The Importance of Nutrition + My Experience with Healthy Eating

Disclaimer: Please keep in mind that I am not a dietician, nutritionist, or qualified in any way to discuss nutrition, however I wanted to share my journey with food because it is a big part of my love for fitness and health. This is just MY experience so far, and I do not believe that anyone should copy it exactly. Take my story with a grain of salt, and if you do decide to make changes to your diet, start slowly and talk to your doctor. Take care of yourself!

You know that saying, “You are what you eat”? Well, I didn’t realize just how true it was until I started to change my diet. When my two year anniversary of weight training came around, I felt so strongly about trying something new. I was doing the same exact exercises every week, and I continued to eat whatever I wanted, and although I saw results in my first two years in the gym, it got to a point where I felt like my body started to plateau. I felt like I needed something to boost my motivation again. So, in January of 2018, I decided it was time for a change. I slowly started to change my diet (SLOWLY being the key word here).

I never really had any body image issues, but I wouldn’t say that I completely loved my body. I think that everyone goes through periods where we don’t necessarily like our bodies, and that’s ok, but we should work toward loving them daily. I’ve never had any eating disorders but if I am being honest, when I changed my diet, I realized just how dangerous diet culture can be. (I didn’t make any drastic changes, and I didn’t do anything unhealthy or anything that could hurt me in any way. But I could definitely see how people could get to that point when it comes to food.) When you’re trying to reach a certain goal when it comes to food and eating right, you CAN NOT be hard on yourself. I am always hard on myself, but I am learning to relax a little and just do the best that I can (in all aspects of life). I also wanted to mention that you do not need to focus on a number on the scale. As long as you know you are healthy and doing your best, THAT IS ALL THAT MATTERS. If weighing yourself gives you anxiety or it makes you feel insecure, don’t do it unless your doctor asks you to, and if you are concerned about your health, speak to them.

When I first changed my diet, I would say that my goals were to eat less sugar, to eat to build muscle (this meant eating a bit more than I was before), to cut out processed foods, and to incorporate more fruits, vegetables, and protein in my diet. Before I made any changes, my diet was not terrible, but definitely not very healthy. In the mornings before school I would eat cereal or toast with butter, for lunch I’d have a turkey sandwich with chips and a chocolate covered granola bar or cookies, and for dinner I would usually eat some kind of meat like chicken or beef, and a side like mashed potatoes or rice. I definitely snacked between these meals as well. I absolutely LOVED ramen noodles and those frozen pizzas which are processed foods. In the beginning, I was so determined to turn things around, and I did. I didn’t reach my goals right away, and honestly I haven’t completely reached a couple of these goals; there are still a couple processed foods that I eat. Did I mention I have a MASSIVE sweet tooth? This is going to sound absolutely ridiculous, but I am so addicted to chocolate that I truly feel like I need a little bit EVERY DAY or I’ll go insane. Ice cream is also a problem for me. It is very hard for me to avoid sugary and sweet temptations, but I try. What I have done that seems to help me is I will take a few pieces of chocolate rather than eating an entire bar. I don’t always have to eat the entire chocolate bar in one day (but there are still times when I do). Some of the foods that are always on our grocery list now that I’ve changed my diet are broccoli, carrots, salmon, chicken breast, oatmeal, and quinoa to name a few. My meals are almost the exact same everyday now, particularly my breakfast, lunch, and snacks. Dinner is usually different depending on what my family makes and if I like it. One of the biggest differences I noticed when I changed my diet is that I was feeling SO much better. I feel like I have so much more energy when I am eating right, and it makes me feel a bit more confident knowing that I am taking care of my body even more now than I used to.

Even now, I am still learning to love my body for exactly what it is today. Not for what it will be in a few months or a few years. It isn’t easy but we need to try to love our bodies. Think about what our bodies do for us every day. It is truly incredible. Your body is working so hard to keep you alive, so you should love and appreciate it. So many older people tell me that I’ll look back at my body when I was 20 and wish I looked like that again. Realistically throughout life, our bodies are going to change. When I am 40, I won’t necessarily look the way I did when I was 20, but that is ok. I want to learn to love my body at any stage in my life, and as I get older, I think I will be better at eating healthier. As a full time college student, it isn’t always easy to eat healthy. I don’t have much money, but I do still live at home, which helps! Lately I’ve been lacking motivation and I haven’t been feeling as great, so for now I am trying to focus on getting back on track with my gym schedule and with food!

Some quick tips to start eating healthier:

  • I’ll say it again, start SLOW. You do not want to rush into changing your diet. What you eat can really affect you in both negative and positive ways. If something is going to negatively affect you and your health, such as a trendy diet, do some research and speak to your doctor.
  • Understand that cutting out something like carbs is not exactly good for you. Eating carbs is NOT going to make you gain a ton of weight. As long as you are exercising frequently and eating things such as pasta and bread in moderation, you’ll be fine! A balanced diet is important.
  • Try to snack on things such as fruits or nuts instead of chips or candy. Because of the natural sugars in fruits, this can actually satisfy that sweet craving often!
  • Don’t copy anyone else’s diet. Just because you see someone who looks very fit and healthy, that does not mean that their diet is what is going to make you healthy. You need to look at your own personal goals and go from there.
  • I wouldn’t recommend following any of those “90 Day Fat Loss” challenges or anything like that. I personally feel like when you make short term goals for yourself, once you reach that 90th day, you kind of feel like you don’t have to try anymore. Make long term goals. Eat healthy because you want to live a long and healthy life, not because you want to be “skinny for summer” or “beach body ready”.
  • Give in to your cravings sometimes, and don’t be too hard on yourself.

