Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Plants for my skin!

Hello, readers and friends!

This blog post is going to be a lot different than every other piece I have written, just a forewarning.

I recently listened to a podcast episode from Rookie, in which they advertised a facial cleansing product called BioClarity. (This is not an advertisement, I promise! Just me, growing and molding into a newer, more glamorous Me!) They mentioned a promo code that reduced the $29 package to a mere $9 for the first month.

I've never really used a product like this, which is actually made for treating acne and all that, but the discount sounded like a really good idea for me to look into and try out for at least a month -- plus, it's made from chlorophyll. Plants. Plant-based! Amazing.

Science & the power of plants, as suggested by their website.

It also contains several detoxifiers, such as chamomile, cucumber and green tea. The treatment includes three different formulas and three steps: cleanse, treat and restore with floralux.

It came in the mail within a week (with free shipping, too. Use the promo code ROOKIE).

Here it is:

It came in this cute, little bag.

It has been two days thus far that I've used the product -- twice per day -- and my face has never felt softer. How serene! I feel like a delicate flower applying each layer to my flawed complexion.

I am writing this post sort of as a way to document what is going on with this new feat of mine. It's something new, something different, something which ultimately means more discipline. And money spent. Hopefully this first month is worth the $9. I can't wait to see the results (if any)!

It smells good, and the third gel is actually green, which makes it that much more interesting to massage into my pores! I mean, my porcelain skin!

Another small detail about my life as of late, I've started doing yoga! I haven't been able to get to it every day, as I would ideally love to, but I have done it several times over the last couple of weeks -- which is a great start, in my opinion.

(Especially when your life looks like constantly reading news and magazines, editing nonstop for Affinity, cleaning dishes like at least five times per day, applying to jobs and internships and all the while attempting to stay sane by watching Gossip Girl and writing little blog posts like this one.)

Also, today I was accepted to start an online internship this upcoming spring semester with the College Fashionista community as a Style Guru. How very. I'm not sure what all it entails or what it is all about, other than having read the vague description about joining their team of "fashion editors, writers, photographers and influencers," but I am intrigued, nonetheless.

So many firsts, and so much to be excited about. I am leaning more toward living a fresh, clean and disciplined lifestyle -- messy doesn't suit me very well anymore.

Feel free to follow me along on this new venture, or don't!


Monday, December 11, 2017

Mistakes, mistakes, mistakes, forgiveness

Literally nothing that I do matters anymore; every bad thing, poor decision, sin that I commit does not matter.

Every day God clears the slate. Every day He gives me a new start. A new beginning. A fresh page. A new life to live out -- to live out for Him.

It’s really difficult for me to remember that. That is a truth that will never stop being true, and yet, here I am, tonight, spending time in the word, praying the gospel, only to realize its truth. Only to realize, again -- as if it’s not the best thing to happen to me -- that I am free. I am free from those burdens. Those mistakes are no longer on His mind, nor should they be on mine.

They are on mine, though. They are constantly weighing me down. Every night that my head hits the pillow, they threaten me with their consistent nagging; their heaviness presses down on my heart, and I can feel the sorrow of regret and hopelessness.

On those nights, those thoughts of mistakes made remind me that I’m not good enough. It’s true, of course. I never will be. The only issue with that is the fact that His plan of redemption -- His gift of salvation -- is nowhere in sight. Injury without a cure. Wrong without a right. Mistakes, mistakes, mistakes.

It weighs a person down. To the point of exhaustion in every way.

Hello, death. My soul feels tender, so weakened by your touch. My choices have been far less than perfect, in fact, I wish every night that I attempt sleep once more that none of it were real. I wish in my heart that I could be better. Be smarter. Think harder before I make decisions. Be stronger; have any sort of ability to say “no” when I’m unsure if what I’m about to agree to is going to lead me closer to Christ.

There’s nothing wrong with thinking a lot. Think a lot about things. Contemplate the good and the bad that might come from the decision you’re about to make. Use your God-given wisdom to choose who needs to be in your life and who doesn’t. It’s not something that you’re used to, but that doesn’t mean that it’s impossible.

Yes, death, you offer me pain daily, as I wallow back into my sadness and reach deeper into my body and mind for scarring memories that promise my demise. I have not yet been able to understand why it’s so easy to do so -- why it’s such a simple task to reminisce what’s most unfathomable. It’s too simple.

And I love it.

I love the pain. I feel trapped inside of it most days. Trapped in the sort of way that allows me to forget my surroundings and circumstances ever mattered. I look to the pain to escape from my emotions.

