Faith Friday: I'm A Dependent Woman (say wha?!)

Anyone else sad that the January Faith Friday series is over today? Not to worry, there's a lot to continue talking about in the near future so keep checking back! To close off the past few weeks of "What Am I Called To Be As A Woman" I wanted to bring it all together in a more general sense. As I started off saying at the beginning of the month, I feel that God is calling us as women to be different. He has a special purpose for us that we can only discover as we discover more about Him. I feel strongly in my heart that we need to redefine what it is to be a woman, especially one after God's heart. Our society's view of women today places importance on being the "independent woman". *Cue a Beyonce anthem* This idea has been in my mind for quite some time and I didn't know why, until God started revealing to me what He wanted me to share. 

Right now more than ever, we are bombarded by the idea that women have always been oppressed by men and that we need to step up and be independent and work harder to be treated as equals. I don't consider myself a feminist in any way but I do think that women should follow their dreams and not just live life thinking that their husbands will support them so they can be lazy. I think God places talents and skills in women that men don't have and we should explore those things and bring them into fruition. BUT, becoming power hungry and striving to live a life that is consumed by work isn't the way to go either. I'm gonna go against what everyone else says and state that we should be women who are dependent! Yup, you read that right, but hear me out. I believe with all my heart that as a woman I am dependent on Christ and no one else. I don't depend on my family, my future spouse or even future career/job. The whole idea behind being independent actually transforms into being self dependent and that is completely not biblical at all. 

"I am the vine, you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing"
John 15:5

Simple. Without Him you are nothing and can do nothing because your life springs from His being and nothing else. You can't do things on your own, at least not in a way that results in a good outcome. That isn't to say that you are going to sit around waiting for God to do everything and be passive. He needs your cooperation and permission to have a say in your life. You alone allow God to come in and be your everything and until you do that, you won't be fulfilling your potential. He wants you to work, and work hard! He isn't promising you that by depending on Him things will be easy, He just promises to hold your hand the entire way.  God made you a strong, vibrant, capable and loving woman and He wants you to know that to be all of those things you need to put your trust in Him and no one else. I think it's time for us to redefine what it is to be women who love God. Women who work towards putting Gods plan into action and who focus their vision on His heart. 

We've talked about the real meaning behind the Proverbs 31 woman, learning to be courageous, finding our worth and beauty from within and living modestly in all aspects and today we finished off with our dependence on Christ. To be the woman that holds all of the characteristics I've written about it all depends on whether or not you will choose to define yourself by the world or by Christ. It doesn't matter at what point in life you're in now... being the woman God called you to be is a lifelong mission and you can start at any time. Start digging into the word and finding more about what God is speaking to his generation of women about! Trust in Him to see you through and enjoy this journey! 

"I depend on God alone; I put my hope in Him. he alone protects and saves me; he is my defender, and I shall never be defeated. My salvation and honour depend on God; He is my strong protector, He is my shelter. Trust in God at all times, my people. Tell Him all of your troubles, for He is our refuge"
Psalms 62: 5-8 (Good News Translation)

Sending you all lots of love and praying that you've been touched by this series! Happy weekend and thanks for stopping by! x
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Street Style Queens: Olivia Palermo & Miranda Kerr

As fun as it is to see super intricate and really out there looks on the runway, there's nothing better than some good ol' street style. Two of my favourite celebrities that do street style so well are Olivia Palermo and Miranda Kerr. Their looks are always put together and polished but have that "I just threw this on" effect. Olivia is always accessorized to perfection and has a more elegant touch while Miranda has the minimalistic and classic look trademarked. As a beauty lover I have to say my favourite part about street style is that the hair and makeup are usually pretty natural and laid back which paired with casual clothing makes for my favourite kind of look! Here are some of my favourite outfits!

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YSL's Take On The Perfect Peachy Pink

It's no surprise at all that when it comes to lip and cheek colours I'm a peachy pink lover through and through. A good coral shade livens up any skin tone and adds the perfect glow without bringing out any extra redness your skin may have. In my search for some new shades in this category I've found a lipstick formula that applies like butter and gives the most gorgeous sheen and colour. Say hello to YSL Rouge Volupte Shine in #15 Corail Intuitive.

