Showing posts with label Beauty. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Beauty. Show all posts

What I Really Thought Of Stitchfix



I have always liked shopping for clothes.  I like trying out different styles in a dressing room, and I like finding a good deal.  

However, since having kids I find myself enjoying clothes shopping much less than I used to.  It's just not as fun to try on new jeans while reminding my kids to "sit right outside the dressing room door", and "please don't pick on your sister", and "it's your brother's turn to play a game on my phone now."  So I find myself ordering a lot more things online.

When Stitchfix came on the scene a couple years ago, it felt like every blogger was trying it.  I thought it looked interesting, but I still ended up shopping for myself most of the time.  Last year for my birthday though, my sweet friend Ashley gave me a gift card to try Stitchfix!  I put it off for quite a while because I was still not feeling like my figure had equalized after having Georgie, but finally this fall I created an account.

What Stitchfix Is

In case you've been living under a rock (or just don't follow any fashion bloggers), the way Stitchfix works is that you pay a $20 "styling fee", they send you a box of clothes that they think you will like, and then you choose what you want to keep and send the rest back.  If you keep something, that $20 styling fee applies toward your purchase. 

Worth noting here is that if you choose to keep nothing, you lose the $20 styling fee, and the fee is also charged per box they send you.  I did not realize the fee was charged per box at first and was confused when my gift card balance dropped by $20.  I contacted customer service though, and they refunded me the $20 because of the confusion, which was really great of them.

After each box you give them feedback so they can try to send you items you will like better the next time.

My Experience

I requested three boxes from Stitchfix before I spent all of my gift card money.  The pictures in this post are with items from my first box (I ran out of time to take photos of the second and third boxes).  I thought the first box was pretty close to my usual style.  The red top was really "me", the sweater and shirt were super soft, and the earrings were gorgeous!



(Items: red shirt and jeans.  Shoes are mine.)

The only thing that I didn't like were the jeans.  Every pair of jeans they sent me, in all three boxes, were too loose in the waist, so I probably should have sized down.

I ended up not keeping anything from that first box, even though I liked the items they sent me.  It was mostly fit and price issues.  Some of them fit fine, but didn't "wow" me enough to spend the moneyon them.  The sweaters and shirts ranged from around $40-50, the pants were probably around $50, and the earrings were $30.  (I should have kept the packing slips they sent me so I could have given you exact prices - I'm sorry about that.)

The second box they sent was filled with half hits, half misses.  I received a shirt (around $40), a dress (around $55), jeans ($50), a pair of green ponte pants ($45), and a short-sleeve sweater ($40).  I liked the green pants and the sweater, but once again - they didn't "wow" me enough to pay that much.  Thankfully I had requested an "extra" with this box, a pretty bralette with thin straps that would work well under a lot of my own sweaters, so I ended up keeping that.

The last box was by far the best!  I received a cute pair of leopard print duck boots ($70), a yellow sweater ($40), a black shirt with pretty details ($40), another pair of jeans ($50), and a black quilted moto jacket ($80).  I loved every item in this box, except the jeans because of fit issues again.  The detail on the black shirt was cute, the boots were fun, and I loved the jacket.  But as I sat there trying to decide what to do, I realized I would never pay that much for these particular items in a store.  I would wait for a sale, or see if I could find a similar item elsewhere for cheaper.  In the end I decided to send everything back.  Thankfully I had ordered another "extra" bralette with the last box, so I purchased that and didn't lose my last $20 on the styling fee.




(I might have enjoyed playing "fashion blogger" for a day, ha!  Derek took these photos for me, so I guess he got to play "fashion photographer" too.  Items: cardigan and earrings.  Dress and boots are mine.)

Are You Noticing A Theme?

Overall, I was impressed with the fact that most of the pieces they sent me did actually fit my style pretty well!  I really liked almost everything they sent me.  I was very skeptical that they were going to be able to pinpoint my style with only a few questions on their site, but they did a pretty good job!  How can I get a job as a stylist?  I think that would be super fun.




(Item: gray shirt.  Pants and shoes are mine.)

When I filled out the questionnaire, for most items (except jeans and outerwear), when asked the price I was willing to spend, I selected "the cheaper the better".  I had heard Stitchfix items were a little pricier than what you might find at Target or JC Penny, and I found that to be true.  Even with selecting "the cheaper the better", I still found that most of the items were more than I would usually spend.  I shop clearance quite alot, and I shop at less expensive stores, so I'm used to lower prices for items like the ones they sent me.  I probably won't request another box unless I decide I want another bralette, just because my style description should probably include the phrase "won't spend more than $30 on a top, because she knows she can get a cute sweater for $15 at Walmart".

However, there is the convenience aspect to consider as well.  For people who don't like to shop for themselves, or for whom shopping is very difficult, or people who don't like to spend a lot of time browsing online, I think paying a little more than normal for the service would probably be worth it.

And it's worth it to try it if you're curious too!  I had so much fun filling out my style profile, and when they sent me a box it was exciting to open it.  It felt like a present since I didn't know what would be in the box!  I'm so glad my friend gave me a gift card, because I probably never would have tried it on my own, and it was a fun experience!  

