In today’s world, the concepts of holistic health and beauty from within are quite prominent. But what do these concepts truly entail?
The aspects of mind, body, and spirit are all interdependent. Therefore, to practice true self-love and self-care, we must work to improve ourselves in all three areas.
Mind • Try to learn something new each day, in order to challenge yourself intellectually.
Body • Each time you work out or use your body, push yourself a little bit more than the last time, and try to reach new physical peaks.
Spirit • Do whatever makes you happiest in life. Surround yourself with people and things that make you feel wonderful.
Practicing holistic self-care helps us to feel balanced and radiate confidence. True self-love is the first step to being beautiful on the inside and out. Self-love exudes from those who practice it. It makes us shine with joy. It shows love to all.
This is something I truly believe in. Sometimes, it can feel discouraging when I am unable to care for all aspects of myself. But I have to remind myself that self-deprecation is counter-intuitive to self-care as a whole. I’m trying each day to fulfill my needs in all three categories! Will you join me?
For all of my adult life, I’ve struggled with managing my life on my own. I’m sure it’s partially due to my struggles with OCD. But I also know that most people seem to struggle to get down this “adulting” thing themselves.
In the past, I’ve especially struggled with motivating myself without a schedule. But then, if I had too specific or rigid of a schedule, my OCD would flare up, leaving me “stuck” if I messed up in the slightest. I’m sure you can image how that might be a problem.
But with the help of my trusty planner and a little bit of hard work, I’m starting to feel productive every day. I’ve learned that bumps in the road aren’t equivalent to failures. They are instead practice at strengthening my mind and improving myself.
I hope you are finding ways to improve yourself every day as well!
In my last post, I shared about losing my ability to play lacrosse. But I like to believe that with every ending, comes a new beginning.
Once my injuries had healed, I had lost my lacrosse friends and my main source of exercise. I stumbled across something online that interested me - hooping. I did some more digging and found that, true to its word, UF had a club for everything…even hooping. I joined the group, got my first hoop, and began to learn. I made so many new friends this way, and was getting stronger and back in shape. Hooping also acts as a sort of meditation. The rhythmic and repetitive movements are calming to my anxiety. I even learned how to make my own hoops for myself and friends! It is such a healthy and creative outlet.
In my opinion, everyone should give something like hooping a try. And yes, I’ve met a bunch of male hoopers, too. So, none of you have an excuse! If not hooping, maybe look into some of the other “flow arts” or a different creative outlet. Take the opportunity to incorporate something new into your daily life!
To tell you the truth, I’ve been mourning the loss of something intangible for quite some time - my ability to play lacrosse.
In fifth grade, I joined the very first lacrosse team in my area. I was a natural. My lacrosse stick quickly felt like an extension of my body, and I was able to learn quickly. When I went to high school, I was a starter on the varsity team…as a freshman. I gave up one of my other sports, basketball, my senior year to focus on lacrosse before heading to college. One major influence in my college decision-making process was if I would be able to play on my future college lacrosse team. UF, my current university, had both a NCAA Division 1 women’s lacrosse team, in addition to a women’s club lacrosse team. A club team is like the JV (junior varsity) team to the NCAA’s varsity equivalent. My plan was to join the club team and improve my skills while completing my undergraduate studies. Then, I would try out for, and hopefully make, the NCAA team during my graduate schooling. Unfortunately, that didn’t all go as planned.
Long story short, some third degree burns caused swelling in one ankle, tearing a ligament. After recovering, I twisted my other ankle during practice, tearing a tendon. Suddenly, I was not just a year behind in my lacrosse skills, but over two years behind. In addition, my eligibility to play on the club team was about to end, since I had played in games in my first two years at college. Once you play in a game, you are only eligible to play for 4 years on the team. Ding, ding, ding. My timer was up. I was left with 2 weakened ankles, out of practice and rusty with my lacrosse skills, and no chance for ever making that NCAA team.
