PTSD and How To Control Negative Thoughts

*This post is not sponsored by any company and represents my own experience and preference*

Friends, Family, and Your Community

It is OK not to feel OK. In today’s world, where social media lifestyle is the only point of reference we have, it almost makes it embarrassing to say that my life is not perfect. I am not always happy even though my Instagram seems like I am living my best life. I used to look at my teammates in the military and wonder how I am the only one who seems to struggle with mental health. Everyone seemed like they have their life together and then there was me – a hot mess of a person, barely making it through the day. NO ONE talked about it. And then one day I went to the chaplain and said this to him. My good chaplain replied: “Aleks, everyone struggles with something, they just come see me after hours, because they are embarrassed.” I was dumbfounded by that statement. We made it embarrassing to seek help, to show the weakness of some sort. But what seeking help really is, is strength. You are reaching out for help to become a better and stronger version of yourself. You want to grow and change. If that is not brave, I don’t know what is.

So, when I started experiencing combat-related nightmares, I purposely talked about it in my office. I told my whole team that I am not sleeping well and that this one dream keeps coming back. At first, they made fun of me. “Women,” they said. “Brand new soldier, first deployment, and you are already struggling.” Yes, I am struggling. I am not sleeping, and it is affecting my life. I let them poke fun at me, and then when they got all the jokes out, one person said: “When I came back from Iraq, I was jumping on any noise or sudden movement. I had to seek help.” Then, from there, it went to a whole conversation: “I went to VA (Veterans Affairs) after my deployment and saw a therapist when one of my soldiers killed himself. It messed me up and affected my marriage. I had a tough time opening, so the lady made me write instead of talk. Eventually, I got everything out that was bothering me. Maybe you should do the same thing.”

This act right here opened up a very long and emotional conversation between my team and me. I could’ve just stopped once they started making fun of me, but I didn’t. I wanted this to be OK to be said out loud. I AM NOT DOING OK.

The next day, one person asked me if I am still not sleeping. I said the nightmare came back again. He said: “Dude, I think you need help. Go talk to Chap. Or we can go talk somewhere if you want, I’ll listen.”

If we didn’t have that conversation day before, they wouldn’t think about it at all. If I didn’t say anything, they wouldn’t know anything too. And I understand, some environments are not like this one described. Sometimes you are surrounded by wrong people and toxic masculinity where you don’t feel comfortable to share as I did. But I assure you that there is always someone who will listen to you. There is always help available, no matter where you are. YOU are NOT alone.

How Everything Started

It’s been three, now almost four years ago, since I stopped writing this blog. I kept the website and paid WordPress every year to keep the domain. I knew I will come back to writing once I find inspiration and something that will have meaning to me (because writing for others is great, but writing for your soul is freeing).

Since then, I stopped pursuing fashion, quit my job, joined the Army, and turned my life around. With all these great experiences came consequences; dues to be paid. I struggled with mental health even before enlisting, so PTSD was not an unknown subject to me. Still, I grew up in Eastern Europe, where no one talked about it, even though everyone knew what the symptoms are.

This syndrome is not exclusively for military or adults only. Children can suffer as well, if they experienced any sort of trauma. Sometimes, we don’t know which event exactly triggered us; like in my case, where I had to dig through years of family drama, war scenes and unhealthy relationships to find what is causing these issues.

I went through life, thinking that traumas are something everyone experiences, and everyone deals with them behind closed doors. But then I hit a wall two years ago (figuratively) and had no other option but to seek professional help.

Decision-making process

It took a lot of self-evaluation and pride to do this because let’s face it, no one wants to admit they have a problem. But I realized that my mental issues are affecting my everyday life, my work, and the people I care about. Once I found the right therapist (affordable), I scheduled an appointment. Within one month, I noticed the shift in my mood, my performance, sleep quality, and general desire to live. I spent 8 months in therapy, and then I had to deploy. I was mentally in a good shape to go. Still, of course, the Army has its own challenges, and I was back on having negative thoughts and developed insomnia. What was different this time is that I recognized my behavior faster than the previous time, and I acted sooner to find help. I dialed Military OneSource one night because my thought process was not healthy, and I was scared for my life or what I might do. A few days later, I went to see my chaplain. And this time, I didn’t have an issue to talk about what was bothering me. I didn’t know exactly what was bothering me, but I expressed my concerns and explained the best I could about what was in my head. I wasn’t ashamed of my condition. I needed help. And when I stopped going to the chaplain, I started exploring different means of peace. To be honest, sometimes talking doesn’t help, and sometimes you talk so much that you have nothing else to say. You still struggle, but you can’t analyze it over and over again. So, I found a few different ways to deal with anxiety and sleep issues.

