Friday Favorites

Man, it’s hard keeping up with writing on here! Not because I don’t have the time or even the energy, but more so because everything I write I end up wanting to keep private or don’t have the heart to finish. Today I figured I’d go back to writing about a few of my favorite things. I was tempted to post five different dogs, but I thought this list would be a little more helpful.


Tony’s Chocolonely. I honestly haven’t had anything better, and they’re a really cool company because they focus on making chocolate humanely. Did you know that slavery is still a huge problem, particularly on cocoa farms? It’s crazy to me that one of my favorite foods is actually hurting others, and I love that Tony’s is committed to making all chocolate become slave-free. Go get a bar of the milk chocolate sea salt caramel today. It is a new necessity for me “that time of the month,” and I’m happy to add it to my survival kit.

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Jax is obviously my favorite chocolate thing on earth, though.

Billie Eilish — specifically “Bad Guy” featuring Justin Bieber. I didn’t know if I should put him as a favorite too because honestly his lines are so darn catchy and remind me why I liked the Biebs so many years ago. Billie is an interesting entertainer because she totally breaks the mold of anything we really see in the pop music world. I like that she seems to be unapologetically herself and hasn’t conformed to what Hollywood thinks sells albums.

 

Colorful flowers. I love having them to brighten up our home, and Robert got me some really bright and fun ones from a summer collection a few weeks ago. I used to always say Gerbera Daisies were my favorite kind of flower, but now I like pretty much everything under the sun.

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Crime Junkie. I am a huge fan of podcasts, and Crime Junkie happens to be one of my favorites. Granted, it’s made me a little wary every time I go to the basement to do laundry, but overall the mild paranoia is worth listening to Ashley and Brit tell us about famous — and not so famous — cases. It’s a great thing to listen to during a commute or while doing household chores; just don’t listen late at night when you’re by yourself unless you want to be up all night listening for intruders.

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Finally, Taylor Swift released her song “Lover” last night and I am OBSESSED. She’s back to writing her beautiful love songs and I couldn’t be more here for it!

Friday Favorites

I wanted to do a fun, light post about a few of my favorite things for fall. I have a lot of new segments coming up this month, so please keep coming back to my little space on the internet if you want to keep walking in this journey of life with me. These are five of my favorite cruelty-free beauty finds:


1. Jane Iredale Blush
I mentioned recently that I’m obsessed with Jane Iredale makeup. Not only is it cruelty free, but it’s super light and feels good on your skin! My new favorite purchase is their blush. I wear the “flawless” shade, and I like it because it has a little bit of a brown undertone, which makes me feel like I’m wearing a tiny bit of bronzer.

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A bonus with ordering their products online is that they come in a beautiful little Instagram-worthy package!
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JaneIredale.com

2. Klorane Dry Shampoo
Oh my gosh. This is the best dry shampoo I’ve ever used. Not only does it smell incredible, but it also doesn’t leave white powder streaks in my hair when I use it. I’ve tried a lot of different brands with my Birchbox subscription, but this is by far my favorite!

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3. Rodan + Fields Lash Boost
Yes, this is a shameless plug for my business… But the reason I became a consultant for R+F is because I am obsessed with their products, so this wouldn’t be a complete list without my favorite fun beauty buy! My lashes have become incredibly long and full (check out the way they were before I started using this product), and I couldn’t be happier with my results. I have like, six other products I’d love to ramble about, but one of the funnest ones is the Lash Boost. People are always asking what kind of mascara I use now, and it’s crazy, but it doesn’t even matter. They look great no matter what type I put on — or even if I decide to go makeup-free.

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Another favorite fall item is my Red Sox hat! 

Shoot me a message on Facebook if you want to hear more about it and get a 60 day risk-free trial! 

4. Pure Cosmetics Nude Collection Eyeshadow
This is such a beautiful eyeshadow palette. It reminds me of a matte Urban Decay Naked palette. I — like every other girl in the world — mainly just use a couple of their colors, but they offer great options for a nice, clean everyday look.

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5. Adesse New York Nail Polish
love my new cruelty-free nail polish. Everything on this list was cruelty free, as I am obsessed with little furry critters. This is such a beautiful color for fall, and it goes on smoothly and stays longer than most that I’ve used.

