April 26, 2019

Lifestyle

It wasn’t until recently that I discovered my dire need to be a people pleaser. After many devastating interactions and my inability to stand up for myself to people, outside of my immediate family and husband, I realized that I have a problem.

To be honest, people pleasing never felt like something that was important to me. Over time, however, I noticed that I would find myself crippled with an inability to decline invitations, speak up for myself or deal with being anything less than perfect to other people.

Truthfully, I don’t feel like this comes from a place of really pleasing other people, but more from a place of fear. Fear of them seeing the real me. Fear of upsetting others or seeming selfish. After looking more into this fear I realized that maybe I am a people pleaser, but to the entirely wrong group of people.

Instead of trying the most to please my husband, I find myself seeking the approval and praise of close family and friends. At the end of the day, I want people to like me even if it means I let them walk all over me. Now don’t get me wrong, sometimes I snap. But, most of the time I will agree with what people say, even if I know they are 100% wrong because I could not dare think about correcting or suggesting something different.

Most of the time it’s easier to go along to get along. But, what about when it begins to challenge your mental and emotional health?

Top: Skin // Bottoms: Skin

4 Ways to Stop Being a People Pleaser | The Crippling Truth
4 Ways to Stop Being a People Pleaser | The Crippling Truth | Paulo Coelho Quotes
4 Ways to Stop Being a People Pleaser | The Crippling Truth #gardenroses #pinkroses #roses #flowerphotography

Set Your Priorities

One of my biggest pitfalls when it comes to being a people pleaser is “having my priorities out of order.” This is a running joke in our family and a quote from one of my uncles. Having your priorities out of order can really throw you for a loop if you know what I mean.

When it comes to my life, Jay and Diesel are my biggest priorities. They come before everyone and everything else. I often find that I struggle the most when I lose sight of these two guys being number one. When I begin to worry about work or placing our families above them, things start to slip. This is when I find myself stressing over being that perfect version of me and not letting other people down.

The reality, Jay and Diesel are all that matter. They come first and they know me. The real me. That’s all that matters.

Practice

Who or what are your number one priorities? Put those things first and foremost and I promise you will have much greater clarity on what is most important in life. All other stressors will seem to fade away. Maybe this looks like jotting down your top 3’s on post-it notes and placing these in your car, at your desk, on your bathroom mirror, etc.

Skip the Excuses

As I mentioned before, saying “no” or declining an invite is so hard for me. Even if I know it really won’t make a difference if I attend or not. Somehow I have this deep level of guilt when it comes to declining anything.

Suddenly, I feel the need to have 50 excuses as to why I can’t do it. The truth is, it doesn’t matter. I don’t have to do anything I don’t want to do, yet being a people pleaser somehow makes you feel like you have to be at every event or moment. You feel the need to explain yourself and that is completely unnecessary.

It’s much better to just skip the excuses altogether and trying some like, “Thank you so much for the invitation! Unfortunately, I won’t be able to make it. Thank you again for thinking of me!” Period.

Practice

Here is a quick little exercise for you, that I find helpful when I am feeling guilty about politely saying no. Imagine those people who irritate me because they never feel guilty for saying no and doing what makes them happy. The ones that infuriate you when you realize they are off living their life guilt free, while you are sitting there doing something that brings you no joy and only anxiety instead. Then, realize that it is ok to politely decline.

It’s just fine to want to live your life on your own terms and not doing what other people believe is necessary that you are doing with your time. Remember your priorities when you feel guilty. Sometimes you have to say yes ot things if it involves your priorities, but sometimes it’s just fine to sayno.

Don’t Avoid Problems

But remember that they don’t all have perfect solutions. Sometimes it’s best to just let things go.

One of my biggest struggles, if I’m not sharing my 8 million excuses, is avoiding problems all together. I will put off responding to something that makes me feel uncomfortable and I absolutely hate confrontation. I will let someone else be right 100% of the time (minus Jay, sorry babe) if I can just avoid conflict.

If I can give you one piece of advice, that has helped me majorly that Jay taught me, is to deal with things immediately. Don’t put it off or wait until later, thinking that it will magically become easier. Instead, avoid anxiety by just dealing with things as soon as possible.

It’s also important to keep in mind that all problems don’t have perfect solutions. Sometimes it’s best to just let things breeze over or not even bother with trying to convince the opposing party. Some people just aren’t worth your time. Trust me.

Practice

Next time something comes up, deal with it right then. I promise you will feel so much better. Putting things off causes more unnecessary stress and it’s just not worth it.

Just Be You

At the end of the day, the most important thing is to just be yourself. If you don’t feel like you can be your true self around someone, chances are it might not be worth hanging around them. Don’t back yourself into a corner and allow other people to run your life. Give it a shot. But, if they don’t truly care about you, and your values, revert back to tip one, set your priorities, and kindly decline their next invite!

You are worthy of praise and love. As a people pleaser, it’s hard to not hear those things from those you want so badly to like you. At the end of the day, your mental health and sanity are the most important things. Find people who encourage you and don’t make you feel helpless. I wish more than anything that everyone had a Jay. He is truly amazing.

Practice

Give people a chance, but if they are not valuing you or bringing you joy, do your best to spend as little time around them as possible. Some people can put up with this, but I truly believe that people pleasers struggle the most when it comes to receiving negativity from other people. If you aren’t being valued, begin with step one and work your way from there!

I truly hope that you found this post helpful. Being a people pleaser is something I have found myself struggling with so much lately. If you are looking for more posts, like this one, check out this category on my blog.

4 Ways to Stop Being a People Pleaser | The Crippling Truth

CONTINUE READING

T

4 Ways to Stop Being a People Pleaser | The Crippling Truth #gardenroses #pinkroses #roses #flowerphotography

April 4, 2019

Lifestyle

I had no intention of going this long between Recent Reads blog posts, but I am overdue and bringing it today! Hopefully, it won’t be this long next time, but I have read some really great books and I’m excited to share my Recent Reads Volume 2 with you!

It’s safe to say that I stick with business and personal development books. hopefully, I will find some fiction that interests me soon, but for now, I am just flying through these self-help books. You can see my first recent reads post here and hopefully it won’t be too long before the next one!

Recent Reads Volume 2

Recent Reads

The Miracle Morning

This book is just as the title states, The Miracle Morning. I found this book really inspirational and it gave me a completely different outlook on how I look at my mornings. Recently, Jay and I have been waking up earlier and taking time in the morning to spend together. This book as a great outline of resources for creating your own miracle morning and I really think this a must read for anyone looking to improve their day.

 

How to Win Friends and Influence People

How to Win Friends and Influence People is a classic. This book is great for everyone, especially if you are in sales. This book has a lot of good nuggets if we can call them that. To be honest I think I should probably flip back through this and do some highlighting! At the beginning of the book, Dale Carnegie recommends that you read each chapter twice before moving to the next. While this book is packed with great information, I did not read each chapter twice. Personally, while I would highly recommend this book, it wasn’t exactly a page turner for me.

 

The Power of Unlimited Imagination

I found this book to be extremely interesting and it definitely pushed my intellectual capabilities, I think. Obviously, I have a ways to go on the intelligence and vocabulary side of things. Either way, this was a quick and interesting read. I enjoyed reading a chapter a morning!

 

Younger Skin Starts in The Gut 

If you are into health-related books, beauty, or working on your skin, I couldn’t recommend this book more. Nigma Talib is a celebrity favorite and for good reason. I decided to grab this book after hearing Rosie Huntington-Whiteley talk about it and I was definitely impressed. As someone who enjoys learning more about food and the way different foods affect our bodies, I really loved the information that this book provides. If you are having any skin issues or concerns, or really just care about the way your skin looks, I would highly recommend this read!

 

Rich Habits

If you can’t by now, I am always interested in business topics and growing our wealth. I think I got that from my Dad. He really inspires me to make good money choices. I can’t remember where I originally saw this or heard of it, but either way, I added it to my Amazon wishlist and we got it for Christmas. Jay and I both read this at the start of the new year and I think this short book is incredible. I honestly think everyone should read this book. It gives great life advice and money advice.

 

Max Out

My favorite podcast of the moment is Ed Mylett’s podcast. I find Ed extremely inspiring. He is motivating and honest, but there is just something about him that makes him different. I absolutely love his content and this book is no exception. It’s quick, easy, and awesome. I love his Max Out life view. 

 

The Alchemist 

I feel like everyone in the world reads The Alchemist or should. I’m going to keep this short and reference this blog post that is dedicated entirely to this book!

 

Coming Up Next

The Clarity Cleanse

I recently had this book recommended to me and boy, oh boy, does it hit the spot for me right now. This book helps you to cleanse your mind, body and emotional system. I can’t wait to talk more about this book soon.

Game Changers: What Leaders, Innovators, and Mavericks Do to Win at Life

I have dipped my toes in this book recently and it has been really exciting so far. It has opened up my mind to the secrets of high performers and I can wait ot read more and share with you soon.

 

Recent Reads Volume 2

CONTINUE READING

T

4 Ways to Stop Being a People Pleaser | The Crippling Truth #gardenroses #pinkroses #roses #flowerphotography

April 1, 2019

Beauty

Acne is no new thing for me. I have suffered from cystic acne and awful skin for several years. I have tried over, and over, again to clear up my skin and nothing seemed to work. Maybe the universe aligned or maybe I finally just tried right the concoction of solutions, either way, I wanted to share with you my personal experience and how I cleared up my acne.

One of the most important things I have learned on this acne journey is that everyone’s skin is different. Your skin may not respond to these tips, the way mine did and you might have additional tips that you can share. I would love for you to leave your skin tips and techniques in the comment! Also, I wanted to share that, for me, acne wasn’t just a physical problem. It was emotionally based too. If you suffer from acne, I feel for you.

Acne is a horrible condition and so many girls, boys, women, and men are affected by it each day. It took me several years of trial and error, and I think I finally found the right combination that works for me. 

How I Cleared Up My Acne & Tips for Clear Skin, Dr. Barbara Sturm Skincare

How I Cleared Up My Acne & Tips for Clear Skin

How I Cleared Up My Acne

Antibiotics 

After years of avoiding dermatologists, because I couldn’t seem to find the right one, I finally found a great dermatologist. When she recommended an antibiotic, I wasn’t exactly thrilled. I had taken antibiotics in the past for acne and they never worked. This time, I took my antibiotic for about 2 months and my skin cleared up. Personally, I don’t believe that I can owe all of the results I have received to the antibiotic, but it is a good place to start to rid your body of bad bacteria and can be done every so often if you have a bad breakout. 

If you do decide to try antibiotics, and even if you don’t, it’s extremely important to take a good probiotic. These are my favorite and I make sure that I am either taking a probiotic or finding a source of probiotics in my diet. For women, it’s also great to take a probiotic that is specified for women. this may be too TMI, so I’m sorry, but the right probiotics can also be really great for vaginal health. 

Retinol

Some people absolutely hate retinol, but I personally love it. Retinol works wonders for my skin and keeps it clear. These days, I use retinol prescribed by my dermatologist, however, there are a ton of really great options out there. I find that retinol keeps my skin from breaking out and really helps to even out my skin tone and keep my texture nice.

Retinol is powerful and will cause quite a bit of irritation when you begin using it. Often times, things get much worse, before they get better. But, I promise it’s totally worth it. I have been wanting to try this serum. Many people, with cleaner routines, prefer this over retinol. 

Clean Up Your Beauty Routine

The topic of clean beauty and cleaning up my beauty routine has been extremely popular lately. While this should be a blog post all on its own, I thought I would share just a few brief notes about cleaning up your beauty routine. This subject is so important to me because I feel like cleaning up my beauty routine made the biggest difference in my skin.

Having acne really took a toll on my self-confidence. I would always dodge mirrors and was hardly ever seen without makeup. Heavy makeup that is. Back in November, as my skin was slightly starting to clear up, I kind of became obsessed with the Goop website and the many products they carry. I had been hearing a lot about RMS and about clean beauty so I decided to give it a try. It was difficult at first not covering every single blemish, perfectly, but the overtime my skin clear up and I truly think it was majorly to do with cleaning up my beauty routine.

Makeup

Like I just mentioned, keeping my makeup more minimal and clean, until my skin cleared up was essential. Also, when my skin did clear up, I don’t wear makeup on a regular basis. If anything I will wear a little mascara, fill in my eyebrows, and spot conceal if necessary. The RMS uncover up has completely changed the way I look at my makeup and while my beauty routine is not completely “clean” I am working towards finding more products that I love. Bare Minerals is also another brand I have always loved and I use their “warmth” bronzer whenever I apply my makeup. Recently, I have been testing out the Chantecaille tinted moisturizer and have been loving it. I use the shade Vanilla.

Skincare

As with makeup, I really noticed an improvement in my skin when I switched up my skincare. I have always wanted extremely active ingredients in my skincare and went the oil-free, acne, related route. However, while is still steer clear of oily products, I have taken a more gentle approach to my skincare. Also, using products with fewer chemicals is extremely important to me. 

When you aren’t wearing as much makeup, it’s much easier to treat your skin well and heal it. Lately, I have really been loving Dr. Barbara Sturm products. I love that her line focuses on anti-inflammation and healing the skin. Since using her products, I have noticed my skin has been much more balanced. It isn’t oily or greasy and it’s not dry either. Her products are gentle and effective. I truly love them. I have also been using Thayers Witch Hazel!

How I Cleared Up My Acne & Tips for Clear Skin, Dr. Barbara Sturm Skincare

Drink More Water

You are probably tired of hearing this but drinking more water is essential for clear skin. Last year, Jay went cold Turkey on sodas and he hasn’t had one since 2017. I am SO proud of him. He is inspired me to quit drinking them too, although I don’t like saying that because I know as soon as I say it, I’m going to get an instant craving.  Anyways, I haven’t had a single soda in 2019. That’s a big deal for me. 

