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Sunday, October 16, 2016

Post #12: Stages of Faith Part II In Maroon and White

Hey y’all!
I’m so happy to be back to blogging after a period of not blogging at all. I greatly missed sharing God’s message with y’all, and also showing off some of my outfits!
For this post, I’ll be continuing something I should’ve finished awhile ago: the second part of my “Stages of Faith” post.

Since it’s been a while, I’d like to refresh your memory a bit on the first two stages of faith:
  • Beginning faith:
    • The people around us will begin to see changes around us
    • God should begin to take the throne in our lives
      • we must abandon idols
    • At this stage of faith, we must begin to change our habits in order to advance in faith.
  • Borrowed faith:
    • Beginning to follow Christ, but in the process of learning
      • trying to discover the best way of following Him and trying to change behaviors
    • we can use Biblical principles and mature believers in order to inspire us and to begin the process of holding ourselves to standards
      • this is the point behind fellowship

So now that I’ve given you a brief overview of the first two stages of faith (If you’d like to read in detail about them, check out my previous post! ) I’m going to jump into the third stage of faith.

Stage 3: Personal Faith
At this point of faith, we have learned the style of worship that suits us the best. However, we must not get caught up in the appearance of being a believer, rather, we must be focused on keeping our faith alive. 
My pastor used the great analogy of beautiful plates that have unappetizing food on them. While the plates may be gorgeous china plates with intricate gold detailing on them, if the food that you’re eating is not just as impressive, then plates don’t matter since the quality of what really matters is poor.
In this same way, while it is important to be different from unbelievers and we should definitely be proud of our faith, it is vital not to get so caught up in proclaiming yourself as a Christian that you forget what really matters: your personal relationship with Christ. Our walk with God must be evident to others for two important reasons:
  1. If we do not act any different than those around us, it makes our very legitimate faith seem illegitimate and not worthy of commitment.
  2. It also it makes it difficult to see the changes a relationship with Jesus has made in our life. Therefore, it seriously discredits our faith.
So what can we do in order to “walk the walk” and “talk the talk”? 
We must focus on maintaining the personal relationship that we fostered with Christ to begin with. That means partaking in daily prayer, daily devotionals, and giving God’s relationship the love and attention it deserves.
Many times this seems like a difficult task since we’re human beings and time gets away from us, but there are ways to incorporate it into our day.
Personally, I have an app that delivers my daily devotional every day at the exact same time, so that regardless of what I am doing, I’m reminded that I need to take ten minutes of my time and reflect on God’s word. You could also write a daily bible verse in an agenda or on a calendar that you look at everyday, or even make it something you do with friends in order to incorporate the accountability factor.
Whatever you do, make sure that you nourish and nurture God’s relationship with you, just as you would with any other relationship :)

For this outfit post, I’m sharing with you a dress that I got at Ross a while back. This dress fits me perfectly and really flatters the shape of my body without being immodest, which is why I love it so much.

Dress: Ross, $20 (?)
Shoes: Payless, $12
Tank Top: F21, $1.80
Necklace: Silver, gift from a family friend

How have y'all been?? I've missed blogging so much! Next post will be about the final stage of faith.
What stage of faith do y'all associate with the most?

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Post #11: Easiest Nail Tutorial Ever!

Hey y'all! Today I'll be showing you something incredible: How to have really awesome, long-lasting, natural looking acrylics for under $15!

I know, this sounds totally unbelievable. But a family friend of mine showed me how to accomplish the unthinkable, which was a breath of fresh air since as a college student, acrylics were way too much upkeep for me.
I had professional acrylic nails for 2 months, and to their credit, they looked beautiful. However, they also did not look like my nails, since they made my nails look unrealistically thick, and the tip flared out (which is totally not natural looking.) They also totally destroyed my natural nailIntr
But over Fourth of July break, a friend of mine showed me an awesome trick that has served me very well.
Introducing to you: Acrylic nails, drugstore edition!

For this process, you're going to need 3 products.

KISS Gel Fantasy Ready-to-wear Gel nails, sold at most major drug stores, but mine are from CVS $9

Coarse buffing board, CVS or any beauty supply store, $2

KISS Maximum Speed Nail Glue, CVS, $3

Alright, so here are the steps to putting on your fantastic nails! (And a homemade Youtube video to accompany it!)

Step 1 (For ladies that have painted nails/professional acrylics)
If you already have your nails painted, you need to take that off using any nail polish remover and some cotton balls. However, if you're like me and you had professional acrylics before putting these on, you're going to need to soak these off. First, using the coarse buffing board, rough up your acrylics. Then, soak your acrylics in PURE acetone for 45 minutes so that they'll dissolve.
Your hands are going to look a little dry afterwards, but with hand washing and either coconut oil or intensive hand cream, this will go away.

