Tis the season

Monday, December 15, 2014

Tis the season to be inspired and filled with hope. Being such a season I wanted to share with you a few of my favorite things right now - spanning from blog posts to make-up items. I figured this could serve as a way for you to get a few doses of inspiration and also maybe pick up a few Christmas gifts all at once!

for the heart:

Thryve Magazine - like seriously what, I'm amazed I'm able to be a part of such a production!
Hannah Brencher - try to sign up for her weekly Monday emails too
Mara Grace's Instagram & Tumblr & heart
(especially these two:)

A photo posted by k e l s e y (@sheinthemaking) on

These Village Church Sermons (1, 2, & this entire series)
This Stacy Reeves Post
Random dance parties for one or with a friend.
This awesome Janie Perez post about following your dreams.
The fact my best friend just graduated from college.

& My Fall to Winter Days Playlist:

Especially Sam Smith's version of Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas. I seriously teared up and my cheeks hurt from smiling so hard. You'd have thought I just won the lottery I was so blown away.

for the body:

Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Polish - Currently sporting Creme de la Creme
NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream - Prague is slaying me.
Nest Perfume Roll-Ons in Dalia & Vines and Indigo

for the taste buds:
Trader Joe's Kettle Corn - May purchase here if no TJ's are near you
Mango Ceylon Republic of Tea Bags

What are some of your must haves or must shares for this season? I would love to know!

With all I have,

I'm not really, so much of a nice person.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

I know, this is weird. I think so too. But it's true, so I'm going to write about it anyways, and maybe you'll see where I'm coming from, and will find some awesome area of common ground and we will become great friends. Or maybe you'll think I'm way off. Either way, I've never particularly striven to be a nice person. In most cases, when you initially meet me, I think I definitely seem to be - maybe too much so. I typically make friends by complimenting people on extrinsic things, such as their beautiful leather bag, serious eyeliner game, or their perfectly distressed boyfriend jeans... which is probably why all of my best friends are smoke shows. Once you get to know me, however, you see I'm really not all that nice at all. And honestly, I don't think I want to have much to do with the term.

On my birthday, my best friend called me kind, and I recall responding to her saying something along the lines of "Oh wow. I know it's my birthday, but you know I'm really not all that nice." And she said, "I didn't say nice, I said kind. There's a difference!" Haha and it really got me thinking about both of those words and the intentions behind each one.

Some people just have nice-ness in their bones. They always have something sweet to say to you no matter what and it can really be rather pleasant to have that little boost in your day. But I think it sometimes, it can become a problem. And maybe I'm overthinking this, but sometimes I believe it can really become an issue because of two reasons.

  1. It can become a sport of comparison.  I think it can become an issue when someone says that you are always more beautiful, smarter, that your laugh is always sweeter, that you always dress far cuter, than in a gist you are always more than the complimenter. I think putting yourself down to lift others up is never the way to deliver a compliment nor is it ever a solution. And I know, you're probably not taking it to heart, but please don't underestimate the power of your words! Each time you speak out about a person or yourself you are breathing those things into life. And one day you may begin to feel like everything about you is a little less than others around you and wonder why. Plus, people don't need compliments that lift them up by putting you down. If you really think about it, that shouldn't make anyone feel very good about themselves to believe to be better than you and it's quite honestly a little confusing.

  2. Because are you really being nice when it comes to masking the truth? If my hair is a mess or I smell or my lipstick is far from poppin',  I don't want a friend who is going to tell me I look great. I want a friend who is going to pull out a hair tie, some bobby pins, her travel stick deodorant, and hand me her latest shade of Essence lipstick. Plus, surface level compliments fade quickly anyways. If you want to create an impact that lasts, then speak to someone about their character.

It seems to me, at some point, the term nice can become nearly equivalent with an adjective for someone who is a master in people pleasing. I honestly don't believe in saying or doing things just for the sake of being nice. I think sometimes people are honestly just so afraid to be honest with others nowadays. For fear of how they'll be perceived. For fear that others won't like what they have to say and no longer want to stick around. For fear of seeming judgmental when all they're really trying to do is show they care.

I think in our generation, it's safe to say most everyone just wants to stay in a state of happy. Whatever that is. And if there are things or people that disrupt this or are "killing our vibes" then they don't need to be in our lives. Because "good vibes only", right? And I think it's a shame. There's nothing to that. That's not life. So much of what we learn in life comes from our struggles, and our growth from them. From healing and learning. People can sit and tell you what you want to hear all day. They can encourage your poor decisions. They can push you to take your one life down meaningless winding roads because that's what sounds like a good idea to you at the time, so it sounds good to them. Or, they can stand up and be a friend and tell you not necessarily what you want to hear, but what you need to. And it might not be pretty or nice. But if someone cares enough about you to put all of those fears and the fact that you can take it all wrong on the line, then I would say there you have a kind, caring, and genuine friend.

