A Guide to Glute Growth

Disclaimer: I am in no way a personal trainer, nor am I an expert on this topic. I just wanted to share my experience with lifting and shaping my glutes, and talk about what has worked for me! I have been weight training for around 4 ½ years, and even though I have experience, I do not know everything. What I am sharing with you today are some things that I have learned over the years. If you want to learn more about the glute muscles, what a calorie surplus/deficit is, or what any of these exercises are, I highly recommend you research them further, and make sure the information is from a reputable source. (I am aware that many gyms are still closed due to COVID-19, including my own, but you can still work your glutes at home!)

While it can be difficult to lift and shape your glutes, you WILL get results so long as you are taking the proper steps (keep in mind the the gluteus maximus is the largest muscle in the human body). When I first started weight training, I didn’t really have a set goal in mind. I just wanted to learn how to lift weights correctly. After a couple years of learning and creating new goals for myself, I decided that I wanted to start changing things up a bit. I started going to the gym on my own and changing my exercises as well as my workout split.

I’ve found that shaping and lifting your glutes takes a lot of hard work and discipline. While I have seen great changes when it comes to my glutes, I am continuing to learn and work harder to get to where I want to be.

Here are some tips that I wanted to share with you:

  • EAT (enough)

If your goal is to grow your glutes, this tip is especially important. When I first started trying to grow my glutes, I had no idea that I would have to eat more than I already was. I was also surprised and a bit discouraged when I learned that it’s not very likely that you will grow your glutes and flatten your stomach at the same time. I have often heard that if you want to grow your glutes, you need to be in a calorie surplus. At first, I really did not know what this meant. I haven’t looked into it very much because I prefer not to track my calories. Through trial and error, I have found what works for me and what doesn’t. I allow myself to trust and listen to what my body needs, and I often go by that. Since I started working on my glutes, I have been eating a bit more than I used to, but the change was not too drastic. Decide what your goals are, and decide what you want to focus on right now, and go from there. Just make sure that if you are going to be eating more or less, to do it safely and make sure to eat healthy foods that will help you reach your goals!

  • Mind to muscle connection

My dad taught me this very early on: when performing any exercise, you need to think about the muscles you are targeting. If you are targeting your glutes, really think about your movements and think about working the right muscles. If you are simply squatting without much thought, you will most likely not get the results you are hoping for. Mind to muscle connection is a very real thing for any exercise, so make sure you are focused on what you are doing.

  • Slow down

All too often, I see people rushing through their workouts. While I understand some people want to squeeze gym sessions into very busy schedules, rushing through a workout will not lead to great results. Not only that, but you can hurt yourself in the process. If you are running low on time, try to pick a few exercises you know you want to complete that day. By doing this, you can take your time and really focus on your movements.

  • Glute activation

Glute activation is when you perform quick and repetitive movements in order to wake up your glutes. Many people do not work these muscles on a daily/weekly basis, so activating them can be difficult at first. Resistance bands have been very helpful to me for activating my glutes. Before I start any lower body day, I grab a resistance band. You want to place the resistance band right above your knees and you can warm up by doing glute kickbacks, fire hydrants, squats, etc. I use a resistance band for most of my lower body exercises. They help you target your glutes and it makes the exercises a bit more challenging. I wouldn’t recommend using these at first. Learn how to correctly perform the exercises and practice it for a while before using any resistance bands. You will still be able to activate your glutes a bit without them.

  • Hip thrusts

This exercise has absolutely changed the game for my glutes. I’m not going to lie, this exercise is going to look and feel pretty awkward and maybe even a little uncomfortable. I would recommend practicing it at home beforehand.  Make sure that your form is correct before doing this exercise in the gym (this will make you feel much more confident). I felt and sometimes still feel awkward when performing this exercise, so if you can, go to a corner of your gym and do your hip thrusts there. Make sure your movements are controlled, and that you are breathing through it properly. I would also like to say that when starting any new exercise, you should always start with lighter weight. However, you should have a goal to continue to add more weight over time. If your goal is to grow your glutes, you will need to be lifting heavier, just don’t overdo it.

  • Hip abductors

This is another exercise that will help grow your glutes. Many people do not realize that we have three muscles that make up our glutes: the gluteus maximus, the gluteus medius, and the gluteus minimus. Many people are familiar with the maximus because it is the largest muscle of the three (and in the human body in general). If you are only activating your gluteus maximus, you may not see the results you want. You want to be doing exercises that target all of these muscles. The medius and minimus make up the top and sides of your glutes. Hip abductors are just one way to target them. By using your legs to push the weight outward, you will be targeting your medius and minimus, leading to better overall growth.

