A Busy Woman's Guide To Resetting and Refreshing
We spend the weeks rushing around from duty to duty, accomplishing tasks at lightening speed and praying for the weekend. Then the weekend comes... and life isn't any easier. Laundry, bills, groceries, playing catch-up on household duties.
Life as a woman in 2018 is beyond hectic. It's exhausting, tiring, and overwhelming. How the hell is anyone supposed to do it all? And, if you do, how are you supposed to find time for your own dreams and passions?
It's a common issue I hear so many women dealing with these days. In our already intense society, so many of us feel pressure to be all things to all people... and we have little room left for resetting and refreshing our lives.
But I've come to learn: We all MUST set the reset button sometimes. We must find time to rejuvenate the soul, our passions, and our psyches. We can't keep go, go, going all the time. We can't be all things all at once.
In March, I got the opportunity to get away for a weekend to Capacon Lodge, a state park lodge in West Virginia. It was a writing retreat, but for me, more than that it was a reset retreat. I got the chance to leave the piles of laundry behind, the overwhelming amount of emails, and the daily drudgery of my busy life. I got to simplify and reset. I got the chance to spend some time sitting in the sunshine, walking in the woods, and just slowing down a bit. There was nowhere I had to be for a couple of days and nothing I had to do.
And you know what?
I felt so much more accomplished by the end of the weekend than any other weekend.
We can't all escape reality on a daily basis. We can't all pick up and go every single weekend, and there will never be enough retreats for us to reset our lives as often as we need. Getting away is a luxury real life doesn't always afford.
However, the retreat reminded me that we still need to find ways to rejuvenate and to refresh our souls. We need to reset our passions and refocus our priorities.
So how do you do that in a busy world? I think you do the best you can. I think you find small, easy ways you can take time for yourself. Whether it's two minutes or two hours, you do your best to put yourself first from time to time. You do your best to say "good enough" and relax when you can.
Most of all, you find the value in hitting reset, in kicking back, and in slowing down.
Here are some simple ways you can hit reset this week. Feel free to add some ideas in the comments below! I'd love to hear how you find ways to refresh during the busy week.
1. Have a cup of tea
2. Meditate for five minutes
3. Listen to your favorite song
4. Read a book for fifteen minues
5. Take ten minutes to do your makeup (confidence is always a win!)
6. Take a walk with a friend to catch up
7. Sit on the deck or porch in the sun for a few moments
8. Paint your nails
9. Write in your journal
10. Indulge in some chocolate and refuse to feel guilty about it
11. Take a long bath
12. Turn off your electronics for an hour a day to escape from social media
Beauty Haul Morphe Palette Review
I've always been an Urban Decay girl when it comes to eyeshadow. I thought there was no way anything would ever compare.
However, one of my students (I'm a high school English teacher) always has eyeshadow that is just on point. She told me about Morphe palettes and because her eyeshadow was just rocking it, I decided to give it a try.
I was amazed that this huge palette was only $23! Way cheaper than the $55 I drop for a much smaller Urban palette. Still, I was super skeptical. Could it really hold up?
I love the sleek design of this palette. It is so thin and could easily slide into any bag. Plus one from the beginning.
I also love that the shades are so varied yet also so close. There are many nuances of the same shades, allowing for perfect blending and layering. It's easy for even a beginner to create those beautiful, smooth looking gradients using this eyeshadow thanks to the colors included.
I went with the Fall Into Frost palette after a lot of deliberation (There are soooo many color options, another plus!). I'm a shimmer girl, and I've been pleased with the frosty look. It's a modern frost, unlike some of the 1980's shades of nightmares.
Like Urban (and perhaps even more), these shadows are super pigmented, so a little goes a long way. They go on with a high density but are also easy to blend.
Overall, I'm in love with this brand. Will I still use my Urban shades? Yes. They are the first shadows that made me feel confident in my shadow skills. Plus, some of my favorite colors are in there.
Still, I'm so happy to have found another shadow I love with fun colors and so many options to mix it up.
Have you tried Morphe shadows yet? what's your favorite palette? Let me know in the comments!
5 Easy Beauty Tips You Need To Know Now
1. Let your foundation dry before using setting powder.
This was a true game-changer for me.
If you use liquid foundation, you need to let it dry before setting it with powder--and yes, you really should set it.
