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A Very Merry UN-Christmas

When coming up with the title for this post, I kept thinking of the Mad Hatter and March Hare from Alice in Wonderland singing A Very Merry Unbirthday at their tea party. As upside down and backwards as the song might be it has an interesting message. Although we celebrate our birth with a party, cake, balloons, and gifts once a year, we should celebrate every day of the year, thankful that we've been blessed to live another day. We may not have all the grandeur that only our birthday can provide, but we can celebrate every other day by living it to the fullest, getting one step closer to becoming  the best version of ourselves.

These thoughts came as a result of seeing someone on Facebook say, "I won't be doing Christmas this year." I've heard this said before, but for some reason when I read it this time, it caught me off guard and I was confused about what it meant. 

Are you not putting up a tree and decorating? Are you not buying gifts? Or receiving gifts? Listening to anything and everything but Christmas music? Going out of your way to avoid seeing houses with lights? You are going to take a rain check on all family functions? What does it mean when someone says they aren't "doing" Christmas?   I'm just absolutely baffled by that statement. Maybe we have two different ideas of Christmas. 

As a child, I remember my mom wearing a pin on her coat during the holidays that said "Remember the Reason for the Season". Christmas, for me, is a time to enjoy our loved ones as much as we can, a time to be grateful for all we have and all we've been given, a time to be a blessing to others, and a time to bask in joy as we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.  

So when I hear someone say they aren't "doing" Christmas I really interpret it as them saying they aren't going to allow themselves to be filled with joy,  they don't want to spend time with family, and they aren't interested in expressing gratitude for what they do have in life - even if it really isn't much, we can all find something to be thankful for. Let's get real here, if you can't recognize how blessed you are, how can you turn around and bless someone else? Just by having the ability and opportunity to read this makes you blessed beyond measure.

Holidays can be rough on people emotionally and financially. I totally get it. Most of us have been there at some point and you're not alone. What I'm about to say, isn't to discredit what you're going through, what you've gone through, or how you feel in anyway. It's my own realization I've come to through sorrow and hardship. Find thankfulness in the loved ones you have and the time you can still spend with them. Find thankfulness for all of the little things we take for granted in life: roof, heat, water, food - even air to breathe! Once we focus on all the things we have been blessed with in life, joy becomes easier to flow through us as we are able to understand giving. With Christmas around the corner, I can see no more perfect time than now to practice thankfulness especially with Thanksgiving only a few days away.  We all have the ability to give something whether it is a kind word, time volunteering at a soup kitchen, services that you are talented or skilled at, some cookies or fudge you baked, or a DIY you made out of things you already have at home. Christmas is a season to recognize and embrace how blessed we are and choose to bless others in return.

I don't get why anyone would say they aren't "doing" Christmas. I strive to do Christmas everyday. I strive to be grateful all 365 days in the year and strive to bless others as I've been blessed. I strive to be filled with joy year round. So if someone really doesn't want to "do" Christmas, I will meet them there. Let's have a Very Merry UnChristmas everyday so we can celebrate the good in life.

What are your thoughts about not "doing" Christmas? How do you celebrate?

Fall Lip Colors: Mulled Wine

This gorgeous, vampy red is everything you want. I love wearing this color on it's own for a beautifully edgy dark wine lip that has the class of a red and the boldness of a berry. Additionally, Mulled Wine is the best to layer with when you want a classic red tone darkened up and enriched. 

Mulled Wine adds color to a black ensemble without being too shockingly bright. It's a classic, romantic, and seductive shade for date nights and formal affairs. This wine color pairs well with camo greens and burgundys as well. Cheers to beautiful, lasting fall lips! Want to try Mulled Wine for yourself? Click here.

Fall Lip Colors: Cocoa

You're at your favorite coffee shop sipping on a caramel macchiato and brooding over the romance in the Charlotte Brontë novel you are currently reading. It's the weekend and you wanted to get out of the house, but didn't actually want to do something. Cocoa is your lip color of choice. It's neutral enough to not feel committed, but it's enough to make a statement and keep you pulled together. The gorgeous red undertones keep the color grounded reminding you the leaves are falling outside.

Cocoa is the missing piece to tying your outfit's ensemble together. You don't have to worry about conflicting colors with this natural, warm brown. Its red hints drive it away from being a stark, unflattering, dark brown. It's a pleasant surprise that will dress up a makeup look or add the finishing touch. Try it with a matte gloss for a completely different look! Want Cocoa for yourself? Click here.