Back in November, when I committed to clearing up my skin, I decided to really increase my water intake. After doing this for a few months, I can honestly tell you that it is the best thing you can do for your skin and your body. Your skin will be less puffy, but plumper and I have seen a huge difference in my acne. I always start my morning by drinking a big glass of water, before grabbing my coffee. If you struggle getting water down first thing, I have been using this and it is great for your skin too!

 

Check Your Pillow Case

Making sure that your bedding is clean and freshly washed at least once a week is important. I started sleeping on a silk pillowcase and I love it. I don’t wake up with a bunch of creases on my face and I also get better sleep. Silk pillowcases are really good for your skin and great for not messing up your beautiful blowout!

 

Check Your Detergent

If you haven’t noticed yet, I have very sensitive skin that is extremely sensitive to fragrance. this is one reason I just can’t go anywhere and have a facial. If someone. omes at my face with makeup or skincare that is heavily scented, I will literally run. The same goes for my bedding and clothes. I the Whole Foods brand baby detergent and it really helps my skin. It doesn’t irritate me and also still clothing clohting really well. If I use a regular detergent I will notice acne on my face and my back. I tendto get alot of spots where my bra is tight to my skin if I am using a detergent that doesn’t agree with me.

Limit Alcohol Consumption and Sugar

While there are many diet changes you make to your skin, to help clear up acne, I find that alcohol and sugar are the worst for my skin. Most people recommend staying away form dairy, and while some dairy is bad, some dairy can be good for your gut. One of my biggest guity pleasures is red wine. Let me just tell you. I love a glass of red wine, or three, but I always can find at least one to three new zits the next moring. Not to mention, I sleep terribly and wake up foggy. 

Sugar also tends to make me breakout. If I am consuming too much sugar, I will notice my skin acting up. At the end of 2018, I read this book and it completely changed the way I look at my skin and my diet as a whole. While I still have a long way to go, I reference this book whenever I am in need of a little help. Nigma Talib is very popular among celebrities and I was convinced by, my favorite gal, Rosie Huntington Whitely to read this book


I hope that you found this post helpful and enjoyed reading more about my acne journey. If you have any questions, please just leave them in a comment. I hope we can use this as a platform to encourage and help support one another in our journey to clear skin! As promised, you will find a picture of my skin, below, during my last peak breakout! It’s not pretty!

How I Cleared Up My Acne & Tips for Clear Skin

How I Cleared Up My Acne

CONTINUE READING

T

4 Ways to Stop Being a People Pleaser | The Crippling Truth #gardenroses #pinkroses #roses #flowerphotography

March 22, 2019

Lifestyle

Your twenties are a time to be free, to learn and to grow. To make mistakes and have hangovers. To spend time with your friends and your family. To be productive and learn new things. You might get married and have kids. Travel the world and explore. For the most part, you feel like you can control your life and hold the keys to everything.

You can be selfish and your family understands. It’s just a part of that phase of life.

So, what happens when all of that changes in a second. What happens when an illness that happens to other people, because you never even considered it happening to you, happens to your husband. When the earth falls out from under your feet and you feel like your stomach is in your throat. Something you have never felt before. No even in your most unimaginable nightmare was this there.

Suddenly things change.

You lose that control.

That ability to plan your next life move and schedule your future. Those things all disappear. All of those plans and dreams that seemed so urgent, and important, don’t even feel good to you anymore. You are left facing something you’re not strong enough to handle and you definitely can’t control this one.

When things seem so impossible that you feel like you can’t breathe. First, you fall. You fall lower than you’ve ever fallen. Lower than you thought was possible. You feel sick to your stomach and find yourself crying at all of those things that seemed hopeful because you don’t want to think about the future anymore. You just want to go back in time and make things different. And then, even when things slowly come around and start to feel somewhat normal again, everything is completely different.

Here is what I learned from my husband having had testicular cancer at age 27. These are things that I pray you will apply to your life, right now. God has blessed us far beyond what I am worthy of and he loves you too. I have never been more grateful in my entire life. As many tears as I cried writing this, I want to share this. I need to share this with you. I think we can all start living each day with more depth and presence. 

How My Husband Having Cancer Changed My Life How My Husband Having Cancer Changed My Life How My Husband Having Cancer Changed My Life

Hearing the Word Cancer Changes Everything

You Start Living for Today & Make The Most of Every Moment

As someone who used to struggle with living in the past and also living in the future, I am currently learning to start living for today. For this moment, the one that we have right now. To stop worrying about the future and making every single moment perfect or well planned out. It’s ok to make mistakes and it’s easy to put things off, waiting for the opportune moment for everything. The truth is, now is the perfect moment. Don’t Wait.

You Give Up Control

One thing that I really struggled with, that I really didn’t realize was a big issue for me, was control. The need to control everything. The need to plan, organize and strategize timing. I have slowly been learning to give up control. To understand that things aren’t perfect but they are real. (Jay said that to me the other night. I am quoting him.) So you make a mistake. Maybe your five minutes late or maybe something comes up that you didn’t plan. That’s ok. That’s life. It’s messy and imperfect and sometimes it’s painful. But, it’s real. Keep your heart in the game and strive for the best. But, don’t crumble or get frustrated. We aren’t always in control.

You Pay Attention to Your Words

Sometimes, I believe that the term “verbal vomit” was created for me. There is power in your words, the thoughts you encounter, and your prayers. Learning to control what comes out of my mouth and the words that I choose to speak into this world has been huge for me. When we first got the news, I refused to say the word Cancer. Mostly because I couldn’t. That word still brings tears to my eyes. But, I realized that what came out of my mouth had a huge impact on our lives. So, I am learning to only speak positive words that bring joy and good health. And other than writing these posts, where it’s necessary to use that word, I still try not to say it. 

You Cut Negativity & Things That Don’t Matter

When you realize how quickly *things* can hit the fan and how important every single moment is, you realize how unimportant negativity is. You cut those people from your life that aren’t bringing joy and good vibes. The gossip, the rudeness, and the downright negativity show their true colors. Negativity’s repulsiveness and that ugly appearance are revealed. You suddenly realize there is no space for that or the people who carry it, in your life. It also becomes clear what things in your life don’t matter. Possessions, people, opinions, and emotions you have held onto for years. You learn to let go. You don’t care about what other people think of your decisions and choices.

You Show Up & Give Like You Didn’t Know You Could

After experiencing what we did, I feel like I am alive again. Like, I have been living in a daze for so too many years. I felt so weak. I didn’t know what to say, what to do, how to help. I felt lost. The truth is, sometimes there isn’t anything you can do or say to help. Sometimes, the answer is to just be. Be present, be there, be involved and be giving.

I learned that there aren’t words for everything. Sometimes, people just need you to sit beside them, smile at them, or hug them. Other times, they need you to be strong when they are weak. To speak up when they can’t and to push back when you feel resistance and to take action. The truth is, I have been selfish for a long time. I have put myself first. But, when you experience something like this, you can forget that you even exist and you learn to give like you didn’t know you could. It’s a really good feeling to think about something other than yourself.

You Love Harder Than Ever

It’s hard to say that any one of these lessons is more important than the other because I truly believe they have all worked together to change my life in a necessary way. But, one of my favorite things is how it has changed my ability to love harder than I ever have, to give more than I could and to know the true comfort of faith. I think love is one of those things that is really hard to describe with words, no matter how hard you try. It’s a feeling.

Things That You Thought Mattered Before Really Don’t. You Find a New Life.

You let go of what is unnecessary and hold on for dear life to what is. The overarching theme of this experience is definitely change and growth. But, what is hiding under all of the new wisdom is learning to let go of what was. Accepting new life and letting go of old ways. Everything that used to be priority somehow seems insignificant. New life is born and it’s almost like I have a second chance at being a better wife and person.


Sharing this isn’t easy but it is necessary. I want to share God’s goodness with others and how we have been so blessed. Lastly, I will leave you with the scripture that I have carried so close to me over the past few months. This has given me comfort beyond belief and I think it’s important to find that scripture that is the perfect fit for you. 

How My Husband Having Cancer Changed My Life

 2 Corinthians 12:9

I made this my screensavor on my phone as a daily reminder.

Photography by Tiffany Sigmon

How My Husband Having Cancer Changed My Life

CONTINUE READING

T

4 Ways to Stop Being a People Pleaser | The Crippling Truth #gardenroses #pinkroses #roses #flowerphotography

March 19, 2019

Fashion

One of my top requests recently has been to share some of my One-Piece Swimsuit Picks for this Spring. I get really excited about one-piece swimsuits these days because for so long I have personally felt really uncomfortable in a bikini. Although I still wear them, there is nothing quite like a fashionable one-piece and I have found several beautiful options to share with you today!

One-Piece Swimsuits

I thought it would be fun to divide these up into a few different categories. Below you will find beautiful splurge-worthy one-piece swimsuits, ones with wraps, and wardrobe staple one-piece basics! When I saw this one, I almost died, it’s so incredibly beautiful. There are a ton of one-piece options out there and I will link a few additional ones below, that I forgot to add to this collage. I love how one-piece swimsuits can be so fashionable and worn with pants to create a fun look for the beach! See more swimwear here.

What is your go-to swimsuit style?

One-Piece Swimsuit Picks for Spring 2019

CONTINUE READING

T

4 Ways to Stop Being a People Pleaser | The Crippling Truth #gardenroses #pinkroses #roses #flowerphotography

March 13, 2019

Beauty

I recently went for my first ever microneedling treatment and wanted to share with you my procedure process and what to expect if you decide to try microneedling for yourself. Before going in, I was extremely nervous. My dermatologist called in a numbing cream to a local pharmacy and that made me pretty skeptical about how painful the treatment would be. I had already made the decision to give microneedling a try because after having acne for so many years, I am ready to start healing my scars. Even though I was nervous about the treatment, I went through with it and I am so glad that I did. 

Despite looking like I had the worst sunburn imaginable the first day and then looking like I slept with a tiger on the second day, after a few days, my skin was glowing and my overall complexion is already improving drastically with just one treatment. I’m not going to sugar coat it and tell you that it was a walk in the park, at least not for me, but I am going to tell you that I would definitely do it again. These pictures are definitely not my best glamour shots, but one thing I admire most about reviews is honesty and realness, even if it isn’t pretty. So, I hope that you find this post insightful and helpful. If you have any questions, please feel free to send me an email or leave it in a comment!

Also, before we get started, I should note that my skin is extremely sensitive and gets red easily. I usually get flushed just after washing my face! You can see more of my beauty blog posts here

My First Microneedling Experience | What to Expect My First Microneedling Experience | What to Expect

Microneedling: The Treatment Itself

Numbing

As I mentioned before, my dermatologist called in a numbing cream for me to pick up from a local pharmacy, prior to my appointment. I was asked to come in a little bit early, to have the topical numbing cream applied and sit allow it to soak in for about 45 to 1 hour, prior to the treatment beginning. From what I understand, this is pretty common, so if you are planning on having a microneedling treatment done, I would recommend bringing something to do while you wait. 

The numbing cream itself was more of a gel consistency and did tingle a bit, once it began working. Your face will become numb and if you haven’t experienced something like this before, it might feel extremely weird, but that’s totally normal. Mild discomfort is normal and once the treatment begins, you won’t notice the tingling at all. For my microneedling treatment, my dermatologist used the Skinpen. Their website has even more information, so be sure to check that out. However, you will notice that my skin did not look like the model they have on their site, after my appointment!

The Microneedling Treatment

My dermatologist began by removing the rubbing cream from my face and cleaning my face with alcohol. Having the alcohol placed around my nose and mouth was probably the most uncomfortable portion of the treatment, for me. the fumes were terrible! Then, working in sections, she used the pen to cover the surface of my skin small using circular motions, in a serious of continues lines, until each section was complete. She did left side, chin, right side, forehead, and then my nose last. The treatment itself barely lasted 20 minutes if that. A gel of some type is used in the process to allow the pen to glide easily on your skin. After my face was cleaned and a the Skinfuse, a hydrogel, was placed on my skin to keep it soothed and hydrated. 

Pricing

Because I was unsure if I would be happy with the results or wish to have more than one done treatment done, I did a one time purchase. It is recommended that a few microneedling treatments be done to see full results, although the amount of treatment differs depending on the individual. The price for my single treatment was $500, however, I’m sure costs will vary depending on where you are located. Online, the range varies from $200-$700.

My First Microneedling Experience | What to Expect My First Microneedling Experience | What to Expect My First Microneedling Experience | What to Expect My First Microneedling Experience | What to Expect

(My skin about a week after the treatment)

Microneedling: Pain, Aftercare and Healing Process

Pain

Looking in the mirror was a bit of a shock, but if you google microneedling, it really isn’t that shocking. However, when it’s your own face, it is a little scary! I was sent home with a gentle cleanser and moisturizer sample, as well as the Skinfuse to apply on my skin. I didn’t find the microneedling itself that uncomfortable. With the numbing cream, the microneedling itself felt good on most parts of my skin. The pain came in when areas that have bone closer to the skin were treated. Areas like my cheekbones, forehead, upper lip area, and of course if spots were treated multiple times, tended to get more sensitive to the needling. I was surprised that my nose didn’t hurt. To be honest, the nose was the least sensitive area, follows by the hollows of my cheeks.

Directly after the treatment, my face felt like I had an extremely bad sunburn. It was warm and burning and felt pretty tight and dry. This feeling continued for most of the first day. By the end of the day, I rinsed my face and was able to apply some of the gel that afternoon. On day two, most of the pain had subsided however my skin still felt pretty tight. By day three, all of the pain and tightness was gone and my skin was feeling back to normal. It just didn’t look quite normal yet.

