Speak Now


Fact: I used to strongly dislike Taylor Swift and her music.

And I believe large part of that is because I had so many people say "you know...you look just like Taylor Swift" and I would have to politely say thank you and cringe mentally. At this point, she was 17 and I just didn't think {and still don't for that matter} we looked a bit alike. We both have blonde, curly hair. That's the end of the resemblance.

I didn't care for her music because I felt like most, it not all, of her songs, she spoke. Not sang. Spoke. It annoyed me.

But then she started to grow on me. I guess after you hear something on the radio a million times, one of two things will happen; you'll either love it...or hate it. I wouldn't say that I loved it, but I didn't change the station either. I might even go as far as to say that I turned the volume up a notch or two.

And then...I bought "Fearless" on iTunes. Shock! I liked it. Again, I can't say that I loved it, but I listened and talked sang along with the songs. I couldn't classify Swift as one of my favorites at this point though...until the single "Mine" came out as the lead track for her album that was released this past Monday {Oct. 25}.

Fact: I LOVE "Speak Now"

 I was shocked and surprised at how much I like this album. She's definitely maturing as an artist and person. And even though a dear friend had a point in saying that she has the potential to be a psycho ex-girlfriend, I believe that she deals with her angst emotion through her music.

So moral of this post; if you were on the fence about Taylor Swift, check this album out.

{I was not compensated in any way to write this post. I just really like this CD}

Lessons I Need to Learn


  • How to dance in the rain. Life doesn't always go the way you think. It's not piece of cake. But out of all the promises our good Lord makes, He never promises we won't suffer. Therefore, I need to learn to dance in the rain...

Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble,

and he brought them out of their distress.

He stilled the storm to a whisper;

the waves of the sea were hushed.

--Psalm 107:28-29

  • To Be Still. I very rarely pause. The whole stop and smell the roses concept is completely lost on me. Being quiet is something I have never mastered and will be shocked if I ever do.

Be still, and know that I am God;

--Psalm 46:10

  • Patience. Ask Andrew, my mom, my mother-in-law and they'll all tell you the same; I am an impatient person. Yes, I understand that it's virtue...blah blah blah. Sometimes I just want things to go faster and more than anything, to be on my timeline.

But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently

--Romans 8:25

  • Embracing the Present. I tend to look behind me or strain to see what lies ahead of me. What about where I am? This moment. This place. Enjoy the fact that I have an incredibly non-stressful job.That Andrew & I get to enjoy one another and that's it. I am blessed by all that's happened to me, what will happen and what is happening.

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.

--Matthew 6:34

  • Love. I love my husband, my family, my dogs, my friends...but what about the others? What about the people that I don't reach out to. The people that need love more than anything else. The people that don't know the love of the Lord and His mercy. What about them? Who is loving them?

Is God working on you right now?

Rise & Sweat


So I'm sure that there are many things that I could be classified for what I'm about to say.

I enjoy getting up at 4:45am and going to the gym.

So, I'm guessing that words like insane and crazy are floating through your brain right about now. But it's true. I really have been enjoying it! The best part is that I'm done at the gym before my day ever really gets started. Now don't get me wrong, the first thought that runs through my head when my alarm goes off is not a pretty one. But once I've opened my eyes and reminded myself of the benefits of getting it out the way, my thoughts are a lot nicer.

The reason for starting this insane morning regimen is because I have too many reasons excuses in the evening to keep up a regular workout schedule. Since starting the morning workout, I can enjoy my evenings at home or getting other things taken care of.

I'm sure you're currently on the other side of the computer screen shaking your head and wondering if I should go get a CT Scan or something of that nature. But I'm just saying, you can't knock till you try it...and it's totally worth trying.

