Wednesday, July 16, 2014

On Stepping Out

*I wrote this post over a month ago, and somehow I forgot to ever post it.
VBS Servant Squad 2014

Hanging with some of my campers, and two fellow servant squatters.
Last year I decided I wanted to start stepping out of my comfort zone more. So I made the decision and applied to serve on the servant squad (aka jr. counselor) for my church's VBS Missions Trip for middle schoolers. I made it onto the squad and had one of the most amazing, and challenging weeks of my life.
This year I eagerly awaited the opportunity to serve again. This trip was met with much excitement, nostalgia, and some sadness, because this would be my last year that I could serve on the squad.
This year I can easily say that I had the best week of my life. I was pushed so far out of my "comfort zone" that I'm not even sure there is a "zone" anymore. Take for example the fact that I led group games not once, but twice, and I was shouting into a microphone while doing it. While that may seem totally normal for some people, I grew up painfully shy and very quiet. Even a year ago, I wouldn't have had enough confidence to do something like that. Not only did I do it though, I loved it! I loved leading my own dorm room of girls this year. I loved the nightly reflection talks, the bus rides, the laughter, and most importantly praising the Lord all the while.
I loved being able to lead and encourage so many young girls. More than that though, I love the amazing friend circle that the Lord has blessed me with. Our servant squad became very close through out the week and we made some amazing memories together. Lots of laughs, bonfire talks, excessive use of hashtags, star tripping, and encouraging one another through the whole week.
It wasn't all sprinkles and icecream though. I didn't even know it was humanly possible to be that tired. By the end of the week the squad felt like zombies as a result of getting about five hours of sleep a night. My birkenstocks rubbed my feet raw from all of the walking, and by Thursday night I was limping. When I got home from camp I also discovered a horrible tick bite that caused a late night trip to the emergency room, since all of the doctors offices were closed. That trip resulted in me being put on antibiotics to help kill the possible chance of lyme disease. On the bright side though, that caused me to finally conquer my fears and swallow my first pill! (Thank goodness all of that is behind me!)
I can easily overlook those things though, and if I had the chance, I would do it all over again.
Step out. Take chances. Never tell yourself that something is "too far outside your comfort zone". You don't know until you try!
I came back from this week utterly happy, with renewed confidence, and an even deeper love for our great God.
xoxo, em

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Never Grow Up

Sometimes kids say the simplest, bluntest things that make us stop and think. They have an innocence and naivety about them that makes the truths they say, beautiful. Tonight my younger brother, Sam asked me to go down the slide with him. Without giving it much thought I laughed and said, "Hon, I'm much too old to do that". He gave me a funny look and said, "But who cares?" I'm not sure why this moment stands out to me, but it was like a light bulb went off in my head. He's right! Who really cares? We're out here by ourselves. No one is watching, and yet I'm so concerned with acting my age that I won't give him the delight of going down the slide with him? How ridiculous is that?

Even as a little girl I was always looking to the future. I couldn't wait to be sixteen, eighteen, twenty one. I couldn't wait to graduate, live on my own, and get married. I was quick to say goodbye to my childhood years. I was eager for high school, to start driving, and to get a job. My personal style reflects all of this. I'm usually overdressed, and I love skinny jeans, blazers, heels, and lipstick. I'm always the "mature & polished one" in my group of friends. While there's nothing wrong with any of these things, I've come to some realizations recently.

Last night I was watching "16 Wishes". It's a somewhat-dorky Disney Channel movie about a 16-year-old girl on her birthday who meets a fairy that grants her 16 wishes. Towards the end of her list of wishes, she wishes "to be treated like an adult". This wish backfires though, and she magically becomes twenty one. She missed prom, her sweet sixteen party, and graduation. She suddenly finds herself all alone in an apartment, wearing heels and a blazer. Later on she drops by one of her classmates sweet sixteen birthday party and sadly watches all of her friends that don't remember her. She looks longingly at the group of high school girls as they laugh over silly text messages, reapply lipgloss, and goof around on the dance floor. With a pang, she realizes how much she has missed out on, and how she will never get that back. Now she is an adult, with responsibilities, and she can never get her carefree high school years back. Of course, in the end of the movie she gets a second chance and becomes sixteen again.

All of this made me realize how important every day is. This served as a wake up call to me. I'm no longer sixteen. True, I'm only seventeen, but my high school years are almost over. Soon I'll be graduating and heading off to college. The point is, is that I want to seize more opportunities, laugh more, and goof off. I will never get this time in my life back. You're only young once, so why not live like you're young?

To get back to the story..
After looking at my brother for a moment I smiled and said, "You're right. I would love to slide with you!" Without saying anything we somehow made the evening an all out "childhood games night". We went down the slide together, pushed each other on the swings, played fetch with out puppy, shot hoops, and played a mean game of hopscotch. I also discovered that I'm actually pretty good at hoola hoop!

I had a fun, nostalgic evening where I forgot how old I was, and had an amazing time.

