How To Look Good From Head To Toe

For as long as I can remember, I’ve always looked a mess. I was overweight with cystic acne all along my jaw and down my neck, my hair was always a frizzy mess, and I sometimes suffered with b.o. I would always look up to the beautiful women who always seemed to have it together. They were poised, confident, so fashionable and cool. Everyone wanted to be their friend. I always knew though that I had it in me to be just as great. So from the age of 12 years old, I started my transformation. It has been 10 years in the making but I now can share with you all how I’ve learned to look good from head to toe. Here’s how I learned to be the most confident version of myself:

  1. We’ll start from the top and work our way down. So first thing is your hair. You’re going to want to learn how to style it. Whether you want to use hot tools or keep it au natural is up to you. Just learn how to work with your hair and style it in a way so it doesn’t look frizzy. I personally like to use hot tools for my hair. I only do it twice a week and wash my hair every 3 days. I’ll usually use a curling iron for voluminous waves but when I’m in the mood for it, I’ll use a straightener. You’ll also want to make sure to take good care of your hair too. Do deep conditioning treatments once a week, use a protectant when using hot tools, be kind to your hair, not rough. Damaged hair does not look good and there’s not much you can do when it’s severely damaged except grow it out. There’s also no way of hiding damaged hair so make sure to prevent it and take good care of it now. Also, only dye it a color that is compatible with your skin tone and that is only 3 shades lighter or darker than your natural hair color. That’ll help prevent extreme damage and will help your hair to look more natural. But of course, you don’t need to dye your hair at all. The key is healthy, smooth hair.
  2. Next we’ll move on to our face. You’re gonna want to go to YouTube for this one and start watching some makeup tutorials. I only had to watch a few to get some game changing tips that have helped my makeup to look more professional. What I’ve learned too is that your products make a BIG difference when it comes to the way you’re makeup will turn out. I never thought so. I always thought that they were basically all the same. For example, you might think you have no eyelashes, but it may just be that you’re using the wrong mascara. At least that was the case for me. I always thought I had bad lashes but after switching my mascara, now my lashes are the main thing people always compliment me on. My favorite brand is NYX for makeup. They give you professional results at drugstore prices and I’ve recently learned that if you buy them on amazon, they’re always cheaper…like 50% so! So there’s a little tip for ya 😉 I’ll make a separate post where I get into all my staple products so you don’t have to waste time and money trying so many different ones and you can skip right to the good stuff. But trust me, upgrading your makeup routine is a game changer! It’ll make you look so much more put together and will make you feel so confident- it’s a must on my list!
  3. Next we’ll talk about your ears or more specifically, earrings. You don’t have to wear earrings, but I always do. I never leave the house without them. I personally am a big hoops girl (it’s just the Latina in me lol) But I feel like even if you have small little studs in, they can help you look so much more fashionable. I’ve also been getting into hair accessories. I like cheetah print head scarves or scrunchies with bows on them. It’s so simple but those little touches really help level up your outfit and tie everything together. I think dainty necklaces are another really nice touch. They’re so feminine and delicate and really spice up any outfit. Don’t be afraid to experiment with scarves or different handbags too. You can find such a great variety and for really cheap too.
  4. Since, we’re working our way down to the underarm area, let’s talk about b.o (other wise known as body odor). So it’s simple: take a shower everyday, wash your clothes weekly and don’t wear anything that has a foul smell. You’re clothes don’t have to be expensive to look good. What’s most important is that they’re clean, smell fresh, don’t have stains, and preferably wrinkle free. Please use deodorant and don’t forget it. Carry a travel one with you as a mid-day refresher. we all need it sometimes, it’s nothing to be embarrassed about. And as a bonus, a body spray or perfume helps for you to have a nice feminine scent that people will smell when you walk passed. It’s a nice touch. Also, please moisturize any dry, visible parts of your body (legs, knees, elbows) and please, oh please, if you’re feet are going to be exposed, moisturize those as well. I can’t stand dry, cracked heels. I’m sorry, it’s just a pet peeve of mine. It’s so easy to fix too and does not look good at all when you walk around like that. So please, for my sake, don’t do it. And I know all this sounds pretty simple, but you’d be surprised by how many adults have b.o. Oh and don’t forget to brush your teeth, carry mints or gum with you as a mid-day pick me up to freshen up. And if you always have bad breath, talk to your doctor. It may be something you’re eating or an underlying issue that your doctor may be able to help you with.