Those emotions, though, feel very limited these days. Most of the time, I’m gloomy, shaken, confused. Not much happy or excitement, particularly when I’m on my own.

I feel a stronger need to crawl back inside myself and cling to the single emotion I’m most fond of and used to. Sadness knows me very well, too. There’s something comforting about the familiarity. It reeks of regrettable actions, hurtful words and failed attempt to please another body. It’s crippling, but for so long, I haven’t really known any other way.

I’m sure I’ll go to sleep tonight thinking about it once more; feeling distant and unable to let go. Let go of the past.

It’s not as easy as it sounds.

Heartbreak is real.

We do it to God every day that we are alive and breathing.

I’ve felt it.

I hope I’ll never have to feel it again. I can’t wish that upon Him, either. I need to try harder.

I feel His spirit inside of me. I feel the comfort of His word -- of His love. I feel loved. In a new way. I have already been forgiven. I am forgiven today. Every day. Every part of the year of 2017 -- with everything that I’ve done wrong -- has been wiped clean. All of it.

There is nothing that I can do that will make Him love me less. He could never stop loving me. He thinks nothing, anymore, of the wrongs I’ve committed against Him. That is forgiveness.

That’s why I can sleep tonight free of burdens. Free of those burdens that taunt me, chase me, devour me. God is stronger. His power is unfathomable. He is here with me, walking alongside me.


Wednesday, October 25, 2017

God really Did That

This very last chapter in 2 Corinthians is titled "Final Warnings." This is not a coincidence; this is no "timing" thing. This is God.

Final Warnings, He declares to me -- to my soul and my being tonight. This is the answer. This is what you need to listen to -- what you need to hear. My voice is real, He says; it was real then, and it is real now. This is my voice speaking. These are my words. This is all that you need to know tonight. This is my final warning to you about this matter.

"He is not weak in dealing with you, but is powerful among you" (2 Corinthians 13:3).

I am not alone tonight. I was not alone last night. God has not left me to deal with this on my own -- He has not neglected me. He has not grown weary of comforting me and carrying my burdens. He is powerful  -- Christ lives by the power of God, and so do I. Tonight I live with Him by the power of God (verse 4).

But per usual, I'd forgotten that truth (are any of us actually surprised?).

And on cue, Jackie Hill-Perry tweeted something on this Wednesday night that I really needed to hear:

"We won't be here forever."

This life is not all that we have. If I feel sad or let down by something in this lifetime, if I miss someone, feel guilty about anything, if I tell myself that my worth does not compare to others', I can still have hope. I have hope, even in despair, because there is an eternity.

What is the point in worrying about things of this world if this life is not all that there is?

My purpose does not lie in people, relationships, my studies, a career, who I know or who I don't know -- my purpose is in Him. And that is where my comfort lies. I am in Him. I am weak, but He gives me strength. He has given me strength where I am weakest; He has given me strength where I feel most lost, alone, unworthy.

I am glad tonight that I am weak, because only then am I truly able to be strengthened by Him -- only then can I see, in all His glory, the strength He has for me. I am thankful for my weaknesses, because I now see clearly His power and His magnitude.

There is where I'll find restoration. 1 Corinthians 13:9 says, "Your restoration is what we pray for." I prayed, pleaded, asked with all sincerity -- God, grant me comfort.

Tonight I have been restored; tonight I have been renewed. I am a new creation. I feel His comfort -- it is real.

And it was in His word. I knew last night that it could be found there. Tonight His word was opened -- tonight I read His words. I read about His redeeming qualities, His restoration in power, His unfailing love for me. I will not worry about the things I cannot change; the things I know He did for a reason.

And that is why I am writing this to you tonight.

G0d is not able to comfort us and restore our knowledge of Him if we continually neglect Him and His word. He is not able to offer us peace through His power if we refuse to even glance His way. It's not a one-way thing. God will always be there to love us, but we'll not always seek His face.

But we need to. We need to be reminded tonight -- and every night -- that His word is alive. He does speak, some days louder than others, but He speaks. And He always has something to say. We need to trust in His ability to speak to us and reveal Himself in all His beauty; we cannot limit Him. Because He will always offer us the best. Always.

Listen to His voice tonight.

Wait on Him.

Find comfort and peace and restoration in Him.


