Monday, June 30, 2014

Sweeter Than Fiction // Outfit Post

So, in recent news, my grandmother and great-aunt Linda are visiting this week from Knoxville! Yesterday we all piled into my mom's car and took them to see some of the quintessential Southport spots-- including the waterfront park, where I'm sitting in the picture below.
 


I rarely ever do this, but I changed three times over the course of the day yesterday. I wore a dress and a denim jacket to church, changed into a t-shirt and shorts when we got home, and then changed again before going out in the evening. Anyway... eventually I ended up in this sleeveless sweater by Scott Taylor, my dark denim shorts, and faux leather flip-flops, along with the beaded necklace my uncle got my mom in Afghanistan and my prescription sunglasses. So everything worked out.
 

My dad called me a blonde Jackie the other day and I am still basking in the glow... :) My inspiration for this outfit came from some pictures of Audrey Hepburn and Jackie O on island vacations... they even made casual wear look chic! You can check out my Pinterest boards of Jackie here and Audrey here.

 
Silly faces to brighten the mood :)
 

 
I hope your week is starting off well! As usual, your thoughts are more than welcome in the comments....
 
xoxo,
 
Ireland
 
 
Outfit Credits:
Sweater- Scott Taylor, borrowed
Shorts- ZCO via Belk
Shoes- Sonoma, borrowed
Necklace- ?, borrowed
Sunglasses- Dr. Bizer's?*
*(IDK for sure... they are labeled Aztec Suns but I don't know if that's the style or the brand)
 
 
Title Credit:
"Sweeter Than Fiction" by Taylor Swift
 

 
 
 

Friday, June 27, 2014

June 2014 Photoblog

Here's what my month has looked like so far:
 
Performing with gcStudents youth band at the Treehouse.... twice! :) {See here}


Helping my dad with a few business presentations.



Hanging out with Mom and Jeffrey downtown.


Doing artwork underneath a gazebo in Southport. (This is obviously the before picture!:) )
 
So... what have you been up to this month?
 


Monday, June 23, 2014

The Battles We Lose

It's that time of week again.... Happy Music Monday! Today I have my newest original music video to share with you guys. It's called "The Battles We Lose" and it's about turning adversity into something that makes us stronger.


The Battles We Lose
 
 
 
If you're so inclined, please subscribe to my YouTube channel!
 
Thanks for watching :) Looking forward to hearing your thoughts.
 
 
~Ireland

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Stronger.


I have lost some of my shine in the whole growing-up process. Who hasn't? I am way more confused and skeptical than I used to be. My heart has been bruised. My confidence has been shaken. I have been so full of fear that for a while my life was more about getting through than living.

But there is this beautiful thing called healing. God is healing all my scars and making me stronger. He is restoring me. And while the hard times aren't fun, in the end God is going to make me more whole than I ever was.

He wants to do the same for you. He wants to make you stronger.

You just have to let him.


 

Saturday, June 21, 2014

To Be Treasured

 
 
Today, my 5-year-old brother Jeffrey went on his first canoeing trip, and I think it's safe to say he had a blast. For me, it was the first time I can remember ever feeling competent with an oar, so... I guess I'm improving :)
 
 
Being on the water reminded me so much of the summers my family used to spend at the lake when we lived in Tennessee. All the happy details resurfaced:
 
Tall, frosty glasses of milk served at the restaurant on the dock.
 
 Tubing with Reise and Emmy.
 
Feeling the warm sun and cool water against my skin.
 
The occasional ride on a Jet-Ski.
 
Being surrounded by the love of family and friends.
 
 
 
At fourteen, I am far from an adult, but as I'm growing up, I have found that I don't enjoy life to the fullest. But I want that to change. I want to treasure both the beautiful God-details in my past and my present.
 
 

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Versatile Blogger Award


This was awarded to me by Abigail at Sweeter Gets the Journey ... Thanks, Abigail!

There are 2 rules:

List 7 facts about yourself.
Pass the award on to a few other deserving blogs.
 
So, without further ado...
 
1. I tend to gravitate to the color pink.
2. I have been outside of the U.S. three times-- once to Dublin and twice to the Caribbean.
3. I love Nancy Rue.
4. My favorite fiction book is Little Women by Louisa May Alcott.
5. My first concert was at Thompson-Boiling Arena to see Taylor Swift's Speak Now Tour.
6. I found a cute tee that says "Jesus Is My Rock & That's How I Roll" on Pinterest and thought it was awesome.
7. I am currently wearing a purple t-shirt and sheep-printed pajama pants.

I am passing this award on to Jill at The Wizard of Odds and Ends, Sarah at All Things Vintage, and Paige at Sunday Best and All the Rest.

