Showing My Lashes The Love

I am a huge mascara girl! My entire life I’ve had naturally long eyelashes (thank you, Lord!) and I love a statement eye-makeup look. Since I tend to try new mascaras fairly often, I wanted to share some of the best ones I have used, name-brand and drug store. I apply a heavy amount of mascara when I apply makeup, and sometimes apply false lashes but I’m pretty new to doing my own false ones so I can’t say I have a certain brand to recommend, yet! Here are some of my favorite-of-all-time mascaras!

Urban Decay Perversion

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  • This mascara tops ALL for me! I love this one because it makes my eyelashes touch the bottom of my eyebrows and creates the fullest look possible without fake lashes. This one lasts a really long time, as well, so that’s another reason I’m a huge fan. It comes off easily with makeup remover but doesn’t smudge or drift away in appearance mid-wear. If you’re looking for a new mascara for a “wow” look, you should most definitely try Perversion!

https://www.ulta.com/perversion-mascara?productId=xlsImpprod10921002

Too Faced Better Than Sex

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  • Better Than Sex is my second favorite to Perversion, simply because it just doesn’t last that long for me! It might be because I apply a pretty heavy amount of mascara everyday, but I just don’t get as long of a use out of BTS than I do UD Perversion. However, this one is another “wow” look on your eyes and makes your lashes look extra black and full! If you have big eyes like me, a mascara like this really makes your eyes pop!!

https://www.ulta.com/better-than-sex-mascara?productId=xlsImpprod5530007

Benefit Cosmetics They’re Real

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  • I typically like a more full mascara brush, but I was surprised how much I liked the thinner brush that comes in They’re Real. This brush is finer than the two above, so it really combs through your lashes to prevent your lashes from clumping and sticking together. This one is a nice dark black as well and lasted a pretty long time for me. I still have the empty bottle and sometimes just use the brush to comb through my lashes if they’re ever sticking together after I apply mascara.

https://www.ulta.com/theyre-real-lengthening-mascara?productId=xlsImpprod3460265

Maybelline Lash Sensational

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  • To be more on the “drug store makeup” side, this mascara is amazing! A friend recommended this one to me and I was so impressed when I tried it! I felt like I had false lashes on with full application of this one. This one is perfect for a “natural eye” look when you don’t want to wear an eyeliner because it makes your lashes appear super long. However, I found a con to this one, with that being that it was SUPER difficult to remove for me. If you’re wanting an 6 am - 11 pm mascara, this one definitely does the job. I tend to have super sensitive undereyes, so having to scrub to get my mascara off often can take the skin off of my undereyes and even cause light bleeding, so that’s why I can’t use this one year round, because even with my strongest remover (makeup wipes, facial cleanser, Pond’s dry skin cream), this one was so hard to get off!

https://www.ulta.com/lash-sensational-mascara?productId=xlsImpprod118511

Maybelline Volum’ Express the Falsies

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  • This next Maybelline mascara is super flexible and easy to apply! With just a few times across your lashes, this one has your lashes looking long and bright. I really like this one because with makeup remover, it comes off super quickly and easily and I don’t lose any lashes in the process! I definitely recommend this one to mix with more expensive mascaras, and to use just on days you aren’t wearing a full face of makeup.

https://www.ulta.com/volum-express-falsies-waterproof-mascara?productId=xlsImpprod2900003

Covergirl LashBlast Volume

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  • I wore this mascara very often in high school and like it for a light makeup look. This one comes with a thicker, more round brush that is on the shorter side, but is great because it doesn’t create an overpowering look on days you want to wear simple and little makeup. I wouldn’t wear this one for nightwear or event makeup, but it’s great for daywear and on-the-go!

https://www.ulta.com/lashblast-volume-mascara?productId=xlsImpprod481642

Maybelline Volum’ Express The Colossal Waterproof

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  • I wouldn’t quite consider this Maybelline mascara the best one for nighttime events like I would the UD Perversion or Too Faced BTS, but for a work makeup look or shopping/on the town day, I think it’s great! This is a good one for a casual apparel look, and lasts a while as well. If you go through mascara quickly and prefer a less expensive, easy-to-find product, I would certainly recommend trying this one out! I’ve used it several times throughout the years and always gotten great results.

https://www.ulta.com/volum-express-colossal-waterproof-mascara?productId=xlsImpprod2830027

Maybelline Volum’ Express The Falsies Black Drama

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  • I use this mascara to begin my mascara before putting on bolder ones. I like this one because it preps my eyelashes for a heavier, thicker product like Perversion, but it’s still very easy to apply and comes off easily as well. I think this is also a great option for daytime wear, or if you don’t have naturally long lashes or aren’t a huge fan of an “eye pop” makeup look, I would recommend this one for full-time usage.

https://www.ulta.com/volum-express-falsies-black-drama-mascara?productId=xlsImpprod1230030

Want to Try/ Recommend to Try:

Tarte Maneater Voluptuous

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  • Every time I go into Ulta, I am always looking at this mascara! I really want to try this one in the near future.

https://www.ulta.com/maneater-voluptuous-mascara?productId=xlsImpprod15191101

Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes 4-in-1

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  • I’m also really interested to try this mascara because I think it would really make long lashes pop, and it has great reviews!

https://www.ulta.com/lights-camera-lashes-4-in-1-mascara?productId=xlsImpprod2430021

Benefit Cosmetics Roller Lash Curling & Lifting

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  • I have almost tried this one several times since I am a fan of They’re Real, but I don’t think I have yet. I have had friends recommend this one, so I’m going to check it out.

https://www.ulta.com/roller-lash-curling-lifting-mascara?productId=xlsImpprod11951085

Beauty Products to Swear By

Welcome to my first product post! In this post, I wanted to share all of my favorite beauty products, excluding makeup and bath products (for other posts). Here, you can find all of my favorite-of-all-time hair, face, body, and home scented and functional products! These are not all, but my personal top-rated amazing products I have used long term. I would also love to hear your personal recommendations for products in these categories!

Hair:

Not Your Mother’s Beach Babe Texturizing Sea Salt Spray

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Oribe Royal Blowout Heat Styling Spray

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  • I was first introduced to Oribe products when I started going to BloGo Blow Dry Bar and Salon. I can confidently say I am obsessed with the way these products smell. When I started getting regular blowouts, the girls primed my hair with this product to keep it heat-protected and I am hooked.

    https://www.amazon.com/ORIBE-Royal-Blowout-Styling-Spray/dp/B00203KPDC

Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray

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  • Again, this is one of the products I was introduced to by having my hair styled at BloGo. This texturizing spray keeps super-silky hair like mine texturized whenever I am getting my hair styled for an event that I need my curls or waves to hold all night. This product is perfect for naturally-straight hair like mine that tends to lose curl quickly if not primed properly!

    https://www.amazon.com/ORIBE-Dry-Texturizing-Spray-8-5/dp/B003NXM9HS?th=1

Oribe Shine Light Reflecting Spray

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Redken Frizz Dismiss Shampoo & Conditioner

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  • Honesty Hour- I do not use brand-name shampoo/conditioner 24/7 and am super happy to use drug store shampoo and conditioner! I wash and dry my hair every single day, so I run out of shampoo and conditioner quickly. I have naturally straight hair which actually does not tend to be frizzy much at all, but I love using this Frizz Dismiss shampoo/conditioner pair. I think that this particular Redken pairing smells heavenly, but I can’t use it year-round because it tends to thicken up my hair which is naturally more on the thick side to begin with.

    https://www.ulta.com/frizz-dismiss-sulfate-free-shampoo?

Bumble and Bumble BB All Style Blow Dry

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Kristin Ess Weightless Shine Leave In Conditioner

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  • If you, too, are a conditioner LOVER, I recommend this leave in conditioner! After a fresh wash and a light towel dry, I spray this one evenly throughout my hair then comb and dry! My hair feels so smooth and fresh after use!

https://www.target.com/p/kristin-ess-weightless-shine-leave-in-conditioner-8-45-fl-oz/-/A-51397343

OGX Weightless Hydration Coconut Water Hydration Oil

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Face:

  • Mario Badescu Skin Care Facial Spray with Aloe, Cucumber, and Green Tea

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  • This facial spray is probably my most favorite product of ALL. I could bathe in this spray, not even kidding. This one is good to use before putting on makeup everyday, and after taking off makeup everyday. This spray keeps my face hydrated and feeling/looking cleaner than ever. If I am having a bad breakout, I swear by this facial spray to eliminate it, as well as blackheads. In the summer, I use this spray probably 5 times a day because it’s so good for sunburnt skin and feels so refreshing on sunburnt skin because of it’s aloe content. Even after applying makeup, this spray makes your face feel clean again. There are three different scents to this spray, but this one’s my favorite!

https://www.mariobadescu.com/product/facial-spray-with-aloe-cucumber-and-green-tea

Mario Badescu Facial Spray Trio

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  • Aloe, Herbs, and Rosewater

Aloe, Cucumber, and Green Tea

Aloe, Chamomile, and Lavender

  • Like I mentioned above, these are the three scents to the same facial spray as above! All smell good and serve small differences in purposes. I recommend all, so this trio is a great deal to buy.

https://www.mariobadescu.com/product/spritz-mist-glow-facial-spray-trio

Estée Lauder DayWear Multi-Protection Anti-Oxidant 24H-Moisture Crème Broad Spectrum SPF 15

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SkinCeuticals Simply Clean Gel

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  • Being an ALL TIME “makeup wipe” girl for taking off my makeup every night, I have recently tossed the makeup wipes for this substitutional facial cleanser. This facial cleanser takes up makeup easier and more effectively than any makeup wipe I have ever used, and makes my face feel so amazing afterwards. It does not burn my eyes at all, so it’s great for my entire face and keeps my face so much less broken out than makeup wipes did, because it’s a much deeper cleaner. I prefer a dry facial feel rather than dewy, so if you don’t like a dry face at all, maybe use this product every-other-night, or on a substitutional schedule. 

https://www.skinceuticals.com/simply-clean%3A-our-best-cleanser-for-oily-skin-simplyclean.html?cgid=searc

SkinCeuticals LHA Cleansing Gel

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LUSH Rosy Cheeks Face Mask

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  • I love this refrigerator-kept face mask by Lush! Not going to lie, this one does burn at use. Once washed off, though, your face feels so smooth and incredible. This one has a light rose scent to it, which I love! I would recommend for use once-to-twice a week.

    https://www.lushusa.com/face/masks/rosy-cheeks/04411.html

Chanel Hydra Beauty Crème Hydration Protection Radiance

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Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel

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Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF 20

Bare Minerals Complexion Rescue Tinted Hydrating Gel Cream Broad Spectrum SPF 30

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Boscia Detoxifying Black Charcoal Cleanser

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LUSH Bubblegum Lip Scrub

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  • This product is the most fun of them all! This lip scrub, to begin, tastes amazing :) I like to use this one for more pamper-use than functional, but it also makes a really great and creative gift for a friend!

lushusa.com/face/lips/bubblegum/03056.html

 Body:

Ponds Hydrating Dry Skin Cream

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Lollia Wish Sugared Pastille Handcream & Lotion

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Lollia Relax Shea Butter Handcream | Lavender and Honey

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LUSH Sleepy Body Lotion

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Capri Blue Aloha Orchid Hand Cream

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Home Fragrance:

Tyler Candles Glamorous Wash Fragrance Diva – 4 oz

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  • In the name for this product I included the “4 oz” size preference because as great as this laundry detergent may smell, it’s very pricey for laundry detergent! A good splurge a few times in the year, but I can’t justify using it 24/7! I like to buy the small 4 oz bottles and reserve them for when I wash my bedding!! After washing my bedding in Diva, my entire room smells floral scented and my bedding looks bright and clean! This one is a great gift as well!

    https://www.tylercandlestore.com/tyler-glamorous-wash-4oz.html

Tyler Candles Chambre Parfum Fragrance Limelight– 4 oz Room Spray

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  • I personally love the Tyler Candle Co. scent “Limelight,” which is the fragrance I have in this room spray! If you’re looking for a great room spray to freshen up your home or for use when hosting, I highly recommend checking out the Limelight!

    https://www.tylercandlestore.com/tyler-chambre-parfum.html

Capri Blue Volcano Candle

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  • My favorite candle in existence is most definitely Volcano, a medley of tropical fruits and sugared citrus scents! This candle is so great for all year long but especially spring/summer! This would be the best gift ever to receive!

