Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Reflecting On Year 26!

 


What a crazy whirlwind 26 was. Aside from the unprecedented amount of times that unprecedented was used to describe events - 26 was a year of growth. 

Although I feel like every year I say the last year was full of growth - this year the growth was in relation to accepting things around me and setting boundaries. 

I was fired from my last job a few days after I turned 26. Looking back now, that was probably the best thing that’s ever happened to me. 

At the time - I was dadless, jobless, and in the middle of a global pandemic. As we all were! To say I felt hopeless and luckless would be an understatement. 

However, a few months later, I would land a job somewhere my dad always wanted me to work. My dad told me to always intern at Shaker and apply there and when I saw the opening online I knew it was a sign. Almost a year into working here and I’ve never had a better work-life balance, I’ve never felt more comfortable sharing my input and ideas, and I’ve never been less anxious. I realized what it felt to strive for work-life balance. 

I realized that someone is more than what they do. I’ve set professional boundaries across the board that has helped protect my mental health. 

For personal boundaries - those have come with both friends and potential romantic encounters. This last year I learned a lot about dating and breaking old patterns and setting boundaries for myself in this part of my life. I think for a long time in my life I felt like I had everything else going for me - so why not dating? And I’ve had this woe is me attitude for a really long time. 



Believe it or not - TikTok played a huge role in this. My algorithm showed me a lot of relationships coaches and experts and people who were going through similar things as me. This helped me reposition how I looked at dating and myself. 

Speaking of TikTok - 26 was the year I made hashtags on TikTok trend, I had videos that got over half a million views, and I let my more goofy side show through on the internet. I used my real-life experience (usually dating) and turned it into comedic (well I think comedic) tidbits that helped people feel less alone. 

I also hit 10,000 followers on Instagram during 26. This is a huge goal for content creators on the app and has opened so many doors for me! I can't believe I've been blogging for almost 4 years! 

This is the least alone I’ve ever felt. A large part of that may be that I’ve taken on being a foster cat mom (hoping to soon be full-time cat mom!). I knew next to nothing about cats but when I found myself wanting a cat I waited a few months and kept the idea to myself. For someone who has to tell someone almost every thought they have - this was huge! After about 4 months when I realized that this was not an impulse idea I looked into fostering. From there, I thank all of the cat people in my life, Rescue in Style and The Catcade! I applied to foster, got approved and within a few days, little miss Dolly came home with me. 

She was a transport from an Indiana shelter and to say she has changed my life in the short time I’ve known her would be an understatement. I do not think I’ve ever loved something that is truly my own more than I love Dolly.

And in a way, learning all about cats and Dolly and us forming a strong bond, I realized that this would be how I would want to feel in a relationship. I don’t think I’ve ever fully experienced this with another human being. And maybe I will in the 27th year. 

There's so much to be thankful for, so much to smile about, and so much to grow into. I'm excited for what 27 brings and happy I get to do it with all of you! Cheers to another year!

Wednesday, August 4, 2021

Reflection: Living On My Own For A Year



It has been one whole year of living on my own in a studio apartment. Taking the time to look back how where my life was this time last year, is truly crazy. I could have never pictured being where I am today when I got the keys to this apartment a year ago.


Regardless of the external factors of 2020 that were taking place, a lot of internal and personal things were taking place that was forming me into the person I am today. I had lost my father about half a year prior which was something I was still very much processing. It was crazy to me that this would be the first place that my dad wouldn't see or know where I lived. Additionally, my mom was also sick which was scary and stressful. I was at a toxic job that penalized me for losing my father and other things out of my control. My self-esteem was low and my motivation to move and fuel my body was at an all-time low. 


Even in those moments, there were still things to be happy about, laughs to have, and love to feel. However, living alone has given me a space to grow, evolve and be the happiest I've ever been. 


In this space that I've made a home, I've reached professional and personal milestones that have been a long time coming. I landed my dream job at a supportive company where my dad always wanted me to work. Mimosas & Lipstick reached 10,000 followers on Instagram. I've soul searched and grown into the person I've always been capable of being and continue to evolve. I faced my anxiety disorder head-on and got the help I needed. I found things that I can do on my own that fill my cup. I've started traveling with my Mimosas & Lipstick brand. I've broken into video editing and TikTok. Decorating and organizing this space to make it my own has helped me unwind and recharge in the space. It's been a pressure cooker for my independence and happiness which is something I could have never imagined.


I often get asked if I like living alone, and I think from above it's clear I've really valued living alone. I think that everyone should live alone in this stage of life to become more comfortable with themselves and create a space that's truly their own. With that,  I do have some tips for living alone.


Chose a Safe Neighborhood and Building


Research different neighborhoods for where you're moving. Make sure that you feel safe that whatever that means to you. My building has a locked door that you need a key to access the building or call up to get buzzed in. Do what's best for you! 

Also, think about the amenities that are deal breakers for you. I live in Chicago so the odds of me having garbage disposal or an in-unit washer and dryer is unlikely for my budget and that's okay! But I wanted to make sure that I was within walking distance of a lot of places and that I have in building washer and dryer which I do.


Take Expenses Into Consideration


You will have to assume all expenses. So keep that in mind for utilities, wifi, cable, and any other fees that might be associated with your living space. Wifi and cable are included in my rent which consolidates some fees and bills for me. When you're touring apartments, also be sure to ask if there are any deals for signing your lease! That can make a huge difference. 


Take Time To Create Your Space


Don't put pressure on yourself to have all the answers right away. Take an inventory of what you have, and once you've toured your spare you can begin to fill it in. My biggest recommendation is to not to rush to buy things because you may find that once your current items are in the space it may flow differently than you originally thought! 


