The truth? I’ve been avoiding this blog. The list of things I have done instead of clicking “Publish” is endless and a little bit concerning.

This space scares me. It’s a summary of a girl I used to be, or at least the girl I thought I was and the life that went with it. A good life, just not the right one. A life that, sometimes, I have to convince myself even existed; full of memories that can only be relived in a fuzzy, unsure way. The transition from that life to this one was not smooth or fluid; it was full of sharp edges that other people as well as myself always seemed to catch the end of.

To put it simply, the words on this blog remind me of my most intense battle: being me.

Every syllable of this blog prior to 2015 was dedicated to convincing anyone who might stumble across my words that everything, my whole life, was packaged up neatly with a pretty little bow.

A couple of months ago, I broke my nose. Maybe this seems like a random transition, but stay with me here.

Once the shock and hilarity of the whole situation had passed I was left with one swollen, slightly crooked nose and two very black eyes. I couldn’t do anything to cover it up, to make my face look like my face. Not to mention, just touching the area was extremely painful. So, for two weeks my face was void of all makeup – for anyone who knows me this is a major adjustment on its own – and it was bruised black & blue and then a sickly yellowish green before slowly disappearing, leaving my face as it found it. Those two weeks were…different. When I went out in public, people stared and not in a good way. I avoided mirrors. I was being beyond pouty and vain about something that would eventually heal, a temporary injury with the full knowledge that there are people out there dealing with horrendous illnesses and terrible battles. That only made me feel more miserable. To put it simply, I didn’t handle it very well. Being stripped away of my image, of what I looked like without all of those things I relied on daily to “fix” my flaws.

But, my fiance came home every day and hugged me, kissed me and assured me I was still the love of his life. My friends were sympathetic but reminded me it would heal and told me, even if it was a white lie, that I was still beautiful. My family laughed at a situation that could only happen to me and made me laugh about it too.

I guess what I am trying to say is, this is what life was like for me for a really long time. That package, with the pretty little bow, was ripped open. And all of the mess, uncertainty, ugliness and disappointment was released from inside and I walked around with two very, very (figurative) black eyes. A lot of people didn’t like the unpackaged, less pretty version of my life and so they left – but I found it much less exhausting to be me, at both my best and my worst. Being a mess was a lot easier than pretending that I wasn’t one.

I owe a lot of that transition to Travis, my now fiance, the very first person in my life to see me completely – all of the good and every bit of the bad – and love me anyway. Also, a family, who I spent so many exhausting years trying to convince I had it all together…that I was a success….a rock – the person they could count on, they still loved me when they found out the truth. I make mistakes, lots of them. I think, maybe, they even loved me more. And the friends this transition brought into my life have been an epic blessing – its no longer a competition, a race, a battle to be the happiest, prettiest, most successful – instead its a circle of support, we all want each other to make it.

I’m going to come back to this blog, but this time, I’m going to make sure it is a reflection of who I am – not who I think other people want me to be.

It took 28 (almost 29) years to get here, to realize its okay to be a lot of sunshine mixed with a little bit of hurricane, to spend an entire day at home without ever actually putting on a pair of pants, to cry when things are sad or happy or overwhelming or for no good reason because….hormones, to eat an entire box of Mac n Cheese by myself and still have room for dessert. People will still love me if I forget to send a thank you note, a birthday card or I have to say no to a favor that was asked of me. It’s okay to miss a workout or not feel like doing that load of laundry or to keep the bed unmade for an entire week. The little snort at the end of my laugh is cute not embarrassing and if I want to wear something the rest of the world has deemed “out of style” I’m going to wear it, because I like it. Most of all, its okay to know what you want and its okay to do whatever you have to do to get it. I’ve learned to trust myself, to trust that I know what is best for me; you know when you have settled into the right life, with the right people because the littlest things bring happiness.

Waking up next to the person you love – knowing you’re the reason for the smile on their face, chatting openly and unabashedly with your best friends about some of those most embarrassing topics, a freshly mowed lawn, a perfectly cooked scallop, the love of a little boy who asks for nothing but some love back, folding clothes, drinking coffee, the flutter in my heart hearing the garage door open at the end of the day and knowing he’s home. This is life, this is contentment, this is me.




I’ve been terrified to write this. I’ve stared at the screen for several hours every week for many weeks willing the perfect words to escape my fingertips, willing the black letters on a white screen to come together in such a way that everyone would understand. “Ooohhh,” they’d say, “that poor girl, she has always meant well, even when she destroyed people.”

