional hot dog on the grill! It’s so fun to do with others and actually pretty simple to make! Next, instead of making that boring old hamburger, give it a twist! Why not try making a cheese stuffed hamburger with all of your favorite toppings?

Alright guys now for the fun part, the red, white, and blue cocktail (or mocktail.. whichever you prefer)! The one i’m wanting to try out looks incredibly refreshing, and is also super patriotic! It’s called the citrus-spangled spritzer! If you didn’t want alcohol in your drink or want to make something for your kids you can leave out the vodka and blue curacao and make the drink with lemon lime soda, grenadine and some blue berries!

I like to think of this holiday is another excuse to spend some time in the pool, so new red, white, and blue swim suits are a must! I found some really cheap, yet good quality suits under $15 each! They came in decently fast and fit just as I thought they would! I think they fit perfect for the holiday and any other occasion honestly. All of my new suits are linked on my as well!

I also found the CUTEST Tees from Livy Lu, and the one i’m wearing in the picture is literally one of the softest I have ever owned. They have a ton of other options as well and some of them are on sale! You can use code christian15 for 15% off your entire purchase. They also have state shirts and college shirts for most of the colleges in Texas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas. Although, if you’re near the Tulsa area you can stop by their brick and mortar store!

The last thing I want to share with you guys is decor! I found a company recently that does the most amazing, and honestly gorgeous balloon decorations! The company is called Lushra and I guarantee you that if you browse through their Instagram you’ll fall in love too! They are selling do it yourself balloon kits for you to decorate your own space for the 4th of July!! Try them out, I’m in love is these specialty balloon decorations!

I hope you guys have THE BEST Independence Day, let me know in the comments how you like to celebrate the 4th of July! Until the next one, peace!

Posted in Jesus

Beach Camp 2019!

What is beach camp you might be asking? Well boy do I have a story for you.

About 2 months ago I got a message from a woman who I have known for many years, yet didn’t quite keep in contact with. This woman, Erin, was my girls youth minister in high school, and told me about Jesus. Now I didn’t come to know Jesus until about a year or so later, but she was relentless in her pursuit of my soul’s eternity. Just recently I graduated from college and moved back home. Erin messaged me wishing me congratulations, and wanted to know if I was going to be free in the middle of June for something called Beach Camp.

Now let me preface this for you guys so you can understand where I was at when I first heard about this camp. I was so busy with life y’all, I was preparing my applications for nursing school, working on my blog and content creating. I’m going to be really honest in saying I wasn’t being as faithful as I could to Jesus. Erin went on to tell me it would be a week in Florida and I would be the leader of a group of 6-10 girls. It didn’t take me long to decide that this was something I NEEDED to do. I wish I would have had this experience in High school, someone to tell me that a life with Jesus was so much better than what I had planned. So, I told my parents what I was doing and I went all in for it. I’ve learned from experience that when Jesus gives you an opportunity like this to serve Him, you do it.

Going into the week of Beach Camp, I began to doubt myself a little bit. How could I be enough for these girls? What if they don’t like me, or what if I cant impact them the way I want to? I prayed and prayed that I would be enough for them, then Jesus spoke to me. He said that it was not I that would change their hearts, it was Him. I am just a vessel or a tool that could bring glory to His name. No, I might not be holy enough, or spend enough time worshiping the One who saved my life. The thing I realized though was that I just needed to be myself and share my life with these girls. So, that’s exactly what I did.

The day finally came, and we were about to meet at the church to head on our long bus ride to Florida. I was driving there when I got this sudden wave of anxiety over my body. I had finally realized that I knew one person at this camp, literally ONE. This may seem insignificant, but if you know me I HATE being places where I don’t know people. Get me around people I know, and I am the most outgoing person in the room, but otherwise you wont hear me speak a word. There was no turning back though and I had to continue to remind myself that God was going to do amazing things through me and I needed to trust Him.

Fast forward about 5 days and two bus rides, and I can confirm that Beach Camp was one of the greatest decisions I have ever made. These girls taught me so much about myself and about what God wanted for my life. I also got to pour my soul out to them and attempt to share with them the mistakes I have made in life in order to help them make better ones. I will never forget this experience, and hopefully you’ll catch me at Beach Camp 2020. Below I wanted to share with y’all what my girls had to say about their experience at camp. They are God sent, and I am so proud of all of the hard work and learning they have put into their time with me! Here’s to more bible studies and doing life together my girls!!!

