Goals for the Rest of 2017

Hello frenz! Welcome back to whatever this blog has come to. I've been bored with my blog lately, so I thought about doing something a little different. I've seen these done before and I think it's fabulous to share goals with likeminded individuals. I've tried to keep this post upbeat, but to be honest, I haven't been so positive lately. So here goes – my goal list for the rest of 2017.

GET A JOB
I've been unemployed since March, so that makes a total of almost five months now. I was planning to join the Air Force, but realized that I was leaving too much behind (also I'm too old to be tricked by military schemes). I put that goal behind me and now I have another – to find a job. Not only do I need one to pay my bills and buy food, but I'm tired of not working. Every day since losing my job has turned into a blur and I'm ready to be productive again.

SAVE MONEY
I really don't want to live in Pennsylvania anymore. It's poor and highly taxed. The weather sucks and my town should be known as Drug and Crime Central. By getting a decent (and steady) paycheck from accomplishing Goal #1, I hope to be able to start saving enough money to get the hell out of here within the next two years.

GAIN A FOLLOWING
I want to write for a living, I've known that for some time now. I want to be a full time writer or even a full time blogger at some point. I want to get my blog out there and create a name for myself. I need to start creating my empire.

LIVE STRESS FREE
I don't think I've ever had this amount of stress in my life. I have nervous breakdowns almost every day, mostly due to lack of money. I can't afford things I want and need. I want to live stress free again. I want to be able to enjoy life and wake up happy.

BEGIN SFX MAKEUP
This is something I've wanted to do for some time, but haven't had the money or want to invest the time in. But Halloween is coming up and you best believe I want to scare all the kiddos on the block this year.

MAINTAIN A HEALTHY LIFE
Since money has been so tight recently, I've only been eating once a day and skipping the gym to conserve gas. I need to get back into the routine of working out regularly and eating enough so I don't waste away into nothing. It's easier said than done when you have $-33 to your name.

TAKE ANOTHER TRIP TO FL
My trip to Florida at the beginning of July was so incredible. Seeing and spending time with my family meant so much to me. I want to make it into a regular visit.

READ MORE
I really do enjoy reading, but I lack the interest to do anything other than nap (thanks depression). I also find myself reading the words but daydreaming about something else, which leads me to reading the same paragraph ten times. I have so many books but have only read maybe five of them. I'd like to read them all and then add to my collection.

BUY MORE MAKEUP PRODUCTS
It sounds a little materialistic but I'm a sucker when it comes to makeup. I watch and read tons of reviews on new products and I want them all…but lack the dough to get them. I haven't purchased any new makeup in at least a year, and it's breaking my heart.

GIVE GIFTS AT CHRISTMAS
Last Christmas was horrible. I wasn't able to get anything for anyone and it made me feel so low. Christmas is my second favorite holiday and I love giving to others. I want to be able to give to everyone I can this year, and even to the less fortunate. I miss having the means to be generous.

BE GENUINELY HAPPY
I haven't been happy in such a long time, and I really miss the feeling of enjoying life. I need to get that feeling back for my own sanity.

I'm keeping this list as my own little time capsule of things I want to accomplish. I hope to look back in January 2018 to have accomplished all of these and then some. Here's to my future endeavors.

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The Importance of Wearing Sunscreen

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‘Tis the season for bikinis, days at the beach and the inevitable and always dreadful sunburn. Every year, the same thing. You go out into the sun for a day (or a few hours), forget to apply a sunscreen and by the end of the day, you look and feel like a burnt piece of plastic. The days to come until the burn subsides are grueling and you can’t help but hate yourself for not taking the time to apply sunscreen. When I was a kid, I didn’t care about sunscreen. I never burned and I always had a fabulous tan. But now, about ten years later, it’s like my skin did a complete 180. I no longer tan; I only burn. I think to myself while being in the sun that I want a tan and that sunscreen would prevent me from getting one — so I never used it. It took me 23 years, but I have finally understood the reason for sunscreen and why we all should be using it.

Skin is the largest organ on the body, coming in at a whopping 16% of a our total body weight. It covers your blood vessels, nerves and organs, as well as protecting your body against dangerous bacteria. We all know the basic ways to have healthy skin — keep it clean, hydrated and protected from the sun. But exactly why do we have to protect it from the sun? When your skin is exposed to the sun, it creates melanin — a chemical produced from your skin to naturally protect it from harmful UV radiation from the sun. There are two types of ultraviolet radiation — UVA and UVB. While both are harmful, UVB rays are the worst for your skin to be exposed to. Sunburns occur when your skin is exposed to more UV rays than the level of melanin your skin produces. The lighter your complexion, the less melanin your skin will produce and it’s more likely for you to burn. Darker complexions can be effected by harmful UV rays, too. Darker complexions have a higher level of melanin in the skin, which acts as a natural protectant to UV rays and is what causes the skin to be darker. While this may protect against sunburns, it doesn’t necessarily protect against benign tumors or skin cancer.

