The Gym vs. Kids Dilemma: My Plan for 2018

Who has fit goals for the new year??!!  Me me me me me!!!!!  Ok I'm not saying I'm going completely overboard crazy here, but trying to make healthier choices and get back into an exercise routine that is sure to get my energy up and my spirit even higher.  I remember the days when I used to make gym time a priority every single day.  It was part of the routine and I honestly thought it would always stay that way.  Enter two toddlers who need me at their every beckoned call and well, things aren't exactly as they used to be.

Do Epic Sh*t in 2018

Well, the holidays are over and it's time to look ahead to 2018!  What will you do differently?  How will you grow and change?  For many it's probably a health goal... dropping a certain number of pounds or embracing new diet habits.  I'm no exception to the trend, as I got some new booty bands and a sweet new supplement stash as part of my holiday gifting.  But let me ask you a deeper question... is it REALLY all about the weight or appearance?? 

When you establish healthy habits, be it exercise, diet, or both, the psychological benefits far outweigh the physical in my experience.  Something happens to your confidence levels.  You suddenly become more productive.  Your bucket is filling and you have more to give to your family, your friends, you career.  You find it easier to connect with the higher frequencies of the universe that have lately been evading you.  It's a strange concept, but it's one that's never failed me.  

That's why this year I'm taking a holistic approach to life.  Yes, I have fitness goals.  Yes, I want to make some healthy changes.  But more than that, I want those goals to contribute to my ultimate goal which is a happy and fulfilled life where I am experiencing quality relationships with my family and friends and fulfilling my life's purpose.  

Instead of "I'll be happy when I lose 10 pounds", it's "I want to feel accomplished and productive every single day, and exercise helps me to do that."

Instead of "I'm eating only according to the diet plan", it's "I'm eating in a way that nurtures me and helps me to reach my full potential."

Instead of "I'm going to church every Sunday", it's "I'm going to trust completely in the goodness of the Lord and live my life accordingly."

It's a simple concept but one that can so easily go off course.  I know this first hand as well ;)   I'm talking about LIFE BALANCE and it's the the most important skill to learn in the pursuit of an EPIC YEAR.  It's not going to be easy and it's going to take some serious resolution... but it's something that's so important to me that I want to dedicate my entire 2018 to it.  Won't you join me in making this your BEST YEAR YET?!? 

I invite you to become a part of the private group that is ready to move mountains.  We are overcoming challenges and coming into the BEST version of ourselves.  We're done with the B.S. that's been holding us back in life and propelling forward, ready to embrace our inner greatness and the many blessings to come!  If this sounds like you, don't wait another minute! Let's link arms and get ready for a year of crazy growth.  Destiny is calling and I am SO excited to meet it!  

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Teacher Gifts Simplified!

Let's talk teacher gifts.  What do they REALLY want?? As a former teacher let me break this down for you plain and simple:  WE DON'T WANT CANDY.  Ok, maybe a little candy, but seriously a huge mug full of Hershey Kisses is a sweet gesture that also makes me sigh in disappointment as I think about the health shake that is likely also sitting on my desk.  So just make sure you know your teacher before you go that route.  If you want to go the route thats sure to be a hit, let's talk about a few items you really can't go wrong with. 

1. Magnets.  Like a cute one that is memorable that they can display all year round.  Any desk I've ever had is completely metal the entire way around and there is a ton of open space just screaming for decoration.  I remember one of my first years one of my students got me a big Steelers magnet which I have taken with me to every school and is always a conversation starter, not to mention a fun game for Ravens fans who think it's funny to hide it elsewhere in my room and cover the logo lol.  Anyway, it's a great reminder of your child that the teacher can take with them AND something the child will see on her desk every day and say "hey, I got her that!"  

I also found this adorable magnet on Amazon that I thought would be fun for the kids during the season too! (click photo)

2. Lip Balm.  Elementary school teachers (at least where I taught) spend a good chunk of the day braving the elements outdoors.  Recess only gets cancelled if it's below a severe windchill factor and I definitely spent the entire winter dreading it and shivering the entire time begging for it to be time to go in.  Morning and afternoon duty (getting kids on and off of busses) has no mercy no matter what the weather.  LipSense Lip Balm is a totally healthy solution for lip hydration that is sure to get a ton of use throughout the winter.  Not to mention, it's all the rage in teacher circles right now.  And at $20 a pop, it's definitely a doable and very appreciated gift. 

