Ecuador Series 1 out of 4

¡Hola de Ecuador! Some may know, some may not, but I had the incredible opportunity to pick up my life and move it to South America for the summer! Ecuador to be precise. I am doing an environmental studies program through University of San Francisco Quito and the excitement is too much for a single blog post, so this is post one out of a three part series! My first two weeks in Ecuador have been like nothing I’ve ever experienced before. Prior to leaving, anxiety was the highest I’ve experienced in a LONG time, so much to the point where I was stupidly regretting my decision (subconsciously aware that this was everything I could possibly ask for). I flew into Quito, Ecuador where I was greeted by the directors for my program and my amazing host family. The language barrier was a big concern for me, but google translate has definitely been a great friend of mine haha. My first two days in Quito consisted of orientation, introductions to the seven other students I’d be experiencing these seven weeks with, and a five hour tour of the BEAUTIFUL city.

The weekend of June 8th and 9th marked our first weekend of adventures.

Saturday we had the opportunity to visit the Intiñan Museum which rests on the equator!! We got to learn about some of the history surrounding the people who discovered where the equator lies and the indigenous tribes who lived in that exact same area. We also got to experience some cool activities that only work when you’re on the equator. EX: In the northern hemisphere, liquid drains counter-clockwise. In the Southern Hemisphere, liquid drains clockwise. BUT when you are directly on the equator, liquid drains directly down?! Crazy stuff.

On Sunday, we visited the adorable Otavalo market where hundreds of people go to sell their handicrafts! The absolute perfect place for unique, handmade souvenirs. Afterwards, we traveled to to Cuicocha Lake, a lake that rests in a dormant volcano! We hiked for roughly an hour (and we all died, but let’s just blame that on the altitude) and saw some of the most gorgeous plants and views!

The following week consisted of classes, so we will just skip to the weekend of June 15th and 16th!

On Saturday, we traveled to Volcán Antisana and hiked a trail that took us to a gorgeous view of the volcano! 

After the hike, we traveled to Volcán Cotopaxi, the second highest active volcano in the world! We stayed in an adorable hostal called Tambopaxi for the night and prepped for the trecherous hike the following morning. Weather was rough. It was extremely windy, cold, and raining. Despite the conditions we were given, we hiked 16,500 ft. to where the glaciers on Cotopaxi began. The hike was rough, but the view was 110% worth it! It was such an amazing experience and I can easily say that my wanderlust was EXTREMELY triggered from that moment on!

After arriving back home in Cumbaya, Ecuador, preparation for our next adventure began immediately because Monday morning, we left at 6:00 AM to go completely off the grid in the middle of the Amazon Rainforest! Tiputini Biodiversity Station to be precise.

However, Tiputini most definitely deserves its own post, so I am signing off for now! I hope my triggered wanderlust has triggered yours just as much!

Keep your eyes peeled for my next post! ♥

 

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Brainwashed

Wow. It’s been a long time since even thinking about writing a blog post. To say that my spring semester of junior year…scratch that…to say that my junior year of college was the busiest, most stressful year of my life is an understatement. Despite this blog post not being a life update, I will quickly say that this year has tested me over and over again. It’s helped me to grow and mature. It’s tested my patience. It’s tested my relationships. And it’s MOST DEFINITELY tested my sanity. Yet here we are, sane (for the most part) and now a senior in college! WOO-HOO!

Now onto what’s really weighing on me…

Technology. Social Media. The internet. Have you ever thought about and examined what these things actually mean to you? How they play a role in your life? Lately, I’ve really had to take a step back and examine the pros and cons of social media. If you’ve been a reader of mine for a while now, you’d remember my social media break (Social Media Experiment – SOCIAL MEDIA ISN’T EVERYTHING) and recall that even two weeks free of social media allowed me to strengthen relationships with loved ones and completely diminish any stressors due to social media urging us to show off a “perfect” life.

Lately, I have been feeling similar to how I was feeling before my first social media break, however this time, I have begun to develop emotions of anger and annoyance at what social media has become and the emphasis it places on perfection, whatever perfection may be in the eyes of others.

*DISCLAIMER* This post is not to rant about my life. I love my life and the people in it. However, it is to state my feelings in hopes that other’s can relate to these feelings and maybe come to a realization of their own.

Writing these past couple months has not come easy. I’ve talked in previous posts about inspiration and how I have been lacking in inspiration for a while now. It seems that only in times of sadness or anger can words easily flow out of my mouth. When contemplating why social media takes such a toll on my life, this is what came out.

In comparison to others, I do not feel special. In comparison to others, I do not feel pretty. In comparison to others, I do not feel wanted or sought after. And because of this, I blame technology. I blame technology for allowing us to broadcast the amazing parts of our lives while completely overlooking the horrible and VERY REAl parts of our lives. I blame technology for making it so easy to compare my body, my materials, and my life to those more fortunate than I. I blame technology for stealing my self-esteem from me. But here I am, continuing to post, to tweet, to make statuses, because this is what my generation does. And this is how I am able to feel important. Technology has simultaneously stolen my happiness while being the thing that is able to make me feel accepted, wanted and loved. Talk about a fucked up concept.

To reiterate; No, I do not hate my life.  No, I am not disregarding the amazing people I have in my life already. No, I am not being ungrateful for the life I was given. As stated above, I love my life and each soul who has touched it in the past 21 years. But now more than ever, a large following and hundreds, if not thousands of likes and comments are what makes someone “important.” Important to who you may ask? WHO FUCKING KNOWS. By what standards are we considered pretty or handsome? WHO FUCKING KNOWS. We continue to aim for these unreachable standards placed by social media influencers, INFLUENCERS WHO ARE PAID TO SHOW OFF THE FLASHIEST, MOST “PERFECT” PARTS OF THEIR LIVES. And because of this, me, and people like me, have unreachable standards set day after day. Striving for a fantasy life of new clothes every day, fancy meals 3 times a day, and living the life that everyone else wants but can’t have. Like I said, a fucked up concept indeed.

I guess this post is more of a reminder to myself and others. A reminder that our lives can be “perfect” in our eyes if we choose to make it perfect. Aiming for a toned body and nice ass like that one Instagram model you’ve been following for ages? Stop. Aim for the toned and fit body YOU want because YOU want it, not because someone else has it. Striving to get over 10,000 followers because in the eyes of others, then you’re closer to being someone “important?” Stop. Focus your energy on gaining a real, in-person friend.

This post is certainly directed towards people my age because I am sure I’ll be told by older generations that defeating this social media brainwash is as easy as deleting the app and putting your phone down. Well any millennial can agree with me in saying it’s not that easy. We are moving closer to a completely technological world, so acting as if social media doesn’t exist, or doesn’t play some sort of role in our lives is simply naive. However, we can acknowledge DAILY that these standards set by social media influencers ARE UNATTAINABLE. STUPID. A FANTASY.

Together, we need to stop letting social media determine whether we are living a noteworthy and “important” life. Instead, let’s make our own standards and work to attain those while appreciating and spreading love to those around us!

 

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Where Does One Find Inspiration?

In accordance with my last post, these past two weeks alone I have focused on taking this new year and well, making it my bitch. HAHA.

What I mean by that is, along with physical health, I am focusing on mental health. Physically, I have set a weekly schedule for workouts. I have acknowledged the fact that I thrive more in a group setting rather than individually in a gym on my own time. Thus, I have taken the resources given to me by my university and planned out my weekly workout routine. Monday, Wednesday and Friday nights are dedicated to trying out a new type of class whether it be strength and flexibility training, yoga, pilates, or even kickboxing (which I have been dying to try for as long as I can remember). On top of these classes, I have also started pole fitness. Each Sunday and Tuesday I am partaking in beginner pole fitness classes. So far, I have only been to two but I have already fallen in love with the instructors, my fellow students and the amount of hard work, flexibility, strength, and dedication that it takes! If you are used to the same old routine, I suggest trying out something you’ve never in your life thought of doing because it may just turn out to be one of the best decisions, which was the case for me!