Fall Lip Colors: Napa

Napa is a sweet, berry color that stays true to its berry roots, but is modern enough to incorporate some red undertones. Different skin tones will bring out more of the red while on others it may pull more purple. This is a must have for anyone who loves berries, but doesn't want something as dark as Plum.

I like to think of Napa as your companion on a weekend getaway to a vineyard for wine tasting. It's the kind of color that makes you feel pretty when you wear it. Fitting to be paired with burgundys, berries, and deep greens.

The lovely Napa! A very feminine, wine colored berry that still gives you a leg up on fall without going uncomfortably dark. For my eye look today I used Moca Java Shimmer, Garnet, Mulberry and Pink Opal Shimmer - and of course Onyx for liner. Click here to try Napa for yourself.

Fall Lip Colors: Nutmeg

Oh, Nutmeg ... you are the e"pit"ome of fall. A gorgeous shimmering brown with orange and red undertones. It's the mature older cousin to Persimmon that screams stylish and professional. Trendy and sophisticated. And might I add totally in season come fall. It's the pumpkin spiced latte of LipSense colors, but to share with you a secret - you can wear this year round!

You might be surprised, but Nutmeg is so complimentary that it can be worn with most colors and outfits. With an orange base, it is easily paired with other warm colors and being opposite on the color wheel of blue it will compliment by making both colors pop. Since orange is in nature related more to brown and this color contains a brown element, it still has a natural coloring to it as well making it a perfect choice.

Nutmeg pulls more red on me with my hair and with the scarf I'm wearing. Its undertones can favor orange, red, and brown and can pull toward the ones that you are wearing. Either way, the result is gorgeous! If you'd like to try Nutmeg, click here.

Fall Lip Colors: Nude

👢Nude is for sure a Kylie Lip Kit dupe. It's an opaque, matte, neutral color that is chill and classy 💁‍♀️for those days when you want something laid back and not over the top. Nude is the equivalent of a nice, warm cup of tea or coffee. It's a comfy fit for your lips.

You can wear this color with anything as it can help give you a more finished makeup look for a casual, everyday outfit and yet with something more fancy it will never overpower what you are already wearing. It gives you the ability to dazzle with your threads instead. Click here to try Nude for yourself.

Fall Lip Colors: Persimmon

If I'm being honest, I will say I had no idea what to expect when I first saw this color. It looked WAY too orange for me. I was blown away when I tried it on. It's not bright like I was thinking it was going to be. It's a muted orange so it has this vintage vibe to it and it ended up filling a cosmetic void I never knew was there. Definitely one of my favorite fall go-tos!

Persimmon is a totally underrated swiss army knife that can be super versatile. It can give you that pop of color while still being subtle. This color works great to pull out any oranges in an outfit as well as contrast against lighter and darker colors, and will pop with blues (like denim!!). I love the idea of pairing it with a casual, denim jacket and a fall, floral dress that has pops of orange in it as well as an edgy, vintage, rock tee and a black, leather jacket. Click here to try Persimmon for yourself.

Fall Lip Colors: Plum

Plum is one of most gorgeous berry colors. In a recent study, it was shown that deep reds, plums, AND even a black lip color gives the impression that you are intelligent, sophisticated, professional, creative and have cutting edge style -- basically you look like you know what's up. Nervous about trying dark colors? It's just makeup! And although lipsense lasts a super long time, it isn't permanent and can come off so journey outside of your comfort zone, have some fun, and give it a try! Not into dark colors, layer it with a lighter color to make it not so deep.

Plum is great for a dressed up look or an everyday look. It will make green and hazel eyes pop and if you pair it with a green top or jacket it will make your lips pop. Of course, it will also compliment any other berry colors you are wearing. I love wearing Plum with mustard yellow, camo green, and even teal.

Sometimes I will go with purple and mauve eyes with Plum, however this is my FAVORITE everyday look for my eyes because I can pair it with any color. && Since ShadowSense is a cream-to-powder and has a doe foot applicator, I can use it for concealer, highlighter, brows, eyeliner, blush, and contouring as well!

