Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Something that has been on my mind...

So as I am now part of the church choir and as the daughter of a fantastic and very prepared music minister I have already been listening to the CD for the Christmas Cantata and it got me thinking about something....

I have always felt an intense connection with Mary the mother of Jesus. Not in a catholic "Ave Maria" sort of way but our characters are the same... or I want them to be. I want to live my life as she did. Obeying and loving God to the point of total obedience in something that would end her life as she knew it. I want to live in a way that, if God were looking for a young woman to carry the hope of the world in 2011 he would have me as an option.
I'm just imagining how scared she must have been but also there is another feeling that totally eclipses that fear. How thankful and blessed to be chosen to carry and rear the ONE who would take the sins of the world away. How proud she was of her son who hadn't even been born yet.

Wow. My eyes tear up and my nose gets all runny just thinking about it.

This lead me to another question:

Does everyone have a bible figure they relate with as intensely as I?

Comment and Answer

Love Y'all,
Chelsea Lou

Sunday, July 10, 2011

A Few of My favorite things...

So.. I've been thinking lately with my very stressful month of June "What are some things that make me forget about ALL the bad stuff for a minute?"

I've decided to compile a list of things and share it with you so that you might take a moment and make a list of your own favorite things that help you de-stress.

(This could be a very useful list for my future husband
to refer to because doing these things really do clear my mind and get me ready to face the stressful stuff with a new and positive outlook.)

1. Eating Fresh Watermelon. I LOVE WATERMELON!!! LOVE IT!!

2. Jet skiing.

3. laying out on a beach... Doing absolutely nothing except listening to music

4. Holding/Playing with a baby... any baby, orphaned or well loved

5. Shopping... specifically shoe shopping but any shopping, even grocery shopping... but there is one condition... I would much rather go shopping by myself when looking to destress than with a group or even another person

6. Cooking.... I was just thinking earlier today how I really want to be able to cook a Thanksgiving Dinner for all of my college friends again like I did last thanksgiving after Brent's family had Mexican for TG dinner and NO TURKEY!! We had to get that man some turkey so I cooked!

As I was finishing this short list of my favorite things I remembered that I once had to do this in a counseling class and was told it was a great way to remind yourself to take care of you and your mental health so that the stress doesn't overwhelm and paralyze you from being effective.

Please take a moment to jot down a few things that help you de-stress and be a happier, healthier you.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

What a JUNE!!

I know I have been gone for a while but my life has been a CRAZYHOUSE since my last post. Here is a rundown of the past month:
1. Technical Glitch with transript from Jones has postponed getting my diploma mailed to me.
2. Lost my Job at the doodle unexpectedly because of a careless mistake on my part. It happens.
3. Started a Bible Study with the ladies at church.
4. Dog sat an amazing Boxer named Baja for a week.
5.Met a new friend in the new music minister's wife and her precious children.
6.I was asked to move from my apartment because it went to another brother in the inheritance proceedings.
7. Had to pack up my life in starkville and say goodbye for now to my dancing buddy (t. craig)
8. Broke the screen on my phone, which is still broken (and i'm not happy with amazon.com at this moment because overnight shipping should mean overnight and not a week later.)
9. I set up an interview for a big girl job in slidell for tomorrow... Still not sure if this is where i'm supposed to be over the next year but I'm open for anything at this point.
10. My cousin is getting married and they are completely clueless about wedding proceedings ... so I get to be their source of knowledge during these next few months.
11. I found out that I have an electrical problem with the lights in my car so I can't drive at night until they are fixed... which is bad being that I am rarely in a city long enough to take my car to the shop.
Somewhere in there I had some really precious friends dealing with some serious stuff that weighed heavy on my heart.

Whew, that is a lot of information but you can see that my summer has been quite full. lol.

With all the stress and moments of paralyzing fear I have learned (with the help of Jmoney's wise words) that all that i have to do is breathe. Homes will come and go, jobs will come and go, problems will come and go and I have to do is keep breathing and survive. I can do that.

This song from Ingrid Michaelson has been playing over and over in my head through this month, so please enjoy it and just keep breathing.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Fave new store in Starkville!!

So today on my way home from lunch with the baking bride and watkins wave ride I decided I would stop by this new store that I had passed a couple of times over the last few weeks but never had time to stop. The name of the store is THYME and its a cooking supplies store!
And it is beautiful!! and has tons of fun useful things for cooking , precious dishes, and A bountiful display of Le Creuset cook ware.
The best part is the amazing kitchen that is located in the store where they hold demonstrations and cooking classes! I could tell that the salesgirl could tell I was in love by the way she brought me the newsletter sign up list which usually lies on the desk next to the cash register. And I am in love. I talked to her about the classes and demonstrations that they have and asked if they did private parties like wedding showers or grown up birthday parties and she said that that was in the plans soon! How exciting to have such a cool place for a party here in Starkville. Please go by and check out this store and the lovely owners!


