All Things Beauty · Beauty Favorites · Makeup · Naturals & Non-Toxic · Products · Skin Care

Cruelty-Free Beauty Subscription Box – Petit Voir

Hello Beauties! 

Long time no chat! I started a new job just over a month ago and have been swamped with getting used to the rhythm of being mom, seamstress, and taking care of myself, my children, and my home. Just I am finally feeling like I have found a good system for my job and have a few more minutes of time to sit down and write. 

I happened to come across this brand I believe while scrolling through Pinterest, and ended up ordering a box. Petit Voir says this about their boxes

Elevate or recreate your beauty routine with a subscription to Petit Vour’s luxury-curated, cruelty-free beauty box. Each month you’ll receive 4 products ($45-$60 value) of non-toxic and plant-based beauty, curated to your beauty profile for as low as $15/box.

I was able to find a code for about $5 off my first box, but I can’t find the same link I used previously! I will update this post if I can find the promo code again. 

I got my first box this past week, and have to say I like the products they sent. 

I have already tried the Rose Quartz highlighter and the Rosehip and Clay facial mask. I was excited to see that Formulary 55 is actually a company based in Colorado!

As I’ve been making the slow and sometimes tedious shift to more non-toxic and clean-er beauty and skin care products, it is nice to have an option of a beauty subscription box specifically designed for that purpose! It is more expensive, and the products themselves have higher costs, but at the very least, this will expose me to different brands and products I may never want to buy for myself, but I can try them. 

I don’t have a whole lot else to add, but let me know if you try out Petit Voir! 

Chronic Illnesses · Endometriosis · Fibromylagia · Hypothyroidism

Struggling with the Reality of Chronic Illness

Hello Beauties, 

It’s been a while since I wrote about chronic health and I figured it’s time to dive into another post about that. 

I have been using CBD oil for several months now, and through using that I’ve been able to completely get off the anti-depressant I was on. This feels good, but I just had labs done and got the results back today and I feel a bit defeated with the results. 

I was hoping that using the CBD oil would help boost my labs and show good results. But no, my hormones are still way out of whack. My thyroid panel seems to indicate that I really may have an autoimmune issue going on. OBVIOUSLY! I am not a dr but I do know how to research and how to weed out the bad information and find the good solid information. 

I had a dream a few weeks ago about my primary care doctor leaving the practice she works at. Not even 12 hours later, I got a phone call from her assistant confirming the labs I had requested and to tell me that my doctor was leaving the practice. I’ve really been wrestling with this, especially since this is the first doctor who has really heard me and listened to my symptoms. It was because of her that my extremely sick gallbladder was caught before I got deathly ill. It was because of her that I shifted my way of eating and cut out gluten, losing a significant amount of weight due to diminished inflammation. It was because of her my thyroid issues and hormonal imbalances were discovered and then acted upon. 

It’s really hard to be facing a probably disruptive shift in the management of my health by a professional. I have a report with her and she knows my medical history. I trust her, and I loathe having to meet new doctors who don’t know anything about me. It’s exhausting to have to go over my full medical history yet again. Ya know, that 6 page list of symptoms that got me diagnosed with hypothyroidism was only scratching the surface of what I’ve dealt with for a very long time. 

I am not feeling very well today. I ran out of my thyroid medication last Wednesday, then wasn’t able to get it refilled because my pharmacy ran out and didn’t get anything in until the following Monday. That was 5 days of being out of thyroid medication and I started to feel extremely sick and am still feeling wiped out and run down physically even though I was able to get meds again on this past Monday. 

I had have a running theory for a few months now that my hormonal imbalances are the worst during ovulation. And I believe this month has been double confirmation of my theory. I believe my endometriosis flares up the most during ovulation instead of during menstruation. And I don’t really know what to do about that. I don’t really know where to go from here. My body feels better in some regards, but I feel right on the verge of getting a cold and everything – and I mean EVERYTHING – just rushing downhill. I know that if I do get sick, my EBV and CMV (chronic Epstein-Barr and Cytomegalovirus) will flare up instantly. I still have the bottle of EBV drops in my medicine cabinet, ready to start taking them at the first time of feeling ill. 

I think the biggest emotion I’m feeling right now is a strange disappointment. I had really truly hoped that the CBD oil would have helped a lot more with my thyroid and hormones. Maybe that was just wishful thinking. Or maybe it is going to take a lot longer to get results because my body has been so screwed up for so long. 

Not being able to take my thyroid medication for almost a week really messed a lot of things up I think. Because I was actually feeling really decent up till not being able to take it. I even started a new multivitamin and after tweaking the dosage, have been feeling pretty good taking it. I discovered that if I take a full dose, the Niacin in the multivitamin makes me have really bad hot flashes. But taking a half dose has gotten rid of that issue. 

I see my doctor tomorrow and I have questions for her. First and foremost, asking for a recommendation of where to go from here since she’s leaving. But we’ll see. I guess I’m just not in a very good place mentally right now about the physical state of my body.

Fashion · Products

Let’s Talk Jeans!

