February Issue Vol. 1: Love 2020

Updated: Feb 18

“Don’t feel stupid if you don’t like what everyone else pretends to love.”

- Emma Watson.



God Talk: What Is Love?


When you think of love, nowadays, it has so many different interpretations. You have all these hashtags of “love is love” and “self-love” and “love wins,” but have we actually stopped long enough to think about what love really is?





When I think of the people I am around, the people who say to me, “I love you!”— I have found that even if we think we’re showing someone love and we have this feeling for someone we think is love, the person receiving it may not actually feel loved at all.


When I think of love, I think of 1 Corinthians 13, which is known as “The Love Chapter.” This is one of those scriptures that I share comfortably and openly with people who don’t necessarily agree with the bible or live a Christian lifestyle because it’s so forward in its definition. It tells us what love is and what love should look like, that anything done without love basically means absolutely nothing. When people get their brains out of a religious perspective and look at the passage for what it actually is, in my personal experience, my friends agree with what is said in the Love Chapter.


1 Corinthians 13:4-8 & 13 gives us the definition of love and it’s importance. There are many translations of this passage, but my favorite is the Passion Translation, as it gives me a relatable feeling and a true definition of what I would want love to look like in my life.


[4] Love is large and incredibly patient. Love is gentle and consistently kind to all. It refuses to be jealous when blessing comes to someone else. Love does not brag about one’s achievements nor inflate its own importance. [5] Love does not traffic in shame and disrespect, nor selfishly seek it’s own honor. Love is not easily irritated or quick to take offense. [6] Love joyfully celebrates honesty and finds no delight in what is wrong. [7] Love is a safe place of shelter, for it never stops believing the best for others. Love never takes failure as defeat, for it never gives up. [8] Love never fails. [13] There are three things that remain: faith, hope, and love, yet love surpasses them all. So above all else, let love be the beautiful prize for which you run.


I think of Jesus, the person, and how he exercised these exact things as He spoke to unlikely people: the woman at the well (an adulter), Mary, the woman who washed Jesus’ feet with oil & her tears (a sinner, possibly a prostitute), Zacchaeus (a tax collector), and many others, with love. He sat with them and was kind to them and they loved Him. I think of how He saw us as the joy set before Him when He endured the cross.


I think of the people in my life. With having so many people (especially people I’ve dated in the past) not exercise this kind of love, I look around and can appreciate the people in my life that do this now. Whereas people I used to know had a feeling and called it love towards me, I am surrounded by people who exercise the action of love as the Love Chapter states. A feeling is different than true love because love is not a feeling— love is an act that gives us an intense feeling of deep security in something or someone.

I question and assess myself, especially as I am working on the way I interact with people. I have a tendency to cross the sarcastic-mean line when hanging out with friends and family. While some of my friends play along with it, I know some, especially in my family, who don’t care for it. When I decided to work on it, it caused an awareness of when I would act out in sarcastic-mean and I would check myself and even apologize on certain occasions for my behavior. If I want to be loved the way I desire to be loved, I need to exercise love that same way. It’s the simple rule of “Treat others as you want to be treated.”


When I am in leadership mode and needing to address people, actions, or behaviors, I check myself with the Love Chapter. Am I being kind? Am I being gentle? Am I being honoring in the way I address people? Am I setting boundaries while still giving the other person space to feel safe? It’s so difficult to exercise what the Love Chapter says when you [1] live a certain way for so long & [2] have a type A personality and are known to come off abrasive.


For me, when someone asks me, “What is love?” I reply, “1 Corinthians 13:4-8.” And I quote the scripture. Not to discriminate other people who are in my life, for I know I am well-loved, though no one is perfect, I can name off the people that come into my mind who are in my life currently that love me on a consistent basis with a 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 kind of love. These people are my mom, my dad, and my boyfriend. Everything they do when they act on saying they love me is from a place of kindness, gentleness, protection, and selflessness, and I am secure and safe in the knowledge that the kind of love they exercise is truly the kind of love that lasts a lifetime.


When someone asks you what love is, what is your response? Do you agree or disagree with the passage or anything that has been stated in this article? Do you have people in your life who love you in alignment with that passage or are working towards that? Please discuss in the comment section, I would love to hear from you all!


A really quick devotional suggestion: I have been going through The Sacred Journey by Brian and Candice Simmons, and it is incredible for helping know how you should be romanced by your partner/spouse through the eyes of Jesus using Song of Solomon. It’s so good, and has helped me feel more confident in myself as an individual and more empowered in my relationship to communicate what I am looking for/needing. Another recommendation is you are single or in a relationship, check out The Five Love Languages and take the test! Even if you are in a relationship, I suggest taking both the singles and relationship test because you will find that your love language order can be different in your friendships versus your relationship. Check it out!


