Today, while in the 4th month of quarantine, I wasn’t on any social media whatsoever. I didn’t have any pictures to post, comments to reply to, or stats to check. Normally during this time of staying home, I would use it as an excuse to consume even more social media. I would think, what else am I to do? But recently I’ve been more concerned of the effects social media may produce; not only for myself but for my daughter, not even just for the moment but even into the future. Let me explain.
Why I Wanted To Do It
I’ve noticed in myself lately a trouble concentrating. Lately, when people talk to me, it’s almost as if I can’t hear them. I’m trying to make out what they’re saying but just can’t. I feel as though maybe it’s because my mind is divided and thinking of multiple of things at the same time. And social media can do that to you (based on articles and videos I’ve watched on this topic). I didn’t like that feeling. I didn’t like not being there in the moment when my daughter was trying to share something with me. I’m normally really good at listening and being there so I didn’t like not feeling close to her. Along with not being able to focus on a conversation very well, I also could not get through a book for nothing! I used to breeze through multiple books in a week. Now, I would have to reread the same passage over and over again because it just wasn’t getting through my head. I couldn’t focus anymore!
Another reason why I wanted to quit social media was that I didn’t like the amount of time that was spent on it. If you watch the video I linked in the paragraph above, you’ll see that Dr. Cal Newport brings up the point that none of us want to spend the amount of time that we do on social media. It’s habitual and it’s addictive but it would never be a choice that we would actively make if we put thought into it. I couldn’t agree with that more. How many times do we click on one of those apps just to “check” something and before we know it, we’ve passively spent an hour or more when that wasn’t even our intention? I didn’t like having the habit of checking my phone constantly either.
I also don’t like the way it makes us feel. Think about it: have you ever walked away from social media feeling better and proud of the way you used your time? I sure don’t. I never think, “I am so glad I spent two hours watching videos that I don’t really care about and seeing the latest pictures from strangers I don’t know.” I either feel bad because I’ve wasted my time or I feel bad comparing my life or myself to someone else’s. So I never walk away from it feeling better, only worse.
In addition, I feel like it keeps us from enjoying the moment with our loved ones. Instead of just enjoying beach day with your family, we stop and take a picture. We didn’t like the first one so we stop to change the angle, fix the lighting, pose, reposition things. And we do this all to have the most aesthetic picture possible to show off to the world. Why? Why do we do this and why are we so concerned with the world seeing just how great our life is? What are we trying to prove? It’s something I’ve been thinking about. I think a lot of us just do social media because it’s the norm; everyone does it so we don’t put much thought into it. It also becomes a habit like I mentioned before so it just becomes something we do without even thinking about it.
Another side note, it’s not big but just something I’ve been thinking about, I’m not comfortable with my daughter having memories of me just being on my phone all day. In my defense, I do do a lot of different things on my phone: I text family members, read and study, write on my blog, order things we need at home, and more. So not all things done on the phone need to be considered a waste of time. But if I can reduce that time by a big chunk, simply by canceling social media, then I definitely want to do it. I don’t like the idea of every time my daughter walks into the room, she sees me on my phone. It’s not necessarily a bad thing to be on your phone since a lot of useful things can come out of it, but I don’t know. It just gives me an eerie feeling and it’s something that I worry about.
I also felt like it started to develop within me a focus of just myself. It was as if I felt that I needed to take a selfie because people just had to see how good I looked that day. I felt like I needed to promote my blog to get more views on it. It just started to feel like everything was all about me, and that felt wrong. It wasn’t that I thought I was the best thing out there, but it was what I thought I had to do if I wanted to stay relevant and gain traction for my blog. And trust me, I don’t care at all about followers and numbers, or anything like that. But I felt like it was something that was necessary in order to promote my blog, help it gain attention, and eventually turn it into a business. I didn’t like that feeling. I don’t want it to be all about me; I don’t feel like it should be. I also didn’t want friends and family to get the wrong impression either and think that I felt like I was the best. Maybe I’m overthinking it, but I didn’t want my loved ones to get the wrong idea and believe that I felt superior to them and to others because I don’t feel that way at all.
I also worry about my family’s privacy. When you post everything about your family, you leave yourself vulnerable. That may seem over dramatic but that’s just how I feel. Now everything is up for speculation and people will comment on everything and anything that you and your family do. If you haven’t posted a picture of your spouse in a while, some may start to think you’re going through something, maybe a separation. We leave ourselves open to public opinion and suddenly people feel entitled to comment on your life: what you need to change, how you’re lacking as a parent or spouse. It feels as if they’ve invaded your personal bubble, your safe space. And suddenly the safety and privacy of your home is no longer yours but put on display for the world to see and speculate on. To me, It’s just safer to keep my family life private and outside of the public eye and keep it the secure dwelling place that it is.
Why I Hesitated
I have been wanting to end my social media habit for a while now but I’ve hesitated. I was convinced that I had to keep my social media accounts for a few reasons. One, I didn’t want people from back home to forget about me. It may sound silly, and maybe it is, but it was a real concern of mine. I’ve moved from the Boston area to California nearly 6 years ago after I married my sweet husband. So I thought maybe people I grew up with would forget me but you know what, they just might and that’s OK. I accept that now. I realize that my true friends and those that really love me; they’ll be the ones to remember me. We don’t need to keep in contact with everyone we’ve ever met. It’s not as if everyone I went to elementary, middle, and high school with ended up being my best friends. A lot of them have grown up to be on totally different paths than I’m on and that’s OK. If I’m meant to reconnect with certain people, I think it’ll just happen.
I also worried that my blog, my business, would not be able to grow if I didn’t have a social media platform to promote it on. I thought that’s just what you had to do if you were serious about your growing your business. Honestly, that may still be true, I’m not gonna lie. I don’t know how many people on my Instagram, Pinterest or Facebook, would actually click the link to my blog anyways though. It may be close to none or it may be a great deal. I of course still want to grow my blog but not at the cost of all the things I’ve mentioned above. I’m just going to continue writing new posts and hope that maybe the SEO algorithm on google will do me good and help others to find my little corner of the internet.
Day 1 Recap
Today was day one of no social media. So how was it? It was great actually great. My daughter and I ended up having a real fun time together, joking and laughing throughout it all. I felt much closer to her since my attention was actually on her and nothing was there to divide it. The only weird thing was the habit of checking my social media. Several times throughout the day I thought to check my accounts, just to realize that there were no accounts to look at. It wasn’t too hard but it was just kind of funny realizing all the times that I would’ve been on my phone had I actually been using social media today.
Where Do We Go From Here?
I want this to be a permanent thing, I really do. I will say, I don’t 100% know if that’ll be the case. It almost feels weird to think of never having a social media account again and I think I can never say never. Who knows if I go 20 years without it and then decide for some reason to start it up again? I don’t know if this will just be a break from social media or a long term thing but I hope it is for a long time. I’ve been wanting to break free from social media for a while now but it can just be so addicting. I feel like I might be ready though. I hear that the first 2-3 weeks are the hardest so I want to at least make it to that point before I even think of trying to log on again.
What will I do with all this free time now? I have a lot in mind. One thing I think would be fun to start is scrap-booking. I was previously using Instagram as my own online scrapbook but if I’m not going to use that anymore, then it’d be nice to have an actual book of paper copies of my pictures. I think it’d be fun to buy a Polaroid camera for this project too. We’ll see. It’s just an idea right now but who knows.
I also want to use this time to blog a whole lot more. Now that my head will be free to think more clearly, I think I’ll have a lot more ideas for what I want to write. Even today’s post felt a little more easier to write. Perhaps because I didn’t have the distractions from my phone. I want to read more during this time too. Like I said, I used to devour so many books at a time but after using social media, reading feels too hard. I want to get back into it though and rediscover that love I once had.
