Collagen, Who Are You? & Energizing Collagen Matcha Elixir

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I met Vital Proteins at FounderMade’s beauty summit in the beginning of this past summer. I was most definitely late to the collagen party, but oh so excited to join it. I tested one pack and felt immediate energy shifts upon consumption. I was hooked. I used my coupon code and ordered my first lil tub o’ collagen peptides. My collagen ritual entailed filtered water, two scoops of collagen, and a splash of lemon juice. Sometimes a drop of stevia or a few mint leaves for those hot NYC days.

The first visible sign –that I could give immediate credit to collagen peptides–  were my strong nails. Fresh out of a gel manicure, rock solid nails. I was fascinated. I also physically felt an energy boost upon finishing a nice glass of collagen water. My skin was at its best. But I did not know why. I soon realized I had no idea what I was consuming and needed to figure it out, pronto.

As it turns out, collagen is the most abundant protein in our bodies. It is only logical that we see immediate effects in a clear complexion, reduced wrinkles, and taut skin- as the skin is the largest organ in the body. And as we age, the production of collagen goes down by 2% every year. Just because I am in my early twenties, does not mean I don’t benefit from the glory of collagen. I sure as hell do. Taking collagen, supports healthy hair, skin and nails, but additionally primes your bone and joint strength. When I added my collagen elixirs to my routine, I drank it in the morning prior to attending a SoulCycle class. Little did I know, collagen is a fantastic pre and post workout supplement. The support of collagen over the past six months has been integral to my active lifestyle, which includes spin, HIIT and yoga.

I am so grateful I fell into the abyss of collagen through Vital Proteins, who sources their products sustainably. VP sources their collagen from grass-fed, pasture- raised, bovine hides from Brazil. Hence, VP is not a vegan product as collagen comes from beef and fish. Vital Proteins is exceptionally transparent about the source of their products and shares as much information as possible.

In closing, I have rounded up the benefits that have made positive contributions to my well-being,

Collagen is a fantastic supplement to support an active lifestyle.

It is a rejuvenating pre and post workout supplement that strengthens joints and bones.

I am not the only active human benefitting from Collagen. Vital Proteins sponsored professional athletes with collagen for 2 years and injuries went down by 60%. I mean? Rad sauce. VP is now the Chicago Cubs official collagen partner. They have even requested a sports green to make VP’s products more applicable to athletes.

It improves gut health.

I feel better when my stomach feels better. For a young woman with extensive stomach issues, that are deeply intertwined with my anxiety and emotions, my tummy can be deeply affected by my surroundings. Improving my gut health improves my overall well being. I devote time to better understand my body, and to learn how it be strengthened. The largest part of the equation, is without a doubt, the gut. To have a high functioning, clean gut takes genuine effort and care, but it is rewarding in every other sphere.

Your nails are strong even through the trials of a gel manicure.

(hopefully a non-toxic one– if your city permits such an indulgence)

‘Nuff said. I hope I have convinced you!

Head to my instagram for a giveaway of my TWO favorite products with Vital Proteins!!

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Energizing Matcha Collagen Tonic

1 serving Vital proteins collagen peptides

1 cup Almond milk

Less than half a cup of hot water

1- 2 tsp. Matcha

½ tsp.  Cordyceps 

1 tsp. coconut oil (1 tbsp)

Optional: 1 tsp raw honey or drop of stevia

  1. Boil hot water to prep your matcha and then use a matcha (or deep) bowl, to whisk your matcha with hot water
  2. Meanwhile, heat almond milk in a saucepan over medium heat and load the rest of your ingredients in a blender or bowl if you have a frother
  3. Once your milk is warm, blend or froth until desired texture
  4. Top with loose leaf tea or edible flowers to increase beauty

Enjoy!

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Collagen gifted by Vital Proteins

For More Information regarding collagen and Vital Proteins, visit:  VitalProteins.com // Cision PR Newswire // Vogue.com  // Paleo Magazine Radio: Interview with founder of VP

Charleston, South Carolina | | Photographed by Jesse Volk

The Summer Loves: Top Product Picks

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Agent Nateur N°3 Natural Deodorant

Natural deodorant is a tough switch. But the frightening effects of anti-perspirant deodorants is truly enough to convince me I don’t need Dove or Secret or some other drugstore brand to mask the potential odor of me living and moving. This is actually the second time I attempted to make the switch. I know shame on me, wellness lover, whatever, I am human. I had previously tested a natural deo that was in paste form, that had to be applied basically twice a day in order to be effective. This go round, I knew I had to commit to a brand I could rely on with outstanding results. I have heard amazing things about the product and I am absolutely in love. I really noticed a difference when I once forgot to put it on and noticed there was a slight aroma from le pits. In other words, it actually prevents from the daily stink. The packaging is sexy and the product is effective. Need I say more?

