Merry Birthday, K-Mart? You are fooling NO ONE!

So I am aware that 2014 is only 3.5 months away from being over (Yep…). With that said, my biggest pet peeve is seeing Christmas commercials before Thanksgiving. I know that we live in a society where you see displays for major holiday shopping a couple of months ahead, but it doesn’t mean I accept it. I believe that this steals the joy of each individual holiday. This flagrant consumeristic wielding of wares and goods deduces family togetherness, celebrations of affection, adventures, and just pure fun to merely taunts to spend money that doesn’t exist.

Now, I have seen Christmas stuff after Halloween, but K-Mart has struck a new low with their latest commercial that just hit the airwaves in the past week. Maybe because it’s probably not the most desirable stores, and they are trying to get ahead of the game with promoting layaway. “Hey come pick out loads of cheap overpriced junk, finance it for a few months, then pick it up and give it to people who won’t remember what you got them in another four months.” Take a look…

Clever…but no. I’m not buying it, literally. I have put two things on layaway in my lifetime. One was the Littermaid, a $100 automatic litterbox for my cat back when I was a junior in high school. The second was a $150 class ring for my senior year of high school. That was a lot of money for a high school student! Since then, I have not found it necessary to participate layaway. Growing up, my family put back-to-school clothes on layaway, which was exciting. Now, I am not knocking layaway. I think it can be a very practical thing for big ticket items that you really want to pay off rather than putting on a credit card. I am sure my parents maybe even used it for Christmas at some point. BUT as I stand now, a reformed spendaholic, I am reevaluating my consumerism on all levels – especially for Christmas. This promotion just makes it easier for material gluttony.

Last year loved ones received a handmade gift, and I actually received more compliments and gratitude from that than when I have purchased items. I think I will go in that direction this year as well. While I don’t give gifts to get the kudos from the receivers, I do like to know that the gifts were useful. There’s nothing more disappointing than spending a lot of money on items the person doesn’t really care about or want.

What do you think about this?

The Beast of Beauty…

So…I am so not into beauty regiments that include overly being pampered or a lot of make-up (I’ll take some lip gloss please…maybe some eye shadow).  I don’t know, I maybe I’m a bit lazy, but I really do enjoy how I look without any added flavors or dyes (I do enjoy fragrance a lot…maybe too much). I don’t like having to “keep up” the look. I mean I think it confuses men when you are all dolled up. Then they get hooked, they marry you, and then they wake up to the unmade up woman they married and think they got the Leah-Rachel switch from Uncle Laban (read Genesis chapter 29).

This is the normal day-to-day Dana:

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I went natural in 2009 and haven’t looked back at chemical relaxers since. I do cut off my hair once every two years because I love it short, but lately I have been getting it blown out and am thinking about training it to be straight again, but carefully with just heat instead of chemicals. This is a much more temporary arrangement because it will always have some kind of wave or curl after it gets hit by water/humidity, but the straight styling can be a lot more appealing at times.

Now here are some enhancements all within the past couple of weeks (eyebrow shaping and hair blowout with flat iron polish):

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Hmm… I am liking this look. I have wanted to spruce up my presence as of late because well, I am interested in dating again. I know that men are very visual so you have to throw them a little something. Plus, I am in a brand new season of life and I am up to try something new. Since I definitely value my goodies and prefer conservatism, I decided to amp up my game a bit without showing more skin. I have been keeping my nails and hair done lately (What?! Blowouts and flat irons-r-us). On my last trip to the nail salon, I allowed one of the estheticians to apply lash extensions. YEA I KNOW! It took about an hour and voila…the result was this:

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Ooooo… so pretty! It’s amazing what happens to your eyes when they are enhanced. I have almond shaped eyes and the extensions accented the shape very well. This looks hot even with my hair still in pin curls, y’all!

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Ooooolalah… I can get used to this. Look, the extensions even make my scrunchy face so cute! 

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But wait, this requires a lot of work to upkeep!

