Friday, May 31, 2013

Why do people leave?

There are people whose sole purpose is to come into your life to teach you a lesson.  

You may not know it. They may not know it. 
And when you have learned whatever it is you needed to learn, they make a clean exit. Or sometimes they make a messy one. Either way, this person will eventually disappear.

Take in what they’ve taught you. Appreciate your time with them for what it was. It’s okay to still be happy about the memories you may have with them. It’s okay to even be a little (or a lot) sad about them leaving. 
But it’s equally important to move forward.

He or she has served their purpose and now it’s time for you to turn the page.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Best Friends Forever

Happy Tuesday Yall! For today's linkup I'm supposed to show you 9 pictures with my husband. Spoiler- I'm not married. So I chose to showcase my besties :) 
 It's so difficult to choose just 9! But it's even more difficult to choose one BFF! So instead, I'm going to introduce you to some wonderful ladies who were all my BFF's at one time or another.  
Arranged in no particular order.
Enjoy :) 

Life. Love.Lauren

Lauren over at Life Love Lauren and Tiffany at The Austin Family Diary

Monday, May 27, 2013

What to wear this summer

For some summer has already started, for some not until next month. For me, IT'S SUMMER! Yay! 
If your anything like me you probably hate getting dressed in the winter months. It's so much more fun getting dressed in the warm/hotter months, right? Well Coachella has come and gone and I've been swooning over some of the outfits I spotted floating around on the interwebz. I was feeling a bit inspired last week so I put together just a few outfits that I plan on wearing this summer.
I reused a few of the items because I find that when I'm in a hurry to go out I just grab whatever is nearest to me which results in me re-wearing some of the same thing everyday lol. Enjoy!

Headband: Forever 21 // Orange Top: Ross // Bodycon Skirt: Forever 21 // Knee high socks: Forever 21

Crop top: Dollar Tree // Shorts: Thrifted

 White top: Marshalls

Polka dot dress: Forever 21 // Belt: Forever 21

Memorial Weekend

First and foremost, shout out to all of the amazing people who have laid and those who are willing to lay down their life for all of us in this beautiful country.

Dress: Forever 21 // Vest: Marshalls // Boots: Target

These days whenever we have a family party it's usually at my older sisters house. Yesterday, Sunday, around 11 we all woke up (except my sister, she went off to church early that morning), and started cooking food to bring with us. My moms signature spaghetti with cheese. And of course she forgot to leave out a portion for me without meat :(. I was thinking I had better eat before I leave because in my family everyone is a fierce meat-lover. I'm talking ribs, burgers, hot links, the works. Don't worry I didn't starve, I had salad, rice, bread, macaroni salad, brownies, and banana-less banana pudding. 

I saw a few of my cousins that I hadn't seen in so long! We chatted it up and played games for the majority of the time. Always a good time when I'm with family.

My hair was a major success!! If you know me, you know that I'm a bit of a perfectionist and I was worried that my curls wouldn't look the way I'd want them to. I didn't want to have to put it in a defeated ballerina bun, again
I have a pictorial for my hair here, if you're interested.

How was your weekend?

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Sunday Social!

I hope everyone is having a great weekend so far and amidst all the festivities I also hope you don't forget what Memorial Day is all about!
 So let's get into the questions :)

1. What is your best summer memory as a kid? 
Hmmm, probably going out to all the different picnics- church, family 'reunion', gma's birthday, 4th of July, all in the same summer. I think I was around 9 or 10 years old? Omg we had so much fun running around without a care in the world! Bubbles, hula-hoop contest (which I won every year, thank you very much!), potato sack races, three-legged races, dance contest, cook-offs, just everything kids dream of doing.

2. What is your favorite summer drink? 
Well I don't drink soda much. Like it's very rare, but I will always make an exception for root beer floats, cream soda, and pineapple soda!

3. What is your favorite summer TV show? 
Since shows go in weird rotations every year, this summer it's definitely going to be Pretty Little Liars!

