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Nov 30, 2020


I haven't always worn (or even liked) makeup.
I didn't start wearing mascara until my last year of high school and my first real makeup purchase was a BareMinerals starter kit during my first year of college.
I've gone through stages of not wearing anything and wearing a really minimal amount.
But in the past year or so, I've developed a makeup routine that I've come to really love.  It only takes me about 10 minutes, and it leaves me with a natural finish, which is really what I always wanted.  I never wanted to really look like I was wearing a lot of makeup.  Sometime last winter, I finally learned how to do my eye makeup, and that sort of changed makeup for me.  It finally became fun and something I don't feel so timid when experimenting with!
So, here's what's in my makeup bag and how I use it (not that I'm an expert):
The sister of one of my good friends just recently became a Mary Kay consultant, so I've acquired a bit of Mary Kay products.  Let me just say...I love them.  
This is the brush set & bag.  It rolls up nicely and holds everything I need!  And it keeps me insanely organized, which is always a plus.
1.  BareMinerals compact foundation in Medium Beige | This is my foundation.  It's similar to their loose powder mineral foundation, but it's packed into a compact and goes on with a bit more coverage
2.  BareMinerals bronzer in The High Dive | This is a good all-over face color, it's just like the foundation compact.
3.  Mary Kay Ultimate Mascara | I've neer met a mascara that does as good of a job at separating and defining lashes as this one.
4.  Maybelline eyeshadow palette in gold tones | I've recently begun a love affair with gold tones, and my eyeshadow is no exception.  This has just the right amount of shimmer.  It's a staple.
5.  Mary Kay Primer | This is like silk for your skin.  It's spf15 and is the perfect base to make foundation application smooth.
6.  Mary Kay compact | This holds three eyeshadows (golden vanilla, truffle, and lavender fog), a blush (sunny spice), and a lip gloss (cafe au lait).
7.  BareMinerals Mineral Veil | This is a great finisher for any look.  It's light and provides oil control and a airbrush finish.
8.  various eyeliners (brown, black, and gold) | I don't wear eyeliner all that much.  I can never do it on my top lid in a way that I like and looks subtle.  But I really like Ulta's brand of eyeliner.  They go on really smoothly.
1.  BareMinerals Precision Face brush | These tightly-packed bristles provide great coverage with the BareMinerals foundation compact.
2.  Mary Kay Cheek brush | I use this for blush application
3.  Mary Kay Powder brush | This is my go-to for bronzer and mineral veil
4.  BareMinerals Concealer brush | This is great for this trouble spots and blemishes
5.  Mary Kay Eye Definer brush | This sweeps eyeshadow on your lids perfectly
6.  Mary May Crease brush | For defining your eyes and brushing on darker shadows in the corners and crease
7.  Mary Kay Eyeliner/Eyebrow brush | This is two-sided, with a eyeliner brush on one side and a brow brush on the other
8.  e.l.f. Crease brush | This is angled, and works well for applying the darkest shadows in the outer corners of the eye

So that's it...my collection has grown a lot, and I have my routine down to under 10 minutes or so in the morning.  If I've learned anything in the past year or so, though, it's that the right tools make all the difference.

Nov 27, 2020


Hey y'all!  Today I'd like to introduce you to Rachael of held by his hand.  Rachael and M "met" through the blogging world and have been followers of (and sponsors of) one another's blogs for the past few months!

Today, she's sharing with you all a list of things that make her smile.  And frankly, this girl is one after my own heart.  Most of these things make me smile too.   

Hey Heavens to Betsy friends! I’m Rachael - I blog at heldbyHishand, and I’m so excited to be sponsoring Betsy’s blog this month. She invited me to write a guest post to share with you all. So, I’ve been thinking all week about what I wanted to share with you, and this is what I came up with.

Things that Make Me Smile - a list of 7 things that I grin for
1.  Small kiddos
These are ones I nanny for regularly… Triplets + big brothers! You can follow their adventures on their Mum’s blog - caitlinshappyheart.blogspot.com. I also have 9 siblings who are especially dear to me! :)
2.  The peak of a mountain hike
I haven’t been hiking in a good while, but looking at photos like this one from a year ago stirs me to walk! Something about a big view that reminds me how small I am…

3.  Sending and receiving snail mail
I love letters. It’s true, I really do! In fact, I have this awesome little thing on my blog, where if you plug in your details, I will mail you a handwritten card. True story! Go here to check it out: heldbyhishand.blogspot.com.au/p/but-wait-theres-more.html

4.  New books
I am a book junkie. Would you like to see my bookcase? Embarrassing as it is, here you go:
I recently purchased a few new ones from The Book Depository online, which is my bargain book place. Especially worthwhile for gifts, with Christmas coming up and all!
5. Hot porridge with raw sugar
Yummm… One of my favourite breakfasts is porridge with raw sugar. And while I think it is the same thing that you American’s call ‘oatmeal’, I’m going to stick with porridge. And eat it… all. the. time.

6.  Scented candles
Do I need to explain this one? Mmmm… I just received a new one for my birthday and it is a heavenly combination of vanilla and pears. Oh yes. New favourite scent!

