Beautycounter Charcoal Cleansing Bar Review


     If you have been active on social media lately, you have probably heard about Beautycounter.  If you have not heard of it, Beautycounter is a skincare and cosmetics brand in the U.S. that creates safer products while also educating and increasing awareness about toxic chemicals in the skincare and cosmetics we use.   Their mission is “to get safer products into the hands of everyone.” More than 80% of their ingredients are organic, natural and plant-based, which I love!  If you would like to learn more about them click here. )

The U.S. has not passed any major federal laws to regulate the safety of ingredients that are used in personal care products since 1938!  That’s insane!  Your skin is the largest organ of your body and you would think there would be more regulations put into place regarding what we put all over our bodies and what gets absorbed into our body by our skin.  Beautycounter bans 1, 500 questionable and harmful chemicals; 1,400 of which are banned or restricted already in Europe and Canada.  I have made the change to use products and cosmetics that are cruelty free but did not put much emphasis on all of the other chemicals that are actually in them; until I came across a post by one of my friends on Facebook.

Just like apple cider vinegar and coconut oil are all the rage, so is charcoal.  Some of the benefits of charcoal:

1.     Absorbs excess oil and dirt from your skin

2.     Draws impurities away from your pores and prevents product build-up

3.     Aids in the treatment of acne and removing toxins

4.     Makes skin firmer and tighter;  stops premature aging and the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

5.     Suitable for all skin types:  It moisturized and nourishes dry skin while also extracting oil from oily skin and treating skin allergies and redness.

6.     Treats psoriasis and eczema, dry, cracked skin and helps prevent dandruff

     Some of the products can be a little pricey, so I decided to start small with one of their most popular products;  the charcoal cleansing bar (pictured above).  It’s $24 and is about the same size as your standard bar soaps.  I have had mine for three months now and the bar is almost the same size it was when I got it and I use it one to two times per day.  The “B” logo on the bar of soap is still visible, if that tells you anything.  All you need is a tiny bit of water to get a little lather on the bar.  I wash my face in the morning using just the bar and I love it.  My skin literally feels squeaky clean, but doesn’t get dry or oily.  I have combination skin so parts of my face are dry and certain parts are oily;  so this bar is perfect for absorbing the oily parts, but moisturizing the dry parts.  After using it for three months, I am happy with the results the bar gives me and love that just a little bit goes a long way and the bar is holding up very well.  I didn’t know how I would like using a bar soap, but it really hasn’t bothered me.  Beautycounter carries numerous cosmetics and skincare for all skin types and skincare needs and even has a line for babies.  I highly recommend checking them out, if you haven’t already.  If you have used any of their products, I would love to hear which ones you have tried and which are your favorites!

As always, thanks for stopping by!

Photo credit:


It’s Time For a Change

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     I have been in my current profession in healthcare for almost ten years now.  It took me until just recently to realize that this is not where I belong in my career.  I always knew that something was missing and I was never really fulfilled in my day-to-day life.  After working with patients (most of them sick and in pain), I have realized that I am too unhappy in my career to stay in it and it is time for a change.  It pains me to say it, but people have made me bitter in my job.  There are some very angry, rude people in this world with no respect for others, especially those that are trying to help them.

Some of you might be thinking “Great, go for it!”  The only problem with that is that I don’t know what it is that I should be doing.  I was never that person who always knew what they wanted to be when they grew up;  I am envious of those of you that were.  There are so many things that I am interested in and that I enjoy doing.  While I don’t know what path I want to choose, I do know that I want it to be in the art / creative field.  I have always been drawn to art and creating and designing things and wish I had pursued that before I got so far into school and turning back to start over didn’t seem like a wise decision.  Looking back on that, I wish I had made that choice to pursue my own happiness rather than not wanting to go further into student loan debt.


