Wednesday, May 25, 2016

A Summer Spent Serving Others

For those of you who did not know, I will be spending the rest of my summer serving on the Warren Willis UM Camp's Leadership Team as a camp counselor! I feel so blessed to be given an opportunity to serve on this team, it is something that I have known that I wanted to do ever since my first summer attending this camp at the start of middle school. The camp changed my life, so this time its my turn to give back.

I am leaving for camp tomorrow and should be arriving there at some point in the evening. I am going a week early to complete a lifeguard certification course. I am beyond excited and nervous knowing that tomorrow I will meet some of the people I will spend the rest of my summer with.

While I am away at camp, unfortunately I will not be able to post as often as I have been. Throwback Thursdays have also been put on hold until the end of the summer. I will try to keep you guys updated at least once a week! While I won't be posting, I will be spending my time trying to help children grow closer in their relationship with God.

This camp has such a special place in my heart. I never thought I would be able to make it on team, but now here I am, writing to you all the night before I make my 5-6 hour journey north up to camp. I still don't think it will really sink in that I am on the Summer 2016 Leadership Team until I get there and start to get into the swing of things. I feel like I have tried to do so many things with my life, in the past, and failed so many times, even when I swore that I was meant to complete that task from what I felt in my prayers. I started to really get negative with myself and never knew when I was making a decision about if I should be doing something or not. Of course, in the application process I was worried that this would again be something that I failed at. Why did I keep trying if I was always disappointed in the end? I am so happy that I did not let my negative thoughts stop me, because I finally feel like I am heading in the right direction. Like I said before, I still don't even feel like this is really going to be happening!

Sometimes I let my nerves get the best of me, but this summer I have really been working on changing my mindset and so far it has proven to be one of the best decisions I have made.

Wish me luck at camp!

xoxo, tay

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Outfit of Last Night: SFTR Banquet

Black Crop Top: DailyLook 
White Skirt: Marshall's
Necklace, Bracelet, and Belt: Chico's 
Boots: NRS

I wore this outfit to the South Florida Trail Riders banquet last night. It's a horseback riding group my family has been involved with since I was just starting middle school. I do not usually wear skirts a lot but I have a ton of them and I still think they are cute I just don't gravitate toward them for some reason. I have all these cute skirts that I never wear so I have resolved that I need to either start wearing them or get rid of them. You can tell by this post that I have decided to give skirts a try before I decide to just chuck them. 

I thought of this outfit because I have been trying to wear the necklace for awhile but I couldn't put together an outfit where I felt like it looked okay. I grew up in the rodeo world and the more involved my family got the more my mom and I realized that there was indeed a "style" that the women tended to sport. This always includes a few key components: boots and a statement necklace. If we were to attend an actual rodeo bootcut Miss Me jeans would also be included. I love how the black crop top I wore last night really makes the silver necklace pop. I paired the necklace with a pair of silver stud earrings, black and silver belt, and silver bracelet. Shout out to my mom for letting me borrow her bracelet and belt, hold on tight to those so I don't try to sneak them into my suitcase to come to school with me in fall! 

I have a weakness for white bottoms of any kind. Anyone who knows me knows that I live in my white shorts, and skirts are no exception to the obsession. I have had this skirt awhile and have always thought it was cute but like I said before I just don't seem to wear skirts very often so I never really wore it. I love the lace detail along the bottom half, it gives an otherwise plain white skirt a small touch that really works well. Of course, I had to pair it with my black crop top for my boots. 

Some of you are probably wondering about the boots. These are one of my favorite pair of cowboy boots! As you can tell, mine are a bit worn. I had originally bought these to wear in rodeos, as I did and still do, as well as out when I want. They are made of beautiful black leather and have silver and gold details. On the front and back are details of a cross with wings. I knew I had to buy these because they had beautiful designs without actually looking terribly busy. I wear these with all kinds of outfits, from being tucked under bootcut jeans at a rodeo to a skirt or dress like I did last night!

