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I'm an Okie native, but currently an Arkansan. Newlywed. Hairstylist. Lover of all things creative. Pinterest and blog addict. Wanna-be photographer and wedding planner. Jesus follower. I love meeting new people and I'd love for you to stay a while, read a lot, and follow along. I love discovering new blogs so leave me a comment and I'm thrilled you're here!


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Thursday, February 27, 2014

Love Them Anyway

I was sitting in church the other day, browsing through my Bible looking at different scriptures and I decided to flip to my favorite Bible verse: Romans 12:12. It has always been my favorite Bible verse, in fact, I even had it written on my bedroom wall in my parent's house. It is one that I constantly try to live by and remember. It is my mantra and my motto. I think if we all memorized it and applied it to our daily lives, this world would be a much better place.

Christian Ethics- Romans 12:9-21
Love must be without hypocrisy. Detest evil; cling to what is good. Show family affection to one another with brotherly love. Outdo one another in showing honor. Do not lack diligence; be fervent in spirit; serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, patient in affliction, persistent in prayer. Share with the saints in their needs, pursue hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; weep with those who weep. Be in agreement with one another. Do not be proud; instead, associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own estimation. Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Try to do what is honorable in every one's eyes. If possible, on your part, live at peace with everyone. Friends, do not avenge yourselves, instead, leave room for his Wrath. For it is written: vengeance belongs to Me; I will repay says the Lord. But if your enemy is hungry, feed him. If he is thirsty, give him something to drink. For in so doing, you will be heaping fiery coals on his head. Do not be conquered by evil, but conquer evil with good.

Wonderful, powerful words. I sometimes get aggravated and annoyed when I try to live by these words and people refer to me as a pushover or a people pleaser. I was always taught by my parents to kill people with kindness and not to stoop to their level by joining in their silly games. All too often, I am amazed by the lack of respect people have for others and the childish/immature games we play.

I found this article on Facebook the other day and I absolutely loved it. I thought it fit in perfectly with this Bible verse and I think it's something everyone should read. I know I fail daily at loving people anyway and I really want to try harder to follow these words.

No One Is Perfect; Try To Love Them Anyway
By: Stephanie Althoff

They’re funny creatures, people.

They’re going to hurt you. They’re going to let you in and shut you out. They’re going to lie to you. They’re going to manipulate you. They’re going to say things that they simply cannot take back. They’re going to earn your trust and they’re going to betray it. They’re going to confuse you. They’re going to drive you crazy. Love them anyway.

They’re going to surprise you. They’re going to leave you speechless. They’re going to put a smile on your face when you least expect it. They’re going to make you laugh. They’re going to make you cry. Love them anyway.

They aren’t always going to be perfect. They’re going to have bad days, and they might even take it out on you. They’re going to shoot a frown your way, they’re going to follow your car far too closely, and they’re going to conspicuously cut you in line at the grocery store. Love them anyway.

Because people are people. And at their core, there is an inherent vulnerability. We’re vulnerable to bad moments, to bad days, and to bad weeks. We’re vulnerable to taking out our emotions on other people. We’re vulnerable to prejudice, hatred, and bullying. We may be strong enough to work past these vulnerabilities – to not give in to our downfalls. But we’re people. We’re human. And we all have bad days.

A bad moment turns into a bad hour. A bad hour turns into a bad day. And a bad day turns into a bad week. It’s cyclical. It continues. Unless, that is, something breaks the chain.

A smile. A reassuring text message. A tight bear hug to remind us that the world is still full of comfort. Chain breakers. Small, subtle, and instantaneous.

People are going to make you angry, sad, confused, and upset. Don’t fight fire with fire – break the chain. That woman who just gave you the bird on the interstate? Return her gesture with a small smile. It might just make her rethink her afternoon. That man who just cut you in line at the gas station? Cut him some slack. He might have somewhere exponentially important to be. We don’t know everyone’s stories. We won’t ever know everyone’s stories. But we know that everyone struggles and everyone is human. Cut them some slack. Love them anyway.