Aftercare and Healing

To be honest, I was hoping that my skin would have bounced back quicker than it did. But, when it did bounce it was glowing, smooth and the tone was much more even than before. The first two days my skin was extremely red and it looked pretty rough, honestly. By day three, the redness was going away and only a few spots were still noticeably red. I also began peeling around my mouth on day three. By the end of day three, beginning of day four, my skin was full on peel like never before. By day five, my skin was pretty much back to normal.

I resumed using my skincare routine, prior to what was recommended, but I honestly think this serum made a huge difference in my skin. I did, however, refrain from wearing makeup for a few days. When I did have to leave the house and applied a little makeup, my skins peeling process was pretty bad looking! I would recommend avoiding makeup as long as possible.

Microneedling: The Review

So, what’s the verdict? Is it worth it? Would I do it again?

My answer is, yes.

This was a really interesting treatment, but I can honestly say that although it was uncomfortable at points, I would 100% do it again. I don’t think that my scarring is gone after one treatment, but I do know that my skin has been much more even and glowy. I think the overall texture of my skin is much better too. It is smooth the touch, in most areas. 

Next time, I will probably see if I could have this done on a Friday so I could take the weekend to get my skin looking normal again. I am also really interested in having PRP done in combination with the Microneedling. Overall, I think I had a really great experience. I just know that in the future, I need to give myself a few days to allow my skin to look a little rough! The results were worth the mild discomfort. 

If you are wondering if you might be a candidate for microneedling, I found this post to be very informative!

Microneedling: The Video

I vlogged my daily process and also filmed a video discussing my experience and my thoughts on microneedling. 

My First Microneedling Experience | What to Expect

CONTINUE READING

T

4 Ways to Stop Being a People Pleaser | The Crippling Truth #gardenroses #pinkroses #roses #flowerphotography

April 4, 2019

Lifestyle

I had no intention of going this long between Recent Reads blog posts, but I am overdue and bringing it today! Hopefully, it won’t be this long next time, but I have read some really great books and I’m excited to share my Recent Reads Volume 2 with you!

It’s safe to say that I stick with business and personal development books. hopefully, I will find some fiction that interests me soon, but for now, I am just flying through these self-help books. You can see my first recent reads post here and hopefully it won’t be too long before the next one!

Recent Reads Volume 2

Recent Reads

The Miracle Morning

This book is just as the title states, The Miracle Morning. I found this book really inspirational and it gave me a completely different outlook on how I look at my mornings. Recently, Jay and I have been waking up earlier and taking time in the morning to spend together. This book as a great outline of resources for creating your own miracle morning and I really think this a must read for anyone looking to improve their day.

 

How to Win Friends and Influence People

How to Win Friends and Influence People is a classic. This book is great for everyone, especially if you are in sales. This book has a lot of good nuggets if we can call them that. To be honest I think I should probably flip back through this and do some highlighting! At the beginning of the book, Dale Carnegie recommends that you read each chapter twice before moving to the next. While this book is packed with great information, I did not read each chapter twice. Personally, while I would highly recommend this book, it wasn’t exactly a page turner for me.

 

The Power of Unlimited Imagination

I found this book to be extremely interesting and it definitely pushed my intellectual capabilities, I think. Obviously, I have a ways to go on the intelligence and vocabulary side of things. Either way, this was a quick and interesting read. I enjoyed reading a chapter a morning!

 

Younger Skin Starts in The Gut 

If you are into health-related books, beauty, or working on your skin, I couldn’t recommend this book more. Nigma Talib is a celebrity favorite and for good reason. I decided to grab this book after hearing Rosie Huntington-Whiteley talk about it and I was definitely impressed. As someone who enjoys learning more about food and the way different foods affect our bodies, I really loved the information that this book provides. If you are having any skin issues or concerns, or really just care about the way your skin looks, I would highly recommend this read!

 

Rich Habits

If you can’t by now, I am always interested in business topics and growing our wealth. I think I got that from my Dad. He really inspires me to make good money choices. I can’t remember where I originally saw this or heard of it, but either way, I added it to my Amazon wishlist and we got it for Christmas. Jay and I both read this at the start of the new year and I think this short book is incredible. I honestly think everyone should read this book. It gives great life advice and money advice.

 

Max Out

My favorite podcast of the moment is Ed Mylett’s podcast. I find Ed extremely inspiring. He is motivating and honest, but there is just something about him that makes him different. I absolutely love his content and this book is no exception. It’s quick, easy, and awesome. I love his Max Out life view. 

 

The Alchemist 

I feel like everyone in the world reads The Alchemist or should. I’m going to keep this short and reference this blog post that is dedicated entirely to this book!

 

Coming Up Next

The Clarity Cleanse

I recently had this book recommended to me and boy, oh boy, does it hit the spot for me right now. This book helps you to cleanse your mind, body and emotional system. I can’t wait to talk more about this book soon.

Game Changers: What Leaders, Innovators, and Mavericks Do to Win at Life

I have dipped my toes in this book recently and it has been really exciting so far. It has opened up my mind to the secrets of high performers and I can wait ot read more and share with you soon.

 

Recent Reads Volume 2

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April 1, 2019

Beauty

Acne is no new thing for me. I have suffered from cystic acne and awful skin for several years. I have tried over, and over, again to clear up my skin and nothing seemed to work. Maybe the universe aligned or maybe I finally just tried right the concoction of solutions, either way, I wanted to share with you my personal experience and how I cleared up my acne.

One of the most important things I have learned on this acne journey is that everyone’s skin is different. Your skin may not respond to these tips, the way mine did and you might have additional tips that you can share. I would love for you to leave your skin tips and techniques in the comment! Also, I wanted to share that, for me, acne wasn’t just a physical problem. It was emotionally based too. If you suffer from acne, I feel for you.

Acne is a horrible condition and so many girls, boys, women, and men are affected by it each day. It took me several years of trial and error, and I think I finally found the right combination that works for me. 

How I Cleared Up My Acne & Tips for Clear Skin, Dr. Barbara Sturm Skincare

How I Cleared Up My Acne & Tips for Clear Skin

How I Cleared Up My Acne

Antibiotics 

After years of avoiding dermatologists, because I couldn’t seem to find the right one, I finally found a great dermatologist. When she recommended an antibiotic, I wasn’t exactly thrilled. I had taken antibiotics in the past for acne and they never worked. This time, I took my antibiotic for about 2 months and my skin cleared up. Personally, I don’t believe that I can owe all of the results I have received to the antibiotic, but it is a good place to start to rid your body of bad bacteria and can be done every so often if you have a bad breakout. 

If you do decide to try antibiotics, and even if you don’t, it’s extremely important to take a good probiotic. These are my favorite and I make sure that I am either taking a probiotic or finding a source of probiotics in my diet. For women, it’s also great to take a probiotic that is specified for women. this may be too TMI, so I’m sorry, but the right probiotics can also be really great for vaginal health. 

Retinol

Some people absolutely hate retinol, but I personally love it. Retinol works wonders for my skin and keeps it clear. These days, I use retinol prescribed by my dermatologist, however, there are a ton of really great options out there. I find that retinol keeps my skin from breaking out and really helps to even out my skin tone and keep my texture nice.

Retinol is powerful and will cause quite a bit of irritation when you begin using it. Often times, things get much worse, before they get better. But, I promise it’s totally worth it. I have been wanting to try this serum. Many people, with cleaner routines, prefer this over retinol. 

Clean Up Your Beauty Routine

The topic of clean beauty and cleaning up my beauty routine has been extremely popular lately. While this should be a blog post all on its own, I thought I would share just a few brief notes about cleaning up your beauty routine. This subject is so important to me because I feel like cleaning up my beauty routine made the biggest difference in my skin.

Having acne really took a toll on my self-confidence. I would always dodge mirrors and was hardly ever seen without makeup. Heavy makeup that is. Back in November, as my skin was slightly starting to clear up, I kind of became obsessed with the Goop website and the many products they carry. I had been hearing a lot about RMS and about clean beauty so I decided to give it a try. It was difficult at first not covering every single blemish, perfectly, but the overtime my skin clear up and I truly think it was majorly to do with cleaning up my beauty routine.

Makeup

Like I just mentioned, keeping my makeup more minimal and clean, until my skin cleared up was essential. Also, when my skin did clear up, I don’t wear makeup on a regular basis. If anything I will wear a little mascara, fill in my eyebrows, and spot conceal if necessary. The RMS uncover up has completely changed the way I look at my makeup and while my beauty routine is not completely “clean” I am working towards finding more products that I love. Bare Minerals is also another brand I have always loved and I use their “warmth” bronzer whenever I apply my makeup. Recently, I have been testing out the Chantecaille tinted moisturizer and have been loving it. I use the shade Vanilla.

Skincare

As with makeup, I really noticed an improvement in my skin when I switched up my skincare. I have always wanted extremely active ingredients in my skincare and went the oil-free, acne, related route. However, while is still steer clear of oily products, I have taken a more gentle approach to my skincare. Also, using products with fewer chemicals is extremely important to me. 

When you aren’t wearing as much makeup, it’s much easier to treat your skin well and heal it. Lately, I have really been loving Dr. Barbara Sturm products. I love that her line focuses on anti-inflammation and healing the skin. Since using her products, I have noticed my skin has been much more balanced. It isn’t oily or greasy and it’s not dry either. Her products are gentle and effective. I truly love them. I have also been using Thayers Witch Hazel!

How I Cleared Up My Acne & Tips for Clear Skin, Dr. Barbara Sturm Skincare

Drink More Water

You are probably tired of hearing this but drinking more water is essential for clear skin. Last year, Jay went cold Turkey on sodas and he hasn’t had one since 2017. I am SO proud of him. He is inspired me to quit drinking them too, although I don’t like saying that because I know as soon as I say it, I’m going to get an instant craving.  Anyways, I haven’t had a single soda in 2019. That’s a big deal for me. 

Back in November, when I committed to clearing up my skin, I decided to really increase my water intake. After doing this for a few months, I can honestly tell you that it is the best thing you can do for your skin and your body. Your skin will be less puffy, but plumper and I have seen a huge difference in my acne. I always start my morning by drinking a big glass of water, before grabbing my coffee. If you struggle getting water down first thing, I have been using this and it is great for your skin too!

 

Check Your Pillow Case

Making sure that your bedding is clean and freshly washed at least once a week is important. I started sleeping on a silk pillowcase and I love it. I don’t wake up with a bunch of creases on my face and I also get better sleep. Silk pillowcases are really good for your skin and great for not messing up your beautiful blowout!

 

Check Your Detergent

If you haven’t noticed yet, I have very sensitive skin that is extremely sensitive to fragrance. this is one reason I just can’t go anywhere and have a facial. If someone. omes at my face with makeup or skincare that is heavily scented, I will literally run. The same goes for my bedding and clothes. I the Whole Foods brand baby detergent and it really helps my skin. It doesn’t irritate me and also still clothing clohting really well. If I use a regular detergent I will notice acne on my face and my back. I tendto get alot of spots where my bra is tight to my skin if I am using a detergent that doesn’t agree with me.

Limit Alcohol Consumption and Sugar

While there are many diet changes you make to your skin, to help clear up acne, I find that alcohol and sugar are the worst for my skin. Most people recommend staying away form dairy, and while some dairy is bad, some dairy can be good for your gut. One of my biggest guity pleasures is red wine. Let me just tell you. I love a glass of red wine, or three, but I always can find at least one to three new zits the next moring. Not to mention, I sleep terribly and wake up foggy. 

Sugar also tends to make me breakout. If I am consuming too much sugar, I will notice my skin acting up. At the end of 2018, I read this book and it completely changed the way I look at my skin and my diet as a whole. While I still have a long way to go, I reference this book whenever I am in need of a little help. Nigma Talib is very popular among celebrities and I was convinced by, my favorite gal, Rosie Huntington Whitely to read this book


I hope that you found this post helpful and enjoyed reading more about my acne journey. If you have any questions, please just leave them in a comment. I hope we can use this as a platform to encourage and help support one another in our journey to clear skin! As promised, you will find a picture of my skin, below, during my last peak breakout! It’s not pretty!

How I Cleared Up My Acne & Tips for Clear Skin

How I Cleared Up My Acne

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March 22, 2019

Lifestyle

Your twenties are a time to be free, to learn and to grow. To make mistakes and have hangovers. To spend time with your friends and your family. To be productive and learn new things. You might get married and have kids. Travel the world and explore. For the most part, you feel like you can control your life and hold the keys to everything.

You can be selfish and your family understands. It’s just a part of that phase of life.

So, what happens when all of that changes in a second. What happens when an illness that happens to other people, because you never even considered it happening to you, happens to your husband. When the earth falls out from under your feet and you feel like your stomach is in your throat. Something you have never felt before. No even in your most unimaginable nightmare was this there.

Suddenly things change.

You lose that control.

That ability to plan your next life move and schedule your future. Those things all disappear. All of those plans and dreams that seemed so urgent, and important, don’t even feel good to you anymore. You are left facing something you’re not strong enough to handle and you definitely can’t control this one.

When things seem so impossible that you feel like you can’t breathe. First, you fall. You fall lower than you’ve ever fallen. Lower than you thought was possible. You feel sick to your stomach and find yourself crying at all of those things that seemed hopeful because you don’t want to think about the future anymore. You just want to go back in time and make things different. And then, even when things slowly come around and start to feel somewhat normal again, everything is completely different.

Here is what I learned from my husband having had testicular cancer at age 27. These are things that I pray you will apply to your life, right now. God has blessed us far beyond what I am worthy of and he loves you too. I have never been more grateful in my entire life. As many tears as I cried writing this, I want to share this. I need to share this with you. I think we can all start living each day with more depth and presence. 

