Silk Elements Heat Protectant Spray Review

I have no idea where my curly hair came from, the only people with it in my family just so happens to be me and my aunt. 

Needless to say we both despise it, it just takes so much up keep! As you can see below it gets pretty unruly if it dries naturally with little to no product. However it is still so soft and smells great thanks to my shampoo and conditioner, with a very light scent.

(In the photo I’m not wearing any makeup, I’m a little self conscious about that. I was in a tornado when I was 3 and have broken blood vessels on my cheeks and face.)

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Until i got it trimmed and thinned out it was halfway down my back curly and almost to my butt when i straightened it. Which took me a little over 2 hours to straighten after all was said and done.

I love natural hair products because they help give my curls the moisture they need to survive being my hair. I wear it in messy buns most of the time so I’m constantly breaking it.

 

How is wearing your hair up everyday harmful?

The hair tie breaks hair off where it’s held tightly to hold the style desired, if you do this everyday you’re causing a massive amount of breakage. Try alternating styles between loose and tight hairstyles for less breakage.

A friend told me about the Silk Elements line of product and that day I went to pick up the shampoo, conditioner, and the heat protectant spray.

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Umm can I say that I’m hooked?! Now it’s pretty much all I use except for a little John Frieda straightener product. When using the products they don’t weigh my hair down like products I’ve tried in the past have. There is also no flaking from the products, which I’ve also had happen.

I love a good investment when it comes to myself (who doesn’t right?) especially when it makes me feel pretty and like I have my shit together (yeah I’m totally winging it).

 

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I love how soft and shiny my hair is after it’s straightened using the Silk Elements heat protectant spray and a small amount of Moroccan argon oil on my ends.


I also like how neither of the products have a strong smell, smells gives me headaches which is another big reason I’m excited to find them!

Ugh, you can definitely see the difference! The style lasts for days with a little dry shampoo as well.

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Im not by any means a beauty blogger so those of you who are may be like “ok what’s she proud of?!”. I’m starting to learn my hair which I’ve never done before, so I’m pretty proud of myself for throwing together random products that actually work for me. I did the same when I do wear my hair curly.

Needless to say these products will forever be in my bathroom cabinet for as long as I can find them. Anything that tames this mane is a must keep!

Do you have a new product I should try? Tell me in the comments!

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Fall In Love, Again

It’s been a rough 3 years, I’ve been misdiagnosed until about 7 months ago. The meds I was taking were actually making my bipolar disorder worse.

I’ve fallen out of love with pretty much everything including myself. I’ve felt so numb for so long that I didn’t care if I ate, got out of bed, or some days even shower.

I’ve worked deeply with my psychiatrist for the past few months to make sure I’m being honest. I want to get better because the shell I’m living in isn’t where I want to be anymore.

I don’t want to take medication but I have no choice, I can’t afford to lose another job, trade-in my 6th brand new car in 6 years, or stay in bed for days at a time.

Fall In Love, Again #mentalhealth #love #art #yoga #running #adventure

I broke things off with the (ex) boyfriend because frankly who wants to live with someone having crying fits, anger issues, financial binges, or a general dislike for themselves?

He’d been my rock all year but in a moment I decided to ruin it and then let it all go. So, I’ve taken it upon myself to be single, the rest of my life.

I may be feeling better with my fine-tuned medications but that only helps keep the vicious animal at bay, they don’t actually cure anything. I could still have an episode any time which can lead to sleepless nights, depression, or mania.

I’d love to find someone down the road maybe but it would have to sweep me off my feet to even be considered getting passed the moated concrete wall I’ve so carefully constructed around my heart, which will not be an easy task. With my luck, it would be a knight riding a donkey who likes Opera music (no offense if you like opera).

 

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I want to fall in love again with:

Reading – I would read at least 2 books a month and now I have a small stack sitting on my crowded bookshelf just waiting to have a crease in their spines.

Painting – Painting was something new I picked up before the worst transpired. I can’t draw stick people but I can make lines, shapes, and TRY to paint what’s in my mind.

Art – My favorite place is the art museum, I love everything about it. The unique pieces, sculptures made with methodical precision, the smell. That last one may sound a bit odd. There’s an endless pond in two spots on the property where I love to write and shady spots near the pavilion.

