Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Thoughts on the List of 23 Things....

Yesterday, this blog post showed up on my Facebook newsfeed several times, as multiple of my friends had posted it and commented how much they enjoyed it. Just the title, "23 Things to do Instead of Getting Engaged Before You're 23" got me a little fired up... mostly because I was 22 when I was both engaged and married to my best friend and now husband. As I read through the blog, I became even more irritated! I almost felt personally attacked and began feeling defensive for "getting married young" and let's face it, I owe no one an explanation.

Then, today, I read this blog. And I just about 100% agree with every word. This girl, who is my age, articulated almost exactly what I was thinking reading the list of 23 things yesterday. At the end, this author suggests doing what's right for you...and I'd take it a step further and say to do what God has for you! Our loving Creator has a unique plan for each person. I wholeheartedly believe I am in God's plan for me. If you're single and 23, 35, or 65, I hope you can stand firmly in knowing you are exactly where God wants you--because that is what matters.

A friend shared with me this post, which I believe is a better guide of "what to do before marriage" than the 23 things listed in the first blog post....in my humble opinion.

Oh, and happy new year.

"...rejoice in the wife of your youth." 
- Proverbs 5:18

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Full Days

I cannot believe we are in the homestretch of December, let alone 2013. This month has been packed full of fun, visitors, dates, ministry, and just daily life.

The first weekend of December, my father-in-law visited us! It was a great time-- especially for he and my husband... they talked, watched, and digested football all weekend. And loved. every. minute. It brought my heart much joy to see them spend quality time together! And of course I loved having him here, too! But I did learn that although I am a sports gal and enjoy football, I cannot keep up with the two of them, haha!

After a day to ourselves, Tyler and I then hosted some of our best friends as they visited from Florida! The four of us kept saying "we couldn't have hoped for a better time" -- like everything was perfect, weather, timing, events, schedule...everything. In their few days stay, we packed it all in... a Rutgers tour, Hoboken, NYC, Princeton, nights full of board games, and playing in the snow! We loved spending quality, God-centered time with them and look forward to connecting with them again soon in Florida over Christmas.

In the midst of all of that, AIA at Rutgers closed out the semester with a Christmas party, Tyler & I got our Christmas cards (finally) sent out, we hosted an Ultimate Training Camp little reunion dinner for some athletes, we had our small group Christmas cookie exchange Christmas celebration, celebrated our third wedding anniversary, and even began packing for our trip to Florida. 

To say December has been a whirlwind already, would be an understatement. But I count myself very blessed as the end of this year has been much more joy-filled than the end of last year. Each of the above events have been God's whispers of "I love you. I Am Good. You are cared for." And for that alone, I praise Him.

"These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full." - John 15:11

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Anticipating His Coming

Advent, defined by Merriam-Webster, is the period beginning four Sundays before Christmas and observed by some Christians as a season of prayer and fasting.

This December, how are you celebrating and observing Advent? I thought I'd share a few wonderful resources that I am familiar with to help you prepare your heart for Christmas! This list is not extensive, as there are MANY great Advent season resources. But I hope you enjoy these and jump in... it's not too late ;-)

  • 25 Days of Christ by Redeemed Girls Ministries -- this is what I am primarily using this month as my daily time with the Lord and I am absolutely loving it!
  • The free YouVersion app has topical reading plans to take you through the Christmas story in Scripture-- an excellent resource.
  • Transformative Vision a fabulous and practical resource that Jacob's Well, our church here in New Jersey, has put together.

And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” - Luke 1:30-33

Saturday, November 30, 2013

A Thanksgiving Dream Come True

Before I got married, I thought every family watched the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade as part of their Thanksgiving traditions....because my family does. I grew up watching the parade every Thanksgiving morning and then discussing it over dinner with family who'd watched it on their own. It's always been a major part of our day.

This year, Tyler and I did not spend Thanksgiving in Florida. With the prices of flights and the limited amount of time we'd be down for... we decided to just go home for Christmas. So we were stuck with the "what to do for Thanksgiving" question. We were open and even planning on hosting athletes until pretty last minute when everyone had a place to go.

While in conversation with a softball girl, she mentioned she was going into the city for the parade. Then it hit me. We could forgo the pumpkin coffee cake and parade watching from our couch that I had planned and actually GO TO IT. After some discussion and logistical research... it was set... the Stowell's were headed to the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade!

