Monday, December 30, 2013

End of the Year Wrap-Up

I debated for quite awhile over this post. I wanted to talk about all of the new products I received for Christmas, and ooh and ahh over my new Naked2 palette (more on that next time), but then I realized it's December 30th. After tomorrow, 2013 will officially be in the past.

And I got a little bit sad. 

Like every year of life, there were a lot of ups and downs. Many disappointments, tears, and let downs. However, I believe there were even more moments of pure happiness, love, and success. 

As I was reflecting on 2013, I started to beat myself up a little. Some of the mistakes I made (as recently as...yesterday) were some of the same mistakes I vowed I wouldn't be making at the beginning of 2013.   But, here I am, still dealing with the same failures, and still trying to erase some of the same wounds. And honestly, it's upsetting. Why cant we just BE better. Why can't we automatically learn from our mistakes and correct our future? Why can't we avoid pain, even when we see it coming? 

The only answer I can come up with is...because... we are human. We aren't perfect. Sometimes we have to make the same mistake 500 times before we learn how to avoid it. Sometimes we have to give ourselves the time we need to grow and heal. Sometimes we shouldn't rush it. And most of all...sometimes we shouldn't be so hard on ourselves. 

2012 was a bad year. I am not a fan of being a negative Nancy, but it legitimately was one of the hardest, most painful years of my life. But as I have discussed and wrote about before, because of that year, I grew as a person, emotionally and, more importantly, spiritually. I couldn't have gotten through that year without my family and friends, who were there to encourage me and love on me until I wanted to be "me" again. And because of that year, I understand that no hardship, trial or pain is without a purpose. More often than not, we cannot see the "why" or "how" in the present. But sometimes we are lucky enough to look back...maybe a month later, or maybe 5 years later, and see God's plan. And more importantly, how he loves us enough to protect us from things we can't even see.

So, coming into 2013, I was a little bit gun shy. I was hesitant about what the year would bring. I was scared of who I would be, or more importantly, who I wouldn't be. And while I am trying to learn more about that very topic every day, I am okay with the small and simple realization that I know I have done at least one thing this year: progressed. Progress certainly doesn't equal perfection, but it also means that I am moving forward, even if just one step at a time. 

In conclusion, the only resolution that I want to make for 2014 is to extend more grace to others. The kind of grace that Jesus extends to me every hour, every day of the week. I know I don't give it enough. I certainly don't deserve it from the people around me, either. Even still, it's there. The only way we can truly grow, truly learn from each other, truly heal, and truly thrive in relationship with others is by pouring the kind of grace, love, and humility into each other that Jesus so openly gives to us. 

And it's not easy. So I think I have my work cut out for me. Of course, I would love to lose 5 pounds as well. But as long as the Oreo franchise doesn't go under in 2014...that isn't happening. 

Thank you to the people reading who I would affectionately call "mine." Thank you for loving me and showing me grace in 2013... I can't wait to spend 2014 with you! 

Love, 

Thursday, December 5, 2013

The 10 Best: Winter Edition


I hate the cold. I despise it. But everyone knows the best way to counteract a negative attitude is with positive thoughts! I preach this concept to the parents and families I work with everyday, so maybe I should try it out on my own. So, in honor of it being 10 degrees in Nebraska today, this is my best attempt at regaining some happiness:

1.  Clothing Staples
Goodbye short shorts, hello leggings, boots and oversized sweaters! Did you skip the gym because you didn’t want to develop hypothermia? Eat a few too many pieces of pie at Thanksgiving? No worries, no one will know in your stretchy pants and massive sweater (see below). 


*Note: I am not advocating skipping workouts or binging on dessert. I am just saying, it happens. Also, clearly she didn't skip her workout...or eat any pie.

2. Ugg Boots
I feel like this has become a controversial topic. I see lots of articles circulating on facebook about the cruelty that goes into creating a pair of Ugg boots. Honestly, I didn’t watch any of these videos. I don’t know how my Ugg boots came to be, but I do have one question. For those who think they are hideous, or simply do not support how they are made: have you ever put your feet into a pair of Uggs on a -10 degree day? It’s heavenly. It’s soft, warm and cozy. It's everything I want in the winter. Don’t judge.
3. Lights. Everywhere.
Christmas lights are so romantic. I love it. My neighbors deck their house out with lights. The only thing that makes driving around freezing your butt off enjoyable is seeing all of the lights sparkling everywhere. It’s a Winter wonderland.


