My family recently took a very relaxing trip to the mountains. We hiked, we watched Netflix, we played board games, and it was amazing. I thought I could show you, better than tell you, about the experience! Take a peek below.
I ended up going to the fair twice this year (my heart was happy, my wallet was not). I wore two comfy and cute outfits that I thought I'd share! *Disclaimer: I'm not quite sure how to do posts like this so I guess we're figuring it out together.*
This is one of my new favorites! I paired a yellow turtleneck with my cargo jacket from New York and Company and jeans. I added black Converse and hoop earring to finish it off and I thought it looked pretty good!
According to Sarah, this was just quirky enough that you could tell I paired everything on purpose, and not like I didn't know how to dress myself. So that's something. I put a denim jacket from H&M over top of a thin sweatshirt from Wet Seal and donned my Converse and jeans again. I also thought that my glasses added some personality, as well as my trusty pastel green purse.
What kind of outfit do you wear over and over again? Do you like decade-inspired things? Are you classy? Quirky? Trendy? Let me know!!
I love to cook. There's something about cutting vegetables and figuring out sauces and spices that is very, very therapeutic -- right? Below, I've included the recipes of two really good meals I fixed recently. Let me know what you think!
Chocolate Chip Waffles with Cinnamon Apples
Teriyaki Chicken with Maple Sriracha Vegetables
Do you like to cook? What's your favorite recipe? Tag me in your recipes!
I've been struggling a lot lately. (real talk: aren't we all?) I've been feeling inadequate, and unlovable, and just an overall sucky person. Wow. That got deep fast. The most annoying part of feeling that way is that it always comes right after feeling like I am on top of the world and nothing can stop me. If there is one thing that I have learned since coming to college, it is that Jesus is consistent when my emotions are not. (AKA all the time).
Lauren Daigle recently released a track from her new album, Look Up Child, that is exactly what I needed to hear. It's called 'You Say' and it is now one of my favorite songs of all time. The reason I like it so much is that each line in it sounds like it's specifically talking about me and things I'm constantly dealing with. Below, I want to spend a little bit of time digging into some of the lyrics, hopefully in a way that encourages you.
I keep fighting voices in my mind that say I’m not enough
If you really think about it, it's very interesting that the devil always targets us in a way that makes us feel unworthy. That really shows how scared he is that we'll realize everything The Lord has for us to do for the Kingdom. Even though the devil can't get inside our heads, there are so many other ways he gets to us. Magazine cover models with perfect skin, the blogger who has 10,000 subscribers, the girl who's never had to worry about paying for school. He targets things that are important to us because he gets the way the human mind works.
You say I am loved, when I can't feel a thing
If you've dealt with spiritual apathy (which is where no matter how much you read the Bible or pray or stay in Christian community, you feel ~zilch~ spiritually) you know how frustrating it can be. It makes me so ANGRY because I feel like should be able to snap out of it. That's the catch ladies and gents, what the Bible says about us always trumps how we feel. The Bible says we are loved, no matter how much we feel like we shouldn't be. We need to live like it.
You say I am strong, when I think I am weak
I always want to be strong, courageous, and determined. And so often, I feel like I am failing miserably. However, in all of my failings, that is the space where the Holy Spirit propels me to be brave in situations that terrify me, or to keep persevering in situations where all I want to do is lay in bed and cry. That is when I can point to my actions and tell others that it wasn't me, but The Lord in me. How crazy, gracious, and beautiful is that?!
You say I am held, when I am falling short
It's pretty competitive to be a college student these days. It seems like everyone around me is doing amazing things -- getting great internships and careers, leading clubs, traveling across the world. Inadequacy definitely comes into focus in this part of my life, when I feel like I'm at a standstill. This is my favorite part about our faith. Our God is the only one who came down from Heaven to be with us, live in our world, and go through the same things we go through, instead of us having to try and scrape our way out of our messy lives and make our way to Him. He doesn't move on to the next person every time we fail to meet His standards, because He knows (as we all should) that it's impossible for us to meet His standards. THAT'S WHY HE DIED FOR US PEOPLE! So we can stop our striving and perfectionism and stress. Know that He's holding you, and He loves you better than any earthly father can even imagine. You can rest. Who wouldn't want that?
