Monday, August 25, 2014

8.25.14 {Active Dreaming}



Make time for the things you love. That's been one of my mottos lately. Sometimes its all too easy to get caught up in our lives and focus on the mindless, petty stuff, instead of focusing on our passions. What lights you up? What makes you smile? I'm still finding new passions of mine all the time, by continuing to push myself to try new things and chase dreams. Lately though I've been renewing passions like photography, drawing, and writing.

There's a quote that I love that says, "Do it now. Sometimes later, becomes never." What's on your bucket list? What are things that you promised yourself you'd do at some point?
Be proactive. Make it happen!

I'm not very athletic, so one day recently I decided, "I'm going to start running. Who cares if it's hard and my legs ache, and my lungs burn? I'm going to suck it up and I'm going to be one amazing runner!"

I follow the Free People account on Instagram and a while back they had a "30 days of movement" where they showed a different amazing yoga move every day. I was always blown away by the photos and it constantly reminded me how I'm about the most non-flexible person ever. Then one day I realized, "why am I sitting here dreaming about it, when I could be doing it?" So I screen shotted several moves I wanted to master and set aside time every day to start doing yoga.

I've always wanted to learn to play the guitar, and in the last year that longing has only intensified. I always told myself I'd do it someday. But what if someday is never? So I started doing my research, and this week my Mom and I are going to go price guitars and look for a teacher.

The point is my friends, don't let your fears, your business, or what other people say, hold you back. Don't let your "later" become "never". Sure, some dreams are bigger than others and may take time, money, and patience, but the bottom line is, never give up on the things that drive you.

Here's to active dreaming,


Sunday, August 24, 2014

My Current Makeup Routine!




 It's been a year now since my last makeup routine post, so I thought it was high time I did a new one. If you know me at all, then you know that I'm a makeup junkie. I own an obscene amount of makeup, I watch beauty tutorials all the time, and I have a rotating door of products that changes every month.

So here's what I've been wearing in the month of August:

I start with my Bare Minerals Correcting Concealer and use this under my eyes and on any blemishes. I absolutely swear by this stuff. The consistency is creamy and it covers beautifully. As someone who has struggled on and off with acne, this is by far the best covering concealer I've ever found.

I follow up with just a little bit of my Bare Minerals Finishing Powder. I apply the smallest amount of this just over where I put the concealer, to help it last.

Then I apply my all time favorite, the Rimmel Stay Matte Powder, all over my face.

Sometimes I do wear blush or bronzer, but it depends. I always like to add my Victorias Secret highlighter on the tops of my cheekbones.

For eyeshadow I've been loving the new Maybelline "the nudes" palette. It has twelve different shades that are all neutral and vary in shimmers or matte finish. I'll usually use some sort of taupe or light brown all over my lids and then a deeper color like a dark brown in the outer corner. I always finish with a little sweep of shimmery white in the inner corners to highlight my eyes. Lastly I take my tiny eyeliner brush and use the matte black shade to line my top lashline. (I don't line the bottom lashline though).

For mascara I use the Maybelline Mega Plush mascara. I don't use the waterproof formula, however I've found that this mascara stays on really well.

I have a lipstick obsession and as a result I'm always wearing different lip products. I wear the plain Maybelline Babylips a lot to keep my lips moisturized. Some of my other favorites for this month have the been the Revlon lipbutters in Peach Parfait and Raspberry Pie, as well as the Covergirl lipgloss in Give Me Guava.

If you're interested in seeing more makeup product review or tutorials let me know! I'm thinking of doing a makeup, hair, and outfit style steal for Taylor Swifts new music video, "Shake It Off". Thoughts?

xoxo, emalee


Saturday, August 23, 2014

Chopping My Hair Off!

It's kind of ironic that the day after posting "How To Get Long, Healthy Hair", I cut mine. I've had long hair for all of high school, and it was time for a much needed change. I feel like I'm in that place where I'm starting to experiment more with my personal style. My hair has always been long and blonde. Outside of getting highlights twice a year, and sometimes adding more layers, my hair has stayed the same. Although I didn't cut it drastically short, I was still nervous when I went into the salon. When I walked out of the salon though, I felt so much lighter. Seriously, you have no idea how heavy long hair can be! I'm in love with my new hair cut, and I plan to keep it short for now.
Don't be afraid to make changes if it's something you want. Remember, it's just hair, and it will always grow back!
xoxo, emalee

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

How to Grow Long, Healthy Hair

As someone who's had long hair for most of her life, I thought it was high time I shared my tips & tricks all in one post. So here we go-

#1 If you want healthy, soft hair you've got to stop frying it with high heat! I never ever blow dry my hair, and instead let it air dry. I will admit that I love curling irons, but I don't use flat irons or curling irons on my hair more than three times a week.

#2 Use the best in products. This does not mean that you have to spend a fortune on hair styling products! However, keep in mind that most of your drugstore products are cheap because they have high levels of alcohol in them, which will dry your hair out and make it crunchy. (Yuck!)

