The Happy List

At this point in my life stress is at an all time high. From job responsibilities, social expectations and everything in between, there are way too many things to stress out about. In my case in particular, jobs (or lack thereof), missing my friends, and wanting to move out of my house all have a particular way of causing anxiety on a weekly if not daily basis. Because of this, I created what I like to call “The Happy List.” Ten little things that I can do or turn to if I feel myself drifting in an anxious or saddened mood.

  1. Listen to Music 
    Music has always been a really important fixture in my life. My favorite band, Green Day, has gotten me through A LOT. Listening to their music reminds me of what is important, reminds me I am strong, and reminds me that I can get through just about anything. Plus it puts me in a good mood when I can sing or dance along.
  2. Have a Cup of Coffee or Tea
    Coffee is another one of life’s simple pleasures for me. I love love love a good cup of coffee and it is something that can completely change my mood and put me at ease. In some cases I enjoy the process of brewing my own, picking a cute cup and having the process and smells associated with it calm me down. Other times I prefer to go to Starbucks and have someone make it for me. Either way, taking a moment to enjoy a coffee can calm me and ease some anxiety.

  3. Light a Candle
    This may sound like the absolute simplest thing, but trust me, it can do wonders. I have an insane amount of candles that I enjoy burning. The scents on so many of them can compliment my feelings; some calm me down, some energize me, some comfort me. Either way, its another simple way to feel somewhat put together and
    to help change my mood.
  4. Watch Youtube
    Lately I have been loving youtube videos! Because they’re short and cover a variety of topics I find them easy and enjoyable to watch. It also helps when my anxiety hits at an inopportune time or when I do not have a long time to deal with it. I can watch short video and take a timeout from what I was doing otherwise.
  5. Watch a Movie or TV Show
    Sometimes my mood calls for longer spans of taking time out. If that is the case, I like to watch some of my favorite shows. Being comfortable with the characters and enjoying the show is important for me. I’ve always loved the show Bones and it is one that I can watch for ages without getting bored. Movies are the same; sometimes I’ll find an old favorite and other times I will find something new to watch.
  6. Read a Book
    Reading has always been a favorite pass time of mine especially when I need to get out of my head for a bit.  When I am feeling particularly anxious or down, taking the time to read a good book will help me escape my mind and allow me to enjoy myself. I have always been a fan of mysteries and those are usually the ones I turn to in these cases. I enjoy jumping into a book and being able to focus on the plot, mystery and characters.
  7. Write Something
    Writing is another way for me to get my thoughts out of my head and focus my anxiety on other things. In some cases I like to write about the things going on in my life, like this blog. In other cases I enjoy writing fiction. It depends on my mood; sometimes I would rather directly address what I am thinking, sometimes I would like to talk about things I enjoy in life to brighten my mood, and other times I really like to “escape” from what I am thinking or feeling and write fiction stories.
  8. Pamper
    This can mean a lot of different things. Pampering can be simple like painting your nails, doing a face mask, fixing your makeup etc. It can also be more thought out like taking a bath, a long hot shower, using a new product etc. Taking the timeout to make yourself feel better in other ways can help you feel better mentally as well.
  9. Go to the Gym
    For me, going to the gym can sometimes be something that I dread doing if I am in a bad mood. But, after I gave gone I always feel really great about myself. Exercise can release endorphins which can make you feel great as well as adrenaline which can also boost your mood.
  10. Take a Walk or Bike Ride
    This kind of also goes along with exercise. Walking or biking and being outside really help to clear my head, allow me to breath, and either think about what is bothering me or not think about it if I need a break. Getting some fresh air really helps me calm down and again the activity, no matter how small, helps as well.

Bonus: Just Breathe
Finally, no matter when, where, how, anxiety or a mood swing hits, taking a step                back and breathing is going to help. Reminding yourself that you will move past it              and get through whatever is going on is simple, but effective in many situations.

So these are the things that made my “Happy List.” If you like my suggestions or have others please let me know and share! Until next time! (:

Simple Swaps

Since bathing suit season is upon us, I find myself really honing in on eating healthy and making sure that I feel confident and excited to hit the beach come the end of May. As you may already know if you’ve read my other post about eating healthy, cutting carbs and keeping fat content low are some of my keys to staying healthy and maintaining my weight. Because of this I thought I would share some of my carb and fat substitutions and how I incorporate them into my meals.

