02 February 2015

Quit Battling Your Skin

It's no secret that my skin has been... temperamental lately. I've been trying everything under the sun to get my hormonal acne to clear up but, as I should have known, my hormones can't be beat ;) So, I've found a solution that at least clears up the redness & shrinks the blemishes. That's enough for me! As I'm sure many people struggle with similar skin issues, I figured I'd share what works right now. 

Before I get started, my ultimate, #1, do. not. break. this. rule. rule is don't touch it.
It's hard for me too, but that alone will help it clear up. Okay now on to what I've been using!

At night, I start by taking off my makeup, which I just use Sephora brand makeup remover. From there I tie up my hair and head to the sink. Obviously, I wash my face with warm water and pat it dry. I then use a toner/ clarifying lotion to clean out my pores even better! I rinse with cold water to close my pores and lock in all the good, cleanness. I use an Ultra Repair Cream all over my face and neck. I put on enough that it doesn't all soak in... just to keep my skin hydrated through the night. If needed, I'll use my trusty EradiKate on any blemishes that I'm dying to pop. My mom says that this dries her out so she has to be careful with it... I'm not that way so I can use it pretty liberally. Regardless, it'll clear up your blemishes. You just might have some dry or flaky spots if you're like my mom. Then I go to sleep and wake up with (usually) clear(er) skin! Magic!

Now my routine in the morning is a little different. I work out before class, so I have to get all the sweat and grime out of my pores pronto! I use St. Ives Apricot Exfoliator (not pictured) on my face and body at the end of my shower. When I get out, all I really need is a moisturizer, so I use the Clinique Moisture Surge- side note, this stuff is amazing. It's texture is similar to a makeup primer. It just glides on and makes your skin so. soft. A little bit goes a long long long way!- and brightening eye cream around/under my eyes. I let that all sit and apply my makeup on top!

Disclaimer: this routine has miraculously worked for me. It took some time and lots of failing, but I've kept my skin in-check for now. I have never had "bad" skin so this was all new to me. I have yet to set foot in a dermatologist's office... but that's coming up! This may work for you, it may not. But if you're at a loss when it comes to products, I highly recommend these and I know you can walk into any Sephora and ask for samples!

Also, let me know what works for you or what your skin Holy Grail items are... I'm open to any suggestions!

30 January 2015

Valentine's Gifts!

one // two // three
(cupcake available at your nearest bakery ;))

Okay okay, so not necessarily for your "lover" because let's just say I'd be happy to receive any of these gifts and I'm definitely not in a steady relationship. These could be gifts for your mom, friend, significant other, or yourself! There's nothing wrong with a little bit of self-lovin'. I was just talking to my mom about how simple gifts like this are the most thoughtful. And I always love beauty products or jewelry because it brings memories of the giver with every wear or every time I look and see that bracelet on my wrist. 

My personal favorite on this list is #2. I have been dying to try a Diptique candle and this one is oh-so pretty and limited edition! I just might have to gift it to myself if necessary :) As with all gifts, think it through. And, within reason, get what you think would look great on the recipient. Some of my favorite gifts are items I wouldn't have picked out on my own, and that's the best! 

If I have any secret admirers who happen to be reading this... follow my advice! Hah! 
Happy almost- February and TGIF! 

28 January 2015

January Faves

So I used to make "Top 5" posts, where I'd take my top 5 favorites for each month and put 'em all in one post. Well it seems that I'm really loving so many new items each month that I decided to nix the numerical limit and just go for broke! (... but literally, all these new things come with a price!) Okay, it may also be that we just had Christmas and I've been trying out all my little giftys :) Anyways, on with the favorites of this month! 


L'occitane Shower Oil A Friend of mine's mom works at L'occitane and gave me a little sample basket for Christmas. I hadn't really thought much of the brand before, but now they're definitely on my radar! I love love love the little lotions and perfumes that she gave me, but the shower oil was definitely the most life-changing. It's an odd concept, but I've never had skin this smooth- especially in the summer! I haven't quite run out of my sample size (a small drop goes a long way) but I'll be buying the full size as soon as I'm out! 

1st Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream It's no secret that my skin hasn't been on its best behavior lately. This stuff was a game-changer. I used some of my Sephora points for a deluxe sample of this and, in combination with Kate Sommerville EradiKate, my skin is almost all cleared up. I've also heard that people use this on their dry hands- I'll let you know how that goes! 

Dior Addict in Dior Kiss I've been really into pink lips lately and this was a great find! I saw it on a whim and thought I'd give it a try- it's the perfect amount of color for my lips without looking like I'm trying too hard. It's casual and comfortable and oh, so moisturizing! Definitely my current everyday lipstick! (plus my old favorite, Love Marc in Have We Met is no longer available. A worthy replacement)


Kendra Scott Alexandra Earrings My lovely mother got these for me for Christmas and they've been so. pretty. I've never had a piece of jewelry get as much attention as these. And they bring out my blue eyes like nothing I've ever seen before! They're the perfect pop of color in the still- drab winter but I know they'll look great in the summer, too! 


