Review | LuLaRoe Clothing

When it comes to fashion, I have no qualms about dealing with discomfort in the pursuit of a cute outfit. I’ve had dresses I’ve had to tape myself into, I continue to wear cute shoes known to cause blisters, and I’ve spent half an hour getting out of an outfit at the end of the night thanks to several layers of Spanx, undershirts, and insanely difficult zippers.

As much as I really don’t mind a little pain for some fashion gain, it’s always refreshing to find an outfit that is as comfortable as it is cute. I was excited to try out LuLaRoe clothing recently when my friend Courtney sent me some samples, and I am pleased to say the items I tried out fit the comfy-and-cute-as-heck bill perfectly!

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LuLaRoe is a direct sales clothing company – so it functions a bit like Avon in that you’ll need to find a consultant to buy from rather than purchase from a central website. If you’ve ever had the unfortunate experience of buying product from a network marketing company and discovering it was really sub-par and disappointing, you’ll be glad to know this isn’t a problem with LuLaRoe! All of the garments are well made and durable. You may have also come across some direct sales companies that just leave you feeling gross and sure they’re just a front for a pyramid scheme. From what I’ve seen, there’s no worry with LuLaRoe – the consultants don’t push you to become a consultant yourself, they don’t spam your Facebook feeds with a million posts a day, and they buy stock and sell it, like a regular business.

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Beauty Review | Eminence Calendula Oil

Though I haven’t jumped on the oil cleansing band wagon yet, I have done quite a bit of personal research into using oils in my beauty routine. I’m a big proponent of coconut oil masks for your hair, and I used to use a gel-to-oil cleanser from The Body Shop until they betrayed me and stopped making it ( 😦  ).

I currently use cleansers from Paula’s Choice and derma e that I’ve had great experiences with, so shifting to oil cleansing is probably not in my near future. However, thanks to a recent LaurenConrad.com article on skin detoxing, I became interested in trying an oil as a moisturizer.

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Book Review | Leave Your Mark – Aliza Licht

leave your mark by aliza lichtLeave Your Mark by Aliza Licht

Book Finished: August 2015

Rating: 5/5


This book was a breath of fresh air, right when I needed it the most.

Written by one of the most influential women in fashion and social media, Aliza Licht, this book covers how to launch your career, what challenges to expect along the way, and how to utilize social media platforms to their full capabilities. Licht was the voice behind the well known Twitter account @DKNYPRGIRL, which provided an anonymous look into the world of fashion public relations. The account was a major game changer in terms of what it means to be a brand on social media, and set the standard for engagement and interaction techniques.

As a PR girl myself, Licht is someone I greatly admire, even if my main interests aren’t in fashion. I’ve interacted with her on Twitter before, and she is approachable, kind, and engaging. She mentions in the beginning of the book that she is very interested in being a a mentor, and publishing her book was a major part of that goal. In my current job search, I’ve been able to network with some wonderful women in the Portland area, and was able to add Licht to my list of mentors after finishing her book.

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Kaeng Raeng Detoxfoliant Scrub | Review

Over the past few years, I’ve gained a love of body scrubs. Adding exfoliation to your shower routine is an easy way to make your regular day feel more spa-like. Combined with dry brushing, body scrubs can soften skin and boost your body’s natural detoxing abilities. I always feel more energized and awake when I remember to dry brush before showering, and use a scrub once or twice a week. It’s particularly nice in the fall and winter, when the air is more dry.

I have a scrub from The Body Shop I am particularly fond of (and it smells like snickerdoodles!), but I am always on the lookout for new options. The folks at Kaeng Raeng recently sent me a sample of their Detoxfoliant scrub to try out. I have seen Lauren Conrad’s reviews of their products before, and was eager to test the brand myself.

Detoxfoliant is marketed as a companion product to their cleanse program, on the basis that exfoliation can boost your detox results. I was excited to note that the ingredients list on the label is very short. It only includes salt, shea butter, and a few essential oils. It’s important to remember that what you put on your skin gets in your body, and this product fits the “natural” label well. The brand also positions itself as cruelty free, gluten free, and vegan friendly.

kaeng raeng detoxfoliant

The lavender-vanilla scent is definitely unique. I wasn’t sure I liked it at first, but it did grow on me. The scrub itself is a light pink, thanks to the Himalayan salt in the formula. With body scrubs, I am used to some of the abrasive component remaining behind before rinsing (even if it comes from natural sources like nut shells). With Detoxfoliant, the salt melts away as you scrub, so there’s no particles to rinse down the drain. After rinsing and drying off, a moisturizing layer of the oils stays behind. I didn’t even feel the need for lotion! A faint scent also remained on my skin, which was a pleasant after effect.

Because of the moisturizing oils, this scrub may be a bit heavy for summer use – but it’s perfect for fall and winter! I would also recommend avoiding the scrub on the days you shave. If you manage to get a few micro nicks or scrapes and then use the scrub, you will learn the true meaning of “rubbing salt in a wound.”

natural body scrub

My scrub sample and my Kaeng Raeng water bottle that I won in a giveaway!

