To tell you that this season, year, past few months have been a spiritual, emotional and physical rollercoaster - may not completely do it justice. For those who are close to me, you know. And real quick - thank you for encouraging me, believing in me, making me laugh, reminding me who the enemy is and above all else - reminding me that this was a season that God had brought to me for a reason. I love you guys so much.
Whew. Okay. Back to the blog....
So guess what? I quit my job. Yep. Wow - cannot believe I am saying that. AND I AM SO EXCITED. But also.... "hellooooo immense fear - HA. It wouldn't be confusing and difficult if it wasn't His plan, am I right? Let's hope so...
At this point I may have some readers thinking I just quit my day job to make custom furniture. AND OMG I AM LAUGHING SO HARD AT THAT THOUGHT - me with a power tool? Nah. Hahahhaahhahha (shout out to my queen bee friends who can slay some projects with those puppies - AND YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE). But I will nudge ya off the edge of your seat by telling you why the heck it is titled this.... and try not to butcher it. Ha.
A few months ago, a dear friend of mine was telling me she was driving to work, listening to a podcast ~that was like with a Hillsong worship leader or something? let me preface that I actuallyyyyy haven't listened to it - but this is what I remember in her retelling the podcast and what I took from it. :)~ and while also laughing bc this lady was v funny, she was also crying. Good tears, people! In this episode - the worship leader was explaining how she had this dream where she waltzed into a furniture store. In this furniture store, there were thousands of beautiful, custom pieces of furniture. Some vintage, some new - some simple, some so intricately detailed... like nothing she had seen. Then Jesus appeared. He said "you can have any piece of furniture you want - literally any piece! I've made everything and it is good - pick one". And she felt overwhelmed and so excited! Any piece she wanted?! She looked around... and around... and around... she couldn't decide. Why couldn't she decide?! He literally said ANY PIECE SHE WANTED. He made it all! It's all good and perfect in His name... why is she having such a hard time picking ONE piece of furniture? She told Him she couldn't decide. He responded "well if you'd like, I can make a custom piece of furniture - exactly for you - only for you - and perfect for you. Everything in here is good and perfect - but I can make you a custom piece that you will love immensely." And she was so HAPPY! A piece just for her?! By her creator!? A custom piece of furniture by her beloved that was completely made just for her?? What a treasure... And then she woke up.
Now again - I haven't listened to it yet - and I 100% will! But just the retelling of this story through a friend was enough for my torn, confused heart. I'll explain...
Without getting into too much detail or overwhelming anyone with my freaking LIFE story - lol - I had a very painful but powerful year last year. I was navigating fresh waters of losing my mom which for me was intensely painful. I know people love their mommas but this was one relationship and person I forever needed and longed for. She was a person beyond explanation and completely made me and my siblings who we are today because of her love and example. Okay now I am crying. One sec.
SO as I was saying - I was experiencing intense grief, working a full time job and just managing to function. Not well, I might add. But during this time, I picked up my serving schedule at church and began singing with the worship team again. It was something I had been doing for over a year and really enjoyed - but the idea of standing up there singing praise to (if you want to go there) someone who could let this happen to me? Sounded difficult. Boy was I in for it....
I can't remember the date, but it was early in 2018, March or so, that God met me on that stage in such a heavenly way that I cannot explain or tell into words that would do it justice. He knew I needed Him and He met me in a way that was so close to my heart. Through worship. And He met me, time and time and time and time again through that stage - that room - that music - those people - He met me. He carried me - He held me - He caught my tears and He gave me a voice to sing through it all. Okay, crying again.
Sorry this is so long, y'all! Woof.
Through this time, I began to understand that He created me to worship. Sing His name, lead through music, song, voice... I knew it. He told me. That sounds weird and if you had asked the Alyssa in 2017 or earlier if God had ever spoken to her, she would get uncomfortable and be like "uh no i don't think so". And then make a joke and run away. LOL.
