Sunday, June 30, 2013

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Home Life Series 4-Laundry Room

I can't believe we've reached the end of June, and the end of Home Life Series! I've really enjoyed putting together this series for you all and I hope you have as well. Today we visit my laundry room! It's a pretty small room which will make for a rather small post, but I wanted to share it anyways!

Walking into the laundry room here is what you see. Not huge, but ample. My washer and dryer are hand-me-downs from my parents (thanks for getting new ones Mom!). Generous parents are a huge blessing! Speaking of generous parents-see the turquoise "table" over the washer and dryer? That is what happens when I say that I wish I had a little counter space in my laundry room to work with and my father in law says he'll figure something out. A few weeks later he will travel an hour to spend his day off in your driveway building and sawing and nailing until this is produced. I really love how it turned out and it's been a huge help! I initially thought there was no hope for my idea since we're renting, but this isn't attached to the walls at all. Perfect! In typical me fashion I of course painted it turquoise. What else would you expect?

Speaking of that counterspace, let's see what I use it for. The small basket I always keep small old towels for cleaning. I also use a lamp out there, because let's face it if something is pretty I'm more likely to hang around it. And then the obvious, soap.

Finally in a corner of the laundry room is this small "cleaning station". My vacuum is cordless, so I like to keep it plugged in all the time so it's always ready to go. Also, I love the idea of having a cleaning caddy where all the most used supplies are. Now when I'm ready to clean all I have to do is pick up the caddy and go. Love that!

Well that's it for the Home Life series! I hope you've enjoyed it!!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Special Guest Post-A Heart for Africa

A few months I somehow stumbled on to Katy's blog and read with glee thinking-this girl could totally be my next friend in my head. As I continued to get to know her through her posts I learned of the beautiful heart that God has given her for Africa. She leaves next week and I'd love to see as many people as possible join me in committing to praying for her.
(In exchange for hugging as many of those beautiful babies for us as possible, deal Katy??)
So today she's taking over the blog to share what God is doing in this ministry project and I'm so excited for you all to join in. Also, she has a beautiful etsy shop that will make you want at least 1 of everything. And what's better than that? Knowing that every penny goes to Africa. Check that out here!
Katy-thanks so much for joining me here today and sharing with us your heart for Africa. More than that, thank you for your willingness and obedience to follow Him no matter the cost, no matter the distance. As you take up your cross and follow Him next week, remember the prayer team you're leaving behind who will be lifting you up daily to the One who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine. You're a beauty and inspiration friend.

Hi, new friends!

Now that it's been a month since Stephanie asked me to guest post, I'm finally here (and couldn't be happier, even though it took me forever to get this together)!

Before I jump right in, let me introduce myself...

My name is Katy and I get real over at The Stones: Just Us, Doing Life, where you're going to get a little bit of everything- mostly life/marriage/family, a little DIY, some food, a lot of Jesus, and a little Africa.

My hubs (the one next to me up there) and I have been married for 4 years this summer (crazy!).  We met in high school when I asked him (nothing more than a friend of a friend of a friend at that time, basically a stranger) to our school's Sadie Hawkins dance.  After 2 years of "denial dating", we made it official and started dating my senior year of high school.  Fast forward 4 years and we got married right before I graduated from Texas A&M (whoop!).

The past 4 years have been crazy- 2 degrees, 7 moves, 1 back surgery, 1 year in Africa, 1 year at camp... and a lot of adventure all along the way.

Come get to know me- you can find a list of things that set my heart on fire here.

Ok... now onto the meat of this post.

The reason why Stephanie asked me to guest post is to share my heart for Africa.

The Lord put this passion in my heart years ago and it's been incredible to watch what He has done with it in the years since then.  I could go ON AND ON about how and why I love Africa so much, but we don't have time for that today.  I'll leave you with the most recent update and let you follow my blog for the rest. :)

I'll be leaving July 1 to help lead a team for about 3 weeks in Rwanda.  I will be going with One27 Ministries, a local organization based on James 1:27-

"Pure and undefiled religion... is this:

to minister to widows and orphans in their distress,

and to keep oneself unstained by the world."

{Pastors from last year's training}

This trip in particular will consist of a training for pastors, a conference for women, a conference for youth, and evangelism/encouragement trips into villages of Rwanda.  (For more info about how/why the Lord has laid these events on our heart, visit this post.)

We are making our final preparations (well, I'm avoiding them as I write this!) this week and are calling on the body to be a part of our team...  

