chronic illness and such, take 2

This post is about my thoughts and feeling about trekking through life with chronic illness, and also about being ‘perfect’. For those of you who don’t know, when I was 13 I was diagnosed with sibo, or small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, which is a form of Irritable Bowl Syndrome. I don’t like to talk about my weaknesses, and struggles. I want to think I’m independent enough to handle anything on my own, I’m not, and I try so hard to create the illusion of false perfection to protect myself. There are parts of life that will eat you alive if you try to conceal them by not talking about them. For me, this is one of them. I don’t talk to people without some reserve. I try to keep myself safe from other people’s opinions that way I guess. Sometimes I think I would rather metaphorically ‘follow my friends off a cliff’ than be honest about how I really feel. The things is, the longer I keep these ‘imperfections’ to myself the more of a toll it takes on me, and the more pressure I put on myself to continue performing as though everything is perfect, even when it’s not. I want to put this out there because I want other people to know that someone understands. Someone cares. And there is someone on your side. I always roll my eyes a little when people say that on social media. If I’ve never met you, how can I be cheering for you, understanding how you feel, caring about you, and be on your side? I don’t know how to explain it other than to say that I don’t know who you are, or what you believe, but I’m praying for you. And I hope that can be an encouragement to you. Also, feel free to reach out to me, I promise I don’t bite. (lol) This is me, trying my hardest to be truthful, and to put myself out there. Even if “being frank” like this is the equivalent of yelling it out in an empty field. I’m tired of ‘being perfect’. Because, I’m not, and I think that once I yell out my frank feelings in the middle of this empty field I’ll see that the truth is better than false perfection. Chronic Illness is a thing that some people will never understand. But to some extent, I do. This is my life too.

(If you want me to talk more about my experiences with sibo, or ‘being perfect’, or anything else I mentioned, just ask. )

Signed, your friendly neighborhood blogger.

reviewing every eyeshadow in my collection- intro

This… Is a big topic.

While the average makeup consumer may have a couple of eyeshadows, neutral, tame shades they wear everyday, I have a much different preference, and collection. My makeup collection is quite large, (Thanks YouTube), but I use and enjoy everything, especially my eyeshadows. I also don’t wear makeup in my everyday life outside of my house. For one thing, I’m not really allowed to, and for another thing I feel really self conscience when I wear makeup around groups of people who aren’t my immediate family or my best friends. While in my room I might feel all-powerful rocking some lavender lipstick, and a winged eyeliner, in the great outdoors I feel judged and uncomfortable in the lightest coverage foundation with some lip balm and mascara. Is it a bit weird? Yes, it’s definitely very odd. But that’s how I like to operate. My face is an easily washable canvas, and makeup gives me a low stress artistic outlet where I can express myself without fear of messing up beyond repair. All that being said, I was inspired to do this because sometimes I just want to see a review of a certain palette specifically before I decide whether to spend my money on it or not, and I don’t always decide I want to buy a palette right when it comes out, and I’m curious to see specific thoughts on that palette, and don’t want to sit through a whole ‘full face of first impressions’ or ‘speed reviews’ just for one eyeshadow palette. On the flip side sometimes I’ve had a palette for a while and I just want to see what other people think about it. Either way I think it will be a fun way to incorporate more makeup content onto my blog, which I’m excited about.

Thanks for reading! Signed, your friendly neighborhood blogger

the hardest part of foster care

I don’t think it’s much of a surprise that being involved with the foster system is hard. In every capacity it’s emotionally hard, and painful, whether you’re the social worker or judge, bio parents, foster parents, bio siblings who aren’t in the system, and especially as the kid who’s been ripped out of their life, out of everything they know and love, and forced to live with people who they may have never met before, who at least at the beginning they don’t love or care about. It’s nearly impossible to choose just one aspect of this whole awful system and say “This, this is the worst part.” because there is just so much awfulness involved in the foster system. There is the point where the kids realize that they don’t get to talk to their parents whenever they want to, or that they don’t get to go home in a couple of days. That their bio parents aren’t always going to call, and a lot of times, that is a choice that they have purposefully made. There’s the behavior after visits, the screaming and crying, and broken hearts. The kids who think that if they just act up enough that the state will give up on trying to make them live somewhere else, and will just give them back to their bio parents. The times when they don’t get to see their siblings… The nightmares, and the horrible traumatic memories playing over and over in the heads of these kids. The stories, the awful stories of what the lives of these kids were like before they were brought into the system, the trauma they’ve endured, and witnessed. Having to send the kids back to their bio families whenever the families aren’t ready, and you know that you are just sending them back into a situation they should never have had to deal with in the first place. It’s all hard. But it’s so, so worth it. To form lasting relationships, with kids, bio parents, social workers, and other foster families you meet along the way. There are days when life feels crazy out of control, and during those moments I wonder why we ever decided to do this. But then I realize, this life isn’t meant to be easy. It’s meant to be tough, and grueling, to make you question yourself, and what you believe. It’s meant to be easy. We’re meant to make a difference.

