self-care and renewing hope

Hey! Sorry to hear about your sadness. I pray your mood changes and you find your peace soon enough. Here are a few sermon/sermon series that have always helped to encourage me and revive my hope:

Pr. Steven Furtick - The Expectation Gap
Description: We all live in a gap. The gap between what we expect and what we experience. It’s where our dreams die and passions fade. It’s often the birthplace of our frustration, disappointment, and discouragement. But there’s a solution. There is a way to reconcile this space between. In this series we learn about the Expectation Gap – and the God who is able to bridge it all.
Pr. Steven Furtick - Consider the Source
Description: Throughout the Bible, God shows us He is a provider. He tells us not to worry because He knows all our needs. Still, most of us find it hard to trust God when it comes to our job performance, bank account, or relationship status. Why do we struggle entrusting God with our future? How do we learn to live with open hands in a world that tells us to hold on to what we have? 
Pr. Jeremy Foster - Faith, Love, and Hope ---> Part 1   Part 2   Part 3
Description: It’s human nature to build your hope on things that don’t last and pour your heart into something that can’t fulfill you. Sometimes we give everything to a career or relationship and they fail us. We are left empty and confused. 1 Corinthians 13:13 tells us that Faith, Hope and Love are gifts that won’t break or go away. This season find your Faith, Hope and Love for a lifetime.
Pr Michael B. Kelly II - Growing Your Faith
Description:Your faith in God matters to God. In fact, God is most honored through your living, active, death-defying, out-of-the-box faith. That being the case, He’s committed to growing it. Big! Imagine how differently you would respond to difficulties, temptations, and even good things if you knew with certainty that God was in all of it and was planning to leverage it for good. In this series we will look at how God wants to grow our faith.

Even though things may seem rough now, try to stay positive. In the end, it will be worth it because God says so (remember the words of Jeremiah 29:11 and Romans 8:28). So SMILE! Love yourself a little bit more. Be kinder to yourself. Try to do more things that make you happy. Try sprinkling a bit more optimism in your day (p.s. making time to express gratitude daily greatly helps with building that).

As Marcus Aurelius once said,  "The happiness of your life, depends on the quality of your thoughts, therefore guard accordingly; and take care that you entertain no notions unsuitable to virtue, and reasonable nature."

Many blessings to you. I’ll definitely keep you in my prayers.


originally posted here
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grandpa's work shirt

wearing my grandpa's work shirt and favorite Gap bootcut jeans.
also playing with vscocam filters because i feel like i'm not really taking advantage of what all this app can do.


this vintage tulip wrap skirt is one of my absolute favorites.
the colors remind me of the gentle brushstroke of paint on canvas.
paired it with some watercolor-inspired heels to complete the look.
a little "mixed print"-y, if i do say so myself.

sprite can realness

the skirt is one of my favorite vintage finds.
i always experiment with wearing different colored blouses with it because i'm tired of just wearing black all the time.
so i channeled my inner soda can.

your age is your age

I think our parents, and sometimes even society as a whole, forgets that we live in a different time. They don’t realize how the choices they made in raising us greatly altered our paths.

Our parents married younger and had children at younger. Similar to what their parents did. But educational opportunities were beginning to grow in that era so many of our parents had to juggle full-fledged families while they were still college students, which is an incredible thing to attempt. But they did it to honor their parents and further themselves. And, building on their experiences, they often encouraged us to focus education and just trusted that “family comes later”. They told us to take our time and explore life because "family would come later". But they didn't realize just how heavy those words would lay. And now you have a new generation of people who are getting married even later and starting families much later. People like you and I.

So, don’t be so hard on yourself. You’re not the only single 28 year old out there. You are not an anomaly. You’re actually just a person living in the 2nd Tier of “The 20s Marriage Rush”. (The first 20s Marriage Rush happens after undergrad when people have been dating for 2+ years and decide to get married cause… why not, right? The 2nd happens when people are in their late 20s/early 30s because being married and a parent is the “responsible” thing for a 30-something to be). You’ll survive this marriage/parenting rush. Its can only be an agonizing time if you let the negative words of others mar it. If you change your perspective and look at it as a time to celebrate life monuments of dear friends & family, it will be an awesome and joyous time. Also, you probably may not have experienced that Late 20s/Early 30s Divorce Rush yet. There is also the mid-30s Divorce Rush. And… those monsters…. breed humility and gratitude. Remember there are always highs & lows.

