We’re An Official Domain!

Welcome to my blog with an official domain, OliviaTheBlog.com! I’m SO excited!! Coming up with an official domain name was super daunting and tricky. I have some tips for people trying to choose a domain name, and I’ll give some reasons why I chose this one too!

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I knew I wanted a simple domain name that would be easy for people to spell and remember. Olivia’s blog was taken, blog Olivia, etc. A domain with my last name would have been too tricky, since mine is so complicated. Finally, I randomly tried OliviaTheBlog.com and it was free!! I thought it was super cute, mostly because it reminded me of Olivia The Pig, which happened to be my favorite book growing up. I really resinated with her for some reason 😂

I also think that you should consider what the domain name sounds like when said out loud. I kept trying to think about what I wanted to say if someone walking by said “Do you have a blog? What is it?” I needed something simple, easy to say and easy to remember.

I also wanted to make sure the domain name was under 15 characters. This makes it easiest to remember, and less of a chance for people to misspell anything when typing it into the address bar!

This is my third blog I’ve ever made (third times a charm?) so I also wanted to make sure that this name was a brand that would fit me for a long time. You can’t go wrong with your own name, because I feel like you can never “outgrow” that. I can always change my color scheme, logo, etc. But I don’t want to have to deal with a whole new blog name and branding for a long time. So I figured that OliviaTheBlog.com kind of encompasses everything that I wanted in a name, and it’s hopefully something that will be around for awhile!

Thanks again to everyone out there who has read my blog and is supportive of it! This is truly one of my favorite things to do, so thanks for just being here and being you 

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How I Got a Boyfriend in NYC

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, I thought it would be fun to share how I met my boyfriend Mike here in New York and my top tips for dating in the city! I am definitely not a dating expert, but I can share what worked for me and what I think helped to lead us to where we are now in our relationship.

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sad but we only have snapchat selfies together

Dating in big cities is hard, it just is! It’s almost like there are too many people and options that it becomes overwhelming. And where do you even start? I don’t go out super often, and when I do it’s not like guys usually approach me or want to chat! A lot of people I’ve met here have said they met their significant other through mutual friends, but when you move to a new city like I did and don’t have many friends, that feels impossible too! My last option seemed to be online dating, but soo many dating apps are creepy (i.e. Tinder and Happn) which steered me away from using dating apps in the first place. But once I moved here I realized that New York City has its whole own array of dating apps, which is where I met my boyfriend! Here are my tips for online dating that my boyfriend and I did that totally worked for us.

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  1. Don’t Be Afraid To Send The First Message: This one is crucial in my opinion! I think when girls wait around for a guy to send the first message, they aren’t always going to get what they want. I say be bold and make the first move, I did and it worked out for me! I met Mike on an app called Hinge and I wrote a message to him commenting on something he wrote in his bio. (He wrote something about how he only likes baked cookies and not cookie dough and I sent a message asking how could he not like cookie dough because it’s the best, super cheesy but it worked out for me!)
  2. Get off of the app ASAP: This one is THE most important. You know those guys/girls you’ve chatted with on a dating app for weeks/months and never actually met up with? Yeah, I’m pretty sure the longer you stay on the app talking, the lesser of a chance you have at meeting in person and forming a real connection. (This is just my theory!) I want to say Mike and I only exchanged like 5-10 messages on the app before exchanging numbers, and then we planned to meet like that weekend. This also really helped me to not be so nervous going into the date, since there was less pressure because we didn’t know each other well so the expectations were low, lol!IMG_5795
  3. Meet in Public/Somewhere with Activities: I honestly think going to dinner or coffee can be so nerve-wracking because you are basically forced to keep up the conversation, and if there’s a silence it can be awkward! Obviously after awhile those are totally normal dates, but if you’re going into a first date with someone from an app, you may have a better chance for success in a public place with things to do/look at. We went to a food festival, which ended up being so fun because there were so many foods and drinks to try but we also walked around and chatted a lot. It was also busy enough where if we weren’t talking that it wasn’t awkward. (Quick shoutout to Mike for being an hour late to our first date and I was about to leave, glad I didn’t…definitely thought I was getting stood up!)
  4. Give It at Least Two Tries: Even if you aren’t totally sure that the date was awesome or perfect, maybe give it one or two more dates before you make a final decision! I had such a fun time with Mike on our first date but I still didn’t know if we had “chemistry” or could just be friends. He even tried to kiss me goodbye when he walked me to my train and I totally dodged him (awkward! 😂) but I decided to give it one more chance and thank god I did!
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he is also the man behind the camera for all of my blog pictures 😂