Today, I realized, there is nothing I could write, no rhetoric that would make sense to everyone….no such thing as a blog post that could comfort all of those I may have hurt.

And maybe the effort seems pointless, damaging even….but the truth is, living in the past is trying to destroy me. Living where all of the hurt we all caused each other has gone to die, where all of the bullets have settled amongst their wounds – that place bears no forgiveness from myself or anyone else.

“Learn to accept an apology you never got.” That’s the cliche, right? I can live with all of the apologies I never received, I find, though, that I struggle with the apologies I never distributed.

Right here, where I am in life, is absolutely imperfect. A large portion of the time is spent in absolute euphoria….but, a lot of the time it is sad, sometimes it is lonely, many times its confusing and in very small moments it is unbearable….but it is, without a doubt, absolutely where I am supposed to be.

I cannot put into words what it feels like when you find the place where you belong. I had never in my previous 27 years found it and it was not for lack of trying. Every decision I made, every place I landed – it was easy – but always wrong, I always felt at odds with my contentment.

I exist in a world I would have never created for myself and, somehow, it is everything I have ever wanted and needed. And yet, I am excruciatingly aware of all of the things and all of the people I have had to sacrifice for my own happiness, my own well being.

I won’t regret it. I haven’t yet and I never will. Even if this world is temporary it was worth every bit of anguish to be here for this precious amount of time.

I am deeply regretful that people had to suffer because it took me just a bit longer to find what I wanted, what I needed, what my own existence depended on. I was never one to leave destruction in my wake, but I was also never one to put my own needs before those around me.

I am sorry that it all happened at once. I am sorry that I couldn’t be everything I promised to all of the people in my life.

I hope this apology means forward progression, I hope it means I can leave it all behind, I hope that I means I can thrive. I guess most of all, I hope that all of those people who felt betrayed by my choices can wish me well.

I want the best for everyone I have ever loved and I can only hope they want the same for me.



I drink more coffee than a Gilmore.

(If you don’t get that reference…then you MUST park your butt on the couch and spend the next few weeks of your life watching Gilmore Girls on Netflix.)

Anyway…as I was saying, I drink more coffee than a Gilmore. Which means, I know my coffee and I know a great cup from a good cup and a good cup from a bad cup.

So, when Gusto coffee emailed me and asked me to do a review of their coffee I was more than willing. When I went to their website to do a bit more research and discovered that Gusto Coffee is not only passionate about the quality of their coffee but also the integrity of where that coffee comes from I was hooked. Fair trade and high quality is there mission and I was incredibly impressed by both.

I only became more impressed when the product arrived. The packaging, the logo and the overall presentation was idyllic!

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I was even more thrilled to have the chance to prepare the coffee from it’s “whole bean” form. I never get to use my coffee grinder and I find that coffee from whole beans is so much fresher and more satisfying than when purchased already ground!

Gusto Coffee 1

Gusto Coffee 2

I was pleased to find that not only did the whole process feel exactly like making an amazing cup of coffee should feel it was also an AMAZING cup of coffee. The taste was rich without be overwhelming and the whole experience was extremely rewarding. When this bag is gone I am positive I will be purchasing more of this fantastic coffee!

This is the face of a happy coffee drinker!!

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Also, have to shout out the adorable “Like A Boss” coffee mug and my Jamberry nails. Find the mug here and the Jamberry nails here!

Header Photo

When I look back on my beauty regime “fails” I always find myself focusing on my nails.

I’m so aware that rhymed. I can’t even help it.

But seriously…my nails only received special attention on very special occassions…prom, someone’s wedding or….when my mom offered to pay for my manicures.

As I have delved into the world of blogging and subsequently giving people beauty advice, I became brutally aware of all of my own beauty shortcomings.

Most importantly, my nails.

Unfortunately, my talent for brushing on the perfect eye shadow did NOT translate to slathering polish on my poorly cared for, cuticle consumed finger nails. And, so I took the usual Hayley approach…I dumped a bunch of money into the project. Spending $65-$75 every few weeks on a detailed shellac manicure that became less of a luxury and more of a chore.

And then one day I stumbled across Jamberry. I will admit that my previous experience with nail wraps was less than desirable – the application was time consuming and quite frequently ended with losing several of the wraps in my hair during a shampoo.

