Beauty Beat: December New Favorites.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Hello Friends! Nice to see your face around here again. 
Ever since I decided to do my own makeup for my wedding last winter, I've been on a huge beauty kick, testing out new products and finding new favorites (along with subscribing to Julep, Birchbox, and becoming a Sephora VIB Rouge member). Also in that time, I've realized that I've missed writing, so why not combine those two things and make a new blog feature?! Here with my first ever Beauty Beat post, are some of my recent new favorites, all of which I highly recommend trying out for yourself! (bonus, did you know that you can sample ANYTHING for free at Sephora? you can!) Keep reading for more of the details.

thoughts on...(#allthethings)

Monday, July 21, 2014

Hi there! Sorry for the long radio silence, this summer has been cr-azy busy (sometimes I feel ridiculous saying that my life is super busy with basically just my 9-5, husband and dog #puppyparent), or maybe I'm just a naturally sporadic blogger? Anywho, let's get down to business. This blog post might be a little wordy and all over the place but I wanted to write it to share some of my long-time unease and confused thoughts now that they seem to be coming all together in a more positive, decisive conclusion 
(how about that for super specific and detailed intro, eh?). 
image via pinterest. 
So let's start with some brief yet relevant background information: I grew up in the Missouri Synod Lutheran Church which is traditionally a very very conservative atmosphere (Focus on the Family et all), in my teen years, moving to Nebraska made me a strong feminist and possible mild socialist, then studying politics in college taught me to question most theories/belief systems and allowed me to see the connections and reasoning between each of these beliefs. Now I find myself a young, 20-something, newlywed who holds pieces of each of these things as her core values. Looking to my future I know that these can all fit together somehow, and I want to believe that I can put each into practice without significantly contradicting each other. 

Okay, okay, you say-but why are we talking about these things now? Enter Noonday Collection. Noonday isn't something I just learned about, actually I discovered it a little over a year ago and did a project in one of my rhetoric classes on Noonday's colonial implications. This is the point in the discussion where Jen Hatmaker  and her blog (also Sarah Bessey and Jesus Feminist) come into play. I had all but forgotten about Noonday Collections and my conflicted feelings about the project when Jen Hatmaker blogged about Noonday and being one of their ambassadors, (also again here). Upon seeing this, I realized that perhaps I should give this whole Noonday thing another try, and that it definitely deserved more thought from me at the very least. In this midst of this re-thought I realized that for me, at this point in my life Noonday represented more than just a theoretical conflict, it was a sort of collision of all of this confusion I held in all of my beliefs (#whoa). 
for your information, here's a quick info-graphic on Noonday:
image via
1. It represented an obvious political conflict-a strong awareness of the inequalities in our world and a sincere desire to help in some way but also being sincerely afraid of modern day colonialism as encouraged by my own privilege. 
2. It represented a conflict in my faith-a belief that your beliefs should be represented through your actions and at the same time being all too aware of the problems with big-church evangelism aka mission trips (queue more white privilege). 
3. And it represented a much more personal conflict-the clear appeal of a 'big church' community, filled with young cute families, and socially conscious volunteerism, but tied with my all too prominent awareness of the significant problems in 'big church' political involvement and often overly conservative involvement at that (pro-life pamphlets anyone?). Also mixed in here are my own personal (and shallow but very real) insecurities-can I even be that young cute person? I'm six feet tall, I have strong opinions, etc... 

This is probably the point in this post where if you don't care about, or don't really want to talk about any of these things you probably would be better suited to stop reading and go hang out at my excessively pinned Pinterest. (but really). because we are about to dig into this mess even further. 