Build Connections and Make Plans


It can feel lonely at first living by yourself, but if you make plans throughout the week you'll be able to invest in relationships and break up the times that you feel alone. Befriending people in your building, through clubs, and organizations in your neighborhood creates a new community for you!


Take Time For Yourself


You will get used to being on your own and you'll honestly come to crave it! Take your weekend mornings slow, allot a weeknight or two where you just hang out at home or do something for yourself. I'm personally an extroverted introvert - so I am the life of the party and can talk to anyone but I need alone time to balance out those times of high energy to recharge. For me personally, allowing time for me to just lay on my couch or in my bed by myself with a gallon of water is really important for my mental health.


Embrace Your Independence and Being Alone


This might sound similar to take time for yourself but it's different to me. In this space, I have truly gotten back to being happy on my own. Separate from two breakups that were close together, my parents got sick, there was a global pandemic and I have a truly toxic job. There was a lot about my life I wasn't happy about for a long time. 


This is probably the only time in my life where I am completely independent, no one depends on me, and I can truly live alone. This has allowed me to sort through a lot of emotions, feelings and come to terms with a lot of what has happened around me and in my life. It's challenged me to be a cleaner person, it held me accountable in ways I didn't have to think about before, and it has allowed me to fully embrace who I am. This time in my mid to late twenties is time I was to look back on and know that I did everything I could with the knowledge I had. And living in this apartment has allowed me to exceed my expectations for myself. 


In this next year, I hope to continue to grow and evolve. I'm actually about to start applying to foster cats in the hopes of falling in love with one. If you know me personally this is definitely a shift from who I've always been (a dog person) but with the lifestyle, I lead and the space I have I know that I am more cut out to be a cat mom at this time in my life. Cheers to the next year in this space, the memories that will be made, the laughs that will be wheezed out, and the growth that will happen that I cannot even fathom. 

Thursday, July 8, 2021

Botox For Beginners


I know that the idea of Botox and Dysport can be so intimidating! There’s so much to learn and research and it can feel overwhelming when there are so many resources. I am 26 and just got my second round of Dysport. 


Dysport temporarily treats moderate to severe frown lines between the eyebrows by reducing specific muscle activity. Wrinkles are caused by repeated movements and muscle contractions.7 One injection into each of the 5 points between and above the eyebrows temporarily prevents muscle contractions that cause frown lines. In other words: natural-looking results that look and feel like you. (Source: Dysport website) I do it as a preventative measure to help fight the long-term effects of aging and fine lines. I was really self-conscious about my forehead lines and felt that the stress of the last two years really aged my skin. 



Before I got anything injected, I consulted my friends who have experience getting Botox and did my own research. I wanted an RN or plastic surgeon to do my service because I wanted a medical professional to perform my treatment. I ended up going to Innovative Med Spa in Chicago. Make sure that you trust your injector before your appointment! Research them and make sure that they're a medical professional!



I am admittedly scared of needles and was apprehensive about my first appointment back in March of 2021. But Jen from Innovative Med Spa Chicago knew exactly what she was doing, answered all my questions, and made me feel comfortable. 


After about 4 months, I returned for my second appointment. The whole experience takes about 15-20 minutes. I made a TikTok about my whole experience and my results a week out from my appointment. 


@mimosasandlipstick

@innovativemedspachicago ##dysport ##dysportinjections ##botoxcheck ##botoxinjection ##chicagobotox ##chicagodysport ##chicagocheck

♬ Taste - Tyga
Full effects take about two weeks to set in, but I can see results within a few days of my appointment. At the end of my video, that was my face one week after seeing Jen!

The biggest question I have gotten is about price. Botox and Dysport (whichever you decide to go with) are priced by unit. Units can range in price depending on where you go and where you live. I don't want to share how many units I receive specifically because everyone is different and has different needs. Right now through July 20th, Innovative Med Spa is running a special of $12 a unit, after that, it will be $14 a unit. Additionally, you can use my code HANNAH50 for $50 off your first service with Jen. This can be anything they offer and is not just limited to Dysport and Botox.

It can feel taboo to talk about and I totally get it! But remember that no matter what you do, people have already decided their opinion of you - so you might as well be yourself and do what you want!

Wednesday, June 30, 2021

The Perfect Weekend In Nashville

 



We had the best time in Nashville! I had been before but I hadn't been on a trip where I was able to indulge myself in everything Nashville has to offer! For my first trip dedicated to seeing the city - I will say that it stole my heart!

Although we did mostly the touristy parts of Nashville, I would love to go back and see more of it in the near future! All my recommendations are based on my experience this past weekend!

Where to Stay 


We had the pleasure of working with the Grand Hyatt Nashville. It was so close to the main portion of Broadway and we were able to walk most places. It is super upscale and the pool turns into a day party on the weekends which was a fun surprise! 

There are many hotels downtown in that area and if you plan on going with a group of 3-6 friends, I recommend staying in that area for easy transportation. Some of my friends have also stayed in Airbnb’s, which is another good option. When deciding where to stay I recommend mapping everything you want to go do and look for lodging central to that! 

We also ordered Uber and Lyft XL's and the most expensive one was $25. We did stay within a three-mile radius of the hotel but it was nice that none of them were too pricy. 

Another thing to consider is that right now where the main strip of Broadway bars are the streets are shut down and it is difficult to catch a ride home so you may have to walk a few blocks if you have to rideshare back to where you're staying.



Where to Eat and Drink


Dining


Acme Feed & Seed: Many floors, great food variety, live music, and good drink selection.

