My Favorite Things in 2018

Does that title rhyme slightly? Just me? Great.

I wanted to do this wrap up of the stuff I really loved this year that I didn’t talk about and/or barely talked about. Sort of like a giant Sunday Summary, A.K.A that thing I don’t do anymore (but can still be viewed if you’re into that).

Best Hair Product of 2018:

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The Tragic Before

Technically, this isn’t a product. HOWEVER, I discovered this dry shampoo blow drier trick and it is a game changer. Had bun hair all day and then someone wanted to hangout (and i did not want to have bun hair) so I tried this trick. Here’s the post I did and how it ended up going for me, but spoiler alert, it works.

Best Book in 2018:

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If you need to know anything about me, it’s that I love to read. I’ve been slacking slightly with how much, but I’ve been picking up major speed with it lately. I’ve read roughly 20-ish books this year, which is kind of a lot. Trying to narrow it down to the best was hard, but some of the books I read just sort of ran together. Really thinking about doing a monthly post about the books I read the month before (mostly just to push myself to read more). OKAY on to my actual pick: You Are a Badass by Jen Sincero. I know what you’re thinking “Self-help book? That’s for sad weirdos.” Here’s the thing: You’re right! BUT, I’d argue that everyone is kind of a sad weirdo sometimes! I read this when I really needed something to give me things to do after I quit my job and when I needed a distraction from going down the “what if I have to move home because I can’t find a job” hole. I would honestly read it again, that’s how much I liked it. If you’re stuck in place in your life where you have no idea what you’re doing, read this. If you wanna make a crazy change, read this. It’s 2019, the year of making goals and gettin’ bread—as the memes say, so read it!

Best Makeup Product of 2018:

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Okay I almost put something else for this that was expensive and to be fair, very good. I feel that I should instead pay homage to a brand who had my back when I was too broke to go to Sephora and get new stuff. That’s right I’m talking about ELF. You wouldn’t think with $1 brow pencils and $3 concealer would be worth putting on your face. I’m here to tell you, your assumptions are wrong. My brows are perfectly filled and my pores CONCEALED! Was actually not a fan of the bronzer cause it was too glittery for my tastes but that doesn’t mean it’s not quality! Okay done with my spiel.

Best Skincare Product of 2018:

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Spoiler alert it’s like 2 dollars. Spoiler alert again, it’s lemon juice. I started using it and it felt like a miracle. Then I stopped for a few weeks recently, because I’m skeptical person and sometimes I don’t feel like buying lemons ya know. Started using them again and wow I forgot how good they are. My skin just has so much less redness and blackheads! It’s so great and so cheap.

Best Movie of 2018:

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I know you all want me to say A Star is Born, but I’m sorry I can’t. The music is amazing, yes. Bradley Cooper is hot, yes. I absolutely knew what was gonna happen at the end and so I didn’t like it as much. Maybe if there was a world with no spoilers and people wouldn’t have talked about how amazing it was and subsequently ruining it. I also really don’t watch movies in theaters that much. I’ve seen maybe 3 movies this entire year, so I fell like I can’t say what the best movie this year is. I can say what the best movie saw this year. It’s not new, it’s just new to me. Okay, it’s Steel Magnolias. This is a weird pick for me, since every time anyone would bring this up I’d immediately think “How can that be good? It sounds so corny.” It was on Netflix a few months back and it was a rainy Saturday, so I thought I’d give it a try. It’s set in a small town in Louisiana—hence the name. The thing about movies centered around the South is they’re always over exaggerated. Every other word is “crawfish” or “gumbo” or “pea-can pie!” I get it, its a movie, but that why I never really like them. This one doesn’t do that. Overall, its pretty reflective of life in smaller southern town and I loved it. I cried, I laughed and now I know why it wont so many awards. It’s not on Netflix anymore, but find it somewhere because it’s so good.

Best Show of 2018:

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Okay this is so hard because I’ve seen so many good shows this year, but there’s only one that filled me with the most joy every time I turned it on: The Great British Baking Show. Am I late to this game? I really don’t know but this show is so good. I really loved watching to the point of watching two seasons in a about a week. I did it in a weird way where I watched seasons 5 & 6 first and in my humble opinion, those are the best seasons. After that, they change the hosts and Prue isn’t one of the judges and I need her color coordination in my life. I love the accents, the stuff they come up with and  Paul Hollywood is a cutie, I’m just gonna throw it out there. Really into shows that make me laugh and aren’t super dramatic lately and this one definitely fill that for me. I even watched it twice, so if you haven’t yet, here’s your notification.