Remember to make goals for yourself that are attainable. Try to be realistic about what you can and can’t do. Look at where you are in your life, and see if you should even be making any drastic changes. If you are an avid gym goer like me and you want to see results, they WILL come! It takes patience and hard work in the gym and in the kitchen.

I hope that you learned a little bit more about me through this post, and I hope that I was able to help you in some way! Thank you so much for reading!

My First Cruise/Trip to Alaska – 2019

This past summer, my family went on a cruise to Alaska. It was our first cruise so we didn’t really know what to expect. Today I wanted to share my first cruise experience with you, and talk a bit about the highlights of our trip!

In June, my family and I packed our bags and left to the airport to leave for Vancouver, Canada, which was where we were going to board our cruise. We spent a day and a half in this gorgeous city, and we used that time to explore the city (mostly) by foot. The day when we had to board our cruise was so exciting and a little nerve wracking for me. As soon as we got on the boat people were already sitting by the pool or drinking at the bar! Music was playing and of course, photos were already being taken. One thing that I loved was that there were people from all over the world on this cruise (mostly America, but it was still very cool to be around people from different places). I think that this is one of my favorite parts of travel in general!

The first thing we wanted to do was check out our rooms and explore the ship. We cruised with Norwegian, and our ship was the “Norwegian Jewel”, and it was a really beautiful boat. Walking around the ship for the first time, we saw quite a few restaurants, the buffet, a couple clubs, a casino, lounge areas, and of course, the heated pools and the Jacuzzi! Soon after boarding, we left Vancouver and made our way up to Alaska. For the first two days of our cruise, we were staying on the boat, which meant no cell phones (I’m not going to lie, this was not too easy for me)!  Every day we got an itinerary of events going on around the ship. There was so much to do in just one day, that I felt like I couldn’t attend every event that I wanted to! My sister and I attended a girl’s spa day where the women from the spa explained the importance of having a skincare routine, and they taught us about the products we should use daily. They walked around and gave each of us a sample of the products and my sister and I basically did a complete skincare routine with the rest of the women in the room which was pretty fun! We also spent some time in the arcade, we entered all of the raffles and free giveaways that we could, and we went to the theater almost every night. The performers were really incredible, and I always looked forward to the shows. I made sure to bring a nice dress for dinner one night, and on the same day we took a photo with the captain. I also really enjoyed the food on our cruise, and I liked the fact that any time you wanted to eat, there was a variety of food around. Something that surprised me was the fact that I could actually FEEL the boat rocking when we were out at sea, and not surrounded by land. It freaked me out just a little. None of us got sick, but it was definitely a strange feeling that even by the end of our cruise, I don’t think I got used to.

On the third day of our cruise, it was time to get off and explore our first stop, Ketchikan. Ketchikan is a very small city, so we spent our time walking around and we took a tram up a mountainside. The next day, we got to Juneau, which is the capital of Alaska and one of my favorite cities that we visited on this trip. It rains so often in Juneau and I made sure to let my family know this, but to my surprise, it was a gorgeous, warm, and sunny day. We got pretty lucky. We walked around the city, had lunch, and we went whale watching which was one of the highlights on this trip. We went on a small boat that would fit about 20 people, and we saw whales, orcas, and sea lions! Our next stop was Skagway which was the cutest little town. The buildings and the setup reminded me of an old western town. We explored the town and went on a hike as well. After the hike, my siblings and I went to get some ice cream.

Ketchikan, Alaska
Skagway, Alaska

The last two days of our cruise were glacier viewing days. We were able to see Margerie Glacier in Glacier Bay, and Hubbard Glacier. On these days, we woke up early and sipped some hot chocolate while we crowded around the front of the boat to get a good view of the glaciers. My sister and I decided to take advantage of the various opportunities on the boat and with the free time that we had, we went to the gym! What I didn’t realize was that I would feel the rocking of the boat while I was lifting weights (I’m telling you I could not get used to it)! I typically do not work out while on vacation, but I decided to do it since it was there and we had some time. On the last day, besides seeing Hubbard Glacier, my family FINALLY got in the Jacuzzi! There were always people rushing to them and we didn’t get a chance until the final day. I thought I’d be freezing walking around in a bikini while we were in the middle of the ocean, but I didn’t get cold until I got out of the Jacuzzi and sat around for a while.

Hubbard Glacier

After these two days, our cruise came to an end in Seward. Although I was sad to get off of the boat, I was excited to explore Alaska with my family for another week. In Seward, we took a hike to see Living Glacier and after this, we took a train to Anchorage. This was another favorite city of mine. It was a bit of a bigger city, which I enjoyed after being in somewhat smaller cities on the trip. We walked around, had lunch, and of course took a million photos.

On the way to our final city, we made a stop to do something that we had no idea we were going to do. We went on a small airplane to go see Denali. It was a private plane with my family and one other small family. Of course I was a little nervous, but it was one of the most amazing things I have ever experienced, and it was obviously one of the highlights. We all had to wear snow boots and sunglasses. When the plane landed, we took some beautiful photos. We learned that Denali is the highest mountain peak in North America, and it was in the background of all of the photos we took at this spot.

Denali National Park & Preserve

The next day, we woke up really early to catch a bus to take into Denali National Park. The park was massive, and we spent almost the entire day exploring. We would get off the bus at different stops, take photos and walk around, then we would get back on the bus to drive some more. We saw some bears, caribou, and moose while on the drive as well. A few of us went on a somewhat intense hike up a small mountain in the park, and the view from the top was breathtaking. We were also able to see an example of a sled dog race, and attend a short information session on this. The last highlight of our trip was when we went white water rafting!