It was a joyous morning, early but joyous. I had a fabulous time, even amidst the crowds and in the freezing temperatures. In fact, I would do it again, hands down. It was one of the coolest things I think I've ever done. My biggest let down... that the Rockettes don't go through the parade (they must just perform in front of Macy's).

Our intimate Thanksgiving here in New Jersey was an excellent way to end (well basically end) the month of November. I thoroughly enjoyed focusing on rejoicing. gratitude, and prayer this month. I wasn't perfect but it was great to have a focal point all month... something to direct my heart towards the Truth. Another fun, adventurous, blessed month in the books.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Thanksgiving Anthem

With Thanksgiving being tomorrow, this is on repeat today in the Stowell Home in efforts to fill my mind with Truth and move my heart towards thanksgiving to the Lord! Enjoy =)

"Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name! For the Lord is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations." - Psalm 100:4-5

Monday, November 25, 2013

10 Things I Love About New Jersey

Tyler and I have now been living in New Jersey for a year....today! I can't believe it's already been a whole year. We unintentionally celebrated tonight over dinner with some friends we met the day we moved in, as they showed up to help us unload the truck. It was fun to recount meeting them and a year later have a growing friendship.

In honor of our year in Jersey, I thought I'd take some time to reflect and share...

10 of my favorite things about New Jersey

1. The Weather. More specifically, seasons. This Florida girl had no idea what seasons were before New Jersey. Spring and fall are beyond gorgeous here in Jersey. And I have to say, winter can also be quite beautiful! Summer....reminds me too much of Florida with it's heat and humidity to be noteworthy. ;-)

2. Rutgers Athletes in Action. We walked right into a community of student athletes, coaches, and fellow AIA staff who are fabulous. It's a movement where God is evident and the Gospel is center.

3. Proximity to....just about everything. New Jersey's location is prime! Since living here, we have ventured to several surrounding places, with ease! [Philadelphia, New York, The Pocono's, and quaint spots within New Jersey] 

4. Princeton, New Jersey. The town is my favorite place to spend time! It's quaint, old, and has some really unique shops and restaurants. Anybody who knows me here, knows I love Princeton. 

5. People are surprisingly not rude. When many people, at least those I know in Florida, think of New Jersians, they think of rude folks. I have found that is just not true! The stereotype is incorrect folks. During our year here, I have had many friendly conversations with people in stores, lines, and restaurants. Although I will say, the common "smile as you pass" trend that I was familiar with growing up, isn't reciprocated here.

6. Food. Food is big deal here in New Jersey. Diners can be found on almost every street, Italian restaurants are commonplace, and "hole in the wall" joints have food that far surpasses their storefronts. 

7. Jacob's Well. Our church here in New Jersey has quickly become a place where we feel at home. We have many friendships within the community of people at Jacob's Well and it's a place where we often bring others! Any place with a good church community, is a good place.

8. Not only is New Jersey close to big cities, but it is also The Garden State, which means it offers rural fun such as apple picking (on next fall's bucket list), fresh markets, and bangin' produce!

9. There is rich family history here for me. My grandfather was born here and for generations before him, my ancestors dwelled and even fought in battles on New Jersey soil.

10. And last but certainly not least.... WE DON'T PUMP OUR GAS! It's a glorious luxury, especially in freezing winter temps. I am oh so grateful for the gentlemen who suffer for me.

And there you have it. Broken down. It's true. 

Friday, November 22, 2013

Choosing Gratitude

This month, to stick with the theme of thankfulness and gratitude, I am reading and going through the 30 day devotional by Nancy Leigh DeMoss, Choosing Gratitude.

I have enjoyed being more disciplined in the area of reading-- I feel accomplished and enlightened with each book I read! This book has given me a fresh perspective on having an attitude of gratitude and that it is indeed a choice. I'm not too far along, but even practically speaking, the devotional required me to make a list of things I'm grateful God has given me and things others have given me.... I could've been writing all day! The Bible is clear on where good things come from-- "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change." - James 1:17 and God sure has been good to me, in many many ways. Although I can find myself complaining or lusting after the things others have, this month as I focus on rejoicing always, praying without ceasing, and giving thanks in all circumstances [1 Thessalonians 5:18-19] I am finding my heart is filled with peace and my heart is humbled.

How is the Thanksgiving season going for you in regards to giving thanks and expressing gratitude?

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Rejoice, Pray, & Give Thanks

The Bible is clear on many things. One being how often we should rejoice, pray, and give thanks. November tends to, and understandably so, be a month focused on gratitude. And I'm all for it. But I'd like to personally take it a step further. 

