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Spolier alert! This is the post where I say I’m proud of me tonight.

I’m sorry I’ve been MIA on here. My final manuscript was due to the publisher on Dec 1. With an hour to spare, I made my deadline:)

So many of you have been a part of this and I can’t thank you enough. Thank you for all the reading, editing, prayers, and encouragement. I had no idea this process would take so much time, heart, and help. I couldn’t have done it without you. After one very special agent, Heidi, two trips to seattle, countless quarts of coffee, and way too many carbs, it felt incredible to hit send.

I’m sad my mind is complete mush right now because I want to celebrate this moment. I’ve been reading HarperCollins books since BookIt. That the Zondervan department would want something of mine is just too much. I feel like God has led me here, provided you all for the journey, and no matter what happens next, I’m extremely grateful.

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xoxo

Cindy


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DecemRed Winner

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And the winner is….

my fancy system

my fancy system

Congratulations Kimmy!!! Can’t wait to see you and give you your Apple Red Necklace by 31 Bits!

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I’ve had a good time with this challenge! The New Year’s pics were great!

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Happy 2013!

Some of my favorite entries were from my ginger friends!

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Red with Red:)

Thanks for playing along! It was fun to see your beautiful faces and hear your stories all month! I don’t know about you, but I will be wearing a lot more red lipstick in 2013!  xoxo


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Times Gone By

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Happy New Year!  This post is going to be like most of my life- all over the place, and yet somehow all connected. Hope that’s ok with you:)

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DecemRed

I wore the heck out of my red lipstick this week to places it normally doesn’t go- snowboarding, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, and snowmobiling.  My beautiful sisters were good sports and wore it with me!photo (4)

I also took part in my very first photo shoot (outside of being a bridesmaid…which I’ve done quite a few times;).  My friend Kaitlyn is a photographer, and asked if she could take my picture. I was uncomfortable with the idea until she said Maggie (a pro at this stuff) would come along and that we could do a DecemRed inspired shoot!  Kaitlyn is talented, sweet, and makes the whole process really fun!  Check her out!IMG_9538

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The End of 2012!

Today is the last day of 2012 and my Decemred challenge.  The irony of this mini adventure and its timing couldn’t be more perfect.  When I started, I had no idea what would come of it, but figured I had very little to lose.  As I mentioned in my last DecemRed update, many of you had reservations about wearing red lipstick, wondering if it you could pull it off.  I’ve realized over the last month that my own issue isn’t with how it looks, but with how much bright lips stand out.  They feel more showy and “look at me!” than I am used to or enjoy.  I’d like to think of myself as a confident person, but what this year, and even a small tube of red lipstick has shown me, is there are still plenty of places where I’d rather stick to the background.

As I reflect on 2012, or auld lang syne (times gone by), it has been a year of mustering some courage and putting myself out there in more ways than one.  The book, this blog, red lipstick, and even the photo shoot have all been uncomfortable and sometimes painful steps towards pursuing a dream.   I never realized how much I enjoyed keeping my thoughts to myself and living what I refer to as my “normal life” …until I started putting it all out there- typos, awkward sentences, and embarrassing stories and all.

When I told my brother Matt that I liked the normal life, he said he thought I was selling myself short.  I’ve thought a lot about his words and they remind me of this quote:

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’  Actually, who are you not to be?  You are a child of God.  Your playing small does not serve the world.   There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.  We are all meant to shine, as children do.  We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.   It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone.  And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.   As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”  -Marrianne Williamson

IMG_9923So, for 2013, I’m going to just keep putting it out there, especially when I’d rather not, in hopes that it gives some of you permission to do the same. If even just one of you felt like you could shine a little brighter or take a step of courage because of one of my small steps, it will all be worth it! …I tend to think if we aren’t a little uncomfortable, challenged, or scared, then we aren’t really living anyway.

