A Year Of Skies {2018 Edition}

A Year Of Skies {2018 Edition}

Last year, I finished off my first year of blogging on Dreaming of Guatemala by showcasing the photos I took of the sky in 2017. It was a beautiful way to wrap up a year full of so many wonderful memories, because one of my absolute favorite things to do is photograph the sky.

It doesn’t matter what day it is, what time of day it is, or what’s going on at that point in my life. If I’m outside, I look up from time to time. Sometimes I smile, sometimes I stare at the cloud formations, and sometimes I whip out my phone and capture some of the most extravagant sights I’ve ever seen.

Continue reading “A Year Of Skies {2018 Edition}”

What I’m Reading This Week | January 15th, 2018

What I’m Reading This Week | January 15th, 2018

Hey there, guys! I’m praying that your week has gotten off to a great start. 🙂 ❤ As some of you may have seen in another post, my main personal goal for this year is to simply read more. While I would love to apply this to my part in the blog community, as well (I could always read more blog posts, haha), this semi-resolution is a reminder for myself to read great literature. Whether that’s a work of fiction, a Shakespearean play, or a biography, I’m up to reading whatever I find at the library that interests me, granted that I make time out of my day for it.

In this post series, which may become a bi-weekly or monthly post that I share, I will be going over, put simply, what I have been recently reading! I have taken some lovely pictures of the books I’ve been enjoying, and I wanted to share them with you guys.

Let me know in the comments below if you’ve read any of these books yourself! ❤ Now, let’s check them out. 🙂


What I’m Reading This Week

Just Finished: Toss The Bouquet

This is a lovely wedding short story collection I found while browsing my favorite library at the beginning of this month. It was by absolute chance that I came across it, as I was pushing Elizabeth around in the stroller so that my mom could browse freely without Elizabeth crying. The title happened to catch my eye as I breezed past it in my task of keeping the stroller moving constantly, haha, so I turned back around and grabbed it, reading the summary as I went.

I don’t like to describe books in full detail, because my joy as a reader has been dampened many times by a too-thorough review or back cover, lol. However, I will say that if you would enjoy reading about weddings, this is the short story collection for you! The first story has great characters, the second one has a great plot, and the third has great characters and a great plot. I highly recommend it!

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Reading Now: The Virginian by Owen Wister

GUYS. I accidentally found this book while browsing a library I don’t usually go to, and on a whim, without even knowing what it was about except that it looks like a western, I decided to give it a chance. I doubt I have ever been more delighted in a book before!

There have certainly been great novels I’ve had the pleasure of reading in the past, but since I knew not a thing of its plot or characters going into it, everything is a lovely surprise in The Virginian, and man, the humor of the author/narrator is extraordinary. It is so many genres wrapped into one novel, but the running theme is still certainly western.

This book is to me, as one of my favorite librarians calls it, a “lost classic” – why I’ve never heard of this novel, which was written in 1903, is beyond me. It is too good to be lost among other great books!

Current rating: 5 out of 5 stars.

Honorable Mention: Under God
by Michael Tait and Toby Mac

Haha, I call this an ‘honorable mention’ because I’ve read the first multiple chapters, but have yet to really get into it. I have a funny relationship with learning about history, because while I love discovering new information and insight into the ways of the past, I have a harder time getting into the wording and focus than other areas of literature. Still, this one is worth mentioning, and I will make my way through it if it takes me a month, because the focus of this American history book is on how our country was formed on godly principles. It’s unlike any other book I’ve read, and I LOVE it. If this sounds interesting to you, it’s written really well. I’m definitely enjoying it!

Current Rating: 4 out of 5 stars.

Bookshelf Read Of The Month:
Poirot and Me by David Suchet

One of the side goals I have for this year is to read at least one book that I own once a month. This would help me to make my way through new reads or re-reads I’ve been putting off for the longest time, and would also encourage me to donate books I don’t enjoy anymore, haha! While I wouldn’t consider myself a book collector, there are definitely titles I’ve kept on my shelf longer than others would deem necessary. Still, with this encouragement, I hope to have read every book that I own, because it’s rather pointless to have so many books in my room still unread. xD

As you saw in the picture, Poirot and Me is the book I’ve chosen for January. If I really don’t like it, I’ll pick another book to read, but I’ll give it another shot.


Thank you so much for reading! I enjoyed compiling these books, as reading has become a hobby of mine again over the past month, which is so wonderful. 🙂 If you’ve decided to read more this year, as well, you’ll have to let me know what you’ve been reading in the comments below!