  5. Next, we’ll move on to your bra. You’d be surprised at what a difference wearing the right bra can make. If you wear one that’s too small, you may have spillage in the cup area or back bulge squeezing out around the straps. If it’s too big, then it can cause a lot of weird gaping, especially around the cup area. So get sized. You can do it yourself at home. I finally, after about 10 years or so of wearing bras, have finally figured out my correct size! So now my bra outline can’t be seen through my shirt and it’s so much more comfortable to wear.
  6. Now, we’ll talk about clothes. I always feel it’s best to have a certain color scheme with your wardrobe. I tend to have more of an autumn skin tone so in my closet you’ll see a lot of peach, burnt orange, burgundy, olive green, brown, ivory, mustard yellow, blush pink, tones. Having a color scheme with your wardrobe means that you’ll easily be able to mix and match certain pieces since they all work well together. So you’ll be able to have a few pieces but make many outfits from them. Try to find clothes that flatter your figure too. Of course you don’t have to, but there will be some pieces that will look better on you than others (just like with anyone else).
  7. Next we’ll move onto your legs, or more specifically, body hair. So you’l want to make sure you’re shaving often. Everyone’s hair grows at different rates but for me, I pretty much start shaving whenever I see that stubble is starting to form. I want to be as smooth, feminine, and dainty as possible. That means no body hair (including facial, underarm, leg, thigh…you name it.)
  8. Next, we’ll talk about our feet. I think it’s important to have your feet freshly pedicured year round. That doesn’t mean you have to get it done professionally or even that your nails have to always be painted (if that’s not you’re thing). But it does mean that your nails should always be cleaned, trimmed, dead skin and callouses removed, file down anything that needs it, and overall just have smooth, clean feet. I think uncared for feet are very unattractive to just about anyone. And it can be something fun to do. I like to do mine in the night when my daughter’s already asleep. I put my show on, relax, and paint my nails my favorite color of the moment.
  9. Now we’ll touch on weight and fitness. I know that this can be a touchy subject. So this part will just be for those who already do want to lose weight. I personally have always been on the overweight side as I’ve mentioned. I’ve lost 40 pounds as a teenager. I always held on to 10-15 more even after that though. And after I had my daughter I had like 15 more that I had gained. So of the 25 that I’ve held onto after having giving birth, I’ve already lost 15 of it during these past few months and am working on losing the 10 that remains. I have simply been counting calories with the my fitness pal app and doing HIIT workouts 3x a week. But let me just tell you, losing weight is what really makes me feel the most confident of everything on this list. If you’re overweight, you can’t really hide it. No matter what you wear, people will be able to tell if you have a fit and trim body or if you don’t. You can’t hide it. So above all I think if you are overweight, then losing it will make you feel the best about yourself. And I’m not saying to do it in an unhealthy, obsessive way. There are healthy ways of doing it (in my opinion). I’ve been losing just one pound a week and although it’s painfully slow, I know that it’s working so I just need to be patient and stick with it. It’s when people start to become impatient and want to rush the process that they start going about it in an unhealthy way, with crash diets, laxative teas, and the like. And also I’ll just say, I’ve been working out for 10+ years doing everything from heavy weights, Pilates, cardio machines, etc…, and I just have to say that HIIT has been the best by far. You get quick results, you’re able to lose fat, keep your curves, and put on muscle, all while only working out 30 minutes max. So if you’re looking for a new workout routine, I would start off with trying that.