This passage will be the meditation of my heart as I seek to rejoice (feel or show great joy or delight), pray, and give thanks-- no matter what. It WILL be challenging. And I will not be perfect. I probably won't even come close to perfect. But it's my goal, what I will aim for this month. All by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Want to join me? I'd love to know that you also are committing to rejoice, pray, and give thanks thoughtfully throughout the month of November!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Seeking to Love Others Well

This month, I decided to intentionally and creatively seek to love others well. My initial plan was for this to last a week. And then I felt like I couldn't fit in all that I wanted to into one week! So, most of my October was full of thoughtfully showing others in my life that I love them! Here's some of what I came up with....

I made prayer cards for many of the girls I meet with on campus. How better to love someone than to pray for them?

On a Thursday night, I was meeting 2 volleyball girls at the Rutgers Women's Soccer game. And it was a cold one! I brought hot chocolate for us to enjoy while we watched the game. 

On Friday afternoons, I lead a team Bible study with the softball team. And boy do I love those girls. And I spend my early Friday afternoons in the student center where Dunkin Donuts tempts me regularly. So, I thought I'd share the indulgence with them at Bible study by bringing a dozen donuts to share with the group!

Tyler has a love for all things bread. Especially banana bread. But he also loves cinnamon. I found a recipe on Pinterest for banana cinnamon swirl bread. It was to die for. He loved it! And he was very surprised to come home to a freshly baked loaf of deliciousness after a long day on campus.

This month, I met regularly with ten girls on campus. And if you haven't picked up on it via my social media posts... fall is my favorite season. So I made "fall in bag" goodies for each girl and gave it to them at our one-on-one meetings, with a hand written note that included one of my favorite verses. These were a hit! The girls loved them and I loved giving them! Each bag included a CD of Christian music, hot apple cider mix, hot cocoa mix, a fall magnet, a carmel apple lollipop, and fall stickers. 

My friend and soon to be coworker Caity came over one Wednesday afternoon for some training and hang out time. Instead of just feeding her my leftover fruit dip, I whipped up a loaf of pumpkin bread with cranberries and pecans. It was so yummy! We enjoyed time together over cider and pumpkin bread =)

One of the lovely ladies I am discipling on campus is a senior soccer player. Her senior day was Sunday October 27. Tyler and I went to an earlier church service in order to get to the game early and see her honored on the field! I hope she felt loved.

The other night I had to run a quick errand to the store for a dinner ingredient. Tyler wasn't interested in coming...which allowed for me to pick up some of his favorite candy as an early Halloween treat!

Some of the other intentional things I did were:
  • Dishes. In our house, dishes are not the responsibility of the chef. But on a few occasions this month, I both cooked and cleaned up to give Tyler a break =)
  • I also texted a friend on the anniversary of her dad's passing to let her know I was praying for her and that God loves her.
As I look back over the month, I am ehh... I guess satisfied. But I did notice that the most common way I showed others love was in my primary love language-- gifts, followed by acts of service. Just thought that was interesting. I also would have loved to do a better job of loving my friends afar well. Maybe that'll be November's challenge! Loving others well from miles away....

How are you seeking to love others well?

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Study, Learn, Grow

This year, I have done more studying of the Bible than probably ever before. I have grown in my faith immensely. My confidence in my relationship with the Lord continues to increase, as does my identity in Him alone.

I started the year studying Beth Moore's Breaking Free and was blown away. God spoke so tenderly to my heart through that study. And I just recently finished Kay Arthur's Lord, I Want to Know You which is a study through the names of God. Here's a snapshot of the end of my study--

Both studies taught me unique lessons. Today, I began going through the book of Hebrews, no pre-made study, just me, God, and the Bible. I also really enjoyed that-- the freedom to uncover God's Word all on my own (well, by His leading obviously).

Without God's Word, I know I wouldn't be where I am in my faith today. I cling with all my heart and soul to the Word. It's what keeps my mind purified. It's what I hold on to when everything else around me is falling apart. God's Word is how He reveals Himself to me. And I couldn't be more grateful to know God in a personal way and have free access to His Truth! What about you.....

How have you found studying the Bible helpful? Do you prefer a pre-made Bible study or going through the Word on your own? Does your studying promote growth in your life -- are you applying what you're learning?

Here are some helpful resources on how to study scripture.

