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My Publishing Picks?




I got the idea for this blog sometime last week, and have been SUPER excited about putting it together ever since. I've talked a lot in previous posts about things that I enjoy and incorporate into my life for self-care, such as podcasts and reading and music, etc. I noticed myself last week giving suggestions to people around me according to whatever their tastes are, of some of my favorite things that I thought they would enjoy as well.

Talking to others actively about how much I enjoy these things and how often I add to them, gave me the idea of this post where I could share all things media that I'm into right now with all of y'all. I'm thinking I might do it monthly, since I am always adding to these lists, but haven't been able to come up with a name for the posts yet. THANKS FOR NOTHING JENN. 😆

Monthly Media Favorites? Monthly Mass Media Mayhem? Just something simple...my favorite media picks? I don't know. If y'all have any ideas shoot them my way. Okay, so for this month, here's what I'm loving!




Television Shows:

  • Big Little Lies ~ First of all, Reese Witherspoon. Second of all, Nicole Kidman. The End. No, but seriously, I ended up watching the first episode of this because I was caught up on all of my other shows (ugh) and really just wanted to chill and relax. But 5 minutes into episode one, and I was hooked. It's about all these rich women who are all hiding something, and someone gets murdered in their town, and everyone's pointing fingers. But one "perfect" woman has an abusive husband, and another one is super evil, and then the most intriguing storyline to me is the one who has a son (in Kindergarten I think?) that blacks out and does things that he can't remember. The only catch is that it's on HBO so I had to pay for it, but binge watching shows is what our paychecks are all about AMIRITE?! 

  • Younger ~ I literally cannot stop talking about this show. This is the first show since Grey's Anatomy that I have absolutely become hooked on. And I get bored VERY easily with shows. I binge watched this for days, I rewatch episodes while I'm running on the treadmill, I'm always talking about it. OBSESSED. It's got Hilary Duff in it which is what drew me to it because she was absolutely my childhood, but the character that steals the show for me is Diana, the boss. The plot is that this 40 year old woman (Liza) can't get a job in publishing due to her age, so she pretends to be in her twenties, gets a job, and then has to keep it a secret from everyone around her which ruins everyone around her. Oh and the two main character males in it are GORGEOUS which is a plus for watching. I LOVE this show, it is my favorite show in a very long time and I HIGHLY recommend. 

Music:

  • Loote-"Your Side of the Bed" ~ This song is actually kind of sad, but I literally blast this and JAM. It reminds me a little of "Closer" by Halsey which was my shit.

  • Florida Georgia Line-"Smooth" ~ Okay, so what FGL song isn't great? HUGE FGL fan here 🙋 This one, and "Simple" have been on repeat in my head as of lately. LOVE.





Books:

  • "Girl, Wash Your Face" by Rachel Hollis ~ This is a self-care, self-help, entertaining read. I've recommended it to clients with anxiety, I've suggested it to people who lack confidence, and I've enjoyed it myself as I share the same sense of humor as the author. It's essentially a book about how to live better, healthier, and happier, but in a fearless and straightforward approach. 

  • "Zen as F*ck" by Monica Sweeney ~ This is actually a guided journal, not a book to read, but I love it because it's totally my personality to a T. As the full title states, it's "a journal for practicing the mindful art of not giving a shit." Yep, that's me. Also, I'm not very good at journaling because I'm not really a "feelings" type of person per say, but I like this because it prompts me in a way that I can relate. If you do not enjoy a little profanity, you will not enjoy this. But I will say that I read somewhere that people with vulgar mouths are more intelligent. Just sayin'. 😇

Blogs:

  • The Sunday Chapter ~ This blog is ran by an Australian girl named Angela. It's a lifestyle blog, covering a little bit of everything. I actually found her via Instagram, because she had created a lot of those really pretty templates people were filling out and putting in their stories. She's been doing a lot of fashion posts lately, but I think she's interesting because of where she is in the world, even though I think it's cold over there right now, and seeing her in sweaters is depressing 😭 I will link her blog here --> The Sunday Chapter

  • Hillary Cripps ~ She's a fashion and lifestyle blogger, but I actually follow her more for the fashion side. She has totally my taste in all things clothing, so I am always replicating her outfits or using them for inspo. She's also fairly new, which I think is cool. Here's her link: Shop Hillary Cripps



Okay, and last but not least... my favorite...

