How to Organize Your Holiday Gift List

How to Organize Your Holiday Gift List

How to Organize Your Holiday Gift List

Hi, friends!

We are officially at the mid-way point of November! Whether you started embracing the Christmas spirit before Halloween, once Halloween ended, or you’re waiting until after Thanksgiving, one thing is for sure: now is the time to start figuring out your Christmas gift list! Even if you’re a last-minute shopper, now is the perfect time to start thinking of who you need to buy for and brainstorming some gift ideas!

I LOVE gift giving and surprising friends and loved ones with gifts tailored just for them and planning out my list helps me get squared away before the crazy shopping ensues! If you’re not a planner by nature, don’t despair! I’m here to share a few tips and tricks with you to help you kickstart the organization of your gift list to make your holiday shopping painless!

List your people

The first step in organizing your holiday gift list is writing out who you need to buy for! Start by just writing out all the people you can think of that you typically buy for in a season- family, friends, co-workers, significant others, etc. I like to separate my list into categories, so feel free to make your own categories as such if you like to see them separated! And remember, you can always add people to your list or downsize. This is just a preliminary list, no need to be locked into it!

Talk to your friends about gifting

This step is important in your gifting process, especially for younger people i.e. college students, recent grads, etc. I can tell you firsthand that gifting as a young adult is hard! I always feel like I want to shower my friends and family with the best of the best, but my wallet says otherwise! Because you and your friends will more than likely be floating in that boat together, ASK your friends and loved ones 1. If you will be exchanging gifts this year and 2. If so, should we set a spending budget. This is something that I adopted with many of my friends in college that we are still practicing now! Being up front and asking if they would still like to exchange gifts for the holiday opens up a conversation, and setting a spending limit ensures that one person is not spending a ton of money while the other stays within THEIR budget. Make sense? Exchanging gifts or exchanging extravagant gifts DOES NOT define your friendship or relationship. The holidays can be tough, so it is important to work within YOUR means!

Consider your funds, create an overall budget, and individual spending budgets

This step branches off the previous one just a bit! As I said, for most young people, spending around the holidays can be nerve wracking! The best way to combat this feeling to the best of your ability is to consider your funds and your budget before you jump into shopping. Once you’re out and about in stores, it can be easy to veer off course and spend more than you bargained for, which ultimately will just leave you a stressed out place once the shopping is over. We want to avoid that! While we LOVE our friends and loved ones, you don’t want to shell out every penny you’ve got on presents when chances are good you will have expenses to cover! Start by:

  • Talking to with your people and setting your spending limits with one another
  • If you don’t have that discussion with your peeps, try to assign spending budgets for each person on your gift list. Like I said, I know you might want to give your loved ones the world, but we must be realistic with our funds- especially this season!
  • Tally up the maximum amounts you’ve assigned to each person to figure out your maximum budget for your holiday spending. This will be a great framework to start your shopping with! Do keep in mind that you’ve calculated your MAXIMUM budget. Those are the walls in which you should aim to stay, and there is nothing wrong with coming out underbudget! Leave yourself a little bit of wiggle room though, as we all know that one extra person always seems to slip our minds in the craziness of the season!

Do your research, get ideas together!

Now that your gift list is a bit more solid, the fun can begin! Take a look at your list and start brainstorming some gift ideas for your people! Something else you can do that I have done in the past is ask your people to list maybe 5 things they want or need this season. If you’re feeling completely stuck, this will help provide a little insight into how they are thinking! Don’t be afraid to ask if there is anything they want or anything they need. This will help you formulate ideas that are a bit more personal and tailored to the person you’re shopping for!

Google, Instagram, and Pinterest are your friends! SO many bloggers and influencers put together gift idea lists and posts- the resources are endless! Chances are good that if you search it, you’ll find a resource on it! *Don’t forget to keep your receipts and get gift receipts if you can!*

Gather up your gift bags/wrappings so you can clearly separate your gifts and see what you’ve got

As you’re shopping, if you’re interested, gather up your gift bags/boxes/tags too! Sometimes, the wrapping can be TOTALLY part of the present! I love to put gifts in those cute decorative boxes from T.J. Maxx or Michael’s, then they can repurpose them for whatever they’d like later on! Having your wrappings early will also help you separate your gifts so you can clearly see who you already bought for, what you’ve gotten them, and if you are missing anything! Dedicate one box/bag/space in your closet for your present area so that everything can stay in one place and your gifts aren’t all over the place! When the time comes to pull out your goodies, you’ll be so relieved to have it organized and separated all in one place.


If you’re still looking for some overall organizational help for this month and heading into December, my November & December 2-Pack Bullet Journal Templates are available for purchase on my homepage! If you’re looking to purchase a template for ONLY December, click HERE! (P.S. the templates make the perfect, downloadable holiday gift!)

How to Organize Your Holiday Gift List

I know, all my “Christmas after Thanksgiving” peeps are probably going to cringe at me saying ALL of this, but now you are ready to kick start your holiday shopping! Most of these steps can be completed in the coming weeks, your preliminary work can all happen BEFORE Thanksgiving so the minute you finish your Thanksgiving dinner, you can head out to the store and make holiday shopping your you-know-what!

Next week, we’ve got our November Passions Piece Feature, then our Monthly Minute at the end of the month, then get yourself ready for some more organizational, holiday content!

Lots of love! xo

~ Ang

5 Ways to Practice Gratitude

5 Ways to Practice Gratitude

5 Ways to Practice Gratitude

During the Thanksgiving Season and Beyond

Hey Hey!

November is well under way, and I don’t know about you, but the month of November always fills me with an overwhelming sense of gratitude. We’ve got Thanksgiving, which is a great excuse to think about all the things in our lives we have to be grateful for, but why not practice gratitude all November long? Why not all year long?

Developing a gratitude practice is not always the easiest thing, and it can feel especially daunting in the times of 2020, where so much has gone wrong for so many. Despite the many, many mishaps of 2020, I think now more than ever it is important to take stock of what we have to be grateful for and hold onto that with all out might! Here are a few ways to begin developing your gratitude practice this month so you can carry it with you out of 2020 and into the new year!

Make a list of all the people, things, experiences, etc. that you’re grateful for, every day

I think this is probably the easiest way to start a daily gratitude practice! Without any prompts to follow, you can simply just write out all the things you know you are grateful for. Sit with your thoughts and think of every little thing you can think of! It doesn’t matter when you do it, you can do it any time you have a moment to pause in the day (and if you’re having trouble finding a moment to breathe, this could be the perfect excuse to make one for yourself). First thing in the morning, before bed, during your lunch break- literally any time! If you don’t have a journal or paper handy, your phone will be your savior. Maybe make a note in your phone dedicated to your daily gratitude list!

Get yourself a gratitude journal!

As we know, I’m a journal freak, and having a gratitude journal was how I started developing my gratitude practice! I do my practice before bed, and my journal prompts for every day are “Today I am grateful for___,” “Tomorrow I will remember___,” and a word for the day! It’s that easy! I know there are lots of gratitude journals on the market, some more affordable than others, but you do NOT have to break the bank on a journal! You have my prompts, so you could copy those into your own journal daily or look up a few prompts online and copy those into your own journal! If you have a bullet journal, a gratitude page would also be an awesome thing to add into your daily, weekly, or monthly layout!

Check out this resource for 50 awesome daily gratitude journal prompts to get your journey started! And HERE is a 3-pack of guided journals for gratitude, fitness, and reflection!

