top 5 beauty favs.

Hello all you beautiful people! The weather has been SO gorgeous lately & I am super excited.

 I have no idea how to start this post haha…I have been sitting here for so long trying to figure out what to say. & the post is not about anything that important…it’s literally about my top 5 favorite beauty items I use haha. So yep, there’s the introduction.

 Often times I feel like the world/internet/people tell us that we NEED the best products for our face. Products that are $50-$100 just to zap a pimple or to soften our lips…I am not about that at all. I think some “off-brand” products will do the exact same thing. Now I do agree that there are some products that you should have in order to get the best results. If I see good results, I will spend the money.

 So I am here to share with you my “off-brand” products that have been my life savers & I don’t have to spend much money on them…AT ALL!

 {to purchase any products I talk about below…click on the “purchase here” tab right below the item!}

 

1.    This one is so literally the BEST I can’t even tell you how much I love it. I have been using this toner for soooooo many years! I even used it in high school…that was 8 years ago lol yikes. But, I cannot go a day without it or I can feel the difference in my skin. It is more oily & a pimple is on the verge of popping up at any second haha. So yes, if you have not tried this before…GO BUY IT! It’s literally under $5. {I have bought mine at Target, Walmart, Walgreens, & CVS}.

2.    I started using this one 2 weeks ago and LOVE it. I put it on every night before bed and it makes such a difference in the morning. I used to go to bed with super dry skin and it would hurt…but not anymore! This adds so much moisture and I even put it on my neck to keep those wrinkles away! {I bought mine at Target but also found it at Ulta}.

3.    Once or twice a week I will put this product on my hair before I go to bed. Yes, it feels SO oily and gross but I love the way it feels after I wash my hair in the morning. It’s super easy to just spray, braid, & go to bed. {I bought mine at Sally Beauty Supply}.

4.    2 words…LASH BOOST! This has seriously been my life saver & I am not exaggerating! So my friend sells Rodan+Fields & she told me I should try this. I was skeptical at first because everyone tries to “sell” their products…obviously. So I told her if I saw good results on her then I would try it too. OMG. I could not believe the way her lashes looked after only 4 weeks of putting a tiny bit of serum on her lashes each night before bed. So I bought it right away. I used to get eyelash extensions but it was getting so pricey for me…so I went to this & I am so incredibly happy with the results! This is definitely a pricier product, but like I said, if I see good results, I will pay the price. This is so so worth it you guys!  {message my friend by clicking the link below and she will provide the product for you}.

5.    I didn’t want to post about this product at first because I was embarrassed (thank you world for making us insecure about stuff we cannot control). But many other girls I know struggle with the little hairs above the lip (I can’t bring myself to call it a mustache on girls haha). So my dear friend Sonya told me about this product. I used to get it waxed but that would make me break out and I was tired of trying to hide it with makeup. So, I decided to try this and it is so much better than waxing! So if you are looking for something to remove those dang baby hairs above the lip…this is it! & it seriously takes 8 minutes…don’t tell me you don’t have time for that! {I bought mine at Target}.

Well there you go! Try out these products and let me know what you think of them. I would love to know if you see good results like I did. I have also been trying new “off-brand” makeup products that are working just as good as Urban Decay & Bare Minerals, so that post will be coming up soon as well.

 Thank you for reading & I hope this encourages you to try the “off-brands” even if it’s not the cool thing to do lol.

life lately.

WOW! I have not written on here in FOREVER!

Keeping up with my website has not been at the top of my list for the past couple months. I have been busy with other things & I just have not put the time into writing. I do love writing and posting about things that are on my heart for others to read about, but I let other things take up my time recently.

But, I really want to be more involved and write many more posts as we head into spring and the fabulous months of summer!

So this first post back is going to be about what I am doing with my life lately and the upcoming things that I have planned.

Soooo yeah, life lately.

I don’t know where to begin!

Ok, I guess we will start with most recent happenings in my life and the most important one to me…& that would be Morgan. He moved back home last weekend to study for the NLCEX and then begin his job up there. His hometown is 4.5 hours away. I hate that it is that far from me but I also LOVE going up to his town because it is so stinking cute! It’s seriously a Hallmark town. It is quiet and quaint with beautiful scenery all around. While I am sad he is back home & our time together will be more spread out and not as often as before…I am SO proud of him and all he has accomplished so far & I can’t wait to see how far he goes in his nursing career.

I currently work at a boutique store that has so many adorable clothes it’s hard to keep a paycheck ;). I have never worked retail & it is something special lol. Some days I wish I could say what I want…but the “customer is always right”…not fair haha. I guess I have never understood how rude people are until now. So yeah, I’ll just leave it at that :).

Next up, I am currently an independent distributor for a company calls SeneGence and the product I sell is called LipSense. IT. IS. AMAZING. If you have ever wanted a lip color {not lip stain} that lasts all day, this is your product! Definitely message me with any questions and I can help ya out! You won’t regret it, I promise!

