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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12.15.2017

Writing Career Spotlight: What Is Proposal Writing?

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So what do you do for a living?

I do proposal writing for a local government contractor!

Cool! So what does that entail?

Uh…well it’s kind of hard to explain…

This is usually how every conversation I have about my job starts out. I’m pretty sure that even my friends, family, and husband have no idea WTF my job actually consists of on a daily basis. In fact, I’d say most of the people outside of the business development department at my company don’t really know either. And I totally get it! I had no idea about proposal writing or the world of government contracting until I worked here either. It’s not a writing job that gets talked about very often. Let’s be real, it doesn’t sound as impressive as saying you’re an author (which I also am!), but proposal writing is a reliable and financially rewarding career path – which is something many writing jobs can’t claim. Writing majors get flack for not picking something that’s stable (insert eye rolls here), but proposal writing is one huge area that IS.

There are all kinds of contractors that need solid proposal writers on their team. In my case, I work for a government contractor that specializes in training development, information technology, equipment repair/maintenance, and professional support services. The first thing I was worried about when I interviewed here was if I had to have specialized knowledge in these areas or at least be familiar with government processes. Luckily, it wasn’t necessary! That won’t be the case with every company, but it’s worth applying for these types of jobs even if you don’t have the exact experience. As long as you’re a strong writer with a willingness to learn, you’ll do just fine!

So, what do I do all day?

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12.06.2017

Best of 2017: Skincare and Beauty

How are we already in the final month of 2017?! This year has flown by, especially these last couple of months. Worsham and I are closing on our first home later this month! If you’d have asked us this time last year if we were going to buy a house anytime soon, the answer would have been “hell nah.” But after a few insane events at our apartment this year (such as witnessing our neighbor’s literally insane girlfriend off of her meds at 3 a.m. on Halloween), we decided it was time. We’re so excited to finally have our own place together, and one that needs no updating and has a storm shelter at that!

Anyways, the end of the year always gets me thinking about my fave skincare and beauty products! You may have read about some of these on here before, but there are some new gems on here as well. Enjoy!

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Skincare

Cleanser: CeraVe Foaming Cleanser

This is a more recent purchase of mine, but I’m loving it! I’ve been a fan of their PM moisturizer for a while now and this cleanser doesn’t disappoint. It’s simple, gentle, and has helped my face to get less oily throughout the day.

Moisturizer/Makeup Remover/Oil/Bath Bomb/Everything: Kopari Coconut Melt

THIS! Kopari’s Coconut Melt is probably my favorite discovery of this year. You can use it for literally everything and the jar lasts forever! It’s worth the higher price tag. I use it to take off my mascara, in my bath as a bath melt, as a scalp treatment, as face lotion, as body lotion, on cat scratches, as lip balm – you get the idea. It’s good for everything.

Acne Treatment: Rodan & Fields Unblemish Dual Intensive Acne Treatment

This stuff just can’t be beat! This is the power player of the entire Unblemish line. If you can only afford one item, get this one. I can’t stop buying it despite the price tag and the fact that you don’t really get that much product. It’s still worth it! Bye, pimples!

Face Mask: Herbivore Botanicals Blue Tansy Mask

I wanted to branch out from my usual masks designed just for acne, so I snatched this up at Sephora a while back! It does help with breakouts, but also exfoliates and helps fight signs of aging. Also it’s 100% organic and the jar will last for the rest of time. You barely need to use any product! My face is so soft after I use it.

Beauty Tool: Mount Lai Jade Roller

Jade rollers have been all over the place this year! I decided to cave and see what the craze is about. They’re so popular because of their ability to increase lymphatic drainage and the fact that they just feel good. It’s basically like a massage for your face. It could be all in my head, but I feel like my face looks thinner and my eyes look less puffy when I use it. Plus it’s an ancient Chinese beauty secret, and clearly they know what they’re doing.

Shampoo: Redken All Soft

An oldie but a goodie! This used to be my favorite in high school and I rediscovered its greatness this year. Still magical.

Probiotics: Garden of Life Raw Probiotics Women

Any skincare junkie knows that good skincare actually starts from the inside with a great probiotic. I had a probiotic-related breakdown this summer when my beloved PB8 changed up their formula and made my face explode with acne. I’m still pissed about it. If your face is being a douche and your probiotics have chicory root inulin in them, throw them in the trash immediately. BYE. Luckily, I tried out this gem and love it! It is on the pricier side (like, $50 I think), but well worth it. It has a million different vitamins in it too.

Collagen: Dr. Axe Multi Collagen Capsules

Another amazing find this year! In my quest to destroy cellulite, I came across these bad boys. I can honestly say I’ve seen a difference taking these every day for the past few months. Is my cellulite totally gone? No but it’s definitely improved. It also helps my occasional knee pain and helps keep my face clear. Also, I have to admit – I tried “fascia blasting” earlier this year too and all I ended up with was some bruised apple looking legs. Worsham called me “13 bruises why” for a while! I’m sure it would probably work if you’re consistent about it, but honestly who has time for that? Just take some collagen and be done with it.

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10.30.2017

Eureka Springs Travel Guide

One of my favorite places in the world is Eureka Springs, Arkansas. For those of you who are unfamiliar with northwest Arkansas, you’re probably thinking “ew, why?” But Arkansas, and Eureka Springs in particular, is one of the most beautiful places in the country. Eureka Springs is a bit of a tradition for my family. We started going to the 1886 Crescent Hotel for Thanksgiving back when I was 9 and have come back off and on for years. When Worsham and I started thinking about where to spend our first anniversary, Eureka Springs was an easy pick! We’re in the beginning stages of buying our first house so we wanted to go somewhere close (it’s under 3 hours from my mom’s house in Tulsa), affordable, and beautiful. Here are my Eureka faves:

Where to Stay

The coolest part of Eureka, in my opinion, is the Crescent Hotel. It’s a mountaintop hotel and spa with a crazy history. It was built back in the late 1800s as a swanky, invitation-only resort and was one of the most popular destinations of the time. The Crescent also saw its days as “Crescent College” – a girls-only school – during parts of the year. The weirdest part of the Crescent’s past, however, was when Norman Baker (a deluded psychopath “doctor”) bought the building around the Great Depression to open his cancer-curing hospital. He cured no one and many people died under his care, if you can call it that. Given the deaths that occurred during the building’s construction, one of the school girl’s apparent suicides, and all of the people who died in the hospital, the hotel is haunted AF. It’s one of the most haunted hotels in America, in fact. My husband would tell you otherwise, but I’ve had so many weird encounters there over the past 18 years that I have no doubt in my mind that some of the Crescent’s inhabitants never left. It’s a great place to stay if you’re into ghosts or just want to step back in time. The hotel has been preserved very well and looks almost exactly as it did back in 1886. Also, they have a resident cat – Jasper – who I love to see every time we visit. He’ll let guests pet him and even took a walk with me and Worsham one night. It was the cutest thing that’s ever happened.

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If you go, I recommend staying in the annex, which is also one of the most haunted parts of the hotel. It’s where they took all the near-death people to hang out until they died so no one would hear them screaming in pain and realize Dr. Baker was a total fraud. It’s also right above the morgue. Yes, there’s still the original morgue down the basement.

Anyway, I’ve stayed in the annex twice now (once during Thanksgiving a few years ago and this past time with Worsham). It’s definitely the nicest area I’ve ever stayed in at the Crescent. It’s spacious yet cozy and his a GIANT jetted bath tub in the middle of the room. That bathtub alone is worth the extra money! Worsham said it’s the first one he’s been able to fit in since he was a kid (he’s 6’3). The bed is super comfy as well.

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