Hey Strangers! I’m Back…

Hey Blog Family,

Sheesh… it’s been a while. It’s been since February, actually. I’d love to say I’ll never take a break that long again, but that is something I cannot promise because I don’t know what the future holds. What I do know is that I’m back for now and I’m excited to push out good content, but it will be a little different this time around.

On my home page, you might have noticed some new additions to the menu bar, both, digital marketing and faith. I’ve added these because much of my content will revolve around these two things.

Why digital marketing? I thought this was a lifestyle blog?

Good questions! I would have the same questions too, but honestly, this blog is a place where I come to be creative. I’ve been blogging (minus my breaks) for the past four years, and it’s no surprise that a lot can happen in four years. From personal growth to changing interests and new convictions, I want this platform to evolve and change with me, and I hope you guys are along for the ride!

With that said, I am adding digital marketing content to my blog because, in a sense, my blog is my portfolio. I put much of my creative work up here, but for those who don’t know, I actually do digital marketing for a living. I have a Masters of Journalism focused on Digital Content Strategy with a concentration on Social Media and a certificate in Business. To say the least, it’s a big part of my life and I’d like to share my knowledge with those who are interested. Also, I’d like to direct any clients or future clients to that page for information they can use to grow their business. So if you’re in need of a digital marketing consultant, a new and specified digital content strategy for your company, or someone to run your social media platforms, hit me up in the comments, I’d be happy to chat!

So why faith?

Guys, a lot has changed since the last time I blogged, and I must say my life has changed for the better. One of these days I’ll put up a post about my testimony, but to keep a long story short, the Lord Jesus Christ has truly been working on my heart, in my life, and through me on many different things over the past six months, and He continues to do so every day. When you come across something so good, you just have to share it as frequently as you can. So for those who are not religious or of other religions, feel free to stick around and read my content, I’m sure you’ll find life and value in it as well. But I do want to say that my Lord and Savior will have a strong hand in the content I create moving forward and if that makes you uncomfortable, feel free to exit out of my blog.

With that said, that is my mini life update, and I’m so happy to be back creating content on this platform. I hope you guys are excited for what’s to come.

Until next time, get up, get moving and be salt & light!

digital marketing

4 Ways To Scale Your Company With Focused Digital Marketing

Digital marketing can be a strange thing. In an age were our consumers view over 5,000 advertisements a day, we are fighting for merely a second of their attention. With that said, it can be hard to pinpoint exactly what we need to do to see results. Do we run Facebook ads, will Google ads work, is organic content even worth it anymore, and what is SEO? Trust me, we’ve all had these questions at one point or another, and in an attempt to answer just a few I’ve created a FREE ebook outlining 4 Ways To Scale Your Company With Focused Digital Marketing.

Whether you’re new to this digital marketing thing, or you’re a seasoned veteran, it’s important to keep these things in mind and working towards understanding how each piece place a significant role in how successful you are in targeting your key consumers and ultimately getting them to convert.

So download it, take a look, share it with friends if you feel so inclined, and if you’re still curious about how strategic and focused digital marketing can help your company today, reach out to me here for more information.

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4 WAYS TO SCALE YOUR COMPANY WITH FOCUSED DIGITAL MARKETING – eBook

As always, get up, get moving and live your best life!

Revelata: How You Can Help “Me Too” and Sexual Assault Survivors

2018… the year of the woman, or at least that’s what the tabloids say. With movements like Me Too and many female celebrities, gymnasts, and more coming out with stories about how they were sexually assaulted and taken advantage of, it leaves me wondering, how many women have experienced this and continue to experience horrors like this on a daily basis? After asking that, my next question is, “How can I help?”

These days, it seems like anyone can be a victim of sexual assault, even the people closest to you, and without you knowing. This means that often times, understanding how to help your friends, family and yourself prevent these situations from happening can be a little gray.

