Pursuit of Pink

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

God's Grace Is More Than Enough

On Friday I posted a quote from Christine Caine that really resonated with me.
“God is preparing you for the thing that He has prepared for you. Don’t give up.”

After going through everything we have experienced this year, I have found this quote to be extremely true! You can read more about the beginning of our story by clicking here and here, but today I want to share with you what has happened next!

We moved to Dublin, VA at the very end of June and officially called it home on July 9, 2014. I never imagined that I would live in Dublin; it is quite different from Northern Virginia and any life I ever imagined for myself. In fact, during some sad times I worried how my life would end up by us living here. I heard Darius Rucker’s song “It Won’t Be Like This For Long” and replayed that song a lot; trying to remind myself that the sadness and loneliness that I was feeling wouldn’t last long. And you know what – it didn’t!!!!

Tolar and I decided that the first thing we needed to do was find a church. Getting planted in a church is extremely important to us: church is where we met each other, it’s where a lot of our D.C. friends were made and it is the place where our souls get fed. So we set out searching for a church, looking online, getting recommendations from people and decided to try a community church not far from my parent’s house. The service started out with lots of promise; people were friendly, the worship set was good and it seemed like it would be similar to our beloved DC Metro Church. But sadly, we just didn’t get much out of the Pastor’s message and didn’t feel like we had found a match. We came home that first Sunday and seemed kind of defeated. We NEEDED church in our lives. I was so scared of leaving Northern Virginia and DC Metro Church because it was there that my relationship with Jesus really came to life. Through DC Metro Church, I understood and experienced what it meant to have a relationship with Jesus, to be in love with Jesus, to talk to Him and see His blessings daily and my prayer life increased drastically. I was scared of losing all I had gained.

So we prayed and we searched some more. Tolar ended up checking out the website of the Association of Related Churches (ARC - the organization that DC Metro Church belonged to) and found that there was a brand new church launching in our area on September 7, called Lifeline Church. We couldn’t believe it!!! God answered our prayers immediately! The funny thing is Tolar had looked at the ARC website when we made the decision to move to Dublin and didn’t see any churches in our area. God was planting Lifeline Church at the EXACT time that we needed it most.

After finding out about Lifeline Church I e-mailed the Pastor immediately and told Him all about our involvement with DC Metro Church, including launching campuses there. And the Pastor called me back within hours! We found out that they had weekly meetings leading up to the launch date, so we made plans to attend the very next meeting. We were excited about the possibility of this church, but nervous and certainly didn’t want to get our hopes up.

I am here to tell you that God showed up in our lives the night we joined Lifeline Church for their meeting. We were instantly greeted by this awesome couple (our amazing friends – and first New River Valley friends – Brad and Jessi) who knew nothing about us, but they welcomed us with open arms and told us all about Lifeline. In fact, that night it was so easy for me to talk with Jessi, it was like we had known each other for years. Once the meeting started, we realized that Lifeline was VERY similar to DC Metro Church and I was so excited to get started. Lifeline’s mission is to meet the needs of people; spiritually, emotionally and inspirationally – which is exactly what we found in D.C. The icing on the cake was when we got to join the worship team for their rehearsal. Tolar is a musician and LOVES to play and was really hopeful that he would join the worship team wherever we landed. Well this worship team blew us away. They were amazing!!!! Tolar even got a chance to step in and play with everyone for a little bit and felt like a kid on Christmas morning. He meshed so well with the band, we were so excited. 

We both walked away from that meeting knowing we had found our church home. Knowing that God had never once forgotten about us. Knowing that even though we often questioned what was next for us since everything happened back in March, God WAS and IS in control. God had a plan for us, we just couldn’t see it at first! Just like he says in my favorite verse that I have clung to so many times in life and really clung to it during times when I wasn’t sure what was next for us. (Jeremiah 29:11 – “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord. “Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”)

And things keep getting better and better. We helped the church launch at the beginning of September and have been blown away by how giving and wonderful God has been to us. We are making some great friends through the church, I have the amazing opportunity to love on children during service and Tolar gets to play with the worship team.

