DIY Crate Desk for $100

Hello friends!

I’ve been wanting a desk for my living room now for a few weeks and I finally decided to just make one.


All the desks in the stores were either way too pricey or just not my style.

I was inspired by this desk I found on Pinterest and knew that Michael’s carries crates that would be perfect.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 4-6 Crates (depending on how high you want the desk, I used 6 to get it to bar-height)
  • A Desk Top from Ikea
  • 1 2×4 Wood Plank
  • Wood Glue (Gorilla Glue)
  • Sander & Paint Supplies
  • Paint & Polyurethane (optional)

I got my crates from Michael’s and lucky for me it was the Labor Day sale! So I got 40% off one crate and then the clerk gave me 20% off my whole purchase! Score!

Tip: Download the Michael’s mobile app, they ALWAYS have 40% off coupons and other deals on there!

The desk top from Ikea was about $30. But they had a smaller one that was only $9!!! I would’ve gone with that one but it would’ve been way too small for me.

I decided to paint all my crates white for a rustic feel, and then paint the desk top a gorgeous metallic Rose Chrome color by Martha Stewart for a hint of glam.

Sand down your desk top first and apply a primer before applying your paint and then finally polyurethane. (I used some leftover primer and polyurethane from my DIY Farmhouse Table)

For the crates I started by spray painting them with Rust-oleum’s Universal Paint and Primer. And let me tell you it didn’t do diddly squat. It gave the crates a kind of white-washed look, but I wanted them to be solid white. So I nixed the spray paint and bought some straight up white paint and applied it with a roller and brush.


Once all of your painting is done assemble your crates by glueing them together with some wood glue (Gorilla Glue works great).

Next measure the height of your crates and cut your wood plank to size to create two support beams.  I painted mine white to match.

And then finally either glue your desk top to the crates or just lay it on top. Add your support beams to the front or back with glue and you’re all done!


Now you have a stunning custom piece of furniture for half the price of a store-bought desk!

I found the super cute magazine files and organizing bins at Ikea for less than $10. The trash can is also Ikea just spray painted a metallic gold! Finally the bomb white barstool is a Craigslist steal for only $50!

Enjoy lovelies! xoxo

Find the tutorial on how to make the charging station here!

(I tucked a power-strip under the top crate on the left so that it keeps all the cords off the floor and so that my cords for the charging station are long enough to reach easily.)

Lush Caca-Rouge Henna Review


So….I’ve become a ginger.

Okay okay that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but I now have a red tint to my hair!

I’ve been wanting to change up my hair for a while now. I had been toying around with the idea of bleaching it or getting it chemically straightened but both of those treatments would have literally killed my hair. Like I would now be bald if I had tried to get my hair to be anywhere close to the blonde that I adore so much. *yikes*

And of course both of those methods require a lot of intensive chemicals that I would rather not put so close to my brain.

So I did some research on natural hair dye methods and I read a lot of positive reviews on Lush’s henna hair dye. It’s all natural and really inexpensive compared to going into the salon and getting your hair colored!

I went into the Lush on Oxford Circus (holy crap this place has THREE stories filled with amazing goodies; it took every ounce of willpower not to go on a spree) and talked to a sales assistant about which color I should go with. Since my hair is so dark to begin with she recommended I go with the Rouge to get the most dramatic difference. Marron is another reddish option but is more brown with a subtle hint of red.

I was sold! I walked out with a brick of Caca Rouge, and a couple of other goodies I couldn’t resist! (P.S. the henna bricks smell AMAZING. I was smelling my purchase all the way home!)

Here’s what you’ll need to get started:

  • Lush Henna
  • Rubber glovers (the cashier at Lush gave me a pair with my purchase)
  • Coconut oil
  • Boiling water
  • Glass bowl
  • Small pot that your glass bowl will fit into
  • Mixing spoon (I used a plastic fork)
  • Old shirt you don’t mind getting ruined
  • Lots and lots of newspaper to cover the floor

This is my hair when I started:


Now here’s how to apply the henna:

