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N’oublie pas de Vivre

Hello Friends! I hope you love this #OOTD! I’ve been very into the beret trend coming back, and I don’t think I will ever let it leave me again. Growing up, I always loved French culture, French language, French cheese – heck! I love French fries! But most of all I loved French fashion. When I was 6 I found out my grandmother on my Dad’s side is French. It all started making perfect sense to me… Madeline was my favorite book. Pepé Le Pew (the French speaking, aggressively romantic skunk) was my favorite cartoon and French Toast seemed to be my specialty when I wanted to make my mom and dad breakfast in bed! I identified so strongly with the idea of being French, I studied the language all the way from middle school to my senior year and I still find myself dreaming or thinking my most beautiful thoughts in French. My Uncle Terrance who speaks 11 languages fluently often would speak to me in the language and taught me so much…Sadly as I’ve gotten older I’ve gotten out of practice of speaking this language. Just like anything, if you don’t work a muscle it won’t get stronger. But one phrase that’s always stuck with me is this… N’oublie pas de Vivre. Don’t forget to live. I think it’s stuck to me because it’s my greatest challenge. We’ve all heard the popularly instagrammed quote “Don’t just exist…Live.” It can be a cliche, but only because it’s true. If we’re not careful, you can start living in a world where you just exist to merely get by. But I believe that God wants us to enjoy our life, God wants you to have FUN. He doesn’t want you to live without fun. The apostle Matthew spent three years with Jesus and he wrote, “Jesus came, enjoying life…” Matthew 11:19

I know work, ministry, family, other’s needs come first most times in our lives. But I want to challenge you. What have you done for you lately? What have you done to find rest? When was the last time you had fun? When was the last time you let yourself live in the moment?

“So I commend the enjoyment of life, because there is nothing better for a person under the sun than to eat and drink and be glad. Then joy will accompany them in their toil all the days of the life God has given them under the sun.” Ecclesiastes 8:15.

Go to a coffee shop, journal, paint your nails, blow up balloons and put them all over your room just for fun. Do a face mask, take a cat-nap, throw a tea party, go on a road trip, take a cooking class, play with puppies. Buy a plane ticket, learn a language, wear your PJ’s all day with bright red lipstick on because who cares! Take time to live. Take time to love your life. If you’re just living to please others, to collect a paycheck, to just get by – that’s not living at all. And you deserve more than that, Friend. Way more.

 

OUTFIT DETAILS…All items are linked below!

BERET

STAR NECKLACE 

PEARL BELT (similar)

SWEATER 

PLAID PANTS

SHOES (similar)

 

 

 

“Ugh As If!”

Hey friends! I posted a photo of this outfit on my Instagram and so many of you wanted the details! Here are a few more pictures as well as everything you need to know! It’s starting to get colder in Houston, but the day I wore this it was a little warmer. On a normal winter day I would probably throw on this outfit with tights like these and maybe a cute turtle neck or cropped sweater for extra warmth! This outfit also gives me MAJOR Clueless vibes, which is one of my favorite movies!

 

PLAID SUIT: BLAZER, SKIRT (The one I’m wearing is so here is a similar!) 

BODYSUIT, SOCK BOOTS

 

The Houston Chronicles: Retail Therapy

Hey Friends! Recently I shared a post called The Houston Chronicles: A Day At The Parfumerie when I visited the Le Labo Store in Houston and watched my beautiful fragrance be mixed in their lab, bottled and then labeled with my name…. So many of you loved that post and seeing some of my favorite places in Houston! So recently when I visited a new store in Houston called Cacao in Houston in one of my favorite areas Westheimer Oaks, I wanted to share it with you since I picked up so many cute things! Especially with Christmas coming up, I know I’ll be back for some more pretty ‘tings. If you’re in the Houston area you should definitely check out Cacao and a few of my other favorite places… https://shopcacao.com/

I got the cutest to do list! The one on the left that says “LET’S DO THIS!” I am so obsessed! 

Matching necklaces for me and my BFF, Agnes!

I love all of these French lotion products. That olive oil body cream is insane! I bought the lavender hand lotion and the almond lip balm!

I know I have too many planners but I low-key NEED this one too!

These mini perfume bottles are the cutest concept especially for $2.50!

Also! My adorable top is from one of my favorite online stores www.shopshellsea.com! Click here to shop!  Also! Use code ‘MARIAHXO’ to get 15% off your whole order!

If you live in Houston or are visited you MUST visit Cacao to grab some gifts for friends or even just for you! I know where I’ll be doing a ton of my Christmas shopping! Check out their website https://shopcacao.com/ 

Love you!

