Monday, November 23, 2015

MUSIC MONDAY // Waterbed

I had never heard of this duo, but then I stumbled across "Sweet n Sour" and I was hooked!

If you're looking for some new tracks to freshen up your playlist, add a few songs by WATERBED. They've got a fun electro-indie-pop sound that I dig and you will too (if you're into that sound at least...).

Check them out on social media if you wish (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter), as they're relatively new to the music scene and have a small following for now. I have a feeling they're going to be getting some attention soon though!

Happy Monday!

Saturday, November 21, 2015

OOTD // Grungy Fall

When in doubt, tie a plaid flannel round your waist.
That's the motto I'm living by this fall, and it hasn't failed me yet. Remember this hi-low dress? Probably not, unless you have super memory and can recall all the way back to THIS post where I was posing on some railroad tracks.

I haven't worn it since because of the self consciousness I tend to feel with the clingy material around my midsection. I can't believe I let over a year separate me from this dress though!

I've been trying to treat my body right this semester, and aside from several sleepless nights (too many things to do! all the free time at night/early morning time! too much coffee! AH!), I've been doing pretty well. I've been challenging my body's capabilities more and more, and the confidence I've gained from doing so has been very rewarding. I don't care as much if my body looks "good" in clothes - because I know it's awesome, no matter what.

I've been doing Insanity, Turbokick, new dance classes, and a few free-weight themed classes (Upper Back & Glutes followed by Upper Body Blast typically) fairly consistently since the start of this semester, and it's amazing how much of a difference it's made. Not so much on physical appearances, but in energy levels, capabilities, and like I said earlier, my confidence! I'm officially addicted to working out, guys...yeah, I turned into one of those people. I actually get cranky if I don't work out now.

I've always been fairly active, but this semester it's been cranked up a notch. It may sound odd, but I had this dream a while ago that settled a conviction about my heart on being strong - in all aspects: spiritually, mentally, and physically.

Ever since my dream, I've been doing more reading (of all kinds), self study, and physical activity than in the past few years. It's been a sort of revival of sorts, and I hope it's not some hokey facade that will fade.

Much love,

Thursday, November 19, 2015

BOOK REVIEW // H3 Leadership: Be Humble. Stay Hungry. Always Hustle

So a while ago, I applied to be a part of the BookLook Bloggers program. 
(this next section is a really long backstory of my history with reading...skip to the next emboldened words if you want to get to the meat of this post already).

This semester, I've been determined to spark my love for reading again and have started picking up books in my spare time. It's been so rejuvenating! I can't believe I spent so many months without diving into a book and absolutely devouring it. I used to be known as the bookworm girl in elementary and middle school. My librarians knew me by name and always let me know when there were new books arriving. I read entire aisles of books and always longed to find the next one that would swallow me up into a new world.

Since starting college and getting swamped by the realities of life (rent, bills, the cost of living, etc.), I've neglected my bookworm ways and deeply regret it. However, since starting reading again, I've noticed my taste in books have changed. While I'll always have a soft spot for fiction and mythical storylines (that's all I'll watch when it comes to TV right now), I've started reaching for...realistic books. The story of a boy who was forced to become a child soldier in Sierra Leone caught my attention. I barely made it through, but I finished it despite the tears that were prone to escaping my eyes. The history of women and those who questioned why they were not listened to is a recent find, and one that I'm captivated by. A fresh perspective on Christianity and how it's so much more than what many think it is was quickly devoured. Basically, I'm now interested in more intellectual based books and finally growing my knowledge of the world and how we view it.

Which is why I'm thrilled to be a part of the BookLook Bloggers team!
Just so you know, they are all books from Christian publishing houses, so that influence is quite present - which for me is incredibly refreshing. I want to find books that promote thoughtfulness and help me reach my own understanding of why I even believe what I believe.

For my first book, I decided to review Brad Lomenick's take on leadership and how to be an effective leader. Stereotypically, there are a lot of "feel good" styled books out there when it comes to Christian-influenced genres, and while that's nice and all...I want something more practical. I am ashamed to say that it seems as if Christians are never taken seriously because there are so many out there who don't speak with an intellectual understanding. And unfortunately, it's always those that have the loudest voice. While my faith is number one in my life, it does not mean I am stupid.

So! As someone who's rather timid in public and often has a hard time stepping up, I felt that H3 Leadership would be a good read that could help give me some insight.

Here's my review on H3 Leadership:

Section 1: Be Humble // Who Are You?
Brad starts this book off by sharing his deteriorating leadership at Catalyst, a group formed with the goal of creating the next generation of Christian leaders. However, it took a sabbatical for him to realize just how much his original energy had lost its spark. Who was he if he was not involved in Catalyst?

By diving into who you are and who God designed you to be, Brad helps in distinguishing the difference between your calling (who you are) and your assignment (your current situation). The many chapters this section is broken down to are easily digested and help clarify what could be a complicated subject. We find that in developing leadership, you need to develop certain habits that will help you keep growing.

Section 2: Stay Hungry // Where Are You Going?
For this part of the book, Brad helps in establishing and outlining several habits that are going to keep leaders inspired and hungry to do more. By motivating yourself to innovate, to learn more, to stay ambitious, you will never stop growing into a strong leader that is very relevant to the world.

Section 3: Always Hustle // How Will You Get There?
This section was a little tougher to relate to my current situation in life, because Brad mainly focuses on business-like settings and working with a team as a leader. However, many of his points are still applicable, especially his section on developing a habit of generosity.
One of my favorite lines is found there, and I think it's something that would benefit everyone who is reading this:
"Are we changing the world, or just trying to make ourselves feel good? We have to fight against the idea of just wearing a wristband and feeling as if we've done something." 
In summary, I found H3 Leadership to be the perfect book in helping me re-evaluate how I approach ALL projects - whether it be a school assignment, making someone's coffee, or even blogging and making Youtube videos. You can be a leader in your everyday life if you develop the right habits. It doesn't happen overnight, but it's a lifestyle worth pursuing and implementing.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

REVIEW // I'm Lip Crayon and Gel Eyeliner + Makeup Tutorial

If you're not following my page on Facebook, you're probably missing out on half the content I'm sharing! I did a makeup tutorial inspired by fall leaves a while back, which you can watch below.

In it, I used the I'm Lip Crayon in #Natalie for that wash of red color on my lips. 
Can I just say that I've been wearing red lipstick more often thanks to this?

For $5, you can pick up a lip crayon from this line and experience the luxurious moisturizing effect of Macadamia Seed Oil, Argan Oil, Jojoba Seed Oil, and Rose Hip Oil to nourish and protect your lips!
I've also been trying out the I'm Gel Eyeliner product (on sale right now for $6!), and it's giving my liquid liner a run for it's money. I've been stuck on liquid eyeliner since high school, and haven't had the most positive experience with gel format. Probably because the ones I tried never came in a pen style! With this packaging, it's easy to create accurate lines and then use the brush side to smooth it out into perfection. Seriously, why are these not stocked in the drugstore aisles?
While not found in drugstores, Memebox is quite an affordable site filled with unique and cute Korean beauty products! I've already got my cart filled with items I'm planning on buying my friends and family for Christmas!

What do you think? Would you give Memebox a chance? 
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