 

capri-blue.com/products/candles/volcano-white-signature-jar/

Want to try:

Capri Blue Volcano Body Scrub

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Mario Badescu Drying Cream

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  • The description for this product is: “unique spot treatment. Helps shrink small bumps and surface blemishes. Re-balances troubled areas. Ideal for small surface blemishes and under-the-skin bumps,” so, of course, I’m really wanting to try this one asap!

    https://www.mariobadescu.com/product/drying-cream

Bali Body BB Cream with SPF 15

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  • I definitely want to try this Bali Body BB Cream because the photos of usage are incredible! I am not a tanning-bed user at ALL, and don’t really like the self-tanner look either. I think this cream will fit in the middle of the two for usage on my face, for a more natural but toned and tanned look!

    https://us.balibodyco.com/collections/skincare/products/bb-cream-spf15

Becoming a Bookworm

Hello to all of the book lovers out there!!

Even if you’re not a lover of reading books that are novels of fiction/nonfiction, you still might enjoy more of the “coffee table” style books! I tend to love both but be more favorable of a colorfully illustrated book that’s full of fun ideas and phrases and short stories!

 

I am becoming more of a book worm as I get older and am going to share some of my favorite books of all genres!

 

·      All in Good Taste – Kate Spade New York

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https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/kate-spade-new-york-kate-spade-new-york/1121770298?ean=9781419717871#/

 

-       Kate Spade’s All in Good Taste is a book for all occasions! This is probably my favorite book that I own because it’s extremely chic, colorful, classy, and inspirational. This book is a good book to flip through on a rainy day, use for hosting, cooking, decorating, lifestyle, and personal style tips and tricks, is pretty for displaying, and would make the PERFECT gift for just about any girl out there for any occasion! I would gift this book for birthdays, brides, thank-yous, get-well-soon, or just a “happy” spur of the moment pick-me-up for a friend.

-       Some of my favorites included in this book are: “a toast in a pinch,” “the new york brunch,” “anatomy of a cheese plate,” “the art of flirtation,” “e is for exiting a taxi gracefully,” and “seventy-two words that make everything sound marvelous.”

 

·      The Little Book of Self Care

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https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-little-book-of-self-care-adams-media-corporation/1126462485?ean=9781507204917#/

 

-       The Little Book of Self Care is perfect for anyone seeking refreshment and relaxation. It is a hand-held book featuring 200 individual pages of self-care activities and how to do them. My favorites are, “do a quick at-home facial,” “take a long, hot bath,” “design a goal board,” “take a mental vacation,” “have dessert for dinner,” “making your own sugar body scrub,” “watch the sunset and sunrise in one day,” and so many more unique ideas I would have never come up with myself!

 

·      Embraced: 100 Devotions to Know God is Holding You Close – Lysa TerKeurst

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https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/embraced-lysa-terkeurst/1127065813?ean=9781400310296#/

 

-       Embraced is not a daily devotional, but rather an entire book centered around 100 devotions for any time in your life. This book is personal and real, and defeats many stereotypes of being a Christian. Some of the chapters in this book are titled, “if you’re feeling overlooked and unappreciated,” “a life with extraordinary impact,” “rest and reassurance,” and “read this before making that decision.” I highly recommend picking up this book no matter what phase of life you are in because it has relatable devotions for all seasons!

 

·      So Much to Celebrate: Entertaining the Ones You Love The Whole Year Through – Katie Jacobs

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https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/so-much-to-celebrate-katie-jacobs/1126657513?ean=9780718075187#/

 

-       So Much to Celebrate is the most adorable book ever! This book makes an AMAZING gift for a woman of any age, as long as they love to cook, bake, or entertain! This book is full of incredible photography of parties, food, and hosting ideas. The book is organized by the four seasons, spring, summer, winter, and fall, and has a section for “parties” for each season, and a “menu and recipes” for each season as well. Some of my favorites in this book are the “fairy-tale fern white linen luncheon,” “backyard movie night,” “milkshake social,” “gingerbread house decorating party,” “cookies and cocktails,” “southern skillet cream biscuits,” and “how to build a champagne tower.” This book is FULL of amazing ideas and recipes so if you love to cook or host or just want fun family ideas, go get a copy!!

 

·      Entertain in Style: Tablescapes & Recipes For the Modern Hostess – Pizzazzerie

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https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/pizzazzerie-courtney-whitmore/1125992083?ean=9781423645528#/

 

-       Entertain in Style is probably the most beautiful book I have ever looked at! The photography and decorations are simply stunning throughout this book. The book is organized by different parties, such as a “New Years Day Brunch,” “Derby Party,” “Birthday Celebration for Her,” “a Modern May Day Lunch,” “Charleston Garden Party,” “Dia De Los Muertos Fiesta,” and more! For each party there are several photos of the party and table set up, table decorations, party favors, recipes, cocktails, desserts, and a DIY idea! I would most definitely gift this book to any young woman just getting her own place or the woman you know loves to host! This book would also make a great “coffee table” book!

 

·      Things We Love – Kate Spade New York

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https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/kate-spade-new-york-kate-spade-new-york/1111531755?ean=9781419705663#/

 

-       Things We Love is a beautiful, vibrant, happy, and fun book to look through! As this book is rather large, it is perfect to set out on display in your home! This book goes by twenty listed “things we love” and has several photographed and illustrated pages for each. Some of my favorites are, “new york, new york,” “summer,” “the cha-cha,” “an element of surprise,” “all that glitters,” “a sense of humor,” and, “beautiful type.” This book is so full of element and inspiration that I could look through it for hours! This book is the perfect birthday, graduation, or bestie gift!

·      New York Through a Fashion Eye – Megan Hess

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https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/new-york-megan-hess/1124599932?ean=9781743791714#/

 

-       I found “New York Through a Fashion Eye” at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City and fell in love with this little gem! This book is illustrated incredibly and is perfect for any NYC lover or fashionista! This book is organized by “do/play,” “shop,” “sleep,” and “eat/drink.” If you are traveling to New York, I highly recommend ordering this book because the recommendations throughout are phenomenal and out-of-the-box! There are so many places in this book that I have never even heard of in NYC, but would love to do/see! Each listing features a small paragraph all about the place or experience, and gives the address of the listing, which is perfect for planning your travel!

 

·      Fashion House: Illustrated Interiors from the Icons of Style – Megan Hess

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https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/fashion-house-megan-hess/1114855123?ean=9781742708928

 

-       Fashion House is one of my very favorites! This book is all things interiors and is fabulous to look at. The book takes you through staple pieces such as, “the electric chair,” “the portrait piece,” “the striking rug,” and goes on into “rooms to swoon over,” such as, “the Bergdorf room,” “the Dior room,” “the Audrey room,” and any designer or style icon you can dream of! The illustrations are phenomenal in this one and it will have you wanting to turn your house into everything colorful, disco, and designer!

 

·      Coco Chanel: The Illustrated World of a Fashion Icon” – Megan Hess

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https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/coco-chanel-megan-hess/1121494961?ean=9781743790663#/

 

-       If you are a Chanel lover, or even if you’re just a fashion lover, this book is for you! This one takes you through the entire life and designs of Coco Chanel, illustrated super chic and classical. The book features three large chapters, “the woman,” “the brand,” and “the legend.” The entire book is illustrated in classy black and white with touches of light pink and red, and is one you will look through all day!

 

·      Vogue on Coco Chanel – Bronwyn Cosgrave

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https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/vogue-on-coco-chanel-bronwyn-cosgrave/1126256129?ean=9781849491112#/

 

-       There is an entire large series of “Vogue On” books, but I love this one! More of a book to read than illustrated, this book is all things Coco Chanel. The chapters are, “easy elegance,” “fashion forward,” “nonchalance deluxe,” “golden age,” and “the comeback.” If you’re into studying designers or just fashion history at all, I recommend this one!

 

·      The Dress: 100 Iconic Moments in Fashion – Megan Hess

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https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-dress-megan-hess/1119435755?ean=9781742708232#/

 

-       The Dress is such a classical and historical book that’s illustrated stunningly. The chapters in this one are, “designers,” “icons,” “weddings,” “music,” “film,” and, “Oscars.” This book takes you through 100 moments, people, and designers who have made and worn remarkable dresses. This book is perfect for the fashion lover, and especially anyone who loves high fashion!

 

·      The Bergdorf Goodman Cookbook – Laura Silverman

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https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-bergdorf-goodman-cookbook-bergdorf-goodman/1128005958?ean=9780062318558

 

-       I spotted this book while at Bergdorf Goodman this past fall and received it from my aunt for Christmas! If you are a Bergdorf Goodman lover, you should definitely order this one! My favorite restaurant in all of New York City is the Bergdorf Goodman café because of the elegance, the unmatched flavoring of the food, the experience, the interior design, and the stunning view of Central Park out of your window! This cookbook features funky illustrations and recipes from the BG Café, organized by cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, soups and starters, salads, entrees, and desserts! I can’t wait to start cooking all the BG goodness!

 

·      Scatter My Ashes at Bergdorf Goodman – Sara James Mnookin

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https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/scatter-my-ashes-at-bergdorf-goodman-sara-mnookin/1108621208?ean=9780062226235

 

-       After watching the documentary called, “Scatter My Ashes at Bergdorf Goodman” in one of my fashion retailing classes at school, I was so excited to find this book at Bergdorf Goodman in New York. This book tells all things about BG and has multiple stories from celebrities, employees, personal shoppers, and lifetime-long BG shoppers, and the chapters are, “better than therapy,” “notorious shoppers,” “designers on display,” and “Scatter My Ashes at Bergdorf Goodman.” Even if you haven’t ever visited BG, this book is so incredibly interesting and fun to read! Stories are featured from people such as Joan Rivers, Christian Louboutin, and more.

 

·      Whiskey in a Teacup – Reese Witherspoon

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https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/whiskey-in-a-teacup-reese-witherspoon/1128575066?ean=9781501166273#/

 

-       Whiskey in a Teacup is a book for women of all ages! Reese tells her life story, favorite recipes, experiences, family stories, and more in this colorful and Southern charm of a book. Some of the chapters are, “the magic of sweet tea,” “hot rollers, red lipstick, & steel magnolias,” “Dolly Parton, southern icon,” “catching frogs & selling lemonade,” and more! As you can tell from the names of these chapters, reading this book is pure fun and laughter, and you can get some amazing Southern cooking recipes from it, too (my fav)! I most definitely recommend gifting this book to your sister, mom, grandmother, aunt, or any Southern lady in your life!

 

·      Classic Style: Hand it Down, Dress it Up, Wear it Out – Kate Schelter

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https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/classic-style-kate-schelter/1124596137?ean=9781455540068#/

 

-       Classic Style is a book for all things fun and inspiration! This book features Kate Spade style watercolor illustrations that are sure to make flipping through this one adorable. Some of the chapters are, “define,” “simplify,” “reinvent,” and “own it.” I think this book is super American themed and perfect for any style-loving classical girl!

 

·      SHE: Muses, Visionaries, and Madcap Heroines – Kate Spade New York

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https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/kate-spade-new-york-kate-spade-new-york/1126850054?ean=9781419727207#/

 

-       SHE is the book of all women! This large book features photos and stories of women of all time, such as Carrie Bradshaw and Iris Apfel. The book is organized by phrases such as, “she can light up a room,” “she’s the first to give a toast and the last to say goodbye,” and “she prefers rocking boats to safe bets.” Equal between illustration and words, this book is historical, inspirational, informational, and promotes all things incredible women. This book is perfect for the motivated and girl-power driven woman who loves to study womanhood, style, movies, historical icons, and more.

 

·      Ladurée Tea Time: The Art of Taking Tea

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https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/ladur-e-tea-time-marie-pierre-morel/1128958186?ean=9780865653467

 

-       Tea Time is another book I bought from the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, and I love this one! It comes in a quaint pink box and is a book full of photos and interesting information all about tea! Some of the chapters are, “imperial tea,” “british tea,” “royal tea,” “tea and brunch,” “tea party,” and more. This book also gives tons of recipes for of course, tea, but also pasties, marcarons, and more. If you’ve ever had a Laudrée macaron in New York or any of their other locations, that is where this book comes from! This book would make a great gift for a bride!

 

·      Humans of New York: Stories – Brandon Stanton

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https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/humans-of-new-york-stories-stanton-brandon/1121755037?ean=9781250058904#/

-       Humans of New York is an incredible book in so many ways. Each page is a photo and an excerpt from a conversation with a random person in the midst of New York City. The people range from all over the globe and the conversations are about everything under the sun, some happy, some sad, some really sad, and some inspirational! This book is so, so neat to look at and not to read all at once!

·      When Life Gives You Lululemons – Lauren Weisberger

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https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/when-life-gives-you-lululemons-lauren-weisberger/1127208903?ean=9781476778440#/

-       This New York Times Bestseller is one of my favorite novels ever! This book is funny, refreshing, and a break from reality! This book, I know, will be made into the best movie someday!! I highly recommend this novel for any upbeat girl.

