Discussion: You’re Going to Be Okay

I just finished reading You’re Going to Be Okay by Holley Gerth and I loved it! I took three pages of notes and I wanted to talk to you about how much I appreciated this book.

I’ve never been one to believe in the whole “just think positive” scheme of making yourself better and I think Holley did a wonderful job in balancing this way of thinking with actions. We’re pretty good at making things worse than they actually have to be but at the same time we also don’t have to wait for our circumstances to change to believe what’s true.

We are loved. We are overcomes. We are enough. We have purposes. And we are irreplaceable.

I liked that she talked about how our brains are muscles and with muscles comes flexibility but in order to make our muscles flexible we actually have to work with them. It just takes intentional change and obedience to the Spirit to learn to live in joy. We need to stop our negative thoughts in their tracks, drop them, and then roll with the situation. After that we should process and reflect and then pray. I’ve found in the past day or so as I’ve been using this way of thinking that it really works if you’re intentional with it.

What we really need to do is recognize the battles in our lives for what they are and then take one small step towards becoming out own allies instead of our own worst enemies. Honestly though, we are the best ally we can have and if we’re against us then how could we ever believe that God could be for us (at least this is my way of thinking). See, what is truly from God is not meant to weigh us down so if something is weighing you down pause and reflect and see where that negativity and pain is really coming from. Worry and fear come from believing a lie about who God is.

The last thing I want to talk about is that God dwells in us which means we have have “life to the full” wherever we go. Joy is a gift for us and we can always have it even if we aren’t happy all the time. We are climbers and we are not meant to settle so trust that whatever has been entrusted to you is what is best for this time. Worrying is an attempt to control what we can never control. Remember that with faith as little as a mustard seed you can move mountains.

I highly encourage this book for anyone who is struggling with a rough time right now, or just for everyday stressors. It’s a great way to process what is happening and see what God really intends for us.

I hope you’re all doing well.

Sincerely,

Meagan

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Makeup Favorites

Today I’m here with a post that I’ve been planning on making for a little over a year now but I just haven’t gotten around to writing it. (Or more like I haven’t wanted to take the pictures that go with all the writing).

So here are some of my favorite makeup items! I’ll split them up into different categories and give you the details on each item.

Face items:

NYX Dewy Finish Setting Spray

So I guess I’m starting off with what is actually the last item I use when doing my makeup. This is the first setting spray I’ve ever purchased and I honestly don’t think I will ever be switching it up. My makeup used to melt off my face by the end of the day and with this it all stays in place which I love because it means I can wear makeup everyday and not worry about sweating it all off!

Tarte Cheek Stain in Dazed

This is one of the only blushes that I use. I find it hard to use blush because my skin is relatively pale so I feel like even when I’m using a minuscule amount of product I still end up looking like a clown. Dazed actually blends out to look really natural and it also smells like Fruity Pebbles which I find to be a really awesome bonus.

ColourPop Sculpting Stick in Dove and Pixi Beauty Bronzer in Summertime

These are my go-to products for bronzing and contouring. I use Dove primarily in the winter when I’m paler and Summertime in the summer when I have more of a tan. They both work really well with pale skin which I really appreciate. I definitely like how well Summertime works with my skin tone because most bronzers I’ve owned in the past end up being way too orange in tone and look garish on my face no matter how tan I get. So I’ve pared down my collection to just these two products for bronzing and contouring and I’m really happy with both of them.

 

Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-hour Blush in Enthused

So even though this is described as a blush I use it as a highlight because of how sparkly it is. I bought this on a whim during some sort of holiday sale at Sephora and I didn’t even touch it for months after purchasing it. Then I started getting back into makeup and using highlighter and I picked this up to try and realized just how awesome it is!

Eye Items:

bareMinerals Brow Color in Dark Blonde/Medium Brown

This is the only eyebrow product I own and I love it! It’s really easy to apply and looks so natural.

Pacifica Eyeshadow in Ethereal:

So the more that I think about it, the more that I wonder if this is actually supposed to be a highlighter. I use it as an eyeshadow but I honestly think that I might start using it as a highlighter because it really pops.

The Balm’s Nude Dude Volume 2:

I’ve had this palette for a few years now and I love it more every time I use it. The colors are flawless and there’s little to no fallout which is awesome!