I love this scrub, and would absolutely recommend it for your winter routine! It feels luxurious, and keeps skin smooth. I am looking forward to adding this to my regular skin care products.

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Book Review | Social Media for Social Good – Heather Mansfield

nonprofit social mediaSocial Media for Social Good by Heather Mansfield

Book Finished: May 10th, 2015

Rating: 5/5


Though we’ve never met or even spoken, Heather Mansfield is an old friend of mine.

While putting together my literature review for my thesis in the fall of 2013, I had difficulty finding books that focused on research related to nonprofits and social media. My adviser suggested I look into “best practices” books and how-to guides instead. There were only a few titles available, and one that was repeatedly recommended as “the” guide for nonprofits – Social Media for Social Good by Heather Mansfield.

Over the next 5 months, I skimmed through, read and re-read, stared at, and fell asleep on top of this book more times than I can remember. It helped shape my eventual list of best practices that I put together from my research.

Now that my thesis has been done and defended for some time, I thought it would be interesting to go back and read through Mansfield’s work again, this time in the eyes of a professional rather than a student.

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Book Review |101 Social Media Tactics for Nonprofits: A Field Guide – Melanie Mathos and Chad Norman

social media for nonprofits101 Social Media Tactics for Nonprofits: A Field Guide, by Melanie Mathos and Chad Norman

Book Finished: June 8th, 2015

Rating: 3.5/5


I skimmed, re-skimmed, and more thoroughly read this book several times over the course of my thesis research. In that perspective, it was fascinating to complete a literature review of what experts said, and then see the similarities and discrepancies of what those in the mental health nonprofit community said about the tactics that work for them. Now that I have my research complete, and was able to read this book again, it was an interesting look at how traditional media tactics carry over into new media.

Published in 2012, one review I came across of this text said simply, “does what it says on the tin.” That’s a pretty honest review of this book. It does have the promised 101 tactics, but they are found in smaller, easy to consume tidbits with occasional research backed notations. There isn’t much scientific reasoning given for a lot of that tactics, but there doesn’t have to be.

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Book Review | Make Your Creative Dreams Real – SARK

spring reading list 2015

Make Your Creative Dreams Real by SARK

Book Finished: June 5th 2015

Rating: 5/5


It may have taken me about 12 years to actually finish this book, but I have nothing but praise for it. I LOVED this book.

I picked this book at Barnes and Noble around 2003. I can’t remember now what drew 13 or 14 year old me to the book; likely the colors and the prospect of starting high school and then college soon after. I started reading and do remember enjoying the content, but it may have been a little more than I had the capacity to work on at that period of my life. Over the next 12 years, eight moves, two college degrees and six states, quite a bit changed for me. I looked at this book often, wanted to continue reading it and just never did. Now that I’ve settled in Oregon, and books that had been packed away for years came our of their boxes, I came across it again. It was finally the right time in my life.

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Book Review |Social Change Anytime Everywhere – Allyson Kapin & Amy Sample Ward

nonprofit social mediaSocial Change Anytime Everywhere by Allyson Kapin & Amy Sample Ward

Book Finished: June 3rd, 2015

Rating: 4/5


I had the opportunity to read a good deal of what’s available book-wise in the realm of social media and nonprofits during my thesis research. When I recently began a volunteer social media project for a local nonprofit, I looked to those same resources. I found some familiar titles, and searched for more recent information. Though not “recent,” it seems I missed this book in my research before. It may not have added anything groundbreaking to my particular research (more books aren’t necessarily better), but as a how-to manual, it’s a great read.

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Book Review | Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte

jane eyreJane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

Book Finished: May 10th, 2015

Rating: 4.5/5


It feels extremely weird to me to try to review a literary classic.

Despite being an avid reader, I have a pretty long list of classic books I haven’t gotten to yet. This past month, I was able to cross another one off the list – Jane Eyre.

I’ve previously read Wuthering Heights and Pride and Prejudice, both set in the same era. While I did enjoy those reads, I thought both Heathcliff and Mr. Darcy were unbearable. With Jane Eyre’s Mr. Rochester, I finally found a Victorian gentleman I approved of. Jane is much more interesting than the women featured in the other novels, and was rooting for her throughout.

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Book Review | All the Light We Cannot See – Anthony Doerr

all the light we cannot seeAll the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

Book Finished: April 27th, 2015

Rating: 5/5

“Open your eyes and see what you can with them before they close forever.”


I normally find myself reading work from the young adult and fantasy realms. More often than not, these arenas are home to series of books. It is refreshing to step outside of those genres once in awhile and discover an amazing stand alone read.  As I was reading this book last week, it was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for fiction. This elegant, wonderful piece of literature is so deserving of the honor.

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