April Favorites 2016

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This is actually the first year I’ve used sunscreen consistently on my face. This doesn’t break me out and dries down to a semi-matte finish which I appreciate since my skin is so oily on it’s own.

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My sister bought this for me for my 20th birthday! I loovee the smell of coconut! I’ve been keeping this is my purse to use when my hands get dry.

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I picked this up a couple of weeks ago at bath and body. I have a weakness for cute water bottles so I had to get it;P

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I am really surprised that I like this product as much as I do (Loreal Brow Stylus Plumper). It keeps all my crazy brow hairs in place and gives a little bit extra volume.

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Again…. coconut. 😉 I love the smell of this, plus it’s easier to use than my Vaseline lip therapy.

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I have literally been listening to this album nonstop for 3 days… I love it. Trust In You, and Come Alive and two of my favorite songs on this album:)

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So I bought this the beginning of April and have used it almost everyday since. I’m a huge lipgloss lover in the summer. So a coconut flavored lipgloss just called my name. This is a clear gloss with quite a bit of shimmer so if you don’t like shimmery glosses this may not be for you.

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My mom got me this mason jar bottle thing for my birthday and it is sooooo cute!!! As you can see I love drinking my sweet tea out of it:)

So there’s my April Favorites!  I hope you enjoyed! Have a great month of May!

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My Struggle With Bitterness

I have been married to my husband, Tj, for a year and one month:) This past year has been wonderful being with my best friend every day:) Yet marriage is so much more than I thought it was. One thing I have realized this past year, is that being married means learning as much about yourself as you do your spouse.
It shows you your true heart and sometimes, it’s ugly.

I never realized how bitter of a person I could be until recently. God used my husband to show me my true heart, and I’m so thankful he did. Before I begin, I want whoever is reading to know this: I follow and read alot of blogs and most of them are written by newly wed couples. On social media, their life is perfect, their relationship with God is strong,  and they never have problems with their spouse. I am not that way. I’ll be the first to admit that I have a lot of stuff to work on in my heart. And I don’t care who knows that because I’m not perfect.

Now, to the heart of the matter… bitterness. Just saying the word dries your mouth and makes you thirsty. I never thought of myself as a bitter person until recently… Here’s how I found out..

The past year I have been making an extra effort to dress modestly. Not because of church or ministry,  but because of personal convictions. For example, I’ve gotten rid of all my old shorts and replaced them with more modest ones. Doing that was easy, wearing them in public was easy…until me and my husband would pass by girls who were provocatively dressed. Am I okay with girls walking around my husband with their boobs hanging out and their shorts two inches long? Ummmm no? I see these girls and I instantly get bitter and hateful (especially if they are eyeing Tj). My heart swells up like its been stung and filled with poison (bitterness is worse than poison actually). My first instinct is to glare these girls down and shun them for dressing this way. You might think I’m jealous (well yeah? I don’t want my husband seeing any girls body like that except mine. And I especially don’t like the fact that he can be tempted to lust after these women). (Ps word of advice, pray for your husband!! It’s a sinful world, so pray for him in every aspect!) How can they walk around like that don’t they have any self-worth.
Well Bryonna, they don’t know their self worth. I remember dressing as skimpy as I could get away with because I wanted to feel accepted. I wanted someone to want me. And at the time, because of the people I was around at school and the media burning it into my mind, I thought that was my way to find acceptance. I was small compared to other girls and felt boyish. I felt like I had to make up for my “shortcomings” by dressing that way.

Was I not saved? Yes. I was! But I lost sight of where my worth came from! I listened to the lies Satan nudged my way. I ended up being miserable, with the wrong guy, and so far from God that I cried myself to sleep almost every night. I tried to find satisfaction apart from God, and it left me feeling empty.

It’s hard for me to walk past girls who dress provocatively (especially with my husband around) and not get bitter towards them. It’s so hard for me to swallow my pride and think of them as a hurting and empty soul just wanting to be loved. It’s hard for me to remind myself that I have been where they are and that I still struggle everyday with dressing to show my true worth. And to some people, the way I dress may not be modest in their opinion. But modesty isn’t the point of this post… my heart is.
It’s hard for me to think that maybe they don’t see any thing wrong with dressing that way maybe they don’t know what the Bible says, maybe they aren’t saved, maybe their parents don’t care what they wear? Whatever. The point is, being bitter like that is a sin.