Tarte’s Tartelette in Bloom:

I got this for Christmas and has been my most used palette since December (although I will admit it hasn’t gotten a ton of use because I haven’t been wearing makeup as much as I used to). It does have a decent amount of powder kick up but I still really enjoy the colors. It is also pretty lightly pigmented compared to other eyeshadows that I use but it helps for those days when I don’t want a super bold eyeshadow look.

Lip Items:

ColourPop Lippies

The price and formula of these are amazing! $5 for lipsticks and $6 for liquid lipsticks, heck yeah! I have a giant stash of these and whenever I want to try a new color I go with ColourPop because I know that I’m going to get good quality for cheap so even if the color isn’t what I’m looking for I didn’t spend a fortune on it.

Some items that I love that aren’t pictured here include IT Cosmetics Superhero mascara (it is incredibly pricey but my absolute favorite). I’m using an ELF mascara right now which I enjoy but it takes about three layers before my eyelashes get anywhere near the level they are at with the Superhero mascara. I also really enjoy Kat Von D’s Tattoo eyeliner but again, using an ELF eyeliner which just doesn’t quite measure up but is way more affordable. Gotta love being a broke college student with no summer job.

On a side note, I didn’t do any swatches of my eyeshadow palettes or lipsticks because I was thinking of doing separate posts on just those items if anyone is interested in that.

So these are my favorite makeup items! What are your go-to makeup items? Also don’t forget to leave a comment below if you want me to write a more in depth post about any of my eyeshadow palettes or my collection of ColourPop lip products.

Have a great week everyone!

Sincerely,
Meagan

Toxic Relationships in YA

This topic goes deeper than the idea that a guy can fix all of a girl’s problems (although this is a topic that I could chat about on a different day). It is about the fact that there are multiple books out there that now illustrate controlling, toxic relationships as healthy and good.

When I was younger, I would idolize these types of relationships. I thought they were what everyone should want. But then I grew up and I learned about abuse and feminism and how what I idolized was destroying people on a daily basis.

Here’s a really poignant video from Whitney (aka whittynovels) about the topic. I highly recommend that you watch it before continuing on reading my post.

I’m not going to go in depth with what I think about the examples that she discussed because I really hope that you all watched the video because I feel like she did a really good job at expressing this topic.
I know someone who was in a severely toxic relationship and they didn’t even know that they were in a relationship that was abusive because it reflected so many other relationships they had seen and read about. It is not okay or romantic to be abused. Angst is not romance. Threats of nonconsensual behavior is not okay. The creepy sleep watching scene from Twilight? You guessed it: NOT OKAY.
The media normalizes what we see. It desensitizes us from violence and misbehavior because of how much we see certain things. We are sold problematic media until we think that this is normal.
Instead, we need to normalize healthy relationships and independence. We need to protect young men and women and illustrate behavior that is not controlling, not abusive. We need to discuss problems in these “romantic” books and support authors that write stories that are healthy. We need to stand up for feminist works and highlight healthy behaviors or highlight negative behaviors in a negative way. We need to stop highlighting negative behaviors as positive.
I am done idealizing relationships that are unhealthy. I want to idealize equality in relationships and I hope that y’all are with me. Have a great weekend everyone.
Sincerely,
Meagan

Review: Once and For All

Oh how excited I was to read this newest book by Sarah Dessen! Ever since she announced that a new book was on the way I have been waiting to get my hands on it! I was pumped to see it in my library the day it came out, usually books like this would have me on the waiting list until August! So as soon as I checked it out I was reading it and basically didn’t put it down until I was done! Sarah’s books are some of my favorite guilty pleasure reads and I enjoyed every minute of this one.

Once and For All is about Louna, the daughter of a wedding planner, who is very cynical about the idea of love.

Here’s my review:

4/5 stars

So overall I really enjoyed the book. It was a pretty typical read by Sarah Dessen and I have continually enjoyed all of her recent releases. I’m not as big of a fan as her older books.

Now I love my cheesy contemporary books so I could rave about this book all day. It was cute with an interesting story about Louna’s lost love. I think that it was highly predictable in the standard contemporary young adult novel way so if you’re not into that then I would pass on the book. I do feel like the characters in this novel fell a bit flat for me and I really wish I would’ve seen them more developed. William was a joy to have in the story and I loved that she had the LGBT+ representation. It also had me overjoyed that William was not so stereotypically gay as some authors make men in contemporary novels.

