5 Things I'm Loving Right Now
For those of you who have been with me for a while know that my blog posts are about the integration of mental health and faith where I share practical tools and tips from my nearly 20-year career as a clinical psychotherapist as well as helpful stories from my own life.
Today I am starting a new thing I’m excited about! Every few months, I’ll be sharing with you a roundup of 5 things I’m loving right now – from books to skincare products and makeup, yummy yet healthy recipes, wellness habits, outfits, fashion and more!
Many of you have been inquiring about these things and now you have access to purchase them, wear them, read them, and cook them too. This is also a fun way to get to know a different side of me outside of the professional, clinical part of my life.
I strongly believe experiencing fullness of joy is about enjoying the little things and giving ourselves permission to have fun outside of things that are not necessary, impactful, and productive.
Sometimes, especially as believers, we tend to minimize, spiritualize, or downplay our heart’s desires whether it be to look good or indulge in something pleasurable that is not related to ministry or helping people professionally or personally. OK, turning off the mental health part of my brain now. Moving on to the fun part…
So, let’s jump in!
I hope you enjoy this post on the things I’m loving, fun links, and lots of photos below!
#1 It Cosmetics “Your Skin But Better” CC+ Cream
I’ve been using this makeup product for 3 years now. It is my go-to, holy grail foundation because it provides full -coverage without looking like I’m wearing foundation and gives a flawless looking airbrushed complexion. It’s like a no -makeup natural look.
I do not want a super heavy foundation and this CC cream provides great coverage without being cakey. It’s also hydrating and has SPF 50 which is important especially this time of year now that spring is here, and we spend more time outdoors or vacationing.
If I’m not in counseling sessions or out speaking and having meetings, I am make-up free (and in my comfy cozy clothes!)
I don’t feel the need to “get ready for the day” and wear makeup if I’m not meeting with people, and I personally love being au natural when I am working from home.
All to say, when I do wear this foundation, I still look like me and feel confident too.
It’s my tried-and-true product that I have not once deviated from because it leaves my face looking natural and fresh. It stays on all day and the bottle has lasted me over a year so a little goes a long way.
Overall, it provides color-correction, anti-aging benefits, full coverage, and sunscreen all in one product.
It Cosmetics also has a newer version of this foundation with an “illumination” feature I’m excited to try next time.
Here are some photos of me wearing the foundation so you can see what it looks like:
The application brush
The brush I use to apply the It Cosmetics CC Cream (and my concealer) is my favorite so I’m linking it here as well: Heavenly Luxe Completion Perfection Brush #7.
For years prior to using a brush to apply makeup I used my hand or a blender type sponge. Now I’ll never not use a brush, specifically THIS brush.
The brush applies foundation evenly for a natural, airbrushed complexion. I have sensitive skin and the brush is so soft and allows me to access hard to reach places with precision to blend my foundation evenly. The opposite end with the smaller size brush is used to apply concealer and it blends so well.
#2 DIME Beauty perfume
Insert song by Etta James At Last: “At last, my perfume has come along”…
Dans Les Bois is my new favorite fragrance. I first heard about this perfume from content creator, Dani Austin. I’ve been following her on social media for quite some time. She’s a Believer, passionate about Jesus, an entrepreneur, and is one of my best-loved fashionistas. Dani is also authentic, relatable, and her style is trendy and bold yet she’s not afraid to show up makeup- less and in her pajamas. She’s also in therapy and a huge advocate of mental health. Her personal story and professional journey are beautiful and empowering.
OK, back to the perfume – the beauty brand, DIME, created a perfume after Dani hence the name, Dans Les Bois, and let me tell you, I will never use another perfume. People describe the perfume as a less expensive version of Baccarat. Anyhow, the scent of Dans Les Bois is woodsy, feminine, and sophisticated. There is a tiny hint of florals that makes the scent feminine but it’s not overpowering.
I’ve always had difficulty finding a perfume I like, a signature scent if you will. I love Chanel which I currently own, yet the scent is so strong. I am sensitive to strong perfumes, and they often give me a headache and I find other perfumes lead with an intense floral scent which are a bit much for me too.
I’ve been wearing this DIME perfume for a couple months now and get SO many compliments. Recently when I was at the salon, my hair stylist asked me what perfume I was wearing. She loved it and said, “It’s not too strong or floral and smells fresh.” She too is sensitive to certain scents and gets a headache from most perfumes.
