We have all had our share of bullying and most of us can relate to getting our feelings hurt by something that someone else did or said. I had a traumatic experience with a group of girls in 7th and 8th grade.  Junior high was such a dark chapter of my life. I can still vividly recall every awful experience a group of girls put me through.I could go on and on about all the things these girls did to me, but the most important part of my story is the effect that those experiences had on me as a young girl.  I completely lost myself in the social anxiety I dealt with and I lost all my self confidence. It took me a long time to over come those feelings  and I still struggle at times. To this day, it has remained the hardest time period of my life.

A few years ago I heard about the Kindness campaign through social media. Kind Campaign is an internationally recognized movement, documentary and school program based upon the powerful belief in Kindness, that brings awareness and healing to the negative and lasting effects of abuse within the “Girl World.” The two founders, Lauren and Molly, go around to schools and give assemblies impact girls to stop bullying. They are two of the most passionate people when it comes to spreading kindness and raising awareness about the effects that bullying has on girls. 

 The founders recently created a teen/adult line and a kids line that launched as part of the Kind Campaign collection at Kohl’s. ! $1 from each tee goes to Kind Campaign and will help support free Kind Campaign assemblies across the globe. Be sure to check out the special hangtag where you can write your own Kind Pledge and share via social media! They worked so hard on these shirts and they hope that their messages spread kindness throughout your school hallways, workplace and everywhere you go! Look for the Kind Campaign installations at your local Kohl’s department store now and be sure to snap a photo in your tee and tag ‪#‎kindxkohls‬ so they can see these pieces spread across the country!

Kind Campaign works to spread awareness of bullying among teens. Follow the campaign on Twitter & Instagram @kindcampaign.

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You guys have been asking me to do a skincare post for a while and I have hesitated to do one because I am not an expert at all in facial products nor would I be the one to go to for advice on any type of skin problems. The reason why I have  a clear complexion does not have anything to do with the skincare products that I use but I’ll get to that in a minute. I have very sensitive skin so I wash my face with Ivory soap. My dermatologist told me that it is gentle and gets deep into pores. He also recommends Cetaphil which I have used but Ivory is much cheeper and does the trick. In the morning, I put on CereVE Facial Moisturizing lotion with SPF 30 even when I’m not going to be directly out in the sun. Then, at night if I wore makeup that day, I use Dermalogica PreCleanse and then I wash my face with Ivory soap again. Then, I finished up with the CereVe PM lotion. Every once in a while I will use a face mask that I’ve been given but I don’t have a specific brand that I use.

Now to tricky part, probably about 90% of why my face/skin is the way it is is because I was on Accutane(Isotretinoin) when I was in college. It is a drug used for people who either have severe, scarring acne or those who haven’t had results with other treatment combinations. I had a relative who fit in the first category and had such amazing results with it and I fit into the second category. I never had severe acne but I would have breakouts that would linger. I started it in college and was on a 5-month course. Every month I had to drive back to Illinois to see my dermatologist and get blood work done to make sure it wasn’t effecting my liver. Before It was prescribed, I had to fill out a bunch of paperwork, take two negative pregnancy tests, and have a signature that I was on birth control pills by a gynecologist. Regardless of if you are sexually active, you have to have proof  because Accutane causes severe birth defects. Accutane works by shrinking the oil glands of the face, chest, and back, causing the acne to improve greatly and has been said to be the strongest acne-fighting medication currently in existence. Since I finished taking it, I have not had a single breakout. I’m pretty sure I could stick my face in a pot of oil and nothing would happen. Because of that, I have a clear complexion.

Of course, there are downsides to taking Accutane. First, dermatologists usually have you try all other forms of treatment first because Accutane is such a strong medication and there are many side effects that go along with taking it like dryness of everything (nose, skin, mouth, eyes), peeling, and cracking of the lips. dry skin, dry mouth, dry nose,increase in blood fats, body aches, and more. Also, in the first couple of months most people experience severe acne even worse than when you started. I was extremely fortunate that the only symptoms I had was a little dryer skin and was excited that those 5 months I only had to wash my hair every 5 days due to not having very oily hair. My relative(whose acne was worse than mine) went through all the symptoms and my heart broke for him during that time.

So that is a summary of why I don’t do skincare posts because my experience is so much different than other peoples. If you want advice on how to remove underage circles however, I’ve got you covered:)

Let me know if you have any other questions about my experience with Accutane!

Shop My Skincare Routine

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I recently had a black-tie event that I needed to go to and I couldn’t decide what to wear. My friend that was going with me suggested that I try Rent the Runway to help me decide what to wear. I had heard of this great service before but had never tried it but she assured me that she has used it many times.

If you’re not familiar with the dress rental site, let me give you the simple rundown….first you browse the thousands of styles by over 300 top designers, using the filters to help narrow down your choices. Read the reviews (with photos!) by real-life women to see how your favorites fit and wear before selecting your size…and if you’re still not sure, you get a free second size as back-up! I ended up choosing this Mignon dress.

Then select your timeframe (either 4 or 8 days), rent the dress for a fraction of the cost to buy it, and wait for gorgeousness to appear at your doorstep! They arrived perfectly laundered in a thick garment bag, complete with instructions for returning, and a pre-paid shipping label. They even cover the cleaning upon return!

The downside is that you do spend money for a dress that you do not get to keep but some of the dresses that I would buy for events, I wouldn’t end up wearing again anyway. Plus, with social media and all the pictures people take, you do not want to wear the same dress too frequently anyway. I’ve read stories of high school girls using the site for renting their homecoming and prom dresses and it made me wish that was an option when I was in high school

Some tips:

* Be realistic and familiar with what styles fit your body…and what shapes you’re comfortable wearing. The downside of the service is you don’t get to try the dress on weeks before your event. (Although, they guarantee you’ll love your dress or they’ll overnight you a new one!)

* Read the real-life reviews, and stylist notes, they are hugely helpful in determining what size you’ll wear. Since I am on the taller side, it was helpful to read whether the dresses ran short or long. It helped me to figure out if I needed to order the regular or long version.

* Get the free back-up size if available!

* If you’re looking for a specific event, filter the options by your date range so you don’t fall in love with something not available when you need it.

* If your event is out-of-town, have the dresses shipped to you there.

* Sign up for emails even if you don’t have any immediate events…they constantly offer sales and promotions.

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It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Early Access to the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale has begun for all Nordstrom cardholders.  You can shop brand new fall merchandise at discounted prices before the items are made available to the public. The legendary sale will be running through August 7th!

I’ve created a list of essential items I want to stock my closet with for Fall/Winter 2016. Today i’m highlighting the bottoms that I have my eye on.

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WHEN IS THE ANNIVERSARY SALE?

The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale will be July 22-August 7, 2016. Nordstrom credit and debit cardholders get exclusive access that began on July 14 to thousands of new items at reduced prices before the Anniversary Sale starts on July 22.

WHAT IS THE ANNIVERSARY SALE?

While Nordstrom holds half-yearly sales each spring and fall, the sale is legendary among Nordstrom customers because they can purchase exciting new fall merchandise at discounted prices before it becomes available to the public!

SNEAK PEAK: THE CATELOG

Visit Nordstrom to view their Anniversary Sale catalog for 2016. I’m so excited about their bag selection this year!!

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NO PROMO CODE NEEDED

The Nordstrom Anniversary sale doesn’t require a coupon code like other sales. The anniversary sale products will be categorized on the website, displaying both the discounted price as well as how much it will cost full-price after the sale. If you visit Nordstrom in-person, anniversary sale items will be separated from the other merchandise by curtained sections.

Check back all this week for more highlights!

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