4. Family gatherings
This could be true of just my family, but we undoubtedly gather more in the winter. There is an obvious correlation between this season and the holidays, but never the less, it goes together. I will tolerate the snow, ice and wind chill for some extra quality hours with the people I love the most!

5. Glitter
As referenced HERE, this time of the year is when I feel it is completely appropriate for adults to incorporate a little more glitter into their lives. Eye shadows? Nail polish? Clothing? Yes please.


6. Snow days
Only if I get one. Snow days are a beautiful thing. They allow you to curl up on the couch, read, watch movies, and cuddle without feeling guilty about doing nothing else. I mean… you cant, right? Doing anything else on this day would be a hazard to you and everyone else. I have noticed that the adult, working world does not readily embrace snow days. These are somewhat a thing of the past, but they are still awesome.

7. Sweatpants
To be honest, I wear sweatpants year around. I am always cold. But there is nothing quite like the feeling of coming home for the day, out of the cold, and putting on a pair of sweat pants. The best kinds are the ones that are old…and preferably were worn during high school track.
*Note: this is not meant to be an attractive look.

8. Hot chocolate (or any other hot drink)
I love hot chocolate. I love most hot drinks. But in my opinion, this completely loses its appeal when its 90 degrees out. If you are my Mom, you are still drinking coffee, all day long, all year around. But.. I cant do it. Drinking something hot on a summer day is more likely to make me break out into a sweat then induce enjoyment. Winter is the time. Bring it on. There is no better way to get warm then a cup of hot chocolate (or coffee). And sweatpants.


9. Smells
I know I am not the only one who does this, but I work my scents around the seasons. In fact, just today, I changed my soap to Vanilla Bean Noel. To me, Vanilla represents all that is home  & holidays. Even for myself. During the Winter I  break out my Burberry pefume. It just smells like winter to me. Also, this is the time of the year that I start randomly burning cinnamon sticks and switching out all of my scentsy fragrances to holiday scents. Ahhh. I love it.

10. The food
Who am I kidding, I need my leggings because of the extra calories I am consuming. Winter is  the best time to bake. The kitchen gets warm and cozy when the oven is on, and a warm cookie tastes 100x better when its snowing outside. And soup? I love. It is my favorite. I want to eat soup all day, everyday.... in the winter. All kinds. Holiday baking, holiday treats… special foods that your family only makes during the winter months? It's delightful.

The truth is, I could find triple the amount of things that I hate about Winter. But that's ok, whenever I am cursing my numb, dry and cracked hands, while trying to remove a 4-inch layer of ice from my windshield, I will break out this list. And smile…to myself. 

Friday, November 15, 2013

High Five for Friday!

Hello Everyone! Happy Friday!
Today I'm linking up with Lauren for High Five for Friday!

This week in highlights..and no particular order....

1.) Starbucks Peppermint Mocha 
On Tuesday I had my first Peppermint Mocha of the season, and let me tell you, it was delightful. It was dreary and freezing cold here in Nebraska, and my Skinny P.M., coupled with a heartfelt conversation with one of my favorite people, made Tuesday a wonderful day! 
NOTE: on Wednesday I turned around and had an ICED P.M. Hey 60 degrees! Nice to see you!

2.) Morning Drives. 
This is literally the worst picture ever. Do these ever turn out ? Especially on a phone? Some of the sunrises this week were breathtaking! (Or maybe I was just tired. Either way.) 

3. Experimental Baking
Last night was a "bake night." I always have the baking itch, but I can't do it every week...for a few different reasons. The primary being that I will taste test. Frequently. And I will taste test the finished product until it is GONE. So, I have to have a destination for the goods in mind, or I'm not making anything! Last night I experimented with a from-scratch vanilla cupcake and a delicious frosting that I ended up putting lots of random things in (molasses? peanut butter? almond extract?...why not.) 
I wasn't satisfied. These will be attempted again. 