Honestly, I don’t have the answers for best practices to prevent sexual assault. If you would like to know more about sexual assault, the signs of it, and how to get help or report it, please visit rainn.org, or call their hotline at 800-656-HOPE (4673).

But despite not knowing how to prevent it,  I have found an organization that is actively helping survivors of sexual assault not only cope but thrive by providing resources to help them work through what has taken place both mentally and physically. This organization/company is called Revelata.


What is Revelata?

Revelata, a Latin word meaning “to unveil” began in December 2016 by Meagan McDougall. This name was chosen because, “as a survivor of sexual assault myself, I understand that it is like an unveiling process to reclaim your strength and identity after being assaulted,” said McDougall. Ultimately, this company was created so that she could use her “experience and passion to help other victims, ‘unveil the survivor within.'”

So how is this done? Well, Revelata is an Esty shop that sells natural skincare items and jewelry at reasonable prices, using 20% of its proceeds to provided resources to local sexual assault centers. By doing this, Revelata allows these centers to develop and host art therapy courses for survivors, their families, and their close friends.


What You Can Buy On Revelata.

The Bracelets

“Each 8mm beaded bracelet is handmade with 20-25 beads to represent the 20-25 women, out of 100, who are sexually assaulted at least once in her lifetime.” Powerful, I know! Also, each one is made my Meagan McDougall herself.

To make the bracelets, McDougall first searches for beads that inspire her and have meaning (i.e., jade-colored beads promote wisdom and consciousness, while rose quartz beads promote self-love). From there she chooses different combinations to arrange the beads in, accent pieces and then counts the beads out to ensure there are between 20-25. For those wondering, the bracelets are made with elastic nylon cord to ensure its longevity.

 


Soaps, Lotions, and Creams

I was given the opportunity to try a few of Revelata’s soaps and lotions. I tried the charcoal face wash, the soothing oatmeal honey soap bar, and the custom homemade body butter. What I love most about these products is that they are all natural! You know everything that goes into each of them. But the other thing I love about these products is that they work!

The charcoal face wash definitely stripped my face of all impurities, the oatmeal honey soap bar was gentle on my skin and served as a mild exfoliator due to the oatmeal chunks in the bar. But most of all, my favorite product was the body butter. I used it the first day I received it and immediately saw the results. A little goes a long way, and at first, it may seem quite oily on the skin, but my skin absorbed the oil in a matter of minutes leaving it soft and hydrated.

To say the least, my convenience store-bought lotions do nothing in comparison to this one. It’s my new go-to body cream, and I will definitely be repurchasing it. Not just because it’s effective, but also because it supports such a wonderful cause.

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The future of Revelata.

Revelata is growing and has big plans ahead. In the near future, Meagan McDougall plans to, “lay the groundwork for bringing in an art therapist to host biweekly classes for survivors at a local assault center,” as she aims for Revelata to be a “conversation starter around art therapy for trauma.”

McDougall also plans to launch a stand-alone website and online store apart from her Etsy site where she can grow her following, and launch a monthly subscription box, The Unveil Box. In this subscription box, she plans to offer unique items that are not sold in regular inventory. This includes necklaces, bracelets, and gemstones specific to each month. Definitely be on the lookout!

Also, Revelata is well on its way too big things as it was featured at the RAW Artists DC Showcase in May 2017 where McDougall was able to share about her company, mission, and touch the lives of those who would listen.

So again, I ask the question, “How can WE help.”

Through spreading the word about Revelata or purchasing their products, you will aid in helping victims of sexual assault get back on their feet again. Though sometimes we cannot always prevent these unfortunate things from happening, we can be there in support and solidarity for those who have had to suffer through these wrongdoings. Here is an opportunity to help.

Head over to the Revelata Etsy page and take a look at the products offered. Everything is affordable with prices starting as low as $2 and nothing above $50. Also, Meagan was kind enough to offer all my readers 10% off your purchase(s) when you use the code SYDNEY.

To add, you can follow Revelata on Instagram (@revelata_), and for those who may be interested, Revelata will be at the Raw Artists Atlanta Showcase on March 15th, 2018.