3. Glitter gloss.  Identical to said reasons above, the gloss is also super moisturizing and adds the additional perk of girly sparkle.  Depending on who your teacher is, you might see her loving something like this, especially with a note like "you put the sparkle in my season" to go with it! ;)

If you go with either of these, be sure to print off these adorable little tags to attach and your gift is done!

4. Your family's Christmas card.  Seriously.  I LOVE seeing my students with their families at home.  I love how they show me who each person is and how proud they are when they see me pin it to my board.  I honestly have personal family cards from like 6 years ago that I'm still holding onto because it's a great memory of the kids I loved and miss. I keep them in my desk and smile when they cross my path.  Just a thought of something to throw in as you get your goodies together. 

5. Gift cards to Dunkin, Starbucks, or Target.  Ok, maybe it's not the most original idea on the block but I can assure you it's done and done again for a reason.  Teachers use them and its a really nice gesture to treat them with a hot delicious coffee on the way to a long day at school.  And well, Target is Target so you can't go wrong with that.  (And btw, they are 10% off on Sunday!) 

I hope these ideas helped and please feel free to join my group for the hookup on balms and glosses.  Continue this convo in comments with the favorite teacher gifts you have given or received! xo 

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Stocking Stuffers You'll Want to Keep Yourself!

Well well, long time no talk!  I've missed you all as I've taken time to focus on other baskets, but alas, the holiday season is here and I am ready to rock and roll!  I don't know about you, but as a professional shopper, I feel like I'm typically pretty on top of the big stuff.  I know what's reasonable to put under the tree and while it may sometimes seem like a lot, I also have 30 years of shopping experience and know EXACTLY how to get more than the most bang for a buck, so I'm typically pretty successful at making it happen.  Then the week before Christmas comes, I pat myself on the back, and suddenly am saying "Crap!  I forgot about the stockings!"  Que me running to the local CVS for toothpaste, body wash, and chocolate Santas (that will probably get thrown out a few weeks later).  

Anyway, this year I'm wising up and have put together a list of the best stocking stuffers you will actually WANT in your stocking!  So without further ado, behold my top 5 little gems of Christmas 2018!

1. Real Techniques mini contour brush.  Perfect for blending ShadowSense under cheekbones and creating your perfect subtle look for the holidays and beyond! 

2. ShadowSense.  With the same budge proof power of LipSense, this stuff is my go to for multiple reasons and the perfect compliment to the brush mentioned above.  I use as shadow, liner, concealer, blush, and as a contour on the rest of my face.  Talk about cutting back on the amount of products I use, this stuff can truly can do it all! 

3. How cute is the adorable holder for your brushes?  I have to admit, I have mine thrown into my bag amongst the rest of my makeup and isn't it a rule that you can always find every brush except for the one you are looking for?  Might need to invest in this myself, especially since I apparently have a penchant for all things marble.  

4.  A bright pink lip color.  Sure, my mind is still locked on deep berries and holiday reds, but with New Years and Valentine's Day next on the docket, you'll be sure to have something to be excited to wear! 

5. How cute is this little motivational jewelry tray?  I don't know about you but the ring dish my MOH got me for my engagement is seriously one of the most used organizational pieces in my home and honestly I could probably use another in other areas of the house.  

So there you are.  The things a girly girl's stocking dreams are made of!  Which are you asking Santa for this year? 

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How to Spend Money for Twenty-Somethings

This might be the least searched post title I've ever created because honestly, what twenty something has trouble spending money?  I know I spent plenty of it.  Some of the right way and some the wrong way.  Mostly on pure necessities.  Things like a car, food, concert tickets, breast implants... I digress. Honestly I don't have many regrets when it comes to how I spent my money, but more that I didn't seek more of it.  Nonetheless, as I near closer to 40 than 30, I can't help but feel that I have a good chunk of knowledge to bestow on anyone willing to listen.  So here it goes.  Five things you definitely should spend money on (or save for) in your twenties.  

