Reading Lately

my copy of this book was provided by booklookbloggers

by Bill Delvaux
***** 5 stars

Oh this book. I've dog-eared and highlighted it to near pieces. "When the Head and Heart Don't Agree" is the subtitle, and I think one of the biggest problems facing our generation. But let me make that more personal: It is one of the biggest problems facing MY LIFE lately. Oh oh, how hard it can be to bring the head and heart into agreement sometimes, and how erosive the damage is. And sneaky. Sneaky and erosive, and darn destructive. This book unpacks the distance and WHY it is there, why our human spirits are so susceptible to this great divide, and how Jesus wants to bridge the gap. There is useful information here, life-changing information, and I HIGHLY recommend this book. I often joke with my friends that to be intellectual, creative and a Christian is an impossible trio. Pick two! Ha. This book helps me hold tighter to the God I love and know, in both my head and my heart. To bring them both into alignment with Him, and at the foot of the cross. Oh yes. More of that.

"I will teach you and tell you the way to go and how to get there; I will give you good counsel, and I will watch over you." Psalm 32:8


my copy of this book was provided by booklookbloggers

by Jennie Allen
****4 1/2 stars

I love anything by Jennie Allen (see what I did there?). Jennie Allen is the real-deal, a sold-out-for-God girl-next-door that you want to be your best friend to do life with. In this book, she shares the prayer that she humbly (not boldly) prayed to God, and the ways it changed her life and many others. Letting God do ANYTHING in your I mean, I know we say it all the time, right? God, YOUR will be done. But to surrender every single area of our lives to that REALITY...that gets messy right-quick. Follow along with Jennie as she walks the path, hand in hand, and gives us projects to prepare our hearts and minds for all that God has prepared for us to do. That verse above? Fits perfectly with this book, too. If God goes with us, we will get there. Wherever scary-sort-of place there is. God never says it will be easy. Quite the contrary; He tells us it will be hard. But then He goes before us and beside us. Never leaves us, never abandons. Through Anything.



Good morning, friends and HAPPY SEPTEMBER! Can you believe it? It's almost time for hot beverages and a whole latte more #caffeinecrazy (see what I did there?)! I am so excited to launch my first-ever brand-new products, starting with the ONLY mug and iced coffee tumbler specifically designed to bring you some #caffeinecrazy. 
They are available NOW in my new shop

Pop on over and grab one before they sell out! The mugs in particular are going fast. They are SO STINKIN' CUTE if I may so myself, and ultra-cheery. 


Lenovo Giveaway Winner

It's an exciting day...I get to announce the winner of the Lenovo Bluetooth Speaker Giveaway! And the winner is...drumroll, please...

I hope you enjoy it, Elis! I've emailed you, so please respond within 24 hours. 

Thanks to everyone who entered!


Monday {Makeup} Vlog!

I have a treat for you today! A Monday vlog, featuring my daily summer makeup routine! I haven't done a daily routine makeup vlog in ages, and for some reason the last one I did is totes MIA online, so here's a refresher with all of my favorite CURRENT products. Featuring the Physician's Formula "Nude Wear" line that I'm loving, this is a long tutorial but shows you the process beginning to end, and is at least a little entertaining along the way, tee hee. Enjoy and don't forget to follow me on YouTube for the latest updates!


Lenovo Bluetooth Speaker, New Studio & *GIVEAWAY*!


Today I am so thrilled to partner with Lenovo to show you my new studio AND my new Bluetooth speakers that make working in the studio so fun and easy. Gotta have me some tunes spinning to get in my writing groove. And for Friday Deadlines-are-Done Dance Parties, DUH. Enter this slick little baby, which is only 1.6 pounds and can sit horizontal like I have it or vertical, and offers a 270-degree sound experience.


I absolutely LOVE the portability of this all-in-one speaker (major plus for this biz owner: it turns into a microphone + speakerphone for taking calls!). It offers up to 4 hours of wireless listening, then just plug it into your computer to keep listening and charge it up.


This is where you'll see most of my instagram outfit giant awesome Art Deco antique mirror. This is the real-deal, a true antique with so much pizazz it makes the whole room dazzle.


Where the writing magic happens. One of mom's paintings hangs above my desk (she is a fine artist and shares the other half of the studio with me). Since the Lenovo bluetooth speaker has such power and is so easily portable, it can head over to visit mom's side of the studio for a field trip. But that's another post entirely! 


Pretty dresses hanging to keep me inspired, with Audrey keeping a watchful eye on things, of course.