Mariah

5 Wardrobe Staples Under $25!

5 Wardrobe Staples Under $25 (And How To Wear Them!)

Hey Buttercups! I’ve been working really hard on this post for you guys! I always get asked about my style, where I buy things and how I wear them. I think there’s a huge misconception that all of my clothes are designer, LOL. Nah fam. 90% of my wardrobe is Forever 21! But recently with the business of life (and my budget!) I find myself not being able to shop in the mall as much, so I get a lot of shopping online.

I’ve found a couple new favorite stores that are perfect for purchasing basics and trendy wear! I put together some looks for you with five things that cost under $25 each. An embroidered denim jacket, a basic wrap denim skirt, boyfriend shorts, a slouchy sweater and retro sunnies are my must haves as we transition from hot summer to cool fall. I know school is about to start too! So if you’re in school consider this a “Back To School Outfits” post also! Just swap the heels for some all white sneakers and you’ll be fly in the hallways. I hope you guys love these looks!

       I love this rose embroidered denim jacket from www.shein.com! It’s sweet with denim on denim, midi skirts or over a dress! Embroidery is definitely one of my favorite trends of 2017 and it’s in my closet to stay! And the best part is that it’s only $23! CLICK HERE to buy this denim jacket! 

 I’m obsessed with these shorts, you guys. They’re only $14.99 from www.romwe.com CLICK HERE to buy these shorts!

Romwe Fashion T-shirts

I think that even in the summer, everyone needs a comfy sweater to lounge around in… My current favorite is this gray one with a cute pocket from www.romwe.com! It’s so soft and drapes like a dream. CLICK HERE to buy this sweater for $16.99!

Next is this PERFECT wrap denim skirt! It’s one piece that you wrap around and buckle manually, so it really is flattering because you can create the size perfect for you. I love it in the summer with a lacy tank top and I can’t wait to wear it in the fall with thigh high boots! CLICK HERE to buy this skirt for $16.00 from www.shein.com!

SheIn

Lastly, I absolutely love these square, super 90’s sunglasses! I scored them for only $5.90 from www.zaful.com! CLICK HERE to buy these sunnies!

I hope you guys absolutely love these looks as much as I do!

Love, Mariah

Baby, You’re A Lightning Bolt

Hey Guys! Raise your hand if you’ve ever felt invisible? No really! Raise it! Now raise your hand if you’ve ever wanted to feel invisible! Ha! I’ve been there. But mostly I can relate to the first one. There have been times when I’ve been in a room full of people, a dinner table a mile long or a church gathering where people are “fellowshipping” and I feel so unseen. No, I don’t want to be the life of the party. But there are times when people ask “hey, how are you!” and don’t stick around for the answer. Ever been there? Yeah, I know. Sometimes there are seasons of life sunnier than others. And I know there are times when it feels like people are looking through you more than they’re looking at you. Can I first start off by telling you: You are seen. You are important. You are loved. If you feel like you don’t have any true friends, email me. We’re friends now. Sup.

But seriously, I’ve watched the story of my life unfold and when I look back I can see where I’ve been manipulated by my circumstance. By my fear. By my “invisibility”. I remember times when I felt purposeless, even worthless. Not because I wasn’t getting attention, but because I felt completely without value. I didn’t take time to get to know my Father in Heaven and how He sees me. I didn’t get a chance to understand that I was made by the hands that flung the stars, lit the sun and poured the ocean. Now that I know it, it’s like the clouds part and I can finally see. But even more than knowing I’m seen and loved, something I’m more recently learning is that I am filled with power. Funny to say, huh? Next activity. Say out loud: “I AM FILLED WITH POWER”. Right now, at your desk or at the coffee shop you’re reading this from: say it. Out loud. Believe it or not it’s true! This is one of my favorite reminders of this truth….

“Take a long, hard look. See how great he is—infinite,
greater than anything you could ever imagine or figure out!

He pulls water up out of the sea, distills it, and fills up his rain-   cloud cisterns.
Then the skies open up
and pour out soaking showers on everyone.
Does anyone have the slightest idea how this happens?
How he arranges the clouds, how he speaks in thunder?
Just look at that lightning, his sky-filling light show
illumining the dark depths of the sea!
These are the symbols of his sovereignty,
his generosity, his loving care.
He hurls arrows of light,
taking sure and accurate aim.
The High God roars in the thunder,
angry against evil.” Job 36:26-33.