How My Husband Having Cancer Changed My Life How My Husband Having Cancer Changed My Life How My Husband Having Cancer Changed My Life

Hearing the Word Cancer Changes Everything

You Start Living for Today & Make The Most of Every Moment

As someone who used to struggle with living in the past and also living in the future, I am currently learning to start living for today. For this moment, the one that we have right now. To stop worrying about the future and making every single moment perfect or well planned out. It’s ok to make mistakes and it’s easy to put things off, waiting for the opportune moment for everything. The truth is, now is the perfect moment. Don’t Wait.

You Give Up Control

One thing that I really struggled with, that I really didn’t realize was a big issue for me, was control. The need to control everything. The need to plan, organize and strategize timing. I have slowly been learning to give up control. To understand that things aren’t perfect but they are real. (Jay said that to me the other night. I am quoting him.) So you make a mistake. Maybe your five minutes late or maybe something comes up that you didn’t plan. That’s ok. That’s life. It’s messy and imperfect and sometimes it’s painful. But, it’s real. Keep your heart in the game and strive for the best. But, don’t crumble or get frustrated. We aren’t always in control.

You Pay Attention to Your Words

Sometimes, I believe that the term “verbal vomit” was created for me. There is power in your words, the thoughts you encounter, and your prayers. Learning to control what comes out of my mouth and the words that I choose to speak into this world has been huge for me. When we first got the news, I refused to say the word Cancer. Mostly because I couldn’t. That word still brings tears to my eyes. But, I realized that what came out of my mouth had a huge impact on our lives. So, I am learning to only speak positive words that bring joy and good health. And other than writing these posts, where it’s necessary to use that word, I still try not to say it. 

You Cut Negativity & Things That Don’t Matter

When you realize how quickly *things* can hit the fan and how important every single moment is, you realize how unimportant negativity is. You cut those people from your life that aren’t bringing joy and good vibes. The gossip, the rudeness, and the downright negativity show their true colors. Negativity’s repulsiveness and that ugly appearance are revealed. You suddenly realize there is no space for that or the people who carry it, in your life. It also becomes clear what things in your life don’t matter. Possessions, people, opinions, and emotions you have held onto for years. You learn to let go. You don’t care about what other people think of your decisions and choices.

You Show Up & Give Like You Didn’t Know You Could

After experiencing what we did, I feel like I am alive again. Like, I have been living in a daze for so too many years. I felt so weak. I didn’t know what to say, what to do, how to help. I felt lost. The truth is, sometimes there isn’t anything you can do or say to help. Sometimes, the answer is to just be. Be present, be there, be involved and be giving.

I learned that there aren’t words for everything. Sometimes, people just need you to sit beside them, smile at them, or hug them. Other times, they need you to be strong when they are weak. To speak up when they can’t and to push back when you feel resistance and to take action. The truth is, I have been selfish for a long time. I have put myself first. But, when you experience something like this, you can forget that you even exist and you learn to give like you didn’t know you could. It’s a really good feeling to think about something other than yourself.

You Love Harder Than Ever

It’s hard to say that any one of these lessons is more important than the other because I truly believe they have all worked together to change my life in a necessary way. But, one of my favorite things is how it has changed my ability to love harder than I ever have, to give more than I could and to know the true comfort of faith. I think love is one of those things that is really hard to describe with words, no matter how hard you try. It’s a feeling.

Things That You Thought Mattered Before Really Don’t. You Find a New Life.

You let go of what is unnecessary and hold on for dear life to what is. The overarching theme of this experience is definitely change and growth. But, what is hiding under all of the new wisdom is learning to let go of what was. Accepting new life and letting go of old ways. Everything that used to be priority somehow seems insignificant. New life is born and it’s almost like I have a second chance at being a better wife and person.


Sharing this isn’t easy but it is necessary. I want to share God’s goodness with others and how we have been so blessed. Lastly, I will leave you with the scripture that I have carried so close to me over the past few months. This has given me comfort beyond belief and I think it’s important to find that scripture that is the perfect fit for you. 

How My Husband Having Cancer Changed My Life

 2 Corinthians 12:9

I made this my screensavor on my phone as a daily reminder.

Photography by Tiffany Sigmon

How My Husband Having Cancer Changed My Life

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Your twenties are a time to be free, to learn and to grow. To make mistakes and have hangovers. To spend time with your friends and your family. To be productive and learn new things. You might get married and have kids. Travel the world and explore. For the most part, you feel like you […]

March 19, 2019

Fashion

One of my top requests recently has been to share some of my One-Piece Swimsuit Picks for this Spring. I get really excited about one-piece swimsuits these days because for so long I have personally felt really uncomfortable in a bikini. Although I still wear them, there is nothing quite like a fashionable one-piece and I have found several beautiful options to share with you today!

One-Piece Swimsuits

I thought it would be fun to divide these up into a few different categories. Below you will find beautiful splurge-worthy one-piece swimsuits, ones with wraps, and wardrobe staple one-piece basics! When I saw this one, I almost died, it’s so incredibly beautiful. There are a ton of one-piece options out there and I will link a few additional ones below, that I forgot to add to this collage. I love how one-piece swimsuits can be so fashionable and worn with pants to create a fun look for the beach! See more swimwear here.

What is your go-to swimsuit style?

One-Piece Swimsuit Picks for Spring 2019

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March 13, 2019

Beauty

I recently went for my first ever microneedling treatment and wanted to share with you my procedure process and what to expect if you decide to try microneedling for yourself. Before going in, I was extremely nervous. My dermatologist called in a numbing cream to a local pharmacy and that made me pretty skeptical about how painful the treatment would be. I had already made the decision to give microneedling a try because after having acne for so many years, I am ready to start healing my scars. Even though I was nervous about the treatment, I went through with it and I am so glad that I did. 

Despite looking like I had the worst sunburn imaginable the first day and then looking like I slept with a tiger on the second day, after a few days, my skin was glowing and my overall complexion is already improving drastically with just one treatment. I’m not going to sugar coat it and tell you that it was a walk in the park, at least not for me, but I am going to tell you that I would definitely do it again. These pictures are definitely not my best glamour shots, but one thing I admire most about reviews is honesty and realness, even if it isn’t pretty. So, I hope that you find this post insightful and helpful. If you have any questions, please feel free to send me an email or leave it in a comment!

Also, before we get started, I should note that my skin is extremely sensitive and gets red easily. I usually get flushed just after washing my face! You can see more of my beauty blog posts here

My First Microneedling Experience | What to Expect My First Microneedling Experience | What to Expect

Microneedling: The Treatment Itself

Numbing

As I mentioned before, my dermatologist called in a numbing cream for me to pick up from a local pharmacy, prior to my appointment. I was asked to come in a little bit early, to have the topical numbing cream applied and sit allow it to soak in for about 45 to 1 hour, prior to the treatment beginning. From what I understand, this is pretty common, so if you are planning on having a microneedling treatment done, I would recommend bringing something to do while you wait. 

The numbing cream itself was more of a gel consistency and did tingle a bit, once it began working. Your face will become numb and if you haven’t experienced something like this before, it might feel extremely weird, but that’s totally normal. Mild discomfort is normal and once the treatment begins, you won’t notice the tingling at all. For my microneedling treatment, my dermatologist used the Skinpen. Their website has even more information, so be sure to check that out. However, you will notice that my skin did not look like the model they have on their site, after my appointment!

The Microneedling Treatment

My dermatologist began by removing the rubbing cream from my face and cleaning my face with alcohol. Having the alcohol placed around my nose and mouth was probably the most uncomfortable portion of the treatment, for me. the fumes were terrible! Then, working in sections, she used the pen to cover the surface of my skin small using circular motions, in a serious of continues lines, until each section was complete. She did left side, chin, right side, forehead, and then my nose last. The treatment itself barely lasted 20 minutes if that. A gel of some type is used in the process to allow the pen to glide easily on your skin. After my face was cleaned and a the Skinfuse, a hydrogel, was placed on my skin to keep it soothed and hydrated. 

Pricing

Because I was unsure if I would be happy with the results or wish to have more than one done treatment done, I did a one time purchase. It is recommended that a few microneedling treatments be done to see full results, although the amount of treatment differs depending on the individual. The price for my single treatment was $500, however, I’m sure costs will vary depending on where you are located. Online, the range varies from $200-$700.

My First Microneedling Experience | What to Expect My First Microneedling Experience | What to Expect My First Microneedling Experience | What to Expect My First Microneedling Experience | What to Expect

(My skin about a week after the treatment)

Microneedling: Pain, Aftercare and Healing Process

Pain

Looking in the mirror was a bit of a shock, but if you google microneedling, it really isn’t that shocking. However, when it’s your own face, it is a little scary! I was sent home with a gentle cleanser and moisturizer sample, as well as the Skinfuse to apply on my skin. I didn’t find the microneedling itself that uncomfortable. With the numbing cream, the microneedling itself felt good on most parts of my skin. The pain came in when areas that have bone closer to the skin were treated. Areas like my cheekbones, forehead, upper lip area, and of course if spots were treated multiple times, tended to get more sensitive to the needling. I was surprised that my nose didn’t hurt. To be honest, the nose was the least sensitive area, follows by the hollows of my cheeks.

Directly after the treatment, my face felt like I had an extremely bad sunburn. It was warm and burning and felt pretty tight and dry. This feeling continued for most of the first day. By the end of the day, I rinsed my face and was able to apply some of the gel that afternoon. On day two, most of the pain had subsided however my skin still felt pretty tight. By day three, all of the pain and tightness was gone and my skin was feeling back to normal. It just didn’t look quite normal yet.

Aftercare and Healing

To be honest, I was hoping that my skin would have bounced back quicker than it did. But, when it did bounce it was glowing, smooth and the tone was much more even than before. The first two days my skin was extremely red and it looked pretty rough, honestly. By day three, the redness was going away and only a few spots were still noticeably red. I also began peeling around my mouth on day three. By the end of day three, beginning of day four, my skin was full on peel like never before. By day five, my skin was pretty much back to normal.

I resumed using my skincare routine, prior to what was recommended, but I honestly think this serum made a huge difference in my skin. I did, however, refrain from wearing makeup for a few days. When I did have to leave the house and applied a little makeup, my skins peeling process was pretty bad looking! I would recommend avoiding makeup as long as possible.

Microneedling: The Review

So, what’s the verdict? Is it worth it? Would I do it again?

My answer is, yes.

This was a really interesting treatment, but I can honestly say that although it was uncomfortable at points, I would 100% do it again. I don’t think that my scarring is gone after one treatment, but I do know that my skin has been much more even and glowy. I think the overall texture of my skin is much better too. It is smooth the touch, in most areas. 

Next time, I will probably see if I could have this done on a Friday so I could take the weekend to get my skin looking normal again. I am also really interested in having PRP done in combination with the Microneedling. Overall, I think I had a really great experience. I just know that in the future, I need to give myself a few days to allow my skin to look a little rough! The results were worth the mild discomfort. 

If you are wondering if you might be a candidate for microneedling, I found this post to be very informative!

Microneedling: The Video

I vlogged my daily process and also filmed a video discussing my experience and my thoughts on microneedling. 

My First Microneedling Experience | What to Expect

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March 8, 2019

Lifestyle

I jumped on the train and started listening to podcasts a couple of years ago when they became unseemingly popular. There’s no doubt that these days podcasts are one of the most highly selected forms of media. And while I haven’t started one of my own, I have definitely been tempted, I wanted to update you on the podcasts I’m listening to, right now, at the beginning of 2019.

It’s really hard to believe that after looking back, I wrote my first post recommending to you my favorite podcasts of the moment in July of 2017! That seems unbelievable, I honestly felt like I just wrote that post yesterday. Either way, I’m still listening to those same podcasts, which you can see here, along with a few new treasures I have found over the past few months!

These 7 podcasts I have recently discovered and I find myself listening to at least one show from this list per day. I listen to podcasts when I’m driving in the car, taking a shower, doing my makeup and doing how chores. Something extremely amazing always comes from each one of these podcasts. The founders of each one are knowledgeable on life and business and usually bring in some of the best guests you can imagine. 

I will do my best to give a brief description to each one, but I’m sure you have heard of many of these incredible people before. Personally, I would encourage you to check out each one. I often discover new podcasts when some of my favorite leaders are featured on one. They usually reference their interview on xyz podcast and then I will give it a listen and most of the time subscribe. Each person is different and these are all podcasts that are dedicated to personal development and business growth. 

7 Podcasts I’m Listening To Right Now

7 Podcasts I'm Listening To Right Now

Ed Mylett Show

Ed Mylett is one of my newer discoveries and obsessions, you could say. I just purchased his book Max Out and I really love Ed’s straight forward approach about life and business. He worked extremely hard to get to where he is today and I love the content and practical advice he brings to his podcast. 

Long Story Short with Bobbi Brown

All my ladies have probably heard of Bobbi Brown before, but what you might not know about is her new endeavor in JustBobbi. JustBobbi is a lifestyle destination where Bobbi Brown is sharing her passions and knowledge with us. I find Bobbi Brown so interesting and love her story and passion, with building businesses. I know she is about to make big things happen and I can’t wait to listen to her journey.

Rise and Rise Together with Rachel and Dave Hollis

A few months ago, I talked about Girl, Wash Your Face and naturally, most peoples love for Rachel Hollis continues. I love the Rise podcast where Rachel interviews business leaders and speaks on personal growth. The Rise Together podcast is geared more towards relationships and marriage advice. I love this one too and always find the relationship content relatable and informative in helping me foster my marriage. Rachel just released her new book, “Girl, Stop Apologizing” and you can bet it’s already in my cart!