***Disclaimer: This is not an affiliate link, but I genuinely love this and wanted to provide a link for you to check it out!


Love is a safe place of shelter, for it never stops believing the best for others. Love never takes failure as defeat, for it never gives up.



Self Love: A Self Assessment


I think part of the journey to pursuing mental and emotional wholeness is to assess yourself on a monthly to bi-monthly basis. My mom and I have been major assessment junkies for the past couple of months after getting to know AbidelyCo.’s Abide Daily Planner. Not only is it extremely practical and fashionable, but it is so good as far as helping yourself assess mentally, emotionally, physically, and even spiritually. Their assessment workbook inspired me to come up with my own journaling prompts for myself to assess how I am doing in the goals I am working towards.

These are the prompts I came up with, and if you would like to follow along with this, please let me know some of your thoughts in the comments below!


Q1. Am I actively choosing to be thankful, happy, and taking the time to breathe? If yes, how am I doing this?

Q2. What am I doing to take active steps to avoid turning a bad moment into a bad day?

Q3. Do I find the majority of my relationships I have life-giving or life-sucking?

Q4. Am I taking a day off to do rest and recharge? How/What am I doing to accomplish a recharge?

Q5. How am I actively showing myself love on a consistent basis?

Q6. Am I being authentic to who I am or do I still find myself holding back because of something/someone?

Q7. What did I do this week/month to show myself love?

Q8. Am I taking care of myself? Where are the areas that need work?

Q9. List 5 things I am doing great at in the last month.

Q10. List 5 things I would like to be great at in the next month.

Answers from Editor-In-Chief Ellie K’s Assessment


Q2.A: Whenever I have a bad moment pop up in my day, I reject it verbally. I will say to whatever negative event has taken place that it doesn’t have power over my day or myself. I will also say to the negative emotions I’m feeling that I am more powerful than that emotion that is affecting me. I will exchange my negative emotions for what God wants to give me. I also have been using scriptures and declarations to battle the negative emotion or event. I think a big part of choosing not to let a bad moment turn your entire day rotten is to not accept the bad moment— accept as in give it room to breed. For instance, if I am feeling frustrated, I can acknowledge the frustration and exchange it for choosing to be peaceful rather than feeling frustrated and allowing the frustration in this one instance overcome me by complaining or grumbling. One of my new favorite things when I have a negative thought about (i.e.) dishes, is to be thankful for the fact that I am blessed enough to eat, that I have dishes to eat off of and I have the privilege of washing dishes. It might be extreme but it changes my attitude from negative to positive within 30 seconds.


Q3.A:

Right now, I’d say that the majority of my relationships are life-giving. I still have a few relationships that are life-sucking, but I am aware of which relationships those are which gives me the ability to know exactly how much I can offer that person. Some of my relationships have progressed from life-sucking to life-giving by communication and us both pursuing mental and emotional wholeness. I also find that if I have some sort of angst toward a person, I feel drained whenever I receive a message or even think about them, which then tells me I need to exercise forgiveness to free myself. Even though every relationship can be improved upon, I’m happy with my relationship with my parents, with my boyfriend, and my close-knit friends. Even though I don’t find it necessarily draining, I need to work on relationship with my team in the areas I am leading teams so that I set myself up for success as a leader and so I am loving my team members well.


Q4.6:

Authenticity and vulnerability is still hard for me. I find the only places that I feel comfortable enough to be my 100% authentic self is around my boyfriend and my parents. I’m silly, goofy, emotional, type A, etc. and they love me for it. Even if they don’t agree with my opinions or everything I do, they still love me. They help me feel empowered and encourage me to come out of my shell. They help me feel that even when the rest of the world doesn’t like who I am, I’m not anything to be ashamed of. I find it easier to be authentic than I did three, two, even a year ago, but vulnerability isn’t my strength. I still clamp up when I need to address how I feel, I still shake in fear when I need to be vulnerable. I still find that with my parents, I need their approval on how I handle something. I can still work on it, but I also celebrate the fact that every time I choose to be vulnerable and authentic, I am choosing myself, and choosing myself is not selfish, but healthy.


What do you think about the assessment and do you think it is practical to your life and if it can help you improve your perspective of yourself? Let us know in the comments!

I want to suggest the AbidelyCo.’s Abide Daily Planner for you guys to check out! You can also purchase the workbook separately from the planner if you are interested in that particular asset.


***Disclaimer: This is not an affiliate link, but I genuinely love this and wanted to provide a link for you to check it out!


