Five Ways to Stop Living for The Weekend

It’s Monday.

My guess is that you woke up later than you had intended. Garfield, GrumpyCat, that one Olan Rogers video, and other cheesy “I Hate Mondays” memes are probably circulating on your Facebook timeline courtesy of your slightly odd family members. You most likely have already had that same old forced “How was your weekend?” “Good. How was yours?” “Good.” conversation with your coworkers (it seriously goes that way every time, yet you still have that exchange at the beginning of every week). You’re still sipping coffee and trying to wake up even though it’s almost noon. The ole Monday routine, right? Right.

Everybody’s working for the weekend (Thank you for that truth, Loverboy).
But really. Somehow, sadly, our culture has got to the point where we have been taught to dread the week ahead, looking forward only to the next day off, whether that’s the weekend or Thursday or whenever your work schedule allows.

But who said it has to be that way? Who said we can’t love the everyday? Well, I don’t know who said those things, but I do know that you don’t have to live by what they said.

We are called to an abundant life, and I hope a few of these tips will help you learn how to stop living for the weekend – and start living for all the days in between, too.

 

 

 

1. Find your work/life balance and practice self-care each day.

In past posts I have mentioned both of these things (click here to read about finding your work/life balance and here to find ten steps for self-care!)

Unless you are intentional about achieving an equilibrium with your work and your life, you will always feel consumed by your job. Boundaries are an essential part of life, and you have to set them and stick to them to feel better about your week.

Living life without first setting limits for yourself will leave you feeling overwhelmed, drained, and taken advantage of. On top of that, when you neglect yourself and practicing self-care, it can also take a toll on your relationships with others! Take time each day to take care of yourself so your week doesn’t feel as dreadful, and you can be the best version of yourself for others, too!

 

2. Stop keeping count of the days until Friday.

Seriously. Blessings don’t have a schedule. Keeping count of the days until your next off day is ruining the week before it even begins! Be present in each day and make the most of it, no matter if it’s a Monday morning or a Thursday at 2pm.

One of the best days of your life could happen in the middle of your work day, but we all too often rule out the possibility and prevent it from happening. As long as you believe it, good things don’t always have to happen on the weekends. Stop keeping track of your next day off and you’ll discover that each day is a blessing.

 

3. Be thankful.

It’s all about your perspective when it comes to how a week is going to go – if you think the week is going to be crap, it’s going to be crap.

At the end of each day, try to make a mental list in your head of all the good things that happened. Practice gratefulness and express thanks for those things. Stop setting yourself up for failure by overlooking the positive things that happen every day!

 

4. Stop saving things just for the weekend.

A big thing that keeps people looking forward to the weekend is neglecting a daily hobby. This perpetuates the mentality that the week sucks because all you’re doing is going to work, going home, and going to sleep only to wake up and do it all over again.

To combat that, try to keep up with a daily hobby. Find what you’re passionate about and start making a habit of working on it during the week. Stop thinking you’re too busy! Also, make plans with friends during the week. Schedule a game night, afternoon hike, or fancy dinner. Like I said, not all the fun things have to happen on the weekend! Treat yoself!

 

5. Make the necessary changes.

If you do all of these things and you still hate your work week because you hate your job that much, maybe it’s time to make a change. I totally understand that for some people that option may not be a reality just yet, and I’m not saying you have to quit your job right now and go find something else. Sometimes it takes a little longer to accomplish, and I totally get it.

The reality is that you will be spending the vast majority of your life working – why not work at a job that you love? Life is too short. I know it’s not that simple, but it’s worth thinking about.

 

It’s so easy to get caught in the routine of hating the week and hoping to survive until Friday. I know. But we aren’t promised tomorrow. Why not make the most of your everyday life instead of just working for the weekend?

What are some ways that you make the most of every day? Share in the comments!

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The All-Natural Makeup Routine to Try This Autumn

Natural beauty is getting more and more attention in the cosmetic world. It’s awesome that more people are taking steps to make sure that they are using products that are safe and sometimes even beneficial for us – being mindful about what we put on and in our body is so important!

However, the beauty industry in the United States is incredibly unregulated, meaning that brands can plaster the word “natural” all over their packaging without containing a single ingredient that fits that description, and the only way there can be legal repercussions for it is if you can prove that a certain ingredient caused harm to your health which is very difficult to do. Though it’s disappointing, you simply cannot trust the claims made on the package unless you know how to read the ingredients labels!

So which ingredients should we be looking out for when reading labels? There are quite a few (you can type in any ingredient name into the search bar on EWG’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Database here to see if it poses any health risk), but the most prominent ingredients include parabens, phthalates, and formaldehyde.

