Category Archives: beauty

Want.

     I’m so tired of wanting.
     I want, I desire, I covet, always looking toward the next thing, the thing that can fix what’s wrong with me, the thing that can fill the holes and satisfy me. It’s painful to admit how materialistic I am, how fixated on appearances, how vain. I like to think I’m above such silliness, that I can’t be swayed by the commercialism of our society, but oh, I can, and I am.
     Magazines hold the promise of a better, more beautiful me, and so I keep buying them, wasting money on an item that’s just going to make me want to waste more money by buying more things. Internet ads capture my attention. A few days ago, while online, I was distracted by an Anthropologie ad on the sidebar. I gasped (yes, literally – how embarrassing) at the prettiness before me, and clicked through to their website, where I browsed the latest catalog and lamented that I’m not spending my days in a charming European village, draped in expensive cardigans, with beautifully mussed hair and milky, perfect skin.
     Now, I can look at that moment of longing and see its silliness, of course. Who has a life like that? But it doesn’t stop that weird, rumbly feeling that tells me that I need more, that somehow my life would be better if I had the perfect red lipstick and leather handbag. I don’t think I’m alone. I have a friend who laughingly says that she’s not living the life she was meant to live; she works a job similar to mine, with good pay and benefits. She jokes that she was born to be rich and spend her days in the lap of luxury. I laugh along with her, but I’ve recently realized that deep down, a part of me feels this way, too.
     I don’t think it’s wrong to have an appreciation for beautiful things. God has blessed us with so much beauty, and during this time of transition in my life, I have found joy and comfort in being surrounded by familiar, pretty objects. The things that decorate my room provide a sense of home for me, which is such a blessing. I also love to make beautiful things, and to style myself in a way that I feel is appealing. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with any of that.
     The problem comes when this appreciation gives way to a consuming desire to have more, because no matter how much you accumulate, it will never be enough. It’s especially dangerous for those of us who are trying to be good stewards, and I’ve always struggled with financial irresponsibility.
     My goal is to drown out that loud voice that tells me my blessings aren’t enough, that I’m not enough, that my life is not good enough. How about you? Do you struggle with such things?

Things I have done in the past 72 hours…

I work in public education, so I still get a summer break. Lucky me! We’ve been pretty busy visiting family and friends, but for the past few days, we’ve stayed home, and I’ve kept pretty busy. No, not with housework. Don’t be silly. (Well, maybe just a little housework.) Mostly, though, I’ve done things that are way more fun:

  • I sewed a new dress and finished some other sewing UFOs.
  • I colored my hair. Don’t worry, I’m not going back on what I said about my hair a few posts ago. I’m still trying to embrace my natural color, and I needed to just slightly darken and even out my color.
  • I CUT MY OWN HAIR. Oh yes I did. Not just my bangs, either. I was in desperate need of a trim, and after watching a few YouTube tutorials, I decided I was ready. I really just shaped up the cut I have. I think I did a fine job. It feels about a million times better than it did.
  • I gave myself a pinup girl makeover while trying out this hair tutorial which I first saw here. I think it looks pretty cute while you’re waiting for your curls to set! Here’s a look at how it turned out this morning, when I took it down:Pretty!
  • I applied mehndi. I’ve had this kit for almost a year, waiting for a good time to try it. Once I started, I kind of got carried away and just kept doodling on my arm. I really love how it turned out, actually!
  • I worked out pretty hard yesterday. My arms and legs are sore and noodly today.  Woo!

It’s been an experimental few days. I’m blessed to have the time to goof around like this. It’s time to get serious now, though. I’m off to do laundry and pack for our anniversary weekend trip to Cleveland!

God has blessed me with time to relax.

#21

This outfit never actually happened.  Well, it did, but it didn’t see the world beyond my backyard.

We’re planning on staying in this evening, but I wanted to put together an outfit nonetheless.  This one’s a bit experimental.  I tried to do something cool by cuffing my jeans a bit, but I’m not sure I love the results.

I do love all of the fun details of this outfit, though.

 

Bonus shot of me looking mischievous, mainly because I want to show off my new lipstick!  I purchased it in Flame.  Fun for spring!

  • Top, Kohl’s
  • Cardigan, New York & Company via Gabriel Brothers
  • Jeans, Old Navy (overdyed by me)
  • Tights, New York & Company
  • Shoes, Alfani
  • Initial necklace, Macy’s
  • Beaded necklace, Forever XXI
  • Belt, American Eagle

Just peachy

There’s an antique store right across the street from my house, and my plans for the day included going there to possibly score some vintage fabric.  Since my plans also included an outfit post, I actually took the time to get ready instead of running over in a pair of shorts and a tank.  As I walked across the street at approximately 1:45, I saw that the sign read “Open 10-5 weekdays, Wednesdays 10-1.”  Well, fudge.  Maybe tomorrow.