     Currently, I love to paint, but I don’t feel like that would be enough for me.  I want more than that.  I want to create things.  I love interior decorating and designing spaces and wish I had my own place to redo and decorate.  The number of home decorating Instagrammers that I follow is borderline ridiculous.  At the same time, I love all things fitness and health related; from workouts to healthy recipes to natural skincare products.  While I cannot control some things in my life, I have become enthralled in the things that I can create, like what goes into my body (I chose to go vegetarian, which might be another post entirely) and what I use on my body.  So you can see my dilemma currently.  It’s time to make a change in my life.  The problem now is deciding what that change will look like.  When I have a more definitive idea of where I will be heading, I am thinking about making my blog a more permanent fixture that goes right along with my chosen profession and making a living off that or just for some disposable income.  The sky is the limit!!  Let’s be honest, what I would truly love to do is what Joanna Gaines does with Magnolia Market and their blog or Liz at LizMarieBlog and The Found Cottage.  If you haven’t checked her out, you totally should.

Have any of you made a career change into a completely different profession?  If so, I would love to get in touch with you to talk about your transition and how it worked out for you.  Please leave me a comment below so we can connect.



(Photo credit to

Where Have I Been? (journal style)

I know it has been an extremely long time since my last post.  Some of you may be wondering where I have been or if I was ever going to post again.  To be honest, I was not sure if I was going to post again or not.  If you have read some of my earlier posts, you might know that I have been through my share of changes and decisions.  I have been spending a lot of my time recently trying to decide what it is that I want to do with my life.  As cliche as it sounds, I truly have been spending time “finding myself.”

I have settled into a career that I no longer enjoy and that does not leave me fulfilled at the end of the day and that just does not challenge me anymore.  Since I am single with no children, the sky is the limit and there are many things that I could do and places I could go.  The only problem…I don’t know what to do about that.  I have never been the type of person that has known what they wanted to do after high school and what career they wanted (I envy you if you were that person).  I’m in my 30’s and STILL don’t know.  I have made many decisions in my past based on other people and never truly sat down to think about what I want for myself and what will make ME happy.  So I have decided to try and figure that out; however I needed to do that.  I like to do so many things and could not say that there is ONE thing that I would choose.  I have a few ideas, but nothing I have settled on just yet.  I am searching for that thing that makes me enjoy doing it and that makes me want to hop out of bed every day and go to work.  Yes, I am in search of “finding my passion.”  And before you think it, (if you haven’t already)  I am aware that I am in my 30’s and haven’t figured it out yet.

For once in my life, I am trying to figure out the best decision for me and what will make me truly happy without worrying about anyone else.  I do want to continue blogging and I plan on doing that.  As far as my career, that is yet to be determined.  There are a couple of things that are on my radar and I am in the process of pursuing those ideas to see where they take me.  Life takes us in so many different directions and many of us have an idea of how we would like our life to go, but things don’t always go as planned. As a matter of fact, they seldom do.  In my case they did not go as I had originally hoped and planned.  But that’s life and you have to keep rolling with the punches and trusting that something better is coming after all the setbacks and disappointments.  Year after year my plans and thoughts have changed as far as what I thought I wanted out of life and I think that’s just a part of growing up and experiencing life.  I have learned to be okay with not having what I thought I would at this point.  I truly believe that things happen for a reason and we are where we are for a bigger purpose.  Yes, i am still trying to find out my purpose as well and that is what I am focusing on and have been for a few months.

I thank you for being patient with me and hope you stick around for more blogs in the future.  And if you are or have been in the same boat as I am currently, I would love to hear from you and how you overcame that and found your passion.

DIY Chalkboard

I have been wanting to make my own chalkboard for quite some time, I just had not come across a frame that I liked enough.  I had the perfect place to hang one, so when a co-worker was giving some things away, she had a gold frame that I knew would work perfectly. (Thank you, Cheryl!)


I immediately knew that I was going to use my chalk paint because I wanted to distress the frame for that worn look.  I applied two coats of the chalk paint with a foam brush and let it dry completely.  Once dry, I broke out my sandpaper and started distressing until I reached the desired look. (In hindsight, I would have left more of the gold intricate detailing instead of filling every nook with paint, but I am still happy with how it turned out.)

