Saturday, October 18, 2014

Well Hello Again...


Oh's been a really long time hasn't it? I'm sorry for the totally crazy long break. I do have a good reason, though. Promise!

In early September, I started to feel super tired all the time. I would come home from work in the afternoon( about 3:45pm ) and immediately want to lay down and do nothing. It was like my energy just got completely stolen from me.
That lasted about 2 to 3 weeks, and then suddenly, out of nowhere, I was getting ready for work one morning...and I threw up. Agh! Don't you hate it when you unexpectedly throw up and you're like, DUDE? Whyyyyy?

So with a little bit of worry and curiosity, I did what every scared girl would do, panic and immediately tell my husband that we needed to go to CVS and get a pregnancy test! I mean, I'm not an expert or anything, but when you throw up in the morning for no reason and then feel fine the rest of the day, what else would you assume it would be?.....

Turns out that yes, I am preggos! At first, I was so scared to believe it, and super scared to tell people. I felt so worried that this completely precious but scary gift was not going to work out in some way, and that I wasn't deserving of this, and was this really happening aaaaaahhhhhh. I had wanted to be a Mom for so long, but I honestly didn't know what to feel about it at first. It didn't feel like I was preggo( although the nausea really should have made me an instant believer ) and I wasn't sure if I was ready at all, to be frank.

It's been 4 weeks since that bit of crazy/scariness and now I feel way more confident about it. Well, way more confident than I did 4 weeks ago. It's still maddening to think that I will have made a little human inside of my body and that he/she will be here in 6 months! WEIRDNESS. But right now it's all fun and eating a lot of food and feeling really tired all of a sudden, and dreaming and imagining what our life will be like in half a year. Kyle and I are so excited to be parents, and we usually go through our day wondering or making jokes about what kind of parents we will be.

Some other things that are going on...Well, I just finished my training for my new position at my job. FINALLY. It took forever for my job to schedule me into training, but next week I can start for reals! I'm pretty excited about that, mainly because I get to wake up at least 2 hours later than my last position needed me to. Heaven! Also, I have started the process of making the new illustrations for the second Emmie and the Secret World book. It's going to be called Emmie and the Missing Crown, and we are thinking that it will come out next April. Which, is coincidentally the same month my little one is supposed to arrive. Craziness all around.

For now, I am just enjoying the changing in the weather, the nesting portion of my pregnancy, and the increasing business of my little life.

I'm so happy to be on this little space again, welcome back Me!

~Grace Abigail

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Cute Professional Work Clothes

Now that I have a new job title, I'm finding myself a little panicked, because I've realized I have less to none in the professional outfit department. I maybe have a few tops...and two pairs of black pants and that's it! No blazers, no comfortable heels( are there any..? ), and not even a fancy enough skirt to be considered " professional wear. " For someone who is the most comfortable in a tee and jeans, this is very troubling and I'm not sure where to start!

I start training next week, so I needed some inspiration. I've taken to the old faithful Pinterest and I have compiled a little collection of fancy clothes I would be happy to wear to work.

I'm really liking the colored pencil skirt look! I might need to get me some...And those leopard heels UGH YES.

I really like this neutral outfit with that bright pop of red. It looks sophisticated, yet artistic and sexy? Mmm, I might need to get me a tan blazer like that...source

And it's not all about the pencil skirts at the office, right? I love the fullness of this skirt. So feminine, but the striped button up doesn't make it to glam. I love it! source

- Even though this article is about a year old, it's still a good reference that shows what types of professional clothes are best for your body shape.

- This fashion blog I just discovered is so perfect for outfit inspiration! The pictures this gal takes are so detailed and she has a Work Wear tab up at the top, so you can peruse through all of them and get as obsessed as I have!

- These shoes are adorable and I think I need them...for work of course...Definitely not just to hoard...

- Also, this super cute top by Lauren Conrad from her line at Kohl's is adorable and it's on sale! How cute would it be with a blazer over top? Ooooh, dreams...

Gah, now I just want to go shopping! I'm so excited to start looking super fancy fine! I can see me now, sipping my morning coffee at my desk, typing away at my computer, looking so PROFESSSHHH....Now, I just need to find a cute pair of heels that are easy to wear for 8 hours a day....Hmph, I'm doubtful.

