09.18.2018

How Blaming Ariana Grande for Mac Miller’s Death Highlights a Major Societal Flaw

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The news of Mac Miller’s untimely passing this month struck me. It’s not just because of how incredibly sad it is that the world keeps losing talented people to addiction; it’s because of the undeserved hate toward his ex Ariana Grande that followed. People are cruel, especially online, and they are out for blood. They always need someone to blame.

I can’t think of a single person who hasn’t tried to “save” someone from alcohol or drug addiction. It’s an epidemic that has swallowed America whole and spit it back out into pieces.

Many people don’t understand why or how other people become addicted to drugs. They may mistakenly think that those who use drugs lack moral principles or willpower and that they could stop their drug use simply by choosing to. In reality, drug addiction is a complex disease, and quitting usually takes more than good intentions or a strong will. Drugs change the brain in ways that make quitting hard, even for those who want to. – National Institute on Drug Abuse

It’s practically inevitable that someone you love will have a problem with substance abuse. It’s heartbreaking and only natural to want to help them, or to think that your love will be enough to save them – that your love is somehow special enough to be all they need. Let me be clear though: you cannot save someone who doesn’t want to be saved. Their wanting to be clean has to be more than just words; it has to come from their soul. And let me be even more clear: that is not ON YOU to know if or when that time is. Someone’s addiction is not your fault. Someone’s overdose is not your fault. If they get clean and fully recover, they found the strength within them and were finally ready to do that.

Ariana breaking up with Mac didn’t cause his death – his addiction did. And we need to stop blaming other people for things that they have zero control over. Period.

i adored you from the day i met you when i was nineteen and i always will. i can’t believe you aren’t here anymore. i really can’t wrap my head around it. we talked about this. so many times. i’m so mad, i’m so sad i don’t know what to do. you were my dearest friend. for so long. above anything else. i’m so sorry i couldn’t fix or take your pain away. i really wanted to. the kindest, sweetest soul with demons he never deserved. i hope you’re okay now. rest. – Ariana Grande in Instagram tribute to Mac Miller

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08.17.2018

7 Must-Haves to Elevate Your Bath Game

Aside from sleeping, bathing is my favorite activity on this earth. It’s sacred, it requires basically no effort, and lets your mind shut down without being unconscious. It’s even better if you have a jetted tub, which was one of my major must-haves when we were house hunting. I’ll never live without a jetted tub again. Even if you don’t have jets, you can still make your bath time more magical. Here are some of the best products to elevate your bath game.

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1. Bath Pillow – YES. Baths and pillows? The ultimate combination. I’m not sure why it took me so long to purchase one because it is the greatest thing. I got this one on Amazon and love it.

2. JaxKelly CandlesI’m obsessed with literally everything from JaxKelly – from candles, to earrings, to sage. They have all the new age stuff your heart desires. Their candles are the BEST. They’re organic and have a cute little crystal hidden inside. So far, my favorites are the blue chalcedony and rose quartz candles.

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3. Crystals – Speaking of crystals, you need them. Even if you don’t believe in all the woo woo surrounding crystals’ healing properties, there’s no denying that chilling in a bath surrounded by crystals and candlelight is the meaning of life. I have several different ones from my JaxKelly candles (they also sell crystals by themselves), a giant quartz from my husband, an angel aura crystal from this Etsy shop,  a rainbow pyramid, and an amethyst that my cousin brought back from Brazil. If you want to hear more about the science behind crystals, check out this episode from the Lively Show podcast.

4. Essential Oils – You already know, I love oils especially for my bath. That’s how I use them the most actually! Rose, lavender, geranium, and envision are constantly in my bath rotation. They instantly chill me out.

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07.15.2018

How to Deal with “Stress Acne”

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Can your acne really be caused by stress/emotional turmoil?

According to dermatologists, and my face, the answer is yes.

