2018

 

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Hello, beautiful people and Happy New Year!

I can’t believe it’s 2018 already.  To be completely honest, I am glad that 2017 is over.  What a year?  I literally isolated myself, especially from social media, as much as possible to recuperate from the highs and mostly lows of a year that literally has left me using punctuation marks to describe my life.

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If you’ve ever watched the movie Monster-in-Law with Jennifer Lopez and Jane Fonda, there’s a scene where the ladies meet for the first time and chat over tea.  During the conversation, Jane Fonda’s character reaches for the question mark necklace around J Lo’s neck and ask, “Why the question mark?”.  Jennifer responds candidly and freely with a bright smile “Oooh, ’cause I just don’t know?” ended with a carefree laugh.  I swear this is one of my favorite scenes of the movie.  I love Jennifer’s character, Charlie, and I connect with her so much.  She had different jobs and ventures going on at the same time while trying makes sense of it all and embracing the changes as they come.  Charlie went to the beat of her own drum without any apologies.

 Life is full of situations and experiences that are interesting, frustrating, challenging, fun, exhilarating, along with so many other adjectives.  Last year, I struggled with the not knowing and trying to figure it out.  I felt a lot of internal and external conflict because I realized that I lost myself.   I lost “beating the rhythm to my own drum.”  I missed the relationship I had with myself.  I stopped feeding my soul and continued taking on obligations that were depleting me.  I felt like I was suffocating and my body and spirit were suffering because of my unhappiness and discouragement.

 I stopped making my happiness and peace the priority.   So I decided before I go into to 2018, I need to make a change.  THERAPY.  If you’re new to my blog, I am a marriage and family therapist, and I am a believer and supporter of psychotherapy.  There’s this negative stigma associated with counseling and therapy, but there are really great therapists out here who know what they are doing and genuinely care.   Don’t get me wrong, there are some people out there who should not be practicing.  But there are doctors, hairstylists, teachers, spiritual advisors and so on who are really whack yet they are still working.  If someone sucks at what they do find someone who knows what they are doing.

Okay, I’m off my therapy soapbox.  Anyway, therapy has been great, challenging, and needed.  I actually feel like I can breathe again.  I am looking forward to getting back to Brandi.  I must say that it feels great getting back to the blog as well.  I have missed being here and thanks to you who are still hanging out with me!

I look forward to blogging with you this 2018.

Brandi

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How I Treated My Acne-Prone Skin

Hi Everyone!

I have been looking forward to writing this post about how I have been treating my acne-prone skin.  For those you who have been dealing with acne, the experience is not great.  It can be painful and uncomfortable.  Back in 2013, my skin broke out terribly.  I have always had breakouts, but I have never experienced my skin being in such a severe state.

Here are before pics back then.  Yes, I am slightly cringing right now.

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Here are very recent pic of now.  There is no editing or anything.

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I began to take a holistic approach to treating my skin last year because I got frustrated with trying so many creams and cleansers.  I tried ProActive, Murad, and other commerical acne treatment systems.  The dermatologists were not helpful and prescribed me meds that did more harm than good for my skin.

I noticed that my skin worsens when I am stressed.  During the time when my skin got worse between 2011 to 2013, my stress levels went up due to my job as a mental health therapist.  I dealt with a lot of serious cases and work demands. It seemed like each job situation went from bad to worse.  In 2014, I stepped  away from counseling which brought a lot of my stress down. During the time I took the top pictures, I went vegetarian for  a while and began to workout everyday to alleviate stress, but I failed to care for my skin properly.

So, here what I have been doing since last summer to revive my skin.

  1. I removed myself from the toxic, unhappy people– primarily work, friendships, and some family.
  2. I started using products that treated and healed my skin.
  3. I also did research, because vegetarians and vegans suffer from acne issue.
  4. I stopped wearing foundation in the fall of 2014.  I literally used foundation to hide my skin issues which was not a good idea.  I have been foundation free for almost two years and my skin is doing well without it.

Here are the products that I use religiously that literally changed my life and my skin:

Tea Tree Oil.

The first item I started using was tea tree oil.  I read that this oil dries up pimples and has other skin health benefits.  I put the oil one a cotton swab and I dab the oil directly onto my breakouts at night.  I usually do it at night before I go to bed.  The first night I tried tea tree oil, all of my pimples literally shrunk in size significantly.  Make sure you test tea tree oil because it is strong. I got this tea tree oil from Wal-Mart.  I have also used other brands of tea tree oil as well.