5 Tips
  1. Mentally prepare. When I am getting ready for bed the night before, I tell myself that skipping the gym is not an option. I also ask the Lord for strength and discipline that only He can give to help me get up
  2. Don't hit the snooze button. Though this should be a rule anyways, I know that if I linger under the sheets, getting woken up that early will be pointless b/c then I won't have time to have a good workout
  3. Have everything ready for that morning. I have to lay everything out on our dresser so it's easy to access and it's ready for me {even though I'm not ready for it}
  4. Focus on how it feels. I have debates with myself in the morning...but then I remind myself how accomplished I feel after a workout. As hard as it may be to get up and moving, I don't regret a workout!
  5. Energy. It's true. I can tell I have more energy in general when I get up and go in the morning. Caffine and I have become close these past couple of days, but as a whole--much more energized.


I challenge you {if your schedule can allow it} to try early morning workouts for a week. I'm not saying it has to be at 5:15 because if it can be at 6:15, I'll be jealous. But I promise, you will not regret it!
Good  luck!

Apparently I Just Can't Get Enough


Many of you may know that I absolutely HATED our wedding pictures. I assure you that I'm not being dramatic. They were pretty terrible and because of that, I've been kind of obsessed really obsessed with getting pictures of us. We've had a couple of sessions with my dear friend Carly and yesterday we did some with one of my best friends, Allison. The reason for yesterdays "photo shoot" is because I love fall {shocker right?} and I wanted some pictures of us and this perfect season.  Here are just a few from yesterday afternoon

We went to Old Salem in Winston-Salem and had the best time. At least I did...I'm sure Andrew would try to disagree at least a little bit. The weather could not have been lovlier and the location was ideal! If you want to see more, here is Allison's blog. She is amazing to work with and as you can see, her work is excellent. So if you're engaged, pregnent, or just want a random photoshoot like yours truly, you can't go wrong!
Let me know what you think!

Unless you think I'm crazy and in that case, no need to tell me that. I already know.

26 Things You Don't Need to Know but I'm Going to Tell You Anyways


  • I'm having a serious contemplation about purchasing a tutu. Don't laugh. Seriously.
  • Today was day 2 of my way to early morning workout
  • Caffine has become my best friend
  • I treated myself to a pumpkin spice latte for my discipline this morning {fat-free of course!}
  • Why do all things taste better when they're flavored with pumpkin?
  • Hubbs and I might just get around to carving our pumpkin this weekend. Might being the key word
  • I get to enjoy homemade apple pie tonight and I'm probably a little too excited about it
  • We're going loveseat shopping tomorrow.
  • I'm getting really tired of the beat up oversized blue chair that is residing in our living room at the moment so I hope we buy a loveseat tomorrow
  • I'm wearing cowboy boots today and they make me feel pretty
  • Runaway Bride is $5 at Target and I was real quick to scoop it up
  • My birthday/party is officially a week away!
  • I plan on wearing a crown at my party
  • Yes, I'm turning 25 and still plan on wearing a crown on my birthday
  • Thinking about making chili for everyone next Friday
  • It's SUPPOSED to be chilly and drizzly ergo chili will be perfect
  • Is it weird that I am pumped to have that kind of weather on my birthday?
  • Next purchase of mine has to be a hand mixer. 
  • Yes, I know it's weird not to have even a hand mixer. I'm working on it
  • We planted grass this week and our yard looks awful
  • I'm hoping that the awful will turn into "ah that's better" within a couple of weeks
  • I have yet to watch "Hocus Pocus" or "It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown" this year.
  • I see a marathon of movies in our house coming soon
  • Target already has Christmas stuff out
  • I feel bad for Thanksgiving. It never gets proper billing
  • I've sang about 3 Christmas carols this week. That's just weird
Any thoughts, concerns or questions about this list?

Me too.

My Wish List...


I'm so thankful that I made a pact to myself and to my hubby of not buying anything that was nonessential for the month of October.

You think I'm an awesome person now don't you? 

Well you shouldn't. The only reason I'm thankful for it is because otherwise I would have spent a lot of money in the past 10 minutes. I'm always jealous of people that find cute things on Etsy that are a must. I see alot of cute things, but never something I just "have to have" Until this afternoon! I stumbled across You're That Girl Design page and fell in love! Just check out some of these cute signs! I want one for every season!

hello...is this me or what?!