"How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word. With my whole heart I seek you; let me not wander from your commandments! I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you." - Psalm 119:9-11

Wednesday Night TV

In the Stowell Home, every Wednesday night, Duck Dynasty is turned on at 10pm. Tyler laughs hysterically throughout the entire episode. It warms my heart to hear him laugh, deep belly laughs, for about 30 minutes straight.

Last Wednesday however, was the premiere of Preachers of L.A. at 10pm on Oxygen. From the previews I had seen, I was skeptical of the show and rather turned off. But similar to Keeping Up with the Kardashians, I figured it'd be one of those "it's so crazy you can't look away" type shows.

So, after Duck Dynasty ended, we flipped to Oxygen. For the first twenty minutes I watched, I sat there and thought, "this is exactly what I was expecting." Twitter was blowing up with tweets like, "the Holy Spirit is nowhere to be found in this show!" "Hypocrisy at it's finest..." "A preacher with a baby mama...welp..."

But towards the end, I saw glimpses of hope! Maybe these guys aren't seeking money, fame, and glory. Maybe they are seeking to bring God alone glory and to grow as men. 

And then we watched again this week. And I have to say, the show does pleasantly surprise me. However, I am deeply saddened by the [portrayed] "status" of these men -- especially after spending the summer in the heart of L.A. and seeing the depravation and needs there amongst the people. 

I'm not sure if this show will hurt or help Christianity. I'm not sure if the show will please God or the Enemy more. I'm not sure of this show is reality or "reality." And I'm not entirely sure how I feel about it. But I do know that after viewing the show, seeing this really got me worked up.

As the show continues to air, I can only hope and pray that America is not deceived. God (and Christianity) bears no promise of riches, glory, or even worldly success. He does promise love, life, and forgiveness. 

I am curious what your thoughts are on the show. Have you seen it? What's your reaction?

"If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world." - John 15:19

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Loving Enemies

Jesus said, "But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you." (Matthew 5:44). Pretty straight up, right? No if's, and's, or but's about it. But certainly not easy!

How do you love those around you? How do you embrace someone who lives and believes differently than you do? How do you avoid judgement and exude love? How do you demonstrate God's love to others?

This was a conversation I had this week with a friend, as she's struggling in this area. We brainstormed some practical ways to show the love God has shown us, to others.

We came up with...
doing the dishes
making dinner
praying for others
praying with others
sharing with others what we've learned about God 

But what about for you....? What comes to mind, what does God bring to your heart? If we want to live a life of obedience in response to God's love, we need to aim to love others!

Monday, September 30, 2013

Welcome, Fall!

Fall is my favorite. Let's be honest, I just love experiencing seasons in general! And I am oh so grateful to experience my first ever "real fall" -outside of Florida- with changing leaves, cool air, boots and scarves! It's what I've always imagined fall to be!

The Stowell Home has taken on a new look for fall...

I'm happy with how it turned out. And, I've since added an Autumn Wreath scented Yankee Candle which smells to die for delicious. 

As I think about fall and the changing of seasons, I am reminded that God not only changes our environment but He changes hearts! This past month, I have seen many girls come to know Jesus personally for the first time. It has brought my heart so much joy to watch girls' faces light up when they are initially introduced to Truth! And my joy continues as I watch God bring them into a new season, a new life. It's been a month full of thankfulness to God for calling me to what I consider a blessing of a job, for working in the lives of student athletes and coaches, and for the beauty that comes with change.

"Blessed be the name of God forever and ever, to whom belong wisdom and might, He changes times and seasons." - Daniel 2:20-21

Monday, September 16, 2013

Prayer is Always Needed

Prayer. Talking with God. We crave it in times of trouble. We are drawn to do it when we reach the end of ourselves. Unfortunately, it is all too often not our first response. Prayer.

Last week, I intentionally sent a text to a dear friend and ministry partner [who happens to be a former rock star collegiate soccer player] to pray for the student led Women's Soccer Bible study that was starting up here at Rutgers. She responded that she gladly would and for that I was grateful. I knew that prayer was necessary-- only God could bring girls to attend the study, only God could effectively speak through the two girls leading, and only God could make His Word come to life for them. Prayer was essential because it invited God into the situation and demonstrated dependence.

This week, I had three friends reach out for prayer. One sought prayer as she met with a parent, seeking financial support for her new ministry. Another, a new mom, found out yesterday that her husband was let go from his job. And the other has reached what seems as her rock bottom-- she asked I pray for her and her school-aged daughter who was the victim of a terrorizing and traumatic event. 

