Back & Better


Oh, how good it feels to be back! Since August, I’ve had a lot of changes in my life – both good and bad. I’ll have to catch you up soon with a series of new blog posts. But until then…

Check out the resolutions I made for myself in the new year. Please hold me accountable! Usually I go with something simple like “be a better person” or “work out more.” This year, I took a different approach that is a bit better suited for my mindset.

I like to compartmentalize my life just to stay organized, so I figured that compartmentalizing my resolutions would be more beneficial to me. Check out how I broke it down below.

The first set of goals focuses on me and what I can do to better myself, my career and my finances.

2017 Resolutions

The second set of goals revolves around my social life and my relationship with others. My family and friends are so important to me, and I want to make sure I stay present in their lives while also extending my network to people who share the same interests.

2017 Resolutions 2

While I still can’t believe that we are now three months into 2017, time is a’tickin, and I am super excited to see what this new year brings. I am thankful for everyone who has stuck with me through the last year, and I am looking forward to taking on bigger and riskier endeavors with all of you by my side.

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Thank You, Athens

The summer before college, I kept hearing one thing: the next four years will be the best years of your life.

Now that I have graduated, I beg to differ. These past four years have been the most formative years of my life, but the years to come? Those are going to be the best.

Today, I stand as the person I always wanted to be – happy, strong and fearless. And I move forward with confidence in myself and my decisions as a daughter, sister and friend.

I say that confidently because in retrospect, I could not be the person I am today without having learned what I learned in college. I learned to love. I learned to be grateful. Most importantly, I learned to live in the moment.

For all my life, I dreamed of having that “I can’t live without you,” that “you complete me” kind of love, and time and time again, I found myself wondering what was wrong with me. What was it about me that made me so unlovable?

The funny thing was that I had spent all this time wanting people to love the image that I projected, and I had put all this work into masking my insecurities when I should have been fixing them. So I learned to love myself.

Everyday, I surrounded myself with people who supported and encouraged me. My friends in college, who were there for me during the highs and the lows, shaped the way I saw myself. We spent countless days in coffee shops talking about our goals for the future and many long nights on living room floors working towards bettering ourselves. They rejected self-deprecation, and they taught me how to love the parts of myself that I thought made me less of a person.

My friends also set the example on how to love others. I watched them be great girlfriends and boyfriends to their significant others. I watched them care for the homeless on cold nights. I even watched them comfort crying, drunk girls in the bathroom. That is how you love people.

So I owe it all to my friends in college. They are my “can’t live without you” love. They are my “you complete me” love. Because without them, I would have never learned how to love.

While it was my friends who taught me how to love myself and others, it was everyone on campus that taught me how to be grateful.

During my time in college, I spent a lot of time with people from all walks of life, and we were all striving for the same things – success, happiness and a better future. In the process, I learned about the things that they didn’t take for granted – like time, money, family, culture, opportunities, and the list goes on and on.

Being at a school with so many people from different backgrounds opened my eyes to the fact that even though we were all at the same point in our lives, nobody got there in the same way. It made me reflect upon the people and things that helped me get to this point in my life, and just as importantly, I started thinking about the things I had forgotten to appreciate during this journey.

Today, I am more conscious of how lucky I am. I wake up every morning, and I am grateful to be alive, to have such amazing people in my life, to be doing something I love and so much more. Although there are many ways to show gratitude, the easiest way to do it is with two words: thank you.

And I am extremely grateful for my biggest takeaway from college, which was how to live in the moment.

Four years. I spent four years of my life in the greatest city on earth, at the greatest school on earth, with the greatest people on earth.

Throughout those four years, I kept thinking I am never going to get to live like this again. I am never going to have all my best friends in one city again. I am never going to find a way to go out six out of seven days of the week again.

The clock was ticking, so I tried to live in the moment and experience everything as if it was my first and my last time.

When I laughed, I laughed so hard I couldn’t breathe. When I cried, I bawled. When I studied, I pulled all-nighters. When I went out, I danced like no one was watching. I didn’t want to waste a single second of the time I had because time is one thing you can’t get back.

Before I knew it, I had on my graduation gown and was waving at my family from between the hedges in Sanford Stadium. Ryan Seacrest was speaking to the Class of 2016.