You’d be surprised at how relaxed your own life can become when you begin to let go of others’ imperfections. There’s no need to get angry about that rude comment someone made or that unsightly gesture. Let it roll. Shake it off. It doesn’t make you a pushover, it makes you strong. Because as soon as you let the negative emotions rise, you’ve continued the chain, and you’ve taken on the hurt and the anger yourself. You let someone else’s bad day become your own. Be confident enough to accept the downfalls of human beings. Be confident enough to accept the downfalls of yourself.
Because you’re a person too. Love yourself anyway. TC mark

And if you haven't heard this song, or watched this video, you must watch it now! She is amazing. Gives me goosebumps. I believe she is on the Voice this season. I'm already a fan!!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Let's Talk About My New Favorite Nail Polish!

One of my very favorite things about reading other blogs is discovering new products. It can be a very dangerous thing to a bank account, but I've found some really great products that I love through blogging. This particular brand of nail polish, I read about on a blog and the next time I ran to State Beauty Supply I bought it. I can honestly say, it's the best nail polish I've ever used and I will probably never buy another brand....and no this post is not sponsored, just my true opinion.

So here's a little bit about the CND Vinylux nail polish:
- It's supposed to last a week.
- It doesn't require a base coat.
-The longer it is exposed to light, the firmer and stronger it becomes.
- You only apply two coats of polish and one coat of top coat. I believe the top coat is the trick.
- It is super shiny, goes on so smoothly, and produces a thick, rich color. Both colors I've tried, I could have gotten away with only one coat, but I followed the instructions instead to make sure it worked.
- After just applying one coat of color, I could tell this was the best nail polish I've ever used.
-It can be removed just like regular nail polish and it doesn't make your nails brittle and weak. Usually when I paint my nails, the ends will start chipping and peeling...not with this stuff.
- It dries really fast. The only downfall is that it doesn't dry instantly like gel/shellac polish.

When the gel/shellac nail polish first came out, I was hooked on it. I would go pay $30 to get my nails done and I loved the way they looked and felt. Being a hairstylist, with my hands in a shampoo bowl all the time, they didn't really last up to 2 weeks. I also hated the way my nails felt when I took them off. It would almost take another 2 weeks to nurse my nails back to health. Eventually, I got over it and hated paying the $30 so I bought my own kit and did them myself for a while. Then, I just decided for the sake of my nails, I should only get the shellac done for special occasions. Now, I'm totally over the shellac and I haven't done them since Oct. 

Okay, now that I've ranted and raved over this stuff, here are my results:
 The name of this color is Hollywood. I'm a sucker for bright red nails.

 As you can see, on day six, it barely started coming off on the ends of my nails.
 It's amazing to me that on day eight my nails still looked this good. That never happens with regular nail polish. It's usually half way peeled off by day two. Throughout the week, I cooked, did multiple dishes, used a hot glue gun and picked hot glue off my nails, cleaned out my car, etc. I did not go easy on my nails by any means. I could have very easily clipped the ends of my nails and worn this color for another week, but I was too excited to try my other color. It was very easy taking the color off with nail polish remover and the red didn't stain my nails. I was a little worried about that without a base coat.
I painted my nails this morning with a color called Cake Pop. I love it!!

The top coat is pictured in the middle. Like I said, I think it is key in the whole process so don't go without.

These are the different colors they carry so they have a pretty wide selection so far. It was a bad deal that I discovered this polish because I'm going to buy a new color a month and build my collection.

There is one bad thing about it.....I've heard that it is not available to the public yet. Although, I have seen a few colors sold on Amazon. I'm thankful that I have my cosmetology license and can shop at State Beauty. It is very reasonably priced. It retails for about $8.50....about the same as OPI, Essie, etc. If you're a friend, and interested in trying some, let me know!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

My Coconut Oil Obsession

I'm sure you've all heard the raves about how amazing coconut oil is by now. I've been reading about it on blogs and hearing about it for so long, but I was very leery to jump on the bandwagon because my skin is already plenty oily. Honestly, I was afraid that putting any more oil on my skin was going to break it out. There are so many uses for it, it really is incredible. A lot of my pregnant friends have used it to prevent stretch marks and they said it worked wonders.