Maybe you don’t feel bitter about this subject, I know that bitterness has crept into a lot of areas in my life. Whenever i encounter a rude person, I immediately swell up and feel bitter. Maybe for you it’s towards a co-worker, a friend, a family member who has caused a lot of grief in your family (I understand that feeling too). Pray that God will help you to see them as a soul trying to fill a void or as He sees them. Because bitterness is like a weed that keeps coming back stronger and stronger. It leaves you thirsty and quenched for the peace of God.

I can babble on some more about this but I believe Ephesians 4:31-32 sums it perfectly….

“Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.”

Silenced by Dani Pettrey Book Review

Kaden McKenna is a tough, perceptive, and guarded person. To some she’s too much of a realist (and a health nut). But to Jake Westin, she’s mysterious and someone he can’t figure out.

Silenced is about Kayden and Jake finally working through their tense and awkward relationship. Throughout the whole Alaskan Courage series we see these two always at odds with eachother. Until Kayden discovers Jake’s past as a cop.. who lost his wife and child.

The two end up working together on a homicide case over a dead man Kayden found while rock climbing. She tags along with Jake to investigate because no one know’s rock climbing like Kayden McKenna.
As the two dive deeper into the complex relationships surrounding the victim, their relationship also becomes complex.

After threats are made ay Kayden and she gets kidnapped, Jake realizes that his past is catching up with him, but will he be fast enough to save Kayden? 

Silenced surprised me. I did not expect Jake and Kayden’s relationship to be as relatable to me as it was. Kayden is a person who shuts everything inside and tries to be strong for everyone. She’s the mother-hen of the McKenna clan. I related a lot to Kayden and I reallt enjoyes seeing her transform and grow over the series. The suspense of this book was the best out of the previous ones… (I know I said that about the last book too;). But seriously though! Each book in this series is better than the next. Jake and Kayden’s relationship was cute in their own way and I can’t see them with anyone else..

Normally this is where I would share the “con’s” of this book and what I would change..  but honestly I wouldn’t change a thing!

Out of My Comfort Zone

Comfortable. Cozy.
It’s that feeling you have when you curl up in bed after a long day. Or when you cuddle up in your husband’s arms to watch a movie. It’s peace and happiness and contentment. But what if something disrupts your coziness?  What if you finally get to sleep in underneath your warm blankets, and then suddenly someone turns on the lights and rips the covers off of you (bad idea on their part;). What if it’s something bigger than that though?

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Me and my husband (TJ) moved out of our 1 bedroom apartment and into an actual house on January first:) An actual house!!!!! It had everything I ever wanted! A laundry room (no more laundry mat:), wood floors, french doors, a patio and a porch, a marble sink, and… a bedroom upstairs!!! (I love stairs). It’s been perfect! But.. we just rent this house and it’s still on the market for sell. Which means if someone wants to buy it, they can. When we first moved in I didn’t think much about it. Until a couple toured it..I felt violated. (This is my home, my refuge, where I feel safe, where me and my small little family of a husband, 2 cats and a turtle abide.) Today, a second couple will tour our house and decide whether or not they want it. It’s like someone has wakened me from my dream of comfort to the cold realization that at anytime, my life can change.

I dont want to move. I love this house. Why would God allow us to live there only to leade us away a short time later…

If we do end up moving, it will be hard. To trust that God has something better in store for me (even though I really can’t picture anything better right now..) but He see’s the bigger picture. I just see the here and now.

I love the book of Ruth. Her faith amazes me! How she can follow her mother in law into a foreign land after losing everything she had (she was comfortable with her husband for ten years!!)

Ruth 1:16
“And Ruth said, Intreat me not to leave  thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest , I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God:”

Ruth was willing to give up her entire lifestyle to follow her mother-in-law Naomi…. How can I not be willing to drop my lifestyle, no matter how comfortable, at a moment’s notice so I can follow my Lord’s will? Naomi was an old woman who didn’t know the future, she didn’t know whether her and Ruth would survive a day journeying in the wilderness. Yet Ruth followed her and ended up being better off and married Boaz!! She is in the bloodline of Jesus Christ!??! All because she was willing to give up her comfortable lifestyle..