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Tell me, what are some of your favorite products for fall? I am so excited that it’s October, and am trying to enjoy the fashion and weather while it’s still nice and crisp out. Sound off in the comments; I always love new beauty finds!

Friday Favorites: Summer Edition

It’s been awhile since I’ve written little product reviews, so I figured it was about time I did a post about some of my favorite things for summertime. Since I have POTS and really need to focus on health and hydration, this is going to be all about healthy living this summer. Let me know in the comments if you have a great recommendation of things for me to try while it’s still hot out!


1. nuun Tablets

nuun tablets are my favorite thing to keep me hydrated when it’s hot out — and really throughout the year. I have a terribly off electrolyte and sodium balance in my body, so these little tablets are perfect to put in my Smart Water to keep me feeling good. My favorite flavor is watermelon, but I also like the lemon lime or strawberry lemonade nuuns!

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2. Mission Towel

My mission towel has kept me from fainting a good handful of times. My body overheats really easily, which causes my heart to race and blood pressure to drop way too dramatically. This is a huge nuisance, so anytime I go someplace outdoors I take my towel in my purse and just add water to activate the cooling cloth. I put it on my neck to lower my body temperature, and it really does work wonders. I think even just normal people who hate the heat or athletes would really benefit from having one of these!

3. Cotton Candy Grapes

CC grapes are literally my favorite summer snack. I could eat an entire box of these in one sitting if they weren’t so filling! (Note: I’ve never known grapes to be a filling food, which just shows how much I must eat at snacktime.) Please, if you’ve never tried these, go to the store and get them before they’re out of season. They aren’t genetically modified; I don’t know how they get the grapes to taste like this, but it’s wild!

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4. Rodan + Fields Foaming Sunless Tan

The products that initially drew me to Rodan + Fields were the Unblemish regimen and the Lash Boost, but I quickly discovered that their sunless tanner is incredible. I’ve never been someone who likes to sit out in the sun, but I love the way my skin looks with a nice brown glow. I had trouble finding a self tanner that wouldn’t streak or make my skin look orange (I’m looking at you, Tan Towel!), but somehow the foam makes it a lot easier to get full coverage and make the bottle last well into the summer. It was funny the first time I tried it because it was right after my beach trip, and Robert told me my tan looked really nice. I proceeded to lecture him about how I don’t get a really dark real tan, since I am careful to keep my skin protected from UV rays.

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5.Greek Yogurt

But not just any Greek yogurt — Maple Hill Creamery Greek yogurt! The cows are 100% grass-fed, and appear to live a pretty good life in their family-owned farms in New York. I am all about treating animals well, plus this yogurt is easily the best I’ve ever had. I got on the Greek yogurt bandwagon pretty early on, back when I was in high school and it was just becoming a popular thing. I’ve tried a lot of different types, and this is by far my favorite.

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BONUS: Root Beer Floats

This was the float that started it all. I went to a Bachelorette party last month and one of the bars we ended up at had root beer floats. While everyone else got a nice glass of wine, I decided to go ahead and treat myself to an ice cold float. I’m not much of a soda drinker (And I know I promised this post would be healthy — which is why this is a bonus item!), but this is easily my new favorite splurge.

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Friday Favorite: The Bouqs Co.

I figured since Valentine’s Day is coming up that I’d share a few of my favorite products with y’all this week. This Friday I want to feature something that is essentially sending a box full of joy — The Bouqs Company!

There is nothing that makes my day more than a beautiful bouquet of flowers. I’ve used a lot of different flower delivery companies in my eight years of adulthood, and I have to say nobody holds a candle to The Bouq’s Co. Their flowers are so incredibly fresh, and they offer a very generous amount in every bouquet.

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This was the bouquet that started it all. My friend Kalika sent me these flowers after a bad breakup and I’ve been obsessed with the company ever since!

I got the big bundle of red and white roses to take to the airport to welcome Robert home to the United States with. When I opened the box it felt like I was hit with a wall of floral perfume. It really is more than a gift — it’s a whole experience!

