The Fourth Wall

Time to sit down with a glass of wine and reflect on 2016. The good, the bad, and the ugly. And if I were to look back at how I rang in the year, I'd say it was a foretelling on how the rest of 2016 would turn out... Rough. My strength and patience were tested every single day. A week (or a few nights later), I broke up with the guy I spent most of my twenties with.

I wasn't happy but I was comfortable and that wasn't the way for me to live. The next decision I made was to invest in the one relationship I've neglected for a while, the one with myself. Since then I've thwarted impending relationships and burnt bridges to keep my word. And thank goodness I did. It's so easy to get lost in a relationship after coming out of one so fresh... I believe they call it a rebound.

As I stuck close to my word, I learned, accomplished, and experienced so much. There were some shit moments, but everything as a whole was amazing. I'm actually exhausted from having such an amazing year filled with firsts and memories that would've never happened if I weren't going solo. I learned a few (more like nine) things along the way too:

1. Friendships Need a Strong Base
Some friends disappear into the quicksand of relationships or work, completely neglecting their crew. At the same time, there are friends that make the effort to stay in touch through the thick and thin - these are the friends that welcomed me back with open arms. It never for a second felt odd, but more like continuing where we left off. Our random but thoughtful phone calls, frequent bedside visits just because, and impromptu girls night helped strengthen our base over the years and I'm so lucky it did. Sidenote, #GirlGang trips increased my bond tenfold so expect more adventures in 2017.

2. Society's Pressure is Bullshit
We seem to put this burden on ourselves on being the best, looking perfect or having the guy followed by a wedding. It's all bullshit. Do you and strive only for what makes you happy. I did and feel so at ease.

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3. Dating Gets Easier
At the beginning of the year, I was willing to give everyone a chance, which means I went on too many dates already knowing the unfruitful outcome. Fast forward to the end of the year and dates are now a rare occurrence. My time is precious, so my standards kept climbing and my friends have finally breathed a sigh of relief. Automatic red cards to those that text me "WYD" at 2 AM. Fouls to those lacking the motivation to cross the Queens border. Those shorter than me get immediately cut. In the end, I know my worth and if my gut says "Nah" then I'll most likely disappear into the night forever.

4. Be Nicer to Yourself
I have an issue with pushing myself to my absolute limits. Great for marathons, not so great for everyday living. This year, I let myself sleep in, treated myself to ALL of the hair appointments, and saw my doctor way too many times (preventative care at its finest). When I needed to unwind I went for a run, put off my to-do list, or gave myself a mani-pedi. I spoiled myself silly by putting myself first and will continue to do so.

5. Solitude... Scary yet Soothing
It's human nature to feel lonely at times. These were the moments I really felt myself grow as a person. (These were also the moments I found myself swiping away, to be honest.) Instead of burying the feelings with random numbing dates or an erratic online shopping spree I faced them head on. I accepted them and knew the feeling would pass. Sometimes, being alone or going places solo felt like a treat in itself. And if all else failed, I move on to #6 or continue swiping.

6. You Can Handle Shit Like a Pro
Life is always going throw curveballs but the question is, are you going to roll over and give up or stand up and figure it out. I definitely had to figure it out or get fucked. In one month, I started a new job, found a new apartment, had surgery (and needed to recover from it), and move. After experiencing all that and still coming out on top - I'm more than confident that I'll be able to overcome the next fuckery that heads my way.

7. Being Financially Stable is Liberating
Honestly, this is the best thing that has happened to me. I might be drowning in hospital bills but being able to book my own flights, pay my own rent, afford whatever restaurant I choose to eat at is AMAZING. Not having to rely on anyone is AMAZING. Being in control of your finances is AMAZING.

8. Personal Growth... It Happens
This year, I stepped out of my comfort zone a lot. Not always pain-free or comfortable but it's necessary when it comes to learning more about me. For instance, speaking up more won't kill me (even if it sounds dumb), traveling solo is really fun, doing things I hate aren't so painful, and my armpit fat is here to stay (body acceptance).

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9. Don't Settle Until You're Ready
This is the one time I was committed to doing me, from exploring new interests, traveling wherever the wind blew and growing my business. There simply so much opportunity to discover me and the world when not chained down to one lifestyle or locale. The moment I do settle down (or get knocked up), I know I will have lived a life so full it was worth the solitude. But as of right now, gaining a boyfriend/ride-or-die is not my main focus.

TL;DR Do what makes you happy instead of searching for that someone. Set priorities and reach goals - like being financially stable. Be nice to yourself and embrace the solitude - it might be the only chance you'll be able to. Get out of your comfort zone and see what you're capable of (FYI, a lot of things). And if all else fails (it won't), your friends got your back!

I'm sure the span of 2017 will bring a few more life lessons so until next year!

Five Time-Saving Hacks Perfect for Every Millennial

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #CentrumFunFlavors #CollectiveBias

After five years of working in the marketing and advertising field, in New York City no less, you'll know that life moves pretty fast on my end. There's always something to do in a city that stops for no one. Add in blogging, workouts + training runs, and outings to keep my social life alive, and my schedule gets jam packed. Literally, every minute gets taken up which makes every second count. 