This shade can look a little brighter in the tube but applied on the lips it goes quite a bit more sheer and is honestly the best mixture of pink and peach, ever! Besides the beautiful colour, the formulation of this lipstick is dreamy. I'm not sure if butter is the softest thing around, especially since it's what people compare anything creamy to, but I can see how this lipstick could be compared to it. It goes on without tugging on your lips and is basically a hybrid between a lipstick, gloss and balm. Aside from performing well, let's just take a moment and appreciate the beauty that is YSL packaging. The best little piece of luxury you can have lying around! And yes, this is extremely pricey for a lipstick but it's one of those things that you kinda have to buy with that change for a rainy day. At $39 a piece this is definitely not a lipstick you can buy every shade of (unless you can, in which case, let's go shopping!) but if you find a shade that works for you I'd definitely give it a try. You can find these at Sephora along with the full range of Rouge Volupte lipsticks that YSL does. 

Any shades you love and recommend? I really shouldn't be asking since I don't need the added temptation but you never know when my rainy day dimes will come in handy. 

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Spring Into Beauty With Spring 2014 Makeup Collections

The bow on this blush?! Seriously! *drool*
I know, it's only the end of January and there is currently more inches of snow outside than I would like but Spring is almost here (-ish). As a commuter, I spend an hour or so of my week browsing around the mall before class just to destress and to keep an eye out for new releases. Thankfully, the other day I caught a glimpse of some of the newest Spring 2014 makeup collections and let me tell ya, love! There's nothing better than spring makeup in my humble opinion because it's all about pastels, sheer textures and a barely there look - all of which make me pretty excited. I think I've made it pretty clear already that I have a love for all things French related so it's no surprise that my favourite collections are from French brands! The ads are perfection and the colour range is exquisite. Although a lot of the runway inspiration for spring trends can be a little out there (I will not be wearing a thick layer of bright blue eyeshadow any time soon!), there's always a way to bring those trends into your daily routine without looking like a complete psycho. That's why spring collections are so great, you get to play around with products that are inspired by trends but in a more everyday, wearable way. Come on Spring, I'm waiting for you!

Dior Trianon 2014 Spring Collection:
This collection is filled with gorgeous pastel shades and an amazing attention to detail with the girly and flirty packaging. Bows are great but on makeup?! That's a whole notha level of gloriousness!



Perle looks so pretty! But so do the rest (confessions of a nail polish lover) (source)
Lancome French Ballerine Spring 2014 Collection:
It's no surprise the Lancome collection for this season would be beautiful but it honestly looks better than I imagined. I love the theme they chose, especially since Lily Collins looks amazing in these soft hues. Count me in for a little bit of Lancome loving this Spring! 

Ahhh Lily Collins and those bold brows are perfect for this campaign! (source)
 One of my favourite lipstick formulations in beautiful new shades! (source)
Excited to give these a swatch (source)

NARS New Edge of Pink Final Cut Collection
I tried to find this collection on the NARS site but I'm not sure why it wasn't listed. In any case, I've seen pictures of these new colours and they are gorgeous! I've been tempted by their lip pencils so the fact that they have spring shades now excites me quite a bit! 
Are you hearing your name being called when you look at any of these collections? (Say yes just so I don't feel alone ok?). Any other releases making your heart flutter? If so, let me know so I can take a peak! Have a great start to your week and hold onto Christ because I know He'll bless you in amazing ways. Thanks for stopping by!
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Faith Friday: Modesty Is The Best Policy

Continuing on with the Faith Friday series for this month I thought I'd dig deeper into the topic of modesty. This is something so important for girls to grasp and put into practice in their daily living. What I'm going to share today is sort of along the same lines of what I spoke about for last weeks FF post, but a bit more extended. Last week I encouraged you to put your main focus on what it is to find your beauty from who you are on the inside, despite the fact that it's still alright to try and present the outside with as much care. A big part of having your inside "you" match your outer appearance is modesty. Like I've said before, you are a direct re-presentation of Christ wherever you go and to presenting Him as anything less than holy and worthy of respect (remember the Proverbs 31 post from the first week?) is just not right. You are sharing Christ with a world who may not even know anything about Him so if you distort the image you were created in with a tainted sense of self, it's not very helpful to them is it?