I began to question if this is what He put me on the earth to do... like, if this was supposed to be my full-time job... "am I supposed to like, go to seminary or worship school (lol) or something now?! I am SOOOOOOOOOOOO unqualified!!!!!!". And this conversation happened over and over and over... and He kept meeting me. And I became impatient. Why did He give me such intense confirmation and passion for this and there was no "job" in my future? Do I just sit with this info now? "Like, hi, yeah, can you tell me what to do next? Your girl needs a freaking door right now lolololllll." And I began trying to predict my future, plan it out, map it out... all while starting a photography and video business on the side. What's that you ask? Why yes - I started a business... you guys are probably like "what the heck am I reading right now..." Get you some popcorn, boo.
The majority of you know I've pursued YouTube and have been creating content for a few years now. You may not know that I also did this at my full-time job. It was a huge blessing to hone a craft that I enjoyed, was challenged by and felt good at. But over time, I began feeling burnt out at my 9-5 job. I knew there was something more for me. I just wasn't sure yet what that exactly was... "Worship??? Photography + video??? Becoming a full-time pomeranian mom??? Something else???"
I began bouncing around the idea of doing photography full-time, for myself. It was something I really felt like I was blossoming into once I finally began shooting for myself. After prayer, talking to Daniel and saving for a camera upgrade, I decided to potentiallyyyyy pursue this avenue in 2019 - especially if this worship thing didn't pan out... are y'all laughing at me yet??? Trust me - I am too. THE AUDACITY THAT I COULD TELL GOD WHAT I AM DOING WITH MY LIFE.
While wrestling with all of this internally and through conversations with friends - I was going a little crazy. My emotions were so raw, I still missed my mom and I knew she would tell me what to do. But she wasn't there and I had to talk to God about it. And did He talk back.
A few months ago, during one of the ongoing conversations about my LYFEEEEE my friend, Cari, told me about the podcast episode I mentioned earlier. She began explaining to me that while all of these avenues for my future were good, and just and beautiful in His name, did I want to pick one and pursue it? I would be happy - because God created it - of course it was good! But did I want that? To pick just one of my passions?
What if I just let him create a custom life, career, future for me?
HOLY FREAKING SHOT THIS HIT ME LIKE BRICKS.
He is the master, perfecter, creator, all-knowing and He created ME. He gave ME all these passions, desires, hopes and gifts... why did I have to pick one?? Why did only one have to work out?? What if I just "created" and worshipped through music, singing, photography, film, stories, silliness, compassion, and all of the other attributes He gave me that make me Alyssa? I wouldn't have to worry about my future. Because I was doing exactly what He put me on this earth to do, in this moment, in this season, in this life.
So friends, I'm letting God create a very custom piece of furniture for my future and I encourage you to do that, too.
Today I thought it would be fun to share how to get beachy - messy waves in this step by step how to guide and video tutorial! This has been my go-to hairstyle for several months now. A lot of peeps have asked me what I use to style my hair and I’m excited to share it on the blog and my YouTube channel! Of course I have always done some sort of wave/curl to my hair (see here!) but my whole world changed once I switched from my curling iron to a curling wand. Total game changer! The wand definitely gives you more of that easy - breezy - didn’t work too hard - even tho you maybe did - cool girl - messy waves - just came from the beach - hairstyle. Yes please. I’d recommend clicking play on the video below - I do an in depth tutorial in my teeny bathroom and show you all my tips and tricks! Including one I learned from Dearly Bethany! Love the sixties vibe it gives and I think you will too - so be sure to watch till the end!
While I would recommend you use a wand to get this effect, you can totally try doing this with a straightener or curling iron. The taper of the wand gives it that messier look but you can always just leave about two inches of your hair uncurled when working with a different tool - you should get a similar effect!
I bought this Hot Tools wand on a whim last summer and it has changed my life . Not knowing much about wands, I asked for help at my local Ulta. Seeing as I was growing out my hair and my hair is pretty thick,, this is the one they recommended. I love how wide the barrel is! if it was any smaller it would make the curls small and tight. Not really the look I was going for!
You’ll also need a good hairspray. I was completely out of my favorite one (bummer) but was able to make a sea salt spray work for me. Really you just need a little somethin’ somethin’ to spritz as you go. It adds texture to your hair and that is so important for this wavy hairstyle - it gives you the effortless, messy look! This Living Proof Full Dry Volume Blast smells soooo amazing and doesn't make my hair feel crunchy or weird. It's the perfect spray for this look and the texture of my hair!