Mentally, I am working towards not letting the classes and massive amounts of schoolwork take over my life and my happiness. I work my ass off in school and last semester truly stole away my desire to pay attention to my mental health and make sure I am mentally stable. I focused solely on getting the best possible grade I could get whilst forgetting that there’s so much more to life than my GPA. In an attempt to focus on my well-being this semester, I have also begun guitar lessons.

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April of 2012. Right before my first guitar recital.

I haven’t discussed playing much, if at all, on my blog, but I got my first guitar when I was thirteen, took a couple lessons and then ended up quitting lessons to teach myself. With all the moving around from Indiana to Arizona and vice versa that I have done, my guitar hasn’t always followed me which made it hard to progress any furthur in my skills. After not playing for so long, I had also forgotten that guitar is a very helpful coping mechanism of mine for when I am upset, angry, or just dealing with stress and anxiety. I was able to find a student guitar teacher (who is an absolutely incredible musician) and within the first 2 lessons, I was learning how to finger pick several different songs, a skill I struggled with immensely when trying to teach myself. Currently, I am working on learning Blackbird by The Beatles. For those of you who don’t know, this is a pretty difficult song, but with practice makes perfect and I will get there at some point!

My reasoning for writing this post is to show myself that I am striving towards greatness and working my hardest to get there, but with all these classes and my busy schedule, blogging has been placed on the backburner and has led me into a rutt when it comes to creative writing. I have worked so hard to grow my follower base and now that I am starting to build it, my inspiration seems to be lost. Some posts flow better than others which is understandable, but I want so badly to keep a consistent blog with at least one post every week and that is something I will continue to work towards.

If any of my readers have some ideas on blog topics that you’d like to see or that you think would fit in well with my blog, I beg of you to let me know! Yes, I like to write simply for the joy of writing, but I also want to be sure my readers are interested and relating to what I am writing. Due to wanting this blog to be so relatable, I have opened up about many private situations and thoughts in my life, so if there’s something you are struggling with that you think I may have some advice on, please either comment on this post or go to the ‘Contact Me’ page and fill out the contact form because odds are, I have experienced something similar or can at least begin a discussion regarding that topic.

 

Plus, I’d simply just love some feedback from my amazing, supportive readers. Hope to hear from you ❤

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“New Year, New Me” YUCK

Every year, normally around mid-December up until the end of January, all I ever see on social media are New Year’s resolutions and the classic saying “New Year, New Me.” Don’t get me wrong, been there, done that, and I most definitely am NOT criticizing anyone who either this year or in the past has been guilty of saying those exact words. My question however is, why work to change ourselves for roughly 2 months out of the year? IN FACT, change is a bad word.

I personally don’t make resolutions to change or fix who I am, but rather to evolve into a better me.

And why should we evolve solely for two months out of the year when everyday we can strive for greatness, strive for progress, and strive to feel the most comfortable in our own skin?

It seems more and more nowadays that people are making these resolutions to “fix” themselves because they aren’t good enough the way they are. On top of that, the amount of criticism I see when people start going to the gym in the beginning of the year or start a new, healthier diet is so saddening. Our society as a whole needs to pull together and first, end the judgement of people striving for greatness and second, support each other, because I wholeheartedly believe that these resolutions end so quickly because of judgement and lack of comfort and support individuals recieve. You see someone at the gym who looks confused and nervous? Rather than posting an insulting snapchat or tweet, introduce yourself and maybe give them a couple workouts you enjoy doing. You see someone listing off their New Years resolutions online? Comment and tell them you believe in them and you’ll be there to support them along the way!

It’s so easy to be vicious and spiteful in a world filled with so much hate, but as the cliché saying goes…

“You are the change you want want to see in the world.”

 

I struggle with finding the silver linings in so many different situations, so I am not here to say this is the easiest thing in the world to do, nor am I saying that I am anywhere near an expert at doing so. What I am saying is that if we first work to recognize the flaws we possess and the hate we sometimes tend to put out into the world without any reason for doing so, then we can begin to work on first evolving into a person who radiates love, positivity, happiness and kindness, as well as a society that radiates love, positivity, happiness and kindness.

So yes, I have the typical resolutions such as going to the gym more and focusing on my well-being, both mentally and physically, but this year and each year following, I want to be the optimist. I want to be the person who searches for the silver lining in any given situation. And most of all, I want to be the person who radiates love, positivity, happiness and kindess. Personally, I believe that is someone EVERYONE should strive to be.

 

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Decadence Arizona 2018

HAPPY NEW YEAR MY BEAUTIFUL BUTTERFLIES! WOW, I can’t believe I haven’t posted since last year, shame on me! LOL. I had the chance to enlighten ya’ll on my preparation process for festivals, Decadence AZ in particular, so I thought it would only make sense to do a recap on the event!

There’s so many different aspects of musical festivals that I love. Each festival is different and unique in its own ways and being that it was my first time attending Decadence AZ, I had no clue what was in store.

Music, Experience and Community

These three things are the things that go into making a festival great, but of course this is a personal opinion. In case you are wondering what I mean, I will go into a little detail…

  • Music is pretty self-explanatory. For the most part, I decide which festival I want to go to based on the lineup of artists they have that weekend. This festival immediately caught my eye the FIRST day the lineup was released because Skrillex, basically the king of electronic dance music, was making an appearance after a prolonged break for several years. On top of the legendary Skrillex, Rezz, my absolute favorite artist was also going to be playing along with several other amazing artists!
  • The experience plays into so many different festivals, some more than others. However, the experience is also in your own hands. Decadence had several carnival rides you could go on while in the venue and even some carnival foods such as funnel cakes and fried oreos to add to the “carnival-like experience.” Personally, the best experience for me tends to root from being around amazing people, listening to amazing music and not having a single care in the world!
  • The EDM community is such a respectful, loving and unified community and being a part of this community has not only helped me grow as a person, but has also helped me to branch out of my comfort zone and explore unknown territory. The community has an acronym: PLUR. You can think of PLUR as more of a lifestyle. It stands for Peace, Love, Unity & Respect. A majority of people who attend EDM festivals work their hardest to show and reciprocate PLUR, and in a world filled with hate, I think it is something we could all learn from.

 

I don’t want to go into too much depth about my dislikes of this festival because truthfully, the pros outweighed the cons and I still had an amazing time despite the disorganized event, HOWEVER I will say that this was the most overcrowded event I’ve ever been to and because of the overcrowding, there were many people at the event who were disrespectful and had no sense of PLUR. I don’t have control over them or their actions so I didn’t let it ruin my weekend because as I said above, the pros of being around loved ones and dancing to amazing music outweighed the assholes who have no idea what the words “excuse me” means.

What was my favorite part?

There were so many moments throughout the weekend that will be a forever memory, although I’d have to say that my favorite part of the weekend was when the new year started! Shaquille O’Neal (yes the basketball player) has recently gotten into EDM and calls himself DJ Diesel. Well DJ Diesel brought us into 2019 by playing some FILTHY dubstep, making me almost break my neck from headbanging so much, and even bringing out Kobe Bryant onto stage? WHAT?! Not many can say that they started the new year making extremely ugly bassface with Shaq. On top of that craziness, since my boyfriend was unable to make it to this festival with me, I got to exchange a New Year’s kiss with my absolute best friend under the mistletoe. How cute right?

