Follow:
    Lifestyle, Podcast Party

    Podcast Party: My Experience with Audible

    Y’all know how much I love podcasts, but for my latest drive to visit the boy I tried something a little different: audiobooks. I used a free trial of the Amazon related platform Audible and it worked really well. The drive was approximately ~6hrs, so I got two books that together would provide more than enough entertainment and were two very different genres.

    Audible is a subscription based program. The first 30 days are free, then after that it is about $15 a month where you get 1 credit a month, which usually equals one book. If you want to buy an additional book that month then members get 30% off. So, just like Blue Apron, after I used the free trial I immediately cancelled my subscription because I don’t got money like that. Although, I would consider just paying for another book on its own next time I have a long drive to make. Overall, I really enjoyed the platform I just can’t afford it monthly.

    What I Got:

    Talking as Fast as I Can by Lauren Graham

    • Narrator Voice: The narration was down by Lauren Graham herself which I really enjoyed. She was easy to listen to and since it was a biography of sorts it added to the overall story.
    • Story/Content: I love Lauren Graham mostly for her characters on Gilmore Girls and Parenthood. This book of hers gave a look at how she got into the industry, the jobs she had before she “made it,” insider tips about life in Hollywood, her love life, and of course the back stage look at the Gilmore Girls Revival!
    • Length: 4hrs 38min
    • Overall Enjoyment: I loved it! The book was very light hearted and Lauren Graham seems to have such a down to earth personality for a celebrity like herself. The book is witty and filled with humor that reminded me of her Gilmore Girls character, Lorelai. 9/10 recommend! 

    The Girl on The Train by Paula Hawkins 

    • Narrator Voice: This is a fiction book, therefore each character has a different narrator, or at least they all sound slightly different. The book is set in London, so they do all have a British accent. I honestly had a hard time distinguishing some of the characters, but they may also be because the book switches point of view after each chapter.
    • Story/Content: The book is about a woman who rides the train into the city every day and looks out onto the neighborhood where she used to live with her ex-husband. She watches a neighboring couple on her old street which she creates names and personalities for. The book continues about her life and her struggle in dealing with her husbands affair which led to her divorce, and all culminates around a mysterious murder of woman on that street, the same woman she created fantasies about each time she passed their house on the train.
    • Length: 10hrs 59min
    • Overall Enjoyment: Everyone that has recommended Audible to me, said I should definitely try this book, but I was not really impressed. The story drags at times, I didn’t think any of the plot twists were that surprising or innovative, so overall it was just okay. I think part of it had to do with the monotony and/or the annoyance of their voices. 6.5/10 recommend! 

    Have a book recommendation for me? Comment below!

    xoxo,

    ‘Lysse

    Beauty, Lifestyle

    8 Things to Buy With Your Christmas Cash

    Yay for an influx in Christmas cash, but what are you going to spend it on? Food, right? NO! Resist the urge and actually buy items that last! Crazy idea, huh? Here is my list of potential purchases!

    Beauty

    • Glossier Products: I’ve never bought or even tried anything from Glossier but I keep seeing it come up on various social media feeds and I’m very intrigued by their marketing/branding. They have lip glosses, body butters, face masks, nail polish, and more. I’m looking to try the _Super Pack which is a collection of face serums that either add bounce, help with breakouts, or add a glow!
    • Skin Food Products: Skin Food by AB is an Etsy store and the one product I have tried so far is great! About 6 months ago I gave up body wash that came in a plastic bottle and switched to bar soaps. One, its good for the environment. Two, trying new bar soap is so fun and so inexpensive! I was on the look for a soap specifically for my face and found the Organic Charcoal Soap from Skin Food. It is designed to help with acne, cleanse, and balance skin tone. I love love love it! It really calms my skin and helps with redness and irritation.

    Clothing

    • Lululemon: Yeah, so maybe ALL of your Christmas cash would have to go to this one but I couldn’t leave it off the list. I personally want some high waisted tights but am waiting for a pair I like to make it to the sale rack. Always remember there is a “We Made Too Much Section” AKA CLEARANCE!
    • Flare Jeans: Y’all I swear they are  back … coming back in style! Just wait, you’ll see. They are perfect to wear with all your winter booties. I’m looking at this pair at Target for only $25!
    • Boho Betty Jewelry: Jewelry is always something I forget about. I don’t buy much of it on my own and I often forget to even put it on. So if you’re like me, this is your reminder that jewelry is cool too. Check out some of the pieces from Boho Betty, and get 10% off with the coupon code “lysseonlife.” My favorites are: The Moselle Bracelet, The Beaded Tassel Necklace, and the Wanderlust Tassel Bracelet.

