cultivate your life

Month: December 2017

God Loves Junkies, Too

God Loves Junkies, Too

  This is not a book review. Though I kind of wish it was. A book review would be easier to write.   No, these are just my thoughts after reading “How to Murder Your Life” by Cat Marnell. I should put this out there […]

Good for the Planet New Year’s Resolutions

Good for the Planet New Year’s Resolutions

Maybe you can tell by the fact that I have two New Year’s Resolutions posts in one month that I really love New Year’s! I think it’s such a cool time to put all your dreams into action. For this edition, I wanted to offer […]

Favorite Makeup Products of 2017

Favorite Makeup Products of 2017

It’s hard to put into words how much I love makeup! Everyone thinks I’m nuts, but I use about 20 different makeup products on my face most days. How? Primers, concealers, powders, layering lipsticks and eyeshadows…. It really adds up! It’s such a fun little hobby of mine. After studying art for years and years, I love having a fresh canvas every morning to play with.


Despite how much I love makeup, I don’t own a lot and I don’t like to spend a fortune on it. A lot of my makeup is from Walmart, to be honest! Sometimes I splurge on something, but for the most part, I love a bargain.


I wanted to do a year-end Favorite Makeup of 2017 post to sum up all the things I purchased in 2017 that I can’t believe I lived without before. They may not necessarily be new for 2017, they are just new to me this year.


:: Clockwise from the top ::


+ Clinique Even Better Glow Light Reflecting Makeup

I’ve gotten away from Clinique foundations for awhile, and I’m not totally sure why. They are great for my skin, don’t cause any reactions, and they go on so smoothly! I don’t ever feel like I’m caking it on with the Even Better line. Now I’m so excited that there is a Glow Light Reflecting version! It just looks so pretty and natural on my skin with that dewy, glowy look I love.


+ Lorac Beauties Who Brunch Eyeshadow Palette

This year, I really needed something fresh and new. The last palette I bought before this was already two years old! The brunch theme is adorable, with names like hot sauce, eggs benny, and mimosa. I’ve been so bored by all the neutral eye shadows lately, so it was very fun to have bright colors for once! The color payoff isn’t great, but layering with a primer really makes them pop. I don’t mind that they are subtle though, because I can tone it down on casual days.


+ It Cosmetics Love Beauty Fully Blending Concealer Brush #203

THIS BRUSH IS EVERYTHING! I use it every single day. Even though I have travel size makeup brushes, I still pack this in my carry on whenever I’m out of town. It blends so nicely, is feathery soft, and works so well. Hugely recommend it for creamy to liquid concealers.


+ Flower Beauty Cream Lipstick in 080 Flamingo Flirt

I am so in love with everything Flower Beauty. It’s really inexpensive, cruelty-free, and I can find it at Walmart. This red is so pretty with my skin tone, great color payoff, and it doesn’t dry my lips at all. I’ve only recently started wearing red lipstick since I discovered this one.


+ Clinique Pop Lip Color + Primer in 05 Melon Pop

All of the Clinique lipsticks I’ve ever tried are moisturizing, never cake, never dry my lips, and have pretty colors that don’s oxidize and change color on me. I have very, very sensitive lips, and I know after years and years of applications, I can trust Clinique to not make my lips go haywire. Granted, I do a lot of applications and touchups, but I still love these lipsticks.


+ Flower Beauty Petal Pout Lip Liner in Cherry

Another Flower Beauty favorite! This really keeps my red lipstick from bleeding and helps it last and last. I like to outline my lips and then fully fill out the rest with liner before I apply lipstick. That really helps it stick!


+ Pacifica Stellar Gaze Mascara in Supernova

I recently read an article in Glamour about how nobody raves about natural, cruelty-free mascaras. Well, I guess I’m not everybody! If I could buy these by the case, I would. This mascara can be layered a lot, but I find that one or two coats does the trick. I’m a big fan of Pacifica skincare, and this mascara is such a great addition. The black color is also really intense and doesn’t budge in normal conditions (when it’s very humid or if I’m getting ready for an event where I might shed a few tears, I add one coat of waterproof on top to set it).


+ Flower Beauty Brow Master All-in-1 Brow Mascara in AB1 Light

Honestly, this is the product that introduced me to Flower Beauty. I was really disappointed by the Benefit brow mascara, and wasn’t having a lot of luck with other brow products. This is the perfect color for my brows, has a nice texture, and is so so easy to apply. If I need a little extra color or fill in, I add a brow pencil, but for every day, this brow mascara looks great.


+ NYX Dark Circle Concealer Corrector in DCC01 Fair

I already reviewed this in my Splurge vs. Steal Dark Circle Concealer post. I love this so much and it is a far cheaper alternative to the Bobbi Brown color corrector I love.


+ ecotools Total Perfecting Blender

I fell in love with the original Beauty Blender years ago, but wow do they get pricey if you replace them as often as is recommended! I was looking for a less expensive version and am totally in love with this ecotools version. It’s seriously only $5.99. I also got a coupon for a future ecotools purchase on the box, so I will be rebuying this in the future. One thing I really didn’t like about the original Beauty Blender is using the packaging for a stand. It was clear plastic and would get covered in dust and foundation residue. Yuck! This included stand from ecotools is attractive and helps dry the sponge well. If you’ve never used a beauty blender before, you gotta get into it! I think it offers the nicest, most natural coverage for foundation and leaves such a dewy finish.


