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FAITH: A Biblical Perspective on Why I Quit Fashion Blogging

Back in 2007-ish, when I religiously followed StyleBytes, Weardrobe, Flickr's Wardrobe Remix, and Style Bubble, I started my first blog.  At first, it was silly ruminations and random writing, but soon enough, I began sharing my daily outfits.
I sold this entire outfit on eBay years ago for ten bucks
The term we now know as "fashion blogging" was called "style sharing" back then.  For the most part, it was a small community of teens and early 20-somethings without money who shared their creativity in making the most of their wardrobes.  We did this by thrifting, fast fashion (Forever 21 and the likes), DIY-ing, and trading closets with one another.  We taught each other to wear dresses backwards, cut up tights to create makeshift sleeves, and how to borrow from men's (and sometimes children's) departments in order to have more (inexpensive) options.
Collectively, I don't think this outfit cost more than $40
The style sharing community encouraged individuality, money saving, and how to have fun with what one already has in their wardrobe.  I learned that my personal style was colorful, miss matched, and eclectic, with a plethora of vertiginous heels.  Like most style sharers, my photos were taken in the privacy of my own apartment with a timer and a cheap digital camera.   No retouching, no proper lighting, no sponsors. Just one or two photos taken at an awkward angle with poor lighting because sharing the idea of the look was more important than a professional photo.  Looking back, I feel like it was automatic for most style sharers pre-2008 to look down as soon as the camera snapped out of sheepishness.  Posting daily photos of oneself online was still a new thing.  Even though we were sharing the creative ways we pieced our looks in order to help inspire others within the community, posting our photos felt silly (at least, for me).
When I grew tired of this corduroy jacket, I cut the sleeves off
Soon enough, fashion and retail websites began highlighting some of these style sharers.  Chictopia and Polyvore were created to encourage people to shop each other's looks.  I was emailed a personal invite to try out this newly created site called Pinterest and give feedback before it launched publicly.  It was fun and interesting when my weekly blog hits increased from 100 to 1,000.  It was curious, yet really awesome when brands asked for my address so they could mail me gifts and gift cards.  Also, it was exciting to receive a $100 deposit from Google once in a while (for ads).
It's not easily visible here, but my "headband" is actually a necklace. Also, I paid 50 cents for that sweater
When word spread that you could become famous, be invited to sit front row at NYFW, or make a living off of posting your outfits online, "style sharing" ceased and "fashion blogging" began.  Around 2008, I remember a dozen or so fashion bloggers wore and posted the same exact dress on the same exact day.  They all got paid a large amount to convince others that they should wear the same dress. That same year, many of my thoughtful comments and questions from readers became overshadowed by CTRL/paste comments asking me to follow a new fashion blog.  Somewhere in between watching a reader obsessively perform late night searches on my blog for fetish terms and being asked to feature flashlights by a potential sponsor, I decided to hop off the style sharing train.  Style sharing/fashion blogging had become a three ring circus and I wasn't interested (and lacked the thick skin) in becoming a profitable "influencer."
So pensive.  The only items I still have are the Dr. Martens
Why would I quit something that brings money?  That could I could possibly do for a living?  Aside from the discomfort of knowing that my audience was no longer limited to people within the style sharing community, I missed the essence of style sharing, which was to help people figure out what clothes look best on them, and makes them feel like fantastic versions of themselves with as little spending as possible.

Fashion blogging in itself isn't sinful.  I started sharing my outfits in order to help others stretch their wardrobes.  I decided to quit when I realized that vanity, greed, and a love of money became a huge presence in traditional fashion blogging.  Below are more reasons I quit fashion blogging from a Biblical perspective.

1. Fashion Blogging discourages individuality.
Style sharing was individual.  Fashion blogging is formulaic.  Brands, sponsors, and the median readers desire specific looks from fashion bloggers.  Most influential fashion bloggers are similar in age, dress size, and income.  The Lord put incredible care and purpose in designing each and every one of us.  The Bible says, "for You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb.  I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, and my soul knows it very well." (Psalm 139:13-14 (NASB)) It's insulting to our Creator to try to be like any other person instead of who God desires us to be.  If you aspire to be a top fashion blogger, make sure you're only listening to the Holy Spirit's opinion and convictions on your looks, clothes, poses, etc.  Do not allow your readers and sponsors to tell you you're not special and that you need to be different from who the Lord wants you to be.
2. I didn't want to lie. In the past few years, I've become a minimalist.  At one time, I had two clothes closets and one shoe closet.  All three wardrobes were over flowing.  For the past few years, I've become minimalist and all my clothes and shoes can fit in my dresser with room to spare.  Everything I wear, I love, and is on heavy rotation.  I'm picky with body care and cosmetics.  The ingredients must be very clean and preferably edible.  My streamlined closet and bathroom cabinet means that there are more items I'll pass up rather than allow into my home.  This means that I have to choose between turning down business opportunities or lying to my readers by promoting items I actually do not care for.  The Bible is very clear about lying in saying that, "the Lord detests lying lips, but he delights in those who tell the truth." (Proverbs 12:22 New Living Translation (NLT))

