Category Archives: Life

A Letter on racism

Dear America:

We have a problem. Well, in actuality, a set of problems. Most of us do not even realize our own country is burning. Our feelings, the catalyst to the fire-fight that rages on. To put it bluntly, we are at war with one another.

We fight about politics, sex, freedom of speech, illegal immigrants, how to take care of the planet, and worst of all, we fight and divide ourselves by skin color.

Racism is a nuclear button, of which we continue to press. We are in a place where everyone is hurt and scared and calling for the executioner, but not actively fixing the problems at hand. I am going to be upfront with you; I am a white female. Now, if you are thinking, she has no right to speak about race and injustice because she’s white; you are part of the problem. When you see a white woman, a black man, or any other skin color, you fail to see that we have the blood of other races running through our veins.

The problem isn’t our skin color, but the feelings we associate with skin color and how we choose to act upon those feelings. You would be naïve to say your race holds no prejudices within. We all know that different countries hold prejudices against each other because we all believe our countries are great.

Within our skin color issues, lie several racial stereotypes. Some common examples might be the foods we eat, or the way we dress, or our body type. A stereotype is a generalization, and sometimes we match them, but it is naïve to believe everyone in a group is the same. Also, understand that every single race has their group of people who make poor decisions that hurt the rest of us and feed stereotypes. This too, is something we cannot change, unless human beings suddenly overcome the pull to commit crimes or hurt others. The human condition and racism must be separated out with the understanding that there is a difference. We have all been raised differently. Get to know each other, don’t judge one another by outward appearance.

We cannot control what others think or remove the past crimes committed against other races. We will never reach a point where prejudice does not exist. It’s too big and too hard to remove this elephant from the room, but we can choose to control ourselves. How can we expect to grow or change, if all we do is scream, yell, and curse at one another about how bad things are? I challenge the American people to stop feeding the fire with accusations, anger, and hurt. We can choose a path of healing, patience, kindness, and love for our fellow Americans. We can choose to teach and learn from one another. Choosing not to move forward in this manner will allow history to destroy us. We are a powerful people. We deserve better. There is no reason we cannot come together and live within the same country with justice and equality for all.

Hold yourself accountable. Choose love and kindness over hate, and if you do not understand what people of color are going through, talk to them. Learn from them. Only with kindness and love for each other, can we begin to heal the pain and hurt of our past. I want to see the American people succeed. I am ready and willing, America. Are you?

With love for all,
T.K.

Winter Fun for adults

It’s winter in Wisconsin, which means no one wants to go outside because of the cold. This year, however, has been quite unusual with it’s daytime highs in the balmy thirties. Possibly, winter just showed up this week with the more usual single to below zero digits, but that does not appear to be lasting for long. With the warmer winter temps, it should be easier for everyone to get outside.

My Dr. wants me to go outside and walk. Walking in the cold is highly unappealing to me. What I might do, however, is drag my wonderful husband outside to build a snowman. You heard me right. There are tons of benefits to this particular activity.

First, it allows you to do something playful and fun with your significant other. What better way to get in touch with one another than to play in the snow? Snowball fights will most likely happen, but that is completely okay as long as you do not pepper each other in the face with ice. The rolling of snowballs for your snowman will force you to use your muscles to push and lift. You will be laughing at how much strength you no longer realized it took to lift a giant snowball, which in turn will release endorphins. To top of the benefits, you will also be soaking in some much needed vitamin D, which will lift your spirits further. The whole process is a win.

If snowman building isn’t your thing, then maybe you want to try something more creative such as building a snow castle? This activity can provide several days of work and exercise and is best done with a partner. The benefits listed above apply to this situation as well, but I would recommend researching how to build a proper ice castle, prior to beginning. Ice castles can be dangerous if they are not stabilized properly.