"Like a gold ring in a pig's snout is a beautiful woman without discretion"
- Proverbs 11:22

When it comes to modesty people often think "why do Christians have to be boring? What's the big deal if I wear this skirt or not? Jesus loves me for who I am inside anyways"..... well, wrong. Modesty isn't about being boring and if it bothers you that you can't dress like everyone else then we have another big issue. Other people may not know better, they may think that exposing their bodies will attract a man and that it will solve their problems but you know God is the only one who can give you a sense of worth. There's no need to dress in a way that is distasteful just because it's what everyone else does because God calls us to do something very important:

" Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you will discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect"
- Romans 12:2

The Bible is very clear that as a person who is looking to build a stronger relationship with Christ you must not focus on what the world is doing because it's almost always against God's will. So being cool isn't your priority.... bringing Him glory even in how you present yourself is! Renew your mind. Dressing modestly isn't about throwing one a smock that covers you from head to toe, it's about a different attitude and outlook. Let's get one thing straight, modesty isn't just clothing! Sure, it's an important part but I think modesty is about what you're presenting to the world. It's showing love for others, speaking in a way worthy of God's presence and being humble in all things. Remember that "you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who called you out of darkness into his marvellous light" (1 Peter 2:9). 

One thing to keep in mind is that the idea of dressing modestly because you don't want to make a guy lustful of you is just not cool. As much as God is calling us as women to show our beauty in a way that is pleasing in His sight, He has also called the men of this generation to close their eyes to sin and keep their minds pure. The issue of dressing modestly and acting that way is not so that you can spare a man from committing adultery, but to honour Christ. Pray for the men in your communities, that God may help them also raise the standard of how they should act and view other women. Modesty is for both guys and girls! 

Something else I feel strongly about is compassion. Recently that's been on my mind and I feel like it can demonstrated in every situation. yes, you may see a poor man on the street who you can show compassion to but I think this goes for anyone you know or maybe don't that has no idea that God loves them. If you yourself have done a good job maintaining modesty in your life yet you judge and speak without love about other girls who may be struggling with this, what does that serve you? They are no less than you but they do need a good example of what modesty looks like. If they see you dressing modestly but speaking of other women in a degrading way that you shun men for doing, you're missing the whole point! Reach out to people and lead by example. God has made us beautiful, each and every one of us and he also made us to lift each other up. Learn to expect more from God than you're letting Him. If you limit God then you're missing out on a lot of what makes this life beautiful. He has planned for us to see ourselves in His image and I encourage you to share that message with people who need it. Showing off your body only gets you enough attention to temporarily fill that void, but know who you truly are in Christ? Well, that's more than a few stares and whistles will get you.

God is calling you to follow this today:
"I appeal to you, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship"
- Romans 12:1

"Likewise also that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire, but with what is proper for women who profess godliness—with good works."
- 1 Timothy 2:9-10

Like I said before, dressing well and being modest can most certainly go hand in hand and the above Bible verse isn't saying that's possible but notice that the first thing mentioned that we shall adorn ourselves with is respectable apparel, modesty, self-control and good works! These things should come first and be what is seen at first glance. You can't be praying for a godly and strong marriage for your future if you're reeling guys in with your body. If that's all he sees then it will probably be very difficult strengthen the relationship if you put on a few pounds or God forbid something physically happens to you. In any case you will be God's child and you'll be beautiful but will this man treasure you as the child of God that you are if you don't look like the barbie doll he expected? I can only hope for myself and for you that the man that God has prepared for you will be attracted to how much you love Christ, your love and compassion for people and a heart that is grateful to God and desire to show the world outwardly what He has done in your life. You'd be surprised that not every guy is wanting a Victoria's Secret model! But like I said before, focus on being modest because it is what God has called you to do and the fact that a man will appreciate you for it will come naturally. 
Enjoy your weekend! x
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Nailed It!

