Posts in Lifestyle
The Key to Solving Most Relationship Issues

A week ago I asked all of you on instagram what things you struggle with most in your marriage/relationships. I had such great feedback from all of you and I started to notice a common theme. You all wanted to know how to overcome certain issues and become more intimate. OBVI. Now, I’m not a marriage counselor or an expert by any means. However, I did study family and relationships in college, and after 7 years of marriage, my husband and I have learned a lot about making our relationship stronger over time. These are principles that have helped us, and I want to help you improve your relationships, too! Let’s get to it!!! Here are some examples of the questions that were sent to me:

  • How can I let go of the everyday annoyances and quirks?

  • How do I stay content when there are disappointments?

  • How do I handle addictions, such as pornography?

  • How to decide how we discipline children?

  • How do we make time for date nights and sexual intimacy?

  • How do we overcome disagreements?

  • How do we decide when to start or stop having children?

And so on…

Now, I want to validate you and let you know that we have asked ourselves questions just like these! Anyone in a relationship has had to overcome annoyances, disagreements, and interferences! No matter how perfect a relationship may seem, we all have bad days. We lose our temper at times, we say things we don’t mean, and we forget to make our relationship a priority. It happens!! You can overcome it and strengthen your relationship by learning a few important skills.

QUICK REMINDER: Abuse of any kind is not okay. Physical, verbal, or sexual. A lot can be overcome, but when it involves your safety and/or the safety of your children, you need to get out.

Okay. Are you ready for the one thing that can help solve all of these issues? I don’t know if you’re ready. Alright, here it is.

- POSITIVE COMMUNICATION -

You probably feel like you’ve been duped, but wait! Let me teach you HOW to have positive communication in your relationships to overcome these issues. As a preface, when Matthew and I were dating we started off on a base of honesty. We both knew a lot about the personal struggles and past of the other person. Those were openly communicated and talked about before we made the commitment to spend our lives, and eternity, together. We knew it would take time, work, and healing to overcome them, and we were ready to take them on together. The continuation of that honesty has played a huge role in our success as a couple. Here are some key skills we’ve acquired that have allowed us to continue to fortify our relationship.

VULNERABILITY

Having a steady state of vulnerability can be the hardest part of any relationship, but if you want to have trust in your relationship it’s something you both need to give. It takes a lot of courage at times, I know. Still, it’s an essential part of positive communication! Open up and be honest with each other! Being vulnerable about your feelings and struggles will allow the other person to feel validated and more safe to share themselves. Plus, this will give you both an opportunity to serve and help one another.

USE “I” STATEMENTS

This is one that we still need to work at, but it’s so important when addressing annoyances, disagreements, and hurt feelings. If you use you statements when working through issues, it sounds like blame and initiates defensiveness in the other person. When you use I statements it allows the other person to understand how their actions made you feel and how they can try to improve. Here’s an example using both statements concerning a small issue. For these examples we’ll say that someone agreed to clean up a certain area of the house, and they didn’t.

  • You Statement: “Seriously? You didn’t clean up that area like I asked! You never follow through with your promises. I have to do everything around here!.” (dramatic I know, but all too familiar.)

  • I Statement: “I feel upset when I come home and see that area is messy because it seems like my ask for help was not a priority to you. I would like it if you could make it a priority to help me when asked in the future.” (feel the difference?)

It may seem like a no brainer, right?

WRONG.

Even starting with an “I feel” can turn into a “you keep forgetting to do the dishes” Or something different altogether, like my personal signature, “Someone hasn’t been doing _______ like they said they would.”

I am the queen of guilt trips and saying things are okay when I really feel otherwise. I’m also really skilled at the silent treatment. Not knowing how to properly structure my feelings to express them is what usually stops me from doing just that. Looking up the I Statement format always helps me remember how to say what I really feel and tell my husband what I’d like him to do. Instead of just getting upset, not telling him what’s wrong, and expecting him to understand why/how to fix it. That’s why I created this “I” statement worksheet for you guys! Print it out, or print 4, and write out something you’d like to communicate positively! It can be used in all relationships, (at work, at school, with your kids, extended family members, etc;) not just the super intimate ones!