This is one of my favorite quotes. Something I tend to go back to whenever doubt, anxiety, and external pressure try to weigh down on me.
"…but what i really mean to say is that I hope you aren’t held back because of a number. and that you don’t rush into things because it feels like time is slipping by. i hope you do what’s right for you. hold on. slow down. and breathe in. your age is your age. but more importantly, your life is your life. don’t change your journey so that it matches someone else's. we need to walk different paths so the whole world can be explored. revel in the differences. and enjoy where you are. here. right here.” 
- because i’m a twentysomething
so, take your time. live your life. learn to love yourself and love where you are right now. spend more time investing in your friendships and express your love there. spend time with your family. your parents are getting older so these moments are precious. do more solo movie trips. try salsa dancing. maybe take that kickboxing class you've always dreamed of. take up photography. shave off your hair. get that passport and go see the world. have adventures.

you are enough. exactly where you are right at this moment. fill yourself with all the love, joy, freedom, and peace of these moments. one day you’ll meet the person you will spend forever with. be sure that you are filled enough with yourself that you actually have something to share with them.

take to time to love yourself now and it will all work out in the end.


originally posted here
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orange and gray

went to church in a more casual look. 
vintage silk pencil skirt and a v-neck tee. 
i'm beginning to really enjoy simpler things and cleaner cuts.


I'm not really a fan of maxi dresses/skirts. Yes, they're one of the most comfortable clothing pieces ever but I have a thing about length. I want the skirt/dresses so sweep the floor romantically a la Elizabeth Bennet so being 5'6" and a heel aficionado makes this feat a bit difficult. This skirt from Urban Outfitters is the only maxi I have ever found that has allowed my Pride & Prejudice dreams to come true. I'm holding on to it for dear life.

Thrifted Pleats

I should have taken a close up shot of my face. I have, literally, been searching for Revlon ColorBurst Matte Balm in Shameless for MONTHS. Every Walgreens, CVS, and Target I went to was sold out of the bold purple shade. I, honestly, began to think that perhaps it was a seasonal color that I missed out on purchasing until I saw a commercial for it on television last week. Went to a random CVS to fill a prescription yesterday and... VOILA! I took the last Shameless lip pencil on the shelf. So, thanks, root canal for making this moment possible.

Chicago, Pt. 3

Final post from my Chicago Adventures! I took a lot of pics and I'm pretty positive you want to see all of them, right? LOL.

Visited Chicago Independence Blvd SDA Church on Saturday. The church building is an old synagogue and the new inhabitants have not changed the decor at all. I hate that I forgot to snap the beautiful stained glass and chandelier fixtures in the building. 

Chicago, Pt. 2

Spent Sunday doing tourist-y things in the city. Millenium Park, Buckingham Fountain in South Park, Trump Towers, Chicago Theatre, and all that jazz. I really love the old historic feel of the city and am glad that they seem very proactive in preserving it. I definitely understand why so many native Chicagoans (is that the word?) don't want to readily leave the area. It's a beautiful cultural hub!

Chicago, Pt. 1

There is so much rich history and beautiful scenery every where I turn in Chicago. The city seems to have captured the best parts of a small town and a major metropolis to create a really breathtaking & relaxing cultural hub. I really love it here - despite the incessant cold temperature. It is currently 65 degrees outside in the middle of June and I am overwhelmed. Despite this, I took myself over to Touhy Beach in Loyola Park and enjoyed the splendors of Lake Michigan. Being a girl raised on 83 degree beach days, I didn't understand why so many people were swimming and wading in the water. But, I guess when you only have 100 days of summer you make the most out of every situation.

Waxed Florals

ankle length pants make me feel extremely self-conscious. i always feel as if they make my hips look wider and legs shorter thus making me feel stump-y. that being said, i'm strangely in love with these waxed pants from Zara. i love the muted gray tones, gold zipper details, and how they fit my shape just perfectly. i only wear them with heels because i have to get my leg length from somewhere. paired with a floral sleeveless blouse from H&M, minimal two-tone heels from Forever21, and my favorite taupe thrifted clutch.

i asked on Instagram if the looks I showcase are actual wearable work pieces. i'm fortunate enough to work in a youth-filled office surrounded by individuals with a pretty sick sense of personal style. we're afforded and encouraged to branch out of the "typical" office look (unless, of course, there is a some sort of conference/meeting being held with outside participants). So this look was Wednesday's office look. I threw on a black cardigan over my shoulders when it got a bit chilly in the office but... that's really about it. Yay for liberal work spaces!


a note on healing

I wish I could tell you it was easy. I wish there was a Peace Fairy that could wipe away the anger and pain with a wave of her wand. She could sprinkle fairy dust on your hair and the peace you crave would seep into your soul. Doesn't that sound lovely? God knows my broken spirit and these tears would have soared to have that opportunity. Unfortunately, that is very rarely how the story unfolds. 

