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Aug 30, 2013

DC Through My Instagram Feed

The final photos I've been meaning to share are those from my instagram feed in DC.  I just love that city.  Oh my.

Aug 28, 2013

Antiquing

AJ and I are packing in little dates as our days living in the same town are coming to a close.  Last week, I surprised him by waking him up and taking him to breakfast, and then we spent the morning leisurely cruising around (in my mom's convertible bug, of course!), visiting farm stands and antique stores.  So much fun, and so many treasures to be found!
If this wasn't $50, it would have come home with me!
Rolling pins and old buttons.
I'm totally in love with old tin cans!  I especially love finding a brand or product that we still use today and getting to see how it was packaged years and years ago.
These were old advertisements and magazine articles dating all the way back to the 1910s!  I spent a significant of time looking at them...categories that ranged from neckties to movies to WWII home front propaganda....they were so cool!  I wanted to buy one for my room but I just couldn't choose!

Aug 26, 2013

A Little DC Vacation

Last week, my family headed down to DC for a few days.  There's so much to do in that city that I think I could spend two weeks straight there and still not see it all! We did some of the Smithsonians, all of the monuments, and even spent some time in the National Archives doing some genealogy research (so cool!).  While I love doing all things touristy in a city like DC, I would love to spend some time there and get to explore the parts that I'd check out if I lived there.  I was at a conference last October on Barracks Row and loved all of the little cafes and restaurants (ahem, Ted's Bulletin and their homemade pop tarts!!) and I'd love to explore that area again.

Anyway, our mini vacation was a ton of fun...and, I actually took photos!  Probably the best part was that we rented bikes through Capitol BikeShare for a day.  It was great!  I love biking, and DC is just such a wonderfully bike-friendly city.  Oh, and we ate dinner at Old Ebbitt Grille and holy cow.  That's all I have to say about that.

(ok, aren't my parents the cutest?)
And a pit stop in Baltimore on the way home!

Aug 25, 2013

Girl Talk // Let's Talk Pretty

If you ask just about any woman what she doesn't like about her body, she'll likely be able to give you a laundry list.  For the sake of honesty, I'll tell you that my list would include the fact that my midsection and thighs are a little bit more wobbly than I'd like.  If you ask that same woman what she does like, she'd most likely shy away from giving you an answer without some coaxing.

For some reason, women today have a hard time wrapping their heads around the fact that they're beautiful. The media spends a whole lot of time giving us examples of "beauty"...mostly rail-thin, airbrushed models and celebrities...and we buy into every line.  It's hard not to.  Between advertisements and tv shows, blogs and magazines, we can't escape it at any turn.

As a middle schooler, there were tons upon tons of days that I definitely didn't feel attractive.  Acne, triangle hair (the result of a perm on shoulder-length hair with no layers and highlights that were far too blonde), glasses, a khaki and navy school uniform, and always a bit on the pudgy-side, I wasn't exactly the cute, tiny, bubbly kid you'd see on the Disney channel.  And frankly, a decade later, there are plenty of days when I feel like I haven't come too far from middle-school me.

I've gone through makeup phases in life.  I did the whole eyeliner thing in middle school, and then kinda just stopped wearing makeup all together until I discovered that mascara wasn't so difficult after all when I was in my senior year.  My freshman year of college, I bought myself a BareMinerals starter kit (my first real makeup experience), but like many college kids, often was just too tired or lazy to wear it.  I went through a "I don't need makeup to look good!" phase, and finally, sometime in the past few years, settled into a routine that gives me a natural finish (you can read more about that here).

The point is, I've wrestled with feeling like I'm not being true to myself by wearing makeup and wanting to be "pretty".  And I think it's a fairly normal struggle for a Christian gal to have.  We're told so many things from so many different sources.  "You don't need makeup to look pretty!"  "A little blush doesn't hurt, it looks healthy!"  And while some girls are just born with "it", I've come to realize that for many, it's Maybelline (punny, right??).

We put our worth in what society tells us is "pretty" and if we don't measure up, then we decide that we can't assume that label.

If I could say one thing to every teenage girl, twenty-something, or even any woman at any age about beauty, it would be that you. are. beautiful.  No matter what your makeup routine looks like.  And what makes a woman even more beautiful than her outward appearance is when she finds her worth in Christ. 1 Peter 3:3-4 talks about making sure your adornment isn't solely external, but that of the "imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit which is precious in the sight of God."

Here's my opinion:  It's ok to wear makeup.  And it's ok not to.  I believe that we're not supposed to draw inappropriate attention to ourselves through our makeup and our dress, but I don't think it's wrong to care about a makeup routine or about fashion.

Frankly, it doesn't really matter if you wear it or you don't.  What matters is realizing your true worth lies in becoming a woman with a Godly heart and gentle spirit.  That, in itself, with speak far louder than your eyeshadow and lipstick.

Aug 20, 2013

BB Cream

I've been meaning to hop on the BB Cream train for a while now.  Sometimes my full face of makeup is just too much in the summer, you know?  The thing keeping me from finally getting on the train, though, was that I just couldn't pick one.