SPOILERS AHEAD:


I applaud Sarah for speaking about gun violence in this book. When I found out that Louna’s first boyfriend died in a school shooting I was shocked and my heart just dropped. It was not what I was expecting at all. Sarah is very open about her opinions about gun violence on her social media and she is a huge advocate to minimize violence so I was very happy that she brought some of this into her book. I wish that Louna would have been more of an advocate against violence or would’ve spoken more about this but I can understand from her story and personality that she was still grieving throughout the book.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants something fun and lovely to read for the summer. It was bright and healing and a perfect thirteenth novel for Sarah Dessen.

Happy Monday everyone, have a wonderful week!

Sincerely,

Meagan

Tourism and Back Alley Stuff

Hello again!

So today we ended up with a relatively late start. It’s been nice to have the freedom to go about on our own but I think it’s also made us all move a bit slower too.

A group of us decided to go to the changing of the guards at Buckingham Palace.

The crowd there was intense and not exactly my favorite thing in the world. We got pretty close to the fence but were still too far away to see anything clearly. In all honesty, unless you’re going to get there early (and by early I mean¬†early¬†because we got there by 10:30 and it was already packed… for those who don’t know, the ceremony starts at 11) I don’t really recommend this as something to do during your trip to London.

I mean it is kind of cool to be able to say “I saw the changing of the guards” but I have to admit I didn’t really see the ceremony much at all. I had to watch most of it through the phone screens of other people. I didn’t take many pictures at all because I just wanted to enjoy the moment and I figure everyone else at the ceremony has pictures enough for the entire world.

After the changing of the guard, DyAnna and I went off to explore on our own. We decided to go to the Benjamin Franklin house which was quite cool!

Here’s a little bit about the house from the brochure we got:
“The Historical Experience uses the historic spaces where so much took place as a stage- blending live performance, leading edge sound, lighting, and visual projection- to tell the rich story of Franklin in London in his own words.”

It was a really interesting experience and since we are students we got to see it all for the discounted price of six pounds. I would highly recommend this.

After that we stumbled upon the Victoria Embankment Gardens.

They had a koi pond and ping pong tables here!

Then we finished up the day at the British Museum.

I think from my experiences today I would have to say that I would highly recommend finding more back alley experiences (like the Benjamin Franklin House). The touristy stuff is cool too, don’t get me wrong, but I think that experiencing unique things adds to trip more than crowds do. It’s fun to get out of the way and see things that no one else will.

Anyways, I hope everyone has a wonderful week!

Sincerely,
Meagan

Traveling Is For Extroverts

PlaneAWASOE.jpg

Hi everyone, my name is Meagan and I just finished up my sophomore year as a communications student at CSS.

When I signed up for this trip to London I was all gung ho and ready to go but my enthusiasm quickly turned to gut wrenching anxiety as the weeks went by leading up to the trip. This would be my first time out of the country and my first time flying by myself. I felt completely unprepared and honestly still feel that way.

I’m originally from Woodbury, Minnesota which is a suburb of St. Paul and since I was flying out of Minneapolis I got to go home and spend a few days with my very sick siblings before leaving (to all my travelmates, they were no longer contagious by the time I got home so I hope and pray I didn’t bring any germs with me).

So on to the real nitty gritty stuff that you all want to hear about… Anxiety!

Actually I’m sure no one wants to hear about people talking about anxiety but it’s something that needs to be talked about, especially because traveling causes a LOT of anxiety.

So I’m pretty good at coping with anxiety, mostly by just pushing it aside which isn’t that great but it’s whatever. Anyways, I woke up in a panic on the 14 convinced that I had gone to London without packing any underwear. It took me ten minutes to calm myself down and reassure myself that I had indeed packed underwear and that it had in fact been the first thing that I packed.

Then I went about my normal day and ran some errands with my sister and celebrated Mother’s Day with my mom. By the time early afternoon rolled around I had nothing to distract me any further and was officially in panic mode.

This leads me to what this post is all about. Traveling is not for introverts and traveling is not for people with anxiety. Asking questions, talking to people, figuring out directions, etc. It’s not easy for me to ask questions or include myself in things or “force” myself to be extroverted. I mean I can to an extent but that’s a whole other thing.

All in all I think that the world needs to be kinder to travelers, more directions would be lovely and I would really appreciate the security people to be less intimidating too (but I understand why they are).

So from a very anxious introvert, hello from London. I hope I can encourage some other people who are terrified of traveling to actually travel. I think it’ll be worth it.

Sincerely,

Meagan