    Paper Products

    • Journaling Bible: I feel like these Bibles have been all the rage lately. I know some people wouldn’t dare write in their Bible, and I know some people …like me who feel like it is oh so necessary ( I date every verse/chapter I read each time I read it). Well if you’re like me, a journaling bible may be for you. It has wide margins allowing for you to doodle, note, and reflect to your hearts desire. Check these out from Lifeway! 
    • Cookbook: It is 2017, lets get better at adulting! The boy got me a new cookbook for Christmas, Lighten Up, Y’all: Classic Southern Recipes Made Healthy. Perfect for me, right!? I’m so excited to cook my way through it.
    • Artifact Uprising: You know all those pictures you love so much that are trapped on your phone? Well how about you actually print those out. Artifact Uprising, prints some of the most beautiful pictures on quality paper that I just love. The square print sets are perfect for all those instagram pictures!

    Hope this gave you some ideas you hadn’t thought about yet and if you do spend it all on food, thats okay too!

    xoxo,

    ‘lysse

    Lifestyle

    So You Want to Bullet Journal? 

    Last week on Instagram, I posted about starting a bullet journal, but at that point, I had jumped the gun a little bit because I had all my supplies, except for the journal. Well, today, after some obnoxious UPS tracking, my journal arrived and I got right to work!

    If you are unfamiliar, a bullet journal is a combination of a journal and a planner that you create to your liking all on your own (or with the assistance of stencils, templates, etc). It can be a very daunting task, but I love the flexibility and creativity it allows. I’ve also always been a person who carries around both a journal and a planner so I’m glad to combine them into one.

    If you were to google “bullet journal” your mind would quickly be overwhelmed with all the inspiration and possibilities that are out there. For me, this was very much the case, and some people are out here really going above and beyond. Don’t let this be a source of anxiety for you, or hold you back from starting, take the first step and try your best…for bullet journaling and everything else.

    Okay, so you’re reading this post, you may have ventured over to google to get a glimpse of what I am talking about, and you think you want to do this! Alright well here is what you need:

    1. A Journal-most people prefer ones with a grid or dots, so think Moleskins. Or, you can purchase the “official bullet journal” a Leuchtturm 1917.
    2. Pens- you can use the pen you picked up from the doctor’s office last week, or go pick up some of the many v fancy writing utensils out there. I use Sharpie Pens , Tombow Dual Brush Pens, and ek Tools Pens.
    3. A Tiny Ruler-not necessary but is nice to have and it is small enough to store in the back of your journal.
    4. Washi Tape-again not necessary but can be fun to accessorize your journal’s cover of inside pages

    Okay, so all supplies are on deck and you open your journal and you’re ready to go, right? No. Close the journal. Plan first, execute later. I had a 3 day waiting period before my journal came in the mail and during that time I scrolled through the many Buzzfeed articles, tumblr posts, and google images looking for layouts I liked and that I thought would be conducive to my life. When I found something I liked I screen shot it so that I could come back to it later. After this research, I was left with a list of what I wanted, what order it would go in, and screen shot examples that corresponded.

    1. Index (if you got the Leuchtturm 1917 this is included in the pages)
    2. Key-I haven’t filled mine in yet because I’m still deciding what symbols I want to use, but this is basically a legend. For example, I may have an “x” to signify that a task is complete, or an –> to signify something has been migrated to another day/week, etc.

    3. Future Log- A future log is pretty common in bullet journals and is used to pick out major events that happen in certain months. So your best friend’s birthday, an anniversary, extended vacation, etc. It also allows for you to see the whole year.

    Bullet Journal Future Log Template

    4. Reading List- This is an example of something I used to write in my journal instead of my planner, but now it’s all here! I’m always looking for/being recommended new books to read and I found this layout online which I thought was really cute!

    5. Blog Ideas & Goals-Obviously I have a blog so I wanted a page I could scribble post ideas on. Then on the next page will soon be filled with 2017 goals! 

