Your Diet Could Explain More Than You Thought

These past few weeks have not been proud moments for me. I stopped doing my daily walks that I had started not that long ago, I started eating nothing but unhealthy processed food, and my water consumption became less and less. This happens every now and again and I guess you could pin it on being a regular busy, stressed, 20 something year old! Of course I felt more sluggish than normal and felt very unmotivated but what really shocked me was that I was feeling more anxious more often. It didn't really hit me until K and I decided to have a no spend week and ate at home for a week. I noticed that I was feeling better and not feeling so claustrophobic all the time, I was truly happy and anxiety wouldn't even cross my mind throughout the day!

 I couldn't honestly name the last time that had happened in the past 7 months. 

Once I got back into this trash food slump I noticed that of course, my body fell back into the situation it was in before. It occurred to me that just because you are not rapidly gaining weight or feeling super sick, should mean that you can eat whatever you want and not feel the consequences. My body was literally pleading for some nourishment. 

I did some research online to see if there was science to back up the link between anxiety and your gut health, and there it was, those facts were staring back at me from the screen. 

I knew that the chances of me completely re-hauling my diet were slim to none, I am young and enjoy food, I am just not willing to cut all that crap food out of my life. I do however need to make sure that my body is receiving all the nutrients and proteins it needs to function regularly, if not for my physical health, then for my mental health. 

What was I going to do? What kind of plan would work for the fast food loving me but also for the healthier version of me? I came up with a game plan and I was dedicated to stick to it!

1. Drink more water- This is an obvious first step, your body needs water to function. I stress this so much in so many of my posts, yet I still find it a hard rule to follow myself.

2. Being more aware- Even if this just meant reading the nutritional facts on the back of the food I was planning on preparing. Just to see the dietary fiber content, the protein content, and any other content I should be aware of. I'm not going to go all crazy and start dictating what I am eating constantly, I just wanted to be more aware of what I am putting inside my body.

3. Eating more veggies- I found my body actually craving leafy greens and carrots! I have always loved vegetables but noticed what a lack there was in my daily diet. I have made it a point to include veggies on my plate whenever they are available.

4. Cutting the caffeine- I have made my cutoff time for caffeine earlier, this ensures that my body has enough time to get into rest mode before it is actually time to lay down. I noticed that I would absently continue drinking caffeinated drinks, sometimes even being ignorant to the fact that some of these drinks had caffeine in them to begin with!

5. Eating more lean proteins- Chicken and fish are great for you, yet I found that my meals consistently did not revolve around these proteins. So I decided to make an effort to include them more and more in my day to day eating.

6. Snacking- Snacking the right way was huge. Changing that cookie or late night ice cream to toast and bananas really made a difference. Also when you snack smarter, you stay full longer!

7. Take the time to move- No matter how unmotivated I became, there is really no reason why taking 15-30 min out of my day should have not been priority. I felt so good taking that stroll in the morning and it really just set my day off right. To do it at least 5 days a week is my new goal!

Little things can truly make the biggest of differences in your day to day life, don't be ignorant to the state of your body, and always remember, your body is your temple!


Easter Traditions?

Easter is tomorrow! So get ready for some good food, candy, and quality family time. It is still kind of weird to me how all out K's family goes every Easter and what traditions they have. Now I had my own traditions growing up in a Finnish environment, so it took some getting used to when I started being included in K's family gatherings and celebrations.

 1. Easter gifts- This was completely foreign to me! You actually get gifts on Easter just because it is Easter? The first real Easter I spent with K's family, I ended up getting a basket full of summertime accessories and clothes. This was of course a welcome surprise but I still can't wrap my head around the fact that this is a tradition that happens every year!

2. The level of pressure to go to church- On Easter, if you are any kind of believer, you will go to church with the whole family. Now I was raised Lutheran but God was never a big deal under our roof. If you wanted to go to church, my mother was more than happy to have someone to go with her. It was just one of those things that if you wanted to go, good for you, if not, doesn't matter. K's grandmother being the religious person she is, will always, every year, go down fist swinging about whether or not we would be attending church that year.