** if any of you reading this plan to be in my wedding party eventually, you need to remember how much I loved the idea of this place**

Food Blog- Buffalo Chicken Bites

So here is a delicious recipe that I put together for the Grey's Finale Party at the Watkins Wave Ride home. The Baking Bride and The Rodgerses were also in attendance and we ate these little puppies up!

And the BEST part of them is they are Totally South Beach!! I actually got the recipe of my little south beach app and they are probably my new go to party dish...

Buffalo Chicken Bites
3 tbsp ICBINB (I cant believe its not butter) 2 tbsp Hot Sauce (I used the cheapest at the PIG)
1 tsp Canola Oil 1/4 tsp Salt Pinch of Black Pepper
3 Skinless Chicken Breasts cut into 1 inch cubes
3 Celery Stalks cut into 1 inch sections

Melt ICBINB in a small sauce pan. Whisk in Hot Sauce and cook for 1 to 2 Minutes or until slightly thickened and set aside.
Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Season chicken with salt and pepper and add to pan. Cook chicken turning occasionally, until browned on all sides, about 6 minutes. Add Hot Sauce mixture to pan and gently toss chicken until well coated on all sides. 1 to 2 Minutes.
Remove chicken from pan and skewer each with a toothpick and then skewer 1 piece of celery at the bottom of the toothpick. Arrange on a platter and serve with dip. (I used Ranch because I'm sometimes overwhelmed by Blue Cheese but either would do well)
These were so yummy and you can add more hot sauce if you'd like... I didn't really measure that well and ours could have used a bit more, but we like things on the spicier side.

I hope you enjoy at your next tailgating or gameday party!!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

a weekend in the swamp

Ok guys... I think I'm really on my way to be a real blogger. There were several times this weekend when I thought to myself "I need to blog about that when I get back". Now I just need to get a little memo pad so I can remember what all I wanted to share with you.

On to the weekend....

1st... Diet News....
Well because we are never consistent in my parents home on where we will be and when so that means that any diet I ever am on when I go there goes out the window... plus it was baccalaureate service at church sunday and we went to Copelands... no one in their right mind would give up a free meal at a fancy restaurant to cook their own healthy food. Enough about that... I do not regret my decision to enjoy myself with my family, but I will get back on the boat this morning.

2nd.... Swamp People....
So my mother and sister were quoting this show all weekend and I was trying to figure out what they were saying. They were quoting lines from the A&E show "Swamp People". It is about natives from the waters all over the south Louisiana hunting alligators with hook, chicken or beef, and a rifle. Its so intriguing and I'm now officially addicted. I find it strange that I don't need the subtitles... A&E thinks we should need them but I can understand everything they said.

3rd... Family....
This was the first time in a long time that we just all had a good time together with minimal fighting. We even all sat on my parents bed and talked while my dad was trying his new fishing shirts on that he got for his B-Day... It was weird and nice at the same time. Some of you know that I have a family time limit of about 48 hours.. Really, I do... And although I love my sister, 48 is all we can take of each other. She's a bossy pants and I am used to living by myself and doing what I want when I want it... So that is our main beef most of the time other than the back and fourth about who's clothes are in Who's suitcase... haha

4th... The drive...
Its a 4 hour drive from here to Slidell, LA so I do alot of praying and singing of country music. God really revealed some things to me this road trip for which I am very grateful! I'll talk about those in a later post when they flesh out a bit.
I listen and sing along with the never ending variety of country music stations on the way down Miss 101, 97 okk, b 95, k 99, and Kicker 108. Yep thats the order from Northern MS to Slidell. And they all play the top hits of today which are The Band Perry's new song, "The way you lie" and I now know all the words and timing of it. I'm pretty sure that if there was a chance for me to sing it karaoke style I would do a great job at it.

Well, I'm sure there is more but this is already a long post so when I remember I'll let you know!

Enjoy the day, You can't take it with you!

Friday, May 20, 2011

a success and a unquenchable craving

So on this weight loss journey of mine I have my ups and downs...

Thursday was an up. I didn't cheat at all. I didn't get too hungry and kept busy and accomplished alot on that lazy day. I even made a great appetizer SB style that i'll blog about later.