Denali National Park & Preserve

Lastly, we arrived in Fairbanks. Our final day was more relaxing (I actually caught a pretty bad cold after Denali, so I was not feeling up to doing very much). We had such great weather for the entire trip, which surprised me because I had read about how often it rained in Alaska. The next day we caught our flight and we were heading home! I am so incredibly grateful that I am able to travel often and with the people I love the most in this world. These are the experiences that I will never forget. I hope to share more of my travels with you, and I hope you enjoyed reading about my first cruise experience and my vacation to Alaska! (More photos from this trip are on my Instagram! Scroll down a little on my page to see them!)

What’s in My September Ipsy Glam Bag + A Makeup Tutorial

As some of you may know, I subscribed to Ipsy, a beauty subscription service, earlier this year and I have been obsessed! I know that Ipsy has been around for quite a few years now, but it is sort of a recent discovery for me! Today, I wanted to share what is in my September glam bag with you (I know it’s already October, but I wanted to share this anyway!  I will try to post these sooner and during the actual month that I get them)!

Before we get into the makeup tutorial, I quickly wanted to show you the bag and the products that I received! I rated this bag a 4/5 stars! The bag is adorable, and I love that there is a different theme every month!

Inside the bag:

  • Benefit Cosmetics: Gimme Brow  + Volumizing Eyebrow Gel in 4.5 – Neutral Deep Brown

Although it is a very small sample size, and I do not typically do my brows, I actually did like the product. I rated it a 3/5 stars.

  • IBOM: Lemon Verbena Clay Mask

I do not really care to receive facial masks, however I will try this one out!

Update: I actually love this product! It seems to be clearing up my skin a bit, and I plan on finding the product to purchase it myself!

  • Too Faced: Damn Girl! Mascara

I love receiving mascaras in my bags, and this one did not disappoint, however the wand is a bit big! I rated this product a 4/5 stars!

  • Ofra Cosmetics: Ofra x Madison Moondance Highlighter

I absolutely love this highlighter, and I think it may be my new favorite! I rated this product a 5/5 stars! It is such a gorgeous shade!

  • C’est Moi Beauty: Reflect Lip Gloss in Bliss

I actually prefer lipsticks over glosses, but the color is beautiful and it applied nicely! I rated this product a 4/5 stars!

And now for the makeup tutorial!

I wanted to share this look that I created using the products in my glam bag (plus a few others to complete the look)! It is a very simple eyeshadow look with a bold wing and a glossy lip.

  • I started off by priming my eyelids and then I took the single eyeshadow by Suva Beauty in the shade Coriander, and I applied it to my lids and blended it up into my crease.  You can’t really see it in the photo above, but I applied an eyeshadow by IBY Beauty to my lower lash line (the outer half) and it is in the shade Headliner, which is a medium purple shade. Then I took an eyeshadow from Nomad in the shade Champagne Reef, a yellow gold shade, and applied this to my lower lash line as well (the inner half).
  • Next, I took a liquid eyeliner by the brand Jonteblu, and created a somewhat dramatic wing. (If you have trouble creating a wing like I do at times, grab a piece of tape and line it up from the outer corner of your eye, to the end of your eyebrow, then draw and fill in your wings).
  • I curled my lashes and applied the Damn Girl! Mascara by Too Faced, and coated my top and bottom lashes. Then, I lined my waterline and tightline with a black eyeliner by Essence.
  • Next, I took a small amount of my Base Tape Primer by Tarte and applied this all over my face. I took my favorite foundation, the Fit Me Foundation by Maybelline, and used my clean hands to apply this onto my face and neck. I added a tiny bit of my foundation to my under eye area, and gently blended it out. After this, I took my Maybelline Fit Me Pressed Powder, and sweeped this over my foundation.
  • I used a small amount of my Bronze Booster by Physicians Formula in the shade Light to Medium, and applied this to the hollows of my cheeks to give my face a bit of a bronzed appearance. Then I took my new favorite highlighter by Ofra Cosmetics (it is a part of the Ofra x Madison collaboration) in the shade Moondance, and applied this to my cheekbones, nose, the inner corners of my eyes, and my brow bones.
  • I then used a little chapstick and applied my new lip gloss by C’est Moi Beauty in the shade Bliss to add some shine to my lips.
  • Lastly, I took my Benefit Cosmetics Gimme Brow + Volumizing Brow Gel and lightly brushed it through my brows.

I hope that you enjoyed reading this post! I always used to do the same exact makeup look EVERY DAY, but because of Ipsy and having my own blog, I am getting a bit more experimental with my makeup and I am having so much fun doing it!  I am very excited to share more makeup looks with you in the future, and if you like this look or want to try it out, leave me a comment below! Thank you for reading!

IT Chapter Two: Review (Spoilers Ahead)

If you have not watched “IT Chapter Two”, I definitely recommend you go watch it and come back to read this post after! There will be a few spoilers coming up!

I saw the movie around the middle of the month, but I am just now getting the chance to post about it! Although I am not familiar with the books, “IT” was originally a story written by Stephen King who is most commonly known for his horror novels. I absolutely loved the first movie. I thought that the kids were hilarious and it was a great mix of a thriller and a comedy. One minute Richie would be making fun of Eddie’s mother, and then something would suddenly pop out at us. “IT Chapter Two” was very similar in this way. Since I had not previously read the book, I was not sure what to expect from the second movie, but I was thinking that it would be a bit different than the first. If I am being honest, although I loved part two, it sort of felt as if I was watching part one again. Besides seeing the characters as adults and where they are in life 27 years later, the rest was pretty much the same plot.

