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Friday, February 20, 2015

Being Kind & Classy

Hello everyone! I've come to a realization this week that our world has lost its classiness and goodness in its raw form. And so I don't sound like a complete downer, let me explain.

I'm an optimist. I am always finding a good side to everything because I believe there always is a good side. Bad cannot exist without good, so I choose to live focusing on the good parts alone. 

I am also a believer in change. Things happen for a reason, and change is a good thing. It's a new chapter in a book, and I believe only good things will continue to develop through change. 

That being said, I do not believe good is lost in our world today. I think there is so much good and the potential for it constantly, but through the decades, it's become less common to reach for the good. 

If you know me personally, you probably know I love the 1940s and 1950s because people had the mindset to just help each other. That's all. The mindset was that you did good things simply because helping someone else made you happy as well and because goodness was just expected. There was no material reward - you did not get paid or given a medal for being a classy, genuinely kind person. I would bet if you asked someone for a reward back then, they would've laughed because that just did not happen. 

That's how I feel we should be today. I have a lovely younger sister, and growing up, I was expected to help her. No one asked me to do that either. I was supposed to be kind to her and help her grow as a person by teaching her the skills I had already learned. Was I always doing that? No. We had our fights and got annoyed with each other as everyone does, but I helped my sister, and she me, just because it made us happy to see the other one happy. That was our reward: seeing the other one smile. I would have never asked my mom for compensation or boasted that I'd done something good, and I still wouldn't. All of that ties into being classy because classy comes from being a good person and making a conscious choice to be humble about all of that. 

My point is, many people today seem to think they deserve something for being good, and I really don't believe in that. Goodness comes from the heart. It starts by caring for someone or something and wishing only the best outcome possible to come true. Good people do not think of themselves when they are helping someone. Good is selfless. It is about wanting what's best for another and having the grace and heart to see the bigger picture instead of a pinpoint. 

That is what is missing from our world. It isn't missing good, because it has it, but it is a greedy, selfish version of good, and that's very upsetting to me. 

So in conclusion, I just hope that maybe by sharing my thoughts, we can help change the current mindset so people are good simply because that's how they know they should be; so a smile is the greatest reward one could ask for again. 

Feel free to share your thoughts as well in the comments below and have a nice week! 

Love Always, 
Bree x

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Sleep Deprivation

Hello everyone! This week I'm going to be talking about...

Oh! I'm so sorry! I just dozed off a little there!

Alright, that was a corny intro, but in all seriousness, this week I'm writing about something that affects both me and a great number of people around me on a day-to-day basis: sleep deprivation.

We were all raised with bedtimes and learned a commonly known fact that children and adults are supposed to get eleven and eight hours of sleep per night respectively. But as I've gotten older, I have found it harder and harder to get all eight hours, and while talking to several of my friends, I know I'm not alone. On a daily basis, I am lucky to get six hours of sleep. That is two hours less than I'm supposed to. And although two hours may not seem like much, let's put some math into it. In one week, this means I have deprived myself at least 14 hours. In one month, I lost 56 hours of sleep. And finally, in one year, I have lost a total of 672 hours of sleep that surely are making a huge difference in my health.

This past week, I was so worn out, I became sick. I was unable to focus, had trouble staying awake in class, had horrible headaches, and even my stomach hurt. I had to go home and missed the following day of school, spending half my weekend to recover.

As I started to feel better after lots of sleep, I realized I didn't want this to continue to affect my life.

I do know that sleep is an extremely vital part of living a healthy life, but I'm definitely not a doctor, so I decided to do some research on what those lost hours are doing to me in the long run, in the hopes of finding some solution.

According to, even a half hour to an hour of sleep can result in 32% less daytime alertness. That's a shocking fact! It also decreases your ability to think and process what has been going on throughout your day, causes stress within your relationships that may become huge problems, and gives you a higher chance of injury. And in case that was not enough, the article also says "The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates conservatively that each year drowsy driving is responsible for at least 100,000 automobile crashes, 71,000 injuries, and 1,550 fatalities."

All that from not enough sleep? Who knew?

That's not all either. Those things I mentioned above are only short-term. Long-term, it could result in high blood pressure, heart attack, heart failure, stroke, obesity, depression, ADD, mental impairment, insomnia in the elderly, and fetal and childhood growth retardation.

Now on to what I know.

Besides all the medical risks I just informed you about, sleep affects the beauty world on a large scale. What happens on the inside affects what you see on the outside. Your skin is going to take a toll especially. It will age faster, wrinkle more, create less manageable dark circles, recover slower from sunburn (which is a problem for pale people like myself), and all because of moisture loss. Healthy skin gives you a glowing, beautiful appearance, and girls, good skin makes make up application easier and more flawless. It also affects the quality of your hair and nails.