E and Rose Wellness: Great way to offset a night of too much drinking! Affordable healthy food and they have locations across the city.

Sonny’s: Located in Germantown, this is a more local spot with affordable drink flights, good apps, and a casual ambiance.

Hampton Social: I know there are a few other locations across the country but the flower wall there is a prime photo spot!

BarTaco: Located in the 12South neighborhood, this restaurant has great affordable tacos. The neighborhood is so cute to walk around as well and has some fun shopping!

Drinking


You really can't go wrong with Broadway. We bar hopped both nights and enjoyed almost every bar! It is really busy and packed at places like Tootsie's, Casa Rosa, Jason Aldean's, and Honky Tonk Central, so keep that in mind when planning your night. There will be lines but every line we were in moved quickly.

We wanted to go to White Limozeen - but reservations are super competitive! I recommend getting on their site 2 weeks before your trip at midnight to get a table!

Where to Play


Johnny Cash Museum: I've gone on a past trip and it is interesting to learn more about his life. The museum is right off Broadway so if you're planning on spending time in this area it won't be too off the beaten path.

Grand Ole Opry: It is MY DREAM to go here! I hope next time I'm in town I can visit.




Amelia’s Flower Truck: Such a cute photo opportunity and their flowers are gorgeous! 

Grand Hyatt Pool: Our hotel's pool was a super fun party spot during the day! There's a DJ, a bar and a restaurant on the same floor so you're set for the day!

12 South: Such a fun neighborhood with great food, shopping, and murals! 



What Should You Pack?


Depending on the time of year you go, the list will definitely ebb and flow. We went at the end of June and we lucked out that it didn't rain but it was really hot! If you're planning on going out on Broadway, not a lot of places had strong AC or AC on at all so be prepared to sweat!

I definitely recommend sensible walking shoes (I wore platform heels or boots most of the time), but to also have fun with it! We all played around with animal prints, bright colors, and textures. This is the place to have fun with your outfits! I included everything I packed in a TikTok below, and have linked the items on my LIKEtoKNOW.it!



@mimosasandlipstick

Everything is linked on my @liketoknowit ##nashvillebound ##packwithme ##packwithmeforvacation ##traveldiaries ##girlsweekend ##girlstrip ##nashville

♬ Man! I Feel Like A Woman! - Shania Twain

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

I Got My Eyebrows Microbladed & You Should Too! (If You Want!)




Growing up I was always told that I had eyebrows like Brooke Shields. They were thick at the center of my face and then thinned out towards the end of my eyes. I really didn’t need to do much to keep them even.


However, this was the age of super-thin eyebrows. Like pencil line eyebrows. So I plucked, and I plucked and I plucked and I plucked until some of my eyebrows wouldn’t grow back.


Like this is embarrassing but in sixth grade, I literally had half eyebrows because that’s how much I tweezed them, and looking back it makes me want to crawl into a hole! 


Ever since then, I’ve let them grow out as much as I could but the damage had been done! I could fill them in but if you have followed me for a while you know that I didn’t really wear make-up to the office at my old job! So usually my eyebrows were short and stubby and I was self-conscious. 


Throughout quarantine, I started learning more about filling in eyebrows more effectively and I actually started researching microblading. 


If you’re not familiar microblading is XX. It’s helped so many people get their confidence back from all different walks of life. I felt like maybe this could be good for me.


So I then looked into different studios and what they offered in the Chicagoland area and I landed on Midwest Microblading. From the moment I walked in I was at ease and was happy with my decision. 


Some things that are important to look for when you're researching is experience and examples of work - you’re literally getting tattoos on your face! You have to take it seriously! Midwest Microblading had a lot of before and afters on their Instagram which you can view here.




Jen at Midwest Microblading had experience with a wide variety of tattoos and got involved in microblading to help people who have beaten cancer and had permanent hair loss. 


They use medical-grade equipment and sterilization techniques (before and especially during covid) so I knew I was in good hands. 


We walked through the process (two appointments, an initial appointment, and then a touch-up after they heal) and then mixed the tones that she felt would work best with my skin tone, hair color, face shape, and overall goal! I made a reel you can watch here that goes through the whole process! 




Each appointment took about two hours. I truly don’t like needles or anything like that - and although there was some initial discomfort I would rate the pain at maybe a 2.5 out of 10. Truly nothing - it just felt like a lot of tiny plucks from tweezers. Jen prioritizes numbing the area for your comfort and I think that made a world of difference! (Important note: you can't drink caffeine or take vitamins 24 hours before your appointment!)


Post appointment it feels like you have a slight sunburn and then usually I went to bed not too far after my appointment. 


It does take a while for your eyebrows to heal but the aftercare is a lot easier than you think! Some of what went into my aftercare included: 


  • Not working out for 7 days (you can still walk)
  • You can’t get them wet for 10 days
  • You can’t put products in them (no make-up, creams, serums, face wash, nothing!)
  • You have to sleep on your back 
  • You can scratch or touch them 


Eventually, your skin will scar and then fall off and it was very tempting to peel but I stayed strong! (As a girl who loves picking at her skin especially things like sunburn this took restraint LOL!)





About 8 weeks later I went in for my touch-up. Jen and I discussed how I felt they looked based on what I expected and looked at how my skin reacted and went for there! Everyone is different but I ended up actually going way darker the second time! 


After another round of healing - I've never been happier with my eyebrows! I often get asked how long it lasts and that really depends on your skin type! It can last anywhere from 1 to 3 years and then you'd get touch-up's as needed.  


If you're interested in getting your eyebrows microbladed - I recommend it! It's really improved my confidence and is one less thing I have to worry about when getting ready for the day. If you mention my name at Midwest Microblading you will get $50 off your service! You can reach out via Instagram or email her at contact@midwestmicroblading.com 

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

So You're In an Instagram Rut?

