Closer Means to Invest Time

Relationships aren’t easy. They need time, effort and sacrifice whether it’s a relationship with people, pets or God. They’re always worth it, but you have to put in in order to take away. I think we often forget that. I was talking with a friend the other day; they were sharing how they feel lonely and wish they had more people in their life they were close with. This friend then began to talk about how introverted they are and how much they enjoy recharging by themselves and being a hermit. I laughed because I totally relate – In fact I think most of society relates to that mentality! Netflix is the new party and staying in is the new going out. It’s funny how much effort it takes to plan a night out with friends or even a simple coffee date to catch up with someone! We have to check our schedules, see if we’ll be in the mental space to actually want to go out that day next week and plan accordingly. I’m totally one of those people that could say no to every opportunity to go out – My hermit skills are almost resume worthy. However, once I’m out with people; I’m always glad I went out, or had them over!

I think our relationship with God operates the same way. People always want to hear from God. People usually want to see God work and know that He cares. But how often are people responding to the call from God – He wants to hear from you too and see you work to know that you care. It seems like our expectations from Jesus are very one sided.

2 Chronicles 15:15, “The people sought Him earnestly and He let them find Him.”

If someone were to treat you the same way you treat Christ, would you still want to be their friend? It’s a question that has really challenged me! No one likes a friend that sucks at listening – When all they do is talk about themselves, your interest level in spending more time with that person will tank significantly. What about the friend that is always telling you what to do and incredibly demanding? We tend to cut those people out of our life pretty fast. Our relationship with Jesus is more than reading your Bible, having a regular attendance at church and praying before a meal.

I was reading 1 Samuel the other day – I love the classic story of David defeating Goliath (1 Samuel chapter 17). It’s incredibly motivating for us to go out and tackle the giants standing in our way! Reading the chapter this time around, I started thinking more about what gave David the confidence to go out and take on an undefeated warrior. If I were in his shoes I would’ve stayed in the field taking care of dumb sheep – That seems a lot less stressful than going out to the battle line to check up on my siblings.

1 Samuel 17: 31 – 37,
“Don’t worry about this Philistine,” David told Saul. “I’ll go fight him!”
“Don’t be ridiculous!” Saul replied. “There’s no way you can fight this Philistine and possibly win! You’re only a boy, and he’s been a man of war since his youth.”
But David persisted. “I have been taking care of my father’s sheep and goats,” he said. “When a lion or a bear comes to steal a lamb from the flock, I go after it with a club and rescue the lamb from its mouth. If the animal turns on me, I catch it by the jaw and club it to death. I have done this to both lions and bears, and I’ll do it to this pagan Philistine, too, for he has defied the armies of the living God! The Lord who rescued me from the claws of the lion and the bear will rescue me from this Philistine!” So Saul finally consented.

When David was growing up he spent most of his time in the fields caring for his Father’s flock. David is known for all of his poetry that is recorded in the book of Psalms in the Bible. Taking care of sheep would not only be long and boring, but it would also give someone the opportunity to get really good at whatever they decided to kill time with. In David’s case it was his relationship with his Lord. I think God also put the desire in David’s heart to practice his sling shot skills so that when the time came for him to fight, it would be his first instinct to trust God and grab his sling. David spent and immeasurable amount of time with God while he looked after the sheep. I believe that is what gave David the foundation in his life to become a Man After God’s Own Heart. It made me realize that in order to have a strong relationship with anyone, you need to invest time. To create closeness you need to learn about the other person. David wanted to know God, learn more about God and be a friend with God.

I want this for my life also – I want to create closeness with God and with other people in my life. I want to seek God earnestly and maybe He will let me find Him.

– Stay Satisfied

Linda + Mitch

Linda and Mitch had such an elegant day! I was so thankful to have had the opportunity to design the beautiful couple’s wedding flowers for their Spring wedding on May 12, 2018. Linda and Mitch were so relaxed and were simply excited to continue their lives together. I loved getting to know them more while we collaborated on their wedding flowers. Sophisticated Elegance was to be the wedding theme; a romantic blend of white textures with elegant mixed greens and sparkle to hint at a Great Gatsby style. I was so thankful for both Mitch and Linda’s loose style wedding planning! Thank you for trusting me – Thank you for allowing my floral design juices to fly with the wind! I believe you both brought your sophisticated wedding vision to life on your special day!