Signed, your friendly neighborhood blogger.

sooo… I painted some shoes

So my blogging friend Jasmin (thewriterofletters.wordpress.com you should go check her out!!!) did a post like this a little while ago where she showed how she painted butterflies on her high tops, and when I mentioned that I also like to paint shoes (I have really weird hobbies, I am aware.) she encouraged me to do a post of my own about the shoes I’ve done. It’s taken me awhile to get around to it, but here you go guys. I’m honestly not sure what possessed me to paint a pair of shoes that I spent weeks saving up for, and already liked, but I started with a pair of bright pink chucks which I bought a couple of years ago. I started painting them with gray polka dots, but three sides in I got distracted, so they’ve spent a long time collecting dust with no shoe laces in the back of my closet. I was really happy with how my little project was coming, and was all set to finish them, but when I came back around to them I no longer had the polka dot stencil I’d cut out and had been using, and I couldn’t remember what paint I’d used for the polka dots, so I improvised. Well… A whole radish load full of improvisation later these are the shoes I ended up with. I decided to do clouds because the painted side of the shoe ended up looking slightly like a sky-scape, and I love painted clouds, and when I started painting I just couldn’t stop. This is what the shoes looked like originally. They aren’t the shade I expected when I ordered them, and aren’t my favorite shade of pink, so I didn’t feel too bad covering up the color with paint.

I wish I would have taken some pictures as I was doing them, but honestly I didn’t think of it until I was done :(. I think these shoes turned out with a really ‘head in the clouds, daydreamer, artistic’ sort of vibe, and I really, really, like them.

If you would like to see a post about some of the other shoes that I’ve done, I would be glad to do it, but I’m not sure if it would be something anyone would actually want to read or not. Either way, thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoyed it. If you did I would appreciate it if you would consider following this here blog, to see more content from me. You can also find me on insta, @not_molly_19. 

Signed, Your friendly neighborhood blogger.

a letter to bio parents

Hello Bio Parents. 

If you’re reading this I’m sure you’re curious about what I have to say to you. First I want to start off by saying that, as a bio kid in a foster family, I’ve met and interacted with a lot more of you then I otherwise would have, and I also have a different perspective of you then I did two years ago. And from the bottom of my heart, I want to say that I don’t hate you, in fact I actually love you. Because we’re both equally human. As much distaste as I might have for what you have done. As much as I might hold a grudge against you for a while. As much as I might be shocked, appalled, and saddened by the things you’ve done, and put your kids through. I might not love the person you’ve become, but I believe that everyone can change. At the moment your kids are put in foster care, I’m not proud of you. I hope that as far as your life is concerned this is the moment that everything changes for the better. That you find this moment to be the rock bottom that you needed in order to get your life turned around. I hope and pray that you take this opportunity to turn to God, but even if you don’t I pray that this is the last time, and you’ll never find yourself in this place again. I want to say that I’m proud of those of you who have stepped up, and have made a safe, loving, and healthy environment for your kids to come back to after you’ve completed your plan. But I’m also proud of those of you who have realised that you are never going to be able to take care of your kids the way they need to be taken care of, and have allowed them to be adopted by a family who can. Yes, I know that every story doesn’t, and never will turn out this black and white, and that’s okay. At the moment you are standing in the in-between space of success and failure, I hope you know that we, your kid’s foster family, are rooting for you to do the right thing. We want you to be able to succeed. We want the best thing possible for your kids. I just want to encourage you. We don’t want to be your enemy, we want to help you to do what’s right, and what’s best. We really do love you. We love you with the love of God. The love that he’s given us for those who might seem like our enemies for a while. And I pray that with time you’ll be able to see that clearly even if you can’t see it right now. 

