How to Be Happy || Pt 2



What you read starts to define your thoughts.

You think you want to read a celebrity gossip magazine? Do you really want to read that? How will it make you feel?

How would you feel if you read a good book?

A magazine that celebrates life?

The Bible?

My guess is, a heck of a lot better.

Read what you want. Read what your heart wants.

Read what brings you higher.

How to Be Happy || Pt. 1

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Eat what you want.

Eat what your body actually wants.

Eat what your body truly craves.

Think you want a candy bar? A big bag of Wendy’s french fries? Go for it. Then when you’re done, listen to your body. How did eating that make you feel? Good? Bad?

If something you eat makes you feel bad – don’t eat it.

If it makes you feel good – eat it.

Don’t diet. Eat good food that makes you happy. Be happy.

Carry-On Essentials (+ Some Travel Beauty Tips)

Hey Guys, so, my family is leaving for London in SIX DAYS. This trip we’ve been planning for over a year is seriously only days away. I’ve been having a lot of fun planning and organizing my packing list (I’m OCD like that, lover of lists!) so I thought I would share with you a mixture of my Carry-On Essentials as well as some Beauty Tips.

Our trip is a little complicated, I mean, we’re not just driving 5 minutes to the airport and flying straight to the UK. We decided to make it fun (and less expensive) by flying out of JFK in New York City. So basically, if you can visualize this by my words (and imagine I have a thousand hand motions to go along with this since I totally talk with my hands), we will be leaving our town at 10 PM in a rental car, getting to NYC early the next morning, spending the day doing some sightseeing and pizza eating, flying out that night around 11 PM, and then getting to London at 11 AM the next morning. Like, ok, can there be worse elements for my beauty routine?? (Yes. Ok. There can. But whatever.) My brother’s girlfriend Haylie and I have been in agony over this schedule (My mom already has it all figured out – I’m jealous!). This is a once-in-a-lifetime trip! We want to look good.

On top of that, my skin has been really annoying lately. Super dry, breaking out, splotchy – ugh. I’ve been working really hard to get my skin to a good place (like finding out my skin doesn’t like coconut oil! But that’s a blog for another day) and there’s nothing worse for skin then travel. And like I said, I wanna look good! (Apparently if you’re not vain this post is not for you.)

IN LIEU OF ALL THAT, here’s what I have:

1.A cute toiletry bag. Because our travel plan is so crazy, I want to keep my toiletries by my side. And this bag helps with that! I also only get a carry-on suitcase and an over the shoulder bag for a 3 week trip, so downsizing and fitting as much as possible into this guy is a must. I got this one on Amazon back when it was only $9.99. It also has some fun Engrish on it: Always Keep Smile! which makes me happy. Also note, this one is a hanging bag with lots of pockets – great storage is needed.

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2. Hat and a scarf. Literally everyone who has internationally traveled told me to bring a light scarf. Good for style, warmth, covering your mouth when someone in the cabin in coughing etc. I got this one on sale at Rue21 for $5! The hat is from Target ($14.99). I got a hat because I do not trust my pixie-grow-out hair at all. I really need something to cover it up when the going gets rough (it’s not like I can just turn on my flat iron).

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3. Eye mask, ear buds and neck pillow. This is a red-eye-freaking-drive-AND-flight, guys. MAMA NEEDS HER SLEEP.

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4. Speaking of sleep, my favorite travel companion: Dramamine. Pop one of these in and A. No motion sickness, and B. Sweet sleep. I will be taking this in the car and on the plane. QUEEN.

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5. While we’re on the topic of meds, I’m taking some off-brand Airborne. I seriously don’t want to get sick. Not now, not in London, not when I get home. These babies will knock out anything before it starts. Give me 25.

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6. AND I’m bringing Excedrin (with caffeine). Literally I am so not interested in any ailments ruining this trip for me. And nothing is worse then a headache while traveling.

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7. Not pictured, I’ll be bringing my DoTerra Lavender and Frankincense essential oils. The Lavender to aid in sleep and to calm me down, the Frankincense to pep me up again. Imagine a couple drops of Lavender on my scarf, mmm… makes me want to sleep right now (like I said, mama needs her sleep. And I’m not even pregnant!).

8. Face wipes and face lotion. One of my favorite airplane travel tips that I’ve used for years – I think this one was from Haylie Duff or something – as soon as you get on the plane, wipe of all your make up and apply a thick layer of moisturizer. Nothing is more drying then airplane cabin air. LATHER UP. Also these wipes will be good for cleaning my hands in NYC, and wiping pizza sauce off my face.

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9. Hair Supplies. For me, that means dry shampoo. Dry shampoo is my best friend. I’m not kidding. This stuff will be a godsend because I won’t be able to shower for like 48 hours. I’ll also have a bunch of bobby pins handy and my hat, like I said above. Oh and I have a small tin of Nivea which makes a killer texturizer. Other hair supplies (for my longer haired friends) could be extra hair bands, a hair mask for the plane ride, headband aaaand…I’m not really sure what else long-haired girls use these days.

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10. My skin routine. Like I said before, my skin routine is now a science. But basically, my nightly routine: I remove make up with olive oil, wash my face with No7 Beautiful Skin Cleansing Balm and then finish with a liberal layer of DermaE Overnight peel (which is an AHA exfoliant). Please note that most of my skin care stuff is hypoallergenic, paraben free etc etc. That’s because my skin is dry and sensitive. I discovered Derma E first, and it seriously cleared up my skin like crazy by removing dead skin cells and kick-starting my natural skin renewal process.  The Cleansing Balm makes my skin feel so freaking hydrated and smooth in a way that 99% of cleansers can’t. I’ve also noticed my skin has a more balanced color since I’ve started using it. And the olive oil is basically my moisturizer when I’m at home. I’ll be using the cetaphil (from above) only because it’s less messy. But I’m keeping my fingers crossed that it won’t mess with my skin (I’ve read that it’s good for sensitive skin). I also don’t have a vial of the olive oil that shows how many oz (it has to be under 3 oz) so I am a little worried they’ll make me throw it away. We’ll see!