To me, kindness goes a little deeper. Its roots and intentions are in not necessarily in pleasing someone but in being genuine, touching someone, truly helping another, and ultimately going a little deeper than something that will quickly fade away.

I don't believe you should falter or hide the truth for the sake of someone's feelings - though hopefully you can find a way to put it more delicately or try to come from a kind place in the heart - because we all need a reality check sometimes. And hopefully we are fortunate enough to have a person in our lives who cares enough to give it to us. And yes, sometimes honesty, even with the kindest of intentions, still hurts a bit. But sometimes it's a refining process. And honestly, that's more of how I strive to be. I strive to possess kindness and not be afraid to speak the truth, but in love. To be compassionate, and understanding, yet unwavering on what stands to be true. I desire for there to be deep and genuine purpose behind the things I do and say. I guess I don't find value in solely being nice, because it's difficult for me to find honesty in it. I think in a sense, it actually takes away from true and earnest words spoken. And it's kind of come to the place where when I compliment someone and they tell me I'm nice, I usually make it a point to correct them. Because I'm really not. I'm just honest. And if I say something that happens to be considered nice, it's just because it was true. And that you can trust if I'm paying you an earnest compliment, it will be genuine, and true, and specific to YOU and your being and your character. I want you to know that if I'm saying it, I really mean it because I'm not just someone who goes around saying anything just to make people feel good. And I mean yes, if you have on a killer pair of shoes I'll have to comment on those too. But if I catch you walking around at an event in a pair of Louboutins, I'll probably say we need to have a serious chat about why you enjoy torturing yourself, suggest we go buy you a pair of flats and ask if you wanna chat over a couple of Caramel Apple Spices.

xx, Seysey

Interview With The Christian Girl

Thursday, December 4, 2014

So a little while back, I had the opportunity to be interviewed over at The Christian Girl by Natalia Crawford! I was seriously so honored I was asked to be featured alongside women who are seriously doing incredible things, building churches, running non-profit organizations, and some women I personally keep up with and look up to like Lindsey Eryn Clark. This blog is such an awesome source of inspiration, spiritual wisdom, and a bunch of great posts that are relevant for all different types of women and their walk of faith. They even sent me one of these beautiful and encouraging little journals they sell on their site too! I had a great time and hope you enjoy reading it!

Your Worth

Monday, December 1, 2014

This is a post on worth. Yes, YOURS. Hence the title... and I'm pretty sure you all got that haha. But what you may not know is that though this may be a huge mind dump - I can't believe I just typed that either - I feel like it's SO important for me to address this - because at least 90% of the time, when I'm driving myself crazy, or I find myself frustrated or upset, it's related to this very topic. (Surprise fun fact: I also specialize in run on sentences.)

I've gotten to the point where I've realized that social media is currently the best vehicle I have to communicate what I'm passionate about with the world. And that's perfectly fine with me because I'm going to use whatever I have to spread the truths that I know, if they can help someone in some sort of way. Someone who wants to be understood or wants to make a difference or wants to know that it's okay to believe in themselves when it doesn't seem that anyone around them feels the same. And maybe I'm able to confidently write about this because I know that there are at least a handful of my close friends - actually I think including family at least a solid 15 people who would hold me accountable to the woman I am and the worth I possess. And maybe you don't currently have someone in your life right now who could be that person for you. So if this is you, please let me the person to remind you of how valuable you are and exactly what it is you deserve in this life.

You deserve to be treated with respect. Constantly. Infallibly. You deserve to be surrounded by people who love you and who you love. Who uplift you, who hold you accountable to cherishing and appreciating the valuable, beautiful soul you are, who hold you accountable to the things you've said you want to accomplish in this life, to the magnificent creation God has called you to be, and to the incredible potential He's placed within you. Yep, to all of these things. You deserve to experience unconditional love, despite your faults, mistakes, and imperfections. You deserve to experience freedom. To unapologetically be yourself. To exercise your right to say no to things you don't want to participate in and to stand up and to do so firmly for the things you feel are unjust. To experience the freedom of forgiveness. You deserve to feel like the most valuable gem on the face of the Earth because YOU are worth more than all of the rubies and diamonds that are ever to exist. You are worth more than all of the sparkling lights in the night sky. You are His greatest treasure.

click read more for the nitty gritty: let's get real.


Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Picture credit: Paul Tellefesen, Handlettering by me.