Also, I am in LOVE with coffee & it’s not a good obsession haha. I could (& actually have) drank 3 Venti iced coffees in a day if I tried. Although that may not be a bad thing, I like my coffee with much cream and flavoring and sugar and all the goods haha so yeah. I have told myself coffee on the weekends (SMALL size only haha) and one day during the week,,,so far I have achieved! Nevermind that this is the first week haha but hey, you have to start somewhere! I also LOVE finding cute little coffee shops to sit at & write down journal entries or do my bible studies. So, if you have any good coffee shop suggestions or favorites then hit your girl up & let me know! & if you wanted to meet sometime for coffee & talk life, that would be even better!

So for those of you that don’t know, my dad passed away in 2015. He had a group of businessmen that met every Friday morning at Panera & just talked about life and prayed for each other and read books together. So I got this great idea that I wanted to do something like that with girls my age and just build a community of people to talk to. Welllllll, it hasn’t turned out as well as I thought. I think this is something that has helped me learn to trust in Jesus and not get discouraged. My lovely mentor has told me to try it for 6 months and not give up after 2 weeks if no one shows up. I named the group GEG Together (Girls Encouraging Girls Together) & thought it would be a great way to build relationships, so we will see what happens from here on out! I am super excited about it :).

Lastly, I have many goals set for the next couple of months of my life and I am super excited about them! I have been doing a regular work out routine that has been helping me in that area of life. And then I have also always had the idea of Cosmetology school in the back of my mind and I wanted to go when I graduated high school but didn’t. Haven’t stopped thinking about it since then…soooo I have some exciting news in that area but I do not want to post about them just yet because there is nothing set in stone. But as soon as something happens I will be sure to update you guys on that.! Just know that if I get licensed in that area of profession I better see all y’all’s pretty faces in the chair across from me ;).

I have many other goals written down to achieve as far as my website goes and the direction that I want to take it. So I will be keeping you guys updated on all of this and so much more! For now just drop me a comment or personal message on any topic that you want to hear me write about or give my opinion on!

Thank you all for reading my site, it means more to me than you know!

Have a great Sunday!

New Year's Improvements.

I don’t know about you guys, but I am having a great day today! Work went by really fast. It’s the start of a new year. I get to see Morgan & exchange Christmas gifts in 2 days. I’m drinking a white chocolate mocha. & I’m about to start a new book.

I hope you guys started out the New Year on the right foot also! Do any of you have some  New Year’s resolutions? If so, I hope you work hard at them every day & achieve them at the end of the year.! If not, you’re not alone. I don’t have any resolutions. I always start out the year thinking I will have a list of things I want to accomplish, & then when I give up or forget a couple weeks into the year, I feel like a failure. Nobody wants to feel like that! So this year I wanted to start the year with a new idea in mind. Something that is different from the norm …

New Year’s Improvements.

I have some things in my life that I want & need to improve. I like the sound of “improving” something because; if I miss a day I won’t feel like a complete failure and think I have to wait til January 1 of next year to begin again, I can just work harder the next day at improving whatever I missed the day before.

So I want to share a couple of the things I plan to improve as this year begins:

1.    My spiritual life. I think this is one of the most important things in your life to keep up with and it can improve each day – so I hope to be in the Word more and learning more about the things I don’t know.

2.    My workout routine. I have a hard time staying motivated when I just go to the gym and have to work out on my own. I enjoy workout classes but I haven’t found a place that works with my work schedule. I went to a dance fitness studio for a long time and saw results in no time, but the class times don’t work with my schedule. But, I just joined Planet Fitness last week {mainly because of the tanning hahaha…not kidding} so hopefully I will start improving! I also joined a fitness challenge group through Facebook that my cousin is doing & she got results and has really motivated me to get my booty going!

3.    My eating habits. I am allergic to many foods and it’s hard to stay away from them. I need to plan my meals better and eat healthier foods. I loooove sweets…like omg haha. I could live off of sweet foods. But I need to up my fruit & veggie intake. So if you have some good snack ideas with fruits & veggies – send them my way!

4.    My savings account. {LOL}. This is definitely something that needs improvement. I think it is important to have money saved in case of a medical emergency, car problems, or when you wanna buy 100 things for your boyfriend for Christmas…lol. So yeah, this one will be top of the improvement list!

5.    My blog. I love reading other people’s blogs - I get so many good ideas and inspirations. You can also learn a lot about someone through their blog. I love to learn about someone and their background through their blog. So, I am hoping to improve my audience and the amount of people that I reach through my blog & hope to be an inspiration.

6.    My health. Along with the working out and eating habits, I could also improve other things about my health. My sleep schedule is not good lol. I like to stay up late and then I either get up early & I’m exhausted, or I sleep in and waste half my day. So I need to work out getting a good amount of sleep each night. I also need to start taking vitamins. I don’t take any vitamins right now - except maybe some vitamin C when I feel a cold coming on lol. So I have been doing some research on the best type of vitamins to take.

7.    My anxiety. Anxiety is something that I have a major problem with and need to improve. I started out today, the new year, with no anxiety yet so I am hoping that means the rest of the year will be just as good! Now I know my anxiety isn’t just going to go away & I’ll never struggle again, but I am hoping to really understand my anxiety and prove to myself that I won’t let it eat me away and make 2017 a miserable year.

