It was a year ago (almost exactly) that I chopped my hair off.

I was coming out of a very dark place, in the midst of watching my family crumble to pieces, and struggling to identify exactly who I was as a person. I was mentally and physically unhealthy and stress had taken over my life. I needed a change. So, I cut off my thin, dead hair and vowed to start fresh. I can honestly say that it was one of the best decisions I ever made.

My life has changed drastically since that day– It got worse before it got better, but it did get better. I decided to pursue my passion for writing, I made new friends, I found my internship, and I began to rediscovered the girl I had once been. Somehow, that haircut was my turning point. It solidified the change that I so desperately needed and forced me to face my fear of the unknown.

Now I’m on the road to growing my hair back out and I’m determined to keep it healthy and strong. I’ve been incorporating new products and tricks into my routine and they seem to be paying off.

The Products:

HairProducts

1. Batiste Dry Shampoo

The biggest change I’ve made is not washing my hair every day. If you do, stop. Over-washing strips hair of its natural oils and leaves it limp, dry, and thin. For off-days, I swear by Batiste Dry Shampoo. They sell tinted versions for every hair color and it leaves my hair feeling clean and voluminous.

2. RedKen Intra-Force System:

This is an intense treatment that my hairstylist recommended and I’m so thankful that she did. It’s a 3-part system (shampoo, conditioner, and root-spray) that stimulates your scalp and helps create new hair growth. I used this 2-3 days a week and I had new baby hairs growing in almost immediately. It’s a little pricey but worth the investment if your hair is thin or consistently falling out.

3. LUSH Retread Conditioner:

Surprisingly, this is the first Lush product I’ve tried and I can definitely see what all the hype is about. This intense conditioner completely changed the texture of my hair from course and dry, to soft and smooth. It’s made with all-natural ingredients and smells heavenly– what more could I ask for?

4. Organix Coconut Milk Serum

I’ve heard time and time again about the benefits of using coconut-oil on your hair but my hair stylist said it would probably be too heavy for my fine hair. Instead, she recommended a coconut-milk based serum and I found this one at Target for $8. I apply it after towel-drying my hair and then brush through it with a wide-toothed comb. It’s amazing and makes my head smell like a coconut. Love.

5. Fringe Shine Spray:

I went to an event at the Fringe Salon of Beverly Hills a few weeks ago and had the opportunity to try their new line of products. Everything was fabulous but the Shine Spray is [by far] my favorite. The directions say it can be applied to wet or dry hair but I typically use it as a finishing spray to give my hair a little extra shine. Fringe products are available exclusively at their salon or on their website.

So, there you have it. Those are the products I’ve been using and I can’t get over the results. If you’re struggling with unhealthy hair or simply want to grow it longer and fuller, I highly recommend them!

What products do you swear by?

Here’s to long, luscious locks…

-Emily

Follow me on Twitter & Instagram // @missemmmysue

 

Dating is difficult.

For everyone who seems to have found the “one” without even trying, I envy you.

It hasn’t been that simple for me. In fact, it hasn’t been simple at all. Every date and relationship has been different- some good, some bad- but I’ve learned a lot along the way.

I’ve learned that I don’t do virtual dating. It works for some people and I’m not one of them. I’ve learned that first dates are almost always awkward. They just are. I’ve learned that age is merely a number. A guy can be 10 years older than me and still extremely immature. Likewise, he can be younger and have the life-experience of a 30 year old. I’ve learned that relationships are about compromise. You give and you take and you don’t ever hold the giving over each other’s heads. I’ve learned that honesty is key. Being open and up-front about what you want, need, and desire is the only way you’ll ever attain it. Nobody can read minds. I’ve learned that trust is the foundation of every friendship and every relationship must be built from a solid friendship. I’ve learned a lot.

But there is one thing that I’ve learned that stands above all the rest…

In order to love another, you must love yourself.

Don’t rely on another person to bring you happiness. Find it within yourself and then share it in the form of loving someone else. That is where beautiful relationships spark, grow, and flourish.

