Celebrities Speaking Out About Mental Health, Pt. 2

Celebrities Speaking Out About Mental Health, Pt. 2

May is Mental Health Awareness Month. Mental health awareness is a cause that’s close to my heart. I truly believe that speaking up about the reality of mental illness is one of the best way to break the stigma surrounding it. So, who better to speak up than those with some of the most influence in our society? Last year I wrote about seven celebrities who have spoken up about their struggles with their own mental health. This year I decided to do it again, with a specific focus on stars whose stories have helped and inspired me personally. Here are six celebrities who have chosen to be open about their own mental illnesses:

Chris Evans

chris evans

Chris Evans is not only one of my favorite actors, but someone who I have really come to admire as a person. His openness about his struggle with anxiety has definitely played a part in this. Evans, who is best known for playing Captain America, has shared that his high-profile job has contributed to his anxiety. He initially even turned down the role of Captain America, and began going to therapy after beginning the Marvel role. In a video for Motivation Madness, he gave simple yet profound advice about how to quiet “brain noise” – just tell your mind “shh.”

Bebe Rexha

bebe rexha

Singer Bebe Rexha has never been silent about her struggles with mental illness. It’s a topic she addressed in her hit single “I’m A Mess,” with lyrics like, “It’s gonna be a good, good life / That’s what my therapist say” and “I’m obsessed, I’m embarrassed / I don’t trust no one around us.” She also recently shared that she has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder on Twitter, writing, “I’m not ashamed anymore….I love you all very much. And I hope you accept me as I am.”

Carson Daly

carson daly

Carson Daly is the host of The Voice, one of the co-hosts of the Today Show, and recently finished hosting his own late-night talk show, Last Call with Carson Daly. One might assume that his busy schedule means everything is well in Daly’s life, but he has revealed he has generalized anxiety disorder. He says that it helps him to take time to focus on his breathing throughout the day. But his main focus? “I wake up, the alarm goes off, and I just thank God I’ve got another day to get it right and I just worry about today.”

Ariana Grande

ariana grande

Ariana Grande has cemented her status as a pop superstar, but she hasn’t been without her struggles. In 2017, there was a terrorist bombing at her concert in Manchester. The attack deeply affected Grande, who recently shared she has PTSD in a big way – she shared images of her brain scans in her Instagram Story in a side-by-side comparison with scans from a “healthy brain,” all to prove that PTSD is, as she put it, “not a joke.” Grande later said she didn’t want to concern her fans, but wanted to share something she felt was important. And it most certainly is.

Niall Horan

niall horan

Niall Horan was a member of the now permanently on-hiatus boyband One Direction. In the last few years, he has cultivated a relatively successful solo career. However, a lot has changed now that he’s no longer on stage with his four bandmates. Horan has said that he once didn’t even fully believe anxiety was real, but he now struggles with feeling anxious before performing or going on TV. He also has “mild” obsessive compulsive disorder, and “feel[s] like [he] has to do things in a certain way.”

Lady Gagalady gaga

Singer-turned-actress Lady Gaga has never been silent about her mental health. She has had a huge year following the success of her movie, A Star is Born, and she has used her increased fame to shine an even bigger light on bringing awareness to the plight of mental illness. During a speech at the Patron of the Artists Awards, Lady Gaga referenced her diagnoses of dissociation, PTSD, and panic attacks. “We need to share our stories so that global mental health no longer resides and festers in darkness,” she said, referencing the consequences of leaving a taboo surrounding the discussion of mental health. Lady Gaga is one celebrity who is truly leading the way in the fight for better mental health awareness.

{sources: The Mighty | Genius | Health | Today | CNN | Teen Vogue | Teen Vogue | USA Today }
{ image credits: Film Magic/Biography | Getty Images/Elle | Carson Daly on Facebook | One Love Benefit/E! | BBC | Getty Images/Vanity Fair }
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My Winter 2019 Favorites

My Winter 2019 Favorites

winter favs.jpg

It’s that time again. Winter is an undeniably long season, but most recently it was not a good one for me. So, I feel like this list is a bit shorter than usual. Regardless, here are a few of my favorite things from winter 2019…

Movies & TV //

Mary Poppins Returns – “Now my heart is so light / That I think I just might / Start feeding the birds / And go fly a kite!” This movie was simply magical. It filled me with joy, made me cry, and made me want to start singing along during my first watch. Emily Blunt and Lin-Manuel Miranda were perfectly cast. I cannot recommend this enough.