3. Fashion Blogging can promote vanity.  When I was in high school, I stopped reading fashion and lifestyle magazines because I realized they always made me feel terrible.  I had begun looking in the mirror and scrutinizing thanks to these magazines.  They told me my looks need improvement.  Even though we're aware of ubiquitous image manipulations in the media, when we fill ourselves up with this falseness and unattainable standards, sooner than later, we will be negatively affected.  It's my belief that the media (tv, magazines, advertisements, and fashion blogs) are the reason why there are 11, 12, 13 year old girls can pass for college age.  These young girls along with everyone else are being told that more makeup, specific clothes, and "knowing your angles" is essential.  Taking care of our appearance isn't sinful, but "a beautiful woman who lacks discretion is like a gold ring in a pig’s snout." (Proverbs 11:22 New Living Translation (NLT))  Good looks are completely wasted on a vain person.  It would be best to make sure we fill ourselves up with substance rather than stare at photoshopped images of people who actually do not exist.

4. Fashion Blogging can promote covetousness.  Just like fashion magazines, fashion blogs are one big advertorial.  In these blogs, we see beautiful images with beautiful people in beautiful locations wearing beautiful things.  If we're not watching our hearts carefully, it's easy to start desiring what we see on the blog and this in turn, will give us discontent.  Life is better when we're satisfied with our portion.  God says “'you shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.'” (Exodus 20:17 (NIV))

Fashion blogging can be a great business opportunity for bloggers and brands.  Fashion blogging can be a great source of fun and inspiration for readers.  However, like everything in life, we must be willing to give it up if it causes us to sin.  When the Holy Spirit specifies to pick something up or place something down, we must always be willing to do as He says.  For me, I'm happy to have quit fashion blogging and I pray you'll listen to whatever the Lord says about it.
Jesus loves you.  Seek Him first, before everything else.

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FAITH: When I Chose Modesty

When I was in my teens and early 20s, I was extremely immodest. While I was getting ready to go out, my goal was to look as hot as possible and collect as much attention as possible. 

I thought that if I could be the hottest woman in the room, I would be able to capture attention and it would be mine for as long as I wanted. It didn't occur to me that the kind of attention I was seeking is a fleeting kind. In other words, it didn't matter if I was the most beautiful woman that guy had ever seen. The kind of guy who appreciated my immodesty had zero standards whatsoever. He'd hang on my every word until someone else's skin flashed by. He'd flirt with me and then turn around and flirt with every other girl as well. This guy didn't care about whose makeup was better, who was witty, who had better legs, who was nicest, etc. The kind of guy who is attracted to immodesty is only interested in one thing and that's not your heart. This dude has no other standards an…

FAITH: Are You Willing to Give God Anything He Wants?

Push Up popsicles are interesting.  In order to eat more ice cream, you need to literally push up the stick that's connected to the platform in which the ice cream sits.

My toddlers both lack the strength and dexterity to push up their Push Ups, so I have to make myself available to help them out.  One of my boys understands this.  As his ice cream dips below the cardboard container, he'll eagerly hand his treat over so I can push the stick upwards and he can continue eating.  My other boy doesn't yet understand why he needs my help.  He'd rather chew at the cardboard than willingly hand over his treat for two seconds.  Whenever it's time to push up his ice cream, he grips it tight and puts up a fight against me even though my motive is completely for his benefit.  I never take the ice cream for myself, I only obtain the Push Up in order to make it possible for my boys to have more ice cream.  So they don't have to resort to gnawing on soggy cardboard.

This remin…

FAITH: Deuteronomy 24:5

“A newly married man must not be drafted into the army or be given any other official responsibilities. He must be free to spend one year at home, bringing happiness to the wife he has married.” Deuteronomy 24:5 (NLT)
Prior to marrying in 2011, Aaron and I received lots of confirmation from the Lord that we were created to walk this earth together. So when we got married, we were arrogant in thinking that marriage would naturally be easy for us.
We were under the impression that the”honeymoon phase” would be the easiest, most magical time of our marriage. It turns out, that first year was the most difficult.  The both of us had quirks and emotional scars that went unnoticed until marriage.  Also, you don't begin to really get to know someone's ins and outs until you live with them and are forced to work together on day-to-day issues.
I wish we had studied Deuteronomy 24:5 because this verse imparts great advice. Moving into the same home with your husband is a huge eye opener and …

CLEAN BEAUTY: What's in My Medicine Cabinet?