Find quiet time to sit with your gratitude

If journaling isn’t your jam, you can still have a daily gratitude practice! Truth be told, I don’t write in my gratitude journal every single day. Sometimes I’m away and I’ll forget to take it along, or I slide into bed, turn the lights off, get snuggled up, and realize I didn’t journal. It happens! But when things like that DO happen, I simply sit in my gratitude. For me, sitting with my gratitude often looks like praying, or simply talking things out with the universe. Over time, you will come to learn what “sitting with your gratitude” looks like for you. Maybe it’s praying, or just replaying your day over in your head and pinpointing the things you were grateful for or the happiest moments of the day. Simply taking the time for yourself to revel in your gratitude will make all the difference!

Move your body

If you are able to, moving your body (to me) is one of the greatest gratitude practices you can adopt! Think about it. If you are capable of waking up each morning and getting your body moving, you have SO MUCH to be grateful for. I think of Amanda Kloots and how she documented her journey while her husband, Nick, was in the hospital with COVID. Exercise was one of her ways of coping, and while she could have sat in her grief and sadness, she was up and moving her body most days to honor those who could not. So, not only is the capability to move your body something to add to your gratitude list, but it’s also something we can do to honor those who may not be so lucky.

If you’re looking to start small, incorporating a daily yoga/meditation practice into your daily routine can help you cultivate your gratitude mindset immensely! Perhaps sitting with your thoughts of gratitude becomes your meditation, which fuels your yoga practice! It’s all connected, my friends!

Actively let your people know you’re grateful for them

This one is something small, but I think it’s extremely important, especially as this crazy year we’ve all had starts wrapping up. Personally, I found that throughout the early months of quarantine that were filled with a lot of disappointment, I came to discover who my “people” really are. They were the friends and family members that were constantly there to be my shoulders to cry on (literally and figuratively) and my rocks in tough times. The people I could count on to answer my calls so I could just talk things out like I need to do, and the people who talked me down when I found myself spiraling. And in the moments where I felt secure enough to hold my head high and keep pressing on, I came to understand that that wouldn’t have been possible without my people. I hope you have your own “people,” and if you do, I encourage you to take the time out of your day, week, month to thank them for being your support system. That little acknowledgment goes a long, long way. Add your people to your gratitude list, show up for them as much as you are able to, and let them know you appreciate them!

And there you have it, friends! 5 ways to get your gratitude on! If you have a gratitude practice that you love, I’d love to hear all about it in the comments! I hope that adding these little actions into your daily routine allows you to relish in your gratitude, recognize the good in your life, and practice more love- towards yourself and others!

As always, I am eternally grateful for each and every one of you reading this post today, supporting me on this journey!

Lots of love

~Ang

My Beauty Must-Haves

My Beauty Must-Haves

My Beauty Must-Haves

Happy November!

Let’s start the month off with some beauty, shall we?! I’ll be completely honest: my beauty routine really is not very impressive or extensive. I have found that I have a good handful of staples in my routine that get the job done for me, as quick and easily as possible! Because I spent so many years of my life loading up on the makeup because of my involvement in theatre and dance, I found that I wanted my day-to-day routine to be simple! If you’re interested in checking out my FULL skincare routine, click here to check out my blog post, “Skin Care is Self Care.”

I also wanted to start the month off with this post because I figure the holidays are coming up, and if you’re interesting in trying out any of the products I share here, it might be a good time to ask Santa to add it to your list *wink wink.* I am not currently affiliated with any of the brands or products I’ve included here, I’m just sharing products that I genuinely use that I LOVE! Let’s dive in!

Face

My Beauty Must-Haves
  • Tula Glow & Get It Cooling and Brightening Eye Balm
    • I literally just wrote about this product in my last post, I just can’t get enough of it. AND I’ve written about it before! Tula has a whole line of eye balms, so there are several to choose from based on your own needs! I have been using the original (blue) balm for about a year now and I recently got the Rose Glow & Get It balm (pink). The rose one has a warmer tone, so it blends in with my skin a little better! They do the same job, it’s really just a matter of preference. Either way, I highly recommend!
  • Neutrogena Hydro Boost Plumping Waterproof Mascara
    • My #1 staple in my makeup routine is always mascara! Typically, my go to makeup only consists of concealer, maybe some eyeshadow, and mascara! This is mostly because I value my sleep too much to wake up any earlier to do my makeup (lol). I’ve tried SO many different mascaras in the past and recently I discovered that this one works best for me! I love that it’s waterproof and it really does plump up my lashes! I curl my lashes, slap this stuff on, and I’m set! You can find this at any drug store, too! Very affordable.
  • Stila Shimmer & Glow Liquid Eyeshadow
    • I’m obsessed with liquid eyeshadows. I’m a quick and easy makeup kind of gal, and they just go on so effortlessly! They also act as a perfect eyeshadow base when you’re creating a more intricate eyeshadow look! I use this one in the color “Kitten,” and I got it from my T.J. Maxx!

Lips

My Beauty Must-Haves
  • Burt’s Bees Chapstick
    • Obviously, you can grab these at any drug store or grocery store for that matter! My go-to flavors are vanilla bean and vanilla maple (that one is seasonal)!
  • Co. Bigelow My Favorite Night Balm 8-Hour Overnight Recovery
    • This is my favorite nighttime lip balm! It’s from Bath & Body Works! It comes in a little blue tube and tastes amazing!
  • IT Cosmetics Je Ne Sais Quoi Lip Balm
    • Even before masks became a thing and lipstick was a thing of the past, I was never much of a lipstick wearer. With that being said, you know, you DO need a little color on your lips sometimes, so you don’t look like a corpse! This lip balm is one of those that goes on clear and then blends with the shade of your lips! It also comes in different shades!

Body

My Beauty Must-Haves
  • Pacifica Coconut & Charcoal Underarm Detox Scrub
    • Brief tangent: I have eczema under my armpits, have for years. Initially, I sought out this product because I had read that it would help with eczema. I still have the eczema, so there’s that, BUT I still really love this product! It’s a really nice gentle scrub, and I love it because it scrubs away all your leftover deodorant! Sometimes just washing your underarms just isn’t enough to get rid of it all, but this makes me feel super fresh and clean!
  • Lush Scrubee Body Butter
    • I looooove this little bee! Honestly, I don’t use this product in every shower or all year round; I save it for the colder months when my skin REALLY needs some good nourishment. It leaves my skin feeling SO soft and smooth, and it has little scrubee beads in it to get rid of the dead skin while it nourishes! Plus, it smells amazing!

Hair

My Beauty Must-Haves
  • TIGI Bed Head Masterpiece Shine Hairspray
    • This has been my go-to hairspray for YEARS. It’s lightweight enough that it doesn’t make my hair feel gross, but it makes my curls hold super well (and I have pin-straight hair that doesn’t like to stay curled). ALSO, it smells exactly like pineapple. And I love pineapple.
  • CHI 44 Iron Guard Thermal Protecting Spray
    • Having a great heat protectant is essential if you put any heat on your hair AT ALL. I don’t usually blow dry my hair and I don’t usually straighten my hair either. Because I don’t put a ton of heat on my hair besides when I curl it, I try to be very careful when I do use heat, so I always make sure to protect my hair! This spray had amazing reviews, which is why I got it when I was curling my hair a lot for shows, and it has definitely lived up to the hype!
  • Drybar Triple Sec 3-in-1 Finishing Spray
    • So, like I said, I have pin-straight hair. And while I’ve started to notice some changes in my hair recently, my hair generally doesn’t have a lot of volume either. I got this 3-in-1 spray in a gift set last Christmas, and it has been one of my favorite products to use when I curl my hair. It “Textuizes. Amplifies. and Refreshes.” It helps add some really awesome volume to my hair and absorbs excess oils! This also smells AMAZING.
My Beauty Must-Haves
  • Drybar The Wrap Party Curling and Styling Wand
    • The main event of gift set I just mentioned was this curling wand! I had been using the same curling wand since high school before I got this one, and it really upped my hair game. The wand is tapered so that it’s thicker on the top and slimmer on the bottom (usually wands are the opposite way). It creates a much looser, beachier wave rather than those ringlet wand curls I know you were also rocking in high school!