3. Easter egg hunts- Now whenever I have lived in America as a child I took part in this, but all the years we lived in Finland we never did. It just wasn't a thing and we just never did it. I loved Easter egg hunts when I got to take part but if it wasn't on the roster that year, hey, I could live without it.

4. Ham- Ham being the main protein for Easter dinner, again mindblown. I just assumed ham was for Christmas just like turkey was for Thanksgiving. But I have been surprised before with K's family, like for instance, pasta is always an entree at a Christmas table. 

5. Always, always, always outdoors- There is very rarely, if ever, an Easter gathering planned indoors. Having the mostly beautiful weather we do in Florida, you can count on every person taking advantage of this. More often than not, Easter will always have water activities involved, whether that be a pool, the beach, slip'n'slide, or even a sprinkler. 

Not all traditions are different though!

1. We dye our eggs just the same- If we got around to it, we would dye our eggs just the same as every other family. I used to love activities that bring people together, it's just so rare nowadays.

2. Chocolate- Enough to give any child a sugar rush! Chocolate bunnies were of course the most prized candy of Easter.

Do you have any traditions that you do every year for Easter? Weird or traditional, I would love some ideas!

Pastel pink nails? I think yes! P.S. Don't judge the pink panther pj's!


Dry Skin Isn't Just For Winter

Growing up with eczema was the worst. All throughout my childhood my most prominent memories would be being lotioned up to look like a "snowman" and then getting dressed, absolutely squirming with discomfort because of the clothes sticking to my lotion covered body.  I knew it was something I needed to do to keep the painful rashes and scabs from forming on my body, but once the eczema calmed down, I lost sight of caring about moisturizing my skin.

Now throughout the years I have had a few flare ups but it has never gotten to the point it did when I was younger. I went through my teenage years thinking I had conquered my dry skin problems. Now being older I realize there was plenty of times my skin could have used a little TLC. My skin still gets very sensitive especially around my eyes and nose, my arms still get tender to the touch as does the rest of my skin. I have become so much more aware that I cannot just stop caring for my skin when it isn't flaring up, it has to be a continuous process! 

Same goes for all skincare, you cannot just abuse your skin when it is feeling great, it is all about maintaining. So what do I use to keep my body moisturized and happy?

First Things First...

HYDRATE!- Your body needs to stay hydrated if you want to keep your skin looking glowing and healthy. no water = dull skin. Not to mention the multiple other benefits of water, better digestion and energy!

Suave Advanced Therapy- This has been a tried and true lotion for me, I have been using it for probably about 4 years and it has worked great. It really soothes my dry skin and it starts healing your skin relatively fast, also it does not feel greasy forever which is a huge plus for my lotion skin hating self!

Lubriderm Daily Moisture Lotion-  My new favorite lotion! I started using this a few months back and was so very pleasantly surprised! First things first, the smell of this lotion is nothing special but for some reason it provides me with a special kind of nostalgia that makes me feel calm. Another thing is that this never makes me feel greasy and is super light, it never feels heavy going on and feels like it's not even there 5 minutes after application. Healing happens fast and there is no unpleasant stinging effect when applied onto dry skin. Definitely would suggest this to anyone that has dry skin!

Dial Marula Oil Bodywash-  Now Dial is not my favorite soap at all, quite frankly I hate it all together due to personal associations lol. But this bodywash works miracles, I truly feel like it restores moisture to my skin. On the flipside it can leave me feeling a little soapy even after rinsing off, I guess it leaves a sort of residue behind.

Olay Ultra Moisturize Bodywash-  Another safe bet, tried and true. This bodywash leaves me feeling clean and fresh, never leaving behind a residue.  My skin never feels tight or irritated after using this and it is quite the bargain too, usually around 5 to 6 bucks. 

All the products listed above are attainable on a budget and all very low priced. Bargain shopping for eczema at it's finest folks!  


