Summer Goals (For Real this Time)

Now that Memorial Day has come & gone- and left a parting gift of enough leftover BBQ to feed an army, it’s officially summertime! Every summer, I have a tendency to make a list of things that I want to accomplish. But then, I get lost in the pool days, beach trips, and I prioritize relaxation over productivity. And I know what you’re thinking.. summer is supposed to be relaxing. Right?

Amen, hallelujah, let the choir sing! Summer is absolutely a time to rest, renew your mind, and to relax. But sometimes we get so wrapped up in doing nothing that we look back and realize that we didn’t do a single productive thing, despite the to do list that we made. I always want to kick myself when I look back on the summer months and I just remember lounging by the pool and binging on Netflix. Which are great things, but who needs to do that for three full months?

That’s why I’m sharing my summer goals with you! By sharing goals, it helps me to stay accountable, and it may encourage you to set some goals for yourself and to complete them before the end of August!

Goal #1:

Goal number one is really a goal that should last year round. As Christians, our relationships with Christ have peaks and valleys. Sometimes we feel so close to Christ and so in tune to everything that He has planned for us and everything that He has to say to us. And then other times, we may feel distant. Like we know Him, but aren’t in a true relationship with Him, and the thought of that as I’m typing honestly makes me sad! Christ never moves, he is steadfast. We, the humans, are the ones that move both closer and further away from Him. This summer, I want to be intentional with my relationship like Christ, just like I would be with my family or friends.

In my early college days, I would have at LEAST a 15-20 minute trek from my car to my class. During that time, I would pray. I would hold a conversation with God, and I would constantly feel so encouraged because I could sense His presence. My prayer life was pretty strong. Although I still pray, I don’t feel like my prayer has been as diligent as it used to be. That’s part of my goal of moving closer to the Lord this summer. To build a relationship, you have to spend time and talk to one another. I’ll be spending more time with the Lord and making a point to go to church EVERY Sunday.

Goal #2:

Like I said, sometimes I have a tendency to lay low and watch a little too much Netflix. Another goal of mine this summer is to be more active. I’ve been going to barre class throughout the semester, and I LOVE it. Okay I love it and I’m enthusiastic about it.. except for when I’m in class. During class, I’m typically shooting the instructor side eyes for making us do ANOTHER set of relevé pulses when she said the LAST set was the last one.. Anyways, I want to find other fun ways to be active. I get so burnt out at the gym, I just slowly watch the minutes tick by if I’m on the elliptical. And then I sigh. Loudly. And probably obnoxiously.

The other day, I played soccer with a few friends of mine.. but keep in mind, played is a VERY loose term. Maybe I should just say we kicked the ball. Or attempted to kick the ball. But it was a great way to be active and spending time with your friends makes you forget that you’re exercising!

Do you have any goals for the summer? If you want to share them, or you’re looking for an accountability parter, shoot me an email or leave me a comment below!

xoxo,

 

 

A Forever Friend

On Tuesday, my best friend (since second grade) and I road tripped to Covington to have a girls day! Recently it’s been hard to do that. I don’t know how two college girls have such a difficult time coordinating schedules, but leave it to us to find a way to make everything a little more complicated than it should be.. oops. Someone always has work, barre class, is going out of town, has a test coming up, and sometimes life just gets in the way! I was so glad that we both had a free day and could spend time together- lets just say we were WAY overdue for a bestie date. We left my house at 10:45 am… and didn’t get back to my house until almost 10 pm and man oh man, it was SO nice to have a full day to ourselves to enjoy each other’s company without worrying about her having work at 5 or babysitting at 7 and me having barre class at 6:45 or having a test the next day.

So we had planned to leave my house no later than 10.. but I sometimes have a problem with hitting the snooze button too many times. Thankfully, when I texted Sydney and told her I was running a little late, her response was “Ok YAY me too!” Friends that run late together stay together. By the time we finally got on the road, it was 10:45. We got to Covington around 12 and arrived at our destination, The English Tea Room, at 12:15. Sydney had never had high tea before, so I was excited to show her the ropes! We had a tea called “Midnight Rain” and y’all. It is so good. It tastes like wedding cake. We worked our way through about 5 pots of tea (I have no shame.. when in Rome, aka Covington, right?!)  and we both agreed that Midnight Rain was our favorite. If you’re ever in the Covington area, swing by the English Tea room to wear a fun hat, drink delicious tea, and get treated like the Queen of England!

