Archives for January 2016

Floral Midi Skirt

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DETAILS
Top/Dress: Loft ( similar )
Jacket: BB Dakota ( exact )
Midi Skirt: MIKAROSE ( exact )
I am wearing a skirt over a dress. Yes, I have done it, girls. It works like an absolute charm! It has been uncommonly cold this past week so I had to step up my cold weather outfit game ( that was a mouthful ).  I popped this to die for floral midi skirt on over my warmest sweater dress and got all swoony over it. The length, the cut, the pockets. It is the prettiest triple threat! 
I must admit, I have always been a little skeptical about the whole skirts over dresses thing. Now I have done it myself. It rocked my socks off! I highly recommend this little trick. Give it a go and then come back and tell me all about how it changed your fashion life!
Have you tried a skirt over a dress? Loved it? Hated it? Share your fashion adventures in the comments!  Have beautiful day, Jen xo
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How To Clean Makeup Brushes With Coconut Oil

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Coconut oil strikes again! It seems like coconut oil is used for everything these days. Hair masks, makeup remover, face moisturizer, so on and so on. I myself have perpetuated this ( here. here too. ) and I stick by it one hundred percent! I swear by coconut oil, especially as a moisturizer. Today, though, we are switching gears just a bit.

There are two essential factors in maintaing clear bright skin: daily cleansing of the skin, and clean makeup brushes! When the residue from various makeup products, and the natural oil from your skin, are allowed to sit on the bristles of your brushes, they harbor and foster bacteria. Every time you swirl that brush around in a makeup product you transfer all of the dirt, dead skin cells, and bacteria that are trapped in the bristles into that product. It is essential to clean your makeup brushes to nurture  clear, luminescent skin, and increase the longevity of your makeup products. All of the grime trapped in your makeup brushes ( and makeup products by exposure ) can cause acne; the bane of a every woman’s existence. So clean those brushes, girls!

I have to admit, I have not always been good about cleaning my makeup brushes. Once I started cleaning them regularly, I saw a great improvement in my skin! Bye bye breakouts!  

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So how often should you clean your makeup brushes? This depends on what kind of products you use and where you store your brushes. If you keep your makeup brushes on your bathroom vanity, or you use liquid foundation, clean your brushes at least once a week. Twice is better. Eye shadow brushes can go a little longer. Once every two weeks or so will do the trick.
HOW TO CLEAN YOUR BRUSHES WITH COCONUT OIL.
You Will Need:
2 teaspoons of coconut oil ( liquid form )
3 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
small bowl
clean cloth or paper towels ( for drying )

In a small bowl combine 1 teaspoon of coconut oil and 1 teaspoon of fresh lemon juice. If the coconut oil has solidified, microwave it for 40 seconds to liquify. Swirl your makeup brushes around in the coconut oil and lemon mixture. The makeup will immediately pull out of the bristles. Rinse brushes thoroughly with warm water and dry with a clean cloth or paper towel. Set out on a clean cloth to finish air drying. 
+ If your brushes seem to have a bit of coconut oil left on the bristles just swirl them around in a bit more lemon juice. The acid with break down the oil. Rinse well with water!
You can use this mixture to clean your eyelash curler as well! Simply wet your fingers in the coconut oil and lemon juice and rub off any caked on mascara, eyeshadow, and bacteria that may have accumulated on your curler. Rinse with water, and dry. 
The coconut oil pulls out all of the old makeup and bacteria from the bristles, and the lemon juice helps kill that nasty bacteria; Essentially disinfecting your brushes/curler. It is just that simple! No pain. No fuss.
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Was this post helpful? What is your trusted method for cleaning makeup brushes?

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Patiently Waiting: Purity, Purpose, and Prayer

When I was a young girl I dreamed of what my life would be like when I was “grown”. At the time, I thought I would be all grown up at eighteen. I thought I would have fallen in love with a godly man, and swiftly married him so we could live happily ever after. I thought I would have three children by the time I was twenty-three. I thought my life was building up to my Pride and Prejudice ending; Full of romance and incandescent joy. But life is not a perfectly constructed novel. It is not unadulterated bliss. Life is messy. It is a mix of little joys, big hopes, heartbreaks, and confusion. It is excitement, and inexperience, brokenness, and healing.