TALK TALK TALK

When in doubt, talk it out. Now that we know how to properly express our feelings, it’s time to practice it! If you have something bugging you or a concern on your mind, tell them you need time to talk to them about it. We often say things like, “Remind me to tell you something that’s been on my mind when I get home” or “Can I tell you something personal once the kids go to bed?” Make your time to talk a priority. Both participants need to be willing to make communicating positively a consistent effort. If this is a struggle for you, you may need to actually schedule it into your day. Turn off the TV, put your phones in a box, go to a place where there’s less distractions and talk for at least 15-30 minutes every single day. The more you talk the easier it is to be vulnerable and communicate your feelings in a positive way.

Okay, now let’s give more DIRECT answers to your questions:

Q+A


Q: How can I let go of the everyday annoyances and quirks?

A: Tell them in a positive way how those things make you feel.

  • Example: I feel annoyed when you leave your clothes laying on the floor because it makes it hard for me to focus when the room is a mess in the morning. I would appreciate it if you could put them away in the hamper or closet instead.

Q: How do I stay content when there are disappointments?

A: Make sure to voice your disappointments to your significant other so they know how you feel and can try to improve.

  • Example: I feel disappointed when you break your promises to me because it seems like I’m not very important to you. I would like it if you would keep your promises from now on. (broad example, but hopefully you get the idea!)

Q: How do I handle addictions, such as pornography?

A: This one is so hard because it’s the addiction that causes all of the issues. Talking about the addiction openly and working through it is the only way to overcome it! There are addiction recovery programs and support groups that are great for both partners to attend! Counseling and therapy are also a great way to talk about these issues and get additional help. Pornography specifically is scientifically proven to have damaging effects on intimacy because of the chemical disconnect it causes in the brain. Again, this is a deeper issue that can’t necessarily be solved by communication only. There are feelings of betrayal and broken trust. If not approached in a positive way it can make things worse. Here are a few examples to help move things towards a positive direction.

  • Example as addict: (after opening up about addiction) I feel frustrated when I give in to my addiction because I know it’s wrong and I forget how it might affect those around me. I would hope you can come to forgive me and be patient with me as we start learning how to help me overcome it.

  • Example as partner of addict: I feel deeply hurt when your addiction grabs a hold of you because it makes me feel like I’m not good enough and you’re not happy with our life together. I would like it if the next time you feel the need to turn to your addiction, you’ll come talk to me instead.

Q: How to decide how we discipline children?

A: This is such a personal thing. I feel like most problems occur when disciplinary styles don’t match up. Read more about parenting styles here. What matters most when it comes to discipline is that both parents are on the same page. Talk about your children’s needs and how you want to discipline that when situations arise. This will allow you to handle it as a united front, and that consistency will help them learn to improve their choices and behaviors. “I” statements are a great way to communicate with your kids when disciplining.

  • Example: I feel upset when you use that language while talking to me because it seems like you don’t respect and love me. I would like it if you could think about how it would feel to have someone talk to you that way.

Q; How do we make time for date nights and sexual intimacy?

A: Date Nights: Since taking my marriage class in college, I have learned that continuing to date and get to know each other as you age together is key. We change as we grow into adulthood, once we have kids, we change jobs, move to a new city, or gain new friends. The best way to get to know the person your partner is becoming is to date them! You guessed it, have a conversation!!! Learn about the things they’re interested in, what new things they want to try, what happens in their daily life, etc; Show up for them in their lives and be a part of the process! Find things to enjoy together that will keep you grounded and connected as a couple.

