Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Liebster Award

I just found out today that this blog has been nominated for a Liebster Award by All Things Vintage! Thank you so much, Sarah!

The award is given as a means of encouraging new or lesser known bloggers to keep them going, and motivate more people to check out new blogs. Such a great idea.

Liebster Award Rules:
Acknowledge the blog that nominated you. 
Answer the 11 questions the nominating blogger created. 
List 11 bloggers with less than 200 followers that deserve some recognition. 
Write 11 questions for them to answer. 
Notify them they've been nominated. 

Sarah's Questions:
  1. Which vacation would you prefer; in the mountains or at the beach?
Well, I live in a coastal town, but I would still pick the beach... maybe go to Hawaii or California! :)
  2. What is your dream car?
An eco-friendly convertible Jeep.
  3. If you had a choice between ice cream or cake; which would you choose?
Depends on the ice cream; depends on the cake. But I know that's a horrible answer, so I'm going to go with ice cream for now (it's H-O-T outside)... served in a little boat with a banana and whipped cream and all that extra deliciousness.
  4. What's your favorite Jane Austen novel? If you've never read an Austen novel what's the last book you read?
Ooh! Pride and Prejudice all the way! Ya gotta love Elizabeth... and Jane... and Mr. Darcy... the characters are just fabulous. My number 2 would be Sense and Sensibility. I'm more like Elinor, according to a quiz I took once :)!
  5. How do you like to drink your tea{hot, with cream n' sugar, cold with lemon, etc.}?
Okay, this might sound crazy, but I don't really like tea. Now, I have great hopes to enjoy it in the future (in a pretty flowery teacup with a saucer... because that seems so girly and old-fashioned and perfect) but right now, it's just not my thing.
  6. Are you a cat or dog person or both?
Dogs! We had a golden retriever named Alex for about eight years, but he died last year. It was so sad, especially for my mom (she was always his favorite) but I would like to have another pet someday. I like cats, but I've never really been around them much.
  7. When you have some free time you...?
Sing, play piano, play guitar, read books, etc.
  8. Favorite type of food{Italian, Mexican, Chinese, etc.}?
THIS IS TOO HARD! But if I had to pick, I'll go with instinct and say Italian. Pasta, bread, sauce... does it get any better?
  9. Do you have any siblings; how many?
Yes! One. A crazy little brother who is starting kindergarten in the fall.
10. What is one of your most memorable/favorite vacations?
In 2010, my family and I went to Palm Coast, FL, for three weeks (the longest vacation I ever remember taking) and it was special. I got my own little room and bathroom, and we spent a lot of time at the pool. It was fun!
11. If you could get paid to do your favorite thing what would that be?
SING! :) And make albums and tour and do all that fun stuff.
 
My QUESTIONS:
1. What is the one thing you do everyday, almost without fail?
2. What do you like most about where you live?
3. What would you like to accomplish by the end of 2014?
4. What's the last book you read that you would HIGHLY recommend me?
5. Your favorite style of music?
6. One thing about you that you want the world to know?
7. Quick! Pick one. Winter, spring, summer, or fall.
8. What is your view on staying healthy... inside and out?
9. If your blog has to do with fashion, who is your favorite celebrity in terms of style inspiration? If your blog has nothing to do with that, then what is your favorite sport to watch on TV?
10. Who do you look up to when it comes to keeping the faith?
11. How has your relationship with God changed who you are as a person?
 
My NOMINEES:
1. Karen at Bodies On a Budget
2. Khloe Grace at All Things Good
5. The girls at Going Upstream
7. Sterling at Sterling Griggs
8. Jeff at Jeff Headrick
9. Iris at Feminine Modesty
11. Sarah Elizabeth at Learning to Trust God


~~xoxo~~
Ireland

Monday, April 28, 2014

Gold by Britt Nicole

Well, as you can probably tell by now, I am a big Britt Nicole fan. So imagine how cool it was for my mom to come home from a trip last year having met Britt's mother! She had so many cool stories to relay to me, and I drank it all up. Britt is definitely one of my favorite artists.

Britt has so many great songs, and the title track of her third album, Gold, is no exception. It's fun and upbeat and motivating... I hope you are inspired by it.

