Quarantine Gratitude List

Smocked Blouse: Wild Fable | Girlfriend Jeans: Rachel Parcell- similar , similar| Purse: Polished and Poised| Pearl Barrette: Amazon | Wedges: Jessica Simpson- Similar | White Hoops: Similar

I feel like there is so much bad news right now that it can be so easy to lose sight of the blessings that are still in our lives, or perhaps have actually come out of the pandemic. As a result, I thought I would list ten things that I am currently grateful for during this season:

  1. Being forced to slow down. For a couple of months now I have been running at such a fast pace that I could feel myself starting to head towards burnout. I began praying that God would provide an opportunity for me to slowdown, and while I never would have imagined a pandemic, I am choosing to see the blessing of being given the ability to slow down.
  2. School. I am so grateful to be able to continue taking my college classes online during this season and actually having more time to focus on them.
  3. Early morning quiet times. I have always loved my early morning quiet times alone with God, but I appreciate them on a whole new level now. When it feels like the world can be careening out of control, it is so comforting to start the day reminding myself that while the world is out of my control, it is never out of God’s control.
  4. FaceTime. I have loved being able to utilize technology so many times over the past few weeks by facetiming several friends. Even though we can’t connect in person, it is such a blessing to be able to still see each other’s faces and stay connected.
  5. Food. I never thought I would see the day living in a first world country that the grocery stores shelves would be empty. Yet that is exactly what has happened. While I may not have all of my most favorite foods in the house and be able to run to the grocery store to grab my latest food craving, I am grateful that God has provided and that I have food in the pantry I can eat.
  6. The Church. I have been loving seeing how God is reviving the church during this season and watching believers come together. While we all have known that the church is not a building but the people, it is so amazing to actually see that being acted out in real life.
  7. Medical Professionals. I am so thankful for all of the brave men and women that are putting themselves in danger as they face the front lines of caring for the sick. I am praying for you everyday and so grateful for your sacrifice!
  8. Time with family. Even though large chunks of my day are spent studying for school, I am so grateful for the extended time with my family. I don’t normally get to see them that much between all of my jobs and schoolwork, but I am loving getting to see them more and spend more time with them!
  9. Spring. I am going to be honest, social distancing would have been so much harder if it had happened in the winter. I am so grateful for the weather warming up and being able to go on long walks everyday enjoying watching the world come back alive. It reminds me that if God can bring life back every spring after the death of winter, He can definitely bring life back to our world from this pandemic.
  10. And the thing I am most grateful for is Jesus. In the midst of all of this turmoil and uncertainty, I can honestly say I have peace because I know my future is held in God’s hands. That doesn’t mean I don’t have the occasional moment where I feel stir crazy or sad and cry. What it does mean is that when those emotions come, I am able to carry them straight to Jesus and rest in the knowledge that He is carrying me through all of this. As a result, I have hope for the future and peace in the present.

What are some things that you have been learning during this pandemic and are grateful for? I’d love to hear, please share in the comments!

Xoxo,

Leighton Michele

Wild for Spring

T-Shirt: old | Skirt: same | Wedges: Steve Madden- similar | Denim Jacket: old- similar | Purse: unknown- similar | Hat: Rachel Parcell (sold out)- similar

Happy Spring sweet friends! If you have been following me for any amount of time, then you know that I am currently obsessed with animal print. I saw a skirt almost identical to this last summer in the Nordstrom’s Anniversary sale, but it sadly sold out and never restocked. However, I ended up finding this dupe on Amazon for less than half the price! It is great quality and fully lined. I am loving using it as a good transition piece from winter to spring.

Xoxo,

Leighton Michele

(F)all the Activities

This past weekend I had so much fun traveling up to Louisburg, KS for the local Cider Fest. For many of us it was our first time, but we are already discussing making it a yearly tradition. I don’t care what stage of life you are in at the moment, the Cider Fest had something for everyone. To name just a few of the fun activities available: corn mazes, a pumpkin patch, orchard, craft fair, a darling general store packed with all the fall goodies, live music, and so much more! If you live in the Kansas/ Missouri area, you should definitely add this to your fall bucket list.