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Isn’t my bestie a beauty?!



After we spent at least 2 hours sampling our way through their extensive tea menu and eating more scones than I’d care to admit, Sydney and I walked to an area called “Columbia Street Landing.” The magnolia trees are blooming at this time of the year and there were tons of cute photo opportunities at the landing, so I just couldn’t help myself!

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This dress is Lila Rose brand, and unfortunately I can’t find it anywhere to link for you guys! 😦
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This hat is from Hat Attack! The blogger over at Sunshine and Stilettos, Katlyn, collaborated with Hat Attack to make this bow backed beauty! It’s currently sold out, but if it becomes available again, I’ll make sure you know!

After we got done snapping a few pictures, we left the landing… and then we were on our merry way to TJ Maxx, Target, Ross, and Marshalls.. all my favorite places. I swear there’s just something about shopping with your best friend, especially when you both get a lot of great buys. I think its a wonderful bonding experience, LOL. So basically we should go shopping more often. We both racked up BIG TIME at those stores. At Target, the Victoria Beckham Collection is currently on clearance and there were so many great finds.. hint hint, you might want to go check out the clearance racks at your local Target! Or the items are online too, so whichever shopping experience you prefer! I just couldn’t resist the bright colors and the scallops… I’ll be sharing the top I bought next week in a post, so stay tuned!

In TJ Maxx, Sydney found this ADORABLE mini light box. I didn’t figure out they were called mini light boxes until an extensive google search.. At first I kept calling it a mini light up billboard.. I definitely shouldn’t be in charge of naming anything. I’m linking this cute mini light box, and I’m highly contemplating buying myself one because it’s so darling!

Anyways, the point of this post isn’t to show off all of our goodies that we bought, although you will see some of them in my next few posts! I want to encourage y’all to spend a day with a good friend and to take some time to strengthen those friendships and give yourself a mental break. There’s something so refreshing and rejuvenating about laughing like you haven’t laughed in a long time and making memories with a precious friend. And if you have a good friend like Sydney, cherish them, love them, and appreciate them. Sydney is a blessing from God and I’m thankful he crossed our paths on those bleachers in before school care on the first day of second grade.

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“A friend loves at all times.” -Proverbs 17:17

xoxo,

And that’s a Wrap: Dad’s Birthday and Mother’s Day Recap

Hey guys! Sorry if I’ve been MIA, we had a pretty busy weekend over at the Murray household! Thursday was my dad’s birthday, Friday I spent the day babysitting, Saturday was filled with Mother’s Day errands, and Sunday, we spent the day celebrating our superwoman mama. Let me catch you up on the past few days!

Every year, we ask my dad what kind of cake he wants for his birthday. Then, in return, he asks my brother and I what kind of cake that WE want, even though it’s his birthday. Because he knows that my favorite cake is strawberry, and my brother’s favorite cake is chocolate, he asked for a chocolate cake with strawberry buttercream stuffed with strawberry. My mom and I put our heads together and came up with the idea for a double layer chocolate cake stuffed with strawberry cheesecake, iced with strawberry buttercream and topped with chocolate covered strawberries.

I usually am not super confident in my baking abilities, but y’all- I think there might be an inner Cake Boss hidden in me. I was so proud of how the cake turned out, and even more proud of how delicious it tasted! I was so excited that we could make my dad’s cake wish come to life. He’s so selfless, even on his birthday, he wants to make sure that we like the kind of cake that he chooses. We also surprised him with tickets to the LSU vs. Auburn game and it was a blast! There’s just something about hearing “Calling Baton Rouge” that gives me goose bumps and I swear I can feel the purple and gold pride rushing through my veins. I wouldn’t trade being a tiger fan for the world, and that’s something I can definitely say I got from my mama AND my daddy.


