Frustration against other Christians.

The title of this blog may already sound self-righteous to some and maybe to an extent there is a hint of some self-righteousness, but let me explain my heart. When I get mad at other Christians who knowingly and willingly and carelessly give into sin and act like it’s “no big deal”, that concerns me. Yes, let’s examine the plank in my eye. I know I have sin and my sin is a constant battle, but it bothers me. It saddens my heart to know how sinful I am and when I learn from my mistakes… I make them again. I don’t want to sound like a hypocrite right now because like I said, my heart is not there and I’m not judging these other Christians… but my heart breaks for them. 

My favorite verse of all time is James 1:22-25Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.”

We remember that we’re Christians at church on Sundays, at Bible studies throughout the week, around Christian friends, or even family members. That light switch can be easily be turned off when we fit God in a box and only use Him as needed, especially in certain crisis’. Our faith needs to speak for itself… James 2:14-18 says “What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.” Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds. You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.

It goes back to the James 1 Scripture I gave, we deceive ourselves so easily. Sadly, I don’t think some Christians realize they are being deceived and that this deception comes from Satan. The fact they have no clue either shows a hardened heart or they’ve given into the lie that God is satisfied with their sin, therefore abusing His grace. Satan likes it when we pat ourselves on the back after feeling convicted at church, but where’s the action accompanied by that conviction? 

Sin always comes back as a reflection of a SELFISH heart. We act like we’red owed something when in fact we’re owed NOTHING. God doesn’t need to give or do anything for you. Pardon my language, but if you’re a little butt-hurt because something doesn’t go your way… get over yourself. God is working at something deeper in your heart and life and if you can’t face that, you need to realize you are better with God than without Him. We act like such babies sometimes. 

I just needed to vent because a simple Facebook status would not suffice… plus I feel that here I have a larger audience who cares for my opinion on these things. Am I the only one who gets frustrated at this stuff? Let me reiterate the fact I know I am just as messed up, we all need accountability. I’m not saying I’m a better person or Christian because my works mean nothing to Jesus – He paid it all on the cross and I cannot add to that or earn it. 

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20 things you can do to add a little joy into your life.

dino This isn’t going to be my typical lengthy blog where I rant and rant… I feel like there’s so many bad days, bad things, bad people, bad pains, just flat out bad crap that can get to us. There’s little things that always make me feel good and make me realize life isn’t so bad (despite all the stuff going on). I’m going to list some things that make me happy, they’re simple, but effective. Feel free to comment below the things that make you happy. Hopefully some of these things will inspire you in some way.

1.) Getting a manicure or pedicure. Changing up the color of your polish can make a girl feel good. I love me some glitter!

2.) Shaving your legs, well shaving everything! lol Release the beast.

3.) Facial, exfoliate and wear a good clay mask that will shrink those pores (my favorite one is the Mint Julep by Queen Helene).

4.) Move around the furniture in your room or house. It makes the space feel new!

5.) Go through all of your clothes, even the undies and toss aside the things you don’t wear anymore. If it’s just sitting there, it can either be gifted or donated. Either way, it gives you an excuse to go out and buy more stuff right? lol

6.) Now go through all of your makeup. You probably have products that have been sitting around foreverrr and they need to be thrown away or re-gift them to a friend. Again, this will give you the excuse to buy more makeup.

7.) Listen to music that brings back memories, so for me that would be anything from middle school to high school. *currently listening to the Mandy Moore station on Pandora*

8.) Wash your makeup brushes. I don’t do this enough, but when I do, I feel so accomplished.

9.) Always try new body washes, I hate having to use the same products over and over again.  I need new because it’s exciting. Switch up the scents or brands. Same goes with perfume, shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, lotion, body sprays, etc.

10.) A good chick flick. I typically don’t watch these kind of movies because it’s not my thing… but once in awhile when the husband is at work I’ll go in total girl mode and cry my eyes out to something or repeatedly shout “AWWWW!”

11.) Buy new bed sheets. You don’t need to redecorate your whole room, just a simple change of your comforter can set a different mood for your room.

12.) Re-purpose a piece of clothing, if there’s a shirt you don’t wear much, experiment and cut it into something new. YouTube has a ton of tutorials on transforming t-shirts.

13.) Don’t buy new purses, if you’re someone who keeps your old purses, recycle through them. They’ve always felt brand new to me when I re-worn them.

14.) Selfies. Yes, people bash the idea of them… but playing around your camera phone when you feel dolled up isn’t a bad thing. If it’s funny or cute, post it. Think of it as a mini photo-shoot.

15.) Get some sun. Lay out for 15 – 30 minutes with some SPF. I always feel thinner if I have a little color on my skin.

16.) Trim your hair or your bangs. Cutting off those dead ends makes your hair feel and look healthier.

