Saturday, July 18, 2015

Purity, Anyone?

 *Discretion: This piece is my mental stream of consciousness regarding society at large, not a condemnation of individual people.

Some days I am deeply saddened by the fact that men and women of purity have become an endangered species in our society today.

Today is one of those saddened and frustrated days. I really don’t even know where to begin, so I am just going to jump right in. 

What is going on, society?


What is going on?

I see previews for new “romantic” comedies in theaters like this one; I turn on the television to any current show; I turn on the radio and quickly flip from one station to another, my ears burning. Needless to say, I’m honestly revolted by what I see and hear. I’m truly saddened by what is considered normal and acceptable in our society today. I do not believe that what is being put on display is the best of what life can be.

It is certainly all ordinary, and absolutely not extraordinary.

It is a very muddy, very false reality of the beautiful lives and purposes that we’ve been called to live. It is not the abundant and deeply fulled life that Jesus offers. Sadly, many people do not understand or know the difference.

We live in a world today where wrong is right and right is wrong. Where physical pleasure and self-satisfaction is celebrated over anything and everything else. When it comes to sexuality, we have no regard for the sacred; no respect for the holy. We have no regard that we are allowing another person to physically enter into our body. We are laid bare and completely exposed and yet it is recreation with whomever, whenever? For me, this just does not compute.

What ever happened to modesty of body and heart? What ever happened to sex being meant as an act of love and intimacy between a husband and wife? An act of total commitment, devotion, and self-sacrificial service for your spouse and only your spouse? Sex not only being symbolic, but a physical reality that you and your spouse have now become one flesh (literally).

Two separate lives have now become one. To me this is not old fashioned; it is simply wise living. And it needs to be celebrated.

All I see is celebration for anything and everything but this.

Society tells (and shows) us today that sex is carnal. It is an animalistic instinct. It is simply about physical pleasure and fun for consenting adults. It needs to be enjoyed as much as possible and in any way possible (and preferably with lots of different partners in order to get the best experiences possible).

What bothers me most about all of this is that the world has taken what God has meant as sacred, holy, and beautiful and made it common, inconsequential, and average. This is not ok.

Love is simply debased to lust.

Devotion is negated for desire.

What’s even worse is that sex is made humorous and put on public display and discussion.

Sex is a gift from God. It is more than just a physical action. It is a holy union of the sacred and the physical, the tangible and the spiritual, a connection of body, heart, and spirit. It is does not take place without strings attached when you are literally receiving physical parts and pieces of another person's body into your own. It involves the mind, body, and spirit (not just your own, but your partner’s also). It is meant to be treasured and enjoyed in the healthy and safe context of a life-long commitment and covenant.

Sex is designed to be protected, private, and sacred in the context of your own marriage. It is literally a life-creating miracle. The world may try to tell you that it is simply a pleasure inducing physical action, but in reality is so much more grand. It is divinely designed and is incredibly special and noble. I’m sick of the world debasing, demoralizing, and making average what God has called special, beautiful, and holy when done the best way (His way).

I believe that it does not get more romantic and extraordinary than knowing that you and your spouse are each other’s one and only; that physical intimacy is an amazing experience that only the two of you have shared together and will ever share together. Knowing that you both endured many lonely nights because you loved each other enough in advance to wait. 

That’s romantic.

 For those who haven't waited in the past, but are making the choice to wait now.

That’s romantic. 

For those who are married and faithfully keep their vows, delight in their husband or wife, and faithfully uphold and cherish the integrity and dignity of their spouse.
That’s romantic.

Not a one night stand. Not a wild weekend. Not an ongoing fling.

Marriage. Love. Commitment. Devotion. Sacrifice.

Rhianna sings, “Want you to make me feel like I’m the only girl in the world. Like I’m the only one that you’ve ever loved. Like I’m the only one who knows your heart”. This does not have to be an abnormal pipedream in a techno song; this should be normal. This one and only love should be the reality. I encourage you today and say that it can be your reality. 