Captain Marvel – O Captain! My Captain! Marvel really can’t stop being the best, can they? They had a lot to live up to with their first female-led film, and they did a fantastic job. Brie Larson was the perfect Captain Marvel, and I can’t wait to see how she fits into the rest of the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe). This was girl power that wasn’t over-the -top and annoying, and just a really fun story. Also, young Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) is kind of the best.

Lost – One day I was just scrolling through Hulu, looking for something new to watch, and I thought, “Why not watch this weird sci-fi show about plane crash survivors?” Even though this show can get a little far out sometimes, it had me hooked from the very first episode. There are so many twists and turns that leave you shocked and wondering if you’ll ever know the truth, and just enough flashbacks to get you invested in the characters’ stories. I may be fifteen years late, but I’m glad I’m finally giving this a try.

Beauty //

Bath & Body Works In The Stars lotion – I promise I am not sponsored by Bath & Body Works. (But I am open to that…) I mean, how can I not try a lot of their products when they have the best coupons ever? Anyways, this scent has become my new favorite from B&BW. It’s warm and felt perfect for the colder months, but I have no doubt that I’ll continue using it in the spring. It also lasts longer than any of their other scents. If you weren’t convinced that I love this, I’ve already used half of the bottle, and I can pretty much never get through those things.

Maybelline Shine Compulsion lipsticks – These are lipsticks with a glossy finish (as the name suggests). While I may still be holding on tight to my matte lip products, I do really like these. The formula is great, and I feel like they have pretty good staying power for a shine finish. My personal favorite shade is “Baddest Beige.”

Makeup Revolution Conceal & Define Concealer – This isn’t my favorite concealer ever, but it’s definitely a good one (and I’m very picky). The formula is nice, the shade range is pretty good, and I love the applicator. I really love all of these emerging drugstore brands that aren’t some of the “big names” – they’re releasing some good stuff.

Books //

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Screenplay by J.K. Rowling – This is the script of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, which means it’s basically like reading a play. I’m not the biggest fan of reading plays because I really like details, so I was a bit hesitant about reading this. But I really loved it! The story is so lovely that it makes up for anything the book may have been missing. If you enjoyed the movie, I’d definitely recommend this.

Sisters First by Jenna Bush Hager and Barbara Pierce Bush – I love the Bush twins and I’ve wanted to pick up this book since it was first released. It did not disappoint. The stories Jenna and Barbara told about their family, their upbringing, and their father and grandfather’s presidencies were entertaining and endearing. I enjoyed getting to know more about both of them and getting a behind-the-scenes look at their lives.

Quotes & Scriptures //

“It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.” – Lamentations 3:22-23

“Be gentle with yourself. You’re doing the best you can.” – Unknown

“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not unto thine own understanding.” – Proverbs 3:5

“Without your past, you could never have arrived – so wondrously and brutally, by design or some violent, exquisite happenstance…here.” – Taylor Swift

Songs //

  • “Light On” by Maggie Rogers
  • “Kingdom” by Carrie Underwood
  • “Rich (Radio Edit)” by Maren Morris
  • “Invisible Ink (Rebecca’s Demo)” by Mandy Moore
  • “Die From A Broken Heart” by Maddie & Tae
  • “Dancing With Our Hands Tied” by Taylor Swift
  • “Last Night’s Mascara” by Brynn Cartelli
  • “One Man Band” by Old Dominion
  • “The Cure” by Little Mix
  • “Defender” by Francesca Battistelli ft. Steffany Gretzinger
  • “Make It Sweet” by Old Dominion
  • “Bridges” by Johnnyswim
The Best Fashion from Awards Season 2019

The Best Fashion from Awards Season 2019

I feel like I’ve used my blog as an opportunity to write about a lot of things I love. There is, however, one topic I have not touched on: fashion. Ever since I was a little girl, I have been fascinated by the world of fashion. I even had my own distinctive style as a child (only dresses, lost of pink, and always a hair bow). Some may see fashion as fickle, but I find it interesting. What’s better than knowing that every day you can express yourself through the clothes you choose to wear? So, it’s not surprising that I’ve come to pay attention to celebrity style and trends. I love watching awards shows, but I love the red carpet specials just as much. I wanted to showcase three women and men (because men’s fashion is much more than penguin suits) who I feel showed exemplary choices with their style during the recent 2019 awards season. From elegant to over-the-top, these are looks that I loved, and I doubt I will soon forget.

