Nighttime Beauty Routine to Start Your Week Off Right

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With a plenty of beauty hacks on the internet, it is easy to feel like a guinea pig to expensive products and extensive beauty practices. I want to have that Beyonce’ “I woke up like this” experience, especially when kicking off the workweek. So how do I do that? A good night’s sleep and a several glasses of water for starters. There are several benefits of getting a good night’s sleep but before I even make it to bed, I have to get through my bedtime routine. In the past two years, I have started to really put an emphasis on self-care and investing in oneself. As goal crushing women who are busting career barriers, making smart money moves, living the fab life, and trying to thrive in their relationships, sometimes it is hard to take a moment for oneself. I wanted to share my beauty routine that costs less than $100.00 and takes less than an hour.

Nighttime Beauty Routine for the Best Night's Sleep via Atlanta Blogger, Danielle YB Vason of She Makes Cents

  1. Take Off Your Day. I start my wind down process by washing my face with unscented activated charcoal soap that does wonders for my eczema since it is also loaded with moisturizing oils like avocado and jojoba. The soap I use is about $8.00, but it lasts so long, especially when you cut it in fourths and use a section at a time.     I then put on a rose infused face mask and let that sit while I prepare myself for my relaxing bath.

    Activated Charcoal Soap $8.00 |FreshRose Face Mask  $57.00                 

  2. Take A Relaxing Bath. During the hustle and bustle of the week, I don’t have time to take a long relaxing bath, but on weekends, I make the time. I run a long hot bath and let 2 cups of Dr. Teals Soothe and Sleep Lavender dissolve into the water while I pull my hair into a top knot. Since Epson salt is known to relieve sore muscles and lavender is used in the treatment of anxiety, restlessness, and insomnia, all of which I experience from time to time, it is the perfect relaxing combo to add to my beauty routine. With all of the lights turned off and nothing but candlelight, I soak in the tub while watching bad reality television.

    Dr. Teals Soothe and Sleep Lavender $4.00

  3. Oil Up. I have been obsessed with growing my eyelashes naturally and I started brushing my clean natural lashes with Argan oil every other night.  I use an old mascara wand (that has been cleaned, of course) and carefully moisturize my lashes.  After that, I drink one last glass of water and then put on the best lip balm I have ever tried. It is a citrus balm for the brand, Oh Honey and it leaves my lips feeling moisturized throughout the night for less than $4.00.  After applying the balm, I usually kiss the Mr. good night so he can feel how soft the lip balm makes my lips.

                    Argan Oil $11.00Oh Honey Lip Balm $3.50

  4. Positive Vibes Only.  While it may sound counterintuitive, I have to fall asleep with the television on.  To increase the chances of good dreams, I try to go to sleep to something fun and lighthearted like my favorite show, Modern Family as background white noise.  It is part of the process to help me fall asleep faster.  Honestly, we are BEYOND past due for a new mattress and I have really been considering a Leesa mattress (another post for another day) since having a comfortable mattress is such an essential part of anyone’s sleep routine. 

After a relaxing bath, a face mask,  along with moisturized lashes and lips, I am ready to get a good night’s sleep.  Although these are not the traditional beauty hacks that people usually share, these are my go tos that keep my skin supple and healthy.shemakescents.com (7)

Monday Motivation | Take a Step Toward Your Purpose

As you are getting back into the groove of the work week, I want you to take a moment to think about this.  Every step you take counts, no matter how big or small.  When you take a step forward,  you are one step closer to reaching your goals and understanding your purpose.  Sometimes our actions stop reflecting our goals, and whether we recognize it or not, it becomes a step back…putting us further away from our purpose  Think about everyone who talks about how they are going to get out of debt but continue to spend.  They say we are the sum of what we repeatedly do, so let’s make excellence a habit…starting today!

Inspiration to Take a Step Toward Your Purpose & Reaching Your Goals via personal finance blogger, Danielle YB Vason of She Makes Cents | Monday Motivation

Why is it so hard to take the first step?   We let fear paralyze us.  Or we tell ourselves that it’s not worth the effort until you are able to make one huge step toward your goals.  We tell ourselves that our dreams and goals are too lofty.  We sell ourselves the idea that it will never happen for us.  The lines between one day and day one blur.  If this sounds familiar, let today’s motivational post shift your mindset.

