Kevin Murphy Hair Product Review

I have a love hate relationship with my hair. I have naturally curly hair and I usually love it except for days it’s raining.

This is my hair when it’s wet and curly. See how the curls look so dull? I found products that i quickly fell in love with!

I’ve tried countless hair products through my lifetime and although I have my favorites I fell in love with Kevin Murphy products!

Why take care of your hair?

Taking care of your hair can make you feel more confident and taking care of your hair is just like taking care of any other part of your body. While other body parts are covered your hair is subjected to UV rays, pollution, and chemicals.

If you haven’t met Kevin and his awesome products then I suggest you do because the Ever Smooth product calms my curls while the Kevin Murphy Killer Curls hydrates, tightens, and makes my curls more manageable.

Before you think about styling your hair you need to give it a good wash to make sure all the dirt and everyday build up is washed away. I have just the thing though.

*This post contains affiliate links, you can read the full disclosure here*

The Kevin Murphy Hydrate Me Wash will do the trick because it will quench your dry parched locks, The formula is a super smoothing hydrating wash. This wash is great for anyone with dry hair or exposed to dry climates. Antioxidant-rich blend helps boost hydration, helps add essential moisture and shine, and Packed with vitamins and nourishing oil.

Kevin Murphy Smooth Again Rinse is created to smooth thick nourish and smooth thick, coarse hair using ion-based cation technology, Keratin Proteins mimic the structure of hair’s natural proteins to seamlessly smooth and refine where needed the most.

The Ever Smooth formula is also paraben and sulfate free. The other benefits are it’s humidity free, anti-frizz, and a style extender which is heat activated. 

The Killer Curls formula protects against uva/uvb rays, it’s an anti-frizz curl defined, antioxidant rich, and the formula is paraben and sulfate free. It helps to spring back saggy curls, helping to activate curls while adding essential moisture to throw out the frizz. Making your curls look natural and soft. .

I wash my hair about twice a week and these products don’t dry them out and my hair looks better than it has in years!

A little bit of these products go a long way, so you don’t have to use much to get great results. Which I love! 

Here is the outcome of straightening with Kevin Murphy’s Ever Smooth, It feels so soft and the bumps and creases are gone.

This post is in no way sponsored by Kevin Murphy but I just love the products and I think you will too!

Luray Caverns, Luray Virginia

We had such a good time checking out Luray Caverns. I’d never seen one myself and it was just breathtaking really.

It started on a whim that the boyfriend and I decided to take a weekend trip (which turned into 4 days of adventure in Virginia & West Virginia but more on that later). I wanted to explore, discover, and get out of my comfort zone.. then I found the Luray Caverns!

Luray Caverns, Luray Virginia

I enjoy learning so it was neat that it was a self guided tour around the cavern. There was even a wishing well all the way under there!

I’d like to share a few things that made the trip more manageable, these are my favorites to take along on any outing. They’re comfy, convenient, and practical.

(*The following links are affiliate links, here you can read the full disclosure.*)


You can see more pictures below this post but I wanted to share a little information about the caverns, so consider this your history lesson for the day ☺️

4 Million Centuries in the Making…

Luray Caverns is the largest caverns in the eastern United States, yet walking through feels more akin to an unearthly experience.

Paved walkways lead visitors through cathedral-sized rooms with ceilings 10-stories high, towering stone formations, and natural wonders at every turn.

Wishing you were here?

Enormous chambers are filled with towering stone columns, shimmering draperies and crystal-clear pools. The National Park Service and the Department of Interior designated it a Registered Natural Landmark.

This is the largest body of water in the caverns. However, its deepest point is not more than 18 to 20 inches. This sparkling lake reflects a myriad of fantastic forms and creates a mirror image of the abundant stalactites hanging from the ceiling.

You Won’t Believe Your Ears

Can stalactites sound as unearthly as they look? They do at Luray Caverns. The Great Stalacpipe Organ is the world’s largest musical instrument. It literally makes stalactites sing by gently tapping them throughout three acres of the caverns. It’s a musical masterpiece that can’t be found anywhere else in the world … or under it. Hear the organ playing here.

More photos from our adventure!

Behind The Scene Of 2020

I’m not one to make New Years resolutions because I have a hard time sticking to anything longer than a few months. If I don’t see progress in 2-3 months then I usually move along to the next thing.. like crocheting, how on earth is it done?!

2020 was full of surprises and threw us all some curve balls in some of those we’ve not recovered. Just as long as we do the best with what we can that’s all we can do.

Adventures

After the crucial lockdowns, curfews, and loss of work I didn’t manage to have a little fun it i did have some fun. I tagged along on my first ever trail ride & rock crawl, we hiked the gorgeous Catawba Falls Waterfall, with a few other adventures that were had (you’ll see more of those in later posts).