I think a big part of choosing not to let a bad moment turn your entire day rotten is to not accept the bad moment— accept as in give it room to breed. For instance, if I am feeling frustrated, I can acknowledge the frustration and exchange it for choosing to be peaceful rather than feeling frustrated and allowing the frustration in this one instance overcome me by complaining or grumbling.

Health & Fitness: Progress Report

I have a full eating schedule and I follow it to make sure I eat enough and that I just eat period. I’m lucky that I have a mom and friends who know my history and they make sure they ask me when I’m around, “Did you eat?”


The other thing that I used to struggle with is self-hatred toward my body. Being a dancer, which I also mentioned in my previous article, I struggled with anger and frustration with my body for not doing the things I needed it to do, like be more flexible, be stronger, be more toned, etc. So something I now do whenever I exercise or dance, I do these four steps:


1. Thanking my body for the things it does for me.

2. Speaking life/affirming my body.

3. Picking one thing I love about my body.

4. Picking something to focus on becoming better in my body.


There is a very fine line between self-correction and self-loathing. Self-correction is looking at the things that you see that aren’t fine-tuned or how you want it without expecting perfection, but expecting excellence. Self-loathing is how you view yourself and creates negative energy within yourself that begins to cause hatred and anger unnecessarily.


I wanted to share my fitness progress and my health goals with you all as I am not dancing at the moment but am doing what I can to stay fit for when I go back. I have been doing a yoga routine, pilates reform, and intensive stretching.


Yoga has been a big balancing thing for me. I love doing it for that light stretching, but there’s something so empowering about finding that inner strength in your body. Yoga has helped me fall in love with my body and connect with every part and given me a better awareness of what my body does in everything I do physically.


Pilates Reform is so good for strengthening as a dancer. You can work your core, arms, back, and legs without bulking up, which tends to be my problem. I can easily bulk up when the aesthetic I am going for figure-wise is being lean. I took classes a couple of years ago which really helped my dancing and core stability, and I continue doing it to keep with that strength.


I do intensive stretching to help my flexibility and give my body more room to have longer and nicer lines for ballet. I’ve gone from being constricted to more flexible and mobile. I mostly stretch for mobility purposes, knowing that if I don’t, my joints, ligaments, and muscles begin to ache from being contracted for too long. I’ve seen some progress in my over-splits, which I’ve been working so I can have the flexibility for the lines of my jumps.


Something I am working towards both physically and health-wise is consistency. Consistency is so hard for me when it comes to doing my routines on a daily basis, like taking vitamins, drinking the right amount of water, and even exercising. I have to exercise discipline a bit better in my day to day life when it comes to my health and fitness if I am going to make it as a professional ballet dancer in the way I want to be.


Health and Fitness is a progressive journey. What is something you’re working towards in your journey? I’d love to hear more!


I’d like to suggest a couple of vitamins I’ve been taking that has been changing my life. When I am not consistently taking them, I feel my body ache more, I feel less than optimum, and my energy levels can take a hit when I don’t take these. Glugosatrin has helped with my joints, especially in the winter, when the cold makes my knees and ankles especially hurt. Astaxanthin is something I’ve been taking for my respiratory because I have been prescribed an inhaler for Exercise-Induced Asthma. I don’t like using an inhaler because they don’t have a lot of great stuff in it, so finding this has really helped my endurance.


***Disclaimer: This is an affiliate link, but I genuinely love this and wanted to provide a link for you to check it out! And if you use 10OFFMA, you can get 10% off your entire order!


Self-correction is looking at the things that you see that aren’t fine-tuned or how you want it without expecting perfection, but expecting excellence. Self-loathing is how you view yourself and creates negative energy within yourself that begins to cause hatred and anger unnecessarily.

The Ellie Edit


I wanted to include some outfit and makeup inspiration for February, seeing as many people will be celebrating Valentine's day. I myself am not huge on Valentine's day, even with being in a relationship, for me it’s just another day that can add pressure to someone’s busy life. In past years I’ve forgotten entirely about Valentine's day. But if we’re going to celebrate love in February, let’s do it in style and in a way that we want to do it. Remember, you don’t have to do everything inside the box.


I have 3 looks that I will be showing you. Look No.1 is a bit more casual and is done up more with the makeup. Look No.2 has more minimal makeup and is a little more romantic and dressier. Look No.3 is the most formal out of all of them with more details in the accessories.