Apps on your phone

Relax&Sleep Well App

This app is available for Apple and Android devices and has in-app purchase options. I tried a few different apps to get me to sleep, but they were all short, and for more extended versions, you had to pay. I liked this one because it had almost half an hour of meditation and hypnosis, and the music is very soothing. It took me a few nights to get into the habit of stopping thinking about stupid things and open this app. After 3 days, I was getting about 6-7 hours of sleep. It was THAT easy.

Podcasts

There are several good podcasts out there, but my all-time favorite is Jay Shetty’s “On Purpose” podcast. I discovered this recently through his Instagram, and I started listening to it in the morning when I am getting ready for work to boost my energy and mood. The other podcast I love (or even YouTube videos) is Oprah’s Super Soul Conversations. Now, people have different opinions about Oprah. Still, I honestly care about the effect it has on my mental state more than I care about politics. If the message is right, it will have my attention. And one of the videos I watched recently talked about purpose and how everyone has a one; you just have to embrace it. I liked that because it emphasized how you already have it, you don’t have to find it, you just have to look deeper within to recognize it. That is a powerful message.

Resources

This section is critical because there are times when you can’t fix your problems and thoughts by just listening to podcasts and positive messages on social media. Sometimes you need professional help, and that is totally OK. Here is a list of some helpful places you can find assistance:

  • Crisis Text Line (text: 741741) – I learned about this a few months ago on Facebook, when someone shared a number to text if you are having a crisis (not just suicidal thoughts).
  • Military OneSource – if you are serving in the military, served before or you are a family member of someone who served, this website is available to you free of cost. Military OneSource offers every possible help for our service members, not just medical assistance (yes, you can get help with taxes there).
  • Low-cost therapy – Let’s be honest, therapy is expensive. But it doesn’t have to be if you know where to look. Your therapist doesn’t have to be a psychiatrist, it can be a social worker who specialized in mental health. If you take this route, you will pay about 3 times less for sessions, and most of the insurances cover at least 50%. I was paying out of pocket $60, and insurance matched $60. Research your local social services and see what is the best option for you.

So here I am, a few years later, writing for my soul (and hopefully, yours). Mental health is still not enough talked about in the media, even though a lot of celebrities started promoting it. As I am learning to take care of myself, I am expected to take care of others as well. And you can’t help someone if you are the one in need of a help. So, I am asking you to talk about your problems and face them. And once you face them, embrace your power and talk about the experience. You never know who might need to hear it.

Comment below any suggestions or more resources that I didn’t list and I will keep updating this post. Cheers!

How To Pack for a Deployment

Welcome back to my blog!

I have been away for quite a while due to crazy life situations, but let me assure you, I enjoy the journey and everything that comes with it. I am now back with a lot of inspiration to write.

One of the biggest decisions of my life was to join the military and explore what discipline and dedication really mean. Regardless, it was the best decision I made and I will make this post about something I found hard to get online, military or civilian – updated packing lists.

As I was getting ready to go on my first deployment, I was trying to find what people packed, but all lists where outdated, to early 2010’s and some even early 2000’s. I started making my own list using my phone, but this list developed to a whole notebook. So, depending on where you are going, you might need different items. In this post, I will write about overseas travels such as deployments.

If you are going to places like Kuwait, Jordan, Iraq or Qatar, you will most likely need more than just your military gear. These places are now more open to “civilian” traveling, so if your only point of reference for a deployment was Iraq or Afghanistan in early 2000’s (or never deployed before), then you should check out the list below I made.

I start with the essentials such as:

  • Socks
  • Underwear
  • Female pads
  • Hair ties and bun maker
  • Brush
  • Hair gel
  • Polo shirts
  • Shower shoes
  • Gym clothes
  • Sneakers
  • Cargo pants
  • Sweat shirts
  • Sheets
  • Hiking shoes
  • Belt
  • Headphones
  • Speaker
  • Sunscreen
  • Wipes/Lysol wipes
  • Toiletries (hair, body and facial products)
  • Razors
  • Watch
  • Flashlight
  • Knife
  • Towel
  • Laundry Detergent
  • Make up

Then, for the rest of it, I did my Google research (I always end up on Amazon because let’s face it, it’s Amazon):

Adapter and chargers

I found universal adapter plug, that has different attachments for different regions and a couple of USB ports, for $20 on Amazon. Wherever you go, the PX on post sells power strips with universal plugs as well if you need it for more items (like me). Those power strips are great for all chargers, regardless of what equipment you have. Don’t forget to pack your phone, laptop and headphone chargers.