Hope everyone had a GREAT week.. and a wonderful upcoming weekend! 


Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Weekly Favorites



It's time for some weekly favorites. 

Let's dive in. 

1.
Dark Chocolate Almond milk. I have a problem. I HAVE to have something sweet after I eat a meal. Have is a term I use loosely, but seriously. It doesn't matter if I am completely full. Just something. Like a piece of chocolate or candy. Or peanut butter. Anyways, this stuff is delicious. And it's a pretty healthy alternative to a bowl of ice-cream. 

2. 
Kale. How is this so good? It is. During the week I basically eat three things... scrambled eggs, cereal, and chicken breasts. It's the easiest and quickest things I can prepare for myself. Chicken gets boring on its own, and kale is the perfect side dish. I toss it around in a skillet with some olive oil and garlic for like TWO minutes. Seriously, so fast. And it is SO GOOD. 

3.
Target's Cartwheel app
One of my friends told me about this a few months ago, and I love it. As if I needed another reason to love or go to Target ( I don't), but this is an added bonus! Target basically rotates around different items (everything..shoes to grocery) and they put a discount on the item. And then during check out, the cashier scans your app bar (my favorite part). Plus, it makes it all the more fun and exciting when something you need is discounted. It's like a scavenger hunt. Actually, not at all, but I can't think of a better comparison right now. Sometimes the savings is very minimal, and sometimes it is actually a great deal! Either way, I'll take it. Reality is, I'm buying it either way, so, sure I'll take the 50 cent discount. Thanks Cartwheel!
Side note: I am not going to explain how this app works. If you don't have it and claim to love Target, you need this app. Download it and figure it out. 

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Blow Dry Madness

So, Thursday I was on a routine visit to Beauty First. I had a coupon that also certified that I got a free gift with any purchase. Always exciting in my book.  Anyways, the free gift ended up being this...

Kenra Blow-Dry spray. 

Well, let me just say, I have been missing out! The first thing that got me was how amazing it smells. I wanted to pour it all over my body (too far?)  but.. seriously. Anyways, the product does claim to blow dry your hair 50% faster. Well, I don't know about 50% faster (I already have an amazing hair dryer...) but I could tell a noticeable difference in the dry time. 
However, the MOST fabulous part of this stuff, was the way my hair looked and felt after blow drying. Sometimes after I get done with a full blown dry, my hair is a HOT MESS. I am talking frizzy, tangles...the whole nine yards. Anyways, not anymore! My hair was really soft and smooth..and as previously mentioned...smelled really good. 
YES! It's the little things. I know in the scheme of life, a blow dry spray simply just doesn't matter, but hey, it still was a nice little pick me up! 

My little free gift-sized bottle isn't going to last very long, I can already tell you that much. This will be a product I will purchase. 

Way to go Beauty First, your marketing technique certainly worked on me! 

Monday, September 30, 2013

Fall

It's September 30th. That means it has been OVER a month since my last post. And here I was, thinking I've been on top of it lately!

I have no legit excuses for my absence, except that work is CRAZY. And tiring. And I love it all the same. But still. When I get home, I am typically physically and, more so, mentally exhausted. I usually need to immediately work out or immediately do NOTHING. You can see where that would cause a problem with posting a blog.

I don't have any special products to post, or any cute outfits to review today. Today, I am realizing we are coming up on a new season. Today is the last day of September, and before I can blink, I will be scraping ice off of my windows in the morning.

But the real reason I am thinking about Fall isn't because of the weather or the clothing, but because of what it means to be in this season again. I remember last year at this time was a difficult time period for me. I was full of hurt and pain and disappointment. I didn't feel like me, and I wondered if I would ever feel like me again. I recently reflected over the last year, and even read some journal entries from last year around this time. It was hard to remember who that person was, but I could feel the emptiness in my words and the pain that seemed so evident.

