The Day by Day Approach: My Secret to Not Going Insane and Staying Thankful

This month, my post will be short and sweet. This Thanksgiving mont, I would like to leave a thought  with you to think about and maybe try for yourselves.

Have you ever felt bogged down or overwhelmed by a schedule that almost feels like it could swallow you whole?

Sometimes, looking at the big picture of things can feel like biting off more than you can chew and can leave each day feeling monotonous and uncannily similar to the ones proceeding it.

Is there a way to keep this from happening?

As a person who thrives on creative energy, days can begin to feel like a stagnant pond rather than a rushing river, and as though I have begun to slip into the lazy river inter-tube of routine and remained there on cruise control.

I have chosen to strive to live more day by day – and it is easier said than done.

I recently made a decision. Instead of worrying the night before about putting the coffee filter in the coffee pot, so that I can save myself 2.3 minutes in the morning while rushing around, I decided that I would rather skip coffee the next day if that’s what happens. Why? There used to be a beauty in the act of making myself coffee each and every day, a new act of waking up to the day. Something that I consider a pleasure of life, a steaming cup of coffee each morning, had somehow become as unexciting as my brown coffee filters themselves.

coffee image(1)

As silly as this example is, the tiniest act of routine was taking something away from a spontaneity I needed so badly!

I began to do things again that may not have fallen into the category of logical in terms of routine, but truly serve as beneficial to my soul.

If it feels right, I am totally alright with:

-Noticing flowers while walking and actually stopping to look at them or smell them, instead of just thinking about doing so.

-While driving home from work or walking somewhere I need to go, calling someone I love (my mom, grandparents, ect.) and telling them that I love them.

-Trying to write at least one page a day. (Even when I feel as though nothing comes to me worth writing down, but because I love to write.)

-Reading a book that makes me smile before bed.

-Praying everyday and knowing that simply talking to God is more important than formulating a “proper prayer” (And feeling thrilled by the fact that He cares to listen).

-Actively choosing and recognizing at least one thing each day that I have to think of and meditate on, that I have to  be truly thankful for.

Fall leaves. Genuine smiles. Apple Cider. Pumpkin candles. Surprise letters. Old friends. New places. Tall trees. A certain smile.

There are so many beautiful things.

And it’s so easy to get caught up in the brown coffee filter days to recognize them sometimes.

So, I challenge you all, along with me to attempt for the remainder of November to try not to get so caught up in the planning and worrying.

Even if it’s day by day. Go out or look within, and find something to be thankful for and smile about it.

(Just Because.)


When the Valley Girl Gets the Valley Feel

I have now been living in “the valley” for about two months.

Two months and two third Thursday’s on Tujunga avenue.

A handful of weeknights off work to go to a little neighborhood dive to sing “Crazy” by Patsy Cline on a karaoke night.

I have now tried a good number of the little restaurants on my street. I’ve listened to live music just a few blocks from my apartment. I’ve sat outside underneath the string lights on a warm summer night at Aroma cafe. I’ve tasted local plum sorbet from a new ice cream shop on the corner, with plum sorbet melting down my fingers and onto my shirt. I have walked and worked and driven and had to do uncountable u-turns.

I suppose in the process, I have lived and grown.  I am now transitioning into the point where this life in Los Angeles  is beginning to feel real. To sink in. The moments where I can stumble into a place hopelessly confused and claim that I have just arrived is beginning to fade away.

At what point does your new home begin to feel like home?


Photo by Bethany Poteet

hollywood sunset

Hollywood Sunset

Is it when you finally have a neighborhood grocery store where someone recognizes your face? Is it having a church that you go to each week? Is it having a go to coffee shop to get a latte and and sit and read without feeling like a tourist?

I think in a way, it’s all of these things.

But to truly begin to feel at home in a new place, there is a much deeper element to it. A non surface manifestation of belonging.

A soul recognizing another soul just as it is found in that moment, even if it is an outsider.