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Josh Rosebrook Hydrating Accelerator

I am obsessed with this mist. This hydrating accelerator is to be used post- wash and pre-serum. It is key for your skin to be moist before applying more product as it allows for the products to sink deep into your skin. I am nearly finished with my second lil’ bottle of this guy, and will absolutely be ordering another bottle when I can remember it. Lastly, the scent of this spritz is remarkably herbal and refreshing. Huge fan of it and I spritz generously!

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Indie Lee Calendula Eye Balm

Finding the perfect moisturizing tool for my eyes has been a long time struggle. Thanks to Indie Lee, the dilemma has been quietly solved.  I have previously tested eye balms that have been cooling or tightening, but I don’t need those benefits daily. At 23 years old, I need protection and moisture, I get those benefits from Indie Lee’s eye balm immediately. This product is hydrating, gives the delicate skin around my eyes a soft glow and creates a smooth surface for make up application.  

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Kypris Antioxidant Dew

Mid-Summer, I popped into Credo Beauty, seeking a radiant serum that did not weigh me down in New York heat. This Kypris product was one of their recs, and I gave it a shot. I honestly liked the packaging, and that it had the word “Dew,” in its title. I am glad I liked it, because in retrospect that was a pretty judgey method for choosing the right serum. The product is lightweight, cooling and hydrates. I would usually pack it in my bag for SoulCycle- as I often showered after class- and would gently massage a few drops on my skin. Despite the light consistency of the serum, it fully hydrates your skin. This product was perfect for summer and I am all about it for hot temps!

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JaneGee Suncare Oil

I purchased this product at JaneGee’s flagship shop in Portsmouth, New Hampshire in the beginning of the summer- and I was hooked. I have very sensitive skin, and the sun is quick to bite. I flew through my first bottle and repurchased mid-Summer. The scent is herbal, oil is soothing after a hot day in the sun and the price is reasonable! This product is a fantastic natural alternative to some (albeit efficient) but unclean products for keeping your skin hydrated and extending your sun kissed glow.

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Byrd Texturizing Surfspray

Rad brand and stellar product! Summer in a can, to say the least. Finding the perfect hair routine is a bit of a situation for yours truly, especially in the summer, but this product is fantastic. It gives a salty crunch, without the stiff aesthetic that curl products often create. Not only is this product a great way to preserve your curls or waves, but it is also a UV protector. Major major if you get your hair treated in any way, or are passionate about the care of your hair. For my post-bathing ritual, I spritz the Surfspray after applying a curl cream and anti frizz cream. I also use it when I am need in need of a touch up, or when heading to the beach to catch some rays- not waves. It is so great, I highly recommend testing out this product regardless of the season.

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Charleston, South Carolina | | Photographed by Jesse Volk

A Cornwall Wedding

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So my mom has been shoving a book in my face for days. She made me promise I would read one specific essay, of course I mumbled, “yes… you got it.” Needless to say, it did not happen immediately. It was not to spite my precious, well read mother, but I am enamored with my current read.

Fast forward a few days. I’m lounging at my house in Maine, wrapped in a soft blanket and tactfully tucked in bed. So classic, I am in said position whilst waiting for something to load on my computer. I glance at my bedside table, to see the book my mother has been begging me to read. I pick up, “The Opposite of Loneliness essays and stories” by Marina Keegan. The young and accomplished author, passed away a week after her graduation from Yale University. I was instructed by my mother, to find the specific essay, and title of the book, “The Opposite of Loneliness.” I flipped through the pages and quickly found the essay. Her words pulled me deep into a feeling that is wildly difficult to describe. The description of the opposite of loneliness, evoked tender memories and tears quickly slid down my cheeks.

“We don’t have a word for the opposite of loneliness but if we did, I could say that’s what I want in life… How I feel right now. Here. With all of you. In love, impressed, humbled, scared. And we don’t have to lose that.”

I get it. I understand it. I feel it. The simplicity of her wonder assures feelings we do not even have a word for. The opposite of loneliness.

All of this, to explain the sensation of fulfillment that is so often, difficult to express. I have recently felt loved and filled, during the few days of celebrating the union of a happy couple in Cornwall.

The joys of weddings are seemingly never-ending. I love reunions with old friends. The vulnerable experience of guiding a bride through the havoc of a wedding. Happy mother-of-brides, tickled with excited anxiety. The beginning of committing two lives into one journey, is a remarkable statement of humility.

