June Favorites

We are coming to the end of another month.  June, my birthday month, has been wonderful.  I’ve had some really great memories this month, and I’m very thankful for them.

As I was looking over all the products I’ve used this month, and all the things I’ve done, I realized I had a bit of a theme.  Probably because I am now another year older, but a huge focus of mine this month has been on skincare and make-up.  It’s basically what I spent a good chunk of my money on for my birthday, and I thought I would share with you just a few pieces I’ve been really loving.

SKINCARE

As I get older, my skin has gotten drier, although I’ve never been without acne either because of my crazy hormones.  So, this is a new skin for me, and I’ve done some things to help it out.I know I’ve put this in a Favorites post before, but I am really enjoying this product.  I use it every other week, and it helps keep my skin really soft and clear any adult acne.  It’s the Pure Body Naturals Dead Sea Mud Mask.  I stopped using it for a couple of months and my skin with its hormones went crazy.  After just one application, I noticed clearer skin. Also, about twice a week, I use The Body Shop Vitamin E Sink-In Moisture Sleeping Mask.  I just started using this after my birthday, so it’s not been long, but I love the feel of my skin the morning after applying this mask. I can not stress enough the importance of moisturizing.  I also use Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream.  I’ve been using this very quite some time, twice a day, and I went without it a couple weeks and could tell a difference in my skin.  I could probably get a more high-end moisturizer in the future, but for now, I am happy with this as a basic starter for moisturizing. I’ve been wearing make-up more lately, and at night, I use the Neutrogena Night Calming Cleansing Towelettes to remove it at night.  I have very sensitive eyes, and this product doesn’t make my eyes sting like other ones do.

MAKE UP

Ok, so I have a theory right now as far as primer/foundation/powder goes.  If you get really nice products for the primer and the powder, you don’t have to go crazy with the foundation.  And I’m not big on full coverage anyway, so here is what I’m using. The Pore Professional by Benefit.  I love the smell of this gel.  I have the matte rescue kind, and it does wonders for my skin.  And my foundation goes on so smooth over it. Rimmel BB Cream in Light/Medium.  I really like this BB cream.  It has a light coverage (you can still see my freckles through it), but a smooth finish.Laura Mercier Ready Set Go! Translucent Loose Setting Powder.  I’ve heard of this brand, but it always seemed very expensive, until I found a little travel size version to use this product and now I’m hooked!E.L.F. Contour Palette.  This is a newer product by Eyes Lips Face, but I like the highlighter a lot in this palette.  I have also used the two bottom colors just for bronzing up the face a little.  I don’t tan, especially on my face, but I also don’t use blush very much either, so this adds a little color in.Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Eraser Dark Circles.  I’ve been using this product for years.  I’ve even been known to use only this on my face as well.  If you have significant dark circles, I don’t know how good this would be.  And it’s not great if your eyes are puffy, but it definitely brightens up under my eyes.Revlon Colorstay Eyeliner in Black.  Another oldie but a goodie for me.  I like this type of eyeliner over pencils or liquid eyeliners.  It goes on simply and stays all day.Urban Decay Naked 2 Basics Palette.  This is another “I’ve always wanted to try so I got a travel size version” product.  And I love it.  The colors are gorgeous and perfect.  I’ve been using Cover in my crease and skimp on my lids.  The names of the colors are always weird, but they are so easy to apply and make me look like I know what I’m doing.

Well, that’s all I use on a basic evening out right now.  I also might throw on some lip liner for a little extra color, but I haven’t settled on one of those yet.

I am, however, looking for a really good eye cream, and I’m always up for more skin care products, so let me know what you use as well!  I feel like out of the two, skincare is much more important than the make-up you wear.  If you have a good skincare routine, you can even go without makeup!

What have been some of your favorites this month?

I also wanted to let you know that I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.  These are all things I have used personally.  I wouldn’t recommend something I haven’t tried myself.  Thanks!

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Family Visit

This weekend, Michael and I visited his parents.  We usually visit during Memorial day, but we weren’t able to this year, so this was a make-up visit.  It was really good to see his mom and his dad.  I was a very bad blogger and didn’t take very many pictures, although there were times when I couldn’t take pictures either.

So, Saturday, my mother-in-law and I went out shopping, and she got a foundation match at Sephora.  It was neat to see her get pampered.  She totally deserves it!  Then, we did some more shopping, looking at thrift stores and various other stores.  It was wonderful to spend time with her, just doing life with her.

And on Sunday, we went to church and then the traditional lunch at Captain Ds with all her friends.  She has an incredible supporting group of people around her.  We talked about traveling to Italy and our favorite Italian cities.  It was wonderful to catch up with them as well.

I did manage to snap a picture of her and me before we left on Sunday.

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We were also there to visit Michael’s dad who is in a care facility due to the extent of his Alzheimer’s disease.  He is one of the reasons that we are so involved with the Alzheimer’s Association.  I participated in the Longest Day last week to spread awareness about the disease.  They didn’t allow us to bring cell phones into the facility so I couldn’t snap a picture with him, but here we are from a couple of years ago.

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We saw him on both Saturday and Sunday, and he was much more animated on Sunday. I’m glad he’s getting the care that he needs.  He can’t talk very well, but he was smiling and laughing.  When he makes eye contact with you and lights up, it’s the best thing ever.

It was a really good and relaxing visit.  I’m so glad we were able to go!

Summer Study: Ephesians 3

I’m studying the book of Ephesians this summer.  Click here for Chapter 1 and Chapter 2.

Ephesians 3

I felt like this chapter was a transitional chapter.  Up to this point, Paul has been telling the church how rich God’s grace is.  In the first half of chapter 3, he continues this topic, but then ends the chapter with a prayer of unity for Ephesus, that they experience the riches of grace from God and the love of Christ within their church.