  • SQUEEZE

Squats are probably one of the most popular exercises for your lower body. What some people don’t know is that squats are a compound movement, meaning that your entire body is working hard during this exercise, not just your legs/glutes. However, squatting is really great to incorporate on lower body days. When you are coming up from a squat or deadlift, squeeze your glutes together. By doing this, you are activating the muscles and engaging them. Don’t neglect them, because even though you will see that your legs are getting stronger, your glutes will not be on the same page. You want to have a balanced proportion.

  • Be patient

Ugh, I know, but hear me out. When I first started working on my glutes, I wanted to see results right away. Obviously that is not going to happen. It takes hard work and time to grow any muscles. In order to lift and shape your glutes, you need to be eating enough of the right foods, performing the correct exercises, and working hard in the gym frequently. It is going to take time, but you WILL get there. The tips mentioned above have been so extremely helpful to me over the years, and I have seen incredible results! Work hard and don’t give up.

Thank you for reading! Until next time!

What’s in my June + July Ipsy Glam Bags

Hey everyone! Last month, I didn’t have a chance to post about my June glam bag, so for today, I will be sharing what I received in both my June and July Ipsy glam bags!

For the month of June, Ipsy wanted its members to make waves with some new summer beauty! I absolutely love this month’s bag; it is perfect for summer! I am a fan of the pale yellow, and the cute characters make it so fun! I rated my overall bag 4/5 stars!

Inside the glam bag:

  • Doucce Cosmetics – Freematic Highlighter Mono in Glisten

I love nothing more than a good highlighter, however this particular one was not that amazing in my opinion. While I absolutely love the shade, I simply don’t feel that it is anything to rave about. It took a bit of effort to build it up. I rated this 2/5 stars.

  • Kensie – Body Lotion Kensie Eau de Parfum

I never care to receive body lotions or butters because I already have quite a few! I was surprised to find that I actually liked this one a lot! I love the scent! I’ll typically apply this to my legs and use the rest for my hands. I rated this 4/5 stars.

  • Pureheals – Ginseng Berry 80 Overnight Mask

Ever since I received this product, I have been using it every night. I have to say, I haven’t really noticed this product helping or hurting my skin. I just use it as a moisturizer before bed. This mask is meant to refresh and re-energize your skin overnight so that you are glowing in the morning. While it does feel refreshing to apply, and I love the berry scent, I haven’t seen incredible results. I rated this product 3/5 stars.

  • Manna Kadar Cosmetics – Buildable Blush in Bali Babe

Lately, I have been obsessed with wearing blush! Rosy cheeks have become a go-to look for me, so I was excited to receive this product! This blush is very pigmented, so a little goes a long way. It can be a bit difficult to blend though, so I wouldn’t recommend applying too much anyway! I love the bright pink color because it is perfect for the summer time! I rated this 4/5 stars.

  • Sugar Cosmetics – Matte As Hell Lip Crayon in Scarlett O’Hara (my pick)

I love having a variety of lip colors to choose from. For the longest time I avoided red lipsticks but I have been the biggest fan for about a year now! I love how bright and bold this color is, and once again, it is perfect for summer (or really any time of year). I love that it is a lip crayon because it makes it easier to apply. I rated this crayon 4/5 stars.

  • Coloured Raine Cosmetics – Eyeshadow in Glamour

This month, I had enough points to pick an extra product, so I chose this gorgeous eyeshadow. This champagne shade is absolutely stunning, and I love the metallic finish. It is very pigmented, and this color can be used to create a variety of looks. Whether you use it on its own, or you incorporate it into a dramatic look, the end result is sure to be beautiful. I rated this 5/5 stars.

For the month of July, Ipsy wanted its members to enjoy a “staycation” with fresh new beauty products! The design of this bag is not my favorite. While I love the pink color as well as the airplane zipper, the “escape” logo is not the cutest in my opinion. When rating my overall bag, I gave it 3/5 stars.