  1. Start with clean, completely dry hair, and put on your old shirt.
  2. Boil some water in your pot.
  3. Chop your henna into chunks while your water boils (I used 2 squares from the block) and place into your glass bowl.
  4. Once your water is boiling pour over the henna so that it covers it completely. Let stand for a couple minutes.
  5. Mix the henna until you get a smooth, thick hot chocolate consistency, gradually adding more water as needed. Be careful not to make it too thin or else you will need to add more henna.
  6. Once your henna is smooth, make sure there is about 2 inches of hot water in your pot and place your bowl into the pot (this is to keep the henna nice and hot while you apply; the hotter the henna the better the color will turn out!).
  7. Now get your coconut oil and apply it along your hairline, ears, and back of your neck to prevent the henna from staining your skin.
  8. Get your gloves on and begin applying the henna to your hair starting from the back and working your way forward.
  9. This will get very messy, chunks will fall off your hair and onto the floor, just keep smoothing the henna on starting from the roots and working it into the ends.
  10. If you have really short hair anywhere like I do on the sides, don’t bother trying to dye that part cause it won’t really show up.
  11. Once you’ve completely covered your hair either saran wrap your head or put on a tight shower cap you don’t mind throwing away.
  12. Leave the henna on anywhere from 1-6 hours, blowdrying your head every 30 minutes or so to keep the mixture warm on your head.
  13. Get in the shower and rinse rinse rinse! I only had to shampoo once to get it all out of my hair.
  14. Admire your new hair color!

looks gross right?


right out of the shower


ta-da! 24 hours later

The color will develop over the next 24 hours. I definitely noticed a significant difference the next day!

I have to say I was pleasantly surprised with how well the color showed up on my dark hair. I wasn’t expecting as much of a difference as it made! It also made my hair uber soft due to the cocoa butter used in the formula!

Pros:

  • inexpensive
  • natural
  • works well
  • conditions hair

Cons:

  • messy
  • a little difficult to apply

Have you ever used henna hair dyes before? How did it work for you?

Hope this review helped you! xoxo

Note: I’m going on my honeymoon for the next two weeks so I’ll be MIA until then! Bye bye London, hello Mediterranean! Xoxo

DIY Glamglow Mask

                     

So I’ve heard a million raving reviews for this $70 a jar mud mask by Glamglow. You can read some of them here. It claims to literally suck out the impurities from your pores to leave your skin gorgeously clear and clean. I have always struggled with having ENORMOUS pores on my nose, like seriously you could see them from outer space. However, I don’t know about you but I refuse to pay more than $5 for MUD. So naturally this was a challange for the DIYer in me. And of course I was able to do it for a fraction of the cost, as you do. 😉

The main ingredients listed for the mask were kaolin clay, eucalyptus, salycilic acid, aloe vera, peppermint oil, chamomile, and calendula extract. Along with a whole lot of other perfume and chemicals I can’t pronounce.

Sounds easy enough though right?!

I have also been reading a lot about how amazing activated charcoal is. This stuff can hold 500x its mass inside its little crevices! So I knew I was going to have to include this bad boy as an added boost to the recipe.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Plastic or glass mixing bowl. (DO NOT use metal as it deactivates the bentonite clay)
  • Rubber whisk or mixing spoon.
  • Small glass jar. I reused an old salsa jar from Marks & Spencers (shout out to them for making the labels so easy to remove!)
  • 2-3 tablespoons raw organic coconut oil (add more if you have particularly dry skin)
  • 1 tablepoon aloe vera juice or gel
  • 1/2 cup of strongly steeped chamomile tea (you can subsitute any herbal tea you’d like i.e. rose, lavender, or green tea for added antioxidants)
  • 1/4 cup of bentonite clay (I found mine on Amazon) Be sure not to handle with metal!
  • 8 capsules of activated charcoal (available at most health food stores)
  • Eucalyptus, peppermint, and lemon essential oils.

Directions:

  1. Make your tea and allow to cool for about 5 minutes. Set aside.
  2. Melt your coconut oil in a small pot over low heat. Remove from heat once fully melted.
  3. Mix the coconut oil, aloe, bentonite clay, and activated charcoal in your mixing bowl. Simply cut the capsules of charcoal or twist and pull to get the contents out. Mix until combined well.
  4. Now add your essential oils. I used about 8 drops of eucalyptus, 5 of peppermint, and 4 of lemon. Feel free to adjust to your liking.
  5. Now slowly add your tea in small increments and mix until you reach a nice smooth consistency. It should be a little thicker than cake batter. Mmmm, cake.
  6. Transfer to your jar and you’re ready to go!

