Inspired By Friday Vol. 2

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Inspired By Friday Vol 2

These two fellas just make my heart so happy! In the picture above, we went to see the Cowboys practice during training camp. It was my son's first "professional sporting event," and he LOVED it.

In other news, this palette by PUR Cosmetics may be my new fall palette. I love all of the warm tones in this palette, plus, it's talc-free and it won't break the bank.

This video by Jackie Aina, and this video by Too Much Mouth are my favorites this week. Finally, some suggestions for nude lipsticks for women of color! I get so tired of brands creating "nude" products that only come in beige. But that's another complaint for another day. I can't wait to try some of the Mented lipsticks that both lovely ladies mentioned.

I NEED to take a trip to Scotland to see this Harry Potter shop! If you didn't know, I love all things Harry Potter. It's my favorite book series of all time, and any Harry Potter experience I can have, I am down for it.

This outfit by Cara Loren is everything. I love everything about it. I love the boots, I love the dress, and the Louis, of course. Give me one of everything, please!

This skirt from the LC Lauren Conrad Runway Collection is gorgeous. It's perfect for fall and it's not that expensive (and it's on sale!), so I may have to do a little shopping ;-)

Cheers to the Freakin' Weekend,
LesLeigh J.

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How We Can Continue to Help Houston

Image by Scott Olson/Getty Images,  Via

Image by Scott Olson/Getty Images, Via

I was born and raised in the Houston area, so the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey is close to my heart. My family still lives there and I am so incredibly thankful that they were not hurt and that their homes didn't suffer any damage.

That's not the case for a lot of people. While the death toll was relatively low (praise God), many people lost everything, and at the very least, a lot of people have water damage to their homes and vehicles. 

Houston and the surrounding affected cities still need our help. Some suburbs are in recovery-mode, meaning they need cleaning supplies.

Some places are still in relief-mode, meaning that they still need food and water, personal hygiene products, feminine hygiene products, toilet paper, Kleenex, underwear and clothing, socks. People also need baby supplies like diapers, wipes, baby clothes, and baby food.

You can also donate pet food, as many people don't have a way to feed their pets right now, and that includes livestock like horses and cattle.

If you would prefer to donate money, you can always donate to the J.J. Watt Foundation or the Salvation Army. For more information on how/where to donate, see this article.

Please donate something. Anything will help. And if you can't donate money or food, consider donating your time if you live in Texas and can get to a place providing relief and support. 

In times like these, we're reminded that we're all in this together, that we all have a bond because we're human, and that we're meant to give love and support whenever and however we can.

And, as always, you can pray for the people affected by Harvey. Let's also pray for Florida, and that they are kept safe from Hurricane Irma.

Cheers,
LesLeigh J.

Tuesday Thoughts: Freedom

Tuesday Thoughts-Freedom

I've been thinking a lot lately about freedom. What it means, and more importantly, how it feels. What does it feel like to be free, without all the baggage weighing you down?

After the consistent stress and change that has been the last few years of my life, I'm finally in a season where I can take a breath. I finally have the chance to think, reflect, heal. I'm learning so much about my marriage, about motherhood, about what I hope for in friendship, about my faith, and about myself.

In all of my thinking and reflecting thus far, I've been confronted with the desire to feel free. I want to feel free. Free to be myself, free to live the life I choose, free to work a career I want, free to love my family to the best of my abilities. 

For a long time, I feel like I lived my life according to what other people wanted from me or what they thought I should do. I became a the person I thought people wanted instead being fully myself. And after years of being that person, I lost who I am.

Now I'm trying to rediscover myself, my hopes and dreams, my goals, my life. I'm getting to know myself again. It's both terrifying and amazing. I'm learning things that I love about me, things that have always been there but that I'm finding all over again. And I'm learning about things that I don't quite like, things I want to get rid of or change.

I think self-discovery is a lifelong process. As we change, as we go through life and experience different things, both good and bad, we grow and become a little more different all the time. I'm not the same girl I was 10 years ago, and I wouldn't want to be.

I'm excited to get to know myself again, and see where self-discovery leads. If nothing else, it's sure to be an adventure...

Cheers,
LesLeigh J.

Inspired By Friday Vol. 1

The Inspired Life-Inspired By Friday

I know it's been a hot minute since I've posted regularly! I've been wading through a lot of life change (again), but now I'm ready to hop back in the saddle with regularly scheduled programming.

I decided to start a new series called Inspired By Friday, where I share things that I've found inspiring throughout the week! 

Inspired by Friday Vol. 1

This is my favorite and most inspiring image of the week, by far! It so perfectly captures my little man at this age: always on the move! And I may be a little biased, but is he not the most adorable little person EVER?! I can't believe how much he's changing and growing every day. He's constantly displaying new skills and milestones, and though it makes me SO happy, I can't help but miss my tiny, precious little baby. He's much more toddler now than he is a baby and he's certainly keeping me on my toes!

This vintage perfume bottle is beautiful! I've always loved perfume bottles, almost more than I love the actual perfume.

This podcast by Young House Love on sharing your kids on the internet. I've been following John and Sherry of YHL for years, and I love their podcast. This episode was extremely helpful to me because I think all the time about how much I want to share my son on the internet. We have to remember that, even if we choose to share our lives on social media, our children may not be old enough to choose that for themselves, and if they are, they may not want to share their lives anyway. Just something to consider!

This video about the new Dose of Colors DesixKaty Collection. I feel like I NEED everything in the collection (minus the "nude" lip colors for obvious reasons). 