Okay, #1, political conflict. This point is probably the one where most of you are thinking-Heather, you're being way too picky with this, chill. And my response, as usual is-no! I will not chill! But really, all mild joking aside. This notion of empowering underprivileged peoples to better their own lives by giving them the tools they need to succeed is not a unique one (and it certainly can be tied back to the Biblical notion of  'teaching a man to fish'). Upon first glace, these kinds of projects are immensely cool, awesome, progressive even. Yet I still cannot rid myself of the voice in the back of my head whispering 'colonialism' over and over again. Let's (us privileged white people) give these (not as privileged people) our advanced knowledge so they can better their lives in the way we think is best. The more I think about this the more I think we cannot ignore this sense of colonialism, but also that perhaps we cannot escape it, perhaps we cannot hope to erase  the marks of something that has been involved in our social-political landscape for literally hundreds of years. So what can we do? This, it seems. We can do things like Noonday that take this ever-present colonialist nature and put it to good use. To me, this conclusion is supplemented by my firm belief that in a strong capitalist society you vote with your money (cough Hobby Lobby cough...). So, you like this sort of rustic-artisan-made aesthetic? Then for the love of ice cream- STOP SHOPPING AT URBAN OUTFITTERS and buy something actually artisan made! (maybe I'll do a later post on my picks from Noonday's current collection?) 

Moving on to #2, a conflict in faith. This one is a bit more personal than the last, and doesn't come to nearly as clean of a conclusion. We already kinda-sorta discussed that I was raised Christian, and that I still hold on to elements of that belief and that evangelism is terrifying. Where this conflict stems from I think is a a mix between my past, present and future church going experiences. Future experiences? Yes, future. I want my (future) children to go to church and experience the community of the church (how Tocquevillian, I know) and learn the Bible and even have faith. But I also want my children to experience other faiths and understand their significance, relevance and importance; to not diminish the values and beliefs of others, but respect, appreciate and even learn from beliefs that may differ from theirs. Okay-you say-sounds good, but why does this matter now? and how is this relevant? It's relevant because it seems that if I understand my future destination so clearly, that sitting in my current place of relative inaction isn't going to work. 
All this thinking about Noonday and it's symbolic implications made me realize that part of my unease with Noonday is exactly part of my unease with "The Church." This Christian community seems so totally awesome (in all sincerity), especially in big churches where you can find a group of congregants to fit your every need-I could totally see my future self going to church and befriending other young families and having book clubs and play dates and such. But it has also been my experience in many of these big churches (definitely not all!) that conservative evangelism is the prominent name-of-the-game so to speak, and that is just not my jam (AT ALL). In fact I worry a lot about being involved  in a church that is secretly a political beast and preaches things I sincerely do not agree with. That being said, for this internal disagreement to come to any sort of a conclusion it seems that I need to continually remind myself of two things: 1. it is not fair of me to cast every church and church-goer in this same light without even attending their place of worship, and 2. a church as well as its congregation are (hopefully) not stagnant, but living, breathing and ever-changing, just like the individual people it is made of. 

And now for the seamless transition into an even more personal #3, my own insecurities revealed. I think if I'm honest with myself this is something that has been eating away at me since high school, maybe earlier, but it seems to have come to significant fruition at this point in my life. If you have ever attended one of these 'big churches' on a Sunday you may have noticed a large amount of truly faith-filled young couples usually made up of a handsome and J.Crew-stylish young man and an effortlessly beautiful, truly graceful young woman (who will obviously and eventually become the adorable young family mentioned prior). Now don't get me wrong here, I think my hubby is super handsome and I try honestly to love and appreciate my tallness, but it's these young couples that always bring out my personal insecurity mixed with my questioning habits.  It seems odd that my insecurities would come out at church more than say, the beach, don't you think? (hmm I think so too, hence, this post). It was this internal discussion of Noonday and the Church that made me realize why this is. It's not simply that I will never be a petite adorable person, but instead it's that I will never  be that eternally graceful, quiet-spirited woman that this type of Christianity desires. I think I've tried to be that person, and it is just is not who I am. #sorrynotsorry anymore. I believe in voicing your beliefs firmly and publicly when needed, and I believe that disagreement and conversation are required for necessary change in our social-political landscape. This being said, I am not quiet in my nature or in practice, and this may be seen by many as qualities that are the opposite of desirable in a woman. 