I came to realize, that there will always be something in life that needs prayer. Why? Because we will without a doubt be faced with circumstances and emotions that far exceed us-- they require Divine intervention. When we pray, we are acknowledging to God that we need Him, that apart from Him, we can do nothing (John 15:5). This Truth rings true this week for me, "Pray for one anotherThe prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working." - James 5:16. I couldn't be more grateful to have friends who will not only seek prayer, but who are willing to bring my needs to the Lord on my behalf!

Do you regularly pray for those in your life? Do you reach out to others when you're in need of prayer? I'd encourage you to go before Him today in prayer! He is faithful to answer.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Hearty [fall festive] Oatmeal

Since the weather has begun to cool off here, I have been craving a warmer breakfast -- something other than fruit smoothies! I decided to jam-pack oatmeal with some extras for a filling and fall inspired breakfast!

Plain Oats
1 Apple
Dried Cranberries
Brown Sugar

Prepare oatmeal according to package instructions (I added milk and a dash of cinnamon before microwaving). While oatmeal is cooking, dice apple.

Place apple into microwave safe bowl, add desired amount of brown sugar and cinnamon. Microwave (time will vary by microwave) until sugar is melted and apples are tender.

While apples are in microwave, chop together dried cranberries and pecans.

When apples are done, pour over prepared oats.

Top with dried cranberries and pecans. And enjoy your filling, fall inspired breakfast! I have enjoyed this several times recently and am still clinging to the end of summer by sipping Carmel Macchiato iced-coffee with breakfast =)

Tuesday, September 3, 2013


My Labor Day Weekend was a busy one filled with much fun! One of the fun things I did was, with some friends, attend a Tenth Avenue North Concert in Ocean Grove, New Jersey -- what a cute town!

First, we had dinner and played some games on the beach. It was a breezy, cool night, perfect for the occasion! Then we headed to the Grand Auditorium for the concert. Now, Tyler and I have seen Tenth Avenue North MANY times - most recently this summer at our Cru Staff Conference in Colorado. So when we were invited to go, we hesitated a little since we had just seen them. But, wow, am I glad we decided to go! Not only did we enjoy time with friends, but the concert was AMAZING.

God really spoke to my heart through the lyrics of their songs -- mostly through their song "Losing" (video and lyrics below). I have been moving towards forgiveness of someone for several months now. I was deeply hurt by their words and actions. And it's so easy for me to [at least attempt to] defend my bitterness and anger by the magnitude of how badly they hurt me. I convince myself I've never hurt anybody as badly as they hurt me! But God accepts no excuses for an unforgiving heart. And by His grace, He forgives us and empowers me to forgive those who wrong me. 

The line that says "But truth be told it doesn't matter if they're sorry or not" REALLY got me -- because the person I need to forgive hasn't shown any signs of remorse or attempted an apology. And while that hurts, God isn't asking me to forgive those who are sorry. He's calling me to forgive others as I have been forgiven (Colossians 3:13)! In humility, I must remember all that I have been forgiven for and I am need forgiveness no less than anyone else. 

And Tenth Avenue North is right, when I'm not forgiving, I am the one losing. It takes too much energy and effort to be angry and hold on to something than it does to forgive someone. Are you experiencing that "losing" feeling -- wasting energy on not forgiving someone? Who do you need to forgive? Seek the Lord, His grace, and His strength. His will is forgiveness, so trust that He will provide all that you need to do so.

I can't believe what she said
I can't believe what he did
Oh, don't they know it's wrong, yeah?
Don't they know it's wrong, yeah?
Maybe there's something I missed
But how could they treat me like this?
It's wearing out my heart
The way they disregard

This is love, this is hate...
We all have a choice to make

Oh, Father won't You forgive them?
They don't know what they've been doin' (oh no)
Oh, Father, give me grace to forgive them
'Cause I feel like the one losin'

Well it's only the dead that can live
But still I wrestle with this
To lose the pain that's mine
Seventy times seven times
'Cause Lord it doesn't feel right
For me to turn a blind eye
Though I guess it's not that much
When I think of what You've done.

This is love, this is hate...
We've got a choice to make

Oh, Father won't You forgive them?
They don't know what they've been doin' (oh no)
Oh, Father, give me grace to forgive them
'Cause I feel like the one losin'

Oh, no!

