Why I Don’t Like the Term #GirlBoss

Why I Don’t Like the Term #GirlBoss

We’ve all heard about the hashtag #girlboss. It’s all over instagram and was made popular by Sophia Amoruso, the controversial CEO and founder of Nasty Gal (an online vintage clothing store). Her book, #girlboss, sparked this online hashtag and movement. While intended for a positive purpose, #girlboss is only inclusive of one type of woman, leaving out a good amount of women who make this world go round.

Girlboss: A confident, capable woman who pursues her own ambitions instead of working for others or otherwise settling in life.

I’ve used the hashtag numerous times on instagram posts, but it wasn’t until this week that it really started to bug me. I couldn’t figure out why at first. I’m only 22, I own my own business, I do what I love every day… so why do I not feel like a #girlboss.  That’s when I realized just why #girlboss had been on nerves.

When Steven and I got married, I told him that I could never be a housewife. Not because I saw anything wrong with it, but because I LOVE what I do. I really truly enjoy working and wanted him to know that I was not going to give that up. Well, this past week, we’ve been joking that I’ve fully embraced being a housewife. The truth is, I’m in my slow season at work and Steven is in his busy season. He’s working 12-16 hours a day, meaning I’m spending some more time at home just to make sure the house stays clean, laundry stays done, and there’s food in the fridge. It also means that he is working nights and I’m not quite sure what to do after work. (I may be binge watching Law & Order and baking A LOT…) Steven is super supportive of whatever I want to do, but also is loving joking about how the tables have turned.

After all this joking, I really started thinking about my #girlboss status… In all honesty, I felt like because I wasn’t working on something regarding my business, I had lost my #girlboss title. Insecure me thought that I was losing everything I had worked so hard for because I was spending a good chunk of time supporting my husband and doing chores. I mean… you never see anyone saying #proudhousewife #Ilovelaundry #Dishesarethebest. It’s just not as glamorous as owning your own company.

But, if this past week has taught me anything, it’s that being at home is HARD WORK. We don’t have kids yet, but keeping the bills paid, laundry done, dinner cooked, and the house clean is not an easy task when you also work. (I kept finding myself breaking a sweat from all the vacuuming.) In all honesty, sitting at my desk with my coffee seemed like a dream in those moments. So what I’m wondering, is why we only glorify women who run their own companies? Why don’t we give props to all of the moms and wives who support their husband’s companies or careers, the women who work 2 jobs, are single moms, are nurses or doctors or police officers, who put their dreams aside and their family first?

I’m tired of feeling like putting my family first is me “settling”. I’m tired of feeling guilty for it. I’m all for women being successful and following their dreams, but why do I feel guilt when I choose to put my family or my marriage first?

I don’t have an answer or idea of how to change this… but I did want to let other women know that they’re not alone in feeling this way. Just because you don’t own your own company or make millions, doesn’t mean that you’re any less of a boss at whatever you choose to do.  We all have a purpose in life and for some people it’s being a mom or a housewife. For some it’s being a teacher or a nurse. For some it IS running that multi million dollar company like a BOSS. Whatever it is, know that you’re a strong and powerful woman and I commend you for doing what you feel called to do, no matter how much money you make, how many people you employ or don’t employ, or how glamorous the job is. You serve a unique purpose and I think that’s pretty boss.

With Love,

Madeline

My 2018 Recap

My 2018 Recap

Well, the guys have sat down to watch the Rose Bowl, so I finally have a moment to escape and write about this past year. I decided against the “Instagram Top 9” because of everything that happened this past year. This year of transformation just couldn’t be shown on an instastory. The person who started 2018 was so broken, hurt, and in need of approval of everything she did. She searched for love in the wrong people and hurt people along the way. But this year was truly a year of transformation, self love, loving others, and accepting others love. It was a beautiful journey that taught me to let go and let God. To cherish the moments that you are given in life. AND to let yourself be HAPPY. To stop reliving the past and ENJOY the life that you have. The good, the bad, and the good that comes from the bad.

So… here are my top 2018 moments.

