REAL LIFE WITH HALEE


As I share often, one of my favorite parts of blogging is the connections I make with other bloggers. I get to know women from so many different walks of life that I otherwise wouldn't meet. What always fascinates me the most though is when I find someone in the blogging sphere who I would possibly run into in other areas of life one day! 

Today's featured blogger is Halee, has had a career in ABA therapy and is a preschool teacher! For those who have been following me for awhile, you know that I am in the midst of getting my BCBA and my teaching credential, so I basically met my match with Halee! Some of her blog posts are about Trader Joes, wine, and tacos, so yup, basically the same person.


Halee started her blog Real Life With Halee to share her life with others. She gives tips on living a full life without spending extravagantly. She is relatable and wants her readers to feel inspired and know it's okay to be living the life they are living!

A little more about Halee:
Favorite blog post? Wine tasting hacks! In this post she shares how to enjoy this often expensive habit while keeping within a tight budget.

What keeps her motivated? Knowing that people are waiting to see and read what she is going to write!

How she has fun? The 3 B's: brunch, beach, & binge watching TV

Favorite place to shop? Target, Trader Joe's, & Forever 21

Top 3 beauty products? Olay night cream Ouai Wave Spray, Shea Moisture Overnight Face Oil

For more of Halee, peep her personal Instagram and her blog Instagram. They're equally awesome.




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SUMMER WEDDING STYLE


Summer weddings can be difficult to dress for because you want to look your best, but also need to beat the heat. Wearing bright colors and cool fabrics can help to combat the heat while you still look stunning. This full look including dress and accessories, is perfect for a summer wedding!

This nail polish, Odeme Dance Hall Days, is a beautiful, bright color. It is a stunning hue for summer, but is not too overwhelming. It costs $12, is quick drying, and is easy to apply. This polish didn't need 2 or 3 coats to look good, one swipe was plenty with Odeme. Odeme's polishes are made without harmful chemicals. There is no Touluene, Dibutyl Phthalate, Formaldehyde, Resin, and Camphor.
Wearing white is the coolest color for summer but an absolute no-no when it comes to a wedding! Unless instructed by the bride, please do not wear white! That is HER color! However to stay cool, wear bright, light colors. This stunning floral printed dress from London Times is perfect with nude heels and dangling earrings. I rented this dress from Le Tote and you can rent it for free here


Dangly neutral toned earrings are a perfect combination to the bright outfit you are wearing. They are subtle, adorable, and add a classy touch to the outfit. These earrings are by Kendra Scott and can be rented from RocksBox for free with code kickbackwithcatexoxo which allows you a month of free jewelry rentals!

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SHE'S THAT NEW GIRL (BLOGGER SPOTLIGHT)


When I learned about Talisa from She's That New Girl, so much of her story resonated with me. She started her blog as a creative outlet to express her thoughts and navigate post graduate life, but continued writing as a way to give young women a voice. As an educator, and aunt to a tenacious little girl, I believe this world needs more positive female role models. Talisa is just that.

Talisa is an open book about her personal struggle with social anxiety and mental health setbacks (I feel you girl) and gives personal, effective advice to readers on how to improve their quality of life. A favorite post of hers (and mine!) is Three Effective Ways the Everyday Girl Improves Her Mental Health. Talisa will also soon be sharing her personal struggle with social anxiety. Her bravery and vulnerability is something that inspires me as I toy with the idea of sharing my personal struggles.

"I feel motivated by the fact that someone out there will benefit from what I have to say," said Talisa, "The best moments have been when I get emails from young women saying that one of my posts helped them through a bout of depression or lifted their spirits."



Q & A with That New Girl!

Advice for new bloggers?
Do it for the right reasons and be patient. Your success would depend on your relationship with your readers.

What do you enjoy outside of blogging?
Anything outdoors! I love going for walks in open green spaces and I enjoy outdoor sports too. I am a huge bookworm as well, so put me near some sunshine with a good read and I'll be a happy camper!

What are your top 3 go to beauty products?
Mascara, a red hippie, and a lightly floral scent

For more of Talisa & She's That New Girl, visit her website, her YouTube, Instagram, and Twitter.


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YOU ARE LOVED


I have spent the last couple days trying to put my thoughts about the death of Kate Spade into words. She was a designer I admired, an inspiration to women everywhere, and someone I never knew struggled with depression. Then, this morning when I heard about Anthony Bourdain I was angry. In our society we hear about people battling cancer, diabetes, epilepsy, but we don't hear about people battling depression. It's something we as a society don't discuss. And that needs to change.

My heart aches for the family of every individual who has taken their own life. My heart aches for everyone who has struggled through depression, anxiety, and the feelings of self doubt. We need to make it okay to talk about the reality of mental healthy We need to make it okay to ask for help.

As someone who has battled severe anxiety and depression, I can promise you that when you ask for help, it gets better. It doesn't make the hard days go away, it doesn't make the pain any lighter, but it gives you hope. It gives you something to hold on to. It makes you feel better knowing that someone is there for you. I am grateful to have family, friends, and a therapist who have held my hand on the darkest days. But none of them would have known my struggles if I had not asked for help.

So many people loved and admired Spade and Bourdain. I wish they could have understood the power and inspiration that they had on everyday people. What we see is not reality. On the surface, these two people had everything, but inside they were lost.