The GaryVee Audio Experience

GaryVee is just a category of his own. His content probably isn’t for everyone but I love his “No BS” approach to life and business. He calls people out and pushes them to do their best and be their best or simply get out of the game. If you like it straightforward and much more casual, GaryVee will definitely whip you into shape! 

The Goop Podcast

The Goop Podcast is much more lifestyle and a little less business. Interviews on this podcast are run by GP herself or her Chief Content Officer, who you will definitely hear more frequently. The Goop Podcast always brings thinkers, doctors, and industry professionals who are doing interesting and innovated work in the Goop related field. This podcast generally focuses on personal health (physical and mental), women in business, individuals leading movements, and so on. I always find Goop content interesting and it usually gets me thinking deeper about my daily life. 

The Tony Robbins Podcast

I love listening to Tony Robbins, as do most people. I find this podcast interest and informative. Although, it does seem that the content isn’t posted regularly so I haven’t been hearing too much from it lately. However, there is a ton of great content from the prior year, or so, on the podcast.

Skimm’d from The Couch

This is my latest find after hearing an interview Arielle Charnas’ interview a couple of weeks. I love following Arielle and found her even more inspiring after listening to this conversation. Now, I’m going back through episodes and hearing real conversations from inspiring women like Tory Burch and Martha Stewart! I love how simple and to the point these podcast interviews are. If you aren’t into the filler, you will love this podcast!


What are your favorite podcasts to listen to? I am always listening to podcasts in the car or while I am getting ready for the day. Don’t forget to check out some of my other favorite podcasts here.

 

7 Podcasts I’m Listening To Right Now

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April 1, 2019

Beauty

Acne is no new thing for me. I have suffered from cystic acne and awful skin for several years. I have tried over, and over, again to clear up my skin and nothing seemed to work. Maybe the universe aligned or maybe I finally just tried right the concoction of solutions, either way, I wanted to share with you my personal experience and how I cleared up my acne.

One of the most important things I have learned on this acne journey is that everyone’s skin is different. Your skin may not respond to these tips, the way mine did and you might have additional tips that you can share. I would love for you to leave your skin tips and techniques in the comment! Also, I wanted to share that, for me, acne wasn’t just a physical problem. It was emotionally based too. If you suffer from acne, I feel for you.

Acne is a horrible condition and so many girls, boys, women, and men are affected by it each day. It took me several years of trial and error, and I think I finally found the right combination that works for me. 

How I Cleared Up My Acne & Tips for Clear Skin, Dr. Barbara Sturm Skincare

How I Cleared Up My Acne & Tips for Clear Skin

How I Cleared Up My Acne

Antibiotics 

After years of avoiding dermatologists, because I couldn’t seem to find the right one, I finally found a great dermatologist. When she recommended an antibiotic, I wasn’t exactly thrilled. I had taken antibiotics in the past for acne and they never worked. This time, I took my antibiotic for about 2 months and my skin cleared up. Personally, I don’t believe that I can owe all of the results I have received to the antibiotic, but it is a good place to start to rid your body of bad bacteria and can be done every so often if you have a bad breakout. 

If you do decide to try antibiotics, and even if you don’t, it’s extremely important to take a good probiotic. These are my favorite and I make sure that I am either taking a probiotic or finding a source of probiotics in my diet. For women, it’s also great to take a probiotic that is specified for women. this may be too TMI, so I’m sorry, but the right probiotics can also be really great for vaginal health. 

Retinol

Some people absolutely hate retinol, but I personally love it. Retinol works wonders for my skin and keeps it clear. These days, I use retinol prescribed by my dermatologist, however, there are a ton of really great options out there. I find that retinol keeps my skin from breaking out and really helps to even out my skin tone and keep my texture nice.

Retinol is powerful and will cause quite a bit of irritation when you begin using it. Often times, things get much worse, before they get better. But, I promise it’s totally worth it. I have been wanting to try this serum. Many people, with cleaner routines, prefer this over retinol. 

Clean Up Your Beauty Routine

The topic of clean beauty and cleaning up my beauty routine has been extremely popular lately. While this should be a blog post all on its own, I thought I would share just a few brief notes about cleaning up your beauty routine. This subject is so important to me because I feel like cleaning up my beauty routine made the biggest difference in my skin.

Having acne really took a toll on my self-confidence. I would always dodge mirrors and was hardly ever seen without makeup. Heavy makeup that is. Back in November, as my skin was slightly starting to clear up, I kind of became obsessed with the Goop website and the many products they carry. I had been hearing a lot about RMS and about clean beauty so I decided to give it a try. It was difficult at first not covering every single blemish, perfectly, but the overtime my skin clear up and I truly think it was majorly to do with cleaning up my beauty routine.

Makeup

Like I just mentioned, keeping my makeup more minimal and clean, until my skin cleared up was essential. Also, when my skin did clear up, I don’t wear makeup on a regular basis. If anything I will wear a little mascara, fill in my eyebrows, and spot conceal if necessary. The RMS uncover up has completely changed the way I look at my makeup and while my beauty routine is not completely “clean” I am working towards finding more products that I love. Bare Minerals is also another brand I have always loved and I use their “warmth” bronzer whenever I apply my makeup. Recently, I have been testing out the Chantecaille tinted moisturizer and have been loving it. I use the shade Vanilla.

Skincare

As with makeup, I really noticed an improvement in my skin when I switched up my skincare. I have always wanted extremely active ingredients in my skincare and went the oil-free, acne, related route. However, while is still steer clear of oily products, I have taken a more gentle approach to my skincare. Also, using products with fewer chemicals is extremely important to me. 

When you aren’t wearing as much makeup, it’s much easier to treat your skin well and heal it. Lately, I have really been loving Dr. Barbara Sturm products. I love that her line focuses on anti-inflammation and healing the skin. Since using her products, I have noticed my skin has been much more balanced. It isn’t oily or greasy and it’s not dry either. Her products are gentle and effective. I truly love them. I have also been using Thayers Witch Hazel!

How I Cleared Up My Acne & Tips for Clear Skin, Dr. Barbara Sturm Skincare

Drink More Water

You are probably tired of hearing this but drinking more water is essential for clear skin. Last year, Jay went cold Turkey on sodas and he hasn’t had one since 2017. I am SO proud of him. He is inspired me to quit drinking them too, although I don’t like saying that because I know as soon as I say it, I’m going to get an instant craving.  Anyways, I haven’t had a single soda in 2019. That’s a big deal for me. 

Back in November, when I committed to clearing up my skin, I decided to really increase my water intake. After doing this for a few months, I can honestly tell you that it is the best thing you can do for your skin and your body. Your skin will be less puffy, but plumper and I have seen a huge difference in my acne. I always start my morning by drinking a big glass of water, before grabbing my coffee. If you struggle getting water down first thing, I have been using this and it is great for your skin too!

 

Check Your Pillow Case

Making sure that your bedding is clean and freshly washed at least once a week is important. I started sleeping on a silk pillowcase and I love it. I don’t wake up with a bunch of creases on my face and I also get better sleep. Silk pillowcases are really good for your skin and great for not messing up your beautiful blowout!

 

Check Your Detergent

If you haven’t noticed yet, I have very sensitive skin that is extremely sensitive to fragrance. this is one reason I just can’t go anywhere and have a facial. If someone. omes at my face with makeup or skincare that is heavily scented, I will literally run. The same goes for my bedding and clothes. I the Whole Foods brand baby detergent and it really helps my skin. It doesn’t irritate me and also still clothing clohting really well. If I use a regular detergent I will notice acne on my face and my back. I tendto get alot of spots where my bra is tight to my skin if I am using a detergent that doesn’t agree with me.

Limit Alcohol Consumption and Sugar

While there are many diet changes you make to your skin, to help clear up acne, I find that alcohol and sugar are the worst for my skin. Most people recommend staying away form dairy, and while some dairy is bad, some dairy can be good for your gut. One of my biggest guity pleasures is red wine. Let me just tell you. I love a glass of red wine, or three, but I always can find at least one to three new zits the next moring. Not to mention, I sleep terribly and wake up foggy. 

Sugar also tends to make me breakout. If I am consuming too much sugar, I will notice my skin acting up. At the end of 2018, I read this book and it completely changed the way I look at my skin and my diet as a whole. While I still have a long way to go, I reference this book whenever I am in need of a little help. Nigma Talib is very popular among celebrities and I was convinced by, my favorite gal, Rosie Huntington Whitely to read this book


I hope that you found this post helpful and enjoyed reading more about my acne journey. If you have any questions, please just leave them in a comment. I hope we can use this as a platform to encourage and help support one another in our journey to clear skin! As promised, you will find a picture of my skin, below, during my last peak breakout! It’s not pretty!

How I Cleared Up My Acne & Tips for Clear Skin

How I Cleared Up My Acne

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March 22, 2019

Lifestyle

Your twenties are a time to be free, to learn and to grow. To make mistakes and have hangovers. To spend time with your friends and your family. To be productive and learn new things. You might get married and have kids. Travel the world and explore. For the most part, you feel like you can control your life and hold the keys to everything.

You can be selfish and your family understands. It’s just a part of that phase of life.

So, what happens when all of that changes in a second. What happens when an illness that happens to other people, because you never even considered it happening to you, happens to your husband. When the earth falls out from under your feet and you feel like your stomach is in your throat. Something you have never felt before. No even in your most unimaginable nightmare was this there.

Suddenly things change.

You lose that control.

That ability to plan your next life move and schedule your future. Those things all disappear. All of those plans and dreams that seemed so urgent, and important, don’t even feel good to you anymore. You are left facing something you’re not strong enough to handle and you definitely can’t control this one.

When things seem so impossible that you feel like you can’t breathe. First, you fall. You fall lower than you’ve ever fallen. Lower than you thought was possible. You feel sick to your stomach and find yourself crying at all of those things that seemed hopeful because you don’t want to think about the future anymore. You just want to go back in time and make things different. And then, even when things slowly come around and start to feel somewhat normal again, everything is completely different.

Here is what I learned from my husband having had testicular cancer at age 27. These are things that I pray you will apply to your life, right now. God has blessed us far beyond what I am worthy of and he loves you too. I have never been more grateful in my entire life. As many tears as I cried writing this, I want to share this. I need to share this with you. I think we can all start living each day with more depth and presence. 

How My Husband Having Cancer Changed My Life How My Husband Having Cancer Changed My Life How My Husband Having Cancer Changed My Life

Hearing the Word Cancer Changes Everything

You Start Living for Today & Make The Most of Every Moment

As someone who used to struggle with living in the past and also living in the future, I am currently learning to start living for today. For this moment, the one that we have right now. To stop worrying about the future and making every single moment perfect or well planned out. It’s ok to make mistakes and it’s easy to put things off, waiting for the opportune moment for everything. The truth is, now is the perfect moment. Don’t Wait.

You Give Up Control

One thing that I really struggled with, that I really didn’t realize was a big issue for me, was control. The need to control everything. The need to plan, organize and strategize timing. I have slowly been learning to give up control. To understand that things aren’t perfect but they are real. (Jay said that to me the other night. I am quoting him.) So you make a mistake. Maybe your five minutes late or maybe something comes up that you didn’t plan. That’s ok. That’s life. It’s messy and imperfect and sometimes it’s painful. But, it’s real. Keep your heart in the game and strive for the best. But, don’t crumble or get frustrated. We aren’t always in control.

You Pay Attention to Your Words

Sometimes, I believe that the term “verbal vomit” was created for me. There is power in your words, the thoughts you encounter, and your prayers. Learning to control what comes out of my mouth and the words that I choose to speak into this world has been huge for me. When we first got the news, I refused to say the word Cancer. Mostly because I couldn’t. That word still brings tears to my eyes. But, I realized that what came out of my mouth had a huge impact on our lives. So, I am learning to only speak positive words that bring joy and good health. And other than writing these posts, where it’s necessary to use that word, I still try not to say it. 

You Cut Negativity & Things That Don’t Matter

When you realize how quickly *things* can hit the fan and how important every single moment is, you realize how unimportant negativity is. You cut those people from your life that aren’t bringing joy and good vibes. The gossip, the rudeness, and the downright negativity show their true colors. Negativity’s repulsiveness and that ugly appearance are revealed. You suddenly realize there is no space for that or the people who carry it, in your life. It also becomes clear what things in your life don’t matter. Possessions, people, opinions, and emotions you have held onto for years. You learn to let go. You don’t care about what other people think of your decisions and choices.

You Show Up & Give Like You Didn’t Know You Could

After experiencing what we did, I feel like I am alive again. Like, I have been living in a daze for so too many years. I felt so weak. I didn’t know what to say, what to do, how to help. I felt lost. The truth is, sometimes there isn’t anything you can do or say to help. Sometimes, the answer is to just be. Be present, be there, be involved and be giving.

I learned that there aren’t words for everything. Sometimes, people just need you to sit beside them, smile at them, or hug them. Other times, they need you to be strong when they are weak. To speak up when they can’t and to push back when you feel resistance and to take action. The truth is, I have been selfish for a long time. I have put myself first. But, when you experience something like this, you can forget that you even exist and you learn to give like you didn’t know you could. It’s a really good feeling to think about something other than yourself.

You Love Harder Than Ever

It’s hard to say that any one of these lessons is more important than the other because I truly believe they have all worked together to change my life in a necessary way. But, one of my favorite things is how it has changed my ability to love harder than I ever have, to give more than I could and to know the true comfort of faith. I think love is one of those things that is really hard to describe with words, no matter how hard you try. It’s a feeling.

Things That You Thought Mattered Before Really Don’t. You Find a New Life.

You let go of what is unnecessary and hold on for dear life to what is. The overarching theme of this experience is definitely change and growth. But, what is hiding under all of the new wisdom is learning to let go of what was. Accepting new life and letting go of old ways. Everything that used to be priority somehow seems insignificant. New life is born and it’s almost like I have a second chance at being a better wife and person.


