12.09.2018

2018 Favorites!

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Can you believe this year is almost over?! 2018 has seemed like the shortest and longest year ever – in the best and worst ways. For me it’s been a year of healing old emotional wounds, which can be magical and painful at the same time. Gemini probs, you know?

Without further ado, here are some of my 2018 faves!

Favorite Podcast: Highest Self Podcast with Sahara Rose

This is all I’ve been listening to at work for months now! Sahara is an Ayurvedic wellness guru and has some super interesting people on her podcast – everyone from Deepak Chopra to astrologers, Shamans, and doctors. If you love holistic self-improvement and spirituality, you’ll love listening to her.

Favorite Book: The Light We Lost by Jill Santopolo 

This might be one of the best books I’ve ever read that isn’t a Harry Potter book. It’s a star-crossed modern love story spanning decades (starting on 9/11) that will rip your heart out in the best way. Honestly, I can’t shut up about this book. It’s so beautiful and relatable. It’s also the first time I’ve ever read love scenes that didn’t make me cringe from being overly cheesy or overly gross. Prepare to cry.

Favorite Herbal Supplement: Organic Olivia Tinctures

You know I love me some Organic Olivia. Everything she makes is magical! This year she came out with an entire line of tinctures including Liver Juice, Mood Juice, Peace Juice, Brain Juice, Digestive Juice, and Sleep Juice. I’ve been using Brain and Liver Juice for months and recently added Mood to the mix. They’re wonderful, especially Liver and Mood. My face is noticeably clearer thanks to Liver, and Mood definitely does what it says and makes you less moody.

Favorite Local Restaurant: Big Easy

If you’re around the OKC area, make the drive into Yukon and get some Big Easy! They have some of the best Cajun food you’ll ever eat. I’m a fan of the crawfish tails, crawfish étouffée, and hush puppies.

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11.14.2018

What’s In My Anti-Flu Tool Kit

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It’s that time of year, everyone! Winter is upon us and flu season is upon us. It actually snowed in Oklahoma the other day, which almost never happens in November. It’s impossible to escape all the germs, but there are a ton of preventative measures you can take (besides getting a flu shot)! Here’s what I have on hand every fall and winter to help me not get sick AF.

1. Elderberry Syrup - This is your first line of defense for any thing that might attack your immune system! Elderberry has been a staple in natural medicine for centuries, with roots tracing back to ancient Egyptian medications (always ahead of their time with everything!). Elderberries contain rich flavanoids which are known to stimulate your immune system. Not only is it a great preventative, it’s also great even if you do get sick. Several years ago, I got the flu pretty bad. This was back before I took all my preventative measures. My mom drove to my apartment and gave me elderberry syrup and vitamin C every hour and I was almost back to normal the same day. Don’t get me wrong – I was still exhausted and needed another day to rest, but I didn’t feel like I was near the brink of death anymore. It’s magical!

2. Organic Olivia Immune Shroom - If you don’t know about Organic Olivia, you need to! This woman is an amazing natural healer based in New York. Check her out on Instagram and you’ll see why I love her! She makes a ton of amazing supplements and tinctures (I started taking her Brain Juice and Liver Juice a month or so ago – they’re amazing). Her Immune Shroom vitamins are a must. If you only get two things on this list, let it be elderberry syrup and this. It’s made with five superfood mushrooms – cordyceps, turkey tail, reishi, shiitake, and agaricus. Olivia calls this blend your daily insurance, and that’s a great way to look at it. Mushroom blends like this are great for fatigue, stress, detoxification, allergies, cardiovascular health, and so much more.

3. Zinc - I won’t lie – the main reason I take zinc every day is to help keep my skin clear, but it’s a wonderful flu preventative too. Zinc is said to help reduce the length of flu and cold symptoms. According to Dr. Axe, it has the ability to exert an anti-viral effect by attaching to receptors in nasal epithelial cells, blocking their effects. I won’t pretend like I fully understand this, but if it can help and make your skin look good, why wouldn’t you take it?

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10.21.2018

Finally! An Affordable Alternative to Rodan & Fields Unblemish

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After literally YEARS of searching, I finally found an acne product line that works even better than Rodan and Fields Unblemish. Guess what the best news is? It’s only $46 for all three products. No, this isn’t sponsored – it’s just that good. My skin hasn’t been this consistently clear ever.

