Favorite Hair Treatments

self-love

I’ve got wavy/curly hair. I’m not sure who I got it from, because no one else in my immediate family has hair like mine. It gets frizzy and dry very easily. Growing up, my hair was always so frizzy because I had no idea how to care for my hair, and I don’t think my mom knew what to do about it either. After she washes her hair, all she does is brush it and let it air dry. Seriously. No products, no heat tools, nothing. And her hair always looks sleek and frizz-free.

Unfortunately, my hair requires a lot of love to be soft and smooth. I try to wash my hair only 1-2 times a week. If it weren’t for dry shampoo, I’d have to wash my hair every other day because my scalp is prone to get very oily. In addition, I do a hair mask at least once a week, as well as use a few oils to keep my ends from drying out. About once a month, I will make my own deep conditioning hair mask. Today, I’m going to share with you some of my favorite hair masks and oils.

Lush Cosmetics H’suan Wen Hua: I love this hair mask because it’s full of super moisturizing ingredients like avocado, banana, and extra virgin olive oil. I like to use this one when my ends feel really dry. You apply it to dry hair and leave on for about 20 minutes before shampooing and conditioning as per usual.

Shea Moisture Anti-Breakage Strengthening Masque: This mask is my go-to for a quick fix. I’ve had a lot of breakage and damage in the past from excessive use of heat tools as well as using harsh chemicals, so I really appreciate this mask for it’s strengthening qualities. I use this mask in the shower after shampooing my hair. I apply a generous amount on top of my head and work the product through the lengths of my hair, combing it through with my fingers. This one says to leave it in for 5 minutes, but I’ll usually just finish up washing and rinse my hair right before I finish my shower.

One ‘n Only Argan Oil: I’ve used this product for years and I can’t live without it. I apply argan oil to my damp hair after every wash. I also apply it before using any heat on my hair, or in between washes when I feel my ends are a little dry. It gives my hair a nice shine without looking oily. Plus, I really enjoy the smell of this oil.

Hask Moisturizing Shine Oil: I think it’s safe to say that Hask’s shine oils are one of my favorite products. The first one I tried and fell in love with was the Orchid & White Truffle Oil, which is sadly no longer available. I’ve found that the Monoi Coconut Oil is also very good. I like these oils because they make my hair look super shiny and healthy. I’ve found that a little bit goes a long way, and that this product works best for me only used on wet hair. When I apply it to my dry hair, it makes my hair look greasy rather than shiny.

DIY Hair Mask: I’ve tried so many different DIY hair masks over the years and have discovered which ingredients I like to use in my hair. I don’t follow a particular recipe or anything, and my masks come out a little different every time; I suppose it depends on my mood. Today, I made a mask with the following ingredients: coconut oil, honey, castor oil, olive oil, tea tree oil, and rosemary oil. I chose this mixture to hopefully stimulate some hair growth, as well as moisturize my hair. When I make masks at home, I usually like to keep them in for 30 minutes or longer if I don’t have to leave the apartment.

If you haven’t tried a hair mask before, I highly recommend it. There are so many different kinds for all types of hair. I especially suggest making your own mask because it is really affordable and easy, since you probably already have a ton of ingredients in your kitchen. What’s your hair type, and what is something that you struggle with then it comes to your hair? Let me know down in the comments. 🙂

Love Always,

Kathleen

Monthly Goals: February

plan

I don’t know about you, but I felt like January would never end. It was long and so very, very cold. I’m thrilled that February is finally here because it is one of my favorite months. Good things just seem to happen this month, and I’m always in a better mood than I ever an in January.

So, this month I have a few new goals, as well as continuing goals from last month. To recap, I was able to complete all of my goals for January (yay me!). I completed with Bronze in the Peloton challenges, cooked a lot of meals at home, hung out with friends, and created this blog. Since I did so well last month, I have made this month a little more challenging.