Photography: Little Romantics

Photography: Little Romantics

Photography: Little Romantics

Photography: Little Romantics

The wedding party was absolutely stunning and glamorous! I was in love with the bridesmaid’s skirts. Linda wanted to incorporate rose gold accents and sparkle into her bouquet to compliment what her ladies were wearing. So we saved the trimmings from the skirts when they were hemmed, and used the left over fabric to tie her bouquet. Using the exact same material on the handle of Linda’s bouquet as the skirts was perfect!

Photography: Little Romantics

Everything about Linda + Mitch’s day was beautiful: the party, the weather, the people, the list is endless!

 

Photography: Little Romantics

Photography: Little Romantics

Photography: Little Romantics

Mother’s Wrist Corsage

The Groom and Grooms men’s Boutonnières

Photography: Little Romantics

Photography: Little Romantics

Photography: Little Romantics

Photography: Little Romantics

 

Thank you again for allowing me to play a part in your beautiful day! Wishing you both all the best in your exciting new life together!

Most of these photos were all taken by the lovely Mika Abbott through her business – The Little Romantics Photography. You should most definitely go check out her other work on [Instagram] & [Facebook]! I’m so excited about all that she is doing here in the city and I’m looking forward to watching her take off as an artist and a photographer ♥

– Stay Satisfied

 

UPDATE: I’m Not One for New Year’s Resolutions

It’s crazy to think that June marks the half way point in a year! It never feels like it – All the classes, activities, etc. coming to an end almost make it feel like the year is only starting with a fresh, summer start! For those of you that have been following my 2018 year, you’ll know that in January I decided to grab the bull of New Year’s Resolutions by the horns and make a couple for myself. If you haven’t, you can read my fresh start in January HERE. I know it’s only been six months, but it’s crazy how much you learn when you set goals for yourself. You learn your strengths and your weaknesses quite fast! Even though I set four primary goals for myself this year – I’m learning way more than just “improving” myself in those four things.


I wanted to share how I’ve been doing so far – Not to pat myself on the back, but to encourage you guys that might still be sitting on the fence about some goals you’ve been wanting to tackle in your life. Or maybe you had started some New Year’s Resolutions the same time I did, and you’re starting to fall behind – It’s ok; pick yourself up and keep going! I’m sharing my progress because I hope it encourages you to press on and strive towards your goals!!

“I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 3:14

I had previously shared how setting big goals are important, but setting too big of goals is reckless. I had read about New Year’s Resolutions and the best ways to achieve your goals and keep your motivation all through out the year; one recommendation that was stressed in order to accomplish goals was to break down your goals. Let’s say you want to healthily lose/ gain weight this year: What are you going to do each month in order to achieve that? What are you going to do each week, to reach success in those areas every month? Etc. After praying about 2018 and coming to these four goals, I broke them down into lists of what is realistic for me each month to accomplish them. To say the least: it has been incredibly encouraging, uplifting and motivating to feel myself grow and to see results!
In January, I wanted to:

GROW SPIRITUALLY

• Read the complete Bible in one year
• Read everyday in my devotional book
• Write a prayer journal
• Volunteer in my church regularly
• Get connected in a church group and be consistent
• Be open to mentor ship

UPDATE: I have found this area probably the most encouraging after pursing it for months, but also the most difficult to create habits. It’s hard to make time for God everyday. The Devil makes sure that this is not an easy task for us to complete. But I’ve found that the harder you work for it and the higher the priority you make it in your life; God rewards you for it! I know that the Word of God is alive because of how it continually changes a person’s heart the more time they spend in it continually. Not only has it been rewarding to strengthen my personal relationship with Jesus, but also spending time with other Believers both volunteering in the youth program in my church and being more committed to our young adults group. It is so cool to feel God working in and through His Body the way He intended for it to work! Obviously people are not perfect, but when we’re all working together for God’s glory, it’s amazing how the slip ups are easily fixed.