With love, your friendly neighborhood blogger.

some truth

Over the past few months I feel like I’ve kind of been failing at life. I haven’t been doing as well at getting things done, I’m in a near perpetual state of dis-motivation. I’ve sat down and started so many posts, but I feel like I can’t get out the words I need to say. I’ve been out of the loop, and it feels like I’m standing to the side while life passes me by. I started prayer journaling, and I think it’s helping me work through some of the funk. I’m implementing habits, and trying different ways of going about the things I need to be doing, working towards getting  back to the place I want to be, but I’ve been very discouraged. I’ve been afraid to try hard to succeed, because I’m just so afraid to fail. I spent a couple months at the end of last year almost avoiding God. I think that was one of the first steps I took in this direction. At the beginning of 2020 I started praying and seeking God in my life again. He’s opening my eyes to the toxic mindset that I’ve been clinging to for the past 6 months. Showing me that I need to live my life and not be afraid to fail, that I need to stop dwelling on the past and letting it define who I am.  To do the things I need to do, and to keep the commitments I’ve made to others. I want to be able to be a positive example, to have such an undeniable witness that it’s impossible to look down on me because I am young. To not chicken out or take short-cuts because it seems like the easier way, or because I think that I can’t do the things I need to do. I don’t need to see the future to be able to give things my best shot in the present. It’s taken me a while to realise that, but the more I do my best. When I actually try and don’t spend more time weighing the possibility of failure than I spend working towards success, the closer I come to what I think is the right track. I don’t want to be afraid to fail just because I can’t see what’s coming. I have taken months to learn that the hard way, but I hope it will keep me on track in the future.

concerning caseworkers

The past couple of weeks I’ve been digging deeper into the world of DHS/CPS, caseworkers, placements, and adoptions, and the true horrors that the foster system marks for a cost of living project that I’m doing this semester for school, because I want to be a social worker after college. It has brought to my attention once again the blind eye that this world turns to the kids in the foster system. It has made me sad. The jobs of caseworkers are horrific, and yet they remain underpaid, and under recognized. The things they have to see and deal with as their job are horrific. 

Yes, I still believe that there are bad caseworkers, but I realize more deeply the numbness that comes with the months and years of daily being exposed to the suffering of children, and the forced separation of families. It makes me appreciate more the love and dedication of the social workers we’ve had during the past year. I just wanted to recognize the caseworkers I’ve had the privilege of meeting in my state, and briefly talk about social workers who work in the foster system and what they do. And I would like to recommend you share some encouragement with them to show you appreciate what they do. 

Thanks for taking a minute out of your day to read this post, please consider following this blog to see more from me if you’re not already

Signed, Your friendly neighborhood blogger 

my eye makeup favorites for 2020

2019 is over. And with the end of the year comes the thinking about everything that I did in 2019, and about all the things I loved. Since I started doing makeup, eye makeup has been that one category that really draws me in. I love the endless color and texture possibilities, the opportunity to be so unique in my choices, and the prospect of being able to create looks that will turn out wildly different each and every time. It’s such a unique medium, it’s probably my favorite product category to use.

My favorite eyeliners this year have been the Tarte clay pot liners. They are versatile and creamy, they go on smoothly, working on my very watery water line, but still creamy enough to blend out as eyeshadow all over the lid. These little pots of cream are pricey compared to their drugstore counterparts, and my wallet screams in pain every time I buy one, but they truly are the best liners I have found. And for being so darn good, they have earned themselves a spot in my top makeup of 2019 list. The Tarte liners have been the best overall, but as far as liners go the colourpop bff liner pencils are a really good pencil alternative if that’s what you’re looking for. They stay pretty darn well in my water line, and are smooth and creamy enough to blend out on the lid, or even under the eye as a smokey liner. It’s also not too expensive, a bit of a win win to me. This year I realized that I just don’t really love liquid liner as much as I thought. I honestly haven’t used a liquid eye liner in months, so I’m not going to list any as the best of the year or as my favorites. 

           My mascara game has been interesting this year, and for the last six months I really haven’t worn the stuff very often. But that doesn’t mean I haven’t played favorites. The problem is, they’re all just so good! My eyelashes are notoriously long, and my cousin always gripes that every mascara looks good on me, so that might contribute to my long list of good mascaras. That being said, I do have several things that I look for in a mascara. I like my mascaras to be easy to remove from my lashes, and I also prefer a warmer tone to my mascara, as I have a lot of red tones in my hair and my eye color is pretty warm. I don’t own any at the moment, but the Essence Lash Princess mascaras are some of the best mascaras ever on my lashes. My favorite is the Volume version, it makes my lashes look really fluffy, and I don’t find them very hard to take off. The Tarte mascaras have all been good so far, but my favorite has to be the Gifted Mascara. It gives the lashes such a nice effect, and has a warm undertone which makes it subtly more flattering on my lashes. It seems like a strange thing to say about a black mascara, but I honestly find it to make a difference in the way it looks on my eyes. I would also like to give an honorable mention to my Colourpop Bff mascara, as a good coloured mascara. It’s a volumizing mascara, that goes on with a dramatic effect, and doesn’t transfer or flake on me. Plus they have a ton of colors to choose from. 