Lou + Grey I randomly picked up a cardigan (similar) in the Loft a few weeks ago and fell in love love love! I'm not usually one for long cardigans but this line has me converted. Just last week, the Loft was having a huge sale and I bought another cardigan. I've worn at least one every other day since I got them. So comfy and cool- the spring line is calling my name! 


Starbucks Vanilla Latte I'm fortunate enough to have a Starbs on the way to class 4/5 days of the week, and a nice latte or macchiato has been my go-to. I've been working out before class and skipping breakfast (oops!) so I can spare the calories and need the protein and calcium in the milk. I get the sugar-free syrups and count that as my "daily indulgence". 


Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov Senior year of high school was my first introduction to Russian Literature and I was intrigued! It was challenging to read and the messages were always a little... wonky. Lolita is no different but I love getting back into an analytical mindset when I read this. It's different from my science-based coursework (I'm taking all science classes this semester) which is a refreshing and welcome change. I've missed reading and have more free time this semester, so I'm hoping to get through many more books! 


My Fitness Pal App I've been logging my workouts and meals here, which has been great! Not that I'm really looking to drop a significant amount of weight... it's just helped me to get healthier by visualizing what I'm putting into my body. Navigating the dining courts can be hard- carbs everywhere- and the fear of seeing nutrition percentages I'm not happy with steers me towards the good stuff :)

Candles need I say more? My sister got me a couple candle warmers for Christmas, so I can finally have candles in the dorm! A welcome change for sure! 

Staying Light Out! The January- February time of the year is the hardest for me. Luckily, we've had a pretty sunny winter here in West Lafayette. It's starting to get light around 7:30 am, which makes getting up for my morning workouts so much easier and it's staying light until 6-6:30 which does wonders for my motivation in the evenings! So far, So good! 

WOW! So this post went much, much longer that I anticipated... maybe I should keep to restraining myself to 5 items haha! Oh well, I just had so many goodies this month... I'll keep playing with the format, I suppose :) Happy end-of January, my friends! 

26 January 2015

Red Hot Nails

I have about 7 different shades of red in my nail polish collection and that's a number that's sure to grow. Red nails are just so classic but there's definitely a red for every season, too. I've been looking for the perfect shade of red for a while- not too pink and not too orange. I think I've found it! Essie She's Pampered is a true red. It's not too dark for the summer but not too light for winter- seriously year-round color. 

There is always going to be personal favorites when it comes to nail color, but if you're looking for a great red- give She's Pampered a try. And if you don't love it... well, you can send it to me ;) 

23 January 2015

Workout Playlist

There's nothing I find more motivating that new workout playlists.
I can have the greatest shoes, the cutest headband, or the lightest water bottle, but my workout will just be blah without good music. I'm really enjoying my current playlist and I thought I'd share what I'm listening to and what I'm doing to get spring break ready :)
(in no particular order because I work out with an iPod shuffle)

1. Drunk In Love- Beyonce
2. Sledgehammer- Fifth Harmony
3. Flawless- Beyonce
4. Masterpiece- Jessie J
5. Sundress- Landon Austin
6. Uptown Funk- Bruno Mars
7. Cruise (iTunes Session Version)- Florida Georgia Line
8. 3005- Childish Gambino
9. Blank Space- Taylor Swift
10. Style- Taylor Swift
11. Bad Blood- Taylor Swift
12. Say My Name- Destiny's Child
13. Survivor- Destiny's Child
14. Partition- Beyonce
15. Jealous- Nick Jonas

My workouts rarely last longer than an hour and I change up my playlist frequently so I like to keep it short and sweet. I typically do 60 min on the elliptical at medium to high intensity. After that (or later in the day if I'm working out before class) I'll go back and do yoga and abs. The elliptical works my arms and legs, as does yoga, and then I work abs separately, so I hit every muscle group every day. If you're looking for some good beginner yoga classes, here are a few that I started with and still do to this day!

Runner's World Yoga 1 2 3 4 
Tone It Up Yoga 1 2

There you go! Have fun workin' up a sweat this weekend!  

21 January 2015

A Little R&R

It's always nice to come back to school and immediately have a 3-day weekend.
This year it seemed like most of my friends went home or on retreats for the long weekend, leaving me to my Netflix and own agenda. I won't lie, being alone for much of the weekend was a little lonely even for this introvert. But I managed to just relax, get some schoolwork done, and pamper myself a little bit :)

Saturday night I had nothing to do and remembered that I had some very ripe avocados. On a whim, I looked up avocado face/ hair masks just for fun. It just happened that I had all the ingredients in my dorm and most of the ingredients overlapped for face and hair. So, I went ahead and covered myself neck-up in Avocado! I was so happy with the results that I figured I'd share what I did! 

