The Reason Behind the Blog.

January 2017 I was at an all time low. I had left the career that I loved so much as a nurse behind, to focus solely on me and my health. Something I’ve never been good at. Historically I always put myself behind others. Making sure everyone else has their needs met before my own. I don’t know why, but I do. At that point I needed something, something I could throw myself into. Something to focus my time on. So I started my personal journey to finding something I enjoyed and something that could make me feel happy again. I wasn’t sure what that would be but knew it was essential for me so I could crawl out of the deep hole I found myself in.

So a little over a year ago I started exploring my options of things I could really throw myself I to. And nothing was really catching my attention. I tried volunteering and that wasn’t a fit. So I came back to an idea I had been throwing around for quite some time. It seemed far fetched and I figured it would never amount to much. But I wanted to try it. I wanted to give BLOGGING a try. For many years I had said I was a “blogger,” but really all I was doing was journaling in an online forum. Yes, it was a good outlet. But I wanted more. I wanted my blogs to help others. I wanted to provide the world with Information, inspiration and truth! I wanted to be able to share my opinions on issues that really mattered to me and be heard. Even if it was only by three or four people, I wanted to try.

So I spent many days researching and looking at other blogs. And then many more days figuring out how to set my blog up. Finally after spending a couple of weeks working behind the scenes I put up my first blog. It didn’t go viral and wasn’t seen by thousands. Or even hundreds for that matter. But I enjoyed it. And I had a lot of ideas for topics I wanted to cover. So I just kept cranking out the content and praying that I would find a way to get my work seen by more. I felt like if my work could even help just one person then I had done my job!

My sole purpose when I started this blog was to spread information to others about conditions they may not have ever heard of. While also providing people, with the conditions I write about, more knowledge on their health. And also encouraging everyone to be their own advocate. I feel that knowledge is POWER! As patients the best thing we can do for ourself is to be educated on our bodies and our health. And to stand up for ourselves while acting as our own advocate. And I hoped that through my blog people will gain more knowledge and power.

Over the last year I have researched many topics that I knew a little about, but not enough. I have collaborated with several other great small businesses and have slowly grown my following. My blog gets on average about 300 visits a month. Which in the grand scheme is not huge, but I am happy with it. I am still working to grow my following so I can get information to more people all over the world. And always looking for new content to provide my readers. While doing all that is important, the most important thing that has come from starting the blog, is finding a passion. When I started writing I didn’t think this would amount to anything. But that’s far from the truth. In the process I have realized how much I love writing and getting knowledge into the hands of the people who need it most! The blog has given me something to pour myself in on days when I’m down about my current situation. As much as this site has been helpful to others, it’s been just as much help to me!!

With Love,

Amber

Finding Self Acceptance

In general a person’s feeling of belonging starts with self acceptance! In fact a person’s level of belonging, can never be greater than your level of acceptance. This helps you to believe that you’re enough and also gives you the courage to be authentic, vulnerable, and imperfect!

Finding a feeling of belonging is hard and sometimes almost impossible until you can find a way to accept yourself. But how does one go about finding self-acceptance!?!? Since this is an issues I also struggle with, I wanted to do some research and find some tips that might help one find self-acceptance. The list below is what I found helpful and hope that this might be helpful in finding your self-acceptance.

1. Celebrate your strengths by writing them down.

2. Consider the people around you and if they are beneficial to you.

3. Find a support system.

4. Forgive yourself.

5. Find a way to quiet your inner critic.

6. Realize that acceptance is not resignation.

7. Speak to your highest self.

8. Be kind to yourself.

9. When all else fails, fake it till you make it!

I know that personally over the last several years I have really struggled with where I fit and where I belong. It’s hard to find a friend group where you fit in because most people who aren’t sick either don’t care to figure out what’s going on in your life. Or don’t care to figure out where you are In their life. And you can’t help but to assume that they are walking away or turning their back because of something you did. When in all honesty it has nothing to do with you. I also have struggled to find my place in the career realm of my life. When I was in nursing school and if someone had told me I would work for ten years as an RN, and then become too Ill to work, I would have laughed at them. But that’s where I am, I am no longer working in the medical field. Instead I’m selling makeup to pay my bills, which I could never have imagined.

