Friday Favorites

Friday Favorites

Threads: Military Green Jacket

military green jacket

I live in my Military Green Jacket. I picked this up back in March at H&M and haven’t taken it off since (yes, even through the summer).  I love how versatile the color is, I can pair it with black, brown, white, navy, pink, orange, or cream. I have thrown this jacket over a little black dress for a concert, layered it with a pencil skirt to work and worn it with white denim shorts (to make me feel a bit more covered up now that I am 30).

The outfit above has been my uniform through Fall and I will continue to rock it until it becomes too cold…then I will throw on my military green puffer vest.

Similar jacket from Tobi (take advantage of their 50% off your first purchase)

Similar from H&M 

Tunes: She and Him

She and HimI feel like I have been living under a rock. How am I just discovering how adorably awesome Zooey Deschanel’s band is? Zooey pairs with M. Ward and they recently made the rounds on talk shows to promote their new album Classics, in which they cover vintage pop classics from Frank Sinatra, Elvis Costello and Willie Nelson. Zoeey’s voice is sweet and subtle, but her quirky 60’s style shines through. Count me as a new fan because they have been on repeat for me all week.

TV: Parenthood

friday favorites parenthoodWhile I was on medical leave from work I had some serious time to kill on the couch. I stumbled on Parenthood on Netflix, started binge watching, and was emotionally invested by the third epsiode. The show follows a variety of storylines around the Braverman family, each compelling and complex.  With every episode I can guarantee you will either cry tears of joy or sadness because this family

This is the final season is no exception and I can not wait to see how this roller coaster is going to end. If you are looking for a new show to binge, check out Parenthood.

Doing Good: Reach Out and Read

Reach Out and Read

Reach Out and Read is a non-profit organization of medical providers that promote early literacy and reading by providing new books at each pediatric doctor appointment. The doctors and nurses that participate in Reach Out and Read discuss the importance of reading aloud and often read a book during the appointment. The books are selected by age (from 0-12 years old) and can often have seasonal themes.

Not many people know that I have an Early Childhood Education degree so early literacy is very close to my heart and I think the Reach Out and Read program is amazing. If you want to learn more or donate to their virtual book drive, check them out their website.

Eats: Smashburger

smashburger

I have a problem. There is a Smashburger within walking distance of my desk and I keep finding myself walking there. You can order online and when you do, you walk in and they know you by name (okay this might just be because I have been there at least once a week since they opened) and hand you your food.

The burgers are delicious. Think of Five Guys, but a little less greasy, with the perfect balance of cheese, sauce and patty. I go for The Classic with Smash Sauce and jalapenos (fresh, not pickled), but their Cucumber, Spinach and Goat Cheese Burger with Balsamic is also out of this world.

Their fries are the shoestring kind, with less fluffy potato and more crispy coating, which I love! I loved the plain fries, but then I went for the buffalo version and have a new found favorite. They sprinkle the perfect amount of dry buffalo seasoning on the hot fries and serve them with ranch dressing.

Adventure: Leaf Looking

fall foliage

Spotted this golden tree while walking in my neighborhood

As a kid growing up in Florida the only colored leaves that I would see were when someone would travel North and bring them back for school crafts. Now I get to watch as each day the leaves turn just a little bit more, transitioning from green to shades of red, orange and yellow.

fall foliage

My friend Kelly’s dog, Charlie., on our evening walk

I love the crunch of leaves that have fallen underneath my feet and the collage of colors that they make on the ground.

Chimney Rock fall folliage

The road to Chimney Rock

I had watched the fall foliage reports for Western North Carolina so I could make sure to go up when they hit their peak and I was not disappointed during my hike last weekend.

Golden leaves off the trail

Golden leaves off the trail

I was lucky enough to go up to Chimney Rock (where they filmed The Last of the Mohicans) last weekend, which is right next to Lake Lure (where they filmed Dirty Dancing, “I carried a watermelon).

View from Chimney Rock of Lake Lure

View from Chimney Rock of Lake Lure

My friend Gillian joined me for the day trip and we spent the day “hiking” (90% of the trail we took was stairs, 26 flights to be exact) and taking in the gorgeous color and weather of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Gillian, Meyer and I post hike

Gillian, Meyer and I post hike (my Military Green Jacket made an appearance as well)

I don’t think I could live anywhere that doesn’t have all four seasons. I am addicted to fall.

