Sunday, January 31, 2010

"My Dearest Girl,
I must write you a line or two and see if that will assist in dismissing you from my mind for ever so short a time. Upon my soul I can think of nothing else. The time has passed when I had the power to advise and warn you against the unpromising morning of my life. My love has made me selfish. I cannot exist without you. I am forgetful of everything but seeing you again- my life seems to stop there- I see no further. You have absorb'd me. I have a sensation at the present moment as though I was dissolving - I should be exquisitely miserable without the hope of soon seeing you. You have ravished me by a power I cannot resist. I cannot breathe without you. You are to me an object intensely desirable - the air I breathe in a room empty of you is unhealthy..."
~ John Keats (in a letter to Fanny Brawne- the love of his life)

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Breakfast at Tiffany's

I have wonderful friends.
Yesterday was just one of those crappy days where I wanted nothing more than to crawl under a rock and hide until the emotional storm had passed. I felt crabby, emotional, frustrated, annoyed, and utterly upset. But thanks to the prayers of my friends, a long quiet bubble bath, a cup of hot tea, and 2 hours of being curled up on the couch with my two best friends watching Breakfast at Tiffany's- I felt like a brand new woman.
Sometimes all a girl needs is a little friendship and an old movie to make her worries melt away.
Thanks girls for brightening up my day last night! I love you guys!

Oh and here are a few pictures of the fabulous Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany's:

(*SIGH* I wish I could be as effortlessly feminine and beautiful as she is)

Here is a clip of my favorite scene from the movie...

Monday, January 18, 2010

Sometimes you just gotta laugh

Yesterday was one of those mornings that started off blissfully happy. I woke up well rested, I had spent an hour of alone time with the Lord, I had made myself a killer cup of tea, and I was feeling rather good about what I saw in the mirror. But then it happened....
You see my sister had planned to take my friend and I out for a photo shoot so she could practice with her favorite new camera lens. Her vision for the shoot was "natural beauty" and therefore she requested I wear my hair in its natural state- curly/wavy/slightly frizzy- and while I'm still unsure about embracing my natural head of curls, I was happy to oblige for the photo session. So there I was, standing in my bathroom playing with my hair when I noticed this lone strand of hair in the front that had dried straight... hmm.... I took the strand and figured I could quickly curl it with my curling iron and be on my way, but my plan took another turn. As I wrapped my hair around the iron I failed to see that some kind of blob of gook had attached itself to the metal barrel. I wrapped the strand around the barrel, but as I held the iron in place I began to smell something funny. I then quickly started unwrapping, but to my horror I was permanently attached to the curling iron and the entire section of my beautiful hair had burnt right off!!!!
I'm Meg. Holy moley I'm Meg from "Little Women", who tragically gets her hair burnt off by a curling iron due to her sister!
As I stared in the mirror holding the clump of hair in my right hand, I began to laugh. I dont know what came over me in that moment, but I suddenly realized the humor of the situation and figured laughing would be the best way to move on. Its just hair- nothing more, nothing less. And besides- now I have a funny story to tell.
Thank you Lord for continually teaching me to let go of caring about my "image" more and more everyday.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

I Can't Think of a Title For This Post- So This Will Have To Do

I'll admit I'm not typically one to give away my beauty secrets, or any secret for that matter, but today I've decided to make an exception and let you all in on my most recent beauty discoveries.

As you all may know, I've battled issues with my skin for a while now, but recently I came to realize the only way to heal my skin once and for all was from the inside out. I was fed up with over the counter creams, topical acne treatments that contain harsh chemicals and acids, and other various "miracle" treatments that promised to restore my skin to a flawless state. These gimmicks felt like a band aid to the real problem- they may cover acne for a while, but they do not solve the problem long term. So I now find myself on a journey to better skin and body health and I wanted to share it with all of you.
To make it plain and simple- acne is caused by bacteria... when bacteria spreads, acne spreads. So what do I mean by "heal from the inside out"??
In order to heal the skin, you must first take care of your internal state of health. To put it simply- eat more fruits and veggies, consume less refined sugars, drink plenty of water (this one is especially important!), eliminate as much dairy as possible (dairy contains androgen hormones which can cause acne breakouts), and be sure to take probiotics everyday! Probiotics are the "good bacteria" our gut needs in order to fight off harmful bacteria and keep our intestines in a state of balance and optimal health. And while these steps to internal health are crucial in healing the skin, its important to understand that results may not be instant.

But while your healing the inside, here are a few natural ways to help the surface of the skin heal a bit faster....
  1. Cleanse your face twice daily. Never scrub too hard as that can disturb the pores and cause an over production of oil. Try to cleanse with a gentle face wash that does NOT contain benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid. As a rule of thumb, if your face wash contains ingredients you cannot pronounce, do not use it.