Inside the glam bag:

  • Ciaté London – Watermelon Burst Hydrating Primer

I have tried a few products by this brand before and I have loved them all! This primer was no exception! This product does exactly what it says it’ll do. It hydrates my skin, and it truly does smell like watermelon candy. The scent is somewhat strong, so if you’re not a fan of fruity scents, this may not be for you. I love that my skin feels so refreshed after applying this primer! I rated this 5/5 stars.

  • Jules Smith Beauty – Power Duo Palette in Wise Guy and Gold Mine

I always tend to go for golds, browns, and taupes when it comes to eyeshadows, so this duo is perfect for me! The colors are very pigmented, and they are very easily blendable. I applied the lighter color on my lids, and the darker color in my crease and it created the most beautiful look! I rated this duo 5/5 stars.

  • Murad – Essential-C Day Moisture Broad Spectrum SPF 30

I honestly only used this a couple times, but it is probably not something I would have bought on my own. I like that this product didn’t leave a white cast on my skin, and I enjoyed the orange scent. I would have to use this product a bit more to fully be able to rate it.

  • Thrive Causemetics – Lip Filler Long Wearing + Plumping Lip Liner in Devin

My all-time favorite mascara is by Thrive Causemetics, so I was excited to see that another Thrive product came my way. Sadly, I am not into lip liners, so I am probably not going to use this liner too often. I did use it to line and fill in my lips completely, and I really do like the color, however it is better suited for fall rather than summer. I found that it was creamy and easy to apply. I rated this 3/5 stars.

  • Verb – Curl Cream (my pick)

This is the product I chose to receive this month! I don’t always receive hair products from Ipsy, but when I saw this, I had to try it out! I have naturally curly/wavy hair, so I was hopeful that this would enhance my natural curls. After washing my hair and letting it dry for a bit, I applied this product. I didn’t love the scent, but it is not incredibly overpowering. When I woke up the next day, my hair was a bit softer, but my curls didn’t seem to be too noticeably different. It did enhance them a little, but it wasn’t anything amazing. I rated this 3/5 stars.

Thank you so much for reading today’s blog post! If you are an Ipsy member, leave me a comment and tell me what you have received in your July glam bag! Until next time!

Sign up to become an Ipsy member here!

Summer 2020 Playlist

Hey everyone! Today I am sharing my summer 2020 playlist with you all! I am such a big music lover, and I don’t believe that I can get through a day without listening to my favorite artists (there are too many to name). Sadly, my summer is coming to an end very soon, and I am heading into my last year of college! It’s so strange how the beginning of this year felt like an eternity, but as soon as May/June came around, the days have been flying by! We are living through a pretty chaotic year, but I hope that however you’ve spent the past few months, you used some time to take care of yourself. One thing that can always put me in a good mood is my favorite music! Listed below are some songs that I have been playing on repeat all summer long. Once again, my music taste is all over the place; there is so much that I enjoy listening to! Leave me a comment below telling me a few of your current favorite songs!

  • X – Jonas Brothers, KAROL G
  • Five More Minutes – Jonas Brothers
  • Daisies – Katy Perry
  • End This (L.O.V.E.) – Hailee Steinfeld
  • Be Kind – Marshmello, Halsey
  • Bitter – FLETCHER, Kito
  • Dancing With Your Ghost – Sasha Sloan
  • Phases – PRETTYMUCH
  • Bad Girlfriend – Anne-Marie
  • Looking at Me – Sabrina Carpenter
  • Myself – Bazzi
  • Nice To Meet Ya – Niall Horan
  • All This Love – Robin Schulz, HARLOE
  • Crazy AF – In Real Life
  • Ritual – Tiesto, Jonas Blue, Rita Ora
  • Valentino – Years & Years, MNEK
  • Nobody – DJ Neptune, Mr Eazi, Joeboy
  • Cardigan, Heaven or Hell, Euphoria, Wasted – Don Toliver
  • Party Girl – StaySolidRocky
  • Honeymoon Fades – Sabrina Carpenter
  • Don’t Worry Bout Me – Zara Larsson
  • Secrets – Regard, RAYE
  • Superstar – Marina
  • New Light – John Mayer
  • Souvenir – Selena Gomez
  • Take Yourself Home – Troye Sivan
  • Know Your Worth – Khalid, Disclosure
  • Ready – Alessia Cara
  • More Hearts Than Mine – Ingrid Andress
  • listen before i go – Billie Eilish
  • Only Want You – Rita Ora
  • We Got Love – Joel Corry Remix – Sigala, Ella Henderson, Joel Corry
  • Sour Candy – Lady Gaga, BLACKPINK
  • Physical – Dua Lipa
  • I’m Alright – Shania Twain
  • You Broke Me First – Tate McRae
  • I Still Do – Why Don’t We
  • Heartless – Diplo, Julia Michaels, Morgan Wallen
  • Up All Night – Khalid
  • Too Many Hearts to Break – Kelsy Karter
  • Get You – Daniel Caesar, Kali Uchis
  • Much Too Much – Lennon Stella
  • Here We Go Again – Sigma, Louisa
  • Shadow – Jimmy Levy
  • BELIEVE IT – PARTYNEXTDOOR, Rihanna
  • Young & Alive – Bazzi
  • All I Think About Is You – Ansel Elgort
  • L.O.V.(e). – Ella Eyre
  • Going Out Of My Way – M.O, Mr Eazi
  • WMT – Kaash Paige
  • Couple of Kids – Maggie Lindemann
  • Love Again – New Hope Club
  • Lonely – Noah Cyrus
  • Falling – Harry Styles
  • Long Run – Deacon, Nina Nesbitt

