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Do you think that women should be free to walk around topless in public places, just as men can? Why?/why not?

I’ve been stuck when it comes to inspiration lately. That’s why I haven’t posted at all this month.

But I’m back baby!

I receive a “blog challenge” email everyday from Matt@30dayblogchallenge.com and decided to give one of his tips a try.

The Tip

“How to give REAL value (and not rehashed content)”

“And since it’s so important, I’ll give you a tip to make sure you’re truly valuable to your audience: Know their problems.”  – Matt 30 Day Blog Challenge. 

I got a question from reddit.

Following Matt’s tip for bringing value to my audience by finding what matters to them. Reddit is great source to find out what people are talking about.

The question is “should women be able to walk around topless like men do?”

It brings to the table, why aren’t we “allowed” to walk about topless? What have we created as a society that makes women’s breasts unacceptable to be shown when not portrayed in a sexual way?

It’s so odd to me. We see sex scenes (Game of Thrones) that graphically show women’s breasts used for intimacy. But when we breastfeed our babies, we get shit on? Progression of mindset needs to come before any real change can occur. 

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I am an advocate for women’s rights. Ever since I brought a daughter into this world, I have been hyper-aware of the sexualization of women in the media. I am fiercely passionate about women having the right to show their bodies for their own reasons. Not for the “male gaze.”

I have witnessed my female friends become depressed and insecure due to the unrealistic beauty standards our society adheres to.

Some positive progressive changes have been implemented by women running big businesses. An example is CVS. Helena Foulkes, President of CVS and Executive VP for CVS, runs shit. She has made some drastic improvements to derail unrealistic beauty standards for women. She gets it. I’d love to sit down and have a drink with her.

Here is what Helena had to say about her new “CVS Beauty Mark” campaign:

“CVS Beauty Mark” to be Introduced to Highlight and Celebrate Unaltered Imagery” – CVS health

“The connection between the propagation of unrealistic body images and negative health effects, especially in girls and young women, has been established. As a purpose-led company, we strive to do our best to assure all of the messages we are sending to our customers reflect our purpose of helping people on their path to better health.” – Helena Foulkes, President of CVS Pharmacy and Executive Vice President, CVS Health

Quoted women and men from reddit: 

“As Sarah Silverman points out: clevage (sp) is okay. You know, the meaty part that men like that you can use to sandwich a h*** c***(my edit not theirs). That’s fine. But the life giving nourishing nipple is obscene and must be hidden and removed from dolls.” – livingthedream666 reddit user 

“Plus this weird way that we Americans over sexualize things. Boobs are okay to show on television, just as long as you blur out those areolas.” – Theeflipper reddit user 

“It’s ‘coz (sp) the sexualization of breast in women. They are not genitalia but are treated as such by everybody. That mindset needs to change before any progress can be achieved.” – EverySister reddit user 

Tons of reddit users shared that breastfeeding in public is stigmatized. Most felt strongly about breasts natural purpose, and agreed on the intended purpose which is to feed their babies.

Society is moving in a more progressive direction however. As CVS’s new beauty campaign launches, we can stay active in promoting healthy body image, boobs for food, and protect our women/girls.

Featured

Vitamin Berry Facial Tonic: Review

FarmHouse Fresh Face Toner delivers a magical solution to refining pores. This stuff is awesome! I would definitely recommend. I have sensitive, acne-prone, combination skin and this toner didn’t make me break out. WHOOP WHOOP. My skin was illuminating after a few spritzes.

Photo By: FarmHouse Fresh

Length of Use: two weeks (But I’m going to continue use because it’s fantastic!)

Results: My pores were nearly invisible. No Joke. I spritzed this toner directly onto my face after cleansing and moisturizing for two weeks. I quickly noticed my skin was smoother. It helped to reduce the signs of ~I didn’t get enough sleep last night because I was up watching Stranger Things 3~ it’s like a magic wand. There is barely a scent. The application is suuuuper easy. I spray it directly onto my cheeks, forehead, and chin. You can also opt to spray it onto a cotton round and dab it onto your face. Up to you! I don’t only use this magical potion after cleansing though, I spray throughout the day. Allowing my skin to soak up the goodness all day long.

Main Ingredients (from farmhousefresh):

Rose water – the steamed distillate of Rosa Damascena flower – hydrating, anti-inflammatory, and calming. 

Aronia Berry extract – Contains the highest recorded antioxidant concentration of any fruit or vegetable. 

Sodium Hyaluronate – the salt form of skin-identical hyaluronic acid – which can help boost skin’s moisture content and prevent moisture loss. 

Ascorbyl Glucoside – a stable form of vitamin C and glucose – a combination that functions as an antioxidant to help skin preserve key substances needed to look younger and brighter.

