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Isn't This My Fight?

As this thought that our family was most likely biologically complete spun in my mind, I desperately ignored it. It felt like admitti...

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30 October 2013

Why I'm Participating in No Makeup November

We live in a culture that tells us that without a little concealer and mascara, we don't look good enough. We live in a society where women suffer from Makeup Agoraphobia, leaving them unable to leave the house without makeup. I live in a world where precious 12 year old girls are already being told that beauty is something to be bought. We are creating a generation of insecure women with distorted identities.

I am not against makeup! I'm actually a huge fan (you've seen my makeup organization post). And I think that's a big reason why I'm participating in No Makeup November. 

I'm one of those girls who feels more confident when I have a full face of makeup on. I want to look good on the outside because it will make me feel good inside. There's something completely unbiblical about that mindset. God's Word says,

"Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain. But a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised." Proverbs 31:30

I am taking the No Makeup November challenge because I believe this passage is true. I believe that beauty is vain and deceitful. I believe that makeup can deceive us into feeling confident, as if our confidence comes from our appearance. I don't think that blush is evil, but if I can take 30 days to remind myself and others that my beauty and worth is found in my relationship with God, I'm all for it. 

Daughters of the King need to be reminded that our confidence will not come from the perfectly shaped brow, or the perfect shade of lipstick. Our confidence is found in the salvation we have in our Savior.

"God is my Savior. I am confident and unafraid, because the Lord is my strength and my song." 
Isaiah 12:2

I am excited to link arms with RAVE ministries and their mission "that women everywhere can see themselves as a true masterpiece intricately and purposefully woven together by the Creator of the universe."

Thanks for stopping by! I would love to know if you also decide to join in No Makeup November! 

18 September 2013

God is Faithful

My husband and I were so thrilled to find out that we were expecting a baby. We called immediate family and our closest friends and asked them to keep the secret with us and pray for a healthy baby and pregnancy.

At our first sonogram, I expected to see a little tiny dot in the middle of that black circle and was so disappointed to see absolutely nothing. The technician didn't say anything definitive, but I knew something wasn't right. Just moments before she was gushing with us about how this baby would be the first grandbaby for both of our parents.

The doctor told us that the sonogram was inconclusive and that we were either not as far along as we assumed, or this pregnancy will end in a miscarriage. It was too early to tell.

I left that day feeling so devastated. I just wanted a little bit of certainty that everything would be alright. But I guess one of the hardest things about being pregnant is the worry and the wait.

If you're reading this and you're a mother, expecting, or have experienced a failed pregnancy; I'm sure you can sympathize with my panic when two weeks later I discovered that I was bleeding.

We went to the doctor the next day. I can't imagine anything worse than sitting in the waiting room and watching couple after couple walk out with their sonograms in hand and healthy babies in their tummys. I'm not saying that these couples were flaunting their successful pregnancies in our faces, I'm just saying that these waiting rooms need to have separate rooms for couples who don't want to sob uncontrollably in front of the happy parents-to-be.

Also, you never notice how stupid it is to have seats that face other seats until you realize that your emotional rollercoaster is essentially on display for the rest of the waiting room to see.

After waiting what seemed like 3 hours to see the doctor, we were finally called back. The doctor confirmed that we would lose our baby. He said the miscarriage should occur  sometime this week or next.

Can you imagine the love that you feel for someone who you can hold? Even though I had just learned of the tiny life inside of me weeks before, every time I touched my belly, I was holding my baby. Every time I saw another baby, I imagined my own staring lovingly up at me. Every time I laughed with my husband, I imagined the incredible father he would be to our child.

If you know someone currently going through a miscarriage, please don't feel like you have to give answers. You don't. They don't want you to. Just hold them, love them and wait. There are no answers. My husband and I are blessed with friends and family who have done just that.