Apart from my love of the blackened red manicure, I've been enjoying a few of my Essie polishes a lot this month, as well as a new base coat and top coat to go along. A few years back I swore by Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat but after hearing about all the health warnings that came along with that little bottle I decided it was time to start searching for a new top coat. I've been thoroughly enjoying Sally Hansen's selection of top coats lately (btw, how weird is it that there was never anyone even named Sally Hansen....). I tried the one that comes in the metallic bottle but I settled for Insta Dri because it dries my nails really quickly but won't have me inhaling the toxic fumes emitted from Seche Vite.

 For a base coat I'm not particularly fussy, mostly because no matter what I try nothing prevents the staining that happens with dark polishes. Lately I've been getting through this bottle of Sally Hansen Complete Care base coat. it says it basically does everything from protecting your nails from staining to helping to fortify them.... I can't say much for the fortification and lengthening of nails due to this alone but it has served me well. 

Colour wise this month has definitely been about the Essie domination. I grew up very much an OPI kind of girl but I've expanded my horizons and been liking Essie polishes, especially since the brush isn't so tiny anymore. The colours that I've been gravitating towards the most this month have been Merino Cool (a new purchase which I love --- very similar to L'Oreal Greyt Expectations), Sand Tropez and Fiji. Funny enough these colours are a little bit harder to apply for me. Not impossible but definitely a bit more finicky compared to those shades that are opaque in one swipe. All of these picks are definitely more muted and neutral but I cannot wait to wear brighter hues in the months to come. Hello Spring, I'm waiting for you!

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Homes I'm Loving: {Dream Bedroom}

One of my favourite things about Pinterest is how much inspiration you can find. I love looking through all of the Home Decor pins to see if I can grab some ideas to make my room feel a bit more personalized. It's great to create a space that's your own, where you can obviously sleep but also have some quiet time to read the Word or pray or just sit there to feel the peace God is already offering to you. It's like a sanctuary and we should definitely treat it as such! I'm currently making a few updates to my room since I actually haven't done anything special to it since we moved in almost a year ago! I think I'm going for a cream, dusty rose and gold theme. I'm pretty excited plus it gives me a reason to try out different things I see on Pinterest ;)

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But What If They Reject Me?

Today I felt it in my heart to share something that worried me for years and that I'm still working to let go of. As people who love and honour God we get the privilege to share the Good News of Jesus Christ to a world that is lost and broken but it so easily becomes a burden for us. We are scared of rejection. Scared of what people might label us as. Scared of being, well, scared. We forget that Jesus went through more than we could ever imagine just to share God's love to the people around Him who said "I'm lost. Where do I go from here?" He was spat on, beaten, made fun of. Anything you can think of, He went through it. And after laying on that cross and dying for us, we can't seem to muster up the courage to tell non believers that "I love Jesus!" How many years did I let pass me by feeling like an outcast because while others were rejected Christ once again, I was reading the Bible and building up a relationship with Him. I would tell my friends I went to church but I felt incompetent of telling them "Hey, Jesus loves you!"

So no, I'm not judging you for not sharing. I'm telling you that I've been through it but I've made the choice to grab a hold of God's strength and share with others that He has saved me, that He loves me and everyone else on this Earth and that He just wants us to love Him the same way. I know how scary it can be. Growing up surrounded by church community, talking about Jesus is normal. But then you start growing up a bit and you realize that not everyone has cultivated this relationship with Christ. Not everyone has heard about Him. Some may even say they don't believe and don't want to hear anything about Him.

I distinctly remember 11th grade. It was the first time I had been rejected by a friend because of my faith. I was very bluntly told that the reason this person, who had been my friend for three years, decided to never speak to me again was because she didn't like that I was a Christian. I was hurt to say the least. I had shared my faith with her in hopes of planting that seed and I was stomped on. I asked God, "Why are you making it hard for me to share about you? Why do people hate me for it?" But I quickly realized that I had no right asking God why doing this was hard when Jesus went through worse doing the same thing. In fact, He had gone through that pain to allow me the privilege to share His love with others. 

