Mantras and staying true to that New Years Resolution!

Anyone else have a resolution to leave a few bad habits behind in 2017?! How are you doing?? Care to talk about it maybe via first quarter check-in?? Were a few of those habits maybe… self-destructive confidence, being too much of a people pleaser or maybe just being afraid to be 110% YOU!? Girl… all three were on my list and I am proud to say that I am in a better place today than I think I’ve been in 10 years or more. I have plenty of work still ahead and old habits are hard to leave behind, but I’m here to say that I am SO glad to have stuck to it this year. I’m holding myself accountable this year… no restarting again next year… Here’s what I’ve been focusing on and what’s giving me reason to celebrate:

Self-Love and Confidence: This is HUGE. Having unhealthy conversations with yourself or talking poorly about yourself are just going to alter how you see yourself. It places a huge negative weight on you constantly and drags you down a path of destructive physical and mental tendencies. We all know the bad stuff is easier to believe sometimes so when you get here… ladies it’s tough to bounce back.

Ex: Pointing out EVERY NEGATIVE thing you or someone else thinks about… Mentally demeaning yourself with thoughts or assumptions… You might hold onto negative things someone has said about you or situations and repeating them over and over.

People Pleaser: Everyone loves a yes-(wo)man right?! The one who seems to effortlessly pile anything and everything on her plate, no matter if it has anything to do with her or not. The one who can slap a smile on regardless of how shitty she’s being treated! Ladies this is the unhealthiest way to go about it… be a ‘people pleaser-ish’, know when to speak up, say no and put yourself first. There’s nothing wrong with assessing your situation, adjusting your sails and and continuing on utilizing a healthier solution.

Ex: Always backing down… apologizing when there’s no reason to… Going out of your way to please people even if it damages your own situation or negatively impacts you… you never say no and are usually find yourself in one-sided relationships.

Being True to YOU: This one is unique to you obviously… but the behaviors are usually pretty common. Ever wanted to do something, anything but you didn’t because you were afraid of what someone would say? Or maybe you’ve been ridiculed for something in the past and you have a complex about not following ‘the‘ crowd. Maybe you have BIG dreams and think they are impossible because they’re different than the norm…..? The need for approval is out of control and changing the way we think in a horrible way.

Ex: You’ve been amongst others who tear someone else apart for… anything. You feel the need to stay ‘safe’. Maybe lacking in the self-love department keeps you from trying new things. It’s ok to consider opinions of others in some situations, but the opinions of those who matter… should not keep you from doing something that is important to you.

These three things, which I’ll now refer to my heavy hitters, were way ahead of losing weight on my New Years resolutions list and the reason that I stuck with these three together is because they’re connected. At least to me anyway… they seem to collectively cloud my positivity and where I find one, the other two aren’t far behind. So early January I decided I needed a reboot, a serious one. I even stopped drinking… because I wanted only clear thoughts, strong will and my mission heavy on my mind. I got to work:

First, I re-read a book that ignites a serious call to action on my part…. Daring Greatly by Dr. Brene Brown. I’ve probably read it 3-4 times at least and am on my second copy as I couldn’t even find the first. It gave me the confidence boost I needed! Because it’s so easy when you’re feeling low to overlook these heavy hitters and place blame solely on you. It is easiest for you look past the environment you may be in, your habits and changing anything about yourself or the way you think would mean to subject yourself to social torture right?! No… it’s just putting a band-aid on a bomb.

I looked back on the last few years and I found a pretty distinct cycle that was very interesting! Starting with the bandaid, I hit the ground running until a bump in the road knocks me back into the same routine of avoiding conflict, yes man’ing and continuing to move forward with my head down and blinders on refusing to face reality. Until I reach the brink of boiling point… where I applied the band-aid again wondering why the hell I was in the same place… AGAIN.

Sound familiar? While our situations could be completely different… I think this cycle is present with everyone. I think the cycle itself is normal… I just want to lengthen the cycle, make it more constructive and learn from it each time as nobody should be a fan of bad history repeating itself.

Now that I’m equipped with the why… and the courage I was still seeking the how. Which has been tricky because I like things to be more organic or feel as they happen on their own. It’s a natural way to avoiding conflict I know… but it’s also how I’m wired and I’m trying to be ME remember. It was necessary to find a healthier version of a people pleaser, a place of balance. So this part of your how may vary.

I decided to employ these NEW habits… they went a long with the heavy hitter bad ones to make it more simple.

Self-Love and Confidence: Every negative is to be followed with two positives.

People Pleaser: You can’t play ball unless the ball comes back.

Being True to YOU: Anxiety requires action.

