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2019

Reflecting on How I See Things

Reflecting on How I See Things 1

Reflecting on How I See Things

Hello everyone and welcome back to Join The ME Project. Also, let me extend my welcome to the first day of December. I mentioned it on my Instagram, but I really feel like this year went by fast. And you know, something about this month gets me in a mood of reflection. That’s what I’m going to be talking about in this post.

Tomorrow, I have my 12-week check-up with the surgeon that did my hip. And it’s made me reflect on what’s happened since that initial day in September. I’m still really happy with my decision to have surgery because it got rid of a lot of my pain.

See Also: Blogger Recognition Award

I just feel a bit bittersweet. I know I’m not physically where I need to be 12 weeks out. Although some aspects of this have been simply out of my hands. This wasn’t my first surgery by any means, but it was the one I had the most issues with. 

My family and I have dealt with the insurance, the surgeon, and physical therapy because there have been issues. And then these issues cause delays. It seems like an exhausting wheel of rotation without progress.

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Rather than focusing on what was only frustrating, I decided to turn my attention outwards. And I realized that I had so much to be grateful for. My mom and sister have been so helpful and loving. Our friends have shown that they care as much as possible.

I’ve discussed it a bit in, The Illusion Of Social Media. After turning my attention outwards, I had to focus back on myself. I didn’t have a negative attitude, I was grateful for who I had in my life, but there was a disconnect within me.

How I viewed myself and how I viewed my health was separate from each other. And I know what the catalyst was. Prior to my surgery, we discussed with the doctor about how everything would go. And he was pretty optimistic that I would have little to no issue.

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Through most of my healing process, I used crutches. And I thought they were a temporary solution. Then my doctor prescribed a cane and I realized my thinking was wrong. I was applying the word ”temporary” to not just the crutches but my health as a whole.

The way I viewed my whole situation was skewed. I was hiding my denial of the situation behind this wall of false acceptance. I had to take a step back and reevaluate it all. By combining those two sides of myself again, I could see that I put too much merit in this surgery.

See Also: The Visionary Friend

I can say now that I no longer have that issue but it took me a while. I had to really dig through layers of myself to get to the root of the issue. And I think that’s important for everyone to do when it comes to physical, emotional, and mental health.

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My problem was that I never buried the image that I had of myself. And where and who I am is not who I thought I would be. And in some ways, that is actually a really good thing.

So as I sit and finish writing this post, my cane is resting right beside me. Not long ago, it was the catalyst for a much-needed self-evaluation. How do I feel now? Motivated. Encouraged. And I hope that I can help someone else by simply reading this.

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As always, let me know what you think in the comments below. To stay updated follow Join The ME Project on Social Media!

Check out The CoUnity page to learn more about the project and find out how you can become a member.

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My Current Favorite Skincare Products

My Current Favorite Skincare Products 2

My Current Favorite Skincare Products

This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

Hello, everyone and welcome back to Join The ME Project. Following 2 Freeman Masks to Add to Your Skincare Routine I thought it would be a great idea to go through my current favorite products. I’ve always had a love for skincare. But now that my skin has changed with the turn of the season, I’ve taken more of an interest.

My Skin Concerns

As I mentioned in the Freeman Masks review, I have several skin concerns. With my face, I deal with combination skin, dark spots, and hyperpigmentation. Eczema is something I deal with as an all-over skin issue. Now that the weather is getting colder, I’ve noticed that I’m having more eczema flare-ups. And my skin is a lot drier.

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What Have I Been Using?

Jergens Ultra Healing Dry Skin Moisturizer, 32 Fl Oz (Pack of 1) Body Lotion, for Quick Absorption into Extra Dry Skin, with HYDRALUCENCE blend, Vitamins C, E, and B5ir?t=jointmp-20&l=am2&o=1&a=B0034F9K36 My Current Favorite Skincare Products November 2019 Beauty Brands Self-Care Skincare

q?_encoding=UTF8&MarketPlace=US&ASIN=B0034F9K36&ServiceVersion=20070822&ID=AsinImage&WS=1&Format=_SL250_&tag=jointmp-20 My Current Favorite Skincare Products November 2019 Beauty Brands Self-Care Skincare ir?t=jointmp-20&l=am2&o=1&a=B0034F9K36 My Current Favorite Skincare Products November 2019 Beauty Brands Self-Care Skincare This lotion has helped me out so much. I’ve tried many different types but none have helped my dry skin the way this one has. Some of the listed ingredients are vitamins C, E, and B5.