4. What is the best outdoor summer activity? 
Block parties!!!!

5. What are your summer vacation essentials? 
 Sunscreen for sure (don't believe the hype, black chicks need to protect your skin from the sun too!), my handy-dandy camera, endless sundresses, wedges, and the darkest over sized sunglasses I can find!

Sunday Social

Saturday, May 25, 2013

May's Group Giveaway! (CLOSED)

Did you forget about this giveaway? I hope you've entered, only one day left ladies!! :)

Here's some really great prizes you can win! Starbucks and Amazon GC's, and how cool are those bracelets from Lauren right? Well you could get yourself one with the $10 shop credit. Not to mention all the free ad space?! So excited for the very lucky lady who WINS! Could that be YOU? Enter down below!
 Good luck all :) 

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Throwback Thursday!

See that little chipmunk looking thing with the pink ball?
That's baby Ebone :)

Pink cat ears ^____^

Say what you want about T-Swift's 22 song/video
I happen to be obsessed with it.

And being the broke girl that I am, I refuse to pay $15-$20 for metal kitten headbands. No matter HOW cute they are. Plus, there's never any colored ones! So naturally I made my own. I found an old Easter headband that had pink petals all across the top so that you'd look like a little flower. (sorry no pictures...) I cut a couple of 'em off and put little clips on the bottom and voila!
And yes, I do actually wear these babies outside :)

Just Because 


Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Beautiful dreamer awake unto me

(source unknown)
This is not my jar. Those are not my things. In fact, I don't even have a jar filled with pretty things... unless you think strawberry preserves are pretty. But I do have a box lol. It is not see through. It is not decorated with pretty images or lovely words. It is just a box. My box.

But inside it are dreams. Dreams and wishes I've tucked away in a safe place. Like a physical representation of myself. You see, I am not the prettiest. I do not always speak the loveliest words. Nor am I transparent... But deep within me are dreams. Some so bold that I could never make happen on my own! This is where God comes in. And yet I still keep them. I keep them because I truly believe that somehow someday He will bring my dreams to fruition.

(source unknown)
<--- I wholeheartedly believe that!

It's my own way of speaking things into existence. I have a dream, I pray about it, write it down, do what is necessary to get there and leave the rest of it up to Him. When life slows down and I get a chance to look around at all my progress in pursuit of those dreams and goals I pull out my lil box to find that they have in fact already been fulfilled!

Like most people I start out with a desire for something and over the course of weeks, months, or even years life gets in the way and I tend to forget about all them. I need physical reminders of things to keep me on track. And for that reason, I need my box.

Random Wedesday!

So if you're participating in the Blog Every Day in May challenge, like so many of us, you'll find it hard to blog literally every day! Just me? Oh okay. 
 I was doing a pretty good job at the start of the month... until my internet went out for almost 2 weeks :( But I'm back with a vengeance! lol Not really, but I'm back into the swing of blogging!!

 If you know me you know I HATE wearing pants. Don't ask why... So I took a pair that I found while scourging through the thrift store a while ago and made it into a skirt. The waistband is elastic but it's loose enough that it sits comfortably on my hips but tight enough that they don't fall off! I don't know what to call the print. Nautical? Tribal? Whatever it is I like it, not bad for $3.
I finally got around to sending off my pen pal letters! At first, I couldn't find any stamps. Which was crazy because it seems like there's always a book of stamps lying around my house somewhere! Good grief, whenever I need something it's nowhere to be found. When I don't need it, it's all I see! Oh life, you and your irony. After I went out and bought stamps I caught the post-man as he was coming to drop off mail. I handed them all off to him with a huge smile on my face! Lol I'm sure he thought I was a little loopy but whatever. Who wouldn't be excited to write to their pen pals?! Not you? Well, you don't deserve a pen pal.