Best Clothing Purchase of 2018:

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This was the year I bought so many clothes, it’s obnoxious. Trying to “re-vamp” my wardrobe and also buying things for a 9-5 job was tough. I think the best purchase and the thing I got the most use out of were my Lululemon leggings. As you know, I’m more of a quantity over quality gal. Trends come and go a lot for me to be buying something that I may not wear in a few years that costs an arm and a leg. Also let’s keep it real, I’m still washing my clothes in a laundry mat for god’s sake. I’m in no place to be buying anything over 50 bucks. I completely believe in a good splurge for things that may be expensive, but you’ve been lusting after for a while. Hence, my purchase of these leggings. I really wanted to see if they are so different from the $20 Forever 21 leggings and I’m here to say yes they are. They fit like a glove, the length is always perfect (aka no bunching at the bottom) and they stay in place when I’m running. I still only have one pair so far, but 2019 I’ll be getting some more and really coming into my basic white girl form.

Best Workout of 2018:

 

So, I’m splitting this up by home workout and workout class, okay great:

Best home workout is always Tabata with Raneir Pollard hands down. He’s so fun and at the same time, the workout is always intense. It’s always my Monday go to for a good strong beginning to my week. Also, they just uploaded a new one!

Best workout class I’ve been to in the city is Yoga sculpt at Corepower yoga. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, If I were a richer woman, I’d be doing yoga twice a week at minimum. This particular class is not only yoga, but a little bit of cardio to satisfy my needs. They have them all over, so check them out if they’re near you!

 

Cheers to 2019! Can’t wait to make many more posts and let me know if there’s anything you’d like to see more of on the blog 🙂

2018: What A Year

Can I just say this was the longest year of my life?

I’ve learned a lot about myself that I didn’t know. I did things I never thought I would do. I definitely feel like I’ve matured a lot for just one year, but my 25 year old self might read this and internally groan—who’s to say?

Winter…was rough. Let’s start with the good! I discovered that snow storms are simultaneously amazing and horrifying. You’re scared your pipes will freeze and your heat will go out, but its so quiet and pretty to watch you’ll think you’re actually in heaven. Spent some fun times with Ruby (shout-out to Ruby because I really think I would’ve moved, had I not met her) doing things on my New York bucket list and eating some amazing food. Discovered some cool places near my apartment – like a bakery full of cat things and a place where I frequented to get bagel sandwiches. Christmas in New York is so cute and exciting to be a part of. Pushed myself to learn new things and tried to do things solo to make myself as happy as possible.

When I wrote my “goals” for 2018 and my year in a video, I was in a weird place. I was just starting to feel lonely, sad and very nostalgic. This feeling would definitely be an overriding emotion for the rest of the winter. I don’t know if it was what you’d call “seasonal depressive disorder” or just some serious growing pains, but I would say the winter was hard for me. I spent the majority of the time feeling unsuccessful and beating myself up frequently for not having my life look the way I’d pictured it when I moved to the city. Not just in my career, which I’ve talked about, but in all aspects of my life. I didn’t make a bunch of friends like I assumed I would. I spent 6 months in an apartment I hated and lived above a bar—unsurprisingly the worst place I’ve ever lived. I also went on a clump of last-luster dates and even one with a guy I can confidently say was a (borderline) sociopath. Everything about life doesn’t change immediately. I would say the weekends were hard when I had no plans and was stuck in my loud apartment with nothing to do.

Thankfully, Spring actually came after what felt like a trillion years. I made some really awesome friends and finally had a group that I felt were really my people. I moved to a new apartment and actually enjoyed being at there instead of feeling trapped.

In the summer of 2018, I finally quit my job in order to find something I really loved, which I did. Spent time doing things that inspired me and also had a lot of fun draining all my bank accounts.

Fall was definitely a big blur, but in a good way. I turned another year older with the best people I could ask for. Spent some much needed time at home, and for once, coming back to the city felt exciting instead of dreadful.

Of course, dating life is still pending, but three out of four ain’t bad!

One year ago, I was slightly sad, but very hopeful. I knew my life now  would not be the way it was then. I was right and couldn’t be happier about it. Here’s to more crazy times and doing things that scare the crap out of me.

 

I Survived: Juicing Edition

I did something I have never done in my life. I didn’t eat for three whole days. As a person who never drinks smoothies, much less juice, this was weird. I never thought I would be one of those juice cleanse people, but here I am. Never say never, ladies.

What made me want to do this:

I was, what the marketing world calls, influenced. I saw a person in the health industry that I respected and followed, do it, so I did it. Honestly, it’s on my list of “never-s.” Oh I would never cut out bread and cheese, I love it! I did that. Oh I’d never go vegan that’s so weird. I did that. The list continues, people. I will say I’ve always been a little curious. What’s the hype? So, just like I did when I moved to New York, I decided in 2.5 seconds and did zero planning and research! Kidding, kinda. I did look at a few different places and watched a couple Youtube videos of people who did them. Minimal research, in other words. I decided to do the same one as my girl Blogilates. As you guys know, I’ve watched her workout videos for about 2 years now and I respect her opinion, okay!

