Monday, May 30, 2016

Tips for Long Term Travel

Up until last year the longest trip I had taken was about 3 weeks long (unless you count the occasional summer at Grandma's, but when you're 9, you have no say in the planning). Last summer I decided to start taking extended trips to Seoul, to immerse myself in the culture (Atlanta's Korea town is cool, but not quite the same) but quite a bit of planning has to take place because two month is not a short period of time.

After last year, I think I have a pretty good system in place.

Travel tips for those long term trips (or even some shorter stays)

I like to make sure my home is nice and fresh before any length of travel, because nobody should want to come home to a dirty bed, trash and piles of laundry. But I find returning to a clean home after a long trip is doubly important. You'll probably be exhausted and just want to pass out, and that'll be impossible if you have to deal with a bug infestation that manifested while you were gone.

I personally make sure all dishes are washed, trash is taken out, bedding is clean, floors are clean, counters are wiped down, laundry is done...

Friday, May 20, 2016

BTS: How to Enable Rich Pins on Pinterest

For this week's behind the (blog) scenes, I wanted to share how I enabled rich pins for my site on Pinterest. It was super simple and only took a few minutes.

Super simple instructions on how to enable rich pins on Pinterest


Rich Pins add a little extra something to your pins which help them stand out on Pinterest.  By enabling rich pins, your pins will show your favicon and blog name as well as the blog post title on all of your pins. You can see see some examples below on a few of my pins.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

My Go-To Green Juice

I've been juicing almost daily since Christmas 2014 when my sister bought me my first starter juicer. She knew I was eating healthier and taking better care of myself and thought juicing might be something I  would be interested in. She was right. This past Christmas I transitioned from a starter juicer to my holy grail big girl super juicer and I've grown to love juicing even more. It's just so easy.


I did get a little too excited at the beginning and tried to make all kinds of fancy juices with fruits and veggies with names that I had never heard of. Sometimes I do still like to get a little creative and juice a Korean sweet potato or some red bell peppers, but for most days I have two go-to juices, one green and one red.

This is my go-to green juice.
My super easy go-to green juice recipe.

Friday, May 13, 2016

BTS: Taking Better Blog Photos

I'm thinking of starting a new series on the behind the scenes of blogging, where I'll share some of my blogging tips & tricks as well as what happens behind the scenes to create both this website and it's blog posts. Do me a favor and let me know in the comments if this is a series you'll enjoy.

In this first (and hopefully not last) post in this series I wanted to share with you how I ended up with the photos that I did on My Minimalist Skincare blogpost. The thought to share this process actually popped in my mind when I was taking the last set of pictures... you'll understand when you see the very last photo. 

Behind the blog scenes: how I upgraded my blog post photos with a few tips & tricks

Disclaimer: I'm not a professional photographer, I don't even own an actual camera. I don't claim to take amazing photos. But when you see what could have ended up on the blog post, I think we'll all agree that the end results are a huge improvement from where they started.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Simple Green Smoothie for Acne

I'm a creature of habit, I like routine or I get easily overwhelmed and can fall into bad habits. And by routine, I don't mean I follow a strict to the minute schedule each day, but that I have a few set habits that allow me move thru certain daily tasks with ease and little to no decision making. Like washing my face. And breakfast.

I wish I was one of those people who cooks elaborate instagram-worthy breakfasts, but I'm not. Just the thought of it makes me itch.

I enjoy my simple smoothie breakfast, which has been my routine for over two years now. It's so easy to make, tastes great and most importantly has been an essential step in my keeping my skin clear.

Simple green smoothie for hormonal acne

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

My Minimalist Skin Care Routine

Note: If you haven't read my acne story, you may want to do that first. Just saying.

Minimal, natural skincare routine for hormonal acne prone skin

I have a four step skin care routine (three if it's nighttime), it's super simple and it's what turned my skin around from the hot acne mess it used to be. Essentially, the routine I follow is to:


To be a little more specific I detailed out exactly what I use and when I use it down below. These are the actual skin care products I currently use + a few alternatives that are also tried & true.

Monday, May 2, 2016

My Acne Story

First, I should state that I am not a professional dermatologist, aesthetician or anything of the sort. This blog post is simply a recount of my experience with acne, a lead in to future acne related posts and should be treated as such. Also, this is going to be long, and it's going to contain some very unattractive pictures that I originally never planned to see the light of day. I apologize in advance for my face.

My story of how I "cured" my hormonal adult acne (w/ before and after pics)

Prior to age 24, I never in my life imagined a life with acne. I thought I had been blessed with perfect skin forever. With the exception of a rare blemish here & there, I had pretty much flawless skin. I never wore makeup and my “skin care” consisted of washing my face with water. Once in the 8th grade, a classmate even went as far as touching my face because she couldn’t believe that I wasn’t wearing makeup. She clearly had no respect for personal space. 

But some time in 2007, after I had turned 24 and was in my last year of college (yes, I was a slacker), my face decided it hated me and adult acne reared its ugly head. Maybe it was stress, although I don’t particularly remember feeling stressed, but it was my final year and I was constantly pulling late nights in the lab and library… so you never know.

But I do remember the progression exactly, it started on one cheek. Huge, red, inflamed cysts appeared out of nowhere. Then after a couple weeks, it traveled to the other cheek and in stayed in just those two areas... during that time. But, I was pretty much devastated, and very embarrassed. I didn’t want anyone to see me.

I had never felt uglier.

Friday, April 29, 2016

5 Benefits of Decluttering


When you intentionally live with less, it's so much easier to not be tempted into buying any and everything. Before I decided to live a minimal lifestyle over a year ago, I spent ridiculous amounts of money on things that oftentimes never got used. I would even ask for specific presents, thinking "oh, this might be nice to have", only to have it become a dust collector. Not only was I wasting my money (& space), but I was asking others to waste theirs as well.

Now, before purchasing anything I ask myself "Is this something I really need? Will I actually use this?" and more often than not, the answer is no.


Cleaning has never been easier since I started decluttering over a year ago. For me, less stuff equals less stuff that I have to dust or wipe down, or move out of the way so that I can wipe down the surface that it's sitting on. Getting rid of bigger furniture pieces and keeping as much off the floor as possible has made it so much easier when it's time to vacuum... and if you're a pug owner, it's always time to vacuum.  I love that I'm not constantly having to move things around to vacuum around or underneath them. And because there's not a lot of "junk" everywhere, my place tends to look nice & tidy, even if it's not particularly clean.