You Are Greatness in the Making

If you are comfortable with your money and career, then it is time to do something that pushes you outside your comfort zone to a level of greatness you have yet to meet.  If you are saving money for something specific, push your goal date up by a few months.  If you are comfortable in your career, find a way to expand your value with the company.  Join a professional organization and expand your network.  Whatever your goals are, do not stand still or fall behind.  Some of the scariest things garner the most delicious rewards. You can do it.  You are greatness in the making.  You can be the woman you always wanted to be.  Oprah Winfrey once said to you should “create the highest, grandest vision possible for your life because you become what you believe”.  I believe I will be debt free.  I believe that with hard work and consistency I can get and give everything from my dream career that I have envisioned for myself.  I believe I will travel the world.  I believe that I deserve financial security.  I believe I have the right to change my mind.  I believe I am worth it and then I add tax.  I also believe these things for you.

My Baby Step to Becoming Debt Free

Every year, I challenge myself to use the money saved from the She Makes Cents BINGO Money Challenge, an easier and more lucrative version of the 52-week money challenge, to help me snowball my debt.  Just recently, I have shared my experience with my inner circle in hopes that it would also inspire them to take control of their finances.  For me, the She Makes Cents BINGO Money Challenge represents a step in the right direction.  It is a step that is creating better saving habits for me and gets me one step closer to eliminating my student loan debt faster.  It is a step that is not tiring nor leaves me feeling financially stretched to the max.  If I had waited until I was in a place to throw a major lump sum amount at my debt, I might still be waiting.  No matter what, every week I cross off one number on my money challenge card and I don’t judge myself if the number is low.  Every dollar counts the same way that every step counts which is how I have saved an extra $1,117.00 as of the first Friday in August.  The first Friday in January I took a step and started the challenge.  What step will you take today?  Do something today that your future self will thank you for.

Monday Motivation | The Impact of Blessing Others

I was in the middle of writing a post to tell you all about the car that I bought last week when my doorbell rang.    Oh well, you will have to wait to hear that story.  I left my office and peeked out the door.  You see, I normally will not open the door when I am not expecting clients nor guests during daytime hours.  For whatever reason, I did and what happened after that inspired today’s motivational post to you.

I opened the door to see a woman carrying an apple and a back of books.  She told me that she left a domestic violence situation today and that she would appreciate any help she could get.  Instead of standing on a corner begging, she thought it would be safer to go door to door and ask people for a little help.  I could barely hear her as she was sharing her story, over the loud barks of my rumbustious four legged office assistants.  Apparently, neighbors of mine, many of whom also work from home, sent her on her way with fruit, granola bars, and change to help her eat later that evening.  The woman said while she appreciated the kindness of people to share food from their own home, she was hoping to have enough money to eat at a place of her own choosing.  I asked her where she would go if she had enough money.  Her answer- McDonald’s.  I asked her to hold on a second, closed the door, and prayed that I had one last blessing bag left.

Monday Motivation | Charge from top blogger, Danielle YB Vason, to bless someone else today | What is a blessing bag?

What is a blessing bag?

Last year, with the help of a few friends, I went out and bought a collection of personal care items that I hand out to Atlanta’s homeless community.  Last year’s bag included a toothbrush, toothbrush holder, toothpaste, tissue, mini hand sanitizer, deodorant, lip balm, a $5.00 McDonald’s gift card, and other items like a hat and hand warmers for the colder months.  

You can call it luck or a God send, but I did have one more bag left.  I usually keep them in my car but because I just got a new car, the very last bag was sitting in my living room waiting to go into my new car.  In addition to the personal care items, I went to my pantry and added an apple and a bottled water.  I then went to my linen closet and loaded her up on travel size face wash, shampoo, conditioner, and most importantly feminine hygiene products.  Can you imagine not being able to afford personal care items when you are on your cycle?  It took me a couple of minutes to upgrade her bag, but I knew it would be worth the wait for her.  She was just hoping for a bottled water or some change…like she actually asked if I had pennies I could spare.  When she saw what I put together for her, she started to tear up.