My year started out with me moving back to NJ on a whim after graduating college, wondering where God was leading me, and trusting that He had something good. Boy, did he ever!!!

In January, I rested, took a much needed break, and was able to renew my relationship with Steven after years of being long distance.

In February, we celebrated the first Valentines Day together that nobody had to fly to the other for. It was a beautiful thing.

In March, I was able to spend good time with my family. I even got a new roommate… my little brother! Funny how life works out…

In April, I said goodbye to Bubba, the F150, and hello to the nameless SUV (my first big adult purchase). I will always miss Bubba, however my wallet does not.

In May, we went on a week long tour up through NY to Canada. We played for amazing people, laughed a lot, created amazing memories, and I saw a part of the country I had never been to.

In June, I said goodbye to my little brother (and the roommate that caught my blender on fire) as he departed on a cross country road trip on his way to college. Tears were definitely shed.

In July, I FINALLY performed a hometown show with Jo Dee Messina.

I also turned 22…

AND may have gotten engaged. It was a very busy month!

August was full of few pictures and LOTS of wedding planning.

Then there was September… when I finally got to call my boyfriend of 5 years my HUSBAND. (Still getting the hang of that word…) So many tears. So much happiness. So much that led up to that moment that made it even more special. He’s truly been my partner in life and now it’s official.

If you had told us in January that we would be getting married in September, we both would have laughed. We grew a lot in just a few months. By ourselves and together. 2017 was a really hard year for both of us and that required some healing. What can I say, God does amazing things when we trust Him.

October was full of going to everyone else’s weddings and so enjoying being newlyweds!

In November, I became a FabFitFun ambassador, re-strategized my business, and took a month off of music to plan for 2019.

In December, we were able to experience our first Christmas as a married couple and it was EXHAUSTING. We both played 4 Christmas Eve services, grabbed 4 hours of sleep, then jetted off to Florida to see family, and finally take that honeymoon.

The rest was SWEET. (That’s coming from someone who hasn’t taken more than 3 days off in 6 years…) In all honesty, I collapsed in that pool chair and slept. It was so amazing that I think I might not wait so long until I do it again.

Now, we’re sitting in our apartment. The apartment that we made into our “home” in 2018 and I cannot believe all that happened in 2018. On top of this monthly recap, I was also able to…

…use my God given abilities as a worship leader. I don’t think I’ve ever felt so at home on a stage.

I was also able to get past my fears, love myself, and even start modeling.

Just a few days before getting married, I also got baptized to publicly show how much God transformed my life. 2017 was mess. One day I’ll open up about the pain and hurt I was able to overcome, but today I am CELEBRATING. Because 2018 God truly transformed my life and I can NOT wait to see what he has in store for me as a daughter, wife, sister, and friend in 2019. Happy New Year everyone!

With Love,

Madeline

My Winter Fabfitfun Box!

My Winter Fabfitfun Box!

Is it really worth it?

I’ve seen these boxes all over my instagram for the past few years. I have always wondered if it was really worth the hype and if it was worth the money. I decided to finally take the plunge and try it out for myself. 

If I’m being honest, upon opening the box it felt like Christmas morning. I couldn’t wait to see which goodies were in my individualized box. Some of the products are the same in every box, however some products are different. Depending on your level of membership, you can choose which ones make it into your box, but I loved not knowing and having the surprise factor. 

Here is what was in my box!

Elevate Essential Oils – $31

I’m loving these scents! I normally wouldn’t spend this much money on essential oils. (I normally buy mine from Target.) However, you really could smell the quality in these oils. They are 100% natural pure grade and it shows!

BLAQ Eye Mask – $29

This may be my favorite product from the box. I always struggle with bags under my eyes. No matter how much sleep I get, they always seem to be there. These eye masks worked like actual magic. I kept them on for 5 minutes and there was already a noticeable difference. I can’t wait to see the difference after multiple uses. 

Moroccan Gold Series Treatment Mask – $49

I’ve used a lot of Moroccan Gold Series products and have absolutely LOVED them all. They have all helped repair my colored and heat damaged hair. Because it is made with pure moroccan argan oil, the only thing I had to watch was how much I used it. Using these oil based products too frequently increased the amount of times that I had to wash my hair in a week. I would still highly recommend. 

Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche Lipstick in Meringue – $26

If you’re like me, you’re hesitant to put anything on your lips without know what is really in it. This brand of lipsticks are wonderful. They’re phenomenal quality and made without parabens, sulfates, and phthalates. It has an expensive price tag, but well worth it.

Ahava Hydration Cream Mask – $33

Y’all are gonna want to jump on this mask fast because it is limited edition! My skin gets SO dry in the winter and this mask helped bring my skin back to normal in only 5 minutes!!! 

ORIBE Gold Lust Dry Shampoo – $44

I use dry shampoo way more than I am willing to admit… It’s something everyone should have. I use it to freshen up my hair after a long flight, during a busy week when I just don’t have time, or on newly washed hair that is too soft to style. I’ve never used such expensive dry shampoo, so I did not know what to expect. Let me tell you. This dry shampoo was so light, I couldn’t even tell that my hair was dry shampooed. It didn’t give it that gross “whitish” tint, but left it looking fresh and natural. Due to the price tag, this is not something I’m going to buy regularly, but I was very surprised by the quality. I didn’t think dry shampoo could work that well. 

PUR Be Your Selfie – $36

I would be lying if I said I was a makeup guru… I’m just blessed to have a best friend that is a makeup artist. But in all honesty, this palette is beautiful. The tones are the perfect balance of natural and sparkle. I love eye shadows that I can wear during the day as well as make pop for that night out. This palette is perfect for that. I’s also a wonderful size for traveling when you don’t want to bring that huge travel case like me.

 

Mark and Graham Colorblock Throw – $49

Available in two colors (as shown above). I was raised very frugal. Never in my life would I spend $49 on a throw. BUT HOLY COW IS THIS SOFT!!! It is so lightweight, but keeps me unbelievably warm on the couch. (I may just have to splurge for another!) This is also a GREAT gift idea. 

Thrive Causemetics Brilliant Eye Brightener in Stella – $24

I’ll be honest. I’ve never used a highlighter pencil before… Let me tell you. This was revolutionary. I was worried about how well it was going to blend, but I think it actually worked better than the powder type. I’m also a sucker for champagne colored anything. The only thing that I will say about this is I wish it sparkled more, however it is good for every day wear. 


Well, that’s it for my fabfitfun box. I was worried about whether or not I would really enjoy this box. Turns out, I LOVED it. I used all of the products and really enjoyed the high quality of each product. There was nothing that I didn’t enjoy. 

All in all, the products I received totaled $321 if bought individually. With fabfitfun, I received all of this for $49.99. If you’re interested in trying out a fabfitfun box or gifting one this year, use my link here and the code “SANTABABY” for $10 off your box. 

Hope you have enjoyed this review!

With love,

Madeline

How My Husband Helped Me Love My Scars

How My Husband Helped Me Love My Scars

I want to love my body and myself as much as my husband does. That’s right. I said it. Let me be really honest with you for a few moments…

This morning I stood in the mirror beating myself up for the 10 lbs of newlywed weight I gained. (I partially blame hubby for taking me out on so many dates – love you honey!)

After a flood of negative thoughts rushed through my mind, without knowing, hubby found me in the closet getting ready for the day, wrapped his arms around me, and started telling me how beautiful I was as he kissed my makeup less face and ran his hands through my hair that at that point resembled a birds nest. He does this every morning without fail. I don’t even think he realizes he does it. He does it because he loves me.  But it got me thinking, what if I loved my body and myself as much as he does?

What if I wasn’t focused on being thin, but focused on giving my body what it needed – whether it be rest, a bubble bath, a good meal, or simply just grace after eating that slice of chocolate cake. What if I 100% accepted and even loved all of my imperfections? Somehow my husband can, but why can’t I? Now, I personally have pretty good self-acceptance, but something stops me when I see my scars from numerous surgeries or my stretch marks on my legs. Yet, somehow, my husband actually LOVES them.

