Productivity is not a new subject over here. It's something I love to research & implement in my own life. The tips & systems that I find successful, I always share with you guys! Today's post is written by a guest, Krychele Valenzuela! I met Krychele at an event a few years ago & have been following her on social media ever since. She started her blog just a few years ago & has totally KILLED it! She has tapped into her audience & knows exactly what she wants. She also works closely with a few of my social media clients too so I love getting to use her content on my clients social media. She is an amazing influencer that talks a lot about body positivity & has killer personal style. Follow her on Instagram @carnationsandlace & keep your eyes peeled for her on the gram. On top of everything she models for some pretty amazing companies. I'll let Krychele take it from here...
Hi! My name is Krychele and I am a curvy model, and body positive fashion blogger over at carnationsandlace.com and @carnationsandlace on Instagram. I'm so excited to be doing a guest post on Lexie's blog today, and even more excited to chat about how I manage working from home the majority of the time, while also juggling a toddler and house chores! After 3 years, I think I'm FINALLY getting it down. Here are a few things that help me stay productive:
Planners, Calendars, and Lists OH MY!
My number one saving grace is staying organized with my time. I have a planner that never leaves my side, and every Sunday I sit down and plan my week out. On my calendar, I start with writing down photoshoots and other appointments, then fill in my time with things I'd like to get done. For example this week I am focusing on decluttering, so each day I block out a little bit of time to organize a closet or drawer in my house. Spacing it out helps me from getting overwhelmed! I also make it a goal to do just one load of laundry a day. That way it doesn't pile up! I'm also more likely to fold and put it away the same day when its only one basket haha!
My husband and I are both self-employed, so while we absolutely love the flexibility, being self motived is a must! If we aren't working we aren't getting a paycheck, so it can be a lot of pressure. We try and work hard, but also play hard with a few vacays a year! Taking time to recharge is really important, so we really try and make it a priority.
It takes a Village!
I used to have a hard time accepting help, but I realized I can't do it all, and more importantly I don't need to. Don't be afraid to ask for help! There are so many people who love you and want to help you succeed. When it comes to taking care of Kai, we are so lucky to have my mom and mother-in-law close by so they are able to help with him a lot and we're so grateful for that! Kai also has an amazing babysitter (who is also family) that I hire a few times a week as well. I'm so happy to have all these ladies helping me raise my baby!
Another hard lesson I had to learn was saying no. I am a people pleaser by nature so I want to say yes to every photoshoot, every playdate, and every blog campaign. It all sounds great on paper until the burnout hits. When I get burned out I just want to sink into a hole and do nothing, so preventing that is KEY for me. Your mental health is more important than anything else, so don't forget to take things day by day, and when that's too overwhelming, minute by minute.
Schedule Social Media & Screen Time!
A lot of people think since Instagram is a big part of my job, that I spend all day on it, but that would make anyone crazy! I usually try and pick a few times throughout the day to get on for a certain amount of time and work. I answer DM's, post, and engage with other accounts to help keep the algorithm happy. During my social media time, if Kai is home with me, he also gets screen time. That way we aren't both on devices constantly. I answer emails and write blog posts after Kai goes to bed that way I can give it my full attention!
I hope these little tips were helpful to any of you trying to juggle all the things as well. Life can get so busy and hectic, but don't forget to enjoy the chaos! Thank you so much for reading.
FACIAL MASSAGE!! This is something I have been loving since August 2019. I started watching lots of tutorials about facial massage, rolling techniques & gua sha. I used my hands & pieces of ice to mimic the movements I learned & I got the same results I would've if I was using fancy tools. I finally invested in THIS Rose Quartz Roller & Gua Sha Tool. A lot of you had questions about it when I posted about it on Instagram so I thought I would shed some light on how AMAZING these little tools are.
First matter of business, Rose Quartz or Jade?? These are generally the two stones that these types of rollers are made from. I prefer rose quartz to jade because of the energy it has. Rose quartz emits strong vibrations of unconditional love, joy & emotional healing. Both rose quartz & jade have grounding properties but I am drawn to the benefits of rose quartz more. Plus it's PINK & looks so cute on my vanity!
Now that you have your roller, what are the actual benefits?? I love using this tool to help me with lympatic drainage. When you are rolling or using a gua sha tool you can move the fluid in your face outward & down your neck to reduce puffiness. It seriously amazes me every time!! I start around my eyes, move down my cheeks & then pull the fluid down my neck. Using this roller on your neck is SERIOUSLY the best feeling. I love rolling my neck more than anything else. Keep your tool in the fridge to increase the effect while trying to depuff your face.
Another benefit to rolling is that it stimulates collagen & blood flow to give you an amazing glow!! I am always searching for ways to help my body produce more collagen. From supplements, to bone broth, to chemical peels & micro needling. Rolling is just one more way to reduce aging & give my skin an amazing glow from the inside out. You do not have to use a lot of pressure to get the desired results.
I did not learn all this information on my own so I want to share my 3 favorite tutorials that helped me learn & love these tools:
How to Gua Sha
How to use a Roller
Facial Massage Products at Home
I hope you guys enjoy these tips!! Let me know in the comments or on Instagram if you invest in your skin by purchasing one of these amazing tools!
As I've been recapping my wedding & sharing it with all of you, I thought it was important to also share some other perspectives. Throughout the next year as I continue to share my experience I am going to bring on other amazing women who had gorgeous wedding days, to spill the details & give you all the advice you brides to be are looking for!
If you are planning a wedding, are a bridesmaid, or love scrolling Pinterest, dreaming of your big day, I would love you to join my new Facebook Group "Brides, Bridesmaids & Bachelorettes" for more amazing tips & inside secrets! Now onto the guest post! Let me introduce you to Claire...
I invited Claire Anderson on the blog today to give us her 5 top take aways from planning her own wedding last fall. I watched Claire (via Instagram lol) plan her wedding & loved the way she made each piece of the day her own. She is insanely creative & multi-passionate so head over to her Instagram & see what she's all about. She posts about beach life in Hawaii (I know, how rad?) & has a lot of amazing fitness tips & healthy meal ideas. Fun fact, we went to the same high school & graduated together, GO LANCERS lol. Her style is super different than mine, especially when it comes to all the wedding details, but that is EXACTLY why I wanted to have her on the blog! I love the insight she gave & think that her advice can be applied to any event you are planning. I'll let Claire take it from here!!