My advice if you try Stitchfix would be to always include an extra that you know you could purchase with the $20 fee if you end up not wanting to purchase any of the other items they send.  I recommend trying the Free People barrettes, obviously.  I have two of them now, and I really like them!

Have you ever tried Stitchfix? What did you think of it?



The Wednesday Five | Vol. 5


(The Wednesday Five is back!  I started this during my October writing challenge, and I really liked it, so I'm going to try to write one each week.  Feel free to snag the prompts and join if you want!  I originally got the inspiration from a similar series on The Autumn Girl, and then Robin at Grace Enough and Ashley at The Big White Farmhouse have joined in with their own versions too!)

A Quote

"We are all worms.  But I do believe I am a glowworm."-Winston Churchill

Good ole Winston.

A Book

After wanting to read it for years, last night I finally picked up the first in C.S. Lewis's space trilogy, Out Of The Silent Planet.  Have any of you read it?  I've heard it has a lot of the same charm as The Chronicles Of Narnia, and if that's true, I'm here for it!

A Bit Of Nature


This tree produces the prettiest pine cones, and my kids even extracted the seeds from one of them.

A Recommendation

(Referral link below.)

I have mentioned before that I subscribed to Skylar's scent club in the spring.  It's $20 a month, and they send you a roller ball with a seasonal scent (it's also supposed to be "natural" and "clean", if that matters to you).  Basically I am a sucker for anything that smells good, and I've really been enjoying it!

Anyway, I have to say, I love the scents they have sent out this fall.  November's is "By Firelight" and it's a smokey-spiced-honey sort of smell.  It's so good.  I really wish they would let you buy extras of your favorites from the scent club, I'm going to be sad when I run out.

A Moment Of Happiness


After letting my kids watch too much TV last week, I'm re-imposing screen time limits this week.  They played hard yesterday, and I finally let them watch a show last night.  I picked an animated version of Ken Ham's "D Is For Dinosaur" which is one of those shows that has a calming influence on my kids (rather than hyping them up).  I turned the corner, and there they were, my gaggle of children sprawled out in the playroom, watching their movie.  And for a second I just had a flashback to when it was hard to get pregnant and I wished for a handful of pajama-clad kids to be watching a cartoon in the next room while I cooked dinner.  They are often boisterous, and rowdy, and tiring; and also sweet, and precious, and my dream come true.  I don't want to ever forget that.


Sometimes I Just Feel Chatty



Well, I guess this is the week for chatty posts.  I might be losing steam on my Write 31 Days project, but I'm more inclined to think this has just been a busy week and I'm feeling more like chatting on here than anything else.  Here are a few things that have been going on with me.

I've been running all over creation this week, because for the first time in my life, I am volunteering politically(!).  I have mentioned before about how I wash laundry for a nearby pregnancy resource center, and I was excited to be involved in that way.  The pro-life cause has been close to my heart for as long as I can remember (I have a post coming up about that), and I'm always looking for ways to help wherever I can.

Well, I also happen to live in a state where abortion is legal until birth, and this just horrifies me.  So when I heard there was an effort afoot to stop late-term abortion in my state, I was on board.  I signed up as a volunteer petition circulator, and I've been running all over the place trying to meet up with people in my circles and gather signatures to get a measure on our 2020 ballot!  I'm also gathering up my courage to try petitioning in front of the library, but for now I'm just trying to get everyone that I personally know who is interested in signing it.  This is historically a hard state in which to pass pro-life legislation, but I'm hopeful we can at least get this on the ballot and let the people decide.  But anyway, that has been taking up alot of my time this week.

We've also been running to catch up on schoolwork, between Columbus Day on Monday and different petition meetings (though I'm totally going to take the opportunity for a little civics discussion with my kids while we are getting signatures).  Aside from a tricky week though, this fall has been going pretty well as far as school goes.  We are getting way more accomplished per week than we did last year!  I am hoping to get around to either sharing out curriculum or a typical homeschool day-in-the-life next week, so stay tuned.

Hunting season is upon us, so Derek is going to be in and out during the day for a couple weeks here. I am taking the opportunity this weekend to see some friends I don't usually get to see, so the kids and I are going to visit one of my dearest friends from childhood!  You might remember me writing about visiting their ranch before.  It's really neat for the kids to see what kind of work a real ranch entails, and learn more about where food really comes from...and then it's lovely for me to catch up with my dear friends!  I am so blessed that so many of my childhood friendships have lasted, and these ladies are such a gift to me.

Also, on my personal Instagram (that I'm totally open to anyone who is reading this following, so if you want to follow me there, don't be shy) I did a little chatty video/story about how I'm trying to make a better effort at writing down memories of my kids.  Maybe I'll turn this into a longer post next week as well, but if you watched that story, this is the memory-keeper I mentioned.  I think it's going to work pretty well if I can just manage to be consistent with it.

I guess that's it guys!  The kids are watching a Christmas movie that we rented from the library (we are starting early this year), and I'm off to make some fudge to hopefully bring with me on our visit to my friends' ranch tomorrow (I'll probably use this recipe, minus the food coloring - its so easy!).

