Lessons from Cinderella

I loved this and just had to share! Hope your day is going better than mine... I've managed to come down with a terrible sore throat. Boo! Happy Wednesday, friends.


DIY Mineral Eyeshadows

About a year and a half ago, I first posted this blog about make-your-own mineral eyeshadows, and it's been one of my more popular posts ever since! I realized many of you who have been following my Monday DIY projects probably missed this post when it was originally written, so I thought I'd do a throw-back this week. These were SO fun to make, and I think I might actually make some more colors within the next few days. Hope you enjoy! 

Recently, there's been a buzz about the safety of traditional cosmetics and soaps, particularly calling into question their use of preservatives and harsh chemicals, such as colorants that may be associated with cancer. Concerned about the safety of my makeup bag, I decided to look into making my own makeup. What I didn't realize is how easy and fun it is!

Check out my new collection of mineral eyeshadows:

It only took about an hour or two to make all of these, and I got all the supplies for $20. Not to mention, I've barely even put a dent in the supplies I purchased. I expect to be able to make four or five times as many eyeshadows as what you see pictured (keep in mind that these are mini-eyeshadows in 5g size jars).

All you need is some colored mica, iron oxides, and some kind of agent that makes the mica smooth and easily applied (I chose Sericite). Here are my supplies. The jar on the left is a full size colored mica (waylarger than I expected the jar to be), a jar of Sericite, and a jar of brown iron oxide. You don't have to use the iron oxide, but it will help your eyeshadow be more pigmented. You'll also need a small container to keep (and mix) your eyeshadow inside, as well as little scoopers for each color you use.

I also ordered three sample sized micas that arrived in baggies. They were only $1 each. One is dark purple, one is brown, and the other is a fairy dust silver.

Using these supplies, I mixed a variety of micas, iron oxides, and Sericite until I found color combinations I liked. Keep in mind that you'll have to experiment because some combinations will give you a very sheer shadow, whereas others will be significantly more pigmented.

I used a ratio of 2 scoops of Sericite for each 4-6 scoops of mica/iron oxides. The more Sericite you put in, the lighter and less sparkly your color will be. You can also add a couple drops of Jojoba oil if you like. I wanted to do this but didn't have any on hand.

Here's what the final product(s) looked like:

I purchased my supplies from Coastal Scents and was very happy with their promptness in shipping the package. They also included a free mineral eyeshadow sample. I've read great reviews about Bramble Berryas well.

Any questions? It really is as easy as it sounds! You'll be amazed how sparkly these shadows turn out!


Learning to Dance

Last weekend, my husband and I saw some of my favorite Dancing with the Stars dancers who came to town to benefit a local charity. I've been dancing around ever since! Like, literally. Spinning around my kitchen.

Earlier this morning, as I was practicing spotting my turns (ha! no joke), I remembered something I learned when I took a lesson with Tristan MacManus a few months ago. He said it's important to not anticipate what your next step is going to be. If you have all your weight on the wrong foot out of anticipation and your partner tries to lead something you aren't expecting, you can fall off balance and miss the next step.

Wouldn't you know I would sit down a few minutes later and read almost the exact same concept in Jesus Calling? In the June 18th entry, she says...

"Concentrate on keeping in step with Me instead of trying to anticipate My plans for you... Your main focus should be on staying close to Me."


So much relies on each next step.

How often do I do this exact thing in my life? I think I've figured out the dance, so to speak, so I anticipate what it seems like God will do next, and I put all my weight on that foot. Often times, it works out. But over time I stop depending on my partner and start depending on myself. I think I don't really need a lead because the dance is so predictable. And when God tries to turn me, I find my balance is off.

I used to do this same thing when I took piano lessons. At some point, I stopped counting the beats when I was practicing because I have a certain amount of natural rhythm. Then one day, I was working on a more difficult song, and I got busted. My teacher realized I hadn't been practicing each beat.

Do you ever catch yourself doing the same thing? Maybe your intentions are good, and you're doing a lot of productive, "good" things with your life, but you are relying on your own perception of what you should do each day, rather than seeking God's? The only way we can avoid toppling over in these situations (figuratively and perhaps also literally!) is by training ourselves to start being more sensitive to the movement of our partner with each choice we make.