Hello Beauties! While I’m sitting here sweating in 90 degree weather, my mind is already days ahead to the cooler weather and JEANS! Colorado weather is nuts, y’all! We had 70’s for about a week, then it jumped back up to 90. I was so ready to start pulling out sweatshirts, pullovers, and sweaters! Now, jeans, one of the topics I used to HATE as a young teenager, and up to the beginning of my 20s. Being a curvy being, and having a butt and thighs AND calves that are well endowed, finding pants/jeans that fit was nigh impossible. I believe my first pair of jeans was a size 6 (?) and that was around the age of 13. I wasn’t able to find anything else that fit my butt and thighs. I think my remembrance of the sizing is a bit off, especially since my parents (and consequently myself) didn’t believe in jeans being fitted or tight. I still remember how weird it felt to put on skinny jeans for the first time and how “exposed” I felt having pants that practically clung to my legs. Over the past 4 years, skinny jeans have become a major closet staple in my wardrobe and I’ve discovered some of my favorite brands and not only that, I know which brands will fit the more curvy shape! Okay, let’s start with one of the cheapest pairs of jeans I’ve bought [brand new] and that fit phenomenally well. Wax Denim Slim Fit Stretchy Jeans – $18 [average cost] I got a pair of these last fall/winter and boy oh boy are they quite comfortable, stretch well, and my only complaint is that the inner thigh area is starting to sort of wear thing. At the very least, that area is getting a little pilled. I typically wear a [stretchy] size 10, but since these seem to run in juniors sizing, I got a size 11.

TIP: if you add these to a wishlist on Amazon then turn on lightning deal notifications, you will get notified if these ever go on sale.

Me wearing the Wax jeans at the beginning of the year
So these next few brands are going to be pricey, but to be honest, I have never bought any of these brands of jeans full price. I find most of my jeans at the thrift store, or online thrift stores, or deeply discounted on places like Nordstrom Rack.
Articles of Society Carly Prague Cropped$64 [average cost] Bear with me, yes these are pricey, but it is possible to get them ridiculously discounted. I got my pair from Nordstrom Rack during their bi-annual sale (i think?) for $14. Having never tried this brand before, it was a risky move getting them. But I checked the sizing chart before hitting order, and wow I wear these jeans almost daily. That is, besides when it’s 90 degrees outside! They have a lot of stretch, but not too much as they still hold their shape even after multiple wears. My abdomen is really sensitive to pressure and I have found that I can comfortably wear these jeans for several hours without my stomach starting to both me. Because I’m so short, even though these are specifically cropped, they are literally exact ankle length jeans. I almost always have the hem rolled up though on my skinny jeans.

TIP: If you like to wear booties (short ankle boots) during the fall, always roll your skinny/straight jean cuffs up so there’s at least a half inch of skin between the top of your boot and the bottom of your jeans.

Kut From The Kloth Catherine Boyfriend Jeans $89 [average cost]  I fell in love with Kut From The Kloth jeans about 5 years ago when I got a pair in a Stitch Fix box. It was so exciting to find jeans that actually fit and were so comfortable! I remember spending hours browsing eBay looking for the same fit and style of jeans. I ended up getting three pairs of Kut jeans for about $35 for all 3. I wore those jeans constantly, but for some reason I got rid of them. However, I have come back around to Kut jeans over the past year and a half and have found a pair at the thrift store and a few pairs from eBay that are still in my drawer. What I love about Kut jeans are how well made they are. The material is on the thicker side (more durability) but there is still a bit of stretch to them. I will say that for these jeans, make sure to know your measurements well before trying to get a pair. Another note, if you like skinny jeans that are fitted around the ankles, these aren’t the jeans for you. Their skinnys are always way too loose/big around my ankles, and even rolling up the hem doesn’t really correct that issue.

TIP: if you find a brand of jeans that you REALLY like and fit you well but are super pricey, look them up on eBay, Swap, Schoola, ThredUp, and Poshmark!

American Eagle Skinny Jegging – $39 [average cost] I am hesitant to add AE jeans into this list, because as I mentioned in my bralette post, I have a very strong love/hate relationship with AE jeans. I do not feel like their sizing is very consistent nor is it reliable. I was so frustrated the last time I actually bought jeans from one of their stores. I had lost a bunch of weight post-pregnancy and yet instead of going down a size or two, I had to go UP a size! BUT! If you can find older styles in thrift stores or online, go for it. The two pairs I have currently of AE jeans are both thrift store finds and are older styles.

TIP: If you are dependent on jeans having a good amount of stretch in them like I am, avoid the Artist style at AE. Avoid any style that does not contain at least 20% or more of stretch or elastane. Stretch is an absolute must for any amount of curves.

Okay, before I wrap up this post, I want to talk a little bit about how to measure for online jean shopping. As I do most of my shopping for clothes online (I know, I know, it’s risky), I have had to get really competent with knowing my measurements and knowing how to look up different brands’ sizing charts to see where I fit. There are really only two measurements you need to know when buying jeans online, okay, well three measurements. Waist. Hips. Length – for if you’re really short like me.
Measuring the body is one of the most important things when making clothing. If you measure wrong or don’t measure at all chances are your item will not fit correctly. Below is a guide that…
Just pay attention to the bottom two measurement lines https://www.pinterest.com/pin/36521446960604469/
Once you know your waist and hips measurements, you can usually find both of those measurements on any sizing chart. For example my waist is about 29-30″ right now, and my hips are almost consistently 40-41″. This puts me almost always at a size Large for pants or a size 10 in most brands.

