Sunday, June 30, 2013

The Little Engine That Could

Most of us have heard this story, (or a slightly different version of it like this one) read it, had it read to some point throughout our lives. But I wonder how many of us really think about it? When something is too big for you, remember that your God is much bigger and with Him you can accomplish anything that you set your mind to do! :) 

A little steam engine had a long train of cars to pull. She went along very well till she came to a steep hill. But then, no matter how hard she tried, she could not move the long train of cars. She pulled and she pulled. She puffed and she puffed. She backed and started off again. Choo! Choo! But no! the cars would not go up the hill. 

At last she left the train and started up the track alone. Do you think she had stopped working? No, indeed! She was going for help. "Surely I can find someone to help me," she thought. Over the hill and up the track went the little steam engine. Choo, choo! Choo, choo! Choo, choo! Choo! 

Pretty soon she saw a big steam engine standing on a side track. He looked very big and strong. Running alongside, she looked up and said: "Will you help me over the hill with my train of cars? It is so long and heavy I can't get it over." The big steam engine looked down at the little steam engine. The he said: "Don't you see that I am through my day's work? I have been rubbed and scoured ready for my next run. No, I cannot help you," The little steam engine was sorry, but she went on, Choo, choo! Choo, choo! Choo, choo! Choo, choo! 

Soon she came to a second big steam engine standing on a side track. He was puffing and puffing, as if he were tired. "That big steam engine may help me," thought the little steam engine. She ran alongside and asked: "Will you help me bring my train of cars over the hill? It is so long and so heavy that I can't get it over." The second big steam engine answered: "I have just come in from a long, long run. Don't you see how tired I am? Can't you get some other engine to help you this time? "I'll try," said the little steam engine, and off she went. Choo, choo! Choo, choo! Choo, choo! 

After a while she came to a little steam engine just like herself. She ran alongside and said: "Will you help me over the hill with my train of cars? It is so long and so heavy that I can't get it over." "Yes, indeed!" said this little steam engine. "I'll be glad to help you, if I can." 

So the little steam engines started back to where the train of cars had been standing. Both little steam engines went to the head of the train, one behind the other. Puff, puff! Chug, choo! Off they started! Slowly the cars began to move. Slowly they climbed the steep hill. As they climbed, each little steam engine began to sing: "I-think-I-can! I-think-I-can! I-think-I-can! I-think-I-can! I-think-I-can! I-think-I-can! I think I can - I think I can - I think I can I think I can--" And they did! Very soon they were over the hill and going down the other side. 

 Now they were on the plain again; and the little steam engine could pull her train herself. So she thanked the little engine who had come to help her, and said good-by. And she went merrily on her way, singing: "I-thought-I-could! I-thought-I-could! I-thought-I-could! I-thought-I-could! I thought I could - I thought I could - I thought I could - I thought I could - I thought I could - I thought I could I thought I could --"


Saturday, June 29, 2013

RyanNicoleVintage {review}

Hey, girls!  So, today I'm reviewing an item from a shop called RyanNicoleVintage.

Here's the sort of bow/sort of belt-buckle on the front of the shoe.  I'm not sure what it's called, but it's really pretty.

Sorry about that.  It's really hard to get a good picture of those words, because they're just so shiny!  This is what they say:


So vintage, right?  And the letters are all in gold!  I don't know about everyone else, but I always kind of wish other people could see the insoles when they're on your feet, because they're always so pretty!

This picture shows what material the shoe is made out of, what size it is, and a bunch of letters and numbers I can't decipher.  This is what it says:

And all those other numbers/letters.
Okay, so I ordered the shoes and forgot to look at the measurements.   I wear a size 8, but these shoes are thinner than my feet (which is why there are no pictures of me wearing them.)  If you get any of her items remember to look at the measurements.
I think this is a great shop and definitely something you all should look at.  She has about 200 different vintage items for sale, and they're amazing!  If you want to go to her shop you can find it here.  Thanks for reading!  I hope you guys liked the post and that you all go over and see her items!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

1247 Periwinkle Lane {Product Review}

*History lesson. If any of it is wrong, feel free to correct me*

Masquerade balls started around the 15th century at carnivals in Europe, and they continue to be a big hit to this very day.