Podcasts:

  • "Happier" with Gretchen Rubin ~ Okay, I LOVE this podcast. This podcast is ran by a woman named Gretchen and her sister Elizabeth, and they give ideas and hacks for making your life healthier, happier, more productive, and more creative. Gretchen has a book out, well she has several, but one in particular that I have ordered, and hopefully I enjoy it just as much. I really enjoy listening to this podcast, it's incredibly inspirational and I always feel like my mind is buzzing with content after I listen. The book I purchased is the Four Tendencies, which is about  how you integrate habits into your life. She has a test you can take online to see what "type" of person you are, and no surprise, my answer was "the rebel." Hopefully I read and love this book, and it'll go on my list for next month. 

  • "It's Happening" with Snooki and Joey ~ It sounds funny me listing this one after just mentioning this more in depth podcast, but I really enjoy listening to this one for very different reasons. Gretchen's podcast is more inspirational, uplifting, thoughtful. But on days when I just want to laugh and not think, and feel like I'm on the phone with a friend, I listen to this one. Snooki and her cohost Joey, who happens to be her makeup artist, have awesome chemistry and are a blast to listen to. 

Well, hopefully I shared with you some things that you think you'd enjoy or are interested in. These are just a few of my favorites right now, but I add to my podcasts and books to read, etc. constantly. Let me know if you check any of these things out and what your thoughts are on them. Or if you think of an awesome title for me 😁 Thanks for reading!!


Tarte: Love, Trust, & Fairy Dust Palette Review





Well, I finally buckled down and bought this beauty! This purchase was a little different for me than when I usually purchase new Tarte products. Typically they release something new, I pass out, and then wake up and willingly put my bank account in the negative to purchase the entire collection they've released.

This Love, Trust, & Fairy Dust collection was different however, in the way that I saw it and just didn't feel like I HAD to have it. This has happened only one other time, and it was with their holiday collection last year, which I ended up never buying anything from.

Don't get me wrong-I thought this new collection was cute, but it wasn't one that I absolutely fell in love with. In fact, I thought it was kind of childish.

There are two big reasons I ended up buying this palette, (and plan on buying the brushes in the collection). The first is that this collection falls in line with their other two magical collections: the Make Believe in Yourself collection which is Unicorn inspired, and the Mer-Makeup collection which is of course, Mermaid inspired. So naturally since I have (and love) the other two, I feel like it's only right I also purchase the Fairy-inspired collection.

The second reason is that I saw some people doing eye looks with this palette and absolutely fell in love with the sunrise feel of the colors.

So now that I have this palette in my possession...what do I think?


Well as you can tell by the picture above, I've already been digging my brushes into it. The truth is, when I opened it I thought it was absolutely beautiful. And it smells delicious, as all Tarte palettes do.  It's a fantastic mix of mattes and shimmers, ranging in hues of purple, to orange, pink, and nude. The highlighter in the center of the palette is AWESOME. It has a light shimmer, but is buildable for more of a wow factor if that's what you're after.

My favorite shade in the palette is 100% Twinkle, which is listed as a metallic gold, but goes on more like a burnt orange shade to me, which I love. In the following picture, Twinkle is the shade number 5, beginning at my elbow. I also don't know that you can really see the highlight in this picture, I tried not to edit it too much so the shade hues wouldn't change. It's the last swipe on my wrist in the picture below.


As far as similarities of this palette to another, I would say the most recent Rainforest of the Sea palette that just came out, it's called the Sizzle palette, would probably be the closest in shades, although that palette definitely doesn't have those beautiful orange shades.

Although I still feel like the brushes in this collection are a little childish in appearance, they are Tarte brushes so I know they will be great, so I do plan on buying them. Overall I do like this palette, I do see myself using it a lot, HOWEVER-out of the three magical collections, the Unicorn inspired collection is still my absolute favorite. Loved that palette, loved those brushes, just restocked on that highlight-so if you're debating between the three, that collection is the one I would recommend.

Hopefully this post helped if you were wondering about this palette, or even about any of the palettes I mentioned in this post. Tarte is such a great brand, even if you're not ever crazy about the packaging, you just can't go wrong with their product. I'll attach a link to this collection down below, for you to shop if you're interested!

Love, Trust, & Fairy Dust


How to Build Healthy Habits That Turn Into a Sustainable Healthy Life.


So one of the best things I have ever done for myself is create healthy habits. Mahatma Gandhi said,
“Your beliefs become your thoughts, Your thoughts become your words, Your words become your actions, 
Your actions become your habits, Your habits become your values, Your values become your destiny.” And I 1000% agree.

But I didn't always have a healthy life. My life in high school involved Marijuana on the regular-not good. I've been lucky enough to be slender naturally, so my life in college consisted of BAGS of those individually wrapped Reeses being eaten, no workout regimen, and a lack of sleep due to papers and alcohol. 

