For those you you who might not know, May is Mental Health Month! I myself was unaware of this until the month started and I began to see little announcements popping up all over. I toggled with the idea of doing a blanket post about mental health or it I should pick a specific topic and honestly think that this post will be a mash up of both. Something that has really warmed my heart over the past couple years is seeing how the stigma surrounding mental health has decreased. Of course, there is still a fair amount left, but it is by no means as prominent and vicious as it used to be. I personally believe that this is because western society finally gave into talking about mental heath on a more regular basis, and with the increase of communication came the decrease of the taboo. I've always chalked the reason why people don't like talking about mental health to be because they're scared of what they don't understand. To be fair to this people, they're not being unreasonable, the unknown can often be quite daunting but I think that we, as a society shouldn't allow that to be the reason why conversations of mental health only existed in whispers and behind closed doors.

There is, of course, the other side in which people who suffer with mental illnesses do not always want to be transparent about them or broadcast them to the general public. It's a deeply personal matter that, in the wrong situation, can unfortunately be used against someone. People with mental illnesses have suffered a variety of poor treatment that doesn't even include the symptoms of the actual illness. Some people view mental illness as a disability and treat those who suffer with condescension. Others chose not to recognize mental illness as something real, and instead write it up to be a "phase" or simply something that is "just in their head". The reality is the opposite. While some people do suffer with a great deal of their mental illness being "in their head" (key: mental), that doesn't mean it isn't real and arduous. I suffer from anxiety, a mental illness that does stem from my head, but it has very real and very physical consequences. It can be just as damaging and difficult as a physical illness, but because of the simple fact that people can't see it, it gets written off.


Now I'm not here to complain about the state of mental illness consideration and whatnot in our society, if I was this would be an extremely boring and disheartening post. I'm hear because I'm desperately trying to make even the smallest dent in opening the lines of communication between people who suffer with mental illness and those who don't. I also wanted to discuss this topic to possibly give a little piece of mind to anyone who my be silently suffering with a mental illness. No mutter how cliche the statement is, that doesn't make it false, anyone who suffers with mental illness, you are not alone. Anxiety has become one of the most prevelent illnesses in the world, and whether or not someone has experienced it consistently or just on a one off chance, most people have had a run in with it at one time or another. So why is it so hush hush? There is no valid answer I'm afraid. There are excuses made left and right, but when you boil those excuses down to their baseline, they're nothing but distractions to avoid the fear of the unknown.

I talk about mental illnesses a lot with my close friends, largely because we have all suffered with one or have someone important in our lives who has. We discuss our own experiences, that we went through, how we are trying to, or are, getting better. We ask questions because we know that the only way to even begin to understand is by learning. I just started going back to counseling. I went when I was around 16 but it just didn't feel right. Now, as I continue to try to get a handle on my anxiety -- there are always good days and bad days-- I find that talking to someone outside of my circle is extremely helpful. We work through problems slowly, at my own pace, and eventually it feels just like talking to my friends.

I've done a previous post about my anxiety and I think that this is a topic that I want to explore more down the road. I've definitely experience my share of metal illness --anxiety and others--, and I think that by talking about them and sharing my own thoughts and experiences, maybe it'll help someone else, but I know for a fact it will help me. I think it's largely up the our generation of digital content creators and influencers to make an impact in the world of mental health. A lot of influencers do already discuss and advocate for mental health awareness, which is wonderful, I think there's always more we can try to do.

What do you think? 


Wow oh wow another Ordinary product, is anyone really surprised? No? Me neither. I'm not really a believer in moderation when it comes to good things --a character flaw, I know-- but oh well. The Ordinary foundations are by no means a new thing, I'm pretty sure they've been out for about a year but of course I'm late jumping on the bandwagon. There are two different options in regards to types of foundation: Coverage and Serum. The Coverage foundation is a heavier and higher coverage foundation while the Serum (shown above) is a lightweight and more along the lines of a high pigmented tinted moisturizer. I only purchased the Serum foundation because I was in the mindset of summer, which is when I rarely wear anything on my face and if I do, it's got to be super lightweight. I genuinely can't stand the feel of heavy makeup in the summer, it drives me batty.