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Along with red, white, and blue balloons and a sparkly sign, this just really pushed the welcome home over the top to a beautifully fun level. A week and a half later and the flowers were still sitting in the kitchen for everyone to enjoy!

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So if you’re stumped at where to start for Valentine’s Day or to just say “I love you” to a loved one just because, flowers are a great place to start. Never forget to write a sweet little note inside too! Cards are my favorite part of a gift because they are like getting a tiny piece of someone’s heart.


BONUS: I noticed that Groupon has a deal right now for 50% off — you can get $40 of flowers for just $20! Most likely you’ll get a more expensive bouquet, but $20 off is nothing to sneeze at… That’s like, 2 burritos from Chipotle and some change. #win

A Very Sleepy Friday

I’ve been really tired the past week or so. I think part of it is because I haven’t gotten my B12 shot in two weeks and I’m supposed to get them every single Friday. Whoops!

Having a chronic illness is exhausting in itself, but remembering to do everything to keep myself up and running is also a full-time job. I try to keep writing for my blog on a regular basis too, but life sometimes gets in the way.

I have, however, kept up with my Instagram account! I’ve been doing the “30 days of thankfulness” challenge, which has been pretty entertaining. It’s sometimes hard to come up with an idea and a picture. Today I decided to be a little silly but share a message that’s close to my heart. Being a teenager is one of the hardest things we do in life. You really could not pay me enough to be that age again.

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I think it’s important to share some of the things we’ve learned with people who maybe are still trying to figure things out. Whether that’s sharing your story of a struggle you’ve gone through or talking about how you became successful about something, we can all learn something new from one another. I think that’s one of the coolest things about life; everyone has their own neat little story and you can always find something new to take away from a conversation.

Anyway, this is my little ramble of the day because I wasn’t really feeling any of the drafts I have saved and I’m not in the mood to write about anything super-feelingsy today. Can this just be an acceptable post since this is, after all, a lifestyle blog?

A Date By Myself

pop. Pop. pop pop pop pop pop pop pop pop beeeeeeeeeep!

The smell of butter filled the kitchen so beautifully that the air felt yellow with artificial flavor.

I walked over to the drawer next to the microwave and grabbed a bar of Trader Joe’s 73% dark chocolate, and held it between my teeth as I snatched the bag of steaming popcorn from the oven.

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Friday nights sometimes just call for a night in by yourself, watching The Office and pigging out on junk food. Tonight was going to be a little taste of heaven.

I sit on the couch in my baggy Army t-shirt and boyshorts and enjoy the silence of an empty house while I select an episode on Netflix. Ten minutes later I’m laughing at Michael Scott with popcorn spilled on my lap and a half-eaten chocolate bar. I reach for the can of Ready Whip I had obtained and squirt a dollop on my tongue.

This is a beauty of being single that is often overlooked. You can pamper yourself with some of your favorite treats and spend an evening alone. I am one of the most extroverted people I know in that I love being around people most of the time. Sometimes I forget to take a break and enjoy my own company, but when I do, I have a really nice evening. Since Robert has been gone and most of my friends are in relationships I do find myself with more free alone time, and I am really glad that I’ve been able to learn how to feel content staying in on a Friday night.

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Dogs also make wonderful company. Macy pouts when I eat popcorn because she loves it, but knows she isn’t allowed to beg. I always give her some in turn for tricks!

Today’s lesson: Cherish life at every stage, even while you’re single. One day you will probably be married and not have the chance to have the house to yourself very often!

Feature Friday: The Face Behind 100 Selfies

If you didn’t catch my feature post last week, go check it out and then come back to this!

We saw how much Stephen cares about his fiancée… But how did she feel about being the center of attention every day for 100 days? I sat down with Kylie to find out and had the pleasure of learning what a sweet and wise young lady she is.

Single in The Suburbs:
It seems like there is a lot of positive feedback from friends about the Kylie selfies. How does it feel being featured every day for 100 days in a row? 