My mental wellness has never been particularly healthy either. I've always been a "glass half empty" girl. I've always been a self-sabotager. And my temper and selfishness have always dictated my life.

But then I fell in love. And suddenly, my take on the world, and myself, changed.

My relationship with my dad is weird because it's nonexistent and really always has been. But the few memories I have I feel like are always him speaking words of wisdom to me.  One of those memories I have is him telling me that "love makes you fat." He wasn't wrong.

When I fell in love with Matt I was 22, in my prime, living it up. Going out every weekend, no sleep schedule, eating trash all day. So take that lifestyle, and then add in all the cuddle sessions, (hence lack of activity), ice cream trips, and pizza date nights, and my naturally lean body gained 20+ pounds and my mental health went downhill with it.

My confidence plummeted. I was having difficulty navigating my feelings, due to always being selfish and carefree and then, for the first time in my life, being in love. My world became him.

Before I knew it I had lost myself. I didn't even know myself. The years before him I was stuck in a relationship I hated and was miserable in. After that I was wild and energetic and reckless. Thinking I'd figure everything out "one day." And then suddenly, there he was. Just inserted into my life. Without me looking, or asking, or expecting. And I had no idea what to do with it.




So for a year or so I tried like Ray Charles to find the light. Keeping my hands out in front of me hoping I'd stumble across some miraculous answer and also stay away from anything sharp and painful. I joined a workout program. That worked but also didn't work for me. I started "eating healthy." That REALLY didn't work for me. I started trying to paint, and I picked my guitar back up, and I joined a boutique as a brand ambassador and I did all of these things and NOTHING was sticking.

I didn't feel good. I didn't look good. But in my head I was doing everything I could do and there was nothing else I could do, and maybe I was just one of the unlucky ones?

Then, one day, I stumbled across a quote. It said, “So, what if, instead of thinking about solving your whole life, you just think about adding additional good things. One at a time. Just let your pile of good things grow.” Have you seen that quote? I know you've seen that quote. This quote made SO MUCH SENSE to me. It was so simple. So that's what I started to do. 

Instead of taking on overwhelmingly amounts of hobbies and self-care and coping skills and health and wellness, I picked one small, attainable goal at a time, and worked on it. Then, I'd add another, and then another, and so on. I have now been doing this for years. As a result of this I have accumulated a PLETHORA of good things in my life. I have many, many things that make me happy. I feel good physically and mentally. I know who I am. And the best part is that I don't have to look back and say I removed anything, I literally just kept adding. 

I thought I would complete this post by telling you the most beneficial thing I have learned over the years as far as goals and my wellness, followed by a list of just some of the good habits I have added into my life.


So the biggest thing that's helped me over the years with goal setting and being motivated and sustaining the habits I start to implement, is making sure that they're specific, measurable, attainable, and that I'm committed to them. 

For example, "I'm going to eat healthy" is not an efficient or sustainable lifestyle habit. It's too broad. Those were the kinds of goals I was setting in the beginning that weren't working for me. They're overwhelming. And you have no idea where they begin or end.

Breaking this goal up into something more effective is where the healthy habits start. So I would turn the above goal into, "I am going to drink 4 bottles of water a day, every day, for a month." It's specific as to how many, it's measurable as to how I will know when I've reached it, it's something I can easily implement, and it still falls under my idea to be healthy. Thus, a healthy habit is born. Once this habit is consistent for your time limit, you then add another, the same way.

An example of a self-care habit: "I am going to light candles and take a bubble bath every Sunday at 7 p.m. for a month." 

A school/work habit: "I am going to study every evening for 30 minutes right after dinner for three months." <--this is a current habit I just implemented two weeks ago and have stuck to.

And now a list, of just some of the healthy goals I've turned into habits that create my lifestyle currently. These are just ideas for things you can start implementing into your daily routine, that I began adding into mine and found happiness and wholeness with. Let your good things grow!