Some of my girls were willing to give me a little snippet of their week and what happened in their lives, here they are:

“God made big moves this week in my life. I was in kind of a cruise control with my faith, and it wasn’t bad, but it also wasn’t good. Sitting there at camp made me realize that i can’t put faith aside and sharing the word is important because you are never promised another minute on earth. You also can’t be half in with your faith, it’s all or nothing. Beach Camp 2019 was one to remember!” -Lainey (@laineybowmer on insta)

“I really loved beach camp. It really helped me reconnect with god and gave me a few days to make Him my only focus. I loved worshiping and listening to all the sermons. I felt like all of the messages applied to my life. Having Christian as a leader was so fun! I felt like I could really open up to her and didn’t feel like I had to pretend to be someone that i’m not. I’m so excited for Beach Camp 2020!” -Abby (@Abigail.ctx on insta)

Posted in lifestyle

Packing MUST HAVES for the beach!

When I found out I was going to be going to the beach for a few days this summer, the first thing my mind went to was “omg I cant wait to put outfits together and pack”. I am one of those people that LOVES to make lists to then check everything off on it. Packing lets me exercise that weird quirk. I decided I would let y’all in on my packing list just incase you’re planning a beach trip of your own!

First off I think on of the most essential parts of my packing list (besides sunscreen of course) is denim. Its almost a crime to go to the beach without your favorite pair of denim shorts. I happened to pack 4, but I tend to be an over packer. Truly though, be sure to put at least one pair of shorts in your suitcase, they’re versatile and can be worn with pretty much anything you bring on vacation with you.

Next up, I would argue is also one of the most important things to bring to the beach is your swim suit. Ever since Victoria’s Secret stopped selling swim suits I kinda didn’t know where to buy one besides Target I guess. They have some pretty great swimmies! To my surprise, I was browsing Amazon and realized they have the CUTEST bikinis and one pieces. Who would have thought?? Personally I have been loving animal prints and warm tones for my swim suits, but I guess whatever makes you feel good is right for you. Here is a visual of the ones I purchased for my trip! I’m especially loving the pink bikini with the tassel accents because its high waisted and full coverage on the bum area. Somehow every swimsuit I buy these days looks like a thong, and i’m not gonna lie it makes me feel a little insecure.

The other item I have seen a lot of people purchasing and absolutely loving is woven beach bags. Naturally I had to get one for myself. I found one on Amazon that was really inexpensive and amazing quality. I plan on placing one of my hair scarfs around the handle for a little extra somethin somethin. Gotta spice it up, and make it girly. This bag is perfect for the beach and holds everything from a book to sunscreen to your beach towel! It’s everything you’ve been wanting and more!!

Of course, you can’t forget all of the miscellaneous items you bring to the beach with you. I’ve decided instead of making this blog post exceptionally long, I would just link everything I am bringing to my page so you can shop everything I am packing from one simple place! If you want to make your life a little easier you can download the free app (yes I said free), and follow me @christian_tay! Its that simple! I hope you guys have the best summer, let me know what your favorite items to pack for the beach are! I love to read your comments!! Until the next one, peace!

Posted in lifestyle

Here comes graduation.

Well guys, it’s been a minute and I apologize for my lack of consistency. Life has been full of school work, my job, and trying to make time to see my long distance boyfriend, Luke. I have missed writing to you guys, and letting you in on what is happening in my life. The truth is I have been a tad overwhelmed recently. I found out a few weeks ago that I didn’t make it into the nursing school I applied to in the fall. It was a little disheartening to find out, but at the same time I had some peace in it. I have tried my hardest not to dwell on it because I know in some way it will be a blessing in my life. I will be reapplying for the spring semester as soon as the applications are open and I am allowed to. In the mean time, I am going to work as hard as I can to make this season of waiting fruitful.

As you can tell by the title of this post, graduation is fast approaching. I have about a week and a half of college left and it is kind of scary. Especially considering the fact that I don’t really know what i’m doing with my life quite yet. It’s also hard to accept that I will be leaving behind so many amazing friends that I have made while at Oklahoma State. I don’t doubt that I will see them again in the near future, but not being able to see them whenever I want will be difficult. There is also a part of me that truly identifies with being a college student. If i’m not in Stillwater, then who am I? I am not a nursing student (yet), I am not a working individual with a big girl job, and I am not going to be a college student for much longer. Part of me knows that this is ok, and I know my identity is in Christ and not what title I have in life. The truth is, the transition period moving back home has me scared, yet really excited.