Please know that it gets better. Please do not be afraid to ask for help. You are worthy of love, support, and living this life.

Please know that help is just a phone call away. Call 1-800-273-TALK if you need it.

YOU ARE LOVED.
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LOVED + BLESSED REVIEW : PERSEVERANCE


Each month I receive a box of love and encouragement on my front porch. This month's Loved and Blessed Box had the theme PERSEVERANCE.





This box included:
-a highlighter, pen, and paperclip set
-magnets
-a theme card
-a mini poster
-a reminder sticker
-a scripture card
-an encouragement kit (to share the love with a friend!)

Loved and Blessed is a Christian subscription box service with a goal to help women share their testimony. For only $19.99/month (even cheaper if you buy in bulk!), each box includes a mini poster, reminder sticker, scripture card, and small gift. 



I enjoy receiving the Loved and Blessed Box because it provides me with encouraging reminders to remain strong in my faith. It is different than any other box I have received. It is full of meaning, heart, and joy. Place your order quickly to receive your own box of encouragement next month!
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CATCH UP WITH ADAM FROM THE BACHELORETTE & BACHELOR IN PARADISE


The Bachelorette is here! And while I am not doing recaps this season, I am still catching up with past contestants. One of my favorites from last season, Adam Gottschalk, was sent home by Rachel just before hometown dates, but found love in Paradise with Raven Gates. I enjoyed catching up with Adam, who is local to my area, and seeing what he is up to now that he is in Dallas.


Adam ended up on The Bachelorette when a friend from college (University of Arizona) nominated him. The day after JoJo's season aired, the friend texted Adam asking why he wasn't on the show. The rest was history.

When he went on the show, he brought a doll version of himself. This doll, Adam Jr., made cameos throughout the season, and honestly got more airtime than Adam himself. Adam journeyed through Los Angeles, South Carolina, Norway, and Switzerland, before getting sent home and ultimately ending up on the beaches of Mexico.

After the show ended, it took Adam time to adjust. He is working in commercial real estate and has strong partnerships with clients such as W Hotels and Equinox. He loves his career and the connections he is able to form with all kinds of personalities. Adam strives to be a hard working role model for our generation. "The social media blurs out all the hard work that can go on behind the scenes and all we see is the finished product," says Adam.


Nearly a year after Paradise, Adam is still with Raven. The two have talked about moving in with one and another and it is happening soon! While Raven currently lives in Arkansas where she owns her own boutique, Grey Suede, the pair see each other often.

For more on Adam, follow him on Instagram and Twitter.




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WHAT I'M LOVING LATELY


May came and went in the blink of an eye. I can't believe June is here. I am less than a week away from summer and six months away from finishing school. (Although I am toying with the idea of getting my PhD!) This month was full of fun adventures, including a Taylor Swift concert, spending time with friends I haven't seen in awhile, and meeting my biggest celebrity crush. Here are sthree things I loved most in May:

Rocksbox: Rocksbox is a jewelry rental service that delivers designer accessories straight to your porch. For $21 a month you'll receive three pieces of jewelry to wear until you are ready to either purchase or return. I love this service because it lets me try out Kendra Scott and House of Harlow products I love, but can't afford. It also allows me to borrow some bold pieces for events that I would likely only wear once. To sign up, visit Rocks Box and be sure to enter code kickbackwithcatexoxo at checkout to get your first month FREE!



Soul Cycle: I have always loved Soul Cycle but this month the admiration came to a whole new level. I took a class that shifted my perspective and gave me exactly what I have been looking for lately. I wrote about it in a blog post for my friend's blog, and you can read all about it here.


Everyone Is Doing Great: I had the opportunity this month to chat with my middle school crushes, James Lafferty and Stephen Colletti. I screened their new show Everyone Is Doing Great, which is about two actors leaning on each other as they navigate life after a hit television show. Seeing as both these men were on One Tree Hill, you'd think it was based on their personal experiences. While the series hits close to home for Lafferty and Colletti, most of the series is built from their own creative writings.


FTC Disclosure: Kick Back With Cate is a RocksBox It Girl! This means RocksBox sent product in exchange for a review. All opinions are honest and my own. 


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POWER HOUR


Recently I have been on a quest to make more of the 24 hours I have in a day. A lot of times when I finish work and homework, I find myself just wanting to curl up in a ball and watch TV. This leads to piles of laundry, dirty dishes lingering in the sink, and an overall feeling of undeniable guilt. Recently I have reinstated a previous method I used to increase productivity, called Power Hour.

I learned about Power Hour when I read The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. In this book she shares the life hacks that worked for her on her quest for happiness. Rubin found that items that did not have a due date or high priority, often got ignored, leaving her feeling drained and stressed out. This is items such as cleaning the kitchen, making a doctor's appointment, or cleaning out the pantry. By dedicating one single hour to it, the tasks seem less daunting.

If I commit to just one hour of getting stuff done, I find myself to be much more successful and feel much better about my life. Once a day I will set an alarm for one hour. During this time, I do not allow interruptions. I put my phone away, I let my boyfriend know I am working, and I just focus on the task at hand.

The great thing about Power Hour is that more often than not, I find myself working well beyond the hour. Once I get in a groove and start crossing items off my to do list, I don't want to stop.

Some tips for Power Hour?
Make a laser focused to do list! Having twenty items on your to do list won't be helpful to you. Pick 3-5 items to focus on during that hour and zone in on just those.

