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August Goals

Time to look back on last month’s goals and set goals for the month ahead. Y’all ready?! ๐Ÿ˜€

July Goals

  1. Finish the Harry Potter series
  2. Post 5 blog posts {1, 2, 3, 4, 5}
  3. Read a book of the Bible 1st Peter
  4. Send 5 letters {1. Justen 2. my mom 3. Ellen}
  5. Visit a church in Tennessee
    It just wasn’t a priority, and that’s just being honest.
  6. Visit 2 coffee shops {1. Billy Goat Coffee Cafe 2.ย Rembrandt Coffee}
  7. Hit $3,000 in Poshmark sales {2,793 as of 7/30/17}
    Visiting Washington and then packing for going home is what held this back, I think. At some point I stopped listing new inventory and packed a bunch of stuff, meaning all of my inventory wasn’t accessible for shipping and had to be marked as not for sale. It was a small hiccup, so I’m not beating myself up over this.
  8. Get a manicure
    I decided I actually didn’t want to spend the money. Insert the shrug emoji right here.
  9. Buy 3 things for the wedding {3 of 3}
  10. Make macarons

Okay so it was MEANT TO BE – I saw my sweet friend Amber post a picture of some macarons she’d just baked and a light bulb went off in my head because making macarons was on my 101 list! I added it to my July Goals and asked if she’d be down to help – which she was! She surprised me with the flavor (coconut mocha WHAT!) and helped me make them. They were so tasty and now I feel like I could make a fair attempt at making macarons on my own. Who knew they were so specific in how they’re made?!

Coconut Mocha Macarons // justalittlebitlouder

Total June goals accomplished: 60%

Thaaat’s a D-. Yikes! Barely passing, haha.

August Goals // justalittlebitlouder

August Goals

  1. List all of my Poshmark inventory
  2. Hit $4,000 in Poshmark sales
  3. Post 10 blog posts
  4. Read 2 books
  5. Redo my Whole 30 mocha post
  6. Make a list of 25 things I like about myself
  7. Try a new recipe
  8. Get rid of all but 50 pens
  9. Get rid of all but 5 nail polishes
  10. Buy fresh flowers

Here’s what’s up with these goals, y’all. In case you missed it, Justen and I got an apartment (YAY!) that I’ll be moving into as soon as I get myself back home. I’m currently 100% unsure about my whole income situation, so I’m looking at this transition as if I’m going to have to work. my. butt. off. Poshmark has been going well for me, and I have a bunch of inventory to list (it’s only $0.80/lb in Nashville, y’all!!!) so I’m going to dream big and work hard. It’s scary but exciting.

My goals are partially related to all of that. They’re all about putting up guardrails to protect myself from apathy and move myself more towards the mental/physical/emotional space I’m wanting to be at.

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Things I will not be taking to our apartment.

I’m really excited about this, y’all.

Justen and I have found the place we’ll live in after we’re married (AND THEY APPROVED US TO LIVE THERE). Insert that happy crying emoji RIGHT HERE.

I’ve been wanting to find a place that wasn’t cookie cutter. I didn’t want the same cream carpet and beige walls and brown cabinets. I wanted character and charm and something that was different. I’ve been trolling listings for awhile and FREAKED OUT about this one. Justen went to see the apartment, we decided to apply, and then about a week later we found out we’re approved and get the keys right after we get back.

Oh and… I haven’t ever actually seen it. Justen FaceTimed me while he walked through it, and I loved it, but still. My first time seeing the apartment is when I’m bringing stuff into it to move in (I’ll be moving in first).

But y’all. It’s located above an antique store on a cute little downtown street we’ve visited many times before. It has hardwood floors and an exposed brick wall in the kitchen and pretty white doors. I’d show you the pictures but they just don’t seem to do it justice. It’s within walking distance of a $5 theater, a coffee shop that serves Monin coconut syrup, and a bakery with the best nitro cold brew I’ve ever had. AND IT IS ABOVE AN ANTIQUE STORE.

So anyway. When I get home, I’ll be packing my stuff up to move in. and you know what I’m excited about? I’m excited about a blank slate in which to not put a bunch of crap. It’s like the ultimate act of decluttering. Do I take the crap or not?

I’ve already begun to think about what I will not be taking with me to our new home.