Last night, I had the ability to partake in something beautiful. I was invited by some of my sweetest friends to gather around a table and enjoy communion and a conglomerate homemade meal. As we were nearly closing out the night with prayer, my friend Monica was thanking God for our time together and said something along the lines of "This isn't normal." And that really stirred something in me because she was so right, it wasn't normal. Yes, we do get to gather with others around tables much more than usual during the holiday season, but to be able to set out with intention to gather a group of people who want to glorify God and praise Him in so many various ways throughout the night... That's rare. And it was so beautiful. My friends put so much thought and intention into every part of the event. We opened the night with a short message and prayer and then passed around our plates, very family style, to serve one another. We were each given Flora stationery cards, designed by my sweet friend Alexa, to write a note of love and encouragement for one person in a nearby homeless shelter & one for a person sitting at the table. In addition, the purchase of the beautiful Flora cards benefit young ladies in Eastern Europe in receiving scholarships to continue their education. I hadn't even met the girl who wrote my card until after the fact, but I was still so touched and encouraged by her words and the truth she spoke over me!



Each person brought something to the plate, from delicious stuffing, to unleavened bread, to a prayer or a laugh. It reminded of how we are in the body of Christ. Each working together, each bringing something different up to the table, each a part of a whole. As prayers began and ended the night, I felt such a wave of truth and peace on a night when I know so many were experiencing so much confusion and unrest. It got me thinking about true "peace" and the way the media is using the word. Peace is a state of mind, but even more so it's a state of the heart. 

Restricting, controlling, oppressing -- they don't create peace. That's not how God instills peace. An absence of apparent and visual violence, when hearts and souls are stirring and breaking isn't TRUE peace. 

This year, I'm slowly but surely beginning to see things differently. Not just for what they are, but for what lies underneath. And I'm grateful to God for this. I'm grateful for community, for His guidance, for His overflowing heart, that He is near to the broken-hearted & I'm grateful that God cares for and loves us so deeply and that His power can instill a sense of peace in any heart through the most trying of times. My prayers are with you guys throughout the season and throughout the different struggles you're facing today. 

- p s a l m  3 4 : 1 7 - 2 2 -
"17 The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them;
    he delivers them from all their troubles.
18 The Lord is close to the brokenhearted
    and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
19 The righteous person may have many troubles,
    but the Lord delivers him from them all;
20 he protects all his bones,
    not one of them will be broken.
21 Evil will slay the wicked;
    the foes of the righteous will be condemned.
22 The Lord will rescue his servants;
    no one who takes refuge in him will be condemned."

A start

Monday, November 24, 2014

There's a lot I've been thinking about and a lot I've been learning recently. A lot, in a little bit of time, from a lot of people, from the Holy Spirit, from myself, from my superiors, from my peers. There's good, there's ugly, there's straddling that line between realism and optimism, between speaking the truth and making sure it's done in love and in kindness. Between taking criticism and extracting the honesty and intention from the words. Between expressing the hurt you've felt from someone you care about and yet still lifting them up. In realizing my flaws. In repentance. In a quest to love as Jesus loves. In a mutual understanding that I'm not perfect and you're not perfect and at the end of the day the love that binds us together is the most powerful force. A force that has the ability to wash all of that other stuff away.

Does that mean ignoring the issues? It shouldn't. I feel like if two people feel strongly enough to sandwich a word as meaningful as "love" between "I" and "you" and possibly even trail it with a "so much" then it warrants as much as a couple pairs of open hears, softer, slower words, and a heart to heart on what's really happening. Does that mean it will be a two way street? Idealistically, but not always. But it does mean pushing forward. It means working to get there and building upon it once you have. In an earnest attempt to love more whole-ly. Loving past the awkward and putting yourself out there. Notice I didn't say putting away the fear of putting yourself out there. That would be amazing too, but in this case that may be of those things that follows the act.

Maybe I'm feeling this way because I am freshly 23 years old and more than anything, I want this year to be about intention. About putting a purpose behind what I do and what I say and how I act and the good works I create and the mistakes I make. I want to go there and it's okay if you don't want to go there too. But please know that if you plan on sticking around, I for one will be pushing you to. I want to get there and I want to be held accountable. I want to lift others around me higher, those here, those in my personal life, those on instagram and facebook and the ones who look on and never peep a word. And I want to be along for the experience too. I want to know hearts like I haven't before.

Sometimes, I just sit quietly in a loud space. Well, nearly quietly. Really I uncognitively begin humming, because when I find myself a quiet soul in a rambunctious environment, it just happens. Maybe it's a soothing mechanism, or maybe I just want to add something to the sound of life happening around me. But sometimes, I sit and just look around a room and I want so badly to just reach out to someone. To hug them or ask them how they're doing. No, how they're really doing. Someone I barely know. Or someone I know really well. And not necessarily because I feel badly for the person, but just because for some reason or another I feel for them. And if I feel drawn to reach out to someone, other than my own personal trepidations, really, what's prohibiting me?

I read this piece by Hannah Brencher and it was filled with so much yes, I had to share it on my blog. I think so many of us want to do more, but we don't know how or where to start. My mind and iPhone notes are filled with little lists of ideas of how to connect with people, and words, and thoughts that I feel and if I'm honest with you, I fear a day when that will be all they ever became. A bunch of ideas and words and thoughts that I felt that were kept comfortably in the notes section of my iPhone and in hidden pockets of my mind.

