01/ 01/ 18
2017 was a year full of ups and downs, none of which I would trade for anything. I’ve reached many goals that I set going into 2017 but also failed to reach some goals I set. It was a year full of waiting to discover some of the plans God had for my life but I never really came to any realizations. However, I am so thankful for the hope and peace that comes with trusting that Jesus knows what he’s doing even when I don’t have the slightest clue of what’s ahead. All in all 2017 was a year of blessings, health, family, and growing in my relationship with God and I am so grateful for all of these things.
I’ve never really been a New Years Resolution type of person but this year just feels different. I feel changes coming on stronger than ever and I am so flipping excited to see what’s in store for my life and to discover my purpose. I’ve decided to share with you some of my resolutions so that I can A) have them written down so I can come back to this post to remind myself of what my goals are for this year and so B) I can be held somewhat accountable. You guys may also get some ideas if you can’t think of any New Years Resolutions for yourself!
Hit Fitness Goals
As many of you know in March of this year I finally hit a big weight loss milestone by losing fifty pounds. While this may seem like a huge number to some people it wasn’t that incredibly difficult for me because when you’re at a point where you have quite a bit of weight to lose it sheds off pretty quickly. However, once your body has dropped so many pounds it can plateau which is what happened to me. I let it get the best of me and got discouraged and while I didn’t completely blow it I just wasn’t as motivated as I previously was and let myself eat more “bad” foods. I kept working out religiously (I love working out so much it’s the best therapy!!) and I’ve stayed the same weight for this entire year and I’m bey0nd ready to start taking my fitness seriously again. This time around though I don’t want to get caught up in the number that shows on the scale. I definitely think being aware of my weight is important so I’m going to try to weigh only once a month and see where it gets me!
Put Myself Out There More
This one is kind of deep and personal but I thought I’d share it anyway. As a kid I always was so aware of what people thought of me and was so self-conscience. I would tell myself that I could never talk to or fit in with certain groups of people because they would think I was too weird or too ugly. As I’ve grown up I’ve gained more and more confidence but at times I still find myself psyching myself out when people ask me to go to lunch or shopping, etc. and I’ll end up coming up with any excuse to stay home. This year though I really want to work on just being more confident and realizing that literally NO ONE CARES about what I look like or what I’m doing and just go branch out and make new friends.
Get Consistent with Blogging and Social Media
One of my life goals is to eventually be able to create a business out of my blog and social media accounts. However, considering the amount I’ve been posting on them, it’s not going to happen anytime soon if I don’t step my game up. I love blogging but starting college classes last semester seriously weighed me down and I had no time at all for anything. This semester, however, I took one less class and one online class plus I only have to go to school Monday-Thursday so I have much more time for posting more frequently. So if you guys have any ideas at all of what you would want to see devo/lifestyle/fashion/beauty/fitness wise, let me know by either commenting on this blog post or DM’ing me on Twitter or Instagram!
Start a Youtube Channel… Maybe 😬
Okay now, this is a far stretch for what I’m even remotely comfortable with but I feel like if I really can get consistent with blogging that this is something I would definitely consider doing. I think it would be cool to do vlog style videos so that I could kind of talk to you guys “face to face” instead of you just reading written posts all the time. What do you think?
This is also a difficult one. I’ve really wanted to do this for a long time for multiple reasons such as: to get healthier (clear my skin/weightloss), to help put an end to animal cruelty, and to reduce my footprint by ceasing to consume food products that aren’t ecologically sustainable. I’ve attempted to switch to a vegan diet multiple times but is just so hard. On a vegan diet it’s important to consume a hefty amount of beans, legumes, quinoa, etc. to maintain healthy protein levels but along with these foods come carbs. And while they are healthy carbs, overeating these foods can slow down weight loss which is what happened to me. I really just need to do my research and find balance because I’ve seen many people lose weight by going vegan.
Grow in my relationship with God and be more genuine.
This is something that I should want at any point in any year but the new year is always such a great reminder of what’s really important. The only way I will ever fulfill any of these resolutions is if I know who’s in control of them and if I’m true to myself with what I’m posting. It’s SO HARD to not get caught up in the world of FaceTune, and trust me at one point I definitely was, but it’s so important that I don’t alter myself in hopes of altering peoples’ view of who I am because they definitely wouldn’t be getting a true depiction.
Thank you so much for reading through this entire post. I definitely encourage you to make your own New Years resolutions and to get motivated to make 2018 the best year of your life! It’s truly up to you if you want to remain comfortable or if you want to push yourself out of your comfort zone and grow in any aspect of your life.
