Grow Through It

I remember feeling that my 2016 was a horrific year and I just couldn’t wait until 2017 rolled around the corner. I had such high expectations for this year and what it was going to bring me. Or rather, I held high expectations of what the year should not bring me, as a change from 2016. I expected more gains than losses, I expected a lot of love instead of grief and pain, and I expected much happiness, the type of happiness where I wouldn’t spend a single night falling asleep to tears. It’s true how the saying goes, friends, don’t go into anything with expectations because you’ll only be let down.

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Guest Post: Strengthen Your Relationship with Shared Goals

Hello everyone! I’m coming to you from the great multi-colored cloud of activities, events, obligations, stress, thoughts, and feelings that has become my life. My hope is that one day the cloud will separate so all parts of my life fall perfectly into their own categories and I can take a breather… but until that blessed day comes, I am happy to share a wonderful post from my friends at First Beat Media.

I was approached by First Beat Media quite some time ago. The company focuses on online dating niche and similar services, and a content manager of theirs happened across Wine Dipped Quill. Some of my posts resonated with him to the point where he opted to get in touch with me and discuss options of guest posting. Being ever enthusiastic to grow my blogosphere network, I jumped on the idea. So without further ado, here is a wonderful article on sharing goals to strengthen your relationships brought to you by the authors of First Beat Media…

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Still Finding Difficulty in Goodbye

On February 11th I was a part of the Pink Tie Ball for the third year in a row. The Pink Tie Ball is a fundraising event that supports Susan G. Komen of Michigan. The event was the thought-child of Denise, my friend and mentor mentioned in a few posts early 2016. Out of a selfish act, Denise was no longer in our lives to lead the event to its usual success, but the committee decided to join forces, add a few new members, and provide the community with an awesome evening to honor the memory that was Denise Bohn.

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15 Goals in 2017

I am going to stick to my tradition of not setting resolutions in this New Year. I want to always work to better myself, and not confine myself to begin a change or modification upon the first of the year. However, just as in the past (16 Goals in 2016), I have set some goals I would like to accomplish in 2017:

Physical

  • Run ten 5k’s, one 10k, and one half marathon
  • Try one new sport or workout class each month
  • Track meals in food log at least 300 days

Mental/Emotional

  • Meditate/practice yoga at least twice a week
  • Publish at least three blog posts per month
  • Read at least one “for-fun” book each month

Social/Relational

  • Reach out to 3 “lost” friends every month
  • Read one “self-motivation” book per month
  • Try three new classes (cooking, trade, etc.) throughout year

Financial

  • Book a vacation to somewhere not yet explored
  • Pay off Ford Escape
  • Eat out no more than three times a week

Spiritual

  • Join a Small Group for more accountability
  • Attend an event focused solely on furthering my relationship with God
  • Write a “review” of House/church sermon once a month

A Year in Review Vol. 2016

It’s that time of year again. The time of year where Christmas music has officially been blasting in all retail stores for three months, temperatures have dropped below freezing, my warm fuzzy socks hide the fact I’m no longer shaving like its summer (#sorrynotsorry), and the Facebook Years in Review are rearing their superficial, only-choose-pictures-with-the-most-likes heads.

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Vices vs. Verses: A Testimony

There has been a lot of discussion in my church lately on the importance of personal testimony and how individual stories can impact the world. Giving testimony on one’s faith is empowering and gives honor and glory to God because we are relaying the story of how He saved us. Peonies ‘n Mint, though loosely based around random discussion on what Life brings to the table, has grown to include more and more discussions on faith and belief as well. I do not usually dive into topics that may cause conflict, as I’m sure anything centering around religion may, but when it comes to my faith, I’m going to choose not to be afraid and go there…

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A Letter to My Former Selves

Dear Former Selves,

Today, I turn 25. And although I have made several jokes about keeping my birthday hush-hush, have complained about my back hurting, and even threatened that a quarter-life crisis was about to ensue, I am actually very happy with my age and the woman I am becoming. Thinking back, though, over the past ten years I cannot honestly say this feeling is something I anticipated.

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The Gray Space Between Blessings Vs. Wants

I came upon this wonderful post the other day by MySweetJesus entitled “I want Jesus. But, also a husband. And kids. And a job. And an apartment. And, maybe a dog.” Even with only the title, I knew this post was going to speak to me, and speak to me it did…

I have been conflicted lately. I have been conflicted in what I want from my life, what I have in my life, and feeling guilty about that gray space in between the two. I cannot emphasize my guilt enough: I am happy with what I have, I feel incredibly blessed, but then I also want more. And I want that “more” now.

