Ummmm new video?! Who am I?! Just kidding but also not really. This year has flown by and I thought it would be fun to give y’all a glimpse into a day in my life working for myself at Alyssa Cates Studio. Every singleeeeee day is totally different - but this is one I usually have at least once a month. I’m so blessed to work with such unique businesses and I’m honored to have Talking Out of Turn as a client of mine! My work has varied so much since starting this business - me meaning I’ve been given the most wonderful opportunities to work on such a broad scope of projects and I’ve learned so much about myself and my craft doing so! However, that also means it’s a bit difficult for me to share since my “brand” aesthetic is a little more organic, moody and romantic - at least that’s what I share on my Alyssa Cates Studio Instagram. ️ But I’m so proud of the work I do and the people I work for and with. Check out this little day in the life video and follow me around shooting some of my favorite product and catching y’all up on my life!
a little behind the scenes...
Here is just a sneak peek at some of the goodness I get to shoot for TOOT. I'm constantly trying to keep myself from personally using these products because they are just TOO GOOD. I guess I'll just have to add a few things to my 2020 wish list... :)
I'm so excited for what next year has in store. Over the next week, I'll be spending time setting personal and business goals. Typically I am not a "goal setter" (the thought alone can make me anxious, lol!) but I really want to Lord to use me fully in this life. The past several months have been heavily ~go, go, go - say yes and figure it out later~ type vibes. I am so blessed and so grateful... but it also feels like I finally just looked up and around me - only to realize how fast this year has flown by. I want to be more intentional with my work and my mental health - which, hi, hello - that's a blog post for ANOTHER day. Lol. BUT! I'm excited for this next year, working with cool people (and cool products hayyyy) and tuning into the Lord's heart and plan for my life.
I hope y'all enjoy this blog post, YouTube video and peek into a day in my life fun! My day to day is always SO different - so it could be fun to keep doing these... :) Until next time my boos!
Okay, so yes, it HAS been 5 months (6 months?!) since I have posted anything on here - aaaaaand since I poured out my little, bruised and eager heart to y'all. :) MAN. To look back and see what God has done in my life over the course of this year... over the course of almost two years, really. It's pretty nuts. He definitely knows what He is doing - and I'm grateful He's utilizing, equipping me, dusting me off when I fall down and alllllll the plethora of other things He does for me on this journey.
I could spend loads of time catching y'all up on all the things that have happened over the course of the time since my last post - but I'mma keep it brief, y'all.
*Oh, I'mma mess up for sureeee, but I am leaning into this and the Lord is pushing righhhhhtttt back. In the best way.
This may not be exactly what y'all were planning to sit down and dive into in this post... but if I'm not in the head space to post regularly like old times, I like to at least update when I can. It truly makes a difference when I can look back at my life, memories, struggles and blessings.
Now that I am finally settling into the swing of things over at Alyssa Cates Studio, I am feeling the itch to create for myself again. And y'all. That may just be through snapping pics on my iPhone and sharing them here. It's just something inside myself I can't deny! I like cute things, okay!?!? Even if I'm the only one reading this blog. ;) I mean, if the good Lord put that desire in my heart, may as well lean into it, right?! Who knows how often or what content I'll be sharing on here in the future - but this is me dipping my toes into the water (again). :)
Oh, and before I forget - I need to talk about this cutie tote bag that is so lovingly holding all my Whole Foods treasures. This thing is literally such a lifesaver - ask my husband. We use this tote on every grocery trip - I alwayssss have it in my purse. Every time we head up to the check out, I just hand them this (it's so thin and light weight - you can even fold it into itself!) and we tell 'em to fill 'er up. They can stuff it to the brim for all I care. It's cuter than a grocery bag and we are doing our tiny part of helping the environment. WIN! A few of my other favorite goodies at Talking Out of Turn (or how I love to refer to them as TOOT - I mean, come on... SO CUTE).... their pencil pouches (but mine is full of lipsticks, lol), funny coffee mugs (their "is it friday yet" mug was used at my old job every day as an act of #rebellion LOL) and trendy, poppy desk sets. Go ahead, treat yo'self. Donna and Tom would be proud of you.