I have been using the tools I listed above over the last year. During that time I have found a way to accept myself for what I am and where I am in this show called life. And by doing those things I am slowly starting to figure out where I belong in this world. I have found a great group of ladies who support me in the least likely of places, in online support groups. I have also found way to bring in money and pay my bills without asking for any help from anyone. This hasn’t been a quick process. It’s taken a long time to figure out for myself. Another big tip I have for anyone who is struggling with finding self acceptance or finding where you belong is to use that time to try out new things you think would be a good hobby. If you always wanted to crochet learn to crochet. And once you are confident in your skills you could start making hats for newborns and donate them to the hospital. Or if you like to read you join a book club. In doing things like that you will not only be finding a place to belong but also self-acceptance!

I hope and pray that you can use some of the tactic I’ve discussed and find the areas where you belong and can find self-acceptance.

With Love,

Amber

Setting Goals For The New Year!!

Happy NEW YEAR Friends!!! I can’t help but sit here and reflect on all the things that happened in 2017. There were ups and there were downs, sadly this year was full of downs and not so many ups. But that’s just life. The world throws all sorts of things at us all the time and it’s how we deal it that really matters!!! I also can’t help but think about what I want out of 2018. I won’t be setting resolutions because I seem to never follow through. So this year I will be setting goals. Both short term and long term goals so I have something to always be working on. And I want to share with you how I set my goals.

When I set goals I use the acronym SMART to set them.

S- Specific – what exactly you want to accomplish. What is you want to do. For me a specific goal would be that I want to do some sort of exercise for 10min 1-3 Times a week.

M- Measurable – This means how you are going to measure your accomplishments and how you will know when this goal has been achieved. For example, if your goal is to make $10,000, make sure you have a time frame. I want to make $10,000 by December 31 so it is measurable.

A- Achievable – Make sure you set goal that are achievable and not so far in left field that it will never happen. (For example, don’t set the goal to run a full marathon in three months when you can’t run 100ft currently. A more achievable goal would be to say you will walk/run a 5K by the end of summer.)

R- Realistic – Make sure your goal is something you can actually do. For example, setting a goal to become president of the United States for most people would not be realistic. A goal of become a local representative or sitting on city council. That would be more realistic.

T-Timely- This one is the easiest. Simply when do you want to accomplish your goal? One month? Three months? A year?

I’ll give you an example of a smart goal. I want to start exercising 1-3 times a week for at least ten minutes, by doing yoga or walking in the house (too cold right now to be outside). I want to be doing this in full by March 1st!

That is just an example. But I have several long term and short term goals that I will be working on. Another bit of advice I have for you is to write your goals in a place you will see them. For me, my goals often are out of sight out of mind. So I will write them on a dry erase board that I see every day. You could even write them on a mirror you use everyday. Just put them somewhere so you can be reminded of them daily.

I can’t say that I’m sad to see 2017 go. It was one of the harder years I’ve had with all the health issues I have had. And losing the ability to drive due to my health has really been hard. I feel like I’m 15 again and have to ask someone to take me everywhere. I know many of you have had a rough year as well so we are going to take 2018 and make it ours. I am going to do everything in my power to make this a positive year both with my business, and in my personal life. And I encourage you to do the same!!! Set goals, and use them as a point to work toward. I feel like if we don’t have something to work toward we become stagnant. For us spoonies it is so easy to focus on the negative. We have so many bad days and get bad news often. But if we can focus on something positive, Life might be a little more positive. I know you are thinking that it is easier said than done, but it will really make a difference. I will be honest I get stuck one the bad things all the time. But this year I am going to work on being positive!!! And I am here to help you with your goals if you need me to and help encourage you along the way!!

Feel free to share some of your goals in the comments. If you share your goals with others I feel that you are more likely to work to accomplish them! So share with us!! I hope and pray that all of you can make 2018 a positive year!