Today is another story. I can't get full, I haven't felt full all day and instead of just going to sleep or soothing it with tv watching I can't stop thinking about what i can eat... and i feel miserable because I want to be skinny but right now my desire to be thin is overwhelmed by my desire to eat... thats my biggest problem with weight loss... Food is more enjoyable to me right now because i can't see the end result and see how much i will love being thin.

So today i'm feeling down... but tomorrow I will wake up and start all over again... one day at a time right? One day at a time!

- Chels

Thursday, May 19, 2011

First Food Blog- Pecan Crusted Chcken

So phase 1 of south beach is pretty much a no sugars or starches, processed or natural. Meaning that it mostly consists of lean meats, cheeses, most nuts and veggies.
As I was craving nugs (chicken nuggets) the other day I just knew there had to be a suitable, delicious, phase 1 alternative. That is when I found a recipe for pecan crusted chicken thighs, with a few changes to the original, I made it SB friendly and totally yummy!! Now I will share it with you!

Easy Pecan Crusted Chicken


1 1/2 c. crushed pecans 1 tsp salt 1/2 tsp Ms Dash 1 tsp Tony's

2 egg whites 4 servings of boneless,skinless, chicken thighs

Almost completely thaw chicken.

Grind or pound pecans to fine as possible, add 1st 3 ingredients & mix well.

Whisk egg whites. Then dip breast in egg & pecan mix making sure to cover both sides. Roll back into shape.

Place in a baking dish & Bake at 350 for about 35 min. or until brown & juices run clear.

I made some green beans to go along as a side with my chicken and it was so good.

What is so great about this recipe was that everything I needed to make it I already had in my freezer or pantry. Its so great to just pull a few simple ingredients and make such a delightful dish! Hope you enjoy with your family!

Love always,


Starting South Beach

Hi friends,

If you've read my post a couple of posts ago you know that I'm on a mission to lose weight. Well, kind of. The stress of graduating and finishing up with school got the best of me, but NOW i'm doing something about it. I've started the south beach diet again.

I did this with my roommates The baking bride and Watkins Wave Ride when we all lived together before they got married and left me!! But it worked so I'm going on it again.

Roomie Photo!! Man that was a long time ago!!

Its harder this time. I'm doing it by myself. I have a skinny roommate now and there is no one here to judge what or how much I am eating. I've been on it 3 days and cheated each of those days, but the important thing is that each morning I wake up and commit to it again. No matter how bad I mess up (from one value sized coke to a horrible late night taco bell run-I know... its horrible... I know) I will get back on the diet in the morning and just make it through tomorrow.

That said I will be sharing this journey, my successes and not so great days. I will also share my favorite recipes with photos. So... Keep me honest, encourage me and keep me on track. I need the support and the accountability.

I Love Y'all!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Fresh air and bugspray

The scents that get a girl in the mood for a good hike... so... I went!!

Yes, there are hiking trails in MS and although they are mostly short 1 mile round trip trails, it was perfect today. Here are some photos from my adventure.

This is the map of the trail of hwy 25 outside of Starkville.

Trees recently fallen from the storms a couple of weeks ago... they were so pretty and
I felt like a real explorer as I climbed over them.

You can't tell it from here but this view of the winding trail is just breathtaking and looks alot like a photo I used a couple of posts ago.. I love nature!

And this is ME!! It was cool enough wear a sweatshirt in the middle of may... weird.

The best part of hiking is the conversations you get to have with God. Some real hard conversations and problems have been resolved while on a hike. I just love it and am so glad to find a trail that is close to my home.

love always,

Saturday, May 14, 2011

I Miss Mondays

No, I've not gone crazy and i know that mondays are probably the most hated and dreaded days each week ...


Not for me!

I've come to love mondays this past semester. They have actually become one of my favorite days for a couple of reasons... and I'm so sad that summer has come and stolen my routine!!

Reason 1 why I love Mondays this spring:
I held a girls bible study with some of the most amazing girls
that are part or have been a part of the ZTA sorority here on campus. I'm not part of ZETA but I LOVE THESE WOMEN!! We just have an hour and a half each week to share life and just pray and seek the word together. I miss them so much and that time with them is truly treasured by me.

Reason 2:
Supper Swap...
Some of you know what this is and some of you are about to be enlightened.