Step 1:
Using the coarse buffing board, rough up your natural nails. By the end of this step, they should look a bit like this.

Step 2:
Fit your fake nails. You can do this by putting the nails next to each individual nail and seeing which one fits. (Tip: there are numbers underneath the nail so that you can correctly match pairs.)

Step 3: After you've done that, using your nail glue, coat the entire bottom part of the nail. Press the nail onto your natural nail, and hold it there for about 5-7 seconds.

You're done! Now you just have to repeat the process to each of your nails.

The three benefits to this.
1) It doesn't cause a quarter of the damage that acrylic nails do. My natural nails are healthier now than when i had acrylics, since I'm not doing as much damage to them.
2) This is much more cost efficient than having acrylics. As opposed to going in every 2 weeks for a $20 refill (not to mention replacements if they break), this is a much cheaper alternative, since you only have to replace the glue and buffing board every 3 months.
3) Time effective. Instead of having to wait days to have my acrylics refilled or fixed, if one of them falls off or I want a different style of nail, all I have to do is either glue on the nail that's fallen off, or head to the drugstore and buy a new set! I have much more control over when and where my nails get done.

If you'd like to take these nails off, all you have to do is soak them in pure acetone for between 15-20 minutes, and they'll be totally off.

What do y'all think of the nails? Do you have any other nail hacks for college students?

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Post #10: Stages of Faith Part I in Plum & Charcoal

Hey y’all! This week, I will be speaking to you about something pretty important in the Christian faith: the stages of faith.
This post is only going to be the first 2 stages of faith, since there is just so much to discuss, and the other part will be in a blog post in a few days ;)

Everybody is in a different place in their walk with Christ, whether they’re just starting out and they’re unsure, or they really have embraced the Lord and trust in Him fully. One thing to keep in mind, however, is that nobody has perfect faith. Everybody has flaws or things that make them fall into sin, and whatever stage you’re in, you certainly have room for improvement.

Stage 1: Beginning Faith
This is the very beginning of our faith, when the bud of Christianity is planted. At this point, the people around us will begin to see changes within us, (which is a good thing!) as we stride to be more diligent in our faith, and align our lifestyle to reflect it.
The big keyword here is Idols. Idols are anything we out before God, whether that be a nasty drinking problem, our careers, gambling habits, or anything that takes priority over Him. In biblical times, many times, idols were actually physical statues or carvings of other deities that the people worshipped and devoted their lives to (the gods of fire, wind, etc.) However, as a modern society, we no longer worship rocks or statues, but there are things in the modern culture that force God to take a backseat in people’s lives.
In order to progress from this part of our faith, we must remove he idols from our lives and allow God to become the enter of our lives.  Now why should God be the center of our lives?
Well, besides the fact that he commanded us to put Him first, 

“Thou shalt have no other Gods before me” (Exodus 20:3, KJV)

But also because ultimately, He is the one that has a plan for us and has created us.

How can we put God first? We must stop engaging in sinful behavior! The bible gives us the perfect medium of instruction on how we should live our lives, and what things God does/does not consider sinful. Yes, that means we may have to change some our our thoughts, behaviors, and actions. 

Heres a bible verse to consider for this stage: 

For they themselves she of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God.” (1 Thess. 1:8, KJV) 

Stage 2: Borrowed Faith

In this stage of faith, you’re beginning to follow Christ and are in the process of learning the best way to follow Christ, as well as beginning to change sinful behaviors. Many times in the second stage of faith, we look to other people that we consider to be of mature faith in order to guide us.
This is why it’s called “borrowed faith”: because you’re following Christ, but since you’re new to the concept of faith and many times feel unsure of what to do next, you “borrow” other people’s behaviors!
This is perfectly ok, and is actually a great thing in my opinion, since it means that you’re really making an effort to seek Christ even though it may be unfamiliar territory to some.
Although the bible does teach us who God is and His expectations by giving us guidelines, biblical stories, and rules, many times we use human examples of faith in order to grow in Christ.

In the book of Thessalonians, the Paul was able to get the people of Thessalonica to follow Christ, and thus they used not only the Bible but Paul himself as an example of faith.

 “For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake.
And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost.
So that ye were ensamples to all that believe in Macedonia and Achaia.” (1 Thess. 1:5-7, KJV)

In short, this story shows us that we have two resources available to us during this stage of faith: the Bible and mature believers around us. New believers should be learning about what the bible says by immersing themselves in daily devotionals, bible studies, sermon audios, etc., but in addition to using these awesome resources, mature believers are another fantastic way of learning how to live like Christ and as the bible commands.