I think in layman’s terms it would be summed up to one word: COMMUNITY.

There are undoubtedly days, nights, and particular moments where I feel very much on the outside looking in to a foreign way of thought, life, and atmosphere. Who knew that just across the country, two places could be so vastly different in so many ways.

The way of speaking is different in LA.

The air is different.

The way that people dress. (or don’t dress).

The way that people react when you mention God.

The way that the sun feels through your car window.

The feeling of salt on your skin when you go to the beach.

How do you define community?

It can be walking into a crowded room and not feeling alone.

It can be walking walking into a crowded room alone, and feeling ok with that.

Because the people around you feel that way too.

One particular moment to share in which I felt a true sense of community would be last Saturday when I went to the Toluca Lake Farmer’s Market.

I had been to the market several times. The first time that I ever went, a particular vendor selling the most beautiful California almonds and raisins took the time to say hello. After a bit of talking, he knew that I was an Arkansas native and I knew that he was a native Angelino. As I walked away that day, Rich ran after me and told me something that I will never forget. He told me that the market vendors who met each week to hold that small Toluca Lake Market had become like family and that if I wanted, I was welcome to be part of it. He said that he was having a barbeque for all of his fellow vendors and to celebrate his birthday the following week and that I was more than welcome to come by.

I looked into his eyes, really searching them. And there at the market that day, I experience a true act of the purest form of kindness, the kind that asks nothing in return.

I did return, however. Rich and many of the other market vendors had laid out a huge spread of wonderful things. There was fresh watermelon, sandwiches, and potato salad. A woman who sold beautiful stones and jewelry brought “cotton candy” grapes. They were the sweetest grapes I have ever put in my mouth! Rich himself had marinated and grilled the most delicious chicken and made fresh skewers of grilled vegetables with steak. There was fresh and spicy salsa, sold there at the market and locally made. The woman who sold the jewlery also brought two tres leches cakes for Rich’s birthday. After most of us had enjoyed a plate of food, we all gathered around the white plastic table and lit a candle to sing.

There was so much good food and so much happiness and warmth that day. The weather in itself accounted for that. It was one of the hottest days I have experienced so moving to California. The black asphalt almost seemed as though it were steaming and radiating heat. It was one of those perfect afternoon’s though, the kind that stick with you in your memory forever. It didn’t matter that everyone was around the table with sweat causing their shirts to stick to their back. It was a day to celebrate Rich, and the celebration of sharing. Everyone there seemed to be involved .A vendor who sold vegetables brought over a bag of his most gorgeous tomatoes and peppers and plums while another vendor freely handed over a massive pile of the ripest and sweet plums, nectarines, and peaches that you could imagine. Plates were handed out and filled with joy for the sake of sharing good food and good company. The air felt stagnant and hot, but the atmosphere of relationship and giving was so incredibly refreshing.

Two lovely ladies who had a booth on the end selling the most beautiful wreathes with butterflies placed one on my head, telling me that the red of the butterfly suited me. She  placed the flower crown on my head, something that was made with not little effort yet given so freely. I looked up at her feeling like a fairy queen.

All that I was that day was present and grateful yet somehow, good created good. Rich generously heaped grapes into a bag for me to take home. The produce vendor refused my dollars and told me to pick whatever I wanted from his table. The vendor selling the sweetest California strawberries imaginable scooped up a carton and slipped them into a plastic bag. He handed me the bag with smiling eyes as though I had asked for them. There were leftover sunflowers that Rich placed in a bouquet for me to match my fairy crown. These are things that I know do not “just happen” and there was nothing that I did or said to spur their deserving.

I had baked an apple cake earlier that week and brought two left over pieces for Rich to try. Standing there with my little brown paper bag; carrying my two small pieces of cake wrapped in foil,  I felt so inadequate. There was not enough to share with everyone. I came to the market that day nearly empty handed with no idea of what I would receive.. And it hadn’t mattered that I had nothing to share because the day wasn’t about a physical exchange. It was an exchange of togetherness and of life.