Now I battle the insensitive questions about when my husband and I will start a family. I battle the urge to cry when I see onesies and expectant mothers. And I remember that the God that I serve is the same God in the valley as He is on the mountaintop.

The day after our miscarriage was confirmed, I found this blog post. The Lord is so faithful.

My mother sent me this scripture, and it is my lifeline right now.

"I have loved you with an everlasting love: therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you." Jeremiah 31:3

I still pray for a baby. And if you're reading this, I ask that you too will lift my family up and ask the Lord to bless us with a healthy baby and an uneventful pregnancy. 

03 July 2013

Oh How Pinteresting!

Happy Wednesday everyone! 

I'm excited to share some of my favorite pins with you from this past week! Enjoy! 

Thank you for stopping by! God bless!

01 July 2013

Washing + Conditioning Your Brushes

I used to spend money (wayy too much money) on brush cleaner, and now that I know that I can wash my brushes BETTER and CHEAPER with everyday products from home...I solemnly swear I will never buy brush shampoo ever again. 

Here is how you do it! 

Start out with extra virgin olive oil + dishwashing liquid + a plate + alllll your brushes. 

Next pour the olive oil + dishwashing liquid onto the plate + dip your brushes into the mixture while rubbing the brush onto your palm to create a lather. 

Yes, that is my toilet. Yes, those are my feet. In hindsight, there was probably a better place to photograph this. 

Set each brush aside onto a towel until you've finished washing all the brushes. Notice I have not rinsed them yet!

Now you can rinse them! Start with the first brush that you lathered in the mixture and rinse against the palm of your hand (brush facing down, so as not to loosen the brush hair) until the water runs clear. 

You can reshape the brushes before you lay them out to dry, if you'd like. I'm sure there is a better way to let your brushes dry, but this works for me!

Here is what they look like all clean and laying out to dry! Your brushes will feel so soft because of the oil and the soap will clean them better than any "brush shampoo" ever will! 

Thanks for stopping by! God Bless!

28 June 2013

High Five for Friday!

1. So excited that the Prestonwood Student Choir CD is officially finished! Arranged and produced by my amazing husband! 

2. We had our end-of-the-year choir party this week and they created these adorable (but actually, kind of creepy) pictures of our husbands on sticks for the photo booth area!

3. Since reading The Circle Maker, Carson and I created these prayer stones to help remind us to pray for specific things. It's been a great help to see them in this little mason jar in the bathroom and remember to talk to the Lord. 

4. I have rediscovered My Utmost for His Highest, it has been amazing to see how applicable and full of truth each day has been. Love this devo!

5. I have recently become a Brand Partner with Nerium International! I not only love the product, but I love the business, I'm so excited to be a part of this great company! 

Linking up with Lauren Elizabeth today for my H54F post! 

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Thanks for stopping by! God bless!

27 June 2013

The "Better Bun"

So if you know me, you know that I'm a big fan of the sock bun. 

I used to have much longer hair and the sock bun took me literally 5 seconds in the morning. So naturally, I wore that thing allll the time. I had my hair cut about shoulder length and could not pull off my beloved sock bun. 

Now that my hair has grown a little, I can not only pull off the sock bun but I can also pull off my new favorite bun....the BETTER bun :) 

I love it so much, I wanted to share with you the source of the "better bun", found on Pinterest (of course). Click HERE to see the blog post about how to achieve the "better bun". 

Below is the youtube tutorial (by the blogger mentioned above) that gives step-by-step instructions! 

Hope you enjoy this easy go-to hairstyle as much as I do!
Thanks for stopping by! God bless! 

26 June 2013

Oh How Pinteresting!

It's been awhile since I've done an OHP post, but they are my favorite kind, so here it goes! Hope you enjoy some of my favorite pins from this week! Thanks for stopping by, have a blessed day! 