One time… actually, no. MANY times I asked him how he could love something like stretch marks or scars. He simply answered “because it’s you”. He continued on to talk about how every stretch mark and scar makes me who I am today. (This was also one of the many moments when I knew this was the man I was going to marry!)

Those scars I have, they remind me of the pain I felt from those surgeries. But, they also remind me that it is because of those surgeries that I can run, jump, and dance my way through a wonderful life. It’s really all how you look at it. Sure, I’m reminded that it was a painful experience, but I’ve chosen not to dwell on it. Instead, I dwell on the outcome of those surgeries.

Today, in an effort to change my perception of myself, I self loved a bit. I wore an outfit that made me feel beautiful. I bought myself Starbucks at 3pm in the afternoon just cuz. I took 30 minutes out of my day to work out. I’m paying attention to what my body needs throughout the day. And now… I’m getting a glimpse of what my husband sees…AND I’m loving it. I think I may try this everyday.

With Love,

Madeline

6 Things They Don’t Tell You About Graduating

6 Things They Don’t Tell You About Graduating

I recently graduated from college. Recently meaning a few short weeks ago. I was so unbelievably excited to be graduating (for obvious reasons), however I wish someone had given me a heads up about what was about to come next. I was overwhelmed with emotions. Some good, but a lot that were not so good. Everyone always talks about how wonderful graduation is, but no one prepared me for what really was going to happen after the graduation magic wore off.

1. You will not know what to do with yourself.

You have just spent four or more years of your life in school, studying, cramming, eating ramen, and wondering if the $50,000 you’re paying every year is worth it. If you’re anything like me, you are absolutely dying to get out! I can not explain to you the feeling of sweet relief when you walk across that stage to get your diploma. Knowing that you did it. Knowing that you never have to take another test again or write another 20 page research paper. You will feel like a kid in a candy store for a good few weeks. Sadly, though, that overwhelming joy is going to slowly wear off.  Your friends will move back home and start new jobs.  Some will go on to travel. Some will continue their education. Suddenly, you’re not going to know what to do with yourself. You will wonder if that job was the right choice, if you should’ve traveled instead, and whether you want to pursue higher education or not. You will also, at times, be extremely bored. I didn’t understand how much time school took up. Now that I’m not studying on the nights and weekends, I’m not quite sure how to spend my time. I’ve binge watched Netflix, re-organized my entire room and closet, cooked and baked more than ever, gone out with friends almost every day, started reading a few new books, and still I have time! I’m definitely not complaining, but I do wish that someone had warned me about this excess of time I was about to have so that I could at least plan some ways to occupy myself.

2. You’re going to constantly be bombarded with questions.

Everyone and their mother saw on social media that you graduated. Here comes the questions. “Did you like your school?” “What was your degree in again?” “Did you graduate with honors?” “Where are you working now?” “How does your job fit with your degree?” “Do you like your job?” “What do you plan on doing in the next few years?”

Basically everyone wants to hear how well you did in school and what your five year plan is. I wish I had printed out cards to hand out to people instead of telling the same 10 minute story every single time. I thought after a week or two the questions would die down, but I was definitely wrong. Be prepared for LOTS of questions, especially if you graduate around the holidays like I did. You thought everyone asking about your love life and career was bad before? Graduate. They will be so much worse.

Don’t let their questions wear you down. Trust me, I know how exhausting they can be. To help with this, I created a simple 2 minute run through of what I’m doing, or what I plan on doing, and then try to steer the conversation in another direction. As annoying as all the questions are, just remember that they’re asking because they want to know and their intentions are good.

3. You’re probably going to be just as broke as you were before.

If someone had told me this beforehand, I definitely would have saved a bit more.  Unless you were blessed and had your education paid for, you’re going to have to start paying off those student loans.  All of that extra money you thought you had and could spend on clothes, traveling, and expensive restaurants? Yea… it is going towards your loans now.

My advice – get a cheap bottle of wine from Trader Joes prior to logging on the student loan website. It makes it just a tad less overwhelming.