Dress | Bag | Sandals

If you're here, chances are you're also a content creator who feels frustrated, burned out, defeated, or a combination of all three. We’ve all been there and lately, I’ve been feeling defeated with Instagram.  

Instagram seems to be constantly changing and evolving and can throw content creators for a loop (they hate to see a girl boss winning (IYKYK LOL)). Although an algorithm can be a factor - I don’t like solely blaming it on the platform.  

I have been blogging for almost three and a half years and I have seen a lot of ebbs and flows come and go. You can have really high, high's and really low, low's. There are a lot of ways to address the problem both on and off Instagram to help you and your brand. 

Although I do not have a perfect answer, in my full-time job when we analyze data we ask ourselves questions and dig deep for the 'why'.  It can feel intimidating or exposing but I feel like this strategy in this realm of my life also may help you all as well as myself. Below are some different ideas and questions to help you do some self-analyzing. 

Do An Audit of Your Page and Content 


Take an honest look at your page or ask a close friend to. This can help identify some small tweaks and easy fixes that could help your content. 

  • Are there areas of content you’re missing? 
  • Are there different ways to word your captions? Are you asking questions or are you just talking about yourself?
  • Is your content creating value? Do people come to your page for something specific that you haven’t been posting about as much lately? 
  • Do your followers leave your page having learned something? Or are they listening to you complain day-in and day-out?
  • What’s your content mix? 
  • Is what you’re sharing is shared by a lot of accounts similar to yours? Are your ideas your own?
  • Are you utilizing video where appropriate? Are there ways to incorporate it?

These questions are meant to help you jumpstart a creative process! By letting go of some parts of your brand that aren't working for you, you're able to channel that energy into other parts or find new ways to engage with your audience.

Focus on Other Platforms 


The truth of the matter is that Instagram could go away tomorrow! It’s a free platform so although you’ve built your platform on it, they wouldn’t owe you anything! 

Finding your other platform may seem like a chore at first but working it into your content creation can be easier than you think. 

  • What parts of blogging am I good at? This could be writing, video editing, graphic making, connecting others - don't downplay your abilities!
  • What parts of blogging come naturally to me? Is it sharing recipes, sharing home decor, sharing daily affirmations - what are you naturally good at?
  • Now, what platforms help you highlight, work on and grow what you're good at?

When I created my blog I also created this website to be able to write because that was one of the bigger reasons I started my platform. I share content on here in conjunction with Instagram to give all of your more resources and also because this is a domain I own so as long as I pay for it to be live it will lives in this corner of the internet. 

I’ve had friends who have broken into TikTok because they felt stagnant on Instagram and have seen great success! Some of my friends share religiously on Pinterest. Taking content that you may create for Instagram and repurpose it for other platforms (and vice versa) helps you broaden your reach without recreating the wheel. Everyone has their own path and different strengths so experiment until you find yours in addition to Instagram! 
 

Refresh Your Content 


This sounds very time-intensive and like I'm a crazy person but I'm not suggesting you redo your page, I'm saying give it a little makeover! 

  • Do you need to lessen your presets? Do you need a preset? 
  • Are you posting at times that your audience is engaged or times that fit into your busy schedule? 
  • Are you responding to comments left on your photos in a timely manner?
  • Does your content provide value? What do your followers look to you for?
  • Are the Instagram Story filters you're using completely changing the way your face looks?
  • Have you gauged what your followers are looking for lately? Whether it's a specific kind of restaurant, city to visit, outfit, the perfect eyeshadow - be a resource! 
  • Are you sharing what's on your heart? Or is every Instagram Story asking them to buy something?
  • Do you share things about your life that others can relate to? Or are you complaining day after day because that's what you are used to?
  • Do you continually promise followers content and then never follow through?
  • Is your content balanced? Is every post an ad for something you wouldn't actually use? Do you only share from one retailer? 

Admittedly, I've been trying to better balance my content myself. That was something I realized upon an analysis of my own content and that's okay! As a brand, sometimes what you try doesn't work and you have to shift in order to achieve what you want. What I want is to continue to provide value for my followers and create organic conversation. So I'm going to shift content in a way I think is realistic and also beneficial.


To refresh, you could try:
  • New poses, new backgrounds, new captions!
  • Different Instagram Story formats. This could be try on hauls, polls, and questions to start conversations, removing "hey guys just wanted to pop on quick", share daily parts of your life even if they're not 'on brand'.
  • Batching content so you don't feel stressed in-between content deadlines. 
  • Predrafting captions and blog posts when you have time and feel inspired so you do feel rushed or flustered.

Interact With New Accounts 


Let's do an audit of who you follow and who follows you. Weeding through accounts that either inspire you and you look forward to consuming or accounts that deplete you is kind of like clearing your workspace. When you're cleaning off your desk or a space in your home, you get rid of the items that no longer serve a purpose - so if there's a meme account or a celebrity account or a business account that doesn't inspire you or that you enjoy following, let's clear it from your space!

  • Are you following accounts that inspire you? 
  • Are there accounts that you follow that haven't posted in more than 18 months?
  • Do you interact with accounts that also support you? 
  • Are you in engagement groups? (Because if you are GET OUT NOW!)
  • Do you follow bloggers and brands in your niche? 

For me, finding other curvy bloggers and brands that supported and catered to curvy women was a gamechanger for my mental health. It helped me feel like I belonged and that there was a space for me. Look for new accounts or new-to-you accounts of other bloggers in your area, who have the same style or taste as you, or who have similar interests. Those are your people and they can be good ways to widen your inspiration and can be good people to network with because you have things in common.

