Monday, May 15, 2017

I messed up...

So somewhere in this whirlwind of a year I have yet again let my blog slip and I have messed up big time. You know when you can just feel like something is missing but you just aren't sure what it is until one day you're just living life and then BAM it hits you? yeah... same. It just hit me today that I have been missing such a crucial part of my life by not blogging. I have been missing my outlet of creativity and also getting a chance to talk with you guys. It has been a little over 5 months since my last post on my blog and I have FELT IT believe me! So many new and exciting  yet terrifying things have been happening in my life and I haven't felt the same without being able to share it with you all! so, let's sit down together and have a catch up on everything that has been going on the last few months.

What have I been up to since January? Well, for the first time ever I have moved out of my family home and into a beautiful apartment with two of my best friends. When I tell you this has been one of the single best decisions of my life I don't know that you would truly be able to believe me but it has. I have learned so much more about who I am as a person and I have also been able to spread my wings and take a fun journey into REAL adulthood for the first time in my life. I want to expand on this in a separate post but for now just know that it is truly fantastic. Now I know some of you may be thinking... wow....27 is a little late to be just learning these things Jessica.... but I feel like 27 was just the right year in my life for this step of my journey. As some of you who know me will remember in 2013 I lost my dad to a massive heart attack very unexpectedly and it left just me and my mom on our own for the first time ever and it didn't feel like the right timing to leave her because... well... we both needed each other so much during that time to heal and grow and lean on. Looking back now, I learned so much about my mom and who she is as a person through being able to still live with her in my adulthood like that. I know people say it all the time but my mom is my best friend and closest confidant and I attribute that to sharing such a great loss and learning to navigate through it as well as being able to live with her while being an adult and sharing memories and stories with her that I otherwise never would have. Going through such a huge tragedy together really strengthened our bond and trust with one another and it made me cherish our time together so much more in a way that I know I took for granted before. So I know that when Patrick and Booker started talking to me about wanting to move out of their current living situation and into a house/apartment and that they were looking for a roommate it was the right time to take the chance and jump. As I said before, I want to do a whole post about this later so I will save most of the good stories for that time but just know I am so happy with where I am and I attribute a lot of it to living with my two best friends.

They say that the wheel of fortune takes turns with joy and sadness and for me the last few months that has rang very true. As some of you may know as soon as I moved out it was like a light switch flipped and all of a sudden my mom's health took a turn. I don't want to go into depth of the deep fear and sadness I went through with this but just know it was a very trying time for me as my mom was in and out of the hospital until they finally figured out her heart needed some major repairs. At the beginning of last month she had major heart surgery and had 5 bypasses and a valve replacement. She was in the Cardiac ICU for a few days (which were some of the scariest days of my life) and within a week of being out of the ICU she hit all of her recovery steps and was able to go home. She is still recovering now and can only do small things like walking and resting but she is getting stronger by the day and her doctors think in possibly 3 months she will be able to be fully recovered and go back to work and her normal schedule. It has been a very stressful few months of not knowing and then finally getting answers but I am so very proud of my mom for going through such a scary surgery and proving to everyone just how strong I knew she was. Through that major down point of fear and stress I was truly shown just how many people love and care for my family and my mother. Everyone gathered around us and surrounded us with so much love and positivity and I know that is one of the reasons she was able to make such a vast improvement and to everyone who was there I am forever indebted to your kindness and love.

On top of these two huge life moments I decided to take another huge step two months ago that aligns with my last post from January about wanting to become happier and healthier. I decided, after months of pestering from Booker, to try Thrive. Now, I know some of you are skeptics and think that this product is another one of those pyramid schemes but hear me out on this one... this stuff.... is AMAZING. I really didn't believe it for myself even though I lived with someone who swore by it... I was a skeptic too until he finally told me to 'just do it for a month and if you hate it you can stop.' Y'all.... when I tell you that in that month I became a believer... just WOW! I have been on thrive now for almost two months and the difference in energy I have is astounding! I also find myself eating less because it is suppressing my appetite as well as just making me feel GOOD. Thrive for those of you who are unfamiliar is  a system that uses all natural vitamins and supplements that your body needs to improve everything from weight management to cognitive performance...digestive and immune support to healthy joint function... lean muscle support to antioxidant support.. it is just an overall body overhaul to being a happier and healthier you. I have been telling EVERYONE I know to just give it a try for one month and feel the difference like I have because trust me you will become a believer! It is crazy! If you want more information just google Thrive by Le-Vel or you can go to my link ( I don't want to make it seem like I'm selling to you guys but I am telling you just how much of an impact it has made on my life already and I want you to see how it can do the same for you!