When I don't belong, You say I am yours
These are the things I have placed my identity in throughout my life: student, daughter, writer, FCA staff kid, beauty and fashion. All of these, without a doubt, either have failed me or will fail me. Constantly trying to live up to what you think you need to live up to is exhausting because we'll always think there's someone more intelligent, attractive, confident or likable than we are. When we feel awkward, out of place, or unwanted, that is when we have to make the conscious decision to believe that we are conquerors, we have purpose, we are beautiful, and that we are working towards something much greater than what is here on earth. That's what Jesus gave us when He died for us: an identity as a new creation. Stop living like you're still your old self. It's tough, but it's not impossible.
Summer is halfway over. I can't believe it! I leave for school in under a month.
On today's post, I am including some things I am hoping to do as Summer wraps up, as well as a list of summery things I'm thankful for. The latter is something that my discipler at school and I talked about this past semester. She talked to me about how when she finds herself complaining or facing anxiety, she makes random lists of things she's thankful for. I have done it and it immediately lifts my mood! Try it sometime.
SUMMER BUCKET LIST IDEAS:
1. Make some homemade lemonade. It's so yummy and so easy. I made a pitcher last summer, and wouldn't let my family have any because it was so good.
2. Orchestrate a staycation in your town. I love being on the beach, running around my island, and perusing shops.
3. Just relax. I work so hard during the school year that I am just happy to be home. Catch me on my couch, y'all.
4. Enjoy where you live. I am eight minutes from the ocean and I love it! Although, I got a sunburn in May on half my body, and I'm still four different colors...Do you live near the mountains? Go hiking. Live near a creek? Go sit and read. Spend an early morning with birds in the forest or watch the stars in a meadow.
5. Hang out with your family. I love being with my parents and my sister, and when my cousins and grandma come down and spend some time with us! My cousin Savannah got married this summer and it was so fun to see everyone -- I love when we're all together.
7. Drink a glass bottle coke with the windows down. Nuff said.
THINGS I'M THANKFUL FOR:
1. Clear skies
2. Vivid colors
3. Denim shorts
5. Books and Netflix
6. Friends and family
7. A cold drink on a hot day
8. Staying up extra late
9. Sleeping in
What are you thankful for?
I've always preferred natural makeup, and usually I change up my lipstick for a fancy evening. While I do enjoy playing with makeup, I don't think that it's the end all be all for feeling beautiful. Everyone should feel as good without makeup as they do with it, which is a lot easier said than done, and I am no exception. Nevertheless, maybe this look will inspire you!
1. First I start fresh faced and fancy free. I've already washed my face and put on toner, moisturizer, and spot treatment.
2. Next I apply primer and foundation. The green e.l.f. primer helps tone down my acne scars and hyper-pigmentation, while the NYX helps with my oily t-zone. This e.l.f. foundation is the best one I have ever used! It's super cheap and has great coverage. I definitely recommend it.
3. I do my eye makeup with this Beach Goddess palette from Illuminate by Ashley Tisdale. It was definitely a good purchase because I've been using it for probably 2.5 years. It also includes blush, highlight, and contour! The picture on the right shows which products in the palette I use.
This is the final eye look -- I start with a light color, or gold, on the lid, the medium color from the bottom left of the palette in the crease, and the dark color from the top right of the palette to give an illusion of depth.
4. I finish with powder, contour, highlight, and blush, then I swipe on some mascara and lipstick!
Bonus: here's my OOTD, one of my favorite outfits! I'll link all the pieces and products below!
e.l.f. foundation in Porcelain
Face powder in Fair
Eye shadow palette in Beach Goddess
My favorite lipstick in Pastel Petal
I just picked up my beauty blender from TJ Maxx
Top -- from a thrift store in Florida
Necklace -- a graduation gift
Earrings -- a Christmas gift
Sneakers in Green
Do you like to do your makeup? What looks do you like? Let me know below!
Restful Sundays are one of the best things I have incorporated into my routine. Albeit, this semester, I haven't been great about keeping up with it, and I can see the effects on my mood.
America has become such a fast-paced, selfish, and workaholic society. And I really hate how inescapable it feels.
Having one day a week to rest, to take a break from work and stressors, no matter what that looks like for you, is Biblical because God knew how much time and energy we would spend on things that aren't that important in the grand scheme of things.
A day of rest doesn't have to be on Sunday, but that is when I do mine, just because I'm already going to church and that seems to be our society's calmest day. Here are my favorite activities to do -- leave your favorites in the comments!
There is a good chance you already wear nothing but sweatpants, but I love changing out of my church dress into a crewneck and sweats. Bonus points for fuzzy socks!
