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SELF CARE SUNDAY NECESSITIES WITH: ERICA HORNTHAL
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There is often a misconception that self-care is a luxury or even selfish. This next sentence is important so please put down any distractions, silence your phone, and pay attention. 

 

Self-care is necessary. 

 

Self-care means making your physical, emotional, and spiritual health a priority. The best part is that by engaging in healthy self-care, you are more available to the people in your life. In today’s world where we are on 24/7, always accessible, and sacrificing our presence to make others feel like they are with us on the journey, it is vital that we take time to unplug, unwind, and recharge. Not sure what that looks like or where to begin? I’ve got you covered. 

 

Embrace a change in scenery. 

It is important to change up your routine in order hold onto what works and get rid of what doesn't. Book a trip, plan a staycation or just get some time away from the daily responsibilities of life. Once you limit the distractions and connect to your environment, you can truly be present to your needs, wants, and desires. 

 

Invest in yourself. 

Focus on your needs. It's not selfish; it's necessary. Change up your look, treat yourself to a spa service or spend quality time with people who make you feel like the best version of yourself. See your health as a long-term investment that you want to see thrive. Consider what environmental factors will contribute to your growth and support; social networks, living quarters, occupation, etc. 

 

Engage in mindful movement. 

There are many ways to use our bodies to embrace self-care. As a dance/movement therapist I encourage my clients to try these if they are feeling stuck or do not know where to begin. 

Breathe: Our bodies do it involuntarily, but to take full advantage of the benefits of breathing, we must be aware and mindful. Practice deep breathing by inhaling through the nose and exhaling through the mouth. This will slow down the heart rate, relax the nervous system and connect you to yourself when things begin to feel out of control. 

Stretch: Start by simply reaching your body up or out while breathing in. Stretching through every inch of your body allows for better circulation, more control of our bodies which correlates to our thoughts, and a connection to the present moment. This can be done before you even get out of bed in the morning. 

Listen to Your Body: Take body breaks throughout the day to reduce tension and stress. Think head, shoulders, knees and toes. Move out the tension. 

 

It is important to remember that self-care is a practice. It is not about perfecting or achieving, it is about engaging, embracing, and listening to what you need. Be there for yourself and you will see the benefits.

 

By: Erica Hornthal - Founder of Chicago Dance Therapy

MAMA KNOWS BEST: RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS
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Several years ago I was a social misfit, a wallflower some may say (just ask my daughter). The mere thought of being in a crowd of people I didn't know, would make my heart beat out of my chest. My palms would sweat, and I would feel anxious. I didn't know what to say, what to do, or if people would accept, or receive me well.

One day, I decided to take a leap of faith and conquer my fear head on. I decided to say hi, good morning, or smile, and have eye contact with, everyone I passed. The response from people was incredible! At work, I sat in the lunchroom at a different table every day and spoke to people I didn't know. One girl said, "I always thought you were a stuck up bitch, but you are actually really nice." Point taken, my shyness was perceived as me being a bitch,and unapproachable, because I didn't get to know people, and I realized how important it was to them, especially since I was in a supervisory position.  

I continued to practice, and everywhere I went I would talk to people, to force myself to get out of my comfort level and to see what reaction I would get. I would say the things that were in my head at the moment. "What a beautiful dress." Your child is so cute." I love your hair!" If my grey came in that color, I would never dye my hair, you are so lucky!" People's faces lit up like Christmas trees. Somehow I had 360'd people's day, with the smallest gesture. I didn't live in their shoes, I didn't know what they were going through at the time. Were they going through a rough patch, depressed, struggling? Although I did not know, I felt I changed their outlook on the day because a random stranger noticed them and shared words of kindness. 

We live in a fast paced busy world. Take the time to do something for someone else, and your heart will soar! Do random acts of kindness for others, expecting NOTHING in return, and you will be filled with joy. You and the receiver will both reap the benefits. Say a kind word. Donate things you don't need. (Both of my children donated their first cars. It's  a great tax write off) Bring your pet to a senior center. Help someone in need that is going through a hardship. Be a listening ear to someone who is lonely. Offer your expertise or services to someone free of charge. Pay for a veteran's meal without them knowing who paid for it. (My father does this)

Pay it forward people, and when someone says to you, "What can I do for you in return? You were so kind to me." Tell them to do one random act of kindness for someone without expecting anything in return. Wouldn't the world be a better place if everyone did so?