Tuesday, October 10, 2017

to be in October

i watch. to be a child again. simplicity. freedom. enlightenment. games. fun. laughter. education. field trips. to be is not to worry, rather to seek after enjoyment apart from responsibility. to be is to misunderstand that the world is not always easy — it is not always by your side. nevertheless, it is beautiful.

every day there is something new to take in. breathe. become fascinated by. to learn that every year the leaves will change color; every year, the leaves will fall off the trees; every year, the world will grow cold. the crisp air will show kindness on exhaustion and overwhelming schedules. the winter always comes, but not before October.

there is always a lesson to be learned as a child. as a youth. there is bewilderment then estrangement — the phases of growing up. maturing. beginning to forget the fun in games and trips to the local park. there is a further understanding of jealousy, bullying, hatred. wrong doings.

but there is also a deeper knowledge of love.

the seasons change, because they can. people change because they need to. life is ever-revolving and never-ending. to be human is to grow. to be human is to learn. to be a child is to become more — to discover why it is not always autumn. why the crisp air turns to frozen streets and snowflakes. the endearment never ends, though. there is always a painful yet innate need to uncover more truth, find the facts, read between the lines, allow the mind to shift and become its own.

to be a child is not simple, because it only means growing up. it only means change.

but now it is October, so all of that must wait.

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Sept. 1: Move-In-Day Moments!

Hello friends,

this past Friday, Sept. 1, 2017, I moved into my very first Apartment! -- and yes! I have the address memorized already. Please send letters/come visit/look me up on Google Maps.

I am creating this post in order to document all of the photos that I gathered from said move in day.

here is me posing in front of my apartment just before entering for the first time:

Leslie is my roomie! yay!

here are the post-seeing-the-apartment-and-moving-everything-in photos:

(even though this isn't technically a 'selfie,' it looks like one, and mom somehow always ends up sneaking one in! Classic her!)

mother dear

I have lovely friends. thank you for coming along and supporting!! (and we unintentionally / sort of matched.)

this was actually pre-move in, but i wanted to somehow include Princess Leia, so voila!


Mom & Annie
this was just after we had finished photographing the After Photos and decided we needed to get some lunch. we ended up choosing Potbelly's, but mostly because Starbucks was right next door.

all along S. Wabash are buildings belonging to Columbia. so here are my I'm An Official CCC Student shots in front of one of those buildings, courtesy of Mom annnnd Annie:

very happy/

very, very happy.

later that day, after everyone left me, i walked over to Target to grab a shower curtain and mayo and you know, basic commodities (not from GFS though, smh), and this is what i saw as i walked back out of the store......just every-day life in the city, i suppose:

then of course, back at my Apartment there's my pink fuzzy lamp. lighting up my space frfr. had to take a pic, you know......plus, i mean, look at the view.

then the realest views.

and that is how i ended my day. so much glory. so much God. so much thanks.

then i was glowing after talking about how beautiful and wonderful it is like knowing Christ and how thankful i am for that via late-night conversations with besties. 

until next time.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Introducing Sarah Ramos' Totally Glam Romantic Comedy 'City Girl'

Written on March 23, 2017

Sarah Ramos, formerly known for her role as Haddie Braverman on NBC's Parenthood, recently stumbled upon a comedy she wrote as a 12-year-old.

After coming across her nearly 14-year-old revolutionary plot and script for a pilot episode, Ramos thought that the unusual, embarrassingly hilarious idea for a television show would actually make a great production. That being said, Ramos, with the help of Super Deluxe, created a three-part pilot and called it City Girl.

Ramos' City Girl is about a 28-year-old named Casey, played by Ramos, of course, who lives like a princess and dresses like a preppy-chic teen from the early 2000s. If you enjoy everything Pretty In Pink, fluffy sleep-masks and shimmery lipgloss, mini skirts, excessive hair clips and all, then City Girl is the show for you. (Even if you don't enjoy those things, this humor is excellent.)

Also starring Arrested Development's Maeby aka Alia Shawkat, Brendan Scannell and Nick Thorburn, this show is a not-so-typical innocent romantic comedy with cheesy lines and character sketches that guarantee a good laugh.

There are several small details within the first episode alone that will lead you in curiousity to keep watching; aspects such as Casey's ideal choice out to eat being a salad with just one tomato slice on top, her best friend being The Girl Who Lives In Her Bubble Bath -- featuring her Hot Pink Lip Phone, of course -- and even how the doctor's office is more or less an actual, professional doctor's office. It's all so glamorous.

Ramos shared a bit about the show during a recent chat with Interview Magazine, explaining that "it's called City Girl, and it is a little silly." She goes on, "it's the adult world through the mind of a 12-year-old. It's bizarrely warped and the logic doesn't make sense, so it's really funny."