“So let’s take one last moment and really, really take it in,” he said. “Close your eyes for a second. Take in a deep breath of that Athens air. Hear the sounds of the dawg barking. And put that memory in a very, very safe place, and keep it with you for the rest of your life. You will always remember what you’ve learned and experienced here at the University of Georgia.”

Then it happened. My four years of college ended. I graduated. The moment was gone.

The following weeks were a blur as I spent almost every second with friends, crossed items off my bucket list, packed up my things and moved out of Athens. Leaving Athens was probably one of the hardest things I have ever had to do. I was leaving behind friends and the place I called home for the past four years, and I was entering into the unknown.

But so far, the unknown has not been too frightening.

Here I am – at the commencement of the rest of my life – and I feel good. I feel ready. I have packed every single great memory from Athens into a box, and I am taking it with me into my next chapter. I am keeping the lessons I learned at the forefront of my mind to guide me as I pave the way for my future. I am still figuring out what I want, but I am confident that I will figure it out with time.

To everyone who has been on this journey with me so far, thank you. Thank you for loving me, for teaching me, for pushing me to do better and be better. Thank you to the University of Georgia for bringing these amazing people into my life and for being the backdrop to some of the greatest moments I have ever experienced. Thank you all for shaping me into who I am today because now I am ready for the best years of my life.Screen Shot 2016-01-02 at 4.40.29 PMDSC_0507.jpg

A LUSH Birthday Present

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Happy belated birthday to me from my sister! I had my 22nd birthday (I’m feeling 22) back in March, and in my sister’s true fashion, she gave me a gift two months late. Knowing that I absolutely love LUSH products, she gave a bunch of new stuff to play with.

I tried all of these products except for the Fresh Farmacy Cleanser because I’m still trying to finish up my sample of the Coalface Cleanser from LUSH. Coalface has really helped clear up my skin and reduce the blackheads around my nose. It also helped reduce the oil in my skin, but I think it kind of dried it out too much. I combat that with a good moisturizer and the occasional serum. Anyway, with all this new stuff, I wanted to give you a brief review of the products that I have tried!

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The star of the show is the Tea Tree Water. This has truly transformed my skin, and I am not kidding. If I had a before and after picture/if you could actually feel the difference in my skin, you would buy this product too. I have been using this after I wash my face and before I moisturize, and it has made my skin so smooth and bright. Like I said earlier, I have oily skin, and after using this, I’ve noticed less oil throughout the day and clearer skin that’s smooth to the touch. I have to stop myself from touching my skin because it’s so soft. A lot of the redness from my acne is also gone. It’s truly the best thing I have ever tried from LUSH, and I may even say that it tops the Mask of Magnaminty.

My next two favorites are the Mint Julips Lip Scrub and the It Started with a Kiss Lip Tint. First of all, lip scrubs are just great in general because there’s nothing better than soft lips, except maybe soft skin. Second, the Mint Julips Lip Scrub also just tastes so damn good. After I used it, I put on some lip balm and dabbed a little bit of the lip tint on top. It’s perfect because it gives you a soft pop of color, so you can use it all day, every day, which I do now. I just love the rosy color it gives me.

The last thing I tried was the Ultrablast Toothy Tabs, which is pretty awful. I am going to stick with regular toothpaste because tbh – it was kind of disgusting. You’re supposed to chew it up until it gets foamy. Then you brush your teeth like you regularly would, but the taste made me want to throw up all over myself (not really, but just a little bit). Safe to say, I’ll only use these if I run out of toothpaste, but I plan on stocking up with enough Colgate toothpaste to last me a lifetime.

Again, I haven’t tried the Fresh Farmacy Cleanser yet, but I will for sure let you know when I do! Hope everyone has a fantastic weekend 🙂

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Roadtrip to New Orleans

Six college students. Two cars. One trip of a lifetime.

A couple of months ago, I hopped in a car with two of my sassiest friends to embark on a journey to the Big Easy a.k.a NOLA a.k.a New Orleans. We headed down south for a fun birthday getaway, and and before I knew it, I walked away with three more crazy friends and a bond that only New Orleans could forge.

We spent the days experiencing the culture of New Orleans by exploring the French Quarter, Jackson Square, the French Market, Canal Street and Magazine Street. But at night? We hit Bourbon Street with full force.

To this day, this trip is the closest thing to the movie The Hangover that I have ever experienced. New Orleans is more than I ever thought it could be, and I am so happy to have been lucky enough to experience it with such a great squad.

Check out some of my pictures of the city above!