Supper Swap is an idea that my favorite neighbor and friend came up with where 4 or 5 households eat together each night of the week, each household buying groceries and cooking dinner one night a week. You can just pick up your food or are welcome to stay around and fellowship or watch WHEEL but nothing is required other than cook on your night. This was started to keep us all out of the drive thru as we are all trying to lose a few lbs. and has worked for the nights we are together.
Well.. Monday nights are my night but we have taken a break over the summer and are now just cooking only one night a month... Which is good and frees everyone up for traveling and doing family things later in the day since it doesn't get dark until 8:30 now... but its bad because I miss getting to cook a big meal. I love to cook ... LOVE IT... but i don't like to cook when i'm the only one eating because its really hard to just cook for one and i'll eat it all tonight if its in the fridge for tomorrow's lunch.. so I miss cooking for people and i miss having those people in my home.

So there it is.. I miss mondays.
love always,

PS.. if anyone wants someone to eat meals with during the week I'll be in starkville most of the summer! Just facebook me and i'll cook for you!!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

The Scenic Route

So my great friend and neighbor were talking the other night and I realized something that I never had before. We were talking about a possible supper swap vacation and the locations we would like to go. And of course the Great Smoky Mountains came up. I was talking about how beautiful it was and how amazing the drives are and all the back roads I learned about when I lived there and worked for Smoky Mountain Resort Ministries. I told her "I love taking the scenic route!"

Then it hit me....

God knows I love taking the scenic route.
He knows my heart and desires and he will provide all those thing to me. He knows that I would hate to look back when all those dreams come true and see a safe and boring life. So He's taking on me on the scenic route to get there.

How Awesome?!

And me... i've been like a whiny 3 year old, begging just to get there already, not realizing all the cool things I get to be a part of along the way.... I keep forgetting I love the scenic route.

Ugh... I am soo silly.

So, now that I have realized what is going on, that I'm walking the scenic route with JESUS, I am determined to enjoy it and take it all in. The scenic route can be scary and lonely at times but thats ok... it adds to the richness of the adventure. I'm excited, you guys just don't even know.

I know I'm a little nuts!
love y'all,

Sunday, March 13, 2011


Ok... so its really got to happen this time.

A couple of my friends and I are really going to hit it hard this time for real. We did such a great job at getting thin 2 years ago when we were all living together but since then ... well... their husbands have ruined our diet! Skinny boys don't mix well with diet food... and we don't mix well with unhappy men.


We are going to hit it hard beginning the morning. Its gonna happen for real this time. We have each got our own goals and needs for why this needs to happen so its going to. We are going to do this together.

I've got to conquer this weight thing. Not only for me but for so many others, most importantly my husband and children. I don't know them yet but I know that this version of me is not the best one I can give them. I need to be the fit woman I want to be when they get here before they get here not try to get there later. I want to be the best me, able to be active and not be worn out or in pain because of a little bit of strenuous activity.

I think this spring break is going to be a great turn around for me. I'm ready for something new. I'm ready to see what is coming next and I need to be preparing myself for that.

That reminds me of a special time that occurred this christmas break while I was in Ghana. A few minutes before we were to leave the orphanage for the last time I walked over to the courtyard and spoke with the house mothers and other workers that were holding the infants there. When I walked up one of the male teachers said to me "You're here to see the baby?!" I said "Yes! How did you know?" and laughed. He replied, "Because you are his mother." as the house mom handed beautiful King Robert over to me. I just smiled at him, not knowing if he knew how much I took those words to heart. After only a few short minutes of holding that baby and just loving on him as much as I could I saw the rest of the team heading for the bus, so I handed him back over, wishing with everything within me that I could just take him home with me but I couldn't.On that 45 second walk to the bus God revealed something to me, that no matter how much love and passion I had for that little one, I was in no way ready to take him home that day. Even if everything just supernaturally worked out on the African side of things no way was my life ready for a baby. Babies need things, food, clothes, diapers, insurance, etc., etc., etc. Lots of things and I didn't even have a part time job at that point. I'd really been enjoying the fact that I was a student and didn't have to have a job because God had provided me with parents that provided for me. But no way was my life ready for this child. He showed me that now is the time to really begin that preparation for the day when my husband and I head back to Rafiki and bring King Robert back with us to the US. It was time to begin to steward the funds that God was providing for me in a way that was future-minded, not in a worried about the future way but rather in a God is partially providing for then with the overflow of blessings now kind of way.

I need to be about this daily. I need to be reminded of this moment regularly. And tomorrow I'm gonna hit it hard for my babies. I'm gonna hit it hard for my hubby. I'm gonna hit it hard for myself. Most importantly, I'm gonna hit it hard because God wants me to. Preparation starts now.