Why I Chose My New Years Resolution

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At the start of each year, like many others, I make a New Years Resolution. And, like many others, I have often failed to maintain the New Years Resolutions that I have made… and not intentionally, but simply because we are all creatures of habit and it is often very difficult to break ourselves of the habits we have.

A few years ago, I decided that I would only make resolutions that I could be truly uphold…. and since my list of resolutions has turned into very simple goals that I have for myself. Often times, my resolution is singular and something that I keep in mind as I continue throughout my year.

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This year, my resolution was singular. My resolution, “Say less.” It sounds so simple, and I wanted my resolution to be one that I could repeat quickly to myself to remind myself of throughout the year. Despite the simplicity, it has multiple implications and reasons for being my resolution this year.

I made it after seeing, hearing, and participating in this flurry of commenting that we have become so accustomed to today. In my experience, it is so easy to just speak without thinking and to continue to speak even when it is not my turn anymore. Last year, I found myself speaking when it was my turn to listen…. and I found myself saying things I inevitably regretted because I did not think them through.

So, after some introspection, my resolution was to simply “Say Less.” Because by saying less, I have more time for thoughtful comments and conversations. By saying less, I have more time to listen and hear what is happening around me.

We are one month into 2018, and I have to say I think I have chosen a worthy resolution. It is simple, and it is challenging too. I went to dinner this weekend with friends, and where I would normally jump into the spirited discussions about politics with my friends…. this time I listened. And, I was surprised and happy to find myself learning so much about my friends.

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January 2018 has been a wonderful month for me, and I hope that January has been equally if not more lovely for you.

Tell me in the comments what you think of my resolution! And, tell me yours!

Thank you so much for visiting!

-Heidi

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17 Things I Learned in 2017

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I can honestly say that the last 6 years of my life have been some of the most challenging years of my entire life. One of the main reasons I started blogging again in 2017 was to help myself focus on all the good in my life. I’m still working on the person I want to be, and I have a very long way to go. 2017 was a year of growing pains, and I wanted to share some of the things that I have learned over the last year.

One: It is okay if things do not go according to plan

I have always been a planner, and I consider one of my greatest strengths to be my decisive decision making skills. However, when things hit the fan, you have to adapt and change course to account for life. I have finally learned that sometimes you have to roll with the punches, and it is okay if things get delayed because sometimes something even more amazing happens.

Two: Don’t over-schedule

Part of being someone who loves plans is that I like to stick to the schedule, the plan, the itinerary. In fact, I’m often downright militant about the plan. I have learned that sometimes loosening my grip on my schedule and being more generous with timing is okay. It allows for more happy moments, and being a little bit more relaxed has not hurt me at all!

Three: Make your own happiness

Happiness is not something that simply appears – happiness is something you create for yourself. And let me tell you – creating happiness is hard work.

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Four: Work hard, and then work even harder

There is absolutely no substitute for hard work. My mother always says that underneath “lucky” is hard work…. Someone might appear lucky and happy, but the reality is that they work that hard to be in that “lucky” universe.

Five: Live Unapologetically 

Never apologize for your accomplishments. I used to downplay how hard I worked. This year I realized it wasn’t humble but a huge disservice to my hard work. There is nothing wrong with getting credit for the hard work you’ve actually done.

Six: Friendships Evolve

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Seven: Give yourself credit even when things go wrong

A few very important projects went incredibly sideways for me… and the feeling of anger, frustration, and failure stuck with me. It wasn’t until I gave myself credit for trying that I could put those feelings to bed. I did my very best at the time, and that is all that matters.

Eight: Have feelings, cry if you want to

As a child and a young adult, I was the absolute picture of sunshine. And because I had always been happy – I did not understand that I didn’t have to live up what people thought I should be like. It took me a long time to accept that I am allowed to have more than one feeling. I am allowed to be angry, sad, and every color in between…. and most surprisingly? It’s okay to cry.

NineBe your own advocate

I graduated from law school where we learn to advocate for our clients. Our job is to be the absolute best advocate for our clients…. and it still took me years to realize that I have to also be my own advocate. Stand up for what you need, deserve, and know is right. Be strong. Advocate for yourself.

