Monday, March 2, 2015

Music Monday

I"m gonna do music Monday! Or something like that.... because, well I love music. I listen to and purchase an insane amount of music. I don't do spotify or radio because, I like to be my own DJ and typically like songs that wouldn't be deemed "radio" (among other things). I'm an iTunes girl. Love hate relationship, but that's where I'm at right now. I typically listen to mostly country, though country music artists seem to have taken a hiatus the past few months and that's got me branching out. I've found that I love Christian music, be it worship music, pop, or hip-hop, there's just something that soothes my soul. (Maybe it's God? Genius Jessica...lol). I grew up in pop, and have dabbled in pretty much everything. I like it all. My love is country music though. All of it - classic country, pop country, bluegrass, EVERYTHING. I have not met country music that I haven't appreciated. Anyways, here's what I was listening to last week:


Aaron Watson "The Underdog" (Country New Release Feb 17) - Holy crap, did you see he debuted at number 1? How fantastic! I wish I could say I was a part of this magic, but I wasn't. I find that if I'm not in the mood for the type of music (he's what I consider more classic, honky-tonk-ish country and just wasn't into that last week), then I don't ever listen to it and I also don't return to it. BUT, I did download the first track "The Prayer" and wow! Just wow. Let's just say his album is absolutely on the top of my list when I'm in the mood for this type of music.


Love and Theft "Whiskey on My Breath" (Country New Release Feb 10) - Again, I wasn't in the mood for this, but I downloaded a couple songs that tripped my trigger at the moment - "Whiskey on My Breath" and "Like I Feel It". The first is what I would call a sobering song and not just because it's about whiskey (haha, I'm not funny), but because it's about being broken down and pulling yourself out. The harmonies are just fantastic in it. So good. And "Like I Feel It" is just a great love song.


Hillsong Young and Free "This Is Living - EP" (Christian Worship New Release Jan 13) - I can't describe how much I love this. I'm such a sucker for acoustic versions of anything. Like, literally. And the 2 versions of "This is Living" are so different and they're both so fantastic. I love that I finally have something with Lecrae in it too! Really good. And of course it's got Sinking Deep in it which I've had the pleasure of hearing live at Cross Point twice in the past couple weeks. I just love this one. This was what I was listening to more than 50% of the time last week and I'm sure I'll find myself putting it on repeat many more times.


Davis the Band "Only Your Love - EP" (Christian Worship New Release Feb 24) - I should probably confess my love for EP's and "unknown" artists and just generally overlooked music. (Again, why I don't listen to the radio...) This was on the tails of Hillsong and Cross Point's worship night and really wanted some more worship music. Victoria's voice is just beautiful and they complement each other so well. My favorite is the title track "Only Your Love". I love the track, but I also hear it as a slower acoustic version and I can't wait to make that happen on my guitar.

Looking forward to:
Kelsea Ballerini's debut album out May 10 (loved her EP!)
Maddie & Tae's debut album out June 2 (loved their EP too!)
Canaan Smith debut album out March 24 (loved his first single "Love You Like That")
Kacey Musgraves new single "Biscuits" out March 17 (and I'm patiently waiting for her next album too!)
AND Charlie Worsham's next album. He's my favorite. He'll be on this list until his next album comes out. His first one never gets old. Enough said...

What have you guys been listening to?

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Tears

This is in response to Annie's post found here.

I started to writing about how we're taught that emotions are a sign of weakness, but I don't feel preachy today, so I erased it and I'll just skip ahead to the question...

What do you find in your tears? When you cry or if you were to let yourself cry, what would your tears be for? Would they be for a person, a situation, yourself? Annie said something in her post that hit me like a ton of bricks and hasn't left me yet. Our tears tell us what matter most. After I read that, I started thinking about where my tears come from. And you know what? She's exactly right. They do tell me what matters most.

I believe our tears are some of our strongest prayers. Our tears come from the depths of our hearts and that's where the things that really matter to us come from. Sometimes we don't even realize that they matter so much to us. Lately my tears have all come from the same place and you know what? I knew that this mattered to me. That I cared very deeply. But until I read this line about our tears telling us what matters most to us, I didn't fully realize exactly how much I cared. I challenge you to take a look at your life. Really take a look at it. And find out where your tears come from.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Safe

Every time I hear sirens, every time I see those flashing lights, I say a prayer. I used to work with someone who was a volunteer firefighter. And he said something to me that I'll never forget. He told me that the hardest part of a firefighter's job isn't a fire, it's the calls that come in for suicides and suicide attempts. I had never thought about who responds to those types of calls. And I had never thought about how hard that would be. I honestly can't imagine being a responder to anything like that. My brother had a roommate who committed suicide. And I had a friend who would call me late at night, drunk, and sit on the phone with me for hours talking about how he was going to kill himself. I still remember that first call, scared out of my mind that he might actually try to do something. Again, I can't even imagine responding to a call like that.
Every time these men and women go to work, they put their lives down for us - to protect us - to keep us safe.




