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Monday, August 10, 2015

About a month after our wedding, we took our first married road trip and little vacation (since our honeymoon to Antigua and Barbuda!) and it was such a wonderful trip. Being married to Daniel is the sweetest blessing in my life, and traveling together is one of our passions and joys. We absolutely love adventuring together. While dating and "talking," we called ourselves "wild and free." As singles, before we met, we both loved travel and adventures, and had the best times being single and just exploring the world and finding out who we were as individuals. We both wouldn't trade that time for the world! We had so much fun! Getting married later in our twenties gave us time to figure out who we were, discover our dreams and start fearlessly chasing them... and now that we are married and have combined our lives and dreams to make one, we are all the stronger and more confident in what we want and who we are for it. It's not everyone's story, but we are grateful it's ours! We're excited to share our travels and tips, recommendations, experiences, and our story with you guys :) 

We live on the coast in Los Angeles area and started our trip here, driving up the PCH (Pacific Coast Highway) -- our final destination being Carmel by the Sea. A GORGEOUS and adorably quaint little seaside town in Northern California. A born and raised California gal, I visited as a little girl and adored Carmel. My grandma and parents have always loved the northern coast of California (it is truly breathtaking and literally one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen in the world) and have raved about it for years. I remember growing up and seeing pictures in a photo album of Mom and Dad's first wedding anniversary trip to Carmel in 1984! I've told Daniel all about it since we met, and he was just aching to visit. So, we hopped in our car, drove up the coast -- stopping in Santa Barbara (where we fell in love :) along the way, and making our journey up to Carmel. 

Santa Barbara's classic State Street is home to the most pristine white washed walls and buildings. Ideal for a quick fashion photoshoot haha! 
Hands-down, one of the best places to eat in Santa Barbara is La Superica. My sister in law discovered this small Mexican restaurant and it's become one of our most beloved spots. Julia Child loved this place (she was a California-born girl like me) ... apparently it was her favorite restaurant later in life!  The tacos are incredible. We had to stop for lunch. (If you ever visit SB, you just have to stop there -- and order the watermelon juice. Yummy! So worth it. And it's also super cheap -- so, score!) 

Outfit Details // 

Erin:

 Pants (similar) |  Top | Sunglasses | Sandals (similar) 

Daniel

Shirt (his is from H&M, this one is similar) | Shorts | Sunglasses (similar) 





Part two: Carmel By The Sea, coming tomorrow :) 


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Wednesday, July 29, 2015


Right click to save this free JPG printable. 
Print it out, hang it up, or save it on your computer or phone


Anxiety and fear are such heavy burdens to carry. Such a difficult and wearying struggle. And something I struggle with often. Honestly, there have been times over the years -- especially when I was college-age and just starting to develop the maturity to realize the frailty of life, how fleeting and precious it is, and how scary our world can really be -- when I would share with friends or leaders in church, Bible studies, or teachers in my classes, that I was struggling with fear. Often, my (sometimes embarrassed confession) incited a look of pity and words like, "Come on, now Erin. You know that not trusting God is sinning...... We will pray that you trust more." (Or in other words, "Get your spiritual shiz together, girl.") It left me feeling small, helpless, and sort of confused -- and yet, still shaky and full of fear (kinda like Piglet on "Winnie the Pooh.") I didn't know quite what to do with that. I'd repeat, "Yes, God.. um, help me to trust You." And then lay awake all night worrying about something on my heart, or anything and everything that could go wrong until my heart would beat and pound, out of control, and I could not breathe. 

Yet, looking back, I wish I would have met those anxieties and fears with a different attitude. One that simply came to the feet of Jesus, broken and messy, needy and desperate, and said, "I don't really understand Your ways, Lord. Or why You've allowed this, this and this in my life. But I am overcome by fear. And I need You..." I wish I hadn't been made to feel guilty and "ungodly" for feeling scared. Because, I truly don't think my Jesus wants that for His children. He wants us to be free, happy, and joyful. Like a parent desiring all the best for their toddler.. trying to create a safe, healthy, fun place full of joy for them to play. That is what He desires for us. But, we live in a broken and fallen place, and sometimes it is scary. And it's okay to be scared. But, I have found, that when I take those fears to Him -- He is there, holding me up. Reminding me of His presence, His goodness, His grace. "Where the spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom." 