~ Grace Abigail

Saturday, August 16, 2014

The Random Goings On...

Can you guys believe it's almost Fall time? I haven't even gone on my official summer vacation yet, and it feels like there is already a slight chill in the air. I'm not readyyyy! Where is the sun and the surf and the BBQ's and the hot sweaty games outside? I remember when I was little, summer seemed to last forever. Riding bikes all day in my neighborhood until 6 pm, watching the fireflies float around in my backyard, swimming and pretending to be a mermaid in my local public pool...Those were the days! But, now that I am working 40 hrs a week, I have to really stop myself and drink in those summer moments that bring back the lovely joy I had as a child...even it's as simple as taking a walk around our block in the cool evening. Enjoy the little moments, guys!

Oh, hi by the way.

I thought I would just ramble on a little for you guys and update you on my random thoughts and feelings. It feels like the very basic beginnings of my blogging/journal years. When I sat and wrote about whatever the heck popped into my brain...

This top is a treasure that my dear friend found for me while we were stalking around TJ MAXX. I love that place....I also love flowy tops and elephants, which lucky for me, this shirt has BOTH of those things! My shorts are from Target as well, in case you were wondering. They are high waisted and are my very favorite shorts to wear this summer. They cover just enough of my bum that I feel secure and comfy the whole time I'm wearing them!

I was experimenting with different colored eye liner in this pic, if you can tell...Probably not. I am wearing the Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Mildew( I feel like they could have picked a more appealing name for this, blegh.) The color is a deeper sort of forest green, with a bit of shimmer. Very creamy and very easy to apply. The color is really bright and pigmented. I haven't heard a lot about these eye pencils, but I am now intrigued! I wonder if they have a bright purple color...Anyone know?

My darling Caprica scared us a little last night. We took her in to the emergency Vet because we saw that she was bleeding...Turns out she most likely has a kitty UTI, which is extremely uncomfortable...I felt so bad for my baby! They took a sample to send off and see if it was anything more serious than that, but I hope to God not. It was a real growing experience I guess as pet owners for my husband and I. Feeling so scared for her and just wanting for her to be better, I think it gave us both a glimpse at what parenthood really entails....But I must brag about her a little bit! She was so good and cooperative with the Vet! She never meowed or hissed, and even when the Vet was petting her she seemed to be genuinely enjoying it?! I mean, I've taken pets to the Doctor before and they were NOT that calm at all. Way to go, my little booby!

I also recently got a promotion at my job! Woohoo! I've been trying to act nonchalant and modest about it, but I am super excited! The best parts are 1) I get to wake up later than I usually do, which means MORE SLEEP! PRAISE GOD! And 2) I no longer am required to wear the very gray and very boring uniforms I had to before. Yay for style again! And 3) More money = less problems. The very heavy load of finances will be that less stressful for me. I am so grateful and excited to start training for it!

I want to thank you guys again for tuning in to this little space of mine, and I hope you have a wonderful weekend! Love ya!

~Grace Abigail 

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Summer Favorites 2014

Not going to lie, this summer has been pretty great. The heat hasn't been too overwhelming here in the Midwest, long walks in my neighborhood with my husband, fun hangouts and BBQ's, and there has been plenty of relaxation in between...Yay for Summer!

Seeing how we're entering the last full month of this glorious time of year, and before it completely disappears( like it always seems to )...I thought I would share with you guys some of my favorite beauty products I've been obsessing over so far. There are not that many, but I have been religiously using them all!

Photo edited with the ABeautifulMess app.

- First off, we have the Not Your Mother's Beach Babe Texturizing Sea Salt Spray. Since I have not yet gotten an opportunity to go to the beach yet, I have been living my beach dreams through this spray. I love this stuff! Now that I have shorter hair, a few spritz after my shower along with a few scrunches makes my hair look like I did something to it, even though I hardly did anything at all. It gives just enough hold and grit to my hair without being sticky that it's easily styled into braids or a messy little pony. Plus, it smells like coconuts and happiness and it's not that expensive. Win.

