Tuesday, November 18, 2014

A Few of My Favorite Things {Vol. I}

Sorry for the silence. Life tends to happen and usually, that takes precedence over blogging. I'm going to share with you a few of my favorite things. Things I've always loved and things that I've discovered lately. Fun things, blogs, crafts, etc. I hope you enjoy Volume I of "A Few of my Favorite Things".
 
 

My new blunt bangs!
This isn't an incredible picture, but I like it. You'll be seeing lots of my new do in future posts and in the launch of my new fashion blog
 
 
It's Not About Staying at Home
I absolutely love this recent message by the beautiful Botkin sisters. It's a convicting and uplifting talk that I would encourage every young lady to listen to (I listened while I was cleaning my room). It's free on their website HERE
 
Not a Care in the Whirl Heels
These GORGEOUS shoes are from Modcloth.
Find them HERE . I'm telling you, I am absolutely in love with them (and I'm dropping a not-so-subtle hint that I'm an 8.5).
 
 
Ulyana Sergeenko
This lovely Russian fashion designer is my new role model and style icon. The way she carries herself and dresses and smiles is the epitome of elegance and grace. (Disclosure: If you look her up, be warned; 90% of her designs are gorgeous, and modest but that other 10% is a bit disturbing, actually. "High Fashion", you know.)
 
 
 
Starlooks' Ultra Olive metallic eye pencil
An amazing eyeliner that came in my November Ipsy Glam Bag. It seems foofy, but it's actually a sensible addition to your makeup collection. Paired with neutral eye shadow, it gently opens and brightens the eye and adds a touch of elegance and panache, especially if you're in a hurry. The pencil is to be purchased HERE. I highly recommend it!
 
 
Lawana Blackwell
I cannot stop reading her books! Mrs. Blackwell is a Christian author whose books I stumbled upon in our church library. Her novels have me captive and I've enjoyed all of them (I've read eight this month!). Her Gresham series is especially heart-warming and absolutely worth the read.
 
 
Star Trek: The Original Series
and
Star Trek: The Next Generation
Specifically, I'm kind of crazy about Lieutenant Commander Data. Brent Spiner is a seriously brilliant actor, not only portraying an android, but often completely different characters when Data's circuits are taken over or he's emulating Sherlock Holmes.
At this point, (Season 3) I'm getting pretty annoyed with Commander Riker's behavior, but I still watch the show, mainly because PATRICK STEWART!
 
 
Sweater Weather!!!
This is seriously the best part of Fall/Winter. Here in Kansas, it's frigid, so I'm busting out my sweater collection...except for the awesome/unfortunate fact that I've lost some weight and now all my yummy sweaters are being passed up to my mom (at least it benefits her). So, I'm going sweater hunting at Goodwill today.
 
That's all I've got. What have been some of your favorite things lately? What do you think of my favorites? Agree? Disagree? On the fence? Drop a comment below (because comments are also one of my favorite things!)
 

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Simply Stripes


Recently, I had the distinct pleasure of blogging for Miss Eden of Eden's Evaluations . I did a "Fashion Friday" post for her and decided to share it here, too (not because I'm out of ideas or...anything...). 

Silly Pose
Now, I like stripes. Correction: I love stripes! This worked out nicely because, I don't know if you can see, the skirt is striped as well. I rummaged around my closet (and my mom's) to find these items, then came across my strappy summer shoes and it tied the shirt and scarf together. Voila! 

The "I'm going to angle the phone and crane my neck really uncomfortably so I can get this shot" picture.
Outfit Specs:
Olive Sweater | Loft (Gift)
Striped Scarf | Gap (Gift)
Striped Skirt | Coldwater Creek (Goodwill/$3.99)
Wedges | Natual Soul by Naturalizer (Gift)




Sunday, October 5, 2014

First-Timer Lip-Liner (Ipsy Glam Bag: September 2014)


Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaat?!?!

C'mon son!* Who'd have thunk that I would ever wear lipstick? Apparently, the stylists at Ipsy did! 

