my favorite things // 02-17-2014

I didn’t do my usual “favorite things” post on Saturday, since I’m in the middle of this whole “blog every day in February” thing with set prompts and such, and I kinda missed it! This past week was quite solid, and chock full of little moments of goodness, but I’ll narrow it down.

1. BLOGGING. Holy cow I have spent so much time on it lately. With writing a post every day, plus tweaking with the overall design of this here blog, it’s been a lot. I’m not sure if I should call it wasting time, or being productive. It makes me feel better to think I’m accomplishing something, so we’re going to go with the productivity description. Plus, there’s some serious enjoyment going on over here with all of this, so it’s a win-win in my eyes. I talked about my future blogging hopes in this post, and I seriously wish that work and an education didn’t have to happen all the time, because I totally have the capacity sit at my laptop for hours doing blog-related things. I’d say finally buying my own domain ( was one of the highlights of my week, mainly because now I feel super-legit (although whether I really am legit or not is quite debatable).

ski jump

2. THE OLYMPICS. Yes, I know I already mentioned this in another favorites post, but guys, it just keeps getting better! I’m about ready to become a figure skater over here. And if that doesn’t work out, then Plan B is the ski jump. The thrill-seeking side of me is making its appearance, and flying through the air, without anything holding you up, or holding you back, just looks like some serious fun. (image source)


3. THROWIN’ IT BACK. I watched “Camp Rock” on Saturday morning, and “High School Musical 2” last weekend, because, well, they were on Netflix, and why not. I was in the mood for some nostalgia and a throwback to the days when Disney Channel original movies were my favorite movies ever. Since this was back before the popularity of Facebook and Twitter and all of that, my best friend and I sent each other emails full of lots of colored font, all-caps sentences, and numerous exclamations of excitement for weeks before High School Musical 2 was about to come out. Let’s just say that watching those movies this time around was a bit more amusing than it was when I was in middle school… (image source)

4. UNEXPECTED COMPLIMENTS. They’re just the nicest, you know?

5. BLUE SKIES AFTER RAIN. I’ve actually really enjoyed the torrential rain the past few days here, and it has made for some epic running adventures, but today the sky is a medium-soft blue and I love it. The world is beginning to hint just a tiny bit at spring, and it’s wonderful.

What are your favorite things lately?


If you’re a blogger, feel free to join in #blogeverydayinFEB!


other places to find me (because making friends is fun, right?!):

twitter >>> @tessabrynnk

bloglovin’ >>> life and loveliness

pinterest >>> tessa kohler


a hard lesson learned // accepting

Accepting life, and all that it throws at me, and all the different turns it takes me around is hard. I think that this is something that everyone naturally struggles with, since no one really enjoys falling, but I also feel like it’s one thing that is particularly hard for me. I’ve been fairly successful in school, and in many other endeavors in my life, but I almost wish that this wasn’t the case, so I would be better at accepting the times of struggle, and better at opening my heart to receive guidance.

This past fall, I had to learn the lesson to truly trust in my Heavenly Father, and in what He sees for my life, since He has everything figured out so much better than I could ever imagine.

This past fall, I had something in mind that I wanted to badly. It seemed like the perfect direction for me to go in, and I told myself over and over that it was right, and that everything was going to play out perfectly, and that it all made sense.

I had prayed about it, and over-thought every aspect of it about a million times. But what I was missing was keeping my heart open and accepting of whatever God’s path for me was. Through those months of prayer, searching for the right path, searching so hard for a confirmation that the direction I was wanting to take was the right one, my heart wasn’t truly open. When I used the logical part of my brain, the path I was wanting to take made sense in every way. In reality, though, I was tricking myself and not admitting that I wasn’t as accepting of God’s will as I continued to tell myself I was.

As I prayed all those prayers, I told myself that I would be fine the answer I received. I told myself over and over, trying to convince myself, I think, that my heart was open, and the right answer would come, and be crystal-clear. The thing is, I think I received my answer from God early on, at the very beginning of the whole soul-searching process, but since it wasn’t the one I thought I wanted, I made myself ignore it and continue searching for what must be the real right answer.

Eventually I became so confident that it would all work out, that my dreams would be realized, that my brain had it all figured out right. But then it didn’t. It didn’t work out. The opportunity I wanted to badly to take hold of, that I had worked so hard to qualify for crashed down in front of my face.

But when I failed, when that door I so badly wanted to step through closed in front of me, I actually felt deeply at peace. Deep down, the entire time I had been searching for God’s approval for the path I wanted to turn down, approval that my brain was telling me to do the right thing, I knew that He had actually already told me at the beginning that it wasn’t right. I had just continued to choose to ignore that, and move forward, and convince myself that I hadn’t received my answer yet. It was a hard thing to finally come to terms with myself and admit that it took the physical, definitive answer to convince myself that my proposed direction was wrong for me. Where had all of my trust, and my faith gone, if I was at the point where I was ignoring the truth that had been placed right at my feet? All of this caused me to step back and re-evaluate my level of reliance on my Father in Heaven, and my capacity to accept true promptings and move forward.

That day that I received my ‘no,’ I was humbled. I learned the hard, but beautiful lesson that there is something spectacular and grand going on somewhere beyond this world. Through that peace and comfort I felt that day, I received a witness that although disappointment and a dashing of hopes is hard, the magnificent way that everything will work out in the end will be so much better than any future I could possibly imagine.