 

This verse blows my mind! Especially “Look at that lightning, his sky filling light show illuming the dark depths of the sea. These are the symbols of his sovereignty, his generosity, his loving care. He hurls arrows of light, taking sure and accurate aim.”

I remember a few years ago, in the depths of a wilderness of depression and anxiety. Feeling aimless, purposeless, powerless. I read this verse and immediately felt like God was trying to show me who I am. Illuming the dark depths of the sea. He hurls arrows of light, taking sure and accurate aim.

Follow me here…

I’m feeling surrounded by darkness? “Dark depths of the sea?” Check.

Could that possibly mean that I’m meant to bring light to other’s in this place? Could this mean I’m called to be a light to bring purpose? Is that my purpose? My mind started twirling and running wild with this possibility that even though I felt aimless, when I became aware of the love I come from, He took “sure and accurate aim” with me. I wasn’t hurled or flung from nothingness into more nothingness. I was made on purpose, for a purpose. That fires me up! I believe that Jesus died on a cross, laid in a tomb and then came back to life three days later. I believe that the crazy, almost impossible power it took for that to happen also is inhabiting my body. It sits in my spirit and has nested in my soul. If you’re quiet and introverted like me, it sounds impossible and quite funny to think of yourself filled with the power of God. Surely that is reserved for the confident, bold and brave people who would talk to anyone and do anything. Let me tell you something, quiet or not, brave or not… You are created with so much inside of you. So much of the time we feel like ­if only I had this talent… or if only I had this job… If only I had this confidence… What about if only you put every fear and insecurity into God’s hands? What would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail? Do that. Because everything you need to make it happen is already inside of you, just make yourself aware and access it. Open your mouth and command the sea to part. Open up your hands and see what God places there. Open up your mind and let Heaven pour ideas and truths into you. When we live in the awareness of our royalty, you are unstoppable. Because no longer are you trying to just get by, but you know there is Someone making a way for you, guiding you and protecting you. He’s giving you ideas and providing the energy, resource and confidence to see your dreams come into fruition. Turn someday into today, because you have the authority, the power and the purpose to do cool stuff that will change the world. You don’t need a hundred million Instagram followers or a hundred million dollars to change the world, you just need to be aware that His power makes you able to do it. You are filled with this power, a lightning bolt that was shot out with sure and accurate aim. He doesn’t arrange clouds and speak in thunder on accident. That dream in your heart is not there by accident. That depth of the sea is not around you by accident. That light inside of you wasn’t placed there by accident. You are on purpose, filled with purpose and equipped with the power of Jesus to change everything. Just say Yes.

Xx Mariah

Outfit Details… Dress: Anthropologie // Shoes: Zara // Jacket: Forever 21 (ON SALE NOW!) // Earrings: H&M // Sunnies: Forever 21 

Sorrows and Sparrows and Songs

Hello Beautiful Friends! I hope your week is ever so lovely so far. And if it’s absolutely the worst week ever, then know that it’s going to get better. Actually last week I had to tell that to myself over and over… You know when you’re just kind of down in the dumps and it’s hard to understand why, but also hard to shake it off? It’s not really sadness, it’s more just a deep distress… I was reading today about distress, what causes it in people. A synonym for the word was also sorrow and I thought that was interesting because I never thought of those too things as similar. Sorrow is a really funny thing, I think. It’s not loud like anger, it’s not as weepy as sadness, it’s not as bitter as disgust, it isn’t as obvious as fear. No, it’s a silent ninja of an emotion. Sorrow sneaks up on you, it comes as casually as blue melody we hum on our lips. It hangs around until it turns into a weight that’s too heavy to bear. Let’s be honest, especially as women – we’re not happy rainbow unicorns all the time. Sometimes we’re disappointed, sometimes we feel overlooked. Sometimes sorrow hangs around us and we don’t even realize it until that moment it all hits you at once. We get busy and we get exhausted, so instead of reading the word before bed we scroll through our friend’s (and kylie jenner’s) snapchat story, rub some lavender on our feet and fall asleep to the gentle TV laughter of Jimmy Fallon. We do this night after night until one day we’re agitated, worn out and annoyed at everything. I know you know what I’m talking about! And we wonder WHY! “Why am I feeling unfulfilled? Where did my joy go?” I don’t know about you, but it’s usually at these moments when I feel the most sorrow. There’s not one thing you can pinpoint that upset you, it’s a series of little cuts and bruises and exhaustions that add up to one wound. I’ve learned to ask myself… What am I doing day to day to recognize the goodness of God? What am I doing Monday – Saturday that steadies my heart? What do I do at the end of the day to lay down the little sorrows and pick up His big Joy? This may mean nothing to you, but I know for some of us this means a lot… Every time I feel the weight of life I think of these words:

“Why should I feel discouraged, Why should the shadows come, Why should my heart be lonely, And long for heaven, heaven and home, When, when Jesus is my portion, My constant Friend is He; Oh, oh-oh, his eye is on the sparrow, And I know He watched, watched it over me.