- Next we have two self tanning lotions. As you all probably guessed, I am naturally pale like a ghost, and the Jergen's Natural Glow Daily Moisturizer( around $11 ) and the Sally Hansen Airbrush Legs( around $15 ) really have been helping me look a little less white this summer. I am not one to jump into a tanning bed( so bad for you and I feel like I'm in a coffin...) and I don't really want to spend a lot of money on spray tans( cuz honestly I don't care that much about being bronzed ) so these two lotions have been really easy solutions. The Jergen's brand I have been using for a few years now, and it really does give me a gradual tan after just a few days. Just a tad bit more color on my arms and legs makes me feel not so ghostly. Now, if you want more of a instant gratification tan, I'd go for the Sally Hansen brand. This one is definitely more orange-y, but I've found that mixing this lotion with another plain moisturizer tones down the intense orange color nicely. If you know you're going to be outside in little amount of clothing, I would go for the Sally Hansen, but if you just want to build your tan throughout the rest of the summer, I would definitely apply the Jergen's brand. Don't forget to wash your hands after applying though!

- Now, I've found that applying some self tanning lotion to my face makes it look a little too Oompa Loompa, so I usually just go for some bronzer on my forehead and cheeks. I've really been liking the Rimmel London Natural Bronzer in Sunlight. Not too orange on my pale face and very blendable. It gives my face a very natural glow, just like it says in the name! Hella cheap too!

- Okay, so next is the NYX Butter Gloss in Creme Brulee. Oh, man. Guys. This stuff is sooo creamy and it smells delicious! This color is a very neutral pink with a lot of color payoff. It's high shine and oh so beautiful with a smokey eye. I've been plastering it on my lips non-stop pretty much since I got it and I am very tempted to buy the rest of the colors!

Also, I thought I would throw in a couple non-beauty favorites just for funzies:
- Hummus and pita chips have been my summer snack obsession as of late. Along with these fruit smoothies I've been buying. The brand is Bolthouse Farms and my husband and I can't get enough of them! 
- I've been watching The Vampire Diaries in my spare time, and AGH this show is addicting! It's stupid and bad sometimes, but you know...* shrug * I really don't have an excuse lol. Vampires and werewolves? I can't resist...What hasn't helped is that I've even gotten my hubs to get in on the obsession too! Muhaha...he doesn't like to admit it though.
- I know this is way off in our future, but I have been looking all over the internet at anything home related. Home decorations, houses for sale on Zillow, House Hunters on HGTV...anything that can feed my fantasy of someday owning a house and making it exactly the way I want it...* sigh *. Grown up dreams...

I hope you guys enjoyed my Summer Favorites! Now get out there and make the most of the day!

~Grace Abigail

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Summer Sunset Makeup Look

Well, hi guys! Nice to see you again! I'm here today to show you another fun makeup look. I haven't done one in awhile, and I was feeling rather sassy this evening( one does when doing laundry, no? ) and I wanted to do something inspired by the sweet sunsets of the summer. The peaches, pinks, and corals of a sunset are probably some of the most beautiful colors to me, so I was very inspired by the late evening sky for this look.

Let's jump right in! Weeeee!

This look is rather simple, in the fact I only used about 3 shadow colors total. Nice and easy to create a high impact look! I always like the easy route better anyway...
First off, I covered my whole lid up to the brow bone with a shimmery peach color. I then layered up hot pink shadow and the peachy color from before onto the middle of my lid, creating various layers of pinks and corals, much like a sunset blends into the clouds...To create a little bit more depth, I dabbed a little bit more of the deeper hot pink color into my crease and then bleeeended the dickens out of it! To add a little bit more interest and femininity to the look, I smudged my trusty NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil in Milk onto the inner corners of my eye, and layered a soft white shimmery shadow on top of it. I also lined my lower waterline with the pencil as well. Placing the lighter color in my inner corners creates a cool effect that makes my eyes look farther apart, in turn making my eyes look very awake and bright and MAGICAL! and UNICORN LIKE....or at least I think so :)

Extreme close up! Look at all those freckles...

For the lips, I wanted a more defined pout for my lower lip. So, I applied some NYX Butter Gloss in Creme Brulee ( a light pink color ) all over the top and bottom lips, and then I applied NYX Jumbo Lip Pencil in Chaos ( a deep hot pink ) just on the center of my lower lip. Having the deeper color just on the lower center makes the lip look like it's drawing outwards, making it look larger. Cool little trick, right?

