how to ACTUALLY prevent breakouts

I never really struggled with acne, but I get multiple breakouts a month, which can be so frustrating. They always pop out at the worst times. With the school year starting, stress can be a big factor in the breakouts I get. There are always some things you can do to prevent them, though.

Today, I have 4 tips that have really helped me.

Change your pillow covers often!!
This is a big one for me. Sleeping on the same pillow everyday can cause tons of bacteria and oils to get on your face. If you don’t have multiple pillow covers or time to wash them a lot, I suggest getting 2 facial towels and putting those on your pillows at night. That’s what I do. They are the perfect size to cover my whole towel, and I can easily wash them at the end of the week, without much hassle.

Drink lots of water
An app that might help you with this is Plant Nanny. This app is the reason I started drinking 85 oz a day, and I have seen a huge difference in my skin. Water will keep your skin hydrated, and it will flush out the bad oils. It is definitely a must.

Wash your face everyday (and moisturize)
This is so so important. I have never, in at least a year, gone to bed without taking off my makeup. That is so so so bad for you and I can not stress it enough. Even if you didn’t wear makeup one day, please wash your face. It can make a big difference in your skin. Try to keep up the same routine everyday. Also, make sure you moisturize. Even with oily skin like mine, moisturizing is still important.

Avoid Dairy
This is my last tip, and the biggest one. Dairy causes so many breakouts, at least for me personally. I love dairy, so I could never cut it out of my life completely, but try to limit your daily intake. If you struggle with acne, and you eat a lot of dairy, try cutting down for a few days to see if it helps!

Let me know if you try any of these tips, or if you have tips of your own to share!

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Bad Habits To Break

We all have our own bad habits. Mine, for example, is biting my nails. I always try so hard to stop. Today, I wanted to share 5 bad habits that you might do, and why/how to stop it. I am definitely guilty of most of these, but I think they would help us all become better people if we learned to stop them!

  1. Snacking on junk food when bored: I know we all do this. You’re watching Netflix or doing your homework, and before you know it, you are three bags of chips and two cookies deep. The constant junk food snacking is really bad for you. You lose sight of the body’s natural reaction to hunger, and eventually this overeating can lead to chronic diseases. Remind yourself that you are not hungry, and wait until you can hear your stomach grumbling before you pick up a quick snack. Or, just switch to healthier foods, like fruits and veggies.
  2. Not accepting compliments: Ok, you might be a little confused by this, but hear me out. Do you ever have conversations that go like this:
    Person: Wow, your makeup looks so good!
    You: No it doesn’t. I really don’t like it.
    or
    Person: I love your shirt!
    You: Oh, I just got it at Marshall’s, it was really cheap.
    Why don’t we ever just say thank you? I, personally, feel super awkward when someone gives me a compliment, because it makes me feel like I’m in the spotlight. However, I think we all deserve to be in that spotlight sometimes, and should allow ourselves to feel good about the compliment. Just say ”thank you”- its okay!
  3. Skipping breakfast: I know you’ve heard it before- breakfast is the most important meal of the day. But this really is true! It is easy to just make a quick breakfast of cereal, toast, oatmeal, eggs, etc. in the morning, so don’t skip it. It will help your metabolism get a quick start in the mornings, and it can make you feel more awake. People who eat breakfast in the morning generally perform better at school or work. Just give it a try.
  4. Going on phone right before going to sleep: This one is really important. Going on your phone before bed can affect your sleep. It makes it so much harder for your brain to shut off, because the light makes it think it should be awake. Eventually, this long term sleep delay can mess with your bodies systems. Instead, try reading a book before bed, meditating, or doing some yoga. It really will improve your sleep.
  5. Constant negativity/anger: It’s okay to be upset sometimes, but it should not take over your life. Allow yourself to let go of all the pent up angry emotions you are feeling. It will help lead to a happier and more positive life. According to some studies done, reducing the anger-induced stress from your life can improve your immune system, lower blood sugar, and even ease chronic pain. Before you get upset over something, think about how much it will affect you in a few weeks. If it won’t be important, don’t get angry.