So I guess my question now is: can I be a part of one of these more-awesome (I'm sure they are out there) 'big church' communities that is socially aware on a local and global level, while also not being the quiet-hearted Christian woman it seems to ask for? Jen Hatmaker and Sarah Bessey lead me to think yes. But I don't think it will be easy, or even that it will make sense sometimes. But I feel like I need to try, not only for the benefit of my future family, but for my current self. 

a quote from Bono? yes. a quote from Bono. image via pinterest.
That's it! If you stuck it through the entirety of this post, I'm impressed. If you see the same connections between its contents that I did, then bonus points for you! I'm interested to hear your thoughts and observations if you have any! remember, sharing is caring! 


101 in 1001.

Friday, May 2, 2014


Recently I've been feeling a little down and out and unsure of things, and with one year since graduation approaching quickly, I realized I need to refocus and have things to get excited about. I was inspired to do this 101 things in 1001 days by Mackenzie over at Design Darling (she's done it twice! see her first list here, and her second list here!) because I think it will be a great way to make and track both, long and short term goals for each area of my life, as well as be a place to write down all the fun things around me to do! 

so, without further ado, here is my "101 things in 1001 days" list: 
started: Friday, May 2, 2014  ends: Friday, January 27, 2014

PERSONAL:
1. Go one month without shopping (more than once?)
2. Pay off credit card debt
3. Volunteer my time regularly/finish CASA application
4. Go two nights a week without TV for three months
5. Wake up without the snooze for one week straight!
6. Wear my hair curly at least twice a week for at least two months
7. Go one month without going to Target
8. Read at least 10 nonfiction books per year
9. Backup my computer
10. Buy a new computer
11. Go to church twice a month
12. Plant flowers in planters on the apartment patio
13. Consecutively wear all of my scarves without repeating
14. Wear each item in my closet within one year
15. Bring my lunch to work for one month without eating out
16. Make an address book with family and friend contact information
17. Make 10 recipes off of Pinterest
18. Learn how to use all of our wedding gift cooking gadgets
19. Go on Pinterest only once a week for a whole month
20. Paint/Refinish a piece of thrifted old furniture
21. Make a wedding scrapbook
22. Make a honeymoon scrapbook  
23. Go Antiquing
24. Take a ski lesson/learn how to ski
25. Read all four Twilight books (don’t judge!)
26. Buy a sewing machine
27. Buy Theta for a Lifetime Membership and attend more Alumnae events

HEALTH & FITNESS:
28. Try a spin class
29. Try a yoga class
30. Try Quinoa
31. Take Harvey for three walks a week
32. Ride my bike at least once each week for one summer
33. Exercise four times a week for at least two months
34. Run the Drake Relays 5k Road Race
35. Visit a chiropractor
36. Eat three to four servings of vegetables every day for two weeks
37. Go one month without eating any fried foods
38. Go one month without drinking any alcohol

WITH THE HUBBY:
39. Finish setup for joint bank accounts and commit to a budget
40. Buy a house in Grimes
41. Take a motorcycle trip with Friends
42. Buy new couches
43. Buy new kitchen table/chairs
44. Visit Hubby at work at least once a month
45. Make an official Date Night once a month
46. Road trip vacation to Colorado
47. Road trip vacation to somewhere new for both of us
48. Road trip to Texas at least once a year
49. Play more games
50. Go to three concerts together
51. Go camping
52. Go on a picnic date
53. Go to a Twins game in Minnesota
54. Go fishing together
55. Take Harvey swimming in a Lake

FRIENDS & FAMILY:
56. Snail mail each of my friends a handwritten note
57. visit Marissa in Madison
58. Go to Molly’s grad school graduation
59. Visit Katherine (wherever she moves? when she moves?)
60. Visit Emily in Kansas City
61. Take a weekend trip with Mom
62. Take Tristan’s mom to coffee
63. Visit Grandma in Sheldon every few months
64. Send Grandma snail mail notes
65. Call my parents more often
66. Visit Katherine in Marshalltown and go to the bar with the boardgames
67. Send birthday cards to all of my immediate family members
68. Attend my niece’s high school graduation
69. Start a book club with friends across the country
70. Send Mom flowers