With Love,

Amber

The Power of Perpetual Thanksgiving

It is always an interesting thing to me when November rolls around and I start seeing the inevitable “no-shave November”, National Adoption month,  and Lung Cancer Awareness month memes all over my social media. Did you also happen to know that November holds the illustrious marker as Adopt a Senior Pet Awareness Month, National Pepper Month, and (definitely not in order of importance…) Sweet Potato Awareness month? Who knew?

Among all these awareness titles, most often I come across the proverbial “30 days of thanks” in honor of Thanksgiving; and while I am thankful (pun intended) that this is a ‘thing’, I am also sad that it’s a thing seemingly only when we have a holiday to celebrate it. Because the truth of the matter is, thanksgiving is much more potent when we celebrate it every month, every day, even yes… hourly. In fact, I would argue that thanksgiving is perhaps one of the most important things we can do to keep ourselves happy and healthy- emotionally, spiritually, and psychologically!

Thanksgiving (not the holiday) is not something to celebrate just once a year- it is a mindset… no, better yet… a HEARTset that we should celebrate and exercise all the time.

Study after study, from the medical world down to spiritual gurus, holy books, and psychiatrists alike show that an attitude of thanks is hugely beneficial to one’s health. As a Jesus-lovin’ Christian I wholeheartedly agree!

It is easy to give thanks when life is good and pleasant. Things are going well. The proverbial “Attitude of Gratitude” is easy when the going is smooth. But what about when the goin’ gets tough?

The truly tough get to celebrating thanksgiving.

There is NEVER nothing to be thankful for… never. Often some of the most harrowing stories of martyrs or trials and tribulations have the brightest examples of people choosing thanksgiving over desperation or worry.

Yes, we have a choice. We can choose fear, anxiety, worry, frustration, sadness, etc over so very many things. Bills are coming due, a child is having trouble in school, our personal life is fraught with turmoil, our bodies are not cooperating or working the way we’d like. Yes… all these things are real. They are here, they affect us greatly. And yet, there is always something to be grateful for. Always.

One of my favorite Bible verses right now is in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NIV) “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” I love that God’s WILL for me is to simply rejoice and give thanks in ALL circumstances. The good, the bad, and the ugly.

Today I want to challenge you to take a minute and take a look around. Are you in a low place or a high point? Make note of it.

Now take this verse to heart. In ALL circumstances choose an attitude of thanksgiving… seek out and find reasons to be thankful. Look for opportunities, however small, to show and tell and express thanks. It may be as simple as being able to take a breath without pain, or being alive for the day, listening to birds outside, or watching the snow fall- after all, not many of us are winning the lottery everyday! But I promise you’ll be surprised at how much your heart is lightened by the change in perspective with the attitude alteration. There is power in the habit of perpetual thanksgiving! I encourage you to get into the habit today and everyday!

Living Intentionally Fearlessly Truthfully

I pray blessing over you and encourage you to LIFT today!

~Bethany

Bethany L. Douglas

Christian, Wife, Mom, Nurse, Author, Speaker

Find me at www.bethanyldouglas.com

I pray you are blessed and able to LIFT today!

Gift Guide For The Chronically Ill

Christmas time is upon us and gift buying is always a struggle. Not just for us, but also for those who are buying for us. So I took some time and put together a gift guide for those struggling with chronic illness!!

I’ve chosen everything that is under $75.00, and can all be found either on Amazon or online. I will let you know where each item can be found.

First let’s start with one of my (and my fellow spoonie friends) favorites.

1. The Throw Blanket – Not only is it gorgeous, but it keeps us warm. This specific blanket comes in 24 different colors and is available in Twin and Throw size!

Where can I find it: Amazon.com

Price: $23.99 – $29.99

One of a Spoonies biggest problem at night is not being able to get comfortable. So the next item helps with just that.

