Sun♡day devotional 1

Tonight Lord, we pray for the stay-at-home mamas who work from home. Although an incredible blessing, it is such incredibly laborious work. Day in and day out Lord, these mamas are constantly feeling under pressure. Between sharing their time between their child(ren) and their work, they are never left to take a breath. The hours are long. There isn’t a clock to punch out on. Lunch breaks are nonexistent. Free time is nonexistent, especially for those who are unable to seek relief from a spouse, family or friends.

The weight is heavy. Lord please be with these mamas as on some days, they are so desperately in need of Your strength and guidance to persevere and move forward. Please be with these mamas Lord to show them that although they may not have physical, earthly help, that they have You. You alone can move mountains. You alone are the most high Jesus Christ.

For those of y’all reading. I have been struggling today. At times, it felt as if I was facing impossible to climb mountains. I have literally prayed all day. I know that the Lord is with me. He has given me the strength to get through this day with grace. It was certainly not an easy one. But I have made it through. And if you are taking a moment to read this, and you have had yourself a weighty day, just know, you have made it through.

I just want you all to know, especially you mamas. It is okay to feel like you’re falling apart some days. Talk with God. He will pick you up. He will put you back together. He will never fail you. You are not alone, and as the beautifully perfectly imperfect child of God that you are, you never will be.

Please pray for these mamas Lord. In Jesus’ name, Amen

WHAT’S IN MY MAKEUP BAG

HAPPY SATURDAY BABES!

Can y’all tell how excited I am, that it is the freakin’ weekend? CHEERS ♡

Okay, so I just wanted to take a moment before I head out on errands, solo I might add (otherwise known as a mini vacay for one), I wanted to hop on and quickly share with y’all what products exactly I use daily and store in my makeup bag!

My go-to, everyday, day n’ night, all occasions makeup bag. . .

Featured above:

Brushes (top to bottom): Maskcara B Squared Brush (Bronzer + Blush); Maskcara The Detail HAC; Maskcara The Multitasker; (featured right) Eco Tools double ended Brow Brush; and (featured right) Maskcara Perfector Sponge.

Primer: Younique Touch Glorious Primer

Face (Foundation, highlight, contour, illuminator, blush, bronzer, eyeshadow, eye liner, lipstick, and setting powder): Maskcara Mini Double Decker. . . YEP. ALL. OF. THAT. ♡

Mascara: L’Oreal Voluminous (Carbon Black)

Lippie: Too Faced Lip Injection Extreme (Clear)

What’s inside my HAC Stack you’re wondering. . . Pure freakin’ magic 👇

Top layer
Photo by: Alyssa C Dodenhoff
Bottom Layer
Photo by: Alyssa C Dodenhoff

So there ya have it gals! You now have the ultimate 411 ♡

Message me if interested in customizing your own magical palette; Visit @thecheekymidwesterner on IG!

Much love –

Prince Charming + Tito’s

Happy Tuesday y’all!

So, let’s talk Mother’s Day mamas. . . And, let’s be really, really real.

My Mother’s Day definitely did not play out as I had expected.  Did yours?

Throughout all of the years of waiting. . . Waiting for my husband to get home after the end of a long week of traveling, waiting for him to come home after months of training, I have found that the hardest part of the waiting game comes just days before their arrival.  The excitement, the expectations. . . They all start to build up.

Just a lil’ background info for y’all: My husband was on a weekend flight this past weekend, and so Brooklyn Meadow, Lemon, and myself enjoyed a girl’s weekend in.  Filled with pizza dates and tiny adventures, we had greatly anticipated the return of our knight in shining armor.

My mind had switched over to fantasy mode, and I began to enter a dream-like state.  In my head, I had dreamt up the perfect outfit, the perfect hello, the perfect kiss.  In my head, I could see him running to me and engulfing me in a full embrace.  I pictured him holding me tight, never wanting to let go.  A day filled with sharing stories and stealing kisses.  Can y’all tell I am a dreamer or what?