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Despite any organization errors and the crappy weather, I got to spend every second of the weekend with some beautiful people enjoying amazing music. It was such a memorable New Years and I wouldn’t change it for the world.

If you have ever considered attending a music festival even in the slightest, IM TELLING YOU TO GO FOR IT! Paying for a festival isn’t just paying for a weekend of fun, it’s paying for a lifetime of memories and friendships.

If you have any questions related to EDM or festivals, I’d be happy to answer them in the comments or in my contact form!

 

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My Rave Essentials

If you know me or have seen any of my social media pages, you’d know my love for EDM and festivals! I’ve swayed away from talking much about the rave scene on my blog due to the negative stereotypes that accompany it, however I am HAPPY and PROUD to say that EDM and all of its added benefits have changed my life for the better.

ANYHOW, enough with the mush. In light of being more open about the life of what some may call a basshead, a raver, a HEADBANGER (please stop me), I wanted to write a post talking about an upcoming festival I am attending soon called Decadence Arizona NYE. I will be talking about a couple of things I consider necessities when attending festivals and I will also be showing you one of my outfits for the event!

MY FESTI NECESSITIES

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  • First, and most important, a camelback. Many festivals take place outdoors and a mixture of dancing, sweating and not drinking enough water IS NOT pretty…trust me on this one. A camelback is so easily accessible that it is almost impossible to get dehydrated with it always being on your back! I went heavy-duty on my camelback and it has yet to disappoint. This particular bag has several pockets for storing any other rave essentials, along with a 2.5L bladder to keep you from having to refill every 30 minutes! You can find this exact bag here for $46.15. My biggest recommendation when searching for a camelback is to search for quality over looks and even though I know we are all on budgets, this bag is well worth the price and thanks to the amazing quality, long-lasting as well.

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  • A fanny pack. You may be wondering, whats the point of a fanny pack when I already have a huge backpack on my back???? Well let me tell you, I’ve found it very handy to have a fanny pack around my hips so I can put things such as my phone, gum and a fan in it so I don’t have to take off my camelback every time I need something. Plus, you have to take into consideration how 2.5L of water tends to take up a lot of space in a backpack. A fanny pack is nice for quick, easy access! I received this particular fanny pack as a gift, but I was able to find a similar one here for $14.99.

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  • Eucalyptus oil. Festivals and raves can get overwhelming, even for those who have gone to several before. With large crowds, the occasional assholes, loud noises and bright lights, it’s very easy to get anxious and stressed out. By simply putting essential oils on my pashmina or on my wrist and getting a quick whiff of it when I feel the anxiety start to kick in, after a couple deep breaths I feel relaxed and ready to dance and enjoy the experience. Essential oils have so many different benefits, several of which help with stress and anxiety. I personally enjoy the smell of Eucalyptus oil but you can find several other oils that are beneficial for anxiety here. You can purchase a bottle of Eucalyptus oil here for $5.99.

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  • KANDI!! My absolute favorite necessity. Pictured above are several of my single kandi, cuff kandi and perlers! I seriously love making all of these bracelets and necklaces, but the best part is trading all of them at the festivals! I remember when I was super young and I used to make perlers all the time. I’ll have to admit, making perlers is a lot more fun now than it was as a kid. All of the materials used to make everything pictured above were bought at Hobby Lobby, Michaels, Walmart or Joann’s. This part is really up to you. Bring out your own style of creativity in each individual kandi!

 

Decadence Outfit

I’m not gonna lie, I tend to overpack and bring ANYTHING I might possibly want because truth be told, the finishing touches to my outfit are typically decided the day of. I took some pictures of definite outfit choices and some pictures of possible accessory choices for this festival!

  • When picking out my outfits, I always say THE MORE SPARKLES, THE BETTER!! So of course I went with the most dazzling of boots. The cool thing about this purchase is that I will probably wear these boots at least once every festivals because LOOK HOW CUTE?! I bought them on IHeartRaves and you can too here for $28.95!

  • Now onto the actual outfit! For starters, I found the mesh bodysuit here for $9.95. The bodysuit rides up pretty high so I just found some white lace underwear to go underneath. Since this festival is shortly after Christmas, I decided to be festive with my snowflake pasties. You can find those exact pasties here for $9.95. The lovely pink pashmina was a solid find at a thrift shop. The amount of pashminas at just this one thrift shop alone was crazy! Of course, not all thrift shops are alike but if you are interested in buying one, I would definitely check at your local thrift shop first. If you don’t have any luck there, Amazon has a WIDE array of pashminas. Lastly, the face jewels. Face jewels on many sites tend to be expensive and hard to reuse. Every once in a while I will “splurge” on a pack of jewels like these for $11.98, but in the cases where I’m running low on funds, I turn to these single jewels, create my own design and glue it on with eyelash glue!

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  • Decadence Arizona will be my very first winter rave, so I definitely struggled with figuring out how to stay warm throughout the night. I took a bargain with this jacket on IHeartRaves and could not be happier with the product. The jacket was bought solely for Decadence, but has turned into an everyday jacket because IT’S SO FREAKING WARM! Sadly, they are currently out of stock on this item (no surprise there), but if you are interested in purchasing, you can click the link above and give IHeartRaves your email so they can notify you when they are back in stock!

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  • For me, fishnets are a MUST at any event. These adorable lace fishnet thigh-highs, leg garters and fabric mask were all found on IHeartRaves. They have such a wide range of designs for any fashion taste and I would definitely recommend you check out their website to get a taste of the amazing styles and products they have!

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  • Last, but certainly not least, accessories! I tend to bring all accessories I own (because I have a serious problem of over-packing in every instance) and then decide which accessories work best with my outfit that day, so here are a couple of possible hair accessories to go with my outfit! I purchased the two headbands on IHeartRaves and the daisy hair clips in store at Hot Topic.

All together…

 

Now obviously, I’m not wearing any accessories, only the clothes, but I will be posting a recap on Decadence AZ following the event which will include PLENTY of pictures.

I hope you enjoyed this post. If you are unfamiliar with festivals, I hope this gave you a little insight. If you are familiar with festivals, I hope some of my neccesities you take into consideration and try!

Festivals have changed my life for the better and I want everyone to know how amazing the EDM community and the festival experience truly is. I’ve found myself guilty when buying anything materialistic because buying an experience is something you truly can cherish for a lifetime!

So hear me when I say, it is 110% WORTH IT!

 

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REDKEN VOXBOX REVIEW

Hello my snowflakes! First, I wanted to apologize for my lack of posting and social interaction on here. The last couple weeks of this semester had me drowning in school work, study sessions and finals, BUT yesterday was my last final so I have officially completed my first semester of junior year! Whoop whoop! Now normally around the middle of the month, I post a monthly favorites, HOWEVER this month I had the privilege of receiving a complimentary VoxBox from Influenster for testing purposes! How exciting?! As I always say, free stuff is my favorite kind of stuff.

The first VoxBox I received was filled with products from Redken. I personally LOVE Redken products and was more than excited to see what I received.

My hair has had a lot of ups and downs, all thanks to the “wonderful” idea of bleaching my hair all by myself. I have worked hard to get my hair to where it is now and that healing process alone, along with chopping my hair off and letting it regrow has taken well over two years. However, Redken products such as their Extreme Strengthening Shampoo, Extreme Strengthening Conditioner and Extreme Anti-Snap Leave-In Treatment have helped my hair to get to the level of healthy I have desired for so long. With that being said, the excitement I had to try some other products of theirs was through the roof!