How, you ask?  PRAYER. 

We believe that every believer is

called to be intimately involved in missions.  No, not everyone is

called to GO.  That's just a small part of it, but EVERY believer is

called to SEND.

"For just as the body is one and has many members...

 so it is with Christ.


if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the

body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body.

the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the

whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell?

But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose.   

If all were a single member, where would the body be?   

As it is, there are many parts, yet one body.

The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.”  On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable...

But God has so composed the


 that there may be no division in the body, 

but that the members may have the same care for one another.   

If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together." 

 -1 Cor. 12:12-26 (paraphrased)

Would you consider being a part of our team this summer and joining us in prayer?  We're asking our prayer partners to visit this post and leave their name and where they're from as a way to encourage the individuals we're taking.  

{To keep up with our trip updates, follow One27's blog and like One27 on Facebook- we'll be updating both as much as our internet access allows.}

Well, it's been fun hanging out with you new friends today.  I hope you'll come on over to my blog and say hey.  I am a lover of people and cannot wait to get to know each of you!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Friend Connect Blog Hop

Hey friends! I'm taking a break from Tasty Tuesday this week to co host the Friend Connect Blog Hop from Melissa at The Life of a Not So Ordinary Wife. She has a pretty wonderful blog and she seems pretty great herself, go meet her here! Also, if you're a new follower from the hop please just leave a comment to let me know and I'd be happy to return the follow! Now on to the Hop....

It's Tuesday again which means it's time for the Friend Connect Blog Hop!

It's the time to meet new friends and find new blogs. You can choose to follow the cohosts in whatever way is best for YOU! Here are some of my favorite ways: GFC, BlogLovin', HelloCotton, RSS, Twitter, Facebook.

Ok, so let's get to the party, shall we?

RULES are simple:

1. Follow your host 

The First link below

2. Follow your co-hosts 

The Next 6 links below

3. Link up below using your main blog url not a specific post.

4. Make sure to visit some of the blogs in the link up and follow them 

and if you want to leave them a comment, I'm sure they'd appreciate that as well.

5. Tweet about this blog hop

6. Share about this blog hop by grabbing a button and putting it on your sidebar!

I have cohost spots available! Email me if you're interested at

Post Sponsor Ad:

Monday, June 24, 2013

My Refuge & Hiding Place

For the past month my family has been going through a pretty difficult time with a family member. This is someone very close to me whom I love dearly, though they are making choices that are dishonoring to God and terribly hurtful to our family. To say that it is wearing on my whole family is an understatement. It's a difficult season we're walking through, treading lightly with many tears and much prayer.

Though I worry as if my life depended on it, I'm also a pretty positive person. So when these things started happening a few weeks ago I simply chalked it up to a bad day and would go to bed maybe in tears, but with the hope that tomorrow would undoubtedly get better.
But it didn't.
So then my Optimistic Train would leave the station on Sunday night. I would fill up with all the courage and determination in the world that this week would have to be better than last.
But it wasn't.
Not the next week or the next week or the next week.

It's during these weeks that eventually the balls I juggle seemed to slowly drop. Not intentionally, but my attention and my focus was simply being zapped by this area of heartache. But what can you do? You can't change it or of course you would've done that in the beginning. So you just keep going and keep trying to keep the balls in the air.

But last week I woke up one morning very sick. I stayed that way for 3 days. The balls fell flat to the ground-every last one of them. I see it as God's way of saying...
Beloved, stop. Rest.
So I did for awhile. But then in typical-me-fashion I tried to keep on keepin' on even though I was sick. You know-plow through it, a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do. (Is anyone keeping track of how many cutesy saying's I've used so far? Completely unintentional but probably a record of some kind.)
It didn't work though. I was literally too weak, I was forced to return to bed. In tears I started basically telling God that I didn't have time for this I had to keep going. He responded with,
Daughter, you're about to unravel, you need to linger in My Presence longer.

So I did. Can I share what He shared with me? Oh how I pray this falls upon ears that need it today as much as I do.

"We have made a lie our refuge and falsehood our hiding place." Isaiah 28:15

(If you're exiting left here because that was less than encouraging or uplifting, stick with me a tad longer.)