Also, the sweater you can see the corner of in the picture at the top of this post is from Walmart.  PSA, because they have some great sweaters this year!  Also, this is my nail polish, and it's a really pretty shade for fall.

How has your week been, Friend?


Stuff I Like | July 2019



Well, now that we are halfway through August, let me tell you about things I liked in July!

First off, these two moose that we saw in July were pretty cool.








Pina Colada Iced Tea

When we went to Seattle last fall, Derek and I visited MarketSpice at the Seattle Market.  Man, I wished I could bring home every type of tea they had in there, but I restrained myself.  When we got home, I looked up MarketSpice to see if you could order tea, and you can!  Alot of their loose-leaf teas end up being cheaper than teas you can buy in the grocery store, even with shipping, as long as you buy 6-8 at a time.  So in the Spring I ordered several summer teas, and this was one of them.  It is so good with a little sweetener, it almost gives me dessert vibes!

Skinny Syrups

Speaking of sweetener, I was browsing in HomeGoods the other day and ran across these bottles of flavored syrups in the food aisle.  They are sugar-free, but I think they still taste pretty good, without that weird sugar-free aftertaste.  I bought a few and have been using them for my iced coffee and tea this summer, and they are so yummy!  So far the Coconut and Mango are my favorites.  The coconut is really good with the Pina Colada tea.

Moss And Lichen Nature Journal

These free nature journal worksheets are just too inspiring not to share!  I wish I could draw as well as she does.

Tarte Shade Shifting Color Splash Lipstick

Tarte was having a really good sale, and I tend to like their makeup, so I decided to try some lipstick. These shades are really fun because they are somewhat iridescent, without being over-the-top!  I got them in "Bodysurf" and "Sunlit", and I really like both.  They are coming on vacation with me this week.

Tarte Sizzle Eyeshadow Palette

While we are on the topic of makeup, I have to say, I really like Tarte's "Rainforest Of The Sea" eyeshadows.  They are a nice consistency and really pigmented, and if you aren't a crazy makeup artist (as I'm not), the shades are perfect.  I really like the Sizzle palette this summer, and this one has been my go-to for a while now.  Just put a lighter shade on your lid, and one of the darker shades on the outer half of your lid and your crease, and I really don't think you can go wrong.  They blend so well, and all the shades are really neutral and brightening. (And if $36 seems like too much for an eyeshadow palette, try to catch one of the sales on their website - you can often get them for $20 on sale.)

The Princess And The Goblin by George MacDonald

I've mentioned that a few friends and I are trying to read more classics together this year.  We just finished up The Great Gatsby, and our next pick is The Princess And The Goblin.  I read through almost half the book in just a few days!  It's a fairytale written by a Christian minister in 1872, and it is delightful.  I really like some of the little subtle virtues he's giving Princess Irene, like this line:

"'What a strange creature you are," said the nurse - "first to want a thing and then to refuse it!'
But she did not say it crossly, and the princess never minded any remarks that were not unfriendly."

I just love that so much, because that is the kind of person I am trying to be, and the kind of person I want my daughters to be.  I know so many people who take offense to any comment that rubs them wrong, and I've been that way too at times.  And because of that, I know how exhausting it is.  It's so much better to have an attitude of never minding any remarks that aren't unfriendly.

It's also free on Kindle, so check it out!

Apollo 11: What We Saw

In case you didn't know, July was the 50th anniversary of the moon landing!  This is a podcast that goes over the history of the moon landing, and also kind of places it in it's cultural context so you can understand how important that moment was (besides the obvious reasons).  Derek and I have listened to two of the four episodes, and I think we'll listen to the rest as we are traveling to Cape Canaveral on vacation!

Speaking of vacation, I'm supposed to be finished packing today, so I better finish this and go to it!  If you have any tips for where to eat or things to see in Miami and Orlando, send them my way, and you can follow me on Instagram to see what we are up to!

Stuff I Like | May 2019



May was rather a dry month - in terms of finding things I liked, not in terms of moisture.  If we are referring to actual precipitation, it snowed here in May, a couple times!  Maybe the snow put a damper on my enthusiasm for finding stuff I like, because this month's post is a bit sparse on actual recommendations and a bit heavy on chattiness.  I'll do better in June.

The Trees

I would be remiss if I didn't mention that our trees finally flowered in May!  For about two weeks.  Before the snow made all the flowers turn black.  But I was happy that we got to enjoy them for a little while at least, and I did get some flowery pictures, so all is not lost!  All our trees are just late this year.




By Dawn's Early Light, Adventures In Odyssey

One of my favorite moments from this school year was when we learned about the war of 1812 this month.  While I love Beautiful Feet Books for history, this particular book was a little dry, and was not holding my kids' attention, so I put the book down and told them in my own words the story of how The Star Spangled Banner was written.  They were fascinated.  I've always loved that story from American history, and it was such a joy to me to pass on that inspiration I've always found in our national anthem and it's history.  The look on my kids' faces was priceless to me.