Review: Maybelline Falsies Lash Lift Mascara

Hey everyone! As you may be aware, I recently celebrated my 21st birthday! My best friend, being the amazing person she is, got me a few things that I had been wanting recently. One of those things happened to be the new Maybelline Falsies Lash Lift Mascara. I had been wanting to try out this product for a while now, and I finally got my hands on it (thanks Danielle)! As you can tell from the title, I will be sharing a brief review of this product today!

I have always been a big fan of Maybelline mascaras (and Maybelline in general). My all time favorite mascara by Maybelline is the Lash Sensational Curvitude. Even after trying this new one, my favorite has remained the same, and I will explain why.

To apply this mascara, I simply curled my lashes, and brushed them through with a clean lash & brow wand. My lashes often need to be brushed through gently before applying any product just to make sure they are all facing the same direction. (Anyone else have this problem?)

For more photos, check out my Instagram: @sacchere14

The Falsies Lash Lift Mascara has a double curved lifting brush (an hourglass shape) with a fiber infused formula. I normally prefer wands that are thinner and curved because bigger wands can sometimes clump your lashes and it can be difficult to apply the product. Though I had never tried this type of wand before, I found that I had no issues while using it!

When trying out a new mascara, I look for length, volume, and separation.  It did a great job of separating my lashes and even lengthening them a bit, however, when it came to volume, it was so-so. I found that this mascara is not exactly the most natural or the most dramatic; it is the perfect in between. If you’re hoping to create a very dramatic look, this mascara may not be your first choice. Volume creates drama, and that is what this product is lacking for me. In my opinion, this product is not exactly mind-blowing, but it is the perfect everyday mascara, and I will continue using it on a regular basis! If I had to rate this mascara, I would give it a 4/5 stars, and I would absolutely recommend trying it out for yourself!

If you have tried out this mascara, leave me a comment below and tell me what you think of it! Thank you so much for reading!

The People You Attract When You Love Yourself

For the longest time, I found myself connecting with people who treated me poorly. I felt like my heart was being taken advantage of time and time again. I used to put all of the blame on those who hurt me, but the truth is, I allowed them to treat me that way. Something I’ve learned over time is that the relationship you have with yourself, affects any and all of your relationships with others. When you don’t love who you are, you are essentially telling others, “You can love me as much as I love myself” and at times, this can be detrimental. At the end of the day, people are going to treat you how you allow them to. For myself, realizing this was a wake-up call.

Sometimes, we get into situations involving unkind people. Whether it is a love interest, a friend, a supervisor or peer, the list goes on. No one likes to be treated negatively. We all want to feel loved and accepted. We all want to find people who treat us with respect and like we are valuable. The problem is, you can’t really start looking for that love in others until you start looking for it in yourself. Truthfully, this isn’t always a problem. It depends on where you choose to focus your energy; on others or yourself. To fully accept who you are is such a gift. I have been taking my time to learn this and I have already been reaping the benefits of self-love.

I used to only focus on what I wanted. I failed to recognize my needs. Now, what I want and need is the same thing. I stopped putting in effort with people who don’t value me, and I broke free from those negative relationships that drained me. I know how I deserve to be treated now, and to rise from what I once felt broke me, is an incredible feeling. Of course, I am still learning and I am still growing. I am in no way perfect. They say that lessons are often repeated until they are learned, and I am sure that I will be tested with negative situations in the future. The difference will be how I choose to react to the situation. Will I let my love and care for others overpower their behavior, or will I walk away with the knowledge that I deserve better?

