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21 Lessons

Birthdays force you to reflect. They beg the questions "How far have I come within a year? "How have I changed?" "OMG WHAT AM I GOING TO DO WITH MY LIFE?!?!". I personally think reflection is a huge part of growth. So without further ado, I would like to share with you the lessons I have learned at the ripe age of twenty-one on the verge of twenty-two.

1. A huge part of your success hinges on who you keep within your inmost circle. They can be supportive, and inspiring, catapulting you into chasing your ambitions. People can also be toxic, plagued with jealousy, and negativity. The latter will be your hinderances. Be confident enough to cut those people out and you will be far better off for it.

2. Pride and invulnerability are barriers in the progression of any romantic relationship. Speaking out of pride will never produce the result you truly desire.

3. The world is truly magnificent, so are the people in it, whom I have found that mankind, for the most part, is inherently good.

4. A smile is a universal sign of kindness, no matter how great the language barrier may be

5. Luxurious things are nice, but investing your money in memories with those whom you cherish mean exponentially more.

6. Classy is a relative term, tacky is not. Knowing the difference is everything.

7. Blissful moments can be far and few and aren’t always grand in nature. It can be something as simple as the way the sunshine pours into your bedroom on a Sunday morning.

8. I never cared much for the song “Yellow” by Coldpay, but I was grabbing a drink with a friend and it started playing. She started swaying to the music, humming the words, reminiscing about an old lover the song evoked fond memories of— its now one of my favorite songs. Sometimes you have to watch someone love something before you can love it yourself.

9. Cities have energies. You will visit cities for the first time that feel like home, and those places will always have a special place in your heart. Humans are like this as well.

10. Verbal affirmations are powerful. Here are a few I say every morning,

——I uplift everyone I come into contact with/ I accept who I am in every unique way and cherish my mind, body, and soul/ I trust my ambitions and am courageous enough to pursue them all/ I am in sync with the universe and keenly aware of the signs sent to me

11. Date yourself. Fall in love with yourself. You will never love another person properly or allow yourself to be loved properly if you don’t have a loving relationship with yourself.

12. Nothing will humble you like a mountain or an ocean. Standing at the base of either, you will understand your insignificance and yet simultaneously, your sheer importance.

13. Negative energy is contagious, giving it the slightest breeding ground acts as a catalyst to permeate your entire mindset.

14. Read books that challenge or inspire you. There’s nothing sexier than an intellect.

15. "Not all who wander are lost" my favorite Tolkien quote. Truly living is not always "lateral". Adopting the analogy from Sheryl Sandberg’s "Lean in", living doesn’t have to be a ladder, a jungle gym is a more appropriate and rewarding way of living.

16. Comparing yourself to anyone is insulting to your own individuality. Especially in regards to looks, there will always be someone “prettier” than you. If you gather your entire identity from an aesthetic stand point, you will be an empty person and sadly, there are very empty people in the world because of this.

17. There is a difference between religion and spirituality. Spirituality plays a huge role in establishing your moral/ethical convictions. Figure out what you think about the world, do your own research (not just what was spoon-fed to you as an adolescent). Be an informed human being. Ignorance and indifference are unattractive qualities.

18. Exercise diversity within your friendships. Having relationships with people from different walks of life will open you up to other worlds and revolutionary ways of thinking. This process alone enables you to be a more compassionate, well-rounded human.

19. Its easy to get wrapped up in posting to social media. Make sure you are living a life that “feels good” not just one that “looks good”.

20. People who love their bodies, their lives, their relationships, don’t hate on others. If you know love and happiness that is what you mirror out into the world.

21. Most importantly, take ownership over your life. No one is going to work hard for you on your behalf. Opportunities are seized. You have to create the good life that you want to live because no one is going to do it for you. A strong work ethic will get you further than hopeful wishing ever will. 

Newbie Essentials

((this does not include a pumpkin spice latte))

Mario Bandescu Seaweed night cream\ Hydro Moisturizer

—- This entire skin care line is not only affordable, but the quality of their products is phenomenal. I’ve had several girlfriends sleepover and need to borrow a night cream and upon waking up their skin felt so luxurious that they too became patrons of the product! The daily moisturizer is sheer and I have noticed a huge difference in the appearance of my over-all complexion since using the products.

