On: Following a Dream

From the moment you can remember, you have been told to follow your dreams and ambitions. Every movie you watch, book you read or thing your parents tell you from ages 3-12 is how you need to follow your dreams because you are capable of anything on this planet. When you get a little older is when the pressure starts. What college are you going to? What is your major going to be? What are you doing with your life? That won’t make any money you should do this instead. So when do we lose our dreams? At what point do you go from wanting to grow up and be a princess or archeologist and instead decide to become a bank teller or decide that data input is the career for you? At what point did you decide to settle? There are still people who are achieving their dreams every day. There are always new celebrities, new athletes, and scientists making discoveries but the fact is that most of us, never actually followed our dreams. Yes, these visions can change as we get older. We may go from wanting to be a world famous soccer player, to owning a fishing boat. Those are also good dreams so why aren’t we achieving them? Is it the money? The world that we live in is an entire culture surrounded by money. There is so much pressure to make enough money to support yourself and also have everything you could ever want in the world. The American dream isn’t as easy to achieve as it was before but it’s still the driving force behind most Americans. How often do you hear “well when I have more money…” or “If I was rich I would…” That’s because money has become the world that we revolve around. There’s never enough of it and that’s why we end up going for these careers that aren’t our dreams but pay the bills. Sometimes, the jobs don’t even pay the bills but it’s what we have to do in order to stay alive.

So how often do we dream? For some of us, we daydream all day long for others, we only dream at night when we can’t sleep. The matter of the fact is we are all dreaming. We’re always hoping for something better than what we’re living. I think it’s because our fantasies are what keeps us going. If we can get out of our heads for even just a moment and think about the possibilities of what our lives could be, the moment is blissful. It’s hopeful to think that we have more potential and could be living our best lives possible.

It’s also easy to shoot ourselves down when our thoughts get too hopeful. Well yes, you could sell everything you own and spend the rest of your life backpacking across Europe but how would you support yourself? Or what about your family? That’s just not something you can do. At least right now it’s not. Maybe in the far future you can think about it again. It’s possible we all tend to think this way because we believe we are not worth it. We aren’t worth our dreams and ambitions.

It’s also hard to achieve the dreams we want. These dreams can include a lot of money and planning and schooling that we don’t exactly have access to. It’s extremely hard to achieve our dreams and most of the time we’re just hoping for a lucky break that will take us where we want to go. These dreams are also terrifying. They can affect our relationships, uproot our lives and completely change everything we have ever known. So are we frightened of our dreams? Are we scared to shoot for what we really want? Are we worried of the repercussions?

I have no idea. Maybe we’re intimidated by our own ambitions, maybe they’re impossible or maybe we just aren’t ready to see the reality of our dreams yet. We can still dream, though. We can dream all day and all night and if looking up into the sky and wondering makes us feel happy and hopeful then maybe the thought is just enough.

So let’s keep dreaming. Let’s fantasize about our wildest ideas. Maybe the thoughts will keep us up all night or maybe they’ll bring us to blissful sleep. Some of us will achieve our dreams and live happily ever after. There may even be some individuals who achieve their dreams and it’s not all its cracked up to be. Others won’t quite get there but we will keep on dreaming. We will find hope and ambition within our pipe dreams. What you choose to do with your dream is up to you. Whether you get it yourself or pass it on to everyone around you. So here’s to all the dreamers, Whether you drive a racecar or you’ve explored every corner of the earth in your dreams no one can stop you.

How to take care of yourself first

With 2017 off to a rough start and bad news being plastered all over your Facebook feeds and Twitter timelines, it can be tough to keep yourself feeling well. If you combine this with the winter blues, sooner or later you will be finding yourself feeling less than great mentally and physically. Many of us have obligations outside of ourselves such as work, school, kids, people who rely on us and social groups who all constantly need our attention. It can be almost impossible to ignore all of our responsibility and take care of our minds and bodies. In fact; many of us don’t actually know how to help ourselves at all. We are so used to helping all the others around us that worrying about ourselves has become a foreign concept. We need to make self-care a reality. You are always willing to sacrifice yourself to others but now is the time you need to worry about yourself. It is the same concept behind airplane safety instructions, secure your own air mask, then secure your child’s. If you are not able to breathe, then how will you assist others?