Happy blogging – and reading!

— Maggie

Sharing Our 2018 Blogging Goals + 10 Ideas For Yours!

Sharing Our 2018 Blogging Goals + 10 Ideas For Yours!

Hey there, guys! Happy Saturday 🙂 ❤ Recently, I have seen different bloggers write about what they’d like to get done on their blogs in 2018, and I thought that I would do the same – only I will be inviting you guys to share yours, too!

I think it’s awesome that the new year inspires the blogging community to step up their game by making little improvements here and there, and reaching higher, too. We all have different ways we’d like to blog this year, and today I have been thinking through mine.

Do you have 2018 blogging goals? Even if they are simply to post more or reach the next follower milestone for your blog, those are beautiful places to start. I’m sure that as we make our way through January, we will be able to more clearly see what direction our blogs are taking.

If you’d like to have some goal ideas to work toward this year, or would just like to get inspired, look no further! I have come up with 10 ideas for blogging goals in 2018. I hope they can motivate you, and that you truly enjoy blogging this year! ❤

10 Blog Goal Ideas

1. Find a new blog theme that you absolutely love.
2. Redesign the layout of your site.
3. Update your profile picture.
4. Write new types of posts / blog series.
5. Collaborate with other bloggers.
6. Get a printable calendar (like this one!) and plan out your blogging month.
7. Experiment with your photography skills to include in future posts.
8. Participate in a 7-day or 30-day writing challenge.
9. Look into going self-hosted (if you’re interested!).
10. Host a blog party or virtual get-together.


My 2018 Blogging Goal

Yes, I only have one true goal in mind when it comes to blogging this year! That goal is to simply blog comfortably. Just like I described in detail back on this post, writing current posts that make me truly happy to compose and share is what I am passionate about on WordPress this year. ❤

Let me know in the comments below:

What are YOUR blogging goals?
Do you have any suggestions for others?

— Maggie

Finding Peace In My Future

Finding Peace In My Future

Last night, an eye-opening thought came to me. I often pray and spend time with the Lord in the evenings, but this time was different. It changed the way I see my life, and I pray that it may be as inspiring to you as it was to me. ❤

I have always seen faith as something we hold on to (or don’t, in some cases) in times of distress. They’re times when our well-being and life as we know it is on the line, when all we can do is cry out to the Lord and pray that He will care for us.

Those are certainly ideal times to call upon Him, but last night, as I lay in bed on the verge of sleep, the Lord taught me something I will never forget.


Faith is also in the little things.

This also includes the decisions and goals that will have a huge impact on our future. That may be hard to grasp sometimes, I understand. I find myself in that same place all the time. However, I’m here to tell you that if you feel the same way I do and would love to know what paths to take in the future, He has plans for us! When we trust in Him and allow Him to take control of our lives, He most certainly will. It all starts with trusting in Jesus, God’s Son, as our Lord and Savior, and your life will be forever changed.

I don’t know what I would be like without Him, and I am beyond thankful for His love, grace, mercy, and involvement in my life.

Even though I deeply struggle to let my faith rest in His timing and love, the final outcome is worth it every. single. time. ❤ ❤ ❤

From finding a job to the pursuit of college, to my future husband and family and everything else I will eventually chase after – He has it all within His control, and I am so thankful. 🙂


Thank you so much for reading this thought-filled post, guys!! If this has inspired you and you’d like to talk about how the Lord has worked in your life (I’d love to know!), just comment down below. I’ll always be here to talk!

Happy Sunday!

— Maggie

Little Accomplishments – January 5th, 2018

Little Accomplishments – January 5th, 2018

Hi there guys, and happy Friday!! ❤ We’ve made it to the first weekend of the new year! It has honestly been an amazing first week of 2018, and I’m looking forward to seeing what else this year has in store.

What have you gotten done in the last week or so? I’d love to know about it! In today’s post, I will be covering a bit of what I’ve been up to lately, especially in this past week. I hope that you enjoy!

Let’s celebrate all of life’s joys – no matter how small!


This past week, I …

  • changed my desk setup. (I love finding new ways to make my writing desk a bright and cheery workplace for myself, and the current theme I have going is a beautiful green/blue scheme with lots of inspirational notebooks around! I made the little banner above my laptop myself with scrapbook paper and a bit of twine. And yes, if you were wondering, I’m challenging myself to not complain the first week of this year, haha. So far, so good!)