I had been treated as one of them and shared with so effortlessly. My heart felt in that moment as  though it could overflow with the beauty of that kind of kindness. There was an unrefined purity to that kind of goodness and acceptance, even to a new girl on the block, that I hoped to share with others.

That day at the market overwhelmed me with the lesson I had learned.

Community is not always something that you search for or pay your dues to obtain. In a city that can place so much pressure on who you know; I found myself completely welcomed by a group of people who accepted me without asking a single question. And that, is what I am discovering, what true community  is really about.

Good creates good, and that is truly beautiful.

Peace and love,

– Christiana

My beautiful butterfly crown given to me by Caroline of JuneBloom floral, pictured behind.

My beautiful butterfly crown given to me by Caroline of JuneBloom floral, pictured behind.

(Please check out Caroline’s beautiful creations on her Instagram @junebloomfloral)

We Aren't In Arkansas Anymore Toto…


The past two weeks of my life have been!

For any of you reading this who don’t already know-

I recently moved from my small, safe, lovely little hometown in Arkansas to one of the biggest and most difficult to live in cities in the country….


Me getting ready to leave Arkansas and head to the airport!

Me getting ready to leave Arkansas and get to the airport!

“Be careful, or you will be swallowed up in that city.”

“Are you sure this is what you really want?”

“Why don’t you try somewhere smaller first and slowly transition to L.A.?”

“Go for it!”

“Pursue your dreams with head held high!”

“Be careful and stay true to yourself.”

“First follow God, and all other things will be added.”

“Never forget where you come from!”

-Before Moving, I heard it all.-

I think that somewhere mixed in the extremes of all of the feedback, support, thoughts, negativity, and encouragement that I have received are two underlying truths-

Picking up and moving your life to a place where you know no one, have no family, no friends, and are not guaranteed any “success” is probably one of the most risky, unclear, and illogical moves that a person could make.

Picking up and moving your life to a place where you know no one, have no family, no friends, and are not guaranteed any “success” is probably one of the most exhilarating, life altering, leaps of faith that a person could make.

That said,


(Although there is quite amazing choices of cuisine here.)

What happened was:

My mom flew with me here for the first week.

She spent her week of “vacation” driving around L.A. with me getting lost and loading cars with heavy suitcases in the heat.

One day in particular, we spent an entire afternoon in IKEA trying to find things for my new apartment. It was our first time to ever go to one, and we were both overwhelmed.

There was floor after floor of desks, lamps, kitchen ware, bedding, and after three hours and no map, we had apparently barely scratched the service.

We had gone there to find me a small, plain, black desk for my room.

To say the least, we left desk-less, slightly exasperated, and starving.


In the distance, across the street, we could make out the red and yellow letters.

It felt like a sign from the good Lord himself.

Then as we looked closer, it was true.

It was an IN-N-OUT Burger.

A major plus of moving here...

A major plus of moving here…

My mom and I sat there in that packed-out place like we had arrived at the gates of heaven with with our greasy and delicious in-n-out burgers and animal fries. (LOOK THEM UP IF YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT I’M TALKING ABOUT AND YOUR LIFE MAY JUST HAVE CHANGED.)

And as we sat there we watched the people around us, some dressed in tough-guy jean jackets, some girls in high stilettos, realizing how far from Arkansas we really were.

And then, it seemed in the same instant, it hit us.

As we sat there with  messy fingers and ketchup stained napkins, we dabbed mascara from our cheeks and tried to contain our crocodile like tears.

In just a few short days, this place, as exotic as a jungle compared to my hometown would soon become my home.

I would be staying here.


And things got real the night before she left.

She stayed with me at my new place that night so that she could make it to the airport in the morning.

We had to wake up at 3:30 a.m. to make sure she got to LAX in time for her early flight.

I stood there with my mom on the curb that morning, cars already zipping past. Her with her suitcases and me in my pajamas with a scared heart.