Sometimes it's not until things are shaken out from under us for us to see that somewhere along the lines we've stopped making the Lord our refuge, our hiding place.
I am all for Godly relationships that support and encourage us throughout the difficult seasons of life-oh how grateful I am. But I shudder to imagine the times I've run to those relationships before my relationship with my God.
I am blessed beyond measure to have a loving and supportive husband who is a nurturer by nature and stands with arms open for me 24/7 no matter what. But if I run to his arms before I hit my knees, I've got it backwards.
I am a big list/schedule maker, and I think that's fine in and of itself. But if I'm consulting my list for the day before surrendering my own agendas and seeking God's plan for my day then I'd rather just throw out the weekly planner.

Every single time-without fail-when I exchange the comfort that only God can give me for something or someone of this world I am guaranteed to be left in need. 100% chance. No matter how big the giant is or how long the season may last He will not run out on us, we cannot exhaust Him. Does that breathe some much needed life into hopeless hearts like it does mine?

Let me end this by saying, for me personally, I don't see this season ending quickly for me like I had once thought (and still hope for of course). For various reasons, I just don't. So in a way I feel like I'm in the middle of an ocean of heartache and struggling trying to swim for dear life but not seeing the shore line yet. Are you with me out there? Can I give you some encouragement that God so graciously gave me the past few days that I'm going to try to work on this week? Since you probably can't change the circumstances (or you would've already), what can you do?

1.) Stay alert to who you're putting as your refuge and hiding place. I'm not at all saying block out those blessings in Christ that are there to encourage us, oh what a gift they are! Just make sure they stay as an encouragement, not the ultimate (or first) place we run to.

2.) Start your day with God. This one is huge and one that I'm personally struggling with lately. But especially when you're walking through a trial you're more than likely going to have to handle some pretty tough things during the day and there's no way you can do that if your empty of Him in your day. Before anything can happen in a day stop and linger in His presence.

3.) Accept the fact that every single thing probably isn't going to get done. And that's okay. There are certain things I'm not willing to let go, but I am willing to let other things go so that what really needs my attention will get it. For example, let's be honest, I'm probably not going to vacuum once this week because I have a pretty tough/busy week ahead of me. But I am going to make an effort to date my husband and give him all my attention for an evening in the midst of everything else.
If you're like me and like to keep everything going all the time and this one's difficult to strive for, try to remind yourself, this is only a season...I will get back into my normal routine.

4.) Listen to praise and worship music as much as possible. You'll be surprised how much of an effect this will have on your attitude and emotions. (The Kari Jobe station on Pandora is on right now and is bringing it home ya'll. Messy tears in the best way possible over here.)

5.) Remember: We are MORE than conquerors THROUGH HIM who loves us. (Romans 8:37) Let that soak in and fall fresh on your weary hearts and minds, no matter how many times you may have read/heard it. Then repeat that in your head or out loud or write it on the wall's for goodness sakes (unless you're renting like me) until that verse is automatically just going on repeat in your head.

And just in case you can't literally write Romans 8:37 on the walls of your home, how about a free printable? Simply download below.

Linking up with: Happy Wives Club, Jolene, Ruth, Julie, Nan and Some of the Best Things in Life Aren't Mistakes.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Home Life Series 3-Craft Room

Today I get to invite you to one of my very favorite places-my craft room. Its the one place I feel 100% free to create, I can just have fun in this room.
One of my favorite things about this space is the ability to not have to clean up mid-project. It so often happens that I have to put a pause on what I'm doing and before this room I would begrudgingly have to clean everything up, only to get it all back out a few hours later. Pain. This room really lets me just enjoy my creativity, walk away if I need to and not have to clean up.
It's the little things folks.
Before I take you on this room tour I should warn you: it's a mess. I usually keep this room pretty straightened up as soon as I finish a project, because if I can't find anything then it's just annoying-not relaxing. However, I'm currently in the middle of 2 major projects, my mother in law just opened a new business and I'm in charge of decorations AND I'm focusing on decorations for VBS as well. I had really good intentions of getting this all cleaned and pretty before I snapped these photos, but let's be honest, I was catching up on laundry all day and just didn't get the chance. (Click here for more on that.)

Walking into the craft room on your right you'll see this

The wall hanging is something my aunt, who was very much my 2nd mother, said often: Live simply, give more, desire less. After she died a couple of years ago, on a particularly difficult afternoon I wandered through her room, praying for peace. I found this scribbled on another notepad on her desk, grabbed the paper, and went home and painted this. Who knows if there's more paint or tears on the canvas.
Here you'll see a stack of Martha Stewart magazines I can't part with (I say they inspire me. I'll probably be on Hoarders soon.), ribbons/thread, and a stack of paper trays.
I found this tiered wire fruit basket a few months ago and snatched it up for $5 with no clue what I would do with it. It's turned out to be perfect for some ribbon and threads, and while it doesn't look like it, there is a method to the madness here.

