Thinking Out Loud #15

 

I haven’t done a Thinking Out Loud post since October, but I felt one was due. 

  1. I’ve been suffering from some major blogger burnout lately, and between that and life getting in the way (vacation and weddings are a positive thing, but still mess up my routines), it’s been a hot minute since I’ve published anything.  Do you ever suffer from burnout? What do you do to cope?IMG_2547
  2. Vacation not only feels like it messes with routines, but boy does it mess with my diet too!  At the end of the day, the key to living a healthy lifestyle is balance, right?  Some days, I did a great job, like when I started my day with my favorite green juice from a local breakfast place in Florida. It’s very similar to this juice, which is available online.  I get green juice every time I visit. It’s refreshing in the Florida heat, and it makes me feel like I’m doing something healthy for myself while on vacation.13566910_10154373500542755_7470224330840985296_n
  3. And then there’s the day that I started off with Cinnabon… Delicious? Absolutely!  Worth the 36 Smart Points?? (Yes..I said 36..aka more than my entire day) Not at all. That was just for the “center of the roll” treat.  Not even an entire bun.

Read more

June 2016 Favorites

June Favorites
Styling MousseLush Facial Scrub | Lancome Juicy Shakers | Champagne Pop Palette | Buxom Eye Shadows | Yogurt | Waitress | It’s Not Okay

Guys..we are halfway done with 2016!  What kind of craziness is that??  Anyway, I’ve been way busy with non-blog related things, so my favorites are a little late, but since there were some things I’ve been dying to tell you about, I figured better late than never was appropriate here.  Enjoy!

Surface Curls Firm Styling Mousse: During the summer I like to let my hair air dry and let the little bit of natural wave do its thing.  This mousse is one of the more sticky foaming products I’ve tried, but it really gets the job done.  I just put a little leave in conditioner in my hair and then flip my head over and scrunch a golf ball sized amount at the ends and I get separated, textured, and curly looking locks that are perfect for that natural, air dried look we love for summer. 

Lush Smugglers Soul Facial Scrub ($13.95): I hate to mention this because this product is a limited edition for Father’s Day (but as of this post it’s STILL available!!), but I want you all to be aware of this for next year.  This is a scrub that was actually geared towards men (at least that’s what I’ve been told) as a facial exfoliant, but once I touched it in store, I knew I had to have it.  There are bamboo granules ground up in here and it reminds me of the fine ground feel of a paste made with baking soda (which I’ve used as exfoliant in the past), which really gets the job done without feeling too abrasive.  My skin feels amazing after using this.  Bonus: it has the faint smell of sandalwood, which is so nice.  Be ready for it next year, because it’s definitely worth picking up.    Read more

Getting Married is Not an Accomplishment…but Marriage IS!

Marriage Accomplishment

Allow me to be more specific: a good marriage, that is.

I’ve seen this article titled “Getting Married is Not an Accomplishment” floating around Facebook and getting shared by various people for a few weeks or so now, and while it made some great points, it’s the reaction and comments of the readers that really got me thinking. 

The entire premise of this article is the getting married part.  The excitement and ritual leading up to the big day.  People are then taking this to mean that marriage is not an accomplishment. I say that getting married and marriage are two very different things, and I do agree that getting married is not an accomplishment. However…

I also believe that a marriage; a good, strong, loving marriage, is a huge accomplishment.

Read more

10 Things To Do This Month | June 2016

I’m seriously having a hard time with the fact it’s already June!  Don’t get me wrong, I am thrilled that the summer weather is here, but I feel like it was only a few weeks ago that my in-laws were here celebrating Christmas.  Time flies.  

This month I decided that I didn’t want to do a “goals” post, but I wanted to take a slightly different route.  Here is my new “10 things to do this month” post, where we can take a look at 10 things that we want to accomplish or do.  Some things can be goal-like, but others can just be fun and simple to do list items that will make those of us who like to live seasonally feel a bit more seasonal.  Here’s my list of 10 things, but if you have something to add, comment below.  Read more

April 2016 Favorites

April Favorites

Colour Pop Shadow | Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush | Marvelous Moxie Lip Gloss in Rebel | FitBit Alta | Jade Citrus Mint Tea | Gilmore Girls

 

I can’t believe it’s already May!  We’re in the second quarter of 2016, the weather has finally started to warm up, and we’re getting ready for the glorious joys that summertime promises to bring.  In the meantime, I have a few things that I loved using and enjoying during the month of April.  Check them out!  Read more

Popsugar Must Have Box | April 2016

April Popsugar Must Have Box

 

Popsugar Must Have Box is one of my favorite subscription boxes.  Containing 5-6 full sized products from beauty, fitness, food, home, and lifestyle categories, getting this box every month feels like a present to myself that’s filled with some great surprises.  For $39.95 a month you get a box that is worth a lot more than what you pay for it, and who doesn’t love a good deal like that?  Popsugar Must Have Box is a great way to discover a whole bunch of new products without having to do any shopping. Here’s what I got in the April 2016 box: Read more

Spring Cleaning the Pantry in 5 Easy Steps

Spring Cleaning Pantry

Spring cleaning is upon us, and I’m walking through various areas of my home and getting things decluttered, cleaned out, and organized.  The pantry seems to be one of those magical places where, no matter how hard I try, it becomes a twilight zone of random (usually expired) forgotten about granola bars, baking mixes, old holiday candy, and a can or two that was purchased ages ago.  While I’m trying to get better about regularly checking the pantry to make sure I use up what I have, it’s easier said than done. I decided that a clean slate was necessary.  Here’s how I went through my pantry and got it all cleaned out. Read more

I’m in Weight Watchers Magazine!