Below is  the recipe for the Strawberry Cheesecake stuffed Chocolate Cake and the recipe for the strawberry buttercream icing! My mom got the chocolate cake recipe YEARS ago whenever she was working at the Senate!

Strawberry Cheesecake stuffed Chocolate Cake

  • 1 box Devil’s food cake mix (we use Duncan Hines, but use whatever kind you like)
  • 1 3.9 oz box Instant Jello chocolate pudding mix
  • 4 beaten eggs
  • One cup of sour cream (the sour cream helps to make cakes moist and creamy- its the oldest baker’s secret!)
  • Half a cup of milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups milk chocolate chips
  • 1 cup of vegetable oil

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Heat oven to 350 and grease two round pans with non-stick spray
  2. Mix all the ingredients by hand, except for the chocolate chips. Those come next!
  3. Stir chocolate chips into batter
  4. Pour batter into two round pans
  5. Bake for approximately forty minutes, checking with a toothpick to see if cake is done. Baking times will vary by oven!
  6. Cool cakes before icing them
  7. TIP: if you wrap the cakes in saran wrap and freeze them for a few hours, it reduces the amount of crumbs that smear in the icing while you’re trying to frost the cake. This makes life A LOT easier!
  8. Stuff between the layers of chocolate cake with a boxed Sara Lee Strawberry cheesecake. I like to blend the cheesecake until fluffy, but some people like to cut individual cheesecake squares to stuff inside the cake! It’s up to you, whatever floats your boat 🙂

Strawberry Buttercream Frosting

  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup crisco
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp salt (I know, it sounds weird. But it enhances the sweetness of the buttercream!)
  • 5 large strawberries, diced (but its up to your discretion, if you think you need more, go for it sista friend!)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Place diced strawberries and sugar into bowl and combine.
  2. Pace strawberry and sugar mixture in refrigerator for an hour and a half
  3. Blend the Crisco until it gets fluffy
  4. Add sugar to the Crisco and continue to blend with a hand mixer
  5. Then add the salt, vanilla extract, heavy whipping cream and strawberries to the mixture
  6. Beat the mixture until it becomes fluffy
  7. Frost cake
  8. You can garnish with chocolate dipped strawberries if you like

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Final Product!

Then, for Mother’s Day, we got to celebrate my precious mama. She has a heart of gold and she continuously amazes me with how patient, loving, and generous she is. I can only hope to be half the mama that she is one day (Or to have half as beautiful skin as she does when I’m her age… the woman is simply flawless!) My brother and I surprised my mama with a necklace made by Blushes and Gold. My mama always tells my brother and I, “I love you more.” And we always respond with, “We love you more!” I sent in a picture of my handwriting that said “Love you More.” Blushes and Gold then copied that handwriting onto a gold plated bar necklace for my mama! We were so glad to spend the day showering her with love and letting her know how much we appreciate her. But I think my mama deserves to be pampered every day, she truly is a gem and I’m so grateful God chose her to be mine.

 

We love our sweet mama! 

How did you celebrate Mother’s Day? Shoot me an email or comment below, I’d love to hear about your time with your sweet mamas!

 

xoxo,

Finals Week Tips: As told by the Nursing Student 

I’m by no means a study guru. But my time in nursing school has taught me what studying tips and tricks work for me, and let me tell ya..  waiting until the night before the exam and pulling an all nighter doesn’t end well. Ever. (Ok I’ve only tried it once, but never again!!!) It usually ends in a pit of self despair, chugging very low quality coffee because Starbucks isn’t open at 2 am, and me asking the same question over and over again because lets be real, I’m a grandma and my brain shuts down at 10 pm. Just don’t try it, friends.

With that being said… Here’s a list of things that you SHOULD do during finals week.