If YOU use any of these products and love them, let me know by commenting on this post! And if there are any products here you want to try out, now is the perfect time to add them to your holiday gift list (I can’t believe we are already talking about the holidays)!

Also, you better have voted. If not, you better be voting tomorrow! Santa WILL NOT add these products to your stocking if he finds out you didn’t vote.

Have a happy Monday, and beautiful start to your November!

~ Ang

5 Ways To Find Balance in Your Work Life

5 Ways To Find Balance in Your Work Life

5 Ways To Find Balance In Your Work Life

Work is Important, But So Are You

Happy October, everyone!

It feels like it was March five seconds ago, where in the world did the time go? A month into fall, I know many of us have transitioned from summer mode to work mode (maybe you’re still dreading it or maybe you’re loving it!). As a recent college graduate, I know I’m not alone when I say that the transition from college to “adult” life has been quite interesting. As a theatre major, I always had this “plan” as to what my early post-grad days would look like. Obviously, I was probably going to have a side hustle (or two, or three) to supplement some income, but I would largely be focused on auditioning and hopefully have consistent work in the world of theatre.

Welp. As we all know, we make plans and the universe laughs.

Early post-grad life in the world of the pandemic completely flipped my script. Instead of executing the plan I had laid out for four years, I’m now at home, working three jobs just to try and save, save, save so that when theatre comes back, I can hit the pavement.

In addition to my retail job, I recently started a remote marketing position and I’m nannying/tutoring. To say that working these jobs was a bit of a balancing act at the start would be an understatement, also because I am trying to do theatre/teach yoga here and there where I can. Since I know I’m not alone on this front, and the struggle to find balance between work and life is REAL, here are a few tips for learning how to find what works while still working your tush off!

Tip #1: Look Ahead, Lay It Out

I feel like I am always saying this, but it pays to be a planner! When I lay everything out clearly in front of me in terms of my work schedule/personal schedule, I always feel a bit more secure. You could do this weekly, monthly, or for both (I like to do both). Having a planner or a desk calendar of some sort will make this much easier for you. Usually on Saturday’s or Sunday’s I like to sit down with my planner, go through every day of the upcoming week, and write down all my obligations/activities. I’ll go over my work schedule, any work projects I have to complete and their due dates, my scheduled blog content, and any other personal things I’ve got planned for the week. For me, being able to see every day clearly laid out helps give me a clear sense of what’s in store!

Tip #2: Take Breaks

Whether you’re working a remote job, nannying, or working in the office 9-5, breaks are SO important. I’m mostly telling you this as a reminder for myself as well because I am sometimes just the worst with making time for breaks. I’ll work until I’m done, but then feel so drained from not allowing myself the proper time to breathe in a workday. In my yoga teacher training, I watched a lecture about yoga in the corporate world, and I believe our instructor said that about every 30 minutes, you should move your body if you’re tied to a desk all day! Taking a break should really be fueled by what your mind and body are craving. Even if you only get a five-minute pause, use it to stretch, grab some water, grab a snack, call your mom, or just sit still and breathe!

Tip #3: Have a Stopping Time/ Take the Weekend

Having an end to your workday is essential if you are working from home these days. Again, I am really saying this as a reminder to myself as well. It is so easy to get caught up in your work and work waaaay beyond 5 or 6 at night- trust me, I get it. But having a time to end your workday allows you to take some time to decompress before you start the process all over again the next day! AND, if you’re able to, take the weekend! I understand that overwhelming urge to work to completion, even if that means working on the weekends, but try to leave work alone after your end time on Friday!

Tip #4: Don’t Bite Off More Than You Can Chew

This one has less to do with work and more to do with aspects of your life in addition to work. Our society has groomed us to be “yes” people, and sometimes this mentality is super detrimental to our sanity. I know personally, I have a hard time saying no. It’s hard to say no to that extra shift (or maybe not? lol), to planning that party, to that trip that you thought you’d be able to make it on. If the thought of saying no and not taking on any more in your life makes your insides feel glowy: SAY NO! Your work is extremely important, but your down time should be treated with the same amount of love and respect! Don’t run yourself dry; if you do, you will be doing yourself and everyone around you a major disservice.

Tip #5: Ask For Help/ Ask For A Day

BUT if you do happen to bite off more than you can chew, and you’ve planned your way into a hole: ASK FOR HELP! Call a friend, your mom, your aunt, literally anyone you know and trust, and just ask for help! Trust me, we ALL have been there, so any normal human being who cares about you should want to help you out in any little way they can if you come to them and are overwhelmed. Another great way to try and avoid taking on too much or burning yourself out is to ask for the day when you need it. For example, in my retail job, I asked my boss to try and give me one day a week off in between the start of my work week there and the days I tutor. I knew that if I spread myself too thin and tried to overlap in my jobs, I would be mentally drained. I was nervous to ask, but I am sure glad I did because my boss was SO understanding. I know that everyone’s work situation/boss is different, and this may not be possible for you, but if you have the days to take, TAKE THEM WHEN YOU NEED TO FOR YOUR OWN SANITY!

If any of you work-from-home babes or busy beauties have other tips you’d like to share with the BTF community for maintaining your sanity in a busy work life, comment below and let us know! And remember, first and foremost, your occupations do not define you! If you aren’t where you want to be right now, just remember your dreams and your passions will find you when you least expect it. There is a plan, you are living through part of that plan. Take comfort in knowing this is one steppingstone on the way to your destiny!

Talk soon!

~ Ang xoxo

How To Get Your Best At-Home Gel Mani

How To Get Your Best At-Home Gel Mani

How To Get Your Best At-Home Gel Mani

Same Gorgeous Nails at a Fraction of the Cost!

Hi friends!

Recently, I shared a poll on Instagram asking if anyone would be interested in learning how to get a beautiful gel mani while saving some money in the long run, and the response was an overwhelming YES! So, today I am going to share with you how I do my gel manicures at home, how I came to find this alternative, and the equipment I use!

First, a little bit about how I got to this point! I actually didn’t find this alternative on my own, and I owe it to my best friend, Kailey (hi, Kails), who showed me how she did her own gel nails, and the rest was history for me! I have always LOVED painting my nails. It used to be my Sunday night routine in high school, I would find some new design to paint on my nails or follow some new trend, and then I would be set for the week. The following Sunday, I’d start all over again. You name it, I had probably tried it on my nails. I used to do water marble nails (a mess, I might add), I had these stencil/stamp things, I would try to draw designs- it was a whole phase! It was really a stress reliever for me too, which is why I kept up with it as often as I did.

Of course, as I got older and started going to proms and formals, it was the “social norm” to go and get your nails done. I never had acrylics, I was too afraid they would ruin my natural nails, so I always stuck with gel manicures. And to be honest, I was rarely ever happy with them. Not to anyone else’s fault, but when the nails weren’t turning out the way I had envisioned, I was too afraid to speak up and ask for them to be fixed/changed. But I always felt like I still HAD to go get my nails done for big events like that rather than do them on my own because I had to stay on top of the trends/be in line with what every other high school girl was doing…

Then I got to college and carving out time to do my own nails was not as easy as it had once been, and I found myself finding a free hour I had on a weekend, getting my girl friends together, and going to get our nails done. At that point, I had found a place I loved to get them done, I thought they looked nicer, and they lasted longer which meant I wouldn’t have to find another free hour in my life for at least a few weeks! But my wallet was hurting. The salon I loved did a great job, but they were a little pricier than salons at home had been. Yet, I still found myself spending money I didn’t really have on trips to get my nails done.