Where to Shop: Thank you Haven Spa for introducing me to my new favorite skin care product!

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Spa Mindfully with FarmHouse Fresh at Haven Spa

What do you get when you add animal saviors with down right natural skin care? FarmHouse Fresh ladies and gents.

Haven Spa owners and LMTs Pam Moyer and Chantal English place sustainability and wellness in high regards at their retail unique spa in Tallahassee. It would only seem fit for Pam to choose to carry FarmHouse Fresh products.

As their motto reinforces: “Life is Short. Save Something Furry.®” FarmHouse Fresh provides a sanctuary for neglected, abused, and abandoned animals. While fulfilling their passions of “Grow Fresh”-“Spa Deliciously” -“Rescue.”

Take this snuggle bug formerly known as “Rags 😦 ” formerly known as “Lila” for example: this furry hug-giver, now named “Roxie” literally snuggles up onto your shoulder the moment she’s picked up. How and more importantly WHY was she disowned like an old pile of trash? To be able to answer that one you’d have to dwell deep into the dark side of the human psyche. Let’s not. Instead, let’s focus on how FarmHouse Fresh paired with  WoofStock 2nd Chance Camp of Little Elm to give this angel a second chance at life. Because positive energy helps the world go ’round! Haven Spa is reinforcing this benevolent line by offering products in store.

Let’s break down some of the top goodies available.

What’s good?

Product Brief:

What you really want from a moisturizer, Three Milk delivers; Firming, Hydrating and Wrinkle Reduction. Satiated with peptides,this product reduces the appearance of deep wrinkles according to reviews. Best for normal to dry skin and used by celebrity make-up artist Brett Freedman.

Natural is the new trend. And FarmHouse Fresh delivers an intact remedy called New Groove. When I read the 98% natural ingredients, my eyes lit up! Packed with CBD, Green Tea, and Kale this gel cleanser/make-up remover is soothing and gentle for your skin.

Spice It Up! Splendid Dirt Nutrient Mud Mask with Organic Pumpkin Puree has qualified as the owner’s choice. Pam Moyer explained to me how effective this Mud Mask is. Due to the enzymes that melt into pores and clear out sebum. Expect a thick blended puree with a mild tingling sensation. ~the enzymes at work~ Creating an increase in oxygenation and circulation. This mask smells like a pumpkin spice latte! YUM.

How can you help?

By simply popping in to Haven Spa and treating yourself to something special, you are helping animals in desperate need for some lovin. All of their needs are supported by public donations! While you’re treating yourself to some bomb azz products, schedule a facial or massage! You won’t be sorry you did.

Featured

Experts Talk Skin+Diet+Recipe

Top skin experts can conclude that your diet plays a major role in changing your skin from the inside out through autophagy – your body’s cellular recycling and rejuvenating site. What should you be eating for clear skin that glows and dazzles? According to key information from skin experts dishing about it…fruits & veggies, water, flaxseed, amongst other superfoods will improve skin.

Wellness expert Naomi Whittel, confirms that skin plays an important role in overall immunity by providing a barrier of protection. She goes on to say that skin has beneficial bacteria living in and on it that contribute to immunity. Imbalance and inflammation are likely the results of your lifestyle and diet. April Gargiulo is a contributor and writer for WELL + GOOD who states that only about 20% of your topical regime can fix those skin issues.

“Skin malnutrition can never be solved via the surface alone—you need to give your skin the right nutrition from the inside and outside to maximize your skin’s potential. Vegetables and herbs that provide antioxidants, polyphenols, and fiber are good, and include fermented foods like sauerkraut, yogurt, and kefir to help nourish the microbiome of the skin.” -Whittel WELL + GOOD

Whittel is the founder of the freshly launched skincare line OMI Skin Nutrition

Now add THAT to your next grocery trip! 🙂

Which is what I did! My results = satisfactory. Here is my journey with superfood: (try out the recipe!) a satisfying blend.

I’ve included my snack (and/or breakfast) recipe below. The ingredients used each help boost your skins health. Let’s be real… I’ve struggled eating the fruit vs the Oreo…until I tried this combo of delicious and nutritious!):

Start with fruit and oatmeal as your base—then separately from oatmeal, in a blender or bullet, blend together: Açaí Superfood Blend, Protein Powder, Almond Milk (or whole milk), Breakfast Essentials, Power Beets Circulation Superfood and Livfit Cacao Powder — final step is to mix fruit, oatmeal, and the final blended superfood product in a bowl. TaDa! Adding Greek Yogurt to the mix is a great option and provides more substance to the blend as well as nourishment for your skin. You can also throw in any other fresh fruit you’d like. This mix is versatile! My toddler and I love this snack and I can rest easy knowing it’s packed with essential nutrients that not only fuel our bodies but also replenish our skin. We share bonding time eating it together, which is THE best. 🤱🏻

Here’s a breakdown of the ingredients that I use to make our snack along with why they’re beneficial for our skin and bodies.

