Sunday, December 20, 2015

Open Heaven / River Wild + My Christmas Gift to You

Taken when I went to Jervis Bay, NSW
I have always loved any kind of music that has come out from Hillsong Church. The times that the songs came out or the times that I first heard the songs all represent a different time in my walk with God, and as I've gotten older I have learned more and more what it truly means to worship God. 

With Hillsong Worship specifically, those songs have been best for me to listen to when I am worshipping with other people in church because the meaning of those songs I think are a reflection and prayer that we all have. Hillsong Worship's newest album, Open Heaven / River Wild has emphasized that more than ever for me. 

This current album is my prayer & desire for my life at the moment. Every song on this album touches my heart in a different way. I heard some of the songs live in Sydney when I visited but once I got my hands on the whole album, I was hooked! 

In the last few weeks that I've been playing the album on my phone, I have been cycling through the songs over and over again and still have not gotten tired of them. Of course, the top tracks & the singles off the album are "O Praise the Name," "Open Heaven (River Wild)," "Transfiguration," "Love on the Line," and "One Thing." However, I also recommend listening to all of the songs if you get the chance. 

There are certain songs that I like more than others of course, but for whatever reason I love the bridge of pretty much every song on the album. There are 12 songs on the album. Some of my favorites: 

"Remember love, 
Remember mercy, 
Christ before me, 
Christ behind me

Your love & kindness
Has never failed me
Christ before me, 
Christ behind me" 
- Jesus I Need You

"There'll be a season
For joy & weeping
In everything our God is faithful

His arms are open
I will come running
Now & always our God is faithful"
- Faithfulness

"I'm covered by your love,
In searching in my heart
Forever I am found in You, my God

My feet have wandered far,
But now I'm where you are
Forever I am found in You, my God"
- Never Forsaken

I could honestly go into detail about each song and talk specifically about why I love it so much. Musically, the songs are not very complicated, but they are also not stripped down by any means. Lyrically, they are beautiful. If they're not a prayer, they are a really great reminder of God's power and place in our lives. I have gone through a couple times where I was driving and sobbing to these songs as I cried out to God in desperation for some peace and praying what these songs are praying for myself. 

And now, I want to share the blessing of these songs of worship with you this Christmas! 
I have partnered with Hillsong Worship and Capitol Christian Music Group to give away a copy of this album to share with you in the hopes & prayers that you would be just as blessed by this music as I have been. 

Just enter the giveaway using the Gleam platform below and/or go to my Instagram @krisellerhiax and go to the photo just like this one to enter! Depending on when you see this post the photo may or may not already be posted so just keep an eye out for it! The giveaway will end on Christmas eve right before it hits midnight on Christmas, and I will choose a winner either right on Christmas day or the day after, depending on how busy I get with my family. 

This will most likely be my only post this week because I will be preparing for Christmas & prepping the blog for a renewal in 2016, so Merry Christmas, everyone! I hope you enjoy your time with your loved ones and if you decide to enter my giveaway with Hillsong, good luck! I pray that you are as blessed as I have been by this album. 

"Open Heaven / River Wild" Christmas Giveaway

Chau for now

Friday, November 27, 2015

This Year: Why I am so Thankful

This year has been so crazy, so it's a little hard for me to believe that it is already the end of November. I still remember where I was at even at the beginning of this year and I am so grateful for every single thing that has happened in between. 

Since I will probably reflect on this year again closer to the new year, here is a brief list of what I'm thankful for this season: 

I'm thankful for work. As exhausting it is for me to work so much, I am thankful to have the opportunities to be able to provide for myself. 
I'm thankful for food, because food. 
I'm thankful for each day, no matter how busy or lazy I am. Every day is a day that the Lord has made, and I will always rejoice & be glad in it. 
I'm thankful for my family. It's been quite a year with them, especially my parents, but I'm thankful to have them always. Good or bad, they've shaped who I am today. 
I'm thankful for my friends. This year, my friend group has gotten much smaller than what I am used to, but it just makes me so much more thankful for those small select group of people that I can't do life without. 
I'm thankful for being in a long distance relationship. It brought out a lot of things from both of us, but it has brought us closer than ever. 
I'm thankful for Darell. This year has been a year of growth for us, and I am so thankful to have had him supporting me and standing by me through all of the growing pains. 
I'm thankful for the unknown. This year had a lot of unknowns for me--my relationship, my finances, my post-grad plans--but a little bit of faith has brought me a long way. Thank God. 

