Monday, April 28, 2014

{OOTD: Week Wrap Up

This week, following Easter, was fantastic. I had an OK week at work, but I was blessed incredibly this week regardless. I am moving apartments for the last time this summer, and am staying with friends here in UT. I move in today, and am excited to get back into the swing of things!

Today's post will be short. Sacrament meeting was amazing yesterday. We had several young boys from the ward speak about missionary work as well as an RM who had just gotten back from Wisconsin! It was so inspiring seeing these young boys not yet 10 years old excited about missionary work. In Sunday school we studied lesson #15 in the Gospel Doctrine manual and it was great. Relief Society talked about mental illness and how the power of the Atonement can help tremendously. We went over Elder Holland's talk from last conference. The one that has helped so many members and non-members a like. It was an overall great day!

My Outfit Of The Day:

sorry about the horrible quality...Phone pic!

Yellow Pull-over Cardigan (similar)(From Banana Republic. I cut apart so that I could wear it like so..)// black v-neck Tee shirt: Cynthia Rowley (similar) from TJ Maxx// Black and White Striped Midi skirt: Target// Tan cut out flats: Nine West


Have an awesome week everyone!!








Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Week Shenanigans: Meeting Provo

It was a splendid week, if I do say so myself! Minus a few hiccups at work (my computer is in electrical heaven) it was pretty chill. I really got to dive into Utah this week too, since I had Monday and Tuesday off. We went to Salt Lake and got into all sorts of fun up there! Guys, can I just really quickly talk about the transit system here?? I am IN LOVE. They have actual TRAINS! It's called the Front Runner, and it's pretty much amazing. So I love it. I'm actually going up to Salt Lake today for a hair appointment (more on that later) and will be taking the Front Runner again and am kind of super excited for that. Ok. Rave over. 


I'm in LOVE with these Mountains.


Remember "Elder Checketts" (Ryan)?? He was one of the Elders who gave me the lessons back in MN! He showed us around SLC and it was an overall fun day! Complete with shakes and fries from this awesome place called Hires big H.  Elder Roberts is still on his mission, but it will be a PARTY when he gets off!
random child who would NOT move so
 that I could take a picture...

Salt Lake Temple!

Good Ole' Ryan.

Friday was a gas, starting out with endless French Toast at Kneaders with friends from Arizona, and then volunteering with Elizabeth at the Utah Community Center. It was SO fun. For two hours we sorted cans and chatted with other volunteers. I wouldn't have spent the day any other way!


Later, we celebrated a friend's 20th birthday with a midnight swim party after I got off of work. It was LEGIT! She's actually waiting on a mission call right now! I met her and her sister because they are actually Arianne's cousins. Awesomeness runs in that family. I swear!

The next day was spent working from 11-7, and we are kicking the Easter weekend off just right with the BYU Creamery and another night swim. Ahhh. Life is good in Utah. Then I have a short break from Massage Envy for two days and go back on Wednesday.
Happy Easter everyone!!! #BecauseofHim we are able to have new life!!!

Xoxo


Nat

Easter Weekend Reflections.



As well all know, it's EASTER WEEKEND!!! I love Easter. Not because of the easter bunny or the clearanced candy at Walgreen's, but because of the meaning of Easter. Growing up my family never celebrated Easter with Easter baskets or candy or stuff like that. Our parents didn't buy us presents. What I will always remember though, is them buying us Easter dresses.
Our Easter dresses were our "signature spring look"! From the time we were babies up until we were in about Middle school my parents (and later just my mom) would take us girls to Macy's and get us fancy dresses for Easter Sunday. Some years my Grandma would send them to us in the mail (before she died). They were always pastel, frilly and girly and cute and I absolutely ADORED them. I remember one year when I was like I got a pair of cute white Easter heels from my Grandma to go with my dress and they DIDN'T FIT! I was so bummed. I had to wait an entire year to wear them.

But anyway getting to the point, this Easter I have been overwhelmed with feelings of our Savior. This past year has been amazing for me. I've had many experiences where I have traveled and have had to pass my own expectations. Through it all I know that it was only because of the Atonement of Jesus Christ that I was able to get through the year.

It is so amazing to me to know that because of our Saviour's Atonement we are able to change, to become better versions of ourselves and to eventually become like Him.
I remember a few months ago, during Sacrament Meeting one of my friends gave a talk about the Atonement. She gave a heart wrenching account of an experience that she had years ago, in which she had a close friend who told her that the Atonement didn't apply to her. Somehow she was simply exempt from the blessings that come with it. I could hear the pain in her voice and that at one point she actually believed it.
Aren't we so lucky to know that this isn't true? The Saviour bled from every pore and went through immense pain for us. Just so that we can sin over and over again. And he did it willingly, without complaint. I am so grateful for the Atonement. So thankful.

The Church has come out with an Easter video that is pretty awesome highlighting the life of Christ:


Because of Him, we can change! The victory has been won! My Easter was spent with a friends family, which was super fun, complete with yummy food, a FHE, and these awesome peep cupcakes.


 YUMMO! Also, Sacrament Meeting was this AMAZING program put together by one of the women in the ward. It was pretty great! 


Happy Easter.


Nat

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

{Product Review}: Murad and Bare Minerals 2014 Kit




So lately I've been having some REAL issues with my makeup. It makes me look washed out, and is drying my skin out. I was also having major issues with my skin care products. After getting the right cleansing and repair products that work best with my crazy combination skin (I use Murad products) I set out to find the best makeup. I work with Murad products at my job, so I'm fairly familiar with their lines and j'adore them and use them daily.


this is hands down the BEST facial cream ever. EVER.