One last TIP: when looking for jeans at an in person thrift store, look for the material or color that looks like really good quality. You should be able to tell by touch too if the jeans are a good material. It also takes time and hands on tactile experience to figure that out, so don’t get discouraged!

I’ll add more in another post, but I hope this helps for now!   **This post may contain affiliate links. This means I get a percentage of whatever you purchase through a link I’ve posted at no extra cost to you. I use affiliate links to help a little with keeping this blog up and running. 
All Things Beauty · Naturals & Non-Toxic · Products · Self Care · Skin Care

Getting Lost in the Weeds – Herbal Edition

Hello Beauties!

Well, I finally have some space and time to share some of the projects I’ve been working on. About three weeks ago, I started learning about herbal oils and the health benefits that come from oiling. There are many benefits that come with practicing herbal body oiling, but also, herbal infused oils can be used to make healing salves and even lotions.

So I decided to go on a “foraging” mission and found a store here in Denver that has the most fantastic selection of dried herbs and flowers! Walking out $20 lighter, my hands were full of bags of dried herbs and flowers.  Having this be my first time making any oils, I did a little bit a research, then followed my gut. Look through the two articles I have pinned above. I felt they were the most comprehensive articles I found about herbal infused oils.

I made two different oils, and they are still sitting and infusing. Both oils have about 4 more weeks before I can open them up and strain the herbs and flowers out of them.

The first one I made, I am calling Aphrodite’s Oil. The reason for this is because two of the herbs/flowers I have in that oil have aphrodisiac effects. Not only that, but all three herbs/flowers I put in are good for anxiety and stress relief.

Now, I have written before about my struggle with hormonal imbalance (thanks endometriosis and hypothyroidism), so when I found out that damiana is helpful for hormonal imbalances, I immediately grabbed a package of the dried herb. Damiana is also an aphrodisiac, good for depression and anxiety. Jasmine is also a libido booster, and another anti-anxiety herb, as well as helps insomnia AND scars to fade. Lavender I almost feel is self-explanatory; headache reliever, anti-anxiety, stress reliever. I suspended all three herbs/flowers in 1/3 olive oil and 2/3 sweet almond oil. I would have preferred to do all sweet almond oil but I ran out. I have this jar sitting in a corner of my kitchen just soaking and releasing all that goodness from those herbs!

The second oil I made, I combined herbs specifically with the purpose of calming, anti-anxiety, anti-inflammatory herbs. This one turned out a little differently because of the oil I used. I used coconut oil and it basically turned solid within 3 hours of mixing up the herbs and adding the oil. Honestly though, I’m actually okay with how this oil is going because I’m planning on using the oil to make an anti-inflammatory salve or even my own homemade lotion once it’s done infusing.

I’m calling this oil Calm & Peaceful. I have four different herbs in this oil; Calendula, Lavender, Dandelion root, Motherwort. Calendula is an anti-inflammatory, calms muscle spasms and aches, and is even thought to be anti-microbial. Lavender again, relieves headaches, anti-stress/anxiety, and can even help with insomnia. Dandelion root is another good anti-inflammatory herb too. I wasn’t sure about Motherwort, but I felt like I needed to add it in. Motherwort is often used after a mother has given birth as it’s a good herb for re-toning and strengthening the uterus and healing the body post-birth. But Motherwort is also good for calming anxiety, regulating a rapid heartbeat (I assume associated with anxiety?) and is good for heart and nerve health. Because of the nerve pain I get from my fibromyalgia, and the pain I get from my endometriosis, I figured this really was a good herb to add in.

I am really looking forward to both of these oils being done! Still have to wait another 4 weeks, but I am just so excited about started to use the oils and reaping the health benefits of them!

I used some of the other herbs and flowers I got to start my own facial toner. I have been using pure rose water as a toner for the past few months, but that stuff can get pricey! So I decided to actually go ahead and make my own. But, I added a little twist to mine; I added jasmine and lavender to the toner. The other ingredients were the dried rose buds, obviously, then distilled water and witch hazel. I mixed these all in a small canning jar, and then let it sit for 2 weeks. I need to figure out how to get the flowers to stay below the surface of the liquid though. Just about ran in to trouble with the whole top layer of herbs molding. But that’s a problem for the next batch!

I strained out the herbs yesterday and I love the slightly cinnamon-y scent the toner has! I think it’s from the lavender and jasmine. I had more toner than I had jars for, so I made little ice cubes that will be nice to have when I have a bad acne flare up and need to calm my skin down!

I am keeping my toner in the fridge in an effort to make it last for as long as I can! My plan is to make another batch in two weeks, which means that I should have a new batch ready just as I run out of the current batch.

Another thing I decided to make was a good sized jar of bath salts. I used a base of Epsom Salts and Pink Himalayan Salts and used lavender and geranium essential oils. The herbs I used are Chamomile, Rose Buds, Passionflower, and Lavender. All of the herbs are dried herbs/flowers. I am still looking for muslin tea bags so use for when I want to take a bath. The goal is to put about 2 tablespoons in a tea bag and let the salts absorb into the bath water, leaving behind the herbs to soak in the warm water.