1. Retirement.  This one I actually STARTED out doing right and am sad to say I haven't continued.  Upon accepting my first out of college job I took pride and putting a solid chunk of each paycheck toward my aggressive 401K thinking I started now so I'm going to be set for life.  Righhhhht.  Enter a mortgage, childcare, wedding expenses, and a family's worth of grocery shopping... thank GOD I did this in my early twenties or I would probably not have a single dime to my name!  Please I am begging you.  It may seem far away but trust me when I tell you your expenses WILL increase.  Do it while you don't have a ton of responsibilities beyond yourself.  You never know what life is going to throw you down the road. 

2. Personal growth. And I'm not really talking resume builders here.  In fact if I had to name my #1 top waste of money in my life, it would be my college education, but that's a topic for another day.  I'm talking about opportunities to look introspectively into your own soul and learning to recognize the God sent goddess that you are.  It's now my firm belief that it's not a lack of education or opportunity that tends to hold people back, but a lack of belief in themselves.  A lack of awareness about their own impact on the world.  Get a book.  Register for a conference.  Go to mass.  One way or another, you MUST invest in your spiritual growth or you will feel lost and confused for the rest of your life no matter how successful you look on paper.  

3. A space you love.  I tend to go back and forth on this because I realize that cleaning and decorating will never get me a paycheck, but I also know all too well the mental chaos that can ensue from disorganization and a space that is not cohesive.  Ok, maybe that's just a personal problem on my part, but I definitely feel a sense of peace and clarity when everything is in it's place and I am surrounded by a feeling of "home".  Be it an extra comfortable mattress or an adorable piece of decor, these touches are not to be overlooked.  Your environment definitely effects your psyche.  Make it easy on yourself.  

4. A quality ANTI AGING skincare regimen.  Yes, even in your youth, you NEED to start treating your skin right.  Just like when we talk about investing your money young, the same goes for your skin.  Now is the BEST time to set your skin up for an amazing future and slow the again process from square one! Luckily I learned this early and although I have certainly tried many different brands, I definitely remember my college roommates all but making fun of my Mary Kay TimeWise as though I was too young to purchase such a product.  But I didn't listen because I knew better.  Today I've discovered something even more revolutionary that is actually helping my cells to turnover faster thus bringing those new, youthful cells to the surface and minimizing wrinkles before (and after) they begin.  It's a necessity for gals at any age... especially you young ones! Commit now and look forward to comparing your selfies today to the ones 20 years from now and saying hmmm... I don't look all that different!  Don't wait until it's too late. 

5. Epic vacations.  When I was 24, my roommates and I spent 3 nights in Vegas and I'm pretty certain it still might be 3 of the best nights of my life.  We dressed to the nines, networked with ease, and were treated like queens at literally every one of the hottest nightclubs on the strip.  We shared tables with celebrities (Dennis Haskins counts right?), walked straight past the lines, and drank like fishes until my body literally went straight into vodka rejection mode.. but I rallied on.  Granted, it wouldn't exactly be the vacation I'd be seeking today, but "epic" is still the word that comes to mind.  No matter how much you keep up, you won't be able to put on a slinky dress and be comped your every desire forever.  Do it while you can.  Create those memories.  You'll keep those forever. 

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How I Get Fall Styles for Less

There's something about Fall.  Suddenly people are finished with the bikini life and they're ready to get dressed.  And when they go to their closets they wonder what in the world to wear.  And when you wonder what to wear, you'll inevitably want to go shopping.  Luckily for me I consider myself a deal finding expert and get quite a thrill out of it if I'm being honest.  Even if I won the lottery, I'm still totally convinced I would not change my current shopping habits because there's just something internally rewarding about getting the bang for your buck.  Sure I'd go on a lot more vacations and probably spruce up my house, but as far as fashion?  I'm stuck in my ways and yes I think they're best the ways.  That's why I've decided to fill you in on one of them today and that is my ongoing love for Jane.

No, it's not a person.  It's a website.  And if you STILL aren't shopping there, you're really missing out.  Jane is a site for people who want the latest fashions but don't want to spend a ton of money.  It's a site for people who like me, get a thrill out of finding the BEST deal at the right time (all deals change daily and they sell out if you don't jump on them!). It's a site for people who are sick of looking for a needle in a haystack.  Because if you're a fashionable "basic" girl like me, you don't want to spend hours scouring a million different boutiques for exactly what you want.  You want them all in one place.  And that's what Jane is.

