February 2015 archive

My 5 Minute Routine for Clear Skin

my 5 minute routine for clear skin

 5 minute routine for clear skin

Since I was about 13 years old, I’ve struggled with cystic acne. It’s been an ongoing problem in my life, peaking around age 17 and taking a short couple year break after having been prescribed every topical ointment in the book as well as the dreaded Accutane. It seems that this type of acne (the kind that develops in the deepest levels of your skin to resemble cysts that often spread) sticks around well into adulthood. About 3 years ago, my acne reared its ugly head, despite reassurance from my dermatologist that the acne would stay away.

Throughout all the changes I made with face washes, topical creams/gels, and makeup I was finding that I needed something more. I figured I’d give Proactiv products a try and make a total commitment to clearing up my skin for good this time.

The photo above on the right is from November of last year. I tended to get terrible clusters of cystic acne on my chin, jawline, and on the sides on my nose. In addition to following my 5 minute skin care routine, I gave up soda or “pop” as we call it in the north, made the concentrated effort to slug down way more water each day, gave up processed food and did away with dairy altogether (I’m lactose-intolerant anyway, but was a glutton for punishment).

Each morning and evening, I would scrub my face with the Skin Smoothing Exfoliator, spot treat problem areas with the Pore Targeting Treatment, and finished it all off with the Complexion Perfecting Hydrator (my favorite part). I loved the creamy formula and how soft and moisturized my skin still felt in the morning after sleeping with it on. Best part was–it didn’t break me out, despite how creamy it was. After finishing with the hydrator, I added my an AHA/BHA gel to minimize redness and scarring from previous breakouts.

I can honestly say that since I’ve made these changes in my skin care routine as well as my eating habits, my skin has really cleared up over the past three months. I’m really excited about the changes and haven’t had an acne cyst pop up since about 3 weeks in. Although I’m incredibly embarrassed to show you my “before” photo, I feel as if it’s necessary in order to show you my “after” results (without any makeup). Believe me, it would have taken A LOT to get me to take a photo with no makeup on, but now I feel more comfortable to bare it all. In fact, my skin can probably breathe a lot better now that I’m not loading on the foundation to cover ugly breakouts!

Have any of you tried this system? Thoughts?

Organize Your Closet: The Reveal

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of SOFIproducts.com for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine.

how to organize your closet


how to organize your closet

There’s something to be said about being honest with yourself when it comes to dispelling of pieces that you have grown tired of, outgrown, or are simply ill-fitting. As tough as it was for me to get rid of certain pieces that have become a part of me, getting rid of 7 trash bags of clothing felt that much better. It honestly felt as if a weight was lifted from my shoulders when I hauled those bags out of the house for good.

Now, drawers that haven’t closed in literally years, suddenly are able to close and I have room to go through all the pieces I have each morning without trying to cram them back in. I feel so much better knowing that the only pieces that are left are the ones that can be mixed and matched with new items for the upcoming season. There’s no use in keeping pieces that are too trendy to last or that you’re simply not wearing anymore. After having finally gotten over the “I’m too attached” feeling, I found that having an organized living space does wonders for my stress level. I love that I can now see everything and so I feel as if I will wear these things more often.

Organizing my stuff was a cinch as well, thanks to this new closet organizing system with SOFI products. The different sized soft boxes with featured like zippers and stackables, were able to help me sort through what I did have left while making sure that every item had its “spot”.

Upon going through all of my business pants, jeans, and scarves (yikes, I have about 100!), I realized that simply folding and stacking these items looked not only sloppy, but unstable! I found myself constantly trying to re-stack the piles of cardigans, pants, and scarves over and over each time I had to reach up and pull one down in the morning.

Enter the SOFI Brix Box, Small and SOFI Zipper Tote, Small— these two especially helped me to stack my sweaters and pants neatly and by color while containing them to a certain space and helping them stay put. The perfect part was that I could fit four of the boxes in the top part of my tiny closet alone! I love the way it looks now, definitely looks like it has rhyme and reason now. This will make me more apt to keep it looking neat and organized. Additionally, I am now able to actually SEE what I have in a pinch–especially when I have to wake up at 5am and get ready for work!

As for the Rax Bin and SOFI Hex Box, I found these particularly useful for all the random desk-like things I have lying around in my bedroom that never seemed to have a “home”. Items like my drawing pencils, book light, table books, novels, and notepads all seem to fit perfectly in the small, soft hex containers. So much better than having them stacked in piles on my vanity.

All in all, I’m so happy I finally got up the guts to make this happen. I’ve been living among piles of clutter and now I feel free of the burden. I finally am able to say I have a “Pinterest-worthy” closet/desk set-up and I’m proud to know that it didn’t take yanking out my hair to get there.

