lifestyle

This is for everybody.. Girl, you gotta take care of your body!

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If you knew my title was from Queen Ari’s song “Get Well Soon” then you already know what this post is about – self-care.

I am a huge fan of staying in and having an evening on the weekend to recharge and rejuvenate. As a young lawyer, I don’t treat myself the best during the week, and I’m sure all my boss women reading this can relate. I stay up way too late, wake up early, don’t drink enough water, skip workouts, fall asleep at least once a week without taking my makeup off, build up tension from five days at my computer screen, and so on…

Us boss women tend to put our career at the top or near the top of our priority lists with our families and loved ones. Fill the middle with going out with friends, side hustles, hobbies, sports/fitness, random commitments, etc. and skim down to the bottom… Yep, there we are! We put our own bodies, our own health and well-being, emotional stability, and joy, WAY at the very bottom of our list. It’s only natural to do this when you’re hustling like we do. I don’t know one boss woman in my life who doesn’t struggle with taking care of themselves as good as she should be. It normally shows up in the form of not sleeping enough, or over-working and not making time for themselves that they need.

THIS is why I’ve started blocking out chunks of time on my weekend to take care of my mind and body. On top of sleeping in and taking yoga on the weekends, I have added at least one night to be alone and do a full relaxation routine. Once you start this routine with me, I think you’ll understand JOMO (Joy Of Missing Out). See: my inspiration for this post – Kourt Kardashian/Poosh.

Declutter

First thing’s first: pick a space to spend your night. Your bedroom, your living room, whatever. Choose it and declutter it before you start winding down. You cannot fully relax in a cluttered space.

Attire

Two things: 1. Fluffy robe; 2. Slippers.

Victoria’s Secret has some robes on sale right now in a variety of colors for $20! These cozy faux fur slippers from Pottery Barn are currently on sale for $13.99 in blush and ivory.

Aromatherapy

If you don’t already have an essential oil diffuser, you need one asap. You can find a good selection at your local TJ Maxx, or even at grocery stores like Hyvee. Here are some other options as well, including the white Pure Enrichment diffuser (the one I own and love) (click the images to shop!):

Pure Enrichment PureSpa Natural Essential Oils Diffuser81BwzlslqJL._SX522_.jpgUltimate Aromatherapy Diffuser & Essential Oil Set - Ultrasonic Diffuser & Top 10 Essential Oils - 300ml Diffuser with 4 Timer & 7 Ambient Light Settings - Therapeutic Grade Essential Oils - Lavender

Start your relaxation process by using a few drops of lavender oil (my favorite) or eucalyptus oil. Other top choice oils for relaxation, sleep, and stress relief are frankincense, chamomile, and bergamot. If you have a himalayan salt lamp, turn it on for an added relaxing glow to your space. (Click the pics to shop):

Bergamot Essential Oil 10 ml

Frankincense Essential Oil 10 mlImage result for vitruvi lavender essential oil

Playlist

My favorite Spotify playlists for this kind of night are “Relaxing Massage,” “SPA Treatment,” or “Ocean Escapes.”

Skincare Routine

Once you have your diffuser and playlist going, and you’re in your cozy evening attire, start your full-out skincare routine. I’m not talking the simple makeup wipe and face wash routine you do when you’re rushing to get to bed – I mean your full. out. routine. Remove your makeup, wash your face with a quality wash, exfoliate, and wax or shave. Save your moisturizer, serums and night creams for later… You’ll be doing a mask! Click my favs below to shop:

First Aid Beauty Face CleanserTULA Purifying CleanserImage result for flawless by finishing touch

Aromatherapy Skin-Safe Oil

This is a way to take your essential oils to the next level. Most essential oils are not created to be applied directly to the skin. What I do is take my wax melts warmer and (making sure it’s free of wax melt residue first) melt down some coconut oil. Then I add in a few drops of lavender essential oil and mix it, shutting off my warmer before the oil becomes hot. Once in bed, I massage this into my temples. (I stole this from my yoga teacher–10/10 recommend).

Heat and Massage Therapy

A must for me is my heating bean bag. I found one here that is similar and lavender scented for added relaxation. I love placing this around my neck and shoulders, down the length or my spine, and on my lower back. For maximum relaxation, wrap your neck and shoulders while doing your face mask and massaging your temples with your oil.

If you are one that suffers from major muscle tension, I recommend investing in an electric massager. I use this HoMedics Shiatsu massager and it works wonders when my back starts spasming (it also heats up!).