Here’s the one I did:

 

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I picked Cleanse 2 instead of the first one, simply because I felt I wouldn’t need a heavy drink in the morning. Cleanse 1 has a smoothie-like drink in the morning and night, while Cleanse 2 only has it at night. I also preferred to keep it as fruit and veggie based as I could—since that’s pretty much the point. I realize this is super expensive, but all in the name of research and pure curiosity? *bank account gives me the super side-eye*

Things I’m going to keep in mind going in:

How I feel overall

How I sleep

How bad are the cravings during and after

How my energy levels are (gonna try to keep doing the same things workout-wise)

Day 1:

I did a really intense HIIT workout this morning since I figured today would be the day I had the most energy. First two juices were really good, the third one not so much. Ginger in a drink is really weird, but I also drink apple cider vinegar—which is basically salad dressing water. Around 3pm I was pretty tired, probably could taken a nap. I didn’t drink any coffee today and my head is HAMMERING. The worst part of today was probably from 3-6 and then I was less like “I could eat so many chips right now its insane.” I will say after day one, I’m a little peeved at myself for thinking I was too good for Cleanse 1 for two reasons. Cleanse 1 had NO BEET JUICE—I had to choke this one down it was awful. It also had one more of the smoothie-like drinks and honestly, that last juice is the only thing I was looking forward to all day. So yeah, not my best idea. Good intentions paved the road of my personal hell (okay I’m being dramatic but you get it). I’m really hoping I wake up refreshed and can actually go for a run tomorrow, let’s see how that goes.

Please enjoy me drinking beet juice:

Day 2:

Last night was rough! It felt like one of those nights you eat until you make yourself sick and you have to force yourself to concentrate on something other than food. As I was going to sleep—early I might add, I resolved to quit this whole thing after one day. I did not feel great about it, being a competitive person and definitely wanting to prove to myself I could do it. This morning, however, I felt a lot better. I wasn’t super tired and my body didn’t seem to hate me too much for not feeding it. I decided to keep going, cause why not? I went for a walk instead of a run mostly because my head is still hurting. I definitely had my coffee too and I have no regrets people! I need my bean juice okay!! Now that my head feels normal, I can focus on how I actually feel. Today was about 100000% better than yesterday. I have way more energy, I’m not craving stuff as intensely as I was and I even had enough energy for a run. Yes you read that right, at 8 pm I went for a run. I never run at night. I just don’t have the energy for it and I don’t want to. Went to sleep at little full still, but so much better than yesterday.

Day 3:

I’m ready for today! No cravings really and I worked out like normal this morning. I took it a little easier and tried not to overextend myself, but pretty much could do everything I normally do. My energy during this is wild. I was so worried I was going to be dead the whole time and that’s so not the case for me. I felt pretty great all morning. By 2 pm, I lost my energy. This seems to be the point in my day where I normally get hungry and don’t have a lot of energy. Kinda of weird, but I guess makes sense. At night, I was definitely feeling hungry again. Not as bad as Day 1, but I could definitely go for a sandwich. Luckily, it was the last day so yay!

Conclusion:

This went from 100-0 real quick. I really thought after Day 1, I was going to report that I quit and was not gonna do it again. However, I actually kind of enjoyed it in a weird way? I thrive on a structured diet, no thinking means no room for “oh man what am I gonna eat ugh I’ll just have chips for dinner.” If I was a richer lady, I would just order those meal kits every week and never have to think about meals again. I also loved not having to cook. Cooking has never been my thing, I need meals to be 10 minutes prep-time and thats it. It was a good way to sort of force myself to get back on track as far as my healthy habits go.

How Did I sleep?- Actually very well, but I wouldn’t say a huge difference than normal. I’m a good sleeper, overall. The thing that I did notice, however, was I woke up feeling super rested and not groggy in the slightest. No matter how much sleep I get, I usually want to go back to sleep after my alarm, but this was different. My alarm went off and it’s like my body was ready for it and I was wide awake.

How bad are the cravings?-So very bad the first day, then lessen as the 2nd and 3rd day go on. I could always eat, but I wasn’t ravenous the whole time

Energy Levels?-Surprisingly normal. After the first day, that is. I would say the 2nd day was the best as far as energy and cravings.

How I feel overall?- Honestly, actually really good. I forget sometimes, how good I feel when I’m eating really healthy. I’ve been letting myself snack A LOT and instead of listening to my body, which was really hurting my moods. I’ll also say my mood was really great after the first day, almost giddy?

Will I do this again?

Actually, yes. Maybe after the holidays when your schedule is messed up and you just want to nap for 10 years. It was a great way to get me back on track as far as making sure I’m putting the ~goods~ in my body. It’s not for everyone, but I really enjoyed it.

 

 

 

 

Let’s Get Skintimate: The Update, Honey.

You see what I did? ‘Cause I use honey on my face now. Alright, moving on.

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As promised, I am finally updating you guys! I feel like using honey as a cleanser makes me sounds so hipster. Next, I’ll be saying “I also switched to only filtered water on my face while the bees come down from the heavens and put the honey directly on my face.” Side note: do bees poop honey or throw up honey? I have questions.