Why settle for anything less? You are worth it. Do not let society tell you that aren’t. Someone has to say it.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Obligation as Opportunity


What would our lives look like if we began to view our daily tasks and responsibilities not as obligations, but rather as opportunities?

Think about this for a moment.

How would this paradigm shift affect your relationships, your work environments, your spiritual life, your physical health, and many other areas of your life?

For me, this paradigm shift changes everything. Daily living goes from a list of to-dos to an exciting adventure that is continuously unfolding and evolving. It is intentional living. It is being proactive rather than reactive. And the very best part? It enables us to take ownership over our outlook and actions. When we choose to view our lives as being full of opportunities rather than obligations, we dictate our circumstances and choose how we spend our time. This is so much better then allowing our circumstances and responsibilities take ownership over us and dictate our emotions and energy. Living with intentionality and a heart open to opportunity is extremely freeing and cuts the unnecessary fat out of our lives. We choose the type of life that we want to live and the outlook that we want to have.

Ownership over our attitude and choices can literally turn the ordinary into the extraordinary. Rather than letting our day be dictated by obligations that we have to fulfill, we are able to take ownership over our approach to every moment of the day and embrace the possibility of growth and enrichment in every situation we encounter. This allows the best to come out of every situation.

For example: Lets say your boss asks you to take on an extra responsibility at work or attend an extra function that you normally would not be required to attend. There are two ways to respond: You can see the extra responsibility as a burdensome obligation that someone else is making you do, or you can take ownership over it and see the extra responsibility as a way to expand your repertoire and strengthen your relationship with my boss and department, which is wonderful for professional development and advancement. Likewise, we can see that extra event as a time stealing obligation, or we can see it as an opportunity to meet new people and build relationships across departments. Perhaps we have mundane tasks at work that we hate to complete. Look for the opportunity that lies within those tasks. The choice is always ours.

Another example: Fitness. I can view my time on the treadmill as a monotonous obligation or as a healthy opportunity to invest in treating my body well while listening to the latest podcast or watching a favorite show. Lets say I have a great book that I know I should read to expand my knowledge, but crashing on the couch to watch TV all night instead sounds so much convenient. Of course there are days when just simply relaxing and vegging out for a bit is needed, but let's be honest, those days are not every day. I can view choosing to read the book as an obligation for self improvement or I can view reading the book as an opportunity to stimulate my mind and further develop myself as a well-read woman, which I always want to be.

If we have a goal in mind of who we want to become as we continue to grow as a person (which is always a life long journey), we have to make choices today that will grow us into the person for tomorrow. Make those choices and create those opportunities as if you are that person already. If you want to be a business owner, act like a business owner and see opportunities within your life to expand and strengthen your business skills. If you want to work in politics or be a PR executive, see every situation as on opportunity to hone your communication & people skills.  If you want to be a writer, act like a writer and see those hidden opportunities within your life to hone your writing skills--even if it is just in writing a thank you card for a coworker or an email to a friend--that is an opportunity! Start with the intention and see that the opportunities will follow. Remember, "Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin..." -Zechariah 4:10.

I heard Bishop TD Jakes say in a message, "You have been wired for a greater purpose...You have to be something instinctively and intrinsically before you can be it experientially". To paraphrase his message: if you are not a leader on the inside right now, you'll never be a true leader once you get the title. If you are not a preacher right now and naturally preach to yourself and others, you'll never be a preacher once you get the title. It comes down to your character, values, and the intentions of your heart. It is also a matter of recognizing our natural gifts, talents, and desires and living our lives in a way in which we seize each moment as a powerful opportunity for the next. After all, all we have is right now. 

