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Photogrpahy: Sarah Halferty

I could call Sarah a photographer, but she is much more of a story teller. Her desire was to use her skills as a photographer and videographer to tell redemptive stories of hope. Over coffee one spring afternoon, she shared her passion for the above, while I shared my desire to want to artistically share my story of recovery. This collaboration of artistic minds, paired with a passion for hope would create what Sarah used as her thesis for graduation. I like to think of this project as just the beginning for her, as she, along with her husband, is using her skills to serve in Papua, New Guinea. Although the memoir, the actual coffee table book, currently sits in my peripheral vision, there is something freshly powerful in seeing these two images side-by-side. I have sat here for 30 minutes staring at them, reflecting on past journal entries, reading old prayers, and simply sobbing in the presence of God, as worship music fills the atmosphere of my home office. I am flooded this morning by God’s grace that never gives up on us, His love that never fails, and the power of His words that truly transforms. I feel a mix of humility, joy, and fresh passion igniting all at the same time.
Although the two above images were photographed in the same day, their placement to the story are years apart. There are many pages, much life, loads of fear, shattered dreams, prayers, conversations, anger, emotional roller coaster rides, uncertainty, and pen holes of hope, that are housed between these two images.
I often think of my own story in reflection of those found in scripture. The bible is full of pages that tell stories to people’s lives. The very essence of scripture is the gospel, the good news of Jesus, the alpha and the omega. I have often asked God why Jesus had to suffer, and journey His cross to Calvary? I understand He had to die, but why did He, the very Son of God, have to suffer? Wouldn’t death have been enough? These very questions are the ones, I believe, cause most people to question a loving God. I am no scholar, but as a child of the King of Kings, the Lord continues to whisper to me, it is in suffering that our humanness, depending on self, our own agendas, our own plans of escape or coping, die. You see Jesus was fully God, and fully man. The man-ness of him had to die. The man had to die, so that the Savior, the God in him, might live {so that our hope might live}.

A few things to note on the suffering of Jesus:
1.) He was betrayed by his closest friends.
2.) He was stripped bare, and publicly shamed.
3.) He was beaten beyond being recognized as a human being.

There are so many more, but these three resonated with me in my own suffering, betrayal, brokenness, shame, and abuse, yet incomparable. You see friends, Jesus had to suffer so we would have His pages, His journey, His story to relate to. There is nothing you will ever go through that Jesus did not experience. His story is the worst of the worst, and yet the best of the best. I love the verse in John 16:
“I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world. {John 16:33 NLT}”
Ahhhh, there is just nothing else to say!!! HE HAS OVERCOME THE WORLD!!
In thinking of the word “overcome” I love how Revelation 12:11 says we overcome by the blood of the lamb and the word of our testimony {life, story, journey, the in between}.
Friends, He wins, therefore if any of us are in Him, we win! we win my friends! WE WIN!
Below is a little piece of my story that was featured by United Way of Metropolitan Dallas. I am honored, yet humbled by this opportunity. I have questioned, for quite some time, as to the need to share my story. Unlike many stories of victory, Domestic Abuse is a bit different. Many times you are thankful to simply get out. You are totally fine to ride well below the radar, and draw zero attention to yourself out of fear that your abuser might resurface. The statistics on the number of victims that actually get out of an abusive relationship and stay out are depressingly low, less than 2%. Furthermore, the number of victims that walk in true emotional, mental, and spiritual victory are far lower. I have often wondered if this statistic is so low because these statistics are accurate or because far few victims feel and experience enough freedom to share their stories.
Thank you United Way for seeing the value in this story wanting to share my message, and for featuring it here.
This feature has actually pushed me to start a memoir series, Broken Not Destroyed, where I will walk you through my journey, piece by piece, each week.
Life is epiclly beautiful, and life is epiclly messy, such the perfect picture of Calvary. It is in between these two extremes, it’s the journey, where life happens. Housed between two images, pages of impactful, life-changing stories are written. You have a story, the pages of it matter, and you were created to let Him write it, so that you can tell it. What’s your story???

I’m Chelsie Birks, and this is my glossy life.

If you didn’t catch it above, here is a little feature of my story
If you or someone you know is caught in an abusive relationship or situation please contact The National Domestic Hotline.