I usually use about 1 1/2 cups of epsom salt when taking a bath, so only having about 2 tbsps of salts in the water seems off to me. But the first bath I took with the bath salts was really relaxing and enjoyable.

Quick comment about Passionflower – I learned about passionflower as an herb a few years ago, and have used it off and on for nerve pain, insomnia, and anxiety. I kicked myself because it is such a powerful herb for nerve pain in particular. Taking it as a capsulated herb did make me feel a bit wound up, but using it as a dried herb in a bath or even an herbal infused oil has been a lot calmer. The Chamomile is so calming and relaxing that I felt like I had to use it!

So that’s a good part of what I’ve been up to the past few weeks. I am currently slowly gathering the materials I need to make my own mascara and eyeliner. I am moving towards a goal that I’m not ready to share just yet, but it is a slow burning passion within me. It’s easily combines my love of makeup and passion for cleaning up my makeup by removing toxic products. Not only that, it is moving towards a path I am very very excited and relieved to be on!

Until next time! Oh, and please feel free to ask questions about any of the things I’ve made here. I’d be more than happy to share actual recipes or any other information I have that you’d like to know.

 

All Things Beauty · Makeup · Products

Updates – projects coming!!

Hello Beauties,

Well, I’ve been busy. After the retreat a few weeks ago, I have been busy learning about herbs and flowers and creating some of my own herbal oils (more on that later!) and creating a rose flower, jasmine, and lavender facial toner which should be done in just three days!

I am finding a groove with including an herbalist practice with my daily life and also pursuing making my own makeup. I am hoping to make up my own recipes and then maybe, just maybe, find a way to create personalized makeup items with a very specific purpose. Again, more on that later!

Like I said, I’ve been busy. I’m still not 100% sure where I’m taking everything or where I will end up, but I will come back to this space soon with a lot more things to update y’all on, AAAANNNDDD! It’s almost time to get out those fall wardrobes! I am so excited!!!

Until next time!

All Things Beauty · Green Witchery · Self Care

An Initiation into the Realm of Goddesses

{I know this is way outside of the normal things I write about in this space, but my heart woke up, and I felt this was important to talk about. The next post will return to the normal broadcasting, but all of this is behind the drive of this blog.}

Earth my body
Water my blood
Air my breath
Fire my spirit

These words are chanting around my head today as I settle back in to “normal” life after an incredible weekend spent with warrior goddesses. This is a side of myself I have not shared so far in this space and I think it’s time to stop hiding it.

I am an aspiring Green Witch and am finding the things that make my spirit sing. Paganism, worshiping and honoring the Goddesses, and learning about the things that are the roots of legends and myths are the things igniting a fire within me. I’m still wading through the information I was given this past weekend, but it was my initiation into the realm of Goddesses and I couldn’t be more thrilled and eager to learn more.

So what is a Green Witch? Well, basically it’s someone who works with the earth, their environment, the native plants and flowers around them, and creates meaningful things from those plants and flowers. (ssssuper basic description) I discovered a book called The Green Witch: your complete guide to the natural magic of herbs, flowers, essential oils, and more back in April. I started reading through it and realized that I had finally found a part of Paganism that was deeply speaking to me. I both like the singular nature of being a Green Witch. There are no high priests/priestesses in Green Witchery. There isn’t a leader you have to follow. It’s more of learning and using and respecting/honoring what you have around you. Learning about the natural states of your environment, using the plants and flowers available to you, and respecting and honoring Mother Earth (Gaia). This really calls to me because it’s that mindful living that I’m striving for.

This is the current running under my desire to clean out my makeup, skin care, food, and overall habits of toxicity. It’s the thing holding up my desire to honor and respect my own body, and then pass on that desire to those around me. It is what is feeding my longing for acknowledging and uplifting the natural beauty around me and IN me.

I spent about 30 hours with 17 of the most beautiful and inspiring and incredible women I have ever met. We went through initiation into the beauty of being Mermaids and were introduced/re-introduced to the Goddesses. We were given tools to help us stay grounded as we work through our traumas surrounding our femininity and our womb space. Being a childhood sexual abuse survivor, this was especially potent for me as I am deeply aware of massive trauma around my womb space.

We spent time cleansing our bodies and floating in a saltwater pool while experiencing Reiki to help activate the healing of our womb space and to bring back our power. Then returned to the pool the next day to move and shift in a Water Shakti dance.

We stretched and pushed our bodies and spirits through morning yoga out under the morning sunshine and refreshing mountain air. Then called upon the Goddesses to join us as we lifted each other up and rejoin our spirits.

I discovered multiple soul-sisters and am so excited to know them better and to finally, after years of longing for, found my family; my community; the place my soul/spirit can solely call home. There up on that mountain top, in the fresh air, surrounded by warrior goddesses, meeting the Goddesses who have been with me for so long, I found my heart opening and my body moving in ways I’ve never experienced before. I shed lots of tears as I felt the releasing of trauma tension I’ve been holding in for a long time. I was held as tears overflowed and space was held for the trauma; respecting and honoring the pain as it was released. I was honored to then hold space for those around me as their own traumas were released and I hope healing was then able to start.