Our days at Boconnoc Estate blissfully flew by. We laughed, cried, and made nutella toast. We snuggled sweet Aurora (maid of honour’s sweet new beb). There were countryside strolls with bewildered goats. We happily rejoiced for a blue sky on the wedding day. Dresses were steamed… with tedious caution. Concealer was applied in copious quantities and perfumed readily spritzed. And on a rare occasion, we may have caused the bride to cry?

It was an honor to stay at Boconnoc Estate, and help Sarah prepare for her wedding day. The sweet girl was a classic beauty on her special day. She was easily, the most thoughtful bride and graceful with every ounce of stress thrown her way.

When I found myself leaving Cornwall, my heart was so full. Eyes so heavy. Curls a day old (or so). I wish I could have played those sweet days on repeat. Over and over and over.

It was a fairytale. Yet, it was real. It was real and lovely. There was so much love at Boconnoc Estate. I grasped the tangible love, every minute of our days celebrating the wedding.

I felt every smidge of feels possible. Let me tell you, they were completely, the opposite of loneliness.

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Hotel Views

It was a busy day when I arrived in the UK. I hopped on the Heathrow Express to Paddington (SO efficient & affordable. Tickets are available on the platform. Seriously do not waste time or money taking an uber straight out of the airport.) From Paddington, I made my way to Cornwall. The ticket to St. Austell, was pre-booked and with my card of purchase, I was able to pick up my ticket at a self-service machine. Additionally, prior to my arrival at St. Austell, a cab needed to be booked to retrieve me. (Thanks Sarah. lol) Another travel note, get cash. Either arrive with it, or get a decent amount somewhere.

I loved my quick stay at The Cornwall Hotel & Estate! Albeit short, I was very comfortable while I dozed for hours. My stay was very brief, as I was due to head to the wedding venue the following morning of my arrival. Had I stayed longer, I would have been very happy exploring the grounds!

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GF Croque Monsieur at the restaurant downstairs

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AAaaand then I arrived at Boconnoc… treat yo self with these drool-worthy images

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Boconnoc Estate has only been very recently restored, and is now available as a venue rental, read about Boconnoc’s History here

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explorin’

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Boconnoc was the venue for the wedding, as well as the accommodations for the bridal party and family. There are rooms at the main house, as well as rooms in the barn (still absurdly adorable, don’t let the word fool you.)

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The perfect view from my sweet room
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countryside strolls
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creatures…

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The Chapel at Boconnoc, where darling Sarah & Mark were married
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Boconnoc Estate
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Snooping at the wedding flowers the day before…
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Wearing Elizabeth & James (now on sale) – found at Beckett Boutique, Stuart Weitzman Nudist High Heel (similar here
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The barn & venue for rehearsal din din

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Sun for the wedding day!

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Boconnoc Estate in all its glory
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Hair and make up on the wedding morning!
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Co-maid of honour of the year

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Wedding portraits
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Isabel’s bouquet

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Vintage portraits, I have mine and it is ready to be framed! Such a sweet memory
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Most thoughtful bride and incredible catering- they found me to present gluten free scones with clotted cream and berries!
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Our lovely bride
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Love you little bean

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Before I had a chance to fix my ratty hair… ps wearing Yumi Kim Tokyo Night Kimono Dress & same heels

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Love you guys!
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Isabel & Aurora

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Quick snuggle break

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Post-reception coffee & tea
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Waking up after the wedding festivities, with not one bit of enthusiasm to leave Boconnoc

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Pictures taken via iphone. Taken by yours truly, aside from the obvious where I am in the picture.

Cheers to Sarah & Mark! We are all so lucky to witness a love centered on Christ. Thank you Mark, for taking such fantastic care of our princess Sarah. From what I saw at the wedding, you two have so much support for this marriage. We are all here for love & prayer, whenever it is needed.

All my love,

Hannah

No Shortcuts

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Passion & persistence are what matter. Dreams are achievable and you can make your fantasy come true, but there are no shortcuts.

Diane von Furstenberg

This might be a fault of mine, but I have trouble empathizing with those who are displeased with  their lives and yet they do not think to make any changes. It frustrates me to see my loved ones, friends or acquaintances unhappy with their circumstances. It hurts to see those ignore the fire of their passions. I love seeing people pursue their passions.

Passionate people are my favorite. I do not care what your passion is. Just have one. Live it out. I am taking an Introduction to African Civilization course this semester and I love it. My professor, is amazing. She is funny, weird and wildly passionate about Africa. It is evident that her knowledge of Africa, is quite expansive. She spits out facts and then makes a cultural observation. She has clearly spent quite some time in various cities in Africa and has used her experiences to give her a unique perspective of the continent. Listening to her lecture and learning from her is exciting. When passionate people share, they are taking you along their adventure.