"I prayed to the Lord and He answered me. He freed me from all my fears." - Psalm 34:4

I haven't shared this at all on my blog or social media but since Daniel and I have been married we have experienced some of the greatest joy and happiness of our lives. Yet, there have been two pretty big instances (and a few other littler moments and situations) in the past couple months where we have faced major uncertainty. I may share more later but for now, I just want to tell you and be honest -- because sometimes people on social media and bloggers can seem to have the most flawless lives. And it's okay to share just the good things. Sometimes it's not appropriate to share all our dirty laundry with the whole entire world, not safe, and not our own story to tell - maybe other people are involved in our situation who we need to protect. Life online is the "highlight reel" not the behind the scenes. And in my life even in the past couple months, we've faced some fearful moments. Especially one where I had to trust the Lord and honestly didn't trust Him very steadfastly through a lot of the situation -- I cried and feared, but laid at His feet and in His arms, which is all He asks. That is trust to me. Like a baby just resting in a mama's arms -- trusting that she will feed her, trusting that she will make sure she is safe. It isn't about us and our strength. It's about us and our severe brokenness and desperate need for Him. And He meets us right where we are.

Sometimes I think we need to realize that we are just broken and He is bigger than that. We are needy and He is our helper. And sometimes, we need to use things He's created to help us with our anxiety and fearfulness... Instead of just slapping a "bandaid" of "trust God more" onto our fear, I think we should talk about our fears and where they come from. In counseling and therapy, with family or close friends... being honest and looking into why we feel the way we do. We can get help from medical professionals, in extreme cases, because sometimes anxiety is a disorder. And sometimes, we need to wisely use little simple things like burning candles and sipping hot tea with honey, taking a warm shower, sitting and reading the Psalms, turning on peaceful worship lullabies or soft sweet music, and using things like essential oils (I love using lavender and "Stress Away" from Young Living Oils. And no, I don't sell them ;) I just really like those ones!)  to help us stay calm and remember truth. It doesn't mean that the scary things will go away, but we can do our best to crawl up into His lap, lay our head on His chest, and rest in His presence as best we can on earth. Because He cares, He isn't judging or angry when we are scared, but is kind, gracious, full of compassion. And He gives us freedom. He frees us from our fears! What an amazing thing to have access to. A God who holds the Universe in the palm of His hand and cares intimately about all your secret fears -- big and small. I've created this little printable -- for me and you -- as a little reminder and tool as we strive to lay it all at His feet and look to Him in our fear and uncertainty, knowing He is good.

You and I are oh so loved. And oh so free, in Him.


"Leave it all in the hands that were wounded for you."

 - Elisabeth Elliot 






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Friday, July 24, 2015


Some of my favorites this week: 

I'm OBSESSED with this body wash. I use it daily, it lasts forever, and is totally organic.

And my new hubby's favorite is this one.

I absolutely love this encouraging website for Christian gals. Free daily devotionals! 

45 life lessons from a 90 year old woman. 

One of my favorite face washes that always makes my skin feel so silky. 

My favorite new lip crayon. (and it's under $3!)

I read this lovely book in high school and it changed who I became! 

My favorite autumn piece for the last few years. 

The perfect mid-summer dress. 

I've been using this treatment on my hair lately and love it. 

This is the nail color I'm wearing in my friend's wedding this weekend! 

What a sweet and powerful reminder to carry around on your phone.

My wedding foundation. Crazy about it! 

This lip color is like candy!

What a dreamy night shirt. 