- Mama Hinrichs 

 

SELF CARE SUNDAY: SERUMS & OILS
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When it comes to skin care, I've tried it all. Between developing cystic acne when I was 14 and wanting to age gracefully, I've bought (and used) almost every skincare product on the market. It wasn't until I discovered the magical powers of serums & oils that I really started to love my skin! 

Since serums and oils are two VERY different things, I set out to find y'all some answers. Plus, not  everyone has been testing products since they hit puberty so, I've compiled a list of the questions  I get asked about the most. 

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Let's start with serums....

What is serum?
A serum is a skincare product that you apply after cleansing your face and before you moisturize. The intention is to apply it directly to the skin allowing the powerful ingredients to absorb deep past the surface. This makes it perfect for targeting specific skincare concerns, like wrinkles, acne and discoloration. 

Can serum be used as  a moisturizer?
I go back and forth on this one. Yes, if it's a hylauronic acid based serum, but no, if it's anything else. Serums will help retain moisture in your skin, but they still do not act as a barrier on the skin like a thicker cream or lotion.  

How often should you use a serum?
This all depends on the serum (read the label people), but most of the time, it's once a day.  

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And now we're onto face oils (aka my skin care saving grace)......

When should you apply an oil?

Your face oil goes on after your moisturizer, or if you're lazy like me, I dab my moisturizer on and then rub it AND 1-2 drops of the oil in at once. Either way, you're still ensuring that the face oil helps lock in that much needed moisture. 

If you have oily skin, can you still use a face oil? 

Yes, yes and YES!!!!! Moreover, oil might actually work to clear up acne. Say what? Yes! Sometimes, especially if you fall under the “oily skin” type, your body is making more and more oil because you’re over drying it with any acne or "oil free" products. Adding an oil to your skincare routine will help balance out your skin and slow down overall oil production. Hence, making acne a thing of the past! 

What type of oil should you use? 

This is hard for me to advise on since everyone's skin is so much different, but these are a few oils that tend to work; 

  • Oily Skin: Lotus Face Treatment Oil by Clarins , Lemon Oil by Aphrodite's Boutique 
  • Sensitive Skin: Rose Oil by Pixi Beauty 
  • Dry Skin: Multi-Vitamin Infusion Oil by Murad 
  • Combination Skin: Daily Reviving Concentrate by Kiehls 
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What's the difference between serum and face oil?
 

Drum roll please........

There's only one difference, and that's when you apply them in your skincare routine! Serums go under your moisturizer as they penetrate deeper into the skin and oils go on top to help lock in the moisture giving you that dewy healthy look. Yes, it's really that simple. 

 

Now that you have the information, it's time to sit back, relax, and practice perfecting your skincare routine! 

Happy Sunday :) 

-x B 

ZERO FUCKS
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After years of being single, and a bad batch of dates, 9 months ago, I decided to adopt a new attitude towards dating.  It’s called the “Zero Fucks” approach. I know it sounds bad, but here’s why it’s been working for me!

 

First off, a little back story…..

 

As a young woman who only has a year of self-employment under my belt, my free time isn’t something I take for granted. I have VERY little of it and I have no time to mess around when it comes to deciding how I spend it.  In the past I’ve been careless, throwing away hours of my life drinking, spending money I didn’t have and surrounding myself with people who didn’t bring any actual value to my life - that’s all changed.  With a renewed drive to “live with purpose” my drinking has become minimal, I took inventory of my closet in an attempt not to shop for 6 whole months (Lord help me on this one) and I’ve slowly started to cleanse my life of any person with a negative effect on me.

 

This includes all the fuck boys I’ve attracted that have helped me adopt this new view towards dating......

 

For those of you who don’t know what a fuck boy is, you can thank Urban Dictionary for the most accurate definition I could find.

 

 

FUCK BOY:

 

“An asshole boy who is into strictly sexual relationships. He will lead a girl on and let her down, then apologize only to ask for "pics" once the girl has welcomed him back into her trust. Boys like this will pretend to genuinely care about the girl but always fail to prove the supposed affection. He will almost never make plans because he has to hangout on his terms- which could be the most whimsical of times. If the girl rejects those plans because she has a legitimate reason for not being able to hang out, he will get pissed.

 

Good luck standing up to this asshole, he will most likely deny everything and turn it all around on the girl making it seem as though the conflict at stake is her fault and he has done nothing wrong and hates when girls bitch at him for "no reason." He will always come crawling back because he is a horny prick and can not withstand the dispossession of one of his baes. Bae’s being plural, because he most definitely has more than one.