Here are my February Goals:

  • Continue 17 Day Diet & Lose 10 Pounds: Just a week ago, I started the 17 Day Diet and am on Cycle 1. If you haven’t heard of this diet, I highly recommend doing some research on it. A couple weeks ago I was talking to a friend about how I was struggling to lose weight lately, even with regular exercise. She told me about this diet and lent me the book. After reading the entire book, I knew that this diet would be really easy to follow. One week in, and I have lost 6 pounds. My goal for this month is to stay on this diet and lose at least 10 more pounds.
  • Earn Silver in Monthly Peloton Challenges: I was able to get the Bronze for both challenges last month, so Silver is the goal this month. My strategy for this month is to take classes that are longer, and also stop making excuses not to exercise. I’m that person who, after a long day of work, will give myself a pass and be a couch potato for the rest of the night. I am going to try to end that bad habit this month as well.
  • Minimize TV and Phone Time: I’m a binge watcher. When I find a show I like on Netflix, I dive in deep. I often find myself watching 3-4 episodes in a sitting. It is not something that I’m proud of. I also do the same with YouTube or Instagram, where I will spend way too much time watching videos or scrolling through my feed. This month, I’m going to try to minimize my time spent on my phone and watching TV by challenging myself to complete two books this month. In addition, I will only allow myself to watch one episode of a show per night, and set a timer on my phone before I go on Instagram or YouTube.
  • Keep up with the Blog: I am very proud of myself for finally starting this blog, which I had put off for (literally) years. Now, my goal is to keep up with it by making sure I am writing a few new posts weekly and dedicating more time to it. In my planner, I have set aside time for me to work on the blog which will help me to stay focused and on schedule.

Those are my main goals for this month. At the start of next month, I will share how I did for the month, as well as next month’s goals. Have you made any monthly goals? I’d love to hear what goals you have set for yourself and how you are going to achieve them.

Love Always,

Kathleen

Treat Yourself to a Feel-Good Snack

self-love

One of the ways that I like to show myself some love is by treating myself to a healthy (and pretty) snack. It’s so easy to pillage through the fridge or pantry and quickly munch on something that’s either not very good for you, or just sort of boring and unfulfilling. I’m definitely guilty of this, and it usually leads to more bad snacking.

I’m the type of person who appreciates a good smoothie bowl. I especially like making them at home because I have total control over what goes into my smoothie bowl. The one pictured above is a new favorite. It’s jam-packed with antioxidants, and it’s so yummy.

I assure you that if you make yourself this smoothie bowl, you will feel so good. Not only will it taste great, but you will be making an effort to satisfy yourself with a nice, healthy treat. Little things like this are a great way to show yourself and your body some love.

If you’d like to make this smoothie bowl, here’s what I used:

  • 2 bananas
  • 5-6 fresh strawberries
  • 1 Trader Joe’s unsweetened, organic acai puree packet
  • 1 serving of collagen peptides (optional)
  • 1 serving Trader Joe’s super green drink powder, berry flavor (optional)
  • chia seeds
  • trail mix

Chuck 1 and a 1/2 banana, 4-5 strawberries, and the acai puree into a blender. Also add in the collagen peptides and green drink powder if using. Blend until it’s thick and smooth, then transfer to a bowl. Top with the remaining banana and strawberries, as well as chia seeds and some trail mix. Enjoy!

I hope you will treat yourself, whether it’s to this smoothie bowl or some other healthy snack. Your body and well-being will appreciate the effort you make to take care of yourself. If you do try this smoothie bowl, I’d love to know how you like it.

Love always,

Kathleen

Organizing My Disaster of a Shoe Closet

organize

Our shoe and coat closet has not been looking very pretty lately. In fact, it’s quite appalling. It’s gotten to the point where I can’t even shut the door to hide the mess; it’s literally spilling right out into the living room.


The current set up just isn’t working for our needs. I have a shoe cubby for my shoes, but my boots don’t fit in there, and I have a hard time finding the shoes I want to wear. Andrew’s shoes are on this little rack that doesn’t fit all of his shoes, plus it’s sort of buried underneath his coats.

So, I picked out this shoe rack from Amazon, hoping it would be the solution to my closet troubles. I have to say, this is not the sturdiest shoe rack. It’s just a couple of plastic pieces that you stick the metal rods into. It is quite wobbly and I had sections coming apart while I was placing our shoes on the rods. It wasn’t a good time. You could easily glue the rods into the sides to make it more sturdy. As a renter, I don’t like to invest too much money into things that we may not have use (or space) for in the next place we live, so this shoe rack is a pretty decent in my book.