Next is the closet. As soon as I deemed this spare bedroom the craft room I knew I would keep these closet doors open. Easy access. I utilized smaller plastic shoeboxes to separate adhesives, stamps, punches, etc.

Here's the workspaces! The first table is a cheap, not so pretty table I picked up at a thrift store for a few dollars. When I bought it Mr. thought I was nuts because while it was sturdy it had peeling paint on top. But that was ideal for me, seeing as I got it at a great price and I never have to cover it when I get out my paint. Just adds to the character! The second table (on the right) used to be our kitchen table until we were blessed with a new one so this got to be extra work space.

We are currently in a rent house, which we really love, but of course there are always quirks. One of them is in the craft room. A random hook hanging over my work space table? Not a big deal at all, but if I could easily cover it up why not! So I had 2 plastic embroidery hoops and a sack full of fabric remnants and went to town. Hanging it was the most difficult part because I kept getting it lopsided. Simple and fun little somethin'.

In our first place I had this red tiered stand in the kitchen on top of the kitchen cabinets as a fun pop of color. In our current kitchen the cabinets were too short to put it up again. However I love it in the craft room to hold all my small bottles of paint. Not only is it a prettier way to display it than the box they were previously in, but I love that I can see it all too.

Under all the clutter, you'll see I use a cabinet with storage opportunities to store my sewing machine on. I love this because I can keep all my fabric organized underneath it, and all my little tools in the drawers. This is so convenient that I can sit down to sew and not have to go over all the room to find what I need.

New Mrs. Adventures

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

It's not Me, it's the weather

It's recently come to my attention that I can find a reason not to do something based on the current weather conditions like nobody else.

Need to run to the grocery store in November?
Oh but it's slightly chilly and a tad cloudy, that's perfect curl up under a blanket weather not grocery shopping weather.

Need to clean my outta control house?
Well I obviously can't today it's 90 degrees outside and if I clean inside then I'll get all hot and disgusting and might as well be outside. Obviously.

Need to do laundry?
On this perfect 75 degree, not a cloud in the sky day? Sinful. That's what we call wasting this precious time the good Lord gave us.

Tell me I'm not alone. This whole realization of myself came crashing down today as the Mr. and I were headed out the door for a fun afternoon we had been planning to take a break from everything like making excuses on why I can't have one single danged productive day. I was telling him that if I don't do a load of laundry asap things were about to take an ugly turn in our happy little home, to which he replied that he had been wondering where many of his clothes were since he had been putting them in the laundry room on the assigned days as usual.
(That new family rule came into effect about a month ago-when I was still actually doing something-and I was getting frustrated as it seemed every day I got caught up on laundry the very next morning my sweet husband would cheerfully place his overflowing laundry hamper in the laundry room. This happened way too often and every time I felt like I had just won the gold in Laundry Olympics only to be stripped of my title the next day. So I finally said ok we have to figure something out this is not working, therapy is going to be expensive over this. We agreed to Mondays & Thursdays as laundry days and he would be sure to put anything he needed done in the laundry room on those mornings.)

So while he's continued to follow the laundry routine even though no clean laundry has been returned to him, I've run to Wal-Mart to buy a new pack of underwear to buy me a few more days on the productive front. For reals ya'll, laundry is not that hard, what the heck is wrong with me?!?! Let me explain....
It's been in the 90's daily for a few weeks now. I obviously see the need to do the bare minimum, like making sure we are fed and dressed (note: I didn't say in clean or matching outfits).

I will however say, we're having the time of our lives this summer.

Swimming every afternoon, making ourselves sick on snow cones, chasing sunsets, and concerts in the park.

So if you'll excuse me, I need to run to Wal-Mart. Supposed to be pretty hot the rest of the week.

Linking up with Prowress & Pearls, and Marquis.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Tasty Tuesday- Black Beans & Rice

This dish is a personal favorite of ours. It was one of the very first things I ever made for us a few evenings after we got married, so every time I make it, it brings back sweet memories of our very first days as newlyweds and living out of boxes not able to find a thing I needed. But I was with my new husband in a tiny place that was just ours and I was absolutely smitten.
I still am.
And I still love this dish. It's super easy, super versatile and super delicious. I've even made this to entertain with and was a big hit! I think you'll love this one as well, so let's get started!