I also plan on doing daily workouts. That may seem random but it is something I’ll be using my time for. Even today I ended up doing my first 30 minute Pilates routine in quite a while. I just really want to use this time to focus on my family, reconnect with the things I once loved, and basically mind my own business and worry about taking care of my little circle of loved ones.
I hope you guys enjoyed today’s article. It was a bit different than what I normally do but this was something that was on my mind and heart so I wanted to share it with you all. Do you guys feel the same, that you want to quit social media, or at least take a break from it? For me, it’s been a long time coming but I’ve just always made excuses like “I need it for my business” or “I hardly even use it”. But lately I feel like I’ve been seeing the negative effects more and more from my social media use and felt like it was time to finally just jump in and do it, cold turkey. Let me know what you guys thought of it. I’d love to hear from you.
I often get asked how I do my makeup, by friends and strangers. I once did an Instagram video in which I broke down each step of my makeup routine, but I realized that it’s something I never talked about on my blog. So I wanted to share it with you guys and since some people are visual learners, I made sure to take LOTS of pictures. I hope you enjoy each and every one of them. Let’s get right into it.
First, we want to start off with a nice fresh face. For me, I do more of my in depth facial cleansing at night when I’m taking off my makeup and all the oil and dirt from the day. In the morning, I just freshen it up with some witch hazel. I use cotton pads that you can find at Walmart, Target, and even the dollar store. I pour some onto the pad and wipe it all over my face, over my eyes, and down my neck. I feel like it really helps to wake me up too. This one just so happened to also be infused with rose water, but I don’t usually buy this one; It was just the only one left in the store. To be honest, I don’t see a difference between this one and the original plain witch hazel so I wouldn’t sweat it if you’re not able to buy this exact one.
After I’ve freshened up my face, I’ll apply my daily SPF. I have recently been paying more mind to preventing skin damage, especially when it comes to my face. It can just really cause premature aging and even melanoma so it’s really important that we take sun protection seriously. This one is a natural one that I got from Amazon. I try my best to switch as many products as I can to natural ones. I don’t do it for all of them though, as you’ll see, because I still want my products to work a certain way and if I can’t get that with the natural ones, I’ll just use conventional ones.
Next, I put my makeup primer on all over my face. This one is another natural product. I love how it moisturizes and really makes my skin feel alive. It has such a pretty glow to it too, making your face look so dewy. I would say moisturizing your face, in some way, before you put makeup on is so vital! It’ll help make the application process so smooth and will leave you with a more natural look. It’s as if the foundation and makeup is able to melt into your skin instead of just sitting on top. From my experience, if I don’t moisturize, my makeup will look dry and pasty and not at all how you ideally would want it to look.
After I moisturize my face, I then do the same to my lips. I just hate my skin or lips to feel dry and tight so I like to get this done right away. It’ll just irritate me if I don’t😂 I like to use Carmex because it’s easy to layer onto your lipstick later on in the day if it’s starting to wear off. What I often will do is apply it on top of my lipstick mid-day, rub my lips together, and voila you look like you just reapplied new lipstick when really all you did was put a little lip balm on.
Next I think it’s important to note that I always dampen my sponge. I have had days where I was too lazy to do so and just skipped this step which resulted in my makeup looking dry, textured and pasty; basically not how anyone wants their makeup to look. So I would say a damp sponge is a must!
Now we apply foundation. I love, love, love this Milani conceal and perfect one. I have tried to switch to others, in hopes of finding one that’s better and immediately end up regretting it. This one just has such good coverage and without looking unnatural. It covers what it needs to without looking like mask. But it is also very breathable and not heavy at all; to the point that I sometimes forget I even have it on as I carry on with my day. I feel like my skin can breathe and like it’s not at all suffocated with this one (which I know is a big concern when you’re using high coverage makeup).
Next, we move on to concealer. This is my tried and true favorite. It again has such a good coverage but doesn’t look unnatural or heavy. I use the color “natural” in the summer time since I have a little tint from the sun, a little more color. But normally when I’m not tan, I use the shade “vanilla”. I just apply it to the typical place you would apply concealer for contouring: down my nose, underneath my eyes, on my chin, a little triangle on my forehead, and a little above my jaw.
Then just like with the foundation, you want to dab that into your face. With all my makeup, I dab, no brushing across or sweeping (unless we’re doing loose powder). Dabbing your makeup on helps to build coverage instead of accidentally taking some off; which is what happens to me if I try sweeping my makeup across.
Now onto bronzer. This is just a picture of me showing you the one I use: Physicians Formula Butter Bronzer. It is the best! I again have tried other ones but none have been as pigmented and smooth as this one has. Other brands tend to be too light for me (even when I use their darkest shade) and it ends up looking like you have no bronzer on whatsoever. I’ve also used ones that were so patchy it made me look like I had a skin condition. So I always revert back to this one. It’s just what I need.
I start with applying the bronzer on the top of my forehead. Again, to do this I dab it on. If you were to smear it or try swooping your brush, you could potentially wipe away the foundation from underneath, giving you a patchy look. As a side note, the reason why you would want to wear bronzer is to bring some warmth and color to your face (as foundation can sometimes wash your skin out). It also gives your face depth by defining your facial features; it makes your cheekbones pop, gives a tightened and toned look to your jaw, and it helps define and slim your nose (if that’s what you want). I just wanted to add that in there because I’ve had friends ask me what the purpose of contouring and bronzer is all about.
I then go on to do the hollows of my cheeks to define those cheek bones. I’ve recently been trying a new technique of just using the side bristles of my brush (so not the whole width of it) to help only mark a small thin area of my cheek so it can be more clean and defined rather then if I just powdered my whole cheek brown. I hope that makes sense with the way I’m explaining it.
Next, I go along my jaw line. You want to make sure that for this one, you’re going underneath your face. I use to do it on my face directly which ended up making me look silly since I’d have a brown line all along the bottom of my face. Make sure you keep it tucked in and hidden by focusing it more beneath the jawline.
Next we just bring that bronzer on down your neck. You don’t really want to be adding much bronzer to the brush, if any at all, during this step. This is more so to help blend the bronzer you already have on your face, with your neck so that there will be a smooth transition in color. You wouldn’t want your chest to be white and then your face or neck brown. So bringing the bronzer down your neck just helps to fade it all in so it transitions better.
Now I go on to contour my nose. I just use a small eye shadow brush to apply bronzer to the sides of my nose. I make sure to go all the way up to where my eyebrows start and then down again to the tip of my nose. If you feel that the bronzer is noticeable and just looks like brown markings on your face, don’t worry. Once we apply the setting powder, it’ll help to blend everything out.
Next I like to go in with blush. Some people like to skip blush all together but in my mind, how can you? I love a rosy pink cheek; I think it’s so feminine and cute. This one is from the Honest company so it’s another natural beauty product (you see, I’m trying😄) I again dab this onto the tops of my cheeks. I used to do my whole cheek but that just ended up making me look like a clown, unbeknownst to me. But you make makeup mistakes sometimes, and you look kind of crazy on those days, but you learn from it and get better from there.
Dab, dab, away✨
Now we set and blend it all in with some loose powder. This big jar was only $6 on Amazon. A friend recommended it to me and so far, so good. I take a medium sized sturdy brush, dip it in the powder, tap the excess on the side of the jar, and then just apply it to the especially oily areas, mainly my t-zone. When it comes to brushes, just use the one that makes the most sense to you and that gives you the results you’re wanting. I’m so certain I’m not using the brushes correctly or as they’re intended to be used but that doesn’t matter to me. I think that as long as you’re happy with the end result, then you’ve done your makeup right. That’s why you don’t really see me specifying the exact brush I use for each step. Just play around with them and see which ones you like to work with best.