I have to say, the creators did an incredible job finding older actors who look like the younger actors. I think that they were so spot on! The adults were so much like their younger selves; Eddie was still quite a bit of a germophobe, Bill still stuttered (only when he was in Derry), and Richie was still making fun of Eddie. The movie started out showing each of their adult lives. We saw that Bill became an author, Beverly was in an abusive relationship, Eddie married a woman similar to his mother, and Richie became a comedian. When Mike called each of them and explained who he was, they knew exactly why he had called. I was upset to see that Stanley died because I was hoping that they would all be able to come back (although he was in a couple scenes as his younger self). I loved the scene where they all met up again at the Chinese restaurant. Everything started out fine, and they were having a good time, but then “IT” began to mess with them. Most of them did not want to stay and planned on leaving because they didn’t think that they would be able to fight “IT” again, but they were convinced to stay. I loved when each character went off to find their artifact and they started to see “IT”.  I thought it was hilarious that they brought back Henry Bowers and that he was staying at (and escaped from) an insane asylum. I didn’t think we would be seeing Henry again, but I guess “IT” can bring back whoever it wants!

Now let’s talk about the ending…

When they went back to the abandoned house where they fought “IT” the first time, we knew that the end of the movie was coming. After defeating “IT”, they found that Eddie had died.  I really liked his character, so I was saddened to see that another main character had died, and seeing how his death affected Richie was so upsetting. I think that it was interesting to find out that Richie actually felt a much deeper connection to Eddie than we thought. Although it was not directly stated, the audience left that night knowing that Richie had feelings for Eddie. When he carved “R + E” into the bridge, my heart broke for him.

I knew the moment Beverly and Ben saw each other again that they would end up together (I was going to be so upset if they didn’t)! I felt so bad for Ben in the first movie when he left Beverly alone with Bill. I think that the audience had been rooting for him all along, and he finally got his chance!

I enjoyed seeing some flashbacks of their younger selves because the younger actors were such a major part of the first movie, and the flashbacks were some of my favorite scenes. Seeing the “losers” walking down the street and seeing their younger selves reflected in the window actually made me emotional!

I really enjoyed both “IT” and “IT Chapter Two”, and they have definitely become a couple of my favorite movies! If you saw the movie, leave me a comment below and tell me what you thought. Thank you for reading!

How to Transition Your Wardrobe From Summer to Fall

Today I wanted to share a few tips on how to transition your wardrobe from summer to fall! I am so over the heat at this point and I am ready to start busting out my sweaters and knee high boots, but it is still around 80-90 degrees where I live (it is cooling down a bit though)! I decided to share three different outfits to wear when it isn’t cool enough out for jackets and scarves, but it is just starting to cool off enough to take some of your staple fall pieces and incorporate them into your wardrobe!

If you haven’t been able to tell already from my ootd’s (outfit of the days), I love wearing dresses! If it is warm out, you will probably see me wearing a dress. I bought this dress almost a year ago and I am just now getting the chance to wear it. (I think it’s because I buy way too many clothes, but that’s beside the point!)

The first thing I do when summer ends, is I start incorporating fall colors into my wardrobe. By wearing colors like navy, olive, burgundy, maroon, or mustard, you will be using your wardrobe to transition into fall seamlessly.  The outfits will feel and look a lot more fall-like than if you were to wear bright colors like you would in the summertime! I paired this dress with my favorite ankle boots at the moment. Booties are the perfect addition any outfit in the fall, and they are a staple piece in my wardrobe for this season!

This second outfit is one of my favorites! I paired a very simple and basic piece with a fancier statement piece from my wardrobe. If you’re a fan of florals and you just don’t want to let them go, you can absolutely wear them all year round! If you want to wear florals in the fall, make sure that the colors of the clothing are seasonal. These wide leg capri pants are the perfect way to wear floral prints while still incorporating the color burgundy, which is my favorite fall color. They are also flowy and not made of an incredibly thick material, so I won’t get too hot! Underneath is just a simple black body suit. I wore these beautiful taupe heels as well. I also decided to wear a cardigan with this outfit because it gives the look a bit more of a cozier feel.

And lastly, I wanted to share a bit more of a casual outfit for those of you who aren’t very girly. If you wore crop tops all summer long and you want to wear them in the fall, you still can! I wore this olive green crop top with a pair of blue high waisted jeans. I also put on these brown heels that were in my “Coral Me crazy” ootd. If you want an even more casual look, swap out the heels for a stylish pair of sneakers! I took the same gray cardigan from the previous outfit and paired it with this outfit as well. I don’t own one at the moment, but I think that a brown fedora screams fall! A hat like this would be perfect with the navy blue dress or the outfit pictured below.

I hope that you found these tips helpful, and if you’re still dealing with 80-90 degree weather like me, don’t you worry, we will all be complaining about the cold weather soon enough! Thank you for reading!

The Power of Your Mind

What you tell yourself, you will start to believe. This is something that I have come to realize in recent years. When you start pointing out your flaws and bringing up every little mistake that you make, you’re constantly bringing yourself down. As I have gotten older, I have realized the importance of self-love and self-care. I may not know everything, but one thing I know for sure is that speaking negatively about yourself is absolutely going to lower your self confidence. I know this because I have done it to myself too many times to count, and if I am being honest, I still do it from time to time. While I do think that it is important to recognize our faults (because NO ONE is perfect), we have to work on telling ourselves why we are great, too. It is so much easier to point out our flaws than to recognize the things we love about ourselves, but we have to try.

Our mental health is just as important as our physical health. We see many people talking about fitness and how they take care of their bodies, which is important, but what we don’t often see is people talking about how they take care of their minds. I recently told a friend of mine that I believe we have two voices in our heads. We have a friend, and we have an enemy. The enemy is loud, rude, and self deprecating. The friend is kind, loving, and caring. You are both of these people, and you get to decide who to listen to every day. It’s sort of like when you’re watching a cartoon, and there’s an angel and a devil on the characters shoulders. I promise you, if you listen close enough, the friend is whispering to you. Block out the negative, and focus on the positive.