These balls were the highlight of the carnival. There was just something about the mystery of who was behind the mask that lured people to them. You could know the person, they could be your best friend or family. But you wouldn't know if they were or not. The masks didn't leave much room to see anything but the eyes and nose and lower face. And sometimes they didn't even leave the lower face.

But masks were meant to be pretty. To draw attention. To add a light of mystery. After all, that's what humans like best, isn't it? Mystery. It adds a certain allure to any situation.

So, I was thrilled when I found a person willing to let me review a mask. I love anything that comes from an old and elegant background. I love the historical backstories. And even though I will never go to a Masquerade anything, I still think it'd be fun to have around, right?

This is the Fairy Eyes Mask. It's very elegant and pretty. A bit rough near the eyes, but if you adjust it just right, you don't feel anything itchy.
I wasn't able to get a very good shot of it. I had siblings running around me, asking me why I was wearing "a cat mask." They kept bumping into me, knocking the mask lower and lower. Plus, the lighting stunk, so shadows kept falling on my eyes, making it look weird.

It's very light. And elegant. It's the real thing. No plastic or cheap materials. It's lace and ribbon. Glued together.

It's tied with a ribbon at the back of your head. Though some people use what the shop owner called "spirit gum" to keep the mask attached.

The shop owner has sold masks all over the world. They've been in operas, ballets, plays, etc. They're really pretty, and not very expensive at all!

You can see more of her masks HERE. They're all gorgeous. Go check them out!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Amazing Grace


This is one of my all time favorite hymns.  Probably one of the more popular ones that we've all memorized since childhood =)

Amazing Grace was written by John Newton in 1779 with inspiration from his own life.  In a way, I think we can all relate to this hymn.

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me....
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now, I see.

T'was Grace that taught...
my heart to fear.
And Grace, my fears relieved.
How precious did that Grace appear...
the hour I first believed.

Through many dangers, toils and snares...
we have already come.
T'was Grace that brought us safe thus far...
and Grace will lead us home.

The Lord has promised good to me...
His word my hope secures.
He will my shield and portion be...
as long as life endures.

When we've been here ten thousand years...
bright shining as the sun.
We've no less days to sing God's praise...
then when we've first begun.

The last verse gives me chills every time I hear it.  Just imagine praising God for eternity with no end in sight!  

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Got Acne? This Product May Help! {review}

(Peoples, if you haven't heard, GFC is apparently going down. You can follow APOC with Bloglovin - just click the link above!)
Zits. Pimples. Acne.
Any way you look at it, or however you call them, I'm sure a number of y'all have been irked with acne at some point in your life.
It's a pain to adult women and adolescent girls alike, and something we'd all love to abolish if we could.
Personally, I've had to deal with zits since about age 13 or so. I'm thankful that it's never been terribly bad, but at the same time I just can't seem to ever rid myself of the annoying red blemishes!
I've tried scores of different treatments, from the natural sort to the not-so-natural. Everything from the harsh, chemical-laden Noxzema, to oatmeal and adzuki bean scrubs.
Naturally, I was pretty interested to see how the acne facial wash from LuvURCoconuts would work out. I was sent a bottle of the homemade skin formula, and have been using it for several weeks now.

I wasn't sure how to use this wash, in the beginning, as it didn't exactly come with any sort of instructions on application. However, after inquiring about it to LuvURCoconuts' shop owner, I found that it could be used either in the shower or separate at the sink.

I attempted both methods. First the "at-the-sink" way, which personally didn't work that great for me. It was too oily for my preference there, and took too long to wash off.
 I then tried it in the shower - this is how I've been using it, ever since. It works quite nicely there, and I have no problem with it being overly-oily or hard to scrub off - perhaps it has something to do with all the steam and hot water involved.
Anyways. I'm not sure how it's affecting my actual pimples, but it is a nice facial wash for just cleansing the facial pores and all. It brings a rejuvenating, fresh sensation when lathered and applied.
As I said previously, I've been using it for several weeks and it looks like it's going to last me a while, which is nice to know. I only use a small amount, maybe a teaspoon, each time I apply.
The best part about this wash? The ingredients are completely natural. I can rest assured that I'm not dumping tons of junk and chemicals on my skin!
If you'd like to try some of this facial wash, check out the LuvURCoconuts shop for yourself!
Note: I was provided this item from LuvURCoconuts in exchange for my honest review. All opinions remain mine and mine alone.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Monday Inspiration

Hello everyone! I'm back! Whew, that was a long, crazy week! Actually it's not quite over, and my summer is going to stay crazy. I have a very short time to get this blog post ready... Here's a fun photo from Les Miserables, the musical I was performing in.