To finish off the look, I just coated my lashes with a layer of my favorite mascara. No thick cat eye for me! Keeping it simple. Other then a quick swipe of bronzer, lining my eyebrows, and some blush on the apples of my cheeks, I'm done! I think I would wear this look to a summer wedding with an all black outfit, or on a sweet evening date with my babe, walking on the beach in an all white outfit...That sounds like a pretty good summer evening...maybe add a Pina Colada in there and I'm sold.

Well, that's it for me today! I hope you guys enjoyed this look, and thank you so much for reading :)

~Grace Abigail

Sunday, July 13, 2014

A Very Important Event

Hello, friends! How have you all been? I hope everyone had a lovely Fourth of July weekend! Mine was very lovely, I spent time with my family and I got some much needed rest...My trip to Indiana was short, but I got to lay out by a pool, got to hold an adorable little baby( who very much satisfied my baby fever for a short time ), and spend time with dear family that I don't get to see very often...

This last week was pretty nerve-wracking for me. All week I was trying to prepare my nerves for the Emmie and The Secret World's first book event! My business partner and I had scheduled a book reading and signing at a local toy store. We were both freaking out about it the day before, rehearsing what we would say, how we would read the book...craziness and stomach aches and pep talks all around.
But the event went great! Kids and parents showed up to show support and we sold a few copies, as well as left some more copies for the store to sell. I don't know if it was good luck for the next event or just sheer annoying coincidence, but the morning of the event it rained LIKE THE DICKENS. Literally, driving there, waves were spraying on either side of our car. I thought we were gonna float away. It did probably put a damper( hehe ) on our traffic for the store, but whatever. It was still a great experience, people showed up, and we had fun! Besides, it was great practice for our next book reading we will soon be having.

In other news, I got my hair cut! And a good lot of it was cut, might I add. This happens to me every time I go to the salon, I feel like. I say I want a trim, then I say I want a couple inches off, and then BOOM 5 to 6 inches are gone and I'm kind of baffled. Lesson learned, always have a plan when you go in there! But it's not all bad, I'm actually really liking it. I think I might just go in later this week and have a little more chopped off. I just need to study up on how to style short hair. It really is nice to have all that weight off your shoulders in the heat of summer...

Here we are at our book event! It was so much fun! I couldn't help cheesing for this natural state as I always say...

Here is some evidence of the craziness of the rain we had on the day of the event. Yep, that's a little lake that has formed in the street, and yes, that is my husband taking a picture of it as

It's been such a fun journey so far with the book. Doing the book reading yesterday was a great experience, and it's still crazy to know that I am a published illustrator. Seeing the kids interact with the story was amazing, and ultimately, the best part about this whole thing! 

I hope everyone has a great week! Can you believe that summer is pretty much half over? Enjoy that heat, people!

~Grace Abigail

Friday, July 4, 2014

Links of Awesome #10

Hello my dearies! Happy America Day! I hadn't done a Links of Awesome post in quite a while, so I thought I would leave you something fun for the long weekend!

I'm super excited for this weekend, because I am traveling to Indiana with my Dad to see my aunt and uncle. We're the only ones going, and I can't remember the last time I took a trip anywhere with just my Dad and I. I'm hoping this weekend will be relaxing, maybe a little nostalgic, and full of fun times with my family. There is also going to be boating involved, and I am BEYOND excited for that because I have not been able to be in the water yet this summer. That's what makes summer so amazing to us midwesterners, right? You get to be in the sunshine and water? That's always been the most important part to me...

Well, without further ado, here are ya links!

This shirt from ASOS pretty much sums it up. source

UGH, there's just so much great lighting in that room! I want! source

OH MY GOOOOD! This is so amazing! I'm not exactly sure who it's by, so if anyone knows, please let me know! CUZ IT'S AMAZING.

- This Jon Snow art print is so beautiful. I will forever want art prints of my TV obsessions...

- OH LAWD, this person's art tumblr is so gorgeous. It's so my style and current obsession and I think everyone should check out these mystical images!