I wanted to share some of the ways that I have been keeping my mind a comforting and kind place to be, and working toward confidence and self-love. (I don’t do these things EVERY DAY, but I definitely should, and so should you! Some of them you could even do throughout the day.) I like to start my days off with positivity. I am a morning person, and I am often in a pretty good mood when I wake up, so I keep the positivity going by telling myself that it is going to be a great day, and that “I’ve got this!” I also like to compliment myself on whatever I am feeling good about on that particular day. It may feel a bit silly to look in the mirror and compliment yourself, but it is worth it! On days when I planned to get to the gym but I am just not feeling it, I tell myself, “you’re going to kill this workout,” and when I walk out of the gym I realize how powerful our thoughts really are. This is not always an easy thing to do though, because I am not ALWAYS in a great mood or feeling my best. Sometimes you’re running late, or you forgot your wallet at home, or you’re going through some kind of internal dilemma. Whatever it is, this can negatively affect your mood and your entire day. It is 100% OK to have bad days. Let yourself feel whatever it is that you’re feeling, but once that day is over, work on doing better tomorrow.

Recently I started school again, and I have to say that I am feeling a bit stressed and tired, and this negatively affects my mood. Obviously getting enough sleep is something that you should prioritize, but it is something I am still working on. One way I like to stay positive and happy during the stressful school year is something I decided to do recently. Every morning, my best friend and I started to tell each other the positives about our days. For example, one day my positive may be that I am wearing a new outfit that I feel great in, or it’s a sunny and gorgeous day out, or my class was canceled (no one knows the joy of getting that email like college students do). By doing this, you are stating the things are already great about your day before it really even begins. Another small thing that I wanted to mention is that sometimes in the mornings I will get out of bed and as I get ready for the day, I will play some of my current favorite songs to boost my mood. (On days when I have to wake up a little too early or I am running late, I will most likely not do this, but I have noticed that I feel much happier and more awake when I do!)

Something that I have been trying to do every morning is stretching. Stretching in the morning will wake up and calm your body and your mind. If you just take a few minutes to do this every day, it can benefit you in more ways than you think! I also love to eat right when I wake up, so making a delicious and healthy breakfast is important to me. If you are not a breakfast person, try to eat something small but still healthy and filling.

You have the power to choose how your day goes. You get to decide what you say and sometimes how you feel. You don’t always have control over the things that happen to you, but choosing how you react to it is important. If you choose to be bitter and angry at the world every day, you may not get to experience the joy that you could feel if you simply decided to be happy or positive. I want to challenge those of you reading this to start your days with kindness to yourself. There is always something good in every single day, so look for the positive and give yourself one compliment. Putting yourself in this mindset can really make your day so much better. I know the power of my mind, and I know what to do to let myself have a good day. The hard part is sticking to it, but once you do, you’ll want to do it every day.  One small, positive thought can completely turn your day around and there are so many simple ways to take care of yourself that don’t cost a thing. I have been working on doing these things daily, and I have noticed great changes in my mood and my overall mindset.

I just wanted to share this quick message to remind you to love yourself and to always be kind to yourself. Just do the best that you can! Thank you for reading, and I would appreciate it if you shared this post with your friends and remind those that you love to take care of themselves as well! Until next time!

I am not sure who originally said this quote, but it is something that I think about often, and I wanted to share it with you:

“You live most of your life inside of your head. Make sure it’s a nice place to be.”

Ipsy Glam Bags: Are They Worth It?

Before Ipsy, I had never tried any beauty subscription services. My best friend was telling me about Ipsy and I was very quickly convinced. After all, it is very affordable, and for someone as obsessed with makeup as me, I figured it was worth a try. Ipsy is a monthly subscription service where users (now) pay $12 a month and they will be sent a bag of 5 sample sized (and sometimes full-sized) beauty products to try. (Ipsy just made a few changes to their memberships, so the price went from $10 a month to $12 and users will now get to choose one item that will come in their glam bag. Members can also choose to receive the glam bag plus which is $25 a month for 5 full-sized products, or the glam bag ultimate which is $50 a month for 12 full-sized products and a deluxe bag.) Members may receive makeup, skin care, nail polish, fragrances, and/or hair products in their monthly bags depending on what they say in their beauty quiz. The quiz will ask you questions such as: “What is your skin tone?” “How comfortable are you with makeup?” and “Which of these brands do you love (or would love to try?”) The quiz will also ask you how often you would like to receive certain products. I still can’t get over the fact that for $12 a month, you can score some really great beauty products by very popular and loved brands such as Benefit, Tarte, and Smashbox. I am and have always been a drugstore makeup kind of girl. I don’t really have a ton of money to spend, and makeup can get ridiculously expensive at times, so Ipsy is perfect for people like me and for those who just want to try out some new beauty products. I’ve seen some people complain about not getting what they want in their Ipsy bags, however updating your beauty preferences and reviewing your products and overall bag can help you get the glam bag you will love!

My March 2019 Glam Bag: I somehow got VERY lucky with my first bag because I absolutely loved it! I rated this bag a 5/5 stars! The products were great and Ipsy seemed to have paid great attention to my beauty preferences!

My April 2019 Glam Bag: After LOVING my first glam bag, this one was sort of a letdown. I rated this bag a 2/5 stars because I received a few items that I really did not want or need. I was excited about a couple of the products, but overall this was probably my least favorite bag so far.

My May 2019 Glam Bag: This months bag was not incredible but it was not terrible either. I was extremely happy with some of the products. I rated this bag a 3/5 stars. My absolute favorite product in this bag was a liquid lipstick, however I did not really care for a couple of the other products (part of this was my fault because I hadn’t updated my beauty preferences and received a concealer that was too light for my skin tone, so always make sure to update frequently).