I am in no way looking for pity...or even searching for an encouraging word. The truth is, I am thinking about these times because it makes me all the MORE thankful for where and who I am today. Truth be told, no matter how much I was hurting, I wouldn't trade that season. 2 Corinthians 4:6 says "For God, who said, "Let light shine out of darkness, made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God's glory displayed in the face of Christ. "

And...that is how I feel. Out of an extremely dark place, I feel God changed me, molded me, and brought me into a new place of thankfulness, happiness and ... light.

So, moving into this NEW Fall season, I am incredibly thankful. Everyday presents it's own struggles, but everyday also presents a new opportunity for us to truly thank God for the light that He shines into us.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Tuesday Favorites

Does everyone just have a thing they "favor" at any given moment? I definitely go in stages. Of all different things. Food, products, clothing, jewelry, people (kidding! kind of)... anyways.. so here is my completely random and irrelevant current favorites list.

1. Essie "Watermelon"
As summer is winding down (sad) I am clawing at the chance to wear summer colors. I know that Fall is right around the corner, and soon, very soon, I may look ridiculous with my various shades of hot pink everywhere. I bought this color the other day in an attempt to change up my summer colors, and could NOT STOP obsessing over it! Seriously. Such a fun color!



2. Benefit the "POREfessional"
As I was in search of a new primer, the sweet girl at Sephora recommended using this product. I don't know exactly how well it works as a primer (though I have been using it as one!), but as a product it is fantastic! As always, Benefit's packaging just gets me. Why! WHY! So cute. I can't pass it up. But aside from that, this stuff is legit. Pores be gone!

3. Steamed broccoli 
Do I really need a picture? I think you get the idea. My grandma tends to give us random gifts, and last Christmas she was handing out these steamer bowl things that you can steam rice and veggies in the microwave with. I had never really used mine, and then I decided to a few weeks ago. And now I can't stop. Steamed broccoli is the side to every meal I eat now, basically (or Oreos). Everyone should get one of these bowls. It makes it SO EASY. I pour a little olive oil and a tiny bit of salt and.... YUM!


4. Boots
OOPS. Too soon? I can't help it. Every August, I get the "Fall itch." For me, this typically (naturally) reflects in the form of shoes. I LOVE BOOT SEASON! I CAN'T WAIT! THAT'S WHY I AM TYPING IN ALL CAPS! AHHHH. Okay. Time to settle down. I have already been guilty of trying on my boots with various "Fall" outfits in my closet. Meanwhile, its 105 degrees outside and if I were to actually consider said outfit, I would die of a heat stroke in short order. That's okay though. As we Nebraskan's know, that could change. REAL quick! I LOVE a tall boot.. but seriously.. these are so cute. These are from the Fall line at beYourself in Lincoln. Yes please!



Thanks for tuning in to my Tuesday Favorites!

I will be doing an update, SOON, on my LiLash progress.

Love,


Monday, August 12, 2013

LiLash Fail

No, I am not saying LiLash failed. Just me. I have done an awful job keeping track of my progress. But, in case anyone cares, I can definitely tell a difference! There is a little more length there than I have ever had. I took this picture about a week and a half ago...which would make it approximately week 4 (5?) since I have started.


I apologize for the very poor quality, I took the picture with my phone and just wanted to have some sort of documentation on this lash journey (that's what we are calling it now).

In the mean time, you guys have to try this stuff..
It is weird. The white tube is a nylon extension that you apply and it looks weird and cottony. Not a good description, I know, but this is definitely better (and easier) than using false lashes. I used this the other day (in addition to my growing Lilash lashes) and couldn't believe the length! If you have every used any sort of mascara where you apply the white primer first for extension, it is a similar concept. However, this is like 5000x better. You will get some SERIOUS length out of this.

If you have a special occasion coming up and aren't feeling the fake lashes... I would try this. It's a little bit pricey (around $30)... but worth it depending on your occasion!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

LiLash Update!

I apologize to anyone who was anxiously awaiting the growth of my eyelashes. I have been going non stop between work and regular life and simply could not find the time to post my pictures.

I still can't decide what is the best way to track my lash growth (or lack of?)... with mascara, or without? So, I kind of did both. I feel like right now the progress is minimal, but I think there is a small change. And I mainly notice it just when I am putting on my mascara.

