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Tanks: Chaser Brand {T option here}/ Shorts: Marshalls {online options here}/ Sunnies: Bonlook Rx/ Booties: Vince Camuto/ Purse: Marc Jacobs/ Watch: Michael Kors/ Braclets: JCrew
Lipgloss: Trish McEvoy

Since my last blog post, I have found myself craving the panoramic view of ocean; a silently loud reminder to let go, be an elegant thinker, and embrace the carefree. With a work meeting planned on the other side of the Hudson, my sister and I decided to celebrate her birthday a tad belated, and make a long weekend of it in NYC. The agenda consisted of a few meetings, dinner, night life with friends, and a possible day trip to the Hamptons.
When I was a traveling artist for Trish McEvoy, she gifted me the most amazing turquoise, leather, weekend travel bags. Trish, being the brilliant mind that she is in the beauty world, is just as brilliant when it comes to maximizing travel prep. Basically the organized genius couldn’t have gifted me better. This bag has spoiled me from having to check baggage, which I absolutely detest for more reasons than $25 a bag, which is the main reason this bag, along with my planner, haven’t missed a flight since receiving her eight years ago. With NYC being a location I travel to regularly, I have my packing for the city down to a science. NYC in the summer is, honestly, one of the easiest destinations to pack for. Before becoming experienced in the city, I used to pack every piece of designer label I owned, with hopes that Birks would par Bradshaw. Little did my naive self know, style and confidence stand out far more in the lake of labels where Valentino is as editorially “on” as Vuitton. Unlike Dallas, “how” you style in NYC is far more important than “what” you style. With a bit more experience and a tad more confidence, I packed a bag of label less style.
When I was in the seventh grade my red and purple Umbro shorts were part of my weekly wardrobe routine, and I wore them well past their trend of fashion awesomeness. Naturally then, you would understand my excitement when more modernized versions of them in floral and watercolor prints were spotted all over the NYFW S/S 14 catwalk. Uncertain I wanted to drop several hundred dollars on the fashionably resurrected, I opted to perusal Marshalls for a discounted alternative. Ranging from $7-$14 a pair, I grabbed one of every style and print. I quickly envisioned them styled with a great tank and cutout booties like that of a Nasty Gal ad. I came home and paired them with my newly discovered Chaser Brand tanks. With a mix of shoes and accessories, just like that my wardrobe for the city was complete, with room to spare in my traveler for the first time ever. This trend would have been my full on city uniform, had I thought to pack a black blazer and my BB Pumps to easily go from day to dusk.
Interestingly enough, in my carefree effort to please the stylish, I received more complements, was stopped by more people enquiring about the look, especially the longhorn tank, than I had before. From coffee at Madison and 65th to cocktails in the Meatpacking district, the salty sea air to champagne at the rooftop of Boom Boom Room, my label less casual wear proved that how I wear something, and the carefree way I carry myself is far more Bradshaw than I realized. Perhaps fashion is a lot less about the name on the label, and a lot more about the confidence to style the label less.
I’m Chelsie Birks, and this is My Glossy Life.