Laundry bag

Ok, laundry bag like the one military issues is very old-school. So, I bought one of these bad boys for $6. They fold into a size of one pair of socks so it is travel friendly.

Medication

For medication, I brought a lot for a whole 9 month tour in case the PX didn’t have any (which happened a few times), so that has it’s own separate list:

  • Advil/Tylenol (or your choice of painkillers)
  • Ibuprofen
  • Mucinex
  • DayQuil
  • NyQuil
  • Sleeping pills such as Advil PM
  • Melatonin 10mg
  • Multivitamins
  • Vitamin C
  • Cough drops
  • Nasal spray (I was in the Middle East and dust reallly bothered me)
  • Benadril
  • Assorted Band-Aids

Pillow

I found a travel size memory foam pillow that fits into every bag or a rucksack. I paid around $25 for it and it was the best 25 dollars I spent.

Iron

Yes, on most of the posts overseas you have laundry services but they do not iron your uniforms for free and I don’t like to have wrinkled clothes. So again, I consulted Amazon and bought travel size iron for $20. It is the size of a mug so it fits perfectly with any luggage you take.

This list doesn’t include any military gear as each unit take different components overseas. One thing I would suggest, is to take all your winter uniforms with you such as your fleece and rain coats (gore-tex) because it will get cold in the Middle East between October and February.

I hope this list helps you out and of course, leave your comments below!

Being In Your Twenties Can Be Also Stressful – And That Is Totally Fine

Sometimes trying to figure out life seems like Algebra problem that you just can’t solve, especially when you are in your twenties and trying to find yourself, your interests, career and get experience.

While some people settled down for a regular job, maybe 9 to 5 type a thing, I was never into that staff – normal and boring. For me it’s always some challenge that drives my engine and for that reason – I still didn’t find myself. I got closer, though or at least I like to think  I did. If not, I changed a lot in past few years and that is all because of my drive to do different things.

Now I am in a stage where I don’t know my next move and it’s scary. I am twenty-five and I got into a huge doubt over my life choices. One time, on a 30th birthday party of my crazy European friend someone asked her if she is freaking out and feeling old. She answered: “I am perfectly happy because in my life I always waited to be thirty. When you are thirty that is when your life starts and when you have stuff figured out.” She had a good point but I always imagined that by the time I am that age, I will have a good job that I actually like, an apartment of my own, four-year degree, a dog and at least a long term relationship. To brake it down, I am five years away from that milestone, just started college for second time (since I dropped out of first one), no boyfriend, no apartment, no dog ( I do have two cats) and I just changed my career to get to a conclusion that I want to do something else after just few months. It is going to take me more than five years to get out of this mess and sort it all out.

So, in all this mess I started to wonder (hm, Carrie Bradshaw moment) is there a right way to live your twenties?

The more I think about my personal mess, the more I observe people around me in their twenties. To get into this super personal, the reason I am thinking about this today more than any other day is because my best friend broke the news tonight over a dinner that he wants to move to Thailand and be a cook for some famous Asian chef. He is twenty-three and his biggest “out of comfort zone” was when he got drunk on my birthday and passed out while vomiting in the shower – in front of me. Luckily, he survived and now it is him who is making a change. His biggest dream is to own a restaurant and since he was teenager he has been learning about it side by side with some well known and famous chefs. He is tired of only one opportunity and wants to do more while young and sort of find his style and in the end, his true self to become better and more successful.

My friend is that type of person that doesn’t care about anything and other people can make decisions instead of him, a very easy going dude and when he broke the news I stood there for a while, processing what he just said. “Thailand” he repeated. Wow, I never even been to Thailand and until recently didn’t even know where is it located until I played some geography game on my phone while waiting for some stupid appointment. Never been to some exciting place actually, I lived in Europe for quite awhile and now in the US. This conversation made me ask myself: where do I want to go? What are the things I want to do and experience? I want to do so many things and looking at other people I have a feeling I am falling behind.

I look at all these people in their twenties and all I see is: boom-lawyer, boom-finance major; bankers, advisors, OMG I am losing my mind and how did you figure it out so fast?

Sometimes talking to older people give me anxiety because they think that twenties are roses and chocolates. We are young and we have fears. We have doubts and make mistakes. They make it seem like when they were twenty, forty years ago it was so simple; go to school, get married, buy a house, get kids. Now what? How many people of my age don’t have proper friendships let alone relationships. Society is advertising social awkwardness and loneliness with Wi-Fi access so what we can hope for?

