November 27, 2013


Oh friends, Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays! There is just something that warms my heart when people gather together and share thanks for their numerous blessings. Unfortunately, I won't be spending the holiday with my immediate family, but luckily I have family here in Idaho that is providing me with a delicious meal and a cozy environment. This will be the third Thanksgiving I've spent away from home, but one of the things I am so thankful for is that I've had a really great community around me to make me feel "at home" even when I'm away from home. 

In addition to the things I gave thanks for last year, here are some of the things I am thankful for this year, in no particular order of course: 

1. Sisterhood
To me, sisterhood is not only the bond between blood sisters, but just the solid, unbreakable, beautiful bond between sistafriends. I am so grateful to have sistas from otha mista that are just like blood. I think that because I now work with 147 women, I appreciate true sisterhood more than ever. I think it takes maturity to be able to truly be a friend to another woman- you have to abandon jealousy, comparison, and celebrate one another entirely. 

2. Coffee
Oh coffee, I'm so thankful for you. You wake me up gently in the morning, you are the coziest beverage around (tea & cocoa ain't got NOTHIN' on coffee), and you take on many flavors. I'm currently sipping on some Thanksgiving blend from Starbucks (oh gosh it is so good) with a dash of pumpkin spice creamer and eating a donut. Can you even imagine a more perfect morning? Not only am I thankful for the delicious taste of coffee, I'm thankful for the community that happens around coffee. In a small town, like Nampa, so many of my "get togethers" with friends happen at our local coffeehouse, The Flying M Coffee Garage. To me, there's nothing more lovely than getting together with a friend over a cup of coffee and a sweet treat. You lose all track of time and before you know it, the faces at the tables around you have changed many times and your cup has been empty longer than it was full. 

3. Taste Buds
I know that there are people who have the unfortunate curse of not being able to taste food, I (THANK GOODNESS) am not one of those people! I taste. I taste a lot! I am currently tasting my coffee. I hope to taste some quiche for lunch today. What a bland world it would be if nothing had flavor. 

4. Sparkles
I firmly believe in the power of sparkles. I realize how goofy that sounds, but I've said it before and I'll say it again, I am positive that they have healing powers. Having a bad day? Put a coat of glitter on your nails and your bad day has become your best day! Experiencing heart ache? Put on that sparkly dress and it's like a bandaid was put right over the fracture. I have a pair of glitter flats that just seem to make dull days bright again! 

5. Education
I'm so grateful to have received a great, well rounded education. Though I'm still paying that education off, and will be for a while, it was worth every penny I spent. I was lucky enough to have professors who cared about me holistically- they invested in me both inside of and outside of the classroom. I am now getting my Master's in Social Work. I have about two years ahead of me until I graduate which feels like forever, but in two years I will be a master. You will all call me master (at least once, please) and I will be the proud new owner of a piece of paper that equips me to do things I can't do now. 

I pray that this holiday season, you are surrounded by love and have numerous reasons to give thanks. I know that in some seasons of life, giving thanks is more difficult, but I encourage you to find the blessings in every day life. I've been there. I've struggled to see the silver lining or to find things to give thanks for, but they are there. I promise. What are you thankful for? 


November 17, 2013

it's the freakin' weekend

Because my job is so crazy and there's always a chance that I could be up in the middle of the night or making emergency room trips on the weekend (five times since September!), I attempt to take moments of relaxation whenever they are presented. Luckily, weekends have calmed down a bit and I get them (mostly) to myself. 

This weekend was quiet, or at least it has been so far, and I spent my Saturday crafting, drinking coffee, and listening to some new music. I wanted to share a little project with you because it's SO STINKIN' EASY and you guys know I'm all about the easy crafts. I like to call this project, "Make Magnets." 

Here's what you'll need:

Magnets (I picked the ones with adhesives on the back)
Mod Podge
Glass disc bulby things (Can be found near the tinier guys that you'd put in a fish bowl)
A paintbrush or a sponge thing
Scrapbook paper
A cup of coffee in a Narnia mug

The last item on that list is optional, but trust me, it makes the process so much more enjoyable. Sidenote- one of my resident's mamma's blessed me with a Starbucks gift card and a package of Thanksgiving Blend. Thanksgiving Blend is perfect. I am currently sipping on some right now and it's perfect. 

Are you ready for the directions? Trace the little disc bulbs (what are they even really called?) on your scrapbook paper, cut it out (oh yeah- you'll need scissors), and then glue it on to the flat side of the disc with the mod podge. After that is completely dried, stick a magnet on the back and VOILA! You've got a cute new set of magnets. 

Here's where I tell you how to learn from my mistakes. See that super cute glitter paper? I did not work because it was too thick. You need more pliable paper that will adhere to the disc. The green paper that I have down there is also more of a cardstock and didn't stick easily either. I purchased magnets that already had adhesive on the back of them and they did not work. The glass was too heavy for it and they slid off of my fridge causing me to become very frustrated. I recommend buying heavy duty magnets and using a glue gun to keep them on. I ended up finding some better magnets and now they aren't slipping off of my fridge. 

After you finish the easiest project of all time, you are left with some super cute magnets that hold up super cute pictures of your super cute friends. 

This project was super cheap and would be a fun little gift to add into a hostess gift or something. I do have to admit that I was inspired to make this from my friend who has these all over her fridge. She's used glitter, letters, and scrapbook paper and no matter how different they are, they don't seem to conflict! 