I hope you find some bookworm inspiration from some of my favorites, and if you have any recommendations send them my way through the comments! I definitely hope to post more books after I read some of my new favorites I have recently purchased! Xo

How to Begin a New Year

Welcome to my new column of my blog! I created this column to make things a little bit more fun and because I feel like we could always use a little “how to” in our lives! From how to bake, how to pray, how to relax, how to lose 5 pounds, or how to lose a guy in 10 days (kidding, but great movie recommendation!), I always love reading a “how to” article!

 

Since it’s the beginning of a new year, I wanted my first how to article to be…

 

How to Begin a New Year!

 

Here’s my take on how to begin a new year feeling organized, refreshed, and inspired!

 

1.     Begin a daily devotional

-       January (even if you are a few days behind) is the perfect time to begin a devotional! If you are on the go a bunch or already know you fall behind in book devotionals, I highly recommend downloading a devotional app. Devotional apps can differ from simply sending you a short 1-2 sentence reading everyday through your notifications, or there are ones you can read a few paragraphs in each day. A devotional each day allows you some time to have a short foundation of Christ-like thoughts and energy to either begin your day with, or like me, end your day with as you reflect and refresh for tomorrow.

-       The daily devotional I am currently reading is “Jesus Calling.” I also recommend Lysa TerKeurst’s “Embraced.”

 

2.     Read a new book

-       One of my new years resolutions this year is to read more books! I love reading and am forcing myself to spend more time in books than on screens this year. A new year is a great time to make a habit of reading more because you’re inevitably searching for new inspirations and refreshment, and so much relaxation and enjoyment comes from reading a book. My favorite books tend to be faith, fashion, or lifestyle based, but I do love biographies, autobiographies, and chic fiction novels. To kick up an old reading habit, try allotting some time to go to a local book store and look through New York Times Bestsellers or books you’ve been hearing all about- I guarantee they probably won’t let you down and will have you hooked on reading again!

 

3.     Clean out your space

-       Leave your clutter in 2018! There is no better feeling to me than cleaning out cabinets, drawers, closets, under your bed, etc., and this is the best time to do so! I can tend to keep a lot of things that I “think” I’ll eventually do something with, but this is the time to just get rid of all the things you aren’t using at all and are only taking up space. If you have the extra time on your hands, this is also a good time to donate items that could still have some use in them! I even like going as far as cleaning out drawers of pens, pencils, etc. that aren’t good anymore.

 

4.     Reflect on last year

-       Don’t begin a new year on a limb! Be intentional and purposeful with your actions and words this year. Take some time on a weekend or at night to reflect on the past year. This can be something that’s rather deep and personal, or something that’s surface level just to boost your self-confidence and daily moods, or both! As for myself, I’ve taken time to do both and feel completely refreshed and inspired mentally and physically. Think about things like: what are things you feel like you’re doing that you don’t “love?” Are they changeable? What habits are you ready to break? What do you want to do more of? What are those things you’ve been wanting to do for months now?

-       For me, some of the things I want to leave in 2018 are sleeping in, staying up too late, eating late at night, and more, and some habits I would like to pick up are writing down more goals, keeping a prayer journal, and beginning a fitness journey.

 

5.     Try new things

-       I’m the type of person that always has a running mental note of things I want to try. I make lists of things in my head all the time of movies to watch, books to read, websites I want to look at, etc., but just recently, I started listening to podcasts on Spotify. I’ve heard of several people speak highly of podcasts but I didn’t think I would be able to follow them without any words or pictures, but now I know you can’t knock it ‘til you try it! I highly recommend podcasts for time periods that you won’t be bothered (driving, getting ready, quiet time, etc.) and if you’re new to them, pick an inspirational person you love and search any podcasts they may have recorded. I chose Samantha Ponder’s podcasts and I was hooked. Next, I plan to listen to Lysa TerKeurst’s latest. Whatever it may be that you’ve “been wanting to try,” give it a go!

 

6.     Get organized

-       Whatever this may look like for you, just get organized! Get a new 2019 planner, buy a fresh new pack of Sharpies, pencils, or office pens, or even new makeup, beauty products, etc. and start fresh! Clean out those junk drawers and turn them into organized spaces that are easily accessible! Making a habit of being a super organized person will never lead you wrong.

 

7.     Put together your personal health

-       If I had to guess, the #1 new years resolution in all of Earth is to lose weight! Ask any random person what some of their NYRs are and I guarantee they say losing weight is one. Even if it’s not “losing weight,” personal health improvement is a top choice for something to work towards in a new year. Personally, I’d like to become more active, meaning muscle toning and shaping up, more running, and drinking more water. It always helps to clean up your diet a little and do things that if anything, make you “feel” better rather than look better. Start clean and healthy in 2019!

 

8.     “Wake up earlier, say no to more things, and get rid of 75% of your stuff”

-       As I mentioned above, I recently listened to two podcasts by Samantha Ponder, and being the incredible, inspirational professional sports broadcaster, wife, mother, and Christian she is, she often gets asked how she does it. Women particularly, like myself, are always wondering how these seemingly put-together, wise, role-model worthy women do it, and Sam’s piece of advice was my favorite. Samantha, in all honestly, said that three things she did that changed her life were these three decisions: waking up earlier, getting rid of 75% of the things she owned, and saying “no” to more things. She explained that waking up earlier gives you more time in the day to get things done, getting rid of 75% of the things she owned, (even the organized, color-coated, boxed, storage type things) left her with only the things she needed and little-to-no clutter, and saying “no” to more things allowed her to train her brain that she didn’t need to do it all. Her kids didn’t have to play all the sports, she didn’t have to do all the yoga classes, book clubs, stereotypical woman/mom things, and she had more time for the things she really enjoyed and wanted to do. All in all, great advice for a new year!

 

9.     “Move on from old history, move on from old habits, move on from old hurts”

-       I heard these three things be mentioned in church today by pastor Chris Hodges (1/6), and I think these are wonderful tools to use when beginning a new year. Moving on from old history may mean moving on from an old friendship that just isn’t working out anymore or that isn’t the best for you anymore, etc. Moving on from old habits, is of course self-explanatory, but this one for me is moving on from being social media indulged 24/7. Lastly, moving on from old hurts can be hard, but we cannot let old tragedies define who we are. People that hurt you, things that hurt you, or times you may have messed up and hurt others don’t need to linger around your life for too long.

 

10.   Love yourself and love others!

-       Lastly, go into the year with self-confidence and confidence in others! Be your best self and begin new journeys leading you to be the best person that you can be. Now is the time to change your life for the better and be a go-getter for the life you really want to live. Don’t make excuses for yourself anymore, and start loving yourself, your life, and others, now!

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21 Days of Prayer + Fasting

Happy Sunday!

 

I began the day by going to church, happy to indulge in the process that is called “21 Days of Prayer + Fasting!” I’ve heard this term several times and been to church several times during the times of the year this process takes place, but I’ve never put myself up for the test of it! I think most times I’ve either given up soft drinks, chocolate, etc., which has been beneficial, of course, but obviously has not changed me as a person.

 

For weeks, I feel like I’ve had a sense of still waters in my life, like, the term “same ole, same ole.” And, the same ole, same ole, isn’t always fun, good, or developing. I want to live my life in a way that I’m never at still waters. I want to always be moving forward in some way. Either progressing in my relationships, progressing in hobbies such as blogging, exercising, whatever it may be. And the one that I feel like I always list but is the slowest moving one of them all, is progressing in my relationship with God. It’s easy for me to say, “I want to get closer to God this year,” but, what actions am I putting with that phrase? What am I going to physically DO that allows God to show me new life? What changes can I make to give God the room to take over my life to the fullest? In today’s busy world, it’s so easy to WANT to do something, but not have the time, motivation, or energy to actually DO it. But, you can do anything the moment you make your mind up to do it.

 

My choice for now is simple: 21 days of no social media. Apps deleted. Signing off!

 

While having a blog comes with of course a social media side, that isn’t the side that I feel like God called me to excel in when I pursued blogging. Without social media for 21 days, sure, I may lose a follower or two, but my goal for my blogging social media is not for people to follow me, but for people to be inspired to follow their dreams + God. As far as blogging, I want to pursue more writing and less Instagram, so I’ll keep writing on my website!

 

If you read my “New Year New Goals” post, I mentioned that one of the newest, biggest, and most important things I wanted to change in my life this year is being more in the moment. Being less in the screens and more in person. God didn’t create my life for me to be drowned in screens and screens and for the most part, media I’m not getting anything out of. I believe that it is so clear that the Lord is showing me that my way of being more in the moment is simply logging off. I’m not saying that social media is altogether “bad” in any way, because I do love to share all the fun, exciting, and inspirational things, but social media is so very consuming if you let it be.

 

It’s amazing to me how one simple decision in your life can affect not only one big area, but lots of others. Recently, I feel like so much of social media affects me in ways I wish it wouldn’t. It’s that feeling of seeing a photo or Snapchat or Instagram story of something you weren’t invited to, or reading words you didn’t want to read, or negativity, or promotions of lifestyles other than God. I think this goes hand in hand with the feeling I wrote about in my new year post of feeling like you have to be perfect. That CONSTANT comparison to others is directly from social media. Social media gives so many people the feeling that they have to constantly be doing SOMETHING, no matter what it is, and in my life, I feel like I get so much more out of days and experiences when I’m not doing anything I’m jumping to post. Reading a book, lunch with a friend, going on a run/walk, etc., all those things that you end up doing for 2+ hours and don’t even realize it. The things you forget to post because you were so in the moment. I’m itching for so many more of those times!

 

I believe that social media has become such a habit for me, and probably many other people, that when you think about it, sometimes it’s like you know you’re reading and seeing things you get zero joy out of, or like it even ruined your mood when you saw/read it. Yes, there’s so many good and happy and positive posts on social media, but what about books? What about the most simple and detailed things around us that we don’t pay attention to because we are always on our phones? Those moments you read about on Facebook where someone leads a stranger to God in a coffee shop, or pays it forward in the grocery store to help out someone in need? Being constantly engaged in an iPhone causes us to miss out on these moments. We don’t see them and we don’t see who’s around us and the many opportunities God gives us to be a servant of Him. It’s all one big habit, but it’s a habit I want to leave in the old year.

 

My life is so much more than social media, and now’s the time for me to spend more time in my relationships and the happening world around me than in my phone. In the next three weeks, I want God to show me life on the outside. Life off of the screen. How can I change my life and become a person of intention, a person who pays more attention to the actual people and things around me, and how can He use me in these moments?

 

In my worship notes from today’s service, here’s what I left with:

            “Time to Make a Change”

1.     It’s time to get closer to God.

2.     It’s time to get honest with others and be held accountable. (hello, transparency)

3.     It’s time to get in tune with my purpose and passions.

4.     It’s time to get on doing something greater than myself. (showing others how to follow God, not follow me on Instagram)

5.     I can’t go back and change the beginning, but I can start where I am and change the ending.

 

The truth comes from the phrase, “if you want something you’ve never had, you have to do something you’ve never done.” If I want God to change my life for the more intentional, meaningful, better, I’ve got to give up the social media and earthly distractions I am constantly fulfilled by. I cannot be the “king of my own kingdom” and I have to live for something bigger than myself every day. And lastly, from the message, joy does not come from money, sunny days, or good neighbors, but instead, joy comes from when you do something that matters. These next three weeks and further on into this year, I want to spend less time fixing my eyes on the social media posts that do not matter, and more time fixing my eyes on God and those around me. Again, from the church message, “I can’t start the next chapter of my life if I keep re-reading the last one,” so I’m ready to do something different. I believe that making changes such as this in my life will not only bring me closer to the Lord and show me a new way to walk in his path for my life, but make me a happier, more refreshed, more joyful, more intentional, and more in the moment person, because the moments on Earth matter more in my life than anything I could ever see or post on a screen.

 

I’m praying over the next three weeks for God to open my eyes to the things about Him, myself, and other people that I wouldn’t have seen otherwise. My prayers are full of hope and trust in God that He will show me the difference for the better. I’m planning to read as many books as I can, spend the first three weeks of a new school semester with no social media study distractions, get more rest by not being on social media before bed, and enjoying life centered around how I can be the best version of myself and serving others!

 

I won’t be posting Instagram updates from when I post new blogs on my site, but you can always find my newest one on the home screen of my site :)

January Bucket List

Hello, January, hello, 2019!!!