My eczema is particularly bad on my legs. And I’ve noticed a change in their appearance since I started using this lotion. Am I saying this lotion cures eczema? No. But it does help.

Glacier Water and Pink Peony Hydrating Anti Pollution Gel Cream Mask by Freeman, 6 Oz (Pack of 1)ir?t=jointmp-20&l=am2&o=1&a=B078YWD5K8 My Current Favorite Skincare Products November 2019 Beauty Brands Self-Care Skincare

q?_encoding=UTF8&MarketPlace=US&ASIN=B078YWD5K8&ServiceVersion=20070822&ID=AsinImage&WS=1&Format=_SL250_&tag=jointmp-20 My Current Favorite Skincare Products November 2019 Beauty Brands Self-Care Skincare ir?t=jointmp-20&l=am2&o=1&a=B078YWD5K8 My Current Favorite Skincare Products November 2019 Beauty Brands Self-Care Skincare I wrote a review on these two masks and since then I have incorporated them into my skincare routine. Typically, I use the Sweet Tea & Lemon Peel mask in the morning. I’ll use it maybe 2-3 times a week.

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On the other hand, the Glacier Water and Pink Peony mask gets used all the time. I find it really relaxing. So to decompress from the day, I use it at night, maybe 5 times a week.

See Also: 2 Freeman Masks to Add to Your Skincare Routine

Freeman Facial Mask Sweet Tea & Lemon Peel Away 6 oz.ir?t=jointmp-20&l=am2&o=1&a=B00RDJTKZW My Current Favorite Skincare Products November 2019 Beauty Brands Self-Care Skincare

q?_encoding=UTF8&MarketPlace=US&ASIN=B00RDJTKZW&ServiceVersion=20070822&ID=AsinImage&WS=1&Format=_SL250_&tag=jointmp-20 My Current Favorite Skincare Products November 2019 Beauty Brands Self-Care Skincare ir?t=jointmp-20&l=am2&o=1&a=B00RDJTKZW My Current Favorite Skincare Products November 2019 Beauty Brands Self-Care Skincare

Neutrogena Acne Wash, Oil-Free, 9.1 ozir?t=jointmp-20&l=am2&o=1&a=B000NWAOI8 My Current Favorite Skincare Products November 2019 Beauty Brands Self-Care Skincare

q?_encoding=UTF8&MarketPlace=US&ASIN=B000NWAOI8&ServiceVersion=20070822&ID=AsinImage&WS=1&Format=_SL250_&tag=jointmp-20 My Current Favorite Skincare Products November 2019 Beauty Brands Self-Care Skincare ir?t=jointmp-20&l=am2&o=1&a=B000NWAOI8 My Current Favorite Skincare Products November 2019 Beauty Brands Self-Care Skincare I have been using this acne wash for years and it has never let me down. Now, sometimes I will switch to the Grapefruit wash that Neutrogena carries. But I tend to stick between these two. While acne isn’t one of my main issues, I like using this because I know its got coverage of these areas.

Queen Helene Gentle Oatmeal ‘n Honey Natural Facial Scrub, 6 Ounce Tubeir?t=jointmp-20&l=am2&o=1&a=B0009F3OOU My Current Favorite Skincare Products November 2019 Beauty Brands Self-Care Skincare

q?_encoding=UTF8&MarketPlace=US&ASIN=B0009F3OOU&ServiceVersion=20070822&ID=AsinImage&WS=1&Format=_SL250_&tag=jointmp-20 My Current Favorite Skincare Products November 2019 Beauty Brands Self-Care Skincare

ir?t=jointmp-20&l=am2&o=1&a=B0009F3OOU My Current Favorite Skincare Products November 2019 Beauty Brands Self-Care Skincare Now, I know that facial scrubs are kind of a grey area from some people, especially those that contain walnut. I don’t use it all the time but this is the one that I’m using at the moment. If I think my skin looks dull or I have a lot of dead skin on my face is when I pull this out.