For His Glory,

Chelsie

22
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Top & Skirt :Denym and Diamonds/ Shoes: Arden B {Sold out, but Here is a great $40 find}/ Sunnies: Rayban/ Watch: Michael Kors/ Lipstick: NARS {Cruising}
Photography: Greg Daniels

When I arrived at Greg’s studio, he was wrapping up an in studio, fashion shoot. Having the pleasure of witnessing the last few frames is the best. The model is warmed up. She has a good feel of the mood, clothing, and what she is trying to sell. Final frames are simply the best. This particular shoot I had fallen in love with everything in my view. The model, of Asian decent, was rocking a super edgy, two piece, hot pink and orange, graffiti bandage number. I approached the stylist to ask her where she found the piece. It was so unique, and I was eager to find it. She kindly responded, “The piece is my design.” I responded with, “I had no idea,” which I believe to be the ultimate complement of flattery. She was so kind to ask if I would like to barrow the cool toned, not quite finished, sample for my shoot? Everything in me went into exorbitant jubilee, while everything on the outside began comparing my figure to the, very thin model. She was a twig, and I am… well, more. She insisted that I, at the very least, attempt to make it work. There is always an “A” for attempt, right? “Fits like a glove,” took on a whole new meaning after squeezing into this XS band aid. Before I could even turn to look in the mirror, I was uncertain. I felt exposed, flawed, and insecure, and I didn’t need to see myself in the, body conscious, outfit to affirm the feelings, or did I???
We paired the piece with my favorite, black, and white, cut out booties, I wave sprayed my locks, headed to set, and attempted to rock the fitted. As I type out this post, I’m sitting here laughing at just how intimidated and shy I felt in this outfit. I couldn’t relax, and I was so awkward. Greg, doing what he does best, started shooting as he talked me through the insecurity. He asked me to just be myself, so that he could capture, not what I could see, but what I couldn’t see. The shoot turned comical when a truck, full of women, stopped and parked across the street to watch my attempt to be brave. Greg shot a couple of frames, and walked over to show me what he was capturing. Friends, I had no idea!! I was so fixated on what I didn’t have, I had neglected to embrace what I did have. Maybe the fitted bandage wasn’t as much of a hindrance, as my own view of myself. The designer took a look at few of the images, smiled, walked over to me and graciously said, “You wear it well, this outfit is yours.”
It might not be a fitted, bandaged number of an outfit, that causes your insecurity, or comparison, but something does. Somehow, when the pressure of life closes in, when the bigness of our dreams set in, when doubt comes face-to-face with do, moments of comparison and insecurity show their ugly heads. What if the pressure, the tightness, the uncomfortableness, the being exposed, isn’t so much about showing you what you don’t have, but what you do have. What if being bandaged, so to speak, isn’t about showing you how XS you are, but about how XL our God is. Next time you have to face the body conscious that wants to show you what you aren’t, give your Creator the opportunity to wash you with words of affirmation as His lens shows you what you are.
I’m Chelsie Birks, and this is my glossy life.
XOX,

Chelsie

18
Jul

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Scarf: Marc Jacobs {Sold Out, loving these Polyvore options}/ Hair: Oribe/ Gloss: Bite Beaute {Current}

This morning I woke from my fifth night in a row of restless sleep. I’m not certain if the restlessness is due to having to relive some of the, not so pleasant, events over the past months, or if it is due to the fact that this weekend, one year ago, I heard the words, “I love you,” from the very gentleman that would, a few short months later, ask another to spend her life with him. Maybe the tossing and turning is a bit of the reflection of what seemed like the beginning to a perfect future paired with the words of a hater that carelessly comments that no man will ever want me? Regardless of the exact reason, salty tears have burned my face countless times this week. As I stumbled towards my Nespresso for a necessary cup of Dharkan, the strongest roast, I simply felt the need to just exhale. As much as it hurt to not be chosen, the lies hurt more, and never being valued enough to offer closure or an explanation hurt the most.
As I came to the end of my exhale, and was about to muster up enough oxygen to utter, “why Lord???”, it was as if my weak, sleep-deprived body collapsed into a warm embrace. Before I could even utter the words, “why Lord”, the warm embrace was paired with a whisper that said, “I see you, Chelsie, I see you.” Friends, I just collapsed and let the floodgates open in the arms of the Savior that found me.
As I sip the last of my brew, I couldn’t help but reflect on the above image of me overlooking the city. With floor to ceiling windows throughout the condo, the view is breathtaking. You can see everything. I found such pleasure in mixing a yummy drink, and simply watching the city. I later posted these words on Instagram:
“As I look over the skyline of the city from the 40th floor of a high rise, I can’t help but wonder where people are headed, what their stories are, and if they feel seen or heard? A birds eye view certainly can open us up to a bit more of what is going on around us. Deep in my spirit I find myself saying to those I see keep going, keep pressing forward. If this is how I feel in regards to total strangers, I know this is what our Heavenly Father wants to say to us. He sees your life in panoramic view, and He shouts, and cheers us on with screams that say, “keep going, do not give up, don’t you dare, just a bit further, just a few more steps, don’t you dare stop!!” Life is full of challanges, difficulties, unfulfilled passions, lost hope, and yet I beg you to get thee up!! Dust of the dirty knees, lighten the load of baggage, press on, for you are almost there! It isn’t as far as you think! Life is epically beautiful and life is epically messy. In your willingness to live through both you write pages to a story of encouragement that others want to read, and maybe, just maybe do the same. “

Just as I begin to type out my thoughts, my phone vibrates. I look over, and today’s scripture from my bible promises app illuminates my screen.

“Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted. The troubles of my heart have multiplied; free me from my anguish.” Psalm 25:16-17

Ummmm #word #truth #yesJesus #HowDidYouKnow #perfecttiming

I took a pause from writing to pull up the whole chapter. Was there more than just the psalmist’s heart cry? Was he left without an answer, or relief? I had to know. As you read the chapter, I think you will see, as I did, David is confident {assured, most-trusting} the Lord will come to His rescue.
In you, Lord my God,
I put my trust.
2 I trust in you;
do not let me be put to shame,
nor let my enemies triumph over me.
3 No one who hopes in you
will ever be put to shame,
but shame will come on those
who are treacherous without cause.
4 Show me your ways, Lord,
teach me your paths.
5 Guide me in your truth and teach me,
for you are God my Savior,
and my hope is in you all day long.
6 Remember, Lord, your great mercy and love,
for they are from of old.
7 Do not remember the sins of my youth
and my rebellious ways;
according to your love remember me,
for you, Lord, are good.
8 Good and upright is the Lord;
therefore he instructs sinners in his ways.
9 He guides the humble in what is right
and teaches them his way.
10 All the ways of the Lord are loving and faithful
toward those who keep the demands of his covenant.
11 For the sake of your name, Lord,
forgive my iniquity, though it is great.
12 Who, then, are those who fear the Lord?
He will instruct them in the ways they should choose.[b]
13 They will spend their days in prosperity,
and their descendants will inherit the land.
14 The Lord confides in those who fear him;
he makes his covenant known to them.
15 My eyes are ever on the Lord,
for only he will release my feet from the snare.
16 Turn to me and be gracious to me,
for I am lonely and afflicted.
17 Relieve the troubles of my heart
and free me from my anguish.
18 Look on my affliction and my distress
and take away all my sins.
19 See how numerous are my enemies
and how fiercely they hate me!
20 Guard my life and rescue me;
do not let me be put to shame,
for I take refuge in you.
21 May integrity and uprightness protect me,
because my hope, Lord,[c] is in you.
22 Deliver Israel, O God,
from all their troubles!
Psalm 25 NIV

I can’t stop reading verse 15, which is the verse right before today’s promise,: “My eyes are ever on the Lord…”

I don’t know where all of you are but I know a portion of the things my readers are facing. Some of you are facing heartbreak. Some of you are facing the pain of loosing a child, or believing God for one. Some of you are dealing with deep feelings of rejections and insecurity. Your stories, prayers, and needs are heavy, and yet I can’t help but wonder if the reason we feel the weight of shattered dreams, and hopeful waiting is because we have forgotten to forever have our eyes on the one who cannot take His eyes of of us?
Friends we are not lost, WE ARE FOUND!!! He sees us, and He doesn’t miss a thing!
As I bring today’s post to a close and wish you a well weekend, I wonder if today we might not be so eager to cheers to #tgif, thank God it’s Friday, but a much bigger cheers to #TGIF, Thank God I’m Found!!!
With a turned face and re focused eyes, I’m Chelsie Birks, and this is My Glossy Life.
As a little gift to those of you who might need some affirmation in knowing you are found. I have put thisPlaylist together for you. Happy #tfi{found}

All My Love,

Chelsie

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Top & Shorts: Asos/ Sandels: Prabal Gurung {NLA, similar here & here}/ Purse: Vintage found at Lula’B's {Love this neon option and this horn clutch option}/ Watch: Michael Kors/ Braclet: jCrew/ Earrings: Kendra Scott/ Sunnies: Coach/ Polish: Formula X {Intensity}/ Hair: beachy waves using a 1 1/2 in barrel iron and Oribe’: Apres’ beach wave and shine spray
Photography: Greg Daniels

Perhaps you are shocked, perhaps you aren’t. Perhaps you agree, perhaps you don’t. Perhaps you can relate, perhaps you can’t. Perhaps you wonder why I would share something like this. Perhaps I asked myself the exact same question a million times before choosing to write this post. I’ve had plenty of time to think about it considering this Blue Stripes & Belief series started back in April, and as a result of the severity of the above slander was asked by law enforcement to completely deactivate MGL {deep sigh}. When I tell you I have written and rewritten this post 50+ times, I’m actually not kidding. I have started this post ten different ways, and just when it starts to get heavy, I get overwhelmed by all that I want to say, so I resort to more espresso and SATC reruns. As true and light-hearted as that is, I also have resorted to very long snot crys and deep reflections on the story of Ruth.
If you happen to have read my #realbloggerbeauty contribution you might be a bit concerned that the above slander might be a bit more than I can handle. I’m not gonna lie, it’s been a tough season sweet friends, it’s been a tough season. I resigned from my day job on Valentine’s Day, found out that the man I was crazy nuts in love with, was engaged to someone else on February 17th, smack dab in the middle of a new website and MGL redesign and relaunch, learning how to juggle owning a company, and now dealing with a cyber bully and stalker. Need I continue? Really Lord…REALLY? Umm yes, a bit of a tough season. As painful and tough as this past season was, I can tell you I am thankful for it. Yes, I am actually thankful!! I learned so much, and have become so much more confident in myself, my faith, and becoming the woman God created me to be. Everything in me wants to bypass the last five months, and jump to where I am now. Nevertheless, what I know to be true is that my ability to be relatable is found in the in between, on the journey to, and in the parts of the story that seemed far from a happily ever after.
At this point I feel the need to offer refreshments, or at the very least, give you a moment to grab your own. Jet-setting between Dallas and NYC might be what I do, but southern hospitality is part of who I am. Iced tea, diet coke, coffee, or perhaps something a bit more spirited? However you take your southern comfort, I strongly encourage you to take full advantage of this intermission, because today’s post is no light-hearted fashion how-to.