 

Texting such a boy will consist of the girl carrying the conversation and the guy responding with short answers 10 or more minutes after the girl's response, but when she asks why he takes so long to answer it will be because he is "busy" but he promises he likes her. Boys like this are egotistical assholes who can not be trusted and are hard to get rid of because they say all the right things to get the girl back.”

 

 

Now that we’re all on the same page in terms of my back story, I’m going to give you insight on the three main fuck boys who taught me how not to catch feelings and in turn adopt the “Zero Fucks” approach. Grab your popcorn and let story time commence….

 

 

FUCK BOY #1: I hadn’t dated in two years, but while scrolling through Tinder, I came across someone who finally caught my eye. He seemed funny, accomplished and cultured - what could go wrong, right? Oh, was I naive. 

Our date was scheduled for 8:30 and for someone who's always late, I had no intention of being there a second before at least 8:35. At 8:00, I received a text from *Mr. Successful saying he was already at the restaurant sitting at the bar waiting for me. I frantically started scrolling through our conversation praying I hadn't screwed up the time. Then, there is was "Let's meet at 8:30" - PHEW! Strike 1

When I arrived, I was taken back by how good looking he was in person. His Spanish accent didn't hurt either, but right before we were seated I noticed two beers sitting at the bar that he must have finished before my arrival. Not being a big drinker myself, I was a little taken back, but chalked it up to nerves for a first date. 

Throughout dinner, he proceeded to tell me ALL about himself - leaving NO detail untouched. Within that extensive story time, he got up from the table three times to check his phone, ordered 4 more drinks and managed to spill an entire glass of water on me. Strike 2, 3,4,5,6,7.........

After dinner, he asked if I wanted to join him for another drink. In fear he would fall over, I declined and insisted on going home. Once outside the restaurant, no one could have ever prepared me what was next. He yelled at me. Yes, I'm talking full on yelling with arms flailing. He said he regretted taking me out to an expensive fancy dinner if I wasn't even going to go home with him. Once I gave him no reaction, he got even madder and started to WALK  home  - he lived 45 minutes away. 

It took Mr. Successful 3 days to text me after that. Since I never responded we never spoke again. It may not have been the best date to have under my belt after 2 years of swearing off men, but it sure should have been my warning sign of what dating had become. 

 

 

FUCK BOY #2: Still a bit shocked from my date with Mr. Successful, I decided to give good ol' Tinder another chance. Little did I know the popular dating app was about to introduce me to the man who embodies the very definition of Fuck Boy. *Pretty's story began a bit rocky (which should have been a sign) and after taking almost a month to schedule an actual date, it would be fitting that the week of our date, I was hit with strep throat. 

I had canceled on Pretty twice and couldn’t cancel a THIRD time. I agreed to a time and place even though I knew it wasn't my best idea. When he picked me up, I took one look at his panty dropping smile and suddenly felt a lot better. Our date went as well as any first meeting could and I left kicking myself for not agreeing to meet him A LOT sooner! We had so much in common, he traveled the world, had a great job, and was had a great sense of humor - score! In other words, he was perfect on paper. 

In our first month of dating, I was in a haze. How could I have gotten so lucky to find someone so perfect for me? But, by month three, the red flags started flying. His travel schedule started to pick up and while I knew we were about to go three weeks without seeing each other, I was prepared for the Face Time calls and multiple text messages we'd be having throughout the week. Funny enough, I seemed to be the only one who had that thought. I was leading every conversation, and even when I called or texted him, it would be days before I received a response.  Just like that, my worst nightmare had come to fruition. I was that girl coming off as needy and insecure. Mortified, I checked myself and backed off until he got back which lead to 3-5 days in-between text messages and no phone calls. 

This ultimately lead to our first fight of many about communication. After the fight, I tested his communication skills and promised myself that at least once I would wait until he reached out first. This lead to no communication for an entire week and him missing my birthday party. When I called him out on his behavior, he (in true Fuck Boy fashion) told me that I was the one overreacting and if I wanted to talk to him sooner, I should have just contacted him. I feel into the trap and ended up apologizing. 

In the coming months, our relationship was filled with canceled plans, surprise trips out of town  (on his part), and late night text messages asking me to "come cuddle" only at 10:30 at night. It became apparent that he had no respect for who I was, nor did he understand that even though I worked for myself I couldn't just drop all my plans to come hang out with him. It was time for another talk, and this time it wasn't going to go his way. I came in all guns blazing.....