Take A Break 


At the end of the day, sometimes the brain needs to rest to be the most productive. If you can step away for a day, a weekend, a week, whatever you need - sometimes that's the best solution! When you're burned out, it's going to be evident in your content. You may be smiling in a pretty photo but your caption, your Stories, and your interactions are going to be telltale signs that you're suffering.

No one wants you to suffer! Sometimes you need to skip posting so you can go on a walk, go to the gym, get your nails done, get a spray tan, whatever is going to make you feel better! For a really long time, I felt like I have to be on 24/7 on Instagram or good things wouldn't happen for me. I would get burned out, my anxiety would spike, and my interpersonal relationships would suffer because the people who cared about me saw I needed a break and I wouldn't listen. 

So I started building breaks into my week. I try to take Friday afternoon to Sunday afternoons off of actively posting content on Instagram. I also try to pick a day or two in my week when I don't have deadlines that I can catch up on blog admin work instead of creating new content that I then also have to add to my to-do list to catch up on. 

Building in breaks and time into your schedule to do things just for you where you can is crucial for your long-term mental health as well as the longevity of your business! While I speak from a place of a single city girl, I truly believe my mindset can be adapted to anyone's lifestyle. Making sure you build in breaks into your blogging lifestyle however that might look for you is important and you'll notice a difference as you implement them. 

Even when it can feel like an app is working against us, it’s important to remember that our mindset and mental health are also important in these scenarios! I encourage you to work through some of these questions throughout the blog post because although it may feel uncomfortable or harsh, it's only going to help you engage and be better for your following. Which at the end of the day, isn't that the point?

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Your Must-Have Candle For Every Season

 

If you’ve followed me for a while you know I’m a firm believer in signs. After we lost my dad in late 2019, there are little things throughout my day that remind me of him. They also serve as a reminder for me to take a beat and a breath and smile. 

When Anvil + Candle reached out to me and I realized that they were based in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, where my dad lived. It was a sign to me that I should take a closer look at the company. Their products are completely recyclable and they take pride in how green they strive to be. 

Their soy wax and fragrance oils are completely toxin-free with no black burn off which makes their candles and candle vessels completely natural products. They designed their company with the idea of being able to change your candle fragrance based on your mood, occasion, and preference. Think of a Keurig cup: to safely and efficiently use you must put the coffee pod in the machine and that's how Anvil + Candle thinks with their products. Not only do the vessels add a flare of sophistication as home decor, but the candle cup refills are designed specifically to safely house each refill. You can change the refill cup when ready or recycle it when finished. 

They have a wider variety of scents that fit every home and every personality. I received some ideal scents for spring and summer in my unique candle system. Mine included a lemon scent, a mojito scent, and a breeze scent. 

Their candle systems, which consist of a candle vessel and candle cup refill are completely customizable. All of their scents and vessels to choose from on their website. What's great about the candle vessel is that you can pick it to match your decor, so the label of the candle won't clash with your vibe and you'll be relaxing in no time.

My dad always burned a wide variety of candles and I have been burning candles like crazy while I have been working from home. I felt that the company's location was a sign, I know it was worth trying. My Anvil + Candle candles have been long burning and the perfect addition to my daily work from home life.

These candle systems would make the perfect Mother's or Father's Day present! Each system includes a candle vessel and a candle cup refill and is $37. Any additional candle refill cup is $12. The candle refills easily pop in and out for a variety of scents with minimal decor changes. Check out all their scents and vessels on their website here. You can use my code MIMOSA20 for 20% off your order of your very own candle system.

Sunday, April 18, 2021

Getting In My Fruits & Veggies With JuiceRx

 



There's a lot of health trends and diets. Almost to the point that it can be easy to get lost in what is best for you. As I shift into a more active lifestyle I want to be sure that I'm giving my body the nutrients and support to be the healthiest I can be! 


I have worked with JuiceRx for almost a year now and their menu offers nutrient-rich options that are also tasty! I've enjoyed their smoothies and their ACAI bowls so I figured that this would be a good place to break into juices. I've never really had green juices and to be honest, I am not sure that I will take up celery juicing anytime soon. However, I felt really safe trying new juices from JuiceRx because they use quality ingredients and blend flavors, vitamins, and minerals together. 


I am going to share my reviews for their wide array of green juices and ACAI bowls. 


     

    


AÇAI Bowls


JuiceRx's bowls are always made fresh to order. My favorite has always been the Harlequin Monkey! But I also tried the Fruit Alchmiest, Banana Dragon, and Matcha Bowl! 


The Banana Dragon is my new second favorite. It has unique flavors that are tasty and also make for a gorgeous presentation. I would say I'm not really a Matcha person so that be default was not my favorite. However, if you love matcha I think that this would hit the spot for you! I still give it an 8/10. 


You can always make customized bowls at JuiceRx if that's what you prefer! It's funny because one of the first times I ever hung out with Alexa we actually went to the Bucktown location and made our own smoothie bowls! 


 *I substituted all coconut ingredients of the bowls because of an allergy*




Green Juices


For the first time in my life I gave green juice a try! I've never really been into the health trend but knew that JuiceRx makes their products from high-quality ingredients so I trusted their product offering. Unsurprisingly, I preferred the fruitier flavored juices such as the Green Lemon Twist, Liquid Lunchbox, and Supreme-ly Green. If you're used to green juices, I feel like you would enjoy their more traditional juices such as the Celery Juice, the Supreme Green, Green Glow, and Picante Verde. 