I almost graduated fashion school when on my final year I realized I am not who I want to be and packed my bags to another continent. Now I have doubts when it comes to choosing a career as I failed so many times and wanted to so much, that it gets scary real. What a life to have, questioning every step of the way while getting judged for being young.

Then, I realized that I don’t live life like others because I am me, twenty-five year old who taking it day by day, with no apartment, no dog, no boyfriend. I do have a bucket list that is getting to be quite a lot and my next task is to do exact same thing like my friend – travel.

Sometimes I wish life was an Algebra problem, because nowadays I can Google the solution to it…

Review: Products That Changed My Life – Aroma Soap Lab by Renee Howard

Being someone who has problematic and sensitive skin, it’s really hard to find a good facial cream and scrub as all of them are giving me rash, redness or dry out my skin even more. As I confessed in one of my previous posts, I use Aquaphor  from Eucerin during winter months and in general when it’s windy but I couldn’t find a good cream during 90+ degrees.

While scrolling one day on Etsy, looking for some good handmade products, I found my little piece of heaven.

It is called AromaSoapLab owned by amazing girl Renee Howard. She is the girl that changed my skin forever. If you go to her page, you will find cool stuff that will literally change your life forever. Best part – they are affordable and organic.

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etsy.com/shop/AromaSoapLab

I looked carefully all products and decided to try Rose Hip infused plant based facial moisturizer because all other products can be miracles but if it doesn’t work on my face, it’s a lost case for me. So I placed my order and got it within few days. Since I am someone who is a makeup hoarder, I was excited to try out my new cream but also scared of how is my face going to turn out in few days and how am I going to get rid of acne after it.

That night, took a shower and decided to put my new baby on. The texture of this cream is like silk that started melting between my palms and my my skin became soft instantly. First impression: AWESOME.

Woke up in the morning, my skin smooth and soft, no dryness, no acne. Tried it for three days in a row, my skin just got better and radiant, few of pimples I had on my forehead were gone. It is a great product for summer and hot days because it’s very light and it feels like you don’t have anything on but it also didn’t disappoint me during windy and cold days. I was so happy for finding this product that I decided to try more.

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etsy.com/shop/AromaSoapLab

My next purchase was Tea Tree Mint Sea Clay facial scrub /Mask. I never had an opportunity to use any scrub or a mask more than twice because my skin had awful reaction on everything. From cheapest ones to the most expensive ones, it just didn’t work for me so I gave up finally on trying to find a perfect scrub and just wash my face for longer time, sometimes adding brown sugar to my soap just so I get little of scrubbing done.

Did the same thing trying out, three day rule and the result was clean and smooth skin, soft like a cloud.

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etsy.com/shop/AromaSoapLab

After great experience with this two products, I tried Tea Tree Mint Sea Clay Soap and currently waiting on Anise Mint Charcoal Olive Oil Soap as charcoal is the biggest hit that is happening in cosmetics world right now so expect a review soon on few similar products as well 🙂

Super excited for discovering her and hopefully this post will help change someone’s life like it did to mine!

 

Why it’s Important to Experience a Shitty Job

It is common between people to complain about their bosses, their jobs, coworkers but how many times you felt like you would rather blow up the building than go inside and work in it? Way too many? Sorry to tell you this but you have a shitty job.

Climbing the ladder in Corporate America is not easy and it is definitely stressful but let’s face it – it shouldn’t make us miserable. Being a young, motivated person I was more than happy to accept promotion in corporate office that was 24/7 needy. Since I was single and had plenty of time on my hands, I figured this is a great opportunity for me to prove myself, get the experience and make good money to pay off my heavy shoe collection.

First few weeks were giving me a headache but I thought it is normal and didn’t complain to anyone even when my boss started piling up the work and literally abuse me because I was on salary and those 40 hours per week were off the table.

Few more months passed and I was exhausted from work, not sleeping, dealing with my boss who was never on site, giving me all the stuff to solve on my own, and then my coworkers and employees were just another pain to handle. My co-manager was very loose and relaxing the rules I was trying to establish with employees calling out sick, not showing up for work or just being unprofessional and he was literally driving me crazy. In one point I realized I have no support, no one to rely on, no one to complain to or not even someone who cares. The only thing that was holding me here were my clients. I had an awesome relationship with them and they would respect me more than my own boss.

The stress was getting worse and I stopped caring about my behavior, my uniform, my vocabulary – everything just went downhill. I was even in such a bad mood after leaving my workplace that I would fight with my friends, people in a supermarket – it just didn’t look good for me.