I use:
Candlelight
Sandstone Pearl Shimmer
Garnet
Onyx

Candlelight goes all over my lid. Candlelight is a great concealer as well.
I placed Sandstone Pearl Shimmer at the inner corners of my eyes and on my brow bone for highlight which can also be used as a face highlighter.
 Garnet I used in my crease, eyeliner for my bottom lashline, and for my brows (lighter hair go with Moca Java for brows). 
 Then I lined my upper lashline with Onyx. You could easily turn this into a smokey eye by adding Onyx to the crease.

To top it all off I'm wearing Plum and Glossy.

To purchase any of the products/colors I mentioned click here.

Styling Fall Fashion

Every gal needs a handy style guide so I've taken the time to break down the essentials for an on point fall look. All you have to do is mix and match to give yourself a seasonal makeover that is trendy and contemporary. 

Some of the best fall colors are just a darker version of themselves.
-Tans, nudes, and browns are great neutrals
-Wine colored reds
-Deep teal
-Hunter and camo greens
-Navy or cobalt blue
-Mustard yellow 
-Fuschia
-Burnt orange
-Dark purple

Along with the typical fall colors, you will find textile patterns that can be styled with a fall outfit. 
-Brown leather
-Faux fur
-Plaid
-Camo
-Denim
-Floral (fall colors)
-Stripes
-Lace

Between the fall colors and patterns, you can find tops that you can style into a fall look.
-Waffle knit long-sleeve tops
-Short dresses that can be either casual or formal depending on the textile pattern or fabric and how you choose to style it
-Solid or patterned cotton knit shirts that have long or short sleeves
-Plaid button ups

Not only will a cover help warm you as the months begin to cool down, but they can also be a fashion accessory to help style a look. 
-Sweaters
-Cardigans
-Vests (faux fur, suede, jean for styling or an insulated vest for warmth)
-Jean jackets
-Leather jackets

Bottoms are pretty standard, but it's how you wear them and the colors that will help complete an autumnal vibe you are going for.
-Jeans (preferably skinny in order to wear with boots)
-Leggings to go under oversized sweaters/tops or dresses
-Tights that have fall patterns or are fall colored will add a pop underneath a skirt or dress.
-Skirts that are one of the brighter fall colors are super fun to play around with.

Boots are not only stylish, but tend to be weather resistant and insulated making them the perfect fall combination and why they dominate fall shoes.
-Riding boots which go great over leggings and skinny jeans
- Flats that are fall colored and even have a gold embellishment on them are great for something more dressy
-Ankle boots can dress up and add some flair 
-Combat boots are the must if you're doing anything outdoors as they are durable for muddier climates
-Sweater boots are perfect for casual and comfy 

Fall accessories will set your look apart from any other season. 
-Messenger bags
-Floppy hats
-Long necklaces
-Scarves
-Saddle bags
-Leg warmers

Here is a pocket sized how-to guide for you to carry around with you on your smart phone when you're out shopping and styling. Enjoy! 

Pure Michigan: Our Summer 2017 Trip

The timing didn't work for us to go up north for our one year anniversary in January like we wanted so we decided to take a trip to Mackinaw during the summer instead as our "anniversary" trip. It was such a nice getaway. There's nothing like Michigan in the summer time. We are truly blessed with such great natural beauty. I, myself, take it for granted.

We spent our first day on Mackinac Island. It was super foggy during the morning and cleared up to be a beautiful 70 degree day by the time we left. 

For the first time, I didn't try to cram seeing and doing every little thing there into our visit. Interestingly enough though I saw the entire island ... at least the perimeter of it. I had never ridden the 8.2 mile bike ride around the island before so Jonathan and I embarked on checking that off the list. I actually saw some things I never had before.

Of course, we had to hike up to arch rock and check out the view.

Following our trip to Mackinac Island we headed up to St. Ignace where we stopped to grab coffee at Java Joe's and hiked up to Castle Rock - or as Jon has always referred to it as "the really big rock with the giant Paul Bunyan and blue ox". I never knew what he was talking about before now.  

Jon volunteered to experience the weirdness of the Mystery Spot as he put himself in a bunch of odd and near impossible positions. We spent the day enjoying the natural "pure" Michigan beauty.

Mackinaw treated us well with delicious food - one of my favorites being the Rosemary, Pesto Salmon at Nonna Lisa's Italian Restaurant and a relaxing view on the water where we could see the bridge and city line.

You can view the rest of the pictures from our trip here. If you're curious about what the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island looks like on the inside, you can see the pictures I took from visiting there a few years ago here.