Monthly Archives: September 2014

Out of Hiding


Hello, again world! I’m back after almost two weeks of MIA status. Last week was long and full of school & work related to-do lists, events, and hours into the night. Ya know, sometimes I have to sit back and remember I’m a student, ha! I’m sure most of you have been there. Time just seems to escape. Well, as soon as I was back & ready, planning out content for this month, the worst of the worst happened: I spilt water on my Macbook. Yeah, it’s been a pretty overwhelming last few days filled with lots of rice and lots of praying. I was coming to terms with the fact that I was going to have to shell out quite a bit of money for a repair when I tried one last time to turn it on and on goes the light of the screen! What! Needless to say, I am incredibly thankful. Nothing but grace over that situation. And, I’m seriously excited to have access to my blog again! Just wanted to pop in to fill ya in on life currently. Saying goodnight as September draws to a close, & excited to wake up to one of my favorite months of the year!


*photo by Abby Henry

The Girl Behind The Blog

blake reynolds about me

1. I am twenty-one years young, born & raised in Dallas, Texas. I’m a December baby with southern roots!

2. I’m the oldest of three girls in the family. I have two younger sisters who are twins. I’ve been told many times I have ‘motherly’ qualities, and I have a good feeling being the oldest is a big reason for that!

3. I met Jesus when I was 16 & my life was given new a new purpose, marked by his grace, love, & freedom. He is the reason my present is able to present itself whole in spite of the brokenness in my past. He is my greatest joy, my ongoing song, my truest friend, and my deepest love.

4. A few deep, intimate friendships mean far more to me than a heavy load of acquaintances. Cultivating, sustaining, and digging-deep into relationships is one of the things I value the most.

5. I’m an introvert. I state this because I’ve been told many times otherwise. I have concluded that I am what you call a friendly introvert. I can hold up conversation, dance-party the night away, and work a crowd, but at the end of the day, my first choice is always alone time. I cherish the quiet moments, the moments of reflection, the moments of stillness.

6. I am a senior at the University of Arkansas studying Visual Design with an emphasis in Graphic Design & Photography, with a minor in Marketing. Whew, that’s a mouthful. I get asked this question of ‘what I’m studying’ quite a bit & stating it takes an awkward amount of time. So, there ya go.

7. If you want to really get to know me, knowing my happy-list is a good start. Here are a few of my favorites: slow mornings, breakfast (for breakfast, lunch, dinner, brunch, brinner, linner, & everything in between. I love breakfast food), hot coffee, daisies, & finding those hole-in-the-wall coffee shops where you can get lost in your thoughts.

8. The passions of my heart lie in creativity. There’s so much to that statement. I feel like I’ve dabbled in so many different areas, but I’ve narrowed it down (maybe not) to a few creative outlets that I really thrive & find myself in: design, styling, photography, fashion, music, & painting.

9. Worship leading & music ministry are huge of my heart…if you don’t know me personally, you may not know that. This part of me has been in a waiting period for the past few years. I’m expectant and excited for the season on the horizon…

10. Lastly, just some fun this or that questions: Dogs or Cats? Dogs. No question. Hot or Cold? Gimme that sweater weather. Chocolate or Vanilla? Vanilla! Beach or Mountains? Beach, please. There’s nothing like the ocean. Coffee or Tea? Coffee, coffee, coffee. East Coast or West Coast? West coast all the way… Early Bird or Night Owl? Early bird

Lessons Learned

lessons learned advice Each season leads us through different hallways, with doors opening and shutting left and right. Opportunities arise, leading you one way, while others shut, bringing you to a place of confusion, wondering if you ever went through the right door in the first place. This summer was an open door for me. A door I walked through, that only led to many others. Other people, other opportunities, other lessons, waiting to be approached. Some doors stayed open, some closed, each of them teaching me something new. Today I want to share with you all some of the important lessons I learned this summer. They challenged me, grew me, and motivated me to move forward in life, ready to take on the world. I hope they do the same for you.


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Best Coffee Shops of Los Angeles California

5 Best Coffee Shops of Los Angeles

If you know me at all, you know that coffee shops are an escape for my introverted self, a treasure to search for, and pretty much number one on my happy list. Whenever I’m traveling in a new area, or adventuring in one I’ve known for a while, I make it a point to find the best coffee spots around. Being in Southern California this summer, these were not hard to come by. I felt like there was shop after shop, with equally good coffee as there was good aesthetic. After visiting a handful, I decided to compile a list of some of my favorites, because I can’t be the only one looking for a unique place to enjoy a cup of coffee & enjoy the slow (or busy) moments. ..


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Saying Farewell…

saying farewell

 Good-bye’s are never easy. Saying good-bye reflects change. Which, depending on what kind of person you are, can either get you excited or make you a little sick to the stomach. Change can be scary, unknown, and uncomfortable. But change can also be exhilarating, positive, and refreshing. 