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Can I not do the same for God? The one who feeds the birds and knows how many hairs there are on my head. Am I willing to give my cozy life and trust God in every aspect of my life?

Fresh Soy Face Cleanser and Rose Face Mask Review

Hello!!! So this month (April) is my birthday month!!! I will be 20 on the 27th and I already feel old…;)

For those of you who don’t know, when you place an order online or buy something in store from Sephora during your birthday month, you get free birthday samples! This time I got to choose between two and I chose this duo by the brand Fresh:) It includes a mini Soy Face Cleanser and Rose Mask. I have seen these two products everywhere and it won’t take you very long on the Sephora website to see how popular they are. So heres my review! I hope you enjoy and that it helps!
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Cleanser:
This is a watery gel cleanser with no color. When I first used this I wasn’t expecting it to smell like cucumbers! I love cucumbers though so that’s a plus from me! I have used this in the shower, to take my makeup off, and after I used an oil cleanser so I have tried it different ways. Honestly, I wasn’t too impressed with this product. I don’t hate it but I wouldn’t buy it. It didn’t take my makeup off very well, and it honestly didn’t do much for my skin. When I use my Ole Henrikson African Red Tea cleanser, i notice a significant difference! So, the Soy one didn’t measure up. I do really like how it feel a tiny bit tingly when I massage it into my skin though:)

Mask: Okay so you’re probably going to think I’m really dumb for this.. but I was totally not expecting this Rose face mask to smell like well, roses. Lol!! I do not like the smell of strong rose. It reminds me of old lady perfume and can take my breath away (not in a good way either). So the fact that this smells like straight up rose is definitely a downer. As for the actual mask itself, I love it! After using it my face looks more even and toned. It is a gel consistency with actual pieces of rose stuff (?) in it. (I think thats pretty awesome;) I leave it on for 10-30 minutes and then wash it off and apply my moisturizers! Would I buy the full size? Honestly,I don’t know. Definitely not until I experiment with other masks to see if I find one better suited for me.

I hope you enjoyed this and if you have any face mask suggestions please let me know!!! (I love facemasks:)

Xoxo, Bryonna

Stranded by Dani Pettrey Book Review

Stranded is the third book in the Alaskan Courage series by Dani Pettrey. When I first started reading this book, I was still hung up in the previous book (Shattered). It wasn’t until I was about a third of the way through that I began to appreciate this story!
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Stranded is about Gage Mckenna (an explorer) and Darcy St. James (a reporter who reminds me of Nancy Drew) working together to find Darcy’s college friend who has gone missing. Darcy discovers that her friend, Abby, was working undercover on a cruise ship called the Bering, but what for, Darcy doesn’t know. Gage begins his job as a excursion leader the same day Darcy boards the Bering when they find out Abby wasn’t the only woman to go overboard on this ship, (or murdered) they decide to work together to discover the truth.

So far, Stranded has the best mystery and suspense plot of this series. The story sn’t simple cases like the others were, but really in depth! I appreciatee that there was another twist (or three) in the case with each chapter!  It definitely kept me up late reading:)

Romance wise, the chemistey between Gage and Darcy wasn’t as cute and puppy love like as Piper and Landon’s was, but Darcy and Gage are definitely amusing together and honestly, just perfect together. Their relationship was cute in its own way because of the fact they are both stubborn,  independent, and at times sassy;)

Strandes was a lot, deeper than the previous books… not only because the case their working on is more intricate,  but also the issues dealt with. Like grief, death, love, questioning God, and even slavery.

I loved reading Stranded. It kept me up at night, made me laugh, made me cringe, and I related a lot to Darfy and Gage’s relationship together. I give this 7/10 stars. Honestly, each book in this series is better than the next, but Stranded was 5x better than Submerged (the first book) not only because of the character development,  but also because of the depth about her stories and characters.

It’s Okay To Be Godly

It’s Okay To Be Godly

It may not be Easy to be a woman in this world, but it is Perfect to be in His Hand.

