Only the goodDYEyoung

So! I wanted to spend a little time raving about a new product I’ve recently tried.

Paramore is my favorite band, and I look up to Hayley Williams a ton. She has launched her new hair dye line, goodDYEyoung, and myself along with thousands of Paramore fans across the globe have been trying it out. I know I speak on behalf of many people when I say that this dye is a big rainbow of awesomeness!

I’m no hair expert and I’m still trying to get down good techniques when it comes to hair dying. So although I haven’t tried many kinds of products or dyes, I’m still incredibly impressed with what Hayley and her long-time friend/hairstylist, Brian O’Connor, have concocted.

GDY has kicked off with 5 colors: red (Rock Lobster), blue (Blue Ruin), yellow (Steal My Sunshine), orange (Riot!), and pink (Ex-Girl). They sell a tool kit, bleach, and a fader that can be mixed with any of the above colors to create beautiful pastels. These colors can also be mixed and matched, which opens the door for those who like to get really creative and customize the hue, brightness, etc. of their hair color! Each bottle contains 4 oz of dye, so it’s a generous amount.

I started off with the pink, Ex-Girl. I used to be into red hair, but now my favorite is pink. See a photo of the cool packaging and the fun stickers they sent out with each first order!

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This hair dye smells delicious. Many have described it as Fruity Pebbles (even looks like Fruity Pebbles, too). Another fantastic quality about the dye is that it is vegan and cruelty-free, which I’m a big fan of (there’s no need to harm animals!) The ingredients also contain Sunflower Oil and Bergamot Oil (cool fact: Bergamot Oil can be used as an antidepressant!). It’s comforting to know that the product you’re using on your hair is made up of natural ingredients.

Look how beautifully obnoxious this pink is!

GDY Ex-Girl

When using, I have discovered that the dye doesn’t stain too badly. I used Manic Panic prior to GDY, and while I did enjoy the product, it stained my skin and would take a bit for it to come off. It’s also nice because that means my bathtub won’t be stained pink either. Also, GDY makes your hair feel amazing. After rinsing, shampooing, and drying, I couldn’t believe how soft it felt. The product is very conditioning, so it’s a nice treat for your hair!

Another thing I love about GDY is what it stands for. Hayley is all about self-expression and just being yourself. She’s proven that over the years with her colorful hair and a wardrobe consisting of all types of patterns and styles. She really wanted GDY to allow people to show their creative side and to provide a healthy form of expression. Even for myself, GDY has given me an extra boost of confidence (something I have little of). I really enjoy having my head look like a bright pink highlighter — it’s awesome! For someone who does lack self-confidence, dying my hair makes me feel good. Every time I start to worry or doubt myself when it comes to having hair that looks like it came from a Crayola box, I just remember GDY.

I also wanted to give a thumbs up to the company’s customer service team! When I received my order, the developer (which is used in the bleaching process) had leaked. I took a couple of photos of it and contacted the support team. That same day, after going back and forth a few times, they had put together a new order for me for another bottle of developer. That was on a Friday and I received it the following week, no later than Wednesday. I was very grateful!

I definitely recommend this product for anyone, whether you’ve dyed your hair before or not! You’ll be so happy!

Check out their fun website here: goodDYEyoung! They also have a page on their site with a bunch of FAQs!

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*This pigment of the dye is different than other results (I still love it though!) It just depends on how light you bleach your hair. I typically have really dark hair so if I had no bleach, there’s a good chance you wouldn’t even see pink.

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday, everyone! Hope your weeks weren’t too excruciating and your weekends are fun and relaxing.

So I want to do a Friday Favorites post where I share some of my new favorite things that have recently added some sunshine to my days.

Here we go!

“Summer EP” – Cassadee Pope1c948c73-b7e9-472e-b9ac-3d75199b0f1a.jpg

I’ve been a Cassadee fan since her days as front woman of Hey Monday. She became the winner of season 3 of The Voice and has taken off since then. A week ago she released her new EP, which consists of four amazing songs that anyone can relate to. I always have to go through at least once more before feeling satisfied because let’s be honest, four songs just isn’t enough.

Check her out, she doesn’t disappoint!