This video (Katie Armiger's "Safe") was from last January but it still sits with me in a way that I will never shake. And rightfully so because it's a powerful statement. While it's maybe not totally accurate (as I'm pretty sure they don't call the spouse to the scene of a fire lol), I still love it. If you haven't seen it, be prepared though, it's a hard one to watch.

Anyways, I've just been thinking a lot about this and wanted to share my thoughts. I hope everyone's having a great week! Say a prayer for all the firefighters and first responders out there!

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Shift

I'm totally hijacking this blog. Can you hijack your own blog? I say yes. =)
I've quite obviously been struggling to get going again on this blog. For about....a year now. If that's not a nudge that the concept of this blog isn't working for me anymore, I don't know what is. The fact is, I've changed. This past year has been one heck of a whirlwind and if I'm perfectly honest, there's not much left of the girl who started this blog. She's just not here anymore. I started this blog doing makeup tutorials because I loved exploring and trying new things. I eventually found out though, that the makeup I wear was nothing like what I was blogging about and it just felt very inauthentic to me. So I tried a few reviews, a few fashion things, and none of that really worked either. Turns out, I pretty much wear the same makeup and same clothes every week. And that's great. But not so great for blogging.

Anyways, I'm finding myself on the brink of change. I love this little blog and I love the space I've created. But it's about to shift because that's what my life has done. I was sitting in my car scrolling through Twitter before work this morning and came across a tweet from CNN that said this: "Donations pour in for Detroit man who walks 21 miles to/from his factory job each day." (You can read about it here.) And the light bulb came on. This is what I want to read about. People and things that inspire me. I want to create a space in this world that is a light in so many different ways. I'm still trying to figure out what that means. Maybe tomorrow that's makeup. Maybe the next day that's an act of kindness. Maybe the next day that's God. (Okay, God's always a light and inspiring. Hope you get my point.) Whatever it may be, that's what I want to share.

So...in case the story about the Detroit man who walks 21 miles to/from his job every day doesn't inspire you enough. And if the fact that a college student took up a collection to get him a car and ended up with over $200,000 for this man doesn't inspire you enough... I'll leave you with this (from Cross Point) to ponder:

Your preferred future is a better indicator of your current reality than you past constraints.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Natural Curly Hair Tutorial


I love natural curls. I used to do this type of look every day for YEARS. The big messy natural curls, mostly because it was just so darn easy. It literally took me 2 minutes to do my hair in the morning. Back then I didn't use a sea salt spray and a curling wand to touch up. I just hair sprayed it instead and left it super natural. I like this look a little more though as it's softer and slightly more put together, and it takes just a couple minute more, so it's still under 5 minutes in the morning, which is always a plus in my book!

What you'll need: Sea Salt Spray and a Curling Wand. I use Not Your Mother's Beach Babe Texturizing Sea Salt Spray and NuMe Classic Wands Pearl. The pearl/bubble wand gives you more natural curls versus a regular wand that'll produce symmetrical curls. I also used a tiny bit of Garnier Fructis Hydra Recharge Leave-in Conditioner since sea salt sprays are a little drying.


Step 1: Shower at night. Do NOT brush your hair. Put your wet hair up. Look glamorous. Go to sleep.

If I wore my hair straight during the day (aka it was brushed through), then I don't brush it before I shower either. Basically you want it a little tangly/messy. To put my hair up, I flip my hair upside down, finger comb through the roots (so that I don't have huge bubbles) and put it up into a bun, just upside down, so that you would have the ends sticking up over the top of your head. It's hard to describe lol. Basically, put your hair tie in like you were doing a loose ponytail, then with the last wrap, only pull your hair half way through. You want your hair tie to be pretty loose. Since I have a lot of hair, I'll only do it tight enough so that it doesn't flop all over the place. I also used a little bit of a leave-in before putting it up, since I don't use a conditioner in the shower.


Step 2: Wake up. Look a little more glamorous. Or crazy, whichever you prefer. =)

At this point, my hair is still damp. It depends how damp though - sometimes it's almost completely dry and sometimes it's still pretty damp - it just depends on how long my hair's been up and how loose the hair tie is. Ideally, it'll be a little damp, but anything works really.


Step 3: Let your hair down. Spray it with sea salt spray. Scrunch it. Turn curling wand on. Wait for it to completely dry.

You'll want to wash your face before taking your hair down, since you'll likely have pretty big hair and it'll just get in the way. The sea salt spray will help dry your hair faster. You can see mine was still pretty wet here. I just do my makeup while I wait for it to dry and it's dry by the time I'm done - about 15 minutes. I turn my curling wand on at this point too so that it's nice and hot for the next step.