Stay Fit, Fab, and Faithful!
03/ 09/ 17
Praise Jesus that I get to sleep in now that I take college classes! 😍 Now instead of rushing out of the house by 6:30am I get to sleep in until 9am! I am so grateful for all eight hours of sleep I now get instead of the two that I got when I was going to high school!
I’ve always been a big believer in morning and night time routines in order to start and end my day off in a good mood. There just something about putting your makeup on a clean face in the morning that is so therapeutic! Below is my morning routine for days when classes start at 11am:
9:15am: Wake Up!
I believe that the most important thing you can take do in the morning to ensure a good day is to start it with Jesus. Most of the studies I do are from She Reads Truth. These are a little more in depth and take a while to do so in the morning, I stick with the plans from the YouVersion bible app. They’re short, sweet, and to the point. It really helps me to keep Jesus at the center of my focus for the day. And although I’d like to say I’m not addicted to social media, I totally am so that’s what I scroll through right after 😜
9:30am: The Usual
This is when I drag myself our of my warm, cozy bed. I brush my teeth, wash my face, etc..I won’t go into detail on this part of my morning because (hopefully) everyone includes these things in their morning routine. However, I will share with you the face wash that I use because it’s what has been really working for me lately. It’s the CeraVe foaming cleanser. I have super sensitive skin so I can’t use anything harsh. I was using Cetaphil for the longest time but recently it just wasn’t cutting it. I totally would recommend it!
9:35: Lazy Girl Makeup
Considering I have sensitive skin, I don’t wear a lot of makeup in the first place, but even if I didn’t have sensitive skin I probably still wouldn’t do makeup because I’m so bad at it and because it takes so much time! This is pretty much all I do: First I use CeraVe Facial Moisturizing lotion to moisturize, while that sinks in, I do my eyebrows using L’Oreal Brow Stylist Definer pencil. I used to be a huge believer in only high-end makeup because I though that anything else would break me out. However, I have slowly been weaning onto drugstore makeup and so far so good! Next I use The Benefit Matte Rescue primer all over my face. This is where it gets really lazy…😬 I then use the Maybelline Instant Age Rewind dark circle concealer ALL OVER my face. Yes, I just said that. I mainly cover any blemishes, put it around my nose, and under my eyes and then blend it with a beauty blender. I swirl on a bit of bronzer and blush, swipe on mascara and then I’m done! It only takes about 10-15 minutes total.
My hair routine is really simple as well. I separate my hair into two sections. I add some movement by curling 2″ chunks of hair with a 1″ curling wand and then brushing the curls out with my fingers. Then, I straighten the ends with a flat iron. I do that to the next section and then smooth any flyaways with a toothbrush and hairspray. Super easy!
10:00am: Get dressed
If I could give anyone my two biggest tips to getting out the door quickly they would be: 1. Lay out your outfit the night before, that way you’re not rushing to figure something out in the morning and 2. Wear lots of dresses if your dress code allows it. You’ll look like you’ll have your life together without having to put pants on 😍 lol! A quote that has always been stuck in the back of my brain whenever I get ready in the morning is, “Don’t dress for where you’re at in life, dress for where you want to be.” I don’t know who said it and I don’t know if those were the exact words but it makes so much sense! I always tend to be way more productive when I’m wearing something nice and my hair is brushed than when I’m in leggings and an oversized tee with my hair up in a pony… just saying! But at they end of the day, you do you girl! (I’m not saying I never wear leggings and t-shirts to school, I just try to stay away from it.)
10:05: The most important meal of the day… or is it?
Most days I eat a breakfast that consists of a water bottle (you should drink 1-2 per meal!) and either egg whites and turkey sausage or whole eggs with a slice of avocado. However, on some days the very thought of eating something in the morning makes me queasy so I’ll do intermittent fasting, which is when I don’t eat breakfast until 12pm and I stop eating at 7-8pm (intermittent fasting lowers the amount of insulin in your blood which kickstarts fat burning).
10:15: Hit the road!
AKA get my butt in my car and on the road so I won’t be late and so the professor won’t put a 50% in the grade book for attendance that day. Yes, that happened to me on my second day of comp. No I was not happy in the least about that, but I guess you gotta learn from your mistakes. 😅
I hope you guys liked this post! Writing it was a lot of fun! Praying for an amazing school year for everybody whether you’re in middle school, high school, or college! Regardless of all the cosmetic preparation, prepare your hearts and minds by praying for a good attitude and strong motivation and God will guide you through each and everyday!
Stay Fit, Fab, and Faithful!