Below I've put together some of my favorite looks, all of which can be found on Jane - clothing and accessories included!  I've also paired with my favorite lip colors because now that I'm into that life, it has too become a part of the outfit!  No, I did not link each individual piece because the cool thing about Jane is that inventory changes daily, so what's there today may be different tomorrow, but guaranteed if you like these, you'll find them coming back again and again.  Comment below with your favorite look and stay tuned for my Target haul coming up soon!

Look #1 - Florals, browns, and fringe booties!

Look #2 - Oversized sweaters, Pointed Flats, and Wines!

Look #3 - Graphic tee, side pony, and a double leather wrap!

Look #4 - Flowy blouses, head wraps, and subtle pink lips!

Look #5 - Plaid, Criss cross necks, and plum pretty gorgeousness!

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5 Things You DON'T Need On Your Baby Registry (And What You Should Get Instead)

So this post might seem slightly out of place in my life, and no, I am NOT pregnant for those who might now be speculating.  I'm writing this because for some reason I seem to have a record number of pregnant friends suddenly seeking advice.  Well if you want my #1 piece of advice it is this: Take it with a grain of salt.  I can't even tell you the amount of things people swore I needed that I didn't even use, thus prompting me to share my experience and throw my own two cents into the mix.  

And now, without further ado, here are the things you totally DON'T need on your registry...

1. A Rock n Play.  I can't even begin to tell you the number of people who told me I needed a Rock n Play, and I suppose if you have the room for it, you go Glenn Coco. I on the other hand have a tiny house.  We don't have a ton of room for extra pieces of furniture all over the place.  Instead,  I went with Boppy Loungers (not to be confused with a traditional Boppy pillow which is entirely different) and my kids LOVED them!  Also as somebody with her living room on a totally separate floor than her kitchen, these were really easy to carry up and down the stairs whenever we needed a change of scenery.  

2. Swaddles.  Babies love swaddles they say.  It makes them feel secure they say.  Well let me tell you, even my 2 lb. 5 oz. little hampster babies wanted NOTHING to do with the swaddle.  They were legs out, arms out escape artists from the second they hit the isolate and it never stopped when we got home either.  What I did end up using 8,000 of, which surprised me, was receiving blankets.  I could just lay them on top of them to keep them warm without making them feel trapped in.  I'll admit, when I ended up with so many after my shower, I thought to myself nobody in their right mind would ever need this many blankets.  Wrong.  In those first few months it actually becomes a part of their outfit because they're being carried in it all the time.  And being the OCD matchy matchy mom that I am, the blanket of the day HAD to coordinate with the sleeper, which had to coordinate with the other sister as well.  It's a good thing I had so many choices after all! 

3. A swing/bouncer of any kind.  I had both.  For both children.  And a variety of types because I bought them all second hand.  I'll admit they looked adorable sitting in the corner of my living room, but if I'm being quite honest, I was probably lucky to get a good 3 minutes out of either of them before a child was screaming bloody murder to get out.  They just did not like it.  The thing that they DID find entertaining above all things for legit months and months of their life?  The activity mat.  Jungle gym.  Whatever you want to call it.  For them, this was the big deal.  Smiling, batting, reaching, laughing.  They even had their first full on infant conversation on this thing.  No doubt because they were both so ecstatic about what they were seeing, albeit in their squeaky infant sort of way.  It might seem plain Jane to you, but seriously do not overlook the awe of the baby activity center.  There's nothing better when you're stuck lying on your back while mom folds your laundry.  

 4. Dr. Brown's baby bottles.  Is it like a rule that "good moms" use Dr. Browns?  I swear everyyyyybody and their mother (pun intended) uses Dr. Browns.  I'm sorry but you are ALL doing it wrong.  I chose the Playtex drop-in system and guess what??  I don't wash bottles.  Ever.  Just a quick soap squirt into the nipple and quick rinse and we're done folks.  Yes, my kids made the mess of all messes when I first introduced it.  Yes it took practice to get more in their bellies than down their face.  But ya know what?  They get used to it.  They learn.  You're life is easier and you have less time washing dishes and more time loving on those beautiful babes.  I would never use another product.  Period.