Happy New Year! Be safe and have fun tonight! Don’t forget to #decemred those red lips! I have a 31 Bits necklace to send home with one of you tomorrow:)

xoxo Cindy


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DecemRED Giveaway Update

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103653228894994061_ttK1JmcM_c[1]We are overdue for a DecemRED Giveaway update!:)  This time of year is insane, right?  I can’t figure out how moms get everything done.  Anyway, I’ve been wearing red lipstick literally everywhere I go for a little over two weeks now. Here are a few highlights:

Places I Loved It

  • Holiday parties
  • Meeting friends for dinner
  • Christmas shopping

The Riskiest Place I Wore It

  • Job Interview (although I did read wearing a splash of red increases your chance of getting hired b/c it shows confidence and strength.)

Places I felt Ridiculous

  • Hiking
  • Moving
  • Anywhere before noon

What I’ve learned

  • I look less like the walking dead in red lipstick
  • It’s a lot like high heels in that you feel pulled together all the time
  • It’s super annoying and has to be touched up constantly

Favorite Red Lipstick Moment:

photoMy level of red lipstick enjoyment  has everything to do with my environment.  There are places where a bold lip is appreciated, and places where it is not. In general, getting “dolled-up” for any type of  active sport is not ideal.  You can understand why I mentally had to prepare myself for wearing it to my sister-in-law, Jenni’s birthday party at a rock climbing gym.

When I arrived, I did my best to forget I had it on while searching the gym for the birthday party.   I’m  99% sure it was all in my head, but I felt like the sporty girls in their earth toned yoga pants were judging my bright red lipstick.  Once I found everyone, Jenni waved  a big hello and introduced me to her climbing friends.  They were all super athletic and the kind of  girls who are beautiful without makeup.  I should also mention that they are amazing climbers and I’m not very good…..I like doing things I’m good at……  I like looking the part…  I don’t think I’m alone in this.

photo (3)Feeling uncomfortable, I tried to explain myself right away and reminded Jenni about my blog challenge. Then she did the best thing- she said they’d ALL put on red lipstick for the climbing day! The others were into it and one girl admitted she’s secretly been wanting to try it for some time.  I gladly passed my tube around and the fun began!  Since we were all in it together, our bright red lips weren’t out-of-place and we all agreed we looked better climbing with it on;)  More importantly, I noticed the uncomfortable ice was broken, I made instant new friends, and felt closer to my sister-in-law.

Thanks to Jenni, what I thought was going to be my toughest challenge ended up being my favorite day of all!   It reminded me of a time a few years ago when my family took a trip to Alaska. Jenni and I decided it would be funny to wear bright lipstick with our sweatshirts to this fancy wine tasting thing.   Since neither of us wear a ton of makeup, we played it up and laughed at ourselves the entire time. It is one of my favorite memories from the whole trip.

photo (1)In nearly every story I’ve received this month, one of you mentions something about a prior fear or hesitancy over wearing red lipstick.  It turns out most of you have been waiting for an excuse or simply needed someone to do it with.  And like my new climbing friends, the challenge has given us the opportunity.

It’s crazy that something as small and insignificant as lipstick could bond people or help us make new friends, but I see it all the time.  It’s the moment in the silent bathroom line when one stranger says, “I love your shoes” and instantly we all start chatting and remember we’re on the same team.  It’s how as a female you know you’re “in” with a new a co-worker after she asks for some reassurance on her new haircut.  It’s not actually the clothes, or the hair, or the shoes that connects us, it’s the shared vulnerability.  We become friends when we admit our insecurities to each other.  With all the pressure to maintain an image, look perfect, and compete all the time, having another girl ask, “Do I look ok?” or say “You look great in that” truly goes a long way.

photo (2)Thanks for sending all your stories! My friend Bree even wrote a blog of her own about her day in red lipstick! Click here to read it.  It’s not too late to join in the fun! Hashtag #decemred on Instagram or post on facebook:) Each post gets you an entry for a 31 Bits necklace.