DSC_0271Love happens when you stop searching and start living. Trust in that.

Here’s to a little self-love…

-Emily

 

On March 31st my 2-year contract with Verizon ended and I decided to make the switch to AT&T. The process of changing carriers while keeping the same phone number was much more difficult than I expected but we eventually got it all worked out. Of course, the best part about any new mobile contract is getting a new phone and, after eyeing the gold iPhone 5S since it’s release, I finally made it mine. I said goodbye to my iPhone 4S (still in perfect condition) and hello to a beautiful new baby.

IMG_0006

In my mind, phone cases and screen protectors are not an option, they’re a necessity and I’m picky. Over the past 6 months Wildflower Cases have been popping up all over social-media and the designs immediately caught my eye. After discovering that the company was created by a mom and 2 daughters in Southern California and reading hundreds of positive reviews, I decided to finally order one for myself. Let’s just say that my expectations were met and exceeded times ten.

Each Wildflower Case is handmade and sold for a fairy standard price of $35. They’re durable, protective, and absolutely adorable. Their trademark studs are securely attached and the “bumper” fully wraps around the side and front of the phone. Aside from the beautiful design, my order was shipped within 24 hours and arrived within 72 (probably because I live in SoCal, but still). The case was wrapped in cheetah print tissue paper, adorned with a sticker, and accompanied by a sweet note and two Wildflower stickers. If that’s not great customer service, I don’t know what is.

Thanks to Wildflower, my new iPhone is safe, super cute, and springtime ready. What more could I ask for? If you’re in search of a new phone case, I highly recommend checking out their website and ordering one for yourself. You won’t be disappointed.

Here’s to spoiling ourselves…

-Emily

I’m not going to lie, March was probably the best month I’ve had in years. It was filled with trips, events, birthdays (not mine), friends, family, work…all of the things that genuinely make me happy. I’m loving every minute of my internship and I finally feel like I’ve rediscovered the girl that I was years and years ago. Life is far from perfect but I’m happy and that’s all that matters.

Favorites: March 2014:

Fashion & Beauty

Free People // dresses // blond(er) hair // pastels // Benefit products // boyfriend jeans // necklaces

12-Build Your Bliss7-00610-Build Your Bliss7-004

Food & Fitness:

eating out // wine // hiking // yogurt & granola // sandwiches // hiit workouts // quest bars // coffee

06-Build Your Bliss7 07-Build Your Bliss7-001 08-Build Your Bliss7-00205-IMG_6609 copy

Life:

travelling // writing // learning // fashion events // brunch // country music // laughing

04-IMG_683611-Build Your Bliss7-005DSC_021601-DSC_023809-Build Your Bliss7-003 02-DSC_024603-IMG_6731Here’s to springing forward…

-Emily

 

I love shopping. I always have and I always will. I can remember being 12 years old and wandering stores for hours with my grandma– a fellow shopping addict. There’s just something so enthralling about it and I find fashion absolutely beautiful. In a way, it’s a creative outlet for me.

That being said, I’ve learned a lot over the years about smart shopping. After filling my closet time-and-time again with clothes that I never wore, I’ve learned what’s worth my money and what isn’t. The tips that I’ve picked up along the way have made a huge difference in my wardrobe, my bank-account, and my shopping habits. Hopefully you’ll benefit from them as well.

Shopping Tips & Tricks:

1. Define your style

Who is your style inspiration? What outfits make you feel confident and comfortable? When you walk into a store, what immediately catches your eye? It’s important that you know the answer to these questions, otherwise you could be swayed into buying items that you’ll never actually wear. Personally, I love basics, pastels, black & white, and very feminine pieces. I typically steer clear of loud patterns and too many dark colors because they just aren’t “me”.

IMG_68092. Try everything on

This is so important. Clothes look completely different on a body than they do on a hanger. Plus sizing never runs exactly the same. Trying everything on saves you from making extra returns and from buying something that you don’t absolutely love.

