Seersucker Sass

Monday, March 19, 2018

Five Things I'm Doing for Myself this Week

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It's no secret that self-care is a trending topic in 2018.  First there were the posts about bubble baths and face masks.  Then there were the "opposition" posts about how self-care was so much more than bubble baths and face masks, and we should be focusing on therapy and mental health.

In my opinion, self-care not only looks a little differently for everyone, but it looks a little differently by the day.  Some days, I need a really good ranting session with my girlfriends where I'm free to yell and get worked up and get it out of my system.  Other days, I need to be on my yoga mat, sweating out my stress.  And after a really long day, there's nothing better than soaking in a hot bath and just enjoying the silence.

Yesterday morning, I realized that I had some errands that couldn't wait any longer.  Nothing opened until noon, so instead of continuing to sit around and wait for the world to open, I left a little early and treated myself to a healthy breakfast at my favorite juice bar.  While enjoying my avocado toast, I kept thinking about just how nice it felt to take a little time to do something for myself.  So I made a list of five things I would do for myself this week.  I'm sharing it not just for accountability, but also to encourage you to do the same.  As we discussed before, self-care doesn't have to be a face mask and it doesn't have to be therapy.  Self-care is whatever you need it to be that day.

1. Getting my eyebrows done.  Yesterday, I took the time to have my brows threaded for the first time since January.  A brow pencil is one of the few cosmetics I use on a daily basis, and it was to the point that even a brow pencil could not save them.  Despite the fact that brow threading is not a painless experience, I felt like a new person walking out of the salon.  Moving forward, I hope to prioritize taking pride in my appearance a little more, as it's currently the first thing I'm willing to cut when I need more hours in a day.

2. Recording a "list of gratitude" throughout the day.  Y'all, I cannot tell you how much this has rocked my Monday.  Instead of giving something up for Lent, I decided to be more intentional about gratitude. [more about that here]  Mondays can be rough, so I decided that this week, I would make a list of things throughout the day that I'm thankful for.

So far, I'm really thankful that I can move my car because there is no longer a random washing machine sitting behind it (I know, seriously, WTF.  #apartmentlife), I made it into the office before 8 AM, I have an amazing boss, and my new toner is working.  It is crazy how differently I'm seeing my day now that I'm looking for the positives.

3. Working on a personal writing project.  I love to write, and I've decided to write a work of fiction for fun.  I don't have intentions to publish it or really share it with anyone except a girlfriend or two, it's just something that I'm doing to prove to myself that I can and to continue sharpening my writing skills.  I started this weekend, and it's crazy how much more inspired I've felt with blogging.  I plan to dedicate a few hours this week strictly to working on this project.

4. Ordering new powder because the one I currently use just isn't doing it for me anymore.  Have you ever found yourself using a beauty product just because you have it?  That's  where I am with my setting powder right now.  It finds tiny, almost nonexistent fine lines on my skin and clings to them.  After pretty much giving myself a complex, I've decided the powder has to go.  I'm taking the plunge and ordering Glossier's Wowder (along with their Cloud Paint because I also have a complex about looking washed out... but that's a different story for a different day.)  And to avoid feeling wasteful, I'll be passing the product on to a friend who isn't dealing with fine lines.  Everyone wins :)

5. Scheduling time to do nothing after work.  This is a big step for me.  I only have plans after work two days this week - one is a coffee meeting at a cafe that I love and one is dinner with my best girlfriend.  I actually turned down a meeting this week because it would be occurring immediately after my annual skin check up, and I knew my body and mind would need time to rest afterwards.

I want to hear from you - what are you going to do for yourself this week?  Write it out, schedule it on your calendar, whatever you need to do, let's make it happen!

PS - If you pray, would you mind to send some prayers my way on Thursday?  As I mentioned, I'll be having my annual skin check up.  I trust that it's all part of God's plan for my life, but prayers for calm nerves while potentially playing the waiting game and acceptance of the outcome are much appreciated.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

March Coffee Date

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I don't know about y'all, but March snuck up on me.  It felt like January lasted 12 years, then I blinked and February was gone.  Here's to hoping that March is that perfect sweet spot of chaos and stillness.

I'm excited to sit down and have a little coffee date with you this Tuesday morning.  Grab your beverage of choice and let's chat!