Tip: Start with the SLOW FLOW nipples and you can increase gradually as they get bigger. ;) 

5. A bathtub.  I actually never registered for one because quite honestly I didn't know where I would store it when it wasn't bath time, but I DID get one of those cushiony bath mats that I thought I would lay down in the tub instead.  It's still in the packaging in our attic somewhere.  Personally I found it super easy and quick to bathe my kids in the kitchen sink until they were too big to fit there anymore.  And by that time, they are happily sitting up and playing with toys in your regular tub anyway.  I just find the whole baby bath tub thing to be quite cumbersome for something that's not being used all that frequently.  I don't have a link for my replacement idea because it's the kitchen sink and mother's loving arms, both of which you have already! 

And just as a side note, feel free to apply my initial advice to this post as well, which is take my words with a grain of salt.  My kids are not your kids, and truly, they will let you know what they need AFTER they get here! xo 

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See more like this at Five On Friday!

What I Found Out After Taking a Krill Oil Supplement

It's no secret that Omega-3s are important in our diet.  From heart health to joint health to possibly even helping with anxiety, I like to think of it as diet gold and make a point to sneak it in there every morning around breakfast.  I could break it all down and quote numerous medical sources, but instead I'm just gonna steal this graphic from Dr. Axe because it's honestly most comprehensive thing I've seen and I couldn't say it better myself.

So anyway, as I began my affiliate relationship with IdealLean and was in need of a new supply, I naturally grabbed up a bottle of their Omega-3s because it only makes sense that I actually use products I may eventually promote to decide if I even like them right?  Hmmm... Krill oil?  Ok whatever.  I guess you just need to be fancy.

As I continued taking it though, it started popping up on my radar more frequently.  It's not just IdealLean's fancy name.  It seems to be everywhere.  What the heck.  What happened to fish oil?  I honestly thought that krill was just some fancy type of fish until I suddenly began having flashbacks to my childhood trips to the Frederick County Science Center in which we would inevitably spend time with our hands in buckets petting krill, which were totally not fish I might add.  They were some sort of cross between a crawfish and shrimp from what I remember.  Is this what I've been consuming this whole time?

Yes, yes it is.  So first things first.  Krill oil comes from a shellfish!  If you have a shellfish allergy just stop reading and DO NOT take a krill oil supplement!  If you're a regular shrimp loving, crap picking, lobster devourer, however... read on.

Now that that's been cleared up, let me tell you what else I've learned and why this stuff is actually superior to the fish oil capsules I had been taking previously.

1.  It's absorbed more readily by the body.  My Krill oil supplements are tiny and I only take one a day.  With my fish oil they were pretty darn huge and you were supposed to take a couple of them.  Why? Because fish oil has to go through more steps to actually be absorbed. Only a small percentage of what you consume is actually used in your body.

2. It is more environmentally friendly.  Krill is among one of the largest biomasses on the planet, so although it is consumed by many marine animals, the krill harvested for human consumption is but a tiny fraction of what's out there.  It is much more sustainable than the cod and salmon typically used in fish oil.

3. It contains an additional antioxidant, astaxanthin, that protects the body from free radicals and DNA damage.  Essentially... it slows the aging process.  Omg sign me up.

4. It doesn't produce those gross fishy burps that fish oil tend to do.  It still smells a little fishy when I open the container, but once down the hatch, you won't have to revisit the experience later ;)

If you want to learn more and get the scientific explanation, you can start here like I did and decide for yourself.  Of course there are pros and cons of both, but I am down with the krillies for now.  How about you?  Are you taking your Omega-3s?

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If I Got Married Today...

First things first, my wedding was flipping amazing.   We did it all for under 10K- dress, church, and reception included- and seriously I couldn't have chosen anything better.  I got all of the things that were important to me (a Catholic wedding, a beautiful dress, a party atmosphere) and skipped the things that weren't (band/DJ, expensive food, flowers).  I never had any regrets and am amazed every day at how well the whole thing actually came together.  But that being said, if I got married today, there's a few things I would do differently.

1. I'd leave the bouquet behind.  While I didn't order flowers for the venue or church, I did make little bouquets for myself and my bridesmaids because I was all "I don't know what to do with my hands".  I thought it would be weird to have my arms just loose so I figured I would need something to hold.  I hadn't really thought about the fact that at least one arm would be attached to my dad and honestly, that would have been enough. But anyway, despite the fact that I had like 2 feet cut off the bottom of my dress, on my actual wedding day, I started to walk down the aisle and was suddenly walking on the front of my dress.  I was stuck.  I had to backtrack to get off of it and start moving forward again.  I think I thought to kick it for a second, but quickly realized it wasn't working.  I had to lift up the front of my dress to walk.  If I hadn't had the bouquet, it would have been an easy grab, but I did.  Dang it.  I knew I should have just said no to all the flowers.  So I ended up having to let go of my dad's arm to pick up my dress and have him walk awkwardly beside me unattached.  On the way back up the aisle, I abandoned my bouquet with my MOH and declared I never wanted to see it again.