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For my high school graduation, a previous Sunday School teacher gifted my a 2×3 lucite keychain that housed one of those cards that has your name on it, its meaning, and a scripture verse. That gift was one of my favorite gifts, and I carried that key chain around for at least five years. Those were the days it was popular for your keys to weigh, at least, 5Lbs, and mimic that of a Hot Topic display window. There was something about the meaning of my name that resonated deep within me. It was as if “who” I was had just been revealed. I felt understood within side of myself. A harbor, a place of rescue, a place of nurturing; this was who I was. As far back as I can remember I have been nurturing people. My earliest childhood memory involves running to the protection of my younger sister. I was two and a half. Anyone that knows me, knows that I love with arms wide open. Taking you dinner at 10:00PM because you are moving and haven’t eaten all day, driving an hour to take you your favorite earl grey tea latte because it was a bad day, helping with the bills because you had more month than money, driving two hours because the move has been harder than expected and you need a familiar friend, you need the guest room, sure, and the list goes on. A harbor, a place of cherishing, nurturing, and rescue is who I am. This is an attractive way of telling you I struggle with the word, “no”, not in hearing “no”, but in saying “no” to others. The harbor has been a bit crowded, and in all honesty the vacancy sign has been off for quite some time.
Vacation couldn’t come fast enough!! I hadn’t been away in almost three years. Yes, you read that right, 3 YEARS!! I travel all the time, but work is always attached, or piggy backs the trip. This was my first attempt to actually get away. I had it all planned out. R&R was my only agenda.
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The Eastern sun burst through my panoramic suite window around 6:30am at The Cove. The rays were so vibrant there was nothing 6:30 ish about it. Feeling spirited, I threw on my running shorts, sports bra, and tennies for an early morning beach run. Something about running in a sports bra without feeling judged felt liberating. I ran dry sand going and packed sand on the return. My abs and calves are still sore, and a note to the asthmatic; the “wet” in the air demands the inhaler. By mile marker 0.25, your lungs are begging for the Flovent. I hadn’t been warned, so resorted to rescue breathing and walking it out. In an effort to create some zen, I shuffled from Timberlake to Oceans by Hillsong, and walked towards the rocky edge that housed the harbor, fully intending to stretch like you see in all of the yoga ads.
As I approached the rocky edge of the harbor the above sign cautioned me, while the words radiating through my buds challenged me.
“You call me out upon the waters, the great unknown where feet may fail, and their I find you in the mystery, in oceans deep, my faith will stand.
I stood right at the place that brought the end of the harbor and the beginning of open water with both a warning of danger, and an invitation to its unknown. I couldn’t help but reflect on a message I had listened to, countless times by Angie Smith. In that powerful message she shared about the loss of their fourth daughter, and how after that she began creating fictitious worlds where everything was safe, like life on a sea shore. Angie said she recalls the Lords saying to her, “Angie you have been building sand castles your whole life, but love, I am in the deep.” One of the most profound and impactful words come when she says, “the sea shore makes a really pretty Christmas card photo, but it teaches our children, it teaches us nothing about Calvary, and all of these safe places you are creating are for our sake, not His glory.”
I mean…
I could just end the whole post right there and just let her words preach!!
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I took a mental Polaroid of my surroundings, and began the trek back to my room in deep thought. The image in my mind was so vivid and my thoughts so deep, I needed to get them out on paper. I could feel a blog post in the works, yet I had no idea that my Chief editor was about to correct my chicken scratch into something of more editorial excellence than I had prepared for.
As I entered my suite, my thoughts were greeted by housekeeping mid room clean and a vibrating iPhone. In an effort to give her space to finish, and for me to give my thoughts relief, I hurried over to grab something to write on, casually glance at my phone, and head back out the door. By this point all the overstimulation had my ADD brain in full on orbit. I sat down on a hall bench, flipped open my Kate Spade agenda to write down my mental cliff notes before loosing all of my morning zen, and was welcomed by the above words from Kate Spade herself. “Always be an elegant thinker.” Huh?? You see I had always pictured Kate as a doer, as she was always tucking her coral lipstick away and returning to the party, or wearing pops of color, or pop, fizz, clicking her way through life, and now she is encouraging me to stop the “do” party and think? My agenda, my to-do list, was encouraging me to stop and think? At this point I was seriously perplexed. I managed to get these words written down before heading back to the room to “do” the cell phone:

ocean- open, unprotected body of water with strong waves, deep waters, no foot stool, the unknown.
harbor-protected body of water with shallow water, low tide, and familiar.

Walking back into my room to pick up my iPhone of emails, reminders, and demands was the worst vacation decision I made. iPhone and vacation do not fit in the same sentence. Hear me now do NOT activate International service if you plan on any R&R at all. I had left the States with a few pressing line items that were completely out of my control. I was about to be slapped with how little the people involved cared as well. It didn’t matter that I was out of the country and had zero ability to “fix” the situation, the time frame in which the matters were handled, or the fact that I had done everything possible to handle things before leaving. The text messages, emails, and reminders, wanted answers, updates, notarized documents, because thats easy in the Bahamas, and emotional comfort because I had failed to respond promptly with emoji support and all. I’m overwhelmed all over again just typing, and since when where you able to determine my mood based off the number of Emojis or lack there of in my text response?? What is this techy world coming to? Anyways…
Digression retrieved. To sum it up friends, I spent two full days trying to fix, please, and emotionally satisfy people and situations, wasting much needed time and emotional restoration that got me absolutely no where. I was more exhausted, more spent, than before I left. What is worse, is nothing was satisfied to a level of content, even my attempt at Emoji assuredness. I walked back to my familiar warning sign of danger ahead, and emotionally broke. Oh to be an elegant thinker.
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Later that evening we set sail on a dinner cruse, one that my Savior had perfectly planned to use to help bring editorial correction to my earlier efforts for a blog post. As we came to the, all too, familiar place where the harbor meets ocean deep, I glanced back at the comfort and assuredness of the harbor. It had a really pretty view. Angie Smith is right, the shore makes a really pretty postcard photo. At that moment I felt more liberation than a sports bra could ever bring. With ocean air and salty hair, as my hot pink Billabong cap says, I wanted the deep. I wanted the mystery of trust building and adventure. Where could I go and what could I really do?
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I spent my last evening at The Cove sipping pinot with a few new and old friends on the beach as we watched dusk turn into nightfall. It was truly one of the most peaceful moments I have had in a very long time. With the sound of calm, steady waves, quiet breeze, and a bit of isolation, I could have slept the night away. With a bit of isolation??? Hmmm…
My chicken scratch came rushing back to my forward thoughts.
ocean- open, unprotected body of water with strong waves, deep waters, no foot stool, the unknown.
harbor-protected body of water with shallow water, low tide, and familiar.

