BlissAndBubbly

Weekly Chat – Instagram Aesthetic

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Ok soooo we all know how important Instagram is, or we’re learning at least. And until I started blogging a little over a year ago, I used Instagram for what a lot of people use it for – to document my life, my family, my friends, my food & drinks and of course my selfies. There was no rhyme or reason to anything I posted other than it was what I was doing/eating and that I wanted to post it. There was no “theme” or aesthetic, and honestly there still isn’t.

I am still trying to learn, and it’s a lotttt harder than I thought it would be. The “blogging world” is a whoollleee new world ( singing Aladdin out loud as I type this LOL ) and Instagram is a HUGE part of blogging. Readers want to see a deeper glimpse into your life, aside from what you share on your blog, and it’s also a wonderful platform for quick engagement as well. It’s a perfect tool to reach out to brands, or to have brands reach out to you, and really just give people a feel for who you are and what you’re all about. It’s the perfect place to give readers a behind the scenes look at what you’re doing.

At first, it seemed weird to me to not just post whatever I wanted, ya know? But I’ve learned that it’s important for your whole feed to have kind of a more uniform look to it, so that when people go to your Instagram page they are drawn in and want to look at each individual photo, not overwhelmed with a huge disarray of random things & colors.

No pressure, huh?

Well I’ve been doing a bit of Instagram research this week and I’ve compiled a list of 6 tippity tips on how to grow your Instagram and how to really hone in on your personal aesthetic.

  1. Ask Questions In Your Captions – If you are a blogger, brands want to see engagement on all platforms, Instagram being an important one. An easy way to do that is to ask a question at the end of your caption! If you’re traveling, ask for some good local spots to eat, or what are the must see’s for the area? And so on. And always be sure to respond to everyone! Really take the time to chit chat it up with someone! If they are taking the time out of their day to engage with you – engage back!
  2. Find “Your Thing” – What is it about your Instagram that will set you apart from the millions of other gorgeous accounts out there? Are you a food blogger that can post super quick and easy week night dinner recipes? Do you post super cute photos of your cat every morning? Are you knowledgeable in a topic and can provide a tip to give your audience value with every post? Find ONE thing to become “your thing” that is going to provide some sort of value to your followers and run with it. I am totally still trying to figure mine out….
  3. Be Consistent – Decide a schedule that works for you and stick to it. I post every morning, usually a photo from whatever blog post I posted that day, and then another one around 12:30.
  4. Hashtags – At first, I was not hashtags biggest fan. And I’m really still not, but they are a necessary evil in the world of blogging and Instagram. Being specific and tagging every single detail or brand that’s in your post helps others find you and that’s a major positive! I personally don’t type my hashtags in my caption, I type them in a separate comment, so that my followers don’t see them unless they click to read the comments. That way I’m not throwing ten million of them in their face at once, ya know?
  5. Follow Similar Accounts – This is another area where hashtags come in handy big time! If you are a fashion blogger, search the hashtag #fashionblogger and tons and tons of them will pop up. Follow them, and chances are, they’ll follow you back because you have similar content!
  6. Decide On A Color Scheme – This is what I am having a really hard time with, but I’ve learned that it’s really important. When someone clicks on your page and they see your whole feed at once, it should look beautiful and uniform while still being unique. But it shouldn’t look messy. Some bloggers have a marble background on every photo, some are against a wall, some at the beach, it all depends on where you live, what your photographing/blogging about and what makes sense for you.

Basically, I don’t know if anyone will really care about this advice because my Instagram is currently a hot mess, but I am by no means claiming to be an expert, so maybe it’s ok. In a way, I guess I am posting this to hold myself accountable to these tips and really follow through with them.

Also, I think having someone to either take photos of you, so all your pictures aren’t selfies ( not that there is anything wrong with a selfie! ) or to give you a second opinion on your photo is super helpful! My sweet boyfriend takes a lot of pictures of me and even follows some of the Instagram accounts I love so that he can really understand and see what I’m going for. I’ve sure got a winner! 🙂

What are some of ya’lls Instagram tips? I’d love to hear, and I’m positive other readers would too!

Thank you so  much for reading
🙂

XO, Madison.