Prior to this, we had also taken our girl side of the wedding party photos and my mom, who was lost trying to find the church, happened to have my bouquet.  At the time, this seemed like an issue, but in hindsight I thank God for hiding that bouquet at that moment.  I very very highly prefer my photos without the bouquet to the ones with it.  I don't want pictures of flowers.  I want to see my beautiful dress that I waited a lifetime to wear and will never wear again.  I want to see the gorgeous styles that my bridesmaids picked out.  I want to see everyones smiling faces, not covered by a row and random flowers in front.  But that's just me.  You do what calls to you.

No thank you.

So much better. Photos by Maureen Pacheco.

2. Tuxedo delivery service.  I mean I ask this every time we have a wedding but with all of the technological changes in shopping these days, why are we STILL schlepping to the Men's Warehouse every single time and anxiously racing there in our hungover stupor the next day to find all the missing pieces and return said tux before the cutoff time?  Because men.  That's why.  Men don't do change when it comes to shopping, like my husband who keeps telling me he needs to go to the mall because he needs a new cologne.  Really?  People still do that?  I digress..  Turns out, there actually IS a better way and you CAN do the online rent and return thing without hassle.  And at a $95 starting price point, I'd say it can't be beat.  For more details on how to rent and return your party's tuxes without having to make inconvenient trips back and forth to the warehouse, check out The Black Tux.  You're welcome.

3. LipSense!  Oh how I wish I knew about LipSense when I got married!  To be clear, I LOVED my color, but I can't say it stayed on for long.  Yes, I kept the tube in my little clutch, but who knows where that ended up and I was definitely having wayyy too much fun for that! When you wear LipSense, your color stays on throughout the entire event - even up to 18 hours!  I do recommend starting LipSense at least a month before your wedding to make sure your lips are in prime shape and used to a non-wax based product ;)  Did you know I also provide brides with a 10% discount on all products?  Contact me for suggestions and to snag the perfect color for your day!

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Currently Loving...

Still definitely summer, but our brains are already gearing towards Fall, here are some season neutral looks I'm digging right now.

1. Warby Parker concentric eye glasses.  I've said it before and I'll say it again.  I'm secretly jelly of all you guys who can't see because I just think glass styles are the cutest, and these top the list!  Totally clear with a colored inner rim, hence the concentric look, these are different than anything I've seen before and pair perfectly with your favorite fall comforter and a good book ;)

2. Ruffle sleeves.  Since I'm officially in the trenches of mom mode, toddlers pulling at my every inch and rolling around on the floor regularly, many of the styles I would deem fashionable are also just quite honestly not practical.  I'm always on the hunt for typical mom tunics with a little something special, and the ruffle sleeves do just that.  I also love the basic colors because I can pair them with any of my jazzy LuLa's without having to worry about print clashing.

3. A little bit of summer, a little bit of fall, I love this Apple Cider color for a touch of warm peachy of pink that's sure to take you through both seasons. 

4. This double wrap (and charms) are a part of the August collectors edition from KEEP and I'm in love.  Just when you think you have everything you need, something new comes out and throws you for a loop.  Like, do I need it or do I need it?? Have you tried KEEP collective yet? 

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How to Get Plump, Color Worthy Lips

Ok guys, it's honesty time.  You've probably heard me raving about the magic of LipSense and spreading my lip selfies all over Instagram.  It's easy to see I love the product.  But even as a spokesperson, my early experiences using it were often met with disappointment.  I looked at the photos, watched the tutorials, and followed every bit of directions, but my lips just didn't look like theirs.  They weren't young and sexy and voluptuous.  I wanted the color, but I wanted it on their lips.  Could I really pull it off with a thin, crackly pout?

Luckily, I have also learned a few very simple and easy to implement tricks to rectify this situation.  