{I’ll be back in 5. I need to grab another cup of Nespresso, bolder roast this time.}

Alrighty friends, I’m back. I not really sure how to open this post on handling haters, so i’m just going to jump right in, because I have about 5 million thoughts running through my mind all at once. For my own sake of staying on track, I think bullet pointing is in order, so here we go. Here are 10 things to know about haters.

1.) Haters, cyber bullies, slanderers, word meanies, whatever you want to call them, their words are meant to hurt, or gain a reaction.

2.) Most haters actually hate themselves.

3.) Most haters pretend to be someone else because they actually hate themselves.

4.) Most haters are envious of the person they are hating on, and strive to break that person, causing them to feel similar feelings of self hatred or insecurity.

5.) Most haters are willing to slander and gossip about their target, yet the hater is unwilling to have a face-to-face conversation with the person they are hating on, because they have no real basis for their hate.

6.) Most haters feel shame for their slander.

7.) Most haters have personally experienced and fallen victim to slander, hatred, and hurtful words.

8.) Most haters simply want to delay or stop your influence or impact.

9.) All Haters are human.

10.) All haters simply want to be seen and more importantly heard…that’s why they are word shouting.

Now that you have read the above, I must ask you, are you, or have you ever been a hater???

I’m sure this isn’t the question you were expecting, nor the right time. Perhaps you are wanting the opportunity to word vomit your incredible words of affirmation, or own sob story of the damage of hurtful words. First of all, thank you so much to the readers that have sent emails, texts, or comments of encouragement. I value them more than you know, truly. Secondly, to those effected by a hater, I am truly sorry. It is never fun to be the target for someone’s slander.
However, I ask the question again: Are you, or have you ever been a hater??????
Ok, I’ll answer first, yes, yes, and YES!!!! The first time I remember having mean thoughts towards another person, I was in the first grade. I was so envious of the classmate that had store bought everything, matching shoes for every outfit, 15 different colors of Keds, every color of scrunch socks a girl could want, and salon hairspray. UGH I was so envious, and there is the root of it. I wanted what she had. It was easier to find some reason inside to think those things were stupid than to be happy for her. Sounds like a personal root of insecurity if you ask me. Goodness was I insecure. What I couldn’t see in the first grade, is that this precious girl would watch her parents divorce, say goodbye to her father months short of giving birth to her first child, battle deep issues of depression, and later write me asking for advice on learning to love herself. WOW!!

If I wanted I could totally make this post all about the ways that “my” hater has effected me. You know what, THAT would be My Gross Life {yes my dear hater, it is gross, not grose}. I actually have zero interest in giving this person that much power and here is why. He isn’t who he claims to be. If I took the time to go into my whole sob story, I actually give time, attention, and power to a individual that illegally takes on the identity of a person other than who he/she really is.
Hmmm ,I wonder how many versions of myself I have shown the world because I was insecure about the one person I really was??? The Nordstrom receipts, and number of designer shoes in my closet might be a good gauge.

Before I wrote this post, I did a bit of research on a few of my favorite, most influential people. These are people I hold in high esteem, and most of them are known world wide for their POSITIVE affect on society. I did a little google search for “________ haters, or hate sites.” Major gasp!!! How could this be?? I had NO idea?? I was shocked by the things I was reading. I couldn’t disagree more, and if anything, I instantly became an even greater advocate for the person. What is the point here? The point is, you are not going to find something you are not looking for. I actually could care less what type of hate words were out there in regards to these influencers. The envy was beyond obvious in the haters comments. I mean, I have already confessed to feelings of envy as early as six years of age. You?