Anyway, I will never forget the Adventures In Odyssey episode on The Star Spangled Banner, and I played it for my kids after we finished our lesson.  They spent the rest of the evening drawing pictures to illustrate, and Gwen got especially detailed with hers.

I didn't realize it before, but there are a lot of free Adventures In Odyssey episodes online!  But absolutely listen to By Dawn's Early Light with your kids, it's one of my favorites.

Lancome Skincare

After limping along on nearly-empty skincare bottles for months, Derek bought me my favorite Lancome moisturizer for Mother's Day!  I also squeezed the Creme Confort Cleanser and Tonique Radiance Toner back into my budget.  I've tried quite a few skincare lines in the past few years, and Lancome is still my favorite - I haven't found another line that gives my skin a "glowy" look even when I'm not pregnant.  My skin is happy going into summer!

This Potpurri Recipe

Who does potpourri these days?  Well, apparently I do.  I ran across this recipe on Pinterest and realized that I had every ingredient already in my kitchen, so I gave it a try.  Guys, it scented my whole house.  And it wasn't a stale, musty potpourri smell, it was fresh and clean and just as spring-like as promised.  I definitely recommend giving the ol' potpourri a try!

Sonic Ice

Okay, if I'm honest, I've liked Sonic ice every month this year.  In April, when I accidentally announced on Instagram that I was pregnant when I wasn't pregnant (that happens to everyone, right?), I was actually just trying to muse about why I am craving that soft, crunchy Sonic ice so much these days.

My theory is that my body hasn't caught up since I was pregnant last, and I'm still somewhat iron deficient - hence the ice obsession, because I nearly always crave it when I'm a little low in iron (which has usually been when I was pregnant in the past, hence the Instagram misunderstanding). Surely my iron stores will get back to normal eventually, right?  I'm not sure whether to indulge the ice cravings, or find an iron supplement and see if that changes anything.



The End Of The School Year

We finished up our homeschool year about a week ago!  I'll try to do a homeschool year in review post soon, but honestly, I've been loving not thinking about school at all.

I read so many fiction books last week.  So many, including three from my summer hold list.  I always thought it took me so long to read books, but look at me go when I have a week off from other obligations!  It's been a reading dream, I tell you.  I finally unpacked the last box from our move.  I organized the school cabinet and ironed out my plans for summer fun with the kids.  I vacuumed the floors and washed the sheets.  I accomplished so much. It's just been lovely.

Don't get me wrong, I love homeschooling and wouldn't have it any other way.  I'm looking forward to the homeschool conference next week, and I've got a "homeschool mom reading list" for the summer (another post possibly coming soon).  But I just don't know that I could do the year-round thing and not take a summer break.  Breaks give me life.


I hope you are having a beautiful start to your summer break!  (Also, tell me your favorite skincare products and give me all your suspected-iron-deficiency advice, please!)


How I Kept My Hair Under Control In New Orleans



I have had a long, contentious relationship with my hair.

It's too much to get into that whole story here, but let's just say that when I hit puberty my hair decided to rebel against me.  It frizzed and curled and waved and did weird things, and I've been wrestling it into submission ever since.

Thankfully this is typically very easy to do in my usual dry climate.  I straighten it, and nothing really messes it up unless it gets wet.  There is no real humidity to speak of.

Well, last time I went to New Orleans, I learned what humidity truly was.  I would go outside literally for two minutes, and I'd come back in and my hair was doing that weird frizz/curl thing it does.  It was bigger.  The frizz obscured all shine.  My bangs were sticking straight out to the side of my head in a strange attempt to curl.  It might have even made me cry one day when I realized how ridiculous I looked (please keep in mind I was hugely pregnant and hormonal, which may have also been a factor).

For our second trip to New Orleans I was determined to plan for the frizz, and though my hair didn't 100% held it's ground (is that even possible in New Orleans?), I have been overall pretty pleased with how it's held up.  This is what I think went better this time.



Hair Training

I mentioned this briefly before, but I've been training my hair recently to need less washing.  Part of this method includes brushing your scalp oils into your hair each night, which is supposed to be good for it.  This is totally anecdotal, but I suspect that the scalp oils have helped my hair hold it's shape a little better in this humidity.

Chi Shine Infusion Spray

I knew I was going to bring this spray on this trip, because last time we came my best hair day was the day I had used this product.  I just spray it over my hair after blow-drying and before straightening, and it makes my hair smoother and shinier, and that seems to tamp down in the humidity-induced frizz. (It's only $8 on Amazon today, which is a great deal!)

Joico Humidity Blocker Finishing Spray

This is the big guns.  I sprayed this on my hair every time I left the hotel in New Orleans.  It's basically like a very touchable hair spray.  Even after spending most of the day walking around outside, my hair looked like this:



It waved a little, but didn't frizz or stick out weird.  With my hair, I call that a success.

All my southern friends, how do you keep your hair under control in that humidity?

Especially if your hair is sort-of curly like mine?  I've said it before, and I'll say it again, I do think my hair strategy would have to change if I lived down south.  This shorter style I usually sport is doable in dry weather, but requires a lot of maintenance when you breathe a significant amount of water in with your oxygen.


