Thursday, February 19, 2015

Here's The Deal

This is a post that I didn't give much thought to prior to writing it. I just started typing and here's what I came up with. It's obviously geared towards the ladies, but I think it would do the men some good to read it as well. I'm very blunt and a little emotional, but this is what has been on my mind. 

So here's the deal. We're broken. We're scared, we're hurt and we're bitter. We hold grudges more than we'd like to admit and we always doubt compliments. We don't trust easy, if at all. We wonder if there are ulterior motives behind every kind action we receive. We're givers, yet we rarely get anything back. And we hate it. We hate it with a passion. We try not to let it bother us; we bottle it up inside and ignore it and every time we give of ourselves, we add another drop to the jar until one night when we are alone in our room, we just can't balance it anymore and it overflows. Words mean things. Actions speak a thousand words is not just something our mothers used to say to us when we were little, we now realize it's true. And it sucks. Because actions are not always nice. In fact, more often than not, sometimes it seems as if actions are nothing but things that are designed to hurt, embarrass and sting us. We're extremely self conscious and we second guess everything. We overanalyze, overreact, overthink, get over emotional and way too dramatic. It's just the way it is. 

We are women. 

We put up with unbelievable amounts of stress, pain, confusion and drama. We are designed to take on the burdens of our fellow women and our men. We are created to bring babies into this world, to rear them in the ways of truth, love and justice. We are supposed to be the backbone of our families, provide meals for our husbands and keep our homes clean. We are expected to get an education and make make money and then be examples for our children when it's time to raise them and we want to stay in love with our men our whole lives. no matter what troubles arise.

It's not easy. It's actually really hard. Sometimes it's borderline unbearable and it can be pretty  miserable. If we cry we're weak, but if we don't show emotion, we're cold. If we talk too much we're annoying, but if we don't say a word, we're bitchy. It never ends. We can't win. How are we supposed to overcome our own insecurities, our own fears and vices if we are constantly being pushed back down again. Is this what being a woman is about? Is this all there is? Is this reality? 

In order to be great women, we need to believe that we are great. We need to silence the thoughts in our heads that tell us we aren't smart enough, aren't skinny enough, aren't active enough, aren't pretty enough, aren't healthy enough, aren't sexy enough, aren't kind enough. Because all of those things don't define us. I'm not saying they're not all wrong because maybe we aren't healthy enough or smart enough...if that's the case, we need to get out there and improve it because no one else is going to do it for us. We need to believe in ourselves, we need to bite the bullet and make ourselves worth it. Not for men, not for anyone, but for ourselves. Because we are worth it. 

God created woman from man's rib. From the beginning, it has been in His omnipotent plan that man and woman co-exist together and come together as one in order to keep the cycle going. Every great man needs a great woman and vice versa. In order to find a great man, however, in order to find our person, we first need to turn ourselves into that person. Do we want someone who is easily brought down and discouraged by those who treat them like anything less than they deserve? No. Would we look at that person in that situation and watch them do nothing but be upset and go along with it? Probably not. We'd be mad. We'd want to cheer them on, stand up for them, encourage them to "fight" back, to stand up for themselves. If we would do this for our potential boyfriend and eventual husband, why can't we do this for ourselves? What is holding us back? 

It's time to go for it. Time to put on some red lipstick, hold our heads high and walk with confidence, even if it's fake at first. It's time to smile at those who have hurt us, and embrace those who support us. It's time to give more hugs, even if it feels too touchy-feely and time to accept compliments and actually believe them. It's time to forgive and forget but learn from our mistakes. It's time to remove poisonous relationships from our lives and spend a few extra minutes in prayer each day. It's time to drink more water and read more books and tell more people we love them. It's time to write more letters and try not to swear so much and simply breathe. 

It's been a long journey, and there has been a lot of pain, a lot of regret, a lot of what if's and could haves and maybes. But it's time to move on, it's time to stop letting people define us. It's time to stop taking hurtful words and actions to heart and it's time to latch on to the people who we feel whole around; the ones who compliment us when we need it, comfort us, listen to us, trust us with their hearts and willingly take on ours. Those are the ones who we need to surround ourselves with. 