I think that there is psychological stress and there is physical stress, and I see changes in people’s skin as a result of the two. Both types cause a release of cortisol, which is our major stress hormone in our body. Cortisol works on the testosterone pathway, and one of the more common things we see in direct response to raising cortisol levels is acne – Dr. Anne Chapas (via Huffington Post

Since there are so many different things that can cause acne, “stress” never really struck me as a huge reason for breakouts until recently. For the first few months of 2018, my face was pretty close to flawless. I did have my annoying battle with PR, but luckily it spared my face. My face was thriving. It was living its best life.

Then in mid-March, my skin went insane.

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06.02.2018

7 Things I Learned Being 27

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Gemini season is upon us! I always feel the most “me” when my birthday is approaching. Despite stepping outside and feeling like I’m in the heart of Satan’s den, there’s something magical about June. It’s a time for pool parties, ice cold margs, exploring new places, and my fave – NO PANTS. It’s hard for me to comprehend that I only have a couple more years in my 20s. CAN YOU BELIEVE? Because I can’t. I still feel like a 17 year old most days, and luckily still get mistaken for one often. This is probably the first year where I’ve been like…I’m a legit adult (even if I don’t feel like it). Worsham and I will have been married for TWO years this fall, I’m going on five years at my job, we own a house…not a ratchet college “starter home” but a legit house. 27 is when you can safely assume your friends are getting pregnant on purpose, and when your exes start dating 22 year olds. It’s also when neither of these things phase you anymore. You’re just like weird, but yes, this makes sense.

Here are some of the lessons I’ve taken away from this season in my life.

1. Let Go of the Outcome – This is really easy for me in some areas and insanely difficult in others. My fellow Geminis know that everything (literally, everything) about us is a walking contradiction. We can be chill AF and high strung at the same time. I think half of the battle is learning to live with the fact that we want everything and nothing all at once. The best thing we can do with life’s ups and downs is to let go of the outcome. The journey is the fun part anyway. I know I sound like a self-help book right now, but it’s true (also self-help books are the best so BYE). It’s always easier when you let go and trust that everything will work out. The example that sticks out most to me from this year is our house. Worsham and I bid on two different ones that we were both in love with and dead-set on getting. We were like THIS IS IT! FOR REAL. And it wasn’t it. After the second house fell through, I was like you know what you have to do. Quit being OCD and just let it happen. The third time was the charm, and such a better fit for us than the others. Don’t be afraid to let go.

2. FORGIVE – Forgiveness has been a theme for me this year. Forgiveness for myself, forgiveness for old wounds. You name it. I won’t get into all the details, but I had the chance to truly forgive someone who I hadn’t seen in years who played a huge part in my early 20s. They went from being my entire life to not being in it period, and as much as I tried to tell myself that I was okay with that and that I had already forgiven them, it wasn’t true. That changed this year when I was able to see them in person again. And even though it was hard, it was healing. I can finally say we’re all good and mean it. Forgiveness is something that has been a huge deal for me since I lost my dad almost 11 years ago, and it pops up in new ways throughout my life. Losing my dad reinforced that life is too short for loose ends and anger. At the end of the day, you’ll never regret replacing it with love.

3. Babies are Not for Me - You already know, I’ve never been a “baby” person. I’m a cat person. Babies aren’t cats. It’s a pretty simple concept. However, if you’re a breathing human with a vag you’ve had someone say, “you’ll change your mind one day! Just wait until you get older!” Well fools, I’m older now. I’m nearing 30 at this point and nothing has changed. I used to think maybe they’re right, maybe I will…and then I hear a screaming baby in Target and I’m like BYE, FELICIA! Also Worsham and I adopted a puppy this year and it has been ROUGH. She’s very sweet and beautiful, but she’s insane. I honestly cannot comprehend how people go through having a puppy and then are like YEAH, BABIES! WTF? To each their own, but I’ll keep my beauty sleep and money. Thank you and good day.