In my own life, I'd say that I have a couple people that I looked up to (and continue to do so) in order to learn about how you live as a good Christian. They include other bloggers (The Modest Mom Blog, Fresh Modesty, and Modern Modesty) as well as friends, my awesome pastor, and my pastor's lovely wife.

Many times, this is the purpose behind fellowship groups: in order to surround others with practicing believers. Not only is it a great way to learn about each other and form bonds, but when used as intended, it can lead to a growth and maturation in Christ of all attendees.
We must be reminded, however, that even the believers that seem the most mature are imperfect, meaning that they will not always provide the perfect example of Christian living.
The only true perfect example is the Bible, so if a believer has a question about their faith, the most accurate resource would be to consult the Bible.

Now, time for the fashion part!
Today’s ensemble was one of those outfits that I had never put together, but once I tried it, I was so glad I had.

I wore a plum colored tie-back-dressy shirt that I got at a greeeaat price at the Salvation Army. What I really loved about this top was that it seemed like a fantastic summer-to-fall transition piece, since it’s a cool, light fabric, but the color lent itself to a fall wardrobe palette.


Beneath it, I have a shimmery silver sequins tank that was a gift from Old Navy. I figured that it added a little pop of color and interest to the outfit, and was much more visually pleasing than a plain tank top underneath :P

The skirt is just a basic, cotton, charcoal colored pencil skirt from Forever 21. It’s very versatile and could work dressed up or dressed down for any occasion!

My shoes are sneaker-flats (anybody ever heard of those?) by Puma. I love these flats because they offer the slim profile of a flat, while maintaining the support and comfort of a sneaker. It’s a win-win! 

Shirt: Salvation Army, $3
Skirt: Forever 21, $9
Tank: Old Navy, Gift
Shoes: Puma, $30

In the next post, I'll be addressing stages 3 and 4 of faith, which I know many will relate to :)
Do y'all have a favorite fall transition wardrobe piece? Let me know in the comments below!

Monday, July 11, 2016

Post #9: Life Update!

Post #9: Life Update!

Hey y’all! This has been a very busy season of life for me; my part-time job has easily become a full-time one, (from 25 hours to 40), I’ve been getting ready for my move up to St. Augustine, and lots of family events have kept me from blogging. But don’t fret, I haven’t forgotten about y’all :) Here’s a little bit of what/s been going on in my life, with pictures!

  1. Family Stuff. 
From dealing with various family issues that have recently come up to spending time with people I never see that live out of town, family has been a huge component to this busy season of my life. 
Last weekend, I saw a part of my family that came all the way from California. I haven’t seen them in well over a year, so it was so much fun to be able to see a part of my family that I missed again.
We went fishing in the keys, off of Tavernier, and had an insanely fun time. (Fun fact about me: I love to go fishing, it’s another passion of mine.) 
Without going into too much fishing technical detail, we caught some dolphin, bonita, and almost a coda! It was tons of fun.
Modest dressing is possible, even when being active. For example, for this fishing trip I wore a Columbia dress, a Guy Harvey UV shirt underneath, and shorts underneath my dress in case my dress flew up in the wind.

2. Work
I’ve been working so much lately! My job has been extremely busy lately, with tons of customers and lots of reorganizing the store before I leave at the end of this month. I’ve been working close to 40 hours a week, which is nice because I’m making full-time salary. 

3.College and moving to St. Augustine!
Getting ready for college has been so exciting. I’ve already bought the necessary stuff for my dorm (bedding, shower caddy, trash can, etc.) which makes me a step closer to starting college! 
My bedding is ocean-themed (of course) and has blue embroidered fish and shells on it, with matching room accessories. 
Moving up to St. Augustine has been on my plate too, and boy, have I been putting in the work for it. Packing, purging, and reorganizing has been the highlight of my weekends lately. I’ve been packing room decorations, out-of-season clothes and shoes, and collectibles/books these past few weeks. I’ve also taken the liberty of purging anything unmemorable I had from high school and any apparel I don’t really need/care for anymore, so that my closet is as efficient and usable as possible.

          My new backpack for school! 

4. Fostering
These past few weeks, I've been fostering a beautiful family of kittens! Somebody left them at the shelter along with their mother when they had just been born, and the cat lover in me couldn't resist. So instead of adopting them (since I have 4 of my own, lol) I'm fostering them until they can be adopted by a loving family! They're so adorable.
They're a lot of work however, so I'm always sweeping up litter, changing linens, washing out cat bowls, and the like. 