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Color Extend Blondage Purple Shampoo

The first product I received is a purple shampoo designed to strengthen, brighten and reduce that pesky brass color we blondes try our hardest to avoid. My first impression of this shampoo was how pretty the bright purple color was and how amazing the scent of the shampoo was! I was able to build up a nice lather while washing and afterwards, I let the shampoo sit in my hair for about 2 minutes before rinsing.

My only downside for this shampoo would have to be the stain it leaves in your shower and on your hands, although after washing my hands with warm water and soap, I was able to get the purple stain off my hands. For the quality of the product and the benefits that come with, I am perfectly content having purple hands and a purple shower!

You can find this product here for $20.00.

Color Extend Blondage Conditioner

The conditioner, similarly to the shampoo, had an amazing scent and was also purple in color but a much lighter purple. This was a very thick and creamy conditioner (which I love). I left the conditioner in for about 5 minutes and then washed out.

My only downside for the conditioner is that it did not de-tangle my hair whatsoever.

Overall, I did enjoy it and would purchase again. If you are interested in purchasing, you can do that here for $20.00.

Extreme CAT Anti-Damage Protein Rinse-off Treatment

This product is a rinse-off treatment. I decided to use mine right after showering and prior to putting conditioner on my hair. I sprayed it throughout my hair and made sure I soaked the tips of my hair, then I let it sit for about 3-5 minutes and rinsed it out.

My only downside with this product is the spray bottle itself is very user-unfriendly and I struggled with trying to spread the product throughout my hair by myself.

Despite the downside, even after one use I noticed my hair felt stronger and less hair fell out while brushing it. You can find this product here for $19.00.

I do plan on repurchasing all three of these items again and I would definitely recommend them to my blonde ladies looking to add some strength to their damaged hair and get rid of that brassy tone!

I would like to thank Influenster and Redken for providing me with my very first VoxBox! I can’t wait to work towards more in the near future!

Disclaimer: I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes.

 

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Bondi Sands – REVIEW

Hello my lovely readers! I absolutely HAVE to share this amazing product with you all. Personally, I feel 10x more confident when my skin has a gorgeous, bronzed glow. Sadly, I wasn’t born with naturally tan skin so my best bet is the sun, a tanning bed, or a self-tanner. Around August it becomes too cold to tan outside so I resorted to paying an expensive monthly membership at a tanning salon.

NOT ANYMORE.

Save your skin the torture and the wrinkles in the future and tan at home!

Easier said than done right? Those who have experimented with self-tanners, myself included, can vouch for me when I say that after so many tries, self-tanners become more of a hassle than a pleasure. Streaks, that nasty looking orange tone, and the dreaded ankles/knees/elbows? HASSLE.

I first stumbled across an ad for Bondi Sands on Instagram several months ago. Knowing my past experience with “amazing self-tanners,” I decided to not make a rash decisions and instead followed their Instagram page. After months of seeing raving reviews about this product, I gave in and purchased it.

Before

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Prior to application, I showered, shaved and exfoliated with a sugar scrub. I made sure that I was not wearing any sort of jewelry or clothing that could mess up the tan. I then took the application mitt (which can be purchased here), put a squirt of tanner on the mitt and started blending from the bottom of my leg, upwards.

I was amazed at how smoothly the foam went on and how easy it was to avoid streaks when applying. Not to mention the amazing smell of coconut that flooded my room shortly after.

For a whole hour after application, I remained undressed to ensure that my tan would remain even and streak-free. The directions on the bottle state to leave the tanner on for at least one hour and then rinse off with warm water. I left the tanner on overnight to achieve a deep tan.

After showering, my tan was gorgeous, glowing AND streak-free!

After (Even Littles loves Bondi Sands!)

If you, like me, enjoy that bronzed glow but struggle to find a self-tanner that lives up to the name, I urge you to try this amazing product or the several others they have on their website! I do not have a single bad thing to say about this product and I know you’ll be just as satisfied as I am if you give it a try!

You can find the exact tanner I used here or visit their website at www.BondiSands.com.

Tackle this winter with me feeling like a BRONZED QUEEN 😍

 

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NOVEMBER RECAP

Hey there my little snow bunnies. ♡ Wow, November has really flown by! In all honesty, I can easily say it was a very uneventful month, but I want to be sure to acknowledge and appreciate even the smallest of events each month.

DAD AND BROSKI CAME TO TOWN

  • Having half of my family living across the country is definitely hard, so I try to soak up as much quality time as possible with them when they are in town, whether it be staying in playing board games or going out and stuffing our faces with some tasty grub.

WHAT CAN I SAY? I’M A BASKETBALL GIRL

  • Love my school and love supporting my school, which means I love putting on my Hoosier gear and going to basketball games! Don’t get me wrong, football season is great and all (aka tailgating), but there’s just something about being able to keep track of the ball and know what’s going on in the game that makes basketball much more appealing to me HA.

THANKSGIVING FESTIVITIES

  • This Thanksgiving was much different from prior Thanksgivings in the fact that my loving mother invited anyone from our work who didn’t have a place to go on Thanksgiving over to our place to have a HUGE, extremely delicious meal!

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FRIENDS

  • Forever grateful for the people who choose to be in my life and I believe they always deserve recognition. Huge shoutout to Nathanial who has always made an effort to be in my life, even if it means asking his mother to drive him 2 hours to my house because his car is ass.

MY MANS

  • Jackson turned 21 this month! How exciting right?! So he took a whole day off work and we enjoyed each other’s company (just as we always do). Here’s a cute picture of when I forced him to do face masks with me!AB852B60-C1D7-44D6-8A14-DA4B5DD1323A

PUPPY LOVE

  • Hershey came into my life as a puppy a couple weeks before I moved to Bloomington and each time I see him, he’s doubled in size. I am sure to soak in all of his cuddles and puppy kisses when I get to see him!

I GOT A KITTY

  • Had to save the best for last. After looking for a sweet kitty to adopt all month and having a couple let downs, I got blessed with the sweetest, most loving kitty ever. I’d like you guys to meet Littlefoot, or littles or meow meow or cuteness or mamas or whiskers for short. She loves attention, back rubs, tummy rubs, treats and making love to my fuzzy bathrobe. I couldn’t of asked for a better kitty to call mine ♡

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Despite not having a very eventful month, I most definitely can say it was a good one! So much to be grateful for. That is one reason I genuinely enjoy doing Monthly Recap posts. Before starting this post, I questioned what I would talk about because much of this month seemed like a blur due to the stress of finals coming up, but after looking back at the pictures and trying to recollect, I was able to remember all of the good that came out of this month.

I encourage each and every one of you to do this as well at the end of each month. I am guilty of letting the negative aspects of life override all of the positive aspects and given how easy it is to do, I am sure many of ya’ll are guilty of it as well. Work with me in breaking this bad habit! Work with me in recognizing even the smallest aspects of life that give you joy.

Together, lets consistently strive to have the positive aspects of life towering high over the negative aspects.

 

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DIY Terrarium

Hello lovelies! Today has been my favorite kind of day…a lazy day! My boyfriend’s birthday was yesterday so he took today off of work and spent all day at home! It’s been snowing and gloomy all day so whats better than craft time with your boyfriend?!

Jackson and I have found a love for building our own terrariums. We were walking around Hobby Lobby one day and found several fake plants available to create your own terrarium. We decided to put a little spin on ours however; instead of putting our terrarium in the typical glass container, we found something a little more suited to our style…

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…which led us to this beauty!

So I figured I’d show ya’ll how we created this gorgeous home decoration!

