Survival

ExamWkEssentials

Coffee in the form of Iced Caramel Lattes, good music, a planned reward to celebrate finishing, studying something that has eternal significance, food to fill the tummy and fuel the mind during last minute cramming, great friends for encouragement and much needed breaks (not the TV show this time!)… all served with a side of procrastination!

See you on the other side!

Lies

Cleaning my room is no fun and a lot of fun at the same time. I love some of the stuff I find; and even end up thinking “who is this girl?” about things long forgotten. It actually cracks me up.

But Thursday night, I found a notebook with notes from a bible study Lauren and I led last semester. I want to share a few things with you just to spur your thinking, if nothing more.

3 big lies women believe:

{1} Who I am and What I Struggle With are the same thing.     Isn’t that an easy trap to fall into? It makes me think of the AA thing.. “I am Billy, and I am an alcoholic.”

{2} Who I Am and What I Do are the same thing.    This is similar yet different. It is more about letting your job, sorority, or hobby define you. Yes, they are apart of you, but not who you are.

{3} Who I Am is not good enough.     Can I get an amen? As women, it can be a constant battle to fight against Satan whispering this in our ears.

Let’s no longer believe these lies. What if we let Jesus Christ’s identity truly affect ours. Would that impact our behavior and daily lives? Would we let it impact more than our words, actions, and the bumper stickers on our car, but our thoughts too?!

Our behavior and thoughts represent our beliefs. But I would go further to say our behavior and thoughts reveal our beliefs.

This shocked me.. it was so spot on. It was so convicting. I hope to throw off these lies and run without abandon into the arms of the Man who speaks only truth- life giving truth- as I enter my twenties.

Truths to replace these lies: 

{1} What you struggle with does not define you.

{2} What you do does not dictate who you are.

{3} We, YOU, are good enough. You were made in the hands of the Almighty carpenter.

Carry these truths with you and have a sweet, relaxing weekend. xoxo

celebrating

I couldn’t have asked for a better afternoon/evening! It somehow happened to include most of my favorites! Mitchell and I got into Collierville around 12:30, spent some time at his grandparent’s, then headed to Booyas with my mom! (My all time fave..!)

After Booyas, we had to hit up Target! I tend to have withdrawals while in Starkville with nothing but Walmart! .. It’s rare lately that my mom and I get to go without being in a hurry so this was so much fun!! Thanks Mom

Once we got home, Marley and I went for a quick run before getting ready & heading downtown.

Majestic Grill & Melting Pot were our destinations for the evening! I enjoyed every minute of it! It was so fun to think back on old memories and laugh- It’s crazy to think we’ve spent TWENTY of my birthdays together! So thankful for my parents, grandparents, bros, and M. It feels so clique to say “blessed”… almost even seems like it needs a hashtag before it- haha!- but truly, I am.

3rd birthday together- love it.

3rd birthday together- love it.

After lots of consideration of just about every item on the menu, I decided on Grilled Salmon with a Honey glaze, Sweet Carrots, and Garlic Mashed Potatoes- combined with a few handfuls of their famous parmesan fries we all shared- perfectly satisfying.photo 2

Me and the boys

Me and the boys

My Dad, My Mom, and I

My Dad, My Mom, and I

Nana, Me, and Poppa

Nana, Me, and Poppa

For dessert, we decided on two mixtures for the table. Bananas Foster (which included white chocolate and cinnamon and smelled phenomenal!) and Flaming Turtle (caramel and chocolate, too!- that actually came to the table flaming!). Our “dippers” included fresh strawberries, bananas, graham cracker covered marshmallows, brownies, cheesecake, and red velvet cake!! YUM. We washed it down with coffee. Just like I adore coffee in the morning, I love to have it after dinner.

The Melting Pot

The Melting Pot

Around here, we crack up at how long birthdays last.. it goes from one day to a weekend to a week to a month! So you probably will hear more about my entrance into the twenties before this is over..

More than ready to hit the hay now & wake up for more relaxin tomorrow.

I hope your weekend is awesome! The days pass slow, but the years go to fast.

In My Makeup Bag

Here’s a sneak peek of what my weekend looked like: Makeover after Makeover after Makeover (x5). It was so. much. fun.

The way you look can quickly affect your confidence and how you feel in that moment. I love using the wide assortment of Mary Kay products to make people look, feel, and BE beautiful! Of course, it’s about more than the makeup… I love that MK pushes the lifestyle with God first, Family second, and career last!

Check out just one look Mary Kay products can create:

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Prior to using any products… only acne present here 😉 No shame.

20130410-DSC_3367The first two steps, used every morning and every night, work together.