6 things i will not be taking to our apartment // just a little bit louder

  • More than 5 bottles of nail polish
    One of my 101 in 1001 items is to get rid of all but 5 bottles of nail polish and not buy any more until I use them all up. This seems like the absolute best time to do this. While there is something really definitively girly about having eighteen zillion shades of pink nail polish, I will never be able to use them up. They will always win. It’s a small victory over clutter and I’m going to claim it.

 

  • Bread and Milk
    If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll have seen the post I made about being ready to do Whole30 in September. A few years ago I was 100% rocking the gluten/dairy-free lifestyle. It was my jam (on gf bread, of course). After my last Whole30, idk what happened. I went food crazy and I’ve been eating all the crap. Having empty cupboards and an empty fridge gives me the opportunity to NOT put things in there. Things like bread and milk and cheese. Instead, I can stock foods that are 100% good to put in my body and not have to worry about it.

 

  • More than 50 pens
    This was also on my 101 in 1001 list – to get rid of all but 50 pens. Justen wrote me a letter earlier this summer and in it mentioned that he didn’t have many pens and would have to get more. I freaked and told him NO WAY JOSE, because I have more pens than I should! Again, it’s that same setting myself up for a small clutter victory thing. Instead of bringing all infinityzillion (made that up) of my pens and then deciding what to keep, I’ll only bring what I’m going to keep.

 

  • Samples
    This is a big one, y’all. Today I was using up a teeny tiny bottle of cleanser I got in a Birchbox a few months ago and I realized that I need to just clean slate the samples. I’ve been trying to be more diligent with using them up, but there’s no way I’ll be able to get this under control. Honestly, I just need to go through and only bring the makeup/products I actually use, and then it will be a joy and not a burden to receive new samples in the mail each month. This one might be hard.

 

  • Trinkets I’ve kept out of sentimentality
    I’m the worst at keeping things because they were gifts. I have a really hard time getting rid of gifts, no matter how small or insignificant. Over the course of my life, I have collected quite the trinket collection. But since this will be Justen’s home too, I don’t want for him to have to be surrounded by tiny clutter-y gifts people have given me over my lifetime. I’ve spent a lot of time and energy taking care of these items and now it’s time to say goodbye to them and move on.
  • Books I’ll probably never read
    Whenever someone offers to loan me a book, I lose my mind. I have so many books, y’all. Books can be so cheap if you buy them at second hand bookstores, garage sales or thrift store 1/2 off days. Like the trinkets, I’ve accumulated a collection of books I’ll probably never read. Instead of bringing them with me to be a constant, daily reminder of how I don’t read as much as I should, I’m just going to put them back into the second hand bookstore, garage sale, thrift store cycle.

I’m sure that as I’m packing things up, I’ll find more things that aren’t worth taking with me – any suggestions? I’ll keep y’all updated. It’s like the biggest, most efficient decluttering ever. Just don’t take stuff. I love it and I’m so excited.

Plus.

This apartment, you guys.

 

I’ll take more pictures once I step into it and see it for myself ๐Ÿ˜‰

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July Empties {v13}

Justen and I have started the task of apartment hunting (YAYYYYYYY!!!!!). I’m a little overwhelmed with the thought of packing everything up and moving out, but I’m also really excited. Honestly, it will be the best thing to help me declutter. It’s one thing to see hundreds of things and decide to keep or put back or organize or something, and it’s another thing to start with an empty space and have to choose to make it cluttery. Cluttery is a new word I just made up, fyi.

Coming to Nashville, I brought a bunch of small sample products so that I could use up more of them while I’m here. I’ve been keeping them in a little drawer in the bathroom and the drawer was getting hard to open, so I figured it’s time to share what I’ve used up in the past two months. I’m trying to do these once a month for a year, so get used to seeing my garbage more often, haha.

I’ve decided to start allowing myself to just THROW THINGS AWAY if I don’t like them. I’m not sure why that’s so freaking hard for me, but it is.

Derma E Scrub
This is one of my favorites. I decided to try a new Derma E scrub after I received a sample of it in Birchbox, but I would and will always recommend this scrub as a product to always have on hand.

