“True Identity” Book Review 

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I’ve been a little behind on my book reviews recently, so here is one that I’ve been meaning to share for awhile now!

What drew me to this book was that it’s all about IDENTITY.  As a 20-year-old college student, I grapple with questions like “What is my current identity?” and “What do I want my identity to be?” on a weekly basis. Such questions have played a role in choosing my majors, choosing my university, and choosing a (rough draft) plan for post-graduation.

While this book is specifically geared towards junior high / middle schoolers and high schoolers, it still had parts that resonated with me as a young person and as someone interested in learning about how to root one’s identity in Jesus.

John C. Majors fills the book with bible verses, lighthearted humor, and simple language that is easy to follow and makes this book perfect for reading in one sitting or for flipping to the chapters that are most relevant for you. Majors also designed the book to encourage readers to be active reflectors in their own identity and to write in the book through a couple of more interactive spots.

The core of the book explains why there is only one “true” identity that will always hold up. In short, putting your sense of purpose and meaning in anything other than God will inevitably let you down, at some point, because manly and earthly things (like physical appearance and relationships) are temporary and imperfect.

The rest of the book explores common areas of identity, including gender, social ties, and dating. However, I did find some of these chapters to be very biased towards conservationism, especially the ones on homosexuality and on gender. These were the only problematic portions of the book for me because they oversimplified the issues and were out-of-touch with modern social developments and understandings.

Overall, these book provides a light introduction into recognizing your current identity and how to create a new, godly identity. Since much of the humor is aimed at teenagers and the presentation is straightforward and simple this book is best-suited for young teenagers. Still, it provides a quick + light read into Christ-bound identity for all ages. Again, the one caveat is that the chapters on gender and sexuality are more traditional-minded and could be politically disagreeable.

Whether or not you pick up this book (and I’m not saying that everyone necessarily should) I encourage you to think about what your identity is rooted in and to evaluate how secure and stable that source is.

Hope you’ve had a great weekend!

Love always,

K♥

*Disclaimer: I received this book courtesy of Bethany House for the purposes of review. All opinions are my own.

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#1 Lesson Seattle Taught Me: Labeling is Lowering

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Growing up in the suburbs of Tacoma, my day-to-day surroundings up until college were friendly (often gated) neighborhoods clustered around elementary schools, and 35 mph roads.

“Normal” to me meant walking to and from school (which I loved), walking my Labrador retriever on the fields of my school, and walking with friends between our houses or to grab a bite to eat. As you can probably tell, I grew up walking everyday. I didn’t question it, it was safe.

Once or twice a year I visited Seattle with family and on orchestra field trips. We saw the Space Needle, Husky Stadium, and the Seattle Center. I didn’t think much of those visits, I was mainly just enjoying time with wonderful people.

Back in 2015 (two and a half years already wow) when I graduated from high school I started to prepare for moving to Seattle. When I really got to thinking about college, I knew the heart of Washington was where I wanted to be. I saw Seattle as a place of opportunity, innovation , and independence.

To this day, I still see Seattle as having all of those qualities, but I also quickly learned that a large urban area with diverse peoples is much more complex than I could have imagined growing up where I did.

I think about Seattle everyday, what it has opened my eyes to & what it has closed my eyes to. Many of the lessons I’ve learned are directly tied to my university experience at the largest liberal arts school in the state.

So, here is the most important lesson that Seattle has taught me over the past few years..

Titles have the power to dehumanize. 

For the first time in my life I saw widespread homelessness almost everyday, even on the outskirts of my campus. I realized that, at least to me, there’s a significant difference between calling someone a “homeless person” and calling him/ her a “person who is homeless.” It’s all too easy to focus on the title of homeless first, rather than acknowledging their humanity and standing as equal persons just like anyone else.

Recognizing personhood before labeling decreases the feelings of stigma, or even blame, that can arise around homelessness. This concept of how we use labels to simplify people into general categories often lowers the perceived worth of those we label. Specifically, when we do this we aren’t recognizing them as people first,  but instead as homeless people. 

Labeling has the power to lower others’ value in your eyes.

In other cases we may describe or think of someone as a “poor” person, rather than a person who is poor. Or, maybe she is Asian (or any other racial / ethnic group) rather than a person who is Asian. A Muslim (or any other religious affiliation) rather than a person who is Muslim.

In other words, I’ve learned how the arrangement of the words we use can dramatically shape how we perceive them. The most dangerous part of this is that we usually are unaware of the labeling. We may think homeless people rather than people who are homeless because the mass media describes them in the former way, possibly as a shortcut or simply because that’s just the norm.

