The Instagram Bible

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I won’t be long today as I am getting ready for my exams- yet, I really had to share that really short blog post by Jen Wilkin on her blog The Beginning of Wisdom; her reflection on the tendency lots of people have, because of social media (Instagram but also Facebook, blogs, and whatever app that exists), to get their “spiritual meals” on Instagram was definitely very convicting and worth reading.

It resonated with me in a particular area: I love reading blogs on modesty or scrolling through Pinterest, going from board to board and stealing modest outfits ideas. Sometimes I spend too much time there. But, isn’t modesty something biblical ? Yeah, sure. But you cannot base your whole theology on clothes. Its an element, pointing to something greater, and it can be made an idol under the pretext of godliness, at times.

See you after my exam, ya’ll !

 

 

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Do you capsule ?

The term “capsule wardrobe” was coined by Susie Faux, owner of the West End boutique “Wardrobe”, in the 1970s to refer to a collection of essential items of clothing that would not go out of fashion, and therefore could be worn for multiple seasons. The aim was to update this collection with seasonal pieces to provide something to wear for any occasion without buying many new items of clothing.” – Wikipedia (I know, not necessarily the best ressource but that definition is fine for my post 😉 )

Last week, I took advantage of my free afternoons to declutter my appartment before starting school. I was AMAZED at the amount of things- not only clothes in my wardrobe but plates in my kitchen, products in my makeup bag (I mean box) I had, most of them for YEARS and yet only using maybe 20-30 % of each category on a daily basis.

Not only there were here, useless, but clutter adds a lot of stress, and the “turnover” energy you have to put in daily when it comes to cleaning is important. What I mean by that is simple: the more stuff you have, the more cleaning you’ll have to do.

Which is sad because in the case of clothes, if you wear only your favorite items (20 %-30% of your cluttered wardrobe), you are allowing those you won’t wear to collect dust, eat a lot of space and eventually you will have to wash them and fold them again, over and over. I have folded TONS of clothes just because I had to and yet would never wear them.

That is how I came to get acquainted with the idea of a capsule wardrobe, and a capsule lifestyle as well. Some will take it to extreme lenghts, it’s true. Everyone will have his/her own definition of capsuling and for me, it was having the clothes I loved most and used most… without spending my whole life cleaning around ! Also, choosing carefully your items and getting creative with mixing/matching was an aspect I really wanted to integrate as a part of a frugal lifestyle where you spend more time doing things that count rather than spending lots of money on clothes/items.

I found some illustrations of capsules of Pinterest that I found useful.

If you don’t know how to “capsule”, here is a short article.

An example of an Audrey Hepburn inspired capsule wardrobe- It’s my style basically. I find that neutrals never go out of style (and pearls also, but that’s just a matter of personal taste 😉 )

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Mix and match and voilà !

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An interview with the former Victoria Secret model Kylie Bisutti

Note: This short interview was published in 2013 on my former blog, and was translated to French. Three years after deleting my blog, I just rediscovered this interview with the former Victoria Secret’s model Kylie Bisutti, who left her career to follow Christ. She is such a humble, kind mom of two and I enjoy following her on social media, and seeing her grow more and more spiritually. I hope you enjoy this (short) interview and if you are interested in knowing Kylie’s story-more in depth this time, I’ve read her book and I think it would be a great, great encouragement and testimony for young teens… and older ladies.
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1) Hi Kylie ! Thank you for having accepted this interview. First, can you describe your family and faith backround, before you became a model ?

I wasn’t raised in a Christian home so I was not a believer when I started modeling at the age of 14. The first time I attended church was when I was almost 16 and then I got baptized shortly after that!

 2) What really motivated you to get into the modeling industry, at 14 ? What was your parents stance on this ?

My parents were very open to letting me pursue my dream of becoming a model. I was motivated by worldly things though. I wanted attention. Fame. Acceptance. Value. I thought that modeling would fulfill me… I wanted to prove to people that I was worthy. God showed me though that there is no happiness in trying to find value in worldly things. He is the only way to true happiness and a fulfilled life.

3) How was your relationship with the Lord, what did you knew about Him at this time ?

I didn’t know anything about The Lord when I started modeling. Even after I started going to church I didn’t have the right view of Christ and what it means to live for Him. I just believed that his desire for me was to have health wealth and prosperity and that he was here to bless me with it. He has changed my view of him and my heart so much though from the vain place it used to be!

 4) The pinnacle of your career was when, of course, you became a VS model. How did it all happened ?

When I was 19 I auditioned for the Victoria’s Secret 2009 runway angel competition along with 10000 other girls. I ended up being a top ten finalist to compete for the spot and ended up being voted the winner by America!

