Water your grass.

Social media is hard.

I’m not talking about the ever changing algorithms, shadow bans, relevant hashtags etc. (though those things are HARD). I’m talking about the whole comparison thing.

There are a few bloggers I hate follow. That’s what I call it. Hate following. These bloggers make my eyes roll from here all around the world. I look at their pictures and judge them and screenshot pictures and text other people judge-y things about them. A few months ago I admitted something about the #1 girl I hate follow. If she said “Stephanie! I’ll be in Portland! Come be my tour guide for the weekend!” I’d drop everything and go hang out with her.

The driving part of my hate following? Envy. Jealousy. Insecurity. I think this girl isn’t anything special, I think I’m nothing special, and yet somehow she is making money by being not special and I’m stuck staring at an “Add New Post” screen, trying to convince myself that any of my blog ideas are worth typing out.

Her income continues to grow. Her following and influence continues to grow.

and I’m sitting here sipping my iced coffee all alone, watching judging her Instagram stories and dreaming about one day making a consistent profit it off my blog. Healthy, right?

I made a goal to read a book of the Bible this month and since I have less than a week later, I decided I should do it. Like right now at this moment. Which meant it had to be a quick “easy” read. Easy in that there weren’t a lot of words, not that it was a light beach read. I decided… eh, how about 1 Peter. Just because I’ve read it but I can’t think of anything it says so that means it will be new to me.

This literally jumped out of the pages at me:

Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and deceit, hypocrisy, envy and slander of every kind. (1 Peter 2:1)

I stopped to think about it. That envy word. I thought of this blog post. I typed in the title and then felt convicted to not get distracted from finishing the book. Then I got to this part, the words of Psalms repeated in the letter from Peter:

“Whoever would love life and see good days must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from deceitful speech.
He must turn from evil and do good; he must seek peace and pursue it.”

U.G.H.

Those two parts weighed so heavy on my heart. As I sat thinking about them, all I could think of was the idea of watering my grass. Not literal, but you know. When I sit and sip my iced coffee, cynicism leaking out of my heart, hate following the landscaping on someone else’s yard, you know what happens to mine? IT. DIES. It gets neglected and ugly and looks even less like what I’m wishing it was.

I was reminded of a Bob Goff quote I saved on my phone a few weeks ago:

Bob Goff Quote // stephanieorefice.net

The way to battle this really ugly envy I have growing inside of me is to, like Bob Goff says, be captivated with purpose. Or, as one of my favorite musicians, Jonny Lang, sings:

Jonny Lang Lyric // stephanieorefice.net

Instead of spending all of my energy hate following other people and then finding my creative energy tank run dry when it’s time for me to pour into my own stuff, I need to just patch the hate follow holes in my heart and my soul. It’s crazy how envy can really be the poison of your soul – it’s hard to be excited about anything you do, because you’re always comparing it or wondering if it’s as good or deciding it’s better and then trying to figure out why it has less appeal than someone else’s.

Y’all it feels so good to get this off of my chest. It’s been like a quiet, secret, invisible poison that’s been stifling my creativity and my joy.

Anyway. Social media is hard because I just see all the things and it makes me feel all the things, and a lot of those things aren’t good. I’m going to scroll less and blog more. Double click less and post pics more. Just work on my own thing without worrying about what other people are doing for awhile.

Have you ever felt this? Help me out with ideas of how you’ve combatted it.


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July 24, 2017
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The rearview.

Last year I shared that one of my friends was sick. Before I left for Nashville, she was finally relieved of the cancer. My friend Donna, who has been so important to me, is gone.

I’ve been praying for her to have a baby for 8 years. I have physically (and awkardly tbh) put my hands on her stomach and prayed for her insides. All I can wonder is if the cancer was already growing in her brain at that time, and why would the Holy Spirit lead me to put my hands on her stomach and pray for her if this is what was going to happen.

All of those tears. and prayers. and this is where we’re at. Well, where I’m at.

Donna was my waiting person. While she desired and longed for a baby, I desired and longed for a husband. Thinking about my wedding feels really empty these days. Not my marriage. I’m looking forward to my life with Justen, but when I think about the actual day of my wedding I just feel overwhelmed with sorrow and heartache. Eight years ago, Donna and I met in this Waiting Room of our lives and she’s gone but I’m still sitting here dreading the day I walk towards Justen and turn back and see an empty chair. All in my heart, obviously, but still. There is a huge hole in my heart. and I am not the only one. Donna was so loved, because she was such a wonderful, loving person. Loving Donna and being loved by her has changed my life.