Seriously. I'm obsessed! 

The Good, the Fast & the Easy

As of late, I have been on a recipe finding kick. It has become more like a challenge to myself than anything else. My goal: to find great tasting recipes that are easy, fast and don't break the bank. As you may recall from this post, I wanted to become a smarter shopper and be better at planning weekly meals. And I would say that so far I have achieved both of those things, even though we have diverted a couple of times from the originally scheduled dinner.  I'm far from being an expert on these things or not remotely qualified to give anyone else advice, but I will say this; it's a lot easier then you may believe. Kraft Recipes and All Recipes have become a couple of my best friends and the Janke household is definitely benefiting from the relationship. Tonight, for instance, I will be making a Chicken Enchilada Casserole and I had pretty much all of the ingrediants at home already. A couple of them I'll have to be creative, but I'll definitely acheive the overall desire. And this time of year has so many great and delicous meals, it's hard to say no to cooking. I'm dreaming of diving into the art of eating making porkchops, big pots of chili, sweet potatoe casserole, pies... 

Okay. I'm  back.

This weekend I made Angel Chicken which was incredible and easy! This is all you need

  • 4 oz. (1/2 of 8-oz. pkg.) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened
  • 1 can (10-3/4 oz.) reduced-sodium condensed cream of mushroom soup
  • 1/4 cup KRAFT Tuscan House Italian Dressing and Marinade {we used the Wal-Mart Brand and I'm sure it's the exact same}
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1-1/2 lb. boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite-size pieces {we used 3 chicken breast and it was perfect}
  •  1/2 lb. angel hair pasta, uncooked 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley

And to make it...

  • Whisk cream cheese, soup, dressing and wine with until blended; pour over chicken in slow cooker. Cook on low 4 to 5 hours (or on HIGH 2 to 3 hours).
  • COOK pasta as directed on package about 15 min. before chicken is done; drain. Serve topped with chicken mixture and parsley.

 Easy and excellent! And you can make it healthy too--low fat cream cheese, dressing and cream of mushroom soup was in ours along with whole gain angel hair. Another plus is that it reheats great. I'm also trying to talk Andrew into eating meatloaf {because I'm really craving some paired with mashed potatoes}, but I fear that I may lose that battle. I'll keep you posted though...

If you have any easy and delicious recipes, pass 'em on! I'm open to whatever.

As long as I like it!

Happy cooking {and eating}!

A Shout Out!


My friend Nina is an amazing cook, friend and person. When I saw that she was working towards getting the Good Mood Gig, I knew there couldn't be a better fit! I love reading her blog and seeing all of the awesome things she's doing in her kitchen and in her life. So I'm asking my dear faithful readers to skip over to either her blog or the link listed above and vote for her! She is an inspiration and a joy to have in anyone's life!

{photos from Lindsay Alexander}

A Few Thoughts


I can't believe it's been almost 2 weeks since my last post! I would like to say it's because I've been so busy and just haven't had time...

But no. That is not the case.

The truth is, I just haven't had anything to really to write about or anything worth reading. But I have wanted to talk about the impact that a certain book has been having in the Janke household, so here it is!
Andrew & I have started reading Crazy Love by Francis Chan and although I started this book like a year ago, I forgot how awesome it is. It is a challenge every time I read it and there are so many things that convict me.

"What if I said,“Stop praying”?What if I told you to stop talking atGod for a while, but instead to take a long, hard look at Him before you speak another word?"

That is the opening line to chapter 1.  If that doesn't make you stop and think about how you approach the throne of the Most High, then I'm not sure what will.  This next line really made me stop in my tracks

"If my mind is the size of a soda can and God is the size of all the oceans, it would be stupid for me to say He is only the small amount of water I can scoop into my little can. God is so much bigger..."