  • Campoverde Açaí Superfruit with Guarana contains antioxidants.
  • Organic Superfood Blend contains 100% of your daily value of vitamins B6, B12, Thiamin, Niacin, and Riboflavin along with broccoli, blueberries, tomatoes, and plant protein.
  • Livfit Superfood Organic Cacao Powder contains antioxidants, flavanols, fiber, magnesium, vitamin C, protein, polyphenols, and vitamins along with minerals.
  • Carnation Breakfast Essentials Powder packs in 13 grams of protein, calcium, vitamin D, and 21 vitamins/minerals.
  • Power Beets Circulation Superfood activates essential nitric oxide within your body and promotes improved natural energy/stamina.
  • Isolate Whey Protein Supplement Powder packs in a healthy punch of 30 grams of protein.

Supplement for your next snack or have as breakfast to start your day fueled. It really does taste delicious! And take notice of how many of those listed ingredients are recommended by skin experts. JACKPOT!

Healthy Eating = Happy Skin!

Be Uncomfortable – It’s Good For You

Come on in. Take your shoes off. Make yourself uncomfortable. It’s good for you.

An excuse is simply a challenge that you’ve decided has power over you.

Jen Sincero, You Are A Badass Everyday

When I began therapy, I was told discomfort meant growth. Unsure of the comment at the time, I was hesitant to step outside of my comfort zone. My social anxiety had crippled me. Prevented me from living my best life. So what did I do? I ~embraced~ the discomfort. I created the anxious thoughts, therefore, I have the power to eliminate them. Want to live differently? Then first you’ve got to think differently. Our minds are powerful. A beautiful haven for ideas to grow, connections to be made, and healthy habits to be nurtured.

Discomfort is a part of the game. It’s good to be rejected. It’s good to be loved. It’s good to play. Get shaky knees and go.

Biet Simkin, spiritual teacher and autho

A few ⬆️wise souls⬇️ once said…

“Confidence is ultimately about being comfortable in a wide variety of situations that would make most people feel uncomfortable.”

“So if you stretch your comfort zone every day, very quickly you’ll have a large comfort zone and be able to feel more comfortable even when outside of it.”

Charlie Houpert, Charisma On Command

Follow IPDE when you’re feeling your emotions are getting ahead of you:

Identify the situation

Predict (realistically) what it will do to you

Decide what your actions will be

Execute those actions

Being emotionally prepared is important for overall wellness. Experts agree that replacing “low-frequency” phrases that feed negativity with “high-frequency” phrases like:

I can handle this.

I choose my reactions.

I am in control.

I accept what I can not change.

…can drastically change one’s mindset. Positivity for me is a choice. Happiness is a choice. I’ve been on the other side and I much prefer this one. There is power in those phrases. By taking accountability for your emotions, you are essentially taking control of your emotions as well.

Speak positively to yourself! Say those phrases out loud if that helps more. Write them down. Get them tattooed onto your body!

If you’re serious about changing your life and mindset you’ll find a way. If not, you’ll find an excuse.

Be well💛

Retinol Cream with Wildcrafted Green Tea

Another positive review for a retinol moisturizer! I’m. In. Love. While incorporating wildcrafting into their beauty jar with green tea. 

The application is velvety, smooth, and non-irritating. I ordered it off Amazon so that was hassle-free as always. (Thanks Bezos!) with Prime I received it in like two days. Whoop.

Results? Oh yes! My skin was noticeably smoother and my pores were smaller after one week of application.

I don’t usually wear makeup because of my sensitive-azz skin, however, I recently applied a light layer of concealer over my skin and the moisturizer did not interfere with makeup application. It seemed to help the concealer appear smoother.

The pump is similar to NaCot’s Retinol Moisturizer. A round flat top that you push for a creamy application.

I look less tired! I mean, how can that be bad?

I’ve noticed the fine lines around my mouth less…well noticeable (lol).

My ever-sensitive under eye area was smoother. No irritation here! (slow clap)

Highlights of product:

  • Application is smooth
  • Smaller pores
  • Noticeable anti-aging results
  • No scent
  • Absorbs fully into skin
  • It’s a darn pretty jar!

Overall, I feel confident recommending this product to my readers. Even those who have sensitive, combination (oily/dry), and uneven toned skin.

Cheers!

Spiritual Gym

Nice firm glutes are cool and all but how fit is your spirit?