The rack claims to fit 30 pairs of shoes. That’s a stretch. Ideally, you’re supposed to fit 3 pairs of shoes on each tier. I wear a size 7 1/2 or 8, and I had a hard time squeezing 3 pairs in. For Andrew’s size 11 shoes, 3 pairs was impossible unless you stacked a pair on top of each other.

I made sure to put all the shoes we wear most often on the rack. What we had left was a ton of my summer sandals and all of Andrew’s dress shoes (that he never wears). I chose to store these shoes in baskets and put them behind the shoe rack. This closet is pretty deep, so I wanted to make sure I was utilizing as much space as possible. I also had a big, heavy basket (full of backpacks and tote bags) that had been up on the shelf, but it was too difficult to go through up that high, so I brought it down next to the shoe rack. I chose to put our winter boots up on the shelf instead, so they look neat and are easy to grab when needed.

Overall, I think that it came out really good. It’s been about a week since I re-did this closet, and so far it’s stayed nice and neat. I love how easy it is now to find the shoes I want to wear. It is soooo nice to open up the closet doors and see an organized space and not the crazy chaos that previously resided there.

What’s your shoe storage situation like? Are you able to keep it nice and neat, or do you find it to be constantly messy? I’d love to hear what works or doesn’t work for you.

Love always,
Kathleen

Organizing My Pantry

organize

I’m constantly struggling to keep my pantry nice and neat. No matter how many times I rearrange the shelves, it never seems to function well or stay neat for long. Today, I’m going to try out a few new things that will hopefully end my seemingly constant battle with this pantry. But first, let’s take a look at the current state of the pantry…

I know, it looks a little scary.

Now, let’s discuss my issues are with what’s going on in here:

  • The floor space is a big mess of reusable bags
  • The snack section is overflowing
  • It’s hard to keep things in the right section, and also hard to find some things
Extremely messy snack area
So. Many. Trader. Joe’s. Bags.

So, what are we going to do about it? We’re going to take a trip to HomeGoods, of course. HomeGoods is one of my favorite stores, especially for my organization needs. They have a huge selection of baskets, trays, containers, etc.

Storage baskets found at HomeGoods.

I already had a couple of wire baskets and large mason jars that I had found at HomeGoods a long time ago. On this trip, I found a set of three larger storage baskets, a couple of medium sized baskets, as well as a few small canisters. If you’re on the hunt for kitchen storage solutions, don’t just look in the kitchen area. I found the bigger baskets in the closet/laundry section of the store. These baskets were bigger than the first ones I had found, plus they were a little more affordable, which is a big win in my book.

I pretty much knew how I wanted to separate the items in my pantry:

  • Baking Goods
  • Pasta, Rice, Sauce
  • Smoothie Ingredients
  • Weekend Breakfast Goods
  • Cooking Oils and Canned Goods
  • Tea & Cocoa
  • Crackers & Nut Mixes
  • Healthy Snacks
  • Sneaky Sweets

Right off the bat, I knew that I wanted the Baking Goods and Pasta baskets to go on the higher shelf, because these are things that I don’t need to reach for all the time. Usually, if I need to grab something off of that shelf, I’ll need to use a step stool, especially if the item is all the way in the back. By grouping the items together in baskets, I can easily just pull out the whole basket and have everything I need rather than searching for each item I need.

I knew I wanted the third big basket to go on the same shelf, but I wasn’t sure what I’d use it for. At first I had all my smoothie supplies in the basket, but I changed my mind for two reasons; 1. I make smoothies often and wanted easier access to the ingredients and 2. My excessive tea collection definitely needed a bigger basket. So, I ended up putting the tea that I don’t usually go for too often, or that are extras, in this basket.

So one shelf complete, two to go. I chose to use my two wire baskets for the Weekend Breakfast and Cooking Oil/Canned Goods categories. I really like having the cooking oils front and center, because I use them daily. I also opted to place the smoothie goods on this shelf, for the same reason. I used the small canisters to store my peanut protein powder, raw cacao powder, and chia seeds. The peanut protein powder had been in a huge jar that was less than halfway full. By transferring it to the small canister, I cleared up a lot of space. For the cacao and chia seeds, I had two packages of each, so placing them in the canisters not only saved space, but made it look a lot neater.

