Sunday, October 23, 2016

||On Looking Back and Moving Forward||

I've always seen myself as the girl I've never wanted to be.
The Fat girl.
The Unpopular girl with no friends.
The Not-Very-Good-at-Sports girl.
The Weird Girl.
The Ugly girl.
The Unloved Girl.

Me in 2007
I've been the girl that makes sure that my clothes are loose enough that no one can see any roll or bulge.
I've been the girl who is constantly worrying that people won't like me because I have bad skin and have always and even now is constantly struggling with weight gain and loss.
I've been the depressed girl who struggled with suicidal thoughts in high school.
I've been that girl who looks at herself in the mirror and puts herself down.

"No one will ever love someone as fat and ugly as you!"
"Why do I even bother trying my best when my best is clearly not good enough?!?!"

It's not that I've never tried to do better, to lose weight, it's just hard for me when all I hear and see and feel because of the world is "you're not good enough!"  

Life has been a constant struggle.
Until Now.

Sure, I still struggle with many of these things-thankfully the depression is not as bad-but as I've gotten older, I realized that it's silly to let others around determine how I should feel, how I should look, how I should act.
I am not who I am determined on other people's decisions, words, or ideas.



I am defined by how I act in this world through the way I act, thanks to my parents raising me well.
I am defined through my manners from a mother who homeschooled me and taught me to behave, to respect my elders, and to make decent conversations with people of all shapes, colors, statuses, and rank.
I am defined by the way that I dress, by reserving the most intimate parts of my body for special eyes only-that have yet to come-and to respect my body through dressing modestly.
I am defined by how I work to keep healthy, not constantly worrying about my weight, but by accepting the fact that I am a bigger gal, and while I could be smaller if I wished, I can get there without worrying that I am going about it in an unhealthy way, but instead, encouraging myself and those around me to never give up.
I am defined by how I look by taking care of myself, even when doing the basic things in life, like washing my face.
I am defined in my beauty because I know that God made me this way, and that He defines who I am in my life.  I may not be the perfect, Proverbs 31 Woman, but dang it, I'm going to strive to be the best that I can be according to who I am, letting my inner beauty shine in more than layers of makeup.
I am defined because of my faith.  Without the Sacraments, without Christ, without Mass and prayers and Confession, and everything else that goes with it, my faith would be gone.

I may not love that my thighs jiggle, but I do love that I have beautiful, athletic calves and long legs from my parents.
I may not love that I am bigger than I want to be, but I love that I have lost weight that I am proud of losing, because I did it through my own goals and by my own strength.
I may not love that I have crazy insane hair at times, but I love that it curls in ways that no curling iron will ever get right.
I may not love that I make mistakes I am not proud of, but I love that I have priests that I can go to confession and pour out my sins, my regrets, and feel like a weight has been lifted.

Me Today in 2016
I love that I am not defined by the standards of this world, and I am ready and willing to move on.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

||On Fall Favorites 2016||

Hello Everyone!
I know it's been wayyy to long since I last posted, but with classes and extracurriculars, 
I feel like I never have time for anything else!
Now that it is finally fall break, I've decided to finally make my list of my fall favorites!

1. Apples
Photo: Kim Jaeckel
There's not much more to say than "yum!" when describing the crunchy epitome of fall (next to crunchy leaves and sweaters).  
There's also great times had when going out to pick some in an apple orchard.  
Orange Pippin has created a list of orchard by state, which you can check out here!

2. Leaves

Photo: asphotos via VSCO

There's nothing better than beautiful leaves in the fall, especially if they're colorful and crunchy.  My friends think I'm really weird when walking to class and I look purposefully for that perfect crunchy leaf.  I'm perfectly okay with that, because in truth, I am looking for that perfect cruncher of a leaf.