Top 8 Tips To Get You Falling Asleep And Resting As You Should

I have had the hardest time falling asleep lately. Last night I found myself laying in bed fully energized at 4 in the morning, thoughts of why I can't fall asleep and why this is exactly the reason I get so anxious about bedtime. I've had a love hate relationship with sleep for the past 6 or so years, I either cannot for months go to sleep and stay asleep or on the flip side, fall asleep blissfully at 11 or 12 and wake up feeling refreshed in the morning.

In the past few months however, things have kept getting worse. It is a nightly issue that I can't fall asleep. Thank god I recently decided to become unemployed while looking for a new job, there is really no way I could function under the circumstances that I am under!

But I would never write a negative post if I didn't have some tricks and pointers to share with my fellow readers who are going through the same thing. I have done hours of research (staying up till four really gives you time to do these things!), I have asked other people about their favorite ways to relax and sleep, and my personal opinions:

1. Do not use your bed for anything other than sleep and intimacy- This might just be the root cause of what has been causing my sleep problems. I have been staying with family since K and I moved back from Oregon, so the guest room is our living room, dining room, and bedroom put into one. When your brain associates your bed with other activities other than sleep it can easily confuse the purpose that you are laying there for. In other words, if at all possible stay out of the bedroom and make it strictly a calm and sleep environment!

2. Try to cut off the caffeine earlier- You can not expect to feed your body sugar and caffeine and it not react how it would when you do the same thing in the morning. When you drink coffee in the morning and throughout the day you are trying to accomplish feeling more awake are you not? Why would you send the same signals and resources to your body when it's time to shut down? Studies have shown that you shouldn't consume caffeine after noon but if that is not an attainable goal then aim to have your last caffenaited drink six hours before you go to bed.

3. Get moving- Try to get a walk in every day for at least 30min, fresh air and sunlight not only energizes your body when it is appropriate but will more likely make you more tired once the day is through and therefor you will begin to fall asleep sooner rather than later.

4. White noise- Or any relaxing noise. There are so many white noise apps out there for free now. The one I have has a wide range of noises to listen to, all of which put me in a very calm state of mind. K's mother also found out that when she listens to a humidifier it puts her right to sleep. She does not actually have one but instead plays the sound over youtube! There are so many resources to use with modern day technology.

5. Don't stress over it- I know sometimes it impossible to stop thinking about how you only have blank amount of hours before you have to wake up in the morning, but if at all possible try to let those feelings go. Tell yourself that it is perfectly fine if you don't fall asleep or if you do. Convince yourself that you don't care, maybe even think to yourself that you are going to force yourself to stay awake. Studies show that this will actually confuse your brain and it will start sending you body signals of being tired? Science is weird.

6. Try to develop a bedtime routine- This means establishing a bedtime as well. You need to establish a routine that lets your body and brain know that you will be going to sleep soon.

7. Make sure your bed is inviting- Are you sheets soft and is your blanket fluffy, is you bed inviting you to sleep in it? The same goes for the whole bedroom, you have to make that space feel like the kind of space you would love to sleep in, check out my post on some ways to feng shui your space!

8. Last but not least, step away from the electronics- I should practice what I preach here. The blue light that emanates from your screen can actually cause melatonin to not produce properly. This could actually be a main culprit in what is keeping you awake, and if you just can't put your technology down, try to turn down the screen brightness all the way if you can bear it. Less is more.

Do you have any tips that work for you?

Is your problem feeling tired throughout the day? Come check this out!


My Top 5 Tips To Get Your Writing Flowing Again

So it happened, writers block has made it's undesired return! So I guess I could write a blog post about __ blog prompts to write about when you have nothing to write about, but as much as you can use those as a resource, you may also find that if the passion is not there, you are not going to write quality content.