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Now, I only paid $25 for this service. My friend’s niece is a Licensed Esthetician, and has her own business doing this in Atlanta. I looked up the services…let me just say my future hubby will really have to value those lash extensions, because let’s be honest ladies, it’s really for them. Yes, I love looking very exotic, but I really like the regular me too.  Don’t get me wrong, we are responsible to make sure that we look neat, polished, presentable, and attractive – we must take pride in ourselves and it does require some extra time. I think the point I am weighing is, just how much ‘extra’ is enough and what is too much for me?

I will give a shout out to Nancy Shim at Sweet and Lashful. No, I have not used her services, but I would love to one day. If you go to her Instagram page, you can see some examples and her clients look FAAABBULLLOUUUUSS!!! She does eyebrow services too. Look her up Atlanta ladies (and gentlemen because some of you have some caterpillars resting on your face that need to be tamed)! 

Anyway because of my workouts, those bad boys came right off within 24 hours. So… about $1 an hour for the pleasure of looking like a goddess for a day. I can dig it… a little. The hair, nails, lashes…everything on top of regular maintenance is getting pricey!

So my prayer is that my future hubby really appreciates and adores the natural me, and also enjoys the perks of these little extras from time to time because they are really extra. I can do my nails on my own. Granted, I can’t do certain styles, but I can keep them neat and polished. I can do my own hair, but I limit certain heat styles since I don’t want to damage it (I leave it to the professionals). I can apply [some] make up. I’m hitting the gym to get things really right if you know what I mean, which is also part of that – hey I appreciate you appreciating me deal. BUT I don’t want him to fall in love with a persona – I want him to want the real me, so I am trying not to get caught up and go crazy where I am literally unrecognizable unless I have had $500 worth of beauty services. I have definitely seen women who wear a lot of make-up, and when they leave the house un-done it looks like they have caught the plague! I’m not about that life…

Beauty can be such a BEAST!

What do you think about all of this? Ladies AND Gentlemen, feel free to weigh in with comments below.

 

 

Write Your Story…

I LOVE this new song by Francesca Battistelli called “Write your Story.” It epitomizes my life in general as a Christian. It’s especially applicable to my life right now. I have been given a new chapter in my life book. I am waiting for God to fill it up with his plans for this next season.

Lyrics:

They say
You’re the King of everything
The One who taught the wind to sing
The Source of the rhythm my heart keeps beating

They say
You can give the blind their sight
And You can bring the dead to life
You can be the hope my soul’s been seekin’

I wanna tell You now that I believe it
I wanna tell You now that I believe it
I do, that You can make me new, oh

I’m an empty page
I’m an open book
Write Your story on my heart
Come on and make Your mark

Author of my hope
Maker of the stars
Let me be Your work of art
Won’t You write Your story on my heart

Write Your story, write Your story
Come on and write Your story, write Your story
Won’t You write Your story on my heart

My life
I know it’s never really been mine
So do with it whatever You like
I don’t know what Your plan is
But I know it’s good, yeah

I wanna tell You now that I believe in
I wanna tell You now that I believe in
In You, so do what You do, oh

I’m an empty page
I’m an open book
Write Your story on my heart
Come on and make Your mark

Author of my hope
Maker of the stars
Let me be Your work of art
Won’t You write Your story on my heart

Write Your story, write Your story
Come on and write Your story, write Your story
Won’t You write Your story on my heart

I want my history
To be Your legacy
Go ahead and show this world
What You’ve done in me
And when the music fades
I want my life to say

I let You write Your story, write Your story
Write Your story, write Your story

I’m an empty page
I’m an open book
Write Your story on my heart
Come on and make Your mark

Author of my hope
Maker of the stars
Let me be Your work of art
Won’t You write Your story on my heart

Write Your story, write Your story
Come on and write Your story, write Your story
Won’t You write Your story on my heart

The Anchor

Sometimes we have to compartmentalize day to day life. There are moments when we are pelted with so much, for lack of better words, junk that we are no longer able to discern what is true or what is a lie. It’s in these times that any and everything can come into our minds to make us believe that we are drowning in the lake of our own tears of self-pity.