3. Sweaters
©Carissima Keatley
There is nothing more comforting on a cold gloomy day than pulling on a cozy, soft sweater.  Gap came out with a new Chunky Pointelle Sweater this year that is absolutely fabulous, cute, and deliciously warm & cozy.
My favorite color is Oatmeal Heather (photo above), but there are many other colors available. I realllly want them all, but I'm going to have to pace myself (even through they're a great price)...
Check them out here!

4. Tea (Apple Cinnamon & Perfect Peach)
These teas are my absolute favorites this year! My friend Ashlyn, the biggest tea drinker I've ever met (thank goodness), hooked me on Bigelow's Perfect Peach last spring. My aunt sent me a care package last year that had the Cinnamon Apple Spice from Celestial Seasonings, and I have become hooked. In fact, my roommates and friends make fun of me for having so much tea-I have around 15 boxes of tea on average in my dorm room.
Pinkies Up!
Buy the Perfect Peach here, and the Cinnamon Apple here

or check out your local grocers!

5. Friendships
©Carissima Keatley
Autumn is the time when coming back to school and seeing your friends who live some thousands of miles from you again makes that summer sort of bearable. It's also a time to look back at your current year and feel so amazingly grateful for all of the friends you have made.  As I sit here, I can think of so many people who are my friends of old & of new. There are the friendships who, although we've had some tough times, have worked through our problems to reconnect even stronger than before. I am so grateful for all of my friendships in words I will never be able to fully write or speak out.

6. Autumn Spotify Playlist

Spotify is a great thing to have, and since I love music so much, I've created a special Fall Break playlist featuring some old and new favorites, including some of John Paul White's (formerly of The Civil Wars) new solo pieces, some old & new Ray LaMontagne, as well as some other favorites. 

Listen here!

7. Coffee
Photo: New England Coffee
Coffee. It is the thing that keeps college students alive, the golden-brown nectar of the gods. My roomies and I have about 3 bags of coffee in our room at all times, and New England Coffee's Cinnamon Hazelnut and French Vanilla are our top favorites. They also pair extremely well with Coffee-Mate creamers, which come in small bottles perfect for a mini-fridge! Drink it up here!

8. myDanielGlass Glass Water Bottle
©Carissima Keatley
As far as water bottles go, I've had my struggles.  I hate the way that they smell after you've put things such as fruit in them, and how unsightly many of the can be. However, when I discovered DanielGlass Glass Water Bottles, my thoughts about drinking water changed completely.  My friend Monica, a recent graduate of my school and author of, recommended it on an Instagram post.  
These bottles are stylish, functional, and a great, BPA-free alternative to plastic bottles!
Check them out here!

9. Perfume
Vera Wang has been one of my favorite designers of all times, and I had her Princess perfume when I was young.  Now that I'm a bit older, I decided to find a scent that was a bit less sweet and more ladylike.  
Lo and behold, Vera Wang Embrace in Marigold and Gardenia is the perfect blend of melon, soft musks, marigold and gardenia that lingers but is not overpowering.
This perfume can be found here.

10. Lipstick
There's something iconic about a red lip, from Marilyn Monroe to Zooey Deschanel, and there is nothing like MAC Cosmetics' Russian Red Lipstick.  I have been wearing this color for about 8 years now, and even though the price is high for many people, I do have to say that MAC's lipsticks last a really long time-if I wear it at least 5 days a week, I usually only go through 1-2 tubes per year (and always apply with a lip brush!). 
This perfect red gives you that pop of color on a great, dreary day, and looks good on just about every skin tone!
Buy it here.

Comment below on what you love most about Fall!

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

On Everyday Beauty From Everyday Beauties

I love makeup. 
Ever since I was a young girl, I was always fascinated by the colors, the textures, and how using these products was like painting a beautiful canvas. 
Today, I still have that love of beauty products, and one of my favorite parts is finding girls who use makeup either as a way to reach out to others, such as a beauty blogger, 
or in their everyday life.
With that introduction, I interviewed two women in my life who use makeup in such this way, to share their favorite products, beauty quote and more!