 Me and Derek, and I just went with my curls (with my humidity blocker spray) at the end of our trip.

Why I Wear Makeup



The first time I wore makeup I was 13, and I was getting ready to go to an event with my Bible study group.  We had just gone shopping for some back-to-school clothes earlier in the day, and for some reason my mom decided I was old enough for a little mascara.  I remember feeling so grown-up and pretty, headed off the the event wearing makeup for the first time.  There have been many times since then that I was grateful to my mom for introducing makeup and teaching me how to apply it, especially as I grew and encountered people who didn't share my feelings about makeup.

I remember being bewildered the first time I heard someone say they felt makeup was akin to lying.  I also didn't know how to respond when a friend stopped wearing makeup after her daughter was born, saying she didn't want to show her daughter by example that she wouldn't be pretty without it.

Honestly, I'm still not sure what to say about those arguments.  I suppose everyone has their own reasons for wearing, or not wearing, makeup. All I can really speak to is why I, personally, like to wear makeup, so that's what this post is about.  It's not an argument for why you should or should not wear makeup, it's basically some philosophical (and some silly) thoughts from someone who actually likes makeup quite a lot! 

Arguments Against Makeup

First I thought I'd address my take on the two arguments against makeup that I mentioned above, because though those arguments made me stop and think, they didn't make me quit it.

"Makeup is lying.  You are trying to make someone think you look better than you do."  

This argument didn't really stick for me because it's not as if I'm putting on makeup and then trying to tell people I'm not wearing any, that I'm just naturally this beautiful (ha!).  I assume they'll notice that I'm wearing makeup, and I wouldn't really have it any other way. If we're going to use this argument, we might as well extend it to clothes and say that choosing a flattering cut is "lying", and you must wear clothing that shows all your lumps and bumps if you're going to be honest.  Don't brush your teeth with mint-flavored toothpaste, or you might be "lying" by giving someone the idea that your breath naturally smells that good.  Sorry, it just doesn't fly.

"If I wear makeup, my daughters will think they need makeup to be beautiful."  

I was honestly a little taken aback with this argument when I first heard it, and I didn't know what to think.  I can see why my friend started thinking this way, but I came at makeup from such a different perspective that I couldn't agree.  My own mom wore makeup, and she taught us girls how to wear makeup, and I honestly never thought I was less beautiful without it because of something my mom said when she introduced makeup to me.  I vividly remember her telling me that makeup done right doesn't "make you beautiful" but rather enhances the beauty that is already there.  I took that to heart and always approached makeup with that in mind.

Why I Wear Makeup

So without further ado, the reasons I personally wear makeup, and why I'll show my girls how to wear it too.

I think it's fun.  

This is probably the most superficial reason why I choose to wear makeup, but nevertheless, it's true.  Over the years I've experimented with different makeup looks, found my favorite makeup products, and I honestly just find the whole thing pretty satisfying and fun.  For some women makeup is a an artistic expression, and while I wouldn't necessarily say the same thing about myself, I do appreciate the skill it takes to do it right.

I feel more ready for the day with makeup on.  

I got an email newsletter from Diana Kerr (a blogger I follow who is also a life coach) this week, and was reminded of this point.  I've heard it said many times that most people are more productive if they get dressed for the day instead of just staying in their pajamas.  Their brains takes getting dressed as the queue to get started with the rest of the day, and it's harder to get going without it.  Like it or not, makeup has become a similar queue for me.  On days where I don't do my makeup I typically am more tempted to be lazy.  When I wear makeup, I'm more ready to get on with my day and be productive.

I especially like the point Diana made about what effect our taking care with our appearance might have on how we serve the Lord.  Will we use our days to serve Him better when we feel more prepared to face the day?  And does makeup play a part in that?  Not for everyone perhaps, but for me, I think makeup might actually make a difference here too (as weird as it is to type that out).

We live in a sin-cursed world, and that does, unfortunately, affect our faces.  

We age.  We get wrinkles.  We experience sun-damage.  We get tired or dehydrated.  All things that wouldn't necessarily have happened pre-Fall, but things we have to deal with now.  I struggled a bit with this point when sitting down to write this point, because what exactly should we do about this anyway?  Is it just vanity, a "chasing after the wind" to try to counteract the effects of a fallen world on our faces?  It does feel vain in a way, but another part of me doesn't think it is necessarily wrong to try to bring out our natural, God-given beauty even while fighting against the impact of the effects of sin on our skin and hair.

As in so many things, a lot depends upon the attitude with which we use makeup.  Certainly makeup can be used in a vain, prideful way, but does it follow that makeup is always used that way?  I don't really think so.  I read something in Eve In Exile by Rebecca Merkle that made me think about this a little differently.  Running throughout that book is this theme that one area that God often gifts women is an ability to take something and improve it, make it beautiful. Overall, Merkle applied the idea to much more meaningful things, like bringing beauty and reflecting Christ into our homes and families.  But the idea really stuck with me, because I think it explains some of my (and many women's) love of beauty, and desire to take something less then attractive and bring some beauty to it.  That could show up in hobbies like photography or other art forms, in the way we decorate our houses, the way we cultivate gardens, or yeah, maybe even in the way we use makeup.  And I don't really think that's a bad thing, if we can avoid focusing on our own glory in the process of using makeup and rather try to bring glory to God by taking care with our appearance.  Something to think about. I'm still mulling it over.