    6. January-Here is where I get to the meat of the planner section. January is my birthday month so that was my decorating theme. On the left page is descending numbers that correspond to each day of the month. There, I will right major events, ie. 10. MY BIRTHDAY! On the same page, I included a simple to-do list for the month. Something I normally keep on sticky note on my laptop, so we will see how it works here. On the right page is “Monthly Affirmations” under it is a box with nothing include yet (lol) and another box for goals, as well as the calendar again. Bullet Journal Monthly Template

    7. Habit Tracker- Another idea original to the bullet journal idea is a habit tracker. A place for you to list out the habits you want to keep for the month and track how often you stick to it or complete it ( The next picture is a closer view at my habits). On the next page is a simple spending log. Something I know I’m bad at keeping up with so we will see. Adulting is hard y’all. Bullet Journal Habit Tracker

    8. Week 1- Finally! I’m at my first weekly breakdown. Right away I want to point out that for next time, I’m going to start my week off with Monday and include Saturday and Sunday at the end of the week because I think that makes the most sense for keeping up with school assignments. As of now, I have many ideas for the uses the boxes on top serve: high and low of the weekdays, events/appointments I need to attend, etc. Weekly Bullet Journal Template

    In between my 2017 Goals page, I left about 5 front and back pages open for me to add things later. This is not necessary as the index is there to help you find pages you may be looking for even if they are randomly after other unrelated pages. I knew that I would come across more things to include (like a wishlist) so I left some black pages but they will be used up eventually. But overall y’all, that’s it. It does take a good amount of time to set up, but now I just have to actually use it, then at the end of the week I’ll go in and set up the next week’s spread. If you have time, go ahead and get ahead as many weeks as possible!

    I hope this was helpful and I hope you give it a try. Remember, be nice to yourself. It doesn’t have to be perfect, it should just be enjoyable and useful! If you think you might start, comment below and let me know, I think half of this is having people that will hold you accountable to keep using it, so lets be each other’s persons!

     

    Lifestyle

    A Look Back at My 2016 Resolutions

    Last year I wrote a post titled: 5 #Realistic New Year Resolutions, where I laid out my goals for the year. With 2017 in sight, I want to look back at how I did!

    1. Do 14 sun salutations every day: While I’m not sure I stuck to the exact number of 14 sun salutations everyday, yoga did become a bigger part of my workout and relaxation routine. I’m excited to continue this and even kick it up a notch in the new year. Handstands I am coming for ya!

    2. Send greeting cards to family and friends: This goal originated from my Grandma who is known for sending cards all the time. I personally look forward to my “just checking in” card every month. I really enjoy how thoughtful this small act is, and I found great joy in carrying this out in my own life. I sent birthday cards, condolences cards, and hey you’re a great friend cards! #success

    3. Finish the Bible in a year: Well. Um. I got to March, and then when I fell off I beat myself up about it. So there was a small time period this year when I wasn’t actively pursing a personal relationship with the Lord, simply out of shame. After some good discipleship I was reminded that our Heavenly Father shows us grace, and I need to show myself grace in order to move on. So I did that, and grace has honestly been the theme of this year. There are ebbs and flows to every relationship and as I mature in my relationship with the Lord I understand this better and I’m more encouraged to stick it out during the times I feel more distant.

    4. Save more money: Last year I saved every $5 bill I got and it worked really well. This year I didn’t do as much babysitting as I had in the past year so I wasn’t getting my hands on cash as often. I did do a major nannying job over the summer, and all the money I made went directly to my savings account and I have only touched $100 of it, so I’m pleased with that. One of my 2017 goals is to keep up with my monthly spending, so we will see how that goes.

    5. Have faith in God’s plan: This is easier said than done. I’ve had a job secured for a while now, but when the time came do officially sign the papers I did have some unexpected hesitation about the future it would lay out for me for the next 4 years. Also, with a boyfriend now, his decisions do influence my life to some degree and since we are both graduating college this upcoming semester, a lot of changes are in sight. Having faith in God’s plan is a continual goal because we can plan all we want, but He is in charge.

    Overall, I’m really happy with the goals I set last year. For 2017, I don’t have any specific ideas, mostly because so much of the year is so unknown. I’ll be graduating, moving to a new city, and be living the real adult lifestyle. I’m playing with the idea of having monthly goals which is something I can keep  track of in my new bullet journal (blog post to come). 2016 wasn’t too shabby for me personally, and I’m excited for what 2017 may hold!

    xoxo,

    ‘Lysse

    Beauty

    Marc Jacobs Lip Créme: A Review

    Hey y’all!

    I think it is about time I add a beauty section to my blog because here is another make-up review! Influenster.com sent me a complimentary Marc Jacobs Lip Créme lip liner and gloss to review. By habit I call anything that comes with a brush and a tube “gloss” but they call this a lip créme.

    Continue reading

    Faith, Lifestyle

    Dealing with Change & Being Obedient

    This is something that has been on my mind for a while. So prepare yourself for some vulnerability right now.

    I’m a fourth year. This is my last year of school and from the outside it may look like I am set. I’ve had a job secured for next year since last semester. I know what my geographic location and occupation will be for the next four years. As a planner this all sounds like a good thing. So why do I feel anxious about what is next?