Another reason I put together this outfit was so that I could wear bold makeup, something I do not do very often so when I get the chance I jump at it! Before applying my makeup I put on my Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer all over my face and Urban Decay Eyeshadow Original Primer Potion on my eyelids. I like to put all of my primer on at the same time so that my face is completely ready to go. For my foundation I used my Urban Decay Naked Skin Foundation then concealed using the Covergirl Ready Set Gorgeous concealer. I do not care for this concealer and I do not usually use it, but I haven't had time to go out and buy another Naked Skin concealer, so I have been using the Covergirl one for now. I set all of my makeup with ELF high definition powder. I like this powder for going out at night, but I do not wear it on an everyday basis because it does have shimmer in it. Before setting my foundation with powder, I did spray my face with the L'Oreal Infallible Setting Spray just for a little something extra to keep my makeup in place. 

Once my base was finished I filled in my eyebrows with the shade Buck from the Urban Decay Naked Palette then used a Mary Kay eyebrow gel on top. For this smokey look I used the Naked Palette again and used the shadows Gunmetal all over my lid, Creep in the crease, and Virgin to highlight my brow bone and the inner corners of my eye. I lined the top with Stila stay all day waterproof liquid eyeliner in intense black and lined the bottom with two different pencil liners. For the outer corner of my waterline I used the Urban Decay glide-on eye pencil in black then I used a Prestice Professional white eyeliner starting in the inner corner of my waterline and blending it into the black in almost an ombre effect. I finished off the eyes with my favorite Benefit Roller Lash mascara. 

My absolute number one makeup staple of all time is bronzer. Usually I am not huge on drugstore brand makeup because I just never seem to have the best luck with it. However, one of my favorite bronzers is the NYC Smooth Skin Bronzing Face Powder in the shade Sunny. I am about to finish my third compact of this and I always recommend it to people looking for a more affordable bronzer. I used this to slightly contour around my face enough to give my skin a bit of a glow. Then I used my Milani Baked Blush, also a surprising drugstore favorite, in Rose D'Oro. To give a final highlight I used my Naked Illuminated highlighter from Urban Decay.

For my lips I used one of my favorite red lipsticks. Again, this one is from the drugstore. Out of all the makeup in drugstores I always do best with the lip products. This one is from the Covergirl nature luxe line that is no longer available. I was so sad because right when I discovered it I fell in love with this lipstick, went back for more, and it was all gone! This is technically a gloss balm, but it is completely opaque like a lipstick, so that is how I wear it, and the picture shows the shade 220 Peony.

xoxo, tay

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Throwback Thursday: Journal #1

"This is from my ballet recital! It was an Irish theme. We got tambourines and pretty green and black costumes and wore flowers on my head. I felt like a princess! I was really good and did just ballet and tap. My tap costume is red and silver. That one is kind of embarrassing."

Oh those were the days. I remember always enjoying my dance classes a lot. I love the modesty I had as a child (note my sarcasm). That dance had always been one of my favorites because it seemed to be a bit more unique compared to other ballet classes, plus we had cool tambourines that we got to dance with. That same year was my first year taking tap class. I distinctly remember hating that costume and the theme of the dance. I mean the actual dancing was fun, but I remember not quite being fond of the theme. My other friends all had such cute tap costumes and I was in a red and silver mess of sequins. I figured that was my first year and it could only get better from there. Oh was I wrong. My second year of tap class I was in a dance themed "The Ugly Bug Ball" and of course the costumes were once again pretty bad. Neon green with black and white polka dots. You can imagine the way a costume for a dance with a name like that would look...

Stay tuned for next weeks Throwback Thursday! Expect the entries to become longer and more detailed as I get older. I was so young in these first few so they are pretty short a lot of the time.

xoxo, tay

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Book Review: Miracles Happen by Mary Kay Ash

God created the world, and he said, "That's good." Then He created man, and He said, "That's pretty good, but I can do better." So He created woman. -Mary Kay Ash

I was not sure about this book when I picked it up, it has been on my bookshelf for over a year. I have  always been iffy about autobiography's, sometimes they are amazing and other times I do not care for them. This book was a great read. A while ago my mom became a Mary Kay Consultant and I was her helper, but we both did not really get into it. This book came with the new consultant kit that we had purchased. 