Let’s be honest planning a wedding is basically code word for stress. But it doesn’t have to be! It’s such an exciting time so here are a few tips from me to make things go smoothly.
Write in Your Journal
Throughout planning your wedding day, document your thoughts, action plans, feelings, & the moments between you and your partner. I suggest this so you can ALWAYS remember how you felt during this special time of life. I love looking back and reading about the excitement I had leading up to & on the big day.
Lighten Your Load
Ask friends and family if they can help with writing wedding invitations, hair & makeup, be on the lookout for great dresses your bridesmaids could wear, they could accompany you when looking at venues, etc.
Get a Bigger Bang for your Buck
I spent less than $300 on my entire wedding day outfit. A lot of people think because it’s their one wedding day, that they have to break the bank. But it’s simply not true, I found so many quality items that I LOVED for such a great price. I’d recommend looking into bhldn.com for wedding dresses. They are constantly coming out with new designs & unique dresses. We also found an amazing deal for my ring on Etsy.com from a shop called the Fox and the Stone and it’s literally all I could’ve hoped for! There are plenty of other options, just spend the time finding them!
Your day is about YOU and your Partner
If you don’t want to stand in the meet and greet line, don’t. If you don’t want a videographer, don’t book one. If yoU don’t want to have a reception at all, don’t. Want to elope? Go for it. So many people I’ve talked to have said their wedding day was a blur, or they didn’t even get to eat the food that was catered, or they regretted something from their day. My husband and I didn’t do a reception, just a small intimate luncheon with our closest family and friends. Don’t forget to find pockets of time for the two of you so you can cherish this day forever.
Invest in Documentation
I’d say the most important investment you could make for your wedding day is finding a photographer and videographer who is invested in you. Someone who truly cares about capturing this pivotal moment in life. Research! Browse! Read reviews! I found my photographer searching through page after page of photographers, trying to find a style I loved and someone I could trust to capture our moments. After hours & days, I found out photographer, Montana! Her instagram is @montanaleephotography and I couldn’t have been more happy with the outcome of our day! She was personable, kind, and truly cared about what we wanted. My videographer was @kallieryanfilmandphoto and she was just as amazing!! Find someone who doesn’t just treat you like a business, but authentically cares!
I hope you enjoyed that guest post from Claire!! Let me know if there is anyone you would love to hear from. I would love to get new guests on the blog!
JANUARY!!! Normally I come off of Christmas with a high & love this month because it’s my BIRTH MONTH!! Maybe this is just a part of getting older but this month has been a bit more blue than most. I know from posts I’ve seen on social media that some of you feel this way too.
These are some tips that have worked for me as I’ve battled depression & anxiety over the years. Each little wave I have, I learn more & more about myself & how I can prevent those feelings in the future. I love sharing my story in hopes that I can add value to the lives of others. Take what you like, leave what you don't.
My word for 2020 is ACTION. Here are some tips I have for still taking ACTION even on days where it’s hard to simply get out of bed.
Create Spaces You Love
Your environment makes a difference. Do what you can to create a space you love. I'm not saying move into your dream house or buy every piece of decor you see on Instagram. It could be a new coat of light paint. It could be a few photos & mementos displayed on a shelf. You might treat yourself to fresh flowers once a month if that's your thing.
For me, I love rooms with bright light. Our kitchen has a bay window & I love being in that room. I love burning candles & having my salt rock lamp on. I love having my food pantry organized & having all my skincare beautifully displayed on a shelf in my bathroom. Create a space you love with what you have. Don't focus on the negative.
Plan Your Days In Advance
I find that scheduling my weeks in advance helps me get everything I need to done & have time to take care fo myself. Everyone gets 24 hours a day. Make time for what you want to have time for. If you want to go to the gym, cancel your Netflix subscription or put down your leisure read. I'm all about no excuses!
The most helpful things for me when I schedule my days are planning what time I will go to bed, what time I will wake up & when to go to the gym. It's like the start & stop time for each day & helps me see what time I have available to complete other tasks. My husband & I share our google calendars with each other so that we can plan together.
Fuel Your Body
THIS!! I've changed my mindset around food to being fuel & it has helped me so much. It's important to me to eat well so that I can feel good on the inside. When I'm not sick & weighed down by feeling gross, it is easier for me to get up on time, get ready & start my day. I usually meal prep 3 days of breakfast & lunch on Sunday nights. Then on Wednesday night I prep food for Thursday & Friday. The weekends are more relaxed.
Create a morning routine & a night routine. This is something I started in the summer & it has changed the game for me. I never thought I was a morning person & struggled waking up on time every day. I would get anxiety about going to bed knowing that I had to wake up the next morning. How exhausting! I discovered that creating a night routine helps me wind down & go to sleep so that I am ready to wake up on time the next morning. My morning routine gets me out of bed. These routines are kind of a lot so that's probably another blog post. Coming soon lol!
I hope some of these tips will help you have a productive winter full of moments of joy & happiness!
Hey gals!! Here is a little bridal outfit breakdown. Some tips for finding fabulous bridal outfits on a budget! First I want to let you know that I've created an online space to share all things wedding! It's a Facebook Group called "Brides, Bridesmaids & Bachelorettes" & I hope you will join! When I was planning my wedding I was lucky enough to plan along one of my best friends who was also a bride-to-be. I want every girl to be able to have that kind of experience. Get awesome advice, tips & gain friends along the way. So anyway, onto the bridal outfit tips!
I am super particular & very detail oriented. I knew that a lot of pictures would be taken at each bridal party or shower, so I wanted to have different outfits to set the events apart. 3 brand new outfits? That can add up quick! But if you know me, you know I am a bargain shopper! These outfits were less than $50 each! Let's get into the details...
One of my bridesmaids, Makenna, threw me a fun poolside bridal shower & invited all my girlfriends to come. I found this darling white dress at WAL-MART (of all places) for only $10!! I spotted it while grocery shopping one day & knew I could wear this to one of my wedding showers. Keep an eye out for white dresses, blouses & skirts! Especially during the upcoming spring months. Every time I wear this dress I get SO MANY compliments on it.