I have to also say that if you're reading this post, I'm thankful for you. Because of all the changes happening in my life this year, I am thankful that after all this time you still choose to read/follow this blog. I have not been on my A game as I usually have been in the past with this blog, but I thank you for the grace to understand that I am human and live a life outside of this computer screen, so thank you.

What are you thankful for?
Chau for now

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Traveling Solo: Why You Should Do It

Traveling solo, especially as a female, can be a very exhilarating but also nerve-wrecking experience. You get to see the world from your own eyes but sometimes you might wish that someone was there to share the experience with you. As a woman, it's an even bigger deal because of everything we have to deal with in regards to our own personal safety. 

Although I didn't actually travel through Australia by myself, it was my first travel experience of any kind alone. In the past, I have traveled with friends and family of course, but never by myself. I had heard so many fun stories of traveling alone and meeting great people along the way, but I've also heard of the horror stories of the ways women are treated when traveling. 

So on my trip, I learned a couple things about traveling solo & why I recommend it for anyone thinking about it, especially if you are a woman: 

+ You get to see the world from your own perspective and no one else's. 
When you travel with other people, your judgment or opinions or traveling a certain way or going to a certain place can get clouded if you are with others. Their opinions might overpower or influence yours to be different than what you may have thought if you were alone. If you're alone, your opinion of a place is completely yours and you get to see what you want when you want it. You have the option to choose exactly what you want to do, and whatever comes from it will shape your opinion and nothing (and no one) else. 

+ You get to meet some really interesting people. 
Whether you are traveling by plane, boat, or car, you are going to meet different people along the way. Especially if you are on a plane or boat by yourself, take advantage of it! Those people don't have a choice but to talk to you, haha. One of my professors said that planes are the best places to network with people, so do it! When I went to Australia and back I was on four different planes because of layovers in Hawaii, I sat next two four different people (although on the last flight I fell asleep and woke up and the guy was gone), and I had the chance to talk with them about themselves and why they travel and things like that. It just so happened that all of them were older adults, so they definitely had a lot of wisdom and life experience to offer me. I wish I had a better mix of older adults and people closer to my age but I still enjoyed talking to them nonetheless. 

+ It teaches you to be responsible for yourself. 
Even if someone booked the whole trip for you, once you get past security you're on your own. Only you can get you to your gate and into your seat (if its assigned). Only you can be responsible for your own passport. Only you can be the one to recognize your suitcases from the baggage claim (and if you're lucky like me, make a friend to get it for you if it's as heavy as mine was). If you are doing the whole trip by yourself and not just the actual traveling part, then you are also responsible to get your accommodations set up (and to make sure you are able to get there too). 

I have always loved travel since I was a child but doing it as a young adult has only fed my desire to travel more. I'm hoping to do some more traveling soon :)*

*I know that the recent events around the world have shaken some peoples' thoughts about traveling but I say that it shouldn't stop you. What happened in Paris and many other countries on that day could've just as easily happened in your neighborhood. So while it's definitely important to be cautious, don't let that hold you back from traveling completely! If you do decide to travel to one of those affected places such as Paris in the next few weeks or months, if anything, it'll be the safest time to go because security will be at an all time high!  

So go travel and see the world. See the world by yourself if you can. It is such a great experience and you'll be glad you did. 

Where do you want to travel? 
Chau for now

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

So Close to Getting There: 3 Tips to Stay Motivated til the End

I am a month away from being done with my undergraduate degree. I am so close but yet so far. You know the feeling. There is an event or goal that you are so close to accomplishing you can almost taste it. This is the point when it is easiest to get lazy or give up because you are so close you can almost let it all go. 

Well I'm here to say: fight the good fight! Laziness is our default in this stage of the game because we've worked so hard for so long it's easy to just check out, but don't! (Which I'm sure most of you won't anyway.) However, here are a couple easy tips/encouragement to help get you through the next few weeks:

+ Write out your to-do list everyday.
For me, I try to take on my tasks day by day so that I don't get completely overwhelmed by everything I still have to do in the coming days/weeks (although sometimes I get overwhelmed anyway haha). For futuristic thinkers like me, it helps to focus in on that day, rather than your mind going off into the distant future where you will be where you want to be. I use the Daily Docket notepad from Inkwell Press on top of my planner that I LOVE from (by the way they are sold out so you'll have to wait until they release their new ones to get them :( )!