So there is my short little list for now. There are many other things I could improve in my life but I think that is a good start for now so I don’t overload myself. I am always open to suggestions or tips on these things and would love to hear them if you guys have any advice. I am super excited to get going on the fitness challenge tomorrow and see the results. I am going to Florida in March so I REALLY need to stay committed to this!

I hope you guys have some things that you are thinking about as the year is starting and whatever your goals may be that you go after them and just blow yourself away with the results that you get!

YOU GO GIRL! {or guy lol}.

Love ya’ll & hope to hear tips & tricks for my improvements from you soon.!

coffee. christmas. & conversation.

I love this time of year – Christmas! & I think Starbucks makes it so much better. There’s nothing like the snow falling outside, drinking a warm drink, & watching a Hallmark Christmas movie.

 I’m currently doing just that! {except the snow stopped falling..}

 Morgan is basking in the sun on a cruise right now & I’m dreading the -20 temps that are predicted for tomorrow…lol -20. I envy the sunshine & beaches he has enjoyed for the past couple days. I also miss him very much. I wrote a list of things to do while he was gone since we wouldn’t be hanging out & I wouldn’t be able to talk to him much besides a facebook message each night…I haven’t done one thing on my list yet haha oops {actually “write a blog post” was one of them so I guess this is my first, & probably only, accomplishment lol}.

 I was trying to think of things to write about and nothing was coming to mind. & then I remembered that I tried a few new drink recipes when I worked at Starbucks {for a hot second} & thought I would share them with you.!

 So…as I’m sitting here in one of Morgan’s {huge on me} baseball shirts {have you noticed I like talking about him?}, drinking my Starbucks, & watching a Hallmark {one I haven’t seen!!}, I want to share a few drink recipes that I think you should try.!

1.    Grande white chocolate mocha. 1 pump toffee nut. 2 scoops of vanilla bean powder steamed in with the milk. This is perfect if you like a sweet drink! {thanks to Kailey for this recipe & for spending 2 weeks training me at sbucks!}

2.    Grande vanilla bean frappuccino. Heavy whipping cream instead of milk. Add java chips. 1 extra scoop of vanilla bean powder. Carmel drizzle blended in & on top. THIS ONE IS SO GOOD!!! {thanks to Sean for being the best at making this one!}

3.    Venti Starbucks double shot over ice. Vanilla syrup instead of classic. A little bit of milk {of your choice}. & EXTRA carmel drizzle.

 So, there are 3 of my favorite drinks to get at Starbucks! You better hurry your little buns over to a Sbucks tomorrow on your way to work and try one of these! And if you do…you better tell me about it! I want your input & to see if we have the same taste :))

 I can’t believe we are ONE WEEK away from Christmas! I am so excited for this next week because Morgan comes home, I get to go to his family’s house for a couple days {& try a seafood boil for the first time that his mom will be making!}, visit Frankenmuth while I am up there, finish my Christmas shopping, spend time with my family, & watch more Hallmark movies {obvi!}.

 I pray all of you remember the real reason for this season and get to enjoy time with your family and loved ones. I love y’all & also pray for hurting hearts around this time of year when we will be celebrating without some of our favorite people around.

 Now go wrap your presents and jam out to your favorite Christmas tunes!

 P.S…did I mention we have always had a real Christmas tree?! Anybody else?!

Smalltown, USA

I wish I grew up in a small little town where everyone knew everyone and you all went to the same school growing up together. A town that has one gas station, a cute little diner, one salon, & a local coffee shop where you knew all the customers by name and their order. Instead, I have lived in a town where everything you need is right there at your finger tips – the mall, Starbucks, gas station, Notre Dame, grocery store, & every restaurant you can imagine. I don’t have to drive more than 15 minutes for anything I need (except to see my boo thang…but the extra 5 minute drive is worth it ;)).

2 weekends ago I was in Kentucky in a small little town that I love going to. My mom is from there and we go back quite often. The people there make life seem so simple. Sitting on the front porch, drinking Ale8, is what makes them happy. Everyone cooks for their guests that come over, you give a car ride to anyone in need, you know everyone at church, & you can choose between Subway & Dairy Queen for your fast food.

Going here gets me out of the hustle & bustle of the everyday life. You can see mountains and valleys for miles on the drive in. The roads are winding & it makes your ears pop. It’s just crazy to see how some mountains form and the amount of trees that grow in one part of the country – God has some amazing handiwork.

This past weekend I visited a small town in Michigan for the very first time. We arrived after dark so I didn’t get to see the town until Saturday morning - & when I got the “tour”, I loved it. I told Morgan I felt like I was in a Hallmark movie lol. It is your perfect definition of a small little country town with one stoplight & adorable shops up and down the street. The trees are in the process of turning colors so it was absolutely beautiful! {we obvi had to take some pics ;)}.

Along with seeing the town that Morgan grew up in, I also got to meet his parents & brother. They were so welcoming & made me feel right at home the whole weekend. We went to the church bazaar, carved pumpkins, went to church, & ate delicious meals cooked by his mom.

Weekends like this make it so hard to come back to work & real life. I suppose that’s what makes these weekends so special – rare & too short. I had spent the whole weekend being around Morgan & going home lastnight without him was sad lol. I have a million & one reasons to miss him when I’m not with him but I will save that for another time & another blog post because I will be up until midnight if I start writing about him now ;).

