Green Beauty, Career Thoughts, Weekend Plans, and Everything in Between

Hi guys! Happy Friday to you. I am sitting here staring at updated photos of our dog whom I’m totally and completely obsessed with #noshame. She comes home in less than a month!!!!

GREEN BEAUTY

I have a little update on my green beauty hunt for a one stop shop brand and I am so pumped because I finally found one that is consistent across the board. The amount of makeup I’ve been trying has been insane (thank goodness for return policies) and I’ve decided that the hardest part about making the switch is that everything is online! Hopefully the more people like you and me support these brands, the more we will start to see them in stores where we can try out different colors and textures in the flesh! But until then, I’ll keep ordering online, navigating the good and bad products, and sharing my finds with all of you!

With that said, I am obsessed with the brand 100% Pure. Literally every product on their shelves has been a success for me so far and as someone with extremely sensitive skin and terrible allergies, this is not normal to try something with such success. I’ve tried quite a few green makeup brands now and I have still had some allergy trouble with them (which is weird to me), been frustrated with the lack of staying power, and been bummed by the message of the company. I know that last part sounds weird, but I care a lot about this kind of stuff. A lot of green beauty companies use scare tactics in order to get you to buy their products and I’m looking for a company that celebrates women, seeks to empower them, and gives back to their community. For those of you not familiar with 100% pure (I wasn’t before this hunt) their makeup is colored with fruit pigments and is quite literally designed to be food for your skin (insert praise hands). The concept behind the brand is that the products we are using should be healing, nourishing, and protecting our skin all at the same time. I got my first purchase in the mail and was so pumped about their products upon trying them that I actually started scavenging their website for an affiliate program, fount one, and applied! That’s how much I like them. If they had positions in Dallas, lemme tell you I’d be on that like nobody’s business. If you go to their website through my blog (by clicking any of the 100% Pure icons or links on my page) and decide to make a purchase, I receive a small commission so thank you to those of you who already have for allowing me to write here!

So far, I’ve only tried their makeup, but I’m dying to try their skincare so I’ll keep you guys posted on when I do that. I’ve been waiting for a few months to order the pretty naked I and pretty naked II palettes because they went out of stock. I guess everyone discovered that they were magical and scooped them up, but I just got an email today that they are back! I just ordered both of them so I’ll let you guys know what I think upon their arrival. My one complaint about this company is that they do run out of stock and on their items and as a consumer it’s frustrating when you run out of your foundation and you can’t get it immediately. So that’s the 411 there.

*Also quick side note and I’ll get to this in my 100% pure haul post, but I also ordered this brow gel a couple weeks ago and I looooove it. It seems (unfortunately) that there aren’t many of it left either so if you’re on the hunt, I highly recommend! Many people have compared it to the Benefit Brow gel if that helps anyone wondering about consistency/performance.

CAREER THOUGHTS

Alright enough makeup fodder from me! Last week I got back out there into the auditioning world and it felt so so sooooooo good. I didn’t land anything, but I had callbacks for both lead roles in both shows, and that made me feel like the last 2 years I’ve taken off weren’t a waste. I’ve been focussed on rest, destressing my art, finding joy in my singing, and taking lessons with an amazing teacher. Sometimes I get a little panicky about my career as a singer and feel like I’m behind. I don’t know if anyone else feels that way. I guess its part of the crisis of being in your early 20’s, but I see other people in my field who are fighting it out in NYC and start going “crap I’m so behind because I chose love and have opted to be with my husband). No regrets there, but it makes me feel like I missed the boat sometimes. But I haven’t and I have to keep remembering that my career path will look a little bit different than others in my field because I wasn’t and still am not in the mood for long distance marriage. Ya feel me? Okay 🙂

Both as artists and young professional’s, I think it’s really important to grant ourself some grace and give ourselves time to become who Got has intended for us to be. Our world feels like a rat race and I’m really trying to get off that hampster wheel and give God the reigns. Easier said than done.

