06.14.2017

6 Lessons I Learned Being 26

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On Monday I’ll be 27! It doesn’t even seem possible that I can be this close to 30. Here’s what lessons really stuck with me this past year:

1. Love is Forever – This applies to so many different types of relationships. The most obvious for me: Worsham. Being married has just solidified even more what I already knew about him. He’s my ride-or-die BFF, my soul mate, and the best example of what true love really is. He’s shown me that easy love exists and that it’s the best kind. He’s so much more than what I prayed for, and I know that will never change.

This year is also the 10 year anniversary of my dad’s death. Even though it’s been so long since he was physically here, I still feel his presence all the time. He isn’t really gone, and neither is his love. As Sirius Black so eloquently said, “The ones who love us never really leave us, and you can always find them…in here.” Love transcends our perception of time and space.

This can apply to past relationships as well. Sometimes people feel weird admitting that, or believe that they should hate all of their exes, but I don’t feel that way anymore. It’s understandable to be angry after you have your heartbroken, but eventually you have to let it go. It’s much better to see that person with love instead and to appreciate the role they played in your life. No one is brought to us by accident. If you truly were in love with them once, the love doesn’t really go away; the nature of that love just changes.

2. Some Things are Worth the Stress - Yes, I’m talking about the wedding. When we first got engaged, I went back and forth with whether I wanted us to have a traditional wedding or just elope (Worsham always said he was fine with whatever I wanted). But I’m so glad we had the traditional “Cinderella” wedding I’d always dreamed about. Those 15 or so months of planning were definitely not fun (with the exception of cake tasting), however, even with all the unexpected mishaps, it was beyond wonderful. You can’t put a price on those memories. If you truly want that type of wedding, and can do it without ending up homeless, then you should go for it. The stress is only temporary.

3. People’s BS Says More about Them – I don’t know what it was about the end of 2016/early 2017, but so many people were shady AF. A couple of instances really did bother me until I remembered something that my mom and grandma have always said, which is basically that how people act toward you says more about them than it does about you. It can be easy to obsess about what you might have done to cause someone to be a douche, but at the end of the day, you can’t control anyone’s actions. If you decide something is not worth the drama or attention, then let it go and know that it’s their own issue to deal with. It probably stems from something they don’t even yet realize themselves.

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06.04.2017

Must-Have Products for When Your Skin is a Life Ruiner

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Just like Regina George, acne is a life ruiner that ruins peoples lives. Up until the past month, my skin had been pretty clear…until I ran out of my precious Rodan & Fields Unblemish. Being on an organic kick lately, I thought it wasn’t a big deal – that maybe since I’m almost 27, I could start trying natural products without turning into a 15 year old.

WRONG!

My skin hasn’t looked this ratchet in a good 5 or even 10 years. If I were still in school, I’d be hibernating until it goes away. But alas, I have a job and like money so I can’t do that now. I ordered some more Unblemish last week only to have FedEx delay my delivery 2 days and then lose my package. COOL. So WTF am I doing until my precious package is back in my arms, you ask? Kicking it old school with alternative products that I know work almost as well. Here’s what to do if you a) can’t afford the greatness that is Unblemish or b) FedEx decides to ruin your life.

1. La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo – You know when it’s French that it has to be good, am I right? This acne treatment was prob my fave product before I discovered Unblemish, and I still love it. You can find it at CVS, Walgreens, and Ulta so it’s quite easy to get a hold of thank God. It will set you back about $36 but the tube lasts forever and it works better than any other drugstore acne treatment you’ll ever try. Dermatologists love it, medical spas love it, French people love it – basically all the people who matter love it. Just remember to use it sparingly because it will dry your face out. Your pimples will die though, so who cares.

2. Lush Cosmetic Warrior Face Mask – This is the best thing Lush makes! We all know some of Lush’s face products can be questionable, but this is not one of them. It’s hands down the best face mask I’ve ever used. It has natural acne-killing ingredients like kaolin, garlic, and tea tree oil that diminish breakouts without making you look crusty. And if I remember right, it even won some award from Martha Stewart Weddings.