            

   Eyeshadow has to be my favorite makeup product. Period. They are the product that I find I can have the most fun with. The array of colors, different textures, layering, blending, there is so much possibility when it comes to eyeshadow. That’s what makes this category so tough. My eyeshadow collection is the biggest portion of my makeup collection, so there’s a lot to choose from. I thought I would break it down into several eyeshadow categories for the sake of this post. Powder shadow, Cream shadow, Glitter shadow, and Palettes. 

The first category I’m going to talk about is my collection of single powder shadows, and I’m actually going to be choosing a favorite shade, as all my single shadows are from colourpop. As I was thinking about which shade to choose one specific shadow came unchallenged to my mind. What shade is the you ask? Colourpop Tea Garden. This duo chrome shadow is exquisite. It’s a brown based duo chrome with a gorgeous green shift, and honestly I think it adds to every look I use it in. It’s subtle enough to be used in a neutral look, but has the perfect amount of green to lend it to colourful looks as well. The formula is creamy, and easy to work with, and the shade lends itself to many different applications in my opinion. It was a pretty clear choice for me, even though it is a shimmer. 

The next eyeshadow category I want to talk about would be my cream shadows. The choice for this was also pretty obvious to me. My cream shadow collection is honestly not that big, and consists of only a few different formulations. My choice has to be the Tarte Chrome Pot in the shade Park ave. Princess. It has to be my favorite bronze shade I’ve ever tried or seen. It’s smooth and very metallic, and makes a gorgeous one shadow eye look. It’s just such an amazing product with phenomenal shine and pigment. 

For glitter shadows it’s a bit more difficult, because both of the formulas I have are wildly different. But, I have to say that my favorite glitter would have to be Get Lost by Colourpop. I like that it’s in a pan, and easy to apply with my fingers, and it’s versatile enough to use for glam or even just for everyday use. 

For eyeshadow palettes it’s honestly a really tough call. Eyeshadow palettes are my favorite part of my collection, and I have quite a few of them. At the beginning of 2019 I had never tried a colourpop product, but 2019 saw my collection get taken over by my love for the brand. That being said, I honestly just love colourpop’s eyeshadow formula over most other eyeshadow formulas in my collection, and when the Uh-Huh Honey palette launched earlier this year I just couldn’t say no. I mean, I could have, but I really didn’t want to. It has become my favorite palette of 2019. I love the bright color story, the glitter, and the variety of tones. The shadows are easy to work with, and they apply smoothly onto the lids. The set-up with the plastic packaging and the mirror is quite durable, and it’s compact enough that I’m willing to take it one trips with me. Ever since I got my subculture palette back in January of 2019 I’ve been obsessed with the yellow toned eyeshadows, and the colourpop Uh-Huh Honey palette was like all my amazing yellow eyeshadow dreams come true. 

I realize this post is a bit late considering that we’re already over a week into 2020, but I had fun with this post, and hope you enjoyed it regardless. If you’d like to see more from me you can follow me on instagram @not_molly_19, and follow my blog to see when I post. Thanks for reading!

Signed, your friendly neighborhood blogger.

my top 3 homeschool faqs

         

I have been homeschooled for the majority of my school aged life. My parents made the decision to take me out of the public elementary school I attended k-3 at the end of my third grade year, I’ve done Classical Conversations curriculum from grades 5-10, and it has proved to be the perfect fit for my family. That being said, the truth is that there is really no stereotypical homeschool experience. The most important thing to know about homeschooling before you get into this post is that everyone does it for different reasons, and everyone does it differently. All I can tell you is about what homeschooling looks like for my family. 

The first question I get a lot when people find out I’m homeschooled is if I ever plan on going back to public school. To that question my answer is no. Actually though, a lot of the time that question comes out as more of a when am I going back to public school. For my family public school has never been the end goal of homeschooling, it hasn’t been our temporary solution. I realize that for a lot of people homeschooling can be more of a temporary fix then an end goal, but it’s not that way for my family. I started homeschooling when I was in fourth grade. It has its ups and downs just like public school, but I feel like it has helped me have a bigger perspective on things, and really explore life in a different and bigger way. 