So all this to sum up that small towns are where it’s at! Hallmark movies are real life once you visit these towns and see that these places are real (even though some Hallmark movies are cheesier than an Arby’s beef & cheddar lol). So travel your little heart out and see these things for yourself. Take someone who you enjoy being around, eat at the hometown places, take pictures, & make memories.

 

As always, thanks for reading & spend your weekends doing fun things because they come & go so fast!

fall "to-do" list.

When I walked outside today it was just under 60 degrees & the crisp air was cold enough to make my eyes water a little bit. I drove to work feeling a little chilled {but I didn’t turn my heat on because I went the whole summer without air conditioning so it felt good to not sweat for once lol}. I like the feeling of refreshment when fall comes around. So many people say they hate living here in South Bend & they just want to move somewhere else. I would disagree. One of my favorite things about it is the changing of the seasons. I would not want summer year round or 50-60 degree weather. I like the mix up that we get here.

 So after I got to work and had the feeling of fall in me, I made a “to-do” list of some things I want to accomplish this fall. Just a few things that I think would be cool to see or do before the wicked cold winter air comes {brb, crying}.

 What are a few of your favorite things about fall?

 I love the cool air and drinking a nice warm Starbucks {salted carmel, white mocha, no whip, is my current fav}. I also LOVE to wear big sweaters with leggings and boots. I am not a fan of the PSL though…I know, I know, it’s a basic white girl thing…guess that means I’m not basic {thank goodness!}. I like to go apple picking {I really just like the fresh waffles with cherries on top that they serve in the cabin haha}. I like to carve pumpkins & watch college football. My friend moved to Colorado in July, I am visiting her in November, and I am SO excited to get out there and see all of the beautiful fall colors in the mountains.!

 So here in my little “to-do” list to accomplish this fall {in random order}:

1.    Spend the day in Chicago & ride the ferris wheel on navy pier. Have any of you ever ridden the ferris wheel before? Like or dislike it?

2.    Buy lots of big comfy sweaters {at least 3 new ones}.

3.    Try out new colors of nail polish. I always paint my nails a nice light pink or nude color. This year I want to try greens & reds & taupe & oranges. {Currently painted dark purple, which I love!}

4.    Find a new DIY project to make. I always start little projects and never finish them. So I am making a goal to start and finish at least one new project this fall.

5.    Go to Hoedown Island at least once.! This is one of my family’s favorite places to go down in Kentucky. It’s located at Natural Bridge State Park in Slade, KY. Have you ever heard of “clogging”? It’s a type of dance…if not, you should look it up on youtube! There is also hiking, waterfalls, & rock climbing there. {which I already have a trip planned, but it was definitely a goal since I haven’t been all summer!}

6.    Learn to make chicken noodle soup. My dad made the BEST chicken noodle soup, but he just made it from scratch & didn’t have the recipe written down. So if you all have any good recipes, you could pass them my way!

7.    Paint my room. The room I live in is my older sisters, she has been out of the house for a while, but we still have it painted the same color as when we moved in 14 years ago. So, I want to paint it white and make it neutral to match with everything.

8.    I want to start a new, at-home, workout routine. Some of my cousins do the T25 video and have gotten great results, so I will probably give that one a try.! Do you guys have any other suggestions or favorites of good home workout videos?  

9.    Learn to make a new dessert. I like to bake better than cook so I have made some yummy desserts in the past, but I want to try something new. I love chocolate and pretty much just about anything else sweet except coconut {only coconut shrimp haha}. Any recipes you want to share?!

10.  I really want to start a budget. I wouldn’t say I am the best at saving money {oops ;)}, but I can if I have to. So I think having a budget and staying on top of it would be really good for me.

11.  Be in the top 3 at work every week. Each week my manager writes who the top 3 sellers are for the previous week and I want to make it a goal to be on that board every week. I think it will keep me motivated & work hard each time I am there.

12.  Try 3 new coffee shops. I love to go to cute towns around me & go in the coffee shops. Oregon has so many good ones {I know those aren’t around me, I was just saying haha}. I like to see the atmosphere & the type of service that each one has to offer.

13.  Pay it forward. I want to be able to bless as many people as I can. Whether it’s pay for the person behind me at Starbucks or in line for a DQ blizzard {because, duh}, I just want to be able to lend a helping hand and make someone’s day a little brighter.!

14.  Last but not least, drink a carmel latte for my dad. He LOVED his carmel lattes. He would drink it piping hot as soon as the barista handed it to him. Man, he loved his coffee. He always wrinkled his forehead when he drank it & then make a big “ahh” sound after he was done. I just love that guy.

 That completes my list.! I know there are others things I want to do but these were off the top of my head for now. What are some things that you guys want to do this fall? Leave a comment below & maybe I will want to try it also.!

 Thanks for reading – means a lot to me.!

my anxious thoughts.

I have no idea when it started. I don’t what sparked it. What I do know…is that it has stolen many days away from me that I will never get back because I just wanted to sit in my room, many events that I missed out on because I was too nervous to go, & many awkward moments with others because I ran out of the room suddenly. It is one of Satan’s most prized possessions. He loves to use it on people – especially Christians because it hinders our faith in Christ.