Kylie:
I have loved the 100 Kylie selfies! Initially I was so surprised — my friend was actually the one that showed me the first post and I cried at how sweet of an idea it was. Stephen’s thought that went behind the posts is very special to me. I knew he had been collecting them, but I never knew how he would end up using them. A lot of the selfies I took certainly were not meant to be on social media so they are not as flattering as what I would normally post myself, but that makes it funny and real and meaningful. I love reading the messages that go along with each selfie and seeing how many pictures have been posted — because each day I’m getting closer to marrying him!

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“I love sharing about my day with you after work. ‪#‎100kylieselfies‬

SITS:
What is your favorite thing about Stephen? 

Kylie:
There is so much I could say about Stephen! I’ll name a few favorites. First, he has a quirky sense of humor filled with sarcastic jokes and puns that I absolutely love. Second, he is incredibly passionate and hardworking at everything he does. Third, he loves music just as much (or more) than I do. I love being able to share that with him.

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“I love figuring out chords and harmonies to new songs with you. ‪#‎100kylieselfies‬

SITS:
How many selfies do you think you have sent to your fiancee?

Kylie:
Ha! I could not tell you. I didn’t even realize I had taken over 100 on his phone, but I definitely think I’m below the 150 mark. I don’t know. I think selfies are weird and funny, especially when they go unnoticed in your photos for a while! And I definitely have forgotten about some of them. It’s cool, though, because I’ve mostly been able to pick out when and where each selfie was taken!

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“Thanks for your grace in my failings and the constant support to be a better man. I love you. ‪#‎100kylieselfies‬”

SITS:
How does it feel that even strangers (like me!) are happy for y’all and following your “100 Selfies?”

Kylie:
It’s great that people are enjoying the posts and are happy for us! I think it is funny that my face is on all of our friends’ newsfeeds each day and all of a sudden. We have even had some friends call him out on their expectations for this series! Honestly, I don’t mind whether or not the selfies receive a lot of attention on social media. This is something that I personally look forward to and enjoy because it is from Stephen. When I see the selfies, I see us, and not so much of everyone else that is liking and commenting on them.

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“You are more beautiful than the roses you sometimes hide behind. Can you spot Kylie in this picture? ‪#‎100kylieselfies‬ ‪#‎camouflaged‬

SITS:
Are you doing anything as a countdown until the big day? 

Kylie:
I have considered doing a 30 day countdown with Stephen’s selfies and doing the same thing (things I love about him, things I look forward to in the future with him, etc). I am not the only one who sneaks selfies — his are just less consistent! However, I really will have to see if I even have 30 of his. I may be short a few.

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“I love spending my weekends with you. Unfortunately this isn’t a weekend we get to spend together. But the good news is that this two week stretch will now be the longest time we spend apart until we get married! ‪#‎100kylieselfies‬

SITS:
You and Stephen seem to be very happy together! What kind of tips would you give my single readers for finding someone who is a good fit for them?

Thank you! We really are. Stephen and I were friends before pursuing a relationship.  When I started crushing on him, I wasn’t expecting anything to come out of it and I did not let it affect who I was. I would say that being comfortable with yourself and who you are is absolutely the most important thing. Everything else just happened to fall into place for me. Then at that point, reflect on yourself and who you are. If who you are as an individual aligns with who you are with that special someone, I would say you’re on the right track. Nothing is more special than someone loving and appreciating you for exactly who you are (all the quirks and faults included)!
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This is the first of several “Feature Friday” posts to come. If you ever want to be featured, send me a message or leave a comment on any of my posts; I would love to share the story of you and your boo!

Feature Friday

I am a huge sucker for romance.

That’s what makes running a dating blog such a joy for me. So many people have reached out asking for dating advice or just to tell me about a great date or love interest in their life. I genuinely love hearing about it all, so please keep writing me!

Anyway, I had noticed a friend of mine from high school got engaged and started a countdown of 100 Kylie Selfies dedicated to his fiancée until their big day, so naturally I had to reach out and see if I could hear their story — it must be great, since it was clear he just adored her.

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Kylie and Stephen met about three years ago at a Christian organization called Cru at James Madison University. They both played in the worship band and started dating shortly after they became friends.

Single in The Suburbs:
How did you come up with the idea for “100 Kylie Selfies?”