Ipsy is a makeup and beauty company started by Michelle Phan. For $10 a month, they send you a georgeous, customized "Glam Bag." It's a makeup bag with 5 samples and full-sized beauty products. Based on a beauty quiz you take, they match up products just for you and mostly, it's spot-on. Plus, it comes in a fabulous pink sparkly envelope!

If you're interested in signing up, follow this link and I will get points toward extra products :D
http://www.ipsy.com/r/d2he?sid=ipsypoints&cid=general

Now, I've never had anything against lipstick. It's just that I was born with "natural" color on my kisser. When I went on set to be an extra in a First-Century film, I was asked by the makeup artist if I had any on. When I replied negative, she double-checked ("Are you sure you're not wearing lipstick?"), then went in search of the nearest liquid concealer.


Plus! That shade of lipstick almost matches Counsellor Troi's from Star Trek: The Next Generation!!!

Cosplay on the way!

Here are my reviews pertaining to each product:

Hikari Lipstick
5/5
I applied the lipstick with a brush (I tried freehand at first, but I ended up looking like the Joker).  It went on smoothly and is a very nice Fall color to have on hand.

Be a Bombshell Smooth Criminal Powder
5/5
Okay, so I had to look up what on earth this mysterious powder was, but when I discovered what it was and how to use it, I was thrilled (it's a finishing powder)! As long as you don't use too much, it's absolutely a dream! Just a tiny bit really goes a long way. I'm never leaving home without it again!

Mitchell and Peach Luxury Hand Cream
5/5
This is really luxurious (per the title) and it's nice to put on, especially before bed :)

Nourish Organic Face Cleanser
2/5
I give it two points for being organic. That's about it; the product has this odd smell...kind of musty. Blech!

Pacifica 7 Free Nail Polish
4/5
It's a much more daring color than I would normally wear, but it's quite lovely! Perfect for evening toes and it matches a lot of what I wear!

I was most pleased with last month's Glam Bag. They usually arrive around the middle of the month, so I'll do another review in a couple of weeks. Hope you enjoyed and I think you'll love the Glam Bag if you decide to try it!

*Psych reference.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

The Janeite Tag



Good evening, my friends! I hope you've had a lovely day. I have been pretty sick the last few days, so the posts I had planned needed to be put on the backburner. But, HUZZAH! There was an encore to my blogging life! The lovely Paige of Sunday Best and All the Rest, being the sweetheart she is, descovered my weakness for Jane Austen and invited me to join in this fun game!

The Rules:
~Thank and link back to the person who tagged you.
~Tell how you were introduced to Jane Austen and share one fun fact about your Janeite life (This fun fact can be anywhere from "I stayed up all night reading Emma" to "I went to the Jane Austen Festival in Bath, England.")
~Answer the tagger's questions.
~Write seven questions of your own.
~Tag as few as 1 or as many as 7 other Janeites and let them know you've tagged them.



I was introduced to Jane Austen around 2007 when my family was lounging around the living room, flipping through the channels and came upon the 2005 "Pride and Prejudice." We only caught the end, but my mom and I were totally hooked! We rented it, bought it, then moved on to "Sense and Sensibility" (1996) and then "Emma" (1996) and beyond, which, in my opinion, is the funniest Austen film (and book)!



Fun Fact: I can fully quote both "Emma" (1996//Gwyneth Paltrow) and "Sense and Sensibility" (1995) doing all the voices just like the actors (Except maybe Colonel Brandon; the only one who can do Alan Rickman's voice properly is Benedict Cumberbatch) 