Self Care

I’ve had a lot of time to think with being out of work and my freelance writing business pretty much non-existent now I was drowning in stress and anxiety.

I had plenty of time to search, read, and figure out ways to help with my anxiety and stress (I’ve decided to write an ebook for stress. You can preorder now and the ebook will go out the first week of January.)

I thought I’d share how I deal with stress, and had a wonderful guest blogger to share the 6 ways you can find confidence.

I’ve shared my bipolar story with the world as a way to relate to other mental health bloggers. I got a lot of blow back from that saying I shouldn’t be sharing my personal life online. Isn’t that what a blog is all about in a way though? 

Food

I’ve actually done a ton of cooking and baking over the last few months last year. I’ve been making a meal plan and cooking for my boyfriend for the passed 2 months. Although cooking 3 meals in one day is a little chaotic so I didn’t take photos of all recipes and if I did they came out looking like crap so I didn’t use them or publish the recipe.

I made some peanut butter protein bars which were good but what I absolutely loved making {and eating} were the chocolate strawberry boxes

I made for a dessert. Everyone that tried them loved them. I do think I’ll make the top layer of chocolate a little thinner as it was a little hard to crack open. I want to leave out the strawberry and try it with chocolate and orange which is one of my favorites too.

As for 2021 I think I might try something different and pick a word, I’ve put a lot of thought into the word I’d pick as I want to thrive along with that word this year.

The word I picked was abundant because that’s what I want. In everything I do I want there to be an abundance.

You might think it’s silly but I think I’m excited to try and fulfill my word. That would mean new opportunities all around the board. I thought it was a great idea since I don’t make resolutions. I could set goals but as I said I don’t really do well with those.

I think having a word will help because if at least one thing goes according to plan and turns out abundant I will be motivated to try the next and it’ll be one thing I can be proud of.

What’s your take on 2020?

10 Ways To Cope With A Loss Over The Holidays

I lost my dad almost 3 years ago to liver cancer and it’s still hard everyday. I’ve had to learn a few tricks over the years to not spend Christmas in the bathroom crying.

My dad loved Christmas, we both liked looking at the Christmas tree lights. It was calming in a way. I never imaged he’d be taken away so soon and so fast. Within 3 months of the discovery of his cancer he passed away. It’s so hard to talk about.

I’ve got a few things I do to help me cope with the loss of him and other loved ones during the holidays though. It doesn’t make the pain go away but it does help to remember a time when they were here.

10 ways to cope with a loss over the holidays

What is grief?

“Grief is the response to loss, particularly to the loss of someone or something that has died, to which a bond or affection was formed. Although conventionally focused on the emotional response to loss, it also has physical, cognitive, behavioral, social, cultural, spiritual and philosophical”. 

Why is it important to deal with the loss of a loved one?

There is no wrong or right way to deal with grief, some grieve differently than others. Grief is a natural emotion so it’s important to let yourself feel it, often times the pain of a loss can be overwhelming. Remember the grieving process will take some time. 

How to cope with loss over the holiday season:

  1. Acknowledge the holidays will be different without the person around.
  2. Create a new tradition in memory of your loved one.
  3. Decide if you’re going to have the holiday in the same place. The place you’ve been celebrating may be too much for you to handle while still coping with the loss.
  4. Keep in mind not everyone grieves in the same way, so just because someone isn’t in the same boat as you doesn’t mean they’re not hurting too.
  5. Include a favorite dish your loved one liked, this will keep the memory light.
  6. Buy a gift you would’ve bought a loved one and donate it to a charity of your choice or of one in which your loved one passed away. I do this with the liver cancer foundation.
  7. Be honest with family and tell then exactly what you do and don’t want to do for the holiday, if it’s just too much I’m sure they will not fault you for your absents.
  8. Send a holiday card to the loved one who passed away if not one of your parents. I do this with my best friend who lost her dad too.
  9. Pull out some old photos with family and friends and listen to the stories that pour out of their memories.
  10. Find a grief group if you need a little extra help and you feel you can’t talk to family or friends. There is no shame in seeking outside help.

I hope these tips will help you get through the holidays while grieving the loss of a loved one. Remember to just take it one day at a time no matter how long it has been.

How do you spend time with your family during the holidays?

Self Care during the holidays: 2020 edition

Congratulations! You made it through Thanksgiving. Your turkey was beautifully cooked and the sweet potato casserole was a hit with the kids.  Now it’s  time to sit back, relax and… oh wait. The holiday season is just getting started. 