But, when a friend named Amy – who happens to be an independent Jamberry consultant insisted that I try the product to review, I couldn’t help but bite. Now, I’m hooked!

When the wraps arrived I was pleased to find that they were just as adorable in person as they appeared to be on the website. The only hard part is deciding which wraps to get, luckily, they are affordable enough you can choose several without breaking the bank

She insisted that I not only try out the wraps but also the mini dryer as well! Just to test out the effectiveness of the dryer I tried BOTH a blow dryer (which others had recommended if you did not have a mini dryer) and the mini dryer Jamberry sells. The mini dryer made all of the difference!! It made the entire process so much easier!

The official video gives you all of the application tips & tricks that you need!

The application is easy, quick and effective. These things don’t go anywhere until you want them too! And there are so many options and designs (and new ones keep on coming!!) that you can never get bored of your look.

Jamberry Review 1

Jamberry Review 3

Jamberry REview 2

The adorable pattern is MORE THAN getting me through the last half of this winter! And I can’t wait to pick out some more!

Want some wraps (and a mini dryer!) of your own?

Visit Amy’s Facebook Page and Website to order some now!

Humans…each of us, bring our own pasts and our own personalities into every relationship we encounter.

I bring fear, lots of it. Fear of abandonment, fear of loss, fear of watching a person slowly drift away. Truth be told that has been the story that accompanied every relationship I have ever known in one way or another. Even if the person came back…at some point, they left.

I’m not trying to make anyone feel bad for me….no, instead….I’m trying to make us all pause to understand one another. My fear of abandonment causes me to push before they leave. Not ideal…what if they were never going to leave? Not permanently anyway.

Others fear engulfment, entrapment, loss of self, loss of a dream or a goal, loss in general.

We humans exist in this life projecting our fears on the people who surround us…it is a fucking pinball machine…all of us and our fears bumping against each other.

Why do we even bother?

I think I know why.

Because when we survive it. A rift. A fight. A war. When we reunite with a lost friend, or hug someone after we fought and cried and screamed….or even when we find the strength to forgive those people who never asked for it…when we send prayers to those who never bothered to send them to us….when we’ve passed it, the relief that follows is euphoric. The staggered breath we breathe in is unlike any oxygen we’ve ever encountered. We feel cleansed.

Just my thoughts for the night.

Fun stuff soon.


Life is so fucking weird.

If there is one thing I learned in 2014…it’s that. Life is weird, and what’s worse? Is it, or God, or whatever higher power you might believe in is absolutely calling the shots. You are not really in control of hardly anything.

Kind of a horrible feeling, amiright?

There is one thing, though…I feel like we have all been granted control of. Telling the people we care about…just how much we care about them while they are here, in our lives or on this planet.

I have always been an “I love you” girl. I grew up in a family that said it every time one of us exited a room. And I love that about myself. I love to tell people how much they matter, I love to make it clear to those in my life how important their presence is for my existence. But even with this sort of mentality…I forget. I forget how much a person might need to hear it. I take for granted the fact that someone should just know how much I love them.

This year I learned that you can’t predict the last time. You have absolutely no idea when the last time you talk to someone might be…people are separated every day; by death, by distance, by loss, by dreams, by goals, by choices.

So, today…tell them. All of those people that are still in your life, all of those souls that still circle your perimeter and matter….tell them so. Let them know.

Don’t play games with your significant other, don’t wait for your friend to reach out to you, don’t ignore your mom’s call while you’re on the phone with someone else…or right in the middle of your favorite TV show.

So, I guess this is my New Year’s Eve post…make your resolutions. Lose that weight, sleep more, read more, floss your teeth, but most of all…pick up the phone, take out a piece of paper, open a damn Facebook message and make it a habit to tell the important people just how important they are. It is a privilege to have them in your life…act like it.

Here’s to 2015!

Home Office Makeover

You guys…this has been like 3 years in the making. Ever since I bought this house I stared at this perfect little space that was to be my very own office.

Unfortunately, I never made the time to really fix the thing up. The walls were tan…the carpet was tan…and the furniture was old. It was the least attractive room of the house…and yet, I expected to come there and find inspiration. I didn’t. As a matter of fact, I found myself creating makeshift workspaces in literally every other room in the house…JUST so I could avoid this room. So silly!

So, earlier this fall, when my life took a dramatically different direction I decided there was no better way to embrace the change and newly found independence than by finally creating the inspirational and creative space I’ve always wanted so much.