3. Buy what you’ll wear now

If you can’t think of a specific instance within the next 2 weeks that you’ll wear something, don’t buy it. Likewise, don’t buy something that doesn’t fit in hopes of wearing it in the future. It’s not worth it.

IMG_67304. Shop with cash

Debit and credit cards are dangerous territory. Decide before you go shopping exactly how much you’re willing (and able) to spend, then withdraw that amount in cash and stick to it. Overspending can happen really, really easily and, as much as I love clothes, they aren’t worth being in debt.

5. Know your closet

Know what you have and maintain it. If you haven’t worn something in 6+ months, it’s probably time to get rid of it. Don’t buy a light pink tank top if you already have 3 hanging in your closet. Being aware of exactly what you own will ensure that you don’t waste money on unnecessary items and that you continuously rotate through everything.

1456573_566131416802238_1269611085_nHere’s to happy, practical shopping…

-Emily

Fashion trends are interesting.

Even though we’re fully aware that they change every season, we continue to shell out money for what’s “in”. It sounds negative when I put it that way, doesn’t it? Ironically, I don’t think it’s a bad thing. I love that we’re constantly exposed to new styles and given the opportunity to try them out for ourselves. Since I generally stick to basics, trendy pieces are a fun way to spice up my wardrobe.

Today I want to talk about “boyfriend jeans”.

This is one trend that I never saw myself wearing. They initially reminded me of the boys who used to sag their pants in high school, to be honest. Ew. But after seeing them worn on the runway, by my favorite bloggers, and by my friends, I decided to bite the bullet and try on a pair. The result?

1-Build Your Bliss6Uh huh, you guessed it…I loved them, bought them, and am already hunting for more.

The key to this trend is finding the ‘right’ pair which is all about trial and error. Do not, I repeat, do not order your first pair of boyfriend jeans online. Once you own them, the options are endless. They can be dressed up with heels, dressed down with flats, and worn with just about anything. Winning.

I found the pair above at Gap and I highly recommend looking there. Also, check out Old Navy, Urban Outfitters, American Eagle, Express, and Nordstrom (depending on your budget). Happy shopping!

Here’s to a brand new boyfriend…

-Emily

After disappearing to paradise for four days, it only makes sense that I had a lot to catch up on.

While I’ve always thrived on being busy, hectic schedules and mile-long ‘to-do lists’ are overwhelming for anyone. They used to get the best of me. I would think about everything I had to do and spend more time and energy stressed-out about them than actually doing them. Relate?

Nowadays, I like to approach the insanity with a different attitude. A calm one. I’m able to get more accomplished and I don’t turn into a grumpy, anxious beast. These are my little tricks…

1. Breathe

It sounds much simpler than it is. Take a moment, close your eyes, and focus solely on taking a few deep breaths. I’m not asking you to spend 10 minutes meditating– just 20 or 30 seconds at most. You’ll quickly realize how little you’ve been breathing and will immediately have a clearer head.

2. Take A Break

With a to-do list looming over your head, taking a break can feel like a death sentence. It’s not. Walk away from your work for 15 minutes and relax. Watch TV, browse social media, or simply lay there…whatever mindless activity you enjoy. As counter-productive as it sounds, it helps.

DSC_02363. Walk

Workouts typically go on the back burner when life gets hectic (and that’s perfectly okay) but a little movement and fresh air is always rejuvenating. Whether you take a 10-minute walk around the block every 2 hours or move your next business call outdoors, every little bit makes a difference.

IMG_64394. Make To-Do Lists

I make a to-do list every morning that includes everything I need to do (even if I finished it prior to making my list) and cross off the items as I tackle them. The sense of accomplishment will remind you that you’re constantly moving forward and give you motivation to take on the next project.

5. Smile

Science has proven that the act of smiling actually does lighten our moods somehow. Weird, right? So even if it feels forced at first, just do it. Think happy thoughts. Life is meant to be enjoyed.

Here’s to managing the stress…

-Emily

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