20 June 2013

Jewelry for a Good Cause

Stella & Dot has some of my favorite jewelry, ever! I might even be guilty of sending links to my favorite pieces to my hubby during Christmas-time :)

Today I wanted to share with you not just an opportunity to purchase Stella & Dot, but also the opportunity to help a family adopt a child in the DR of Congo! What a great cause! 

If you've had your eye on a specific piece from S&D, now is the best time to purchase so we can help the Vogt family during their adoption process!

Click here to shop online and help the Vogt family!

Here are some of my favorites!

Go check out the Stella & Dot online trunk show for the Vogt family and get your favorites and help the family with their adoption process!

Thanks for stopping by!

17 June 2013

Making Cirlces

Some friends and I decided to start reading through The Circle Maker by Mark Batterson and follow along with the online videos. If you've never heard of this book, I encourage you to check out his website (and even watch the introduction video below for more background).

I started reading this book last year and never finished it but I started defining success for my life, as prompted by the book. 

Right now we're focusing on circling our "Jerichos"; those impossible things in your life that you're praying about. I have some very personal Jerichos, but I am also praying for things like a second car, the ability to save more money, and a legacy of faith (to name a few). 

No one knows your "Jerichos" except for you. Mark encourages us to define them, write them down and pray boldly and expectantly to God. 

Mark also goes on to say that "the goal isn't getting an answer, it's establishing a prayer habit". That's huge. 

Admittedly, I've never had an excellent prayer life. I used to journal my prayers and have slacked off as life got busier. If you aren't reading anything currently, I encourage you to check this book out!

I'm excited to become a woman of prayer. I believe that God can change my heart and He is already revealing promises in Scripture that I have just "blown over" in the past. Here is a screen shot of the promises that, in just the past two days, the Lord has already reminded me of in Scripture (I set them as reminders on my phone so that they go off every morning).

He is going to do great things, and I hope that my selfishness doesn't stand in the way. The following passage makes me so excited to start praying bolder prayers; 

 "for from the first day that you set your heart to understand and humbled yourself before your God, your words have been heard, and I have come because of your words." Daniel 10:12

14 June 2013

A Treat for the Tea Tree Obsessed Father

Father's Day is literally right around the corner (Sunday, June 16 for those of you who have been hiding under a rock somewhere)! So I thought I'd share some gift ideas that my husband (although not a father!) has been loving!

My husband is a little bit obsessed with tea tree scented products. It's probably all my fault. He never went to the salon until we got married and my hair stylist used this tea tree shampoo on him, and we've been sponsoring his habit ever since! 

We recently made some great tea tree discoveries at the Body Shop (new fav!) and I wanted to share them with you! So if you have a man in your life who enjoys a little pampering now and then, keep reading!

This is the shampoo that started it all! Pretty masculine packaging, so that's always a win! My hubby loves this stuff! He also used the conditioner, but Ulta was all out! This Paul Mitchell Tea Tree Shampoo smells aaaamazing. Whenever he showers with it, the bathroom smells invigorating and fresh! A great product to splurge for the Dads in your life!

This is another staple for my man! He's not picky about most products and doesn't really splurge on anything, so it really surprised me when he HAD to have this particular hair cream. But if my man likes it that much, it's gotta be amazing. This forming cream from American Crew leaves a very natural shine (almost matte) finish to the hair, while still holding style all day! Another great splurge for the Dads in your life! 

You could even create a gift basket for your man, with all these products! 

These are our great finds from the Body Shop! My husband saw "tea tree" and went right over to check out these face products! Now, my husband is NOT a face product guy. He uses a face scrub in the shower, but nothing fancy. But he has been loving these tea tree products! He uses them every night before bed and usually comments about how invigorating it feels on his face. He's also commented about how clear his skin looks and feels! Definitely a win for Dad! 

Hurry on over to the Body Shop for half off all of the products mentioned in this post!