    I'm the one in the green top, vest, and pink skirt. :D

 Since I'm off in a few minutes, I just want to share a little bit of inspiration with you. 

 Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.

 Just think about this verse, and what it means for you personally. I have seen this in action so much. God has just poured his blessings down on me in so many ways this year. Thank the Lord for his love!
 How can this verse relate to you?

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Bible Study


I was planning on doing a review today, but it didn't get to me in time.  So I'm going to write about Bible studies.

A couple days ago I was talking to my sister, and we got to talking about 1 John.  I think it came up because we were talking about love, and John is all about love, in all of his books.  Anyway, she asked me if I would go and study 1 John, take notes and show them to her.  She wanted to know what I would find in it.  I didn't really want to study first John, because I don't really care for all the love.  But then I read it.  I found out it talks about so much more than love.

Here's what I think about Bible studying.  Whenever I know I need to go have a Bible study I don't really want to.  It usually isn't until I sit down that I wish I had started a long time before, so I would have more time to study.

Everyone has a different schedule for studying the Bible.  Some do a study in the morning, some in the evening, or at a break in the day.  Everyone studies different amounts, also.  Everyone has their own way of studying.

Bible studies are very important to help a Christian grow in Christ.  If you have a Bible: use it.  Why would you let your Bible grow dust on the shelf - maybe taking it to church once a week - when others don't have a Bible at all.

The Bible is Gods word, so he speaks to people through it.  A lot of people sometimes just give up on listening to God, when they haven't heard him for a long time.  What I would suggest to those people is to do a Bible study, and look closely for what God might be saying to you.

Well, that's all I have to say.  I hope you guys liked the post!


Thursday, June 20, 2013

Lovell Dennis {Product Review}

Just a warning, these pictures are awful. I tried. But it's really, really hard to take pictures of yourself wearing a t-shirt. A no one wanted to help me, so I had no other choice but to try it myself.

This is the Hunger Games/Catching Fire t-shirt from Lovell Dennis on Etsy. I received it in the mail a week ago. It's light and fits well enough. The fabric is a bit rough, but it hasn't been broken in yet. After a wash or two, it should soften a bit.

You can't see the shirt very well, and I'm sorry for that. You can see what it says "Mellark Bakery. Since 2086. District 12." Of course, they made up the date. But it's close enough, I suppose.

It's pretty comfortable. I ordered a size small. It's unisex, so it's a bit baggy on me. And the sleeves are pretty big. They reach just a few inches past the shoulder.

It's a really cool shirt. I enjoy wearing it.

The back is plain. No words or pictures. I mean, you wouldn't exactly want to wear a picture of bread or cupcakes on your back, would you? If that's your thing, though . . .
100% cotton, ect ect. I didn't read the washing instructions because I don't know how to read those. Pretty sure you have to study a whole new language to figure that out. Like Egyptian hieroglyphics.

Overall, it's a great t-shirt.

You can find it HERE.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

LadyOfWindsor Fresh Perfume Choices for Summer {review}

Hola amigas!
Today we have another review, and it's once again highlighting some yummy natural perfumes.
I was sent some things from LadyOfWindsor, a delightfully unique shop on Etsy.

Firstly....wait for it...I just loved all the lace-y packaging.
So feminine and complementary of the actual product enclosed within. The little lace bag in which they came in is just so cute - I had to save even that for something else!
Not to mention, the charming little tin wherein the perfume oils were contained. Love it!

So, with the perfumes also came a calendula flower lip balm. This is a very mild smelling balm and it looks perfect for sensitive skin.

Personally I rarely use lip balm - mainly just because, I don't have to. It's rarely cold where I live, so less opportunity for lips to crack and chap. Also, I'm not going to lie - I have extremely oily skin.
So, yeah. For me, lip balm isn't a necessity.

