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Monthly Archives: December 2013

2013 <— the year that I’m so ready to say goodbye to. It was a rough one, but somehow I ended up happier, healthier, and more confident than I’ve ever been. Funny how that works, isn’t it?

Thankfully, 2013 seems to be ending on a high note. I contemplated doing a post filled with my all-time favorites for the year but decided against it- I just want to focus on the joys of December.

Favorites: December 2013

Fashion/Beauty:

leggings // heeled booties // oversized sweaters // colored eyeliner // bioderma // black everything

decemberfashionFood/Fitness:

comfort food // cookies // strength training // panera // grapes // homemade bread // HIIT

decemberfoodLife:

family time // blogging // making lists // late-night dinners // re-organizing // selfies // pop punk

decemberlife2There you have it…my month in a nutshell. I have an upcoming post that discusses (in more detail) all of the good things that have come out of 2013 and what I’m hoping to accomplish in 2014. I have a handful of goals, a lot of determination, and a good feeling about the year ahead. Not only that, Build Your Bliss is going to play a major role in that so you’re coming along with me. Are you ready?

Here’s to always ending on a high note…

-Emily

I bet if you asked 100 girls and women what their top 3 insecurities are, at least 90 would mention their skin. It’s just a fact of life. We deal with pimples, blackheads, clogged pores, fine-lines, wrinkles, dry skin, oily skin…you name it, we’re frustrated by it. #thestruggleisreal

In all seriousness though, it’s exhausting. I’ve never dealt with chronic acne (and still don’t) but my breakouts have become more frequent over the past 6 months and I’m not happy about it. Finding a product that actually makes a difference has proven more difficult than I ever thought. My skin is sensitive and combination- thank you, genes. After hearing/reading about the magic of Bioderma for months, I finally got my hands on a bottle. And let me tell you, the hype is well-deserved.

Product Review

BiodermaName: Bioderma

Description: Bioderma is a soap-free, alcohol-free, and fragrance-free gentle cleanser that removes makeup (even waterproof), soothes and cleanses skin, and prevents irritation. It leaves skin feeling clean, refreshed, and restores its natural balance.

Directions: Soak a cotton-pad in the solution and gently wipe over face and eyes.

Review: Bioderma comes in a variety of formulas for different types of skin- I went with Sensibio (for sensitive skin) because my skin seemed to fit into that category the most. My grandparents actually picked it up for me while on vacation in Europe and joked that it was “the most expensive bottle of water they’ve ever bought”. And considering it does just look like water, I understand.

I decided I was mainly going to use it like a toner to ensure that I was getting all of the makeup off of my face before I cleansed. I removed [what I thought was] all of my makeup with one of these wipes and then gently swept my face with a cotton pad soaked in Bioderma. When I looked down at the pad I couldn’t believe my eyes- it was covered in makeup. No wonder my pores are clogged!

I’ve been using this every night since I received it and the breakouts around my chin and t-zone are already clearing up. It’s amazing. And since I haven’t changed anything else about my skin-care routine, I know that it’s solely because of this product. I can’t recommend it enough.

Where To Buy: Unfortunately, Bioderma isn’t sold in the United States. It can be purchased online via Amazon or Ebay. Visit their website to see a full list of countries where it’s manufactured and sold.

Rating: 9 out of 10 –> Only knocked down because of the price and inconvenience of buying in the United States. Other than that, I have no complaints and will definitely be ordering it again!

Here’s to products worth the hype…

-Emily

Merry [belated] Christmas!

I honestly can’t believe that the holiday season is coming to a close already. I’m not going to lie, getting in the Christmas spirit was nearly impossible for me (and my family) this year which made for an interesting celebration. But we mustered up some energy, put on our happy faces, and tried to make the most of the situation. And you know what? It may have been my favorite Christmas ever.

It was different, really different. We didn’t go crazy with presents because that just wasn’t practical this year. Instead, we ate, we laughed, and we truly treasured every gift that we gave/received.

This year has been like a massive hurricane. It came without warning, whipped us around, made unpredictable changes, and caused serious devastation. But the love that we’ve found as a result is something to be thankful for and the strength that I’ve seen in my family is unbelievable.

IMG_6028So, for Christmas 2014 I was just happy to be home with these two beautiful women (and our awkward dog too). That was all I wanted, all I needed, and all I could have asked for.