What I currently have in the Big Day Lite app

+ Have a visual reminder of your goal to motivate you. 
I use the Big Day Lite app to remind me of big or exciting things coming up for me. Actually, today, I only have 30 days left until I am officially done with my undergraduate career! I'm so freakin' excited you don't even know. Although this visual reminder, whether on your phone or on your wall, may distract you at times, I always tell myself that if I don't get my work done, then I won't ever get to where I want to be. For my situation right now, I tell myself that if I don't get this done, I won't pass the class and I'll have to stay another semester of school, which I DON'T want to do. 

+ Most of all, live in the moment.
I think when you have a goal or event that you are really looking forward to it is so easy to get caught up in everything you're excited for but at the cost of missing out on what is happening right in front of you. That could mean not being fully present when you're with your friends or actually passing up on opportunities to take a break from working so hard to just live right now. I struggle with this because I am such a planner and I could spend all day planning everything in my life, but I try to remind myself of this every day especially when I feel like I'm getting sucked into the future. You don't want to leave college or do what you want to do or complete your goal and realize that everyone around you was waiting for you to notice them or to spend time with them but you didn't so they went and had fun without you. You don't want to be that person; You still want to look back on the days leading up to that event or moment and know that you enjoyed your time in that season of life. 

We are nearing the end of the semester and the end of the calendar year, so it's easy to get antsy and anxious even if you're not a senior in college like I am. Whatever you're waiting for, stay strong! You can do it. I'm right there with you. 

What are you waiting for? What are you close to accomplishing or what event are you looking forward to in the next few weeks?
Chau for now

Friday, November 6, 2015

#OceansApart: That Amazing Feeling After Being Reunited

I can't believe it has already been a month since I was in Australia! The high has barely worn off; I cannot describe to you just how much it has changed my life. 

Obviously, one of my favorite parts from the whole trip was getting to be with Darell again. It was worth waiting the last few months to finally get to hug him, kiss him, just to be around him again. 

As I've said in previous posts, the first few weeks of being long distance was really hard for me. It forced me to face some of my own personal issues head on and I really needed to lean on God to be my comfort. 

However, even though it was hard to be apart and be living completely different lives, it made the reunion all worth it. 

To be honest, I was a little nervous to see Darell because part of me was scared that things would feel so different because we both had been apart for a few months and it wouldn't be the same in a bad way. However, from the moment that I saw him with my cousin at the airport things fell right back into place like before, but we were both slightly better versions of ourselves which made our time together so amazing. 

All of this is to say that waiting is really hard when you're in a long distance relationship, but it is so worth it. 

The feeling of getting hug them and hold their hand again after kissing them through a screen is so amazing and so satisfying. 

So if you are in a long distance relationship, hold on! You can do it because when you do, you'll be glad you did. 

Chau for now

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Left My Heart Down Under: Trip Recap!

Hi strangers. Haha, it's been almost 3 weeks since I last posted and I am so sorry about that! Other than being busy in Australia, I've been going crazy with work and school since I've been back home. I finally have a little window to write my first post of a few about my time down under. 

Because there were a lot of aspects about the trip (being reunited with Darell after 3 months #oceansapart, tons of adventures, traveling alone for the first time, etc) I'll divide it into a few different parts & spread out the posts over the next few weeks! So sorry if you get tired of hearing about Australia, but not sorry at the same time. I'll try to break up the posts with some other posts I've been wanting to do as well, but no guarantees. I'm 6 weeks away from being done with undergrad so that will be my first priority. 


So I basically had the time of my life in Australia. From going to the beach, getting to catch up with my cousin I haven't seen in 10+ years, Hillsong Church, to adventuring around Australia with Darell and new + old friends, it was amazing. 

I'll spare unnecessary details for now, so here are a few photos to tell the story: 

Being reunited with Darell at the airport!
Hillsong Church: #SundaymeetsFriday

I have to take some time to talk about this girl! Her name is Fernanda, and two days after meeting her she had a birthday party to celebrate her turning 19! Little did I know how much of an impact on me in such a short time, but I have so much love for this girl! She's the girl that I stayed with while I was in Australia. She's Brazilian but is from Dubai with her parents. She is one of the best people you will ever meet, and since I've been back I've been in constant contact with her always telling each other how much we miss each other haha. Love you, Fern! #yallafrangos

Don't worry, we know the girl photobombing behind us! Haha.

