Hello! I hope you’re doing well. ❤ Yesterday, I shared that my mom took the pictures for my outfit of the day at a location that I would disclose in another post. That’s what I’ll be writing about today! Late on Tuesday morning, I got to go to Trader Joe’s with my mom and little sisters.
Hi there! ❤ I hope you’re having a beautiful day. 🙂 For today’s post, I have a fun list to share with you! Recently, I was thinking about sharing some of the European countries I’d love to visit someday, and for this post (it may become a series, haha), I’m sharing the first six that came to mind!
Hello! I hope you’re having a fantastic day. ❤ It has been a loooong time since I shared a post with pictures from a road trip, which is why I’m excited to have an experience to write about today!
Ever since I finally became more comfortable with driving again, I’ve been going a lot of places with my siblings. While I’d still rather not brave the interstate just yet (metro Atlanta is NO joke!), there are plenty of places we love to go that are off from back roads and state highways!
Today, I’ll be sharing pictures spotlighting the outing Joshua and I went on early last week! We both had a great time – you’ll see why in the pictures below. 🙂
I love planning road trips. Having something to look forward to, getting everything packed and ready, then setting out with my family to have a nice adventure away from home together – it’s always so much fun.
However, with there being so many people to account for and get ready to leave the house, and the wide array of things that must be put in backpacks and coolers and bags, and with all the decisions that have to be made on where we’re going and how long we’ll stay … there is sometimes more tension than joy.
My response to the difficulties in these situations is impatience and irritation. Being ready before everyone else makes me anxious to go.
But it doesn’t have to be this way.
What’s the best way to respond when things don’t go exactly as we plan – or exactly how we’d like for them to go?
Hi guys! I hope that you’re all having a great day. 🙂 ❤ Today’s post, as you can see, is an addition to Cultivating A Joyful Life! Just like with the other topics I have covered in this series, this is something that I truly need to work on, and I actually am in my life at the time of writing this post. ❤
Falling into bad habits is unfortunately easy, and struggling to accept when situations go a different way than we desire for them to is a definite problem of mine. However, because I have been able to acknowledge this, I am now walking down the path to healing, making so much progress along the way. ❤
Before we go on, I would like to share with you how this topic relates to a very similar one in the garden of our hearts.
I am not much of a gardener – funny, as I write this series pretty weekly, haha; I prefer to cultivate spiritual gardens, rather than real ones. Anyway, I am most certain that there are occasions in a gardener’s life when a plant does not grow, or it dies, or it’s attacked by bugs, which would all be unpleasant surprises. However, there can also be happy surprises. Maybe the plant bounces back, or does much better than the gardener thought it would; all sorts of things won’t go as “planned” in a garden! And the same is true in the garden of our hearts.
There are many things that we have control over (to a point). This provides us with security and peace of mind. But what happens when something turns out differently, or slightly worse? Chaos may ensue. It definitely depends on the person, specific situation, and other details involved.
Today, I have shared with you some helpful tips that I’ve come up with to help you guys, as well as myself, to take everything in stride – to be able to accept changes of plan. ❤ I hope that you enjoy!
Accepting Changes of Plan –
My 5 Tips for Greater Peace
Before we get into this, I would like for you to first, if you will, imagine a recurring situation you’ve encountered before – one that always tries your patience. Whatever this might be for you (for me, it’s road trip preparations), I’d like you to keep this in mind while you read my little tips below. Applying them to this area of trouble in the future could help you so much! I know that it will for me.
When a situation comes up that you weren’t expecting …
1 ~ See the positivity in it.
There are so many beautiful surprises that come about because of altered plans! Just because something isn’t happening exactly as you thought it would, doesn’t mean that it won’t be a greater situation for you in the long run.
Dare to see what awesome future situations might come about because of the little differences.
2 ~ Exhibit patience.
On many different occasions in my life, I have been the first one ready when we’re going on a family road trip. It has been difficult for me to exhibit patience over a situation when I feel like others (or I know) are lagging behind.
Whether we leave later than planned because someone didn’t realize how late it was, something took longer than they realized, or an emergency came up, etc, the intent isn’t at all to make me upset. Life happens, and some people are simply more time-conscious than others.
Patience is such an important attribute to possess, and it’s something I’m always working at strengthening.
3 ~ Be understanding.
Like I mentioned above, it’s easy to start judging or placing blame when plans are changed. However, something important to keep in mind is that nobody is perfect, and we all need a bit of understanding sometimes.