2. The U-Shaped Body Pillow – this pillow will provide comfort and support for all parts of your body. (Yes, it also works during pregnancy)

Where can I find it: Amazon.com

Price: $42.95

3. The Heated Throw

Along that same line here is a great option for a heated blanket that does more than keep us warm. It will help tremendously with pain.

This specific Throw is a best seller and Sunbeam is the best selling manufacturer. This model is comes in multiple colors and has a lighted control

Where can I find it: Amazon.com

Price: $34.99

This is another option for a heated blanket. This one pictured is twin sized (however you can find them in queen and king size as well) and is perfect not just for you. This option (in twin size) will also be a hit with your spouse if they don’t want to sleep with a heated blanket. It features a foot control and an automatic 10 hour shut off.

Where can I find it: Amazon.com

Price: $52- $62

While we are on the topic of heat. Let’s take a look at a heating pad.

4. The heating pad- these are good when you have an area that needs heat but you don’t want to lay under a full sized heated throw.

Where can I find it: Amazon.com

Price: $16.37

There is nothing better than a soft and comfy robe to wear around the house. Which brings us to our next gift idea

5. Robe – This is a microfiber fleece hotel spa robe with pockets. This particular robe is One Size Fits All and comes in 10 different colors.

Where can I find it: Amazon.com

Price: $34.89

Another great idea for Spoonies is the perfect pair of lounge/ sweat pants/leggings. It’s important that nothing is too tight, because depending on the condition tight clothes can make things worse.

Leggings are a big hit among most Spoonies bc they are soft and feel good on the skin.

6. Leggings – these come in 10 color options and have a 4.5 start rating.

Where can I find it: Kohl’s/Kohl’s.com

Price: $14.99 (currently on sale from original price of $20.00)

Women’s Plus Size Leggings also at Kohl’s on sale for $17.99, regular Price $24.00

Spoonies in general deal with being cold and having cold extremities. So the next item is perfect for that

7. Warm Socks- This specific item is a 5 pack of thick knit wool. They come in 6 different color options.

Where can I find it: Amazon.com

Price: $12.99

8. Maybe my most favorite item on the list. Bath bombs!! These particular Bath bombs come in packages of six, are Vegan and made with essential oils.

Where can I find it: Amazon.com

Price: $17.95

9. Foot Spa – This vibrating foot spa comes with foot controls, so there is no bending over to turn it on and off. And comes with one attachment. And it’s just what your feet nee after a long day!! These are also great to use if you are doing home pedicures with the kids or young adult in your life.

Where can I find it: Amazon.com, Walmart

Price: $17.69

The next item goes right along with the previous two. But this not only feels good but it helps to ease sore muscles.

10. It may not be a fun gift but it’s practical. Epsom Salt makes taking a bath when you are in pain so much more pleasant. Always a good gift for a spoonie.

Where can i find it: Amazon.com, Walmart it most pharmacies.

Price: $15.99 (However, prices will vary depending on kind, size of bag and where it is purchased.)

Now that we’ve covered the big items, let’s talk about a few stocking stuffers.

11. Adult Coloring Book- Who doesn’t love to color and it’s been proven that it’s a good way to relieve stress!!

Where can I find it: Barnes & Noble, Walmart, Amazon, most book stores

Price: $8.99

If you are buying an Adult Coloring Book then the next item is a MUST HAVE!!

12. Markers!! You have to have a way to color your book and these dual tip brush pens are AMAZING!!

Where can I find them: Amazon, Walmart, Art Stores, any where markers are sold.

Price: $12.99

**the set pictured is found on Amazon**

13. Mani Moo Hair Ties- These hair ties are no crease and no pain. So if you have someone in your Life with headaches these are a MUST have!!

Where can I find it: Amazon.com

Price: 10.00/6 Hair Ties

14. Gift Cards: Gift cards are always a good stocking stuffer. Whether they are to A store or a restaurant, they will give your friend or family a good reason to get out of the house!!

Where can I find it: Any store, restaurant or online shop!

Price: Varies

When you have a lot of pain in your hands and use your phone a lot this next item is a MUST!