GOALS UPDATE  •  As always, let's start off by talking about our goals.  How are your goals going?  Any new ones?  Here's a quick update on my 2018 goals.
  • Goat yoga - It happened!  And it was glorious.  I'll have a full recap of my experience soon, but in the meantime, you can read more about it here.
  • Read 12 books - I'm a little ashamed at how little reading I've done recently.   I finished Party Girl on February 5, and I haven't read another book since.  I'm currently reading Awkward Grace, The Beautiful and the Damned, and Bad Girls Throughout History.  I'm still ahead of my goal, having read five out of 12 books so far, but I'm hoping to make more progress in March.
  • Go on more fancy dates with my girlfriends - While I haven't been going on any "fancy dates" with them, I've spent a lot of time with my girlfriends this month.  My friend Lindsay and I had a rough night last week, so we ended up grabbing a late dinner and drinks and laughing for two hours straight.  Last night I had coffee with a friend that I've known since elementary school.  I'm thankful to have such encouraging, empowering, positive women in my life, and I hope to spend even more time with them this month.
  • Incorporate more natural products into my daily routine -  I finally got around to writing a post about this!  And I can't wait for my next post, as I've added even more products, including teas that will help with inflammation and bloating, aloe pills, chlorophyll water, and so much more :) 
  • Meditate daily -  I actually stopped meditating.  I was doing really great on my streak and had almost reached 50 days, and then I got out of my routine on the night of the dog rescue.  To be really honest, I dreaded meditating.  I loved how I felt afterwards, but I would even put off going to bed at night because I just couldn't get excited about meditation.

TRAVEL  •  I went to Asheville this month to celebrate my birthday!  And I'm currently planning a quick, long weekend trip to Myrtle Beach next month.  I haven't been there in ten years and I have no idea what to expect, so please send any recommendations my way!

LENT  •  When I decided to start controlling my health through my diet, I had to give up a ton of things that I loved.  In an effort to be kinder to myself, I decided to add a new habit instead of removing something from my world.  I'm writing 40 notes of gratitude over the 40 days of Lent.  I'm also removing items and friendships from my life that I feel no longer serve me in order to make room for more gratitude in my every day life.  Did you give something up this year?

HEALTH  •  I'm hanging in there!  As I mentioned above, I've added some new supplements and a variety of teas into my life to help with inflammation and bloating, as those are the two symptoms that bring me the most pain and stress.

BEST PURCHASES  •  To be completely honest, I haven't done much online shopping this month.  I'm definitely still loving the contour sticks that I raved about last month, and my (knockoff) beauty blender has been doing overtime.  

WHAT'S NEXT  •  While I haven't been blogging very much lately, I've been doing a crazy amount of work behind the scenes.  I hope you'll continue to bear with me and my limited posting schedule, because there are really great things in store.

What's new with you?!  Leave a life update in the comments.  I love to know what you're up to, how your goals are going, and how I can support you!

Thursday, March 1, 2018


I love trying new products!  One of my favorite things about having a blog is that it gives me an opportunity to share my findings with y'all.  There are two things that make me more likely to buy a product - organic buzz on reviews written by bloggers and actually being able to sample a product before purchasing.

If you share my sampling obsession, you need to give PLAY! by Sephora a try!  For $10 a month, you receive five deluxe samples + a bonus, packaged in a cute little bag.  (So perfect for organizing goodies under your cabinet, traveling with jewelry, etc.)

Marc Jacobs Beauty Velvet Noir Mascara ($26) •  This mascara is incredible.  It gives me flashbacks to the summer I had eyelash extensions.  If you're looking for a mascara to separate and lengthen your lashes, this is it!  I don't wear it every day, but I love it for special occasions when I really want to up the glam factor or on days where I wear minimal makeup but want to look polished.
Briogeo Rosarco Milk Reparative Leave-In Conditioning Spray ($20) •  This was not a great product for me.  I have oily hair, so I intentionally avoided getting this anywhere near my roots, and somehow it still made my entire head an oil slick.  

Bare Minerals GEN NUDE Matte Liquid Lipcolor in 'Swag' ($19)  •  The name for this shade is cringeworthy, but the product is not.  It's hard to find a good matte lipcolor that isn't drying, but this one passes the test.  I love to wear this to events because it's long lasting. 

Touch in Sol Eye Shadow Duo in 'Talia' ($25)  •  This is another one of my favorites for special occasions!  The product has both a glitter primer and a fine, loose glitter that can be applied on top of the stickier primer.  This was one of my favorites during the holiday season, and I plan to pull it out again when spring rolls around.

IT Cosmetics Confidence in a Cleanser ($28) •  I love this cleanser so much that I purchased it!  Its milky and gentle on my sensitive skin, and my skin made noticeable improvements when I started using this.