That is all for how I found a boyfriend in New York City! I will say I went on a few dates from different apps when I moved here, so don’t think the first guy is going to be a keeper! Just keep trying and don’t be discouraged, and also don’t take it too seriously! I had no expectations going into my date with Mike and had no idea how awesome he would be, and now I can’t imagine not knowing him! Sorry for the cheesy post/ if it was too much, just tryin’ to make some love connections happen 😂

Do you have any dating tips? Comment below! 🙂

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Losing Weight: The ONLY Way That Has Worked For Me!

I am aware that I am completely unqualified to post this, but I wanted to share with you guys how I have lost some weight for basically the first time in my life! The things I’ve done are small lifestyle changes that have been super easy so far. I will be the first to admit that I gained a ton of weight in college (my highest weight was 175, and being 5’4” that was rough!) But since then I am down to 149 and am feeling so good! It’s really hard to put myself out there with how much I weigh, but I think that posting it will hold me accountable to keep working to lose it! I have 3 main tips that I believe have helped me to lose weight recently:

  1. Walking– I truly believe this helps so much! I always try to get in 10,000 steps a day. This has been easier since I’ve moved to NYC and you basically have to walk and subway everywhere, but even just taking an extra 30 minutes to go on the treadmill or elliptical during the day really helps me to get in those extra steps. I just use the health app on my phone to track my steps (pro tip, you don’t even have to set it up! It’s been tracking you this whole time…go check it out!)

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2. Eating– I have made some small changes when it comes to my diet. I downloaded this app (which I feel like tons of people have anyway, no big secret) and for one week I just ate normally and kept track on the app. This really helped me to know where I was at. Now I try to stay around 1,200 calories a day. I DEFINITELY have cheat days, especially on the weekends with cookies, pizza, wine, etc. I don’t want to deprive myself! But during the weeknights I’ve been trying to stick to meat, fruit and veggies solely. I have almost cut out dairy (besides ice cream and chocolate, I can’t do it! Any dairy free dessert suggestions?) and I have tried to cut out gluten as well. For the most part I make salads with spinach, chicken and avocado, balsamic vinegar and olive oil! I have been liking peppers and hummus as a snack, or peppers dipped in the 100 calorie guac packets from Trader Joe’s. LOVE these. I like making thai lettuce wraps as well! But I also eat TJ’s dark chocolate peanut butter cups literally every day sooo…it’s all about balance? Lol

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3. Exercise– I absolutely hate exercising, I’m just gonna put that out there. Legit the worst. But for some reason I have been sticking to this routine and it seems to be working? I have a gym in my building which is easy when I’m being lazy lol. But basically I start off by doing 1 mile on the elliptical to get warmed up. Then I alternate between arm and leg day and just pick like 4-5 exercises. So on arm day I’ll use 10 or 15 lb weights and do 3 sets with 8-12 reps per set per exercise. I have a chart of exercises to do if anyone cares about the specifics lol. But yes just doing small weightlifting for like 20-30 min and then a do a couple of ab exercises and I’m done! It’s been easy so far which I think is good. Anything I’ve tried that is too fast paced or difficult I never stick with, so don’t be afraid to let yourself start off slow and easy, just give yourself credit for doing something!!