These ingredients are synthetic chemicals that pose a higher health risk and are linked to many health issues like cancer, impaired fetal development, and kidney, brain, and liver abnormalities. It’s really hard to believe that cosmetic companies could include these ingredients in products we apply directly to our skin to absorb into our bloodstreams, but it’s something that many, many brands do – even ones that claim they are all-natural.

There are very few companies that actually have 100% natural, non-synthetic ingredients because it gets tricky when formulating a product that will last, either on your face or in its packaging.

With that said, not all of these products are 100% natural, but all of them are free of ingredients with a high health risk, making them safe to use.
So if you love makeup but are looking into more natural, safe products, here’s a full routine of products to try out this fall!

 


 

FYI, each numbered product in the photos corresponds with the list below it! Just so you know what it is to look for when you want to try them 🙂

 

 

1. Primer: LUSH Magical Moringa Facial Moisturizer

2. Foundation: Josie Maran Vibrancy Argan Oil Foundation Fluid

3. Concealer: W3LL PEOPLE Bio Correct Multi-Action Concealer

4. Setting Powder: RMS Beauty “Un” Powder

5. Blush: Rejuva Minerals Multi Purpose Pressed Powder Blush

6. Bronzer/Contour: BeautyCounter Color Contour Matte Bronzer

7. Highlighter: Ilia Beauty Illuminator

8. Setting Spray: Olivia Care Rose Water Face Mist

 

 

1. Eyeshadow: NVEY Eco Eyeshadow Palette

2. Brow Pencil: Maybelline Define-A-Brow Eyebrow Pencil

3. Eyeliner: Dr. Hauschka Liquid Eyeliner

4. Mascara: Physician’s Formula Organic Wear 100% Natural Origin Jumbo Lash Mascara

 

 

1. Lipstick: Bite Beauty Matte Crème Lip Crayon

2. Liquid Lipstick: Cate McNabb Longwearing Liquid Lipstick

 

 

 

Are there any natural products  you use that you want to share? Have you tried any of the above products already, and if so, how did you like them? Let me know in the comments!

 

 

How I Improved My Skin In 3 Months

It’s every lady’s dream to have nice skin and to feel like you don’t need much makeup – if any at all – to have a good complexion (for those of you lucky ladies who go without makeup on the daily, this post is not for you). That’s been my dream ever since middle school when I hit puberty, causing the tragic downfall of  my then-flawless baby face. Since then, it has been a constant battle against combination skin, uneven skin tone, and painful cystic acne.

I have worn full-coverage foundation for years because that’s the minimum amount of coverage my skin needed to achieve a flawless base, and most of the time I’d have to add more than one layer PLUS concealer to hide my stubborn acne and dark spots.

I have gone through countless brands of cheap skincare that claim to zap acne away and even out your skin with all kinds of chemicals thinking that there couldn’t be much of a difference between $7 cleanser and $40 cleanser. Still, nothing ever worked after a few weeks.

Finally, I am able to say that I can leave the house wearing only a BB cream or light-coverage foundation and be confident that my skin looks good. All I had to do was make a few changes, and within 3 months I’ve got to claim the victory in this ongoing skin battle!

Here’s how I did it and how you may be able to do it, too!

 

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1. ESTABLISH (AND STICK TO) A SKINCARE ROUTINE

Oh my gosh, this was the hardest part for me. I was Queen Lazy when it comes to taking care of my skin, so every night looked different skincare-wise. Some nights I would go to bed without removing my makeup (big, big mistake for anyone. ALWAYS remove your makeup before bed), or just wipe off my makeup without actually washing my face, and I would NEVER follow up with a moisturizer to keep my skin from drying out.

But once you nail down a routine that you like, it’s the easiest step to follow. Now I wash my face morning and night. After cleansing in the morning, I follow up with a facial toner and moisturizer/SPF and go about my makeup routine. After cleansing at night, I follow up with a toner, spot treatment, nightly peel, facial serums, and moisturizer. I also use a mask twice a week to help even out my skin. This seems like a ton of steps, but believe me when I say it has transformed my skin, and my skin seems to appreciate that it has a routine and doesn’t change from day-to-day! See the bottom of this post for a full list of the products I use!

 

2. EXFOLIATE

So. Darn. Important. Exfoliating is the process of removing any dead skin cells on your face, leading to healthier, smoother, younger-looking skin that takes better to any skincare products you use. If you use a million skincare products but fail to exfoliate, your skin isn’t going to look as good as it could!

Four times a week, I exfoliate using a facial spinbrush and/or a facial scrub. I wet my face, lather my face up with a gentle cleanser, and apply the spinbrush in a circular motion all over my face, focusing mostly on my problem areas and parts of my face that are most prone to wrinkles (i.e. the forehead and smile lines). This is such an important step in making sure my face is as clean and smooth as possible!