15. Popsockets- Not only do these make it easier to hold your phone when your hands hurt. They also make great stocking stuffer ideas. They come in all kinds of designs and you even have the option to create your own!!

Where can I find it: Popsocket.com, Amazon, and many other retailers.

Price: $10-20

16. The Eye/Sleep mask- This will be a great gift for anyone with migraines or who just have problems sleeping. I provided two price options for this gift.

1. The Spa Collection Mask is a great gift bc it allows for heat or cold to be an option. It also comes in two colors.

Where can I find it: Bed Bath and Beyond

Price: 24.99

1. This option is just the plain basic option but completes the same task of keeping the light out of ones eyes. I find it helpful to keep one like this in my hospital bag in case I lose it.

Where can i Find it: Bed Bath and Beyond

Price: $6.99

I hope this gift guide provides you with some ideas for your Chronically Ill friends or family. May you all have a Merry Christmas and happy shopping!!

Amber

Raising Awareness of Invisible Illness 

Invisble illness, invisible disability……. To those who don’t have one, most would assume that it’s in your head. Thus invisible. However, this so far from the truth An Invisible Ilness is an illness that cannot be seen outwardly.  So for instance; Migraines, Lupus, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Kidney Disease, thyroid disease, Heart disease, arthritis, fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, or Chronic Pain. This list goes on forever!!  Invisible illnesses could even include mental illnesses. You can’t and most of the time will never see mental illness outwardly. They are conditions that can not be seen by just looking at someone. They are conditions that may be wreaking havoc on a person internally but you would never know because they may or may not be showing any signs outwardly. The Invisble Disabilities Association has deemed October 15, 2017 – October 21,2017 to be Invisoble Disabilitoes Week Online. A week to celebrate if you will, or bring conditions like these to the forefront. So let’s do just that. 
When you see someone in their thirties get out of a car they just parked in a handicap spot. What’s your first thought? For most I would almost guarantee it’s not “Oh how sad, I wonder what condition has made them disabled!”  For most it is probably more along the lines of “Look at that fat lazy girl taking up a handicap spot. I bet that tag belongs to her grandma or somethings!”  Now, don’t get me wrong not everyone thinks that way. But I know a large amount of people do. I have even caught myself at times thinking things I shouldn’t. Sadly in this day in age it just seems like second nature.  People don’t automatically assume that their may be a reason that a 32 year old slightly overweight female has some big bad illness because on the outside other than maybe a limp or the look of exhaustion on her face you don’t see anything wrong.  

    According To Everyday Health,  “But for the millions of people who are living with arthritis, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, and other forms of pain that are “invisible illnesses,” explaining what’s wrong is another side effect of their condition. Not only do you have to put up with challenging, often painful, and sometimes debilitating conditions every day, but on top of that, you may have to face skepticism from people — friends, family, and co-workers, as well as strangers — who don’t understand what’s wrong with you.”

    So what do you do to get past the skepticism and the non-believers? Do you put up bumper stickers with a list or your conditions? Or wear a T-shirt that says something along the lines of “Yes, I’m really sick? No!  Because you can’t change the way people think.  All we can do is pass on awareness to our friends and family. And even the people who follow us on social media. The only way we will ever get past the way people who view those of us with invisible illness is awareness. 

    Awareness can come in many forms. For me Blog. I can get my information out to larger volumes of people by blogging. I also use My social media accounts as platforms to spread awareness. Do people get tired of it? I’m sure! But we have to spread awareness for the Invisiblem Illnessea that are touching our families and friends. Should we shove it down peoples throats? Absolutely not, people aren’t going to change!  Some people will always think we are just lazy. And you know what we have to be okay with that bc we can’t change anyone else. 

    So help me help us this week by spreading awareness of Invisible Illness. One way we can do so this week is to change the frame on our face book profile picture to one that says I live with an Invisible Illness for the week. That just might open some eyes for people around you!!  The Huff Post posted this graphic and it feels like the perfect way to end this blog. But should you have any questions or anything please reach out!  

