Winding Down at Night: A Tribute to Red Wine

red

Okay this isn’t just about red wine, but I really do enjoy a glass or two to wind me down at night. Some people like cake, I like red. Sue me.

About little over a year ago I was in the process of moving, planning a wedding and starting a new job. My anxiety crushed me, and sleep became an issue. Not being able to sleep might possibly be the worst feeling in the world. I’m not kidding, 1am would hit and I was staring at the ceiling wide awake like “are you fucking kidding me?” Then you panic about work the next day and how bad it’s going to suck. Ah man I hate even talking about it.

My life has since calmed down and I got my anxiety under control for the most part, but what I really cherish is my nighttime routine. If you’re having trouble shutting your mind off at night, give the below a whirl. I can’t promise it’ll work for you, but it has helped me immensely.

  • A nice hot shower. I shower at night but to each their own. Nothing like hitting your sheets clean as a whistle. Occasionally I’ll add a few drops of my Lavender and Epson salt to my steam shower.

 

  • Nighttime beauty routine. Face serum, lash serum, under eye roller, and sleep roller (down my spine and under my tootsies). See Oil Beauty Hacks for recipes for each. Why not treat yourself like to an at home spa treatment every night? You deserve it, queen/king.

 

  • My (bff aaf) massager. I’m sure you’ve seen me obsess over my calf, back and shoulder massager. The friggin thing is heated for Christ sake! I use it every night, it’s a sin for Jerry. Dude never gets a turn.

 

  • PUMP THE LAVENDER, Sacred Mountain and Roman Chamomile oils about an hour before you retreat to bed. Legit the reason I got into essential oils. These oils are proven to lower your anxiety and calm your mind and I can’t live without them (so dramatic).

 

  • No phone or electronics about an hour before bed. I don’t always abide by this rule but it really does quiet the mind.

 

  • All of the lights go off while I watch my Parks and Rec around 9:30. I fall asleep on the couch by 10pm every night. Soon as that roller hits my feet.

 

  • Lastly, my cherished glass of red. The reason for the season baby. I know there’s so many mixed reviews on if this is actually good for you or not but I choose to believe it is good for me and I will forever be giddy about it. I mean it’s not like I’m chugging a bottle, sometimes I’ll fall asleep mid glass! Let me live!

November 2018 Bucket List

November16

  • Wake up early to read a chapter in my Melody Beattie book, Codependency No More (My Finds) This book is so unbelievably helpful for those who have a close loved one battling addiction and even those not. I strongly recommend reading it.

 

  • 20 acts of kindness.

 

  1. Write a letter to a friend telling you how much you appreciate them.
  2. Pay for the next persons meal.
  3. Write a list of things out that you adore about a loved one.
  4. Pack someone’s lunch for the day.
  5. Spread some encouragement online.
  6. Donate to an organization.
  7. Buy flowers for someone.
  8. Bring in healthy snacks to the girls at work.
  9. Leave baked goods in the mailbox for your mailman.
  10. Send someone a book you think they would like.
  11. Tip someone who wouldn’t usually expect a tip.
  12. Compliment your boss.
  13. Volunteer somewhere.
  14. Offer to babysit for someone.
  15. Visit women at a nursing home.
  16. Write your partner a list of things you love about them.
  17. Next time you go to clean your desk, hand everyone a Clorox wipe!
  18. Donate clothes to a charity.
  19. Offer to help someone with a task that is causing them stress.
  20. Handout food to the homeless.

 

  • Visit Ridley Creek State Park during one or two of my lunch breaks. I rarely leave the office and I think it’s so important for the body and soul to take in this fall season.

 

  • Take a lesson in something, anything. Any recommendations?

 

  • Start a gratitude journal. I feel like here I’ll have a ton of a-ha moments.

 

  • Say “no” more often and feel less guilty about it. Sometimes ya gotta put yourself first.