I always feel so refreshed at the start of a new year. A blank book. A blank chapter of my life that I want to live to the fullest! Though January can be rather low-key, dull, and dreary in Alabama, it’s a great time to become more in-tune with yourself and what you hope to accomplish in your life. January is a great month to clean out your spaces, get rid of old or pointless things, and start new and fresh. I encourage you to spend time this month evaluating your life- the things that are working, the things that are not, good habits, bad habits, prospective habits, and changes that need to be made. Don’t bring your dreadful habits into a new year, and try picking up stress-free new habits, such as keeping a prayer journal or walking/running a mile a day!

Here’s my January Bucket List (more like “to-do list”)

-       Make a new friend

-       Buy a new planner

-       Clean out my closet

-       Become more organized

-       Set exercise goals

-       Drink mostly water

-       Read my “Jesus Calling” daily devotional every night

-       Start a prayer journal

-       Cook more at home

-       Try new recipes

-       Buy new school supplies

-       Think about yearly goals

-       Attend church more

-       Take better care of my skin

(product recommendations accepted!)

-       Read more books (!!!!!!!)

-       Nap less

-       Eat healthier

-       Put words into action

I found a “January Purge Checklist” on Pinterest that I really liked, so I’m sharing it now.

Bedroom:

  • outgrow clothing

  • outdated shoes

  • torn clothing

  • old hats

  • shoe boxes

  • old blankets

  • clutter in drawers

Bathroom:

  • empty bottles

  • old brushes

  • trash

  • ripped towels

  • old bath mats (replace)

  • expired medicine

  • old hair ties

  • expired sunscreen

Kitchen:

  • no lid tupperware

  • cracked plates

  • chipped glasses

  • mismatched sets

  • expired canned foods

  • stale pantry food

  • expired fridge foods

  • combine cleaning liquids

  • unused appliances

  • broken/scratched dishware

  • bottles without lids

  • unneeded cookbooks

Office:

  • shred documents

  • old keys

  • dried out pens

  • old cords/adapters

  • old business cards

I also found January Journal Prompts, which could also just be some beneficial and important things to think about this month.

  • what 3 things would you like to accomplish this year?

  • how can you keep yourself accountable for achieving your goals?

  • are there goals from last year you didn’t accomplish? why weren’t you successful?

  • what are you most proud of from last year?

  • one word to describe the upcoming year.

  • what are you ready to let go of?

  • write a goodbye letter to last year

  • tomorrow I will…

  • what makes you sad? angry? fearful?

  • what makes you happy? content? feel alive?

  • a new skill you’d like to learn.

Happy January, everyone!

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New Year New Goals

My first blog post of 2019! Yay!

           

            I have been thinking about my New Years post for about a week now, and of course, I’m writing it at 11:00 p.m. on January 2nd. But, I think that fact alone sums up my perspective of 2019. Imperfection. Embracing imperfection.

            Looking back on 2018, I can’t say it is a year I’d do again. No, not just because of back surgery, but all in all, 2018 was a year of personal growth, not always in the easiest of ways. In 2018, I learned who I am, who the people around me are, and the image of the person I aspire to be. 2018 was a year for me to learn to expect the unexpected. If you know me, you know I’m a planner, academically organized, life-planning freak, and in 2018, I learned that planning out your life and ACTUALLY expecting it to go that way is a complete and total joke. We can plan out goals, events, and practical things, but planning out to have a “perfect semester” or be a “perfect significant other” or “perfect friend, blogger, Instagrammer, etc.” is, in reality, the last way God planned out your life to be. Thinking about it, I concluded with the thought that if God planned our lives to be perfect on Earth, we would never look forward to Heaven. We would not need to pray, or go to church, or think upon Godly thoughts, or look forward to Heaven, I mean, why would we, if life were perfect on Earth?

             The truth is, Earth is imperfect. I’m imperfect, you’re imperfect. You are destined to live an imperfect life and believing otherwise only sets you up for a life of constant, literally constant, disappointment.

            You might be thinking, what more is there to it? I get it, my life will have problems, it already has/had/does. But, it’s not that simple. I’m here to admit that for the last several months, “embracing imperfection” has been my enemy. This is where the devil really gets to me and tricks me over and over again. It’s easy to state, “I’m embracing imperfection,” but I wrote this entire post three days ago and deleted it. Why? I didn’t feel like it was good enough, worded well enough, or made enough sense. Thoughts like, “people are going to think I’m an extremely negative person,” or “I really don’t think other people struggle with this,” or “this sounds so dramatic” wrapped my brain and I thought, what new road can I take to a post about 2018 and 2019? No matter how many times I tried to think of new ideas or read other bloggers’ posts about the New Year, this “embracing imperfection” idea wouldn’t leave my heart.

             So, after lots of thinking, I felt like the best way to write this post was through honesty. My #1 New Years Resolution is to be more honest with myself. I’ll explain what that means later in this post. Now, you’re probably thinking, what does that mean, what’s the honest truth about embracing imperfection?

            Embracing imperfection means self-honesty and honesty with others. NOT to be confused with going around complaining and radiating negativity everywhere. Aka, “how’s your day?” “so terrible. I didn’t want to get out of bed and go to work. I hate rainy days.” This is not the type of honestly I’m referring to in any way. But, the honest as in, I didn’t feel like it was honest of me to post about how great 2018 was and how I’m so excited to see what 2019 holds, because I’m glad to see 2018 go. Honest as in it is dishonest for me to share a month-by-month highlight of my year because one day cannot honestly sum up months of pain, confusion, and learning things the hard way.

             As I was thinking about the correct words to say in this post, I came across Lysa TerKeurst’s Facebook post that read,
                        “The pursuit of perfection leads to pretending.

                        Pretending encourages others to chase perfection.

                        And it’s all just so very exhausting.

Let’s give each other the gift of transparency and grace as we pursue Jesus.   Because perfection doesn’t exist on this side of eternity.”

            As I read this post, I knew literally could not have said it better myself. Embracing imperfection doesn’t mean spreading negativity, but rather, being real with ourselves and those around us. Sure, nobody’s going to post pictures of them crying, fighting with others, sick, etc. on Instagram, but it’s important to me not to portray an image that Instagram is my reality. Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, etc. will never match up to my day to day life. In 2019, I’m pledging to myself to be more in the moment and less in the highlight reels. Not even because I want to be off my phone more at dinner, but because I want to be more honest with myself. I’ve never felt BETTER by scrolling through Instagram than I have when I had a real conversation with someone.

All in all, it’s exhausting. It’s draining. It leads to disappointment and feelings of failure. On days when I have had a migraine all day, or didn’t sleep at all, it’s exhausting to sit at work on a rainy day and scroll through countless photos of people I follow traveling in New York City, or laying out on tropical islands, or shopping with friends. It makes you feel like, “I wish I was in New York. I wish I was that skinny and tan. I wish I had more money. I wish I had teeth that white. I wish I.... etc.” and those thoughts are simply not of the Lord. When your life is so consumed with the thought that your life should be perfect, you’re not even paying attention to the positivity, people, beauty of the photos you’re scrolling through, but instead, the enemy speaks to you through each and every one. This is when you have to use self-honesty and walk away from the places the enemy targets you most. This is when you have to leave those things and those thoughts behind.

             In 2018, I’m leaving behind the strive for self-perfection and focusing more on the strive for logical, reasonable success and self-care. Successful relationships, not perfect relationships. Beneficial, positive social media sharing, not perfect social media. A successful semester, not a perfect semester. A reasonable self-image goal, not a perfect self-image goal. A successful year of growth, love, health, and positivity, not a perfect year.

            When you set goals such as these, they’re more achievable, and you feel better achieving them. If I set a GPA goal of a 3.8 for a semester, I feel better achieving a 3.8 than setting a goal for a 4.0 and only getting a 3.8. If I set a goal to maintain beneficial body image and self-care, I feel better losing a couple of pounds by cutting out soft drinks and taking better care of my skin, than setting the goal to be _ lbs, skinny, tan, and hot by summer and not noticing much change at all. It’s all in training your soul and body to strive for success rather than perfection, because you will never achieve perfection. Sure, the gifts God gave us may allow us to achieve perfection in small ways by making a 100 on a test or… (it’s actually really hard to think of many more ways you can literally do something “perfectly”), but nobody in mere existence except Jesus Christ will ever be perfect. So, who says we should even try?

             The most difficult but most beneficial way for me to “embrace imperfection” is to remember that if my life isn’t perfect and isn’t as put together as social media may seem, then neither is anyone else’s. Yes, I can post that 2018 was an amazing year, but I gained 12 pounds in 3 months, have probably consumed more entire bottles of over-the-counter pain relief in 4 months than a healthy person does in a year, and sleep through the entire night without waking up maybe once every week or even two. I’m a control freak over my life and even after semesters of making the President’s and Dean’s list and accepting an internship still wonder, is this really what I want to do? Am I good enough, fun enough, cool enough? Are my posts and stories attractive enough? Am I thin enough, fit enough? I need to whiten my teeth, go to the gym, run miles, stop eating fast food, leave everything but water in 2018, be cuter, be more talkative when I tend to be more quiet natured, go on more dates, etc. etc. When you live life striving for perfection, thoughts like these never end. You wake up in the morning exhausted and go to bed exhausted. You’re constantly thinking you’re not enough, or not doing enough. With a mindset like this, you will never be enough.

            With a mindset that embraces imperfection and only wants to please God versus people, your thoughts lessen of ideas like the ones above. You become more alert, more present, more attentive to details and happiness. You become more invested in people than things. You realize that money doesn’t matter, feelings do. Time means more than money in so many different ways. You do more of the things you enjoy. You seek health and self-care versus unreachable attractiveness. You wake up in the morning feeling thankful and refreshed and you go to bed feeling hopeful. Your thoughts change to, “I’m following God’s path for me,” “I’m an authentic person and stay true to who I am and what my life really looks like,” “I’m thankful for what I have,” and prefer people over things. You realize that the only things going to Heaven with us are the people around us, not what we own or buy. You make more memories than posts. Because in this mindset, you live to be successful and happy on Earth, and know that you will live in perfection in Heaven. Make Heaven worth the wait and stop trying to make a sin-bound Earth even the slightest bit of the same.

             The key to embracing imperfection is remembering that you need God on your best days just as much as you need Him on your worst. The meaning of embracing imperfection is in the phrase, “the best is yet to come.” Even on our best. day., our very. best. day., the BEST days will be our days in Heaven. No earthly day will ever be our best day. If our best day on Earth is not even our soul’s best day, then our life on Earth will never compare to our life in Heaven.

            In 2019, I’m praying for my imperfect life to settle better with my soul. I’m praying to adopt a mindset that understands that perfection is of the devil. They say, “don’t set yourself up for failure,” but really, don’t set yourself up for perfection. Set yourself up for reachable success. Everyone’s level of reached success is different, as everyone’s goals are different, but set yourself up for things that are worth working for, and that your work is enough to accomplish.

            In 2019, I’m praying for God to show me how to be more in the moment and less in the screens, and how to love others more. I’m praying for God to show me how He wants me to use my skills and gifts to show others His love for them. I’m praying for new challenges and new skills, new opportunities and new glimpses of His plan for my life. I’m praying for the strength I need to watch my ideas of perfect life die, and see the ideas He has for my life. Even in the gray areas and the unclear moments, I’m praying for the strength to follow God. When I’m forced to take on the things that aren’t supposed to be this way, or don’t make sense at all, I’m praying for the ability to trust that these things are of His plan for me.

             When I compare my life to a perfect life, I’m left in a puddle of disappointment, confusion, and no strength in God. 2018 began with expectations of a perfect body that turned into a new, unwanted scar on my left side and my back being opened up for the third time. 2018 began with expectations of 4.0s that turned into 3.2s and 3.7s. 2018 began with expectations of all the right words to say and all the best relationships and all the best experiences that turned into being let down, letting others down, and being glad to see the year go. 2019 begins with expectations of academic improvement, personal growth, a healthy body that’s taken care of, a mind that’s thankful in the mornings and hopeful in the evenings, becoming more personable and meaningful, and a year of growth closer to the Lord.

             In 2019, I know that my life will be imperfect, and I am pledging to myself to be transparent and honest with myself and those around me in the times that I am let down, confused, and struggling, and setting goals that are achievable and beneficial towards my walk with the Lord.

             I’m praying that the Lord shows me a new perspective that leads me to be more refreshed, more rejuvenated, more peaceful and more joyed, and I’m praying for you, too!

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Accepting My Fashion Retailing Internship

To begin, I think I have to say that looking back on last summer to now, this semester has been by far the most growing, changing, developing semester I’ve ever had. If you were to take me back to last May and tell me that before Christmas I would have a third back surgery, go back to school, then accept a summer internship, I would tell you that you were CRAZY!! I used to believe that “big” things in your life only happen once in a blue moon, but wow was I wrong! I can confidently say that the past semester has taught me SO MUCH about myself, the people around me, and my future and I am so excited to continue on! So far, I would say my 20’s are off to the absolute best start!