Face Masks

A relaxing night of self-care is not complete without a face mask. Try some Sephora Clean verified sheet masks I hand-picked for you below (click to shop):

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Deep Breathing

Once you’re laying in bed, complete with face mask, playlist, temples oiled, all the good stuff, try some deep breathing. All I do is my yoga breathing: breathe in slow and long through my nose, as much air as I can fill my lungs with, and then exhale slow and long until you feel like all the “stale” air in your lungs has left – until you can’t exhale any more air. Think of it as clearing your lungs of stale air and toxins, filling them completely with new and fresh air. This will help clear your mind and reduce anxiety, allowing you to maximize your relaxation.

 

lifestyle

Currently Loving

TRUTH: I hate long blog posts. Every piece of literature I’ve read on blogging and how to keep your readers locked into your page starts by saying “make your posts longer!” But honestly, It annoys the crap out of me. My husband always tries to look up recipes on pinterest and he’ll get so mad, like “DAMN IT JEN MOTHER OF FIVE I DON’T CARE ABOUT YOUR BAD HAIR DAY AND HOW YOU MADE THIS RECIPE FOR YOUR KIDS’ BIRTHDAY PARTY JUST TELL ME HOW TO MAKE THE DAMN FOOD!!”

So, I’m going to start making my blog posts shorter and getting to the point – starting today with my top makeup & skin care products I am currently loving and using in my daily routine:

  1. Fenty Foundation and Gloss Bombs

I am definitely a gloss over matte girl (especially in the winter when your skin & lips get so dry!)- and I am in love with Fenty’s Gloss Bomb formula. It’s rich & quality texture, without being too sticky. This is one of her most popular colors in Fussy – I use it every day!  ($18.00)

Her foundation, also, is worth the hype. All of her products are reasonably priced for high-end makeup – including this foundation. I use it as my daily wear – Currently using shade 300, but I could go a little more pale because winter has stolen my tan ($34.00)

2. First Aid Beauty: Ultra Repair Lip Therapy, Ultra Repair Cream, Ultra Repair Face Moisturizer, Hello Fab Bendy Avocado Concealer

First Aid Beauty has slowly taken over my skin care routine, one product at a time. I started with their face cleanser, ($21.00), and the tried out their Ultra Repair Cream, (try the mini for $12.00) and now I have a whole FAB collection.

FAB’s Ultra Repair Lip Therapy is a game changer. I seriously have the WORST problems with my lips (autoimmune issues) and no chapstick or lip scrubs help. I started using their Lip Therapy before bed and I have been waking up with soft & smooth lips – a true miracle. ($12.00)

Also – FAB’s Bendy Avocado Concealer is a new necessity of mine. The avocado in it helps hydrate the skin (so important during the winter) and it’s TRULY flexible & full-coverage. For only $22, I don’t know why people aren’t talking about it more! (Thanks for the recommendation Danielle @ SEPHORA Inside JCP Cedar Rapids IA)! 

3. Origins Ginzing Refreshing Eye Cream

I have the WORST time with my under-eye bags. Largely in part due to my autoimmune disease, these bags are permanent and nothing really works to get rid of them. This Origins Ginzing Refreshing Eye Cream is my daily go-to, and while it doesn’t totally get rid of my bags (nothing can) it helps SO much. Combining this and my FAB avocado concealer is my daily routine. ($32.00)

4. Lush Dream Cream

You ever go into LUSH and get Sticker Shock?! Some of their stuff is so pricey, it’s like overwhelming. You’ve got people all over trying to bring you to the tub to drop some bath bombs, workers attacking you with samples, and the floor to ceiling shelves are so overwhelming I swear! When in doubt, grab a bath bomb, and ask for the Dream Cream. I am a lotion lover – and I have never, in all my lotioning days, used a lotion that feels so rich and luxurious as this dream cream does. Not to mention, it’s not a zillion dollars, and it comes with all the perks of buying a lush product – Vegan, cruelty-free, made from the best, natural ingredients. ($29.95)5

Style

Autumn leaves fallin’ down like pieces into place…

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If you can tell me what song my title is from without googling it, we are automatic best friends.

These are some of my fall essentials right now that I am LOVING – Some old, some new… All part of an affordable look if shopping in the right places… Shop the look below!

Sherpa 1/4 Zip Pullover – $49.99

Print Loafer Mules – Gap Factory $18.99

Cheetah Pointed Toe Mules – Lulus $25.00 (get on waiting list if not in your size! Lulus sells out and restocks constantly)

AE High-Waisted Jeggings – $30

Seamed Brushed Knit Sweater – Forever 21 $38.00

Charlotte Russe Over-the-knee Boots on sale – BOGO $8!

Closed toe Cutout Booties in EIGHT colors – under $30 on Prime!