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I only started listening to these guys yesterday, even though I’ve known of them for a while. I’m still working on adding more of their music to my iTunes, but so far I’m enjoying what I hear. They have a fun, upbeat sound, but can also tone it down.

If you want a taste, I would recommend listening to “Bury It,” “Leave a Trace,” and “The Mother We Share.”

S.W. Basics of Brooklynimage83

I had been wanting to try out this skincare line for a while, and I’d say it’s been about a month since I took the plunge. Target sells a few of their products in mini sizes, so I bought the cleanser (blue label on the far left) and the cream (orange label in the middle).

My skin tends to get oily, and most of the time it feels really dry after using a face wash and I end up putting moisturizer on. This cleanser, with its 3 ingredients, is awesome. My skin is no longer dry after I wash my face and it takes away the oil. As far the cream, it’s a bit heavy, but I think it smells good and it definitely leaves your skin feeling super soft. This would be great to have around during the winter.

I have also bought the chapstick, lavender hydrosol spray (not pictured), and the oil serum (also not pictured). You can design your own skin care routine with these products. I usually read the (many) positive reviews before purchasing something I haven’t tried before, and I’ve even gone as far as emailing the company about a certain product. They’ll answer any of your questions!

I guess I’ve never really taken it into consideration before, but I like the thought of how little ingredients these products have in them. It’s simple, but it works! Check them out here.

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I mean, after my other post solely dedicated to it, duh. As I had mentioned, I saw the movie, bought the book, and fell in love. This is a must for my DVD collection. It has also sparked interest in maybe watching GoT because I really like Emilia Clarke. But we’ll see. Either way, this story is so beautiful; you’ll laugh and cry and wish it had never ended.

That’s all I have for now! Feel free to share some of your favorites in the comments!

Xoxo

8 Things I’ve Learned

Whenever I take a few seconds to think about it, I remember that I already graduated high school 6 years ago, and college 2. This summer, I turn 25. I have a bunch of stuff under my belt, but a lot more to put there. I was thinking about what’s happened over the last 6 years, which ended in me saying, “Wow, it’s already been that long since then? I made it through all that?”

I’ve learned a lot, but I also know I’m still learning. However, I wanted to share some important things I have come to realize that I wasn’t so aware of before I had that “Aha!” moment.

Here are 8 things I’ve learned ever since I left high school:

It’s okay to be single

At one point I thought having a boyfriend, or at least a guy I was talking to, was necessary. And I do believe that people go through those stages where they feel they just have to be with someone all the time. But after a not-so-happy ending to a relationship, I realized that it really is okay to be single and just focus on you. It gives you room to grow, to learn, and to discover the person you are. I’m not saying you can’t do that in a relationship because when with the right person because you most certainly can. But people also need to experience life on their own. If looked at from the right perspective, being single doesn’t have to be that bad.

It’s okay to leave college still unsure of what you want to do.

I’ve always been concerned about what it is I want to do with my life. I have never known for sure, and guess what? It’s been two years since I received my bachelor’s degree and I’m still not sure. But things are okay. I have a job and while it may not be my career, it’s something to get me going. I’m slowly gathering up the pieces and putting them together. I’m not saying it’s easy because I’ll be the first one to say that it’s incredibly frustrating and can be difficult. There are days when I feel lost, but I have to keep reminding myself that it really is okay.

Do what you want, but do it for yourself.

 I’m one of those people who worries about pleasing everyone else except for the most important person: myself. I know I’m not the only one either. I’ve always been that way and I’m sure there’s going to be a part of me that always will be. However, I need to start doing things because it’s good for me and it’s what makes me happy. If I’m not happy, then things won’t be fun. I also need to learn to start saying no, which I think coincides with doing what I want for myself.

I’m slowly starting to learn to make decisions based on what is best for me. It’s important for me to be able to do so, but that also goes for everyone else. We weren’t put on this earth just to please other people. We need to make lives for ourselves as well.

You don’t need a lot of friends.

I can definitely say my group of friends has gotten smaller ever since high school. But that’s life, and that’s okay. You meet new people, and those who did stick around, are the ones who are most important. You don’t need the ones who kick you to the curb or bring drama to your life; it’s just not worth it.