Of course my favorite spray was empty - I blame you, Daniel! So I reached for another spray - this one is a seal salt spray that I like to have on hand. It's not my absolute favorite, but it did help give me that texture I needed to finish off this look.
How do you like to style your hair? I’m a v lazy person when it comes to getting ready in the morning (lol) so this messy hairstyle has been so stellar for me! I hope y’all like it, too!
Welcome to 2019 - the year I so passionately dubbed "This Will Be My Year" (thanks ban.do for my rad new planner that will remind me erryday). I’m a little late but I figured, better late than never.
Last year was a very weird, hard, messy, vulnerable, confusing year for me on so many levels. There was also goodness - and so much growth. So much so, that it’s spilling over into this new year. I welcome it but the growing pains and unknowns are kinda scary. I like to keep comfortable - wow, shocker! Haha.
This vlog was a fun and simple way to dip my toes back into sharing myself and my life with y’all. To some people it might seem weird that I feel called to share my life on the internet… it did to me for a while, too. But I can’t shake it and I really enjoy doing it. I’ve met so many rad human beings through my YouTube channel and this blog. So before I go on, I just wanna say: thanks from the bottom of my heart for being here.
Back to Daniel and Alyssa’s day of fun! Who heard that in Janice’s voice?! Hehe.
Yesterday was a laid back and easy Sunday with my hubs. I served at our church in the toddlers room - that always brings me joy. Makes me tired but omgggggg those precious little faces are so cute. When I finished up wrangling two year olds and sent them off home, I snagged Daniel from our apartment and we made our way to lunch at Taco Joint. If you’ve followed me for a while, you already know about our deep love for Taco Joint. My order: one "Evan" taco and a cup of tortilla soup - jalapeño ranch on the side. Man, I want that right now, haha!
Once our bellies were full, I convinced Daniel to take me to get this one specific candle from Bath and Body Works that I just couldn’t stop thinking about! I first bought it when my brother and I were roommates, before I got married to Daniel. #Bless that it was $10 off, too! Obviously I was a happy camper. Even better news?! Urban Outfitters was right next door and I scored a suuuuper cute hat I’ve had my eye on since December. It was on sale at that location for $20! YAS!
On our way home, we made a pit stop at the neighborhood Whole Foods (lol, surprise) for dinner ingredients and then made our way straight home to cuddle Marble. She is queen bee of our house, y’all. We love her so much, haha. Also, like you’ll see in the video, the recipe turned out delishhhhhhh. Is it a healthy dinner option? No. But ten out of ten would recommend.
I hope you guys had a great weekend! If only they were just a little bit longer, am I right?! I know that sounds soooo basic but I am like 100% serious. We need to get off this "9-5, Monday - Friday" business thing and actually live our livesssssss. Can we start a petition for this?
Like I said in the video, I'm really excited for this year to unfold. It has been a long time coming for me to put myself back out there and I'm super eager to do so. However, I will definitely take the time I need to do it and will be patient with myself.
How are you pushing yourself this year? I'd love to pray for you and encourage you!
Yes, oh yes, I did.
For several months Daniel and I have discussed investing in a camera upgrade for me. Granted, I actually haven't even had a nice camera (just the Sony a5000 I bought two years ago for my YouTube channel). Luckily for my job, I've been able to use and learn (and boy oh boy, did I learn) a Canon Rebel that belongs to the company. Many of you readers may not know what it is I do for work. I'll save you all the many things I actually do at my job and instead talk about the one thing that pertains to this post. For the past two-ish years, I've photographed and created video content for our social media, shopping events, online shop and blog. Sigh. Y'all. I'm not crazy proud of that work. I wish I was! But after years of manipulating the gear I had to create ~good enough~ content, I grew really frustrated. Especially over the past 5-6 months.
I truly love photography - and to be specific - lifestyle photography. And y'all already know, I love creating video content. But I became so disenchanted with making anything digital after feeling so set back from my gear. I'll pause right here tho - I also believe that ANYone can create content they love with the gear they have - even if it is "so-so" in their personal opinion. And to shed a light on this, I have been! I just felt sooooo ready to take a step toward learning more in the photography realm and in my personal opinion and experience, that meant upgrading gear.