Lacrosse was such a big part of my life. It was something I truly loved. And it was taken from me. I still mourn its loss to this day. I’m not sure if I could have worked harder at physical therapy or done something different. But, I think I’ll always feel like a part of my heart is more empty now. Lacrosse taught me that love for the intangible is still just valid as love for other living things.
For one of my recent Twitch streams, I turned my porch-cat, Grayson, into a bat!
If you want to make your own bat cat costume, follow the instructions below!
Old black sock (men’s)
Black foam (12" x 18")
Black aluminum wire (16 gauge)
Triangle cosmetic sponges
White and black acrylic paint
Take your cat’s measurements. Measure around their neck, upper front leg, and chest. Ensure that the sock you are using can stretch wide enough for these measurements.w
Cut a bat’s wings out of the foam. Using a sponge, apply the white paint to give the illusion of the curvature of the wings. Clean up the edges with black paint. Let dry.
Cut the toe off of the sock. This will be the area around your cat’s chest. Cut the heel area off of the sock, to provide a large hole for both legs to go through.
Cut two half circles of wire, the length from one end of the wing to the other. Slide these wires through the sock, on the opposite side from where you cut the leg hole. Leave a bit of space between them.
Poke both sides of one wire through the top middle part of the wings. Leave about a centimeter of space between the two poked holes. Your wire should enter through the painted side, putting the sock next to the painted side of the wing. Repeat this process with your other wire on the bottom middle part of the wings.
For both wires, you will now poke them through the foam in a sewing-like motion, to provide a sturdy base for the wing. On the top and bottom of each wing, I recommend doing one “stitch” at the middle of the wing and one at the end of the wing. Trim off any excess wire. Fold the sharp end of the wire back in on itself, and gently push it into the foam without going all the way through. This is to help ensure your cat doesn’t injure themselves on the sharp edge.
Carefully put the costume on your cat, with the wings on their back. If your cat is uncomfortable or tries to get away, do not force the costume onto them. Safely remove it, and leave them be. Never leave your animals unattended in a costume. Remember. costumes and clothing on animals typically causes anxiety and stress for the animal, so please only costume your pet rarely and for very brief periods!
You can watch the full video of me crafting the costume and putting it on Grayson below (or click here if you’re on mobile)! Enjoy!
I have been focusing my attention on a different extension of my brand lately. For those of you interested, I have begun to stream on Twitch. It’s a fun way for me to interact first hand with you. Please stop by and check it out at the link above!
Before I dive in here, I owe you all an apology. I went missing without notice, and I’m very sorry! But I have a good explanation, I swear!
This past semester, I completed my first class since I medically withdrew about 3 years ago. I was a long and tiring journey, as those of you who follow my blog probably know. But I did it! And this semester, I’m on track to complete two classes! Hence, my lack of posting was (hopefully) justified.
In other news, today I wanted to admit to my newest addiction - video games. My boyfriend re-introduced me to the world of gaming. I hadn’t played any video games since I was in middle school. Let’s just say that I was really into Grand Theft Auto (GTA) and GTA II back in those days.
This time, it started with a little bit of Minecraft, followed by some Bioshock 2, tossed in with Fallout 3, and topped with Call of Duty: Black Ops III. That last one on the list, Call of Duty (COD), is my current favorite. As silly as it may sound, there is something really satisfying about going on a multiplayer game and “shooting” other players to relieve your stress. Plus, you get to unlock cool gear to use, which is honestly the game’s way of keeping you hooked. (It’s working, by the way.)
I have noticed that I’m in a minority when I play, though. Other players see my username, realize I’m a girl, and tend to have various types of shocked reactions since gamer girls seem to be a rarity. I don’t mind; in fact, the reactions are usually pretty funny. But it was something interesting that I felt was worth noting.
Oh, and if any of you play COD (or any other cool games), feel free to follow me on Twitch here! I hope to see some of you in Nuk3town!
Fall festivals are great date spots. They usually have a pumpkin patch, haunted corn maze, and other fun fall activities.
What would you wear to go apple picking with your family?