This last product was included in the set mentioned above, you would use this product on any blemishes or acne. Since purchasing the Tea Tree Oil, I became interested in the different uses for it. I came across this article from WebMD (that's legit, right??) and now I feel like we own some new miracle product! haha I have actually used it on the front of my scalp for dry skin and dandruff and it has worked wonders! Another splurge for Dad! 

And of course you can't walk into a store without getting a little something for yourself (or the Mothers in your life that deserve to be celebrated on Fathers Day as well!). I am in loooove with these lotions from the Body Shop. There were so many to choose from, it may or may not have taken me way too long to decide on these two. The one of the left is the Pink Grapefruit Body Butter and the one on the right (probably my fav) is the Moringa Body Butter

Thanks for stopping by and God bless you! 

11 June 2013

Direction + Hair

I realize I have been kind of MIA in the blog world lately, it truly makes me sad! I wish I could chalk my absence up to insane busyness, unfortunately part of it is that I just don't know where I'm going with my blog.

I've read some amazing blogs since I've joined this little world. And I so desperately wanted my blog to take on this life of its own and just have all this direction and personality. I stopped blogging for awhile because I wasn't sure if I wanted my little place here to be about cooking, fashion, make up, personal or spiritual things.

After a conversation with another fellow blogger and real-life friend, I have come to terms with my hodge-podge blog and look forward to posting new make up finds, outfits, recipes and whatever the heck I want ;-)

For today I will share with you my summer hair must-have hair products! 

The first product is really the biggest staple for me, Suave's keratin dry shampoo (available at practically any store), it's really an ESSENTIAL for me. Most hair products I can switch brands, but not my dry shampoo. My dry shampoo MUST be Suave and it MUST be the keratin kind. I have picky hair. 

I'm a big believer in not washing your hair every day. It may or may not be because I'm lazy and don't want to fix it every day. So I use this stuff to freshen up my roots and even add volume to my clean hair! It's truly amaaaaazing.

The second hair product is not brand sensitive for me, I picked up this Bumble and Bumble surf spray at Sephora (mostly because a very nice, but slightly too pushy, B&B representative approached me asking if I had "second day" hair and told me that he had a product that would take dull and lifeless "second day" curls and make them look fresh....so apparently my curls were dull and lifeless. Awesome). 

ANYWAY, I love sea salt (or surf) sprays because they add texture and wave without making my hair feel weighed down with product. I spray this stuff in my "second day" hair (let's be honest, if I curl my hair, I'm making that thing last like 4 days) and it refreshes my hair instantly. I've also used Paul Mitchell's sea salt spray and have really loved that as well!

Thanks for stopping by and God bless! 

03 May 2013

High Five for Friday!

I have been MIA for the past week or so because my husband and I have been preparing to move! We're getting settled into our new place, so I figured now would be a good time to jump back in to the blog! 
1. I've had my eye on this mug from Anthro for foreverrrrr. Finally picked it up this week! 

2. My bestie had her BEAUTIFUL baby girl this week! If I didn't have baby fever before, I sure do now!

3. So this may not make sense if you have never tasted these chips before, but they are seriously amazing. They stopped selling this flavor (only after I had become completely addicted to it!) and I just found them in our grocery store this week! It's the little things, ya'll....

4. So....WE MOVED! This is a shot of our old place, I might be posting pics of the new apartment in a few weeks!

5. Hook, Line and Sinker. Some of the best seafood I've had, ever. 

Thank for stopping by! Have a great weekend! 
Linking up with Lauren Elizabeth today for H54F!

18 April 2013

Make Up Organization

I'm excited to post my new make up organization today! I have been applying my make up at the bathroom sink and it is just not ideal. So I picked up this ridiculously inexpensive desk at Ikea and I have loved it! I've also had my eye on this chair and cart from Ikea to help create my new make-up space.

I've also been using a basic vanity mirror with a magnified side and a regular side. I'd love to upgrade to a lighted mirror at some point. 