 

I have officially been using 4 new and different things on my face and I wanted to update you guys on how its been. Keep in mind, it’s only been a month. Who knows what it will be in six months, but fingers crossed it resembles a model when she uses Facetune on her Instagram selfies (too real?).

So, here’s my weird picture of everything I’ve been using:

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Honey, Lemon, Coconut Oil & Collagen Pills

Honey: This is part one of two of my cleanser ingredients. For every two-parts honey, I use one-part lemon. I usually do two tablespoons of honey and one of lemon. This has actually been GREAT. Notice, it is bolded, capitalized and italicized. Its real. So I use this both at night and in the morning. I try to let it sit on my face for a few minutes before I take it off. I feel like it seeps in better, but this could really all be in my head. I’ve broken out a little bit in the past month, but it’s super manageable. I don’t get monster zits, they’re really tiny and mostly in like one or two areas. Mostly, around my jaw and I broke out recently right next to my lips (come get you a kiss, boys!). Like I said, so easily covered and barely noticeable.

Lemon: My OG since January? I don’t know how long, but I’ve been using it a hot minute. It has yet to let me down, so it will probably use it till my dying day. I was a little bit hesitant when I mixed it with honey. I wasn’t sure how my skin would react to me not using it by itself. Admittedly, my skin was a little inflamed for a bit. After a couple weeks, it calmed down. Highly recommend!

Coconut Oil: I started using this as a makeup remover and wow-ie wow. My skin eats this shit UP. I only use it if I’ve worn makeup that day, but I swear my skin looks the best when I use this before washing my face. No joke, the next day its baby smooth and my makeup goes on even better. At the very least, if you listen to nothing else in this post, please start using oil as a makeup remover. Wipes are so harsh and this stuff has helped so much with my skin’s texture. (I get the one from Trader Joe’s simply because its cheapest).

Collagen Pills: This may be the thing that has smoothed out my face the most. The jury is still out since I did all four of these things at the same time. This stuff has really smoothed it out and just given it such a glowy look. It’s almost as if I haven’t gone through years of acne trauma! Will 100% be continuing this stuff as well.

So here’s a refresher, skin before:

 

 

Skin today:

 

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Okay, just adding these pictures and comparing, I can totally see a difference. Just wanna say, either way, both is me. My skin has never held me back in any way, nor do I think having clearer skin suddenly solves all my problems. I mean, it didn’t make me no money. I did this just to try it! Maybe my skin could be better, but if not, I’m unbothered. I definitely think it starts with what you put in your body first. THAT BEING SAID, my skin has really improved. I’m ecstatic with how this lil’ experiment turned out and I even got an unsolicited compliment on my skin (thanks Kate!). Excited to maybe try some more things and see how everything looks in a few months!

Why I’m Switching My Skincare

My post about my skincare was basically a lead-in to this because I am going to actually try to have beautiful baby skin for the first time in 10 years! As yo guys know, I’ve been struggling for-EVER with my skin and it’s just NOW getting it’s crap together.

Let me start by saying, just doing my own research for this post, there isn’t a lot to go on. I’ve read couple things from different websites, but they seem pretty sketchy and unreliable. I will say I look at Sarah’s YouTube for some ideas when it comes to skin care. I’m referring to her as Sarah, like I know her (I do not, duh), but I’ve been following her journey for a bit now. She had horrible hormonal acne like I did and she has GORGEOUS skin now, like it looks fake. However, looking at her skin update, I’m not impressed. It is super simple, but the products are expensive. She also uses a cleansing brush everyday, which I do not know how her skin survives, as well as warm water. She also recommended a few essential oils as well. Using essential oils is probably something I should start doing, however I’m not about to but 50 dollar oil products please look at this one and how many ingredients it is:

 

 

 

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Like what is all of that?! Is it necessary?! Probably not. Safe bet that the reason it has so many ingredients, is the exact reason this retailer can hike up the price. The beauty industry is one that profits from the idea that you can’t get these “natural products” anywhere else. There’s no such thing as natural beauty, because if there was, they’d be out of business. If you could just cleanse your face with oil, then they can’t charge you $50 for it. They have to add all of this other junk you don’t need, in order to sell it.

As I was inspired by my cousin, who also struggles with her skin, I’m going au natural. I’m going to start slow by using only a few things at a time to really see what works with my skin and I’ll be documenting it all here!

As a refresher, this is what my skin looks like now:

 

*cringe*

These are the products I’m starting with:

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Honey -using this to wash my face daily. May switch to an oil (olive or other) instead of this breaks me out. Will keep ya posted

Coconut Oil -this to take off my makeup/ my first cleanser at night before I use honey (Trader Joe’s kind because it’s cheap)

Lemon -Mixing this and honey for my 2x daily wash.

Collagen pills -I’ve been wanting to try for a while and my cousin recommended this one. I’ll see how different it make my skin after a month!

Products I’ll be trying after my skin gets more acclimated:

Rose Toner -Heard great things and I have oily skin so I feel like I need toner? Who knows I’m just trying things out at this point.