  2. HONEY! Thats right, I said "honey". Raw organic honey is one of the best skin healers you could ever put on your face. Honey is a natural antimicrobial - meaning it naturally kills and inhibits the growth of bacteria. It also soften the skins and helps retain the moisture that is often sucked right out of our skin. Simply apply honey (must be RAW ORGANIC!) to your entire face after washing and let it sit for about 10 min before rinsing off. While it is safe enough to do twice daily, I usually apply it to my entire face in the morning and then spot treat with the honey in the evening. But beware- if you have acne the honey will draw out the impurities and make the blemishes come to a head extremely fast. But dont freak out... in 2-4 days the acne will be significantly reduced and you will begin to notice far less acne and more smooth clear skin. YAY!

  3. Dont touch your face- period! Touching your face spreads bacteria. Its tempting, but resist the temptation.

  4. Regularly clean everything that touches you face. This includes- pillow cases, towels, make-up brushes (must be cleaned with a mild soap and warm water after EVERY use!), and anything else that comes in contact with your face.

I hope these tips were helpful. I strongly believe in a holistic approach to health and I have a strong desire to encourage anyone out there who struggles with their body, skin, or self image. I understand how hard it is because I've been there! Satan knows the best way to take me down is to attack my self image- and I must admit he does an excellent job. I continually try to remind myself that I am made in God's image and my body- the only one I'll ever get - is a temple unto the Lord. I will never attain perfection, but I can let go of that need simply by knowing that God loves me and cherishes me just as I am.

Click HERE to hear a song I held dear to me during my recovery and one I still listen to on my hard days.

(The song will play automatically when you go to the site, and the lyrics are written out for you to follow along and enjoy)

Friday, January 15, 2010

A Season of Change

This picture has absolutely nothing to do with the post below- I just found it intriguingly beautiful.

With the dawn of another new year (and the start of a new decade at that!) I've decided its time to make some changes in my life. Nothing drastic or overwhelming, just a few new alterations in an attempt to live a more healthy, balanced, and well rounded life.
Whats on the list of changes you ask??
Well here are just a few:

  1. Keep my apartment clean! I've noticed my desire to clean has slowly progressed down hill and the mess has begun to get on my nerves. I'm done with messy living and unvaccumed carpets... I desperately miss the smell of Lysol and Pledge!

  2. Drink more water. I know it sounds silly, but my lack of hydration is just another element of abuse I've inflicted on my body. I desire to treat my body (the only one I'll ever get) like the temple God created it to be.

  3. Since I'm on the subject of better bodily health, I've decided to better my nutrition by adding a multivitamin and a daily dose of strong probiotics to my morning regiment. With that I've also decided to limit my intake of meat and make a more conscious effort at buying and eating organically whenever possible (ie: more visits to the farmers market! YAY!!)

  4. Keep up on laundry weekly. Sadly enough I've become one of those irresponsible young adults who waits to do laundry until the only items of clothes left clean are a few mix macthed pair of socks, my bathing suit (of which I'm not a fan of), old gym shorts I've had since the age of 12ish, and my ugly jeans that literally button up near my belly button- and not in a cute "high waisted / high fashion" kinda way.

  5. Take more walks and practice more yoga on a consistent basis. It comes as no surprise that with my history of exercise abuse (during my anorexic days) and my now extreme aversion to all things related to gyms, a more balanced approach to physical heath is a better way for me to stay fit and active. Plus nature walks make me happy and yoga has a way of calming my spirit like nothing else can.

  6. Spend time in God's word DAILY!! This is a big one for me. Ok *deep breath*- I'm going to be totally vulnerable with you for a moment, and admit that while I love the Lord with everything I am, I have a tendency to fall short on spending quality time with Him outside church doors. My prayer life is and (for the most part) always has been healthy and active, but I've come to realize talking with God is simply not enough. I need His word, and I need it every day.

  7. Continue to read. I've realized God has gifted me with a deep passion and appreciation for the written word. All things poetry and literature related feed a part of my soul that nothing else can. I hunger to read, to learn, and to grow on a daily basis. William Hazlitt said it best when he said, "books let us into their souls and lay open to us the secrets of our own."

  8. And last but not least, learn to live with less.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

"He knew she was there by the joy and fear that overwhelmed his heart. She stood at the other end, talking to a lady. There seemed to be nothing special in her dress, nor in her pose; but for Levin she was as easy to recognize in that crowd as a rose among nettles. Everything was lit up by her. She was the smile that brightened everything around... The place where she stood seemed to him unapproachably holy, and there was a moment when he almost went away- he was so filled with awe... He stepped down, trying not to look at her, as if she were the sun, yet he saw her, like the sun, even without looking."
~Levin (Anna Karenina)

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Another Road Trip

Road trips with my girlfriends simply never get old.
Elise, Kalie, and I all had a blast this past weekend as we drove to San Diego for an impromptu weekend vacation at the beach.
Our time consisted of long chats, laughing hysterically, coffee shop visits, picnics on the beach, and a night out for yummy drinks at The Bistro.
We made memories that will last a lifetime, and walked away with a refreshed sense of self as we headed back to "real life".
Here are a few pictures from our trip....

