My Guide to a Bedtime Routine

My Guide to a Bedtime Routine

We all know how important sleep is, but too few of us actually get the high-quality sleep we need. Working at a doctor’s office, I need as much sleep as I can get, so I make sure to set aside some time to relax before bed every night to ensure that I get the best sleep I can. To help inspire you to do the same, I’m sharing my own nighttime routine.

My Guide to a Bedtime Routine #sleep #routine #daily

 

1. Shower/bath
I start my routine every night with a shower about an hour and a half before bedtime. It helps me relax and feel clean when crawling into my sheets. Typically about once a week, I’ll treat myself to a 30-45 minute bath with a scented bath bomb. In the winter, I’ll go out for a 30 minute walk or jog then come in to take a warm shower before crawling into bed. It makes me warm and cozy which creates the perfect sleep environment for me.

2. Skin care routine
After my shower, I wash my face to clear it of the makeup and dirt that might have accumulated on my skin during the day. Washing with warm water helps open my pores to make sure the soap can do its job most effectively. Then, I apply my facial toner and moisturizer, liquid spray tan to my legs, and moisturizer to the rest of me. I prefer to use lightweight products that smell good so I don’t feel sticky after my regimen.

My Guide to a Bedtime Routine #sleep #routine #daily

3. Practice some self-care
To unwind, I make sure to set aside some time after I’m washed to just relax. After a day spent on my feet, I like to give myself a five minute foot massage. Next, I turn off all blue light devices, including my cell phone, laptop, tablet and the TV to make sure that my sleep doesn’t get disturbed. I’ll then sit at my desk and do some writing. I like to jot down my to-do list for the next day and spend 30 minutes journaling my thoughts. I try to write everything down I’m thinking, from random thoughts to things I’ve been pondering all day, usually with a little perspective splashed in there to help reflect on the day.

4. Prepare for the morning
Even though I only wear scrubs to work, I like to pick out my clothes for the next morning the night before. It helps save me those extra few minutes to move slowly or sip my coffee and leaves me pretty carefree once I climb into bed for the night.

5. Meditation/Yoga
To round out the evening, I usually take 15 minutes to do a little meditation and my bedtime yoga routine. It helps me rest my mind and clear it of all the stress of the previous day. I always feel rejuvenated and at ease after dedicating just a few minutes to this.

My Guide to a Bedtime Routine #sleep #routine #daily

 

6. Say goodnight
When I finally crawl into bed, I tell my cat goodnight, turn on my ceiling fan, and I’m out like a light. I’ve been getting some of my best sleep in recent years, and I’m sure that these few extra steps that I take for myself are an investment in my sleep, and therefore, overall wellness.


I hope some of my routine has encouraged you to carve out some extra time before bed just for yourself. Whether it’s stretching before getting into bed, investing in a cozier mattress, or listening to a sleep playlist, I’d love to hear what tricks you use before bed to get better sleep!

Advertisements

Taking The First Steps Towards Becoming A Healthy-Eating Family

Taking The First Steps Towards Becoming A Healthy-Eating Family

Did you know that, on any given day, more than one in every three American children will eat fast food? Our bad eating habits seemingly start much sooner than we might think – as early as in our toddler years according to researcher Victor Fulgoni. Until about 9 months of age, our diets are pretty balanced, consisting of breast milk or formula, baby cereal and mashed up fruit and vegetables. At 10 months we are generally introduced to our first bite of cake while our first birthdays open up a portal to a land strewn with sodas, candy, potato chips, chicken nuggets, pizza and a whole array of other overly-processed foods. Judging by our early start at eating junk food, it is no wonder that we inherently find it difficult to make healthy food choices as we grow older. Luckily there is still a chance to become a responsible adult and parent, making small changes to your eating habits that will soon see your family following a healthier lifestyle without kicking up a fuss.