17.) Light a candle.

18.) Wear a piece of jewelry you don’t normally wear. For me that would be a cute toe ring, they make me feel so decorated haha.

19.) Read a good book and finish it. All too often we start books and never finish them. Accomplishment is the best feeling ever and learning a thing or two never hurt either.

20.) And last but not least, my most favorite thing to unwind with and the most simple is… a nice hot shower. There’s nothing more relaxing than to feel clean and to smell good.

Christians who can’t be bothered.

There are seasons for everything and apparently in this season of my life, I’m not meant to have any actual friends. I won’t mention any names here, but I just had a girl who I tried to disciple and be friends with, delete me recently. I was like “Wha…?” I didn’t do anything and besides being confused, I was a bit p’d off. People have seriously taught me one important lesson and that’s that they come and go. Being now 24-years-old and married, friends are hard to come by these days. My interaction with people is rare unless someone new comes to church. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not looking for a quantity of friends, just quality ones, but right now I have 0 friends I hang out with. The few people I actually get along with live out-of-state, so it’s not like I  can hang out with them. I do my fair share of asking people “Want to go do this?!” and that’s when I start getting excuses or flat-out ignored.

I’m just wondering when did Christians or supposed ‘Christians’ start closing themselves off and decided their ‘comfort zone’ was their best place to stay? What makes me mad is people who find a group of friends they grow comfortable with and then ignore the world around them. I’ve seen this in churches and it’s not cute and definitely not Christ-like. Churches are either divided or they don’t make contact with the other members. If I sound cynical, it’s because I am. I realize I need to get off my high-horse because I have sin too… but if we’re doing something that completely negates the Gospel, like not practicing discipleship… what are we doing with our Christian lives?!

Complacency is not something that the Lord honors. You can pat yourself on the back all day long about how much you’ve grown in the Lord, but if you’re not actually passing that onto other people and LOVING them… then you might be that noisy gong the Bible speaks of in 1 Corinthians 13:1 “If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.” (NIV)

Like I was telling my sister tonight, some people’s sin annoys me. The church should be about unity, breaking bread. I could easily blame the world and say “Oh technology makes things less personal and people are more closed-off because of it…” But sin takes a deeper root, it’s in the hearts. Technology is just a distraction or wall built up to be passive about our sin. Seriously, when is the last time you looked at your heart? Or are you too busy checking Facebook to know?

 

Losing weight.

Strong

Before I start explaining myself, I’ll just re-post my Facebook status from this morning: “I’m not in any way bragging on myself, but my thyroid condition caused me to gain 30 lbs in like 2 years. Since being on medication last year I had dropped 10lbs, since I got my blood tests back I’ve been eating healthier and with some light walking, I’m 8 ounces a way from losing another 10 and its only been 2 months. So as of last year I’ve lost 20lbs. It may not seem like a lot to some people, but it means a lot to me. I’m doing it the slow healthy way, trying to make a lifestyle change and not “diet”. I want this to last and to most importantly make me healthier. I could care less about being skinny, I’ve got a wonderful husband who loves me and The Lord who thinks I’m beautiful no matter what. My worth is not in numbers on a scale or what my pants size is. Praying for humbleness ❤ . Thank you God!!”

If you’ve ever struggled with weight, whether it’s due to a health issue or that’s just always how it’s always been for you, I’ve been on both sides. I grew up always struggling with my weight until I got into high school, then I lost it all. I was by no means “skinny” but I was at my smallest weight and being 5’10 tall helped too. I considered myself average, but my teenage insecure self would pick apart her looks. I look back now and wonder why I was never content with myself. Maybe it’s because when you’re in high school you’re constantly around girls to compare yourself to. Now that I’m married and have the Lord, I loved myself more than ever even at my highest weight. I was content for the most part, that was until it effected my health. Thyroids can already work a wonder on your health, but the weight it brought with it didn’t help either. Two months ago after I got my test results back from my blood work I had that harsh realization that something needed to change.

Losing weight is not just a physical thing, but a mental one as well. It’s not easy. Quite frankly it’s the most difficult thing I’ve ever had to do because I’m having to reprogram my mind to know what’s a healthy portion. I’ve lost almost 10 lbs on my own besides what the medication has already helped with, but I still have a long way to go. I told myself when I lose 25lbs I’m going to purchase my first Coach purse. Then after I lose another 25 I want to get all new clothes and hopefully plan to have children. It’s going to be a process, I didn’t put on the weight overnight and it won’t go away overnight either.

Some of the things I’ve done so far to lose weight:

– Drink only water (it was hard at first but now the desire to have other things is gone)

– If I have a craving, then I’ll eat it or drink it. My doctor said the worst thing you can do is deprive yourself because you’ll resent eating better.