P.S. Have you heard of the #KendraTrapsFetty campaign? If not, search it! One of the ladies that I had the honor of meeting on this trip is embarking on a journey to meet the man of her dreams, Fetty Wap. She’s one of the greatest people I have ever met, and I can’t think of anyone who deserves to meet Fetty more than her! Join the movement and help her meet her man by signing this petition!

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I recently signed up to become a Brand Backer which is a way to discover new products and become an influencer in the beauty blogger arena, so this post is my first through Brand Backer for the #MAKEYourself campaign! All opinions are my own 🙂

I was sent two samples of their products – the Matte Finish Eyeshadow in Alabaster and Silk Cream Lipstick in Taffy, which I am wearing in the photo above! The eyeshadow was a pale cream color, and it didn’t really show up on my skin. However, the eyeshadow went on smoothly, brightened up my eyes and was a great background for my winged liner. As for the lipstick, it was definitely a winner! I am a huge fan of pink lipstick, mainly because Victoria Secret’s models usually have pink lipstick on the runway. The color wore off within a couple of hours, but my lips still had a slight pink tint to it. It was creamy and super hydrating throughout the day, so I was a big fan.

MAKE is a beauty company based in New York City, and they don’t test on animals! They have a ton of great products that I think are great for young professionals looking to keep it minimal in the work place. For my readers, feel free to use this 20% discount code on your MAKE purchase: MAKEYOURSELF. Visit the MAKE website to check out some of their pretty products!

*Sponsored by MAKE

Lush Mask of Magnaminty Review

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Let me add this to the list of things I absolutely love! Before I begin, I’m just going to say that you should get the Mask of Magnaminty immediately. There is a reason that it has 4.6/5 stars and over 700 reviews.

So after browsing through Lush’s site for a few days and mulling over what products I wanted to try, I knew that I had to get my hands on Mask of Magnaminty. The description says that it’s meant to cleanse, exfoliate and soothe your skin, and the reviews say that it’s great for people with acne-prone, oily skin like me! So obviously I had to get it.

Mask of Magnaminty is extremely different from the Boots Botanics Ionic Clay Mask that I tried. This one takes longer to dry, exfoliates with the aduki beans and doesn’t make a mess in my bathroom. The mixture is both creamy and chunky, and hell, it’s a ton of fun to put on your face.


The moment you put it on, your skin is going to tingle like it’s never tingled before! You can blame it on the peppermint. As you rub it in, you can feel the aduki beans and primrose seeds exfoliating your skin, and once the mask is dry (usually around 10 minutes), all you have to do is rinse it off slowly and massage your skin along the way.

I’ve been using this mask every Sunday for the past 3 weeks, and my skin has never felt better. Immediately after I use it, my skin feels so smooth and clean. My skin isn’t as oily on a daily basis anymore, and it also has helped with acne. My face has never been clearer. I noticed that if I have some pimples in their early stages, the mask will bring them to the surface faster, and they tend to heal faster too. So if you get some pimples right after you use it, don’t freak out! It might look bad at first, but I promise that the mask is helping the whole situation.

I am super picky about what I use on my skin, and this has definitely passed the test. Now I understand what the hoopla is all about, and I am definitely jumping on this bandwagon. I find Lush products too expensive, but this is one product that I wouldn’t mind spending money on. It’s worth it!

Monday Mornings

This is me on Monday mornings. No makeup. Messy hair. Eating cereal out of a Tupperware container. This is the epitome of a Monday morning.

As I get dressed for class and eventually put on some eyeliner and concealer, all I can think about is how I would have NEVER posted a picture sans makeup like this a few years ago.

Unfortunately I used to be under the impression that perfection was the goal. That looking put together was more important than being put together. That being rough around the edges made you less of a person. I wanted to be as Barbie-esque as possible because I wanted people to think that I was perfect.

Oh, how wrong I was! In the wise words of Olivia from The Bachelor, “perfection is overrated.” Even though she was talking about her toes when she said that, we can just pretend that she was talking about something other than that.

Somewhere along the way to adulthood, I realized something life changing, and it was this: it is none of my business what people think of me.

Some days I look like a million bucks. Other days I look like I crawled out of the sewer. Regardless of what kind of day I am having, I want to be real, and real is sometimes not wearing makeup. Real is sometimes eating cereal out a tupperware container. Real is not being perfect because perfection does not exist.