Queen Victoria Building in Downtown Sydney
Coogee Beach
A couple days after I arrived, it started getting really hot, so of course we went to the beach! When we went to Coogee Beach, we were there for 8 hours, doing a combination of swimming, laying out, and jumping off rocks. It was pretty chill and I also got really dark. 

Darell took me out on a date in the city the Tuesday I was there. We visited the Sydney Opera House // Harbour Bridge and visited the Museum of Contemporary Art! It was fun having Darell plan the day out for me. I'll talk more about the dates & whatnot in a future post :)

On our way to finding a white sand beach on our daylong road trip, we came across some wallabies! So of course, we had to get photos or it didn't happen...

I love this group. This was basically the group of people I spent most of my time with while in Australia. So thankful for these guys in different ways! We went on some pretty awesome adventures and I can't wait to go back hopefully soon for some more! Of course, other than Darell & Fernanda, the two other guys are basically Darell's best friends from school. They're pretty funny. Matt (the white guy) is American too & Andy (the one taking the selfie) is from Australia. Love these guys!

Darell & Abi (the girl in the front) also worked together to surprise me with a visit up to Northern Australia (Brisbane) to visit her & her family! Abi is a girl Darell & I were in a youth group with when we were in high school, but she was originally from Australia & moved back after living in the States for a couple years. We hadn't seen her in about 3 years I think, so it was a cute reunion to spend a little over a day with her! This was also mine & Darell's first trip together, so that was pretty great as well.

Of course, can't forget my last Sunday at Hillsong

I have to also give a special shoutout to my cousin (on the very right) for hanging out with Darell & I whenever we could & taking us out! This was unfortunately the only photo I got with him (and my aunt next to him) while I was there, but I'm hoping to take more photos next time I go over there :)

This post was long overdue so instead of going into intense detail I figured I'd just share a few photos right now then get into detail as I break down the trip into multiple posts about traveling solo, reuniting with a long distance love for a few days, visiting Australia, and more.

Australia has truly stolen my heart. These photos don't even do it justice! And as I continue to write about it over the next few weeks, I think you'll figure out why.

Until then, 
Chau for now

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Update: Heading for Australia!

So I am currently at LAX waiting for my dad to meet up with me so I can say bye to him before leaving on my flight to Honolulu on the way to Sydney, Australia. We got here a little late so instead of writing this post on my computer I'm on my phone in case I don't have time to relax when I get to my gate.

I don't have much time to say much now, but the last couple of weeks have been a rollercoaster, and I am so blessed with the way things worked out! In less than 20 hours, I will be reunited with Darell! 

I cant wait to share everything with you all. 

Until then, next time I post I'll be down under!

Chau for now

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Transitioning into Fall || #ootd

Today is officially the first day of fall! Fall is my favorite season because the weather is always just right, the colors are my favorites (yay for the color orange), and of course, it's my birthday season. 

Although I love summer mostly for the long days, I'm really tired of the weather and am excited for fall to come into full swing. 

The best way to transition into fall for me? No, it's not Pumpkin Spice Lattes. I like fall outfits. 

Black Shoulder Cut-Out Shift Dress: c/o Lyss Loo // Wide Brimmed Hat: Cotton On // Black Purse with Gold Chain: Forever 21 // Snow White Statement Necklace: c/o Happiness Boutique // Brown Peep-Toe Booties: Cathy Jean

I received an adorable shift dress with shoulder cut-outs from Lyss Loo recently, and I have a feeling that it will be my go-to piece this season with some booties and maybe even tights depending on how the weather is. The fabric itself is light enough to wear on warmer days, but because it's black, long, and has some sleeves, it can also easily be worn as the weather cools down with a scarf or boots as well. 

Shift dresses are so great no matter what the season because they are so easy to dress up or down or even according to the weather. I have a shift dress that is spaghetti straps, perfect for the summer. I have another one with long sleeves, perfect for winter. & now I have this cute shift dress with a trendy aspect to it--the shoulder cut-outs--that I can wear for fall and even the spring, as well as the other seasons as well. 

I am so excited for all the layering, the pants, the scarves, and just being able to put more clothes on as fall season comes around! Yay! (Plus, just 3 more weeks until my birthday!)

What are you most excited about for fall? 

Chau for now

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Live, Love, Lead Wherever You Are

We all have dreams, but many times people in our lives bring us down and our dreams are limited as a result, or we just give up on them. It kinda sucks, doesn't it? 

Well, for the past couple of weeks I've been reading Live, Love, Lead by Pastor Brian Houston of Hillsong Church, the Sydney church that has made a huge impact around the world. 