PLANT BASED EATS

I’ve also been really thinking about wanting to incorporate more plant based meals into our diet. I ate that way when I was living alone, but with my die hard carnivorous husband, I feel like we’ve been doing a whole lot less of that. I have a few favorite recipes that are my go to’s with plant based eating, so I’ll post those coming up here. I randomly took a picture of our loaded sweet potatoes last week on Insta story and I got soooooo many DM’s with questions about the recipe so you’ll see that soon. It’s super easy and rocks when there’s not food in the house. Even carnivorous husband’s love ’em.

WEEKEND PLANS

Michael and I have plans to “get stuff done this weekend”. Our to do list includes selling some stuff we need to get rid of, setting up a retirement account for me (whaaaaaa????), working on the new site (thank goodness for technically proficient spouses), return random crap, add some necessary furniture pieces to our home (AKA lamps and night stands), and embarking on a mattress hunt. I am actually really excited for this last activity. Not gonna lie. We are planning to make it a date so make sure to tun into Insta stories for that! We’ve decided to go ahead and invest in a King since we are planning to drop some money on a good quality mattress and I love sleep so this is actually like a dream date for me. Forget the bachelor dates with a private band in a huge mansion…..take me mattress shopping!!!! Also gotta have a King so that we have room for the Shiba (Michael says no dogs in the bed, but I feel like he’ll eventually allow it if I beg enough 🙂 ).

My sweet mother-in-law is having a birthday tomorrow so we are celebrating her from afar! Happy weekend to all of you – go hang out with the people you love!

xoxo, B

 

 

Making Marriage Positive

I’ve always talked really openly about my marriage because I think it’s important to share the reality of what that actually looks like. One thing that has really changed in the last couple years of my life is my language. I’ve made a conscious effort to shift the words I use to describe myself from negative to positive ones. I find that quite often, I’m self deprecating, make jokes at my own expense, and apologize for things I didn’t do. No longer! And let me tell you, something as simple as referring to myself in a more positive way has had a big impact on my confidence, as well as carried good vibes into my relationships with other people.

I started thinking a lot about the language I use surrounding my marriage and discovered that it was often negative too. Now 99.9% of the time, anything negative that I said would have often occurred in a joking context like “Well, I unfortunately better go because Michael will be needing some dinner and goodness knows he can’t figure out how to open the fridge”. Okay. This is semi-funny, and yes, I am the chef of the house, but we made a choice together that I was going to be the cook because I’m better at it! But in looking at that sentence, I used the word “unfortunately” in reference to seeing my spouse, complained about his “neediness”, and stated that he is unable to do simple things. Yes, this was a joke. But isn’t it also putting negative connotations on my marriage?

I think statements like what I just said are pretty dang normal. I mean for goodness sake, you watch a tv show about a married couple and the “burdens” of their relationship are often made out to look a lot like prison! Some of the phrases that come to mind that are often used in reference to marriage are “tied down”, “ball and chain”, etc. Does anyone else hear these references and laugh? I totally do! It’s like I’m numb to the negativity or something.

But I think about the way I talk about my friends and I can’t imagine saying something like “Ugh, I have to go get dinner with my friend Jane tonight. She’s really a piece of work and always wants to spend money.” Can you? Phrases like “have to” don’t really come up when we talk about our friends whom we love. So why does it when we talk about our spouses (whom we love!!!)?

When Michael and I started talking about marriage prior to our engagement, I remember him saying that he felt he wasn’t ready because he was “really happy the way things were” and there were certain things he “wasn’t prepared to give up yet”. I remember looking back at him across the table at Beck’s prime and just staring, dumbfounded, that he would say something like that. I’m over here like….I’m pretty sure marriage for us is going to mean that I won’t leave and you’ll have a personal chef with 3 home cooked meals a day but okay…..?!?!??!! So I responded “Things you don’t want to give up? Could you please elaborate on just what exactly you think you’ll be giving up?”. And you know what he listed??Alone time, guy time, feeling like he needed to be home at a certain time every day, having obligations. I started wondering where he got the idea that I was going to be locking him up in our home upon his arrival from work and hiding the key until it was time to leave the next morning……marriage to Michael meant losing his freedom.