We choose to set an atmosphere over our lives, whether we realize it or not. We can set an atmosphere of creativity, opportunity, and excellence over our lives or we can set an atmosphere of strife and mediocrity. After all, you reap what you sow. In other words, whatever you put into a situation is exactly what you will get out of it. If you are doing the bare minimum in life to get through tasks and responsibilities with as little effort or engagement as possible, you are not going to get an enriching and highly fulfilling life back in return. If, however, you meet every task and responsibility as an opportunity in which you can immerse yourself and open yourself up to new possibilities and learning, you have now created an atmosphere in which your life can thrive and grow, and others in return will be attracted to it. Why? Because passion, intention, and dedication is contagious.

Life is way too short to only do things half way and just get by. Laziness and routine patterns may be convenient in the current moment, but they do not take us toward the bright future that God has destined for us. All we have is the ability to choose our response and efforts here and now. Let's choose wisely. Let's choose opportunity.

Click here and jump to 21:00 min to hear Bishop's TD Jakes' message that I'm referring to.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

When the words aren't there...

Hi, dear friends.

It has been way too long since I last posted and wrote original content.

But, the delay has been for good reason.

The words haven't been there.

The emotions have been deep. The thoughts have thorough and wide. The words to encapsulate these thoughts and emotions in writing, however, have not been there. 

I have gone through some incredible life changes over the past few months (new home, new job, many ways). My focus, thoughts, time, and emotions have been on fully establishing this new life that I love deeply. Because of this, I haven't had the words to write it all down. I haven't had the mental space to give this craft...this creative space...the time it deserves. I haven't had the drive and specific focus to give you, my reader and friend, the time and excellence that you deserve.

If there is one thing that I always want to be as a writer and creative person, it is this:


I'm not going to put on a show and write for the sake of writing or post for the sake of posting. I never want to do anything half-way. If the passion isn't behind it, I am not going to do it. I don't ever want my writing and blog to be a "fake it till I make it" endeavor. I want to it be an genuine interaction between you and me. A genuine inspiration and encouragement with your Wednesday night glass of wine, or Saturday morning coffee. A genuine connection of our worlds, passions, beliefs, and creative qualities. If my voice isn't clear, I don't want to use it. I would rather wait until I have something of value to say.

Talk is cheap.

I want the words I use to make a difference and inspire. I want the words I use to spark a passion in the hearts of others to pursue turning their ordinary into the extraordinary and to live out their God-given destiny to the very fullest. I want the words I use to make a difference and not just take up cyber space.

So here are my words, genuine and true. I'm filled with eager anticipation as to how creative juices, thoughts, and inspiration will flow in this new season of life. I'm so glad that you're along for the journey with me.


Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Wednesday Favorites: Holiday Favorites/Gift Guide

 Hi, friends.

I'm certainly well into the Christmas spirit & hopefully you are too! I believe the holiday season truly is the most wonderful time of the year. No matter where you are in life, there is always something to celebrate and be thankful for.

I thought I would do something a little different with this week's Wednesday favorites by focusing on some of my holiday favorites. I definitely believe that it always is truly better to give than to receive, so I thought it would be fun to compile a gift guide that would encourage others to get into the joy and fun of giving.  I always enjoy looking at other blogs' gift gifts and holiday favorites, so I thought I would do the same with Cadence Victoria. I hope you enjoy these favorites/gift guide and the exposure to new items and goodies that you may not have tried before.


Chocolates from See's Candies (a California based candy company) are always a winner in my book for anyone that you need to buy a gift for. Far better than any other American chocolate, it is my all-time favorite. If have a store nearby you can hand-pick your box or you can order pre-packaged boxes online. The nuts & chews mix is always a crowd-pleaser. Their Dark Chocolate Peppermints and Cashew Brittle are also phenomenal: $18.00 for a 1lb box of chocolates.

