High Five for Friday and Favorites!

October 25, 2013 § Leave a comment

FAVORITE MEMORIES

1. For Joel’s 30th birthday, I created a photo book filled with photos and notes from family and friends that are dear to us. It was really amazing to have such a tangible example of how loved he is. I highly recommend this as a gift for someone for a milestone celebration! In this particular photo, he’s just come across the page from one of his twin brothers. In it is a photo of his brother dressed up as “The Ocean” for Halloween one year. Priceless.

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2. On Saturday, we had his birthday party at his parents house and had yard games, football watching and BBQ throughout the day. The highlight was his two birthday cakes made by both of our parents. It’s hard to put into words just how thankful I am for him, and for the community we’re so blessed to be a part of. To have over 30 people drive from all over to come celebrate him was so touching. We just have so much to be thankful for.

3. My sister-in-law, Kat (wife of “The Ocean”), had her second baby shower on Sunday. She’s 31 weeks along, due on Christmas Eve with little baby Laney Harris! This will be our first niece (we don’t have any nephews either) and we are so excited to meet the little munchkin. She will be the best little Christmas gift ever!

FAVORITE STORIES

(These favorites have been piling up over the last several weeks when I haven’t had a favorites post. So some are a little old. But I hope you enjoy!)

FAVORITE PINS

1 | 2 | 3 | 4

{Linking up with Lauren Elizabeth and High Five for Friday!}

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Loving Lately: Claudia Mejerle

October 23, 2013 § Leave a comment

So remember that time I posted about Amy Osaba, the floral designer? I haven’t spotlighted someone I’m loving lately, so I thought I would bring that back.

Claudia

Claudia Mejerle is an up-and-coming Atlanta makeup artist, who happens to be a friend of mine {I’m pretty proud of that fact!}. She left her corporate job in 2010 to start her own business, pursuing her passion of making ladies look lovely, which she often found translates to an inner confidence. Ever since setting out on her own, we have watched her become a snowball of success! A staple in the Atlanta wedding circuit, she has really become the most prominent makeup artist in our sweet city.

Possessing an amazing grace that puts people right at ease, and pairing that with a flawless taste level, she ends up making every woman look like exactly what they’d hoped for, but may not have been able to put their finger on. Just last week, I sat in on my soon-to-be sister-in-law’s trial run and was in awe of how she nailed looks on the first try with three very picky females. They were all glowing. It was magical.

*all photos from claudiamejerle.com*

I am extremely excited to have her “do me up” for Carrie’s wedding in December and will most definitely post a picture of the final product when the wedding photos are in!

Print Happy: Waiting Period Inspiration Board

October 23, 2013 § Leave a comment

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9

It’s been a while since I posted a Print Happy. And that’s crazy because I have been racking up loads and loads of favorites over on Pinterest. So I actually had to do some paring down to get to this list of nine.

This group of prints are an homage to the awkwardness of the waiting period between identifying that you have a dream and actually getting to the place where you’re living out that dream. Because the reality is, as soon as you decide you’re going to live out your dream, you don’t always get to jump to the benefit-reaping stage. There is actually a lot of hard work and patience and trusting the Lord that’s happening in the interim.

So this is my “work hard with this end in mind” but “don’t be ungrateful for where you are now” inspiration board {double negatives, I love you}. Hope it helps you if you’re in a season of waiting as well.

Makeup Monday: Greys and Pinks

October 22, 2013 § Leave a comment

Joel’s 30th birthday was this weekend, so we spent most of the weekend celebrating and had very little downtime. And I’m on a work trip today. All that to say, I didn’t have much time for an in-depth Makeup Monday today. Excuses, excuses, I know. 

But instead of bailing altogether, I decided to share a beautiful look I found on Pinterest recently.

Greys and Pinks*source*

The photo is of Melanie Laurent, who is a just beautiful French actress. Her hair looks magnificent here. But if you push through to her face, the makeup she’s wearing is so soft and flattering. I just love the grey eyeshadow, barely there mascara, pink-pink cheeks and simple pink lipstick.

It’s kind of what I think all blondes truly look like without makeup on, but exaggerated beautifully. 

What are your favorite makeup looks? 

 

DIY: Mod Podge Bookshelf

October 18, 2013 § 4 Comments

When you find yourself wanting new furniture, do you go through a similar process to this?

Self: “I want new furniture. Hmmm, let’s see what I can find on Pinterest, and Pottery Barn, and Crate and Barrel.”

…Two hours of internet searching later…

Self: “Well, that was fun and depressing. I can’t afford any of this. I’ll go check Ikea’s site and see what I can get there.”

…Twenty minutes later…

Self: “Well, who knew that cheap ole Ikea isn’t really that cheap? Seventy bucks for a bookcase is ridiculous! Well, Target it is.”

And you end up buying this $30 bookshelf that is pretty plain and terrible quality*.

So what do you end up doing to make it work in your house filled with items that reflect who you are? You can Mod Podge it!