Don't even think about trying to lose weight without proper amounts of sleep. Sleep helps you lose weight! (Now I'll be sleeping ha ha). It gives your body a chance to break down the food you've eaten and restore itself, using that energy. Your body is similar to a battery, you need to charge it!

Well, I know I've learned a lot this week, and hopefully, you have too. Whether it's work, school, friends, or activities, sleep is extremely important, so take care of yourself. The other stuff can wait!

Love Always, 
Bree x

Sunday, February 8, 2015

How to Fight the Dry Winter Skin

As I live in Ohio, winter is very cold (much to my dismay).  This means I must break out my giant coat and boots to keep warm no matter where I am.  There's no way of escaping the cold, because even my house can't seem to warm itself enough.  It gets to be below zero degrees, and that's just the typical winter for me. 

But whether you enjoy the freezing cold and white blanket of snow covering everything in sight or not, it can become
hard to keep your skin hydrated.  

If you've been around me the past week or so, you may have noticed I've been a little more shy, trying to hide my face.  Unfortunately, the cold got to me.  My face got red and it felt as if it was burning whenever I tried to properly take care of it.  The biggest problem was that I couldn't cover it up.  Dry skin is hard to mask because makeup sinks into the cracks in dry skin and it doesn't help much, if at all.  

So if this is you, I'm here to help! 

The first thing I did during this facial crisis was drink water.  And not just drink a cup here and there.  I was drinking at least 8 cups (which is what you should be drinking anyways, but I'm right there with you if you don't either) if not more.  Skin reflects what is going on inside you and dry skin is no exception.  Dry skin means your body is not properly hydrated, so drink up!  Green tea is also great in addition to water.  I drank a cup a day and it helped to both heal my skin and relax me.  Less stress = better skin!

Second, as soon as I got home from school, I got off all the makeup off my face and gently washed it.  I understand it hurts but it's important to keep it as clean as you can.  Make sure not to use anything drying. 

Third, I used a ton of lotion. Moisturizing is the key to healing your skin.  Every time I washed it, I'd immediately put lotion over top.  I do moisturize twice a day regularly, but when my skin is dry, I cake it on as well as applying it at least four times instead of two. 

Fourth, scarves. It's already cold out, so break out the scarves!  It protected my face from the freezing air when I walked outside and it really does make a difference. 

I promise if you do these four tips, it should heal within a few days to a week. If it does not, please go to your dermatologist so they can prescribe a medication to heal your skin.  

I hope this helps! Have a great week & stay warm! 

Love Always, 
Bree x

Sunday, February 1, 2015

DIY Pamper Sessions - Hair

Get your homework done.  Get high grades.  Study extra hard.  Get to work.  Do several activities.  Work out.  Eat healthy.  Clean the house.  

Those are just a few things we teenagers are expected to do on a daily basis.  There's a lot to do, and not much time.  Many days, we forget to stop stressing and take a moment to enjoy now; To take a breath and relax a little.  Because as important as all those tasks I mentioned are, it is also important and healthy to take some time, stress-free, to collect ourselves. 

So here is what I do with my hair to help me relax after a stressful week:

Hair Mask:
I'm going to guess that your hair isn't usually your first priority during these stressful school weeks, and I'd bet it's taking its toll.  From frantically brushing our hair (and not carefully I might add) to damaging hot tools, your hair may not be very soft or have much shine left to it, so here is what I do when I need to put life back in my locks! 

You Will Need:
-honey (organic preferably)
-organic coconut oil 
-small metal pan
-small bowl
-towel you don't care about
-shower cap

Before you start, make sure you haven't washed your hair yet and then consider whether your hair is fine or thick.  My hair is right in the middle so if your hair is fine, I would use just a little bit less, and if it is thick, I might use a little bit more.

Put a tablespoon of honey and a tablespoon of coconut oil in the pan and mix them together as well as you can.  Put the mixture on low heat on your stove till they are both in liquid form and continue stirring to keep the ingredients together.  Turn it off and put it into a small bowl and wait for it to cool down just enough that it won't burn your fingers.  Put the towel around your neck so that when you put the mixture on it won't get on your clothes.  Dip your fingers into the bowl and spread it all through your hair concentrating on your ends a little more than the rest.  When you have used it all, put your hair up into a shower cap and wait 15-20 minutes to let it soak into your hair.  Then wash your hair with your favorite shampoo and conditioner and you'll have your smooth shiny hair! :)

Thanks for reading!  I hope it works for you!  Come back next weekend for my next article!

Love Always, 
Bree x