Printable Recipe

1 teaspoon olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
3/4 cup uncooked white rice
1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 1/2 cups canned black beans, drained
1 can of Rotel
1 can corn

Heat a pan over medium heat and add olive oil, onion, and garlic, letting this sauté for about 5 minutes until the onions get translucent.

Add rice and sauté for 2 minutes.

Add the vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cover, letting it simmer for 20 minutes.

Lastly, add in the black beans, Rotel, corn, and spices.

Mix up this delicious-ness and let it heat through for about 10-15 minutes.

Wrap this up in a tortilla and top with shredded cheese for an instant delicious meal. Or scoop it up with chips or my personal favorite way is just in a bowl with a fork! This is also one of my favorite leftover meals because the flavors just mix more with time. Enjoy friends!

Printable version found here!

Linking up with Mandy, Emily, The Time Warp Wife, Jacinda, Moonlight & Mason Jars, Make Ahead Meals, Karyn, Alyssa, and Beth.

Monday, June 17, 2013

I can testify

As everyone was celebrating Father's Day yesterday my heart felt torn, I've mentioned before I didn't have an ideal upbringing. My dad did the best he could but ultimately he simply didn't know how to love us. It was years of heartache and sorrow for us and a huge lack of relationship for this daughter who ached for a dad to really be there. God has done huge things since I've grown up and my dad is not the same person he was then, a miracle I know full well. If anything God has used that huge area in my life to teach me forgiveness. I knew if I ever wanted a real relationship with him after God had changed his life I was going to have to let go of 18+ years of absolute devastation, years and memories that couldn't be re-done. I'd like to put on my best Sunday School answer here and say it was easy, but in all honesty, it was hard. And frankly, I felt hurt like doing it. But after many weeks in tears on my knees wrestling with God over this issue I knew He was calling me to forgive my dad. Not because he deserved it-in many ways he robbed me of my childhood.

But because I didn't deserve the forgiveness God showed me either. But He did. And He does. So I did too.

However, the pain still creeps up on me sometimes and for many years I struggled with that fact. If I had forgiven my dad why was I still having to deal with the pain of it all? One day God spoke very clear to me though when He told me, He would bring healing to me (and faithfully He has), but He would never remove it so much from my memory that it would lose it's effectiveness. I didn't understand at the time. I tried to humbly obey, but I certainly didn't understand and wanted to erase every painful memory.

Fast forward a few years. I meet this man and fall madly in love and he's a youth minister, and I'm kind of his sidekick, and we do ministry together. And I can't tell you how many opportunities I've gotten to hit my knees next to a sobbing 16 year old girl that I could swear was myself 10 years ago and say with every fiber in my being-
I understand, I've been there too.

And in that moment, it all has purpose. I understand the moment that He told me He wouldn't completely remove it from me, because don't you see? Then I went through it all for absolutely nothing. I shudder to think.

I was still able to celebrate with my dad this weekend. No matter how imperfect the road might have been, God has certainly proved Himself as the Redeemer He is. I'm living proof that there is hope where it certainly doesn't feel like it. I spent years being that girl producing puddles of tears on her bedroom floor praying as hard as she might, but seeing nothing change year after year and wondering if my prayers were hitting the popcorn ceiling above me. Even though I may never be a daddy's girl, and oh how I always longed to be, I can honestly say I am grateful for my dad today-good & bad. I simply wouldn't be who I am today without him and everything we've been through, more importantly I wouldn't be the same, or as effective I believe, in ministry without those painful times.

Anyone else been there? I'd like to offer some encouragement in the tiniest form of a free printable. These words are true, I'm living proof, and they resonate deeply within me. You're welcome to share this as well, I would just appreciate the link-back. This printable is a 5x7 and all you have to do is click on the picture below. Enjoy!

Linking with: Julie, Happy Wives Club, Jolene, Ruth, Nan,and some of the best things in life.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Home Life Series Part 2-Bathroom & A Link Up!

Welcome to week 2 of Home Life Series! This week I chose the bathroom because it contains one of my favorite areas-make up/skin care products. I know I'm such a girly. Shamefully I admit that I could watch make up gurus on youtube for days, mainly because I love hearing what works for other people! Also let me insert the reminder that Mr. and I do not share a bathroom, so if you wonder how I can get by without any "boy" stuff in here, that's why! You wouldn't want to go through his bathroom anyways-trust me-as much as I adore the man I try to avoid that room myself as much as possible. Moving on...let's get started!