I am twenty-four now, unmarried [ though a godly young man is trying to pursue me 😉 ], and exactly where God wants me. Has there been loneliness? Absolutely. Has there been longing? Without question. There has also been sweet hope, blanketing peace, and a surety that only comes from God.

When I turned 21 I started reevaluating the way that I thought about love and relationships. I started digging into scripture to find out what the truth and reality of love really was. I had spent so many years looking and yearning for something that was not realistic. Where was my Mr. Darcy? I wanted a romance full of stolen glances, flowery words, and dramatic proclamations of love in the rain. Life and relationships are so much more than emotional moments that give us butterflies.

 
THE REALITY OF LOVE.

Love is exciting. It puts a smile on your face, an extra spring in your step, and the sweetest joy in your heart. Growing love desires to make the other happy. It sees the positive, and pushes aside the negative. It blindly skips along with boundless hope. New love, growing love, is something to be cherished. Those precious naive days will fade, and the reality of love will set in.

The reality of real love is this: When he is unkind, I forgive. When money is tight, I do not despair. When he disappoints me, I do not hold it against him. When he is hurting, I comfort him. When hopes are dashed, I do not cast blame. When I feel selfish, I emulate Christ.

Love is action over feelings. Love is: When I do not feel love for him, I choose to love him.

A HEART MOST PURE.

It is often that we long for love out of a selfish desire to be filled up emotionally. We desire someone to laugh with, someone to tell us we are beautiful, someone to look at us through rose colored glasses when we are far from being lovable, we long for stolen glances, and perfectly crafted words that speak to our heart. We long for all of the romance and overlook all of the work that must be put in.

What does unconditional love really look like? Stolen glances? Flowers? A sweet goodnight text?
Perhaps unconditional love looks like being angry and not responding in anger, being wronged and forgiving though you may not receive an apology, doing what is in his best interest above your own. Perhaps unconditional love looks like Christ; Patient, self sacrificing, forgiving, forgiving again, pointing to what is righteous.

We must nurture a heart most pure that does not seek its own, but seeks God’s will in all things, including our future husband’s life. We should prepare ourselves to be a helpmate suitable, not wait around to be a soul mate. Study scripture, be a woman of prayer, be a woman of purity, foster your talents, and serve God where you are with joy and gladness. Then, when your beloved arrives, you will be ready to carry on life at his side.

THE PURPOSE IN LONELINESS.

God uses our loneliness to draw us closer to Him. We will never be able to love more fully than when our heart is aligned with God. It is only through Him that we can tame our hurtful tongue, subdue our selfish nature, submit with grace, and care with utter purity of heart. God makes no mistakes. If we seek His will and surrender our own, He will lead us unmistakably, and graciously grant us the ability to display a true love that He has created ( and shows so fully to us ).

Sometimes, in order to truly value and nurture what we long for, we must stand alone and weather the sting of loneliness and unsurety. God is in it. He allows our pains so that we might seek Him more and grow in ways that we cannot when the road is smooth. It is easy to despair when we do not have sight of what we pray for. To quote Marilla Cuthbert from Anne of Green Gables: To despair is to turn your back on God. How true that is. When we let the ache of loneliness and desire turn our heart toward despair, we turn our back on God. Despair is an emotional way of saying: I do not trust you God. I do not trust your plan for me. 


God does have a plan. He so often chooses not to reveal that plan to us. We must walk in faith, and in fellowship with Him, fully surrendered to His will, before He gives us a glimpse of His plan. Our loneliness drives us to God. It helps us learn to rely on Him in  everything, and for everything. When God does unfold your love story you will be far more prepared for the reality of love; seeking not your husband to fill you up, but leaning on God. And when you are leaning on God, you can love your husband/fiancé/boyfriend with a real, selfless, pure, godly love.