The funny thing is, I was the last one to be ready for the last trip we went on – meaning that I was running around the house while everyone waited for me in the car. I hadn’t realized how long it would take me to do my makeup and finish packing my bag, so there I was – in the same situation members of my family have been in before.
I deeply appreciated that they didn’t get upset at me (much like I have at them in the past…). That is something I want to remember; we’ve all been there, and we all deserve a bit of understanding.
4 ~ Look at the situation differently.
When something doesn’t go as I hoped it would in my life, one of the things that really helps me is to look at what’s happening in a different light. Just because you leave the house later than you meant to, or you get stuck in traffic, or stuck in a long checkout line at the store – there are often good, unforeseen reasons for things going differently than we think.
Even if nothing is obvious at first, look for the positivity in your current situation.
5 ~ Do the best you can to make things better.
On the occasions that I have been ready to leave the house first, I’ll usually pace around and mentally will (lol) everyone else to also get ready. This is not all that useful, as I could have spent that time helping someone get ready.
Even when something appears out of our control, there are still ways we can make things better for everyone – if even in the smallest of ways. So, in my recurring situations, I could help someone pack their bag, or package up all the snacks (which is my usual job for these trips, lol), or help with my baby sister, etc.
It may be that in your situation, you can’t actually do anything to help out. If that’s the case, you may be able to be emotional support. It’s definitely something to keep in mind, so that you and anyone else involved can be at peace. ❤
Thank you so much for reading! I know that the tips I’ve listed above will be a huge help to me in the future. Definitely let me know in the comments below:
How do YOU cope with changes of plan?
thanks to jirah and elline for my signature! xx
Hi guys! I hope that you’re doing well. 🙂 For today’s post, I decided to share a third addition to my travel series here on Dreaming of Guatemala! On October 1st, I got to go to an apple orchard with my family in northern Georgia, and we had such a great time. I took lots of pictures (many of which I’ve shared today) – I’m so glad we got to go this year. ❤ Let’s get right into this post!
My family and I drove up to Ellijay, GA around lunchtime on the first Sunday of October. We stopped at a local Dunkin Donuts restaurant instead of breaking at a traditional rest stop, as there wasn’t one in the area. My parents gave me and Joshua money to buy ourselves a treat, and I got a sour cream donut and caramel iced coffee.
A short while later, we pulled into Red Apple Barn’s parking lot. We arrived about ten minutes before they opened, and the line leading over to the table where you pay was already pretty long. I hopped out of the car to save my family a place in line, then everyone else went and found a parking place.
Before I got to the end of the line, my mom came and joined me to pay. We bought a 3/4-peck bag to fill with apples once we went to the orchards. (The entrance and parking is a short distance away from where the actual apples are grown.) I stopped to take a few pictures before we got on the tractor ride, and my favorite one is of a bin of pumpkins (below).
The festive vibes are real, haha!!
There were two tractors going when we got over to the loading/unloading area. The one that looked like an authentic hayride was loaded first (just before we got there), and the other one, which had the same wooden seat trailer but no hay, was where we got to sit. *sighs* Haha I was hoping we’d get to ride on the first one, but I didn’t mind too much!
The ride up to the orchards is one of my favorite parts of the whole experience.
You weave in and out of this path that leads through forest, then out into open field, then back to the forest again. You go down hills and up hills, curving around the mountainside until you reach the rolling hills of apple country.
Aside from the thick dust that billows up behind the wheels of the roaring tractor, I had a blast on the ride, and the view is simply fantastic.
There’s our tractor driver. This was our first time meeting him – he wasn’t there on our earlier visits – and he was really nice!
It was shortly after I took the picture above that the orchards came into view on the right side of the path.
The three times that we’ve gone to this orchard, I get this huge grin on my face the moment I spot the first apple tree. There’s something about it that I absolutely love. Maybe it’s the experience of harvesting food and eating it off the plant the way God first intended for us to eat. Maybe it’s being out in nature in the beautiful mountains of northern Georgia. Maybe it’s a bit of both. ❤
The tractor driver parked at the top and unlatched the back of the trailer so we could all get off. After we listened to a short list of instructions an orchard-hand (don’t know what he’s officially called, so I’m calling him that haha) has to give all visitors, we were off.
I balanced finding the best apple trees with taking photos of the beauty around us.
The best apples I spotted were absolute beauties on one side, then completely decaying on the other, lol. You have to be careful not to pry your fingers into rotten apples when inspecting all sides of the fruit! After experiences like that, I knew to delicately take one into the tips of my fingers, then swivel it to see if it was good all over, instead of trusting that it was a nice one.