Since there was no back to this frame, it made the most sense to cut a piece of plywood to fit the back.  Two coats of chalkboard paint was used to cover the plywood and when dry, was glued into the frame using wood glue.  Since I like to dabble in art as a hobby of mine, I knew that I wanted to use this chalkboard to display quotes and drawings and anything else that I wanted to draw on it and change occasionally; especially with the holidays.  After everything was dry and finished, I used regular chalk to write a holiday saying on the chalkboard and hung it up.  I am not real sure how I like using the plywood as the backing because there are ridges in the wood and it proves difficult to make clean, straight lines and I will definitely be purchasing colored chalk to make things more fun, but for my first one, I am happy with the way it turned out.  I am sure I will change the drawings and quotes frequently.  Has anyone else made their own chalkboard??


How To Get Sleep If You Suffer From Seasonal Allergies (without taking pills)


Growing up, I never had to worry about allergies of any kind.  It wasn’t until my second year of college that I started developing allergy symptoms and experiencing seasonal allergies.  At the start of Spring and Fall, while others are so glad for the change in weather and temperatures, I am miserable because I can’t breathe, my eyes are red and itchy and I sneeze nonstop.  I will typically take an allergy pill during the day that lasts (or is supposed to last) 24 hours.  I’m not one to take pills for anything so when I started using DoTerra essential oils, I started researching combinations for allergy sufferers like myself.  If you have not tried them or are on the fence about whether they really work or not, I am here to tell you that they do.

At nighttime is when my symptoms seem to be the worst.  I get so stuffed up and can’t breathe, while at the same time, one side of my nose runs and won’t stop.   It used to get so bad, I would have to shove a kleenex up that nostril just to stop it from running so that I could get a few hours of sleep.  Attractive, I know!  I know some people think I should just be able to blow my nose and get some relief, but if you have allergies, then you know that doesn’t work.  My nose runs constantly but when I try to blow it…nothing.  It truly is annoying.

So when I came upon this combination of oils, I decided to give it a try.  I have a diffuser that will run for 8 hours and then shuts off so that’s perfect for while I’m sleeping.  I put 4 drops of each oil in the water and went to bed.  The first night I slept, uninterrupted, until my alarm went off in the morning.  I tried it again the next night…same results.  I know there are a lot of skeptics when it comes to essential oils and my friends made fun of me saying I “drank the kool-aid.”  But I can tell you that this really does work.  To prove my theory, I went the next night without the diffuser and guess what?  I was up half the night sniffling and not able to breathe.  So you do the math.  Needless to say, when my allergy symptoms flare up, I turn to my diffuser and essential oils to help me get a restful night of sleep and wake up feeling great.  As the saying goes “there’s an app for that;”  so, too, there’s an oil for that.  These oils can help with so many ailments, symptoms and moods, you’re sure to find at least one that works for you.  You can even use some of them in cooking and on infants and pets.  If you’re interested in placing an order or just seeing what DoTerra has, check out this page.

Below is the diffuser that I use.  I ordered it from Amazon.  You can find a similar one here.


So here’s what I use:

4 drops of Lavender essential oil

4 drops of Peppermint essential oil

4 drops of Lemon essential oil

Diffuse and relax!

Do any of you use essential oils? I would love to hear your experience!


When Breath Becomes Air


Now that the weather will be getting cooler and my time inside will increase when I am not at work, I will be looking for new books to read.  Above is the cover of the book I just finished.  I don’t really want to give a full review of this book because I would love for you to read it and tell me what you thought of it.  If you have already read this book, let me know how you liked it in the comments.

This aspiring neurosurgeon is almost finished with his residency and finds out that he has inoperable lung cancer.  It is a quick read and honestly inspired me to look at life differently. If you are a crier, you may find yourself crying at the end, but I highly recommend this book.  I am confident you will like it and it will leave you asking some of the same questions he asked himself.  I could not put this book down and finished it in two days.  Happy reading!

