I wanted to write about something that has been on my heart and mind for quite some time. It has to do with waiting. And by waiting I don't necessarily mean being patient for something simple and small, but rather something quite big and challenging to have to wait for... something that really tests your character, your strength, and your faith.
I have been in a season of waiting for a while now. Some of it is really personal and at this time I'm not going to go very far into it (I touch on it in my Youtube video here).
In this season of waiting, there have been many times of uncertainty, tension, tears, frustration, and just pure anger at the situation. But over the past few weeks, God has laid it on my heart to really think about what I can do as I am waiting.
First of all, I think God is really trying to get me to fully trust in Him and in His plan. I generally have a really strong faith, but I fail every day at handing everything over to Him. I tend to take things into my own hands and try to process them on my own and just figure it out that way. However, I find that I feel SO much better if I just give it to God and pray about it and let the answers come to me through Him. Anyone else notice this? It's really quite amazing that I continue to fail at this, but we are all human here and I think it's really just a work in progress. It is something that has to begin again every single day: I have to devote myself and my life to Him every single day.
James 1:12 says "God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation." The temptation in this situation is to take over; to take over my life, to take over all of my decisions, and to take over what I'm feeling and let it completely run a situation regardless of how bad it may turn out. Here's the thing with this: it just doesn't work. It might work temporarily (maybe for one day), but I will soon realize I am back at square one and I haven't figured a single thing out. If I can remember to take a step back, pray, and let God guide me in the direction I should go, I find that progress is made.
Another verse that I love is 1 Peter 5:7: "Cast your anxiety on Him because He cares for you." This is one that I find myself reciting in a variety of situations. I am a music therapy intern, and although a lot of my anxiety about being in front of a group of people and singing with them has diminished, I still have days where I feel it! Furthermore, I struggle with anxiety in my day to day life and have for years. I am in a much better place now, but with my specific anxieties I feel that I need to get better at just handing it all over to God. After all, He knows the exact reason for all of this, and the reason itself may be for me to hand it over to Him all of the time (or as much as I can, being the human I am).
I came across another verse just the other day. It's both odd and amazing to me that all of these verses continue to show up as I am in this season. It's odd because it all has a theme, but it's amazing because my heart is being changed by God and I am finally recognizing it. How cool is that?
Anyway, the verse is 1 Peter 4:12-13: "Friends, when life gets really difficult, don't jump to the conclusion that God isn't on the job. Instead, be glad that you are in the very thick of what Christ experienced. This is a spiritual refining process, with glory just around the corner."
WOW. This showed up on my Pinterest feed, and while there are many versions that state it slightly different, this verse has some serious weight to it. And it's actually beautiful. First of all, we have to remember that God hasn't forgotten about us. I have to remember this... there is a reason for the waiting, the pain, the anxiety, the confusion. It's all part of the greater plan. Second, I have oddly enough found myself telling one of my good friends this exact thing before: "think of what Jesus went through. Everything you are experiencing right now, He experienced. He knows how you feel more than anyone else could ever possibly know. Let that be of comfort to you." The truth is, I needed to tell myself that, too. Again, it's amazing that these things all show up around the same time. It really makes it seem like God is trying to tell me something, huh? :)
But really, this is my favorite part of the verse. I love how it says this is a "spiritual refining process" because that's truly what it is. Going through something difficult and then having to endure it for a long period of time is humbling. It's difficult because you see other people around you experiencing things with seemingly no issues (although of course we don't actually know because we only see the highlights). But I think the important thing to remember is that your journey is yours. Let this be a time of spiritual refining and let yourself draw closer to the Lord. He is calling you to trust in Him, to let your heart be changed by Him, and to allow things to unfold as they will.
I'd like to close out this blog post with another quote I found: "God's delays are not God's denials" (Robert Schuller). Again, this is one that I found just recently. Whether you are currently in a season of waiting, just moved past a season of waiting, or think you may soon be in a season of waiting, I think this is an important quote to remember. God will not cause any one thing to happen without reason. He knows what He is doing. If He says to wait, it is best to wait. He has more in store for you, and it's far more than you could have ever imagined. In the meantime, He wants you to draw near to Him and He wants to mold and shape your heart. Remembering these truths as well as knowing that Christ feels for you is calming, and something very important to know and remember.
Thank you for reading :)
Do you find yourself scrambling every day to figure out what you're going to make for dinner that night? Maybe you make far too many last minute runs to the store to pick up an ingredient you were missing. Or maybe you get stuck in a rut and make the same few things each week. Whatever it is, have you looked into meal planning? Read on to find out if meal planning is for you!