Too much of the time, I put God in a box. A small box. I seem to believe that He will handle things the same way I would. I promise I am smarter than that, but sometimes, that is how I think. I also believe that I control grace and mercy and that I have control over what God will be merciful about. Again, I am smarter than that, but between my flesh and the enemy, God's greatness is sometimes forgotten in the mess that is my life. I am constantly reminded of weak I am and how much I need God. How I need His love, forgiveness and above all, mercy.

But you, O LORD,sit enthroned forever; your renown endures through all generationsBut you remain the same, and your years will never end
-Psalm 102:12, 27

I change. You change. Every hour something changes in you, around you or to you. It's inevitable. But how incredible to have a God that remains the same, no matter how much we change or mess up, and loves us despite all of those things. Praise God!

And on another, but still related note, I thank God constantly for the man that He gave me. Andrew is an incredible gift that I didn't and still don't deserve, but God still chose to show me His love through Andrew and for that I am so very thankful

On my own I’m only

Half of what I could be

I can’t do without you

We are stitched together

And what love has tethered

I pray we never undo

--Dave Barnes "God Gave Me You"

Fall Beach Fun


Ever heard of a Shrimp Festival?

Are you imagining what it could be? When I tried to imagine it, I pictured someone dressed up like a giant pink shrimp strolling around. Now after attending the 16th Annual Beaufort Shrimp festival, I can assure you that there is no one dressed up like a shrimp. Disappointed? I know I was. BUT what I did find were awesome photos, creative crafts and delectable treats!

However, I'm getting ahead of myself. First things first and Friday was first! Andrew and I got down to his grandparents around lunch time on Friday afternoon. We hung around and got settled in for most of the afternoon before heading to the club for dinner that night.

before dinner in my new favorite dress!
 Dinner was really good and we even got to meet some of his grandparents friends that also live on Dataw Island. I was actually brave with my entree selection and had a dish called Seafood en Croute and it looked something like a big pastry only filled with salmon, shrimp and scallops. It was really good...but not very pretty.  After dinner, we went back and relaxed around the house before calling it an early night. Like 9:30pm early. I have no idea what's up with that.

Saturday was Shrimp Festival day! It could not have been a prettier day for it either. We enjoyed perusing all of the craft tables and seeing what creative gifts God has given to others. I do not fall into the category. And let's be honest, what we were really there for was the food and it smelled incredible! The only problem; way too many choices!

my handsome hubbs and myself

I played it safe though and went with a crab cake sandwich from Barbara Jeans which is a restaurant Andrew's dad has told us about many times. Now I know the next time we go down, it is a definite must! Afterwards we went into a few shops in Beaufort before returning home to watch football and be lazy. Saturday's dinner was spent at the marina and came with a stunning sunset and great bowl of she-crab soup. A perfect ending to the day.

our awesome view


 If you have never walked on the beach in October, I highly recommend it. Andrew and I had almost the whole beach to ourselves and that paired with the clear blue skies had it resembling something pretty close to perfection.

So thankful for the time I had with my husband and grandparents! We are truly blessed!

A Woman on a Mission


I'm ashamed. Embarrassed. And if I was smarter, I would have a much longer list of what I'm feeling. Last night, I went through our September bank statement to write down the amount of the things that I bought that were not necessary. To give you an idea of what I was facing, I wanted to stop halfway through. Yeah. That's how bad it was. After I wrote them all down and added it all up, the next thing I did was write Andrew a letter to apologizie for my lack of discipline and my desire for material things. That is not who I want to be, who Andrew needs me to be or who the Lord has called me to be.

Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.-- Matthew 6:19-21

God has commanded me to be a good steward of my resources and not to be a frivolous spender. Andrew has been telling me for quite some time to read the Dave Ramsey book, "The Total Money Makeover" and last night I finally cracked it open. I may only be on page 12, but I am loving it so far. I like the fact that it's not breakdown of how to get rich. It's a breakdown on how to be financially smarter now and reap the benefits later in life. His motto: Live like no one else, so later you can live like no one else. The only drawback {and it's not really a drawback, just a mental thing}; this will not be an easily accomplished thing. It's going to be tough. But I know that with prayer and with my always smart husband, the Janke household is about to become a whole lot smarter financially.