As I read the book it is exactly what the front cover says. It is a mix between an autobiography of Mary Kay Ash and a business manual of sorts that shows the values of the Mary Kay Cosmetics company. The book is filled with all kinds of crazy and amazing stories told by Ash. God was truly on her side as she grew her business. She beat all the odds against her and proved to everyone who doubted her that she could do anything she set her mind too. This makes it easily relatable to many aspects of life. If you work hard and have faith, you can achieve whatever you set out to do. This is what all of Ash's practices encompass. There is a strong sense of power of the woman throughout the book without degrading men in any sort of way and I found that very enlightening. 

I would give this book a 4 out of 5 stars. The story is amazing and the book is full of wonderful advice for entrepreneurs. However I did take away one star because some of the practices discussed in the book seem to be a bit outdated. That is understandable considering the time frame of the life and business of Mary Kay Ash. Even with a few practices discussed that I may not totally agree with, I still think this book is well worth reading! I am an entrepreneurship minor and have only taken one class for it so far, a basic introductory course, so many of the language used on the business end of the book was very relatable to my studies. However, if you have never taken any sort of business or entrepreneurship class you would still be able to understand the book no problem. 

xoxo, tay

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Outfit of the Day: House Shopping

Shorts: Marshalls
Tank Top: Aeropostale 
Denim Shirt: Target
Earrings: Belks
Necklace & Bracelets: unknown & n/a (my mom got some for me awhile ago & two of the bracelets were made by my grandma)

My Mom and her boyfriend, Joey, have been looking for a new house for what seems like a long time now. Today was my third time accompanying my mom to look at different houses all day with the realtor. My last few months of being at school I fell into a habit of wearing what would normally be my go to outfit: shorts or leggings, a t-shirt (usually one from my sorority, shoutout to all my Phi Mu ladies reading this), and sandals or sneakers. There is nothing wrong with that, I could still look cute if I wanted too and it was a great outfit when I was in school. Cute and comfy is the key to my wardrobe. But sometimes I do like to dress it up a bit more, so today I wore something a little different. Since I will be in shorts and a t-shirt all summer at camp anyway, I figured now is my chance.

I have always thought it looked cute when I saw girls layering a plaid button-down shirt with a tank top or graphic t shirt. However, I wasn't crazy for the plaid part (I only wear plaid for a rodeo and thats a post for another day). So for this outfit I put my own spin on it. I love the look of a denim shirt as an outside layer, the way I would normally wear a lightweight jacket or cardigan. It is especially great during summer, when a jacket or cardigan would not be as ideal due to the heat. I can easily slip it off  if I am going to be outside and when I go inside I have a little something extra (I get cold really easily so I always tend to keep something like this on me when I go out). There has even been times where I just throw it on over my usual leggings and Phi Mu shirt. My favorite thing about this is that it is denim, so, like jeans, it matches everything and that makes it very wearable. 

To finish the outfit off I threw on a pair of off-white lace shorts and my new favorite sneakers that I bought at DSW. I love these cute little sneakers by Margaritaville, they have a tropical palm frond pattern that is perfect for summer. My favorite part of the shoes though are the laces, which I think are quite unique. I have seen all kinds of crazy shoe laces but I think the ropes tied up in a bow add the perfect touch to this shoe! If you are not crazy about tropical pattern, the same shoe is offered in a few other patterns and colors. I wore them all day today walking through house after house (at least 10, but I do not remember, probably more) and they did not give me any blisters. They do seem to run slightly small, so I would suggest doing what I did and going up half a size. 

Shoes: Margaritaville (purchased at DSW)

xoxo, tay

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Oreo the Morkie

Here is the newest addition to the family! Oreo is a little Morkie (Yorkie/Maltese) puppy that we welcomed into our home just a few weeks ago and he has captured our hearts. He has not, however, captured the heart of my other dog, Trixie. She absolutely hated him for the first week, and then one day we put them down together and she started to play with him a bit. There are still some dramatic moments between the two where we have to pull Trixie off the baby so she does not hurt him, but for the most part they have been getting along pretty nicely! I think Trixie is putting up a front that she does not like Oreo and she secretly likes having his company sometimes. However, there are definitely times when she does not like having him around, she is a bit of a little old lady after all, so dealing with a puppy can be annoying sometimes! 