Running – I love hearing my feet hit the pavement, although Time has ticked by and I’ve gained weight so it won’t be as easy as those 7 minute miles I use to run.

Fall In Love, Again #mentalhealth #love #art #yoga #running #adventure

Writing – I had a freelance writing business that I let tank. I was doing great because it was paying the bills. Then I’d get into my moods and that stickiness doesn’t keep clients. Now that I’m feeling better I’m going to try my hand to build it once more. In the meantime, I’m going to pour everything into this little space. I’m hoping to monetize later but for now, I’ll be nurturing it.

Adventures – I went to the Tennessee mountains last month and although it was cold, wet, and rainy a friend and I found ourselves by the Chestoa river In the Cherokee National Forest. The water was flowing, the branches we’re dancing, and the sand squished under our feet. I felt the spark light my spirit and I craved more.

Fall In Love, Again #mentalhealth #love #art #yoga #running #adventure

What do you want to fall in love with again?

 

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Why You Should Consider Yoga

This post has affiliate links, if you make a purchase from these links I get a tiny commission at no cost to you, you can read the full disclosure here.

What is yoga

The word “yoga” in Sanskrit means listen. Listening is the key to what yoga is all about. It is about listening to your body. Stretching, bending, breathing, and listening. It’s about becoming more aware of your body, its strengths, where it needs help, and nurturing it.

Why try yoga?

When doing the yoga pose itself the stretching opens up tight areas in the body and also strengthening those muscles. This helps with good posture and also helps you focus on body awareness. You relax or contract each muscle with each different yoga pose.

The benefits of yoga:

  1. It’s a great way to strengthen your body and core.
  2. It’s an excellent stress reliever.
  3. It can be done anywhere.
  4. It’s a good way to learn how to connect with yourself.
  5.  Yoga practices are fun and none competitive.
  6. Best of all it can be fine anywhere at any time.

Why yoga is for everyone?

Yoga helps you improve strength by using your core for support. While I’m a yoga pose your muscles are activated to keep you in that particular pose. Yoga helps tap into your own flexibility while limbering you up. Once you start it’s about stretching your limits.

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For me and myself

I found the first time I did yoga I felt better and I could breathe. My limbs felt light and my entire body felt refreshed after stretching.

A few of my favorite products to get you started:

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You’re probably like “Leslie – cut the bullshit” but I bullshit you not friend! If you give it one session just one 30 minutes session I can assure you that you’ll notice a difference.

Once you do it everyday for a month you’ll noticed changes in the way your body feels, all of this just by stretching.

Why You Should Consider Yoga #yoga #routine #stretch #poses #workout

I’ve put together a few simple yet easy yoga poses for you to try, anyone that wants to try! Get your family and your friends in on each pose. These poses are better when done on the right equipment so no one gets hurt but have an optimal workout.

I’m no doctor so if you find yourself in pain or there is discomfort then don’t try yo push yourself. These poses can go at your own pace.

At first, I suggest doing one yoga pose a day. You can hold each pose for 2-3 minutes if you can. You can also increase that time once you continue your daily practice.

To help you get started I’ve posted 15 different poses that are sure to give you results. The key is to stretch into each pose, remember not to hurt yourself! Yoga is supposed to be relaxing.

Why You Should Consider Yoga #yoga #strength #workout

I decided to give you guys visuals for each pose rather than explain each pose. This way you’ll get an idea of what the correct pose looks like.

Adrian is an amazing teacher and she knows her stuff! I watch her videos and learn something new each time.

Yoga poses daily:
Chair Pose
Forward Fold pose
Chaturanga
Upward dog pose
Cobra pose
Down dog pose
Staff pose
Mountain pose
Knee to nose pose
Warrior 1 pose
Warrior 2 pose
Warrior 3 pose
Reverse Warrior pose
Pigeon pose 
Plank

If you give any of these pose a try please let me know how they worked for you. Remember to only go at your own pace, do not strain or push yourself too hard.

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How to Start a Journaling Practice: Tips, Tricks, Rewards & Challenges

This post has affiliate links, if you make a purchase from these links I get a tiny commission at no cost to you, you can read the full disclosure here.


For as long as I can remember I have always wanted to have a daily journaling practice. For some reason, this hobby has always held value to me. I’d envision myself curled up in the corner of a couch, writing in a beautiful journal, using a perfect pen that effortlessly highlighted the uniqueness of my penmanship, my thoughts would flow onto the page, over time notebooks would fill one after the other, and I would proudly display them on  a bookshelf somewhere. It’s a lovely thought, but in reality implementing a daily journaling practice is a little bit more…complicated. 