The water in the recipe reduces the shelf-life of the mask so store in the fridge if you’re not going to use it that often.  Otherwise just store in a cool and dark place.

To use the mask simply apply evenly all over your face or over trouble areas (avoid the eye area) and let it dry, about 15 minutes. There is a lovely little tingling sensation the longer it sits!

Now the activated charcoal is a bit stubborn and doesn’t like to wipe off  super easily. Rinse off as much as you can with warm water and then wash your face with a cleanser. I used Lush’s Ultrabland and it worked beautifully (plus it gave my skin a moisture boost as this mask can be a tad drying). Wipe off any traces with a cotton pad and say hello to clean smooth skin and smaller pores!

The clay and charcoal decongest clogged pores and suck out impurities to help keep your skin clear of any breakouts and keep those pesky blackheads at bay. I really have to say I am in love with this mask and I love that I get the luxurious experience of the pricey Glamglow version without the pricetag! Plus none of the nasty chemicals! It’s a win-win!

Try using this mask 2x a week or as a spot treatment and see your pores dissapear!

xoxo

The True Cost: A MUST-SEE Documentary

TheTrueCost_Poster_2764x4096

About a week ago John and I were spending an entire day in bed watching movie after movie after movie. I really hope this is something that most people do cause I’m going to feel like a real slacker otherwise.

Anyways, we ended up watching Pitch Perfect (I know I’m like the last person to have seen this movie, and it was AWESOME), The Maze Runner, Dare, and saving the best for last, The True Cost: A Fashion Documentary.

This. Film. Is. Impactful.

I haven’t been so moved to change the way I live since Food Inc.

I realize we live in a world where we can pretty much learn about anything we could possibly imagine thanks to Google. And it is impossibly overwhelming how much injustice and suffering that is happening in the world at this very moment. But I am running with the mindset that we have an obligation to at the very least be mindful and educated about the world we live in. And that we all have the power to live our lives in the most compassionate and thoughtful way possible.

This documentary forced me to examine why it is I consume the way I do. I’m a self-proclaimed product-junkie and no one loves online shopping more than I do. And I had never taken the step back to realize what kind of impact that was having on MILLIONS of people. It’s so easy to just turn a blind-eye to something that is happening on the other side of the planet; places that most of us will never come face to face with. But if the kinds of injustices that are currently happening to so many people were happening to Americans, for the sake of the comfort and lifestyle of another country, it would be unacceptable and looked upon as a great travesty. Then why is it that the world is allowing this to happen right now? Simply because the countries where it is happening are poor? Because we have immense wealth so we can force these people to live the way they do because we want more stuff? Stuff. It all comes down to wanting more and more stuff. Useless STUFF.

We are so lucky in America to have been born into a life where we can literally become anything we want. We have the freedom and opportunity to choose what to do with our lives and be able to sustain ourselves incredibly comfortably. But so many people are not born with the same advantages. And I for one do not want to be a part of the problem; I don’t want other living beings suffering on my hands.

I refuse to be comfortable with knowing that the farmers growing the chemical-laden cotton for my shirts are getting cancer from pesticide exposure. I refuse to accept the principle that people are being paid $3 A DAY to make hundreds of clothing items with their own hands. I refuse to shop with a clean conscience knowing that thousands of people are dying because of unacceptable working conditions due to the cost-cutting practices of giant corporations. I refuse to be a part of the problem.

I live with the belief that there are basic human rights. HUMAN. We are gifted with the ability to be aware and conscious of the vast world around us. Why wouldn’t you extend yourself past your own bubble?

Please go watch this film. I hope it impacts you and opens your mind as much it did to me.

Let’s make a change for the better, together. xx

Why I Respect Miley Cyrus

I’m a Miley lover. There. I said it. (This won’t be a shock to anyone who knows me.)

I’ve loved her ever since her Hannah Montana days.

But now I more than love her; I respect her for what she stands for as a human being.