So, on Sunday when I had received the “OK” to leave for the airport, my mind went into overdrive.  My handsome husband in his flight suit was going to walk off the runway, run to me and hold his girls tightly.  We were going to spend the afternoon brunchin’, drinking mimosas on the patio overlooking cornfields.  We would spend the rest of the evening as a family, on a walk, relaxing, appreciating one another.

SCREEEEEEEEECH.

“Hey babe?  Can we go home so that I can change out of my flight suit?” *Cue Brooklyn Meadow crying, crankily anticipating a nap in the backseat*

My fairytale began to unravel as we got closer and closer to home.

I was discouraged, disappointed, upset.

Needless to say, after getting home, we spent the remainder of the day inside quietly, as my husband napped.

Was I mad as hell?  Yes.  At him.  At the situation.  The day.  Myself.  Yes.

And here is why I love writing so dang much.  Because writing has and had allowed me to reflect on the situation.  It allows (and had allowed) me to see my written perspective against a blank, unbiased canvas.  Without my mind interrupting, I can (and did) truly mediate and reflect on my situation.

My husband didn’t “ruin” my Mother’s Day.  I didn’t ruin it.  No one ruined it.  It just didn’t turn out as I had expected.

I, simply, in the midst of dreaming, had lost sight of my reality.

In my dream-like state, I failed to factor in that my husband worked hard and long hours all weekend.  He was physically and mentally exhausted.  He had an early morning and a set of flights to prepare for the next day.  I, on the other hand, was running on very little sleep and as a result was irritable and on edge.

Often, we brew expectations in our mind automatically and subconsciously.  We simply cannot help it.

In the end gals, we should never release ourself from knowing our self-worth and carrying forth what we know and believe we deserve.  And although our expectations form suddenly and without warning, we must learn to separate our fairytale expectations from reality.  Hold up – I am not saying stop dreaming!  No, no, no.  We must just be mindful.  At the end of the day, life is going to pan out the way it is supposed to pan out ♡

Ultimately y’all, God’s (the Universe’s, whomever or whatever you believe in’s) expectations for our life are sometimes different than our expectations for our life.

So, just ride the wave.  Be thankful.  Practice gratitude.  Give yourself a little grace.  It is okay that you aren’t always super mindful of your blessings in the heat of the moment.  Forgive yourself.  Allow yourself to grow from it. #glowup

And sometimes, you just need to sit back, relax, have a little Tito’s and let life happen.

Much love –

Maskcara, what? Why I took the leap of faith + how it has drastically changed my life

Hello y’all! Happy Sunday! What a beautiful freakin’ weekend, hallelujah 🙌🏼

I cannot help but reminisce on how truly wonderful this weekend was.  How was your weekend?

I wanted to take a moment to share with y’all groundbreaking beauty products that have quite literally, changed my life.

I was recently approached by a beauty gal (with a beautiful heart + soul) on Instagram. She had out-of-the-blue reached out to me regarding a semi new-founded beauty and skincare product line. Little did I know at the time, it is truly an all-natural guru + minimalist’s (or as I like to call it, minimal(hot)MESS‘) dream. She had provided me with a glimpse into the magical world of HAC-ing and the revolutionary “5-Minute Face,” which consists of Maskcara’s IIID foundation system.

Like most of y’all when receiving a product-type message, you immediately ward it off. Given that, like most of y’all, you are already in love with the beauty products that you are currently using. And, if not in total love, you are ultra (hm, “Ulta”? How ironic.) comfortable using said products. AND, if you are like me, completely worried that a new product (especially if you have sensitive skin) will cause utter mayhem on your pretty face. I get it. Too much risk with an unknown reward. Why go for it?