I can’t wait for life to slow down a little bit when I move to St. Augustine, so I can get to blogging more frequently and show y’all some more outfits!
How have you been doing these past few weeks?


Sunday, June 19, 2016

Post #8: Homesickness in Turquoise and White

Howdy y'all! Today's sermon was an incredibly insightful one, taking place in the book of 1 Thessalonians.

We, as Christians, have something we must remember. We are citizens of the earth,  but after we came to recognize Jesus Christ, our home became heaven.
That being said, if we forget where we came from and where our true home is, we may begin to falter in our faith. 
This passage in Thessalonians is about how we should live not as citizens of the planet, but permanent residents of heaven.

 We always thank God for all of you and continually mention you in our prayers. We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. - 1 Thessalonians 1:2

This passage, while it may seem to be a meaningless introduction, is actually extremely important. In this passage, Paul is writing a letter to his followers after he was exiled. He is thanking his followers for practicing his teaching, even though they are being persecuted for their beliefs.
At this point, Paul's concern is that the pressures of everyday life and persecution have caused the Thessalonians to abandon their faith in order to fit in or appear normal, since their church is a relatively new one at this point.
However, when Paul discovers this was not the case, he writes an encouraging letter to them praising them for being obedient to God, even though they did not have Paul watching over them. Knowing that God was watching them and judging them based on their actions was enough for the Thessalonians to abandon their sinful ways and adopt the teachings of Christ.

How does this translate into our everyday lives? We must not allow the pressures of modern society and new "standards of living" to interfere with our decision and commitment to our savior, Lord Jesus Christ.
Even though at times it may inconvenience you to pursue the way of God, (and it is often difficult,) the reality is that faith in Christ and living as he commands is more important and valuable than any
earthly thing we could desire.
Another thing that accompanies our Christian life is a new identity.
Whenever we are born again, we assume not only a saved soul and a total forgiveness for the actions we've committed, but we assume a new identity as well.
Assuming this new identity implies that we are not to behave in the same manner that used to bring sin into our lives, but to act in a way that is glorifying to God and exemplifies our new Christian morality.
There are marks of the Christian faith Paul speaks of in this passage:

 Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father;
Knowing, brethren beloved, your election of God. -1 Thessalonians 1:3-4
1. Work of faith: Even though we are not saved through good works, we are saved through faith, if faith within someone is genuine, then that means change within that person is evident. Whenever someone gives their life to Christ, that person will experience a behavioral change that the people around them will notice, too. 
2. Steadfastness of Hope:  Even when leadership is not present, (in modern times, pastors, deacons, priests, etc.) we must be steadfast in our hope, because God is always present. 
3. Conducting Labors of Love:  Self-giving, God glorifying love must be evident in the person that follows Christ; exemplifying how God loves us.
How can we improve our connection with Christ and more easily live out these marks of Christian faith? By connecting with people that share the same goal as you: to glorify God in every way possible. Connect with people that are going to take you "home". 
As Christians, the closest we will get to "home" during this lifetime is church. However, since we are fallible human beings, we must realize that no church is perfect, but we still must find a way to love the people around us at church and make it as pleasant of an experience as possible. Hang out with Christians on the weekends doing God-glorifying things (work of faith), participate in Sunday School (steadfastness of hope), and pray for fellow parishioners in times when they need you (labors of love). 

I didn't wear this outfit to church on Sunday (I had a bit of a fashion fail on Sunday, lol) but I did wear it over the Memorial Day weekend.
Since summers can be a real scorcher down here in sunny Florida, I chose to wear a breezy white linen maxi skirt with an equally as cool turquoise top to keep me comfy. The color choice was also super appropriate for summer. 

Skirt: Goodwill, $4.50
Blouse: Hand-me-down
Tank: Forever 21, $1.90
Shoes: TJMaxx, $10
Necklace: Charming Charlie's, $12

How was y'alls sermon this week? What did you guys think about the outfit? Let me know in the comments down below!

Monday, May 30, 2016

Post #7: Convicted in Proverbs (Sermon Notes!)

Hey y'all! After a super exciting and action-packed Memorial Day weekend, I figured I'd share some sermon notes with y'all!
Two weeks ago, we did a pretty enlightening sermon on the book of Proverbs.

Direction is the main theme of Proverbs 14.
As we are told in Jeremiah 18:1-6, we are God's divine creation. 
Not only were we created by Him at the moment of our conception, but we continue to be molded by Christ in our daily actions.
Now, the direction that God wants for us is how He molds us.
He allows us to experience things in His perfect timing (whether good or bad) in order to shape us into the people He'd like us to become and to follow in the direction we were created to follow.
However, by nature we are directionless beings. And that's where Proverbs 14 comes in.
Our sense of direction for our lives is faltered by our wordly desires. Whether those desires be related to relationships, money, or power, those desires get in the way of having a perfect sense of direction.
Many times we think we have a better sense of direction than God, which couldn't be farther from the truth. 