Sharing this isn’t easy but it is necessary. I want to share God’s goodness with others and how we have been so blessed. Lastly, I will leave you with the scripture that I have carried so close to me over the past few months. This has given me comfort beyond belief and I think it’s important to find that scripture that is the perfect fit for you. 

How My Husband Having Cancer Changed My Life

 2 Corinthians 12:9

I made this my screensavor on my phone as a daily reminder.

Photography by Tiffany Sigmon

How My Husband Having Cancer Changed My Life

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Your twenties are a time to be free, to learn and to grow. To make mistakes and have hangovers. To spend time with your friends and your family. To be productive and learn new things. You might get married and have kids. Travel the world and explore. For the most part, you feel like you […]

March 19, 2019

Fashion

One of my top requests recently has been to share some of my One-Piece Swimsuit Picks for this Spring. I get really excited about one-piece swimsuits these days because for so long I have personally felt really uncomfortable in a bikini. Although I still wear them, there is nothing quite like a fashionable one-piece and I have found several beautiful options to share with you today!

One-Piece Swimsuits

I thought it would be fun to divide these up into a few different categories. Below you will find beautiful splurge-worthy one-piece swimsuits, ones with wraps, and wardrobe staple one-piece basics! When I saw this one, I almost died, it’s so incredibly beautiful. There are a ton of one-piece options out there and I will link a few additional ones below, that I forgot to add to this collage. I love how one-piece swimsuits can be so fashionable and worn with pants to create a fun look for the beach! See more swimwear here.

What is your go-to swimsuit style?

One-Piece Swimsuit Picks for Spring 2019

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March 13, 2019

Beauty

I recently went for my first ever microneedling treatment and wanted to share with you my procedure process and what to expect if you decide to try microneedling for yourself. Before going in, I was extremely nervous. My dermatologist called in a numbing cream to a local pharmacy and that made me pretty skeptical about how painful the treatment would be. I had already made the decision to give microneedling a try because after having acne for so many years, I am ready to start healing my scars. Even though I was nervous about the treatment, I went through with it and I am so glad that I did. 

Despite looking like I had the worst sunburn imaginable the first day and then looking like I slept with a tiger on the second day, after a few days, my skin was glowing and my overall complexion is already improving drastically with just one treatment. I’m not going to sugar coat it and tell you that it was a walk in the park, at least not for me, but I am going to tell you that I would definitely do it again. These pictures are definitely not my best glamour shots, but one thing I admire most about reviews is honesty and realness, even if it isn’t pretty. So, I hope that you find this post insightful and helpful. If you have any questions, please feel free to send me an email or leave it in a comment!

Also, before we get started, I should note that my skin is extremely sensitive and gets red easily. I usually get flushed just after washing my face! You can see more of my beauty blog posts here

My First Microneedling Experience | What to Expect My First Microneedling Experience | What to Expect

Microneedling: The Treatment Itself

Numbing

As I mentioned before, my dermatologist called in a numbing cream for me to pick up from a local pharmacy, prior to my appointment. I was asked to come in a little bit early, to have the topical numbing cream applied and sit allow it to soak in for about 45 to 1 hour, prior to the treatment beginning. From what I understand, this is pretty common, so if you are planning on having a microneedling treatment done, I would recommend bringing something to do while you wait. 

The numbing cream itself was more of a gel consistency and did tingle a bit, once it began working. Your face will become numb and if you haven’t experienced something like this before, it might feel extremely weird, but that’s totally normal. Mild discomfort is normal and once the treatment begins, you won’t notice the tingling at all. For my microneedling treatment, my dermatologist used the Skinpen. Their website has even more information, so be sure to check that out. However, you will notice that my skin did not look like the model they have on their site, after my appointment!

The Microneedling Treatment

My dermatologist began by removing the rubbing cream from my face and cleaning my face with alcohol. Having the alcohol placed around my nose and mouth was probably the most uncomfortable portion of the treatment, for me. the fumes were terrible! Then, working in sections, she used the pen to cover the surface of my skin small using circular motions, in a serious of continues lines, until each section was complete. She did left side, chin, right side, forehead, and then my nose last. The treatment itself barely lasted 20 minutes if that. A gel of some type is used in the process to allow the pen to glide easily on your skin. After my face was cleaned and a the Skinfuse, a hydrogel, was placed on my skin to keep it soothed and hydrated. 

Pricing

Because I was unsure if I would be happy with the results or wish to have more than one done treatment done, I did a one time purchase. It is recommended that a few microneedling treatments be done to see full results, although the amount of treatment differs depending on the individual. The price for my single treatment was $500, however, I’m sure costs will vary depending on where you are located. Online, the range varies from $200-$700.

My First Microneedling Experience | What to Expect My First Microneedling Experience | What to Expect My First Microneedling Experience | What to Expect My First Microneedling Experience | What to Expect

(My skin about a week after the treatment)

Microneedling: Pain, Aftercare and Healing Process

Pain

Looking in the mirror was a bit of a shock, but if you google microneedling, it really isn’t that shocking. However, when it’s your own face, it is a little scary! I was sent home with a gentle cleanser and moisturizer sample, as well as the Skinfuse to apply on my skin. I didn’t find the microneedling itself that uncomfortable. With the numbing cream, the microneedling itself felt good on most parts of my skin. The pain came in when areas that have bone closer to the skin were treated. Areas like my cheekbones, forehead, upper lip area, and of course if spots were treated multiple times, tended to get more sensitive to the needling. I was surprised that my nose didn’t hurt. To be honest, the nose was the least sensitive area, follows by the hollows of my cheeks.

Directly after the treatment, my face felt like I had an extremely bad sunburn. It was warm and burning and felt pretty tight and dry. This feeling continued for most of the first day. By the end of the day, I rinsed my face and was able to apply some of the gel that afternoon. On day two, most of the pain had subsided however my skin still felt pretty tight. By day three, all of the pain and tightness was gone and my skin was feeling back to normal. It just didn’t look quite normal yet.

Aftercare and Healing

To be honest, I was hoping that my skin would have bounced back quicker than it did. But, when it did bounce it was glowing, smooth and the tone was much more even than before. The first two days my skin was extremely red and it looked pretty rough, honestly. By day three, the redness was going away and only a few spots were still noticeably red. I also began peeling around my mouth on day three. By the end of day three, beginning of day four, my skin was full on peel like never before. By day five, my skin was pretty much back to normal.

I resumed using my skincare routine, prior to what was recommended, but I honestly think this serum made a huge difference in my skin. I did, however, refrain from wearing makeup for a few days. When I did have to leave the house and applied a little makeup, my skins peeling process was pretty bad looking! I would recommend avoiding makeup as long as possible.

Microneedling: The Review

So, what’s the verdict? Is it worth it? Would I do it again?

My answer is, yes.

This was a really interesting treatment, but I can honestly say that although it was uncomfortable at points, I would 100% do it again. I don’t think that my scarring is gone after one treatment, but I do know that my skin has been much more even and glowy. I think the overall texture of my skin is much better too. It is smooth the touch, in most areas. 

Next time, I will probably see if I could have this done on a Friday so I could take the weekend to get my skin looking normal again. I am also really interested in having PRP done in combination with the Microneedling. Overall, I think I had a really great experience. I just know that in the future, I need to give myself a few days to allow my skin to look a little rough! The results were worth the mild discomfort. 

If you are wondering if you might be a candidate for microneedling, I found this post to be very informative!

Microneedling: The Video

I vlogged my daily process and also filmed a video discussing my experience and my thoughts on microneedling. 

My First Microneedling Experience | What to Expect

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March 8, 2019

Lifestyle

I jumped on the train and started listening to podcasts a couple of years ago when they became unseemingly popular. There’s no doubt that these days podcasts are one of the most highly selected forms of media. And while I haven’t started one of my own, I have definitely been tempted, I wanted to update you on the podcasts I’m listening to, right now, at the beginning of 2019.

It’s really hard to believe that after looking back, I wrote my first post recommending to you my favorite podcasts of the moment in July of 2017! That seems unbelievable, I honestly felt like I just wrote that post yesterday. Either way, I’m still listening to those same podcasts, which you can see here, along with a few new treasures I have found over the past few months!

These 7 podcasts I have recently discovered and I find myself listening to at least one show from this list per day. I listen to podcasts when I’m driving in the car, taking a shower, doing my makeup and doing how chores. Something extremely amazing always comes from each one of these podcasts. The founders of each one are knowledgeable on life and business and usually bring in some of the best guests you can imagine. 

I will do my best to give a brief description to each one, but I’m sure you have heard of many of these incredible people before. Personally, I would encourage you to check out each one. I often discover new podcasts when some of my favorite leaders are featured on one. They usually reference their interview on xyz podcast and then I will give it a listen and most of the time subscribe. Each person is different and these are all podcasts that are dedicated to personal development and business growth. 

7 Podcasts I’m Listening To Right Now

7 Podcasts I'm Listening To Right Now

Ed Mylett Show

Ed Mylett is one of my newer discoveries and obsessions, you could say. I just purchased his book Max Out and I really love Ed’s straight forward approach about life and business. He worked extremely hard to get to where he is today and I love the content and practical advice he brings to his podcast. 

Long Story Short with Bobbi Brown

All my ladies have probably heard of Bobbi Brown before, but what you might not know about is her new endeavor in JustBobbi. JustBobbi is a lifestyle destination where Bobbi Brown is sharing her passions and knowledge with us. I find Bobbi Brown so interesting and love her story and passion, with building businesses. I know she is about to make big things happen and I can’t wait to listen to her journey.

Rise and Rise Together with Rachel and Dave Hollis

A few months ago, I talked about Girl, Wash Your Face and naturally, most peoples love for Rachel Hollis continues. I love the Rise podcast where Rachel interviews business leaders and speaks on personal growth. The Rise Together podcast is geared more towards relationships and marriage advice. I love this one too and always find the relationship content relatable and informative in helping me foster my marriage. Rachel just released her new book, “Girl, Stop Apologizing” and you can bet it’s already in my cart!

The GaryVee Audio Experience

GaryVee is just a category of his own. His content probably isn’t for everyone but I love his “No BS” approach to life and business. He calls people out and pushes them to do their best and be their best or simply get out of the game. If you like it straightforward and much more casual, GaryVee will definitely whip you into shape! 

The Goop Podcast

The Goop Podcast is much more lifestyle and a little less business. Interviews on this podcast are run by GP herself or her Chief Content Officer, who you will definitely hear more frequently. The Goop Podcast always brings thinkers, doctors, and industry professionals who are doing interesting and innovated work in the Goop related field. This podcast generally focuses on personal health (physical and mental), women in business, individuals leading movements, and so on. I always find Goop content interesting and it usually gets me thinking deeper about my daily life. 

The Tony Robbins Podcast

I love listening to Tony Robbins, as do most people. I find this podcast interest and informative. Although, it does seem that the content isn’t posted regularly so I haven’t been hearing too much from it lately. However, there is a ton of great content from the prior year, or so, on the podcast.

Skimm’d from The Couch

This is my latest find after hearing an interview Arielle Charnas’ interview a couple of weeks. I love following Arielle and found her even more inspiring after listening to this conversation. Now, I’m going back through episodes and hearing real conversations from inspiring women like Tory Burch and Martha Stewart! I love how simple and to the point these podcast interviews are. If you aren’t into the filler, you will love this podcast!


What are your favorite podcasts to listen to? I am always listening to podcasts in the car or while I am getting ready for the day. Don’t forget to check out some of my other favorite podcasts here.

 

7 Podcasts I’m Listening To Right Now

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March 5, 2019

Lifestyle

Honestly, the past month has pretty much been a blur. It has been the longest, but also the shortest month of my life. I know that doesn’t make any sense what so ever, but to be honest nothing about this situation seems to make sense sometimes and that’s ok. I just want you to know that I know I have been a little quiet on all of my platforms and promise there is an adequate excuse for that. Thank you so much for saying a prayer for us. I promise you they have been felt more than I can tell you.

I shared this email with my newsletter subscribers and forgot to take off the auto post to Facebook, so basically, everyone in our close and distant circle has read this content. However, I had always planned to share this on my blog as this is obviously a home base for all of my content. This is where I share our personal life as well as my blog content, so naturally, I want to document everything here. If you read them the email, you will already be familiar with this story, but I want to use this as a reference point for future content and make sure that this lives on long after that email.

 To be honest with you, I am a little uncomfortable sharing this, just because it is Jay’s story, not mine. It has definitely changed our lives and I want to share what a reality check this was for me with you. In order to do that, I have to first share with you what actually happened before I can share my personal thoughts on something like this. 

I promise I will share more on this in the future. I just wanted to let you know why I have been absent so I can talk more about what is going on in our daily lives on my Instagram stories!

So… here it goes.

Our Lives Have Been Changed Forever

The News No One Plans For

There are so many things in your life that you can consider or maybe even wonder how you would handle them if they ever happened. Over the years, I naturally thought about many things. Your mind wanders or at least mine does, and somehow you find yourself worrying about things that haven’t even (and probably never will) actually happen.

On the other hand, there are things that you never even consider, I mean really never consider, and then BOOM you are blindsided. That’s what happened to us almost two weeks ago.

Hearing your husband say the words, “I have cancer.” is something I never, in my worse possible thoughts, could have ever put together.

Why? How? What now?

Those are just a few of the initial thoughts that came to my head, that was of course after “Oh my gosh, I think I might be sick.” Not to mention, I literally saw stars for a second. Was it overwhelm? God? I don’t know what it was. All that I do know is that even though we knew this would possibly be the outcome, nothing we could have done would have prepared us for how we would feel when receiving that news. Honestly, I think that it’s safe to make that a general statement for anyone receiving that news. 