This step is a new one for me. I literally just started incorporating lip liner into my routine maybe a week or two ago. I always had a friend who would basically tell me I should use it, I saw Youtube videos of girls who made a dramatic difference just by using it so I thought, why not just try it all ready. So I bought this pink one from Rimmel London. My lipsticks tend to be pinkish nude colors anyways so I figured it would work. You want to choose a lip liner that is a pretty close match to the lipstick you’ll be using it with so it blends together nicely. Again, I find that moisturized lips help make the process so much smoother since the liner can just glide across your lips instead of it being jagged and constantly stopping. I just line the inner and a bit of the outer of my lips and that’s it.
I next apply my lipstick. (Sorry it’s upside down in the picture. I didn’t notice that while I was taking it). This is my favorite lipstick that has been my go-to for probably a year now (maybe a little more too). I’ll try other lipsticks from time to time but again always revert back to this one because it’s just a favorite. I really like the formula in this liquid matte lipstick because it doesn’t feel too tight on my lips. You know how matte lipsticks can be, drying, tight, peeling. But with this one, I get none of that. It looks streaky at first when you put it on, but just allow it to dry and then you’ll have a nice full coverage look.
Next we go on to eyeshadow; one of my favorite parts! I just love how you can be so expressive and versatile when it comes to eyeshadow. It’s fun. This is a cheap palette I bought from Amazon for only $11. The quality is very good so that’s why I continue to order these kind of palettes. This one is called Sweet Mint from the brand Best Land. I’ll have all the products linked below to make it easier for you to find each product.
The first color I used is this light pink. Unfortunately they don’t have their own names so I can’t tell you what each color is called. But I used this blush pink all over the base of my eyelid.
Next I went in with this shimmering burnt sienna color for my lid. You’ll notice that for me I tend to use warm pinks, oranges, and browns. They just tend to suit me best as I am a fall tone, after all This one I just covered my lid with. You may have to go in a few times with the color just to make sure you’re getting the opaqueness that you want.
The color ended up coming in darker than I wanted (it was very red) so I just went in with my beauty blender and tapped it on my lid a bit to help lighten it up. I then used my finger to kind of blend in the concealer that was transferred from the blender. This isn’t something I normally have to do, simply because I usually don’t have mistakes like this. But on this day I just so happened to put too much. It’s a good opportunity though to show you what I do in a situation like this when I needed to correct my makeup.
After I fixed that little mishap, I next went in on the crease with this brown shade. For my crease, I use a small slanted brush (I’ll try finding a link for that too) and then I just dab it into my crease. I don’t add too much color on my brush when doing this because a little goes a long way. So start with a less and you can always add more if you need to.
Dab it into your crease.
I also will use the same color that I used for my crease for under my eyes. Our eye shapes will vary so what suits one person won’t suit another and vice versa. For me, I notice that my eyes look best when there’s a little something lining the bottom. I feel like it gives my eyes more balance and just evens out the look for me. So again you can play around with it and see what works best for your unique eye shape.
I’m then going to go in with this sparkle white color and dab that into the inner corners of my eyes. I love adding a little pop of shimmer to this part of the eye because it’s such a small thing but it really makes a difference in your overall look (and it makes you glow a little more😊). As a side note, sorry the pictures aren’t as crisp and clear. Hopefully I can soon invest in a better camera for you guys to see all the sharp details in my pictures. Just know that it’s something I’m working on.
Would you like to have some glitter? Yes please!✨
Next I go in with my eyeliner. Since taking these pictures, I’ve recently moved on to using a liquid eyeliner pen. It’s literally the same application and everything. I just feel that with the liquid one, it can be seen better so it’s more noticeable. I sometimes have the issue of this pencil eyeliner being too light that you can’t even tell it’s there. I’ll link both products down below so you can decide for yourself which one you want. What works best for my eyes is for me to just do a flick on the side. My eyes have a natural curvature on the side of my eye (maybe it’s just a wrinkle😂) so I just follow that line. I don’t line the top of my eye which I know may sound weird to some but each and every time I try it, it just ends up looking bad. I’ve done a perfect winged look before but it just didn’t suit my eyes. It ends up making them look really small and my eyes are already on the smaller side. Every time I try to make it work, I never end up liking the way it looks. So I just don’t do it.
Next I like to start prepping my lashes. I love this L’Oreal voluminous primer. It really helps to define, lengthen, and thicken the look of your lashes. I am so glad I tried this about 2 years ago because it has been a game changer and a staple in my routine. I just apply this on my lashes like you normally would with mascara. I make sure they’re coated from the root to the tip. I then give that a second to dry while I move on to eyebrows.
For eyebrows I love to use this E.L.F brow pencil. I like the shade Taupe since it’s a lighter brown and won’t give me such a harsh look to my face. I first like to brush them out just to see what we’re working with today.
I then line the bottom and top of my eyebrow with a thin light line. Remember, less is more and you want to keep it tight meaning that it’s really in your brow. You can always add more product later but with eyebrows it’s hard to take off extra if you just so happen to use too much. So start with a little bit.
A picture of the product ⬆
I then use an angular brush to fill in my brows with the color that we lined it with. I go up in hair like strokes all throughout my brow. I really want a natural look that’s not too harsh and still gives me a friendly and approachable look.
After I used the angular brush to distribute the product, I then go back in with the pencil to fill in my sparse ends. Remember to keep it light, with gentle soft strokes. You don’t want to use it as if it is a crayon, that would make your brows look too harsh, dark, and angular.
This is a new product that I’ve just been using for about 2 weeks now and I love it! It is the E.L.F clear brow gel (there’s also a side to be used as a clear mascara). I just brush it up throughout my brows and it gives it an even more natural and fresh look for the summer. It helps define the little hairs in your eyebrows and it was really cheap too (I believe it was only $2).
Now that the mascara primer is dry, we go in with the actual mascara. I just coat my lashes with it as you normally would, maybe with one or two coats, depending on how natural or glam I want them to look for that day.
After that I go in with my setting spray. This is a natural one but to be honest with you, I don’t really like it at all. I feel as if it does nothing for the longevity of my makeup and in some cases, I feel like it makes things look worse. The one I would recommend to you is the NYX setting sprays (either matte or the dewy one, both work really well from my experience. It all depends on what look you’re going for when it comes to choosing between the two of those). So I most likely will be ordering one of the NYX ones this week. I just feel that they really help to seal in your makeup so well and helps it from wearing off throughout the day.
And there you have it: Voila, the finished product! I feel that this is a really nice and natural everyday makeup look. If you wanted it to look more dramamtic, my favorite thing to do is to add a plum lipstick. That deep purple will really look nice with the light pinks and it’s just such an easy way to quickly transform your look. (I just feel a bit weird wearing such a dark color during the summer daytime. That is something I would for sure do during the fall and winter season though).
I hope you guys enjoyed today’s post and if this is the kind that you guys are into, please let me know in the comments below so I can be sure to make more like this. As I mentioned, if there are any products you guys liked here and want to buy for yourself, I’ll have them all linked below. I hope you guys have a wonderful day!🌞
While we’re in quarantine, I’ve been looking for ways that I could better myself and work on some goals right from home. One of those things for me is the health of my hair and length. If you guys have read my previous posts, then you’ll know that I’ve glowed up when it comes to my weight and my skin but the one thing I’ve never really worked on is my hair. I’ve always had trouble with it: I never understood how to style it, what it wants, or how to keep it from frizzing up. So I wanted to take time to learn it and to care for it too. My goals were to transform my locks to be glossy and shiny and to help my hair grow long too. I’d like for it to reach to the middle of my back and to help thicken it up if possible. Last month was my first time sticking to my new hair regime and I’m happy to say that by the end of it, my hair grew a whole inch! That’s fast for me. Of course, it’ll take probably 6 months to a year before I start seeing a dramatic transformation with my hair. But I thought that in the meantime I can share with you all what I’m doing that’s helping my hair grow faster and healthier too.