I sing because I’m happy

I sing because I’m free

For His eye, his eye is on the sparrow, And I know, I know He watches over me.”

Why do you sing? Because you know all of the words on the screen on Sunday morning? Do you sing because it’s your job as the worship leader? Do you sing so that other people can think that you’re okay when you’re really not? Or are you singing to lay those burdens down, that sorrow down, that rejection down? You need you need to know today that you’re being watched. TOTALLY non-creepy way. But you are being watched. You’re constantly protected every time you step inside of your car, that plane, that relationship. How comforting is that to know? This week I assessed why I sing. And you know what? My heart has been so heavy that my answer wasn’t even clear. But I sat down and I sang. Not because I had to. But because He makes me happy. Because He made me free! What a beautiful confidence that should give us! I want a generation of young women who live so SEEN that they GLOW. Sometimes all I need is to be reminded that He’s looking out for me! That He sees! That I’M seen! Every struggle, insecurity and issue we hide from the world isn’t hide-able from Jesus. He sees all of us and loves us anyway. He even loves the hidden corners of our soul where we store our sorrow. He loves you. He knows you! To the extent of which we can live so peacefully and filled that we can’t help but run over with beauty. Today I’ve been buried under piles of laundry, emails and emails, and I still need to grocery shop for dinner! But you know what? I’m happy. You know why? Because I’m filled. And sorrow doesn’t have a hold on me because I can recognize the truth of who I am, the beauty of my life and be grateful for it! When the enemy tries – and trust me he does try – I can combat every lie without blinking an eye because I’ve postured myself towards heaven. But I have to make choices to do that! I have to put my phone down, pick my Bible up. I have to turn Netflix off, turn my worship up. I have to assess my sorrow – what’s hurting me, what’s hindering me? Is it a circumstance or is it the state of my mind? Am I taking care of myself or does my to-do list have authority over my health? “Anyone who goes through me will be cared for—will freely go in and out, and find pasture. A thief is only there to steal and kill and destroy. I came so they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of.” John 10:9 Did you know that Jesus came not so you can just get by but He came for YOU to have a better life than you’ve ever dreamed of! He came for you to know you’re seen. He came so that you can sing in the midst of deep sorrow. I hope these words help you today, I sure did need them!

His eye is on the Sparrow, so how much more is He looking out for you? Sing today.

Xo Mariah

 

                                                      Steve Madden Shoes, Chanel Bag, Forever 21 Distressed Jeans

OUTFIT OF THE DAY! Forever 21 Sweater and Jeans, Hermes Belt (Thanks Dad!!) Steve Madden Shoes and Chanel Bag

Grace, Oceans of It

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Just a little something on my mind today… What do you think about when you hear the word “Grace”?

Do you think of your past? Do you think of mistakes? Or do you think of maybe something you need to share with another?I grew up in church, I know the lingo. I read the bible, I know the terms. I sing the hymns, “… amazing grace how sweet the sound….”. But what does Grace actually mean in our everyday lives? You’re tired, you’re exhausted, you’re overwhelmed. Bills are due, bank account is low, relationships go up and down, our bodies are tired… There are so many emotions and things and distractions that happen hour to hour. Can I be honest? When I’m doing laundry and dishes and in the gray crevasses of the mundane, glorious grace is a contrast. Life can become such a show, don’t you think? We try to keep up an appearance of peace so much that our own hearts get strained with chaos and the pressure of what our lives “should” ideally look like. But what should our lives actually be? For me Grace is the awareness that my brokenness doesn’t discount me from His approval. WHAT would happen if we lived  from Grace, not for grace? What would we do if we knew that even if we did fail, grace is the net that scoops us up and props us back to start again? So much of the tedious, regular things in life (that I’m usually using my energy to stress about) become smaller and smaller, and His reality gets bigger and bigger. I’m tired, y’all. Tired of being afraid of messing up, of making mistakes. I lived in such bondage because if I made any kind of mistake it would truly paralyze me. To the point of self hatred and such nauseating, emotional pressure. But g r a c e is a force that not even my biggest mistake or failure can measure up to. No show, no filter, no perception of a “perfect” life could outweigh the reality of Grace being the only reason why I breath. I know I write about perspective a lot and seeing things differently. But Grace is about seeing yourself differently. You were made of grace, by grace, for grace. And the best part of it is that we could never deserve it. We could never earn this grace- so there’s no pressure to try to be perfect enough for it. So keep sailing on the ocean of grace, He’s the wind in your sails, He’s the calm in your storm, He’s the sun light and the moon light. Sail on, friends.