 

  • Grow and develop my business. Take in all that I can while educating others. 🙂

The Curly Journey

 

hair serum

I have fought the good fight with this hair of mine. My mom doesn’t have these locks (thanks, Dad) so growing up she would brush it. All my fellow curlies are definitely cringing at the thought of brushing through dry, curly hair. In the end you look like Ludacris on the cover of his Word of Mouf CD holding the angry pit bull. As I grew old enough to do my own hair and buy my own products, I had to learn how to handle this situation on my own.

curly-barrel.jpg

Don’t get it twisted, I was in straight denial that my hair was curly and would straighten it every single day for years and years. Even colored it blonde which was terrible for my already dry, brittle strands. It wasn’t until 2016 that I finally embraced my inner afro. I’m telling you it was a long road to figure out how to style and what was right for me, but to date my hair is the healthiest it’s been since I was a toddler and it’s only getting better with the right routine and products.

Why going natural is the best route (for me):

  • I no longer have to apply heat to my hair on a daily basis
  • I can get my hair wet at the beach or a pool and not live in fear of how it’s going to dry
  • My morning routine is cut in half
  • Literally never have to wash my hair
  • Even a top knot looks good with a crown of curls

Now here are the rules when you’re dealing with a head of curls. Not all curls are the same, but the rules remain consistent across the board:

  • Use sulfate free hair products and only wash once or twice a week.
  • When you are not shampooing you can still use your conditioner in your bathing routine. Don’t rinse out all of the conditioner. You need all the moisture you can get.
  • Do not use a bath towel to dry your hair, use a microfiber towel or a cotton T shirt.
  • Comb, never brush, while wet (always while wet). Like I said, you mess with dried curls they’re just going to retaliate *cough Ludacris*.
  • Sleep with a silk wrap around your head (LOL I am so serious). Replace your pillow case with a silk one. This prevents rubbing and frizzing while you toss throughout the night.
  • Always use a diffuser while blow-drying, if you even are blow-drying. Heat settings on low and cold or else, Luda.
  • Whenever you can, hair mask it up. I use one when I work out, when I clean the house and every Sunday when I don’t have to leave the house.
  • Add some rosemary, eucalyptus, lavender and tea tree to all of your hair products. This has worked wonders on my locks.
  • Use a curl cream concoction (whichever works best for you) I love my MoroccanOil Curl Cream and a little of Mirah Lustrous hair oil from Young Living.

mirah.jpg

Oily Products and DIYS to bring your mane back.

  • Mirah Lustrah Hair Oil. Add it when wet and apply to ends when dry.
  • Make this spray: 20 drops of lavender + 20 drops of cedarwood + 20 rosemary + 15 clary sage + 15 peppermint + 15 thyme + witch hazel + distilled water in a spray bottle. Add this to your hair wet or dry. Watch it grow wider and longer. SO GOOD FOR YOUR LOCKS
  • Leave-in Serum: so the once a week you wash your hair, apply this serum all over your bean head. The recipe is your spray in previous bullet with jojoba oil and grapeseed oil. From scalp to ends baby.

Now go out there and rock that fro baby. Do not give up on your curls!

The Importance of Relaxation

morning-coffee

I am writing this as I sip coffee (second cup) at my in laws shore house in North Wildwood thanking God for this day. This whole weekend even. The lack of plans.

Lately, I’ve had so many events going on. My planner fills up every single week. Keep in mind, I am an extrovert so not only does my planner consist of weddings, showers and doctors’ appointments, many are events set up by friggin me. I always enjoy them once they come around, but my body most definitely feels the repercussions. I’m not someone who goes to a Halloween party and leaves at 12. Let’s face it, I’m the last one to leave most nights. The wine gets in me and I’m legit laughing all night about stupid shit with my friends. Fucking love these nights, but I swear to you I pay for them. My Mondays in the office are like zombie mode. If I’m hungover on Sunday, you bet your ass I am not fully recovered until Wednesday.

Anywho, back to my point. I have come to the realization that I need to take time in between all of these amazing events to take care of myself. Taking a weekend off of heavy drinking (still having a glass of red at night, lol @ if you think I’m not), deadlines and even human interaction is HUGE in mental wellness. This weekend I planned on hitting up thrift stores in WW to find an antique vanity for my bathroom but the whole island is flooded and that prob won’t happen and guess what? I don’t give a f. Might even be the universe saying, no girl. Get those jammers back on and read your oils + glass book. Listen to the universe guys. If you have kids, take a ‘me’ day or even night. Everyone needs time alone with themselves and a good book. Today I’m not in a rush, my hair is an afro, I have my specs on and I’m not irritable. I am so much clearer mentally I could cry.