  • SLEEP. I’m not talking like have a Netflix binge and sleep 16 hours of the day kinda thing, but you will thank yourself later if you get at least 7-8 hours of sleep the night before the test. I know that’s easier said than done, but make yourself a priority. Your brain functions better when it’s adequately rested.
  • TAKE BREAKS. For me, if i study for three hours straight and then tell myself that I’m going to take a 20 minute break, 20 minutes quickly turns into a hour and a half break spent scrolling through Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, and Pinterest, and repeating that whole cycle about 4 times. I’ve learned that I’m much more productive if I take a 5 minute break every 45 minutes to an hour. My brain (and my sanity) depend on those 5 minutes to rejuvenate and rest my mind. Currently my study break is a little longer than 5 minutes, I’m laying in my bed and eating chocolate covered coffee beans… does that count as my break, my rest, and my caffeine? Dang I’m good at multitasking.
  • HYDRATE. As simple as it sounds, it’s honestly easy to forget to drink water. I always keep a water bottle with me. If it’s in sight, I’ll frequently take sips as I’m studying. Hydrating will help your mental clairty, and your facial clarity. Who wants finals week stress breakouts to further add to your stress?!
  • GET A GAME PLAN. Write down in your planner what you’re going to study and when you’re going to study it. Having a plan helps you to better manage your time, and it helps to have what you need to accomplish listed out so there are no surprises, or so you don’t walk into the test and then realize, “Oh my GOSH I forgot to study the material from test 3!”
  • BE CONFIDENT. You know what you know. If you’ve studied and you’ve given it your all, that’s all that you, or anyone else, could ever expect from you.

P.S., if you make a C, heck, even if you fail a class, it’s NOT the end of the world. It happens. It’s really no different than people who change their major and have a few classes that they took essentially for no reason if they don’t apply to their new major. Its all the same in the grand scheme of things. You retake the class, you EXCEL the second time around, and you’re on your merry way to being a degree holder. Failing a class does not equate to you being a failure.

I know this all sounds so simple, and you’re probably thinking, “Duh. You should drink water.” But as college students, even the most basic functions somehow become these obsolete ideas during finals week. After hours and hours spent in a library with little human interaction and lots of stress, it’s easy to forget simple things, like oh, sleeping.. eating.. drinking water.

Goodluck on your upcoming finals, I know you’ll rock them! Only a few more days until summer! Keep studying hard and racing to the finish line that’s watiting for you with beach trips, sleeping in late, suntans, and the sweet ring of freedom.

Happy Studying!

xoxo,

6 Favorite Foodie Places in NOLA

If there’s one thing that the Big Easy definitely does not have a shortage of, it’s places to eat! There’s so many hole in the walls and not-so-hole-in-the-wall places that are on my list to try! No, seriously.. my roommate and I made a list because there’s that many places  that we want to go before we graduate. So even though the next few semesters will be filled with stress, at least we’ll have full bellies and happy taste buds… right? Here’s a round up of (just a few) of my favorite places so far!

  1. Sucre

Sucre, French for sugar, definitely lives up to its name. From macaroons, gelato, a large variety of cupcakes, dessert names that I literally cannot pronounce, and a coffee bar, its got everything that this nursing student could ever want. I also leave in a (slight) sugar coma every time that I visit this modern dessert shop, but hey, that’s all part of the experience!

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Confetti Cupcake gelato and a salted caramel macaroon

2. Willa Jean

Clearly I’m having a sweet tooth being that I’m sharing all of the desserts first… Anyways, Willa Jean should definitely be on your list! The warm chocolate chip cookies and vanilla bean milk are worth the trip downtown. I would buy the vanilla bean milk by the gallon if I could.. it’s that good. And I’m not really a milk drinker (probably weird, I know).

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3. Hansen’s Sno-Bliz

Y’all. I’m not kidding when I say this was THE BEST snowball of my life. Sometimes snowballs can be sickeningly sweet, the ice may not be shaved well enough, etc. But this place makes their own snowball syrups and they are just the right amount of sweet, the ice is smooth and fluffy, and just overall delicious. I got the limited edition Ambrosia Fruit Salad Snowball. It was satsuma flavored syrup, which keep in mind, is homemade. It even had satsuma zest in it! Topped with marshmallow fluff, pecans, a sprinkling of homemade toasted coconut, and a cherry, this snowball swept me off my feet. Who needs a boyfriend when you have a snowball that has the same effect?

