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Empties vol. 19 // January 2019

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Oh man, it’s been a whirlwind few weeks! After working really hard to create a productive routine in our little studio apartment, we got a call one Wednesday asking us if we’d be interested in moving back into our spacious one bedroom apartment across the hall that weekend. We quickly packed up and carried everything down the hall and started making an empty room our home again… for the second time in two months.

Man, that’s emotionally exhausting! Especially because we’d just sold our couch(es). The couches took up almost ALL of the space in our apartment, so we suddenly had TONS OF SPACE to deal with. It’s almost all together and I’ll share a new little apartment tour.

But until then, I’m working really hard at getting everything organized and in its place ASAP so we feel at home and rest in our apartment. Sharing my little pile of empties from the past month!

Rosewater Argan facial cream

I’m actually REALLY CONFUSED about why I can’t find this listed in a previous empty post, because I’ve definitely used this up before. Kristen got me this face cream from Soap & Sunshine a few years ago (for my birthday, I think?) and I FELL IN LOVE. It’s so soft smelling, lightweight and moisturizing without being greasy. I love this stuff so much that I literally swiped EVERY LAST BIT out of the jar while I waited for my new one in the mail! (ps I did find a previous post where I wrote about this product, but it wasn’t an empties post!)

Benefit the Porefessional balm

This is my favorite pore-minimizing primer of all time! I’ve written about it before, here and here and here. ๐Ÿ™‚ It’s great on its own or under makeup, matte and does a great job filling in pores.

Kiehl’s midnight recovery eye

Birchbox sample. It was okay, though I already have eye creams I love. It was nice to have a night time eye care routine, but probably unnecessary. Plus it’s pretty expensive, but Kiehl’s is a pretty fancy brand. I have no desire to buy this.

L’Oreal Voluminous Base Lash Primer

I first wrote about this over a year ago – I’d been looking for a lash primer and was so excited to find this one! I realized it’d been like… A YEAR since I’d replaced it, and in one of the greatest acts of adulting I’ve exercised lately, I went to Walgreens and bought a new one to throw away my old probably nasty one.

Michael Kors perfume…?

Yeah IDK. Small perfume samples are real hard for me. ๐Ÿ˜€

Garnier Whole Blend Honey Treasures Repairing Conditionerย 

I first discovered the Garnier Whole Blend line when I did a sponsored post for them a few years ago. I found this conditioner at Goodwill for dirt cheap (I have no shame and didn’t even take the GW sticker off, haha) and decided to try it because I LOVED the coconut line. This was really good – I liked that the conditioner was thick and lasted a long time!

Suave Professional Almond + Shea Butter Shampoo

Here’s the thing. I have this terrible habit of going places and forgetting things like shampoo, so last fall when I was in Nashville I grabbed this on clearance because I don’t want my mistakes to have a high price tag. It’s alright, nothing great, thank u, next.

Glamglow Supermud clearing treatment

This mask was pretty great! I bought it from Birchbox and really loved it. My face always feels really clean and tight(?) after using this. I think all masks are the same, so I won’t be replacing it.

Catch up on my past Empties here.

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Why HPV screening is important and how to test at home

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This post is sponsored by Nurx, but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.

Lately I’ve been listening to a podcast about disease, and it’s got me hyper aware of the importance of preventative maintenance for a variety of health issues. January is National Cervical Health Month, so I’m really excited to share with you some information about HPV and how Nurx is making it easier and super affordable to take charge of your health.

Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is the most commonly transmitted STI (sexually transmitted infection), with nearly 80 million Americans currently infected and 14 million newly infected each year. This next fact really blew my mind: a LOT of people are infected with HPV in their lives (80 percent of sexually active people!) but are unaware they have the virus. In a lot of these cases, the HPV will go away on its own but if it doesn’t, it can cause cancer in the nether regions, including cervical cancer (it causes 34,000 cervical cancer diagnoses each year).