Also, DIME is a brand that uses clean ingredients which I love. Trust me, this perfume is FABULOUS. It was love at first smell and this will be my go-to perfume. All the other perfumes on my dresser will collect dust. Ha!
#3 Greenheart Juice Shop
If you’re in the Northern Virginia, DC metro area…you’re welcome!
Once juicing became a thing, purchasing a juicer has been on my mental to-do-list but I could never bring myself to purchase a juicer and put in the time it takes every morning to juice. The process seemed intimidating, but I know the health benefits are HUGE. Then, I discovered Greenheart Juice Shop and it seemed too good to be true - fresh juice (no added ingredients) made daily and delivered directly to my door. Well, it is true.
Every week, I go on their website and select my juices for same day delivery because they believe juice should be made fresh every day. I purchase enough juice that will last for almost a week.
Right when I awake each morning, I pull a bottle of fresh juice out of my fridge, pour, and drink. It’s that simple and they taste delicious! The juices do not have that grassy taste where you want to plug your nose and get it over with kind of thing. And the juice comes in a beautiful glass bottle. A bonus is that the customer service experience is incredible, and they make you feel like part of the family.
I’m a huge proponent of supporting local businesses in my community. The founder, Alicia, has a story which is moving and provides so much hope in turning your pain into purpose. Truly the heart of this business.
If you are a busy professional or a busy mom and want to be a juicer to receive all the health benefits, but don’t have the time to juice everyday - you can now drink your fruits and veggies on the go.
Depending on where you live, they deliver directly to your doorstep.
In addition to their cold-pressed juices, they also offer salad, snacks, and smoothies. Speaking of salad, I alternate between the kale Caesar salad and the Thai salad. So fresh and yummy. After a day of counseling sessions or working from home, it’s so easy to grab a fresh salad from the fridge and enjoy. I can wind down with my favorite show and not have to worry about making dinner every night. Oh, and they have a cold brew latte for those of you who need caffeine and want all natural ingredients.
Here’s my weekly order including the health benefits + ingredients which are listed on the label:
Daily Greens: Spinach, Celery, Cucumber, Pineapple, Apple, Kale, Parsley, Ginger, Lemon, Mint | Alkalize the Body, Address Inflammation, Boost Immunity
Defend: Red Apple, Green Apple, Orange, Lemon, Ginger, Ceylon Cinnamon | Boost Immunity, Improve Heart Health, Cancer Preventative Properties
Immunity Boost Shot: 2oz: Ginger, Lemon | Boost Immunity, Improve Digestion, Protect Respiratory System
Cold Brew Latte: House-Made Cold-Brew Coffee, Activated Cashews, Medjool Dates, Coconut Sugar, Vanilla Bean Powder, Himalayan Pink Salt | Increase Energy, Improve Brain Function
Kale Caesar Salad: Kale, Roasted Chickpeas, Carrots, Grape Tomatoes, and a Creamy Cashew Caesar Dressing
Raw Pad Thai Salad: Zucchini, Carrots, Red Cabbage, Edamame, Red Bell Pepper, Broccoli, Cilantro, Sesame Seeds, and a Thai-Style Tahini Dressing
Making an investment in your health is worth it every penny. Cheers!
Here is the link to their website: Greenheart Juice Shop
#4 Ann Taylor pants
Loving these adorable pants from Ann Taylor.
Now that Spring has arrived it means switching wardrobes for the warmer months. I personally prefer fall and winter fashion and colder weather in general. There is something about the quiet stillness that satisfies my soul. Most people dread the winter, but I embrace it. I find it an excuse to be indoors with a hot cup of tea, relaxing by the fire, with a good book in hand. There is not as much pressure or responsibility to be out and about with people and scheduling activities that fill up the calendar in spring and summer. Instead, I feel a sense of being rather than doing. Sitting quietly is always something I’m happy to do. I find it a gift.
I carry this mindset with me in every season, but especially in the colder months. I’m also an outdoor runner so in the spring and summer I’m always fighting off bugs and have difficulty breathing with the humidity – yuck! Anyways, I know I’m an outlier in this case! My friends think I’m weird because I like winter. Any of you feel the same or is it just me?