Biore Charcoal Cleanser\ Lush’s Catashrophe Cosmetic Face Mask

—-Activated charcoal is an extremely powerful ingredient, it has been treated with oxygen which gives it the ability to act like a magnet for toxins and impurities, it tingles when you use it, so you feel it working! I definitely have struggled recently with breaking out. My job requires me to have to primed and perfect face of makeup for 16 hours in addition to yucky recirculated air of an airplane which results in the perfect storm of clogged pores. So I have developed a new habit of when I get to my hotel room, I throw a face mask on immediately after cleansing to thoroughly clean my pores. I personally love the price and the quality of Lush masks because of how frequently I utilize them.

Oscar Blandi Dry Shampoo\ Surface Bassu Hydrating Oil

—- I’ve also adopted a new habit of only washing my hair once/twice a week and these products have not only made that plausible but maintainably enjoyable. My hair is healthier for it!! I dust the dry powder within my roots and sometimes blast it for a few seconds with a blow dryer just to really “slurp” it in. My ends also tend to get ratty and dry with not washing them everyday, so using this clear oil restores shine. I was using dark oils such as argan/moroccan but after a while I noticed my ends looked hard, not healthy. My hairdresser (savior with scissors) told me darker oils harden over time— yuck! Just FYI ;)

Stilla Color Balm Lipstick in Ruby\ Julep Polymer Top Coat

—- I love this entire line of lipstick because it doesn’t dry my lips out but is still richly pigmented. This is the quintessential Marilyn Monroe red. I SAVED THE BEST FOR LAST— IF THERE IS ANYTHING THAT YOU TAKE FROM THIS POST IT BETTAAAA BEEEE THEEESSSS LADIES. Ok, so my job sabotages my nails. Its a waste of money for me to get manicures because it is a guarantee chip policy within two days for this chick right here. I’m not a huge fan of gel because it is a little pricy and its extremely difficult to remove while shredding your nails to pieces in the process. So this polymer topcoat looks like gel, dries as fast as gel, and lasts up to two weeks! Eventually it chips off but leaves your nails healthy! This product is an investment as well as a God send. Thank you polish gods.

JUICING!
hold that eye roll y’all, I know everyone is all on this juice hype but I’m here to tell you that the hype.is.reaaaal.
Beauty really does begin on the inside, glowing skin, shiny hair, it all links back to what you are eating! So yes, you can spend hundreds of dollars on every bottle that promises beauty within its contents, orrrr you can just head down to your local produce! I live my life on the road and I do find it difficult to eat healthy with every meal choice, so when I am home, my vitamix and I are in a very intimate relationship. 
I would like to share with you beautiful people my favorite green juice.
WHAT YA GON NEED
-two handfuls of kale
{kale has so many nutrients in it— it is truly the ultimate superfood]
-half a cucumber
-Juice of 1/2 grapefruit 
-Juice of a 1/2 lemon
- Ginger root (peeled and chopped)
-1/2 a jalapeño
- sprinkle of cayenne pepper
{cayenne pepper is like SPEED for your metabolism]
-coconut water
-ice

start with your juices and kale at the bottom of your blender and build up with the chunkier things such as cucumber and ice, blend on low for 35 seconds and VIOLA #beautyinamasonjar
**dont forget a straw, scientifically it just makes things taste better ;)

JUICING!

hold that eye roll y’all, I know everyone is all on this juice hype but I’m here to tell you that the hype.is.reaaaal.

Beauty really does begin on the inside, glowing skin, shiny hair, it all links back to what you are eating! So yes, you can spend hundreds of dollars on every bottle that promises beauty within its contents, orrrr you can just head down to your local produce! I live my life on the road and I do find it difficult to eat healthy with every meal choice, so when I am home, my vitamix and I are in a very intimate relationship. 

I would like to share with you beautiful people my favorite green juice.

WHAT YA GON NEED

-two handfuls of kale

{kale has so many nutrients in it— it is truly the ultimate superfood]

-half a cucumber

-Juice of 1/2 grapefruit 

-Juice of a 1/2 lemon

- Ginger root (peeled and chopped)

-1/2 a jalapeño

- sprinkle of cayenne pepper

{cayenne pepper is like SPEED for your metabolism]

-coconut water

-ice

start with your juices and kale at the bottom of your blender and build up with the chunkier things such as cucumber and ice, blend on low for 35 seconds and VIOLA #beautyinamasonjar

**dont forget a straw, scientifically it just makes things taste better ;)

STAY OUT OF TANNING BEDS !!