Having a large number of friends doesn’t define your life. When you’re 75 years old looking back over the years, is the amount of friends you had or how popular you were going to matter? Is it really the most important thing you focus on in life? No. And you know what… It shouldn’t be either.

Family is everything.

I’ve had a solid family life and I’ve been close with them. However, during my sophomore year of college I just clung to them like static. I found absolute solace in them, always spending time with them, never missing out on a family event.

When my relationship had ended, when I had isolated myself from my friends, I realized my family was the ones I could hold onto. I knew they would be my backbone no matter what. They didn’t ask questions, they didn’t invade my space, they were just there and that was perfect for me.

Sometimes it’s best to just go with the flow.

I used to feel like everything in my life needed a plan. I needed to find the right person at this age, be married by this age, and have my life put together by this age. But of course, what you planned out for yourself doesn’t always go the way you hoped or expected. And again, that’s okay.

Everything is constantly changing and no matter how hard we try, we can’t always control whether or not it goes our way. And sometimes it really is good to just take a step back, breathe, and let things happen.

Maybe everything does happen for a reason.

I used to be wary of this concept. Even though I’m not 100% there, I do feel more accepting of it. I’ll admit that it does get hard to believe this saying when it comes to things like my career and not knowing what I want to do. But then I try to turn it around and tell myself everything will work itself out with time.

Slow down and enjoy life.

This could relate to “sometimes it’s best to just go with the flow.” When we’re always worrying about how things should be, planning for things to be a certain way, we can get tunnel-vision. But like I said earlier, we just need moments to take a step back and breathe.

Life really is quick, so it’s important to carpe diem, live in the moment, and just really enjoy the awesome parts of life. Not going to lie, my head gets cloudy a lot and I’m very pessimistic, so forgetting that life is a beautiful thing can get lost for a little while. It’s important to savor all the good things that come our way, otherwise we might look back and think, “Wait, what happened there?” And we can’t turn back time to relive moments, so we have to hold onto them when they’re right in front of us.

If you have anything to add, or your own lessons you’ve learned, feel free to share! I would love to hear from you.

Xoxo

Me Before You: Scored On My Heart

The first time I heard about Me Before You was… Last week. I saw the trailer online and was interested in seeing the movie (I also had no idea it was a book). I ended up seeing the movie over the weekend, the day after it was released in theaters, with a friend. I fell in love with the story.

Normally, if I see a movie I don’t usually go out and read the book. The only time I’ve ever done that was with Silver Lining’s Playbook because I loved the movie so much (funny, now that I’m writing this, I saw that movie with the same friend). However, I did it with Me Before You. We went to Barnes and Noble afterward, I bought the book, and began reading the following afternoon.

That was Sunday. It is now Wednesday. I finished the book last night.

One of the first things I fell in love with was that the story took place in England. When it came to the movie, you were able to see the beautiful scenery, just a whole different world other than, say, New York City or Los Angeles. England is on my list of places to travel to someday, and I enjoyed listening to the English accents accent (funnier, I’m saying all of this in my head, but in an English accent, the way I read the book).

I also fell in love with the character of Louisa Clark. Her role was taken on by actress Emilia Clarke, and for all you Game of Thrones fans, you know I’m talking about Mother of Dragons. Louisa, aka Lou, reminded me a bit of myself. I was also very drawn to her bold and bright wardrobe. She definitely stood out in a crowd. Bumblebee tights, anyone?

The relationship that builds between Louisa and Will Traynor, the quadriplegic man she cares for, is admirable. Although they are the complete opposite of each other, the bond they start to share is full of hope, even love. Her bubbly personality grows on him, despite the fact that his life has turned upside down and he is unable to live the life he once had — of freedom, adventure, and power. They exchange jokes and poke fun at each other (mostly him to her). Although Lou has a steady boyfriend, you can’t help but secretly root for her and Will.

Before his accident, Will was daring and took advantage of any opportunity. Although his zest for life diminishes, he passes along advice to Lou: to live. Go out and experience as much as possible. Lou has spent her entire life, in Will’s opinion, way too comfortable in their small town. He wants her to expand her horizons. She’s just needed a push to realize the same.