We all came from different backgrounds, but a lot of us came from very similar places. We were all different, but those very differences were what brought us together. We learned about some herbs and flower essences that are good for calming anxiety, uplifting the spirit, and releasing/healing trauma responses.

I left the weekend feeling tired but also like I had received an immense boost to my drive forward. I learned a lot, gained a lot of answers to questions I had been asking, or wasn’t even aware I had asked. I have been given next steps to take as I move forward, as well as cautions against shrinking and going backwards. After the health struggles of the first half of this year, it is a huge breath of relief to feel like I can finally move forward instead of just barely being able to hold my head above water. I am excited to see what the next few months bring.

I am a red woman, a mermaid goddess, and an aspiring Green Witch.

Now, back to the regularly scheduled broadcasting!

All Things Beauty · Fashion · Self Care · That Curvy Girl

Capsule Wardrobe = Yes or No?

Hello Beauties!

We are closing in to my absolutely favorite time of the year; FALL!! I adore the cooler weather, the weather when I can comfortable wear jeans and a sweater, or start pulling out my leggings and longer tunic like tops. But as we get close to pulling out those fall/winter wardrobes, I wanted to take a minute to talk about capsule wardrobes.

Now, the people who know me know that I have thing against capsule wardrobes. I am equally for them and against them. But before I get in to my reasons, let’s talk about what a capsule wardrobe essentially is.

Capsule Wardrobe –

  • Focused on minimizing one’s wardrobe/closet
  • Typically neutral colors with the emphasis on mixing and matching 10x over
  • Includes accessories (hand bags, shoes, jewelry, outerwear)
  • Usually includes 25-50 pieces (clothing AND accessories…50+ if it’s a year round wardrobe)
  • Focused on having clothes and accessories you really love and actually wear

There are a lot articles praising the pros of a capsule wardrobe, and even one of the things that drew me to researching them was the idea of only having what you completely LOVE in your closet/wardrobe. One of the deepest, consistent ideologies that go with capsule wardrobes is this idea of using what you love and using it consistently. Basically, if you don’t like a piece of clothing or an accessory in your closet, get rid of it.

This mindset of the pin above is where I sit with capsule wardrobes. I don’t think it’s helpful at all to have a closet full of clothes that you never wear or are only keeping because you liked it once. Or even hanging on to clothes that most definitely do not fit or have utterly worn out. There are creative ways of keeping or hanging on to clothes that you adore but have worn out and are not longer wearable the way they are. But, I’ll do a post about that another time!

Minimizing your wardrobe down to pieces you consistently use and wear I think it a smart use of space. It certainly cuts down on time getting dressed in the morning if everything you see when you open your drawers or closet are pieces you love. But here’s where I differ with the idea of a capsule wardrobe.

Almost every sample capsule wardrobe I’ve seen in my research consists of pretty neutral toned clothes, and styles that just do not work for my body shape. Now, okay okay, the beauty of capsule wardrobes is that you can create a capsule wardrobe around pieces you love. But for people who need a visual of what a capsule wardrobe “should” look like, all they’re going to find are blacks, grays, and beige! I get that having a basis wardrobe of neutral colors means there is a lot of room to play and add in fun accessories, but what happens if the clothes you gravitate towards are brightly colored, not quickly so easily mixed and matched?

That’s where my gripe with capsule wardrobes begins and ends. Like I said above, I LOVE the concept of having a closet full of clothes that you adore and love to wear. That is such a good mindset to have. I find that if I love what I’m wearing then that only helps me feel good about myself and my appearance and helps towards having a positive outlook about your body. So how do you have a capsule wardrobe when your clothes just don’t quite fit the “standard” guidelines of a capsule wardrobe? Well here are some tips that I’ve come up with.

Maeve’s “Capsule Wardrobe” Tips 

  • Wear what you LOVE – if this means having super bright colors and patterns, then go for it!
  • But keep it limited to only pieces you wear consistently
  • If you haven’t worn a piece at all during that season, get rid of it
  • If you only wear one (or however many) piece at least once during a season, then hang on to it


Getting More Detailed – 

My current summer wardrobe consists of the following –

  • 3 pairs of shorts
  • 5-6 tees and tanks
  • 3 t-shirt/swing dresses
  • flip flops
  • sandals
  • hiking shoes
  • Converse
  • tennis shoes that I can work out in or just wear

I do technically have 3 other short sleeve tops, but those work better in the winter as they are thicker material and don’t work so well with bralettes, which is what I’m wearing about every day right now. All three pairs of shorts can be mixed and matched all of my shirts. One of my pairs of short is literally falling apart at the hem, so I’m trying to make those last until the end of summer. Almost every one of my t-shirts has a pattern and certainly doesn’t fit the standard capsule wardrobe “guidelines. But that is what works for me. I am still whittling down my wardrobe and getting rid of tops I’ve saved from the past two summers, and now they’re going in the give away pile. I am constantly tweaking things and re-evaluating if I still wear something or if I haven’t worn it enough to warrant keeping it.

I read a tip once that said if you saw that certain piece on the shelf or rack would you grab it? If the answer is no, get rid of it. If yes, then keep it!