Auth. Gucci Belt $450.00

Belt Dupe on Amazon – $28.00

8 pack mini suede pumpkins from Target – $8 OR find in individually in Dollar Section!

Personal

5 Ways to be Your Own Health Advocate – And Why You Need to Be

This post is a little different, and a little personal. I’m going to share a bit of my medical struggles I’ve been facing because I feel like people truly need this advice.

I am 24 years old, and I started having severe back pain when I was 19. I was raised in a “put some dirt on it” family, so I ignored it as long as I could and let everyone tell me that I couldn’t have a serious back problem because I was only 19. “You’re so young, you don’t have arthritis.” “You’re probably just sore.” “Take some ibuprofen.”

I listened. I ignored it as much as I could. I took Aleve, Ibuprofen, I stretched, I took hot baths, whatever I could to get through the day. And that’s what I did until one day, I was riding in the car with my parents for a drive that was about an hour long. I remember sitting in the back seat and freaking out that I just “threw out” my back, and my pelvis felt detached from my lower spine. I was SOBBING. My parents didn’t know what to do, so we went to the emergency room.

This was definitely a bad idea in retrospect. I had a terrible doctor treat me in the ER, who ordered X-rays of my lower back, but before the X-rays came back, he thought it would be a grand idea to flip me over and examine my back, and without my consent, he yanked my leg up and put all his weight on my lower back to “pop it back in” because my “lower spine had popped out of place.”

I could have had a fracture or something seriously wrong on the x-ray, but he did this before seeing them. THE PAIN. Oh my god, I sobbed so hard in that ER rolling bed that I remember thinking he just broke my back, because I couldn’t breathe.

Flash forward about half an hour later, when he actually saw my x-ray results. He told me everything was fine, nothing came back from the x-rays, and prescribed a muscle relaxer and told me I was just stressed.

Obviously, I wasn’t pleased with this treatment, so as soon as I could get in, I went to my primary care physician and had the x-rays sent over to her. It was here that I found out the ER doctor who told me everything was fine, actually found degenerative changes and mild arthritis on my lower spine and didn’t bother to tell me (probably because he had just shoved my back around while telling me I was “just sore”). So here I sit, in my PCP’s office, while she sits in a chair telling me that she doesn’t understand why I’m crying, and that mild arthritis wouldn’t cause any pain like what I’m feeling. So again, she chalked it up to soreness – didn’t even get up from her chair to look at my back or examine it.

I asked her, “so what do I do for the arthritis?” She told me to take some Aleve and I would be fine. I told her I had already been taking Aleve and it wasn’t helping. She STRAIGHT UP TOLD ME that she couldn’t do anything else for me. So I asked, “well isn’t arthritis like a permanent thing? What do I do long-term?” And she tells me, “you’ll probably be taking Aleve for the rest of your life. That’s it. That’s all you can do.”

Again, obviously, I was not pleased with this appointment. But, I let her convince me that I was being dramatic. That I only had mild arthritis and I should suck it up. I was just sore. I was just stressed. Take some Aleve and get over it.

I dealt with this for a few years, along with chronic fatigue and other weird things going on. Right before my 21st birthday, I had something strange happen. I found a lymph node in my neck that was rock hard and swollen. I remember that moment so clearly. I was sitting in my mock trial coach’s constitutional law class, in the back of the room, and discovered it. I immediately felt my stomach drop because I always think the worst – so right away, I was like “oh my god, I have cancer. I have lymphoma.” I grabbed my laptop and backpack and left in the middle of class and drove straight to immediate care.

I won’t get into those details – because obviously immediate care didn’t do anything for me but tell me to see a doctor. I’ll summarize this briefly – I had an ultrasound. Wasn’t looking good. Had a CT scan. Wasn’t looking good. Had a needle biopsy to test for cancer. This test would be determinative. It wasn’t – and it wasn’t looking good. Had surgery to remove and test the node for cancer. This process went on for two months. Two months of bad news, and thinking I could very well have cancer. Two months of my now-husband being in denial. Two months of my poor mom trying to stay positive. Two months over-thinking about how my life could change, how I wouldn’t be going to law school that fall, how it was going to affect everyone around me…

Negative. The test, thank God, came back negative for lymphoma. I never in my life have felt relief like that. I ran to my car and sobbed. But…. The next day, I realized I hadn’t gotten an answer for WHY. Like, don’t get me wrong, I was SO HAPPY I didn’t have lymphoma, or Castleman’s Disease, or any other problem they tested for… But I didn’t get an answer for why this lymph node was blocked, swollen, large and rock-hard. When I contacted the specialist who did both my biopsies, he said they didn’t know.