Paige's Questions//My Answers

1. What is your favorite Austen Book?
Hands-down "Mansfield Park"!
2. What is your favorite movie adaption of Austen's books?
One does not simply...oh, goodness! This is a hard one. I would probably say "Sense and Sensibility" (1995). I adore Alan Rickman as the Colonel and couldn't imagine anyone else as the characters! No other S&S adaption measures up, in my opinion.
3. What is your *least* favorite movie adaption?
From what I've seen so far, "Sense and Sensibility" (2008). It wasn't bad, it just didn't connect for me. It fell rather flat.
4. Which character in any of the novels do you relate to most?
I wish I was just like Fanny Price-Bertram, but in character, I am a absolutely Elinor Dashwood-Ferrars. My sister is Marianne, too! And right now (as in the beginning of the book), we are 19 and 16!
5. If you could choose a Jane Austen home to live in, where would you live?
Donwell Abbey. I relate to Emma a lot, as well, I'm afraid. But Donwell seems the most welcoming place to me. To be in the position of benefactress to so many good people (read: Abbey Mill Farm). I imagine it as a grand, inviting place with lots of stone and rugs and chandeliers that just needs a woman's touch ;)
6. Who is your favorite Austen hero?
George Knightley, bar-none! I am determined to find my own Mr. Nightley. Forget Darcy, he was an absolute idiot (forgive my language), Edmund Bertram was blind to everything, Colonel Brandon was too tragic, Henry Tilney was both charming and cold at the same time, Edward Ferrars was...well, dreamy, but rather unaspiring. Knightley had me from page 1!
7. If you were to write a sequel to any of Jane's novels, what would it be about?
"Death Comes to Pemberly" is a pretty acurate sequel already. But I think I would love to write more about Emma. She still trips up, she still makes mistakes, but she never gives up and with her husband by her side, she can learn a lot more. Plus, I would love to see what their children would have been like. Most likely, at least, a level-headed daughter and a wild, conniving son, always getting his poor sister into the most terrible scrapes! That would make me laugh :)

Here are my "nominees", if you will:

Desarae of Gladness of Heart
Amanda of Amanda Grace

And I have one dear friend who is decidedly not a Janeite and I thought of tagging her, but I thought better of it. You know who you are ;)

MY Questions for YOU
1. Which do you prefer? Books or Movies?
2. How would you go about introducing a friend to Jane Austen?
3. It's Marathon Movie Night! Which 4 adaptions are you going to watch and in what order?
4. Who is your favorite "Villain"?
5. Who would you rather travel with on a long journey by carriage? Mrs. Jennings or Lady Catherine DuBurgh?
6. Which book/movie do you think is the funniest or most clever?
7. With whom would you rather be forced to stay with during your London trip? The "Affable" Miss Lucy Steele, the incorrigible Lydia Wickham, or the incessant Mrs. Elton?

I can't wait to see your responses! Don't forget to comment with the link to your post when you get around to it :)

Monday, September 22, 2014

Speaking Well of Your Family


My hair was so long *sniff*

I can say, very honestly, that my family and I get along really well most of the time. That picture above is my brother Moses and I laughing it up. We genuinely like each other! Every day, he says to me, "McKenna, I'm so glad you're my sister." No kidding! 

It breaks my heart to see families that talk about each other behind their backs, "It's so annoying when sister does this; you think she would know better." or, "My brother does this when he thinks no one's looking." and worst of all, "I don't agree with my parents; they said this and this and they think they know everything." BIG no-no, kids! 

As a sister, as a brother, as a parent, as a friend you want those around you to know that their reputation is safe with you. If you speak badly about your family to your friends, the only natural thought they think is, "Gee, if she speaks about her sister behind her back, what does she say about me when I'm not around?"


PRAY FOR FORGIVENESS!!!

The first step to make, if you've found yourself guilty, is to go to that person you've offended and apologize. They most likely don't know about what you've done, but if you go humbly and confess, it will build your relationship considerably. They might be mad, it might take them awhile to come around; you might have a LOT of people to talk to, but God will bless it in the end.

Hope this little tidbit has encouraged you today and made you think. I know I'm guilty...now, I have some apologizing to do.

Blessings,
McKenna

Saturday, September 6, 2014

I Don't Want to Go...Why I Won't Continue Watching Doctor Who and Sherlock


I can't believe I chose that picture; I'm already crying and I haven't gotten to the sad stuff yet! If you know me personally (or follow me on Pinterest), you probably know that I [was] a Whovian/Sherlockian. However, due to unforseen circumstances, I have decided to leave those respective fandoms and I'm writing to explain why.



Not gonna lie, I kind of expected that reaction from you, Sherlock. Call me a Cyberman, call me Mycroft, but I'm not pleased with the "upgrades" that BBC has made to the most recent seasons of my two favorite shows.