Lady Gaga

gaga

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Did Lady Gaga ever wear a bad look on the red carpet this season? (The answer is no.) The singer and actress, who received multiple nominations for her role in A Star is Born, seemed to touch on all of the facets of fashion. There were more simple choices, like the Calvin Klein dress she wore to the Critics’ Choice Awards; the extravagant Valentino gown for the Golden Globes that was a nod to one of Judy Garland’s looks in her version of A Star is Born; and her elegant Academy Awards choice, an Alexander McQueen tribute to Audrey Hepburn’s iconic Breakfast at Tiffany’s style, complete with a giant Tiffany & Co. diamond necklace. Gone are the meat dresses of the past. A fashion star has been born.

Timothée Chalamet

timothee

I don’t think that menswear has to be boring, relegated to black tuxedos and black bowties. Timothée Chalamet apparently agrees with me. Nominated at several awards shows for his role in Beautiful Boy, Timothée went with an eye-catching pattern at the BAFTAs. His Golden Globes look was more subdued, but still featured intricate detailing. For the SAG Awards, it almost looked as if he picked several different pieces from his closet and put them together – but in a good way. Timothée’s future in acting may be bright, but his fashion star is rising as well.

Emma Stone

emma

Emma Stone made the awards show rounds for her role in The Favourite, often clad in Louis Vuitton, for whom she is a brand ambassador. My personal favorite look of hers was the feminine dress she wore to the Golden Globes; she was, in my opinion, definitely one of the best dressed of the night. I also loved her structured pants look for the SAG Awards, and her colorful gown for the Producers’ Guild Awards was a bright spot when many stars tend to shy away from bright color. Just as Emma’s acting career is on the rise, so is her status as a fashion maven.

Chadwick Boseman

chad

Wakanda forever! Chadwick Boseman is a star who’s style I’m always watching; he is anything but boring. He’s known for sporting the occasional long coat, like he did at the Academy Awards. His patterned jacket at the SAG Awards was paired perfectly with an otherwise all-black look. But it was his white Versace suit at the Golden Globes that, quite literally, sparkled. Chadwick is well-known for his role in Black Panther, the first superhero film ever nominated for a Best Picture Oscar, but I feel he will soon be known for his style too.

Julia Roberts

julia

Julia Roberts was not nominated for any awards this season, but that’s no matter – she’s so famous she gets invited to all of the shows anyways. To me, Julia is one of those people who never really looks bad. (Is it even possible?) This year, she showed off her love for pants, something I definitely support. Her Golden Globes look from one of my favorite designers, Stella McCartney, was absolutely stunning, and is by far one of my highlights of the entire 2019 awards season. She wore another lovely look with pants to the Critics’ Choice Awards, designed by Louis Vuitton. For the Academy Awards, she went with an Elie Saab gown that packed a punch in a bright pink color. Definitely a gorgeous year for Ms. Roberts.

Rami Malek

rami

Rami Malek’s popularity exploded this year after his starring role in Bohemian Rhapsody, which he won several awards for. Although, for the most part, he stuck with traditional tuxedo styles on the red carpet, he never shied away from a splash of color. At the Critics’ Choice Awards he went with a light grey option from Givenchy. His choice for the SAG Awards was a sleek all-black look from Dior Men. But his brightest choice was a red Berluti suit for the LA Film Critics Association Awards. After Rami’s warm reception from both critics and audiences, I’m sure this isn’t the last we’ve seen of him, meaning there’s only more exciting red carpet looks to come.

“Style is a way to say who you are without having to speak.”

– Rachel Zoe

{ images & designer information via Hello | ABC | Elle | PeoplePeople | Standard | Vanity Fair | Harper’s Bazaar | Harper’s Bazaar | Popsugar | Popsugar | Yahoo | Popsugar | CBS | The Cut | The Hollywood Reporter | People | People | E! News }
18 Women Who Inspired Me in 2018

18 Women Who Inspired Me in 2018

Last year, one of my favorite posts that I wrote was 17 Women Who Inspired Me in 2017. I decided to keep the trend going this year. Once again, I listed only women who were publicly known for some reason. I also made things harder for myself by not including any women from last year’s list (I’m sorry, Nikki Haley). The 18 women listed below inspired and encouraged me last year, and continue to do so.

  1. Meghan Markle

meghan 2

Let me be clear: I do not find Meghan Markle inspiring because she married a prince and had the greatest wedding ever. The Duchess of Sussex has inspired me because she has used her influence, both as an actress before her wedding, and now with her new status as a princess, to make a difference. She has spoken out about worthy causes, she has joined Prince Harry and his family in their charitable work, and she has broken royal protocol by wearing dark nail polish. That is what makes someone a true princess.

