Forever 21 is KILLING it right now


somehow made it to the Forever 21 website yesterday when I was looking for a similar option to link for an outfit, and then promptly lost an hour of my life browsing. There are so many great things there right now! From retro looking black turtlenecks, to fabulous faux fur vests (I NEED!), to sparkly headpieces to wear to holiday parties, I loved EVERYTHING. 

Now the real question for your Friday is, who is going to talk me out of having more knit ponchos than is humanly possible……?

I believe, sort of.


Target sweater and scarf, old (option); Old Navy pants, old (option) and bag; Steve Madden boots (option.)

Religion for me is such a tricky subject. A friend asked me a couple of weeks ago "what I believed in", and I found that I had a really hard time explaining myself.

You see, I'm a very "I'll believe it when I see it," kind of person. I don't think that just because we should believe in something that it is completely true. I think my logic gets in the way of what religion tends to teach us, and I see how history has changed religion over the course of time. I don't think that the bible is the exact word of God, because it has been edited over the years by many, many people, and that makes it more ambiguous for me. I DO think the Bible has a lot of great lessons to teach us, and it is a very valuable text about the past, but I also think it is a book of stories handed down over time, so adhering to every word is not what I deem best for myself. 

I also don't believe in creationism, or many of the stories that come from the Bible, and I'm not even sure I believe in Jesus dying on the cross and coming back to life. Do I believe that Jesus existed? Yes! I think he was most likely an amazing man that helped the poor and needy in many ways. I think what he did should be reflected on, and his way of life emulated, but I don't think the rest of his story rings true for me. There is a part of me that hopes for all this to be true, and to have it validated and put in front of me with scientific facts, but I know that isn't exactly the point of religion.

When it comes to prayer, I can be pretty general about it. I've been known to pray in my head for the safety of my family, and the health of those around me. Taking off in an airplane and praying I get back to my husband and babies, trusting my kids are safe at school without me, this takes faith that I want in my life. I really and truly hope that there is something bigger than me at hand, and that all my doubting ways are wrong. I want to believe that someone, somewhere, is listening to me and guiding those around me. I just don't know if that is true. 

I'm a doubtful person at heart. I never truly think something great is out there until it is right in front of my face. I understand that faith means taking that leap into the unknown, believing that all we know about religion and God is true because we believe it to be. I know when I think of my family members that have died, I hope with all my heart that they are waiting somewhere for me. I think the notion of death is really scary, and the thought that us dying and just not existing is painful, so the vision of heaven is really comforting. I think that religion in itself is a comfort for those that truly believe, because it takes away a lot of the unknown. 

I didn't grow up with a lot of religion in my life, I never attended a regular church service or had discussions about it. It's not something I regret, but I do enjoy learning more about it in my adult life because I am someone that enjoys finding more things out about a particulate subject. My husband was raised in a religious way (we were even married in the Catholic church and had both of the kids christened there), but now that we have kids we have a different view of what we want our children to learn. We both want them to have a solid religious base, but I'm not comfortable with them learning things that I don't agree with. I'd like to find a church that taught a more modern version of the Bible, and leave out the yucky judgmental, lifestyle biased stuff. 

This Christmas my daughter asked for a bible in her stocking, which was a little surprising to me. She noticed her friend had one, and was interested in having one, too. I researched and found her the perfect one, it teaches the moral lessons of the bible in a kids friendly way. I'm actually really excited to share it with her and get into discussions about what it all means. I think this is the perfect way for both of us to discover what we really believe, and come up with a vision of what religion, and believing, really means. 

Tell me, what are your views on religion and praying?

This post is part of the November Blogathon, you can find more details HERE!

the lashes you need this holiday season!


Okay, true story time! Once, long ago, on the very first day of college, I met my best friend. She was heading to the bathroom, and since my room happened to be right across from there, I invited her in to my room and offered her a beer. Now, I won't go into why on earth an 18 year old girl had a clothing bin full of warm beer under her bed, or where she even got it all (??), OR how I hope my daughter never does what I did. But! It worked! Our friendship was cemented, and we ended up pledging a sorority together and living as roommates for the next three years. Katie is my person, my sister wife, my friend that I tell everything to on a daily basis. We haven't lived near each other since college, but we talk almost every day, and I adore her face;)

I have previously written about Katie here before (and again!), she had infertility problems for a long time and went through hell and back to get pregnant with her first daughter. She has since had another little girl and is pregnant with a son! She is an amazing mother and wife, and the most helpful person you will ever meet. She will go to the ends of the earth for you, something I admire. 

A couple of weeks ago Katie started telling me about Younique mascara, because she saw how crazy good it was, and also because it provides such a good outlet for her outside of her kids. I started this blog for the same reason, I really think there is something so liberating about having something that doesn't involve kids or husbands or anything other than US as people. I'm obsessed with anything that women can do just for themselves, and this mascara is a great way to do that for Katie. (And for me, too, because HELLO, lashes!)