Sometimes I think, “What’s the point?” Why even try to be a godly woman, when nobody is looking for one? It’s not “cool” or in “style”; in fact, its the opposite. But I realize, when I do get out of God’s will, go my own way, then follow the world and it’s standards; I become unhappy, confused, and sad. If you’re saved, I’m sure you’ve felt this way before too. SO, is it worth the hard decisions and occasional discomfort, to be a godly girl?

People aren’t saved to live a life like everyone else. A Christian has a purpose and promising life! ~ 1 Timothy 6:11-15

When you were saved, God rejoiceed! He had found a lost daughter, one He loves and died for! When a Christian is out of the will of God, and then returns to Him, He rejoices! When has the world rejoiced in you? The world doesn’t cherish and delight in you like God does ~ Luke 15:11-24

By living a godly lifestyle, not only will you be blessed, happy, and pleasing to God, but you’ll also be an example and witness to others! ~ 1 Timothy 4:12-16

Every thing the world treasures and promotes, isn’t eternal. It’s not as good as what God has to offer you ~ Matthew 6:19-20 ~ Psalm 63:3

Living a godly lifestyle isn’t easy, the Bible says we are suppose to endure hardness as a good soldier. (2 Timothy 2:3) But it’s worth it! Not only is it worth it, but we as saved people, are called to live a godly life to please the Lord! When life gets hard, and you feel like giving up, remember that it’s okay to be godly in an ungodly world. It’s actually great to be godly:) Even if it’s not what everyone else is doing. Because you have something that lasts. You have a greater purpose and calling in life! You are treasured by a great God:)

Whenever you feel unloved, unimportant, or insecure, remember to whom you belong

Ephesians 2:19

 

My Hair Products

Today I wanted to show yall my hair products! Keep in mind I don’t use these every day or even every time I do my hair. I have curly/wavy hair and it goes down to the middle of my back. Hope you enjoy this post and that maybe you find something that will work for you too! Enjoy! 🙂

SAM_1329.JPGDry Shampoo- Whenever I am too tired to wash my hair I use the Dove dry shampoo. This is the best one I have tried so far and I love it! It doesn’t make my hair clumpy and unmanageable, plus it smells amazing:)

SAM_1323.JPGShampoo- No matter what shampoo I use I always go back to Aussie’s Aussome Volume shampoo. It just works for my hair! It cleans my hair, lifts it up, and smells good!

SAM_1325.JPGConditioner-My mom and grandma made me and my sisters use Aussie’s 3 Minute Miracle every summer because the chlorine in our swimming pool would fry our hair. I have used it ever since! Most conditioners dry my hair out or make it greasy, this stuff doesn’t!

SAM_1327.JPGHairspray- I never use hairspray. Like once in a blue moon maybe… I go through phases of using it and then abandoning it. However, Pantene’s Airspray (Level 2) has changed that. I use this all the time! Especially when I wear my hair in waves. It makes it looks 10x lighter weight. I really like that if I spray too much, or end up nor liking the hairstyle, I can just brush my hair and there will be no hairspray residue! I don’t even like Pantene products (they fry my hair). But this is awesome:)

SAM_1326.JPGFinishing Spray- Garnier’s Texture Tease finishing spray has changed my life. When it comes to hair anyways… I use this to add a little bit of grip to my hair and to keep it looking bouncy. This is amaziinngggg. Do yourself a favor and go buy it;P

SAM_1328.JPGLeave-In Treatment- I first heard of the Biolage Leave-In Tonic from one of  KathleenLight’s favorite videos about a year ago.. I had to buy it after hearing her talk about it! This just adds a little bit of extra moisture to my ends and also helps with detangling.