After all, isn't that what dancing is really all about? :)

Here are a couple extra pictures from this weekend, as well as a video of one of Tristan and Emma's beautiful dances. Enjoy!


DIY Week 18: Burlap Dry Erase Board

I first saw this DIY project in an e-mail from Julip (which is a really snazzy nail polish company), and I knew I was going to have to make it. It proved to be just as easy as promised!

All you need for this project is an empty frame, a piece of burlap, a dry erase marker, and some scissors. I got the frame at TJ Maxx for around $7, and a whole yard of burlap at JoAnn's for $2.50. Not too shabby!

Once you have your frame and burlap, take out the inner paper and use it as a guide to measure how much burlap you'll need to cut:

Then, frame the burlap just as you would a picture, and you're set!

The words on mine look a bit blurry because I used a dry erase marker. If you were willing to really commit to a particular saying, I think a Sharpie would give you a lot more precision when writing out your quote. I liked the idea of using a dry erase marker so I can change out the saying from time to time, but I'll probably redo the words because they do look a bit blurry. Also, be prepared that you might have to go over the words multiple times with the marker to make them dark enough.

Hope you enjoyed this week's DIY project and that you're inspired to create your own! :) 


Your Calling Is Unique

I'm reading a book right now called You're Made for a God-sized Dream, and it's all about finding our calling, summoning our courage, and then taking steps to walk in that calling. Something this book touches on that has really stuck with me the past couple weeks is the idea that our callings are all unique. No one... no one... can fulfill your calling quite like you can.

God says, "For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

Source: via Drybar on Pinterest

We've probably all heard that verse so many times, we could quote it aloud in our sleep. But here's my question: Do you really believe God's plans for you are good? That He KNOWS what He is doing, and desires to give you hope?

Have you ever gotten on Facebook or Twitter and discovered the following?

  • 27,938 words written today in my WIP! I can't believe how easy it is to write between 5-6 in the morning!
  • Great news! Jane Austen has just agreed to come back from the dead so she can personally give my book a glowing endorsement!
  • Just got off the phone with my agent, and she said not only is my writing the best she has seen in years, but three publishing houses are competing for my book, offering three-book contracts! AND she says I'm her favorite client so she's buying me new shoes.
  • I found out I got a perfect score in all seven contests I just entered, and now I'm going to get a bunch of expensive commemorative pens as prizes! (And let's be honest: who doesn't like a fancy pen?)
Before long, if you aren't careful, the comparison game starts up, and the 500 words you were able to squeeze in during your lunch break seem so insignificant, you begin to wonder if you should just give up entirely.

Ah ha! And that is our problem. Don't you see? A little part (or maybe a big part!) of us believes someone else could fulfill our calling better than we can do it ourselves. Maybe if Jenny B. Jones or Laura Frantz could write our book, then it would be a good story. If someone who weren't spending time chasing toddlers (or in my case, college students!) around all day were imagining the scenes, they would have so much more creativity. If someone with a different degree (or a degree at all) were to write my book, they would bring more to to table. Yada yada yada. It's all lies.

The enemy is trying to halt you in your day-to-day productivity by feeding you these thoughts. 

When you allow these sorts of ideas to take residence in your mind, you willingly give away the beautiful purpose God has for each moment of your day. You take this gift God has given you (and only you), and you throw it down, into the dust. Then you walk away and say, "Try again, God. You gave me the wrong gift here. Maybe when I wake up tomorrow, You could give me something a little less intimidating."

But don't you see? The whole point of a God-sized dream is that... well... it's God-sized! 

If you could accomplish your dream on your own willpower, it wouldn't be big enough. God says, "I know the plans I have for YOU." Not your favorite writer, or artist, or barista-- although He knows His plans for them too-- but for you. Stop trying so hard to be what you think you ought to be, and start being who you were made to be all along. Yes, it's scary. Yes, you'll probably never feel like you've arrived, but in some ways, that's the point. God wants to take you on such an amazing journey that the only way you can get there is by trusting Him. And I don't know about you, but that's enough for me.

