wondering wanderer | OOTD

Hi, I'm Michaela. 
And this is my new "about me" plus an OOTD post combined.
(specs) palazzo pants, Khols. top, unknown. earrings, Clothes Mentor.

These are my scribbles. This is my voice. A glimpse into the jumble that is my brain. Scattered, attempting to be witty, rambling and hopefully not too boring. I'm a writer. I'm a wanderer in this big, beautiful world. I like snuggly sweaters, candles, chunky mugs, quirky pottery, the color pink, and generally all things girly. I'm a book worm. Quote collector. Fan-girl. Movie addict. A package full of drama

First and foremost, I am the daughter of the Most High King. He is my fire. 

I want to discover. . .everything. Because each breath is a new adventure. And little things are the happiest. Like the smell of rain. Lilacs in spring. Coffee for breakfast. Actually, always coffee. Superheros are real. Chocolate is the food of kings

I'm Italian, and proud of it. I'm also quite short. . .only 4'9". If you do personality types, I'm an ENFP. My aim in life? To serve Jesus in any way I can. Ministry is my calling. Playing the piano, my addiction. I love life and I try living to the fullest.

I'm single. Gluten free. A dreamer, a bully-basset mom, an ex-nanny, currently a waitress, planning on cosmology school. Rambling is my favorite language. Music, my motivation

My heart I wear on my sleeve. I love fully. I grieve deeply. I want to taste everything in this world. Someday, hopefully soon, I'll go to Europe. I'll live by the sea and traverse the mountains. The Rockies have stolen my heart.

Be my friend. Let me trust you, and I'll never walk away
Even though I'm gullible and talk too much.
Words, passion, and people, especially people. It's what makes the world go round.

Welcome to my blog. Try not to get lost. I hope something in this mess of wordage leaves you inspired, uplifts your senses, and draws you closer to Christ. Live loud.

"Attitude is the difference between an ordeal and an adventure." Unkown


Art. Create. God.

This is a more serious, chatty type of post. Lately I've been trying to steer away from sounding mundane or moody. :P I envy the consistently bright, happy, clear, "perfect" lives of the bloggers and vloggers I follow. Oh how deceptive the internet is! ;) In the last day or so I've become so convicted about the time I spend online, what I'm consuming with my eyes and ears, and how it reflects on my life. And so, I thought you and I should have a little talk.

“Every artist dips his brush in his own soul, and paints his own nature into his pictures.” — Henry Ward Beecher

I'm writing this post because I think a lot of us--girls and guys--need a wake up call when it comes to social and consumer media. Yikes, when I started typing (because I rarely stop and think before I start writing. . .its like I have these thoughts that want to come out, and they pretty much do what they want once my fingers hit the keyboard,) I really didn't know what the topic was. I think most of it has to do with a quote I read on Facebook (speaking of social media,) the other day: "You are the books you read, the movies you watch, the music you listen to, the people you spend time with, the conversations you engage in. Choose wisely what you feed your mind."  Author Unknown 

I love me my media. I love Youtube and Facebook, and I'm a HUGE movie buff. Not ashamed of it either. I mean. . .not really. :P I just love movies. . .I've always been that way. I remember when I was a kid, maybe 8-9, back in the late 90's or early 2000's, crying my eyes out because I wasn't allowed to watch Sarah Plain and Tall. A better punishment, honestly, than a spanking. It meant so much--maybe too much--to me. Whenever our clunky dino of a television wasn't working (remember antennas and VHS tapes that crackled and got blurry? Wow I'm old.) I would have a minor freak-out session, adjusting all the bits and bobs just so I could settle in for a good movie night. Movies relax me. They stimulate me. They take my mind elsewhere when I just can't cope. Honestly I think as a writer, my artistic side gobbles up a good story and I live there. It's a creative place deep inside me that loves all the people and stories and possibilities in the world. Books are a treasure trove of imagination, but movies. . .movies are the same thing but alive because you can see, hear, and almost touch the adventure. Am I sounding crazy yet? I live for the creative arts. Music, movies, writing, color, song, dance. . .its part of what makes us so unique and special as people. Think of all the talent in the world. There is nothing that God--the Master Designer--hasn't given us the ability to do creatively. People are incredible. And some are just so crazy-talented. Maybe someday, when I actually publish a book (because I'm going to become a best selling author, in case you didn't know, ;) ) I might join their ranks. For now I'll content myself with enjoying all the movies, book, music. . .and adult coloring books. . . I can get my hands on. 