Man, it sure feels like awards season!:)

xoxo,
 
Ireland

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Happy Father's Day!

 
Daddy,
 
You make sure everyone in our family has what they need, you love us
THIS MUCH
and you understand the artistic, slightly irrational side of me. For this and everything else, I thank you. I love you to the moon and back.
 
Happy Father's Day.
 
 
Love,
Ireland
 

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Summer Break Is Here!

Please ignore the fact that my fitness plan has nothing to do with soccer.

I took my ACT today at the community college! I think I did a little better on science and a little worse in English than I was expecting. Oh, the suspense.... I wonder what score I made?!

Anyway, that final test marked the conclusion of my sophomore year of high school! Yay! I like school, but it feels great to have tenth grade under my belt... or, under my stretchy waistband. See, I'm wearing Soffe shorts. (Gasp: I just admitted I'm wearing sweats on a fashion blog. Oops. You won't hold it against me, will you? :))

I have a few goals for this summer. Including to work harder on my fitness routine. Which, as of now, is less than 2 hours a week.

So, I enlisted my lovely mom of Bodies on a Budget to make me a two-week exercise plan to get me on the road to success with fitness. (Perks of having a mother with a background in Health Education.)


Monday

40 min. interval training cardio—30 min. treadmill, 5 min. trampoline, 5 min. step

20 min. resistance (arms and abs)

Tuesday

20 min. cardio— 1.7 miles

40 min. resistance—(legs, shoulders, delts, abs)

Thursday

40 min. cardio—run 3 miles; walk the rest.

20 min. resistance (delts, back, traps)

Friday

30 min. cardio—10 min. treadmill, 10 min. tramp, 10 min. step

30 min. resistance (biceps, tris, delts, back)

Isn't she awesome?

So, now I wanna know:

What are your plans, goals, and dreams for this summer?
 
It is fine to be zealous, provided the purpose is good.
Galatians 4:18
 
Love,
Ireland
 
 

Monday, June 9, 2014

CCM Mash-Up // Music Monday

I heard this medley on the radio a while back and LOVED it. I mean, what guy do you know who can sing like Mandisa? And the video is even better. It helped me focus on how lovely their harmonies are. This band has some amazing talent, but what's really wonderful is that they are using their gifts for God.


"Songs of the Year 2014 Mash-Up" by Anthem Lights


 
 
Now that I have rediscovered the perks of having a Spotify account, I have started listening to all four of their albums, the newest being You Have My Heart, which was released earlier this year.
 
As for some of my other favorites? Right now I'm loving "That's What I'm Looking For" and "In The Light", featuring Jamie Grace. Two more amazing songs. And, oh yeah, their Demi Lovato covers are also really cool!
 
I could go on, but that's not really necessary :) .... Your thoughts?
 
 
Love,
Ireland
 
 

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

You Were Born to Bloom // Outfit Post



Downtown Southport is a beautiful place to be in late spring. Here is a snap of my mom, brother, and me in front of the Maritime Museum (which, in case you're wondering, is the place to learn about the history of Brunswick County. You'll get a solid social studies lesson, along with a few pirate yarns to add relish). Notice the beautiful purple flowers, the black iron fence, and the quaint brick buildings behind us. So pretty.



There is a charming little shop in Southport on the corner of Howe and East Moore called Bull Frog Corner. It's one of those quirky shops, crammed floor-to-ceiling with all kinds of toys, books, beach souvenirs, and candy. In fact, there's a little platform inside that leads to a room filled with everything from maple candies to gummies to chocolate-covered raisins. It's arguably the most intriguing part of the store, and that's saying something, considering there is some kind of merchandise covering every square inch of the place. Today, we got one of Jeffrey's friends a little birthday present from the toy section, and he bought himself a Star Wars staff, which he is holding in the top picture.
 

As we wandered around different places downtown, Mom took pictures of me in this bright pink ensemble. It's been a while since I did a full-on outfit post, and you seemed to enjoy those, so what better time to do another one than today? I decided to wear top-to-bottom neon pink for these shots... have I ever mentioned how much I love color?
  


In Matilda, the kind teacher who eventually adopts the poor orphan girl lives in a lovely little whitewashed house in the forest. This wall reminds me of that mental imagery my mind conjured up when I read that book... it feels so fanciful and romantic.


 
Hope you enjoyed this post! Let me know what you think!
 
Have a blessed day, today and always.

xoxo,
Ireland


Title Credit:
"Bloom" by Moriah Peters
from the album I Choose Jesus

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Introduction to Style: Wardrobe Building

Okay. So. Wardrobe building, yeah?
 
