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Sep 19, 2014 Behind the Blog

so a few months ago, my friend z did a fantastic "behind the blog" post where she talked about a few posts from her blog's archives and what she was thinking when she wrote them!  i love this idea, and figured what better time to take a trip down memory lane than after celebrating heavens to betsy's 5th birthday last month?!

this was a fun post to allows you to celebrate posts that you loved doing and then reflect on ones that may have been hard to write.  for me, this is mostly just a really good round-up of what i'd say is some of the best (and worst) of htb!

so, here we go...

favorite post to write // i'd have to say that some of my favorite posts to write are the ones that i do to link-up with emily's grateful heart mondays.  emily is such a gem and her little link-up is the perfect way to start my week!  check these posts out here.

most frustrating photo shoot // ooooh...i don't know!  any one where i'm pictured...haha!  i once asked my brother to take photos of me....and then i've also tried the wonders of the self-timer and the self-timer app for my phone...but still, i feel awkward in front of the camera and awkward = frustrating sometimes!

post i'm most proud of // probably anything from my girl talk series.  especially this one about dreams and this one i wrote for overcome the lie.  oh, and also the ones that i write in my blogging series.  i love writing those!

popular post i didn't think would be a big deal // this recipe for baked oatmeal with fruit.  i should probably repost this one at some point, because its going on three years old and people still pin it!  its a really good recipe too!

post i was expecting to take off that didn't // this list of 20 date ideas!  i thought i was being fun and inventive and maybe i wasn't? got a few comments and some pins, but for the most part, flopped.

the closest to pinterest-famous i've ever gotten // bridal shower games!  i designed these for my best friend's shower last fall and one of them has over 22,000 repins and another has over 16,000!  haha....i don't even understand how that's seriously blows my mind!

quickest post i've ever written // any instagram update.  those are a go-to!  they whip-up in a flash and are quick to read, since they're mostly photos!  i like them too, because they group all of my instagram pics into little snapshots of my week or month.  they're fun to look back at!

most successful link-up post // definitely the last time i co-hosted ashley's little friday link-up!  i don't really run link-ups, (mostly because of a coding issue that i can't figure out how to solve that makes the thumbnails go wonky), but this one is fun to co-host and is always successful!

weirdest search term to find my blog // "princes charming girls pics" i have no idea what that even means but i don't think i like it.  and i'm not sure how it lead someone here!  i've had another really weird one at one point that i can't remember, but now, most people who find me via a search engine get here by searching my name, the peony project, bridal shower games, or through product reviews that i've done, so that's kind of boring.

thanks, z, for letting me steal this idea!

what blog posts are you most proud of?  what are your favorites to write?

Sep 17, 2014 Girl Talk // That Familiar Free Fall

i can't believe that we've passed the halfway point in september already.  i feel like a week ago, it was summer, and now here we are, barreling towards the soft amber glow of october.

its been a while since i've written one of these girl talk posts.  my heart has been longing to write one, to pour out some snippet of truth or encouragement.  this series originally started in hopes of creating community and conversation, and in the year or so since i launched it, it has become one of my favorite series to write.  but its also become a neglected one, because, well, these posts aren't always easy.

i'm the kind of person that loves to be busy.  i'd rather have a to-do list a mile long than one that's totally empty.  but there is a fine line between being busy, and being overwhelmed.

and lately, i've just felt overwhelmed.

between beginning my first year as a preschool teacher and saying goodbye to my boyfriend as he headed off to boston for his last year of college, and chaperoning a youth group retreat and then visiting that boyfriend in boston and juggling responsibilities for my part-time job at church, its felt like a little bit more than i'd like to handle.

things have been neglected, like my attempted recommitment to exercise and that new devotional plan that i'm working on.  even this blog has been an afterthought.

maybe you feel that same pull....that you're teetering just on the edge of keeping it all together while still finding time to curl your hair in the morning and of completely free-falling.

this sort of thing hits me once in a while, and i'm noticing that it's often associated with fall.  while all of the leaves are starting to die and make their way downward, i feel almost a sense of renewal.  its the kind of renewal that only a tidal wave of business can bring...the kind that washes you of that carefree summer glow and brings you back to shore, ready to face the new school year, even if you're not a student.

i sometimes wonder if my life will ever not feel dictated by the school calendar (probably not, since i'm a teacher...), or if the fall will ever cease to bring this renewal.  because though its hard and almost suffocating at times, i feel like i need it.  its like this free-fall...and in the midst of it, i'm tugging at my parachute strings but its just. not. opening.  and then, all of a sudden, it does, and i glide into the best part of this season...the part filled with bonfires and crisp breezes and scarves and boots...the part that i love.  but not until that initial jump out of the plane called summer.

and once my feet hit the ground, in this new season, there is so much opportunity if i just open my eyes to it.  fall is a wake-up call.  its a time of inspiration and of growth.  a time to reflect and a time to act.

one of my favorite verses right now is isaiah 43:19.  it reads: "see, i am doing a new thing!  now it springs up; do you not perceive it? i am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland."

i love that verse because it's a reminder that god is always doing something.  even in the midst of the business, the to-do lists, and the juggling of life.  even at a time of year when things outside are ending their season of beauty, he is at work in us.  he is doing a new thing.  we just need to perceive it.

new to the girl talk series?  here are a few posts you might want to check out!