I hope that these tips were helpful for you guys and not at all offensive. I try to be honest while at the same time being sensitive to the feelings of others. This is the truth, this is how i got to be to where I am today. It’s not to hurt anyone’s feelings but to give you the answers that many have asked me. Which of these tips did you guys find the most useful? Which ones would you add? I’d love to hear from you.

Till next time,

Paula Moral

How To Save Up To Buy A House

Buying a house may be closer to your reach than you think. It’s all just a matter of controlling your money and making it work for you. In today’s article, I want to share with you the top 5 tips that have helped us save. I hope these will help you guys too so you can start this new, exciting chapter in your life.

1. My first tip would be to find the cheapest grocery store to buy your food. We previously did our grocery shopping at Trader Joe’s (a health food store) but that would easily bring our total price to $200 and sometimes more per week. And we’re just a family of two adults and a toddler! I searched around to see what stores had the best prices for food. It turns out that Walmart has some of the best prices. So I now do the majority of my grocery shopping there. But…surprise, surprise…the 99 cent store actually has a whole lot of produce all for $1! When I shop there, we save $70 a week which adds up to $280 a month! That’s a whole lot of money to save on just one bill! And trust me, I was skeptical about dollar store food too. But we have already tried it for 2 weeks and everything tastes just fine. Nothing spoiled right away or anything. So just give it a try. Maybe you’ll like it too.

2. Another area where we’re saving money is on our electric bill. Im so sorry to say but we used to live with our AC going non-stop! Its so embarrassing to admit. But now, we’re rarely using it and only put it on when the heat is getting to be just too much to handle. Turning on the AC is now a last resort for us. We’ll open the windows, turn off the lights, close the blinds, take a cool shower, turn the fans on, we’ll do all that before we finally decided to turn on the AC. We haven’t gotten the bill back yet but i imagine that we’ll be saving anywhere from $100 – $150 a month minimum. I’ll try to update you guys once we get the actual numbers back.

3. We also limit eating out now to only once a week. That’s something I had already been doing for a while now just for weight loss reasons but now my husband is jumping on board too. So he no longer will order out for lunch while he’s at work. But I take responsibility for making sure he has meals so he won’t have to eat out. If I miss a day for packing his lunch, I wont blame him if he does have to eat out. But its rare that that’ll happen. Lately I’ve been making a lot of crockpot meals so we’ll have leftovers for lunch the next day. I’ve also been focusing on making delicious recipes so he wont miss eating out over the weekends. Often times before, we would go to Jamba Juice and buy a smoothie but now if we’re craving a smoothie, we’ll just make one at home. Its a whole lot cheaper that way. And you’d be surprised how much it adds up when you’re eating out.

4. My next tip is to look through the coupons you get sent to your door. Before we wouldn’t even bother and would just throw them out right away. ( I know, we were super wasteful :/ ) but now I take the time to look through them. I’m not a super couponer or anything so you won’t see me at the store taking out a binder of coupons (not that that’s a bad thing, I’m just not at that level). But if I do see a coupon for something that we use on a regular basis or for eating out, I’ll make sure to save it. For example, just last week I found a coupon for a free pizza. There were no strings attached either, we didn’t have to buy anything else. So last Friday for our day of eating out, we literally spent $0 on dinner. That was amazing to me and quite exhilarating to be honest lol😄

5. I’ve also been loving no spend weeks. I often will just do one week at a time and then the following week I will let myself buy something that I’ve been wanting (home decor, makeup, etc…) But lately I’m doing no spend months (since we’ll be moving into our new home in a little over a month) and I want us to save up as much as possible so we can have enough to make the renovations on the house that we’re wanting. I have been loving the challenge of not spending any money though. It really forces me to get creative and to find local events that are going on for free. It makes me do more hands on and nature things with my daughter. It’s been so nice and its getting easier over time. This is now my third week in a row of not spending any money on personal things and I’ve been so proud of myself for it.

As we’ve gone over the numbers to see if we can afford a house, I’ve realized that we’ve had the money all along but because of our mindless spending, the money would just slip through our fingers and in the end we wouldn’t have enough for anything else because we had spent it all on meaningless stuff. But spending like we were was just keeping us in the same situation of living in a small outdated apartment that we really didn’t want to be in. I’m so happy that we’re finally taking control of our money so we can really do the things we want with it and not just waste it. It makes me feel so good too as a stay at home mom because I know that I’m helping my family save TONS just by spending smarter. Sometimes us stay at home moms can feel like we’re not contributing enough to the family but I can see now that I am. By being more mindful with our money, I’m enabling us to be able to buy our own home. If it wasn’t for that, we’d always be stuck in the same boat. Because even if I went out and got a job, with our reckless spending, we still wouldn’t have any money left over.

This experience has helped me to see that we need to be in control of our money so we can take it in the direction we want to go. It all comes down to priorities and about what you want most. If you really want a house, then making these changes won’t be such a big deal. But if you rather have stuff, then that’s OK but just know that you may not be able to save for other things. I hope these tips will help you guys with getting a rein on your money so that you can soon move into a home of your own. It’s such an exciting, new chapter in our lives and I cant wait to share all the details, home decor, remodels, and DIYs that we do on the place. Which tip did you find the most helpful? And if you have any tips of your own, please let me know in the comments below. I’ll take all the help I can get!😄

Till Next Time,

Paula Moral