Before I conclude, because my cup is nearly empty, I need you to know something, I have hated with the best of them. I might not have slandered someone’s name or reputation on social media, but I have been imprisoned by the very insecurities that lead a person to hate publicly. I’m not sure which is worse, being the one who finds relief with public rage, or the one silently held captive to her own prison of self hatred and bitterness towards the free.
The truth is my life has some very gross parts to it. I still become insecure by women I think are more fit, more beautiful, more popular, or more influential than me. I still have to decide in those moments to cave to the desire to act upon MY insecurity, or push through and find ways to partner with the very people that, once you get to chatting you discover, battle the very same issues.
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Print available at The Everygirl

As I conclude this post, I can’t help but reflect on this print that sits above my desk. Perhaps today, success is about changing the way you view yourself, and the way you view those that are not so nice to you. Perhaps you have something in common, and perhaps lazy would say to keep sitting and feeling sorry for yourself. Perhaps today is the day you decide that your hater simply needs some words of encouragement, if not a dangerous, legal situation like mine. Perhaps, today you pray for them. I can tell you, I pray everyday for my haters, and pray that the Lord will draw near to them and love on them, and speak words of love and hope to them. Remember, most haters actually hate themselves.
Was it fun to be told I was fat, ugly, and that I would never be chosen by a man, no, of course not. I know, I am not the prettiest girl, the skinniest girl, and Lord know not the tannest girl, because apparently “tan” is important. I also know that for the first time in my life, at a time that this heart broken, rejected girl should have been crushed by the words of a hater, I actually jumped for joy that they didn’t hurt nearly as bad as they were intended to. I actually felt healed, and can tell you today, that I am thankful that the words of a hater were used to show me just how far I have come. Thankfully on the same day the public slander started, so did the affirmation. RAW Beauty Talks featured this post on their site to help encourage others struggling with insecurity. Perhaps handling haters is a lot less about handling another person, and a lot more about learning how to handle ourselves.

I’m Chelsie Birks and this is my Gross/Glossy Life.

All My Love,

Chelsie

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Dress: Marshalls find for $10, but adore this BCBG option/ Shoes: Vince Camuto {half off here}/ Clutch: Marc Jacobs NLA, {love this option, and this GiGi option}/ Necklace: The Pink Hanger {old, but similar here and I’m nuts for this DylanLex}/ earrings: bebe old {prefer these hoops}/ Sunnies: Burberry/ Lipstick: NARS Schiap/ Nail Polish: NARS for Thakoon Kutki {NLA, Provocative by Formula X is perfect}/ Lashes: Lash Addict

I found this little navy tank dress at Marshall’s last week for $10!! You gotta love a great basics find. There are so many ways to style it, but I knew that it would first be paired with the booties I have been living in as previously confessed.
Yesterday was a full day of events. I had several meeting for the relaunch of MGL, including branding, PR, and wardrobe meetings, and an evening Happy Hour at the Joule. On days like this, I want to be able to throw something on that is appropriate for all events, with little fuss for change. I knew my navy tank dress was perfect, and pairing it with booties over heels or sandals would keep it a bit modern, edgy. Knowing the day was going to include meetings, the trying on of clothes, and an evening event, I opted to throw my hair in a no-fuss top knot. I finished with a neon bright lip to create a perfectly balanced outfit statement. Often times no hassle, simple statements make for the best styled fashion.
I grabbed lunch at True Foods Kitchen in Preston Center with my PR guru, and then headed over to Lublu for wardrobe for an upcoming event. {I cannot wait to reveal the finds from this amazing new store addition in Preston Center.} I finished just in time to beat rush hour traffic downtown and toast to a successful day with friends.
Happy Friday everyone, and I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Love,

Chelsie

Lunch: True Food Kitchen in Preston Center
My plate : shaved turkey with no cheese on a gluten free pita with kale salad
My beverage: sparkling filtered water and the beet, carrot, ginger, and turmeric juice blend
Lunch Menu: Here

Lublu: {Flagship location} 8383 Preston Center Plz, Dallas, TX 75225 (214) 346-3422
Ask for Enieda, the store manager. I have known this beauty for close to a decade, and there truly is no one more precious, and thoughtful when it comes to providing the best client experience. The dress she helped me find yesterday is a true testimony to this. I honestly haven’t felt that kind of elegant, perhaps ever!! Can’t wait to share the dress!!

Happy Hour : The Joule
Cocktail: French 75

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Top: 3.1 Phillip Lim for Target {several left here}/ Shorts: BB Dakota {sold out great F21 find here} Shoes: Vince Camuto {here they are 50% off}/ Clutch: Marc Jacobs {sold out this option is stunning or this gigi option} Hair: Oribe Dry Texture Spray & Wave Spray/ Lipstick: Bite Beaute {Zinfandel}

This past Sunday was bittersweet for Dallasite Brunchers. It was the official last Sunday brunch for LaDuni on Oaklawn. Seeing as they serve the best Mimosa in town, in my opinion, I couldn’t miss the farewell. I wanted to wear something light and airy so I went with an all white ensemble paired with my fringe booties that I can’t seem to keep my feet out of. They truly are that comfortable. I freshened yesterday’s waves with my favorite Oribe styling sprays, boldened my lip, and was well on my way to toasts of farewell.
When in Dallas make sure to make brunch reservation at LaDuni Northpark. I highly recommend the rice salad and a Toranjada cocktail or Mimosa of course!