While you cannot abandon all your responsibilities at once, you can take breaks from them where needed. A day off of work, skipping one committee meeting or putting your kids in front of a movie. This can be easier said than done for most people but here’s the reality: taking care of yourself does not make you a bad person. I believe that more people need to hear this so they can take a step back and do something for themselves. So how do you start to take care of yourself?

Stay off social media – Social media is constantly surrounding us and it can be so toxic to our self-care as it causes us to be stressed. The news is a large factor of people’s stress and we are nowhere short of bad news lately. There are also your or friends who always seem to be living a better life than you are. FOMO or fear of missing out can cause an astronomical amount of stress in our lives. While it sounds somewhat ridiculous, if your sister-in-law just got back from a service trip to Africa it may seem like you are not doing enough. You are doing enough so take a break from your phone and computer. I suggest staying off social media for at least one, full, uninterrupted hour a day. Your mind will also thank you for the break.

Feed your body now, worry about the calories later – The majority of people aren’t eating the right way. I don’t mean eating healthily but being mindful of the food that is going into your body. A study was done saying that 65% of workers either skip their lunch break altogether or work through their lunch. The rest of us usually eat standing up or eat with a smartphone in front of our face. Eating in this way can cause weight gain and malnutrition by not listening to what your body really needs. Take some time to yourself and really enjoy your food. If you’re not enjoying what you’re eating then eat something else! Life is too short to eat food that isn’t good. You need to listen to your body. Feeling a little fatigued? Drinking a big glass of water will help a lot. Also while it is important to eat healthy because it keeps your body going, it’s also important to indulge every once in awhile because it keeps you sane.

Relax your body – I bet if you paid attention to your body right now, you would feel some kind of discomfort. Maybe your head hurts or your neck is feeling stiff. It can be easy to ignore what our body is telling us as we get swept up in the trials of everyday life. A good way to relax your body is to get it moving. Our bodies were meant to move so if you spend most of your day sitting at a desk, you’ll find your body feeling restless and probably achy as well. Going on a walk or hitting up a yoga class can instantly make your mind and body feel better. You’ll also sleep a lot better at night. If you are feeling physically exhausted, taking a bath or doing some stretching will also do the trick. Even just taking a warm shower can relax your muscles and put your body at some ease.

Find a non-technical hobby – Doing something with your hands can be a great way to give your mind a break from stress. Don’t limit yourself in this area. Writing, woodworking, knitting or whatever might be your thing is very satisfying. If you’re like me and have never found a hobby to work for you, I suggest reading this book. It’s full of DIY ideas that are useful for your life and can be super fun. If you can’t decide on just one hobby, pick multiple! No matter what you decide to do, the time spent will not be wasted and you’ll be feeling some peace of mind in no time.

Do something for yourself that has been looked over in everyday life – This is a big one. If you are like the vast majority of people, you have passed over some self-care to do something for someone else. Think about something specific to you that needs to be done. Maybe you need to go to the dentist or just a good face wash. Things like this are very small but they are important. After accomplishing just one of these mundane tasks you will also find that you feel better about yourself for getting something done and because it was just for you and not anyone else, you’ll feel a little happier as well. When it comes to taking care of myself the first place I go is skincare. I usually use this face mask that’s basically a really big pore strip and is the most satisfying thing in the world to peel off

Just relax! – Whether relaxing for you means going on a run or just sitting down and watching TV, take a little time to yourself to just relax. During your relaxation, you have free your mind of any obligations or stress or else your relaxation will be useless. You can stress about making lunches later just take a moment for yourself now.
It is incredibly easy to stretch yourself thin and lose time for yourself. Take a little time every day to worry about just you. Even just drinking a cup of coffee to yourself can drastically change how good you feel. It can be hard to make real time for yourself but I promise that the results are worth it. By making a little time for yourself first you’ll be making more time for your other responsibilities as well. With a clearer head you will be able to make better decisions and accomplish more throughout your day. So whatever you decide to do, as long as you are taking care of yourself, you’ll be on to bigger and better things.

