january ad swaps

Wednesday, December 26, 2012


Yes you!

This is an official request for new or old ad-swappers for the month of January. Ya know, the thing where you post streetlights to stars' ad on your blog and I post yours on mine. You know the drill.

Anyway, I'm really excited about some new sponsorship posts and series coming up and I've love for you to be a part of all of it. Part of the reason why I blog is to create relationships with people I wouldn't otherwise meet, and I see this as a great opportunity to do just that.

If you're interested or have more questions or just want to say hi, shoot me a message over at streetlightstostars{at}gmail{dot}com

Thanks! Can't wait to hear from you!

new {old} music

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Do you know Chris Koza? He’s a Minneapolis-based singer-songwriter that’s toured the country as both a solo artist and with his band, Rogue Valley. Read more about him here.

Recently, Chris has been performing his Song of the Earth Mass, an arrangement that reworks the Lutheran liturgy into something new and yet classically beautiful. I've been listening to these six tracks over and over the past few days and still can't get enough!

And guess what! There’s a free, live version to listen to here. Check it out, you won’t be sorry. It’s the perfect tune to awaken the experience of this faith-filled season and refocusing of our hearts.

And don’t forget to give a shout out to Chris Koza and Mercy Seat Church on twitter if you like what you hear: @ChrisKoza , @Mercy_Seat_NE . 

gift catalog

Saturday, December 15, 2012

As we’re gearing up for all that gift buying, I just wanted to give a little shout out to my dear friends in Honduras. If you remember, I spent last year working there at a kid’s home. Give Hope 2 Kids has put out a gift catalog as a way to get the word out about what their upcoming needs are.

This is an awesome way to spend some of that dough that’s burning a hole in your pocket or give a gift in honor of a friend or family member. 

Supporting this ministry has been an honor for me because I know that those kids are in a safe and loving environment where they find family and better opportunities to grow into successful and fulfilled adults. It gets me so excited!! Take a look through the catalog and see what you think!

Check it out here

Read more about Give Hope 2 Kids ministry here

happy santa lucia day

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Happy Santa Lucia Day! I've been convinced this is the best holiday by far by my Scandinavian roommates. Per tradition, Elise brought in fresh banana bread and coffee to each of our rooms on a plate with a candle lit {I might add, this was/is one of our advent candles from the living room which just adds a little hilarity.}

The tradition comes from early Christian times, I'm told, but per the Wikipedia page, there are several variations of the story. My roommate has done this since she was a little girl, with her mom they'd get up before dawn and serve coffee and treats to the rest of their family before they got out of bed. 

In short, it's a day to recognize the early church, service to one another, and light overcoming darkness.

Have any of you grown up with this tradition? It was totally new to me but old hat to some of my friends. At any rate, if it entails coffee before my feet hit the ground in the morning, I'm game.

get together

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

I know it's Wednesday night but I'm still dreaming about last weekend. One of our dear friends Kayla came to visit after her recent semester in South Africa. Since it was also her birthday, there was much to celebrate with old and new friends, some great food and a lot of memory-making adventures.

We went out to brunch on Sunday morning at one of our favorite spots with one of our favorite servers {cough*JT*cough}. Before we left Kayla asked if it was turning into a blizzard outside. I, naturally, scoffed and denied it. When we went to go fetch our car and drive home there was too much snow on the ground to make it there. So we park the car and have to walk back, in the blizzard, to our favorite brunch place with out favorite server and and ask if he would use his manly man skills to rescue the three, wet, drowned rat looking ladies. {see below photo} He obliged and a couple hours later we were back in our cozy house with a bowl of popcorn and a good tv series. 

Good company makes it all worthwhile. 

photo credit goes to kayla and several other bystanders. we love you. glad you came.

christmas tree hunting

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Tuesday night, the roommates and I, we took a little outing to pick out our Christmas tree. 
{Because I decided I’d be totally for winter this year instead of against it. 
We’ve got a rocky friendship but we’re working on it.} 

This tree is great. And perfect for getting anyone in the mood to celebrate this quiet peaceful season when everything outside seems to go to sleep for awhile.