I giggle as I retell this story because it’s just so funny to me that he thought this dark force was going to come upon his life if we decided to marry, Like all of a sudden he would wake up one day and the freedom we had in our dating relationship was going to go away! But I don’t think his misconception about marriage is abnormal. Truly, I don’t. The way we talk about marriage in our society is either negative or completely unrealistic. I think our words (even when said jokingly) have gotten us to this place where marriage is thought by many to be gargantuan, painful sacrifice of independence. And just to clarify, I think this entire thought about negative language surrounding marriage can to the opposite side of the spectrum with unrealistic languages about marriage. When marriage is made to look effortless, perfect, and unattainable, that is projecting unnecessary stress on a relationship to be the ultimate!

So with all of this said, I’ve been thinking a lot about what it would look like if we changed our language surrounding marriage. What if I had said “Well, I’d better get home, my husband says he is on his way and we have plans to eat dinner together tonight”. Such a suddel difference in my statement, but an entirely new meaning associated with my spouse because there is no negativity.

When I think about marriage/my spouse, some of the words that come to mind are: helper, partner, caregiver, friend, comfort, safety, happiness, fun, confidant, dependable, strong, unfailing. Why aren’t we hearing those words on tv, and why aren’t we vocalizing those words and feelings when we talk about our spouses! I think we should.

Speaking with truth, honesty, positivity, kindness, and understanding about myself gave me greater confidence in the person I am. We have that same power in the language we use surrounding our spouses, and I think we should use it to better our marriages. The world could really use some more positivity right now, and it starts with us. Hug your people.

xoxo, B

 

 

 

What to do in Mazatlan

Hello there. When I said “see you tomorrow” last week, I meant “see you tomorrow” and then I came down with a stomach virus. Whyyyyyyyy. So that is why I didn’t see you on Thursday!

Michael and I are spontaneous crazy people and take trips out of the blue more often than not. My birthday boy turned 28 on Sunday so we decided a little getaway was in order. Michael is going to get a post up for you guys regarding credit card tips and tricks, but one of the reasons we have the privilege of traveling so much is because we spend our money with a purpose. We’ve built up a lot of miles and hotel points over time so we can take trips without thinking twice. We both love travel so much so we’re trying to go somewhere once a month.

With that said, I’m starting a travel series where I’ll recap these travels! Every trip we take is almost always on airline miles, hotel points, and always a direct flight. I’ll share tips on where to stay, what to do, and where to go! If you love a quick getaway, this series is for you!

With our puppy coming home in a short 3 weeks, I’m starting a dog section of the blog where you’ll see all things related to our little Shiba. I’m already turning into a psycho dog mom and am planning to feed our pup a combination of homemade food as well as high quality dog food made without preservatives, so I’ll be sharing my finds in the world of holistic pup food, treats, toys, etc. We are getting so excited for her arrival!

I am wanting to incorporate more fashion into the blog while still keeping the content focussed on holistic living including green beauty, clean ingredient recipes, and nutrition related content so I’ve decided to make fashion the undertone of my posts. I’ll talk details on health and wellness since that’s what I like to write about and link my finds for anyone who is interested. I’m super into high quality, classic fashion on a budget for both work, audition, and play!

So that is what all of you will be seeing soon and especially with the launch of the new site!

So without further ado, here is part of our trip to Mexico! We flew off to Mazatlan which is only a 1:45 minute flight from Dallas. Yes…..tropical vacay is just a hop, skip, and a jump away my friends. And a direct flight on American miles. This flight only pops up during certain months of the year so keep an eye out for it and scoop it up when it pops up! We are both saying we want to go back.

We stayed at the Pueblo Bonito Mazatlan resort and did an all-inclusive package. We decided on it because there is a sister resort called Pueblo Bonito Emerald Bay that you have full access to as well and we thought it would be nice to have a couple different locations to spend our time, eat, etc.

Where to stay

Stay at Pueblo Bonito Emerald Bay. It is only about $50 more per night and it is absolutely worth it because the resort is significantly more updated and a much larger property. It is an absolutely stunning campus. We ended up spending a great deal of our time there and were big fans. Bonus is that they have an adult pool with a swim up bar so if you’re wanting to get away from kiddos running around the resort, it’s nice to go over there and chill for a bit.