Still, I haven't talked to anyone who didn't have extreme success with this product, so I am anxious to see the upcoming results.

L-R July 7th (approx one week in) and July 18th (approx two weeks in)

L-R July 18th (with mascara) and July 22nd (with mascara)
So... there you have it. I don't know! I think there is a tiny bit of difference in length. So far, no negative side effects that I can think of. Sometimes it burns a little if I get carried away when I am putting in on, but other than that, no issues!

It will be interesting to see if there are any noticeable changes in the next few weeks. Stay tuned!


Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Announcing...LiLash!

I am really excited about my most recent purchase!

As in EXTREMELY excited. I have been wanting to do a little mini series on some sort of eyelash enhancer for quite some time now, and I just wasn't sure which one to purchase...also wasn't sure if it would be worth the money.

So, yesterday I had a facial with Casey at Sweet Jane Salon (always fantastic...Casey always makes my skin feel brand new!) and noticed she had a LiLash display. I have previously looked at this product at Beauty First and so I asked Casey about it. She said the product was actually discontinued and they had ONE BOX left in the salon.

The pressure was on! I have been debating this purchase for close to six months now...which is actually VERY unlike me. I typically decide I want/need something, and then purchase it an hour later. This goes for most decisions in my life. So anyways, Casey filled me in on the product and that she, herself, had experienced fantastic results with LiLash.
For those of you who are unfamiliar, LiLash is created by Cosmetic Pros and is an eyelash serum that enhances the natural beauty of eyelashes by fortifying and conditioning the lash follicle. 

As I think most of you have already guessed, I purchased LiLash and will be updating you weekly (hopefully) on the progress! 

Here are some pictures (post facial) before I started Day 1 of LiLash! Sorry for the creepy up-close killer eye pictures. There is a little mascara still on my eyes, but for the most part that is what my eyelashes look like naturally. Throughout these weeks, I will post pictures with and without makeup to show results! 



Stay Tuned!


Monday, July 1, 2013

Current Food Obsessions: Cookie Butter

NOTE: This is not a healthy food obsession. Maybe in moderation, but if you have had this stuff... I am not sure that moderation and Cookie Butter go in the same sentence.

If you love gingersnaps, you will love Cookie Butter. If you don't love them, you may still love this. In fact, it would be weird if you didn't.

You can get Cookie Butter at Trader Joe's. It is amazing. Personally, I spread it on graham crackers. Honestly though, I would eat it plain out of the jar. But that may be taking things too far.

Go buy this. You will probably be mad at me later when your pants don't fit, but it will be worth it.

Amazing.




Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Top Coat Phenomenon

I am really, really excited.

Of course, it's for a lame reason. But if you read this blog on the reg, you know that some of my excitement comes from very, very small things.

I was browsing in Sally Beauty the other day and remembered my top coat was almost gone. I typically use OPI Start to Finish (which can be used as a base AND top coat). I like it, but wouldn't describe it as anything spectacular.

Anyways, I saw this while checking out the various top coats....
"Out the Door." My initial thought was that I really hated the packaging. It looks industrial..like.. glue. I definitely wasn't drawn to it. But if you look closely enough, it does claim to be America's #1 Super Fast Drying. Hmmm (I thought to  myself). Yes, I am now including my thought commentary. I purchased it along with a bright summer color and then kind of forgot about it. Today, I was in dire need of a new color. I had 15 minutes until I needed to be out the door. What better time to test out the "fastest drying topcoat in America?"

Here comes the exciting news... IT WORKED! I have NEVER experienced anything like this. This stuff is legit. I seriously was able to touch my nails with no denting, chipping, sticking, smearing...after ONE MINUTE. That is crazy. Seriously. Five minutes later I was out the door, digging in my purse and doing other things that would typically result in ruined nails before I even got to work.

TRY THIS STUFF. If you do your own nails, it is worth it! I paid $6.95 at Sally Beauty and I would have paid more for these kind of results! Amazing!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Blow Bar Uncovered


There are a lot of things I love about living in the Midwest, and living in a fairly small city. Countless things. However, there are a lot of things that big cities offer that I think Lincoln should have as well! One of these things is BLOW BARS. Before anyone becomes concerned, understand that a Blow Bar is defined as a salon that only styles your hair. Only. No cuts, no colors. Wash and style. But blow bars use a technique to style your hair that varies depending on what style you want. 