"There is a path before each person that seems right, but it ends in death." (Proverbs 14:12)

Since God knows all and doesn't see things from the impure, skewed perception we see things from, in reality, His direction is the most reliable.
How do we find God's direction for us? By living as He commands us to live.  

As many of us know, however, His way is more often than not the more difficult way to live. At times, it may inconvenience us or force us to do things in a way that we did not originally intend to do them. 
But following His way is the only way we will find the true meaning of our lives and be given the most accurate sense of direction. 
Following God was never intended to be easy, but it was intended to give us rules and guidelines in order to live the most spiritually fufilling lives as servants of Christ.
Living by our own terms may be pleasureable in the short term, however, in the long term, we will suffer immensely, since God will punish us for our wrongdoings. (aka, we will suffer consequences for our sinful actions.)
God's way will only deliver us prosperity and positivity, whereas if we were to follow our own ways, we would eventually suffer the consequences of living against God's commands.

"The house of the wicked will be destroyed, but the tent of the Godly will flourish" (Proverbs 14:11)

This week, I wasn't able to take any new outfit pictures besides a couple I took at a graduation party held by my church. (I promise, next week's will be better (: )
I normally don't wear all white ensembles since they're not easy to keep clean, but I found one I really loved and decided to wear it!

I paired a breezy, white linen skirt with  matching wedges and cardigan and a deep teal tank underneath. It made me feel like summer was finally starting!

                     Class of 2016!

Cardigan: ThredUp, $7-$8
White skirt: Goodwill, $4.50
Tank top: Ann Taylor, gift
Wedges: Payless, $19

How was yall's sermon last week? Did any of you graduate high schoolthis year?? 

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Post #6: Mother's Day Weekend and My New Job!

As I lie in bed during the early morning hours waiting for my alarm clock to ring to wake up for school, I thought to myself,"what a better way to pass the time than to do a post?" So here I am, sharing my Mother's Day and new job post with y'all :P

First thing's first: I got a new job! I now work at a West Marine pretty close to my house. I worked my first full week, and I'm happy to say that I really do enjoy my coworkers, my manager, and just my work environment overall, since I do love to go boating. 
I work in the AFA section, which is apparel, footwear, and accessories. I fold clothes, straighten up the shoes, unpack boxes of clothes in order to sell, and the like. It's a lot of fun getting to put together outfits and make sales to customers, especially the ones that are a little fashion challenged :)
Luckily, my manager allows me to wear a skirt to work, as long as it's a khaki one, and I wear leggings underneath on the days I have to help unpack trucks.

My Uniform: a long, Khaki skirt, a West Marine polo shirt, and Sperry's.

I am also allowed to accessorize as well, so I normally wear a nautical themed bow along with my uniform. :) it allows me to keep my hair out of my face while still looking adorable! 
Skirt: Goodwill, on sale for $1.25
Polo: West Marine, provided to me
Dark Sperry's: Boat show, $90
Light Oat colored Sperry's: West Marine, provided to me

Secondly: For Mother's Day weekend/My   aunt's birthday, we took a fun family trip to Disney. We stayed at the Hilton on Buena Vista that we normally stay at, and went to Magic Kingdom and Epcot. 
Unfortunately, on our last day there, I came down with what I'd find out to be was some 24-hour-stomach-bug, so we couldn't go to Animal kingdom as we had hoped.
Epcot was hosting their annual Flower and Garden Festival, which is always such a beautiful sight. They bring flowers of all species from around the world to Epcot and make beautiful arrangements out of them. There were flowers I had never even heard of there!

      My MagicBand and all my Bandits! (At Magic Kingdom)

  My aunt (left), myself (center), and my mom (right) at the festival!

Shirt/Tunic: Vineyard Vines, gift
Skirt: Kosher Casual, gift
Cross body Monogram bag: MarleyLily, Gift
Boots (not pictured): Goodwill, $6.99

I do wear skirts, even when I go to places like Disney where sometimes they seem unconventional. But that's ok! As long as you're mindful of what you're doing or wear thin, knee-length cotton leggings underneath your dress/skirt, believe me you're more than functional for the day.
At Epcot, we celebrated my aunt's birthday as well, and we took her to dinner at a fancy restaurant in Mexico. 

It was such a lovely weekend! I had so much fun there. 
How did y'all spend your Mother's Day weekend?