When Makeup Goes Wrong

I started thinking about this post in the first place because I somehow found myself in a section of the library next to all the books about makeup.  Weirdly, I didn't know there was such a section, even being a fan of makeup myself.  "How fun!" I thought to myself, and grabbed a couple of the books to peruse at home.  

I read a few chapters, and I have to tell you, something just wasn't sitting quite right.  I wondered if I should really be spending all this time thinking about my outward appearance.  Not to be cliche or anything, but there is that whole verse: "Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart." 1 Samuel 16:7

Now, I don't think that verse is necessarily saying that the way we present ourselves outwardly doesn't matter at all.  There is, after all, the Proverbs 31 woman who looks after the outward appearance of herself and her family, dressing them in "scarlet" and herself in "fine linen and purple", and she is commended for it.  We are representatives of our families and ultimately of Christ to a watching world, so being a slob is certainly not a virtue.  But the idea, talked about further in 1 Peter 3:3-4 is that we should take care to cultivate a good character above worrying about how we look.  

So I started thinking, how does the time allotment compares when it comes to caring for my outer appearance and taking care to cultivate "gentle and quiet spirit which is precious in God's sight"?  Do I spend more time doing my makeup (and fixing my hair and getting dressed) each day than I do reading God's Word?  Maybe that's a problem.  I think the most significant way I use makeup wrongly is by getting distracted by it and focusing too much on my physical appearance.  I often want to look good for other people, so that I will feel good about myself, and so I prioritize applying makeup.  

This is the one reason I wear makeup that I feel is the wrong, and even a sinful, reason.

Going forward, I am hoping to think about these things further and make sure that I am approaching makeup with the right attitude as a Christian woman - and especially making sure I am prioritizing time in God's Word over applying makeup in the morning.  Because a good thing to remember is that for those of us who put our trust in Jesus to save us from our sins, someday this old, sin-affected body will be replaced with a perfect, glorified body, with a glorified face, and there will be no reason to put makeup on.  I think it's fine to wear makeup while I'm here, but it's certainly not the most important thing.  It's infinitely more important to make sure I'm investing in things that will last when makeup no longer matters at all.

So what do you think about all this?  Do you wear makeup?  What role do things like makeup play in our walk with the Lord?







My Summer Makeup Favorites





It's summertime, and for some reason in the summer I always feel the need to change up my makeup.

I'm a makeup kind of girl, and I love to try new products and colors - it's one way I express my creativity I guess, through my makeup (and my clothes), and summer always seems the perfect time to switch things up.  Maybe it's because the heavier foundations start to feel a little too heavy (and melt off in the heat).  Maybe it's because I have this weird idea that each season deserves it's own colors (in clothes and makeup).  Whatever the reason, I started off this summer with buying a few new makeup products to try...and I lucked out because all of them are working out just as I hoped they would!  

(Some affiliate links below!)

I thought it would be fun to share with you my summer makeup favorites, so here are the products I'm loving (and why).


Whether it's the summer or the winter, I've learned the hard way that your skin can still be damaged under makeup that supposedly has SPF.  This sunscreen is a staple of makeup routine, whatever the season.  I like this one in particular because it's not as oily as normal sunscreens, so it doesn't feel like I'm greasing up my face and then slathering makeup on top of it.  It really is "dry-touch".


Is it just me, or does that name make it seem like I bought this mascara at Victoria Secret?   Ignore the name, because this really is a nice mascara.  I put on my mascara before anything else.  I usually go with my Loreal Cat Eyes mascara, but I decided to try this one and I'm glad I did!  It has a super-skinny mascara brush, and a formula that doesn't go on too thick all at once, so I feel like it stretches out my lashes while still looking natural.  If I have to try a new mascara, I always look for one with a skinny brush, and I've been happy with this one!


I am not one of those people that can go without some sort of foundation or concealer - I have a bit of melasma from two pregnancies ago (that's how I learned the hard way to wear a sunscreen under my makeup, even in the winter).  However, I hate putting on a thick foundation in the summer - it just feels like summer is a good time to go more natural and let my skin breathe.  Enter this BB cream, which is amazing.  It covers surprisingly well for being so lightweight!  And the bonus is that the "fair" shade actually works for me - I have very pale skin and usually have a hard time find makeup in my shade, but this one blends with my skin tone.


I always wear a powder over my concealer or foundation or BB cream, because without it I get black mascara smudges under my eyes.  The oil in those products makes even my waterproof mascara smudge unless I dry it out with some powder.  I just tried this stuff for the first time this year, and I love it.  It not only smooths and sets my BB cream, but it does seem to act like a "corrector" too, and fades my melasma spots even more.  With the BB cream and this powder, I really feel like you can't see my skin's sun damage at all.


I also always use some sort of highlighter/shimmer powder.  It brightens up my makeup and draws attention to my eyes somehow - you wouldn't think a thing like a highlighter would make such a difference since it adds no color and is not very noticeable, but I'm telling you, it makes all the difference.  I've tried many, but this is my current favorite.