All you need:

  • An old book
  • Mod Podge
  • A paint brush

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While the materials and the process are easy, it does take quite a long time for something the size of a bookshelf. But if you have some spare time, plop yourself down {on a regular basis} in front of a good movie or Netflix TV show and just take it shelf by shelf.

First, you’re going to want to clean the bookshelf. Then, you’ll tear out the pages of your book. Take an individual page and paint the Mod Podge onto both sides. Holding the wet page in your fingers, swipe a little bit of the Mod Podge onto the space on the shelf where you plan to place the sheet. Then, adhere the page to that spot, doing your best to make sure it’s flush to the flat surface, with no air pockets. That being said, air pockets are nearly inevitable, so have a little grace with yourself.

Beware that the Mod Podge is going to cover your hands with a really awful residue. But if you just continue to wash them every so often, you’ll be just fine. You might even come to enjoy peeling off the long sections… I know, I’m weird.

Repeat this process until one whole shelf is finished. After it’s complete, I recommend adding a final layer of Mod Podge to the entire shelf and then letting it dry. Do this for every shelf and for the frame, and after a lot of long hours, you will have a beautiful, one-of-a-kind creation for your house.

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*{Is that crazy of me? I think I have a really warped view of what furniture costs. It was probably that $15 couch I got from Goodwill in college that ruined me forever.}

Working Lady Mindset

October 17, 2013 § 1 Comment

I am a 9-to-5 worker bee, chugging away in a corporate job. You know this from my Working Lady Style posts. My reality is working 40-50 hours a week, coming home, trying to find time to work out, cooking dinner, eating with my husband, and then having about an hour, maybe two, for free time in the evening. So while I only spend a little over a fourth of my week working, it ends up feeling more like three fourths once you add in sleeping, eating, working out and thinking about work.

But as I read more and more blogs, I’m starting to realize that many bloggers out there are creative professionals, typically working freelance jobs or owning small businesses. Or sometimes blogs are written by full time workers, but they don’t talk about their work life a lot, mainly because it is an escape from work for them.

While I completely understand that and often feel the exact same way, I still find myself yearning to read something that I can relate to. Something that acknowledges the joys and challenges of working in a corporate setting. Resources that could help with finding joy in work, maintaining work-life balance, or even just where to find some amazing black pumps.

So instead of twiddling my thumbs, praying for that blog to drop into my lap, I’m going to start dedicating some of my time on here to the working lady life. I’ll continue with Working Lady Style posts, but will probably add in some posts in the realms of Working Lady Mindset, Working Lady Resources, Working Lady Reads… things like that.

If you are one of those lucky few working in the creative realm for yourself, then my hope is you can still pull some nuggets of fun/truth/wisdom from these for your own working life, too.

If this is a horrible idea and you hate it and it’s boring, please someone let me know! I need more truth-tellers in my life, people!

To kick things off with a bang, let’s talk about the Working Lady Mindset. I don’t know about you, but this is a typical day’s progression for me:

  • 8:45-9:00: Show up to work, grab some coffee/tea, open email
  • 9:00-10:00: Calmly sift through all the emails from the night before and the morning, respond to any emergencies, start focusing on the big “to-dos” for the day
  • 10:00-11:30: Attend the meeting that was supposed to be an hour, but went over by thirty minutes, start mini-freaking out over the new to-dos collected during the meeting
  • 11:30-12:00: Head back to desk, trying not to make eye contact with anyone because there’s no time to chat, there’s stuff to do! Work on to-dos from last meeting, already forgetting the ones from the morning
  • 12:00-1:00: Either lunch meeting or grab quick lunch and eat and work at desk
  • 1:00-1:30: Prepare for next meetings
  • 1:30-3:30: Attend two meetings, start super-freaking out over the new to-dos collected during those meetings
  • 3:30-5:45: Again, try to keep  head down so no one talks to you while you try to get all the urgent to-dos done, get through about five of the fifteen big ones
  • 5:45-5:50: Really think through if you can leave or not, decide you should. Pack all the relevant print-outs/notebooks into work bag, thinking working at home is going to happen, has to happen tonight
  • 5:50-6:20: Get home, put work bag down, never touch work. Too tired

Overwhelmed*source*

Not sure about you, but that seems a little out of control. Do I think everyone works like that? No. I’m a rare breed of crazy. But I do think the busyness resulting from the digital age is a reality for anyone working in corporate [slash life!], and whether you’re good at taking things step-by-step or not, most still would admit to a decent amount of stress and pressure when working.

This doesn’t seem super healthy. I get home feeling like the world is totally out of control [which it is – how have I not figured out that is just a result of the fall?] and uber stressed heading into time with my husband. And to be super transparent, my stress level has gotten to a point lately where I am not a fun person to hang out with in the evening. I’m either zoned out/shut down/vegging out, or worse, crying.

Not all of the things that are contributing to this are in my control, but some of them are. And that’s what I want to talk about here. [Longest intro to a blog post ev-ver?]

Today's To Do List*source*

What do I have control over in my corporate world? I have control over my attitude towards others and myself, my belief about others and about myself, and my beliefs about what God has to say about my work.