Have a beautiful and blessed weekend, sweet friends :) 
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Wednesday, July 22, 2015


I made Chicken Tortilla Soup last night and it was delicious! Last week when I made my grocery list, I planned it all out to be a Crock Pot meal to have waiting for my hubby when he got home from work, and have been looking forward to making it ever since! But, yesterday afternoon, as I pulled our Crock Pot out of the box (we have a tiny little kitchen and a lot of our beautiful appliances we got for our wedding and shower don't really fit in cupboards, so I have them boxed in our big closet) somehow the pot slipped from my fingers and crashed, falling onto our wood floor -- breaking into a thousand pieces! As I bandaged my cut fingers, I called my mama and she walked me through how to change my recipe from slow-cooker to stove top! I shared this on Instagram and had some requests for the recipe, so here it is :) 




Ingredients

2 1/2 (14.5 oz) cans low-sodium chicken broth (4 1/2 cups)

1 (14.5 oz) can petite diced tomatoes 

3/4 cup finely chopped yellow onion 

4 cloves garlic, chopped finely 

2 1/2 tsp chili powder

1 1/2 tsp ground cumin

3/4 tsp paprika

1/2 tsp ground coriander 

Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1 1/2 lbs frozen boneless skinless chicken breasts, precooked according to package directions 
      and shredded or cut into cubes.

1 (14.5 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed 

1 1/2 cups frozen corn

1 tbsp fresh lime juice

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro 

For serving:

Tortilla strips or tortilla chips (I cut up corn tortillas and fried them in vegetable oil to make 
     tortilla strips)

Shredded cheddar cheese 

Diced avocado, diced roma tomatoes, sour cream 

Directions:

 Pour chicken broth and diced tomatoes into a large pan. 

Add onion, garlic, chili powder, cumin, paprika, coriander, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Add shredded or cubed chicken and cover with a lid on medium heat for 40 minutes. 

Add black beans, corn, cilantro, and lime juice. Stir. Let simmer for 15 minutes. Allow to cook until heated through. 

Serve warm with tortilla strips and cheese, add sour cream or any other toppings you like. I also served our soup with a big green salad and whipped up little corn bread cakes (the Jiffy brand -- they're super simple and about 50 cents!) 

Enjoy!!

*Recipe adapted from Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup by CookingClassy.com

Tell me if you make it and what you think! :) 

XOXO 

















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Tuesday, July 21, 2015






Hello, wonderful friends! 

I'm a newlywed! And my name is now Mrs. Morris ;) I love it! 

Welcome to my new and improved, updated little home on the Internet. Life has been a happy, changing whirlwind the past year and I am finally settled in our new home and back to blogging (I've missed y'all a ton!) and to working on a  few big upcoming projects I cannot wait to share with you. 

