Friday Five – Tackling Anxiety

Hello Everyone! 

 Anxiety has been on my mind a lot recently, and I know how real and crippling it can be. It’s not something you can just wish away, because believe me, if I could I would have done that years ago. Although, I have found some things that really help calm my anxiety and keep it at bay.
For today’s Friday Five, I want to share with you five things that I have found to really help me deal with my anxiety. I hope these things can help you too.
1. Water and Mints 

These two are my MVPs. Fairly self-explanatory, but my go-to at the first signs of anxiety. My personal favorite mints have to be these. I HAVE to have these at hand while performing. No exceptions. And with water, it’s always good to be hydrated! My skin as well as my mind thank me later for the water I drink.
 2. Fragrance

Fragrances have a way setting the mood of a room, which if you think about it, can be quite essential when experiencing anxiety. Candles, diffusers, bath bombs, lotions, and even perfumes with notes like bergamot, lavender, eucalyptus, mint, ylang ylang, frankincense, and citrus help to calm senses, lower heart rates, and ease breathing. Candles are a must for me. I’m obsessed with them and always have a supply on hand as well as a few going throughout the house. (Some favorites: this onethis one, and this one) So good!

If you’re not a candle-burner, and suffer from anxiety, I highly recommend getting one with some off these notes. It seems like something so small, but it makes such a difference.

I have to just say how amazing bath bombs are while I’m here and we are on the subject. First off, just taking a bubble bath has a way of making me feel relaxed and like I am doing something good for myself. Then, pair that with bath bombs that have anti-anxiety notes…perfection. (Some favorites: this onethis onethis one, and this one) Take time for yourself and breathe in deep. 

 3. Singing 
I know this maybe seems silly, but honestly this has been one of the most effective things to combat my anxiety. If I start to feel anxious about something, and I am not around tons of people, I start singing songs with positive lyrics. I’ve found even humming works if I don’t want to sing. There’s something about the vibrations from the singing and the way it requires you to breathe that almost instantly slows my heart rate and calms me down. Has anyone else found this to be true?
 4. Distraction  
Distractions, especially ones that involve laughter, work wonders for my anxiety. Whether that be watching a funny TV show (i.e. Jane The Virgin or Friends), or a favorite YouTuber (TatiKate La Vie, or Samantha for me at the moment), or being around someone who makes me laugh (my boyfriend does this very well<3), distractions do just that: distract and help me forget I was anxious in the first place. I don’t know about you, (but I’m feeling 22…anyone?) but sometimes I get anxious about being anxious! That’s why I always try to find good distractions in my life and have them at the ready.
 5. Confidence

This one is probably the most difficult one, and honestly it doesn’t always work. I believe this helps more in the long run than for individual spurts of anxiety. By confidence, I mean knowing what is true and repeating to myself my anti-fear chants such as
“Everything is going to be ok”
“You’ve got this”
“You are not going to break your foot again”
 “Just because someone else is sick does not mean you are going to get sick too”
“It’s ok to not know what’s going to happen”
“You are not alone”
“One step at a time”
“The ‘what ifs’ aren’t real, focus on the now and what is true”

Sometimes journalling and writing things down helps put things into perspective and relieves some fear and anxiety I am facing.

I hope some of these things help you like they have helped me. Please comment down below if you use any of these methods or share some of your own! I love to get advice from you guys. xx

One more thing…
Anxiety, don’t touch me!

ASOS Wishlist

Hello Everyone!

I hope you all have had a lovely week and a great start to this new month. Instead of posting a Friday Five post this week, I wanted to share with you guys this ASOS wishlist full of items that are perfect for this back and forth, hot and cold weather we have been experiencing lately. I don’t know about you, but I am in full spring mode. I can’t get enough of the bright whites, florals, and feminine ruffled details. This inconsistent weather, however, has not made choosing an outfit for the day easy by any means. This list I have put together will hopefully inspire and aid you in picking your daily outfit no matter what the weather holds. xx

Friday Five – Little Things

Hello Everyone!
I hope you all have had a lovely week so far! I thought I would close out this week by posting a few of my favorite little things I own at the moment. 

1. I am so in love with my new planner. I know I am a little late to the game, seeing as though it’s the middle of February, but when I saw this one, I had to have it. These gorgeous planners are 30% off right now, so grab one and get organized! (Better late than never, right?)
2. I have found my favorite pigmented lipgloss: Metallic Rose by ABH. This is my go-to at the moment and is the perfect shade to easily transition from day to night.
3. These lenses have been so much fun to play with. They are so easy to use and very compact which is helpful when carrying small bags. The fish eye is great for getting a wide shot, but I would have to say the macro is my favorite for getting small details. Shout out to Ben for a great Christmas present!
4. This “Lemon Drop” might be replacing my Beauty Blender! GASP! This Mikasa Beauty sponge is so soft and blends my foundation and concealer like a dream. Not to mention it’s half the price of a beauty blender. Score!
5. These earrings were a sweet Valentine’s Day gift from my mom, and I can’t stop wearing them. They are small, but stunning! Find them on sale here now.
*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *
And because today is also #FridaySparkles…
Here is a photo I took on my iPhone with my macro lens. I performed in A Midsummer Night’s Dream last weekend and this is a shot of my eye makeup. (Well, eye lashes and glitter…the lashes are Tricky Lashes btw.)
Hope you all have the best weekend!
Leave a comment below of recommendations for what you want to see on F&F next! xx

Galentine’s Day Party

Hello Everyone!