One Bag, Many Blessings

I know there are pessimists out there who would say that it was probably a con but if so, I don’t care.  For whatever reason, a series of events caused me to have one last bag, be in my home office today, and actually open the door to show compassion to a total stranger.  Imagine what kind of world we could live in if more people had more compassion for others.  How can I, who talks constantly about empowering women not stop to help a fellow woman who is humbly asking for help?  

I shared this as today’s motivational post to charge you to be a blessing and do something kind for someone else today.  That could include calling someone to tell them you love them, visiting an elderly relative or neighbor, or encouraging someone who is unsure about their path.  The beautiful thing about it is your options for blessing someone else are endless.  I felt energized and she left feeling hopeful and I can’t think of anything more fabulous.   Today’s interaction has inspired me to do another round of blessing bags.  In fact, I think I will add that to my goals for next month…aka my birthday month!

 If you would like to help or want ideas on how you can make your own version of a blessing bag, please leave a comment below. 

How to Apply Money Affirmations To Make Your Goals A Reality

Money Affirmations to Manifest Abundance from Personal Finance Blog for Women, She Makes Cents by Danielle YB Vason | Law of AttractionAn affirmation is a strong, positive statement that something is already so.  It is a way of “making firm” that which you are imagining.  So I ask you this, when you think about your goals and desires for yourself, is it a negative or positive experience for you?  If you visualize your goals in a positive way, you affirm the presence of positivity in that area of your life.   For you, that change is already in motion because you are attracting that abundant energy into your life.  The same can be said for negative thoughts.  According to personal development author, Shakti Gawain,  “When we create something, we always create it first in thought form.  A thought or idea always precedes manifestation”.  Think about what greatness we can bring to our goals and desires if we affirmed them in success.  In this post,  Money Affirmations to Attract Financial Abundance    I shared some techniques that will help you release your negative mindset with money so you can approach your finances from a mental state of confidence, pride, and positivity.  Today I am here to share some new financial affirmations that can help you take back control over your financial goals.  

Money Affirmations To Attract Wealth

When we form positive associations with money we give ourselves permission to prepare ourselves to receive it.  We no longer fear it or fear what it would be like to not have it.  I invite you to start in inspiration pinboard and pin the below affirmations them there. Then print them, share them, and/or place them in various places so that you can have reminders of the desires you are affirming for yourself.  Add them to your vision board, your bathroom mirror, your refrigerator, your Instagram account (seriously, think about how often you check your IG account in a day), or your desk.  Speak them aloud and add your own name to give it more power. Instead of saying, “I attract wealth and abundance” try saying “[Insert your name] attracts wealth and abundance”.  Why, you ask?  Well studies show that the adult brain activates, when one hears, their own name.  Below are some of the newer affirmations I have added to my practice and I hope you add them to yours to attract a more positive experience with money.

Money Affirmations to Manifest Abundance from Personal Finance Blog for Women, She Makes Cents | Law of Attraction

What Are Your Favorite Money Affirmations? Please share with She Makes Cents readers

Money Challenge Half Year Review

There are times when you are working toward a goal and it is hard to see the progress of your work.  This, my friends, is not one of those stories.  Since January of this year, the #SMCmoneytribe and I have used the 52 Week BINGO Money Challenge that I created to save towards each of our money goals.  Many members of the SMC Money Tribe are saving for a dream vacation and it makes me proud that because of their planning and saving, their dream to see the world can happen without disrupting their long-term money goals.  I, on the other hand, am saving money to use as extra payments toward my student loan debt.  This process is known as a debt snowball.  Snowballing your debts helps you pay them off much faster and can save thousands of dollars in interest.  In my case, my student loans are keeping me from progressing to Baby Step 3 from financial guru Dave Ramsey because they are the last of my debts, not including my mortgage. 