In the past, I would do one of two things:
1. Slap on only liquid foundation and then be on my way
2. Slap on liquid foundation and immediately coat it with powder
Both of these techniques leave your foundation lackluster later in the day. Setting it with a translucent powder helps it stay all day. However, if you put powder on it too quickly, it will leave a cakey layer that just accents your pores.
I put on my foundation first (with a blending sponge) and then let it dry while I do my hair and other makeup. After about ten minutes, I'll lightly dust over it with translucent powder (I use NYX setting powder). My foundation lasts all day and doesn't get cakey.
For an added glow, I'll add a quick dusting of Urban Decay Illuminated Powder to give me some life.
2. Blend your contour up.
I'll be honest... contouring is not my strong suit. Still, the best tip I learned was to blend your contour on your cheekbones up toward your hairline. It makes it look more natural and prevents it from coming down too far on your cheekbones. If your contour line comes down to close to your nose, it makes you look skeletal.
3. Brushes really, truly matter. Invest in high-quality.
I used to cheap out on my brushes. Would a $20 brush really work any better than a $3 one? I didn't think so.
But then I realized that without the right tools, any products you are buying are just a waste. Why invest in high-end cosmetics only to cheap out on tools?
I have been using It Cosmetics brushes now for over a year and have seen a drastic improvement in my makeup. They help eye shadow, blush, and even foundation from going on too heavy. If you want that airbrushed quality, high-end brushes are a must. You don't have to pay an arm and a leg for a set, either. I got my It cosmetics brushes on special at Ulta. Watch for sales on the sets, and you'll be ready to bring your makeup to its A-game. If you want to give it a try, here's a travel set of It Cosmetic brushes to get you started for only $30.
4. Use a base color for your eye shadow.
Choose a bone color eye shadow as a base layer. This helps with blending and prevents harsh lines. It's almost like priming a canvas in painting. Your eye shadows need something to blend with in order to create that seamless look.
5. Hold your brushes near the end for better blending.
This is a tip that came from the Youtubers. When there's so much to learn and think about with your makeup technique, how you hold the brush seems to be the least of your worries. However, where you hold the brush can totally affect your blending game. For seamless eye shadow blending, hold your brush near the end of the handle and use light pressure. This keeps it from getting streaky/ having hard lines.
Need more tips? Want more advice? I recommend checking out Christen Dominique's Youtube channel. She's got amazing advice and her beauty routine is always flawless. I love it, however, because she's super good at breaking it down for the average woman. You don't have to be a beauty expert to master her techniques.
My two most popular sweet romances, Remember When and Inked Hearts, are #free for a limited time!
Remember When is a romantic drama about a married couple trying to survive a car wreck in the middle of a blizzard. As Jessica and Todd fight to survive, they reflect on their love story. Will their love be enough to help them survive?
Inked Hearts was named a Romance Times Top Pick in October of 2017. This is book one in the Lines in the Sand series, set in Ocean City, Maryland. When Avery finds her marriage over and her life falling apart, she moves to the beach town of her dreams to start over. She makes one promise to herself: No man this time. She's living for herself.
But then she meets Jesse Pearce, the green-eyed, tattooed hunk who may just change her mind about the line she drew in the sand.
Check out the links below to grab your copies now. This free sale is for a limited time, so hurry!
Inked Hearts links:
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All of my other titles are on sale this week only! Head to Amazon to browse all of my books.
Free Excerpt of Book 2 in Lines in the Sand by Lindsay Detwiler
Hi! I hope you’re having a great week. Scroll down for another free excerpt from Wild Hearts. This is one of my favorite scenes in the book because it just makes me laugh.
Will a chance and very uncomfortable run-in be the scene to finally bring Jodie and Levi together? Read on to find out why Jodie got to see a whole lot more of Levi’s gorgeous boy than she bargained for...
“Are you sure you should’ve let Gemma handle this? From what you’ve told me, she just isn’t the most trustworthy,” Avery says. We’re sitting at the kitchen island sipping coffees she brought. Avery’s forehead is dripping with sweat, and she’s trying to create airflow by pulling on the front of her shirt.
