I’m taking it old school today with the Bachelor Nation interview. I recently started watching Brad Womack’s season (the second one) after learning that Keltie Knight and Michelle Money were on it. I listen to Keltie’s podcast, The Lady Gang, and am an active member of Money Talks, the exclusive Facebook group for individuals who have taken Michelle’s Money Method course. 

While watching this season I fell in love with Shawntel Newton, who was in the top 4! I had the exciting opportunity to catch up with her regarding her life in the past ten years since competing on The Bachelor and was very inspired by her story. 

Prior to going on the show, Shawntel had never seen an episode of The Bachelor! Her sisters secretly signed her up for it and within weeks she was receiving phone calls from producers to move her forward in casting. With limited expectations, Shawntel continued through the interview process and the rest is history. 

Besides traveling the world and meeting incredible people, Shawntel’s favorite experience was her first one-on-one with Brad, a shopping spree in Vegas. Although things didn’t work out between Shawntel and Brad, she gave it another shot at love by appearing on Ben Flajnik’s season of the show. Her and Ben had previously connected, and although hesitant, she decided to give it a shot. However, do to a previous commitment, she came into the season late, finding that Ben had already formed a strong relationship with Courtney, and Shawntel headed home. 

After finishing the show, Shawntel went back to work full-time as a funeral director, but shortly after began writing a book, Final Rose. (To purchase Final Rose, click here) While she does touch on her experience on the show, the main focus of the book is about her experience as a woman in the funeral service industry. A unique experience that very few understand, Shawntel was eager to share this side of her life. This writing process was a therapeutic time for her to share her story…her faith, boyfriends growing up, school experiences, career, and the families she served…it gave readers a glimpse into the life that few saw on the show. 

Shawntel is now married, with a son, Anthony, and another baby boy on the way in October! Once she got engaged she relocated to Sacramento and left the funeral industry. After struggling to conceive due to unexplained infertility, her and husband went through IVF. While their infertility journey was mentally, physically, spiritually, and emotionally draining, her faith was unwavering. Through this difficult time they spent a lot of time praying and trusting God that he would bless them with children. And that He did! They were able to naturally get pregnant with their second son and are so excited. 

Shawntel’s hands are certainly full, but so is her heart. Being a stay at home mom keeps her on her toes, but she loves having the opportunity to spend her days watching her son learn and grow. They keep a tight routine full of walks to the lake, playing with cousins, and spending time in the kitchen. Hearing Shawntel proudly talk about her son shows that motherhood is truly what God has called her to! 

Shawntel balances being a mom with the rest of life by having grace on herself. “I tend to put a lot of pressure on myself and try to be that perfect Mom who balances everything perfectly,” said Shawntel, “Well I’ve learned to give myself a break. Being a wife comes first, then being a mom, and the rest follows.” She makes date night a priority for her and her husband, schedules playdates so that she can have adult conversation with her girlfriends while the kiddos play, and allows herself a sitter a few hours per week to get stuff done.

Random Questions

If your son wanted to go on the show in 25 years, would you be okay with it?
Haha, hmmm! If the show was still classy and clean then yes. I just hope it stays that way.

Favorite Beauty Product? 
I’m in love with my NARS foundation and my Mac rose petal blush!

Favorite Place to travel?
Maui...hands down! I feel as if apart of my heart stays there.

Favorite song right now?
The entire soundtrack to The Greatest Showman.

Do you still watch the show?
Yes! Every season. Once you’re on the show you become part of the bachelor family and you’ll always support the show.

If so, who is your favorite this season?
LOVING Garrett for Becca & Jason or Blake for the next Bachelor!

One thing you wish you could tell 16 year old Shawntel?
Trust God, he’s written you a really good story!

To keep up with Shawntel, follow her on Instagram @shawntelnewton

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My summer beauty products are definitely different than those I use in the winter. Due to the change in weather, the sun exposure, and the heat, I use different products. These are my top 5 summertime beauty products!

Drunk Elephant Umbra Sheer Physical Daily Defense Broad Spectrum Sunscreen SPF 30, $34
This sheer sunscreen is free of damaging ingredients and full of antioxidants. It adds moisture back into the skin that most sunscreens draw out, and is lightweight. This sunscreen has zinc oxide, which is great for sensitive skin, like mine. It also contains astaxanthin-rich algae extract, sunflower sprout extract, and grape juice extract, to soothe the skin and calm redness.

DryBar Prep Rally Prime & Prep Detangler, $23
I've been letting my hair naturally dry this summer, but I still need some added protection from heat and damage. I have been using this detangling spray for a couple months and have noticed a major change in my hair. This spray includes Biotin, Vitamin B, and Vitamin D, which increases strength of the hair, nourishes the scalp, and adds in moisture. It is cruel free and smells AMAZING, with hints of ginger, mint, and sandalwood.

Whole Foods Market Organic Pomegranate Orange Lip Balm, $1.99
This chapstick was a "need cash back purchase" at Whole Foods one afternoon. And it was the BEST purchase. This all natural chapstick smells and tastes amazing. It has cured my summer time dry lips and actually made them feel moisturized for hours after putting it on. I always struggle with dryness, so I am glad I finally found a balm that helps.