Ever since Miley was able to shake the Disney-shackles she has been left to do what we all do in life; she’s exploring and discovering who she is at her core and the things that spark her passion.

Miley is controversial, real, unabashed, and above all a humanitarian. She has taken the power she was given by her fame to spread the awareness of less than ideal circumstances and intolerance happening all around us.

She has started the Happy Hippie Foundation to “rally young people to fight injustice facing homeless youth, LGBT youth and other vulnerable populations.” She believes in the power of the young generation to change our world so that millions of people can have a fighting chance at the comforts and dreams that so many of us take for granted.

The manifesto from the Happy Hippie Foundation website reads:

People who say WE can’t change the world ARE wrong. 

We will make some noise and cause a scene! 

We will challenge each other and the world & will stop pointless judgment. 

We know that the people sleeping on the sidewalk could have been us or our closest friends if our lives were just a little bit different.

And the people we see sleeping on the sidewalk COULD be our friends if we gave them the chance. 

It’s time for us to speak up for the people in our streets, our cities, our world. 

It’s time for us to grow our passion, shine bright and change the future.

John Lennon said it best: “A dream you dream alone is only a dream. A dream you dream together is a reality.” 

It is essential to our lives to do good for others! 

The only way we can truly be happy is if we are making others happy! 

That is this Hippie’s goal! 

#HAPPYHIPPIE

This endeavor alone would garner my support for her. But beyond this she has been at the forefront of the #freethenipple movement, rocked a gender-neutral hairstyle, stood up for LGBTQ rights on countless occasions, supported women, men, and children affected by AIDS with her VIVA Glam campaign, publicly discussed her sexual fluidity, and has generally not given a flying f*** about what other people have thought of her while she did all these things.

Just give her Instagram a look over and you’ll see that she is actually quite weird, random, likes weed, is a beautiful singer, and most importantly, HUMAN. (She’s also doing an AWESOME photo campaign on the Happy Happie Foundation’s Instagram showcasing transgender and gender expansive individuals with the hashtag #InstaPride.)

Miley is an example of someone whose every move was controlled and calculated for her, and who is now free to be whatever she wants to be. And she’s decided to make a difference. She’s using her power to make an impact by helping those who did not get the same opportunities as she did. She knows that we are all equal and is spreading a mantra of love and acceptance while allowing herself the freedom to be true to herself.

Now if that’s not respectable, then I don’t know what is.

xoxo

Herbivore Botanicals Blue Clay Soap and Lapis Facial Oil Review


So if you haven’t heard of the cult beauty brand from Seattle, Washington then please do yourself a favor and go stalk their website here.  (It’ll be love at first sight, I promise.)

Herbivore Botanicals hand-makes all of their products and everything is 100% natural and free of any artificial dyes, preservatives, fragrances, and anything synthetic. What’s not to love?! Nothing excites me more than finding a company that makes products that are functional, beautiful, AND sustainable; they’ve hit the trifecta.

Herbivore started as an Etsy shop and now they’ve grown so much that they’ve partnered with Urban Outfitters to start offering exclusive products! Just what we needed, ANOTHER reason to stop by Urban Outfitters “just to look.”

So let me give you a little background info on my face. I have combination Irish and Japanese skin. That means I have large pores, an oily t-zone, and the strange ability to still be dry and flaky while slick like a slip ‘n slide. It’s been a pretty rough ride ever since puberty.

I had previously been using Lush’s 9 to 5 Cleansing Lotion and their Enzymion Facial Lotion with alright results. You can find a more detailed review of my experience with these products here.

This review is after 2 weeks of use, 2x a day.

I’ll begin with the Blue Clay Bar Soap ($12):

from herbivorebotanicals.com

I. AM. IN. LOVE. It’s made up of saponified oils which gives you a great lather and 2 clays to get you a really deep clean. Oh and it also COMPLETELY purifies your face, as in I had a full face of make-up on and it removed every trace of it. Incredible. I’ve also found that it has made my skin texture ultra smooth and it is performing a disappearing act on my pores! Seriously, I’ve tried items like Clinique’s Pore Refining Correcting Serum and this soap has done a 10x better job than that stuff ever did! And at $12 it’s a STEAL. This bar is going to last at least 2 months if not longer!