She got into the car and i stood there until I could barely make out the outline of the car in the distance through the traffic.

I took a deep breath and there in my p.j.s with ruffled bed hair and groggy eyes, I realized that for the first time in my twenty-four years of life, I was truly on my own.


It’s been a little over a week since that day and I have:


Out to dinner alone

To the beach

To a bible study

To watch a photo shoot



Honked at



Sister’s birthday

Grandmother’s birthday

Rice cooker


Best friends

Big fluffy bed









Sunshine on my back

The sand beneath my feet


California wine

fresh, fresh, fish

local produce

dry air

salt of tears



my neighborhood

local cafes



Amazing, authentic, Christian friends (YES, EVEN IN THE ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY.)


God’s presence in a time of worship

A random act of kindness

Beautiful sunsets

The sound of my mom’s voice on the phone

God’s love that follows wherever you go.


The past two weeks here have exposed places of my soul that I had never explored.

I’ve felt afraid.

I’ve felt restored.

I still can’t see a defined horizon line of the future.

I have never felt this alone,

and this afraid-

but I DO know this:

God was with me back in Arkansas.



I am excited to find out what adventure is in store for me here in this city,

with my head held high and never forgetting where I came from.

SO IF YOU are sitting here thinking about your own personal dream or personal journey, something or some place you have felt a tug on your heart about for the past few weeks, months, or years..


It IS worth it.

You WILL feel crazy.

You WILL doubt your decision a hundred times.

People WILL try to talk you out of it.

There will NEVER be the perfect time.

You SHOULD pray about it with patience and an open heart.


Whatever It Is:








<3 Christiana

A Pig Out Session You Won't Regret: Your New Morning Ritual.



Me in my comfy bed,curled up with a book. (I

Me in my comfy bed, curled up with a book. (I”m NOT a morning person by the way.)

If you’re like me, mornings can be rough. Especially when you wake up with the burning eyelids of not enough zzz’s and a full day ahead of you that can feel discouragingly monotonous to the day before (and the one before that.)

You have to think about if your work shirt is clean or if you just left in a crumpled pile on the floor.

Yep. It was the second option.

(Of course.)



Sometimes, we just need to set ourselves up a little pig out session with the Man Upstairs for an all day pick-me up that will get you going better than espresso.

This past week, I decided to change my pattern and see if what I chose to see or listen to within the first half hour of waking up affected my mood or perspective of the day.

My first realization was that without even being conscious of what I was doing, I had formed the habit of checking some form of social media within the first 30 seconds of opening my eyes. (WHICH IS KINDA SAD REALLY.)

Also, without realizing it, my senses were being saturated with bright pictures, happy smiles and a brain full of sub-conscious comparisons.

Instead of climbing out of bed feeling refreshed and with a hopeful sense of determination for the day ahead, it has too often become more like rolling out of bed feeling emotionally exhausted before my day has even really begun.

I don’t however, think I’m the only one.

Are we starving ourselves of emotional/spiritual/mental nutrition?

By choosing day after day to make social portals become a daily fix that we consume before breakfast, can it at some point begin to consume us?

I think we all know the answer.

Why not be kind to myself and begin my day fueling up with something more sustaining?

So here is what I have tried and I dare you to try it too:

Don’t be afraid to have a morning pig out sesh with your number one fan and the best dose of daily encouragement.

(Here is the part that may seem like a challenge at first, but is insanely satisfying and WORTH IT.)

Instead of scrolling through your instagram or facebook while still laying in bed:

make a little sacrifice this week and refrain from having any physical food before you take in some spiritual fuel for the morning.

Instead of scrolling through your instagram or facebook while still laying in bed, try this instead:

(It will feel as sustaining as french toast, eggs, and bacon on a Monday morning, PROMISE.)