So I guess, long story short, yes, I recommend and love the mentality of wearing only what you love and what you feel comfortable in. But no, do not feel so rigid with your wardrobe. “Break the rules” and have those bright colors if they make you happy, or stick with the neutrals if those make you feel safe! Either way, whether capsule wardrobes are for you or not, I do strongly recommend going – at whatever rate is comfortable with you – through your closet and drawers and getting rid of the pieces that make you feel bleh, uncomfortable, or just never get worn. Not only is that a cathartic exercise, it also helps you see what exactly you like to wear and gives you the knowledge that you have clothes that you LOVE to wear.

Cheers, Beauties! I’ll see you next week.

 

Chronic Illnesses · Endometriosis · Fibromylagia · Hypothyroidism · IBS · Naturals & Non-Toxic · Products

Breaking A Stigma – Health Edition

Hello Beauties (again)!

Most of my posts have to do with my chronic illnesses (yes, plural). But one of the things I have’t talked about are the supplements I take and the medications I have taken or am no longer taking.

With having fibromyalgia, endometriosis, and hypothyroidism, flare ups are sometimes hard to avoid. I have noticed that when I have multiple emotional/mental triggers, having a physical reaction or flare up is nearly impossible to avoid. I have been able to push myself physically more this past month than I have been able to in a long time. And I contribute that to one single supplement; CBD oil.

Now, hold on, before you start judging me, hear me out.

I was raised conservative Christian, the kind of christianity that doesn’t acknowledge mental health or that trauma is even something that would strongly affect the body/mind. I was raised to view pot and those who smoked as beneath me and irresponsible people. However, as I am no longer in that world anymore, AND considering I now live in Colorado (and no, there are not high people on every street corner…CO is considered one of the healthiest states in the nation….and it’s not because of all of the pot smokers), I started doing some research on CBD oil. I discovered something interesting, as long as there is less than 0.3% THC in the oil, it is 100% legal in all 50 states and multiple countries world wide. The THC is what makes someone high. But there is a lot of anti-inflammatory and anti-anxiety/depression benefits to the CBD oil. Because my spouse works on a job that would mean he could very quickly lose his job if he had any contact with THC, I had to make sure that CBD oil would be okay to use.

Two months ago I was hitting a really low low, and physically was starting to feel so utterly defeated with my health. I was taking extra strong doses of Aleve (the only pain reliever that ever does anything for me) and I knew that was only destroying my gut/stomach even more. A friend uses CBD oil for Interstitial Cystitis and had told me how much the oil was really helping her. I was getting desperate so I ordered a bottle. My only hesitation with using the oil was the price. CBD oil in its purest form and from a reputable seller is pricey. Living in Colorado, I was able to find a seller with a highly concentrated formula with a bottle that would last 3-5 months for $89. Like I said, it’s pricey, and I didn’t want to start taking it, discover it works for me, and then try to figure out how to afford a bottle every month. Which is why I’ll be switching to this new seller in two weeks when my current bottle runs out.

Before I jump in to how CBD oil has helped me, let’s take a look at some of the benefits of the oil.

Adding in CBD oil to my daily supplements has significantly improved my quality of life. I had a really rough therapy session on Tuesday, slept terribly Tuesday night because of a BAD fibro flare up due to emotional/mental triggers. Woke up Wednesday feeling like crap, but had to run a lot of errands and keep the boys out of the house since some of our windows were getting replaced. Wednesday was even worse than Tuesday night. Woke up yesterday morning (Thursday morning) barely able to move without significant pain. I took a full dropper of CBD oil instead of the 1/3 of a dropper I usually take. Within a half hour, my pain levels had dropped from 7/8 down to about 4/5.

I have been using this website, ThoughtCloud.net, but because of how small their bottles are and because of how much they cost, I will be switching to another company I found at a local farmer’s market.

  Nature’s Best Relief – 2oz $89 (this is the bottle that’s supposed to last up to 5 months)

I am grateful for CBD oil, it’s made my pain a lot less and has had a positive effect on my anxiety and depression. So maybe put aside your negative connotations of CBD and consider possibly trying it? I am not a health nut, I am not a conspiracy theorists, I am only someone who’s struggled with chronic pain for a very long time, and when I find something that helps my pain and inflammation I want to share it. I also believe the CBD oil has helped my IBS too. That and eating very low carb, my IBS has seriously calmed down and I rarely have a reaction anymore. Which, okay, it’s been YEARS since I’ve gone this long without having almost daily IBS flare ups. It’s still weird to me that I can actually eat and not get sick anymore.

Anyway, thanks for reading. I know there are a lot of bad stigmas about CBD oil and I hope maybe this can help change some of them.

All Things Beauty · Fashion · Products · Self Care · That Curvy Girl

Bralettes – My latest *COMFORT* obsession

Hello Beauties,

Ugh, I just can’t seem to keep up with posting. This past break hasn’t meant bad things though. I have been doing fairly well lately and the month of July was actually “crisis” free with my health. Considering every other month this year has contained at least one crisis with my health, it was a welcome break.

I’m going to do double posts today because there is something I want to write about that has been on my mind for a while and I think I’m at a place now where I can comfortably write about it. But first, let’s talk BRALETTES!

