April 16, 2014

it's wedding week

Excuse the radio silence this week - - on Saturday my little sister is getting married!


























My free time this week is being spent writing my Maid of Honor speech, figuring out how to do my makeup, trying on my dress with my two shoe options deciding which is less likely to make me trip, and pinching myself that my little sister is getting HITCHED! I can't believe it and I'm so happy for her.

I'll be back next week :)

April 13, 2014

let's start fresh, shall we?

With my new redesign, I thought I'd take a chance to clarify and tweak what you can expect around here.


I've been blogging since the days of xanga and livejournal, but I've been at this particular space for several years now. I think I felt pressure to make every post deep + theological, especially while I was in seminary (the beginning years of the blog). Don't get me wrong, I love writing posts like that -  but I realistically and unfortunately don't have the time to write those posts regularly or exclusively. Not to mention, there are so many topics I wanted to share about here, that for a long time I wasn't sure how to fit them in with the deep, faith posts. Anything besides that felt pretty insignificant - so instead, I posted infrequently, irregularly, and without much vision or excitement.

I wanted a new look for this space so it would be beautiful and fit my style, but also so that I could take time to refresh and find new inspiration for this blog. I read blogs everyday, I absolutely love this community and the people I've met from this lovely hobby. I love finding and reading blogs where there is a healthy mix of post topics (lighthearted + deep) and where the author's personality clearly shows. (hayley wrote a great post recently here that i loved on this topic). I know that for a long time, my personality hasn't been represented here. I'm ready for that to change!

Me? I'm quirky, sensitive, deep, and a little silly. I love fashion & beauty blogs as well as theological & faith blogs. I'm 26, single, super close with my family, a high school small group leader, and seminary graduate. I love baseball, basketball, artsy fartsy stuff, and music. If I could be anyone for a day it would be Kate Middleton. If I could have any wish it would be to have an amazing singing voice. I wanted to be a kindergarten teacher my entire life until I started helping with youth at church and then I knew the Lord was leading me elsewhere. I work an office 9-5 job but long to work in vocational ministry. I'm learning to dream big and bravely chase the dreams God has placed deep within me.

That's a brief paragraph about me - and I want to write more about what the Lord has brought me through, where He has me now, and where He's leading me. (I echo this post from nadine whole-heartedly).

So what can you expect here now with this fresh start? More realness. Vulnerability. Fun. You can expect faith + lifestyle posts and all that those two topics might encompass (which happen to be my favorite posts to read). I'm grateful to have you join me along the way.

cheers to new beginnings,
Erin

April 11, 2014

friday favorites / skincare


For the next few Fridays, I'm going to be sharing some of my favorite beauty products, broken up by category. Here are 6 of my most favorite skincare products!


1- Neutrogena Oil-Free Eye Makeup Remover // This is pretty standard, but it has become my must-have eye makeup remover. I used to just use makeup wipes to remove my mascara, but this is so much easier and really gets everything off. Also, this doesn't burn my eyes at all - which happens with many other liquid eye makeup removers for me.

2- Clinique Take the Day Off Cleansing Balm // I wasn't so sure about this product for awhile, but I've grown to love it! Balms take a little getting used to - but once you get the hang of it you'll understand why this is one of my favorites. It's such a gentle and thorough way to cleanse and remove makeup at the end of the day.

3- Glamglow SuperMud Mask // This mask is annoyingly overpriced, but I got this as a part of a special deal at Sephora over the holidays. This product is really hyped but it's for good reason - I absolutely love it! It works so well and my skin feels amazing after I use it. I'm not sure I'll always have the budget for this mask, but I'm enjoying it while I can. Also, I don't use this on my entire face. I use it mainly in my t-zone, but I think you can also use it as a spot treatment mask.

4- Origins Ginzing Refreshing Eye Cream // I've been trying to be diligent about applying eye creams to prevent any aging, and because in the mornings my eyes NEED a little extra help to wake up. This eye cream has almost a luminizing effect and I love applying it to my tired eyes every day.

5- Clarisonic Mia 2 // Oh, where do I begin? The Clarisonic is one of the best investments ever. I keep it in the shower and use it a couple times a week. My skin feels so smooth after I use it and I'm not sure I'll ever be able to live without it.

6- Philosophy Purity Cleanser // I'm not too picky about cleansers, but this is one I love pairing with the Clarisonic. I learned quickly that super foamy cleansers do NOT pair well with the Clarisonic (unless you like soap bubbles up your nose). This cleanser doesn't foam up and works great! It also doesn't leave my skin feeling dry or tight, which is a must for me.

I'd love to hear what your must-have skincare products are in the comments!

April 1, 2014

welcome to my new blog!

yay!!

things look quite different around here and i am THRILLED!

one of my march goals (and a goal i've had for awhile, quite frankly) was to spruce up this space and get a big-girl blog design. i worked with savannah from maiedae and i couldn't be happier with my experience. she's amazing!

i'm hoping to use this re-design as a time of refreshment and new inspiration for my writing and blog. i'd love to find the rhythm to settle in here and be regular in my posting and intentional with my content.

enjoy the new look and i hope you'll continue to join me here as we grow together. xo

-erin

p.s. see to the right there? i have a new page for Frequently Asked Questions. if you have a question you'd like me to include, leave it down below in a comment. thanks!