I turned around, it’s been two years since I started working there. Two years of stress, misery, problems, mental abuse and drinking. Drinking issues got out of hand as I couldn’t find better way to deal with problems. All I would talk about is my job and how bad it is, how much I work and don’t get appreciated for it and how I lost patience even with my clients. That place just worn me out and in my mid twenties I became old and grumpy.

On December 30th I was done. I literally mean D-O-N-E. Tired of yelling, screaming, crying, suspending and feeling all alone I got into a fight with my co-manager and walked out. Yes, walked out at noon on a work day, one day before New Years Eve. Cursed him out and left. Got home, fell asleep on the couch and woke up five hours later to an-email saying I was terminated. I started to laugh. Don’t know if more from happiness or concern how the hell am I going to pay my bills now. I responded to the email saying you can’t fire a person that quit their job but I was kind of sad. All this stress became part of my life and I don’t know for any better. What the hell am I going to do now with all this stress-free time?

It was New Years Eve and no one noticed I was not in the office but I did. I was not there at 7 AM, hating my job and wishing to be sick, mentally unstable or something. They even had a joke for me saying I will leave that place in a stretcher. Almost.

Depression kicked in and I couldn’t get my shit together because I thought that every highly paid job is tough and demanding, with daily problems and anxiety. Trust me when I tell you that I was deeply wrong and so are you if you have the same thinking. Yes, certain jobs are hard and tough to deal with but this devastating feeling is not one that you should feel at all times. All the tears and torture, sleepless nights and anxiety over a job was totally unnecessary but I won’t call it a mistake. Mistakes are there to teach us so I will always appreciate the experience but sometimes you just need to say: “Enough.”

You are probably wondering, alright, you just told us your sad little story but what is the point?

The point is that after being depressed for probably two or three months, panicking over my destiny and American Dream I was trying to build I was surprisingly – FINE. I got a part-time job then after that another part-time and I was rollin’. Didn’t know where but at least I was paying bills on time. At times it was tough but I decided to fix my life and find something that will make me HAPPY.

Then happened what was natural to come – I was working one weekend and got called into the office by my bosses. They said they loved what I do and asked me if I am interested in full-time-better-pay position. It was a great day, and soon after great week, month and now almost a year. What was important about it is that as soon as I left my previous job, I stopped being crazy nervous and mad at all times. I became relaxed, talked a lot with different people about their experiences and their first serious jobs, how do they handle stress at work and how to stay sane. I collected their individual experiences, combined it with my own valuable experience and became a better person on all levels, not just at work.

Now I know how to appreciate my job and money that I am earning but I also appreciate myself. Don’t let your bosses or coworkers abuse you, mistreat you or harass you. I need to say there is always light in the end of the tunnel and you are probably now thinking: “OMG, what a cliche” but it is true. One doors closed, two more opened – that is a rule for everything, sometimes we just need to let things go. You shouldn’t hold onto something if it’s not worth it and being miserable for your job is definitely not worth it. There is always a place that will appreciate you and love you for who you are and what you do but also I need to say this: If I didn’t have this experience with bad employer, I wouldn’t be so grateful for having this one right now. I learned so much from that experience, how to handle and respect myself, my health, my time and overall how to be better. And improving yourself is what should be on top of your list. After a bad workplace you might even switch profession if you realize that the current one is not a good fit for you. Anything can happen and that is a good thing. Changes are scary but great because that is how  you figure out life, what you like or dislike, what you can or what are your priorities.

Sorry to break it down for you or make you question yourself and your job but what makes you melancholic is not good for you (unless you are a songwriter 🙂 ) and needs to end. You will find something better, a place that knows how to respect you and make you improve and grow even bigger.

Do not hold it for yourself, talk to people, tell them what is going on, report abusers and leave when you hate it more than you love it. Waking up and hating your life is the worst thing it can happen to you so change what you can, become better for yourself.

Good Luck!

New Rubric on AllCoffeeTalk

It’s been crazy last few months. I quit my job, started a blog, went back to school, moved to another town… And it’s only May. In these last few weeks, I had a great experience exploring my inner self and met amazing people to help me with my journey.

I started a blog so I can express myself and my beliefs to others and to have fun. It came natural to me as I like to travel, cook and do makeup. But I didn’t realize how much impact this blog will have on my life.

With that being said, I will start a new rubric on AllCoffeeTalk simply called: Thoughts. It will be the area where I will post about some part of my life, some stories, opinions and spiritual improvements. I learned over the course of years that sometimes you just need to hear the truth, no matter how cruel it is.