For those who are believers in Christ, we have an anchor. His name is Jesus, and it is him that comes before all things, and in him all things are held together. So, hold on. Things may blow up around you, but you will not fall apart if Jesus is your anchor.

A Church Home

One of my prayers was that I would find a place of worship fairly soon after moving. I started looking for new churches as soon as I made the decision to move since my spiritual life prior to moving to Florida was drastically different. I wasn’t sure what would be available here. I was looking for something similar to my home church, Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale. Now Georgia being part of the “Bible Belt” gave me confidence that there would be no shortage of churches; however, I was looking for a very specific experience. I wanted Non-denominational, contemporary worship, community-minded, mixed ethnicity, big enough for multiple services but small enough to get to know people on a personal level, small groups, and most importantly – BIBLE TEACHING!  I wanted substance, and I wanted to experience more than fluff from the pulpit.

I do believe that for the time being I have found a suitable place to attend church. A Church called TurningPoint has caught my attention. I will go to my third service this coming weekend, and I think I may start their growth track so that I can learn more about their culture. I am looking forward to being part of a small group later this month, and I can’t wait to get involved in some outreach activities. I am glad that at least for the moment, this particular part of my journey seems to have some direction. I have experienced the peace that comes from being part of a good community. It seems when I am being encouraged by those who are around me, I experience a lot of joy and I don’t worry as much about what’s to come.

This is part of the reason of my contentment, despite the issues from my vent yesterday. I know all will be well :).

Over Starting Over and Over Being New

As much as I enjoy adventure and new experiences, I am feeling a bit taxed right now.  My move has been very good, and I am extremely fortunate because of God’s favor in how everything has worked out so far. I have been able to spend a good deal of time with family and friends. Life is good, and I am content. 

BUT

I am still in flux. Right now I am working, but it is a temporary transition that will soon end. I am frustrated with being in this position again. I just started working at my current employer last October. So to be doing this job search and application process again is pretty maddening. It was my choice so I can’t complain long; however, my lament is merely the irritation of having to try to sell my abilities and character again. I just don’t like having to be in the spotlight. And with that, the process is just long. Then you don’t hear word for a long time, or ever. The invention of the online application system is not as advantageous as people would have you believe. Additionally, I will be at some point be starting over with my living situation. I am home with my family at the moment, and one day I will be out on my own again. I joke with my mother that I will stay home until I marry, to which she retorts something to the affect that it’s time for me to get married. Sure mom…where is he lol?! Since the age of 12, I have moved 21 times. No, I am not in an active duty Military family. It can make one feel very unstable.  And since I am still young, I know there are more moves on the way. Starting over in work, love, and just life in general. The love part is also daunting…I’m not even going to really get into that right now, but I am pretty annoyed. 

uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuugggggggggggggghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh…..

Ok… vent over… moving on now. Tomorrow is a new day, and a new opportunity to have wonderful experiences. 

 

Sachi…

People who are familiar with me know I am a cat person. BUT this little pup has stolen my heart.

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Sachi is a chocolate and blond Labradoodle puppy who is, at the moment, six months old. I have never had a dog with such personality. She is a fast learner, even though she is so, so, soooooo stubborn at times.

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I think we are all part of her diabolical plan of cuteness, and we are all pawns in her game. Sachi is my mother’s baby, and she is so spoiled! Her name means “Miracle.” She was the last of the litter, brought back because she came down with a cellulitis infection on her snout. So, my mom got her for a discounted price.

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Now we get to enjoy her shenanigans. Her personality is definitely sassy! I know that she will change a little since she is not yet an adult, but I am sure she will still retain some of her obstinance and humor.

 

Home is Where the Heart is…

Just some photos I snapped with my phone over the past week since moving back to the Peach State.

My parents’ home in Georgia

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On a drive near my home

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Starbucks Evenings (Starbucks stores that sell wine and appetizers after 4pm)

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Getting Coldstone with momma

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Family Reunion

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Skate Country (Cousin’s 13th birthday party)

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Parents playing cards

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:)