The Official Music Video for Gold

 
The Story Behind the Song
 
 
 
xoxo,
Ireland

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Walk On the Water // Outfit Post


It's Saturday! And I don't know about where you live, but here in Southport, NC, it is also the last day of spring break. Now, I'm home-schooled, but I know this because a) the beach/downtown area is starting to get much more crowded, and b) everyone I know from youth was off this week. :)





Today I'm wearing layered tank tops with a three-quarter length cardi and cuffed skinnies. While I was getting dressed, I just fell into the whole black-and-white thing, which I like, despite the fact that it doesn't do as much for my fair complexion as other colors. The right makeup helps, though.
 
These platform wedges are deceptively taller than they look, and while wedges are supposed to be easy heels to walk in, I still tripped a couple times. [I don't think I'm supposed to tell you that, but it's true! Anyway, I tried to be discreet about it. :) ]


Mom, Jeffrey, and I went to the part of the beach right in front of the Oak Island Lighthouse. It's 143 feet tall! (And yes I had to look that up for posting it on here.) Cool right? I'm thankful my mom drives us all around town to do fun stuff. Hashtag MyFamilyRocks.


One of my favorite quotes by Mother Teresa is, "What can you do to promote world peace? Go home and love your family." And isn't that something we all could be better at? It's such a great opportunity to LOVE others (which is MASSIVELY important!) and it's right at our fingertips, on a regular (if not daily) basis. I know I for one am generally better with other people's little kids than I am with my brother... but I want that to change. And this last picture... this... this is what I want. And it is beautiful.

xoxo

Ireland

Outfit
Black tank: Old Navy
B&W tank: Self-Esteem, thrifted
White 3/4 length cardi: Old Navy
Skinny jeans: Aeropostale
Black/cork wedges: St. John's Bay, JCPenney's
Title: Walk On the Water by Britt Nicole


Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Nobody Ever Told You // Outfit Post

Hey y'all! It's Wednesday... middle of the week... how's that going for ya? I'm doubling up on algebra this week, trying to finish early for the school year. Once math and Latin are out of the way, 10th grade will be winding down and I'll be FREE from those... ahem... less desirable subjects and able to concentrate on reading Jane Austen and learning piano.
I know that a lot of people like math. I mean, I sort of wish I did-- it'd be fun to be all math-y and science-y like the people in the movies. (Think Nicholas Cage in The National Treasurer or Robert Downey Jr. in Iron Man. Nerdy is cool!) But my brain just GETS English better. I guess I'm a right-brained person. Or is it left? I forget. And Latin-- well, I was excited to take Latin this year, but my enthusiasm has waned since finding out firsthand how difficult it is. Major respect to Latin scholars.
But I'm not complaining right now-- how can I, when I get to take two-hour breaks in the middle of a school day and go to the beach with my mom and brother? And take outfit pictures and look at black-and-white striped lighthouses and fly kites?  And wear banana-yellow and pink plaid and white denim while doing so?


Don't get me wrong. I know life isn't all rainbows and butterflies and soft yellow sweaters. Life is harder than algebra could ever dream of being (and algebra is pretty hard! :) ). But there is always beauty in it, too, even if we forget to notice. Like the dusky grey sky out your window. Like the raindrops slipping off the azaleas in the bushes. Like the sand between your toes and the smell of coconut sunscreen on the beach on spring break. Like the inner-knowing that even if right now is... ahem... less desirable... Jesus is always here for you, with his arms outstretched and his big, gentle voice speaking softly to your soul.
 
You can so do this week.
 
xoxo,
Ireland
 
Pink Button-Down: Aeropostale
Cropped Sweater: Ralph Lauren, thrifted
White Capris: American Eagle, thrifted
Sandals: ??? (my mom's closet)
Title: Nobody Ever Told You by Carrie Underwood

Monday, April 21, 2014

Kites & Superheroes // Outfit Post

 

Happy Belated Easter, everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful Sunday. Today we went to the beach and my little brother Jeffrey got to try out his new present, a bright green Hulk kite. He did really well, and before we left, said "this might be the most fun I've ever had". Or something to that effect. He's starting to use very grown-up phrases and it's cute :)

 I wore a dark red maxi skirt with the new tank top my mom found at a consignment shop over the weekend. It's really creative-looking, like something a European girl would wear while riding her bike through a flower festival. And, of course, what says, "I live at the beach" like a maxi skirt?