Isolation and two different bodies of water; like the night tide rumbling in, fresh thought overtook me. In that isolated place of peaceful shore, I could feel the call to the deep, and it was never more peaceful. God was drawing close friends and it was about to become epiclly messy.

Upon my arrival home I was welcomed by three delivery attempts for a “signature required” UPS package. Could it be?? YES! Yes, it was, in fact, my Jen Ramos painting I was able to snag in her last gallery of pieces for her #artforadoption efforts. I had been trying for months to inherit a piece, and I finally was able to get one. As I previously shared on instagram, orange is not my color, nor one I would ever pick, but I didn’t care. I was thrilled to own a piece as a reminder that God is faithful to the desires of our hearts. Little did I know that God had reserved Jen’s painting as a catalyst for a much greater meaning.
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Painting image: Jen Ramos

The doors to the UPS plant opened at 8:00AM the next morning and I was there promptly at 7:55. Nevermind the FRAGILE notices all over the insanely secured package, I couldn’t wait to see the masterpiece. I sat in that UPS parking lot and just stared for at least 5 minutes. The piece was so beautiful, and it was the perfect reminder of my recent trip. It was the better than any souvenir as it perfectly and artistically captured the mixing of both the ocean and the harbor.
Included with the piece was a letter of authenticity, along with the painting number. You know the typical description, acrylic canvas, painting 299. I felt prompted to open my bible app to Psalm 29:9, simply to see if there was any significance or relevance to the painting number and what the piece was representing to me.
“The voice of the Lord twists the oaks and strips the forests bare. And in His temple all cry, Glory! The Lord sits enthroned over the flood, the Lord is enthroned as King forever…” Psalm 29:9-10
I didn’t even continue the chapter that was all I needed. This was amazing! This was the perfect conclusion to my Bahamas’ blog recap. The layout was perfect:
Arrive in Bahamas, off to a great start, R&R and iPhone don’t fit in same sentence, lesson learned, harbor vs. ocean, learn to say no, share last night shore time, and wrap it up with a pretty painting symbolizing your experience and how God Lords over the floods of life, awesome ready set send, and send, and seND, and sEND, and SEND!
Post failure, and post failure, and post failure, and for the next 12 days it was post failure.
Honestly, WTH!! Each day, I would revamp words, pray about the post, reattempt, and blog failure. The Lord was silent until He woke me at 3:30AM mid week. I tossed and turned for 30 minutes, and over and over I heard go finish the blog post. There is more to say, and it is time for it to post. When the Lord needs to speak to me about anything important, He always awakens me, prompts me, speaks to me at 3:30AM. Over the years, I have learned it to be best to simple abide.
Arriving crusty-eyed and coffee less to the Macbook, I was praying the inspiration would just miraculously arrive. White space and an ocean of Times New Roman was anything but inspiring. I glanced over to my bible that was conveniently open to Psalm 29 and decided to read the whole chapter.
“Honor the Lord, you heavenly beings;
honor the Lord for his glory and strength.
Honor the Lord for the glory of his name.
Worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness.
The voice of the Lord echoes above the sea.
The God of glory thunders.
The Lord thunders over the mighty sea.
The voice of the Lord is powerful;
the voice of the Lord is majestic.
The voice of the Lord splits the mighty cedars;
the Lord shatters the cedars of Lebanon.
He makes Lebanon’s mountains skip like a calf;
he makes Mount Hermon[b] leap like a young wild ox.
The voice of the Lord strikes
with bolts of lightning.
The voice of the Lord makes the barren wilderness quake;
the Lord shakes the wilderness of Kadesh.
The voice of the Lord twists mighty oaks
and strips the forests bare.
In his Temple everyone shouts, “Glory!”
The Lord rules over the floodwaters.
The Lord reigns as king forever.
The Lord gives his people strength.
The Lord blesses them with peace.” Psalm 29 {NLT}