I am pleased to say…3 months later, I’m absolutely in love with the space I’ve created. I feel comfortable here, I feel capable, indestructible and motivated. It was my first real project on my own…I painted, put together the furniture, tackled some obstacles and setbacks…but, I did it on my own.

Okay, I’ll shut up and just show you!

Home Office 6

Home Office 12

HOme Office 9

Home Office 1

Home Office 5

Home Office 7

Home Office 2

Home Office 8

Home Office 11

Home Office 10Home Office 13

Totally photo happy…but I just can’t help it, I’m obsessed!!

Hopefully you’re feeling ridiculously inspired to redo an area of your house or your life that you’ve been putting off!!

Now, tell me…what’s your favorite addition to the office?? 🙂


Do you want to know what my least favorite thing about beauty and makeup is…?

There are so many “rules”.

Like, a lot of them.

Blondes should wear this….
That skin tone requires that…
You’re too pale for that color…
Your face is too round for that cut…

You guys…I could quite literally go on and on for days reciting every rule that has ever been thrown at me in regard to what I should wear & when I should wear it.

And if life has taught me anything the past year…it’s that often times, post grade school, “rules” are designed by expectations…expectations of others and sometimes just our own expectations. And sometimes the only thing to do with a rule is to break it, break it right in half!

So, I thought it would be fun to start a new little blog series/category in which I take a “beauty rule” and I break it!!

Today, I’m breaking this one:

Some say…

“There are specific colors of shadow that should be used with each eye color.” 


Obviously, certain colors compliment other colors…but I believe that the way in which you apply the shadow has much more to do with the way you compliment your eye color than the actual color of the shadow does. So go ahead and buy every version of those silly Almay eye palettes…they all look good!

I took the purplest purples (rumor has it these are reserved for green eyes) and I put that shit all over my very blue eyes and you know what….I loved it!! 

Smokey Eye Makeup Look Purple

Purple Smokey Eye

I seriously love the way it turned out. I got so many compliments while I was out and about that day!

This would be the perfect look for all of the holiday parties coming up!!

Okay, what I used:

On the eyes:

Urban Decay Vice 3 Palette:
Start with applying “Truth” on your brow bone.
Apply “Last Sin” all over eye lid, into crease and up into brow bone.
Blend “Vanity” up into the crease of the eye and apply liberally on the outer corner of lid.
Take “Bondage” and blend it tightly into crease and outer lid. Carefully smudge it onto lower lash line.
Blend the heck out of everything using a blending brush or just a clean finger!

After my shadow was just where I wanted it I used a Revlon ColorBurst Matte Lip Balm to further smudge and blend under my eyes. I originally bought this in the color Shameless to wear on my lips…but when I found the color to be a bit off for me I discovered it works perfect to help create a purple smokey eye!

Next, I lined with Urban Decay’s 24/7 Glide on Pencil in “Delinquent”

I blended the liner out using liner brush and “Blackheart” from the Naked 3 Palette. 

And of course I finished up with Benefit’s They’re Real! Mascara – You all can just go ahead and assume that it the mascara I’m always wearing unless told otherwise. Mostly because it’s freaking amazing!

On my face:

This is much more simple!

Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer Illuminating in Warm Radiance.
Nars Contour Blush for a quick highlight and contour.
Nars Blush in Orgasm – universally flattering! Everyone should have it!

I hope you love it and please email me with any other ideas for “beauty rules” you would like me to go ahead and break!! 

Well, it’s cold out. Like, really cold..and windy….and bedtime feels like 6 o’clock because the sun abandoned us at five.

What I’m trying to say is I’m already dreading winter.

On the bright side…a new season and new weather means a change in my beauty routine. Which means…an excuse to shop! 😉

So, if you’re wondering what to buy to make the transition into winter just a bit easier on your skin and look then you’re going to love this edition of “On My List.”

Fall Winter Beauty Must Haves

1. Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencil
Preferably in one of their shades of dark red! It’s officially time to transition from glossed lips and pink shimmer to a much more bold lip. The Nars lip pencil doubles as a liner and lipstick but is moisturizing enough to keep lips healthy through the colder months!

2. Dior Cleansing Water
I’m a firm believed in washing my face both in the morning and at night. Unfortunately, with the dry, frigid air that accompanies this time of year scrubbing twice a day can cause dry, unhealthy skin. So, a few nights a week I like to swap out my nightly scrub with Dior Cleansing Water. A little bit on a kleenex gently removes the day’s makeup and grime and leaves your skin feeling soft and clean!

