Getting Out Of Autopilot and Other Discoveries

autopilot ivyarum

Lately I’ve just been going through the same motions; work, eat, stress over finding time to complete a task from my to do list, sleep and repeat. Most evenings I would lay in bed and think where did the day go?! It’s like I’ve been on cruise control or autopilot. And don’t even get me started on linking up with friends. Life is such a blur sometimes that if we do find time to chat, I dread that one question: What have you been up to? How do I make my life not sound so monotonous!?

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Three Things I’m Giving Up To Make Room For Happiness

happiness flower

This morning I had a rough start. It took me much longer than usual to get out of bed and even after I got the ball rolling, I couldn’t stay on task. Nothing in particular was wrong but anxiety doesn’t always need a concrete reason to flare up. It made me think really hard about happiness; What it looks like to me and what I need to do in order to consistently feel it. We’ve all heard that one saying before. Happiness is a choice. Unfortunately, knowing that bit of information isn’t always enough. You have to be aware of the negative behavior or thoughts that are holding you back from happiness. So without further ado, here’s three things I’m letting go to make room for more happiness.

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Coloring Club STL

urban chestnut coloring

A couple of nights ago, I was scrolling through the events tab on Facebook. Normally I just like to poke around and see what’s going on near me. I never usually attend anything, but one event caught my attention. There’s a coloring club that meets three nights a month at the local Urban Chestnut for brews, coloring and stress relief. Before I could talk myself out of going, I went to the the event page, bought a ticket for the coloring club and patiently waited until Tuesday.

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Product Review: Evan Healy Rose Face Care Kit

evan healy rose kit

In an effort to take better care of myself, I’ve been attempting to put more thought into my beauty regime. Previously I’d just wash my face with whatever Castile soap I used to bathe with (shout out to Dr. Bronners) throw some jojoba oil on my face and keep it moving but I’m not doing myself any favors going that route.  A few months ago, Evan Healy had a pop up event at my job. During this event, vendors gave mini makeovers, demoed product and taught us about proper cleansing techniques. At the end of the demonstration, I was given a choice of face care kits to try in order to get a feel for the product line. Being a lover of all things floral, naturally I chose the rose kit.

The rose kit includes Rose Geranium HydroSoul ( Hydrosoul is basically fancy floral water. They do a better job explaining what it is here.) Rose hip Treatment Facial Serum, Rose Cleansing Milk, French Rose Clay, and a Rose Vetiver Day Moisturizer.

evan healy rose kit

I use the three products pictured above daily. When I first got the kit, I was a little uncertain about how well the Rose Cleansing Milk would work on my oily skin since it doesn’t produce any suds but I love this stuff. It gently washes away dirt and makeup without leaving my skin feeling dry. The rose hydrosoul has a light floral scent that tones my skin and leaves it feeling soft. A little goes a long way but I love rose water so sometimes I go a bit crazy with this. (Also it’s really good to use as a setting/finishing spray after applying make-up.) The Rose hip treatment serum didn’t really impress me. I usually use Jojoba oil to seal in moisture and it didn’t seem to be any more or less beneficial to use the rose hip serum.

The biggest surprise came in one of the smallest containers. The french rose clay is one of the best face masks I’ve ever tried. I use it as a spot treatment whenever I feel a breakout coming (because I really dont want to run out) and it always gets the job done. I’m going to look into buying a full size version of the mask asap because it’s not overly drying and it doesn’t leave my sensitive skin all red and inflamed after.

evan healy rose kit

I chose not to say much about the day moisturizer because I haven’t used it. My face feels so supple after cleansing and toning that I just didn’t think it was necessary. Maybe I’ll revisit it in the drier months when my skin needs a little tenderness.

I really like this kit and it’s also cool that they don’t test on animals, they don’t use parabens or GMOs and most of the ingredients are certified organic. It’s a little pricey though so I’ll definitely be saving my coins up to buy more.

Finding the perfect skin care product involve so much trial and error. What’s your favs? Have you tried Evan Healy?

xo

*disclaimer: this product was given to me by a vendor to sampleThis blog receives no payment or other compensation for advertising/reviews. All opinions are my own.

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April Recap

april recap

This year is going by incredibly fast and April is no different. This was a month of growth and independence. I went a lot of places alone. I tried new foods and opened myself up to exploring the city. This was a month of loss and facing my fears head on. I’ve spent a lot of time auditing my relationships and thinking “What value does this person bring to my life?” 

I’ve backed away from some friends and found support in the unlikeliest of places. Who knew my team members loved me so much!?(I mean, I think I’m great but I’m not always sure if other people can see my light) I learned a lot about what is really important to me. Snuggles with Cat. Phone calls with my boy. Encouraging text messages. Crossing off things from my personal goal list.

