Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Life lately

When I got back into the swing of blogging I meant to do a little "hey this is what I've been up to since I last blogged!" sort of post and then kind of forgot about it until now. My life has completely changed since I was last blogging in June and I am such a different person - that person I wanted to be back then? I am actually becoming her now. And that is AWESOME! 

So, here's a little bit of what my life has been like lately...

It took a while. A LONG while, for me to figure out exactly what to do with my life. Part of the struggle was being unhappy personally, and another part of the struggle was not being at the right school for me. Right now I am back at Salem State and am once again a Criminal Justice major. I honestly regret leaving the major and the school in the first place, but I also know I would not appreciate the program I am in if I didn't go out and see what my other options were. Salem is where I belong, and is absolutely worth the 45 minute drive (when there isn't traffic, that is...) 4 days a week. 

My course load is heavy. A lot of my assignments are opinion based on fact, and you can't find the answers in any text book. These are the kinds of assignments I thrive on, but they are incredibly time consuming and difficult. Knowing that finishing this degree will actually pave my way in a career I love and isn't just something to do because people tell me I have to has really been pushing me harder than ever before, and its so much more rewarding. I love it!

I definitely want to get more into what i want to do with my life and why, but that's at least one other post of its own. I'm really excited about it and definitely want to share, so be looking out for that if you're interested in that kind of post.

I got a new job in November as a Beauty Advisor at ULTA and can honestly say I love my job and going to work every single day. Sometimes it can be really overwhelming and stressful, and I still have a lot to learn. But every shift I get more and more comfortable. I will never be that person who can throw on a killer sales pitch to sell an product I know nothing about, but I like to think I'm pretty awesome at giving great customer service and I absolutely LOVE talking about makeup with people! I especially love when I can help people who have the same kind of skin sensitivities as I do. In the past month or so I've had several customers ask questions specific to eczema and one who had a soy allergy as well. Half the time I end up learning something from them as well, and it rarely feels like work.

Beauty is something that I've really developed a passion for and hope to talk about a lot more on this blog. It's something that took me out of a pretty bad personal slump and really helped make me the person I am today, as vein as that probably sounds to some people. I;m obviously in school for something completely unrelated to beauty - I have other plans for myself and have no visions of a career in the beauty industry, but I feel really fortunate that I can work in a field I have a true passion for at the age of 22 and I'm gaining so much experience I can take with me to any career or field.

Health + Fitness.
The gym and eating right I are becoming best friends again. In September my grandfather passed away and while I didn't realize it at all at the time, I can look back and see that it really took a toll on my health. I stopped eating as great as I had been over the summer and started drinking more. I typically enjoy my wine or a few margaritas about once or twice a month, so twice a week? Yeah, that didn't sit so hot with my body. Same with icky foods I technically only have an intolerance for but when I throw in the towel, say "fuck it" and just eat whatever I want, it becomes a much bigger problem that is out of control before I know it.

As much as I know that certain foods don't agree with my body, I really tend to push my limits as much as I can. And I'll do fine for awhile, before it all comes crashing. That isn't fun. So, I'm taking better care of myself now and telling myself that that will be the last time I fall off the wagon. The physical and emotional toll on my body when I eat gluten and soy is just bad. Really really bad. 

During that same time, I lost my running stamina. Which just sucks. A lot. But I've gotten myself back into the groove of things. Obviously, February in New England is not the time to be running outside, so the gym has been getting a lot of love from me. Typically, I do my cardio at the gym but strength training at home, just because that's out it works out best with my schedule. We have a full rack of dumbbells from 5-50 lbs at my house and a weight bench plus a slew of medicine balls, workout bands, and other fun exercise goodies. I also try and get to a Pilates class once a week, although its been hard lately between classes cancelled due to the snow and picking up extra hours at work. 

Health and fitness are other topics I love learning more about and really miss blogging about it. It's so helpful for me when I am feeling discouraged about my progress to look back and see how far I have actually come - I need to see the visuals and read how rewarding it was to reach all of those goals!

In general, I can honestly say I've been really happy lately. I have a feeling 2014 is going to be my year. I wouldn't say I have it all together, because that's far from being true, but I can say I am so, so happy with what my life is currently. I love my job and I love school. I finally had the courage to say "peace out" to people I allowed to hurt me for years and have gotten so close to people I pushed to the side for reasons I wish I knew. I am surrounded by so many healthy relationships and am finding myself climbing out of my comfort zone more and more.

It's really incredible what can come from a healthier, happier mind. And I am so glad to be able to enjoy this time of my life and I'm even more glad to be back blogging all about it :)

Friday, February 7, 2014


Isn't it funny how some nights you know as early as 10pm that it will be an entirely sleepless night? You're tired exhausted and want nothing more than to sleep, yet insomnia has already started getting the best of you and you just know tomorrow morning is going to be hell? That was me last night. Exhausted. Wanted nothing more than to just fall asleep already. And yet forced myself to stay up and see how many episodes of HIMYM I could fit in before just flat out crashing.

Nights like last night are becoming increasingly popular for my brain for whatever reason, and I can't say I'm a fan.

If yesterday's post was any indication, I've had a lot on my mind lately. A lot of thoughts and emotions I simply did not want to deal with or couldn't handle facing yet. So I shoved them towards the back of my mind, hoping maybe they would just go away. Obviously, that never works, and they just sat there eating away at me. It's probably a key reason why my anxiety and depression have felt so strong lately - I had things I needed to deal with that I instead left to just sit and collect dust in my brain. It wasn't healthy, but sometimes you just need some time before you're ready to face reality. And that was me.