It took a long time but, finally, in 2015 I made my vision a reality: I began writing daily, and the notebooks and bullet journals did start filling up. I would like to share my journey to journaling in the hopes that it will help others cultivate their practice. So, keep reading! I’m about to share almost 20 years of tips and tricks, AND be totally honest about the rewards and challenges you’ll face along the way.

How to Start a Journaling Practice: Tips, Tricks, Rewards & Challenges

The Attempts

I attempted to become a diary keeper at least 10 times over my lifetime. The first few attempts were when I was a teenager, the majority of the attempts were when I was in my early twenties, and the last attempt (which was successful) was in my early thirties. Each attempt was met with a  brand new fancy notebook which would cost waaaay more than I am willing to admit  (I’ve had a fondness for fine stationery my entire life). 

As each day came to a close, I would write about it. I quickly realized that my day to day life wasn’t actually all that exciting. Exciting events accumulate over time, and an isolated daily page of writing doesn’t actually reveal all that much at the start.

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Remember: journaling implies handwritten. Truly getting into the details of your day using a handwritten medium is a time investment. Just filling one page, depending on the size of the notebook, can take upwards of 20-30 minutes.

The Realities of Keeping a Daily Journal

The First Reality: The Negativity Bias

Initially, starting a journaling habit is not nearly as rewarding as one would think. That is,  until you have a really bad day. Suddenly, you can’t wait to get home and write everything in your journal… to vent, to let it go, and have an audience that will always be on your side.

 On a bad day, I can remember picking up my pen and filling pages effortlessly. I’d write until my hand hurt and my letters became blurry from either exhausted penmanship or tears. 

When writing daily, there seems to be an involuntary pull to express the negative. Journaling is cathartic in this way. In my experience, I was always more likely to vent about a bad day than I was to brag about a good day. 

The Second Reality: The Joy is in the Writing, not the Reading

One of the beauties of journaling is that as you write you truly begin to get a sense that your thoughts are flowing freely onto the page. The pen that writes is the conduit to your innermost feelings. As you free write it feels like there could never be any errors. Unfortunately, re-reading entries will prove this feeling false. Hand written pages are not magically highlighted with spelling or grammar errors. I know I have a tendency to leave out words when I handwrite. Sometimes reading my entries can sometimes feel like putting together a puzzle.
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The joy in journaling is the writing, not the reading. I don’t suggest never reading your old  journals, but I would recommend allowing a few months to pass before venturing backwards into your experiences. Here is an excerpt from my journal regarding an experience I had re-reading an entry: 

 “Looking back, it amazes me how fragmented this is! At the time, I remember feeling like I was being so in depth. It probably took me well over an hour to write this [entry] ! Writing 6 pages felt like such an accomplishment, but now all I want to do is edit!”

Giving yourself time before reading will allow you to gain perspective and hindsight about what you were experiencing and feeling as you wrote.

How To Get Started: 3 Do’s & 3 Don’ts

Lets start with the Don’ts:

  1. Don’t use an expensive notebook. Investing in something fancy will put pressure on you to have a perfect journaling practice. You will feel like you need to write neater because you want to maintain the niceness of the notebook. Censoring your handwriting censors your thoughts. Get an ordinary notebook. Don’t be afraid to be messy, cross things out and carry it around with you. The more used and tattered your notebook looks at the end, the more successful your practice!
  2. Don’t let filling notebooks be your end goal. This was a trap for me. I was too future focused. I created an all or nothing statement in my mind that if I was filling notebooks I would then be an avid journaler. Writing is meant to be an activity that connects us with the present moment, which can only be measured in progress (not success or failure). My first filled notebook took about 8 months to complete!  
  3. Don’t write about your day. All of my ‘start and stop’ attempts at writing occurred when I was only filling my pages with daily events. Using a structured style of journaling can increase your dedication to the practice. I had much more success using journaling prompts to guide me (more about that below). 