PRAYING FOR LOVE.

When I was an older teen I spent a lot of time praying for my future husband. I talked to God everyday with the utmost earnest. The problem, though, was that I was not really praying for him. I was not praying for his spiritual growth, his heart, his purity… I was praying for God to bring him into my life. I selfishly pleaded with Him to do so.

Much of the time we pray for the wrong thing. We ask God to bring our man now so that we will not feel lonely anymore. What we should be doing is actually praying FOR the man that God has for us. Praying that his heart would be surrendered wholly to Christ, praying for his days, his work ethic, praying for his purity of heart, mind, and body, praying for his growth, his leadership skills, financial wisdom..

No matter where he might be, you should pray for him as a whole. You should go to battle for him in prayer, though miles, and years may separate you. You can, right now, be connected through prayer. Everyday trusting that God knows who he is, where he is, and exactly when he will enter your life. Pray for him as though you know him already. Love him now through faithful, bolstering prayer.

I am by no means an expert in the ways of love, but I have learned the truth of love through experience, prayer, and bible study. My hope is that by sharing my heart you are encouraged, and perhaps enlightened. Be steadfast, friends! God has not forgotten you. Let God construct your love story. Prepare yourself while you wait. Wait with a joyful, and faithful heart!



What have you learned about love? Do these four truths of love ring true to you? Have a beautiful day!

PS. You might find this post helpful: 31 Days of Praying for Your Future Husband

Blueberry Banana Peanut Protein Smoothie

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #StartWithJifPowder #CollectiveBias


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It is a whole new year! New goals, new excitements, new adventures! I am so excited to tackle what this new year has in store. I have the freshest new hope for what can be accomplished this year. One of my hopes is to get out more. Bike rides, hiking trails, running.. you name it! I want to dive into being active outside of the gym. I am a gym rat with a foodie’s heart. I enjoy food immensely. It is the most delicious fuel! And that is exactly what I am sharing today; a delicious blueberry banana peanut protein smoothie that uses Jif Peanut Powder. It will fuel your body for all of this year’s new adventures! 

One thing that I gravitative toward, when I do not have a lot of time on my hands, is a smoothie. You can pack a big punch with a smoothie, both in nutrients and flavor. I am a sucker for anything chocolate or peanut butter. ESPECIALLY peanut butter. When I have a hankering for something scrumptiously peanut butter, I turn to Jif peanut powder. It has all of the familiar rich flavor of creamy peanut butter, without all of the fat! I popped into Walmart the other day and picked up some Jif Peanut Powder for baking and smoothie making. There are other peanut powders out there but I prefer Jif over them all. It has no added ingredients ( salt + sugar ). It is simply roasted peanuts.

I try to eat as cleanly as possible. No preservatives. No added sugar. No added salt. Certainly no added ingredients that I cannot pronounce! I have used peanut powder for added flavor and protein in baking and smoothie making for quite some time. It is a great go-to for flavor that makes you feel like you are indulging.. minus the guilt. Hallelujah for that!

_________BLUEBERRY BANANA PEANUT PROTEIN SMOOTHIE ________

3 tblsp Jif Peanut Powder
3/4 cup Silk Almond Milk 
( sweetened, unsweetened, or flavor of choice )
1 cup frozen blueberries
1/2 a frozen banana
1 1/2 tblsp unsweetened cocoa
5 cubes of ice
Combine the Jif Peanut Powder, Silk Almond Milk, blueberries, banana, cocoa powder, and ice in a blender. Blend until until smooth. Pour it in a glass ( or a travel cup ), top with shredded coconut, and enjoy!

You can have fun with this recipe. Jif also has peanut powder with a touch of cocoa so if you are craving that chocolate and peanut butter combo, that is a great option. The dark chocolate Silk Almond Milk would kick this recipe up a notch as well! If you prefer a more true peanut butter flavor stick with Jif’s plain peanut powder!

Okay, now it is your turn! What smoothie flavors do you love? What smoothie combo would you make with Jif peanut powder? Tell me all about it in the comments!

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