 The world we live in is such a cruel place. It is {sadly} no longer shocking to me when there’s a terrorist attack or another police officer is shot down by an irate person. Car wrecks, plane crashes, and shootings seem to fill our news stations these days. But there are certain things that lead people to doing these horrendous things. There’s always a background and a story to one’s life. Certain events make up our lives and mold us into the person we become. Depression, worry, death, sickness, & food disorders are ruining people’s lives which then lead’s them to ruining other people’s lives as well. But one of the biggest…

 ANXIETY.

 But anxiety itself is not the thing ruining our lives, it’s the crafty maker behind it all – Satan. The definition of the word devil is: the chief evil spirit. There are no truer words. I believe that every evil thing comes from Satan himself. If every good and perfect gift is from above {James 1:17} then every bad and evil thing must be from below, right? It only makes sense to me.

 So I am here to share a little bit about my story and to encourage others to share theirs as well. Someone once told me that tough times get easier once you let them out in the open and share them with others. I totally agree with this. It has been one of my greatest reliefs over the past couple months.

 So like I said in the beginning, I have no idea where, when, or why my anxiety started. I grew up in one of the most loving and Christian homes. Never once did I fear my parents or siblings, never did I fear going to school (well probably because I was homeschooled until high school lol), & I never remember fearing going places with big crowds or feeling trapped.

 My anxiety is…are you ready for this…throwing up.

 “That is the dumbest thing I have ever heard.”

“Why would you fear that when it happens so rarely?”

“Everyone throws up, you are not the only one.”

“It’s ok if you throw up, I won’t judge you.”

“Everyone always says you overcome your fears by conquering it.” {uhhh, ok did you really just wish that I would throw up?! Ok well now I hate you because….NO! I hope you throw up haha jk}

 So yes, I know this is such a dumb thing to have anxiety about…but isn’t every anxiety dumb? I don’t think it’s fair to judge someone because of their fear – I think that’s when they need a prayer or two {or 2,000} from us. Yes, some fears don’t make sense to me at all. Like the fear of peanut butter sticking to the roof of your mouth (Arachibutyrophobia) or the fear of hair (Chaetophobia). Ok, then just don’t eat peanut butter & don’t be a beautician?? Isn’t that how we think when people tell us their fears? Anxiety has become all too real for me to just laugh or push away people that have a crippling fear.

 Growing up life felt normal. Once I got to high school I still remember nothing about anxiety. I have a little memory of wanting to sit closer to the door in class just in case I had to run out. My sophomore year of high school was the last time I had thrown up. But, I remember everything about it, even to this day. I threw up twice that day, it was a Sunday, I remember where everyone of my family members were {8 of us!}, what I was wearing, what I ate and drank, and the exact time of day I threw up {10:40am & 6:20pm if you really want to know haha}. I just had it etched in my head and I have no clue why.

 Then college came and I remember my first day of orientation that I felt sick. I was scared to sit in these news rooms with alllllll these new people that I did not know. One of my best friends from high school {Megan} was attending college with me and that was super comforting knowing she would be there alongside me because her dad was/still is my doctor and she knew all my “issues”.

 Fast forward & now we are in year 2013. I started dating a guy and he made me forget about all my worries because he kept me busy and we did fun things that kept my mind on things other than throwing up. That relationship ended & my fear kicked in a little bit because I wasn’t “distracted” by him. Then my best friend {Britney} moved to Indy 6 months later. We did EVERYTHING together. Workout classes, road trips, double dates, shopping trips, breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert, cooking/baking, bike rides, running, sleepovers…literally anything you can imagine, we did it together. So, at this point, I lost the main person in my life that helped me do anything without fear.

 Once Britney moved away my life started slightly going downhill. She is an amazing friend – too bad none of you can have her ;). My most famous line is “my stomach hurts” or “I feel sick”. She knew better than to believe me lol dangit. Every time we would go somewhere and I said one of those lines she would say, “shut up, we are going in here, and you will not make a scene – you are fine and will not get sick!” Don’t take that in the wrong way, she meant it in the nicest way & knew it’s what I needed to hear lol. My family has also caught on to my famous lines & knows better than to believe me. I have no idea why they don’t believe me ;).

 December of 2014 & I was in our freezing cold garage crying. Scared I was about to puke all over and felt trapped. Boy was I trapped – in my thoughts. Satan had such a tight grip on my life at this point that I had no idea what to do. Sadly, I turned to the thing that every other person in fear & depression does…I wanted to die.

 {This is hard for me to write because not many people know what I am about to say}.

 I was hoping someone would crash into my car and I could just go to heaven. Or maybe with the snowy and slippery roads that I might slide off the road and hit a tree & then I would have no more worries. I NEVER planned anything to end my own life but I was hoping it would happen by chance. I couldn’t take it anymore.

 Along with my fear, now I was embarrassed. I could NOT let anyone know about this, no one at work, church, or school. As far as everyone knew, Emma Margaret Dunbar was “perfect”. A Christian girl, from a well put together family, blonde hair, blue eyes, & tan skin, curls and makeup on point every Sunday at church, the perfect filter on every instagram picture, & comes from the family that everyone loves. So this was my secret. I couldn’t let anyone know because everyone would judge me.