3. Sea Breeze Astringent – This stuff has been around since God knows when. It’s been a staple in my mom’s bathroom as long as I’ve been alive, and with good reason. It’s probably the only astringent/toner I’ve ever used that actually gets all of my makeup off and kills acne at the same time. It does burn a little when it enters your pimples, but honestly does anyone care? Because I love it. #diepimplesdie #iwillkillyou #byefelicia

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05.16.2017

Oily Living: Essential Oils & Vitamins for Stressful Work Weeks

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It’s that time of year, people! When I was a student, spring/summer always meant winding down and enjoying some quality time doing nothing. In the world of government contracting, this time of year is when everyone likes to release EVERYTHING in order to use up their funding before the end of the fiscal year. AKA my coworkers and I are running around like psychopaths right now. It’s super fun.

I’ve found that the best way to deal with this insanity, aside from yoga (duh!), is with essential oils and vitamins. Here are the ones I rely on all the time:

1. L-TheanineI think I’ve talked about this on here before, but this stuff is seriously ESSENTIAL! It’s a natural amino acid that helps you chill the eff out before you lose your ever-living mind. I was popping these like candy on my wedding day and I regularly take them anytime I’m stressed out. It also helps on those nights when you can’t sleep because your mind won’t shut off.

2. Deep Relief - This is probably my favorite product from Young Living right now. It’s amazing for sore muscles. I don’t know what has been up with my shoulders/neck lately, but I’ve been randomly sore for no reason. It’s a roll-on so it’s super easy to apply at your desk for immediate relief. It also helps get rid of headaches! It contains a combo of soothing mint oils, like peppermint and wintergreen, for a fab cooling sensation.

3. Stress AwayThe name says it all! Stress Away is one of the best oils when it comes to getting centered and realizing your problems are only temporary. I like to wear it as perfume on stressful days, and it’s great to diffuse at the office…or anywhere really!

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05.05.2017

My Lazy, Everyday Face Makeup

Photo Cred: NARS

Photo Cred: NARS

Liquid foundation and I have a tumultuous relationship with each other. I want to love it, but 99 percent of the time I hate every single one I try! This is because a) nothing matches my face right (I DON’T WANT TO LOOK YELLOW OR PINK OR ORANGE!) and foundation makes it that much more obvious, and b) it usually looks ratchet by the end of the day. The one exception to this so far is Estee Lauder Double Wear, but honestly I can’t with that every day; it can be drying and smells way too much like paint.

So to combat my lack of success in this department, 9 times out of 10 I do my old school face routine: no foundation. It’s quick, fool-proof, and never disappoints! Here’s what I use:

Primer: I don’t always use primer, but when I do I typically reach for Monistat Anti-Chafing Gel (old makeup artist trick! And no, not the cream that comes in yeast infection kits) or Lush Grease Lightning. Both work really well even though neither one of them are real primers. Grease Lightning is better for combo to oily skin and Monistat for combo to dry skin.

Concealer: My ride-or-die concealer for the past year has been NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer. It’s so good! I keep trying to switch over to completely green beauty products, but let’s be real – I CAN’T QUIT YOU, NARS. I use the shade Vanilla as my base and put a little on my cheeks, nose, chin, forehead, and under eyes. Then I go back in with Chantilly to highlight. I put a tiny bit near the inner corners of my eyes, down the bridge of my nose, in the middle of my chin, and on my forehead. I love this stuff so much that I’m contemplating buying a dark shade to contour with. It’s just so easy!

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04.25.2017

Oily Living: Essential Oils for Surviving Mercury in Retrograde

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IS THIS MONTH OVER YET?! I don’t know about you, but it seems like the month of April has been full of unexpected insanity in all forms. I can’t even tell you how many shady people/strange mishaps I’ve either experienced first-hand or heard about from friends. It should come as no surprise then that Mercury has been in retrograde since April 9th and will be until May 4th (amongst several other planets). It’s got me like:

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If you’re unfamiliar with the utter havoc that Mercury in retrograde can wreak, just start paying attention to anytime people are acting extra weird or anytime your technological devices suck more than usual. It’s a real thing – Google it. In fact, the exact moment I typed that last sentence, I lost my internet connection. No lie!

Anyway, a great way to ward off other’s negative energy and keep your spirits up during this time is with essential oils. Here are some of my faves for when Mercury is up to its old tricks.