This gorgeous metallic journal from World Market is lovely for any loved ones who love to write or even track their notes/grocery lists: $14.99

I adore the Boulangerie candles sold at Anthropology. Wonderful gifts for the winter season are Sweet Vanilla & Cinnamon and Oatmeal Cookie: $16.00


Williams-Sonoma's Peppermint Hand Cream & Hand Soap make for a lovely, deliciously scented gift: $29.95

This gorgeous, sparkly Christmas red nail polish from Essie (which I am currently wearing as we speak) is certain to dazzle all season long: $8.95

My absolute favorite holiday candles are from Bath & Body Works. You honestly cannot find other holiday candles that carry such a strong, potent fragrance that can permeate the entire room and last for so long for such a reasonable price (especially when they run sales). A few of my favorites for holiday scents are the Twisted Peppermint, Frosted Cranberry, and Tis the Season. With the online deal of 2 for $22, buy one for a loved one and keep one for yourself: Online: 2 for $22, In stores: $22.50.

If you love following Humans of New York on Facebook, this book is a must-have that can be enjoyed and appreciated by anyone. I'm always fascinated by the stories behind people's photos. You never know what others are experiencing beneath the surface, whether good or bad. It will make you laugh, cry, and remind you of the importance of compassion and respect toward others.

Next to MAC's matte lipsticks, I am big fan of Sephora's Rouge Cream lipsticks as well. My favorite for the winter season is Crush, a deep red-ish cranberry that I think would look great on any complexion and always yields a lot of compliments: $12.50

Josh Groban's Noel is by far my favorite Christmas album for traditional, Christ-centered Christmas carols. Spread the Christmas cheer to loved ones with this excellent Christmas album. I get chocked up every single time that I listen to Josh's rendition of "I'll be Home for Christmas" in which he has the greetings of military men & woman far from home overlaying on the track. Simply excellent.

For a splurge, most any Jo Malone fragrance is a hit. I currently love the Wild Bluebell. Multiple scents can also be layered to create your a signature scent (though I recommend you speak with a specialist in the store to learn which ones to layer). 30 mL is the most accessible price: $60

Do you have any particular go-to gifts for this time of year? I'd love to hear some of your favorite gifts for the holiday season!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Wednesday Favorites

Happy Wednesday, friends! I hope you all had a restful and enjoyable Thanksgiving weekend. I was incredibly fortunate to spend great quality time with my family, cook a lot of delicious food, enjoy the gorgeous Southern California weather, and even snag some great deals out shopping (but not on Black Friday!). A very blessed and thankful holiday indeed.

Here are some favorites for your mid-week enjoyment:

I will definitely be making this Eggnog French Toast now that it's December.

Four ways to become more cultured (though, I would venture to say more educated than cultured).

For anyone else curious about what Lizzie McGuire would be up to these days :-) 

The effect left on a community when a teenage girl is recruited by ISIS.

These twice baked potatoes with kale look absolutely delicious (and not too difficult to make).

Been burning Bath & Body Works' Salty Carmel candle.

Enjoyed Marie's perspective on dealing with criticism

Bought of box of these from Trader Joe' freakin' good! Highly recommend. Enough said.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Wednesday Favorites

Considering how much I love Thanksgiving and the entire kick-off of the holiday season in general, it is no surprise that my Wednesday favorites this week are heavily centered around Thanksgiving and the holidays...

This year one of the many things I am thankful for is not having to travel cross-country to come home for Thanksgiving with my family...because now I already am home...and it is 75 degrees outside instead of 30 degrees :-) 

Wishing you and yours a VERY Happy Thanksgiving!

A vegetarian Thanksgiving.

Enjoyed reading up on this hardcore Thanksgiving etiquette.

I love a good crudites platter. 

Love these darling gifts under $10, especially the snowflake mugs from Crate & Barrel.

Eleven things you may not have know about Thanksgiving. 

Brunch is always a good idea. These dishes look fabulous.

Loving this lip gloss in a deep plum from Estee Lauder. Was able to find it for a lower price at a local beauty outlet store. 

This kale & butternut squash salad looks delicious.