Blouse: Rachel Parcell | Skirt: Rachel Parcell | Booties: Merona-old (similar) | Hat: A New Day

If you decide to go, be sure to try the apple cider donuts, they are so good and I cannot recommend them enough. Also, while the free portion is wonderful and so much fun and you could make a complete day there alone, you should still go to the pumpkin patch portion. This is where the corn maze, apple orchard, hay rack rides and so many other fun activities is located. I have even heard that at night they have fun family friendly movies playing! They are open all October long and it is the perfect fall activity. (And if you didn’t notice, it would also be the perfect place to take some family pictures!)

Xoxo,

Leighton Michele

The Perfect Girlfriend Jean

Body Suit: H&M | Jeans: Rachel Parcell | Boots: Gianni Bini- sold out (similar) (similar) | Purse: Michael Kors | Tortoise Hoop Earrings: SugarFix by Baubelbar

As we slowly move into the cooler months, I like to make sure I have a few good pairs of staple jeans in my closet rotation. While I still love my trusty skinny jeans, I was so excited to add these cute girlfriend jeans to my jeans stash. They are so much fun with a simple bodysuit like I am wearing here, or dress up beautifully with a blouse or silk tank for a night out. I cuffed them to show off the boots for this look, but they have a great length when rolled down to wear with wedges or pumps. What is your favorite jean style for fall this year?

Xoxo,

Leighton Michele

Fourth of July

Happy Fourth of July! I am so thankful for this amazing country that we are blessed to live in that is full of so many freedoms! I’m grateful for all of the men and women, both past and present, who have fought for that freedom and the families that have sacrificed as their loved ones were away fighting. I am thankful for the blessing of living in a country where we are free to worship God and gather together with other believers without fear of persecution. We are so blessed in more ways than we can count, so today let’s not forget to take the time amidst all of the fun and celebrations to thank God for this beautiful country called America.

Xoxo,

Leighton Michele

Spring Dresses

Dress: Rachel Parcell (last years collection) similar | Clear Wedges: Jessica Simpson , similar cheaper option|Earrings: Versona (not online) similar

If you have followed me for any point of time, it is no secret that I LOVE Rachel Parcell’s clothing line. I love how timeless her pieces are and the feminine touches that always make them stand apart from other designers. I picked up this sweet dress last year and was so excited that she brought back a very similar version of it this year and have linked it up above. What do you look for in your ideal dress?

Xoxo,

Leighton Michele

Blushing Florals

Dress: WayF (sold out) similar, similar, similar| Pumps: A New Day (sold out) similar, similar | Purse: Steve Madden (sold out) similar, similar | Hat: Old similar, similar

As we keep moving closer and closer to Easter weekend, I have been going back to a talk that Angie Smith gave at the If Gathering back in 2016 and I thought I’d give a recap of it today since it has been on my heart.