So, last summer I decided to start my research and invest in the tools to do my gel nails myself! First, I had bought a mini gel “lamp” that was on the clearance rack at Francesca’s for $5. I was so excited. It was such a flop! I wish I still had it so I could include a picture of me trying use it, it was hilarious. It just wasn’t quality, the lamp didn’t cure the polish well at all, and most of the time, the time I spent trying to do my nails just ended up being time wasted. I also bought a starter kit that came with a mini bonder, gel base coat, gel top coat, and a polish. Up until last month, I was using the base and top coats from that kit, so a little goes a long way!

I started purchasing other gel polishes, but really what I needed was a quality lamp that I didn’t have to try and squeeze my hands and feet into to be able to use it. Once I got the one that currently use, I never looked back! I think the last time I went and got a gel mani in a salon was last September, so it’s been almost a year since I cut those salon expenses out of my spending. I will say, making the switch and rounding up all the products that you need to start doing your nails at home is a little bit of an investment. But when you compare, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed in how much you’ll save! Let me tell you about some the products you’ll want to invest in if you’re interested in diy gel manis!

UV/LED Gel Lamp

A quality gel lamp is really the most important piece of the puzzle! You’re going to want to get a lamp that is a bit larger, big enough that you can put your whole hand in (or toes if you’re doing a pedicure). You’ll also want to make sure that the lamp you get has bulbs around the entire inside, rather than just on the top. This will ensure that every part of the nail is getting hit by blue light and all polish on the nail is being cured. That little one I mentioned I had only had light hitting the nail from the top, and the sides of the polish would often not cure and would wipe right off when I went over them with the acetone when I had finished the paint job! Pictured above is the lamp that I bought, and it’s only $19.99 on Amazon! You can find LOTS of other affordable options on Amazon. Click here to check mine out!

Gel Base/Top Coats and Gel Polish

Obviously, you’re going to need some polish to do your own gel manicure, but regular polish won’t do. You’ll need to get special gel polish that will cure (dry) under a UV/LED lamp, just like in the salon. Typically, you’ll know the difference between regular nail polish and gel polish because gel polish will not come in a clear or see-through bottle. The bottle will wither be black or white, and you’ll have to open up the bottle in order to take a look at the actual color. To start, you’ll need a gel base/top coat! There are two different type of top coat: wipe off and non-wipe off. I’ve used both, but personally, I like the non-wipe off better! With wipe off, even after you cure the top coat, there will still be a bit of a film and you’ll have to wipe the nails off with acetone as your final step. I haven’t seen much of a difference in the two type, wipe off is just an extra step. I’m currently using base and top coats from the brand Beetles, which you can find here on Amazon! Only $7.99 for two big bottles (and they WILL last a long time)!

As far as polishes go, you can find lots of different brands in lots of different places! The top places I would recommend looking for gel polish would be Amazon, Sally Beauty Supply, Ulta, and honestly, scour your local T.J. Maxx and Marshall’s! I have found lots of random gel polishes in the last two, it’s usually hit or miss. The majority of the gels that I currently have are from Amazon, and they are the brand Gellen. What I love about this brand is that the gels come in packs of 6 smaller bottles, so you’re really getting the best bang for your buck. The 6 packs range in price from $15.99-17.99, or they have larger packs of 16 colors for $29.99. There are so many different color sets on Amazon, (Amazon has been the only place I’ve been able to find the brand) so there is something for everyone! I’ll link a set here!

Other Manicure Equipment

  • Nail files
  • Cuticle clippers
  • Nail clippers
  • Buff brush (if you’d like)
  • Wooden nail sticks

All of the above are just your manicure basics and can be found at your local drug store, or even cheap in a T.J. Maxx/Marshall’s. Those wooden nail sticks will be great because one end can be used to push back cuticles, and the other end is helpful in doing designs if you are into that. Trust me, you CAN give yourself a manicure at home!

How To

  • Soak your nails in some warm water to soften up your cuticles
  • Push your cuticles back
  • Clip cuticles
  • Clip nails (if necessary)
  • File nails
  • Apply base coat, cure under lamp for 60 seconds
  • Apply 1st coat of gel polish, cure under lamp for 30-60 seconds
  • Apply 2nd coat of gel polish, cure under lamp for 30-60 seconds
  • Apply top coat, cure under lamp for 90 seconds
  • *If using a wipe off top coat, dab acetone on a cotton ball and wipe the nails clean
  • BOOM. You did it.

It is THAT simple!!!

Let’s do the math. Say you go to get your nails done in a salon once a month, that’s about $30 dollars you’d shell out a month, so $360 a year. If you purchase a lamp, base/top coat, and one 6 pack of polishes, it comes to about $45. You spend $45 dollars one time. That’s like ONE pedicure! I mean come on; you CANNOT beat that!

Some other tips/ things you should know:

  • When you are getting ready to paint, make sure your nails are clean and dry! I’ve had better luck with the length of time the polish stays on that way!
  • It’s better to keep your nails on the shorter/medium length side. Here’s why (and it’s pretty silly): scratching. Weird, right? If you’re anything like me, you scratch a little itch with your pointer finger, and doing this over time with longer nails always leads to my polish peeling sooner than I’d like.
  • The odds are good it may not last as long as your typical salon manicure, just to be honest! But sometimes it’s just a game of chance; sometimes my nails have lasted 2-3 weeks and sometimes they start peeling and chipping in a few days. But I think you always run that risk with gel!
  • Unlike salon gel, these gels I’ve suggested you use tend to peel right off in one piece with no problem! Sometimes salon gel starts to peel, but then won’t be ready in some spots, so when you peel it up it almost takes a layer of your nail with it. That has not happened to me at all! Your nails will be a little dry, so I would suggest letting them breathe a little bit between paintings (or don’t a keep them painted, whatever makes you feel fab).
  • Do your own gel pedicure while you’re at it!

There you have it, my tips and tricks for your diy gel mani! It’s such an easy and affordable change to make in your self-care routine for the long run! PLUS you can save your other friends and family some money too, or convince them to make the switch themselves! If you have any other questions or want to talk more mani/pedi’s, feel free to message me any time! AND if you start doing your own nails at home, I’d love to see how they turn out!

Stay well!

~ Ang

5 Things I Wish I Had Known Before College

5 Things I Wish I Had Known Before College

5 Things I Wish I Had Known Before College

Little Lessons to Keep In Mind Whether You’re Going Back In Person or Not!

Hey, babes!

All my college homies, this one is for you!!!

Now that I’ve had some time to reflect on college and the experiences that have shaped me into the person I am becoming, it got me thinking about how different some of my college experiences were compared to what I thought they would be. It happens with any new and exciting event in our lives- we construct our ideal version in our heads and then reality swoops in and puts us back in check.

Truthfully, so much of what I had told myself would happen in college didn’t happen. Things I was told to expect didn’t always happen according to “plan.” But sometimes they did! There were also SO many times where the unexpected happened! For better or worse, I think everything in my journey happened when and how it needed to happen. I learned every lesson just how I was supposed to in my four-year journey.

5 Things I Wish I Had Known Before College
My first first day of college (left) vs. my last first day of college (right)

But were there other things that happened in my college experience I wish someone had warned me about? ABSOLUTELY! Did I go through experiences that I wish I could have been even the slightest bit more prepared for? FOR SURE! Looking back, were there lessons and principles I wish I would’ve kept in mind more as I navigated my way through classes, relationships, and my field of study? YOU BETCHA! So, I want to share with you 5 little nuggets of advice you can hold onto as you venture into college, continue your education, or just as you need them in life!