It's hard to say goodbye to relationships that you worked your ass off for, even when you know its the only thing to do. It's especially hard when you let yourself be someone else's punching for years, deeply hurting yourself in the process, and then can't even find the courage to stand up for yourself when its all over. I never want to be the reason someone else is upset or aggravated in any way. Even if in turn, I am the one who has to suffer. I understand the psychology behind constantly needing to please people and make other people happy before yourself. It's something I pride myself on at times. But there is also such thing as taking it to far. I have been carrying the weight of other people on my shoulders for too long. I worry more about them than myself, and its started to take a major toll. I can't do it anymore. And I need to find someway to not feel guilty, and finally put myself first.

Guilt is a really hard feeling to face, especially when you know it isn't warranted in any way, and when you don't know any other way. Guilt is a feeling I know far too well, and a feeling I have let hold me back for far too long. I disagree with someone else, I feel guilty. I share my opinions, I feel guilty. Someone asks for a favor I just can't do for whatever reason, I feel guilty. 

And it needs to stop.

I know that I'm a good person. I know that I will always go above and beyond for the people around me whenever I can. But sometimes, I just can't. And instead of shoving more on my plate than I can handle, I need to learn when to say "no" and "I'm sorry, but I just can't right now". 9 times out of 10, people understand and its no big deal at all. Why must I bust my ass and shove my personal responsibilities aside only for me to grow resentful for my decision in the first place? It isn't fair, to either of us.

There is too much I want to do in life to be bogged down by constant guilt. It isn't fair to myself to to let the fear of feeling guilty continue to hold me back. I will never amount to any of the things I know I am beyond capable of if I don't put myself and my own needs first. I've said it before, and have yet to find it in myself to follow through. That annoying little five letter word kicks in and continues to hold me back. I need to find a way around it before it consumes my entire life to the point of no return. 

Recognizing and admitting to the problem is half the battle though, right? Here's to hoping I can find the courage to tackle the other half. And soon.

Friday, January 31, 2014

January Beauty Favorites

I am entirely too obsessed with makeup and beauty products and so easily influenced by YouTube videos and other blogs. Now that I work in beauty, my obsession has only grown!

One of the reasons I wanted to get back to blogging was to have an outlet to blab on and on about my favorite products and also some of the products I didn't find to be worth all of the hype. Today I'm sharing my favorite products during the month of January - all of the products have been my go to's during the past month!

1. Benefit It's Potent! Eye Cream 
This was my first experience using an eye cream and I must say, I didn't get what all the hype about eye cream was about but its not an essential part of my beauty routine. I put the tiniest amount on the tip of my finger and gently press it in underneath my eyes. It immediately brightens my under eye area and hides my dark circles. I use it before my foundation and don't need to use a brightening concealer at all when I do. The price tag for the full size is thirty something dollars, which I'm not exactly thrilled about spending. But, I've been using my sample every day since receiving it and have hardly made a dent in it, so I know my investment will in fact last me.

2. Benefit They're Real Mascara
I had been wanting to try this mascara for awhile now but couldn't justify spending $23 on something I wasn't even sure I would like. I am used to spending $6 on the original CG lashblast (orange tube) and being very pleased. I was so thrilled when I got a sample from work, I haven't worn another mascara (on my top lashes, at least) since I picked it up. The end of the wand is covered with rubber bristles to really help you separate your lashes and ensure you hit every single one. I would recommend this mascara to anyone - it has totally transformed my makeup routine. I can easily throw on a single coat, no shadow or liner, and look like I made a HUGE effort getting ready. When really, it took about 12 seconds!

3. Urban Decay Shattered Face Case
I picked this case up before Christmas when it was our beauty steal of the day at Ulta. It was an absolute steal at only $22 (normally $45) before even using my discount. The case came with 5 shadows, 2 blushes and a highlight - all of which are incredibly wearable. I typically use the 2 shades on the far right and then work in one of the shades on the left into my crease if I want some color. Also in the case was a black eye liner and pink lip balm, both of which I also love. It's pretty much an entire face (minus) foundation in one, which is an awesome bang for your buck.

4. L'Oreal Go 360 Clean Deep Exfoliating Scrub
This has to be my favorite discovery of the past month. My chin area has been having major break out issues lately, and nothing really seemed to help. The little scrubber guy that came with this was intriguing to me, so I kind of just picked it up on a whim. It's been working wonders for me since! I honestly started noticing a different in my blemishes the very next day. I don't find it to be too harsh on my super sensitive skin, although it is definitely drying (which it the point of the product). I simply use the sponge to lighty scrub my blemishes, and then moisturize immediately after getting out of the shower.

5. Revlon Colorstay for Normal to Dry skin
I saved my absolute favorite for last. I can not even say how absolutely in love and obsessed I am with this product...there simply aren't words. I have heard so many people talk about the oil/combo skin version but never knew a dry skin version was out there. It was another product I picked of a whim because it was there, and now I can't picture my life without it. I'm in the shade Ivory, and it matches my skin perfectly - I have never had such a perfect match before! The coverage is medium to full and truly stays all day. It doesn't cake and looks so natural. I would recommend it to anyone!