Respect your hour! It won't be useful to you if you spend the hour scrolling through Instagram. Put the phone away and be honest with yourself!

Reward yourself! After completing an hour of uninterrupted work, celebrate it. I usually allow myself 15-20 minutes on social media or YouTube after I complete an hour. Then more often than not, I find myself getting right back to work!




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SUNDAY SCARIES


I think we all deal with a bit of anxiety, but some more than others. I am naturally a very anxious person. Whenever there is any bit of unknown in my life, I panic. I have spent years working on this in myself and through self-development, therapy, meditation, journaling, and so many other techniques, I have been able to (occasionally) diminish my anxieties. However, sometimes there is a need for a supplement to ease the anxiety when all else fails.

Recently I have heard a ton about the benefits of CBD oil. For awhile I brushed it off, assuming it was just the hype of the recent marijuana legalization in California. However, CBD oil has NO THC, and is non psychoactive. This oil has a long list of benefits, including anti-inflammatory, treatment for nausea, treatment for anxiety, and is proven to reduce seizures in individuals with epilepsy. CBD oil can be found in many forms, but my favorite is through CBD gummies!


Cue Sunday Scaries. Named for that feeling we all get on Sunday evening when we have been lazy pieces of dirt all day after a fun Saturday out with friends. You know the feeling. When you've ignored your to do list because bottomless mimosas was more fun, and now you are stuck realizing you have seven loads of laundry, a sink full of dishes, two papers due, and have to be up for work tomorrow morning. 

Last weekend I had a case of the Sunday Scaries on Saturday and decided to take one of my dummies. My to do list was daunting me, I was feeling anxious about things going on, and none of my self care strategies could help. I took one of my natural CBD gummies and felt stress relief and hyper focused. I was ready to take on the day anxiety free. I love that these gummies allow me to live anxiety free without the scary side effects that come with taking prescription medications. I appreciate an all natural approach to subsidize the self care techniques I use such as meditation, journaling, and exercise. 

To check out Sunday Scaries, click here! They offer a variety of purchase options, including a monthly subscription. Added bonus: free shipping! 

The faster you purchase Sunday Scaries, the sooner you can get rid of them. 

FTC Disclosure: Sunday Scaries sent me product in exchange for a review. However, all opinions are honest and my own.

Medical Disclaimer: Please seek advice from a doctor before making any changes in your health regime.



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MEET THE GAL PALS


I have met some incredible women on my blogging journey. I have met mentors and friends who have all helped me grow into the blogger I am today. They encourage me to keep developing my content and motivate me to keep writing on the hard days. Two amazing women I recently learned about, Ella and Jess, embody all of this, motivation and inspiration, and lend friendly advice to millennials. The Gal Pals provide their readers with news, advice, and information on finance, health, beauty, style, and anything else that inspires them in the moment.

Before blogging, Ella studied journalism and Jess had a passion for writing. They started Gal Pals because of their passion for writing and community. They have strengths in different areas, and together the puzzle pieces fit together to create something great!
Jess: Either the Met Gala post or the Mother’s Day post! With both of them I was learning new things about blogging while writing them - like using slideshows and polls, and using ads. Both of them took a long time to finish and the end product is something I’m really proud of. 
E: I always look at what might be behind that lack of motivation. Am I tired, or stressed? Have I not put time aside for myself lately? I make sure I fix the cause first. After that it’s just a matter of starting - I write about something simple like what I did that day, or I pick something on the news that interested me, and write a few paragraphs to get that spark back. Then I pick back up where I left off and buckle down!

Here is some fun information to get to know the Gal Pals better!

What is your favorite blog post you have written?
Ella: My favorite blog post was one of the first that we wrote - interviewing Guido from Melko. Our interview was incredibly interesting, and his passion for what he does and what the business stands for was inspiring.


What motivates you when you do not feel like writing?


J: It happens quite a bit! I have random bouts of energy and then times where I don’t have the energy to do anything at all. At times like that, I remember that I was made to be my own boss -  I don’t want to go back to a job where I’m stressing myself out for someone else’s benefit.

Any advice you have for new bloggers?

E: Figure out what it is you bring to the table. There are lots of blogs out there - what makes yours different, or unique? What do you provide that others don’t?

J: Find your niche, and don’t be too broad. If you think you’ve narrowed it down, narrow it down even more! The biggest mistake Ella and I made was being too broad in our topics when we first started out. Invest in the right tools, read other blogs that are from your niche - what’s the point of running a blog if you’re not going to read other blogs? Make time to learn and connect with other bloggers.

What do you enjoy doing outside of blogging?

E: I write a lot of poetry. It’s such a different style of writing to anything else and I enjoy being able to play around with syntax in a way that you can’t do with journalistic forms of writing. I also love spending time with my dog and cat (Freya and Hero, respectively) and hanging out with friends!

J: If I’m not writing for the blog, I’m writing novels! I have so many on the go. I’ve recently found a passion for gardening and I spend most of my time there, or walking Freya, our dog.

Where is your favorite place to shop?

E: I’m a sucker for online stores, and cosmetics. I love ASOS, and I can spend a ridiculous amount of money at Lush and Mecca!

J: Honestly, Bunnings. For clothing, I like Glassons or ASOS!

What is your fall fashion staple?