The only issue I’ve had so far is that is has made my nose and the area around my mouth a little dry/flaky. I’m accounting this to my skin adjusting to the new regimen, and it’s nothing that a little extra moisturizer or exfoliation hasn’t fixed. Herbivore also makes this soap in a Bamboo Charcoal (super deep clean) and also a Pink Clay (more moisturizing) version.

Now for the Lapis Facial Oil ($72):

from herbivorebotanicals.com

from herbivorebotanicals.com

Let me start with the packaging is ULTRA LUXE. The bottle is nice and heavy and the dropper allows you to get as much oil as you need without contaminating the rest of the product. And, the gorgeous blue color from the Blue Yarrow and Blue Tansy make this a product I want to display front and center in my bathroom.

Using a facial oil when you already have oily skin seems counterintuitive, but I have officially become a convert. This stuff is not greasy in the slightest and absorbs really quickly. It calms any redness I may have from picking my face (I know it’s a bad habit but I think I can safely say that this is a guilty pleasure for most of us) and I have had far fewer breakouts since beginning this regimen. Any zits that I do get now are really short lived and heal super quickly. BONUS: it has smoothed out my complexion and the fine lines on my forehead and my neck have been noticeably reduced!

I really love that with the dropper you can adjust how much oil you use. I use about 8-10 drops for my entire face and neck and again this bottle is going to last a long time! It is a bit pricier at $72 a bottle, but I’m justifying the splurge with how inexpensive the cleanser is and how long these products are going to last!

There you have it! Two products that I may ACTUALLY stick to for the long-run! (That’s saying a lot for a product junkie like me.) After seeing results like this after just 2 weeks I can’t wait to see how it transforms my skin in another month!

I hope you found this review helpful and let me know how you like their products if you give them a try! xoxo

(This is NOT a sponsored post.)

Current Dance Obsession: Valtari

Welcome back friends!

This post doesn’t require much talking from me; I’m more interested in what interpretations you all experience!

The piece, in my opinion, is simply exquisite.

The notions of initial connections (visual, physical, emotional), trust, “oneness”, equality, and romance all swirl together in a visually stunning work. It is a piece that has me watching it over and over to dive deeper into the story as it pulls my soul in tighter and tighter. The superb dancing alone is reason to watch; the combination of music, cinematography, and movement make it a film to love.

Enjoy, Valtari.

 

Written & Directed by Christian Larson. Choreography by Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui. Music by Sigur Ros.

Danced by the lovely Nicola Leahey and James O’Hara.

Let’s get a discussion going and leave your interpretations in the comments below!

Lush Review: 9 to 5, Ultrabland, and Enzymion


If you have ever been into a Lush boutique you KNOW how addictive their products are. I absolutely adore that they stand for no animal testing, all of their packaging is recycled or non-existent, and most of their products are vegan!

Some of my favorites are: Rose Queen bath bomb, Mint-Julips lip scrub, Sunnyside bubble bar, and the Charity Pot lotion.

Bonus tip: if you bring back 5 clean black tubs (they’re clearly marked which ones qualify) you get a free face mask of your choice!

I had always loved their body products, so I figured why not try out their facial skincare!

I’ll start with the Ultrabland Cleanser ($30):

from lush.com

from lush.com

This stuff is RICH. It’s a super thick formula that you massage onto dry skin and then wipe off with a washcloth or cotton pad. It was a serious adjustment getting used to the indulgent nature of this product. I will say that it was a lifesaver during the harsh winter here in London; it gave my skin a protective barrier that locked in moisture like a pro. It also didn’t make me break out or make my oily zones any worse.

It removes makeup fairly well and I would highly recommend for people with really dry skin in need of replenishment.

Pros: moisturizing, calming, indulgent, 1 tub lasts about a month.

Cons: a bit heavy, doesn’t give you a “clean feeling”

9 to 5 Cleansing Lotion ($22):

from lush.com

from lush.com

After using the Ultrabland cleanser I wanted to try something lighter as the weather got warmer in London. The 9 to 5 cleanser uses the same method of cleansing by massaging it into dry skin and then removing with a cotton pad. This formula is much lighter and almost disappears into your skin after you massage it. The fragrance is lovely and light and again it didn’t seem to make me break out but still gave my skin a bit of hydration.