That’s all I have for how I’ve lost weight, hopefully this keeps working for me! Do you have any weight loss suggestions? Comment below! 🙂

Self-Care Tips for the Lazy Girl (me)

Admittedly, I am one of the laziest people I know when it comes to self-care. I am terrible at remembering to wash my face, shave, wash my hair, take care of my skin, etc. BUT I have figured out easy ways to fit some of these things into my schedule…self-care for the lazy girl! Here are my top tips, enjoy 🙂

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  1. Moisturize IN the shower– this sounds silly, but I actually just started keeping a small body moisturizer in the shower, so right after I dry off I moisturize right away! Once I get to my room I know I won’t do it, so it helps to do it while still in the shower.
  2. Face Washing Made Easy–  This is actually kind of embarrassing, but when I don’t feel like splashing my face with water in the early mornings, I use the Mario Badescu Rosewater facial spray to spritz my face, scrub a little soap, and the spritz again and wipe my face off. Super low maintenance and it helps to wash my face without the mess!
  3. Eyelash Extensions– this is one of those high maintenance/low maintenance situations. Getting eyelash extensions was something that I am still unsure about, but I have found that it has cut my makeup routine IN HALF, and has boosted my no-makeup confidence! I still feel put together with the extensions on but no other makeup. This has also been a blessing for my skin, not feeling the need to wear foundation every day!
  4. Dry Shampoo/Hairstyle Days– I am a huge believer in dry shampoo to get through those days to weeks of not feeling like washing my hair. But I have found that my hair tends to feel dry with the dry shampoo, and it makes my scalp dry as well. Lately, I’ve been washing my hair once every 4 days and just plan my hairstyles for each day! On day 1 I wear my hair down since it’s clean, day 2 I can still get away with it down, day 3 I may do a bun or ponytail, and day 4/5 I wear a hat (lol!)
  5. Make Things More Accessible– I have so many face masks, moisturizers, spot treatments, teeth whiteners, etc. that I always want to try but never get to. I used to keep them in my bathroom, but I realized after awhile this never really worked for me because they weren’t immediately accessible and I was always too lazy to go get them. Now I finally have a nightstand/desk situation in my room where I keep all of my products that I want to try. So when I am having a lazy day/night in bed, I look over and try that face mask or teeth whitener that I’ve been wanting to! This really works for anything you want to add into your self-care routine.

That is all for my self-care tips for the lazy girl! Do you have any fun/easy self-care routines that you would recommend? Comment and let me know! 🙂

 

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The Bachelor: Night 1 Review

 

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Happy New Year! If you know me at all, you know I’m obsessed with the entire Bachelor franchise. I started really watching the shows during Emily Maynard’s season (one F Jef why couldn’t you have been the bachelor this season instead?!) But I definitely used to sneak in episodes before her season as well. Did anyone else’s parents forbid them from watching the Bachelor/Bachelorette when you were younger?! Mine thought it was inappropriate, lol. Still didn’t stop me! In honor of the new year and the new bachelor, I thought it would be appropriate to review Arie’s season premiere.

First off, why Arie? I have a feeling we will all eventually like him by the end (I hope?) but after night one I’m honestly not feeling it! I think people have forgotten him from Emily’s season, and I feel like it’s a whole new crowd of fans that watch the show now versus back during Emily’s season. He’s older, I don’t find him super attractive, and is anyone else super creeped out by his voice? I feel like they were trying to go for someone similar to Peter since he was such a fan favorite, but just because they’re both grey doesn’t mean this replacement works.. it doesn’t.

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Onto the girls. I feel like I wasn’t really super paying attention to the intros since nothing really caught my eye? But right off the bat, the ones that stand out in my head are short hair Bekah and Raven’s friend. I think they’re both cute and seem pretty normal? Their intros were cute too. But we shall see. I read that Bekah is 22 (Ari is 37) so I feel slightly uncomfy? but everything is fine (?)