Top Atlanta Blogger, Danielle YB Vason of She Makes Cents, shares her story on how she is tackling her debt using her money challenge and Dave Ramsey Baby Steps

JUNE RECAP

Last month was the first time I can remember actually seeing progress to reduce my student debt and this month blew last month’s money recap out of the water.  For the month of June, I saved more money than any of the previous months and the last four months combined.  I sent two major snowballs to my student loan provider to pay down the balance instead of pushing back my next due date.  This lets your money work for you and not the other way around.  I also saved $326.00 for the month and hit the $700.00 YTD mark for this challenge.  With a contribution from the Mr., we have saved a combined $1,575.00 that we could have easily spent on frivolous things.  Thanks, babe!  Teamwork makes the dream work.

MONEY GOAL TRACKING

At the beginning of the year, I wrote out my money goals and one of them were to pay off my credit card debt, which I did.  The second one was to have my student loans at or under $15,000.00 by the end of the year.  Around April of this year, I upped that goal date to October and then again, in May, I thought I would push myself further and make it a goal to have the balance at $15,000.00 by the end of my birthday month, August.  I did this because a goal date of the end of the year ensured that I would hit the goal, but with such a long time to work toward the goal, it took away the hustle for it.  By pushing the date up to August, it really forces me to review how I am spending and saving money and keeps me motivated to the short-term goal at hand.

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{Money & Friendships} The Real Cost of Being a Bridesmaid

It starts with a question that leads to a ring, which ends up as a picture on Instagram, and is shared on Facebook. Yep, he asked and she said yes! Weeks later, you find a charming note in your mailbox asking you to stand beside her on the most important day of her life. You, my dear, are a chosen one… also known as a bridesmaid.The Real Cost of Being A Bridesmaid from Top Atlanta Blogger and Wedding Designer, Danielle YB Vason of She Makes Cents Since 2010, I have been in seven weddings and I witnessed at least twenty of my girlfriends walk down the aisle toward wedded bliss. In fact, when the Mr. and I got married in 2015, we were the 13th wedding that year of our friend group.  Like many of you, I have taken off work and flown clear across the country in support of LOVE.  Too bad that the support of LOVE often comes at a hefty price tag. 

She Said Yes, But Should You?

It is truly an honor to be asked to be in someone’s wedding, but before you say “yes”, you need to understand what you are getting yourself into before you make that commitment. Just like in a romantic relationship, money can throw a major wrench into your friendship if you are not honest with yourself and the bride about your financial situation.  As a bridesmaid, I have paid for gowns, shoes, hair, mani/pedi, makeup packages, jewelry, liquor, plane tickets, hotels, car service, chipped in for engagement parties, hosted bridal showers, lingerie parties (apparently that is different from the bridal shower and the bachelorette party), oh yeah…bachelorette parties, bridal teas and even décor elements for the actual wedding. Nowadays, you have to add the matching bride tribe outfits for the bridal party photoshoot to the list of expenses you have to think about when saying yes. Did I even mention the wedding gift…eek? Once you accept the invitation to become a member of the bridal party, you are committing to this experience for richer or poorer.

I will admit, that years ago I declined the request to be in a friend’s wedding because the costs of being in the wedding would have been a strain on my finances.  That bride thankfully understood.  I often think, if we didn’t have that conversation and I participated in her bridal party, she could have very easily interpreted my reluctance to spend money as a lack of support and enthusiasm for her big day.  Not having that conversation would have cost me more than financial security, it could have cost me our friendship. 

How Much Does It Cost To Be A Bridesmaid?

Back in 2011, the Wedding Channel estimated the cost of being a bridesmaid averages around $1695.00.  Based on this estimate, I could have very well spent almost $12,000.00 on other people’s weddings.  Can you imagine what the average is now?  It always makes me wonder how Katherine Heigl’s character in 27 Dresses  could afford to be in 27 weddings, plus her own, on a personal assistant’s salary. To pay for my expenses as a bridesmaid, I used the envelope system before I even knew exactly what that meant. I set aside a certain amount of money each check for each bride.  