I've been streaming the first season of Covert Affairs via Amazon Prime. So good! No doubt my family and I will be binge watching it over the long Thanksgiving weekend in between decorating for Christmas.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Apple, Mushroom, and Pecan Cornbread Stuffing

I have always been a big fan of Thanksgiving. For me, there is nothing better than being gathered around a beautifully decorated with table with family, eating delicious food and celebrating all that we are thankful for.

I am a huge stickler for tradition when it comes to holidays, especially concerning the dishes we prepare every year. Every Thanksgiving, for as long as I can remember, we have always made the exact same plain stuffing. No special add-ins. Just good ol' plain stuffing with lots of homemade gravy on top. And low and behold, year after year our family's plain stuffing remains my favorite.

This year, however, I wanted to branch out from tradition and try something very different from our usual routine. I thought I would try out my improvised recipe a little early for a few colleagues of mine today...and it was a big HIT!  I am quite pleased with how it turned out and I think you'll enjoy it too.

I have no doubts that my family will enjoy bucking tradition this year after they get a taste of this Apple & Mushroom Cornbread Stuffing.

This stuffing (like most everything I cook) is a mixture of few different recipes and sources. I gleamed a lot of inspiration from this amazing recipe, combined with the recipe on the back of this box:

While also deciding to mix in about two thirds of this box:

While I like to try to make all of my dishes from scratch, sometimes you just gotta mix and match when time doesn't afford for you to cook, slice, and dice your own homemade white bread & cornbread.

(*Feel free to modify according to your taste preferences).

1 small pack of white mushrooms
2 Granny Smith apples
1 brown onion
32oz turkey broth (or chicken broth)
1/3 cup pecans
2 cups white wine 
1 teaspoon of salt 
Olive oil
3 tablespoons of dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon of cinnamon
1 dash of nutmeg
1 box of Trader Joe's Cornbread Stuffing Mix
2/3 box of Trader Joe's Pumpkin Cornbread Croutons


Start off by dicing up one small pack of white mushrooms and two (peeled) Granny Smith apples.

Drizzle a generous amount of olive oil in a large skillet. Over medium heat, saute the mushrooms until they are golden brown. Sprinkle with a teaspoon of salt (or to your taste preference).

Slice one brown onion into rings. Throw the onion wrings into the sauteed mushrooms and saute together for a few minutes until the onions are soft and browned.

In a separate bowl, mix the diced apples with a drizzle of olive oil. Add 1 tablespoon of brown sugar and a generous sprinkling of cinnamon. Add a dash of nutmeg and stir together.

Add the diced & seasoned apples into the pan with the sauteed mushrooms and apples. 

Add an additional two tablespoons of brown sugar to caramelize the mushrooms, apples, and onions. Sprinkle in a generous portion of chopped pecans (to taste).

Slice four tablespoons of butter and add to the sauteed mixture.

Add one cup of white wine and stir thoroughly, allowing the mixture to be fulled coated with liquid. 

Add 32 ounces of either turkey broth or chicken broth to the stuffing. Stir well. Then, add one additional cup of white wine.

Add the spice packet from the Trader Joe's stuffing mix to the pan, stirring thoroughly.

Grease a large casserole dish with non-stick cooking spray. In the casserole dish, mix together the bread crumbs from the Trader Joe's stuffing mix, along with 2/3 of the box of Trader Joe's pumpkin cornbread croutons.

Once tossed together, pour all of the breading/croutons into the saucepan with the liquid and sauteed goodies. Toss well so that all of the breading is throughout coated. Pour the entire saucepan into the greased casserole dish and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, covered. Remove the cover for the last 5 minutes of baking to allow the stuffing to get crisp on top.

Remove from the oven. Serve. Enjoy!

Do you have any favorite Thanksgiving recipes that you would recommend? What are some of your favorite Thanksgiving dishes? For those of you abroad, what Thanksgiving dish would you most like to try? I'd love to hear from you!