I really dressed this look up with my accessories & the way I styled my hair. I found these pearl earrings at Target & tried to work them into as many wedding festivities as possible. They are by far my favorite & most worn pair of earrings. I added a feminine touch
This was my bachelorette party outfit!! I wanted an all white workout look for our silks class. My first piece of advice is to text all your friends & have them send you pictures of all their white work out gear. Between all your friends there has to be a few pieces of white or pastel tops or leggings. I borrowed this white bra from my friend & then got the tie back halter top & light gray leggings from Kiava Clothing. I knew I would never wear white leggings again so I went with the light gray pair.
This was the third & final wedding look before the big day. This is the look I wore for the shower my family threw for me. Every week I would get on ASOS & search for white dresses & accessories. They have the cutest stuff at the best price so don't forget to look for swimwear for honeymoon & lingerie too! I got this white dress for only $15! So darling!!
I hope these tips help you plan your next event outfits!!
At the beginning of each new year, I pick a word to focus on. This year my word is ACTION!! During the second half of 2019 I discovered tools (through listening to podcasts) that helped me learn how to control my thoughts & build a life I love. I am so thankful that I discover these podcasts & online mentors. Their content & the value they have given to my life have truly shaped my mind & changed my perspective in so many areas of my life. I want to continue that learning & "ACTION" into the new year & want to share these tools with you as well. Here are 5 Podcasts that will change your life & why I love them so much!!
This is my all time favorite podcast! The hosts Lauryn Evarts & Michael Bosstick are such a power house team. They are so good at interviewing guests & I have loved every episode. They talk about EVERYTHING but a few constant themes are wellness, productivity, skincare & business. Their platform is much more cheeky than mine so as Lauryn says, "take what you like & leave what you don't." Listening to this podcast & following Lauryn on Instagram has influenced so many of my habits & has helped me work on so many skills.
2. RISE Podcast
The host of the RISE Podcast is the one & only Rachel Hollis!! I had seen raving reviews of Rachel's book "Girl Wash Your Face" floating around Instagram for a long time but never really understood her genius until listening to her interview on TSC Him & Her Podcast in Fall of 2019. I loved everything she said in that interview so I looked up RISE & immediately fell in love with her mind. Rachel has helped me learn how to show up on my worst days & stop making excuses for myself. Her podcast has helped me be more self aware & has helped me power through with some mental health struggles I have... but that's another blog post.
I discovered Jenna Kutcher's podcast in 2016 right after I graduated high school. The older I get, the more I love her content. Jenna is the cutest Christian new mom who puts her full heart in everything she does. She has helped me learn how to be more present in my friendships, romantic relationships, in my work & in my small business. She is a marketing wizard & has such a unique perspective on business. She is MEGA successful so this chick definitely knows what she is talking about! I love the free content she puts out on IG & her Podcast so much that I've even invested in a few of her digital courses.
I stumbled upon this podcast when Rachel Parcell & Sarah Tripp posted that they were guests on the show. I've been apart of the RewardStyle platform since I was 14 years old right when it launched. I first searched through the episodes to listen to my favorite influencers. First Rachel, then Sarah, then Jamie O'banion. After I listened to those interviews I started from the top & made my way through each episode. I love hearing each story, their angles & how they grew their business. It's a fun personal insight into your favorite influencers & has helped me brainstorm new ways to create & scale my passions & businesses.
My friend introduced me to this podcast & recommended I start with the episode where he interviews TSC Him & Her hosts. That episode is where I first fell in love with all things TSC. Need some motivation or direction? Go listen to Ed's show. Especially his first episode of 2020! It's a good one!
I would love to know what your favorite podcasts are!! I am always looking to add new, valuable voices to my life. Let me know if these podcasts add value to your life, just as they've added SO MUCH to mine.
I am all about setting goals. I get so excited to set new goals at the beginning of each year. This year is so special because it is the start of a new decade. As I look towards the next 10 years I see world travel, building a life with my husband & growing a family in my future. It's easy to dream & talk about the future but taking action takes more effort. It takes mindful goal setting & work!
I set 7 goals every morning. I explain it more here on my Top 5 Productivity Tools blog post. This is something that has changed my life over the past 6 months. It has helped me increase my focus, productivity & efficiency.
I've created this template to help you focus on your vision & your goals for the next decade. Dream a little, set some goals & think of a few actions you can take to reach those goals. Hang this little vision board somewhere you will be able to see it every day. Work until you crush every single one of your goals. Put it at the front of your planner, hang it by your mirror or frame it on your desk. Your time is valuable & you will be able to accomplish so much this year & in this decade if you dig in & invest in yourself.
Happy New Year & Happy new DECADE! My the 20's be roaring & rain success on you!
I have been all about skincare since I was very young. Like 2nd grade!! 8 YEARS OLD!! I started getting acne in 2nd grade & that's when it all began. I have tried SO MANY products over the years & I wanted to share some of the things that have been successful for my skin. Some are products & some are just simple techniques.
To keep it more organized & help you see where these products can be implemented in your own routine I wanted to just share some morning routine products.
I try to use a gentle cleanser in the mornings. I save my deep cleanses for the night time. If you do a good job at regularly changing your pillow case, there really isn’t that much bacteria to wash off! The cleanser I have seen the most success with is the Cetaphil Gentle Cleanser, but I also really like the CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser. This is also what I use as my first cleanse at night to take off most of my makeup.
I am a newbie to Vitamin C but it has made all the difference for me in recent months. My favorite one so far is Banish Oil from the brand Banish Acne Scars. The bottle is only 1 oz & it's $50. I went through the bottle in about a month & a half so I wanted to find another serum I liked that was a little more affordable. I tried a few that broke me out SO bad but finally found another one I like by Eva Naturals. It is PACKED with so many good active ingredients & only $20.
When I apply my cleanser & vitamin c I start at the top of my face & massage down my neck. In the mornings I really focus on my undereye area & jawline. It totally deflates my face so I don’t look like a puffy mess. I especially love using the Cetaphil Hydrating Eye Creme. This is the best, affordable eye creme I have tried. So hydrating!!