Kaleigh Snow, 19

Kaleigh Snow, 19, @allthatglittersisgoals

OregonicGirl: When did you discover your love of makeup?
KS:I first started loving the idea of makeup around 17, and then about a year later I discovered Jaclyn Hill on YouTube and I was hooked! Now, at 19, I have a passion for it. It's a form of art, and I would love to do something professional with it one day.

OG: If you could choose 3 makeup products to always have in your bag, what would they be?
KS: I would choose a luminous face powder (I like the LancĂ´me Absolue Powder in Absolute Golden), mascara (L'Oreal Telescopic is my current obsession!), and a hydrating pinky-nude lipgloss (My favorite go-to is by the brand Therapy Systems).

OG: What is the one product that makes you feel better no matter what?
KS: A good highlighter, like Becca's Champagne Pop by Jaclyn Hil. I will have no makeup on sometimes and just douse the tops of my cheeks, temples, and Cupid's bow with a highlighter and boom-I feel like a million bucks even on the hardest of days. 

OG: Do you have a favorite quote on beauty?
KS: "Beauty begins the moment you decide to be yourself"-Coco Chanel

OG: If you could give one piece of advice to a woman about beauty, either in regards to natural beauty (beauty on the inside, etc) or to makeup, what would you say?
KS: It probably sounds cliche, but being yourself and expressing you through what you do, say, and wear makes you the most beautiful and attractive. When it comes to makeup, the same thing should apply. Wear as much or as little, of one thing or every thing, as you want! There are no rules in makeup, so express yourself and just have fun with it!

Kaleigh is currently underway in creating her first beauty blog!

Danielle Saunders, 26, 
Professional Ballroom Dancer and Instructor
OregonicGirl: When did you discover your love for makeup?
Danielle: I discovered my loved for makeup right out of high school BUT my avid love for it hit me 4 months before my first professional ballroom competition. Fell. In. Love.
OG: What is your favorite brand of lipstick, what shade, and why do you love it so much?
DS: Hm, my favorite brand of lipstick for every day is Milani from Target or Fred Meyers in the shade Rose Femme or Urban Decay in Cherry Red for competition because it stays!
OG: Favorite Beauty Icon/Inspiration, and why?
DS: My favorite beauty icon are the ever classic Marilyn Monroe and Grace Kelly. Marilyn had a talent for blending in when she wanted to hide or standing out when she wanted attention. I embody that quite often.
OG: Do you have a favorite quote on beauty?
DS: Favorite quote on beauty, um, not off the top of my head. I'm sure I pinned something great on Pinterest at some point. 
OG: Everyday Makeup Favorite and Work Makeup Favorite?
DS: For everyday makeup I use as little as possible, not only because I believe in enhancing natural beauty instead of covering it up, but also I am blessed with a nice complexion and I can get away with it. So I do "They're Real" Mascara by Benefit, some concealer I got at Clarins (Clarins is my skin care line hands down, lots of plant extracts and natural ingredients) and some skin tone colored, matte eye shadow: the Naked Palette by Urban Decay and some lip gloss (White Russian by Buxom) and I'm done. My competition makeup is so extensive it requires a YouTube tutorial so I won't launch into that, however the brands are mostly Mac and Urban Decay because it is stage makeup and will sit and stay under bright bright lights and sweat. Ballroom makeup is different than your club look because it shouldn't look good up close, but it is just more dramatic.
    OG: If you could give one piece of advice to a woman about beauty, either in regards to natural beauty (beauty on the inside, etc) or to makeup, what would you say?
DS: My advice for inner beauty is this: I used to believe I had to not wear makeup to look beautiful on the inside and therefore felt less confident. You can look great on the outside and still have a radiant personality. My practical advice is this: research! Nordstrom and Macy's and all sorts of makeup and skincare stores (sephora is a favorite of mine) give FREE beauty samples of high end stuff! A lot of my "research" for competition included watching hours upon hours of YouTube makeup tutorials. It was not a chore it was so fun! My favorite YouTube beauty guru's are Kathleen Lights, Jaclyn Hill, and a lifestyle guru miss Liz Heart.
Danielle instructs and competes with Arthur Murray School of Dance in Salem, Oregon.