22/ 05/ 17
Bible journaling is an amazing way to creatively express what you learn while reading your Bible. It is SO addicting! It is a fun supplement to add to any study, a great stress reliever, and you do not have to be an outrageously skilled artist to do it! Below I will show you some of my favorite materials, accessories, bibles, bible studies, and some examples of pages that I’ve created in hopes of inspiring you guys to spark your creative side and create a journaling Bible of your own!
First of all, I recommend getting a box, bag, basket, etc. to keep all of your materials in. I got this adorable box from Michael’s (as you’ll come to learn throughout this post, Michaels has an amazing variety of materials specifically for bible journaling).
Next, you’ll need a journaling Bible! While they aren’t exactly cheap, it will definitely be an investment worth making! Mine is from Christ Centered Book Store and is call the “ESV Bible, The Single Column Journaling Bible.” Recently, Nicole Bukle owner of @mamabooclay on Instagram, sent me this absolutely gorgeous bible cover. While this isn’t a complete necessity when it comes to journaling, personally, it makes it so exciting to open my Bible everyday. Opening this package when it came totally made my entire weekend! Every part of it was personalized from the tissue paper, to the beautifully written card. She even threw in adorable paperclip page markers and tabs! My whole experience with Nicole was extremely pleasant, from the time I discovered her Instagram account to wrapping the beautiful cover around my Bible. I will insert a picture of her business card if you guys are interested in getting your own lovely custom cover!
Of course, you’ll need coloring supplies! You can use any type of medium that best suits your style and abilities. My favorite is watercolor. However, I use all sorts of different materials such as colored pencils, crayons, markers, highlighters, and even washi tape… SO much washi tape!
(Brands from left to right: Staedtler 185 C24JB colored pencils, Crayola crayons, and Stampin’ Up watercolor pencils)
(Dollar Store neon gel pens, Papermate Ink Joy bible study no bleed underline 6 pen set, Papermate Profile retractable ballpoint pens, and the top pen is a Gelly Roll metallic gel ink pen)
(Artist’s Loft Fundamentals watercolor pan set)
(Heidi Swapp washi tape pack, Gold and Planner washi tape box by Recollections)
(Sharpie highlighters, chisel tip, Dollar Store thin markers, Decocolor chisel point pen, white, and Artminds Dual Tip permanent markers)
(Crayola Twistables colored pencils)
(Dollar Store paper clips, great for making your own page markers)
(American Crafts bible journaling rub-on sheets, both the Rejoice and Believe sets)
One of the key parts of Bible journaling is making sure to really take the time to listen to what God is speaking to you through the study that you are committed to and to display that in whatever way you feel relevant. My favorite study so far has been the Psalms of Ascent plan by SheReadsTruth. It has really challenged me to mature in my relationship with Christ and to have a deeper understanding of God’s word. Before I journal, I read the day’s scripture in my Fire Bible. I love doing this because at the bottom of each page is has a translation of what each verse is saying and usually a real world example to connect it to; this helps me to understand some of the more difficult chapters. Next, I always complete the questions for whatever day of the study I’m on and then from there I choose a phrase or quote that really stuck out to me and that’s what I journal.
(FireBible: NIV, Student Edition, and the SheReadsTruth app, Psalms of Ascent plan)
So, as you can tell, I am by no means a professional “Bible journaler” but I hope that this post has given you some inspiration and provided you with information about the tools you will need to create a Bible journal of your own! Below, I will post a couple of the pages that I have journaled so far. (I’m a beginner, so don’t judge!!) Most of my inspiration comes from a Bible journaling book that I received as a gift and also from Instagram accounts such as @shannanoel, @illustratedfaith, and @mpjournalingibible.
(Complete Guide to Bible Journaling: Creative Techniques to Express Your Faith by: Joanne Fink and Regina Yoder)
I pray that if you take up Bible journaling, it will allow you to relax and just spend sweet, sweet time in Jesus’ presence!
Stay Fit, Fab, and Faithful!
18/ 02/ 17
I have found a new obsession! SUCCULENTS. They are so incredibly simplistic, convenient and eye-catching. Yesterday I explored many plant nurseries in Miami, Florida and Oh. My. Goodness. the possibilities were endless, and so cheap! I literally spent more money on the pots than the plants themselves. The prices of the succulents ranged from $1.99 to $5. The bigger pot was $15 and the smaller one was $6. I definitely recommend purchasing any kind of plants from a nursery rather than a home improvement store, they cost a lot less, and in my opinion, are more healthy and sturdy.
Thing you’ll need to start your own little succulent garden:
Initially, line the bottom of your pot with a layer of stones in order for your succulent to be able to drain easily, as the roots do not do well if they are sitting in a pool of water.