– Walk at least 1-3 days a week for 25 minutes to 30 minutes

– Eating Cheerios for breakfast (the multi-grain is my favorite)

– Eating only whole-wheat or multi-grain bread

– Staying away from fried foods (esp. french fries, fried chicken)

– Trying to not eat things with more than 30% fat calories

– Actually portioning my food

– Eating more fruits and vegetables, especially at buffets

– Take vitamins (which we should all do because in all of our diets, we’re not getting enough vitamins like we should be)

^^ Every little bit helps. I’m sure I’ll be adding to the list over time, I still haven’t given up my mayonnaise lol. That will be a hard one, I’ve tried the reduced fat and it’s sickening to me. Either way, you don’t have to deprive yourself to be healthier. If you put your mind to something and pray about it, you can do it. I definitely give glory to God because I couldn’t do this in my own strength. So thank you Lord!

Things I’m loving as of lately: Beauty Products

Products I'm loving

Here lately I haven’t been buying a whole lot of makeup just because I’ve obtained so much and I actually like a lot of the things I have in my ‘makeup routine’. I know for some girls and even women, the drugstore or your Sephora can be over-whelming. It’s like “Where do I begin!?” Hopefully some of my favorites will inspire you to check some of these products out. I will list the price of everything below and where you can get it.

photo 1

What? Queen Helene Mint Julep Masque

Cost: $2.99 – $5.00 (Depends where you get it)

Where Can I get it? Drugstore Online, Walgreens, Dollar General, Amazon

I like to use this masque about every two weeks to really cleanse my pores. Masques like this usually break my face out, but this one has been very kind to my skin so far. It’s a mint green clay that is supposed to clear your face of impurities, shrink enlarged pores, dry up acne pimples, and rinse away blackheads. When I first used this, the cooling effect of the clay felt like my face was burning and on fire — but in a good way haha. I find it to be refreshing now that I’m getting use to it. Prepare to look like SheHulk.

 

 

 

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photo 2

What? EOS Lip Balm in Sweet Mint

Cost: $3.49

Where can I get it? Walmart, Target, Drugstores, Drugstore Online

I feel like I have this mint theme going on, but I seriously love this lip balm out of all of the flavors EOS has. These balms are 100% natural, 95% organic, and they have shea butter and vitamin E. This has a light-weight formula and the taste is very pleasant, it’s just a tad sweet but nothing overwhelming. I find sweet mint to be very moisturizing and it makes my lips feel so soft. Every since I’ve been using this, I haven’t had to scrub my lips as often with those ‘sugar scrubs’. I have a blog on that by the way if you’d like to check it out. Just click here!!!

 

 

 

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photo 3

What? Benefit Erase Paste in Medium

Cost? $26.00

Where do I get it? Sephora, Ulta, Amazon

The flash isn’t doing my pictures much justice, but this is an extremely peachy concealer that can cover dark circles like a dream. The dark circles underneath my eyes are hereditary and this stuff makes them vanish. This has a thick texture so you only need a little to get the job done. I like to pat it underneath my eye with my index or ring finger, then blend the rest of it out by stippling it with my foundation brush. This is on the pricey side, but so worth it! You get just a little over 4 grams of product.

TIP: If you can’t fathom spending that kind of money, Pixi makeup (which is sold at Target stores and online) has an eye brightening concealer in ‘brightening peach’ that is an exact dupe for the erase paste in the color light.

 

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photo 4

What? Milani Baked Blush in Luminoso

Cost: $6.99

Where can I get it? Walmart, Walgreens, Target, Cherry Culture

I love peach blushes, especially to blend in with my contour/bronzer. It makes your face look naturally flushed and glowy. If you’re scared of blush and you’re not one who thinks you can ‘pull it off’, seriously, purchase this as your first blush. It’s natural but very buildable. It has a satin finish meaning it has very finely milled shimmers in it, however it’s very subtle and it will not enlarge your pores like some sparkly blushes can do. It’s silky texture makes it easy to blend and work with.

 

 

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photo 5

What? Urban Decay Smoked Palette – Barlust

Cost: $49.00

Where can I get it? Sephora, Ulta, Urban Decay

Not all brown eye shadows are alike and this one is ahhhmazzzzzing! It has a slight purply-red undertone to it and I love it! It looks gorgeous especially on blue eyes because of the warm undertones in this color. If you have a Sephora or Ulta near by, go swatch this color in the store. Urban Decay is hands down my favorite eye shadows because they’re long-lasting, easy to blend, and extremely pigmented (meaning you do not need to dig your brushes in them). A little goes a long way and the price may take you back a bit, but trust me, you’re buying quality.

I hope you enjoyed this blog! If you have any questions please comment below :]!!

My thoughts as of lately.