My June 2019 Glam Bag: I was very happy to see what was in my June glam bag and I really was not disappointed! I rated this bag a 4/5 stars! I was SO EXCITED to receive the most gorgeous eyeshadow and I got lucky with a foundation that matched me perfectly! There was really only one product that I did not necessarily need but I plan on using it occasionally anyway!

My July 2019 Glam Bag: Since this was my birthday month bag, I was hoping that it would be a good one! I rated this bag a 4/5 stars! I couldn’t wait to try some of the products, and there was really only one item I did not care for!

My August 2019 Glam Bag: I rated this bag a 3/5 stars because I received two facial products and I really did not need both! Everything else in the bag was great and I think I found my new favorite mascara!

My September 2019 Glam Bag: I plan on making a post all about my September glam bag plus a makeup tutorial, so be on the lookout for that this month! This is something that I hope to do for every glam bag I receive!

In my personal opinion, I do feel that Ipsy is worth it based on my experience so far. As you can tell, I have really enjoyed almost all of my Ipsy glam bag products (plus, the bags are really cute and can be used for many different things)! Although I feel that Ipsy is worth it, they did recently make some changes to the memberships which caused some people to get upset. If Ipsy were to raise the price anymore, I think a lot of people will cancel their glam bags, but for me, $12 is still doable! Because of Ipsy, I have found some new makeup brands and products that I adore, and my glam bags are something that I look forward to every month!

Thank you so much for reading! Leave me a comment below, and tell me if you feel like Ipsy is worth it!

Gym Tips for Beginners

I remember how I felt when I first started going to the gym. I felt like everyone was watching and judging me, and I was a little nervous that I was doing something wrong. Luckily, I had my Dad right by my side to teach me everything I needed to know. I know that not everyone has someone to head over to the gym with and I can imagine that going by yourself would be a little nerve wracking at first, so I am here to give you some tips to get over that fear today!

  • Go with a friend

As I just mentioned, going to the gym alone can be a little scary at first, so if you can, grab a friend, parent, sibling, or whoever you feel comfortable with and work out together! This way, you will be more focused on you and your friend and not on everyone that is “watching you”. Most of the time people are at the gym to better themselves, not to watch others and laugh at them. I have to say, I have met many more kind and supportive people at my gym than judgmental and rude people.

  • Plan your workouts ahead of time

YouTube has so many helpful videos that demonstrate the proper way to perform any exercise. (I would try to find videos of someone reputable and trustworthy. You don’t want to hurt yourself or perform any of the exercises incorrectly.) Watching videos and practicing the exercises at home will help you feel more confident when you’re in the gym!

  • Find the form of exercise that you love the most (or one that you can at least somewhat deal with)

There are so many different forms of exercise, and just because weight lifting is my favorite way, it does not mean that it will be yours too. You do not have to have a gym membership to get a good workout in, or to be healthy. Running, lifting, hiking, dancing, yoga, and participating in sports are all great ways to work out! Find what works for you and don’t be afraid to try new things!

  • Create a playlist

Another way to combat nerves is to have a fun workout playlist! Pick your favorite upbeat songs to play while you kill it! Not only will hearing your favorite songs make you less nervous, it can also help you focus and get you through difficult exercises!

  • BREATHE

This one may seem obvious, but I cannot tell you how many times I will forget to breathe properly during my workouts.  As you exert energy, exhale. Breathe in through your nose, and out through your mouth.

  • Start slow and start light

There is absolutely NO reason to lift 50 pounds on your first day at the gym unless you want to injure yourself. There is nothing wrong with taking the 5 pound dumbbells and using them for your entire upper body day. If you feel like 5’s are way too easy, try the next number up. Don’t forget to go slow and control your movements.  (Remember that although the 5’s may seem easy on your first set, as you get to your second or third, it may get more difficult. Don’t get ahead of yourself.)

  • It’s not a competition or a race (unless it actually is)

If you are heading to the gym with a partner, whether they are more experienced in the gym or not, you do NOT have to use the same weights they are using, or go as fast as they are on the treadmill. Unless it is actually a competition that you are participating in, there’s no need to focus so much on the other person. Don’t compare yourself to someone else. Although healthy competition is good for us at times, in many cases it is better to simply focus on yourself and do what is best for you. (Use these people as motivation; you will get to where they are one day!)

  • Designate a small corner of the gym for your workout

I have been going to the gym for almost 4 years now and this is something I still do to this day. If you are uncomfortable working out in front of a bunch of people or you just like a more private workout, try to find a corner of your gym where no one really goes too often and do your exercises over there (preferably near a mirror so you can see what you are doing).

  • Wear what makes you comfortable (but follow your gym’s dress code)

If you are most comfortable in leggings and a tank top, wear it! If you are more comfortable in an oversized t-shirt and shorts, wear it! If you are constantly tugging at your clothes and walking around uncomfortably, you are not going to get a good workout in.

I hope that you found some of these tips helpful and before you know it you’ll be walking around the gym like you own it! I am planning on posting a fitness update sometime in the near future so be on the lookout for that! Thank you for reading! Now go kill it!

13 Reasons Why: Season 3 Review (Spoilers Ahead)

If you have not watched season 3 of 13 Reasons Why, I recommend you go watch it and stop reading here. If you’re sticking around, this post is pretty long, so grab a snack.

When I first watched season 1, I didn’t really feel like they needed to make any more seasons since the show is based on the single book “13 Reasons Why” by Jay Asher. I will admit however, I was excited for a season 2. After watching season 2, the audience, myself included, had many questions that we were left with after the season finale: What is going to happen to Tyler? Is Justin going to keep using drugs? Is Clay’s family actually going to adopt Justin? What is Chloe going to do about her pregnancy?