So I dread the day I walk ahead without her.

I committed to praying for Donna so often that I even wrote her name on my rearview mirror. You can imagine how hard the drive was the day I got the news of her tumor, always seeing her name each time I glanced back.

As I’ve been processing and beginning the grieving process (what an awful rollercoaster) I keep thinking about that picture and I had this realization.

Moving forward and stepping forward isn’t just about keeping your eyes glued straight ahead.

We are actually taught that we need to keep our current position in context. Sneak a peek at your side mirrors, watch where you’re going, and check your rearview mirror to see what’s behind you. The stuff behind you is literally a part of moving forward. Donna can’t physically go forward with me anymore. No more out of the blue Facebook messages at the very moment I need them the most. No more walks around camp talking about how much waiting can suck sometimes. No more tears shared between us. No more messages seeing how she’s doing as our camp friends announce the pregnancies she’ll whole-heartedly celebrate. Those things aren’t going to happen again.

But they’re never going to have not happened. They’re never going to be erased from my life, their impact never going to be undone because they’ve ceased happening. I get to glance at them and keep steering forward.

What an absolute treasure it has been to know Donna Parkinson. May all of you know someone so wonderful and cherish them (AND TELL THEM) every single day.


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July 21, 2017
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Five Friday Faves | Pocket Change | July 14, 2017

If you know me I am down with the free pocket change. It adds up. There are entire websites dedicated to how to earn pennies (LITERALLY The Penny Hoarder) but seriously who has time to go through and try all of their suggestions (Justen Martian often tries stuff he reads on there LOL)?

I’ve spent time looking at a lot of “earn money by doing this” apps/sites/etc, and I’ve compiled my five favorite ones that require very little effort and whose rewards I’ve benefitted from.

001. SWAGBUCKS {site + app}

Swagbucks is my first “earn free gift cards” love. I just added up how much I’ve earned from Swagbucks in the 7ish years I’ve been a member and… get ready for this… I’ve earned $425 in PayPal cash and/or gift cards. WHAT! That’s SO MUCH MONEY. Swagbucks is pretty easy: you search + earn points. You can take surveys, daily polls and even link your debit card to earn money at connected retailers. I haven’t been using it as much recently (so dumb of me) but it’s seriously my favorite way to make money doing something I’d be doing anyway (searching the internet)

002. EBATES {site + app}

I first started noticing Ebates on Mattie’s budget recaps. She had money she was earning for shopping online and I was kind of mind-blown. Swagbucks offers Swagbucks for shopping, but this was like real money with no real threshold and I was intrigued. I really started using it last fall and since then, I’ve made $170.40 just by installing the Ebates button on Safari and clicking it before I check out on any site. I LOVE that you earn 7% back when you shop on iTunes – before I buy anything on iTunes, I go to the Ebates app, click through and then enjoy getting some change back just for buying music I was going to buy anyway!

003. SHOPKICK {app}

Last week I was at the store and took the twins on a scavenger hunt to find things and scan them. They had fun and I earned points to redeem for a gift card. So far I’ve earned $65 in free gift cards simply by opening the app when I’m wandering around the mall (you get kicks just for walking in to certain stores!) and scanning things. Often when we’re at Target and I’m looking at stuff, Justen will take my phone and go get some kicks for me.

004. SEASHELLS {site}

Okay Seashells is pretty brilliant. You buy gift cards online and you receive cash back for them. Want to know the best part? Some of them stack! For example, when I need to buy new ink for my printer, I buy a $40 Staples gift card. Then I go to staples.com and activate Ebates. I choose to pick them up in the store, saving on shipping, and then I’ve received cash back for the gift card AND cash back for Ebates. They have Amazon, iTunes (stacking potential there!), Chipotle (omg praise hands), Red Robin, Regal Cinemas, Home Depot, Walmart and Uber… to name a few. If you join using my code (mw1llubX), you’ll get $5!

005. RECEIPTPAL {app}

Last Justen checked, ReceiptPal isn’t accepting new members. He uses something similar, ReceiptHog. I love ReceiptPal because all I have to do is scan receipts and I earn points to be redeemed for Gift Cards. I recently connected my e-mail address so I automatically get points for any receipts that come to my e-mail inbox – including my Poshmark sales! That is AMAZING, because I’m earning money for gift cards just by making money! I love it so much.