Finding Lifeline Church has made it so clear to me that we were MEANT to move away from Northern Virginia and DC Metro Church. We are supposed to be here in Dublin. We are supposed to partner with Lifeline and help other people find the Jesus that we know so well. I’m so excited to see what God has in store for our family, and I know it is something amazing. Because He has already done something great by starting Lifeline Church. I remember J.B. (our Pastor) even said to me on the phone that he truly felt like God had sent us to Lifeline Church, but I believe that God sent Lifeline Church to us. He sent Lifeline Church when we needed it most. And I pray that the same rings true for so many people here in the New River Valley.

We are so proud to call Lifeline Church our home!

(If you are in the New River Valley, please join us on Sundays at the Regal Movie Theatre in Christiansburg. Service starts at 10 a.m.)

Monday, September 29, 2014

My Favorite Top Coat

I love to paint my nails, always have. Something about painted nails makes me feel extra girly. But quite often I don't do them myself because I am a perfectionist and something always happens: either I will accidentally scratch my nail as I'm painting, air bubbles will form as the polish dries or I will just really mess up a nail and not realize it until after everything has dried. So I always figure, why bother?

But I have found a top coat that I absolutely love which seems to help fix any problem I create while painting my nails - in one word phrase this top coat is a miracle worker.

I've tried many top coats before and nothing even compares to OPI's top coat.

This top coat gives tons of shine, in fact one of my girlfriends even thought I had gel nails on because my nails were so shiny. And boy does the top coat last. I applied OPI's Tickle My France-y to my fingernails on a Wednesday night and didn't take it off until a week and a half later!

Here are the reasons I just love this top coat:
1.) Super shiny
2.) NO air bubbles
3.) It seems to cover any imperfections from the nail polish application
4.) Long lasting
5.) You can find it at any drug store (I got mine at Target)

Friday, September 26, 2014

High Five For Friday

Let's jump right into some of my favorite moments from this week.

1.) My sister gave Baby K this cute little South Carolina Gamecocks outfit when she was first born and she is now finally able to wear it for football season. Such a cutie! K had quite a lot of fun playing with the skirt.

2.) I have been working 10 hours a week with Roanoke Children's Theatre for 3 weeks now and I am having a blast. It is so great to work for a company that truly appreciates allowing young people access to quality art.

3.) This really cracked me up - Baby K woke up from a nap earlier this week kind of sad. To cheer her up we started watching videos (of HER!) on the ipad and she was fascinated. She kept wanting more and would just sit there and smile at herself on the screen.

4.) Christine Caine is one of my most favorite people to hear preach. I follow her on every social media channel I can and always enjoy how encouraging she is. This quote really spoke to me because I have seen with my own eyes how true it is! God has a plan for us all and even though in the moment things might look bleak, keep going because greatness is just around the corner. I have had this play out in my own life and it is always amazing to see what God has delivered me from.

5.) My daughter has such a cute wardrobe and she totally pulls off the pattern mixing. I am in love with this outfit that she wore earlier this week: polka dots, stripes and Freshly Picked moccasins.

Linking up this post with Lauren Elizabeth and September Farm.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

September Beauty Box 5

Beauty Box 5 has gifted me with a complimentary subscription for review purposes. All opinions are completely my own.

I feel like I say this every month (because I do!), but Beauty Box 5 has knocked it out of the park again with this month's beauty samples. They always send me items that I actually end up using and quite often fall in love with new products.

Here is what came in my box for September:

1.) My Beauty Spot Nail Polish - Just in time for fall, this dark plum color is perfect for the season. And My Beauty Spot nail polishes dry fast, which is a huge bonus for this busy mama.

2.) Sally Hansen Toe Spacers - Aren't the pink toe spacers adorable? I love having fun and pretty beauty tools, it just makes me smile. Thanks to these toe spacers, my at home pedicure can be smudge free.

3.) Natural Style Deep Conditioner and Co-Wash - This deep conditioner contains eight repairing oils and shea butter, which will leave hair silky smooth. The product is gentle enough to be used as a co-wash for girls with curly hair and as a deep conditioner for all hair types. I love that BB5 sent me 2 samples, that way I can really try it and see how it works on my hair.