Clearasil Stubborn Acne Control 5 in 1 Spot Treatment Cream, 1 ozir?t=jointmp-20&l=am2&o=1&a=B000052YJU My Current Favorite Skincare Products November 2019 Beauty Brands Self-Care Skincare

q?_encoding=UTF8&MarketPlace=US&ASIN=B000052YJU&ServiceVersion=20070822&ID=AsinImage&WS=1&Format=_SL250_&tag=jointmp-20 My Current Favorite Skincare Products November 2019 Beauty Brands Self-Care Skincare ir?t=jointmp-20&l=am2&o=1&a=B000052YJU My Current Favorite Skincare Products November 2019 Beauty Brands Self-Care Skincare And last but not least, if I could recommend any product to you, it would be this one. I would give this product five stars any day easy. It helps with pimples, oil, old marks, just so many things. I actually bought it on a whim and I’m so glad I did.

39D13440-798A-4B83-8650-3A4A755DB68F-200x300 My Current Favorite Skincare Products November 2019 Beauty Brands Self-Care Skincare

As always, let me know what you think in the comments below. To stay updated follow Join The ME Project on Social Media!

Check out The CoUnity page to learn more about the project and find out how you can become a member.

6FA52B77-192F-441D-B415-0553DDDD2C0D-200x300 My Current Favorite Skincare Products November 2019 Beauty Brands Self-Care Skincare

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Blogger Recognition Award

Blogger Recognition Award

Blogger Recognition Award

Originally Posted: November 7th, 2017.
Recently Updated: November 11th, 2019.

Good evening everyone! I’m very excited and honored about today’s post. Jenn at Jennv.me nominated me for the Blogger Recognition Award. Her blog is no longer active, but I truly appreciate her for the nomination.

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Info About the Blogger Recognition Award

Made by bloggers for bloggers. The Blogger Recognition Award is a way to let fellow bloggers know that you recognize and appreciate the hard work that they do.

If you accept the nomination, there are a few rules to follow:

  • Write a blog post to showcase your award
  • Thank the blogger that nominated you and include a link to their blog
  • Give a brief story of how your blog started
  • Share two general pieces of advice for others
  • Nominate 15 other bloggers
  • Let your 15 bloggers know that you have nominated them

Old & New

Because I’m refreshing an old post, I thought I would do something a little different. Some people know that my old blog, PAE Reviews turned into this one Join The ME Project. But they don’t know the story behind it.

Today I will be telling the full story. And in doing so, it will give me a chance to nominate a new set of bloggers for the Blogger Recognition Award. This will be a blog post of both old and new.

Why PAE Reviews Was Created

The short answer is, I didn’t like my life. You’re probably confused by this so I’ll give you the somewhat condensed version instead. December of 2015, I had ACL Reconstruction and Meniscus Repair. Then I started physical therapy to gain the muscle strength I lost.

June of 2016, I had a Knee Synovectomy and another Meniscus Repair with another round of physical therapy. In April, I had Carpal Tunnel, Cubital Tunnel, and Pronator Syndrome surgery on my right hand and forearm.

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I’ve discussed some of this before in Where Would We Be Without Support? if you want to check that out. During this rinse and repeat with surgery and physical therapy, I was getting diagnosed with other health conditions. I’ve mentioned in The Illusion Of Social Media that my outlook on life was wrong.

Prior to a year and few months ago, my health was an obstacle to overcome. I wasn’t viewing it as a part of me. Even though I was still going through the motions, my mind was still very much in the past on how I used to be when I was “healthy”.

One day, I took a good look at myself and I didn’t like what I saw. I knew that I needed to make changes in my life in order to be healthy and happy. I made PAE Reviews to document that process and promote things that I think help with that.

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From PAE Reviews to JTMP

Maybe a year into blogging under PR I started a side project, literally called The ME Project. The M & E in the name stood for motivation and encouragement. Initially, it was a way for me to write about topics that made me happy. And I could highlight and interview bloggers that I felt embodied those two elements.

I just didn’t expect the response I got back. I write about it in About Join The ME Project. Everyone really seemed to like the project. And after a while, I started thinking about the next step.

I felt the name PAE Reviews no longer fit with what I was doing. I wanted a name that could umbrella everything even my future projects. One day I took out a piece of paper and just started writing. And that’s how I came up with Join The ME Project.

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Advice To New Bloggers

  • Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. It sounds a bit generic but it’s true. Don’t wait for people or opportunities to come your way. Always take the first step.
  • Quality vs Quantity. Numbers are a big thing for everyone: followers, subscribers, etc. It can be very easy to get wrapped up in and stress yourself out. If you create great content, the numbers will follow.
  • If you support others then they will support you.
  • Don’t be afraid to write about a topic that has been written about before. Your experiences, point of view and life make you different from everyone else.

