Mar 23, 2015

My spiritual journey // part 1

Montego Bay, Jamaica

So many words, thoughts, emotions swirl around my head; it's hard to know where to begin. I've always been an all-or-nothing person & I started this blog to authentically  be myself. I love makeup & fashion & interior design but the purpose of Sophisticated Bliss is to put into the universe what I've always wanted to read. In an attempt to offer reassurance & comfort & encouragement to other women. I've had this nagging feeling lately to finally write what I know I need to write. And then I think "well, if God put this on my heart to share...maybe then he'll reward me with what my heart truly desires" & yet I dug my heels in the dirt & refused to be moved. Because of women like Meg Fee, Laura Jane Williams, & Hannah Brencher I've mustered up the courage to be brave & vulnerable. And see what happens. 

I've been single so long I feel as if it defines me & that's infuriating. Change terrifies me, I have to fully wrap my head around an idea before I'm remotely okay with the plan. It's no surprise my journey the past 2.5 years has been slow & steady. 

My spiritual journey has been just as tough as it has been rewarding. June 2015 will mark 2 years since I threw my hands in the air & decided to try dating God's way. Two years working on myself, graduating college, figuring out what direction my career was headed. Weekends spent on my face before Jesus pouring out my shame, anger, frustration. Two years sorting out my baggage from my own failed relationships as well as my parents divorce. Time spent alone, not to be confused with lonely. Very rarely have I or do I feel lonely. I've been wrecked. And wrecked. And then wrecked some more. I used to get so ugh when reading about someone submitting to God & then meeting their husband a month later. Like whet? I'm here to be living can & most likely will take a little longer. And that's okay.

You know what's crazy, God completely changed certain desires of my heart. I'm very much a realist & when the Holy Spirit starts talking to start to wonder if you're going nuts. It's hard to even put into words how amazing it is when God speaks directly to you.

 Let me also note: it's completely natural & okay to keep God's promises to yourself. Others, especially those closest to you, can be unintentionally critical & pessimistic. No ones opinion about the life you're living matter except the opinion of Jesus. He loves you & is crazy happy about your desire to live closer to him. 

I suppose I should stop least it's a start, double high fives for baby steps. I feel better & lighter already. I'm so stubborn & all I can do is laugh at myself. 

I ran across this verse while googling "wanting but not needing a man". Something those ladies I mentioned earlier write beautifully about. Isn't God always right on time?

James 1:1-8 New International Version (NIV)
1 James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ,
To the twelve tribes scattered among the nations:

Trials and Temptations

2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. 6 But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. 7 That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. 8 Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.


*photo original to Sophisticated Bliss

Mar 19, 2015

celebrating The best man I know :: happy birthday daddy


  The first person I bonded with post emergency c-section, the one who's green eyes match my own. You taught me through frustration how to ride a bike & shoot a layup properly. By example you demonstrated what hard work & ambition looked like. You made sure to reassure me I could do anything a boy could do...heck I could even do it better. You made me feel beautiful; resulting in me never needing validation from another man. You pushed me & made sure I always gave 110% at practice, any job, even yard work. Because of you I'm a relentless just isn't in my vocabulary. You led me to Jesus & I watched how a man leads a household. You always keep it one hundred percent real & honest about your mistakes & stubbornness. You've believed in me when I didn't even believe in myself. Without your support & encouragement I wouldn't be the woman I am. You are my hero & I thank God every day for blessing me with being your daughter. I love your stories, even if I've heard them a few times before. I love your one-liners & how you laugh at your own jokes. I appreciate all the many sacrifices you've made for our family. You are resilient, brave, loving, passionate, & have so much heart. Even though you don't look a day over 37...Happy 50th Birthday Daddy. I'm so proud of who you are & what you've accomplished...but more importantly, I'm proud to call you my dad. We celebrate you because we love you with all our hearts & you deserve nothing but absolute happiness. 

Mar 18, 2015

Loving Lately Vo.1

Loving Lately Vo.1

I've been really enjoying these products lately. I'm such a creature of habit & get a little gun shy about trying new products, especially skin care. I didn't even realize I was using two Avalon Organics products until I went to compile this little list. Anything organic has to be good, right? :-)

Tanwise // I've tried many a self-tanner. Lotion, aerosol spray, mousse...with bronzer, without bronzer. You name it, I've tried it. I used to tan at salons but at some point you realize "so I could, for real, possibly, get skin cancer from this. yeah no thanks". I bought Tanwise after reading the rave reviews from Maskcara. It's inexpensive, found at Sally Beauty, & gives an awesome bronze-streak fee color payoff.

Estee Lauder 'Advanced Night Repair' // I received this as a free gift with purchase a few weeks ago. I have to say, this may replace my Ole Henriksen night serum...I'm loving what it's done to my skin. Bonus, it has zero scent. I can't figure out why brands put scent in anything that's to be applied to the face. Yuck.

Avalon Organics 'Vitamin C Toner' // I picked this up on a whim at Target one day. Usually I research things to death before pulling the trigger but I'm glad I gave this guy a try. Smells amazing, doesn't irritate my skin, & feels refreshing.

Avalon Organics 'Scalp Treatment Shampoo' // I couldn't find a great picture online of the shampoo, so here's the conditioner lol. I also picked this up randomly at Whole Foods because it was on sale. Winter really dried out my scalp & this has helped tremendously. Plus it smells amazing.

MAC 'Speak Louder' Lipstick // This baby came home with me after I turned in my back-to-MAC empties. I was looking for a pinky red that wasn't matte. I wore matte lips pretty much all winter so it was time for a little shine.

MAC 'Get Rich Quick' Dazzleglass // This has been a long time favorite & I always get compliments when I wear it. It looks dark in the tube but I assure you it isn't. Pop over any lipstick for an amazing sparkle or wear alone to give lips a little somethin-somethin.

Stila 'Kitten' // Late to the party on this beauty! This came in the 'in the lights' palette I received for Christmas & I've worn it pretty much every day since. No joke, (that I've worn makeup). It's just that good.

I love reading what someones favorites are & I'm always happy to share mine! Tell me...what are you loving lately?

Mar 15, 2015

sunday thoughts vo.1

It's noon on a Sunday and I'm sitting in front of my porch as the sun warms my leg. Wearing my favorite sweatshirt I picked up from a thrift store, and I feel good. Sipping an iced coffee, listening to Brandi Carlile's new album with my hair in the same messy bun it's been in since Friday morning. And I feel strong.

 Yesterday I worked out my chest and triceps and then spent the day with my dad and his girlfriend. Gratitude filled my heart, I have the freedom to hang out and belly laugh with people who get me, support me, love me and I felt Jesus. I appreciate tough seasons in moments of pure joy, not for any one reason but because I made it out the other side. Bruised and a little beaten up but I made it

Kansas City has been warm and sunny; man oh man did I miss the sun on my face. I had Lamars donuts for breakfast without any trace of guilt because #treatyoself. My muscles are sore and I thank my body for being good to me. I've come to the realization that I love my body just the way she is but I want to be better, faster, stronger (kanye, anyone?). 

I should really clean my kitchen from the bucatini diablo I made Wednesday but that's the glory of living alone. All of a sudden I feel the need to savor my singleness because it won't last forever. I enjoy being silent and in my own company. 

Acne scars are fading and I'm loving minimal, glowy, bronzed makeup. 

Life is happening and it's terrifying and satisfying all at the same time.

*photo original to Sophisticated Bliss
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