I should start off by saying that meal planning and meal prepping are two totally different things. Meal prepping is when people make something and then sort it into multiple containers for the week ahead. They essentially eat the same thing (or few things if they are able to make more than one dish) for the week. Meal planning, on the other hand, is when people plan out specific meals for the week and then go grocery shopping for those meals. In this case, you'll still be cooking most, if not all, days of the week rather than cooking once or twice and then eating that food over the course of the week.
Let's back up for a minute... I got into meal planning when I realized I was eating the same thing every single week (grilled cheese, pasta and alfredo sauce from a jar, etc.). I definitely like these foods (because let's face it, I love carbs just as much as the next person), but I wanted more. I found a meal planner on Amazon for under $7 and I ordered it immediately.
As you can see, there is a section for the days of the week, breakfast ideas, lunch ideas, and a shopping list. I typically don't use the breakfast and lunch sections simply because I am boring and go long stretches of time eating the same thing for breakfast, and I usually have leftovers for lunch! But as for the days of the week, I list what I am going to make for supper for each day. Since it is just my husband and me right now, I usually cook 2-3 times per work week, and then have leftovers on the other days. For the leftover days, I simply just write "leftovers." :) The shopping list is where I can write down everything we need. This is the most important part for shopping and only buying what you absolutely need. Usually, I will write the things I need to make meals first and then write the basics after that (such as milk, fruit, yogurt, etc.). That way, I can cross them off as I add them to my cart.
Typically, I use this meal planner each weekend. I like to go through Pinterest and find recipes (like this one, this one, and this one) that sound delicious. I figure out which ingredients I already have and what I still need to make it and I add it to the list. I also add the "every week essentials" because there are things that we run out of each week and I like to get everything in one trip. Writing down exactly what you need saves money and makes things more efficient. It prevents you from wandering the aisles and throwing random, unhealthy items into your cart. I'd be lying if I said I don't throw a few things in on occasion (it happens to the best of us, let's just be honest!), but 95% of the time I only buy what I need. This saves money because you aren't buying things you don't need, but it also allows you to figure out which days you will be cooking and which days you will have leftovers for lunch or supper. This way, again, you aren't buying items excessively.
I also wanted to bring up Walmart Grocery Pickup. I have been using this service for a few months now, and I don't think I will go back! I had to run to Target once a few weeks ago because we needed something, and I immediately remembered why I hate going to Target (or any store/grocery store) at a "normal" time (I prefer to go at 7:00am when the store is quiet and peaceful). It really has nothing to do with me not enjoying grocery shopping, but rather that I just don't enjoy large crowds of people and find that it complicates things and makes everything take longer. I can avoid all of that and actually get my groceries for cheaper by using Walmart's grocery service pickup! It's AMAZING.
Basically, there is a $30 minimum charge for pickup (which is never too difficult to get to, even with only 2 people in a household). You sign up for a time (usually the next day) to pick up your order. The time frames given are in 60 minute increments, and I have found that my order is always ready a little bit earlier than the scheduled time, which is awesome just in case I'm running ahead of schedule. You can check in on your phone once they send you a text/email that it's ready, and then you just call the number given at the parking spot when you arrive and they bring everything right out to you! It really is that simple and efficient. It's almost too good to be true... except it IS true!
I hope you can see why I love meal planning and utilizing Walmart's pickup service so much. It makes life so much more organized and efficient, which is almost necessary in the busyness of today. Anything we can do to make things better wins in my book!
Thank you so much for reading and for being here. I really appreciate it. :)
Hi there! Today I am telling you about and showing you my everyday makeup. I don't do a whole lot for everyday makeup, and I like to keep it this way so that I can wear more when I have special events. I also like to spend time in the morning doing multiple things, and not just getting ready. This look takes me about 10 minutes tops! It is super quick, doesn't use too many products, and is fairly easy to achieve. :-) Read on to find out which products I love for everyday!
I recently switched to the Wet 'n Wild Photofocus Foundation, and I LOVE it. I have a full review and demo on it right here as well as here. I use a RealTechniques beauty sponge to apply my foundation. Ever since I started using this sponge a couple years ago, I haven't gone back to using a brush! I just love it.