Younique comes in two parts, a transplanting gel and a fiber wand. I applied my regular mascara, then doing one eye at a time I did the transplanting gel first, then the fiber wand. It is ridiculous how thick this makes you lashes! I tried it out one day at home, and wore only the mascara with my typical hoodie and yoga pants attire. My friend stopped by and instantly noticed how crazy thick my lashes were! I've been playing around with it on a daily basis since then, and find it is dramatic look if you want to go simple (awesome eyelashes, simple lip gloss), or for a bolder look at night (smoky eyes, bold red lips!) It is so quick and easy to apply, and I love the reaction I get when I wear it on a typical day. It looks like you have gotten lash extensions, without the hassle of actually getting extensions, you know? 

Note: it also washes off well, much easier than a waterproof mascara. I just concentrated on my eye area a bit more and it came right off.

NOW, it's time for a before and after collage!

On a no makeup/no mascara day, my lashes tend to disappear. I rarely leave the house without at least mascara, and often put it on even if it's just a home day. I LOVE that with Younique I can have really amazing lashes and let them stand on their own, or add in he punch of eyeliner and bright lips if I feel like it. My eyelashes almost reached my eyebrows after I put this mascara on, which was INSANE.

TO order Younique and experience amazing holiday (and everyday!) lashes, follow this link HERE!

P.S. This is not a sponsored post, just a shout out for my bff and her amazing new business venture;)



Asos coat, old (super similar, and cheaper option!); Hunter boots; Target sweater (option); Levi shorts.

Here's a little snippet of what's currently going on in my life!

Loving: A fire in the fireplace, freshly fallen snow outside, and unlimited snuggling time on the couch with no plans to leave.
Hating: Head colds and all they entail. My head currently feels like a lead balloon floating two feet above my neck.
Eating: Trying to eat more protein and veggies and less breads…we'll see how that goes;)
Drinking: A glass of red wine per night, because my chiropractor told me it was good for me. I'll take it!
Listening to: TRYING not to listen to X-mas music YET, but it may or may not be playing as I write this...
Reading: I'm re-reading old faves (I love revisiting characters I love!), as well as the 4th book in the Crossfire series that I've been anxiously waiting for!
Buying: Christmas present for the kids, and trying to hide them from prying eyes. Oh shoot, and a Clarisonic for me!
Remembering: How much snow we got last year (14.5 feet!), and wondering if this year will be the same?
Giggling about: How my daughter used to be obsessed with vacuums as a toddler! A special treat for her used to be a visit to the vacuum aisle in Walmart, with full on discussions about the various merits of each. 
Planning: An outfit for a holiday party! I have a vision in my head of a lace midi skirt paired with a fitted sweater….now I just need to find all the pieces!
Anxiously awaiting: We are going on a macaroni and cheese AND wine tour the weekend after Thanksgiving and I can't wait to try out new kinds of wine! Also, gourmet versions of various mac and cheese dishes won't hurt either;) 
Interested to know: Once the snow comes I have a hard time with the exposure on my photos, I have a session with a local photographer who will hopefully help me figure this out! #bloggerproblems
Baking: Hmmmm, nothing? Is that bad? Though I AM making a turkey breast in the crockpot as we speak, to be served with all the fixings!
Keeping a secret: The magic of Christmas is alive and well in our house, and it takes major undertakings to keep everything hidden from prying eyes.
Wearing: The best thermal shirt from Target, and cozy sweatpants that are a zillion years old.
Smelling: Pumpkins spice candles burning 24/7, the undiluted fresh air that comes with freshly fallen snow, and Tide with Downy laundry detergent on newly washed bedding.
Lusting after: Um, everything, always. Let's see…a new wallet, cuddly Uggs, a patchwork faux fur jacket…the list is always continuous!

Tell me, what's currently going on with YOU?

My unofficial style mantra + giveaway!


Feather bracelet, heart ring, vine ring, and scarflemon drop Boutique.

So, winter arrived. Clearly.

I'm half excited, because it really is so pretty and pristine and gorgeous outside, but it also poses problems when it comes to blog photography and such. I need suggestions/hints/tips on creating an indoor studio in my home from all of YOU experts. I'm struggling over here!

Moving on;)

Winter for me means cozy layers, and extra accessories to make a look pop. If I'm gong to be bundled up to my eyebrows in knit fabrics, I want a bunch of funky rings on my fingers. I tend to like a more delicate ring, because bulkier ones, in the long run, irritate me and make me want to rip them off after an hour. I love this heart ring from Lemon Drop boutique, because it is small enough to layer on any finger, and doesn't feel heavy or catch on anything. While I DO love a statement ring, they often catch on my sweaters and don't fit well under gloves. Adding in delicate rings (like this geo cutout ring!) on each finger makes me feel like I am trying more than I am (which is sort of my style matra…look like you tried harder than you actually did to look good!) I also like wearing brighter colors once the snow arrives, because the entire world becomes blanketed in neutrals, and I need something to brighten up my face. Seeing my gray and camo (blah) look above sort of nails in that theory for me;)

On that note, I have a fun giveaway for you! Sarah from Lemon Drop Boutique had graciously offered up a $25 store credit to her shop! She has a lot of inexpensive accessory options, so this credit can go a long way to helping you add to your accessory wardrobe. The giveaway will run for a week, and it is open to US residents only. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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