For more information on the benefits of winter, as well as going outside to play in the snow, please see the below links:

5 Benefits to Building a Snowman – Dickinson & Branon Dental Care (dbdentalcarevt.com)

How to Build a Snow Castle with Your Kids (yahoo.com)

10 Surprising Health Benefits Of Snow Very Few People Know About – Women.com

5 Incredible Benefits of Playing Outside in the Snow (creativehealthyfamily.com)

8 Ways Snow Makes You A Happier Person | HuffPost Life

New Year’s Affirmations

Another New Year is upon us. Rather than throw anger and negativity at the passing year, I choose to look at the good things that have happened and to send out positive affirmations for the year I am planning to have. If you are one of the people who were hit hard this year and you are struggling to pull yourself out of the pain and sorrow, time can sometimes ease the pain, but for loss of a close loved one, I understand there will always be a certain ache inside.

If you want to bring more positivity to your life, I recommend starting with your New Year’s affirmations. You can write them down, and/or say them out loud, but whatever you choose to do, I recommend writing “or better” at the end. This particular statement leaves the door open for other greater possibilities. This is a trick that Mike Dooley tells his readers about in his novels, which brings me to my next recommendation.

If you would like to bring more positivity into your life, I recommend reading the following books, depending on your current life situation: A Beginner’s Guide to the Universe, by Mike Dooley. The Top Ten Things Dead People Want to Tell You, by Mike Dooley. Wishes Fulfilled: Mastering the Art of Manifesting, by Dr. Wayne W. Dyer. The last book I listed, changed my life and my way of thinking, for the better. Louise Hay is also a huge author in the world of positive manifestation.

Create your intentions and put them out there. Stay away from the negativity of this past year. That chapter is closing and life is short. There is no time to dwell on the past, but only time for moving forward and “living your best life now,” which is another point Mike Dooley likes to stress. If you are one of the people who keeps saying, “I will do it tomorrow,” consider that the energy you are putting into the Universe, will continue to place your desires just out of reach. Believe that you already have your deepest desires and the law of attraction will pull in more of the same.

Happy New Year! Love and positivity to you all. With positive beliefs, we can breed life-long changes.

Testing Top Beauty Box Subscriptions: Ipsy, Glossy, Allure, & BirchBox

Last month I got a wild hair up my tush and decided I suddenly wanted to order a beauty box. I already receive FabFitFun and CAUSEBOX on a regular basis, so a beauty box was probably not a necessity. Come to think of it, the other two are not exactly necessities either, but I find the surprise to be a fun break from the more serious aspects of life.

I started with Ipsy and added Allure. A week later, I added Birchbox and Glossy Box. So now I have a problem and you can see just how easily things can spiral out of control. Joking aside, I ordered the four boxes because I thought it would be fun to compare and contrast a few of the top selling beauty boxes so that I may tell others which one seems to be most worthwhile.

The first to arrive was Birchbox with its tasseled sliding drawer box. Inside I found tips on usage as well as five deluxe sample products: Pai – All Day Hydration, Arrow – Nourishing Lip Oil, Oribe – Matte Waves Texture Lotion, Benefit – They’re Real! Mascara, Eyeko London – Brown Liner, and Nature Lab Tokyo – Perfect Shine Clarifying Scalp Scrub. The brow liner works great, but is too dark for me. I would however recommend it to anyone who is looking for a good brow liner. I do like the mascara, but I have other mascaras that do nearly the same thing. I have yet to try the texture lotion and scalp scrub. The lip oil made my lips tingle, which could be due to the peppermint oil. I kind of liked it. I am a fan of the moisturizer by Pai. It made my skin feel soft and hydrated, but I won’t give up my regular lotion for it. This particular box is normally $15, but it cost me $10 plus tax. I received a $5 discount on my first-time order. There are several plans to choose from which range in cost depending on the number of months you would like to commit to. I am a commitment-phobe in everything but relationships, so I chose to do a single month in order to try it out. I am glad I chose one month because I ended up canceling. The box fell short for me. While the presentation was beautiful, the items were not all that exciting and I would not pay $16 on a regular basis for the underwhelming feeling I got when I opened up the drawer compartment. If you are interested in Birchbox, they do have a special running right now. You can get an entire year of boxes for only $94. Now that’s a steal.