Now the crux of this little pep-talk. Where does God fall into all of this? Its a question I've been asking myself a lot lately. How easy is it to turn on a movie at night, or cuddle up with an awesome book, (currently obsessing over Lynn Austin's novels right now,) instead of opening the Bible or focusing on my passion for ministry? It's cool to think of how the two can be combined. Film making, for example. The Independent Christian film industry is a huge movement. Its fun, its productive, and its inspiring. But like anything that reflects human talent, its easy to take the focus off of God, and focus instead on ourselves. Its human nature. When we accomplish something, people applaud. They turn us into celebrities and subscribe to us on Youtube. They want to dress like us, talk like us, use the same makeup products, wear the same clothes. I've done it. Have you? People are always looking for a god, whether they realize it or not. It's been happening since the Garden. We see pretty things--Eve vs. the serpent--we take the bait--the forbidden fruit--and we fall. Sometimes the progression is so slow, we don't even notice until we've gone so far, the person we once were, the standards we once hard, the principles we stood so firm on, are lost in the enticing, colorful, exciting fabric of the world. 

Its a trap. Its real. And it's happening to you and me. The devil comes in all forms, all beautiful. A wolf in sheep's clothing. An angel of light. So subtle, our innocent indulgence grows and grows until it is an all-consuming pattern of vanity, self affirmation, and idolatry. 

Because lets be real. When I'm sitting around watching vlogs on fashion or makeup, am I thinking about my relationship with Christ? Am I using my talents or interests to reach out to others, to glorify my King? Am I remembering my true calling, to be a light and testimony to the world? To radically grow the Kingdom, to impact in His name? When I'd rather turn on on a movie than read my Bible. . .where does my focus lie? Certainly not on what I know is really my passion. Ministry. Missions. Giving. Hope. Charity. Jesus in all I say, do, breath, and think. When I'm filling my mind with nothing but clothes, books, movies, and music, I'm thinking about number one. Michaela. Usually, I'm too consumed with myself to care. Then some days I read convicting quotes or hear something that reminds me--I am a creature in Christ. And I have a much bigger purpose.

Can the arts be used to glorify God? Absolutely. I fully believe that all the intricate, creative mastery of humanity was made for a purpose. Its a wild, alluring, dangerous tool. Its what caused Satan himself to fall. Don't forget, he was a musician. Whoa, makes you stop and think, doesn't it? 

In the world but not of it. What does that mean? That as Christians, we should dress ourselves in baggy, shapeless clothes and live in cloistered communities with no sunlight? Absolutely not. That's the beauty of freedom in Christ--something I've personally learned so much about in the last several years. God created beauty. In people, in nature, in the way men and women fall in love. His artistry is apparent in every golden sunrise, the sky in all its purple-pink splendor before setting at night. Art is in the very core of who we are as human beings. Our bodies move so we can dance. Our hearts beat fast at the sound of stirring music. Our voices fill church halls and football stadiums. Our fingers and minds work together to write novels, Our hands craft delicate pottery and wield brushes to paint seascapes on a wall. Our imaginations take ideas and turn them into songs, sounds, sights. We are unlimited in our ability to make beauty. Its a concept that absolutely fascinates me. And yet, How often do we see a star-strung sky and praise our Maker? When we wake each morning, is His name on our lips? The energy surging through our veins, the minds that allow us to exude talents, the choices we have each day to do right or wrong. They all come from an all seeing, all powerful, limitless God.

  • Impact. Today, find a way to reach out towards others. It may be a co-worker. It may be a tired mom in the checkout line at the grocery store. It may be your mail man, delivering cards from out-of-state-relatives. It may be the clerk at the local coffee shop. The light of He who shines through you can touch someone, even in the littlest way. Prioritize your time. 

  • Praise. There are so many ways to worship. It may be through song. It may be prayer in a favorite, tucked-away nook. It may be sitting under an Aspen tree in the Rocky Mountains. It may be silence, letting the Spirit speak to your heart. There is nothing more rejuvenating, more inspiring than alone time with Jesus. 

  • Glorify. Who made these hands? God. Who allows this brain to think? God. Take your gifts and give them back. The credit for all our earthly accomplishments belongs to Him. Its one thing to post a selfie and caption it, "I look this way because this is how God made me." Maybe that's extreme, but I've seen similar examples. Its a totally different ballgame when we throw ourselves into His work because we want Jesus to get the glory. Saying and doing are too opposite things. 

  • Create. He's given us all something special that defines us and makes us unique individuals. Remember, you have a voice. You may be the shyest young woman, the least noticed young man. Still, there is always something you can do for the Kingdom. Maybe its mentoring a younger person, or writing a note of encouragement to someone in need. Instead of laying around watching movies (trust me, I'm talking to myself!) how can we use our interests to reach others? 

