chelsea clinton brown

Settle Down Sunday

April Adjustments: Time to evaluate goals


Hi friends! As the calendar turns to April, we are greeted with sunshine, warmer weather, brighter colors on our lips, nails, and bodies, and the stark realization that 25% of the year has already been marked off. Well, that list sure took a negative turn. But I am all about finding the silver lining in a situation, and here it is:

We still have 75% of the year left!

Around this time of year, I often find myself getting motivated to improve and change things up. I don’t know if it’s the extra Vitamin D or the clarity I get when my allergy medicine finally kicks in, but something about early spring just gets me pumped.

So I decided to take a look at my goals from January and reassess them, as well as think about any other goals I may have set for myself in the last 3 months or want to set now for the next 9 months of 2016.

Here’s what I’ve come up with for some April Adjustments:

  • Be active every day
  • Explore
    • Get outside
    • Hike
  • Continue drinking more than enough water
  • Be more consistent on the blog
  • Do more DIY/creative things
  • Purge my closet (again)
  • Organize my bathroom and makeup
  • Try new recipes

If you’re a resolution kind of person, then this is a great time to check yourself (before you wreck yourself? I’m sorry. How could I resist?), and evaluate the progress you’ve made thus far. Regardless of how well you have stuck with your goals, this can be a super beneficial step toward achieving your goals moving forward. It allows you to reflect on what has been working, what hasn’t been, and what changes you need or want to make. Even if you aren’t a resolution person, I think setting goals for all aspects of our lives is a great way to ensure that we are always striving to be the best version of ourselves. So no matter which end of the spectrum you fall on, I encourage you to take a few minutes and make some April Adjustments, and put your best foot forward for the 75% of the year we have left! Let me know what kinds of goals and adjustments you make in the comments below :)

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Monthly Jams ♬ February

music february

Hi friends!

I can’t believe we are already at the end of February, even though we do get a bonus day tomorrow! But, with the end of a month comes the time for my monthly music favorites :)

I feel like this month flew by, and the additions to my playlist were few and far between. Quality over quantity, though, amirite?! Without further adieu, here they are:

  • Death of a Bachelor – Panic at the Disco
    • I loved Panic when I was in high school, and a small confession: I remember referring to them as “P!@TD” in my Myspace music section… One of those thing I wish I could go back in time and erase.
  • Hypnotized – Akon
    • I have an inexplicable love for Akon, and this is a songs I rarely find myself skipping when it comes on shuffle.
  • Pillowtalk – ZAYN
    • Do I even need to explain myself on this one? Didn’t think so.
  • My House – Flo Rida
    • This is one of those catchy songs that I love because I can just picture it playing in the backyard while we’re BBQing by the pool. I’m ready for summer, obviously. And I am a sucker for a catchy tune.
  • Low Life – Future, feat. The Weeknd
    • I love basically anything The Weeknd touches, honestly, and this song is no exception.
  • Love on the Brain – Rihanna
    • Quite possibly my favorite Rihanna song to date. It has a Motown vibe that I LOVE, and it’s definitely been on repeat since the first time I heard it. What is your favorite song on her new album?

That’s all I have for this month… I’m chalking that up to February being a shorter month than all the rest 😉 Hopefully I have more music discoveries in March. What were your favorite songs during February?!

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Monthly Jams ♬ January

music january 2016

Hi friends!

Like the majority of the rest of the planet, music is a part of my daily life. I love all different styles of music (literally), and music is something that can affect my mood in so many different ways. I am constantly looking for new music, finding old hidden gems that I’ve forgotten about, and playing my newest song obsession over and over again. So, I thought it would be fun to do a monthly music roundup :)

I’m not going to have a set number of songs I share with you guys each month; I’m just going to list whatever songs have been the most played and loved.

Here they are for January 2016!