Regardless, because of Seattle I’ve become more conscious of how I mentally and verbally characterize people. No matter what makes a person or group of people different from you, keep in mind that they are still a person before they are anything else.

Thinking this way, we all have much in common.

Labeling is lowering- but labeling is a choice.


I’d love to hear your thoughts (on my thoughts) in the comments!

Thanks for reading 🙂

Love always,

K❤️

“Jesus Calling” Daily Devotional Book

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A devo a day keeps the worry, fear, + doubt at bay.

At least that’s what I learned last year using Sarah Young’s 365-day devotional book Jesus Calling.

For each day there is a short devotional + accompanying 2-4 bible verses to look up.

Most of the time I completed the devos before bed, but a few times I went for the morning route and then reflected on it again at bed time.

The verses helped to shed light on God’s promises to us, increase my familiarity with the Bible + memorization of verses, and to make connections between verses.

Using post-it flags I marked my favorite devos- or the ones that made me think the most or brought me the most strength.

It’s so crazy to me that I managed to read a devo a day for a year (including vacations + nights where I was so exhausted).

I don’t think that it was sheer luck or even just my efforts that helped me to meet my goal, but that God was on my side + wanted me to succeed too.

If you’re still brainstorming New Years resolutions, looking for a new devotional plan, or if you simply have found your way to this post then I hope you look into Jesus Calling in 2018!

Available from Target or Amazon.

Through the highs + lows that each year brings we can all use strength, wisdom, encouragement, peace, + hope and that is what you’ll get from this book.

Love always,

K♥️

Monday Motivation: Matthew 6:34

As someone who struggles with worry + anxiety, I sometimes feel myself feeling overwhelmed by a week before it even begins.

Over time, I’ve discovered that the only true assurance I can count on is in the Bible. 

Putting my faith into anything else- be it people, institutions, or myself- will lead me down a path of failure. 

Because of God’s perfect love for us, I can count on Him to calm my heart and stop my mind from getting ahead of itself.

So, as I enter this week I wanted to share a verse that has been on my heart lately, and is one that I look to when I need a reminder to focus on the present, rather than feel daunted by what’s to come. 

“Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. “ Matthew 6:34 ESV

God does not want you to be worrying about the future, he has had those days planned out for you since before you were born. 
Trust Him.

Don’t let worry for the future consume the present day. Enjoy it as much as possible and trust that God does not give you more than you can handle with his support. 

I hope that this verse brings you peace this week.

Happy Monday! 

Love always,

K❤️

A few things I’m thankful for in 2017 ❤️

  • The opportunity to go to college (at my dream school): As someone who has always been keen to learning and discovery, I can’t imagine myself being any other place than at the University of Washington. I’ve wanted to go to this school + follow in my dad’s footsteps my whole life. The chance to attend college has given me a new depth of understanding to the world and myself. Every week I learn more about topics that spark my interest. Recently, my curiosity  has been piqued by studies around the law & social justice. Mainly, attending college has given me the opportunity to be in a place of higher learning with others who share my interests (and many who don’t) and has led me closer to figuring out which career path is right for me.                                  
  • Kyle: To find your best friend / soulmate in high school is rare, but that’s what happened for me. I’ve been lucky enough to share life with Kyle for the past few years. He’s my other half, life partner, & most importantly my best friend. I like to describe him as being “golden-hearted,” because that sums him up the best. He’s changed my life in so many ways, but mainly he’s changed the course of my future, as we plan our future together. My #1 blessing everyday 🙂

  • Sweet Lilo: If you know me, you know I LOVE dogs. I have the sweetest three-year-old yellow Labrador Retriever, Lilo. She’s crazy, in a good way. Lilo is constantly happy + playful and she always brightens my day with how funny and sometimes mischievous she is. To know Lilo is to love Lilo!

  • New home: I’ve moved twice during the past 6 months, but now I’m finally pretty settled into my new house! Although I dreaded moving, now that I did it I’ve embraced being in a new environment and the opportunities that come with it- like redesigning my room + bathroom, reorganizing my closet, and ridding myself of material belongings which I no longer use. More than anything, I’m glad to have my own space that I know isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, to feel settled again. Plus, needing home decor / supplies is the perfect excuse to make a Target run 😉


What are you thankful for this year?

Happy Thanskgiving + sending lots of love!

Love always,

K❤️

5 tips for surviving cold / flu season


Wearing: scarf from Lulus, BP sweater from Nordstrom, Levis, Seychelles booties

Hey guys! 😊

For the past week I’ve been dealing with an awful cold, but I realized that at least one positive thing can come out of this… a blog post!