 So as I stood in the garage that night crying, my mom came out there & I told her “mom I have to see a counselor or therapist.” She replied, “honey, just pray about it.” I was so mad. Why was she not understanding?! {My mom is the most fearless person I know, I’ve never known her to fear one thing. No wonder she couldn’t feel the fear and thoughts inside of my head.} With tears streaming down my face, I said, “mom, I have. I can’t do this anymore. I want to be in heaven.” She replied, “oh no honey, don’t say that. You don’t mean that.” I said, “yes I do mom! I do not want to be here anymore.” The next day I called a therapist, cried in her office, she sent me to a psychiatrist {who was a huge jerk! Omg don’t even get me started on that!}, he got me on prescription, and my life was on the upswing. Yay! Wahoo!

 1 month later my dad died.

 “How could you God?! I want to be in heaven & you take my dad instead?!”

 Many would think that made my life worse. Surprisingly, it got much better. I was so distracted with everything that I forgot to take my anxiety meds. I wasn’t thinking about throwing up because I was trying to focus on how to live without my dad now.

 That didn’t last long.

 February 15, 2015. 7am, I woke up and “didn’t feel good”, ran downstairs to tell mom and she was asleep on the couch. I told her I was going to stand in the garage because I didn’t feel good. As I was walking to the garage all of a sudden my head starting spinning out of control, it was dark and I couldn’t see a thing. I opened the garage door as soon as I stepped into the garage I totally fell over and passed out {my brother’s ice skate blades were literally in front of my eyeballs when I opened them – yikes!}. I got up, and even though the light was on, I felt like I still couldn’t see. I started running to the trash can and passed out again. Woke up & finally made it to the trash can and then just puked everywhere. {TMI haha}  O.M.G. “Did I seriously just puke?!” Guess what, I made it out alive! I didn’t die because I puked.!

 Why does Satan always have to be there on your shoulder taunting you?!

 Summer of 2015 & I noticed my thoughts were creeping back into my head that anything I did I could possibly throw up. Uh oh. Please no! So I went back to my Psychiatrist in the winter of 2015 and he prescribed me a new medicine. I hated it!

 Not long after that I ran into my life saver {second to God, of course!} at Target.

 Mrs. Depositar as I like to call her. My high school gym teacher. She says I can call her by her first name, but it just feels weird for me! Haha I called her Mrs. D for 4 years! So she started asking me how everything was and how our family had been since dad’s passing. {My anxiety kicked in & I was terrified to stand there and be “stuck” talking in conversation with her because if I got sick where was I going to run to?!} I explained about my anxiety & felt embarrassed. I felt so dumb. But she is literally the NICEST person you will ever meet. Not judgmental at all, accepting of everyone no matter your past or present situation. She loves everyone.

 She began telling me how she was quitting her job at the beginning of the year and doing ministry full time. She was doing accountability with whoever {girls only} wanted it. So we met a couple weeks after that {one-on-one} and we talked about accountability and what that means to her and what she expects from me. I cannot even begin to tell you the place I am at in my life now since starting this journey with her. Never in a million years did I ever think I could be this way. I am by no means, back to 100% without anxiety, but I’m in a whole new world.

 The way she explained it to me – medicine will never fix your anxiety. It will be a band aid and help you for a while, but in the end, it’s a spiritual battle. Anxiety comes from Satan himself so that means that he is ruling more of your life than God and that you are paying more attention {& giving more of your attention} to Satan instead of God.

 I didn’t believe her back then on that first night we were sitting in her house and she told me all these things that lead to anxiety and what could help. Now looking back, she was so right. I have not taken medicine since last December. I finally know that it will never fix my anxiety no matter how much I think it will. It will help for a little while but not cure you.

 We have spent many hours together. Her teaching me what God has laid on her heart for me. What tools God has given her to help me in this time of struggle. We have cried together {well basically me crying cause I thought I was going to puke lol classic} and we have laughed together. I have never once felt judged. She accepted me as I was and took me into her heart to try and help me. It has been amazing. I couldn’t have imagined I would ever get here.

 My therapist told me…fear: “it’s like this Emma. Let’s say you are a little girl and you are scared to go in your closet because there could be a monster in there. Then you are scared to go in your room because of the monster. Then you are scared to even go upstairs. Then you are scared to go in your house. Then you are scared to even go down your street. And then you just stand there at the end of your street because your fear has grown into this huge thing.”

 I CAN SO RELATE TO THIS!!

 I was always scared if I go to sleep at night then I might be woken up in the middle of the night to throw up. Then I was scared to be “trapped” in my room and I wouldn’t be able to make it out soon enough to the bathroom. So I would come downstairs and walk around in case I got sick I was already awake and prepared. It got to the point that I just wanted to stand outside or in the garage. I didn’t want to be trapped inside the house. I spent many many hours in the garage…crying and praying I didn’t puke. Walking around rubbing my stomach & swallowing really hard {I always convince myself if I swallow hard enough then I won’t puke haha yeah, ok Emma}.

 So I totally could see how a fear will just keep pushing you further and further. It then becomes this huge ordeal and you have no idea how you got there. You don’t even remember where you started, but you believed Satan for so long that you are now so far off the path that it seems like you will never be able to get back on.