Oreo is so funny to watch, he has the traits of a toddler! He will be playing and running in circles one moment (of course in his clumsy fashion that includes running into things, accidental flips and slips, and several trips as he attempts to run with toys in his mouth) and the next moment he is fast asleep. Naps are key for this little one to get through the day. Unfortunately he also tends to get up a few times a night, but from what Mimi has said (Mimi is my grandma, the dog is technically hers) he has been starting to sleep for most of the night. Potty training is what I think makes just about everyone groan, but it has not been so bad! As long as we take him out at the end of each nap throughout the day he seems to do pretty good with very few accidents inside the house. 

Last week I was working on a painting and someone snuck up behind me and stuck his nose in my paint! What a sneaky little boy, so cute! 

xoxo, tay

Friday, May 13, 2016

Home Sweet Home

I have been home from college for a few weeks now and it feels good to be back. A few days ago I took a trip to South Beach with my older brother, his girlfriend, and another friend. It felt good to go to the beach, relax the stress away from finals, and soak up some sun. Of course, when I am away at school I have the beach close by as well, but it is on the Gulf Coast and the beaches are much different than the Atlantic Coast. Plus, nothing beats the feeling like being at home.

I have always been the type of kid that was excited to get out of my hometown and go on new adventures in a new city while away at school. On the last day of school my senior year, while other people were crying and hugging, saying how much they would miss seeing each other and being home, I did not even bother to show up! I was not worried about missing anyone (okay, okay, maybe a few people) and all I did was look ahead at the exciting future of college life. 

I was not disappointed.

A year later, I have completed my freshman year of college, made tons of amazing friends (many of whom are my sorority sisters), and done all kinds of fun things I would not have done if I had stayed home for school. However, I came to a realization. While I absolutely LOVE being at FGCU and being in a different city for college, I did actually end up missing home sometimes. College life can get kind of lonely at times. I especially missed it when I didn't have my mom there to take care of me when I got sick!

I have grown an appreciation for my hometown. It feels really good to be home, away from all the hustle and bustle of college life. I can relax and do whatever I want without the pressure of school work. When I come home I do a lot of hanging out with my family over seeing friends. Part of the reason I wanted to get out of town for school was to escape the negative memories, and I still think about that, but now when I come home I just try to really focus my time on my family and myself. 

I have to enjoy being home while I can. In about a week and a half I head to sleep away camp to be a camp counselor for the rest of the summer! Just as I finish that I have a short period of time before I head off to school again to begin my sophomore year!

Wish me luck!

xoxo, tay

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Throwback Thursday: Journal #0

It's Thursday and that means that this is the first entry to my Throwback Thursday series! Every Thursday I am going to share a journal entry with you all from my journals, starting with the first one and going down the line! For this first journal, I cheated and picked several pages to share due to how short each entry is.
This is the first journal in my collection. I did not know I had it until recently when my mom found it in our garage and showed me. This is why I have it labeled as journal zero, for many years I had another one labeled as my first journal. My handwriting is quite awful in these pages, I was pretty young, so don't judge! Of course, me being the art lover I was I had to include drawings in some. Also, if you look really closely you can see where my mom wrote in corrections. My mom works in the school system and was probably a teacher at the time so having me start a journal was most likely her way of trying to get me to work on my penmanship and spelling skills.

"I went camping with the Girl Scouts. We went to the aquarium."

"Auntie Kristin went to the movies with me. We saw Finding Nemo. Nemo is a clown fish."

"Gramps and I are swimming in the pool. I am squatting Gramps with water."

"This is my dog Baer. He is sleeping with pups. There are 9 pups. He looks cute."

"I am learning how to ice skate. I can ice skate all by myself. I have gone ice skating 4 times."

