Choose Real

It makes me sad how easy it is to forget that every single person on this earth is amazing and incredible and has a beautiful gift to share. I just want to see people right in the middle of their amazing. Right in the middle of their inspiring and unbelievable.

I don't know exactly what the answer to this problem is but I think it has something to do with being okay with being vulnerable.

The only thing between my fully real self and your fully real self is courage. Both the courage to expose the things that we have labeled too delicate to share and the courage to shower one another with love on the occasion that someone does show their true self.

There is too much beauty out there that is being hidden because we are scared to sit in vulnerability. I know it's going to be scary but let's all just take a deep breath and choose real today, together.

with love,



No wait. Cross out that first line. To do all of that I first have to let go of all of it. I need to refocus the lens on my life and recognize that knocking down my idols is the only way to have a God-filled life. And having a God-filled life is the only way to have a joy-filled life.

A soul is heavy thing to hold. Our emotions and needs are complex. And each time we expect the things of this world to sustain us, they will fall through. God is the only one who can sustain me.

That is not to say that I can't or shouldn't enjoy all of the wonderful things listed. It just means that I cannot worship them or lean on them. A relationship, a loving bond, with my creator is the only way I can access an impossible and everlasting joy.

God did not create me to play games with He created us out of an abundance of love. He had so much love that he wanted to share it. And through the same magnificent love He created this beautiful Earth for you and me to live in. But He never intended for me to be so blinded and distracted by the Earth's wonders and beauty that I forget Him, who made it all.

He made all these wonders to point back to him- not because he is egotistical, but simply because he knows that since he created us he is the only thing that can save us from our sin.

And Don't get me wrong! I fully intend to do all of the things on this list. And God wants for us to enjoy this beautiful world He planned and designed so carefully. But one the thing I don't desire is a life I have control of. I want my God at the reigns directing me to the best life for me. Because, although it is hard to believe, the best life, better than I can fathom, is one lived through faith for God. Only then will I feel truly alive.

with love,


2. "Spark"

The second short story in Cold Tangerines talks about the "spark" that God puts inside of each of us to crave his love and light. I can completely relate to this quote from the story! Shauna compares her re-introduction to a life filled with Christ to learning to walk after an accident. I have never been in any kind of accident but I definitely have like she describes!

I run cross country, do theatre and photography, and on top of everything I decided that it was a good idea for me to take all honors classes (more on that later). It is a lot to handle from day to day and I often get to the weekend without even glancing at my bible! I hate that I let myself do this week after week because it honestly affects my attitude so much. I often don't realize the negative effects that it has on me every day until I finally make time to get back into God's word and actually spend time with him. Lately I have been feeling so busy and like I don't even have a second to think! I have learned that this is my queue that I am (once again) leaving God out of my everyday life. So, starting last week I have been scheduling time into my day to spend with God. Even if it is just fifteen minutes before I go to bed, my time alone with Him has become so important to me!

Reading this story, it surprised me how accurate her description of feeling that craving for God was and it was the perfect reminder that God really is a priority in my life. I want Him to be there, sometimes I just ignore the "spark" too many times and it loses its affect in me. 

This week will be my second week getting back into my youth group and small group bible study and I can already see the difference in my mood throughout the day. I look forward to the weeks to come when I can indulge even further in Christ's word. 

"Set a fire down in my soul
That I can't contain and I can't control
I want more of you God, I want more of You God."
- Jesus Culture With Martin Smith - Set A Fire Lyrics

with love,


I want to...

            thanks to
            thanks to

bf jeans

Indulge: in this.


Do: vintage button statement necklace

Listen: Ingrid Michaelson "Lights Out"


1. "On Waiting"

if you haven't read my introduction to this series please check it out here!

I  like to think of reading Cold Tangerines as a sort of journey, a quest to find a deeper part of myself. That is really why I wanted to read the book- I knew it would challenge me to be more content and take full advantage of the life God has given me.  The first sentence of the book story really stopped me in my tracks. It says, "I have always essentially, been waiting". To some, this sentence may not be profound in any way, but the second I read it I knew this was the perfect place to start my journey. Here's why...

I have a sign in my room that says "Chase your dreams". One night, about two years ago,  I just looked at it and got sort of angry at myself. I had hung it on the wall as a cute little decoration that I found at a thrift store. But I had not been paying attention to the message at all! At the time, I was waking up at 6:45 each morning, scrambling to get out the door, going to school for eight hours, and then coming home and doing homework for three or four more hours. I was mentally, physically, and emotionally exhausted and as I said before, I was angry. Angry that I had no time to spend on the things that make me happy. I was angry that I had so much creativity and passion building up inside of me all day, everyday and I didn't know what to do with it! I had so many things that I wanted to pursue- photography, fashion, interior design, writing, baking, reading, dancing, and on and on! I felt so stuck because I never had time for anything! I had meltdowns every other night it felt like because I was so stressed out and upset. In a time where everyone around me was devoted to something, I felt like I had nothing. 

So as I sat there, on my bed that night, staring at the sign, I decided that something needed to change. I was going into high school soon and I was not going to let one more second of my time be wasted or taken for granted. That was the night I decided to start my blog. 

I knew that a lot of my interests were not things that I could directly do (like interior design) but I could still explore them through my blog! Z E S T. became a way for me to roll up all of the things that I love into a neat little ball and throw it out into the world bits at a time, with every post that I published.

So having said all that, I just want to say thank. you. Shauna. for reminding me once again what I vowed to myself that night- not to take my life for granted. To stop waiting for change to come and make it happen! I will try to remind myself on a daily basis not to waste away the amazing gift that God has given me. Life.
with love,


pink and navy

pink and navy
Hey lovelies, just a quick update for now! This was my outfit for the day just thought I would share it with you all! It was a little chilly this morning so I went for some riding boots and a cream-colored long sleeve with navy stripes that I paired with a pink scarf for some additional color! Hope you enjoy!
with love,


a life that sizzles and pops.

taken from here

Back when it was still sunny and I wasn't in school all day, I got together with my friend Riley just to catch up and talk life before we both parted ways to go to different high schools in the fall. She brought a book with her that day, it was called  Cold Tangerines. Riley and I have similar tastes in just about everything and when I saw the title of the book I knew this would be no different. I asked her what it was about and she replied by reading to me one of the fourty-three short stories that make up the book. The one she read to me was called "Puppies". It was about the small group of girls that she had led in a bible-study before she moved and how much they meant to her. The story was so appropriate and touching because Riley and I were about to enter our second year together in a small group led by a high school girl, named Alex, who was soon to move away from us to go to college.

So, there we were sitting in this super chill local juice & tea place, Riley reading aloud to me this book. With every word I fell more and more in love with Cold Tangerines and Shauna's writing. By the end of the story I had decided that I had to get my hands on the book.

I just received the book a few weeks ago as a birthday gift from my mother. My birthday was on a Monday and I was a little bummed that I would have to ride the bus home on my birthday but as I was running out the door I threw the book in my backpack to keep me company on my home. When I got onto the bus that afternoon I opened up the book and read the firs story; easily falling in love with Shauna's words all over again. I have only read a few of the stories so far- I have been trying not to speed through the book, but instead savor it because I know when it is over I will be very sad. So, I thought maybe if I document my thoughts about each story I read here, on the blog, I can look back and enjoy it over and over again, and so can you! So this will be the first post in a large series of my thoughts and reactions to Cold Tangerines. I hope you all will go out and buy it for yourselves so that we can experience it together! If you do decide to decide to try it out please let me know in the comments or by email, I would love to chat! Happy reading!

with love,