Too much sun exposure on your skin can damage it irreversibly. Ultraviolet rays damage a tissue in our skin known as elastin, which, you guessed it, keeps our skin elastic. When that tissue is damaged repeatedly over time, it can cause the skin to lose elasticity and become leathery. Your skin can begin to bruise easily and even become deteriorated. Although the effects of sun exposure won’t be apparent while you’re young, it can become very noticeable later in life. This is why sunscreen is so important to lifelong healthy skin.

Sunscreen contains ingredients that block the ultraviolet radiation from reaching your skin. The higher the SPF, or Sun Protection Factor, contained in the sunscreen, the more percentage of UV rays are blocked. There can be damage to the skin without the occurrence of a sunburn, which is why it is better to use a sunscreen that has broad spectrum ingredients, which protect from both UVA and UVB rays. Although higher SPFs offer more protection, no sunscreen should be expected to exceed a two hour wear without reapplication. If you’re spending a day at the beach, pool or you work outdoors, be sure to use a water-resistant broad spectrum sunscreen that will stay on your skin — and be sure to reapply generously. There are tons of low SPF moisturizers available for every day wear, as well.

There are some common myths out there about sunscreen, like you should only wear it when the sun is out or that it won’t allow your skin to tan. These are false. Did you know that 40% of the sun’s ultraviolet rays reach Earth on very cloudy days? Your skin can still be damaged even if it’s not in direct exposure with the sun. You can actually get a little color on some of the cloudiest of days! This leads me right into my next myth bust, you can become tan using sunscreen. The SPF in sunscreen only protects your skin from burning, not tanning. For example, a sunscreen with SPF 15 means that if you begin to burn after ten minutes, it will provide you with 150 minutes of protection. It is possible to protect your skin and get that beautiful sun kissed tan!

If you don’t want to bake your skin in the sun just for a bronzed look, you can always try alternative tanning. There are various types of fake tans, like lotions, spray tans and the self tans that you can do in the comfort of your own bathroom. One of my personal favorites is the Malibu Tan Hemp Golden Glow Skin Firming Bronzing Moisturizer.

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You can purchase it at Walmart or Sally’s Beauty Supply Store and it’ll run you anything from $6-$23, depending on the size you want to purchase. The formula of it is extremely moisturizing and it smells like a tropical vacation. It’s also cruelty-free! It takes about a week to build up a nice base, but if used consistently, you will have a noticeable and beautiful tan. It will make little crevasses, like your cuticles and between your fingers/toes a little orange, so be sure to wash your hands and feet after applying, unless your goal was to be Oompa Loompa orange — in that case, rock it, sister.

In this heat, it’s almost impossible to resist spending the day out and about. Whether you’re going shopping, spending the day by the pool or working outdoors, remember that your skin needs some extra protection. Spend that extra ten minutes applying sunscreen. Future you will appreciate it. Be safe. Drink your water and stay cool.

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Sources: webmd.com, howthingswork.org, medlineplus.org

[Photo Credit: Pixabay]

Gaining Confidence in Today’s World

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Let’s face it, we’re all self conscious about something. Whether you think your nose is too big for your face or you got that belly with some love handles, we all have something we wish we could change. And if we can’t change it, we try our damnedest to cover it at all costs. But ladies, why do we do this? If we can’t love our bodies enough to show it off, then who will? Let’s talk about confidence.

Confidence is a hard thing to have in today’s world. With thousands of beautiful women surrounding us on social media and television, it’s difficult to look at these beautiful women day in and day out and not wish you looked like them. But have no fear, I’m here to tell you that you — yes, you, are just as beautiful. I know, I know, you hear and see this phrase everywhere since the much needed Body Positivity Movement, as I like to call it. Gaining confidence has become a bit of a cliche, but it’s something we all need to feel good in our daily lives.

This post may be reeking of body positivity, but that’s not what I’m here to preach. Yes, you should love your body no matter your size, but you should also love your body enough to take care of it properly. You should be exercising regularly, not to lose weight but to clear your mind and get those endorphins pumping — and sure, losing weight or gaining muscle tone along with it wouldn’t be a terrible thing. You should love your body enough to not poison it with processed foods, sugars, alcohol, etc… You should practice good and healthy skin care. All of these things can help you feel confident, because they make you feel (and look) good. When you treat your body with respect and nourish it from the inside, it will shine right on through to the outside. When you look good, you feel good; right?