DIY Terrarium

  • Materials: We try to fit 3-4 individual plants in each terrarium. Both Hobby Lobby and Michaels carries the plants you see above. They range from $0.99 to about $7.99 depending on the size and detail of the plant. We also bought the bag of moss from Hobby Lobby for about $5.99 and it can be used for several terrariums. Next we took a trip to Walmart to pick up Elmers Adhesive Spray, a glue gun, glue sticks for the glue gun, and the foam half-circles: all of which were under $5.00. We also picked out some stones from outside our house, however those are optional. We’ve made a couple with stones and a couple without, but I think it adds a natural vibe to say the least. Lastly, the container. We found a major love for lanterns. I have never seen a terrarium built into a lantern and I think that’s what makes ours so unique. The one’s pictured above were found at Walmart for $14.99 but we’ve also made it a habit to look for cute containers when thrifting because the greatest thing about a DIY terrarium is…YOU CAN DO WHATEVER THE HELL YOU WANT!

  • Step 1: First, by taking the materials above, spray the foam half-circle with the adhesive glue and start sticking the moss to the foam. Afterwards, take your moss-covered foam and hot glue it down to the bottom of your container. For this example, I placed the stones all around the moss to create a more natural look.
  • Step 2: This step is left up to your imagination. Take the plants you’ve bought and start placing them in the foam. DONT WORRY – if it doesn’t look good at first, try try again.
  • Step 3: ENJOY YOUR BEAUTIFUL, UNIQUE TERRARIUM!

I wanted to share this crafty, fun activity with you all because for starters, its fun to create, but it also gives you a chance to personalize your own terrarium in your own style! And remember, keep your eyes on the look out when thrift shopping because one person’s trash is another’s treasure.

I hope you all have a beautiful rest of your day! If you have any questions regarding this activity, feel free to comment or send me a message under the “Contact Me” tab! 🙂

 

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Finding Thanks in Everything…Even the Little Things

Hello my little pumpkins! For me, November is a month where I find it necessary to take a step back and be grateful for even the smallest of things we take for granted on a daily basis. It’s so easy to overlook being grateful for things that are so easily attainable in today’s world. I wanted to use this post not only to give thanks, but to spread awareness that much of what we are used to, much of what we take for granted, are things that are far from accessible in other countries, let alone for many families in this country.

So take a step back…

What are some of the basic necessities you have in your life that others mays struggle to obtain?

  • Food?
  • Water?
  • A home?
  • A loving family?
  • A good job?
  • An education?

The list could go on and on and of course answers will differ for each person, but one thing remains the same.

EACH AND EVERYONE OF US ARE BLESSED IN OUR OWN KIND OF WAY.

When I was in elementary school, my mother traveled to Tanzania, Africa for a 3 week mission trip. She came home with souvenirs, pictures and some amazing memories. I distinctly remember a picture of several children huddled up in a big circle with the biggest smiles on each and every one of their faces. My mom said something that resonated with me from that day on.

These children are living with close to nothing. They struggle to find food, some are lacking in education, and the ones lacking education live their days fulfilling hard labor chores necessary for them and their family to survive. Despite lacking what may seem like “necessities,” each and every day these children find a reason to smile. A reason to laugh. A reason to be grateful for this life they have been given.

We live in a world FILLED with instant gratification. So much to the point that without a sense of instant gratification, our patience wears thin. So let’s all take this day not only to be appreciative of all the little things we take for granted on a daily basis, but to take a step back and recognize the extent of how truly blessed we are in our lives – simply to be living.

I’d like for you to come up with a list of 10 things you are grateful for and after this day, continue to remind yourself of this list because despite Thanksgiving being over after today, we shall remain grateful for this life we have been given.

  1. My family
  2. My boyfriend
  3. My friends
  4. My apartment
  5. My education at IU
  6. Food on the table for every meal
  7. My ability to travel back and forth between Indiana and Arizona
  8. My puppers Hershey
  9. Music
  10. And even though they are under the category of family, I want to emphasize how appreciative I am for my parents. Their unconditional love is what has gotten me to where I am now and I will forever be grateful to have such incredible role models in my life

 

I hope you all have an amazing, mashed potato and turkey filled day. Know that I am so very grateful for each and every one of you as well. Happy Thanksgiving! ♡

 

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NOVEMBER MONTHLY FAVORITES

The month of giving thanks! This is my absolute favorite time of year; there’s just something about the excitement of Christmas shopping, decorating for Christmas, oh and of course spending an entire day shoving turkey and mashed potatoes down your throat! I’ve picked out a couple different items that have religiously been used this month and in months prior so I hope you find some of these items as useful as I do!

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  • Calming Pillow Spray Have you ever felt so exhausted before that you had trouble falling asleep? Insomnia can really take over sometimes and this stuff works magic when that seems to be the case. The initial smell alone soothes all senses, putting your mind in a calm state and ready for a good night’s rest. I was able to find my pillow spray at T.J. Maxx for $5.99 but of course, T.J. Maxx stores don’t always carry the same products so if you are interested in purchasing, you can find this product here for $7.99.

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  • Facial Exfoliator Cleanser You may be wondering, whats the point in washing my face with a brush I have to buy instead of just using my hands for free? I wondered the exact same thing and it wasn’t clear to me until I went from using this brush back to using my hands for several months. Your hands are capable of lathering your face wash onto your face, but unlike a brush, they are incapable of deep cleaning those pesky pores that LOVE building up dirt and grime. On top of deep cleaning, the silicone pad makes it easy to exfoliate your face while washing it! Yay for 2 in 1’s! I was lucky enough to find this product at T.J. Maxx for $5.99, however if you are struggling to find it there, you can also purchase here for $9.45.

  • Tangle Free Hair Brush Many are unaware of how delicate our hair is while wet and I have an extremely bad habit of being very rough with the tangles in my hair when its wet. NOT ANYMORE! I went from pulling what feels like half of my hair out every time I got out of the shower, to not pulling a single strand out! Now that my hair is getting longer, tangles are inevitable, so if you are in the same predicament as I am, this brush is most definitely the brush for you! You can find this product here for $7.95.

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  • Essie Nail Polish: Clothing Optional 1015 Essie nail polish never disappoints and this color a the perfect neutral fall/winter color for the holiday season! Not too subtle but not over the top. This is my go-to color and if I’m feeling a little frisky, I’ll add a silver glitter polish on top! You can find this color here for $8.97.

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  • Charcoal Black Peel off Mask This is the only peel off mask I have tried. I was nervous at first about the pain of peeling the mask off due to past reviews over other charcoal peel off masks, however this mask was not painful whatsoever. I avoided any hair when putting it on and let the mask dry for about 25-30 minutes before peeling it off. I am beginning to consider myself somewhat of a mask connoisseur, and this mask does not disappoint! I found my mask at T.J. Maxx for $6.99, however you can also find it here for $11.75.

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These products are no doubt my favorites of the month and I would definitely recommend trying them out! Treat yourself for the lowest of prices this holiday season.

 

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Whats the Key to Success? Learn to be a Quitter

Hi everyone! I stumbled across this post from BossBabe.com and oddly enough, it is exactly what I needed to hear. Don’t you love when you read something and you feel like it’s speaking exactly to you and your current situation? I wanted to share with all of you in hopes that maybe, it hits home for you just as it did for me!

“WINNERS NEVER QUIT AND QUITTERS NEVER WIN,” RIGHT?

If you grew up hearing this popular saying, you’re not alone. Maybe it was your soccer coach at your first big game, a parent helping you with homework, or a teacher helping you learn a new skill.

They all encouraged you never to quit, because quitting was equivalent to giving up and giving up meant you didn’t have enough confidence or drive to succeed.

And, to an extent, they’re right. Giving up isn’t good. But quitting, CAN be.

As we get older, it becomes harder to distinguish quitting from failure.

But go with me here…

Quitting is NOT failure.

Quitting is pivoting into something else.