Golden delicious apples have always been a favorite of my family, and I must say that they are quite delicious. (Maybe that’s why they’re called that haha) We were happy with the selection they had this year, as we had come too late in the season other times we went. Plus, stores have been running out of this kind of apple, and we’re still not sure why. After months without them, we were happy to pick some ourselves! (Although they didn’t end up having the best flavor compared to the other apple varieties we tried.)
I don’t remember what kind of apple is pictured above. I don’t even think we brought any home. Either way, the photo turned out nice. 🙂
The featured image, which I’ll share again with you below, is of someone else’s apple basket on a bench in the middle of the orchard. lol my mom thought it was funny when she saw me taking pictures of it, as it wasn’t even our apples, but I couldn’t help it; it was so picturesque!
At the edge of the fields on the back left side, there was a short row of wildflowers growing alongside a part of the forest. They were quite pretty, and I got a nice picture of the little white ones below. x
It wasn’t too long after that that we finished up on that side of the fields; we headed back up to the beginning to see what the red delicious apples tasted like. On the trek back (it wasn’t too far, but still quite strenuous, what with all the hills), a moth, once again, let me get very close to it so it could have its picture taken. lol
I love the design on its wings! I think I’ve always been fascinated by butterflies and moths 🙂 The intricate details and colors of their wing display always amaze me.
As you can see, Samuel wore a cute plaid shirt of his on this trip. I love how he looks in it! He enjoyed walking through the orchard, although he didn’t do much apple-picking, as Joshua was the one who was able to reach all the good ones.
The red delicious apples ended up being our favorite! They had the best flavor, and we found enough great ones to fill up our 1/2-peck bag. Life is good.
This was the first year that they had horses and mules out in this fenced-off area near the place where everyone gets on and off the tractor rides. I thought that was cool, but the experience became 10x better when I heard one of the workers tell a visitor that anyone can feed them apples – what!! At the end of our apple-picking adventure, us kids grabbed a small handful of golden delicious apples and fed them. The one below was the only one I fed; she kept getting pushed aside by another, hungrier horse and I felt bad for her.
I was sooo scared of getting my finger chopped off by their strong jaws, but I pushed the fear aside and carefully fed them anyway, lol!
Behind the area where they keep the horses and mules was a quaint red barn. It might be the one that gave the place its name, but there’s also a red barn up at the front where they sell apple desserts, so I can’t be too sure. Samuel enjoyed exploring this one up in the orchard, and I got a nice picture of it.
I think this one is used for special events, as there was very little inside, aside from a few unidentifiable props and wooden planks, as well as a moveable archway that said “wedding.” I’d never thought of holding a wedding in an apple orchard, but now I love the idea!
Once the boys were done feeding the animals, we got back on the tractor ride and headed back down through the forests and over the hills. I didn’t take any pictures on the way down, as it was the same view we had going up only flipped backward (haha), but I do have one more to share … aren’t the clouds up in Ellijay gorgeous?
Back down near the parking lot, there’s a field of flowers and pumpkins. Just like I have the other years we’ve gone, I happily went over there to snap some pictures of the flowers. Only one of those turned out nicely (oh well, haha), and I also got close enough to a monarch butterfly to get a good picture, as well!
This was the second time in my life that I’ve seen one of these butterflies up close, so I was very happy to be able to photograph it!
The last picture I have to share with you guys was one I took later in the afternoon on the drive back home; as the sun set in the sky, a tiny, horizontal rainbow appeared in the clouds. It was so cute!
Thank you so much for reading, guys!! I had a great day at the apple orchard with my family. I’m so glad we got to go this year!
Happy fall to all of you!
thanks to jirah and elline for my signature! xx
Hey guys! I hope that you’re all doing well. 🙂 I’m so excited about sharing this post today, because I have written another travel post to share with you guys!
I think it’s absolutely hilarious that the only two travel posts I’ve done so far both have the prefix ‘Chatt.’ What are the odds?? xD
As you can see by the title, I’ll be talking about my visit to Chattanooga, TN with my family last month! I can’t wait to get into this. We’ve been a few times in the past, and this fun city never fails to make me happy. I love getting to experience all that Chattanooga has to offer (which is so much!), and it is very picturesque, which is a great bonus. Let’s get into this!
A Bit About The City
Chattanooga is the fourth-largest city in Tennessee, and its official nickname is ‘Scenic City’ because of its reputation for outdoor activities. It is also full of history, intriguing building designs, and various attractions!