At the very beginning of scripture in the garden of Eden, we see two questions asked. The first one is by Satan and it is ‘Are you sure that God has your best in mind?’ and the second is by God and it is ‘where are you?’. Now, when God asked Adam and Eve where they were, it is important to realize that God had not lost them, he was asking them, what is the posture of your heart for me? God already knew where their hearts were, but by asking them Adam and Eve had to reevaluate their own hearts and find where they are. Several chapters later and hundreds of years after the garden of Eden, we find Abraham. He is now an old man and God had promised him a son that He would build a nation out of that would bless the whole world. In his old age God did grant Abraham that son, Isaac, but sometime later God tested Abraham which brings us to our first point: don’t let anyone ever tell you that God will not test you, He will never tempt you, but that is different than testing. The truth is, if we get honest God often gives us more than we can handle, and honestly, this whole life is more than we can handle, but that is why we have Him because He can handle it all. God called Abraham to take his son, his only son that he loved, up onto the mountain and to sacrifice him. On the way up the mountain as Isaac carried the wood and Abraham the fire, Isaac looked over and asked Abraham, “My father, we have the wood and fire, but where is the lamb for the sacrifice?” Abraham replied to Isaac, “God himself will provide the lamb.” We all know how the story goes at this point: right before Abraham sacrifices Isaac, God stops him and tells him that because he did not withhold anything from God, not even his only son, He knew he loved him more than anything. At this point God opens Abraham’s eyes and Abraham looks up to see a ram caught in the thicket and sacrifices the ram in Isaac’s place and walks down the mountain with his son. It is a story with a happy ending, of course Abraham can say that God is good when he walked down the mountain with his son, but what about when you walk down the mountain without your loved one as was the case with Angie Smith and me with my grandpa? It was during one such time in her life that Angie felt God leading her to go back and read this story again and again because He had something there for her. After reading it several times she realized something that changed her life and in a ripple effect has changed mine over the past several years, especially this one as I watched my Papa battle cancer and lose the battle. Go back and look at the beginning, as they were walking up the mountain, God promised to provide a lamb, He never said anything about a lamb. The promise was THE Lamb. Two thousand years later on this same mountain range, Jesus Christ was crucified on our behalf, HE was the promised lamb. When you think about who Christ is to you when you are being tested, have you spent more time with your eyes locked on the thicket or on the cross? We have no guarantees about the ram, but we have EVERY guarantee about The Lamb. He will not fail us, and these things that feel scary, we have to live it out and place our trust in Him, the Lamb of God. So as you face the two questions that have been asked since the beginning of time and continue to be asked over and over again, when you hear the enemy whisper, “are you sure?”, here’s your answer: “I’m not sure about the ram, but I am certain of the lamb.” And when you hear God asking, “where are you?” your answer is simple, “Right here Lord, ready and willing. You send me where you want me to go, and in your power and your strength I will do that.”

You guys, as I walk through life and all the scary hard trials that come with it, facing it with the realization that while I do not have the promise of the ram, but have EVERY promise of the lamb, I know I can walk through it because I won’t be alone, He will be there. Whatever you are facing in life, no matter how hard or scary, know that you are not alone, you have been promised the Lamb and He will not leave or forsake you, He has promised you this. If you’re needing encouragement right now (and honestly even if you don’t need it right now, because at some point you will need it), go watch the full talk that Angie Smith gave here. It is under seventeen minutes and SO worth every minute. As I said at the beginning, I have gone back to this so many times over the last several years and it has carried me through this past year.

I love all of you and am praying over each and every one of you this Easter season.

Xoxo,

Leighton Michele

Easter Week

Dress: Cremieux (sold out) similar | Shoes: Jessica Simpson | Clutch: Target (sold out) similar | Earrings: Versona (not online) similar | Bracelet: Versona (sold out) similar

As we head into Easter week, I am going to share a different look with you guys each day to hopefully inspire you for your Easter outfit. I love the eyelet lace of this dress and the clear wedges add the perfect touch of being on trend. When I found these wedges I instantly fell in love with them as they made me think of a modern day version of Cinderella’s glass slippers. This dress would also pair perfectly with a cardigan if Easter happens to be a bit cooler where you live.

Xoxo,

Leighton Michele

Easter Dress Roundup

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1. Blue Floral Dress 2. Pink Lace Midi Dress 3. White Floral Dress 4. Floral Jumpsuit 5. White Off the Shoulder Dress 6. Green Lace Dress 7. Yellow Floral Dress 8. Lace Ruffle Dress 9. White Floral Dress 10. White Dress

Today I am sharing with you my top 10 picks for Easter dresses this year. I love a beautiful feminine dress, and Easter is the perfect time of year to pick up a new one to enjoy throughout the upcoming warmer months. I love all of these picks because they are right on trend for this season while all having a timeless feel to them that guarantees you’ll be able to enjoy them for years to come.

Xoxo,

Leighton Michele

My Skincare Routine

Hello friends!