However it DOES NOT remove makeup very well i.e. I had to cleanse 2x and then swipe my face with witch hazel before it got everything off.

Pros: light, hydrating, good fragrance.

Cons: doesn’t remove makeup well.

Enzymion Moisturizer ($40):

from lush.com

from lush.com

This was one of my favorite facial products from Lush. It is light but still gives my skin a ton of moisture without feeling heavy. It  did a great job of healing any zits that would pop up and I did feel like it brightened my complexion. I also loved that it included ingredients like fresh lemon and papaya juice, tangerine oil, and cocoa butter.

My only qualms with this bad boy is that my face did get pretty slick by mid-day and the tiny tub doesn’t last very long if you use it twice a day. At $40 a tub that adds up pretty fast.

Pros: light, moisturizing, clears complexion.

Cons: mid-day grease, expensive, doesn’t last long.

There you have it! I hope you found these reviews helpful in your quest for your perfect skincare routine.

What Lush products are your must-haves?

xoxo

(This is NOT a sponsored post and I received no compensation from Lush.)

10 Kick-Ass Ways to Eat More Kale

I’m sure you all know by know that you should be eating more kale right?

Kale is one of those magic superfoods that contains an incredible amount of nutrients such as vitamins A, C, E, K, B1, B2, B3, B6, iron, calcium, folate, potassium, copper, manganese, phosphorous, and magnesium, just to name a few. 😉

So it’s no wonder that you should be sneaking this wonder leaf into as many meals as possible!

Here is my list of 10 kick-ass ways to eat more kale:

  1. Kale Chips
    • That’s right. Kale chips. Kinda like potato chips, but WAY better/healthier. Simply tear your kale into chip-size pieces and toss with some olive oil and pink himalayan salt. Place on a baking sheet and bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes.
  2. Kale Smoothie
    • This is probably the most obvious way, but also one of the easiest as you can drink it way faster than you can chew! Add about 1 cup of chopped kale to a blender along with 2-3 cups of almond or rice milk or coconut water, 1/2 a frozen banana, 1 scoop of vanilla protein powder, and 1 tablespoon of chia seeds. Blend until smooth! (optional add ins: any fruit such as blueberries or raspberries, ground flax seed, soy yogurt.)
  3. Kale Salad
    • Kale can be a little tough when eaten raw. But if you spend 5 minutes and massage your kale with some extra-virgin olive oil it will soften the leaves up and make your salad so much more pleasant to eat. Add in some chopped nuts, tomato, thinly sliced onion, bell pepper, and whip up a dressing of fresh orange juice, apple cider vinegar, and olive oil and you’ve got yourself a super salad!
  4. Tofu Kale Scramble
    • This is an amazing way to get some veggies and a ton of protein at breakfast or lunch time! Drain your extra-firm tofu and press between some paper towels. Meanwhile heat some coconut oil in a pan and sauté some onions, mushrooms, peppers, and kale until softened. Crumble your tofu into the pan and add in some spices such as turmeric, garlic, salt, chili powder, etc. and stir until well combined and warmed through. Serve!
  5. Soups
    • You can add kale to just about any soup! Simply add chopped kale about 10 minutes before you’re done cooking the soup. Voila! Your soup just got way more nutritious and hearty. (I like to add kale to tomato soups, chowders, and curries.)
  6. Juice
    • Add whole kale stalks to any juice recipe to get some added green power!
  7. Kale Slaw
    • In any cole slaw recipe, just replace part or all of the cabbage with finely sliced kale! Kale has way more nutrients than cabbage does and it makes an awesome side dish to some baked tofu! (add fresh lemon juice for a fresh twist)
  8. One-Pot Pasta
    • One pot-pasta is one of my favorite meals because it’s so freaking easy to do! And when you add kale you’re sneaking in some veggies with your pasta! Sauté 1 chopped onion in some coconut oil in a large pot until soft, then add 5 cups veggie broth, one package pasta (spaghetti or linguine), 3 stalks of kale chopped and stems removed, 2 chopped tomatoes, 1 can of drained artichoke hearts, 1 teaspoon each rosemary, thyme, and oregano, and stir to mix everything together. Bring to a boil then simmer with the lid on for about 15-20 minutes until all the liquid is absorbed. Serve!
  9. Sautéed Kale
    • Just like sautéed spinach, simply swap it with kale! Add in some coconut oil, fresh cracked black pepper, pressed garlic, and even some mushrooms to make this side-dish a hit!
  10. Cake
    • That’s right you heard me, CAKE. WHAT?! It’s crazy. It’s obscene. IT’S DELICIOUS. This is a game changer folks. Find the recipe over at Veggie Desserts.