Other than that, there wasn’t anyone that stands out as the annoying evil one besides Chelsea? TBH they all looked the same and were all named Lauren so this is looking to be a semi-boring season. Let’s hope someone’s crazy comes out and spices things up soon!

Do you have any fun bachelor/bachelorette viewing traditions? In high school and college I used to have friends over and make a huge deal about watching it every week, it’s always been one of my favorite Monday night traditions! Any predictions on who the winner will be, or who your favorite is? Let me know in the comments!

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Moving to a New City: Adjustments & Changes

Life in New York City is so different than anywhere else I’ve lived. From growing up in Ohio to living in South Carolina for four years of school, I felt like I’d already seen a lot! But as most would guess, NYC is completely different than any other city, and rightfully so. If you’ve ever considered living here or are just curious about the differences in day to day routines, then keep reading!

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1. Transportation– this one seems obvious, but it took me the most time to get adjusted to. Taking the subway and walking are what I do most since I’ve moved here, and I’ll admit I do miss my alone time in the car! But it’s so cheap to subway (2.75 per ride) and I always get my 10,000 steps a day with walking everywhere 😂 if you’re visiting NYC and are trying to figure out the subway system, my biggest suggestion is to download the Citymapper app, and to just ask people and read signs! I am one of the most directionally challenged people I know and I still somehow figured out the New York City subway system, so you can too!

2. Food– I’d never really thought about this one before, but grocery shopping can be a real pain in the ass when you don’t have a car to dump all of your shit into! I tend to go grocery shopping for smaller quantities more often, which can get annoying but I’ve gotten used to it. It’s also a great workout carrying your groceries and walking home! 😂 Another thing all New Yorkers seem to do is eat out quite often.

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3. Dating– Literally every girl I’ve talked to in New York says the only way to date here is online dating. Obviously in college my friends and I dabbled in Bumble and Tinder, but New York City has its whole own array of options when it comes to dating apps. I’ve been a fan of The League and Hinge!

4. Tourists– I quickly went from being a newbie New Yorker that stopped and stared at everything, to being soooo annoyed by slow tourists that stop in the middle of the sidewalk to take pictures 😂 It doesn’t help that I live on Wall Street down in Fidi and walk out my front door to a sea of tourists that I have to navigate my way through, lol.

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5. The Vibes– As fast paced as New York City is, I’ve also found that it is one of the friendliest cities I’ve ever lived in. As surprising as it is, I feel like strangers from the subway to the streets are willing to stop and chat, help with directions, and so much more. I’ve seen a family help an old lady up the stairs, and men helping women carry their strollers down into the subway. It makes my heart so full!

That’s all for now! What have your biggest adjustments been when moving to a new city? Comment below and let me know!

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Best New York City Eats

Whether you live in New York or are just stopping by for a visit, it’s always fun to find those “under the radar” food spots that won’t be completely tourist packed. These are my top five places I’ve eaten at in NYC that I’d never heard of before moving here, but would highly recommend!

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  1. The Doughnut Plant– Featured on The Food Network some years ago, this doughnut shop is a hidden gem tucked away into the Lower East Side. It has super unique doughnut flavors which is a draw, but honestly their doughnuts are so moist and flavorful that this is what keeps me coming back. I would recommend the black & white, the blueberry, or any of the cake doughnuts!

2.  Hotel Chantelle– While expensive, we actually got a Groupon to go here and had the most amazing meal! I would highly recommend the giant pretzel and the sangria with white wine. Both were amazing! We also ordered two entrees and it was a lot of food, so I’d recommend getting drinks and apps at this spot. The roof and atmosphere are also outstanding!

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photo credit to gilt.com

3. Sticky’s Finger Joint– I know this sounds silly, but if you get sick of the whole Shake Shack scene but want a quick junk-food bite, I love this NYC joint for chicken fingers/nuggets and fries. Side note, their honey mustard is impeccable.