The first major change I’ve made is extending the time period between my wash days. Before, I’d wash my hair about every 2 days and if I did 3, that was a good week. But now, especially because we’re just staying home, I’ll postpone washing my hair for up to 7 days! That’s the longest I’ve ever gone especially considering that I have an oily scalp. There are some weeks when I have to do it sooner at 5 days simply because we’ll have some really hot days here in California so I not only have oil on my scalp but sweat too. (Sorry if that’s too gross.) So I will wash it a bit sooner. But for the most part, I try to extend it between 5-7 days. I like to use dry shampoo daily to help my hair not lay flat from all the oils. Usually for the last days before I wash, I have to style my hair differently in braids or even wear a hat because that’s the only thing that will look good at that point.
The next major change I’ve made is to soak my hair in oil the night before I wash it. I try to sleep in that oil till the next morning so my hair can soak in as much as possible. Sometimes, though, I’m not in the mood to sleep with it so I’ll just leave it in my hair during the day for a few hours and then wash it before I go to bed. I soak my hair in a mixture of castor and coconut oil. I’ll go through my hair in sections, saturating each layer from root to ends until it’s drenched in oil. I also make sure to rub it into my temple areas where our hair is usually thinner. I then massage it all into my scalp for 10 minutes to really get the blood flowing. Then I twist it all together in a bun or I’ll braid it so it can really cover my ends.
When it comes time to wash, I’ve just been using my conventional shampoo and conditioner. But I recently bought some natural ones that I’m sure will encourage hair growth even more. So we’ll see how that goes. I’ll just wash it as I normally would (in fact I do it twice), the difference though is that I’ll rinse it in vinegar and cold water. The apple cider vinegar helps to strip any build up from your scalp that could otherwise clog your hair follicles (which after a week without washing and the oil soak, there surely is buildup). When your scalp is unclogged, your hair is able to grow to its full potential since nothing is blocking it. The apple cider vinegar acts similar to hair cleansing washes that you’ll find on amazon but it’s all natural and cheap. I then go on to rinse my hair in cold water since that helps to seal your hair cuticle shut and gives your hair a glossy look.
When it comes to styling, I only use heat on my hair once a week and try to not use it at all if my hair is looking good on it’s own. (But I typically do end up using it at least once during the week.) I try not to brush until I need to since it takes away my curls and straightens my hair (for me it sometimes can add frizz too so I try to avoid it).
Sticking to this regime has helped my hair to grow a good amount this passed month. I really look forward to seeing the growth and shine that will hopefully come 6 months from now and then even a year. My next step is to get regular trimmings of any split ends that may come up. Now that things are starting to open up again, I’ll probably go for one soon. I hope this guide is able to help you guys with your own hair goals. I’ll update you guys months from now with my progress and in the meantime, if you have any questions please leave them down below and I’ll be sure to answer.
One of the hardest parts for me with staying home during quarantine is just finding enough things to do to keep me busy. With lock down now lasting 3 months, I’ve been rotating through a list of things that I can do during my time at home. I wanted to share them with you guys for those times when you’ve maybe run out of things to do and can’t think of anymore. Here are my go-to’s:
Adult coloring books– These are so entertaining for me that they’ll keep me busy for hours! It’s also a nice way to unwind and relax at the end of the day while also being creative. Amazon has a so many to choose from. I’ll try linking the one I got, along with the markers, down below.
Spa day– You can take a day or even just an evening to pamper yourself. You can take a bath, do a hair or face mask, do your nails, anything you’d like to give yourself a little extra love and feel better.
Bake new things/ try new recipes– This is one the whole family can take part of. Kids can help with measuring and mixing and everyone can help with eating it.😁 This activity can possibly keep you and the kids busy for a whole afternoon.
Arts and crafts with kids– I have a toddler girl so I’ve been trying to do one arts and crafts project with her everyday. Pinterest is full of amazing ideas and they often will include common household objects like paper plates, paint, and things like that; so no need to have to go out and buy new materials if you don’t want to. My daughter loves art so she’ll stay busy with these activities for at least 2 hours. It’s such a good way for kids to get creative and use their imaginations too.
Exercise or daily walk– I’ve been trying to make sure to do something active everyday. I’ll either go on a walk with the family or do some Pilates videos at home (they’re free on YouTube). It always makes me feel good, it’s healthy for us, and a lot of the time my daughter will want to join in so it’ll help encourage healthy habits for the kids too.
Weight loss goals– This is something I’ve been focusing on while in quarantine. It’s something that can be fun while you track your progress and find new ways of cooking food for low calorie options. And in the end you’ll most likely feel better about yourself and be more confident.
Journal– Quarantine has been hard for us all so I’ve been finding it especially helpful to journal my thoughts and feelings nearly every day. It helps me to focus on what I can fix and to put things in the right perspective. Journaling helps me to see things as they really are and to not blow them out of proportion.
Work on your makeup skills– Since we have more time on our hands, what better time to try and learn some new techniques from the makeup gurus? I’ve been taking more time when I put my makeup on in the mornings and just enjoying the process. I also try to play around with eye shadow and work with new colors. It can be fun and you can end up finding something that will become a new makeup staple for you.
Knitting or sewing– This is something I did a lot of at the start of quarantine (but now I blog) it can be so nice to make things with your hands and to maybe even gift them to friends.
Make care packages for those in need– It could be for friends or maybe for someone you don’t even know that well but think they would enjoy one. It could be a warm home cooked meal, toys for kids, essential supplies, pampering basket for new moms, anything really. There’s just so much we can do and in the end it’ll help us to feel better too when we give back to others.
Read!– So many of us have forgotten about the simple enjoyment of reading a book or we just put it aside in exchange for highly stimulating activities. I know I did. I’m trying to get back into reading. It’s something that can help expand our thinking and vocabulary, it can take us away on new adventures right from our own home, and if it’s a really good book, it can keep us entertained for hours.
Nap– With all that’s going on in the world, it can really be taxing on us emotionally and mentally. Taking a nap can help us to reset and take a break from it all. Often times we’ll wake up with a clearer mind and maybe have new solutions to problems we’ve been struggling with. We always say we’re tired but with quarantine, we don’t need to be.
Picnic– Making sure we get about an hour of outdoors time everyday has been life changing during this lock down and a picnic can help you do just that. It can help get you out from just being indoors all day and the sunlight can help brighten your mood and make you feel more energetic (at least it does for me🌞).
Pool time– If you guys happen to have a pool, you can take advantage of these hot summer days and turn it into a pool day. That can help take up a big portion of your day, and as a bonus, it also makes the kids super sleepy so they’re sure to be more calm afterwards and maybe even take a nap.
Organize– You can use this time to organize those areas in your home that you’ve been wanting to get to but just have never had time for previously. Pinterest has so much inspiration for organizing. I recently just gave my pantry a Pinterest-like makeover. Here’s the article if you need help getting started.
Clean/declutter– You can work on any areas that are starting to get hectic. Now is a good time to clean your home from head to toe as a fresh start. It may be easier to maintain after you’ve done so.
Try starting on those projects that you’ve been wanting to– Have you always wanted to write a book? Start a blog? Or an Etsy shop? Now would be a good time to get those dreams started.
Learn a new instrument– Is there one that you’ve always wanted to learn to play? For me, I’ve always favored the ukulele. It has such a sweet, whimsical sound. You can take the time now to try and learn your favorite instrument.
Soap making– This is a hobby that I still love but haven’t done in a long time. There are so many designs and ways you could make your soaps. There are some you can make to look like gem stones, you can hide a small toy in the center for kids, or you can go the crunchy route and make all natural/organic soaps. The possibilities are endless.
I know quarantine can be challenging (I definitely have those days). What helps me is to try and keep a positive mindset and to keep myself busy throughout the day. It’s OK if you need some days to just reset and not really do much, I need those days too. But overall, I hope this article is able to help you stay busy and maybe even give you a few fun distractions as well.