I've been a lover The Ordinary skincare products for a while now, whether it be serums or moisturizers or some other science stuff that makes my face look somewhat okay. When I herd they were releasing foundations, I was intrigued but also a bit wary because of how. damn. cheap. these products are. I mean seriously, I feel like these prices have always been too good to be true and one day the prices are just going to skyrocket or something. That would be annoying. Now, I'm not sure that this product is too good to be true, I think it's just right.


So let's jump right in with the product itself. The Ordinary Serum foundation is a very lightweight foundation that comes in a range of 21 different shades with varying undertones such as pink, neutral yellow, etc. I chose the shade 1.2N which is a light shade with neutral undertones. I can already tell that I'm going to have to order another one of these in a darker shade because my summer tan is coming in quite nicely (loving this sunny weather)! I originally bought this foundation in early March, but ended up having an issue with my skin where is it was extremely dry and flaking. I thought it was a problem with the foundation so I was quite disappointed and confused, but it actually ended up being a completely separate issue that had to do with my moisturizer. Once I figured that out, I gave my skin a bit of a break from foundation and just recently got back into it.

On the second try, I liked this foundation a lot more. It was pretty much what I was expecting so I wasn't necessarily wow'd but I still do really enjoy using it. Obviously, the coverage isn't great on this so if you're really trying to cover up, I wouldn't recommend this but if you're looking for an overall base that gives you nice subtle glow and overall a healthy look, this is a really great budget option.


With this product landing a price point of $6.70, to say it's an affordable option for makeup is definitely an understatement. It's important though to rememberer that you are only paying under seven dollars for a foundation and while it is good bang for your buck, it's still a drugstore foundation. The packaging is very simple and rather scientific looking, but it fits with the branding The Ordinary. Plus it also does the job, and let's be real, that's the most important thing. It's very small bottle so it's great for travel, just do be careful that the pump top doesn't come off.


Overall, I really do recommend this foundation if you're on a budget. If you are looking for a higher coverage option, there is the other Coverage foundation which falls around the same price point of six dollars.

Have you tried any of The Ordinary foundations? 

-xx-


Some posts may contain affiliate or sponsored content. Said posts will be marked with an *. 



Ah spring. Now at the moment all I think when I here that word is allergies because it feels like someone has been injecting pollen into my bloodstream and I'm exploding from the inside out (too graphic?) but usually when I think of spring, I get very excited. Flowers bloom (bar pollen, damn you  pollen), the days get longer and warmer, and people's spirit seem to lift as we bid farewell to the cold months of winter. Granted, where I live, we don't necessarily get to experience spring, we more so go straight from winter to summer. Y'all can catch me hanging out in a sweater and jeans one day, and a bathing suit the next. Mmmm delightful.

To be very honest with all of you, spring/summer is my least favorite time of year when it comes to shopping and clothing. Fall/winter is my vibe, with it's dark colors and cozy clothes not to mention there are few things when it comes to shopping that I detest more than bathing suit shopping. Does anyone actually enjoy it? Genuinely, it has nothing to do with body image or self confidence issues, it's just such an uncomfortable experience. I cringe just thinking about it. My summer style usually consists of running shorts and a large t-shirt (don't judge) and if I'm feeling really fancy, maybe I'll throw on a pair of denim shorts. Maybe. Probably not. The only other semi-fashionable things I gravitate to during the sweltering months are dresses because why wear pants when you don't have to. Personally, I think that's a philosophy to live by. Easy, and breezy, they're absolutely perfect for my lazy soul.

I'm currently on a kick of playing to my strengths, so I've decided that this spring and summer there is going to be a coup d'etat in my closet and dresses -- with a subtle hint of skirts -- will be taking over. All hail the pants-free overlords. 


Most everything below has been saved in my ASOS likes for absolutely ever while I try to scrounge up the money to go shopping -- gotta love that college budget. A few other come from Urban Outfitters which I tend to frequent because I get a discount. This spring/summer, I really want to explore maxi and midi dresses more. I usually stick to the regular short length but I want to expand my horizons and see if I can pull off the longer skirt. Plus, I always find that the longer the skirt, the more put together you look, but the easier it is to wear. Magic! 