Hugs, y'all. Till next time.
To tell you that this season, year, past few months have been a spiritual, emotional and physical rollercoaster - may not completely do it justice. For those who are close to me, you know. And real quick - thank you for encouraging me, believing in me, making me laugh, reminding me who the enemy is and above all else - reminding me that this was a season that God had brought to me for a reason. I love you guys so much.
Whew. Okay. Back to the blog....
So guess what? I quit my job. Yep. Wow - cannot believe I am saying that. AND I AM SO EXCITED. But also.... "hellooooo immense fear - HA. It wouldn't be confusing and difficult if it wasn't His plan, am I right? Let's hope so...
At this point I may have some readers thinking I just quit my day job to make custom furniture. AND OMG I AM LAUGHING SO HARD AT THAT THOUGHT - me with a power tool? Nah. Hahahhaahhahha (shout out to my queen bee friends who can slay some projects with those puppies - AND YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE). But I will nudge ya off the edge of your seat by telling you why the heck it is titled this.... and try not to butcher it. Ha.
A few months ago, a dear friend of mine was telling me she was driving to work, listening to a podcast ~that was like with a Hillsong worship leader or something? let me preface that I actuallyyyyy haven't listened to it - but this is what I remember in her retelling the podcast and what I took from it. :)~ and while also laughing bc this lady was v funny, she was also crying. Good tears, people! In this episode - the worship leader was explaining how she had this dream where she waltzed into a furniture store. In this furniture store, there were thousands of beautiful, custom pieces of furniture. Some vintage, some new - some simple, some so intricately detailed... like nothing she had seen. Then Jesus appeared. He said "you can have any piece of furniture you want - literally any piece! I've made everything and it is good - pick one". And she felt overwhelmed and so excited! Any piece she wanted?! She looked around... and around... and around... she couldn't decide. Why couldn't she decide?! He literally said ANY PIECE SHE WANTED. He made it all! It's all good and perfect in His name... why is she having such a hard time picking ONE piece of furniture? She told Him she couldn't decide. He responded "well if you'd like, I can make a custom piece of furniture - exactly for you - only for you - and perfect for you. Everything in here is good and perfect - but I can make you a custom piece that you will love immensely." And she was so HAPPY! A piece just for her?! By her creator!? A custom piece of furniture by her beloved that was completely made just for her?? What a treasure... And then she woke up.
Now again - I haven't listened to it yet - and I 100% will! But just the retelling of this story through a friend was enough for my torn, confused heart. I'll explain...
Without getting into too much detail or overwhelming anyone with my freaking LIFE story - lol - I had a very painful but powerful year last year. I was navigating fresh waters of losing my mom which for me was intensely painful. I know people love their mommas but this was one relationship and person I forever needed and longed for. She was a person beyond explanation and completely made me and my siblings who we are today because of her love and example. Okay now I am crying. One sec.
SO as I was saying - I was experiencing intense grief, working a full time job and just managing to function. Not well, I might add. But during this time, I picked up my serving schedule at church and began singing with the worship team again. It was something I had been doing for over a year and really enjoyed - but the idea of standing up there singing praise to (if you want to go there) someone who could let this happen to me? Sounded difficult. Boy was I in for it....
I can't remember the date, but it was early in 2018, March or so, that God met me on that stage in such a heavenly way that I cannot explain or tell into words that would do it justice. He knew I needed Him and He met me in a way that was so close to my heart. Through worship. And He met me, time and time and time and time again through that stage - that room - that music - those people - He met me. He carried me - He held me - He caught my tears and He gave me a voice to sing through it all. Okay, crying again.
Sorry this is so long, y'all! Woof.
Through this time, I began to understand that He created me to worship. Sing His name, lead through music, song, voice... I knew it. He told me. That sounds weird and if you had asked the Alyssa in 2017 or earlier if God had ever spoken to her, she would get uncomfortable and be like "uh no i don't think so". And then make a joke and run away. LOL.