Another question I’m pretty sure every homeschooler ever has encountered at least once a week ( Not really, but it feels like it sometimes.) is the shock-faced question of how I socialize, and “Oh, how will you ever learn people skills?” The thing is, I’m homeschooled, not hermitized. I have a wider social circle than I think some public schoolers do. I interact with people my own age, with adults, and with people younger than me that aren’t related to me on the daily. I participate in a lot of activities, like basketball, youth-group, homeschool group, and I’ve also done things like swim team, and other sports. I’m also learning to play the violin, and took several years of piano lessons. I have no shortage of social interaction, and a lot of my life is go go go. I’m not stunted in social situations, and though I am painfully shy, I’m not afraid to put my opinion out there. 

Something I feel like a lot of people outside of homeschooling circles assume is that my work is easy, and that I’m not going to graduate with all the knowledge I need. People assume that because I’m not doing the same work as my public schooled friends, my work must be too easy, and sub-standard. And, while I do understand that this is a reality for some kids who are homeschooled, the exact opposite is true in my family. My parents hold me to a much higher standard than even the best, and most demanding teachers I had in public school, and they’re always pushing me to be better and to do more. My parents are not the ones to sit back and let me do poor work. They have always pushed me to do better, and I am very lucky that they care about me so much. 

There are a lot of other faq’s to do with homeschooling, and if you’re interested I would love to do another post about it in the future. If you enjoyed this post please consider following my blog, and also my makeup account on instagram (@not_molly_19) to see more from me. 

Signed, your friendly neighborhood blogger.

so… its a collab! (Ravenclaw inspired makeup collab with Christina Chang!!!!)

It’s official. It’s my very FIRST EVER COLLAB!!!!!!!! Can you tell how excited I am for this??? I have been watching Christina Chang’s channel for about a year at this point, and her channel does not disappoint if you are a fellow makeup lover. She’s also a fellow Harry Potter Nerd in Ravenclaw House. She makes a lot of amazing content, and gets me super inspired to do stuff like palette bingos, project panning, and shop my stashes.

I started this blog back in May, and from before I posted my very first blog post I was already thinking about how amazing it would be to be able to collab with her. I put off asking for the longest time even after I got my instagram account because I was nervous that she would say no. Two weeks ago I finally got the courage to DM her on Instagram and ask if she would be willing to do a Ravenclaw makeup collab with me…. And she said yes. I was literally so shocked that she was willing to collab with me. She’s been really sweet throughout the whole post creation process. I’m so excited to have gotten to work with her on this.

      ( If you’re curious about what any of the makeup I’m wearing in any of these looks all the looks should be up on my Instagram today. @not_molly_19)

     My idea for this collab was to do three looks based on the Ravenclaw house from the Harry Potter series. Ravenclaw house is all about creativity, wisdom, and learning, and covers a wide range of artistic personalities, and their house colors are blue and bronze.

              My first idea for a Ravenclaw Makeup look was to do a look based on the average Ravenclaw. For this look I wanted to go with something I would feel comfortable wearing to class, with a little extra spice. I am literally so pleased with how this look turned out! I tried a couple of different looks before settling of this one. I wanted the look to be natural and easy to wear, with a light subtle flair of Ravenclaw spice. I honestly started this look out with absolutely no idea of where I was going. But the subtle blue duo chrome and blue bottom lash mascara bring the Ravenclaw flair to an otherwise normal neutral look. 

             The next look I wanted to go for was a super extra Ravenclaw Pride look. At one point in Harry Potter we see Luna Lovegood, a spacey artistic, not afraid to be herself Ravenclaw go all out on an outfit to support her friends on the Gryffindor Quidditch team, and I wanted to capture the way I think that look would transfer into Ravenclaw Spirit. For this look I pulled out all the blue and bronze to create a very in your face Ravenclaw Pride makeup look. 

    The last look I wanted to be inspired by our favorite Ravenclaw Character from Harry Potter. Fortunately for my decision making skills, one of my favorite characters from the entire series is Luna Lovegood. She embodies all of the things I love most about my Hogwarts house, creativity, wisdom, confidence, and even some Gryffindor type loyalty. All in all, I don’t really think there’s another character who provides the same unconditional friendship, and trust in her friends. For this look I wanted to capture the dreaminess of Luna’s personality in more pastel tones with a bronze wing and a light sprinkle of star shaped glitter. And of course we can’t talk about Luna Lovegood without talking about her loyalty to her friends, and that lion hat she had enchanted to roar to cheer for Gryffindor Quidditch.

    If you’ve gotten this far I would love to hear your input! Please leave a comment letting me know what you think. If you want me to know you were here please follow my blog, and if you want to hear when new posts go up, and see more looks from me follow me on Instagram @not_molly_19. Also, go check out Christina’s take on this idea on her YouTube channel Christina Chang. She’s an amazing creator and was really fun to work with. Thanks for reading, so until next time, Bye!