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    Lifestyle

    Blog Swap: It’s Really Life or Death

    Hey there fabulous Lysse on Life readers!

    My name is Kaitlin and I’m a 20-
    something who’s been graduated and working in the “real world” for like five months now. Alysse graciously agreed to do a blog swap with me and I quite literally could not be more excited to have the chance to connect with her AND all of y’all. One of my favorite things about blogging is having the opportunity to build relationships with different people all across the world, so this definitely furthers that.

    I have been wanting to write this post for quite a while, but just haven’t gotten around to writing it for my own blog. Alysse and I decided to do a blog swap, so I thought chatting with y’all would be the right place!

    Living as an “adult” for the past several months has really made me value my mental health, and one of the ways I do that is through my mantra! I know the idea of a “mantra” sounds low-key lame and super cliche, but it’s literally one of the best things I could have done for myself!

    I don’t know if your parents are like mine, but growing up I would get really upset or annoyed about something and my mom would always say something along the lines of, “Kaitlin, just let it go. It’s not life or death.” If your parents didn’t use that phrase, it basically means whatever you’re upset about isn’t the end of the world, so just keep on trucking.

    But as I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned everything quite literally is life or death and it’s not a bad thing.

    Sometimes you may be put in a bad situation, but you’re still alive and you’re going to get through it. I have read many a blog that tell readers to ask themselves if whatever the hold up is going to be important five years down the line. They’re thinking along the same line as I am.

    Your boyfriend broke up with you. Are you going to care in five years? You had to ask your mom for money to pay your electricity this month. Are you going to care in five years? You and your best friend got in a fight? Are you going to care in five years?

    If you’re like me, it’s very likely the answer to all of those is overwhelmingly no. We like to get all hyped up about certain situations, whatever they may be, when in the long run they’re really not going to matter.

    Want to know why?

    Everything is quite literally life or death.

    Every time I explain it to someone they saw it as low-key morbid, but I’ll let you be the judge. No matter what bad situation you’ve gotten yourself into, you’re still alive and will keep on chugging. You’re basically the Little Engine That Could. That, and the ability to learn new things about yourself and the world, is beautiful in and of itself. Life is the great experience and everything, even struggles, give you the opportunity to learn more about yourself and get closer to becoming the person you want to be.

    On the flip side, if you’re dead, you won’t know! Or you’ll get to be a ghost or in Heaven or whatever it is you believe in, so those are pretty awesome alternatives.

    Thinking of life like that changed so many things for me. I used to be negative and up in arms about everything if it didn’t work out my way, but now I have the opportunity to be ecstatic about everything that happens to me because it makes me more of who I’m supposed to be.

    My boyfriend broke up with me, but it helped teach me what I wanted in a man. Someone that I thought was a friend didn’t help me get away from the creepy guy at the bar, but I learned in a low-stakes environment that maybe that friend doesn’t have my best interest at heart. I ran out of gas while on the way to work, but I learned just how far I can push my car until I run out of gas.

    Everything is a learning situation and learning helps you get better in the future. I know, gag me, right? I thought that at first, but looking at my life in this way, where everything, no matter good or bad, is an opportunity to learn about myself and get better for the future has honestly improved my quality of life and has led to a whole lot less stress.

    Do you have a mantra?

    Thanks for letting me hang out in your blog space, and feel free to follow my blog (kaitlinbain15.wordpress.com)! I write about my life, my job, my style and other stuff I just randomly run into.

    Xo,

    K

    Lifestyle

    One Lovely Blog Award

    My last semester of school has started and I have quickly realized that I should have prepped more posts over the break..oops. Fortunately, today I was nominated for the “One Lovely Blog Award” by Kaitlin, a fellow blogger. I thought this would be a perfect time to pop back into the blogosphere, so hello!

    screen-shot-2017-01-29-at-6-02-27-pmAlso, stay tuned for a blog swap post from Kaitlin soon!

    Here are the rules:

    • Thank the person that nominated you and leave a link to their blog
    • Post about the award
    • Share 7 facts about yourself
    • Nominate at most 15 people
    • Tell your nominees the good news!

    My 7 Facts:

    • I have dreams of owning a farm and tending to a large garden, but my new diagnosis of severe allergies to basically everything outside is kinda sidetracking that plan.
    • I really enjoy cooking. I’m not that great yet, but I love the steps and process that it requires. You start with a bunch of random stuff and it all comes together to make a meal. I think its just so beautiful.
    • I’ve never been out of the country. It has just never happened. Vacations as a child were usually centered about AAU basketball schedules and the opportunity never came about. While I have the desire to travel abroad, there are also so many places in the US I want to visit as well.
    • I have lived in four different states, and soon I’ll be moving again!
    • Clothes > Make-up, Clothes > Shoes
    • I went to a private Christian school until I moved to Texas in 5th grade. I follow a lot of my  old classmates and past teachers on social media and it’s so wild to see what path everyone is on. (The teachers are v v v conservative, but all my old classmates seem v v v rad)
    • I played a lot of competitive basketball growing up and now I have no desire to ever watch a game ever again. I just can’t watch it without dissecting every move so it is just not good entertainment for me.

    Well my friends, thats all I got for you today! Make sure you’re following my instagram account: lysseonlife. I post regularly on there and I have started a new series titled “Coffee Courage” look for the pictures of a coffee mug to check it out!

    xoxo,

    ‘Lysse

    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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