Also, I want to tell you that Jenni helps lots of men and women feel great about themselves every day.  She co-owns a fitness business called Rough Fit in Tustin that goes far beyond other boot camps by helping people make fitness a way of life.  My favorite part is that you are actually part of a team with other people and everyone rallies together to reach their goals.  If you are in the area and wanting to make some changes in the new year, definitely check them out!


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DecemRED Giveaway

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103653228894994061_ttK1JmcM_c[1]Time for my first giveaway! This one is for the ladies. Men, you are welcome to play along. I don’t judge…but I’m assuming most of you won’t.

My DecemRED Lipstick Challenge is the culmination of a few different thoughts swirling in my head:

Beauty

I’ve been thinking a lot about the topic since my Halloween Post. Where does it come from? Why do women feel the pressure to be pretty? Why do I sometimes like beauty and other times resent it?

Since Red Lipstick is a quintessential beauty go-to, I thought wearing it might be an easy and interesting lens with which to explore the topic. I don’t know what I’ll get out of the experience, but I have a feeling some insights will surface. Plus the holidays are the perfect time to get fistive and kick it up a notch:)

Few fun facts about the color red:

Movember

Why should guys have all the fun? There are some nice parallels between beards and red lips. Some guys love the excuse to show off their hair growth hormones, while others feel self-conscious about their lack thereof. Women have similar feelings toward embracing a bold lip. A few of us have been waiting for an excuse to try it, while others hate the idea all together. An elite group of you already wear red lipstick and must find the whole idea silly.

You+ Me

DecemRED is a simple and fun way to interact with my readers outside of the blog! I get excited just thinking of us doing something together in the “real” world. Especially those of you I don’t get to see that often or have never met in person.

The Challenge:

I’m going to wear red lipstick every day for the month of December. (Yes, I’m starting a few days late. Yes, I’ve been wearing it the last few days). I have to wear it everywhere. No excuses. I’ll periodically blog about how it feels, reactions, and insecurities, etc.

You can play along by doing the same! You don’t have to wear it every day to join in. Try wearing red lips out for one day, a week, or the whole month. If you have followed my blog or liked my facebook page, you can enter into a drawing every time you:

  • Send a pic of you in your red lipstick- post to the facebook page, Instagram (@olivemepost #decemred), or by email at OliveMePost@gmail.com
  • Send me a story of your experience. It doesn’t have to be long, just a few sentences about how you felt or what happened.

Each time, you’ll go into the drawing to win this necklace , in “Apple Red” of course, by 31 Bits!

photoIf you are looking to do some Christmas shopping, check out 31 Bits!! Their designs are fabulous and every purchase supports women in Uganda. I’ll also be donating to World Vision’s HIV program for each entry since red is the awareness color and December 1st was World AIDS Day.

I lead a small group of amazing girls on Thursday nights and I adore them! Maggie attends and has already joined the challenge. Her story is below:

I didn’t have any red lipstick besides some super old stuff from about 5th grade that I used for dress-up. So I went to Wal-Mart with my mom to buy some (whilst wearing my super old lipstick of course). I found a red lip stain by Maybelline and decided this would be better than the lipstick.
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I took off my lipstick and put on the lip stain in the car on our way to the next store. I don’t know if you have ever used lip stain but you are supposed to put it on clean lips and you have to let it dry before you put the gloss on top. I didn’t do either of these things. As we got out of the car my mom says to me, “WOW that’s bright. When December is over you can put that in the Halloween stuff.”
Thank you mom. Now I feel ridiculous.
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In Best Buy four different workers asked if I needed help with anything. I’m not saying it was the lipstick, but really? Four? At the television section of the store another young man asked if I needed help with anything. I said no but my mother proceeded to ask him a question. The entire time he was answering my mother’s question, he was looking at me! ( Not going to lie, this made me feel pretty good).
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After shopping, we went to dinner and this is where the lip stain drops the ball. By the end of the meal the color had chipped off around the outer edges of my lips and it looked disgusting! Over all, I honestly can’t decide if the red lipstick made me more self-conscious or more confident throughout the day. It definitely had its moments and I felt more noticed but at the same time I was constantly thinking about my make-up.

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