And now the Do’s:

  • Do find a pen that you love. If you are going to be writing a lot you should love the way your pen feels and writes. Personally, I prefer finer tip pens (0.7 tip is my ideal). Finer tip pens are less likely to smudge because not as much ink is expelled with each pen stroke. Thicker tip pens and gel pens are prone smearing and bleeding through the pages of your notebook. This will annoy you, trust me!
  1. Do keep your journal in sight. You may have the urge to keep your journal hidden to protect your privacy, but if it’s too well hidden you won’t be reminded to write in it. Store your journal in a place where you will encounter it. I kept my journal in a bathroom cabinet for almost a year because I would see it every time I needed to get toothpaste.
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  2. Do use specific types of journaling. As mentioned earlier, writing about your day can be a trap. There are many types of journaling and all of them do reveal insight into your life over time, despite not documenting daily occurrences. Here are a few different styles of journaling to try:
  • Line a Day: Simply write one line a day everyday. Short, sweet and to the point.
  • Morning Pages: A writing practice that takes place first thing in the morning before getting out of bed. Without happenings to dwell on, morning pages can reveal clarity about what you’d like to accomplish each day. Morning writing tends to also have a more positive tone should you choose to re-read your entries.  
  • Gratitude Journal: Write 1 to 5 things that you are grateful for everyday 
  • Journaling Prompts: Answering daily questions that may or may not have a theme to them. Pinterest is loaded with various types of journaling prompts. For 3 years I used the same monthly journaling prompts. It was fun comparing how I answered each question differently from year to year. This is my preferred method to journal.

Almost six years later, I am happy to say that I am still journaling. Sure, my practice ebbs and flows but ultimately I am committed to it. I’ve allowed my writing to evolve and I use different styles of journaling for variety. I have now filled 15 notebooks. Just as I envisioned, I display them proudly as I hope one day you will too. 

By: Cheryl Tobin

About the Author

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Cheryl is the author of the blog Spiritually Premeditated. She describes herself as a spiritual enthusiast, avid journaler and wannabe morning person. She relies heavily on coffee and oracle cards to get through the day. 

Blog // Twitter

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What Are Essential Oils?

A few of the links in this post are affiliated, click here to read the entire disclosure


I was at a point in my life about a year ago when I stopped after taking two sleeping pills and thought to myself “why am I taking these??” Duh to help you sleep! Answered the little voice in the back of my brain.

I didn’t want to any longer take unnecessary drugs, I mean I do need sleep and all but I don’t want to be hooked on something just to sleep.

i was a little skeptical I won’t lie but..

I did my research and found essential oils -cue the angelic music-! I absolutely love essential oils, they’ve saved me! I’ve decided to do a little mini series on their effects, you’ll love them too.

There is so much to love in these little kick ass bottles, you wouldn’t think so to look at the size of them but a little goes a loooong way. Yup, I learned that the hard way. We’ve got an overachiever over here!

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I love playing with the different combinations. Not only can you diffuse essential oils but you can use them as a topical or even ingest them. If you’re going to ingest them though make sure you’ve picked one you can ingest safety. Alway use an oil to dilute the oils when using as a topical.

I add 2 drops if lavender oil to 230ml of water in my diffuser at night and I sleep like a baby, without sleeping pills!

I’ve also stoped using cold medicines, aspirin, and even antacids for my horrible heartburn. That’s for another post for the mini series.

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What are essential oils?

The small molecules in essential oils help by spreading healing properties to systems responsible for the physiological state. Essential oils are known for their mucolytic, analgesic, antispasmodic, and anti-inflammatory, elements. So essential oils alter one’s emotional, mental, and physical being with those small molecules by triggering your body’s natural process.

Why use essential oils?

The many benefits of essential oil usage can help with treating anxiety, infections, and even poor sleep. Essential oils can also be used as a natural cure for a few different health conditions as well.

I am in no way shape or form a doctor (ha, that just made me laugh. On a good day I can walk straight without getting distracted) so please do your research and ask your GP if you’ve got the go ahead to use essential oils.

when using essential oils make sure to use them wisely, too much can have its limits. If not diluted properly some essential oils can cause blistering or skin rash. If not properly diffused some may cause respiratory issues. Keep in mind some oils are not good to diffuse around pets, as their immune systems aren’t set up to handle the breakdown of essential oils.

For those interested, I’m creating an ebook on recipes, techniques, and tips on all things essential oils. For pre order (& $10 discount) you can leave a comment or email me at BalancedMochas@Gmail.com.

 

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