Wednesday, June 29, 2016

||On 5 Current Favorites||

Summer being a time of Pinterest binging, sweet tea-drinking, and nap-taking, 
I like to make a compilation of my 5 favorite favorites I have for the summer so far. 

©Tim Rook REX Shutterstock
Duchess Catherine's Royal Ascot Outfit
Can you say, wow?!?! Another stunning outfit worn by the ever-lovely and beloved Duchess of Cambridge at the Royal Ascot two weekends ago. Her ivory Dolce and Gabbana dress makes me swoon at the lace and design, and her Jane Taylor hat is immaculately paired with it, as well as a gold clutch. Seriously, though, wow! Is there anything she can't look bad in?!?!

© Carissima Keatley
Kinfolk Magazine: The Travel Issue
 "Travel is a mentality as much as an action, so it doesn’t matter if our adventures start on the side of an alpine mountain or end in our living rooms."[Kinfolk: The Travel Issue]Lots of inspiring articles making you want to travel, the current issue of Kinfolk is inspiration for the heart and lovely to the eyes. Available at

© Carissima Keatley
Botanics Ionic Clay Shine Away Mask
This stuff is amazing! 
A mask that feels good and helps keep shine away is perfect summer. 
Available at and

Album Cover of The Lumineers Cleopatra
Ophelia by The Lumineers
This song is reminiscent of those summer loves gone by, but it keeps you tapping your finger or dancing to the rhythm in your room or car. 
Listen to it on youtube; album available at

Okay, so Pinterest is only a current obsession, it's an everyday one. However, if you haven't explored the wonderful world of Pinning onto dream boards, you are going to want to try it. Makeup tips, natural cleaning tips, and delicious recipes are just waiting for you simply at the touch of your fingertips. If you're looking to see what it's all about, take a look at my page by clicking here!

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

||On Summer Favorites||

Summer may not officially be here calendar-wise, but for me, it's been here about 3 weeks
(the joys of being a student again!)!
Here are some of my favorite summer things to eat, visit, drink, and listen to. . .

1. To Eat: Blueberries
 © Carissima Keatley
Blueberries have an early season this year in Oregon, but I have to say I am completely okay with that!
The farm I work at--Fordyce Farm--grows them, and I am sooo happy they're here!
I'll be out picking next week; well, I plan on picking as well as eating. . .
I also want to try this recipe from the blog Be a Fun Mum for Frozen Blueberry and Yogurt Kebabs. Yum!

2. To Visit: Oregon's Outdoors
© Carissima Keatley
Anywhere in Oregon is gorgeous in the summer, so it's really hard to actually pinpoint a certain area. However, I have to say that my favorite areas are up nearer the Cascade Range, such as North Fork. Blue skies, hiking trails, refreshing water, and natural beauty all around you makes for an appealing afternoon hike or weekend camping trip.
For some ideas on places to visit in Oregon, click here!

3. To Eat: Bigwig Gluten-Free+Vegan Donut Holes
© Carissima Keatley
Now, these donuts are A-mazing! Made fresh, this donut pop-up comes to my favorite coffee shop 2x a week! Offering vegan, gluten-free donut, Bigwig has gained many followers, bringing delicious cinnamon-sugar, chocolate, and now lemon poppyseed balls of mouthwatering dough.
Visit there website here (and then go try some)!