Relaxation Tips:

  • Cancel the unnecessary plans, idc who gets mad at you.
  • Put your phone in the other room on the charger.
  • Diffuse your favorite relaxing oils (you know I had to slip that in there).
  • Facemask, hair mask, everywhere a mask mask.
  • Crush your favorite TV series. Currently watching House on Haunted Hill for the second time because it’s the best series I have seen in months.

Please share your relaxation mode tips and I’ll try them out this weekend. I mean, I have all weekend.

A love Letter: Anxiety & Depression

 

Anxiety, panic attacks and depression are..how do I put this? A punch in the tits. For some, it may be something new that they are dealing with. It may be something that comes later in life. I’ve been suffering since I was a little girl. Now I know you’re thinking, how is that possible? How does a carefree little girl have anxiety? Well, apparently it absolutely can happen (lucky me). I was in first grade when it started. There were a lot of changes occurring. My grandmom was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and I was not handling it well. I asked my mom “Why is everything changing”? When my mom took me to the pediatrician she said it was most likely anxiety because there was so much change going on around me. Change is something I still don’t handle well and is a big time trigger for me.

anxiety

What does it feel like to have a panic attack? It’s honestly different for everyone. Let’s just say it’s no picnic. The best part is there is usually no warning sign. You may feel an overwhelming sense of dizziness, like you can’t breathe or are hyperventilating, chest pain or like your heart is beating so fast it may just beat right out of your chest cavity or fall out your asshole. Sometimes you may get nauseous. I know sometimes when it gets really bad, I work myself up so badly I get physically ill. Sometimes you feel like you’re going to throw up or it’ll go down south and give you diarrhea-ya know the fun stuff. I get hot flashes. I feel extremely hot and my hands start getting really clammy and tingle. Some may have the opposite, where they feel cold, like they have the chills. When dealing with a serious panic attack you sort of have this tunnel vision. You’re not paying attention to anything or anybody around you. You block out anyone speaking. You are only thinking “Dear God, am I going to get through this? Why do I feel like I’m dying?” No matter how many times you have a panic attack, these thought still run through your head. It’s frustrating AF when someone says they are having a panic attack when they don’t know the true meaning, or when someone just casually throws the term around. Believe me, you don’t know it unless you’ve been there. So next time you’re stressed about a busy weekend, or your shoes not matching, think twice before you say “Oh man, I’m gonna have a panic attack.” To all those people who think it’s not a real thing and say breathe into a brown paper bag, tell them to politely F off.

Anxiety, depression and panic attacks usually come hand in hand, I mean can we get any luckier? As if feeling like you were going to die then maybe shit yourself, you get hit right smack dab in the face with anxiety. Now, if you truly think about, everyone gets anxious. It’s human nature. There are some things that will naturally make you anxious. Unfortunately, the “special ones” like me get a hella good dose of it. Along with Panic Attack Disorder, I suffer from Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Social Anxiety, and a bit of OCD. I know what you’re thinking.. way to make up a bunch diagnoses for yourself. Christ, do I wish this were the case. I can name 6 or 7 specific times where my anxiety was unbearable. Where I felt like there was nowhere to turn. Anxiety in simple terms is persistent worry or fear about everyday situations. It only becomes a problem when it interferes with your daily life and everyday living. Your fears or worries usually don’t go away and get worse overtime if not treated. I’ll say it- it’s a mind fuck. Usually with anxiety you fear the worst, even if nothing in particular is wrong. It causes you to become tired and restless and after a while it’s just flat out tiring. Sometimes you dread waking up in morning because you know you’re going to feel anxious.

Some good news. There is help out there. Seeking help is super important. I’ve been seeing the same psychiatrist for 14 years. You bet your sweet ass that’s my longest relationship. I have been seeing him since my freshmen year of high school. Therapy is also a great thing. Finding a therapist you like may be difficult. Springfield Psychological is just a whose who of therapists I’ve seen. So that does take some time to find the right fit. You just have to remember it takes time. Don’t go once and forget about it. Keep trying until you find the right fit or connection. You might have to go through a few (or in my case a directory) but keep going back until you find someone you feel comfortable with. You have to be open. This was something else that was hard for me. You have to be vulnerable and realize that they are only there to help.

