Need New Bath and Body Products? Look No Further.

Over the last few weeks, I have accumulated some of the best bath and body products I think I’ve found to date. I wanted to share some of these with you as a sneak peek to some of my all-time favorite beauty and self-care products I will be detailing in my next YouTube video! Let’s get started.

 

img_5713-11. Love Beauty and Planet’s “Coconut Oil & Ylang Ylang” Shampoo and Conditioner

I was literally staring at the hair care wall at Walmart for about 20 minutes before I found these new beauties, glowing with the angelic light of promises of fantastic hair days. After browsing their selection of fragrances, I settled on the coconut oil and Ylang Ylang scent. Not only does this smell fantastic, but it helps control damaged hair (ever since bleaching my ends, my hair has never been the same…)

From what I could tell both in-store and online, the bottle is only available in one size (13.5 oz). However, a little goes a looooooong way, especially with their lightweight conditioner. The formula is made in a “less is more” fashion, so you get softer, silkier hair without using half the bottle.

I looked into the company and found some awesome missions and goals that they strive for with all of their products. They are 100% Vegan and NEVER test on animals. This is something that has become really important to me along with ethical resourcing–– and yes, they do that, too. LBP also pledges to release their annual carbon emission reports and tax the carbon they emit. Pretty awesome, right?

 

2. Love Beauty and Planet’s “Murumuru Butter & Rose” 2 Minute Magic Masque

Another LBP product I picked up was this hair mask. The directions say to use this after shampooing to give dull hair some of its life and shine back. It most definitely did. Immediately, I could tell that my hair was stronger, shinier and healthier than when I was using other brands (big plus = no split ends!)

My boyfriend happened to catch a whiff of my hair after I styled it and he really liked the scent. This mask–––paired with the shampoo and conditioner–––blended nicely together since they aren’t heavily perfumed. At just $3 plus tax, I think it’s safe to say that I’ll be purchasing this again whenever I’m in the need for a desperate hair pick-me-up.

 

IMG_57163. Bath and Body Works’ Aromatherapy Collection in “Focus” (Eucalyptus & Tea)

This is one of my favorite gifts I received from Christmas this year. I am a huge fan of B&BW’s Aromatherapy “Stress Relief” which smells like eucalyptus and spearmint. So, naturally, I fell in love with this scent as well.

I have yet to use the bath soak, but I have used both the bath wash and the lotion and they are wonderful. B&BW has a way with lotions and hand creams, and I will consistently use their products for that reason. Plus, their semi-annual sales always get me (some products farther down on this list were results of binge shopping their 75% off clearance bins. Oops.)

IMG_57174. Bath and Body Works’ Aromatherapy Collection in “Energy” (Citrus & Ginger)

A recurring scent with any B&BW products that I buy is the “Energy” scent from the Aromatherapy collection. Similarly to the “Focus” scent, I love that this is a staple item in my stash of self-care products.

I love my sugar scrubs, so having a body scrub I can keep in the shower is a plus. The smell immediately jolts me awake and is super invigorating. The body cream absorbs immediately and doesn’t leave your skin feeling greasy like some lotions do. It’s ultra moisturizing, which is needed during these cold months in Tennessee.

 

IMG_57205. Bath and Body Works’ “White” and “Rose” Scented Cosmic Cream and Fragrance Mist

I picked this duo up at one of B&BW’s semi-annual sales (along with the “Rose” scented variation) when I first moved into my new apartment.

The “White” scent smells absolutely lovely, with a musky base and hints of vetiver and jasmine. It’s an aloe-based lotion, so it leaves your skin feeling hydrated and soft.

IMG_5719

Same goes for the “Rose” scent; it’s truly delicious. With a blend of rose absolute, red currant and patchouli, you really can’t go wrong.

Honestly, both of these were definitely impulse buys. However, they are awesome additions to my ever-growing supply of B&BW products. You call it an obsession, I call it true love.

I mean… if you find something good, why not indulge?

 

If you want to see some more products that I can’t get enough of then check out my YouTube video coming out Monday 12 p.m. (EST). Share this with someone you know that is just as obsessed with bath and body products and feel free to drop a like and a comment!

Yours Truly,

Allie

The Dreaded Job Hunt (and 5 Ways I’m *Trying* to Survive It)

*cue music from Psycho right before that woman gets, like, stabbed*

I have eaten a full bag of Andy Capp’s Hot Fries and I’m on my second cup of caffeinated beverages for the day. I’ve cried about three times before noon.