~this is coming from a girl who had a pre-cancerous mole removed from my clavicle, I promise its not worth it! With that said, I have tried every self-tanner on the market anywhere from Sephora to CVS and I have to say my favorite one thus far has been Banana Boat tanning lotion. I re-apply 2-3x a week and it gives a fabulous healthy glow immediately. (( Scrub hands down immediately afterwards to avoid oompa loompa fingers))

Lets talk travel.
I fly international charters which means I am gone for about 19+ days a month living out of a carry on suit case. So here are some tips, tricks & bits of wisdom I have acquired thus far….
1. Try to consolidate your makeup within palettes— no need for a huge makeup bag ((ie Nars laguna bronzer & orgasm blush || Naked neutral eye shadow pallette {has matte and shimmer in versatile day/night colors}  ))
2. Always roll your clothes, saves room, invest in mini Downy de-wrinkle sprays because this does cause wrinkles :/
3. Black goes with everything. Black is simple, black is sexy, just pack alll black for the love of pizza because it goes with everything and is magical.
4. Stay fresh faced, jet lag isn’t a cute look for anyone. I love my Mac Pro Longwear concealer to hide sleepy dark circles and I swear by Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector to give you a fresh face glow that is scientifically proven to hide any hangover residue ;)
5. Maxi dresses are your best friend. Its a way to look effortless chic, its a one piece go-to outfit and lets be honest, they are essentially crotchless yoga pants
6. Pack a heat protective sleeve for your flat irons/curling wands because most of the time you are getting ready right before checking out and then packing up your hair tool as its still trying to cool down
7. Buy a travel-size of your perfume
8. I’m always hopping that little pond called the Atlantic Ocean so with those long flights my skin feels so yucky after 9 hours of recirculated air and makeup just sitting on my face so I adore my Kiehls In-flight refreshing facial mist. It totally revitalizes my makeup and restores my “fresh face”
9. I always pack little snacks like almond butter packets with pretzel chips, or Cliff bars, ya never know when you might need a little snackie to hold you over till you can get your next meal
10. Stay hydrated, air travel dehydrates you which makes that jet lag exponentially worse
11. Pack a scarf, planes get chilly and its a lightweight article to pack if the weather is less than desirable
12. You will not need a hair dryer, they are heavy to pack and I have yet to see a hotel that does not accommodate with one
13. Pack your own personal first aid kit (neosporin for a recovering pimple, pepto bismal because we all have eaten something we shouldn’t have at some point, melatonin to supplement sleep for various time zones etc….)
14. If you have to do laundry, try to find the 3-1 laundry sheets, its one less liquid to have to carry
15. Speaking of liquids, to save space in your tiny TSA approved liquid bag, skip the lotion and use body butter, it doesn’t count as a liquid!
16. You can never pack too much underwear, I repeat, never.
17. Its worth it to buy the travel sizes of your fave products, i buy the tiny Its a ten leave in conditioner and moroccan oil because it just saves space and weight
18.  Pandora and Netflix do not work in European countries, stock up on your favorite seasons/music before you embark
19. Pack a beanie/baseball hat because Lord knows a good hair day is never guaranteed 
20. Utilize every crevice, stuff all your socks or anything that will fit in your shoes/boots
21. Nude heels go with everything
22. I never leave without my leather jacket, a good black leather jacket is simply an essential, it can make any outfit chic as well as a great transition from day-to-night
23.  If you wear falsies, they are indeed re-usable so store them in a tiny mirror compact, its a great way to keep them fresh for 2nd and even perhaps a 3rd use
24. I always pack my Reebok lateral resistance straps. I do walking lunges or sideways squats with them and its great way to stay toned when traveling or if you don’t have access to a gym. They are easy to pack and lightweight!!
25. My last tip may be superficial but well, whatever, here it goes, invest in what you will be photographed the most in, it may be a coat for Europe in the winter, or that convenient cross body for shopping or sight seeing, or even a pair of fabulous shoes that go with everything

hope this helps— let me know if you have any additional tips !!
"we travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us"

Lets talk travel.

I fly international charters which means I am gone for about 19+ days a month living out of a carry on suit case. So here are some tips, tricks & bits of wisdom I have acquired thus far….

1. Try to consolidate your makeup within palettes— no need for a huge makeup bag ((ie Nars laguna bronzer & orgasm blush || Naked neutral eye shadow pallette {has matte and shimmer in versatile day/night colors}  ))

2. Always roll your clothes, saves room, invest in mini Downy de-wrinkle sprays because this does cause wrinkles :/

3. Black goes with everything. Black is simple, black is sexy, just pack alll black for the love of pizza because it goes with everything and is magical.