With all of the falling leaves, pumpkin spiced lattes, pumpkins to carve, & cider to sip it can be easy to forget that it’s also cold & flu season.

The last few weeks I noticed more and more sniffles and coughs in my classes and in the library. Then, it was me who was sniffling and coughing.

So, I thought I’d share some tips from my past week with you guys to try to help you all stay healthy and recover as best as possible from the cold or flu.

1. Rest when you need to

This advice is so hard for me to listen to. But, this past week when I was exhausted and miserable while trying to unpack and study I realized that I just need to take time to recover before trying to perform all of my usual tasks.

2. You can never have too many travel-size tissues

Honestly I’ve always had those mini packs of tissues in my bathroom closet and they just sort of sit there… until one day when you least expect it you need them. So, it’s worth tossing a pack or two in your backpack / bag, at least during this season!

3. OJ for days

Need I say more? When I’m sick the only food/ drink that I really crave is orange juice. Plus, all of the vitamin C works to get rid of your cold faster.

4. It’s okay & necessary to prioritize your health & wellbeing sometimes (even over school & work)

If you need to take a few hours or days off to recover then do it! I learned the hard way that trying to go through my usual routine as if I wasn’t sick only made me more miserable and I regretted ever leaving my bed in the morning. (Haha?)

5. Imperfection isn’t the end of the world

Don’t get down on yourself because you “slack” on some of your usual tasks or fall a little behind, we can’t really control when we get sick & catching a cold during this season is more of a matter of when than if.
Hope you’re staying warm + healthy!

Love always,

K💙

September Favorites: Home, Office, Books, & Beauty

It’s hard to believe we’re already into the autumn season..! Nevertheless, I am looking forward to sipping spiced apple cider,  playing in corn mazes, wearing Hunter boots, and falling asleep to the sound of rain outside my window.

Before I leave September behind, here are my favorite products from last month!

“The Little Paris Bookshop,” by Nina George

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This book would make my yearly favorites!

“The Little Paris Bookshop” is about a man, Monsieur Perdu, who owns a bookshop in which he prescribes / sells books to customers based on their emotional problems. His store is a “literary apothecary.” The narrative chronicles both Perdu’s attempts to help others through books and his attempts to battle his own emotional problems as he has held onto lost love for decades.

The basic idea behind it is so original + fascinating that I could definitely see myself re-reading this to absorb all of the wisdom this book has to offer.

This is a feel-good book containing rich originality and life lessons of benefit to all readers.

Pumpkin Cupcake 3-Wick Candle by Bath & Body Works

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I may or may not have gone a little bit crazy purchasing fall-scented candles this year..  But, my hands-down favorite is by far the Pumpkin Cupcake from Bath & Body Works.

It smells exactly how it sounds and, as a 3-wick candle, burns evenly + strongly!

BBW’s current offer on their candles is buy 2 get 2 free + $10 off $30 orders.

Huda Beauty Rose Gold Textured Shadows Palette

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I am late to the game on this one, but this rose gold palette by Huda has easily been one of the most talked about eyeshadow palettes.

What sets this palette apart is the textured shadows (see top row). These shadows are not smooth like shimmers, but have chunks of mettalic/ glitter in them. This means they are harder to work with, but applying with the finger will get the job done.

Plus, the warm-toned mattes are gorgeous & buttery! There’s even a black shade for darkening up fall looks.

This palette won’t be around for much longer since it is being discontinued, so it’s now or never!

Real Technique’s Beauty Sponge

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Beauty sponges are the only way I apply liquid makeup products (esp. foundation & concealer). I used beauty blenders for a year until I saw this one at Target. I had seen many YouTubers using this orange sponge, and they were only a fraction of the cost of beauty blenders from Sephora.

So, for the past month or so I ditched the beauty blender and used this real technique sponge. GUYS, IT IS BETTER THAN THE BEAUTY BLENDER…

The sponge itself (when dampened) feels so much softer on the skin and applies makeup just as flawlessly as beauty blenders do.

The only con I have found is that makeup is more difficult to wash out of it, but that’s not a big problem since I can replace it more frequently given their lower cost.

Target offers returns on beauty products, so why not try it?!

Steve Madden’s Softey Slide

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I admit, I initially was a skeptic of the fuzzy slide trend… but once you try them on you’ll love them!

Before I found these ones I purchased some from American Eagle and they were AWFUL. The bottom felt like it was made out of styrofoam and overall was very cheaply made (but was not cheap).

However, these ones by Steve Madden are durable indoors & outdoors, are available in multiple colors, and come with free shipping & easy returns from Nordstrom!

If you’ve been wanting fuzzy slides I highly recommend these ones!