Ten: Speak positively 

“It takes exactly the same energy to say something positive as it does to say something negative or nothing at all.” I wrote that in my journal when I was 16, and I read it again this year and renewed my dedication to that lesson. We all have light and dark inside of us, and I refuse to feed the darkness. It is so easy for us to fall into the dark and cruel commenting with social media, but I refuse to falter. Instead, I have and will continue to channel that energy into good deeds and good words. Be the light.

Eleven: Don’t do things at the expense of your happiness

Your happiness should be your priority…. do not do things that you know steal your happiness.

Twelve: Let go of the friends that hold you back

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Thirteen: Forgive yourself

Forgive yourself. I was angry with myself for a long time…. and I realize those “mistakes” I made were just part of life. My friend told me that those mistakes made me stronger and more interesting and I was finally able to forgive myself.

Fourteen: Forgive those who have hurt you and ask for forgiveness from those you’ve hurt

After struggling through the last few years, I realized that the people who have hurt me must have been suffering too. At the height of my struggle, I could not control my anger and I lashed out at everyone. And, I realized in those angry moments that the people who had hurt me must have been in pain too. In this realization, I asked for forgiveness for those who I had hurt too.

Fifteen: Say NO without apology or excuses

This one I learned from my baby cousin…. she was 3 when I first heard her respond to a question about trying a new toy. “No. Thank. You.” And when asked why? She said, “No. Thank. You.” There is absolutely nothing wrong with saying no when you do not want to do something. You do not need an excuse or an apology. “No, thank you.”

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Sixteen: Take time by yourself

Take time for yourself where there are no interruptions, and you can recharge your batteries. I’ve learned that I need a certain amount of alone time – and it is okay to walk away from social engagements to maintain my balance.

Seventeen: Explore more 

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Thank you so much for visiting! Tell me in the comments what your new years resolutions are, and things you’ve learned this year! ❤ Wishing you the most wonderful 2018!

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My Clean 10 Step Skincare Routine

I was always an allergic-to-something child…. so I tend not to be very adventurous with my skincare. Instead, I am often found reading the labels very carefully before purchasing my skincare. My general philosophy is to avoid products with too many ingredients, and if I can’t pronounce it – it’s probably not a good thing to put on my skin. When I can’t identify the ingredient, I pop over to EWG’s Skindeep website and type it in to determine if I’m willing to risk putting that ingredient on my face. (Tips for finding safer products here).

So, it was a surprise to everyone (even myself) when I found myself buying a 10 step Korean Skincare routine online without a nary glance at the ingredients. I reasoned that it would be a good idea to try – since the ten step routine was getting rave reviews and who doesn’t want better skin?! I was so excited to try it! It was probably the most adventurous and spontaneous skincare purchase I’ve ever made in my life. The minute the box arrived, I unboxed everything and immediately dove headfirst into the 10 steps prescribed in the box.

It seemed fine…. until 30 minutes after walking through the entire 10 step process. My entire face and neck broke out into an angry army of hives, and my skin turned an alarmingly bright shade of red. After a couple anti-histamines and a good slather of anti-inflamatory cream, I silently chastised myself for breaking my rules.

I’ve since (obviously) gone back to my normal routine – which is not very different from a Korean skincare routine. I’m listing the K-beauty steps below with my clean beauty picks and favorites, along withe some of my notes.

*Final Note. Please do keep in mind that these are products that I like – and you may not like the same things. While I do try to use as clean beauty products as possible, sometimes I have to make a compromise. I think the important thing is to try to use products that are as clean as possible, and take good care of yourself.

 

 

Step One: Oil Cleanser 

I tend to use oil cleanser and foam cleanser as needed. I find both steps everyday to be too harsh on my skin – so I use the oil/foam cleanser once or twice a week depending on how my skin feels. I find that an oil cleanser is very helpful on the days that I wear make up. 

 

Step Two: Foam/Gel Cleanser 

 

Step Three: Exfoliator

Similarly, I exfoliate once or twice a week maximum. I read an interesting article on exfoliators with plastic bits that damages the environment, so I have since eliminated anything with synthetic exfoliating pieces in them. I also avoid any salt or sugar scrubs because an aesthetician once told me that the rough sides of the salt and sugar make microscopic tears in the skin that cause infection and aging. So, when I do exfoliate I like to use a very gentle setting on the Clarisonic or Foreo Luna 2 with my foam cleanser. If I feel the need for even more gentle exfoliation – I will use luke warm water with a konjac sponge.