I began to question if this is what He put me on the earth to do... like, if this was supposed to be my full-time job... "am I supposed to like, go to seminary or worship school (lol) or something now?! I am SOOOOOOOOOOOO unqualified!!!!!!". And this conversation happened over and over and over... and He kept meeting me. And I became impatient. Why did He give me such intense confirmation and passion for this and there was no "job" in my future? Do I just sit with this info now? "Like, hi, yeah, can you tell me what to do next? Your girl needs a freaking door right now lolololllll." And I began trying to predict my future, plan it out, map it out... all while starting a photography and video business on the side. What's that you ask? Why yes - I started a business... you guys are probably like "what the heck am I reading right now..." Get you some popcorn, boo.
The majority of you know I've pursued YouTube and have been creating content for a few years now. You may not know that I also did this at my full-time job. It was a huge blessing to hone a craft that I enjoyed, was challenged by and felt good at. But over time, I began feeling burnt out at my 9-5 job. I knew there was something more for me. I just wasn't sure yet what that exactly was... "Worship??? Photography + video??? Becoming a full-time pomeranian mom??? Something else???"
I began bouncing around the idea of doing photography full-time, for myself. It was something I really felt like I was blossoming into once I finally began shooting for myself. After prayer, talking to Daniel and saving for a camera upgrade, I decided to potentiallyyyyy pursue this avenue in 2019 - especially if this worship thing didn't pan out... are y'all laughing at me yet??? Trust me - I am too. THE AUDACITY THAT I COULD TELL GOD WHAT I AM DOING WITH MY LIFE.
While wrestling with all of this internally and through conversations with friends - I was going a little crazy. My emotions were so raw, I still missed my mom and I knew she would tell me what to do. But she wasn't there and I had to talk to God about it. And did He talk back.
A few months ago, during one of the ongoing conversations about my LYFEEEEE my friend, Cari, told me about the podcast episode I mentioned earlier. She began explaining to me that while all of these avenues for my future were good, and just and beautiful in His name, did I want to pick one and pursue it? I would be happy - because God created it - of course it was good! But did I want that? To pick just one of my passions?
What if I just let him create a custom life, career, future for me?
HOLY FREAKING SHOT THIS HIT ME LIKE BRICKS.
He is the master, perfecter, creator, all-knowing and He created ME. He gave ME all these passions, desires, hopes and gifts... why did I have to pick one?? Why did only one have to work out?? What if I just "created" and worshipped through music, singing, photography, film, stories, silliness, compassion, and all of the other attributes He gave me that make me Alyssa? I wouldn't have to worry about my future. Because I was doing exactly what He put me on this earth to do, in this moment, in this season, in this life.
So friends, I'm letting God create a very custom piece of furniture for my future and I encourage you to do that, too.
Today I thought it would be fun to share how to get beachy - messy waves in this step by step how to guide and video tutorial! This has been my go-to hairstyle for several months now. A lot of peeps have asked me what I use to style my hair and I’m excited to share it on the blog and my YouTube channel! Of course I have always done some sort of wave/curl to my hair (see here!) but my whole world changed once I switched from my curling iron to a curling wand. Total game changer! The wand definitely gives you more of that easy - breezy - didn’t work too hard - even tho you maybe did - cool girl - messy waves - just came from the beach - hairstyle. Yes please. I’d recommend clicking play on the video below - I do an in depth tutorial in my teeny bathroom and show you all my tips and tricks! Including one I learned from Dearly Bethany! Love the sixties vibe it gives and I think you will too - so be sure to watch till the end!
While I would recommend you use a wand to get this effect, you can totally try doing this with a straightener or curling iron. The taper of the wand gives it that messier look but you can always just leave about two inches of your hair uncurled when working with a different tool - you should get a similar effect!