E: A pair of cute heeled boots!

J: A jacket! Specifically this lilac cord jacket I have. I wear it with everything!

What are your top 3 go to beauty products?

E: At the moment, I’m trying to go absolutely minimal with my makeup. I used to wear a full face on most days, and my skin suffered for it. I’m on a journey to love my skin, scars and all, so I limit my daily use products to Essano - Rosehip Moisture Restorative Night Creme, Glossier’s Boy Brow, and Maybelline Fit Me concealer if I absolutely need it.

J: Argan Oil for my hair, Lush’s Gorgeous moisturiser and a good coffee scrub! Very necessary in these dry winter months.

For more of the Gal Pals, follow them on Social Media!
Instagram:
Pinterest:


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MOTIVATION MONDAY


Whenever I have writer's block or am lacking motivation, I can find encouragement from other bloggers. They understand the struggle to create quality content and the frustration of not having the right words to say. They understand the pressure that comes with being a content creator, regardless of the size of your following. I love to look for them when I need a little extra push. Here are some of my favorite blog posts lately from other bloggers that are keeping me motivated!

Should You Start A Blog?
This blog post from Champagne & A Carry On talks about not letting fear win and to foster an attitude of community over competition. She encourages people to share what's on their heart and mind, keep pure intentions, and quality over quantity. I have learned so much from Victoria about blogging in the past couple months than I have learned in the past couple years of running Kick Back With Cate. I recommend everyone check out this post, whether you have a blog, want to start a blog, or just need some extra motivation.

Advice from Women Who Created Their Job & How You Can Too!
In this post, Modern Day Girlfriend checks in with other boss babes to see what keeps their mojo flowing. From photographers to editors to bloggers, this blog touches on advice for women creating their own businesses and what keeps them motivated.

How to Create Less Content With More Impact
This blog post, and the podcast that followed it, had me reeling. Listening to Jenna Kutcher speak about how to create a bigger following and better work, without feeling the need to constantly push out content, really resonated with me. I have been struggling lately with my output, simply due to the fact that I am working a job that requires 55+ hours a week of my attention and working on 2 Master's degrees. While my blog is my #1 love, these other two things have to take my attention right now. However, after listening to this podcast I have a perspective shift about my blog and a MASSIVE to do list for incredible things that are going to come from Kick Back With Cate this summer.
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TOP T.SWIFT SONGS


Friday night I had the pleasure of going to the Taylor Swift concert at the Rose Bowl! It was a magical night. I have never experienced a concert quite like the one I saw Friday...heck, I wouldn't even call it a concert. It was a full on show with video, animatronics, fireworks, and incredible music. Charli XCX and Camila Cabello opened, and Shawn Mendes made a special appearance. There were so many songs by Taylor that I wanted her to sing that she didn't, but she only had a couple hours to perform. In honor of the Reputation Tour, I have compiled a list of my top 15 favorite Taylor Swift songs....I was shooting for a top 10, but it was just too hard!

1.Teardrops On My Guitar
2. 22
3. I Knew You Were Trouble
4. Shake It Off
5. Tim McGraw
6. We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together
7. Bad Blood
8. Our Song
9. This is Why We Can't Have Nice Things
10. Stay Stay Stay
11. New Year's Day
12. Hey Stephen
13. Begin Again
14. I Did Something Bad
15. Look What You Made me Do

What is your favorite Taylor Swift song?
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MEGHAN MARKLE LOOK FOR LESS


Meghan Markle first came on to the fashion scene opening suitcases on Deal or No Deal, but really started turning heads when she started accessorizing her outfits with a prince on her arm. This weekend, Meghan Markle is living out every American girls dream of marrying into royalty. One thing I have always loved about Meghan is how polished she looks. I recreated this outfit of Meghan's for just a smidge over $100. 




Total: $108.95

Please comment below with which celebrity look you would like recreated on a twenty somethings budget!


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CELEBRATE GRADUATION WITH BASIC INVITE


Graduation season is here! The past couple weeks, and the weeks to come, have been full of graduates celebrating their accomplishments. Seeing all these graduates reminds me of the feelings I felt finishing my undergraduate degree, and the excitement I feel to be nearing the end of my Masters programs.

This is a time of year to celebrate, which starts with having the perfect graduation announcements and graduation party invitations. I recently discovered Basic Invite, a company that specializes in customized invitations, announcements, and thank you cards.



Anything you can imagine on your special photo graduation card is very possible with Basic Invite. They allow customers almost unlimited color. Once you select a design, you can change the color of each element on the littlest detail. Instant previews are available online, and customers can even order a printed sample before committing to their final order! This sets Basic Invite apart from almost any other online stationery company!

The color fun doesn't stop there! Basic Invite offers over 40 different colors with envelopes, so that invitations and announcements stand out before they are even opened! All envelopes are peel and seal so envelopes can be quickly and securely closed. I highly appreciate this because licking envelopes is the grossest!

When addressing the perfectly colored and sealed envelopes, Basic Invite offers addressing printing at no cost. They also offer an address capturing service that allows customers to share a link on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or other forms of social media, to request their friends and family's addresses, which will then be stored in the customers account and can be selected during the design process.

For one final touch of perfection on your graduation announcements, invites, or thank yous, Basic Invite offers foil cards that are available in gold, silver, and rose gold. Customers can choose flat or raised foil on all of Basic Invite's foil designs.