So in the spirit of sharing, I want to pass on some of my closet organization tips that hopefully will help you at some point or other:

1. Take an inventory of the pieces you have. For instance, if you have 30 striped shirts (like someone I know) get rid of some. You only need one or two that will work when layering/creating an outfit.

2. Take note of the colors you wear. I found that I pretty much only buy blue. I cannot say that I own anything purple, red, or yellow–and that’s a shame because these colors–especially yellow and burgundy–are going to be huge this season. Knowing what you gravitate toward can help you make smarter purchases in the future so you don’t end up with a “closet full of blue”.

3. If you don’t see it working for 3 different outfits right now–with what you have–pitch/donate/sell it. You aren’t going to wear something/it isn’t worth it if you are going to find multiple uses for it.

4. Be honest about clothes that don’t fit anymore. Yeah, I have that pair of skinny jeans in a size 0 still in my closet from junior year in college–well, I should say HAD. Get rid of things that you know aren’t in style anymore/won’t fit again. You can always bargain-buy new as a reward when you hit your weight goal. Keeping ill-fitting clothing around will only stress you out.

5. Make a pile of clothes to tailor. I have a few pairs of jeans and business pants that need tailored or mended and I just haven’t gotten around to it. Make a pile of these items and then make an appointment with your tailor. Tailored clothing looks better and feels better on your body. These pants are going to fix themselves, ladies.

6. Organize the little things. Have a pile of nail polish bottles, lip glosses, or pens just lying around? Find cute little storage containers (like the ones pictured above) to organize them with. I’ve even used vases in the past for my lipsticks and polishes to add to the decor. If everything’s has its place, you’ll feel better.

7. If you haven’t worn it in a year, get rid of it. Easy-peasy.

Good luck! Do you have any other tips to add?

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SOFI: Reorganize Your Closet!

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of SOFIproducts.com. All opinions are 100% mine.


With Fashion Week commencing, it’s easy to see how every girl needs to make some space in her closet for…yet even more clothing!  My past weekend was full of last-minute visits with my parents and assessing/cleaning out my two insane closets. Ripping apart old favorites and letting go of shoes that have held a special place in my heart was tough, but definitely cathartic.

My room/closet was a dishelved mess (as you can see above) but I knew that these wonderful SOFI products would help me make some sort of sense out of this mound of craziness.

The best part about them is how they come is so many different sizes, which are perfect for stacking and organizing different pieces in my closet. Some of the issues I have with organization include finding spaces for my (it seems like) millions of scarves, piles of jeans, and even books/pens/notepads.

The SOFI Zipper Tote, Small and SOFI Brix Box, Small–are perfect for stacking sweaters and pants, while the Rax bin and SOFI Hex Box, work wonderfully for all the random desk-like things you may having lying around.

With neutral colors, zippers for extended stacking, and cute/trendy patterns, these babies are a great way to modernize while organizing your closet. 

I can’t wait to get started and share with you my “after” photos and how SOFI helped me sort out my crazy mess of a closet/room. In the meantime, I would love to share with you some of Monica Friel’s (organizing expert & President of Chaos to Order) tips for organizing your closet into your own chic boutique for spring fashion. They really are helping me as I prepare to fix this mess!

  1. Reimagine your closet as your personal chic boutique: Before you begin to organize, make sure you have cleverly-designed products to make your closet inspiring, vibrant and fun! The new line of SOFI™ home organizational products can help you makeover your closet. SOFI products feature stylistic touches like gold fasteners and zipper accents, geometric print interiors, in a sophisticated color palette to bring you inspiration every time you open your closet door.
  2. Now, Be a Style Editor: Go through your closet item by item. Eliminate what feels drab while gathering ideas for pieces you can add to update your existing clothing collection.
  3. Group Similar Items Together: The best way to know exactly what you have is to put like-items together. Use your style editor-eye to organize by type of clothing or style and then by color.
  4. Celebrate the Season: Keep the clothes you’re currently wearing accessible so that you don’t have to waste time searching for the things you need. For quick access to clothes and accessories, use a SOFI™ Brix Box™ with pull-out handles and open tops or a SOFI™ Zipper Tote™ for quick, front-panel access to clothes and accessories. And, take advantage of floor and shelf space in your closet with a SOFI™ Stax Shelf™that makes the most of existing vertical and horizontal space.
  5. Forget Last Season: Take time to get out-of-season clothes stored away. This will make your closet feel less cramped so you can easily see what you own before hitting the stores.
  6. Organization is not a Destination: Organization is an ongoing process that requires efficient systems, maintenance and the good old-fashioned discipline of putting things back in place. With Monica Friel’s tips, you’ll be on your way to having your own couture closet space!


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