Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2014 - A fresh start

I am writing this (or rather typing) at the first minute of the new year. In my pjs. No hardy partying for this girl. I feel so old.

So about this time, I usually come up with 5 resolutions for the year. Some are easier to keep than others.
I know some people don't like to make them, because there is no follow through most of the time. I think you need a plan of action to go with your resolutions, or it just won't work.

I have so many things I want to improve on. Exercise more, spend less, volunteer my time, read more, grade those dreaded stacks of papers! But I'm afraid I won't follow through.

So this year I won't make a list of resolutions. Instead, I want to focus on how I do things. How I will live this year. I saw a challenge on Instagram where you come up with one little word (#olw) that will define the year. There were so many to choose from: engage, simplify, love, give, create.
After some thought, I chose:

Become. A verb that means, "begin to be." Grow to be or turn into.
Synonyms: grow, come to be, change into, be transformed into, [be] more

I was listening to a sermon a while back from Alistair Begg (great pastor by the way) and it was about our standing with God. Something he said really caught my attention. He said, "Become what you are."
Not who people want you to be, or who you think you should be, but who you were created to be.

He said:
"It's not impossible to mess up, it's just incongruous. Tomorrow's a new day, a fresh start. 
Life is a journey with a series of new beginnings." 

So this is my fresh start. I want to strive every day. Even if one day I yell in my road rage at a terrible driver. Or spend the afternoon napping instead of grading. Or eating yet another handful of salt & vinegar chips. I don't want to give up when I mess up. I hope to take more opportunities this year and enjoy the little things.

I am excited about 2014. :)

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Waiting place

I am blogging from a local car dealership waiting for my car alignment.

I hate waiting. It seems so pointless. It's one thing if you know there's a certainty it's going to happen. What if you're not sure? What if you wait and wait and it never happens? What then?

There are a lot of potential by-products of waiting. It builds patience. Perseverance. If you're waiting for something good, the reward is that much more joyous. If you're waiting for the not so good, it provides relief, albeit bad. Closure.

2013 was a waiting year for me, so it was frustrating to say the least.  But maybe I've gotten some benefits from all this waiting. Patience. The strength to keep moving and preparation for what I hope for.

So if you are in that waiting place, like Dr. Seuss says, "Somehow you'll escape, all that waiting and staying." 

And: And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. Galatians 6:9

That's my food for thought today. :)


I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas! Every year I am more and more thankful to spend time with my family. My favorite part was watching everyone open their presents.

I got so many ornaments this year, I'm going to have to buy a mini Christmas tree for my apt!
What's a good/cheap place?

Oh, I forgot to announce the winner of the blog wishes giveaway! The winner was Arriana C.!
Congratulations! :) Your gift is waiting for you.

So I have to list my favorite gift from Christmas, which is very difficult.
My favorite homemade gift was from a former strudent's mom: her special made cookies/chocolates. They are hands down, the best. My favorite bought gift is from my mom, a grey/white polka dot bath robe from, you guessed it, anthropologie! Of course, every anthro gift (all ten!) were my fav!

Anyway, I'll be thinking about my New Year Resolutions and post those soon.
Thank goodness for this break. :)

Friday, December 6, 2013

Blog Wishes 2013

What a perfect day! It's Friday and I am in my pjs, looking out at snow topped roofs and nearly silent roads.

Texas rarely gets snow days and this really puts me in the mood for Christmas.
Last year I started my blog wishes giveaway. I've always loved Christmas because it's a time where I can slow down and really think about the year. It's family time and catching up with friends time.

These past few months have been a little crazy. Okay, stressful. I feel like I've been going nonstop and this unexpected day off is forcing me to stop, look up, and see where I am. In some ways, I don't like it. But now I know what I need to do and what my goals are. So thank you God, for this break!

My blog giveaway starts this Saturday and ends December 18th at midnight. For every entry I receive, I will double that number and donate the dollar amount, half to the charity of the winner's choice, and half to The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research.

Okay, so about the giveaway! Here are the rules:

1. You need to enter through Rafflecopter below. You can receive up to 7 entries for the giveaway.
  • 1 entry for commenting on this post with your name, link to your item, email, and blog site (this is mandatory).
  • 1 entry for blogging about my giveaway. Please email me at madebyfirenze@gmail.com with your blog      entry about my blog giveaway including a link to my blog.
  • 1 entry for liking  my blog page on Facebook (MadeByFirenze)
  • 2 entries if you follow me on GFC! If you already do, I will make sure you get 2 entries. :)
  • 1 entry for Tweeting about the giveaway. I wanted to do Pinterest, but that wasn't available for me. If you  don't have Twitter, you can follow me on pinterest (minjoo) and pin my blog giveaway photo above and receive 1 entry.
  • 1 entry for following me on Instagram. Either like or share my blog wishes photo on Instagram for 1 entry.

I am raising the stakes this year! Your Christmas wish can be up to $100!!!

Now for your item:

  • Choose one item on your Christmas list you would like. It cannot be a gift card, or 2 items. Only one.
  • The item must be less than $100. No exceptions. Any items over $100 will be disregarded.
  • It must also be something that can easily be bought online. No rare items or ebay items.
  • It should be from legitimate sites like amazonAnthropologieJ.Crew, or Target etc. If I have any concerns with your item, I will let you know.
  • If your item requires a size or color, please specify in your comment.
  • If item is sold out, another Christmas item of your choice (<$100) can be chosen.

Please follow the Rafflecopter entry rules. Any false entries will be taken out.
I will contact the winner through email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends.
Good luck and have fun choosing your item!

Here are a few of my Christmas picks this year:

1. J.Crew - Crystal Rosette Bracelet $115.00
2. ASOS - Midi Skirt in Plaid Check $65
3. Rifle Paper Co. - Citrus Floral Tin Recipe Box $34
4. Anthropologie - Eustella Ombre Infinity Scarf $38
5. BoonLook - Honeybadger Eyeglasses $99

I couldn't resist buying number 3 already. It just reminded me of the 90's. I love it!
Anyway, I can't wait to see your picks!