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11. Rose Water. I used to use this on my face religiously but I think it dried it out (thought a lot of articles I read said they use rosewater to hydrate). Now, I use this as a make up setter (it works!) and basically a refresh spray. It smells natural and sweet, not like a perfume or body spray that might be a little sickening to spray on all day or in a small airplane cabin.

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12. Mini Deodorant. Enough said.

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13. GUM. A THREE PACK. (and I know it’s not spry…but spry comes in a big container and these are sleek and I’m downsizing…)

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14. A mini sunscreen because I’m seriously so easily burned. I get burned while driving in the car on a sunny day. So give me all the sunscreen all the time. Can’t live without it.

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15. Carmex. I see all the girls with their cute pastel colored chapsticks but this one has been my go-to for years. It doesn’t make me break out (like essie does), it doesn’t make my lips feel more chapped after an hour (like every single other chapstick does). Is it cute? Nah. Is it the best? Oh yeah. I have on in my purse, one in my car, one by my bed, one in my make up bag…you get the picture.

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16. Lil’ containers to downsize the bigger stuff. This isn’t really “carry on” this is just a travel beauty tip. If you’re not checking a bag, your liquids (and even some solids, like deodorant) have to be under 3.4 oz. Or they will be thrown away. So be smart and buy these little guys (they were like $2 for these three, a spray bottle and a toothbrush cover).

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Not pictured…

17. Hand sanitizer. 

18. An empty water bottle. I just bought a leak-proof Nalgene from Target for $10. Being thirsty on the plane stinks, and the staff only give you the tiny water bottles. For my flight, I really should drink 2-3 of my Nalgene.

19. Snacks. Eat healthy when traveling – you really will feel better. I’ll be bringing fruit, maybe some PB, a granola bar. Steer clear of salt (bloating), sugar and alcohol.

20. Phone charger. We also have a block charger that allows us to charge our phones without a wall socket. Super neat. I’m excited to have that. We also bought a converter for while we’re in London.

21. A bag of chamomile tea. Ask the flight attendants for some hot water and you will have a calming entrance to hopefully a lot of plane sleep.

22. My make up. DUH. I almost forgot to list this! I’m going to be driving make-up free, applying for NYC, removing for the plane, and then lightly applying before London. So I’m going to need to keep those babies right by my side. I’ve actually been having fun fine tuning my make up process – I’ll share it in a blog post soon!

23. Glasses and sunglasses. If you use contacts, you’ll need to pack all that stuff. Please don’t wear your contacts on a red-eye flight.

24. Reading material. If you’re traveling light like we are, it’s probably not a good idea to bring your favorite novels. Download some books on your phone or kindle and then do as I do and buy some magazines at the airport. I used to buy what I call “trash mags” – magazines about celebrities and fashion and style. But then I realized, those don’t really make me feel good about myself! Why am I reading them? So I’m going to choose some more uplifting magazines like RealSimple or It’s a Beautiful Life. (I’ll probably also bring a small Bible and my journal. And hopefully there will be lots of movies available!)

25. Wisps or toothbrush. HOW COULD WE FORGET! Do yourself a favor and brush as much as possible while you travel. Here’s a fun thought: You get on the plane, people around you are tired, sick, coughing. You get to your seat, it’s a middle seat – ugh. BUT, you haven’t lost hope. As soon as the “seat belt” sign is off, you excuse yourself the bathroom where you brush your teeth, change into comfy soft clothes, comb your hair, spritz yourself with rosewater, remove your make up and apply your lotion. Go back to your seat, slip on some fuzzy socks, put on your earbuds and neck pillow. Order a cup of hot water for your chamomile tea and chill. Sounds nice, right? That’s basically the goal here.

26. Eye drops. My eyes get so dry – these feel so good.

27. Camera. 

28. Oh and let’s not forget – Passport, ticket, ID, cash, card. The truly important stuff!

All of this will go in a chic, over the shoulder bag – ready to go!

I hope this list helped give you some ideas for what to bring on your travels!

Bon Voyage!

**PS keep on eye on my instagram for some fun travel updates from my trip! link in sidebar.


DIY: painted spoons

When David and I were first married (almost three years ago) my sister and I bought matching sets of bamboo spoons for me to paint for us. They have seriously been hanging over my head for three years! So now, my family is going to visit my sister in London and I’m going to have these painted spoons in my suitcase! They were so super easy and fun to make. Next I’m going to do some for myself!

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Use jars or glasses to keep spoons upright. This way the handles can dry (obvi).

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I used a multi-surface satin acrylic paint. It was quick drying and touted “easy clean up” (I think I got each color for like a dollar at Wal-Mart). I don’t keep a lot of disposable plates around (I try to be anti-waste) so I used the lid to one of my pyrex containers. It seriously came off so so easily so no worries. I also used a small paintbrush I had around the house.


In process…It took about 2-3 coats (the lighter colors took more coats) to get the spoons covered.

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I then used a little painters tape to tape off the ends to paint with a sealant. Hopefully this will keep the paint from chipping. These are definitely not dishwasher safe. Also, don’t stir anything with the handle (as if any of us do that buuut disclaimer) unless you use all food-grade paints.

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This is the sealant I used. ^^

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All done! Now every time my sister reaches for a spoon she get’s a cheerful color to accompany it. love.

Literally so easy and so so cute. If you decide to do this yourself, I’d love to see a picture of the finished product!