Monday, January 22, 2018

how we downsized to 650 square feet | sold, donated, trashed.

I don't know about you, but when a new year begins, I always have the urge to declutter my life in a multitude of ways. As I take down the Christmas tree and put away all of my holiday decor, I usually take some extra time to go through my closet, desk drawers, shelves, etc. to evaluate what should come with me into the fresh new year, and what shouldn't. 


Monday, January 15, 2018

recap: my first week of externship!

Two years ago this month, I started volunteering at Tampa General Hospital, a major teaching hospital in my area. By "volunteering," I really mean observing, because aside from sanitizing a few toys here and there, I mostly just sat in the corner and intently watched therapy sessions. I was beginning my second semester of SLP pre-requisites with only a few hours of observation at an elementary school under my belt, so I was still super green in the field and an SLP's scope of practice. In fact, before volunteering at TGH,  I don't think I even realized all that a speech-language pathologist does, especially for adults. Long story short, the adult/geriatric side of SLP is crazy interesting (for me, anyway). From working with neurodegenerative diseases to traumatic brain injuries, head and neck cancer to stroke patients, no day or session is ever the same...and it was while I volunteered that I fell in love.


Monday, January 8, 2018

current skincare favorites | winter 2018

Skincare, especially facial skincare, is something that's important to everyone. Helllooo, your face is the first thing someone notices about you, and you're likely going to have that same face for the rest of your life. Thus, it's important to take care of it.

Even though I'm still a broke-ish graduate student, I try my best to incorporate high quality products into my skincare regime. And by that I mean that I usually ask for the fancy stuff for holiday/birthday gifts. I use a little bit of high-end stuff mixed with drugstore purchases,

I rounded up a few of my current skincare go-to's, from serums to masks to peels and micellar water:
[note: this post contains affiliate links!]

Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Concentrate - "A nighttime facial oil that visibly restores the appearance of skin" ( 
I requested this little nugget for Christmas after hearing a lot of positive reviews from other bloggers. I absolutely love the smell, and it definitely hydrates my skin without making me break out. Note: this is not an anti-aging product. When I first starting using it, I thought "visibly restoring the appearance of skin" meant it was going to get rid of my forehead wrinkles (it doesn't). According to Sephora's website, it's best for dryness and dull, uneven texture. I've seen a big difference in that regard, so I would recommend if you're in the market for that kind of serum!

GLAMGLOW SUPERMUD Clearing Treatment - "A skincare mask designed to visibly clear the complexion" ( 
I know this mask isn't a giant revelation...nearly everyone I know has heard about GLAMGLOW masks, but I absolutely love this one! You can literally see the gunk being extracted from your pores as the mask oddly satisfying. I've had a couple of breakouts here and there, and this mask totally clears it up. It's a little pricier than I'd normally go for, but I have the mini version which is only $24! I rarely do a whole face mask - just problem areas - so it lasts a lot longer, too.

Silksence Blackhead Mask - In a nutshell, it's a peel-off blackhead remover/mask. Ryan randomly bought this peel-off mask for us from Amazon...ha! I've only used it once (similar to the mask above, I use these types of things pretty sparingly!) and it was kind of weird, but certainly did the trick! I will say that it left a little bit of residue after peeling, but a few blots of a damp washcloth cleared it up quickly. This one is definitely cost effective at around $11...but I wouldn't use it on your entire face the way they have it advertised. YOUCH.

Yes To Tomatoes Detoxifying Charcoal Micellar Cleansing Water - "Removes makeup, cleans and moisturizes skin all-in-one, without rinsing" (
Prior to purchasing this, I'd been using Garnier's micellar water and was not a fan. A few friends suggested I try the Yes To brand's version, and I love anything charcoal related (hence my above products!) so I opted for this guy. The pump is unlike any other product I've ever used - you put your cotton ball or wipe on top of the bottle (without flipping it over) and just push twice, and voila! It's ready to use. I will say, I'm not sure I'd purchase the charcoal again, solely because I use it as a makeup remover, and while the charcoal doesn't stay on your skin, it does stay on the cotton ball. This made it tough for me to tell if I was actually removing eye makeup. I think next time I purchase it, I'll try the cucumber or coconut version.

Botanics Organic Toning Spritz with Rosewater (super cheap at Target right now!) - "Purifies and refreshes skin after cleansing. This toner delicately, yet effectively, removes traces of makeup, leaving the skin revitalized" (
Who doesn't love a good toning spritz, especially in the form of rosewater? I spray this on my face before I go to bed, and I feel instantly refreshed. It's about as simple as that! Plus, it's a cheap thrill, and you know I'm all about those.

Erno Lazslo White Marble Dual Phase Vitamin C Peel - "A powerful two-step peel packed with super nutrient vitamin C to exfoliate, brighten, and moisturize skin" (
On the subject of cheap thrills, this next product is certainly not that...but if you have extra $ to throw down on skincare, I highly recommend this little set. I received this complimentary from Influenster a few months back, and I am obsessed. The peel (step 1) smells divine, like pure oranges. After massaging that into your skin for a couple of minutes, you apply the activator (step 2) which smells not quite as divine. This nifty little combo jump-starts the natural collagen process while simultaneously reducing dark spots and zapping dullness aka everything I need. Again, it's pricy - but worth it!

Not pictured: Skin Laundry Wrinkle Release Repair Treatment with Retinol  "A two-in-one nighttime anti-aging treatment plus moisturizer featuring the power of retinol" ( 
I make far too many funny/weird/ugly faces on a daily basis, and I have the wrinkles in my forehead to show for it (or am I just getting old? yikes!). While I'm a firm believer in the idea that wrinkles mean a life well lived (so long as they aren't sun damage related...), I prefer to keep them at bay. This little guy has helped reduce my fine lines on my forehead, doesn't have a heavy scent, and is super lightweight. 

What skincare products have you been loving lately? I'm in the market for an eye cream, so if you have a favorite, let me know!


Wednesday, January 3, 2018

2018 | the year of graduation + my goals.

Oddly enough, I'm actually thrilled to say goodbye to the holiday season. When October hits each year, I think to myself, "the best time of the year! pumpkins! halloween! ghouls!" Then November comes along, and I think to myself, "the best time of year! a great, big feast! thankfulness! friendsgiving!" Then December rolls around and I'm like "the best time of year! christmas, hanukkah, pretty trees, gift exchanges, all the treats!" By the end of that three month span, I am down for the count.

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