“Women’s suffrage is about feminism, but feminism is about fairness.”

  1. Lauren Daigle

lauren

I don’t know if you all noticed, but Lauren took over the music industry last year. She had an album that reached the top of the iTunes charts, and a song that came very close to doing the same. She has performed on multiple television shows, including The Tonight Show and Dancing with the Stars. Her music has been praised by everyone from Keith Urban to Selena Gomez. Oh, and she’s a Christian music artist. Yes, Lauren Daigle has been successful and won awards, but she’s done it while singing songs about her faith and keeping none of the glory for herself. She is, in my opinion, one of the best examples we could have in today’s world.

“I think the second we start drawing lines around which people are supposed to be approached and which aren’t, we’ve already completely missed the heart of God.”

  1. Aly Raisman

ally

Ally was one of multiple gymnasts abused by former USA Gymnastics physician Larry Nassar. She has not only been vocal in her condemnation of Nassar, but she has also spoken out against USAG and has become a strong advocate for survivors of sexual assault. Ally has inspired so many through her athletic abilities and strong representation of her country in competitions. Now she is taking on a new role, and people everywhere are taking notice.

“You can’t always be the best. You have to remember that everyone makes mistakes sometimes.”

  1. Keala Settle

keala

If you have not seen The Greatest Showman…your life must be really sad…just kidding. But, if you haven’t, then you probably don’t know that Keala played Lettie, the bearded lady, and sang the film’s breakout song, “This Is Me.” Keala has lifted so many through this song, all while fighting a dangerous neurological condition that almost ruined her Oscars performance. But, true to form, she fought through it. This song, and, by extension, Keala, have truly encouraged me.

“I love people that go the distance. I hate things that are lukewarm. They’ve got to be one way or the other and go all the way.”

  1. Abby Sams

abby

Abby was part of one of Aerie’s #AerieReal modeling campaigns, which put young women with disabilities in the spotlight. Among other medical conditions, Abby has POTS, which I have as well. Seeing someone like me model? That was a huge moment for me (that possibly involved some tears). I am forever grateful to both Aerie and Abby for showing the world that disabilities can’t stop you.

“We are made for change. Face it boldly and bravely. You’ve got this and God’s got you. There is nothing to fear in that.”

  1. Ruth Bader Ginsburg

rbg

“You can’t spell truth without Ruth.” I’ve been an admirer of RBG’s for a while now, but in 2018 I became a full-on fangirl (of a SCOTUS justice, yes) when I wrote a paper on the Lily Ledbetter case and the resulting Fair Pay Act, all of which Justice Ginsburg had a hand in. Throw in an amazing documentary, and I had a new hero. Quite simply, Ruth was fighting for my rights decades before I was born, and this country would be lightyears behind where it is today without her tireless fight for gender equality.

“When I’m sometimes asked ‘When will there be enough women on the Supreme Court?’ and I say when there are nine, people are shocked. But there’d been nine men, and nobody’s ever raised a question about that.”

  1. Carrie Underwood

carrie

I mean, Carrie Underwood is kind of a queen, if you hadn’t noticed. Last year, she opened up about her concerns about her ability to have more children as she got older, only to later reveal the fantastic news that she was pregnant again. Her vulnerability and honesty were remarkable. If that wasn’t enough, she released a new album, Cry Pretty, featuring the songs “Love Wins” and “The Bullet,” offering a sobering reminder to both sides of the aisle for the need for change and compassion.

“If I can convince [people] that there is a God and that they need to know Him, then I have done my job.”

  1. Michelle Obama

michelle

I can’t explain it, I just love Mrs. Obama. Her rawness and honesty have been refreshing. She has brought humor and levity during a time when we are in desperate need of it. I was particularly inspired by her rejection of the concept of “leaning in” – that, in her opinion, it is simply not possible to have it all, all at once. She may be a former first lady, but I think she may just be one of us too.

“There is no magic to achievement. It’s really about hard work, choices, and persistence.”

9 & 10. Savannah Guthrie & Hoda Kotb

savannah hoda

Okay, this might technically be cheating, since I’m including two women together, but anyone who has seen the Today Show recently can’t deny that Savannah and Hoda are a packaged deal. After the firing of Matt Lauer, Hoda began filling in as co-anchor alongside Savannah, and it was clear they were the perfect team. So, NBC decided to make things permanent, making the Today Show the first morning show to be anchored by two women. Savannah and Hoda are fun, witty, and have a great connection that endears them to viewers. Yes, women definitely can win at broadcast journalism.

