Sunday, March 31, 2013

Friday, March 29, 2013

Good Friday Really Is Good [Re-Post]

[This is a post I did last year. I felt it appropriate enough to post again today.]
Today is Good Friday.


For a long time I often wondered why today is referred to as "good". After all, it does celebrate the day that Jesus was crucified on the cross.

The death He endured was horrific, the beating He took prior to His crucifixion was painful and the taunts by the crowd were merciless.

Yet this day was still good.

Everyone's Messiah was dead. He was gone. Stopped by the mighty Roman government and the zealous Jewish people. The hope that people had in a man who claimed to have the power to save the world, was gone.

But this day was still good.

You see, if He hadn't endured the cross, the shame and the scorn then you and I wouldn't ever be reconciled with God.

Why? Because we are sinful, flawed humans and God is holy, perfect and blameless. He simply cannot be around unholiness and so our very nature separates us from Him...

...until Good Friday and ultimately, Easter Sunday.

So that horrible crucifixion that Jesus went through was a GOOD thing. He took the blame and punishment for all of our sins upon Him.

And by His stripes we are healed.

Healed of our sickness and sin in the eyes of God.

Good Friday marked what many people thought was the end of a wild ride, however, it was just the beginning of a miraculous victory.

Good Friday, though filled with scenes of pain and hurt, ultimately leads to Easter...

...when we all celebrate that He was NOT dead, but alive.

May Good Friday's true meaning resonate with you today.

NOTE: If you have any questions about this or would like to discuss what it means to be reconciled with God further, please email me. I'd love to talk to you about this. aprilanne147[at]hotmail[dot]com.


Confessional Friday

Hello there! It's been a hot minute since I did a Confessional Friday post. [Okay, it's been like 4 a little longer than a hot minute. Coincidentally, my last Confessional Friday post started with the same "hot minute" phrase as well. Apparently, this is a part of my middle school gangsta vocab that, unlike my southern accent, I cannot drop.]

When I remember it’s Friday and not Thursday.

First of all, can I get a Halleluyer 'cuz it's Friday?!?!

Moving on...

//1 I confess that I think TJ Maxx is slowly becoming another of those ridiculous blog sponsor epidemics. This makes me sad because I do like "The Maxx" and I don't want to have to boycott it like I did Gap Skimmers and Firmoo glasses when they invaded blogland.

//2 I confess that I feel slightly guilty for loving Easter so much when a lot of my Easter love is because of the influx of cute animals, pastels and candy. I, of course, recognize the true reason for Easter but I probably get way more excited for pastel M&Ms than I really should. #shameface

//3 I confess that I saw 3 people I know at Target yesterday and expertly avoided all of them. I can't...I just...I have this thing about seeing people out in public and small talk. It's always awkward with me.

//4 I confess that I think you're NEVER too old to receive an Easter basket. ;)

//5 I confess that I'm so anxious to start wearing dresses and skirts bare-legged (no tights) that I might just do so even before it's really properly warm enough outside.

//6 I confess that sometimes eating healthy upsets my stomach more than eating unhealthy. That's a bad sign, right? Taco Bell NEVER upsets my stomach. :)

//7 I confess that I just recently learned that there are different types of booties. (No, no the baby kind.) The rear-end, the caboose, the bum, the bootay. THAT thing. Did you know there are different types of them? The apple-bottom, the tear drop, the flat, etc. Blows my mind, really.
 What has blown your mind this week??

Happy Friday!! 

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Things That Make Me Smile Thursday

I'm switching up the blog post title a little from my normal Thursday post. I thought "Things That Make Me SmileThursday" would be more appropriate. So, sit down and rest a spell while you read. Oh, and I dare you not to smile at least once while reading... :)

{This kitchen and the blue island!}
{My results of this quiz totally put into words what I feel!}
{Chocolate Stamps?!?! Now, when are these coming to 'Murricah?}
{This boy makes me smile.}
{Annndddd, so does this one.}
{Seriously. Why has no one thought of this for real?}
{MEN! Can we bring this back y'all? Please?}

A few other things that make me smile: this news story (the headline!!!!) | This dress!! | this GIF (love JLaw!) | Sloth Potato! | Yep, yep! Frozen Peach Bellini recipe.




That last one? You're welcome. May it haunt your dreams.

Happy Thursday, y'all! Don't forget to enter to win a bunch of awesome warm weather stuff in the group giveaway I'm a part of. Click here to enter!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Wordless Wednesday

[Yes, I know this is technically a wordless post, but I wanted to give a little disclaimer as to why I'm posting this. There's been a lot of weird/bad ju-ju going around the blogosphere lately. So, I'm doing what I do best...thinking, observing and processing. I present to you Wordless Wednesday.]