Make sure to keep reading for a list of the many, many benefits and why the rewards SO outweigh the (if any) risks. The same risks that y’all take when trying new Sephora-brand name and drugstore beauty products

Weeks had gone by, and quite honestly, I became so frustrated with the lack of time that I had daily, that it took to look just semi decent and somewhat put together. Never mind, glam . . . HA!  I did not have 30-minutes to do my makeup and really and truly take the “adequate” amount of time required for me to apply the layers upon layers (of makeup) so that I looked put together and well-sculpted. Heck, I have 10-15-minutes total to shower, make my hair look somewhat decent (hence the new mom-do), and apply my makeup. So what, that gives me about 5-7-minutes tops to allocate to makeup, huh? Unless you are an expert, no, a freakin’ wizard, how the heck can you start to finish do your makeup in such short a time span?

My frustrations at this point had gotten the best of me, and I had swirled into a makeup-free funk.

Then, the lightbulb went off… Maskcara, what?

I was laying in bed trying to fall asleep when the thought had entered my mind. I became so wrapped up in my thoughts that I literally could not sleep, I was so excited. I had immediately the next morning contacted infamous Instagram girl, and had asked her for more information regarding their products and their Artist program.

From start to finish, the conversation had lasted mere minutes, and it had ended with me impulsively signing on to become an Artist. I cannot describe it, other than it just felt right. It felt as if it were through God’s will, that I was led to this moment.

You’re thinkin’ I’m crazy, right?

Well, what I can tell you, is that I fall more and more in love with this beauty line each and every day. I have more time to spend with my daughter, heck, more time to do the things that I love. And honestly, I have never gotten more compliments… My skin has never looked better. I’m glowing.

I know that I am an exception from the rest. I am super impulsive. I trust my gut. I trust God, truly, just leaving it in His hands.

I guess I wanted to share this with you guys for a number of reasons. . .

  1. One, if you’re like me, HELL YA! You’re not crazy for being impulsive, you are just badass;
  2. Two, trusting your gut is important, but trusting God and his plan is even more important;
  3. When in doubt, just go for it. If you want it badly enough, it will work, because you will make it work; and lastly,
  4. If you have not tried Maskcara beauty yet, what in the heck are you waitin’ for sista! Why fuss over your makeup, when you can spend that saved time, spending time with your loved ones, doing what you love, writing, praying, working out…

So, what are you waiting for?  Don’t just take my word for it, click here to read others’ testimony.

Get out there gorgeous.

MASKCARA BEAUTY FAST FACTS + BENEFITS

  • Founded on the premises that makeup should be fun, quick + easy AND that it should not cover up your natural beauty, but rather, enhance it;
  • Provides buildable coverage, with a weightless and natural finish;
  • Super affordable, comparable with drugstore makeup pricing;
  • Few + natural-rooted ingredients;
  • Ingredients are CRUELTY free, GLUTEN free + PARABEN free;
  • Everything is so gosh darn pretty, literally drool-worthy;
  • Sleek and simple: ONE small palette and ONE double-sided brush to achieve a full face; and lastly, I want to ask you:
  • Hate how foundation (may it be liquid, cream, or powder) drowns out your complexion?  UGH, annoying.  Stuck applying layers and layers of contour, highlight, bronzer, blush and illuminator?  UGH, even more annoying.  Well, you can leave those “UGH” moments at the door, because with Maskcara’s IIID foundation, you’ll be experiencing more “AH” (breath of fresh air) moments.

For y’all wanting more information, be sure to reach out either through the “Contact” section of this online journal, or through messaging on my Instagram page

Have a blessed week!

XO, ACD ♡🦋

Monday’s + Re-routing Negative Thoughts

I’ve been up since 4:30 a.m. with little Miss Brooklyn Meadow.  She is finding comfort in absolutely nothing.  Milk?  Nope.  Me holding and rocking her for the past two hours?  Yeah, I love this mama, but no.  Clean, new diaper? Yeah, again, thanks mama, but just no.  Annnnnnnnnnnd as a last resort, I switch on Netflix and begin streaming her favorite television show.  C’mon B, it’s True!  Still. Not. Happy.  Hm.