The 5 Minute Braided Crown Tutorial

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Goooood morning! We’ve all been there: just a little too warm & comfy in bed, hit the snooze button one too many times, and now we only have twenty minutes to get ready, eat breakfast and make it out of the door on time for work. Am I right? Well Bliss And Bubbly is here to save the day! Or at least make your time getting ready go by a little quicker.

I love braids. I try to add braids to tons of different hairstyles. Especially in the spring and summer! It’s just so fresh and fun to me. This particular braided crown hairstyle is so easy and so quick, it’s perfect for those mornings when you have less than ideal time to get ready, but still want to look like you spent hours in the bathroom.

This is also a perfect style if you are wanting to give yourself and your hair a break from heat styling for the day.

We all know that I only wash my hair every 7ish days, and I try to only put heat on it 3 – 4 of those days, so by day 6 or 7 this is the perfect go – to style to still look put together for work, but without all the effort and damage to my strands.

Step one: separate your hair into two equal parts on either side of your face, and turn those sections into french braided pig tails. If you have hairs that frame your face, or bangs, be sure to leave those out ( mine are just too long at the moment they look a little silly ). When french braiding, try to pull the strand that you are adding the hair into UNDERNEATH the other strands, instead of over top of them. This will make your braid raised out, instead of just blending into the rest of your hair. Once you finish with your braids, pull each piece out, making the braids loose and messy. In my opinion, the messier the better, especially with this particular style.

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Step two: Take one of the braids and lay it across the opposite side of your head, pinning it with bobby pins where needed.

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Step three: Repeat with the other braid, overlapping the previous braid with this one, pinning it the same way.

Step four: Take the tails of the pigtails and tuck them underneath the top side of the braid that you just pinned down. It will make more sense if you look at the picture ;). My hair is too long to just tuck, so I have to loop it around, then pin it underneath the bottom side. If your hair isn’t as long as mine, you’ll have a much easier time with this step!

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Step five: set it with some texturizing spray or some hairspray.

Aaaand you’re done! How easy & fun was that?

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This style would also look perfect with an off the shoulder dress for a fun brunch with the girls, or a casual date night as well.

What are some other fun hairstyles ya’ll would like to see tutorials on?

XO, Madison.

5 Tips To Avoid Getting Dry Lips

Although winter might be on it’s way out ( here in Texas at least! ) everything is still a little bit dry. And by everything my skin and hair LOL. But this year I’ve especially had issues with my lips being dry and I couldn’t really figure out why. Cracked peeling lips kind of a damper on wearing fun lipsticks and kissing, don’t ya think? So I tracked down every single little thing that I was doing that was making them worse, and every single little thing I did/used that cured them of the awful dryness.

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1. DONT LICK THEM – This might seem obvious ( or not ) and I know it is a maaaajor habit, especially of mine! Yes, it will help alleviate the dryness you’re feeling on your lips but only for a few seconds, and in the end it only worsens the issue – saliva is extremely drying for the lips.
2. WEEKLY EXFOLIATION – Add it to your Sunday night self care routine. That’s when I do everything that would take too much time on any other night such as my hair masks, my face masks, and my lip exfoliation. A super easy way is to just wet your toothbrush and move it in gentle circular motions across your lips, finishing with a balm. There are also some great products you could use! Ulta makes a super good one that’s just a few dollars, there are great organic ones on Amazon like Kiss Me Honey and This Super Kissable Scrub or you could just mix coconut oil with a little brown sugar and make your own paste. Just be sure to follow up with a really great organic balm afterwards to help moisturize and protect that new layer of skin you just revealed.
3. LIP MASKS – I know what you’re thinking, I already have to do a face mask and a hair mask now I need a lip mask too?! But really think about this – your lips do a lot of work! I mean talking, eating, kissing and so on. They need a little extra love sometimes! I found this really great ( and CUTE ) lip mask on Amazon and use it about one a month. They’re bright pink, shaped like lips and are hilarious to take snapchat’s with. Also, that particular brand is filled with collagen, which will give your lips a natural boost of plumpness, which is never a bad thing, right?
4. OILS, OILS, OILS – I am obsessed with oils. I use Organic Rose Hip Oil & Vitamin E Oil all over my face every single day/night, I moisturize my whole body with Organic Coconut Oil every single night and I recently started putting a little Vitamin E Oil, or sometimes Avocado Oil on my lips at night. This winter my lips have gotten super dried out, which has never happened to me before, so I knew I was in need of something a little stronger than balms and chapsticks. ALSO, chapstick can be addicting for your lips, causing them to dry out even more. Totally counterintuitive, I KNOW. So when buying balms or chapsticks, look for Organic brands that have oils in the ingredients ( such as Vitamin E or Coconut ) those will actually help the issue, not make it worse. My personal favorites are Cocokind & Burts Bees Grapefruit.
5. NOURISHING MAKEUP – This tip kind of goes back to number 4. Don’t use just any old chapstick that’s been in the bottom of your purse for 24985 years. Always read the ingredients, and take the time to find Organic brands that work for you. When wearing lipstick look for brands that are Sulfate & Paraben free. That’s super important! Stila makes a great one. Also, always apply a layer of balm before applying lipstick or stain to keep the products from drying out your lips, especially if you’re using a matte color.