Hickory Nut Falls

Hickory Nut Falls

What NOT to Say to Someone With Depression

what not to say to someone with depression

Recent events, like Robin Williams’ death, have helped propel mental health into mainstream media. It is exciting to see society embracing the conversation and helping to remove the stigma associated with mental health.

As I have gone “public” with my own struggle with depression I have experienced many reactions that have made me feel better and some that made me feel worse. Most people have never discussed mental health issues, let alone directly with someone who is suffering from depression. I know that at the heart of every reaction has always been well intentions and concern for my well being, but there is room for improve me in the delivery of those well intentions.

Discussing mental health is a learning process and I wanted to share some reactions that I would not recommend you say to someone who is suffering from depression.

What NOT to say to Someone with Depression: 

You should just go for a run. Have you tried yoga? 

Exercise? Oh my goodness! Why didn’t I think of that! Man, I could have skipped the three medical professionals that I am working with and are tailoring a treatment plan for me and just gone out for a quick jog to cure my depression!

Is exercise great for all aspects of physical and mental well being? Absolutely. Is yoga relaxing and a great way to relieve stress? Yes. But when you are clinically depressed doing yoga 24/7 will not cure you.

What is making you so sad?

When asked this question I answer very simply: the chemicals in my brain.

If someone had cancer would you ask them what made their cancer? Depression is not caused by the things in your life that are making you sad, it’s caused by the chemical make up of your brain. When someone is depressed, they are sick and need to find a treatment that is going to help their sickness.

You just need to try think positive.

We are trying. Every time a negative thought runs through our mind, we try to fight it with a positive one, but when you are depressed you feel like you are fighting a losing battle. The negative thoughts are recycling through your head so quickly that you can’t keep up with a positive rebuttal.

What do you have to be depressed about? There are people out there with worse problems than yours. 

Trust me, we know. I have run an inventory of how my depression stacks up against all the problems in the world and it only makes me feel worse that I can’t suck it up and get over it. The problem is that it isn’t my problems that are causing me to be depression, it is the chemicals in my brain and I can’t change them.

You are so strong, you will be fine. 

Strong is the last thing that you feel when you are depressed. You feel worthless. You feel weak. You feel defeated. You feel exhausted. You do not feel like Chris Hemsworth going into battle as Thor. They may be the strongest person you know, but telling someone how strong they are can only make them feel worse because they are not living up to that expectation.

You just need to get out of the house. 

Getting out of the house when you are depressed can seem insurmountable. Think about it this way, you know when you are on the couch and someone says “hey let’s go out”. You weigh if you have the energy and motivation to get up, dress up and show up. If you decide to get up and go out you get to your destination and are energized seeing your friends and have a great time.

When you are depressed, the getting up, getting dressed and showing up feels impossible, but the worst part is once you arrive, you have to mask how terrible you feel. The amount of energy it takes to fake that you are happy is exhausting and it only reminds you how badly you want to feel better.

Sometimes just the energy of convincing your friends that you don’t want to come out can be taxing. You mean well and think that because your friend is depressed they just need some encouragement, but this often only makes them feel worse and more likely to avoid you because you are pressuring them to do something that makes them uncomfortable.

Come out and drink with me, you’ll feel better.

Let’s look at this logically, alcohol is a depressant. You are suffering from depression. Why would you consume something that will alter your thoughts, feelings and actions in a negative way? Maybe you are lucky and don’t feel depressed when you are drinking, but I can guarantee the next day you will feel the withdrawals from the alcohol and feel worse than ever.

If you are taking medication to treat the depression, there can be terrible interactions with alcohol (I learned this the VERY hard way) and prevent the medications from working because alcohol blocks messages trying to get to the brain.

Do you really need medication? 

We shouldn’t have to justify what treatment works for us. You would never ask someone who is going through chemotherapy if they really needed it. You trust that they are under medical care and making the best decisions for their health, so please give anyone dealing with mental health the same respect.