As far as medication goes, yes I am on medication or as some jerkoffs call them “crazy pills”. Am I on a lot of medication to control my symptoms? I am. Am I thrilled about that? No. Will I be on it for the rest of my life? Most likely. I have come to accept this.

 

I don’t want this to define me but it is a huge part of who I am. I am lucky I have a mom who also suffers from anxiety. I have great friends I can go to. I have a close friend who constantly sends me daily affirmations. I will help whoever needs help or is in a bad way because I know it feels like it’s the end of the world and it will never go away. I promise you I’ve been down to the lowest of lows and I’m here to tell you there is light at the end tunnel. It’s not the end of the world.

Seek help. Tell your friends. Get treatment. Always remember you are not the only one suffering.

-Maureen Smith

Minimalism for Beginners (like me)

minimalism

I would absolutely not consider myself a minimalist, more like a wannabe. A dreamer if you will. Moved into my home last July 2017 and accumulated so much crap to try and fill the home. I started leaning more towards quantity rather quality. Jerry (my husband) even noticed. Poor guy. He was like “why the f is this cheap table in our room?”

I remember the moment I finally cracked, clear as day. I was trying to be a “DIYer” and stain one of Jerrys old end tables he refuses to throw out and it got all over our driveway. I was like why the fu$% am I trying to make this thing work. Tossed that and never thought of it again. Didn’t even need the damn thing. Then I was on a mission. I cleared the whole house of things that we’re not useful and taking up space. Clothing was TOUGH but once I conquered that I became a new woman. Swear I had less worries somehow.

minimalism quote

Growing up, I wasn’t the wealthiest chick on the block and I worked my ass off buy the material things that I wanted. I acquired a mentality that the more you have, the happier you will be. This couldn’t be further from the truth. We don’t have late night heart to hearts with our sofa now do we? F*** the sofa, give me my best friend with a bottle of wine in her hand ready to cry laughing with me. That’s what makes my heart happy. Tossing (and donating) the material possessions that had no real value to me actually chilled me out. I have more room in my purses, bags, closets. I have less furniture and night stands to dust. I save time getting ready because I know where everything is. Do not get me wrong, I still have those wedges I bought in 2012 that I swear will see daylight at some point in time of my life. Chances are, nah.

I can’t sit here and tell you how to become a minimalist, but here is some advice if you’re on the road to recovery.

  • I might need this someday. No you won’t. BUT, if that time comes and you do need it, will you pass away without it? Go to CVS and get another can of hairspray, Susan.
  • One day they will fit. Don’t do that to yourself, toss the skinnies. Don’t do that to yourself.
  • My grandmom gave it to me. Your grandmom wants the best for you. Toss the ugly Christmas sweater.
  • Remember that none of these material things fill your heart the way your friends and family do. Not one of these things.

 

The Oily Life: My Story

“Welcome to the good life” – Kanye West.

young living

I’ve always been obsessed with essential oils. My husband bought me my first set off Amazon and I absolutely loved the smells as they diffused through my home. I knew oils were supposed to help me out with my skin, hair, immune system, etc. but I wasn’t seeing any results. My friend Tre introduced me to Young Living. This company produces 100% seed to seal natural oils, which is why they are costlier then those brands that are sold on Amazon. I tried to make the Amazon oils work, but reading more into Young Living, I was ready.

The day I decided to purchase the YL Starter Kit was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made in my life. Trust me, I know this sounds cheesy and not like me at all, just bear with me here. I started using them right away, creating rollers for everyday causes. My sleep was way off due to everyday stressors so that was the first to improve. My allergies diminished, my dandruff ridded (tea tree is an anti-fungal miracle worker), my curly fro improved tenfold. I haven’t had a sinus infection in years which is INSANE for me. The more I saw results, the more product I tried. My overall well being has improved. One day I hope to start a family and you bet your ass I’ll be using YL’s kid line. I’m sure you’ll catch it on one of my 827 oil insta stories. Apologies in advance people but this shit is too good not to share. 😊

To join the my oily team, click the link below and grab your kit!

Sign me up baby!