Obviously, it wasn’t just a “Suprise! You have cancer.” kind of thing. Jay had a spot that had been previously diagnosed as a “cyst” back in September. Over time, that had spot had changed and grown. After visiting the doctor prior to going to Miami, he said that things had definitely changed and ordered an ultrasound.

A week and a half later, Wednesday, February 6, Jay had his ultrasound. Later that day, the doctor called saying that it was most likely testicular cancer and he was able to see his urologist the next day. On Thursday, his urologist also confirmed that there was a 95% chance it was testicular cancer and scheduled for surgery the following day to remove it and send it out for a biopsy. By Friday afternoon, Jay was recovering from surgery and we were both resting from the most shocking week of our life. 

The following week (last week) we spent Monday through Wednesday waiting for the doctor to call. We prayed, played a million card games, read books, watched movies, and worked a little. It was hard to focus on anything but the doctor calling with the biopsy results. They called around 5:40 pm on Wednesday, February 13th to share that Jay had Stage 1 Testicular Cancer, a pure seminoma.

Although this wasn’t great news, it was good in the sense that it wasn’t a non-seminoma. We were back to waiting and celebrating our (I hate to call it a win, but in a way it was) somewhat good news, until Monday when he would have a scan to see if the cancer had spread.

Monday morning came and we went in for the scan. Literally, as I was writing you this email, Jay received the results of the scan sharing that there is NO EVIDENCE OF CANCER in this abdomen, pelvis, or throat. 
 

PRAISE JESUS.

We have a surgery followup appointment on Thursday and we are thinking they will discuss what we need to do then. The doctor informed us last week that he would most likely have the option to have radiation or just do scans, every few months, to check in. After discussing things, I think he will probably choose to have radiation straight away, just to make sure that this cancer is gone and not coming back. 

This is kind of like a short version of the story including all of the important details. This has truly been life changing for us both, even though it has been so quick, which I am incredibly grateful for. Prayer and our faith have kept us going and I can say with more confidence than ever that our God is so good. Even in the darkest moments, of the past couple of weeks, I have felt his strength lifting us up. 

I promise I will share more and keep you updated on this process as it continues to unfold. We didn’t want to share things too early when we still didn’t really know what was going on. I’m so thankful for our family and friends and amazing doctors who have made us a priority during this time. I know we will continue to discuss how this is affecting our lives on my various platforms here.

We are so thankful for your prayers and support during this time! I’m excited to be able to start thinking about my blog again and in a different light! 🙂

Photography by Tiffany Sigmon

Our Lives Have Been Changed Forever

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Honestly, the past month has pretty much been a blur. It has been the longest, but also the shortest month of my life. I know that doesn’t make any sense what so ever, but to be honest nothing about this situation seems to make sense sometimes and that’s ok. I just want you to know […]

March 22, 2019

Lifestyle

Your twenties are a time to be free, to learn and to grow. To make mistakes and have hangovers. To spend time with your friends and your family. To be productive and learn new things. You might get married and have kids. Travel the world and explore. For the most part, you feel like you can control your life and hold the keys to everything.

You can be selfish and your family understands. It’s just a part of that phase of life.

So, what happens when all of that changes in a second. What happens when an illness that happens to other people, because you never even considered it happening to you, happens to your husband. When the earth falls out from under your feet and you feel like your stomach is in your throat. Something you have never felt before. No even in your most unimaginable nightmare was this there.

Suddenly things change.

You lose that control.

That ability to plan your next life move and schedule your future. Those things all disappear. All of those plans and dreams that seemed so urgent, and important, don’t even feel good to you anymore. You are left facing something you’re not strong enough to handle and you definitely can’t control this one.

When things seem so impossible that you feel like you can’t breathe. First, you fall. You fall lower than you’ve ever fallen. Lower than you thought was possible. You feel sick to your stomach and find yourself crying at all of those things that seemed hopeful because you don’t want to think about the future anymore. You just want to go back in time and make things different. And then, even when things slowly come around and start to feel somewhat normal again, everything is completely different.

Here is what I learned from my husband having had testicular cancer at age 27. These are things that I pray you will apply to your life, right now. God has blessed us far beyond what I am worthy of and he loves you too. I have never been more grateful in my entire life. As many tears as I cried writing this, I want to share this. I need to share this with you. I think we can all start living each day with more depth and presence. 

How My Husband Having Cancer Changed My Life How My Husband Having Cancer Changed My Life How My Husband Having Cancer Changed My Life

Hearing the Word Cancer Changes Everything

You Start Living for Today & Make The Most of Every Moment

As someone who used to struggle with living in the past and also living in the future, I am currently learning to start living for today. For this moment, the one that we have right now. To stop worrying about the future and making every single moment perfect or well planned out. It’s ok to make mistakes and it’s easy to put things off, waiting for the opportune moment for everything. The truth is, now is the perfect moment. Don’t Wait.

You Give Up Control

One thing that I really struggled with, that I really didn’t realize was a big issue for me, was control. The need to control everything. The need to plan, organize and strategize timing. I have slowly been learning to give up control. To understand that things aren’t perfect but they are real. (Jay said that to me the other night. I am quoting him.) So you make a mistake. Maybe your five minutes late or maybe something comes up that you didn’t plan. That’s ok. That’s life. It’s messy and imperfect and sometimes it’s painful. But, it’s real. Keep your heart in the game and strive for the best. But, don’t crumble or get frustrated. We aren’t always in control.

You Pay Attention to Your Words

Sometimes, I believe that the term “verbal vomit” was created for me. There is power in your words, the thoughts you encounter, and your prayers. Learning to control what comes out of my mouth and the words that I choose to speak into this world has been huge for me. When we first got the news, I refused to say the word Cancer. Mostly because I couldn’t. That word still brings tears to my eyes. But, I realized that what came out of my mouth had a huge impact on our lives. So, I am learning to only speak positive words that bring joy and good health. And other than writing these posts, where it’s necessary to use that word, I still try not to say it. 

You Cut Negativity & Things That Don’t Matter

When you realize how quickly *things* can hit the fan and how important every single moment is, you realize how unimportant negativity is. You cut those people from your life that aren’t bringing joy and good vibes. The gossip, the rudeness, and the downright negativity show their true colors. Negativity’s repulsiveness and that ugly appearance are revealed. You suddenly realize there is no space for that or the people who carry it, in your life. It also becomes clear what things in your life don’t matter. Possessions, people, opinions, and emotions you have held onto for years. You learn to let go. You don’t care about what other people think of your decisions and choices.

You Show Up & Give Like You Didn’t Know You Could

After experiencing what we did, I feel like I am alive again. Like, I have been living in a daze for so too many years. I felt so weak. I didn’t know what to say, what to do, how to help. I felt lost. The truth is, sometimes there isn’t anything you can do or say to help. Sometimes, the answer is to just be. Be present, be there, be involved and be giving.

I learned that there aren’t words for everything. Sometimes, people just need you to sit beside them, smile at them, or hug them. Other times, they need you to be strong when they are weak. To speak up when they can’t and to push back when you feel resistance and to take action. The truth is, I have been selfish for a long time. I have put myself first. But, when you experience something like this, you can forget that you even exist and you learn to give like you didn’t know you could. It’s a really good feeling to think about something other than yourself.

You Love Harder Than Ever

It’s hard to say that any one of these lessons is more important than the other because I truly believe they have all worked together to change my life in a necessary way. But, one of my favorite things is how it has changed my ability to love harder than I ever have, to give more than I could and to know the true comfort of faith. I think love is one of those things that is really hard to describe with words, no matter how hard you try. It’s a feeling.

Things That You Thought Mattered Before Really Don’t. You Find a New Life.

You let go of what is unnecessary and hold on for dear life to what is. The overarching theme of this experience is definitely change and growth. But, what is hiding under all of the new wisdom is learning to let go of what was. Accepting new life and letting go of old ways. Everything that used to be priority somehow seems insignificant. New life is born and it’s almost like I have a second chance at being a better wife and person.


Sharing this isn’t easy but it is necessary. I want to share God’s goodness with others and how we have been so blessed. Lastly, I will leave you with the scripture that I have carried so close to me over the past few months. This has given me comfort beyond belief and I think it’s important to find that scripture that is the perfect fit for you. 

How My Husband Having Cancer Changed My Life

 2 Corinthians 12:9

I made this my screensavor on my phone as a daily reminder.

Photography by Tiffany Sigmon

How My Husband Having Cancer Changed My Life

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Your twenties are a time to be free, to learn and to grow. To make mistakes and have hangovers. To spend time with your friends and your family. To be productive and learn new things. You might get married and have kids. Travel the world and explore. For the most part, you feel like you […]

March 19, 2019

Fashion

One of my top requests recently has been to share some of my One-Piece Swimsuit Picks for this Spring. I get really excited about one-piece swimsuits these days because for so long I have personally felt really uncomfortable in a bikini. Although I still wear them, there is nothing quite like a fashionable one-piece and I have found several beautiful options to share with you today!

One-Piece Swimsuits

I thought it would be fun to divide these up into a few different categories. Below you will find beautiful splurge-worthy one-piece swimsuits, ones with wraps, and wardrobe staple one-piece basics! When I saw this one, I almost died, it’s so incredibly beautiful. There are a ton of one-piece options out there and I will link a few additional ones below, that I forgot to add to this collage. I love how one-piece swimsuits can be so fashionable and worn with pants to create a fun look for the beach! See more swimwear here.

What is your go-to swimsuit style?

One-Piece Swimsuit Picks for Spring 2019

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March 13, 2019

Beauty

I recently went for my first ever microneedling treatment and wanted to share with you my procedure process and what to expect if you decide to try microneedling for yourself. Before going in, I was extremely nervous. My dermatologist called in a numbing cream to a local pharmacy and that made me pretty skeptical about how painful the treatment would be. I had already made the decision to give microneedling a try because after having acne for so many years, I am ready to start healing my scars. Even though I was nervous about the treatment, I went through with it and I am so glad that I did. 

Despite looking like I had the worst sunburn imaginable the first day and then looking like I slept with a tiger on the second day, after a few days, my skin was glowing and my overall complexion is already improving drastically with just one treatment. I’m not going to sugar coat it and tell you that it was a walk in the park, at least not for me, but I am going to tell you that I would definitely do it again. These pictures are definitely not my best glamour shots, but one thing I admire most about reviews is honesty and realness, even if it isn’t pretty. So, I hope that you find this post insightful and helpful. If you have any questions, please feel free to send me an email or leave it in a comment!

Also, before we get started, I should note that my skin is extremely sensitive and gets red easily. I usually get flushed just after washing my face! You can see more of my beauty blog posts here

My First Microneedling Experience | What to Expect My First Microneedling Experience | What to Expect

Microneedling: The Treatment Itself

Numbing

As I mentioned before, my dermatologist called in a numbing cream for me to pick up from a local pharmacy, prior to my appointment. I was asked to come in a little bit early, to have the topical numbing cream applied and sit allow it to soak in for about 45 to 1 hour, prior to the treatment beginning. From what I understand, this is pretty common, so if you are planning on having a microneedling treatment done, I would recommend bringing something to do while you wait. 

The numbing cream itself was more of a gel consistency and did tingle a bit, once it began working. Your face will become numb and if you haven’t experienced something like this before, it might feel extremely weird, but that’s totally normal. Mild discomfort is normal and once the treatment begins, you won’t notice the tingling at all. For my microneedling treatment, my dermatologist used the Skinpen. Their website has even more information, so be sure to check that out. However, you will notice that my skin did not look like the model they have on their site, after my appointment!

The Microneedling Treatment

My dermatologist began by removing the rubbing cream from my face and cleaning my face with alcohol. Having the alcohol placed around my nose and mouth was probably the most uncomfortable portion of the treatment, for me. the fumes were terrible! Then, working in sections, she used the pen to cover the surface of my skin small using circular motions, in a serious of continues lines, until each section was complete. She did left side, chin, right side, forehead, and then my nose last. The treatment itself barely lasted 20 minutes if that. A gel of some type is used in the process to allow the pen to glide easily on your skin. After my face was cleaned and a the Skinfuse, a hydrogel, was placed on my skin to keep it soothed and hydrated. 

Pricing

Because I was unsure if I would be happy with the results or wish to have more than one done treatment done, I did a one time purchase. It is recommended that a few microneedling treatments be done to see full results, although the amount of treatment differs depending on the individual. The price for my single treatment was $500, however, I’m sure costs will vary depending on where you are located. Online, the range varies from $200-$700.

My First Microneedling Experience | What to Expect My First Microneedling Experience | What to Expect My First Microneedling Experience | What to Expect My First Microneedling Experience | What to Expect

(My skin about a week after the treatment)

Microneedling: Pain, Aftercare and Healing Process

Pain

Looking in the mirror was a bit of a shock, but if you google microneedling, it really isn’t that shocking. However, when it’s your own face, it is a little scary! I was sent home with a gentle cleanser and moisturizer sample, as well as the Skinfuse to apply on my skin. I didn’t find the microneedling itself that uncomfortable. With the numbing cream, the microneedling itself felt good on most parts of my skin. The pain came in when areas that have bone closer to the skin were treated. Areas like my cheekbones, forehead, upper lip area, and of course if spots were treated multiple times, tended to get more sensitive to the needling. I was surprised that my nose didn’t hurt. To be honest, the nose was the least sensitive area, follows by the hollows of my cheeks.

Directly after the treatment, my face felt like I had an extremely bad sunburn. It was warm and burning and felt pretty tight and dry. This feeling continued for most of the first day. By the end of the day, I rinsed my face and was able to apply some of the gel that afternoon. On day two, most of the pain had subsided however my skin still felt pretty tight. By day three, all of the pain and tightness was gone and my skin was feeling back to normal. It just didn’t look quite normal yet.