I don't want this blog, and more specifically, yet also more generally, I don't want my life, to be just about me. I recently came across the notion that I have been given the gift of connection. And although I'm not too entirely sure what it means, or what it looks like, I know it has to do with a whole lot more than just me and being preoccupied by the little space bubble that is my own mind and my current realm of comfort. So today, although I'm not leaving you with any answers, I'll leave you with this. And also, with a place to start.

And I was sitting the other day, tucked into the booth of a McDonald’s we found off the beaten path on the way to our campground, and I told my friend that I don’t really have a bucket list. I don’t know how we even got on that topic.

“There is no bucket list,” I told her. “If you told me this thing was going to end there wouldn’t be any places I really wanted to see.”

It’s not about that for me. There’s something more I’d want to do.  I could just picture myself gathering up every person I love and adore into one space-- maybe a cozy coffee shop that does a boss-of-a-job with an au-lait. I’d want them all to be there. And I’d want to get some sacred space to be able to hold their hands one last time and look them straight in the eye and tell them what I think of them and who I can see them becoming. Because that is the most powerful thing you might think to tell someone today: not just who you see them to be but who you know they are capable of becoming. We all want to become someone different and beautiful-- it might be a little easier if we cheer each other on in the making.

I’d want to make sure I pushed them one last time. If I had you in my grips I would make sure to tell you to look up. And look around. And invest in what actually matters. And stop doing the things your heart is not living inside of. And just hold tight to the good things-- the true things-- that walk into your life.

“I just want to be able to be the person who calls other people out and notices them,” I told my friend.
And then, right there, in the booth tucked on the edge of the wilderness of North Georgia, it felt like my heart was breaking in two.

Because I am alive. And I am well. And I am not on a sinking boat. And I do not need a lifeboat right now. And yet I am missing it. I am missing it when I let another day slip by where I do not live inside of the one thing I say I want to do for others if ever there comes a time when I am running out of time: affirm them. Tell them who they are becoming. Don’t let them get swallowed up by the valleys and the hard things of this present moment and just beg them to keep their eyes on what will come. Enough trust, and hard work, and good deeds will get you places you cannot imagine. Enough of your skin in the game is going to change you and make you into someone’s miracle one day.

Life will never get un-crazy. We can't worship the idea of one day having enough time to say what we really need to say. That time is now. Right now. It’s just this: look at the people you love, the ones who surround you, every once in a while. Look at them and make sure you tell them how you really, truly feel. Don’t wait for a holiday. Don’t wait for a time when you have them in your grips again. Just pick up the phone. Send a quick text. Write a little note and stick a stamp to the envelope.
Each one of us is fighting a battle we don’t really talk about that often. It’s hard for all of us. Some days it feels harder. Other days, easier. But you always feel lighter, you always feel like you want to fight harder, when someone picks you out from the crowd and tells you you’re capable. Hardworking. Earnest. True.

Maybe just pick someone out today. Maybe just let them know with a subtle nudge, “Hey, I see the fire in you. I see you. And I want you to know that you matter more than you think.”
- Hannah Brencher


Friday, November 21, 2014

Recently, I had the opportunity to work with two amazing organizations at once: Socality & VRSLY. A fellow church-member, and one of the founders of Socality, Paul Tellefesen contacted me and asked if I would be interested in creating some hand-lettered pieces for Socality PDX to be featured on VRSLY. I was so excited to be able to contribute and wanted to commemorate this opportunity on my blog too. It was so cool because not only was I able to work with these awesome organizations, but I was also able to connect & collaborate in a different way with other artists & people all over the world. It was so neat looking at the #madewithvrsly  & #socalitypdx hashtags & seeing how people used my writing to share their stories with the world via Instagram. It has truly been such a gift to me to be able to use one of my gifts to help people connect with others & make this big world seem a little bit smaller. Below are some instagram posts I created and some of my favorites from my featured time on VRSLY.

For Day 1: The Movement Is Love

Day 2: Created To Create

Day 3: Your Story Matters

deux & trois - Part II

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Dress: BCBG; Florals: Query Events

deux & trois
a homage to 22 & a new chapter; 23

one two, one two
step after step, one year after another
seize it, seize it make sure it's not like any other
bravery, bravery it's your very core my dear
persistent adventure; dismiss every fear
heavenly whispers that calm my heart and mind
trying, trying, searching to find
patience, humility, discipline, whatever it takes to be refined
seeking, seeking He shows up, I'm found
loosened, untied, He ravels me unbound
genuine friendships built and tried 
stuffed faces with all things sweet and fried
warm hugs, heart to hearts, endless dancing, & bellied laughter
celebrating youth, cool breezes, missed sunrises, 
& reminiscing over brunch the morning after
falling leaves, muddy boots, teepee living, and hearts intertwined
lasting moments, memories captured and hearts rendered one of a kind
two three, two three
leaps, leaps, silent steps, head down, heart open, learn to really love, be true
turn to me, turn to me, I'll never leave, I'm always with you
be here, love big, stick with Me
you're found, there's no fear, set sail, rejoice, you're free.

more info & tips on creating your own fort gathering below.