Self-love is a journey, and it is one that you need to continuously work on. You need to make it your job. It is not selfish to put yourself first when you realize that you aren’t being treated the way you deserve. There comes a point when enough is enough. You aren’t going to want to settle for people who don’t show you fierce and honest love and respect. Walking away from people who mistreat you can sometimes be difficult, but in the end, it is one of the most rewarding things you could ever do. Choosing yourself takes courage and strength.

Remember that the right people are going to love and accept you for who you are, all while pushing you to be your best self. The right people will never put you in a position where you question your worth, and they will never let you stay stuck.

I am learning to forgive myself for putting up with people and situations that I once allowed to hurt me. It is hard some days, but looking back, I see so much growth. I have changed so much in such a short amount of time, and I will always be proud of that.

For the past few years, I have been pouring so much love back into myself, and it has truly been life changing. Not only have I been feeling more confident and accepting of who I am, but I have been attracting the most amazing, supportive, and loving people into my life. I feel more at peace and happy with myself and my life than ever before, and I want to continue working hard to make sure this feeling stays.

Everything I shared today has been on my heart recently, and I am happy to put it out there. I hope that you found this message helpful today. If you feel that someone you know should hear it too, I would appreciate it if you shared this post with them. Thank you so much for reading!

OOTD: 21st Birthday

Hey everyone! Yesterday was my 21st birthday, and of course, I had to buy an outfit for the occasion! Today, I am sharing an ootd (outfit of the day) with you all.

I have spoken about the brand “Priceless” on my blog recently, and a while back, I bought what I felt was the perfect dress to celebrate my 21st. This is the “Clem Blush Mini Dress” in a size medium. I purchased this dress for $58.92. It was a bit pricey for me, but I decided to buy it since it was for my birthday! Everyone who knows me knows that pink is my favorite color, so I truly couldn’t resist. I absolutely adore the flirty look of this dress. The 3D flower detailing and flowy skirt add such a fun touch. The material is 100% polyester, making it a bit warm for the summer time, however it is not unbearable! I felt pretty comfortable during the day!

As for my shoes, I recently bought these beautiful nude block heels. I had been wanting these shoes for about 2 years now, but I never ended up purchasing them until recently! These are the “Michaela Mid Block Heel Sandal Pumps” in the color “Taupe.” I bought these shoes at Target for $25 in a size 9. I love these shoes because they are so classic and can be worn with (literally) any outfit. The shorter heel makes the shoes more comfortable to walk in as well.

For jewelry, I wanted to keep it simple. I felt that silver matched this look better than gold would have. I wore a silver double layer necklace, and diamond earrings. Although I liked silver with this look, I wear my 2 gold rings every single day, so they completed the look.

I had a beautiful 21st birthday surrounded by friends and family. Every year, we make a reservation for one of my favorite restaurants. The food was, as always, delicious! Afterward, we had cake and I opened a few gifts from loved ones.

I find so much beauty in growth of all forms. I look back at who I was even just a few years ago, and I find that I am completely different. I am ever-changing. I am continuously finding new ways to grow and love myself. I am not as fearful of the future as I used to be. I know that I will face challenges, but I also know that some of the best experiences of my life haven’t happened yet. This thought excites me, and it makes me look forward to the future. Of course, I don’t want to rush my life, but instead, take every day and make the absolute most of it. To show kindness to every single soul that I come in contact with. To inspire others to be their best selves. To be as happy as I can be. To enjoy life’s simple pleasures. And to show love. So much love to the world around me. While I may be turning 21, my heart is as it has always been, and I refuse to let anything change that. I am very proud of the woman I am today. Here’s to 21 years of life!

Thank you so much for reading!

Summer Fashion Essentials

Hey everyone! I took a little time off from blogging but I am back with more fresh content! I am currently on my way home from a little beach trip (hence, the break from blogging), so I decided to use this time to relax, but also write! For me, writing is so much more than a hobby; I feel that it is my purpose in life, and I have been heavily inspired lately. This inspiration does not only apply to my writing. It is so much deeper than I can explain.