So I moved on with life and didn’t think about it much once I was recovered from surgery. Then I found out I had Celiac Disease.

If you don’t know, Celiac Disease is an autoimmune disease where your immune system basically freaks out upon contact with gluten, and attacks the tissues of the body. Basically, the molecular makeup of gluten is so similar to certain tissues in the body, like the lining of your lower intestines, that as the body attacks the gluten as a “threat,” it accidentally attacks the lining of your organs, especially the lower intestines, thinking it too, is a threat.

As with all autoimmune diseases, when you have one, you probably have another. But, my doctors at my university’s Health Services weren’t that great, and when I went in for concerns about autoimmune issues, I got no help.

Flash forward again, and my back problems came back with a vengeance. I had multiple x-rays done. Mild arthritis. I was referred to a specialist and had an MRI done. Mild arthritis. I was sent to Physical Therapy. My back problems got worse. “You’re just sore.” “It’s just muscular.” “Mild arthritis wouldn’t be causing this pain.” “Just stretch more.” “Take ibuprofen.”

More and more of the same.

So I ignored it. I ignored my body screaming for help. I ignored my body when my hair started falling out. I ignored my body when every other joint in my body started to feel like the tin man from the Wizard of Oz before Dorothy oiled up his creaky joints. I ignored the signs of nerve damage. I ignored the headaches. I ignored my chronic fatigue that demands I sleep 10-12 hours a day to feel “normal.” I ignored the debilitating pain every time it was going to rain. I ignored everything, because I had been told so many times that I was being dramatic and that there was nothing wrong with me. I didn’t want to pay more and more money for doctors to keep telling me to take ibuprofen and deal with it. I gave up and told myself “you’re just going to have to live this way.”

Then my teeth started breaking, and I woke up one day screaming that I couldn’t use my arms, and it felt like my bones had migraines. So, I started researching. I was worried I had another autoimmune disease flying under the radar. I started learning as much as I could about autoimmune diseases that involve severe joint pain. I started learning about Rheumatoid Arthritis and Lupus. And then, I went to a new doctor to try again.

Only then, after I did my own research of all of my symptoms, and read multiple “feeds” of people posting about living with multiple joint autoimmune diseases – did I find a doctor who listened to me. I pulled out my sheet of notebook paper that I wrote all my medical problems and the things I suspected were wrong with me. I read it all to her, knowing full well she was probably annoyed that I was “self-diagnosing” using the internet. I did it anyway, because I needed to. And, to my surprise, she listened. She ordered tons of blood tests to see if I would set off any autoimmune indicators or rheumatoid markers.

Finally, five years later, I found out that I have some sort of connective tissue autoimmune disease. We’re not sure which kind yet, but I’m being sent to a specialist to narrow it down between RA, lupus, etc. And still, since I got those results, I’ve been doing deep, DEEP research into the depths of google, preparing to help this doctor – and myself – as much as I can.

Why did I just have you read all this?? Because I lived FIVE YEARS in pain. FIVE YEARS I went undiagnosed because I wasn’t fighting for my health. I wasn’t fighting for the answers I deserved. I was rolling over and letting doctors tell me I was dramatic and nothing was wrong with me because that’s what we’re supposed to do. We’re not supposed to google our symptoms. We’re not supposed to tell doctors what to do. We’re not supposed to tell them what tests we need. We’re not supposed to argue. They know best.

This is not at all a bashing of doctors. This is a mere recounting of the bad doctors that I’ve had, and this is massive criticism of MYSELF for not being my own health advocate. There are bad doctors out there, just like there are bad lawyers, bad police officers, bad teachers, etc. The point is, you need to be your own health advocate, because YOU, and ONLY YOU, know how you’re feeling. NO DOCTOR knows the pain you’re feeling, or the weird symptoms you’re having that you chalk up to be “nothing.” You have to help doctors for them to help you. And sometimes, you have to be stubborn.

Here are five MAJOR things you need to do to be your own health advocate:

  1. Trust Yourself

Don’t let anyone, family, doctors, friends – tell you how YOU’RE feeling. If you feel like you’re not getting answers, and you feel like something “just isn’t right” with your health – listen to yourself! I said it a few lines ago, and I’ll say it again. You and ONLY YOU know how you’re feeling. Even if you have the best doctor in the world, they can’t feel what you’re feeling in your body. Trust your instincts, and listen to your body, even when people are telling you you’re wrong.