First, swapping out mashed potatoes for mashed cauliflower! I have to say, ever since I started doing this, I honestly don’t think I have ever craved mashed potatoes. Mashed white potatoes are filled with carbs and so unnecessary. By using cauliflower instead, you can almost trick your mind/body into thinking its actually getting some tasty mashed potatoes. Cauliflower is super easy to make as well, just cut into small pieces and boil in water until very soft. Once the cauliflower is soft, drain the water and mash as you would normal potatoes. I like to add salt, pepper, milk and some garlic salt or powder for extra flavor and voila! Very easy and very healthy. You can also mix it up and add other flavoring or lowfat cheese to give it  a creamier texture or give it some more flavor.

My next simple swap is using zoodles (zucchini noodles) instead of pasta. This is another one of my favorite ways to feel like I’m eating a full carb dish while actually cutting down so much. Zucchini noodles can be made using a spiralizer; I actually bought a super cheap As Seen on TV one for $9 at target and it does the trick. Essentially, you’re just making the zucchini into long strands that resemble spaghetti. There are different ways to prepare them as well, some say you can boil, others sautee, or even bake. Since zucchini retains A LOT of moisture to begin with, I prefer to sautee or bake. You can do this until they have reached your desired consistency; since I like my pasta al dente, I usually keep them on the slightly crunchier side. And from there prepare as you would normal pasta. I love zoodles with meat sauce, with shrimp and a simple oil and garlic sauce, or even putting an Asian spin on it and making a teriyaki sauce or stir fry with it. Its extremely versatile and very tasty! Another tip/trick, If you slice zucchini longways and make thin strips, you can also use it to replace the pasta sheets in lasagna. Talk about delicious! I would recommend baking the zucchini on its own slightly beforehand though to help remove some of the moisture. Unless you like really runny lasagna, no judgement if you do, but I like mine to be a little more together.

My next swap is another substitution for pasta, and it is spaghetti squash! It even has spaghetti in the name so clearly you won’t be able to tell the difference ;). Spaghetti squash is another favorite of mine and another ingredient that can be made in soooo many different ways. You simply cut the squash in half, place cut side down on a baking sheet covered in aluminum foil, and bake in the oven at 400 degrees Farenheit for about 40-50 minutes. Careful it will be hot! You can then scrape each half with a fork and make your makeshift spaghetti. As you would with the zoodle, you can prepare as you would normal pasta. I love spaghetti squash carbonara, with shrimp and broccoli or with red sauce.

Another thing I like to substitute for is bread. I have a couple ways to do this, first being using lettuce or lettuce wraps instead of the bread. Lettuce is good way to contain a sandwich, taco, burger etc. without using typical bread. This is a really simple swap because you can essentially put whatever you were going to put in a wrap or taco in a lettuce “shell/wrap” and it will still be tasty but with little to no carbs. Another alternative for bread is making cauliflower dough. This is a little more time consuming, but definitely worth it. You can look up plenty of recipes and I don’t want to copyright or take someone else’s content, but I will give a general idea of how to use it. You can prepare almost as if you making mashed cauliflower but it needs to be drained of any and all excess water. This is where the work comes in because you really need to squeeze and strain it all out or it will fall apart and not make the “dough” or bread that you want. You then add spices, an egg for binding usually and sometimes a handful of cheeses and bake! I have made cauliflower pizza dough which came out amazing as well as using cauliflower dough as the bread on grilled cheeses. Both of these were so good and guilt free.

My final swap is not for a carb but for a fat, mayonnaise to be exact. Mayonnaise is used in so many things; it can be put on sandwiches, mixed in with tuna or chicken salad, or used as a base in a lot of sauces/dressings etc. Instead of using mayo which has a high amount of unhealthy fats, I like to use avocado instead. I am obsessed with avocado and I tend to put it on everything and anything. I go out of my way to find new uses for avocado. Using it in place of mayo has been working really well for me. I will mix avocado with tuna or chicken or use as a spread with turkey sandwiches or even make a “salad dressing” out of it. It is so versatile, and while yes it does have a higher fat content, it is a healthier fat than mayonnaise and better to use.

So there are some healthy swaps that I currently employ on a day to day basis. If you have any questions on how to prepare any of these things, or want some good recipes to check out let me know! Also if you know of any other fun or tasty substitutions please share! (:

 

You’re in Ruins

“When you’re at the end of the road, and you’ve lost all sense of control.
When your thoughts have taken their toll. When your mind break the spirit of your soul.
Your faith walks on broken glass, and the hangover doesn’t pass.
Nothings ever built to last… you’re in ruins.” – Green Day,  21 Guns

There are some days when songs like this really speak to me. (Well lets be real, every Green Day song speaks to me always, but there are some days when it hits home hard). Today is one of those days. Do you ever just look at yourself, or you honestly don’t even have to look at yourself to know, and you just feel like you’ve been diminished to nothing. Its like everything in the world is trying so hard to break you and you’re constantly fighting back, but some days you just can’t fight back anymore. It seems as though lately anytime I have a spark of hope that something could be moving in the right direction, something else major just comes and destroys it.