For today, I wanted to chat about some of my favorite summer trends and essentials! Some of these are very much in style for the summer of 2020, and others are just items that I enjoy wearing at this time of year!

Puffed Sleeves

I have to say, I have always loved the look of puffed sleeves. I feel that they give off a very feminine and even vintage vibe. I own a few tops with puffed sleeves, and they have been some of my favorites as of late. This is a popular trend this season, and I recommend trying it out!

Denim shorts

This is a trend that I don’t think will ever disappear. Denim shorts are an essential in my wardrobe, and I believe that most women can say the same! Of course, different styles of denim have taken over, but I love the look of some classic, high waisted denim shorts. I also reach for white denim shorts frequently. I know that denim tends to be pretty expensive, but if you’re on a budget, I have found a few great pairs at H&M for $20 or less in the past!

Panama Hats

I am not sure that this is a 2020 trend specifically, but I have fallen in love with hats! I never thought I’d be a hat person, but here we are! I recently bought a panama hat from Justfab.com, and I have been wearing it pretty much daily on this beach trip! I love the natural color because it matches any outfit. Not only has this hat been covering up my frizzy beach hair, but it is stylish and adds so much to the most basic of outfits!

Flowy Dresses

In the summer time, there is a very good chance that you will see me rocking a dress. I have become such a fan of midi dresses because they are somehow both classy and even a bit sexy at the same time. Truthfully, any length of dress can be worn in the summer; whether that is mini, midi, or maxi. Flowy dresses always look so pretty in the summer time, and these are currently the ones I reach for the most!

Strappy Sandals

In the summer, I like to keep my shoes very simple. This often means opting for flip flops, cute sandals, or block heels; nothing too fancy. Right now, strappy sandals are in style, and I love the look of them! In some ways, they remind me of ballet slippers, making them appear very feminine, which is my favorite style.

Animal Prints

I was never really the kind of person who enjoyed wearing animal prints. I remember wearing cheetah print sometimes as a kid, but I grew out of that phase, and never really looked back. Then, all of a sudden, cheetah print came back in a BIG way. Needless to say, I have bought quite a few cheetah printed clothing items since then! Lately, it seems that snakeskin has been a major trend, and I recently bought the cutest snakeskin romper from Priceless (Check out that ootd here).

Florals

Another trend that I do not believe will die. I absolutely adore anything floral. This trend could really be worn all year round, but of course, it looks best in the spring and summer time! I especially love the look of a vintage floral pattern, but bright colors are always beautiful for summer.

Bright Colors

This season, neon green, orange, and pink are trending, and I am not the least bit surprised. These colors are perfect for summer and they can be worn in clothing, or in bathing suits. Neon colors always look nice on a tan as well!

White

I have always said this, but white will forever be my favorite color on a tan. It actually makes a person appear to be tanner than they really are! It is a color that I go back to so often! (A white dress is the perfect staple piece to add to your wardrobe.)

I hope you enjoyed reading about some of my favorite summer fashion essentials! Be on the lookout for my next blog post (this one will relate to my 21st birthday)!

Thank you so much for reading!

OOTD: Just a Fling

Hey everyone! Today I am sharing an ootd (outfit of the day) with you all! I am always looking for new places to shop, and I follow many fashion pages on Instagram. A while back, I followed @shoppriceless on Instagram. I would always love the outfits that they posted, but I never bought from them until now!

This is the “Just a Fling Snakeskin Romper” in a size medium. I bought this for $45. I absolutely love rompers because they are stylish and so easy to wear. Snakeskin seems to be a major trend right now, so I knew I needed to own at least one item with a snakeskin print. The outfit seems to be made of a decent quality, however the items on the site may be a little bit overpriced.

To go with the romper, I decided to wear some simple black block heels. If you keep up with my blog, you have probably seen these shoes before. They are my go-to heels! They match everything and I always go back to them. I bought these from Amazon a couple years ago.

I am a gold jewelry kind of girl, so of course, that is what I wore today! I layered on 2 necklaces, a gold coin and a herringbone. I recently bought both of these and I’ve been wearing them all the time. The gold coin was purchased from Amazon, and the herringbone was purchased from DarlingJewelryStudio on Etsy! I am wearing 2 gold bracelets, both are from Amazon. For earrings, I am wearing a pair that used to be my moms. And lastly, I wore my 2 gold rings that I wear everyday!

A few of my jewelry pieces and my shoes are linked here!

Thank you so much for reading!