Our wedding week, wedding day, honeymoon and first weeks of marriage have been blissful! Truly blessed. Full of new beginnings, unspeakable joy, so much fun, lots of learning and growing, and some trials and difficult things, too. I began my blog over three years ago with a passion to share my love for Jesus and to encourage young women. The blog quickly melded into somewhat of a "waiting"and relationship blog.... I sort of became known as the "singleness and purity blogger." And spoke at events, The Influence Conference, and wrote much about waiting. It became my ministry. One that I could have never imagined! Every single day for about three years straight -- without fail -- I would receive more than a 2-3 emails from different young women from ALL over the world about how they were waiting, too, and found encouragement in my honest words and struggles shared. How they wanted to wait. Or how they desired the "sweeter song" (as authors Eric and Leslie Ludy write) -- a romantic life that is not full of emptiness and meaningless hook-ups and searching, but is filled with meaning, life-long happiness, cherishing love, respect, and dreams come true! Every day, I would sit and email them back -- gals who needed hope, we felt like their loneliness would never end, who didn't see God's hand in their season, who felt left out and very forgotten. Who were the only ones in their high school and college who were choosing to wait on God to write their love story and be fearless and fierce in that commitment, to pray for their future husbands and to be trust Him -- with reckless faith and abandon -- to write their love stories. There were gals who felt so so guilty and lived in shame for things God had already given them grace for... for we all fail and fall every day, and need Him. I found my days full of trying -- with empty and sometimes shaking hands -- to encourage and speak hope into their lives. To tell them how much He adores them. How much He forgives and gives second chances to and has unimaginably beautiful plans for. How He desires them, all of them -- and waits to woo and win their hearts. How big and beautiful His plans for them are, and how all they had to do was ask, and step out in bold faith, for His best and most amazing plans.. to share with them how He is not some angry face looking down at us, shaking His head and pointing His finger, waiting to humiliate and shame us. But how He is the most kind-faced Father who look at us as His babies, precious and wanted and loved. How He -- in all His infinite power and holiness and glory and wisdom -- looks at us with eyes of grace. (So much grace.) And how He longs for us to know that He only tells us how we should live because He knows best for us. Like a Daddy telling his little pig-tailed baby girl, "Sweetie, don't run out into the street while you play in the yard. You'll get hurt, love." -- how He does not want to stifle us and keep us from living life or having fun. But He wants us to have the most wonderful, fun, joyful, healthy, and safe life! "The thief comes to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that you may have life and have it to the full!" John 10:10 
 Because I was in my own waiting journey, not wanting to settle for anything or anyone less than a godly, kind hearted, honorable, man of character, it was sometimes hard to share so openly here on my blog.. about my loneliness, the struggles - and the joys - of singleness and choosing to wait, pray for and prepare for my hoped-for future husband, and to live quite "counter the culture." Treating dating, relationships, and marriage with sacredness and care. Not always perfectly but with a heart that desired to honor the Lord. Sometimes, as I've shared my words, photos, and life pretty much exclusively on my Instagram account lately, I'll get comments from readers (or lurckers haha!) telling me that I sound super desperate in my writing about singleness. That I "come off" as if I was just waiting around, desperate for the first man who would look my way, suffering through being single and just dying to be married. And I see how it could "look" that way from the words on my IG -- yet, knowing the full context of my ministry on this blog and my story in full (as some of you sweet readers who've read through the last years of posts or have been here for them as I've posted -- I adore you guys!) I am simply trying to share with my still-single sisterhood how I so fully understand the loneliness you sometimes experience, the questioning of the Lord at times, and the pain of feeling forgotten. Singleness for me was amazing. I traveled, found out who I am, spent time with family and friends, had lots of fun with other single people and getting to know guys and had some sweet friendships with brothers, got to sleep in when I wanted, stay up as late as I liked, spend my money how I wanted, and just be fabulous by myself! It was awesome! And I loved being independent and wouldn't trade that season for the world. But I struggled, too. Because getting married to a good man was one of my biggest life dreams, something God put in my heart as a little girl -- and I believe there is nothing wrong with that.  I understand how single gals can feel like your dreams and hopes and prayers are forgotten or unheard. I totally get it. And I almost feel a responsibility -- after sharing the long 28 year journey of waiting -- so openly on a blog -- the promises that CAME TRUE at the end of that single road! I openly shared the joys and heartaches of waiting. And now, I don't want to just ride off into the sunset and move on -- I want to remember this ministry and journey I have shared, and continue to openly and honestly share my life with you all. Because, every season is a gift from God. And I want to encourage those who are waiting still that it is fully and completely WORTH IT! I am so thankful, unbelievably grateful, that God gave me the sheer grace and strength (that did not come from me!) to wait for my now-husband. He is an absolute gem of a man. And I can truthfully and honestly say that he is everything I prayed for and more. He and I are far from perfect, obviously. But he is truly a man of integrity, character, and kindness. And ladies in waiting, I want you to know that every single lonely night, every time I sat at friend after friend's wedding (wiping away happy tears for them, and ducking into the bathroom alone to wipe away sad and "forgotten feeling" tears for me), every prayer, every moment I looked around this culture and world and said to myself, "How the heck are there any men of God left? They all look like losers and players to me...", every time I doubted and literally kicked and screamed to the Lord and voiced every single desire and pain and doubt (He knows them anyway...) and the times I got to know and dated guys, was in a few relationships before Daniel and I met -- and I just knew in the pit of my stomach that I could "push it through" and make it happen -- I could marry those guys, and just settle and get married for goodness sake! When I was tired of waiting and liked the attention... but knew that the guy I was dating just was not what I dreamed of, he didn't cherish and respect me or deeply know the Lord -- and when I broke up with those guys, and my heart felt like it was being torn to shreds. When I cried and wept. And knew I did the right thing, but saw the dream of marriage moving further and further away. It was ALL WORTH EVERY SINGLE SECOND! I want you to know that! That marriage is wonderful and a blessing and literally a dream. And marriage to a good and godly man of character is the best decision you will ever make. So ladies in waiting, keep praying for your man. Keep waiting, keep hoping. Keep dreaming. Keep working on your hearts instead of running around frantically trying to make something happen. Become a woman of character, yourself. And press hard into the Lord. Make Him your goal, your hope, your joy, your peace, your love and your life's greatest romance. As wonderful as Daniel is (and he is truly amazing. My sister and I call him an angel -- he is that sweet!) my relationship with him is second to the lifelong relationship I have with the Lord. The Lord is my first love and my greatest romance, my most valiant Prince Charming, and my dream come true. And waiting on HIS timing and trusting His pen to write my earthly love story is one of my greatest joys in life and the best decisions I've made. 