IN LIFE, IN YOUR CAREER, IN A RELATIONSHIP, TRY TO THINK LESS ABOUT WHAT YOU’RE QUITTING FROM AND MORE ABOUT WHAT YOU’RE QUITTING TOWARD.

UK survey found that 6 out of 10 people stay in relationships they don’t find fulfilling. 5 out of 10 people stay in jobs they’re unhappy with, according to a study completed by the Conference Board. Both surveys found that many people stayed in unhappy situations because they consider leaving to be a failure. What if what comes next is better than what’s you’ve left behind?

Are you quitting to move on to something better? Are you quitting to improve your personal or mental health? Are you quitting because the current situation no longer serves you?  Being afraid of quitting, could literally be blocking you from starting that new business, going back to school, moving to a new city or embarking on a new career journey. If you’re still unsure, run through this quick checklist below:

HERE’S 5 QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF BEFORE YOU QUIT:

  1. Is my happiness more important than complacency?
  2. Could there be something better on the other side?
  3. Am I making a decision to stay out of fear?
  4. Am I ready to take the consequences?
  5. Do I believe in myself?

If you answered “yes” to most of these, its time to QUIT.

Knowing when to quit or leave something behind is a crucial step toward a brighter, happier, more fulfilled life. So I want you to embrace quitting. You never know what’s waiting for you on the other side.

 

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I Stopped Letting Nicotine Control My Life

For four years, I believed that I would never be able to put down my e-cig. For four years, I grew more and more accustomed to it always being around. The amount of times I SWORE I could never put the thing down are unimaginable and now, here I am one whole month clean of nicotine! HOW EXCITING!

Nowadays, with nicotine being so easily accessible (so much to the point that I have sat next to people in class puffing on a juul), quitting is a little more difficult than it is with cigarettes. The idea of the “hand to mouth” phenomenon switches from having to go outside every once in a while to fulfill the desire, to simply reaching in your pocket in any given situation and fulfilling the desire. And of course many are aware of the juul, but what many aren’t aware of is that a single juul pod is equivalent to AN ENTIRE PACK OF CIGARETTES! YUCK. So I wanted to write this post for anyone out there who, just like me, said “I could never put this thing down!”

Why did I decide to quit?

I had thought about quitting on several occasions but always ended up talking myself out of it for ridiculous reasons such as, “finals are coming up and I am gonna be really stressed out so I should probably wait till after finals.” These nonsense excuses persisted time after time. Roughly a month and a half ago, I got really sick to the point where even the smallest of hits off my e-cig resulted in me coughing my lungs out for the five minutes following. I had stopped bringing it with me to classes and without realizing it, started weaning myself off of both nicotine and the idea of hand to mouth. Wanting to quit was still in the back of my mind so I had brought it up to my boyfriend about how I still wanted to quit and without hesitation he asked me if I wanted him to hide my e-cig. I most definitely didn’t want him to hide it but I said yes and I’m so proud of myself for following through.

What has this past month been like?

The first week was easily the most difficult. If my boyfriend hadn’t hid my e-cig, I don’t think I would’ve successfully made it past that week, but I tried to keep myself busy to stop, or more so mask the cravings. I also took the time to look into some resources I could utilize to help make quitting a little bit easier. Indiana University has a wonderful smoking cessation program that involves a weekly meeting and plenty of resources to help ease the cravings such as nicotine patches and gum. The best part about this program is IT’S 100% FREE! The program has been so very helpful to me and if you are wanting to quit but can’t imagine doing it by yourself, I would most definitely recommend looking into some smoking cessation programs near you.

My challenge to you!

For four years, I relied on nicotine in almost every situation and laughed at anyone who even slightly insinuated that I should quit because I didn’t believe I was mentally strong enough. Now one month free of nicotine and I am so proud of the progress I’ve made. Each day truly does get easier and it helps when you are surrounded by people who want to help you to quit. So if you also have considered quitting smoking but can’t imagine your world without nicotine in it, I urge you to find someone who you trust to help keep you on track (and possibly hide anything you may use to satisfy your nicotine addiction) and look into any resources your town may have to help you quit.

It is not easy. It definitely took all the willpower I had but I knew that it was in my best interest. I went on for 16 years without nicotine in my life and I WILL get to a point where nicotine doesn’t even cross my mind, but for now I will stick to relying on the ones who have my best interest in mind and want nothing but to help me succeed in fighting this addiction.

I stopped letting nicotine control my life and you should too. (Wow I sound like a commercial)

I am MORE than happy to answer any questions that anyone may have regarding this topic. In fact, if you are considering taking that first step to quitting, PLEASE either comment on this post or go to the ‘Contact Me’ page and fill out the form! I would love to help anyone wanting to beat this horrible addiction!

and remember…

You ARE capable of putting it down ♡

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When the Silver Lining is Nonexistent

Normally, I can find the silver lining on a majority of bad situations. Maturity has helped me to recognize that sometimes losing something or someone is for the better. But what happens when you feel like you’ve hit the point of no return?

College for most people is finding life-long friends and soaking up every second of young adulthood, but what happens when it seems as if I am losing more friends than gaining? What happens when the supposed friends I do have, have more interest in what seems like everything else BUT me? Now of course, I know I am not the only one going through this and I’m not going to sit here and whine and complain about issues that I’m sure everyone faces at least once in their life, but now the question arises, where do I go from here and how do I keep from experiencing these feelings in the future?

Self-reflection of course is necessary because I’m not going to sit here and blame my issues on everyone else, but there has to be something more, doesn’t there? In all honesty, I don’t know what I am searching for in writing this, but I do know that writing is one thing that helps me to self-reflect and fully recognize and acknowledge all of the feelings I am experiencing.

Life is a series of lessons and a majority of the time, those lessons are brutal and take time to understand. I am aware that I am in the middle of one of those lessons as we speak, but how do I understand the lesson before its learned. What is the goal in my suffering? In my loneliness? Only time can tell.

So for now, I will focus on taking this pain and turning it into strength. I will fixate my attention on the positives in my life rather than dwell on the negatives. I will appreciate all that I do have and I will tackle each day as it comes because that’s all I really can do.

We all have bad days. So while I am in the midst of one, I want to remind you that if you are having a bad day, remember its a bad day, not a bad life. Cliché I know, but life is most definitely an obstacle course and we are just along for the ride. Wow, I am just a book of clichés right now, be that as it may, work with me in taking charge of your life. Work with me in reminding yourself that these difficult times will pass because as I had said before, these lessons may be brutal but the outcome is bright. With pain and heartache lies strength and beauty.

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OCTOBER RECAP

The month of October always seems to be filled with an equal amount of fun and stress for the most part. It’s hard to not be excited when the leaves and temperature start to change, but of course that doesn’t make up for the stress associated with midterms. Looking back, I’d say despite the weeks being filled with non-stop homework and studying, I was able to make up for it by filling my weekends up with friends and fun. So rather than dwelling on stress, I am going to appreciate what an exciting month it has been!

TAILGATE, TAILGATE, TAILGATE

  • Whether you’re a huge fan of college football or not, representing your school and enjoying the company of others while making new friends is ALWAYS fun!

FRIEND TIME

  • Weekdays are constant classes, homework and studying so it’s hard to not cherish quality time spent with friends over the weekends!

REHASHING OLD FRIENDSHIPS AND CHERISHING THE LOVE OF MY LIFE

  • Of course cherishing Jackson and time spent with Jackson is an everyday occurrence, BUT I had the chance to reconnect with an old highschool bestie while she captured the love that Jackson and I share in some absolutely gorgeous photos!