On that note, I am off to drink some peppermint tea & read a book about finding my ZEN.

What are some other tips for preventing/ridding dry cracked lips? Please share!

Thanks so much for reading!

XO, Madison.

Weekly Chat: Staying Motivated

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So, this a new thing I am doing. Weekly Chats. If you’re subscribed to my blog ( WHICH YOU SHOULD BE! ) I talked about starting this as a Friday ritual and using it as a way to really connect with those of you who are kind enough to read my blog. I want to use these posts as a way to answer questions, give updates on my life or random things I’m going through, share tips I come across, basically just literally any and everything.

This week I struggled a little bit with staying motivated. Not just for my blog, but just kind of for work in general. Does that ever happen to anyone? I think I just got into the same routine every single day and I realized on Wednesday that I had to do something about that! I also realized that I certainly cannot be the only one that this happens to from time to time.

It doesn’t mean you’re lazy, or not willing to put the hard work into whatever it is you’re doing, it just means you need a little fresh inspiration to get your motivation back!

I work as a Property Manager of an Executive Suites office building full time, and I run this blog full time. I am also a sister, a cat mom, a dog mom, a daughter, a friend, and a girlfriend. Life can get overwhelming at times! And I know how easy it is to get stuck in the day to day routines and activities. But when that happens, like it did for me the past few weeks, I find it hard to be positive about my work. Does that even make any sense? I have no idea if I am getting across what I actually want to say right now, my brain is just so all over the place LOL.

Basically, I realized I was having the hardest time coming up with blog post ideas, I wasn’t excited about taking pictures, I didn’t want to curl my hair in the mornings ( seems silly, but it matters to me LOL ), like I just didn’t even want to unload the dishwasher.

On Wednesday I was a tiiiinsy bit hungover ( may or may have drank a whole bottle of Champagne on Tuesday night…. #ValentinesDay ) and I was just not thrilled about anything that day. During lunch I decided to walk to the Whole Foods that is close to my work and get a cup of coffee.

BEST DESCISION OF THE WEEK.

During that walk I felt myself growing more and more positive. I came up with solutions for some of the problems I was in charge of at my job, I thought of this idea for weekly chats, and by the time I got to Whole Foods I was like, “damn I think I just got my motivation back!”. I think it was definitely a combination of getting some fresh air and the mid day exercise, but I think a huge majority of it was just that simple change in my routine.

Any other day I would have just driven to Whole Foods. But I chose to walk instead.

I wanted to share this with ya’ll because when I discover something that works for me, I always think well it might work for someone else too, ya know? If you are struggling with staying motivated, try switching up your daily routine!

I’m telling ya, you’ll feel better almost immediately.

What are your favorite ways to stay motivated??

XO, Madison.

My Fave Bee Pollen Breakfast Smoothie

Summer is coming people, summer is coming! YAY! I know what ya’ll are thinking, “woah slow down, Madison, we have to get though spring first…” which is true. And I love spring! Flowers are number four on my list of all time favorite things on earth, and spring = flowers. HOWEVER. I get the worst seasonal allergies of all time. Literally. Ask anyone that knows me and they will tell you that I literally sneeze 28479 a minute for like 8 months out of the year due to allergies. And yes, I have a prescription medication, I’ve tried the local honey with ACV, I’ve tried essential oil diffusion blends, this girl has tried it ALLLLL.

At least that’s what I thought.

One of my favorite health food instagrams to follow ( @shutthekaleup ) was putting bee pollen in some of her smoothies and I was very intrigued. I did some research and found out that it has lots of major health benefits and seasonal allergy relief is one of the big ones! I was a little skeptical because the local honey thing didn’t quite work for me, but I’ll try anything natural, so I added it to my fave breakfast smoothie for a few days.