I actually laughed as I wrote these out because they just look so simple and I’m sure to some, independently they may already be a given part of their day-to-day. But to me… these were my starting point. Yours can be completely different… but keep it short and sweet, simple. Something you can quickly say to yourself. Your mantras…

Starting with self-love and confidence which has felt so good! You never realize how many times in a day you’re negative towards yourself until you make the conscious effort to following every negative with two positives. I learned this little tip at an adult learning seminar a few years ago and at the time I thought it could probably only be relevant in peer-to-peer situations… but you can’t be reliant on someone else when making these kind of changes. Of course the affirmation is nice from another individual, but it is necessary to learn how to love yourself first no matter how awkward you might feel. Talk yourself up!

This simple action and really practicing it has significantly increased my level of confidence. I think about some of the most confident people I know, they do this naturally… I’m just working at it. Just as some people are naturally physically fit and athletic… I have to work at it! It has brought so much happiness and it’s becoming so organic that now it just happens. Something like a negative… followed by a ‘no, you’re…’.

Now people pleasing… this one hoonnn-eyyy!! It has plagued me for years and I really had to do some research on this one. The common suggestion was of course to ease yourself into more assertive behaviors first in safer situations with less at stake. Situations that aren’t going to ruin relationships or anything, but a healthy way to break the cycle. This gave me a rush of reality that I needed first of all! In these situations I realized that while I assumed one and only one possible outcome (over thinkers say ‘yea’), it actually evoked warm and fuzzies. I could see where over time this would cultivate more respectful relationships and also a healthier level of respect for myself.

In all the research I did, I realized there would be a time where the ‘ball wouldn’t come back’… meaning that some relationships would in fact be cut off. But I have to have the confidence to throw it, respectfully. Without practicing all this together as part of an entire overhaul resolution I wouldn’t have been able to conquer these heavy hitters together, especially this one. But because I am cohesively and consciously attempting to remedy these habits, they’re organically coming along together. Giving me the boost needed to do difficult things with confidence and the ability to continue seeing the big picture. This is the organic, natural outcome that I’ve been seeking.

It’s made the third of the heavy hitters, being mySELF, easier. It’s brought back a few lost quirks, a couple forgotten tendencies and a new found love for who I am. The reason my mantra here was ‘anxiety requires action’ was because I knew that my fears were not realistic. Think about it… anxiety or over thinking can keep you from doing something, right?! And then maybe you get ballsy and just do it… you go ‘that wasn’t so bad’! Through repetition I’m forcing myself to act instead of worry. Like with this post… I’ll post it without even re-reading it… because I’ll find every excuse not to post. Requiring action just means to do it. Regardless of the annoying errors in grammar or whatever, you’ll appreciate the post more than the draft… I hope.

Now don’t read through this as it’s been a life crisis… I respectfully wanted to make a change within myself. No crisis… just realizing that I’m in my early 30’s and seek change in certain areas within own my life and any change should start by taking a good hard look at yourself first! I hear so many people chanting for change, you know you see it too! Many condescendingly preach and judge from their perch, yet they refuse to even peek into their own corner. My corner… that’s what I can change, my corner is what I can control and where I start if I hope to evoke any sort of big change or influence throughout my lifetime.

In the short time I’ve been consistent with this blog, I’ve recieved messages and feedback from those who enjoy what I write and the transparency I have. This means so much, but even if I hadn’t heard a word… I’d still be here! Because I know if I’m thinking anything… someone else does too! No matter if it’s about products, fashion, LIFE… Maybe having similar struggles and the eagerness to bring about change… for you and for myself I share this. Confidently continue on… no matter your resolutions, if they’re not about personal growth or changes, these principles would still apply. You’d still need those mantras to keep you on track! It’s about believing in yourself, loving and OWNING who you are… having confidence is KEY.

See great in yourself, believe in yourself, be kind to yourself… and in doing so, you’ll find it makes it much easier to do the same for someone else.

Xo

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Mommin’ ain’t easy….

Don’t let the title fool you… this will not be a post about how hard the responsibilities or the actual day-to-day life of a mother. It’s about time… and how it knows no patience and moves quicker than I can sometimes handle.

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Nathan is my youngest of two, today is HIS day… his eleventh birthday! I could not be more proud of the character, the personality and the brilliance of my ‘little’ Nate. He is so sweet, so kind and caring! When I think about all the awesome wrapped up in such an adorable boy… I am so thankful and again just incredibly proud!

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The older my boys get I miss the baby giggles, rocking them to sleep, the cute stages of growth and discovery… and before you say it, I also miss crying and the late night diaper changes. I miss all of the dependency on mom and dad. They’re getting SO big and while they still need mom and dad, maybe more than ever, it’s different.