Anyways, I was planning to get a blow out the next time I was in Phoenix...or if I made it to Chicago in the next month or so. Then, I remembered that I was going to be in Denver this past weekend, so I did some checking, and sure enough....Denver had a few Blow Bars! I could hardly contain my excitement. My friend and I scheduled an appointment at Blow Dry Lounge in Denver for one of the afternoons we were there. 

First, let me tell you what my expectations were for the Blow Lounge. Basically, I understood that I could pick any style I wanted and they would make it happen. This particular lounge was different from the others I had researched in different parts of the United States. At the Blow Dry Lounge it was not a flat rate, it was based on your hair length (shorter hair was cheaper than longer hair). So, basically you are paying anywhere from $20-$45 depending on your length. Another difference was that any styling tool was an extra $10 (straightening, curling..etc.) This did not seem to be the norm from what I had researched, so that was disappointing. Lastly, they didn't have "style packages." It was just "a blow out," not a "look," so whatever that meant for your hair...well...that was what you got! 

I had been looking forward to this experience for quite some time so I wanted to document it and share it! Basically, I told the girl who did my blowout that I wanted a lot of volume and (since I didn't want to pay extra) I told her to just give me as much volume and curl as she could with the round brush. 

I'll let the pictures do most of the talking....




As you can see, at the end I had SEVERAL large round brushes in my hair...just chillin. It actually is not uncomfortable at all. 

And... post blow out! (Look at my friend's hair.. amazing!) 


In conclusion, my first blow out was something of a disappointment. As you can see, my hair is smooth and has some volume...but it is not nearly what I was expecting. Don't get me wrong, it was a very enjoyable experience. However, I was hoping for some MAJOR volume, like... crazy volume. So, maybe next time (there WILL be a next time) I will be VERY specific. 

Does anyone have a blow bar experience? Please do share!

And who thinks Lincoln or Omaha needs a Blow Bar!? Me too....

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Trust

My thoughts today are a little bit scattered, but I can’t get some of them out of my mind. In recent conversation with some (important) people in my life, the concept of truly trusting God was discussed. This is such a cliché topic in terms of advice giving. Basically any problem or complaint you have can be stifled by a simple “trust God!” But when I started to think about it, the honest truth is that it doesn’t always make me feel better. What started to bother me about this though, is why? Why does that not make us feel better? Why does that not take away the fear, doubt or concern that accompanies the pain and lack of understanding we encounter in life? I am not saying this is accurate for everyone, but is it because most of us do not understand God’s capabilities and love for us enough to truly give it all up to Him? Is the real problem a true lack of trust?

If you identify yourself as a Christian and are truly seeking God’s will in your life, then it would seem that putting your complete trust in God is a no-brainer. If you are anything like me, this is also the most difficult thing to do. For some unknown reason, I often times think my ideas are better. I know me, after all, so why wouldn’t I know what’s best for me? The fact of the matter is that God knows me better than I know myself. He created me. The things I need, want, desire, hope for, strive for…he put all of those feelings in motion. And not only that, but he knows how to satisfy them. When I think about God knowing me, and knowing me so intimately (Psalm 139:13-14 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well) it is comforting to me. In terms of trusting God, for myself, I cannot identify with a God who “just knows me so well that he knows what is best.” While this is true, it is a hard truth for me to grasp. What I CAN identify with is putting my life, my fears, hopes, concerns and dreams into the hands of a God who loves me more than I can possibly imagine. I have written about this before, but imagining God’s love for us is seemingly impossible. When I think about how deeply my human self is capable of loving, I can only imagine how deeply God loves us. How he created us and adores us, and wants us to give our lives (completely) over to Him so that he can work through us.

You hear it said over and over that trust is the foundation of any relationship, whether it be in the context of family, friends or romance. And this is absolutely true. For anyone who has had their trust broken by someone, this rings especially true. But God is not human, and God is not our old friend, ex boyfriend/girlfriend, or absent family member. God is our creator. He is our ultimate “lover.” He is our Father. 