 

I believe in every way that the Lord has taken me over the past semester and shown me what life is like close to Him, and how if you trust Him and live by His word, He will bless you in so many abundant and undeserving ways. Of course, it’s not a situation of “be nice and be blessed with a perfect life” because Earth will never be perfect and my life will never be perfect, but I do know that living in a Christ-following way has allowed me to see the truth in his grace and how sweet it is to live by a God that heals me and guides me towards things that allow me to be the best person I can be!

 

This semester started by having a major back surgery and looking back on just three short months ago, I know that I had so many different options to choose when it came to moving forward. I could have easily chosen to take the semester off from school and work completely and rest my body and mind and be very low key, I could have taken just a class or two and worked some and slowly moved on, but honestly, without even thinking, I took over a full schedule of classes, went back to work exactly one month later, and have accomplished more this semester than I have in the past! I think that there is such a mental decision to make with yourself when it comes to a new chapter (semester) and when it comes to moving on from something that knocked you down completely. I can wholeheartedly say that choosing to carry on at full speed proved to me that I am stronger than I would have ever believed and that with strength, confidence, and God, I can truly do and accomplish anything.

 

The most exciting part about this fall semester by far has been accepting a Fashion Retailing Internship for the summer of 2019 in Martha’s Vineyard, MA!! I absolutely cannot wait to live on the island of MV from May until school begins in August doing the thing I love most to do!! In October of this past year, I visited Martha’s Vineyard and loved it, and knew dating back to August that I wanted to move away for the summer and do an internship.

 

For me, and internship has been something that I have thought about literally 24/7 for over the past entire year. In the Fashion Retailing industry and degree program, doing an internship is extremely important for experience and future employment. From the start, my dream was always to intern in New York City! NYC is my favorite place ever and I thought that I would be happiest interning and living in NYC for an entire summer!! As I started searching through fashion internships, I realized that there are SO MANY and I was by far not the most qualified candidate for so many positions. However, I can 100% confidently say that being employed at The Golden Hanger since I was 17 is the #1 thing that helped me achieve the position and even feel confident enough to apply for internships! I am so glad that I have 2+ years of experience in Fashion Retailing being a sales associate and attending buying trips, because I knew my experience was exactly in line with the qualifications and requirements for the internship I applied for in Martha’s Vineyard. As I got deeper into the internship search, I had to become brutally honest with myself, because rent is real! Some internships are not paid at all but quite a bit are, but intern pay is nowhere close to affording your own rent in a place like New York City. I knew that I wouldn’t be responsible for all expenses and would have help from my family, but working the past 2+ years and moving to a new place also means to me learning to pay what I can of my own expenses and learn how the real world works! New York City is of course one of the most if not the most expensive place in America to live, and I decided for what it was worth, I would rather live comfortably than be scraping pennies, which meant expanding my geography!

When I began researching life in other places (still in the Northeast USA because I especially love that region), I knew I loved the idea of living on Martha’s Vineyard! I truly think that God placed this internship in my life for a specific reason, one I may not know just yet, but on purpose for sure, because the first internship I found was an internship that required all of the duties I was comfortable with already and experienced enough to accomplish, matched perfectly with my summer dates, and I had a month left to apply!

 

The application process was not too overwhelming, but I knew I had a lot of preparing to do! The first thing I knew I needed to get together was a resume, and I didn’t have a college resume built at the time. I wanted my resume to be perfectly professional, so I made an appointment at The University of Alabama’s Career Center, where professionals are available by appointment to help students for all of their professional needs. Before going in, I came up with a rough-draft resume so that the appointment would be organized and not take several hours. I sat down with a lady and for an hour, explained to her everything I had to put on my resume from my job to scholarships and awards to extracurricular activities, what I was applying for, why I wanted the internship, and how comfortable I was with the process, and she step-by-step helped me come up with a second rough-draft resume and cover letter. I highly recommend the Career Center to every UA student because it is completely free and helpful beyond words!

 

After the appointment, I spent a weekend using a free book guide my mentor had given me and perfecting my resume to the best of my ability, and writing the most professional, personal, and strong cover letter that I could geared towards this internship. I think it is so important to not rush an application process, because you have several chances to re-read your work and look for errors, and time to think of more creative wording and anything you may have forgotten to add. Once I got my resume and cover letter together how I wanted, I completed the other portions of the application online. For my application specifically, there were sections including all of my educational history, hobbies and interests, travel experience, links to my LinkedIn profile, blog, and social media accounts, and a portion for me to type a welcome letter as well.

 

Altogether, I probably spent two whole weeks taking my time and perfecting my application to the best of my ability, and I think it was the perfect amount of time for me to completely evaluate myself professionally and feel the most confident that I could when I submitted my application. Luckily, within 48 hours of submitting my application, I heard back from the company that I had been chosen to receive a phone-call interview opportunity! I formally accepted the invitation by email, and scheduled the interview for the following week.

 

Before this, I had never done a phone interview! I made sure to schedule the interview for an hour time period that I knew I would be at home and have no distractions going on at all. However, as things don’t always work out perfectly, some unforeseen circumstances pushed back my interview and I was actually in public at the time of the interview, but I took it with confidence and no worries! The phone interview went great, and it was a lot easier than I thought to begin with by far. The thing that I took away most from this type of interview experience is to always remain calm, and be personal, because the person interviewing you is a human, too! There is no need to feel like you have to be a robot in an interview, because it’s your possible one chance to show your personality at all! The interview ended with an exchanged, “roll tide!”

 

A day later, I received an email that I, again, had another opportunity to have a second phone-call interview with another member of the company. I was so excited to receive this second interview, and scheduled it for a week and a half later. The second phone interview was even more fun and personal and went great!!

Around two to three days after my second phone call interview, I received an email that kindly offered me the internship position! I have never been more grateful to accept an opportunity in my life!! I am so excited that it is finally official that I will be interning for three Soft As A Grape retail stores on the island of Martha’s Vineyard, MA, from May-mid August 2019! All visitors are welcome on MV <3

More to come about my exact position next summer!!!

Xoxo,
Maggie

 

 Here’s a pic of my CURRENT MOOD … because I’m moving to MARTHA’s VINEYARD !! (pic in Martha’s Vineyard :) )

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December Bucket List

Hello, December! I am so excited for this December because it’s finally the month of Christmas! I’m sharing a few ideas I think are so much fun and are guaranteed to spruce up your holiday spirit! Xoxo

  • Attend “George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker” performed by The Alabama Ballet

    https://alabamaballet.org/the-nutcracker/

  • Go ice skating

    http://www.holidaysontheriver.com

  • Stock up on Bath and Body Works Christmas 3 Wick Candles

    https://www.bathandbodyworks.com/c/home-fragrance/3-wick-candles

  • Buy the Lush Christmas bath bombs

    https://www.lushusa.com/christmas/

  • Attend a Tacky Christmas party

  • Visit the Gaylord Opryland Hotel in Nashville, TN to see the Christmas decorations

    https://www.marriott.com/gaylord-hotels/gaylord-opryland-nashville-a-country-christmas.mi

  • Bake homemade Christmas cookies

  • Watch Hallmark Christmas movies

    http://www.hallmarkchannel.com/schedule

  • Build a gingerbread house

  • Buy a personalized ornament from the mall to keep the tradition going

  • Make a Christmas music playlist

  • Attend a Christmas cocktail party

  • Attend or host a Christmas party with Dirty Santa gifts

  • Help out someone in need of holiday gifts

  • Attend Church of the Highlands Christmas church service

  • Drink hot chocolate

  • Go on a date to a holiday decorated restaurant

  • Drive around neighborhoods to look at Christmas lights

  • Get new Christmas pajamas

  • Buy and wrap presents for loved ones

  • Take Christmas photos

  • Play in snow

  • Travel somewhere new to explore holiday attractions

  • Help cook a Christmas dinner

  • Spend time with family and friends

  • Rewatch my favorite Christmas movies

  • Find time to relax and read a new book

  • Find the perfect cozy sweaters

  • Send my friends fun Christmas cards

  • Do something unexpected for someone you love

  • Try a new holiday recipe

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20 Things I Learned Before 20

20 Things I Have Learned Before 20

 

1.    It will always get better

-       No matter what the circumstance is, it will always get better. There are so many times I can look back on and remember how awful I felt, and now realize how much better it got. If nothing else helps, time always will.

 

2.    Don’t sweat the small things

-       There are so many times when I’ve gotten so needlessly upset over the smallest little thing, especially when I feel like someone is unhappy with me. But, the reality of it is, is that small things aren’t worth the sweat. I’ve learned to always do my best, and forget about the rest! You just can’t win them all.

 

3.    Never lose who you are

-       Whenever times may be bad or I’ve been in a strong disagreement with someone/something, I’ve learned it’s important to always stay true to who I am. Situations can get extremely messy from time to time, but it’s important to never lose your composure or make a fool of yourself. Swallowing your pride or taking the road less traveled is so much more important than losing who you are.

 

4.    When no one else is there, God is there

-       I can remember several instances when I’ve felt like there is just no one in the world who could help the situation I’ve been in. No matter how small the issue, it’s easy to feel alone. Whenever I feel alone, drowned in tears, I always resort to prayer. God will always be there.

 

5.    Always be true to you  

-       Never let anyone or anything make you do something you don’t want to do! If it doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t. Staying true to who you are, your beliefs, and morals, will always feel better than wishing you did.

 

6.    It costs zero dollars to be a nice human being

-       This quote is my favorite for so many reasons! No matter how much money you may have or spend, always remember being nice is free (and more important)!

 

7.    You are always a vital voice

-       I have learned that my voice always matters. No word of encouragement, vote, opinion, or knowledge is too small. I always love to do my part, or be a part!

 

8.    Always go for it

-       You never know unless you try! If you don’t get chosen/selected/etc., oh well, but at least you have the experience from trying. Going for it also makes you feel so much more confident in trying next time versus trying for the first time.

 

9.    Always be nicer than required

-       It’s nice to be nice, but it’s also nice to be the nicest. To me, there’s no way someone can be too nice, and it’s always better to be too nice than not nice enough. You never know what someone’s going through, who’s watching, or where an impression may lead.

 

10. Eat cake for breakfast

-       Not only do I love to literally eat cake for breakfast, but this quote goes even farther when you really think about it. Eating cake for breakfast symbolizes a tastier diet than a healthier one, but it also reminds me to do what you want/love. In the end, it won’t matter anyway, so eat cake for breakfast!

 

11. For others to love you, you must love yourself first

-       I have learned that loving yourself is so important!! To feel and accept love from others, you must love yourself. Loving yourself does not have to be selfish or conceited, but rather comfortable with who you are. You will never accept genuine love from others with an insecure mind, because you’ll question why they love you anyway. You always accept the love you think you deserve, so the more confident and comfortable you are in loving yourself, the better love you’ll accept.

 

12. You are your own worst enemy

-       The truth is, you’re the hardest person on your own self. The smallest things that eat you alive about yourself are more than likely things that others don’t even notice. It’s so important not to tear yourself apart to the core, because in reality, others probably don’t either notice, or care, because they love you anyway.

 

13. Self-care is so important!

-       Taking care of myself is probably the most important thing I can do each day to benefit my life. Not going out when I don’t feel like it, going for late night ice cream just because, hot baths after a night of studying, drinking extra water, going to bed early, etc. are just a few ways I truly get so much out of and that keep my spirits uplifted, mind clear, and self-esteem boosted!

 

14. We were made for Heaven, not earth

-       No amount of money, cozy sweaters, skinny jeans, Lush bath bombs, Louis Vuitton purses, fancy cars, good Instagrams, David Yurman rings, Gucci belts, or iPhone X’s will travel to heaven with us. It’s so important to remember that Heaven is our eternal home, not earth, and we will go before God as our souls alone, not with any material item we will ever own.

 

15. Mistakes are inevitable

-       This is one of the most important and most challenging things I have ever had to learn. Mistakes and sin are both inevitable. No matter how hard you try, you will never be perfect. It is purely human nature to mess up. Though being perfect is the ideal life goal, it’s also the most unachievable life goal. Thankfully, God loves our perfectly imperfect selves for who we are and not what we do, or don’t do.

 

16. Life goes on

-       At the end of the day, life goes on! No matter how embarrassed I am, tired I am, miserable I am, upset, disappointed, etc. life goes on! At times that I feel like I am not enough, didn’t add up, confused, hurt, or any negative feeling in the world, I have to remember that life goes on. Tomorrow is always a new day, and who’s to say tomorrow won’t be the best day of your life?