So you ask yourself, "But what if they reject me?".... Here's what the Bible answers you:

"But everyone who denies me here on earth, I will also deny before my Father in heaven" 
Matthew 10:33

You may have to put up with being rejected by strangers or people who seemed to be your friend but the real prize will be in heaven.  Sharing the Word isn't about recognition here on earth so that you look more spiritual, it's about doing what you were meant to do for Him. Again, this isn't about you. It's about Him and being His advocate. You need to defend the name of Christ even if it costs you something dear to you. You don't have to all of a sudden go to school and jump on a table and scream "I love Jesus" (although if you have the courage, do yo thang girl!) but you can take it step by step telling people around you to not worry because God is with them when they're in need. It might be terrifying at first but it gets better. It's one of the reasons why I started this blog. I wanted to find a way to speak of the Truth to more people and no matter if you're a believer or not, my job is fulfilled and that fills me with joy. I love Jesus and hope to keep learning that peoples opinion of me doesn't matter. What I care about is what He thinks of me and all signs point to Him loving me, and you more than anything! 
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Hit The Refresh Button: Skincare Style

Happy Monday everyone! A little while back I shared with you guys my skincare routine and I expressed my feelings of dissatisfaction with the current products I was using. I felt like I needed to streamline the skincare bunch I had going on and add a few new things that could help out with my skin needs. Today I want to share the products I've incorporated into my routine.... but I won't be doing a full review yet because I want to use them at least for a few more weeks. I will say that I'm very pleased with these products and so far they have been doing better than the items I was using previously. 

I think I mentioned in my previous skin care post that I've been getting a bit more blemish prone these past few weeks. It always sucks because the rest of my face won't have active spots (just some scarring) but I'll have that one, under the skin, painful zit that pops up right in the middle of my face. awesome right? So I decided to get a mask that I've heard does wonders for decongesting the skin and I was not disappointed. The Origins Clear Improvement mask is great! It makes my face feel so fresh afterward without making it feel stripped or overly dried out! Definitely a good purchase.

SPF is important, no matter what time of the year you're in. I had neglected using sun protection for quite a while so I decided to make it my mission to incorporate it into my routine. This option from Neutrogena is surprisingly great on oily skin and doesn't leave my face feeling tacky or oily. Plus it kind of acts as a primer.... more on that some other time ;)

Moisturizer is something that I have never really gotten right. I have combination skin so sometimes a cream won't be moisturizing enough for dry patches or be too rich and cause me to break out. During Christmastime I decided to make it my mission to research some options and add them to my wishlist. I chose the Origins Ginzing moisturizer for day and the High Potency Night-A-Mins for night, of course. I love that the day cream is a gel formulation so it's refreshing yet helps me feel moisturized during the day. I've never used a night cream but the Night-A-Mins cream has changed my mind! A little richer but it does the job and I wake up with the smoothest baby skin imaginable!

So far I've been quite happy with my new skincare friends and hopefully it'll stay that way. Now all I have to do is find a good toner (Pixi Glow Tonic, why can't I find you anywhere #outofstock) and a better spot treatment and my routine will be complete. 

Have you tried any new skin care miracles you'd like to share?
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Faith Friday: It's What's On The Inside That Counts

Continuing on the "What Am I Called To Be As A Women" series for the month of January today's focus is going to be cultivating the inner you. By that I mean to say that God has called you, as a woman, to find pleasure in making yourself a better person no matter what the outside may consist of. I talk a lot about beauty tips and tricks and all things girly on Glorious Peonies but I never fail to remind anyone reading that this isn't what life is about. I'm not defined by my beauty products or how I look, God will ask for an account of who I was on the inside and what I did in my life at the end of the day.

The all familiar saying "it's what's on the inside that counts" is total truth. When you determine if someone is beautiful it should never be based on how pretty they are according to societal structures of beauty or the clothes that they wear; but their heart, that's what matters. This is another aspect of what God is calling you to be and do: aspire to make your soul beautiful and that glow people get with makeup, well it'll be the love you have that'll make you glowier than any face product ever could. You should remember that no matter how much skinnier you can get or what brand of shoes you are able to buy, that will never add to how beautiful you are. You should place the utmost importance on your spirit; nurturing it by having a constantly growing relationship with Christ. Here's what the Bible says on the matter:

"Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight" 1 Peter 3:3-4

By this it doesn't mean that you should pay absolutely no attention to enhancing your beauty or expressing yourself through fashion or makeup, but your sense of how beautiful you are shouldn't be defined by it. It can be confusing at times, even for me, to find a good balance between not placing value on your outer appearance yet wanting to do your best to present yourself well. Remember that if we are re-presenting God to everyone around us, we should try to let His spirit shine through us in every aspect, and that includes getting dressed and looking well put together. There's no shame in that. Stated most simply, you should be focused on nurturing your spirit so much that when it comes time for people to pin point the reason you are so beautiful, they'll have no choice but to say that's it about Jesus. Our whole lives should be about bringing Him glory through everything, that excludes nothing. It's never about us. God is the star of the movie of life, you're just blessed to be chosen as one of the extras. I know the world may tell you differently but this is what God designed life to be. 

I want to encourage you to think of what your inner self would look like if you had to picture it. Is it full of pride, vanity and selfishness or does it glow with love, patience, and a gentle and quiet spirit? God has called us to put value on who we are through him and to show our true beauty and worth through our spirit but if you want that swipe of red lipstick to empower you to show it in every aspect, then do it! I'm not gonna sit here acting like I got this routine down, and I want to be as open and honest as I possibly can. I struggle with truly knowing my worth comes from within; I can sometimes forget that but reading His word snaps me back to reality. I've said this before, it's an ongoing process and you may not come to realize these things right away but I hope one day you will and you'll give glory to God for making you a beautiful, valuable woman in His hands. 
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Silky Amaretti Cheesecake

When learning to bake there's always that recipe that seems too hard for an amateur. You may only be following instructions but the anxiety of messing up a classic dish is still there. That for me was cheesecake. I'd heard so many horror stories about how difficult it was to perfect and get it right that I never even attempted it -- until I found the perfect recipe with a good enough twist to it that I couldn't resist taking the plunge and trying my hand at it.
I followed Laura Vitale's recipe and made a few little alterations.

Serves 8 to 10
Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 1 hrs

For the Base:
2 cups of Amaretti Cookie Crumbs (about 8oz of cookies)
2 Tbsp of Sugar
1/4 cup of Melted Butter

2 8oz Packages of Cream Cheese
2 8oz Containers of Mascarpone
1 cup of Granulated Sugar
1 tsp of Vanilla Paste or Vanilla extract
1/4 cup of Amaretto Liqueur
4 Eggs
3 Tbsp of Flour
1/2 tsp of Salt

For the Topping:
1 cup of Heavy Whipping Cream
2 Tbsp of Powdered Sugar
¼ tsp of Almond Extract
¼ cup of Toasted Almonds
 I didn't have Amaretto Liqueur or almond extract so I omitted them but I found that the almond flavour was subtly still there because of the almond cookies used for the crust. I have to say that this recipe make for a delicious, silky smooth cheesecake. Sometimes I find that cheesecake can be a little too rich but the incorporation of mascarpone with the cream cheese made for a light texture that made all the difference. I'm definitely guilty of having eaten far too many slices of this (who could blame me?) and everyone who tried it said that it was great. 

Next time though I'll definitely have to look up tricks to avoid having my cheesecake crack at the top while cooling down. That is probably the biggest sign of a good cheesecake but overall I think I did a pretty good job for my first try. Plus the whipped cream definitely hid any evidence of mistakes I made!

Give this recipe a try and tell me what you think? Are there any recipes that you're scared of trying?
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Saying Yes To Freedom

I know it's not Faith Fridays but I think we all need a bit of Jesus more often! Something has really been speaking to my heart lately while doing my daily devotionals and that's freedom. When you think of freedom it can often bring visions of reckless behaviour where nothing matters because you are free to make whatever decision you want but God has a bit of a different story with that one! 
God gives you freedom to choose, but He loves you and wants you to choose Him every single day. Each day you arise is a new opportunity to say yes to God all over again and let me tell you that is such a privilege! Freedom goes beyond that though. We were set free from captivity, from sin, from all that could burden us, through Christ. You are so loved, you know that? So much so that Christ gave it all up to have you set free. But are you going to use your beautiful gift of freedom to go back and open your arms up to the chains that used to bind you? I hope you decided your answer is no! Don't take my word for it, the Bible says it very clear:

"It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery" Galatians 5:2

You are being called to stand firm. It's not about being wishy-washy. You were basically given a "get out of jail free" card without deserving it one bit. I know it can seem harsh but you weren't set free because you deserved it, rather your Saviour had so much love for you that He gave it to you anyways, knowing you would fail. So you might be asking yourself, what do I do with my freedom? That's a good question and as usual, the Bible has the answer for you!