The last shelf was dedicated to my favorite teas, some healthy snacks, and some sneaky sweets. My fiancé loves his protein bars, so I always like to keep a basket stocked up with his favorites. And we both have a major sweet tooth problem, so we can’t help but have a section dedicated to our sneaky sweet treats.

And finally, I took on the floor space. I consolidated all of our reusable bags into one small section by folding them down neatly and storing them in a bigger bag. I also ended up folding down a brown paper bag to store my foil, parchment paper, and trash bags.

Now, let’s take a look at the before and after:

Overall, I’m really pleased with how this turned out. I think it’s so much more functional than it was before, and will hopefully be a lot easier to maintain.

What are some of the spaces that you struggle to keep organized in your home? What works for you? I would love to hear your thoughts and feedback!

Love Always,
Kathleen

Monthly Goals: January

plan

I don’t know about you, but I love lists. Having a planner with goals, to-do lists, and reminders makes me feel so good. There’s just something about having it written down on pen and paper that sets it in stone for me. I find myself more motivated to complete a goal, and I also feel more accomplished when I’m able check off a bunch of to-dos.

While Christmas shopping in early December, I found a ton of really nice 2019 planners and I knew I needed to have one. I’ve got big plans for 2019, and having everything written down really helps me to stay on track.

What I like about this planner is that I am setting monthly goals for myself rather than yearly. In the past, I hardly ever felt like I could accomplish my goals because it was really challenging to track my progress. This year, I’ve set smaller monthly goals so that I feel good when I’ve completed them, and I can continue to make progress with next month’s goal.

Another thing I appreciate about this particular agenda is that with every month comes a little inspirational message. I think it’s a really powerful thing to read right before you start writing in your goals for the month.

My January goals were primarily self-care related. At the end of 2018 I felt so drained. This month has been about getting back on track with aspects of my life that had been pushed to the side and neglected. Here are some of the goals I set for myself:

  • Complete Monthly Peloton Challenge: We bought ourselves a Peloton bike for Christmas this year, and I was so excited about it. I’m a person that hates the gym, so having this bike is awesome. They have monthly challenges for activity and miles. My goal for this month was to earn the Bronze for both challenges. Next month, I’m aiming toward Silver.
  • Cook more meals: November and December were rough months for my fiancé and I, and we found ourselves ordering take-out probably 70% of the time. For someone who really does like to cook, this was a tough realization. My goal this month is to cook more often. I didn’t make my goal to cook every night, because I know that I’d be setting myself up for failure. Now, so far for the month I can proudly say that we have cooked most of our meals and only ordered take-out 20% of the time, which I consider a huge accomplishment.
  • Spend more time with friends: I’ve been really bad at reaching out to my friends lately. It’s pretty easy to just text once in a while and skip on actual face-to-face time. So, my goal is to make a greater effort to meet up with friends. So far it has been great and really refreshing.
  • Create a blog and post the first entry: If you’re reading this, then you know that I have accomplished this goal. I’ve thought about creating a blog for years now, but I always felt overwhelmed because I had no idea how to actually start one. This Christmas, my fiancé gave me the nudge that I needed by gifting me with a ton of literature and a few courses about blogging. It gave me the confidence that I needed to finally dive in.

What are some of your goals for this month, and how are you doing so far? If you don’t have a planner, I highly suggest it. If you don’t want a physical planner, try a digital one. Set yourself some goals for next month– I’d love to hear how well you do.

Love Always,
Kathleen

Hello, friend.

about

Welcome to Always Be You. My name is Kathleen, and I’ve created this blog just for you. I want to share with you some of the things in life that make me happy, as well as some of the struggles that I’ve had. I hope that you will read this blog and be able to take away something positive to bring into your own life.

I want to be clear; This is not a happy-go-lucky blog. I’m not going to sugar coat things and I’m not going to fake being this super bubbly person. That’s just not me, and it’s not who I want to be. So, if you’re looking for ideas to treat yourself to an epic at-home spa night, or you need some inspiration to get back on track with your life, then I hope you will keep coming back to this blog.

Love Always,
Kathleen