My roommate got the limeade flavor mixed with fruit punch and it was equally as delicious as mine! Seriously, do yourself a favor and stop by Hansen’s if you’re ever in the NOLA area!

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Ambrosia Fruit Salad Snowball

4. Part and Parcel

We stumbled across this place while looking for a place to eat for my friend’s birthday! She loves little sandwich shops, and Part and Parcel was one of the first ones we found during our intense Google search. Does anyone else feel compelled to find the BEST of the best when you’re hunting for somewhere to eat? Well don’t worry, I’ve already done the research for you! I bring to you: the most flavorful sandwich I’ve ever eaten! The Angelina, with fried eggplant, red gravy, banana peppers, Sicilian egg, and a variety of other ingredients, is an Italian dream come true. Me and my friends were wowed by this place. We all raved over our sandwiches (and the potato salad) for AT LEAST a week. And, it’s right down the street from Willa Jean. So you can have your sandwich and your dessert too!

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5. Andddd now I’m back to desserts… I should’ve named this post The Top 5 Dessert Places in NOLA and my favorite sandwich shop… Oh well. Anyways, La Boca is an Argentinian steakhouse on Tchoupitoulas Street. For those of you not from Louisiana, it’s pronounced chop-uh-too-las! Weird spelling, weird pronunciation, I know. But this street is home to tons of fun places, fun things to do, and delectable eats. My family and I went to La Boca just for dessert for my mom’s birthday, but the main courses smelled like we need to go back there! It smelled like rosemary and olive oil and an array of other seasonings that I probably can’t even identify. All I know is that La Boca for dinner currently has a spot near the top of my “To Try” list! Now, onto the coconut caramel ice cream cake…

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6. District Donuts

District Donuts has sandwiches, salads, sliders, coffee, and of course, DONUTS. The first District Donuts is on Magazine street, but there’s a new location in Lakeview, and personally I think parking is a little easier at the Lakeview location! But both have a great atmosphere and the same top quality food. This lil baby is called the “Cookie Butter Brudder” and it’s a game changer. Whoever decided to combine cookie butter and donuts was a genius. Its almost like they made it with me in mind, cookie butter and donuts are two of my weaknesses! District Donuts rotates their flavors, but I promise there will always be something on the menu to satisfy your sweet tooth!

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xoxo,

Tea for One, Time Spent with Two

There’s a tradition that my mom and I have that floods my mind with fond memories, excites my soul, and that has the ability to make me feel like I’m a princess in a whimsical fairytale land. That tradition is tea. I know what you’re thinking.. how on earth does TEA make one feel so blissful?!

It’s not the actual tea that makes me feel that way, although if you’ve never tried rose-mint tea, you are missing out!  It’s the time I get to spend with my mom, it’s the fancy teapots, the dainty napkins, the small treats, and the fact that we both get to share something that we love. I’m twenty years old and whenever I have tea with my mom, I feel like I’m a four year old again, drinking bubblegum tea out of a pink teacup, wearing a pink dress, a big bow, and lacy gloves. I always felt so sophisticated, and man oh man, did I think I was SUCH a mature four year old. I mean, my mommy trusted me to drink out of a GLASS tea cup. Granted as soon as we left, I was drinking out of the spill proof Barbie cup again, but hey, lets not ruin the moment. Tea was always a time where my mom went out of her way to make me feel special and let me be “one of the grownups.” It makes it even more special that my mom and her mom, my grandma, also took part in the tea time tradition. It’s something that I can’t wait to share with my future kids one day. There’s just something about getting dressed up, spending time with your mom, having tea, and feeling like you’re the Queen of England that I believe all girls should experience.IMG_3282

This morning, I had tea for one, being that my mom was at work. But my time was spent with two others who are dear to my heart- The Lord, and my spunky, sassy little black cat, Lola.