4. Stay fresh faced, jet lag isn’t a cute look for anyone. I love my Mac Pro Longwear concealer to hide sleepy dark circles and I swear by Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector to give you a fresh face glow that is scientifically proven to hide any hangover residue ;)

5. Maxi dresses are your best friend. Its a way to look effortless chic, its a one piece go-to outfit and lets be honest, they are essentially crotchless yoga pants

6. Pack a heat protective sleeve for your flat irons/curling wands because most of the time you are getting ready right before checking out and then packing up your hair tool as its still trying to cool down

7. Buy a travel-size of your perfume

8. I’m always hopping that little pond called the Atlantic Ocean so with those long flights my skin feels so yucky after 9 hours of recirculated air and makeup just sitting on my face so I adore my Kiehls In-flight refreshing facial mist. It totally revitalizes my makeup and restores my “fresh face”

9. I always pack little snacks like almond butter packets with pretzel chips, or Cliff bars, ya never know when you might need a little snackie to hold you over till you can get your next meal

10. Stay hydrated, air travel dehydrates you which makes that jet lag exponentially worse

11. Pack a scarf, planes get chilly and its a lightweight article to pack if the weather is less than desirable

12. You will not need a hair dryer, they are heavy to pack and I have yet to see a hotel that does not accommodate with one

13. Pack your own personal first aid kit (neosporin for a recovering pimple, pepto bismal because we all have eaten something we shouldn’t have at some point, melatonin to supplement sleep for various time zones etc….)

14. If you have to do laundry, try to find the 3-1 laundry sheets, its one less liquid to have to carry

15. Speaking of liquids, to save space in your tiny TSA approved liquid bag, skip the lotion and use body butter, it doesn’t count as a liquid!

16. You can never pack too much underwear, I repeat, never.

17. Its worth it to buy the travel sizes of your fave products, i buy the tiny Its a ten leave in conditioner and moroccan oil because it just saves space and weight

18.  Pandora and Netflix do not work in European countries, stock up on your favorite seasons/music before you embark

19. Pack a beanie/baseball hat because Lord knows a good hair day is never guaranteed 

20. Utilize every crevice, stuff all your socks or anything that will fit in your shoes/boots

21. Nude heels go with everything

22. I never leave without my leather jacket, a good black leather jacket is simply an essential, it can make any outfit chic as well as a great transition from day-to-night

23.  If you wear falsies, they are indeed re-usable so store them in a tiny mirror compact, its a great way to keep them fresh for 2nd and even perhaps a 3rd use

24. I always pack my Reebok lateral resistance straps. I do walking lunges or sideways squats with them and its great way to stay toned when traveling or if you don’t have access to a gym. They are easy to pack and lightweight!!

25. My last tip may be superficial but well, whatever, here it goes, invest in what you will be photographed the most in, it may be a coat for Europe in the winter, or that convenient cross body for shopping or sight seeing, or even a pair of fabulous shoes that go with everything

hope this helps— let me know if you have any additional tips !!

"we travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us"

As women we all have our own battles yet one that we all have in common is acne. Whether it be chronic or ya just HAD to eat the burger and fries, at one point you have woken up to a very unpleasant new friend on your face!! I’ve tried the toothpaste method etc and the top product I have come across is Mario Bandescu’s drying lotion. I already swear by anything in Mario Bandescu’s skin care line so I knew this product wouldn’t disappoint. THIS WILL DRY THE SH*T OUT OF ANY BLEMISH!! It shrinks, dries and heals while you sleep! Liv Tyler actually swears by this product as well. Use a Q-tip to dip all the way down to the pink substance and dap on any blemishes you may have— and then say goodbye because they wont be there in the morning :) 

{Pardon the gnarly picture— clearly showing off how I get down on a Saturday night}

"“A person who has good thoughts cannot ever be ugly. You can have a wonky nose and a crooked mouth and a double chin and stick-out teeth, but if you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.”
― Roald Dahl
"

- Have you ever met a woman who was aesthetically beautiful yet it was completely detracted by a wicked mean personality? Contrary, have you met a woman so kind and gracious it made her radiantly beautiful in way our culture can’t seem to conceive beauty? All the make-up in the world can’t hide an ugly heart. I think happiness is what makes you really pretty. Happy people are beautiful. They become like a mirror and they reflect that happiness. Be kind. Be thoughtful. Be generous. Be happy.