  • caught up on language learning review. (This is always a joy, especially if I’m in a productive mood! I now know some new words in Spanish [relating to emotions and feelings], and I also learned some more French basics.)
  • strung little lights up in my room again. (I did this in December, and I couldn’t be more happy with how they look! So pretty and peaceful. ❤ )

  • found some awesome books at the library. (This was accomplished yesterday, when my dad dropped be off at a library I don’t usually go to! I found new fiction to read, as well as a few interesting nonfic books, too. I find that if I share what I want to read before I do so, I end up not reading those books, so I’ll talk about them in a later post after I’ve finished them, haha!)
  • continued to eat mindfully and exercise most days. (I’m not at the point quite yet where I can easily resist temptation, if that makes sense, haha, but I am doing much better than I used to. Portion sizes are getting easier to stick to, and I love power-walking now!)
  • posted on my blog every day in the new year (so far). (Haha, this was actually unintentional, and I have no idea if I’ll keep this up, but wouldn’t that be awesome!)

  • met some new bloggers. (I’m always excited to meet new people in the blogging world, and I’ve gotten to talk to a fair amount this past week! That has been a joy, and I can’t wait to get to know you guys more. 🙂 )

Thank you for reading, guys! I hope you have a blessed weekend. ❤

Let me know in the comments below:

What have YOU been up to in 2018?

— Maggie

Cultivating A Joyful Life | Willing To Try New Things

Cultivating A Joyful Life | Willing To Try New Things

As a group, we thrive on comfort and our version of ‘normal.’ We enjoy seeing the same people, doing the same things, eating the same food, and going the same places. After a long day, it is of great comfort to return to the same home, same peaceful activities, and same bedroom. Peace of mind comes with the knowledge that we’ve gotten the normal things we do done, and a day of that very same nature will be carried out tomorrow, too.

When we become comfortable with the things that make up our daily lives – job, family role, hobbies, etc – that’s a beautiful thing. I know how important it is for that to be a truth in our lives. Without that stability, we will find ourselves on shaky ground.

But how often do we learn about something new to us – an activity, challenge, recipe, even a restaurant – and we’re hesitant to try it, because we’d be stepping out of our comfort zone to do so? Normality is good for us, but in today’s post, I will be stressing the importance of taking the plunge of chasing after our personal pursuits: the art of being willing to try new things.

Hey everyone! I hope that you’re having a beautiful Wednesday. 🙂 ❤ It has been a while since I wrote a Cultivating A Joyful Life post, which is why I’m here with a new one to give you today! There are few things I enjoy writing more than this inspirational blog series, as it helps me to think through the things I pursue in life, as well as helping and motivating my readers. (I appreciate your feedback on these posts!)

Related Post: Cultivating A Joyful Life | An Introduction

As we are still in the first week of this fresh new year, I thought it would be a great time to write a post on pursuing new things in our lives. This could be a hobby, an activity in your community, a new dessert recipe that sounds really good to you – whatever first came to your mind when you read the title of this post.

For me, I have personally been experimenting with healthier eating and daily exercise for a few weeks, as I have neglected both of those practices for too long. The fear of injuring myself, as well as not quite knowing where to begin, hindered me from participating in anything more than the occasional walk. I enjoyed the healthy dinners my mom made, yet I never thought about making every meal I ate throughout the day healthy, as well. In mid-December, I realized that taking it a day at a time by learning more about health and fitness, what worked for my body, etc, I would feel great physically and emotionally. I am excited to be on this journey, and it finally felt like the right time in my life to start making healthy choices. Even though I thought for a while I’d never be confident enough to do so, the Lord gave me strength, and I’m so thankful that He did! ❤

If you have struggled with being open to trying new things in the past, fret not – I have been there many times myself. Whether it was the Lord’s timing, or I simply wasn’t ready, I’ve had it happened time and time again. There are always things that first appear insurmountable to us, for any number of reasons – money, our emotional state, how inspired we are – the list goes on. It isn’t always the right time to try something new, but there are ways you can motivate and inspire yourself to see if you are ready!

With this being the beginning of 2018, I’d like to invite you to try new things with me. The past is in the past – things you weren’t ready for then may be a possibility now. If it feels right for you now, this may be the year to begin. ❤

I would love to now take a look at the relevancy of this topic to the garden of our hearts.

As I mentioned previously, the familiar is a blessing to us. We’re used to how these situations, activities, and other things are, how they’re carried out, and so on. There are little to no surprises when it comes to these things. For a gardener, he will become accustomed to what his plants’ needs are, how long they live, which seasons they thrive in, etc – I’m sure that it’s tempting for many cultivating a garden to stick with the same plants for a long time. For some, this may be just what they want. However, change can be just as beautiful as that which is familiar.

