Passion Piece Feature

Passion Piece Feature

Passion Piece Feature 
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Kailey Edwards: Finding the Beauty

Kailey Edwards: Finding the Beauty

Hi friends!

Time for another Passion Piece Feature! I’m so happy to share that this month’s feature is none other than actress, photographer, businesswoman extraordinaire, and last but not least MY FREAKING BEST FRIEND, Miss Kailey Edwards!!! Here’s a bit about Kailey in a more ~formal~ fashion

“Born and raised in Pennsylvania, Kailey is an avid lover of classic literature, her two black Labradors, and strawberry ice cream. Simply put, she loves to make people laugh, whether it’s in a crazy role onstage or just chilling in the dressing room and strives to bring an atmosphere of joy in whatever room she walks into. Kailey is also a major supporter of inclusive arts and believes that artistry comes in all abilities.”

I’ve written about how the month of November just fills me with gratitude, and it’s not only an honor to write a piece featuring my best friend, but I wanted to take a moment to give her the recognition she so deserves as a small part of my gratitude for her. Kailey and I met our freshman year of college and just stuck together like glue. We have survived living together, working together (in various locations and positions, I might add), her living abroad for three months, and a freaking global pandemic so I think it’s safe to say our friendship can withstand just about anything at this point! We literally talk on the phone just about every day, sometimes multiple times a day. Simply put, at this point, she is family.

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Kailey Edwards: Finding the Beauty
Kailey and I playing villain & sidekick (me looking less than thrilled)

To say that I am a proud friend is quite the understatement. Her natural talents on and off the stage never cease to amaze me. For as long as I’ve known Kailey, she has always loved taking pictures. Anywhere we would go, I could always count on her taking bomb photos of me, the location, and posing for cute pics herself. She loved taking photos so much that once the pandemic hit and everyone was back at home figuring out post-grad life, she started her own photography business, Kailey Edwards Photography! What started as a sweet little side hustle has turned into quite the amazing small business, and sis is booked like…all the time! And rightfully so, her photos are simply stunning! I have watched this girl build this business from the ground up out of one of her passions, and it’s been a blessing. Regardless of any struggle she faces in life, she continues to show up perseverance, grace, and love for what she does!

She deserves her moment to shine and I feel so lucky to share her grace with all of you! Here is our chat about all things self-care and self-love!


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

My name is Kailey Edwards and I’m from Royersford, PA (about 35 minutes outside of Philly). These days, I’m back home and living the dream (sarcastically speaking…)

What are you currently doing for work, if anything? 

One of the craziest things about this pandemic is the opportunities it’s given me in terms of work and, ultimately becoming my own boss. When the pandemic hit, I needed something to fulfill my creativity, which turned out to be photography, and it’s quickly turned into a thriving business venture where I can combine my love visual art with my love of meeting new people and highlighting each person’s unique beauty!

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

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Kailey Edwards: Finding the Beauty
Kailey as Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady at Facetime Theatre

So, my story is a little different from most, mainly because I didn’t get my start in theatre until I was a freshman in high school. I was actually an athlete for my entire school-age life, and I had no idea that the arts would end up being my career path. But, when I was cast as the lead in the first musical I ever auditioned for, I decided to just go with it and see how it unfolded! Well, that first show quickly became two, and then three, and I’m now 8 years deep and can’t see myself doing anything else than being involved in some way shape or form for the rest of my life. I think the best part about the performing arts is that there are SO many jobs that also don’t involve performing, but that still fulfill that creative need. For instance, I have a massive passion for dramaturgy, as well as making the arts more inclusive through things like relaxed performances and ASL/Tactile tours. I think that I will be happy as long as I’m somehow directly involved in the performing arts in some way.

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

  1. Books, books, books! I was a double major in English in college and that’s really just because I love to read so much!
  2. Research is a big passion of mine (which is something my mother says she will never understand, haha!). I just love seeing what other people have to say about a certain topic, while also adding my own interpretations.
  3. Photography. I love that my main job right now is also something that I am super passionate about, truly because it makes people happy and provides people with lasting memories.
  4. Music, specifically jazz! Before I was ever in theater, I was singing at church, and I was super excited when I realized I could become involved in theater and add storylines and acting to songs. 
  5. Dogs-I have two black labs and they keep life interesting, to say the least!

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

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Kailey Edwards: Finding the Beauty

Yes! I am very blessed that my photography business started simply because I just love capturing the world we live in. I studied abroad two years ago in London, and I had so many people back home telling me to create a separate Instagram just for my iPhone travel photos. I never really had the time until quarantine hit, and then I bought myself a camera for graduation. Well, I took photos of friends, they posted them, and then suddenly I have 5 weddings next year! So, it’s been absolutely insane, but also super fruitful. I’ve found that it’s actually benefitted the performing arts side of things for me, because I’ve gotten the chance to photograph fellow performers, which has then given me some wonderful connections within the industry. I love that photography and theatre will always go hand-in-hand and be mutually beneficial!

What has been inspiring you in a time where we are seeing so much change in the world/our industry?

I think I’m most inspired by the ways I’ve seen other creatives still striving to create art during this time. I mean, for God’s sake, we’re in a global pandemic. There’s no pressure to create, but yet, people still are, and they are making this world more beautiful because of it. 

What are some things you like to do in your down time to foster your passions, so they stay just as alive as your work?

I’ve relearned how to read just for fun. In college, I only ever read books that I had to write papers on, or scripts that I was going to be acting in. I’ve really tried, recently, to read books that are just fun reads that I’ve been meaning to pick up off my dusty bookshelf. I am also taking voice lessons again simply for “me”, without the worry of having to prepare for auditions. I’ve missed singing just for the heck of it.

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

  1. I would love to make more opportunities available to theaters around the country to be able to do relaxed performances and make their theaters more inclusive all around.
  2. For photography, I would love to ultimately become a destination wedding photographer and travel around the world while capturing memories for people.
  3. Not necessarily a goal, but something I strive to accomplish in anything I do, is to do said thing with kindness and the understanding that everyone has their own gifts in life. I think it’s important to recognize that we are all so needed in this world for so many different reasons!

What does your self-care routine look like?

Oh lord, I barely have one, haha! I really try to wake up early in the morning to do my makeup, not because I need to look good for anyone but myself, but because it’s my “me time” to have to myself before I start my day. 

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

I think the great thing about this world (and more specifically the performing arts world) is that there are ways to become involved in the field you’re passionate about, even if it’s not in the position you ultimately want. I think that you should find a way to incorporate your passion into your daily job or daily routine, so that it doesn’t become this “separate entity”. If you don’t get cast in a show, find a way to work backstage or in the administration office. Always find a way to be involved with the field you love!


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Kailey Edwards: Finding the Beauty

She is beauty. She is grace. She is Kailey Edwards! Thanks so much to Kails for finding time in her busy schedule to answer my questions, and many, many more thanks to her for filling the world with beauty, joy, and kindness! If you want to get to know her better yourself, you can follow her on Instagram @kailey__edwards and @kaileyedwardsphotography (her and her mom, Keri, recap the bachelorette on Instagram every week…truly not something you want to miss).

Stay well, friends! Have a beautiful Thanksgiving, PLEASE stay safe!

~ Ang xo

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