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05.07.2018

2018 Summer Essentials

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I don’t know about where you are, but in Oklahoma we basically just skipped spring. It’s in the 90s here and I’m not ready for it. Fall is my one true love, but at least this heathenous heat means that pool time is almost here! Here are some of my must-have items for when it’s too hot to be alive.

Pacific Deodorant Wipes - I’ve been contemplating buying these for months now, and I’m so glad I finally did! These are perfect to keep in your purse or gym bag. I’ve committed to switching to natural deodorant and these are making the switch much easier. Sometimes I smell a little funky by lunchtime and these wipes are a life saver (I’ve come to the conclusion that some funk can’t be avoided no matter what organic deodorant you use). I’m never going anywhere without them again.

Schmidt’s Geranium Flower Sensitive Skin Deodorant - You guys, I’ve tried SO many natural deodorants over the past two years that I can’t even remember all of them. This one is definitely my fave! It smells amazing and lasts the longest of any of them that I’ve used (though I still need to freshen up some days). It’s great for people who are allergic to baking soda as well. Worsham used it (stole it from me) for a week and it lasted really well on him too.

Crude Oil Cleansing Method - The struggle is real when it comes to converting to an organic skincare line. I’ll be doing a full review on this later, but so far Crude Personal Care’s Oil Cleansing Starter Kit (along with their Bloom oil at night) is the only thing that works as well as my beloved Rodan and Fields. My best friend swears by this stuff and has been trying to get me to use it for a while now. I couldn’t be more obsessed! Plus it takes like 10 seconds to use, which is extra nice in the lazy summer months, and it gives you a supermodel glow. For 15% off click here!

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04.13.2018

2018 Spring Beauty Favorites

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Spring has brought some magical new beauty products into my life, and brought back a few former faves too! Several of these products are organic and several of them aren’t. Per usual, the Gemini in me wants ALL of the things.

Live Botanical Hyaluronic Acid Serum  - This is the green beauty equivalent of Rodan & Fields’ popular Active Hydration Serum. While I love it, R&F’s breaks me out if I use it too often! The minimal and clean ingredients in Live Botanical’s serum don’t irritate my skin and it works great as a primer. Plus it’s a fraction of the cost and contains just as much product!

Rodan & Fields Redefine Daily Cleansing Mask – This is my favorite face cleanser right now! It’s from the Redefine line which is geared toward aging skin, but it’s great for acne-prone skin as well due to the kaolin clay in it. I prefer this over the Unblemish cleanser by far. It’s worth it!

100 Percent Pure Bright Eyes Mask – This eye mask is GOLD! It’s the most hydrating thing I’ve ever used on my eyes in my life. I wish it came as an eye cream too because I’m so obsessed with this! At 27, I do have some fine lines going on under my eyes. When I use this eye mask for an hour or so, they’re GONE for at least a day or two. This is a must-have for brides-to-be, or for any time you want to treat yourself.

100 Percent Pure Healthy Skin Foundation - This is one of the few liquid foundations I’ve actually repurchased! I used this last year in the palest shade (Alpine Rose), but this time I got it in Creme because of the golden undertones and it works much better for my skin tone. If you want a clean version of Estee Lauder Double Wear, this is as close as it gets! It looks really pretty with the Live Botanicals serum under it as a primer and some Alima Pure Satin Matte Foundation dusted on top.

Alima Pure Mineral Concealer - Speaking of Alima Pure, I finally tried their mineral concealer and I’m obsessed. The jar is tiny AF so at first I was like “uhhh?” but it doesn’t take much at all to get the brightening effect that I want! I layer this over my NARS concealer and it makes a huge difference.

