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.

To Much Lacquer

You’re probably wondering what I meant in my last post by whitening my toenails. No, it isn’t some sort of Michael Jackson stunt… just the testing of another one of those Pinterest ideas!

My toenails are never bare. I literally take one color off just to re paint them with something new. Now, they seem to be screaming for air. They look pretty bad- extremely yellow.

Here’s the before: (they have actually improved a lot on their own since tuesday)

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I don’t think the picture accurately shows just how bad they are!

Anyways, I decided to try two different ideas I have seen “pinned” at the same time.

{1} whitening toothpaste

{2} hydrogen peroxide

photo 3I simply applied each substance with an old toothbrush and let it sit for five minutes. Then after 5 minutes, applied again and let it stay until my toes had been covered for a full ten minutes!

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Rinsed… &

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TA-DAH! Oh wait, I don’t see much of a difference. Maybe a tiny improvement, but it looks like fresh air and bare nails are the only thing that will actually heal this nastiness!

I guess it turns out everything pinteresting can’t be miraculous.

*** An extra tip~ hydrogen peroxide is GREAT for teeth whitening. Wet your toothbrush in it, brush all over the fronts of your teeth.. with mouth open, let it sit for about 30 seconds. Then, put toothpaste on your brush and go on with brushing as you normally would! I see results in just days- promise ya.

checking in

Yesterday I asked Mitchell, “want to know what I ate today?” (Yes, I’m weird like that. It had been an out of the ordinary good day so I’ll tell anyone who will listen!) But his reply was, “oh yea, for What I Ate Wednesday?”-Love that blog reading dude.

Unfortunately, I had forgotten to take pictures & share WIAW with you this week 😦 This morning I woke up with every intention to do it a day late. I even took all the breakfast & lunch pics. Then Chick-fil-a became lunch instead and pictures of what i ate went out the window! Maybe I’ll do one day this weekend 🙂

So much fun planned for this weekend- thrilled for birthday festivities! For now, I’m packing and cleaning my room on top of studying for an exam tomorrow… productive, but not much fun.

Just wanted to check in with you & let you know what’s coming soon! Plans are in the works for completing the vlog, a fashion post with good pictures (chambray & leopard), and an attempt at whitening my toe nails! haha- stay tuned.

If you’re one of those people who just loves to find new blogs to read- try Nutritionella. She’s awesome!

See you soon!

 

Where is your mind set?

This morning, I woke up feeling just kind of BLAH… Not for any particular reason, just out of it sort of. My back aches a lot when I wake up (mild scoliosis + addiction to stomach sleeping)… so that didn’t help.

I reached for my Bible and journal **after checking twitter, facebook, instagram, and email– {nobody’s perfect}. After prayer journaling a bit, I wasn’t feeling into that either. I was praying specifically, “I feel sad for some reason, would You lift my head?”

I decided to open the Word and look up a couple verses Rachel sent this morning.

-Ephesians 6:19

&

-Colossians 3:1-4

which says, “If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.”

via Pinterest

via Pinterest

Ok God, I hear You. My funk is due to where my mind is. Class, back aches, my birthday, and the number on the scale are of this earth. They are worthless compared to the things of your Kingdom.

I think Colossians 3:5 needs to be repeated in my mind throughout everyday:

 Put to death what is earthly in you.

Easier said than done, right? But let’s all do it today, with the help of the one who is above all things. He is even above the tragedy in Boston yesterday. We were surprised/saddened/hurt by it. But to our God, it was no surprise at all. Let’s find peace in that.

Completely unrelated but while you’re here, check this out.

Sweet Disadvantages

If this reads like a college paper… It’s because it was my actual speech for Intro to Communication… But I think its information you’ll find helpful!

Enjoy… If that’s even possible on a Monday!

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Would you purposely ingest a chemical you knew was used to preserve dead animals? 

Due to my love for Diet Dr. Pepper, I was reluctant to believe the crazy facts I am going to share with you. The more I studied artificial sweetener and their effects, the more I realized just how prevalent they are. We are ingesting them everyday from diet soda, yogurt, baked goods and most types of chewing gum. AND it turns out, that Stevia I thought was WAY better than Splenda and Sweet’N’Low… isn’t. Cue crying as I stare at black coffee wondering how to make it drinkable!!

I want to inform you about the history and creation of artificial sweeteners, and how they affect your body in relation to both weight gain and various illnesses.

I constantly debate their pros and cons for my life; the most current health and fitness information had always interested me. I have ironically used these sweeteners for years, done extensive research, and gained knowledge from reliable sources to share with you today.

 I want to start with a slightly frightening story about how “fake sugar” came to be. According to the web article “Artificial Sweeteners – More Dangerous than you ever imagined,” the most popular artificial sweetener on the market, aspartame, was discovered in 1965 completely by mistake!!

    1. Chemist, James Schlatter was attempting to develop a drug to treat ulcer disease when he spilled some of his mixture onto his finger. He licked his finger to clean it off and was amazed to find that the mixture was over 200x sweeter than sugar.

Unfortunately, many chemicals are involved in the making of this white powder; Methylene chloride is one of them; It has many uses, so we come into contact with it often. However, artificial sweeteners are the only form of it ingested. Here’s the crazy part: Prolonged skin contact with methylene chloride can cause chemical burns and dissolving of tissues in the skin. If that isn’t shocking enough, it is often used to strip paint and weld plastic together.

This is what we are coating our insides in.

Soon after the accidental invention, it became apparent that artificial sweetener could be the best thing, financially, that ever happened to the diet industry. All those involved in getting Artificial Sweeteners into our foods were more interested in money signs that human health.