4.) Chrislie Formulations 3-in-1 Eye Bright - This is a serum that you use around your eyes to acheive a smoother, brighter and firmer look. 

5.) Nicka K New York Eyelight Crayon - My high school self would have loved this crayon! The shadow stick adds a pop of color to your lashline that lasts. This is a great alternative to regular black eyeliner, giving you a fun pop of color.

If you are interested in receiving Beauty Box 5 for yourself or giving as a gift, you can sign up here. Beauty Box 5 is a beauty subscription service that sends a box of five different beauty samples to your mailbox each month for just $12.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Wore: Polka Dot Dress

I don't think there has ever been a more perfect for me dress than this one right here. Polka dots, black and white, an a-line skirt, super comfortable. Those qualities describe my ideal dress to a T!

I just love a-line skirts, they really are flattering on virtually any figure. If you don't have a waist, they help create one. If you have a nice waist, they show it off. And the way the skirt flows is extremely flattering to mask any leg or hip areas that you aren't happy with.

The flow in this skirt is so feminine and makes me feel really girly. Throw on a pair of heels and I feel like I can tackle the world! (Hey, now that I stay home with Baby K, getting dressed up and doing my hair and make up is a huge feat that makes me feel very accomplished.)

And you are going to freak when I tell you that this dress came from Old Navy! I couldn't believe it when I walked in the store hoping to find a cotton stretch skirt and came out with this.

Dress: Old Navy.
Cardigan: Ann Taylor Factory Store (similar).
Shoes: DSW.
Necklace: Stella & Dot.
Earrings: Target (similar).
Bracelet: Charming Charlie.

I'm linking up this post with The Pleated Poppy, Because Shanna Said So and Style Elixir.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

The All-In-One Car Seat

I participated in this sponsored campaign on behalf of One2One Network and received this car seat for free in order to facilitate this review. All opinions stated are my own.

Probably one of our most used baby products is the car seat. Anytime we leave the house for more than a walk, Baby K gets strapped into her car seat. In a child's lifetime, parents will more than likely buy three car seats at the very minimum (more if you have two cars with busy parents). Those three car seats are usually an infant seat, a convertible seat and a booster seat. Purchasing three car seats for each child can get pretty costly.

Which is a huge reason that I am so glad to have found the Evenflo Symphony LX All-In-One Car Seat. I wish we had this car seat when Baby K was first born because we wouldn't have had to purchase multiple seats, but at least now we won't have to worry about purchasing a booster seat when she gets bigger (this seat can hold up to 110 pounds!).

There are absolutely so many features that I love about this car seat, it will probably be best to list them out. In no particular order, here are the many reasons the Evenflo Symphony LX All-In-One Car Seat rocks.

1.) Easy installation - Easy, peasy installation for sure!!! This car seat has a trademarked Sure Safe System that makes installing it so simple. The seat comes with Quick Connector Latches and Guides that take the guess work out of locating the anchors in your car. The latch guides act like a tunnel, making it so easy to clip the car seat in and detach it if you need to move the car seat to another vehicle. Using the Sure Safe System you can actually attach and detach the car seat with one hand.

2.) Side Impact Protection - Safety is VERY important to us when it comes to selecting baby products and this seat does not disappoint. The Evenflo Symphony LX comes with e3 Side Impact Protection featuring three layers of engineered foam designed and tested to reduce side impact forces up to 50%. Knowing that my baby will be protected in case of a car crash definitely helps me sleep better at night.

3.) Buckle Pockets - This is a dream feature in a car seat. Evenflo has designed actual deep pockets where you can stick the metal part of the buckle, keeping the straps out of the way when you are loading baby into the seat. I hate having to search and dig under a squirmy baby to locate the straps; with these buckle pockets the straps stay put until I need to insert them into the buckle. Plus, with this feature, you are keeping the metal buckle from being exposed to direct sunlight, eliminating the fear of burning your child from a hot buckle.

4.) Easy Reclining - The Evenflo Symphony LX comes with a guide on the actual car seat that helps you easily recline the seat into the proper position depending on the weight of the child. All you have to do is match up arrows, so easy! And a bonus once you turn the car seat to a front facing position, you won't have to take the car seat out of the car in order to change the recline!