First, you need to take a look at your lifestyle. What kind of clothes do you need?
  • Where do you live? City, country, somewhere in between?
  • What is the weather like there?
  • What are your daily activities? School, sports, office job, grocery store runs? Do you travel?
  • What kind of events do you attend? You probably don't need anything more formal than some nice dresses for special occasions. You can work your way down from there.
    • My example: Where I live, I can use any warm-weather item. While it can get cold in the winter, I don't need too many coats. I need outfits for school, church, babysitting jobs, working out, and going to outdoor events.
  • Eighty percent of your closet should be made of basic items that go with all your other clothing. The other things you like make up the other 20 percent.

Learn what you like.
  • Do some research on fashion blogs, Pinterest, etc. You could also buy a couple books on fashion. I recommend Seventeen's Ultimate Guide to Style or Lauren Conrad Style. (These books aren't perfect-- not all the outfits are modest, the advice is not infallible, and LC Style has one mild use of language-- but they are really good overall.)
  • Go through your closet. Donate or sell what you don't like or don't wear, and examine what you do. What does that say about you and your tastes? When you shop, keep that in mind, and don't buy things that you won't know how to pair with the stuff already in your closet.
  • Remember that beauty without modesty isn't really beauty.
    • My example: I like clothes that are Audrey-Hepburn-meets-fun-21st-century-teenager on a budget. I like a mix of classic, girly-girl, and creative. I like pretty shoes. And color. I don't like things that are ill-fitting or too "funky" and I don't take huge fashion risks. I generally can tell when something just doesn't work (that is, when it comes to everyday fashion... high fashion is still somewhat foreign to me, although I can appreciate it).
       

  • While you're styling outfits, note which pieces you don't have that would really come in handy. Consider purchasing a few of those. (But make sure you don't get into that zone where what you have is not enough, if only you had more options, etc., etc. Not a godly place to be. Remember you already have enough. Talking to myself here as well.)
 
xoxo,
Ireland
 
 

 

Monday, June 2, 2014

I Need A Savior

Hey, all my wonderful blogging friends! I have an incredibly exciting surprise for you today...
 
On Music Monday, I normally post a music video by one of my favorite bands/artists, along with a few lines explaining why I find it so inspiring. But today, I have one of my own songs to play for you. It's called I Need A Savior, and it's about realizing that your only hope is for someone to rescue you, and the only one who can do it is Jesus.

 
 
Love,
Ireland



Sunday, June 1, 2014

Introduction to Style: Fashion Basics

 

Okay, so yesterday we talked about hygiene/beauty stuff, and today we're going to talk about actual fashion.
 
Simple Clothing Tips
  • Find someone in your life who has more experience with style than you do, and ask for her advice and opinions. I love having my mom as a mentor because she is totally honest if something doesn't work. She helps me cultivate my taste, which is one of the biggest parts of the whole fashion-thing.
  • To avoid looking frumpy: be careful with accessories, sweaters/shawls, jeans, long skirts, and secondhand/vintage clothing. I like ALL of these things, as you could easily tell by going through my closet, but just know that they can be tricky. In a future post I plan to discuss how to stay on the chic side of these pieces.
  • At first, stick with easy, mix-and-match basics. Concentrate on developing a wardrobe with easy-to-style pieces such as cute, quality tops, great-fitting jeans, and versatile flats. Dresses are also great because they instantly create an all-in-one outfit.
  • Buy one complete, fabulous outfit that you know works and then use those pieces with the rest of your closet to create some great looks.
  • Doing outfit posts has really helped me learn to style outfits better. If you're so inclined, you could start a blog or a little fashion journal to keep track of the outfits you make that you like. Just right it down, have someone take a picture, and keep it all organized. You might be able to track your improvement in a remarkable way.
  • Follow the outfit checklist at the bottom of this post

Outfit Checklist
  • Does it fit well?
  • Is everything clean and in good shape? (i.e. no stains, relatively wrinkle-free, etc.)
  • Do your top, bottoms, shoes, and accessories coordinate together?
  • Are you comfortable?
  • Do you feel good in these clothes? Do you think you'll feel good all day?
 
This is simple advice, not magic, but maybe it'll give you a little boost?! Let me know. And if you have questions I haven't answered, please ask them! The more specific would probably best.

Tomorrow I will have a post on wardrobe building :)

xoxo,
Ireland


P.S. This advice is obviously not necessary for survival, and you don't have to follow every single tip. When I say you "need" to do something it's probably only in terms of fashion. Anyway, just a reminder that while the way you look and how you dress is important, it is not everything, not even close.