SO - this weekend I did just that. I had been a hawk checking on a local photography seller here in Dallas for weeks and weeks. Daniel and I both knew our best bet would be to look into buying used gear. I had an idea of which cameras I was interested in (and of course, my dream camera) but I was being patient and I was asking all the questions and researching a ton. I'll spare you the details and just fast forward.
Last week I saw that the local camera store had a used (and in mint plus condition, btw) Canon 5D Mark III for sale. My thought process? "Wowza. This would be v cool to own. And I could start with a 50mm lens! Wow. AND it takes video?! Wait, wait... I can create slow motion footage?? Imagine what content I could create with this..."
To make a semi-long (but not really - it was a wonderfully easy and friendly process) short - I walked myself right out of that local camera shop with not only the camera of my ~current~ dreams - but a 50mm f/1.4 lens to boot! And y'all. I've not been able to put it down.
While I google how to use this thing to its max capacity AND watch a million and one YouTube how-to videos - enjoy these simple snaps I took around our house this weekend.
I'm so excited to learn how to use this beauty and I am feeling so grateful that we are even able to take these next steps and invest in such a thing as this. I can't wait to see what happens.
If you're in the DFW area and would love some free images, shoot me an email! I really need some practice and would love to snap some images of you, your family or fun stuff for your blog! I'll hopefully share more details soon but for now, AHHHHHH I AM JUST SO HAPPY.
WOW - it's been a looooooong time since I've been on YouTube - especially with a thrift haul! It feels good to be back. Thank you guys so much for your patience. I have had quite a rough year and I really needed to take a step back to take care of myself. Days are still really difficult, but I have missed sharing on this channel very much and it feels so good to edit and post a new video all about the frivolous joy of thrift shopping.
I AM SO EXCITED to share this fall inspired thrift haul. Let's be real, it's the best time of the year! And if you read that in your head like Tom Haverford and Donna Meagle then LET'S BE BEST FRIENDS.
You're going to see upcycled denim jeans, boho blouses, fall dresses and even a few surprising accessories. Be sure to watch the video to see all the rad things I got for such a good deal - I'm talking like less than $5 for each item!
Because I can't link the thrifted items in this video (hello 90's dresses and old UO) I thought it would be fun to find a few similar pieces that I consider great alternatives (unless you go thrifting for similar pieces of course *wink wink*). Check out the staple pieces I've added to my wardrobe for this fall below!
HIGH WAIST DENIM JEANS
I'm loving this ethical brand and just ordered this pair of pants for myself! I'll report back on the fit but I've heard they fit true to size and have a nice stretch to them.
BLOUSY SHEER TOPS
If I'm not thrifting, I love to browse Old Navy's clearance racks for blouses! My secret to an effortless boho blouse is to purchase a few sizes up so it hangs blousy and flowy on my frame.
This is a staple print for all seasons, tbh. But it's such a fun and natural color scheme to add to your fall colors! Looks great paired with every shade. I love this and this.
FALL COLORED DRESSES
Again, if I'm not scoping out the racks at my local thrift store, I love to check out Urban Outfitters or Asos for inspiration. I think something like this or this would be great for the fall.
A BOLD HEAD WRAP
Luckily the head wrap in my video was NOT thrifted (shhhh, don't tell)! This is good news because I can share with you exactly where I got it and who made it.
Check out their selection here.
I hope this has given you inspiration for your fall wardrobe! If you are on a budget or just like to hunt for one of a kind goodies, then definitely try thrift shopping! The links above are a mixture of vintage, ethical brands, big box stores and even handmade pieces. Who knows, before you get to shopping you might just take a quick glance at your closet. You might even have these pieces already!
This thrift haul is long overdue, y'all. Again, thank you for your patience, support and outpouring of love here on this blog, my channel and my Instagram. Many of you I am proud to call friends now and I'm so, so grateful for you. Thank you. I love y'all and I can't wait to make more videos and get to know you all! Let's be friends!!! No, seriously. Let's be friends.
HAPPY FALL, Y'ALL! Let's bust out the pumpkins. My body is ready.
I'm Alyssa, thanks for stopping by! A few things: I enjoy laughing, making youtube videos and thrift shopping. Currently listening to "Everything Now" by Arcade Fire. I like my coffee black and my preferred method of maxin' & relaxin' is with my husband and pup.