Images 1, 3 & 5 via Pinterest.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Drugstore Beauty Reviews & A Giveaway!

As a self-proclaimed makeupaholic, I frequently peruse the aisles of my local drug stores [and super Targets] in search of new and interesting beauty products. Often, I find some things that earn a permanent place in my makeup baskets. Other times, I end up with a dud. I love reading when other bloggers review makeup items they've purchased, so I decided to review a few of my own.

e.l.f Studio Bronzer in Golden Bronzer
Inherently cautious of any bronzer because of my pale skin, I bought the absolute lightest powder bronzer I could find. After all, the last thing I wanted to look like was a baby who'd eaten too many carrots. However, this is actually really, REALLY light. I find myself having to put a LOT of it on to look like I even have a hint of bronze. With most bronzers, less if more, but with this, it has very light pigment. And it's very metallic and shimmery, which is good...but when it's layered it's a bit shiny for daytime.

e.l.f. Studio Complexion Brush
I use this brush to apply my powder foundation every day. I LOVE it. I actually love it better than the other expensive brushes that I bought to use with my foundation. It is very soft and doesn't shed hairs like many other brushes do. I highly recommend this brush.

I'm a self-proclaimed mascara fiend. (Well, mascara and lipstick...) I was excited to try this out but a bit disappointed in the results. This mascara does give excellent separation (to avoid the spider look) but doesn't produce enough volume, in my opinion. I had better results from other similarly-priced mascaras, so I won't be purchasing this again. However, I do want to try the Rimmel Scandal-eyes mascara, so that might be my next purchase. 

Dream Fresh BB
This provides very little coverage for the claims. I could see this being used alone as more of a tinted moisturizer in the summer (beachside or poolside) but by itself it doesn't really do much. Having the SPF 30 IS helpful though, if you choose to wear this alone. Overall, I think sticking to the more expensive BB creams is probably your best bet unless you're looking for something with very light coverage. I will say that it doesn't feel greasy or oily, so that's definitely a plus. 

This nail polish is the bomb. (Yes, I did just say "the bomb". I was a 90s child, okay?) It really does set AND dry very quickly. I'm not completely sure it holds up to the 60 second claim, but it sure is dry in less than 5 minutes. When you are busy or just blogging, it's awesome to have a quick dry option for your nails. And, they have some awesome colors. I'm currently sporting a dark "greige" called Park Avenue. 

On a whim I purchased this lipstick in Heather Shimmer and it is my new favorite lipstick. I'm on my 3rd tube of it. The worst part about this lipstick is that it's very hard to find. Most drugstores carry their other line "Kate" and not this line. Heather Shimmer is a lot less purple-y unlike the photo. I just love this color and I wear it everyday. Proof below...

Okay, so those are my latest drug store beauty reviews. Are there any new favorites on your list?

I'm co-sponsoring an awesome group giveaway over on Kali's blog this week. Use the rafflecopter widget below to enter or click over to Kali's blog and enter there!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, March 25, 2013

Splurge vs. Steal (Work Look)

One of the looks below cost $1,338 and the other cost $282. Can you guess which is the splurge and which is the steal?
splurge vs. steal work look

If you guessed that the $282 "steal" outfit was the one on the left, then you're correct! Whether you're trying to find staples like a navy pencil skirt or cognac-colored bag or trendy pieces like a mint cardigan and leopard pumps, there are always budget-friendly options at stores like H&M, Old Navy, Dorothy Perkins (online), Target and Forever 21.
Did you guess which was the splurge and which was the steal?

Friday, March 22, 2013

How to: Dress Monochromatically

So, I'm not gonna lie. I had to look up whether monochromatically was actually a word or not. I knew monochromatic was, but not monochromatically. When I looked it up, I discovered a new word that I will work to incorporate into my vernacular. Ready for it?
Isn't it awesome? Hear it pronounced here.
Anywho, when one of my favorite bloggers wrote a post yesterday about dressing monochromatically, I thought it sounded like a great "how to" moment to blog about. :)
So, how do you dress monochromatically and not look like you're in costume? Well, take a look at how I think it can be done...

monochromatic dressing


So, here, I've given you three different options for dressing monochromatically or displaying, monochromaticity. (YES!!) I'll elaborate a bit on each of them below.

1. Dressing COMPLETELY in monochromatic colors.
Different shades of colors is the real key here. (Well, that's pretty much the key in all of them!) In this particular outfit, a dark shade of blue is navy, which is a neutral. By pairing brighter blues with navy, you can dress monochromatically but not look like one of the DoodleBops. (does anyone over 25 get that reference?)