13 Reasons Why Season 4 Recap + Review

The final season of Netflix’s 13 Reasons Why came out on June 5th, and I just recently finished the series! I didn’t binge it like I am sure most people did, but I am now ready to talk season 4! As usual, if you have not watched season 4 of 13 Reasons Why, I recommend watching before reading this post. Spoiler warning!

At the end of season 3, I had made a few small predictions. I feel that many people probably had the same assumptions as me because they were somewhat cliffhangers. First, the bag of guns that was found in the river. I knew this would be an issue that would arise in season 4 and I was right. Tyler had said that they may be able to track the person who bought the guns and this worried Clay and Tony. Then, I mentioned that since Alex’s dad knew that his own son murdered Bryce, maybe he would get involved in some way. It seemed like Tyler and Alex’s dad were somehow working together. Something didn’t seem right, so I thought that maybe Tyler confessed everything to the police. And lastly, of course, Winston. I just knew he was going to cause trouble in season 4.

Early on this season, Winston made his first appearance at Liberty High. He transferred from Hillcrest for the spring semester of his senior year. It was clear from the beginning that Winston was trying to get close to Clay’s friend group; Tyler, Alex, and then Zach. It seemed obvious that he was only trying to get close to find out what they really knew about Monty’s death.  Winston and Alex seemed to have a romantic relationship blossoming but Alex quickly shut it down after finding out that Winston had an alibi against them. I was not exactly surprised to see that Alex was struggling a bit with his sexuality, but he was lucky to have supportive friends and family around him.

This season, Clay’s mental health was spiraling. Keeping such a big secret was really haunting him (literally). Monty and Bryce would appear throughout the season to talk to Clay. While we, as fans of the show, have not known Clay to be a very happy and optimistic guy, he is a lot angrier and a lot more frustrated this season. We can see that Clay began going to therapy and I have to be honest, any time I watch a TV show/movie with therapy scenes, I zone out a bit. These scenes are rarely entertaining to me personally. However, I was glad to see that Clay was getting help, although it didn’t really seem to be working at first.

I was surprised to find that someone had died this season. There were a few scenes that showed a funeral 6 months later, and then it would flash back to present time. I had no idea who it could be, but after watching a few episodes, my mom guessed that it may be Clay. I hoped that this wasn’t true, but episode after episode, it seemed like a real possibility. Especially since he was struggling with his mental health so much. There were times when we even questioned if some of the scenes actually happened or if he was remembering something that didn’t really happen.

We were introduced to Estella, Monty’s sister, this season. I made the assumption that because she joined HO, she may have been assaulted in some way. I also thought this because of the family that she’s from. Monty’s father was abusive, and of course, Monty was too. I had to wonder if anything happened to Estella and I questioned her relationship with her brother and how close they may have been. I guess I ended up being wrong because there really wasn’t much character development for her, though she and Tyler did get close this season.

During the camping trip, someone was messing with the scavenger hunt that they did. I thought it was the football team, but then I wasn’t so sure. I knew that they were upset because they lost their friend and teammate, but how far would they really go? Then I thought maybe it was Ani, but what would her intention be to do that? It confused me because in the next episode, it was as if all was forgotten. (This seemed to be a common theme. Each episode appeared to start from scratch.)

This season was kind of strange in my opinion. I felt that it was, in some ways, unnecessary and the creators seemed to include one TV high school cliché after another (a camping trip, a house party, prom, and a school “shooting”). I found myself wondering if certain scenes were all in Clay’s head or if they were real. For example, in the episode where Clay is driving Zach’s car after the party, they get in an accident. In the next episode, it seemed like the accident was forgotten about until we find out that Zach got hurt and Clay fled the scene.

I felt that the whole “school shooting” was a bit uncalled for. I don’t understand the intention behind the school. Why on earth would they do a drill and have actual gunshots go off? I don’t really see the point other than to scare everyone. I felt bad for Tyler in this episode because as soon as they heard “code red” Tony automatically assumed it was Tyler. While he was wondering where Tyler went, Tyler was sitting in the bathroom stall talking to Estella. The assault that Tyler went through is something he will never forget, but I am really glad that he is getting better. After worrying and worrying, Tony decided to show the Dean of Discipline Tyler’s photos of guns.