Because I love fashion, finding new spring clothes makes the change of season enjoyable for me. Wearing bolder colors in the spring is something fun I look forward to each year. I would describe my style as feminine and professional with a trendy edge. And these pants do the trick.
Many of us are working and connecting virtually these days which means people see us from the waist up – just our top. When we do go out, I think it’s fun to wear bold colored pants, a trendy dress, and shorts with a jacket and heels.
I would encourage you fashion wise to get out of your comfort zone, be bold, make a statement, and have fun with your style. Buy clothes that make you feel confident.
You deserve to feel comfortable in your own skin, not avoid mirrors, or dread getting dressed in the morning.
Speaking of making a fashion statement…
Fashion has always been a passion of mine. I love the way a good outfit makes me feel. How we look connects to how we feel. How you dress tells the world your story and who you are. Are you successful? Are you happy? Are you credible? Are you confident? Our appearance and how we carry ourselves is the first thing people notice; it’s just a reality. So, we can resist this reality and feel stressed or embrace it and feel better about ourselves.
To be seen and heard in your profession means you must dress the part, position yourself for success, and be taken seriously. Let’s be real: appearance matters, image is important, and so are first impressions. Not in an egotistical or self-absorbed way but you deserve to have a wardrobe you love, to show up looking the part, and create an authentic style that feels true to you. If you’re not at the weight you want, give yourself permission to buy clothes in a size that doesn’t remind you all day long of how you’re not at your “goal weight.”
As a believer, I think God created us a women to embrace our femininity and enjoy beauty. I help women of influence who are ministry leaders, business executives, influencers, pastors, professional therapists, coaches, authors, and in the media. A common theme among them is their fear of being powerful, brilliant, beautiful, and talented. As a result, they make themselves small because they are afraid of making others insecure, jealous, or appearing prideful. Often, this fear is greater and deeper than a fear of being inadequate.
As a child of God, I believe He created us to show His glory to the world IN EVERY WAY. I hope this gives you permission to embrace who you are and not to shrink, hide, or dimmish yourself in any way, including your appearance. The more you embrace this freedom mentality, the more you allow other women to do so too.
I had to make a mental and emotional health connection here. I couldn’t help myself!
Here are two different ways I styled these pants from Ann Taylor (one look with black and the other look with brown).
Sadly, these exact pants are not available, but I’ve linked some similar items below that are also fantastic and make a statement.
You’ll love these alternatives! Tap the image to Shop Now
Lastly, I can hear you commenting on my brown shoes – how fun are they?!?
So chic. Linking those too!
#5 Half Baked Harvest: Chocolate Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars
I’ve recently been enjoying these VERY YUMMY snack bars. My husband and I have fallen in love with the recipes from Half Baked Harvest and this is one of our favs. Nobody describes these treats better than Tieghan Gerard of Half Baked Harvest:
“Retro-style – but updated, Chocolate Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars. Think doughy, buttery oatmeal cookie base, layered with creamy peanut butter, and sweet salted chocolate on top. All made with simple, wholesome ingredients: oats, pure maple syrup, natural peanut butter, and dark chocolate. They’re sweet, salty, heavy on the peanut butter, extra chocolatey, gluten-free, and butter-free. Every last bite is truly delicious.”
These peanut butter bars have been my go-to snack in between counseling sessions or for a post-workout snack. They are very filing but not in an “I’m too full” or “I just ate bad for me food” kind of way. They taste delicious. There’s something about the combination of peanut butter and chocolate that really does it for me. The bottom layer of oats makes this snack more filling and still satisfies my sweet tooth. Oh, and keep them in the fridge, they are best devoured cold!
I’m a big fan of eating healthy but not in an obsessive way. I never go on diets or count calories. I enjoy food and believe everything should be consumed in moderation.
I strongly believe reaching goals and maintaining good habits, health or otherwise, comes from a place of joyful conviction not shame and self-deprivation!
Most people unconsciously work towards their goals by creating a way to avoid what they do not want (gaining weight, eating unhealthily). If your approach to getting to where you want to be is avoiding where you do not want to be, then your goal is not in getting what you want, it’s in avoiding what you don’t want. In other words, you are running away from something (being overweight or failing) instead of toward something (joy, wellness, and satisfaction).
OK the psychotherapist in me is popping up again – back to the bars.
Here is the recipe: Chocolate Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars
Thanks for reading! I hope you all have a wonderful week!