Clockwise: Fringe Wedge: Vince Camuto Velmah Bootie: VC Signature Shoe Bootie: Evado Cutout Ankle Bootie: Asos Macee Peeptoe: Sigerson Morrison Grommet Cutout Bootie: Rebecca Minkoff Vellin Cutout Bootie: Pour La Victoire Helsa Bootie: Dolce Vita Muskrat Blush Bootie: Jeffrey Campbell Waylon Strap Bootie: Matisse

Knowing what type of boot or bootie to wear in the Summer can be a bit tricky. For Summer you definitely want to look for styles that have cutout details, or an open toe to give the style a fresh Summer look. Look for styles that are not as “tough” looking as a Fall/Winter boot, and to be safe resort to dependable neutral hues. The above styles are all great options for Summer, and can be styled with just about anything in your wardrobe from dresses to cutoffs.

Last Sunday I paired the Vince Camuto fringe bootie with an all white outfit, and a taupe clutch for brunch, {details coming soon}. They are truly one of the most comfortable shoes I own. I am currently wearing them with everything.!!

I adore the blush Jeffrey Campbell booties and would love to see them styled with a LBD or LWD.
Lastly, I am dying to pair the Sigerson Morrison Macee Booties with light denim cutoffs and an oatmeal colored linen T-shirt.
Which pair is your favorite? How are you styling your Summer boots?

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Top and Shorts: {Asos}/ Shoes: Brian Atwood {Sold out, but loving this option}/ Clutch: Marc Jacobs {Sold out, but LOVE this sequin option}/ Sunnies: Burberry Watch: Michael Kors
Wave Spray: Oribe/ Lipstick: NARS Cruising

If you happen to have read part 1 and part 2 to this little Blue Stripes & Belief series, you would know that I took a risky step as a fashion/lifestyle blogger and went rouge. I pulled back the curtain of the “perfectly” put together, and shared some of the most “unedited” parts of myself, not only, as a blogger, or expert in the industry, but as the average woman that would dare to admit what’s really going on behind the lens.
Truly to my shock, my inbox flooded. Text messages from friends, and colleagues overloaded my cell phone with incredible words of encouragement, personal convictions, affirmations, and pleas to keep writing this way. The writing felt right, the words were authentic, the struggles were real, and I knew I was tapping into the very avenue of blogging that my Chief editor {The Lord, Jesus Christ} had assigned for me. Confirmation came when Raw Beauty Talks decided to feature one of the posts on their Facebook page. Getting to connect with women outside of my sphere of influence, thank you modern day social media, was both exhilerating and humbling at the same time. I was building momentum, my confidence to be transparent was strong, and I couldn’t get part 3 of the series out fast enough. Here we go!! Part 3 {what you believe about yourself}; ready, set, WAIT!!!!!
Like most things in life, they aren’t tested, until they are tested. I knew the belief series was gaining some traction, so my notifications had increased, but I found it strange that my Twitter feed had over 500 notifications in less than a twelve hour time period from the same twitter account. To state that they were slander and harassment are an understatement {more on this in part 4}. I have never been so humiliated, so mortified, so publicly slandered in my life!! Everything in me wanted to go hide. I felt, stripped, I felt naked, and I felt exposed. The hatred, the slander and the lies consumed me. One person’s thoughts, opinions, and lies were robbing me of the very confidence I was gaining and writing about. What a perfect tactic from the enemy that longs to kill, steal, and destroy.
After a few phone calls from precious, understanding friends that had innocently been pulled into the situation, and a snot cry of a counseling session, I gained some perspective. The truth is there are going to be people that simply do not like me. There are going to be people that are more outspoken about that fact than others, and their are going to be those that straight up lie for the sake of a hopeful reaction. The truth is, if something isn’t true, then it is a lie. The truth is that I let the slander of one out-shine the love, and encouragement of countless others. I had to ask myself why? Why was I bowing and handing over my power to someone who had no real impact in my life? Sweet reader, I have to tell you, almost instantaneously, I heard the voice of my Creator, the nearness of his presence, ready to comfort me with embrace and TRUTH.
“For He is close to the brokenhearted and He saves those that are crushed in spirit.” {Psalm 34:18 NIV}
“You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.” {Psalm 16:11}
“So do not fear, for I am with you;do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you;I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” {Isaiah 41:10}

Don’t you just want to take a deep breath and exhale!?!? AHHHHHHHH! There is just such comfort, power, and assurance in those words. Love, and warm embrace held me, and truth, Capital “T” truth, sustained me, while the words of a Twitter slanderer faded in to the abyss. Perhaps you too have been slandered, attacked, or exposed. Perhaps you have been lied about, or perhaps the harsh words are true. What is also true is that no matter what you have ever done, or will do is out of the scope of Christ’s love for you. When Jesus took His last breath on a cross 2,000 years ago, and said, “it is finished, He meant it. You see, He took our guilt, our shame, our sin, our insecurity, and our bondage on Himself so that it would be finished for us. He died to all of it, so we could live in liberating freedom.
I don’t necessarily welcome those that chose to harm with their words. However, I’m boldly confident the next time I am forced to have to face the enemy, that not only, lies to me about who I am, but whose I am, I will face Him with a striped outfit of belief, and raised sword of truth, that assures me the victory to overcome.