Would you believe the Time Wise 3-in-1 cleanser and moisturizer work together to do ELEVEN things? Cleanse, exfoliate, freshen, energize, hydrate, smooth, firm, soften, protect, rebuild, and reduce fine lines and wrinkles. It rightfully won the Good Housekeeping Stamp and is one of our best sellers!!20130410-DSC_3375Concealer always come next, I love that it is lightweight yet long lasting. It also is great that there are so many shades to choose from; something for every face. It helps conceal imperfections such as blemishes, age spots, and under eye circles to create a beautiful flawless face.20130410-DSC_3373I follow it up with Mineral Powder for a natural, matte finish. I love that it gives build-able coverage.This is crazily comparable to Bare Minerals, with a much better price tag!! (Think $28 compared to $16)!!! 20130410-DSC_3335

Can’t forget the blush— gotta have the perfect luminous flush on the cheeks. It makes ya look more alive!

20130410-DSC_337620130410-DSC_3339 20130410-DSC_3340 For the eyes, I start by using “Moonstone” mineral eye shadow all over the eyelid; from the lashes all the way to the brow.

I love to even extend some of this light, all over color around your tear duct… It adds a dewy accent & really makes the eyes look wide awake and pop!

Then, the crease needs some “Chocolate Kiss” to be happy- oh wait, thats us girls once a month 😉20130410-DSC_3343

This deep brown gives depth and warmth to the lids.20130410-DSC_3347 20130410-DSC_3349Finally, when I’m feeling it, I add “Sweet Plum”. It looks like a very deep purple in the tray but adds the perfect accent. 20130410-DSC_3351 20130410-DSC_3350

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Black eyeliner and Black “Lash Love” mascara unarguably finish out every eye look! (Can I get an amen?!)

Mary Kay’s eyeliner is long wearing, fade resistant, smudge proof, and waterproof. What more can you ask for?

Are you constantly looking for the perfect mascara to wear everyday? I’ve found what you NEED! The secret is a flexible, sculpted brush that separates and coats even fine, hard to reach lashes, with no clumps!!- That is important to me.

20130410-DSC_3392My final step… True Dimensions Lipstick in Natural Beaute’.

I’ve fallen in love with this formula for lipstick. I am not a big lipstick girl… it is always SO drying and I can’t wear without gloss..  MK has finally helped me find this all day, everyday color, that’s moisturizing! It wouldn’t look out of the ordinary with workout clothes but still looks gorgeous with a dress on date night!

It’s becoming a problem… I sell this constantly! I can’t even keep it on the shelf!20130410-DSC_3355The finished face!

20130410-DSC_3357Winning outfit, huh?

As always, a HUGE thanks to JML photography for the product and step by step photos. If you’re in need of any photography (products, family, wedding, maternity) call this dude. He’s kinda awesome.

I hope your weekend was full of relaxation~ I know mine was.

Thanks for reading!

homemade granola

granola

My 3rd grade teacher, Mrs. Elder, instagrammed a picture the other day of some granola she was making that could make your mouth water!

I had to have the recipe- & share it with all of you!

4 cups old-fashioned oats

1 ½ cups sliced almonds (slivered)

½ cup packed light brown sugar

½ tsp. salt

½ tsp. cinnamon

¼ cup vegetable oil

¼ cup honey

1 tsp. vanilla

1 ½ cups raisins (Craisins are good too!)

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Mix the oats, almonds, brown sugar, salt, and cinnamon.  In a saucepan, warm the oil and honey. Stir in vanilla. Pour liquid over oat mixture. Stir gently with a wooden spoon.

Then spread granola in a baking pan or cookie sheet.  Bake 40 minutes, stirring carefully every 10 minutes. Let cool completely. Stir in raisins. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for 1 wk or freeze for 3 months.

photo 2After class today, I decided it was time to give her granola a whirl! I changed the recipe up a little bit, simply because I wanted a smaller portion, and I wanted it immediately… story of my life.

I used:

2 cups of Bob’s Red Mill 5 grain cereal

1/2 c of lightly salted almonds I chopped myself

1/4 c dark brown sugar

dashes of both salt & cinnamon

1/8 c vegetable oil

1/8 c honey (+ a drizzle because I adore honey)

a few drops of vanilla

1/2 c raisins

photo 1give this mix a try then eat with milk, on top of yogurt, on a sweet potato, or all alone!

It tastes fabulous and will have your home smelling amazing.

 

“nothing else even comes close”

“I’m going to need a full set.”

“Acrylic, please!”

If this sounds like your trips to the nail salon, I know you natural nails are in need of some rescuing. I used acrylic nails for years even though I knew they tore my natural nails to pieces. When I would finally remove them, I knew I would have to baby them for months before they were actually strong nails again. The acrylic was gone, but I was left with soft brittle nails that would practically split in half when I attempted to open a ziploc.

I have, after years of searching, found the remedy! Thanks to my roommate on this one… She is the nail queen.