In the words of Dr. Suess, "Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You." 


Monday Things

Hi all! I'm planning to post my DIY project this Friday instead of Monday, because I'm working on polishing my Guideposts story tonight. Crazy, having a real deadline. Somehow it feels remarkably like middle of the night writing marathons in graduate school. No, I kid. Sort of. :) The story's done--just want to do some tweaking here and there, and I tend to work best at night once all the rest of the world is asleep. Know that feeling? I know some people write better in the morning, but I'm generally trying to figure out how to permanently break my alarm without breaking my phone in the mornings, so it's a less-than-productive time block for me.

I'm really excited about this week's DIY! But in the meantime, check out this beautiful hutch we snagged at a consignment store over the weekend. Such a steal, too. I'm calling it "upcycled." Apparently that makes it chic.

Hope you all have a lovely day today full of sunshine and summer loveliness. :) 

Be sure to stop back by on Wednesday-- I'm going to be chatting about the unique callings we have from God, and how we were made with a special purpose and longing. I can't wait to hear your thoughts on this topic. Happy Monday!


And they said, "We'll see what comes of his dreams."

A few days ago, I was reading in Genesis, and a passage about Joseph's brothers really struck me. I guess I've never really thought of Joseph as a figure for dreams before, but what a powerful one he is.

Just look at what his brothers have to say...

"Here comes that dreamer!" They said to each other. "Come now, let's kill him and throw him into one of these cisterns and say that a ferocious animal devoured him. Then we'll see what comes of his dreams."
-Genesis 37:19-20

I get chills when I read that last phrase. Read it again.

We'll see what comes of his dreams.

Do you ever feel like everything around you is working against your dreams? Maybe it feels like everyone is against you. Maybe what the world is really against is your dreams... because they don't like the very real possibility of those dreams coming true.

For Joseph's brothers, the dreams couldn't come true. Think about it. Bowing down to their brother whom their father already preferred? No thanks. So what do they do in response?

They set out to kill his dreams. I think it's so interesting that yes, they do plot to kill Joseph himself, but after that initial plan, what do they say? Not we'll see what comes of him. We'll see what comes of his dreams, as if the dreams are an even bigger deal to them than his life.

Do you dream of something grander than you can quite conceptualize? If so, you're not alone.

What happens next is very interesting to me, because the imagery is so evocative of the crucifixion. They strip Joseph of his ornate garment and throw him into the empty cistern, captivity. Then he is sold into what looks like slavery and eventual death.

But in the end, Joseph becomes King.

Your dreams-- the God appointed ones-- are dreams of mercy. Other people do not need to understand the cloak you are wearing for it to be valid and very real. You may feel enslaved to the forces working against you sometimes, but you have already escaped, because God goes before you and is preparing the way for your dreams. These are the dreams of the kingdom, the dreams of mercy.


DIY Week 17: Belle Hair

Let's be honest. Who hasn't wanted hair like Belle? The unfortunate thing is once you hit about twenty years old, styling your hair like a Disney princess is no longer all that socially acceptable.

So when I discovered this handy bow on my praline wrapper, I knew I had something special in the works!

This week's DIY is probably the easiest yet, because this bow came to me pre-made... what's especially fun about it is that I bought this praline bag in the Atlanta airport on the way back from spending time with my Alley Cat friends. I knew buying the multi-pack as going to be a good idea!

So look at what they did. So simple, yet so versatile. They took a nice piece of ribbon, then attached a twist tie to it. I decided to use this concept for a hair bow, but really, the possibilities are endless. Think: front door wreaths, cute pins for cardigans, even bows for shoes!

All you would need to do to make one of these yourself is tie a ribbon bow, then secure a twist tie through the middle of it.

For this Belle-styled hair, I just did a side braid, then secured it with a regular old hair elastic band. 

Once that was in place, I put the bow in and secured the twist around it.

How cute would a bow like this be in a messy bun?

Hope you've enjoyed this week's DIY project and that you're inspired to create your own!