Upon reflecting on the current state of my life, I am fairly pleased and extraordinarily grateful. I love the path the Lord is leading me on. I have a ball pursuing my passions. I am not interested in wasting the time I have of being a young woman. I take risks. I explore this fantastic globe. I mess up. I make amazing friends. I seek adventures daily.

I would not want my life any other way. Each and every risk has somehow benefitted me. Whether it has worked out in my favor or taught me a lesson, it has positively contributed to sharpening my character. I love taking advantage of my free time and my schedule. Filling it with laughter and adventure is something I will never regret. A fearful life is not something that interests me; a bold one, however, is appetizing.

Xo H 

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Photographed by Ruut DeMeo RMD Portraits | | Hampden, Baltimore, Maryland

Wearing: Zara hat (similar here), Mango jacket (unavailable, similar here), Viktoria + Woods Riot Crop Tank, Frame Denim Le Skinny de Jeanne Britton, Joie Barlow booties (other colors available here), Linea Pelle purse (quite old and unavailable)

Restless ’til I

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Restless ‘til I Rest

Last week, I began another semester at the College of Charleston. I was elated to be back in Chucktown and reconnect with my darling friends and peers, but stressed nonetheless. I was jet lagged, exhausted, and excited. I also refused to admit defeat. I refused to acknowledge my anxiety. I do not know why we millennials find ourselves denying our mental and emotional states until we are completely broken down by stress. I do not want to participate in that cultural habit and I hope to asses my circumstances whenever they might be out of sorts.

Each semester of my college career feels as if I am starting a temporary job. You have one week to get comfortable with your surroundings, nail down the perfect academic schedule, and maintain mental agility for new schoolwork. I found myself constantly checking my email for academic updates, sprinting to Barnes & Noble on multiple occasions, and organizing my social life in the most frazzled state. I kept telling myself it would feel normal soon enough, upon finding a routine. I settle in a routine, that looks different every few months of my life. The whole process is unnatural. College is like that, you have a consistently abnormal schedule for 4 (or more) years.

Do you know how I felt? Restless. Utterly restless. I was crawling about campus, running on limited hours of sleep and attempting to perfect every inch of my life. It is impossible to perfectly arrange the details of one’s current schedule. Yes, I sort of managed an amazing schedule with a four day weekend every weekend, but I do know that surprises will stir up my days. As I found myself in a quiet moment, spotify found Restless by Audrey Assad, and I quickly realized my personal setback.

And I’m restless, I’m restless

‘Til I rest in You, ’til I rest in You

I am restless, I’m restless

‘Til I rest in You, ’til I rest in You

Oh God, I wanna rest in You

Sometimes my outrageous attempts to be positively combating life simply leads to tears. I began every morning prepared to conquer the day, with an exceptionally enthusiastic attitude and yet I still found myself overwhelmed. I was bubbling with anxiety. Is it so bad to say, “I am effing anxious and every bit of this week sucks?” Why couldn’t I admit it? Was it that all my peers are faking it? They are all so calm. Eerily calm.

Transitions take time. Acknowledging when we need a hot second to rest is crucial to feeling like ourselves and being the best little human we are capable of living as. I am not striving for perfection, and I do not suggest you try that. I would much rather admit to feeling anxious. Then follow the acceptance of my feelings with a hot bath, good book and solid quiet time. We have got to rest, my friends, if we want to understand anything about our surroundings, circumstances and current reality. Resting should be a priority.

I am peeking at my accounting homework now, with a little smile. I can do it. Last week, there was no chance of me understanding content, and now I am ready. We need time, most frequently, in order to get it.

I know that the Lord has called me to so much more than an anxious, academic-fearing heart. I am very excited for this season of my life; the lessons that I will learn, the love I will get to share and adventures that await. Don’t let your restless heart get in the way of life.

Need some rest inspiration? I’ve got your back.

  • Hot tea (opt for herbal)
  • Exercise
  • Hydration
  • A healthy diet 
  • Chill on the sugar, it messes everything up
  • Quiet time
  • To Do Lists (let your brain breathe)
  • Reading  
  • Taking the time for a nap
  • Candles- just don’t fall asleep
  • A hot bath, also don’t fall asleep
  • Navigate a schedule that permits a full night’s sleep
  • Jesus? He is the best, but whatever floats your boat babe!

None of this is helping? No worries, I will redirect you to a brilliantly inspiring article. I know I am not full of all the wisdom in the world, but Goop seemingly has it together (Thanks Gwyneth!)  