Sometimes, I just need a quote to change the course of my day or bad period of thoughts and actions.
When someone told me to start writing things down I gave them a laugh. But then, I started just to prove them wrong. Now, I’ve been writing for 3 years and couple of things came out of that. One, I feel much better when I put things on paper. Two, while writing, I realize things that I normally wouldn’t. Things become clear and I find solution quicker. And three, when I read it again after a year or so, I realize how much stronger I become, how I made it through even if in that moment I thought I wouldn’t and how I wouldn’t even stress about that if it happened right now. It is an experience that will stay marked on a paper, because we should not forget who we were on the beginning and that learning process we had to go through, and tears we had to cry out.

All guest posts are welcome. You have a story please, share it. You are struggling with certain things in your life? Write about it, we will post it and listen to other what they have to say. In this area, you can post as someone else, you can use different name, write a story about other people, whatever will make you feel better.

I hope this stories will help you to not feel alone and improve you at becoming a stronger, better person.

Skincare and makeup confession

 

If you live on East Coast, you are probably hugging space heater right now and forgot how outside looks like. On days when you decide to punish yourself and go out, your skin shouldn’t be punished. Here are easy steps to save your skin from cracking and drying and still look fab.

Facial cream

It took me awhile (about 6 years of frustration, skin rash and endless crying) to find right facial cream. My skin varies from extremely dry to very oily and honestly, it’s annoying. Changing creams and formulas, from organic and baby products, to witches potions and shamrock roots, everything gave me pimples and redness. Until I found perfect product that saved my life. Aquaphor from Eucerin is literally the best thing that exists on the planet. If you didn’t make face palm after reading this, then you know you can use Aquaphor on daily basis, if your skin is extremely sensitive.

During winter, I use Burt’s Bees products as makeup primer, since my skin gets really dry.

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Makeup or no, facial cream is a must on every day basis because it takes care of skin texture and pores.

Foundation

People who know me for 10+ years scream in shock when and IF they ever see me without makeup during winter. My skin is pale and very sensitive so makeup helps in protecting from cracking and peeling on days when it is freezing outside. When choosing right foundation, you need to consider your skin type and tone, for mine I go with Dream Liquid Mousse from Maybelline and L’oreal True Match LUMI, that I actually mix in to get nice toned, natural color. Finish it off with Maybelline Shine Free Loose Powder and blush my cheeks with ALMAY smart shade. You might noticed that all of this products are drugstore makeup but for day makeup I really don’t need that fleeky Kim Kardashian look because I don’t have cameras on every corner and paparazzi stalkers.

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My stalker carries a paper bag with vodka inside so he is not getting MAC cosmetics treatment.

With all those makeup artists on Instagram, “fans” are forgetting one thing. Makeup artists are using high-end full coverage makeup products that are heavy on your skin and have so much shine and glitter that if you wear it in a supermarket, people think you are radioactive. Light to medium coverage is all you need for daily makeup. Also, Instagram tutorials are for night makeup, which is something different and clubs, restaurants and gala events go with that heavy red carpet look, instead schools, stores and gossip parties at Starbucks. I will make a special tutorial for full coverage makeup.

Eyebrows

Ok, let’s face it, bold eyebrows are the biggest hit since belly piercing and my time goes mostly on doing them. If you follow makeup trends then the last rule about expensive makeup products on daily basis doesn’t apply here. Go spend all your money on brow pencils and mousses, go, and don’t look back. My current obsession is Anastasia Beverly Hills pencil, that is absolutely magical. It gives you subtle, natural look and it can go from thick to thin without Angelina Jolie effect.

The 59th Annual Golden Globe Awards - Arrivals
Angelina Jolie (Photo by SGranitz/WireImage)

Please, don’t make this eyebrows. Ever.

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This is much better.

From here it’s really up to you, if you prefer to have eye makeup or finish up with lipstick or lip gloss, I’m sure you will look fabulous no matter what!

When day is over and makeup needs to go 😦 , whatever method you use to remove it, make sure you moisture your skin before bed with night face cream, so skin can stay radiant.

14 Things you should have in your kitchen

Very simple guide list for people who enjoy their food, just like me! These are things I always keep in kitchen and make my life much, much easier when I am hungry.

 

Oils

Virgin Olive oil is very healthy and plus it’s tasty to use with salads and bread. Be careful, olive oil is not meant to be fried and when it’s heated, it’s extremely toxic. Olive oil is my absolute fave when it comes to salads or pasta.

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Sunflower oil is my number one oil, when it comes to baking and frying. On the side that doesn’t have a strong flavor, sunflower oil is on top of the list for healthiest cooking oils. Nothing tastes better than French fries fried in this oil. Yum!