    Go out and spread awareness of your Invisible Illness/Disability!

    https://www.everydayhealth.com/pain-management/invisible-illness-when-others-cant-see-your-pain.aspx

    https://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/8178886

    Have You Laughed Lately?

    Maintaining a sense of humor when you have a chronic illness is vital.

    Roses Are Red Violets are Blue,

    You have a Chronic Disease, the joke is one you…

    Well, except it is not a joke. It is no laughing matter. We face challenges on a daily basis that would cripple most; we are forced to make decisions and then live with those decisions that are not always pleasant. Yet in spite of this, we keep going and are a pretty amazing group. There are days when laughing or trying to find something to laugh about is impossible. Which is why, that is the most important moment to find something to laugh about. “A day without laughter is a day wasted,” according to Charlie Chaplain. Let us explore what that means in the context of chronic illness.

    Maintaining a sense of humor when you have a chronic illness is vital. We all know that after a while that sense of humor gets cynical, and sometimes a little sick in the head. As a demographic, we are more likely to suffer from depression. While this will not eliminate depression, it will lighten those moments or give us a brief reprieve when at that moment all seems dark.

    You know that friend that always has the “cure” for your disease. Drink the boiled warts of wild boar, mixed with two teaspoons of lemon juice, a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar, mix in the ash of the death star, and when all done add to a triple green smoothie of kale, spinach, and broccoli and you will be magically healed. Oh, you thought that orange creamsicle smoothie was good? No, change that to a triple green of kale, spinach, and broccoli, add the powder of one dried beet, and drink when the rooster crows at dawn. It is pure magic; the immune system will heal itself. Wait….. no don’t wait.

    Go on, admit it, we all have that one friend that will give us that magic cure to help us. They may have the best intentions, but the eye roll just came out didn’t it? You can admit it.

    Do you have that go to tv show or movie? What about that friend that makes you laugh? We know that humor makes us feel better physically and emotionally. So the next time you are feeling down, or depressed, play with your puppy, cat, rabbit, or pet; find that YouTube video, call a friend, put on a show, or just make yourself laugh. Even the physical act of smiling releases those happy little endorphins. Never underestimate the glorious feeling of joy as that laughter rips through your belly as you lose control…. Just don’t pee your pants because you were laughing so hard. Oooops, some of us can’t help that.

    “ I have not seen anyone dying of laughter, but I know of millions who are dying because they are not laughing.” Dr. Kataria

    Find beauty within- Do You!!!  Makeup Haul!

    Now you might be wondering why I would include cosmetics, beauty products and makeup on this blog. The answer is simple. I feel it’s important that we all feel good about ourselves when our disease processes often make us feel so terrible. And if you are anything like me, most days unless I’m going somewhere, makeup or skin care is the least of my worries.

     I recently read somewhere though that changed my way of  thinking. I read that even if you are home in your sweats and you are a person who wears makeup normally, you should put on a little. Even if it’s just the basics. At first I thought it was hogwash and just a way for cosmetic company’s to make more money. But then I tried it. And most days it works. On days that I’m home and feel bad if I’ll at least put on my moisturizer, some mascara and some lip gloss and most of the time it will perk me up a little bit. There is something about laying around in your Jammie’s looking like a ragamuffin for days that can really bring down your sense of self and how you feel about yourself. So in the last few months I have been doing that most days. And I feel like it helps so much. So I really recommend that you try it. It doesn’t have to be a full face, maybe just your moisturizer, mascara and something on your lips. And nothing says it had to be the expensive stuff. Lord knows my makeup isn’t the high quality stuff. Just use what you like and have on hand.  To make you feel better about you. When so many days we feel so bad about ourselves. 

    I know there will be some that read this and say that lady is just playing into the industry about how a women had to wear makeup to be beautiful!!  Ohhhhh so far from it. If you only knew me. I don’t believe you have to wear cosmetics to be beautiful.  My sister for instance is one of the most beautiful people I know, inside and out. And most days you won’t find an ounce of makeup on her face. But she takes care of her skin by using moisturizers and cleansers. And that’s what makes her feel beautiful. That’s really all I’m saying. Don’t let your disease take your beauty away from you. Whatever it is you do to make you feel pretty and confident, THAT is what you should keep doing!!! YOU BE YOU!!!! 