If the puffiness is just too much to handle or I am breaking out (always lol) I do a little ice facial before I apply my moisturizer. This isn’t an every day thing but it makes all the difference when I do. Just take an ice cube & massage your face with it. Massage the ice cube back & forth over your puffy eyes. Then take it to your break outs & massage for as long as you can stand with that FREEZING ice cube.
Drink More Water
Up Your Water Intake!! The more water I drink, the more I can tell my skin is changing. It takes so much effort. It doesn't just magically happen but I've figured out some ways to meet my water goal. I try to drink 44 oz of water in the morning. This only happens if I prepare it the night before. I fill my 44 oz Hydroflask full of ice water & have it sitting on my nightstand. I squeeze half of a lemon in the water & let a Ginger Turmeric tea bag soak in the water for about 10 mintutes. Then in the morning, I have a wonderful, flavored water all ready for me. I try to drink as much water as I can during the day. At night I always end the night with a warm cup of tea to get my last ounces of water in. I switch off between Yogi Sleepy Time Tea & Yogi Healthy Skin Tea.
To read more of my tips about drinking more water, read THIS post!
These products & techniques have been my tried & true during 2019. I am so excited for you you try out these tips. Let me know if you see any results!!
Over my short 21 years of figuring out my curly hair, I've figured out a hair hack or two & I love sharing what I've learned with other curly girls!! FIRST OFF, if you haven't seen my IGTV video where I show you how to Refresh your Natural Curls without washing your hair, watch that first!!
The video I'm recapping today is all about touching up your natural curls. I see comments all the time that say things like, "I wish I could wear my hair natural but it's just not cute." This tutorial is perfect if you have a half curly, half wavy hair OR half straight, half wavy hair. No matter what you tell me, I'm sure your natural hair is DARLING, just use this video as a tool to create the exact look you want.
Here's the link to watch my tutorial on how to touch up your naturally curly or wavy hair:
In June 2019 I GOT MARRIED & it's something I haven't really talked about here on the blog!! The whole wedding planning process was so exciting but I think I needed some time to soak it all in, reflect & recover before sharing my experience & all the tips I learned. NOW I'm ready & so excited to share ALLLL the wedding things, starting with how to build a beautiful bridesmaids proposal box on a budget!!
Putting together a glamorous & personalized bridesmaids box was one of the first actions I took when it came to ACTUALLY & physically checking things off my wedding to-do list! I filmed a whole YouTube video dedicated to what was inside my Bridesmaid Proposal Boxes. You can watch that video by clicking HERE or scrolling to the end of this post, BUT FIRST, I want to share with you my tips on how to create a beautiful bridesmaids gift on a budget!
1. Find Your Packaging
For my bridesmaids boxes, I used a photo box from a craft store but you can really use ANYTHING! You could get plain white boxes from the craft store or online too. Either jazz them up with a fun ribbon or you can wrap them in your favorite wrapping paper at the end. Another idea is to use a zipper pouch! They could either be cute pencil pouches or fun make-up bags! You could even sew the zipper pouch yourself to really make it personal!
2. Fill Your Package
HOT TIP!! During the Holiday season, cosmetic companies put out gift sets. Things like face masks, bath bombs, lipstick sets, fuzzy socks, candles, nail polishes, perfume bundles, ALL THAT JAZZ!! Buy those gift sets, break them up, & use them to fill your bridesmaids proposal packages! It's an amazing way to give your bridesmaids quality items that are functional & useful without breaking the bank!
3. Add Some Fluff
Adding filler items will help make your package seem more full. I added some cute gold tinsel & chic pink kisses in my package. Get creative with your theme & make it personal to your style. Some filler ideas are your favorite wrapped candies, fake flower petals, tissue paper confetti, mini soda cans, anything little, dainty & inexpensive is perfect!
4. Personalize & Get Crafty
Now it's time to add the actual card/invitation/proposal to your package. I had a vision for mine to be light pink, watercolor cards with hand lettering on them. It turned out exactly how I wanted & I still love them so much. I do a full tutorial on my video of how I handmade the cards. If you aren't feeling crafty, you can find a template on the internet & print them out, or hire someone to make them for you! I attached these cards with a ribbon wrapped I around my box & then added little wildflowers I got from a local florist! If you want to do that too (you should) just go into a florist shop & ask for their selection of little filler flowers. I got a whole bunch of them for $2! It was the perfect touch to my box!
I hope you are inspired & ready to create an amazing bridesmaid proposal for your leading ladies! Don't forget, you don't have to be a bride to be to use these tips! You can use this to curate an amazing gift for Christmas, birthdays, to give as hostess gifts, or as a care package for someone who needs a little extra love! I hope you found these tips useful!!
Happy Cyber Monday to you all!! I'm back with another gift guide post!! If you missed my ultimate Gift Guide for Her or my Gift Guide for Him posts, be sure to check them out before the deals end today!
Today's gift guide is all about stocking stuffers. Sometimes it's the little things that bring the most joy. Not only are these skincare items but they are also the perfect little gifts for friends, co-workers, teachers, neighbors, etc. No one needs ANOTHER dollar store mug with some hot coco in it. Sorry to be a hater, but it's the truth. Give me a holiday mug & it's going straight in my gift closet. If you're going to give a gift, give something practical & functional that will add value to your loved ones life! No one needs more STUFF! Okay, I'm off my soap box! Now onto the skincare...
I hope these gift ideas help inspire your stocking stuffer gifts & all your little friend gifts this year. Let me know if you choose any of these things, or even better, if you gift them to yourself instead!! Happy Holidays! Let the craziness commence!
Hey there!! Struggling to find the perfect gifts for the men in your life?? Have no fear, I've got you girl. If you missed my Holiday Gift Guide for Her post, be sure to check it out!
There items are everyday items that my husband Juvol loves or gifts I've given in the past that have been a crowd favorite. Let me know what you think!!
I love gift giving & hope that these gift ideas sparked some inspiration for you! Let me know in the comments or on Instagram what you are getting for the men in your life for Christmas!