IT Cosmetics Confidence in a Cream ($48) •  I started using this moisturizer when my oily skin started getting dry patches, and it cleared that right up.  I will probably transition over to a lighter gel product for spring, as feel like the heaviness of this product is better suited for fall and winter.

I want to hear from you - what should I try next?!  What have you been using that you love?  

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Natural Products Worth Trying

If you've been following along for awhile now, you know that I've slowly started cutting back on the chemicals in my life.  I know I'll never live a lifestyle that is 100% free of harmful chemicals (is that even possible?), but I've started making small changes for healthier options.

I was diagnosed with cancer at 20, and it was related to a medication that I was taking for a chronic illness.  Last summer, my chronic illness flared up, and I decided that enough was enough.  I didn't want to go back on steroids and taking a literal handful of pills twice a day.  So I did my research, and I started taking the steps to control my health through my diet.  I worked with my specialist on this, and she set up benchmarks.  I understand that being able to do that is a luxury, because there was no way that this would have been feasible 10 years ago when I was diagnosed.  (I am currently still receiving my infusion, but I am getting a second opinion soon to see if I can start to get a lower dose less frequently.)

When I began researching how my diet affects my health, it opened my eyes to what I was putting in my body.  This is when I really started swapping things out for healthier options.  I'm really excited to share some of my recent finds with you. 

I want to preface this by saying that I'm going to be sharing what I like about these products... that's it.  Nothing along the lines of shaming or scaring you into buying them, because that's silly.  It's so important for us to make choices that work for us and our lifestyles.

Thieves Dental Floss  This is the easiest swap I made.  I like that this floss is a little thicker and sturdier than flosses I've used in the past.  It's Thieves branded, but there isn't much of a taste.

Thieves Mouthwash  This is not the most delicious mouthwash I've ever used, but I prefer it's spicier taste to the sometimes overwhelmingly fresh taste of other mouthwashes.  My teeth and gums are sensitive, and I have found this to be less irritating.

Lavender Essential Oil  I use lavender for everything.  Blemish?  Lavender.  Can't sleep?  Lavender on the wrists.  Not sure which oil to use?  Lavender.  And it sure doesn't hurt that it smells amazing.  (When people ask me if I could only have two oils, this is consistently one of my picks!)

Native Deodorant  This product has been a game changer for me.  I spent over six years struggling to find a natural deodorant after cancer.  I had lymph nodes removed from my right arm pit, and everything irritated my armpits.  There are so many things I love about this deodorant.  It's aluminum free.  I can actually use a scented deodorant (#thelittlethings).  And Native offers free shipping and free returns, and you can even purchase in bulk and save some money.  I could go on and on about how much I love this product.  

Thieves Spray  I originally purchased this to use on my yoga mat, as the hot yoga studio I attend uses a similar essential oils based cleaner.  I usually keep this in my purse just in case, especially during flu season when it seems like everything is covered in germs.  I like to use this on my bathroom counter, I even took my mom some of this when she was in the hospital so she could keep her food tray wiped down.

Thieves Toothpaste  I switched over to this toothpaste because it was another easy swap, and fluoride is added into the water where I live.  I have sensitive teeth and gums, and this is extremely gentle on them.

Thieves Waterless Purifier  I cannot say enough positive things about this product.  Unlike hand sanitizing products I've used it the past, this doesn't dry my skin out, doesn't irritate cuts, and doesn't have that strangely sterile smell of other sanitizing products.  (I actually love how this smells so much that if they made this in giant bottles, I would stock the office with them.)

Maple Holistics Tea Tree Oil Shampoo (c/o)  This stuff is amazing if your scalp starts to freak out and flake when the seasons change or if you accidentally sunburn your scalp.  I use this every other time I was my hair, and I continue to be pleased with the results.  It uses some of my favorite oils - lavender, tea tree, argan, rosemary, and jojoba.  (And it's Prime Eligible!)

Floss  ||  Mouthwash  ||  Lavender Oil ||  Deodorant  ||  Thieves Spray  ||  Toothpaste  ||  Hand Sanitizer  ||  Shampoo

I hope that you enjoyed learning more about some of my favorite natural products.  I want to hear from you - have you found any natural products that I should check out?!

Also, somewhat unrelated, but I'm going to Asheville this weekend to celebrate my birthday, and I will finallyyyyy have the chance to shop at Trader Joe's.  Any recommendations?  So far I have their frozen dumplings, turmeric tea, and chicken less tenders on my shopping list!