“I would never put my job before my family.” – Savannah

“If we all helped one person, wouldn’t the world be an unbelievable place?” – Hoda

  1. Taylor Swift

taylor

Look what you made her do. I’ve been a fan of Taylor since I was, like…seven. Those are some pretty deep ties right there. But something about her latest album, reputation, just spoke to me. It was powerful. It was game-changing. It was a fifteen-song package of everything I needed to hear. In addition to her music, Taylor has continued to show that she is closely connected to her fans. She also released the greatest concert film of all time that had me screaming lyrics at the top of my lungs in my living room.

“No matter what happens in life, be good to people. Being good to people is a wonderful legacy to leave behind.”

  1. Tori Foles

tori

Tori is married to former Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Nick Foles. Tori also has POTS. Since the Eagles’ Super Bowl win, she and her husband have spoken at several events to spread awareness for POTS. Nick has also been involved in raising money for Dysautonomia International. Seeing someone live with the same illness I have and work to help more people understand it has truly inspired me.

“I love that my body is unique and unlike any other. God made all of us as one of a kind and that is pretty cool.”

  1. Jenna Bush Hager

Build Presents Jenna Bush Hager & Barbara Pierce Bush Discussing Their Book "Sisters First: Stories from Our Wild and Wonderful Life"

I have loved watching Jenna on the Today Show for several years now, but in 2018 she truly took center stage as her job forced her to work as somewhat of a media liaison for her family after the passing of both of her grandparents. Jenna showed grace and strength in the face of both of these tragedies, both as a public personality, and as a granddaughter. I continue to admire her and many members of her family.

“I hope to focus on what I’m passionate about because I think I’d do the best job on them – education, urban education, women and children’s issues and literacy.”

  1. Ava DuVernay

ava

Ava DuVernay is a director. And she’s kind of a big deal. In 2018, she directed the film adaption of A Wrinkle in Time. This film, along with Black Panther, directed by Ryan Coogler, gave the box office its first weekend with films by African American directors holding the top two spots. She also created the OWN series Queen Sugar, which has been completely directed by women. Aside from these huge accomplishments, Ava has shared nuggets of wisdom (and political opinions) across social media. She is certainly leading the charge for women, in more ways than one.

“If your dream is only about you, it’s too small.”

  1. Annie F. Downs

annie

Annie is a Christian writer and speaker. In 2018, I completed her 100 Days to Brave devotional. It had a huge impact on me, and affected me much more than I expected. Annie’s writing is beautiful and relatable, and she is a joy to follow on social media. I’m so glad that I let her be a part of my journey in 2018.

“Something about today is worth noticing and celebrating, because it won’t last forever. I hope you find it.”

  1. Hallie Jackson

halliee

Hallie Jackson is NBC’s chief White House correspondent. Basically, she’s the one who stands near the White House reporting on the day’s events on the Nightly News. She’s also the one who shouts questions at the president during press briefings, and she doesn’t shy away from tough ones. (For example, she asked President Trump why his cabinet members were set to receive a raise while other federal government employees were still not being paid due to the recent government shutdown.) Although I may be interested in print journalism, I love Hallie and her reporting style, and she has certainly helped shape my opinions on journalism.

“Yes, I know I talk too fast.”

  1. Kacey Musgraves

kacey

Kacey Musgraves is a country singer-songwriter. In 2018, she released her critically-acclaimed album Golden Hour, which ended up on many best-of-the-year lists (including my mental one, which is basically as important as NPR’s). She received a CMA Award for Album of the Year, as well as multiple Grammy wins, including for the competitive Album of the Year category. Golden Hour is, in my opinion, one of the most exciting country music albums to be released in quite some time, and shows that Kacey truly is unique in the best way.

“Just do something that makes you stand out. Even if not everyone likes it, just do it.”

  1. Jacinda Ardern

jacinda

Jacinda Ardern is the current Prime Minister of New Zealand. As if being a female world leader wasn’t enough, last year she became only the second sitting major world leader to give birth while in office. She has chosen to continue working, meaning the baby will stay at home with her daddy, who is happy to allow Prime Minister Ardern to continue running the world – or at least part of it.

“I never, ever grew up as a young woman believing that my gender would stand in the way of doing anything I wanted.”