It's that time of year again!! Getting thoughtful gifts for all the amazing people in your life can be overwhelming but DON'T FRET!! I'm here to give you some ideas & help you plan your Christmas gifts. Before we dive in, don't forget to check out my Thoughtful & Personalized Gift Ideas post! There are some good ideas on there if you are giving a gift to someone super sentimental! I alway appreciate a good, personalized gift!
Now onto the gift guide! These gifts are perfect for any woman on your list. I would be thrilled to get any one of these gifts!! I've tried & tested all these items & I can 100% say they're the best. Happy Shopping!!
I have always loved sharing my curly hair hacks with you guys! If you've missed my blog post & IGTV video about how to revamp your curls without washing them, be sure to check it out!
With the freezing cold weather is right around the corner, my curly hair is about to dry up FAST!! I've gathered a few hacks for hydrating my hair throughout the Winter, but for this post, I wanted an expert!! I decided to invite Karen Ruelan of Honey Hair Kare on the blog to give us curly girls her best winter hair care tips!
Let me introduce Karen...
I met Karen on a photoshoot in the spring of 2019. I was a curly hair model & she was a hairstylist. We've stayed connected through Instagram & if you aren't following her, you are missing out!! She is a braiding queen & a wizard when it comes to balayage! She posts so many tutorials & her style is incredible!! You can find her on Instagram & Pinterest!! She seriously knows her stuff when it comes to hair care & I am so excited for you guys to get her amazing tips! I'll let Karen take it from here...
Most wonderful time of year = dry air and cold winds and your curly locks are definitely not a fan. Let’s treat your tresses to an early Christmas gift and winterize your hair routine.
1. Apply Your Deep Conditioner to DRY HAIR, Not Wet
Weird right? But to MAXIMIZE HYDRATION, keep your hair dry so the conditioner can really soak into the cuticle. Before hopping into your shower, apply deep conditioner through your hair, clip it up, put on a cute little shower cap and let it sit for 20 mins. Then jump right into your shower routine, wash your body, shave, and let the steam help open that hair cuticle. Follow it up by washing your hair as normal. Do this 2-3 times a week if your waves are prone to dryness.
2. Treat Yourself to a Silk Pillowcase
You don’t need to be super fancy to treat yourself with this simple luxury. The fibers in the silk will prevent damage and frizz while you’re asleep. Your locks are definitely in a drier more fragile state during the winter season, so this extra pampering goes a long way.
3. Use a Cowash
Regular shampoos are often too drying for curls. Try washing your hair with only conditioner or a specific co-wash formula. If you find it is too heavy for fine curls, you can make your own cleansing conditioner that will cleanse your scalp. Mix a squeeze of sulfate-free shampoo and a few squeezes of your favorite conditioner and use it like a shampoo. To maximize moisture follow up and use a conditioner on your ends.
4. Trade in Your Regular Towel
Ditch your regular towel and start wrapping your hair in a T-shirt! Towels take all the moisture from the hair, when really what we want to do is absorb the excess water without stripping it of the moisture that helps the hair from becoming frizzy. Use a T-shirt or microfiber towel as an alternative. They are lightweight and will dry your strands without disrupting your natural curl pattern.
5. Hydrate on the Go
With cold weather creeping up it’s a good idea to keep your favorite oil on hand. A good option if your worried of the oil weighing your hair down is to keep a travel spray bottle mixed with water and the oil. Spraying it when you need some hydration or just to keep frizzies at bay.
Hope these tips keep your curls protected and moisturized all way into 2020!
I get it. Life is busy & everything moves so fast. Your to-do list can sometimes feel like an overwhelming tornado of tasks. TRUST ME, I've been there. These are a few tools I use every single day to keep my ducks in a row & make sure nothing slips through the cracks.
I have been hooked on this app since high school. You can link your calendars with family members, friends, or co-workers. It's helpful if you have to coordinate or tag team with anyone else.
Ivy Lee Method
This method is how I create my to-do list every day. I found myself with an endless to-do list. I was feeling overwhelmed & it made me feel like I wasn't being successful. The unchecked tasks were taking away from all the amazing things I had gotten done. I heard about the Ivy Lee Method & it has changed the way I work & the way I think about tasks.
Asana is an amazing tool if any of your daily tasks are collaborative. I love this for work. It's a digital to-do list that helps me organize my agenda & keep me accountable for all my tasks. It also helps me prioritize because I can see future deadlines that might be creeping up on me. You will have to pay for this but if you work with a team, I highly recommend investing in Asana.
Milanote is the coolest tool & it's free!! I use this tool for most of my freelance projects. I am able to create to-do lists, mood boards, & just save ideas. I used to use Milanote for all of my content planning but now I just use it to brain dump my ideas. I love it because I can go back & see all the ideas when I feel creatively drained.
Time batching is the most productive way to get your work done!! For work, I create all my client's content calendars on the same week. Each calendar takes 2-4 hours so I will block out that time to get it done instead of taking SO MUCH TIME & energy to post for them every single day. A way I time batch at home is I batch my meals. One day I will make a HUGE batch of protein pancakes & eat them the rest of the week. When I make dinner I always double the batch so I can use it for lunches the next few days or for dinner the next night. Find a task you can batch, put your phone away & get it DONE!!
I have a Google Sheet for just about everything. Sheets is the Google version of Microsoft Excel. I love how easy it is to use. Google Sheets is now where I have all of my content calendars. I had a spread sheet for my wedding, our family budget, personal goals, all of my goals with Juvol & content brainstorming. I make all of my travel itineraries on sheets too. It really is the most amazing tool. There's nothing more satisfying to me than a color coded spreadsheet!
I've always loved to time-batch my work & creative projects. It's so effective & saves me so much time. I've been looking for ways to practice time batching in other areas of my life & meal prepping is an amazing way to make life more efficient. On Saturdays after I get home from the gym I meal prep these YUMMY & simple protein pancakes. I eat a few for lunch & then store the rest in a Tupperware container in my fridge. Each morning before I run out the door, I pop two of these pancakes in the toaster & head on my way. I'm try to avoid any stress in the mornings & making this pancake situation apart of my morning routine has helped me eliminate unnecessary stress while also saving me time. ENOUGH CHAT!! Here's the simple recipe:
1/3 C quick or rolled oats
1/3 C egg whites
1/3 C low-fat cottage cheese
1/2 tsp cinnamon (but I add more cause it's YUMMY)
1/2 tsp vanilla
Blend in blender until it becomes a smooth batter & MAKE SOME YUMMY PANCAKES!!