SAM_1330.JPGOil Treatment- Agave Healing Oil…. Oh where do I begin to describe this… This has changed my hair completely. I have tried a lot of hair oils and they either make my hair greasy or fried. I got this as a sample from Sephora and almost threw it away.. but I decided to give it a try. This smells sugary-sweet and makes me want cotton candy. Whenever I apply this to my hair, it doesn’t look like I applied anything! My hair literally drinks this stuff up. After I use this and shower, my hair dries faster too. I think because my hair doesn’t need to hold as much water after using this! I can’t explain to you my love for this hair oil.. It is absolutely divine:)

That is all the products I use for my hair! I hope you found something that might work for you too! xoxo Bryonna

 

Shattered by Dani Pettrey Book Review

I finished reading Shattered a couple days ago and have honestly been putting off writing this book review.. I just don’t want to leave it! I loved this book and am grieving because it is over:( So, with a sad heart, I will write this review and share with you my thoughts:)

First of all, with movies, the second one is never any good. That’s just common knowledge. But with books, books are different. They always seem to get better with each book! And that is the case with Shattered. Maybe it is because I got to know Landon and Piper previously in Submerged (the first Alaskan Courage book). But I honestly think it is because it was just a better book.

Shattered is about Landon (Yancey’s Deputy Sheriff) and Piper trying to solve a case that (Piper believes) is wrongly pinned on her brother Reef. With all evidence against them, they both set out to find the truth and hopefully free her brother from behind bars. Along the way they both start to face their growing, changing feelings about one another.

I must say that I love Piper and Landon’s relationship. They are two opposites, yet so cute together! Shattered was a little bit more focused on their relationship than the actual case, but I was totally fine with that because I could read about Piper and Landon’s interactions all day. I laughed out loud quite a bit in this book and at times, I got angry (it was Landon’s fault of course;).

As for the suspense and action side, this book wasn’t as suspenseful as Submerged, but it did have quite a bit of action. Piper life is put in danger more than once (which I’m sure she loves), and so is Landon’s. However, the book did seem to be dead-end after dead-end, until it all wrapped up in the last few chapters.

Even though it wasn’t as suspenseful as I had thought it would be, Shattered was way cute than I had anticipated:) Would I re-read this book? ABSOLUTELY! Do I miss reading about Landon and Piper’s adventures together? Definitely. (I wish Pettrey would write a series just about them;P) This is my favorite book of the Alaskan Courage Series… Have you ever enjoyed a book and it’s characters so much you didn’t want to move on? This was one of those books for me.. So if my review of Stranded (The 3rd book) is prolonged, don’t worry I’m just reliving my adventures from Shattered:)

 

Collective Haul (March)

Hey guys! I finally got around to writing a post on the stuff I bought!! Because this is a collective haul (a buncha stuff from everywhere) I won’t be going into details on each product. But keep your eyes peeled for a March Favorites!! Hope you enjoy!

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Becca Aqua Luminous Perfecting Foundation- I bought mine in the shade Light, though I could’ve gone with Fair. But it is fixin to be summer so I figured Light would match me better in the months to come!

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Stila One Step Correct Primer- I have been on the hunt for a good silicone primer that doesn’t break me out. The lady at Sephora recommended me this one, I must say I love it!

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Hourglass Arch Brow Sculpting Pencil- AMAZING. So glad I splurged on this!

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IT Cosmetics Brushes #131 (Serum Foundation) and #103 (Blurring Concealer)- Have been in desperate need of some new brushes. I can’t wait to buy more from ITC. 🙂

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Sephora Rouge Lipstick in Seduce- I bought this because it looked a similar shade to Canvas by Hourglass but it’s not:( I do like it though!

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OPI Mimosas for Mr. and Mrs.- Bought this because it looked similar to Essie’s Topless and Barefoot, but I think their Tiramisu for Two polish is more similar… (ignore the cat washi tape ;P)

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Wet n Wild Lipsticks in Bare it All and Rose Bud- I loovvee wnw lipsticks. Bare it all has been my go to lately.

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Wet n Wild Illuminating Palette- I have never tried a powder highlight before (only creams) so I bought this at Walgreens! Loving it!

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Wet n Wild Flat Top brush- (Can you tell I like wnw products?;) I needed a new bronzer brush and this one was on sale!

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Neutrogena Clear Face Sunscreen- I needed a sunscreen for this summer (I don’t own one for my face.) Hoping it doesn’t break me out like it claims it won’t!

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Hello Beautiful Body Spray from Bath and Body Works- I’m actually really surprised I haven’t bought the full size of this yet… It is floraly yet musky too… I loooveee it!

Hope you enjoyed this post! Maybe you seen something you want or you already love! Any questions than let me know!!

xoxo, Bryonna