I faced set backs but used them to find new purpose. (Hey promotion!) I feel alive and so full of love. I am finally living my truth and growing into the woman I am suppose to be. I’m thankful for all April has brought to me.

I plan to continue this upward transition through May. I want to be more spontaneous and adventurous. I’ve been making an effort to say yes to opportunities placed in front of me rather than turning them down out of fear. I want to continue taking better care of me. I’m going back to therapy. I’m writing again. I’m letting myself be free to do what feels right to me. May, I’m ready for ya!

How was your April? What are your goals for May?

xo

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Update

update

It’s been a bit of a ghost town here as of late and I apologize! I’ve felt so guilty about leaving my blog on the back burner while I handle personal matters, but I’m still here guys and with an update! A couple of weeks back, I talked about feeling overwhelmed with figuring out my next move and what I’m doing with my life. I have all these dreams and goals. There’s so many things I feel like I am good at, but I felt so flustered trying to figure out which path I should pursue. I decided to bite the bullet and jump at an opportunity that was presented to me and your girl is officially an ATL at my Whole Foods Market.

It’s a really big deal because I was full of doubts. Am I ready for this position? Do I have what it takes? Am I emotionally stable enough to handle the stress that can come from a leadership position such as this one? I was constantly comparing myself and my progress to the other candidates. At the end of the day, it was my team members who vouched for me and encouraged me to blossom into this leadership position. I am so excited but most of all, I have never felt so cared for and supported by a group of people I work with. I am so thankful. So so thankful and ready to take on this challenge.

update

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Wishing On A Star: House Plants Edition

plants

The weather is warming up, I’m wearing less layers and it’s safe to say we made it, guys. The worst is over now! Although this winter was pretty mild, I’ve had spring on my mind since early November. As some of you may know, I have a thing for plants. They’re a great addition to brighten up any living space plus it feels good to care for them and watch them flourish. The only problem is it’s so hard to find tropical ones when it’s nearly 20 degrees out.  So here’s some tropical plants I have my eye on this spring. They’re all generally easy to care for, sun loving babies.

1. Monstera Deliciosa

2. String of pearls

3. Rubber plant

4. Bird of paradise

Do you have a spring time wish list? I’d love to hear!

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The Break up: Best Friend Edition

break up

Maybe it starts with your friend moving to a new city and they aren’t texting back like they used to. Different schedules and new priorities make it hard to time conversations just right and you begin to hear from them less. Or maybe there was an argument; something unforgivable was said. You’re usually the voice of reason, but this time you’re too fed up to take the high road. Or maybe nothing in particular happened. Maybe you woke up one day and realized it’s been months since you’ve heard from your best friend.

We’ve all experienced the pain of ending a friendship yet theres this weird silence when it comes to talking about the heartache associated with this sort of loss. It’s almost as if we aren’t expected to mourn. (or at least not talk about it.)

Over the last couple of years, I’ve found myself growing distant and eventually losing the intimate bonds I had to people who were so close to me. Some friendships faded so effortlessly that I don’t have an explanation as to why it fell apart. Some friendships were toxic and one sided so they had to end. Either way, it didn’t make letting go any easier. I see their favorite animal and think of them. I’ll be somewhere minding my business when a song will play and remind me of a special moment we shared. I still feel like I carry bits and pieces of all my best friends with me.

Life has a funny way of going on, whether you’re ready or not. On one of my best friend’s birthday, I was sitting in Chaifetz arena with another friend. I was watching the basketball game and enjoying his company, but all I could think about was how it’s her birthday and we haven’t spoken in months. That night I went on Facebook to send her well wishes only to find out I was no longer on her friends list.

I guess what I want you to take from this is it’s ok to mourn losing a friend. It’s ok to miss them and even feel the urge to reach out. Just like with any breakup, it’ll get easier. Until then, be gentle with yourself. Figure out what values are important to you when it comes to friends. Be a better friend to the people you still have around you.

With all the craziness that life can throw your way, having a friend is a blessing to be cherished. Certain chapters have to end so new ones can begin. Have you ever had a best friend break up?

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Natural Deodorant: A Girls Quest Towards One That Works

natural deodorant

There’s a couple names for this smell. Musky. Frowzy. Funky. Whatever you want to call it, there’s no mistaking it. Body odor is literally the worse. I think I should preface this by saying without antiperspirants, I’m sort of a mess. I can be sitting around not doing much but still sweating my butt off. It’s frustrating and something I’m very self conscious about. I’ve also been weary of trying natural deodorants because I didn’t think they’d do me justice but I’m low key on this quest to live a more healthier life. What’s the point of eating all natural everything if I’m just going to rub aluminum and other no-no’s on my body?