For my name is Chelsie Birks, I was known before I was ever created {Jeremiah 1:5}. I was created on purpose for purpose {Genesis 1:26}, and my very existence was viewed by my Creator as “very good” {Genesis 1:31}. I was perfectly crafted together {Psalm 139:13-14}, and my King is enthralled by me and my beauty {Psalm 45:11}.
I’m Chelsie Birks and this is My Glossy Life!
Might each of you feel upheld by words of Truth, that remind you who and whose you truly are.

All My Love,

Chelsie

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When I started my blog, I had this grand idea of being another style blogger with beautiful outfits, paired with my fifteen years of industry experience, and my own Dallas meets Bradshaw flare. I would pull back the curtains of my experiences at Fashion Week, the red carpet, and magazine photoshoots. I would include splashes of “who”, okay okay, “what” I was, and how I could inspire you. If I didn’t capture you with great outfits, or courage to rock a red lip, I might grab you with my southern charm, my redemptive qualities or about section. Grand plan right?
MGL was moving along well. My analytics were increasing {because those matter in the grand scheme of things}, and my inbox was filling up with my reader’s own struggles, encouragements, and questions. Two that will forever be imprinted on my heart, are the A-lister who had her agent reach out to me to say, “This post encouraged her greatly, and she had no idea that those verses were in the bible.” I cannot forget the twelve year old girl that asked this, “when my boyfriend tells me that I’m stupid is that abuse?”

Deep inside I could feel a tug of war going on. Everything in me wanted to bare my soul about my deep struggles of comparison, insecurity, the fear of wondering if I would ever truly feel chosen by a soul mate, and the sheer exhaustion I felt to help others look perfect. If I decided to be truly honest, would I ever be booked again for Fashion Week? Would I be invited back to the very photoshoots that exhausted the word “perfect”; the very shoots in which some of my greatest work had been accomplished? Would I gain more of the spotlight that I secretly craved? The resume’ was strong, my influence in the industry was building, and yet something very deep in me wanted to break the system. I wanted my A-lister to not only read Matthew 16, but to know it, and for goodness sake sweet 12 year old, “stupid”, is not okay language for a child of the King. I wanted to actually see faith and fashion fit in the same sentence. I wanted to see this as a reality, and yet I was so scared to be the first one to say I loved God, Gucci and Gabbana! See I’m not religious, but when Jesus has done in you, what a pair of red soles does for a single girl on the upper East side, you can’t help but need to share it.

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I was well into my second latte, and about to walk into a branding meeting when the call came. The call that causes the world to stop, the blood to leave your face, and the latte to slip from your hand. The call that begins with, “I hate to tell you this.” The call that, as terrible, and horrific as it is, finally brings some truth and clarity. The call that tells you he is, in fact, engaged, and has been serious with her for months. The call that confirms that when he was your everything, she was his. The call that tells you what he wouldn’t dare.
Like the moment of truth in a film, my mind flashed back like lightening through the thousands of text messages, the voicemails, the conversations, the precious moments together, for any sign of this reality. He had held my face in his hands, looked me in the eye, and said, “I know what you have been through and I will never lie to you.” He told me, “I have finally found the perfect girl for me.” He had told me, “if my Father was still alive, he would have chosen you.” After months of waiting for the perfect setting and perfect moment, chosen to say, “I love you, I love you with my whole heart, and it hurt more not to tell you.” He had told me…and the list goes on. Like a perfectly photoshopped image for my instagram feed, he had told me, and showed me only the parts he wanted me to see. He never called. He never reached out to tell me the truth. In his eyes, I was never valuable enough, important enough, or significant enough to be honest with. In his eyes, he was the perfect gentleman that kindly erased me from his reality. You can’t hurt what doesn’t exist…right?
In a place all too close to my heart, I became ill by the unauthentic. Dear reader, might this never be you!! I don’t know how else to tell you, but I love Jesus, I love people, their stories, and I love all things fashion. Have you downloaded the new Kari Jobe album, and are you familiar with Harper’s Bazaars 10 most classic bags to own {hot off the press according to Flipboard}? You see, I actually care about both of these extremes. I care where you fit in their mix, and I care if you think I care. I care more about you than the healing brush tool at a 200% power.As much as I care, I also have to tell you, I still get insecure. I’m still afraid that if I’m totally honest I’ll never see the likes of Bryant Park again, NYFW speaking, of course. I still have no idea how in the world I successfully demonstrate both Jesus and Giuseppe Zanotti, because its never been done before. Perhaps my calling is to honestly and authentically strive to be the first.
I might not have been the girl that got the ring that day, but my betrayer did give me one thing; the incredible gift of knowing the damage of the unauthentic. I’m not going to bring things to you perfectly, but I promise to bring them to you authentically. I’m Chelsie Birks, and this is My Glossy Life. I cannot wait to share my relaunch with you coming soon. {For the story behind my relaunch look here and for my recent whereabouts look here} I look forward to connecting with each of you at #realbloggerbeauty