All of that to say, I can't wait to share more here again. Of my life, my heart, my travels, my faith, my story and our journey, my love story, my love for fashion, food, home, and just my tips for lifestyle -- and just every day fun things! You are all such a blessing to me, and thank you for sticking around through the last year of me being absent because I was falling in love, getting engaged and married! Life truly is a gift and oh so precious and beautiful, redeemed and joyful when lived with Jesus. I'm really incredibly thankful for it all!



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Monday, April 27, 2015

Oh my beautiful, faithful, old and new, wonderful readers -- 

I miss you!

 This poor little blog hasn't seen me around very much in the past months, because I've been planning my wedding and living my engagement. It's been a beautiful season of preparation, waiting, growing, and cherishing the time we are in. 

Just 18 days until our big day. And I am in states of varying awe, stress, over the clouds excitement, happiness and joy, and disbelief that my WEDDING DAY is finally almost here! 

I just wanted to check in one more time before becoming Mrs. Morris. We will be married on May 16th, and then on our honeymoon afterwards so I won't be around until early summer, because I want to fully enjoy and be totally undistracted from my man, family, friends, and this moment! But when I am back, happily settling into married life, I am planning to jump back into this beautiful community, into writing (especially writing our love story for you all who want to read) and working on some projects -- things I started, then got engaged and crazy busy so dropped for a time! Lord willing, I'll pick up some things I haven't been able to work on and I am so thrilled to get back to it in the summertime, sharing more regularly here again :) 

You are all amazing, and I am grateful for you! For quick updates, you can still find me over at Instagram in the next weeks at @itserinjames

May my story and meager words and offerings here on this blog, as you perhaps read over the posts through the last years, be encouragement to those who are waiting, suffering, wondering, confused, depressed, questioning, lonely, and afraid. Our God is big and good. In the sweet as pie seasons and in the dreary, rainy, bitter ones. Keep hoping, believing and looking to Him. 

I am shutting down advertising for this season, but will reopen when I am back from my honeymoon. I'm also not going to be "around" via email much, so know you will get a reply after all the wedding festivities and celebration. 

Love and so many blessings, to you and you and you. 

See you soon! (And I will bring wedding pictures, of course ;) 

Some of our engagement photos (credit: imkristen.com) 



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Monday, March 30, 2015

"Look for the happy in everything you do." 

That's the motto of Jadelynn Brooke, a "Deerly Southern" and happy, preppy brand I absolutely adore! They sent me a box full of fabulous goodies and gear -- I'm literally obsessed with these girls and their brand! I am a born, raised, and bred Southern California gal, but since years ago, I fell in love with Southern style. In college, everyone asked if I was from the South, and said I seemed like a Southern Belle. Someday, I would love to own a home somewhere down South -- the culture, lifestyle, pace, and values are right up my alley -- including the STYLE. My sweet Fiance was born in Arkansas and raised in Oklahoma, and so finally I've got a Southern man in my life ;) Just what I always wanted haha! 

I adore the "Merica" cap, cute stickers, adorable drink cozies, shirt, and tote -- I use the tote all the time to carry around all my wedding notebooks and things. Check out this shop -- you'll love their style! 


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