Now enough with my preaching about a healthy life — if you want to feel confident, you need to act like the boss ass bitch that you are. Don’t think about your flaws, flaunt them. Wear that crop top even though you have that belly. If someone else doesn’t like it, well they can simply not look. Stop basing your life on what other people may or may not be thinking about you because chances are, they didn’t even notice that your belly hangs a little bit over your shorts or that your teeth are a little wonky. Believe me, I know it’s hard to wear that bikini in fear of being judged, but what is someone going to say to you that you haven’t already told yourself? Own your body. Rock those hips or lack thereof. Love and respect your body the way it is right now.

You are a beautiful creature of Earth, it’s time you realize that.

So we talked about how to feel good with our bodies, but what about our personalities? Sometimes we have personality traits that we just can’t stand. For example, I talk really fast and stumble over my words 95% of the time that I speak. It makes me feel stupid, uneducated and like no one ever wants to conversate with me, but, in all honesty, that’s how I make myself feel. Most of the time no one even notices (or they’re polite enough not to point it out), or instead, I notice them fumble their words. You have to remember that everyone has something they don’t like about themselves, whether they talk about it or not. They’re not things we can help, so we need to learn to accept ourselves the way we are. If we don’t accept ourselves for who we are, who else will?

Confidence isn’t about getting to a certain point and saying, “this is good enough.”  You should never settle for good enough. You should always be looking for ways to improve to become the best version of yourself. Become more outgoing and ask that cute guy at the coffee shop out for a drink. Do things you’ve never dreamed of doing — accomplishing goals or overcoming fears makes you feel phenomenal and can boost your self confidence right into outer space.

If you’re trying to gain confidence and become more comfortable with yourself, the only true way is self love and acceptance. You are who you are. We, as women and a society, need to recognize our worth. You are special. You are worth it. And if it makes you feel better, remember that those models and actresses on the internet and television struggle with something they don’t like about themselves, too. They’re just a little better at hiding it.

Until next time, xo.

[Photo Credit: Pixabay]

Life Update: Joining the Military

When I became unemployed, I already had a game plan in mind for what I wanted to do – join the US Airforce. I’ve been wanting to do it for soo long guys, like since I was 18, but I was always overweight and didn’t really have the correct mindset. I remember a recruiter telling me when I was 18 that I needed to lose 15 pounds in two weeks. I thought, “boy, you’re out your mind.” In my head it, was unrealistic, so I didn’t even bother. I really wish I would have, but let’s not delve into all of my past regrets. 

Everyone I know has been in the military. My sister was in the Army, my dad was in the Marines, my boyfriend was an Army Ranger, my uncle and cousin are in the Air Force. I think I have a few cousins in the Navy, too. Even a lot of the kids I graduated high school with shipped off to the military. So why not me, too?

When I went to talk to my new recruiter, she said that I needed to lose 8 pounds before I could join, due to my height (I’m 4’11”). They’re apparently very strict about weight, and even if I’m .1 pound over, that’s it for me. So that’s what I’ve been doing, day in and day out. My diet is very strict, I eat clean, for the most part. I have one cheat day a week where I get to have pizza and ice cream, because God knows I can’t live without that. 

I weight lift and run every day, too. I have about two more pounds before I meet the max weight, but I’m really hoping to be under it. It’s incredible what your body is capable of. I’ve already lost 5 pounds and it shows. I’m able to run, I mean actually RUN without stopping. I’ve never been able to run like I can now! It’s validating that my hard work is finally paying off. 

I guess it’s a great time to be unemployed. I can spend time focusing on reaching all of the goals I’ve set. Not to say that it hasn’t been hard; heavens knows it has. Between choosing which bills to pay, worrying about the overdue, and also factoring in that my boyfriend and I have absolutely no money, it’s been a stressful time. My bank account is usually in the negatives and his paycheck is usually gone by Monday. So before you think it’s a walk in the park to be unemployed, think about only having $20 to spend on groceries for two people for a week.  

I’m really holding onto the hope that my efforts don’t go unnoticed and that this all works out. I’m nervous to what the future holds, but I know I need to make this decision. Not only will I have a steady job, career training and the funds to attend college, but I’ll also be able to give a big middle finger when I leave the town that’s forever been my home. I can’t wait to start my life anew, in another state as an American Airman. I’m as terrified as I am excited for this new journey. I can’t wait to see what the future holds. 

[Photo Credit: Pixabay]