Stephen:
Honestly, I’m not sure how I came up with the idea. I have been saving these selfies basically as long as I’ve known Kylie and figured that one day I would use them or go back through them. About two months ago I was thinking about how she and I are close to being under 100 days until we get married and the idea just came to me as a funny way to celebrate the countdown.

SITS:
Did she know that you were going to do the countdown or did you just start posting the pictures?

Stephen:
It’s funny because when I came up with the idea I was really excited about it, so I texted her something like, “I just the had the BEST idea!” Then I realized I didn’t want to tell her what it was until the countdown began.

She was upset with me because I teased her with that text, but I was just excited and wanted to share the idea until I realized it would be more fun to wait. On the first #100KylieSelfies post, Kylie was actually playing with the Cru Band (which she took over leading after I graduated). At the end of the meeting her friends showed her the post and she loved it.

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“Over the last few years Kylie has taken my phone when I wasn’t looking to leave surprise selfies for when I would next look through my photos. I’ve been collecting those pictures for a long time but haven’t been sure what to use them for until now. Today marks 100 days until I marry this beautiful woman and to celebrate the countdown, I’ve decided to post some of my favorites from the collection along with reasons why I love her. Here’s to ‪#‎100kylieselfies‬. I love you, Kylie.”

SITS:
What is the sweetest thing you have ever done for Kylie?

Stephen:
I suppose the sweetest thing I have done for Kylie is proposing to her. I am really particular about the word “love” and actually waited until our engagement to tell Kylie that I love her. I know that withholding might sound extreme, but to me love is not a feeling, it’s a choice. I feel like saying “I love you” is as strong and committed as saying “I will choose to love you no matter what.” So getting to propose and finally say, “I love you” was the biggest/sweetest thing I can think of in our relationship.

That said, I feel like the sweet things we do for each other aren’t necessarily big, stand-out things. For example, I call her every morning on my way to work to wake her up and say hi. That’s a small thing, but it means a lot to her. She always just says “Mmmm” because she’s half asleep and I tell her that I hope she has a great day. I think it’s the little things that add up in our relationship.

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“These just get better and better. Kylie is persistent and extremely hard working. She is equally persistent in leaving selfies on my phone. I love her. ‪#‎100kylieselfies‬”

SITS:
That’s adorable! What is the sweetest thing she has done for you?

Stephen:
Kylie does a lot of little sweet things for me… Things like surprising me with my favorite coffee — triple tall americano black — or sending me funny memes over Facebook. She is also just generally an awesome supporter.

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“I love the notes you leave behind. #100kylieselfies #notaselfie”

SITS:
Do you have a favorite selfie?

Stephen:
Man, I’m not sure if I have one in particular, but my favorites tend to be the sillier ones that capture our goofiness in small ways. Like the post I made yesterday about Kylie’s obsession with pillows — we have had serious conversations about how we need to limit the number of pillows on the wedding registry because we don’t want to end up with all the pillows we are asking for, haha. When we go to Target together I have to steer her out of the bedding section or we’ll get lost in it. I like posts like that because they remind me most of the quality time she and I spend together — especially when it is a fun, not overly serious thing like exploring the pillow section in Target.

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“I love your strange obsession with pillows. On our wedding registry, I have put a thousand unnecessary coffee-related things and Kylie has put a thousand unnecessary pillows. Your excitement over different colors, textures, and fluffiness has not gone unnoticed. I love you even though we won’t have enough room left to sit on a couch at this rate. ‪#‎100kylieselfies‬”

SITS:
Describe as best you can how excited you are to marry Kylie.

Stephen:
Kylie is truly perfect for me in every possible way. I feel that we are perfectly compatible with each other in all the big ways as well as the small ones. Everything this year has been building up to when we will finally get to be together and continue our relationship into some exciting life changes. The anticipation is huge and I am excited for just about everything that is to come very soon.

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“I love our adventures ‪#‎100kylieselfies‬”

Come back next Friday to hear what Kylie thinks about being featured on her fiancées Facebook every week.


This is the first of several “Feature Friday” posts to come. If you ever want to be featured, send me a message or leave a comment on any of my posts; I would love to share the story of you and your boo!