The pharmacy I work at started carrying it and all the girls at work were buying it up.
We would get multiple jars a day and they would be gone so fast. I decided since they all loved it so much, that I should at least give it a try...and boy, am I glad I did. I absolutely LOVE it and I will never be without it again.

Here are a few of the things I've used it for:
- Eye make-up remover. It works wonders getting eye make-up off, without all the harsh chemicals.
- Shaving my legs. It is supposed to be great for shaving your legs and it really is. It is supposed to reduce the size of your pores after shaving and help prevent razor burn.
- I apply it all over my body as a lotion after I get out of the shower. Yes, you are a little greasy for a while, but it hasn't bothered me one bit.
- I apply it around my eyes every night as an eye cream. It is supposed to be really good for dark circles, bags under the eyes, and wrinkles. I can tell that it helps my bags and dark circles for sure.
-I also apply it to my hands and lips before bed. Keeps them both soft and smooth.
- It can also be used as a hair conditioning mask. You just have to make sure you rinse it really good afterwards.
- I put it on any breakouts and it reduces the size and redness over night. It is amazing how much faster it will heal. Since using it on my face, I can tell a huge difference in my skin and complexion. It has helped reduce redness and acne scars and I feel like my face is a lot more bearable to look at without makeup.

There are a million different brands of coconut oil and a million different uses. You can research all the different uses on Pinterest. This is the brand we carry at my work and I love it. I've heard this brand smells a lot better than some. It smells like you just opened up a coconut....heavenly! It also makes you wish you were eating a coconut.
Seriously, if you haven't tried coconut oil, go get some now!! You can thank me later :)

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day!

I hope you all had a wonderful Valentine's Day! I'll admit, I do enjoy Valentine's Day. It's not my favorite holiday and we don't go all out by any means, but I still really enjoy it because I get to spend quality time with Aaron. We used to have a rule that we could only spend $20 on each other and it had to be handmade, but we no longer do that anymore. This year we agreed for it to be just a card and a date night. We wanted to save our money for something cooler than flowers and chocolate. I'm kind of an odd girl. I love flowers and I love to have some fresh ones sitting on my kitchen table, but if you're going to spend $60 on something, I'd rather it not be flowers. Am I weird for that? 

Anyway, I couldn't just get Aaron a card. I tried really hard, but I had to make him a little treat to go along with it. I woke up at 6am with him yesterday morning to make him blueberry muffins for breakfast. Little did I know, the guy is not a huge fan of blueberry muffins.....oops. Wife fail. You learn something new everyday right? 

After we had breakfast together, we opened our cards and gifts. This is what I made for Aaron:
 I cannot take full credit for it though. A friend at work made something similar to these with cokes to sell to the school kids. I hadn't ever seen anything like it and I just thought it was too cute. A perfect little candy treat. She told me how to make them so I thought I'd give it a try for Aaron.
I wanted to make it a little more manly, so I used his adult beverage of choice and added some beef jerky and all his favorite candy. 

Aaron got me some yummy smelling perfume and a cute little bear with 2014 on it. He wanted to get me something sentimental with the year on it so I would have something to remember our "first married Valentine's Day".

After work we went on a dinner/movie date. We saw Endless Love and we both really liked the movie. It was a wonderful Valentine's Day. 

Hope you all have a happy Saturday. It looks like the weather is supposed to be nice this weekend and we have absolutely NOTHING planned. So nice. I'm going to frolic in the sun and take the pups on way too many walks...and I might even do a few crafty things :)

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Yummy Smoothie Recipes

I've been making a lot of smoothies lately with my Ninja Kitchen System (blender, juicer, and food processor). I've tried out a few new recipes this week that I really like and wanted to share. I use the smoothies as a meal replacement for dinner. I have been using my Arbonne protein powder in the smoothies so I get all the nutrients I need. It is amazing how full these make me.