Why do we think that hate's gonna change their heart?
We're up in arms over wars that don't need to be fought
But pride won't let us lay our weapons on the ground
We build our bridges up but just to burn them down
We think pain is owed apologies and then it'll stop
But truth be told it doesn't matter if they're sorry or not
Freedom comes when we surrender to the sound
Of mercy and Your grace, Father, send Your angels down

Oh, Father won't you forgive them?
They don't know what they've been doin' (oh no)
Oh, Father, give me grace to forgive them
'Cause I feel like the one losin'
Yeah, I feel like I've been losing

Oh, Father, give me grace to forgive them
'Cause I feel like the one losin'
I feel like I've been losin'

Oh, Father, give me grace to forgive them
'Cause I feel like the one losin'

Friday, August 30, 2013

New Jersey, New Home - Part 2

Well, several months ago in a part 1 post, I promised a part 2. Finally, here it is! After our summer away, we came back to Jersey and spent some time organizing and put some "finishing touches" on our place.

This spring, I added a wreath to our front door. I love it! I will be making some changes to it for fall... adding a football detail and autumn colored flowers.

This is our "everyday" / non-holiday decor on the shelf above the TV that serves as our "mantel" =)

We made some changes in our dining room display bookcase. We bought a small black bookcase, on sale, at Target and I got to work. I had fun strategically placing and displaying!

I added twine details to candles and our drink dispenser. And my dessert stand found a new home, in a more appropriate place... in the dining room! And the red tray that was just too big as a table center piece (for funcionality) also found a new home.

I am obsessed with the color pops and height.

My cookbooks look much better placed on this bookcase, as it's a little deeper.

And our patio furniture! We scored this on the end of summer clearance at Target. We've already enjoyed spending cool nights on the porch together and look forward to many more!

This was a fun, affordable addition! I painted paper mache letters from Hobby Lobby and they are now hanging above our pantry in the kitchen.

 One of my grandmother's muffin tins now adds some vintage flair to our kitchen!

As much as I love the cupcake decor Tyler got me for Christmas last year, I was starting to hate seeing it displayed as it was on the wall. It needed some grouping. It just looked out of place to me. So I found this cupcake printable on Pinterest, put it in a frame I already had, and viola! My baking corner is now updated and I like it much better!

This bookcase look familiar? It's had MANY homes. The first place I remember this bookshelf was in my NURSERY as a baby! But when we moved into this place, it served as our dining room display case. Now, it's in our guest room/office! My Southern Living, Better Homes and Gardens, and Tea Time magazines now have a display place and I love the folded quilt(s) [normally there are 2, one is currently in our car...] display idea I got from Pinterest!

We're sneaky. In the CLOSET, is our office! Before we moved, this was our plan. To make a 2 bedroom apartment function with a room that could double as an office and a guest room. This took some serious effort to organize and really, squeeze in. But we enjoy having this space to work -- having a separate "work space" allows for living space to actually feel like living space, more tranquil. 

Across the room, is the pullout couch we scored before moving from Florida on Craigslist. It's where I comfortably sit each morning, sipping coffee, and spending time in God's Word. That is, when we don't have guests ;-)

We also have a gallery wall in the room, which I am actually very impressed with!

Right across the hall from our guest room/office, is the guest bathroom. It's simple and decorated with cool colors.

In the guest bathroom, is a door. It's kind of an interesting set up. But hey, it's IN APARTMENT LAUNDRY (a luxury really in New Jersey apartments, at least the ones in our price range). But, it's quaint-- a stack able washer/dryer across from the furnace and water heater. No room for shelving. So when I stumbled upon this over the door shelf on Pinterest, I knew I'd found our storage solution!

And..... our master bedroom! Everything finally has a place in this room, so we've been able to keep it much tidier and therefore it's been more of a haven for us.

The sliding glass door lets in a glorious amount of natural light. Which is lovely. Except in the morning. So our black blackout curtains are awesome.

In the corner, next to our dresser (yes, we share a dresser.) is another small black bookcase with photos, memory boxes, journals, etc. I love the arrangement of the photos above the bookcase-- (left to right) a framed picture of us with a Bible verse on the matting, a gift I gave to Tyler when we were dating; a shadow box of wedding memorabilia; and a Norman Rockwell painting, "Wedding License" that my mom gifted us!

(Updated 3/30/2014) I recently redid this shelf from Target in our bathroom. It was super functional before, but kind of an eye sore. Now, it's pretty AND functional... a win win!

There you have it. The #StowellHome! I'm sure it'll go through many changes, as I really enjoy decorating and "nesting" but for now, I feel satisfied with everything having a place and the style our home has come together with.

"She looks well to the ways of her household..." - Proverbs 31:27