Be sure to order whatever fits your needs, whether that be graduation announcements, invitations, or thank you graduation cards! Basic Invite is currently offering 15% off when you use the code 15FF51 at check out!




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MOTHER'S DAY GIFT GUIDE


Mother's Day is quickly approaching! If you are anything like me, shopping for mom can be so hard! She has everything she needs and I don't have enough money in the world to buy her what she deserves. Here are five great gifts for Mom if you are still looking:

Girl's Night Out
For two of the moms in my life, we have discussed a new place locally that takes wine & painting to a whole new level. AR Workshop is a place where you can use canvas, wood, or plank to create signs, pillows, photo frames, and more. It is a fun way to be creative and spend time together. A great gift for a mom in your life is a place you can go together, to spend time creating, but also have great conversation over a glass of wine. Check Groupon in your area, because you will likely find some great deals on painting classes, floral arrangement classes, and more!

Staycation
Have a spa day at a local resort! While this is a pricier option, it can be SO worth it. It can also be paired with another holiday if out of your price range. For example, pair it with Mother's Day and Mom's birthday. This connects two gifts, while also allowing Mom to get the rest and relaxation she deserves.

Mantra Band 
These bracelets and necklaces are perfect for all the ladies in your life. With motivational sayings, they are perfect reminders that your ladies are absolute bosses! I have one that says "She believed she could, so she did." I wear it often when I need a boost of confidence, and also gifted it to three fabulous ladies in my life earlier this year, so they could remember the same. Their jewelry ranges from $25-$55, so it is perfect for any budget.

Concert Tickets
Treat Mom to a fun night out to see one of her favorite bands or singers. With summer approaching, a lot of musicians are on tour, or starting a tour soon. Help your budget by purchasing on Seat Geek and use the code KICK at checkout for $20 off!

Gift Card
When all else fails, give Mom a gift card! She will love being able to treat herself at one of her favorite stores when she sees something that strikes her eye. While gift cards seem less personal, it allows the recipient to pick out a gift they really will love!

What are you getting your Mom for Mother's Day?
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GET TO KNOW JENNA FROM THE CHALLENGE


Recently I had the chance to catch up with one of my favorite reality TV stars, Jenna Compono. Jenna started off on The Real World, but has since taken MTV's The Challenge by a storm. Jenna is a fierce competitor who many have underestimated over the years.


What was the Real World casting process like?
It was a little different for me, I never actually applied to be on reality TV. At the time my ex-boyfriend tried out for Real World and the theme was to bring their exes on the show as a surprise, and that’s where I came in! At first I was a little hesitant, but I am happy I said yes to going because I have gotten to experience so many other opportunities. So for that I am truly thankful

What was life like in the Real World house?
It was a little hectic in the beginning, 7 strangers living in a house, along with their ex boyfriends/girlfriends. You can only imagine the daily drama that came along with that. Also it was different for me because I was only 20 years old at the time. I wasn't allowed to party and drink like my castmates, and we all know that's ALL we want to do in the Real World house, so that was a little aggravating. But I made the best of it and made great friends.


Was it difficult going back to reality afterwards?
At first I didn't think it was going to be difficult going back to reality, but you do find yourself covering your “mic” when you are telling a secret to a friend but then realize you aren't being filmed anymore. Also you want to share the stories and opportunities you had while filming to friends and family, but it is really something you just need to experience. Other than that, it was nice to finally have our cell phones back!

How did you end up involved in the challenges?
The Challenge usually brings on Real World cast members, and I happened to fit the theme of Battle of the Exes II, having Jay (my ex) as my partner.

What is your favorite season you have done?
My favorite season I have done would have to be my first season Battle of the Exes II. I loved being the new girl and stepping outside my comfort zone. I moved into a house with 28 people with all different personalities. I really enjoyed that season, I made lifelong friends and still currently dating my boyfriend I met there.  Plus we had an amazing cast and got to experience it with Diem and Knight right before they passed.


Favorite competitor?
Oh that's a hard one. Each competitor has strengths and weaknesses. There are so many old school and new school challengers, I really can't choose my favorite!

Does it motivate you more that people underestimate what a beast you are?
It definitely motivates me that I am underestimated a lot. But let's be real,  you look at me and I do not look that athletic, so I don't blame them! But it's all down to what you bring to the table when competing. Don't get me wrong I have my good seasons and I have my bad seasons. I do try my hardest on every challenge and give it my all. So even if I lose a challenge or elimination, at the end of the day you can tell I have heart. But people back at home that root for me definitely keep me mentally in the game.

What have you been up to since the end of the Challenge?
Recently I filmed Champs Vs Stars, and unfortunately I broke my foot and have been out for over 6 months unable to walk, so I am finally getting back into my normal groove of things. I still nanny back at home which is perfect for me because I absolutely love kids, the pay is great, and it is so flexible when I have to take off weeks at a time for the Challenge.


What do you do when you are not filming a season?
When I am not filming I do work as nanny. I absolutely love it. I also practically live at the gym and hot pilates, spend time with my family, friends, and boyfriend and just going on adventures and trying something new everyday.

Top 3 go to beauty products?
I do not go anywhere without my chapstick, mascara or eyebrow gel!