What you SHOULD say to someone with Depression: 

  • You are not alone. I am here.
  • I will listen, whenever you feel like talking, I will always listen.
  • This is not your fault.
  • You are right, this sucks.
  • You are important to me and I value having you in my life.
  • You will not feel this way forever. We will find a way to help you feel better.
  • How are you feeling? (the key to this question is to stop talking and just listen after you ask)
  • What kind of thoughts are you having? (this can be a subtle way to ask if they are having suicidal thoughts)
  • I would love to spend time with you. Would you like any company today?
  • Is there anything that would help you feel a little better today?
  • Give them a hug. (Sometimes physical affection can be more powerful than talking)

No matter what you say, taking the time to show someone who is suffering from depression makes a world of difference. Your attention reminds them that they have value and gives them hope.

If you or someone you know is suffering from depression there is always help available. Call 1-800-273-8255 (1-800-273-TALK) 24/7 or visit Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance.

UPDATED: 10 Stores You Can Return Used Makeup

10 stores you can return used makeup

Have you ever purchased a makeup item and then gotten home only to be disappointed the moment you tried it out? It just didn’t brighten and conceal those under eye areas like it promised. The color match was completely off and you look like a ghost. That mascara didn’t make your lashes longer, fuller and curlier than ever before. Or worst case scenario, your skin completely freaked out and now you are covered in spots.

Not only do you feel let down after the product doesn’t live up to its promises, but you are also frustrated because you have just wasted your money on a gimmick. Typically the failed product gets tossed in a basket, where all failed make up products go to die alone because you can’t stand to throw them in the trash and admit that you have wasted your money.

Cry no more my friends, did you know that you can return those failed products and get your money back in your pocket? Many retailers know that you are less likely to take a risk on a new product because you fear this exact scenario and they have created liberal return policies to help quell your fears.

Typically, I shop for make up based on price. I have my tried in true products that I know and love and I will pick those up wherever the price is right. But when I am looking to try something new, I make sure to pick it up at a store that allows me to return the product for a full refund (and I hang on to my receipt).

As with any refund, bringing the receipt, original payment method and product packaging is your best bet for no hassle process.

My favorite stores with no hassle makeup return policies:

These retailers offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee and easy return process on used products.

Sephora

Full refund in store within 30 days of your purchase with the receipt (they also can look up your purchase in their system). After 30 days they will offer you a product exchange or merchandise credit. 

Ulta

Full refund in store within 60 days of purchase with receipt and card used to make the purchase. Store credit is given to returns with receipt after 60 days. 

Nordstrom

Nordstrom does not have a return policy, but they are well known for their customer service and they always provide full refunds for beauty products, opened or unopened, with the receipt.

“We stand behind our goods and services and want you to be satisfied with them. We’ll always do our best to take care of customers—our philosophy is to deal with you fairly and reasonably; we hope you will be fair and reasonable with us as well.”

Macy’s

Full refund anytime after purchase on new or gently used products. Must have receipt in order to be refunded in the original method of payment.

CVS

100% satisfaction guarantee on beauty purchases.
Be 100% happy or receive 100% money back on any beauty products. If you’re dissatisfied for any reason, you can return the beauty product (opened or unopened) along with your receipt or invoice to any CVS/pharmacy store. We’ll refund the full purchase price — no questions asked!

Rite Aid

The Rite Aid 100% Risk-Free Beauty Guarantee.
Any opened or used beauty product of any brand name can be returned for a full refund when accompanied by a register receipt. Beauty categories subject to the guarantee are skin care/depilatories, sun care, bath/soap, hair care (shampoo, conditioner, styling and professional), hair color, cosmetics, ethnic beauty aids, fragrances, cosmetic organizers and personal care appliances.

WalMart

Products can be returned (used or unused) within 90 days of purchase, with the original receipt. 

Stores where you may have to plead your case:

These retailers are a little bit more fickle about returning used makeup, but I have found that while their official return policies may be a little tougher, you can usually return used products with no issues.

Walgreens

All products purchased from Walgreens.com may be returned either to a store or by mail within 30 days of purchase unless otherwise noted on product page. All returns should be accompanied by the original receipt included with the shipment.

Returns for cosmetics or electronics are handled at the discretion of the store manager, usually in the form of a Walgreens gift card.