With gardens, both figurative and literal, new plants (or hobbies and interests) will eventually become the familiar to us as we learn the practice and master the difficulties.


New Year’s resolutions are a touchy topic for many, as they work for some and not for others. However, there’s no denying that as one year draws to a close, we think about and potentially set out to do things differently in the new year. Whether we’re brushing up on something, continuing to work toward a long-standing goal, or we’re at the point where we’d love to try a new thing, the month of January is full of new beginnings.

Related Post: Staying Organized in 2018: Tips On Setting Goals for Yourself

I’m definitely feeling inspired with blogging right now, as well as continuing my health and fitness journey! However, I am content to go wherever the Lord leads me. 🙂

What are some things that you would love to try someday? And would they work in your life right now?

Some things are meant to happen at a certain time, while others will simply come to fruition when we are ready. There have been occasions where I thought I was 100% ready to tackle a new hobby or activity (even a certain of blog post!), but then, when I went to do it, things weren’t working out. Timing is everything, even if we are just simply not ready for it.

Observe your life as it is at the moment. Do you have the time, energy, inspiration, and maybe even funds to pursue this? Is there something else you should be doing instead? There are things that could probably wait, and some will last for a time and then fade away.

I know that when you stay optimistic and find joy in the little things in your life, new and old, you will be so happy!

Thank you so much for reading today’s post! I really enjoyed writing it, and I hope it can inspire you. 🙂

Let me know in the comments below:
What is something that YOU would love to try?

— Maggie

Staying Organized in 2018: Tips On Setting Goals for Yourself

Staying Organized in 2018: Tips On Setting Goals for Yourself

Hey guys! I hope that you’re all doing well. 🙂 Has this new year gotten off to a beautiful start for you? I’m praying that it has! ❤

In this spur-of-the-moment post, I decided I wanted to share with you some of my tips on staying organized. Over the past year or so, I have really become passionate about organization and being productive, which is why this has been a fun post to write. If you have any tips you’ve learned yourself, make sure to share them in the comments below!

Are you ready? I’m ready! Let’s check out these tips. 🙂 xxx


My 5 Tips on Goal Setting

  • Take your biggest goals, then break them down into steps. I’d like to thank my mom for giving me this important tip! Deciding that you want to do something (especially as a new years resolution!) is the very first step – definitely an essential one to take. However, without little goals to meet along the way, you won’t get very far. Giving yourself multiple steps that will eventually lead to your main goal is a huge encouragement, because then you can see and feel that progress!
  • Make lists and check things off. There are so many different to-do style lists you can create and complete, whether it’s daily/weekly/monthly, or something else that will help you organize your goals. For example, I love making lists of blog posts to write, what I want to get done in the day ahead (these are usually written in the morning before breakfast), books I want to get at the library, etc. You can keep lists on your phone, in a notebook, on a scrap of paper taped to your bathroom mirror – wherever you will see it and be reminded of what you want to accomplish!

Related Post: 7 Tips For Staying Organized With Blogging

  • Give yourself time and space. Just as long as your aspirations aren’t on a time schedule or dependent on something else (money, a person, circumstances – instead, think of the things you simply want to accomplish for you!), work when you’re inspired and take time to rejuvenate when you’re not. Giving myself a month-long break last year from language learning was necessary, because I might have started to resent the lessons if I’d simply continued for the sake of consistency! In some cases, it might be necessary to push yourself a little and just begin (do it, take the plunge!), but if you know in your heart that you need a physical, mental, or emotional break from what you’ve been doing, definitely give yourself that space. Good things take time ❤
  • Clean your room. This tip may sound more like a command from a parent rather than an organization tip, haha, but guys!! Having a beautiful, clean, organized room with everything in its place is a huge encouragement for me to get other things done. When I see the things in my room organized, it inspires me to organize other things in my life, from blog posts to digital photos. This is an easy way to inspire yourself!
  • Reward yourself. Whether the accomplished tasks carry their own rewards (i.e. sharing a blog post and receiving feedback on it), or you buy yourself a treat after meeting a goal, knowing that there will be a fun way to celebrate at the end has been helpful for me on many occasions!

Thank you so much for reading! I pray that these tips can help you (just like they encourage me!), and I hope that you have a beautiful day. ❤

Let me know in the comments below:

How are YOU staying organized this year?

— Maggie