Sep 16, 2014 Grateful Heart // Boston Edition

i spent the past week in boston visiting aj.  he's all moved into his apartment and is into his second week of classes at berklee.  hopefully (crossing my fingers!), this will be his last fall there.

can i just say how much i love this city?  i'm currently sitting at the airport waiting to fly home to philly and when i think about boston, my heart smiles.  there are just so many good memories here, from my days in college just north of the city to these new memories that aj and i are making together.  it's a place of growing up, and every time i come back, i'm flooded with this feeling that this city, this place, just feels like home.  of course, i get that same feeling (even more so), when i fly into philly, but boston just holds this excitement for me.

so, today's grateful heart post will be focused on all of the wonderful things that this week in boston held!

here's what i'm thankful for after this past week:
spending a whole week with aj
having a few days to walk and explore boston and enjoy one another's company
extra sleep
good food
finally purchasing a longchamp bag! (and then returning it, and getting a bigger one...long story)
beautiful weather
discovering the best (free!) airport shuttle ever
the onset of fall (it's here!!)
long walks
rediscovering a love of n64 (because i basically lived with boys for a week)

i am, of course, incredibly excited about fall.  it is my absolute favorite season!  but is it just me or did it come on kind of quickly?  i was just at the beach a little over a week ago, and now i'm wearing jeans and sweaters and i'm about to break out a few scarves.  i feel like i left pa in summer and am returning, just a week later, into full-fledged fall.  (not complaining, though!)

and of course, i'm linking up with emily at ember grey!  em hosts this week-long grateful heart link-up every week and these posts are some of my favorite to write each week.  i encourage you to join in and check out some of the other posts!

Sep 15, 2014 Going Green with ALOHA

This shop is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and Aloha, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #MyAloha #AlohaMoment

if you've been reading my blog for the past few months (or actually, a little over a year), you have probably heard me mention my dad's ongoing battle with cancer (which we're confident he will win!).   when my dad was first diagnosed, my parents made a quick and decisive switch to a plant-based diet. one that includes lots of juicing, raw foods, and just plain 'ol healthy eating in order to help his body fight the disease and tolerate treatments.

while i'm not as good as they are, i do try to be aware of what i'm putting in my body.  our family has incorporated juicing into our diets because when you drink your nutrients, it helps your body to absorb them even faster and takes the work out of digesting your food, meaning that your cells are getting the nutrition that they need at really quick speeds!  when he doesn't have enough time to juice, my dad will often use a powdered form of greens that he mixes into a smoothie or just water.

i decided to try it out too and ordered the aloha daily good greens blend box.  the box came with three different flavors:  original greens, berry, and chocolate, and each pack contains a whole foods blend that is vegan (woohoo!), sugar-free, 100% natural, and promises to energize, cleanse, and hydrate.  you get 2 servings of fruit and veggies in each pack, plus tons of vitamins and minerals (including vitamin d...which, for a girl who doesn't love milk, is a definitely plus!).

what i love the most about this concept is that it really doesn't take a whole lot of prep.  trust me, i love juicing, and it's so good for you, but sometimes, you want all of the benefits without putting the time into it (or, if you're like me, sometimes you just don't prepare as well as you should!).  i tried the original good greens pack just mixed into water, and also in a smoothie.  both options were super quick, and left me feeling like i had done something great for my body!

here's what i threw into my smoothie:
1 pack of aloha's the daily good berry blend
1/4 c almond milk
a handful of blueberries
4-5 chunks of frozen mango
3-4 frozen strawberries
a handful of spinach
a few ice cubes

i threw all of these ingredients in the vitamix and blended! you might have to add some more almond milk (or a little water) to thin out your smoothie as it blends.

pair this smoothie with a piece of fruit and some almonds for a great mid-afternoon or post workout snack or a great light lunch!  so quick and easy!

and here's the best can get a free trial of the aloha daily good greens blend box to try at home!  all you need to do is pay shipping, and they'll send you a box of 6 packets (two of each flavor!).  you'll also have the benefit of being auto-enrolled in aloha's monthly subscription, so you can get the daily good in your mailbox every month!  there are a ton of different ways to incorporate aloha into your daily routine, and you'll feel awesome for doing it!

what are some things you do to stay healthy?  have you ever tried a dried green juice powder like aloha?

Sep 14, 2014 I Moved!

hey friends!

you may notice a little change around here!  heavens to betsy has moved from to just!  i'm really excited about this change and i hope you'll continue to follow along!

nothing has really'll still see the same content and everything still looks the same, and if you go to the old url, it should reroute you to my new home!  but i'm still working out some glitches, so bear with me!

if you notice something just plain 'ol not working, then i'd be so appreciative if you'd shoot me an email at to let me know!

thanks friends!
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