Listening to:

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Photographed by the talented Ruut DeMeo, RMD Portraits | | Hampden, Baltimore, Maryland 

Wearing: Adidas graphic sweatshirt, Vintage Men’s Shirt (worn as jacket), Frame Denim Le Skinny de Jeanne Britton, Joie Barlow booties 

Sparkle

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Sparkle.

Last Monday, I was off to an anxious, stressed and emotional start to finals week.

I wandered to a local coffee shop to flip through emails, complete a paper and hopefully relax a bit. After my brief encounter with my almond chai, I hustled home in full stride with music blasting in my earphones. I paused before I entered my home. I have a new neighbor. A new shop by my house. A sweet boutique. A stellar owner. Her face is warm, hugs inviting and smile authentic. Fine, I will walk inside for a hug. I bee lined for her arms, avoiding eye contact entirely. I nestled into the perfect hug, and my glasses quickly steamed by my hot tears. “Is everything okay?” Caroline asked. “I am stressed. Anxious. Emotional.”  Caroline quickly ushered me to a comfortable seat and handed me a candy cane. Armed with motherly solace, she is equipped for anything.

Before we began conversing to discuss my emotional state, she said, “I just want you to know how loved you are.” Caroline met my mother this past weekend, and they adored each other. “I saw the way your mother looked at you Hannah, she loves you unconditionally. You are so loved.” I accepted her sweet words of encouragement but trembled as I recalled school’s harsh reality, “I am genuinely fearful of failing an exam.” I sniffled, holding back tears in fear of damaging a fresh coat of make up. Caroline’s words were perfect. Her comfort continued as she repeatedly told me, “You are more than a grade.”

Why is it that love is reassuring? The power of love never ceases to astound me. As she comforted me, I glanced at my tattoo, mom’s words whispering, “I love you,” in the midst of my anger with temporal frustrations. “Hannah, you are more than a grade,” Caroline did not stop with her encouragement. She continued to build me back up, “You sparkle Hannah. We all know it. We see you and you sparkle.” I do not know if I smiled, teared up or just shut my eyes in acceptance of this genuine love. At some point in the conversation I just laid my head on Caroline’s lap, like a dog begging for a head rub. Caroline carefully patted my back, her kind words flowing, and love filled my heart to the brim. The support of her words and touch, enabled me to forget the possibility of failure.

Throughout the morning, previous to my encounter with Caroline, I prayed for the Lord’s comfort. I asked for peace for the week, but begged him for temporary relief of my anxiety. I have experienced several recent doses of love directly from God. However, I find great comfort in the arms of those around me. Physical touch is crucial to my emotional health. Odd, but it is me. I need hugs, snuggles and head pats. Instead of God soothing me in alone time, He did what He had to get me into the arms of His love. Letting Caroline be a vessel of His compassion, was incredibly kind of Him. I joyfully accepted the love I received. The tangible relief of falling into a hug. Caroline’s motherly love and empathy. The sweet reminder of listening to words I know to be true but struggle to believe during a time like finals. Finals hurt my heart. Finals challenge not only my learning disabilities, as well as my anxiety and emotions.

“You Sparkle,” my heart instantly melted. It was affirming, yet again, that something might be seen in me than more than the identity of being a student. I am in fact more than a grade, I am more than my GPA, and I am more than a student. I am much more than a student and I hope to known for that. I hope to be known for hugs, love and laughter. I hope to known for being my true self and settling for nothing less. Including, restraining from the self-deprecating thought process whilst enduring a difficult course. It was a joy to hear that I might sparkle to someone around me, I am undeserving of such a compliment but whoah did it tickle my heart. Authenticity. Transparency. Human’s like it. It is relatable.

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Sleeveless turtlenecks can be paired with a short or long sleeved tee. Long sleeves create the illusion of a full sweater, while short sleeves allow the turtleneck to hold attention.

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Grandmother’s pug featured in le blog post. Pugs are the best accessories. I love a good prop, especially a silly one.

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Mastering the art of the turtleneck tuck. Slip into your turtleneck, leave your hair inside the sweater and slowly pull front pieces to frame your face.
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Momma’s words always with me. Xo. P.S Did you hear that naked nails are trending this winter? Giving my nails a break from gel, but missing polish.
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Golden hour and natural curls. Only a few products to tame the mane but tough to beat with the current humidity in Charleston!

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Miss new bootie. All about my new thigh highs! Winter must have.

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Photographed by Davy Kesey | | Charleston, SC

Wearing: Madewell turtleneck, Piko Tee w/ lace trim (similar), J Brand coated jeans (last season but similar here ) Stuart Weitzman Lowland Boot in black suede found at Charleston’s Bob Ellis, similar boots here, here and here.