I have always been on the thicker side. When I was younger, I would’ve been considered chubby. But since then, I’ve lost a good amount of weight and would now be considered thick; I’ve got some extra meat on me but I’m not necessarily chunky. But I don’t want to be. I feel so uncomfortable with with carrying around my extra weight. So after taking a few months off from weight loss, I’ve decided to start it back up again. My goal is to lose at least 20 pounds and maybe even more. It all depends on how I feel at that point. I know it’ll be a process and probably something that I’ll have to stick with even into the winter months. But either way, it’s something that I want to get done. It’s been a month of me eating at a calorie deficit so I just wanted to share with you guys what I’ve been eating. Maybe it’ll help to give you some inspiration if you’re getting bored with the foods you’re eating. I’ve been switching it up all the time though (just because there’s such a wide variety of foods I want to eat) so I think I may include one of these “What I Eat In A Day” posts at least once a month. So without further ado, let’s get right into it.
For this day, I decided to have one of my favorite meals. This is my own version of a breakfast burrito (I know it’s not rolled up like one, but you get the point). You may not like the way I do it so feel free to make any changes to yours that you wish. This is how I made mine:
Next, I was feeling the need for something sweet. I wasn’t necessarily hungry but I just wanted something to satisfy my sweet tooth. For me, one of the best things for that is hot chocolate😋 I made mine all fancy just for you guys so it could be more aesthetically pleasing, so enjoy😄 For this fancy hot chocolate of mine you’ll need:
Hot Cocoa Packet (I used a Target brand) (110 cals.)
6 oz. Almond milk (30 cals.)
Whipped Cream (45 cals)
Total: 185 calories
While I was drinking my hot chocolate, I felt like it needed something more. It felt empty and incomplete. So I decided to pair it with a chocolate chip cookie and that hit the spot😋
1 Nestle Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookie (170 cals.)
Total: 170 calories
I know what you’re thinking “wait, no lunch?” and the answer is no. I just wasn’t hungry on this day come lunch time. Normally I eat my breakfast at around 8am and that keeps me full till 2pm on average. So come dinner time, I may just eat something light or I’ll wait till it’s 7pm or 8pm to eat again. I’m not restricting myself by any means. I still get the same amount of calories in. But just some days I’m not as hungry. So for this dinner I decided to have:
1 cup Kale Salad Mix (140 cals.)
1 Italian Sausage link (180 cals.)
1 up Sweet Potatoes (114 cals.)
1/4 Avocado (50 cals.)
Total: 484 Calories
That completes my full day of eating. Like I said, everyday is a bit different with what I eat but at the end of the day I make sure I’m still at the same calorie deficit. I’m looking forward to when I can start sharing with you guys my results. Let me know what you guys thought of this article. Is it one that you would want me to recreate in the future (with different meals of course)? And please keep in mind that our calorie needs are all different depending on our lifestyle and our goals. So please make sure you eat the right amount for yourself. I hope you guys have a good day and that you enjoyed today’s read.
Growing up, I always loved reading. I mean, you could catch me for hours at a time with my nose in a series of books. Even after coming home from a long day of school and doing all the book work that it entails, including my homework in the evening, I would still want to do more reading; just for fun. I would often fall asleep with 10+ books in my bed because one of my favorite things to do was to interchange between a variety of books, reading whatever I was inclined to at the moment before blissfully drifting off to sleep. I was a huge bookworm, that was my thing and as a result I had such a great imagination and an amazing ability to write. But to be honest, I haven’t delved that deep into books in a looong time; probably about 10 years to be exact.
The last time I actually read a book and finished it was close to 3 years ago! So what happened? How did this book lover suddenly neglect that love for so many years? Well it all started when High school rolled along. Once the book work amplified like it did, I just had no time for reading. I often stayed up till 3 in the morning just to get my homework done and most of the time, it still somehow wouldn’t be complete. So with working non stop on school work and with no time to even consider having a hobby or to even get a solid night’s sleep, any extra reading just went right out the window. I had no time or energy for it. Once I finished with schooling, I quickly got married and had a baby. While my daughter was still in the baby stage, I again had barely enough time or energy for any reading. But now that my girl is 3.5 years old and very much independent, I now find that after all these years I finally have extra time for my literary endeavors.
I’ve just started reading Pride and Prejudice (which is embarrassing to say considering it’s a classic). I decided to just start with a tried and true book since I had no idea where to start. As a side note, I just can’t believe how much brain power it takes to read. To focus all your attention on one thing, to picture the scene, and to decipher the advanced language that is being used; and to think that I used to do that all so effortlessly as a kid! It’s so sad to think, but for a while when I could’ve read a book, I opted instead to watch videos because it was just the easier thing to do, it didn’t required no effort at all. Now my mind is really being challenged to work harder and use my imagination once again.
I want to start a series here where I review books that have films based on them. Then I want to also review the movie and talk about how true it was to the book and which one I preferred. From my experience, the book is always better than the movie but who knows, maybe I’ll come across a movie that will change my mind.
Tell me, what do you guys think? Are you trying to learn to love reading again or is it a love you’ve never strayed from? And how do you feel about me starting the movie and book review series? I think it’ll be fun. It’ll be something I can really see myself enjoying and I hope you guys will too. Please give me your book recommendations down below too. I’m in desperate need of some.
(*Little disclaimer: I am not a doctor by any means. This is just what I found through my research and what ultimately worked for me. So please do your own research and check with your doctor first before trying any of these things.*)
If you didn’t know me before I had my cystic acne, you would never be able to tell that it was something I once struggled with. I don’t have any scars, discoloration, or deep indents left on my face. It wasn’t always like that though. It actually wasn’t until these past two years that I was finally able to smooth out my skin and get rid of all traces of my past acne. But to see how I finally ended up with smooth, acne-free skin, I think it’s important that we go back to the start, when my acne first began to make an appearance.
I started getting acne when I was in 5th grade at only 11 years old. At that time it was simply bumps all across my forehead and that’s where it remained. There was no redness to my skin but the bumps were still noticeable so I always made sure I had bangs to help cover it all up. That was 5th grade.
It wasn’t until 6th grade when I started getting the cystic acne all along my jaw. That would be the start of years and years of battling with this extreme type of acne. I actually had a teacher once tell me “You think I’m listening to you when you’re talking to me? I’m just staring at all the acne on your face. You kids need to wash your faces.” That was so crushing to hear and just overall a really harsh thing to say to a 12 year old. But you know, I wish it was as simple as that. I tried so many soaps like Clean and Clear, Proactive, apricot scrubs, even a sugar scrub. Those cleansers either did nothing for me or they just aggravated my acne more. I also tried tea bags and toothpaste on my face, all home remedies that many people swore by. I was willing to try anything, no matter how painful. I cried many times throughout these different treatments because a lot of the time they hurt so much and it was so frustrating that none of them even worked. So after trying everything we possibly could have, my mom took me to a dermatologist.
My dermatologist prescribed me about 5 medications in total. There were about 2 or 3 creams I had to put on at night, one for the day, and an oral antibiotic. At first, they worked and I was so ecstatic! I thought that this was it. That I could see the sun over the horizon, I could see the end to this long fought battle. That was of course until it stopped working.