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Ignore the claws. She’s seriously the biggest sweetheart, and oh so playful. She snacked on cat treats under the table while I had my tea for one and my time with Jesus.

My friend gave me the devotional Jesus Always for Christmas and I was so excited! My parents gave me the devotional Jesus Calling after I got baptized a few years ago, and I had already been through that devotional a few times, so I was excited to start a new one! They both are so good and they’re such a great way to start your day in the presence of the Lord and in his word. Today’s devotional from Jesus Always had a few key points that I felt compelled to share with you:

  1. Jesus tells us that we are RADIANT. Especially when we keep our eyes fixed on Him.
  2. We are beautiful. Not necessarily in a physical way, but we are beautiful for the way that we reflect Him in our actions and for the way that we reflect His glory. We are beautiful in His image.
  3. He delights in YOU. He views you through grace covered lens. And we should see ourselves that way too.

When we fix our eyes on Christ, we have an innate desire to draw closer to Him, to be more like Him. As Christians, that’s our main goal. To live a life that mimics Christ and to have a relationship with Him that supplies us with hope, joy, and an eternal life. And we are blessed enough to be able to share that with others, through our words, our lifestyle, and our actions. That’s a big responsibility, and it makes me want to continue to press into the Lord. I want to glorify Him with everything that I say and do, I want to be His vessel. I want him to use ME, as broken and undeserving as I am, to bring others into His kingdom and to join the family of Christ.

God sees you as perfect. Does that mean that we don’t mess up? Does that mean that He doesn’t see when we mess up?  Not at all. He sees it. But He loves us and delights in us still, despite our failures. He continues to lavish His grace, His love, and His salvation upon us. He sees us as forgiven, as a daughter or son of Christ that was bought with an unfathomable sacrifice. I don’t know about you, but sometimes one of the most commonly preached principles of Christianity blows my mind again and again. He sent his son, to die. To suffer, to be tortured, to be hated, to take all of MY sins. He knew I wasn’t perfect, that I’ll never be perfect, and He sent a form of Himself to bear my sins, my burdens, my pains, so that I could live with Him forever. So that I don’t have to live a life of shame and an eternity of suffering. He died for me and for you. And all that He asks is that we believe in Him and have a relationship with Him. Wow. Wow wow wow. Like I said, sometimes that concept, as many times as I’ve heard it and as many times as I’ve experienced his goodness, still leaves me speechless.

I hope you feel the love of the Lord today, I hope that you experience his view of you in grace covered glasses. And I pray that you and I both will demonstrate His love and his viewing of us in grace covered glasses to someone else.

xoxo,

5 Skin Products that will Leave you Giddy and Glowing

There’s probably one thing that all girls can relate to… the difficulty that is finding a facial care or skin care routine that works for you. The store aisles full of face wash, serums, creams, moisturizers, and various other items claiming to essentially be the fountain of youth can be overwhelming. With so many different types of skin, different brands out there, and different strengths, it’s easy to feel pulled in a million directions while still not having a clue which one to pick. And let’s be real, don’t you LOATHE buying a bottle of face wash just to use it for a week, barely make a dent in it, and decide that you need to try another one because it’s simply not working? Yeah, me too. Which is why I bring you my favorite skin care products:

 

1. Dial® Oil Free Acne Control Face Wash is the perfect balance between keeping my skin clear and not being too harsh. And that’s saying A LOT coming from me, because my skin is somewhere in between “Cetaphil is too gentle and anything with witch hazel makes me feel like my skin is being stung by a swarm of angry bees.” Ya feel me? Anyways, this face wash can be easily found at Walmart!

2. Number two on the list is this orange bottle of liquid GOLD. I scored mine at TJ Maxx for $4.99, but it’s also available at Walgreens for $15.00! Honestly, it’s so good that if I couldn’t find it at TJ Maxx or Marshalls again, I would splurge and pay the $15 for it. My aunt used to always tell me, “It’s never too early to start using moisturizer!” And to myself, I was thinking… “Isn’t moisturizer only for people in their 40’s?” WRONG. so wrong. When I first started nursing school, I started noticing fine wrinkles on my forehead. I also noticed that I looked dull and tired.. all.the.time. Most likely a result of my lack of sleep/busy schedule/never seeing the daylight because I was always in the library… oh and the occasional caffeine binge. 40 Carrots®, after just a few uses, made my skin look revitalized. And the best part is, I’ve been using it for about a year and it hasn’t broken me out. I’ve tried other moisturizers and had the issue of them being too oily for my skin and causing a major breakout, and who has time for that?