1. Gloss and let your lips exfoliate.  This is really here for the newbies who are wondering where the magic is.  If you just started, you probably feel like you are glossing every 10 minutes and the color is still peeling off at your water line by midday.  I promise this will end. Your lips are thirsty.  Like parched for actual, healthy moisture.  They're soaking in your gloss like a plant that hasn't been watered in months and sloughing off the junk like crazy.  It's a good thing.  See through the process and I promise the lips that are waiting for you will already be better than what you've been working with thus far.  And because your lips will be naturally moisturized, your gloss will last a lot longer too!

2. Drink water.  Of course it's good for our bodies to stay hydrated.  Guess what?  It works for your lips too!  You can help your products to work at their best by doing your part to moisturize from the inside out. If you feel like your lips are cracking and drying out quickly, you probably need to drink more water.  

3. Lip volumizer!  Oh my gosh you guys, I LOVE this product!  I personally put it on once a day at night before I go to bed and sleep in it.  It has done wonders to fill in some of the cracks in my lips and reverse the signs of aging.  I mean, I have to keep up with these 20 somethings on my team somehow right?? ;) 

4. Over-line your lips.  You might feel a little silly doing it the first time, but if you do it just slightly, it really helps your pout to stand out.  I always take the pointed part of my applicator and line around the outside of my lips, just to make them a little bit bigger.  

5. Contour under your bottom lip.  Add just a tiny dot of shadow under your bottom lip and it will help to create the illusion of a fuller lip.  Just be careful here because it's easier to add product than it is to remove (I may or may not know from experience lol). 

So there you have it.  While none of these tips are necessarily going to leave you looking like Scarlett Johansson, they will give you some gorgeous, color worthy lips you can feel confident in! Good luck and let me know how it goes! xo

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5 Things You Need to Break Out of Your Rut!

It's happening again.  Just when you feel like you've hit your stride and slayed the past week, you find yourself standing in the middle of your living room feeling like crap, staring at your mess, realizing you have nothing to eat in your fridge, bills to pay, and absolutely no idea where to begin.  How did I get here again?? I ask myself every.single.time.  I'm finally realizing that it never gets easier but takes a conscious effort of consistently surrounding myself with the things I know work.  The things that get my productivity moving, my body feeling healthier, and my mind clearer.  And I think we all can use a little more of these...

1. Movement.  Do a workout video.  Go for a walk.  Break into random jumping jacks in the kitchen.  No matter how much I feel like I don't want to, it ALWAYS makes me feel better.  Yesterday the girls and I hit up Target successfully followed by epic meltdown, tantrums, and straight up man handling to get them into the car seats.  I considered not stopping at the gym as I had intended, knowing I would have to experience this battle again afterward, but I stayed the course.  I knew that I was nearing the edge of my patience and that the 20 minutes of cardio would calm me and keep me going strong through the rest of the day.  It worked.  It always works.

2. People who inspire you and push you! No, I'm not talking about the girlfriend you call when you're upset to sling shots with and make fun of other girls on social media.  Yes, that can be fun every once in a while, but it's not getting YOU anywhere.  To live a truly fulfilling life, you need to feel like you are making progress.  Toward what is up to you, but you need somebody to get you out of your comfort zone and push you to do the things that are in your heart (which I suspect is not sitting on the sidelines watching or judging).

3. Daily personal development!  Yes I have said it before and I will continue to preach, preach, preach!! Nobody is beyond the need to feed their soul daily!  So get a devotional, watch some You Tube videos, subscribe to a podcast... whatever works best.  I'm telling you nobody can possibly remain a "rut" with Tony Robbins' voice in their ear, so make it happen will ya??

4.  An awesome supplement! Yes, good nutrition is key and a huge start to feeling good and having energy, but there's something about a good shake that just gives you that extra umph and validation that your body is working at it's peak.  There are a lot of good ones out there, just be sure to ask questions to find the one that is right for YOU and will best meet your needs.

5. A little makeup/lip gloss/nail polish... whatever interests you most.  I don't know about you but even when I know I'm not going anywhere, I always feel better with a little tinted moisturizer and gloss.  It's so that when I walk past the mirror with 2 toddlers in tow, I can be like, hey, I'm not doing so bad!  Current favorite: orchid gloss and medium tinted moisturizer from SeneGence.  What's your go to products?

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