The perfumes are all floral scents, and as the title of this post dictates, are perfect for summer.
The Freesia scent is very sweet and flower-y, as is the Magnolia. I personally like Magnolia best of the three and this is the one I'll likely wear most. It's a heavy, sweet feminine scent, similar to Freesia.
Lavender is more crisp and clear a scent, and smells almost identical to regular lavender essential oil, so if you like raw and totally natural smells, you'll probably like this one.

This review was a win on many levels. I think Lady Of Windsor does for one an excellent job at their aesthetics - packaging, design of the product, etc. And of course, the products themselves appear to be great quality, and handmade with care.
If you'd like to check out the shop for yourself, click here.
Hope y'all are having an awesome summer!
Note: I was provided these items from Lady of Windsor in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed remain mine and mine alone.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Just Stop Hating Yourself!

(Image courtesy of Pinterest)
Us women have always desired to be beautiful, radiant, pretty, gorgeous. Ever since the beginning of time, humanity in general has loved beauty, whether it be the simple perfection of a rose in full bloom, or the dramatic brilliance of an evening sunset. God created in us the ability to acknowledge and appreciate the beautiful world He fashioned.
And a major part of that beautiful world, quite obviously, is us.
With the immense desire of women in this country to be beautiful, flawless and perfect according to society's standards, have we lost sight of what true, God-given beauty really is?
I believe so.
It is a sad reality; but the fact remains - most women in the US alone hate their bodies, or at least a part of their bodies.
Young girls and adult women alike are pressured to conform to what the hottest celebs and fashion leaders deem trendy and acceptable, and practically 99% of that time, what's being pushed is something which isn't appropriate or godly, in one way or another.
Even if what is being pushed is something that's actually okay/appropriate, it's still such a tragedy that women rely on anonymous corporations and celebrities miles and miles away - people they've never even met - to determine what's beautiful and what's not. Going even further, you know what? When it comes down to the bottom line, it's a tragedy when we rely on any person's opinion more than our Creator's - no matter who the person may be.
So here we are - stuck in a time and place where ladies are constantly bombarded by the supposed 'need' to be tan as a beach bum, have unnaturally white teeth like in the toothpaste commercials, be as skinny as a pole and yet wear a size D bra... America's "requirements for physical beauty" could go on and on indefinitely.  
And with all these pressures, and the exposure to people who supposedly "look better/hotter/more beautiful than us", let's face it. Most of us struggle with self-hatred concerning our bodies, in some form.
Body image self-hate is common today among each age group and body type. I know a very skinny girl in her mid-teens, who thinks she needs to lose weight/go on a diet...and I should mention, she's tall and could probably be considered model material, in some talent agencies.
On our beach trip, I met a 13 year old cheerleader, with an athletic/average build. She complained on end about her body's many supposed 'flaws', even though in my eyes, she looked perfectly healthy.
And then you have ladies in their later stages of life, looking in the mirror and sighing at the grey hairs and wrinkles.
All this discontentment! And the irony of it all, is that what one girl hates about herself, most everyone else will shrug off or think is totally healthy and beautiful.
I want to share a bit of my personal self-hate journey with y'all.
As a 12 year old, I wrote in my journal once that I thought myself fat and unattractive. I compared my body to those of some of my friends; because all throughout my life I have always been bigger than the other girls my a 12 year old, I considered this an unpleasant fate.
As a child, I was the tallest in my Awana Bible club class. I was always as tall as, or taller than the boys in my age group. Things stayed this way until about thirteen...when boys I knew started getting tall really fast.
Even to this day, I am one of the tallest females that I know, and I weigh more than most of my girlfriends, and women I encounter, because of my larger body-build. Having to look up at other women is something I'm not used to, and it feels very odd.
I am not a small person. I will never be skinny, or *healthily* weigh under 120 pounds.
My hourglass body type is as curvy as an Appalachian mountain road, and a doctor told me once that I possessed shoulders which could "pull a plow." Needless to say, they are pretty broad shoulders for a girl. My waist is smaller, but my wide hips are my downfall. While I have never hated my entire body's appearance, I have continually found displeasure in my lower half - the behind and down.
I used to hate my legs just in general. Since hourglass figures usually maintain a steady weight all over their bodies, unlike apple figures, my legs are certainly not "bird legs". They've always possessed a lot of curve. Granted, most of this is muscle, but that's not apparent when you're trying on a pair of jeans and all you see in the mirror is "thunder-thighs".
My parents would assure me as an early teen that a person's weight had nothing to do with them being 'fat' or 'thin'. But since my weight always lingered a bit higher than other girls', I would abandon this truth and consider myself overweight. (which in reality, I wasn't)
And I'll admit today, that while I am content with my weight and physical standings, there are times when I find myself feeling disgusted with my naturally large thighs and butt. I am aware that it is just something to be expected with my body type, but as much as I try this is the one 'problem area' I have.
If we were all honest, we'd admit that there was something about our bodies we didn't care for in particular. In my case, it's my behind/thighs. I know some girls who don't like their arms, and some ladies who are sick of their tummies.
So, I guess what I'm saying is: Stop hating yourself! Satan will constantly try to drag our minds down into a state of depression and discontentment. He's found a way to do this, simply by implanting and encouraging self-hate ideas about our bodies; which pull us away from the reality that we are all created in YHWH's Image and exceedingly precious to Him.
The truth is, every single girl on planet earth is beautiful in His eyes. Did you hear that? Every single girl. Every single woman.
And He certainly didn't create us to be loathing our own visages!
So, y'all, I know this was kind of a out-of-nowhere, random (and long) post. But I hope it serves to encourage you about being thankful for the beautiful person our Creator made you to be.
Don't let the trash of the world contaminate your mind. Be set apart, and appreciate the incredible body you were given!
Choose to dwell in negativity, constantly bashing your body and questioning why God made you the way He did, and your life will reflect on this. Negativity breeds negativity.
If you dwell in contentment, your life will be blessed.
Now for some feedback. Is there a particular part of your body you struggle with appreciating? Do you have a "problem-spot?" What's one thing you LIKE about your body?
P.s. You're probably wondering now what happened to Bethany. I am guest posting for her today because she needed some time to work out some things in her busy schedule! Be looking for her return, next week.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Ten Tips on Traveling Light