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And guess what ya’ll. I have been feeling INSANE relief from my allergies. I’m going to be honest, I don’t know if it’s a combo of the bee pollen and the medication I already take, but I might stop taking the medication for a few days and just try bee pollen, because if I can avoid taking medication at all that would be ideal.

Ok so, you’re probably wondering, what even IS bee pollen, right? Well I’m so glad you asked.

Bee pollen is made by extremely hard working little Honey Bees. 1 single teaspoon of bee pollen takes 1 bee working 8 straight hours a day for over a month! Each single pellet contains over 2 million flower pollen grains. How crazy is that ya’ll?

Other fabulous benefits of taking bee pollen ( besides major seasonal allergy relief ) are:

  • Great source of antioxidants that work hard to destroy free radicals that are loose in our bodies.
  • Contains a fun cocktail of proteins, minerals, vitamins, carbohydrates, amino acids and folic acids.
  • Detoxifying for the liver.
  • Natural energy enhancer.
  • Rejuvenating and smoothing for the skin from the inside out.
  • Anti-inflammatory effect on the lungs and respiratory system, preventing onset asthma.
  • Increases metabolism.
  • Hormone balancer & known for being a great aphrodisiac ;).
  • Increases the bodies production of natural antibiotics, lessening the chance of infections and illnesses.

Bee pollen is considered to be one of natures most completely nourishing foods because it contains almost all the nutrients that humans require.

How cool is that?

It is best to be taken at breakfast time, with fruit. This is because the fibers in the fruit enhance and reinforce the activity of the pollen in the body.

Which is why it’s the perfect addition to my fave breakfast smoothie!

The recipe:

  • 1/2 Cup of Greek yogurt ( or whatever yogurt of your choosing ).
  • Handful of organic kale.
  • Handful of organic spinach.
  • Scoop of whey protein powder of your choice.
  • 1/2 a frozen banana.
  • Handful of frozen strawberries.
  • 1/3 C Whey Protein Powder.
  • 1 tbs of organic coconut oil.
  • 1 tsp of bee pollen.

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Blend all together and enjoy! I like to just sprinkle the bee pollen on top because I think it’s looks pretty… but obviously you are more than welcome to just blend it into the smoothie with the other ingredients as well LOL. As long as you consume all those little nutrient filled pellets!

Do you guys want to know the very best part of all of this great information?

Bee keepers are able to remove the pollen from the hives with ZERO harm to the precious little honey bees, and without disturbing their routine at all. And I love that.

BUT SERIOUSLY, HOW AMAZING ARE HONEY BEES?

Try the smoothie and let me know what ya think! Some other variations I like are frozen mango slices & strawberries, or blueberry banana.

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Also, if you didn’t know, Honeybees are on the International Endangered Species List which is a HUGE deal and needs to be taken very seriously. A few things/changes you can make at home in order to help make a difference are:

  • In your backyard, avoid planting trees/plants that need fertilizer. Try to stick to planting native trees, shrubs, and flowers.
  • Do not buy flowers that have “double blooms”. Bees/insects are not capable of accessing the nectar.
  • Avoid using “bug zappers”. Those are usually used for pesky mosquitos, but mosquitos are the only ones who never end up in them.
  • Do not use pesticides or artificial fertilizers of any kind. Organic alternatives include manure or compost for you kitchen. You should already be doing this, especially if you have kids or animals that play in the yard.
  • Try to buy Organic Cotton clothes, towels, and sheets. Conventional cotton uses an enormous amount of pesticide that is extremely harmful to honeybees and other insects.

Do something to help save a bee today, we need them as much as they need us 🙂

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And drink smoothie while you’re at it!

XO, Madison.

Spring Wardrobe Essentials & Wishlist

Hello, hello! Welcome to Bliss And Bubbly where I am growing a liiiiiittle bit tired of having the weather change from perfect & 80 to pouring & 35 here in Texas…. THIS GIRL IS READY FOR SPRING. My current wardrobe is very neutral and “plain” ( as my bf would say ) so I made a decision that after I spring clean my closet this weekend, I am going to officially add some fun colorful pieces to it for Spring!