Are you guilty of any of these? Which ones?

XO, Jessica

Twenty Things That Make Me Happy

This year, one of my biggest goals is being happier. The past few years of my life have consisted of me complaining and feeling down, so this is one attempt to change that. I think listing the things that make you happy and you are grateful for shows us how much the world has to offer.

  1. Sunsets- I can stare at them for hours
  2. The Ocean- I love the forceful waves and the constant change
  3. Puppies- who doesn’t love them?
  4. Books- I can see/travel the world from my room
  5. Sunflowers- I think they are so pretty and they’re yellow (my favorite color)
  6. Poetry- Very raw and relatable; puts life into words
  7. Thunderstorms- something about them makes me really, really happy
  8. Stars- I love to stare up at the sky at night and see them twinkling above
  9. Driving- having my license has been a huge benefit
  10. Long Walks- My absolute favorite way to spend time
  11. Music- I wouldn’t be able to live without it
  12. Blogging- It changed my life
  13. Autumn- My favorite season ever
  14. Twitter- I learned a lot from the people on there
  15. Track and Field- I love being on the team and running for fun
  16. Mozzarella sticks- I have a huge obsession
  17. Candles- Make me feel so cozy
  18. Blankets- On cold nights, I love to be wrapped up in one
  19. Baths- Key to a relaxing night
  20. Family and Friends- My biggest supporters and the reason I am alive

What are some things that make you happy? Comment down below 🙂

XO, Jessica

(Late) Spring Cleaning

Yes, spring began almost a month ago now, but it’s never too late to do some cleaning up! I went through and de-cluttered a lot of my room a few weekends ago, so I thought I would give you some guidelines for cleaning up your own!

Clothing

First, I go through my closet and take out all my clothes. My floor basically disappears for a few hours, but that is okay! I make 3 piles- keep, throw out, and donate.

If there are some clothes you haven’t worn in over 6 months, donate them. Trust me, this will make your closet look much neater. I know it can be hard to part ways with some of your favorite pieces, but what is the point of keeping something you don’t wear if someone else could get use out of it?

There are some clothes that I find have stains I can’t get out, holes, or are just too worn out to even donate, so I toss ’em. And of course, the clothes I still wear and love, I keep.

Desk

I am guilty of hoarding all my old school notes and papers, letters I get, notebooks, books, etc. They just sit on top of my desk and never get any use, though. Those old papers I mentioned before, I try to go through them and recycle it if I know I won’t be needing it. Of course, it may be necessary to keep some important documents, but I doubt you need those receipts from three months ago anymore.

I also organize the drawers and boxes on my desk, because all my sticky notes, cables, and pencils tend to get super messy. I return whatever I know is in the wrong place, and make the items appear to look better.

I also sift through my pens, markers, and pencils and test each one to see if it still works. You know the drill- if it doesn’t, toss it.

Makeup

This is one category I often forget. Go through your makeup and throw out anything old and expired or emptied. If there are products you have only used once sitting in your drawer, see if any friends want them. Unfortunately, you can not donate these, so throw them out if left unwanted!

Clean your makeup brushes as well. If you are anything like me, you probably haven’t done that in a while.

Computer and Phone

At least twice a year, I go through all the documents on my laptop and delete things that I no longer use. I find that there are applications that I accidentally downloaded, pictures I saved but don’t need, and old papers I can delete. It will even give you more storage!

I also go through my phone and delete apps I don’t use, and messages I don’t need. Also, I delete pictures that just take up space (screenshots, not memories).

Finally, I back up my phone to my laptop, and my laptop to my external hard drive.

Re-Decorating

The last step to my spring cleaning is redecorating and rearranging. Back in middle school, this was more of a monthly thing, but now it has become seasonal. I sometimes change out my comforter to match the warm weather, and I add new plants or picture frames. This step is all up to you.

For the final touches, I dust down all surfaces, vacuum the whole floor, and make my bed. My room (and my life) feel less cluttered.