- Excuse me, but...this dress from Modcloth is the perfect uniform for summer! Also, this swimsuit will forever be my dream swimsuit. * Swoooon. *

- Looking for something fancy to take to a summer shindig? This soba salad from Martha Stewart looks delicious and will probably impress everyone at your BBQ.

- I absolutely love essiebutton's beauty videos. She has these little " trilogy " videos themed around the seasons of the year, and the most recent one she posted was about summer outfits. She's just so genuine, fun, and hilarious. I also watch her vlog channel, which features her boyfriend. They are just so adorable together I can't help but be obsessed!

- If you adore Jimmy Fallon and Jennifer Lawrence, then this clip from the Tonight Show is just for you. I don't really watch late night talk shows, but some of these clips are truly entertaining...

That's it for today! I hope everyone has a lovely weekend full of sunshine, fireworks, hotdogs, family time...anything that makes you happy! :) Hopefully I will remember to take a few pics of my adventures this weekend...

~Grace Abigail

Sunday, June 29, 2014

An Inexcusable Break

OH JEEZ. Where did that month go?!

Hey guys! I haven't updated in sooooo long. Why? I don't know. I really don't have a very good excuse just besides being tired a lot and not having a lot of inspiration to write on here. You get the feeling sometimes too, right? You get obsessed with something and then all of a sudden, blaaah, nothing. Anyway, I truly am sorry for the lack of posts, but I am here to show you what I have been doing in this past month besides blogging...

I'm thinking my inspiration for the blog swiftly transferred over to my drawing creativity this month. I just couldn't stop doodling and sketching, which was a very welcome past time! I hadn't been this excited to draw in awhile! The above drawing was inspired by my ever growing committed relationship with caffeine, and how I usually feel in the morning while sipping my cup of coffee. Groggy and sad to be awake so early...minus the crazy Merida hair...

This doodle is of a lady that is in a little story I've been writing. She's an older woman who is the care taker to the heroine of the story...

I'm pretty proud of this one! I'm not sure it's done yet, but hopefully you can tell it's a Snow White drawing. I love that the only color in this piece is a blood red. I think it gives a creepy feel to it. Something that I've been thinking about starting recently is a series of fairy tale drawings that have a darkness and mystery to them...Hopefully I will be able to truly finish this one quickly, cuz I'm thinking about posting it on my Etsy shop to sell!

Also, I have been running a lot of errands with my business partner recently because the children's book that we created together has finally been released for purchase! We have been going all over town promoting to local businesses as well as talking to big companies! Our book, Emmie and the Secret World, is available on Amazon and at Barnes& now! It truly has been a surreal experience so far. In two weeks we will be having our first book signing event at a local toy store. I am WAY TOO EXCITED to express my feelings on this correctly, but I am so grateful to everyone who has bought the book already and all the kind words I have received on my illustrations so far! If you would like to check it out, please visit the Emmie and the Secret World website! It has all of the businesses listed there that sell our book, as well as games and puzzles to play, and a little bit of info on us! 

I know that was a shameless self-promotion...but you'll just have to forgive me. I'm too excited about it to not share it. This is probably the coolest thing I've ever done, and I would really appreciate it if you checked it out, friends!

Anyway, lots of love to you guys, and hopefully I will have more posts up for you soon. Don't give up on me yet haha.

~Grace Abigail

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Afternoon Exploring

Oh you know, just chillin...

Hello friends! I hope your days are going by slowly, and your nights are inching by dreamily. It's been nothing but hot hot hot this past week, and I couldn't have asked for anything better. Even through the sweaty days and sometimes annoying mugginess of my apartment, I still prefer being hot to being cold.

Summer is the season I feel like everyone waits in anticipation for, and once it's finally here, BOOM it's Fall again. It goes by so fast, that I really want to make the most of my days this season. I thought I would share some pictures from a particularly lovely afternoon with my husband, exploring around the downtown area of my quiet little town. The above photo is from a very late lunch we had together. It was just nice enough to eat outside! I remember I had the most amazing cobb salad, and Kyle had a black bean burger. Pure deliciousness.

I loved this view...

