Saturday, May 31, 2014

Introduction to Style: Health and Beauty Basics

The Basics: What so many girls can benefit from knowing.

In this post, my plan is to talk about how to take care of your appearance, mainly in regards to what culture calls "health and beauty". Why is your appearance important? For one, God wants us to take care of ourselves. Two, we as Christians should take care that we present ourselves in an honorable way, remembering who we represent. Three, it's fun. And four, if we are passionate about something (including fashion/beauty/etc.), we can and should use that passion for Jesus!

I'm not saying you should spend more than ten minutes getting ready in the morning, and I'm not saying you shouldn't. That's best left up to you and God. My goal is for this post to give you...
  • a comprehensive overview of how to simply keep yourself well-groomed (not including clothing-- that will be tomorrow's post)
What You Will Need (listed in order of priority).
  • Healthy food and clean water.
  • Clothing.
  • Space to run or work out.
  • Body soap.
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste.
  • Sunscreen
  • Something to tame your locks (brush/pick/comb), depending on hair type.
  • Face cleanser and face lotion.
  • Fingernail clippers and an emery board. Optional: plastic cuticle stick
  • Bath sponge, body lotion
{See, it's a simple list-- I absolutely do not think you need to wear makeup and use five hair products every morning. One of the only necessary things we should adhere to in regards to fashion/beauty is keeping ourselves clean and decent.}

STEP ONE: Eat good-for-you foods. (80/20 is a good ratio to consider. You know, eat healthy eighty percent and eat treats for twenty percent of the time. My mom is a health educator by degree; you might find some great tips on her blog.)

STEP TWO: Drink enough water that your pee is always either light yellow or clear. (I'm not being gross; this is science.)

STEP THREE: Exercise regularly, even if for just fifteen minutes a day. They say that kids need one hour and adults need thirty minutes daily, but something is better than nothing. Remember, the goal is simply to be healthy, so once you get in your ideal shape, just try to maintain it. Some simple ideas include running, walking, doing exercises like push-ups and sit-ups, and buying a couple of workout videos. I have one dance video that I've done probably six times and I'm still not bored of it because it's a lot of fun.

STEP FOUR: Take regular showers/baths. Once every other day is probably sufficient, but figure out what works for you. Use a bath sponge on tough areas like your elbows and feet to get the dirt/calluses off. Apply body lotion or sunscreen (depending on if you bathe in the morning or at night) and whenever your skin feels dry.

STEP FIVE: Brush your teeth after you eat breakfast and before you go to bed. Use mouthwash if necessary, and floss once a day.

STEP SIX: Wash your face when you wake up and use a little lotion to moisturize. Apply sunscreen each morning. Before bed, wash your face again and put on a more lotion. (Tip: Don't use body products on your face-- use facial products, which are designed for the more delicate facial skin.)

STEP SEVEN: Keep your hair under control by brushing it in the morning before you leave the house and then again before bed.

STEP EIGHT: Clip and file your finger- and toenails regularly. You don't have to get professional mani-pedis to have nice hands and feet: just keep your nails even in length, your cuticles pushed back (either with a plastic cuticle-stick or with your fingers), and remove your polish when it starts to look ragged.

Keyword: Well-groomed.

Okay, confession: I do not live up to this post. I only wash my face about half the time I should, I rarely ever floss, and my toenail polish is flaking off as we speak. But for the last week or so I have really been trying to do the majority of what I listed here. Want to join in on the challenge? Let me know by writing I'M IN somewhere in your comment.

Also, you might want to save this list and then alter it to fit you and your lifestyle. I used to have a list that I based off of Nancy Rue's The Skin You're In and I taped it to my bookcase, where I saw it on a regular basis. Just an idea!

Comment with any questions, ideas, and suggestions you have on health, beauty, and fitness in general.

Also, let me know what else you would like to see in the "Introduction to Style" series!



P.S. Part Two of the Basics post will be posted tomorrow, and it will focus on clothes. This post focused on hygiene/beauty stuff. Also, in case it was insinuated yesterday that this series was purely about fashion, please know that it is not! It is about how to take care of your appearance, from a Christian perspective, and some of the first things to know when it comes to style. I will probably focus on fashion the most, but we're starting from the ground up here, and that means starting with health.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Introduction to Style

This was how I styled a navy maxi a while back.