I seriously love shopping. It could be considered a problem ( naahhhh ) but I especially love shopping for new seasons! Spring in particular is my favorite because FLORALS. I know that’s so cliche ( that scene from The Devil Wears Prada is currently playing on repeat in my head LOL  #groundbreaking ) but I don’t even care. Florals make me happy, and the clothes you wear should do just that – make you happy. I also love blush tones for spring! I think they make any skin color look gorgeous, and are the perfect transition into brighter summer colors.

I’ve also really gotten into matte liquid lipsticks recently, yes I know I’m a little late to the party LOL, so I’ll also be purchasing allll the Stila pinks & neutrals.

I made a cute little collage to share my wishlist and what’s in all my online carts as of right now:

spring_wardrobe_wishlist1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. “Bella”,“Biscotti” 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14.

What are your favorite trends for spring? I am so happy that off the shoulder tops & dresses aren’t out of style yet, I just love them so much!

Thanks for reading! 🙂

XO, Madison.

A Different Way To Say I Love You

In case you forgot, or lost track of time… ( because this year is seriously going by so fast I can’t even believe it ) this post is serving as a friendly reminder that Valentine’s Day is next week! Surprise!

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I personally am very excited. I love Valentine’s Day. Everything is pink and sparkly, there is candy everywhere, FLOWERS, and everyone is feeling so lovey  dovey. Whether that’s towards your significant other, your cat, your best friend, or your mom, everyone feels a little extra love on Valentine’s Day, and I love that.

I’ve been a serious hopeless romantic since I can remember. I had The Beauty And The Beast memorized as soon as I could talk ( so did my parents because I wanted to watch it 2984 times a day ) and my favorite books are always epic love stories. My February Reading List’s theme is of course love, love, love, so when ProFlowers contacted me to write a post featuring their fun interactive idea for choosing a card to go with your flowers, I hopped right on board.

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They have a collection of 59 of the most romantic quotes in literature separated into 4 categories: “Hopeless Romantic” ( pick me, pick me! ) “Cynic” “Timeless” and “Realist”. You click on whichever category fits your Valentine, then scroll through the quotes until you find one that speaks to you. They also have different choices of images to go along with the quote. Here is a photo of the card I designed with my favorite quote:

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Design yours by clicking on the link HERE.

My boyfriend and I have a had thing since we started dating about how we were just searching for each other and didn’t know true love until we found one another, so when I saw that quote in the “Hopeless Romantic” section I literally squealed out loud. I thought “oh my god, this was written for me!” and then I thought “wow, I need to read the book that this came from asap” and I immediately ordered it on Amazon.

ProFlowers is basically taking all the pressure out of the debacle of deciding what to write on the card when you want to send someone flowers. And they make it FUN. Let’s get real, I personally don’t know one woman who wouldn’t completely swoon over the fact that you chose to put a quote from a love story on a card for them.

These fun digital cards can be emailed and/or shared through social media. What a unique way to show your friends how thoughtful your man is, and make everyone a little jealous. I mean, it’s beyond perfect, really.

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Send your boyfriends, husbands, dads, moms, dogs and cats, the link to this post as a cute little hinty hint, because Valentine’s Day is just around the corner & flowers should most definitely be included 😉

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What are you favorite things about about Valentine’s Day? What is your favorite love quote?

XO, Madison.

35 Ways To Practice Self Care

Stress happens. It’s life. But, it’s up to us to learn how to deal with it in the healthiest way possible, and most importantly, to be happy and take care of ourselves! Everything is better and everyone in your life is happier, when you are happy, ya know?

I used to physically not be able to handle stress at all ( not that I am a pro at it now by any means! ) but it was so bad that I got to the point where I would end up letting it get so out of hand that I would make myself sick. Not like actually make myself throw up, but I would try to go to sleep at night and end up over thinking everything and soon enough, end up throwing up in the bathroom.

Talk about unhealthy ways to handle stress, right? I had a counselor when I was in middle school that taught me how to “breathe through my stomach” when I started to feel stress or anxiety, and that changed my life! Ever since then, I’ve paid very close attention to the things that I do that help alleviate stress from my life, and help me to take better care of myself.

