Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Color of the Week: High Roller

Brand: China Glaze
Color: High Roller

Little bit of class and a little bit of pizzazz. :)

Outfit of the Day: Classy with a side of... Trench?

A couple brief things. 1. I'm coaching a basketball game today, so I had to try a little harder. 2. It was approaching 60 degrees when I left the house this morning... talked about GORGEOUS (thus the sandals)!

I stole today's look from Pinterest. :) I felt accomplished as I planned out my outfit, almost like I was planning something meaningful, like a military attack. Nonetheless...

The skirt is from Target a few years back.
The shirt is a steal I got from New York and Company over the summer.
The sweater was off of a Target clearance rack... $5.98!
My sandals were also a deal from Target this summer.
My super amazing trench-coat is from an 80% off sale at New York and Company over Christmas. Originally $89.95, but I paid $17.99!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Make a difference Monday: the beginning

A dear friend was talking to me yesterday about how much of our lives are spent doing trivial things and how much time we waste just "having fun." We wanted to make a change. But we are two girls with very busy schedules. How in the world are we supposed to initiate any change that matters? We came up with several small ways. :) K-LOVE, the Christian radio station, does Make A Difference Monday. So we challenged ourselves to make even the smallest difference. We ahve a list of things to do that will make even a small difference in someone's life.

As a reader, I want YOU to:
1. Follow my blog either by google friend connect or by email.
2. Read every Monday what our challenge is for the day.
3. Join us in our challenge!!!
4. Leave a comment with what you did and how it went.
5. Pray that these "tiny" opportunities will lead to something bigger. :)
6. Strive to make even a tiny difference on... heaven forbid... a DIFFERENT day of the week! ;)
Week one: Take a dollar bill. Or two. Or even three. Write an encouraging note on a post-it. Stick the note on the dollar bill and drop it in a public place. :) Our notes today said:
"You are worth dying for. In fact, someone already did. Romans 5:8 ... But God showed His love to us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us."

I have to run a few errands after school today. I'm really excited to leave my "mark" on the world in a small way. It's the least I can do since Christ gave His ALL for ALL. :)

Saturday, January 28, 2012

A tour of "The Moines"

A good friend and I took advantage of a free weekend and set off for Iowa. We loaded up on gourmet chocolates and hopped in the car.

Our Friday night was spent catching up with friends and just chillaxin'. :)

Saturday was spent seeing the "sights" in Des Moines and my listening to Emily say over and over, "I didn't realize there was actually stuff to do in Des Moines!"

(insert my trip to Trixies Aveda Salon on the South side of Des Moines to get my hair cut and colored. Katie did a fantastic job and I really do love my hair short and dark. I'll get tired of it about the time the weather gets warmer for good.)

Our first stop was to Java Joe's Coffeehouse in the Court Ave. District downtown. Emily and I got hot drinks and Iowa-famous Dutch Letters. :) Perfect beginning to a great day!

After Java Joe's, Emily and I went to the Capitol building.

After the Capitol, I told Emily we had to stop by Raygun, a stellar little Des Moines original. I found two sweet t-shirts to purchase. A perfect, fun little place to stop and even just have a laugh or two.

We took a walk around East Village downtown and happened upon a great, new little spice shop called Allspice. Fantastic! I purchased Tuscan Herb EVOO and Spicy Curry Powder. :)

After a few more stops in East Village, including a much-loved antique shop, we landed at our destination, Noodle Zoo. Emily got a fun little salad and I got a Pesto Shrimp Wrap with Spinach, Avocado, and Asiago Soup. 

After lunch, we trekked back to Ankeny to visit more friends. Our next stop was at Glazed Expressions in Clive. Emily and I each painted a piece of pottery. Hers was a gnome and mine was a mug. :)

My mug says "So this is LOVE" with 1 John 4:10 written inside the top. :) I attempted to make chevron stripes.

After feeling like kids for a few hours, we headed to the mall. Apparently we wore ourselves out because we felt like zombies. The last part of our day was going to Spaghetti Works in Des Moines. The all you can eat pasta was a big hit for Emily. ;)

We had a great weekend and Emily kept talking about heading back the next weekend to hit up more of Des Moines "hidden treasures." :)

Friday, January 20, 2012

High five for Friday!

Another week with lots of fun! Game night, a Mizzou Tigers game, a new bulletin board, play-doh fun, and spirit week!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Color of the Week: Coffee Break

I love this color! It reminds me of a mocha on a winter day. Warm and goes with anything. :)

I painted each nail this color, except my ring fingers. Those are a deep shimmery plum color from Charlotte Russe. Funky, yet elegant. :) Just what I like (as I type this in jeans, nikes, and a hoodie)!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

The simple beauties that surround us.

Kids. Snow. Two things that people often get frustrated with, and usually for legitimate reasons! BUT these two things are both beautiful, sacred (in a sense), and fleeting. Snow. Here for a season, then gone in what seems like an instant. Childhood. Same story. Take some time and observe these two things with a new wonder. Enjoy the times that go by so quickly. Cherish them. They really are beautiful. :)

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Color of the Week

This week, my nails have been a few different colors. I get asked often if I change my nail polish every day. I don't, but it's pretty close. It's at LEAST every Thursday. This week I'm on color number three (since Friday). :/ But if I have it, I might as well use it!

Company: Essie. Color: Cocktail Bling

I purchased this bottle a few weeks ago for a wedding I was in. It took two coats to become opaque, and it almost looked periwinkle in some light, but I LOVE the "neutral" color that went with a ton and it was still just funky enough for me. Essie holds up for DAYS and even lasts through rounds of dishes (which should be the real appeal!). Totally a brand I would recommend!