Benefit Cosmetics Hoola Cream-to-Powder Quickie Contour Stick, $28
This bronze cream contouring stick turns to powder after application. It is a matte bronzer that helps create a contoured face without feeling heavy. As someone who didn't know how to contour well, this stick has made it super easy. I love the cream to powder formula because it creates a perfect glow without melting on my face in the summer heat!

Clinique Soft-Pressed Powder Blusher in Soft Pink, $23
This lightweight blush creates the perfect sun kissed look! It is buildable and develops a radiant glow.  It is compact, comes with a mirror and an applicator, making it ideal to throw in your bag and go for a night out. It doesn't have a shimmer to it like most blushes, so it allows for a natural, sheer look.

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You don't need to travel far to enjoy a fun little getaway. While my summer has been spent locally for the most part, I have still been able to get out and experience the beauty that Southern California has to offer. Whether that be a drive down the coast to San Diego, a visit to the wineries in Solvang, or just walking around my own neighborhood, there is so much to experience around Los Angeles.

A perfect staycation can be planned with a day in Malibu. The temperature is usually cool, the sun is always shining, and the salty fresh air makes you forget about all the smog over the hill.

MASH Hike at Malibu Creek State Park
This beautiful 4.75 mile hike is the exterior shot of the hit television series MASH. This is an easy hike with incredible views. The hike can be extended to just past 6 miles if desired. The hike hosts a creek and many old oak trees. When you reach the MASH set, it is the turn around point for the hike. Note that it does cost $12 to park there, but this money goes to keeping our state parks up and running.

Malibu Farm Pier Cafe
After your hike, grab lunch off the Malibu Pier at the Malibu Farm Cafe. Although a bit pricy, the view is worth every cent. We spent the 4th of July here and enjoyed a seat on the patio overlooking the ocean. Their dishes are all farm to table, organic, and delicious. Known for their Frose, I also love their green tacos and burgers. Note that parking is a bit hectic there. You can pay for parking outside the restaurant if it is available, but I recommend finding free parking down the street and enjoying the walk.

Malibu Wine Safari
Nothing says a fun afternoon like wine paired with feeding a llama. With a variety of safari tours, including one that allows you to feed the famous Stanley the Giraffe from The Hangover, and another with just mimosa tastings, there are many options for all different winos. Bonus, you never know who you may run into. You could see Jennifer Love Hewitt. Or that triplet comedian from America's Got Talent.

Photo Courtesy of JLH Instagram

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Back in January I created a vision for my life, including what I wanted to achieve on my blog. On my vision board, I wrote "Interview Ben Higgins." With how in demand he is, I didn't think it would happen, but I put it out into the universe. And it happened!

Ben Higgins is my favorite Bachelor of all time. Maybe it's his wholesome spirit, maybe it's his love for Jesus, or maybe it's just his smile.

Prior to appearing on Kaitlyn Bristowe's season of The Bachelorette, Ben was living in Denver and working at a tech company. After finishing 3rd on The Bachelorette, Ben aka America's Sweetheart, was chosen to be The Bachelor. When he returned back to Denver, it was an adjustment for him. Casual activities, such as grabbing dinner or a drink with friends, were now impacted by people coming up to say hi and take photos.

Ben currently hosts the Almost Famous podcast, contributes to the blog Mahogany Workplace, and has co-founded Generous Coffee.

Generous Coffee was started by Ben and two of his friends, Drew and Riley. After a trip to Honduras where they left beaten down with the local conditions, they decided they needed to do something bigger. That's when they created this coffee company to give back to non-profits, such as Humanity and Hope United Foundation. Each year this foundation travels to Honduras to provide love and support to underserved villages.

Since appearing on The Bachelorette, The Bachelor, and Bachelor Winter Games, it is clear Ben has kept himself busy. He manages the chaos of his life by staying self-disciplined and organized. "I live by my calendar. But I also have to step back sometimes and remember to schedule off days for myself so that I can slow down and enjoy my friends and family," says Higgins.

More About Ben:
What is your favorite place you have traveled?
I've been a lot of cool places, but honestly probably Honduras. Being there just changes you.

What is your favorite thing to do in Denver?
Denver is full of so many awesome places! I love to go hiking, find a cool brewery, really anything where I can be outside.

If you could speak any 3 languages what would they be?
I like speaking English, so I'd keep that language. Probably Spanish, so I could communicate better with the people in Honduras and then maybe Italian!

If Hollywood was making a movie about your life, who would you want to play you?
Taylor Kinney

What is your favorite song right now?
Duo by Ben Rector

For more of Ben, follow him on Instagram @higgins.ben

To get involved with Humanity and Hope United Foundation, email

And who knows, maybe we will see Ben soon on another Bachelor show soon! ;)

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Gigi Hadid has been everywhere lately with her on again, off again relationship with Zayn Malik, modeling, and famous family. One thing I always love about Gigi is her chic style that can be easily recreated my us common folk. This laid-back summer look is perfect for lunch with friends, browsing the farmer's market, or grabbing a quick coffee between errands! This look can be styled on your own for under $100!

Total: $86.98
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