 

17. Experience means more

-       Experience is always better than “things!” I have learned, too, that professionally, experience also tends to mean more than a perfect GPA. It’s so much more worth it to spend money on experiences versus items, and easier to talk about work experience than just be good on paper. Always experience!

 

18. Be the friend you would want to have

-       Friends always come and go, and the older you get, the more obvious it is who your true friends are! All friendships have phases of close and far, but no matter what, it’s always important to be the friend you would want to have. Always treat others the way you would want to be treated!

 

19. Do things today your future self will thank you for

-       I have no idea how I would survive without organization! With organization, I have learned that it is so essential and so helpful to do things now that you will be glad you did in the future, even if it’s just getting ahead in schoolwork.

 

20. It’s better to be overdressed and overeducated

-       Two things I’ve never felt upset about in a moment were being overdressed or overeducated. It’s never fun to feel unprepared (underdressed) or like you can’t relate/understand (undereducated). In summary, being well prepared is never a bad thing!

 

 

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2018 Christmas Tree Guide

I have always LOVED to decorate a Christmas tree, so this year I knew I wanted to do an entire blog post on my favorite ornaments and tree decorations!! My favorite type of tree is a white tree with colored lights, but I also like white lights! While green trees are still beautiful, most of the ornaments shown in my post I would recommend placing on a white tree! Hope you enjoy and can get some Christmas tree inspiration!

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  • 8 Oak Ornament 3 Piece Champagne Assortment, $44

    • These three ornaments will spruce up your tree in a heartbeat! These three ornaments are so fun and flirty, and detailed to the core! I personally have the single Rose ornament, but this set is an incredible deal!!

      http://8oaklane.com/ornament-3pc-champagne-asstmt/

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  • 8 Oak Lane White Nutcracker, $18

    • This white and gold nutcracker is sure to complete any mantle or table display!! This one is not an ornament, but above a garland would look so precious!

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  • 8 Oak Lane “You and Me” ornament set, $22

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happy christmas

happy christmas

merry christmas to all, $23.95

merry christmas to all, $23.95

twinkle lights, $23.95

twinkle lights, $23.95

making spirits bright, on sale for $14.99

making spirits bright, on sale for $14.99

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Holiday Card Inspiration

If you’re like me, you LOVE stationary and cards!! I am such a sucker for a cute card (even buying them for myself) because I think they look ADORABLE on bulletin boards and in frames! Here are a few of my favorites for this holiday season!

  • Verrier Handcrafted Fashion

    • As you have probably seen or read before, I LOVE Verrier Handcrafted! I think their products are so authentic and fun! There is no other company that can compare to their products!! Here are just a few of my favorites from their holiday selection this year. Each card is hand drawn, printed, hand painted, and hand glittered, and $9!

      https://verrier-handcrafted.com/collections/christmas/greetingcard

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  • Evelyn Henson Holiday Cards

    • You’ve probably seen me post about or write about Evelyn Henson before, too, and of course her holiday cards are killing it!! These cards are only $4.50, so I recommend stocking up for everyone you know!

      https://www.evelynhenson.com/collections/occasion

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2018 Holiday Gift Guide Part One

I am so excited to share my 2018 Holiday Gift Guide; Part One!
My gift guide can be used to get ideas for your own Christmas list, for your bestie, or to treat yourself! These are some of my favorite pieces that I think will make the holidays just a little more fun and flirty! Part One features mostly accessories and quaint items that are classical, fun, and out-of-the-box! Stay tuned for part two, featuring more clothing items, handbags, and staples.

How sweet is this quote?!

How sweet is this quote?!

I love the millennial pink color!

I love the millennial pink color!

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  • 8 Oak Lane “Champagne Please” socks

    • These socks are absolutely adorable! There are also other options that say, “room service please,” and “coffee please,” so any type of girl could rock a pair of these! These socks are priced at $14.

      http://8oaklane.com/socks-champagne-please-whsl/

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this is the print of the pjs!

this is the print of the pjs!

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how adorable is this print?! the colors are so fun!

how adorable is this print?! the colors are so fun!

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  • Packed Party “Cheers 2-Pack Carrier Case” (disco cups included)

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  • Packed Party “Confetti Lunch Box”

    • Have a girl in your family still in school?! Or have a working family member that’s hard to buy for? Work bestie?! As long as she’s a fun and bubbly gal, this confetti lunch box will most definitely be a hit!! Priced at $28 and the cutest lunch box I have ever seen! Even if it’s too much to carry everyday, it, too, can be carried to the beach in the summertime to hold snacks!

      https://www.packedparty.com/shop/confetti-lunch-box

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  • Henri Bendel Beauty Essentials Cosmetic Bag Collection

    • If you’re needing new cosmetic bags or a travel collection, I am in love with this Henri Bendel Beauty Essentials collection. The designs are so cute and the quality is great! You could splurge and get the whole set since HB will only be open until January, or just buy individuals.

  • Beauty Essentials Trio Set - $58

  • Small T Gusset Cosmetic Bag - $38

  • Medium T Gusset Cosmetic Bag - $48

  • Large Hanging Weekender Bag - $68

Beauty Essentials Trio Set - $58

Beauty Essentials Trio Set - $58

Small T Gusset Cosmetic Bag - $38

Small T Gusset Cosmetic Bag - $38

Medium T Gusset Cosmetic Bag - $48

Medium T Gusset Cosmetic Bag - $48

Large Hanging Weekender Bag - $68

Large Hanging Weekender Bag - $68

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  • LUSH “Snow Fairy” wrapped gift

    • Snow Fairy is my FAVORITE LUSH scent ever and one of their most popular, and is available at holiday time only! This wrapped gift includes the snow fairy bath bomb, snow fairy magic wand bubble bar, snow fairy shower gel, and snow fairy body conditioner. Priced at $35.95.

      https://www.lushusa.com/gifts/christmas-gifts/snow-fairy/08535.html

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  • Kelly Wynne “Money Maker Mini Wallet in To The Nines”

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  • The Megan Hess Fashion Collection

    • If you’re looking to buy for a fashion-loving friend or spruce up your coffee table, these books are perfect! I have four of Megan Hess’s books, including these two, but this set is so great! It features two of her INCREDIBLY illustrated books, “Coco Chanel: The Illustrated Life of a Fashion Icon,” and “The Dress: 100 Iconic Moments in Fashion,” as well as two greeting cards created specifically for this set!

      https://meganhess.myshopify.com/collections/books

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  • Evelyn Henson Map Series

    • Evelyn Henson’s map series is incredible! I recommend a map mug for a neighbor, friend, or someone who has a specific place they relocate to often, or live in for a long distance friend! I would recommend a full sized map print to a family member who owns a vacation spot, or a friend who is moving to a new location! Mugs are priced at $22 and prints are priced at $49.99

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  • PJ Salvage “Simple Skull Long Sleeve Top”

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  • PJ Harlow

    • PJ Harlow is a perfect gift at any time, but I think it is an incredible holiday gift that anyone would be super excited to receive! I would recommend this beautiful red satin for Christmas! For your mom, grandmother, or sister, I think going all-out and ordering the whole set is sure to complete your shopping for one person.

    • Cardigan Wrap- $79

    • Satin Lounge Pants- $68

    • Anne Satin Sleep Cami Top - $54

      https://www.barenecessities.com/search.aspx?search=pj%20harlow&action=true&ft=1#close

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  • 8 Oak Lane “Martini Glass - Pink Gold”

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  • 8 Oak Lane “Dessert Plate Set - Shall We Holiday”

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November Bucket List

I have discovered that it is so much fun to make a “bucket list” for each month, just to add fun, new ideas into everyday life! Even if I don’t check off every single thing, it is still exciting to do anything on the list! Most of the ideas for my bucket lists come from various social media pages or recommendations from friends. I would also love to hear any additional ideas you may have, so feel free to send me a text, DM, comment, or anything in between!

November 2018 Bucket List:

  • go to the movies to see “The Nutcracker and the Four Realms”

  • host a “Friendsgiving” dinner

  • stock up on Bath and Body Works fall/Christmas scented candles

  • travel

  • read a new book

  • decorate my Christmas tree

  • have a spa day

  • have a movie day in pajamas

  • surprise someone

  • watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade

  • buy a new favorite sweater

  • shop for Christmas ornaments

  • do something thoughtful to help someone out

  • plan an exciting date

  • be more in the moment

  • go to a pumpkin patch

  • stock up on Lush holiday bath bombs

  • make new friends

  • exercise more

  • learn to cook something new

  • be organized

  • make someone’s day

  • love others endlessly

  • keep a prayer journal

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Applying Self Care to Your Daily Life

As I have mentioned before, during the month of September, I really want to focus on Self Care. I gave a brief explanation of the meaning, and a few small ways to get started in your own life in my last post, titled, “Self Care.”

Since then, and if you follow @mcrowstyle on Instagram, you probably have seen my new Story Highlight, “self care.” Every day or two, I have posted a short list of ideas that I think are extremely easy and wonderful to include in your day to make it simply more enjoyable! Since starting this highlight, I have had so much positive feedback, as many of my friends and followers have told me they love to screenshot them, and save them for when they need a “pick-me-up!”

So, I decided to post the first five “self care” stories here, as well as add onto them just a bit, because I cannot fit to much on just a small screen!

Follow along!

Self Care #1: Movie Night Favorites for a Feel Good Mood

  • The Help

  • Marley and Me

  • Wonder

  • How To Lose A Guy in 10 Days

  • Mamma Mia

  • Bride Wars

  • Safe Haven

  • 27 Dresses

  • Endless Love

  • Bridesmaids

  • 13 Going on 30

  • Sweet Home Alabama

  • Steel Magnolias

  • Serendipity

  • New Years Eve

  • The Blind Side

  • Footloose

  • The Fault In Our Stars

  • Frozen

  • Freaky Friday

  • Mean Girls

  • The Last Song

  • Wedding Crashers

  • The Greatest Showman

  • We Bought a Zoo

  • The Best of Me

  • Me Before You

  • Soul Surfer

  • Dolphin Tale

  • The Bucket List

  • The Notebook

Self Care #2: Make A Monthly Bucket List (and hold yourself to it!)

My September Bucket List…

  • Clean Out Closet/Declutter

  • All A’s in every class on October 1st

  • Exercise daily

  • Go to a pumpkin patch

  • Spend less on fast food

  • Blog photoshoot at my apartment

  • Frame and hang pictures

  • Post at least 3 articles per week

  • Read at least 2 books and review them

  • Eat candy corn/marshmallow pumpkins

  • Try new restaurants

  • Have a bake day

  • Travel to at least one new place

  • Drink more water

  • Take more pictures

  • Have a spa day

  • Wake up earlier to get more done

  • Go on a fun date

  • Surprise someone

Self Care #3: A Spruce Up Your Monday Mood Playlist

  • This Will Be (An Everlasting Love) - Natalie Cole

  • Kiss Me - Sixpence None the Richer

  • Wonderland - Taylor Swift

  • Something Special - Colbie Calliat

  • I’m Scared - Duffy

  • Crash Into Me - Dave Matthews

  • Rock & Roll - Eric Hutchinson

  • Put Your Records On - Corinne Bailey Rae

  • Better Together - Jack Johnson

  • Hold Back The River - James Bay

  • Tongue Tied - Grouplove

  • Pumpin’ Blood - NoNoNo

  • Heart’s Content - Brandie Carlile

  • Bennie & The Jets - Elton John

  • Cough Syrup - Young the Giant

Self Care #4: 10 Things Under $10 To Brighten Your Day

  • A Steel City Pop - $3.00

  • The “Intergalactic” Lush Bath Bomb - $7.95

  • Sugarfina Champagne Bears - $8.50

  • An Evelyn Henson stationary card - $4.00

  • A Chic-Fil-A ice cream cone - $1.25

  • Mario Badescu Facial Spray with aloe, cucumber, and green tea - $7.00

  • A mixed assortment dozen Krispy Kreme donuts - $8.99

  • A pint of Ben & Jerry’s Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream - $6.99

  • An OPI nail polish - $10.50 (my favorite is “Cajun Shrimp”)

  • A hand-painted and hand-glittered Verrier Fashion card - $9.00

Self Care #5: Things To Do Every Day for 5 Whole Minutes

  • Morning prayer

  • Clean up your space before you leave and before bed

  • Social media break at meal times

  • Take a walk

  • Call your mom, best friend, or grandmother

  • Make a to-do list for tomorrow

  • Organize your work space

  • Rest your eyes

  • Wash your face

  • Ask someone new how their day is going, then congratulate or comfort them

  • Do something you enjoy (draw, listen to music, bake)

  • Exercise

  • Write in planner/ cross off completed things

  • Talk to someone you love

  • Read a book/daily devotional

  • Be outside

  • Delete old emails/respond to new ones

  • Do something genuine for someone else

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Self Care

 

What is “self-care” and why does it matter so much? Obviously, the term “self-care” means to literally take care of yourself, but the idea is also so much more. Self-care can sound like a cliché, trendy, blogger term but in reality, choosing to allow self-care to be relevant in my life changed everything. Self-care is not really something you can just wake up and decide to do and let it follow you around effortlessly, instead, it’s something worth working on.