6.  Ulta Eye Shadows (Colors pictured here: Luxury, Whatevs, Roaring 20's, Frozen, Peekaboo).  

In the winter I like to play with my eyeshadow colors, but in the summer I like something more subtle and natural looking.  I'm not sure why I included Luxury (the purple shade) in the picture, because I've mostly been using the other shades in the summer.  I usually do Whatevs or Peekaboo on my lid (the yellowish neutral shade and the pinkish shade), Roaring 20's or Peekaboo in my crease (taupe shade and pink shade), and Frozen right under my brow (the white shade).

7. Tarte Blush in Warmhearted (not pictured).  

If I'm going out in the evening or just want to look a little more put-together, I'll swipe on some of this blush, which came included with a Tarte eyeshadow palette that I use in the winter.  My advice with blush is to not be afraid to go with the shades that look ridiculously bright in the packaging, because they are usually very flattering when you put them on with a light hand.  I like my bright colored blushes better than my more neutral shades, personally. 

Are you a makeup kind of girl like me?  What are your summer makeup favorites?



5 Daily Practices For Whiter Teeth

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser, Colgate-Palmolive. All opinions are mine alone. #OpticSmiles #CollectiveBias.


5 Daily Practices For Whiter Teeth | Through Clouded Glass



As a dental hygienist, I am asked quite often about whitening.  And that is totally understandable - who doesn't want whiter teeth? There are a lot of professional-grade treatments that are available, but the truth is, there is no such thing as a one-time whitening treatment.  Most likely you are going to have to repeat any whitening treatment within 6-12 months, and treatments have the potential to be quite expensive.  

I think a lot of times my patients are wondering if there are any easier things they can do to keep their teeth looking whiter.  And I have good news - there are a few daily habits you can create to maintain whiter teeth and a more beautiful smile!  Here are my tips.


1. Brush and floss.  And I'm not just mentioning this because I am a hygienist and it is hard for me to talk about anything dental-related without recommending more brushing and flossing!  Cleaning your teeth properly helps prevent staining.  If you want a more beautiful smile, brushing and flossing daily is the foundation. Even super-white teeth aren't pretty if they are surrounded by puffy, red, bleeding gums.  And whitening won't do you much good if periodontal disease (inflammation of the tissues surrounding your teeth) puts you at a higher risk for losing your teeth.  It's important to keep your teeth's foundation healthy first, and that means regular and proper brushing and flossing.


5 Daily Practices For Whiter Teeth | Through Clouded Glass


2. Avoid staining foods and drinks.  Some foods are going to cause staining and yellowing of your teeth more than others.  A few of the big ones are coffee, tea, red wine, and blueberries.  If you want to keep your teeth whiter, you might limit how much of these staining foods and drinks you take in.  

3.  Rinse after staining foods and drinks.  Even though avoiding foods and drinks that stain your teeth is your best bet, let's be realistic here - you can't avoid these foods completely.  As a young mom, I know that personally I can't live without my coffee! So what do you do if you do consume something that might stain your teeth?  If it's a drink, see if you can use a straw to avoid contact with your front teeth - then after eating or drinking a staining food, rinse your mouth out with water or a fluoride rinse.  

4.  Use an electric toothbrush.  As a personal observation, I notice my teeth look whiter when I am using my electric toothbrush (as opposed to when I am just using a manual toothbrush).  Not only that, but electric toothbrushes are also great for your gum tissue, so it is definitely something to check out.

5. Use Colgate® Optic White® Express White toothpaste.  This toothpaste has twice the amount of whitening ingredient (vs. Optic White Sparkling Min toothpaste), and can even give you results in three days*!  Just with brushing.  That sounded like a winner to me!

5 Daily Practices For Whiter Teeth | Through Clouded Glass


I went on a hunt at Walmart for the toothpaste, and the box looks really similar to the seven day version - so make sure it says "Express White", and "Results in three days*".

5 Daily Practices For Whiter Teeth | Through Clouded Glass


I'm excited to keep using Colgate® Optic White® Express White to see what kind of difference it makes in the whiteness of my teeth!  Derek recently stole it from me to give it a try too.  It's nice because I haven't had the extra cash or time to use any sort of professional whitening treatment in a while, and this is a great option for maintaining and hopefully improving the color of my teeth.




If you are interested, I know that there is going to be a store demo in Walmarts, and representatives will be handing out coupons, so that might be something to check out!  You can see this store list to see if there is going to be a demo near you.


What do you guys think?  Have you ever whitened your teeth?  What do you do on a day-to-day basis to keep your teeth whiter?


*For best results, use as directed for 4 weeks.

The Need To Vent


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This last Sunday my pastor spoke on the tongue.  This is not a new sermon or message to me - I've read through James many times, and it speaks pretty clearly about what kind of damage the tongue can do.
But unfortunately this is something that is all too easy to forget.

My pastor said something that stood out to me - he said the best indicator of spiritual maturity is the level of control a Christian has over their tongue.