This all probably sounds very familiar if you’ve been in the realm of the dreaded “job search.” You’ve possibly Googled, “How much does a kidney sell for” and trust me, I’m right there with you. I’m reading endless resume tips, scouring the depths of sites like Indeed, Monster and Journalism Jobs to no avail, and repeatedly questioning why employers require 5-10 years of experience for entry-level jobs (???).

Finding a job is hard. Finding a job in journalism is harder.

Picture this: You’ve spent four glorious years at a university. You walk across the stage at graduation bright-eyed and hopeful of the future. Then, it’s like everything comes to a screeching halt. Classes are suddenly over. After that, you move nearly 800 miles away from everything you’ve ever known. You try and search for jobs in your field and nothing pulls through. Job hunting begins to morph into a metaphorical claw machine; sometimes you win, but most of the time you lose. Except the metaphorical claw machine of journalism is now on fire. And you’re on fire. And everything is on fire and you softly say to yourself with feined reassurance, “Everything is fine.”

So, what do you do? You sigh heavily, pour yourself the biggest glass of wine in existence and settle on taking a BuzzFeed quiz to find out what type of pizza you are based on your astrology sign. Self-deprecating, I know.

While this all seems daunting and scary (which—I won’t lie to you—it is), there are a few things that I’m doing to make this process a little less taxing for my steadily declining sanity.

1. Sign Up For Emailing Lists

One thing that I’ve found to be super helpful when searching for jobs is to add emailing notifications of new positions when they open up. Usually, websites like Google or Indeed will allow you to use specific keywords when searching for a job. For example, the terms “journalist” or “editor” or “freelance Stranger Things theory writer” might be suitable.

2. Look For Jobs That Will Use Your Degree

There is nothing more frustrating than going to a careers page and seeing “General Manager of Sonic Drive-Thru” in your recommended jobs (I know from experience). Try honing in on jobs that will not only challenge you but will also apply the things you learned from your time in college. Why settle for a low-paying job when you have a piece of paper that cost you roughly $60,000 and showcases years of tears, stress and coffee-induced all-nighters?

3. Find Something To Occupy Your New-Found Free Time

Say “so long” to the days of midterm papers and final exam cramming. As a real adult with no more college classes to attend, you now need to find things to fill the void. Try taking up a new hobby. Find a new video game to play through. Finally stop procrastinating and get to work on your blog and YouTube channel that you’ve been wanting to do for years… (Did you mean: psychological projecting?)

4. Don’t Give Up

It’s so easy to admit defeat when you feel like you are repeatedly hitting a brick wall. However, you can’t get discouraged every time you don’t get a call back or you don’t get past the first round of interviews. Easier said than done, I know, but Rome wasn’t built in a day and Edison didn’t invent the lightbulb on his first try, and other cliches like that. The point being: don’t give up, even if you feel like you’ve exhausted all options.

5. When All Else Fails, Network

Some of the greatest job finds have come from who you know, not what you know. Well– okay, it’s a bit of both. Reaching out to potential employers just to have lunch or to tour the facility is a great way to keep your name in their heads and stand out from other candidates, even if it doesn’t lead to a job right away. Chances are if they have an opening later down the road, they’ll give you a heads up. Plus, people know people who need to hire people and that’s always nice.

Sometimes, it takes a little extra initiative to be employed. If you’re a self-starter and don’t like conventional rules of the workforce, being a freelance writer or your own boss might be the road for you. Regardless, I’m going to try and use these tips as much as possible until I’ve landed a job I love. I hope you will, too.

Yours truly,

Allie

I Made My First YouTube Video!

After nearly four years of contemplating the idea of showing my face to the greater public, I have finally made my first YouTube video!

If you want to give it a watch, here is a link to the video (it’s only about 3:30 long; introductions should be short and to the point). I talk about my biggest influencers on YouTube, what I hope for the channel and what you can expect from me in 2018!

This is really monumental for me, especially since I was extremely shy growing up and hated being the center of attention. I never had enough confidence to make a video, but here it is.

I can’t wait for you all to see it and for the channel and the blog to take off. I think this is really where the magic is going to happen.

Enjoy!