The second box I would like to talk about is not actually a box, but a bag. Ipsy, though it was the first to be ordered, was the last to arrive. Each month Ipsy gives you a different makeup bag with five items which could be sample, deluxe, or full-size. You also receive information and tips for using each item. The bag costs $12 plus tax per month at the first level. You can upgrade to the Glam Bag Plus for $25 per month and receive five full-size items in a drawstring bag, or you can take it further and go with Glam Bag Ultimate which will get you twelve products of varying sizes in a deluxe bag for $50 per month. I went with the Glam Bag which for the month of September, was gold on one side and maroon on the other. Thank goodness it was not all gold. I do not think I could have handled that (I mean it genuinely). Inside the Ipsy Glam Bag I found: Sundays – Nail Polish No. 18, HEMPZ – Herbal Lip Balm, DEWYTREE – Clean Lab AC Dew Foam, Tarte – Big Ego Mascara, and Maelle – Pink Diamond Eyeshadow. I love the Hempz lip balm, it’s wonderful. I also love the eyeshadow. It’s gorgeous. I have not yet tried the dew foam, polish, or mascara, but I intend to in the near future. I did decide to cancel Ipsy because again, I was not overly excited about the bag, but Ipsy apparently wants to keep me because they offered me a second bag for free. I have to admit, the second bag drew me back in with two things. I am a Libra, and I like the “You’re Magic” quote with the gold moon and star zip handle on the bag, as well as the pistachio body butter by Pistache Skincare – it smells so tasty! Ipsy may have won me over for one more month, because I am now curious about what November will bring.

Box number three, dun, dun, duh! The Allure Beauty Box. This box has changed slightly since my order last month. The box I bought for September was $15 plus tax and came with a free gift for first-time purchasers, as well as seven beauty products. The box normally comes with five or more products worth $70+. Now the box has changed to $23/month and you receive six or more products valued at $100+. The items come neatly packaged in a white and silver Allure box with red tissue paper. This box was right up my alley. The contents included: Glam Up – Soothing Aloe Texture Refinement Sheet Mask, Elemis – Pro-Collagen Cleansing Balm, Waterl<ss – Dry Conditioner, NYX – Pro Contour Brush, La Roche-Posay – Anthelios Light Fluid Sunscreen in SPF 50, Wander Beauty – Unleashed Volume and Curl Mascara, Cleo Noir – Twist Up Eyeliner, and of course, the booklet with information and tips on each product. The freebie, Anastasia Beverly Hills – Moonchild Glow Kit Eyeshadow, was by far my favorite item in the box. The colors are fabulous and make me feel like a beauty queen. My second favorite item was the Waterl<ss dry conditioner. I love that this product is paraben and sulfate free. I find the smell pleasant and I am excited to take it with me on vacation. The rest of the products I have not yet tried, but look forward to testing out in the near future.

Box number four is my favorite. Glossy Box. The theme for September was spa, which set my little heart a twitter. I love, love, love the spa concept. This particular box is regularly $21, but I received a first month discount which brought the price down to $16 plus tax. This box has won out for certain. It arrived in this cute black and white shipping box. When I opened the box there was another box inside that happened to be just as pretty as the shipping box. It was pink with black lettering. Inside the pink box was a ribbon tying everything together. Untying the ribbon, I found a pamphlet which gave me tips and information on each product inside. Below the pamphlet was pink tissue paper stuck in place with a black Glossy Box logo sticker. Each product was laid neatly atop black crinkly paper pieces and let me tell you, this unboxing was one of the most exciting unboxings I have done in over a year. Inside the box I found a: Melusine Paris – Jade Roller, Daily Concepts – Daily Beauty Band, Codex Beauty – Bia Exfoliating Wash, Swell – Ultimate Protect & Renew Serum, Vitamasques – Ruby Sheet Mask, and Banila Co. – Miss Flower & Mr. Honey Cream. I love the pink headband; it is great for holding back your hair while doing facials. The exfoliating wash is gentle and left my face feeling clean and refreshed. I love my new jade roller, it will get plenty of use. I also love the Miss Flower & Mr. Honey Cream, which has royal jelly and yellow flower in it. The scent is light, but it feels wonderful on my face. I have not tried the protect & renew serum or the Vitamasque yet. My only negative toward this box is that it lists Rosen Skincare – Breakout Spot Treatment as an item in the box and not the Swell serum. Honestly, it’s not really a negative. I probably would not have used the spot treatment.