 
We spent part of the time taking pictures, part of the time flying Jeffrey's new kite, and the rest trying to swat away the weird little bugs that kept sticking to our skin. In spite of the bugs, it was fun. While it was hard to leave home last year, I'd wanted to live at the beach for so long and it was an answered prayer when we finally arrived with the Penske truck in Southport. And days like today just don't happen unless you're coastal :)

Wishing you an amazing week ahead, kites optional.

xoxo,

Ireland

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Pretty Things in Wilmington

All the flowers are in bloom this time of year! Last week my dad took me to Wilmington with him and we got to walk around downtime and just hang out together. It was so beautiful and sunshine-y and all the azaleas were just bursting with color.
 
 
We met a lovely elderly lady and her husband who are true "Wilmingtonians", as they called it. They're both in their eighties have lived here off and on for almost their entire lives. They had tons of stories to tell-- talking with them was like a writer's dream.

 
Let me be the one to say-- Wilmington has some gorgeous churches. This is one of the church courtyards. I know the picture doesn't do it justice, but use your imagination... The bees are buzzing, the air is warm and sweet, and you're surrounded by the most beautiful colors of spring...

 
The Wilmington/Southport area is famous for their azaleas. You'll see them regardless of where you are or what direction you turn... in flower beds, along the sides of the street, peeking out of brick walls...

 
The trees were just dripping with moss.

 
Here's hoping to a wonderful rest of the week, filled with all the flowers and beautiful things to make you smile!
 
xoxo,
 
Ireland

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Still That Girl // Outfit Post

I love how colors work together. Today I'm wearing this bright pink hi-lo shirt from H&M with light blue capris and colorblock wedges-- it's bright and fun and perfect for this warm, sunny spring day.

There are only 2 H&M stores in North Carolina that I know of, and one of them is in Greensboro, where my dad had a business conference a few weeks ago. This top is my first piece from H&M, and I got it for less than fifteen dollars.

I love these earrings, and they just so happen to match my top really well. I wanted to play around with the black and white thing, so... =)










The shoes are originally from JCPenney, but I got them as a gift from my grandmother.

I would say this look is a cross between of girly and trendy. What do you think? And how would you style this shirt? Let me know in the comments.

xoxo,
Ireland


Title Credit:
"Still That Girl" by Britt Nicole
from the album Gold

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Beka // A Short Story

I found this story today while scrolling through my email, and I decided to post it. I wrote it last fall, and I hope you guys enjoy it. So without further ado...
 
Beka
 
Ever since Beka was a young girl, she was a big dreamer. She would daydream for hours about fame, wealth, and romance. Whenever Beka told her father about her dreams, he would look down his long, bumpy nose at her and say, “Well, Beka, what you want is what you get. So make sure your heart is set on the right things, okay?” But Beka never listened to her father, confident in her own ambitions and plans.

When Beka grew older, she moved to Los Angeles to become a singer. She pursued fame relentlessly, sacrificing whatever she could to make more money and get more publicity. She adopted a new image to please her record label, compromised her values for a bigger fan base, and broke plans with her family and friends when she had opportunities to play more shows. Eventually, she recorded many albums and started touring. Beka’s star continued to loom bigger and larger, until she had millions of followers on Instagram and hundreds of sold-out concerts. With all of the money she earned, she bought an expensive house in Beverly Hills. She dated some of the most famous men in Hollywood and was esteemed as one of the most beautiful women in the world. One day, as Beka was sitting at home with her boyfriend, she noticed an empty feeling in her stomach. Everywhere she looked, she saw traces of her seemingly perfect life, but it didn’t feel so perfect. The empty sensation in her stomach continued to grow until it was almost painful, and desperately, she leapt up and ran out of her house. She tore away from everything that looked familiar, and suddenly she was in a completely new part of town and gasping for air. Strangely enough, she found herself leaning against the red-brick wall of a church.

“Can I help you?”