Next, I apply concealer. I do this right away because there are some days where all I use on my eyes is mascara. However, most days I will add a bit of eyeshadow (I'll talk about my eyeshadow in this post as well). For concealer, I use the Maybelline Master Conceal. I swore by FitMe! for years, but once I switched to Master Conceal I will never go back. It is seriously amazing. :-)
I have used the Covergirl Clean Professional face powder for YEARS! Personally, I think it works great and I don't have to reapply it at all throughout the day. I have normal to dry skin, so for oily skin I can't say whether or not it would work. But, for normal to dry skin, I can honestly tell you it is amazing and the price is just right. ;)
Continuing on with the face portion of my everyday makeup, I just have to talk about this blush. First of all, Milani blushes are probably some of my favorites. I have used their powder blush in Romantic Rose for a long time now, and I am so in love with it. I have quite a few other Milani blushes as well, but I typically use them on special occasions only. Romantic Rose is the perfect rose shade (naturally, given its name), and I feel like it complements my complexion extremely well. It's a very warm and rich color without being too overbearing. I could go on and on about this blush... I love it that much!
For bronzer, I am obsessed with the Wet 'n Wild Color Icon bronzer in Ticket to Brazil. It is incredibly affordable, and again it gives the perfect warmth without being overbearing. It is absolutely beautiful and I have heard many people rave about it! I apply the bronzer just under my cheekbones as well as on my temples if I want an extra bronzed look. Most days, I just apply it under my cheekbones; however, this is totally a personal choice.
Lately, I have been loving the Maybelline Total Temptation Mascara. If you'd like to see a full demo of this, I have one up here on my youtube channel. I do not have long lashes at all and I really struggle to get them the least bit curly. My husband's eyelashes are long, curly, and beautiful... of course. We always go back and forth because he really doesn't even need them LOL and they always fall off into his eyes anyway. I would gladly switch! Anyway, this mascara is awesome for the price and for a drugstore mascara. I love the large brush because it makes me feel like I can do a lot more with it than a tiny brush... that seems kind of backwards but I guess that's what works for me LOL.
For eyebrows, I have used the L'Oreal Brow Stylist Definer Mechanical Pencil for quite some time now. I am in the shade blonde. I also use the Boost & Set Brow Mascara every single day. I LOVE it. I have a video of this as well if you are curious. :-)
Last but not least, let's talk about one of my favorite parts other than blush. EYESHADOW! I switch out my eyeshadows all the time, but I typically stick with sparkly and neutral. I know... pretty boring. But in all honesty, it goes with everything and because of my sandy blonde hair, it seems to match well. Lately, I've been reaching for the first Naked palette. As you can tell, this palette has been well-loved. I usually use sidecar all over the lid, naked in the crease, and virgin as a brow bone and inner corner highlight. It looks super natural but still shimmery and fun.
I hope you've enjoyed my everyday makeup! I absolutely love reading posts and watching videos about everyday makeup. Everyone seems to have their own idea of what everyday makeup should be, and it's always fun to get product ideas for new things to try. Thank you for being here!
Until next time!
I had my eye on this foundation for a long time before I was finally out of my previous foundation and needed a new one. The Wet 'n Wild Photofocus Foundation retails for $5.99 and it is worth every single penny of that amazing price. I used to use the L'Oreal Lumi Foundation... and, don't get me wrong, I totally love it. However, it costs more than $10 and for someone who is completely on a really tight budget, I just couldn't keep doing it. Once I finish my internship and start working, it will be a different story. But, maybe by then I will still be in love with this Wet 'n Wild foundation and I won't want to go back!
So let's start at the beginning. I tried this foundation a little over a month ago now, and when I first applied it I noticed how smooth it made my skin look. It applied very similarly to my L'Oreal foundation, but it actually looked a lot smoother. The L'Oreal foundation always made my skin look kind of shiny until I applied powder. I honestly thought this was because I apply my foundation with a wet beauty sponge, but when the Wet 'n Wild foundation didn't look shiny at all, I came to the conclusion that that probably wasn't it.
To this day, I am still amazed at how smooth this foundation is. I will say, my foundation tends to slowly disappear around my nose throughout the day. I think this is because I live in a cold place and I end up blowing my nose a lot! This has happened to me with every single foundation I've ever used, so I think it's just a personal issue I have LOL. Other than this, this foundation lasts all day. It definitely doesn't look as amazing as it does when I first apply it, but I do not have to fix up my makeup at all throughout the day. I find that my complexion remains pretty much the same all day. And who can complain about that? :)
Another thing about this foundation that I wanted to mention is the applicator (if that's what you'd call it!) My L'Oreal Lumi foundation had a pump, and I loved it. It makes controlling the amount you use totally foolproof. I was a bit worried about the Wet 'n Wild foundation when I realized it wasn't a pump, but it turns out that it is a little plastic thing that you can use to control how much product you get. It makes this product that much more amazing!