Green juices are a rich source of numerous nutrients and plant compounds that support heart health, digestion, and immunity. I will say that I felt more regular, my skin looked brighter and I do feel like trying the juices helped my seasonal allergies. 


I do not know if I will take up celery juicing anytime soon - but I am glad that I was able to try it and figure out what green juices worked best for me and my diet! If you're in the Chicago area, definitely check out JuiceRx's two locations in Streeterville and Bucktown. You can also order delivery on their app! They're also hiring if you're in the market for a job - check out more information here.

Thursday, March 25, 2021

Staycation At The Wicker Park Inn

 


This past weekend my friend Cori and I checked out the Wicker Park Inn. Located in Wicker Park in a cozy neighborhood within walking distance to both Division St. and Milwaukee Ave., this modern B&B is the perfect place for your staycation or visit! It's also super close to the CTA to easily navigate the city.


The neighborhood is comfortable and filled with amazing architecture. All the rooms are named after Chicago streets, we stayed in the Wabansia room. Our room was street facing and had tons of natural light! The building has modern bathrooms, cable, and easy AC/heat operation. We felt super fancy and relaxed. 


Makeup by: @jen_hebeauty

As soon as we settled in, Jen from Hannah Elisabeth Beauty stopped by to get us glam for our day of activities. She took me from fresh-faced to glammed up! I was blown away by how light and airy her makeup felt and how dynamic it looked.


Since the B&B is so close to Milwaukee Ave. and Division St., we were able to enjoy the nice weather and walk around to the different stores and later on to dinner and drinks at Whiskey Business. They have a fun atmosphere that is socially distanced with live music. 


The next day we had brunch from Milk and Honey delivered right to our door! Wicker Park Inn has partnered with them to offer this service in addition to many others that can be the cherry on top of your stay! You can read more about their offerings here. 


After we packed up and checked out, we were within walking distance to Paradise Park. This place is Insta-worthy and has great food and fun drinks! I always go with The Umbrella that is served in a Radler can. 



Another great spot to stop by is Eli's Ark. They have creative gelato flavors that you can turn into cute animals!


I always love staycations because they're a quick and easy way to reset without being too far from home. Living in a huge city like Chicago, getting to enjoy other neighborhoods more fully makes me appreciate the culture of the city and all its people more. If you're looking for a calm and gorgeous place to stay, definitely check out Wicker Park Inn

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

How To Shoot Content On Your Own

 



Sometimes it can feel impossible to capture content. Between friends, conflicting schedules, your work schedule, family commitments, self-care, and feeling inspired it can feel like it's never the right time. 


I love when my friends help me with content because I feel like so many great spontaneous collaboration happens. There's someone to connect with behind the camera and it's faster than trying it on your own.


However, sometimes shooting content by yourself can be super convenient and fruitful! You can do it on your own time, you can take as many shots as you want, and you might be able to try new angles and ideas you'd be too nervous to in front of someone else. 


It can be intimidating to try new things but I've compiled some tips that will set you up for success.


Get a Tripod and/or Ring Light


In order to make sure that you're going to create level photos - I recommend getting a tripod! I've linked the one I use here. I bought this my first year I started blogging and have been using it ever since! They're usually around $30 and it guarantees you won't have to find something to prop your phone up against anything.


Although they serve similar purposes, I do recommend also getting a ring light. If you work full time or have to capture in a poorly light area - a ring light will change your content capturing! They usually have a cord to plug in and then a platform for your phone. I linked mine here


Sometimes it can be hard to pose and look warm when you're taking photos with a tripod - I like to pretend its a person or I try to think of something funny so that I look less stiff.

Use the Self-Timer or Bluetooth Clicker


Once you've set up your phone - now it's time to set your self-timer. I usually set my timer to 10 seconds which allows me to move around, make sure everything is in place. 

I use a Bluetooth clicker as well so I don't have to walk back and forth between my phone and my ideal pose. I still use the self-timer on my phone to allow for time in between clicking to move around, hide my clicker, and make sure everything is in place. The one I use is linked here.


Plan to Shoot 1 to 3 Outfits


Shooting with yourself is a great way to batch content - but don't get overzealous. You don't want to get overzealous and burn out. Especially as you are starting out with shooting content with a tripod. Taking breaks in between the outfits also helps you center yourself and keeps you from becoming frustrated.

Do a Test Shot


Since you can't see your phone from where you'll be standing since the camera facing out is better than your front-facing camera, you'll want to do a test shot. See if you like the lighting if you can see your whole outfit and that the framing is everything you envisioned. You'll also avoid taking 10 photos and hating them.

Take Your Time and Give Yourself Grace


Try to allow for extra time so that you have time so that you're less stressed if you're not getting the shot you want right away. It can be nerve-racking to take photos with a tripod in public - so I recommend trying at first in your backyard, alley, or indoors to get used to taking photos this way. I still get nervous sometimes and sometimes people stare when they walk by but ultimately it's important to remember that you'll probably never see them again - so pay them no mind! 

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

My Sugaring Experience

 


I shared over on Instagram Stories last week that I checked out the new Sugaring NYC-Chicago location in Lincoln Park. Sugaring is a more natural way of removing unwanted body hair. It's a mixture of lemon juice, water, and sugar and attaches to the hair instead of the skin. 


Their studio is on Halsted by Sumer House Santa Monica and there's plenty of parking in the area! Upon my arrival, my temperature was taken and I offered a sit in their waiting room. The whole storefront is super clean, spread out, and organized so I felt completely safe. 


Once my specialist was ready, I meet with her before the initial service. She did a wonderful job of walking me through the process, how I may feel, and different options we could do if I was experiencing any discomfort. (They have fans they can turn on and you can take brakes at any time during the service to catch your breath!)