Here's my medicine cabinet.  As you can see, I'm a big advocate of clean beauty care.  Not pictured is my beloved apple cider vinegar which I use for facial toner and hair conditioner.  I keep a jar of Bragg's out on the bathroom counter so I forgot to include.  You can get read my blog post on ACV here.

Check out what's in my medicine cabinet below...
1.  Rachel's Plan Bee Facial Oil - My favorite skin care expert, Rachel, from Rachel's Plan Bee, sent over some of her delicious minis. Read the blog post here.
2. MSC Lavender & Spearmint Nourishing Lip Cream - I received this chapstick in my Petit Vourbox.  It does the job and perhaps one day I'd repurchase...after I use up all my other chapsticks.
3. We Love Eyes Tea Tree Eyelid & Eyelash Makeup Remover Oil - I use this to remove eye makeup.  Check out my detailed review here.
4. MooGoo Deodorant - I haven't worn the dangerous, aluminum stuff in almost five years.  Review is definitely coming…

FAITH: Joshua 11:15

"Just as the Lord had commanded Moses His servant, so Moses had commanded Joshua, and so Joshua did; he left nothing undone of all that the Lord had commanded Moses." Joshua 11:15 (AMP)

Obeying the Lord in total is the only way that we should get things done.  Just obeying a portion of God's instruction is sinful.  We must do exactly what the Lord wants us to do when He call us to do something.

Our household is constantly being forced to purge items that could lead to sin because the enemy is always trying to get in.  For example, going through our DVD collection, we find ourselves continually tossing movies that have that one inappropriate word or that one inappropriate two second scene.  We've thrown out our favorite films or awesome movies that are otherwise innocent save for that one thing about them. But we have to because at what point will we say "no" to sin?  The enemy deserves NO foothold in our house and yours.

Joshua won't compromise with …

FAITH: Video - Five Things Women Need to do Before Marriage

Below, is the script from today's video...

Today, we are talking about five things women need to do before they get married.

1. Enjoy the single season.  This is your opportunity to learn independence.  In my opinion, I believe that women and men need to learn how to be comfortable with just themselves.  Because if you don't like being alone with you, why would you expect someone else to enjoy being alone with you?  You might marry someone who needs some quiet time or needs to take a walk alone in order to think or meditate on the Lord and if you're not okay with just being still, being silent by yourself, there's a good chance you're going to drive him nuts.  Learn some independence right now.  It'll help.  It'll pay off.

2. Make a list.  Make a list of things you want to do before you get married.  Like a bucket list before you tie the knot - so, like a "knot list."  Make a list of new things you want to learn and experience before you get married…

FAITH: Joshua 12

I'm going through the First5 online study and we're currently in Joshua.  In coming upon the twelfth chapter of Joshua, we find it reads a long list of king's names who were defeated by Israel.  It's easy for our eyes to skim over this chapter but we must consider that it's here for a reason.

It's good for us to take detailed lists of praise reports and victories in Christ.  Reason being, when we're in a valley and unable to see past our enemies, we can remember the great things the Lord has already done.  We can be encouraged that He's going to keep us moving forward and that the troubles we're currently facing are puny to Him. Remembering our past victories with the Lord can give us hope for the future.

Thank you for reading!  Jesus loves You!

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Five Photos - 12/02/16

Christmas is approaching and I hope you will remember those who are lonely or distressed during this time.  We have a lot to be thankful for in that Jesus offers us all eternal salvation.  We just have to take Him up on His offer. We may not have time nor money to give, but we can always deliver the greatest message of all… Romans 10:9 "If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved." Throwback to one year ago, yesterday, to the sunset we watched in Carmel.  Nature sings praises to the Lord.

I baked these cookies again.  They're full of healthy ingredients and zero processed sugar so it's pretty much manna, right?

Aaron changed Miles' diaper right there on the floor and when they were done, Miles decided to just stay there and relax a bit.  This kid cracks me up!

Enjoying my honey lemon water with the latest Domino magazine.
I hope you have a great weekend!  Jesus loves YOU.


Pai Rosehip BioRegenerate Oil

I was recently sent a two week sample of Pai's Rosehip BioRegenerate Oil.  Normally, I don't mention samples because they run out before I've been able to give them a long enough test run.  But oh. my. goodness!  I saw significant results within just 24 hours of using this oil. I wasn't expecting too much, because like I just said, I'm used to products taking longer periods of time to show me results.  Without a doubt, I saw and felt a noticeable difference almost immediately.  Good quality rosehip oil is known for its anti aging properties and Pai's version is the best I've come across so far.  Unlike most of my oils, the smell is not awesome, but I know that rosehip oil is not known to smell pleasant to most people.

After the slightly smelly scent, the next thing I noticed was that this oil is not oily.  It soaked in pretty well.  It left me moisturized, but without the oily, greasy feeling I normally expect from facial oils.  The instructions say to on…