Office essentials: Iced coffee, pink pens and my Lenovo bluetooth speaker. I love how sleek the speaker is, it just melts into the surroundings with a modern look. 


More office essentials, including the "Open" sign I made with a paint pen and a leftover-Ikea-cabinet door-piece-random-thing.


How much are we loving this vintage needlepoint I picked up? I think it's so great how the 70's needlepoint, the classic clock and the modern speaker still look good together. 

In the other corner is this odd curio cabinet, built-in, but at an angle. I've filled it with very necessary things: 

What girl doesn't need a grown-up pair of pink sparkle mary-jane's in case of party emergency? (rhetorical question, I know)


SPEAKING OF PARTIES, and speaking of speakers (I crack myself up), I get to GIVE AWAY one of these fabulous speakers to one of my fabulous readers! This couldn't be more exciting!
Somebody turn up the Lenovo speaker with the dance music!

Here are the details, with up to FIVE entries per person:

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Chartreuse and Chambray


I feel so very Audrey-Hepburn-meets-Taylor-Swift in this outfit. OMG CAN YOU IMAGINE if Audrey Hepburn met Taylor Swift? Mind. Blown. Cannot even fathom. 

But seriously, remember these Audrey Hepburn outfits? NAILED. IT.


Anyway, I'm getting off track. A sliver of midriff showing just makes me all cuh-ra-zay apparently. Even if it's a totally demure sliver in just the front.

One of the weird things about grief is that I've been able to wear all of my "just barely fits" items and So this lovely skirt of mine, with it's beautiful pleats, gets to come play in the sun (and rain. if you follow me on snapchat:goodgirlstyle you'll notice I got totally soaked in an unexpected downpour, sigh!). 


Of course the accessories of the summer over here are my gladiator sandals (Sam&Libby) and my wood watch (JORD). 


Add in some vintage earrings and some awesome Betsey Johnson sunnies and I'm all set. 
I'm determined to make the best of the rest of summer. 

Monday Hello

Time for a Monday blog & vlog! Just a little hello and catch-up (and a weird thumbnail image!) :) 

I did a little beach chair re-vamp, too...spray-paint and some vintage fabric and trim can do wonders for a rusty beach chair :) 

New beach chair was thoroughly enjoyed. A bit too thoroughly, as I am THOROUGHLY sunburned :(

But mostly, the past 2 weeks I've been MIA on set for a cookbook photoshoot I styled.


instagram on set

And I FINALLY got a copy of the Darling Magazine with 8 of my BRAND-NEW, PRINT-ONLY poems in them! Grab your copy now at Anthropologie, WholeFoods or a local cool retailer (ask your local stores to carry it if they don't already!). 

Darling Summer 2015 issue available to order online here too 

But it hasn't been all work and no play...

Tee hee. 

Have a great week, my dears!

L'Oreal #UltimateStraight Hair Care Review

L'Oreal Paris Smooth Intense Ultimate Straight Kera-Tourmaline Review from Natalie of Good Girl Style on Vimeo. I received these products free from Influenster to test and review. All opinions are my own. 

First vlog in aggggeeesss! Comin' atchya from the NEW STUDIO with #ULTIMATESTRAIGHT hair like it ain't no thang. 

Yes, I'm a bit #caffeinecrazy this morning. And the sun is shining after a week of gray/rain.

Jord Wood Watches

{nestled in a gorgeous little box, no detail is left is c/o JORD}

Today I am THRILLED to introduce you to JORD Wood Watches and this Ely Maple beauty. I cannot tell you how much I am truly enjoying this watch. It is lightweight and unique, perfect for summer, when a heavy band looks out of place. I am obsessed, and so is everyone who sees it. Yes, it is made out of wood. 

Ely in Maple

The maple is lightweight and so lovely with summer skin with just a hint of tan. I'm quite excited to see how the wood ages and gains character, though it is perfect as is. 


Now that I have the studio downtown, I'm constantly checking my parking meter, so I can't tell you how much I've loved having this watch. I haven't had a watch in awhile, and I MISS it. Checking my phone doesn't have the same effect, and it's much quicker to glance at my wrist. Even better? This also shows the date!


This is how much I love my new wood watch! I haven't taken it off since it arrived a few weeks ago, and so far it has been adventuring with me when I'm not playing fancy-pants dress-up:

{follow me on instagram for photos like these!}

The watch has been adventuring, #caffeinecrazy, rappeling, niece-ing, and more.


