A peek through the mirror into my bedroom

Happy September bloggy people! I’ve been spending the week cleaning out our house and re-decorating. Our bedroom was far too boring, so I spiced it up by doing the entire thing red and teal. Red and teal is one of my all-time favorite color combinations, and it really works for a lot of the Asian inspired decor I have.

1) My closet made a little debut into this post, because I noticed an arrangement of fabulous oranges, chartreuse and pink. 2) The bed is completely decked out. We’ve got a teal tufted head board, and a red quilt (a la Target!) with fancy decorative pillows. By the way, men do not understand decorative pillows. Mark tries to sleep on them. He does not get fashion over function. 3) My dresser is adorned with magic. I have two Daruma dolls, and if you aren’t sure what they are, they are a sort of wish making doll and good luck talisman from Japan. You color in one eye, make a wish, and when it comes true, you color in the other eye and burn it on New Years – the smoke released is to thank the Asian Gods. Also my lion and lamb is in this picture, a bit of my favorite biblical symbolism. 4) A constant reminder.

I get around! I totally love my Lalibela cross straight from Ethiopia.

And in case anyone had forgotten, my cat Dorian is a total punk and ruins laundry day every time.

Terrified of Exposure: What it means to admit you’re a religious person

Yeah. I’m a Christian. And I also lead a normal life. I’m not tied to a church pew or bashing down people’s doors with a Bible. I go to Church, yes. But I also watch sci-fi movies, LARP, and play with my stupid pets. In fact, none of my friends know much about my personal view on God. But the question is, why don’t they know? What am I hiding?

The question of the hour: Why? If I’m a person who believes in God, shouldn’t I be proud of who I am and show the world? And, if people really are my true friends, won’t they just accept me for who I am?

My old self would say, it is hard to take religious people seriously. Their credibility as a logical, rational, individual goes out the window once you find out they believe in Jesus or the bible or God or psychics or tarot cards or anything that isn’t, well… science! And I highly value my credibility as a logical, smart, and analytical person. If I was to “come out of the closet,” as a Christian, I fear people would make all kinds of judgments about me. It’s unfair, but it’s the way I believe people evaluate other people. A lot of people would say religious person indulges in superstitions to calm their erratic fears of the unknown, to put an end to their doubts about our reason for existing, to make themselves “feel better.”

I hardly agree with this, but I do believe it’s the way the existential cookie crumbles. It scares me. I value my reputation. I want a seat at the table during a conversation about something controversial, like morality, or politics, or mathematics, or dinosaurs, or the universe, or the nature of existence, or our divine purpose, or whatever people might be discussing that is up for debate. I worry if I expose myself as a Christian, my seat will be forfeited. And that’s my fear, but it’s the truth.

Do you struggle with spiritually or religion, or talking to people about it? Leave a comment to let me know.

Kirby House Japanese Gardens and Glen Summit Chapel & Casino

We’ve made some big decisions! And our wedding photos location is so perfect, I can hardly believe it! We’re taking photos at the Kirby House Japanese Gardens in Glen Summit, right outside of Mountain Top, PA. The Kirby family was a well to do family who founded the Woolworth chain of stores in Wilkes Barre in the early 1900’s. In 1914 or so, they built the luxurious Kirby house. The family went on a world tour, and when they came back, they were hooked on Japanese culture. And well, anyone who was anyone had an authentic Japanese garden. They flew in the materials and actual Japanese gardeners to assemble the gorgeous temple replicas and zen river. It’s to die for!

To boot, we also found our ceremony and reception location. Finally! Today we toured the Glen Summit Chapel and Casino right down the street from the Kirby House. We fell in love with the rustic beauty. Both buildings are similar in look – brown with dark green trim and gorgeous giant red doors. The buildings are set back in the woods, with plenty of space and trees. The Casino used to be next to an old hotel in the 20’s, right near a railroad, for travelers coming from New York and other parts of Pennsylvania. They used to bowl and gamble in the Casino hall! It’s gorgeous. What a load off my mind! I can’t wait to start planning everything else!

5 Reasons why I love living in NEPA

Me at Rickett's Glen Me at Ricketts Glen

For those who don’t know, I live in Wilkes Barre Pennsylvania, which is a part of Northeastern Pennsylvania, or NEPA. We call it NEPA… don’t ask us why. I compiled 5 good reasons why I am blessed to live here!

1. Abundant Nature! I live near beautiful state parks, forests, waterfalls, and hiking trails. I am in the middle of so much nature. My friend owns a pumpkin patch for crying out loud! Mark and I hike trails at Rickett’s Glen State Park and go camping (Well, LARPing…) at Hickory Run State Park. I am so blessed to live in such a beautiful nature filled area. Part of me thinks I’m a city girl, but my heart loves being close to the forest.

2. The Farmer’s Market on Thursday. I love going out to the Public Square and seeing a showcase of local farmers peddling their produce. I tend to buy squash, corn, green beans, tomatoes and onions every week. My sister and I like to go out together on our break from work. They sell big yellow sunflowers, shoo fly pie, apple doughnuts, and loads more. It’s a fantastic way to get your weekly groceries without having to pay to have them flown in from California and Florida, while supporting the local economy.