Nominations For the Blogger Recognition Award

First Round

  1. Jess
  2. Cami
  3. Denelia
  4. Sarah
  5. Emily
  6. Amy
  7. Winnie
  8. Holly
  9. Brianna
  10. Beth
  11. Rebecca
  12. Aimsy
  13. Daisy
  14. Michelle
  15. Huda

As always, let me know what you think in the comments below. To stay updated follow Join The ME Project on Social Media!

Check out The CoUnity page to learn more about the project and find out how you can become a member.

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Get to Know Me Q&A

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Get to Know Me Q&A

Originally Posted November 13, 2018

Hello, everyone and welcome back to Join The ME Project. I’ve been blogging now for over two years. First as PAE Reviews and now under Join The ME Project.

I thought it would be fun to do a Get to Know Me Q&A. There’s been a lot of changes over the years. Especially just with my blog in general. This way you can get to know me and hopefully if you like it, I can do more in the future.

Questions & Answers

Full Name

My name is Erika Elizabeth Alexandria Parks. My brother gave me my first name. His name is Eric. My mom and father both had a grandmother named Elizabeth. And Alexandria was the name of an actress that my mother liked.

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Meaning Behind My Blog Name

I talk about this a little bit in,Where Would We Be Without Support?, I think. But my intention with this blog is to share my thoughts, views, and opinions. So essentially, I’m sharing myself.

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With my first blog, PAE reviews, I wanted to involve my name somehow. EAP Reviews didn’t look or sound good to me so I settled on, PAE Reviews. The blog title, Join The ME Project came about on its own in a way. It was the name of my side project and then it became my blog.

See Also: About Join The ME Project

3 Fears

Bugs, disappointing my loved ones, big bodies of water

Last Song I Listened To

Bad by Tablo featuring Jinsil. This song is one of my absolute favorites.

Favorite Movie

Night at the Museum is one of my favorites. I actually like the sequel and the third one. I’ve always been a history buff and I tend to stick to comedies and family movies so this is right up my alley.

Favorite Songs/Music

I have too many songs to list them all, but I’m pretty selective when it comes to genres of music. At the moment I like: 90’s R&B, Classic Rock, Funk, KPop, some Pop.

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Favorite Color

Turquoise, Coral & Orange

A Fact About My Personality

I’m an introvert, usually, in conversation, I’m the listener, not the talker. I’ve always been better at communicating when I could write things down.

What I Dislike Most About Myself

I’m constantly overthinking and worrying too much. I’m naturally an anxious person. I’ve gotten better at it over the years, but every once in a while, I’ll drive myself crazy worrying over something.

What I Like About Myself

My sense of humor. I try not to take things too seriously, my mom always says that you need to have humor in your life.

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My Relationship With My Parents

As I mentioned before, my father isn’t in my life. But my mother is just about my favorite person on this earth. I tell her just about everything because I know that even if I don’t like her advice at the time, it’s what I need to hear in the end. Plus, she’s simply hilarious.

Last Time I Cried

I cry about small things frequently. I think it’s a good stress releaser. But the last time I had a huge ugly cry was when I found out that a good friend and mentor had not only passed, but he died months before. I talk about that in, Teen Ink| Personal Experience & Saying Goodbye

Favorite Sports Team

I like College Basketball in general. I’m not loyal to one team, I just go crazy during March Madness.

Scars

Plenty, I have scars on my knee from two surgeries. Then I have scars on my right elbow, forearm and wrist from a Carpal Tunnel and Cubital Tunnel surgery. And now, I have scars on my hip from my recent hip surgery.

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Day or Night?

Night. I’ve always done my best writing and thinking at night. I can barely function in the morning, especially without coffee.

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As always, let me know what you think in the comments below. To stay updated follow Join The ME Project on Social Media!

Check out The CoUnity page to learn more about the project and find out how you can become a member.

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The Versatile Blogger Award

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The Versatile Blogger Award

Originally Posted October 4th, 2017

Hello, everyone and welcome back to Join The ME Project. Today, we’re talking about The Versatile Blogger Award. Abbie of WhatAbbieSays nominated for this award. I’m honestly so awestruck each time I’m nominated for something like this, thank you so much, Abbie. Please go check out her post and her blog, she is an awesome blogger.

Rules to The Versatile Blogger Award

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The rules are as follows: 

  • Thank the person who nominated you and link their blog post
  • Nominate 15 bloggers for the Versatile Blogger Award
  • Share 7 facts about yourself

7 Facts About Me

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So let’s get started with the facts!