I can’t imagine what the Gentiles of the early church must have felt when they heard Paul say things like, “This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus.”  That, “In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence.”

On one side, there were Jews telling them that they had a bunch of hoops to jump through, and on the other, the gods of the pagans were unreachable.  Here, Paul is telling them that they can have a closeness, an acceptance from a God through faith in a man who conquered death, without strings attached.  That this relationship was foretold by prophets and apostles.

They were being introduced to the love of God through the faith in Jesus Christ by the words of the apostle Paul. This love sparked a religious and cultural revolution, that spread to the far reaches of the earth, that eventually landed among my ancestors and was passed down from generation to generation through the church to the glory of Christ.  And Paul speaks into that at the end of this chapter.

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And that’s just simply beautiful to me.

Saturday Summary

So, here’s what’s been happening this week.

I wrote on Sunday my reflections about Father’s Day, and what it means after pregnancy loss.

Monday, I talked about celebrating my birthday by going to a fancy steakhouse!

Then, on Tuesday, I shared my summer wardrobe.

Wednesday was the longest day of the year, and I celebrated by bringing awareness to Alzheimer’s disease on Instagram.

On Thursday, I shared some recent pictures of my adorable dogs.

And on Friday, I rambled on about the dangers of pursuing an authentic life.

How was your week?

Friday Ramble: Authenticity

This is probably going to be a true ramble because these thoughts haven’t completely solidified in my head, but there is an edge to them that I can’t get rid of.

So why not just share it with you anyway.

Authenticity

I’ve talked about authenticity and living honestly on this blog.  I don’t think I’m changing my mind about what I’ve said before, but I’ve seen a danger in using this terminology without balance.

Here’s what I’m talking about.

I caught myself the other day talking about “living my truth.”  And for some reason, when the words came out of my mouth that time (because they have come out of my mouth before), they felt wrong, disturbing, like something was off.

And I realized that there is a danger in pursuing an authentic life.  The danger is that I can be focused so much on living my truth that I forget I’m supposed to be living THE truth, that is in Jesus Christ.  I can center my life so much inward that I never look upward and lose all my energy to live outward.

 

But no matter how inward I will go, I will never understand myself or know myself the way God knows me.  He knew me ever since I was knitted together in my mother’s womb.  He knows what will make me smile, what will make me belly laugh, what will make me cry, and what makes me scared.  He wraps his arms around me the second before the heartbreak.  And he doesn’t let go until the panic washes through me.

And God is proud of his creation.  He roots for us.  He’s the father in the stands demanding the coach put his kid in because he believes in us.  We can do it, not because of some secret we have figured out on our own, but because His strength is pulsing through our spirit.  We got this, even if we have no control over whatever this is, because ultimately, He’s got this.

I can’t continually try to get to know myself, to perfect myself, before going out in the world.  It doesn’t work that way.  I thought I had to live perfectly, to know perfectly, to speak perfectly, to engage perfectly before going out and making a difference in the name of Jesus.  I thought it would make it easier.  But I’ve learned that life is way more complicated and messy, and self-perfection isn’t sustainable, engageable, or even effective.  It’s going to take a mess of a person to reach into the nooks and crannies of the world to reflect a light of Jesus in the darkest corners.

And every time I obsessively try to find out who I am, my truth, my way, my light, I forget that there is only One Truth, One Way, and One Light that is Jesus.  I can’t forget that.  He knows the way through this life.  He said it was gonna be hard.  He said we would suffer.  But the only way I will feel complete and whole is through Him.

Again, there is nothing wrong with living an authentic life, a good life, a life lived in truth and honesty and transparency.  I’m all for that.  And I even think that Jesus wants us to live authentically, honestly, truthfully, transparently.  But I also think He calls us to live holy and righteous lives, led by the Spirit (not our own), with our feet firmly planted in His Truth.

What do you think?

Cute Dogs Alert

Well, my foster dog has gone back to the SPCA.  She has shown some glimpses of being able to be affectionate and interact with humans, and really, she needs someone to adopt her that is willing to work with her for the better part of 6 months to a year.  We, unfortunately, can’t adopt her, but I know her family is out there somewhere.  And, since she isn’t too panicked in the shelter, it will be easier for her family to find her if she is on the adoption floor.  I will miss her face, most definitely!

So, this brings our canine count back down to two in our house.  And I love my pups so much, I thought I would share some adorable pictures I’ve taken of them.

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Teddy is settling into the family.  He is fascinated by human talk.  It’s as if he is trying to figure out what we are saying.

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Here, she is fighting to stay awake…and failing.

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He loves when I pull out the blanket to the backyard to read.  He just snuggles right up.

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She follows me everywhere, and when I get home, she’s usually peeking through the door.

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I love catching them cuddled together.  They act like they want nothing to do with each other, but I know better.  I catch them playing all the time.

I love my pups.  I’m so thankful to have them in my life and a part of my family.

 

The Longest Day

Today is the first day of summer.  It is also the longest day of the year when the sun is out the longest.  The Alzheimer’s Association is encouraging people to do something special during this day to raise awareness.  I’ve decided to do something a little fun throughout the day.

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Today, on my Instagram, I will be sending out a story every hour from sunrise to sundown (approximately 6:30 to 8:30).  I will be sharing information about Alzheimer’s disease, some from my personal life and some statistical information.  So check me out @katyslifestory on Instagram.

If you would like to give a donation to support funding for Alzheimer research and advocacy, one way you can do that is by giving to our team as we walk in our eighth Alzheimer Walk this year in September.  The link to that is below!  Thanks!

Link to Our Team Page!