About My Experience
The day before my little brother’s 6th birthday, my family and I drove up to Chattanooga to celebrate with him. He wanted to visit the Creative Discovery Museum, which we went to a couple years ago and he really enjoyed it. Aside from a few traffic delays (it took us longer to get up there than we would have thought), he was so excited the whole way there!
When we got there, I took a group selfie before we split up. My mom planned to go with Samuel to the museum while the rest of us explored Chattanooga, and I wanted a picture of us before we parted. 🙂
Can you see little Elizabeth in the background? Haha she was exploring the grass!
I had fun taking a few pictures of her while she paid me no mind.
Once we were sure we had everything we needed to go exploring (and even then, we forgot one thing haha), Samuel and my mom headed for the museum, and my dad, Joshua, and I walked in the direction of the sidewalk leading into town, with me pushing Elizabeth in the stroller.
Like I mentioned previously, we have been to Chattanooga a few times before, so we pretty well know what it’s normally like. That’s why we were curious when we began noticing all of the bikers and runners in the area. My dad asked a guy we passed if there was some kind of convention going on, or something, and he told us that a half-Iron Man was being held in Chattanooga that weekend (we were there on a Thursday). I thought that was pretty cool, as we had no idea all those people were training for a triathlon!
Before long, I noticed something else: many of the bikers and runners were not from the United States. We passed a group of people talking excitedly in Italian, met a couple from Columbia, and encountered a few people from Chile. Those people we were seeing were from all around the world! That excited me further, as I have met very few people that aren’t American thus far in my life. I enjoyed figuring out what languages different people were speaking, and which flags belonged to which country. (I’m a geography nerd.)
We passed by a Mellow Mushroom restaurant as we wandered the streets, and the delicious aroma of pizza filled the air. I was tempted to go inside, even though I’d just had my lunch (lol), but I took a picture of this flower outside the building, instead.
We continued walking for a bit and stopped when we came to the Ben&Jerry’s ice cream shop. I had noticed it on prior visits, but we didn’t have the time to go then, so I’m glad we got to that time. My dad treated me and my brother to waffle cones, and Elizabeth got to try some of our ice cream, as well. The flavors I chose were strawberry and strawberry cheesecake. It was SO good!
Shortly after we finished up at Ben&Jerry’s, a parade began on the street just outside the shop. All the people from around the world were marching south, proudly waving their countries’ flags high in the air! I took a few pictures and happily watched the whole parade. The best picture I got was of two Guatemalan representatives (I think they were missionaries) carrying Guatemala’s bandera. ❤
We didn’t have much else we were planning to do after that, so when Joshua asked my dad if he’d pay for him (Joshua, haha) to rock climb at this really cool indoor climbing place on the same block as B&J’s, he agreed. We all went inside and, after signing up and signing
like ten a few wavers (that took maybe twenty minutes, it was crazy), Joshua got on his climbing shoes, went through the instruction course, and finally started climbing.
My favorite part of the whole place were the outside climbing walls.
The icy blue color makes it look like they’re made of ice!
While Joshua climbed on the higher levels and my dad watched, I sat with Elizabeth at the base of the wall pictured above. To go up to where they were, we would have had to have carried the baby stroller up another flight of stairs, lol, so I was fine to watch from a distance.
On the sidewalk below, a man got out his saxophone and began playing some awesome tunes that I thoroughly enjoyed listening to. I didn’t want it to end. He didn’t seem to oppose having his picture taken, so I took one to remember him by.
Before long, Joshua came down to where Elizabeth and I were and agreed to carry the stroller up to where he was climbing so I could see. Once we were up there, I had fun watching him and taking artistic pictures (two of which I’ve shared below).
He totally looks like Spiderman in the above shot, haha!
When I pulled my gaze away from the walls that loomed above me, I was blown away by the wonderful view of the city right behind me, from that high point above the streets.
I was kind of nervous to be up so high, but the view was worth it.
And that was my afternoon in Chattanooga, Tennessee! Thank you so much for reading:) I had fun writing this! Let me know in the comments below:
Where have YOU recently explored
in your city/state?
Hello all! I hope that you’re having a nice weekend(: I think I’ve got a record going with these interviews!! Three weeks in a row! ❤ Getting to know you guys more is such a fun experience. I know you’ll love this interview; the blogger I’m featuring today is awesome!!
My words are in italics, and hers are in bold.