  1. Being a Planner is NOT all bad!– When I got to college, I was NOT the “planner” that I am now. I knew I would have the drive to get organized, but I really didn’t know where to start. Owning a planner certainly was a massive step in the right direction. I used a color coding system to keep my classes and assignments on track! Knowing that my own organization was one part of my life I could control during the huge adjustment made me feel more at ease. When I would get the syllabus, I would immediately write down due dates in my planner from the course calendar, so I was always able to be one step ahead, and never have anything sneak up on me! Finding the best way for you to organize your school work will take a little bit of weight off of your shoulders, and YOU DO have control over that! If you’re looking for a great planner with enough space to keep all of your obligations on track check out the Planit Planner here! (use code ANGELAL10 for 10% off!)
  2. Try to see the light at the end of the tunnel!– I know that sometimes, no matter how much you plan, everything happening at a given time during college can be extremely stressful. It always seems to work out that all of your major tests, projects, and auditions fall in the same week. A cruel joke, right? And when you’re right in the thick of it, it can be extremely difficult to fathom how you will ever get through it. I encourage you to always try to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Try to tap into your breath as best as you can to center yourself. It is so much easier said than done (trust me, I spent four years rarely trying to see how things would be on the other side), but I promise you when those crazy, busy times have ended, you’ll sit back and wonder “why was I causing myself so much stress?” Everything will work out, I promise!
  3. Don’t expose yourself to unnecessary stress!– While college is largely about furthering your education, another huge aspect is your social life! Making new friends, meeting new people, and trying new things are what the college experience is all about. To be completely candid- you will most likely experience some drama in your four years, whether it has to do with friendships, relationships, work, etc. My best advice to you is to distance yourself from any unnecessarily dramatic situation as soon as you possibly can. If there are people that you become friends with or you start dating that quickly prove themselves to be toxic individuals, cut them out. The people that you meet in college and let become a large part of your life should not cost you your sanity! This also goes for any obligations you take on. Try not to bite off more than you can chew! If you say yes to something but find that it is causing you more stress than joy, be completely honest with yourself and the other individuals involved, and savor your sanity.
  4. You will lose friends, and that’s ok.– Friendships is an amazingly weird thing. As we grow, our friendships either grow with us, or they don’t- and THAT IS OK! It doesn’t make you a bad person or make others bad people. Going into college, if you lose touch with some of the people you went to high school with that is completely normal. You may be on totally different schedules or across the world from one another, plus you are both adapting to this new way of life! If the friendships are worth it to both of you, you will keep in touch. Even once you get to college, your friendships will shift! You may be closer to one person one year and closer to another the next. Your relationships will either grow with you or you may grow out of them, but either way YOU are GROWING!
  5. Give yourself some grace.- One important thing to remember in college is that change is inevitable. And sometimes change can be messy. In times that are tough, I want you to remember not to be so hard on yourself. There will be times when you cannot do it all, you cannot commit to every event or every hang out because you need to take time for you, and that is ok. It is also important to remember you cannot please everyone, nor is it your responsibility to. You may not be everyone’s cup of tea, and they might not be yours! So, be unapologetically yourself and grant yourself some grace, baby!

I know that college may look a little different for some this year, but I think that some of these little reminders are things you can carry with you all the time- whether you’re in a college setting or not! Your experience is what you make it, so always remember that something amazing can come out of something unexpected or different. You’re going to crush this academic year, I’m rooting for you!

Best of luck!

~ Ang

Goal-Getter

Goal-Getter

Goal Getter
How To Set Attainable Monthly Goals

How To Set Attainable Monthly Goals

Hi, sweet friends!

With the start of a new month quickly approaching, I wanted to take some time to talk about monthly goal setting!

Monthly goal setting is something that I only started doing at the end of May (for June), but I have found that it is something that keeps me on track and serves as a constant reminder of the things I am working towards!

I should clarify- when I say “goals,” I’m talking goals on a smaller scale. We all have our larger goals that we would like to accomplish in our life, even in the next five or so years: write a book, travel, start a business, book a Broadway show…

The list of larger than life goals can be endless and should be individual to you and your aspirations! But the goals that I set for myself every month are goals that I know I would like to accomplish in the here and now rather than in my future. These goals are comprised of things I know I would like to accomplish for myself on a daily or weekly basis during the month, or things that I know I can realistically complete in a 30-day time frame.

Many of my goals really serve as reminders for me! My list is generally comprised of actions that I want to take throughout the month to better myself in a variety of ways and help myself achieve mental, emotional, and physical peace. When I complete something that is on my list of goals, I feel a sense of peace and fulfillment that propels me forward and onto my next task!

Let me share with you a few things that were on my list of July Goals so you may better understand what I mean (these are quoted from my writing):

  • Do yoga every day BUT be gentle with myself, and take a day off if need be
  • Read 1-2 books this month
  • Start listening to podcasts at least one day a week
  • Continue waking up by 9 AM
  • Continue my money spreadsheet and spend less than June
  • Choose 2 days a week to limit social media usage to avoid burnout

So, how can YOU set up a list of goals for your month that will help you achieve peace in your everyday life?

  • Assess your values! This doesn’t mean you have to dig down deep, it really just means asking yourself what matters most to you, for yourself. Do you value your quiet time, taking care of yourself, taking care of others, education, working hard, etc.? The list goes on and on. Figure out what values need to become priorities first and foremost.
  • Figure out what you need mentally, emotionally, and physically! This is so important, and there is no right or wrong answer. Start by pausing and considering what may have caused you more mental dis-ease than you would have liked to experience this month. What can you limit/increase exposure to in your life that would create more mental ease in your life? Repeat this evaluation in terms of your emotional and physical states!
  • Ask yourself what you feel you are lacking in your life. Since graduating, I have felt the lack of education and learning in my life, so I wanted to keep reading and learning through listening to more podcasts! You may not have the time to incorporate the things you are lacking into your life every single day, but adding them to your list of goals for the month creates a space for them that you may not have even had at all!
  • By the same token, what feels excessive or unnecessary in your life that you may want to cut back on? I felt overwhelmed by social media, so I added cutting back a few days to my list of goals! This list is not just about adding things into your life, it can also be about what you’d like to get rid of to create a healthier space for yourself!
  • Ask yourself if there are goals in your work or personal endeavors/projects that you would like to accomplish. I have a separate section of my list of goals that focuses on my monthly goals for the blog! Again, these are not the goals that I would like to achieve with the blog long-term, they are simply the tasks that I know I can accomplish in a month if I set my mind to it and work hard.

At the bottom of my list for July, I wrote this:

“Be gentle with yourself and these goals. You will not reach them all at once. If you don’t reach them this month you are not a failure. Love yourself!”

Goal Getter
How To Set Attainable Monthly Goals

I love my past self for this reminder. I couldn’t put it into better, simpler terms if I tried! Be gentle with yourself and these goals. As you can see, I set out to do yoga every day, but what I had learned from the previous month is that that goal was great to have, but sometimes I just didn’t want to do it because my body was telling me not to. But I wasn’t gentle with myself, and I did it anyway. These goals are not set in stone, nothing bad will happen to you if you don’t do what you thought you’d have the space and time for!

You will not reach them all at once. You just won’t! You’ve got to give yourself some grace. Just as you will not write the novel you aspire to write in a day/week/month, and just like you will not have 500 new subscribers/customers overnight, you will not be able to check off every goal every day. But it’s ok. If you don’t reach them all this month you are not a failure!

Love yourself. That one speaks for itself.