Taking The First Steps Towards Becoming A Healthy-Eating Family #healthy #eating #family #lifestyle

Set a good example for your children

As adults, we are required to set good a good example for our children, regardless of how hard it may be at times. Leading by example is one of the most effective ways to get your children to follow a healthy diet as children are naturally prone to copying their parents. Resist the urge to drink countless glasses of soda in front of your children, opting for a homemade lemonade or ice tea instead. Pack a healthy lunch for yourself for work and offer the children something similar for school. If everyone in the household is on the same page as healthy eating is concerned, it will be significantly easier to make permanent changes to your lifestyle.

Taking The First Steps Towards Becoming A Healthy-Eating Family #healthy #eating #family #lifestyle

Don’t buy what you can make yourself

As convenient as it is to reach for the nearest bottle of ketchup or a tub of yogurt, it is not the healthiest option for your family. Even seemingly healthy store-bought foods are often riddled with hidden ingredients that are not nearly as healthy as the manufacturers make them out to be. When you prepare your own meals from scratch you have complete control over what ingredients you use. You may be surprised to find how easy it is to whip up a batch of homemade yogurt or prepare your own healthier take on corn dogs or chicken nuggets.

Ensure you have healthy snacks in the house

While it is fairly easy to eat healthy at meal times, snacking is often a whole different ball game. Make sure there are a number of healthy snack options available to indulge in while watching TV, firing up the BBQ or to take along on a family road trip.  Instead of potato chips, buy a packet of pretzels and bake a batch of oat cookies rather than buying a box of Oreos. Investing in a popcorn maker and an air fryer will go a long way in enabling you to make nutritious and delicious snacks any time a craving rears its head.

While it is of vital importance for you and your family to follow a healthy diet it is also important to not expect all the changes to happen overnight. Be patient with both yourself and your family, auctioning one small change at a time. Before you know it, you and your loved ones will be leading a healthy lifestyle without even sparing a thought for the unhealthy eating.

 

The Long-Life Diet

The Long-Life Diet

Alright, so you’ve tried the ice cream diet, the Atkins diet, South Beach, and of course, anything that promises to get you ready for bikini season.

Are you sick of it yet? Checking waist measurements and daily checks on the bathroom scale? The truth is that extreme diet techniques are really just fostering an unhealthy relationship with our bodies. It’s time to try something new: the long-life diet.

Okay, I’m no nutritionist, and I’m certainly not going to patent a book and turn my lifestyle into a brand. However, I do know this: beautiful=healthy! We always look our best when we’re treating our body right. And sometimes, this means cutting back a lot, especially on empty calories. Other times, it means adding essential things into our diet. Best of all, this is the kind of diet that’s going to give you results that you can straight-up measure in dollars and cents. It means a better quality of life, and longer to enjoy it in. Don’t wait until your body starts to rebel to treat it right. Read through these tips for the long-life diet and start making them a part of your life.

The Long-Life Diet #lifestyle #vegetables #life #diet #routine

Drink Water, Not Sugar
A recent Gallup poll revealed that half of Americans drink soda every single day. And among people who drink soda, they average about two and a half glasses a day. And here’s the kicker: one single can of soda already exceeds the recommended limit of sugar per day. One can of soda has about 39 grams of sugar, while the recommended amount per day for a full-grown man is 37 grams. (It’s even less for children and women.)

More and more, scientific evidence is showing that there’s a strong link between sugar and the leading causes of death in the U.S.: heart disease and diabetes. So, start opting for water more often. It doesn’t have to be fancy; tap water is perfectly safe to drink in America. If you’re someone who doesn’t like the taste of plain water, get a good filter for your tap, and/or look into flavor drops that you can gradually wean yourself off of. You might even try out infused water, which can give you a refreshing taste of herbs or fruit without any added sugar.