There are some days when I just seem to be in a constant state of ruin. My heart and my soul which once used to be so passionate and motivated just smothered. If my soul were its own entity, it would be dead. It is honestly just so heartbreaking and demoralizing to watch your world just crumble around you. This week started with so much hope and opportunity and a chance for something good to start happening, and one day, one moment, one hour, one phone call,  just completely shatters it all. I am brought back to square one, exactly where I have been trying to get out of for the past couple months.

I know people say “everything happens for a reason.” But is there a point where there is no more reason? There should be a point where people should not have to suffer any longer. I don’t care what the “reason” is; it is 100% not worth the struggle and hopelessness that I feel on a daily basis.

I’m sorry this is a somber post, but I think it is important to be honest. Writing is also an extremely helpful outlet for me. I also think opening up, even if it is to strangers, can open a discussion. It would be such a better place if people felt comfortable opening up, sharing tips and helping others through difficult times in their lives. You don’t know someone’s struggles until you’ve walked in their shoes. So take the time to appreciate what others may be going through, whether similar or different to yourself. Share your thoughts and feelings, and if anyone has tips for gaining my senses of self back, let me know. I am open to ideas, thoughts or commiseration. As I try to remind myself daily – Its okay to break down, its okay to have a bad day, you are so strong and will fight your way through whatever the hell is going on.  Sometimes it just takes a while when a large majority of what you’re fighting is yourself.

Send Nudes

Send Nudes. I want all of the nudes.

And no.. not the cringey tinder kind. Get your mind out of the gutter. 😉 I’m talking about the kind of nudes that I can wear from eyes to lips and head to toe.

Given that spring is right around the corner, and the sunshine is desperately trying to stick around for more than a day at a time nudes have been my go to for pretty much any occasion. The best thing about it, nude anything goes with literally everything. Here are some ways that I am incorporating the color (or lack of color kind of?) into my everyday looks.

First things first: nude lips. I bet some of you are wondering why on earth I’d want lips that are nude/close to my skin tone. Don’t knock it until you try it. I thought the concept of nude lips was bizarre when I first heard of it. Honestly, I was picturing in my head what it looks like when I’m blending foundation and it goes onto my lips prior to me fixing the rest of my face or applying lipcolor. Essentially, I look like a ghost when that happens. But, I bought a nude lipstick and now its one of the colors that I grab on a daily basis. Nude lips can really play up a look – both a makeup look or an outfit look. It really compliments brown or bronzed eyeshadow looks (or really anything honestly), and goes with any color or outfit choice tbh.

Next up: nude shoes. Nude shoes are one of the best things about spring. I own nude flats, nude heels, nude ballerina-esque pointy toed flats, nude sneakers, nude peep toes, nude chunky heeled booties, nude every kind of shoe ever created. Nude shoes can dress up or down an outfit depending on how they’re worn which makes them super versatile and one of the reasons why I love them. Adding nude shoes to any outfit makes it instantly more springy and lightens an outfit up. Even something simple as adding nude flats to jeans and a tank or a skirt and a top can really change the look and make it super cute. Nude heels are a perfect way to dress up jeans or a dress too!

Finally: Nude (or blush toned) clothing. Most recently I’ve been trying to add lighter and more neutral colors into my wardrobe. I have always been one who didn’t shy away from colors in my clothing. While darker colors were usually my favorites – blues, blacks, greys – I always had a wide range of colors in my wardrobe. Now though, for the new spring season, I’ve been trying to lighten it up and keep with pieces that could go with a lot of different outfits. Again with the versatility, and it also helps to not break the bank when I can make a lot of outfits out of a few key pieces. For example I just bought a blush toned sweater, a nude skirt, and a flowery top that is cream with mauvey pink flowers. So keeping with fun spring ideas, not breaking the bank and being able to make multiple outfits out of them!