{No.1}

Outfit: Chiffon-velvet kimono (Francescas), dark navy tank top (American Eagle), jeans (American Eagle), ruby drop earrings (Charming Charlie), red nails, black ribbon heels (Shein), black bow backpack Makeup: Liner (Motives Gel Liner (LBD), use code 10OFFMA for 10% off your order), deep nude lip (Motives Velvet Lipstick (xoxo), use code 10OFFMA for 10% off your order), Love Express Fragrance




{No.2}

Outfit: White strapless dress (Forever 21), cream blazer (H&M), crystal drop earrings (Ballerina Trinkets), moon & stars choker (Freyatreasures.com, use code ELLIK63 for 25% off your order), white strap heels (Aldo), silvery-pink nails, Makeup: Fresh face, light shimmer eyes (Motives Thrill Me Palette, use code 10OFFMA for 10% off your order), nude lip, Prada Candy


{No.3} Outfit: Red long-sleeved v-neck (H&M), black & white skirt (WHBM), black mesh heels (DSW), white pearl drop earrings (Freya Treasures, use code ELLIK63 for 25% off your order), black clutch (Windsor) Makeup: dark matte eye (Motives Visionaire Palette, use code 10OFFMA for 10% off your order), berry blush, red lip, Pure Grace Ballet Rose Fragrance


What are some of your favorite clothing stores and makeup items, and which outfit was your favorite? Leave me your suggestions in the comments! ***Disclaimer: The links in this section may be an affiliate link, but I genuinely love these items and wanted to provide a link for you to check it out!


The beauty of woman must be seen from in her eyes, because that is the doorway to her heart, the place where love resides. - Audrey Hepburn

Let's Give Our Life Some Style



No.1: Dried Flower Bouquet

Have you ever received a beautiful bouquet of flowers and after a week, they just die and you have to throw them away? For me, flowers have a special meaning. I usually receive them at a performance or for a special event like a birthday or it may be tied to a memory. I love taking at least one flower and pressing the petals and using them to create something later that can preserve the memory. Something I wanted to suggest is something I did recently with flowers from my most recent performance and was a tip given to me from my boyfriend’s mother.


Take your bouquet when it starts to droop, dry the stems with a paper towel and tie string or a rubber band around the stems. Hang them upside-down in a cool and dry place, like a garage or closet & leave them hanging for 2-3 weeks so they dry and don't mold. When they are dry, cut the string and arrange the way you like! I have put bulbs in a mason jar, placed buds on my shelf, and have a full bouquet of dried roses on my accessories table. It’s a cost-free easy way to preserve flowers from any occasion.



No.2: Low Budget Date Night - Sunset Picnic

Now, depending on where you are in the world will determine what time you might want to have your date. Choose an outdoor location like a park or beach. **Note: If you live in Bakersfield/Kern County area, check out the Wind Wolves Preserve or Hart Park! It’s stunning for outdoor type activities. A low budget way of doing a meal that is restaurant level is to go grocery shopping and prepare a meal at home. I’m lucky to where I have a boyfriend who is an amazing cook, so whenever we have an “at home” meal, he plans it all out, but you can go online and choose a recipe you’d like to do. You can do a nice steak dinner & drinks for two for $20 or less, so keep that in mind! Pack it all up in an insulated bag, pack a blanket, and drive to your location. It’s a perfect way to celebrate valentine’s day that doesn’t cost a ton of money but is still fun and romantic. Well, I guess some people find cooking together romantic.


I’ve compiled a list of things to bring that you might even have at home to make it more fun and comfortable and romantic!


- Paper/regular plates, silver-wear, and cups (Bringing cutlery/dish-ware you already have at home tends to be more cost-effective than even paper plates!)

- NapkinsJars & tea lights/candles (Jars can include any glass jelly/condiment jar/mason jar!)

- Extra Blankets (You never know, it might be cold!)

- Three-four throw pillows (Or rolled up blankets/towels will work too!)

- Matches/lighter

- Bonus: Bouquet of Flowers in a cup of water (Trader Joes has some of the most GORGEOUS flowers and are inexpensive!)


Is this something you would do? What are some of your low-cost date suggestions? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!


A Note From Our Editor-In-Chief


I couldn’t figure out what I wanted to do for so long, and I’m so happy that now, I do know what I want the format to look like. I think the ideas of doing monthly issues really put my mind at ease, because I can talk about whatever is on my mind, my heart, and ideas I have that I would like to document and share. 2020 is going to be an amazing year for the brand and I am so excited to get cracking! I really hope you all enjoyed this February Issue, and I would love to hear what you guys thought of it!


I hope you all have a very love-filled month, whether you are single or with a significant other, I hope you have the best February yet. Thank you for being a wonderfully supportive community. I am very excited about what 2020 is going to bring for us. Talk soon!

Xo, Ellie

IG: @the.ellie.way

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