I love thinking about the distinctive images of wintertime -- that cozy spot on the old leather chair, the warm fire, the steamy drinks, the treats, the sharing of stories, the fulfillment of traditions and the reminder that we are one, with the togetherness of holding each other close under the frozen blanket of the season. A fellowship created by and for one another.

Yes. That might just be the sweet spot of the season. 

What’s your favorite thing about this time of year? 

give thanks

Monday, November 26, 2012

JT and I took a little jaunt over to Seattle for Thanksgiving this year. These were pretty much the only pictures I took on the whole trip. I really need to get better at that. It was such an honor to be able to meet and spend time with his family and although I may have missed the beginnings of Minnesota snow, there was no shortage of rain on the west coast. Shocking, I know. Also shocking, I ate my weight in mashed potatoes. Okay, that one's not true.

Hope you all had a wonderful time spent with people you love.

Now let's get this Christmas show on the road! Next up: tree hunting with the roommates tomorrow. Yes!

the art of adulthood

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Since we're being so accurate here, I've officially been an adult now for two and a half months plus three days. i.e...my life officially mirrors 95% of those people that work full time and sort of live on their own. Okay, I made the statistic up. Moving on.

I hear from the life coach gods that life after college is a bit of a let-down. All of the sudden you don't live 1 mile away from all your best friends, party's over, no more five-week-long Christmas breaks, and government loans stop serving as your main source of income. Maybe it's true.

The thing is, I fled the country for a year after college so the growing pains didn't really start until just about right now.

And the thing is, there are things about being an adult that seem so very spectacular like decorating your own house, dressing up every day and having a consistent paycheck. No homework. Things of that nature. But pretty soon you realize that work is not optional just as class once was. And you don't have as much free-time as you thought. And you have to...wait for it...budget?! Yes. Budget. And be responsible.

Don't get me wrong here. There are so many things to be thankful for. I am so blessed with all of the people in my life, my work, my home...everything. Lots of times it's just easy to slip into a bit of a panic mode after thinking about paying your car insurance bill, choosing cheerios over apple jacks because they're better for you and having to vacuum on a regular basis.

Aren't adults supposed to have this life thing figured out?

If we're being truthful here, I may be having a bit of an identity crisis. Not the deep core kind of identity crisis...just like a circumstantial one. For example...after years of thinking I really disliked reading, I'm finding myself plowing through books faster than a librarian. And I like it. OR, sometimes, a cup of tea sounds better to me than coffee {did I just say that?!}. It's true. Okay so there are obviously more serious examples than that. But you get the idea.

So basically what I'm trying to say here is that life as of this season is about discovering this version of me. Not the one who's a Spanish major, not the one who lives in the jungle... but this one. This version.

I hear life doesn't get any easier. It's still full of it's brokenness, full of hardship, full of emptiness and lonely times and disappointment. But much of it is good. And we can focus on and celebrate those moments.

For the rest of the time, for reality's sake, I'm putting those big girl pants on.

Making some long term goals for pete's sake.
And starting to cook quinoa {because that's what adults do.} Ya hear me?

it is well

Thursday, November 8, 2012

These days I'm finding it very easy to be able to say this with a genuine heart. I have been overwhelmed with blessings beyond belief and really, the only thing to complain about over here is chipping nail polish and cloudy skies. {read: first world problems.}

I am reminded of this time last year as I was preparing to spend a good chunk of my year overseas. When my soul felt a bit on the rocks. A little lumpy. Uneasy. Stepping into the unknown wasn't safe or easy -- but it was good. And it turns out that walking through that experience was "well" in it's own kind of way. 

So after finding peace in the midst of change and uncertainty, knowing that God is ultimately the one that brings it in all circumstances, I am experiencing peace in this season of abundance. 

Today, this day, recognize your abundant blessings and give thanks. 

whirlwind thursday

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Welp. It's official. Working full time means never taking any pictures of anything anymore...does this happen to anyone else? I'm curious, those of you who do the same, how do you keep up with blogging? I really want to know. Struggle-fest over here.