There are tons of facial spinbrushes out there, but my favorites are the Spin for Perfect Skin and Clarisonic brushes!

 

3. USE SPF

If there’s a club for lovers of sunscreen, I am its leader. Guys, sunscreen is SO important, and I’m glad I realized this in my early twenties and not too late down the road!

For me, this step is mostly used as a preventative for aging, but it also helps a ton in reducing dark spots. I mentioned this in my post on summer skincare here, but when you walk into the sun without any SPF, any dark spots on your face will get darker. When you protect your face with sunscreen of SPF 30 or higher, the sun has less of a chance of darkening those spots. And, you know, giving you sunburn and possibly melanoma.

Kiehl’s and Neutrogena have really great sunscreens that are super lightweight and go seamlessly under your makeup!

 

4. EMBRACE NATURAL SKINCARE

So many issues with my skin have been cleared up by purging my skin of harmful, unnecessary chemicals and switching to mostly natural, organic skincare. Mainstream beauty wants us to believe that the only way to get rid of stubborn acne and skin problems is by using their products that are filled with synthetic ingredients, many of which have been proven to cause cancer, impaired fetal development in pregnant women, and many other health problems, in an effort to make more money. Don’t believe them!

Not only is switching to more natural skincare better for the environment as many synthetic ingredients are petroleum- and aluminum-based, but they’re also better for your skin and body! Since using more natural brands like Kiehl’s, Origins, and Lush (note: not all Lush products are safe as some of their products contain harmful ingredients like parabens. Make sure to read the label!) and using coconut oil and essential oils for basically everything, my skin looks better than it ever did when I used mainstream skincare brands!

 

5. DRINK MORE WATER

Drinking more water is basically the cure for everything, but my skin has especially benefitted from it! Drinking more water increases the skin’s elasticity (read: helps fight against aging) and makes it soft and supple. It also helps to flush out any toxins in your body that could lead to breakouts. I try to drink at least 8 glasses of water every day, especially in the summer, to help my skin retain its moisture and keep it from looking dull or dry!

 

 

 

With all that being said, my skin still has a way to go for it to be perfect! I still struggle with patches of rough texture and hormonal acne around my time of the month. But since taking these steps, my dark spots have vanished, my skintone has evened out tremendously, and my skin feels healthier than ever before. And now I don’t have to load on the foundation every time I wear makeup, which is the real struggle, am I right?

 

Skincare products I use (not including my own concoctions of coconut oil and essential oils):

 

Are there any tips you can add that have helped your skin out? Let me know in the comments!

Five Eyeshadow Palettes Worth the Splurge

When it comes to high-end makeup, it gets confusing. If you’re new to the makeup world, you have no idea which brands are good, which ones aren’t, and not the slightest clue if any of this stuff is actually worth your money. Like, who’s gonna spend $54 on an eyeshadow palette when you can get the same amount of makeup for $10 at the drugstore? Isn’t it all the same?

No. Nope. it’s not the same, I promise.

Ever since trying the Urban Decay Naked Basics palette years ago as a makeup baby, I have maybe purchased two drugstore brand eyeshadow palettes that were comparable to the high-end ones I owned. Don’t get me wrong, I love a bargain and I am always looking to find drugstore brand makeup products that are similar to their high-end counterparts (keep a lookout for a post soon on drugstore dupes for high-end products, by the way!). Eyeshadow is the one makeup product that I believe is worth only buying high-end and encourage others to do the same because the formulas are so much better!

If you are new to makeup and want to take the dive into the beautiful sea of high-end eyeshadows, or if you are just looking for a new palette to add to your ever-growing collection, here are five palettes that are definitely worth your money!

 

 

1. URBAN DECAY NAKED 2, $54

 

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Most people I know already know how wonderful UD eyeshadows are. They’re so buttery and smooth and incredibly pigmented, it’s no wonder their Naked palettes are so talked about! The Naked 2 palette is my personal favorite and is better than the others because the colors in the palette are much more versatile. The Naked 2 has lighter matte shades that are great for when you’re going for a natural look, and it also has darker and shimmery shades for when you’re going out.

 

2. TOO FACED CHOCOLATE BAR, $49

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Basically every YouTube makeup guru has talked about this palette, and for good reason. I personally haven’t purchased Chocolate Bar for myself yet, but I have definitely swatched the shades in Sephora like eight times and have talked myself out of buying it each time. I have tried the Natural Matte palette and if Chocolate Bar is anything like it (it is), it’s amazing. And on top of it having really blendable, natural shades, this palette smells SO GOOD. After all, they’re made with actual cocoa powder, so if you’re a chocolate lover, definitely check out this palette.

