love at first sniff.

I know I'm late to the game on this, but the Birmingham Sephora just got its first shipment of Tory Burch's perfume, and it is love at first sniff. Peony and citrus are always a winning combination in my book. The bottles and packaging are also divine, from Tory's signature gorgeous orange to the beautiful gold fretwork. It's so nostalgic of your grandmother's vanity. This has me seeing hearts this Valentines week. And Sephora is offering 3x the Beauty Insider points if you purchase by February 14, so show yourself some love.



spring fever.

It never ceases to amaze me how my Christmas obsession moves to Spring fever in a matter of a days, but it happens every year. I spend months longing for Bean Boots, tights, fur, Elf, carols, and egg nog. Then that resort, Lilly Pulitzer state of mind kicks in, hastened by the incessant mid-January #tbt of 95% of my Instagram feed, boasting photos of summers past. It's in the sea of pink & turquoise, beaches, and tans that I begin my journey of longing for warmer days even earlier than usual. I can feel the ice of my drink melting from the summer heat, while the (cliche) smell of jasmine wafts through the air. I count down the days until it's time for an Arnold Palmer while watching the Masters, a julep for the Derby, and breakfast at Wimbledon. And no matter what the dermatologist says, there's nothing quite like the feel of sun on your skin. I'm counting down the weeks until Spring. Now excuse me while I unearth my bottle of fake and bake..

Photos via Tumblr and Pinterest.


story time.

via Tumblr.
Over the past year, I've really started to see how purely wonderful it is to just watch how God works in peoples' lives and how dreams become reality. It's truly a beautiful thing to watch the Lord write a story. A few cases in my mind truly stand out. One is someone who was a part of my life in middle school. I watched her fresh out of college, saying that she would never get married at such a young age. I was there when she went out on a blind date. I was there when that blind date led to a relationship, and that relationship led to an engagement. That engagement led to a marriage, which led to a life that led them away, but to a full life. And that has now led to a baby. Another example was someone I had always wanted to meet and happened by the grace of God to meet during my time in Rosemary. I heard her lay out her hopes and dreams to leave behind a major career and have a baby and make that her life and to make a difference in the lives of other women. I watched that come to fruition 9 months later. In other cases I have watched people pray for years to be able to go to other countries and spread the Good News and who finally had the opportunity. The common denominator in each case is a desire to follow the Lord and His calling. A desire to serve Him first, and to ask Him to direct their paths. These dreams came to fruition because of a close walk with God. It's an example that I strive to live daily. So many times I want to go my own way and go down my own path, because I know best, right? Wrong. The best times in my life have been those in which I did life hand in hand with the Lord. Consequently, the worst have been when I chose to "know best."
The Lord uses the lives of others as a light to guide us to Him. He uses the lives of other to display the beauty of the story He is writing. He's writing stories about each of us, but they're all a part of a grander volume. Strive to make your story weave into someone else's; inspire someone else through your devotion to God and His will. That's a real resolution worth sticking to this year.


I'm dreaming of a Bobbi Brown Christmas.

I would love for one of these beauties (or a few) to land in my stocking on Christmas morning. Oh, Santa...


on contentment.

via Pinterest. 
I've been repeating this phrase over and over in my head lately. "Don't compare your beginning to someone else's middle." It's so easy in this entry level, starter phase of life to become discontent and not see the light ahead. You see people a few years older who have made their way in more ways than one or have friends who have something you want and don't have, and you begin to wonder if you ever will have that. Or worse, you get into the never ending cycle of keeping up with the Jonses. I've always prided myself on not falling into the category of "entitled" that older generations try to peg millennials as. I fully understand the importance of working your way up, paying your dues, and being patient. Still, being caught up in many moments, it's easy to not focus on the many, many blessings I have been given and instead focus on the blessings others have. A friend often reminds me of the quote and truth, "Comparison is the thief of joy." Comparing ourselves to others robs us of the joy of God's blessings given to us. I'm trying to meditate on these quotes and remember that everyone before me had a beginning, and I, too, will have a middle. Especially during this time where the season of "giving" becomes the season of "I want," I'm trying to remind myself of these words and the bountiful provisions God has given me. If it's just the beginning, the best is yet to come.
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