I will probably be doing a skincare roundup before the end of the year, but I wanted to add my makeup favorites before the year was up. I know I will have loads of favorites in 2018, so I should really get this in! ; D


How about you? What are your beauty favorites from 2017? Any must-have products? Let me know in the comments below!



For more tips, tricks, and inspiration head over to my Pinterest board , my Instagram, or my lifestyle and fitness Instagram!


** None of these products or links are sponsored. These opinions are all my own and are just my way of sharing the things I love! **

The Definitive Guide to Hand Soap

The Definitive Guide to Hand Soap

It’s that time of year! Time for gift giving and picking out just the perfect gift for our friends and family. That’s why I’m bringing you my Definitive Guide to Hand Soap. Hand soap is sure to make everyone smile when they open their stockings […]

Being Childlike in Front of the Father

Being Childlike in Front of the Father

Matthew 19:14 Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”   Mark 10:14 When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, “Let the little children come […]

A Fresh Take on New Year’s Resolutions

A Fresh Take on New Year’s Resolutions

Welcome to one of my favorite times of year! My birthday is in January & I LOVE the new year & all the resolutions & fresh starts.


I’ve had a lot of success with my resolutions in the past. I’ve made them measurable & check-off-able. Really concrete things. I’ve learned to do a bunch of car repairs myself, attended church 20 Sundays in a row (that resolution lasted five years!), learned to love baseball, finished reading The Last of the Mohicans after maybe ten years, saw Kylie Minogue in concert… important or silly, I’ve really valued change & enjoyed working toward it.


That being said, there’s always room for improvement, right?


Last winter, I watched a Marie Forleo interview of Danielle LaPorte on YouTube. Danielle LaPorte is the bestselling author of The Desire Map. She’s an author, speaker, & personal development coach. She’s also really approachable & funny!



In this interview, she outlines a new way to set goals & chase after a life you love. Her formula totally flips the traditional script & encourages listeners to chase after feelings instead of goals FIRST & then set goals from there.


Here is a selection from the show notes that sums up her process:



“1. Feel What Feels Good. When goal setting this way, first ask yourself how you want to feel in three main categories: lifestyle and livelihood, body and wellness, relationships and society. Write stream of consciousness lists for each category listing out your desired feelings for each.


2. Look For Patterns. Identify the words you repeat in these lists, or notice the patterns that are coming up. Begin to narrow down your list of words that will help with goal setting through your desired feelings.


3. Declare Your Core Desired Feelings. Ask yourself what’s beneath a feeling for you. For example, maybe “success” is really about freedom, or love, or creativity. This is a good time to turn to a dictionary and look up the definitions of words — every word is its own world.


4. Ask Yourself: What do I want to do, have or experience to create my core desired feelings? This is the beginning of goal setting with soul. This is where you make connections between how you want to feel and what will actually help you feel that way.”


After I heard this, of course I HAD to buy the book. I tore right through it & got to work.



My process was a little different but got to the same conclusion. I looked at my vision board (talked about that here!) & started writing single words that each photo evoked. Like:












After that, I started chunking the words together in little synonym packages. Then I picked the best word of the bunch & kept narrowing until I got to five words:


  • Free
  • Alive
  • Connected
  • Cultivated
  • Peaceful


One cool thing about this process is how totally different each person’s feeling words can be! I told a friend that “awestruck” made one list, and she said her vision board would probably evoke “rich,” “hot,” and “successful.” Ha! I love that.


From there, I started thinking about goals that helped me head toward those feelings. I started to spend more time outdoors because I wanted to feel free & alive. I started a mindfulness practice because I wanted to feel peaceful. I spent time decorating & doing DIY projects because I wanted my life to feel cultivated. I started getting more serious about going to my church’s chapel & spend time every Monday on Bible journaling so I could feel connected. And the picture I included here shows the very essence of connected, alive, & free: leading a retreat with some very special, very inspiring kids who are still close to my heart.


With every feeling, I attached a handful of goals. And it worked like a charm! Instead of checking something off my list & having the inevitable letdown or not checking it off & feeling disappointed, I could check in with my heart throughout the process & see if these actions were producing my core desired feelings. If they did, great! If not, I chucked them guilt-free!


I’ve found a lot of clarity & inspiration in this style of goal setting. It’s an activity I hope to revisit in the future when those words stop feeling relevant. For now, I have a lot of goals I want to put on paper before New Year’s Eve that help me chase after feeling even MORE: free, alive, connected, cultivated, & peaceful!


How about you? Are you planning any resolutions for the new year? Have you found any other effective ways to set “goals with soul?” Let me know in the comments below!


For more tips, tricks, and inspiration head over to my Pinterest board , my Instagram, or my lifestyle and fitness Instagram!





The photo of Daniella LaPorte & the above quotation are hers and not mine. They’re only here for inspiration!