On mornings when coffee just won't do the trick to ease away your grogginess, these time-saving hacks (in Collaboration with Centrum® MultiGummies®) will help you move faster:

1. Shower the Night Before
Easily shave off a good 20-40 minutes in the morning by rinsing the day away the night before. Of course, this might be harder to do in summer (cause you know... heat) but it's definitely one of my top time-saving hacks. Not only that, but you can relax and not rush through your shower routine if you have one. PLUS, you get more time to sleep in.


2. Pick Your Outfit the Night Before
I actually take this a bit further and assemble all my looks on a Sunday prior to my week and take into account the weather, important meetings, and blogger breakfasts/cocktail hours. But, not everyone is as insane as me so I suggest looking at the weather and taking note of anything happening the next day and pulling together an outfit. It's pretty easy to lay one out (think: shoes, pants, tops, and a few accessories) and you can try it on the night before to see how you're feeling. 9 times out of 10, I'm pretty content with my chosen look.


3. The Night Before Check Your Schedule and Pack Accordingly
Got a doctor's appointment? Pack your insurance cards. Got a blog shoot for a few outfit looks? Finalize and pack your looks and props needed. Got a fitness class in the morning? Pack your gym gear and water bottle. Are you seeing the pattern yet? And no need to fret if you don't own an organizer, the easiest (and free) way to keep track of all of your engagements is on Google Calendar. Mine is updated frequently and is the backbone of my busy life.


4. Shorten Your Makeup Routine
I love makeup as much as the next beauty junkie but there is a place and a time for the extended contouring routine. During the work week, I keep my routine down to a science. Instead of foundation, concealer, contouring, and eyeshadow - I use a CC cream. Add in a swipe of bronzer and blush and brow gel and I'm ready to get my tush out the door. Add in mascara if you like, but I abstain from layering it on until I leave work for an event (or before an important meeting). It takes less than 10 minutes and has me looking fresh-faced for the rest of my day.


5. Simplify Your Vitamins with A Yummy Multivitamin
There's a vitamin for literally everything nowadays but I like to keep it simple and easy as I cover my vita-essentials. Centrum® MultiGummies® is a great-tasting, easy-to-take multivitamin supplement. Another reason I prefer them is that Centrum® MultiGummies® contain three natural flavors: Berry, Cherry, and Orange. In case you wondering, these multi-benefit multivitamins include 100% or more of essential nutrients, Vitamins B12, D, and E.

Next time you're at Walmart make sure you pick up Centrum® MultiGummies® with this coupon along with a few different CC creams and put these tips to the test! Let me know how it goes and let me know down below if you have any time-saving hacks as well!

*These statements have not been evaluated by the food and drug administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

Masking Mondays: The Neutrogena Update

Today's shop has been sponsored by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. As always, all opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that make this blog possible! 
#Lights2ClearSkin #CollectiveBias

Alright, as promised here's my update on lighting my way to clear skin with Neutrogena® Light Therapy Acne Mask. And if you haven't read that post, I recommend checking it out here.

Let's backtrack a little bit first. Neutrogena recently launched a hands-free plastic mask that has been all the range on Instagram. The mask powerfully treats acne with light therapy. It kills off acne-fighting bacteria while allowing skin to heal itself all within ten minutes a day!

I've been loving the results and the ten minutes of zen the mask forces me to take. Busy bees shouldn't be alarmed since there are eye holes for those on the go. It's also harmless to your vision. For instance, there are times I lean back and meditate or it's my accessory for washing dishes. It never once felt uncomfortable and since the activator is attached, I simply slip it into a pocket for the ease of movement.


A few benefits I discovered after my month-long use of the blue and red light therapy was that my skin had less inflammation and zits were appearing less and less. And when they did appear, they weren't the ginormous monsters they once were. In their clinical trials, most participants saw results in as little as one week, but for best results it's recommended to wear for 12-weeks (i.e. daily).


For those of you curious about my full routine (since we all know how I love a great layering routine), here it is in its full glory:

- Use Clean & Clear® makeup dissolving wipes for freshly, cleansed skin for optimal results
- one session of Neutrogena's Light Therapy Mask
- your favorite face oil (great way to beat winter's drying air)
- your favorite face moisturizer (huge fan of Neutrogena's Hydro Boost Water Gel)

After a month of use, I definitely recommend incorporating the Neurtogena Light Therapy Acne Mask into your full nightly (or morning) routine. The price tag is insanely affordable compared to the one's seen in dermatologist offices and on celebrity Instagrams (aka $39.99 compared to $500+). The activator is even less ($14.97) and comes equipped to provide 30 get-gorgeous-skin sessions. For the best deal, I'd advise on getting yours at Walmart. If you rather hint at this for your Christmas wishlist feel free to send over my blog posts (wink).
Pssst... here are my before and after shots from one month of using. Insane right?!

Pssst... here are my before and after shots from one month of using. Insane right?!