Learning to practice self-care and understand what this meant to me as a person is the one thing that has made my college experience as great as it’s been. It doesn’t have to necessarily be college, but any new wave of life, anything that takes adjusting to. When I began college a year ago, I was feeling so much pressure, confusion, and even dislike. Past high school or living with your parents, you quickly learn that most everything in life is a situation of “what you get out is what you put in.” Whether it be my job, my friendships, relationship, schoolwork, or even day-to-day happiness, self-care is a mindset that makes all of these areas have confidence and love wrapped throughout. This mindset is simply one that puts feelings over duties, and allows you to do more of what you love and less of routine false expectations. Self-care is celebrating the small things and not letting yourself get down over even the big things. Though routines can be healthy and productive, if you’re like me, they can be dreadful and tiring. Self-care is the idea of putting small inserts into your routine that make it not only more enjoyable, but make you care more about the things you’re doing. For example, though a school day can be long, hot, and exhausting, coming home to a hot shower, freshly washed sheets and “unplugging” for an afternoon nap before dinner with a few friends is more refreshing than coming home and binge eating pizza rolls and going to bed sweaty at 5 p.m.

To sum up the idea, I like the quote: “self-care isn’t always Lush bath bombs and $20 face masks, it’s going to bed at 8 p.m., or letting go of a bad friend. It’s forgiving yourself for not meeting your impossible standards and understanding you are worth it, nonetheless. Self-care isn’t always luxury, but a mean for survival.

It’s always important to take care of yourself first. Many times, I have found myself in phases or weeks where I wake up feeling bad too often, have break-outs that won’t go away, or feel like I repeat the same old thing every day (class, meals, exhaustion, bed.) The idea of self-care is what changed these negative feelings and has kept them away since. Also, self-care can deal with lots of personal guilt, and focusing more on what you actually want to do and what’s best for you, versus what you feel pressured or feel like you “should” do. For instance, if I know I’m dreading my 7 a.m. alarm anyway, why not make it 6:30 and grab some Chic-Fil-A chicken minis on my way? Or if I know I’ve got a busy week ahead, meal plan for each day or write a few encouraging Bible verses in my planner to stumble upon. Small ideas like these are what truly can change dreadful days to joyful days, and create a lifestyle habit that you’re so thankful for.

 

Here’s just a few of my favorite self-care things to do:

-      Make exciting plans 

-      Write in my favorite colorful pens 

-      Keep a prayer journal

-      Make someone's day for no reason

-      Picking out a new nail color

-      Doodling 

-      Rearranging 

-      Trying new skin care/hair care products

-      Take a late-night bath before bed

-      Set an alarm 20-30 minutes too early so that I can sleep in

-      Distance myself from social media/texts for a period of each day

-      Talk on the phone for hours to a best friend

-      Eat the snack/cake/candy and not worry about the calories

-      Buy the shoes/skirt/outfit instead of spending the $ on food

-      Take afternoon naps

-      Explore new music/playlists

-      Have an hour each morning to myself/silent

-      Go the extra mile for a friend/project/gift

-      Write a friend a letter/encouraging note

-      Look through new/old pictures

-      Open the blinds

-      Make to-do lists everyday of everything to be done

-      Plan/work ahead

-      Use my planner religiously

-      Make my bed daily

-      Sleep stress away

-      Get a fresh hair cut

-      Do things now I’ll thank myself for later

-      Distance from stressful people/situations

-      Always have something to look forward to

-      Keep a dry-erase running calendar to mark off each day

-      Get dressed to worship music

-      Buy the small happy things

-      Pinterest

-      Make a monthly bucket list

-      Watch my favorite movies

-      Read Bible verses for every situation

-      Not sweating the small things

-      Coloring books

-      Wake up early for an energetic breakfast

-      Declutter

-      Clean out my car

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My Experience at BloGo Blow Dry Bar & Salon

Let’s talk hair and beauty! If you are wanting to treat yourself to a small, upbeat up-do, or even to a cut-and-color, BloGo Blow Dry Bar and Salon is your place to go. I knew last fall when I was styled for advertisement photos that this salon was going to be incredibly stunning and exciting!! Located in the Hotel Indigo shopping center on Jack Warner Parkway next to the Tuscaloosa Amphitheatre in downtown Tuscaloosa, you cannot go wrong by booking an appointment here! BloGo is owned by the fabulous Mrs. Misty Garrison, and her passion to overlook a salon filled with the love of Jesus is so evidently seen and felt with every visit. At first look, BloGo is absolutely jaw-dropping!! With all white detailing and interior, the pink booths at the front make for the chicest little spot in town. My favorite touch to the salon is the blow-dryers hanging above every chair from the ceiling! How neat is this idea!! BloGo is a full-service hair salon, but specializes in an everyday blow out. A customizable blow out can last a girl a weekend of good hair, or even just a day on the town or special event. If you’re needing a little pick-me-up or fun detail to add to your hairstyle, BloGo also has several pieces of trendy statement earrings, necklaces, and even small clutches to choose from! A few weeks ago, Misty gave me my favorite summer hair-cut ever, and this past visit, Emma styled my hair for M. Crow Style photos! You truly cannot choose a bad staff member at this salon, because they are all wonderful! Make sure to follow @blogoblowdrybarsalon on Instagram, and like them on Facebook by searching “BloGo Blow Dry Bar & Salon.” If you’d like to make an appointment, simply call or go online, or even download the BloGo Blow Dry Bar and Salon! See you there! 

If you're an Alabama girl, make sure to grab a "BloGo loves the Tide" button to wear on game days!

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For Everything There is A Season

Just to be honest, I have been working on this post for weeks and have not once completed it. (I'm not too sure this one is "complete," but I know I can write more along the way!) Why? Because my story is something that I have felt so called to share but have so, so badly wanted to push away, ignore, and hope that it just went away. I can truly not tell you how many times I have opened my laptop, typed, deleted, edited, shut the laptop, and walked away.

I’ve thought, why do I want to even share this? Is this too much? Why do I even care so much, I could just keep posting about fashion and good vacations? Nobody else seems to have all these big issues, so why can’t I just be the next girl on Instagram posting fun pictures and feel complete? What will people think of me? Will people think I’m exaggerating, or think I’m perfectly fine since I look like it on the outside? I have so obviously seen that shutting my laptop or questioning myself does not take the thoughts away, or make me forget about telling the story, and in a way it makes me feel even more behind. So, without any more doubt, worry, or questions, I am completing a piece of work that is long overdue.

A few weeks ago, my boyfriend and I decided to start routinely going to church together! We have been together several times, but finally made the choice to stick with it and see where this simple journey takes us! The first Sunday we started our weekly journey on, I knew was handpicked by God because it spoke volumes to me. The sermon was preached about “vantage points,” and at the beginning, I had no idea what this meant. I quickly learned that a vantage point is a perspective that you have given a circumstance that you’re in that others don’t understand, therefore you can use it to help them. Also, God has a vantage point about our lives that we do not see, and He wants us to draw near to Him so that we can see our lives from His perspective. So, I knew that I had a vantage point that not many people I know at all would have, so the Lord has called me to share it.

I am fully inspired and engaged in my story by the quote from the sermon, “it will not be to make your name known, it’ll be to make God’s name great, because He sees some things about your condition, your season, your situation, that no one else sees. He sees further, deeper, he sees beyond even your situation.” So, this is my vantage point about my season.

When I was 12 years old, I was a member of ACE Cheerleading company in Birmingham, traveling at least 4 hours a week to work at my absolute hardest ability in competition cheerleading, with countless hours spent in-between at a local gymnastics company. I knew my future was so clear, as I always dreamed of being an Alabama cheerleader for as long as I could remember! Towards the end of that year, I suddenly had a muscle literally push out of my back, creating what looked like almost a cucumber sticking out of my back. With as much tumbling as I was doing at the time, everyone just thought I had a terrible muscle spasm. I should have been fine after taking some quick time off and sitting on the side for a couple of practices, but the pain only got worse.

After becoming in intolerable pain one night at ACE, I ended up in the emergency room at Children’s Hospital of Alabama downtown Birmingham. After x-rays, I found out my spine was legitimately the shape of an “S.” In proper “scoliosis terms”, I was at a 42 -degree curve. Spinal fusion surgery is the only option when curvature reaches 45 degrees, because at this point the spine must be surgically fixed back to a straight position in order to live a normal, healthy life.

I was put into a hard-shell back brace, required for 10 hours every night. The brace was extremely tight and uncomfortable, but my family was drowning in prayers that this brace would be the solution. After a few long weeks, it became obvious through x-rays that my curve was only getting worse, and I became very obviously leaned to one side, and my left ribs were being pushed forward very painfully from my lungs due to the curve so there were lots of health risks at stake. My legs and feet were suffering nerve pain with lots of tingling, falling asleep, numbness, and even turning blue at times. My shoulders and shoulder blades burned and ached, and my back throbbed. I felt twisted and there was no comfortable position to be in whatsoever.

On July 22, 2011 at Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt, my spine was fused and I could stand up straight and breathe normally. I even “grew” around 2 inches because of how curved my spine was before. After a 5 day stay in the hospital and lots of walking, learning, and recovering, I went home to begin a new life and become stronger through each day.

I was doing great until November of 2011, when my back began hurting uncontrollably. After a long visit to Vandy, a broken (unfused) vertebrae was found. The stress and weight of the metal above the vertebrae that were left untouched was too much, causing a stress fracture. The lower vertebrae were not touched in the first surgery because it would have left me with less flexibility and range of movement, so it wasn’t anyone’s fault, it was normal practice. Back into another hard shell, except this time, 24 hours a day brace I went. I truly was forced to live life in a bubble, and pray endlessly that the bone would heal from the brace. Exactly as before, the brace was unsuccessful.

On February 1, 2012, my back was cut completely open symmetrically again, and 4 more vertebrae were added to the fusion, fixing the break with by replacing it with a cadaver bone. My scar became a little bit longer, and I went through basically the exact same few month recovery process at home. A few months later, a small fracture was found, but luckily after another (smaller) brace, it healed correctly. 

In the hospital, nurses always ask patients to rate their pain on a scale of 1-10. For the past 7 years, I have lived life so normally, just with a pain of about 0.5-1 every day in my lower back. However, it is so tolerable and simply my “new normal.” There have been little precautions I have taken for 7 years (because none have been required!) besides things that have direct impact or jarring. God has been so merciful and so gracious and my body has been so strong and so healthy.

This summer, though, I have felt a feeling I’ve tried so hard to ignore, a back pain that is not my normal. Throughout the past 7 years, I have had several 2-3 week bad phases where I’ve overdone it, had muscle spasms, trouble sleeping, pain from rain and especially cold weather, but nothing has gotten me down. I have learned so, so many ways to cope with my pain, from rounds of physical therapy, to a heated mattress topper, to weekly deep tissue massages, to heat-wraps from CVS to wear in the winter. Sadly, this summer, my back pain became something I could stand to tuck away any more, as it became significantly worse the first week of July.

I was waking up each morning in an unexplainable pain after simply sleeping, and even had a terrifying episode once by waking up at 4 am with the worst pain I have ever felt in my legs and feet, which is caused by a nerve pain rooting from my back. Then, extreme hip pain and shoulder blade pain came along, and a few more of my old symptoms, so I knew I had to go see my doctor at Vandy.

On July 5th, I spent all day at Vanderbilt consulting with my same surgeon, and after x-rays and a CT scan, the unexplainable news had to be told. I am feeling this pain because the vertebrae that were fused from the second surgery never healed correctly, like the ones from the first did. After a fusion, the bones eventually grow around and bond with the metal, resulting in one stable and strong spine. With these lower fusions, they have basically come loose due to the failed healing, and I will be having yet again another back surgery. This is so rare and did not happen because of really anything except the way my body reacted. I have not done something to make this occur, and the surgeons did not mess up in any way. So, just like the others, the surgeons put together a plan for fixing the issue in late August!