    Now on to my most recent makeup haul! I purchased a couple products from ULTA and got all the rest as a gift. So let’s dive right in. 

    We will start with what I actually purchased first. 

    First is the Ulta setting spray. Being that I’m really pretty new into this makeup game I knew I needed a setting spray but didn’t know where to start. I did know that I was tired of my makeup rubbing off on everything I touched to my face.  So I thought I’d start here. And I’ve been very happy. It’s a very light spray that I apply at the end of all my other makeup. And the best part it smells really great. Ok, so maybe that’s not the best part but I really enjoy the smell. Each time I’ve used it I’ve been very pleased that my makeup “look” has lasted all day (10+ hours) and doesn’t come off on my phone anymore. I would definitely recommend this product and will buy again. 

    Next is the Ulta Brightening Serum With Vitamin C. I wasn’t completely sure what I was getting when I bought this but I LOVE it. It’s very light, I apply it in the morning before my moisturizer and the rest of my face. And then again at bedtime. I don’t always put moisturizer on top at bedtime. This product is so smooth and leaves my face feeling silly smooth.  It’s so far the best product in this category I have bought. And I will be buying over and over again!

    It leaves my face looking fresh and almost dewy on its own. It’s my go to product on those days when I only want to put on one or two things. Great product. 

    Now onto the gifts I received from Ulta after my above purchases

    This is probably my least favorite product of the bunch. These are pre-moistened pads for eye makeup remover. I was teally excited to try them as I feel like my eye makeup is often the hardest to remove. However, I did not like the product once I tried them. I felt the pads were to moist and got everywhere. Even after trying to squeeze them out. And the liquid on the pads actually hurt my eyes. Maybe I don’t use them correctly but it seems impossible not to get a little in your eyes. And when that happens my eyes burn. They may work for some people but for me they did not.  Not a product I will be buying in the future. 

    Next are these beautiful colors for your checks. I will admit I never wear anything on my cheeks bc they are always red due to my lupus. And I’m

    Not good with blush vs highlighted.  (Like I said earlier this makeup business is pretty new to me). At any rate, I love these colors. I have been using the French Glow, which I’m thinking is more of a highlighter, and it’s beautiful. It takes some of the natural redness out of my cheeks and just gives me a really soft pretty glow!!  Another product I will buy in the future. 

    On to this awesome eye shadow pallet. These colors are amazing. I didn’t get to pick them, but they are the colors I wear most with the exception of one. I have enjoyed this pallet. The colors are nicely pigmented and I don’t feel like I have to cake a ton on to get the look I’m going for. Very easy to layer and blend!!! 

    Two of the three products Pictured here I love. The other isn’t for me. I had never really used any eye shadow primer and man I didn’t know what I was missing. The Ulta Beauty Nude Matte primer has been a game changer. It’s amazing that I can apply my eye makeup in the morning and it’s still in place and not all face by the end of the day!! What a difference it has made in my makeup game. The Ulta Beauty Amped Lashes Mascara is phenomenal!  I have really blonde lashes that you can hardly see, and with this mascara my lashes look full and voluptuous!!  The product that hasn’t been for me is the Ulta Beauty Medium Brow Tint. Like is said about my lashes my brows are also very very light. When I applied this tint it felt like it was WAY to dark and looked out of place on my brows. Not to say a different shade wouldn’t work better.  But for now the medium tint is much to dark.

    Last but not least is this beautiful lip color, Ulta Beauty Matte Petal. When I first pulled it out of the package I thought. No way that’s wat to Dark I can never pull that off. Because I geberaly wear different variations of pink. But I tried it and LOVED it. My only complaint is that it doesn’t last very long. It seems like I am having to reapply within an hour or so. And I don’t have time to be reapplying lipstick all the time. Love the color just needs to be longer lasting. 