 5) Thousands of girls are looking at VS runaways and wondering, how does it feel to be a model of that level. How does it really feel ?

Lonely. Empty. Vain. Truly insecure. The night I was named the vs runway angel was one of the most insecure nights of my life. It’s the opposite of what most girls think and I talk about all of the details and emotions in my book, I’m No Angel.

 

6) When you got married, what was your husband stance on your job as a model ?

He didn’t really know much about the modeling industry. He had no clue who Heidi Klum was and what the VS fashion show was. So in the beginning he didn’t think much of it. He didn’t really become aware of it all until I started working for VS.

 7) One day, you announced that you were leaving VS. What happened, in your life so after having worked all your life to reach such a coveted position in the modeling world ?

God changed my heart. He showed me that I was on a downward spiral of insecurity and loneliness. He showed me that I wasn’t honoring my marriage by posing in provocative lingerie. He showed me that I wasn’t promoting a healthy body image to young girls and most importantly he showed me that I was not living my life for Him.

8) Looking at your Twitter, I was greatly encouraged by your walk with the Lord Jesus, and so are a lot of people, the way you seek to be a Proverbs 31 woman. Can you describe us how’s your relationship with the Lord ? How he changed your life ?
 

I am so much closer with The Lord now. I no longer look at him as a “magic genie” who desires to bless me with money and prosperity but as a gracious savior who died for my sins and who longs to give me love and promises to guide my life for His purposes. I am way more secure and confident now and so much more fulfilled in my life!

 9) You recently launched your book, “I’m no angel”, in which you tell your story, your past insecurities. A lot of girls feel so insecure because of what they see in the modeling industry, what would you say to them ?

Please read the book! I was insecure too. Super insecure. But I found hope and I found confidence and I talk about that in the entire book!!

  10) Do you have a word to say to the male readers who might read this interview ? 

The pictures you see in magazines are FAKE. They are airbrushed, photoshopped, and look way different than the model who came in to the shoot with no makeup, hair extensions, and a magic computer program that can give her a smaller waist, a bigger bust, and perfect lips.

A student’s diary: making your study sessions a lovely time

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Yes, a lovely time ! You know, after 5 years of being a uni student, I have come to realize that working in a clean, pleasant environment plays a big role in being able to stay focused on that page.

I don’t know if I have a attention-deficit disorder but sometimes I find it incredibly hard to focus on one page of a lecture… And I find that a routine and a certain setting really help, so as I am taking my 10 minutes break right now, I thought I would share a quick post on how to make your study time pleasant and something you will look forward to:

  1. A clutter-free desk makes everything clear ! If you can, start with a desk/a table in a calm environment and get rid of all that clutter on it: keep the bare minimum ! The textbook, a few sheets of paper to take notes and just the few pens and highlighters you need.
  2. A pleasant place: though I don’t like to put decorations on my desk as I feel that a cluttered place does not help, there are three items, apart from my study tools, that I like to keep: a pot of flower, a cup of tea and a candle. I was given beautiful white orchids by a friend, and they light up the whole room, along with the candle (which, for your safety, you must never leave burn when you are not in the room), and a delicious tea or fruit-infused water will ensure that you will have a bit of beauty, liveliness and sweetness as you study
  3. Color, color, color ! In most cases, I think that highlighting and making your lectures and notes something pleasant to the eye is not a waste of time but will help you memorize things.
  4. Of lipstick and perfumes and nails: now, this depends on your personality. I remember that during my first years in university, I felt like I had to sit at my desk in my pajamas and unbrushed hair and without makeup in order to have a “clean conscience”, meaning by that, that if I looked this tired, then GOOD ! It meant I was spending 27 hours/day studying… But to be honest, it was not really efficient. Now, I took the habit (though it’s true that I have less exams that a few years ago) to, even during the exams, take 5 minutes in the morning to fix my hair, do a quick makeup. Far from being a waste of time, it helps you, along with a cup of coffee, to lift your spirits and feel less miserable during those exams where motivation is required. I like to think of the Queen of England: she works every day in her office, and she works definitely very hard (she is probably the most informed woman in the world), and yet, even if she is at home, she is always properly dressed. Now, we can learn a lesson from that: far from being a waste of time and being frivolous, taking 5 minutes in the morning helps you work with joy and helps makes the most of the time and energy you have.

 

And now I am back to my lecture on smoking ! Have a lovely evening !

Frugality and natural beauty: my favorite products

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Beauty best reviews

This year, as I began a journey toward frugality and buying less, I have learned that this new way of life did not have to be synonymous with cheapness and inferior quality.

At first, writing a post about beauty was not something I thought I would do since when it comes to that area, every lady is different: each one of us has a different budget, a different routine, a different skin type… Some ladies wear makeup, some don’t, some take five minutes to get ready while some will take a little longer.