Xo, Jessica

Writing A Book Review- Taking Notes

I am by no means a book review expert, but I have written a decent amount (be it on here or Goodreads). So I decided I wanted to write a mini series* about how to write and better your own reviews (You don’t actually have to listen to me; I don’t really know what I’m talking about).

For the first part of the series, I am talking about how to take notes while you are reading the book, and what to include. If you are anything like me, you tend to forget all the important details of the book and only remember whether you liked or didn’t like it. The review is about why you did/n’t like it though, so it’s important to have a reason. Otherwise you will be repeating yourself over and over.

*By mini series, I mean really mini. Probably only one more post to follow this one.

To make things easier, I broke down my notes into a few steps. Grab a notebook and follow along!

Before Reading:
Turn to that fresh, brand new page and begin by writing down the title and author of the book. As silly (and obvious) as this seems, you don’t want to forget what book the notes are actually for.

Now the fun part. Write your predictions for the book based on the cover, the synopsis, other reviews you read/heard, etc. Be sure to include whether you think you will like the book or not, too! I like to have my initial thoughts before I start reading to see how my views have changed when I’m done. This is also a great thing to talk about in a review.

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While Reading:
The next part requires a little bit of work, but it will guarantee a successful review later on. While I read, I tend to come up with sentences to use for a review later, but when I sit down to actually write the review, I completely forget what it is I wanted to talk about. So the notebook is there when I have fragments of sentences to include.

I also keep a list of page numbers and quotes that I really enjoy. It can be about characters, the setting, plot twists, the author’s descriptions, etc. Basically anything that seems interesting and catches my attention. And, the more information you jot down, the better.

For example, I am currently reading Illuminae. The blood splatters on page 158 really intrigued me, and I appreciated how thought out the design of the page was. It is something I might want to include in a blog post later.

After Reading:
As soon as you read the last word of the book, grab your notebook, your phone, a napkin- anything near you-and write down your thoughts. The way the book leaves you feeling is important, and you don’t want to forget it. Let it all out, even if it doesn’t make too much sense.

Mine usually ends up being all caps and tons of “ASAHKSLDHAJFK.” Even though it looks like a mess, I can use this to bring out my initial emotions and put them into coherent thoughts. It just gives me a final idea of what I was feeling when reading the book.

This process is just the beginning of book reviewing. The next post in this series will be about actually writing the review- what to include and how to start.

I hope you found this helpful, and will use some version of this method to keep track of your reviews. Feel free to change it up to fit you.

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How To Have A Productive Morning

The days I wake up and begin the morning doing something productive is when I feel best about myself. I love that I am not just sitting in bed watching Netflix for hours (but, let’s be honest, I have my fair share of those days, too). Here are five things you should do every morning to ensure a successful day.

  1. Drink a glass of water. This is supposed to help your metabolism get a jump start and it also helps to wake you up. I just started doing this recently, and it really does help. I feel refreshed early in the morning, and I am hydrated after sleeping all night.
  2. Make your bed. This is crucial to me. My room looks extremely messy if I don’t make my bed, so just doing this one thing makes me feel so much better. It’s also the first productive thing I do, so it makes me feel like I accomplished something early in the day.
  3. Open the Blinds. My room needs to be pitch black when I sleep, so all the blinds are closed and it is extremely dark. However, opening up the blinds in the morning really gives me a burst of energy. The sunlight is really powerful because the sun rises on the same side as my window, so it makes me feel more awake.
  4. Wash your face. When you first wake up, there is no doubt in my mind that you feel groggy. When I was my face, that grogginess goes away and I feel so refreshed. It’s also important to wash your face in the morning to prevent breakouts and keep acne under control.
  5. Write a to-do list. This last step is what begins my journey for the day. If I don’t write a to-do list I feel so lost. This keeps me on track and allows me to do the important, time sensitive tasks I have yet to begin. I accomplish so much more because I don’t waste time, and I feel better when I can check things off my list.

I hope this list was helpful, and maybe inspired you to try doing a few of these.

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