HALLOWEEN WAS OUT OF THIS WORLD

  • My Halloween was celebrated the weekend prior but that doesn’t change the fun of dressing up, going all out and thriving on the SPOOKY.

It’s so easy to let stress eat away at our happiness, yet so important to cherish the friends, family, and good times that we do have! So take a moment to appreciate all of the positives in your life.

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Social Media Experiment – SOCIAL MEDIA ISN’T EVERYTHING

HI GUYS! So two weeks ago I decided I wanted to take a little social media break and observe how I felt throughout that time. I wanted to remind myself that social media is not the most important thing in my life and I wanted to take that chance to not only build friendships/relationships, but create them as well! Well here I am, two weeks later in good spirits, knowing that my social media break was most definitely needed. As I reflect, I wanted all of you to be aware of the benefits of taking a step back and recognizing the negative impact that social media has on our lives and our well-being.

What did I do best utilize my time?

  • I made DELICIOUS dinners with my Jackson.
  • I went on walks with Jackson and explored the town that we have lived in for several months now but still barely know (LOL).
  • I cleaned the apartment…a lot.
  • I was able to fully focus on my homework without worrying about what was new on my social media.
  • I did some fun DIY projects from Pinterest.
  • Jackson and I made new couple friends in our apartment complex!! (Our first couple friends! How exciting!)
  • I went tailgating with new friends and enjoyed the crisp fall air.
  • I tried to soak in every moment spent with Jackson and friends.

Why is a social media break important?

It’s hard to notice the negative effects that social media has on our lives when it is constantly available to us. So my goal in taking a social media break was to merely acknowledge, without judgement (using mindfulness), how much of my day is stolen from me because of social media. Rather than avoiding an awkward silence by shoving my face in my phone, in a sense, I was forced to make conversation, which my generation is not the greatest at. Face-to-face interaction is such an important part of our lives as social creatures and thats something we tend to forget because of social media.

My challenge to YOU

I challenge you to take the step not only in bettering your mental health and well-being, but to rediscover and reevaluate what truly matters in your life with the absence of social media, whether it be family, relationships, friendships, hobbies, school, etc. You may come to find, like I did, that we place such an emphasis on the importance of social media, but without it, life will still go on. I didn’t miss my social media like I thought I would, in fact, it was refreshing, like a weight lifted off of my shoulders.

So take that step! 

Do something GOOD for your mental health and your well-being.

PUT YOURSELF FIRST! YOU DESERVE IT!

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QUICK, EASY, DELICIOUS

I just have to share this yummy recipe. So simple to just whip together when you’re lazy and don’t want to cook!

This salad has spinach, chicken (Sams Club rotisserie chicken is the move), feta cheese and cranberries topped with raspberry vinaigrette. Adding fruit such as blueberries, strawberries or even adding walnuts spices it up and adds some great flavor in there!

Only takes 3-5 minutes to prepare and it makes my taste buds and my belly happy! 😌

xo ツ

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OCTOBER MONTHLY FAVORITES

Mid-spooky season! 👻 Despite the fun of Halloween festivities, October also calls for mid-terms and massive amounts of stress. I’ve chosen 4  of my FAVORITE products to share with you that have helped me get through mid-terms and appreciate this beautiful fall season! Take advantage of these October Monthly Favorites. DSC_0221.jpg

  • Almond Macaroon Candle The smell of this candle is absolutely exceptional! Fall candles are an absolute must, whether its fall or not and this candle is unlike your typical ‘pumpkin spice’ and ‘cinnamon apple’ candles. Sway away from your traditional fall candles and still experience the fall smell that will make you appreciate fall all over again. You can find this fabulous smelling candle here for $6.49.

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  • Morphe Nature Glow 350 Eyeshadow Palette This palette is to die for! The colors are gorgeous and perfect for creating that perfect fall look. So many colors to choose from, whether you want a subtle look or a more vibrant red/orange look! Absolutely amazing quality for such an affordable price. You can find this palette either here or here for $24.00.

  • Epsoak Everyday: Sleep Formula This stuff works absolute wonders for those long days where you needed coffee to help finish the homework but need as much sleep as possible to be able to survive the next day. I recommend running the bath, putting the salts in once the water fills the bottom of the tub and letting them dissolve and then lighting a candle and enjoying the sweet, relaxing smell of lavender. You can find these epsom salts here for $8.92.

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  • Aztec Secret: Indian Healing Clay Last but most definitely not least, the cure to all of the stubborn pimples, whether they be hormone or stress-related. If you haven’t had the chance to try this miracle solution, I recommend you hop on the bandwagon ASAP. Not only is this stuff super cheap for its amazing quality, but it’ll last you ages. I usually mix 1/2 teaspoon of the clay powder with 1/2 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar and leave in on until the mask dries completely. Beware: the smell is pretty in your face (probably because it’s on your face HAHA) but it’ll fade and when you go to take off the mask, I recommend simply dabbing water on your face a couple of times and letting the water soak into the mask because in all honesty, it’s a bitch to take off. Dont be worried about the aftermath of the mask either, its pretty normal that your face may turn red for a while afterwards, just be sure to MOISTURIZE MOISTURIZE MOISTURIZE! You can find this life-changing mask here for $10.50.

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I hope you’re able to find as much use in these products as I have!

xo ツ

Protecting Your Heart

I’m sure many of you have experienced a friendship where it seems as if, without your effort, there would be no friendship. So when is it acceptable to take circumstances into your own hands, realize what you deserve, and move on? I’ve asked myself these questions for years now. It’s hard to make that final decision in ending something you once put so much effort into, but we all know people change, people grow, and people move on. So I want to discuss when it is acceptable to realize that the friendship/relationship has changed and move on. Its never easy to do. All anger aside, giving up on something you once worked so hard for is definitely a challenge in itself. I find myself being the person in any relationship that apologizes merely because I don’t like fighting, whether I had something to apologize for or not. Maturity has helped me to admit to my wrongs and take a step outside of my shoes and see the situation from an outsiders perspective, but I find my fault to be apologizing when I have nothing to apologize for. For apologizing simply because I dislike conflict. Coming to the realization that a relationship is doing more harm than good is definitely a difficult one to come by. Rather than worrying about hurting someone’s feelings, it’s important to take initiative in guarding my own feelings. Doing what’s right for yourself is not always easy and in some cases, others may get hurt along the way, but in the long run, it truly does boil down to protecting your heart. I find it helpful to write out a list of pros and cons. The minute you realize that the cons are beginning to outweigh the pros is when it’s time to reevaluate. This should be the case in all relationships whether it be a romantic relationship, a friendship, or even a familial relationship. I can’t promise you it wont be difficult and it won’t hurt to let go of the memories and good times shared with that person, but I can promise you a weight will be lifted off your shoulders and time will heal the open wounds. Sometimes it takes losing a bad relationship to realize how many healthy, prosperous relationships can be built when there is effort on both parts.

xo ツ

Mental Health Comes First

Lately it seems as though life has been getting the best of me. I can’t remember the last time I didn’t feel overwhelmed and both mentally and physically drained. Everyday has seemed to turn into counting down the hours until I’m back in bed. Now I can go blame this solely on being an active college student, but in all honesty, I think my mental exhaustion roots from social media and the importance our generation places on social media. Technology and social media are so easily accessible nowadays and I believe it harms both our development and our well-being. So I have chosen to do an experiment whilst documenting everything here on my blog. I want to acknowledge the changes in my overall health when eliminating social media and replacing the times previously dedicated to social media with positive activities. It’s so easy to blame all of our issues on everyone else, but by accepting that I have control over many aspects of my life that could be negatively affecting my well-being, I am taking that first step to living a more positive, uplifting life. So stay tuned for updates and maybe this will help you to take the next step in caring for yourself and your mental health.