For more of Jenna, find her on Instagram, Twitter, & Snapchat @jennacompono

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THINGS I'M LOVING LATELY


Seat Geek: With it being baseball season, we have been LOVING how close we live to Dodger stadium and how quick the drive to Angel stadium is on the weekends. While we are a house divided with who to root for, we take turns attending our favorite teams games. Thanks to Seat Geek we have been able to attend games for really affordable prices. The best part about Seat Geek is they rate how good the price you are getting is! If you want to attend a local sporting event, be sure to use the code KICK at checkout for $20 off your fun night out!


Drunk Elephant: These beauty products are non toxic and help revitalize the skin! I purchased them during the Sephora VIB sale, and will definitely be keeping them in my daily beauty routine. I use the Rise + Glow Duo in the morning, which includes a vitamin B hydration gel and a vitamin C serum. In the evening I use the NightBright Duo, which includes a glycol serum and a marula oil. All these products work together to hydrate the skin, while dissolving dead skin cells and producing collagen.



The Light Blonde: I discovered The Light Blonde via Instagram and instantly fell in love! Ali is a Christian woman and it is shown through all the beautiful shirts she has on her website. Her graphic tees are insanely comfortable and affordable, but the best part is the creative slogans written across them. Most of her shirts exemplify her love for Jesus. Some favorites of mine? Thou Shall Not Kill Vibes. Livin On A Prayer. Not Today Satan. The shirt I have is no longer in stock, but it says One Nation Under God. Be sure to follow The Light Blonde on Instagram because she frequently posts discount codes for her shop!


Dry Bar: I first went to Dry Bar on Christmas Eve because I felt like it was a relaxing way to start a busy day. Having someone else do my hair had me feeling so beautiful! I can basically only curl or straighten my hair, so a professional putting their touch on it really helped me have a different look. I went back again before my boyfriend's birthday party, then went last weekend just because I needed some #SelfCareSaturday. I love Dry Bar because they make my hair look great, while all I have to do is sit and sip a mimosa. Because I have several events coming up, such as bridal showers, press events, and concerts, I decided to sign up for their monthly membership. For $80/month, you get two blowouts per month, 10% off all products, and $5 off additional blowouts during the month. You get a free blowout during your birthday month (YASSSSS!) and my favorite part is that blowouts roll over if they are not used. Can I get an amen!? 

My followers: All of you babes have made my month! I know that I have not been posting as much lately, but my wheels are turning for some great ideas for changes on this blog in the coming months. I have five weeks off for summer and fully intend on spending those weeks with my blog as my full time job. I will be revamping my layout, my blogging schedule, and finding deeper ways to connect with each of you. I was overwhelmed by the response to my Sephora gift card giveaway and am definitely itching to host another one soon. I am excited to announce the winner of the gift card is Jackie R. Thank you to everyone who entered! Stay tuned for the next giveaway in July!
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SEPHORA HAUL & GIFT CARD GIVEAWAY!


Sephora had their VIB sale recently which is VERY rare. Of course I took advantage of the 15% off and tried a bunch of new products. Here are the products I purchased! I got new Tarte brushes, my favorite Urban Decay all nighter setting spray, a Hoola bronzer, Benefit illuminator, and Drunk Elephant skincare products! So far I love all the products so much that I want you to have a chance to try them! 


I am hosting a $25 Sephora gift card giveaway! 
To enter: 

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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TOP 5 MOST POPULAR BLOG POSTS


Recently I was looking for an old blog post and fell down a deep abyss of reading old posts. I have changed so much over the years, yet my blog has still remained so similar. My love for fashion, beauty, and Bachelor Nation has never failed. Here is a look back at my top 5 most popular blog posts.

Sutra Hair Straightener Review
My 3 1/2 year old review of the Sutra straightener still stands true. I love this thing and it is still doing it's job after all these years of use.

2017 Holiday Gift Guide
Last year's holiday gift guide can be used for birthdays, Mother's Day, and getting an early jumpstart on your shopping!

2018 Valentine's Day Makeup
These beauty products are a major part of my daily makeup routine and this look can be worn for a date night, girl's brunch, or other flirty, fun activities.

Villains Gotta Vil
JJ Lane is still one of my favorite Bachelorette contestants of all time. I have been recently rewatching Bachelor in Paradise season 2 and this guy is comedic gold.

2016 St. Patrick's Day Outfits
While St. Patty's passed last month, you can still style yourself green. The first of the three outfits is one of my favorite, and most repinned, looks.
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SPRING CLEANING TIPS WITH GROVE COLLABORATIVE


Spring time is here which means spring cleaning! While the actual cleaning part is fairly routine, here are three things to think about before you begin!

1. Don't just donate to Goodwill, who will make a profit on your goods. Find a local charity that could really put good use to your stuff. If you are in the Ventura County area, my favorite is James Storehouse. They provide goods and resources to foster children and the families fostering them. They are always in need of good clothing, beds, and other home goods.

2. Deep clean the deep clean. The dirtiest places are the places we expect to be clean...the dishwasher, the sink, and the laundry machine. After cleaning the rest of the house, be sure to hit these secret spots.

3. Instead of using chemicals to clean, use lemon essential oil. It's all natural and leaves your home smelling citrusy fresh. Fill a spray bottle with water and 15-20 drops of lemon essential oil. It will disinfect, remove grease, and kill bacteria.