Spotlight Saturday #13
Hi there, everyone! Thank you for coming by this week’s Spotlight Saturday. Today, I’m getting to interview a very sweet blogging friend whom I’ve loved talking to ever since I came across her blog! Please welcome Apoorva from Elle Online!
Hello everyone! I’m really happy to be part of this week’s Spotlight Saturday series! Thank you Maggie! I’ve always been reading her spotlight Saturday series, and I never knew I would be interviewed once!! It’s such fun and amazing to interact with Maggie and she’s been one of my bestest blogging buddies ever!
Aww you are so sweet, Apoorva! ❤ I’m happy that I get to interview you today. So first, I’d love for you to tell us some about yourself. What are your hobbies and interests?
Thank you Maggie! My interests are in fashion, beauty, travel, photography, nature, adventure!
My hobbies include drawing designs that just come in my mind! Traveling, reading books or novels, blogging, playing throw ball, cycling, collecting Barbie dolls and many more!
I’m a light hearted, always into fun kinda person! I am actually shy-natured, but I’m overcoming it after I started blogging because it urges it to be myself and make amazing friends like you, Maggie! I love to play pranks and enjoy with my bestie in school or with my sis at home! I love animals!
Since I was like 4 or 5 years old I’ve been in the company of kittens and cats! Most of my childhood pics contain one or two cats at least! I also owned a dog once!! But now I don’t! I really miss him (he’s still alive, but he’s not with my family any more!) Now I guess that’s enough about me, or else I’ll take the whole time, just blabbing! Carry on Maggie…
That all sounds so awesome! Thank you for telling us more about yourself. (Aww kittens are the best!!) My next question for you is, why did you decide to start your blog Elle Online?
your welcome!! Ah, now that’s one long story!!! I did want to do a post on it and I will soon I guess!
Back in my hols, I was reading many books everyday, and for once I hooked up on the book that my favorite you tuber; Zoella had written! And there started my journey of wanting to start blogging! It’s a book in which the main character: Penny starts a blog of her own. The book itself is named after her blog: Girl Online and yess, that’s why I’ve named it Elle online!!!
I enjoyed the whole 3 book series and in every page I’ve just indulged in the book as if I were Penny!! I really loved Zoe’s book and I wish she writes more! After I read the book I was like, ‘yes, I wanna have my own blog and write what I want and make amazing friends!’ Blogging has made me feel less shy and made me want to open out to people!!!
I’m so glad that you’re having fun with blogging! The story behind your blog is awesome; I love where you got the name for it. 😀 My next question is: What do you love to write blog posts about?
Thank you! I love to write blog posts about beauty, fashion, travel, about an experience that I’ve had, something new that has happened to me, and about books that I currently am obsessed with! I like to include all sorts of topics that catch my eye!
You’re welcome! Ahh I love all those types of posts(: Travel diaries have always been my favorite! Next, I would love to know: do you have any blogging tips for my readers?
Yes they are amazing!
The tips that I have learnt and gained as I started blogging is that we bloggers are like people who undergo many challenges. Sometimes it’s through frustration, jealousy, loss of readers, lack of followers and it goes on. It’s always better to feel concerned with what you have, and with what you have learnt! Doesn’t matter if you have 10 followers, at least there are 10 amazing people reading your posts, right?
As participants in the daily blogging challenges, we’ve gotta be sportive! Don’t care if your friend’s header image is better, or if her content seems better. You are unique, build your own path! And always appreciate the goodness in other blogger’s post too! That’s just what most blogger’s go through everyday, so I wanted to highlight this tip. I remember, Maggie you did a post highlighting this topic and I found it amazing! You guys should read that post, go check it out!!
Aww thanks, girl! And you have some awesome tips! It’s so important to be content with however many followers we have, whether big or small amounts. ❤ I have had so much fun interviewing you, Apoorva! Thank you for doing this with me! Do you have anything else you’d like to say to my readers before we go?
Thank you so much, Maggie !!! I’ve also enjoyed a lot since you started interviewing me!!! You’re the best!! I want to say thank you to all of the amazing people who have been reading it! I hope I made a smile appear on your face, and check out my blog if you wish so and want to see more of me!! And Maggie, I’d really wanna thank you for interviewing me, it was so much fun and it will always be fun to talk to you!! That’s all I have to say! Bye guys!!!! Love ❤️ Xxxx
Thank you so much for checking out this interview! I loved getting to chat with Apoorva(: and you should definitely check out her blog! She writes about her travels, her thoughts, and lots of other things she’s interested in!
Happy Saturday, guys!