“Serve Him with a whole heart and a willing mind; for the LORD searches all hearts, and understands every intent of the thoughts If you seek Him, He will let you find Him” – 1 Chronicles 28:9

DEVELOP PHYSICALLY

• Take better care of my skin
• Take better care of my teeth
• No screens after 10:00 pm
• Do three cardio work outs a week
• Drink the recommended water amount daily
• Do not snack after 7:00 pm

UPDATE: I think developing physically is one of the easier tasks only because there is already so much the world has to offer in this area. It’s actually kind of sad when you think about how self absorbed we are about physical appearance. Yes, I totally get that there is a healthy balance of taking care of the bodies Christ has given us, but then there’s a line where it can become too much… But because the world has so much information on dieting, work out plans, skin care, hygiene care, etc. nearly everywhere for free, it makes this area of development more motivational than others because you see results faster! For example, I wanted to take better care of my teeth: Crest has that 3D White stuff where you literally notice a significant difference within 3 days! When you see results right away, it makes you more inclined to keep going, you know?

On the other hand, I started going to spin class 3-4 times a week. This was a slow-gain process and it’s taken months for me to see results in my body. Each class is pretty vigorous and I always leave the workout feeling disgustingly sweaty and satisfied that I gave it my all. I have noticed a positive difference in my stamina, better sleeping, and mentally I feel sharper! My motivation for the 3 cardio work outs a week resolution, was motivated back in December 2017, when I went to a Body World’s Exhibit that taught about so many different diseases, muscles, bones, mental health, etc. Next to each display they had list of a “How to Prevent” what ever negative bodily situation. Obviously these were not 100% guaranteed, but the #1 How to Prevent tip was: Exercise 30 minutes A WEEK. That seemed so easy… but then how many of us do even that minimal amount? It feels incredible to work out in the morning and consistently throughout the week!

“Physical training is good, but training for godliness is much better, promising benefits in this life and in the life to come.” – 1 Timothy 4:8

 

EXPAND MY SKILLS

• Publish a blog post once a week
• Read one book a month
• Accomplish one task on my Bucket List a month
• Take risks in my career to grow & learn
• Learn to cook more full meals
• Spend more time doing activities that do not involve screens

UPDATE: This resolution has been the most fun to work on! I’ve loved sharing my life more consistently on the blog instead of bumming around the house. I’ve loved sitting in a big comfy chair reading a book instead of wasting time on my phone. I’ve loved planning and researching new adventures to check tasks off my Bucket List and make memories with friends and family! I’ve loved feeling growth at work and I’m looking forward to more growth in University! All in all, I just feel like I’m using my time more wisely and thinking through my days instead of just wondering where the months have gone. My Day Planner has been awesome for this because I log everything into it as if it were my diary.

“You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” – Psalm 16:11

 

CULTIVATE MY FINANCES

• Set up budgets in all of my spending categories and stick to them
• Record my income and spending weekly
• Give generously
• Think before spending
• Grow my savings

UPDATE: Finances are tricky. You don’t want to become a money obsessed jerk that is too cheap to do anything, but you also don’t want to go out every night and have more month left at the end of the pay cheque… It’s also important to balance what you spend, what you save and what you give. This is a lesson I’m currently learning. It’s not about how big your bank account is by the time you retire and it’s not about trying to make six digits in a year. I’m learning that financial goals are a slow and steady process. It’s good to work yourself out of debt, to have a savings fund for a rainy day – because when it rains it will most definitely pour and to be generous. Recording my spending each week has totally opened my eyes to see how much I’m actually spending on eating out, or going to the movies. After the first couple weeks, I was quite shocked at how much I was spending because 5 bucks here and there adds up fast!

Every month I’ve tried to set small “financial goals” for myself like: Spend less than $x eating out this month, spend less than $x on gas, and spend less than $x on shopping, etc. What’s been cool, is that in these months I’ve noticed that when I am actively working towards each goal. When I want to spend less eating out; I do better at prepping my meals at home, which then domino’s into helping me make better eating choices! When I was to spend less on gas; I do better at walking more places or planning more organized Errand Days to maximize my productivity while driving. And when I know I need to shop less I do better at reusing things instead of just going out and picking up another/ new one.

Bring all the tithes into the storehouse so there will be enough food in my Temple. If you do,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, “I will open the windows of heaven for you. I will pour out a blessing so great you won’t have enough room to take it in! Try it! Put me to the test!” – Malachi 3:10

 

Thanks for encouraging my guys – I’m looking forward to seeing how the second half of 2018 plays out – God is so good and I’m excited to see what He will continue to do in this glorious new year! 🙂 I’m sharing my progress because I hope it encourages you to press on and strive towards your goals!! 2018 is not gone – You can still do this and make progress in your goals!

