I posted this several years ago… In light of what has happened these past few days, I am in awe of how relevant it still is. I pray that our change eventually goes toward better.

Originally posted on Just Another Family Blog:

In light of what’s been going on all around us… the Japan earthquake and tsunami, the Libyan crisis, the crippled economy, and even personally in the difficult loss of a family friend this week, my heart has been very heavy. Though I want to just lie down and wallow in it sometimes, I feel God pressing on my heart not to give up. This is not how it was supposed to be. I have to remember that. I have to cling that there is something so much better in store for us. And, that we are not alone. I just pray that we can be protected from the dark potential that this world can cast on us. That we will fight. That we will try and change things, one moment and one person at a time.

Changing Us
By Brendan James

We’ve come closer than we wanted
We’ve seen what…

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The weather is a bit cooler. The leaves are just starting to turn. We’ve seen actual rain hit the ground in the last few weeks. And today, it’s November 1st. I’m not the world’s hugest fan of fall. You won’t see me going crazy for pumpkin spice lattes and sweater-weather. I do however, enjoy the change of the seasons. It feels like a chance for something new and different. A do-over if you please. And that is precisely what is needed right now.

To put on my less-than-eloquent-face, October was “the ultimate suck” when it comes to months this year. There was too much death and loss. Too much disappointment and bad news. Too much illness. Just too much to bear. When people ask my how I’m doing and I say “I’m tired,” I don’t mean that I could use a short nap or an hour of quiet time. I mean I’m tired to my bones. Not just physically tired, but mentally, spiritually and emotionally tired. Being an adult feels very overrated, especially when life has been so very heavy.

Do you ever just get tired of being responsible? 

I do. I’ve just recently realized what a deep introvert I am. And right now, my soul is craving time by myself. Time to sort through all of the “yuck” that has happened lately and how I’m going to handle the “yuck” that is sure to come. Also a time to rebuild hope and goals for the future. Time to do something truly fun and restoring. Time to just take a break and be responsible only for the betterment of me. And, permission to do so without being labeled selfish. Why do we feel that way, as moms? That if we want to do just the smallest thing for ourselves (like a pedicure), we fear that we will be labeled selfish? There is a reason there is the saying, “Happy Wife, Happy Life” but I feel like there should be one for motherhood too… “Happy Mama, a lot less drama”?

In all seriousness, I am grateful to see the signs of fall around us, and an opportunity for change. For newness. My soul could use some change right now and the nurturing of a new season.

Be well, friends.

Splurge-Worthy Beauty


Splurge-Worthy Beauty by jennifer-corum 


In line with my recent post of budget beauty buys, I thought it might be fun to share beauty buys that are worth the bucks, in my humble opinion. I feel like prestige brands like those sold at Ulta and Sephora are a gateway drug. Once you try them and get amazing results, it’s really hard to go back to the cheap stuff. That can be said about all of these products, which I LADORE (love and adore). In fact, I couldn’t even narrow it down to my usual 10, so you get a dozen.


1.  When I first saw the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powders at Sephora, I thought “Forty five bucks for powder? Ummm, yah right!” But then I swatched it and was kind of intrigued at how buttery soft and ethereal it looked. So I bought one… I don’t even like powder and rarely use it because I have such dry skin, but this stuff is incredible. It adds the softest, most natural glow to the face. The lighter shades can be used as a highlighter for the brow bone and cheekbones and the darker tones for bronzer, but I actually use the shade Dimly Lit all over my face just to set my foundation. I can’t even describe how beautifully it adds radiance without actually adding any shimmer. Hourglass products tend to be very pricey, but I really haven’t been disappointed by anything they make yet. This one is tops. I hit pan on this one right away and that never happens!


2.  I received the Serge Normant Meta Revive Dry Conditioner in one of my subscription boxes and thought I read the label wrong. Dry shampoo I’ve heard of, and am kind of a hair disciple of, but dry conditioner? I know it sounds weird but the finish on this stuff is so lovely. It takes dry, brittle, unruly hair and just adds the slightest kiss of moisture without having to shower and deep condition. I kind of lived on this stuff during the newborn years when showers were pretty much a weekly occurrence, and I consistently got compliments on how nice my hair looked. To top it off, it has a lovely scent as well. Win win.