I called him out on all his bullshit. The horrible communication, the late night calls and texts, the secrets, the constant expectation that I would drop plans for him, everything. What happened next, I will never forget. He again tried to turn the whole situation on me calling me "immature, flaky, and uninvested in the relationship."  He told me he didn't know who this "crazy girl" was and that if he knew I could be this mean he would have never started hanging out with me. As the conversation progressed from there, I found out that even though we had agreed to be exclusive, he still didn't think of us as in a serious relationship. After managing to waste my time for  7 months, he thought we were just going with the flow. 

*While we haven't seen each other since June, he recently admitted to dating and sleeping with multitudes of other women while we were together, and still reaches out at least once a month to hit me with that "You up" text. You think he would have learned by now that I will never respond but once a Fuck Boy, always a Fuck Boy...... 

 

Writing this, I realize how silly I sound for not knowing what a huge asshole Pretty was from the get go, but in my defense, after never having been a "relationship person" I had the desire for something to work out so bad that I was willing to over look certain short comings. He hurt me, but I'm thankful I had the experience to show me how a relationship shouldn't be. It also taught me these valuable lessons;

  • No matter how great someone is on paper, that doesn't mean they'll be right for you in person 
  • Call out red flags as soon as they happen
  • Communication is EVERYTHING in a relationship (no matter how casual or serious) 
  • If someone makes you feel any less than amazing about yourself - leave 
  • Actions speak louder than words 
  • A relationship will have it's trials, but it shouldn't be a struggle from the very beginning. If there is no "honeymoon" phase there's something wrong

 

Now, I may not know a whole lot about dating, nor have I ever been one of those hopeless romantics so this may be easier for me, but after these two (and a few other scattered in between), I've learned to go with the flow. After all, dating is supposed to be fun! It's about meeting new people and enjoying new experiences. NOT going in thinking you're going to marry the person!  That brings us full circle with the "Zero Fucks" approach on dating. Go in being your true authentic self and expect nothing from the other person. That way, if it doesn't work out, you won't walk away with a broken heart but instead a lesson learned. If the relationship does work out, then you'll be able to ease into things while keeping it carefree and fun - it's a win win as far as I'm concerned! 

 

Though this approach has worked for me so far,  and I've met some incredible guys, that doesn't mean it's right for everyone- I understand that. At the end of the day, no matter what you do, as long as you're being your most authentic self and having fun, who cares what the hell you do with your dating life - go get it! 

 

xx Britt 

 

 *The men (correction – BOYS) and situations I described are real, but obviously no real names were used. Not to protect them, but  I just started Honestly Unfiltered and I don’t feel like being sued for slander ;)

 

 

 

HONESTLY UNFILTERED
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Since the blog has gone through such a drastic change in the past year, I thought my first post should explain why exactly I decided to change directions. 

First and foremost, I started my own company! Exciting I know, but being an entrepreneur is no easy feat.  As soon as that company starts, so does a new way of life. My new life included a major shift in;  my wardrobe, work/life balance, and overall attitude towards life. I didn't have time to get dressed up every single day and I sure as hell didn't have time to waste on people who didn't make a positive impact in my life. SO, I decided I would be "honestly unfiltered" about life. 

My goal is talk about REAL issues and REAL stories that people are faced with every day because let's be honest, not every blog can be filled with designer clothing, fluffy posts, give aways and partnerships - someone's gotta do the dirty work! With that said, these are some of the topics that we'll be touching upon....

  • Self Care/Love 
  • Relationships 
  • Body Positivity 
  • Entrepreneurship & Business 
  • AND MUCH MORE ;) 

I know what you're all thinking...."how the hell does she have a right to talk about ANY of these issues?" The truth is, I don't. I just know what I've been through in my life and how I've handled certain things. I'll be sharing my point of view and opinions in hopes that it helps at least one other person through whatever they may be struggling with.  I'm also not here to bore you to death, so though some of these issues are pretty serious, I'm still going to be my sarcastic, sassy self when talking about them- you're welcome! 

If you have any ideas of what you'd like to see on the blog feel free to reach out! I want this to be a collaborative project and I'm open to almost anything. 

I look forward to starting this new chapter with you all! 

x B 

 

Hair by: Holli Beauty 

Makeup by: Joanna B Artistry