On top of my vanity I keep my perfumes, a calendar and my favorite picture of my Dad and I. There is a small shelf below the tabletop where I keep special jewelry that I don't usually wear and a bowl with twistybands and hair ties (this shelf was hard to get a good shot of, so you'll just have to trust me). 

This top shelf of my cart organizer is where I keep all my go-to products and brushes (and also my ipod for a bit of entertainment whilst puttin' on my face). I use a make-up organizer and keep a bag there to put products and brushes I used that day to carry with me for touch ups. 

The second shelf is where I keep all my make up. I'm not committed to my current set-up, but for now I'm just using pyrex bowls and a few extra mugs to organize. I have organized my make up by product (and did a little purging in the process).
 I have all my shadows + primer in the upper left corner, my concealers + pencil sharpener in the upper middle, my foundations in the upper right corner, my bronzers in the lower right corner, lip products smack dab in the middle, and eye liner + mascara + eye tools in the lower left corner. 

The bottom shelf is where I keep some of my lotions (+ and old Victoria's Secret body mist that I never use), roller ball perfumes, random samples (from BB) wet wipes and make up removing wipes. 

I hope this encourages those of you wanting a little beauty-corner-on-a-budget! Even though I didn't spend a lot of money, I love my little beauty space (even if it is in our living room!). 

We're moving next week to a 2 BEDROOM apartment so I will soon be able to move my little beauty corner inside our new bedroom! Holla!

Thanks for stopping by! Have a great rest of the week!

12 April 2013

High Five for Friday!

1. A clean house. A clean home is ALWAYS the highlight of my week!

2. Ended my trip home with a great visit to the Newport Aquarium! Pictured are my two beautiful sisters!

3. Love that I get to cook again. I'm so grateful to be able to stay at home, so proud of my hard-working husband. This was the tilapia that I made for dinner on Monday night!

4. This Daniel study is getting pretty intense. Had to catch up this week and I feel like I'm taking a Bible history course, but I love it!

5. This poor guy hasn't been feeling well this week, which is really sad but he's been extra cuddly!

Linking up with From My Grey Desk blog for H54F! 

11 April 2013

Mother + Daughter Photoshoot

I absolutely LOVED visiting my family last week! The trip was long overdue, and even though I was there for nine days it only felt like two or three...

So while I was home I wanted to do something special for my Mom, her birthday is next week and obviously Mother's Day is right around the corner. She's a difficult person to buy presents for because if you ask her what she wants, she usually says "peace and quiet" (which is, of course, MUCH to difficult to gift wrap).

We don't have very many pictures together, which is mostly because my Mom despises having her picture taken (although I seem to be a little too camera ready), but I thought it would be sweet if we just made a day of it so she would become excited about the photoshoot :)

I took her to Bare Minerals to have her make up done, and then we proceeded to purchase almost every product they used on her! I'm telling you, Bare Minerals is the BOMB. Some of her favorites were the Prime Time Neutralizing Foundation Primer,  the Pretty Amazing Lipcolor in Witty and of course the Ready Foundation.

After her make up looked absolutely perfect, we went to Ann Taylor where she chose this beautiful white linen top for the photoshoot (we chose white as our "color" for the shoot...we're really exciting people).

We arrived at Alms Park around 5:30 and it was just a perfect location for our shoot! The lighting was just right and our photographer was amazing! Shout out to S.Storms Photography for doing such a wonderful job and being so easy to work with!

If you are in the Cincinnati area and are looking for a professional, easy-to-work with and talented photographer, Savannah's your girl! 

My Mom enjoyed herself and I'm so glad that we have these great looking photos for years to come! So without further ado, below are some of my favorite shots from our session! 

Hope you all have a blessed week! Thanks for stopping by! 

10 April 2013

Oh How Pinteresting!

Linking up with The Vintage Apple today for OHP! 
P.S. This is the most random hodge-podge of pins for this week! And can you tell I've made the shift to homemaker? So many food pins!

Have a blessed day! Thanks for stopping by!