Sexual Intimacy: Same thing as dating. Make it a priority! Try new things together. Experiment together. Tell your partner when your in the mood! If the mood is the problem you may need to have a Sexy Month. If you’ve read, Girl, Wash Your Face then you know what I’m talking about. Rachel Hollis talks about doing a Sexy September (or whatever month you want) and scheduling to have sexy time every day of the month. It seems like a lot, I know. But surprisingly, having lots of sex makes you want it more. Plus, the skills of both parties improve. Practice makes perfect! You just have to make the time for it!

Q: How do we overcome disagreements?

A: TALK ABOUT IT. Say how you feel in a positive way. Beating a dead horse now, I know. Haha!

  • Here’s an example: I feel sad when we disagree over ______ because it’s important to me that we are on the same page. I would like it if we could brainstorm how to overcome this disagreement or come to a compromise.

Q: How do we decide when to start or stop having children?

A: Again this is such a personal decision between you and your spouse/SO. Make sure you voice your feelings using an I statement. If your partner isn’t ready, then it’s out of your control! The more you talk about it in a positive way without blame, the more likely they are to open up and come around to the idea. A lot of deeper fears are involved when it comes to the decision of how many children you want to bring into the world. Be patient with them, and keep the conversation open so they can come to you when they’re ready!

  • Example: I feel frustrated when you tell me you’re not ready to have kids because I want nothing more than to start a family with you. I would like it if you could think about it, let me know any concerns you may have and tell me when you’re ready.


That’s a wrap my friends! I hope you found this helpful and gained some insight as to how to handle the inevitable bumps on the road of your relationships. If you have any other questions you’d like answered, leave them in the comments and my husband and I will do our best to address them! Lots of love from us to all of you!

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I statement Worksheet - Positive communication in Marriage and Relationships
Business Style Capsule Wardrobe
 
 

When it comes to business clothes, my closet was...lacking...to put it nicely. Since my husband started doing real estate, I've felt like a bum compared to the suited up looks he sports out the door everyday. While it doesn't make sense for me to wear business appropriate clothes at home with the boys, I really wanted to pull myself together for the Mike Ferry Retreat we would be attending in San Diego with some of the best agents and coaches in the nation. I wanted to make a good impression for my husbands sake, and for the sake of my own makeup business.

That's when I rallied together the troops of instagram to help me know where to start, and BOY did you guys come through!! So thank you! Lots of you wanted all the deets on my new items, so I wanted to make sure I compiled all of them here so you can find them! ALSO, most of them are even cheaper now then when I bought them!! *Hands up to the sky emoji* Yuh welcome. ;) 

I was really happy with the pieces I picked and how I was able to mix and match most of them together. I got so many compliments on my professional attire at the retreat! Looking like a professional really helps you feel like one too. So go grab some of these pieces and go KILL IT boss babes! Look good -- Feel good -- DO GOOD.

 

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*Post contains affiliate links. Purchased items myself and all opinions are my own.*

What Joining an MLM Has Taught Me
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I know I talk about this a lot, but I wanted to let you know more in depth some of the things I've learned since becoming an Independent Maskcara Artist. You already know how much I have LOVED this change, so I have narrowed it down to five main lessons I have learned and I'm going to expound on those. I am so excited to share them with you!!! Let's get on with it, shall we?!

If you're not moving forward, you're drifting away

For the last 4 years, before joining Maskcara, I was a stay at home mom. It was a huge priority for us to have me here to care for our children. When I finished my associates degree, Turner was 4 months old. I was done with college and knew I wanted to spend my time exclusively raising him. What I didn't realize at the time was how much of an impact it would have on my personal development.

Being a mother has helped me grow in SO MANY WAYS. But, at the same time, the isolation and lack of continued personal education has stunted my personal growth. I stopped doing things that challenged me. I lost sight of my passions, goals and dreams. I was doing the daily routine, but I wasn't doing much to improve myself. After having our second child, it really started to wear on my soul and I knew that I needed to make a change to maintain a personal identity. It's almost like I could feel my personality slipping away! Dramatic much? Haha maybe...