Brides, be nice to your bridesmaids…your “chosen ones”. They are the ones who are holding you down during one of the most beautiful and possibly stressful times of your life.  They do far more for you than you realize.  Bridesmaids, remember that your bride is a bride only once (fingers crossed) and she has a vision for her day. If you are both honest from the beginning, then you lessen the chance of unrealistic expectations from both sides.Bridal Party Costs


Monday Motivation | Cultivate Better Habits

Not too long ago I read this quote from the top financial expert, Dave Ramsey, and I knew it was too good not to share.  “You can’t get out of debt while keeping the same lifestyle”.  Often times we want results for our lives that’s different from our current situation.  The thing is, you have got to change your habits if you desire a different outcome.  If your goal is to upgrade your financial situation, you have to upgrade the effort you put into your goals to see the results.  Increase your income + reduce your spending = the start to a great plan.  Last Friday, I had a three-week profit from our BINGO Money Challenge of $383.00 that could have easily paid for a pair of shoes.  Instead of living the lifestyle that is keeping me in a stagnant financial situation, I snowballed that $383.00 and threw it directly at my student loans.  The gratification I get from a new pair of shoes is nothing compared to the natural high I get from getting closer to my debt free goal.  

Money Quotes from Dave Ramsey on Personal Finance Blog, She Makes Cents

Today, I encourage you to use this week as a week of self-reflection.  What habits do you want to cultivate?  What habits do you want to quit?  We know what each of our end goals are but we often are blind to the things we do to ourselves that sabotage those goals    Start thinking about the things you do every day and how they affect your money goals.  Yes, you can upgrade your financial situation, but you have to upgrade your actions first because your actions become habits… good or bad.

SMC Giveaway | Travel Bag for Your Next Island Adventure

Wheels up and I am and off to the first trip of 5 trips every woman should take every year.  First up…. the couple’s trip to St. Lucia where the plan is a mix of relaxation by the beach and excursions through the rain forest.  As a reformed over-packer, I had to review my go-to tips for packing light to ensure I wouldn’t be a victim of extra fees for heavy checked luggage.  Coming in at exactly 38lbs in my is my pink DVF luggage. Mission accomplished and money saved!Travel Bad for Adventure Excursions from She Makes Cents

I received a free bag from Mato Naturals in exchange for sharing it with She Makes Cents readers like you.

Travel Bag For My Island Excursion

When I was packing, I was inspired by all of the vibrant colors of the island so I packed colorful accessories that correspond to the activities that we have planned.  Sneak Peek Alert: Follow @shemakescents and @sheslivingthefablife on Instagram for OOTD, travel hacks, and behind the scenes videos.  For the off non-resort activities like a rainforest ATV tour, I knew I needed durable crossbody that would survive my extreme tourist behaviors but I knew I wanted something with a pop of color or print. That’s where the Mato Boho Crossbody from Mato Natural comes in handy.  This handmade bag is made from eco-friendly canvas and unique handwoven Aztec patterns by local women from Nepal.  It features every island color that I was looking for AND it’s the right size to ensure that I am not taking unnecessary items off of the resort, although it is smaller than I expected.  Mato Natural is a sustainable lifestyle brand founded with the main goal to make available Eco- friendly products at very affordable prices so it is right with me!

Product Review from She Makes Cents: Mato Boho Black Cross body Purse with Bohemian Tribal Aztec Pattern

She Makes Cents Giveaway

To kick off summer, She Makes Cents is hosting a giveaway to one lucky reader from the United States.  To enter, follow @shemakescents and @sheslivingthefablife on Instagram and leave a comment with the hashtag #SMCtravelcontest.  Entries will be accepted until July 15, 2017 at noon (EST).  The winner will be announced via a Instagram story on the She Makes Cent Instagram page.  Retail value $49.99.