I hope you all had a lovely weekend. Although mine was enjoyable, I am anxious for it to pass because on Wednesday, my baby sister arrives and I get to spend six whole days with her! My heart is just in a complete state of anticipation as I await the arrival of Sophia! It's been 108 days since I've seen her, and for anyone that has a sister, you know that's just unacceptable.  


November 6, 2013

on being alone

The message of this post has been weighing on my heart for a very long time. It's something I've sat down to write only to end up deleting everything, shutting my laptop, and vowing not to revisit the topic for fear of not saying what I actually mean or saying exactly what I  mean...

I am hopeful that this post will be exactly what I mean it to, but if it falls short or seems uncomfortable, I apologize. 

I am twenty five. That is nowhere near old. I recognize that in the grand scheme of things, I am very young. Most (not an exaggeration) of my dear friends are in serious or committed relationships. I am not. I am the unmarried pal and that is a role that I have never begrudged. I realize that my relationship status does not define me, but it is a big part of who I am. I think that there is this huge push in Christian culture to get married early, find your soul mate (If you want to know what I think on topic, read Hannah's post here. I agree with her entirely.), and start reproducing precious little felt board loving, scripture memorizing babies. That is not necessarily my path and I am learning to forgive myself for that. It's a weird concept, forgiving yourself for something that you really don't need to forgive yourself for, but I think that I had some strange expectations and I am okay with realizing that's not how it is going to be. 

When the topic of singleness is brought up, my friends are so completely encouraging. 

"How are you still single?" 

"You are such a great catch!"

"Any guy would be lucky to have you."

I appreciate their words, but on the flip side of that, it can almost makes me think, "Well what the hay is wrong with me then? What am I missing that they can't see?" It makes me feel like I am incomplete because I am just me, there is no Mister or beau. Just me. Just Jess.

I recently put myself out there in a way that made me feel terrified and very alive. I got a sudden burst of bravery and decided to just go for it. I knew that I was facing rejection, but I also felt like I needed to be honest with myself and take ownership of my feelings. I was describing it to my sister as though I were applying to a school I knew that I wouldn't get into. I said, "Camille, it's like if I were to apply to Harvard- I know I'm not getting in." She quickly reminded me that this particular gentleman was no Harvard. Just a guy. You know what I mean though. There was no false illusion of running off into the sunset holding hands. I just got brave and decided to be honest. Honesty is the best policy, right? I was rejected, in a very polite but real way and you know what? I'm okay. I cried because that's basically my spiritual gift and I just feel very intensely, but I didn't feel bad about myself at all. I was proud of myself for being vulnerable. It's not something that comes easily for anyone, but relational vulnerability adds this layer that seems to make everything even scarier. I was okay though. It reminded me that I am a person with feelings and I have the right to be honest about those feelings, I don't need to be embarrassed or lie about them. 

I have no idea what the future holds for me in regards to romantic relationships. I work at a university where the majority of my interactions are with college aged boys or with married coworkers. The city I live in isn't exactly a bustling metropolis. I don't want this to come off as whiney or like I feel like I'm missing something. I know that I'm okay. I know that I'm equally as wonderful single as I would be in a relationship. It can just be such a peculiar thing being single when the majority of people that I share my time with are married or dating. 

I don't really know what I think about being "called" to a certain thing or another. I think we sometimes have a way of projecting our desires onto what God wants for us. I certainly do not think that I am being called to singleness, but I am being called to faithfulness, regardless of what my relationship status is. I wouldn't say that I'm waiting, because that makes me feel like some damsel in distress and that is not what I'm about, but I am "waiting" for someone who makes the vulnerability, the emotions, and the honesty worth it. For now, I've got a new sparkly dress (I'm pretty sure they have healing properties) and episodes of Grey's Anatomy to watch. There are ten seasons of that show to watch- I will have enough to keep me busy for quite a while. 

November 2, 2013


This past weekend I took a lovely little getaway to Seattle to visit my brother and some friends. Seattle is one of my favorite places. It's always wonderfully gloomy and there's something about being near water that my makes my heart so happy. 
I ended up needing this little trip more than I ever could have imagined. It was so refreshing to spend time with some dear friends and just recharge. I felt completely restored by the end of the weekend and was completely ready to come back to Idaho and finish the semester like a champ.

My first stop was to meet up with my oldest brother Nicolas at the restaurant where he is a chef. We had planned to meet up for dinner and he definitely spoiled me. We started off with some homemade donut holes, moved on to the "ultimate grilled cheese" (brie, cheddar, & fried chicken on brioche toast with a side of poutine), and then split a pork chop. I consumed so much food. SO MUCH FOOD. 

One of my favorite things about the Pacific Northwest are all of the beautiful trees. I love the evergreen trees mixed in with the colorful fall leaves. I am not sure how to describe how it makes me feel, aside from the fact that it just warms my heart. 

There is something so special about people who know you and know you well. I was able to just exist this weekend. I didn't have to facilitate anything, be "on," or entertain anyone. I just got to be me and just got to rest. There was nothing overly incredible about the weekend, but it was my favorite because it was everything I needed in order to recharge. There's something so good for the soul in being surrounded by people who just love you, warts and all. 

I sort of hate that saying because I don't want you guys to think I have warts. I don't have ACTUAL warts, just personality warts or whatever they mean in that quote. 

Blog design by Get Polished | Copyright Jess Novello 2016