Weight Watchers Magazine

If any of you get Weight Watchers magazine, you might have seen a familiar face when you turned to page 67.  I was incredibly fortunate to be given the opportunity to participate in an amazing article that was recently released in the May/ June 2016 issue of Weight Watchers magazine called “I Love What My Body Can Do.”

The article tells the stories of 3 different women (myself being one of them) and how we love what our bodies can do right now, even if we aren’t at our desired goal weight.  While it doesn’t seem like a huge thing, so many of us (myself included) put so much of our self worth and focus on the scale that we forget to stop and appreciate all of the things that already does for us right now, at this current weight.  

One day back in January an email pinged in my inbox and it turned out to be from the author of the article asking if I’d be interested in being a part of the issue.  After I did a little research and figured out she wasn’t a scam, I responded saying that I would love to.  A little while later the author and I set up a call and had an interview where I got to tell her my story.  Since the topic was body confidence I decided to discuss the subject of living with CMT and how despite my difficulties having the disease, I went to college for theater and almost graduated with a dance minor.  This topic seemed to be the type of subject she was looking for, so that’s the direction we went.  Shortly thereafter I got an email from someone working for Weight Watchers wanting to set up a photoshoot.

Knowing nothing about the process of putting a magazine together, I was really excited to learn about everything that went into getting this article from concept to print.  Weight Watchers wanted to do an entire photoshoot for me at my location, so they managed to find local photographers, a venue, wardrobe, and hair/makeup for the shoot.  We set a date and all showed up at the location ready for the experience.  I felt like a superstar! I was the only subject to be shot, so I was the total center of attention.  I was beautified by the makeup artist and then wardrobe (which was not one, but two people) helped me dress in dance attire (since that was one of the angles we were going for).  It was crazy because they even helped me get my tights and stuff on, which sounds ridiculous, but one of the pretty regular problems I have with CMT is getting certain types of clothes on and off on my own.  Tights and leotards are definitely not things I wear, so it was nice to have help.  

Once the shooting started it was 3 hours of constant photo snapping and even more constant moving.  In order to give the photos a true look of movement, I had to move the whole time.  I had put together a playlist of some of my Broadway favorites to sing and dance to so I would be in my natural “habitat,” which worked great, but it was more complex than that. I had to move my arms a lot (they’re the thing I’m most self conscious about), and sometimes I’d do a dance move (I was just goofing off.  None of this was actually choreographed), and one of the photographers would say “Stop!  Do that move you just did like three more times.”  It was exhausting.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve always loved being the center of attention, and I’ll happily sing or be in a show in front of a ton of people, but this was a kind of attention and performance that I wasn’t used to getting or giving, so it was quite the learning experience.  After 5 outfit changes and 3 hours of shooting, we finally wrapped and that was that.  I would have no power over what photo got chosen or anything.  If it wasn’t for the fact I emailed the photographers directly, I probably wouldn’t have seen the shoot at all, but they graciously sent me the gallery to look at since I was dying to see the results of all our hard work.

After the shoot I didn’t hear anything until one day the words of the article showed up in my inbox for fact checking.  There was no layout and no photo.  Just the plain old text for me to read so I could verify everything was accurate.  Once I sent my reply approving the wording of the article that was it.  I didn’t see anything until the magazine was published. 

Anyway, the article turned out great, and I just wanted to say a quick thank you to you, my readers. Without you taking the time to read, comment, and care enough about what I have to say, I wouldn’t have been given this awesome opportunity, so thank you. Whether you’re a reader alone or you also subscribe to my YouTube channel, you played a part in making this happen.  I hope that Diva and the Divine continues to grow as we create a community that can talk about health, weight loss, beauty, and whatever else crosses our minds.  

Popsugar Must Have MINI Box | April 2016

Popsugar Must Have Mini TitleI’m sure many of you have heard of the Popsugar Must Have Box.  It’s a subscription box that contains around 5 full size products from various genres (beauty, fitness, home, food, lifestyle) shipped to your door for $39.95 a month.  Over time I’ve fallen in love with this box, despite its higher price tag.  With the Must Have box I really feel like I’m getting a nice gift, rather than a bunch of little samples, and since most of the items are a surprise, it brings me great joy to open it. 

If the price tag for the regular Must Have box is a turn off, you’re going to love this.  This month Popsugar released a new subscription: the Popsugar Must Have MINI Box! This is the same idea as the regular box, but in a smaller package.  Rather than containing 5 items, the mini box only contains 2 full size products and costs $18.95 each month (plus tax).  While I only have one box so far, I can tell you that I got more than my money’s worth in the April Mini box and the products chosen are just as lovely as in the normal box.  

*Note: The 2 products you get in the Must Have Mini box are completely different from the products in the regular box, so if you’re thinking of subscribing to both, know that you won’t get duplicates* Read more

April 2016 Goals

April 2016 Goals

It’s a new month, which obviously means it’s time to set some new goals. I love April because it feels like the official start of spring in Chicagoland, which means green might actually come back to the trees and there is potential for some higher temperatures, which make me a super happy camper.  This month my goals are all about starting fresh and keeping it simple.  Read more