SPF Moisturizer.

My skin is super sensitive to sunlight.  It breakouts if I’m in the heat too long.  I love being outside so, I increased my SPF from 15 to SPF 30. I have super duper oily skin, but those of us who have oily skin still need moisturizers.   This moisturizer helped me to protect my skin and reduce oil dramatically.  I cannot exaggerate how oily my t-zone would get.

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Black Soap.  I use the Dudu Osun brand of black soap (I purchase it from Amazon.com).  I have used other brands but this particular brand works the best for my skin.  It’s mild on my skin and it has natural ingredients.  Black soap in general is used to minimize skin issues.  I use black soap on my body and it has helped with my chaffing on my skin.



Garnier Dark Spot Serum.

This serum cleared up the dark spots and blemishes on my skin.  I started noticing a difference in my skin in about two weeks.  This serum helped my skin heal from old acne scars and it helped speed the process newer pimples.  I use to buy this at Wal-Mart but it is cheaper on Amazon.com.

 

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Generic Garnier Dark Spot Corrector Moisturizing Cream.

I use the Equate (Wal-Mart) brand of the Garnier Dark Spot Corrector.  I love the generic brand moisturizer because it’s lightweight and helps my skin feel soft.  The Garnier moisturizer flakes and peels which means that it does not absorb in my skin.

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HONORABLE MENTIONS: These are products that use occasionally or as needed.

 

 

Garnier Face Mask.

I started using this mask to help my skin hydrate and heal my skin.  This mask has the serum in it.  I use this mask infrequently or once or twice a week or whenever my skin is getting stressed.  I started using these mask after seeing them at Walgreens on sale.  I now order the box of six on Amazon (which is half the price you would pay at Wal-Mart or Walgreens).

 

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Hydrogen Peroxide.

Peroxide is a great, inexpensive way to kill bacteria on the skin.  If you pop pimple, peroxide is great to put on your skin to treat the area of your skin to prevent inflammation.  I used peroxide often when my skin was really inflammed and I use it occasionally when I pop my pimples ( don’t judge…much).

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I really hope this post help those of you who have been having challenges with treating your acne.  If you found this post helpful don’t forget to like, comment, follow the blog.

Berries and a Wine Glass

Happy Friday, lovelies!
I have been away getting some much needed rest and relaxation.  I’ve also been spending time focusing on this new chapter in my life.  I share more with you at a later time.

So, in my journey of being healthy, I am eating quite a bit of fruits and veggies.  I like to have a little fun with eating.  Over the past several months,  I have been eating my fruits and drinking my smoothies from my fashion inspired wine glasses. Why not add a little fabulocity to being healthy?

By the way, I got my wine glass from Dollar Tree. They have really nice decorative glasses for fashionista.  Are there any creative ways you enjoy eating?

Talk to you soon 💋

Brandi 

Juicing Juice

 

Hello everyone!

I’ve been focused on my health and I’ve recently started making my own juice after watching “Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead” on Netflix along with other documentaries regarding health.  I must say that I enjoy making the juice, but it has been a  challenge drinking it because of how it looks.  The taste is tolerable for the most part.  So, I have to use the juice in my smoothies to get past the look.

One thing I have noticed with using the raw juice is that my energy is up and I’m not as bloated in my belly.

Here is juicer that I have.

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If anyone has any tips or suggestions about juicing please share.  Talk to you soon!

xoxo Brandi

Good Eatin’ & Going Vegetarian

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Hello, everyone!  I have been making a more conscious effort of eating right.  I have been eating to stay healthy and take care of my body.  It has been a long while since I have wrote about my healthy living.  Last April, I wrote a post about transitioning to a vegetarian lifestyle.  I am officially vegetarian.  To be honest, I wish I would have done it sooner.

I have been pretty diligent about selecting health options even if I go out eat. I enjoy grocery shopping especially since the weather is warmer. There are a lot of options for fresh produce. I wanted to share what I’ve been buying. I also buy some organic foods as well when I can. Here are some of the foods that I have eating.  I also eat veggies burgers and veggie sausage patties.

I’ll keep you posted about my vegetarian lifestyle!  Talk to you soon!

 

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