3. Next up is this Micellar Cleansing Water by Pearlessence. ® This is another one of my TJ Maxx finds; I scooped this large bottle up for $5.99! It can also be purchased through Jocott Brands for $16.00. This stuff has lasted me FOREVER. I use it as a makeup remover, and it’s not nearly as oily as other brands. Another plus is the cute cactus design. Fun fact about me…. I’m a sucker for cacti. I can’t help it, they’re just so cute!

4. Number 4 brings us to this Vaseline® spray moisturizer. I love this stuff because it’s light, your skin absorbs it pretty quickly, and you don’t have to rub it in… can I get an AMEN?!? It’s perfect if you’re in a hurry. It also can be found at Walmart, so maybe you can grab this baby when you get your face wash!

5. Last, but oh so certainly not least, is this Pearlessence® Coconut Water Face Mist. Once again… this was a TJ Maxx find for $7.99. Can y’all tell I have a slight obsession with TJ? I may need an intervention because my bank account is whispering in my ear, “Girl we both know you can’t afford all of these TJ Maxx runs.” The items are cheap and I always find SOMETHING that I fall in love with… whoops. The heart wants what it wants, and if my heart wants TJ Maxx, so be it. Anyways, I’m passing the savings on to you, because this item is IN STOCK online at TJ Maxx for $5.99! I probably got way too excited about the fact that its online, but I really wasn’t expecting it to be! It tends to sell out fast, so grab it while it lasts! I’m also linking the coconut rose water facial mist that’s online as well!

I hope you’ve enjoyed my roundup of skin care products! I love a good deal, because nursing school makes me broke. This girl is not paying for $40-$100 creams and moisturizers, I’ll stick to paying less than $10, and you can too! Let me know if you try any of these products, I’d love to hear from you!

xoxo happy skin care shopping!

xoxo,

This One’s for the {Curls}

*Just sing that title to the tune of Martina McBride’s “This One’s for the Girls..” *

“This one’s for the CURLS, who’ve ever had a broken heart, who’ve wished upon a shooting star, you’re beautiful the way you are….”

Ok now that I’m done with my play on words… And yes I do realize that I am probably the only one who found that funny. Cut me some slack, nursing school leaves me no time for any social interaction 😂

Anyways. Growing up with curly hair, it seemed like the BIGGEST annoyance ever. And I mean literally and figuratively… my hair was BIG. My hair still is big. You can call it what you want… voluminous, fluffy, generous, full of body, etc. I can remember hating washing my hair because that meant my mom had to brush it. I was a slightly dramatic kid, so brushing my hair meant a fourth of a bottle of detangler and enough tears to fill a bucket. From me and my mom both. From me, well because like I said, I was dramatic.. and tenderheaded. The tears from my mom were probably for a variety of reasons…

  1. When I was about a year old and that first little ringlet sprouted out of my head, she had no idea what she was in for. Keep in mind that she has board straight hair.
  2. The whole ugly crying, detangler using saga was probably NOT what she had imagined when she pictured having a daughter.
  3. The combs broke. All. The. Time. And not because she was being rough, but because my hair could literally snap a ROCK in half. Is that a superpower or curse? I’ll let you decide.

So somedays my mom just stuck a bow in my hair and hoped for the best. I mean, can you blame her? So the hated hair brushing nights continued until I was about 9 years old. The next few years were a blur of hating my hair and wishing that I was born with shiny, straight hair. I tried serums, creams, and expensive products that I can’t even pronounce that advertised “frizz control.”