There are tons and tons of ways to earn some pocket change online (that’s what I love to call these apps/sites because do you KNOW the power of saving your change for a year and then cashing it out for $110 unexpected dollars? it’s so exciting!), but these are my 5 favorite that have consistently paid out.

Have you signed up for any of these or am I missing some other great way you’re collecting pocket change?! Let me know in the comments!


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July 14, 2017
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Empties Volume 12 part 2

Okay y’all for the first time EVER I’m being SO INCREDIBLY DILIGENT about using up my beauty products. I mean, I seriously have been kind of amazed by how I’ve actually been able to try Birchbox samples and how I’ve decided that if I don’t like a product, I won’t force myself to use it I will just THROW IT THE HECK AWAY.

That said, I’m prepared to start my year of monthly Empties posts… BUT FIRST… lemme finish the last one, aight?! By waiting months and months and months, I end up with a long boring list of empty products and it drives me nuts. I end up doing empties posts out of necessity (i.e. I can’t shove any more into the little box I keep them in) when I really work best with the thought of “I need to have something to show for this month.” Seeing my little pile growing makes me excited to share them. But again. Let me go back to the lat one I was doing and wrap that up first.

The Body Shop Eye Shadow 
So I went to The Body Shop to buy the banana shampoo/conditioner I wrote about in the last post, and was greeted with a Buy 2 get 1 free sale. I ended up randomly picking out this eye shadow, which I ended up LOVING. It was a shimmery gold color and was so good to me down to the very last part.

Dr. Jart+ BB Cream 
This used to be the allstar of my beauty routine but has been out shadowed in the past year by Root Pretty, which I’ll write about. I discovered this through Birchbox (y’all, I suck at beauty/makeup and have LOVED learning through Birchbox) This BB Cream is smooth and not shiny and is a really great product.

NYC Cheek Glow in a color I’m not sure of anymore.
I desperately need help with blush. How do you use it? Like… so serious. I had this kind of rose colored blush for a long time, and then it ran out. This was so good to me for the price (it’s a drugstore brand, which is perfect for a person who has NO IDEA what they’re doing LOL)

Benefit The Porefessional
YEP. EVERY DAY OF MY LIFE. I use this literally EVERY day. It’s a little tinted, which I love. It does a really great job of minimizing pores without being greasy or heavy and it’s great for under makeup or even on its own. I love this stuff and cannot imagine my life without it. I randomly grabbed the smaller travel size while I was in line at Ulta one day, and it literally changed my life.

ELF Lip Balm Tint
Who even knows what shade this is. I threw it away because I’m over it. I don’t like it. Hard pass.

Root Pretty Pretty Booster
Okay that’s the little bottle AND most of those little tubes on the side. One of the things I LOVE about Root Pretty is that they allow you to buy little samples of like ALL OF THEIR PRODUCTS. When I was trying to find the right Pretty Balm, I tried a bunch of slightly different shades until I found the one that was juuust right. And I have never looked back. 😀 The little white tubs are of the powder. It’s taken me awhile to find the best shade for me in their powder… even after thinking I discovered it, I bought a full sized powder, then ordered one more sample color and realized the sample color was so much better than the full sized powder. Mixing them together for now. 🙂 {REMEMBER you can get 10% of your first purchase of $25 or more if you use my link}

Benefit Posie Balm
I wish I could remember what color this was. I got this in a Birchbox and I LOVED it. I loved the teeniest tint, because I honestly CANNOT do bold lip colors at all. Some people can rock that but I am not one of those people. which is why that bold coral Cynthia Rowley lip gloss right next to it was a HARD PASS.

True Organics Clay Mask
I’ve said it once, twice, and I’ll say it forevermore: most masks are the same to me. This is the same. Except I have this one bucket list mud mask: the GlamGlow one.  It’s like HECKA expensive but I’ve wanted to try it for like 5 years. Maybe one day I’ll splurge?

Also those 4 perfumes? The only opinion I can give you is this: I don’t care how ‘basic’ this makes me, but I FREAKING LOVE ALL THE JUICY COUTURE SCENTS, most especially the regular one. It was my signature smell like 10 years ago and I still smell it at the store and think “oh I love you, Juicy Couture.” Maybe that will be my gift to myself when I’ve finally rid myself of mountains of beauty products and smelly things.