I had a blast checking out each of the chosen boxes. Of the four subscriptions, I am still receiving Ipsy and Glossy Box. My top favorite are the Glossy Box and Allure Beauty Box. I will most likely cancel Ipsy after another month because I do not feel like it’s worth the price in comparison to Glossy. I feel the same about Birchbox, which is why I canceled already. If I were to choose to keep only one, I would go with Glossy Box, hands down. Glossy has the best presentation and the feeling is simply magical when you go to open your monthly box, not to mention, the items feel the most substantial. Allure Beauty Box is not far behind, but I am not happy that they raised their price. That said, I enjoyed getting every one of them and I will probably use most of the products I received.

If you would like to checkout the boxes for yourself, please find their links below:

https://www.birchbox.com/

https://beautybox.allure.com/

https://www.ipsy.com/mdvwetnm

Receive 20% off your first Glossy Box: https://www.glossybox.com/referrals.list?applyCode=PATRICIA-R1XV

A Taste Of CAUSEBOX

Recently, by which I mean last summer, I found out about a new obsession. Well, maybe it’s not new to others, but it is to me. This particular obsession provides the buyer with an element of surprise while getting them products that they might not have typically found or bought on their own. The  obsession I refer to is that of buying subscription boxes. I never would have guessed how many different boxes exist, but I can tell you one thing for certain, I greatly enjoy telling people whenever I find a product I genuinely love.

Subscription boxes come in many different forms, but my favorites are those which provide a variety of lifestyle products, clothing and accessories, travel, or books. Yesterday I received the introductory box from CAUSEBOX, which can often be purchased for the discounted price of $24.95 and comes with nearly $150 worth of products.

The introductory box is a smaller version of their larger quarterly subscription box. This particular box comes with five popular items inside. Now, if you don’t know, CAUSEBOX’s mission statement is, “to bring sustainable and ethical products to everyone,” which I can definitely get behind. Each item they place inside their boxes lives up to their mission statement.

The items I received inside my introductory box are as follows: 1-17oz red S’well bottle, 1-October Jaipur natural vegan leather envelope clutch, 1-full-size DERMA E hydrating night cream, 1-Wyld French pink clay konjac sponge, and 1-Banded scrunchie 3-pack in yellow, white, and pink.

Each item inside the box has its own card with image, original price of the item, product description, and company information. For instance, the Banded scrunchie card informs the new product owner that each purchase will feed 3 meals to a child in need and that Banded has, “donated over 10.4 million meals to undernourished children to date.” I love their scrunchies even more with the new knowledge that they help feed children in need.

As of this moment, I have only tried out two of the products in the box. The scrunchies and the WYLD sponge. I love them. The sponge is quite soft and luxurious feeling. It is not rough on the skin at all and it boasts cleaner pores. I have decided to make it a part of my daily routine. The best part is, each sale helps with marine wildlife conservation. The scrunchies are soft and funky, and I’ve already told you they feed children, so they get a “yay!” from me.

I currently own a S’well bottle in 8oz, so I was happy to get one in 17oz because it’s perfect for plane rides because it keeps liquids cold for up to 24 hours and hot liquids warm for up to 12. The bottle is normally $35 dollars and it was the only product I knew to exist inside this box prior to ordering. The bottle alone made the purchase worthwhile. This was the only item that did not have a card with it. For anyone who does not know, S’well helps bring clean water to communities in need around the world.