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From day one, he’s been exceptional. The day he was born was a b l u r… so fast and unexpected! I woke Chris up in the middle of the night because I was having strong and steady contractions. We were very cautious because it was still early… Nate wasn’t due for a few more weeks and with Christopher I had issues with pre-term contractions. Not Braxton hicks… but pre-term labor. So we decided to go into the hospital at the advice of our midwife because with Christopher I had to be given medication to stop the progress of labor… so this made us extra careful with Nate – I was already high-risk. Chris and I had suffered the loss of a unique ectopic pregnancy just before we became pregnant with Nathan.

We started to load up the car with everything (lesson learned from the first born… always be ready) and asked our friends to watch over Christopher, as we figured we would be back home before he would even wake up! As we loaded everything up, the pain got so severe I had to just get in the car and sit down… it was intense. My face even started going numb… at which point Chris turned our minivan into an ambulance and quickly got us to the hospital, running 3-4 toll booths on our hour+ drive. We get there and are quickly informed that Nathan’s on the way… no stopping him now! But there’s a problem… he’s been upside down and backwards for weeks now and they want to turn him, manually.

I’ll save most of the gruesome details but turning him did NOT work and was the MOST painful thing I have ever experienced… even more painful than childbirth. So emergency c-section it was! I remember being so excited and yet SO scared at the same time… Nathan’s heart rate had begun to slow so everything moved FAST.

Chris is the absolute best man ever for many reasons… but he is specifically my knight in shining armor when it comes to keeping me calm and melting my fears away. The second he was whisked into the operating room I was ok! And before we knew it, Nathan was born. March 12, 2007. He was a little premature but the doctors were confident that his lungs were strong and just wanted a few days to monitor him in the hospital so we stayed a little longer. This also worked out because he was tounge-tied too, so we remedied that during those extra days too. We went home with our healthy little boy 6 days later.

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Since the day he was born, he’s smiled and laughed his way to who he is and where he is today. He continues to amaze Chris and I every step of the way! We’re excited to see the man he’s growing into, but still just reminisce about him being the cute, cuddly little baby boy who brightened so many of our days. I feel like I’ve only blinked since he was born and today he’s 11?? This is what makes being a mom so hard is you feel like you’re rushing, busy, you’re doing this, doing that… practice here or there. Somedays you turn around and time has left you standing there in yesterdays makeup, holding a pair of pants that your child can’t even wear anymore asking yourself where did the time go?!

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I started my journey as a mother a lot earlier than most considering Christopher was born when I was just 18 years old. I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason and I know why my boys came into my life when they did… I’m so thankful! Many of my childhood friends are just now starting their journey as parents and it brings back so many memories of my ‘babies’ that are now as tall or taller than me. I continuously reflect on the wonderful memories we have made since they were small… which is wonderful, but also hard. It’s hard to face the reality of how quickly time moves on! Some moments you pray with a passion that they’ll just hurry up and pass you by and then others you want to last a lifetime. Looking back, they all only last a moment… a second and then you blink and find yourself in another phase, another moment.

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I just wish I had a clicker… you know a remote. I’d love to be able to select chapters to relive, go back and visit whenever I wanted. Today I’d go back to the day Nathan was born, the nights I spent in the rocker with a hungry boy fighting to stay awake, the day he first learned how to giggle, the day he discovered his feet, that time he threw up all over me, his carseat and his brother in Target, his first steps, first day of school, when he first rode a bike… you get the picture. I’d relive it all… the good, the bad and the ugly because all of it led us here to the eleventh year and taught us so much along the way.

To my Nate: You change the world little by little every day and I know your impact is only going to grow, just as you do. Be fearless in everything you do because your heart is going to lead the way… be braver than brave. Continue to be kind and use your heart for good, listen to it… it’s always true. Know that you can be ANYTHING you want to be…. I know you want to be a Marine Biologist… and maybe you will… but know that you can do ANYTHING, be ANYTHING and do not ever let anyone tell you different. Your dad and I love you more than you’ll ever know and support you always.

Xo

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everyday face

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I love wearing make-up but I have to admit I’m super picky! Especially with my everyday look… I’m usually getting ready in rush and sometimes I even get ready on the go so I need to use minimal product. So these products are my everyday need to succeed. They’ll all fit in a small pouch, they’re easily applied and I can achieve my desired look quickly!

So what is the everyday look? I try to wear a neutral eye, something that’s going to accentuate my natural features without looking too extra! A look that is more simple and fresh faced. My day to day is usually jam packed so I look for products that keep my naturally oily t-zone matte without looking cake-y! <– this is SO hard to achieve especially in the summer! So when I find products that help me achieve this… I obviously hold on TIGHT!

Let’s get to it!

First, I just prepped my face this morning by washing it with just a few drops Dr. Bronners Pure Castile Soap ($10) on a facial sponge.