Step 4: Part your hair. Pull any pieces back or just leave it all down. Touch up a few strands with the curling wand. Done!

I really only use the curling wand to touch up about 5 small pieces. Since your hair has separated, you can clearly see the small strands to curl. I usually need to curl a couple strands on the side that I parted. Sometimes that's all I do - just 2 strands. Here I did like 6. When you curl them, if you turned your curling wand on ahead of time, it should be super hot, so you just need to hold it for like a half of a second (literally). I also only curl the bottom half or third. I don't touch the top. If you're a hairspray person, you can use it afterwards, but I find I don't even need that. The sea salt spray gives me enough definition throughout the day.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Garnier Fructis Hydra Recharge Leave-in Conditioner


I don't know about you, but I have a terrible time brushing my hair. Actually, it's my least favorite part of showering. Sometimes I even dread showering knowing that I'm going to have to brush my hair when I'm done. It's awful. On average, without any help from a product, it would take me close to 5 minutes to brush my hair. That doesn't sound so bad, but when you add up all the hours you spend over your life just brushing your hair, you get a little frustrated. (Not to mention that my arm just plain gets tired tugging through all the tangles!)

So needless to say, leave-in conditioners are my friend. And I've tried a lot. I've learned I'm not a fan of sprays for two reasons. 1) They seem to leave my hair greasy and heavy. And 2) I feel like I use a TON of product - so much that my finger gets tired of pressing the little button down. So I tend to leave sprays alone, but that obviously severely limits my choices. For the past 6 or so months, I've been using Chi's Luxe Wonder Therapy Hydrating Leave-in Conditioner. It's good stuff and it also doubles as a heat protectant, which is always a plus. It cuts my hair brushing time in half, so I love it. Ulta used to carry this product, but no longer does. It seems the only place to find it is at JCPenny and they always seem to have it on clearance. It also no longer appears on the Chi website (last time I checked) so I have a feeling this product is going to be discontinued. Anyways, I was close to running out a couple weeks ago and knew I needed to start the hunt for a new leave-in. I decided to pick up another bottle of the It's a 10 Miracle Leave-in to have as a backup. I've used it before and it really is just as good as the Chi leave-in, but it's a spray and WAY more expensive, which is why I don't really use it. But, I knew it worked and I needed something.

So when I was at Target getting the It's a 10, I glanced at a few of the other leave-ins that they had to see if there was anything that caught my eye to try. The Garnier Fructis Hydra Recharge Moisture Whip Leave-in Conditioner grabbed my attention. I've used the Hydra Recharge shampoo and conditioner before, liked them, and was really intriged by the fact that it was a mousse and that it was a drug store brand. This leave-in is a miracle worker. It now takes me less than a minute to brush my hair AND it leaves it super soft. It's kind of insane actually. The downside? I do need to use quite a bit of it, but since it's cheap, that's not really much of an issue for me. The one thing that I'd caution people on is that it has a sticky quality to it. When I'm done putting the product in my hair, my hands are very sticky. Obviously that's not a huge deal because you wash your hands anyways, but I do find that my hair is a little tangly as a try to blow dry it (after it's been brushed) and can tangle just a tiny bit more after it's dried too. (Hopefully I'm explaining that right.) It's just something to consider. Personally I think the cost, how quickly I can brush my hair, and how soft it makes my hair makes this product way worth it, but it's probably a try it to see.

That was a long story. =) I guess the moral of the story is - if you're like me and NEED a leave-in conditioner to help you manage the tangles when you brush your hair, the Garnier Hydra Recharge Leave-in is DEFINITELY worth a try.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Lazy Cold Day Outfit


I'm back-tracking a little...Sunday was a lazy day for me. I got back from church and getting groceries and I threw on leggings, a t-shirt, a big sweater, and slippers, because you know what? It's cold out. Have I said that yet? Ugh. Tennessee you're disappointing me. Anyways, it was just a comfy, lazy day, and these leggings are a total favorite. They're from Kohls and are the best thing ever. Not only do they look all nice and warm and winter-like, but they totally have fleece on the inside. Yep! It's amazing! I'd like to own 10 pairs and be able to wear them to work. That would be awesome.


And then we got real lazy and casual and I threw my hair up in a bun. I've been obsessed with bows lately. I don't know what it is, and this one is just so cute! It makes me feel like a kid again. You know...when you'd wear those huge bows on top of your head. Mmm hmm. And the best part is, my mom saved them all. hahaha. Maybe I should raid the stash when I go home for Christmas! You think any of them would be in style right now? Yeah, probably not...

T-shirt - Forever 21; Sweater - Forever 21; Leggings - Kohls; Slipper - from a years ago; Bow - Forever 21


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