I put together a few outfits with some of my other favorite JORD watches I would love to add to my collection soon. Which one is your favorite?
Sunny Saturday

Summer Citrus

Color Burst

Goodness I can't decide. I want them alllllllllllllllll!


My, how time flies! Gotta run, my dears!

Check out JORD Women's Wood Watches for men and women, I know you'll love them just as much as I do.

Sunnies: Lacoste
Rings: Local artist + Kate Spade
Polo: Lacoste
Pants: Cynthia Rowley
Shoes: Gap
Watch: JORD Ely in Maple

Savor Review

copy provided by booklookbloggers

I waited a LONG time for this book because I think the first printing ran out really fast. Shauna Niequist's books have a certain ephemeral quality that allow them to soak into your soul and come with you through your day, so it was no surprise I had to wait over a month for it to arrive. And while I was anxiously waiting for it, my life had also fallen apart (see last post!), so it arrived when I needed it. 

First off: THIS BOOK IS GORGEOUS. Like, I cannot even describe how gorgeous of a book this is, it's on another level. It's bringing new things to my book shelf game. Navy page edges? Boom. Canvas striped cover with letterpress lettering from Lindsay Letters? Boom, Gorgeous. 

Secondly: This is a compilation book, with a lot of Niequist's previous work chopped into little bits and pieces, with recipes thrown in. While this is not necessarily a bad thing given the quality of her prose, it does make it hard to follow sometimes, as stories aren't given in their full context or with a full explanation of the metaphor. The reader has to do more of the heavy lifting there. BUT each day starts with a Bible verse and ends with a question about your life.

This book is gorgeous sitting on your coffee table and will certainly inspire you to pick it up daily and read it. I recommend it for that reason, and definitely for a Mother's Day gift! I just checked the price on Barnes & Noble and this book is $12. Totally worth it! 

Happy reading!

Bad News, the Good News, and Easter

Just a silly little late-night couch selfie from my phone! Not very flattering of me, but I love his smile and sparkly eyes. So much love here.

So I don't know how to start this. I don't know how to breathe or be or live anymore. My amazing boyfriend, Jason Cuadro, suddenly passed away 2 weeks ago from a pulmonary embolism. We were getting ready to go to church on a Sunday morning. It is so weird to say this. It is so weird that this is my story now. I don't know how a person continues on without all of that love, so very much love, in their life. I guess I will have to learn.
So this is the bad news. The very, very, very bad news.
The worst news.

I guess something like this is what you wear to your boyfriend's funeral. To the death of your future as you knew it. A black dress, black tights, black shoes, a black veil. And I think you carry his teddy bear and I think you smile sometimes because there are only so many tears for a day, only so many tears for a moment, before you run dry and after that I guess you smile a little with sad eyes and unbelief in your heart so you don't die even more inside, too. And because for some reason someone is taking a picture of you at a funeral and that's just so weird. I don't know.

But Easter. 
But God. 
Easter has been speaking to my heart. Easter has been soaking into me. 
The good news.

God is still God, still God on the throne when Jesus was on the Cross. Still God on the throne when Jesus was in the grave on Saturday. Still God on the throne, today, when my heart is a black hole and the future looks like endless night, HE IS STILL GOD. I believe that. I wholeheartedly believe that. 

If it were not for Easter, and if it were not for that hope that I have, that I know my Jason had, we would be hopeless. We would be without cause to hope.  I cannot imagine going through a loss like this without the assurance that we serve a LIVING God, and thereby, we WILL see each other again, some glorious day. Some grand, glorious day, when we are all home.

I guess even when it snows on Easter, and your eyes are still puffy and the only thing you want is a hand to hold in yours and to hear his voice, you still put on your giant vintage daisy earrings and go to church.

Still wear the Easter skirt he picked out for you weeks ago, because you know he would have wanted to see you in it. Still make the wreath you bought the supplies for the night before he died, when you finally have a little bit of grit to get out of bed after 2 weeks, because you know it would make him smile. 

"Because HE lives, I can face tomorrow." 

and I guess you just keep trusting. Because God knew this was a part of my story from the beginning of time. And God was gracious enough to give me 2 years of the most amazing love ever known. For that, I can be grateful. To leave that love in death, to leave that love in anxiety and fear and to crawl into a hole like I want to would be to say it was all counterfeit.

For that, I can go on, carrying the love and life for both of us, forward. 
Into light. 

with all my love and sorrow, 
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