Monday, January 09, 2012

Operations Organization and Beautification

A little bit of "organization" from my room... if you can call it that. It's a little tough only having one room to contain most of my stuff. I stole this little idea from Ann Taylor LOFT, one of my favorite stores. Pinterest got me excited to find these fantastic ideas out in the "real world!" The tray is from JoAnn fabrics and happened to cost me about $8. The rocks and purple beads (that are nearly impossible to see) are also from JoAnn. The dishes in the back are mixing dishes from Target and were about $0.50. The dishes at the bottom were from Pier One Imports on clearance.

This is the tray that contains most of my "getting ready" stuff and a few of these things are things I swear by. For those of you interested, I'll share. ;)

Olay/Cover Girl Makeup Primer. Love it.

Kenra Texturizing Taffy. Smells like heaven and works wonders on my now, short hair. :)

Clean and Clear Oil Absorbing Sheets. This babies are wonderful for oily skin after a long day or night out.

H.i.P. Eyeshadow. The metallic brown, the purple, the moss green, and the bronze get me thru every day.

Almay "Just for Hazel" Eyeshadow. Easy peasy!

Garnier Nutritioniste Skin Renew Anti-Puff Eye Roller. Mouthful, but one of my MOST USED items in my makeup kit. This is pretty much liquid caffeine, which absorbs the puffy right out of your eye! For a girl who is cursed with ULTRA absorbent eye lids, this puppy is a LIFESAVER.

Maybelline Lash Stiletto Mascara. I'm the kind of girl who'll take any mascara any day, as long as my beloved eyelash curler is present. I am rather fond of this baby, though.

Those a few of my "must haves" that I use on a daily basis!
*not pictured: my other haircare products, such as my hairspray, dry shampoo, straightener; my brushes, and my skin care. Maybe another day...

Friday, January 06, 2012

"high five" for Friday

Occasionally, I'm gonna post my "high five" for Friday and post five (or so) pictures from the past week, just so people can keep up! :)

1. My dad. In a lawnchair. In the back of our van. On our way to Sunday dinner. (and yes, I know those were clauses...) Those of you readers who haven't experienced my family, you know the "modified" me. This is where it all started. The ghetto. With the family to prove it. ;) LOVE IT!

2. A sunset that I enjoyed from my parent's house. The rays filled our great room and I woke from a nap just at the perfect time to breathe this view in. :)

3. My last night home was spent at Tony's... one of my favorite restaurants, simply for their pepperloin steak. I'm a meat and potatoes girl at heart!!! My loving parents even dressed up for the occasion!
4. The sun setting on my drive back to KC. I don't know who thought that driving off into the sunset was that great! It's actually kind of a pain, BUT there's just something about a Midwest sunset sky...

5.First day back at school and the high schoolers are already making me feel welcome! When they told me they missed picking on me, I didn't realize how soon they would get back to it! Tape all over my door handles and not much space to maneuver... BUT I made it. :) And their payback is coming... someday... (or so I'd like them to worry about...)

6. Enjoying a Friday morning cup of chai. :) "Teachers are a gift, they touch our hearts forever."

Life is good. :) Some things just can't be put into pictures, but it's amazing how plenteous God's blessings are and how unexpected they come. :)

Monday, January 02, 2012

a year in review...

Over the course of a year, apparently a LOT can happen. I was thinking of a good friend who at the beginning of the year had not even entertained the idea of dating her best friend of years, and now they're all married. :)

I never would've guessed what the year 2011 would actually bring. NEVER.

January. I started my student teaching at a big Christian school in DSM. My hopes were to teach at that school. God's plans are bigger. Only the beginning of an entire year of learning that!

February. Finished up student teaching in the states and boarded a plane with a friend to head o Portugal. Was SO ready for the adventure that God allowed to fall into place. Perhaps the first of many trips to a far away place? :) Who knows!!! God's plans are bigger!

March. I spent my weekends visiting the ocean, castles, and walled cities. I spent my days teaching and drinking sugar-loaded espresso. :)

April. I finished up my student teaching and made it back to the states with a now close friend and had to leave a few behind.

May. I graduated from college!!! I played piano for a wedding and was asked to play The Final Countdown for the recessional. Talk about a blast!!! I spent a couple weeks at home then traveled down to Greenville, SC for a wedding and got to catch up with a couple great friends. :) May 31, I started my new job as a nanny of a little boy who wore a top-gun jumpsuit. :)

June-July. My summer was a blur of fun and friends. I learned a lot and had NO idea how God would put it all together in my life. I wish I remember more specifics from my summer, but I just remember that it was fantastic. :)

August. The month that changed my life the most. I started out the month planning on living in DSM and subbing for the school year, and using my "free time" to plan a wedding. God knows His children SO much better. Ended up moving to KC to teach kindergarten... the "wilderness" that God was apparently leading me to. He's used August's series of events to mold my life in ways I was NOT expecting, but have grown to appreciate. His grace is something AMAZING.

September. I turned 22. I made lots of new friends and kept plugging along, learning and growing in even the hard ways. He gave grace and peace beyond measure. :)

October. I went to my first NFL game, and watched "my Chiefs" kill the Chargers. Obviously there were 30 more days of the month that I guess I just don't remember.

November. Another month of life changing and rearranging. But I love it.

December. Looking back at the last month just makes me laugh. So many funny things have happened. And someday, if those funny things turn into anything more than just "funny things," that will be a blog post for the ages... God has an amazing sense of humor (at least in my opinion) and His timing is just... ironic... :)

I'm ready to watch God put my story together one day at a time. I have NO idea how 2012 will end. I have no idea when it will end. But I know that whatever happens over the course of the year, my God is in control, and He knows me better than I even know myself... and He shows me that one step at a time.