Vitamin E oil -This supposedly helps with scars, but i don’t wanna overload my skin with oils right off the bat. Definitely want to try eventually however.

So far, this feels WEIRD. I do notice my makeup goes on a little smoother, however my skin looks a little red for some reason. Not sure what that’s about, but will keep this updated monthly to see how it goes! Let me know if you guy have any products you love or blogs you love who are doing the same!

 

The Sunday Summary

I haven’t done one of these in MONTHS, so I feel as if I need to update you guys on the things I really like lately. Pay attention (please), this is a good one.

Elf Concealer

I have this weird thing where I have two concealers. One is my expensive concealer for when I wanna look like a pore-less model and one for when I’m just living my everyday life as a regular human—or for when I wanna look good, but not that good. Just me? I happened to be in Target the other day and remembered I was running out of my regular human concealer, as well as my fancy one. A dilemma! On a whim, (and because I didn’t wanna go to the mad house that is Sephora), I bought this. Actually rivals my expensive concealer AND only $3?! I have turned a new leaf.

Graphic Tee Trend?

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I never, In my wildest dreams, thought I would actually like this trend. I love pairing a tee with fancy pants (as seen below), especially patterned pants. Not by any means ready for Fall, (because Winter is next), but I do miss my pants. I’m still hesitant to buy any band t-shirt that I have never listened to, or a shirt that says something horrible like “beast mode.”

RX V.S. Lära Bars

It’s hard to pick which one I like better. RX bars are my personal OG. They have basic ingredients, big, taste amazing and have no added sugar. HOWEVER, Lära bars are making a serious contender. Some of them do have added sugar (usually only about 3g), but follow the same “basic ingredients” principal. They also have some amazing flavors like Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, Coconut Creme Pie and (my personal fave) Lemon Bar. They aren’t as big as RX bars, so I would say that’s their downfall. I know I’m late to the party on these, but maybe someone else is too, okay!!

Running on a Treadmill?

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As you guys may know, I’ve been implementing running back into my daily workouts. I used to run solely outside (in the devil’s heat), but lately, I’ve been using the treadmill. At first, it was a ride on the struggle bus. You have nothing really to pay attention to except maybe a TV you can’t hear. You also aren’t really going anywhere, so it’s just you and your thoughts for however long you can stand it. Since switching to a focus on endurance, instead of focusing on speed, I’m actually enjoying it. I either listen to a podcast, or some of my favorite jams of the moment. Definitely not going fast, but I can usually last longer and run better on the treadmill. As with anything, the more you do it, the better you get.

Book of the Summer: You are a Badass by Jen Sincero

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Late to this party as well, mostly because I figured this book was corny. I decided to switch it up and read a book or two about bettering my life—maybe give the murder mysteries a break. This was surprisingly good and only slightly corny. I would say, keep an open mind when reading. It gave me things to do while on the job hunt and inspired me to change some things in my life. Highly recommend if you feel like you’re struggling with anything or just need some inspiration*~.

 

Let’s Get Skin-timate: My Skin Journey

I wanted to talk about something I’ve struggled with since puberty: SKIN. Specifically, the skin on my face. This is gonna be a long one since I’ve been struggling for 10+ years (craziness), so strap in! Get some snacks.

 

First, let’s break down my journey a little bit.

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Right before the miracle of braces circa right before 8th grade 

I’ve had what I would call “problem” skin since I was about 13. Specifically, I would breakout on my chin. Usually it was one or two, but I always was embarrassed about it and started wearing makeup very early in order to cover it. My aunt, being a Pharmacist, was the first to prescribe something for my skin. After months, my skin stayed the same, despite dosage increases.

Once I was starting 8th grade, I went to a Dermatologist for the first time. He prescribed me a BUNCH of different stuff, but again, nothing really changed.

For a couple years, I just used the stuff you could get at Target like Neutrogena, Clean & Clear etc.

Around my Sophomore year of high school, I started using Proactive. It worked moderately well and I would say my skin was bearable. After not seeing the dramatic results they show on their TV adds, I decided to try something else. In the rise of Pinterest and blogging, my mother and I read about using oil as a cleanser. I don’t really remember my exact results with this (I was but a wee junior in high school), but I wasn’t satisfied with how my skin was reacting to it.

 

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Summer of my junior year. Probably the best my skin looked for two years

I was recommended acne products by a Sephora worker and switched all skin care to a particular brand (doesn’t exist anymore).  This made my skin better, but I still had breakouts regularly. I ended up just going back to regular ‘ole Clean & Clear and my skin was pretty okay the entirety of my junior year. I would still breakout, but it was bearable. Of course, I obsessed over every pimple, but looking back it was really tame. Calm before the storm, as they say.

 

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A blonde me? Senior year
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Decided not to wear makeup this day and after seeing these, regretted that decision

Going into my senior year of high school, I got the worst breakouts of my life. It went from being manageable or a few here and there, to full on cystic acne all over my cheeks and chin. I went back to Proactive in hopes that would help and after another failed attempt, went to a Dermatologist. He sent me back with a few things to try, while my skin stayed basically the same. I was going into College, trying to meet new people and make friends so this was not ideal.