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photo credit to trycaviar.com

4. Black Tap– This one goes against the whole “not tourist packed” thing, but if you are visiting New York and are willing to wait in a long line, this burger joint has the most incredible milkshakes (tasty and insta-worthy). The line can take anywhere from 30 min. to an hour, but if you want to get in faster then go with a small group during a non-peak time, and sit at the bar instead of a table! The location in Soho also tends to be a little less packed than the one in Midtown.

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photo credit to blakelynewyork.com

5. Bubby’sAnother one that will be a bit of a wait, but SO worth it. This was seriously one of the best brunches I’ve had in the city! Located right by the high-line in Chelsea, this one does tend to attract tourists, but if you wait near the bar the seating is first come first serve, so we walked right in and sat down! Their mimosas were super bubbly and their brunch menu is seriously to die for. Go get the biscuits!

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photo credit to yelp.com

That is all for my food blog post! Do you have any other places you’d recommend eating at in New York City? Obviously I’m not on a health kick at the moment, so I’m open to any and all suggestions (lol). Comment with your favorite food spots!

 

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How to Live in NYC

Hello, blogging world friends! Lately I’ve been getting a lot of questions about living in New York City, from close friends to strangers wanting to know how I managed to move here. While I do often feel like I’m living an amazing dream, moving to New York isn’t actually that difficult or scary to do! Here are my top four tips on how to move to New York City if this is your dream, or even if it’s something you’ve just considered!

  1. Apply, apply, apply: I know this one is obvious, but applying for jobs here is the number one way to get your butt to New York. Once you land a job here, you have an automatic reason to move here! I moved here for an internship that ended up not working out for me, but it got me to this city that I’ve always wanted to live in, so it all worked out in the end! It’s also so much easier to land a job in New York once you already live here.
  2. Don’t be afraid of failure: I think that me, along with billions of other people are nervous to take big leaps out of fear of failure. Moving to New York was scary because I wasn’t sure if I’d like living in a big city or if I could really do this. But for me, “what ifs” aren’t a good enough reason to not follow through with big dreams. I’d also like to say that moving somewhere and not loving your job, home, or situation is not a failure! It is a huge success to take these leaps, no matter the outcome.
  3. Think short term:  Remember that you are signing a lease to live here for one year. You aren’t committing the rest of your life to this place, so if you are nervous that NYC may not be the place for you but you’ve always wanted to try it, then give it a go! I always play the “what’s the worst thing that could happen” card. For me, it was coming here and absolutely hating it. This wasn’t the case, but it is nice remembering that I have the option to stay here until July and then can move anywhere else I’d like. You aren’t stuck here!
  4. Fake it ’til you make it: This is the biggest step that I took when deciding I wanted to move to New York City. I literally did everything that I could in pretending that I was already moving to New York City. I apartment hunted online, applied for jobs, read books, read blogs, made dream boards, messaged potential roommates, talked to people who live here…even though my parents thought I was crazy, I literally just went along pretending like I was moving to New York, even though at the time I had no plans to! Even if you’re “faking it” or just going through the motions with no real end in sight, I truly believe that these things really do help you to get what you want in the end.

I hope this gives a little insight into the mentality and approach I took when deciding I wanted to move to New York City, and how to get here! This could really apply to anyone looking to move to any city, but I’ve been getting a lot of questions specific to New York so I thought I’d share 🙂 Comment with any other New York questions or New York post ideas, I’d love to share what I’ve learned so far!

 

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Updated Makeup Routine: Everyday Full Coverage

Hi friends! I’ve actually been getting some questions about my current makeup routine, usually from customers while I’m at work or people while I’m out running errands. The main questions I get are about my eyelashes and my foundation, so I figured why not do an updated makeup routine on my current favorites!