I've already started adding some dresses to my wardrobe, including this UO Button-Down Midi Dress which I also linked down below with its image. I'm off on vacation in about three weeks (Greece!!) and so I'm also after a few more beachy pieces like this ASOS Tie Maxi Dress. I'm also trying to expand my collection of shoes, somehow I have a stupid amount of shoes but no sandals. They're all either boots or sneakers, neither of which are particularly helpful for sandy shores. I fell head over heels for the flatform trend, I think it's genius. I'm not particularly tall so I sometimes can really d with a bit of height and platforms are sooo comfortable in comparison to regular heels. The last thing I think I'm going to be working on this summer in terms of my wardrobe is updating my jewelry collection. I have a tendency to were very minimal jewelry and I very seldom change it. I've been wearing the necklace I have on nonstop since January. I think it's time for a change. I've been digging the coin jewelry trend, I think it's a great way to have super simple jewelry but still manage to make a statement. 
What are you looking to add for your spring/summer wardrobe?

-xx-


Some posts may contain affiliate or sponsored content. Said posts will be marked with an *. 
Wormsloe Plantation
Hehe, that title has absolutely no other purpose than to make me laugh. Job well done I should say. For those who wish to be clued in on the joke, I can't lie when I say the fact that this isn't a universally known reference pains my soul a wee bit, simply because it's simultaneously iconic, horrendous and hilarious. The trifecta, if you will, of a truly divine meme. JT. NSYNC. Google it and chortle along with the rest of us. Any who, back to your usually scheduled program of someone who, with every letter more of this joke is loosing any sort of respect she may have had, just wants to talk about what she's looking forward to this May.

01. The fact that we are even in May astounds me because April felt like it lasted forever, but now, I'm not actually convinced that April ever happened. Government conspiracy perhaps? Time travel? A glitch in the Matrix? May in the south doesn't mean spring (which is unfortunate because I love spring), it means we go directly to summer. I've already been laying out in the sun working on a tan in between classes, hoping to make some progress in the transition from a ghost to an actual healthy looking person. Desperately need to get some SPF though, the sun is a lot harsher here than it is back home, plus it's always important to protect your skin! I've got a couple new bathing suits that are ready to be tested and my skin has been begging me for some vitamin D, so if you need me, check by the water!

02. I've decided to take May to give my hair and my skin a bit of a cleanse and reboot. I usually straighten my hair on a regular basis (which does a fair amount of damage to my naturally curly hair) but with some berating from friends and a good look at my nasty split ends, I convinced myself to put the straightener away for the next 30 days. Since I haven't worn my hair natural consistently for well over a year, I'm going to be on the lookout for some new products that will keep the frizz down but also keep my curls looking curly. If you have any recommendations for curly, dry, or damaged hair, please let me know down below!

03. As we meander our way into summer, the summer heat makes it nearly possible to keep foundation on my face. While of course there is always the option of going makeup free, there are some days where I just want a little coverage on my skin to help me look a bit more put together. I'm also doing a lot of traveling this summer so I need to find something that is travel friendly and has great staying power. Any ideas?!

04. May marks the final month of my first year if college (exciting and daunting) and I'll most likely be doing a more in-depth post about it in the near future but I thought I'd just touch on it a bit now. I've definitely got a lot that has to happen before the end of the months --finals-- and I'm really on two different feet on how I feel about it coming to an end. On one hand, yay summer, except my summer is probably more jam-packed than my school year was, and on the other, this means I'm a quarter of the way through my college experience and that's terrifying. My last post Looking For Direction went into how I've been feeling in regards to school, as well as other things, so definitely give it a read if you haven't.

05. Once again, because summer is poking it's head around the corner, I've decided that it's time to be updating my wardrobe. I've been struggling with my wardrobe for the past few months, trying to figure out what I want to be wearing, why I don't like how things look on me, etc. It's been quite discouraging because I love fashion but it seems I've come to a bit of an impasse with my own sense of style. I've never been a great dresser in the summer, I have a tendency to lean towards comfy shorts and oversized t-shirts because I often can't be bothered but as I'll be doing a lot more this summer that won't be keeping me inside an ice arena for ten hours a day, I definitely need a change of wardrobe. To the shops I go!