There are so many BBs out there, and as someone with combination-oily skin, the thought of putting a greasy cream that might make me look shiny only a few hours later sounded pretty terrible.  I'm a pretty firm believer in investing in high-quality cosmetics when it comes to foundation and things I'm covering my face with.  While it might pay off to invest in a more expensive product, I just wasn't ready to take that plunge with a BB Cream and decided to go with a more budget-friendly drugstore brand (not that there's anything wrong with drugstore brands either!).

I decided to go with Revlon's PhotoReady BB Cream and I'm really happy with my choice!  Here's my rundown:

-as expected, definitely not the coverage I get with my BareMinerals foundation
-smoothed my complexion
-blended easily
-matched my skin tone perfectly (I went with the Medium tone)
-moisturized my skin better than some moisturizers I've tried
-felt a little greasy at first, but after it was totally dried and set, felt smooth and dry
-had good staying power
-nice tint
-didn't leave me shiny or greasy
-budget-friendly ($10.99!)
-SPF 30

Overall, I really liked Revlon PhotoReady BB Cream.  While it didn't give me awesome coverage, it was certainly enough for a day when I don't need a full face of makeup.  Even at the end of the day, I could see some of the tint coming off with my makeup remover towel, so it did last.  It didn't leave me feeling greasy, oily, or shiny, which is a huge win for me.  I'd like to experiment with building the coverage a little bit, or using the cream as a primer/moisturizer under my foundation.

I had a great experience with Revlon's PhotoReady BB Cream and definitely recommend it.  I'm sure there are a ton of great BBs out there, and this might not be right for every skin type, but it was great for me!

This review has not been sponsored, nor requested by Revlon, and simply contains my own opinions and views to share with my readers.

Aug 18, 2013

Girl Talk // I Want More!

Have you ever seen Charlie & the Chocolate Factory?  Remember Veruca Salt?  The girl who already has everything but starts every sentence with "Daddy, I want...."  She's kind of awful, right?

Or how about this....
Ok, maybe this girl is just adorable.  And maybe I just love these commercials.  But how true is what she says?  How often do we think "we want more! we want more!"?  

Lately, I've been feeling that ache of discontentment; of just wanting more.  More from my job, more from those around me, more from life.  I get this feeling from time to time, as I imagine most twenty-somethings do when they're still trying to figure their life out.  When it comes around, it's easy to try to cover up the feeling, to put a band-aid on it.  (For me, this often comes in buying a new dress or purse...let's call it retail therapy.)

But at the end of the day, the feeling of discontentment is there, rearing it's ugly head, and staring me in the face, taunting me with what "could be".  It's a season that is hard to weather, and one that is easy to feel stuck in.

1 Timothy 6:6-7 says this:  But godliness actually is a means of great gain, when accompanied by contentment.  For we have brought nothing into the world, so we cannot take anything out of it either.

Oh man.  Conviction, right?  If we are to be godly, then we are also called to be content.  Honestly, contentment means so much more than just not wanting more stuff.

It means finding value in where God has put you.  It means looking around you and thinking "How can I be an influence on the people I interact with every day?  How can I bless those I come in contact with?  What opportunities is God placing in front of me that I might not have if my life were different?"

I think we need to go through seasons of discontentment in order to realize the beauty in what we have.  The thing is, the world is kind of poised to make us feel like we're always missing out.  We're constantly bombarded with photos of the exciting and magical trips our friends are taking, or advertisements for things we don't have and can't afford.  And it's really easy to take all of that in and feel like your life just doesn't measure up.  

But contentment comes from finding things in your present to be thankful for.  It comes in valuing the relationships you do have and not pining after someone else's seemingly-perfect ones.  It comes in being joyful and appreciative and prayerful.  It comes in asking Jesus to create a spirit of contentment within you, and then digging deep and blooming where you're planted.  

It's a lesson I'm working on learning.  

Aug 16, 2013

Product Review // Mighty Oak Necklace

A few months ago, I got an email from Sarah at RedEnvelope about their jewelry line.  I was delighted when she asked if I'd like to choose a piece to review.

I chose the Mighty Oak necklace, a beautiful two-tone necklace with an adjustable 16-18" drop.  It looks great styled with a t-shirt or button down, or even a dress.  It's pretty casual, but could easily be dressed up as well.  Some of my other favorites include the Pea Pod necklace and the Chevron necklace.

RedEnvelope has tons of products to choose from, and that make great gifts for just about anyone!  The package came quickly and was beautifully wrapped in a red box with ribbon.  Truly a great experience and a lovely gift!  I mean, who doesn't like to get pretty packages in the mail?
I highly recommend using RedEnvelope.  They have unique products and their customer service is excellent!

Aug 15, 2013

Lately // According to my Instagram Feed

we took a family trip to knoebel's | i got like 4 inches chopped off of my hair | aj & i an amazing breakfast date | we dropped aj's sister off in nyc at school yesterday, celebrated our year-&-a-half-iversary, and had dinner at shake shack | i hung out with my friend's dog | and i'm loving my saltwater sandals
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