20 Healthy Habits

  1. Wake up every morning at 5 am. Being up for the sunrise is magical, and worth it, I promise.
  2. Do at least a 20 minute workout within one hour of being up, before you start your day.
  3. Drink your favorite smoothie for breakfast.
  4. Start your morning with reading a chapter from your favorite book or a post from your favorite blog.
  5. Have a spa day with yourself at least once a week. I pick Sundays. Candles, bubble bath, face masks, music, nail polish, and maybe even a book.
  6. Drink your favorite beverage daily and also slowly. Sitting down with a cup of coffee and taking my time to drink it is one of my favorite parts of the day. 
  7. Write in your journal. I set a goal for this to do weekly, I started out doing it daily and wasn't able to sustain that, so I adjusted my goal. 
  8. Clean your makeup brushes weekly.
  9. Assign a room in your house to each day of the week and clean it accordingly.
  10. Make a deadline for your snacking in the evenings. 
  11. Choose how many treat meals you want to allow yourself a week. (I do two). 
  12. Grocery shop on the same day, every week. 
  13. Drink half your body weight in ounces, a day.
  14. Spend 5% of your monthly income on YOU, once a month.
  15. Allow yourself wiggle room to eat bad and watch trash TV. THIS IS PART OF WELLNESS. Doing nothing.
  16. Find three things you're grateful for in every day. 
  17. Identify one lesson learned every month.
  18. Make at least one plan to do one thing every weekend.
  19. Spend time with just your friends at least once a month.
  20. Set at least one goal every week for yourself, to be accomplished by the following week. 

So there you go! 20 healthy habits that you might like to start incorporating into your daily life. Take those ideas, apply the goal setting formula from above, and voila! Healthy, sustainable, habits. These 20 things are all things I have slowly but surely added into my life over the years. Don't overdo it! Pick one, get really comfortable with it, and add another.

I'm constantly setting new goals for myself every week and month. It's how we grow, and learn, and change. Not to mention it feels awesome. Hope y'all enjoyed this one! It was a long one! Let me know if you have questions or comments, I'd love to hear!

xox 


That Time I Met Raelynn


So if you read my top ten Summer musts post, then you know the very first thing I listed on there was go to a concert. In all actuality, I try to attend at least once concert a month in the Summer, even if it's in the worst seats possible, because outdoor concerts are what makes Summertime the best, in my opinion.

This Raelynn concert was something decided on a whim. My friend Kim texted and asked if she got tickets if I'd go, and I said HELL. YES. Truth be told it was actually a Josh Turner concert, but we were there to see Raelynn and actually didn't even stay to watch him perform after we met her 😂 I heard it rained while he was on...blue skies while we were watching her 💁

If you don't know who Raelynn is, first of all, come on out from under that rock and second of all, buy her album WildHorse because it's the best thing ever. But seriously, she was a contestant on The Voice, season 2, I think. She was on Blake Shelton's team, and she didn't win, but she has since been very successful, with her album debuting at number one, which only a couple female country artists have been able to accomplish, including Shania Twain. She also has remained friends with Blake Shelton, who attended her wedding with Gwen Stefani, and has matching tattoos with Miranda Lambert, and recently co-wrote her newest single "Tailgate" with FGL...just to name drop a little 😉






So we went to this RAELYNN concert, and let me tell ya, she was AWESOME. She sounded great, she did a great job interacting with the crowd, moving all over the stage, keeping us entertained. It was a really great show.

I had mentioned to my friend earlier in the day that I had a feeling she would do a meet and greet, and sure enough, once she finished her final song she announced she was going immediately to the merch table to meet fans.

Kim and I debated for like .5 seconds whether we were going to fight the madness to try and meet her, and finally said, "screw it", and ran over there. We didn't wait in line very long, which was nice, because it was steadily growing and people were getting hostile.

When we got to the front Raelynn was standing behind the merchandise table, and was leaning across to take pictures with fans. When my turn came Raelynn greeted me with a smile, I said, "Hi!" and She said, "hi!" I noticed first off that she was tiny! I think I had a quite few inches on her, which you can kind of tell on television that she's little.

I followed my hi with, "it's nice to meet you!" To which Raelynn didn't respond, she had taken my phone and was leaning across to take a picture with me. We took our picture and I thanked her, and then she thanked me and I went on my way. Riveting, I know.

I really intended on conversing with her and requesting that she do more Folgers singing in her instastories, (if you follow her you remember exactly which one I'm talking about), but to be honest I didn't really get the vibe that she was trying to talk. Don't get me wrong she wasn't rude at all, very polite actually, but also not super friendly. I don't think it was in a negative way though, I think that she had a lot of people wanting to meet her and she was trying to accomplish that promptly, and also she had just performed and was probably tired.

Regardless, she is my first official star that I've met in my adulthood. I met Shania Twain and Willa Ford when I was a kid...any 90's babies remember Willa Ford?! I, I wanna be baaadd...ok, sorry, I digress.



This Raelynn concert makes the second concert I've been to this month, and absolutely made my entire year. Don't get me wrong, Taylor was AWESOME. But being able to meet Raelynn, not having to pay an arm and a leg for it, and her taking the time to do that I think makes me an even bigger fan. I would say next to Taylor, she might be my favorite artist right now, so my bucket list is just getting checked left and right. Now my third goal would be to see Kelsea Ballerini and then I am all set this year.

