It’s Holiday Party Time!

I am giving some MAJOR actress vibes with this outfit! (My other side as an artist is coming out.) This might be one of my favorite outfits to style thus far! This is the PERFECT outfit to go to a Holiday party in!

First of all, the statement piece is definitely the fur jacket! It’s vegan fur and the coziest thing in the world! Not only does it look fancy, but it feels like I’m wearing a bathrobe!

Next up we’ve got this awesome knit cream sweater! I love that there’s metallic looking pieces in the fabric which give it a little glam! It’s a great neutral because it’s fun at the same time!

I will forever be a fan of olive colored jeans. Seriously you guys, I love the color because once again, they’re a neutral that can go with almost anything! The high waist with the buttons up the front is such a fun detail!

Last but not least: Statement. Earrings. Urban Found has the best selection of earrings, and I will forever be a fan of them! I love the thread of these and they are the perfect glitzy match to the coat!

All of these clothing items besides the shoes are from Urban Found! They have 3 locations in West Michigan: Holland, South Haven, and Saugatuck. I highly recommend checking them out as they have such great selections and affordable prices for the Holiday Season!

I am so thankful for all of you reading my posts! I hope you have a cheerful Holiday season!!!

Xo, Brynne

New Orleans Day 3

I took a bit of a break from writing as I’m back to school and my life is now crazy again… On the bright side, I’m so glad to share my highlights of Day 3 with you!

In the morning, my family and I went to get breakfast at the Ruby Slipper. There are multiple locations for this breakfast and lunch restaurant, but this location is especially interesting because it used to be an old bank. The crazy thing about it was that the bank was robbed by Bonnie and Clyde and was their last robbery before they died. Our waitress showed us the holes in the outside of the building that are rumored to be bullet holes from the robbery.

In addition to the dramatic backstory, the breakfast food was amazing! I got their cinnamon pancakes with a vanilla cream cheese frosting spread which I loved. It was light, sweet, and perfect for the morning. There were a ton of classic southern breakfast items on the menu as well such as eggs, grits, and fried green tomatoes.

After walking around the French Quarter for a little, we went back to our Air B and B to get ready for our Bayou tour. If you don’t know what a Bayou is, they are the swamps of Louisiana. This state is known for their swamps as they have alligators, snakes, and even wild pigs that roam the waters. We decided it was worth checking out. The company that gave us a tour was called Cajun Encounters, in Slidell, LA. They’re a large company and had at least a hundred people waiting for their tour by the time we got to the Bayou. The experience was interesting overall as we learned a lot about the Bayou ecosystem. Sadly, we didn’t see any alligators because in March, it’s not warm enough for alligators to come out of hibernation. It’s very rare that you see them in that until April so if you go on a swamp tour, I highly suggest that you wait until after March!

Our last stop of the day was at a seafood shack called Kenney Seafood. It’s far from fancy, but if you’re looking for some fried seafood, it’s the perfect place to be. You could choose between combinations of crawfish, shrimp, oysters, and more. I had a mixture of fried shrimp and crawfish which was so delicious. You can also get sides of fries, coleslaw, chowder, and other sides.  There was a plaque on the wall which  showed the waterline of where water flooded the restaurant during Hurricane Katrina. It was shocking to me because the plaque was about 5 1/2 feet above the floor. This day opened my eyes to the horror and destruction that Hurricane Katrina made. Even as we were on the swamp tours, we saw houses that were built on the Bayou, where residents resided in their day-to-day lives. During Katrina, almost all of them were destroyed, and because they were built on the Bayou, it was impossible for them to get house insurance. Many people rebuilt their houses from scratch or abandoned the scraps completely. We saw multiple houses that were flat as pancakes, forgotten by the owners. It was eye opening to see the  remaining destruction from the hurricane as it happened when I was eight, and I wasn’t there to experience and understand the horror of it myself.

Overall, it was another great day of exploring Louisiana. Not only did I learn a lot, but I was able to see the world from a deeper perspective. I hope you enjoyed and I cannot wait to share more of my adventures with you!

How to Battle Negative Self-Talk

Have you ever had one of those days where you get in a funk? Regardless of what positive thing someone tells you, it goes through one ear and out the other. Last night, I was so frustrated. No matter how much someone would encourage me or tell me I was doing something right, it all felt like a lie.

I was confused at first as to why I kept thinking this way. It felt like these thoughts came out of nowhere. Why do I suddenly feel like I’m not smart enough in lectures, not talented enough in my art classes, or not pretty enough? The more I thought about it, I finally understood the source of my doubt and insecurity.