(Linking with Shanna )

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

10 things that make me happy

Woohoo another link up! This one's from Lauren over at Life Love Lauren and Tiffany at The Austin Family Diary

  1.  Someone offering to fold/put away the laundry for me
  2. Watching old black and white movies snuggled with my favorite blanket
  3. When my hair does exactly what I want it to
  4. Getting a call/text from friends who I haven't talked to in ages
  5. Going to the shops/movies/restaurants and there's hardly anyone there
  6.  Sales events and bargain-hunting
  7. The feeling of weightlessness from roller coasters
  8. When people share their food/drink with me
  9. Dancing like an idiot in public places with my friends
  10. The warmth you feel of the sun on your skin as you step out of the shade

Life. Love.Lauren


I've been so consumed with all of my day-to-day things. For far too long I've been putting my relationship with God, among other things, on the back burner. My mom had been out of state until recently so she asked if I had been to church while she was gone. I sort of snarled and replied, "I haven't been to church in weeks!" Another day I asked my dad to sit with me and have bible study like we used to. He agreed, and proceeded to tell me to go grab my bible and notebook. Without hesitation and with a bit of irritation, I said "Now? But I'm trying to watch something!" He looked at me like I was insane, and with good reason! And at that precise moment I couldn't believe how lazy and careless I had become. I couldn't believe the words coming out of my own mouth! I mean, right? I just brushed it off as if it were nothing. As if my relationship with God meant nothing to me at all.

I had gotten so comfortable not attending and sleeping in or going to bible studies regularly. Some time ago I was completely without transportation. I couldn't really go out and do those things anymore. Initially it wasn't a big deal because I always believed that I didn't have to go to a specific place with specific people around in order to be in touch with Him. After all, it was my relationship. I could talk to God whenever, wherever. I just liked doing those extra things, but they were never essential.

Over time, as with most things, I began to put other things first. Things that ordinarily would be fine as top priorities - rebuilding friendships, indulging in my hobbies, having fun, working, etc. But I guess I never realized exactly how much importance I had placed those other things. 

The problem isn't what I'm doing. The problem is allowing it to come before God.
And for that I feel guilty.
Almost shameful.

And make no mistake, I don't believe He looks down on me with shame and anger. I don't think He's up in heaven ready to smite me with lightning. These feelings are all my own. My spiritual growth is so so so important to me and yet I've just pushed it aside. As bad as I feel about it though, there is still a bit of gladness. Because only when you are aware of a problem are you able to fix it. I am so incredibly glad that the God I serve is such an understanding one. He knows I'm not perfect, that I failed, and will continue to fail. Yet He still loves me. He still forgives me and embraces me with open arms time and time again. He proves that to me every single day in a very special way.

Looks like I've got a lot of catching up to do!

Monday, May 20, 2013

May's Group Giveaway! (CLOSED)

Hello hello hello! I am so very excited to present to you this May's Group Giveaway! This is my very first giveaway I'm participating in along with some very lovely ladies :)  

Here's some really great prizes you can win! Starbucks and Amazon GC's, and how cool are those bracelets from Lauren right? Well you could get yourself one with the $10 shop credit. Not to mention all the free ad space?! So excited for the very lucky lady who WINS! Could that be YOU? Enter down below!
 Good luck all :) 

What does "beauty" mean to you?

It doesn’t matter how many pretty pictures you’ve taken. That pretty dress in your closet. The pageants you’ve won. What color skin you were born in. How perfect your talk is and graceful your walk is.

Transparency - putting yourself, your true self, completely out there on the table.

Allowing people to not only see the good sides of you and your life, but also your weaknesses, your fears, failures, and short-comings.
 Allowing that inner glow you have, and we all have one, to emanate from within you without fear, shame, or apology.

That is what beauty means to me.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Part 1: Indroduction

So to kick this thing off, I want to tell you just a little bit about my history.