{ quotes via UN Women on Instagram | Facebook | GoogleBrainyquote | Abby Sams on Instagram | Bret Baier on Instagram | Whiskey Riff | Google | Brainyquote | Brainyquote | Google | The Strong Movement |Google | Brainyqoute | Annie F. Downs on Instagram | Hallie Jackson on Twitter | Google | Brainyquote }
{ images via Time| Pinterest | Alexandra Raisman on Instsgram | Style Bistro | Abby Sams on Twitter | Elle | Pinterest | Refinery 29 | Parade | Pinterest | The Strong Movement | Time | Ava DuVernay on Instagram | Goodreads | Duke | NY Times | Pinterest | Forbes }
Summer & Fall 2018 Favorites

Summer & Fall 2018 Favorites

I do love a good favorites post. And, technically, we haven’t actually entered winter yet (according to the calendar, not the weather). But still, we’re in a bit of a time crunch, so here is a combination of some of my favorite things from both summer and fall. What were your favorite things? Let me know in the comments!

mamma mia hwga

Movies & TV //

A Quiet Place – Um, stop everything and go watch this movie. John Krasinski is my actual hero and favorite person ever; his acting was, of course, spot-on, but his directorial skills are amazing. This story was fantastic, and I loved the disability representation. This was a special kind of scary in a world that has turned to chainsaws and zombies and whatever else they put in those weird modern horror movies.

I Can Only Imagine – I finally saw it! And it was just as good as I expected. This movie tells the story of Bart Millard, the lead singer of Christian band Mercy Me, and how his life led to him writing the group’s huge first single, “I Can Only Imagine.” It is heartbreaking, and inspiring, and not at all what I expected Bart’s life to be like. But maybe that’s why he’s so amazing.

Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again – “You are the dancing queen, young and sweet, only seventeen!” Picture these lyrics being sung while Colin Firth and Stellan Skarsgard ride up on a boat while reenacting that “king of the world” scene from Titanic. Is it even necessary for me to say anything else? All joking aside, this movie was even better than the first, and the addition of Lily James was absolutely perfect.

New Amsterdam – This! Show! It follows Max Goodwin, the new medical director of a hospital whose mission is to treat everyone who comes through its doors, regardless of their ability to pay or whether or not they are insured. It also focuses on the head of each hospital department. There are plenty of nice side stories happening between the characters, but the real power of this show comes from its ability to make you question everything you know about the healthcare system, and to challenge one issue in particular – should healthcare be considered a right?

The Office – I did it, ya’ll. After all, “’You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take. – Wayne Gretzky’ – Michael Scott,” and I had missed my shot of watching this series long enough. Admittedly, I didn’t watch every single episode, as some of them were a bit too edgy for me, but this was simply hilarious. I certainly did not expect to get so caught up in these character’s stories, but I did. I never would’ve thought that I would like this show…”Oh, how the turn tables.”

Beauty //

Olay Shea Butter Foaming Whip Body Wash – “Wow, this product is so unique and innovative! I love it!” – Me, an intellectual; “We’ve done this already.” – Every other drugstore brand in existence

L’Oreal x Camila Cabello Havana Collection eyeshadow in “Oh Na Na” – I’m not a huge fan of most of L’Oreal’s products (sorry!), but Camila Cabello is my most favorite ever, so of course I had to buy this overpriced single eyeshadow. But I love it! It’s such an interesting combination of bronze and gold, and has unbelievable pigmentation. If you can still find this collection somewhere, BUY IT.

Colourpop Super Shock Highlighter in “Lunch Money” – I’m not used to using highlighters in any form other than powder, so I was a bit unsure of this one from Colourpop – their Super Shock formula is almost indescribable, like an almost-cream-to-powder finish. But, I had used their Super Shock eyeshadows before, so I thought I could handle it. It turns out I really love this highlighter! I use a stipple brush to apply it for more control, and I always put it under any setting powder (or it’ll look weird). Overall, Colourpop is a super dependable brand.

queen's rising

Books //

The Queen’s Rising by Rebecca RossAll. The. Heart. Eyes. This is my favorite book of 2018. In a world that’s inundated with young adult fantasy books, I truly felt like this story, told not from the perspective of the queen, but of an acquaintance who comes to be a great friend, was unique, and so beautifully told. I cannot wait to read more in this world.

The Cruel Prince by Holly Black – I have never read a book in the fae (aka faerie, aka fairy) world before. It turns out they aren’t all pixie dust. They can actually be quite ruthless. But, that’s what makes them fun, right? And, as Holly Black is apparently the “queen of fae,” I guess I chose the right place to start.