Hopefully you agree and are embracing nudes or if not tell me what colors/styles you’ve been loving lately! You can check out my instagram to see some of my spring looks, or check out the main page of this blog where it is linked! @katieeefarr if you’re searching, give it a follow, I always follow back as well! Until next time! (:

 

 

2017 – The Year of You

2017 has been an interesting one so far to say the least. Lots of ups and downs..mostly downs…but I’m trying to make the best of whatever life throws at me. I’m trying to make 2017 into a year of self reflection, doing things for me and really caring for myself. I’ve always been one of those people who puts my feelings aside in order to make others happy. Which is great, selfless acts are wonderful, but there comes to a point where you can’t keep putting others first. Sometimes you need to do things for yourself and no one else. Be selfish, for once in your life..at least that’s what I keep telling myself. So there are a couple things I’ve been doing which have really helped me de-stress and focus more on myself which I wanted to share!

First, being organized. This may sound simple or just a normal practice but keeping yourself and your life or organized is actually great for the mind and soul (and for life in general). At the start of the year I bought a super cute planner! Which conveniently says on the front “Your Year to Bloom.” Not only is it pretty, but motivating too. Writing down what I have planned for each day and some things I want to accomplish has actually helped me keep my goals! It also makes it so much easier to plan things and also get things done. When things are floating around in my head it can get really overwhelming so making schedules, to do lists, or just writing down my thoughts helps to organize it all and makes it seem more possible to accomplish!

Next, is pampering and self care. I have never been one to have an in depth morning or nighttime routine. Most mornings I just woke up threw on some clothes and makeup, ate breakfast and got to my day. Nights were the same; I took my makeup off, brushed my teeth and got into bed. Recently I’ve started to form more of a routine that I actually enjoy doing. In the mornings, I make myself an actual breakfast – eggs, fruit and coffee – and enjoy that while catching up on YouTube videos or a tv show I missed. Obviously for some people it’s not possible and time in the morning is slim, but there are definitely ways around that! Regardless, taking the time to myself to wake up and enjoy my morning has been really nice. After eating I usually finish my coffee while again watching YouTube and doing my makeup. Again, actually taking the time for myself and enjoying it has been so great for me. Doing my makeup is something I love and I enjoy the time spent doing it. I feel relaxed and get to have some me time, just me and my makeup! (And also Zoella or the SacconeJolys who I’m obsessed with at the moment). When I can take the time to start my day right, I find I enjoy my day more!

For my nighttime routine, I’ve really started focusing on my skin care. I’ve never had an actual routine when it comes to my skin, and honestly I’ve always hated my skin. I’ve had acne and acne scars forever and it’s always something I’ve been insecure about. After adding in this routine though, it’s almost like a mini pamper session and I find I’m caring for my skin more and it’s rewarding me. I have to say, currently I’m double cleansing and my skin is loving it. If you don’t know what that means, basically you are cleaning your face twice. The first time is to remove makeup and the second time is to actually clean your face. I find this works amazingly, and it can be done with any cleanser or a makeup wipe first and then a cleanser. The one I’ve been loving lately is Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish. It is absolutely amazing. Along with this I’ve also been using a toner, which helps remove dead skin cells, tighten pores and can hydrate your face as well. Sometimes I’ll even do a face or sheet mask before bed which makes it feel like I’m being pampered even more. All of this together makes me feel like I’m focusing more on myself and all I’ve done is make simple changes.

Finally is finding a release or a way to channel my feelings when I’m not feeling great about my day or my self. As I’ve mentioned, I’m trying to reflect and improve myself and really try and enjoy as much as I can given some of my circumstances and what’s going on in my life right now. So when things do get overwhelming, addressing and trying to fix it is so much better than pushing the feelings away or letting them take over. For me, writing or reading are two great ways that I channel some of my negative emotions and try to relax myself. Also trying out new makeup looks or even putting together a cute outfit and running an errand can make me feel soooo much better about myself. Taking walks and working out has also been a good focus for me. When I can focus on other things and keep myself busy and stay true to really doing things for myself I find I feel happier and healthier in mind and body!

So make 2017 the year for yourself! Do things that make you happy, and make changes if you’re not. Its your life, live it for yourself and no body else. Let me know if you have any other fun or interesting ways to keep this mindset going throughout the year, and make sure to like this post and follow me so you can always know when I post more content! (:

My Makeup Obsession: Liquid Lipstick

I have never been a lipstick person. For the longest time the only colors I would go for were corals, or some kind of pink that was already fairly close to my lip color to begin with. Like one of those “your lips but better” colors…which frankly wasn’t that much better than my actual lip color. Any of the more colorful lipsticks I did have were all collected as free samples from other purchases, or were in a set where I wanted the other things too much to pass up. Lip liner was non existent in my makeup collection and I thought I despised a matte lip.