This dress is from eBay, circa 2006, and today is the first time I’ve worn it outside the house (but sadly, only for a few moments).  When I first discovered eBay, I got a little addicted, and this is one item from a rash of purchases that winter.  It’s vintage, from sometime in the 80’s, but the tag only tells me care instructions and the size, and I have no idea about the brand.  When it arrived, I was a bit disappointed by the sleeves, and I had plans to alter it, but I just never did.  This morning, it called to me, and when I put my big ol’ belt on with it, I thought it looked perfect.

I kept my makeup and hair extremely simple today.  It’s just too hot to bother with tons of products, and I like to keep it low-key in the summer (well, most of the time).  I combed my hair and let it air-dry, then clipped my back my bangs.  I dusted on some bronzer and blush, defined my brows and lashes, slicked on some gloss, and that was it.  I love the peachy glow I ended up with.

Also, let me introduce you to my new loves:

I got these Colin Stuart shoes on clearance for $7.00!  I’ve been looking for shoes like these for months now, and the other day, when I wasn’t on the hunt for them, these jumped out at me.  They’re so perfect.  I’ve been wearing them to add some edge to my feminine dresses.

I ordered this love knot ring from Premier Designs at a jewelry party, and I love it.  The necklace came from Macy’s, and was marked down from $100 to $9.99.  I’m a sucker for anything monogrammed or personalized.  I’ve been wearing these two pieces nearly constantly.  They’re just so simple and pretty.

(A side note –  you might notice that you never see me wear an engagement ring.  The truth is that I have one, and it’s quite beautiful, but a prong came loose and it’s needing to be repaired.  I definitely don’t want to wear it and risk losing the stone!  I just haven’t made it to the jeweler yet, and so I’ve been pairing other rings, most usually a pearl one that Daniel gave me, with my wedding band.)

A Waist is a Terrible Thing to Waste

So this is my second post for Dress Your Best Week, and I’m pretty excited.  I feel like I did a good job of accentuating my body-part-of-the-day, my waist!  This is a sequel to yesterday’s post, because my waist and hips are kind of like a team.  They help one another be the best they can be.  I love my hips partly because they contrast so nicely with my waist, and vice versa. I feel like when one looks good, the other automatically looks good.

If you’ve read very much of this blog, you’ll know that I’m working on losing weight.  I’ve lost over 30 pounds in the last several months, and I still have a good bit to go.  However, I’m finally feeling comfortable in my own skin again, and I’m feeling pretty confident overall.  I did wear this jacket most of the day, however, because I thought this outfit might be just a little too accentuating for work.  Here it is without the jacket:

I’m finally wearing the Breton top I bought on Tuesday!  I love it so much and can already tell it’ll see a lot of use.  I also just went for it with the red lipstick today, and I really like how it looks!

Anyway, back to my waist.  As I’ve been working on getting fit, I’ve been taking my measurements every whipstitch.  I was extremely disappointed in the last waist measurement I took, because it hadn’t changed from before.  I’ve been discouraged about the fact that I haven’t lost inches very quickly.  So it was really good for me today to just decide that I was going to feel good about my waist, pick out an outfit that makes it look its best, and head out the door with a smile on my face.  And now that I see my pictures, I’m very pleased with the way the look came together, and with the definition of my waist.

Stay tuned!  I’ll be finding another body part to love for tomorrow.

Fashion Crime

I know that horizontal stripes are a no-no.  We’ve all heard that, right?  For all of our lives?  Well, I’m committing a fashion crime today.  I’m wearing horizontal stripes, and I’m not even breaking them up with vertical lines.

(It’s warm enough for outside pictures – yay!  But this is blurry for some reason – boo.)  I could have added another layer to this to offset the stripes a bit, but I like the sleeves on this little cardigan, and I just wanted to wear it by itself.  I love layers, but today was so sunny and pretty, and I wanted to dress more for spring than for winter.  The cardigan has a bit of a nautical feel, so I paired it with navy trousers, and I belted it to add visual interest.  I’m excited to try different ways of styling this piece.  I think it has lots of potential!

I’m trying to wear bright lipcolor more often, andI always love the look of pale eyeshadow, winged eyeliner, and bold lips.  It feels so pinup to me.  (Daniel is only cropped out of this picture because we took it of ourselves (obviously) and only got part of his face, anyway.)

Happy happy Friday!

Spicy Brown Mustard

These tights are so odd, but I love them, and I feel strangely confident in them.

Here’s yet another skirt that I think might be better a bit shorter.  I don’t want to look like a tart, I just want to make sure my legs look nice!  I also think this blazer might be on its way out.  It doesn’t have as much structure as it once did.  I’d like to refashion it somehow, but I’m not sure yet what I’ll do. 

Daniel snapped this while I was adjusting the scarf, and I kind of like it!  Oh, and that’s the Eiffel Tower around my neck.  The scarf has all these Parisian landmarks on it – it’s quirky and colorful and I love it.

My hair is growing on me.  My curls and waves are more defined with this cut.  I’m loving this lipstick, as well – nice, springy pink!