PROFESSIONAL:
71. work on 401K/retirement investment
72. Explore career options or continuing education
73. Start a new job
74. Decide to keep (and blog regularly)or not keep my blog
75. Write (and read) more about current events/news/politics/feminist things
76. Shadow HR Compliance, learn more about Corporate Compliance
77. Learn more about HR Learning Systems/Shadow
78. start saving at least $100 from each paycheck
79. Apply to be a Girls Globe blogger

IOWA:
80. Try three new restaurants in Des Moines
81. Go to new Go-Kart Track in Grimes
82. Go to Grimes library/get a library card
83. Visit Maquoketa Caves State Park
84. Try Mustang Grill in Grimes
85. Go to the Iowa State Fair
86. Visit one of Iowa’s breweries with the Hubby
87. Motorcycle ride on one of Iowa’s scenic byways with the Hubby
88. Go to the National Balloon Classic in Indianola
89. Visit Lake Okoboji
90. Visit the National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium
91. Go to an Iowa football game or sporting event
92. Go to a Broadway show at the Civic Center in Des Moines
93. Go to the Tulip Festival in Pella
94. Visit the Herbert Hoover Presidential Museum
95. Visit the Iowa Historical Society
96. Go to Stitch, Found Things, Ephemera and Eden  in the East Village
97. Go to Nightfall on the River
98. Eat at Tacopocolypse in the East Village
99. Go see a live band at Wooly’s in the East Village
100. Go to the Farmer’s Market twice a month all summer
101. Get more involved in local politics and candidates

Check back in on my progress over the next 2.75 ish years :)
or join in on the fun and make your own list!

Wednesday Words.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Hello! Sorry for the radio silence earlier this week, things have been busy and I was sick on the couch all weekend. Oh well, on to recovery! Today's Wednesday Words were inspired by (and borrowed from) this post from Jen Hatmaker, then the further I read in her post the more I realized how truly applicable they are to where I'm at in my life right now. Sometimes you just need a reminder to not settle. If there is something out there that's been popping up in the back of your mind for months or years or weeks, then go do it! Or take the steps necessary to make it possible. You owe it to yourself, your loved ones and your community to at least give that nagging idea consideration. For me this is about my career, I know that working mindlessly at a desk job for the rest of my life will NOT make me happy. I know the things that I am passionate about and what I could do with my skills and my passions. Now I just need to keep my fear in check and explore my options and the opportunities around me. 

In her post, Jen says this about how fear can play a factor in our lives:
What are you good at? Not sure? What do people constantly say you are good at? Others can usually identify our gifts long before we are willing to concede. Maybe it is career material. I’ve long said that someone will pay you to do what you love. You might be stuck in a job you hate doing work you don’t care about while your gifts are languishing on the sidelines, awaiting your courage to put them in the game.

What is that nagging thing in your life? Is it your career? where you live? friendships or relationships? what you do with your spare time or on the weekends? It's so easy to take an image and a message like this and repin it under our "favorite quotes" or "inspiration" pinboards (I'm speaking both literally and figuratively here), it is much more difficult to actually take some time to consider how the message of passion and truly living can be applied to our own very real lives. 

Jen states this later on:
Maybe you need to invest in your gifts. Take a class. Go to a conference. Sign up for a seminar. Start that small business. Put that website up. Build in some space. Say yes to that thing. Work with a mentor. Stop minimizing what you are good at and throw yourself into it instead with no apologies. Do you know who is going to do this for you? NO ONE. You are it. Don’t bury that talent, because at the end of the day, the only thing your fear netted you was one buried talent in a shallow grave. 

image via. 
I'll send you off today with one last takeaway from Jen's post on this hard-to-apply-to-your-real-life subject:
The timing is never right. Forget that. It won't just fall into your lap. That’s fake. You are probably not guaranteed success. Sorry. This might be a crapshoot. It will be hard and require sacrifices not just from you but maybe from your people and you might step out on shaky, shaky legs. But off you go because we were not created to stand still, even though that is safe and familiar and you are practically guaranteed never to fall or stumble or grow weary.

So now, Go! Do what you are passionate about, or take the necessary steps to get where you need to be with your goals. Have conversations with your loved ones and people who know you well, consider that nagging thought seriously and live up to the talents you were given.