Side note– I sized up in these from 7 to 8. They are also available in big kids sizes from Nordstrom if you have a size 7/6 and below foot you could go that route and save money!

Marble Stapler by Threshold – Target

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White marble made me do it??

OK, my obsession with white marble is real and this stapler has gold too!!

This is from Target (Target made me do it??) and is one of many the white marble office objects they have. So, if you need a stapler for dorm life or for adding some flare to your desk– this is the one!

Windex Electronics Wipes

img_0991These are great for cleaning smudges and fingerprints off of my laptop + phone!  I like to store them in my laptop case for easy access.

For students or anyone who uses their laptop for working, I definitely recommend these to keep your tech clean! They are completely safe and are also great for cleaning phone cases as well.


Thank you for reading! 🙂

I’d love to read + check out your September favorites in the comments!

Love always,

K♥

 

College: “10 things to start the year off right”

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With my junior year at the University of Washington just kicking off this week, I am sharing  a new post that I wrote for our university paper, The Daily.

In order to have the most successful, fulfilling, and productive year I wrote about the top 10 things you can do early on to prepare + help yourself later. From goal setting to adapting your sleep schedule to going to professors’ office hours, I share my advice for kicking the year off to a great start.

Here it is!!! Click to read 🙂

 

5 Things I Wish I Knew as a College Freshman

Sending a warm, smile-filled hello to all of my readers!

Since this is back to school season I am sharing a short list of a few of the things I wish I would’ve known before entering college.

To those of you who are freshman I hope these help you to adjust to college life and to make the most of the next four years!

And, to those of you who are no longer freshman, what would do you wish that you could tell the freshman version of yourself? I’d love to hear your advice for starting college as well as throughout the entire experience!

Thank ya’ll for reading! 🙂


 

  1. Picking your major isn’t the biggest decision you’ll ever make. Sure, some majors can lead directly into career pathways, but there are plenty of majors that teach you more general skills or “teach you how to learn.” I spent way too much time worrying about which major is “perfect” for me, when my answer turned out to be none. No major is perfect, all have their own challenges. In the end, it was taking a variety of classes and noticing patterns in the types of courses that I enjoyed that led me to my majors, not overthinking / attempting to plan my whole life out at 18 years old.
  2. Listen to your heart and mind when making choices, not one or the other. One of the biggest challenges I have when it comes to decision-making is listening to both my heart + head. In the past, I have leaned to heavily on one or the other, and have regretted either making a decision that was either too emotional or too logical (i.e. what looks good on paper vs. what my gut says). To do this try giving your self as much time as you need to make decisions, rather than rushing.
  3. TRY RANDOM CLASSES. Take the course on dinosaurs, volcanoes, space travel, architecture. Now is the time to indulge yourself in learning new material and to be surrounded by knowledgeable professors who are experts in their respective fields. Trust me, this is a once in a lifetime opportunity to fill yourself up with knowledge from all across the board. Plus, you never know what subject could start you down an academic path that you never even considered. So, why not?
  4. Write letters to friends + family (and don’t stop). For me, my freshman year of college was the first time I had really ever been away from close family and friends, so I discovered the magic of sending & receiving handwritten letters. Not only are they great means of communication and keeping updated, but receiving a letter is such a refreshing surprise. At the same time, the letters that you send can have the same positive effect on your recipients. Plus, there is something genuine + raw about taking the time to write to another, something that text messages and emails lack.
  5. College is a fresh start, so feel free to reinvent yourself, take risks, and be the person you want to be. Being surrounded by people who haven’t known you for basically your whole life (throughout K-12) gives you the unique opportunity of recreating yourself in a space in which you don’t have to worry about others comparing who you are now to who you used to be, since they have no preconceived ideas about who you are. So, fake it until you make it (no one will know the difference).

Love always,

K♥

CLOUDY DAY AT MT. RAINIER NATIONAL PARK JULY 2017 // PHOTO DIARY

Wherever I go I have a habit of snapping TONS of pics! While I have too many to share on social media, I thought that my blog would be the perfect place to share them. So, here is another photo diary, this time from a day Kyle + I spent hiking at Mt. Rainier National Park. While it was in the upper 70s at home, it was in the 50s up in the mountains. S/O to cloudy days, they’re my favorite for hiking and photography.

On this day we hiked to Tolmie Peak Lookout, one of four remaining fire lookouts in the park. Although the clouds blocked our view from the top, they did add a magical yet somewhat eerie effect onto Lake Eunice (along w/ the other bodies of water along the way), the trees, and the meadows.

Hope you enjoy 🙂

 

 

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Love always,

K♥