4. You’re going to reinvent yourself.

You won’t see it coming, but you’re going to start a “new year, new me” phase in the middle of May. You’re going to adjust to post-grad life and start adulting. With that comes a lot of freedom, a lot of change, and a really good time to work on yourself as an individual.  I personally chopped off a good chunk of my hair and got a new wardrobe. Never saw that one coming, but hey it is a new phase of life so might as well embrace it!

5. You’re going to miss your friends ALOT!

You just got through years of cramming, awful tests, bad professors, and crappy cafeteria food. You also just got through years of 2am McDonalds runs, late night dance parties, Sunday brunches with your girlfriends, and honestly some of the best nights of your life. Your friends got you through a lot. They were there to save you from every awful first date and held you during the break up you never saw coming. During the past four years, your friends became your family and now you have to learn how to love them from afar. If you’re like me and my best friends, there will be a lot of facetiming, snap chatting, heart emojis, and tears as we learn how to be long distance best friends.

6. You’re going to be okay.

While you’re hating what you thought your dream job was or loving the job you thought you were going to hate, remember that what’s meant to be will be. These are the days you’re going to look back on and laugh about. These are the stories you’re going to tell your kids when they’re going through the exact same thing. So don’t freak out. Go live life. Take risks. Go on adventures. You will be okay. You graduated college so you’re obviously a smart individual. Live in the moment and live for yourself, not the crazy relatives around the dinner table.

Hope this advice helped some of y’all prep for graduation and what life is going to look like for you.

With Love,

Madeline

 

Just a Jersey Girl Living in a Nashville World!

Just a Jersey Girl Living in a Nashville World!

I figured I might as well start this blog with a little background about me. If you couldn’t tell from my social media postsor exploring my website, I was born and raised in New Jersey. Yes… I know… It isn’t the state of choice to be from if you are a country singer, however being from Jersey has had its advantages.
For one, being from Jersey differentiates me from a bunch of other country artists out there. People get extremely curious and wonder what a girl like me could know about country music. The truth is, I have some pretty country roots. One whole side of my family is all in Louisiana (and pretty country if you ask me). Aside from growing up on Johnny Cash and Patsy Cline, I spent holidays and time during the summer down south doing what I thought was normal – going tothe hunting camp, fishing, eating good ole southern cooking, and sitting around a bonfire in the evenings. It was only when I got older that I realized that wasn’t “normal” for folks from New Jersey (unless you live in south Jersey, in which case it totally is!) Either way, it made me who I am today.
Growing up in New Jersey also gave me a lot of the confidence and strength to pursue music that I needed at first. People from Jerseytell it to you like it is. It isn’t a bad thing, just the truth. When I was first starting out, I needed people to be critical of me in order to improve. Sure, it can hurt at times, but from it I only got better. It took being harshly criticized a few times in order to gain a backbone and some confidence. Heck, I still get harshly criticized some times, but I don’t take it to heart. I take the criticism to mind, improve what I can, and move on. This has been crucial in my musical journey. I can’t let a “no” or someone that doesn’t like my sound stand in my way, I have to keep moving on with their criticism in mind.
Criticism aside, Jersey fans are passionate about their country music, especially from a hometown girl like me. My fans in New Jersey have been so extremely supportive of me even through my move to Nashville. I think because they know that I am true to my roots and proud to be a Jersey girl despite the stereotypes. Let’s be honest, I might be living in a Nashville world, but this Jersey girl still does not pump gas!*

With Love,

Madeline

Welcome to My Blog!

cropped-img_1238.jpgHey guys –

Well you spoke and I am answering! I have heard from lots of y’all asking that I start posting more content about myself, my personal life, and my journey. I thought what better way than to start a blog? Now let me preface this blog by saying that I am in no way a writer. Spellcheck is a close friend, however it doesn’t catch my every mistake. I am not creating this blog to show off my writing skills though. I am writing this blog so I can become better connected with all of you! A ton of y’all have already responded to my posts telling me exactly what you would like me to blog about, but if you have any more ideas, don’t hesitate to forward them my way.  I hope y’all follow me on my blogging journey! Posts coming soon….

​With Love,
Madeline