I’ve had eczema for as long as I can remember. I remember going with my mom back and forth for prescription medicines. Trying to memorize all the different ‘scientific’ names for those medicines - like triamcinolone acetonide try saying that three times fast. Being made fun of for having ugly skin and a kid asking what was wrong with me because my face and arms were blotchy as a side-effect of those medicines. I would scratch until I bled and wake up with those same red scratches all over me. I remember crying because I felt so ugly and gross when all my other friends had even skin tones and could show a lot of skin while I was trying to hide mine. The older I got, the more self-conscious I became. Once I hit puberty and my body was going through all its mandatory changes my eczema only got worse. It was spreading, becoming increasingly more difficult to get under control, and it was just plain embarrassing. No one else in my family had eczema that I knew of, so there really wasn't anyone I could go to for help or advice. There was only so much my parents could do to help me through it. So I realized that if I wanted to get my eczema under control and hopefully one day be free of it I was going to have to do this myself

When I got into high school I started doing my own research on skin conditions and all the different ways to treat them. Thankfully, that was around the time that YouTube was becoming a ‘thing.’ So I searched like mad to find people with similar problems to mine and I tried literally everything that they had used themselves and had recommended. Needless to say, not all skin is the same so it was all trial and error. Emphasis on the error. But I always always made sure to keep record of what worked, didn’t work, the affects they had, what my triggers were, etc. I had become, in a way, my own dermatologist.

These days I can proudly say that I have it mostly under control. I still have times where I’m down right miserable and want to just rip all my skin off and start over, like these past couple weeks, but I now have the knowledge to properly treat my eczema and prevent flare-ups. And I would love to share all of that knowledge with you!

Starting today, every month I’ll go through all of the different possible causes, the symptoms, treatments, at-home remedies, and all of my tips, tricks, and advice that I’ve accumulated over the years in hopes of helping you or someone you know with eczema.

P.S. eczema isn’t the only skin condition in the world. There is psoriasis, rosacea, and sebhorric dermatitis (just to name a few) which have many similarities. However, skin conditions are NOT a one-size-fits-all. There are different categories (if that makes it easier to understand) within skin conditions that affect different areas of the body and everyone is different. We’ll get into all that later…

As for now my dear, if you have any questions, requests, or information YOU’D like to share I’d LOVE to hear from you! Feel free to comment below or email me!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

The Sunday Social, Week 49

1. 1 year ago I was doing...
 A program for local youth and going to college.

2. 5 years ago I was doing...
 homework. Just typical silly high school freshman things.

3. 10 years ago I was doing...
coloring books, watching cartoon marathons, learning how to write in cursive, and do long division. (I was only 9)

4. 1 year from now I'll be doing...
 The college thaaaang, working, traveling.

5. 5 years from now I'll be doing...
 I'd like to still be in college, still traveling, still working.

6. 10 years from now I'll be doing...
... no idea

New series and pen pals!

So I've decided to start a little series I like to call: Life with Eczema
I've had eczema for as long as I can remember. Eczema affects so many people- old, young, even babies! I'm not an expert or professional skin doctor by any means. But I do have quite a lot of experience and advice to offer on the subject. Hopefully there's someone out there who can benefit from what I have to say. Lord knows that growing up I could have used someones advice. So be on the lookout for that!

Also, if you look down at my link list on the right-hand side, you'll notice that I'm participating in the "Summer Snail Mail Swap" with Kelly from The NO Drama Mama and Claudia from Lashes and Beard. This has inspired me to also be a pen pal to even MORE people. 
I got in contact with some friends from high school. I haven't seen or even spoken to some of these lovely ladies since I graduated! Sad, but true. Others I have met some time ago and haven't been so great with keeping in touch. They're still my friends and I will always care for them. I've never had a pen pal before, so I'm extremely excited for this! And to catch up on all my girls' lives!

Just a friendly reminder: The simple little things you do for others to remind them that you care and still have them on your heart is what makes a world of a difference in someones life.

What sort of things do you to show your loved ones some love?

I'm off to get started on these letters!