As you can tell from the title, I'm starting a new project today called Introduction to Style. It will be a series of posts that I don't really need to describe, because the title gives it all away. :)

I am by no means a fashion expert, but I want to share the knowledge I have in hopes that if you are style savvy, you will enjoy this series and maybe pick up a tip or two, and if you aren't but want to be, this will serve as a solid first step and nudge you along in the right direction. Plus, fashion blogging is just fun!

Now, quick! Pick one. (And let me know in the comments.)

Style is...
a) a tiny part of my life.
b) a part of my life.
c) one of my passions.

I'm so excited! Let's do this.



Tuesday, May 27, 2014


If everyone on earth had access to nutritious food, clean water, and healthy living conditions, the world would be a drastically different place than it is now. We take these things for granted, but in reality they are luxuries. They are amazing blessings. And in addition to them, I know I for one have plenty of clothing, several different kinds of soaps, little tools made for the express purpose of cutting my nails.....

So, to those of my readers have access to all of life's necessities and many amenities as well, like I do, I just want us all to remember how blessed we are and to remember to appreciate what we have. The things we consider basic, other people may only dream of having.

I do not think it's wrong to like fashion, to buy pretty clothes and nice makeup,  etc. I think God has made all of us unique and placed us in different walks of life. Maybe so we will reach different people. There may be some of us who are called to sell everything we own and become missionaries in the streets of an impoverished city, and some of us may be called to enter the design world to reach the people at Paris Fashion Week.

A lot of what God wants us to do is black-and-white (don't use His name in vain) but some is not (this college would not be a healthy environment for me). My best advice would just be to direct you to God and take His advice for you... on everything, from how much time you put in your appearance to how much you spend on clothes... everything. And let me tell you, I do NOT have it figured out. I'm still not sure exactly how this applies to me. I just know it's the truth, and I believe it.

Let's keep all this in the forefront of our minds as we continue on this blogging journey together.

In love,

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Spring Break in Tennessee (All of It)

Waiting for mom and dad's plane to arrive back
In addition to what you saw in the pictures, I...
Went to see Captain America on Tuesday with my aunt, uncle, and cousin.

Saw The Amazing Spiderman 2 on Wednesday with my grandmother and brother.
Watched Frozen for the first time several times, courtesy of the Dishners.
Ate delicious home-cooking, including a banana pudding that my Nana made with Jeffrey.
 Got together with everyone on my mom's side of the family, most of whom I haven't seen in a whole year.

Wished my grandmother Mary a happy 68th at her birthday party.
 And picked up my parents on Thursday afternoon from the airport.

So there you have it, folks. That was my Spring Break in Tennessee... all of it.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Spring Break in Tennessee: Part 3

Southport is great. Definitely. But I lived in Knoxville for thirteen years, and I have some amazing friends there! Last week I got to see a bunch of them and we had such a great time.

After hanging out at Kathryn and Jessica's house, we went to Goodwill and Karm to go on a thrift store scavenger hunt and ended up taking a bunch of awesome, ridiculous pictures that still make me laugh to look through them. And when I say laugh, I mean I am CHUCKLING and SNORTING. It is not glamorous but I wouldn't want it to be... I mean, hello, laughing is fun. Okay, I'm not just sure where I went with that... let's move on and just look at pictures <3

Kathryn (left) and Maddie looking through the books.

One of our scavenger hunt lists.
Look at her hand! HEHEHEHEHE!!!!
Who knows?
I think these may be the most unflattering shirts on the planet.

We are rockstars. In shiny green satin.
From left: Jessica, Samantha, Kathryn, me. Let me just tell you, these girls are awesome-- they are kind, friendly, faithful friends, and I am so thankful they are a part of my life.

 I do not have the right words to describe our outfits in this one. But I will try :)

I am one of the reupholstered cushions on an old lady's couch. Samantha is a  teenager from the 1980s getting ready for her glamour shot. Kathryn is... a gaudy eskimo? And Jessica is a furry red monster with an affinity for Western culture. Maddie is just plain cute.
I hope these pictures make you smile like they do me!


Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Spring Break in Tennessee: Part 2

So last Monday (not two-days-ago-Monday but the Monday before) Nana and Pa took Jeffrey and me to the Knoxville Zoo. It was Jman's first-ever zoo experience, and when we got home he said "it was the best day of his life".
Here we are at Black Bear Falls.
* I don't know about you, but when the word "fashion" pops up, my mind does not immediately jump to the zoo... :) Sometimes function trumps style (and for good reason), so please forgive my slightly-off outfit.

Jeffrey #coolasever

The Elephants.


They have a kids' corner at the zoo... and guess WHAT?! There is a carousel! Don't you just love that word? Carousel, carousel, carousel...

Don't judge me pretending I'm five again. Just pretend with me because I know you want to.

Gorillas have big hands.

Hey, look, it's a curious monkey :)
Okay, so now I wanna know... Do you guys like going to the zoo? And do you have a favorite one? I went to the one in Washington D.C. once and it was really cool. I bet the one in NYC would be fun too... maybe that would be a fun thing to add to my bucket-list. :) Looking forward to hearing from you!


Monday, May 19, 2014

Hold Me // Music Monday

Good morning, my lovelies! It's Music Monday, which means I have an awesome music video for you guys to watch.... this week it's "Hold Me" by Jamie Grace featuring TobyMac.

Some of my other favorite Jamie Grace songs are "Beautiful Day" and "Show Jesus". And when it comes to TobyMac, I really like "Suddenly" and "Good Morning" (the latter of which is actually a Mandisa song). And OF COURSE, "Jesus Freak" by dcTalk (the band Toby was in during the '90s, along with Michael Tait and Kevin Max). I remember being six and bopping along to that song in the car. Good times, good times...
Looking forward to hearing your thoughts.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Spring Break in Tennessee: Part 1

I know it's only been a week, so I haven't been gone from the blog long. But it felt like a long time! I've been in Tennessee this past week on my spring break (I'm homeschooled, so we have spring break whenever we choose), and it was hard to get to a computer to blog. But we got home last night, and now I have lots to share...
My parents spent five of the ten days in Chicago, but Dad snapped this Mother's Day pic for 2014 right before they left on Sunday. So here's my family, minus dad.

Later that day, after my parents had safely departed from the airport, my grandmother took my little bro and I to a cookout at Aunt Linda's. Here are some pictures :)

Jeffrey striking a serious pose with his toy gun.

Jeffrey and Mimi (my mom's mom).


Does this boy ever take a bad picture? He is so photogenic. Look at that beautiful little face :)
I'll be here tomorrow with a Music Monday post. Expect some other snaps of my Tennessee trip throughout the week!


Sunday, May 11, 2014

Happy Mother's Day

To all you amazing, godly mothers in the world-- including my loving, devoted mom, Karen, and my wonderful grandmothers, Mary, Lily, and Erma-- I wish a beautifully happy Mother's Day. Thank you for showing us Jesus, thank you for your self-sacrifice, and thank you for your amazing love. Thank you. You have helped us become who we are today.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

The Sun Is Rising // Outfit Post

Yes, yes, I know Memorial Day isn't for several more weeks, but who says I have to wait til then to do the Americana thing?
Today I'm wearing a fitted red tee with checked blue-and-white pants and short wedge sandals. I added the glitzy red scarf to make the look more creative, and I like the way it plays off the silver hoops.
Optional denim jacket.

Perfect for a picnic right? Photo creds go to my mom. :)

This look is really different from my normal style. While I wouldn't wear stuff like this all the time, it's fun to experiment. And the teenage years are great for that, assuming the experimentation is healthy.
Do you like my creative Americana spin-off? And is there a new style you're wanting to try out?
Red tee: Express, thrifted
Checked pants: tommy jeans, thrifted
Shoes: hand-me-down
Scarf: Fresh Produce
Earrings: ???, probably Claire's
Title: The Sun Is Rising by Britt Nicole

Thursday, May 8, 2014

The Beautiful Blogger Award

Thanks so much to Khloe Grace, who gave me the Beautiful Blog Award!!! She has a really cool blog you can check out HERE.