 Here are a few ways to explain my anxiety. You can call me crazy because I know it’s crazy myself…it’s just hard to recognize it when you’re “in the moment”.

·         When I go to a sporting event I like to sit on the very end of the bench and closest to a door in case I have to run out and throw up. Same with church and weddings.

·         ANY place I walk into I HAVE to know where a bathroom is. Restaurant, store, sporting event…anything! And I do it very sly(ly)…I scope it out before I can even start to feel sick. Booyah!

·         I don’t like to get caught in a long conversation in case I have to walk away quickly then I would be embarrassed and the people would think I was a weirdo.

·         I don’t like to be in quiet places in case I puke. Like for instance a movie theater or dinner at someone’s house because then everyone would hear me puke.

·         I hate sleeping over at someone’s house in case I feel sick or actually get sick.

·         I cannot even handle it if someone says they have a stomach ache. Even if it’s from them eating too much or something…I just automatically get this thought into my head that they are about to puke and that I will catch it and puke also.

·         I hate eating at certain places and certain foods because I think it’ll all just make me sick.

·         If one of my siblings is sick with the flu I will leave and go stay at my sister’s house lol

·         And every date I have gone on I just say, “oh I get nervous around new people so in case I puke that’s why lol”…and try to laugh it off…but seriously dude lol

 I think it would also be awesome if I shared just a few quick things that have really helped me overcome this anxiety and that maybe you could use them yourself.

 

·         My mom used to tell me to eat a peppermint candy and that it would help me. So I bought some peppermint oil and I just put some on my finger and rub it on my tongue. I LOVE IT! I never go anywhere without it! It also helps with headaches and it really cools you down if you put some on the back of your neck as well. Essential oil haters…keep your comments to yourself haha {WARNING: do not get this oil anywhere close to your eyes…they will burn like cray.!}

·         Reading Scripture.

·         Calling and talking to a friend to keep your mind off of it.

·         Watching a tv show or movie that will help take your focus off.

·         Pinterest…duh ;)

·         Taking deep breaths is also one of my favorite things to do.

·         Praying.

·         And my most favorite “weapon” of my all is my memory verse spiral. The best thing that has come of my accountability with Mrs. Depositar is the memory verses she challenges me with each week. I have one full spiral of 50 filled already and I just started filling another one. It is simply incredible the things that can change and happen in your life the more you are in the Word of God. It has gotten to the point now where I don’t even have to look in the spiral for about the first 30-35 verses…I have gone over them so many times that I can say the book it’s from, the whole verse, and even the color I wrote it in lol {cause I had to use my 12 pack color pens and write the verses in a certain color so I could memorize it better lolz}.

 I have been contemplating this topic for a while. I didn’t know how to write it, which information to share and what not to, and if I should let the whole world know that I am a weirdo and scared of throwing up…so please stop posting your Facebook status that you feel sick or that you just threw up…cause in that instant you make my heart beat a little faster and make me think I am about to get your virus through the computer screen lol…but seriously, shh!

 I believe this anxiety has made me a stronger person. It has made me gentler with people that have anxiety as well. I get it when they are crippled by something and no one else understands. I get it that you stayed awake the whole night because of your fear.

 If you have anxiety, don’t be afraid to share it! I have no clue where I would be right now if I had never shared it with Mrs. D that night in Target because I was “embarrassed”. It’s incredible the ways that other people can help you…especially other believers and doers of God’s will. I think it’s wise to seek counsel from older people as well because they have been through there crazy teen and 20’s years. They know how this world works. They have tools to help you defeat Satan.

 It’s 2am & I’ve done all my crying while writing this. I cry because I remember those dark and vicious days. I remember hating everything in this life and thinking that Satan would get the best of me and steal my heart. I cry because I love seeing how far I have come. It may seem like I arrived at this point in life very fast…but trust me; it has been a long hard journey. I wouldn’t trade the last 8 months of life for anything. This has definitely made me stronger person and for that I will be forever thankful.

 I love all you beautiful people. I would love to hear your story. Email me or message me via facebook or instagram. We can share our anxiousness with each other lol. I hope you have enjoyed this loooooooong post. I didn’t think it would be this long {11 pages on Microsoft Word lol}. Thank you for reading!

just do it.

So yesterday I was out walking around one of my favorite lakes and thinking about how many times we let other people persuade what we do with our own lives. We ask for so many opinions that we don’t even end up doing what we originally wanted to do in the first place because somebody said “ that’s weird” or “why would you do that?”

 

I always remember how much I wanted to start a blog, but I was nervous of what people would think of it, of me. What if my ideas and topics are stupid? What if my grammar and punctuation aren’t correct? What if no one ever reads it? And then something inside me told me to Just Do It. What do you have to lose? Nothing at all. Coincidentally, my Facebook “on this day” told me that I wrote my very first blog post 7 years ago on this day. I have not had the same blog for the past 7 years and I have taken some time off for various reasons over the years. I just thought that was funny how I was thinking about it yesterday and then it informed me of that today. {fun fact: I graduated high school 7 years ago. yikes!}

 

·         So if you are wanting to start a blog but worried about what others will think of you or if they will judge you…Just Do It. You write that blog girlfriend! It doesn’t matter if you have 2 followers or 2,000 followers – you will impact someone in some way.