As a lifelong learner, I am always looking to improve. It’s not an easy thing, either. Successful people don’t just become successful suddenly. They put in the time. They take the risks. They are visionaries. There is a certain level of ~grind~ it takes to be successful. By observing, reading, and surrounding myself with accomplished business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs, I have learned that it’s important to have a spiritual gym routine in place to climb to the top. Because it’s not only the whole, you know, art of self-disciplining needed to get ish done a few times, it’s making a habit out of healthy soul lovin’ routines.

Getting the job done requires commitment, focus, and motivation. Best said by author Jen Sincero – “If you build slowly and steadily and chunk it down, not only do you save yourself some pain, but you’ll start noticing changes almost immediately.”

Hey, you know what they say…Rome wasn’t built in a day. If you haven’t heard that saying before, where have you been? Or am I just getting old? hmm.

Here are three foolproof “workouts” for your spirit that will help you get to your personal top:

Meditation – Has literally changed my life. I want to share how effective this “brain workout” has been. Got anxiety? Don’t let it control you. Meditation allows you to view your thoughts as an observer not as a critic. I recommend starting with a guided meditation. Choose a teacher who has a calming voice to you. Close your eyes and visualize what the teacher is saying. As vibrantly as you can. It is totally normal and okay if your mind wanders. Our minds are meant to think! But center yourself back to the meditation when you observe that happening. It’s a great exercise for when ~ish~ hits the fan, you can keep your cool by revisiting this centering mind space.

Self-Care – Treat Yourself! I know that I work more productively when I’m clean, fed, and have a clear head. It’s so true that you get what you give. Treat yourself with the love, compassion, and care that you would extend to a friend or family member. Remember, and this will literally never change, you always come home to you.

Re-frame Thoughts – Is your glass half empty of half full? Existing in society today can be excruciating. Researchers have found that it is harder for us to see the upside. That’s not too much of a shocker considering: Negative news is everywhere. Heat is on the rise across the globe. Cyber Bullying. The list could go on. Or we could list the positive things that are happening in our society. Like The Venus Project. Technological advances. Cures for diseases. Acceptance. Re-framing your thoughts to focus on the positive in any situation will increase your well-being. In fact, how you recall your experiences will affect the way you and others view it. Keep that in mind for next time and turn a WHOA experience into a WOOHOO experience.

Wellness is more important than ever when working towards a goal. Meeting your personal basic needs before jumping into a project will significantly improve your productivity. I mean, have you tried working on an empty stomach? Or with an aching body? Or with the worry of your acne flare-ups? It. Is. Hard. Why make life more difficult than it needs to be. Don’t. Instead…schedule a massage or facial. It will benefit not only your physical well-being but also your mental well-being. Haven Spa happens to be the center of wellness for all of your massage needs. Allow a specialist to rub away the tension and get you back to achieving your goals.

The next time you are feeling guilty about spending money on yourself, remember that it’s part of the bigger picture.

Transformative Reading

I’m currently sitting on the floor of my bedroom. My phone needs to be plugged in at all times. And our 6 foot (something) cord is on the fritz.The battery is shot! It’s frustrating indeed. I could look at this as a short-coming. But I’m not going to allow myself to. I’ve trained my brain to think differently. I’m still training! My best friends in this transformation are self-help books, baby! ~I’m not afraid to say it 😉~

*Hear me out: a shot iPhone 6 battery is the least of my issues and I’ll grab that issue back when faced with other people’s problems. Like poverty, hunger, war, death, addiction, and inequality. However, we play the cards we are dealt. Today I’m dealing with a shot phone battery. I do like to remind myself how fortunate I am.

I’m going to list a few books that I’ve been reading recommended to me by specialists and literature teachers. I revisit a few of them often, placing sticky notes in excerpts that resonate with me. Some of these books may not qualify as self-help. Like, You Can Read Anyone which goes in depth and formulates human behavior teaching you how to read situations and people. Fascinating (and I’d even say a necessary read) for everyone!

Transformative reading is what I have coined the way of “reprogramming your brain.” It’s a job. It’s a muscle that needs to be worked out. “Working out” certain parts of your brain will strengthen it. ~duh~ It was a challenge to get started, but once your perspective changes with every passage that speaks to you, you’ll find them to be an enjoyable read. Pinky promise!

  • You Are a Badass Everyday; Author – Jen Sincero
  • You Can Read Anyone: Never be Fooled, Lied to, or Taken Advantage of Again; Author – David J. Lieberman
  • How to Stubbornly Refuse to Make Yourself Miserable About Anything–Yes, Anything; Author – Dr. Albert Ellis and (foreword) Dr. Kristene A. Doyle

Have you read any awe-inspiring, life-changing, down-right awesome, and motivational books? Let’s chat! Leave a comment I would loveeeee to hear from you.