I was feeling a bit burnt out lately and was having a hard time coming up with subjects to write about. There is about a billion and one things I could write about but that's the beauty of writers block, none of those ideas are thought of and none of them strike you as interesting. So when I was trying to gain back my inspiration to blog, I stumbled across one of those a year of blog post ideas posts. I looked through the list and realized, sure, these are great ideas and may work for some, but none of them really felt like they were me, you know?

So what are my tried and true remedies for being burnt out?

1. Don't stress about it- take a few days off, don't even think about blogging! The more you wrack your brain over it, the more pressure you will feel to write. If your heart is not in it, don't go for it.

2. Continue about your regular days- I promise after a few days of not thinking about blogging you will start to look at things and think things like "oh! That would make a great picture for a post!" or mid conversation you might think "Hey! That would be an awesome post idea!"

3. Write a draft- Write a post and don't post it. Whether you get just one sentence down and give up or write the whole thing, don't post it. Come back to it, perfect it, own that post and make it the best one yet. I have noticed when I truly take my time with a post, it ends up being the best one I have written and the numbers agree!

4. Start being more active in everyday life- Go out and experience the world! Why would you have anything to write about if your not living your life as you should. Boring people will write boring posts!

(Check out all the pictures from my road trip here and here)

5. Get a second or third opinion- Sometimes all you need to do is have someone to brainstorm with, someone who can give you a fresh outlook on things! K has given me many ideas and I have gotten motivated and turned them into my own. He'll literally just start dropping ideas and they will keep flowing, why? Because he is not under the pressure I put myself under. Have a second person proof read and give their honest opinion of the post as well. You'll see that they make some valid points!

Happy Blogging!


Work Place Harassment

Harassment in a workplace is probably the most annoying and disgusting thing I have ever had to encounter. I don't usually bat an eye if I get cat called, whistled at, etc. I don't give those kinds of people the time of day. If that's how someone wants to attempt to pick up a girl, they are going to be sad lonely men for the rest of their lives. But when someone brings that same obnoxious behavior into work and acts like it's okay to conduct themselves in anything other than a professional matter, it gets out of hand. 

I had an issue at my relatively new job where this guy thought it would be okay to flirt with me and touch me in any manner. Of course I told him quickly that I am in a happy long term relationship and that he needs to back off, but of course he kept coming at me persistently at times. Now I am a relatively easygoing person and will have a lot of patience with people but when this persisted to be a month long problem, I started to feel upset.

How many times would I have to tell the same person to stop?

Not to mention K was starting to worry and was growing more and more upset with every recap of my day that included said person. 

 One day it came to a head, as K was picking me up from work this guy decided to run after me! In the parking lot, at night, when for as far as he knew, I was all alone. I nearly had a heart attack when I heard someone running at me and after realizing who it was, I was livid. I screamed at him " What the F*** do you think your doing!" I turned back around and got into the car. Man I thought I was angry but K, well he was a different level. 

He was threatening to get out of the car and go say something, he was understandably worried about my safety at work. He proceeded to tell me how he doesn't feel comfortable with this at all, after all, how could he? There were men running after me from work, in a dark parking lot. We agreed that it was time to take this to a manager.

The next day I had told a coworker about this situation just for him to tell me that 3 other girls had complained about the same guy! I decided maybe one more and this guy would be out of here. I went to talk to the manager and explained to him that not only is this a uncomfortable work environment for me but it is also starting to bring problems into my home life. He nodded his head and agreed with me but when I asked to remain anonymous, I was told that "he'll know it was you." I'm sorry what? Not only was this person not being fired even though he has had multiple complaints, but now he was going to be informed that I was the one who complained, therefor creating a very hostile work environment for me to work in. I left feeling sick to my stomach and anxious, for as many people as hated him, there were just as many who stood by him.

I was convinced I would get dirty looks and snarky comments. That was not the kind of work environment that I would want to work in. Why was I essentially being punished for speaking up for myself and ensuring a comfortable work situation

Why is this still a problem in today's world?