Get a Variety of Produce
What’s the best thing you can eat in order to lower your risk of cancer? Once you’ve cut out cigarettes, and reduced the amount of alcohol you consume, the best thing you can do to resist cancer is eating more antioxidants. You don’t need to be going to town on goji berries to get antioxidants working for you. Antioxidants are in just about every fruit and vegetable, and different antioxidants have different roles in the body. So, in order to keep your body actively fighting disease effectively, you need to have a wide variety of nutrition. Don’t just fall back on one thing when you feel the need to be more healthy. Get a variety of fruits and vegetables. Try new things at the grocery store, and find creative ways to make smoothies, salads, and snacks made of fruits or veggies a part of your daily diet.

The Long-Life Diet #lifestyle #vegetables #life #diet #routine

Extra bonus: getting lots of antioxidants is great for your hair and skin. In fact, probably the fastest change you’ll see in your appearance from the long-life diet is from antioxidants. Here’s a guide for more specifics.

Cook from Scratch
Alright, you’ve probably heard a lot about the raw food and/or paleo diets. It’s not necessary to make a complete lifestyle change and go completely raw in order to have great health. However, those paleo nuts are on to something: we’re healthier when we reduce the amount of processing that our food gets. Admittedly, some things are important, like grinding down wheat for our flour, or cooking potatoes so that they’re easier to digest. However, if your diet currently depends on pre-packaged meals, box mixes, or all those other shortcuts that grocery stores offer, then you should look for ways to move towards “fresh” and “homemade” more often. Pre-packaged foods are more processed. They’re full of preservatives, and extra salt, sugar, and fat in order to make them taste good for longer.

The Long-Life Diet #lifestyle #vegetables #life #diet #routine

When you go fresh, you just don’t need those crutches… and you’re better off without them.

Don’t Eat More than You Need
It’s hard to keep track of what’s actually healthy, right? As soon as leading authorities decide that eggs are great for you, someone else starts bashing that egg, saying that it will definitely give you heart disease and ashy skin. Well, doing some research and trusting only peer-reviewed studies and vetted recommendations can give you more clarity. But in the meantime, there’s one thing that all studies of life expectancy agree on: higher calorie intake (beyond what it takes to sustain an individual) is correlated with lower life expectancy. Now, this might sound like I’m just saying “don’t be fat” but it’s not just that. People who consume a lot of calories and work them off by being really active can still carry a higher risk. In fact, it’s the leading theory for why women have a longer life expectancy than men: women tend to eat less calories!

The Long-Life Diet #lifestyle #vegetables #life #diet #routine

In the Standard American Diet, most of us have access to more calories than we need, and we learn to depend on overeating just to feel normal. When you cut back to smaller portions daily, you learn that your body doesn’t actually need all that, unless you’re running a 10k every day. So, if you’re exceeding the recommended calories for your body type, start cutting back. Of course, you should be exercising for your health, and eating to support that exercise. So don’t cut calories at the expense of your energy in a workout.
But most of all, what we need to do is make the calories count. Yes, your body needs the calories and energy. Starving yourself isn’t going to do your health any favors at all. However, not all calories are created equal. You have 600 calories of a chocolate malt, or 600 calories of a good square meal.
Exercise Daily
Modern life doesn’t require us to move around very much. But if you want to be healthy and happy, you should do it anyway! Make a habit out of recreational walks, dancing, or physical projects at home. If nothing else, set a schedule for you to put your home treadmill to use more often.

3 Things I Love To Do: Outdoors

3 Things I Love To Do: Outdoors

These three things make my heart full! These are three things other than my family, boyfriend, and cat who I do love dearly (but they’ll have their own post).

Amidst the crazy busy, stressful, and anxiety ridden days I need an escape; that doesn’t leave a lot of time to do so. I would love to have the flexibility to cancel my schedule for that day and head out to where the sand meets the salty water but that isn’t always the best option especially if I’m expected to adult that day.