First of all, this has not been an easy journey for me, and I would say I’m literally on the first leg of it. But glimpses of truth are starting to peak through the clouds of unfocused lies, and I know this is right.

When I am letting stress control my life, I end up treating others and myself poorly. My attitude towards people, when I’m in this state, is that they are a nuisance and a distraction. I have things to get done, and interacting with a human seems like the biggest waste of time because those are precious minutes I could have had to knock out a few to-dos. My attitude towards myself is also one of constant frustration. Why can’t I get everything done? Everyone around me is keeping their stuff together? Why is it so hard for me? Just get it together. This attitude is damaging. It belittles relationship and community, and it creates unfair expectations about myself that can cause me to believe long-lasting lies.

These lies I start believing are so terrible. I believe that the opinions of others matter most, that their opinions of me are that I am not a hard worker, that I am selfish, that I am childish, and that they really just want me to be perfect all the time. About myself, I believe all the things I think others believe about me: that I don’t work fast enough, that I don’t think strategically enough, that I am a waste of a full-time position at a company that is very difficult to get on board with. And this just spirals me into this black hole of negativity and fear.

And finally, this makes me believe that God thinks these things about me too. While I would tell anyone to their face that I believe God loves us unconditionally, deep down I must think that I must perform to be a “good” Christian. And while I know I don’t have to work in ministry to be serving God, I think I have warped this belief that working with excellence serves God, so therefore, I must work perfectly and better and better and better, to show that I am serving God wholeheartedly. Well that’s just crap, right? I mean you write it down, and you realize the lunacy. But somehow I have let myself live there, in this crappy lie.

So that’s a LOT of talking I’m doing. But what does it boil down to? I have a renewed commitment to believe the truth about what God thinks about me, to believe the truth about myself and others, and to then have a good attitude towards myself and others.

Coffee and Jesus*source*

I will believe that God’s love for me is not based on how hard I work. It’s based on his Son’s righteousness that he purchased for me that I have no way of ever earning. It is done and finished. And therefore, I have the freedom to do my best, without being unhealthy. God has given me the manna I need each day to get done what I can that day. And he created me. He knows my limits. He created them. So this outworking and outserving myself is not something he asked of me.

I will believe that others believe the best about me. I know not everyone has the privilege to work at a company filled with as stellar people as I do, and therefore this may not be a realistic belief for everyone. But I am truly surrounded by phenomenal people. Sure, we make mistakes sometimes and get frustrated with each other sometimes. But for the most part, we know we work with the hardest workers in the world and with people with intense integrity. We are also a very loving and forgiving bunch. So why should I believe that they are constantly judging my work, when I don’t have that thought about anyone else in the business? And as for myself… I am a hard worker. I can be selfish, but as a whole, I really like working hard to serve others. And I am not a child (most of the time). I choose to believe that I do good work, and that where I fail, the Lord can more than make up for it and help me to grow in those areas. {You have no idea how big of a statement all of that is for me!}

Finally, I will then let those beliefs funnel into a positive attitude towards the people around me. I won’t look at a conversation with a person as a distraction. I will look at that as a huge blessing, that I get to work with people I think are the bomb dot com, and that I should soak up as much time with them as I can. And who knows how we can save each other time down the road by sharing what we’re working on. And community helps us to see that everything’s not such a big deal. We’re not saving lives here or anything. And I will have a positive attitude towards myself. I will give myself some grace and realize that finishing a to-do list doesn’t define me or make me a bad worker. Having my stuff together just means working as hard as I can in the 40 hours I’ve been paid and then living a balanced life at home too. Not being a walking robot that can only talk/think/breathe work all the time.

Relax*source*

That was quite the novel, so bravo if you made it all the way down here! But the majority of my readers work with me anyway, so I figure they might need to hear these truths too. If not, then it was just good for me to have some accountability to start focusing on the truth.

The next few posts shouldn’t be this long. I’m hoping to share some really encouraging resources that people have shown me lately. I’m a development junkie, so I hope that you will love them as much as I do!

Tunic: My Fall Uniform

October 15, 2013 § Leave a comment

I don’t know if I’ve shared the good news on the bloggie blog yet, but Joel got a job! He started about a month ago and has been loving it. It’s been such a blessing that he was able to go back to school to really focus in on an area he was passionate about and skilled at.

So, in true Joel fashion, he spent part of his first paycheck on me. He took me to Anthro and told me to pick something out. And the Mazie Tunic was my purchase:

Green Anthro DressI am totally in love with it! The kelly green color is gorgeous, and I think goes along nicely with my blonde hair and fairer skin. The silk draping is just perfect and it hits at just the right length to be worn with jeans and leggings, or by itself! The cut of the top is very modest, yet flattering, allowing it to be worn with about any necklace or scarf. I mean it’s just the most versatile, beautiful thing ever. I’m in love.

They have two other Mazie Tunics that I am really considering purchasing:

I have a feeling I’m going to be going tunic crazy!

What’s your favorite thing to wear in the fall?

Where Am I?

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