This all changed when I bought my first liquid lipstick. Shoutout to my girl Zoella (Zoe Sugg) beauty blogger and YouTuber and honestly my inspiration because her makeup tutorial is the reason I made this purchase. I had immediately taken to Zoella once I found her channel and since her interests matched up very nicely with mine I was hooked. Because of this when she put up a video for a makeup look that I absolutely loved, I knew I had to recreate it. (Here’s a link to the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lUvlhyYU1hw&t=605s check it out and the rest of her channel too while you’re at it. She’s just freakin amazing. Excuse my fangirling.)

Now my makeup collection is nothing compared to beauty vloggers, but I definitely have more than the average person so using eyeshadows that were the same color, bronzers/highliters that had the same effect, and brushes that worked the same way wasn’t difficult for me. What was difficult was getting the lip color right. I was hesitant but the color looked so gorgeous on her that I decided what the hell I’m just going to do it and buy the same one and see how it looks.

NYX Liquid Suede in the color Sand Storm changed my life. It was something so unlike what I had ever worn but I loved everything about it. It made me feel like such a different person. Suddenly I felt cool, trendy, and that my makeup looked so much better than it had ever before. And the compliments! I had never been complimented so much on my lip color and how great it tied the whole look together. I wanted to wear it with EVERYTHING. After that I became obsessed! In my opinion liquid lipstick changed the way my look turned out and just made it that much better – more put together, more trendy, more edgy. It made me a new person as well and I loved how confident it made me feel.

If you are going to try one new makeup item, please I beg, let it be liquid lipstick. I now have so many different shades that I never would have gone for in the past but because they were liquid lipsticks I was trying them out! Honestly I have never been upset about a color either which is something I have never really said before…I mean come one usually there’s at least one color that you don’t love. NYX I have to say is one of my favorites as well as Colour Pop! Both have nice formulas, and long staying power. (The price is unbeatable as well). I have yet to venture into Kylie Lip Kits but it seems as though my obsession might be leading me down that path whether my wallet agrees or not.

You can find some pictures of my liquid lipstick looks below (each caption should have the brand/color, or on my Instagram @katieeefarr! So go buy a liquid lipstick and I promise you won’t be sorry! Or if you are, send it my way because I’m sure I’ll wear it! 😉

Essentials for Healthy Eating

Hey guys! So given that in the past year or so I’ve gone on quite a healthy lifestyle and fitness journey, I wanted to share some of the essentials that I followed or used to guide me. I am by no means a fitness expert or a nutritionist or qualified by any means, I am simply sharing some tips that worked for me! Later I will be posting something in regards to my fitness journey as well as some healthy recipes but for now I wanted to start with a couple important things. So without further ado here are my top 5 “Essentials for Healthy Eating.” Enjoy!

5 Essentials:

  1. Carbs are key 
  2. Eat colorfully 
  3. Healthy fats can be good for you
  4. Don’t ignore cravings
  5. Make it a lifestyle change 

1. Carbs are key
Carbs are a major cause of weight gain, feeling overly full, and feeling sluggish. In today’s society though, and with our portion sizes being a bit out of control, carbs – pasta, rice, bread, potatoes – seem to come along with every meal. Because of this, cutting carbs was difficult but played a big role in my weight loss. Going carb-less every so often worked extremely well for me. There are so many alternatives to having carbs in your meals. For example, mashed cauliflower instead of potatoes, zoodles (zucchini noodles) instead of pasta, quinoa instead of rice. All of these slight changes work towards cutting your carbohydrate intake. Now I’m not saying give up carbs all together! But if you do include them, make sure they’re whole grain, or whole wheat carbs which are much healthier and better for your body to process and get nutrients out of. Cutting white flour out of my diet was my number one essential and it really worked! One more tip, if you want carbs during the day, you’re better of eating them earlier on, with breakfast or early lunch, since your body will have a longer time to process them instead of eating with dinner and having it sit for the night and when you sleep!