I don’t want to spoil anything for those who are unfamiliar with Me Before You, but it would also be misleading for me to talk highly of this story without mentioning that yes, it is also sad. Despite this, the everlasting impact Will and Lou have on each other (or as Will put it, “You are scored on my heart, Clark”) is unforgettable.

This wasn’t meant to be a review or anything of the sort. I know there are many questions/criticisms about certain pieces from the book that weren’t even touched upon in the film, but I still enjoyed reading and witnessing the story.

I hope everyone else who sees Me Before You, reads it, or both, enjoys it just as much as I did.

Working From Home: A View From the Couch

Okay, so I don’t really work from the couch, but I do work from home. I started a few months ago, my first time not working in an office or shopping store. While it definitely has its perks, working remotely can also have some drawbacks.

Now, one may think getting distracted is a big drawback. I can definitely agree that I get tempted to lie down or would rather be outside when the weather is nice, but I’m able to complete my work on time without getting of track. I do get up and stretch, walk around a little, just to get a small break, but it honestly hasn’t been that challenging keeping myself within the deadlines I need to meet and maintaining the quality of my work.

I have found other elements that are more negative for me than distraction is. For my fellow at-home workers, you might be able to relate. If not, I envy you. Either way, I wanted to share my experience so far.

Being able to wake up at the absolute last minute, then get up and walk to my desk in three seconds is great, especially for someone who hates early mornings. Plus, I don’t have to spend time picking out an outfit, getting dressed, all while trying to stay awake. Staying in my sweatpants is great. However, there are times when I feel like a complete bum and wouldn’t mind getting dressed. What’s the point of owning clothes, shoes, makeup, or deodorant anymore? I basically rotate through sweatshirts each day just to switch things up a little.

Something else I’ve discovered from being an at-home worker: boredom. I’m stuck inside all day, I don’t go anywhere, so by the time my work day is over and my fiance gets home, I’m restless and want to go out and do something. It doesn’t always work that way though because he just wants to relax. Same on the weekends, I don’t want to be at home because I’m always there now, but it can be hard because we need to save money.

Also – I have the TV, my books, my bed right there so during my lunch hour, I’m free to do whatever. I guess having everything basically at your fingertips makes them less appealing when you’re done with your shift.

Another big thing that can be a drag is that I have nobody to talk to… Besides my two cats but they don’t talk back and half the time they’re asleep. I’ll play music to have some noise, but it can still get lonesome and it definitely adds to the boredom.

It’s not like I can just up and leave, go to a Starbucks, and do some work from there. I have a double-screen desktop computer that was sent to me from the company I work for, so it would be incredibly annoying and difficult to pack up all my equipment and haul it around with me versus just carrying a laptop.

I’m not saying don’t work from home because these issues may not be issues for some people. They might just be something to mull over if you are thinking about switching it up and want to try remote work.

Seriously…I’m Kidding: Learning From Ellen

I am one of the many, many people who is a big Ellen DeGeneres fan. I love going on YouTube and watching clips from her shows. Plus, she’s the voice of one of my favorite Disney characters: Dory (side note: BEYOND pumped for Finding Dory. It’s like Christmas is coming early this year).

I recently finished Ellen’s book, Seriously…I’m Kidding. It had me laughing from start to finish. I basically went through reading it in Ellen’s voice and giving different tones to certain things she said, depending on what it was. But besides the humor, Ellen gave some positive advice and insight that could apply to anyone. As we go through our day-to-day lives, we might need a pick me up every now and or a reminder to stop and smell the roses.

While I thought all of Ellen’s advice was inspiring, I’m going to list some favorites:

CoverGirl, page 5: Ellen takes several pages to bring to light the importance of inner beauty. In today’s society, there is a lot of pressure on individuals and how they should appear physically to be accepted as “beautiful.” Instead, Ellen defines true beauty as “who you are as a human being, your principles, and your moral compass (5).” She believes it is important to have confidence in yourself and to accept who you are.

As someone who has had self-esteem issues for as long as I can remember, I’m really glad that Ellen has openly expressed how she feels about being true to yourself. It can be extremely challenging, as well as scary, to do so, but being able to accept our flaws will only make it easier for us to accept who we are.

The Secret of Life – Part Two, page 27-32: This chapter focuses on living in the moment, something that I have learned is key to enjoying life. I am also still learning because unfortunately, I am a person who can get stuck in the past.