To start with, don’t wear heels of any type! Wear cute booties or Wellington rain boots. Bundle up by wearing layers. To accommodate a scarf, wear your hair up in a bun or ponytail. Accessorize with cute fall-themed earrings. Keep your makeup simple.
What would you wear to attend your homecoming football game with friends?
I would wear a school-spirit sweatshirt with jeans and Converse.
If all of your school-spirit clothing items were dirty or not weather appropriate, what would you wear instead?
I would wear a sweater in my school’s colors instead!
What would you wear on a haunted house tour with your crush, plus his best friend and best friend’s date?
I would wear something warm, but with a girly touch. I would probably wear a looser sweater (so I could hide my face in it if necessary), a skirt with tights, and boots I can run in!
Where do you get your Halloween costume and makeup inspiration from?
I check out Pinterest, YouTube tutorials, blogs, and magazines.
What beauty or style advice would you give regarding Halloween (or even fall in general)?
Be true to yourself and wear what makes you happy! Don’t feel the need to cake on tons of makeup.
What are your dos and don’ts for Halloween makeup?
Go all out. Practice before the night of. Make sure you like what you’re wearing! Be careful to ensure that your makeup doesn’t get all over your costume. Don’t use poor quality face paint. Use primer and setting spray. If you aren’t do a full face of makeup, try going all out with your eye makeup.
What is the worst Halloween costume that you have seen on a celebrity?
It’s not a Halloween costume, but Lady Gaga’s meat dress just grossed me out.
What do you think is considered going overboard when it comes to Halloween makeup?
Too much gore! If your gory makeup is too realistic, I will not be hanging around you that night!
Have you ever had costume makeup that you had to practice beforehand?
Yes, I practiced twice for my Bambi costume.
What is your favorite Halloween costume of all time?
My favorite costume is always my last year’s costume. So as of now, Bambi is my favorite costume. But on November 1, it will likely change to this year’s costume!
What are you favorite stores for sweater shopping, and what is your favorite type of sweater?
Target is my go-to. I love looser, boyfriend-style sweaters that I can pair with leggings.
Welcome back to Part 2 of my Halloween Q&A tag! Let’s dive right in, shall we?
What costumes have you done in years past?
My costumes since I started college include a flapper, French maid, nurse, Katy Perry, and Bambi.
To you, what is the most annoying thing about Halloween?
Getting scared is the worst! I’m so easily frightened, so everyone takes advantage of it.
When is it too much in terms of gore or fake blood on Halloween?
I’m easily scared by things like that, so I prefer it to be kept to a minimum!
Where is the line draw with a costume that is just too sexy?
It’s just too much when someone wears a bra and panties with animal ears. At that point, it seems like an excuse to wear minimal clothing. Costumes can be sexy without having it all hang out. Be respectful of the situation you’ll be in when planning your costume.
How old is too old when it comes to trick or treating?
Once you’re 18 or in college, it seems like that is considered too old for trick or treating. But no matter your age, you need to at least be in costume! If you feel too old, you can take a younger sibling or cousin out trick or treating. If you really want candy, the grocery stores put it all on clearance the day after Halloween!
Have you ever gone to haunted theme parks or similar events?
I’ve gone to Howl-O-Scream at Busch Gardens, which was terrifying. I’ve also gone to the haunted corn maze near me.
Share your answers in the comment section below, and stay tuned for more in this series!
I’m so excited to tell you all about my latest hobby and passion - hoop dancing! About a month ago, I picked up a hoop after being inspired by a friend, and I haven’t looked back since. I am still, by all accounts, a beginner in the hooping practice. But I must tell you that there is something calming, centering, and euphoric about being in the hoop.
I’ve been working hard to expand my bag of hoop tricks, in the hopes of experiencing “flow” in my dance. In the hooping community, “flow” refers to the moment when a hooper is freely dancing. They are not planning their next move, but instead their mind enters an almost meditative state while the body flows freely from one move to the next. And I am so excited to share that I experienced flow for the first time the other night! It made me fall in love with hooping all that much more.