Aftercare and Healing

To be honest, I was hoping that my skin would have bounced back quicker than it did. But, when it did bounce it was glowing, smooth and the tone was much more even than before. The first two days my skin was extremely red and it looked pretty rough, honestly. By day three, the redness was going away and only a few spots were still noticeably red. I also began peeling around my mouth on day three. By the end of day three, beginning of day four, my skin was full on peel like never before. By day five, my skin was pretty much back to normal.

I resumed using my skincare routine, prior to what was recommended, but I honestly think this serum made a huge difference in my skin. I did, however, refrain from wearing makeup for a few days. When I did have to leave the house and applied a little makeup, my skins peeling process was pretty bad looking! I would recommend avoiding makeup as long as possible.

Microneedling: The Review

So, what’s the verdict? Is it worth it? Would I do it again?

My answer is, yes.

This was a really interesting treatment, but I can honestly say that although it was uncomfortable at points, I would 100% do it again. I don’t think that my scarring is gone after one treatment, but I do know that my skin has been much more even and glowy. I think the overall texture of my skin is much better too. It is smooth the touch, in most areas. 

Next time, I will probably see if I could have this done on a Friday so I could take the weekend to get my skin looking normal again. I am also really interested in having PRP done in combination with the Microneedling. Overall, I think I had a really great experience. I just know that in the future, I need to give myself a few days to allow my skin to look a little rough! The results were worth the mild discomfort. 

If you are wondering if you might be a candidate for microneedling, I found this post to be very informative!

Microneedling: The Video

I vlogged my daily process and also filmed a video discussing my experience and my thoughts on microneedling. 

My First Microneedling Experience | What to Expect

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March 8, 2019

Lifestyle

I jumped on the train and started listening to podcasts a couple of years ago when they became unseemingly popular. There’s no doubt that these days podcasts are one of the most highly selected forms of media. And while I haven’t started one of my own, I have definitely been tempted, I wanted to update you on the podcasts I’m listening to, right now, at the beginning of 2019.

It’s really hard to believe that after looking back, I wrote my first post recommending to you my favorite podcasts of the moment in July of 2017! That seems unbelievable, I honestly felt like I just wrote that post yesterday. Either way, I’m still listening to those same podcasts, which you can see here, along with a few new treasures I have found over the past few months!

These 7 podcasts I have recently discovered and I find myself listening to at least one show from this list per day. I listen to podcasts when I’m driving in the car, taking a shower, doing my makeup and doing how chores. Something extremely amazing always comes from each one of these podcasts. The founders of each one are knowledgeable on life and business and usually bring in some of the best guests you can imagine. 

I will do my best to give a brief description to each one, but I’m sure you have heard of many of these incredible people before. Personally, I would encourage you to check out each one. I often discover new podcasts when some of my favorite leaders are featured on one. They usually reference their interview on xyz podcast and then I will give it a listen and most of the time subscribe. Each person is different and these are all podcasts that are dedicated to personal development and business growth. 

7 Podcasts I’m Listening To Right Now

7 Podcasts I'm Listening To Right Now

Ed Mylett Show

Ed Mylett is one of my newer discoveries and obsessions, you could say. I just purchased his book Max Out and I really love Ed’s straight forward approach about life and business. He worked extremely hard to get to where he is today and I love the content and practical advice he brings to his podcast. 

Long Story Short with Bobbi Brown

All my ladies have probably heard of Bobbi Brown before, but what you might not know about is her new endeavor in JustBobbi. JustBobbi is a lifestyle destination where Bobbi Brown is sharing her passions and knowledge with us. I find Bobbi Brown so interesting and love her story and passion, with building businesses. I know she is about to make big things happen and I can’t wait to listen to her journey.

Rise and Rise Together with Rachel and Dave Hollis

A few months ago, I talked about Girl, Wash Your Face and naturally, most peoples love for Rachel Hollis continues. I love the Rise podcast where Rachel interviews business leaders and speaks on personal growth. The Rise Together podcast is geared more towards relationships and marriage advice. I love this one too and always find the relationship content relatable and informative in helping me foster my marriage. Rachel just released her new book, “Girl, Stop Apologizing” and you can bet it’s already in my cart!

The GaryVee Audio Experience

GaryVee is just a category of his own. His content probably isn’t for everyone but I love his “No BS” approach to life and business. He calls people out and pushes them to do their best and be their best or simply get out of the game. If you like it straightforward and much more casual, GaryVee will definitely whip you into shape! 

The Goop Podcast

The Goop Podcast is much more lifestyle and a little less business. Interviews on this podcast are run by GP herself or her Chief Content Officer, who you will definitely hear more frequently. The Goop Podcast always brings thinkers, doctors, and industry professionals who are doing interesting and innovated work in the Goop related field. This podcast generally focuses on personal health (physical and mental), women in business, individuals leading movements, and so on. I always find Goop content interesting and it usually gets me thinking deeper about my daily life. 

The Tony Robbins Podcast

I love listening to Tony Robbins, as do most people. I find this podcast interest and informative. Although, it does seem that the content isn’t posted regularly so I haven’t been hearing too much from it lately. However, there is a ton of great content from the prior year, or so, on the podcast.

Skimm’d from The Couch

This is my latest find after hearing an interview Arielle Charnas’ interview a couple of weeks. I love following Arielle and found her even more inspiring after listening to this conversation. Now, I’m going back through episodes and hearing real conversations from inspiring women like Tory Burch and Martha Stewart! I love how simple and to the point these podcast interviews are. If you aren’t into the filler, you will love this podcast!


What are your favorite podcasts to listen to? I am always listening to podcasts in the car or while I am getting ready for the day. Don’t forget to check out some of my other favorite podcasts here.

 

7 Podcasts I’m Listening To Right Now

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March 5, 2019

Lifestyle

Honestly, the past month has pretty much been a blur. It has been the longest, but also the shortest month of my life. I know that doesn’t make any sense what so ever, but to be honest nothing about this situation seems to make sense sometimes and that’s ok. I just want you to know that I know I have been a little quiet on all of my platforms and promise there is an adequate excuse for that. Thank you so much for saying a prayer for us. I promise you they have been felt more than I can tell you.

I shared this email with my newsletter subscribers and forgot to take off the auto post to Facebook, so basically, everyone in our close and distant circle has read this content. However, I had always planned to share this on my blog as this is obviously a home base for all of my content. This is where I share our personal life as well as my blog content, so naturally, I want to document everything here. If you read them the email, you will already be familiar with this story, but I want to use this as a reference point for future content and make sure that this lives on long after that email.

 To be honest with you, I am a little uncomfortable sharing this, just because it is Jay’s story, not mine. It has definitely changed our lives and I want to share what a reality check this was for me with you. In order to do that, I have to first share with you what actually happened before I can share my personal thoughts on something like this. 

I promise I will share more on this in the future. I just wanted to let you know why I have been absent so I can talk more about what is going on in our daily lives on my Instagram stories!

So… here it goes.

Our Lives Have Been Changed Forever

The News No One Plans For

There are so many things in your life that you can consider or maybe even wonder how you would handle them if they ever happened. Over the years, I naturally thought about many things. Your mind wanders or at least mine does, and somehow you find yourself worrying about things that haven’t even (and probably never will) actually happen.

On the other hand, there are things that you never even consider, I mean really never consider, and then BOOM you are blindsided. That’s what happened to us almost two weeks ago.

Hearing your husband say the words, “I have cancer.” is something I never, in my worse possible thoughts, could have ever put together.

Why? How? What now?

Those are just a few of the initial thoughts that came to my head, that was of course after “Oh my gosh, I think I might be sick.” Not to mention, I literally saw stars for a second. Was it overwhelm? God? I don’t know what it was. All that I do know is that even though we knew this would possibly be the outcome, nothing we could have done would have prepared us for how we would feel when receiving that news. Honestly, I think that it’s safe to make that a general statement for anyone receiving that news. 

Obviously, it wasn’t just a “Suprise! You have cancer.” kind of thing. Jay had a spot that had been previously diagnosed as a “cyst” back in September. Over time, that had spot had changed and grown. After visiting the doctor prior to going to Miami, he said that things had definitely changed and ordered an ultrasound.

A week and a half later, Wednesday, February 6, Jay had his ultrasound. Later that day, the doctor called saying that it was most likely testicular cancer and he was able to see his urologist the next day. On Thursday, his urologist also confirmed that there was a 95% chance it was testicular cancer and scheduled for surgery the following day to remove it and send it out for a biopsy. By Friday afternoon, Jay was recovering from surgery and we were both resting from the most shocking week of our life. 

The following week (last week) we spent Monday through Wednesday waiting for the doctor to call. We prayed, played a million card games, read books, watched movies, and worked a little. It was hard to focus on anything but the doctor calling with the biopsy results. They called around 5:40 pm on Wednesday, February 13th to share that Jay had Stage 1 Testicular Cancer, a pure seminoma.

Although this wasn’t great news, it was good in the sense that it wasn’t a non-seminoma. We were back to waiting and celebrating our (I hate to call it a win, but in a way it was) somewhat good news, until Monday when he would have a scan to see if the cancer had spread.

Monday morning came and we went in for the scan. Literally, as I was writing you this email, Jay received the results of the scan sharing that there is NO EVIDENCE OF CANCER in this abdomen, pelvis, or throat. 
 

PRAISE JESUS.

We have a surgery followup appointment on Thursday and we are thinking they will discuss what we need to do then. The doctor informed us last week that he would most likely have the option to have radiation or just do scans, every few months, to check in. After discussing things, I think he will probably choose to have radiation straight away, just to make sure that this cancer is gone and not coming back. 

This is kind of like a short version of the story including all of the important details. This has truly been life changing for us both, even though it has been so quick, which I am incredibly grateful for. Prayer and our faith have kept us going and I can say with more confidence than ever that our God is so good. Even in the darkest moments, of the past couple of weeks, I have felt his strength lifting us up. 

I promise I will share more and keep you updated on this process as it continues to unfold. We didn’t want to share things too early when we still didn’t really know what was going on. I’m so thankful for our family and friends and amazing doctors who have made us a priority during this time. I know we will continue to discuss how this is affecting our lives on my various platforms here.

We are so thankful for your prayers and support during this time! I’m excited to be able to start thinking about my blog again and in a different light! 🙂

Photography by Tiffany Sigmon

Our Lives Have Been Changed Forever

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Honestly, the past month has pretty much been a blur. It has been the longest, but also the shortest month of my life. I know that doesn’t make any sense what so ever, but to be honest nothing about this situation seems to make sense sometimes and that’s ok. I just want you to know […]

February 27, 2019

Fashion

The Shopbop sale is here and it is personally one of my favorite sales of the year. It’s the perfect time to make your Spring and Summer investments while getting a bargain on your favorite new items! The Shopbop sale is a buy more, save more sale, therefore the more you buy, the more you save. I will leave all the details on that below! 

It’s not very often that I share sales here, just because I personally find bloggers that are constantly pushing sales and “Buy this! Buy that!” untrustworthy and pushy. I never want to come off like that and I don’t want to push you to buy things you don’t need or don’t want. Personally, I don’t want to push you to buy anything or feel like you need clothes, etc, to make you happy. You are perfect just the way you are.

With that said, I do want to share deals and sales with you that are worth it, in my opinion. I want my brand to represent clothes that are investment quality and will last you several years. Obviously, I do love sharing those things with you! I just wanted to clarify that before we get started! When it comes to sales, I also don’t share them that often because my head pretty much explodes when I’m trying to figure out how to share all of my favorite items. 

When browsing through the Shopbop sale, I found pieces that I already own, pieces that I have had in my cart, and so many beautiful items that I would love to get on sale! Several of my favorite brands are included in this sale including Glamboxes, Skin, Zimmerman, Club Monaco, Theory and so many more. Sometimes it’s hard to narrow everything down and organize it. So, I decided to break things down into several different categories, as well as share a list of my favorite brands and top picks. I did my best to comb through the sale a find a variety of items. As always, if you need help finding a specific item, from the Shopbop sale, I am always excited to help! Feel free to just send me an email of dm!

The Ultimate Shopbop Sale Guide | What You Can't Miss + Brands to Shop!

The ShopBop Sale: Recommended Buys

The ShopBop Sale: Favorite Brands + Products I Own

To break up these large shoppable images, I wanted to list out my favorite brands from the sale as well as items I own that you can shop on sale!

Here are a several of my favorite brands: Zimmermann (beautiful summer pieces), Skin (my favorite pajamas), Melissa Odabash (perfect for special occasions), Sam Edelman (the best shoe selection), Quay (for sunnies) Aquazzura (luxury shoes), Club Monaco (all around fave),  Equipment ( I love their blouses), J.Brand and MOTHER (for denim), Rag & Bone (all around basics), Self Portrait (splurge), Stuart Weitzman (shoes),  Stella McCartney (glamorous lingerie), La Perla (practical lingerie), Eberjey (softest pajamas), Slip (for all your silk beauty & sleeping needs), Theory (last, but certainly not least for all around basics).

As far as items that I own and would recommend: this pullover from Skin, this eye mask, this dress, this basic tee, and this bra.

The ShopBop Sale: Category Favorites

Basics

Sunglasses

On Trend

Shoes

Earrings

Loungewear

Bags

Vacation

Outerwear

Denim

Dresses


I hope that you found this post helpful! I decided to update the title of this post to The Ultimate Shopbop Sale Guide becuase this is alot of information! If you are shopping the sale, I would love to know what you plan on buying. Thank you so much for stopping by!

The Ultimate Shopbop Sale Guide | What You Can’t Miss + Brands to Shop!

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