On another, breezier note: lately I’ve been really into dressing for comfort. Not only do I love it but my husband loves it too. I think there’s something so attractive about a woman who knows her worth, who’s comfortable in her skin and also her clothes. I know everyday when I step out that I’m clothed in strength, dignity and grace. I absolutely love this clothing line, Gracemade- because that’s what they’re all about! Check em out. Www.thegracemade.com

More outfit details below.

 

xx Mariah

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Bag, Zara. Shoes, Urban Outftters. Necklace, Anthropologie. Dress, The Gracemade.

(gr)attitude

Hey Friends!

I have major guilt for not posting in a while – the response to this blog has been beyond my dreams and I’m so thankful to hear from all of you that you enjoy reading the little thoughts of my heart! A lot of you know that I am engaged to a human teddy graham – Byron Matthew Rideau, the most handsome, darling and carmely man in the world! I’ve currently been in a whirlwind of wedding plans, pre-marital prep as well as working two jobs! Phew! I know so many of you can relate, take a deep breath! Light a candle, pour some tea… spend some time in the quiet today. Also, thank you everyone for the birthday wishes last week!

Anywho- I’m about to go to work but I’ve been thinking about something all week this week! I know I’ve written about anxiety in the past, but today Jesus was really just helping my heart in a different way. I remember falling asleep last night asking Him – “why, even if everything around me is okay, do I still have anxiety about the things of the future? things that don’t even really matter right now?” I could feel an impression in my heart telling me to take inventory of every single time God has kept me, that He’s provided, that He’s restored in my life. It gave me such a way better perspective. The older I get, the more I’m realizing that Gratitude is the ultimate enemy of Anxiety. When we take inventory of God’s faithfulness, it reminds us that there’s truly nothing in this world that should have more power over our thoughts and our well being in general than Jesus. He has proven Himself to you – even though He doesn’t have to. He has showed Himself strong, He has healed you, shielded you from heartaches and accidents that we didn’t even know were around the corner.

So if you’re in an overwhelming season like I am, please first know you’re not alone, I’m with you there. And second remember that WE’RE not alone. Be THANKFUL today for every breath. We do stupid stuff all day long, and still He loves us more with every beat of our heart. Let gratitude override fear… Let joy override the temptation to feel sorry for our situations…

Love you guys! x M

ps: here’s one of my favorite outfits I wore my birthday week! A lot of you have DM’d me for details so here they are! x

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(Pants, T-shirt + Blush Bag are all curtesy of Zara! Shoes are Steve Madden and Sunnies from Forever 21) x

(You Can Be My Outfit) It Don’t Matter If You’re Black or White

You know those days? When you stare into the abyss of your closet, sucked into the black hole called “I have nothing to wear” slash “not leaving the house” slash “questioning everything about your life”. And then you’re Mom or your Dad or your Sister or in my case – my Byron tells you, you’re crazy! Look at ALL of these clothes! What are you talking about? And you respond with a quick but meaningful look that explains they have no idea what they’re talking about…

I pretty much have that day everyday of my life. WHY is getting dressed so hard? Either it’s a great day with too many choices, or the more normally occurring day of – nada…zilch…nothing to wear. To the perfect, flawless, alien people who can’t relate to this post, I’m sorry. But for the rest of us ladies who deal with this please know you’re not alone! Getting dressed is terrible and I wish I could wear pajamas everyday of my life.

Any who- all of that to say… This outfit was captured by my friend (Stephi of www.ragsandgrace.com) and it’s become my go to. I implore you to recreate it any of those days… we’re all strugglebussing our way through that high fashion life (insert eyeroll emoji here). Getting dressed should be the best part of your days, friends! Wear what makes you feel CONFIDENT and ready to take on the world! And at the end of the day, remember what outfit really matters….“She is clothed in STRENGTH and DIGNITY.” Pr0verbs 31 

SLAM2-10SLAM2-11

SLAM2-13SLAM2-15

Jeans, Topshop

Scalloped Tank, Topshop

Belt, Aldo

Jacket, Zara

Bag and Earrings, Chanel

Shoes, Via Spiga

 

Xx M

 

malena blog

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