 

2. Eat colorfully
Along with straying away from white flour, you also want to add color to your diet. This comes from veggies, veggies and more veggies! Adding vegetables with every meal also keeps you healthy and feeling full. Add veggies in an omelet, a salad, eat raw vegetables as a snack, plain or with hummus or a low fat yogurt dip, and have them as sides for dinner. Vegetables can be prepared in so many ways and there are so many to choose from, and there are even some vegetables that are practically negative calories because you burn more chewing it than it contains! As I mentioned before as well, a lot of veggies work as good substitutes for carbs too! The more I got used to eating like this, the more I found myself loving vegetables and incorporating them into my meals too! 
Some of the color in your diet can also come from fruits. Fruits are higher in sugar though, albeit healthy sugars, but if sugar is a concern of yours then having too much isn’t always a good thing. Fruit again comes in so many varieties and can be used in so many ways that it’s a perfect snack or addition to a meal! I always loved having fruit with breakfast and also using fruit as a dessert. Because it is sweet, its satisfying after dinner or for dessert and is guilt-free!

3. Healthy fats can be good for you
Moving on to fats. There is always the misconception that all fats are bad for you. This is not the case. While yes, the deep fried Oreo that’s dripping in grease does not contain healthy fats, so many things do. Nuts, peanut butter, and avocado, are all high in fat but healthy fats! Using and incorporating these into a diet is a good thing! I used avocado all the time in place of mayonnaise in chicken or tuna salad, or to add a little something to lettuce salads. So don’t think because it’s high in fat it’s bad for you! For myself, when checking fat content on other foods -pre packaged snacks or things with a nutrition label – I always tried to keep the fat under 5g.  (That is by no means a medical or dietician standard, just something I used on a day to day basis). If it wasn’t under that I wouldn’t eat it. Obviously some exceptions could be made depending on the serving size or the ingredients but in general that was my rule of thumb. I always kept fat below 5g and calories (if it was a snack) to be between 100-150. Keeping rules like this also helped me to track what I was eating. 

4. Do NOT ignore cravings
Another important thing I learned was not to ignore all of my cravings. Cheat days are okay every so often. You work hard and deserve it sometimes. I found that by setting a day or a specific food that I could eat, I was less likely to go crazy and binge later on. If I restricted myself too much I would just want to keep eating once I gave in. Having some leeway and allowing myself to have for example one slice of pizza with my friends on a weekend made that easier for me. It helped me a lot too if I had worked hard at the gym that day, then I felt better about enjoying something. You don’t want to give in to all your cravings, that won’t work either but allowing yourself to eat a small portion or have a taste of what you want can be helpful sometimes. 

5. Make it a lifestyle change
With that being said it brings me to my final point. What started as a diet became more of a lifestyle change for me. By changing the way you eat, prepare foods and live makes it easier to follow. I also found that its easier to keep the weight off if it becomes part of my lifestyle as opposed to following a diet for a few months and then going back to my normal eating habits once a goal is reached. Remembering that we’re human is also a good tip. It’s okay if you slip up, it’s okay if you have a cheat day, it’s okay and you will come back and work harder then next week. By making these changes permanently a part of how I eat and live I find I don’t crave a lot of the things I used to. Do I still enjoy white pasta with vodka sauce? Absolutely! But I know I don’t need it, and I’m just as happy if not happier eating healthy! Honestly some of the healthiest recipes I’ve found are actually the best tasting dishes I make! When you experiment, try new things and flavors you learn what works the best and eventually you’ll find some things that you love, things that taste good and feel good knowing a healthy choice was made! 

I hope my thoughts and tips help some of you out, teach you something new, or just reassure things you already knew! Either way, I hope you enjoyed my thoughts! Leaving a comment or throwing me a like is always appreciated! Until text time 🙂

Post Grad Blues

Sorry for the bit of sadder content, but this is something affecting me and probably others so I felt that I wanted to talk about it.

High School is a time in people’s lives that I think can either be remembered as really great or really awful. For me it was the latter. Friends were fake, drama was out of control and my independence pretty much stopped where my property ended – all the more reason for me to move away and go to college out of state. As I may have mentioned before, college was easily the best four years of my life. Don’t get me wrong, it was hard at first, especially for me, but I turned it into something amazing. My newfound independence led me to really figure out who I was as a person and come into my own as an individual. Not having school from 7am until 3pm gave me opportunities to pursue jobs and activities and allowed me to go to the gym and develop a healthy lifestyle. I learned a lot too (I mean that’s the whole point of college right?) both inside and outside of the classroom. I made my best friends in college; some of the most genuinely amazing, supportive, wonderful people I have ever known. And with these friends I made lasting memories both big and small. I lived with my friends, I went to class with my friends; we were basically inseparable…until after graduation that is, where we had to be separated and all of my newfound love for life came to an abrupt halt.