Let me know if you have tried this foundation or if you are thinking about trying it! I would love to hear about it :)
Hi there! I am back with another blog post... this time about time management! One thing I find myself and others saying is "I just don't have enough time!" While I definitely think there are days where time truly is limited, a lot of it comes down to time management. I think it's fair to say that most of us are looking for ways to maximize our time!
If you've been following me on my Youtube Channel, you might know that I am currently finishing up my college degree in Music Therapy. The last step of my degree is a six month internship, and I am currently in my third month. If you know any music majors or if you are one yourself, you know just how hectic it is! I would go to class from 8am-8pm most days, and then I'd have to go home and work on homework. I also had to work a part time job to cover my rent. I worked in between classes any chance I could get. I would hopefully make it to bed around 10:30 or 11:00 each night, and then I'd get up and do it all over again. I had little to no social life, my relationship with my husband was definitely strained because of it, and I was not in the best place mentally. Now, school is kind of its own thing and sometimes there is not much you can do to get around this. However, college taught me so much about time management and how to really maximize my time so that I could still take care of myself and the relationships near and dear to my heart. I think it will be easiest to break down each tip one by one, so here goes:
1. Prioritize (and use a planner)
Prioritize, prioritize, prioritize. I cannot stress this enough! This can be a tricky thing to do if you're not used to it, but I think the following tips will help you figure out your own way to do this. Personally, I use a planner to prioritize my schedule. Each day, I write down the classes/activities/meetings, etc. that are going on. It's up to you if you want to write what needs to be done for each slot next to it or below. What I like to do is write below the day's schedule what needs to get done throughout the day or later that night in order of when I should do it. This way I can cross things off as I get them done and I am doing them in the order that is most effective and will make me the least stressed in the long run. Plus, everyone loves checking things off their to-do list!
2. Self Discipline
This is a hard one, and it actually goes hand in hand with tip number 3. Reminding yourself of your long-term goals (and even short-term ones) really helps with self discipline. It can be easy to get caught up in the moment and end up binge-watching Youtube (or Netflix, but I'm definitely a Youtube girl) for 3 hours instead of doing what you should have been doing. Check out tip number 3 to help combat this.
3. Reward yourself
If you are working extremely hard to practice self discipline to avoid procrastination, you deserve a little reward every now and then! By reward, I mean something that is going to make you feel good, happy, and completely unstressed. For me, this is a bubble bath, a trip to TJ Maxx, playing with my puppy, or just going for a nice drive. It can really be anything. This is how it works: first, you follow your prioritized list in your planner (or where ever you chose to write it). Once you have completed most, if not all, tasks on your list, you get to do something that is completely unrelated to anything else and makes you feel happy. When I was taking classes, this would often be a bubble bath. This was so rewarding for me because I probably spent an entire Sunday afternoon doing homework, practicing, etc. and I got to end the night with a relaxing bubble bath in which I didn't have to think about any of it. However, had I not gotten any of it done and skipped right to the bubble bath, I would have spent my bubble bath worrying about it all. That's not quite my idea of a relaxing bubble bath!
Disclaimer: There are times when life, school, work, etc. may simply be too stressful and it may be better for your mental health to just take the bubble bath anyway and come back to everything at a later time if you can. In these circumstances, this is of course totally okay. :-) But in most circumstances where you find yourself procrastinating, try rewarding yourself in this way!
4. Set timers
This is a huge one that helped me in college a TON! A lot of people will do this on Youtube with cleaning videos. They will set a timer for 10 minutes and get everything done that they can. For school, 10 minutes probably isn't going to cut it if you want to do a good job on an assignment. So, what I did and still do for my internship, is decide that I am going to spend the next thirty minutes or hour preparing everything that I can. Then, I will take a break. During my break I can: take my puppy outside, sit on my phone for 10 minutes, clean something, watch a Youtube video, anything. Sometimes I even take a break for a couple hours and then put in another hour of work. I can't tell you how much this has helped my productivity. It requires you to sit down for a set amount of time rather than an unknown amount of time. I think this really helps us to be productive because we know that there will be a break, and it's almost like we want to win the race against the clock. It really works!
5. Know that some days will be tougher than others
When trying to beat procrastination, it's important to know that somedays just won't go as well as others. We all have days where we just aren't motivated. This is totally normal for us as human beings. It's important to make sure you aren't being too hard on yourself. Of course, if you've had too many of these days in a row, it may be time to give yourself some tough love and try out some of these tips. But, one unproductive day every now and then isn't going to totally wreck everything. :-)
Thank you so much for reading this post and for being here! I really hope you found it helpful and will start to implement some of these into your daily life. Let me know in the comments if you have any other tips for preventing procrastination! I would love to hear them!