There you have it! I hope this list helps you find the kale monster we all have hiding inside of us!

Being Perfectly Imperfect

Let me begin by saying that this post isn’t just for gays, ectomorphs, straighties, giants, Asians, women, transgendered people, Muslims, etc.; it’s for EVERYONE.

Everyone is affected by body image in this era of Instagram, plastic surgery, selfies, and “who wore it best” competitions. The “perfect” body and beauty ideal is constantly thrown in our faces in order to get us to buy this celebrity-endorsed face cream or this fat blocking pill or this piece of gym equipment that will give you abs in 2 weeks. And it’s no wonder that with the LUDICROUS amount of money that the beauty industry is worth today, producers of all these products are going to do their absolute best to get you to buy EVERYTHING.

And I get it, we all have someone that we look up to for fashion, beauty, health, or fitness inspiration. And it is a wonderful thing, in my opinion, to have goals that you can work toward. After all what is the point of life if not to advance ourselves in different ways.

But when it gets right down to it, too many people are faced with depression, self-hate, and low self-esteem from this incredible pressure to be flawless. And that, is where I have put my foot down.

I am someone who has struggled with an eating disorder, a face full of acne, weird body proportions, unruly hair that never cooperates, crooked teeth, and feminine facial features in a world and culture that rewards masculinity. Some of those things can be changed, while others cannot.

But what I have come to understand is that the people, things, and experiences in life that have made me the absolute happiest, are the ones that have not judged my worth as a human being on my appearance.

I have had to make a shift in my everyday thinking and attitude towards myself and the things that I put value on in this life.

These have included:

1. Let it go. *insert cheesy gif of Elsa*

Becoming aware of judgment, determining if it is positive or negative, and allowing myself to simply let it go. Beating myself up over how my eyebrows didn’t look like Kim Kardashian’s this morning is in no way productive nor condusive to having a great day.

2. Take a look inside.

There are certain things about my body that I cannot change, i.e. my nose, ears, jawline, etc. and that is OKAY. All of the outward structures that make up our bodies and faces are what makes each of us unique and interesting (after all if we all looked like Cara Develigne we probably wouldn’t find her as beautiful as we do). Shifting the focus inwards to our hearts and the things that spark our passion is key to building happiness and self-confidence. Happy, confident people are always the most beautiful because they simply radiate! Adopt the mantra ‘beauty comes from the inside out.’

3. Surround yourself with love.

My mom always told me to surround myself with white light as a form of protection (I know, hippie Asian mom right?) but that principle absolutely applies to all areas of life. Surrouding yourself with people who love you unconditionally, with activities and work that bring you joy, and with surroudings that make you thrive will no doubt bring happiness and self-love into your life.

4. It will get better.

I remember a few years ago there was a big campaign to bring awareness to teens who were being bullied and pushed to commit suicide. The slogan for the life-saving campaign was ‘It gets better.’ And it does. Like anything in life you have to keep taking steps towards your goals. There will be moments of back tracking, but those are not failures. Humans are imperfect beings; we are in a constant mode of learning and the experiences that cause us pain and suffering are often the ones we will learn the most from.

By creating a culture that values the differences and nuances that each individual brings to the table, we are fostering an environment that will allow our children, our loved ones, and ourselves to be free in our own skin. Acceptance and tolerance are qualities that need to be at the core of all humans, without them we are only allowing hatred and ignorance to remain prevelant. We don’t need any more people telling us that we as we are are not enough. We need people screaming from their rooftops that they are perfectly imperfect. So don’t give up the fight, keep looking up.