– Stay Satisfied

It’s Official I’m Finishing My Bachelors

Not going to lie; I’m pretty excited. It’s official: I’m finishing my Bachelor of Interior Design starting this Fall through Yorkville University. For those of you that don’t know, I’ll catch you up to speed. In 2014, I was accepted into Lakeland College’s Interior Design program. So I moved out to Vermilion, Alberta for two years to complete my Interior Design Diploma. It was fabulous – I absolutely LOVED it. Since graduating from Lakeland in 2016, I have been working as an Interior Design consultant at Floors by Design here in Regina, Saskatchewan. The thing that I’ve grown to love about being in this industry is that you are always learning and ideas should always be evolving, whether you’re in school or in a career. As awesome as it’s been working with SO many incredibly talented trades people, designers, contractors, suppliers, etc. I will definitely admit that I have missed the life of school. An opportunity was established a couple months ago between Lakeland College and Yorkville University for all Interior Design graduates to complete their Bachelors through Yorkville; receiving a complete transfer of all their credits previously earned from Lakeland. The beautiful thing about this opportunity is that they are offering the program online – So I can both work and study while earning my degree. Hats off to those with no life… I will soon be joining you 😉

I had already been exploring the idea of continuing my education and finishing what I started. About a year ago I began praying that God would open the door for me to get my degree if that is where He needed me. I knew I wanted it, but I only wanted to pursue it if I knew God would bless my path. I believe in the balance of education and experience. I also believe that God gives us the desires of our heart (Psalm 37:4). A person shouldn’t gain all their knowledge from textbooks nor from the streets – I think the smartest people learn from both and learn to apply written knowledge and lived knowledge. I’m excited to learn more in the field of Interior Design from Yorkville. I had two years to learn from Lakeland, two more years to learn in the field and I’m looking forward to another two years of learning at school!

There are many things we can learn about ourselves when we change our place of learning.

Ultimately, I love interior design because it is an outlet to help others while expressing my creativity. I look forward to projects that allow me to help make homes more functional, solve problems often not seen until solved and alter spaces to be their highest potential. I enjoy collaborating with clients and other professionals in the industry because collaboration and teamwork is how a design goes from good to amazing and how ideas transform into reality. I am excited by what I have learned and look forward to ongoing learning. I don’t know where life will take me – But I’m just going to keep walking where I know God is making the ground dry ahead of me!

Thanks again to all of you guys that have been cheering me on – I can’t wait to share this journey with you!

– Stay Satisfied

 

Wright Project

This has been a long project in the making. Recently, I got another opportunity to work with Ripplinger Homes who was building a custom home for a local family here in the city. I’m always so excited when I get to work with people that are making their project fun, unique and totally designed around their family’s character + lifestyle! Often, I’m asked if I still like what I do: ABSOLUTELY. 100%. Never a dull moment 🙂 These clients were so fun and didn’t want to look at anything that would be considered “a safeoption“. I’ll never get bored of being a part of such creative projects! I got the chance to play a very small part, but I always feel so lucky that I even get to do that much. This new custom build was going to be their dream Forever Home.

Everyone involved: trades-men, installers, designers and contractors put an immeasurable amount of time and energy into this stunning home. The clients wanted a very warm and welcoming feel; together we chose some awesome textures and finishes to give the space a timeless atmosphere. I wanted to share a couple photos with you guys of the finished house. All those who were involved in the Wright Project did an incredible job! Well done everyone!

Front Entry | Ripplinger Homes Photography

Front Entry | Ripplinger Homes Photography

Kitchen | Ripplinger Homes Photography

Kitchen | Ripplinger Homes Photography

Kitchen | Ripplinger Homes Photography

Pantry | Ripplinger Homes Photography

Family Room | Ripplinger Homes Photography

Main Floor | Ripplinger Homes Photography

Dining Room | Ripplinger Homes Photography

Upstairs Loft | Ripplinger Homes Photography

Laundry | Ripplinger Homes Photography

Mudroom | Ripplinger Homes Photography

Master Ensuite | Ripplinger Homes Photography

Master Ensuite Shower | Ripplinger Homes Photography

Below I’ve listed some of the suppliers of the materials in this home:
• Cabinetry: J&C Custom Cabinets
• Counter tops: Tubello Stone Works
• Lighting: Richardson Lighting
• Flooring and back-splash: Floors by Design
• Plumbing Fixtures: Sterling Plumbing & Heating

I’m looking forward to the next wonderful project full of talented people and creative clients!

