A Little Bit of This

{thrifted scarf, thrifted merino plum sweater, H&M blazer, F21 jeans, thrifted boots}
No big, fancy outfits around here lately, just a few everyday-doing-this-thing-called-life outfits.

{Caroline G. necklace, Target sweater, Gap cami, F21 jeans &  boots}
This was such a gray day, you can tell by the lighting. I was wearing a dark purple sweater, and I looked at myself in the mirror and thought, “This shirt is making you look tired & sad. You need color.” So I swapped for my yellow sweater (current clearance at Target, fyi!), my peach Caroline G. bubble necklace, and my hot pink Radiant cosmetics lipstick. Much better!

{Thrifted tee, thrifted sweater, J.Crew cords, H&M ring, Minnetonka mocs}
Crushing hard on this color combo of seafoam and raspberry lately. 
And who doesn’t love some Minnetonka mocs?
The snow was swirling in an ethereal way this morning: circular, horizontal, dream-like. 
I felt like I was inside of a snowglobe, truly.
Quite lovely. 

Kiss Slavery Goodbye: Shades of Pink

Wearing my Radiant Cosmetics Daphne lipstick all this month to support #KissSlaveryGoodbye. You can read more about this awesome company, awesome mission, and awesome lipsticks here and here.
My heart has been so encouraged this week with help from a coffee date with my sister-in-law, the women in The Influence Network, and so many kind words from friends & others. Thank you, lovelies, for lifting my heart!
This awesome nail polish from my December Birchbox is my new favorite! It’s a silver/purple/pink depending on the light. Don’t you think it’s fun? 
Have a great week! 

Midwest Living

Sunshine after a snowstorm is one of my favorite things. The houses look like they were purposely nestled in the snow by an artist who wanted to paint them just so. 
Makes me wish I were a painter, but for now, I’ll just be an appreciate-r.

We all complain about winter, but really, it is just so lovely. So, so lovely. Everything covered with fresh white powder, cheery blushed cheeks and rosy noses, and a blast of crisp air to help us feel alive and young.  We have to seek all of that beauty in winter, because if we don’t, our hearts will get buried under the salt and road grime, the coughs and colds, and the cancelled plans from snowfalls. I know plenty about all of those things, too.

I hope that next time you’re buried under 10.5 inches of snow like we are (and will be time and time again, I’m sure!), you’ll make some homemade dumplings, bake some cookies, and wait for the sun to come out again. It always does.
Crossed Hunter boots in the beautiful sunshine.

Blush Pink Dress, Creamy Belt, and Raspberry Sweater. 

One of my sweet friends sent me this lovely little package! Isn’t it happy? I adore the Cath Kidston note, and it was fun to see Midwest Living again. This was one of my favorite magazines during my previous Midwestern years, so it will be back in my reading rotation.
She also sent me this fun Estee Lauder lipstick. I love its modern white and gold packaging, which happened to match my white nail polish! Have you noticed that matching makes me happy?!

Beauty with a Purpose {Part 2}

I can’t stop smiling. I tried. But it’s really, really hard because I’m wearing this amazing hot pink lipstick. And it not only feels good, it does good. As I said yesterday, this beautiful makeup from Radiant Cosmetics helps fight human trafficking by raising awareness and donating funds.
I also can’t stop wearing this lipstick. I wore it to church. I wore it to work. I wore it on the weekend with a white tee shirt and jeans. I wore it to the polls to vote. 
It is just so much fun. I can’t get over it. And how fun is it with a polka dot (that are actually tiny hearts) peplum top and bright pink Swedish clogs? Swoon.
So let me just gush about this lipstick a little bit more. Look at it! It’s gorgeous! The tube is lovely, shiny, and heavy…you can tell this isn’t your drugstore lipstick. I also adore the Radiant logo. Nicole sent me a personal, handwritten note with those beautiful cards in the background…I loved the personal touches and great customer service. They really do care.
Here I tried not to smile for a moment, so you could see the lipstick.
It went on very smoothly, very pigmented, and lasted forever. I put this lipstick on in the morning and proceeded to: eat celery and lunch, drink from a water bottle all day, drink coffee from a to-go cup, eat dinner…and at the end of the day? 
Still as bright pink as can be. I didn’t even layer it. I just put it on my bare lips. That’s staying power. 
I also used the beautiful Pirouette (shimmery light beige-pink) and Ahoy (matte navy) eyeshadows. Above I used just the Pirouette with a silver gel eyeliner. 
I also wore the Ahoy and the Pirouette with blue eyeliner:
Subtle, but still very fun. 
Beauty with a purpose in products that I love and would purchase anyway?
That’s something I can stand behind. 
Next time you need a pick-me-up and are tempted to buy a standard-issue Sephora lipstick, think Radiant instead. I know you’ll love it. I can’t wait to add more Radiant Cosmetics to my makeup bag. And speaking of makeup bags, they have cool ones handmade by ladies in Uganda. Even more awesome.
Thank you Nicole and Radiant Cosmetics!
These products were given to me in exchange for my honest review in the words and images in the two posts I created. Since they were given to me, there were no profits to be donated to fighting human trafficking. To counteract that, I happily donated to one of the organizations that Radiant partners with, Love146. Maybe you’ll be inspired, too!