Soon after Mr. and I were married I stumbled upon this in an antique store one day for about $12. I had no idea what I was going to do with it, I just liked the look of it. It was a unique basket kind of thing, but all metal and in perfect condition with no rough spots that would snag at things I put in it. So I remember that day bringing it home and putting it in the corner of our (at that time shared) bathroom. I neatly rolled towels and put them in and walked away feeling like HGTV would be calling me any minute for decorating tips. A few minutes later Mr. walked out of the bathroom asking me if it was some kind of tiny laundry hamper. Bless his heart. It was one of the first "I'm really living with a boy" freak out moments.. Anyways...eventually I figured out what I really needed for it was a catch-all for my hair products and tools! I love this idea because it has a bit of cute-ness to it, it's not just a drawer that I've crammed all of those products in, and I can easily see everything in it!

Remember how make up is my weakness? Well right after we moved into our current home I knew I had to come up with a better method. Each morning I would sit down with a giant container of all kinds of make up and a mirror and dig through to find what I wanted. It wasn't practical, nor enjoyable anymore. So then I remembered that we had somehow ended up with an extra silverware drawer divider and wondered if I could work something out. I found an empty basket and loaded everything that I loved but didn't use every single day into that and slid it in my bathroom cabinet. Then I took the few daily products and lined them up in my silverware holder and stuck it in my drawer. Surprisingly this has worked out perfectly. Most days I drag my chair over to the bathroom cabinet, open up the drawer and can easily get to exactly what I need without having to dig through excess. On those days I'm dressing up more or getting a little fancier for date night, all I have to do is pull out my basket of "extras".

If you've ever been in my kitchen you know I never throw a jar away. I will always find a spot for it and this is one of those examples! The one on the left holds all of my small hair pieces that would get lost in the "tiny laundry hamper" sheesh. So all of the hair clips and hair ties go in that jar, easy access, because I've been known to get frustrated when I have my hair just perfect and have to let go of it to find a hair tie. (Anyone else? Anyone?) The next one holds my toothbrush because I get easily grossed out by laying it around and wondering what else has been there. I know-I'm a mess.
But really-free solution? Why not!

Confession: For the longest time I thought these things were silly and unnecessary, some kind of conspiracy to make us spend more money we shouldn't really spend (as if I needed a conspiracy to help there). However, after years and years of piling up conditioners and shampoos and body wash and razors along the side of the shower and undoubtedly kicking it over on my way in or out, or on a good day both, I finally caved and bought into the shower caddy. Seriously. Game changer. Even if it is a spending conspiracy, I believe it to be worth it.

The Sigma brush cup holder works perfectly at making it super convenient for taking your brushes with you, but also simply for keeping all the brushes in one place.

Favorite perfume:
Betsey Johnson's Too Too Pretty
I got a sample of this beauty in a Sephora order, and it was one of those rare samples that you fall in love with and know you must have. So after I got every drop out of that sample, I hit up Sephora-having no idea what the bottle looked like. The sample was of course just a simple plain tube. But this stuff smells so good I promise you won't even care that the packaging makes it look like a 13 year old emo girl has taken over your bathroom.

Favorite daytime face lotion:
Eucerin Daily Protection Moisturizing Face Lotion
I purchased this at the beginning of winter because my face was suddenly so dry I couldn't even put foundation on without it looking like it was going to flake off. This stuff fixed the problem immediately. Now that's it's warming up my face isn't dry anymore but I'm still hooked on it for its SPF 30 factor. Warning: 1 pump goes a long way. I typically cover my whole face with half a pump.

Favorite liquid foundation:
Clinique Perfectly Real Liquid Foundation
I've used this stuff since I started wearing make up when I was 13 years old and my mom and aunt took me for my first Clinique makeover (still one of the high points of my life). I've tried a few other things over the years but always go back to this, it's perfectly "real" looking, and can be as build-able as you want it to be.

Favorite concealer:
Maybelline Instant Age Rewind
This is the perfect, easy to grab at the drugstore, concealer. Plain & simple.