Target

Of course Target is the place where I make most of my impulse buys (damn you Target, you are killing my budget) and this usually includes makeup. Target’s official policy states “Items that are opened or damaged or do not have a packing slip or receipt may be denied a refund or exchange.”  I have never had an issue with returning a used product at Target, but technically it can be left up to the manager’s discretion so be aware that you may need to make your case on why they should accept the return.

Remember – you have 90 days for a return at Target and they always want to track your returns to your drivers license.

 

Now that you know you can get a full refund take a risk on that trendy lipstick color for fall, if you hate it after a few uses, return it! You have nothing to lose and you may just find your new favorite product in the process.

Friday Favorites

friday favorites

Here are a few things that I have been loving this week…

Mrs. Meyers Clean Day – Basil Scent

mrs. meyers cleaning basil scent

I know that Mrs. Meyer’s cleaning products are not new, but I recently discovered their basil scented products and I am in love.  I picked up the hand soap and multi-surface cleaner and love the fresh, crisp green fragrance.  These beat the chemical fragrance of other cleaners because they are packed with natural essential oils. It doesn’t hurt that they are cruelty free as well.

Little Free Library

IMG_2653

The Little Free Library is a community library where you can swap books.  These have popped up all around Charlotte neighborhoods (Dilworth, South End, and Plaza Midwood to name a few) and I think they are a simple way of creating community. I am always looking for my next favorite book and picked up Kristin Hannah’s Firefly Lane from this Little Free Library in Dilworth. Next time I walk by I will be sure to drop off a few of my books to share.

LearnVest

learnvest alexa von tobel financial planning

 

I am embarrassed to admit that it took me turning 30 to really get serious about my finances. I have always been terrible with my money and have never even had a budget (gasp! I know this is not okay).

LearnVest was started by Alexa Von Tobel (woohoo! a female business) to empower women (fine, guys are allowed too) through financial planning. I started reading her book, Financially Fearless, and loved her approach so much that I dove into her free tools.

On the LearnVest website you can create and manage your budget in 30 minutes. You connect your checking account and LearnVest will import your transactions and put them into categories (shopping, restaurants, groceries, health care) of your budget. You immediately see what you are spending your money on and it can be eye opening!

I have tried other services, like Mint.com, and prefer LearnVest’s tool.  The user interface is easier to navigate and their mobile app makes it easy to manage your budget on the go. My budget is no where near perfect, but LearnVest has made financial planning a lot less intimidating!

 

Zoodles! Spiralized Zuchini Noodles

Oh pasta, I love you so. Pasta is always there for me. It’s cheap and easy. It comforts me after a long day whether it is drenched in sauce or cheese…but today we live in a world that has turned against my favorite white flour pasta for sexier, healthier alternatives.  For anyone who is trying to maintain a healthy diet, pasta is drenched in guilt. Now when I dive into a bowl of pasta I am left feeling sad instead of satisfied. I have tried to replace my favorite carb with other healthier options but they always pale in comparison…until I met zoodles (zucchini noodles).

Zoodles provide a satisfying pasta-like meal without the guilt. The zucchini has a very mild flavor which allows any sauce to really shine, just like pasta. The mild flavor also makes pairing sauces and toppings easy. Zoodles fill that need for a quick and easy meal at the end of a long day. You can have a satisfying and healthy meal completed from start to finish in 15 minutes.

veggetti spiralized zucchini noodles

The only tool you need to make zoodles is a spiralizer. These are becoming more popular and easier to find. You don’t need to invest in an expensive sprializer. My sister found the Veggetti for $15 and I have spotted these at Target and WalMart recently. The Veggetti gives you a thick and thin sized spiral options, but if you want to get fancy there are spiralizers out there with more options for a little bit more of an investment.

You can boil zoodles just like pasta, eat them raw, saute them or even bake them.

Zucchini Noodles with Tomato Basil Sauce

IMG_2292

1. Prep your zucchini. You can peel them or leave the skin on, your choice. I like the contrast of green color in my pasta, so I peel most of my zucchini and leave just stripes of skin.

zucchini noodles spiralized veggetti

zucchini noodles spiralized veggetti

Look those pretty zoodles!

2. Spiralize your zucchini. You just insert the zucchini and start turning and your noodles will gloriously appear. It is as simple as that. Since there is no open blades, this would be a fun activity to do with kids (and get them to eat more vegetables!)

zucchini noodles sprialized veggetti

3.  Flash boil your zoodles. I say flash because they don’t need much time to cook and these little guys LOVE to soak up water, so the less time in water, the better.