4. To Drink: Archive Coffee
© Carissima Keatley
Archive Coffee and Bar is my favorite coffee shop in Salem. With their hand-roasted beans and gluten free breakfast foods, the coffee side of Archive is simple, smooth, and delicious.
They also offer food and drinks starting at 4pm, and their ever-rotating-with-the-season menu is scrumptious every single time.

5. To Visit: Hallie Ford Museum of Art
A Piece by Royal Nebeker from the current exhibition
Located here in Salem, Willamette University's Hallie Ford Museum offers visitors a variety of art to become enchanted by. Not only do they offer different artists--including local ones--but also an amazing permanent display that will be sure to dazzle any art lover's eye.
Another perk is that they give discounts to students, and are free to everyone on Tuesdays!

6. To Listen: The Stillwater Hobos
Photo: The Stillwater Hobos
This group hails from North Carolina and brings hauntingly beautiful and enjoyable Irish and Folk songs back to life. Check out their album on their website here!

7. To Do: Watch a Sunrise
© Carissima Keatley
While this may seem a silly one--it is summer vacation after all--one really needs to see an Oregon sunrise in the summer. The colors are simply breathtaking. . .

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

||On Best Friends||

In Honor of National Best Friends Day, 
I want to share with you some of my best friends and moments with them!
Happy Day to my siblings, my childhood friends, friends new and old.
I love you all.

“Friendship ... is born at the moment when one man says to another "What! You too? I thought that no one but myself . . .” 
― C.S. LewisThe Four Loves

“There is nothing better than a friend, unless it is a friend with chocolate.” 
 Linda Grayson

“If you have good friends, no matter how much life is sucking , they can make you laugh.” 
― P.C. Cast

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

||On Instagram Favorites||

What a crazy and awesome place to be inspired and get connected.
Today, I wanted to share with you my 
Top Five Favorite Instagrammers!

My latest Instagram favorite, Brittany Wright takes food and re-organizes into color ways and turns them into amazing prints for your home, office and more!
Check out her splashing website here.
Photo: Britanny Wright

2. @twooldbeans
Two Old Beans Vintage Clothing finds cute and amazing vintage finds for both women and men. 
Located in Nashville, these girls curate exquisite vintage clothing to turn any old-school-loving girl or boy into vivacious women and men.
Find clothing, hats, and more on their Etsy shop here!
Photo: Two Old Beans

Katie Davis is a floral magician whose artistic skills render amazing floral arrangements, bouquets, wreaths, and more!  A local of Salem, OR, she brings us delightful and awe-inspiring fleurs, along with gorgeous photos to prove it.
Photo: Katie Davis

Anna Maria Horner is, without doubt, my most favorite fabric designer of all times.
No matter what collection she creates, it 1) always works with her older collections, and 2) are always gorgeous. As I'm sitting here typing this, I am currently in a skirt I made using her fabric (just one of the many ways to utilize these jewels).
Her Instagram account is not only her fabric and current projects, but also her adorable and amazing family.
Check out her fabric collections at a quilt shop near you, or online here
Photo: Anna Maria Horner

This beautiful lady loves to explore and create and shows it all through her photos.
Jeanette is actually my cousin, but I've always loved seeing life through her eyes.
A bit crazy, super gorgeous, and always creative, Jeanette shows that life is always an adventure, you must simply open your eyes to where you are in the moment.
Photo: Jeanette Penniman

Well, those are my top five favorites!
Who are yours?
Which one inspires you, makes you laugh?

Friday, May 27, 2016

||On Loving My Parents||

My parents are awesome.
I mean, they've given me life, raised me to be respectful, caring, and loving.
They also have to struggle with really hard stuff every single day, yet they continue to show me and my siblings nothing but love and support.