Here’s why I love the HPV screening I’m about to share with you: nearly 25% of women without health insurance have not checked their risk for cervical cancer in the past 5 years. That number is 11% in the general population, so that means women in this country with less access to health care are TWICE AS LIKELY to have never had a screening. Nurx just introduced a Home HPV screening text. In the privacy of your own home, women can have the chance to make better decisions about their health.

Nurx’s Home HPV Screening test is affordable at $15 with insurance and $69 without insurance. The test kit, which is the same quality as a pap smear, checks for 14 strains of HPV that have a higher risk of leading to cervical cancer. ย The test is really simple, too.

After visiting Nurx.com or downloading the Nurx app, you’ll answer a few questions about your house and the test will be shipped to your door. In the test is an extra long q-tip, plastic tube and bag, sticker with a barcode, and prepaid return envelope.

All you have to do is insert, circle around (if you know what I mean!), drop the swab in the tube, put the tube in the bag, and mail it in the pre-paid envelope. A few days after the medical team receives your sample, you’ll get your results from the Nurx medical team. If the results come back negative, you have a low risk of cervical cancer and don’t need another test for 3 years. If your results are positive, it doesn’t mean you have cervical cancer. The Nurx medical team will work with you to figure out the next steps for you.

If you’re in the 30+ category with me (hello, welcome, want some tea?) guidelines advise to check the risk for cervical cancer with an HPV test every 5 years or a pap smear every 3 years. Nurx does offer a kit for you spring chickens aged 25-29 in case you want to check your risk for cervical cancer between pap smears.

This test is preventative screening, it’s not a treatment or replacement for doctors or health care, which is why I’m so glad that Nurx doesn’t just report back results and helps with the next steps.

Like I mentioned at the beginning, listening to that podcast about disease has made me so grateful to live in a time where there are so many preventative measures… and they come to the comfort of your own home, don’t judge your sweatpants with the holes, and allow you to take control of your health. What a time to be alive.

Visit the Nurx site to have an HPV screening test sent to you and celebrate National Cervical Health Month by making sure you know what’s going on.

 

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How to stop working when you work for yourself

This post is sponsored by POP SECRETยฎ but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.

There are so many things that are wonderful and amazing about working for yourself. Unlimited earning potential, doing what you love 90% of the time (keeping it real), no need to request vacation days, and judgement free hours listening to podcasts while you work. One of the hardest parts is learning how to stop working when you work for yourself.

Some days I actively work for three hours and other days I work for 12+ hours, literally from the moment I wake up until I put my dying phone back on the charger late at night.

It’s super cool that I work for myself, but there’s no supervisor to remind me to take a day off, there’s no work computer to turn off and leave at the office. I work on the toilet, at stoplights, waiting to check out at the store, and even during traditional office hours sometimes. There is no built in “off” button to my work.

Here’s the crazy part, though: if I was the boss of anyone but myself, I would absolutely insist that they took time off. Not only that, but I can get way more done in five solid, focused hours of work than I can with ten hour days chasing the imaginary end zone.

There will always be more to do, new things to try and opportunities to grow. But to meet these opportunities, we have to be rested and excited and recharged. Easier said than done though, right?

Give yourself permission – LITERALLY write yourself a note excusing yourself from work – to stop working.

As I’m learning how to stop working, I’ve given myself permission to do the following things:

  1. Read a book just for the fun of reading a book.
  2. Make my favorite snack and relax with a podcast or a movie.ย 
    One of my all-time favorite snacks is popcorn, so keeping a box ofย POP SECRETยฎ on hand is a no brainer. It’s super easy to keep a box in your Amazon cart at all times so that when you order… I don’t know, sheet suspenders or coffee syrup pumps or glass spray bottles, an essential time off snack pops up in the box. See what I did there? Pops up? ๐Ÿ˜‰
  3. Take a nap.
    Set a timer, and take a 45-minute nap if your body is needing some rest. You have my permission to sleep while the world spins on.
  4. Get distracted without feeling bad.
    If I’m trying to work, social media can be the enemy. But if I’m actively NOT working, social media can be really fun. Don’t feel bad retweeting things on Twitter, watching all the Instagram stories, and pinning lots of things on Pinterest.
  5. Binge watch a few episodes of a TV show.ย 
    Get comfy, pop a bag of POP SECRETยฎ and get swept away in a few episodes of a TV show. Some of my favorites are over on this post.
  6. Spend time enjoying your hobbies.
    I love putting stickers in my planner. Sometimes I spend a LOT of time looking through all of my stickers, wishing I had time to organize them or decorate my planner a little more… take that time! Whatever your hobbies are, use your not working time to invest in the things that make you feel happy.
  7. Reach out to your friends.
    A lot of my job is from my phone, so I tend to ignore any texts that come through while I’m working. That has resulted in almost 200 unread text messages. Take the time to respond to texts or send funny memes to people you love.
  8. Brain dump.
    If you find that it’s hard to not work, spend a minute brain dumping everything that you’re thinking of “to do” in your business. Set a timer for 2 minutes and. write down all the pressing things. Give yourself permission to do those when you start working again. It’s weird, but this exercise is really helpful for me. Getting things out of my head and onto paper helps me acknowledge them and save them for later.

You have my permission to stop because sometimes we just need someone to tell us that it’s okay.

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Belated Christmas Studio Apartment Tour :]

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After our sudden move out of our apartment, we un-decorated for Christmas and got the opportunity to re-decorate our new one! Since we’ve only experienced one married Christmas, our decor was all for our original apartment… that has a living room, kitchen, bathroom… oh, and bedroom. Now we live in a small studio where the living room, bedroom and kitchen are all one big room.

I’ve shared that I regretted how little I shared of our beloved 202 1 bedroom apartment, so I’m trying to take more photos in our new one. That said, a few days after we moved in, I took some photos of the little glimpses of Christmas we put up. I’ll try to post an actual, proper tour of our apartment, but for now, enjoy these belated Christmas Studio Apartment decor photos!

Not actually Christmas related but y’all our bed just is so cozy looking in this apartment!

One day we were driving on the freeway and I saw a car with an Instagram handle decal, so I went to the instagram handle and it was an adorable Instagram store, The Sweetie Bee! I began following and this year we went to a holiday bazaar and bought this beautiful hand painted silent night sign.

We had this entryway cabinet in the other apartment and I knew I wanted to recreate it as best as possible! My friend Heidi sent us this it is well sign for our wedding and our friends gave us the cartoon drawing of us! OK funny story about the fa la la la la sign! Sometimes antique vendors find stuff at like Target and will include it in their booths. Last year we were in the antique store we live above and I saw this adorable sign and freaked out. It was like $12 but I just loved it. The next week, we were in Target and I saw it… in the bullseye playground area… for like $7. UGH! But whatever, I love it enough ๐Ÿ˜€

The glass spray bottle (it’s just an old Kombucha bottle) is a spray we used to make our fake tree smell a little more… tree-ey. It’s dลterra’s Holiday Peace with a bunch of witch hazel. Also note the adorable Kate Spade wood + gold polka dot frame. I just can’t with it, I love it so much.


Last year we bought $1 stockings and said we’d buy better ones this year. When I saw these plaid with gold polka dots stockings at Home Goods, I knew they were perfect! Justen’s a little plaid and I’m a little gold polka dot, so it worked out well. I really wanted garland for the desk our TV is one to kind of turn it into a mantle, and I couldn’t find anything I liked so I just made it myself! Pretty proud of how it turned out, not gonna lie!

This year I’ve developed quite a love of ornaments! Not matchy ones, but cute symbolic ones that have meaning and I want to keep forever! The top one was given to us by my mom – it’s Lauren Conrad! Last year, Justen’s mom got him the camera one.

Curly Girl Design is ADORABLE. Years ago I’d found this Curly Girl Ornament and I love it. Justen’s mom found this old computer ornament of Justen’s, we’re always looking for Starbucks ornaments at thrift stores (bc duh) and then this year at Goodwill, I’d found these Young Living diffuser ornaments! I don’t use their oils, but heck YES I’ll use this adorable diffuser! I bought 3 of them and gave one to my sister in law.