All in all, I hope you take the time to check out all Revelata has to offer, but more importantly, find a way to support survivors of sexual assault through Revelata or something else.

Often times there are a lot of things that happen in the world that lead us to assume there is no hope. But I believe the good will always outshine the bad, and it is up to us to create the word we want to live in. One day I hope to live in a world where sexual assault is never a topic of conversation. But for now, I hope we all do what we can to support those affected.

“Be the change you wish to see in the world.”

Until next time, get up, get moving, and live your best life.

Beauty Counter: Not All Skincare is Created Equal

If your skin is an organ, the largest organ, why don’t you pay attention to what you put on it? This is a question I had to ask myself early last year because, in my mind, things weren’t adding up. I worked out, I thought carefully about the things I put in my body, but what I put on my body… for some reason, that didn’t matter so much. On my list of priorities, it was at the bottom, and by the time the colder months rolled around, I could really see that my skin wasn’t a fan of what I’d been doing. Dull, dry, and in some cases flaky (I know… gross) I knew something had to change.

Recently, I’ve spent a lot of time learning about and investing in skincare products not only for my body but skincare for my face as well. While I’m still piecing together my “perfect” skincare routine, I do know that Beauty Counter has played a big role in keeping my skin in a much healthier state than in the past.


What is Beauty Counter?

Before I go any further, I’m sure you’re wondering what Beauty Counter is. It’s “a company devoted to progress [by providing] empowering information about ways we can all make the world healthier, along with safer products [we] can trust.”

So to put it simply, they like to cut out all of the BS and give you natural skincare and makeup products that work and are safe… what a concept!

I know, it might be shocking to hear that all skincare companies don’t have your best interest in mind, but that’s just a fact of life. Companies are trying to make money, so if you’re not asking the right questions you’re not going to get the right answers.

If you’ve been looking for a company and products that do it the right way or are just interested in the idea of safer skincare and makeup products, then continue reading.


I got a chance to test out a few of Beauty Counter’s products so that I could review them honestly and give you guys some insight into which products might work for you. I have to say, I was quite impressed with the products I tried. I’m a girl who sticks to a modified (think 4-5 steps instead of 10) version of the K-beauty skincare routine. (Here’s an article talking about the 10 step K-Beauty Routine.) With that said, I found that many Beauty Counter products fit into my routine seamlessly and are products that I would purchase myself.


Oil Cleanser

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If you pay any attention to skincare blogs, YouTube videos, or have taken a step into Sephora or Ulta recently, then you’ve seen or heard of these. They come in many forms, but the most popular ones these days have been the solid oil cleansers that you rub between your finger to soften and then on to your face to remove all makeup and other impurities.

For those who may be hearing this for the first time and have an aversion to oil because you already have oily skin, don’t worry. Contrary to what you may believe if you use these kinds of products, your skin won’t become even more greasy (given that you wash it off thoroughly and follow up with a water-based cleanser).

There are major benefits to using oil based cleansers. First, it really does clean your face. If you have makeup on, it all melts away. But as someone who wears makeup every blue moon, I always thought it would be pointless to add to my routine. I was wrong! My skin has never felt softer and more hydrated in my life.


Day Cream

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While I liked this product, I couldn’t really tell the difference of what it was doing to my skin over time. My skin generally does better with jelly-like moisturizers and in the really cold months, heavy ones. If your skin is sensitive and oily, I feel like you would really enjoy this moisturizer. It’s light, so light you can’t really feel it on your skin, which is always a plus. Though it didn’t really work for me, I have no doubt that It’ll work for some of you so definitely give it a try.