Product Review from She Makes Cents: Mato Boho Black Cross body Purse with Bohemian Tribal Aztec Pattern

Lyft Riders Now Earn FREE Delta SkyMiles

Earning SkyMiles has gotten easier if you are a Lyft rider.  This week, Delta and Lyft announced their partnership that will reward their customers who are loyal to both companies.  Now, every time you request a ride through Lyft, you earn SkyMiles, to travel to over 1,000 global destinations or even pay for upgraded access to the Sky Club when you are traveling.  Trust me, this is a great upgrade option if you don’t already have this access, to keep in your back pocket when your flight has been delayed and you want to wait in style.How to Earn SkyMiles Through Lyft from Atlanta Blogger, Danielle YB Vason of She Makes Cents

How to Earn SkyMiles Through Lyft

According to Delta, “it’s as simple as linking SkyMiles and Lyft accounts, and requesting a ride. All SkyMiles members are eligible. Customers who are not already enrolled in the SkyMiles program can sign up for free through at delta.com/enroll to become eligible”.   Even though I am not a current Lyft customer, I love the idea of the collaboration.  By requesting a ride, something I already do on a weekly basis, I can start earning miles that will help get me to one of the trips that every girl should take every year.  You earn one mile per dollar spent with unlimited earning potential and that never expire.  To make your experience sweeter, for a limited time, you can earn triple SkyMiles for rides to and from participating airports.

How to Use Art To Blend His & Her Styles at Home

Sponsored: This post contains affiliate links.

The Mr. and I have been married for almost two years now and we have just started to decorate our home in a way that reflects both of our styles. The goal is a little less bachelor pad and a little more like something that reflects both of us. My style used to be eclectic but I am leaning more traditional with pops of accent colors. The Mr., well his style is clean modern lines and about four fewer pillows than I prefer. In addition to blending our furniture preferences, we have been working to blend our varying art styles. I left my 30”x30” canvas print of Audrey Hepburn at my old house for my niece to enjoy. I’m sure the Mr. appreciated that. The same way I took down some of his posters. To blend our two aesthetics, I came up with a design plan that reflects our joint loves, hobbies, and experiences. I believe people should walk in one’s home and think, oh, this is so them.

How to Blend His & Her Styles At Home

One thing that unmistakably represents us both is our love for the city of Atlanta. Although we are from two very different areas, we are both Atlanta natives. We are fluent in Southside, Eastside, and Buckhead, he can recite every Outkast lyric, and I am the queen of the Beltline. These are things we wanted our space together to represent- our love for music, our love for Atlanta, and our love for each other. During our first year of marriage, I bought a 45”x30” Boom Box canvas painting that represents our joint music interest. I then started a gallery wall of wedding pictures to represent our love for each other. The only thing that is missing is something Atlanta. We wanted our home to have a fun Atlanta flair by including iconic elements in the design for our home. What better than an art map of the city?  I started looking for a map that fit the style of our home when Modern Map Art contacted me to see if I would consider one of their maps in exchange for telling she makes cents readers about the experience.  They come in a range of cities and colors, including Aruba where we spent our honeymoon, but of course, we only had one city in mind.  

We decided on the black print because we both love the crisp contrast.  After we narrowed down the best color option for our home, the print arrived about 3 days later.  We both were pleasantly surprised that this wasn’t a traditional poster print.  The paper has a velvet-like finish that looks even better in person.   I am really into is oversize artwork so I requested the largest print size of 24″x36″ with the plan to have it matted and framed.  In my opinion, oversize art makes everything look more expensive and special, results my wallet and hubby can both appreciate.  One thing to keep in mind, though, when considering large-scale art for your home is framing.  I wanted to frame this print with a 4″ mat, which means I am now moving into custom framing which can be expensive.  To save money, I gave up the matted background.  The Mr. and I found a simple frame at our local Target and added the print in it the moment we got home.  Seriously, don’t you just love the scale of this? The Mr. modeled the print for me because I looked naked trying to take a similar picture in a dress.She Makes Cents- Modern Atlanta City Map PrintShe Makes Cents- Modern Atlanta City Map PrintWe are so proud of our growing art collection!  We keep trying out our new Atlanta print from Modern Map Art in different locations to find the best location in our home.  For now, it lives right next to our beloved Boom Box painting.  To grab your very own print to remember your hometown, the place you fell in love, or the best vacay ever, click here.  Insider Tip: Follow them on Instagram for 10% off your purchase  (code: INSTA10).