Graduation is a time meant for celebration, you’ve made it through college. I guess the point of this whole thing, and what i’m trying to tell you is, have peace. In whatever it is that you’re doing, or not doing, have peace that God will set a path out for you that will be so much more glorifying to Him than anything you could come up with on your own. Hear me out, I have already seen the fruits of not getting into nursing school yet. In having the time delegated to other things in the fall I will be able to do the following. First off, I get to spend so much more time with my family. They mean the absolute most to me, and being away from them for 4 years has been extremely difficult for many reasons. I will get to be more intentional in my role as a Maid of Honor to my best friend Lexie, and a bridesmaid to my friend Kamika. I will get to attend my boyfriends football games, and watch him coach some good ole high school football under those Friday night lights. I could go on, but these are things I just wouldn’t be able to do had I gotten into nursing school on my first try.

Believe me, I am a planner. I have had my post graduation plan in mind since I stepped foot onto Oklahoma State’s campus. Having my plan flipped around on me was extremely flustering, but I just know that this time will be so fruitful. I LOVE that I don’t know what i’m doing because it makes me uncomfortable and it gives me an opportunity to grow. I have absolutely adored my time at OSU, and I wouldn’t trade it for the entire world. Leaving this place will be extremely hard, but at the same time I am so excited. Excited for the adventures and challenges that await me in my future. Go Pokes forever.

Posted in lifestyle

My Dallas Travel Guide

So i’ve lived near Dallas my whole life, yet I never really had the means to explore all it had to offer. When I was younger I would go to downtown Dallas for cheer competitions or the occasional field trip, but never really got to explore. The city is so special and I knew I was missing out. Now, being 22 and capable of planning my own vacations I had this sudden urge to explore the big city I had grown up so close to. This being said, I now feel as though it is my duty to help all of you discover Dallas too!

There are a lot of tourist type things to do around Dallas that are great! You could go to the zoo, the aquarium (which is fantastic by the way), or even go and see where JFK was assassinated (if you’re into that sort of thing). Although if you are looking for a more “see Dallas local” experience, i’ve got the inside scoop for ya!

First, let me start by saying the best way to experience this city as a local is not to book some fancy hotel in the heart of Dallas. Instead, try looking at AirBnb. For first time guests they offer a discount, which could really reduce the rate of your stay! Here is a link to book your first stay! I truly think this is the best way to capture the Dallas vibe, and see the charm and love that people put into their homes/apartments! Plus a lot of people that use AirBnb will leave you with a guide on how to best explore their city. Also, here is the link to the AirBnb that I stayed at just to give you a feel for what i’m talking about!

One of the other things that you MUST DO is make the trip over to Deep Ellum. There are 3 streets of restaurants, bars, and entertainment that you can’t miss out on. Commerce Street arguably has some of the best food that Dallas has to offer. One of my all time favorite burger places is called Twisted Root Burger Co. and let me just be the one to tell you, you will never forget it. They have shakes, burgers, loaded fries and fried pickles. Every time I eat there I think about the next time i’ll be able to go back.

Ultimately, there are a ton of things to do in Dallas. One of the greatest things we did on our trip was order Starbucks and decide to take it on a walk around downtown. The weather was incredible and it gave us a new perspective on the everyday life that happens there. With so many restaurants and pubs to choose from, it’s kind of a fun game to just walk around and choose one because its almost impossible to go wrong with your choice.

Finally, if you’re wanting to see Dallas from a bird’s eye view, check out the restaurant Five Sixty at Reunion tower. This restaurant sits at the very top of the reunion tower and spins 360 degrees while you’re there so you can see all of Dallas in one sitting. You can make reservations for dinner, but we opted to go right when they opened at 5 and sit at the bar for happy hour drinks and food. Their happy hour lasts from 5-7, and let me tell you the food is incredible. We got the potstickers, and “Tokyo” onion rings off of the appetizer menu and were very pleased with our decision.

After we finished up at Reunion Tower we decided to hit up another hidden gem, Deep Ellum Brewery. They have seasonal beers that rotate throughout the year, as well as “Here to stay” beers that are there year round. They also have incredible bar food like loaded tots, pizzas and burgers that are to die for. If you’re 21+ this is a place you definitely have to check out!