– Stay Satisfied

Bucket List: FAIL – Donate Blood

So as many of you know by this point, I’ve been actively working towards checking things off my Bucket List. This year alone has been pretty successful and I’ve been able to do so many things that I’ve been thinking of doing for a long time! 🙂 I’ve also been able to share some fun stories with you about Bucket List items that I completed in the past like: Why I Started My Blog, Skydiving, Ice Fishing, Getting a Pixie Cut, Dying My Hair Pink, Taking a Pottery Class, Bungee Jumping, and Going to the Seattle Gum Wall!

Sometimes, plans don’t always go the way you plan for them to go. Obviously, by the title you know that my attempt to Donate Blood did not go the way I expected it to go! I had convinced my Mom to donate blood with me because I had never done it before and neither had she. For those of you that don’t know, I am extremely needle-phobic. I go into a cold sweat. My eyes make a deer in headlights look calm. When I was little and in elementary school, the dreaded Needle Lady would come to our classroom and give the teacher a notice about when the next date of vaccinations would be. I’d ask what day it was, mark it in my agenda and promptly schedule a severe headache that day. I missed needle day for years. I was actually quite proud of myself. It wasn’t until the other summer when my sister and I went to Rio, that I had to get countless shots to catch me up from the many I missed growing up… Anyways, I was going to face one of my biggest fears and I was going to try something new and I had full intentions of dragging my mother along with me! 😉

I had booked our appointments online at the local clinic. My mom would go first, then if she survived, I would go afterwards. “WHAT? Really…? That’s mature of you…” she said to me when I told her. That Saturday morning came and we made our way to the clinic. My Mom and I went through the “First Time Donor” procedure and the nurses there gave us both stickers, “Be Nice To Me I’m New!” At first I thought the stickers were cute, but then it got me thinking that the staff must need reminders so that victims are suckered into returning and donating again. Afterwards, we waited for our individual examinations.

I was taken into one room and she was taken into another. The lady on the other side of the desk asked the basic health and medication questions and then told me would take a sample of my blood to test for iron and sugar levels. I know she only pricked my finger to draw a drop of blood, but I feel the urge to say that she stabbed me… Anyways, she took a sample, popped it into a small machine that displayed some numbers. After reading the results she looked back at me, eyes wide. “Sooooo your iron levels are incredibly low…” she paused, probably for a dramatic affect. “We can test again, but your iron levels are nearly thirty points lower than the average person your age should be, so I don’t think another try will change anything.” The lady stabbed my finger on the opposite hand and popped the second blood sample into the machine. The numbers increased by two points. “Sorry, I can’t let you donate your blood today. Instead, I would highly recommend you booking an appointment with your family doctor to explore your iron levels more closely.” I didn’t know what to say. I sat there quiet. Thinking. And then it hit me – I wouldn’t have to give my blood at all today! I was done! But then it also hit me….. what about Mom?

I exited the small office and saw my Mom seated in the holding pen gripping her bag of tubes. She was smiling – probably thankful that she wasn’t going to be donating alone… As I sat next to her, trying to suppress my laughter of relief, she looked at me anxiously, “Where’s your bag? Didn’t they give you a bag of tubes?” “Well….” I started to say, then burst into giggles. “They won’t let me donate today – They tested my blood and deemed my iron levels too low!” I was covering my mouth trying to hold back the laughter. “NO. No, no, no!” My Mom argued, “I AM ONLY HERE BECAUSE OF YOU!!!! I didn’t want to do this – I was supposed to be YOUR support!!” I was laughing. I had no words. As she looked at me in shock, her name was called. “Charlene, we’ll get you started over here”.
“I can not believe this is happening…” My Mom said in disbelief as she got up and made her way to the massive chair. As the nurse prepped her I tried to apologize, but there was no way it was coming out heartfelt. “I’m going to get you for this.” She said to me. As the tube turned red I held her hand and made sure that I was supportive of the good thing she was doing. “You are saving a life today Mom! Look at this good thing you are doing Mom – This is happy!”
   When the bag was full and the lady had unplugged my Mom we made our way to the resting area. They had loads of snacks for everyone to regain their energy. I was halfway through my juice box and pack of cookies when my Mom said, “HEY. You do not even deserve those! I can’t believe you’re actually eating these snacks right now…. You still have all of your blood! There’s a bag of me back there – Those cookies and juices boxes are for people like me.”