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First day of college, the worst my skin ever looked

Around the same time, my cousin was also struggling with her skin. Like me, she had trouble skin later in life and was struggling to find anything that worked. She began taking the drug Accutane and was surprised by it’s dramatic results.

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While taking Accutane my freshman year
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Summer, after 7 months on Accutane. (please ignore the face I’m making, sheesh)

Accutane is controversial for a few reasons and so most people use this as a last resort. It has very strong side effects including: back pain, dry lips, dry skin and even depression. You take this everyday for at least six months. As a female, you have to jump through A LOT of hoops to get the medication. Blood work and pregnancy tests are a monthly thing as well as making sure you have two forms of birth control. Despite all of this, I was determined to find some way to get it. Luckily for me, a doctor at my school’s health center prescribed it to me. Yes, my skin got drier and thankfully, my hair did too. Other than that, I was lucky enough to have no serious side effects.

After about the 3rd or 4th month, I started to see a real difference in my skin. Going through my first year of college and finally having manageable skin was the best feeling. Accutane was really the only thing that ever worked for me, personally. After being on it for 7 months, I was finally down to about two breakouts a month.

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Sophomore year of college (I miss my short haiirrrrr)
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Junior year. (you can sort of see the scars on the side of my face) Let me live, i know this picture is odd

 

Unfortunately, since getting rid of breakouts, I was left with scars. I’ve struggled so much with just breaking out, that I just basically thought “Okay this I can deal with,” and mostly left my skin alone for the past 4 years. Still trying to hide from anyone seeing me sans makeup, of course. You can’t really see the difference between my skin after Accutane and now since I wasn’t really documenting it. My skin looks similar, but I promise, some of these pictures (sophomore and junior year) I have good makeup and strategic lighting.

I do want to share the, few, subtle things that I have been doing lately that have helped me dramatically. My skin right now is about the best it has ever been, (except my baby skin) and I wanted to share what I’ve been using/doing to help get a more even tone!

Lemon juice

I’ve touched on this before, but just to reiterate, this is the best thing for a brighter tone to your skin! I literally just cut this baby in half and squeeze the juice on my skin every night before I go to sleep. Seriously, do it.

Honey

This stuff has been my saving grace lately and I’m so sorry I neglected (hated on) it for years! I use this for very simple masks, here’s a couple:

Tumeric and honey=spot treatment

Pink Himalayan salt and honey= exfoliation mask

I’ve also been using it in my coffee as a sweetener!

Cut. That. SUGAR

I’m sure ya’ll are thinking, “is this girl about to tell me to stop eating sugar again?” and I AM!!! I just stopped using sugar n my coffee and it has changed my skin so much, and its only been a month. So much of your skin is a reflection of what you put in your body and sugar is the worst thing you can do to your skin. I cut sugar in my normal diet and really only eat sugar (I’m talking like cookies, cake etc. or what I call “obvious sugar”), maybe twice a week. Sometimes, I’m just really craving it, so i definitely  let me myself have it. I never wanna go back to that long month of no sugar and making myself miserable (do not recommend).

Wearing less makeup

This is hard to do if you have a full-time job, obviously, but try as much as you can. I definitely recommend not using foundation if you do feel like you need to wear makeup. I only ever use tinted moisturizer and then cover-up for my scaring and dark circles. I recommend this or this, they are very similar in my opinion and I like both!

Don’t use a cleaning brush every night

This discovery stemmed from me just being too lazy to buy a new brush head for my Clairsonic and then not using it because the brush was too gross. I was basically over-exfoliating my skin and it was not thanking me. I would say if you have one of these, use it once a week.

Wash your face TWICE

So since I’m not using the brush to get all of my makeup off, I now have to wash my face twice. Once to remove my makeup and second, to cleanse. Never been a fan of makeup wipes, I feel they can be super harsh. I prefer just washing it twice.

Cold water only

Recently, I followed another blogger with UNBELIEVABLE skin. Like baby smooth and dewy. She used a bunch of different things. I’ll admit, once people suggest products to use, I usually tune out. Having tried so much stuff, I really don’t take advice about skin products that claim to work. HOWEVER, she did say she only washes her face with cool or cold water. It takes some getting used to, but I’ve been doing it ever since. Putting boiling hot water on your skin in general probably isn’t great, but definitely if your face is sensitive. I would recommend at the very least warm/cool water.