    Here is a picture of the whole haul! Great products overall. And a line I would definitely recommend!!

    The one thing I want you to get out of this blog isn’t necessarily about the makeup, although finding a new product to try is exciting. I want to to remember to DO YOU. Whatever that is. Do whatever makes you feel pretty. It doesn’t matter whether anyone else thinks you look gorgeous or not. It’s all about how you feel. And how it makes you feel on the inside.  So find a routine that works for you and make you feel pretty. That’s the takeaway. 

    ‘People often say that “beauty is in the eye of the beholder”, and I say that the most liberating thing about beauty is realising that you are the beholder. This empowers us to find beauty in places where others have not dared to look, including inside ourselves.’ Salma Hayek

    Leave me a comment letting me know what makes you feel beautiful.  I can not wait to read them!

    Xoxo, Amber 
    *if you enjoy this types of blogs let me know. I may do more. 

    A Little Inspiration 

    Periodically I receive emails of inspiration from a dear friend that really hit home. She sent me this and I just felt compelled  to share.   Hope this touches someone like it did me!!!  

    GOD LOVES YOU

    ​Sometimes when we are going through difficult times, we can think that God does not notice, or care. But there is encouragement for us in the Bible, and especially in the Psalms, that He does care for us and love us. For example, in Psalm 40: “I waited patiently for the LORD; and He inclined to me, and heard my cry. He also brought me up out of a horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my steps. And He has put a new song in my mouth–praise to our God; many shall see it, and fear, and will trust in the LORD.” (Psalm 40:1-3)

    ​The thoughts of others can be an encouragement to us as well. One of my favorite poets / hymn-writers is Annie Johnson Flint, and here is one of her best-loved poems:

     

    GOD’S KIND CARE

     

    God has not promised 

    Skies always blue,

    Flower-strewn pathways,

    All our lives thro’;

    God has not promised

    Sun without rain,

    Joy without sorrow,

    Peace without pain.

     

    God has not promised

    We shall not know

    Toil and temptation,

    Trouble and woe;

    He has not told us

    We shall not bear

    Many a burden,

    Many a care.

     

    God has not promised

    Smooth roads and wide,

    Swift, easy travel,

    Needing no guide;

    Never a mountain,

    Rocky and steep,

    Never a river

    Turbid and deep.

     

    But God has promised

    Strength for the day,

    Rest for the labor,

    Light for the way,

    Grace for the trials,

    Help from above,

    Unfailing sympathy,

    Undying love.

     ​Let these thoughts encourage us that God is there, and that He loves us, and knows what we are going through.

    And a few simple quotes below they might give you courage.  Or give you the strength yoh need for the day. A simple quote may seem like only words to some but to others they can change a life. 

    “If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do – you have to keep moving forward.”
    Martin Luther King

    “Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says I’ll try again tomorrow.”
    Mary Anne Radmacher

    “If opening your eyes, or getting out of bed, or holding a spoon, or combing your hair is the daunting Mount Everest you climb today, that is okay.”
    Carmen Ambrosio

    “One can never consent to creep when one feels an impulse to soar.”
    Hellen Keller

    “Love bravely, live bravely, be courageous. There’s really nothing to lose. There’s no wrong you can’t make right again.”
    Jewel Kilcher

    “Ever tried? Ever failed? No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.”
    Samuel Beckett

    “If you are going through hell, keep going.”
    Winson Churchill

    “Perhaps our eyes need to be washed by our tears once in a while, so that we can see life with a clearer view again.”
    Alex Tan

    “Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.”
    Confuscious

    “Never, never, never give up.”
    Winston Churchill

    I hope you enjoyed this and got something from this. Maybe it gave you hope, or courage. Or maybe just a reminder that God is always there no matter the trial we are going through.  Whatever you took from this I hope it helps you in some way! 

    ** If you enjoyed this blog post and would like me to do more. Or if you have a topic you would like to see me blog about,  please leave me a comment here, on twitter/Facebook or IG. 
    -Amber