2. Dressing monochromatically with a COMPLIMENTARY ACCENT color.
A dark green dress and lighter green cardi set the stage for pale yellow pumps and statement necklace. Yellow, while part of green (because blue + yellow = green) is enough of a contrast with green to make an impact. But it's no SO far away from green (like purple or orange) that it's extremely striking. It's a nice balance. I think this green look could be accented just as well with blue or teal. For some reason, this look reminds me of something Jess Day would wear. :)

3. Dressing monochromatically with a NEUTRAL ACCENT color.
You can never have too much pink, in my opinion. But, that's beside the point. :) A pink top and jeans, which is pretty vibrant by itself, is toned down a little with the addition of neutral accents. A nude bag, watch and shoes help to ground this outfit and will keep you from looking like the girl DoodleBop. (again...anyone?)

Do you have any thoughts on monochromaticity in your wardrobe? Would you ever try this?

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Things I Love Thursday

Happy Thursday, friends. Let's celebrate the almost start of the weekend, shall we?

//I will probably make this deliciousness this weekend.

Banana Pudding Poke Cake Recipe

//Is this real?

//I wonder if these fan trips are still going on? I'd be down to go for sure!


//To this I say, "No thanks." I can't believe anyone would ever do this. It's borderline disrespectful to the actual tragedy and who in the heck wants to pay for a cruise with no TVs? Cray.
However, this comment is hilar: 

  • Just curious, since we're trying to recreate the romance here, will there be an option for underclass passengers to rescue desperate upper-class passengers trapped in loveless engagements? Also, since the lifeboat compliment for Titanic II is being increased, can we expect their wardrobe doors to be getting a similar upgrade?

//Y'all. This blog. Hilar. Also, this illustration is so true.

//I just ordered this beaut online. I'm thinking it's going to to be my new favorite work/Easter dress. However, now that I've said that, watch it fit all weird and stuff. Then I will have a sad face.

//I kind of have a minor girl crush on Krystin. I love her style so much. But it's also edgier than I normally wear so it inspires me to take more wardrobe risks. Plus, she's just presh. Check out her blog here.


//Technically, this isn't something I love, but it is interesting. When Google announced that they were doing away with Google Reader, there was a mass exodus to many other popular feed readers like Bloglovin. The influx of traffic even shut down their website for awhile. Now, I've had a TSF Bloglovin' page for awhile, but it always topped out at about 30 or so readers. Since the news, my readership has grown by like 400% or something. (Don't actually quote me on the numbers.) Cray.
Am I still one of those people who actually just goes down the "Blogs I Follow" area when I log into Blogger and click on each blog individually? Guess so... heh.
//Not to brag or anything, but my high school's boy's basketball team won the North Carolina state championships on Saturday. Now, THAT'S some good news! Aren't these boys presh? I'm so proud!

//We all need a little dose of cuteness, right? Here are some adorable baby zoo animals for your viewing pleasure.

//Why do I love this guy so much? I need to know about him. Is he real? Is he computer-generated? What is his name? I thought it was Little Sebastian, but I'm not sure.


Tuesday, March 19, 2013

On Fear



Everyone is afraid of something. Sometimes, we're afraid of small things and other times large things scare us.  For me, it's thunderstorms. Sometimes aliens. Usually frogs. Often thoughts of nuclear warfare or a nuclear holocaust.


Why do we fear certain things? Is it part of our genetic makeup? Perhaps. Is it a direct result of something that happened in our past? Certainly. Is is a random chance that caused us to be afraid? Of course. Because there is no prescription or set formula for fear.

I'm pretty sure I can trace my fear of thunderstorms back to my most vivid (and probably my earliest known) memory of a thunderstorm...which was Hurricane Hugo. Witnessing the storm, and the devastation afterward, really impacted my 4 year old self. To this day, thunderstorms just mess me up.

Fear of nuclear warfare can obviously not be linked to personal experience. So, perhaps this one is fear of the unknown? Fear of what might happen. Fear of the worst case scenario.

And sometimes fear can be a motivator. You hear about people who are able to do things out of fear that they never could do normally. Fear of a negative outcome can cause someone to to change their ways. Fear can be a source of change.

But for many, fear is something that while always present, only usually rears its head every once in awhile. This rambling post most likely came to me while I'm huddled up in bed during a thunderstorm, flinching at lightning strikes and claps of thunder.

So, is fear a good thing? Ever? Or is it always negative? Is fear as a motivation actually good or more like negative reinforcement?

What are you afraid of?