These can be different for everyone, but one thing that isn’t different for anyone is the fact that we all need to be doing at least one thing every single day to take care of ourselves. Weather it’s big, or small. I love doing things for others, actually, making other people happy is a major source of happiness for me, but I think sometimes I forget to do things for myself, and I know I can’t be the only one… so, this is my list:

  1. Have a mini declutter session ( your workspace, your bathroom, wherever you spend the most time ).
  2. Take a hot epsom salt bath weekly with lavender essential oils before bed. This will help relax you, rid your body of toxins, and put you right to sleep.
  3. Burn your favorite candle.
  4. Go for a walk after dinner.
  5. Write yourself a love letter, then read it the next time you feel stressed/sad/upset about anything.
  6. Put your favorite song on loud and have a one woman dance party.
  7. Buy yourself some flowers. I do this all the time! It’s one of my favorite things to do honestly.
  8. Cross something off your to do list that you’ve been pushing off.
  9. Read a trashy magazine cover to cover.
  10. Call someone you love. ( I always call my grandma. Her and I are basically the same person and she makes me feel better 100% of the time, no matter what ).
  11. Stretch, or do a few yoga poses.
  12. Read your favorite book..
  13. Organize your closet and get rid of clothes you don’t wear/don’t fit.
  14. Do something creative ( I’ve recently gotten into hand lettering!! ).
  15. Write down 10 positive affirmations about yourself.
  16. Plan a girls night for you and your girlfriends.
  17. Do a hair & face mask.
  18. Cuddle with your pet ( or your man ) ( or both LOL ).
  19. Diffuse essential oils and meditate.
  20. Go to bed early.
  21. Drink a green drink..
  22. Get an adult coloring book and use it instead of scrolling though Instagram or Facebook.
  23. Try a new way to break a sweat.
  24. Lay in the sunshine for 20 minutes.
  25. Give yourself a manicure or pedicure ( or treat yourself to getting them done at the salon! )
  26. Treat yourself to your favorite over priced, over sugary coffee.
  27. Make a new recipe you’ve been wanting to try.
  28. Get dressed up and have dinner alone at your favorite restaurant. Major confidence booster!
  29. Write down everything you’re stressed about and one solution that you can control to go with each problem.
  30. Clean out your car every time you get gas.
  31. Say no to things that you don’t want to do.
  32. Always trust your gut.
  33. Admit when you’re wrong, even though that’s like impossible ( for me anyways… )
  34. Write thank you notes when needed.
  35. Always wear sunscreen!

I hope at least one of these things helps at least one you be happier today 🙂

What are your favorite ways to practice self care?

XO, Madison.

How To Go 7 Days Without Washing Your Hair

For people that know me well, it’s no surprise that I literally never wash my hair. I usually only wash it once every 7 days. Partly because it’s very long, very thick and there is just so much of it, no body has that kind of time, am I right? But also because waiting a few days in between washes is extremely beneficial for your hair. You might be thinking “ew what is wrong with this girl?” but the first time you do it, you’ll be thanking me in a major way. Dying to find out how?

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Every single night before I go to bed, and before showering on hair washing days, I brush my hair with an organic boar bristle brush. These brushes are great because they’re all natural, they evenly distribute the oil from your roots down the ends, and the bristles are gentle enough to where even if you have tangles, it won’t damage any of your strands. This means the oil won’t be stuck in your roots, just left there to just build up.

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Next, make sure you are using an organic shampoo and conditioner that will work for your hair type. I discovered Maple Holistics about a year ago and their Argan Oil Shampoo and Silk 18 Conditioner changed my life. During the holidays my hairstylist gifted me with some Biolage R.A.W products that I love, so I’ve been switching between the two. I have thick, naturally wavy hair, and not only does the Maple Holistics brand fully clean my hair, it gives it so much softness and shine, all while taming my natural frizz. The Biolage products are made with Coconut Oil and Kaolin Clay which which will intensely condition your hair and leave it super soft and shiny. I am always so pleasantly surprised by the softness after using these products, I’m always like, “wait, is this even my hair?!”.

Both of these products contain NO sulfates, parabens, silicones, or artificial colorations. VERY IMPORTANT. Very Bliss And Bubbly approved.

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When I shampoo my hair I only massage it into my roots on the top of my head. I never wash past the base of my neck. When you rinse the shampoo out, enough of it will reach down to the ends, cleaning them, without putting the shampoo directly on them. The reason I don’t shampoo my ends is because it keeps them from getting too dried out, especially in the winter. Plus, it’s not like your ends get greasy, ya know?