I continue to practice as I work towards gaining a solid foundation and natural fluidity in my hoop dancing. I love learning so many amazing skills, while also getting an incredible workout! I’ve even begun making hoops, in an effort to spread the hoop love.
Stay tuned for videos and updates on my journey. And please join me in this therapeutic experience. Come find yourself in the hoop!
Those of you that know me may have heard about my latest hobby - hoop dance! After discovering this form of both fitness and artistic expression, I’ve fallen in love. Plus, the whole hooping community is so positive and welcoming. As part of my new hoop journey, I’ve also begun making custom hoops and selling them on Etsy. Check it out:
I’m loving everything that hooping has brought into my life so far. I can’t wait to share more of my discoveries with you!
When you are having a breakdown related to your OCD, what is the one thing you wish someone would do for you? Leave you alone? Invite you out somewhere for some pleasant disctraction? Remind you of something in particular that typically brings you out of it? Or is it different each time? I love someone with OCD, and feel as helpless as they do when the depression hits.
It’s different each time. I would just be patient and calm. Remember not to take anything that their OCD “says” too personally. Ask how you can help. Let them know you are there for them. I would also recommend talking to them when they aren’t having a breakdown, and just trying to better understand their different OCD habits. That way, you’ll be able to understand what is going on, even if the person can’t quite put it into words during the heat of the moment. Additionally, talk to the person’s therapist, if they are comfortable with it. They are specialists in understanding the disorder, and will be able to break it down the best for you. Plus, they should be able to give you tips on how to help in such situations. I hope this helps a bit!
I’m trying something a little bit new today, folks. As you can see by my lack of recent posts, I’ve been in need of some blogging inspiration. But I recently stumbled across a handy site, meant to help people in my shoes - The Daily Post. It provides a new writing prompt each day as a way to help inspire writers across the globe. I figure that posting something is better than posting nothing. With that being said, here is my response to today’s prompt!
“A contagious disease requires you to be put into quarantine for a whole
month (don’t worry, you get well by the time you’re free to go!). How
would you spend your time in isolation?”
This is a tough one! I would probably do a lot of reading. I used to be an avid reader, carrying a book with me everywhere. However, since I entered college, I tend to be sick of reading by the time I finish my homework. For those that are unaware, college requires that you read the majority of your textbooks in your own spare time. I miss the days of burying my nose in a book for a few hours, letting myself get carried away into another world within the pages.
I would also work on my blogging. If I was isolated from the real world and had too much time on my hands, it only makes sense to bond with others through this virtual world. Plus, I might be able to get a better feel for what full-time blogging might be like. But there’s a minor problem with this, seeing as I wouldn’t be able to take photos, hit the mall, explore the world, and whatnot.
My final thought is that I would probably work on continuing my education. I am striving for a Ph.D., which requires years of hard work. I might as well continue my progress via online courses and whatnot! After all, being in isolation would probably make for a nice quiet study spot…
I hope you all enjoyed this little deviation from normal post styles. Let me know your answer to the prompt in the comments below!
I’ve been stuck in a rut lately, y’all. I have writer’s block, and I can’t seem to shake it. How do you cure writer’s block? What inspires you? Please share in the comments below! And if you want to be a guest writer in the meantime, just shoot me an email!
It’s summertime, and that means bikinis are everywhere! Don’t be afraid to rock your favorite swimsuit underneath some shorts and a tank top. If you’re surrounded by dry land, take inspiration from some of your favorite swim styles.
As a Florida girl, I’m lucky enough to have swimwear as a wardrobe staple. I recently took inspiration from Cosmopolitan’s cover shoot with Nicki Minaj. Her shimmering, star-studded one-piece immediately reminded me of my own favorite bikini from Victoria’s Secret. When I wasn’t by the pool, I let my bikini shine through a loose white muscle tank, finishing the look with some rhinestone covered denim shorts and a sparkly ring!