If you have read a really good book, please leave it in the comments below as well.  I am always looking to add to my “To Read List.”

What I Have Been Loving Lately

Hey readers!  I first need to apologize for being gone for so long.  I get alerted when people view my blog and the Facebook page for my blog and I felt terrible for not having posted in quite some time.  Some things have changed since my last post, but I won’t get into that right now.  I wanted to do a lighter post just on some things I have been loving recently.  I also have been contemplating on whether I should keep doing this blog so if you guys could comment below that you do read this and/or leave me a message what you might like to see me post on this blog.  I would like to branch out to more fitness and nutrition-type posts so that is definitely a possibility.  I just want to take a poll to see if anyone even reads this and would like me to post more.  Today is Tuesday and last year I was posting on Tuesdays as part of my Tune-In Tuesday!  I normally have my cardio and abs workout on Tuesdays but honestly, it is just too hot outside to run so I am going to attempt that later this evening. So without further ado, here’s what I have been loving lately…

  • Bath & Body Works’ fall candles –   Since it is almost Fall, my favorite time of year, I have raided B&BW and stocked up on their candles and Wallflower plug ins.  These scents are my favorite…DSC_0194.JPG
  • D.I.Y. mason jar craft – I had been wanting to do this craft for a long time so I went out and bought 3 mason jars, some chalk paint and a clear, matte finishing spray.  I painted the jars with 3 coats total and let them dry in between coats so the paint did not peel off.  Once that was dry, I used some sandpaper and distressed them until I liked the finished look.  To finish them off, I sprayed them with a matte spray finish to set the paint.  I decided to add some twine that I had laying around to the tops of the jars and the fillers are from Hobby Lobby.  I plan on changing out what I put in the jars depending on what season it is that way I don’t have dozens of jars laying around.  DSC_0197.JPG
  • Bullet journal – I enjoy drawing and painting in my free time and I consider myself extremely organized so when I discovered what a Bullet Journal was (while I was scrolling Pinterest like I do most evenings), I was intrigued and have been hooked ever since.  It combines making lists (which I have an entire notebook with different lists in it), with drawing, journaling and keeping track of your activities, events and appointments and so much more.  The possibilities are endless of what you want to add to it.  I follow a lot of really cool bullet journalists and artists on Instagram and they constantly give me new ideas.  The only downfall to this is that you have to actually draw out your weekly pages in your planner, which is time consuming but if you’re an artist and like to draw, it won’t bother you one bit.  To see a link to the original Bullet Journal site, click here.  Below is the planner and markers I use.  Markers were purchased from Michael’s and I ordered my planner from Amazon.  Once you start searching, you will find out different planner options and how other people set up their journals.  Some of them are very cool.  DSC_0200.JPG
  • Sally Hansen nail polish in Fall colors – I don’t typically wear dark or bright colors on my fingernails because as soon as it chips off, I end up picking it all off and I just like the classic look of a nice french manicure.  But I have gotten so many compliments just in the past two weeks on this grayish brown color (Commander in Chic) that I have on my nails currently.  The plum color (Orchid Me Not) is what I have been wanting for my toes.  I put this color on my nails and I did not like it, but I love it on my toes.  If you haven’t tried Sally Hansen’s Complete Salon Manicure colors, I highly recommend them.  I have mentioned the gold bottle with their Nailgrowth Miracle before and I use that as my base and top coat and it literally lasts more than a full week without chipping.  WINNING!! DSC_0195.JPG
  • Nikon D3200 – I have always been interested in photography and took a few classes years ago.  I am still learning about settings and playing around with all of that, but I love to take it out and just walk around and snap pictures. While I prefer to take landscape photos, I had the honor of taking pictures at my friend’s vow renewal and I enjoyed that opportunity; but I still would rather get better at landscape photos rather than portraits. camera

Those are just a few things that I have been loving recently and I just wanted to say thank you for reading my blog and I hope you come back again!!