Valor - Valor has been one of my very favorites ever since I started using essential oils! First, it smells amazing. Second, it can literally help align your spine. I use it a lot in between chiropractor appointments. Since Mercury in retrograde often causes undue stress, it shows up in our bodies in one way or another. For me, my hips get twisted out of alignment whether it’s retrograde or not, but it always seems a little bit worse this time of year. It’s also great to wear as an uplifting perfume since it contains black spruce, blue tansy, and frankincense (basically Jesus in liquid form – just saying).

Release - Retrograde has a way of bringing up even the littlest of past annoyances. Last week I found myself randomly angry over the handful of people who didn’t even bother to RSVP to our wedding or who RSVP’d yes and didn’t show. And of course, retrograde can bring up deeper wounds as well whether it be childhood fears or an ex that never apologized for being a total douche canoe – you name it! Release is a great oil for giving an energetic “bye Felicia” to your past while also soothing your rage. It’s a blend of ylang ylang, olive oil, lavandin, geranium, sandalwood, grapefruit, tangerine, spearmint, rose, and more! Quite heavenly.

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04.12.2017

Outfit of the Day: Valentino Dupes

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04.04.2017

Why You Shouldn’t Have a “Type”

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I can say with great certainty and absolute honesty that I did not know what love was until I knew what love was not. – P.T. Berkey

I’m probably the only person I know who can answer the question “what’s your type?” with “I don’t have one.” If you were to line up all the guys I’ve ever had a crush on, or even just the few I’ve been serious with, you’d be left thinking WTF does this girl even like?!

So often we tend to categorize people based on what they look like, or we have laundry lists of what we want in a future partner. Usually these lists are arbitrary and serve no purpose other than to accidentally weed out potentially great guys. Does it really matter if someone is a certain height, has a certain hair color, has tattoos, or makes a certain amount of money? I get that a super rich, tall, blonde guy is appealing, but let’s be real here – most people aren’t Alexander Skarsgard. And that doesn’t mean they can’t be just as beautiful and just as great of a partner. We’re all going to end up looking pretty ratchet one day, you guys. As cliché as it sounds, the only thing that will stay the same about someone is who they are on the inside.

But what about the “deeper” laundry lists? The ones about religious and political views, football teams (Welcome to Oklahoma!), etc. Personally, I’m not a fan of those either. Yes, let’s add in Baptist, Democrat OU fan (do they even exist outside of my family?) to the already ridiculous list of things that don’t matter. Your perfect partner doesn’t have to have all the same beliefs as you. Despite many arguments to the contrary, it honestly does not matter unless you decide to make it matter. What does matter? Respect. If you both have it, it won’t matter if you don’t see eye-to-eye on everything. Worship as you wish, vote as you wish, and let your partner do the same. If your views line up, that’s cool but if they don’t, it shouldn’t be a deal breaker.

Think of pursuing a relationship the same way you think about making new friends. You don’t have all these random physical qualities or beliefs you want your friends to have (I hope anyway – that’s insane!). Most people DGAF if their friends are ugly or pretty, gay or straight, Christian or Atheist, Republican or Democrat. Think about how utterly boring it would be if all of your friends were exactly like you. No thanks!

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04.02.2017

Green Beauty Spotlight: 100 Percent Pure

100 Percent Pure is one of my favorite beauty brands lately! I wish there was a store in Oklahoma so I could behold all of the greatness they have to offer in person. They have literally anything you could ever need. Here are some of my faves that I’ve tried so far!

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Fruit Pigmented Healthy Foundation – I wasn’t sure if I was going to like this at first (I hate most foundations), but this one has really grown on me! The ingredients are bomb – think peaches, acai oil, cocoa beans, and goji berries – which makes your skin look that much better without makeup over time. While it doesn’t perform the same (not as long lasting), it’s probably as close as you can get to a green beauty version of Estee Lauder Double Wear. If you are super, super oily you will LOVE this stuff! I have combination skin and I find that it dries me out some if I don’t prep properly. I like to use a good moisturizer (usually the Simple Replenishing Rich Moisturizer or Pacifica Coconut Probiotic Rehab Cream) and no primer. I’ve found that it looks like best when you apply it with a damp sponge (like Real Techniques!) and set it with a mineral face powder. Usually I put Alima Pure’s Satin Matte Foundation over it. For reference, I wear the lightest shade in this which is Alpine Rose (I’m a 1N1 in Double Wear and NW15 in MAC Pro Longwear). They definitely need to expand their shade range, but if you can find a close match you should try it out!