Don't put yourself into a box, tell yourself you're too old, or worry about "being the mature person". Don't forget to take the time every now and then to relax and just enjoy life.

xoxo, em

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Beauty Review- Loreal Colour Riche Eyeshadows


Hey beauty junkies!
Today I'm reviewing the Loreal Colour Riche Eyeshadows. These retail for $7.95 at the drugstore and come in a large variety of shades. My palette is in the shade #525, Perfume ID. My palette was all shimmer shades and ranged from a coppery brown, to gold, medium lilac, and a dark purple. (You can see the colors swatched on my arm above)
The packaging was different from other eyeshadow palettes I have. The lid was gold/clear and allowed you to clearly see the colors you were buying. I found the packaging to be a little cheap and felt that the lid could break easily. Also, the shadow pans were oddly shaped and made it a little hard to access the colors without making a mess of them.
In looking at several different Loreal palettes I've found that some seem to be more opaque than others. Mine was on them more vivid, durable end for these palettes.
Overall I'm just okay with this palette. I might consider buying more shades, but this wasn't a must have for me. Since I bought it I'm trying to use it up, so you will probably see me wearing this over the next few months.
Love it or leave it? I'm really just neutral with this palette. I like it well enough to not leave it, but I'm not quite ready to say I love it.
Have you tried these Loreal eyeshadows? What did you think of them?
xoxo, em

Friday, May 23, 2014

Summer Casual OOTD



This year I've really challenged myself to get back to my natural roots. With makeup, hair, and clothes. I've challenged myself to embrace the messy hair days, the athletic clothes days, and the no makeup days. If you know me, then you know that I tend to always be overdressed, regardless of the situation. I can't help it! This girl loves dark colors, skinnies, heels, and lipstick. I wouldn't be caught dead going out of the house in sweats, or wearing pj's to the grocery store. Sorry, it's just not me.
This outfit was my happy medium. It was simple and casual, but had enough "extra's" to it to make me feel nice.
sunglasses//Urban Outfitters
Keep a look out for one or two new makeup product reviews coming this Sunday!
xoxo, em

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Reflecting on Living More

A few recent snapshots of life

Remember last week when I blogged about my Living More Challenge? I told y'all that I wanted to spend my first week of summer break really living and loving life. I may have not stuck to my challenge as much as I hoped I would, but I learned some valuable truths.

My week was b u s y, and filled with work shifts, errands, my sisters honors graduation, getting together with friends, and Daisy's obedience class.

Here's what I took away from this past week-

Roll with the punches. Let go of what you can't control. The negativity, complaining, bad attitudes, jealousy, hatred.. it has no place in my life, because I choose to not let it in. That's not saying that I don't have bad days, or have moments where I lose my patience and say things I shouldn't. We're only human. We all have flaws. I'm learning though that when I lead my life with love, I don't want any of those yucky things in my life. Things may not always go how I want them to, but it's how I choose to respond that really matters.

Let's be honest. I'm not a spontaneous person by nature. I live for schedules and lists and I thrive on structure and organization. It's summer time though, and it's time to let down my hair, take off my shoes, and just live. Thus, this past week was filled with sudden spontaneous moments of sunset bike rides, homemade watermelon slushies, running through the sprinkler with my little brother, etc. Because that's what summer is all about! Living life- moment by moment.

Life is short. We need to take value in every day of our life, because we don't know what tomorrow holds. I asked myself a hard question, "If I were to die tomorrow, would I be happy with how I've lived my life?" While I have no regrets and I believe I've lived a happy life, I realized how much more I have to offer. All of my dreams and ambitions. They're just sitting there, waiting for me to take action, and accomplish them! I'm taking more value in the here and the now and pursuing some of the things on my bucket list. I'm setting aside some money to buy the guitar I've always wanted so I can take lessons. I'm finally sitting down and writing down that novel I've been thinking about since I was four. The point is, don't wait around for things to happen or tell yourself you'll do those things "someday". There's no better time than now!

Stay tuned for a new fashion post on Friday, and a beauty post on Sunday!

xoxo, em

Friday, May 16, 2014

Summer Blogging Schedule!

Starting this coming week my new "Summer Blogging Schedule" will be in affect! I'm hoping this plan will help me to blog more and be a bit more organized. Here's the current layout:

On Monday & Thursday you can find new posts on my fitness & nutrition blog, Little Miss Fit.

On Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday you can find new posts here on According to Em! I'm currently planning to have Wednesday be my "anything day", Friday be my fashion post day, and Sunday be my beauty post day.

I'm so excited to get back into the groove of blogging! As always, let me know if you have any requests for posts on either of my blogs.

Have a wonderful weekend!

xoxo, em

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

What's In My Purse?

First off, how cute is this cross body bag? It's the perfect size to fit all of your necessities, plus it looks adorably ladylike and seems to go with everything! I picked up this little beauty last winter at Target for about $25. Such a steal! They no longer have this exact purse, but here's one that's mighty similar.

What's in my bag:

+Urban Outfitters Sunglasses
+Clinique Chubby Stick in Woppin' Watermelon
+NYC Liquid Lip Shine
+eos lipbalm in sweet mint
+Forever 21 Compact Mirror
+Bath & Body Pocketbac Handsanitizer
+Granola Bar
+Phone with Forever 21 cat phone case
+Trident mint gum
+Pink Target wallet


 What's in your purse?

xoxo, em