Ouch.

I know I too often use my tongue to complain.  I too often use it to say negative comments about others.  

Something that I feel like the Lord was trying to tell me is that letting loose and "venting" is not a good thing (contrary to popular belief).  My perceived need to vent is not an excuse to tear others down with my words, but it's all too easy to excuse it - because don't we all just need to get our frustration out sometimes?

I know I'm not alone in this. How often do we say whatever we want and then justify it because we "just needed to vent"?  And it's not okay.  Nowhere in the Bible are we given a pass to say whatever we want when we are frustrated.

My next thought was that I'm not so bad, because I don't go venting to just anyone - I only vent to Derek or occasionally my mom, and I know they aren't going to repeat anything I say.  No harm done, right?

But that's not how God views it.  

In Numbers, an exchange between Miriam and Aaron is recorded, in which they complain about Moses.  They weren't complaining to the people or undermining his authority in a public way.  It was a private conversation.  They were just talking to each other about their frustrations.  They "just needed to vent".

But Someone was listening.  And He didn't like what He heard.

It doesn't matter if I'm only complaining to one person - that's enough for God.  And He hears everything.

I think it would be a much better thing to control my supposed need to vent, and take my frustrations with people or situations to the Lord.  When I vent to other people, I usually leave feeling justified in my frustration.  Speaking the word out loud to others somehow makes my feelings seem more valid in my own mind.  But when I take my frustrations and "vent" to God?  He usually shows me where my attitude is wrong and helps me to change it.

The end result of taking it to God is much better, and encourages me to grow spiritually (1) because I'm spending time with the Lord, and (2) because it is good practice at controlling my flesh and taming my tongue.

It is true that hearing someone vent doesn't exactly make you think "Wow, this person is really mature in their faith".  And that's because my pastor's words are true.  If you are spiritually mature, you will learn to hold your tongue.  More positive words will leave your lips than negative, even when the situation is frustrating.




I don't expect to ever be perfect at this.  But by God's grace, I hope to get better.  I needed that reminder on Sunday.

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And on a completely frivolous note, here are more pictures of my new 'do!

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Happy Weekend!

Hints, Nail Polish, Etc.

 

Okay, so I have to know . . .

The week before I announced I was pregnant I was writing for the blog and I decided to sneak a little hint about expecting baby #2 into the post.

So . . . who caught it?


I’m not going to tell you which post it was, or how I incorporated my hint, because I’m going to do a giveaway next week.  Whoever can tell me which post has the hint and what it was will get major-extra-giveaway points!  I’m giving you a head start by mentioning it now.  It will be in one of these five posts:

What We’ve Been Up To (Catch Up)

Making Conversation

Goodbye, Miss Quince

First Birthday Parties

Mascara Crisis

So send me an e-mail telling me what you think and I’ll tell you if you’re right!  And I’ll give you extra entries next week.

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Speaking of the First Birthday Parties post, let’s look at the poll, shall we?

How much would you/did you spend on your child’s first birthday party (including decorations, presents, birthday outfit, food, and any other details)?

We didn't do a 1st birthday "party", per se - 4 (13%)

-Under $100 - 11 (36%)

-$100-200 - 12 (40%)

-$200-300 - 2 (6%)

-$300-500 - 3 (10%)

-Over $500 dollars - 0 (0%)

-I can't really put a price tag/price limit on it - 0 (0%)

Votes: 30

You all are so thrifty!  Most of you thought $0-200 was a good amount to spend, and 16% would spend somewhere from $200-500.  But nobody wanted to spend more than $500 dollars (at least not anyone that voted). 


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I told you all I would tell you how much I spent on Wyatt’s cowboy birthday party . . . I spent right around $100, give or take five bucks.  Which I’m pretty happy with, considering that included everything, including presents and food!  Plus I gathered all my decorations over a six month period, so it didn’t hit my wallet too hard anyway.

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And finally, in case you haven’t noticed, I haven’t had any Moms and Babies features for a while – and that’s because I officially put the feature on break for the summer (I’m just finally getting around to telling you now). 

However, I will be starting it up again in the fall, so if you are interested in being featured, shoot me an e-mail!  I do ask that you are at least a follower of mine in order to be featured, and that you are familiar with my blog, because that’s only fair.  I’ll review your blog and get back to you with the questions to answer!

See this page to check out previous features.

Once I get a few moms to feature I’ll send out a schedule and let you all know the start date.  I’m looking for moms to feature from September until the beginning of December (because after that I’ll be taking a break again – you know, having a newborn and all!).  Anyway, the point is that I have a limited number of weeks to fill, so it’s first come, first serve

I’m looking forward to getting the feature going again when Autumn arrives!

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Okay, that’s all.  Except I wanted to say that I found a new nail polish I like:

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It’s called “Sinful Color Professionals”.  Kind of a weird name, but dare I say I almost like it better than Essie?  Because I do.  It goes on just as smooth and it seems to last just as long.  And it’s way cheaper – $2 a bottle at Target!

The colors are a little more wild, but sometimes I like a bold color.  So I’ll be buying more of this in the future I think!

Have a great weekend, everyone!


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