Remember, whatever we put before our eyes and into our minds reflects on who we are. We may not notice it at first, but once the focus drifts off of our goal--Christ and the Cross--it begins to effect everything we do and say. I'm in no way saying that music, movies, books, or social media are bad things. Freedom in Christ, remember? But they, just like our personal ambitions, can become bad habits. I don't know about you, but once my eyes are turned on Jesus and away from pleasure, I become excited. Excited because there is so much I can do. In my community. With my friends. To my family. It's a big world out there. Never believe the lie that you can't do more. He's the Master Artist, remember? God gave you a brain and body so you can reach the stars. Do it for Him. 

 “A painter told me that nobody could draw a tree without in some sort becoming a tree; or draw a child by studying the outlines of its form merely . . . but by watching for a time his motions and plays, the painter enters into his nature and can then draw him at every attitude . . .” — Ralph Waldo Emerson


The Chatterbox Chronicles | highlights, hippies, and hot chocolate.

Remember my big-yellow-sweater post? It's remained one of my most popular rambles for some strange reason. I think you guys like it best when I just chatter on about nonsense and life and bits and pieces of whatnot. Literally. If you could see inside my brain and hear my thoughts, they generally sound a lot like my scatterbrained posts. Right now, for instance. I was making my daily breakfast (more like brunch, considering the time,) of over-easy eggs and gluten free toast with jam. . .and "writing" this post in my head. Just a conglomeration of what I want to say. Of course it isn't sounding a thing like how I imagined. But that's the beauty of blogging, I suppose.

So here I am, just finished with my brunch and sipping on a decadent mugful of hot chocolate. (1 1/2 cups almond milk, 2 T honey or maple syrup, 1 T raw cocoa, 1 t vanilla, whisk until boiling, pour into your favorite mug, and enjoy!) I have a fetish with mugs. Today its my "M" mug from Target, in all its squat, chubby perfection. Also pottery. I don't know what it is. . .but you can't take me into Anthropologie  or to a yard sale or antique store or anywhere vases or pitchers are found. Especially if they are miniature. It drives my mom crazy because I have to touch them all. :P

 I'm not eating now because I got up late, mind you. It's been a very productive morning, actually. I wasn't feeling the greatest, but Belle needed a bath and no one else was really up yet. . .so I hauled (literally, I had to pick her up,) her into the bathroom and into the tub. Belle hates baths. Somehow I managed to get her smelling clean--which is no easy feet for a hound dog. Most of the water ended up on me and the floor, but hey, she got out all of her energy (she has a lot of it, just zero stamina,) and is now sunbathing. In other words, we are both relaxing. . .which interpreted means, there-is-a-huge-mess-in-the-kitchen-and-I'm-refusing-to-look-at-it-or-acknowledge-its-presence.

Honestly I'd love a day in. As I've gotten older I've started adulating (unfortunately it happens to the best of us, ;) ) and like to stay busy and on the go. I'm an extrovert that needs her space, but then too much quiet and space wears me out, and I need to get all that pent-up creativity and energy out of my system. Today is a rare day that I just don't feel like doing much. I especially don't want to go to work (2nd shift is the worst,) in a few hours. But such is life. I'm soaking up as much sun (because Ohio is bipolar and can't decide if its spring or winter,) and free-time as I can.

So lets talk about cozy things. I'm in a cozy-kind of mood. Actually wearing the beloved yellow-sweater-with-the-hole-under-the-arm, (still haven't gotten around to fixing it,) but only because its a little too warm for my new baja jacket. Wait, you haven't heard of a baja? Oh my. Let's fix that right away. See, they are these ingenuous oversized hoodies from Mexico, usually brightly-colored and striped, with a pocket in the front and a hood in case you need, you know, added coziness. I picked mine up not even a week ago at an indoor amusement park (we have these kind of cool things in Cleveland,) for $20, and I am obsessed. Seriously. Its bad. So bad that the thought of jumping into my comfy yoga pants and baja motivates me at work. Not even joking. It's fleece lined and super soft and huge and feels like your wearing a blanket. Essentially, you are wearing a blanket. That's right. A baja is just a blanket with three holes for your head and arms.