Choose one or a couple of verses of scripture to read and mediate on them. Read them once straight through. Then read them again, word by word, reading them as though God is having a conversation directly with YOU through His words. Read the verses one last time, and think about how you can try to make it a point to apply what you have read to your day.

For example, yesterday I read Psalm 139:14 “I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.”

And it stuck with me.

I meditated upon it. I read it. Re-read it. And read it again.

Instead of mindlessly scrolling through a feed of a girl’s new blonde highlights (while mine are growing out) or another friend’s exotic travels with my bed head and tired eyes, what my eyes and heart took in was that verse.

And that was exactly what I needed that morning.

I needed to remember that despite life’s distractions, frustrations, and tired mornings, I AM “fearfully and wonderfully made.”

And while I strive daily to be kind and loving to others, I sometimes forget to be kind to myself.

Throughout my day, I focused on honoring God’s plan for my life by trying to have a heart of thankfulness and to even give myself a compliment instead of a comparison.

If you want to feel the difference, try it yourself!

Let God be your morning date and dig in to His word.

Don’t worry, overindulgence is encouraged.

And you won’t regret it!




If you try it out this week and find that it made a difference or you have some constructive criticism, I would love to hear about it!

facebook: Christiana Ewart

instagram: christiananoel

But not first thing in the morning, you have a date, remember? 🙂


Don’t ‘BEE’ Miserable During Spring: The Magic of Bee Pollen and Green Things

Spring can be the best and the worst for me personally, in so many ways. Springtime brings both a sense of renewal as well as (unfortunately), a seriously case of the sneezies.

But let’s begin with the praise of primavera, shall we?


1) All Things Green.

I don’t know about you, but the bare branches and turtle necks start to wear on my soul near the end of March and the first sprouts of green grass or leaves on the trees appear like a breath of fresh air to thaw my winter blues! I’m convinced that velvety green grass underneath your feet can improve your mood, no matter how sour a day.


Peonies, daisies, daffodils, even dandelions. (So what if they are a weed.) I love them all. Flowers may hold no practical or vital function to humans, yet they do SO much. They are a life boat for the existence of bees and plant life. Not to mention each type of flower is different. Can you just take a moment and think about how cool it is that flowers exist? God was the perfect scientist, chemist, and mathematician when he created the world, but was he not also the most exquisite artist? Flowers are so visually wonderful to the human senses that they seem to trigger an emotional response of pleasure as well. (Not to mention they smell fantastic.) And I choose to believe the last bit was added in just for us.

3) Vegging Out

Spring is the perfect time to start your garden, and you don’t have to be jack and the bean stock for something magic to occur! Whether you have a green thumb and start from the seed or prefer to by the plants to place in your garden plot, April and May are the two prime months for revving up your garden for a summer bounty. According to Saveur’s Spring Produce guide (which I’m only slightly obsessed with) here are a few of the veggies that are seasonal in Spring:

-Spinach, Asparagus, Arugula, Morels, Peas, Leeks, Radishes and Rhubarb.

All of the above are delicious in salads, sauteed, or even a rhubarb pie (or two, or three.) So get groovy with some dirt therapy and get that garden going!

And now…..


1) ALLERGIES. (A.K.A. The Bane of My Existence.)

According to the Asthma and Allergy foundation of America, over 45 million Americans are affected by Seasonal Allergies. YIKES!

Whether it be grass, flowers, or just being out in the fresh air, it seems as though the very things that make spring so lovely have an alter-ego evil side.

But Alas, Never Fear for BEE POLLEN Is Here!

Bee pollen, the yellow and unassuming substance created by honeybees turns out to be one of the most amazing, nutritious, and itchy-eye saving productions on earth! Who knew? The bees seem to have one-upped us on this one.

Although it may seem crazy to ingest a substance such as bee pollen, don’t worry, it’s totally amazing (and you should totally jump on the pollen train as quickly as your car can make it to the local co-op.)