Most traditional drugstore deodorants contain aluminum and other parabens that have been linked to cancer, dementia, and Alzheimer’s disease. Although these findings are all inconclusive, it’s enough to make me want to back away and find a more natural alternative. (*Disclaimer: This blog receives no payment or other compensation for advertising/reviews. All product was purchased by me.) Without further ado, here’s the deodorants I tried so you don’t have to.

Tom's Wild lavender natural deodorant

Tom’s Of Maine Wild Lavender Deodorant $4.99

This is the first natural deodorant I’ve ever tried. It doesn’t work but damn it I wanted it to. Everyday for a week I applied this sucker hoping that maybe my body just had to adjust to a natural alternative. It also didn’t really smell like lavender to me either. After an hour of wearing this, I smelled like a musky flower and shied away from lifting my arms up in fear of someone else noticing. (Twenty four hour protection where?!) I also didn’t keep my receipt so I was out of $5 and still smelly.  Rating 0/10 does not recommend, not even for my worst enemy.

nubian hertitage coconut papaya natural deodorant

Nubian Heritage Coconut Papaya 24 Hour Deodorant $6.99

I wanted to like this one so bad. Nubian Heritage is black owned and I’m all about supporting black businesses. Unfortunately, after wearing this for maybe 25 minutes, my arm pits were really irritated. They were so irritated that I rushed to the bathroom and tried to wash it off in the sink. When I went to return it, the clerk at the store told me that sort of irritation usually happens if you have freshly shaved armpits. I actually don’t shave under my arms very often so I’m not sure what that was about. Nubian Heritage has a bar of soap with the same scent and it is absolutely fabulous. I’ll keep buying that but this deodorant gets a no from me. Rating 4/10 but I think maybe I just have sensitive armpits? Take my experience with a grain of salt.

schmidts fragrance free natural deodorant

Schmidt’s Natural Fragrance Free Deodorant Jar $10.99 

I’ve only been using this one for a week and a half, but I feel like it might be a winner. Schmidt’s is interesting because it’s literally a paste in a jar that you scoop up with a cute little spatula. You warm it between your fingers, smear it on your underarms, and you’re good to go! It takes a little trial and error though. There was one day where I smelled a hint of funk coming through but I’m pretty sure it’s because I wasn’t applying enough. Now I do the recommended pea size amount and I’m left smelling fresh all day. I even smelled fine after running three miles. Rating 9/10  I wish the application process was easier but it works! ( *update: Schmidts now has a deodorant stick!)

 

Jason Purifying Tea Tree Deodorant Stick $9.99

This one wasn’t terrible. The label says “clinically tested and all day odor protection” but one of those statements simply isn’t true. To be fair, without antiperspirants, I’m a very stinky girl; the kind you don’t take home to mother (unless I’ve showered and have my Secret powder fresh in tow.) Anyhow, it was really nice to apply and I made it through most of my day at work without smelling too bad. I just know if I amped up the activity, it wouldn’t make it. This is good for days when you’re just running a couple errands or laying in bed watching Netflix aka not doing much. Rating 6/10 doesn’t work well enough for me but I’m also smelly so *shrugs*

I’ve read cool things about taking chlorophyll to deodorize the body. Have you ever dabbled in the natural deodorant realm? Tried any I didn’t mention? I’d love to hear. – XO

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Self Love Sunday

 

self love tulip

This week has been one of the hardest ones I’ve had in awhile. Honestly though, nothing excruciatingly awful happened. I just felt overwhelmed with feelings and figuring out my next move. There’s all these goals I want to accomplish; all these things I want to be. I’m not always sure if every decision I make is beneficial to my end goal and it doesn’t help that I am the queen of overthinking. Sometimes I wish I had someone in my corner cheering me on and reassuring me during the moments I’m full of doubt. Sometimes I wish I had someone who’d say, “Hey you’ve been working really hard lately. Here’s some flowers. Here’s a plant. I know you’re trying your best. I appreciate you.” I’m slowly learning to be that person to myself.

I think in the end, things pan out the way they’re suppose to or at least thats what I keep telling myself. This evening after work, I bought myself some flowers and told myself that every “set back” is an opportunity for growth and I am growing into the woman I am destined to be.

This week I’m challenging myself to use positive affirmations whenever I feel frazzled. Have you ever used positive affirmations to adjust your mindset? I’d love to hear your favorites! xo

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