4. Aside from using essential oils to clean, check out Grove Collaborative! Grove Collaborative sells many natural home cleaning products, such as Mrs. Meyers, Seventh Generation, and Method. It is set up on an auto fill so that you never run out of cleaning supplies, laundry detergent, and toiletries. I love not having to go to the store because I get overwhelmed with the mass quantity of products and am unsure which are safe to use and which are not. Getting Grove has helped our apartment stay clean in a safe way! Get $10 off when you purchase here!
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EP. 3 OF TWENTY SOMETHINGS PODCAST


Twenty Somethings Podcast is back after a week off with our third episode. This week we talked about our thoughts on Tristan Thompson and Khloe naming their baby True, John Cena's 75 page agreement with Nikki Bella, the secret split of Biebs and Selena, what my therapist says about adult friendships, and how Instagram thinks I hacked my own account!

Be sure to listen to it here!
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GRAMMAR AND GLAMOUR


Being a communications major in college, I have gotten the opportunity to network with people who have beautiful passions and careers in the communications field, even years after graduating. As a junior in high school I met Meisha in COMM 101 and have continued to keep in touch with her via social media over the years. Meisha recently joined me in the Blogosphere, creating her blog Grammar and Glamour.

Combining her need for a creative outlet and her love for writing and photography, it only makes sense that Meisha started a blog. Trying to find her niche though, created a bit of a struggle. Putting Meisha into a box is simply impossible. Her interests are all over the place, including travel, fashion, food, reading, and movies. Because her passions run deep, she decided to write a lifestyle blog where she can touch on all of these topics.

Outside of blogging, Meisha is working on her Masters in Literature and working in booking events and film shoots at a local college. She enjoys seeing movies, going to brunch, and playing video games, all of which is discussed on Grammar and Glamour.

A couple Q&A's with Meisha:

Top 3 beauty products? Kat Von D tattoo eyeliner, Becca highlighters, Bite lipsticks

Favorite book? Harry Potter! (Although Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern and Handmaid's Tale by Margret Atwood are current faves!)

Favorite trend this spring? Round rattan bags!

For more of Meisha, check out Grammar and Glamour or follow her social media:
Insta @meisha__
FB @grammarandglamour
Twitter @grammarnglamour

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APRIL POWER PLAYLIST


Springtime means my windows are down and my music is turned all the way up. There has been some incredible music coming out lately, just in time for summer. Here are 10 songs I can't get enough of the past few days.

Dammit by Jana Krama
Thru Your Phone by Cardi B
Space Cowboy by Kacey Musgraves
Queens Don't by Raelynn
Speakers, Bleachers, & Preachers by Brandon Lay
Happens Like That by Granger Smith
IDGAF by Dua Lipa
Stir Fry by Migos
Singles You Up by Jordan Davis
Freaky Friday by Lil Dicky feat Chris Brown

What songs are you loving right now?
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WHAT'S IN MY BAG


For years I have seen What's In My Bag? videos and blog posts. It has become so popular that it is even a frequent segment in US Weekly. For some reason I have always enjoyed seeing what others carry in their bag and use in their day to day life. I have found some great products from What's In My Bag posts and wanted to share with you all what is in my own bag!


Besides the mass amounts of trash at the bottom of my bag, this is what I am carrying around! My purse is from Target. I got it when I started my new job last month because I wanted a bag big enough to carry around my work stuff when necessary. This Be Brave, Be You journal is what I use for taking notes during my therapy sessions. If someone found this journal I am not sure if I would be scared or excited. They would know my deepest struggles, but also see the deepest inspirations. These Well Kept Screen Cleansing Towelettes are great for keeping the bacteria from makeup and hands off of my phone and laptop. I use my compact to check my makeup, and Tide to Go pen, Kleenex, and gum for the obvious reasons. I carry UNO in my purse because I travel between schools working with students and have fun it to be a fun way to take a brain break with them when our usual activities are not possible to be done. I also have soup in my bag (LOL) because I always keep something in there to eat. On this particular day I had forgotten lunch so I bought this at 7-11, but then my work ended up having lunch catered in, so I got lucky! My wallet and planner are there for obvious reasons as well, they're the essentials to my life!

Comment below with an everyday essential that is in your bag!

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KENDALL JENNER LOOK FOR LESS


Coachella is just around the corner and I know a lot of my friends are scrambling to find the perfect outfits for the festival. While I am not attending, I do have several concerts coming up that I am trying to put outfits together for. In honor of festival season, I recreated this Kendall Jenner Coachella look for under $70!

 

Vivicastle Pants, $19.95
Payless Sandals, $16.99
Claire's Necklaces, $14.99
Fashion Nova Crop Top, $12.96
Total: $64.89
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CELEBRATE LIFE


I am coming off spring break and am shocked to realize it is only 9 more weeks until summer break. Life has been so hectic lately, that sometimes I forget to stop, slow down, and be present in the great moments. Going into spring, I really just want to focus on making quality time with loved ones and myself. I want the moments to not just pass me by, but to really stop and enjoy the beauty in all the little moments. At church yesterday I just stopped to thank God for that moment. For so long I prayed for a man that I could worship the Lord with, one that is supportive and guides me, one that encourages my creative outlets, and one that stops to remind me to breath. With arms high and heart abandoned yesterday, I was able to really be present and praise. I want life to be full of those moments where I just stop and celebrate life.