Throughout the entire day, I was consistently feeding myself negative self-talk. It started with little, meaningless things like dang I wish I had longer legs in ballet class. I looked back on my day and could pinpoint four or five other times where a negative thought about myself would cross my mind. It all built up until I finally couldn’t ignore it. In a way, I’m glad it got to a point where I couldn’t ignore it. How many times do we think something negative about ourselves and don’t even know we’re doing it? I bet I’ve done it millions of times and I couldn’t do anything about if because I didn’t recognize it for what it was.

We become easy targets for negative self-talk when we forget how God sees us. When we forget or we don’t condition ourselves to learn and remember what He says we are, we become easy pickings for the devil. Tiny, negative, reminders throughout the day are sly ways to get someone to break, and that’s exactly how satan does it. When we don’t know our value or we set aside God’s positive reminders, we have nothing to protect us. So how do we battle negative self talk? We need to remind ourselves daily, even multiple times a day of God’s thoughts.

If you find that something from your past is haunting you, this is such an important verse to remember. 2 Corinthians 5:17 says “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” When you have accepted Christ, He does not see you as your past failures and is not ashamed of your actions. He loves you endlessly and will never stop, even if you’ve done the worst thing known to man. You can never lose the amount of love He has for you.

If you feel unqualified, unintelligent, untalented, or far from beautiful, this verse is for you: “For we are his workmanship, created in Jesus Christ for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in Him.”- Ephesians 2:10. He made each of us specifically to do amazing, incredible, things! Just because you are made different from someone else that doesn’t mean that you are not qualified or good enough. It just means that you’re incredibly qualified in something else, your own unique and incredible path that God has laid out for you and only you!

If you don’t feel accepted by others, you need to listen to this: “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” – 1 Peter 2:9. You’ve been accepted into the Lord’s kingdom before you were born. You’ve always had a home, maybe before you even knew it. The judgement of others does not define your value or worth. Truthfully, other people don’t have the right to judge you. The only being that has that right is the Lord, and his judgement does not come out of bitterness, hatred, or unkindness. It comes from a place of love and the passion to do what is right. Most importantly, God’s judgement never brings others down. It builds us up and helps us create a better life for ourselves and others.

I’ve found so much worth in those three verses when I go through difficult times or life trials. I’m making it a goal of mine to keep these verses close to my heart and memorize them for when negative self-talk comes creeping in. If any of these verses spoke to you, I encourage you to memorize them as well when you go through trials. We also need to tell ourselves that whatever negative thought that pops into our head is completely false and we need to name it. The more we name our problems, the easier they will be to smash. We have to declare that negative thoughts are not from the Lord and will not help us feel better about ourselves. Then we can remind ourselves what the literal words of God say about us. When we hold to the truth of the Lord’s vision, we will always be enough and feel loved. There’s nothing that can take that away from us when we realize who the being is that created us so intricately.

As always, thanks for listening, and I hope that my story can help yours.

xo, Brynne

 

 

The Gift of Community

For my last October break of my college career I went up North for my wonderful friend’s birthday. This lovely group of ladies has been with me since the very beginning of my college career and it’s so crazy to look back from freshman year to know and see how much we’ve grown.

As my remaining chapter of college is coming to an end, something that’s been on my mind is how we grow with one another in community. Every person that I spend time with has such incredible qualities that make our group of friends a whole. Each person in the picture above is so incredibly different from one another and I feel like it truly reflects how God sees community. 1 Corinthians 12: 18-20 says “but as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose.  If all were a single member, where would the body be?  As it is, there are many parts, yet one body.” It warms my heart to see these wonderful people in my life and see the unique strengths of each person that makes our friendship grow.

Wisdom: If I didn’t have my friends by my side to guide me in times of confusion or trouble, I know I would put myself in some crazy and unfortunate situations. Those wise friends understand how you’re feeling and push you to make the best decision and truly listen to where you’re at.

Honesty: This is the friend who always tells you how it is. They’re an open book about who they are and they’re not afraid to speak their mind. Even when it’s hard to be real about how you’re feeling, you can always count on this person to cut the tension and ask the tough questions.

Hospitality: I always feel loved and cared for by the people that are constantly serving others. They use their actions to bless the ones they love and find joy in doing so. They never complain about doing it because they love to look out for others in a behind-the-scenes kind of way.

Quality Time: No matter how busy they are, this friend is the one that never turns their back on you to talk. They are always willing to be with you and listen when you need it. They are incredibly loyal and will never let you down.

This is only the beginning in listing how many amazing gifts that each of these women possess. I’m so thankful that all of us are incredibly different, yet come together and create a group of people that looks out for one another in different ways. How boring would we all be if all of our friends were exactly like the next?

College has taught me a lot of things, but my friends have taught me more. I’m so thankful for the people in my lives who have been on this journey with me from Freshman to Senior year.