For me, the journey has been way much more difficult and consuming. And, in truth, I’m still in the middle of it so I’m not sure I have all the answers. For now, all I can tell you is that it is okay to be hurt. Your anger, frustration, and pain are all valid. Don’t ever let anyone tell you otherwise. But, in all their validity, you mustn't allow those feelings and emotions to dictate your life. You mustn't allow them to consume your existence. 

I reached the point where I could pray peace and blessings over those who hurt me only when I became tired of the burden of pain. Carrying the hurt, frustration, anger, shame, and guilt finally wore me down. I didn't feel like myself or look like myself and every day felt like an excruciating journey. I realized I wasn't living; I was just surviving. And life is far too precious for me to confine my entire existence into such a minimal place, ya know? I wanted to be happier. I deserved to be happier. And, so, after 3-4 years for me of hiding and barely living, I decided to take charge and change everything.

So I charge you with this: learn from my mistakes. Don’t waste weeks, months, years of your life being poisoned by the actions of others. Don’t let their foolishness entrap you and bring down your wholeness. You must force yourself to push past the pain so YOU can live well.

Wake up in the morning and say “Lord, please bless and bring peace of the life of ____ ____ today. Guide, protect, heal, and keep them. Be the source of their joy on this day.” When an ill thought creeps in your mind or when the hurt tries to sneak back in, immediately block it by saying “Creator, please be with ____ ____ in whatever they are doing right now. Bless them and keep them”. Some days the prayer will be easy and other days it will be the hardest thing to do. Some days that prayer will lift the cloud of negativity off your soul and allow you to dwell in perfect peace. And some days your lips and tongue will struggle to form the words. Or you'll say the words and you're soul will still feel as haggard as it was before; feelings of grief and hollowness drying up your soul.

send the prayers up anyway.

If there has been one thing I have learned on this path to wholeheartedness is that intentionality is what keeps you. I can’t guarantee you won’t feel the urge to punch them in the face when you see them. I can’t guarantee the sound/sight of their name won’t make you nauseous. I can't guarantee that a simple picture or text exchange won't send you deep sea diving into your feelings. But, what I am learning is that, the more I pray, the less hold these feelings have on me. My space is lighter, my mind is less anxious, and those persons/situations bother me less and less. Things aren't perfect but they're a lot better than they used to be. I now have confidence that the burdens will be fully lifted and I will be a better person because of this. And that is, truly, all I have ever wanted.

I've read some books along the way that I think, in part, helped me move along towards my tipping point. If you are interested, check out:

  • Harriet Lerner - Dance of Connection: How to Talk to Someone When You’re Mad, Hurt, Scared, Frustrated, Insulted, Betrayed, or Desperate
  • bell hooks - All About Love: New Visions 
  • BrenĂ© Brown - Daring Greatly: How the Courage to be a Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Parent, and Lead
  • Henry Cloud & John Townsend - Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No, to Take Control of Your Life

I wish you good luck on your journey. Remember to always be deliberate and purposeful in your quest for peace. It won’t be easy but, if you’re courageous enough, it will bring you exactly where you need to be.


originally posted here.
to submit a question, click here.

Tumblr Honey Hair

The Drop Waist


Last September, Victoria Beckham was photographed in New York City sporting this 1960s-inspired drop waist dress. The billowy frock features a quilted texture and side pockets. I loved the black ribbon detailing at the hem on the dress. She paired it with classic stiletto booties and looked expertly chic and comfortable. I thought the look was entirely darling.

The dress, her self-proclaimed favorite piece from her SS14 collection, was everything I never knew I needed. Clearly, I couldn't afford the original Victoria Beckham piece but... the powers that be recently saw fit that I find a similar style dress at a WAY more reasonable price. Isn't God amazing?

Don't be surprised  if you see this gem re-worn over and over again. Coming of age in during the rise of social media made re-wearing pieces sort of a faux pas and I, sad to say, fell for those shenanigans for a few years. Once it hit Facebook or Instagram, I sort of didn't want to be photographed again. Didn't help much that I already had shopaholic tendencies. Well, I've finally smartened up and got over that silly pretense. No major epiphany moment outside of the fact that I am no longer young and dumb. Seeing that I actually really love the pieces I own as well as the challenge that comes along with styling them in a myriad of ways, re-wearing just seems to make the most sense.

Anyway, back to this doll off a dress. Thank you, boohoo, for coming through in the clutch. This oversized, drop waist dress is my new favorite thing!