This recipe makes 1 pancake depending on the size.
You can add more oats to make a thicker batter for waffles! YUM!
Top with your favorite fruit & 2 TBL of whipped creme. Sometimes it I really need a treat I eat one of these with a little bit of Cookie Butter on top! YUM!
Try this recipe & let me know how it turns out!! I would also love to hear your favorite topping suggestions!
Over the summer I was in & out of the airport a lot as I traveled between Atlanta and Salt Lake City. I have always used these wellness tips in the airport because the LAST thing I need is a random cold to ruin my trip or slow down my productivity. Every time I follow through with these hacks I always stay healthy. Pin this post on Pinterest to save it for your next trip!! You'll thank yourself later!!
Be sure to read the full post to get all the tips!!
Prepare for the Airport
I always start my travel prep a couple days before. If packing is on your mind, these wellness tips should be on your mind!!
In Flight Precautions:
Did you know that crews never clean the cabin?? It might look tidy, but it's NOT clean. Bring a little pack of Clorox wipes to wipe down your seat. I PROMISE you that the wipe will be black. Don't forget to sanitize your hands before touching your face, touching your phone or eating food!!
After your Travels
To shop the outfit I'm wearing in these pictures you can check out Kiava Clothing!
Dolman Top | Black Marble Leggings
Tell me your favorite wellness tips in the comments!
You know you're getting old when kitchen hacks make you excited. Now I’m definitely not the most domestic wife on the block but still, here are my favorite little kitchen secrets:
My cute mama is to credit for this amazing find!! It changes the avocado game completely!! Slice, pit & unload the goods with this tool in seconds. Recently I’ve introduced the hubs to avocado toast & he would agree with me that this is a hack you need immediately!!
Okay this find is also credited to my mom. If you make eggs on the daily you need this pan on hand!! It’s the perfect size for a single egg & so easy to store. Get this to make your mornings healthier & more efficient. Shed the bulk & get this tiny, perfect egg pan!
If you don’t have this on your spice rack, YOU NEED IT!! Put it on your Trader Joe’s list immediately or hop on over to Amazon. I put this on everything, in everything!! It’s so yummy. Juvol looooves this & is always his Trader Joe’s request.
I barely everrrr use my oven because of this lovely appliance!! I have a little one & big 8 quart one. I just dump in all the ingredients & it’s all done & evenly cooked within minutes! AMAZING! Head to Pinterest to find yummy recipes but if you guys are interested in what I make, I’m more than happy to share!!
Share with me your favorite kitchen hacks in the comments or on my latest Instagram post!!
A goal I've had my whole life is to be better about drinking water. This summer I finally reached my goal & am now so obsessed. I want to share with you my 5 easy hacks!
The Biggest Bottle
The bigger the bottle, the more you will drink. It’s like the whole thing with eating on small dinner plates. If you’re trying to cut back on portion size, eat on a smaller plate. SAME DEAL HERE, but opposite!! If you want to drink more water, carry around a bigger bottle!! I looooove my 40 oz Hydroflask. I also have a 24 oz one & it just doesn’t do it for me. I fill it full of ice in the morning & refill it with water about 2-4 times a day. It’s even more helpful if it’s cuuuuute!! Below are my two fav bottle brands in different sizes.
Lid with a Straw
THISSSS! Is a game changer!! You WILL drink more water if you get a lid with a straw. My favorite is this cuuuute pink Hydroflask lid that I found here on IG. A tip, it comes with two so find a friend that wants this too & split the price!!
My Favorite Flavorings
Okay this is where I totally get unhealthy!! Plain water is just not my fav & that’s why I’ve always reached for diet soda instead of good ole H20. These little drink add ins are what get the water inside my body.
Here are my go-to favs that are ALWAYS in my pantry:
Xtend Grape BCAAs | Mango Drink Packets | Black Cherry "Squirt"
Other Amaze Add-Ins
So If you want a healthier mix in option my girl Mckaila introduced me to THESE True Lemon packets. They are wayyyy more clean than the ones I love & they taste sooo yummy!!
If I’m going super simple & natural I will drop a lemon wedge or two in my bottle. Maybe a few drops of essential oil if I’m sick or feeling fancy. This is honestly the best option because the flavor is natural & lasts all day long!!
Set Your Goal & Get it Done
Write your goal down somewhere you will be able to see it every day & then check it off as you get it done!! You could put a reminder in your phone. Make an event in your calendar. For me, I have little “HYDRATE” stickers that go in the paper planner I use for work. I see them all day & it’s so satisfying to fill in a little water droplet after I swig a 40 oz bottle of water.
I hope these tips will help you tackle your goal of drinking more water!! Check out the links & let me know how if you end up loving all these products as much as I do!!
There is nothing I love more than walking into a department store to see a beautiful display of statement earrings… until I look at the price tag. Statement jewelry has ALWAYS been my love! As a child I loved big rings, all throughout school I lived for chunky, flashy necklaces & now my obsession is statement earrings. My collection is insane & I love every single piece. I’ve found all the places to get amazing jewels for just a few bucks. If you like a bargain keep scrolling!
There is something for everyone in F21’s accessory department. There are so many styles to choose from! Trendy, basic, bright, bold or classic. Whenever I have an event that I need a new set of earrings for, I always know that Forever 21 won’t disappoint. Their earrings range from $3.80-$7!! How can you even beat that price?
I’ve had a crush on Baublebar jewelry since I was a teenager. It is beautiful but not crazy expensive. Better yet, they recently collaborated with Target to create a new brand called Sugarfix. Some of my favorite earrings are from this brand including the pearl hoops I wore at my wedding reception.