  1. Do Your Own Research

When I say this, I am NOT talking about going online and doing a quick WebMD search and concluding you have cancer (we are all guilty of this). I am talking about DEEP in the depths of the googlesphere research. I’m talking about joining forums where people talk about health issues you think you might have. I’m talking about hours of reading multiple articles from several sources. I’m talking about reading complicated health journals written for doctors. Research, research and RESEARCH.

  1. Don’t Take No for an Answer

If you feel like you need a test done, and you’re getting a no from your doctor, or being told that it’s unnecessary, PUSH. If a doctor tells you there’s nothing wrong with you, PUSH. If you don’t feel right, and you’re getting “no, no, no” – change doctors. Get a second opinion. Post on facebook looking for recommendations on specialists. If you have a PPO, go to them. If not, demand that your PCP refer you to the specialist you want to see. Do not take no for an answer – this is your body, your life, and no one cares about it like you do.

  1. Be Involved Even When You Feel Annoying

When your busy doctor is reading you your test results, ask questions. Ask what an EO% is. Ask why you might have low blood pressure. Ask questions until you’re satisfied. They are making bank off of your appointment – don’t let them shoo you out leaving you with a million questions.

  1. Be Persistent Until You’re Satisfied

This kind of ties in with number three, but this is more of a “reach your end goal” point. For me, it took five years to get some kind of answer. Why? One, because the bad doctors I had. And two, because I wasn’t persistent enough. I gave up on myself and ignored my problems again and again until I reached another breaking point and would see a doctor again. I wasn’t persistent in reaching for answers, and I let people tell me I was dramatic and nothing was wrong with me. Be persistent, and don’t make the same mistakes as me – push and push and push until you get an end-answer that you’re satisfied with.

WOW. This is definitely my longest post to-date, and I feel so good getting this all out there. I hope this helps at least one person get closer to solving their daily health issues that they put on the back-burner. Have any of you been through a similar experience? Are you currently going through a similar experience? Comment below – I’d love to chat with you!

Tiana

Style

Top 8 Picks from the Loft sale

Loft is having a huge sale right now – 40% off your entire purchase in stores and online with code NEWNOW. I put together my top 8 picks for this fall – and all you have to do is CLICK the image below to shop!

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Style

Thrifty Thursday – Shop the Gram!

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Should I make #thriftythursday a thing? Idk, you let me know!

I feel like I have been scoring major deals left and right, and I have a few for ya in today’s post! I posted this pullover before in a flatlay on Insta, and I was waiting for my Gucci belt to come in to style it how I had envisioned. This pullover is actually a dupe for the Free People “Found my Friend” sweater – the OG one is 40% off right now at Nordstrom (only cream and red left), but this dupe is only $19.99 on PRIME and is SO SOFT. Not to mention, it comes in six colors!

I styled it with my aerie bralette (similar one on sale here) and my new fav layered necklace from PRIME for only $5.99.

 

Obviously, the Gucci belt is going to run you a few hundred, or you can find some dupes on amazon. Jeans are old American Eagle BUT they are having a major sale right now and a bunch of their jeans (and other apparel) are 50% off. Score a similar pair to mine for only $30 here!

LAST BUT NOT LEAST, are these insta-famous leopard slides from Target.

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Y’all, I found these in the clearance shoe aisle of my local Target for only $7.48. I would def hurry in and check the summer clearance shoes and score these before they’re gone! While you’re there, check out the cute fall decor in the notorious dollar section – I went a little crazy in there myself.

Shop similar sunnies here

Drink: Grande iced PSL w/ almondmilk & whip 🙂

 

Style

Shop the Gram – Pullover Dupe!

pullover dupe4

Everyone knows that one girl who responds to an outfit compliment by saying “Thanks!!! It was only $15!!!” Or “I got it at TJ Maxx!!”

That’s me. That is me every day. I LOVE finding bargains and sharing them with people. SO, here I am, doing just that! I’ve been wanting to order the instagram-famous A&F fleece pullover for a long time now, but never could follow through with paying $68 for it. I came across this dupe on Amazon Prime for only $24 so I bought it to see if it came close. And, truth be told, I am beyond pleased.

This pullover is SO SOFT. I was worried about it being poor quality, as you sometimes get with dupes. However, the material is soft and warm, and actually blocks a lot of wind, so it’s not thin and cheap. Peep this close-up:

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This dupe is totally worth the buy. And, it comes in other colors!

($70 on the left, $24 on the right)

Shop the rest of my look here!

Similar Sunnies for $12 @ Charming Charlies

Basic Black Leggings for $3.90 @ Forever 21

Adidas Tubular Shadow Shoes on sale for $70 (Originally $100!)

Starbucks Matte Black Tumblr for $36.25 on Prime