3 Things I Love To Do: Outdoors #outdoors #adventure #lifestyle #life

 

Motorcycles // This love that attached itself to me was one I knew I never wanted to give up. On a long day a little two wheel therapy is great for clearing the mind.

Riding with a crowd or all alone feels so amazing. The fresh air coming through the face shield, the sun on your arms and back on sunny summer days, and the fear you come across when a car gets too close or you see gravel in the road way. It’s a balance that tugs both safety and security.
3 Things I Love To Do: Outdoors #outdoors #adventure #lifestyle #life

 

Archery // When I was little I would watch my dad practice with a bow & arrows. He did it to stay conditioned for hunting but it fascinated me and I had to try it. I actually didn’t try it until my birthday (2017), I love the laser focus it takes, the sound of the arrow as it leaves the bow, and the noise that echos when it hits the bag.

I won’t be doing any hunting because I try to save all the animals and not kill them. I like using the bow because it helps me focus and is helping me learn to quiet my brain; which is a daunting task. I’m starting to get really good at it, plus – it’s a workout for my shoulders. 

3 Things I Love To Do: Outdoors #outdoors #adventure #lifestyle #life

 

Adventure // As a Sagittarius; I love adventure and It calls me to each direction I turn. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t crave some sort of adventure but I don’t always get it. Womp womp womp. I am the only girl on both sides of my huge family so I’m so use to doing things outdoors and getting muddy.

If you’ve ever taken 3 hours out of your day to trek a mountain side up to 2,000+ feet on a sweltering 95 degree summer day then I salute you because that’s not for the faint of heart. You’ll find strength propelling yourself by rope up the side of a mountain and courage when you dive into some of the freshest water on earth that instantly chills you to the bone.

3 Things I Love To Do: Outdoors #outdoors #adventure #lifestyle #life

3 Things I Love To Do: Outdoors #outdoors #adventure #lifestyle #life

What’s something you enjoy doing outside? I really wished I liked camping more because I’d love it if I could just let go of the idea that I’ll get eaten by a bear (thanks anxiety). 

How to Rejuvenate Your Beauty Regimen

How to Rejuvenate Your Beauty Regimen

Aging can be a beautiful thing. It often comes with a sense of renewed confidence, new-found wisdom, and unique experiences. The physical signs of aging, however, aren’t always as welcome. Here are some quick tips on how to adapt your beauty routine to meet your changing needs.

How to Rejuvenate Your Beauty Regimen #beauty #daily #bbloggers

Your Skin

Boost your diet
Subbing in a few healthy choices every day can have a surprising impact on your overall appearance. Healthy fats like nuts and avocados strengthen cell membranes and can nourish your skin. Similarly, foods rich in vitamin-C, like green veggies, can boost collagen levels and skin elasticity.

How to Rejuvenate Your Beauty Regimen #beauty #daily #bbloggers

Create a night routine
If you begin incorporating some quick skin care into your nightly routine, you will be enjoying the benefits of brighter, clearer skin in just a few days without feeling overwhelmed. First step is always removing makeup, then introducing a serum to hydrate and regenerate your skin. Try exfoliating just once a week to physically rid your face of dead skin and dirt. Just be careful to use a gentle product and not overdo it with the scrubbing to protect your skin from damage.

Your Hair

Get the right color
As we age, our scalp loses some of its natural oil which can make our hair lose color and become weak. Guessing the right shade for your changing hair can be risky when you’re bombarded by all the choices at the grocery store. Bring new life to your hair by switching up its appearance with a dye that’s custom made for you.

Skip the shampoo
Surprisingly, most people don’t need to wash their hair more than twice a week. In fact, overwashing can strip your hair of the natural oils that give it shine, and leave your scalp dry and itchy. Try cutting out a shampoo cycle every now and then and see if it helps your hair look more youthful and thick. As with most beauty advice, however, it all depends on your lifestyle: if you’re running marathons everyday, you might want to follow your own shampoo routine!