Now… Let’s talk season 3!

I feel like we have been waiting FOREVER for this new season, and when the cast started posting the trailer for season 3, I was SO excited! As we have seen in the past two seasons, there are always flashbacks in the show. I believe the creators do this to give the audience more context and to show us what we “missed” but they never really showed. This season was no different. For season 3, the mystery was “who killed Bryce Walker?” Before and during the season, I tried to make a guess as to who it could be. It kept changing, but there were a few characters that seemed sort of quiet and suspicious to me throughout the 13 episodes. Alex, Zach, Bryce’s father, and Charlie all popped into my head at different times. I also thought that maybe it was a group of people, but each episode was about someone different so it was hard to tell.

Before I get to the major plotlines that I really want to talk about, I wanted to mention a few characters and their storylines that I feel are necessary to bring up. First, the new character Ani. If I am honest, I really did not care for this new character, however we as an audience could see that she was an important character from the get go. She just seemed to know too much about everyone and everything. It can be difficult to bring a new character into a show that is already so loved and that has a very devoted fan base.  Something that I actually did like about her character was that in some ways, she did help Bryce on his journey to becoming a better person. He felt like he could trust her, and he was pretty open with her. Her relationship with Clay however, seemed a bit too unreliable. I felt like there were moments where she was playing with Clay’s feelings toward her and leading him on a bit. In the end, she and Clay announced that they were dating, so we know Ani will be likely be in season 4.

Tony’s storyline really stood out to me this season. When coming home to introduce Caleb to his family, he finds his family is missing. He quickly realizes that ICE took them, and his family was deported back to Mexico. The scene where he and his younger sister look in the mirror and imagine that they see their family broke my heart. The show has never really shied away from portraying difficult real life issues, and they continued with the theme this season. Real people are going through this, and sadly it is so relevant to our world today.

The Last minor storyline I wanted to briefly mention was Chloe’s. Early in the season, we saw that Zach and Chloe got very close after she broke up with Bryce. Zach went with her so she could get an abortion since she was pregnant with Bryce’s baby. I am not sure if it was a good idea for Chloe to confront Bryce at the homecoming game and tell him about the pregnancy, because all it did was upset him and he started to question the relationship between her and Zach. Then we saw that Bryce attacked Zach during the game, leading to an injury.

Now onto the Major plotlines of the season…

First we’ll start with Jessica. As we all know, she had been struggling ever since her sexual assault, but in this season we see her becoming stronger and using her voice as the student body president to make a change. I sort of felt bad for Alex when Jessica got back with Justin, because we could tell he was still upset about it. We got to see Jessica confront Bryce about what he did to her, and although she was getting stronger, it was clear that the sexual assault was not something that she would be able to ever forget. When Jessica became the student body president, she created a club called HO (Hands Off) for sexual assault survivors. Tyler would be at every meeting, but everyone just assumed that it was to support the members and to be an ally. Although I loved that she started this club, I did not like the part where the club members decided to crash Bryce’s funeral. I couldn’t believe they actually did it. The funeral was already an emotional time for quite a few of the characters, so for them to stand up and call Bryce a rapist to “make a statement” was not the right move in my opinion. Jessica became an advocate for ending rape culture in high schools, and I really like that she got to a point where she felt strong enough to share what had happened to her. One of my favorite scenes relating to this was during the assembly where she made her speech about sexual assault. One by one, students stood up and stated their names and the fact that they were survivors. We saw Tyler look over at Clay, and with tears in his eyes, he stood up. Another boy ended up standing and then, to our surprise, Justin stood up as well. This scene seemed so powerful because it opened the students eyes to sexual assault and that there are survivors that they walk by everyday and they don’t know it. Even Jessica seemed surprised by the response. I loved being able to see Jessica become more confident throughout the season, and I hope that her character continues to fight for change.

Next, I want to talk about Tyler, who I believe has had one of the greatest character developments in the series so far. Tyler really freaked me out at the end of season 2 and the beginning of season 3. I always just felt so bad for him after what he went through. He made me cry SO MUCH this season. I love that Clay was so present and that he always tried to help Tyler in any way he could even though he was going through a difficult time himself. He talked to Tyler about seeing the counselor, Dr. Singh, and eventually Tyler did start to talk to her. Tony and Alex were also very good friends to Tyler this season, and they spent a lot of time boxing at the gym which seemed to help boost Tyler’s confidence. We eventually saw Tyler walking up to the top of a bridge in what seemed to be a suicide attempt, but before he could do anything, he spotted Bryce’s body in the water. We found out that Tyler actually confronted Monty and Bryce in the past, and he even went to see Bryce with a gun in hand. Soon after this, we found out that he told Bryce about his sexual assault and Bryce was shocked. For me, the most heart breaking scene with Tyler this season was when he told Clay about his assault. Seeing the pain and the hurt on Tyler’s face as he relived what happened was so devastating. We could tell that Clay was shocked by Tyler telling him the story, and when Tyler cried and screamed into Clay’s shoulder my heart broke a little bit more. Tyler actually told Bryce about his assault first, then Clay, and then Jessica. He showed Bryce and Jessica the flash drive which was essentially a goodbye and an explanation for why he was about to show up to the school dance with a gun. Seeing Tyler slowly get better in every episode was something that I really loved to see. I loved the scene in the last episode where he showed his friends the display of photos that he took of them over the past few months in Monet’s. Although it is clear that Tyler is in a much better place now, I think that he still needs professional help, and I hope that we see more of Tyler’s progression in season 4.