    Change is hard and while I do know where and what I will be doing there are a lot of details I don’t know. I am also not going to downplay the feelings I have about potentially being in a long distance relationship for four years. One year has been hard enough and I have no doubt that we will stick through the tough times but hot diggity dog it is not the ideal plan.

    In this time all I can tell myself is to be obedient. I need to continue pursuing the Lord, pray and make Him involved in my life decisions, and just have faith that God is ordering my every step. I know that if I am obedient I will end up exactly where I am supposed to be. Though in order to be obedient I have to put myself in position to listen and learn from the Lord so I know exactly how to carry out my obedience.

    I recently finished reading Chip and Joanna Gaines book, The Magnolia Story. Joanna speaks about how she heard the voice of the Lord telling her to close her shop so she could spend time with her young kids, even when it was prosperous. Then again, many years later she heard this voice instructing her to open the shop again…the same shop that is now the massively successful Magnolia Market. Not to mention the success of their show Fixer Upper. That is obedience, and sometimes it is blind. Sometimes it doesn’t make sense, but the Lord knew exactly what He was doing and the blessings He had in store for her.

    I want to have this level of obedience. I want to put my faith in the Lord and know that the change in front of me is just a point of transition in my life. I will make it through and what He has in store for me is more than I could ever imagine.

    xoxo,

    ‘Lysse

    Lifestyle, Recipes

    Taco Soup & Painful Accidents

    My boyfriend, a fine resident of South Carolina had to evacuate this past weekend due to hurricane Matthew. Fortunately, this allowed us a chance to see each other which is #huge for the whole long distance thing.

    For one night, I knew I wanted to make dinner for us, so after some google searching and a phone call to mom, I decided to make Taco Soup. I definitely wanted to make cornbread too, so the soup was a perfect fit, not to mention the weather was dreary and cold.

    Continue reading

    Lifestyle

    What I’m Reading: Newsletters & Books

    I’ve been doing a lot of reading lately. You know why? Because pleasure reading makes me happy, and I’m all about finding things that make me happy and then consistently trying to incorporate them in my life.  Here is what i’m reading right now:

    TheSkimm: Y’all know the deal. If you want to be in the know on current events, sign up!

    Call Your Girlfriend Newsletter, The Bleed: I love my podcasts, and especially these rad ladies Ann and Aminatou. Listen to their podcast and sign up for their newsletter. They are all about female health and being open about menstruation (!!!), hence the title of their newsletter: “The Bleed.”

    Present Over Perfect: Leaving Behind Frantic for a Simpler, More Soulful Way of Living Shauna Niequist is my girl. Her book Bread & Wine was such a spiritual and emotional journey for me and Present Over Perfect has been no different. I’m reading it very slowly, because 1) I don’t want it to be over and 2) I am trying to meditate and incorporate what she is teaching in my own life. I’ll be sure to write more about it when I’m done.

    Woman of the Word: How to Study the Bible with Both of Our Hearts  This book has been so so good for me and my relationship with the Lord. Jen Wilkins really pushes you to actually know the Bible and and study it. As women, sometimes we base our relationship off of emotions and how we feel. Jen encourages us to remember that the Bible is not about us and how we feel or even how it can be an answer to all the questions in our life. The Bible is a book about the Lord, and we should always want to learn more about Him so that we can be more like Him. #goals

    The Marvelous Pigness of Pigs: Respecting and Caring for all of God’s Creations  This is a book I just started, but the overall concept really caught my attention. Joel Salatin is a 3rd generation farmer for the Shenandoah Valley and maintains and all organic farm, which he provides food for many families in the area. I heard him and Alice Waters speak last week and it really made an impression on me. Especially as my interest in organic food, and farming has increased over the past few months. I will probably end up writing a whole post about this, but this book in particular is about how we as Christians have been called to be “stewards of the earth” and respect all God’s creations. Instead of manipulating His creations for our own convenience, or potential income, etc.

    So many books being read and so much homework being put off, hello 4th year.

    xoxo,

    ‘Lysse

     

    Beauty

    How I Addressed my Acne

    I’ve seen such an improvement in my skin over the past 6 months, and I’m excited to share what I’v been doing. Obviously everyone’s skin is different and I have seen many many dermatologists since 6th grade, so if acne is a problem for you I advise you see a doctor too. Your skin is an organ just like other parts in your body, and if something is wrong you should seek help from a doctor. I’ve stopped taking pills I got from the doctor, and I rarely use the ointments given. It’s the other changes I’ve made that I think have led to the most improvement.

    Continue reading