Just like Melissa, I want to be a homeowner. I want to summon my inner Pinterest demon and create the coziest and warmest home to be enjoyed by my family and friends. I want to travel and see every nook and cranny of the world. I want to get engaged. I want to experience the excitement of planning a marriage, seeing the man of my dreams look at me with only love as I walk towards him; I want to be a wife. I also want to be a mother. And a grandmother. I want to have parts of my life remembered through stories passed down. I want pictures of my adventures to be admired, I want my prom and wedding pictures to be poked fun of due to fashion changes, I want my descendants to look at a photograph of me and wonder what I was thinking at the exact time the flash was taken…

But I also want Jesus. I want to see Him come back in all His glory. I want to experience what perfection truly is, I want to know heaven.

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12 Signs You’re Doing Much Better Than You Think

“Hello blogosphere, my name is Ashley and I have an issue of busying myself far too much during the summer months.”

I know, I know, it has been a second since I’ve posted. I kick myself at the ending of every week for not finding the time to sit down and spend time with my keyboard. I feel like you’re all friends who have moved away and who I’ve promised to keep in touch with but… then I fail. So this is my little phone call to you all, promising to text, dial, email, smoke signal, whatever more in the future. I’m still here and I’m still here for you!

With that being said, Life is crazy right now. Work, House, volunteering committees seem to have devoured my every second and its every thing I can do to just find time to wash my clothes and brush my teeth. But hey, I love it! A quick overview: Wilbur and I are still happily together, I’ve recently picked up bujoing and am obsessed, my summer of weddings is about to be finished come August 12th, I danced with the idea of being a homeowner, I’ve committed to a few new responsibilities, Vinny from the Bachelorette liked my tweet… Overall Summer 2016 has been a rush and I’m excited to see what the rest of the year might bring! But, until I can actually sit down and choose a topic from my long list of options on my next blog post, enjoy this little nugget of wisdom found on Puckermob:


Originally posted on Puckermob:

It’s really easy to get caught up in your own head and believe you’re behind where you’re supposed to be for your age or that a single mistake is the end of the world.

Here are some signs that you’re actually doing much better than you think:

    1. You’re unsure about everything. Constantly wondering and questioning is a sign of intelligence. Have you noticed how it’s always the idiots that are so sure about every damn thing they are doing in their lives?
    2. You’re not content with something in your life. This is such an important thing because it means you’re self-aware and you don’t want to settle  -and that’s the first and most crucial step towards change. So many people stay where they are – emotionally or physically – because it takes courage to endure the sharp pains of self-discovery.
    3. You fell for the wrong person and got your heart broken into a million pieces. Someone can be madly in love with you and still not be ready. They can love you in a way you have never been loved and still not give you what you need. That’s okay. There is a more extraordinary love out there that you would never know if it didn’t end it with the last one.
    4. You’ve lost something important to you and you’re still hurting. That means you are alive, you have a heart, you are healing, and your soul is learning the natural cycle of breaking and healing. The only real tragedy is the loss of emotions all together.
    5. You feel lost. That means you’re ahead of the game – anyone who thinks they’ve got it all figured out is settling for something for okay or sort of good enough. You’re lost because you know that there is much more inside of you than what you’re currently offering the world. Being lost keeps you hungry and it keeps you moving forward. You are exactly where you need to be right now.
    6. Your ego has been really hurt. In the words of Jillian Michaels, “A bad day for your ego is a great day for your soul.”
    7. You have one or two friends that feel like your family. If you have one person in your life that just gets you, that you can call crying at 4 a.m. and you know that somehow, they will just make you feel better – you’re set.
    8. You’ve made mistakes. Mistakes are inevitable in a life worth living. As long as you learn from them, mistakes are very important. They teach you exactly what you want and who you want to be.
    9. Some days you feel miserable. Maybe it’s because of a breakup, a divorce, losing a job, or life’s just getting you down – whatever it is, the harder you slam a ball into the ground, the higher it bounces back up. Some days life is gonna rough you up a bit, but it will leave you stronger, more appreciative, more compassionate, and wiser. Beautiful people do not just happen – life is all about experience.
    10. You got rejected or didn’t get something you really wanted. Remember, when one door closes another door always opens. If you open your eyes, you will see the next door that opens is a better door.
    11. You didn’t get your perfect ending. Some of the best stories don’t have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about making the best of each moment because we really don’t know what will happen next. Maybe you didn’t get your perfect ending, but you will get something so much better.
    12. You’re not the same person you were a year ago. So many people never change. They get stuck in their stubborn ways and never progress. Life is all about evolving.

This articles was originally written by Anna Bashedly on August 9, 2015.