Note: You can eat the noodles raw, boil them like pasta, saute them or bake them. It just depends on your preference for preparing them.

4. Drain your zoodles of as much water as possible. I drain mine in a colander and then squeeze them with paper towels to remove as much water as possible.

zucchini noodles spiralized veggetti

5. Top your noodles with tomato basil sauce. I like to keep it simple and use the stuff out of the jar (Trader Joe’s Tomato Basil is my personal favorite). I did a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese in this version but I also love crumbled goat cheese.

6. Enjoy! (Make sure you twirl your fork and enjoy how these zoodles wrap around it just like pasta)

Once you start spiralizing, you will want to spiralize anything you can get your hands on. I’ve seen spiralize carrots, cucumbers, and sweet potatoes spiralized and I will bring you more recipes as I try these out.

What spiralized vegetable recipes would you like to see next?

Tip Tuesday: Best Way to Wash Your Make Up Brushes

FullSizeRender-8

I guess I am becoming an adult (when did this happen?) because my Sunday routines are less about a funday and more about housekeeping and prepping for the upcoming work work. Along with laundry and meal prep, I always make sure to clean my make up brushes.

I was shocked when talking to my friends how many people don’t wash their make up brushes. You take your make up off every night, but you reapply yesterday’s dirt and germs each time you use a dirty brush. Washes your brushes helps keep your skin healthy, helps the way your make up is applied, and extends the life of your brushes.

FullSizeRender-9

You don’t need any special tools or cleaner to wash your brushes.  A gentle make up remover or face wash is a really convenient brush cleanser.  It is meant to take your make up off your face so it makes sense that you can use it to take make up off your brushes.

I love the Beauty Blender solid cleaner. It does a really great job of cleaning your brushes quickly. You just swirl the brush over the solid cleanser and the make up melts right off. It is the most expensive option at $15.95 but it has lasted me about 6 months and well worth the price.

Pure Castille soap is really good as well. I got mine at Target from the travel size toiletry section.  I think I picked mine up for under $3, so it is really cheap and easy to pick up on your next Target run.

Take a few minutes and wash your brushes, I promise, you won’t regret it.

 

Friday Favorites

Friday

Another Friday is here and while Friday is my favorite day of the week, here are a few things that I have been my favorite this week.

My Po Campo Gym Bag

IMG_2311

The Po Campo Midway Weekender bag is the bomb dot com. It looks great, is made of waterproof vegan material, has great compartments inside and the straps outside can hold your yoga mat. Po Campo has a giving program linked to their sales, for every 25 bags they sell they provide a bike for a schoolgirl in Africa to provide them with reliable transportation to school.

IMG_2354My favorite part is the lower compartment for your shoes. No more dirty shoe bottoms on top of your clean gym clothes.  (My new shoes from little sister Kelsey are pretty awesome too).

Mason Jar Kitchen Accessories

FullSizeRender (7)

I couldn’t pass up these up when I spotted them in World Market. The kitchen utensil holder was only $9.99 and gives a nice pop of color on my counter tops.

FullSizeRender (5)These Mason Jar Measuring Cups were the perfect compliment to my utensil container. I don’t know where my measure cups go but I have become an expert of measuring everything with a 1/3 and 3/4 cup for years (this might also be why I am not great at baking).

FullSizeRender (6)

 

With these stack able cups, I am sure not to lose any and maybe I’ll perfect the chocolate chip cookies I have been failing at for years.

Bath & Body Works Fall Candles

FullSizeRender (2)

 

Since I worked for a scent marketing company for the past few years I have been spoiled with a commercial scent machine in my home. Now that I am on to a new career, I craved that warm and cozy feeling that fall fragrances bring to my home. Bath & Body Works 3-Wick Candles are my favorite and their variety of fragrances ensure that you will find that perfect fall scent.

FullSizeRender (3)

 

Some of my favorite fragrances are:

Keep an eye out for Bath & Body Works 2 for $22 sale on their 3-Wick Candles, which is basically a BOGO.