Now the first month or so was okay. We had a lot of things planned and get togethers scheduled so we didn’t feel like we were missing out on too much. My best friend and I, who pretty much spent every waking moment together at school would now facetime every day and talk on the phone and try to see each other every weekend. Keep in mind this is kind of difficult given that we live about three and a half hours away from each other… but we made it work. As time went on, the visiting becomes less and less and reality started to set in that I needed to get a job and actually do something with my life. The longer it was that I wasn’t seeing my friends though the harder that got for me.

I left my hometown because I didn’t like being here. I didn’t feel close to my friends here, and I felt trapped in my environment. Long Island was not giving me what I needed in life. Suddenly I found myself stuck in the exact same situation I was in in high school, except this time I had no escape. I had no friends here, with the exception of one or two people I kept in contact with. And even that was a stretch because those who I was friends with before all stayed home for college so they made new friends here. I didn’t have enough money to pick up my life and move it elsewhere. Even entry level jobs in other places wouldn’t have given me enough money to truly support myself.

Because of this, I plummeted into sadness and what was essentially a depression. I lost motivation for doing the things I once enjoyed – my healthy lifestyle that I had been so adamant at following at school became lost amongst being too tired to go to the gym and lacking the motivation to go and sit, or stand really, on a treadmill for so long. I was bored a lot, which meant I snacked often and usually on unhealthy things. I didn’t want to go out, or I wanted too but had no one to go places with. My closest friends were a 5 and 3 year old girls and a less than a year old boy as I was and am still babysitting to make some money while I look for work. My days were spent half assing in home workouts, eating, reading and watching TV while I told myself I was applying for jobs or just waiting to hear back. The only thing I would look forward to was the next time my friend would visit or I would leave.

It is hard for me to see all of my friends from school really happy and moving on with their lives and I think this has got to be one of the harder things. Everyone else has significant others and friends. Neither of which I have. It’s hard to meet people as well when I try and my social anxiety kicks in making me prefer to stay in then even attempt to go out, let alone by myself. I know my friends from school still care and are there for me, but it is a lot different when they cannot actually physically be here for me. Given that they have others in their lives I often feel I am a burden to them and aren’t actually needed or wanted in their life. I feel lost and alone most times.

Breakdowns and anxiety attacks became the norm. I don’t remember a night when I didn’t (and don’t) cry myself to sleep wishing and dreaming that I could just leave and be with my friends again. In the beginning I really wanted to get a job working in a laboratory; I felt I could see myself doing that. But my motivation for this started to fade as well and lately it just seems as though there isn’t anything I am excited about. Honestly I look in the mirror and feel like the once happy girl, eyes eager and gleaming with excitement to start a new life, now looks sad and lifeless. I feel my passion and drive completely disappear like it was never there to begin with. My strength and determination and everything else that I had worked so hard to become was gone in an instant. It was as if a candle had been blown out, smothered rather – there was nothing fueling it anymore. I didn’t, and still don’t, know what to do or how to deal.

I have been working on some things in particular though to get myself moving back towards who I was, even if it’s only a portion for now. First getting back into a routine and setting a schedule for each day. At school, things were open and I had a lot of free time but there were always certain things, like classes and when I went to the gym and dance practice, which never wavered which I really liked. Setting goals for each day has somewhat helped too; they needn’t be large or long term, but even something as simple as going for a walk or a bike ride or even finishing a chapter in a book can make me feel as though I’ve accomplished something for the day. I’ve turned to writing, as you can see. It makes me feel better to have this as an outlet for the things I love. I’m trying to work my way back to the gym schedule I was on and eat healthy again. Not checking my phone so often has also been helpful as I no longer feel I am missing out on other people’s adventures. Taking small steps moving forward can be good and I still obviously feel out of place; there are days when I am okay and others when I could completely lose my mind, but I’m trying. Some of my friends realize that too and encourage me and are proud when I actually accomplish one of my little goals.

I know good things will happen in time, at least I hope they will, but leading up to that time I know things will be hard. I am 22. I am not stuck here forever nor will I be unhappy forever, even though sometimes just a day feels like a lifetime. It’s just a matter of figuring things out, learning what makes me happy, not being afraid to ask for help, and moving forward always.

 

Summer Favorites

Hey guys!

For my first actual content filled post I wanted to share some of my summer beauty staples that I have been using religiously for the past few months. Disclaimer, I am not paid by any of these companies, I am just genuinely sharing what I use and love. So lets get started!