Today, I'm asking for your help.
See, my mom struggles from Meniere's Disease, and my dad from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.
It sucks.
Mom has days where she can barely get out of bed, and Dad has his good and bad days, but lately bad.
They also live in a 104 year-old farmhouse that, that while I love it, it needs a lot of help.
Especially the bathroom.
That's why I'm writing this post on both my blogs.
I need your help.
My siblings and I need your help, both prayerfully and financially.
We only need a small amount, but as we are all in college, it's hard to have any amount over $20.
We need to make our bathroom safe for our mom, as we are away 9 months out of the year.
Having a remodeled bathroom will not only help mom, but it will also help our dad, too.
Please consider donating, and you can do so by clicking below:

Thank you for reading this, and may God bless you abundantly!

Thursday, May 19, 2016

||On Summer Playlists||

It can't be summer already, can it?!?!
Well, as I watch the rain fall, now that I'm back in Oregon, I'm not quite sure.
Oh well...
Because I am am looking forward to the warm, hazy days that an Oregon summer can bring, I thought I would share with you, my delightful readers, a summer playlist!
Here are five songs which I've included on my playlist, 
with links to get a taste of them on Youtube! 

Fair warning: I am an avid listener of alternative/indie music, David Bowie, and just a strange assortment of songs, which I've apparently inherited this awesome, weird taste in music from my grandpa. Just to warn y'all...

Click to Listen to my playlist on Spotify:
OregonicGirl: Summer Playlist

1. Carry On--Coeur de Pirate

2. How Big How Blue How Beautiful--Florence + the Machine

3. Dancing On Glass--St. Lucia

4. Ophelia--The Lumineers

5. China Girl--David Bowie

Sunday, March 27, 2016

||On Spring Color Obsession||

Spring is finally here!

     While autumn is usually my favorite, I think that spring is slowly making its way into my seasonal heart.
I love the shoots, the little tiny buds that seek their way out of trees, and the grass turning greener and greener. 
Another wonderful reason why I love spring is all the COLOR.
The soft pastels and insane brights are replacing the once dreary and naked winter trees and bare winter ground.
Thankfully, I get to experience spring on the East Coast this year, one I am most relishing.
Having the four seasons actually act like the four seasons makes my heart happy 
(even with the humidity).
So with this newfound spring-in-my-step (sorry), I would like to tell you about my current color obsessions for spring:
Copper+Seafoam Green+Light Rose+Sky Blue

1. These wonderful herkimer diamond rings are handmade by Onata in Ashland, Oregon.  
The remarkable design and color will delight any copper lover.
You can find them here.

2. If you're wanting to repaint, or you're looking for the perfect seafoam green, check out Benjamin Moore in 578 Florida Keys, 2037-60 Santa Barbara Green, or 571 Lotus Flower.  Check these beautiful colors here.

3. There's nothing better than beautiful lighting, and a simple, copper industrial-style light is great for that quick kitchen update.
You can find a similar style on Etsy here.
Photo by LifeSpaceJourney via Flickr.

4. There's something about having beautiful pots and pans to cook with, and Le Creuset have to be some of my favorites. My favorite holiday activity is making orange marmalade with my mum using her big orange Le Creuset Dutch Oven!
Check out the entire line here.

5. Light. Blue. Shimmery. Gold. Flowy. Dresses.
Need I say more?
While Elie Saab created these gorgeous jewels of dresses for the Fall/Winter 2012-13 season, they are still some of my favorites in this color way.
However, you can find a similar style from David's Bridal here.

6. A beautiful dress can make any girl happy, and Beulah London makes beautiful woolen dresses that can brighten a dark, dreary day (Duchess Kate also wears this brand often).
Unfortunately, the blue isn't available anymore, but it is available in a beautiful soft pink, which you can find here.

7. I love Kitchen Aid mixers, and I think that every kitchen needs one, especially in copper!
Find your shiny new mixer here!

8 & 9. With spring in the air, it only makes sense to choose some beautiful plants and flowers to add to your gardens, both indoor and out!
Cabbage roses and succulents can be found at local garden stores near you.

I hope you enjoy the fresh tastes and smells which spring can bring, and may the bright lights of dewey dawns inspire your life!