March was full of incredible things. I started a new job and traveled to San Francisco. I pushed myself to greater limits, both personally and spiritually, and I am excited beyond belief for what is coming in life.

March also brought me opportunities to sample new products, new music, and new movies. Here are my five favorites from March:

1. Purlisse BB Cream: This full coverage cream is perfect for "no makeup" days. I put it on for days when I don't feel like putting on makeup, but want my blemishes covered. I love that it has SPF 30 in it and is made with natural ingredients.

2. Blue Bottle Coffee: Holy guacamole. I love coffee. Like really love coffee. Like Lorelei Gilmore love coffee. I picked this up in a can at Whole Foods last week and am desperately trying to get my hands on more. Just 8 ounces had me wired enough to get homework done, get the house clean, and never feel jittery. It tasted delicious and was the perfect caffeine concoction for what I needed that day.

3. Ready Player One: I had no clue what to expect going into this movie, but it is one of the best movies I have seen in awhile. Because we have Movie Pass we try out a lot of movies I wouldn't typically pay $15 for. This movie blew my mind and had us nostalgic for N-64.

4. Space Cowboy by Kacey Musgraves: Her new album is stunning, but this song has been on a constant repeat for me the past couple days. Her voice is beautiful, the lyrics are breath taking, and she really encapsulates life well.

5. Champagne and a Carry On: I met Tori at a Bumble Bizz x Bloggers Who Brunch event a couple months ago and have loved connecting with her. She is a Jesus follower, WAG to her baseball playing husband, and #goals. Check out her blog to see what I have been reading lately!

What did you love this month? What are your goals for April?
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INSTANT WRINKLE SMOOTHING MASK REVIEW


I am always on the hunt for anything to better my skin. Growing up I struggled with acne, then I have battled the scarring caused from it, and now I am beginning to get wrinkles. The crows feet and smile lines are becoming more visible each day, so I decided to make an addition to my skincare routine. The Roloxin Lift Instant Wrinkle Smoothing Mask from Dermarche Labs improves the appearance of skin in 7 minutes. This treatment removes the tired, dull look from my drab skin for 24 hours. This cream is like botox in a bottle, for a fraction of the cost. It includes vitamin e, aloe vera, vitamin a, vitamin c, and antioxidants. 


To check out the Roloxin Lift Instant Wrinkle Smoothing Mask from Dermarche Labs, visit here!


FTC Disclosure: Dermarche Labs sent me product in exchange for a review. All opinions are honest and my own. 


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TWENTY SOMETHINGS PODCAST


When I was in college, my friend Jade and I hosted a weekly radio show called Hump Day with Cate & Jade. It was always the highlight of my week to go into the studio with Jade and chat about all sorts of nonsense. Whether it was events taking place in our lives, celebrity gossip, or the latest trends, we dissected it all on Wednesday afternoons.

Recently we decided to bring it back! Although we have moved on from our Hump Days, we are now Twenty Somethings. Each week we will be discussing our lives, pop culture, and any problems twenty somethings face. This week we caught up with each other, discussed Kylie Jenner's secret baby, Kendra & Hank's split, the struggle of health insurance, and more! Listen here!
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JENNY DELANEY



While The Bachelor exposes us to women "glam-shamming" and uncomfortably whispering Krystal's name, it doesn't show us the really special careers and aspirations of the women who are also finding love. I was intrigued by Jenny Delaney when I found out she was a TCU Frog, but was fascinated when I learned she had started her own company at such a young age.

Jenny works full time as a graphic designer with her own company, Jennifer Delaney Designs, while drawing and painting on the side. Some of her best work is from the 2010-2011 TCU Athletics Report, a piece my dad was begging to have printed when I showed him Jenny's site. She is incredibly gifted, with life like drawings of Steph Curry, Jordan Speith, & Tom Brady.

Jenny started her own company in college when she began selling her art on Etsy. Her store grew from reviews and word of mouth. She created and designed her own website and began designing art for others. Her favorite part of Jenny Delaney Designs is making her clients happy with their custom art.

Three Things With Jenny:
What advice do you have for young entrepreneurs?
Cliche....Do what you love and it won't feel like work.

What are your top three beauty products?
It's a 10 leave in
Shape Tape by Tarte
Colossal Volum Express Mascara by Maybelline

What is your go to spring fashion staple?
sundress and a denim jacket

For more of Jenny Delaney, follow her on Instagram @jennydelaneyyy and @jennyddesigns
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EAT SEASONALLY


Spring has sprung and I am trying to eat healthier. Bikini season is just on the horizon and at my current state I wouldn’t be caught dead on the beach. Here are some fruits & vegetables that are in season for spring: 
Artichokes
Arugula
Asparagus
Beets
Cherries
Corn
Grapefruit
Green Beans
Limes
Peas
Radishes
Strawberries
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SPRING STYLE


Spring is here and styles are changing like the weather. This spring we are seeing a lot of retro looks. The 90's are back and are bringing all of their looks with them...printed jeans, fringe, and bright colors are all in style this season. All these on trend looks below are from Le Tote! To try Le Tote for a month free, click here!

Reversible Metallic Jacket, Blank NYC

Floral Patchwork Mid-Rise Skinny Jean, KUT from the Kloth

Track Jacket by Nike

Grey Fringe Bag by Octavia & Co



Printed Jeans
Bright colors
Fringe
Tulle

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