April 2017 Goals

As usual, the year is flying by. April came quick as ever, and I have a fresh batch of goals for the month. I’m happy to wave goodbye to the colder weather and take in the warm sunshine for a change. Who knew a simple season change could be such a mood booster?

This is the first goals post I’ve done. I thoroughly enjoy reading about others’ goals; they inspire me to create my own! Here is a list of my April goals. (Yes, it’s short. Gotta start somewhere!)

  1. Keep the blogging momentum.
    When I started writing for my blog again, I promised myself that I would be consistent and post at least a couple of times a week. I came up with a blogging routine that works great with my schedule, and I want to stick with it!
  2. Continue working on blog photography.
    I have owned a DSLR for over a year, and I’m STILL trying to figure out how it works! On top of the technical training, I also want to work on photography composition in order to make my photos a bit more eye-catching.
  3. Exercise regularly.
    Not too long ago, I was doing yoga 4-5 times a week. I kept this up for several months but unfortunately managed to fall out of it. The plan is to start again, and I also want to take my dog on more frequent/longer walks. Now that the weather is warming up, I’m actually inclined to go outside!
  4. Eat healthier.
    This should be on every one of my monthly goals lists because I am not good at keeping a healthy diet. My biggest issue is finding healthy recipes that are quick, easy, and taste good. After working all day, the last thing I want to think about is cooking. Take out is tempting because it’s so much easier, but it’s also terrible for my health. If anyone has any healthy recipe suggestions or food blog recommendations, let me know!
  5. Read more.
    I’ve never been a big reader, but I would love to change that. Reading helps you become a better writer, so I want to make an effort to set aside some time to read every day. I’d like to try reading at least one book a month. Right now I’m reading All the Light We Cannot See. I’ve barely put a dent in it, but it’s a beautifully written book!

That wraps up my goals for this month. These are easily achievable goals as long as I’m willing to make some lifestyle adjustments (i.e. stop pressing ‘Snooze’ three times after my morning alarm goes off…whoops). Hopefully having them written here will help serve as a reminder to do the damn things!

What are some of your goals for this month? Let me know in the comments!

Why I Started a Blog

Starting a blog wasn’t a spontaneous decision for me; I had actually thought about it for months before it came into fruition. I graduated college in 2015 and landed a corporate position soon after. My degree is in graphic design, a pretty creative field. I knew this creativity would be limited, however, because I would be making work for clients who had visions and identities of their own. I needed something fun, something that was mine, to indulge in to satiate my desire for productivity.

I can thank a certain small gray notebook for helping me start my blogging journey. Ideas began flooding my mind all at once, and I knew I had to keep track of them by taking notes. Doodles, scribbles, projects, and post ideas cover the pages. There’s absolutely no organization to it and I love that about it. I had so many plans for my blog, and I absolutely could not wait to get started!

One tiny problem: it needed a name. There are four entire pages in my notebook dedicated solely to name ideas. I wanted a something that was unique and special, and most importantly something that wouldn’t tie me down to one niche. Sure, I mostly write about beauty. But sometimes I want to write about life, fashion, and whatever else crosses my mind. On top of that, my mindset may change in a few years. Instead of starting an entirely new blog, I wanted it to evolve along with me. Finding the perfect name was a grueling process that took me about two months!

Once I finally settled on the name, wonderlustly, things got kind of hectic for awhile. I was working a full-time job and a part-time job at the same time, and I didn’t have time to start my blog like I had planned. My notebook kept filling up, but I didn’t have an outlet. This went on for several months until I finally just bit the bullet and started my blog at the end of January 2016. I quit my part-time job a couple months after for my own sanity!

I haven’t looked back since I created my blog. It has served as such a release for me, and has been a place where I can truly be myself. I love that I can get on here and talk about anything I want, whether it’s a beauty product I’m loving or just a passing thought on my mind. Starting a blog has also introduced me to an amazing community of talented and hard-working people all over the world; I love reading others’ blogs and gaining inspiration and insight from them. It’s such an amazing way to take a break from the routine of ‘everyday life.’

On top of the aforementioned, I’m teaching myself new skills, like photography, with my fancy new camera and lenses. It pushes me to think because I want to constantly come up with new content. The whole process is a good challenge, and I’m having fun along the way.