Now I really wanted to talk about Monty and his shocking storyline. I don’t think that there has been a character on this show that has scared me more than Monty. As we know, Monty was capable of doing some pretty disturbing and brutal things to people. For this season we continued to see a bit of Monty’s dark side, but I was glad to see that we were taking a look at his home life and his softer side (although his home and family life were terrible). We found out that Monty came from a homophobic and abusive family. Monty did not have a good relationship with his father at all, and we did not get to see his mother, but I am assuming that she had similar views to the father. I was actually very surprised to find out that Monty was gay. I really was not expecting it, but it made his storyline a lot more interesting. One thing that I really did not like was that the other characters were trying to frame him for Bryce’s murder. Obviously we knew that Clay could not have killed Bryce. There was never really a question in my mind about Clay committing the crime, but the cops definitely thought otherwise. There was so much “evidence” that led to Clay. He was seen threatening Bryce on multiple occasions, one of which was caught on video, so this did not help him in any way.  No one wanted to see Clay actually go to jail, but when we saw that Monty was with Winston when Bryce was killed, I felt that it was even worse that they tried to pin it on him. Monty eventually got arrested for sexually assaulting Tyler, which I do feel he deserved, however he didn’t deserve to die. Before he was killed in jail, he seemed to be trying to accept himself, but it was not at all easy for him. I really began to sympathize with Monty, and I felt bad for him.  Although he did some terrible things to people, in the words of Winston, “he was a human being” and “he didn’t deserve to die like that.” I also thought it was strange that they killed off his character the way that they did because Monty was only 18 years old and even though he was an adult, I began to wonder where they placed him in the jail that caused him to die so suddenly.

And now let’s talk about Bryce. This season, similar to Monty, we got to see the softer side of Bryce. I really loved the flashbacks that showed him bonding with his mother and speaking to Mr. Porter about his struggles and how he’s trying to change. We also got to see much more of Bryce’s family life, which was very sad and broken. We found out that Bryce’s father was not really in the picture very much, especially before his death, and he actually had a mistress and a 12 year old daughter with her. I think that Bryce really did want to have a relationship with his father, but his father couldn’t care less. Throughout the season, we saw that Bryce was trying to make amends with those that he felt he hurt in the past. This included Jessica, Tony, Tyler, and Alex. We got to see that he actually got sort of close to a couple of these people at one point. Tony even let Bryce listen to Hannah’s tapes because he never had a chance to. When Bryce told Tony that he wanted to speak to Hannah’s mom, I knew it was a bad idea. If I were Hannah’s mom I would never want to see or hear from him for the rest of my life. We only saw a couple scenes of Bryce at Hillcrest, but we did see that Bryce was being bullied a bit, and that he was struggling to make friends, which only added to his loneliness. Ani was really one of the only ones to see Bryce for who he was deep down. On the other hand, Clay still couldn’t stand him and he got jealous quite a bit when it came to Bryce and Ani’s relationship. While watching the last episode, I thought that Bryce’s death was going to be brutal and one of those disturbing scenes that the show always adds in the season finales, and although it was brutal, I was not really expecting this kind of death. I thought that it was going to be an actual murder, but it turns out that Zach beat up Bryce to the point where he couldn’t walk and he threw his phone in the water. When Alex and Jessica showed up, Bryce asks for them to help, but Jessica is still furious with him. He gave them a tape that we later found out was an apology to those that he had hurt. Alex helped Bryce stand, but he sees the fury in his eyes and he heard him saying that he wanted to kill Zach. Alex ended up pushing Bryce into the water and since he had a broken leg and arm, he quickly drowned. Like Monty, I don’t believe Bryce deserved to die. Yes, he definitely had some things to try to make up for, and he still needed to work on becoming  a better person, but his death was tragic because we knew he was really trying to change. This season had the audience sympathizing with the characters we did NOT want to sympathize with. It showed viewers that sometimes those who bully and hurt others are bullied or hurt themselves (often at home).

And lastly, I wanted to talk about what I believe we may see in season 4. I am going to be honest, the last episode was not as exciting as I was hoping it would be. I feel like we weren’t left with any major cliffhangers or any crazy events that were happening. It really seemed like this could have been the last season, but we already know a season 4 is coming. I am not even sure what they are going to be able to make the next season about, but there were a few things that happened that could potentially become major plotlines in season 4. First, the bag of guns that was found in the river. Earlier in season 3, we saw that Tony and Clay “took care of” Tyler’s guns. We never found out what that meant until we saw the last episode. A fisherman found a bag of guns in the river, so this could possibly become important next season. Next I wanted to talk about the scene where Ani was telling Deputy Standall that Monty killed Bryce. Somehow, I think that he knew his own son killed Bryce. The tire marks of Alex’s mom’s car and the limping made it pretty clear that it was Alex. Since it was his own son, he decided to protect him and close the case with the final statement being that Monty killed Bryce. Deputy Standall burned Alex’s clothes that he wore the night that Bryce died. I am not really sure why Alex still had the clothes or why he gave them to his father, but I think that if anyone were to find out the truth, Deputy Standall could lose his job and Alex could get in serious trouble.  The last scene is one of the more important ones that I feel could become a big deal in season 4. In the last episode, Ani walked out of Monet’s and talked to Winston. We could see that he was upset that she pinned the murder on Monty because he knew that Monty was with him. I think that Winston might talk to the police next season and try to find out who really killed Bryce.

Overall, I do think that this was a great season. There were certain parts that I felt were a bit unnecessary, but I am very curious as to what season 4 will be about! I know this post was pretty long, but I wanted to make sure I mentioned the most important parts! Let me know what you thought of season 3 in a comment below, and tell me what you think season 4 will be about! Don’t forget to subscribe to my blog, and share with your friends! Thank you for reading!