xo ツ

Long Distance Sucks

Isn’t is crazy how quickly relationships can be built? Or even crazier, how quickly a relationship that used to be so strong, can diminish when distance separates the two? I’ve been lucky enough to stumble across a select few relationships/friendships in the past couple years that are worth fighting for when distance comes into play. I full-heartedly believe that a friendship is 50/50 and there truly is no point in fighting for a friendship if the other person is giving you any less than 50%. However, when it comes to long distance friendships, sometimes that isn’t always the case. Life gets in the way, it always does, and it tends to get in the way at different times for different people. Some people at my age are busy in college, others are busy working, and some are even beginning their little families. Despite the different stages all of us are in, sometimes life just takes over. And when in comes to having a long distance friendship, those days in the past where you felt nothing but stress and anxiety and you end up eating an entire tub of ice cream and bitching about life with your best friend turn into you coming home, getting done what needs to be done, and sleeping the stress away. Those long conversations on the phone that you had every day turn into once every week until slowly you start to realize its been over a month since you last talked on the phone. The conversations may dwindle down, but the love I have for the individual and the friendship we’ve built does not. “Distance makes the heart grow fonder.” We’ve all heard the saying, and yes, in some cases that is true but in others, distance makes you forget how grateful you are to have such amazing relationships/friendships in your life whether they are 5 miles away or 5,000. So I wanted to write this post as a daily reminder to myself that I have not only gained amazing friendships, but I have gained friendships that are worth fighting for 110%. If anyone reading this is struggling to keep a long distance friendship or relationship alive, take some time to reminisce. Remind yourself of all the amazing memories shared with that person. Randomly give them a call just to tell them you appreciate them. Send them a care package to let them know you are thinking about them. You WILL know when a relationship is worth fighting for, so in those rare occurrences when you find a keeper, cherish them and the relationship ya’ll have built because nowadays, it truly is hard to find the keepers.

xo ツ

The Electric Daisy Carnival – Las Vegas

June 2017 I had the opportunity to experience the most enchanting weekend of my life. If you haven’t had the chance to either experience The Electric Daisy Carnival or look into what it’s all about, let me go into detail about my personal experiences and my reasoning for finding EDC the most amazing weekend of the year.

EDCLV was my first 3-day festival. It was where my love, not only for the music, but for the atmosphere within the EDM community, flourished. It was three of the most exhausting, yet life-changing days of my life. And that persisted through the next year, as I know it will do in 2019 as well. Going into any unknown territory, my anxiety is high and my guard is up, but within minutes, I was welcomed into a community of hundreds of thousands of people and it is the most heart-warming feeling. People of different styles, ethnicities, and ages all come together for this weekend to enjoy each other’s company and the amazing music and activities that go along with it. Within the EDM community, you don’t question whether you fit in or not because you are not given the option of NOT fitting in. I had people from around the world introducing themselves to me, showing genuine kindness, and trading me kandi for the heck of it. For those of you who don’t know, kandi are bracelets that people make and bring to EDM concerts and festivals to trade with anyone and everyone. The community as a whole does its best to reciprocate PLUR; peace, love, unity, & respect. And I have no doubt in saying that I continuously experience and reciprocate PLUR. Others may reciprocate PLUR by helping you if you are feeling sick, making sure you are hydrated, spraying you with water on those hot, sweaty days (which are inevitable in Las Vegas during the summertime), fanning you, and making sure you get help from medical if you are in a bad position.

The next year was different in the fact that it was better. I knew what to expect and I was able to branch out even more than I did the previous year. And I hope I will be able to experience something even better next year. EDC not only gave me a place where I could be myself, but it opened up a whole other world for me where I felt comfortable in my own skin even after the festival was over. So for those of you who believe that festivals are solely a place where people go to do drugs and be a delinquent for a weekend, know that I, just like the hundreds of thousands of others who are in my very position, fell in love with the music, the atmosphere, and the community and I will not stand to be generalized into a group that someone believes to be relevant merely because they don’t understand the extent of what a festival may mean to someone. As they say, haters gon’ hate. But I’ll just stick to enjoying the memories I’ve made and continue to make that will last a lifetime.

xo ツ

 

Remembering Your Worth

IMG_7015September 23, 2018 marks a whole year of being in love with the most thoughtful human being. My heart is all mushy and love is most definitely in the air, but its not hard to think back to a time when I felt worthless and irrelevant to the world around me. Now I can’t go blame all of my issues on previous boyfriends, however I can say that getting treated poorly in a relationship tends to diminish the desire to love yourself. I went on for years hating myself and searching for the things I could change about myself in order to be loved by someone else. It took a full year of loneliness and contemplation to realize that I was never going to find what I was looking for until I learned to love everything about myself, the good and the not so good. Wow, that sounds so cliche but it couldn’t be any closer to the truth. I began to realize my worth in one of the most painful, mentally exhausting relationships. He belittled me, called me names, and made me feel foolish for wanting to get treated in a respectful, loving way. One day, he got so angry that he kicked me out of his apartment and told me I was dead to him. Hours later, he called me to say he overreacted and to come back over. Stupid me, I went back over to his apartment where he proceeded to yell at me and NOT apologize because “he had no reason to apologize, I was just being crazy”. Time after time I continued to forgive him and time after time he continued to show me the millions of reasons he didn’t deserve my forgiveness. My self-esteem was diminished and the love I had for myself was nearly nonexistent, so I turned to God. I listened to my favorite worship songs and I prayed that he would give me the knowledge to understand why I wasn’t good enough. And he did answer my prayers, but rather than helping me understand why I wasn’t good enough, he helped reveal to myself the many ways I am more than good enough. He gave me the knowledge to know what I deserve, whether it be in a relationship or in my everyday life. He gave me the strength to remove the negativity from my life and look solely at the positives. During this time of growth, finding myself, and learning to love myself, God placed a wonderful man into my life. A man who doesn’t try to diminish my self-worth but instead shows me reasons every day to treasure my self-worth. A man who, everyday shows me the true meaning of unconditional love. I love my boyfriend for a million different reasons, but everyday he teaches me how to love myself and thats a debt I will never be able to repay. So ladies, if you are in a toxic relationship and have been dragged down so far to the point of not knowing if you’ll be able to make it back to the surface, know that there is hope. Know that there is someone out there who will love you for you, imperfections and all. And lastly, know that you ARE beautiful, you ARE strong, and you ARE capable of living the life you deserve.

xo ツ

Treat yo’ self

IMG_6963.jpgI find it hard to take time out of my day, or even my week to relax and do something for myself. Whether it be 15 minutes to do a face mask and listen to some music or 45 minutes to take a bath, focus on my breathing, and enjoy the silence, nine times out of ten I prioritize school or work or other people before I prioritize me and my mental health. But that has come to an end because I deserve to treat myself to a little spa day now and then or watch a rom-com, cry a little, and eat my hormonal feelings away with a tub of sherbet ice cream. I deserve to take time to myself despite the long list of homework assignments, upcoming exams, and errands I have to do. It’s crazy how much stress affects our brain. Our bodies naturally choose either fight-or-flight in a stressful situation and when we experience so much stress for such prolonged periods of time, our bodies react with a rush of adrenaline, increased heart rate, and energy loss, thus resulting in decreased brain activity. Simply, our brains are not at their highest potential whilst experiencing stress. So my advice to you would be, if you are having a bad day, maybe having an exam coming up, or even getting pissed off at a homework problem you’ve been working on for what seems like an eternity, then stop, take a deep breath, run the bath, light a candle, turn on your favorite playlist and just enjoy doing nothing. You deserve it!

xo ツ

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