Favorite bronzer:
Too Faced Chocolate Soleil
Yes it's wonderful. And it tastes like chocolate. (Does that make it sounds like I typically eat my make up? Not my intention, but you know when you're in a hurry and powdering that bronzer up a storm while telling Mr. a story and it just kind of flies in? Yep. Been there.)

Favorite blush:
Nars Blush in shade Amour
Sephora's description calls this shade a "peachy pink". I'm not sure I'm seeing the "peachy" in it, but I love it nonetheless. And in case you're concerned like I typically am about blushes-no shimmer at all. You're welcome.

Favorite eyeliner:
Stilla Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner in black
I've been dearly devoted to black liquid liner of all shapes, sizes, and brands from day 1. However, this is my absolute favorite, hands down. When I first tried it out I was a little skeptical, because I had always had a "pot" of liquid liner to dip my applicator in. So when I tried this one that is really like a thin marker, with nothing to get more product from I thought I might only get a couple of good months out of this and call it done. Well that was about 9 months ago and it's still going strong. Last time I was at Sephora I picked up a back up because I thought that I was probably nearing the moment that the product was going to suddenly run out and make my eyes look like they were "kinda lined". Not good. Not pretty. I still haven't even opened the back up package yet. This is completely smudge-proof as well.

Favorite mascara:
Almay Get Up & Grow and Clinique High Impact Mascara-both in black
I have been known to apply up to 253 coats of mascara at one sitting. Mascara is my love language in the world of make up.
So after years of a great relationship with the product, I've come up with a kind of technique. I begin with one good coat of Almay Get Up & Grow, then promptly curl them. (I compare this to curling my hair with a curling iron-I always add hair spray first to give it something to hold on to. Same idea. Get it?) After curling them I add a couple hundred coats of Clinique High Impact and call it a day.

Favorite eyeshadow:
Too many to count or include. My most favorite would probably be Mac, but my budget doesn't like that too much. So a couple of my other favorites would be Stilla and Wet n' Wild.

Favorite shampoo:
I'm really not a devoted shampoo user, typically I buy whatever's on sale or smells the best.

Favorite shower face wash:
Neutrogena Extra Gentle Cleanser
It's simple and it works, exactly what I was looking for.

I have really thick hair, so keeping a cheap wide-tooth comb is the perfect solution to taming the tangle battle.

Doesn't every girl need a pink loofa? I think so.

Favorite travel bag:
This is actually a Vera Bradley lunch bag, but since I didn't have a need for that, I re-used it. This is perfect because the inside is plastic so if anything drips or spills at all nothing happens. Plus since it's square you can easily stand up bottles in the corners.

Favorite face wash:
Philosophy Purity
It's really simple but really good, and not a super strong smell.

Favorite eye make up remover:
Clinique Take the Day Off
Before I stumbled upon this gem I would rub my eyes until they were bright red trying to get the last traces of eye make up off, remember my coats upon coats of mascara? But this product? Just grab a cotton ball and make it happen, it's gone in about 30 seconds, seriously.

I really love my Clarisonic Mia. I do really need to get a new brush replacement though.

Favorite night face cream:
Philosophy Hope in a Jar
This cream is thick enough to work, but it doesn't leave behind that "greasy" feel. Love that.

Favorite under eye cream:
Philosophy Hope in a Tube High Density Eye & Lip Cream
I don't just use this stuff to prevent wrinkles and bags under my eyes-let's be honest I don't think that far ahead. But I get funky tiny little bumps under my eyes and this really clears them up. And hey, maybe I'll prevent a wrinkle or two in the meantime.

Favorite exfoliator #1:
Philosophy the Microdelivery Exfoliating Wash
This is probably my favorite facial exfoliator of all times, seriously your face will feel amazing. But it's a little harsh for every day use, I typically use this one only once a week. So this leads to my next exfoliator:

Favorite exfoliator #2:
St. Ives Fresh Skin Apricot Scrub
This is a great everyday exfoliator from the drugstore-and it smells great!

Favorite body cream:
Bath & Body Works Triple Moisture Cream in scent Country Chic
I can't tell you how many times I've re-purchased this product. I also stock up in the shower gel and body wash of this. Every time I run out I rush out to Bath & Body Works the next day in fear they've discontinued it, never fails.

Okay did you make it through with me? Whew that was a doozy! Your turn! Grab a button, link up, and share your favorite bathroom storage or decorating tips or favorite products! I'd love to hear it! Remember everything that's linked up will be pinned to the New Mrs. Adventures pinterest page.

New Mrs. Adventures