Saturday, August 23, 2014

Lifelong Love Letter // Outfit Post




Good afternoon, my lovelies! I hope your weekend is off to a wonderful start. Today I went on a mini-road trip with my mom to Leland, NC to get some new contacts, and it was so fun... not least of all because the optometrist's name was-- get this-- Dr. Hu.

Anyway, with the first day of school only three days away, I've been spending some time putting new outfits together. This bright, sweet look is one of my favorites so far... I even got little butterflies in my stomach when I finished accessorizing it.

Is that normal? Probably not.

But that's beside the point. I love this look because it is colorful and happy and  fun to wear... and since I'm feeling a bit more optimistic than usual today, it also suits my mood quite nicely.

The start of school prompts me to get a little more creative with my outfits, so I hope to share several more with you over the next few weeks. Here's hoping!

Love you guys.


xoxo,

Ireland

Outfit Credits:
Pink 3/4 length: Hollister via Marshalls
White cropped pants: American Eagle, thrifted
Belt: ?, thrifted
Colorblock wedges: ana via JC Penney
Gold hoops: borrowed
Gold ring: borrowed
 
Title Credit: "I Choose You"by Sara Bareilles
  

Monday, August 18, 2014

Thoughts on Strong.

A right sidekick
I have been involved in martial arts on-and-off for the last several years, and so far, it has not transformed me into a supremely disciplined, indefatigable version of my former self. In fact, sometimes I get to class and barely have the willpower to stand and say our pledges. But somehow, there hasn’t been a class yet where I had to bow out. There are times when I think I just can't do it, but I know deep inside (sometimes, I have to dig deeper than others) that I am not as fragile as I feel.
My first time using a bo staff

Sparring with my instructor
 
My New Blue Belt
 
I am strong. Not because I don’t have weaknesses, but because God is alive in me, and I have everything I need to pull from in Him.

I don’t want to be the kind of person who gives up when something bad happens. Because bad things will happen. Anyone can keep going when life is flowing smoothly… but what about when it’s not?
 
I cannot count the times I have failed to put forth my best in difficult situations, but I keep going. I keep trying. I keep seeking, even if I'm only inching my way forward. My progress is slower than I would like it to be, but sometimes I just have to relax and let it go.
 
I am not perfect. But I believe in a God who is. In Him I am strong, and through Him I am getting stronger.
 
Instead of letting my problems overtake me today, I am going to try to lean into God a little more, because He is all the strength that I need.
 
He's all that you need too. And that's a promise.
 
Love,
Ireland
 
 
 

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Thoughts on Cozy.


Today I was reading one of my favorite blogs (written by Nancy Rue) and she posed several questions about the "longing to belong" and what "cozy" looks like. Here is my response.

 Cozy is my family gathered around a wood-burning fireplace. Listening to my favorite music. Rereading the Lily books. Dancing while my dad plays guitar. Beautiful clothes that don't get in the way while I'm doing things. Seeing the beach for the first time in six months. Conversation that flows like water.

It is an inner warmth that comes from feeling close to love. It is a clear conscience, a new slate, a tingly feeling that starts in your soul and spreads all the way throughout your body. It is letting God be God and being who you were truly made to be. It is honest but safe. It is belonging. It is unaffected and there is not mask to cover it up. Cozy.

I don't feel cozy all that often. But there are moments, here and there, a few seconds where I laugh and forget about my problems or I embrace the exquisiteness of God a little bit more. Mostly it feels like a process, like I'm getting closer to it but I'm not quite there yet.
 
Oh, how I long for coziness in relationships. To me that sounds close to perfection. I have a few friends that I catch glimpses of it with, and I don't appreciate it enough because I'm obsessed over wanting more. I'm moving in two weeks to a new city, and I'll be going to a public high school for the first time... I so want to meet some girls and guys that I can have close friendships with.
 
Because that is part of the essence of cozy. Closeness.

Feeling alone in a crowd is the opposite of cozy, which is basically how I felt in middle school. The loneliness was overwhelming and the not-wanting-to-live feeling was much too painful. I went into survival mode, and life was just so hard. I don't ever want to feel that way again. I have Jesus, and because of Him I am not alone, even when it feels that way. I want to hug that truth around the nakedness of my soul and believe it with every fiber of my being.

That is cozy. And that is unshakable. And that is what I want.


Thursday, August 7, 2014

It's That Time of the Year Again...

BTS Time!
 
Well, guys. I am officially enrolled as a student at Emsley A. Laney High School, alma mater of Michael Jordan. If all goes well, it will be where I graduate in two more years... eep!
 
Summer break is coming to a close in a few short weeks, so I compiled a short list of back-to-school reads, including So Not Happening (#1 of the Charmed Life Series) by Jenny B. Jones and Limos, Lattes, and My Life on the Fringe by Nancy Rue. Two chick lit books that I have read over and over again!

What's on your end-of-summer to-read list?

 
xoxo,
 
Ireland

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

We All Wanna Be Somebody // Outfit Post

 Hey guys! It's been a while since I've done an outfit post, which is too bad because they are a lot of fun. Plus, I really love this look-- the sleeveless sweater has a very classic feel, but there are some sporty-cool influences in there too.