Admittedly, I haven’t been the most consistent with my blog. I started a YouTube channel along with it, and I found it really hard to balance the two along with my full-time job and other things I had going on. I realized I was trying to do too much at once, and I was getting a little exhausted. Filming was fun, but I decided I needed a break. My blog was patiently waiting for me even after months of neglect.

I’m back on a much more consistent schedule now, and I’m feeling a lot happier. Being productive helps give structure to my weeks, so I’m glad to spend my nights and weekends doing a little bit of work. I also get a creative outlet that’s different from anything I do at my day job. I thoroughly enjoy the variety.

To put it simply, my blog has been my saving grace. I’m so happy I mustered up the courage to create one last year, and I’m hoping I can watch it evolve for years to come.

 

How to Remove All of Your Makeup

We can all agree that the worst part about makeup is having removing it at the end of the night. You’re so tired and all you want to do is crawl into bed…

DON’T DO IT!

Sleeping with makeup on is one of the worst things you can do to your skin. Even just a trace of makeup can lead to breakouts, and unfortunately I learned this the hard way. When I was younger, I thought simply using a face wash would do the trick. It didn’t. When I was a bit older, I discovered makeup remover. A little better, but still not there yet. I was face-to-face with my biggest dilemma: how do I remove all of my makeup without severely drying out my skin?

My nighttime routine has evolved into a four-step process, but it manages to remove every bit of makeup (even waterproof) from my face without completely stripping my skin. Ever since I started this routine, I’ve noticed a huge improvement. I don’t break out as bad or as often as I used to.

Curious yet? Here’s my four-step process:

  1. Use a cleansing oil.
    I’ve been using this Burt’s Bees Cleansing Oil as the first step in removing my makeup. To put it simply, it works like a dream. It completely melts the majority of the makeup off of my skin. Want to know the best part? It doesn’t dry out my face because it’s an oil! I use one pump and apply it directly to my dry face and gently massage until I feel most of the makeup has been “loosened up.” Then I rinse with water and pat dry.
  2. Clean up with micellar water.
    The cleansing oil is a super powerful makeup remover, but on my heavier makeup days I like to make sure I get every last bit. I wet a cotton round with the Garnier Micellar Water and wipe my face of any remaining makeup. I also use it to clean around my eyes because I almost always have black mascara smudge under my lower lashline that was missed in the previous step.
  3. Wash with an acne cleanser.
    To prevent breakouts and give a deep clean, I like to use the Burt’s Bees Acne Solutions Gel Cleanser. It contains salicylic acid which helps keep breakouts at bay. This is an absolute necessity in my night routine!
  4. Moisturize.
    After all three of the above steps are complete, I moisturize my skin. I’ll either reach for my Yes to Cucumbers Daily Calming Moisturizer or just plain ole coconut oil. Then I can hop in bed knowing my skin is clean and hydrated!

This is an effective, gentle way to remove your makeup. I don’t know how I was managing before this routine! It has truly been a skin-saver.

What products are must-haves in your nighttime/makeup-removing routine? Let me know in the comments!

March 2017 Boxycharm Unboxing

Woohoo, it’s Boxycharm time! My box arrived later than usual this month, but as always it’s worth the wait. If you don’t already know, Boxycharm is a monthly makeup subscription box that costs $21 a month. You receive 5 full-size products (at least most of the time) that add up to be worth much more than the price you pay for the box. This month’s theme is “Creepy Cute.” It isn’t my favorite box that I’ve gotten, but it still came with some pretty neat items:

  • Smashbox Photo Finish Primer ($16)
    Unfortunately, the primer we received in our box is only a sample size (0.5 oz), but I’ll take it! It has really great reviews on Ulta and Sephora. At full-size (1 oz), it retails for $36. I can’t wait to see if it lives up to its price tag!
  • Crown Brush SS023 Deluxe Fan Brush ($18.99)
    This is quite possibly the biggest, fluffiest fan brush I’ve ever seen. Like other Crown brushes we’ve received, it is very soft to the touch and good quality. It seems great for applying bronzer and contouring!
  • Naked Cosmetics Urban Rustic Palette ($39.99)
    First off, holy pigment, Batman. Secondly, all three of the shimmery shades in this palette are amazing, and I’m so excited to start creating looks with them! I especially love the orangey-red shade in the center pan. They are very soft and highly pigmented. It’s going to be fun playing with the colors in this palette!
  • Real Her Matte Liquid Lipstick in “I Will Succeed” ($15) and Lip Liner in “I Am Unstoppable” ($12.50)
    I love the formulas of both of these lip products; they are creamy and easy to apply. Once the liquid matte lipstick dries, it doesn’t transfer! It does feel a bit sticky when you press your lips together, but that seems common in “kiss-proof” lipsticks. The rosy shades are just gorgeous as well. Very happy with these!