 

For years, I had people tell me what I should be doing for my skin. I hated anyone who would comment on it, as I preferred to pretend it wasn’t an issue. Most of the skin advice I got, was unsolicited. Random people would tell me what I should be doing and honestly, that was probably the worst part. I tried not to think about my skin, as I knew I had more things about myself to offer. No matter what, you are not your skin. We get so wrapped up in how we look, that when we don’t look our best, it can be hard to live normally. If you’re struggling with your skin, you’re not alone. One of the reasons my skin is better could be simply age! Don’t dwell on it, everyone has something they’re embarrassed about. If you know someone struggling with their skin, for the love of god, just leave them alone about it. Whatever you’re about to say, they’ve probably tried it. At the end of the day, you still have to go out and live your life. My skin’s not perfect. I still get embarrassed walking around without makeup, sometimes. Everyone has something about them that they don’t like, but find your way of dealing with it and do what you can.

*Not a professional or expert, only sharing what has worked for me in my own, personal life.

I Don’t Even Have a “Pla” Year-aversery!

One whole year of blogging went so fast! I had no idea what would come of this when I started it a year ago, but I can 100% say that I would not be where I am right now if I had never started. So crazy how many people actually read this and follow my attempt at being an adult after college.

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Cant believe this picture is over a year old. Really wanna cut my hair again after seeing this (my hair really just needs to be cut in general)

Some parts of this year has been rough (bold for emphasis). The winter was the worst and I felt really weird and moody for a lot of it. Doing this was sort of my own personal self-care and I definitely have gotten out of this what I put into it. Moving here, I knew it would be hard, but I had no idea how it would feel. I put pressure on myself to be doing certain things and spent too much energy worrying about where my life was going and feeling bad about it not looking like I wanted it to. Through all of that craziness, this has been my constant. I’m just now starting to get in my groove of this whole big city life and feeling like I have some clarity career-wise. Reminder that doing scary things might not always feel super stellar, but they are so very worth it!

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One of my very first pictures (I learned to use instagram stories to edit them and lets just say I liked it a lot)

When I first thought about my blog, I just wanted to share food, clothes and beauty stuff that I liked. I was so worried about this being “too personal” because I thought, Who wants to read about me and my life? The dumbest thing I did was doubt myself. I didn’t want to advertise that I was writing a blog, I didn’t want anyone reading it and judging me, which is inevitable no matter what you do. I took myself out of my comfort zone so much this past year and it has paid off dramatically. Recently, I’ve been taking my blog to a more personal level and the feedback has been amazing! Of course I will still be doing my regular fun posts and any NYC advice I have, but I definitely want to share more about my life in the next year.

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One of my first ever “blogger” pics. Still love that outfit

I was trying to think of any advice I had for anyone starting a blog and I can really only think of one thing:

Just start

I spent to much time worrying about people reading it and making it “good,” that it took me forever to even start. Don’t put so much pressure on it that you never even start. It doesn’t have to be perfect, ground-breaking or “important,” it just needs to show people you put some thought and personality into something you love. Reading my very first post is very surreal. Honestly, I still think its funny and cute and maybe I’ll start doing those things-i-love-this-week posts again (even though not a lot of people read those).

^^^(probably the funniest thing     thats ever happened to me)

I would also recommend utilizing Instagram in partner with your blog. I’m gonna get a ‘lil sappy real quick, but I have met some truly amazing girls just interacting on Instagram. Just reaching out to people telling them how cool you think they are might feel super weird, but thats how I’ve made many of the friends I have now.  The three girls you always see me with? Met them through Instagram and would not know what the heck I would be doing right now if I didn’t know them (crying? being lonely? caught up on all tv shows in existence because I’d have nothing else to do?). So much of the criticism of social media is that it’s all very fake and you lose the ability to interact with people. So I try my hardest not to keep it all surface-based and be as honest as i can about my life.

Basically, what I’m trying to say is if you’re even sort of thinking about starting a blog or writing, DO IT. It has changed my life and I cannot wait to see where I’ll be in my second year of blogging!

 

 

Navigating the Health Craze B.S.

I wanna preface this by saying: I am no health expert. I have no formal training and really just google stuff a lot.

However, I have been doing this whole “health” thing for a hot minute (and by that I mean for years). I wouldn’t say I’ve got it all figured out, but I do have a few tips since I’ve basically tried and tested everything from “I only eat eggs for breakfast every morning” to “I eat protein shakes for dinner and also and entire box of cereal.”

One of the worst, and simultaneously best, things about the internet is having access to MASS amounts of information all time. This is awesome because you can pretend you’re a little sponge and just soak up all the information you can! This is also bad because some of that information is probably not even real, some might say fake news. First tip:

  1. Research and read peoples stuff even if its just opinions

You may be thinking, why would I wanna hear some persons opinions? First of all, you are right now, fool. Secondly, it could help you figure out a problem way quicker and feel more connected in your health journey. For instance, if someone was like yo, when I eat green beans, my ankles swell (I literally made that up don’t @ me) and then when that happens to you, you’re like oh my god me too! You feel like less of a weirdo and also less isolated. Sometimes, being conscience of what you put in your body all of the time can be exhausting, having a connection can help. Which leads me to my next tip:

2. Find Instagrams, blogs and just people who are also trying to be a health human so you can get ideas.

I recently followed this Instagram where the guy just posts healthy versions of desserts. I made some brownies with just banana, almond butter and cacao powder. Not too shabby if I do say so myself. You can get recipes, ideas for new health stuff you’ve never heard of in your life (like Maca that I recently discovered) and feel like there’s another person in the world who also is tired of people asking why they eat kale. Also important is figuring out what works for you. How do you do that?