- 1 avocado
- 2 capfuls of vegetable oil
- a tablespoon of honey

I just mixed these all together in a bowl until it had a sort of baby-food looking consistency. From there, I took off my makeup, and rinsed my face and hair. I didn't really have a method other than to use handfuls to apply to my hair and face. With the hair, I'd advise not getting too close the the roots of your hair... unless you like the greasy look. I then let it sit for 45 minutes (approximately two episodes of Friends), then hopped in the shower and rinsed it all out. I then let my hair air dry.

I didn't really know what to expect when I did this, but I figured my hair and skin couldn't get much worse- I've had horrible acne in my chin area and the ends of my hair are so lifeless. But WOW. I don't know if it's just in my head of what but I swear my split ends are un-split not and my face? Still not flawless but It was less red and much easier to cover even with the light coverage foundation I've been using to try to let that area breathe. Back to my hair, it still definitely needs a salon day, but it's so shiny and soft- so easy to brush through! 

And the biggest change? Well the little piece of hair at the nape of my neck is just always gross. I don't know why, but it's been this ratty little mess for as long as I can remember. It doesn't hold a curl or anything. Anyways, It's smooth and cooperative now! 
I think avocados are the fruit of the body gods because I have yet to see something negative from these little guys. 

19 January 2015

Work Smarter, Love Harder

picture via Pinterest
So I'm a little late in getting around to a "resolution list" but I really wanted to put some thought into how I'd like 2015 to be remembered in the scheme of my life. I don't want resolutions that are easy to forget about and I definitely want to branch out from the expected. In 2014, I think I really focused on building healthier habits and taking in all that freshman year of college had to offer. But with a big year of what I like to call "the unknown", I want to make sure that my heart and my mind is in the right place.

On that note, I decided to nix the R-word (resolution, that is) and go with Goal. Still a bit overused, a goal doesn't necessarily start on January 1st... and end by January 21st ;) Goals can be picked up at ones own pace and be dropped just the same- of course, that isn't the "goal" but we're all human right? So I have a few goals on my mind for this year but I can assure you I haven't taken them all on- yet! It will come, but at a pace that is manageable and consistent with life. 

Blah, Blah. Enough with my yammering- here are my personal 2015 goals! 
(post-writing note: this got long and detailed so brace yourself!)

3. Save More; Spend Less
It's no secret that college students are at the lowerest end of the financial spectrum. Especially if you're a full time student and don't have time to work... aka me. There wouldn't be a problem if I didn't like to shop so much....... and if I didn't have such expensive taste (oops). I have an "allowance" that, if budgeted correctly, a majority of can be saved. I figure saving a little bit at school can get me into the habit so that this summer when I do have a regular paycheck, I'll be ready to put a larger percentage of that into my savings. 
Since I do still love my retail therapy, I have these mini goals set in place:

I have a minimum amount that I want to see in my checking account and I can't spend anything that would require it to go below that. This gives me an "emergency buffer" in my checking so that I don't have to transfer from my savings if there is an emergency.

When it comes to shopping: shop online less. Additionally, anything I might be looking at, I keep open in a tab for a week. If I still have the tab up at the end of the week, I can reconsider whether or not it's something I "need" to buy. 

2. Work Smarter & Love Harder
This is a little mantra that I came up with on my own. It's absolutely what I need to work on personally. In the past, I think I've worked hard and loved smart- meaning that I put work before personal relationships and invested in relationships that I saw as important i.e. my parents and a few good friends. 

This year I want to Work Smarter... meaning that I find the study strategies that work for each class and for myself and run with them. I wouldn't say it's the "bare minimum" because that sounds so lazy but it's a similar concept: finding what works to get the grade I'm happy with while giving me a personal life as well. 

Which brings me to the Love Harder part. I've previously worked on being less judgmental, more open minded, being vulnerable etc etc. And I like to think that I've improved on those qualities. Loving harder is more about combining all that was previously mentioned. I need to be willing to be vulnerable with anyone, not just someone who I think deserves my love or whatever mindset I have that determines who I love and who I don't. I want to show true support and compassion to everyone I meet no matter how my personal attitude may be effecting my day. This is going to be a hard one, but it's also exciting.

Side Note: I am aware that Love is a "strong" word but it doesn't have to be. I don't see anything wrong with great expression and once read that we should "fall in love every day with something different". Be it a new flavor of coffee or an actual person, the world is lacking in love so I think big hearts and strong emotions are needed to make up for it. Also, love absolutely doesn't have to be a romantic gesture. End Side Note. 

1. Love Jesus
There's not much explaining to do here other than to work on seeking Him every day. It should be the easiest goal of the year because everything should come second to this. 

There you have it: my three big goals for 2015.
Keep me accountable, will ya?