I Went to my First FGCU Ignite Fall Retreat…

img_3838.jpg*Before you read, this was written and sitting in my drafts folder for the longest time. Enjoy.*

This weekend, I am fully immersing myself in the glory and salvation of God. As a newfound Christian, I can tell you that this journey was not an easy one. If you had asked me ten years ago if I would ever go on a weekend-long retreat to revel in the joy and the word of the Gospel, I would have thought you were absolutely mad. However, here I am, at just a week shy of 21, on said retreat.

When I was younger, I dabbled in religion. I know from an objective point of view that sounds awful, but religion was never “hard pressed” in my family and so any and all experiences with religion were solely my own.

I was 11 years old when I had my first, very basic conceptual understanding of what my christened religion of Catholicism was all about. At half my age now, I didn’t really view religion as anything more than something I had to conform to like a label to wear so I could fit in. I had friends in middle school who would take part in the Wednesday church group YoungLife, but I never expressed my interest in joining to my family and consequently pushed off my endeavors into Christianity.

At 12 years old, I joined my Catholic church’s children’s choir and began to go to Edge, which was our version of Wednesday school. I met a lot of cool kids my age, but I just never had a grasp of what the whole concept of “devoting yourself to Christ” was about. I figured this was just a place to talk about how good Jesus is and meet friends (a very superficial understanding, now that I can look back on it). Almost everyone in my grade had these amazing and borderline prolific understandings of the Bible. They could recite John or Ephesians with their eyes closed while I barely knew the reason why I was going to church, or why I believed in God, or if God even existed.

I was never really sure of the reason we left the Catholic Church, or why my family didn’t continue our education of the Bible, but I remember one day just not going to church anymore on Sundays. I stopped going to Edge, and in turn, I stopped actively pursuing Christ. For my high school years, some of the most formative years of my life, I didn’t know if I was really the textbook definition of a “Christian.” I felt outcast when topics of religion and God came up, and I finally settled on not defining my religion beyond, “I believe in God. I believe in Jesus.”

When I was about 15 or 16, I went to a non-denominational Christian church. Twice. I was still living with my parents, obviously, and didn’t have a car. During our time at the church, they were asking for donations to fund their newest church being built in Cape Coral, a city about 45 minutes away from where I grew up. That was all it took to strike a familiar chord with my parents and we stopped going (we were used to giving money to the Catholic Church every Sunday). I asked why we stopped because I really enjoyed the atmosphere, and I was given some reason that didn’t make sense to me at the time; something that now I can’t even remember.

I went to a Baptist church once with my father because he was dating a religious woman at one point in my life, but that—like most church trips—didn’t last long.

Fast forward to just last year around February. I was talking to Jacob, my boyfriend, about trying a new church group and restoring my faith before my big move to Tennessee in December of this year (just two months away now). I knew of three ministries at the time; Thrive, Ignite and Chi Alpha. I was hearing all sorts of good things about Ignite and really was interested in trying it out. We—meaning my S(he) Will Fade girls and I—got our group together and headed over one night in the spring semester, possibly sometime in March or April.

I instantly fell in love. The people, the environment, the service, and most importantly of all, our pastor Adam Alexander. Adam is one of the kindest, most understanding, accepting and welcoming people that I have ever met. When talking to him, you really get the sense that this is what his entire life is about; upholding the word of Christ through His people.

This retreat was… incredible. It was enlightening, beautiful and honestly soul-crushingly real. I felt vulnerable but in a good way. The way that makes you feel new again after you’ve been hurting for a while and finally let yourself show.

I got really sick the second day of the three-day retreat, but I only missed one session out of the entire weekend. We were surrounded by good company, singing, the Gospel and the spirit of Christ. I know that might sound hokey, but it truly was an etherial weekend.

I watched one of my SWF friends, Lexi, get baptized and I can promise you that nothing will make your heart soar more than seeing someone who you care about give themselves over to God. Lexi had always gone to church with her grandmother, and when she passed away Lexi fell away from Christianity for a bit. However, this weekend she redeemed herself on Deerfield Beach in the middle of the ocean while Adam and Stephen baptized her under the blue waves.

Fall retreat is a special trip that will always hold a special place in my heart. This was the first time that I had given myself over to my religion entirely and it only sparked a greater fire in my heart to find a home at a church in Knoxville once I move.

Yours truly,

Allie