  1. I could be a professional napper. I love taking naps, especially when it’s raining outside that’s the perfect napping weather.
  2. I’ve always been fascinated with dinosaurs and prehistoric animals. Once upon a time, I thought about becoming a paleontologist. Now I will watch just about every movie and documentary that I can get my hands on.
  3. My comfort food is tacos. I can eat tacos just about every day.
  4. My favorite animal is a panda.
  5. Although I have the height, I never played any sports. I was on the dance team for two years in high school.
  6. I studied ASL for a year. I just need another year of classes before I can take my certification.
  7. I’m not a morning person. It takes me forever to wake up. I didn’t start drinking coffee until a few years ago and I honestly don’t know how I got up before then.

Who I Nominate

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I nominate the following bloggers:

SK

Kris

Jenn

Linda

Jess

Becca

Caitlin

Kayla

Savana

Alicja

Olyvia

Jess

Keziah

Mary

Amberly

As always, let me know what you think in the comments below. To stay updated follow Join The ME Project on Social Media!

Check out The CoUnity page to learn more about the project and find out how you can become a member.

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2 Freeman Masks to Add to Your Skincare Routine

2 Freeman Masks to Add to Your Skincare Routine 26

2 Freeman Masks to Add to Your Skincare Routine

Post contains affiliate links

Hello, everyone and welcome back to Join The ME Project. Autumn is my all-time favorite season, of the year. The weather is perfect and you get to watch the earth go through such a colorful transition. The only thing that bothers me is that I get awful dry skin.

Categorize My Skin

For the most part, I would say, I have combination skin. My main issues are hyperpigmentation, dark spots, and the random gigantic pimples I get from my menstrual periods. I don’t suffer from breakouts like I used to. That seems to have tapered off now that I’ve entered into my mid-20s.

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But I’ve noticed that since we’ve entered Autumn and since I had my hip surgery my skin looks dull. I know part of that has to do with not being able to go outdoors. But I wanted to find a way to bring some life back to my face.

2 Freeman Masks

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The solution actually came in the form of my sister. She lives a few states away but she came in for my hip surgery. She has such a ridiculous skill for bargain hunting that she usually has a bag of goodies for us. These masks were in the bag.

Freeman Facial Mask Sweet Tea & Lemon Peel Away 6 oz.ir?t=jointmp-20&l=am2&o=1&a=B00RDJTKZW 2 Freeman Masks to Add to Your Skincare Routine November 2019 Brands Self-Care Skincare

q?_encoding=UTF8&MarketPlace=US&ASIN=B00RDJTKZW&ServiceVersion=20070822&ID=AsinImage&WS=1&Format=_SL250_&tag=jointmp-20 2 Freeman Masks to Add to Your Skincare Routine November 2019 Brands Self-Care Skincare

ir?t=jointmp-20&l=am2&o=1&a=B00RDJTKZW 2 Freeman Masks to Add to Your Skincare Routine November 2019 Brands Self-Care Skincare My Review

First off, I only had two issues with this mask. And they both occurred the first time I used it. While the directions say to apply a thin layer, I would leave that up to your own interpretation.

The consistency of this mask is a bit thicker than what I’m used to. And the first time I applied a layer too thin. It took me an awfully long time to peel it off. I finally had to facial wipe to remove the rest.

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Additionally, I will say exercise caution around your hairline and eyebrows. The first time I didn’t and well, I paid for it. So you see my issues are really user error and no fault of the mask.

I absolutely love the smell of it. It reminds me of sweet iced tea in the summertime. Well, here where I live we just say sweet tea. Now, this past week that I’ve been using this I tend to use it in the morning. I find it works as a great pick me up.

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So far I’ve only used three times but I have noticed a change in my skin. It looks toner and brighter.

Glacier Water and Pink Peony Hydrating Anti Pollution Gel Cream Mask by Freeman, 6 Oz (Pack of 1)ir?t=jointmp-20&l=am2&o=1&a=B078YWD5K8 2 Freeman Masks to Add to Your Skincare Routine November 2019 Brands Self-Care Skincare

q?_encoding=UTF8&MarketPlace=US&ASIN=B078YWD5K8&ServiceVersion=20070822&ID=AsinImage&WS=1&Format=_SL250_&tag=jointmp-20 2 Freeman Masks to Add to Your Skincare Routine November 2019 Brands Self-Care Skincare ir?t=jointmp-20&l=am2&o=1&a=B078YWD5K8 2 Freeman Masks to Add to Your Skincare Routine November 2019 Brands Self-Care Skincare

My Review

Now, I have no grumps when it comes to this mask. Of the two, this one may be my favorite. This was my first time using a gel-cream leave-on mask. So I will proudly admit that I read the directions twice. Every other mask that I had been introduced to in my adult life involved peeling off, washing off, or wiping off.