#SEYSEYTurns23 - Part I

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Florals by Query Events, Cake by A Slice of Life Cakes, Macarons by Laura Macarena

Since I was a child, I've always celebrated my birthday one way or another. From hotel sleepovers, to tea parties, from wedding inspired large gatherings, to dinners with my closest friends. As I've gotten older and parties have undoubtedly come to look very different, I found myself retreating to the things I enjoyed most growing up. My mind landed upon forts. Whether it be with my parents or my cousin or my best friends, building "forts" were always my favorite. For a great part of my childhood I had various canopies hanging above my bed because I always loved the secluded and whimsical look and feel of being surrounded by a light, ethereal fabric.

So I decided to retreat back to this thought process. Keeping the idea nearly completely a secret, I invited a few of my closest friends over for dinner at my house. We sat under the stringed lights and drank cider and wine, listening to 1989 - sidenote: can we have a discussion in the comment section about how good this album is please, and being ridiculous as usual. I even got my friends to call me SeySey, a nickname I've always desired that never took root. I loved being able to be surrounded by some of the people who know me best and was so grateful for each person's presence. My parents helped me create this mini haven and it was so neat to see my little dream that had been festering in my head come to life.

On my actual birthday, I was seriously overwhelmed with so much love, gratitude, and excitement. I was moved to tears throughout the day and was ugly laughing by the end of the night because I was so giddy. My best friend called me at midnight and we ended up talking for an hour, my office gave me cards and cupcakes, my phone flooded with sweet texts, calls, emails, and posts, another sweet friend surprised me at my office with lunch, and a few friends even surprised me with a dinner, gifts, and a chantilly cake adorned with the most beautiful sparklers. I ended the night dancing to the music in our heads with one of my besties & even getting a little birthday shoutout from Zooey Magazine. And of course, resided one last time for the night in my wonderland of a fort. 22 was a really, really good year.  I have been SOOOOO incredibly blessed, and believe me, I know how undeserving I am. God has given me opportunities greater than I've even imagined at this stage in my life and love and relationships there's no way I could've ever earned. This year... I learned, I grew, I acquired new friendships that I cherish so dearly, I had heartbreaks and new experiences and faced challenges head-on. As disappointment was felt even more dreams came true and I honestly believe 22 may have been the best year of my life. But there's a little voice in my head, and yes, that voice very well may be MJ himself, that says 23 is going to be even better.

Thank you guys for sticking along for the ride.

xx, SeySey

(click below to see photobooth & cake-cutting photos!)

Nordstrom Featured Blogger: She, In The Making

Sunday, October 19, 2014

At the end of last month, I was given the opportunity to host my first blogging event at Nordstrom! When I was asked by my wonderful friend Daniel Naranjo, Designer Apparel Manager at Nordstrom NorthPark, there was no way I could turn down such an amazing opportunity with such an outstanding company. And wow, what an incredible experience. As I arrived in Via C, I was greeted by a personalized desk that had been set up for me where I could greet guests, live blog etc. To be honest I wasn't there for but a moment before I was whisked away to change into my first look. I was styled head to toe by my amazing friend Daniel in incredible fall looks from high fashion designers like Alexander McQueen and Christian Louboutin. His eye for fashion is out of this world and he made me look and feel like a million bucks.

Throughout the event, I was completely overwhelmed by the amount of love and support I felt that evening and by the amazing turn out we had. This was my first time to ever host an event of this nature and it ended up being one of the most successful blogging events ever hosted by Nordstrom at Northpark.

We had live music being played by our guest DJ, had a mock photobooth setup, and I made a few specialty prints specifically for the event that were featured below. My sweet friend Laura, provided macarons for the event to accompany the beautiful sweets table set up by Via C. It was so such a fun atmosphere and it was beautiful to see everyone coming together, connecting, mingling and creating new relationships. I felt so fortunate to meet new people, see old friends, and share a bit about my experience with blogging, design, and photography.

By the end of the night I was literally too overwhelmed for words. I was utterly and completely filled with joy and I could not believe the night that had just taken place. The smile on my face refused to turn down and my cheeks hurt from laughter and excitement. Thank you so much for all of the support, for the texts, messages, little notes of support and encouragement, flowers, and most of all to you who were able to attend, for your presence. This event would have been nothing without all of you and your beautiful hearts that are so welcome to new opportunities, to supporting a friend (new or old), and to creating new connections.

All of my love, Kelsey.

A letter to the overachievers:

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Dear friends... Dear me,

I know how you feel.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

to thine own self be true.


Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Dress by ASTR at Nordstrom | Necklace by J. Crew

This season of my life has been filled with so much joy. Things I once prayed, yearned and desired for so greatly in my heart have come to reality in ways I would've never imagined and in such abundance.  I feel like I've gained so many genuine friends and engaged in such wonderful relationships in such a short period of time. Truly a rush of grace and favor has come upon my life. I've been asked to partake in projects I never would've even imagined I would have the opportunity to do. I've felt that my opinion, my effort, and my work has been desired and cherished. And though I'm not really someone who has ever looked to man for approval, it's a nice feeling. I've been able to collaborate, contribute, listen, share, pray, think, empathize, and grow.  It's absolutely amazing how God delivers. 

In this period, I've found at times that you don't need to have an explanation for everything. If you're joyful, it's okay to take time out to simply be. To simply be happy and to enjoy life just because. Just because I feel like it, just because God's grace moves me, just because life is good. Like sit and paint outside, or get myself a frappuccino with caramel and mocha AND a shot of expresso, or to go out of my way to serve or give or share love and compassion with someone. This weekend, before one of my best friend Esther's birthday dinner's, was one of these times I wanted to do something just because. I asked my best friend Thuy-An if she would wanted to go take pictures in a field before we headed downtown, to which she graciously agreed, with heart eyed emojis and everything! The sun was setting so we parked and ran across a few lanes of traffic to frolic in some wheat and catch some warm rays.

Clean Lines + Smooth Times

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Madewell blazer | BR similar denim | similar wedges | BR similar oversized t | Daddy's raybans

Let's face it. Sometimes life is truly a breeze. You're finally pursuing the things that drive your passion, you're getting recognized for your hard work, you're growing in areas you've prayed for, and things finally seem to be falling into place. And then there are times in life when things feel a little rocky. It may be your organizational skills, study habits, your quiet time, a relationship, or maybe something internal.

Growing up, whenever I was faced in a difficult situation, my mother would pray over me and then always say to me "Mind over matter, Kelsey. Mind over matter." And though that was probably the very last thing I wanted to hear, sometimes it was the very thing I needed to. 

An Upcoming Fall Fashion Soiree

Monday, September 22, 2014

So life can be whimsical, wonderful, overwhelmingly great, overwhelmingly stressful, but rarely mundane. If life is mundane you're doing it wrong. I'm positively sure of it because there are too many amazing things in this world for you not to be excited about something! If it's stressful, you may ALMOST be doing it right, but may need to scoot some things off your plate, get a sense of what items you find irresistible and want more of, which you might not want to go back for seconds to get, and what proportions work best for you. Food analogies are my favorite if you can't tell... I will try to work food into nearly any situation... bacon.

Which is totally where I'm at right now - not with bacon, but the rest of that paragraph. I know what I like and what I dislike. I like interacting with people who are passionate, who also like interacting with people, and who like to make working fun. I like people who focus on the positives, but who are also willing to be real and express a frustration or concern now and then. I like writing and painting and drinking tea outside. I like reading my Bible and realizing what a doofus I've been and how great people are and how good I have it. I like Jesus and how great He is. I like the fall, the warm air and the cool breezes. I like layering, the cozy color palettes and dark hues, slipping into something comfy and cute. I like the changing colors and all the frozen frapps I can't seem to get enough of each weekend. I like small gatherings, warm hugs, and smiling faces. And last but not least, I'd really like to see you this Thursday if you can make it! I will be hosting a little event in Via C at Nordstrom at NorthPark. There will be great people, sweet treats, killer tunes, and overall it will be a pretty darn neat time. Stop by between 6 and 8 to meet me and awesome new people, chat, shop, take a few pics with me or in the photo-booth and have a great time!

I would so love to see you guys there! Hope you can make it out :)

It's beginning to look a lot like Fall...

Sunday, September 14, 2014

On Friday, fall hit us. Hard. Giving us a break from the hot hot, all encompassing heat and possibly ushering in an early winter. In Texas's temperamental weather, there's no guarantee how long it will stay, but with the damp air, the cool breezes, and the number of hot drinks pumped out at Starbucks today, I'd say fall is definitely among us and winter is probably quickly following suit.

I have been super overwhelmed these past few... weeks and sometimes it becomes easy to feel misunderstood. And as odd as it sounds to me, nature has been a place in which I've felt peace. Sitting on the porch, walking across campus, down the street, shooting in parks, at the water, whatever. It's been so nice to just take moments to experience peace.

Monday, September 8, 2014

In these past few weeks, my spare moments have been filled with so much life-giving time, surrounded by women of Christ of different ages, from different backgrounds, each with particular gifts and crafts, each with their own unique stories to tell. 

In these times I've been able to hear heart aching moments of uncertainty, hurt, and confusion, and sweet moments of peace, joy, healing, and redemption. One thing that seemed to be consistent despite whatever the circumstances placed upon these women, was a woman who was at one point in life left feeling unworthy. Unwanted. Not good enough. 