We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson – When I was in high school, I took a Gothic literature elective, and it had quite an effect on me. I’ve never read a Gothic novel written so recently, though (the 1960s). This book is fantastic. I cannot recommend it enough. I’m also ecstatic about the upcoming movie, especially since it seems so similar to the book.

Quotes & Scriptures //

“A pretty sight, a lady with a book.” – Shirley Jackson

“Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.” – Jude 1:24-25

“As long as God gave her the gift of today, she would cherish it.” – Karen Kingsbury

Songs //

  • “You Say” by Lauren Daigle
  • “Worth It” by Danielle Bradberry
  • “Back to You” by Selena Gomez
  • “All The Ways” by Meghan Trainor
  • “Forever on Your Side” by Needtobreathe ft. Johnnyswim
  • “Move You” By Kelly Clarkson
  • “Love Wins” by Carrie Underwood
  • “Love Anyway” by Tenth Avenue North
  • “Sue Me” by Sabrina Carpenter
  • “Make Him Wait” by Abby Anderson
  • “Shallow” by Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper
  • “This Feeling” by The Chainsmokers ft. Kelsea Ballerini
  • “I Have a Dream” by Lily James
What The Greatest Showman Taught Me

What The Greatest Showman Taught Me

“Colossal we come, these renegades in the ring…”

– “The Greatest Show”

greatest showman

You may have heard of a little movie that came out about a year ago called The Greatest Showman. Starring Hugh Jackman, Zac Efron, Zendaya, and Keala Settle, the film tells the story of the beginnings of P.T. Barnum’s circus. It is, quite honestly, a tour de force of emotion. I don’t want to sound dramatic, but this movie has kinda sorta changed my life. This story and the music have become ingrained in my heart. So yes, this movie has taught me quite a bit. Now, in honor of the recent release of The Greatest Showman Reimagined soundtrack, I felt it was only right to share a few of those all-important lessons. Let’s get in to that, shall we?

  1. Sometimes it’s better to take the risk.

“Some people long for a life that is simple and planned / Tied with a ribbon / Some people won’t sail the sea ‘cause they’re safer on land”

– “Tightrope”

Charity Barnum was born in a wealthy, influential family. Yet, she chose to marry a man that, as her father often liked to point out, came from nothing. But she believed in him and his dreams. He was willing to risk everything on a business venture that could be an utter failure, and she was right there next to him. As she said, she was fine with taking a risk, as long as they did it together. Phillip Carlyle took a risk when he left his privileged life behind to join the circus (more on him later). These risks are what led to great success, after a few bumps in the road of course.

“Don’t you wanna get away / To a whole new part you’re gonna play? / ‘Cause I got what you need, so come with me and take the ride / To the other side”

– “The Other Side”

  1. Society’s opinion of what is beautiful or acceptable does not define you.

“Trust me, they don’t know it yet, but they’re going to love you.”

– Barnum

This message is perhaps the driving force behind the entire movie. Barnum was looking for “oddities” and “curiosities” in the form of people for his museum-turned-circus. It led him to find a young man with dwarfism, a bearded lady, and a man with an exorbitant amount of hair, to name just a few. As Lettie, the bearded lady, points out, “our own mothers were ashamed of us.” By bringing a group of outcasts together, Barnum had created a safe place for them – a home. But, as he becomes jaded by the shine of show business, even he forgets this. But don’t worry – Lettie is ready to step in once again…

“I know that I deserve your love / No, there’s nothing I’m not worthy of”

– “This is Me”

Whatever the world says about you, whether they hate you or love you, it doesn’t really matter. What matters is what those you love, those closest to you think. What matters is what you think – nothing and no one else.

“You don’t need everyone to love you….Just a few good people.”

– Charity Barnum

  1. Family is the most important thing in life.

“If all was lost, there’s more I’ve gained / ‘Cause it led me back to you”

– “From Now On”

Whether it’s the one you’re given or the one you choose, family is what matters most. This sentiment steers Barnum off course for a while, as he attempts to amass more money and material things for his own family, but he receives a wake-up call from his other family: his circus. All the friends he has made on his journey are insistent that he has given them what they never could have found somewhere else – friends, family, love, happiness, and so much more. Although he makes mistakes, they ultimately lead Barnum back to his family, who he promises to never leave again.