Where to swim 

We love to swim in the ocean even though it eats sunglasses (RIP 3 pairs in 48 hours) and there are a lottttta rocks at the Emerald Bay campus. If you’re in the mood for ocean swimming go over to the Pueblo Bonito Mazatlan for some awesome wave surfing! If you’re a pool goer, don’t bother spending your time at the pools at Pueblo Bonito Mazatlan because they get overcrowded. They are much nicer and more updated at the Emerald bay resort!

Where to eat

So this was our first ever experience with an all-inclusive package. We kept track of what we spent including tips and tax so that we could decide at the end if it was worth it to pay for the package. We found an insane deal on Expedia (do your research and you’ll find a deal!!!!) for $220/night and stayed for 2 nights (total of $440). We spent just over $450 in 2 days on food and drink lolololol so it mooooore than paid for itself. We both felt like it was a great value at the end of the day. The amazing perks of all inclusive is the constant service. If you’re laying on the beach, someone will come by to bring you your food and drink of choice and it’s kind of amazing. We felt the downside of all inclusive was the quality of food. Some things were much better than others. We did not like the restaurant Cilantro’s at all. Maybe we ordered the wrong things, but we would not recommend going there. If you go to the Italian restaurant on the Mazatlan campus, the fresh caught fish was fantastic!

How to get there

Important: the resorts will come pick you up from the airport, but you must let them know you arrival time 3 days in advance. That goes for taking you back to the airport as well, so make sure to book that service in advance of your trip. If you forget to do this or book a trip with less than 72 hours to spare (us), the taxi service was very easy to use and not expensive. Cell service is really bad at the airport so don’t even bother trying to call an uber and use the taxi service. The taxi was actually cheaper too!

What to do

M and I spent some time in town and let me tell you, it is nothing to see. If you go to Mazatlan, stay at a fabulous resort and never leave. There are some great quick getaways from the resort that we would have done if we’d had more time like zip lining, hiking, and kayaking, but this is definitely an eat, drink, swim, and relax type of vacation. Also, the spa services were very reasonably priced so check those out too!

Would we recommend?

YES! Michael and I already have already talked about going back to stay at the Pueblo Bonito Emerald Bay resort next year. Each of the Pueblo Bonito resorts had good things to offer – we would want to spend our beach time at the Pueblo Bonito Mazatlan since it is much less rocky and our pool time at the Pueblo Bonito Emerald Bay. It was a really inexpensive, extremely fun, and romantic trip. I should also mention that these are family friendly resorts so if you have little kiddos, they would have plenty to do.

Happy travels!

Xo, B

 

A Quick Hello

Hey friends!

I just wanted to pop in for a hello! I’ve been a little quiet on Instagram Stories and on this little space of the internet this week. It has been the most chaotic few days filled with good and bad, but I’ve been a little overwhelmed so I said, “Brenna, just take a few days away from feeling obligations”. I want this blog to be authentically me and feel fun to write, and these last few days I felt like writing was not going to be fun. So I took a little break!

I have some tummy problems and everything collided this week between issues with getting my medication, my insurance no longer covering my medication, switching doctors, getting all of my years of procedures sent over to my new Dallas doctor, blah blah blah blah blah. I HATE the medical world so much right now. Don’t get me started, but I just feel like we could be serving patients so much better than we currently do. It is a marathon to get the healthcare you need and when you do, it’s sometimes not good care. #RantOver

I had a couple of auditions mixed in between the healthcare saga so that made me happy. I’m really trying to get back into the groove with my performing life after putting it on hold for so long. My perfect voice teacher and I had a lesson last Friday (she is legit the reason I moved back to Dallas) and singing felt so good that I immediately came home and started hunting DFW for auditions. And I found some. So I gathered up my music, threw some dance clothes in a bag (heaven help me dance is not my forte), and hopped over to a couple of auditions. For the first time in a long time, I didn’t feel super nervous going into these and that’s how I know I’m in the right place to be doing them again. Much like my taking caution with the blog, I want to take caution with my singing to keep it in the fun zone. I don’t want them to become a chore because they lose the joy that they bring.

Speaking of joy, this canine is literally perfection. I’m the proudest dog mother. 