If YOU make a monthly goal list for yourself for August, I’d love for you to share it with me via social media @ang_larose1 on Instagram, @BTFblog on Twitter or via email!

I love you, I can’t wait to see you all crush your goals!

xoxo

~ Angela

Passion Piece

Passion Piece

Passion Piece Feature
Feature #1- Gabe Moses: Big Dreamer. Big Doer.

Gabe Moses: Big Dreamer. Big Doer.

Feature #1

Hi, Passion Peeps!

This week’s post is something new and exciting that I am thrilled to share with you all! Last month, I wrote a personal “Passion Piece” about my passion for yoga, but this week I am excited to share the first of many “Passion Piece” features!

Seeing as how Beyond the Footlights centers on life both on and off the stage, and the passions we all have outside of our careers, I wanted to spotlight friends and colleagues of mine (and hopefully some new faces!) and share their passions with this community! I think it is really interesting and beautiful to get to know people on a deeper level than we may experience in work, school, or via social media. It creates meaningful connection with others, and I can’t wait for that connection to be amplified here!

Passion Piece Feature
Feature #1- Gabe Moses: Big Dreamer. Big Doer.
Gabe and I (back left) with our fellow interns at an opening night champagne toast for PSF

My first Passion Piece Feature is Gabe Moses. I met Gabe in college at DeSales University when he came in as a freshman my sophomore year, and the splash he made onto the college scene was incredible. I have had the honor of sharing the stage with Gabe in various productions both during the school year and at the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival as inters interns and working with him as a director. To say his talent goes unmatched is quite the understatement. His dedication, professionalism, and heart (both on and off stage) afford him well, and there is no doubt that those attributes propel him forward in and among our peers. Not only is Gabe all those wonderful things, he is also a wonderful friend and just a great human being. Every time I watch him work, watching him with friends, and talk with him myself, I feel like I learn something. Whether in our craft or in everyday life, his maturity and sensibility never cease to teach and inspire me. How lucky am I to know this man?!

Here is my chat with Gabe about all thing’s passion, self-care, and the journey.

Who are you, where are you from, and where are you spending your time these days?

G: My name is Gabe Moses and I am originally from New Jersey, but I moved to Pennsylvania when I was ten years old. I currently live in Bethlehem and I’ve been home since the Coronavirus hit.

What are you currently doing for work, if anything?

G: I am currently unemployed due to Covid-19, but I recently started a podcast called “Black-tor” which almost feels like a part-time job with the amount of work I put into each episode.

Tell me a little about your journey and how it has brought you to where you are today?

Passion Piece Feature
Feature #1- Gabe Moses: Big Dreamer. Big Doer.
Gabe as Lopakhin in DeSales University’s production of The Cherry Orchard

G: Ever since I was three or four years old, I have been singing and dancing around the house. Although I believe I was born to perform, I definitely picked up these gifts from watching children’s shows like Barney and Hip Hop Harry. These shows included song and dance to tell their stories which reeled me in. So, my family saw me picking up these skills and wanted to put me in programs where I could learn more. As a child growing up, I’ve spent many years in performing arts camps/academies learning and honing my skills in theatre, song, and dance. It didn’t take much for me to realize that this is what I wanted to do with my life. Early on, I had visions and dreams of seeing myself on Broadway and television. This led me to attending The Lehigh Valley Charter High School for the Arts and majoring in theatre for four years. I, then, went on to attend DeSales University as a theatre major and I’ll be starting my senior year in the Fall. I have had the privilege of taking part in the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival as an intern in several of their productions. Over the years, I have come to realize what my purpose is as a black performer and just as a person. I always want to represent my people and shine positive lights on black culture through my art. My goals are not only to entertain the world with my gifts, but to change lives and provide new lenses for people to look through and understand.

If you can, list for me your top 5 passions- no matter what they are!

G: Theatre, Music, Interpretive Dance/Movement, Directing, Podcasting.

Does the work you are currently doing fall into the same category as any of those passions?

G: Thankfully, yes! 100%. I am blessed to have been active in the arts, throughout this pandemic. I didn’t think that would be the case when PSF, and so many other theatres, canceled their summer season. I thought this would be the worst summer ever, but somehow it has been very rewarding. I have learned so much about myself and what I want to give to this world while directing and acting in online readings/plays and podcasting.

What are some things you do in your spare/down time to foster/hone those passions so that they stay just as alive as your work?

G: I love watching interviews and listening to podcasts of actors, directors,
musicians, or pretty much anyone involved with the arts. Unfortunately, I can’t go see a show every single day especially as a performer and a college student who’s broke all the time. When I learn from professional artists through these interviews. I always try to find the actors who inspire me and who look like me to hear about their experiences. This lets me know what I’m getting myself into which is very valuable and informative as a young black actor.

What are your top 3 goals in your life/work?

G: It’s difficult for me to pick three legit goals. I have so many long term and short term goals I would like to achieve in life. If anything, I would love to be on Broadway. That has always been a dream of mine since I was a kid. To be able to follow in the footsteps of so many black actors and directors would be amazing. With the black lives matter movement afloat, I have hope I will be able to be a part of the change that is needed due to systemic racism and discrimination in the arts. So, there’s another goal: to share my voice with the world in hopes to end racism. I believe I have two voices: my performer voice and my personal voice. My performer voice is not necessarily a facade, but an extension of myself when I am performing and acting in a show. It’s the voice I put forth when my face is seen on a stage. My personal voice is the one I use when I do not have a platform to communicate through. It’s the microphone I make for myself when I’m
not given one. If I were to pick a third goal, I would say to be authentically me 24/7. I grew up as a quiet child, which surprised many people when they saw me onstage. Even into my college years, I still hold back who I am sometimes. So, the person I am and the person I am becoming is still taking shape. But I am able to stay humble while still being myself. I’ve grown so much in the past few months, on a personal level, to the point where I am excited to get back to daily routines when this pandemic is over. I’m ready to jump into my next chapter.

What does your self-care routine look like?

G: To be honest, I really need to come up with one that I can commit to on a daily or weekly basis. I tend to keep up with my well-being sporadically, but I feel as though scheduled check-ins will do me justice. I will give myself a pat on the back for knowing when to separate myself from situations I know I do not belong in. I am good at taking time to be alone and think about choices I may have made that were not right or either didn’t go as planned. So, time is a big part of self-care and being able to take a step back before I take two steps forward.

What advice do you have for anyone struggling to make the time for their passions in their life?

G: Make the time! Even if it’s out of the way from the priorities in your life. Or if you have to make a sacrifice that is doable, do it! You will feel so much better. It’s important to do what you love and not what other people want you to do. As an actor, I know there will be times when that isn’t possible immediately after graduation. But little things go a long way. It could be as simple as taking five minutes in your day to do something you love. Stay in touch with the things and people that mean everything to you. Then, hopefully, there will be an opportunity where you can do it every single day, and maybe even make a living out of it.

Huge thanks to Gabe for sharing his time and his words with me!

Passion Piece Feature
Feature #1- Gabe Moses: Big Dreamer. Big Doer.

He’s got one more year of school left, and you will not want to miss a moment of his journey! You can follow Gabe on Facebook (Gabe Moses), Instagram @gabejmoses, and Twitter @GabeMoses. You can listen to his podcast, “Black-tor,” on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Anchor, Overcast, RadioPublic, and PocketCasts!

Lots of love!

~ Ang

Pause. Breathe. Reset.

Pause. Breathe. Reset.

Pause. Breathe. Reset.
Experiencing Burnout and How To Combat It

Experiencing Burnout and How to Combat It

Hi, sweet friends!