This interesting article from The New Yorker about time-travelling with words. When I get some free time, I'm going to have to go to this section myself and learn some new (or old) words!

This diffuser is so cute! If you've seen this post or this post, then you know of my love for essential oils. I have been on the hunt for less expensive, high quality diffusers lately, as the Young Living ones are pretty pricey. This one is so chic looking, but appears to be high quality.

Cheers to the Freakin' Weekend,
LesLeigh J.

*This post contains affiliate links.*

I'm a Liability...

Do you ever listen to a song and relate to it so much that it makes you cry? Makes you feel so much yourself that you almost can't handle it?

I feel that way about one of Lorde's new songs, Liability. Musically, it's a simple song, with the same chords played repeatedly, but lyrically, it is magic for my soul. However, the fact that I can relate to it is both a blessing and a curse because of the content of the song. On one hand, I think to myself "I don't feel this way anymore. I've grown past this." But on the other hand, it feels as real as if I'd written the words with her.

So I guess I’ll go home
Into the arms of the girl that I love,
The only love I haven’t screwed up.
She’s so hard to please but she’s a forest fire...
— Liability by Lorde

Sometimes, I feel like I'm the only person who gets me, like I'm the only one who can handle all the mess I have going on. I find interpersonal relationships incredibly difficult (who doesn't?), but I understand my relationship with myself. I know what to do to take care of me. It's taking care of others, or maintaining my half of a relationship (any relationship) that's the real test. 

Many times, it feels like I'm a failure at every kind of relationship you can have. Daughter, sister, wife, mom, friend...
There are days when I don't feel l'm good at a single one of those roles.

They say, ‘You’re a little much for me
You’re a liability
You’re a little much for me’
So they pull back, make other plans
I understand, I’m a liability...
I’m a little much for everyone
— Liability by Lorde

It's funny how we can simultaneously feel like too much and not nearly enough. I feel like women struggle with this more than men, unless men do and they just don't talk about it. But often, I feel like I am too much for everyone I know, and they quit because I'm not worth it, or they secretly want to quit but they don't want to hurt me. 

At the same time, I feel like I'm never enough. I don't measure up. I can't do anything right. I'm a complete failure. I mean, this is the rhetoric that's on replay inside my mind at times. 

I come out feeling like, either way you slice it, I'm not worth the risk or the struggle. I'm a liability.

My wonderful husband tells me all the time that I'm "worth it," and I so appreciate him for that. But sometimes, I just can't shake the voice that says "Don't let them see everything! Cover up the messy stuff. Don't let them know you're struggling. Slap on a smile and keep it together!"

That voice is the same one that tells me I'm both too much and not enough. 

The hardest part is that, sometimes, I agree with it...

-LesLeigh J.

How to Celebrate the 4th of July When You're Not Proud to Be an American

Fourth of July

Before I dive into this post, I want to remind anyone reading of my comment policy. I always welcome constructive criticism, but please be kind.

I haven't felt much like celebrating America for a little over a year now. With all the things that have been happening in this country, it's made it difficult for me to feel proud to be an American. That's something that's hard to explain to some people because American pride is so ingrained in us from an early age. 

If you're like me and are a part of one of the marginalized people groups in this country, it can often feel like America isn't even home. But, this is where I was born, and it is my home, and instead feeling saddened all the time at the state of our country, I want to take some time to share how you can celebrate, even if you don't necessarily feel like there's much to be celebrated.

1. Be Thankful for Service Men and Women

I have many family members, friends, and former mentors who have served or currently are serving in the military, and I am so incredibly thankful to and for them. Serving in the military is a sacrifice, whether you die in action or not. Service men and women give up time with their own families and loved ones to protect our freedoms, so we can safely spend time with our loved ones, and I am so grateful to them for that sacrifice and bravery. So I will be thinking of all Service Men and Women on Tuesday

2. Be Grateful for the Freedoms We Have in America

I may not always be proud to be an American, but I'm grateful that I'm free to express that. I'm grateful that I have to freedom to say that I'm dissatisfied with, or even grieved at the state of my country. I'm grateful that I get to worship Jesus Christ freely and openly, and that it's not a crime. There are many countries in the world where certain religions are outlawed, and where questioning/criticizing the government could mean jail time or death. So I'm thankful for the rights and freedoms that I have as an American citizen.

3. Be Mindful of the Work Still to be Done

There is still a lot of work to be done in America so that everyone can truly feel safe here. The rights of many law-abiding citizens are still being threatened, and that's not okay. So much reform is needed, and there is a lot that's wrong. But instead of being weighed down by all that's bad and wrong, I've decided to remember what's right and to work towards what's right every day. Progress is slow, but it will happen.

4. Be Hopeful for the Next Generation

There is always, always, ALWAYS hope that the next generation will do better than the previous one. No generation ever has or ever will get life completely right because mankind is not perfect. No matter what religion, spirituality, or philosophy you subscribe to, I think we can all agree that no one is perfect. But we can always have hope that the next generation will learn from our mistakes, learn what worked and what didn't, and that they'll strive to be better than the ones that came before them. It's like hoping your kids will be better off and happier than you were. I hope that the generation after mine is incredible and that they do amazing things, not just in America, but all over the world.

I hope this has been helpful or inspiring to someone out there. Please know that I am in no way saying that America is the worst country out there. No country gets it perfect because, again, humanity is not perfect. But I just wanted to say that, even with so many terrible things happening in the world, there is always something to be positive about and something good to hope for.

Have a Blessed Fourth of July!

Cheers,
LesLeigh J.