So just for that, here's a picture I didn't take for your enjoyment. It snowed today, people. snowed. So excited that soon it might look a little like this outside. Lets just ignore the slush, frostbite and scraping the car windows off at 6am with your credit card because you can't locate your mega scraper.

This week my dear jungle roommates came to visit, they are on a fundraising trip so we got to have dinner and catch up. Their little girl Kelly makes me about die from cuteness overload. Oh and she speaks Spanish. 

Also this week, it was mister JT's birthday. I got him a Gore jersey. The Packer fan in me wants to cringe a little but you know what they say...people do crazy things for love. Do they say that? 
{who is they anyway?} We had a nice dinner and a SF Giants-watching week because if you weren't aware...they are in the World Series. And that JT can't be a happier camper. 

I'm not sure how we've arrived at Thursday night already but I'm not complaining. Oh and may I just share that I spent the entire day walking around with my dress completely unzipped in the back. Thank goodness for cardigans. {but still!} How was your Thursday?

 Looking forward to some major R&R this weekend. I'm thinking winter hat shopping, coffee sipping, netflix watching, and a chance of throwing something sweet in the oven.  

sunday margin

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Remember that one time when I talked about having a day of margin? Well I still mean it. And I happen to think today is one of those days.

Lets just all admit one thing for a second...Sundays without homework is a very magical thing.

So today is margin day -- a day to rest. to revive your spirit. to soak up this beautiful fall weather. to connect with favorite people. to read. to sleep in. to watch football the packers play. to eat a nice, slow, breakfast.

I think that last part is one of my favorites.

My true hope today is that you'd be able to do the same. Take some time for yourself. For your spirit.

What are you doing this day?
How do you take time to rest and to create a little margin in your life?

Happy Sunday, all. 

weekend with mamacita

Monday, October 15, 2012

Over the weekend my mother flew up to visit on a trip that would take about five hours to drive. I love her. And since I've suddenly become a terrible blogger and stopped documenting almost everything...I've got just a few pictures to share with you.

This weekend was Mama's first trip to Mall of America and, well, I think she liked it. We got our nails did and managed to snag a few slices of the best pizza in the world on Saturday night. Sunday we hung out downtown and enjoyed the noteworthy beautiful fall weather. Not to be confused with this windy cold crap we got goin' on.

The theater has a large room up on the top floor where you can look over the whole city. The only thing is that the glass is yellow and makes you feel crazy for a little bit.

This place is the old mill factory, now a museum. And from what I hear a pretty popular wedding venue. 

I just can't get enough of this city and I'm so glad Mama was able to come up and experience it with me!

What did you do this weekend??

little favorites

Saturday, October 6, 2012

All you full-time workers out there...I don't know how you find time to blog! Man! For the record, I am loving my new job but it has sure seemed to put a large dent in my free time.

Thought I'd share today a few little things that are making my life just spectacular...

The fall colors right in my driveway...I think I'm finally accepting the season >>

These new soaps from anthropologie >>

This silly rose gold Target watch >>

Little dates to JJ's after latino church service with my white boyfriend >>

Roommate's birthday decorations >>

Saturday mornings on the porch that look like this >>

>> What are your little favorite's lately?

little traditions

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

If you would so kindly allow me to be a little mushy for a hot second...

Last fall, I took a trip up to Minneapolis to visit a very kind and intriguing man of interest before I left on my year-long trip to Honduras. This was the first time we hung out together after meeting in Washington state that summer. We were both nervous. And both knew I was leaving for a long while. But, ya know...we've all been there, right?! Sometimes doing irrational things is good for you. And I said he was intriguing, did I not?

Well we went to a Twins game during that visit. And I don't remember much about that game but I do remember it as a night that we I knew we had something real special on our hands. I of course mean between us, not the game...even though baseball's great and all. 

Fast forward to a year later: I live here now {not because he does, it just ended up that way.} We live in the same city and I'm tell ya folks...it's the best thing ever.  Last night we went to the same Twins game, partially in memory of last fall, and I think it's become a little tradition now. 

Maybe someday I'll give ya'll the full lo-down on what the last year was like for us but for now it's tucked away in my heart as a very meaningful time. Our hearts are full and so thankful for what has been given to us to hold onto. All things really do work out for good. I really believe that.