I feel that so many women struggle with not feeling worthy, with feeling alone, with comparison. Much of it is probably engrained in us from what we see in the media, in society, in the lies we don't even realize we begin believing. But so much of it is also pressured upon us. From loved ones, from ones who tell us or give us the feeling that we aren't good enough. That we should be more like x, y, or z. Not even due to a flaw in our character, but a flaw on our faces, in our weight, in our art, in our personality.  From circumstances that leave us feeling used, mistreated, abused, alone. That who we are isn't enough. And though at times we may tell ourselves this simply isn't true, time and time again we find ourselves at the same point. Possibly a different day, a different offender, or a different person we place upon that pristine pedestal to compare ourselves to. And we find ourselves at that same point asking "Why can't I be more...?"

Why can't I be more like ___________?
Why can't I be more beautiful? Funny? Artistic? Talented?
Why can't I be more?

Well today ladies, I want to break the clouds of confusion and shed some light, the truth, on you. 

God created us with amazing plans for each of us in mind. Specific to each of us. To fill the heart of each of us. He has crafted each of us with immense care, attention and detail. No one knows more of the endless intricacies which beautifully weave together create you, than He. In His love and grace there's no room for envy or doubt, but for peace, faith, and joy. Lean into His truths and have faith that He crafted you perfectly (meaning just as HE intended), with a God sized purpose for your life in mind. He loves and cares for you so immensely and there isn't a force above, below, or on this earth that can make this any less true so you might as well get to believing it! If we really believe this, the opinions of those around us or the seeds of doubt that begin to toy with our minds really wouldn't have vacant space to establish roots. 

There are so many amazing things to do in this lifetime. People to see, meet and love on. Places to visit, that grow you, that you may one day call home. Please, please don't waste your time living with misconstrued beliefs that someone who obviously doesn't even know you that well placed upon you. And even worse, don't live with the self doubt and uncertainty that you've allowed to grow and fester within you. If you allow yourself to believe the way He sees you is the only way which truly counts then you will be free to live freely. You will be able to meet people, SO MANY PEOPLE, who inspire you, encourage you, and push you and will be able to thank God for the new relationships He's allowed you to foster, rather than wondering why another person to be envious of has traveled across your path. You will be able to relish in life's little joys and find beauty in fingerprints, in the shapes of clouds, and an entire slew of other things that may make you feel undeniably cheesy--- but the best part is, YOU WON'T EVEN CARE! You will be able to laugh that once deemed "obnoxious" laugh, to cry that once named "ugly" cry, to dance that once labeled "awkward" dance. You will be able to create art that might not be what everyone else thinks is cool, but that matters to YOU. 

You will be able to enjoy a life that truly has your name written all over it, but even better, one that has God's hands all up in it!

Though we are each given a limited, unidentified amount of time on this earth, believing that we have to be more of anything than who God created us to be does nothing but cut away from the time given to us to be more of OURSELVES. Which is truly when we are able to be the happiest us, when we are living and enjoying life authentically. When we are honoring God by embracing, loving, and being all of who He has called us to be. We will be able to touch the hearts of the very people God has called us to with our individual stories. To leave the impact He specifically, intricately, and purposefully designed each of us to do.

I’m speaking to you out of deep gratitude for all that God has given me, and especially as I have responsibilities in relation to you. Living then, as every one of you does, in pure grace, it’s important that you not misinterpret yourselves as people who are bringing this goodness to God. No, God brings it all to you. The only accurate way to understand ourselves is by what God is and by what he does for us, not by what we are and what we do for him.
4-6 In this way we are like the various parts of a human body. Each part gets its meaning from the body as a whole, not the other way around. The body we’re talking about is Christ’s body of chosen people. Each of us finds our meaning and function as a part of his body. But as a chopped-off finger or cut-off toe we wouldn’t amount to much, would we? So since we find ourselves fashioned into all these excellently formed and marvelously functioning parts in Christ’s body, let’s just go ahead and be what we were made to be, without enviously or pridefully comparing ourselves with each other, or trying to be something we aren’t.        

Defining Success

Sunday, August 17, 2014

I feel like I've been discussing this a lot with different people, possibly maybe mostly just Tiana ... and in my head, but it's been an important subject to think about: Not letting other people's definition of success define yours... or you. 

background image via Kai & Sunny
I think it's easy to find ourselves saying oh my goodness, they just got featured or landed x client or whatever it may be. Looking at a zillion different people and their successes and forget about the big or small ones we make everyday. I personally, don't know what it is I want to do for the rest of my life. And so when I get so caught up in all of the awesome things others are doing I start to look at myself like a dumbdumb because though that might be what the world or industry defines as success (and would be awesome to add to my list of achievements) it's not MY definition of success. It's not what's going to leave a huge smile on my face as I lay my head down at night. What excites me is when I make a new friend who clicks, when I get to share Jesus with others and they're excited about it, when I do something out of my comfort zone and it feels rewarding, when I have something really delicious in front of my face and the first bite makes me melt into a puddle of happiness. Those things that keep my head spinning when I know I should be long asleep. Apparently these are the things I value and the things should seek to fill my life with.