When I was a young budding woman, I was so desperate to having bigger breasts, that I almost exclusively wore push-up/padded underwire bras. I picked out and tried on and bought all of my own bras, and because of that, ended up wearing the wrong size for many years. However, when I had my first child, nursing changed things a lot. And that’s when I found out that I had not only been wearing the wrong bra size, my bra size had also changed! I used to wear a 36B, turns out I’m a 34D, and was a DD when I was nursing the first time around. Second time, second kid, I stayed consistently a 34D. Even after having gone through the post-nursing deflation, I’m still a on-the-smaller-side 34D. One of the things I worried about as a young girl, was having even a smidgen of a shadow of a nipple poking through my bra. I will not elaborate on this, but I am a childhood sexual abuse survivor, and from a very young age, breasts, the female body, was over-sexualized for me and not feeling full “protected” around my chest made me feel not safe.

This was part of why I felt like I had to look bigger “up top” than I really was. It was difficult for me to accept my body shape and size and it’s only been in the past three-ish years that I have been able to get to a place where I not only am okay with the shape and size of my body, but I actually have a decent relationship with my own skin.

With the addition of several more chronic illnesses, having dealt with significant rib pain the past 4 1/2 years, I have found myself surprisingly drifting away from underwire bras. Which, okay let me see if I can get the significance of this across – as a young girl, and most of my current adult life, I have felt a deep drive to make sure that my breasts look big, or at least bigger than they possibly/probably are. So to feel 100% comfortable NOT wearing an underwire/push-up bra is kind of a really big deal. My mindset has shifted, and for the past year and a half, my sole focus on my body has been comfort; still adoring and loving staying fashionable, but comfort is definitely key.

I went to visit a friend in April and she mentioned that she wears just bralettes now. I was still wearing underwire bras, but the idea of wearing bralettes began to get more and more appealing. I had my gallbladder removed 2 1/2 years ago but my ribs still both me on the right hand side. I strongly suspect my endometriosis has crawled up there, but eh that’s a topic for another time.

Anyway, since April I have kept my eyes peeled for bralette sales and specifically kept a look out for padded bralettes. I absolutely cannot do unpadded. Which is a bit annoying since there are some gorgeous UNpadded bralettes out there! I have managed to find some really good and comfortable bralettes. I don’t believe I’ve spent more than $15 on one pair, most $10 or less (or even for a few, $5 and less). I used to feel really uncomfortable about having any bra lines showing through my shirt, but one of the things I really adore about the bralettes I have, is most have gorgeous lacy straps, and when those show around my neckline I feel like it doesn’t matter if a texture shows through my shirt.

Really quickly though before I start sharing links, there is something super annoying about sharing my joy of bralettes with you. Bralettes are made with A-C (and some D’s) cups in mind. Anyone really bigger than a D/DD will find bralettes aren’t supportive enough. This is really frustrating to me because I’d love for all of my friends to thoroughly enjoy the comfort I’ve discovered in bralettes. So keeping that in mind, I am always on the look out for a supportive AND pretty bralette for the bigger gals. 

Okay, so! Here are links and references for bralettes I’ve found that are super comfortable, easy to wear, and decently priced.

Let’s look at American Eagle Aerie first. I have to say I’ve been pleasantly surprised to see some of Aerie’s latest ad campaigns. I’m glad to see more body types and presentations being shown in their ads. That being said, I kind of really hate AE’s clothes. I feel like their jean sizes are getting smaller and smaller. BBbbuuuttt, that’s a gripe for another time! I have had at least one Aerie bra in my drawer at almost all times. I really liked some of their older styles, but lately, I did get two bralettes and it was worth it grabbing them while they were on sale!

 

Aerie Bralettes (all images from American Eagle ae.com and all prices current of post time)

Product Image   Aerie Boho Padded Bralette – on sale for $17.97

(there are consistently deal codes, so I’d recommend waiting for one of those codes to show up)

 

Product Image    Aerie Lace Racerback Bralette – on sale for $14.97

– uhm, so the model wearing this one is definitely a much larger size than a C or D cup!! This makes me excited! I would love to hear if any of my friends who do not fit a typical bralette size can fit comfortably in this particular bra!

 

Image for the product   Aerie Softest Lace Classic Bralette – on sale for $13.77

– this one is actually NOT padded, but I happened to have extra removable cups I wasn’t using and cut two small slits on the lining of this bra and just wear it with cups. The cups do shift funny since the bra wasn’t made with removable cups, but I’m going to try to stitch something in place to keep the cups where they need to. BUT! I will say that this bra in particular is incredibly soft and comfortable. I really like that it is convertible – i.e. regular straight straps can be turned in to an “x” back.

 

Here’s the link to all of Aerie’s bralettes! I am loving the selection, and the one thing about AE or Aerie bras, they are made to last…at least for more than a year!

 

Target Bralettes(all images from Target.com and all prices current of post time)

   Xhilaration Longline Bralette – on clearance for $11 (but I did see several IN STORE for $4-5)

– I have this bra in a navy blue (found at a thrift store) and the mint. This bralette is very comfortable, but the only thing that can get annoying is because I’m short-waisted, the longline part rolls up when I wear it. Not enough for me to not want to wear the bra, but enough that I adjust the bra several times during the day if it bothers me.

