I created this 6 minute very visual mindfulness exercise to demonstrate movement through darkness into the light. It takes you on the journey of a seed, you as a seed, where you begin buried in suffering and darkness, and grow into a strong little plant with resilience.
I begin and end this exercise with a little breathing exercise to help you get into a mindful mindset. It helps you stay grounded throughout the exercise and maintain a calm and steady state*.
As I was drowning in overwhelming anxiety that was leading to depressive tendencies, my LPC said these four simple words: survival is a win. This phrase means everything to me. It means that no matter what I do, even if I struggle to calm down or can't process the situation or even the day successfully, that if I just continue to exist, endure, and persevere, I will have accomplished something.
Chalkola sent us two products to review, of which I have created a YouTube video with additional and related review information (including more product demos and content!). They are a small, family owned chalk marker business. What is special about these markers is that they are supposed to be bright and vibrant colors that would replace dusty chalk and possibly other less vibrant chalk markers. They work best on non-porous surfaces such as chalkboards, plastics, glass, and whiteboards. The Chalkola Premium Wet Wipe Markers with 10 Chalk Pens and 6 Metallic Markers retails for $18.90 on Amazon and $18.95 on the Chalkola website. The Chalkola Platinum Series with 8 Jumbo Tip Markers retails for $23.90 on Amazon and $23.95 on the Chalkola website. The company CEO was nice enough to give our readers 15% off on both Amazon and their website with CODE: 15OFFSTR.
I want to talk about my lover. My passionate, sweet, delectable, beautiful, hot, sexy, delicious love affair. He is irresistible. I can't get my hands...or mouth...off of him. I am so addicted to him that I wrote a free verse poem about him...to which you can apply your own tune, if you wish. And you can peer longingly at him in these mouthwatering pictures to go along with my poem.
If you follow my personal account on Instagram (@skuyoga), you would have seen my 2 posts about the pixie mittens I created about a month ago. I wanted to share a little bit more about the process I used to create these.
The Rachel Zoe Box of Style is a subscription box curated by The Zoe Report. For $100 a quarter, they'll hook you up with some of the most luxe must-haves for the season. As a subscriber you get to customize your box to your liking. I was able to get this box at the $69.99 Black Friday price.
Oomph. The Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte. Every coffee lover's dream drink with a little splash of so-called fall heaven. Lauren and I recently had the Pumpkin Spice Creme drink there (Can you tell that I am a Starbucks novice?) and it was less than impressive. All I tasted was sugar and a slight resemblance of fall spices. I'm pretty sure there isn't any real pumpkin in that pumpkin syrup you can buy on their website. [Sidebar: There seems to be very few processed foods that actually have REAL pumpkin in their snacks. I am very saddened by this.] But the thing is, it isn't hard to make one yourself. It's actually incredibly easy if you have 10 minutes and a microwave.
When I think of fall I think of pumpkin everything, fall leaves, warm drinks such as lattes, and reds, oranges, and yellows. But for me, today is the day for quick bread. Delicious quick bread that just happens to be banana instead of pumpkin. This bread SERIOUSLY has it all. It is incredibly moist, soft, and full of banana flavor. It is the real deal (and I'm pretty sure I can use this recipe to sub in pumpkin for the banana but I haven't tried it yet).
Makeup Forever, aka the gold standard for cutting edge makeup, recently came out with (spoiler alert) my new favorite lipsticks. I was extremely fortunate that Influenster sent me three shades to review (to be clear, I paid nothing for these, and they still blew my mind.) "You're getting MUFE lipsticks" -it was literally the happiest email I've gotten in months. So let's start with my favorite parts: the design (specifically the extremely pointy and beautiful tip you start off with), the staying power, the insane color payoff, the price (yes, the price), the application, the formula, the color selection, and the finish. At the end we'll talk about the unfortunate transferring that happens, and the easy solution to all your smudging woes. I'm still having mixed feelings about the sleek minimalist packaging, but I'll get to that eventually. All in good time.
Birchbox costs $10 a month, and for each product you review you get $1 in points in their shop. This month they were having a promotion where you could get a free Smith and Cult lip gloss with your subscription (a $22 value).