I have had so many other ups and downs the last few months that I am sure I will delve into in other upcoming posts but for now,  I think those are the three biggest changes I have seen. 27 has been a very roller coaster year for me already and I can't wait to see what the rest of this year has in store!

What are some things that have been going on with you the last few months? Tell me about it, let's catch up! Comment below or tweet me! Can't wait to hear from you!

Until next week XOXO

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

New year, Better me

This is the time of year where everyone sees January as an opportunity for a refresh or restart and normally makes some huge unobtainable goal for themselves and after a few weeks gives up and goes back to doing what they were doing before. Well, this year instead of making resolutions that will ultimately fail I have instead decided to take baby steps to my resolutions this year. The key to any successes within making goals and plans is to sit down and map out exactly how you plan on achieving those goals and plans so here are my goals and how I am planning on reaching them!

This year instead of wanting to completely change myself (the whole new year, new me thing) I have decided that after years of self demoralizing I finally am happy within myself so I don't need a radical change. That being said there are some things I want to get better at and pick back up again that I have done at one time or another.

The first thing I want to reach for this year is to become healthier. I was the happiest I have ever been with my mind body and spirit two years ago when I was on a journey to becoming healthy and I want to bring that feeling back. I am going to slowly transition myself back into the clean eating lifestyle because I really enjoyed it and I felt overall SO much better and had so much more energy then. I feel that the key to success with this plan is consistency. Now that I have a full time desk job and I don't work in retail anymore I have been able to fall into a routine which is exactly the key to keeping up with anything food related. I am going to meal prep twice a week, once on Sunday and once probably on Wednesday and plan out my meals ahead of time. Now this isn't to say that if someone invites me over to dinner I will pass them up because I know from experience of doing this last time that the biggest thing is to not restrict yourself. Will I turn down the bad desserts always? No, but that is what makes doing this so much healthier for you in the long run because it is sustainable when you allow yourself to have off days and special occasions. I want to be able to feel like what I am putting into my body is nourishing it and helping my body to become stronger and healthier!

The next thing I want to strive to do this year is to get active again. I want to get back into going to Pure Barre and keeping it consistent. I absolutely love Pure Barre and any chance I get I always rave about it to anyone who has never heard about it and I felt that I was the fittest I had ever been when I was regularly going to Pure Barre. This again is going to be made possible because I now financially am in a position to be able to go back again and make Pure Barre a part of my routine and that honestly makes me such a happy person!

One of my biggest hopes for this year is to not only become healthier in my eating but also in my skin care. Becoming a consultant for Beautycounter in December I wanted a way to ensure that everything I was doing was healthier and better for me including my skincare. I want to make sure that my skin gets some attention to because I want to be able to look and feel amazing on the inside and on the outside! Beautycounter has already opened so many doors for me and I can't wait to see where my business journey takes me this year!

Overall I want to improve my mind and body and by getting myself into healthier habits I know it will lift my energy and my self confidence and happiness back up to where I want it to be. What are some of your new years resolutions and how do you plan on sticking by them? Let me know in the comments below!

Happy New Year loves

xoxo Jess

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Why I chose Beautycounter

Hey guys!

So today I wanted to talk about a big life move I made recently! I am always scouting out great new brands and makeup and skincare to try to be able to find the best of the best and my searches led me to a new brand I hadn't heard of before called Beautycounter.

Truth be told one of my close friends had been raving about it for the past few months to me about how amazing it was and how great it was for you but I hadn't paid it much attention until recently. She finally said hey just come over and lets have coffee and I'll tell you about it to see if you might be interested in any of the stuff. So long story short I fell in LOVE with the message of this brand and decided to take the leap and join myself!

Now, for those of you who may not be familiar with Beautycounter allow me to let you know a little bit about this amazing company! From an article on Huffingtonpost: "Gregg Renfrew launched Beautycounter in 2013, a B Corporation that’s single-mindedly focused on creating transparency and safety in the personal care industry, through truly innovative skincare and beauty products that set a new health and safety standard."

 Gregg was just like I was and just like many of you may be right now which is unaware and in the dark about what is going on in the beauty world and then she decided to start researching beauty companies in search of better products to use for her and her kids. When searching, like many, she didn't find exactly what she was looking for so she decided to start Beautycounter as a means of giving the beauty world an amazing new set of products that not only work well but are also not bogged down with the horrible chemicals that are in so many of the beauty products in America today.

This was one of the huge reasons I was hooked into learning more about Beautycounter. I normally always try and find better products with better ingredients and Beautycounter offers that in more than just one category. They have skin care, hair care, and makeup along with body washes and soaps AND their baby care line. They really do have everything!

I think this brand is a brand that needs so much attention because not only do they want to make their products better they want to make ALL products better. Their mission is "to get safer products into the hands of everyone" and they mean that!