I’m wearing the skimpiest tank top and shortest shorts I could possibly find in my dresser this morning, but there’s still sweat beading on my forehead, too, and dripping down all sorts of places I don’t want to think about. I’m a hot mess, and I mean that quite literally.
It figures that on the hottest day of the year, our main air conditioner in the living room would break. Just figures.
Gemma’s out at the local Home Depot getting a new one—after swiping my half of the money for it, of course. Apparently, when she was at the bar last week, some hot guy was there who works at the Home Depot in town. I wouldn’t put her past breaking the unit on purpose for an excuse to go there.
Regardless, it’s quiet without her, and Avery doesn’t have to be at her new painting spot for a couple of hours. I’ve suggested we catch up on Teen Mom or The Bachelor. Avery has other ideas, insistent I lure the cowboy out of his apartment so she can get a look. I’ve shot the idea down. We’ve both considered having some real fun and letting Sebastian into Gemma’s room. I can just imagine the horror in Gemma’s perfectly lined eyes at the sight of the cat on his back right in the middle of her pillow.
“Hey,” Avery says after taking another sip. “Speaking of Sebastian, where is my buddy? I haven’t seen him, and come to think of it, he didn’t greet me.”
I freeze, looking at Avery before glancing around. I think back on the morning, realizing I haven’t seen Sebastian, not since I got up and noticed it was hotter than hell in here. I remember feeding him his canned cat food bright and early, but after that….
We both leap to our feet and investigate, checking Sebastian’s favorite napping spots. I find nothing but clumps of gray hair where Sebastian should be.
I start calling out his name, wondering where the big lug of a cat ended up. Avery dashes room to room.
And that’s when I see it. The window. The wide-open window, the screen that was there this morning gone.
“Dammit,” I yell, dashing toward the open window, hoping the fat cat didn’t get very far. But I don’t see him anywhere. Avery rushes to my side.
“Oh, shit,” she says.
We wordlessly dash outside, frantically peeking around the apartment lawn.
And it’s then I hear some wild parrot squawking above the country music blasting in Levi’s apartment—so much for heeding my neighborly request to keep it down.
That’s when I notice his window is, as usual, wide, wide open. He says real men believe in natural air conditioning.
“Is this the cowboy’s home?” Avery says, her eyes glimmering despite the situation.
“You know damn well it is,” I say. “But looks like he’s not home.”
I creep over to his window, peeping in to see Sebastian, all twenty pounds of him, climbing up Johnny Cash’s cage, his claws fiddling with the door, the parrot screaming. Apparently he didn’t get very far after his great escape. I can’t even begin to imagine how he got his fat body through Levi’s window and onto the parrot cage. Regardless, this is the predicament we’re in now, and I have no idea how to get us out of it.
“Oh shit,” I yell, waiting for Levi to come bolting to Johnny Cash’s rescue. But he does nothing of the sort. He truly must not be home, despite the music blaring.
Thus, I do what any sensible woman would do. I try the doorknob, find it locked, and pound furiously on the door. We wait a moment, but detect no Levi movement. I kick the door in frustration.
Avery yells at Sebastian, hands on her face. “Jo, he’s going to get the parrot. You need to get in there.”
“And how do you suppose I do that?” I scream, in panic mode.
Avery looks at me and then peeks at the window. “Here, I’ll give you a boost. You can just shimmy through there.”
“I can’t just climb through his window. Are you crazy?”
“You need to save the bird!” She is insistent, the take-charge Avery emerging in our time of crisis. I sigh and obey. She’s right. Levi might drive me crazy, but I can’t risk Sebastian hurting his bird—although if Johnny Cash bit the dust, it would be much quieter. Still, it wouldn’t be the neighborly thing or the humanly thing to do.
Avery awkwardly makes a step for me out of her hands. “Apparently neither of us were cheerleaders,” I say as we struggle and fumble on the front lawn. Finally, Avery practically tosses me to the ledge of the window, and I pull and strain to get myself through. The cat is hanging on the cage. At least he hasn’t burst it open yet.
I finally slide through the window, and Avery claps behind me, apparently proud we’ve pulled off this James Bond—hardly—move.
I yell at Sebastian, flapping my hands at him, as I cross the living room floor. I’m almost at the cage when a door flies open inside, and footsteps come running toward me, probably to see what the commotion is.