For a long time I didn't wear makeup, but makeup can help cover blemishes and accent your own beauty. That's my goal. It brings attention to your countenance (your face), instead of other places. We all know what I mean by that :)

 I have always struggled with finding the right makeup to use. As an brown skinned Northern Belle it can be hard to find products that won't dry out your skin but also provide the right amount of coverage. I also wanted to find a product that would give me coverage without making me look like I had makeup caked onto my face. Any ol' barn looks a little better with a fresh coat of paint on  it! I went through High School feeling sorry for the girls in my class who looked like oompa loompa's (their faces were so caked on with bronzer and foundation that didn't really match). The worst is when you can see a line where the makeup stops and your real skin starts!! It's important to blend!!

I never struggled with Acne. Ever. I was blessed with that. However, I have many dark spots from blemishes (not acne, but little "bumps" that I would irritate and then they would scar over) that I have been trying to get rid of. I have done some chemical peels (and they worked a little bit) but I need to do a few more before I feel the full results of a fresh face. My skin is so sensitive when it comes to scars. The littlest bump, if rubbed or scratched turns into a scar somehow! Not fun. In the meantime, I use a skin brightening cream and serum.


I use the orange Murad cleanser after the Ambi cleanser.
The spray bottle is the skin brightening serum and the julep masque is just amazing when
you need to balance out your skin's pH levels!!

These brighten those dark spots that I have. I normally put it on after washing my face at night underneath my night cream. It actually works, in my opinion.

I go from this:



So that I can look like this!




I have found the BEST thing since jarred pickles. Bare Minerals.

everything here comes in the kit  (along with foundation) image via bareescentuals.com

When I first saw the commercials about Bare Minerals WAY back in the day I wanted it, but obviously couldn't afford it because I was like 12. I was way to young for make up at that time anyways! Over the years I have used L'oreal and Revlon products and just once I used Covergirl (never again). They worked OK I guess (or so I thought, before trying Bare Minerals).

So I went to the store last week at the Mall of America and waltzed right in, intent on buying the kit. I got the shades customized for my skin shade, and they refreshed me on how it was put on. I was out of there within 15 minutes! It was pretty great, and I am very happy with my purchase.

Now, I know, it isn't cheap. My kit cost about $80, but that includes everything that you see here. If you think about it that way, you are getting a great deal (about $10 per item). I know that the kit retails at $190 (If you are purchasing each item by itself, without the kit) so I wasn't complaining. My favorite part is the Mineral Veil. It gives you a perfect glow! I love it.




It's super easy to apply. You just do it step by step, and less IS more. It can last you a good year if you apply it the right way. I highly recommend this line, and I don't think I can go back to THIS ever again.


So here's how it works!

You start out with either foundation or cove up. I start out with cover up and then the foundation.


that would be the cover up :)

Then I go over that using my foundation and precision brush. 


a little more even now! 

Next it's time for the bronzer to give me that "glow"!


just pour into the lid, swirl the brush in, and tap the excess!
Finally, my favorite part, the mineral veil. It absorbs any excess oil and makes your skin look super flawless. 

same technique: pour, swirl, tap.
And voila!! You're done! I added a little top liner, mascara and brow pencil to tame my brows. Other than that, that's my routine! I rarely use eye shadow. 


and of course, the glasses!

For those who use it, how do you like it? What is your favorite part of the kit? Other comments?


ALSO: If you've been wondering where I've been, I MOVED! AGAIN. This time for School. You can find me in Utah!

it's so gorgeous here. I will NEVER get sick of these mountains! 

Happy Monday!


Nat

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

General Conference & Life: Highlights April 2014

So big news: I MOVED! To Utah. I love it here so far, everyone is super nice! I will miss those at home, but I am so stoked to be here.

dinkytown sisters!
 I came up for General Conference and stayed with friends for the weekend. It was an AMAZING experience. One that I will never forget. I am so thankful for the many speakers that I was able to listen to and the Spirit that was felt. I especially liked President Monson's talk on Saturday afternoon (link to come). It spoke directly to me. I have been working on being more kind and more patient and desperately prayed for some words of encouragement to help me. SO many blessings came out of this GC session.




I have been blessed very recently with many tender mercies of the Lord. Things that might seem little to some, but are huge for me. I know now more than ever that Heavenly Father knows our needs, and answers our prayers. Even if we are too prideful to ask for help. Or forget. Or don't think he will. He listens, and He's there.

One experience that I had yesterday was pretty cool. I work in the morning for a company based here in Utah from home. I got up EXTRA early for work so that I could get ready for my second job (also in Utah). I get off of the first job at 12 pm, and was supposed to be at the second job at 12:45 pm. Since I take the bus, I was certain that I would have NO time to get from my first job to my second job. I literally would have 4 mins to get to the bus stop. That wasn't going to happen, and I was going to be late for one or have to leave early from the other. Furthermore, my boss wanted to meet with me for our weekly telephone phone call at 11:30 which would be really cutting it short. So I was just overall stumped. When I had reached my ultimate level of confusion, that's when I thought: Why? Why does stuff like this happen. But I didn't think to pray. That was my mistake! But brothers and sisters I am here to tell you that even when we forget to pray, Heavenly Father still knows our needs. About an hour into work I get a text from my other boss saying that I didn't need to come in until 2:00 pm!


You can imagine my surprise and excitement! I thanked God for that incredible blessing. It may seem small,
but to me it made a huge difference that day.



This experience reminds me of this quote:

Gordon B. Hinckley - "When life gets too hard to stand, Kneel" <3 Prayer is Powerful <3

We can all learn from this Prophet's words. Heavenly Father is real. He cares for us!

Have a good week!


Natalie