Because here's the deal. We're women. And we can do it. 

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Wednesday, February 18, 2015

What I'm Not Giving Up For Lent

Well, I made it through Ash Wednesday. Some friends and I attended Mass this evening at the cathedral in town and had to sit in folding chairs in the lobby as the church was jam packed. What a beautiful inconvenience. How blessed we are to attend a school and live in a country where we can be proud to showcase our faith and where we know we are not alone. 

Lent is the preparation period of 40 days leading up to Easter Sunday. As Catholics, we are taught to fast, pray and give alms during these days of meditation. Here and here are some posts I found regarding Lent that I really enjoyed. Check them out! Now, when I was deciding what to write about tonight, I had two ideas. The first, what I'm giving up/doing for Lent, I decided against because the words of the gospel tonight rang in my ears: do not look gloomy like the hypocrites. Yes, we live in an age where (not just my generation) everyone shares everything from their meals to their spring break plans to their relationships; everything that is even fairly private is plastered all over social media. I'm not saying this is wrong or unfortunate. I believe it is fine in moderation, and that is the personal rule I live by, but I do believe that there are some things that should only be shared to our closest friends and family, if anyone, and definitely not over social media for the world to know. 

What this post is about is what I'm not giving up for Lent. Clever, huh? 

1. Coffee. I know it's probably not a good thing, but I have trained my body to rely on caffeine so much that when I don't have it, I get awful headaches and crash. Not fun. I do recognize I have a serious coffee addiction as I sometimes have up to five cups a day, so I will work on cutting that down to like three, but as far as in it's entirety, sorry I can't. 

2. Netflix. Every girl has something she turns to when nothing seems to be going right. For some, it's their boyfriend, for others, their puppies. Since I have neither, Netflix fills this void. I am really good about not letting it take priority over my assignments which I consider a great ability, and besides, at the rate I'm going with Grey's Anatomy, I'll be a certified resident in no time. Pfft medical school, who needs it?

3. Makeup. I live with the mentality that every day is a chance to meet the man I am supposed to spend the rest of my life with. Maybe I've already met him, maybe I won't find him for another few years. But what if I meet him tomorrow... have you ever taken the time to think about that? It's pretty neat, if you ask me. Wait. What does this have to do with makeup? When applied correctly and appropriately, makeup enhances a woman's natural, God-given beauty. Some days though, everyone needs a little help and that's okay. Because God wants us to feel confident and proud of ourselves. I don't think having a nice face of makeup and my hair done makes me fake or vain; it makes me feel better about myself, makes me want to do better and be better and it makes me look more put together. And what if I do meet him tomorrow? Don't I want to look my best?

4. Social Media. I don't have a real good reason for this one except I am a college student and I need the internet and social media for almost all of my classes, for staying connected with my family who live halfway across the country and simply for my own sanity. Sorry, but I'm only human. 

What are you not giving up for Lent?

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Monday, February 16, 2015

My Grateful Heart

Happy President's Day! Lent starts this week (it feels like it was just Christmas #amiright?) and as I've been reflecting on what Lent is truly about, I've been struggling to find things that I am grateful for. A rough weekend can leave feelings of emptiness and confusion, but these are the most crucial times to list down the little things that I'm blessed with. 
  1. Hot showers after a long day
  2. Morning classes being cancelled
  3. FaceTiming with high school friends
  4. Heart to hearts with my siblings
  5. A mother who uses emojis religiously
  6. Finally, an opportunity for a job (fingers crossed)
  7. Being able to sleep in until 10 AM
  8. Much needed girls nights (plus one boyfriend) cringing at The Bachelor
  9. Daily random compliments
  10. Bright red nail polish 

What are you thankful for this week? What has been keeping you positive?