 

3. LORAC PRO MATTE PALETTE, $28

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This palette. Guys. Velvety smooth and incredibly pigmented. That’s all I really need to say. If you’re like me and you tend to only wear matte natural shades, or if you don’t want to take the leap and spend $44 on one of the original Pro palettes yet, this one is a happy medium! It’s also super travel-friendly because of how small it is – a lot of great palettes seem too bulky to carry around, but this one is the perfect size. I also have used the darker shades to double as eyebrow powder!

 

4. TARTE TARTELETTE IN BLOOM CLAY PALETTE, $45

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To be honest, at first I was skeptical of Tarte’s eyeshadows because I had tried their face products before and they didn’t work for me. Their powders had too much fallout and looked cakey on my skin, so I hesitated when trying out this palette. I wish I had got this sooner! Tarte’s eyeshadows are super nice and the color payoff is really satisfying (and they smell good too, not kidding). The shades in this palette are really versatile and can create looks from romantic and light to smokey and sultry. Also, the packaging. I’m a sucker for good packaging.

 

5. ANASTASIA BEVERLY HILLS MODERN RENAISSANCE PALETTE , $42

I have been a huge fan of their single eyeshadows for a while, but Anastasia Beverly Hills’ first permanent palette definitely does not disappoint! It has a beautifully unique selection of neutral and berry shades to choose from with mattes and metallics throughout, making the look possibilities endless – Warm Taupe is one of my all-time favorite shades! The pigmentation and blendability of this palette is an actual dream, too. Totally worth the money.

 

Happy shopping!

 


What are your favorite eyeshadow palettes (drugstore or high-end)? Share in the comments below!

Essential Oils: What They Do and Why They’re Great

Smells. From the good ones to the bad ones, smells are important. Certain scents have the power to bring memories to mind and take you back to a specific time, place, or person. It affects your taste, your mood, and your productivity. Did you know that essential oils are a great-smelling and cost-effective way to not only boost your mood, but also be put to use in a ton of other ways, from household cleaning to easing physical ailments? Read on to find out all about essential oils and a great place you can find them!

 

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Why Pokémon Go is So Much Greater Than Just Catching Virtual Creatures

Pokémon Go. If you’re not playing it, you know someone who is. For those of you who don’t know, Pokémon Go is a gaming application that uses your GPS location and camera to bring Pokémon to life as you capture Pokémon (animated creatures) in nearby locations, collect items and train Pokémon at PokeStops and Gyms that are based at actual locations in your city (there is even a Gym at the White House), and basically let you “be the very best, like no one ever was.”

This game has quickly gained popularity and compares to Twitter in number of daily users. Personally, I’m obsessed. Friends and I have spent an unspeakable amount of time exploring around town, dominating gyms, and David and I have perhaps raced each other down the street of our neighborhood once or twice to catch a Sandshrew and Vaporeon in the neighbor’s yard. We’re adults, we promise. Judge all you want.

Anyway, Pokémon Go is huge, and for good reasons like these:

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10 Practical Steps for Self-Care (Plus a Free Printable Checklist!)

I’ve seen self-care guide after self-care guide with tons of awesome tips – the issue is that so many of these tips aren’t that practical for the busy folk. Ain’t nobody got time to “look through a photo album and admire what you have done with your life.” Or make a green smoothie. Or do a full yoga session. With that said, here are a few of my favorite ways I like to take care of myself that can be done almost anywhere and anytime. I hope they help you!

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Trying + Loving : June

Alright, two things. First, sorry for the impromptu hiatus these past two weeks! I was on vacation the week before last and forgot to schedule posts, then last week I wrapped up things at my job, so I haven’t had time to post! Second, happy fourth of July! This holiday isn’t my thing (why are fireworks a thing?!), but I hope yours was fun and safe!

Now that we have those two things out of the way, here we go. You know the drill by now. In no particular order, here are my favorite beauty products from the month of June that I wanted to share with you!

 

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5 Small Changes You Can Make to Up Your Coffee Game at Home

Coffee. Admit it, we all depend on it to some degree. Some of us only like it for the energy it gives us. Others like it more for the taste. No matter why you drink it, we’re always wanting to have the best tasting coffee, but you never know why the coffee always tastes better at the coffee shop than at home. How can we make it so that our coffee may even taste BETTER than the airpots at the cafe? Actually, it’s not that hard. The truth is, you don’t have to be a dreamy barista with thousands of bucks to spend in order to bring your coffee game to the next level. Though I am always pro-manual brew methods, here are a few tips for better coffee that will improve even the simplest automatic drip coffeemakers!

 

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