Que Bella Pore Minimizing Mask Review

A while back I did a post on Que Bella face masks that I had recently purchased (find it here!) and realized I had yet to try the pore minimizing mask that I had! Oh how you forget about things that are deep in the depths of some random odd boxes you chose to never sort through! After coming home one day from work, exhausted and cranky, I decided it was definitely time for a face mask and a little pampering. My skin always acts up by the end of the work week, as much as I try to take care of my skin everyday, I do tend to neglect it through diet, water consumption, and sleep. 

What can I say, no one is perfect!

All of the sudden I remembered this face mask that I had never tried and went on quite the mini-adventure to go find it. Eventually after 5-10 minutes of rummaging through boxes I came across it and slathered it all over my face. 

Description of the product as found online on Que Bella's Website:   
"The Que Bella Pore Minimizing Mask can be used as a full facial mask or targeted T-Zone treatment. Enriched with Rosemary and Cottonseed oil’s antioxidant qualities, this works alongside the cleansing and clarifying properties of Nettle extract to soothe sensitive skin, while the Camphor Extracts boosts the circulatory system. Iris Extract, Vitamin A and Zinc Salt soothe and rebalance your skin, leaving a refreshed, smooth sensation."

I got the same tingling (almost burning sensation) that I had gotten from the dead sea mud mask, but it was more mild. I realized it was tingling excessively in spots that my skin probably had the most dirt and dead skin cells, which quite frankly I was cool with. I love to feel the face mask at work! After rinsing it off I noticed that a few stubborn pimples had almost totally dissipated and redness had overall gone down a lot. My skin had a sort of glow to it after washing off the dull skin that had reflected my long week! My skin felt smooth and looked so happy.

In Conclusion: I would totally suggest Que Bella masks to anyone and everyone looking for a skin pick me up! It is affordable, efficient, and it is the perfect ending to a rough week!


L'Oreal Everpure Blonde Brass Banisher

So you may or may not know that I have dyed my hair blonde. Not that my hair wasn't already blonde to begin with, but I  guess I just like to be as blonde as I was back when I was a little girl! The problem that I find myself running into is, if I wait too long between dye sessions (like say 6 months!), I find that my hair almost always comes out with a brassy tint to it in spots where it had a chance to become darker over time. 

I have tried many purple shampoos in the past, at least that is what I refer to them as, so it was decided that I would buy some to save me some heartache with my hair. I looked up brands online and found a John Freida one with nothing but positive reviews! This would be the one I was going to get! I hopped in the car and set out to le target.

Now the struggle is all too real...

When you find something online and then find that they do not have it in stock at the store. That was exactly the case when I got to the hair product aisles in target, so it was a matter of if I would take a loss and drive back home, or if I would settle for another brand.

 I settled.

I got L'Oreal Everpure Blonde Brass Banisher shampoo and conditioner. I read a few online reviews on the product and answers were mixed. I still decided to take the leap and go ahead and take the shampoo and conditioner home.

Description For The Product: Keep that pure, lustrous blonde color. L'Oréal Paris introduces EverPure Blonde. Their Phyto-Chrome technology neutralizes deeply nourishes dry, over-processed hair and brings back your 1st day color in only 1 use. This is the 1st sulfate-free color and care system to reverse unwanted brassy tones and dryness. EverPure Blonde contains vivid botanicals and gentle pigments to optically neutralize tonal shifts, safeguarding color purity. No harsh dyes. Sulfate-free.

Overall the products were alright to say the most. After the first 3 initial uses, I did notice a slight difference in the level of brassiness in my hair and it did lighten it up, but just a smidgen. I have used purple shampoos before and gotten my hair color to a very cool light color and with this product I will not hold my breath for results to equal those experiences. If nothing else it got half the job done and I wouldn't say that I am disappointed overall. It was well priced and left me feeling better about my hair but I definitely do understand the mixed reviews.

Conclusion: For a girl on a budget with moderate expectations, this is the product for you. I would not go out of my way to suggest this to a friend, but I wouldn't advise against it either. I am sure every experience is different :)