WE DID IT.

We finished the 12th Installment of Empties. Holy Crap, this is probably the most consistent thing my blog has ever seen. I’ve been doing them off and on for over 3 years! On my 101 list is a goal to do one a month for a year, and I think I am SO READY to start that this month.

Shop the post:


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July 10, 2017
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Five Friday Faves | July 7, 2017

HAPPY FRIDAY, Y’ALL!

For whatever reason, I feel like I kind of got back into a blogging groove.

I’m planning on switching things up on the blog – I know, I know, I’m always planning on that – but this one is in preparation of ending the year not as Stephanie Orefice any more (cue the sobs and drop me a line to tell me how y’all handled changing your name after you got married!). Because of that, I’ve been deep into the shopping around for a new theme and designing some new looks and stuff. Which means I’ve been looking at my blog a LOT, and I’ve been kind of falling back in love with it.

So today I wanted to bring you FIVE of my FAVORITE things at the moment.

001. PRINTABLE HAPPIES // etsy ;; instagram ;; facebook

I connected with Allyson on Instagram late last year, and I have LOVED watching her product catalog grow and have been waiting to order some stuff from her online, and then we got coffee and she brought me an adorable mug + some goodies.

The adorable mug:

Printable Happies Coffee Mug // stephanieorefice.net

Also, adorable us. 🙂 and YES, Allyson was wearing a Printable Happies shirt and I thought that was the CUTEST THING EVER.

She showed me a product she was about to launch and I literally lost my mind. I texted Justen IMMEDIATELY and told him I’d be buying one for us. She launched them early yesterday and I 100% purchased this door mat because IT IS PERFECT.

 

Um… right? You can buy it + peruse her other great stuff on her Etsy store here (and tell her I sent ya’!).

 

 

002. ALL THINGS HARRY POTTER

Yeah, so I just finished the Harry Potter series and I’ve been writing a blog post about that for next week, but I’m seriously all about Harry Potter. Let’s talk Harry, Hogwarts, Hallows, Hagrid, Hermoine, Horcruxes… help me out, what other H words? Horace Slughorn? Herbology? Hit me with all the H HP words!

Justen and I are going to go to Universal Studios on our honeymoon (WHICH MEANS THE WIZARDING WORLD OF HARRY POTTER) and I’m EVEN MORE excited than I was before, if that’s possible. I canNOT wait to try some butterbeer!

 

 

003. MY NEW POLYMAILERS

Super lame, I know but I am OBSESSED with the polymailers I got for my Poshmark sales. I’ve been playing with fire and maintaining two inventories, one here in Nash and one in Vancouver, hoping that nobody will bundle any items from the two. Once people starting purchasing from my inventory here, I had to pick up some polymailers because the big post office boxes were NOT cutting it. I was torn between these and watermelon ones, but I’m SO GLAD I got these. How pretty are they?! Heart eyes emoji.

 

 

004. HOMEMADE MOCHA ISAGENIX SHAKES

Late May I signed up for Isagenix and have been using their shakes throughout my day. I started with the Vanilla Chai and HATED the chocolate ones, but I started substituting the water for cold coffee and OMG. It’s like having my own mocha shake! They recently released a mocha flavored shake, and I bought two canisters… wasn’t that impressed. My homemade mocha shake is where it’s at. Also… I’m not going to be salesy about Isagenix or anything but if you ever want to chat about it, I’d love to talk to you about it and I know someone who is a fountain of Isagenix wealth. Even if you want your own protein powder… forgo the water and mix with chocolate and you’re welcome.

 

 

005. WEDDING SHOES

Y’all I am OBSESSED with trying to find my wedding shoes. I found a pair of Topshop gold glitter shoes for sale on Poshmark and LOST MY MIND, but they weren’t in my size and I couldn’t find them in my size ugh. So then I decided to just start trying to find a good pair of wedding shoes. I found some and went back and they’d sold out… and weren’t available online! Help a sister out – hit me up with ALL the pink or gold glittery shoes. I don’t necessarily want flats, but they can be flat. I never knew something like this would be such a hassle! I’m LOVING getting to see all of the pretty options, though!

 

 

Alright. I’m out. What are a few of your favorite things at the moment? ANYTHING. Foods, outfits, smells, pictures… drop me a line and let me know!


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July 7, 2017
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