Your Makeup

Use warm colors
Lighter tones can brighten your whole face, while dark hues with silver undertones can accentuate dark circles. Peach, rose and gold eyeshadows can make your eyes appear bigger, and rosy blush or lipstick can perk up your skin and overall look.

How to Rejuvenate Your Beauty Regimen #beauty #daily #bbloggers

Find the right foundation
With age comes diminished skin elasticity and unfortunately, wrinkles. Investing in the right foundation to meet your needs can be a huge help in your own confidence. Let your skin type guide your choice: those with dry skin should use a hydrating liquid foundation while those with oily skin should look for oil-free liquid, or powder foundation. Check out this helpful guide for more specific information about your skin type to make sure you find the right foundation for you.

Whether you celebrate your age or want to hide it, make sure you’re taking small steps like these to ensure that your regimen accentuates your changing beauty. After all, your beauty on the outside should match that of the confident woman on the inside.

Get Your Glow On

Get Your Glow On

You’d always find me in a tanning bed, up until this summer. Working at a dermatologist office has opened my eyes to the effects of skin problems like melanoma.

I canceled my tanning membership a few weeks ago, but I was still wanting a tan. I feel a little naked without one. 

I searched YouTube videos, reviews, and tan types to find something that wouldn’t aggravate my sensitive skin. This brought me to Sally’s Beauty Supply (where I am eyeballing a stunning color of copper red hair dye. My hairdresser is amazing with cuts and color) in which I started my search for Toma’s Liquid Spray Tan. I’d never used any kind of spray tan or any tanning lotions but this kit had everything I needed for about $18.
Get Your Glow On - Liquid Spray Tan Review #review #summer #selfcare #beach

The kit came with 2 rubber gloves, a mitt, and the liquid spray tan. You use the rubber gloves to protect the color your applying from seeping through the mitt onto your hands. I thought it was great the kit included them because I would’ve never thought of that.

Get Your Glow On - Liquid Spray Tan Review #review #tan #beach

Once your gloves are on slide the mitt onto the hand of the leg you’re doing first. Then spray a few sprays of the liquid spray tan. Apply the mitt to your skin working in a circular motion to really blend it all in. It’s time to get your glow on!

You can go as dark or as minimal as you’d like. It took about 10 minutes to complete both legs. I’ll be doing the rest of my body since the formula didn’t break out my skin.

I was left with an even, streak free, non orange tan. I’m so happy it worked like it did, I’ll be using this secret weapon year around now.

I didn’t do my feet so you could see the difference between my natural color (foot) and the liquid spray tan (legs). This was like I said about 10 minutes of applying, I sprayed the pump 4 times onto the mitt 3 different times then worked it in. I repeated the same process on the other leg as well.
Get Your Glow On - Liquid Spray Tan Revew #tan #beach #review

Monthly Goals: July 2018

Monthly Goals: July 2018

Here we are, the Seventh month of the year. Summer is in full swing here in North Carolina, with heat indexes of 108 I’d rather walk around like Sandy Squirrel from Sponge Bob with a fish bowl full of cold water on my head. Since that isn’t a valid option I’m trying to seek out all the AC vents I can.

June was a slow month but busy with freelance. I’ve taken 2 weeks off to enjoy life and take a little breather. Which has been amazing.

I rearranged my desk and writing space, kind of an in with the old and out with the new, I felt the energy was stagnant. I love silk flowers because I can’t keep real flowers living, how gorgeous is the silk orchid??

Monthly Goals: July 2018 #silkflowers #goals #july #motivation

June’s Goals were as simple as I could make them, I don’t need anything overwhelming or super complicated to try and get through. 

I’m having a little bit of a hard time with my dad passing, I feel like the grieving process should be over? I feel like I should have already accepted that he’s in a better place with no pain than being here. I feel like I shouldn’t need to want to have conversations with him, or still have tears falling from my sore bloodshot eyes. He overcame everything else and those trails all took pieces of him with them when they left. Now I have pieces missing, I’d give anything to enjoy a banana split with him again.