The real Johnny Cash’s “Folsom Prison Blues” is blaring as Sebastian meows at me, Johnny Cash the parrot screaming and flapping. Avery shrieks from the window, and says “Oh, my.” I turn slightly to see Levi staring back at me wide-eyed.
But it’s me who lets out the next scream, backing toward the window, because Levi is standing a few feet away from me, completely and utterly naked.
Like completely. Everything, everything, everything is hanging out for all to see.
And see it all we do.
It is only after a long, confusing moment he realizes what’s happening and covers himself with cupped hands, but it’s too late.
I’ve seen things I can’t unsee, and maybe don’t want to.
What did you think of Levi and Jodie’s awkward run-in? Hit Reply and let me know if this scene made you laugh. I’d love to hear from you.
P.S: Want more of Wild Hearts? Join my VIP Fan Club For your chance to get more Free excerpts of Wild Hearts. I want you to get to try it out before you buy it... I only want you to add it to your TBR pile if it's your type of romance.
5 Must-See and Must-Read Pieces to Cure Royal Wedding Fever
"I want to be a princess."
It's a line so many of us uttered as a child--and maybe some of us are still saying now. Becoming a princess is just the thing of childhood dreams. The dresses, the castle, the lovely teas and handsome prince. It's the thing of dreams, far away dreams for many of us.
So it's no wonder that when Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle live out our childhood fantasies in real life, we all get a little obsessed. There's just something magical about a royal wedding. From the clothes to the venue to the dress, it seems like the thing fairy tales are made of.
I can remember watching Kate Middleton's wedding, mesmerized by the beauty and extravagance of it all. I know for a fact I'll be tuned into Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's wedding on May 19th, taking in all the magical beauty of the scene.
But, if you're like me, May 19th seems so far away. Other than a few cute engagement photos and the engagement interview, there's not a lot to keep the momentum going. So, I've come up with this list of top five books, movies, and shows for those of you also suffering from royal wedding fever. Feel free to comment with any additions to the list.
1. The Crown
I'll be the first to say I find The Crown to be a little bit dry. However, it does give you a deep look at the royal family and all of the crises they survived. The dresses are stunning, and the actors and actresses do an amazing job at portraying daily life for the family. It is insightful and gives you the glimpse into the lifestyle few are actually privy to.
If you're obsessed with all things royalty, this is an amazing series from the CW. It follows a very fictionalized story line of Mary Queen of Scots. Adelaide Kane does an amazing job at portraying the beautiful, young ruler. The love story between Mary and Frances is truly swoonworthy.
Although a different royal family and not historically accurate, this is sure to satisfy anyone who loves everything royalty. The costumes are to die for, the scenery and castle is magical, and the secrets and lies keep the plot engaging. This is my favorite "royalty" series of all time. I highly recommend you check out the five seasons of the show.
3. The Prince and Me
An oldie but goodie for anyone who loves the "average girl marries prince" idea. Julia Stiles does an amazing job at portraying the average, girl-next-door who unknowingly falls for a prince. It's a magical movie that gives hope to all of us that our princess dreams can come true. Check out The Prince and Me to hold you over until the royal wedding... and maybe pretend that your dreams of being a princess are still possible.
4. A Christmas Prince
This is the holiday movie that took the internet by storm. A Netflix Original, A Christmas Prince touts some cheesy acting and plot... yet is somehow irresistible. It has a similar plot to The Prince and Me, where an average girl ends up falling in love with a prince. A reporter is sent to cover a story on the prince, but accidentally ends up closer to him than she plans. As her lies snowball, she must decide whether or not to confess the truth or to follow her career passions.
It's a holiday movie, but I recommend it for anyone who can't wait for the royal wedding and wants to watch the lives of princes and princesses.
5. Tegan Wren's Inconceivable
This book is a 5-star read. It again follows the idea of an average woman (a reporter) who falls in love with a prince. However, this book actually goes into their marriage and their struggles as a couple. This book gives a realistic look at how becoming a royal could change you. For those of us who won't get to live out our princess fantasy, it makes you realize that even being royalty doesn't shield you from heavy life issues. It maybe dulls the pain of the fact that Prince Harry and Prince William are off the market.
I highly recommend this read. Check out my Goodreads review here.
*As an Amazon Affiliate, I get a small fee for any books purchased through the links below.