{mush-fest ends here.}

I wanna know, what little traditions do you have?

P.S >> I'm guest posting over at Crossroads of the Heart about transitioning to a new city. Go check 'er out!

nik-so-ko-a, my relations

Friday, September 21, 2012


I spent last summer working on a Native American reservation. One thing that has always stuck out to me about that experience is when I learned what the word pronounced nik-so-ko-a meant -- My Relations.

The community there is like one I have never experienced before. People live to protect and stand by each other, their family, their relations. Nik-so-ko-a represents all of "your people", the ones who are close to your heart and influence your spirit.

I can't help but think about my relations, my people, who have been such an encouragement through this whole transition process. They have offered their time, their homes and their love to protect and encourage me. I am never alone, I was never alone. To me, community is what drives the heart and what so many of us crave -- because we were meant to. We were made for community. So today I give up an offering of thanks. Thanks for family, for community, and for it being Friday.

grown-up life

Monday, September 10, 2012

You know you're living a grown-up life when...
You make your bed every day without fail. {be proud, mom!}
Laundry is done on a consistent, weekly basis and nothing has shrunk or bled colors in your load.
Several friends come over for a dinner party on Sunday night.
Speaking of Sundays, they are left wide open for anything you want. no homework.
You plan to take the bus downtown for work next week because it's more efficient and you can.
Coupons have been cut out for the local grocery store.
8am comes around and you are ready and rearin' to go.
The newly revised budget has been laid out on an excel spread sheet.
Mopping the kitchen floor happens on a regular basis and you even kinda like doing it.

You know you're not quite there yet when...
The rice you were cooking for one burns to a crisp and it becomes squirrel food out the back door.
You can't follow the directions correctly on your GPS and end up in the wrong city.
A free concert you thought was at some sweet place downtown actually ends up being on the University campus and you instantly time travel back to college.
There is too much free-time during the day, aka you don't have a full-time job yet.
Frosted flakes is still a favorite breakfast food. Or anytime snack food for that matter.

How's your grown-up life coming along?

check these kids out!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

So I'm sure we've all read about half a million blogs about the season's change and the coming of fall, right? Okay maybe that's just me. One of my fall resolutions was to make a budget and stick to it. {It's a work in progress.}

But I wanted to ask you guys about your budgeting...do you do it? Got any awesome advice for the rest of us?

I know that one of my priorities after getting settled here is to give part of what I earn to something I really care about. Since working with Give Hope 2 Kids I have formed life-changing relationships with the kids I met and lived with. It is a miracle that they have been brought to the kids home to grow up. And it's amazing to me that we can love them and help them out from any geographical distance. 

Sponsoring children at the kid's home in Honduras helps pay for things like their schooling, food, home, clothes, and the salary of the house parents who have given up a huge part of their lives to invest in these kids. The idea of the sponsorship program is to form a lasting relationship with the children. 

So if you're looking to re-format your budgeting plan a bit this fall and include giving to something that really changes lives, I can officially give my first-hand approval to this organization. I love these kids with all my heart and want to see them grow up to be amazing, successful adults. Wanna be part of that?

 Check out here for more details. 

What organizations are you really passionate about? 

{photo credit goes to kelvin and monica johnson}

my very own

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

I finally moved! Life's been a bit of a whirlwind these past few days but overall it feel so good to be here. Aside from tromping all over the city for job interviews, errands and meetings, this time has been good to rest and restart and renew my heart a bit. I have so much to be thankful for in this place and in this time.

It's been unexpectedly pleasant for me to re-acquaint myself to my stuff. Old and new. This past year of wandering the earth has been great, but heavy on the "using other people's stuff" thing if that makes sense. So it feels great to sleep in a bed I can call mine, to have my own room, to have my whole wardrobe in one place...etc. Maybe that's selfish but it's also refreshing so I'm going with it.

Here's a few snaps of the parts of my very own room that I love. {I should love it...after all, it is mine.}

Maybe when I'm feeling ambitious I'll take a few of the house but for now..I'm just happy to be in one place for awhile and steep in the goodness of life. Yes? yes. 
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