I don't like those disappointed/angry faces!

Before I continue, I want to say upfront that the purpose of this post is not to bash either show or the beliefs of the writers and crew who produce them. My ultimate goal in life-or for this post, is not to defame Steven Moffat (brilliant writer of both shows). I am simply revealing, from a Biblical standpoint and mindset, the flaws that have come to my attention. Up to this point, I have thoroughly enjoyed both shows (I even have a "Time Lord" t-shirt and "Exploding TARDIS" mug) and unabashedly branded myself a Whovian and a Sherlockian.  



Really, John?! And you too, HedgeMartin?! Dang, you've all turned against me. Well, almost all...


*sobs* I'll miss you too, Doctor...

So, here's the underlying issue of both:
MORAL AMBIGUITY

In Doctor Who:
If you, the reader, has seen DW season 7 and beginning of 8, you probably know, off the bat, what (who) I'm talking about. For those of you unacquainted with the show, I am referring to a lesbian couple.

 I am not "homophobic". I am not afraid of homosexuals or LGBT.
 But this does not mean that I agree with their lifestyle. 

As a Christian, I believe that homosexuality is sinful. In the Old Testament, by God's law, homosexual behavior was punishable by death (Leviticus 20:13). But after Jesus payed the price of our sins by His death on the cross (thereby taking all the weight of humanity's sin upon Him and redeeming it), the "old" law was not rejected, but fulfilled. The fact that we live under Grace (God's forever acceptance of those who believe in and follow Him), does not mean that we can just do anything we want and still get our "ticket-into-heaven". One day, we will all stand before The Judge (God) and give an account of everything we've ever done. In addition to what is written in the New Testament, we can study the laws that God originally put in place to discern His heart and how He feels about things. I think He feels very strongly against an act of sin that was punishable by death, don't you agree?

You might be familiar with the very Christainese phrase, 
"Hate the sin, love the sinner"
While somewhat cliche, it's so true! I am not the judge of the world, God is. I don't want to shy away from people who wear their lifestyle on their sleeve, whatever it is (you know, unless they're a serial killer or something).

It's become clear to me more than ever that every form of media has an agenda.

Usually, it's an agenda to shout from the mountaintops their support of "Do what you want whenever you want; ditch consequences! That's a made-up word." In the media, "Chase your dreams" often translates to, "Pursue all the twisted desires of your heart regardless of motive or morals." I didn't notice it in BBC much until this year. Especially after watching "Deep Breath". Vastra and Jenny (the lesbian couple) must've said aloud, "we're married", or something to that effect, at least 20 times during the 70-minute episode. They had appeared in a few episodes of the previous two seasons, however, I had just brushed it off. But after my sister (whose Spiritual gift is Prophecy) watched the episode in which they kissed, God lifted the blinders for her. She came to me and explained how she felt the Lord speaking to her about the issue and that got me thinking. 

In Sherlock:

The same sort of issues popped up in this one with lines like, (John to Sherlock) "Do you have a boyfriend? Which is totally fine, by the way." And speculations within and without the show questioning the nature of John and Sherlock's relationship. And in this newest season,  Sherlock shrugged off the fact that he slept with and feigned affection for a woman simply to get information from her. They turned Irene Adler's character from being a thief in the original works, to being a bisexual prostitute who appeared to Sherlock nude (only the clever angles of the camera kept us from being entirely exposed). It's these red flags that popped up here and there (except for the Irene episode that I caution everyone away from if talking about the show), including Mary becoming pregnant with John before they were married, that I had been unintentionally ignoring. 

This video by our beloved Skit Guys really hits the point home!



The morality of BBC (and the media in general; this post really applies to a lot of things) is dwindling away and I'm deeply saddened to see it go. But I wish to look inward more than outward. Where is my morality diminishing? I was shocked to find how much questionable content like fornication and language I have been allowing myself to shrug off because, "I would never do that" or simply scrunch up my nose and mutter, "I don't agree with that". But the more junk we allow ourselves to witness, the more we begin to accept it in our hearts, probably without noticing. I certainly didn't notice how apathetic I had become about what shows I watched until my younger sister gently took me by the hand and by confessing what she saw inside herself, lifted the blinders for me.