Beka whipped around to see a kind-looking man dressed in a navy-blue suit. He was carrying a Bible.

“Oh, no— I don’t know. I’m fine, I guess.” Beka sighed. “I’m just confused."

“Well,” the man said. “This is a good place to find for answers.” He motioned a hand toward the church doors. “We’re getting ready to start, if you’d like to join us.”

Beka didn’t know why, but for some reason she followed him inside. It wasn’t long before the man made his way up to the front center of the church. He set his Bible on a stand and proceeding to read a long passage; apparently, navy-suit-guy was the pastor. Beka listened to the words, but she didn’t really understand them. When he finished reading, he looked out to the people.

“In the deepest part of the human soul,” the pastor said, “there is a desire to be loved. No amount of effort on our part— no fame, no money, no other relationship— can satisfy that need.”

“Then what can?” Beka thought to herself.

“Only God can,” the pastor continued. “To show us how powerful his love is for us, he sent his son Jesus to die for us. It was the ultimate sacrifice. All we have to do is accept Him in our hearts, believe in Him, and allow Him to fill us with his undying love. You see, the fulfillment we find in material things is temporary. But God’s love is perfect, and it never fades. It is and was and always will be.”
~~~~~~~~~~~
 
xoxo,
Ireland


Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Music Monday on Tuesday

There I sat, at the black makeshift computer desk in our bonus room, armed with a plate of chips and hummus, ready to do my Music Monday blog post.

And the computer wouldn't work.

So, I'm here to do it on Tuesday evening instead. Hope you guys don't mind! =)

The Song of the Week is "By Your Side" by Tenth Avenue North. This is a great song by one of my favorite bands, and our youth band is practicing it for an upcoming function at Generations Church. When you're listening to the song, it's as if you're hearing God talking to you-- asking you the hard questions, opening His arms to comfort you, and telling you he loves you. And His love is not shallow. His love is strong and consuming and can pierce through our darkness. His love is the only thing that can fill us up. I'm still learning that. You probably are too. So let's be moved together.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

My First Solo Kitchen Experience // Making Pancakes

Today I was prompted by my mom to cook something... cook pancakes... for myself. For some reason, I was more motivated than usual, and I gave it a shot. I figure I'm a fourteen year old girl who needs to know how to make something beyond a peanut butter sandwich. After all, I won't live at home forever and knowing how to cook will probably serve me well no matter what I do when I'm older.

 
So, Step One to becoming a competent home-cook: Make pancakes from a box. Eep. 



 
I made two pancakes (although it isn't exactly obvious if you judge by the final picture). I used coconut oil to grease the pan before I made the first one, but that didn't really work out too well, so next I tried using canola oil. It was in a spray can, and for some reason the pan stayed pretty fizzy. At least for a bit. But don't ask me why-- I don't know! =)



Now, my pancakes may not have been perfect, but they were edible. Although next time I should probably just get my mom to help me.

Hoping your cooking turns out better than mine this week! And if not, well, practice makes progress. =) Just think how incredibly blessed we are to even have food to cook with in the first place! We don't think of it as a luxury, but I am beginning to suspect it is one.

Until next time...

xoxo,

Ireland

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Happy April // Outfit Post

Pastels? Check. Sandals? Check. Sunshine? Check.
 
Yep. It's definitely April.
 
April is famous for a certain gift-giving bunny... but most importantly, April is the month when we celebrate the death and resurrection of our Lord and Savior. It's easy to get lost in the festivities, but we gotta try to stay focused on Jesus. Life is more fulfilling when we keep our eyes on Him-- something I know I need to remember.
 

Today is Wednesday, and that means a full day of homeschooling and then youth at 6:00. I'm wearing a knotted chambray top and a watercolor-print high-lo dress (worn as a skirt). It's fun but not overly dressy, and the color scheme screams SPRINGTIME!!! Which is greeeaaaat, because it's been a long winter!

This is my first outfit post on my new blog, and I would love for you guys to fill up the comments section with your input and suggestions. I plan to do more of these in the future... so here's hoping!

xoxo,
Ireland





 
Chambray shirt: Charlotte Russe
Tank top: Old Navy
Dress (worn as skirt): PacSun
Sandals: ??? um, my mom's closet