I would like to thank Maya of Charmingly Styled for establishing this campaign for bloggers to share their struggles, stories, and passions. Her efforts are truly beautiful and I encourage each of you to not only follow her, but to read the stories of women choosing to blog honestly. Follow the #realbloggerbeauty on instagram for more.

All My Love,

Chelsie

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Navystripes1
Top & Shorts: Asos/ Sandels: Prabal Gurung {NLA, similar here & here}/ Purse: Vintage found at Lula’B's {Love this neon option and this horn clutch option}/ Watch: Michael Kors/ Braclet: jCrew/ Earrings: Kendra Scott/ Sunnies: Coach/ Polish: Formula X {Intensity}/ Hair: beachy waves using a 1 1/2 in barrel iron and Oribe’: Apres’ beach wave and shine spray
Photography: Greg Daniels

“I see you.” Those famous three words have been spoken in every setting from horror films, to love stories, to the pages of scripture, and yet, no matter the setting there is something, undeniably, exposing about them. The impact of those seven characters leaves you feeling, nothing short of vulnerably bare.
Since I already feel emotionally naked after posting Part 1 of this series, I might as well just get right to the point of my greatest insecurity in posting the above images in all of their raw glory. If I can recall correctly it went something like this:

Okay, take off the glasses.
Look at me.
Snap!!

Removing the glasses was hard enough, even 20 frames in, but posting a raw image that allows you, my reader, to say, “I see you” feels uncomfortably exposing. Why? You see, the truth is you are judging me whether you realize it or not. You are making judgments about the image, judgements about the outfit, judgements about what you see. Yet I have zero opportunity to defend or affirm who I am over what you see.
Reflecting back to brunch last Saturday with my friends, Karley and Michelle. I’m reminded what we all brought to the table that day. We honestly brought our dreams and passions that were being buried by belief lies about ourselves, crippling comparison, and that ever rising fear of rejection. {More on this in part 3, but for now we will move along} Karley jetted out a few minutes early, so Michelle and I stayed to savor ever drop of caffeine. She has been such a huge supporter of My Glossy Life, so I was excited to share my next outfit post. Her response to the above image was so shocking and eye-opening to me, I will remember her response for the rest of my life.

Michelle: Gasp!! Chelsie!! This image, wow!!
Me: What?
Michelle: You look so powerful in this image.
Me: I do?
Michelle: Yes! I mean, Yes!! You look so confident, and so sure and aware of your body!!
Me: Are you serious??
{Friends, I literally, took off my sunnies, blinked and pulled my phone closer to my eyes, trying to see what she saw}

As Michelle and I talked through it, I realized I wasn’t as insecure as I thought. I was more insecure by what I THOUGHT, my readers would think. It was the thought of potential rejection, and hater comments. Michelle doing what she does best, challenged me to share the struggle. For the first time, I felt like I had just personally experienced the heartbeat of My Glossy Life. Willingness to share the margin between my epically beautiful and my epically messy washed all over me. The in-between is where life happens, it is where change occurs, and it is where we have the greatest impact. Perhaps in my willingness to share the unedited parts of my journey, it stirs a willingness in you to do the same. What if in letting you say, “I see you”, you have just said to yourself, “I see me”.

Today I challenge you not to prejudge the judgement! Perhaps they see in you someone extremely powerful, confident, and sure of who they are. Maybe, just maybe, there is extreme power and equipping in letting another person see you, and tell you who you are.

“13 When Jesus arrived in the villages of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “What are people saying about who the Son of Man is?”
14 They replied, “Some think he is John the Baptizer, some say Elijah, some Jeremiah or one of the other prophets.”
15 He pressed them, “And how about you? Who do you say I am?”
16 Simon Peter said, “You’re the Christ, the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”
17-18 Jesus came back, “God bless you, Simon, son of Jonah! You didn’t get that answer out of books or from teachers. My Father in heaven, God himself, let you in on this secret of who I really am. And now I’m going to tell you who you are, really are. You are Peter, a rock. This is the rock on which I will put together my church, a church so expansive with energy that not even the gates of hell will be able to keep it out.” Matthew 16:13-19

Today, I dare you not to prejudge the judgement. Let someone see you. Perhaps they will have found the rock on which to build something so expansive with energy, not even the gates of hell will be able to keep it out.

XOX,

Chelsie