 So after all of my ramblings, I have to wonder, yet again, how much I am willing to turn over to God. What if I trusted God recklessly? What if I completely abandoned my human fear and doubt and entrusted my inadequacies to a God who has already conquered them? How would that change my life?

I am not perfect. I am not even close enough to perfect to put myself in the same sentence as the word perfect. I struggle to trust God in the smallest areas of life. But each day, I become more aware of how much God loves us, and how he works through our lives when we are willing to let Him.

 In conclusion, I am including lyrics out of the Casting Crowns song “Already There,” because sometimes songs say it best!
From where I'm standing
Lord it's so hard for me to see
Where this is going
And where You're leading me
I wish I knew how
All my fears and all my questions
Are gonna play out
In a world I can't control

Oh, oh

When I'm lost in the mystery
To You my future is a memory
Cause You're already there
You're already there
Standing at the end of my life
Waiting on the other side
And You're already there
You're already there

Oh, oh, oh, oh

From where You're standing
Lord, You see a grand design
That You imagined
When You breathed me into life
And all the chaos
Comes together in Your hands
Like a masterpiece
Of Your picture perfect plan

When I'm lost in the mystery
To You my future is a memory
Cause You're already there
You're already there
Standing at the end of my life
Waiting on the other side
And You're already there
You're already there

One day I'll stand before You
And look back on the life I've lived
I can't wait to enjoy the view
And see how all the pieces fit (x2)

One day I'll stand before You
And look back on the life I've lived
Cause You're already there
You're already there
When I'm lost in the mystery
To You my future is a memory
Cause You're already there
You're already there
Standing at the end of my life
Waiting on the other side
And You're already there
You're already there

You are already there
 

Monday, June 17, 2013

Things I Should Have Mentioned Before Now...

It is a serious offense to the makeup world that I haven't talked about my love for the Bare Escentuals mineral makeup line. Serious. 

In 2008 I was visiting my aunt in Phoenix. We were doing some light shopping in Scottsdale and I wandered into Sephora. At the time, Lincoln didn't even have a Sephora (I know! Can you imagine?) Anyways, I had heard of the Bare Minerals line but I never actually used it. I purchased the starter kit box. Long story short, I have never looked back (in terms of makeup choices, of course). 

Bare Minerals is HANDS DOWN the best foundation/concealer/face makeup I have ever come across. I literally haven't changed from this product in 5 years. I have tried other foundations, even liquid foundations, and I am simply unimpressed. Bare Minerals has the amazing ability to conceal and protect your skin. It is smooth and natural looking and I "feel" like I do not have makeup on. I could go on and on and on...but the point is... it is my absolute favorite. 

While visiting Emily in Iowa City, we decided we should get our skin matched at Bare Minerals in case we were wearing the wrong shade. Emily (already a Bare Minerals user, obviously!) had previously mentioned that she had switched to the compact foundation and had purchased this amazing new precision brush to accompany it. I was a tad bit hesitant about the compact foundation. My mind reverted to the Cover Girl compact that I carried in my purse in high school, and visions of orangey powder rubbing off on all of my clothes began to surface. Gross. 

Anyways, while we were in Bare Minerals, I had them rematch my colors with the compact version of Bare Minerals.....
And they used this brush to apply it...
And... big surprise.. I loved it. This brush is AMAZING. It is so soft and it works fabulously with the compact. The compact formula is almost exactly like the regular loose foundations, except it supposedly lasts longer. I am not sure how much longer it lasts (it claims 12 hours) but I can vouch for the fact that when I have this makeup on and my face gets wet, or I am sweaty from the gym, it does NOT come off. So good, almost to a fault (but that's why I have my handy Clarisonic). 

Anyways, my ramblings have gone on long enough. I was LONG overdue for a new brush (read: I still had some of my originals and the last one I purchased was almost 3 years ago. Ew. ) If you already use Bare Minerals, definitely try the compact with the precision brush. You will not regret it. 