Here are the five rules that go along with accepting this award:
1. Thank the blogger who awarded you
2. Answer the ten questions he/she asked
3. Nominate ten bloggers to receive the award
4. Ask them ten questions
5. Let them know they've been awarded
I am more than happy to oblige.

1. Have you ever left the country?  If so, where did you go and why?
Yes. When I was three, my parents took me to Dublin, Ireland. It was the first and only time I've been on a plane, and while I don't remember much, we do have some pictures that can help spark memories. I've also been to the Caribbean.
2. Have you read the Hunger Games?  What are your thoughts on it?
Yes, all of them, several times. It's a really sad storyline, but I enjoyed reading the books immensely. I love that the main theme is hope and that that's the big idea even through all the grotesqueness of the political system.
3. Who is your favorite U.S. president?
I'm not really up on my politics, so I'm not really apt to answer this question. I'm going to go with Teddy Roosevelt because he was the POTUS in the Kit Kittredge American Girl books, and I loved those :) . (I told you I wasn't up on my politics...) Ask me again in a couple years when I know more about politics and government.
4. What is your favorite song... or top three if you can't decide?
Emily (It's Love) by Francesca Battistelli
Carolina In My Mind by James Taylor
American Honey by Lady Antebellum
*They will probably change in a few months, just to warn you!
5. What is one of your biggest life goals?
Complete my undergrad.
6. What is one of the most embarrassing things that has happened to you?
I get embarrassed when I remember the social/moral mistakes I've made in the past. But I don't think God really wants us to feel that way-- if it's an important mistake, we have to go to him about it, and if it's not we have to remember humility and move on! :) A difficult lesson, but worth it...
7. Do you follow sports?  If so, what sport and what is your favorite team?
I don't really follow sports, per se, but I like watching football with my dad. The New York Giants are my favorite team.
8. Have you ever attended a dance?  If so, what was it for?
Like at school? I went to a costume dance in seventh grade but it wasn't that fun and I haven't been to another. Anyway, I'm homeschooled now, and I haven't gone to a home-school/co-op dance.
9. Do you have a job?
While I'm not technically old enough to work, my church does pay me to babysit for some of the women's small groups.
10. When was the last time you saw a movie in the theater?  What was it?
A couple weeks ago I went with a friend to see God's Not Dead. It was a good movie, and I love to support the Christian film industry!


My Questions:
1. What was your hardest subject in school?
2. Do you play an instrument, and if so, which one?
3. What is your favorite color? And you have to pick ONE. No cop-outs.
4. Flip-flops or boots?
5. Football, soccer, or tennis?
6. Have you ever taken a self-defense course?
7. What is one weak area of your life that you are working to improve?
8. Bible passage you are loving right now?
9. How would you describe your personal style?
10. What's your favorite way to work out? Again, no cop-outs. :)
My Nominees:
1. Sarah at All Things Vintage
2. The girls at Going Upstream
4. Sarah Elizabeth at Learning to Trust God
6. Karen at Bodies On a Budget
9. Iris at Feminine Modesty

P.S. I'll be back on Saturday with an outfit post. Scroll down the homepage to see the one from Wednesday.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Geek Chic // Outfit Post

It's Wednesday! And for me, that means there are only two more days until my family and I load up the car and head to Tennessee. My parents are going on a business trip and my brother and I will be staying with relatives. I'm excited to see my family and friends in TN again :)

Today's outfit is in honor of a certain Gwen Stacy from a certain incredibly successful movie franchise. The Amazing Spiderman 2 just came out in theaters, and as I am planning to see it within the next week or so, I decided to pay tribute to Gwen with this look.

Gwen Stacy wears very polished clothing that has a sophisticated, schoolgirl vibe. This outfit is modeled after the fashion in the first movie, but I'm looking forward to seeing how her style has developed in the second one.