You see the thing is that bacteria can become antibiotic resistant. They get used to that antibiotic and learn how to become stronger so that it no longer works on them. (I’m not sure if I’m getting that explanation 100% right but based on my research, that’s how I understand it.) That’s exactly what happened to me. After being on my antibiotics for 2 years, my body became resistant to it. It no longer worked and my acne came back stronger than ever. (The pictures you’re seeing above are not even the actual acne ones, those are just the scars. So imagine all those scars, plus oozing puss, redness, and lumps and bumps all along my jaw and neck. It was not a pretty sight.) At this point, my doctor thought to prescribe me with an even stronger antibiotic. I would have to take it two times a day and the side effects for that one would be: yellow teeth, blue skin, dizziness, and fainting, just to name a few. I am not even joking, those were the actual side effects. So I thought to myself, I may end up up looking ugly with all these side effects but at least I’ll be acne free right? That is a huge joke if you could not tell 😂 So even though I was reluctant, I decided to give it a try. I literally took 3 doses of that medication before those side effects started kicking in. I started to feel dizzy while walking to school, going up and down the stairs, and getting onto the bus. It was to the point that I almost fell several times in one day and it felt like it was out of my control, like I wouldn’t be able to stop my body if it began to fall. So after that, I realized I needed to find a different solution. I just couldn’t keep getting on stronger and stronger antibiotics each time they stopped working and I didn’t like the fact that there seemed to be no end in sight when it came to taking all these medications. I knew that couldn’t be healthy, especially long-term. So I began my search for a holistic approach to solving my acne once and for all.
Through my research, I learned just how harmful antibiotics are to our gut and overall health. I learned how your gut’s health really impacts every other function in your body so if it’s not healthy, then you won’t be either. I also learned how you shouldn’t be on antibiotics for no more than 2 weeks. I was on them for 2 years and my doctor wanted to continue with that regime even longer! I don’t know why she would be OK with having me take them for so long. I trusted her though and did exactly as she said with no question (I was only 12 so can you really blame me?) Looking back, I really think that it was my unhealthy diet that started my acne in the first place but I think taking the antibiotics exasperated the problem even more so that it took a whole lot more work to heal myself by the time I had finished the antibiotics after those few years. So once I knew I needed to make a whole lifestyle change to heal my gut and thus cure my acne, I looked into how I could go about doing that.
I believe at that point I had leaky gut syndrome especially with all the abuse my gut had gone through with years of antibiotic use. Many sources said to heal leaky gut, you would have to remove dairy and gluten from your diet since they just caused more inflammation, so I did. After removing the inflammation causing foods, I learned that I needed to also be sure to restore my gut’s healthy microbiome with a bunch of probiotics. So I took supplements, drank kombucha and apple cider vinegar, and just about took every gut loving thing I could while at the same time avoiding anything that caused inflammation like processed foods and keeping sugar to a minimum. Doing these things helped me to finally get rid of my acne. But I was still left with the scars you see above for years later. So how did I finally get rid of those?
I’ll save you a lot of time and money of having to do your own research and I’ll fast forward you to the products that truly worked for me. I finally found the cleanser that worked for me: Cetaphil. It’s specifically designed for people with sensitive skin and my skin adores it! I’ll try different cleansers from time to time just out of curiosity and to see if there’s anything better out there, but right away I’ll just start breaking out. For some reason my skin just really loves Cetaphil so I stick with that. (I’ll link all these products below for you guys so you know just where to get them.)
Next, buying an exfoliating brush for my face (along with a massage head) really helped to smooth out the lumpy texture my skin once had. My face really responded well to a cheap $4 brush I found at Marshall’s. I noticed that every time I would massage my face, my scars would smooth out, to the point that I don’t have them anymore. I would apply a good amount of pressure to my face while I was doing this to bring some blood flow and redness to my skin (but not so much that it hurts). In the beginning, I would massage for 60 seconds everyday. But once I realized I didn’t need it as much, I just did it for less and less time. Massaging my face is what got rid of my bumpy texture for sure. It helped to soften and smooth my skin. It was a huge game changer!
Another important item was Rosehip oil. That helped to get rid of the discoloration on my face. Keep in mind though that with these things, you need to give them time. I would say it took about 3 months to notice a huge difference with the discoloration. So just keep at it. At least you know that it will work, you just need to give it some time and make sure you’re buying a quality oil (not one from the dollar store). I would drench my face in oil every night (I still do, especially to help prevent any fine lines and wrinkles.) But don’t worry if you have oily skin, because I do too and I still put oil on my face. Putting oil on your face does not cause more acne, that’s just a myth and I’m living proof of that. It was actually when I avoided any oil in my face products when I would have tiny breakouts all over. Keeping my skin dry just exasperated my acne. Your skin needs moisture so don’t be scared to give it some. Just try it and see how it works for you.
Another game changer was witch hazel. Witch hazel really helped to reduce the appearance of my pores. They used to be huge! But wiping my face with witch hazel day and night helped to tighten the look of my skin. My mom was even shocked when she saw my face without any makeup and realized just how tight my skin was looking. By using witch hazel, it’s helped my face to look pore less (as if I’m wearing foundation). I also notice that using witch hazel helps to keep breakouts at bay. It’s only when I’m not using it (or have just eaten really bad the day prior) when I’ll actually breakout. So witch hazel is a must. It’s a staple that I still use to this day.
So that is the complete guide to how I finally got rid of my cystic acne and all the scars that came along with it. It literally took me years and years to finally get the smooth, clear skin I have today (10 years to be exact)! I think what took the most time was trial and error; just having to try so many different things to get to the root cause of my problems and see what worked for me. But hopefully with me condensing what I’ve learned during all that time into one blog post, your journey to clear skin will be a lot faster than mine was. I still think you may have to tweak your regime here and there to suite your personal skin type and see what your body responds best to. But I still think you’ll get there a whole lot faster than I did😂 I think really understanding inflammation and how your body responds to it is key.
We need to be healthy internally in order for that glow and radiance to project from our skin. I think it would be in vain to religiously stick to a skincare regime while at the same time continue to eat junk and processed foods. Your body will not be tricked. The true answer to clear skin is eating healthy. You may have to play around with foods to see what agrees with your body and what may be triggering your acne. For example, maybe you can’t do dairy (or at least not a lot of it) whereas maybe your friend can eat all the dairy in the world and still have beautiful skin. Everyone’s body is different so you’ll just have to play detective and see how your body responds to foods. What may be healthy for one person may cause irritable bowels for another. Just play around with it, see what works for you, and maybe use this guide to help you on your journey to clear skin. I honestly thought I was eating healthy at the time and you may feel that way too. But if your skin is so irritated and inflamed, there’s something going on that your body does not like and it’s trying to let you know.
I hope this article is able to help you guys save a whole lot of time. If you liked it, please give it a like down below and let me know what you thought of it. Are you currently trying to clear up your acne or is it something you once struggled with? I’d love to hear from you!
Every year, as some of you may know, I love to set goals for myself. I’m a very goal oriented person. I write down what I want to do and I then I just do it (as Nike would say 😂) So I thought I’d share with you guys my plans for this new year. Maybe it’ll help to inspire some out there and in the end, I’d love to hear your goals too. I’d love to get some new ideas. So without further ado, let’s get right into it.
First, I’d like to continue to grow my blog. I’ve been posting regularly now for a few months and taking it really seriously. I’ve seen growth even in that short amount of time so I know that if I keep at it, then I’ll soon reap the benefits. So I just want to continue posting every week, at least once, but two times would be a dream. This is my job now so I want to treat it as one.
My second goal would be to lose at least 10 more pounds. I’m guessing I have about 15 left to lose but I really can’t tell. I know though, that losing 10 would make a huge difference and would leave me with not much extra weight. So I feel that if I can knock out those 10 pounds, it will cause a huge change in the way my body looks and from there I shouldn’t have much more to lose. For those who don’t know, I’ve been losing weight for 4 months now and in that time I’ve lost 22 pounds. It’s really transformed the way I look. I’m so proud of my hard work. But there’s still a bit more I’d like to lose so I can feel my very best and be my most confident self.