Tazo Chai Pumpkin Spice Latte Concentrate

IMG_2528

 

Just call me your basic white girl. I will not deny my love for a Pumpkin Spice Latte (PSL).  There is nothing more comforting than sipping a warm mug on a cool fall morning. My favorite Starbucks treat is their Chai Spiced Latte and I was thrilled when I discovered the concentrate in my local grocery store (yes, I am too lazy to brew a cup of tea).

They have come out with the Pumpkin Spice Latte version of the tea concentrate and it is fall perfection. I whip mine up in my trusty Mr. Coffee CocoMotion  and top it with a dollop of whipped cream and a little cinnamon sugar for an extra treat.

I have only found the PSL version at my Target store and they are on sale 2 for $6 this week.

My Tree Climbing Dog

IMG_2639

 

My dog Meyer is my favorite every day, but this week she really threw it over the top when she learned to climb trees. In our normal routine, she was teased by our neighborhood squirrel as frolicked just close enough that he caught her attention. The squirrel then ran up the tree and rubbed in his victory by leaping from branch to branch, but Meyer surprised myself and the squirrel when she decided today was not the day she would stay on the ground defeated and broken by the constant teasing. She jumped into the tree and then attempted to shimmy her way up the trunk…before she flipped over head first and fell out of the tree.

You can’t win them all Meyer pup, but you definitely got an A for effort this week.

What has been your favorite this week?

Share in the comment section below!

What To Do When You’re In A Funk

C L O U D

I have been in a funk lately. That is the best word that I can think of to describe it. A funk for a day or two is pretty normal, but when you feel down for several days (for me it has been since Thursday) red flags start to go off for me. I have to be vigilant to any symptoms of depression so that I can prevent it from stealing away as little of my life as possible.

I notice the start of the funk when the negative thoughts start sounding a little louder in my head. Those negative thoughts start playing on repeat more often and before I know it I can’t get them to turn off. When the negative thoughts are on replay they increase the anxiety and I feel overwhelmed and a bit like I am spinning out of control. Motivation goes to zero and I find myself ducking out of plans with friends and isolating myself. It is hard to explain to the friends why I am cancelling and it is even harder when they try to convince me to push through my funk.

Sometimes it is okay to just be in a funk. No matter what you do, you may not be able to speed up the funk.  If you are feeling low, it is okay to just ride out the feeling. Do your best to take care of yourself and be kind to yourself while you are riding it out.

The best advice I have been given during my struggle with depression was to just be nice to myself. I have to remind myself of it often because we are often our own hardest critic, but no time is more important to remember to be kind than when you are feeling low.

Some things that I find that help me while I am in a funk are:

  • Taking a walk or doing yoga
  • Writing in a journal
  • Cooking – this is a really relaxing activity for me, but you could immerse yourself into any task that you find comforting
  • Take a long bath
  • Listen to calming music – One of my favorite artists for calming me down during a funk is Explosions in the Sky

What works for you when you are feeling low? Share in the comments below.

The good news is that I knew that my funk was a result of my missing medication that I had to stop taking while I was waiting for my healthcare coverage to start. Knowing there was a light at the end of the tunnel was comforting, but it doesn’t make going through the funk any easier.

I can see this funk getting further in the rear view and I know that there will be more in the future, but I will ride them out the only way I know how, by being nice to myself.

How I Get My Straight Hair to Curl

 

It is a fact of life for girls, if you have straight hair, then you want curly hair. If you have curly hair, then you want straight hair. The grass is always greener, right? I was a girl with straight hair. I am talking straight as a board. It didn’t matter what I did, it would not bend or curl. High school dances? It wouldn’t hold a curl.  Weddings? I should have saved the money on the hair stylist.

Then somewhere in my mid-twenties my hair changed…all of a sudden, my straight hair could curl.  Not only could it curl, but the curl would hold, day one was tight curls and day two was beachy waves. It was my curly hair dreams coming true!

Here are a few tricks that I have learned to help get my straight hair to curl (and more importantly, hold a curl).

Start with Dirty Hair

When your hair is fresh from being washed it feels silky, smooth, and glorious! Well, this is the worst time to try and get your hair to curl. There is no texture for the style to grip on to, so it will slip right out!

If you can, start with dirty hair, depending on how much oil your scalp produces this could be day two or day three hair.  If you must style your hair after cleansing, use a texturizing or seal salt spray to give the style something to grip on to.