·         If you want to lay in the sun all day and postpone that load of laundry that needs done - Just Do It. You have a couple hours after the sun goes does to wash those clothes and dishes, right?!

·         If you want those Sketchers instead of Nike’s because they have memory foam on the inside & are much more comfortable – Just Do It. I wear my Sketchers loud and proud! My siblings think they are ugly and make fun of me, but I don’t care ;). I would rather pay $30 instead of $130 because the only difference is the S or N on the side of the shoe.

·         If you are contemplating a Grande or Venti at Starbucks…get a Venti! Go big or go home honey! – Just Do It. For heaven sakes, will 4oz. really make a difference? ;) {just walk an extra mile or two that day}.

·         If you wanna travel to every corner of the country {or around the world}, but worried about how much it will cost – Just Do It. You can find cheap flights. Pack light. Spend the night with people you know. You will never regret it and you will see so many incredible things that you’ll want to travel more.

·         If Bachelor/Bachelorette is your guilty pleasure…do not be ashamed! You spend your Monday nights watching overly dramatic guys love roses more than you ever thought possible and so much fancy food go to waste because I’ve never seen any of them take a bite on their dates. Just Do It – watch B&B.

·         If you only want to work 20 hours a week instead of 40 and spend more of your time doing things you love then – Just Do It. Don’t spend your life doing something you don’t love. Always enjoy what you are doing cause life is quick and you don’t want to waste it!

·         If you want to wear a certain outfit or hairstyle but someone said it was ugly – Just Do It. You wear that outfit or hairstyle! If you are comfortable in it and think it looks cute…then that’s all that matters.!

All in all – do what YOU want to do.! Sometimes it is good to listen to others because of their advice and you could learn from them. But as far as making THEE decision about something – do it yourself.! Take chances and be crazy – because life is short and you should do what you love.! Do what you like & like what you do.

on some beach.

It’s summa time baby.!! Have you looked at the weather lately? It’s supposed to be gorgeous for the next 10 days!! Except, maybe rain one day…but how perfect?! What better time to take a vacation?!

 

My family and I have a vacation at one of our favorite spots on Lake Michigan this summer and we are so excited! It is a special place to us because we used to go as a family when my dad was still alive. (I can’t remember exactly, but I don’t think we have been since summer of 2012.) Another family used to go with us as well and we always had the best time. It’s on a private beach and we hardly ever see anyone else out there. It’s hidden back in the woods and steps from the shore. And there’s an ice cream place a mile or 2 down the beach. What could be better?!

 

I am so looking forward to this vacation! I made a list of 5 things I want to do/improve while I am on vacation and shared them with you here…

 

1.    Make lots of memories – I was just talking with the other girls that we used to go with this morning and how much fun it was to be up there together. I think spending time with family and friends is such a great thing and we are pretty good at it. We all have a lot of the same interests and the beach is definitely one of them. It will be different and hard to make memories without dad there with us, but I know that he is happy for us and will be watching over us.

2.    See a sunrise – I don’t think this will be very hard considering we will be up there for a whole week…I just have to be determined to get up before that dang sun rises at like 6am haha.

3.    Go for a run on the beach – is it not like the hardest thing to run in sand?! If you say no then you’re lying haha. I will say it’s one of the best workouts ever, but very hard. So we will go for it and see what happens haha.

4.    Read 2 books – I think reading is one of the best things you can do for yourself and what better way to do then lying on the beach and getting a tan?! I have many books that I have yet to read…I just need to decide which 2 to take!

5.    NOT eat tons of junk food – it’s bound to happen every time you go on vacation, am I right? It’s just so hard to eat good when there are so many new and delicious places around you! And who wants to eat carrots and broccoli while sitting on the beach?? Uh, hello Pringles and Sweet tarts! Sooo, we will try and see what happens.

 

That about sums up my list! I am looking forward to a couple days in the sun and just enjoying time on the beach. God is so awesome and such a magnificent creator…His beaches are one of my favorite things. My dad looooved the beach – I think I got it from him :). We will miss him terribly but I can’t wait to make memories with my family I still have left here to do life with!  I love y’all.

 

this dress.

This dress y’all…completely fabulous.! It is from Urban Outfitters and I got it for only $10!! I usually do not shop at that store because they are sooo expensive (can I get an amen?)…but sometimes when their sale items are an EXTRA half off then I look to buy something haha.

 

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 It is a size medium (I usually wear small) but can be worn with a bralette and you can also tie it up in the back at the neck (that’s what I did in these pictures). The base color is navy and has white, pink, and purple on it as well.

 

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So since I love it so much I am going to give YOU the chance to win it.!! Yes, I do love it but this is the first time I wore it and it is just sitting in my closet…so might as well let someone else enjoy it, right?!

 

 

 The rules to enter in the drawing are simple…

1.    FOLLOW me on instagram @emmadunbar

2.    LIKE my most recent picture in this dress on instagram

3.    COMMENT where you would wear this dress to

That’s all you have to do.!!

Hope to see you all on insta :))