In less than 2 days, I'll be flying out to the Young Living Essential Oils convention in Salt Lake City, UT!  I'll be gone a full week and I'm only taking a carry-on so packing is proving to be a little interesting!  Here are some tips from my own experience and good ol' Google on how to go from this: this:

1. Don't pack everything that you can possibly fit, instead pack only what you absolutely have to have.

2. Roll, don't fold.  Stuff fits better.

3. Try to stick with lighter weight clothing that takes up less space.  If you need any bulky clothing while there, wear it and leave more room in your luggage.

4. Mix and match.  Instead of taking a full outfit for each day, take a few skirts and tops that you can wear more than once and mix up if you want a different look each day. 

5. If you're flying, all liquids (toiletries) must be in 3.4 oz bottles and fit in a quart size bag.  But even if you're not, you still don't need to take your giant bottles of shampoo, conditioner, etc.  Take only what you need or even just what you'll need before you can make it to the store.  If you're flying, have your quart bag out and ready so you don't have to dig for it during security.

6. Don't take tons of shoes!  I will be wearing my moccasins (easy to remove at the airport and comfy for walking through terminals) and taking along my flip flops, (dressier flip-flops so they go with anything from very casual to church clothes.)  IF they fit, I'll throw in my Vibram Fivefingers as well, but I don't HAVE to have those.

7. Buy whenever possible.  Small things like toiletries mentioned above, umbrella, even some clothing....if you're going to spend more on checked baggage than you would buying the stuff once you reach your destination, you might as well do so and give it away before heading home.

8. Leave space for stuff to bring home and if possible, take things that you can leave behind when you're through with them.  I'll be doing some shopping at the convention so I want to leave as much space as possible for extras.  If it's just not possible, I'll visit the post office and mail it to myself.

9. Just an idea...don't even take clothes with you.  Wear one outfit and pack your undies.  Once you arrive, go to the thrift store and buy just what you need for while you're there.  If I had an extra day to go clothes shopping in SLC, I would totally try this!

10.  If you're traveling as a family....pack a suitcase for each day with everyone's things in it for that day.  Then all you have to do is grab that one bag, toiletries, etc. and you're good to go instead of unloading a suitcase for each person at each destination.