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  1. Moisturizer- My all time favorite moisturizer is THIS Clinique one, it gives such a healthy glow under my foundation.
  2. Foundation- I use this Estee Lauder foundation religiously. I’ve used it in the past, stopped, but I’m hooked again. It’s just too good, and the coverage can’t be beat.
  3. Concealer- This IT Cosmetics concealer is EVERYTHING. It looks like natural, glowy skin and honestly provides the best coverage.
  4. Powder- I use this Estee Lauder duo powder/highlight mix on top of my concealer and foundation. It gives extra coverage, but the mix of the highlight gives another nice healthy glow (I HATE being matte!)
  5. Brows- This is my favorite brow gel, I don’t have a favorite pencil at the moment because I always feel like I’m overdoing it when I’m filling in my brows completely! This one looks natural but makes your brows fuller.
  6. Lips- This NARS lipstick in Sex Machine is the best color and consistency. It isn’t longwear which is definitely a con, but the natural plump pink look it gives to my lips is great for every day.
  7. Mascara- THE HOLY GRAIL. NOTHING CAN BE BEAT. FLY LASHES, FLY.
  8. Eyeliner- This Stila eyeliner will literally not move, and I’ve had the best luck at creating wings with this. Pricy for an eyeliner, but it’s staying power is really what you’re paying for.
  9. Blush- This blush is so perfect, natural and glowy. I love all of the baked products from this brand!
  10. Bronzer- I actually don’t have a bronzer that I love at the moment! I was using the Too Faced bronzer and still do occasionally, but it just is starting to look a little matte and muddy for my liking. If you couldn’t tell, I really like “natural and glowy”, lol.

Thanks so much for taking the time to read my blog! If you have any favorite products that I should try, comment below and leave the link! I also love following other new bloggers so let’s connect 🙂

Olivia

3 Beauty Hacks Every Girl Should Know

I hope everyone is having a great week! Today I am sharing my top 3 beauty hacks that I think every girl should know. If you’re anything like me you may struggle with acne, frizzy hair, or pale skin :/ Look no further because I have the solutions to some of your biggest beauty struggles!

  1. Face– This is a beauty hack I have used since high school…I’m not sure how I thought of it, but it works! I put Neosporin on my face (I know, seems gross, but bear with me) and it really helps to heal acne, acne scarring, wrinkles and fine lines, dryness, and gives a really nice overall glow and hydrated feeling to my skin when I wake up in the morning! Yes, it does feel super greasy when applied, but the benefits to it outweigh the cons. Pretend like your face is a giant scab that needs to be healed and pack that sh*t on!
  2. Hair– My all time favorite shampoo is this Suave shampoo. As long as I blow dry and straighten my hair right after I shower, this stuff makes my hair super silky! Not to mention it is really affordable, especially if you wash your hair once every 3-5 days like I do. This and this are my two favorite dry shampoos at the moment, one affordable and one more high end. The high end one is great for volume and a little bit goes a really long way, but I find that my hair has a strange white cast even after blended. For this reason I like the cheaper dry shampoo, but I find that you need a lot more of it and there can be some brown fallout on your face from it, so be careful! Does anyone have a favorite dry shampoo that doesn’t have either of these problems?
  3. Tanning– Self-tanning is soooo tricky, and let’s be honest, we’ve all had our fair share of bad tans :/ The best self tanners that I have found over the years are this Jergens one and this Australian one. The Jergens one is a winner for me because it provides a more natural glow without looking too orangey or too dark. But if you want to go darker, I totally recommend the Loving Tan line. It is on the pricier side, but if you apply it correctly I think it is just as good as a spray tan, and the best part about it is that I get 10-20 tans out of one bottle, which makes up for the cost in my opinion! I use the dark mousse, but their whole line has olive undertones, not orange ones, which is awesome. Use code Olivia at checkout for a free gift, too! **My friends and I also used this one in college (shoutout Emily and Kelsey!) and I find that it works well as long as you blend and keep up with it.

I hope that these tricks help some girls out there who may have the same struggles as I do! Trying out new products is one of my favorite things to do, so if you have any products that you would recommend let me know!