7.  Blogging and blogs
You probably grin for this too! But the friends and adventures and things I’m learning in the blogosphere are so wonderfully delightful. Especially Betsy :)

So there you go, 7 things that make me grin. If you want to find out more things that put a smile on my dial, visit me at any of the links below! I would love love love to meet you!

{and thanks again Betsy!}

thanks for sharing, rachael!  
you can find rachael at the following:  blog | Facebook | twitter | pinterest

Nov 26, 2020


...was spent gathered around the table
and the garage
and the porch...
with over 50 people.
we're italian.  and educators, so we believe in inclusion. (heh...)  which means our family gatherings are large and in charge.

i'm kind of still terrible at remember to take pictures. (but i'm working on it!  i promise!)  but here are a few from our day...
that's my brother.  he's studying digital media.
we swapped cameras. i'm a nikon girl, people.
my mom & aunt swinging on the porch.  it turned out to be a beautiful day.
this just became my favorite picture of us ever.

Nov 22, 2020


woohoo!  it's thanksgiving.  {my favorite holiday}
i hope you all are going to be surrounded by loved ones giving thanks today!

in light of it being thanksgiving (and the fact that we've already baked 4 pies and a turkey today), i'm keeping today's thankful thursday simple, with a little thankful list!

here's what i'm thankful for today:
the best boyfriend in the history of ever
an awesome church
new opportunities
my new gym sneakers
my camera
that this semester is almost over!
pretty mugs
good books

enjoy your day!  and if you miss thankful thursday, you can still link up with a thankful friday, or saturday, or sunday post! :)

Nov 21, 2020


As someone who loves photography, I'll confess that I'm really terrible at remembering to take pictures.

I always make excuses...I'm too busy, or my camera is heavy and bulky, or I don't want to have to worry about it being stolen or broken.  Taking candids of people is awkward and what if people at starbucks give me funny looks for snapping a photo of my coffee?

But when I really think about it, the reason I love photography is because I love to capture moments and memories.  Maybe you don't struggle with this at all.  Or maybe you're in the same boat as me.  so, to help myself, I've decided to write down some photography tips.  Well, they're really more goals.  But tips sounds better.

1.  Take your camera everywhere.  Iphone photos are great, and Instagram is wonderful.  But you didn't spend a crazy amount of cash on a good camera for it to sit around between shoots.

2.  Get out of your comfort zone and just snap away.  Your friends will get used to you taking their picture or asking them to pose with their scone.  It's fine.  Be that girl who always has her camera out.

3.  Print stuff!  Remember all the times you've pulled out prints and laughed at the memories they've brought back.  Don't lose those moments because you don't print stuff.

4.  Instagram at least one photo a day.  And make it a good one, for heavens sake.  This will at least get you into the rhythm of taking pics of daily life.

5.  Complete a photo journal.  This could be a home tour or a "day in the life" sort of thing, but complete some sort of project.

So there are 5 goals for myself, and maybe 5 tips for you!  Hold me accountable, ok?

Nov 20, 2020


sorry i've been mia this weekend.  saturday was my dad's birthday and then i got sick yesterday with flu-like symptoms...not feeling much better today, but with thanksgiving just two days away, i kind of just have to suck it up.

anyway, today i thought i'd share some recent pinterest finds that i'm in love with.  whenever i start to do one of these posts i think "i do these allllll the time!" but then i realized i hadn't done one since august, so i'm in the clear i think!

you can find me on pinterest here! clicking on the photos will take you to the original site.

Nov 15, 2020


the term "transition" has been one that has defined my life for the past six years or so.  there was the transition into college.  the transitions home for breaks and then back to school at the end of them.  the transition back home for "good" when i graduated.  the transition into a job and grad school.  and now, i find myself on the brink of yet another transition, a transition out of that job and into a student teaching placement and my last semester of my master's work.

when i first started off into this season of life, these changes were new and exciting, but also terrifying.  during my first two years of college, i was homesick.  i cried.  a lot.  i went through the inevitable season of not knowing where my life was headed and of changing everything i ever thought i'd do.  and then, sometime in my junior year, i stopped letting these transitions scare me and started embracing them as the season of life i was in.  i'm sure it had a lot to do with the people i was living with at the time, and probably also the fact that i was just, well, growing up.

transition is one of those things that can seem daunting.  it's big, it's unknown.  but there's also an excitement and a beauty to it.  as it is now, i'm looking ahead to january, preparing myself for early mornings and days spent with sticky fingers, multiplication tables, and chapter books.  and i'm excited.  i'm thankful, even, for the opportunity that this new transition presents.  the opportunity to use my gifts and find my fit in a profession i'm passionate about and want to give my life to.

what are you thankful for this thursday?

Nov 14, 2020


on another note, today marks 9 months of dating this guy!  i'm beyond lucky and blessed to be dating my best friend.  i can't believe it's been 9 months!  ok, i'm done being mushy now.

and don't forget to stop by tomorrow and link up with thankful thursday!
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