In case you’ve missed this detail about me- I am a planner by nature. Planning things out makes me feel much more grounded and secure. So, before the start of every month, in an attempt to keep on track and keep up with my writing for the blog, I plan my posts (which is usually why I’m on my insta stories asking what content you’d like to see!).

Based on my latest poll, y’all wanted to see some more posts about organization and goal setting. And I had every intention of making this week’s post all about that.

But, my plans changed.

Now don’t click out just yet! Here’s why:

As content creators, we have to write what we know. And this week, organization and goal setting were not two things I felt I could even begin to remember how to do myself, let alone make a blog post on how to encourage others to do so.

Instead, we are going to talk a little bit about burnout.

Whether you have called it burn out or not, chances are good that most of us, if not all of us, have experienced some kind of burnout in our lives. You may have felt it in your job, in school, in relation to the people you have spent too much time with, or in relation to your social media usage. It is that feeling when you’ve allowed yourself to be run down almost to your core, so much so that these things feel toxic and just not good for your mental health.

Recently, I’ve really struggled being at home. I miss my friends, I miss doing the work I had set out and planned to do, and I just miss being busy. Past Angela is laughing at Present Angela making this statement, because whenever I’m busy I wish I had more free time. Well, I got my wish! I’ve thrown myself into my yoga studies and social media, but about a week ago I had a day that sent me spiraling.

It was one of those days where one bad thing happened right after another. The day started with continued disappointment due to Miss. Rona, and around every corner was something else to send me into a tizzy. The funny part about this is on that day, I shared a video about our self-talk on my IGTV that I had made a few days before, and it was meant to be uplifting and helpful. For me that day, it was anything but. I couldn’t seem to take a second to sit, listen, and practice what I was preaching. I continued to share things via social media and later, even shared how poorly my day had gone so far…

Pause. Breathe. Reset.
Experiencing Burnout and How To Combat It

Later, I experienced an incident that sparked anger and anxiety in me I hadn’t experienced since being home and away from school. It was an incident in rooted in comparison, and it was really the icing on the crap cake of a day I had had. Not only did I begin to engage in negative self-talk because of it, but I completely and totally let the incident overtake me, my mind, and my rational thinking. I allowed myself to feel what I needed to feel in that time, but I knew the way I was allowing myself to handle it, and how I was talking myself through it was not as healthy and calm as it could be.

Another thing that came up for me in my little ~moment~ was how my social media usage was playing a role in all of it. In the last few months, I have kind of turned to social media as an outlet. Before starting the blog and deciding to make an effort to create a better brand for myself online, I didn’t spend consistent time online. I never planned posts, I never was vocal with my followers and did my best not to get too personal or in depth on social media. I think putting myself out there in that way was what kept me from starting a blog and a brand for so long. I was scared. I was afraid of judgement from myself and potentially from others.

I have come to love Instagram and creating content so much more than I ever thought I would. But even on my best days, I would find myself regularly (almost constantly) checking my follower count, how many people had unfollowed me, and how many people were viewing my blog pages and Insta stories. I would express the results of these constant checks to close friends of mine and they would remind me to, you know, not do those things, but I kept on. I’d check out other bloggers and compare how many brand deals they were getting and their follower counts with mine, and I started putting so much pressure on myself to try and expand and achieve goals I wasn’t even sure were mine. This pressure of comparison coupled with the incident of comparison I experienced did me in.

What I am getting at is that I needed a moment away. I needed to take a step away from social media and go internally to better assess how I could handle moments of burnout in a more productive and healthy way. I realize that life stops for no one, and we are all bound to have those days where it feels like a freight train of nasty is speeding towards us and we have nowhere to run. But the important thing on days like that or in moments like that is how we deal with them. How we talk ourselves through them.

Pause. Breathe. Reset.
Experiencing Burnout and How To Combat It

That crappy day made me realize just how few tactics I had for getting through moments like that based on the way I reacted. I did just that; I REACTED. I DID NOT RESPOND. And I think that made the day and all its events even harder to manage. So, I took a step away from social media for a few days. If I wasn’t posting, I wasn’t checking up on all those things I had listed, and I didn’t have to worry so much about putting pressure on myself in that way. But, at the same time, I knew that I would go back to posting. I knew I wasn’t going to give up on the brand I have begun creating. So how was I to deal with these feelings or scenarios when they arose again, because that would be inevitable?

The answer is, I don’t have an exact answer at the moment. I don’t know that I will ever have a cut and dry, straight forward answer to that question. I don’t know that anyone does. But what I do know is that this moment in my life has struck a chord in me, and has made my thinking mind go inward and consider the question at hand with tremendous compassion, not just for myself but for anyone else who may be going through these feelings at this moment as well.

I think we get very stuck in taking people for their face value; not their literal “face,” but for what they present us with on the outside. We don’t always consider what any given human being might be carrying with them behind the closed doors of their hearts. We can share and post and speak on social media and seem fine, but I think social media can sometimes allow us to put up a facade that doesn’t allow our followers to see the inner workings of our hearts and minds. This isn’t always the case, and also depends on the vulnerability of the individual and what they choose to share, but I think we all need to try and be gentle with one another in that regard, and respect the feelings we may not be explicitly seeing.

Going forward, some tactics to combat these feelings of burnout I would like to employ are:

Pause. Breathe. Reset.
Experiencing Burnout and How To Combat It
  • Most importantly, taking time away when I am feeling extremely overwhelmed. No post or platform is really worth me losing a piece of my sanity over. If a person/brand doesn’t recognize that your sanity should come first, they may not be for you and that’s ok! We must put ourselves first so that we can come up even stronger!
  • Talk to the people you trust the most. On that particularly crappy day I had, the two moments where I felt a bit of relief were when I texted my best friend and didn’t hold back and when I called another friend later just to vent before bed. Getting it out, talking it through, and gaining a little bit of perspective from another mind that isn’t in the thick of your thoughts can make all the difference.
  • Tap into my breath in moments of stress and anxiety. Taking a moment to pause, take a few deep breaths, and reset is very important. This is something I am working on, I don’t always remember or think about it but I would like to make more of a conscious effort to work this into my life and work.
  • Use the 3, 2, 1 rule- name 3 things you can see, 2 things you can feel, and one thing you can smell. This puts you back into your body and reminds you of where you are in the present moment. There are lots of different variations of this rule that you could do, you could utilize all 5 senses if you choose in any order you choose too!
  • Journal, journal, journal. Journaling is something I am very passionate about that always leaves me feeling like a weight has been lifted. The benefits of journaling are just endless. If you aren’t comfortable free writing, start by identifying reasons why you are stressed and upset and how that made you feel. Ex: “I was upset when ____ because it made me feel ____.” This is a journaling technique I am learning in my yoga training, and it is helpful in identifying reasons why you may be experiencing dis-ease in other parts of your life.

A lot to take in, I know. But I think this is an extremely important discussion to have with ourselves. Developing your stress and anxiety toolkit is essential if we are going to continue to grow and, you know, I am all about growth. For myself, for you, and for our world.

Take care, loves!

~ Ang

Skin Care is Self Care

Skin Care is Self Care

Skin Care is Self Care
My Skin Care Routine + Favorite Products

My Skin Care Routine + Favorite Products

Hello, beautiful friends!

As you know, self-care is one of my many passions, and (for me) with self- care comes my skin care routine! If nothing else, having a skin care regimen helps me to go into each day feeling like I have a fresh start and end each day by washing the day away!