As much as I really enjoyed the shows in and of themselves, I can't, in good concience, continue to support a company (by watching on tv or buying products) that champions sinful behavior. I may or may not re-watch the episodes I know to be appropriate; still praying about that one. Certainly won't be plastering my name on the fandom bilboard for the world to see, that's for sure. I have cried a little bit over this decision; prayed a lot and turned the matter over and over in my mind. I really liked Peter Capaldi as the Doctor and I'm sure he'll do a bang-up job, but I can't continue to watch a show that could hurt my morals.

If you've been considering this matter already, I know you've seen the pros of watching either show. What I hope I have presented, after a lot of careful thought, are the cons that prick my conscience. The worst thing that could happen, is that any show with questionable morals could desensitize you. The goal should be to keep your conscience tender so that you can listen closely; movies and media without morals can cause a callous to form over your conscience. Thus, I encourage you to look at whatever your conundrum is, from each point of view; pros and cons. Pray about it and seek wisdom. I read this post to my parents, edited it then reread it to them several times before I posted it :) Don't ever do anything rash; deciding to join or leave a fandom is a big deal, even if you don't realize it. You're putting your stamp of approval on whatever that is and I can guarantee there are people looking up to you and following your example.

And as a token of my tears, I place this gif atop the grave of future unwatched episodes. May I rest in peace with my conscience intact.

 photo I-dont-want-to-go_zps6764b184.gif
Lookee!!! I learned how to add a GIF to my blog posts! I'm so proud of me...

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Willy Wonka Jr. or The Month of July

This is the explanation post for my month off of blogging. I was costume designing! I had the pleasure of working with a talented cast and dedicated crew to pull off a production of Willy Wonka, Jr. The "Junior" part entails that all the cast was age 18 and under. The real work started in July with making patterns for the Oompa-Loompas and recruiting four very talented seamstresses to create 60-some white suspendered pants and skirts with bloomers. It took up almost all of my time for the month of July, so I was barely even leisure computering at all!

The ginger in the pink sweater is my go-to hair stylist! She works with my sister and I on photoshoots and filming projects. She's awesome!

Most of the main characters' specialty costumes were made or altered by myelf. The wardorbe of Wonka, Charlie, Mrs. Gloop, Augustus Gloop, Ms. Teavee, and Mrs. Bucket took over my life for a few weeks. There are a few of our adorable Oompas below :)


I don't know why this picture is off to the side :P

 Above is Wonka entertaining some of the younger kids; below is me altering Augustus Gloop's lederhosen.



[L-R: Mr. Bucket, Mr. Salt, Ms. Teavee, Grandma Georgina and Mrs. Gloop]


Wonka and the Candyman get along quite well; they're business partners, you know. I had the fun of making Wonka's waistcoat, frock coat and bowtie. The buttons down his waistcoat spell out "Wonka" :) 



Most of the Bucket family [L-R: Grandpa George, Grandpa Joe, Charlie, Grandma Georgina, Mrs. Bucket]

Amazing picture Marley got of the curtain ropes!!!
 Below is me and the cast singing at the top of our lungs, "Nilla Wafer Top Hat Time" by Rhett and Link. [L-R: Veruca Salt, Mr. Salt, Mike Teavee, The Candyman, Willy Wonka, Grandma Josephina, me]


What a set! Our set guys were AWESOME!

The Reporter "Phineous Trout"




"Charlie, would you like to have my factory?" It was such a fun project to help with. Working with the cast to build up their costumes was especially rewarding. To a costume designer, there is nothing better than hearing from the actor, "I wish I could keep the costume" or "I don't want to take it off!". And I had the joy of hearing that over and over! All these pictures were taken at the dress rehearsal, so not all of the characters were fully dressed until the next day. I wish I had more pictures to share! If I ever get my hands on some from the parents and audience, I will certainly share them with you! There have to be more, because there were 1,399 audience members between the three performances!!!
And finally, Charlie, Augustus and I. I know I look like Gazerbeam, but I was unable to fix my redeye :P