“Come one / Come all / Come in / Come on”

– “Come Alive”

  1. Never sacrifice your happiness.

“You would finally live a little, finally laugh a little / Just let me give you the freedom to dream /  And it’ll wake you up and cure your aching / Take your walls and start ’em breaking / Now that’s a deal that seems worth taking”

– “The Other Side”

Although this is certainly evident in Barnum’s story, perhaps it is told even better through Phillip Carlyle’s. Phillip is a theater producer that Barnum hires to help with publicity and growth, but he becomes so much more. Having never fit in with his rich and strict family, Phillip is unknowingly just as lost as the circus performers are. It is in them that he finds his true home, and love, that he defends fiercely despite it being considered inappropriate for the time period.

“You’re here in my heart / So who can stop me if I decide that you’re my destiny?”

– “Rewrite the Stars

  1. Let your head be so full of dreams that there isn’t room for anything else.

“A million dreams is all it’s gonna take / A million dreams for the world we’re gonna make.”

– “A Million Dreams”

P.T. Barnum was the son of a poor tailor who died when he was still young. He sold old newspapers to make money for food, and took a job with a railway company when that craze took hold. As an adult, he struggled to hold a job and provide for his family. But there was never one moment when he lost the whimsy and magic he believed in as a child. It’s how he found his calling, and how he helped so many who felt they had nothing to give the world find hope and love. Dreams are not distant, impossible ideas. They are real and powerful.

“All the shine of a thousand spotlights / All the stars we could steal from the night sky / Will never be enough”

– “Never Enough”

rewrite the stars

{ images via pinterest | imdb }
Be One

Be One

Last week, packages containing what the media reported were “suspicious devices” were sent to the homes or offices of multiple prominent Democrats. Everyone from the Clintons and the Obamas to Robert de Niro were targeted. A package was also delivered to the New York offices of CNN. I actually turned on CNN as this was unfolding. It was an hour or so after the New York offices had been evacuated (while on air, no less), and Wolf Blitzer and Jake Tapper had taken things over in Washington, D.C. Even so, CNN anchors in New York continued to report using their cell phones and the limited cameras they did have. It was, quite honestly, an incredible display of professionalism.

But this isn’t about being professional, or doing your job when it turns out there was a live explosive device sitting in your mailroom. This is about much more than that. This is about the climate that has been created in our country and society because of what is happening in the sphere of politics.

Not long after all of this happened, the NYPD held a press conference along with New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (who got a package himself). The journalists gathered at the briefing wasted no time in bringing up the question that was on everyone’s minds, and that seemed to be implied in the words of the media as they reported on the story, commentators as they shared their thoughts on social media, and even Hillary Clinton as she gave a speech in Miami: Was this happening because of the political rhetoric in our country? I believe Mayor de Blasio put it best when he said, “You can disagree, but you have to show respect for people and air your disagreements peacefully.”

“Behold, how good and pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!”

– Psalm 133:1

Louisiana Congressional Representative Steve Scalise, who was gravely wounded in a shooting at a practice for the annual Congressional baseball game last year, was quick to share his own opinion, built on his experiences, on Twitter: “These attempted attacks that have been made are beyond criminal, they are acts of pure terror. Violence and terror have no place in our politics or anywhere else in our society. I have experienced first-hand the effects of political violence, and am committed to speaking out against it wherever I can.”

I politically identify as an independent. I do not feel as though I belong to either party. Rather, I feel like a bystander who watches both with interest. So, what I’m about to say may make you upset; I hope it doesn’t. But, I do hope it makes you feel something. This is not okay. It’s not okay to have politicians who call out the opposing party, or candidates running for office who threaten physical harm against those running against them. None of this is okay.

“If there’s breath inside your lungs / You are my brother”

– “For Those Who Can’t Speak” by Tenth Avenue North

There has been a lot of discussion that change needs to come “from the top down.” But why? Why wait for that? Because if we do wait, it’s going to be a while. What if we, the people, started to make the change? What if we didn’t let things like who we vote for, or how we feel about immigration, divide us? The scriptures, and Jesus Christ Himself, made it very clear that we are not meant to be divided; we are meant to live in unity, without contention. I firmly believe that division is a tool used by Satan to breed hatred and fear – to take us farther from how we are meant to live as God’s children, as brothers and sisters.

So, hi. My name is Mary-Faith. I’m an independent. Sometimes I agree with Republicans, sometimes I agree with Democrats. I don’t really care who you agree with; we can be friends anyways.

“I say unto you, be one; and if ye are not one ye are not mine.”

– Doctrine & Covenants 38:27