This experience taught me to put my whole trust in my Heavenly Father’s plan. I learned that if I want to save myself a lot of heartache in the deciding-and-seeking-for-confirmation process, the very best thing to do is to keep my heart completely open for answers, the entire time, and to give myself over to His will from the very beginning. I’ve learned that life works so much better, and peace comes so much more consistently when I remember to trust, and to accept, even (or especially) when my original thoughts don’t match up with the larger picture. 

I learned that trust – complete and infinite and whole – always, always works.


If you’re a blogger, feel free to join in on #blogeverydayinfeb!


a big dream

This whole writing-pretty-words-on-a-blog thing has sneaked up on me. It kind of appeared out of nowhere. I started this blog on a complete whim, having just discovered some wonderful blogs, written by beautiful writers, and feeling the urge to write something myself. I was in an eloquent mood that night, I remember, just itching to get some sort of something out through my fingertips, itching to type up some words of possible merit for the world to read.

And guess what I’ve figured out?

I love this. I really, really love this, this writing-a-pretty-word-blog-thing – all aspects of it – writing, designing, connecting with people around the internet – all of it, no matter how much of a novice I may be at it. It’s all a learning process, and a hard one at that, but I’m enjoying this journey.

So lately, I’ve had this dream that has been tapping me on the shoulder for the past month or so, making me peek open my eyes just a tad to have a look at it.

I’m at a point in my life where the future is wiiiide open. I have so many options just sitting in front of me, both staring me down and enticing me at the same time. This dream that I’ve had lately is one that is particularly far off in the distance, but it’s gradually becoming one of the most enticing options out of the group.

So what is this dream? I have this crazy, far-off, daunting dream of getting to the point where blogging is my job, of being a full-time blogger. I want to be read, to be heard, to maybe, just maybe inspire someone or make someone’s day brighter.

Yes, I know that this takes so. much. work. I feel like a lot of it is just the luck of the draw, but I also feel like it is an attainable goal, if you put enough work in.

So yes…it’s a terribly daunting thought. And I’m not expecting to achieve this goal anytime in the near future. But I at least want to try.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about “my perfect day.” This vision of my perfect day that has gradually formed over the past few months makes me excited, but nervous at the same time that there’s no possible way that any single aspect of it could be realized. Not that I’m expecting it all to come to exact fruition (it’s a perfect day, in an imperfect world, after all), but I still have this hope that maybe, just maybe something amazingly similar could happen.

My perfect day would just be a normal day, but would involve a few specific, lovely details: my own New York City apartment, some hot chocolate, the perfect shade of lipstick on my lips, and spending my days writing beautiful, rhythmic, eloquent words for this lovely blog. It sounds so simple, and so easy, and it sounds like I just want to be lazy all my life, and that I’m just looking at the future through rose-tinted glasses, but I’m not expecting it to be a piece of cake.

The bottom line is that I know that I can’t count on this blog taking off and being wildly successful, but I can at least put hard work, and passion, and reality into it, and these words. And I know that every “How to be the best blogger ever” post mentions something about being yourself, and keeping your blogging less profit-driven, so believe me, that’s not at the forefront of my mind. I just love writing, and doing the blogging thing, and it’s something I can genuinely see myself doing for something closer to a career, and less as a hobby.

But don’t worry, the words and the work will come first. I am determined to not let myself get lost in the goals, and the means to the goals.


The words will always come first, I promise.

WHAT IS YOUR BIG DREAM? Leave a comment and tell me about it – I love hearing from you! 


If you’re a blogger, feel free to join in #blogeverydayinFEB!


other places to find me (because making friends is fun, right?!):

twitter >>> @tessabrynnk

bloglovin’ >>> life and loveliness

pinterest >>> tessa kohler

romantic things…

Happy Valentine’s Day!

I’m not gonna lie, I do miss the days of elementary school where you decorated your own Valentine’s box with red and pink construction paper and bought cute, slightly cheesy valentines to give to your classmates. I remember over-thinking it way too much and trying to make sure the boys in my class received valentines that were the most un-romantic possible. I also went through all of the valentines I received from the boys and reading waaay too far into each of the messages printed on the store-bought valentines, trying to figure out which ones had a secret crush on me. Ah the simpler days…

Personally, I love a holiday dedicated to romance (even though it has become increasingly more commercial), even though I don’t necessarily have any significant other to spend the holiday with. It’ll all happen in it’s own due time, ya know? Some people can get a tad cynical about Valentine’s Day, but I figure that good intentions and happy, lovely things are at the root of this holiday, so I’ll take it!

If you haven’t guessed already, I have an obsession with all things romance-related, and I get some strange sense of happiness by searching for romantic pictures on Pinterest. I think city-romance pictures are my favorite. So to celebrate love, and romantic cuteness, here are some of my favorite pictures that I’ve pinned on my “Romantic things…” Pinterest board. Also, to read some beautiful words about love, read this post that I discovered today! Enjoy, and I sincerely hope you have a beautiful day, whether it is spent with someone or not!


















other places to find me (because making friends is fun, right?!):

twitter >>> @tessabrynnk

bloglovin’ >>> life and loveliness

pinterest >>> tessa kohler

quote // always thankful


I’ve seen this hanging out around Pinterest a lot, and it’s a phrase that has stuck with me ever since the first time I saw it. Just a little reminder to live with a thankful heart!

What’s your favorite quote?


If you’re a blogger, feel free to join in the #blogeverydayinFEB challenge!


other places to find me:

twitter >>> @tessabrynnk

bloglovin’ >>> life and loveliness

pinterest >>> tessa kohler