Your comfort is their priority. It's not completely painless however, I felt like compared to a traditional hot wax treatment this was a lot more manageable. It's so quick and my skin reacted really well to it. 


A week out, my skin is still super smooth! I haven't experienced any irritation or ingrown hairs. Unlike traditional hot wax treatments, where it would attach to my skin and would rip it at times and could burn live skin cells in the painful process. I experienced a lot of ingrown hairs and it really irritated my skin. 


I had a really positive experience and I'm happy with my results. I will definitely be back and I encourage you to give it a try if you often pay for traditional hot wax appointments! You can DM them on Instagram or make an appointment online! I have included their price sheet below.




Monday, March 1, 2021

Staycation At The Hotel Lincoln



 

I feel like my friends rarely NEED something to celebrate to have a good time but GETTING to celebrate Xi's milestone birthday made this weekend extra special! We checked into our suite at the Hotel Lincoln in Lincoln Park by the Lincoln Park Zoo on Friday night to start the weekend on the right foot! Paris 312, Alpha-Lit Chicago, and Danica Rose Wine helped us set up for the birthday festivities. 


One huge perk of staying at the Hotel Lincoln is that you have priority seating at the J Parker. This rooftop greenhouse rooftop has fun cocktails and amazing shareables as well as burgers on potato buns! The views of the skyline were also next level. 


After dinner, we headed back to our suite and began our cocktail party. Unlike the Bachelor, we made cocktails on the fly with alcohol we got from Nipyata (no drama!)! Nipyata sent us a pinata filled with candy and tiny shooters of alcohol. I shared all our mixed drinks here


The next day we started the day off with coffee from Elaine's Coffee Call in the hotel lobby. I tried the Lavender Vanilla latte with almond milk and it didn't disappoint. 



We drank our coffee as we got ready for brunch at Park & Field. We Uberred over to Logan Square for the $45 unlimited brunch. You can choose from Mimosas, Rosé, Bloody Marys and beer. They have a nice spread of brunch food to chose from that you select on a form and they bring right to your table. (In normal times it is a buffet.)


If you wanted to stay close to Hotel Lincoln when dining out, Ranalli's, The Vig, 80 Proof, and Utopian Tailgate are all within walking distance from the hotel.


In the afternoon we batched content, explored the hotel, and walked through the park across the street. Lincoln Park Zoo is also across the street. In warmer months, you could head to the beach as well. It's a really good central location to a lot of attractions for families and couples alike!



We started the evening with a charcuterie spread and taking photos with the marque sign from Alpha-Lit Chicago. We had an 8:30 pm Igloo reservation at Bar Cocina. The igloo allows you to preselect your food and alcohol options and upon arrival, you are able to pair your phone with a Bluetooth speaker and relax in their comfortable seating options. We enjoyed our spread and once we finished dinner we headed down the street to Replay for the Schitt Happens pop-up bar.



I LOVE Schitt's Creek and loved the decor of the bar, however, I would recommend getting tickets for the day or early evening. We got tickets for 10:30 pm and Last Call was shortly after they sat us. We did not find the wait staff to be extremely friendly and they were abrasive at times. To me, it was worth it because the bar broke up sections to have Moria's wig room, the town sign, Rose's Apothecary, the Front Desk, and Cafe Tropical. They also have really unique cocktails based on the show and they play Schitt's Creek episodes on a loop on all the TVs. 


I always have a good time with my girlfriends and this weekend was a fun way to celebrate our girl Xi and warmer weather. One of my favorite parts about Chicago is that there's always something new to discover. You will never get tired of where to eat, walk, workout, shop, drink and so much more! I got to try some new places in my own neighborhood - I live right down the street from Hotel Lincoln! If you haven't tried something new around you lately - whether it's ordering in or walking a different way - it's worth it. It will give you new energy.

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Winter Blues

 


I always feel like February is the month where I feel the lowest. There's a lot of downtime especially this year with the cold weather and it can cause us to feel uninspired and unmotivated to continually achieve the goals we have been setting for ourselves whether it's resolutions from the new year or general goals. 


I myself, have had some low days. There's only so much I can do in my studio apartment, and while I'm lucky to have the privilege of being able to work from home - there are still some days I feel stuck in a rut.


So although today the sun is shining in Chicago and I feel happy, I wanted to write this and let you know that on your low days, you're not alone! I have compiled a list of some things I've found helpful in my dark days to help me get through to the better ones. 


  • Drink water! When in doubt, fill your cup up.
  • Make your bed - this helps me feel like I'm starting the day on a productive note.
  • Do a face mask!
  • Take a hot shower - this always drastically improves my mood.
  • Clean out your closet - decluttering and donating clothes helps your community and having less stuff in my apartment helps me feel less stressed.
  • Take a break from your phone - pick up a book, give yourself a manicure, give yourself a break from screentime.
  • Get ready for the day - even if you're changing from nighttime pajamas to day pajamas - make a conscious effort to change your clothes - this helps with my mindset for starting the workday.
  • Call a friend or family member - whenever I talk to my mom, aunt or grandma I always feel better
  • Eat more veggies and fruits - I feel like making sure I'm eating a rainbow as much as I can improve my mood. Giving my body nutrients also helps with brain function, sleeping, and digestion.
  • Journal - I honestly wish I did this more but when I'm really in my head I like to open the Notes app on my phone and write it out! 
  • Move your body - if you're not comfortable going into a gym right now this could be walking up and down your driveway, doing some squats and lifting weights, or even a dance party! My mom and I turn out music and jam when we're trying to get our steps in. 
  • Clean - sometimes I put this off but Swiffering your floors, vacuuming, dusting are all active ways to improve your space. So you're moving your body and you'll feel accomplished after. Plus, the more you do it, the less time it takes! 
  • Bake! I am trying to do this more because I've really been craving blueberry muffins. 