Its not fair how beautiful my friends are.

Picnics make me happy

Elise getting excited to finally pierce her nose.

Tada! The beautiful nose ring. It fits her personality perfectly!

Us girls before heading out for drinks.

"I almost wish we were butterflies and liv'd but three summer days - three such days with you I could fill with more delight than fifty common years could ever contain."
~John Keats (written in a love letter to Fanny Brawne- the love of his life)

Friday, January 8, 2010

Road Trip Here We Come

Today is a good day.
Despite waking up with the sniffles and a mild cold, I'm determined to make this weekend the best I've ever had.
At 4:00pm sharp my two best girlfriends and I are embarking on a weekend road trip to my hometown of San Diego.
Its sure to be a weekend filled with laughter, joy, and fellowship.
Nothing refreshes me more than spending quality time with the two girls who not only love me as I am, but are constantly challenging me and pushing me to be a better person.
Kalie: I treasure your friendship and kind spirit more than words could ever express. Not only is it easy to be around you, but you seem to add sunshine and smiles where ever you go. Your passion for literature and your gifted talent of writing has only further inspired me in those areas of my own life. Thank you for being such a sweet and dedicated friend.
My favorite Kalie quote - "Magic is everywhere when you take the time to look for it"
Elise: Not only do I feel as if I've known you my entire life, I consider you family. No friend can make me bust up laughing quite like you can. Thank you for being the type of friend I can cry with, laugh with, be inspired with, and of course make childish farting noises with. Your zest for life and your untameable free spirit is not only contagious, but so very beautiful. You've been an incredible example of what it looks like to be a woman of Grace- a woman who loves and lives for the Lord. You will be dearly missed when you move to Washington, but the friendship won't end in March... it will only be the start of a lasting friendship!
My Favorite Elise Quote - (preface: Elise once told me how cool it would be to go up into outer space, and of course with my fear of heights and fear of being anywhere where oxygen does not EXIST I told her I would never do it... I mean what if you died?!?!? Her response.....)
"So what if you died! How cool would that be rocket to heaven?!"
Elise in Heaven: "How'd you get here?"
Person 1 in Heaven: "Hit a tree. You?"
Elise in Heaven: "I ROCKETED here!!!!"
I love these girls and can't wait to create new and lasting memories with them this weekend!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

"Books let us into their souls and lay open to us the secrets of our own."
~ William Hazlitt

Free From Chains

I'm learning to be "ok" in the life I lead, the skin in which I dwell, and the mistakes of which I undoubtedly make each day. The acceptance of myself has been a long and tedious project, but inch by inch the Lord has begun revealing more and more of who I am in my soul. I'm finally throwing down the external pressures to feel and look like perfection personified. I will never be skinny, I will never have a flawless creamy complexion, and I will never have red carpet ready hair. God simply made me different. I struggle with weight, I battle constant acne breakouts, and my hair jostles between large and frizzy or flat and stringy. But my peace comes from knowing I don't have to care. I can let go of the need to control my body. I can be free from Satan's lies of "I'm not good enough". I hold steadfast to the knowledge and truth that "I am fearfully and wonderfully made". I am a child of God's. I do not accept shame, I do not accept self pity, and I do not accept anything less than God's love for me.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

More Favorite Things

A few favorite things to suit my mood....

1. Old fashioned luggage

2. Picnics - preferably in fields of flowers with friends and pretty sun dresses that blow in the wind
3. Tea. Lots and lots of tea!
4. Pretty masquerade masks, especially pink ones with feathers
5. Reading Anna Karenina!!
*SIGH* my heart melts a little each time I read a new page.
Anna- your fabulous!
6. Dreamy beds that make you feel as if you've been transported to a new and magical world.

Monday, January 4, 2010

"Her loveliness consisted percisely in always standing out from what she wore, that what she wore was never seen on her. And the black dress with luxurious lace was not seen on her; it was just a frame, and only she was seen - simple, natural, graceful."
-Leo Tolstoy (Anna Karenina)

Sunday, January 3, 2010

A Retreat in the snow

This weekend I had the privilege of attending the Highland Church Element Retreat up in Williams AZ.
The snow was magical, the cabins were peaceful, the friendships were priceless, and the quiet time with God was much needed.
All in all it was a wonderful weekend.
Of course there is much more to tell, but my suitcase full of dirty laundry is beckoning me, therefore I must go unpack and get re-settled back into reality.
But here are a few pictures from the weekend.