Monday, February 19, 2018

This is 27

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Can we talk about something for a second?  I'm not the biggest fan of my birthday.  I used to be obsessed with celebrating, but around the time of my 25th birthday, I was filled with anxiety instead of excitement.

For me, birthdays are when the comparison game starts to sneak in.  I think about my age, how I'm pushing closer to 30, and how so many people at my age are running their own companies and changing the world, and how I'm doing consistent good work but nothing spectacular and struggling to get content on my blog more than once a week.

I'm obsessed with growth and change and progressing, and I truly believe that has become a double-edged sword.  I'm so focused on becoming the best version of myself, that I don't really take the time to appreciate who I am at the moment.

Last fall, I wanted to be on one particular board so bad that I could taste it.  I can't think of many things in my adult life that I have wanted that badly.  It aligned with my community service passions and my career, and I couldn't think of a better fit.  My boss agreed that I was highly qualified, signed off on my application, I submitted it, and the waiting game began.

The week before I was supposed to find out if I was chosen for the board, I found out that someone I serve on a different board with had nominated me for an award.  The nomination process is lengthy, and it meant the world to me that my friend had not only written a thoughtful nomination, but had coordinated with people in my life to have letters of support provided.  I don't have many items on my bucket list, but this was a bucket list item for me.

Two days after I was interviewed by the magazine that runs the awards program [you can read all about how I botched the interview right here], I got the email that I was chosen as an alternate for the board.  And I lost my damn mind.

I sat in my car, and I cried.  And then I got even madder because I was crying, and I rarely cry, so I cried even more.

And I texted everyone I had told about the board to tell them how dumb this was (to the best of my abilities because by this point I was ugly crying, snot was probably everywhere, and my autocorrect was working over time because I couldn't see anything), and everyone said the same thing, a version of I'm so sorry, but you won an award a week ago... Focus on the good and let this go.

I think about this situation so frequently, mostly because it was not my shining moment.  26 taught me so much about how one of the happiest days can also be one of the saddest days.  Whether you're winning an award and all eyes are on you or sobbing in your car hoping no one sees you, the world is still spinning, life is still happening, and everything is temporary.  Cling to the good moments as long as you can, and acknowledge when the bad things happen, then let them go.

Sweater:  Mimi Mae Boutique  ||  Jeans:  Loft  ||  Flats:  Mimi Mae Boutique (similar)  ||  Handbag:  Gucci  ||  Watch:  Gucci  ||  Cable Bracelet:  David Yurman  ||  Enamel Bracelet:  Hermes  ||  Lip Color:  IT Cosmetics (Naturally Flushed)

One last thing... 

Last week, I was watching Bob's Burgers, and the episode with Linda's birthday comes on.  Linda shares my distaste for birthdays, and I felt so comforted by that.  (I have no idea why I'm basing what's normal in my life off of Linda Belcher, but I guess that's a different story for a different day.)  Literally everything that could go wrong on Linda's birthday goes wrong.  I'm pretty sure if a combination of any two of the things that happened to her had happened to me, I would be revert back to the ugly crying in my car version of me mentioned above.  But Linda doesn't.

Linda takes all of it in stride.  She's annoyed, and she keeps on trucking.  At the end of the episode, when Linda is soaking in a tomato juice bath because she's been sprayed by a skunk... twice... she comments on how it's not only been the best birthday ever, but how she wants to start a tradition of doing lots of difficult things every year on her birthday to prove to herself that she can, despite the fact that she's getting older.

At 10 PM on the night before my birthday, we happened upon two dogs in my apartment complex parking lot.  They had collars but no tags, and they were clearly someone's babies.  After hitting dead ends with any emergency vet we called about checking for microchips and an experience where animal control refused to pick them up and suggested we just tie them to a pole outside, it was determined that we were having a puppy sleepover.

It was stressful (Francis hates other dogs and had to be separated), and I got very little sleep, but I woke up the morning of my birthday with a home full of doggies.  I didn't think I had it in me to take two dogs to the pound on my birthday, but I channeled my inner Linda, and I knew I could handle whatever I needed to.

We took a walk to Fran's vet, and while they were searching for microchips, one of the staff members recognized the dogs.  She knew their names and their owner, and offered to hold them there until their owner could come by to claim them.

On the way to breakfast, I thought of that episode, and I not only thanked God for the fact that the doggies were soon to be reunited with their family, but I thanked him for an adventure and for the reminder that I could handle anything that comes my way this year.

This is 27.  And I'm ready for it.