  • Jumpman – Drake & Future
    • I am still loving this entire mixtape. Still.
  • Say It – Tory Lanez
    • I’ve just recently discovered Tory Lanez, and I wish I’d found him sooner. FYI: Ed Sheeran covered this song (as he tends to do with hip hop songs) and it is AMAZING. Look it up.
  • Don’t You Worry – R. City
    • These guys are so cool. In my opinion, they are a reggae/island vibe with some hip hop mixed in.
  • Straight Up – Ty Dolla $ign, feat. Jagged Edge
    • Ty Dolla $ign is one of my current favorites in general, but this is the track I keep coming back to.
  • 1Hunnid – K CAMP, feat. Fetty Wap
    • I heard this song once and added it to my playlist, and then I kind of forgot about it. So every time it came on shuffle, I just skipped it because the first few seconds irritated me for some reason. Then one day I got past the first few and into the actual song and remembered why I added it in the first place.
  • In My Room – Yellow Claw, feat. DJ Mustard, Ty Dolla $ign, & Tyga)
    • I really haven’t gotten into anything else by Yellow Claw, but like I already mentioned, I just love Ty Dolla $ign so this song stuck out to me.
  • Make Love – Chris Brown
    • I love Chris Brown. A LOT. This song reminds me of Boyz II Men or R. Kelly (pre- Trapped in the Closet, if you know what I’m sayin’) — old school R&B. His new album is all good, but this is one of those songs I find myself singing with a pretend microphone, which in my world is kind of like winning a Grammy, so…
  • All the Ways – Wet
    • This is one of those songs that I’m guilty of listening to on repeat for an obscene amount of time. It’s just that good.
  • Sober – Selena Gomez
    • Fun fact: I’ve always had love for Selena Gomez. I legitimately enjoyed watching Wizards of Waverly Place with the girl I nannied, and I’ve always thought she was talented musically and her songs were catchy. This new album though… Selena grew up. And I am loving it.
  • Hands to Myself – Selena Gomez
    • see above. Plus, I never knew I wanted to be described as “metaphorical gin & juice” until I heard this song.
  • Promise – Kid Ink, feat. Fetty Wap
    • I’m going to be honest with you guys, I like basically any song Fetty Wap is on. I tried to convince myself that I just liked him ironically, but no, I genuinely like pretty much everything he does.
  • Lay It All On Me – Rudimental, feat. Ed Sheeran, Big Sean, & Vic Mensa
    • I loved the song Feel the Love by Rudimental, but that was all I really listened to by them, so I was really excited when I discovered this song. Plus, I think Ed Sheeran is so talented, and I love when he dabbles in hip hop (whether it be covers as I mentioned earlier or features on songs like this). Speaking of, if you haven’t heard Old School Love, stop reading this and go listen right now. Just remember to come back when you’re done 😉
  • New Level – A$AP Ferg, feat. Future
    • This is my most recent discovery, and I can’t get enough of it.
  • Throwback of the month: Let Me Love You – Mario
    • This song came out when I was in high school, and I still find myself listening to it on a pretty regular basis… The fact that it came out over 10 years ago makes me feel like a dinosaur though.

Apparently I was feelin’ quite a few songs this month! New year, new music 😛

What are your current favorite songs or artists? Let me know in the comments!

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Skincare: After-Hours Edition

Hi friends!

Sundays can be simultaneously my favorite and least favorite day of the week; brunch, mimosas, football, and relaxation are some of my favorite things, but there’s always that little feeling of disappointment knowing that the weekend is coming to an end. In order to be sure I’m greeting Monday and the start of a new week with a fresh face and my best foot forward, I’m always extra-careful to make sure I do my entire nighttime skin care routine on Sunday evenings. This is one of my favorite ways to relax at the end of the any day, but I especially enjoy it on Sundays. Now, don’t get me wrong, there are many evenings when I have to force myself to go into the bathroom and take my makeup off instead of getting right in bed… especially on those really good makeup days when I’m just not ready to take my makeup off yet! But it is so important to remove makeup every night and find a skincare regimen that works for you. Aside from a couple of products, in the past couple of months I feel like I have finally found my ideal regimen. So, here it is!

After Hours Skincare Products
After Hours Skincare Products

For reference: I would consider my skin type to be normal/combination. I get oily in my t-zone, experience very occasional dry patches, and I do also experience mild hormonal breakouts.

STEP 1: Remove eye makeup with Sonia Kashuk Makeup Remover & a cotton pad for each eye. This is my favorite eye makeup remover without a doubt. I have tried a few here and there, but this really does the job for me and I’ve just never felt the need to stray 😉

STEP 2: Remove face makeup and remaining eye makeup with a makeup remover wipe. The brand changes just about every month because I love trying different wipes, but the Neutrogena Makeup Remover Wipes are my ride or dies for sure.