Despite my hesitation, I was roped in by the description and that it ”replenishes dry skin”. I found myself hooked the very first time I used it. While I use the Sweet Tea & Lemon mask in the morning, I only use this one at night.

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I take my showers at night, so adding this mask to my nighttime routine helps me wind down. The directions are pretty simple, you just apply it to your face. And then it slowly absorbs into the skin.

I also find the scent really soothing. So it all really all adds to the spa effect. Unlike the other mask, I’ve used this one every chance that I could. So I will probably need to buy this one again soon.

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As always, let me know what you think in the comments below. To stay updated follow Join The ME Project on Social Media!

Check out The CoUnity page to learn more about the project and find out how you can become a member.

Read more

Saying Goodbye to Teen Ink

Saying Goodbye to Teen Ink 39

Saying Goodbye to Teen Ink

Originally Posted by October 8th, 2017

Hello, everyone and welcome back to Join The ME Project. As I mentioned before, I used to be quite shy about showing what I was writing to my friends and family, but I had no problem publishing it online. I think I was I was worried about the personal opinion of what others that knew me, and I knew them. Online, I had the protection of anonymity, I didn’t have to worry about that. The website that I turned to was TeenInk.com.

I found it one day while I was doing some googling. The website’s tagline is, “By Teens, For Teens” that’s what attracted me to learn more. Not only can you publish your writing on the website, but they select a few to get published in their monthly magazine. It allows you to connect with other writers, read their work, and have them comment on yours.

The website’s tagline is, “By Teens, For Teens” that’s what attracted me to learn more.Join The ME Project

But there is an age limit for the site, it is called “Teen” Ink. Once you are over the age 19, you can no longer publish to the site, but your work will remain.

See Also: The Visionary Friend

In 2009, I found out about Teen Ink’s NYC Summer Writing Program. It was open to girls in grades 9-12 of that school year. The itinerary included: writing courses, individual instruction, guest speakers, and daily outings. Housing was at the Juilliard College dorms.

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To apply I had to fill out an application and send in samples of my writing. Thousands of girls applied, but they only picked 30 to be a part of the program for that year. I was totally shocked to find out that I was one of them.

(Author note: This is the video they made of our 2009 NYC Summer Writing Program. You’ll see a really young version of me)

Once again, I never shared my writing like that, so to get news that I had been accepted into this program with 29 other talented girls blew my mind. At first, my mom was not into it. She thought it was a big scam and I was going to be sold into slavery off in a different country. She would tell me that multiple times a day. The top really blew off, when we learned that the total cost was going to be $4,000.

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This was a two-week trip, so the cost included: meal plan, tours, Broadway shows, museums, etc. We just didn’t have the money. Throughout all of this, we were in contact with John Meyer, who was the owner and founder of Teen Ink.

See Also: Letting Go of Old

Looking back now, it’s simply hilarious and heartwarming because he would reassure my mom that the program was not a scam and I would not be sold into slavery. He said that they still wanted me to be a part of the program and things would work out.

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I kid you not, I remember sitting in my Creative Writing class and over the intercom, I got called down to the main principal’s office. The whole walk there, I was filled with such dread just thinking about the reason why I had been called out of class. His office was on the opposite side of the school, so I had a lot of thinking to do as I walked.

See Also: Where Would We Be Without Support?

I walked in, and there was a lady in his office with him, but they were both smiling so I figured I wasn’t in any trouble. She told me that she was from the Board of Education, and she heard that I had been accepted into the Teen Ink NYC Summer Writing Program. She said that she was proud that I had been one of the 30 accepted and that they were going to pay for me to go.

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When I say I lost my mind, I lost my mind! I called my mother on the phone and she just couldn’t believe it. Honestly, it wasn’t until we got to Juilliard and she dropped me off did she stop thinking it was a scam. The program was absolutely amazing, I met many wonderful and talented individuals. I’m honestly glad that I went and took the opportunity because I learned so much about myself that I didn’t know before. Sadly, the program is no longer offered.