I have been signed up for Influenster since late April and was lucky enough to receive my first box this month. This seems to be a quick turnaround time to get a Vox Box, as many people have had to wait to receive their very first box for a long time. I did a video on our YouTube channel discussing how I felt about Influenster as a newbie in addition to a full video review of this box. I will post both videos below. Additionally, it was crazy that I received a Vox Box that had 4 samples, 2 full size products, and one 1/3 size product (maybe a travel size?). As I understand it, Influenster sends out Vox Boxes with varying amounts of product, and I feel like this is a good sized box.
So I just attended this event by Urban Decay at Sephora on a whim, and I actually had a really great time. I had been meaning to buy the other two Naked palettes anyway, so this was just an extra fun way to do it. I found out about this event by subscribing to Sephora's events on Facebook. As far as I can tell, this event has happened once before at their San Francisco store, but I couldn't find anything on the internet about it, so I decided I just had to go.
Here you'll find an archive of all Sephora rewards, promo codes, and gifts with purchase. All of these deluxe samples are free with $25 purchase on Sephora's website, unless otherwise stated. Some of the release dates are estimates. Please note that the estimated values of perfume and shampoo samples will vary, as a perfume's value is not set per ounce. If I were to use the largest perfume for sale, which normally has the steepest discount, the value of the perfume sample would be about $5-8, but if I use the value of a smaller bottle, the value may be $20. So, be sure to take into account what full size amount I list next to products that have varying sizes and prices.
Birchbox costs $10 a month, or $110 a year, unless you're savvy and get your year long subscription on Black Friday, then it costs you $6.41 a box, which is what I did. The best part about Birchbox is that you can review your samples for anywhere from $5-7 in Birchbox store cash.
DIY photo canvases have been on my radar as a cool craft to try for several years now. I just got married, and our wedding pictures are still very new to us. I knew my mom and dad would love a special picture of me with each of them, and I wanted to make them extra special. I also knew I couldn't afford to purchase a pre-made canvas, so I thought I would try the decoupage technique.
Choix is a subscription box that allows you to pick 5 high end makeup samples every month. It costs $20 a month, but I was fortunate enough to get this on Black Friday when it was $120 for an entire year, so $10 a month. I would be on the lookout for sales like this because they've been having them more and more often.
Good news! Sephora Play! is now open to more people! This box is $10 a month and includes brands featured at Sephora. I'm really sad this month, either they didn't include an info book and play pass, or I just didn't get one. Either way, it makes me sad! I hope it was just a fluke because those are so helpful.
Recently Milk Makeup sent us some products to review, and I'm really excited to share them with you. We got 5 products, four makeup and one hair product. In addition to their crazy makeup packaging, Milk has an interesting spread of products, ranging from natural deodorants to spray nail polish. They're an interesting company for sure. Let's get into the products!
Recently I got an email from Sephora about a VIB event in my area-not a free one, unfortunately. Sephora knows better. This event cost 500 points (aka $500) and we were promised amazing things; a Sephora gift card, a gift bag full of freebies, a fun experience for me and a friend (my mom)- I'd say that's better than 99% of the 500 point perks on Sephora's website right now, which led me to ultimately decide that this event was the best way to spend my points. Because it doesn't look like anything better will be coming out in the near future (and even if it does, how do we know it won't be another Epic Rewards fail?). So I took the plunge, and now I'm going to go back and break down the experience for you and try to put a cash value to a priceless experience. Classic Lauren.
These Amuse Bouche lipsticks by Bite Beauty retail for $26. $26, otherwise known as the perfectly priced item for beauty addicts. You can buy this lipstick on Sephora.com and snag one of their gift with $25 purchase promotions. The consistency feels just like chapstick on the lips. It never completely dries down.
Popsugar Must Have recently came out with their first miniature box to compete with midrange subscriptions like HammockPack and GlossyBox. I tried to resist but ultimately hopped on the bandwagon in hopes of their first box being spectacular. If you're interested in subscribing to this box, it costs $18.95, and you will receive two full size products with a promised retail value of over $30. However, the next box is the July box.