March 2017 Boxycharm Unboxing
Swatches of the Real Her Lipstick and Lip Liner


Swatches of the Naked Cosmetics Urban Rustic Palette

Total of this month’s box: $102.48

That wraps up this month’s Boxycharm. Again, not my favorite box that we’ve received, but I still think it was a good box overall. I have yet to be disappointed by a Boxycharm, but I’m hoping next month’s is a bit more exciting!

There are a million articles and blog posts on the internet about having anxiety. As someone who struggles with my own strain, I find solace in hearing others’ stories. It seems having anxiety is becoming the norm, and I’m not sure if that has to do with our evolving modern lives or if people are more comfortable talking about it now. Either way, it seems like most people find themselves face-to-face with the monster at some point. Even though it’s common, everyone experiences it differently. No case is exactly the same, but knowing that you’re not alone brings much needed comfort. So here I am, adding to the many people who have bravely shared their stories.

I’ve had anxiety for as long as I can remember. The most noticeable form is my social anxiety. Growing up, other kids would ask me all the time: Why are you so quiet? or Why don’t you talk? I didn’t have an answer for them because, honestly, I couldn’t understand it either. Anytime I’m in a social situation where I’m not comfortable (which is basically every instance), my mind blanks; I can’t come up with a single thing to say. I think my demeanor gives off vibes that I’m aloof or stuck-up when in reality I’m just extremely uncomfortable. I rehearse food orders and phone calls to make sure I don’t mess up. I’m an absolute mess before, during, and after a job interview. When the tables are turned and I find myself interviewing people, I’m pretty sure I’m more nervous than they are!

School was the absolute worst for my social anxiety. I never spoke during any class unless I was directly called on (which happened more than I liked) and I dropped classes if I found out there was a presentation involved. If a presentation was inevitable, I read the words verbatim from my note cards and occasionally looked up at the wall in the back of the classroom to feign even just a hair of confidence.

Considering I’ve suffered with social anxiety since I was a kid, I’m not really sure what it stems from other than a fear of rejection or fear of feeling embarrassed by what you say. When I finally muster up the courage to say something and it happens to be embarrassing, I dwell on it forever. I guess not saying anything at all is just a defense mechanism to avoid that feeling! But then I’ll feel guilty for not saying anything…it’s a vicious cycle.

Most people, whether they understand what it is or not, can see my social anxiety. It’s something I’ve never been able to conceal. The other anxieties I experience are much more internal. I carry them with me as invisible emotional burdens, but I try to make sure they don’t affect my everyday life. These are just things I think of day in and day out that worry me. Will I still have a job tomorrow? Where will I be next year? How bad did I just screw up? Are we safe? Remember that really embarrassing thing you did 7 years ago? Did I forget to turn the stove off?

Anything and everything that could possibly cause a worry crosses my mind more often than I’d like. There are certain things that cause spikes in my anxiety like traveling, traumatic events, bad social experiences, and deadlines. Sometimes I get what I like to call “sender’s anxiety” because I will stare at the screen for several minutes before I push any sort of ‘send’ or ‘confirm’ button!

As far as living with anxiety, I’ve learned to mostly accept that it’s just a part of who I am. More often than not, I have such a hard time getting out of bed in the morning because I feel depressed for seemingly no reason. It’s a feeling I wish I could shake for sure. I try mostly to do what I’m comfortable with, but I also find sometimes I have to bite the bullet and go out of my comfort zone. For me, I don’t see a magical cure-all in sight, but I do consistently try to stop worrying so much about things out of my control. Luckily I have found an amazing husband who has been my rock and offers an abundant amount of emotional support. I think having someone you trust, can confide in, and who can talk you down is key in helping you manage your anxiety.

This is just a broad overview into my experience. Anxiety is a looming monster, but I try not to let it control me. I know it’s just the power of the mind at work – things really aren’t that bad, but your brain tricks you into thinking they are. It’s always a process trying to cope with these feelings, but I’m hoping I eventually get to the point where I can figure it out…at least a little bit.