Even after the program, and leaving my teenage years, I would still help Teen Ink. Occasionally, I would do the freelance reading for them and I kept in contact with John. We would always email back and forth, and try to keep each other updated on life.

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When we moved to our apartment, I emailed him to let him know our new address, but I never heard from him. There would be a gap in time between our emails, but never this long.

Eventually, I emailed one of the editors to ask her and she informed me that he had passed away in January. He had liver cancer. I read the email at physical therapy so I couldn’t break down at the time, but I did when I got home. My grief is new, but he’s been gone for so long and I didn’t even know.

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I had a moment last week of questioning myself. I questioned what I share and what I discuss on this blog. I never want to offend anyone by what I write, but at the same time, what I write is coming from my perspective and my life.

I know that not everyone shares the same views as me, and that’s okay. But everything just got to be too much, and I needed a break. Then I thought about John, and his continual support and I knew that I couldn’t give up. But I’m going to end this here before I start crying again…

As always, let me know what you think in the comments below. To stay updated follow JoinThe ME Project on Social Media!

Check out The CoUnity page to learn more about the project and find out how you can become a member.

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3 Beauty Favorites from Milk Makeup

3 Beauty Favorites from Milk Makeup 46

3 Beauty Favorites From Milk Makeup

If you’re looking for a beauty brand that offers up both clean ingredients and amazing payoff, look no further than Milk Makeup. With super-nourishing formulas that are cruelty-free, paraben-free, and 100% vegan, Milk Makeup is clean, cool beauty designed for you to #LiveYourLook.

I’ve listed a few of their best sellers to get you started.

Sunshine Skin Tint SPF 30

This skin tint offers up a fresh take on foundation. Its preservative-free, oil-infused formula gives skin a naturally dewey finish that looks gorgeous no matter how dry the elements may be. We especially love the portable packaging – it comes in an on-the-go rollerball that makes applying makeup in a pinch as easy as possible.

See Also: 3 Affordable Skincare Products You Have to Try

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Lip + Cheek

Lighten your makeup bag and opt for this 2-in-1 lip and cheek stick. It’s a multi-use, sheer blush and lip tint that offers hydrating buildable coverage. Swipe onto lips and cheeks and blend with fingertips – no brush or mirror needed.

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See Also: La Vie en Rose Collection by LaRose Bath and Beauty Review

 

Highlighter

Up all night and running on fumes? This creamy highlighter leaves a natural, radiant glow to brighten up your skin. The vegan formula is filled with rich butters and oils that moisturize as they illuminate; makeup multitasking at its best.

Highlighter-Lit-cap-800x1100-2 3 Beauty Favorites from Milk Makeup Beauty Brands November 2019 Skincare

As always, let me know what you think in the comments below. To stay updated follow JoinThe ME Project on Social Media!

Check out The CoUnity page to learn more about the project and find out how you can become a member.

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Falling For Fall Tag

Falling For Fall Tag 47

Falling For Fall Tag

Hello, everyone and welcome back to Join The ME Project. I guess you could call today a basic October weather kind of day. We’ve got 50-degree weather and I’m bundled up in a throw blanket. I thought today would be an appropriate day to do the Falling For Fall Tag. Or rather, I’m revamping it. Ashleigh was kind enough to tag me, you can read her post here: For The Love of Books, Falling For Fall Tag

Let’s get started,

The Questions

What is your favorite fall scent?

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I have to agree with Ashleigh on this one, anything Cinnamon scented. In my opinion cinnamon, just adds a sense of warmth to whatever it’s being added to. I don’t think Apple is exclusively a fall scent, but I like Apple and Apple Pie scented things.

See Also: How to Make| Kentucky Cream Pie

 Do you prefer apple stuff or pumpkin stuff?

This is where I get kind of particular. I’m not a fan of pumpkin pie, never have been. But I like pumpkin seeds. I can get down with a PSL though. So I lean more towards Apple definitely.

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What is the one thing that you look forward to every single fall?

I’m a really big nature lover. I don’t get the chance to get out much, but I love to watch the seasons change. We live in Ohio now but I grew up in West Virgina. It’s still considered a tri-state area and there’s always fairs and festivals this time of year. Fayette County, West Virginia, has Bridge Day every year. It’s a one-day festival with food and extreme sports. But the view is so gorgeous.

See Also: Top 5 Things To Do in Columbus, Ohio

How do you like to spend the more chilly/cloudy days in fall? 