STEP 3: Use Simple Micellar Water or Bioderma (or another micellar water) on a cotton pad to remove final traces. This may seem like overkill, but I always find that I still have makeup lingering after the first 2 steps, so I just like to take this extra step to ensure I’m getting as much of my makeup off as possible. I don’t see much of a difference between the 2 that I have used. Since Bioderma has to be ordered online and the Simple brand can be purchased in Target, I might gravitate a little more toward the Simple brand for solely this reason.

STEP 4: Wash my face with Korres Greek Yoghurt Foaming Cream Cleanser. This is a new step (I was using Origins Checks & Balances Frothy Face Wash before which I now reserve for the mornings). But guys. This stuff smells amazing. I got it as a sample from a Sephora order a few weeks ago, and I kid you not: when I began lathering it on my face, I said “What? Yep. This will work. Wow. This smells so good.” OUT LOUD. Alone in my bathroom. I had a moment. Go smell this right now. Then, I happened to text Ann-Alecia (she’s the fellow makeup junkie I’ve mentioned before) about it and she told me it’s the face wash she uses, so that was all I needed to hear. I ordered it. Obviously. As I said, it is new to my regimen so I can’t give a full recommendation, but thus far it seems to get the job done.

STEP 5: Apply my Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Framboos™ Glycolic Night Serum. That’s a mouthful, I know. This is HOLY.GRAIL.STATUS, without a doubt. It’s expensive. I’m not going to sugarcoat that. But it is so worth it. I have noticed an improvement in skin tone and texture, and I especially notice a difference when I DON’T use it. I’m on my second bottle of it, and I have a third one chilling in my drawer just waiting to be used so that I literally don’t have to go a night without this stuff.

STEP 6: Apply my Murad Rapid Age Spot and Pigment Lightening Serum. One of my main skin concerns these days is evening out my skin tone and getting rid of redness and some other discoloration. I’m about halfway through my first bottle of this serum, and I’m not sold. I don’t hate it, but I don’t love it. I have heard many good things about a similar product from Kiehl’s, so I think I will try that once this bottle runs out and compare the results. I have noticed some improvement with this product, but it’s certainly nothing to write home about for me, and I likely will not repurchase it.

STEP 7: Apply one of two facial oils. The 2 I currently have are the Drunk Elephant Virgin Marula Luxury Facial Oil and the Sunday Riley Artemis Oil. I alternate between these 2 kind of whenever I feel like it; which one I use just depends on how I’m feeling that night. Of the 2, I prefer the Drunk Elephant one and am more likely to repurchase that one (I’m actually on my 2nd bottle). Artemis is very heavy and definitely has an organic, earthy scent. The scent does not bother me nearly as much as I have seen some reviewers say, but it certainly doesn’t smell like flowers. For how expensive these oils are, I honestly don’t know that I will repurchase either when these bottles run out. As I mentioned, I would not mind repurchasing the Drunk Elephant oil, but I don’t love it enough to not explore other facial oils before I go back to it. And as far as Artemis is concerned, this will be my only bottle; it just didn’t do enough for me to justify the price tag (and the scent).

STEP 8: Apply my First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream. A moisturizer after a facial oil seems redundant, but during these winter months I have felt as though my skin has been needing the extra moisture. When I follow the oil with a moisturizer, my skin is awake and fresh when I wake up in the morning, not dull and dry. This is my favorite nighttime moisturizer; it is thick but it sinks right into the skin. I toyed with the idea of trying a different nighttime moisturizer when I decided to add this step back into my routine, but I decided to trust the age-old advice, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”.

Aside from exploring the world of facial oils more in the future and trying the Kiehl’s dark spot corrector, the only step I feel my skincare routine could benefit from would be an eye cream. I have bags and lines under my eyes like you wouldn’t believe, but I’ve just never seen results from an eye cream so I always eventually just stop applying one. Any suggestions for a life-changing nighttime eye cream?!

What is your after-hours skincare routine? Is there anything you think I should add or try? Let me know :)

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