Its one of those things I would never buy. But it was a cheating day (because when your cousins are visiting from California its perfectly alright to have a little bit of gluten and run around popping bubbles,) and Anna bought one too. . .so I splurged. I feel like its the kind of thing you would only find online or at a county fair or festival of some sort. Or maybe at a hippie store, like the kind they have all over California and touristy places. Anyway. I did some research and found they aren't really a fashion item, though if I'm brave enough I might wear it shopping. Totally rocked it all day at the amusement park, and I can so see it fitting right in to the rustic, hippie-infused mountain landscape of Colorado. I mean yeah. . .on chilly nights around a bonfire or huddled under the stars? So what if its called a "drug rug." Mine is a piece of cozy and is getting lots of love and wear. Are you sold yet? Yep. I knew it. Doing a little online shopping, eh? ;)

Yep. I'm going back to Colorado! At first my feelings were mixed. As you know, the ranch changed my life. It brought me to life, and helped me grow into so much of who I am today. But then I got home, got a job, and started feeling established, if you will. I'm living at home, but very independent. And I like it. A lot. I also am saving in earnest for a trip to Italy and cosmetology school. I know what I want to do, and even though it isn't perfect, my waitress job has helped a ton. So in the last couple of months, I wasn't sure what God wanted me to do. Go back to the ranch for the summer? Stay home and work? I know that staying would mean getting to Europe faster. But then God started working on my heart, soothing those fears, (cause I don't know about you, but I doubt a lot,) and giving me a ton of peace. That means something, right? Yeah. I think so. :) Yesterday I went boot-shopping with Anna, and ended up coming back with a new pair of my own. Totally wasn't in the boot-market. . .but now I have a beautiful pair of steel-grey embossed boots for cowgirl dancin' and special occasions. My old pair will be reserved for working and riding. This is starting to become real, folks. It hasn't sunk in yet, but in just a few weeks (the end of May,) I will be home in my glorious Rocky Mountains.

I did a thing this past Saturday. It was daring and new, and I'm loving the results. If you follow me on Instagram you already know what I'm talking about. . and probably recognize most of these pictures from there. ;) Its been time for a hair-change. I've tried cutting it, I had bangs for a while, and I fried my hair once-upon-a-time with two home-perms-gone-wrong. I actually considered (obviously didn't learn my lesson the first time,) perming my hair again, but my friend and hairdresser talked me out of it, and I'm kind of glad. I've gotten into the habit of curling my hair every day and then finger-picking it out to create beachy waves. I like the freedom (my natural hair is very loosely wavy and kind of coarse,) of wearing my hair straight or curly. But anyway, to the point. I did a thing. Are you ready?

That's right. I got highlights! Honestly I was terrified. Excited, but terrified. You know that feeling of screaming your way through a horror flick (cue, The Birds,) but loving the fright at the same time? Kind of like that. My hair is brown. Just plain, uninteresting brown. In the summer a lot of chestnut and reddish undertones peek through, but otherwise, my hair has been a constant battle. So when my hairdresser asked for color options, I did a quick Google search, and decided on caramel.

The whole journey of sitting in my friends basement (when someone cuts your hair perfectly each time and is cheap to boot, you must hang on to them for dear life,) with layers of tin-foil all over my head was memorable, to say the least. I looked like something from Star Wars. :P Then I had to wait 45 minutes for the product to set. . .in the company of orange-chicory tea and Better Homes and Gardens. Later when I washed my hair in the utility tub I saw (as best as one can upside down,) the first strands of golden-coppery color. . .and I knew I made the right decision. I like that the highlights look very natural. It took me a couple of days to adjust to seeing myself with lighter hair, but now I adore the transformation. Its funny how a small change can make you feel so powerful and confidant. I'm loving me some 25.

Which reminds me. . .I need to fix my age in my "about me." Actually, this whole blog needs a makeover. I was thinking of changing the name. . .I already have one picked out. . .and I'd like to incorporate some pictures from a recent photo shoot into the design. I've haven't posted then yet because I'm waiting for the big reveal. . .but all the PC's in the house are super slow for some reason, so any type of graphic design is almost impossible. Plus my new laptop is dead. Yep. Fried. I tried installing Windows 10 and ended up removing Windows all together. Sooo I can't really work on my new template until it's all sorted out. I'm pretending it doesn't annoy me and am blogging like a boss.

Oh yeah. . .speaking of reminding, there's the kitchen to clean. And my bedroom. And the bathroom. My mug is empty, I've rambled enough. . .I should probably go. I'm thinking of writing a post on staying productive--something I've learned a lot about in the last decade or so. I also want to talk more about travel and I still need to post pictures from the Ball I attended a while back and the Il Volo concert. Tell me what YOU'D like to see in the comment section, and I'll do my best to oblige.

Until next chat, my friends. Here's to jackets that look (and feel,) like blankets, quirky pottery, daring hair-makeovers, life goals, Colorado summers, dreams and destinies, cherry blossoms outside the window, blackberry jam, new beginnings, coconut frozen yogurt, coral and olive (currant color obsessions!) dancing like nobody's watching, laughing through life, looking toward better things, embracing the here and now, and all the things that make life golden.