Although you can't make every day perfect, you can find some perfect parts of your day. Even taking 15 minutes to do one of the things on the list or turning on your favorite show can be your you time! You just have to intentional about it. When I start doing my hair and makeup or I start cooking one of my favorite meals, I remind myself that this is a part of the day I can control and I'm consciously making this time for myself in my day.


Please remember you're never alone! You have a support system that is always there for you. We're going to get through it. 

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Three Years of Mimosas & Lipstick

It's funny how some things in life feel like they've taken forever, but have also only taken a day. It feels like yesterday that I was stuck in an uninspirational job, fresh out of college in an office with no windows. I was new but I felt stuck and disoriented about where to go from there. 


I saw bloggers like Courtney Shields, Lauren Sims, and Dani Austin share what they love. I soon realized that I looked forward to watching their content every day and following along with their lives. I always loved fashion and pairing outfits together because I watched my mom do it every day for work. However, the office park I was currently commuting to every day didn't really lend itself to being fashion-forward. So in my mind, I felt like my outfits were being wasted on my hour-long drives to and from work. 


I had done a little blogging in college when I interned for Jay Ducote and I really loved the process. Being a resource for others, telling a story, and getting to try new things all excited me. However, it was in the world of food which I was pretty inexperienced at it. My dad saw how much I enjoyed interning and he had urged me to start a food blog in college, but I quickly shut that down. 


"I'm not good enough."


"No one will care about what I have to say."


"I am not an expert in anything no one will read what I write."


And my dad would build me back up when I spoke that way about myself. He'd tell me that he believed in me, that I could do anything I set my mind to, and eventually he wore me down. I missed writing and what did I have to lose? 


So I started researching. I read blog posts from bloggers I idolized, I researched website domains and overhead costs. I asked for advice from people I knew like Karli Willis and Filo Garcia who had experience in the world of blogging. I used my resources to better prepare myself for the world I wanted to enter. 


And from there - I tried. I wish I could tell you that there was some magical formula or secret sauce but there isn't. I had to learn not to be afraid of failing and try new things to ultimately get where I wanted to be. 


Blogging is just like anything else in that you have to work for what you want. There was a lot of trial and error, there were some engagement groups and big giveaways which ultimately stunted my growth. There were some fellow bloggers I encountered who ultimately weren't loyal people, there were partnerships where I was scammed or overworked or underpaid but it got me to where I am today! 


Like everything else, there were some challenges I had to overcome.  People close to me in my personal life didn't understand why I worked so hard at a hobby. Others told me that I couldn't just start a blog, I put a lot of pressure I put on myself to have the 'perfect post', and my fear of what others thought of me really made my anxiety spike. I feel that blogging has really taught me to rely on myself and my visions for what I believe is possible. 


I'm all for a healthy amount of skepticism. I definitely needed the people in my life who were there for me to bring me back to down to Earth when I was overwhelmed and putting pressure on myself to constantly be online. I needed my people who helped me take photos and proofread my posts and let me crowdsource them for follower feedback. I couldn't have started this blogger journey without my close family and friends because even though they might have not understood what I was doing in the beginning, they still helped me in the ways that they could. 


My mom always listens to my stories about negotiations, collaborations, gossip, and strategies, she is honestly my hero and my best friend. I am so thankful for her.



Through my blogging journey, I have met some of my closest friends in adulthood. By looking to them for blogging support, advice, and brainstorming I was able to reach my goals, try new things, and grow my confidence levels. Redirecting my blogger questions, events, and photos to them helped formulate bigger, newer ideas that I wouldn't have been able to achieve without them. Additionally, this ultimately helped put less strain on my interpersonal relationships outside of blogging and helped me find more time to relax and decompress. 


This last year was a big one for M&L! I branched out into video content creation and editing, I reached 10K on Instagram, I went on my first few blogger trips, started my own blogger tips series on my website and I was able to connect with all of you, old and new! I landed partnerships with dream companies and landed more paid partnerships than I ever could have dreamed of - which is all in thanks to your support! I couldn't do any of this without you! 


I am honestly still in shock that I am allowed to wake up every day and do this. Whether it's a hobby or a full-time gig or something in between, knowing that I created and built a business that you all time and time again come back to means the entire world to me. 


The internet can be a harsh and cruel place. There are bullies and scammers and liars - but I like to believe this corner of the internet, our corner, has helped us through one of the craziest times in our lives. 


On my end, this year of M&L was mostly spent navigating the loss of my dad and the grief process. I truly believe that having the blog and being able to lean on this community is what got me through. So many of you have unfortunately had to navigate this type of loss as well and having you to turn to on my bad days really made a difference. There was so much support and love from so many angles regardless of different walks of life and you were all so helpful in my darkest hours. 


Looking forward to next year, I hope to continue to grow and meet more amazing people. To learn, listen, and love others, while also inspiring others. To try and share more things with you and for you to share more things with me so I can best create content that you enjoy. 

My advice to people who are thinking about starting a blog or are newer to it - if you wait for the "right time" or the "right place" or the "right relationship" or the "right weight" you're never going to do it. You're always going to find an excuse for why you can't start working toward your dreams today. If you put yourself out there, if you're coming from a genuine place, and if you're willing to learn from your mistakes and try again, you're never going to feel like you failed. 

© Mimosas and Lipstick. Made with love by The Dutch Lady Designs.