My husband was driving around earlier in the week, and he saw this adorably decorated tree! So, he tracked it down again so I could see it, because he knew I'd think it was the BEST THING EVER. I mean, look at it! A little fairy door! Bahhh! I know when I have my own yard, I will definitely have crap like this all over my yard. Haha yeah, I'm gonna be that neighbor....

Just look at that greenery!

We then wandered around town, and we decided to walk around a park. This was a very special park, because I remembered going there as a little kid. In the above photo with the pavilion, my sister and I used to climb up it( it has since been blocked off, booo! ) and we would pretend it was Rapunzel's tower. Mind you, it looked much bigger when I was little haha. But I just walked around it and remembered those fun times with my sister. As I traipsed around that park, I remembered those sweet childhood memories. Pure happiness and nostalgia. It was a great afternoon....

I am currently watching sophisticated BBC shows, eating Cheetos for dinner, and sprucing up some old paintings that I've been meaning to put in my Etsy shop! It's been a great day off, and I hope everyone enjoys the rest of their day! Let these long summer days be even longer, please!

~Grace Abigail

Monday, May 26, 2014

Copper Smokey Eye and Coral Lip Look

Hello friends! I hope everyone is having a lovely Memorial Day weekend! Long weekends are the sweetest of treats.
It FINALLY feels like summer now. The sunshine has been blazing down on all of us this week, and I am praising daily the heavens for stopping winter. I have done my celebrating right with Strawberry Ale, eating lots of cupcakes, spending time with family, and catching up on art projects. I had some extra time on laundry to do, no errands to run...and so I figured I'd do a makeup look :)
I have been really trying to work on my smokey eye skills lately, but I didn't want to do a super dark one. Sometimes I think if the colors are too cool toned or just way too dark around my eyes, I start to look old and harsh. Some women can make it look fabulous, but I've never mastered it. I also wanted the influence of the warm sun making it's glorious appearance this week to be a part of this look. So a copper eye with a coral lip seemed like a nice compromise between the warm tones of the sun and a regular dark eye. Sun and smoke? Those don't normally go together...Eh, we make our own rules here! That's one of the amazing things about makeup. You can do so many variations of looks, the possibilities are endless.

For this look, I reached for my Revlon Colorstay Palette in Brazen. I hadn't used this little guy in awhile, but I knew it would be perfect for the look I was going for. After I applied my B.B. Cream, I started in on the shadow. Now the best makeup looks are usually the easiest, and what's easier then using your fingers?( It's also easier using your fingers than washing all of your shadow brushes, right? Hey, I'm only human. ) Dabbing my middle finger into the upper right side color first, I padded on the coppery color all over my lid, making sure not to go too far into my crease. I then dabbed the lighter champagne color in the lower left over the coppery color. I also lined it underneath my lower lashes. It gave the whole look an all around shimmer effect! Then, using a blending brush, I took the darkest brown color in the palette in the lower right, and I blended that into my crease and in the outer corners. I did quite a bit of blending for this color, because I didn't want there to be any harsh lines or muddiness going on. 
After I got the blending of the shadows to where I wanted it, I lined my upper and lower lash lines with a black coal pencil from Avon. You can use any smudgey black liner that you want, just as long as you blend it out a little bit. I think this really helped define the shape of my eyes and further enhance the " smokiness ". Finishing the eyes up, I hit the brow bone and the inner corners with my favorite highlight shadow. I also used my favorite mascara ever, Maybelline Full 'N Soft Mascara. This has a rather wet consistency to it, which works really well for my eyes.

I wanted a pop of color on my lips to accent the copper eye nicely, so I paired up Revlon Colorburst Lip Butter in Tutti Frutti, and Rimmel London Show Off Lip Lacquer in Luna to create a fun coral lip. I really loved these two together. The textures of these lip products or so dreamy! I wrote a little review of the Rimmel Lip Lacquers here!

That's the finished look! I think it's perfect for a hot night out seeing an awesome band, going salsa dancing, or maaaaybe a wedding anniversary dinner out? I know whenever I have a bold, sexy eye look, my husband usually appreciates the beauty of it ;).

I hope you guys have a lovely day off! Don't forget to enjoy the ever loving dickens out of that sunshine!

~Grace Abigail

*Some photos edited with A Beautiful Mess photo app.