I wouldn’t be surprised if I was on the “People of Walmart” website because I am always there, usually at midnight, looking at their accessories department. NO SHAME! Their earrings are DARLING & ridiculously cheap. Sometimes when they go on sale they can be as inexpensive as $1! The quality isn’t amazing & they will eventually fall apart on you but hey, I’m not complaining. Next time you’re there be brave & venture off to do some shopping. You’ll be surprised what you find!
Send me pictures or tag me in your photos wearing big beautiful earrings!! Also let me know in the comments if you have any favorite places to buy statement jewelry!
I am as sentimental as it gets & heirlooms are the coolest thing to me. When it came to my wedding details, I tried to buy intentionally so that I could pass little items down to my daughters one day. Doing the traditional Old English "Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue, and a six pence in her shoe" rhyme was the perfect way to bring even more meaning & love into my wedding. It was HARD for me to think of items for a few of these. Since I did A LOT of brainstorming & research, I thought I would share with you my ideas & what I actually ended up wearing.
That silver "CTR" ring on my pointer finger was a gift Juvol gave me in 2016 right before we said goodbye for two years while we both served church missions. He was in New Zealand for two years teaching about Jesus Christ in the Samoan language. I finished my first semester of college, served a mission in the Caribbean, taught inner city youth & found a job I love. We individually learned so much during those two years. I never took that ring off & never will. It's a reminder to me that if I put the Lord first, Juvol & I will be able to make it through anything.
Other ideas for YOUR something old: a piece of your grandmother's or mother's jewelry, a vintage pair of earrings, a vintage hair accessory like a crown or an old comb, a relative or best friend's wedding dress or veil, an heirloom wedding band/engagement ring or the first piece of jewelry your significant other gave you.
This one is so easy! Find something you love that is uniquely YOU! My "something new" was my wedding dress & my veil. This dress fit my body & my wedding theme so perfectly. I added the sleeves to make it more my style. I love how it gives off a bohemian island vibe while still being classic and timeless. If you mixed Juvol & I in a wedding dress, THIS IS IT! I bought my veil on the same day, at the same shop. I loved the details & the length. It was all so perfect!
Other ideas for YOUR something new: wedding band to add to your engagement ring, new shoes, new earrings or a dainty symbolic necklace.
For my big day I borrowed my mom's pearl bracelet. STORY TIME: a few years ago my mom came to me & my little sister asking if we had taken her pearl bracelet. My dad bought this for her so it's obviously super special. The bracelet was lost & no one knew where it went. As I was planning my wedding day accessories I mentioned to my mom that her little pearl bracelet would've been so perfect. Two days before my wedding she was looking through her jewelry & found it in plain sight. It was a tender mercy & we seriously think a little angel put it there for us. So special!!
Ideas for YOUR something borrowed: a relative or best friend's wedding dress or veil, family jewelry or heirloom accessories.
THIS was the hardest one for me. I didn't want a random blue ribbon on my bouquet or a blue garter because it didn't fit my wedding vibe, or color scheme. My grandma let me look through her mother's old jewelry. I found a pair of blue stud earrings that I was going to pin on the ribbon of my bouquet but then we found this little opal ring. It goes back three generations & I was so honored to wear it.
Ideas for YOUR something blue: A beautiful blue ribbon on your bouquet, a dainty blue gemstone piece of jewelry, a blue pin on your bouquet, a blue sash, a blue clutch or make up bag to bring with you for touch ups, blue shoes, a blue hair comb or a blue anklet.
A Six Pence in Her Shoe
I didn't even know about this part until the night before my wedding. My mom & dad gave me a sweet gift the night before my wedding. It was a jewelry box with a music box inside that plays "You are my Sunshine" when you open it. That is the song my dad used to sing to me & my siblings as he tucked us in for bed when we were little. Inside was this six pence anklet that my mom had custom made for me with a little note that said the original Old English rhyme, "Something Olde, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue, and a Sixpence in her Shoe." Apparently the father of the bride is supposed to give his daughter a six pence to keep in her shoe on her wedding day for good luck. Kate Middleton did it, so you should too!
Here is the link to get yourself or your BFF a six pence anklet: https://kellyannie.com/pages/custom-coin-jewelry-orders
Did you do this any of these your wedding? I'd love to hear all about it in the comments!
It's date night & you're so exhausted from your work week that you just want to stay home. AMEN, I HEAR YOU! However if it's "date night" make it a date!! Put in a tiny bit of effort to help you & your HUNNY have a memorable experience. I'm all for hanging out on the couch but I think making memories is important too. I did the hard work & came up with the ideas, find which one sounds the most fun for you!
This week on IGTV I posted a tutorial about how I refresh my natural curls without having to wash my hair again. It's a method I figured out last year after a lot of experimentation & I am ready to share my secrets with you!! CLICK HERE to see the tutorial!!
I wasn't able to link any of the products on the video or on the caption. I got a lot of questions so I'm here to help!! Below are the links to easily purchase my holy grail hair revamping products!!
I have been using VSCO for over 5 years. It makes editing my pictures so easy! The app is free & there are so many amazing features & filters on the free version. With the $20 a year upgrade you are given more color correcting features & the video presets. If the Adobe Lightroom app isn’t your jam, VSCO is the perfect mobile editing app for you!
Adobe Spark is an amazing app that helps me crank out beautiful graphics in record time. If you are a business owner or manage any social media page, you need this app! The app is free but if you have the basic Adobe package (Photoshop & Lightroom) you get premium access to this app.
Unfold is an app specifically for making Instagram stories. I love the clean template designs this app offers. They are simple so they fit every brand & style. The main features of the app are free but you can buy specific collections of templates for $1.99 each. Totally worth it in my opinion. I love how fast & easy it is. Although the graphics are designed for Instagram stories, they are the perfect size for Snapchat & the graphic ratios will perform well on Pinterest too. They just updated the app to offer more color options. They are adding new free updates to the app all the time. Download this now & get posting!
I use this app to add extra edits to my photos. From rainbow streaks to clip art, this app is the funnest to play around on. There are so many free pictures & brushes to choose from! This app takes my creative editing to the next level!! If you are unfamiliar with Photoshop but want to dabble in collage edits, this is the app for you!
This is the app I make all my digital lettering on. It's also how I draw on top of my pictures. It sucks all the battery life on my iPad but I love playing around with this app & all the different brushes. For this app it is most effective when used with an Apple Pencil.