One of the most appealing facts about artificial sweeteners is the fact that they are zero calorie and therefore seem like a perfect ally in the fight against extra pounds. Another plus for many people is the fact that artificial sweeteners can be used in both cooking and baking, making it seem like the most convenient change in diet to save lots of extra calories.

However, more current research argues that this is simply not true. Artificial sweeteners in our systems lead our body to believe we indulged in copious amounts of sugar…

        1. Within minutes, our blood sugar rises.

Then, our bodies start to release leptin and insulin, instructing the body to store fat. Simultaneously, serotonin levels are decreasing; this is the chemical that lets us know we are full.

Consistently ingesting artificial sweeteners creates the perfect environment for weight gain and a greater percentage of fat, despite your greatest weight loss efforts.

The internal consequences can be even worse than extra pounds. Just 10 grams of aspartame, or other similar sweeteners, can cause medical issues. These chemicals in your body often have laxative like effects, bloating and diarrhea. On top of that, you may experience headaches, migraines, mental confusion, dizziness, and seizures.

If you can believe it, there is more.

    1. The FDA strays from informing the general public that research claims worrisome effects, including cancer, due to artificial sweetener are running rampant.

Artificial sweeteners are now being referred to as one of the most dangerous and controversial food additives in human history.

  • It seems the accidental discovery was foretelling the not so sweet weight gain and chronic illness artificial sweeteners can lead to.

Now when you sit down at restaraunts, determine whether you are interested in cancer, migraines, or a few extra pounds before ordering that Diet CokeCoke products are so cerosive, they can be used for hard core cleaning. They say if you leave Coke in your toilet overnight, it will clean better than any other product on the market. Just last week, I used Diet Dr. Pepper to get all that caked on gunk out of my oven!!

Why I still think it’s okay to drink the same thing I clean my oven with… I’ll never know! But I’m working on it!

On a less scary/more exciting note, Spencer has been begging for months to make his blog debut… I figured what better day than today to introduce him! Happy 20th Birthday to this crazy guy. Thanks for always standing up for the blog when Mitchell argues that I slash to many words being a great friend. From Columbus trips in the Dud to hilarious nights playing cards in Destin, life wouldn’t be the same without ya! Keep getting sunburnt. 🙂  I hope your twenties are full of more fun (& trips back to Memphis to hang with us) than you can imagine!

Whitney, Spencer, Me, and Mitchell

Whitney, Spencer, Me, and Mitchell

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.

 

Pretty for Pennies

I love decorating & a good project!

College has created a lot of opportunity for some low level interior design! New rooms the last 2 years = so much fun!!! My freshman year, it was such a special time, money wasn’t such an issue. However, when I decided to move into a house for my Sophomore year and hardly wanted to reuse any of my same stuff, finding budget friendly finds was a must!!

Let me take you on a tour of my current room & show you where I was able to cut the cost without cutting corners!

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Our living room

This may have been my favorite find last summer! After weeks of craigslist watching and shopping around, I found this couch! It was quite a gem for the price… drum roll please… I paid $52 for this baby!

Abbington Consignment in Collierville had it in their back room. It was listed at just between $75 & $100 and I thought, “well, it will get good use, let’s do it!” When I let the sweet lady there know I wanted to make it mine, she shared the little secret with me that for every month an item stays in their store, it is 10% off! That brought us to $52 and a great addition to our college living room- It has served us well!

The patterned pillow and tan throws are Walmart finds- just $6.00 each! I rounded out the “unneccessary fluffiness” 😉 with 2 soft blue pillows from TJ Maxx- $9 for the pair!

My roommates moved in before I did, and we hadn’t thought into how cold tile would be for our toes! So I set out for a fun, but affordable rug before heading to Starkville. Tuesday Morning served me well… $59! A little more than I would think a rug is worth, but it turns out they go for way more than that!

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My room- A collaboration

My room turned out better than I could have asked! The size is perfect… I really wanted to be able to use my loveseat.

The patterned curtains are Target- Threshold Ferrah Fretwork- I waited months for them to go on sale and I think spent $19.

The lamps I found at Dirt Cheap in Starkville (Target brand). I started with two of the lamp you see on the right- bought them for $5/piece. They were white, shiny, and shadeless, but I knew they could be improved. I covered them in textured brown spray paint and adorned them with Target shades. The day of move in, one of them took a dive for the drive way and shattered! I’ve learned to love the mismatched look now. (I forgive you, Dad ;))

Under the lamps, nightstands handmade by my dad and I with scrap wood we had laying around- FREE! They were inspired by these lovelies on Pinterest. They are the exact same design; I just chose to leave the wood raw. May paint them someday!

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The white sheets on my bed are also Target-Fieldcrest, purchased at dirt cheap. I think the entire set was $10- I’m telling you, that place is like a gold mine.

Shams were West Elm SUPER SALE! They would have cost an arm AND a leg if it weren’t for the sale… That place doesn’t get my money often!

Two throw pillows here are both Pier One! (Thanks Mom!)

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Another favorite find, the love seat. Throughout my search for a couch, I thought how fun it would be to have a small sitting area in my room for friends, coffee and quiet time, or just chilling! After looking at day beds, chairs, benches, etc, I had pretty much decided there just wasn’t money to include that.

One Friday, Mitchell and I headed to an estate sale (stil looking for a couch) and found this! It was in great condition and they were only asking $25!! I thought it would go great with all the white and brown I had already incorporated- had to have it!185928_10151018912053759_1759079055_n

This antique wardrobe was given to me by the greatest family friend ever. I just love the look of it… the storage space and full length mirror make it 10x better! The free price tag is always nice too 😉

Don’t waste your money just for a pretty room!

Be patient (who am I to give that advice?!), look around everywhere you go, see the character/potential in items, and don’t be afraid to DIY!

Happy Friday, friends!

“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!

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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!