I am just sharing here some beauty products that worked for me. Also, remember; if taking care of our outward appearance is nice and important… “Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious. (1 Peter 3:3-4). External beauty fades, but inner beauty is something that is precious, and is imperishable !

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When it comes to beauty products, they ideally have to as natural as possible (non-toxic, without ingredients that are impossible to read), versatile (i.e, ingredients that are multipurpose), and not overly expensive. If they can be reusable too, and environment-friendly, it’s even better !

HAIR PRODUCTS

I dye my hair with henna ! Henna is a powder that comes from a plant (or rather, from different plants). Henna comes in different shades: browns, black, differents shades of reds and copper and there is even a clear henna ! Henna makes your hair glossy,thick (you’ll notice it when you will tie your hair ! It definitely sheathes hair) and ultra-shiny… I love henna ! I buy mine from a French Website for only a few euros and dye my hair every 2 months. It fades gradually and is very subtle so I never had roots problems so far. However, if you buy it, make sure it is 100% pure, as it is important.

Apple cider vinegar as a hair rinse ! You probably have it in your kitchen, and mixed with water, apple cider vinegar makes your hair shiny.

-Coconut oil: or almost any oil/butter, used on your lengths before shampooing your hair, is like a pre-shampoo conditioner.

A lighter butter if you have long hair and you wish to apply, before leaving the house, a bit of it on your lenghts in order to protect them. I bought, for 1,25 euros, a small jar of mango butter and its non greasy finish makes it easy to apply without ending with greasy lengthts^^

Rice flour or corn starch as a dry shampoo. Because what is the main ingredient in those Batiste dry shampoos ? Rice flour. Apply it on your hair roots with an old makeup brush and it will absorb the excess of sebum on those days you have to skip shampoo time !

 

Skincare

 

Coconut oil as a makeup remover: it works even on waterproof mascara !

Vitamine E capsules: those caps you buy at your local pharmacy are actually a key ingredient you find in your store-bought eyecreams ! I apply it from time to times before going to sleep… However, used on its own, Vit.E is a bit greasy so I would suggest to mix it with a bit of coconut oil (here is one recipe) and voilà ! You have a chemical-free, homemade eyecream.

Shea butter ! This year, I made my mom a shea butter cream I made with shea butter of course ^^, a bit of beeswax to make it more “solid”, different oils I had at hand a lavender essential oil. Let me tell you, it’s the best cream I have used so far: creamy, chemical-free, with a wonderful scent of lavender… And packed with good stuff. It’s fun and easy to do, inexpensive compared to those creams you buy; you could also use shea butter on its own but I’d rather have it in a cream.

Jojoba oil: I love this oil because it is one of the oils that is the most similar to the ones that the skin naturally produces.

Oatmeal as a face scrub ! Take a spoon of oatmeal and grind it into a powder, add a bit of water and you have a soothing face scrub.

Honey as a face mask ! Honey has amazing antibacterial properties. Do a bit of research on the internet and you’ll see that lots of things you have in your pantry and fridge can be used as face masks: yogurt, tomatoes, cocoa powder with honey, avocado…

 

Essential oils

I am not going to go into detail here, but those I use the most are Tea Tree oil for blemishes and acne (it is a powerful antibacterial agent !), Ylang-Ylang for hair and lavender in face masks… Do a little research about it and be careful with essential oils ! However, when appropriately used, they might become your best friends when it comes to beauty and homemade cleaning products as they have wonderful properties.

 

Others:

Save money ! Instead of cotton pads and disposable makeup wipes, invest in reusable baby wipes, or, if you have sewing skills, use an old tee-shirt or whatever old fabric  and DIY your own makeup pads.

As you can see, most ingredients can be found in your kitchen and the others are not as much expensive as most beauty and skincare products and, at least in my case, they really work. I have been sticking to that routine since the beginning of the year and my skin and hair have really improved !

And some DIY’s…

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Here is an example of some DIY’s beauty product that I do. This super easy body butter took me less than 10 minutes to prepare, an old marmelade jar, a bain-marie= a pan on the stove filled with boiling water. In the jar, I have put beeswax, olive oil, coconut oil, shea butter, vitamine E oil as a preservative and, a bit of thyme honey and a pinch of vanilla beans (can you see the brown beans in the jar ? It smells amazing as well 🙂 )The other jar is a tinted lipbalm, with basically the same formula colored with beetroot juice I bought from AromaZone. It gives a very natural hue to the lips…and doubles as a blush as well !

N.BHowever, be careful: natural does not equate innocuous (for example, the well-known cinammon mask you see on Pinterest is not something I would recommend as it is really dangerous !)

Saturday fun: of hats and calligraphy !

Hello ladies !