Yesterday, I threw a Galentine’s Day party for some of the best gals around. I had everyone come with a bouquet of flowers in hand and wearing red, pink, or white. We sipped fruity mimosas, rosĂ©, and pink champagne jello hearts while snacking on strawberry donutsmini heart shaped pizzasparty popcorn, and all things gummy. One of the girls found this tutorial on how to apply glitter nail polish correctly, which made everyone instantly want a fresh coat. While some girls were painting their nails, others were making their very own homemade valentines for their special someone. Before everyone left, we all made fresh bouquets to take home by mixing and matching the flowers brought at the beginning of the party. My heart was so warmed by these lovely ladies and the friendship we share. It was so nice to have some girl time and be reminded of how special it is to go through life surrounded by women who truly care about you. Through the ups and the downs, I know I can count on my galentines. xx

Snow Day

This past weekend, it snowed 8 inches! What a perfect way to end a great (yet always too short) winter break from work.
 I love watching the snow fall outside my window. It brings about a certain stillness that encourages comfy clothes and endless movies on the couch. My roundup this weekend included Snowden, Sully, some season 2 of Jane the Virgin, and of course the Golden Globes which made me desperately want to see La La Land. 
Anyone seen it yet?
Once I finally got up from my couch, I did get to go play in the snow! This year is my first year in 5 years that I’ve had a yard and fresh snow all to myself. Swoon. Also, I’m convinced everything looks better covered in snow. 
For this casual snow day outfit, I layered a pink turtleneck under a white sweater like this one or this one. I wore simple black skinny jeans with thick camp socks and waterproof boots. (Mine were from Target, but unfortunately are no longer available.) My coat has carried me through two NYC winters, so I knew it would be perfect for this day. 
To accessorize, I chose to wear this adorable hat. I don’t normally love hats, but the faux fur pom pom sold me. I also wore a pair of extra sparkly earrings with this blush and highlight duo and this perfect pink lipstick.

HUGE thanks to this man of mine for being my photographer for the first time. He always supports, protects and encourages me in every endeavor. *heart eyes*
Hope you all are having a great start to your week! xx

– Lauren

At The Moment – Skincare

Hello Everyone!
It’s finally snowing!
        We have already gotten 6 inches and there aren’t any signs of stopping! And that’s fine by me! I’m loving the all-white view with cup after cup of coffee and the smell of bacon being cooked in the kitchen. 
       Today I thought I’d take a moment, while I’m cuddled under my favorite blanket, to share with you guys some of my favorite skincare products that I am currently using. I love skincare, and I love to change it up depending on what my skin needs on that particular day. This time of year, I use more products that brighten my skin or provide moisture since this cold weather makes for dull and dry skin.
Here are my skincare heroes at the moment:
The Soap & Glory cleanser has VERY gentle exfoliating beads and vitamin-C to boost your glow, which I love. This was my first facial skincare product to purchase from this brand, and I can’t wait to try more! (Suggestions?!…) 
The Origins cleanser leaves my skin feeling so refreshed. It’s scents of bergamot, spearmint, and lavender along with it’s frothy consistency make for quite a pleasurable experience. 
I am such a big fan of GLAMGLOW products, and this cleanser, especially during this time of year, certainly does not disappoint. 
In the morning, after I have cleansed my face, I use the CLINIQUE Pep-Start HydroBlur Moisturizer,
CLINIQUE Pep-Start Eye Cream, and Dior Capture Totale Dreamskin Advanced to lock in moisture and prep my skin for makeup.
I received a sample of the CLINIQUE moisturizer and was so sad to use it all! I purchased the full size right away! I am obsessed with the texture of the product. It’s thick, without being greasy, and glides on the skin so beautifully. It provides my skin with the perfect amount of moisture and does not break my skin out.
After my moisturizer, I apply the CLINIQUE Eye Cream to de-puff and brighten my under eye. Fun fact – it also helps my concealer go on effortlessly.
Then, I apply 1-2 pumps of my Dior Dreamskin. This product helps boost radiance as well as blurs pores and lines on your face. Thus the name, dream skin. 
At night, after I have cleansed my face,  I use my Sunday Riley Luna Sleeping Night Oil as my retinoid. This helps my skin look more youthful, luminous, and even toned when I wake up the next day.
Then I apply 1 pump of Sunday Riley – Good Genes Treatment to my face and neck. This clarifies, smoothes, and retexurizes for instant radiance.

My final product I use in the shower.  This body conditioner was sold out everywhere last year before I could get my hands on it! I went early this year so I could snag a pot of the amazing Christingle. I apply this all over the body right before I get out of the shower. After rinsing it off, it leaves your body with a tingling, cooling sensation as well as locking in that much needed moisture.

And there you have it!

Take some time to treat your skin today. xx
– Lauren