Shelby, discussing the benefits of bee pollen with the vendor at our local Dogwood Festival


(Information sourced from MindBodyGreen)

1) Taking a daily dose of bee pollen can help build immunity in your system to certain allergies!

2) Pollen is a nutrient (A.K.A. it’s great for you) packed with vitamins, antioxidants and protein.

3) It’s perfect sprinkled in most foods/smoothies and creates an added sprinkle of gorgeous color. (All you need is a spoonful!)

If this allergy season is getting to you as much is it is affecting me, I urge and plead for you to give a daily dose of bee pollen a try.

If possible, buy local pollen from your town or cities’ co-op, grocery store, or farmer’s market. That goes for honey too! (I snagged my pollen and honey this year from a local Arkansas beekeeper.)


I have now been taking my daily dose of pollen for two weeks and these are the results that I have noticed:

WEEK 1: moderate decrease in itchy-eyes and frequency of sneezing.

WEEK 2- considerably decreased itchy-eyes, sneezing, and reduced irritation.                I’m not buzzing you on this one!!!!  I’m convinced of the power and I hope that this has at least peaked your interest and that you may even give it a try!                    Remember it just takes a spoonful day 🙂    If you do try it, please let me know your own comments/thoughts/results!               Get your daily dose of golden goodness so you can get outside and enjoy the beauty of all things green.



Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America:

Food Matters:





(You may now escape quickly  and quietly or secretly say “amen sister”, and see if we can relate.)

The truth is that this year I have felt like the woman’s hand in the above photo ^ as almost everything has seemed a  fingertip’s reach away that I somehow ended up losing grasp of. My education. My future career. My love life. My relationship with God. Even my love to cook! Ever felt that way? It can be slightly nauseating to put it mildly.

When my three best friends and I first began to entertain the idea of starting a blog, it seemed like the perfect idea. I envisioned myself posting well-thought out, sophisticated posts on how I would love for my dream Christiana to be portrayed to the world. I realize however, that this simply will not do. I have an oath for you on my part; I have decided from the beginning to be completely honest and real with all (or any) who decide to find interesting a girl who does not have it all together, but IS in the process of figuring out THAT I WILL NEVER HAVE IT ALL FIGURED OUT, (And being ok with that.)

I will most likely wholly and dedicatedly present to you each week a hodgepodge of ME-ness. You will learn how to make a French cake, what it is like to live in South Korea for three months and question the meaning of your existence, how to fall in love with Jesus all over again, and most importantly learning together each day to be ok with letting go. Still with me?


(I’m sure you’re wondering.)

Truth is, my life currently holds no super crazy powerful significance seen by the human eye. I am twenty-four years old and still living with my mother and our dog Pikachu. I graduated this past summer with a bachelor’s degree in English and Broadcast Journalism, and I am currently utilizing none of the above. I work 2nd shift at the front desk of a hotel. My vice and slight obsession is cooking and baking (particularly French pastries). Many weeknights after work I sing karaoke songs to my mom in the kitchen after work pretending to be Lana Del Ray.

What am I doing then, you may be thinking? Don’t worry, no offense taken, I do too most days. I am an aspiring actress. I am saving up money and hope to pack up my belongings and life to head for Los Angeles to pursue an acting career! Crazy, right? Tell me about it.


It may not. All I can do is present the truthful, strange, ME-ness that I have promised you. I hope that someone out there may find refreshing a voice to read that may sound familiar among the sea of everyone who seems to have a perfect life on social media. If you have ever felt like pulling your hair out for feeling as though you are just not quite living the life you had envisioned for yourself than perhaps you will relate. Maybe you and I can continue this long and arduous, (but totally worth it) journey of getting to know the deepest core of our soul as we are meant to know it and realizing our true purpose along the way.

Life is a journey that is sometimes crazy, filled with failed recipes and too many Lana Del Ray songs, but it is truly beautiful when you choose to shed it in a positive light and daily choose to keep moving to the rhythm of your own beat.

Care to join?

C’est La Vi!

-Christiana <3

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