Monthly Goals: July 2018 #silkflowers #goals #july #motivation

July Goals:
Acceptance // Learning to accept things I can not change not even for the life of me. 

Daily Journal // this little task use to help me so much throughout middle school even into high school. A brain dump for the day gets everything out, so I can be re-read or pondered over. 

Yoga // I’ve fallen out of the practice. I find myself staring off into nowhere at least a handful of times a day. I can’t focus and I don’t get a lot of sleep. Yoga puts me at ease, clears my mind, and helps to balance my energy.

Painting // this new one is recent, so recent I’ve only painted one thing. I love the mindset I fall into try to get the colors just right or the lines as straight as a board. Painting gives me something to focus on that drowns my anxieties. 

Read // the books I have waiting for me to crack open are stacking up on my bookshelf. I’d like to read two books this month, I think I can do it. 

Listen // everyone has select hearing from time to time and it usually only happens when it is something we just don’t want to do. I understand! I’m also talking about listening to my body as well. I’ve been feeding it greasy cheeseburgers, tacos, and ice cream. It’s been showing me it’s not pleased by weight gain, fatigue, and all around sluggishness. 

I hope July finds you all well with as much fun as you and your family can handle.

5 Simple Things To Know When Moving In With Your Significant Other

5 Simple Things To Know When Moving In With Your Significant Other

Moving in with a significant other is certainly an exciting step in a relationship, but it can also be a stressful one. There are bills to cover, chores to divide and suddenly you’re faced with a lot less alone time than you’re used to. One of the biggest stresses you might not expect can be trying to find a way to peacefully blend your decor into one cohesive look. But it is possible to create a space you’ll both love without ripping each other’s heads off. These are a few quick tips for surviving the process!

5 Simple Things To Know When Moving In With Your Significant Other #relationship #moving #life

Upcycle Your New Style
Blending styles certainly doesn’t mean you have to go out and buy all new furniture to make it fit your new decor. There are plenty of easy DIY solutions to upcycle your current pieces and create a customized look. My post on the basics of upcycling furniture should be a great guide to help you get started on transforming your existing furniture. Going thrift shopping together can also be a fun way to find unique pieces to make over together that will work for your new place.

Give Their Style A Chance
An important tip throughout this process is to not write off your partner’s style right away. Even if their suggestions seem kooky or out there, give them a chance to show you their ideas and really consider if they’ll work in your home. You might find yourself liking some of their ideas that normally wouldn’t be up your alley. Moving in together is a great chance to expose yourself to new ways of doing things, including home decor.

Get Professional Help
Trying to figure out how to blend your classic, girly style with your boyfriend’s masculine, industrial tastes can sound impossible, but the good news is there are professionals out there who can help. Enlist the help of an online interior designer who can create a design that blends both of your decor preferences. They might even help you discover a brand new aesthetic you can both fall in love with that you never would’ve considered before. Best of all, they can be the ones who break it to your partner that his ratty Scarface poster from college isn’tgoing to work for the design in your new shared space.

Agree On A Color Palette
You can make two very different design styles work cohesively in one room with a unified color palette. Check out what colors you’re both already drawn to in your decor or use a color scheme generator to create a palette you can come to an agreement on. Once you’ve done this, it will be easier to incorporate decor pieces in a united way, even if your preferred styles are wildly different.
Pick Your Battles
You’re not going to be able to get your way on every design choice so talk to your partner about which spaces in your home are most important to you. Maybe you couldn’t care less about place settings, but creating a serene bathroom is important to your sanity. Or you know that your significant other will spend a lot of time in the office, but you prefer to work in the living room. These things will help you decide who should get the final say on certain decisions and avoid unnecessary arguments. Being open about what’s important to you and what isn’t will be key in creating a balanced style that represents both of you equally!