Congrats to Raelynn on all of her past and future successes. If you haven't heard any of her music check out "Queen's Don't" that's my fav! Thanks for reading!!



10 Ways to Change Your Negative Thinking



These pictures were not taken on a good day. In fact, they were taken on a day that started out negative and only got worse. Contrary to my naturally upbeat personality, I am a pessimist and a negative thinker. This is probably the biggest part of myself that I'm always working on (next to my temper). 

The happiness in these pictures is genuine however, and this is due to the work and effort I put into changing my thoughts. I was able to come out of my funk and enjoy the rest of my day thanks to numerous factors. While I think some ways to change our thinking is obvious or stated often (get up and go somewhere, do something for yourself that makes you happy, journal), one thing I think that gets skipped over is the cognitive ways we can help ourselves.

So here I have curated a list of things I've learned along the way that have aided in me mentally being able to change my negative thoughts into something more positive and useful. These all came from a book called The Feeling Good Handbook by David Burns which I highly recommend, and studied from in grad school. These are the ones I've taken, applied, and found successful, but there are many more. 

1. Be straightforward with yourself. This one is simple-ask yourself if you can replace the negative thought with something more positive and realistic.

2. Examine the evidence behind your negative thought. What is the evidence that this thought is true? What is the evidence that it is not true?

3. Give a survey. Ask others if they've ever felt that way.

4. Apply the double-standard technique. Ask yourself if you would ever say those thoughts to a friend, and why or why not? Then ask what you would say to a friend in that circumstance.

5. Pleasure-predicting. Predict how satisfying various activities will be, on a scale from 0% to 100%. After you've completed the activity, scale again. This also helps with the lack of motivation we feel with depression!

6. Find your underlying beliefs with the thought. Ask yourself, "if this were true, why would it be upsetting to me?'

7. Keep it gray. Don't expect things to be in black and white. Examine all areas, ask yourself about your strengths and weaknesses, positive and negative qualities.

8. The semantic method. Use mostly objective words to change your thoughts. Take the emotions out of it. Change, "I'm an asshole" to "what can I learn from this?"

9. Reattribution. *personal fav* Consider all the factors when thinking of your current problem and focus on solving the problem rather than placing blame. Ask yourself, "what caused the problem? What did I contribute? What did other people contribute? What did life contribute? What can I learn from this?"

10. Find acceptance. Maybe instead of refuting the negative thoughts you find some truth in it and accept it. Can you accept that you are a human and have flaws? 


So these are some ways I have found to combat my pessimism and chronic bad mood as a result. Number 9 is the one I use most often, and the one I practiced on the day these pictures were taken. Another thing that helped me was my boyfriend, who was very supportive and helped me to focus on the positive and find the learning. Surrounding yourself with people who uplift you is one of the best things you can do for yourself in life!

Anyway, I hope these suggestions help y'all the way they've helped me. Don't forget, the more you do them, the better they work. Happy positive thinking!


Athleisure is My Fav!




Well, I think the title said it all, but athleisure wear is my absolute favorite style. I'm also lucky enough to work somewhere that incorporates self defense classes and yoga twice a week, so I get to wear this pretty regular, which is awesome. 

This top from Maurices was one that I immediately fell in love with the color of, tried it on and bought. It doesn't hurt that Matthew's favorite look is dressed down or sporty, so he was very encouraging to make the purchase. 😂

Maurices is one of my favorite stores to shop in, and probably the main store I shop in person at, as I mostly do all of my shopping online. It's also the first place I ever got a credit card to, and still use to this day. That's over a decade of dedication right there! 

I love that it's a hoodie but made for Summer, it's so comfy to wear traveling or especially on Sundays💗 My leggings are from Victorias Secret, (as most of them are) and my sneakers are APL which if you need a good pair of running shoes, those are the ones you want to invest in. My APLs feel like feathers on my feet, they are so comfy. The pictures don't do them justice either, they're rose gold with a hint of sparkle. I get compliments and questions on them every time I wear them. 

I'll add links to my items right below, and by the way, I hope you enjoy my pictures! They remind me of the senior pictures you take in high school 😆😆 The breeze was definitely on my side though!

Top ----I couldn't find the top in the same color as I'm wearing, probably because the ENTIRE site is BOGO 50% off with free shipping right now, (WHOA), but here's a link to the same top in a different color. BTW, it's only $6.95 😳😳😳 That's amazing.