Then something happened. Matthew became self employed as a Real Estate Agent in February. As we worked together to expand our thinking I felt a small fire ignite inside of me. We started reading inspiring business books and talking about our aspirations! We talked about all of the sacrifices we can make to get us where we want to be. I started feeling the passions within me bubbling to the surface. That's when I was on Instagram one day and saw someone I followed was a Maskcara artist. I found out she lived down the street from me and then I couldn't stop thinking about it. I brought it up to Matthew, he encouraged me and I joined a couple weeks later when enrollments opened up again! 

Ever since that day I have felt myself learning and growing as an individual, striving to reach personal goals and obtain new skills!! It's made me realize how important it is to keep moving forward. Because if you're not, one day you will find you've drifted away. 

No one is the exception to hard work

I went into this knowing I would have to work harder than I ever have before. I've never been good at keeping a consistent schedule. I am VERY EASILY distracted. Even starting the blog, an Etsy shop and other small side gigs had fizzled away over time. My motivations were never strong enough to drive me. Oh, that's another thing! I am a very content and comfortable person, so my natural drive is on the low side as well. I tend to procrastinate until the last minute and the stress/anxiety of that habit can cause debilitating effects. Basically, after 4 years of just earning a little money here and there for "fun" I knew this was going to be a big change in lifestyle.

I had so many doubts in myself, but deep down I knew that this was a company I could stand behind forever. I knew I would try my very best to succeed. At the very beginning I would watch other artists who had been running their business since January and get overwhelmed immediately. I thought, wow...they are such a success! How could I ever get there? When they have such a huge team or a huge following, how could I ever succeed? I watched them to learn from them, but instead I started to compare myself to them. 

That's when my husband had me tell him how the Top Leader of the company and I were different. I started to say things like, she has a community of woman that she can influence, she is older than I am and has more experience. He stopped me and said, "You're wrong." I was stunned! He continued, "The only difference between you and her, is your skills. She has gained skills that have helped her get where she is now. You can gain those exact same skills and be exactly where she is right now. Nothing can stop you from doing exactly what she has done." 

That was the biggest truth bomb to me in that moment. She had done all of the hard work with her business before Maskcara. She had worked her buns off to gain the skills to improve her life. That's what makes her a top leader. NO ONE is the exception to that hard work. Maybe some of us have to work harder than others because of life circumstances, but we can ALL get where we want to be if we work hard enough! 

Consistency REALLY IS the key

This one right here. This lesson has kicked my trash time and time again. My old habits and, dare I say, laziness have been hard to break. For YEARS I let my schedule control me instead of the other way around. That's why consistency has been SO HARD. In August I attended the Maskcara Launch Party in Vegas and it was after that I set a goal to be extremely consistent in my schedule.

Now, if you have any children at all, you KNOW that can be near impossible. But I tried not to let that stop me from being as consistent as possible. I had good days and bad days, but overall I noticed how well that consistency paid off. At the end of August I had my best month yet! The problem with that was I got complacent with that success and I stopped being as consistent. Boy, did that hurt me. It can be a vicious cycle if you let it. Right now I'm in a complacent phase because I've had a really good month, but I'm still not where I want to be. 

The best way to push through complacency is to think big. To dream your biggest dreams. Go test drive your dream car, look at some million dollar homes, or plan a dream vacation for your family!! Then get back on that consistent schedule and KILL IT!!  

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You have unique value

I am not just going to say you are special here, even though you are! This is about your unique values and how they help you in your business. People tend to buy from people who share certain values. Not just religion necessarily, but personal values. For example, some may resonate with people who have strong family values. Others may value travel and so on. I took a branding course by Michelle Gifford, and learned so much about using my personal values to help me in my business.

It may at times seem like one person in an MLM will gravitate all the customers, but it's not true! Your tribe will gravitate to you because of your unique personal values! So the best thing you can do for your business is to simply be you! Share the things you love, don't love, make you laugh, and people will love it!! You never know who needs to hear it come from you! 