Here’s to the precious gift of love…

-Emily

First and foremost, thank you [again] for all of your sweet comments on my last post. The support that I constantly receive from you guys is astounding and I can’t tell you how much it means to me. 

It rained in Los Angeles this week and, like any typical California-native, I complained about it the entire time. Yes, I know…I’m spoiled. But really, I don’t like rain. Nobody looks cute in the rain.

So, since I was forced inside all day, I decided to make the most of it. I busted out my leggings, oversized-sweater, and fuzzy socks and actually spent a few hours minutes in the kitchen.

I was craving something sweet, something salty, and something christmas-y and the dessert I whipped up just happens to cover all of those bases using only 3 ingredients. Um, winning.

Dark Chocolate Peppermint & Pretzel Bark

BarkIngredientsIngredients

– 8.5 oz. dark chocolate (2 large bars or chips)

– 1/2 cup crushed pretzels

– 3-4 tbsp. peppermint baking chips

BarkStepsDirections:

Step One: Roughly chop your chocolate into small chunks (or use chips), crush 1/4 cup pretzels in a plastic bag, and measure out your peppermint baking chips

Step Two: Microwave chocolate for 30 seconds, stir, then repeat until you have a smooth consistency

Step Three: Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and pour your chocolate into the center. Using a spatula, evenly distribute the chocolate until you have a layer that’s 1/8-1/4 inch thick 

Step Four: Sprinkle on pretzels and peppermint chips and gently press them down into the chocolate 

Step Five: Refrigerate for [at least] 30 minutes then carefully break up the bark into bite-sized pieces

PeppPretzBarkSo easy. So fast. So delicious.

Not only that, this is one of the most versatile recipes in the book. Don’t have pretzels or peppermint chips? No problem! Try a S’mores version with graham crackers and marshmallows (so good!) or a “healthy” version with pistachios and dried cranberries (my next venture). You really can’t go wrong!

Here’s to making the most of a gloomy day…

-Emily

100 <— yep, this officially marks my 100th post here on Build Your Bliss. I can’t believe it.

It all started with a simple question;

What do you think of when you hear the word ‘bliss’?

That question quickly manifested into a thought, an idea, a theory, and [ultimately] a blog. Over the past few months I’ve gained knowledge, confidence, freedom, and a handful of amazing friends which I couldn’t be more thankful for. My little corner of the internet has turned into something much more than I ever could have predicted. I’ve discovered a passion for writing, fashion, and sharing my journey in an effort to remind everyone that life doesn’t have to be ‘perfect’ to be perfect.

Ironically enough, this milestone comes with a handful of new opportunities that I’m extremely excited about. I have plans to expand my blog over the next few months (self-hosting, etc.) and there’s a possibility that I’ll also be guest-blogging on a regular basis for another website(!)- more on that later.

So, to all of the people who subscribe, read, share, and constantly inspire me- thank you. Words cannot describe how much your constant support means to me. Build Your Bliss would be nothing without each and every one of you and I can’t wait to see where this journey takes us next. 

IMG_5969Here’s to another 100 posts…

-Emily

Reverting back to our childhood seems to be a recurring theme here on Build Your Bliss. I mean, think about it…kids are happy (much happier than adults) and they haven’t been tainted by the stress of the world. Their life is simple, their smiles are frequent, and they aren’t afraid to be confident.

So, when does that all change? What causes us to start being ashamed of the things that make us different? When does being unique become a flaw? When does confidence become a challenge?

When I was at home over the weekend, we pulled out a giant box of old pictures. We sifted through them for hours- reminiscing and laughing a lot. Let’s just say that I was quite the character…

IMG_5927The glasses, the gapped-teeth, the chubby cheeks…those are all things I look back on now and think “wow, how embarrassing…” But why? I don’t remember ever feeling ashamed back then. I wasn’t. I was happy. I loved my glasses and I thought it was really cool that I could practically fit a tic-tac between my two front teeth. I had my family, I had friends, and I had fun every single day of my life.

I want to go back to that. We all deserve to go back to that. Truly loving ourselves is the biggest [and most difficult] step in building our own personal bliss. It doesn’t mean that we’re perfect- there will always be things we want to improve- but it means that we’re confident in the people we are today.

So, let’s stop changing ourselves to fit the mold. Let’s be the quirky, awkward, real people that we were meant to be. Let’s channel that childhood confidence we once had and not spend one more day wishing our ‘flaws’ away. Let’s just be the best versions of ourselves and enjoy the ride.

Here’s to the awkward years…

-Emily