A Nice Dose of Escapsim
My absolute favorite thing to do on a restful Sunday is lose myself in a book or Netflix show (though usually, I choose a book). It helps calm my brain and engage my imagination. Reading also has the lovely ability to help improve your empathy, as well as your grammar!
I love leaving my phone at the other end of the room when I'm reading. I also love to read in our campus' arboretum for hours at a time, and just leave my phone in my room. I really recommend taking time away from your phone to give your eyes a break from the screen, your back a break from hunching over, and your mind a break from what literally everyone else in the world is doing.
Treat Yo' Self
I can only take bubble baths when I'm home, but by gosh do I enjoy them. YouTube, bath bombs, scrubs, bath salts, candles, chocolate in any form -- the options to mix and match are endless. I highly recommend.
How often do you take a day off? What do you like to do?
I came across this verse recently during my devotion, and it really caught my attention.
"Though we are slaves, our God has not forsaken us in our bondage. He has shown us kindness in the sight of the kings of Persia: He has granted us new life to rebuild the house of our God and repair its ruins, and he has given us a wall of protection in Judah and Jerusalem."
So you may take this at first glance and think, "Oh yeah I know, God is good wahoo." But there is a very important detail to remember about this time is Israel's history:
Israel got themselves into this mess
Israel was caught in a cycle, for like, years and years and years, of screwing up and ignoring God, getting captured, and then crying out to God for deliverance. When He came through and rescued them, all they did was ignore Him again, which would lead to them reentering captivity...You get the picture.
God is so good that way. Even when we do things over and over again -- lie, cheat, judge, preach false interpretations of Scripture -- God still loves us and pursues us. He doesn't forget us when we're in the captivity of fear, others' gossip, or anxiety, even when those things are a direct result of us saying or doing something we shouldn't have.
He is still ready to protect you and to be there for you if you'll let Him. Confessing you did something wrong, and then repenting of it (aka admitting that it was something wrong) is the first step, even if it isn't easy.
He is pursuing you, He is fighting for you, and He wants a relationship with you. He won't shut you out and He won't kick you to the curb after you mess up. I would have been kicked the curb a long time ago.
1. Harry Potter
3. Emma Watson and Sadie Robertson
4. Maze Runner: The Death Cure
5. Cassandra Bankson
Cassandra's YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/DiamondsAndHeels14
6. My Planner
Did you do anything fun this month? Have you seen The Death Cure? What Harry Potter book is your favorite? Let me know in the comments!
You're probably familiar with some of the biggest titles in entertainment recently: Dear Evan Hansen, 13 Reasons Why and even lesser-known movies such as Netflix's A Girl Like Her. (I watched A Girl Like Her last week and it WRECKED me.)
Let me start off with this. I love that bullying has become such a topic of conversation, because it needs to be talked about. Good for the people responsible for putting these movies, shows, and musicals out so that the conversations can be had.
The only problem I have with these movies (etc) is this: We need to stop getting caught up in how beautiful the stories are or how cute Ben Platt is. Bullying is not a romantic issue, nor should it be treated as such in the real world.
If your only experience with bullying is these movies, and you've never been made fun of or felt ostracized, I can tell you that it sucks. And it's not "just teasing" if the person being teased doesn't find it funny.
People are so concerned with tweeting, sharing a FaceBook post, or posting on Instagram about how terrible bullying is, but nine times out of ten, someone witnessing bullying will just walk away. Or even worse, the proponent for anti-bullying is the one acting like a bully. My sister and I were just discussing how it seems like no one actually cares.
We talk behind people's backs, we put each other down (emotionally, and sometimes physically), we call people names, we let the new people sit by themselves instead of venturing away from our clique, because being awkward and alone looks awful and we don't want to deal with that.
But it's the right thing to do. That fact alone should propel us to help others.
Standing up for someone is inconvenient, sometimes scary, and not fun. It probably won't end in you falling in love with the victim, nor will there be a beautiful soundtrack over top of your epic showdown with evil.
But knowing that you helped someone is such a unique and great feeling. Making someone feel small the way that bullies do is unacceptable and we need to act like we care. Waiting around for someone else to do a good deed is just wasting time. YOU can be the person that steps in.
Helping someone out in a situation like this will help them be more confident, and you'll doubtlessly get a new friend. Who cares if they aren't the popular kid? They deserve the same treatment everyone else demands. Wouldn't you want someone to step in for you?
I am a September baby, which may be the root of my love for fall. I love dark chocolate, popcorn, and I do actually like brussel sprouts. I'm the kind of person that listens to a Christmas song in September. (But only one. I don't want to ruin the ~magic~).