Coffee Protein Shake
For this recipe you will need:
-1 scoop vanilla protein powder
-1 scoop chocolate protein powder
-1/2 frozen banana
-1 cup brewed coffee
-1 cup unsweetened almond milk
-2 handfuls of ice

Blend all the ingredients on high for 1 minute.
 I use the Caramel Macchiato Iced Coffee because I'm not a huge coffee fan so I didn't want it too strong. I also use the Silk Almond Milk.
 The Arbonne protein shake mix. Seriously, the best shakes around. It is well worth the money.
And voila! Enjoy!

Orange Dreamsicle Protein Shake
For this recipe you will need:
-2 scoops vanilla protein powder
-1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
-1/2 cup water
-3 oz. frozen orange juice concentrate
-1/2 frozen banana
-1 tsp honey
-5 ice cubes
-1 tsp orange zest
This one was really good!!! Be sure you don't put too much orange juice concentrate in it or it will be way too potent. It tasted just like an orange dreamsicle!

For some reason, after working out, I always crave an orange or orange juice. Aaron and I were both really craving orange juice last night after our workout, but we didn't have any. We only had a bag of oranges. I decided to use my Ninja to make some homemade orange juice. We used 3 peeled oranges and a handful of ice. It was so refreshing and good! We will definitely be making homemade orange juice more often.

I have been pinning a bunch of smoothie recipes and I can't wait to try them all and share them with you. If you have any good recipes, please share!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Be Our Guest, Beth!

Our first friend came to visit us this past week. It was so much fun showing her around the area and getting to spend quality time together. Here's a little overview of our week:

-She arrived on Wednesday evening. We had dinner at the local seafood restaurant and stayed up chatting and catching up. 
-Thursday morning we slept in, ate cinnamon rolls, took a tour of the fish hatchery where Aaron works, went antique shopping in a local town nearby, had lunch at a cute, quaint cafe, toured another local town on the lake, and went to my favorite boutique. 
 Enjoying our lunch
It's tradition to make our guests stop and see the seashell trailer
Touring the fish hatchery
Antique shopping

-Thursday night we had pizza and went to see the movie, Lone Survivor. It was extremely good and sad, but for someone with a very queasy stomach, it was very hard for me to watch. My eyes were closed for half of the movie.
-Friday, we woke up early and drove an hour and a half to the nearest big city for the Memphis Flea Market. We each left with a few goodies. We spent the rest of the day shopping around at the mall and various other stores. 
-Friday night we had our friends over to hang out and then we decided Beth needed to experience the local night scene. We took her to Eagles (kind of similar to what an Elks Lodge might be).....haha. I told her she was in for a nice surprise. It is nowhere near the night scene she is used to, but it turns out she loved it. We played songs on the juke box, played darts, and even did a few line dances haha. We had the whole place to ourselves, which made it even more fun. 
 -Aaron really wanted to take Beth dirt roading and show her the Bayou so we loaded up the truck, Samson included and went "dirt roading". 
-Saturday morning we slept in, made sausage, egg, and potato skillet and went to look at the spring. Beth headed home after that. She was planning on staying until Sunday, but we heard the weather was supposed to get bad in OK and in AR. Thank goodness she left when she did because the snow came quick on Sunday. 
Here's what it looks like outside our front door currently and it's still coming down.
I wanted to show you one of my favorite wedding gifts. We got this leather journal with our last name on it from a sweet friend and she said it was a family tradition of hers to write in it when they had visitors, during holidays, etc. I absolutely loved the idea. We keep this journal on the nightstand in our guest bedroom for all of our guests to sign.
 My favorite thing is reading what our guests write after they leave. They always write about what we did on the trip, what they think about the town, and always leave the sweetest notes. Beth's was especially sweet and made me tear up. Thank you so much, Beth for coming to visit us. You are an amazing friend and I had so much fun this past week. We can't wait until you come visit again. Thanks for the wonderful gift basket and for driving 7 hours to come see us. We love you!!