Next, add the cactus soil into your pot very loosely. This soil allows for drainage, while succulents are water storing plants, they do require a fair share of air circulation as well.
Now for the fun part!! Make holes that go almost as deep as the layer of stones. Loosen the roots of the succulent and place it in the indent. Add another thin layer of soil to make sure the plant is secure.
Finally, if you please, you can place stones around the plants to add to the appearance of your garden.
I’m absolutely in love with the way this turned out, I hope this DIY inspires and assists in all of your succulent garden endeavors!
06/ 02/ 17
I hold NYC so close to my heart. It is every thing I aspire my life to be: classy, diverse, modern, welcoming, extravagant, and unique. The bright lights, meticulous architecture and bustling streets captivated me immediately. It’s like a whole new world compared to my little town in Florida. New York has inspired me to work hard and go after my dreams because who knows, they might just lead me to the city that never sleeps.
The first time I visited NYC was last year with my mom, aunt, and cousin for my birthday. I spent the majority of my time last year convincing my mom to take me again, and it worked haha!! This year, I went for Christmas with my mom, uncle and sister, and the feelings of adrenaline and excitement that sparked in my heart last February were just as present this year.
Last year we made sure to visit all of the touristy attractions to experience all of the things that an NYC first-timer should. We stopped at the Statue of Liberty, St. Patricks Cathedral, Rockefeller center, Central park, etc. This year we took our time and just appreciated winter in the city.
We did a LOT of shopping, eating, and wandering. My mom and I have made it our tradition that every time we go to New York we get a piece of Jewelry from Tiffany’s. On 5th avenue, I am literally in my dream world. I pretty much have to spend an entire day going through Chanel, Fendi, Valentino, Prada, Dolce & Gabbana ( my mom’s new fav!) and so so so many more!!
(I didn’t take too many pictures; I just wanted to enjoy the moment in my favorite place in the world.)
The Tiffany bracelet I got this time. Super simple and elegant.
Makeup shopping at Chanel. The lady who was helping was SO nice. After I finished shopping she took the time to put together goodie bags for my mom, sister, and uncle!
Loving the marble exterior of Saint Laurent!!
Of course, for more affordable, reasonable shopping there’s SoHo. This area has all of the mainstreams stores that you would normally shop at in your local mall but totally NYC style (multiple stories, loud music, and good all-around shopping ambiance). My favorites are Free People, Brandy Melville, H&M, Dash, American Eagle, Sephora, and Forever 21. So basic, I know.
As a Florida girl, I jump on any opportunity to spend my day in the cold. One of my favorite places to watch it snow in the city is Central Park. I’m not exaggerating when I tell you that it is probably one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever experienced; it looked like it came straight out of a painting!!!
Takin’ a stroll.
Central park with the Plaza in the background.
Me and my beautiful momma!
This time around, we decided to see a show! Last time we knew we wouldn’t really have any time to see a Broadway show so when we came this year we knew we had to go. We ended up seeing Wicked and it was an amazing experience, I would 10/10 recommend it to a friend in a heartbeat! P.s.- you will LOVE the Wicked Witch of the West after seeing this production, there is a HUGE plot twist 😉
Can we take a moment to appreciate this set?1
My mom, uncle, sister, and I.
Look who we ran into! Bachelorette Kaitlyn Bristowe and Fiancee Shawn Booth. Can you say #Fangirling???
Finally, here are some miscellaneous pictures from our NYC 2017 trip:
Pro Tip: DO NOT try to make any sort of fashion statement such as a sheer shirt in 20 degree weather, you WILL regret it, no matter how cute you may think it is.
I LOVE this quote. It is so New York. This book was in one of my favorite tiny stores, Papyrus.
Pizza parlor selfie. This was one of the less glamorous bathroom we experienced while in the city, LOL.
Famous Waldorf Astoria staircase that leads to the lobby.
Frozen Hot Chocolate from Serendipity III (Serendipity is a must see movie before coming, you will feel ALL the feels!)
Saint Patrick’s cathedral while it was snowing. Breathtaking.
Magnolia Bakery has the BEST freaking banana pudding you will ever have in your life.
Protect yo’ heart. (Greenwich Village)
Of course you’ve got to sneak a picture at Prada!
Floor mural at the Waldorf, stunning!
Our view of Park Ave. from our hotel. Loving the dirty windows, Waldorf Astoria!! (Just kidding, but seriously! LOL)
I hope everyone in the world gets to experience the magic of NYC at least once in their life! There’s nothing else like it.