Next, I would like to develop a hair care routine and at the same time, grow my hair a few inches more too. I have never had the best hair. And it’s not because I have difficult hair or anything, I’ve just never really known how to care for it. I’ve always had a frizzy head of hair and it was pretty much always a hot mess. It wasn’t until this past year or so where I’ve been using hot tools on my hair and actually getting more of a smoother, shinier look. But now I see the heat damage starting to creep up on me. It’s nothing serious, just a bit on the ends. But I know that If I don’t take care of it now, it’s just going to get worse. So it’s time to finally implement a hair care routine. I’m talking hair serums, deep conditioning, learning to style without heat, the works. I want silky, gorgeous, shiny, long hair, but I know it’s going to take work to get it there. That starts this year!
I also want to start reading books again regularly. I’ve always loved reading ever since I was a kid. But with all the many books we had to read in High school, reading during my leisure time was the last thing I wanted to do. Then after school ended, I got married and soon after got pregnant so all my time and energy went towards my baby. But now that the baby stage is over, I’m finding I finally have that vigor back and with it, a desire to read and to consume knowledge. I want to better myself, I want to get to the root of personal issues I have, I want to learn new things. I can do all of that with reading. I’m starting to get that hunger for devouring books back so I want to feed it before it goes away.
I’m really looking forward to going on daily walks once the weather warms up. We just moved into our new home a few weeks ago so right now we live by a canal. There’s a beautiful path that goes all along it with flowers and greenery that I just can’t wait to walk. It’s still pretty cold here in California, but as soon as the weather warms up, even just a little bit, I plan on walking out there. Ever since losing my weight, I’ve been keeping active everyday. I want to keep that up though even when all my weight is gone and I think walking outdoors is a fun, relaxing way to do so. So as soon as I’m able to, I’ll be out there.
Another thing I’m really looking forward to is upgrading my closet. Now that I’ve lost a good amount of weight, everything is pretty loose and baggy on me. For some clothes that’s perfectly alright, like a sweatshirt for example. But for a fitted dress, it just doesn’t look right when you’re swimming in it. I’ve been buying myself a few items here and there but only if they’re on clearance. That’s simply because I’m still in the process of losing weight. So although I do want some clothes that fit me now, I also don’t want to invest too much into them since I know they won’t be fitting me for long. With the clothes I’ve been buying, I’m starting to get a bit more adventurous with them. I’m not buying just regular old skinny jeans. Instead I’m opting for a fit and flare sort of pant that cinches at the waist and opens wide toward the ankles. I don’t want to just wear casual clothes anymore. I want them to be fashionable and just my style. I don’t want to play it safe. I’ve also been wearing heels more which is something I’ve never done before. It’s just part of my everyday look now. So I’m excited to add to my heel collection (right now I just have 2 😂)
Another goal I have is to have friends and family over a couple of times every month. Since moving into our new home, we’ve had people come over pretty much twice a week, every week. I want to make sure we keep to that pattern and throw fun parties for our friends too. I have a lot of kid themed parties that I can’t wait to have. Not many people throw those parties where we live but I think it’d be so fun for Lulu and her friends. I’ve always been so shy when it comes to having people over. I just always over think it and worry if people are having a good time. But my husband has helped me a lot with not over thinking and as I get older too, I’m less self conscious and shy. I love being hospitable now and I just can’t wait for all the parties we’ll throw and all the memories we’ll make too.
I also want to continue homeschooling my daughter. She’s only a toddler so she’s not technically enrolled in home-school; we’re just practicing. But I want to make sure that I keep up with it, work on it daily, and am seeing progress in what my daughter is learning. Right now she knows her shapes, colors, ABC’s, she can match, and draw really good. I think that’s all so good especially since she’s not even 3 yet. I’d like to teach her phonics next (the sounds each letter makes) and then from there we’ll work on forming words and eventually reading. I think we’re making really good progress. But like I said, I want to work hard to stick with it. If I’m going to be homeschooling her, then her education is in my hands and that’s something I take really seriously. So I just want to make sure that it’s something I can honestly do.
This last one is actually something I’ve been wanting to do ever since I was a kid. I want to maybe write a book this year. Crazy, right! I’m not talking about just an e-book. I want it to actually be a physical book that you can touch and feel. I’d like to write and illustrate it myself to. I would probably start off with a children’s book since it’s a genre I love, I have a daughter of my own who I could read it to, and I love to draw cartoons which would be perfect for a book of that category. It might be a bit of a stretch since I’m still trying to get my blog off the ground; I may have to focus on that first. But I’ve found websites that you can use to help you write and publish your own book. I think it’d be amazing if I could make that a reality this year.
Those are my goals for this coming new year. They’re definitely different from the ones I’ve had in previous years; they’re new and exciting. I’m looking forward to it all. Please do let me know any goals you have for this new year. I’d love to get even more ideas. I just wanted to mention too, if you guys are enjoying my blog and would like to help it grow, please subscribe down below to my weekly newsletter. You’ll basically be emailed a notice only once a week letting you know that I’ve posted something new on my blog. Don’t feel obliged to do it but if you like the things I write and would like to see more, I would deeply appreciate you taking the time to subscribe. Thank you so much 😊🌻
Last week was part 1 of this series where I shared 12 things I’ve learned in my life. Since the list was so long, I decided to break it up into two posts. This is part 2. It’s heavy and it’s deep…so get ready. 🌻
13. Let God guide you in life. Sorry to include religion if that’s not your thing, but I just need to briefly say that God is the reason why I am so happy today and why my life is where it is. I’ve been in the trenches and in the lowest of lows and God helped me to get out of that. He helped guide me to true happiness in life and avoid paths in life that I almost went down but just would’ve given me misery. So I just have to quickly give thanks and credit to God himself. I wouldn’t be where I am now without him.
14. Figure our what it is you want to do in life so that all your decisions can help lead you there. I know it’s easier said than done but maybe write down a list of things that interest you and perhaps actual jobs you can do surrounding those things. Or if marriage is a major goal for you, think of the qualities you want in a life long mate. That way you can be sure to search that out in the men you talk to and if they aren’t what you’re looking for, you can end it with them and move on. At least then you won’t be wasting your time. Try and think of where you want to be in 5 or 10 years from now so you can set goals that will bring you there.
15 You need to take care of yourself if you want to help care for others. This is a lesson that was especially engraved in me once I had my daughter. You can not serve from an empty cup. You will just find yourself burnt out, exhausted, and constantly irritated. It doesn’t take too much to care for yourself either; eat healthy meals, do your hair, take a hot shower, do a little makeup (if that’s your thing), and most importantly get your rest. You can’t expect a car on empty to go very far so prioritize your sleep if you want to get anything done.
16. Focus on strength training, not cardio. I see so many people, young and old, who workout so much or eat very little but still have a flat butt, lanky arms, and just overall not the shape they want. I wish I could just tell them that all they need is some strength training. And I’m not talking about 2 pound dumbbells; I’m talking about 20 pounds. Strength training has helped give me the curves I have, its given my arms shape, it’s given me structure and definition in my face and body, a sculpted back, abs, and so much more. You can see all my muscle definition even though I still have some weight to lose and that’s because of strength training. Some people believe that once they lose the fat everything will be toned, but the truth is that you need strength training to give you that definition. If you have to choose one over the other, I’d say skip out on the cardio and focus on the weights. And I know a lot of people fear getting bulky, having a thick neck, and large shoulders. Trust me, I get it. I don’t like that look either. The thing is though, it takes a lot of focused effort, a specific kind of diet, and really heavy lifting to attain that bulky look. So it’s not just going to happen on it’s own overnight.
17. You don’t need to keep anyone toxic in your life. Whether that be family or a friend that you’ve known for a really long time. Don’t feel obliged to keep anyone in your life who’s constantly bringing you down, causing problems in your life, and who is overall a negative influence in your life. That’s draining and exhausting. You don’t need that.