5.) Adjustable Cup Holders - There are not one, but two awesome cup holders included. And I love that the holders are adjustable in case your child has a large cup that doesn't fit into a standard size cup holder.

6.) Removable Cover - It happens to the best of us, milk spills and cracker crumbs get squished into car seats all the time. I love the removable cover so I can easily slip it off and throw it in the wash for a quick clean up. There are snap guides all over the car seat which help me slip the cover back on and make sure that it is put back on properly.

7.) Infant Slide Harness - As your baby grows, there is no need to re-thread the straps because there is a slide system set up that adjusts when you need it to. No need to take the seat out of the car to move the straps up to shoulder level.

I just can't say enough how great this car seat is. And the fact that it will last through all three stages of the car seat evolution is simply amazing. One thing I haven't documented because Baby K is no longer a newborn, is that the seat comes with a removable head and body pillow, allowing extra head support for a newborn without neck control. And the headrest grows with your child! Evenflo has really thought of everything.

For anyone considering buying this product (which you should), be sure to click this link to get a coupon giving you $10 or even $15 off (The coupon widget is hosted at the upper-right corner and bottom of the page.).

I HIGHLY recommend this car seat. Hands down!
Baby K approves this message.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Sharing Some Beauty Secrets

New seasons always make me ready for a fresh start; out with the old and in with the new! And the same goes for beauty products. I love finding new beauty products, especially when they work!!! So today, I'm telling you about two of my new favorite products that have changed the way I feel about my skin care routine.

I have suffered for years, years I'm telling you, with incredibly oily skin. I have tried countless foundations, loose powder, pressed powder, oil blotting sheets, different moisturizers...EVERYTHING to try and combat the shine that comes from my oily skin. And I finally found THE product that works. I started using an oil control lotion that does exactly what it says - it controls the oil on my face! And as a bonus, there is SPF included! This amazing product is Rodan + Fields Oil Control Lotion with Broad Spectrum SPF 20

I must tell you, that even if I didn't sell Rodan + Fields and was only a customer, I would feel the exact same way about this product and would still inform you of it. It is incredible the way it controls my shine!!! I have never used anything like this. I can actually see the mattifying power of the lotion as I rub it on my face. Amazing! If you have been a lifetime sufferer of oily skin, this product is for you! I'm being completely honest when I say that this lotion has changed my life. I know that's a pretty bold statement, but it has. I don't have to worry if my forehead looks like an oil slick anymore. I know my oil is under control.

Since I do wear makeup, it was important for me to find something that will take the makeup off before I cleanse my face, without being too harsh. And hey, if it has some anti-aging properties in it, that's even better! My eye makeup is what I am most concerned about taking off as mascara seems to be the hardest thing to get off. Well the Redefine Eye Cloths from Rodan + Fields are pretty incredible. I can use one cloth to clean my entire face, even my waterproof mascara. And it gets everything! And while my makeup is removed, the cloth deposits peptides in my skin to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and even under eye puffiness! Pretty incredible if you ask me. 

And today I have a treat for you! Due to the OVERWHELMING response I have received from people who want to try Rodan + Fields products, I decided to offer a deal to all of you! If you have been curious about these skin care products that I've been raving about and haven't wanted to commit to a full regimen, well here is your chance. 

Between now and September 27 I am offering both of these above products to you for just the retail cost! I am going to pick up the tax and the shipping!!! And you will also get a little surprise from me with your order.

-The Oil Control Lotion is only $28 for a more than 2 month supply - the bottle I have has lasted me almost 3 months and I still have plenty left!.
-The Eye Cloths are only $30 for a really big box! Like I said, one cloth takes off my entire face of makeup. If you don't wear a lot of makeup you could probably cut the cloth in half. So awesome.

All you have to do is leave a comment below telling me which product (or both!!!) you want and leave your paypal e-mail address. Or if you don't want to leave your e-mail address below, then just e-mail me (lindsay@pursuitofpink.com). Just make sure you leave a way for me to contact you!

I can't wait to help you get amazing skin!