 What are you looking forward to this May? 

-xx-


Some posts may contain affiliate or sponsored content. Said posts will be marked with an *. 

ps. To any of my Miley Cyrus fans, the image above is from the site where they filmed the Last Song! Definitely geeked out while driving through! 

It has been a well while since I uploaded content here, as well as on any of my other platforms. While I am aware that is completely normal for bloggers to fall into creative ruts because we, as an industry, lack an real structure unless it is self-perpetuated, this past time period has felt quite different from a rut. I fall into creative ruts all the time, it pretty much comes with the territory of being a content creator, with the added bonus of I attend art school so it's basically art, art, art, all day long. For anyone, that's a lot of creativity to be demanded and at a certain point, it feels like that creativity runs out.  

That's kind of where I am.

The problem isn't that I don't have creative ideas because I have plenty but more so I have no desire to create said ideas. There's been some kind of disconnect between step in my process of creation and the unfortunate part is it genuinely come out of nowhere. It was like one day I kew how to talk, and the next I could think the words but nothing would come out. It was confusing and frustrating, and very much a large deterrent from doing anything I needed to do.


I figured out the root cause of some of this disconnect and have taken the necessary steps to fix it, but it was until a few days ago that I began to really understand what was going on and what the issues really were. I have lost my sense of direction. Not in a literal sense of course, I know where I am, I know how to get places, etc. but in a more emotional and mental sense. There's an old story of a man who is approached by the Devil. The Devil offers the man a deal, he will grant the man anything he wants for twenty-five years, but after that, the man must join the Devil in Hell for all eternity. The man takes the deal. The man then goes on to live an extravagant life, then a simplistic life, then a modern life, each life changing once he gets board with it. At the end of twenty-five years, the Devil approaches the man so to collect on his deal. The Devil asks one final time what the man wants, and the man simply looks at him, after a life of having every option open, having everything at his fingertips, and replies "I don't know". With those three words, the Heaven opens and the man is saved.

I am not necessarily a religious person, so I am not able to relate to this story in that context, I do relate to it in another.  My writing professor always speaks about writers block in the idea that it's not a lack of options but it's the lack of ability to make a choice. I think my writers block, which I have been struggling with here as well as in school, has been effecting me in the rest of my life. I have so many options for what I can do and where I want to go, but right now, nothing feels right.

I came into college with a very pointed idea of what I was here for, what I wanted out of this experience and where I intended to go with what I learned. The problem is, the more I got into school, the more I lost my bearings on what I wanted and how on earth I was going to get there. I got distracted, which when it comes to what I want for my future, is quite unusual. Now, after working through some personal problems, I can see where I want to be in my future a bit clearer, but I'm looking for a new way to get there (Mom if you're reading, calm down, I'm not dropping out). I'm not 100% sure what my new way is going to be, and the near future definitely looks foggy, maybe it calls for a change of scenery, possibly a reevaluation, and ideally throwing myself back into what I love to do -- this.


I can feel the wind of change beginning to blow and while I usually ride with it, this time I want to be swept away. Whether it means a complete 180 is coming, or just a tectonic shift, I've decided to be open for anything. I'm a big believer in the universe and that things do happen for a reason but in the past I've tried my hardest to control as many situations as possible, and I'm don't with that. As my best friend has recently started saying "its the time to fly by the seat of our pants", and to be honest, I completely agree.

No question today, just hope everyone is having a lovely day.

-xx-


Some posts may contain affiliate or sponsored content. Said posts will be marked with an *. 

All photos are property of Robin Elise Maaya, who has given me her approval to use on this blog. Check her out at https://robinmaaya.wixsite.com/mysite as well as on her socials @robinbirdy and @robinelisephotography.

Mercury's retrograde ends today and let me just start by saying thank god. It's been a hell of time. Some of you might be wondering what on earth I'm even talking about, so if you'll take this little detour with me, I'll explain it.