Swatch in Alpine Rose

Swatch in Alpine Rose

Green Tea Fiber Brow Builder – Attention Benefit Gimme Brow lovers, this is an exact green beauty dupe! It doesn’t officially launch until April 13th (I got lucky and found a special link to it last month), but scoop it up as soon as it does. It’s literally the same thing, only with amazing ingredients. I have it in the shade soft brown and it’s perfect!

Organic Rose Hydrosol – Who doesn’t love a good rose face spray? I like to use this when I’m too lazy to put on moisturizer or to set my makeup. Most rose sprays have a bunch of other BS ingredients in them, but not this one. It’s literally just organic roses and it’s only $15.

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03.28.2017

What to Invest in for Your Wedding

Once you get over (or block out) the horrifying fact that a wedding can easily cost you over $20K (and that’s low for the national average), you have to decide where to spend that money. What aspects you invest most in will depend on you as a couple, but here are the categories that I’m most happy we invested in.

Venue: The second I set foot on the property at The Springs in Tulsa, I was sold. I could already see me and Worsham dancing in the reception area in my mind and the lake view was beyond perfect. Some couples prefer not to spend a lot of money on a place you only spend one day at, but having our dream venue is something I’ll never regret. It will be in all your pictures/video for eternity so you better love it!

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Wedding Video: Everyone knows to invest in their photographers (shout out to Prickly Pair Photography!), but sometimes people skip on hiring a videographer. I considered this while I was still in the stages of sticker shock (WHY IS EVERYTHING A MILLION DOLLARS?!). Thankfully, my mom talked me out of skipping on a video. It is the one thing from that day besides your pictures that you’ll have forever – and the only thing that will take you back to the feeling of that day. SPEND THE MONEY. We just got our highlight film a couple days ago and it’s the best thing I’ve ever seen. I’ve watched it like 100 times already and am not even remotely sick of it. If you’re in Oklahoma, check out Glorious Day Films!

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03.14.2017

Five Love Lessons We Can Learn From The Bachelor

The Bachelor…it’s the show we all love to hate and hate that we love. It goes against everything we believe (having relationships with multiple people at once? ew), and yet it’s so addicting. I can’t look away even when it’s obnoxious people like Nick and Vanessa (have you ever seen a more fake couple in your life?!) who clearly already want to murder each other.

Nevertheless, there is still something to be learned about relationships from watching The Bachelor. Usually, it’s to do the opposite of what they do. Here’s what the show has reinforced for me.

Photo cred: Reality Steve

Photo cred: Reality Steve

You Can’t Force Love - No matter how much you want it or how much you’re ready, you can’t force love. You can’t just will your perfect match into existence. You can’t make a list of all the qualities you want and expect someone to drop out of the sky. I’m not saying don’t try to meet people; obviously you have to leave your house to have the possibility of finding your person. But don’t let your quest to hurry up and find the one overtake your life. Have fun being you and know the universe is taking care of it. As obnoxious as it is to hear when you’re single, it really is true: love finds you when you aren’t looking for it. Why? Prob because you don’t wreak of desperation.

Pick the “Easy Love” - This is something I will never understand. Why do people insist that love is “hard” and that it’s so much “work”? IT DOESN’T HAVE TO BE. I will stick by this no matter what because I know it to be true: the right love is not hard. It’s easy. It’s like breathing. It’s being with your best friend. Is being with your best friend hard? NO. If it is, you’re chilling with the wrong people. Raven’s dad’s prayer for her to find easy love was perfect. It is the best thing you could ever hope for for yourself and those you love. Life is hard enough. Your love shouldn’t be.

Love is Not Enough - With that being said, love is not enough to make things last. It just isn’t! If you’re in the midst of one of those hard, life-altering, “this is work” relationships then you know this. Deep down everyone does. There has to be more to a relationship than just love and daydreams for it to work. Wait for your soul mate. Wait for your easy love. That is when you have the time and energy to build something that is enough and can last forever. And just because something requires time and energy doesn’t mean it’s hard or work. It’s not. When it’s the right person, doing those things are second nature and make you feel alive.

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