Another way Ellen describes this idea is to live each day like it’s your first. Doing this can help you keep your sense of wonder. That way you’re always awed and excited about whatever new discoveries jump in your path. That way we won’t miss out on something amazing.

Ellen also connects this to being honest and taking more risks in life. She points out that risk-taking can lead to both success and failure, which are equally important.

Living in the moment will take your attention away from worries of the past and from concern for the future. Your mind will be at peace and you can enjoy all the moments that are passing you by right now.

Pro and Con Lists, page 159-162: Honestly, I just love lists. But making Pro and Con Lists can be very useful/helpful when making a decision. If you’re someone like me who doesn’t typically think or act on impulse, then you know that lists are the world’s gift to us. (Plus, I am the worst decision-maker this world has ever seen.)

Social Skills, page 137-142: Ellen takes this chapter to discuss the ways technology has hindered our social skills. We are constantly staring at screens and communicating via text messages, email, etc. and it’s caused a disconnection from not only the world, but from each other as well.

While I enjoy sites like Twitter, Instagram, and of course blogging, I still enjoy writing with pen and paper or having a conversation with someone face-to-face instead of exchanging short-handed words through the Facebook Messaging App. Sometimes it’s good to take a break from technology/social media, sit down with someone, and just talk.

Girl Power, page 177-181: Ellen is inspiring, influential, and she’s a WOMAN. You might think, “Yeah, and?” Ellen stands up for all women when she says that yes indeed, we can do stuff, too. Society has evolved and women have taken on roles such as doctors and lawyers. They’re no longer confined to the kitchen. We have a lot to offer to the world and can be very beneficial, we just need to believe that and work towards whatever dreams we have.

I could go on about all the chapters I mentioned, plus a handful of others I took note of. Honestly, Ellen’s entire book is one big bowl of awesome reminders, advice, and motivation. Go read it! I promise you won’t be disappointed.

Things People With Depression and Anxiety Are Tired of Hearing From Those Living On the Outside

If you, like me, are facing the dark monster that is depression/anxiety, then you are just tired of hearing certain things people say to you, things they probably believe are helpful tips or pieces of advice. You’ve become totally stone cold upon hearing them, and sometimes you just want to snap and tell them that it’s not as simple as I’m sure they think it is.

Here are some of the lines that we are just so over hearing:

“Everything is going to be okay”
That’s cool, and maybe I believe this to be true, but before I get to “okay,” I must continue this battle. It’s hard to see a positive ending when I’m stuck in a circle of doubt, hate, and loneliness.

“You’re just sad”
No, I’m not just fucking sad, and how would you know anyway? So back off. I’m not just in some bad mood that will go away once I sleep it off. Depression and anxiety take you to a whole new level that makes one wish they were just moody.

“Just try to relax”
(I don’t know about anyone else, but I really dislike being told to relax or calm down) I wish I could do something that’s supposed to be so simple. For us depressed people, it’s not. Our brains are never, ever quiet. There’s no off switch, and that makes it very difficult for us to sit for even five minutes and take our mind away from all the negative.

“There are people who have it worse than you”
This one really gets me. (And I’m sure this will be taken the wrong way, so think what you want.) Yes, I’m entirely aware that there are others who are homeless, starving, going through abusive situations, but that doesn’t change the fact that I’m still dealing with something difficult, too. Of course my heart goes out to them, but they’re not my concern either.

“Nothing is wrong with your life, so why do you think you’re depressed?”
For starters, you don’t know my life. And yeah, even if I’m aware that I’ve had a decent life, that doesn’t magically make everything I feel now go away. Don’t judge on the fact that I grew up with both parents, or I received an education, or whatever else you might throw in there. Plus, half the time I just tell myself it’s so stupid for feeling this way because I have a decent past. So no need for you to rub it more in my face because I’m already feeling lousy about it as is.

So to those who have said any of the above… I understand you probably just mean well. But us people with depression/anxiety are done with hearing it. Honestly, saying any of these things is most likely just going to make us feel worse.

For anyone who knows where I’m coming from, feel free to vent, comment, etc. I would love to hear from you!

Xoxo –