18. Never look to a guy to make you feel whole. If you do, you’re heart will always be in their hands. If they cheated on you or hurt you, you may believe that’s what you deserved. Don’t let any other person define you. Be whole enough on your own. Be complete on your own. That way if a guy comes into the picture, he will just add to your happiness. If he is the only reason for you to be happy, then you will constantly be unsteady because any little thing he does could make your whole earth shatter. I know it’s easier said than done. This is something I had to learn too but it’s necessary and vital. We can’t rely on someone else for our happiness because what would we do if one day they’re gone? You can’t spend your days with that anxious thought always in the back of your head. Look within yourself to see why you don’t feel whole on your own. Why do you feel the need to be validated by someone else? Once you answer those questions, you can start on the road to inner happiness and satisfaction. People are unpredictable so you wouldn’t want your whole life to lie in the hands of someone else.
19. Love is far superior to romance. I know that may be hard to believe, especially with the way movies make it out to be. But trust me, love is so much better and is long lasting. Romance is so quick lived and often dies out. You can certainly have romance and be deeply in love with your spouse, but often that takes more effort since you’ve guys have been together so long and its not the beginning stage of your relationship. Often times, as ladies, we can be suckers for romance (I know I am). It can sweep us off our feet and blind us to any red flags or toxic behavior that the guy may be exhibiting. But as someone who has experienced both, I have to tell you that the truth is love is the better option. It’s everlasting. Love is there for you when you’re at your worst moments in life. Love is there to support you and help you through life. That’s what a guy does when he loves you. The romantic guy often just wants to be there for the good parts and as soon as you’re having a hard time, they’re gone. And of course I’m not saying this is true of all romantic guys. It’s possible for a guy to be both in love with you and also romantic. But I’m talking more about those guys where that’s all they really offer. They’re a smooth talker, know just what to say, and are very romantic, but it doesn’t go any further than that. But sometimes because we love the romance so much, we’ll ignore the fact that he’s not so great as an actual boyfriend. And that leads me to my next point.
20. Don’t ignore the warning signs and the red flags! Often times we may be so head over heels for a guy and love the way they make us feel that we ignore all the ways they’re bad for us. We live for those high points in the relationship because it makes us feel like we’re walking on air. But be wary. Keep your eyes open. From my own experience, the most romantic, smooth talking guys were actually really terrible people and I realized that with the deeper I dug. I found out that they were going around talking to so many other girls in just the same way; they didn’t really care about me personally. That is a terrible person who is not going to change just for you. He just doesn’t respect women as a whole and he shows that in the way he acts. Love is just a game for people like that. It builds their ego knowing they can get so many girls and they usually don’t care if you get hurt in the process. It makes him feel good having the reputation of a “heart-breaker”. But often times we may still stick around though because he says the most perfect things and makes you feel incredible. But look beneath the surface. Those are just words; anyone can talk but it’s a whole other thing to walk. The fact that he’s not giving you his full attention and toys around with other girls hearts says a lot about what he thinks of you. He doesn’t think you’re worth it. He feels that you’re just worth part of his time. Don’t try and stick around and hope that he’ll change because more than likely that’s just the way he’s gonna stay. If he’ll disrespect you now, he’ll continue to do it. The honeymoon stage of when you first meet a person is supposed to be a time where you’re really trying to impress the other person and put your best foot forward. But if he’s treating you so negatively now, I’d be scared to see just how ugly it’ll get as years pass and he get’s even more comfortable with you. I want you to see that and not go any further with him. See the warning signs and run for the hills. (I’m sorry if this came off as harsh but when you’re in this situation, sometimes you just need someone to be blunt and give it to you straight. It can be so easy to overlook those things but if 5 years down the road you’re married to this guy and have children with him, it won’t be so cute having him still act like this. You’ll be kicking yourself wondering why you ever stayed with him. I just want you to avoid all that pain and regret.)
21. Don’t allow social media to break up your relationship. I’ve heard that many couples have actually divorced over it too. That’s so sad to me. Understand that social media is not real life. You’re relationship with your partner is far more important (and real) than anything on your phone. If it bothers them that you follow a certain person or like certain posts, just stop doing it. I’ve heard of couples who will fight that to the core. They’ll say “well it’s my right to do it. You can’t tell me what I can and cannot do.” and the list goes on. Why be so adamant about following certain people like that? Why is that so much more important to you than how you’re mate is feeling? Social media is whatever to me. I use it mainly as a business tool and to share photos with family. Any accounts I follow are just for fun. I really don’t care if my husband wanted me to delete all my accounts today, I would just do it. Social media is just not important to me. And the fact that people would have actual arguments with their loved one because they don’t want to unfollow a certain person? That’s unbelievable. Just remember that at the end of the day social media is not a person. So if your mate were to leave you over it, you would be all alone. And for what? It’s just not worth it. Let your pride go, let your ego down, and just listen to your mate’s feelings. Make their happiness a priority far before social media.
22. You can be body positive and still want to lose weight. I know this is a big debate, it often times causes arguments, and everyone has their own opinion on it. Here’s mine: yes, I believe you can still lose weight while also loving yourself and your body. You don’t have to hate your body in order to lose weight. Just recently I’ve lost 22 pounds and am still trying to lose about 10 pounds more. Even at the beginning of my weight loss journey, I still thought I was cute. I was never repulsed or disgusted with myself. And when it came to losing weight, I never resorted to starving myself or putting myself on a super restrictive diet that made me want to gag. I think often times, that may have been the experience of others when they first tried losing weight (I know I did the same thing when I was 12) so I think that’s what they relate to when it comes to losing weight, as if that’s the only way that it can be done. I would actually argue that I’m showing my body more love by trying to get rid of extra weight that is only causing health problems. I’m eating healthier and making sure I’m more active throughout the day. I think caring for my body in that way is much more loving.
23. And finally number 23! I should make this one good since it’s the last one, right? Ok here it goes: always do what’s right. I know that sounds so cheesy, so dull, and boring. But hear me out. Often times when you’re trying to be morally and ethically good as a person, it can be hard. It can be especially hard when we see people who are doing things so wrong and bad in life and yet seem to get away with it and even prosper. But the truth is, we will always pay for our actions in the end. Sooner or later those consequences will be knocking on our door. For example, if you did bad, cheated on your mate, and thought that they would never find out if you never told, guess what. Those things will always, always come out. You will face those consequences sooner or later. You can’t avoid them. Or if you did right in life, you will see good things come your way. You will avoid drama, arguments, and a lifetime of chaos by doing things right. In my life, I have always made the right decisions, I was always the good girl. At times it felt like why, why do I have to work so hard at doing good when this person is doing so many terrible things and yet seems to be prospering. Again, the truth will always come out. Years later I now see it. I see the misery that is their life, how they are struggling, and are alone due to their wrong behavior, and I see how everything in my life is seeming to align all at the same time. Everything is just right and just as I want it to be in life. I’m not trying to brag, that’s why I’m keeping it real vague and brief. But just know that those people who are doing wrong, even if you can’t see it now, they are (or will soon be) paying for their course in life. It may be something that takes years and years for them to fix (and sometimes it may be something that they’ll just have to struggle with for the rest of their lives). So don’t feel that it is in vain that you do things right. Know that soon you will see the reward for all your hard work and then you’ll be so grateful that you made the decisions you did and avoided so many problems in life.
So guys, there you have it: 23 things I’ve learned in my life. I hope you can take away at least one tip from this that you found helpful. In my life I’ve learned so many things, even as a young person. A big part of that is listening to the experiences of others. So please be open to hearing what older and wiser ones have to say. They’re just trying to help you avoid mistakes that they possibly have made in life or have seen others make. Then that way you can avoid so much hurt in your life. Weigh each decision out carefully. It can be so quick to make a decision that may impact you for the rest of your life so think things through. I’d love to hear from you guys and hear any bits of wisdom that you have. Please share! 🙂
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:
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.)
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.
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.