3. Try it, all of it

I change my diet pretty frequently. Mostly because I stick to the same stuff every week and then I’m like “if I have to look at another asparagus, I’m gonna lose it.” This stems from a childhood obsession with eating stuff repeatedly, that I love, until I hate it. I won’t touch Cliff bars anymore since I used to eat them all the time my freshman year of college (and honestly they’re basically trash anyway). If you wanna change up your diet then do it. If you try something and it’s awful, stop. You might like things you never thought you would, like kale, or you might be like “yeah green beans are still trash, thanks 5 year old me.” Also a common misconception:

4. Your meals don’t have to be Michelin level

No joke, almost everything I eat is 3 ingredients, max. I can’t stand preparing a meal that takes 30 minutes of my life and 10 ingredients (which is why meal kits aren’t really my jam). Meal prep if you wanna be fancy, but reheated food kinda sucks so I always prefer to do minimal cooking. Best advice to get veggies, quick: olive oil, salt, pepper and bake for 25 minutes. Done and done. Last, but most importantly:

5.  Every body is different~~~***~~~*** (see what I did)

I don’t eat lunch. I do interval fasting and then I’ll eat breakfast super late and then have a snack and dinner and that’s my day. Some people think that’s super weird, but I like saving my calories for the end of the day. I’ve tried to spread it out more, but then I just eat more, so its counterproductive. If you like eating a whole bunch as soon as you wake up and then nothing by the end of the day, then do that! There’s really no right answer. Not all health people eat the same thing because not everyone can do that. You can only listen to peoples advice for so long before you gotta just do what feels good to you. Honestly, it might take you a while to figure out what that even is and that’s cool too. Everyday they come out with something saying “this food is bad!!! Never eat it!!!” and two years later they say “chocolate fixes cancer.”

In the end, there’s no magic trick. The internet can say “drink apple cider vinegar and all your problems will disappear,” but thats just not real. It’s consistency and being happy with what your doing above all the random B.S. you get thrown.

 

 

 

Adventures in Crazy Workouts: CorePower Yoga

One of the newer workouts in the great city of New York is CorePower yoga. As the self-proclaimed Queen of Cardio, this yoga craze thing is not something I take part in. I don’t consider “stretching” to be a workout and therefore never do it. At all. Which is kinda bad I think? I never really give my muscles a chance to recover or whatever yoga does for them. I’m forcing myself to do different workouts in order to:

  1. Not get super bored working out and doing the same stuff every time
  2. Maybe change my body, have more overall tone and use different muscles??
  3. I feel like its good for me, according to random people

I challenged myself to do a week of CorePower yoga (on top of the other stuff I do). I started on Saturday, which just also happened to be the day I moved apartments. I decided to do the Hot Fusion class and I actually really enjoyed myself! None of the moves were super challenging or anything I couldn’t do as a mere beginner and newbie. It was definitely hot, but not too bad. I sweat like crazy, but I felt like I got a pretty decent workout in. 

I tried to go again on Sunday, but after moving my entire life the day before, I coolant muster the strength. I decided to go again on Thursday and chose the Core Power 2 class. I definitely should have read the description for this class because I was not prepared for what I signed up for. I ASSUMED it would just be a casual, normal, yoga class. Since there was no indication from the title of said class that it was “hot,” I assumed it would be air conditioned normally. I was wrong in my assumption. Not only that, it quiet possibly was the hottest I’ve ever been in my life inside of a building or honestly anywhere in my life. I’m so very glad I decided to wash my face before I went because I would have most definitely sweat it off anyway. I didn’t take off my waterproof mascara and that shit went right into my eyeballs as did gallons of sweat. I washed my hair that morning and even the ENDS of my hair were wet. I can’t talk enough about how hot and sweaty this class was I literally almost walked out simply so I could BREATHE AIR. My yoga mat definitely doubled as a slip-n-slide by the end. The actual yoga part was very good, a little more challenging, but still do-able. I was going to go again on Saturday, but after actually reading the description of the classes I was like “I’m not washing my hair after this I refuse” so I only used two classes out of my free week. 

Also funny side note: At the end of the class, the instructor played this like soothing music so we could like idk, relax in our pool of sweat, and I was like “huh this song sounds familiar.” I thought maybe I had it on some weird sleep playlist or something and then I remembered its the super annoying emotional song they play every time something intense happens between Fitzgerald and Olivia on Scandal. It got to the point where when I was binging Scandal I wanted to skip their parts because they play it EVERY TIME. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, then I suggest you get some damn culture in your life and watch Scandal. 

Overall, I liked the classes. I could not do yoga like, by itself, but every now and then, I can handle. I definitely won’t be doing any more hot yoga classes at least for a while.