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03.21.2018

How I Treated My Pityriasis Rosea

Photo Cred: Into the Gloss

Photo Cred: Into the Gloss

For the past 2+ months, I’ve been dealing with an obnoxious skin condition called pityriasis rosea (PR). PR is a red, scaly rash that looks similar to ringworm and has no proven cause or cure. It usually just vanishes by itself after 2 months or so without treatment. It starts with a large herald patch or two and then spreads from there. While it’s not contagious and doesn’t mean you have something wrong with you, it can take a toll on your self-esteem. The other sucky part is that there isn’t much a dermatologist can do for you besides assure you that it is PR and you’re not dying.

I could be wrong, but I believe mine might be linked to stress. The first time I had PR was shortly after Worsham and I got engaged and started wedding planning. It wasn’t that bad of an outbreak – I only had two or three larger spots on my stomach that went away after a month of using coconut oil and lavender essential oil.

This time, however, was another story. Mine has been on my stomach, back, arms, and even my neck (luckily, it spared my face). While it’s not completely gone yet (it’s still a tiny bit noticeable on my neck), it’s about 99 percent gone. Whether this is mostly due to time or what I’ve been doing, I can’t say for sure, BUT I noticed a significant and quick improvement using the products below. If you’re anywhere near Oklahoma, I highly recommend going to see Phyllis at Rock Creek Vitamins in Sapulpa. She’s an amazing iridologist and told me what supplements I needed to be using. I tried a million things before this and none of them worked as well as the products below. Seriously, I was so upset and desperate that I googled PR remedies every single day. I even went to a tanning salon and tanned once (it was free since I was a “new person” – little did they know I used to be addicted to tanning!). It did nothing except remind me why I stopped tanning in the first place. Spare yourself the effort and at least try the supplements. Also, if you’re itchy take some Benadryl at night!

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02.18.2018

We Bought A House!

If you had told me this time last year that we’d be homeowners before 2017 was up, I’d have laughed in your face. Buying a house was not even on our radar, much less buying a house in Oklahoma. In fact, 21-year-old me would probably have a mental breakdown if she knew what was to come. 27-year-old me, however, has finally learned that happiness doesn’t depend on where you live. Ultimately, it comes from within and from surrounding yourself with the right people.

It sounds like a really simple concept to grasp, but I struggled with it for years. Sure, I knew in theory that happiness wasn’t dependent on a certain location…and yet, it always seemed like it was. I almost felt like I was betraying a part of myself by not moving off to Boston after college like I planned. But I also wasn’t planning on not ending up with my ex-boyfriend who lived there either. That’s the funny thing about plans – the Universe doesn’t care if you make them.

This is all to say this: Some of the happiest times in your life will come from things you didn’t see coming. The ones you never planned for at all.

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02.12.2018

V-Day 2018

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Lip Kit // Coconut Melt // Bralette // Body Oil // Bath Salts // Gemstone Candles

12.28.2017

Things I Loved About 2017

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New Years resolutions and I do not mix. While it can be fun to think of things you’d like to accomplish in the next year, it takes away from reflecting on all the things that you have to be grateful for. Here are some of my favorite things from 2017!

Favorite Podcast: My podcast obsession only got deeper this year with the discovery of The Love Bomb by Nico Tortorella. He did his final episode a couple of months ago, but there are so many great ones you can go listen to. He talks all about love and relationships of all kinds (gay, straight, trans, monogamous, polyamorous, etc.). It’s super interesting and enlightening.

Favorite Book: You know a book is good when it makes you cry. I read all the time, but my fave from this year was The Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon. It follows the story of two teenagers who have absolutely nothing in common, but end up meeting and falling in love – all in the same day. If you’ve ever experienced falling in love in an insanely short amount of time, this one will hit home for you. The writing style is very unique too. It switches between Natasha’s view, Daniel’s view, and the Universe. It’s amazing and will give you all the feels!

Favorite Movie: Beauty and the Beast, of course! The remake was everything I wanted and more. I got to see it with my mom, one of my best friends, and my god daughter, which made it that much more special!

Favorite TV Show: This is Us. It’s not even a contest. This is the literal best thing on TV! If you haven’t seen it yet, binge it immediately.

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