So in the end I did not get to check “Donate Blood” off my Bucket List – But I will most definitely be trying again. I’ve been able to observe my Mom for a couple weeks now and she seems pretty healthy 😉 “You know, I am thankful for that experience. Even though we were aiming to donate together, it was fun to try something new with you!” Mom and I talked about other things that were on my Bucket List, specifically about things that could only happen by chance like winning the lottery, having twins, and being summoned for jury duty. “Why on earth would you want jury duty?” she asked. “I just think it would be cool to serve as a Canadian citizen in that way”. Literally the following week Mom received a letter in the mail summoning her for jury duty. It seems her and I are on a road to accomplish Bucket List tasks together!!

Enjoy this life guys and embrace new and old, scary and fun 🙂

– Stay Satisfied

 

UPDATE – Spurs: The College Bar

To say that I’m excited would be an understatement. Exactly this time last year I had finished my final project in my Interior Design program. Our school had given our class a project within the school: To redesign the college bar. My three girl friends and I worked an uncountable amount of hours redesigning the space – Our ideas bounced off each other and grew into this incredible dream. If you haven’t read my original post about this project, I would recommend you do so, because it is chalked full of our design concept photos and this post is about how I got to go see the space all finished!

I had been texting my teacher asking how she had been doing when she told me that Spurs was done. How could such a simple text be so flipping exciting?!!?! Spurs was the very first project my friends and I had the opportunity or pouring our time and energy into knowing that it had a chance at becoming reality. They explained that Spurs was in need of a major redesign because they were losing money and the space wasn’t being used by the students as they hoped it would be. When my teacher text me she said, “Guess what was profitable this year???” I was over the moon. When our class had first been given this project, it was explained that all of the designs would be presented to the school and one design would be chosen to redo Spurs. My friends and I’s design had been selected by the school board and would be completed over the next two years in a series of phases. We had created a list of problems with the current Spurs (other than it not being profitable). From there we made a list of solutions to those problems and went to work. Interior design is a job that no one notices unless it is done wrong – then everyone notices. It was obvious that this redesign of Spurs would test us as designers to see if we really could solve design problems on our own and execute them efficiently. I finally got to go see part of the finished design that we had spent so many all-nighters in the computer lab working on drawings.


Here are a couple shots of the spaces that are finished:



As a group we decided that we wanted the new Spurs should be industrial and rustic. Our concept was to blend all of the school’s trades and agriculture programs into one space specifically for the students. But what better way to create a space for the students than the include the other sections of the school in the design process?? As we worked on the design we went to the trades and sourced materials and created designs they would be able to do themselves. That way, should our design be chosen, this would be a “Bragging Rights” spaces for every one! Our electrical and welding trades would make all of the light fixtures, lighting details and metal furniture pieces, the carpentry tradesmen would do all of the mill-work, tables, etc. obviously the interior design trades would do the design the agriculture students would provide tons of materials for decor, and wood refacing accent walls from the barns, etc.




It was so cool to stand in a space I had previously been imagining and only seeing through the eyes of 3D modeling and AutoCAD. It was the first time that I had been able to stand in a building, see all of the flaws and been given the opportunity to come up with a solution. To then stand in the same space afterwards was just such an unreal feeling. In all honesty, I always knew I loved interior design and the thought of being able to change a space and solve problems. But this was the first time I was ever able to DO that and ACT on those loves and interests. I can’t wait to grow in this field: to learn more and to have more moments like this with other talented trades and designers!

Keep doing what you love and documenting each milestone – Looking back at your accomplishments is the greatest way to make sure you continue growing and learning.

– Stay Satisfied