As Meg Conley put it, "color OUTSIDE the pinterest sized boxes & fill up the storyboard of your life!" There's so much more in this world that what you've already seen done and created. HEAVEN is the limit, and with the big G-O-D, anything is possible, so what lies have you been believing about your life? You don't have to like Beyonce, or gold accessories, or need to be good at calligraphy, or be addicted to coffee! OR YOU CAN BE! If you you dig it! We are all different for a reason. This is a blessing to be able to push each other forward, to collaborate, to stretch and grow each other. You don't have to be the next big thing in order to create something new and different and inspiring to others. And you certainly don't need anyone else's approval to be awesome or for someone to tell you that you're doing a good job to know it. YOU KNOW IT. You're doing your best and you're so freakishly awesome. Like if someone could see the potential inside of you they'd probably pass out from sheer excitement. Haha or at least that's how God looks at you - with adoring eyes, so I know it's true. What I'm constantly reminded is that instead of striving to achieve things I'm not so sure I care about or striving to impress others, I should be striving to love and honor God with my whole heart. I share these things not because I'm great at them but because I constantly, constantly need to be reminded of them. In Him, joy and purpose are found. If you feel inspired or moved by this, it's not because of me but because of something He is igniting within you! It's amazing. If we constantly seek to please man, we'll just end up lost and displeased with ourselves. But God is a neverending source of everything we need in every moment of life - in the silence and in the chaos. My little told me the other day I should practice what I preach and she's right. I wholeheartedly agree. So hopefully here's a shift towards seeking first to love God and love people wholeheartedly, pursuing the passions He's given me specifically - not anyone else's, and allowing myself to fall more and more in love with the life I've been fortunate enough to receive.

chin up, buttercup!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

So I've noticed something that's really popular among females currently is this signature pose, looking down and away, hand possibly placed in hair as if to be caught right in the act of pushing a few pieces away from your face. I mean, if you need an example, please shift your eyes to the right to my about me picture haha!

And don't get me wrong, this is a pretty flattering pose. It captures the gentleness of a lady, it might hide the blemish on the other side of your cheek, catch your awesome eyeshadow and wing tipped liner that day, the rosiest part of your cheek and your amazing countour job to boot! Why wouldn't everyone take a photo like this?

But it got me thinking about how sometimes, even in these times that's how women are seen or prefer to be seen. To be looking down and away, to be gentle, soft, afraid to speak up or to speak out, afraid to make a mistake, possibly even dare I say submissive?

But I say, bunk that!
(I really like using that terminology because it sounds so feisty and like it holds a lot of weight but it really means little to nothing far from forget that!)

Chin up, buttercup! What's so bad about looking at the camera head on? About looking something or someone in the eye and saying unapologetically, "This is who I am!"? Humanity appreciates sincerity. We appreciate genuine hearts and vulnerability. Now I'm not saying you have to go around shouting your loudest opinions and deepest secrets to everyone or that you shouldn't make yourself self deemingly presentable in the morning. I'm just saying people will appreciate you being authentically yourself much more than any version of you that is wrapped up in the bits of you that you're trying to hide. And I bet you'll appreciate yourself that much more too.

A fashion post? What?! I know.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

So I've been hanging out with my dear friend Tiana, quite a bit recently and let me tell you, this girl has serious style. I'm pretty shocked I haven't included any of our escapades on the blog yet! I'll have to fix that soon. Each time we hang out, we are always up to something creative, snapping photos, arranging items, "elegantly" stuffing our faces, laughing at the ridiculous things that come out of our mouths & striking up conversations with strangers. But in all seriousness, being around her not only encourages me to be kinder and to love on others really well, but also to actually try with my appearance. Now don't get me wrong, I do make an effort to make myself presentable everyday, but in general I'm just extraordinarily lazy when it comes to it. I usually don't like matching and I'll throw on a bag and shoes that will round out an overall feel of an outfit instead of trying to put pieces together that really work. And then I'll grab whatever accessories I have laying around and voila! So it usually takes me about 2-5 minutes to get dressed, including scouring the area for something that I don't have to iron. My mentality is that your attitude contributes to your overall look a lot as well. So I just put together whatever I feel like and then believe I can pull it off haha. However, for this special blog post, I figured I would throw in a little more effort and show you guys a few different ways I would style a black leotard. I wanted to make this fun, so I figured I'd go for a few different looks. One out for a casual brunch downtown, one for a concert and one out for a night on the town with friends.

out for brunch