It depends on if I have to go somewhere. If I have to go out, then I try to get my errands done as quickly as possible. When I’m out in the cold, I start to get really achy and my Fibromyalgia and Arthritis will flare up. And I feel like I’m moving in slow motion. If I can stay home, you’ll find me bundled up with a hot drink in my hands. And I’m either watching something on Netflix or Amazon Video.

See Also: Spoonie Tips for Surviving Winter

Which do you prefer: Halloween or Thanksgiving?

I actually don’t celebrate holidays. But if I had to pick one, I would choose Thanksgiving. When my grandmother was alive she would go all out with the food and drinks. Our family was important to her and spending time together was just as important.

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What is the one way you embrace the fall season?

Switching my summer clothes out for my winter clothes. This week I’m actually working on my bedroom decor. I’m not trying to make it fall related, but a more muted tone for the winter time. What I had before was just too bright for the season.

What photos would you like to take this fall?

 I would love to take some pictures of the leaves before they all completely change and fall off. We’ve got a really pretty garden in the back of our apartment so hopefully, I can get back there and take some photos.

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Favorite childhood memory from this season?

The house we moved from had a tree in the front yard. When I was little I would go sit underneath it. In the movies, you always see people gathering up leaves into a pile and jumping or falling into it. I did that one time and almost broke my butt, it’s not as much fun as it looks.

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What is your favorite trend (fashion, makeup, etc) so far this season?

Fashion: Red, 70’s Plaid, and Mid-Length Skirts

Makeup: I’m still learning about makeup, to be honest. I like neutral colors and natural makeup but that’s all the time.

Describe what the fall weather really looks like where you live? 

The temperature has been up and down recently. Last week it was in the 70’s but currently, it’s in the 40’s. It’s been sprinkling today, but it hasn’t rained that much. The weather is usually mild, but I’ve heard that we may have a bad winter.

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As always, let me know what you think in the comments below. To stay updated follow JoinThe ME Project on Social Media!

Check out The CoUnity page to learn more about the project and find out how you can become a member.

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Where I’ve Been, Where I’m At

Where I’ve Been, Where I’m At 48

Where I’ve Been, Where I’m At

Hello, everyone and welcome back to Join The ME Project. I know it’s been a while for everyone, especially for me. In today’s post, I will be giving everyone an update of where I’ve been, and what will be happening in the future.

My Thoughts

This past week, I’ve been pondering over whether or not I wanted to continue my blogging journey. I knew my hiatus was four months. But it wasn’t until I started to log back into my social media that the time away really hit me. So many changes had occurred that I didn’t know about and I just felt out of my element.

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Additionally, during my blog hiatus, I had my hip surgery. And then I was placed on bed rest for six weeks. If you saw my latest Instagram and Twitter post, I discussed a little bit about my initial thought process. Right after my surgery, I kept thinking that I would be able to jump back into my regular routine. Reality basically hit me in the face and let me know that wasn’t going to happen.

See Also: Where Would We Be Without Support?

What’s Next for Me?

This week though, I had my six-week post-op appointment. I learned that I would have to go through three months of physical therapy. And during these next three months, I will have to learn how to walk and bear weight on my right leg again.

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It kind of hit me all at once, just how much work I would have to put in with regards to my physical health and my blog. My initial thought was, ”Could I do it?” Should I apply my attention to my physical health and just forget about my blog? As always, I turned to my inner circle. I talked to my mom about how I was feeling and it came up in conversation when I was talking to my sister on the phone. That definitely built me up and relieved me of my worries.

See Also: The Illusion Of Social Media

So at this point, you are probably wondering, ”What’s the verdict? What is Erika going to do?” Well, this blog post is the very answer to that. Quitting at this point just isn’t possible. And I feel like if I did, I would be right back at it, within a short time period. I do want to thank you all for being so patient with me, during my hiatus and surgery. That means so much to me.

Right now, I don’t have a schedule set up. I’m really just taking everything day by day. I have some ideas for things in the future. But I will make a blog post about that later on.

083F3DDE-0AAD-4BB2-B3EB-1FCA69C5B21E-200x300 Where I’ve Been, Where I’m At 2019 Blogging Chronic Illness October 2019

As always, let me know what you think in the comments below. To stay updated follow Join The ME Project on Social Media!

Check out The CoUnity page to learn more about the project and find out how you can become a member.

Read more
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