Helping others helps you

This may seem a little obvious to some, but it's something I keep learning over and over again through this journey. At first I just wanted to share my excitement about this product and message with everyone I knew, but then it started to change into helping. I want to help others feel their own beauty and individual worth. I want to help someone who may need this opportunity in their life like I did. 

When you go forward with the intention of helping instead of the mindset of "getting" something in return, your clients can sense the difference. And it makes YOU feel good, too!! Every makeover and connection I make with another woman leaves me feeling better than I was before. Even within the sisterhood of artists themselves I have made so many friends and lifelong connections! There are so many amazing and beautiful women who have so much good to offer this world. Getting to be surrounded by them? That has been the biggest blessing of all! 

Thanks for reading lovelies! If you'd like to be color matched for Maskcara makeup, take this quiz. If you'd like to join my team, read more about joining here and feel free to reach out to ask any additional questions!

Are you part of an MLM? What have learned from your experiences?

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Comfort and Style in Vegas || Cleo Madison

I spent the first week in August in Vegas with my husband, kid free!! It was a really big deal. We attended the Mike Ferry Superstar Retreat at the Bellagio on the Las Vegas Strip. It was incredibly hot and surprisingly humid. This modest dress from Cleo Madison could not have been a more perfect choice for the climate. It's incredibly soft, breezy, flattering, and it has pockets!! It's this girl's perfect recipe for everything a dress should be. 

Cleo Madison has so many modest dress options it was difficult for me to pick just one!! They also have tops, skirts and swimwear that are darling! I'm so grateful there are people like Liz out there who decide to make stylish modest clothing more accessible. I'm so inspired by all of the women in my life who see a hole that needs to be filled and decide to do something about it. 

I of course had to pair it with my Maskcara clutch and some cute comfortable sandals. Walking the strip is not for the faint of heart, so I'm glad I came properly prepared! I know I'll be wearing this dress at least once a week. Whether it's playing with my boys, going out on errands or doing makeovers, this dress has me covered. Pun intended. ;)

I know it's been forever since I've posted something, but I've got several posts I'm working on to start posting more regularly again. Thanks for sticking around guys. I promise I'll be more consistent for you!! Outfit details are linked at the bottom of this post. 

Dress || c/o Cleo Madison
Clutch || Maskcara Beauty
Sandals || c/o Roolee 

*This post contains affiliate links. All opinions are my own*

I'm an Independent Maskcara Artist!

Yesterday I did something I never thought I'd do. I became an Independent Maskcara Artist!!! I am so excited to announce this exciting news! I have been following Maskcara for what feels like forever, and have purchased her IIID Foundation. (It's amazing, by the way) I've wanted to become an artist since they announced it, but the timing just wasn't right until now. I have a neighbor who does it, and talking with her made me realize how passionate I am about the makeup and the company.

Maskcara Beauty is all about finding your inner beauty and enhancing it. I never brought up becoming an artist because I didn't think Matthew would be on board. When I brought it up last month, his response was the complete opposite! Hearing my excitement as I described the product and company to him, he was confident it was something I would be good at. He always believes in me. He's the best husband I could ever ask for. The only condition was that if I was going to do it, I needed to be ALL IN. We decided we're an ALL IN family. If we're going to do something, we're going to give it 100%. 

And this product. This company. THIS was something I could get behind! Like Cara, I strongly believe that women are more beautiful than they realize, inside and out, and I want to be a part of that movement. I want to help women find that beauty in potential in themselves that Maskcara Beauty products have given me. Stay tuned for lots of fun before and afters, and reviews on the amazing new products I now get to sample and then sell to all of you! 

If you'd like to follow my beauty journey you can add my beauty account on Instagram or like my Facebook page! If you have any questions about the products, color matching, booking parties or becoming an artist, I'm your girl!!