How to: Make your own highlighter out of recycled eyeshadow

Hello all! I recently learned how to recycle my old powders (blush, highlighter, bronzer, eyeshadow) and turn them into something new and exciting: A highlighter! This process is super easy and I will walk you through the process step-by-step. Easy as pie! This was my first time actually trying this and the end result was absolutely amazing.

You will need:

  • old eyeshadows, highlighters, bronzers, blush, etc.
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Eyeshadow pans (link at the bottom if you need some)
  • A butter knife
  • A round, flat bottom for pressing (I used the cap for my hairspray)
  • A small bowl
  • Fine glitter (optional but hello who doesn’t want to be a walking disco ball 24/7?)

Start by taking your old makeup and choosing what color you want your highlighter to be. I chose to make mine a dark pink color so I used the first and eighth color in my hard candy pallet as well as a shimmery pink and an old highlighter from my Ulta brand pallet. I love the colors in both of these pallets but they have gotten dry over time and use so I decided it was better to give them a new chance at life instead of letting them waste away on my vanity.

After you have chosen your colors, scrape the contents out of the pans and into a bowl. I chose to put mine into an old tupperware container so I would have a lot of room to mix all the colors together. At this point I also added some very fine crafting glitter. You can also use cosmetic glitter if you have it on hand but the whole point of this post is to save some money and use your cosmetics for all they are worth.

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After you have emptied the contents into a bowl, mix them around with the butter knife to get one shade. If it’s not perfect, don’t worry, it will all go on evenly once you wear it.

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At this point you will want to empty all of the contents of your bowl into your pan. I didn’t end up scraping enough contents out of my pallets so I had to add more shadows and of course, more glitter.

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Absolutely beautiful!
Mix together your shadows a little more just to make sure they are even. After this you will want to take the flat side of your knife and even out your powder a little bit so it coats the pan evenly.

You will then want to take your rubbing alcohol to the pan. I put my alcohol into the cap so that I did not add too much. It doesn’t take very much! The more alcohol you add, the longer it will take for your pigment to dry which means it will take longer for you to be able to wear it.

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You will then pour just a little bit of your alcohol into the pan. Remember, you can always add more if needed, so start off small.

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After you have poured in your alcohol, mix the contents together to form a thick paste.

Now we will press our pigment! Grab a round, flat surface (or square if you are using a square pan) and gently push on top of your highlighter. Doing this will press it into the pan and keep the shade from shifting around. It will also even out your pigment so it covers the pan evenly and is also easy to use with a brush.

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After, your highlighter should look like this:

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Hopefully yours looks a little better than mine. Allow the pigment time to dry. Mine only needed about an hour but if you used a lot of alcohol, give it up to 24 hours to form. It should be hard and powdery just like a normal eyeshadow.

Test it out! See how well your new makeup turned out and flaunt what your mama gave ya! Mine turned out flawless and is the best highlighter I have ever used and I didn’t spend a dime on it! Here’s proof of how awesome this how to really is:

The best part about this hack is you can use it for any kind of powder cosmetic. If your bronzer has lost its luster, your blush isn’t the right shade, or if you need a new eyeshadow color for the party you’re attending. This also works if your favorite powder has fallen apart from dropping it or overuse. Just follow the same steps and boom! Just like new. I loved being able to make my own highlighter because I found that no highlighter has enough glitter and now I can add my own. I think I will also be trying this trick with other colors. Blue highlighter? Yellow Bronzer? Why not? The possibilities are endless.

As corny as this whole post is, I love doing work such as this. While it is always important to talk about the things that really matter, my beauty hobbies as well as having the opportunity to try new things is what really gets me out of bed in the morning. I hope you all enjoyed this tutorial as much as I did and let me know if you want to see more content like this.

Much love, Mady

If you don’t have any extra pans you can use right now you can buy some off Amazon for super cheap! You can also create your own custom pallet which is perfect for travel and you’ll always have your most favorite shades on hand.

15 pc eyeshadow pallet $2.78 through Amazon.com
 Single eyeshadow pans 25ct $9.99 through Amazon.com

(If you purchase any of these products I get a little bit of credit which means I can keep posting tutorials like this! Click on the pictures if you are interested in buying.)