This is the easiest trick to achieve faux glowing skin. I dust Albatross on my cheeks, nose, and small middle section of my forehead. Makes you look effortlessly flawless!

I’ve read two books recently that have profoundly resonated with me. The Alchemist is a short yet inspiring read. The 5 Love Languages is catered to married couples (something I am so far from its almost laughable) however, I think EVERYONE can learn from this book and the knowledge permeates all your relationships, not just the one with a significant other. So many of us are focused on “finding the right person” rather than “being the right person”. The better understanding you have of yourself and the way YOU love will help you effectively love others.

"I can’t think of many things more attractive than a beautiful person whose beauty isn’t what actually attracts you."

Just a few things I’m immensely fond of ;)

Livingproof hair thickening creme- I have very long, but THIN hair!! This helps my hair feel luxuriously thicker!

Ben Nye Banana powder- Sets your makeup flawlessly, I have worn this in sweltering heat and my makeup DID NOT MOVE! Also, dancing my hiney off in Vegas, came back to my hotel expecting to look like a drunken raccoon and my makeup was still perfectly in tact!

BeautyBlender Sponge- I wet mine before applying my foundation and my makeup looks airbrushed!! Cannot live without this!!

Caudalie Dry Oil- I wear this on my chest, shoulders, and it smells so wonderful and lovely. I apply it after my shower when I have just shaved and it makes my legs feel heavenly soft too! Its super versatile and I’m complimented on it all the time

Boscia Black Mask- I use this once a week and my skin is glowing afterwards, definitely extracts impurities, make sure you put it on thick enough that the mask itself is opaque!

Nars Albatross Highlighter- another one of my musthaves, I use it on my cheekbones and bridge of my nose, although it looks white it goes on gold and is gorgeous! All my friends purchase this after I use it on them

Bobbi Brown Lipliner in Brownie Pink- anyone who knows me knows, lipliner is my kryptonite. I think pouty lips (not injected fake ones— yuck) are SOOO SEXY!! You’ll never need another lipliner besides this one.

The Body Shop Vitamin E eye creme- I’m Italian therefore with those genetics I definitely suffer from dark circles and the occasional puffy eyes— I cannot sing enough praises of this eye cream. It’s also anti-aging to preserve those youthful windows to the soul 

You will never need another skin care correction product because this stuff is phenomenal. It’s literally a miracle in a jar. You can literally see the mud mask extracting oil and dirt from your pores from your pores. My skin looked incredible after 20 mins and was glowing. It’s pricy but well worth it

A lot of girls want that “glowing skin” but the truth is makeup can only go so far in accomplishing that. It’s the canvas that matters (your natural face). My night routine is to use my Clairisonic brush with Neutrogena deep clean face cleanser. It makes your face feel unbelievably fresh and rejuvenated. I also use Olay night regenerist because its never too early to start preventing wrinkles. It’s like a mini face lift, in the morning I wake up feeling fresh faced and naturally beautiful

A lot of girls want that “glowing skin” but the truth is makeup can only go so far in accomplishing that. It’s the canvas that matters (your natural face). My night routine is to use my Clairisonic brush with Neutrogena deep clean face cleanser. It makes your face feel unbelievably fresh and rejuvenated. I also use Olay night regenerist because its never too early to start preventing wrinkles. It’s like a mini face lift, in the morning I wake up feeling fresh faced and naturally beautiful

Dating Advice

5 things He should Say on a Date

  • You’re hilarious
  • You have amazing eyes
  • Lets do this again sometime
  • Order what you want- dinner is on me
  • I’ll call you tomorrow

5 things You should NOT say on a date

  • I can see us spending the rest of our lives together
  • My last boyfriend…
  • I’m not so good at relationships
  • I want 2.5 children
  • Im a shopaholic 

What a Woman Should know

  • when not to be emotional
  • how to choose her battles
  • how to cook at least ten different meals
  • how to throw a tasteful dinner party 
  • when to break out the sexy lingerie
  • when to just listen
  • when to not be the good girl
  • when to just let him zone out and do his boy things
  • how to be thoughtful
  • how to trust him
  • when to let him be a man and take control
  • when to just shut up and kiss him

What a Man Should know

  • how to be affectionate 
  • how to make breakfast
  • how to be household handy
  • how to talk to our grandmas
  • how to win over our mothers
  • how to read a map
  • how to bench press
  • to always have a coat for you
  • how to be thoughtful
  • how to be okay with needing a woman
  • when to listen
  • when to just shut up and kiss you