Throughout high school (and really, throughout most of college) I actually didn’t have a set skin care routine. I was fortunate enough to have good skin, and really only used the occasional acne treatment when necessary or the occasional face mask when I wanted to feel ~fancy.~

Junior year of college, I was in a production of Pippin which required a lot of dramatic makeup and I knew I would need to start taking care of my skin a bit better since it was being put through a lot between all the makeup and all the sweat. So, I religiously washed my face morning and night and made sure to apply my moisturizer, and that was really where my routine came out of. From there, I started doing my research on the best cleansers, serums, toners, moisturizers, sunscreens, and so on.

It has been about a year since I started figuring out what products worked best for my skin and lifestyle, and I am happy to say that I have FINALLY started to settle into a skin care routine that works for me! Here is my routine and some of my favorite products that I use daily!

*NOTE: I am not by any means a skin care professional, and I am not equipped to tell you what skin care/beauty products would work for your skin in your lifestyle. These are simply the products that I use that work for my skin! Always choose what works best for your skin type/any sensitivities you may have! It isn’t about WHAT products you use- you use what works best for you and makes you feel like a wonderful, beautiful, self-care-skin-care princess!

The Routine

  1. Cleanser
  2. Exfoliant (1-2 times per week)
  3. Toner
  4. Hydrating Serum
  5. Eye Cream (at night)
  6. Moisturizer
  7. Sunscreen
  8. Eye Brightening Balm (daytime)

These are the basic steps of my skin care routine! Sometimes rather than using a separate moisturizer and sunscreen I will use a moisturizer that has SPF in it (more to come on that as I get into the products). I also use a rose quartz roller most days and do a face mask at least once a week!

The Products

Cleanser

Skin Care is Self Care
My Skin Care Routine + Favorite Products

Olay Cleanse Gentle Foaming Cleanser– I love this cleanser! It is 100% oil-free and it is so gentle! Even though it is called a foam cleanser, it doesn’t really create a lot of foam or bubbles when you use it. There isn’t really a scent either, which I kind of like. It definitely cleanses my face well without feeling too harsh! Don’t forget to double cleanse at night! (Drug Store Product)

Exfoliant

Skin Care is Self Care
My Skin Care Routine + Favorite Products

Tula So Poreless Deep Exfoliating Blackhead Scrub– I JUST got this product in the mail last week and it is my favorite exfoliant of all time, I don’t think I will ever use anything else again! I got it because my biggest insecurity with my skin is blackheads, and I’m hoping that this will work wonders since all of Tula’s other products work so well for my skin! First of all, it smells like a fruit snack. It’s got probiotics and is made with volcanic sand, pink salt, and pomegranate for exfoliation, and witch hazel and raspberry leaf to help minimize and purify pores! I’m really excited to continue to use this product! Check it out here!

Toner

Skin Care is Self Care
My Skin Care Routine + Favorite Products

Elemis Rehydrating Ginseng Toner– My mom gave me this product (you will come to learn, I get a lot of my skin care products/recommendations from her), and it’s awesome. For a long time, I didn’t use a toner because I didn’t know what it’s purpose was. It really helps prep skin to absorb moisture (from those other moisturizing products we use later) and can help shrink your pores (among other things)! For a while, I was using an Avon toner, but I remembered I had this one and I haven’t looked back since I started using it! I spray a bit onto a cotton ball and spread it on my face! This toner also acts as a rehydrating mist that you can spritz on your face throughout the day for a little added moisture/boost! Check it out here!

Serum

Skin Care is Self Care
My Skin Care Routine + Favorite Products

E.l.f. Hydrating Serum– So I will say, while this product works just fine, I did buy it as a dupe of the Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hydrating Face Serum. I was on a bit more of a budget when I ran out of the Neutrogena one, so I figured I would give the E.l.f. one a shot! The Neutrogena one goes on more like a serum, while the E.l.f. one is a little thicker, and feels more like a regular moisturizer. But both products work great, and I feel like there isn’t much of a difference between how well they hydrate my skin! (Drug Store Product)

Skin Care is Self Care
My Skin Care Routine + Favorite Products

Elizabeth Arden Vitamin C Ceramide Capsules (Radiance Renewal Serum)– These vitamin C capsules are perfect for travel. I think I got two tubes of these as samples a while back, and I still haven’t run out! This serum is more like an oil than the hydrating serums, but for a vitamin C boost they are perfect! You just twist the little head off of them, and honestly, if I use this serum once in a day, I can get away with using one of these capsules for up to like three days! A little goes a long way! Check them out here!

Moisturizer

Skin Care is Self Care
My Skin Care Routine + Favorite Products

Tula 24/7 Moisturizer- Hydrating Day and Night Cream– I have yet to purchase a full size of this product; I received two travel sizes of it in my last two Tula orders, and I still don’t need a full size. Again, a little goes a long way!

OK SO- I just love Tula and their products. They are all filled with probiotics and superfoods to help balance your skin. I cannot say enough amazing things about this brand.

ANYWAY- I use this product usually as my night time moisturizer. It makes my skin feel so hydrated and smooth and loved. Check it out here!

Skin Care is Self Care
My Skin Care Routine + Favorite Products

Olay Complete All Day Moisturizer with Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 15- Sensative– What a name. I have used this moisturizer for years, and it works great for my skin. Typically, this is what I use as my day time moisturizer, mainly because of the SPF. It has a lighter feel than the Tula moisturizer, which is why I like it better for day time. It’s really light, but gets the job done! (Drug Store Product)

SPF

Skin Care is Self Care
My Skin Care Routine + Favorite Products

Tula Protect and Glow Daily Sunscreen Gel– This is a new Tula product and the minute I saw it advertised, I grabbed it up. It is a broad-spectrum SPF 30 and provides UVA and UVB protection. PLUS (here is the big draw)- it is shimmery and smells like pineapples and papaya! It is also reef safe! It leaves me with such a nice glow, I usually don’t even wear makeup when I use it. (You can wear it under your makeup but let’s be real- I haven’t worn real makeup unless I had to in MONTHS). Check it out here!

Eye Cream and Eye Brightener

Skin Care is Self Care
My Skin Care Routine + Favorite Products

It Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye Eye Cream– Another one I got from my momma! I have relatively dark circles under my eyes, that is just how the good Lord made me, but I was always so self-conscious about them that my mom suggested I start using an eye cream to help brighten my under eyes a bit! This one smooths, brightens, and depuffs! Check it out here!

Skin Care is Self Care
My Skin Care Routine + Favorite Products

Tula Glow & Get It Cooling & Brightening Eye Balm– THIS PRODUCT IS A LIFE SAVER. I will recommend it to people until the day I die. This is perfect if you have a hard time getting up in the morning and your under eyes need a little boost! One swipe under each eye and you’re set! It’s made with a little caffeine, aloe, blueberry & hyaluronic acid. I have the original blue one (it goes on clear with a little bit of a white sheen to it), but they also sell a Rose Glow & Get It stick that has a more pink sheen to it and is made with rosehip oil and hydrating rosewater! Either one is the perfect morning pick-me-up! Check it out here!

While those are the products that I use religiously in my daily skin care routine, here are a few of my favorite masks that I use and a few other skin care products that I love!

  • Mario Badescue Facial Spray with Aloe, Sage, and Orange Blossom
  • Origins Masks
    • Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask
    • Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask
    • Original Skin Retexturizing Mask with Rose Clay
  • Kiehl’s Rare Earth Deep Pore Cleansing Masque
  • Elemis Papaya Enzyme Peel
  • Peach Slices Acne Spot Dots (these are life savers- I know they aren’t for everyone’s skin but they seriously get rid of my problem pimples in one day!)

And there you have it! My skin care routine and favorite products! Like I said, please be sure to use the products that are best suited for your skin, and if you give any of these products a try in the future I’d love to hear what you think!

Love the skin you’re in, take care of the skin you’re in, and embrace the skin your in!

~ Ang