Potatoes

This delicious vegetable gives us mashed potato, casserole, Shepard’s pie, French fries (and vodka), what other reason I should give you to have this item as a MUST in your kitchen? It is easy to prepare, no matter if baked, fried or boiled. Get your things in order, every other vegetable!

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Tuna

If you are a fish lover, cans of tuna is something you should keep in your kitchen because it can come handy when you are hungry and need something that is fast. Is it tuna mixed with mayo and scallion, or over pasta with some cheese or sour cream, you can’t go wrong with it. I can’t think of anything lighter and faster to eat in warm summer days.

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Eggs

Here is a fact: eggs are delicious. You can add them to any dish, sandwich, and let’s not forget, ice cream. Hard boiled eggs is something I try to keep in my fridge with some fresh ones. If you are in a rush in the morning, scrambled eggs are way to go. If you want to be creative, add some peppers, cheese, spinach or ham, you have delicious omelet.

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Beat one egg, add 1 ½ cup of flour, 1 tbs. baking powder, bit of sugar and salt, 1 ¼  cup of milk and 3 tbs. of butter and you just made pancakes.

And then, there is brunch eggs. We can’t argue that.

Bananas

Fun fact: Bananas are the only fruit that contains the amino acid tryptophan plus vitamin B6. They help your body produce serotonin – a natural substance that alleviates depression. Bananas also don’t have fat, cholesterol and sodium. By eating bananas, our body is getting protein, which is very important for our muscles, especially if exercising.

Greek yogurt or whole milk, banana, strawberries and a splash of orange juice is a real blessing to our body. List of things you can make with bananas is a mile long. If in need for something fast, sweet and healthy, just mix 2 eggs and one banana, and make pancakes. You can add absolutely anything from vanilla extract, chopped nuts, chocolate chips to fresh fruits and jam. It is great to snack on or have it for breakfast, even after workout. My favorite snack is banana cut on half, dipped in Nutella and chopped nuts for nice afternoon snack.

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Tomatoes

This vegetable can be found in pasta sauces, casseroles, sandwiches and pizza. Is it fresh or in a can, it always comes handy to have it for some pasta Puttanesca when guests come over unexpectedly or just for a simple sandwich with lettuce and mayo on top. Usually, when one or two tomatoes left or opened can, I like to add chopped onion, cook for few minutes in water and oil, add sour cream, prosciutto, and spices and if possible mushrooms, and there you have it, homemade pasta sauce. My family loves when we have some leftovers of tomatoes because that means pasta time.

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Oatmeal

Oatmeal is one thing you can eat in the morning, afternoon or late night and no one can judge you for doing it. They are great, cheap and healthy. If you are in a rush in the morning, or just want something before going to bed, oatmeal is a great food to have in your kitchen and menu. Chopped strawberries, walnuts, sprinkled with brown sugar is just a must for my summer breakfast.

 

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Flour

For pretty basic powder, flour gives you a lot of choices, actually. Definitely what I would recommend is all- purpose flour because gives you so many options. Is it to make a dough, thicken any liquid or sauce or just as coating for fried food, flour helps you with all this. In my kitchen it’s mostly used to make sour dough from scratch.

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Whole Milk

Yes, whole milk. I know we are always trying to eat healthy, be careful with calories and fats but whole milk is something you should ALWAYS drink before any other low – fat, fat – free or reduced fat milk.

And I will give you a valid reason, don’t worry. Fat in milk is healthy. Let us just think rationally. Processed food is not good. So why is fat free milk good? It’s not. Milk fat contains vitamins A and D, and it reduces chances for our body to crave for donuts or fried food if we drink a glass of whole milk in the morning. And on top of every other health fact, whole milk tastes better than any other processed, fat reduced milk. So next time when in supermarket, grab whole milk and enjoy a glass during breakfast, in your cereal or in coffee.

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Sour cream or yogurt

Since we are talking about dairy, one more addition to your fridge should be sour cream or yogurt. It is really hard to find whole milk yogurt but low-fat ones are not bad if they contain fruit or chocolate inside. It is a good addition to pastas, sandwiches, cold salads, smoothies and cereals. Other good thing about this delicious products is that goes with every season and temperature.

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Chicken

If you are a meat lover, then chicken should be your choice for freezer. It defrosts really fast, gets prepared in just few minutes and it is super tasty. Chicken meat is rich with protein, which is good for muscles and it’s not rich with calories. Grilled, sautéed, fried, baked, wings, chicken breasts, the list doesn’t stop for deliciousness.

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Nuts

Except the fact that this is how my husband calls me, nuts are something we always have in our home. Full with fiber, healthy fats, minerals and vitamins, nuts are great to mix with your breakfast, smoothie or eat them plain. If you mix nuts in honey, you get healthy snack and good aphrodisiac J.