From the Beautycounter website:

"The Food and Drug Administration (the agency that regulates cosmetics in the United States) allows companies to use chemicals known to be extremely harmful in the products we put on our bodies and on our kids’ bodies every single day, day after day, and to make their own judgments about safety. It's time for a change. The United States has not passed a major federal law to regulate the safety of ingredients used in personal care products since 1938."

That fact came as a SHOCK to me! Who would ever think that an industry as huge as the beauty industry hasn't had regulation laws passed in almost 80 YEARS! There have been so many advancements within the technology and business worlds so why has there been no new legislation on something that we put on our bodies each and every day in almost 80 years?! I'm betting you are looking as astonished as I was when I first heard about this. So what can you do about it? Well Beautycounter is constantly spreading the word that this needs to change and big businesses need to be held responsible for what they put in their products and they even have a page where you can call your state representative and tell them the importance of passing new legislation on this topic.

There is so much I can say about Beautycounter and all of the amazing things the brand is doing but the most important thing is that they have quality products that WORK. Their products also are constantly screened for better ingredients and they are a forward thinking brand with an amazing mission and product base.

My decision to choose Beautycounter is something I want everyone to know about. I stand behind this brand and their products and I can tell you that not only do these products have better ingredients but they also have so much heart and soul put into each and every one of them to make sure that it is top quality and they are just darn good products! Everything that I have ever used from Beautycounter I have fallen in love with because not only do the products work exceptionally well but I also have the piece of mind that what I am putting on my body is the best thing I could possibly be using.

I could go on and on forever about this but I will leave it here for now. If you are interested in giving Beautycounter a try please feel free to visit the website through here: Beautycounter and look at all of the amazing products we have to offer. If you have any questions at all feel free to ask me!

xoxo Jess

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Best of: Pajama sets for Christmas Eve/Day

Happy almost Christmas everyone!

So, continuing with the festive season posts I thought I would do a fun post on some Christmas PJ sets that I love that you could rock on Christmas Eve/Day that are not only cute but super festive and comfy!

first let's start off with something that is not only great for holiday sleep wear but something all year round! Victoria's Secret Sleep Shirts!
My all time ultimate favorite sleep wear is Victoria's Secret's Sleep Shirts!

They. are. HEAVEN! If you have never worn them before then you are missing out! Not only are they super comfy and soft but they are also the perfect amount of sexy and the perfect jammies to wear on Christmas. Victoria's Secret also makes some of the cutest holiday themed ones A N D they are on sale right now 2/$40! It is honestly a match made in heaven. I will normally grab tons of these during the semi-annual sales because they are usually marked down to $15/$20 a piece and they are such good quality they last forever! I had to buy some during their amazing Black Friday sale and they came in last week and definitely do not disappoint. I have been living in them!

(These are also a great gift idea if you are looking for something fun and cute to get for your significant other or even to buy matching ones for you and your bestie!)

Link to buy them is here: Victoria's Secret Sleep Shirts

If you aren't so much into wanting to be a little sexy minx for Christmas there are other options out there for you! Some of my other absolute favorite jammies come from Target!

They not only have a HUGE selection but they also have some of the CUTEST pjs in holiday themed and also my other favorite... Disney! I included a few of the different types they offer at Target above but honestly you could spend 30 to 45 minutes looking at everything they have right now because they have SO many cute ones! This would also be a great place to create a wish list to share for Christmas and even upcoming holidays for later! They have sleep shirts and cute holiday sets that are thinner and have jogger type bottoms but they also have the classic holiday sets with he button down top and draw string pants. They ALSO have cute sleep onezies and sleep shirts... I mean honestly you just have to go look because their selection is so amazing and they have some great deals right now!

Link to go check out all their cute jammies: Target Sleepwear

If you are looking for somewhere with a great deal to buy your Christmas jammies OLD NAVY is having an AMAZING sale right now!!!

So right now Old Navy has their sleep pants for SEVEN DOLLARS EACH! yes that's right you heard correctly... $7! they also have their cute sleep sets for only $12 and I think that is AMAZING! If you are wanting to grab matching sets for you and all your siblings or all of the women in your family to rock on Christmas Eve/Day this would be an amazing place to go right now to get a great deal! I have owned many a pair of Old Navy pjs in my lifetime and it was always something my mom would buy me to have as my Christmas Eve present when I was younger. I would always get a new PJ set to be able to sleep in for Christmas.  

Link to check out Old Navy's amazing deals: Old Navy Sleepwear

The amazing thing about both Target and Old Navy is that you can also grab some cute Men's PJs while you are there so that you and your significant other or even your siblings can enjoy the festive holiday wears as well! :)

Happy shopping! Tweet me if you buy any of these and let me know! (@thejesslauren)

xoxo Jess