I hope if you decide to travel to Dallas, you love it as much as we do. It is a special city with a lot to offer! Let me know if you try any of my recommendations and please tell me what your experience was! If you find any new hidden gems, hit me up so I can try them out too! Have fun, be safe and God bless Texas!

Posted in lifestyle

Patience in a time of uncertainty

Very recently, I submitted my application to nursing school at Texas Woman’s University. It is easy to be filled with anxiety as I wait for my results, an acceptance or denial. Every single day, I get asked when I am going to hear back or when i’m going to know if I got in. The thing is, I don’t know. That fills me with a lot of uncertainty and worry at times, but the thing I have come to realize is it is okay to not know.

There is a certain feeling of relief that comes with knowing that my fate is in God’s hands. Don’t get me wrong, I still really struggle with the uncertainty. That being said, I know that no matter what comes my way, or what my path ends up being next year I will know that it turned out exactly the way it was suppose to. To some of ya’ll this may sound a little too good to be true, that’s okay! It’s not always easy to believe that no matter what happens everything is going to work out! Trust me I have absolutely been there! The thing is, I would rather have faith in something than nothing at all. I have been tested in many situations in my life to have patience and to trust. Every single time, God’s will has been carried out. I know I know, kinda cheesy right? It’s true though, I have never had a more faithful companion than the one I have had in Christ.

If you get anything out of everything I have had to say today, it should be this. I have NO CLUE when I am going to know my acceptance status to nursing school, but I am okay with not knowing. God has a very specific plan to carry out in my life. Whether it is next fall, or next spring, or whenever it may happen, I will get into school whenever it is right for me to be there. I have FAITH that the God who created the skies, parted the seas, and sacrificed His son on the cross for our sins will deliver me into His will. If you don’t believe in Christ, or you are uncertain about anything I said, ask questions. I believe if you ask God to show you His grace HE WILL! Put your faith to the test, and even when times are rough, believe that He will carry you through it. I have NEVER been let down by Him, and I don’t believe you will either!

Have a fantastic Wednesday, or whenever you’re reading this! You are so special, and deserve to be treated as such! Here are some cute pictures that remind me of God’s faithfulness.

Posted in lifestyle

3 Ways to Shed Some Pounds Before Spring Break

At the end of last spring, I was the heaviest I have ever been in my life. College can do that to a girl unfortunately. I honestly hadn’t even noticed that I had gained that much weight, but when I got home for the summer I realized something had to be done so that I could feel heathy again. I put myself on a strict healthy eating diet and watched the pounds fall off! Guys losing weight and dieting is SO hard. I have an emotional connection to food, and it is not easy to say no to pizza and burgers with fries. I would much rather eat a huge plate of Panda Express than make a salad. The thing about dieting and losing weight is you have to be disciplined. You HAVE TO say no to those unhealthy choices and make the right decisions about your health. I am the lightest I have been since high school and it is only because I pushed through and stuck to the things that would give me energy and make me feel good about myself.

If there is anything I have learned about being the healthiest you, it is believing in yourself that you CAN look the way you want to look. Here are some of my tips that can help you get on track to being the best you.

  1. My first piece of advice is one I learned from my momma, she has always told me to drink a glass of water before eating my meals. This is to help fill your stomach up so that you eat less during the time you’re eating! Portion control is one of my struggle areas, and when I do this I absolutely notice a difference! Beyond drinking a glass before you eat, it is also important to drink a lot of water throughout the day, this will curve your hunger AND make the rest of your body more hydrated too!
  2. Coming off the last tip.. PORTION CONTROL!! Ya’ll this is so so important. I know there were a lot of us growing up that were taught to eat everything on our plate before getting up. Now that isn’t such a bad thing except when you pile your plate high and go for seconds. We are not meant to eat that much in one sitting and if you would just slow down and eat a little slower you would notice you get full faster. Start with just a little bit on your plate and go from there!
  3. Being in a caloric deficit. Don’t take this as me telling you that you should starve yourself. What i’m telling you is that if your caloric output is greater than your input, YOU WILL LOSE WEIGHT. You can track your calories using a ton of different apps, my favorite being myfitnesspal. To an extent it is healthy to track your calories, but if you feel yourself becoming obsessed with it, maybe loosen the reigns a little bit!

I hope this helps at least one of you the way it has helped me! I still have a lot of progress to make, but I can genuinely say I am so happy with the progress I have made! Ya’ll rock, let me know if there’s anything else I can help you with, i’m always here to talk!