March 27, 2014

CURRENTLY

I haven't had much time/motivation/inspiration lately for blogging, so I thought I'd ease back in with a "currently" list.

snuggling my niece Nora - my favorite gal

+ E X C I T E D   A B O U T // my new blog design + layout - coming April 1st! :) a fresh look and design is just what i need to help bring new inspiration to this space.
+ L I S T E N I N G   T O // haim - all day every day. i'm obsessed.
+ W A T C H I N G // i started re-watching The Office on netflix. a forever favorite. after that - i'm considering re-watching Lost!
+ W A I T I N G   F O R // my sister's wedding in just a few weeks! can't wait.
+ R E A D I N G // Love Does, Divergent, and Restless
+ L O V I N G // i am stalking my friend erin's instagram account like it's my job. scroll back a week or two and enjoy a real-life-cutest-love-story-ever.
+ D R I N K I N G // Starbucks Iced Coffee with white mocha - my usual!
+ F E E L I N G // stuck about what to write for my maid of honor speech! apparently i used all my jokes for the last wedding + speech.
+ P L A N N I N G // fun ways i can show a little more love to this blog. what would you like to see here? i'm using my redesign as a way to start fresh!
+ T H A N K F U L   F O R // friends who go above and beyond, who know you + love you, who are there for the joys and the mess -- and pray for you faithfully.
+ W A N T I N G // a simpler, uncluttered home. unfortunately, simplifying + organizing means a messier home in the meantime while i sort through it all. it's a work in progress!

March 4, 2014

lent + sacrifice

I wrote a post a little over two years ago (read it here) - it was on giving things up for Lent that actually need to die in us. Here's a little excerpt:

"Last week in class one of my professors was saying how for Lent we tend to give up things that don't really matter. Like.. chocolate for example. We give it up and moan and groan for weeks that we want chocolate so bad, but we are sacrificing for the Lord, and then the minute Easter hits, we gorge on all the chocolate we can find. Is this really a sacrifice? Why give up something for Lent if we are just going to take it back up again when Easter comes? My professor challenged us, Let's give up things that actually need to die in us. Things that we will continue to sacrifice even when Easter arrives."

My friend Lindsey Kubly wrote in her March goals that for Lent she was doing a spending freeze. I'd been wondering for a few weeks now what I would give up for Lent this year or if I would give anything up at all. When I saw Lindsey's idea - I realized I needed to do that too.

I have been really diligent with budgeting (I use mint.com and it is SO helpful!) the last few months, but I have not been sacrificial in how I budget. I do give, but I also spend unnecessary amounts of cash on things that don't really matter. I am horrible at telling myself No when I want something, or that I need to wait.

I refuse to let money and superficial things become an idol in my life. I refuse to be controlled by what the world tells me I need. And I refuse to look back on my life and see that I wasted my money on things that didn't matter.


For Lent I'll be using my Naptime Diaries Lent journal (it is undated - so you can buy it anytime!) and giving up unnecessary spending. I have my sister's wedding and a few birthdays during Lent, so I'm going to have a few exceptions for buying gifts and what not, but I'm not going to buy clothes, makeup, home decor items, and so on. I also plan to read Nancy Ray's Contentment posts, as this is a bit of a mini-Contenment Challenge. The money I save from not shopping - I plan to seek the Lord and see what He'd like me to do with it.

Are you sacrificing anything for Lent? I'm really looking forward to 40 intentional days seeking Jesus and reflecting on what these days mean for our faith.

March 3, 2014

february recap and march goals

I didn't realize how busy February was going to be at the beginning of the month when I was doing my monthly goal planning. I went to winter camp with my high schoolers, helped plan a bridal shower for my sister, and had a handful of other events and things that took up quite a bit of my free time. Here's how I did on my February goals.

1. Drink a green smoothie everyday. I knew going into February that this would not happen everyday, but I still wanted to make an effort to drink one most days. I did drink one most days, so I'm pretty pleased with that! I am trying to make it a habit to have a green smoothie at least 3-4 times a week.

2. Reach my savings account goal. Woo-hoo! I completed this goal! About halfway through the month, actually. That felt great, and now I'm ready to set another financial goal. I'm loosely following Dave Ramsey's "Seven Steps" which have been super helpful.

3. Help plan an awesome bridal shower for my sister. Yep!! The shower was Saturday (March 1st) and everything went so well. It was a blast :)

4. Blog once a week. I blogged the first two weeks, and then I went away to winter camp and it totally messed me up! Still working on finding a blogging rhythm. Grace + progress, not perfection! :)

5. Finish two books. This is another goal I failed at due to very little free time throughout the month. I'm still going through Restless and have a tower of other books I want to read.


And now, here are 5 of my March goals.

1. Begin the process of a new blog design. This is something I've been wanting to do for a long time and finally I want to start making progress on this. Can't wait to get the ball rolling!

2. Do some serious work on my patio. I'm not sure how much I'll be able to work on this goal, but I've been neglecting my patio for months and months. I'd love to have that be a relaxing and inviting space, but it is currently taken over by dirty patio furniture and millions of leaves.

3. Write my maid of honor speech. My sister's wedding is mid-April and I don't want to wait until the last minute to write it. I got some serious compliments after my MOH speech at my other sister's wedding in 2012, so I have a reputation to uphold. ;) Just kidding. In all seriousness, I just want to thoughtfully write out a great speech so I'm not stressed out about it closer to the wedding.

4. Start working on my office/2nd bedroom. I realize I might be setting myself up for disaster with goals for both my office and my patio, and with a busy month, it's possible that both won't get done. BUT, I'd like to try. I have let my office become super disorganized and messy, and all the things that I don't know where to put just get thrown in there. I want it to be functional and pretty, so I'd like to at least clear out all the junk this month.

5. Drink 2 liters of water every day. Some days this is easier than others, but I've been trying to reach this goal daily. Water, unlike a green smoothie (from February's goals) is way easier to keep up with during a busy month. No excuses!

I'm linking up with the lovely Hayley! What are some of your March goals?