So with that said, I have made a vow for the month of October, I will buy nothing that is unnecesary. I know that may sound a bit extreme, but after last month, I can afford a month of nothing BUT necessity. And if I can't make it four weeks without frivolous spending, then I have bigger issues than I could have ever imagined. I've also unsubscribed to emails I get that alert me about sales or "use this code and get 20% off" to rid me of any electronic temptations.

So besides getting a grip on one kind of shopping, I've also decided to become a smarter shopper. Grocery shopping that is. I am the queen of wannabe organized. But now is the time to step it up and make it happen. After perusing several websites, I have found the perfect menu planning/grocery list combo template and I found it here.

I've already scheduled myself to go grocery shopping on Sunday after church and have planned out our meals for next week. I'm really excited and think this will be so much smarter as well as easier. I've even gone as far to select the grocery stores; Aldi and Wal-Mart. Though I generally pick Target over Wal-Mart everyday of the week, Target is a dangerous place for me. I will also be paying closer attention to Harris Teeter & Bi-Lo weekly specials. Like the title says, I'm on a mission. The Janke househould is undergoing some much needed financial changes and I'm ready for the challenge.

Another inspiration was when I stumbled upon this blog. Simplicity. This is something I really need to focus on. Life is not about what you have or what you lack. It's about making the most of what the good Lord has given you. This blog gives great tips, ideas and advice.

With all of this said, I ask that you pray for us as we embark on this journey and any advice that you can offer will be much appriciated.

And off we go!

My First Award!


I can't help but to feel a little tinge of jealousy when the blogs that I stalk read have a multitude of awards. The 6-year old comes alive inside of me and screams "I want one too!". Well thanks to my dear friend and fellow blogger Nicole, I now have one!

Little did I do that being awarded means this:

The Rules:
1. Answer this question: If you had the chance to go back and change one thing in your life, would you and what would it be?
2. The second thing you have to do is, pick 6 people and give them this award.You then have to inform the person that they have gotten this award.
3. The third and final thing is, thank the person who gave you the award.

So with that said, here is my answer, my picks and my big thank you:
1. Before I say this, I realize that I am not yet "old" and most would still classify me as young...BUT if I could change one thing, I wish that I would have appreciated my youth a lot more. I wish I would have not cared so much in high school about things that didn't matter. I wish that I would have realize how much those memories I made my 4 years at App would mean. Growing up isn't all it's cracked up to being and though I love being married and owning a home, the level or responsibility leaves little to be desired. But with that said, I have also started to learn to cherish the season of life that I'm in right now. Where I'm still classified as young and not yet old.
2. Now my picks for passing this on!
My friend Nina always has wonderfully written and delicious blog posts. If it were possible to reach through the screen to eat something, this would be the blog I would choose to do that.

I always love reading what Emily has to say about transitioning into married life. It's definitely an adventure and she decribes it wonderfully.
Although now she's busy becoming the next super doctor, I love reading Kristin's thoughtful and Godly posts.
Sheila's blogs always make me think, laugh and be thankful for knowing such a Godly wife and mom!
I was so happy when I saw that my awesome cousin started her blog. It's personal and real and you can't ask for more than that.
And last, but certainly not least, my lovely friend Amber. I am blessed to know this girl and be apart of her life and blog
Whew, that was harder than I thought it would be!
3. Thank you again Nicole for thinking of me for this award! You are so sweet and I'm glad that blogging has made our friendship closer!

A Teaser

Andrew & I spent this past weekend down in Beaufort, South Carolina and had an amazing time.

before we had dinner at the club

Andrew got this shot the morning that we left..awesome

I just liked this little guy
 I will post more pics and stories later on...just wanted to give you a sneak peak!

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