Parts one through three of the new series have been posted online at Super Deluxe's twitter, and you can find them here. But I will take the liberty of including each of the short clips below so you don't have to waste any time searching The World Wide Web to find Ramos' genius, 12-year-old-based TV show, when you could be watching it now:

Part One:

Part Two:

Part Three:

There you have it: a significantly odd, definitely-written-by-a-pre-teen, very pink TV show written and co-produced by Sarah Ramos herself. Who wouldn't want to watch that?

Also, according to popdust.com, apparently this City Girl thing is going to be premiering on Netflix soon, so be on the lookout for that; I'm sure Ramos (@sarahramos) and Super Deluxe (@superdeluxe) will be promoting it online on their twitter pages, so go follow them for future updates.

This show is the laugh we've all been needing; it is relaxed and definitely came from the mind and perspective of a 12-year-old, which makes it that much greater.

As for you, Sarah Ramos, aka Glamour Queen: Keep it up, girl -- we need more of this creativity in our lives.

It is 2017, friends

Hello from a New Life and a New World in 2017.

It is my pleasure (sans Chick-Fil-A) to evidently be writing this to you today, August 28th.

Now I have been thinking a lot lately about the concept of writing; I really appreciate and genuinely enjoy reading the things that many writers, poets, hip-hop artists, etc. put out as a piece of themselves. I find it beyond fascinating to read up on their lives and what is most important to them. But sitting here tonight writing this thing has me wondering, how do I fit into all of this?

As of late, Levi McAllister (aka Levi The Poet) has been a single example of the type of individual I strive to become on a day-to-day basis in terms of writing and pursing the art; something about his honesty of mind and truth-bringing, enlightening essays are glimpses into the concept of Living My Best Life, while his work continually brings me excitement and a greater desire to keep pushing forward. The motivation is not always there, but having the opportunity to read Levi's weekly newsletters creates in me a deeper passion to go after the thing I can feel growing inside of me; this thing that wants to become and keep becoming. Every single day, for the rest of my life and being.

But boy, I have not been feeling motivated to write, or create at all, for that matter. It is so much simpler to just run further away from the opportunities to journal or jot down the simple thoughts or ideas floating around in my head. I have so many of those (as do we all), but it has felt almost like a weight -- the idea of coming back to this screen and throwing this mess down on the page. Apologies, for my heart has not been in it, and so the words have failed to come naturally; forcing this type of thing makes me nauseous.

But I am here now. I am attempting to not ~force~ this entry, but that obviously cannot happen considering The Drowsy State I Am In at 2:00am. And yet, life still goes on.

So.........this journal is officially dedicated to Noah and Caleb; I am sorry in advance for its lack of Originality or Excitement or overall Appeal in any way whatsoever to any reader in the entire universe of Blogging or reading in general. I am simply trying my best to dip my feet back in without making a HUGE deal of it. This is the huge deal. Thanks for encouraging me to get back to this, whether you actually meant it or not.

And now onto more real stuff. I'm munching on Haribo Gold-Bears (courtesy of Tyler) -- re: Late Night Munchies -- and post craving french fries, I realized that I needed to do something important and useful with my time and life as A Human Being, so this is where I ended up. Read on, please.

Over the last year, I understand now that I lost sight of everything that is most important to me. You know the feeling? Like when you're more anxious and stressed out than ever, and it sort of just uses up all of your physical and mental and emotional energy, leaving you to mope in your own, feeling lonely and unimportant..........everything is dry. All motivation to do the things you love (i.e. creating, learning, growing, you name it!) sort of just fades. Maybe that makes no sense at all, but that's what happened to me. I guess this is where I link things back to that thought regarding Levi's never-ending supply of Beautiful Words via email.

Coming back to this is like the most liberating thing I've done today. But like, what can I even write that is going to mean a thing to anyone reading this? I want to create something and give something back to the community™ that isn't just a promise to do something, but rather, an action; written words on this page. Glad you're here. Glad you stayed.

I stopped eating the gummies, because I fear that if I eat too many, I will feel sick to my stomach. Also, I should probably go to bed soon.


There is nothing relevant in this journal entry, except for the gummy bears part, so I do hope that you at least tried to enjoy it? and didn't leave feeling somehow more of a failure than when you arrived? Maybe the next post will contain some sort of substance. This was sort of a pre-school-year-reminder to myself to keep going, even though the promise remains that it will not always be easy.

Much love.