02.04.2019

Why Peppermint is the Queen of Essential Oils

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When you get deep into the realm of essential oils, it can be easy to overlook the basics that got you hooked in the first place. However, some of the most simple oils are also the most powerful. There’s one that really outshines them all though, and that’s peppermint oil! This little gem never leaves my purse. It goes to work, on vacations, home, and everywhere in between. Here are some of my favorite ways to use it!

Breath Freshener – Duh. It’s obvious that peppermint oil is great when you forget to brush your teeth or just want to make sure your breath is extra fresh! One drop is all you need to banish even the nastiest odors (peppermint oil is known to kill bacteria and fungus).

Deodorant – So you don’t want to use peppermint oil as straight up deodorant all the time, but it does come in handy when you forget to use some. It’ll burn a little, but at least you know you won’t smell bad. You gotta do what you gotta do, okay?

Sinus Pressure/Headaches – There’s nothing better than slathering on a bit of peppermint oil when you have sinus pressure going on. The weather in Oklahoma is bipolar AF, which means my sinuses can flare up pretty much at any moment. It’s a lifesaver. In fact, I have it on my face right now as I write this.

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12.28.2018

Work & Worth: Why It’s a Problem

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One of the first questions you ask when you meet someone new is “what do you do?”  – as if what you do for a living somehow equates to who you are. I get it; it’s an innocent question and one we all ask just for the sake of conversation. But the underlying subconscious message is kind of toxic if you stop to think about it. It tells us that our worth is dependent on something outside ourselves – some measure of success, whatever it may be. That to be loved, valued, and fulfilled, we must keep doing, hustling, struggling, and achieving.

Why? For what? Happiness, love, and fulfillment? These feelings can only be found within ourselves at the end of the day. You can’t simply acquire them like you can acquire another degree.

Becoming a doctor does not make your more worthy of love than when you were a high school student. Writing another book doesn’t mean you’re more worthy and valuable than you were before you wrote it.

We get so stuck on the external measures of success that we overlook the fact that we’re already worthy, loved, and valuable just as we are. It’s okay to be right where you are, doing exactly what you’re doing. That’s almost controversial to say in our society these days – a society that always wants MORE and wants it RIGHT NOW.

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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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