I bought this Hot Tools wand on a whim last summer and it has changed my life . Not knowing much about wands, I asked for help at my local Ulta. Seeing as I was growing out my hair and my hair is pretty thick,, this is the one they recommended. I love how wide the barrel is! if it was any smaller it would make the curls small and tight. Not really the look I was going for!
You’ll also need a good hairspray. I was completely out of my favorite one (bummer) but was able to make a sea salt spray work for me. Really you just need a little somethin’ somethin’ to spritz as you go. It adds texture to your hair and that is so important for this wavy hairstyle - it gives you the effortless, messy look! This Living Proof Full Dry Volume Blast smells soooo amazing and doesn't make my hair feel crunchy or weird. It's the perfect spray for this look and the texture of my hair!
Of course my favorite spray was empty - I blame you, Daniel! So I reached for another spray - this one is a seal salt spray that I like to have on hand. It's not my absolute favorite, but it did help give me that texture I needed to finish off this look.
How do you like to style your hair? I’m a v lazy person when it comes to getting ready in the morning (lol) so this messy hairstyle has been so stellar for me! I hope y’all like it, too!
Welcome to 2019 - the year I so passionately dubbed "This Will Be My Year" (thanks ban.do for my rad new planner that will remind me erryday). I’m a little late but I figured, better late than never.
Last year was a very weird, hard, messy, vulnerable, confusing year for me on so many levels. There was also goodness - and so much growth. So much so, that it’s spilling over into this new year. I welcome it but the growing pains and unknowns are kinda scary. I like to keep comfortable - wow, shocker! Haha.
This vlog was a fun and simple way to dip my toes back into sharing myself and my life with y’all. To some people it might seem weird that I feel called to share my life on the internet… it did to me for a while, too. But I can’t shake it and I really enjoy doing it. I’ve met so many rad human beings through my YouTube channel and this blog. So before I go on, I just wanna say: thanks from the bottom of my heart for being here.
Back to Daniel and Alyssa’s day of fun! Who heard that in Janice’s voice?! Hehe.
Yesterday was a laid back and easy Sunday with my hubs. I served at our church in the toddlers room - that always brings me joy. Makes me tired but omgggggg those precious little faces are so cute. When I finished up wrangling two year olds and sent them off home, I snagged Daniel from our apartment and we made our way to lunch at Taco Joint. If you’ve followed me for a while, you already know about our deep love for Taco Joint. My order: one "Evan" taco and a cup of tortilla soup - jalapeño ranch on the side. Man, I want that right now, haha!
Once our bellies were full, I convinced Daniel to take me to get this one specific candle from Bath and Body Works that I just couldn’t stop thinking about! I first bought it when my brother and I were roommates, before I got married to Daniel. #Bless that it was $10 off, too! Obviously I was a happy camper. Even better news?! Urban Outfitters was right next door and I scored a suuuuper cute hat I’ve had my eye on since December. It was on sale at that location for $20! YAS!
On our way home, we made a pit stop at the neighborhood Whole Foods (lol, surprise) for dinner ingredients and then made our way straight home to cuddle Marble. She is queen bee of our house, y’all. We love her so much, haha. Also, like you’ll see in the video, the recipe turned out delishhhhhhh. Is it a healthy dinner option? No. But ten out of ten would recommend.
I hope you guys had a great weekend! If only they were just a little bit longer, am I right?! I know that sounds soooo basic but I am like 100% serious. We need to get off this "9-5, Monday - Friday" business thing and actually live our livesssssss. Can we start a petition for this?
Like I said in the video, I'm really excited for this year to unfold. It has been a long time coming for me to put myself back out there and I'm super eager to do so. However, I will definitely take the time I need to do it and will be patient with myself.
How are you pushing yourself this year? I'd love to pray for you and encourage you!
I'm Alyssa, thanks for stopping by! A few things: I enjoy laughing, making youtube videos and thrift shopping. Currently listening to "Everything Now" by Arcade Fire. I like my coffee black and my preferred method of maxin' & relaxin' is with my husband and pup.