Something We Can All Agree On: Beauty with a Purpose

The country is bitterly divided, as we just saw on Election Day. But let me share something we can all agree on: ending human trafficking. While I was further researching the dark world of human trafficking, tears of frustration, pain, and empathy were streaming from my eyes. This happens in our own country, friends. People are being bought and sold. People with families; people with futures, with big eyes and beautiful faces that deserve to smile. But I was also filled with tears of compassion as I read  the stories of beautiful children, teenagers, women, and men who were rescued. Whose lives were taken back and whose spirits are being rejuvenated. Beautiful stories of hope. Stories of beauty with a purpose. Radiant Cosmetics is a company striving to create more of those stories. As they like to say, “Fighting human trafficking one lipstick at a time.”

What is Human Trafficking?
Human trafficking is a crime of modern-day slavery. Men, women, and children are bought and sold into various forms of human exploitation, including sex slavery and being sold for organs.This is a violent trade of human beings; it is a dehumanizing crime against men, women and children the world over, including the United States. Human trade generates $32 billion (did you catch that? billion) worldwide each year from the approximately 2 million people sold. That’s 2 children every minute.

Radiant Cosmetics
The cosmetics industry generates $170 billion worldwide each year, and Radiant Cosmetics founder Nicole is passionate about getting some of those funds on the front-lines of fighting human trafficking. Radiant Cosmetics is a company founded on the belief that we can make a difference. Indeed, we must make a difference, because our brothers and sisters are depending on us.

While travelling for missions work in Thailand, Nicole formed friendships with women who had been trafficked or worked in the commercial sex trade industry. Their stories cried out to her. Their faces awoke within her spirit a cry to help and a call to action. And that call to action included, you guessed it: lipstick.

Fighting for Change and Creating Hope 
Now, she partners with other organizations such as Love146, fighting the tide of slavery, and her company donates a minimum of 20% of the profits from every product sold. Nicole and her team create amazing, gorgeous cosmetics. They are showing the world that a cosmetics company can be a generous force for good. That a lipstick purchase can mean something. That beautiful redemption is possible amidst the horrific scene of human trafficking.

I love it when God gives people a passion. I love it when He gives people a purpose in an otherwise ‘normal’ profession or situation. Selling lipsticks? No one used to think it could change the world. But Nicole? When Nicole looked at a tube of lipstick, she saw hope and the beauty of smiling faces freed from slavery. 

***I am so excited to partner with Radiant Cosmetics. Tomorrow I’ll be sharing the products Nicole so graciously shared with me. Stay tuned!*** Edit: You can now read my review and see the products HERE in Part 2! 

Reserach from Radiant Cosmetics, love146, UNODC, and the FBI

Rain & A Tulip

It has been raining. Raining, raining, raining. Did I mention it’s been raining? So I only have one good photo of this outfit! Rain has a way of dampening the spirit–either in a really wonderful, introspective way, or a really un-wonderful, demotivating way. Tonight, I’m feeling a bit demotivated. Sunshine? 
Ooo! The week is halfway over! Go us 🙂