I have been receiving numerous questions lately about my skincare routine, so I decided to put it together for you! I have uploaded a video to my InstagramTV where you can see how I utilize all of the products that will be mentioned in this post. As a reference, I am 27 and have a combination skin type, so my goals are to keep my skin moisturized, control oil and preventative aging. Anyways, without further ado, lets look at my morning routine!

I like to begin each morning with washing my face and my favorite facial cleanser is the Mario Badescu Enzyme Cleansing Gel. If you’re not sure what cleanser or other products you are in need of, a great place to start is this skincare quiz offered by Mario Badescu, another one I have utilized as a starting place for what my skin is in need of is this quiz by Beauty Bio. While I may not use every product from that company mentioned, they have guided me in researching what I need to find for my skin type as I have tried multiple brands over the years.

After washing my face I use the Vichy Mineral 89 as a pre-serum to help protect my skin from pollutants and then follow it with Loreal’s Revitalift Hydraulic Acid. I then like to use my jade roller to make sure that it gets properly absorbed into my skin and also to reduce the early morning puffiness under my eyes. I then finish up with my daytime moisturizer, the Collagen Moisturizer by Mario Badescu. At this point I am ready to begin with my makeup for the day!

Now we can discuss my evening skincare routine. I begin by removing my makeup using makeup wipes from Walmart, I don’t use anything fancy, they just need to be able to remove my makeup for me. Once my makeup is removed I wash my face using the Enzyme Cleansing Gel from Mario Badescu and then put some Cucumber Cleansing Lotion on a cotton ball rub on my face and neck to ensure a clean canvas. At this point I use my microneedling tool over my whole face and neck. I currently have a cheaper one as I wanted to try it before investing, but since I like it so much I am definitely looking at investing into a nicer one, so I will link a cheaper as well as nicer option below! Once I am finished with microneedling, I once again use Loreal’s Revitalift Hyaluronic Acid over my face and neck rolling it in with my jade roller. I am now ready to finish up my skin with my Mario Badescu Seaweed Night Cream and Glycolic Eye Cream. Finally I like to use some lip balm and Monet’s Eye Wonder Eyelash Serum and I am ready to relax!

Above are my morning and evening skincare routines, but below I will share with you a few other products that I like to use as well, just not every day. The first one is Facial Nair, you place it on your face like a mask (I only do the chin, cheeks and upper lip) and let it set for five minutes. Once the time is done you wipe it off with a warm washcloth and it removes any peach fuzz on your face ensuring that you have a smooth canvas for applying your makeup. After using the Facial Nair I like to use a dermaplaner to remove any excess fuzz that the Nair might have missed as well as to exfoliate my skin. I only do this routine every two weeks as my hair does not grow fast enough to need it more often. On the off weeks from using the Nair and dermaplaner, I like to exfoliate using the Mario Badescu Strawberry Face Scrub. It provides a gentle exfoliation while moisturizing my skin as well, and while we’re on the topic of exfoliating I exfoliate my lips 2-3 times a week using Ulta’s Watermelon Lip Scrub.

At this point I do not have any affordable retinol products that I have found that I absolutely love to implement into my skincare routine, but if I find some I will be sure to pass it on to all of you! I will link up all of these products below, and be sure to check out the video on my InstagramTV!

XOXO,

Leighton Michele

Mario Badescu Enzyme Cleansing Gel | Vichy Mineral 89 | Loreal Revitalift Hyaluronic Acid | Jade Roller | Mario Badescu Collagen Moisturizer | Mario Badescu Hydrating Facial Spray | Nyx Green Tea Blotting Paper | Pure ‘n Gentle Makeup Remover Wipes (not available online) | Cucumber Cleansing Lotion | Microneedling cheaper option, pricier option | Mario Badescu Seaweed Night Cream | Mario Badescu Glycolic Eye Cream | Eye Wonder by Monat Eyelash Serum | Mario Badescu Strawberry Face Scrub | Ulta Beauty Watermelon Lip Scrub | Dermaner by Finishing Touch | Facial Nair