This was a new Psalm for me, and not one I had really studied, or meditated on, but the bigness, the ah, the majesty of my God that Lords over the floods fell on me fresh. I found myself desiring to worship God simply for who He is.
At that moment God spoke the unthinkable, “Child reread the Psalm, out loud, and replace my name with yours everywhere you see it written.” I felt the need to repent. That thought could never be from the Lord MOST high. I wrestled with the thought for several minutes until I remembered that early mooring hours with the Lord are pointless to argue. I began reading the Psalm out loud.
Honor Chelsie, you heavenly beings;
honor Chelsie for her glory and strength.
Honor Chelsie for the glory of her name.
Worship Chelsie in the splendor of her holiness.
The voice of Chelsie echoes above the sea.
Chelsie of glory thunders.
Chelsie thunders over the mighty sea.
The voice of Chelsie is powerful;
the voice of Chelsie is majestic.
The voice of Chelsie splits the mighty cedars;
Chelsie shatters the cedars of Lebanon.
She makes Lebanon’s mountains skip like a calf;
she makes Mount Hermon[b] leap like a young wild ox.
The voice of the Chelsie strikes
with bolts of lightning.
The voice of Chelsie makes the barren wilderness quake;
Chelsie shakes the wilderness of Kadesh.
The voice of Chelsie twists mighty oaks
and strips the forests bare.
In her Temple everyone shouts, “Glory!”
Chelsie rules over the floodwaters.
Chelsie reigns as queen forever.
Chelsie gives her people strength.
Chelsie blesses them with peace.

Typing out these declarations I am wrecked once again by the revelation of what was really on God’s heart, and that was my pride in idol worship of self in all of my attempts to fix, and do, and be for all those I thought I harboring. Friends, it has been some time since something in my life displeasing to God grieved me the way this has.

Chelsie rules over the floodwaters.
Chelsie reigns as queen forever.
Chelsie gives her people strength.
Chelsie blesses them with peace.

To read this looks absurds, and saying out loud sound ludicrous, yet me attempts to run to the rescue, and be the harbor for everyone demonstrates to be the very thing I have believed. No, no, no, no, this is not even close to possible in seeing it across my screen so clearly at 4:15AM. I loose, I will fail you every time!! This is a guarantee!!
I fell face to the floor and sobbed an hour straight. God had done the mighty work He does so well in me in the early hours of the morning.
Over the past year, I have spent a lot of time researching value, worth, identity, insecurity, and confidence. I have found it so interesting how many women find their value in wanting to feel needed by others, fixing problems, and running to the aid of others. Interestingly enough these same women struggle with deep feelings of insecurity, and poor identity. I don’t’ know if you are the fixer, or the one always needing the fixing with the life that is always overwhelming, but I have a question for you. Who’s name do you place in the above Psalm? As a fixer, is it yours? As the one who always needs someone to do the “life” thing with, is it the boyfriend, the parent, the sibling, the anybody, the anything, the red bottom shoes, or the cocktail?
Might I suggest today the reason we run so ragged, feel so overwhelmed, and never feel like we arrive is because we fallen victim to momentary satisfaction of allowing someone, something, or our selves to be the harbor of rescue.
Coming up from the floor where I had been isolated with the Lord, I reflected back to several days early where the Lord ever so gentle began pushing my heart for this post.

ocean- open, unprotected body of water with strong waves, deep waters, no foot stool, the unknown.
harbor-protected body of water with shallow water, low tide, and familiar.

You see my precious readers, a harbor, and an ocean, are not a person. They are environments both used for us to experience the mystery, the safety, the adventure, the ah, the wonder, and the rescue of our God, the one who truly is enthroned over the floodwaters of life.
Perhaps Kate Spade is right. To be an elegant thinker is to pause and ask who or what are we looking to for rescue. If you are like me, and often times addicted to the poison of being the rescuer, might you adopt the art found in masterpiece 299 of replacing your name with Lord who truly is the harbor that leads his children to the deep. The barely above water place that forces us grip hold of the one, truly, enthroned over the flood waters of life.
I’m Chelsie Birks, and this is My Glossy Life.

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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

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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.
success quote
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