"You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: "Love your neighbour as yourself" - Galatians 5:13,14

How sweet and utterly simple is our Daddy! Being unchained and set free from captivity was so that you could be able to serve each other better! Again, it's not about us, it's about Him, ALWAYS! His sacrifice was not for you to live a wild and reckless life. I've heard so many teens say "well it's my youth and I want to have fun. I'll be responsible later" but guess what? Depending on what you do with your youth, you may not even make it far enough to get the chance to be responsible. Let go of what everyone else values. Everyone is going crazy wasting their life in things that don't nurture their souls, but you are called to be crazy about the one who made you and gives you the opportunity to wake up each morning with air in your lungs. You're called to be different. So different that you would much rather spend your life loving others, not pushing them to the ground deeper each day. You lift people up! It's simple, one rule. Love your neighbour as yourself. So choose to say yes to freedom every single day. To break the chains that may be holding you captive and making every second be about serving others humbly and loving them under every circumstance, no excuses. 
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Big, Bold and Beautiful

On an everyday basis I'm a neutral lip girl through and through but on the rare occasion that I feel like spicing it up a bit, a bold bright lip is always the antidote. It always makes a statement when you have on a light base, a simple eye and a show stopping bright lip! You don't always have to go full on and swipe that lipstick like you mean it - occasionally I'll pat the colour in and blot in order to get a fresh wash of colour that still livens up the face.

My picks that are shown above (top to bottom):
Revlon Kissable Balm Stain in Smitten
Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick in Coralberry
Mac Lipstick in Up The Amp
Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick in Love That Pink
Lancome Rouge In Love Lipstick in 340 Rose Boudoir 
Rimmel Moisture Renew Lipgloss in Fuchsia Therapy

Apart from the gloss, I usually prefer my brighter lip colours to have a cream finish, without shimmer or frost. Also, I'm not a fan of extremely glossy bold shades because they tend to get messier more quickly. If I had to choose my favourite from the ones I've selected it would most definitely be Revlon's Coralberry. I find that with this shade I can pull off a stronger coral and it suits my skin tone really well. Sometimes I'll even wear it with a nude lip underneath to get the best colour pigmentation and to stop my natural lip shade from getting in the way of its beautiful colour. 
Any bright and bold lip favourites you recommend?
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New Year, New Semester, New Stationery

I have a confession to make. I love stationery. I don't even think the word "love" begins to even describe the rush I get when I see a colourful pack of pens, a cute notebook or a fun agenda. But really, back to school season (or new semester season) is always my favourite because I get to start a fresh notebook and pack of pens... as if I need any more. 

This year I'm so excited to be using the Kate Spade agenda to keep myself organized and on track for school assignments and tests. Honestly there is nothing cuter and the quotes for each month are so fun! The layout of the agenda is well thought out - a good monthly planner and a week on two pages to make categorizing things to do much easier. I can't find it in stock anywhere online but you may want to check your local Kate Spade and see if they have any more in stock. 

As I'm learning more about the whole blogging deal and figuring out how to make it fit into my schedule better I thought I needed a notebook dedicated to all things blog related. I chose this Martha Stewart journal as my blogging book because it's compact enough but it has enough pages to plan for months to come. But the real reason is because it's really pretty to carry around and write in.... don't judge me ok? In it I write ideas for future posts, schedule in time for photographing and writing as well as jot down what day each post will be going up. It allows me to keep up and not have to write posts last minute. 

The two pink mini journals pictured above are by Moleskine and I found them at my university bookstore. They're great for having on my desk in case I need to write down any quick notes or carrying around with me for inspiration since they're so light and easy to have with me. There are tons of pastel coloured notebooks on their site that are calling my name but I think I'm good on the notebook front... for now ;)

What are your favourite stationery items for keeping organized? 
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