As much as I enjoy blogging, with my new internship starting on Monday, I will have to post less often… It’s almost the end of the year (it’s March already, time flies so fast it’s unbelievable), so that calls for more study time ! Anyway, it’s break time now and I wanted to write a bit.

 

Outfit of the (other) day ! 

 

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A quick outfit I wore last week. Spring is starting to come around and I am glad that except for a few rainy days here and there, heavy coats will no longer needed ! In this outfit I am wearing a passe-partout knee-lenght black skirt, a champagne shirt and a white wool jacket along with a black hat, and long mustard earrings. I just love how hats add a final touch to an outfit; you can find those wool felt hats at H and M.

 

Calligraphy !

As I am starting to look for practical, beautiful yet inexpensive ways to make my appartement more homey and cosy, I am considering starting calligraphy ! In a way, I already do it on a daily basis since in France, when we were little, writing beautifully (often with a fountain pen and in cursive script) was something we were taught from the beginning of our elementary years.

I often saw on pinterest and blogs wall decors of quotes and verses and I thought that it was inexpensive and that with a bit of creativity, a frame or two, arranged on a desk, a kitchen counter or the living room, could add a lot of that unique touch to a room. One sweet lady, Jen, whose blog I have been following for years (it’s such a delight to read !), has started a her own calligraphy business, Arabella Calligraphy. Here are some of her works:

 

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How lovely is that ? Here are some other works from Pinterest. I find that not only they enhance a room, but they could be good reminders of God’s Word throughout the days.

 

Have an amazing weekend,

Stéphanie

OOTD: One skirt, two looks !

Hello ladies,

I am so glad to be back on the blog ! I was quite busy this week as I was trying to finish all my projects before starting the second internship of the year at the hospital, hence the lack of posts. I just love writing. I’d do that all day long if I could. I’d do calligraphy, I’d write books for children, I’d…well, let’s move on to today’s post, shall we ?

I had fun doing my OOTD last time, and I thought the experience was enjoyable and that I would repeat it ! Though I am not pretending to be a fashion blogger or a beauty editor, I remember, when I was sixteen, as I was starting to pick modest outfits, that I would browse blogs to find some inspiration.Some were really good, but I would rarely find bloggers who had my petite figure: I am not that short (though I am one of the shortest girls of my class), but I am not tall enough to wear floor-lenght dresses and skirts- maxi dresses are definitely not for me, unless I would want to wear them to mop the floor as I walk. So basically, I tend to wear skirts that cover the knees and I got used to that knee-lenght skirt look that both suits me and is modest at the same time.

The second reason I am starting to post OOTD pictures on the blog is that often, when you browse for modest outfits on Pinterest, you often find there modest dresses, sure, but either straight out of the runway with impossibly high heels that will ruin your walk after only 40 minutes (uncomfortable)- or pictures that are Photoshopped and with such an elaborate makeup and hairstyle that it would take you half a day to recreate the look (unrealistic):

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Mayim Bialik: Lovely and modest ! But a little too fancy for everyday.

That’s why I choosed to post “quick selfies” (since I am living on my own) that I take before heading to work, that are not retouched, and the lighting could be better and all but that’s what I want to show: the real me, with the habitual amount of makeup I wear on a daily basis. After all, we want to look nice… but we have better things to do that to stay all day long in front of the mirror, right ?

As we say in France, “trêve de bavardages” (without further ado), two OOTD ! I love using the same items and combining them with different tops and accessories.

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Autumn

Black denim skirt, champagne white-dotted tee-shirt and a taupe cardigan

Today, I wore the same skirt with a plain elbow sleeve top and black boots, some golden accessories to add a bit of color to all that black…and a béret ! Vive la France !

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Parisienne
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A little close-up ! Taking selfies is definitely not that easy…

I loved doing this post ! Please let me know if you would like to see more OOTD’s and if you have any requests/questions. I love reading your comments and nothing makes me more happy than getting to know my readers !

 

 

OOTD: Warm in Winter

 

Since I won’t be able to blog much next week I thought I’d do my first OOTD on the blog ! Well, it’s not really the outfit of the day but since I have that on my camera roll I thought I’d do a little post just for fun.

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Skirt and top: H and M

I love wearing skirts on almost a daily basis ! However, I find it hard to shop during winter and to find that skirt you can mix and match with lots of tops and, at the same time, has a fabric that is thick enough to keep you warm (and not overly expensive). Where I live in France, there is almost never snow, but boy- the wind is blowing ! I got myself this ultra thick black patterned skirt at H and M for 29 euros and I have a feeling, because of its quality, that I could keep it forever. It kind of reminds me of a blend of vintage skirts and the little black dress 🙂

Have an amazing week !

Stéphanie