He encourages those reading the book with his own life experiences, some very real, raw, and sad, but he always talks about how faithful God is when we trust him. He talks about the humble beginnings of Hillsong Church and how never giving up on that dream and keeping his focus on his vision (and lots of reliance on God) got him and the church to where it is today. He talks about how as servants of God, loving unconditionally and with a heart wide open is how we should approach others. He talks about his wife Bobbie, and he talks about some very deeply rooted emotional struggles he has been through and how he has turned that into something encouraging to others. 

I am not finished with the book yet, but I am so excited to read it. Every time I read a new chapter I feel empowered and encouraged. I want to keep going and keep reading what he has to say. 

I received this book to share with you my thoughts on it and to help promote it (this post is not sponsored by the way. I'm not getting paid to do this). But I think that for myself, God wanted to do something more with this book for me. 

You see, because my boyfriend, Darell, is attending Hillsong College in Australia, as a welcome gift, all the students received advanced copies of this book as well. He & I have both been reading it together and sharing what stood out to us in each chapter and what our dreams are for our lives as well. We both firmly believe that it is not an accident that we both received advanced copies of this book at around the same time, and this book is bringing us closer together and closer to our Creator. 

I just had to share that because the tagline of the book is "Your best is yet to come." I firmly believe that for myself, for Darell, and for both of us as a couple as well. I think it's true for all of us. If we continue fighting the good fight, great things can and will happen. 

This book is an encouraging reminder for all of us to live life, love others, and lead others (as well as ourselves) wherever we are. You will be able to relate to Brian Houston's pain and you will be encouraged by his stories and the little tidbits about where God comes in all of this. It's such an intensely inspiring book and I highly recommend for you all to read it if you get the chance!

If you are interested in more information about the book or would like to buy it, check out

What are your favorite inspirational books to read? 
Chau for now

Saturday, September 12, 2015

DIY Sugar Skull Pt. 2

It's barely mid-September, but it's seriously never too early to start thinking about Halloween. I mostly like Halloween because it's a day to dress up and be something (or someone) different, and for me, I like transforming myself into different things to see how much different from myself I can look and how closely I can get myself to resembling whatever (or whoever) I am. 

I decided to paint myself as a sugar skull from Dia de los Muertos again (see my first skull from last year) because I was inspired by a couple sugar skull designs that Paper Source carries on some of their Day of the Dead products. (However, please note that this post is not sponsored by them. I simply work in one of their retail stores and stare at these products every time I work!)

 So it's pretty simple. 

+ Start with a clean face, with no makeup (I had my eyebrows done in this photo & realized I had to wipe them off after). 

+ Use a sponge and apply white face paint all over your face, or half of it, whichever is comfortable with you. I did half of my face last year, so I decided to go full face for this look. (Forgive me for looking so creepy). 

+ I did the eyes next, & unfortunately I got so into doing my face that I forgot to stop & take photos at each step. I painted my eyes as red hearts using a paintbrush and then I filled them in before outlining the outside of the heart. 

+ I took yellow paint afterwards & painted flower petals & also outlined them with black paint.  

+ I did the teeth next by simply drawing a line through the natural line of my lips & slightly extending them past my natural lips. I filled in a little bit of pain in the inner portions of my lips to show a slight space between the teeth.  I then drew lines through it to represent teeth. 

+ I painted the flowers at the top of my forehead next, and they were the part that I was most excited about. I simply used a sponge to create a space of orange or pink (I demonstrated an orange rose in this case). I then took my brush and did an uneven spiral to represent rose petals. For the pink flowers I did in this look, you simply paint a circle for the center of the flower then paint the petals coming out of that. 

+ You can really customize the look doing whatever you want after this. I did a few squiggly lines, a few petals, a few dots under my eyes, and a purple heart for a cool color to balance out all the warm colors on my face. 

I'm still working on my face painting skills so my face doesn't look as perfect as a lot of the photos that come up on Google, BUT the good thing about that is to let you know that it's okay if your face doesn't come out as picture perfect and evenly spaced like what you come across on Google, because chances are if you're reading this you typically don't do face painting or makeup for a living. You're probably just someone looking for an easy but cool look for Halloween, and that's totally fine. 

I got at least one more Halloween look coming up on the blog, but that won't be until next month, so keep an eye out! If I get inspired, I might do some more looks :) 

I still don't know what I'm gonna be for Halloween though. Do you have an idea? 
Chau for now