"This is Trey and I on Rodeo Day. I rode Betty the horse. I also had my face painted."

xoxo, tay

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Keeping a Journal: My Safe Place

I feel like journaling is something that is slowly becoming a forgotten habit. I do not know many other people who keep some sort of journal or diary other than my Mom. However, I do also think that journaling, or keeping a diary (its basically the same thing), is something that some people may be slightly embarrassed about or is simply something they would rather keep private. Wishing for privacy is understandable, if anyone read my journal I think I might actually want feed myself to the alligator that lives in the pond next to my freshman dorm. Even though I do not want other people reading my journal, does not mean I keep the fact that I keep one private.

When people see that I have a journal the response is almost always the same: a laugh in my face, a joke about it being something only middle school girls do, or they ask if they can read it. Sometimes all three! Every now and then I get slightly embarrassed because it is something I am so passionate about and most other people think it quite silly. Journaling is my outlet, it keeps me sane. No matter how many people tease me, I do not plan to stop until the last days of my life.

I have been keeping a journal since I was in elementary school and my Mom has been journaling ever since she got pregnant with my older brother. My mom and I are very similar in the way that we both really enjoy any sort of paper products (sorry to all huge environmentalists out there!). Whether it is cute little notepads, stationary, notebooks, sketchbooks, planners... we are all over it. We have found ourselves, on more than one occasion, giving into buying cute journals we come across and adding it to the pile of empty notebooks on our bookshelves.

Since my mom and I have been journalling for so long, we have both started to acquire quite a hefty pile of used journals. I am currently working on my thirteenth journal and she her seventeenth. Technically I am on my fourteenth, because my first journal is numbered as zero. My mom unearthed it not long ago while going through some of our belongings and declared it as my first journal. I had not even known it existed, turns out my love of journalling started much younger than I had originally known! I wonder all the time what we will one day do with such piles of journals. My Moms response is to give them to the Smithsonian, maybe we will become famous for recording history through our writing! Watch out world, the Anne Franks of the modern world are coming at yah!

More than anything else, writing is an outlet for me so I do not lose my mind. There is stuff in those journals I am not sure I have ever told anyone before. Not only are we recording our personal lives to reflect on later, but we are recording history. Things will be so different in five, ten, and twenty years. I want to be able to remember all of my thoughts and feelings and memories.

So make fun of me if you will, but I will never stop writing. After all, my love for writing in my journal is what brought me here.

My journal collection

My Mom's journal collection (accompanied by our precious yorkie, Trixie)

P.S. Keep a look out every Thursday for a new post about my journals! For the next thirteen weeks I am planning a throwback Thursday where I share about a specific entry from each one. I am excited to share my journal history with you all!

xoxo, tay

Monday, May 9, 2016


Hello world! Welcome to my little corner of the internet! Blogging is something I have toyed around with for a long time and I have finally decided on creating this one. I follow a lot of blogs that have led to their writers to becoming very successful and I congratulate them on that! Don't worry, I'm not just on here to try and get famous. I created this blog to further my writing skills and maybe help others by sharing my experiences. Mainly focusing in on my experiences in college, which will likely include a lot about sororities due to the fact that most of my extra time is spent with sisters when I am not focusing on my classes. Well, even when I am studying and doing homework I am often with sisters so I can't even say that!

Other than sharing my experiences as I wander through college life, I have many other interests that I hope to share with you all as well! Of course, being the girly girl that I am, I love beauty and fashion, so expect some snippets of that. It will most likely tie it in with my college posts somehow. It could be anywhere from outfits for a specific sorority event to crazy-themed social makeup.

I also enjoy art (it is my major, so I better love it). My major is specifically focused on Digital Media Design and I am incredibly excited to begin those classes. It is currently the summer before my sophomore year at Florida Gulf Coast University so I have yet to begin classes for my major, not including the traditional art classes I have taken, or will take, that are prerequisites. I am hoping to share my journey through art with you all as well.

I also plan to include little snippets of random occurrences. It could be family outings during holidays or different DIY/craft projects I think that you all might like to hear about. I could even include some cooking recipes that I have recently been learning (Don't tell my mom, but so far cooking has been kind of fun) as well as some of my favorite treats to bake! My favorite is cake pops, I am a PRO at those, yum!

I can't wait to let you guys into my world!

xoxo, tay