If you are anything like me, the stretch between the holidays usually feels like a whirl of last minute preparations. As an elementary school teacher, I find these 3 weeks to be some of the hardest to navigate. The “Santa is coming” vibe hits my students the moment they leave for Thanksgiving break. For adults, this block of time can be more stressful than it is exciting. Is my shopping done? What do our travel plans look like? Do I really want to get into another debate about current events with my cousin over dinner if they come?

With all that in mind, let’s talk about some ways you can practice self-care this year during the holidays. 

1) Pace Yourself 

Unfortunately, our normal to-do list does evaporate during November and December. Looking at everything you want to get accomplished by a certain date in one shot can be overwhelming.  Grab your calendar and divide your to-do list up to no more than 3 or 4 holiday-related tasks per day. Managing your tasks this way will also help you prioritize the things that will need to get done sooner than others (e.g., taking family photos for the yearly Christmas card or sending gifts through the mail). 

2) Don’t completely neglect your routine

In the hustle and bustle of the holidays, our routines can quickly be swept to the side. Try your best to keep to your routine as much as you can. Keep up with your yoga when possible or take your afternoon strolls through the local park. This sense of normalcy will help to keep you in the right state of mind, which brings us to our next tip. 

3) Make your mental and physical health a priority

This is imperative during these trying times of the  COVID-19 pandemic.  It’s ok to not see your family in person this year for the holidays to exercise an abundance of caution. Both my husband and I are at high risk of complications if we were to contract the virus and thankfully our circle of loved ones understands this. Virtual family meet ups are still a great way to connect with your loved ones this year while keeping yourself safe and well. 

Many of us have had the unfortunate experience of  lengthy – and possibly heated- conversations with relatives whose views do not align with our own. 2020 will likely be no different it comes to uncomfortable dinner table talk.  If you know your Uncle Jim just won’t be able to contain himself, you are not obligated to engage with them. It is alright to give yourself the space that you need to be mentally secure. Prioritizing your health is not a luxury; it is a part of being a thriving human being. 

Here is one if the most important tips I can give:

4) Don’t forget to have fun!

 Even though this year will most likely not be a typical Christmas, there is still plenty you can do to get into the holiday spirit. If you are fortunate enough to live somewhere where it snows, please make a snowman in honor of all those who cannot (a small request from an incredibly envious Floridian). Put on a cheesy Hallmark movie while you are wrapping presents to send through the mail or doing your online shopping. Make plans to drive through a neighborhood you know goes all out with Christmas lights and wave to the residents. Plan a virtual Christmas movie night with the friends and family you won’t  be able to physically see this year. 

Stay safe this year and God bless!

Clari Maldonado runs the blog The Married Spoonie. Her blog is a place to share about her life living with chronic illness not only as a patient but as a caregiver to her husband, Anthony. Follow their journey on Instagram and their website. 

Refreshing Night Time Routine

I loooove night time! Day time is a time to get things done but night time is my absolute favorite because it’s my “me” time.

It’s a time I can retreat into my bedroom, turn on my diffuser, and light up my Himalayan salt lamp.

Before I hop into my cozy sheets for some Facebook scrolling, Pinterest pursuing, and Netflix binge I take a shower and wash my face.

Refreshing Night Time Routine

It’s strange to say but washing my face at night makes my day feel complete. I can only use Lush products because they don’t break out my super sensitive skin.

I couldn’t take bubble baths until I discovered their bubble bars (Bewitched & French Kiss are my two favorites).

Why A Night Time Routine?

For me it’s a time to help me wind down from the day. To let go of all the stress I’ve been carrying around for the day. A time to be myself, listen to my thoughts and sort them out, have a cup of lemon tea and rewatch an episode of Gilmore Girls for the 1000th time.

These three products are my go to’s for my nightly skin care routine. They make my face feel so fresh, soft, and clean.

Angels on bare skin – is a gently-exfoliating cleanser with a light herbal-lavender scent that balances both oil and dryness to leave your skin feeling soft, supple and comfortably clean.

Breathe of fresh air – gives dry skin a little pick me up with soothing aloe vera and rose spritzer with hints of cleansing rosemary and mineral-rich sea water.

Cosmetic lad – not only for the lads, but it works well to combat the irritation and redness that can follow regular shaving. Soothing ingredients make it ideal for all sensitive skin types.

Refreshing Night Time Routine

 

By the way, none of these links are affiliated. I’m not an affiliate of Lush, I just love their products and wanted you to check them out for yourself if you’re interested.

15 Ways You Can Deal With Stress

**Disclaimer: I am in no way shape or form a doctor. I am giving help on what has worked and what does work for me.**

Have you ever had one of those days where you are just stressed out to the max? It feels as though you can’t get away from it or do anything right.

A lot of people feel this way a lot of the time. Today’s world doesn’t make this any easier to deal with either.

Although I am more than sure you know what stress is let’s dig a little deeper into it and figure out a few ways to give you a little break from it all.