God's grace

I’m sure everyone is getting tired of hearing about the Paula Deen situation, but it quite frankly stirs an anger in me because this world doesn’t know how to give grace. Despite where you lean on the situation, if you screwed up would you want people to forgive you? At the end of the day, people can kiss my b-u-t-t if they don’t like what I have to say. I don’t live my life to please anyone, nor do I need to explain myself, lime light or not. We’re accountable before God, not man. A big difference between man and God is that God can look at our deepest darkest more horrible sins and still forgive us. Man  on the other hand will knit-pick the heck out of the tiniest things and magnify them and hold them over our heads. Big difference. God>Man. Just saying.

Moving on… :).

On the bright side of things, I’ve been in my Bible again reading the book of John. I had to watch myself the other day because I tried to speed through my readings to make up for lost times. That’s a big no-no because after I read it I was like… “What did I just read…? O_o” If you’re just trying to read to cross it off your list, then your heart is in the wrong place. Soak it all in, even if that means only reading a little bit a day.

Well, I’m going to go relive my childhood through watching The Little Rascals on ABC Family :]. Have a blessed night everyone and don’t forget to tell people you love them.

– Ashley

Youtube.

Is it just me or is the YouTube beauty community getting a bit cliché? It seems like anyone with a camera has a beauty channel, granted the number of subscribers are different for each ‘guru’ or ‘beauty lover’. There’s so many opinions out there these days on products and it’s hard to limit it to whom you can trust.

Besides the fact that the guru community is overwhelming by its numbers, so is the fact that 99.9% are sponsored by companies. The sad thing is, most of the girls that have signed up in the last year to start making videos are only looking to get sponsored so they can get free products. Great motive isn’t it? Doesn’t hurt anyone right? Wrong! It hurts the people who watch you who are sincerely looking for beauty advice. They see how successful people can get and think they can do it too by saying “OH-EM-GEEEE” “I LOVE THIS BECAUSE IT’S JUST AWESOME”. (Ahahahaha) The quality of their videos will show for itself that they don’t have a clue, so it’s easy to dismiss their channel all together. On the other hand, there are some popular gurus out there that I’ve stopped watching – simply because they seem so full of it.

Does anyone else think that companies take advantage of these girls and the viewers? They know a majority of the viewers will believe what these girls say so they can sell their products. You can tell too when a company is sending their products out because the girls will all start talking about the company around the same time frame. Just a bit of advice, hold onto your money until the fame dies down. Products will get so much hype and then the true thoughts come out about them after they’ve actually used it for some time. Products will definitely work different from each person to the next, but still. Buying everything that’s new, shiny, sparkly will make you broke lol – PRIORITIES ladies!

If you’re having a hard time finding ladies or gentlemen you can trust, here are my top trustworthy beauty experts (no particular order):

1 – Kandee Johnson: http://www.youtube.com/user/kandeejohnson

Kandee has a bubbly and uplifting personality that will warm your heart. She always makes me smile because she’s always so positive and embraces unique things – whether it’s in a person or her style. She’s also a Christian who loves Jesus, so that makes her a billion times cool! hehe

2 – Marlena MakeupGeekTV: http://www.youtube.com/user/MakeupGeekTV

I can relate to Marlena in so many ways because most of her life she was a ‘bigger girl’. Even though that’s not a struggle for her anymore since she’s lost the weight, a girl’s heart never changes on how she looks at herself. She’s humble and an amazing makeup artist. She gives amazing directions on how to apply makeup. 

3 – Wayne gossmakeupartist: http://www.youtube.com/user/gossmakeupartist

Wayne is the most honest person I’ve seen on YouTube, he tells it like it is and I love it! He always makes me laugh when he posts videos about the truth of some products or companies. He is straight to the point and he simplifies makeup to where anyone can understand it and feel confident doing it. 

4 – Samantha Schuerman: http://www.youtube.com/user/samanthaschuerman

Samantha is extremely laid back, like the girl next door. What you see is what you get – she’s far from fake. I love her sense of humor because she’s so random. I can’t stand listening to most people ramble on, but I could listen to her for hours lol. I really wish her channel would get more recognition. She does the most amazing eye looks!

5 – Cora vintageortacky: http://www.youtube.com/user/vintageortacky

Cora knows how to rock out makeup, her looks are flawless! I love her edgy style and how she’s not afraid to wear pinks and purples in her hair – it’s who she is. She’s very easy to listen to and she gives great recommendations on products.

6 – Emily Beauty Broadcast: http://www.youtube.com/user/emilynoel83

Emily is by far the most professional guru out there. She can tell you about a product from top to bottom, the girl does her research and doesn’t leave any information out. Even though she has a lot of high-end makeup, she shows the same love to drugstore makeup so she really keeps it affordable for those who are on a budget.