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Friday, February 13, 2015

Fifty Shades of Bai

Once again, the beautiful Bailey Barnes has decided to grace the blog with her witty and brilliant thoughts on this week's phenomenon, Fifty Shades of Grey. The movie comes out tonight and I'm not here to tell you not to go see it, I'm not your mother. What I will say is that you should take a few minutes to read Bailey's thoughts and then decide if you're fifty shades of better. 

Fifty Shades of Bai: 15 Reasons Why Hanging Out With Me is Infinitely Better Than Watching the Movie
Guest post by Bailey Barnes

Have you been following the latest social media trends lately? Well, if you haven't been living underneath a rock in the past few weeks, you'd know that Fifty Shades of Grey has been a topic of debate. Now, I could link you to dozens of articles that would give you my opinion on the "novel" but I think people have heard all the arguments against the movie. I thought I'd give you a different sort of list.
1. I can probably write a better book than the author of Fifty Shades. I've seen passages from the "novel." It's poorly written. As an English major, it hurts me to see a poorly written book become so popular.

2. I'm hilarious. Have you seen my tweets lately? I got 16 favorites favorites yesterday. I'm pretty close to getting verified. #nbd. 

3. I'm way more fun than Christian Grey. Sex Dungeons? No. We can watch Rom Coms and eat oreos. 

4. I haven't read the book, but summed up, Ana is a boring English major or something. I'm an English major who is super interesting and also, I have an email address, unlike our good friend Ana. 

5. I go to Mass five times a week, which means I get to spend lots of quality time with Jesus who is like, the most interesting guy, well, um, like...ever. 

6. I'll probably never be a millionaire but I also won't make you sign a sex contract. 

7. Although I look unapproachable, I am completely willing to be anyone's friend, so hang out with me instead of with someone at the movie theatre. 

8. This has nothing to do with me - but if you force your boyfriend/husband to see Fifty Shades, he'll probably hate you forever. Is that worth the risk?

9. Seriously, I'll make a movie that's better than Fifty Shades that doesn't condone abusive relationships. I'll do it. 

10. If you're looking for a good book to read, I have plenty. I'll recommend something much better. You're welcome. 

11. Speaking of great books, I just ordered If You Really Loved Me and Delivered. They're kinda anti-Fifty Shades.

12. Want an example of authentic love? I'll take you on a date to Old Fashioned. Your future (or current) spouse will thank me later. 

13. I have a serious girl crush on the Virgin Mary who, you guessed it, is a virgin. And she's awesome. Don't read Fifty Shades, read how awesome the Mother of God is. 

14. Christian Grey is addicted to BDSM. I'm addicted to coffee.  Coffee doesn't put my immortal soul in danger. 

15. I have amazing friends who encourage me not to see Fifty Shades. They could be your friends too.

Remember, because you are a child of God, you are fifty shades of interesting. 

With love, 
Bailey Barnes

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Winter Makeup Routine

When it comes to my everyday makeup, I like to keep it relatively simple and fresh. I have my go-to products, a combination of drugstore and department, and I've got my routine down to about ten minutes. If I'm going for a more elaborate look for a party or something like that, I'll generally add a brighter lip color or a sweep of eyeliner, but for the most part, this is my everyday look. 

After moisturizing, I prime my face with Maybelline's Baby Skin Instant Pore Eraser. If I have especially dark spots or under-eyes, I dab on a little Erase Paste, then I apply my BB Cream, which I use as a foundation. I apply it with a sponge which gives it a more natural finish and helps to blend everything more seamlessly. You can get the $28 Beauty Blender from Sephora, but this one from Target works just as well and is only $5. I conceal any blemishes and my under-eyes with my Instant Age Rewind concealer which I swear by. I have been buying this for about two years now? and it works wonders. I have the lightest shade. I set everything with L'Oréal's True Match Minéral.

I apply bronzer and blush from Urban Decay's Naked on the Run palette. If I want to look a little more alive and dewey, I brush a little highlighter along my cheekbones and nose. 