More importantly than all of these items, I woke up at the crack of dawn on Tuesday morning to watch the Bachelorette the morning after the premier (we don’t have cable). Oh. my. gosh. Everything about the ending of this season made me depressed. #TeamPeter #TeamEric #TeamDean #TeamAnyoneButBryan

I’m still working away on the new site (again, heaven help me, as my technological proficiency is lacking) and I will be excited to introduce you guys to it when it is up and running! Thank you all so much for reading and allowing me to share my life honestly with each of you.

See you guys tomorrow 🙂

xoxo, B

Clean Ingredient List Pantry Swaps

I have been getting tonsss of questions again about the essential oils I use, so here is my post from last week about where I buy them.

I’m in the mood to get a little nutrition-y today. Also, just a reminder that I’m not an RD, just a weirdo who reads biology and nutrition textbooks for fun. I’ve talked a lot about disordered eating, being afraid of food, and embracing overall health (mind, body, spirit) rather than just a portion of our health needs.

Well, one of the questions that consistently comes up in social situations is the meaning of healthy eating so I want to talk a little bit more about that today. There are so many definitions. I’ll hear a girlfriend say I’m trying to eat more healthily and pull out a lean cuisine. Yes, lean cuisines are low in calories, but are they giving your body the nourishment it needs? I’ve seen people say they are dieting and eat a bag of chips for lunch – I’m down for the chips ya’ll, but our bodies can’t function on that alone. I’ve also seen people who eat straight tilapia and veggies in order to maintain their physique and gahhhhhh does that ever sound boring to me. I’m down for fish and veggies, but give me some grains and fats to balance that out so that I’m not starving in 5 minutes.

So here’s my definition of healthy. It comes down to 1 word. Ingredients.

What I mean by this, is that I want to know what is in my food. I should be able to read and understand alllll of the ingredients. Now this is easy in the produce aisle, but once you move away from there it starts to get very, very confusing to navigate the inner aisles of the grocery store when it comes to cereal, crackers, granola bars, etc.

Like everyone else, sometimes I’m on the run and I just need a granola bar and a to go mug of coffee, but then I flip my bar over, check the ingredient list, and it is jam-packed full of all kinds of dyes, preservatives, and processed ingredients that I’ve never heard of. Not okay.

I’ve spent a lot of time navigating these aisles, studying labels, and looking for swaps for my old favorites. And I thought it might helpful to recommend some of my pantry swaps to those of you who are wanting to embrace a diet that is full of real, natural, understandable ingredients. And more importantly, you can order them all on amazon prime so you don’t have to go to the grocery store which is really the main goal here. Just click the photo to shop!

Let’s get started.

Love Grown Cereal

These are an awesome switch for mommas with kiddos who love sugar cereal. Put down the frosted flakes and grab these! They are made with white navy beans (it’s good I promise) so they pack in some protein too. I prefer the unsweetened kind and they sell those too, but the unsweetened ones do have a tiny bit of a bean-y flavor haha.

Purely Elizabeth Granola

This granola is super yummy, contains absolutely nothing creepy, and it’s made with coconut oil and coconut sugar. These are a 10/10!

Larabars

These granola bars are my absolute favorite and they are made with just a handful of ingredients. These 3 kinds have chocolate chippers in them so I pretty much stick to these kinds hehe.

Vega Protein Powder

I highly recommend switching over to a plant-based protein powder. Vega all-in-one nutritional shakes also include your daily dose of vitamins which is kind of a huge deal. Chocolate and vanilla are my go to’s, but Chai is amazing with frozen banana!

Unique Pretzels

These are my favorite pretzels of ever. Pretzels are one of my favorite foods and these extra dark ones (the red bag) are on incredible. One of the things you might be surprised to know is that pretzels are often made with a whole lot preservatives and sugar. These babies are super crunchy and made of only flour, yeast, oil, and salt. So good.

Mary’s Crackers and Pretzels

Just to clarify, I eat plenty of wheat, but I just love the crackers. I always recommend them to my gluten free friends because so many gluten free goodies are made with tonsssss of weirdo ingredients and you know exactly what you’re getting here! These crackers are made with brown rice and seeds. I also included the Mary’s pretzels because the are bomb. The sea salt pretzels with hummus are amazing.

Happy snacking!