I channeled my inner schoolgirl with a collared shirt with a simple grey skirt, similar to the one Gwen wears in the movie. Her shoes are very simple but sleek, so I went with these black, Oxford-esque shoes that have a chunky little heel and paired them with matching socks.
In almost every scene in the movie (with a few exceptions, of course), Gwen wears her platinum-blond hair in a bouncy ponytail with blunt bangs. I wasn't going to have my bangs cut just for the sake of this look, but I did pull my hair back and smooth back the top-- simple and classy.
Her makeup is pretty natural, other than the occasional winged eyeliner, so I focused on the eyes and then just lined and colored my lips. Light foundation & blush.
This ended up being more of a tutorial on a Gwen Stacy look! Oh, well, I like it :)
Who is your favorite Marvel character? Do you get inspiration from movie fashion, too?

P.S. This link will take you to my Pinterest board with a lot of Gwen Stacy looks.
White shirt: thrifted
Grey skirt: thrifted
Shoes: borrowed
Socks: Aeropostale
Silver hoops: ???, probably Claire's

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Something Beautiful // Outfit Post

Good afternoon, my lovelies! It's a warm, sunny day here in Southport, North Carolina and the trees are bright and green and ALIVE. The birds are chirping outside my window, my parents are talking softly amongst themselves in the kitchen, and I have just kicked my shoes off and am now sitting here at the computer, talking to you. :)

I went to a coffee shop downtown with my dad earlier today and had a hot chocolate, complete with mini marshmallows and whipped cream. We sat at one of the little tables by the window and just talked about music for forty-five minutes. That is what I call a good start to Tuesday.
Today I'm wearing a printed blue dress with a knotted chambray button-down and blue sandals. It's casual but girly, and the little wedge heel on the shoes make me exactly the same height as my mom. (I like that. :))

One thing I like about my hair is that I can straighten it in the morning, wake up the next day and it looks about the same, except for a few needed touch-ups. I need to remember this blessing when I start to feel like I'm having a bad hair day!

Comment away...


Printed dress: Kohls
Chambray button-down: Charlotte Russe
Sandals: hand-me-down from mom
Title: "Something Beautiful" by NEEDTOBREATHE, from the album The Outsiders

Monday, May 5, 2014

It's Love // Outfit Post

Happy Monday, all! 

Yesterday, I wore this pretty purple maxidress to church. It's made of a really soft, drapey material, and I love how the fabric flares over the cinched waistband. Paired with tall nude peep-toes, it's more dressy than casual, but still simple in the overall feel.
Taking outfit pictures is not always easy on Sundays, due to church and taekwondo practice and trying to take extra time to rest, but I really liked this outfit and wanted to make sure I shared it with you guys.

This picture really shows off the shoes (pause for closer inspection) and the bracelet, which I made with my grandmother last year during a trip back to Tennessee :)
I'm really loving the song "Emily (It's Love)" by Francesca Battistelli featuring Dave Barnes. Here are some of the lyrics:

Emily, you will see some stormy weather
Dark and cloudy days of rain (days of rain)
But Emily, there will be summer laughter
'Cause everybody knows the seasons change

Circumstances can change your mind
And time will help you see

It's love that hung the moon and stars for you above
And stays awake to start the morning
When you feel you've had enough
He's never given up, it's love
I hope this will prompt you to check out the song  for yourself and let me know what you think! Also, how would you style my dress? I look forward to hearing from you...
Outfit Credit:
Purple dress: Fiancée, via Dressing Your Truth
Bracelet: handmade
Earrings: secondhand
Shoes: borrowed

Thursday, May 1, 2014

on the wings of the wind.

 I went to SPT Marina yesterday with my dad and we had lunch... and talked... and looked at cool boats.
Here is the awesome Happy Sandwich I made him. My sandwiches are better than my pancakes, right?

There's a park right across from the park, and here's... a TREE!

It felt so good to be on a dock, surrounded by water... We used to have a boat when I was little and spent a lot of time at the lake. Happy memories.

More boats.

Still more boats.

And now we come to the title of this post. So, Dad and I were reading all the boats' names... which is always fun... and I really liked this one: On the Wings of the Wind. We also saw one called 10 acious. Cute, right?
Do you love being on the water? Would you rather go surfing or boating regularly?

I look forward to reading your comments!