While I didn’t think that Tyler would do anything bad, I was curious as to why he seemed to be hiding something from everyone. It turned out that he was working with the cops. After the bag of guns was traced back to Tyler, the cops wanted him to help them catch the guy selling said guns. After being followed by Tony and Clay, Tyler was understandably frustrated as to why they didn’t trust him. I was upset for Tyler because at the end of season 3, it seemed that he got really close to Clay, Alex, Tony, and even Jessica.

This season, everyone really seemed to distance themselves from each other. I guess it was because they didn’t want anyone to find out what they were all hiding. Parents, teachers, and even the police officers felt that students were on edge and being secretive. This led to what a lot of students felt was an invasion of privacy. Cameras were put into the school and some parents were tracking their children’s cell phones. The students fought back by walking out of school and protesting to get their privacy back.

Since it was the end of their senior year, of course, college was an important topic to discuss. Pretty much everyone bombed their college interviews (or at least it appeared that way). One after the other, they just seemed to be giving up on their futures. I understand why Justin was struggling especially. He had just gotten news that his mother died (most likely from a drug overdose), so he was in a bad headspace. In the next episode we found out that Justin got accepted to a college, though this still didn’t help him with his sobriety.

As I watched each episode, I found that I had quite a few questions: who spray painted “Monty was framed” at the school? Who was messing with everyone on the camping trip? Who set the principals car on fire? All of these questions were answered in episode 7. It was Clay. I know this may have seemed obvious to some people but I wasn’t really expecting that! Apparently he didn’t remember doing any of it; proving how bad his mental health really was. Somehow in episode 9, Clay’s mental health problems seemed to disappear. He seemed to be doing much better all of a sudden. I don’t believe this was very realistic because in reality, it would take a while for him to be even close to ok.

The last episode was absolutely heartbreaking. While dancing at prom, Justin collapsed on the floor. To me, this was unexpected, but at this point I was pretty sure it was Justin who was going to die. We soon find out that Justin was diagnosed with HIV-1 and it quickly turned into AIDS. Justin got sick because of his past using drugs, sharing needles, and being involved in (unprotected) sex work. While he could have prevented his own death, he didn’t see the signs, and he didn’t get tested. Seeing him in the hospital broke my heart, and when Jessica and Clay spoke to him before his death, I just couldn’t stop from crying. I felt bad for Clay the most. He grew so close to Justin, and they truly became brothers rather than just friends. When they told each other “I love you” I just about lost it.

After Justin’s funeral, Winston spoke to Alex. He wanted to know why he killed Bryce. Alex explained everything, and Winston decided to let it go. I really did feel bad for Winston because I believe he really did love Alex, at least a little bit. Not only that, but he lost Monty too. I was happy to see Alex and Charlie happy together though. (I thought it was sweet that they were both prom kings and that others were so supportive of their relationship.) Also, Ryan and Courtney made an appearance in the final episode. Ryan and Winston seemed to hit it off immediately, so I hope that means that Winston got a happy ending too.

I was wondering what would happen with Bryce’s case. Sheriff Diaz really seemed to be working against Clay and his friends, and I thought that he would want them to come clean. Somehow, Sheriff Diaz knew that it was Alex who killed Bryce. In the scene when he was speaking to Officer Standall (Alex’s dad), it was clear that they both knew the truth, and they ultimately decided to permanently close the case. I had a feeling they would get away with it all, and this turned out to be what happened.

In the end, Hannah’s tapes were on Clay’s doorstep once again. I knew that Hannah had to be a part of this last episode somehow, and while I wish Katherine Langford came back for this final episode, they did show her ghost (a scene from a past season). Everyone came together to burry Hannah’s tapes in the spot where Clay first heard them. Everyone was going off to college and they were going to have a fresh start, which is what I think they all needed.

As for their futures, I really hope that Clay can help young people the way that his own therapist helped him. While he is most likely going to need to continue going to therapy sessions for a while, I hope that he can work on his mental health and strive for a better future. For Jessica, I hope that she will continue to speak up for and help those who have been sexually abused. This issue became very important to her, and it was obvious that she had leadership qualities.

I think bittersweet is the best word to describe an ending to any series. While I did feel that this season was not the best, I was sad to see the end of the series as a whole. I think the main point of this season was really to end the school year and say goodbye. Everyone pretty much got a happy ending, though some main characters lost their lives along the way.

I hope that you enjoyed reading this recap/review! I would love to know your thoughts on this season (and the show in general), so leave me a comment below and tell me what you thought!