I love these apps & hope you do too! Let me know what you think by messaging me or leaving your thoughts in the comments.
I loooove talking about self love & body positivity so, here we are! I've teamed up with Lime Ricki swimwear to celebrate EVERY body type & answer some of your questions about body positivity!
Q: How can I be more confident about my body?
A: First think about the human body in general. Think about all the amazing things it can do, especially if you're a woman. Make a list even!! Then apply that list to your own body, let those truths feel your body with self love. Some of my favorites are; how my body can fluidly move while I dance, how my body can heal on it's own, & how my body fights off infection to keep me safe. If that's not your style, go buy something you love & OWN IT! Haha!
Q: How do you handle comparing yourself to others?
A: I used to compare myself to all my friends all during my middle school & high school years. I had always danced 10-20 hours a week. I ate really clean (like REALLY clean) & I went to the gym 3-5 times a week. I always felt like a was the fat girl in my friend group when I looked SO GOOD!! It wasn't until my senior year of high school that I STOPPED being my own bully. The only person who was body shaming me, was ME. It took about a year to train my brain, to stop comparing. Now I focus on how I feel. Right now my tummy & butt are softer than they used to be but I am loving how my legs look, so I focus on that. Don't focus on what you don't have!!
Q: How do you stay positive?
A: I try to alway be bettering myself. It helps me stay focused & keeps me moving forward. I love listening to business/marketing podcasts that help me learn about my field of work, I only follow people on social media that are uplifting or inspiring & I use prayer to communicate my struggles to God & try to always say prayers of gratitude throughout the day. Having a good support system helps me too. I always know that I can go to my mom or my husband Juvol when something is bothering me or when I feel down. Even if it's about my image. I can talk to Juvol about my forever changing skin & body. He listens to what I'm saying & always comforts me with unconditional love. He helps me realize my beauty & what true beauty really is. There have also been times in my life where I've seen a therapist & that always helps me. If you feel stuck, find (or hire lol) someone you trust to help you talk things out. If they make you feel even worse about yourself, you're talking to the wrong people.
Q: Do you workout/eat super healthy?
A: With living somewhere new & trying to get into a good routine with Juvol as a newly married couple we haven't been working out as much as we usually do. My focus right now is on him & my job so I just try to eat a healthy carb & protein with every meal, avoid sugar where I can & drink as much water as I feel my body needs. I consider myself to be a healthy person but I am not crazy strict with my routine right now. I know what my macros are & what my calorie intake should be but right now I don't track them. I love working out but sometimes getting to the gym is hard so my goal right now is 2-3 times a week, mainly to help me balance time away from my computer. I love group fitness & when we get back to Utah, Juvol & I will try to hit the gym 4-5 times a week. It's all a balancing act. Live a healthy life, FOR YOURSELF, not for anyone else.
Q: How do I stop missing the skinny old me? I have lupus with lots of meds that keep me chubby.
A: Change your lifestyle, your language & your mindset. Don't aim for the "skinny old you," aim for the "new healthy you." Eat what makes you feel good, move your body when you can, be kind to your mind & spirit. Surround yourself with people that celebrate you & make you feel happy. Whether you struggle with mental health, a skin condition, or a chronic illness, REMEMBER you are not your illness!! Focus on the things you can control!!
Q: Your opinion on Spanx & waist trainers?
A: I LOVE shape wear!! LOVE IT!!!! My mom introduced me to shape wear when I was a sophomore in high school. I wore her pair to my first school dance & was hooked! She bought me my own that same year for prom. I love pressure, weighted blankets, tight jeans, etc. so they have never been uncomfortable to me. I love them for big events or if I'm wearing a tight dress or body suit. Sometimes I'll wear one just for the heck of it if I want a little more belly support that day.
Q: What are your thoughts on flat tummies? And how do you love yourself even without one?
A: Flat tummies? CUTE! Soft tummies? CUTE! Chubby tummies? CUTE! Honestly this one can be hard for me at times because we are so brainwashed from diet culture & supermodel pictures telling us that FLAT tummies are the ONLY cute way to be. Totally wrong!! You just have to be your own biggest hype girl. Put your outfit or swimsuit on, look in the mirror, do a cute dance, tell yourself how beautiful you are & head out the door. All tummies are cute tummies!!
Q: What are the best ways to work with your body when you feel like certain styles don't look good on it?
A: The amazing thing about fashion is there is something for everyone. You don't have to be obsessed with every trend or style. If you dig it, wear it!! When the pearl clip trend came out I was sooo obsessed but felt like I needed to straighten my hair for it to "work" or look good. I played around with it & found a way to wear them with my natural hair & I just have to own it. Some people might thing I look stupid but at the end of the day, if I love it, that's all that matters!!
Q: How do you stay confident if your skin breaks out or isn't cooperating?
A: I always keep in mind that I am my biggest critic. No one notices your break outs, soft spots, or imperfections more than YOU. Remember that you are not your skin. You are SO much more than any perfections you might have. Let the light of Christ (or your own light) fill your soul & it will shine through. As cheesy as that sounds, it is true. If you are only focused on the positive things about yourself & others, that beautiful positivity will be the only thing others will be able to focus on.
Q: How can I appreciate my body?
A: AFFIRMATIONS!! Speak kind words to yourself. Start with little things like, "I love every cell in my body." "I love my legs & all the places they allow me to go." "I love my arms & all the things they allow me to create." Write these "I love..." statements down & keep them places you can see them like on your mirror, on your phone, or on your desk at work.
Q: I don't fit into my clothes anymore. What is the best way to adjust?
A: Size up without focusing on the size. When I came home from serving a church mission in the Caribbean, NONE of my clothes fit me right. I was venting to a friend & she had old clothes that were all in my "new size" so she brought me 3 trash bags full of skirts, dresses & jeans. They were all so cute & they got me excited about fashion & style again. Better yet, they fit me & I looked amazing in them. Go out & buy a few new trendy pieces that you feel excited about. Don't focus on the size. Focus on the style & how you feel. Whatever you wear you will look amazing in. It's all about your mindset.