3.  I know it might seem a little pretentious to require a prestige eyeliner but I am kind of picky about my eyeliner formula. I HATE those dry pencils that pull and tug at delicate skin and end up looking patchy and crooked. Make Up For Ever’s Aqua Eyes eyeliner has an awesome almost gel-like consistency. It goes on super smooth and is the most waterproof eyeliner I have ever used. It’s available in about a million shades but I consistently use the matte brown shade 25 L.


4.  Tweezerman tweezers have pretty much been a cult classic so this one probably isn’t a surprise but I wasn’t really a believer until I bought my first pair in the last year or so. I don’t really have bushy or unruly brows but I do occasionally get those stray hairs and stubborn fine hairs that are tough to pluck. This are so sharp and precise that they get every little hair. With maintenance, these will last a lifetime as well.


5.  I’m very sure I have blogged about my eternal search for the perfect mascara and it’s still in the works, but Guerlain Maxi Lash is nearly perfect. The formula goes on beautifully and makes the longest, most beautifully slightly curled lashes. It has a delicate rose scent as well, which I love but might annoy you if you don’t like scented products. The formula is very soft so you never get that dry spidery look and the tube itself never dries out prematurely either.


6.  I really wanted to hate this stuff based on the insane price tag and all the hype in the beauty blogging/vlogging world. But after hearing over and over again that it was basically magic in a bottle, I had to try it. I hate how amazing Tatcha Luminous Dewy Skin Mist is. I do not even know how this stuff works, but a little spritz on the face and you glow like an angel. Not a glittery, stripper glow, but a natural dewy gorgeous glow. It is frankly, amazing. I have used it both under makeup and as a setting spray and the results are equally beautiful.


7.  If you are going to spend some bucks, I do think it is best spent on skin care. Ironically, my regimen is fairly budget-friendly because I’ve just found the right products that work for me and they happen to be pretty afforadble. However, if you are over the age of 30, it’s time to add a serum to your regimen and this one is amaze! That’s not a typo. I don’t even need the “ing” on the end. A bottle of Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair will last you a fair amount of time and will do beautiful things for your skin. When I feel like spending the extra money, usually seasonally, when my skin really starts to get unmanageable, I will splurge on this. It’s like medicine for sad skin.


8.  Blush is also something that seems sort of strange to spend a lot of money on, but they simply don’t get better than the ones by Nars. The color range is huge, providing a shade for every skin tone and every look and mood. The texture on these is beautiful. They go on smooth and they last a very long time. Some are matte, some have a kiss of shimmer and some are flat out blingy. I feel like Nars has gone the extra mile in considering the most flattering colors for cheeks, taking into account different skin tones, and they have aced it. My favorite shades are the cult classic Orgasm and the slightly milder Deep Throat. Okay… the names are pervish, but you can get past that. ;)


9.  If you have the extra cash, there is nothing like a luxury lipstick. The range by Tom Ford is super duper incredible (and stupid expensive). Rich, buttery and in the most beautiful range of colors. They go on silky smooth, last for hours and look pulled together and polished. My favorite shade is the dusty neutral Indian Rose.


10.  I’ve only recently embraced the daily use of bronzer and love how much healthier it makes my pale skin look. The tricky part is finding the right shade for your skin. Bronzers tend to be too ashy or too orangey, too shimmery or too matte, too pigmented or too chalky. I have found respite in the range of bronzers by Guerlain, particularly the Terracotta line. They are natural looking, the perfect soft and blendable texture and last very well on the skin. Again, stupid expensive, but worth it to not look like an orangey tanned Jersey girl.


11.  When the Clarisonic first came out, I thought it was stupid. I thought, “You seriously can’t just use your fingers to wash your skin?!” But I kept seeing vlogs just praising the thing and how amazing it was for skin. So I got a killer coupon and bought one on a whim, and wow, my skin looked incredible. It does a fantastic job at gently exfoliating skin while cleaning and removing makeup and dead skin. Skin glows after a week or two of using this. Mine just died after about 2 years (which is a bit disappointing) and I’m fairly certain that I must replace it. My skin is crying for Clarisonic.


12.  There is just something about a really nice lip liner and the ones by Bobbi Brown are perfection. The shades are so natural and flattering. The formula is creamy and comfortable but still long wearing. I love a nice pinky beige neutral lip and her liners are the only ones I’ve ever found that work with lipstick instead of against it. LOVE. I can’t even pick a perfect shade because I love so many… but Pale Mauve, Beige and Nude are tops.

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