Now onto me:  My dang right eye.  “When one door closes, another opens…”  I’m not feelin’ as optimistic at the moment.  This surely is a bad joke.  One chalazion heals, another stye forms?  HA!  Yep, surely, we have ourselves a lovely stye that has decided to plant its roots and set up camp in my bottom outer eyelid.  AWESOME.  My thoughts begin to race, criss-crossing, and playing  bumper cars on the tracks of my brain waves.  Why, why, why do I keep getting these?  Must. Research. Now.  Phoning Dr. Google (and down the rabbit hole I shall go).

This was the internal dialogue that had began to ramp up in my head this morning.  It literally start to finish lasted a matter of seconds before I smacked myself in the face with my Sunday evening prayer/mantra that I had so craftily devised and penned last night: “Looking forward to all that God has planned for me this week.  May I have the strength + courage to overcome any/all hardships + may my heart be open to all (even the smallest, and sometimes hardest to see) blessings 🙌🏼Amen.”  (For similar content, click here.)

But, how?  How, when we are completely trapped in our own carefully and haphazardly spun web of negativity, do we blanket our thoughts with positivity?  It feels at times for me anyhow, dang impossible.  I find myself asking God, why?  What did I do to deserve this?  Why am I always dealing with an issue?  And, once I get to this point, and we all reach a similar “point,” I laugh at myself.  I metaphorically, pick myself up, and in the words of Rachel Hollis, I hear, “Girl, (you need to) wash your face.”

So, my daughter woke me up in the middle of the night?  She needed me.  Thank you Lord for giving me the good health and strength to be there for her.  Thank you Lord for granting me those extra seconds, minutes, hours to spend with her (even if they were in the wee hours of the night).  How blessed I am to be able to spend such precious time with her.  Thank you Lord for giving her good health, so that she is able to signal for me to be by her side in her times of need.  My eye?  Get over it Alyssa.  It’s a dang stye.  Be thankful that you are able to see, that you have your vision, and that it isn’t even the slightest bit near life threatening.  Be thankful that it can be treated at home with simple home remedies.

Look at all of those blessings.  It is all of those blessings, that I am unable to focus on when I am blinded by negativity.

This y’all, is where your mindset must shift.  It quite literally is as simple as turning the switch.  It is looking for those blessing in any/all things.  Blessings can be found everywhere.  Even, through and throughout our hardships.  Our days are quite literally FILLED entirely with blessings.  It is just a matter of you seeking those blessing, cherishing them, thanking and making praise to the Lord, our Savior.  Or, any higher power/being that you believe in for that matter.  (I just wanted to take a moment to say that for this and any future postings, although I am making reference to God through my Christian faith, I want y’all when you come across these references, to please, please, please replace my beliefs with yours, so that y’all can get the most out of my writing! ♡ Sorry for the run on!)

Let’s make searching for each days blessings a game.  I can promise you, that when you begin to fill your brain space with positivity, and you quite literally begin to count your blessings, your brain is going to be so dang full, that there will be no room for negativity, for any anxious-ridden thoughts.  Ultimately, for any thoughts that do not serve you.  Y’all can tell those pesky thoughts to go-home!

In closing y’all, we are human.  We are going to experience negative thoughts DAILY.  Though you, like me, we have the choice to either sink or swim.  We can either drown ourselves in negativity, or swim (somewhere on a beach, with our fruity, umbrella-laden cocktail in our hand).

It is completely our (your) choice.

I say, let’s swim together.  It is a heck lot more fun!

XO, ACD♡🦋

*Side note – I dedicate this post to my beautiful mother who not only loves me endlessly, but who taught me how to be… how to “wash my face” before it was even a thang’, who taught me how to swim.  For that I am endlessly and forever grateful, I love you mama.