LOL, for the record hair companies… frizz control in south Louisiana for a curly girl typically doesn’t exist. Then in middle school/early high school, I found Tresemme Tres GelⓇ. Let me tell you, that $4 bottle is a gift sent straight from the heavens. Now my hair care routine is a breeze, and it doesn’t involve tears 🙌🏻

  1. Shampoo
  2. Rinse
  3. Conditioner
  4. Brush hair while conditioner is still in hair- seriously, if you haven’t tried this, curly girl, it will rock your world!
  5. Rinse
  6. Gel
  7. Air dry
  8. Wake up in the morning with gorgeous curls

That’s it. No expensive products, no multi step routine that costs $100 and takes forever. A $4 bottle of gel from your local store. A lot less time spent frustrated with your curls, a lot more time loving them.

I know you’re probably tired of hearing straight haired people tell you how lucky you are, especially if you hate your hair care routine and loathe the process that it takes to be able to wear your hair down. But, I’m a firm believer that curly hair is a gift. I think it’s beautiful, it’s different, it makes you stand out in the best way possible. Personally, I’m so thankful that God looked at me and thought I needed a head full of ringlets. And I hope that one day, curly girl, you are too.


xoxo,

As soon as I heard the words, “there’s been an accident” my world was turned inside out and upside down. It was like I could SEE everything physically crumbling around me. My cousin, who had always been more like a big sister to me, had been in a wreck.

Her car flipped seven times. Seven. Seven flips where my cousin and her one year old in the backseat were passing in and out of consciousness. During one of those flips, my cousin’s seatbelt broke and she was thrown under the car. The car hit a tree, caught on fire, and things were going up in flames, literally. After multiple resuscitations, being airlifted to the number one trauma center in the state, multiple surgeries, weeks in the intensive care unit, and more rehab than anyone thought was humanly possible, my cousin lived.

ICU is a scary place. It’s filled with machines that seriously look like they belong at NASA, and sometimes those machines are the only things keeping a person alive. I spent hours and hours waiting outside of ICU to get to visit my cousin for maybe 15 minutes. All of that time spent in the hospital gave me a lot of time to think, and it gave me a lot of time to observe. What I observed were the nurses. The nurses who provided tissues to family members who were having possibly one of the worst days of their lives. The nurses who talked to their patients, even when it seemed like they couldn’t hear them because they were unconscious. The nurses who smiled and said, “its okay to hold her hand, it won’t hurt her.” The nurses who CARED. The nurses who prayed over their patients and who rejoiced with every stabilized vital sign and every opened eye. It was a nurse who was there when my cousin opened her eyes for the first time in nearly a month. It was a nurse who had taken care of her for a month, without her even knowing it. It was a nurse silently willing her to keep fighting because she had two beautiful daughters who needed a mother. It was a nurse that was with her every step of the way as she slowly backed away from death’s door.

Those nurses are what made me want to be a nurse. I wanted a part of that beautiful profession, where I could pray for people and be a vessel of Christ for those who were teetering on the edge of life and death. I wanted to be that shoulder to cry on, that hand to hold, that gentle smile and soft spoken voice that meant so much to people, but was rarely ever thanked. Being a nurse isn’t just about giving medications and changing bandages. If you are a nurse, you are privileged. You will witness miracles. You will feel more emotion than you’ve ever felt before. And you will grow. As a person, as a professional, and in your faith.

So yeah, you hear that nursing school is hard. And let me tell ya, it is hard. It’s exhausting; emotionally, physically, and mentally. Some days you will feel defeated. You will feel overwhelmed. You will feel like you didn’t try hard enough and like you aren’t cut out to be a nurse. But there will be days where your heart will be overflowing with joy. Where you cry happy tears. Where you first handedly see how powerful the Lord is. You will be humbled that you get to have even a small part in someone’s recovery. You will have a patient that makes the difficulties of nursing school worth it. That patient will forever stick out in your mind and just that memory of such a special patient will help you to keep going when times get tough. Don’t let the rigorous curriculum scare you, it’s preparing you for a job that no one else gets to do after earning a bachelor’s degree- saving lives.
xoxo,

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