 

  Gilligan & O’Malley Lack Back bralette – $14.99

– I do not have this bra right now, but I love the comfort/sleep bra look of it. It is padded, and looks like it would fit smoothly under a top.

 

  Gilligan & O’Malley Nursing Bralette – $16.99

– I will never need a nursing bra again, but for my nursing mama friends, I have LOVED Gilligan & O’Malley nursing bras in the past!!!

 

  Xhilaration Push-up Racerback Lace Bralette – $12.99 with a 15% coupon code for online and cartwheel code in store

– I have this bralette in a gray and I should have gotten a Large instead of a Medium. It just doesn’t fit as well as my other bras. It is still comfortable, but I also feel like if I were to get a bigger size it would fit in the cup area, but the band would be way too loose.

Here’s a link to all of Target’s bralettes 

 

Aeropostale Bralettes(all images from aeropostale.com and all prices current of post time)

LLD Classic Lace Bralette  LLD Classic Lace Bralette – $12.00

– this bra runs small and it about the same quality as the Aerie bralettes

 LLD Geo Lace Racerback Bralette – $24.50

– I didn’t get this bra, but one similar to it, again, I’d say they run small, but are quite comfortable. Also, I’d say this isn’t worth spending almost $25 on. Wait till it’s on sale.

Here’s the link to all of Aeropostale’s Bralettes 

Those are all of the bras I either own, or have tried on in store. I know there are a few other that are considered “cult favorites” but when I realized that first of all, they’re not padded, and they’re pricey, I didn’t want to share a link to those. I am all about affordable fashion and paying over $30 for a bra that I wouldn’t even be comfortable in is not worth it. Let me know what you all think, or if you have an obscure place to get bras and would like to share!

**This post may contain affiliate links. This means I get a percentage of whatever you purchase through a link I’ve posted at no extra cost to you. I use affiliate links to help a little with keeping this blog up and running. 

All Things Beauty · Beauty Favorites · Makeup · Naturals & Non-Toxic · Products

Switching to Natural: Makeup Update Edition

Hello Beauties!

I’ve still been slowly working my way through my makeup products, switching out the ones I can find non-toxic alternatives for, or just simply not using a product anymore. I replaced my mascara with a non-toxic natural product, and today I just got what I had hoped would be an all natural alternative to eyeliner and blush!

My current favorite not-so-good-for-my-eyes eyeliner is from Neutrogena. It’s a smokey pewter color with a bit of sparkle to it. I discovered a few years ago that I really don’t like matte eyeliners, except for black. But then, I really don’t wear black eyeliner pretty much at all. I like chocolate or dark grey eyeliners. Because of having hooded eyes, I really don’t wear eye-shadow, so eyeliner and mascara are my daily go to’s. I wear either my b.b. cream or my Silk Naturals foundation stick every day. I like that both seem to have some form of natural sunscreen in them. But after that, my makeup go-to’s are eyebrow pencil, eyeliner, mascara, blush or bronzer, and finishing powder.

I’ve been eyeing a certain all natural makeup brand on Amazon. The brand is HoneyBee Gardens. I just ordered and received one of their eyeliners. Rated fairly well, and the grey seemed to have a bit of shine/sparkle to it. And boy does it have a sparkle! I have tried Physician’s Formula eyeliners before and while they lasted really well, I found them to be too “stiff.” That’s what I’ve liked about the Neutrogena eyeliners; they glide on to my eye and I never feel like the eyeliner is pulling across my eyelid. Now with the HoneyBee Gardens eyeliner, it is also really smooth, glides on, maybe almost too soft. I really like how it’s a dark grey but definitely not a black. The sparkle is actually a lot of fun to have around my eyes! We’ll see if it gets annoying though.

HoneyBee Gardens Eyeliner –$8-9 Amazon, $9 HoneyBee Gardens

HoneyBee Gardens has 7 different shades of eyeliners and even though I prefer twist up eyeliners, I really don’t think I’m going to mind having to sharpen the eyeliner.

Okay, let’s talk about blush. I have looked at Silk Naturals blushes, but I’m not terribly fond of loose powder ANYTHING. I’ve always just found that if something is loose powder instead of pressed powder, it makes such a mess! Silk Naturals also have cream blushes but those blushes look like they’re too illuminating for me. I have thought about making my own blush, but eh, with two kids 4 and under, wrestling with chronic illness flare ups, I certainly don’t have energy for that. I had my eye on another brand on Amazon called HAN Skin Care Cosmetics. They have an all natural cheek & lip tint stick. I’m kind of a fan of having a product that has multiple uses!

 HAN Skin Care Cosmetics Natural Cheek & Lip Tint in Rose Berry – $16 Amazon, $16 HANSCC (Amazon sometimes has sales on this product…I grabbed it for $9 last week)

Oh btw, HAN skin care has really good ratings and really good looking products! I just found that they also have samples too. I highly recommend looking around the Silk Naturals website too! They have Pregnancy safe options for some of their products as well.

Thanks for stopping by and have an awesome Monday!

**This post may contain affiliate links. This means I get a percentage of whatever you purchase through a link I’ve posted at no extra cost to you. I use affiliate links to help a little with keeping this blog up and running.