I keep my eyes fairly simple, but regardless on the look I'm going for, I stick with neutral tones. I use either the Naked or the Naked 2 palette. I most frequently use Bootycall, Tease, YDK, Virgin, Naked and Sin. I rarely line my eyes, but if I do I'll either use a darker eyeshadow color or use whichever eyeliner I have on hand. I use a combination of Maybelline's Mega Plush Volum' Express mascara and finish off with a couple coats of L'Oréal's Voluminous False Fiber Lashes mascara. 

I fill in my brows with Benefit's Gimme Brow. I have it in Light/Medium and I absolutely love it. 

I finish off with some lip balm and either a lipstick or gloss depending on my outfit. 

What is your go-to makeup routine? Have you tried any of these products?
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Wednesday, February 11, 2015

10 Commandments of Everyday Style

Nearly every woman of age has (at least some) knowledge of the social norms when it comes to style and personal care. Ladies, please do wear underwear, don't not shave, and please, for the love of all things, never wear more than seven pieces of jewelry (this includes each earring and every hairband.) With that being said, here is a compiled list of my personal everyday style standards. 

1. Thou shalt not wear socks with Sperrys. This is a big one for me; when breaking in a new pair, I think it's fine to wear no-shows (the $3 ones from Target are perfectly fine, but the ones by Sperry Topsider are especially designed to wear with Sperrys and come in a variety of preppy styles and colors.) Once said pair have been broken in however, I don't think there is a need to wear socks, and athletic socks are a mortal sin in my book. I wear mine year round, and even in dead-of-winter-windy-as-hell North Dakota, my feet don't get cold (am I just crazy?) and I have never slipped in the snow/sleet/ice. 

2. Thou shalt wear navy and black together. A lot of people have a problem with navy and black combos, but I personally ignore this rule and think that they can be pulled off when worn properly. There is nothing wrong with black leggings and a navy cardigan, Shep Shirt or flannel and I think it's important to know how to mix all the neutrals. 

3. Thou shalt wear a nude camisole under white tops. This may come as surprising, but white undergarments will show through under white or cream tops. Don't make this mistake unless you're going for the boho vibe, and opt instead for a nude colored cami and bra. 

4. Baseball caps are always appropriate. Bad hair day or not, whenever I don't want to deal with the wind, snow, etc. I throw on a hat and I'm good to go. They are so incredibly versatile, and look good with nearly any hair style, buns, ponytails, down or braids. I have a vast collection including Vineyard Vines, Southern Proper, Sperry Topsider etc. In my mind, hats are a simple way to either make a statement or tone an outfit down, depending on how you wear them.

5. Thou shalt never have chapped lips. Please. Get. Some. Balm. On. Those. Bad. Boys. It's almost Valentine's Day, and chances are, you have a special (or maybe not so special) someone you're bound to lock lips with. Nobody wants dry, cracked and peeling lips. EW. When it comes to chapstick, lipstick, lip gloss and extreme ultra moisturizing lip repair stuff, my collection is overwhelming. I admit I cannot count them all on two hands. I know, it's a problem, but even if you never have a lick of makeup on, especially during the god-awful winter months, I'm begging you, slather some lip sh*t on. 

6. Thou shalt never wear underwear that shows through leggings. Do I even need to explain this one? Just please no. 

7. Thou shalt know when to wear which boots. Riding boots are acceptable during fall and winter with leggings, cords, jeans and khakis. With the right skirt, certain pairs can be pulled off, but I generally stay away from that look; if you like it and can pull it off, that's fab. Snow boots (by snow boots I mean these or these) should be worn in the snow or if it is bitter cold. 50º does not mean bitter cold. These look great with leggings or any other pants tucked into them, but never wear flare jeans over the sides because that right there is social suicide. Rain boots are a smart choice for very wet climates, especially in the winter and spring months, but keep in mind that if there is a large amount of snow, sleet, freezing rain or otherwise, rain boots are a surefire way to guarantee you slip and fall. As I mentioned above, I wear my Sperrys year round (even in negative temperatures) because my feet don't get cold, they are comfortable and supportive, and they have incredible traction. I have never slipped when wearing Sperrys, even if I'm walking on pure ice. For me, UGGS are just no. Never. Ever.