Formula 2 by nailitiques. Their company tagline is “nothing else even comes close” and that could not be more true. It does cost a pretty penny, but I’m telling you, it is a miracle in a bottle. Totally worth the splurge!

logo nail01

They claim their formulas were created to treat different nail conditions. The salon-tested formulations offer special combinations of ingredients, including hydrolyzed keratin and protein in combination with gelatin and calcium to build a healthy nail foundation. The protein formulas bond the nail layers together building a strong nail foundation resistant to peeling, chipping and splitting.

Nails will see marked improvement when treated with Formula 2. This formula consists of a unique blend of protein and conditioners. The protein immediately acts to help bond nails that are splitting or peeling. Formula 2 helps strengthen the nail resulting in long, strong and healthy nails.

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One of my favorite products ever- and if that isn’t enough… It is one of InStyle’s Best Beauty Buys!

Pick some up at your local Walgreens or CVS! I’ve already talked my Mom out of the artificial habit- YOU should be next!

“Normal”

A sweet friend of mine shared this with me over a year ago, and I want to also share it with you.

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Have a fabulous day- see you soon!

sweet gratitude, III

Trying to slow down more and remember to smell the roses. Sometimes it can be hard to really live in the present, without looking forward with “I can’t wait”s… for me, being thankful for what is going on right now helps.

Loving lately:

warmer weather, eno time,

warmer weather, eno time,

pinterest ideas,

pinterest ideas,

oatmeal and coffee to start my days,

oatmeal and coffee to start my days,

verses God shows me just at the right time,

verses God shows me just at the right time,

fresh picked flowers, walks with friends,

fresh picked flowers, walks with friends,

of course sweet snuggles,

of course sweet snuggles,

and spring wishes!

and spring wishes!

“give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you..”

1 Thessalonians 5:18

From The Happiness Project: Gratitude is important to happiness. Studies show that consistently grateful people are happier and more satisfied with their lives; they even feel more physically healthy and spend more time exercising. Gratitude brings freedom from envy, because when you are grateful for what you have, you are not consumed with wanting something different or something more. That, in turn, makes it easier to live within your means and also to be generous to others.

What are you grateful for this week? Something amazing? Just getting through?

sweet gratitude, II

I am beyond grateful for:

The first day of spring and promise of summer to follow,

The first day of spring and promise of summer to follow,

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An incredible dinner and night of Bachelor fun with friends, Mitchell’s aunt, and cousin’s wife and her sister,

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big breakfasts that stuff tummys for long road trips,

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quiet time with my parents, the Word, and grande Blondes,

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the return of my favorite show, Mitchell lending me his iPad,

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words of wisdom from EmilyLey.com,

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intense card games and laughs with close friends,

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& a friend who gracious let me do her over with all my Mary Kay!

“give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you..”

1 Thessalonians 5:18

From The Happiness Project: Gratitude is important to happiness. Studies show that consistently grateful people are happier and more satisfied with their lives; they even feel more physically healthy and spend more time exercising. Gratitude brings freedom from envy, because when you are grateful for what you have, you are not consumed with wanting something different or something more. That, in turn, makes it easier to live within your means and also to be generous to others.

Remember to pause this week, and be grateful whether the circumstances seem great or just tough!

Finding the Fit Bit

Off and on for many years, I have heard about the “FitBit” & loved the idea of what it can accomplish. It is a smll gadget that throughout the day, tracks steps taken (like a pedometer), calories burned, and mileage~ right up this girls alley!

I always assumed it would be overly expensive so I never checked into it. But while we were in Destin last week, we got to talking about Spencer’s mom having one and I got excited to check into it.

The FitBit Zip tracks mileage, calories, and steps for $60 while the FitBit One tracks all of that + sleep for $100! I love the idea of both but decided to go with the Fit Bit Zip for price & I have used the iPhone app– Sleep Cycle to track sleep! It is super cool. You lay your phone in the bed with you and it keeps track of your movement in order to interpret which sleep zones you’re in, how many “REM cycles” etc. Check it out!

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I was so thrilled to start using the Fit Bit last Thursday! It has been better than I even expected. I wear it on my hip from when I wake up until I get in bed each night. It has made me so much more aware of how much I move and how many calories I’m burning.

It is really helping me to get more exercise throughout the day! Pretty often now I’m telling Mitchell, “let’s walk there to get my steps up!” It’s like a competition. The fitbit website gave me the goal of 10,000 steps a day & I love reaching it and even hope to bump that up as more movement becomes a habit in my life!

The last week has looked like this:

Thursday      8,047

Friday            9,822

Saturday       10,882

Sunday           5,641

Monday          8,033

Tuesday        12,425

& today, Wednesday

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for a total of 68,691 steps & 30.25 miles since starting!

One goal I have is to make my days more consistent!

Almost everyday, it has pushed me to take a walk with Marley or drag Mitchell out for a walk to and from campus. 🙂 So that’s something to celebrate! Anything is better than all that couch sitting I had grown accustomed to! Today, I went with Whitney and Max for a 2 mile walk in Sanderson! So fun.