3. Nest Hand Lotion
It’s officially “wash your hands every chance you get so you don’t catch that nasty cold from your co-workers” season. If you’re going to be washing them all day and following up with lotion it might as well be a lotion that smells as divine as this one does. I love to carry one around in my purse!

4. Dry Bar Detox Dry Shampoo
Unless you want a dry, frizzy mess it is impossible to wash your hair every day. Which is why I try to skip a day by freshening up with my favorite dry shampoo!

5. Pursonic Humidifier
Unless you live in the jungle…I absolutely advise that you do not sleep without a humidifier this time of year. This one gives you plenty of control over your settings and offers both warm and cold moisture.

6. Josie Maran Argan Oil Serum
No matter how many days between washes your hair will always need a little extra moisture. This Argan oil is my favorite – just seems more workable than the others!

7. Philosophy Hope in a Jar
I’m going on year four of using this face moisturizer. I have been absolutely unable to find another one that moisturizes as well as this does…without feeling too heavy. I use it both morning at night this time of year!

8. Clinique Chubby Stick Baby Tint
The perfect balm to freshen up those bold lip colors throughout the day as well as adding some much needed moisturizer.

9. Hempz Original Moisturizer
For all over moisture this is my absolutely favorite. Smells like heaven! Repairs and moisturizes! Feels light and airy!

10. Julep Cuticle Oil
Even if you are one who gets regular manicures I would recommend dabbing on cuticle oil nightly! Again, with all of the hand washing we do during this season the cuticles get completely dried out and the hand lotion can only do so much!

What did I miss? What’s on your list?!


The most common comment I get on my smokey eye makeup is…”I try and do something like that and I just look silly!”

I bet you don’t! We all spend so much time looking at ourselves in the mirror that sometimes when we try something a bit different than our usual look we think we look ridiculous…when someone else thinks you look great!

There are so many tutorials and tips on achieving the perfect smoky eye look! But…if you keep trying and you keep finding yourself less than impressed with the outcome…I’ve put together a list of the 5 most common ways we manage to ruin our smokey eye look! These come from personal experience!

Smokey Eye

1. Your brows are pulling a disappearing act.

Some of us have naturally dark, rich and perfectly shaped brows. Most of us don’t…which means…for all of you fair haired girls out there…you need to fill them in! I’m an outrageous believer of filling in the brows anytime (even when I am going out sans makeup I at least stop to give my brows a little color) but it is ridiculously important if you want to pull off a smokey eye. If you don’t fill those things in they will take a back seat to the heavy makeup look on your eye. That’s not good – we need our brows….I know I’m still having bad dreams about Kendall Jenner’s bleached brows.

Try: Anastasia Brow Genius Kit

2. Your lashes lack drama.

If you have long lashes…awesome. Curl those things and use a mascara like Benefit! They’re Real to give those things some life! If you don’t have the lash length…then apply some falsies. Your lashes are an extremely important aspect of the smokey eye – they add dimension and add texture to the look…dramatic, full eye lashes are key!

Try: Benefit, They’re Real! Mascara
Try: Urban Decay – Urban Lash

3. Your lip color is fighting to steal the show.

Very few people successfully pull off a bold eye and a bold lip simultaneously. I think I’ve successfully done this once (and I was never able to do it again!) If you’ve decided to give your eyes some smoky attention then its best to keep the lips subtle and glossy. This goes for blush as well – keep it soft!

Try: Buxom Full-On Lip Cream in White Russian
Try: Nars Blus in Orgasm

4. You’ve left a mess. 

It is almost impossible to apply a smokey eye without ending up with a little debris under the eye and on the face. If this isn’t properly cleaned up then you’ll be left with a dark circle, sunken eye look that reminisces the morning after a realllly long night. It’s best to do the eyes first, clean up the mess and then apply foundation and concealer on the face. Finish with the setting spray to make sure everything stays where it should!

Try: Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray

5. You’re holding back.

People have the misconception that they can’t pull off a smoky eye. This isn’t true. Everyone can pull off a smokey eye of some sort. Don’t hold back when applying the look…if you do, you’ll end up with a smokey eye which actually isn’t a smokey eye! And you won’t love it!!

Try: Too Faced Chocolate Bar Eye Palette