15 Ways You Can Deal With Stress

What is stress?

Stress is a feeling of emotional and psychical tension. It can come from any feels or thoughts that makes you angry, sad, or that frustrates you. Stress is your body’s way of dealing with demand or a challenge.

Where does stress show up in your body?

When felt threatened your body sends out a ton of stress hormones that include cortisol and adrenaline. These hormones rouse your body for an emergency action.

What are the symptoms or stress?

There are a lot of symptoms that can come along with stress and you can have one or more of these symptoms at once. These symptoms include anxiety, depression, mood swings, tight muscles, unmotivation, restlessness, and trouble making decisions. These are just to name of few of the symptoms and are not limited to.

15 Ways You Can Deal With Stress

Try these ways to help reduce the stressors in your life:

  1. Turn off your phone
  2. Take a long hot bath with replacing music and a facial mask
  3. Turn off the tv, preferably the news
  4. Take a little time to yourself
  5. Grab a book you’ve already read and knock out a few chapters
  6. Play with your pet, animals are always great therapy
  7. Take a nap , if all else fails take a small nap (I say small but my naps usually consist of a few hours)
  8. Watch a good movie. Break out Netflix, Disney+, or Hulu and find a comedy or a romantic comedy to watch ( whatever your genre just to keep your mind off what is stressing you out)
  9. Gets a manicure or pedicure (I love having a pedicure because I love having my feet rubbed and they look so pretty afterwards)
  10. Do deep breathing
  11. Do a hobby or better yet try a new hobby (I’ve recently started loom knitting. I’m only on my first scarf but things are going pretty well. I recommend it as it’s easy, time consuming, and makes you focus)
  12. Talk about your problems you don’t have to go through life alone. If you’re a private person find that one friend that you trust completely, that’s honest, and will listen)
  13. Go easy on yourself (everyone has stressors, that’s just a part of life so don’t be so hard on yourself)
  14. Start a blog (it’s a great way to blog your way to mental health
  15. Do yoga (try these poses for your anxieties over stress and you’ll feel your muscle tension has melted away)

Remember, this too shall pass. I know it’s hard to see it right now but there is always a silver lining even if it seems so far away. Keep up with these ways everyday as a new routine if that helps too.

 

You can subscribe to receive 12 journal prompts and 30 ways to become a better person. This is a newsletter but is only sent out monthly. I will not spam you (I hate that) I promise (cross my heart).

Peanut Butter Protein Bars

Every week for the last few months I’ve been making the guy I’m seeing a high protein meal plan, as he’d like to gain a little weight.

I like finding easy recipes but ones that’ll help him add protein and try to get as many calories as I can find.

I came across this recipe and decided to try my hand at it.

Why use protein powder?

By replacing the all the flour In this recipe with protein powder and the recipe still works nicely.

However, when replacing flour for protein powder, start with replacing 1/3 cup of protein powder for every 1 cup of flour in the recipe.

What did he think?

Peanut butter protein bars for the win! He loved them and let a few people at his work sample the extra one I sent with him everyday just for them.

I used a vanilla birthday cake protein powder as something a little different.

It may sound weird but these almost didn’t make it through the week with the rest of his lunch.
Peanut Butter Protein Bars

Ingredients

  • 2 cups large flake oats use gluten-free if necessary
  • 2 scoops vanilla protein powder (I used vanilla birthday cake)
  • ½ cup natural peanut butter
  • ½ cup unsweetened almond milk or a little more if the mixture still seems dry. You want it to be slightly sticky so that it all binds together
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, mix together the oats and vanilla protein powder. Next, add the peanut butter, almond milk, and maple syrup, if desired. Stir until well combined and slightly sticky. The mixture should bind together but not be gooey.
  2. Line a 9-inch square baking pan with parchment paper and press the mixture into the pan with a spatula until equally distributed. Place the pan in the freezer for 30 minutes.
  3. Remove from freezer and cut the mixture into 8 equal-sized bars using a sharp knife. You may need to allow mixture to thaw out for a few minutes before you can cut through the bars.
    Peanut butter protein bars
  4. Place each bar in a little Ziploc bag or saran wrap and store in fridge or freezer.

These freeze great and they aren’t gooey or dry at all. They’re the perfect consistency to stay in a bag or lunch box all day.

I hope you guys enjoy this recipe and decide to make them yourselves.

 

They might be good with a few other add ins like chocolate chips, cranberries, or raisins if you’re not one for protein powders.

He says they are a great snack in the way to work, as he works an hour away. He wakes up at 5:30 and who wants to cook breakfast then? Ugh, not me! Hah.

you just feel better with a little something in your stomach in the morning, these are a great alternative to something heavy.