3. The PA Renaissance Faire. I mean it is where Mark and I got engaged after all! It’s theme park meets history. You can walk amongst the nobility and the peasants of 16th century England and even rub elbows with the Royal Court. There are dastardly pirates, a delicious winery, and even a joust to end the day.

4. Roba’s Corn Maze! Every fall, my family and I go to a big corn maze and run around in the brisk autumn air trying to make our way to the end. We bring a delicious picnic consisting of apple cider and other autumn essentials as well. It’s the perfect way to kick off the autumn season, get excited for Halloween, and spend time with the family. Plus this year, my niece gets to try it for the very first time!

5. NEPA BlogCon! I would be remiss if I didn’t mention my blogging conference project. NEPA BlogCon is a day long conference where me and my cohorts (Karla, Mandy and Michelle) gather the best and brightest in social media and blogging for the educational event of the year. It’s Northeast PA’s only blogging conference and loads of fun to plan and attend. Check out the website, why don’t you! NEPABlogCon.com

Do you love something cute about your local area? Post it in a comment!

10 ways you know you’re in a Millennial relationship

Ah the Millennials… that generation of Tweeting, Keeking, Vining, Yelping, Instagramming, and Liking instant gratification lovers, whose attention span is shorter than Peter Dinklage. Not like I even knew I was a Millennial until like… a year ago, because I am apparently behind the times on terminology. But yeah. Apparently, Gen Y, aka Millennial, is a thing. And I are one of them. And sometimes, like all good things, Millennials come in pairs. I happen to be part of a Millennial couple. And here is how you’ll know if you are too.

1. Your boyfriend’s idea of a romantic gift is a an external battery for your phone.
My boyfriend is what I like to call an “enabler” for my “addiction.” Seriously though, he got me the Enerpak Tube External Battery as a gift. And… yeah. Actually a good gift. Thanks babe.

2. Your favorite night time activity is cuddling up in bed and watching YouTube videos.
We do this pretty much every night. Our faves are Pewdie Pie, Equals Three, LAHWF and Jenna Marble‘s videos.

3. You go for walks in the park just so you can snag portals on Ingress, couples style.
Nothing says “I love my significant other” and “I love nature” like walking side by side without looking at each other through a beautiful park while staring at your phone. But… once you sign up for the addiction that is Ingress, a GPS based portal hacking game, you will soon totally understand. Besides, trees are stupid, just Google what one looks like and you’re set.

4. No excursion is complete without a Foursquare check in or an Instagram photo souvenir.
Okay yes, sometimes, while I am supposed to be enjoying a meal with my boyfriend, or getting on a roller coaster on our vacation to Disney World, or kissing the Blarney Stone, or something, perhaps instead I’m checking in on Foursquare. Last I checked it was NOT a crime, people. Well maybe sometimes it enables crime. But at least I take plenty of amazing pictures during the experience with Instagram. I just want to document our every romantic moment on every social network that ever existed.

5. Your love is so deep you even want matching phones.
We want Samsung Galaxy S4’s. Him for the… bitty lil microbits and cool controlly mabobbers… and me for the 13MP camera. What?

6. Your relationship started with a Facebook message, and you tweet flirt. Way too much.
Once he added me on the Facebooks, I just knew. 3 years ago we started chatting about bad web design and LARPing… and yeah, maybe my boo and I decided to share a coffee over a Facebook message. And yeah, sometimes we tweet flirt. What??

7. Your significant other seriously considered investing in BitCoins as a retirement plan.
For all you non-savvy Internet people, BitCoins are like e-money… digital currency… like something out of an episode of Firefly or Battlestar Galactica. And yes, my boyfriend totally wants to jump on the Bitcoin bandwagon. Who can blame him, though, the share value on these things are sky rocketing! Maybe I should get some space moneys after all…

8. You may have dropped hints to your boyfriend about one of your Pinterest boards, specifically designed with pins of things you would like as gifts.
No offense to boys… but sometimes they just don’t know what to get you for a gift! Not saying all women are perfect gift givers, but we kind of are… my mom is a perfect example of this. But yeah, perhaps I have designed a Pinterest board specifically meant to clobber my amazingly loving boyfriend over the head with some simple ideas for birthday gifts. What???

9. Your boy is constantly finding adorable nuggets of domestic knowledge on LifeHacker.
Every day, Mark, has something interesting and potentially useful to tell me. Boyfriend is always finding glorious tips and tricks on Lifehacker. Like this Incredibly Simple Way to Escape from Wrist-Binding Zip Ties or How to Start a Fire with Doritos. You just never know, people.

10. You back-up all your important photos, tax documents, and data on a shared cloud.
What the heck could be more romantic than sharing a cloud? Take me to Care-a-lot, baby, because NOTHING says love like romantic cloud back ups. Most of our memorabilia is digital. It isn’t like it was when I was a kid, when we’d take our disposable 35mm camera on vacation, take the photos to the One Hour Photo (not that creepy one with Robin Williams) and get a set of sticky physical photographs as a memory. Nope. All our important photos of digital, and we sometimes back them, and other important documents and files, up onto a cute cloud like DropBox. Romantic, n’est pas?

I guess #11 should be… you write a big stupid blog post about your relationship. Okay I’m done.

Featured image from huffingtonpost.com