8. Thou shalt keep thy nails well-groomed. Do trim your nails, do file them evenly, do moisturize your cuticles, do take 15 minutes to give yourself a fresh manicure or drop $35 getting them done. Clean, well-managed nails are a sign of a well-cultured, classic and ladylike woman. A clear topcoat, French manicure or simple but classy colors such as reds and pinks are all acceptable, all the time. Once in a while, bolder choices such as navy or white are appropriate, but if you're unsure, stick to more muted options. 

9. Thou shalt accessorize appropriately. My go-to accessories are a simple gold watch, scarves, sunglasses or a statement necklace; never all at once, and not every day. Don't overdo it. If your earrings have gold accents, your necklace and watch should as well. Don't wear clashing metals... it can come off as tacky. And don't over-accessorize, sometimes simple is best. 

10. Thou shalt take the time to do thy makeup. I get it, sometimes you don't have time for a full face, sometimes you simply don't have the need. I get up early for 8 AM class every day except Monday, and I like to be ready for the day by the time I walk out my door. Even if I end up throwing my hair up in a hat, I have a nice face on, a spritz of perfume and a roll of deodorant. Do invest in some good products. They don't all have to be from Sephora, but there are a few pricier options that never fail. Save up, do your research, and invest in a few expensive products, then balance out with the ones that you restock every few months, like concealer and setting powder. Doing my makeup in the morning is enjoyable, and gives me time to mentally prepare for my day. Also, a fresh face and coffee in hand is the easiest way for me to feel put together.
What are some of your style dos and don'ts? 
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Tuesday, February 10, 2015

The Blogmopolitan Quiz: VDay Edition

It's that time of year again...every single person's excuse to get cheap candy and roses, and every couple's excuse to be even more couple-y than usual. Yay. For some of us, Valentine's Day is anticipated all year long; dates are planned months in advance, outfits are planned and guys do their best not to make it obvious that they've forgotten what day it is until the night before. Maybe it's a good thing that I don't have to worry about any of these. Without further ado, I have once again snatched this off of Erin's blog, Two Thirds Hazel because she never fails to come up with the best blog post ideas, and even if it's not my favorite holiday, until the day comes when I find him, why shouldn't I take advantage of typing in red and watching Rom-Coms all day? 

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Saturday, February 7, 2015

Hooked On...

Wearing: Gold watch, similar here, understated red lip using this and this

Listening: to Ed Sheeran (duh) and this, which I recently discovered while watching another YouTube video and which I feel expresses me perfectly right now...

Reading: I've been trying to make an effort to get back into reading and a friend lent me Finding Your Soulmate Without Losing Your Soul: 21 Secrets for Women by Jason and Crystalina Evert. I'm a few chapters in since starting it last night and I've already been brought to both tears and laughs because I can relate to everything I've read so far. I'm looking forward to reading the best of this book immensely, and I already strongly recommend it to all women, especially college aged women who feel lost, confused, used, abused or forgotten and who think that the male species has no hope. You can find it here.

Drinking: way too many Vanilla Cappuccinos. 

Discovering: this article about Pope Francis making his first trip to the US in September and addressing Congress. 

Planning: my future children's outfits. Please don't judge me. 

Images via Pinterest

Anything new that you're hooked on?

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Monday, February 2, 2015

My Grateful Heart

Making time to write down all the things that I am thankful for is hard to do, not going to lie. However, it's healthy and it makes me realize all the good things that God continues to bless me with, and encourages me to see the blessings in every day, no matter how easy or difficult they prove to be. 

  1. Nightly talks about faith, friends and relationships
  2. Road trips with friends
  3. Weekends in Fargo
  4. Home-cooked meals
  5. Clean water and fresh air
  6. Good relationships with my parents
  7. The ability to fall asleep literally anywhere
  8. Being raised right
  9. Sunday Mass
  10. 30% off
What are you thankful for this week? What has been keeping you positive?

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