Lastly, if you haven't tried Bare Minerals, PLEASE. I'm telling you... it will change your makeup life. Your makeup routine will be cut in half...this is the easiest application routine you will come across. You cannot mess it up, and I'm telling you, it will make your skin look 99% better. Seriously, run into Sephora and buy the starter kit. It comes with all of the application brushes you will need and a few shades of foundation and concealer. And the lovely Sephora employees are always very willing to match your shade for you so you don't have to guess. I'm telling you... 

Ok, I'm done. 


Sunday, June 2, 2013

Happy Heart

I am writing this post through tired eyes... but I am smiling.
This weekend I decided to go visit an old friend in Iowa. It seemed a little ridiculous that we hadn't seen each other in SIX YEARS, and given that she is only about 4 hours away, I decided it was time.

To put this in to perspective, we met at church camp as Jr. High girls. We kept in touch with LETTERS for years. Yes, folks, LETTERS. The letters transitioned to emails, and, eventually we kept in touch through Facebook. Anyways, Emily holds a special place in my heart as she is so wonderful and dear to me.

There is something extremely comforting and wonderful about spending time with an old friend. We laughed, shopped, ate, discussed make up tips and tricks, shopped some more, LAUGHED some more, (ate some more), and just had a fantastic time.

Luckily, Emily shares my love for products and make up so we spent a lot of time "being girls."

I am so thankful for this weekend and that I was able to spend time with this wonderful person!

*UPDATE*
Emily let me borrow her SUAVE dry shampoo, and so it is necessary that I make an update to the Dry Shampoo post. Ok... this stuff is $2.50. And AMAZING. It smells SO good. I couldn't get enough. I typically don't promote drugstore  brands for haircare, but I can't tell a difference between this and a salon Dry Shampoo. I hate to say it, but this may be even better than the cornstarch alternative. We of course RAN to Target so I could purchase my own bottle.
I HIGHLY suggest this. 

Stay tuned for some of my other makeup discoveries from this weekend...

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Dirty Hair? Dry Shampoo!

Hey ya'll!
I spent most of last week/weekend in sunny Phoenix visiting my aunt...and it was fabulous. Seriously wonderful. Had a great time, met lots of people, and took relaxing to a new level. In fact,  I may have been slightly depressed to return to Nebraska...especially since I took a 30 degree cut in temperature. So VERY thankful for the time I got to spend with my aunt! I can't wait to get back there again....

So, in the week since I've been back, it seems like I have been trying to play catch up. And when you are playing catch up, the first thing that goes out the door is washing your hair (ok, maybe thats just me.) Um... gross. I know, but seriously. This brings me to one of my favorite inventions ever. DRY SHAMPOO.


This is typically my go-to for dry shampoo. It's TIGI-Rockaholic "Dirty Secret".  For those of you who are completely oblivious to this amazing invention, dry shampoo is typically used for Day 2 and 3 hair that you haven't washed. It absorbs oil, and leaves hair looking refreshed. It also smells great!

I typically spray the product in my bangs and roots area, let it sit for a minute or so, and then comb through and shake it out. And..tada.. fresh hair! No wash. So, my problem with this stuff? It is like $20 a bottle. Which is fine and dandy, but I could blow through a bottle in a week or two. Um, I don't have time or money to be replacing this stuff that often.

After doing some research, I heard that CORNSTARCH is often used for absorbing oil in both hair and skin. So, basically, I just went for it. I poured a little cornstarch in a bowl, grabbed my kabuki brush and swirled it around, and just started dabbing it in the "typical" areas of concern. Anyways, this works like a dream. Seriously, I highly doubt I will buy another bottle of dry shampoo EVER when I can buy a box of cornstarch for like 79 cents.

Now, I did a little experiment, and went 3 days without washing my hair. I used the cornstarch to refresh my hair after I bathed, and it went very well. I didn't try to curl my hair or anything during this time period, I simply wore it down and straight (and on day 3 I went for the sock bun!)  So, if you have any major styling you want to do, you may need to wash your hair.

Next time you need a quick pick me up, but don't have time for a wash, check your pantry. Cornstarch is a fantastic sub for dry shampoo. Yay!