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27 May 2016

The Absolutely Best Sunscreen for Fair Skin



Fair skin girls, this post is for you! I've spent my life being the girl in the shade, under the umbrella, and donning the wide-brim hat. It's kind of my thing. Year after year, I am on the great search for the perfect sunscreen, and I've purchased it all. Neutrogena? Yep. Aveeno? Of course. Banana Boat? Obviously. Beauty Counter? Tried that too! 

Today, I am sharing my four favorite sunscreens for fair skinned folk. When I search for a sunscreen that's perfect for me, these are the criteria I consider:

1. SPF 30 or higher. Yes, I know that some people claim that nothing over 15 works. I am here to tell you from experience, if I wore SPF 15, I would look like a lobster. Period. 

2. Thickness. I loathe thick sunscreen. It feels disgusting, and it also feels like I can never get it off of my body. I want full coverage sunscreen that's smooth. My theory on this is if you can make body lotion that' doesn't feel like molasses, you can make sunscreen that doesn't either. 

3. Scent. This is super important. If I have to wear sunscreen all day - and reapply multiple times - it better smell great. I have to say that Beauty Counter has some of the best smelling sunscreen ever. It smells like lemons! 

4. Residue. I wear a lot of dark colored bathing suits. I love how black swimsuits look on the beach and at the pool - so classy! Because I am wearing black and am usually lathered in white sunscreen, it better not leave white residue all over my bathing suit. Ever.

The sunscreens above definitely fit my criteria. I own all of them (with the exception of the SuperGoop lip shine), and they are my tried and true favorites. Each one is listed for a specific use, and yes, all of them are in my beach bag at all times (with the SuperGoop soon to be added...). One thing to note: the Hawaiian Tropic Sheer Touch SPF 50 is like an urban sunscreen myth. I can't find it in stores, but I did find it online!

I hope everyone has a great Memorial Day weekend, and if you're headed outside - pick up one of my favorite sunscreens, so you can relax and stay safe from the sun! 

What are your favorite sunscreens? I'm always on the hunt for a new favorite!




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25 May 2016

6 Lessons from My First Year as a Freelancer



Today is the one-year mark since I left my classroom to pursue my freelance business full time. If nothing else, the past year is definitely evidence that time absolutely flies. I cannot believe that this time last year, I was saying good-bye to my coworkers and waving to school buses with tears in my eyes (such a softy). It's absolutely crazy to think that it's been an entire year, and man, has it been interesting. I wanted to reflect on my first year in business not only to share with you some thoughts, but as a record for me to look back on as well. I have 6 lessons from my first year as a freelancer: 

1. Connections matter. And because those matter, so does networking and networking events. I'll be the first to tell you that I despise anything with the word "networking" in it; it always feels so fake to me. However, every single one of my current clients have been word of mouth referrals or clients that I've gotten by talking about myself (which I'm still terrible at). 

2. Expect the unexpected. When I left teaching, I had two incredible clients under my belt with a goal of getting a third major client by December. Imagine my elation when I picked one up in October - way ahead of my goal (hashtag winning). And yet, imagine my disappointment when I lost my biggest client just two days after the big #3 gain. Losing clients (and gaining new ones) is just a part of being a freelancer. And while it can be stressful not knowing where the next paycheck is coming from, really, it's one of the best parts. Gaining new clients keeps my work interesting, and it's definitely kept me on my toes. Plus now, I can proudly say I'm at what I like to call "full capacity."

3. Go with the flow. And your flow isn't the same as someone else's. It has been a year of me learning how other people work. For every single client, that means learning their schedule, understanding their work culture, molding to their meeting times, and compromising my own ideal schedule in the process. If you don't know me personally, you might not know that I'm extremely Type A. I plan my schedule weeks in advance. And I don't do change so well. So, when I'm thrown a curve ball, as I have been many many times this year, it's pretty hard for me to knock it out of the park. The good news is that I recognize this in myself, and that I'm trying every day to improve and go with the flow. 

4. If you build it, they might not come. It turns out that it takes a lot more than a business name, a business plan, and a bank account to get work. Not succumbing to Bravo in the middle of the day and choosing to put my head down and work has been an adjustment. While I really hate the word "hustle," there is definitely a sense of urgency needed with freelancing. Otherwise, you're not getting paid. 

5. Make friends who get it. I cannot express how thankful I am for my freelancing and small-business owning friends who have been a sounding board for me this year. Not only have they kept me sane, but they've offered sound advice via text, chance meetings in the driveway, and over coffee.

6. Your passion doesn't have to be your work. Hear me out. Working in "your passion" is a huge trend right now. Every time I tell someone I left teaching, I hear the phrase "well now you get to work in your passion!" Let's be clear: social media isn't my passion (not really) and teaching wasn't not my passion. In fact, I am still deeply passionate about education. And education is very very very much a part of my daily work. I get to educate clients about best social media practices. I get to help them make their businesses stronger. I get to help them create a brand that matches their vision. I get to help people. And that is awesome, and that I am passionate about. 

Fellow business owners: what are some of the lessons you've learned?  

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