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Rice

Simple, good and fast. Addition to meat, vegetable, or dessert, rice is always one of the first jars on my kitchen shelf. Grab frozen veggies, microwave, prepare rice and that’s one idea for lunch. Top it with chicken, steak or corn, or simply cook it in milk, add sugar, cinnamon or chocolate, and dessert is ready.

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Frozen fruits and vegetables

In my first post, I wrote how I prefer to buy fresh fruits and veggies, rather than mixed bags in supermarket simply because I see what goes in and that there is no preservative added. Carrots, corn, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, strawberries, bananas, mangos, raspberries is something you can find in my freezer, especially during winter. In fall, I start buying fresh ones and bagging for freezer. On days when feeling lazy to cook, just grab one bag of mixed veggies, ground beef and mashed potatoes, in 20 minutes Shepherd’s Pie is ready. Take a bag of your favorite mix of fruits, blend it with yogurt or milk and there is one healthy smoothie. Let it defrost, add milk and yogurt, mix it for few minutes with electric mixer, and there you have fruit cream for pancakes, waffles or crepes. Or put it back in freezer, in 2 hours you have natural ice cream. Possibilities are endless.

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3 Trends Every Fashionista Should Know

In the end of the year, we can always sum up what was good fashion trend and what was a complete disaster. 2015 was major in makeup and hairstyle fields, so these 3 trends are definitely going to stay in 2016.

Brows
Makeup world was never the same, after Cara Delevingne presented her eyebrows to the wide world. From early 2000’s thin eyebrows to 2016’s bold and boyish, eyebrows are big part of our style and makeup.
Is it just me or bold eyebrows are bigger hit than black eyeliner and Lady Gaga’s hair bow?
From girls competing who drew them better, to makeup artists and producers competing who did it better, shaping your eyebrows became art for itself.
However you like your eyebrows, thin or full, be careful not to over-do them, because fake look is never in style.

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Lipsticks
2015 was definitely a year of lipsticks. From nude, red, brown, blue to black colors, lipsticks became a must in daily makeup. Even the biggest celebrities experimented with colors. Lipstick world changed after Jeffree Star launched his Velour Liquid Lipstick collection that is vegan, cruelty free, and rich with colors. After him, Kylie Jenner lips were definitely biggest conversation starter between makeup addicts. She even made her own collection of signature colors. Are her lips too much, is question that is raised usually when Kylie shows up. Makeup can look great even if it goes over lip lines, as long as it is applied well and not visibly fake.
If wearing statement lipstick is your thing, then you should consider having some colors like, brown, purple, red and black.

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The Lob
This hairstyle was launched by Kardashian sisters in 2015 and it got huge attention worldwide. Except the fact it’s stylish, it’s also low maintenance and if your hair is naturally curly or wavy, you don’t need to do anything special to make it look like you just got of red carpet. The best part is, even if messy, it can be very classy or just casual.

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Whatever you decide your look will be, always keep one thing on mind: Fake look is so 2000s.

Cucumber and Ham Spread

Question of all questions: What to eat today?

If it’s too heavy and greasy, I’ll feel sick later and hate myself probably after all that delicious grease, if it’s “healthy” it’s not really tasty. Luckily, with right ingredients it can be all: tasty, healthy and light. One of my favorite things to snack on during that mid time between lunch and dinner, where I get cravings for most ridiculous things is

Cucumber and Ham Spread

Making these delicious spread is the easiest thing and don’t need to be an expert in the kitchen. Just follow these steps.

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Ingredients:
1 medium cucumber,
Peeled and fine grated 1 small onion,
8 oz. pkg. softened cream cheese or sour cream
3 tbsp. real mayonnaise
¼ lb of your favorite ham – grated (I use Black Forest Ham)
Salt and pepper to taste
Few slices of your favorite bread.

Directions:
Before mixing anything, make sure all the juice is removed from the cucumber and onion after you have grated them since both veggies are full of juice when grated. You can easily squeeze it with a paper towel or putting in a mug and squeezing it with hand.
In a medium bowl using electric mixer, whip the cream cheese or sour cream until it’s fluffy. Add the cucumber, onion, ham and mayonnaise. Taste the cucumber mixture and add salt and pepper as needed. Stir well with a spoon to combine. Spread the mixture on warmed up bread. Top each sandwich with another bread slice. Cut each sandwich into four pieces. If you take the crust out, grab cookie cutter and make your own shape with these delicious sandwiches.
Enjoy!