 

Step Four: Toner 

I like to avoid using cotton rounds with my toner, so I will splash a little in my hand and pat it gently over my face. I use a little fan to help speed the drying before I apply my next step. 

 

Step Five: Essence

There isn’t anything that is quite like a K-beauty essence, but I do like to spritz this beauty water before my serum!

 

Step Six: Serum

I will often use two different kinds of serum. I have very red and easily irritated skin across my cheeks, so I will often use a serum specifically to address the redness. I will then use another serum across my forehead, chin, and down my neck to address moisture and anti-wrinkle concerns. 

 

Step Seven: Masks/Treatments

  • Aztec Secret Bentonite Clay Mask – I use this as a mask once a month or so with a splash of apple cider vinegar.
  • I also like to spend a few minutes giving myself a mini facial massage – I’ll tap my face gently around the hollows of my eyes and across my forehead to help my circulation and products set.

 

Step Eight: Eye Cream

I’ll be the first to admit that I am absolutely terrible at applying eye cream. I do not like when it runs on my face or gets into the corners of my eyes…. but this cream is the best one I have found. I use a very little bit in the mornings, but I am much more generous with application in the evenings. 

 

Step Nine: Face Cream 

I like to change the type of cream I use – but this is a list of a few that I have really enjoyed and continue to repurchase.

 

Step Nine Point One: Facial Oil

I almost always use a facial oil after I’ve put on my cream – since my skin tends to be quite dry, I find a thin layer of facial oil helps lock everything in. I also find that this extra step helps my sunscreen glide on smoothly. 

 

Step Ten: Sunscreen 

I hate sunscreen…. there. I said it. Sunscreen sucks. Buuuuut! These are the two that are lightweight enough to forgive for daily use.  

 

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Thank you so much for visiting! Let me know in the comments if you have recommendations for other types of clean skincare products, or if you have tried these products!

 

 

Highlight: North Carolina Museum of Art

I visited the North Carolina Museum of Art back in August (and I’m so very belatedly sharing my trip). The stop was unplanned, and I cannot tell you how happy I was to have made the detour. It was just the perfect place to recharge and soak in the beautiful art. The pieces were incredible, and the space that the museums has is wonderful. My words are not justice enough – so I’m posting these pictures to entice you to visit (if you haven’t already). I’m already planning another trip in the new year!

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The grounds are incredible – vast and filled with amazing art work. It’s a wonderful way to explore art outside. There is a sustainable irrigation system (pictured above) that is a fascinating way of managing water and weather – definitely worth walking through and reading about. Below is a Jaume Plensa work that is absolutely stunning…. this was the first place that I had seen Jaume Plensa. I’ll never forget the moment I rounded the bend in the museum park and saw this work – it is so beautiful… words and pictures do not do it justice.

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The indoor collections are varied… I adore the sculptures (this gold one below is a fast favorite).

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You can find the NCMA on their website and on Instagram (they are very responsive, and just lovely!)

Thank you so much for visiting – tell me in the comments if there is a museum that speaks to your heart that I should visit! ❤

 

 

 

Currently On My Vanity

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A few of my favorites on my vanity right now!

Tell me in the comments what your favorites are for winter!

Thank you so much for visiting, and have a wonderful day! ❤

 

NYE Sparkle

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Last year, I rang in 2017 this scintillating sparkly dress. I paired it with a furry shrug from Parker, and with my favorite gray pumps. Nothing like a little sparkle, a little fur, and some high heels to start the new year on the right note.

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Needless to say, I plan on saying goodbye to 2017 and hello to 2018 with the same kind of sparkle. I haven’t decide which sparkly dress to acquire yet, but my favorites from Parker are linked below.

 

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Parker Allegra Dress, Sand

 

Tell me, what is your favorite? How are you going to be ringing in the New Year?

Thank you for visiting! ❤

Nordic Boots with the Fur

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I adore these boots that I bought last year, so when I saw they were back on jcrew.com I had to share. Mine are in last year’s beige, but I’m eyeing the black because I like them so much.

 

 

Enjoy! Let me know in the comments if you have a favorite stylish pair of winter-ready boots!