The snowman ornament thing? When I placed my December order, a “Snowman Bottle Topper” mysteriously appeared and I was so excited to see what it was!… well… literally a snowman bottle topper! I died laughing.

Last year we bought this Liberty Theater ornament from Camas Gallery – we live next door to the Liberty Theater here in downtown Camas, so having this hand painted ornament is definitely sentimental. I love it so so so much. Can you tell I love a lot of things so much? ๐Ÿ˜€

Sorry for the overblown photo, but how do you like our tree topper? Yes, those would be my Christmas sequins mouse ears from Disneyland! It was sparkly and seemed fitting. I tucked my other sequins mouse ears all over the tree to give it a little more sparkle. The circle ornament is a dลterra diffuser ornament from last year ๐Ÿ™‚

The full Christmas scene. See the hidden Mickey ears?! Also, there’s a Nutcracker ornament because while we were dating, Justen took me to see The Nutcracker for the first time. There’s also a Yoda Ornament and a silver Packy The Elephant (RIP) ornament!ย 

I spent awhile picking out our wrapping paper this year. We got this cute pink paper with a crocodile that says “Master wrapper.” It was premium wrap (aka REALLY THICK) and came in sheets on a roll. It left glitter freaking EVERYWHERE! The pretty blue wrap was ALSO premium wrap. Premium wrap is hard to deal with.

Last year we were walking by the Antique store and I saw this Jingle all the way dish towel; I knew we had to have it (similar here)! The pot holder set is from Kate Spade and it’s seriously my favorite Christmas design!

I even have it in an apron and a tumbler. It’s just the cutest.

Excuse the mess, but we added a little Christmas to the wall of the kitchen, too.

Not Christmas related, but this is our little nightstand setup for now. We went from two nightstands to one, so we’re both having to share this.ย 

This is our storage closet. AKA stuff I really need to use up/go through/get rid of.

Side note: this is the view from our window!

and this gives you an idea of the smallness of our space and how cozy the tree is so close to our bed!

So there you have it! Look for a full on Studio Apartment tour coming to this space soon, but I’m so glad I captured a few shots of how Christmas 2018 looked for us.

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Happy Planner Spread January 7-13 2019

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happy planner spread

Happy first full week of 2019! Time to share my weekly Happy Planner Spread! I don’t know what it is, but I’ve been SO PRODUCTIVE over the last few weeks. Not just productive but also full of grace for myself when I’m NOT productive. It’s weird, I feel like I’m functioning at a normal level. It’s quite a breath of fresh air from the place I’ve been operating out of for the last year or so!

My Happy Planner spread this week is a little all over the place. We’re trying not to go out to eat for a week (one of my January goals!) so I’ve got a little tracker for that in my sidebar. I also have my monthly goals (there’s only 9 because I already painted my nails!). I’ve got a pretty busy beginning to the week and then it kind of eases up a bit.

Can I get an AMEN that it’s FINALLY Bachelor season? It’s like people that look forward to football or something, except with women in dresses and lots of tears. But I will say I’m just as uninterested in this season’s lead as I was last Bachelor season. Can we PLEASE get an interesting, dynamic Bachelor? Please? Ugh. But anyway! At least I’ll be with friends.

And after like a half a year, I’m going to visit my friend Susannah tomorrow, so I’m keeping my to do list relatively small. On Wednesday, my friend Adriana and I are going to see the Rachel Hollis special. I’ve not read any of her books but I’ve heard a lot about her, so I’m excited!

Aside from coffee with my dad and a fun Sunday, there’s just a lot of blank space for working and GSD. I’ve been enjoying taking the time on Sunday night to do my weekly Happy Planner spread, though I enjoy it more when it’s less all over the place.

and… I literally don’t know what happened, but I’m missing like 3 packs of sticker books and if you haven’t caught on I LOVE these Happy Planner stickers and that is just crazy to me that they’re missing!

Here’s to a productive first year of 2019, for you and for me!

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