Trusted Health Products Amazingly Beautiful Moisturizing Body Serum
I won this from a blog giveaway awhile ago. I’d actually previously won another product from them, which I LOVED and was so excited to win and try. I really love these products. This had an orange scent to it (which Justen noticed and liked, which was a plus!) and it lasted for like… idk… EVER.

Taylor Swift Incredible Things Body Scrub + Body Wash
A few months ago I found this little Taylor Swift gift pack for $4 at Goodwill. Brand new. FOUR DOLLARS. I LOVE the Wonderstruck scent Taylor Swift makes so I assumed I’d like this but… nah. Not really that great. It had kind of a cleaning product scent to it. I’ve used it consistently (just to get rid of it, haha) and it never grew on me.

Simple Micellar Cleansing Water
I got this in a limited edition Birchbox I had ordered, and it had exploded everywhere! I was really looking forward to trying this product so I e-mailed Birchbox and they sent me an entire replacement box! Anyway that’s a random piece of info. I liked this! It was really effective and it lasted a long time. I really love this whole micellar cleansing water thing. Anybody have any tried + true micellar cleansing waters that you’d highly recommend?

Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Oil-Free Gel Cream
Okay so this could be a HUGE coincidence but when I started using this, my face got REALLY dry around my mouth. I’m not sure if it’s because of some other factor, but once I used this up and started using another cream on the dry patches, it healed up. So who even knows.

Vasanti Brighten Up Moisturizer
This was in my string of moisturizers – I liked it. Nothing great. It moisturized and did its job and there you go.

Origins Original Skin Renewal serum
Oh I liked this serum – it wasn’t greasy at all, and it was a little bit tinted which I loved because it wasn’t as obvious if I didn’t rub it in completely. I really like this.

Jurlique Soothing Moisturizing Cream
This stuff was really thick and felt really good applying it, but the smell was awful. Maybe I’ve had it for too long (QUITE POSSIBLE) but yuck. I can’t stop smelling it on my face and I need to immediately wash it off.

Ponds Rejuvenate Wrinkle Cream
I’ve never been able to commit to a moisturizer, and so I’ve supplemented breaks in getting samples from Birchbox with these travel sized Ponds tubs and then I realized that THIS IS AN ANTI WRINKLE CREAM, not just a moisturizer. And again, I’m allowing myself to just throw it away so GOODBYE WRINKLE CREAM THAT ISN’T ACTUALLY A MOISTURIZER.

Those two lipsticks on the left are ones I’m giving to someone else that can rock the bright, bold lipsticks.

Coastal Scents Revealed2 Palette Sampler Ballerina
I actually have the full palette of this! I’m definitely a light/nude/gold/rose gold eye shadow kind of girl, so I used the two colors I love the most and realize that I’ll never use up the last two colors, so I’m just going to toss it here and now. I love this palette because it’s full of really natural colors.

Root G3.5 Pearl Powder Mineral Foundation Sample
The last time I posted an empties recapping the zillions of products I’d been hoarding, I shared that I’d purchased a color of this powder but discovered it wasn’t as great of a match as I’d originally thought so I bought a sample that sealed the deal.

3 Perfume samples
This is from what I’ve written in the Notes app on my phone.

MMM… – Kind of spicy, earthy tones. Has a kick to it.
TokyoMilk – Creamyish scent that I didn’t like.
Other one (I can’t tell what it is!) smelled like cleaner.

Hard pass on all of them.

The Beauty Crop Fabulous Flocking Lashes
I wanted to love this mascara so bad. It’s pink with flamingos, it’s like everything you could ever want in a mascara… oh, except the actual mascara part itself. It was clumpy and then it literally turned into a big swab of mascara – you couldn’t even see the wand. So disappointing.

Olay Fresh Effects BB Cream
I bought this probably way too long ago when I first got into BB Creams and I was traveling and forgot my trusty Dr. Jart+ at home. At first it was too greasy and bronze-y looking, but as I started blending it with other BB creams to tone it down and then eventually started using the Root Pretty powder over it, I actually really started to enjoy this! I won’t buy it again since I LOOOVE the Root Pretty stuff, but I did eventually enjoy this!

Alright y’all, this is month 1 of 12 months of Empties posts. Let’s deplete my beauty sample stash over the next year!

Previous Empties posts here.

Shop some of these products here:

 

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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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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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