I look forward to testing the DERMA E night cream. I am currently in search of a new product to help with keeping my skin looking it’s best. For those of you who do not know me, I do not look my age, but I am starting to see some fine lines and this product might be the winner. I will keep everyone posted ;o). On a side-note, these subscription boxes have helped me up my face preservation game. Previously I did not have a regular exfoliating, moisturizing, clarifying, etc., ritual, but I do now.

I have told you about my view on four of the products, now let me give you my feelings on the final item. The October Jaipur vegan leather envelope clutch in natural. It has a magnetic closure, credit cards slots, and a zipper pocket inside. The size is fairly decent and can definitely hold your phone, keys, and perhaps a couple of makeup items, which is great, but I feel due to its slippery sheen and size, I would probably be dropping it throughout the night. The clutch is the most expensive item in the box at $54. I have to be honest; I am not a big fan. I am going to give it a shot as a large wallet because I do not use clutch purses. I prefer, at the very least, a wrist strap. My other issue is that I simply do not find it to be attractive. I am not a huge fan of the color, but it does appear to be solid and I do appreciate that it is hand-stitched and ethically made.

If I were to purchase the quarterly subscription, the box would run me $54.95 per month and it would contain $250+ worth of products. The quarterly option is more expensive in the long-run than the annual option, which saves you $5 per box. The quarterly subscription does not allow you to customize any of your options, but the annual does. Both memberships allow you to participate in CAUSEBOX product sales at discounted prices. As of the current date, if you decide CAUSEBOX is not for you, you may cancel your subscription at any time.

My overall view of CAUSEBOX is that they are a wonderful company, but considering my distaste for the most expensive item inside the box, I am thinking about passing on the annual subscription. If you would like more information on CAUSEBOX or any of the products, please check out the links I have posted below.

Check me out on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/tk_loves_this/

https://causebox.com

https://www.swell.com

https://global.octoberjaipur.com/

https://banded2gether.com/

https://dermae.com

https://www.wyldskincare.com/

What’s Your Passion?

If today were your last day of living, how would you spend it? Would you look back on your life and feel satisfied, or would you wish you had done things differently? If you could do it all over, what would be different?

Let’s face it; everyone makes mistakes, because we are human. The human condition is fragile, and sometimes impulsive, but often repetitive and predictable. People get into patterns and they don’t always know how to get out. Many of us pretend we are happy, when in reality we are day-dreaming about other things we wish we could do, but find impractical.

Impracticality is an illusion. Unless it’s against the law, it isn’t really impractical, is it? If you know what your passion is, you should be out in the world living it. I told myself for years that I couldn’t be a writer, because it was impractical. I needed to be a lawyer, or a doctor, or some sort of secretary in an office. I couldn’t just be a writer, could I? My previous thinking is what stopped me from living a more satisfying life.

The truth is if you love something enough, then you should have the drive to do what it takes to achieve your desired outcome. If you want to be an artist, create art. If you want to be an author, then you have to write. If you want to be an astronaut, then you had better get to it. You shouldn’t let anything stand in the way of what you are genuinely passionate about.

If you have no idea what your passion is and you are floundering around in life, then you should make it your job to find your passion. Life is way too short to be unhappy and stuck. Know yourself inside and out, because you can’t show a lover who you really are, if you have no idea, yourself.

Life is an adventure; one of the biggest and best adventures out there. Live each day to its fullest and remember; only you can change your situation for the better.

For a little help with finding your passion, please check out the following quizzes and articles:

https://www.themuse.com/advice/6-fresh-ways-to-find-your-passion

http://www.oprah.com/supersoulsunday/the-secret-to-finding-your-passion-hint-its-not-what-you-think_1

https://tinybuddha.com/blog/try-this-if-youre-struggling-to-find-your-passion/

http://clarityonfire.com/quiz/

https://idealistcareers.org/career-question-clarity/

https://www.psychologies.co.uk/test-whats-your-true-passion