When I condition my hair, it’s the opposite of shampooing. I only condition from the base of my neck down. Avoiding putting conditioner on your roots will keep them that much more residue free and cleaner that much longer.

After conditioner, I always follow up with an Apple Cider Vinegar rinse. Make sure to use Organic Raw Apple Cider Vinegar with “The Mother” ( Braggs is the best, in my opinion ) because that is what actually gives your hair all the nutrients it could ever ask for. Pour a little in a cup, add a little water, and pour it evenly over your scalp. Then rinse with as cold of water as you can stand. Using ACV on your hair will make it ridiculously shiny, extremely soft and easy to brush through, and will also moisturize your scalp, keeping flakes and extra oil at bay for that much longer. And don’t worry about the smell, it’s gone and out of your hair before you’re even done drying off. Rinsing with freezing cold water is important because it kind of “closes” and locks your hairs back up, minimizing damage while drying it, and will also add shine and softness as well.

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Once my hair is washed, unless I am in a major time crunch, I first wrap it up in a micro fiber towel, then try to always let it air dry. Micro fiber towels are heavenly for your hair! They literally suck all the water from your strands, which helps it dry quicker, and they don’t have those little loops of fabric that normal towels have, keeping your hair from getting tangled/pulled while drying. This keeps me from having to blow dry it, reducing my overall heat damage. While it’s still a little damp, I apply a UV protectant cream ( yes, sunscreen for your hair is just as important as it is for your face! ) and then apply some coconut oil to the ends.

Once dry, I style it! I use this curling iron as a wand and curl away from my face, creating my signature mermaid waves, spray some texture spray and dry conditioner to the ends, and TA DA, all done!

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Every single night I brush though it with my boar bristle brush to keep the oil from accumulating and building up in my roots. The first few days after washing, I wear it down and do my best to keep from touching it too much. When it starts to look a little dirty, my go – to’s are a side braid, half up – half down bun, or a slicked back low pony. Also, don’t be afraid to a rock top knot on the last day or two. They can be very chic with a turtleneck or furry vest, perfect for the workday.

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If you are the type of girl that washes your hair every single day, it’s going to take a little while to “train” your hair not to get oily. The first time, just try to go two days in between washes. Do that for a few weeks, then go three, and so on. Wait until you literally can’t stand it a second longer, then wash it.

I promise it will be worth it and your hair will grow faster, be healthier, and look amazing!

My best tip: As soon as I get home from work, I put it in a top knot. This keeps me from touching it and adding excess oil, and twisting it in the direction of my curls keeps them looking fresher longer. Also, invest in a good silk pillowcase. This will keep your hair from getting frizzy and will reduce breakage while you’re sleeping. Plus these help majorly with wrinkles on your face! Win, win.

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There ya have it, folks! Do any of you have any tips on how to last longer in between washes? Let me know!

XO, Madison.

Swimwear Wish List

The weather in Texas has been so nice ( minus a few days here and there… #texasweather ) the past few weeks I am officially in the mindset of spring and summer! All I can think about are flowy skirts, dresses, bright pink lipstick & bright, fresh flowers! So, it better not get cold again, or I’m going to be one sad girl. Hear me, Texas? LOL.

With spring and summer really just being right around the corner, the first thing I always think about is SWIMWEAR! Last year I learned that if I purchase whatever swim suits I want in February or March, the sizes I need aren’t sold out. You know when you find the perfect top, but then there are none in your size for the matching bottoms? Or visa versa? Highly annoying, right? Well we are going to try to avoid that this season!

I included beach bags, cover ups and other totally necessary beach/pool accessories that are in my cart along with my favorite brands of natural sunscreen because I feel like those are absolute necessities along with a swimsuit LOL ( especially the sunscreen!! )

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Just writing this post is getting me so giddy for it to be summer! I love eating on patios, exercising outside with my boyfriend, relaxing at the pool, coming up with festive new drink recipes and now that we have a puppy I can’t wait to teach him how to swim ( hopefully LOL ). I just think it’s so cute and fun when dogs get in the water with you!

If you couldn’t already tell, I’m super obsessed with TASSEL EVERYTHING this season. They just make everything so much more fun! And how cute will #21 be in an Instagram? Right?!

What are your favorite ways to wear a swimsuit? AND what are your favorite things to do in the summer?

XO, Madison.

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