I cuffed my skinnies to show off these great black heels. They have a similar athletic-inspired edge as the sweater, which totally pulls the look together. And as always, I kept my accessories to a minimum-- just two silver rings. Coco Chanel's notorious quote about always taking off one thing before you leave the house... well, I think she had a point. The focus should be on you more than it is on your outfit!

So, I have a question: Do you think nail polish should be considered an accessory or a cosmetic? I think it's a bit of both. For this look, my toes are black and my nails are red, and I think it really adds to the overall look. 

I'm not as into hair/makeup as much as fashion, but they definitely go hand in hand. For this look, I straightened my hair (although as you can tell, I didn't get all the wave out) and emphasized my eyes by lining them in the same shade of blue.
 
Here's a quick how-to: BB cream all over face and neck. Light pink blush from the apples of cheeks to the temples. Nude eyeshadow all over the eye. Bronze/brown shadow all over lid. Navy eyeliner on top lid and waterline. Mascara on top and bottom lashes. Soft red eyeliner, lip balm, subtle lipstick.
 
Sorry for the quality in these pictures... we took them with an iPhone and the lighting wasn't great. But other than that, I really like these shots! What do you think? 

 
xoxo,

Ireland
 
Outfit Credits:
Sleeveless sweater: dressbarn, borrowed
Skinnies: Aeropostale
Heels: Colin Stuart, thrifted
Skinny ring: ?
Silver ring w/ red stone: Dressing Your Truth (Type 4 section)
Belt (not pictured): ?, borrowed

Title Credit: "Be Somebody" by Thousand Foot Crutch
 

Monday, August 4, 2014

Hide Your Love Away // Music Monday

Now, you may already know how much I heart Anthem Lights, but you haven't  heard me talk about their new (original) song, Hide Your Love Away. And let me tell you, it is beautiful. It's a song about purity, and the thing is...

Purity is special-- it's a gift. And you should preserve it.
 
But if you mess up, God is still there, ready to take you in his arms and forgive you. And your purity can start today.
 
(I recommend watching the Behind the Song first.)
 
Hide Your Love Away lyric video
 
 
Behind the Song
 
 
I'll be back tomorrow with an outfit post. Meanwhile, enjoy this song and let me know what you think in the comments.
 
xoxo,
 
Ireland
 

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Lunch at the Southport Tea House: Part 2 of 2

 
Yesterday I posted pictures from lunch at the Southport Tea House. I have a couple more to show you, if you don't mind :), starting with this one of my mom. As you can see, they bring the little pots of tea to the table, and then you wait three to five minutes for it to steep. I dunked several cubes of sugar and a fair amount of cream into mine, and my mom added honey to hers.
 
 
I had a chocolate chai for the first time in my life... and it was spicier than I expected! I'm not a huge tea drinker, but something about the beverage in general just seems so lovely. As C.S. Lewis so eloquently put it, “You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.”
 

Soon, they brought out our food, served on pretty flowered plates.



My mom had a ham and gouda quiche and a mixed green salad, and I had this two-tier platter of assorted foods. On the bottom are two chicken salad and two cucumber sandwich squares, and on the top is a scone, praline muffin, and two cookies, along with a little dish of clotted cream and jam. If you ask me, clotted cream tastes a lot like butter. But "clotted cream" sounds so much better. Makes me feel like I'm having breakfast in a traditional English cottage. Ya gotta love that.

If you ever come to Southport looking for a cool lunch spot, the Tea House may be it, especially if you like the whole feminine, vintage-y vibe.
 
Hope you enjoyed another peek into Southport living! And if you missed Part 1 of this post, just click here.
 
Hope you are having a beautiful Sunday! God is good!
 
xoxo,
 
Ireland
 
P.S. Who else is planning to watch the Giants play tonight??
 


Saturday, August 2, 2014

Lunch at the Southport Tea House: Part 1 of 2


 Today, my mother and I had lunch at the Southport Tea House for the very first time. Since we only have a few weeks left in town, she created a little bucket list of things to do, and at the top of that list was a mother-daughter date at the Tea House.

 




Isn't the place so cute? It's an experience just to go in and admire the d├ęcor. The tables are set up just so with pretty floral tablecloths, girly centerpieces, and charmingly mix-matched tea cups and saucers. I felt a little bit like Felicity Merriman (you, know from American Girl) as I was sitting at our table. But I realized again today that I would not blend well with the social circles of times past. My mom had to remind me to keep my elbows off the table. Oops.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 







Here I am with my chocolate chai. Cheers!
 
xoxo,
 
Ireland

Friday, August 1, 2014

Next Stop... Wilmington


Happy August, everyone! As we roll into the last few weeks of summer break, I find myself surrounded by empty bookshelves, stacks and stacks of cardboard boxes, and overexposed beige walls. That's right, we're moving-- again! This time, though, our end destination (umm, that being Wilmington, NC) is only about an hour away. Much simpler than the 500-mile trek from Knoxville to Southport.

As my family transitions into the next phase of our life, this picture serves as a tribute to Flashback Friday. From left: my mom Karen, late grandfather Ed, uncle Carey, me, and my cousin Reise.

I love beautiful memories... but at the same time, I'm looking forward to making new ones.

What do you think is the hardest part about leaving home? What's the best?

xoxo,

Ireland