I feel that I have known a life very acquainted with good-byes, especially since being in college. My heart is constantly in multiple places, with various people. Each of these people whom I have to say good-bye to as trips come to close, reality settles in, and transition continues to unfold. 

This summer I said hello, and I said good-bye to a place that expanded my idea of dreaming, romanced my future-self, and took captive & renewed my view of life and all it has to offer. I feel that being in California introduced me to new passions and re-introduced me to old one’s I’ve let slide by. It reminded me of who I am, who I want to be, and the doors that are swinging wide for me to get there. 


When I first arrived in California, it was like every dream that had been piling on top of each other had finally found its place. What was bottled up inside of me, ready to be released, seemed to effortlessly settle and exhale when I arrived. Everything about it felt like the home I had never known. The freshness of the air, the way the sky seemed just a little more blue, the sand at my feet, in my hair, on my face. 


My good-bye’s reside with the place as much as they do with the people. Working for Krochet Kids intl. was a dream come true. I was welcomed in with open arms, invited to join this family, knit together by a cause called love. I couldn’t have asked for a better immersion into ‘the real world’. My time interning stretched me, taught me, sharpened me, and empowered me. And who would have thought, a house of ten girls from all over the country, working and living together, would leave  being known by their love for each other. 


Our last night together as a staff held a mix of emotions. Feelings of gratitude, reflection, and love immersed us all as we remembered the summer that had taken place. Hanging on each other’s words, laughing about stories we’ll never forget, and trying our best to stretch out each moment to delay our farewell. With tears, hugs, and laughter, the sun set behind the horizon, signaling the close of the season. Bitter-sweet hearts, we said our good-byes to a summer we’d never forget.


What does ‘good-bye’ mean for you? How does change make you feel? As hard as it is to say good-bye, when it’s hard, it’s evidence of time well spent and life well lived. Now, that’s something to smile about. I never want good-bye’s to be easy. I want them to hurt. I want to feel a part of myself exiting when I depart from a person or place. I want it to be evidence of investment in people, in places. I want to know that I gave all that I am to the people around me. I want to know I left deep footprints in the places I have lived life. 

So I say farewell to this chapter with excitement and expectancy. I’m thankful to have encountered what I did, and I’m expectant for the journey I’m walking on. Expectant to give myself, time and time again, to the people and places I step into. Expectant for more doors to be open, and closed, leading me continually along this narrow, good, path that has been set before me. Onward. 


California Bucket List: Thousand Steps + Acai

Thousand Steps in Laguna Beach
Try an Acai Bowl

Have you ever heard of Thousand Steps in Laguna Beach? I hadn’t, but apparently all the locals know about it. It’s a beach off 9th street in Laguna that has three-hundred-something steps to climb down in order to get to the beach! On one hand, that’s a lot of work, but on the other, it means a less crowded beach! 

Thousand Steps, Laguna Beach, CAThousand Steps - Laguna Beach, CAThousand Steps - Laguna Beach, CA


The beach itself is filled with big rocks. They look beautiful, but make swimming a little dangerous. Be sure when going into swim, to stay far away from them. The current gets strong and can easily push you into the rocks. 


Thousand Steps - Laguna Beach, CAThousand Steps - Laguna Beach, CA

Thousand Steps Beach had some of the bluest water I saw the whole trip (besides La Jolla in San Diego). When you swam, you could look down and see your toes! I have a love-hate relationship with clear water. It sure is beautiful, but I’d rather not see the fish I’m accompanied by in the water! Overall, I’d say it’s a must-see in Southern California. The walk back up from the beach to the road is killer, but totally worth it for a beautiful beach!


Acai Bowls. Have you ever heard of acai berries? It’s a superfood heavy in antioxidants. One common meal in Southern California is Acai Bowls. Which, essentially, is puree’d acai topped with fruit & granola. 

acai bowl california

Acai Bowls were such a fun, fresh breakfast or lunch option. I always felt infinitely better after than before. I totally understood what the rage was all about after having one. 

acai bowl californiaacai bowl california

^Aftermath of Acai. There were so many different acai places to choose from, but after trying a few, Banzai Bowls was definitely the winner in my book. Theirs tasted the most fresh & flavorful. There are four different locations in SoCal for you to try! I highly recommend this beach town staple. 


Well, after a full summer, I completed as much as I could of the California Bucket List:

-Sunset on Superior Ave. (Theres a big hill that overlooks the ocean, super pretty.)
Bike to the Wedge  (Driving to the Wedge still counts, right?)
-Disneyland (Too broke…plus, I’ve been! If you haven’t, Disney is a must when in California!)
-Rose Bowl Flea Market
-Thousand Steps in Laguna Beach
Morning coffee at Inspiration Point
Try a waffle sandwich 
Photo booth at the Ace Hotel
Wine at the Gypsy Den (I’ll post about this in my coffee shop review in a week-or-so!)
Try an Acai Bowl
Sleep on the beach  
-Yoga at Darling HQ (No yoga, but going to the Darling Dinner was even better in my book!)