Even though physically, this journey has been painful and exhausting, it’s also a difficult mental journey. At a young age, it was never “cool” to be the girl who wore a back brace, or the girl who had a scar down her whole back. There have been so many times I just wanted to crawl into a hole after someone asks what happened to my back. To be completely honest, I usually just say, "I had surgery," and try to change the subject. It's not offensive or even out of place to ask me what happened, I'm an extremely curious person myself, but I have never felt accepting of my story. I never usually bring it up to anyone besides close family or friends, and generally just haven't enjoyed talking about it because I have looked at it as a flaw. It still isn’t "cool", but it’s much easier now that I’ve grown up to hold small conversations about scoliosis surgery (even though I never mention 2, now 3 surgeries and make myself out to be the model scoliosis patient). I so vaguely remember the endless elephant tears I cried because I could not be normal.

Why me, God? Why can I be so nice and so active in church, but nothing works out for me? Why do I have to watch my friends live so normally while I face a mountain sized struggle while I am a tiny girl? It was probably the hardest part of my entire journey to watch girls become junior high cheerleaders, because I so badly just wanted to be a school cheerleader, too. It was so hard to be the girl that had to have two sets of textbooks, one for home and one for school, because I wasn’t allowed to carry the weight of a backpack at all. I felt like every moment I received accommodation or special treatment that I stuck out like a sore thumb. I had to leave class 5-10 minutes early every day because I couldn’t take the risk of being bumped into or knocked down in the midst of hallway and locker madness. I could not do regular P.E., and even though now these things seem so simple or so small, at the time, they were the biggest stones I ever had thrown my way.

The seventh grade was so very hard for me because it is so hard for kids at this age to understand what was going on and how I felt. Luckily, my family and close friends helped me through every minute of it, from visiting the hospital, to sending cards and goodie baskets, and everything in between! As I recovered, life got much better and I did not have to go through that anymore. Looking back at such a chaotic time, I am thankful for every minute of it and I can so confidently say that I would not be the person I am today if I would have lived my life plans versus God’s. God knew what he was doing when he made me grow up a little faster and face challenges a little bigger, because now I am so confident in struggles and accept challenges with open arms.

I have learned so much and built so much character from my past, but I have always had the mindset of “I’m so glad I overcame that, but now I’m fine forever” kind of like a, “yeah God, we got through that together, but we’re good now, make sure I don’t have to face that challenge again.” I still struggle with easy embarrassment with my situation and especially my scar, but I’ve chosen to put it behind me and even more, ignore it, rather than using it to testify for God. The Lord probably tried to prepare me for this and I probably glanced right over it, but I wasn’t ready for this.

I thought I had finally become just the girl I had always dreamed of being. I’m an EXTREME planner, so I thought for a while my life was going perfectly by my plans. I’ve made good grades, become so close with amazing friends, figured out my career plans for the next little while, held a job that I love, basically had everything under my control, what more could I ask for? I did not realize, but I had almost taken advantage of the fact that I had everything I could hope for and not been so close in my relationship with God. Many nights I’ve forgotten to pray, or effortlessly missed out on church, because I’ve been living exactly how I’ve wanted to, with little to no issues or struggles at all.

It’s so easy to forget to live life with God when there are no struggles, but so unbearable to live without Him when there are. I saw a quote that hit me so hard not long ago that said, “pray to God even after he gives you what you were praying for.” Sure, I love to listen to the Highlands soundtrack in my car and save Bible verses and Christian quotes on social media, but I was not pushing in for God to use me or ask anything from me.

I firmly believe that God knew what he was doing when he allowed me to bear the news that I’m having back surgery again. Do I think that God all of the sudden spun my life plans and added in a surprise medical emergency? No, of course not, but I do believe my Earthly personality walked away from God’s pathway, and the timing of this came before I had gone too far. God so graciously stopped me in the middle of my “perfect” life and showed me that I can’t do it without Him. God put in front of me, at a time that is not ideal at all, an un-ignorable challenge, to show me that my life is so much more than MY plans, and that I need Him in my life so much more than I need anything else.

At this point, I thought I had it perfect, but God’s showing me that the best is yet to come. In God’s eyes, I know that I am in no way ready to settle and live easily and perfectly for the rest of my life. He will use me, I have not completed my job yet. I am here for a reason and I have not fulfilled my calling, yet. God knew this and I may not have, but now I know He will use me when it’s time, whether I’m ready or not. My “perfect” will never compare to how amazing His future plans are for me.

I find peace in the thought that God knows that what may have seemed perfect for me recently will be only a small glimpse of His true plan for me. So, He created a plan for me to not be able to have the choice to live without Him anymore, because without God I can definitely say that there is no way I would even have the courage to walk into the hospital. I know that for the few hours I have been on the operating table both times, my body was on that table but my spirit was being so graciously washed, comforted, and refreshed in God’s hands alone.

One of the major things I have had to grow to learn in this journey is that other people have problems, too. I am the type of person that easily believes that there’s NO way the girls, bloggers, celebrities, people I follow on Instagram have to deal with the things that I do. It is SO true when people say comparison is the thief of joy, because I have struggled with this so much.

It takes extremely strong friendships, trustful people, and trusting God to learn that everyone has issues, everyone has problems, and nobody’s life is better than your own (no matter how untrue this may seem), because God, our God, did not create His children by rank or class. Not one person was blessed more than others (even those who are more sinful than others), and nobody’s throne in Heaven will be better than others. You are a child of the Almighty God, who loves you just as much as He loves the beautiful girl, or perfect family, or newlyweds, etc., that you just can’t seem to add up to. In God’s eyes, you are never the sum of your rights and wrongs, or your perfections and flaws.

Another thing I have learned is that there are so many times when God may seem not-so-gracious or confusing, but when you allow your mind to see a situation you have absolute zero control over, that there is no other explanation for the situation other than that God himself crafted the situation for your life with complete and utter purpose, He is so real and so alive. I have little fear, anxiety, regret, or worry about what is to come for me, and I am emotionally calm and happy that the Lord has touched my life in such a unique way, and this pours over to the times I do not feel calm or happy. I know that God is with me every single place that I go, and God will allow me to shine in a way that is unexplainable other than the explanation of His presence.

Am I perfectly fine? Absolutely not. But am I an emotional wreck? No, because I am not alone. By not being alone, don’t get confused with maybe my mom being with me, or loving friends, etc., because truly, there is no human or no material item that will ever satisfy us in times that are only made for the grace of God.

I have prayed so hard for months for God to show me my purpose, to show me my plans, and he has so miraculously answered my prayers. God is using me in such a way that I can only embrace; I have no other choice but to be strong and follow His lead. Though the pain is hard, God’s presence around me is so easy. I am no rookie to this process, but God is no rookie to planning beautiful and unique plans for each of His children.

Though this surgery will be no breeze at all, God knows me and knows that I grow and develop best in the midst of a challenge. He knew life was just too easy for me, and He knew I needed something to work for, something I could not do alone.

If you’re a life-planner like me, or just tend to be an organized and driven person, don’t let your own plans overshadow God’s. Sure, we can plan what our days, weeks, or months look like, but we cannot plan for the things we do not see, so we trust God to guide us through those things. Whether you may be like me and be living your ideal life, (or thought you were!) or you may be at rock bottom, don’t do it alone. God is so relevant and so needed in each and every wave of life. Let Him perform miracles at your worst, and draw even closer to Him at your best, in gratitude of His presence at all of your times. Embrace challenges and hold yourself accountable to never settle, allow God to uniquely use you to so willingly live out His plan versus your own. You are just not finished yet.

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“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under Heaven: a time to be born and a time to die; a time to plant and a time to uproot; a time to kill and a time to heal; a time to tear down and a time to build; a time to weep and a time to laugh; a time to mourn and a time to dance.” Ecclesiastes 3: 1-5

 

“We are never so healed that we don’t need Jesus every single moment of every single day.”

 

“God works in surprising ways to make His love known and to accomplish His purposes- even during difficult times.”

 

“I do not ask the wounded person how he feels, I become the wounded person.”

 

“When you are browsing through images on Instagram, just remember that real life is in your heart. Pictures online will make you believe you are not enough, like you need to do something more. More exciting. More physically beautiful. Bigger than you are. It’s a lie. A net of fleeting fantasy. You are real. You are enough. Go be in the world and stop comparing yourself to the world’s selfies.”

 

“The most difficult time in your life may be the border to your promised land.”

 

“Please hear me, girl: the world has enough women who know how to do their hair. It needs more women who know how to do hard and holy things.”

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100 Things That Are Good For the Soul - Summer Edition

1.     Roadtrip sunsets

2.     A fresh pink manicure

3.     An empty beach in the afternoon

4.     A warm towel after a shower

5.     Clean sheets

6.     Warm brownies and milk

7.     A country song with the windows down

8.     Nicholas Sparks movies

9.     Picking wild flowers

10.  Fried squash

11.  Watching firework shows

12.  Fresh squeezed lemonade stands

13.  A live band

14.  Monogrammed beach towels

15.  A sunset colored drink

16.  All white bedding

17.  Palm trees

18.  A sunkissed face

19.  An old, faded oversized t-shirt

20.  Dinner outside

21.  A sunset boat ride

22.  A sunrise devotional

23.  Hip bone tanlines

24.  A month-old puppy

25.  A barbeque sandwich and lays chips

26.  A watercolor painting

27.  5:00 pm walks on the beach

28.  Falling asleep to the sound of rain

29.  A front porch afternoon to the sound of frogs

30.  Fishing in a pond

31.  Fried green tomatoes

32.  A rocking chair and wet hair

33.  Homemade sweet tea

34.  Sun-highlighted hair

35.  Fringed blue jean shorts

36.  An old family picture

37.  Sleeping with no alarm

38.  Snow-cone stands

39.  Sundresses

40.  An Old Navy American flag t-shirt

41.  An old golden retriever

42.  Natural hair

43.  A seersucker outfit on a toddler

44.  Fresh flower centerpieces

45.  Long driveways lined with oak trees

46.  Fried hushpuppies

47.  Homemade vanilla ice cream with Sunkist

48.  Bike rides

49.  A lighthouse

50.  An ice cream shop

51.  Not wearing make-up

52.  Bare feet

53.  Summer weddings

54.  Red, white, and blue

55.  Hot pink roses

56.  Rainbow sprinkles

57.  30A Florida

58.  Strawberry daiquiris

59.  Crystal clear waters

60.  Shades of blue

61.  Wind-blown hair

62.  Fresh sunflowers

63.  Shrimp boils

64.  Sandy toes

65.  The farmer’s market

66.  A glass of Rosé

67.  George’s at Alys Beach

68.  Chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream

69.  Singing Amazing Grace on Sundays

70.  The Fourth of July

71.  Red and white checkered table cloths

72.  A family fish fry

73.  Walking around a marina

74.  The smell of tanning oil

75.  An old baseball cap

76.  Summer roadtrip playlists

77.  An oversized cover-up

78.  The smell of fresh grilled hamburgers

79.  The sound of the lake crashing against shore

80.  Long grocery store freeze-pops

81.  The sound of ocean waves

82.  Coca Cola floats

83.  Straw sun hats

84.  The Red Bar at Grayton Beach

85.  The smell of honeysuckle

86.  Flip flops every day

87.  Paddle boarding

88.  Fresh mimosas at brunch

89.  The Florida Keys

90.  An ice cream truck

91.  Sparklers

92.  A pizza picnic

93.  Flamingo pool floats

94.  Convertibles

95.  Straw beach bags

96.  Tassels and pom poms on everything

97.  Espadrille shoes

98.  Browsing Lilly Pulitzer stores

99.  Lake days with friends

100. Deep sea fishing

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Why I Blog...

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Thank you for stopping by my first lifestyle blog post! With this post, I just want to give you an idea of the foundation of the lifestyle portion of my blog! In this area, I want to post lots of personal stories and share my heart through the calling of God. I have always been extremely passionate about writing, but never felt like I had a place to share my writing. With my vision of a blog, I knew that the Lord was showing me after months and months of prayers where I was being led. I have prayed throughout the last year of school that God would assure me that I was headed in the right direction, and show me what He had planned for me. Choosing the fashion retailing pathway in college was difficult for me, because I knew it was where my happiness was, but I wanted to choose a path I knew I had a future in and could depend on to support a lifestyle. Even though I knew I wanted to work in the fashion industry, I felt like God had something more in mind. For several weeks, I have felt so close to the Lord in this journey and know that He is using me and even a bit of my love for fashion to lead me to a space where I can write all for the glory of His name. In between, I am so excited to write about self-care routines, emotional happiness and positivity. I’ve got so much to tell coming up that I know God has led me to do, so stay tuned!!! Xoxoxo!

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