The Lowdown:
So the planet Mercury, which is about 48 million miles away from Earth (just a quick nip around the block) has been in retrograde for about three weeks now. Retrograde is literally defined as the motion of moving backwards, but when teamed with Mercury, it is an optical illusion rather than a physical movement. The actuality of it is that Mercury's orbit can be seen and felt on earth during these periods. Mercury passes by Earth three to four times a year, which correlates to the fact that there are three to four retrogrades in a year. During these retrogrades, because Mercury is moving at a faster pace than Earth in its orbit, it appears that Mercury is moving away from Earth, but in reality, it is simply moving faster in and out of the view from Earth.

Mercury's retrograde has the ability to effect people emotionally as well as physically. These effects differ from person to person, and are as unique as the genetic code. There are many different factors that cause an effect, some of the easiest to explain come from birth charts, others are completely based on personality and environment.

The Birth Charts:
Using a birth chart allows someone to input their information into a generator that calculates basically all information pertaining to astrology that a person could ever need to know. Zodiac signs, also known as sun signs, are calculated through a birth chart, but since they also directly line up wth birthdays, they're very easy to calculate. Other signs like rising signs, under which House you fall, etc., are a little more complex but they allow for a deeper understanding into how the planets and their movements affect an individual. If you want to do your birth chart, I recommend this website for an understandable and comprehensive chart. 

This particular retrograde was more crazy than usual because Mercury was in retrograde in Aries, which means it's retrograde dates aligned with the dates in accordance to the Aries sun sign. Aries is a fire sign, and also falls under a stereotype of chaotic. I fall under a fire sign as well -- Sagittarius-- so this retrograde meant that the chaos of my everyday was amplified. It also means that my more fire like qualities, like my temper, were extra prominent. 



My Experience:
Let's begin with the fact that until a week and a half into Mercury's retrograde, I had no idea what on earth was going in and why everything felt like, well to put it simply, shit. I had heard of Mercury being in retrograde and stuff but I had no clue what it meant and honestly just thought it was a saying. I was wrong. Definitely, very, very wrong. My moods were swinging like no-one's business, my usually collected temper was so short, even I was scared of it and basically everything just keep going wrong. I had kind of just chalked it up to the idea that I had somehow upset the universe and this was it restoring balancing (or just getting a kick out of beating me up). I was a little annoyed, but when I found out about Mercury and its lovely little race, everything made sense. Seriously, it was like light shined from the sky and angelic voices sang. For the next week and a half, I was still plagued with crazy emotions, horrible situations and general bad times, but it was so much easier to endure because now I knew it wasn't me, it was the flipping planet. Piece of mind, eh?


For The Next Retrograde:
Because Mercury retrogrades multiple times a year, this will happen again (twice) in 2018, and you bet I'm going to be better prepared. I wanted to share a few things I've learned during this retrograde that I really think will be helpful both to myself, and to you. The first thing is during a retrograde, you are much more susceptible to illness. I got an infection on my face during this retrograde phase (it was horrible, I'll spare you the details) and it severely took a toll on my physical health. I also took a hit in my mental health. My already high anxiety seemed to skyrocket and I had an exponential amount of panic attacks during this time. It's extremely necessary to be careful with your health during retrogrades. The second thing I noticed was my communication skills suffered. I had a hard time corresponding with people --most of the time because my emotions were wack-- and therefore has some issues with friends/family. It's important to take the time to make sure your corresponding correctly, while also making sure your emotions are in check to the best of your ability. The third thing I learned was to give myself a little bit of leniency. Retrograde is a weird tine. It makes you feel wrong and it makes everything you do feel horrible. Small mistakes are not world ending, bad comments truly mean nothing. Big breath in, and out. It's going to be okay.

Keep an eye out for the next retrograde: July 26- August 18

How was your retrograde experience? 

-xx-


Some posts may contain affiliate or sponsored content. Said posts will be marked with an *. 

Please note that all of the astrological information was written using knowledge based on the Tropical system, not Sidereal. I am aware that Sidereal is more accurate, but since Tropical is more widely known, I chose to use that. 

All graphics were created by Kylie Ruffino. 
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