Prep Your Hair

living proof prime style extender

Living Proof’s Prime Style Extender is my hair’s best friend. You can use a hair primer or mousse to help add texture, volume and grip to hold on to your curls as you style. Just a small amount worked into the length of your hair will get the job done.

Let Your Curls Set

You know how you are supposed to set a hairstyle by using a cool blast of air when you are done blow drying? Same concept applies to curling your hair.

Once you curl your hair, do your best not to run your fingers through it for 15-20 minutes. This allows the hair to cool down completely and set the style.

make your curls last longer

My curls cooling and setting.

A Great Hairspray

best hairspray 2014

Of course, a great hairspray never hurts. L’Oreal’s Elnett is a cult favorite and for good reason. It is a fine mist with great holding power. You can spray it on before and after you curl. The best part of this hairspray is that when you totally screw up your hair and need to start again, you can brush this spray right out.

When I use these few techniques not only does my stick straight hair curl, but the curl holds for days. My favorite is the beachy waves that I get on day two of my curls.

beach waves hair

Day 2 curls

World Mental Health Day

Today is World Mental Health Day. This day is dedicated to bringing awareness to mental health as a public health issue with the hopes of bringing prevention and understanding. 1 in 4 people will be experience mental health issues in any given year and today is dedicated to bringing awareness to their battle against this illness.

This year’s World Mental Health Day is dedicated to schizophrenia, which affects 26 million people worldwide and about 90% of those go untreated, despite very effective treatments being available. Schizophrenia is an illness that is often misunderstood and still carries an unfair stigma because of the lack of understanding. The Huffington Post UK did a great job of addressing the stigma surrounding schizophrenia and I recommend that everyone learn more about it.

In a month when we paint the world pink in support of breast cancer awareness I think it is important to pause and reflect on the diseases that kill us versus the diseases that we donate to.

2014-08-27-Donating.vs.DeathGraph.0

Mental health is represented on this chart through suicide and the fundraising to suicide awareness and prevention is almost invisible, yet it is the 5th cause of death. In no way would I say that any disease is less important than the other, but I do think that successful marketing of one disease has led to the inequality in our donations. We donate to breast cancer because they have done a fantastic job of bringing awareness to the disease and it is time that we bring that same awareness to mental health.

When I was researching World Health Day I was disappointed to see that the US was not participating as much as other countries around the world in this very important day. In Australia the group OneWave is bringing awareness to depression and “other funks” through Fluro Friday. Surfers don their best florescent gear and gather at Bondi Beach to show solidarity and bring awareness to mental health issues. The images are simply stunning.

FLORO HANDS 

<a href=R U OK? 

 

In the UK the group <a href=Anxiety UK and MIND have launched the Don’t Panic Button campaign. Everyone is encouraged to wear a red button in a show of support for anxiety disorders. The goal is to remind those who suffer from anxiety disorders that they are not alone in a simple and non-intrusive way.

BzfzffjIAAAVQNZ

 

Last year in honor of World Mental Health Day Brandon Marshall, wide receiver for the Chicago Bears wore green cleats in support of mental health awareness. Brandon has borderline personality disorder and was fined $10,500 by the NFL for violating their uniform policy. What did Brandon do? He said thank you for the fine because it was bringing awareness to mental health and he matched the fine with a donation towards mental health. Brandon runs The Brandon Marshall Foundation and is dedicated to raising mental health awareness.

Brandon-Marshall-green-cleats-touchdown_20131011032155361_660_320

 

Want to make a difference?

  • Educate yourself about mental health.
  • Forget pink for a day, the ribbon color for mental health is green. Show your support and go green.
  • Speak up and break the stigma of mental health. Just having a conversation about mental health helps make a difference.
  • Make a donation to the National Alliance for Mental Illness
  • Become an advocate with Mental Health America and support public policy for mental health.
  • Tweet your support with the hashtag: #worldmentalhealthday
  • Show your support and post the image below to your social media on Facebook, Twitter, Tubmlr, etc.

stand-up-logo-hi-res

If you are looking for help for yourself or a loved one there are many resources out there that can help.

Every small step is moving us forward to removing the stigma from mental health and bringing help to all those who need it.

1 2 3 4 5