1. Tarte Marine Boosting Mist

I am a huge fan of Tarte makeup products to start off with so it is no surprise that when their Rainforest of the Sea collection came out I was immediately interested. Honestly, the packaging of this is what caught my attention to begin with because it is so pretty and some of my favorite colors. Packaging aside once I found out what this product was I knew I had to try it. This is a 4 in 1 product – primer, makeup setting spray, hydrating mist and skin refresher. Honestly, this product does everything it boasts about and I use it for all of its purposes. Spray it on your face before moisturizing to act as a primer, after makeup application for a setting spray and then throughout the day as needed for the hydrating mist and skin refresher. Especially for summer, when its hot, gross, and muggy, I love love love using this throughout the day to give my face a fresh feel. The scent is also very light and citrus once again giving it a refreshing feel. Since it is very hydrating it does not leave my skin feeling dried out as some other matte setting sprays will and overall does a great job. Also my go-to product after the gym, especially if I’m going out to run some errands afterwards; gets rid of the sweaty, heated look. 769

2. Psssst! Dry Shampoo

Another go to for summer is dry shampoo. There are quite a lot of brands out there for this and in general I am a fan of dry shampoos, but my favorite is Pssst! and its one I always go back to. I use the original scent which is slightly coconut scented I believe; there are two others but to me I don’t like things too smelly if its just to refresh my hair. This product once again does a fabulous job. Again summer is filled with hot, sweaty weather and for someone like me with long thick hair this can be an issue. My hair type is not really one that I like to wash everyday because it gets too dry, so dry shampoo is a great alternative to that. It clears up any excess oil, refreshes your hair and gives it a clean look without the hassle of having to wash it. (Obviously do not forgo washing in favor of dry shampoo, only use it as a refresher when needed!) This has been a staple for me so many times if I just need a quick touch-up or again after a workout to make myself a bit more presentable if I am running errands!

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3. Rimmel Natural Bronzer

This product was a random purchase for two reasons: 1. I needed a cheaper alternative to the MAC bronzer I had previously been using, and 2. I needed couple more dollars to be able to use my coupon at Ulta (sorry not sorry, as a postgrad I like to save where I can). Insert Rimmel Natural Bronzer into my shopping cart! I was slightly skeptical about purchasing a drugstore brand bronzer, especially one so cheap, but as I was trying to lower my makeup spending I went for it anyway…turns out that was a great choice! I love this bronzer – goes on even, gives a natural look, quite pigmented, and long lasting. I use the shade 021 Sun Light and I find it perfect for my skin tone. This one is more matte, they do make a shade with some more shimmer in it which is great for summer, but I wanted something that would transition a little better into fall. I use this all the time in my makeup routine and it is great for giving a sun kissed glow without going overboard. I feel especially during summer, my face does not tan as much as my body does, usually due to me wearing makeup with SPF or sunscreen,  which makes this product even better to help match my skin tones and brighten my face. 2261427

4. It’s a 10 Miracle Leave-in For Blondes

I love It’s a 10’s original leave in product, but for summer I have especially been loving the For Blondes version. I have naturally dark blonde hair, but in the summer time, sun, sea air and salt water all help to bring out my natural highlights and give me some summer glow. So for me this product is great because it kind of helps the process and brings my blonde through more than usual! A couple of sprays after towel drying hair and it is de-tangled and protected as well as working to bring out the blonde. This product also acts as a UV and thermal protectant which is once again great for summer and leaves my hair feeling better and softer.

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So these are four of my major summer picks! I love each and every product and swear by them all! Let me know if you try them and love them or if you have other similar products that you use!  xoxo

 

Welcome to My Blog!

Hey guys!

So I just wanted to make a quick introduction post before I started with any actual content. Mostly so you could get a sense of what this is and what I am doing here! First things first – my name is Katie, I am 22 years old and I just graduated from college with a degree in forensic biology and a minor in chemistry. That is not at all what this blog is going to be about, no worries! While science and forensics are in my future career path, I have always had a love for reading and writing as well as beauty and fitness (along with other general “lifestyle” things). After spending four years doing science, going to labs and perfecting my skills in those areas, I wanted to delve deeper into the other sides of me that also developed over the course of four years. College was the best four years (so far!) of my life and I think that time really created and brought out who I am as a person – I developed a sense of self, style, and healthy living that I love. I’ve been told by a couple individuals that my opinions on things like this are actually pretty helpful and that I would be good at blogging/vlogging too. Because of this, I wanted to create an outlet for me to share things like this with other people just like me! So without further ado…Welcome to Eyeliner and Ellipticals, I hope you enjoy reading as much as I enjoy writing!