Lush Ultrabland Cleanser Review

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It’s product review time! The last (and first) time I went to Lush, I asked for some products that would help clear up my skin and solve the whole oily skin problem. Maggie, the lovely lady who helped me, recommended Ultrabland. She said she used it regularly as a makeup remover and cleanser, and when she tested it on the back of my hand, I was all about it. But I wasn’t ready to drop some big bucks, so I asked for a sample instead.

Recently, I grew some balls and tried it for the first time… and I did not like it at all.

To begin with, the product is this creamy, waxy substance that you’re supposed to apply to your skin as a makeup remover and cleanser. So you rub it on and wipe it off with a cloth, and it’s supposed to remove your makeup and clean your skin at the same time.

My biggest problem with Ultrabland is that it felt like I was smearing butter on my face. It was so thick and greasy that it felt like it was clogging my pores rather than cleaning them. I felt like no matter how long I rubbed my face with the cloth, there was still reside left on my skin, and for someone with oily skin, I felt like I had dived headfirst into a tub of I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter, which would be okay if I liked butter (but I don’t).

If I wasn’t such a hoarder, I would have thrown this away right then and there, but it’s sitting at the bottom of my junk draw in my bathroom. And it will stay down there until it magically becomes a less greasy cleanser.

In the meantime, I’ll stick to my tried and true Neutrogena Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelettes and Aveeno Clear Complexion Foaming Cleanser.


4 Things You Should Know About Taking Charge of Your Dental Health

Hello & good morning! I’m so happy to be 100% again. I’ve been recovering for the past few days from a wisdom tooth extraction and a root canal retreatment, so I’ve been a little out of it.


Since this whole dental stuff is fresh on my mind, I figured there’s no better time than now to talk about some important things – real life things – that might help you as you attempt this thing called adulthood.

Scary right?

Well before we begin, here’s the tl;dr of my horror story at the dentist. I went to an awful (and probably fake) dentist who completely botched my root canal and had to wait eight months to get it fixed. And what did I learn in those eight months? A whole lot about dental insurance, that’s what! So here are some tidbits that you should definitely know if you ever plan on taking your dental health into your own hands.

  1. Dental insurance covers more when you go in-network. As someone who has never had to deal with insurance, I had a lot to learn about insurance. The first thing I learned was that dentists operate either in-network or out-of-network, meaning either they have or don’t have a contract with your insurance company. When you go in-network, your insurance is willing to pay more of your dental bills. It’s kind of like a thank you for shopping within our network.
  2. Insurance does not foot the whole bill. Again, I had no real understanding of insurance until now, and what I have come to understand is that insurance pays for a portion of the bill based on what you get done. For example, my insurance only pays for 60% of the cost of a root canal procedure on a molar. If you need to have a simple tooth extraction, insurance will pay for 90%, but if you require surgery to remove it, it will only pay for 60% of the operation. Moral of the story: don’t assume that the cost of any major procedure will be covered by insurance.
  3. If you don’t want to get screwed over, consider having consultations with multiple dentists. Lucky for me, I had eight months to look for a dentist. In that time, I went to other dentists with my symptoms and asked for their opinion. I got a pretty clear answer for why I was having so much pain in my root canal tooth, so when I finally settled on a dentist, he came to the same conclusion as the other dentists, so I knew he wasn’t making up anything. Also, most consultations are free, so it doesn’t hurt to get second opinions.
  4. Go with your gut. This is a less factual tip than the ones above, but I still think it is a valid way to protect yourself in the real world. I had a gut feeling that the “fake” dentist was not a good dentist. He was impatient, uncooperative and careless, and it ended up costing me. My new dentist actually took the time to go over the procedures with me and talk through my options, and in my gut, I knew that I was making a good choice when I picked him. Since then, it’s been smooth sailing.

So trust me, I know that it’s scary to venture out into the real world and to start handling things on your own. Hell, I almost cried a bunch of times because it was so frustrating to look for a new dentist. But it’s so important to learn about these things that will make a huge impact on your quality of life and well-being. Plus knowledge is power!

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Spotify Playlist: Running to Class

Happy Monday!

Guess what today is?! The first day of classes this semester! Instead of dragging myself out of bed and zombie-walking to my classes, I’m gonna put on this playlist in the morning and pump myself up to see all of my friends, take in this beautiful campus and hopefully meet my future bae in one of my classes 😉

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