Although I wish I could tell you the solution I found is organic, it’s not. I had zero luck with all the organic products I tried. Some seemed promising at first, only to let me down weeks later. Instead I started searching for similar products to R&F. That led me to Paula’s Choice. I’d heard about the brand on several of my favorite vloggers’ channels, but never thought much of it. I was dedicated to my R&F. The products DO work; I’m not hating on them (my mom sells them after all). The price is insane though, especially after purchasing our first home. I just couldn’t keep throwing away $100 on my fave acne lotion that barely has any product in it.

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10.05.2018

Simple Organic Swaps

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Going organic can be daunting! There are so many things that we use every day that have healthier, organic alternatives. I haven’t totally transitioned (and might never to be honest), but here are a few swaps that have been amazing and easy to stick with!

Tampons - If you only swap one thing, LET IT BE THIS. Traditional tampons are gross AF (read more here) thanks to all the pesticides and other chemicals that get sprayed on the cotton. Companies aren’t required to disclose this, even though this is something you put inside your body. Just think about it!! I switched to an organic tampon subscription years ago with Lola and haven’t looked back. It’s safer, easier, and does not cost any more than regular tampons. They also make pads, liners, and a line of sexual health products.

Body Wash - Don’t get me wrong, I love a good Dial body wash sometimes, but my absolute fave is Wash by Crude Personal Care. It’s organic, soap-free, and doesn’t make your bath all sudsy (duh). That’s something I really appreciate now having a jetted tub! Too many bubbles are obnoxious.

Lipstick/Gloss - Organic lipsticks and glosses are wonderful! They’re even better than traditional ones since they have ingredients that actually improve your lips. My favorites are the lipsticks from Axiology (they make the BEST lip balm too) and the lip serums from Fitglow Beauty.

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10.01.2018

Five Fall-Inspired Beauty Products

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HAPPY OCTOBER!! It’s finally the best month of the year. It’s time for caramel apple cider, pumpkin everything, and non-stop Halloween movies/TV series. BTW, if you haven’t binged Castle Rock on Hulu yet, you need to immediately. It’s creepy without being overly so, is based on all things Stephen King, and has Bill Skarsgard in it. That’s all you need to know.

Below are some of my must-have fall beauty products this year!

1. Apple Cider Vinegar - This old $2 classic can’t be beat! Apple cider vinegar is not only great for your health, it’s great for your beauty routine. On days when my skin is really being a douchelord, I wet a cotton round and use a little ACV as a toner. You’ll smell like vinegar (obviously), but it’s super effective at killing any breakouts. In fact, it’s rumored to be one of Scarlett Johansson’s favorite skin care secrets.

ACV doesn’t just affect your internal health; it has also been shown to treat acne and reduce scarring. Certain strains of bacteria often contribute to the development of acne. Vinegar is well-known for its antibacterial properties and has been shown to be effective against many strains of harmful bacteria. ACV also contains specific components like acetic acid, lactic acid, succinic acid and citric acid, all of which have been shown to inhibit the growth of Propionibacterium acnes, the specific strain of bacteria responsible for causing acne. – Dr. Axe

2. Avalon Organics ACV Shampoo - Given my obsession with plain ACV, I couldn’t pass up this shampoo when I saw it at Sprouts last week! It smells like apples instead of vinegar and lathers up pretty well for an organic shampoo. It’s best on days when your hair is super greasy or has too much build up. When I first used it, I thought I’d hate it because my hair felt almost too clean and stripped of oils, but it looked and felt nice after it air dried.

3. MyChelle Dermaceuticals Pumpkin Peel - This is something I buy almost every fall! It literally smells like you’re putting pumpkin pie all over your face. It’s great for acne and post-acne scars. It does tingle a bit and make your face red at first, but don’t worry – it goes away.

After a summer of harsh sun exposure, a pumpkin peel presents a gentle, soothing and hydrating solution to improve the texture of your skin. Pumpkin is rich in vitamins A and C, beta-carotene, potassium, and zinc. It’s also loaded with antioxidants that help fight free radicals, as well as hydroxyl acids and natural enzymes that exfoliate and improve skin tone. If you have acne, a pumpkin peel is a great way to stimulate circulation and promote healing without the use of chemicals, which can irritate sensitive skin. The key ingredients in a pumpkin peel are formulated to penetrate deep into your pores to remove debris and dissolve dead skin cells, all while strengthening collagen beneath the skin’s surface and calming any existing flare-ups. – Siti Med Spa

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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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