#3 Always use conditioner on your hair! To get the best results, allow it to sit for a few minutes before washing it out.

#4 Now some people may not agree with me on this one, but I'm just saying this because this is what worked for me. My hair grows incredibly fast and is quite healthy. Because I was growing it out, I didn't go in very often to get it trimmed. My longest point in between hair trims was six months, but normally I get it trimmed every three months or so.

#5 I am always, always being complimented on how soft my hair is, and now I'm going to share my best kept secret with you. Dove Daily Moisture Shampoo & Conditioner. Yep, its a drugstore product and a huge bottle is only five dollars!! I used the shampoo for a number of years before switching. I now alternate between a bumble and bumble shampoo and a prescription shampoo. I've used the conditioner all through junior high and high school, which is insane. I still love it as much now as I did when I was thirteen!

#6 A few of my other favorite products include-
Bumble & Bumble crème de coco masque- This stuff will make your hair feel so rich and soft! I only use it once or twice a week, but when I do it's a real treat!
Bumble & Bumble hairdressers invisible oil- I just got a sample of this, and let me tell you, this is magic in a bottle! It reduces frizz, strengthens hair against breakage, tames flyaways, makes hair incredibly soft, and leaves a subtle shine. I can't wait to buy a full sized bottle of this stuff!
Bumble & Bumble Tonic Lotion- If I use anything on my damp hair, this is it. This tonic lotion smells delicious, detangles, and is moisturizing too.
If you can't tell, I love Bumble & Bumble and have tried a vast majority of their products!

#7 To help avoid breakage I have two tips- one is to use a wet brush. I bought mine at Beauty Brands and now I wouldn't dream of using a normal hair brush! The other tip is give up the elastics and tight ponytail holders, and start using ribbon ponytail holders like these. You can find them at a number of places these days. I've bought mine at different local boutiques. Beware that not all ribbon ponytail holders are made the same though! Some chain companies have made cheaper dupes with stiffer material that doesn't have as much give and can still pull your hair. Look for the higher quality, softer ones!

I hope you all enjoyed hearing some of my tips for growing long hair!

xoxo, emalee

Friday, August 15, 2014

The Beginning & The End

Here we are at the beginning, here we are at the end.

Well loves, its the end of another summer, and the start of a new school year. I had big plans to write lots on my blogs this summer. And yet, the summer has passed and I've only blogged once. I never expected to abandon my blog for so long, and yet it happened. This summer was life changing for me. I wanted this summer to be unforgettable, and it certainly was.

It's only been a little over two months, and yet I feel like my soul has aged ten years. I don't feel like the same person in the least. I've learned priceless lessons, lost and found friends, had days that felt like they were out of a fairytale, and had days that I never want to relive.

A little sneak peek into my amazing summer:

I watched my little pup grow bigger and bigger. My tiny daisy is now fifty plus pounds of muscle and sweetness. Raising a puppy was a challenge, but it's one that I conquered. After six weeks of obedience classes, Daisy has become the sweetest, smartest little pup and I couldn't love her more.

There's nothing better than family. We were reunited with my cousins in Cali for one week this summer and it was perfect. A week of road tripping, beach days, shopping, laughter, and lots of pictures.

Hanging with the squad. The servant squad of counselors from my week serving campers at summer camp has become some of my closest friends. Crazy texting convos, weenie roast, and a night at the fair. You can't beat friends like them!

Fair nights, funnel cakes, ferris wheel lights, pig contests, and my personal fave, the demolition derby. It's what I secretly wait all year for. This year was the best one yet.

Shot my first round of senior photos and had such a fun night with my uncle as the photographer. It produced some beautiful, authentic photos that I can't wait to share on here!

Was reunited with my southern besties for just two days and it was wonderful to see their sweet faces! We go way back!

Made a new best friend this summer from my week at camp! Bless her soul. We have so much in common we could be twins. From zombie movies, bowls of ice cream, and night swims to daily snapchats, and long talks, Mandy is like my other sister. Her friendship and honest spirit has brought me peace and laughter that only a true friend can.

Through summer camp, great church sermons, mornings with my Bible, personal trials, and answered prayers I've grown so much in my walk with the Lord this summer. He's my everything, and through everything that happens faith will always take the spotlight in my life.

I could talk on for hours about what all has happened in these past two months, but I think I'll leave it at that for now. To be honest, I didn't even think about blogging once this summer. I was too busy living life. And truly, I felt like I was in a place where I couldn't relate to blogging anymore. Suddenly my life felt personal and I didn't want it all on display. I'm at a time in my life where a lot is happening, and I want to remember all of it. Part of why I blog is so that I can look back someday and remember what I was thinking right then. My schedule is crazy this fall, but I hope to blog very often. Even if it's just a picture and a few words, I love blogging at the end of a long day.

So loves, here's to new beginnings. Cheers.

xoxo, emalee

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