Now hydrate! I use Aveeno Absolutely Ageless Daily Moisturizer with SPF 30 (under $20). It’s light and isn’t greasy at all so of course it’s perfect to wear prior to applying makeup! It lasts me about a month or so too. Inexpensive enough to still be quality moisturizer in my opinion! I wear it day or night!

Then I prep my face for makeup application with Prep+Prime from MAC Cosmetics ($26 or $12 for Travel Size). I have talked about this before and sometimes I call it Fix+ which it’s also called. I love using it before makeup AND after. It’s a great primer for that dewey yet matte finish. I just feel like my products look better when I prep with it too, any product! You can find it at Nordstrom or any MAC Cosmetics store. Just a few sprays all over and let air dry a few seconds before you get started.

Foundation! I’m currently in love with liquid or stick foundations because my skin is SO dry right now. Today I’m using the Flash Focus Hydrating Foundation Stick ($40) in ‘Light’. It is heavy enough for a good coverage and to give me some moisture but not so heavy on my face that you can see it. I received it in a PR package from Wander Beauty last week and I just couldn’t believe how much I love the long lasting wear. At the end of the day it was still matte and looked fresh. I also did a full review of a few other products HERE. I apply foundation with an e.l.f cosmetics foundation brush. I prefer using brushes because they don’t soak up as much makeup as say a beauty blender and the finish is more flawless. I noticed I was going through SO much liquid foundation when I was using a beauty blender! You can get a starter kit of these inexpensive brushes online or at Target! Blend, blend, BLEND! Paying special attention to your jawline and around your hairline… forgetting these spots isn’t good!

Once I have blended my foundation I like to brighten my eyes. Just below my lower lashes I have very noticeable under-eye circles. I apply a SMALL amount of concealer onto an e.l.f concealer brush and create a small triangle from the inside corner of my eye, down the bridge of my nose and then up to the outer corner of my eye. I do this on both sides and then blend with my foundation brush. Today I used Younique Mineral Touch Skin Perfecting concealer ($29). Shout out to my girl Mishae, she’ll take care of you! I also love MAC Cosmetics Studio Finish SPF35 Concealer ($21) I use NW15! Blending again us your secret here! The more you blend, the more natural the finish!

Powder is next! If I’m not using foundation I like to use a powder foundation. So since we started with foundation we’re going to use just a simple pressed powder. I love Younique’s Mineral Pressed Powder ($32)… a wispy dusting of this and I have an all day matte finish that’s even and clean. Looking at the website, it’s also considered a ‘powder foundation’… oops. But it’s obviously so light that I couldn’t tell! HA! Perfect!

I also used a bronzer next to do a little natural contouring. I used Younique Beachfront Bronzer in Sunset ($32). When we apply foundation or powder to our face I feel like we lose that natural line that falls just under the cheekbone.This little trick slims your face and adds dimension so it’s perfect for especially oval or round face like mine. To do this, take a bronzer brush (shorter more controlled bristles) with just a little bronzer and pucker your lips. Just below your now more visible cheekbone apply the bronzer back and forth along this line. Afterwards I used THIS ($6) kabuki brush to blend!

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I love MAC Pro Palette Pans ($8 for pan, $6 per color). I can create looks and keep them together. These colors I’m using today are CONCRETE, HONEY LUST, GOLDMINE and SHROOM. I used concrete on the outer corner using a 224S MAC tapered blending brush, honey lust to blend over to the inner corner and goldmine in the center of my lid. Shroom I use to clean it all up. I blend it into the inner corner of my eye and just under my eyebrow as a highlighter. I use this color a LOT as it is the perfect highlighter without being too light or bright white!

Mascara is usually my Better than Sex by Too Faced ($13)! I love how it lengthens my lashes and gives them volume without smearing or flaking throughout the day! I also love to add a drop of lavender oil when I break open a new one because that naturally helps to grow healthy lashes! Of course it smells yummy too!

Now for a matte pinky nude lip, I use MAC Liptensity Lipstick in Medium Rare ($21)! It’s perfect for everyday and I can even glam it up with gloss if I’d like to wear it more for date night! I spritz on a few more sprays of MAC Prep+Prime Fix+ before I dust a little setting powder under my eyes and on my t-zone! Ready to go!

ACS_0064I love wearing these colors and this look with just about anything other than black. It’s just a more natural, easy and quick look for everyday! I hope this answered a few of the questions I received!! I love getting questions, thank you!!

Now go try something new with your makeup! Ha! Or maybe even branch out to one of the products I mentioned above! Remember I’m super picky so I don’t suggest anything that I haven’t personally fallen in love with first! Let me know what you think!!

Xo,

Kate