Night Cream and Eye Cream

These are two separate products, but I thought I would talk about them together because my conclusion for each was the same; I really liked them! I had never used a night cream or an eye cream before, but I liked them so much, I made them both a part of my day and night routines. Both lotions are thick and rich, (the night cream was the thicker of the two) which is exactly what my skin needs this time of year. I know many of you can relate when I say dry skin is a major issue during the colder months. If that’s the case for you, you’ll really enjoy these products, especially if you use them in conjunction with the cleansing balm at night. The creaminess of the night cream will speak for itself, but the eye cream despite my preconceived notions really made a difference as well. I was one of those people who never really believed in eye creams, but after trying this one, I could really tell the difference it was making. I definitely enjoyed the extra hydration and plumpness under eyes, and it really brightened up my face overall.


Plumping Mask #2

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As a face mask junkie, I found this mask to be quite interesting. It’s a pink mask when in liquid form, but turns white as it drys on your face. I left mine on for 10 minutes and washed it off with warm water. It left my skin feeling clean and my pores smaller time-and-time again. This is expected due to the clay used in the mask, but it’s not uncommon to feel dried out after using clay masks. With this mask, in particular, that was not a problem. My face felt quite hydrated, and of course, I followed up with the night cream which added even more moisture to my skin.


Overall, I was quite impressed with Beauty Counter. I think they do a good job of keeping things natural but also making sure they still work. Often times, natural beauty brands have natural and organic products, but they simply don’t get the job done. That was not true for Beauty Counter.

While I don’t think I would invest in every product I’ve discussed, the products I would continue to purchase are the night cream and the cleansing balm. They left my skin feeling SO hydrated. But keep in mind that just because that’s my opinion, that doesn’t have to be yours. We all have different skin types and what works for me might not work for you.

So if you’re curious you should definitely check them out for yourself. You can view and purchase any and all Beauty Counter products here. My friend Anna McClung is a Beauty Counter consultant and will take care of all of your orders. She was kind enough to offer free shipping if you order before March 26th using the code Sydney’s social. But even if you happen to read this post after the 26th, you should still check it out.

If you have any questions about the products, how to become a preferred customer (it’s a $30 upfront fee, but you get free products and 15% credit after you’re approved), or a consultant you can contact Anna directly on Instagram (@annam37) or by email at annamcclung37@gmail.com.

Again, guys, you should care just as much about what you put on your body as what you put in it. There are always healthier alternatives, you just have to seek them out. This is just one of the health alternatives I found and I wanted to share it with you all.

Comment below what products you want to try, or products that you’ve tried already. I’d love to hear your opinions.

Until next time, get up, get moving, and live your best life!

 

 

Black Panther was Revolutionary! Here’s why…

The power and importance of seeing people who look like you in positions of power have never been more clear than this past weekend when I saw Black Panther, not once but twice. To see what was almost a fully black cast, black directed, depicting people, especially women, of color in positions of power, and the mutual respect among men and women has forever changed my view of what is possible, and what is inherently learned through socialization and colonization.

Despite this being a film, that, of course, is based in a made up world, it sheds light on the equality between genders that I pray our nation and world reach one day. It also depicted the strength of black leadership, which is often a story left untold and mostly absent or in the dark both in the real world and in the imaginative arts.

A lot of the commentary around the film has been that it is great for little brown children to see because it can change their perception of what they can be for the better. But as a 22-year-old (child) I must say it has done the same for me.

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To give a full review of this film would be doing it a huge a disservice. If you must know, just go watch it and form your own opinions. But as someone who loves all things Marvel and superhero related, I am so thankful to the cast and crew of Black Panther, for creating the narrative I longed to see during my childhood, and for breaking the glass ceiling, showing me and others the possibility and opportunity out there.

Who knew that a major black film, a superhero film, would ever be made? This film broke down barriers, not only making me even prouder to be black and proud to be of the cultures I come from, but to push me further into pursuing dreams I didn’t think were possible because I had never seen them done before.

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To quote one of my favorite actresses and role model:

“I think we all see ourselves better when we can see ourselves in someone else.” – Lupita Nyang’o

I couldn’t agree more with that statement. Thank you for being one of the many I could see myself in, Lupita.

Until next time, get up get moving, and GO WATCH BLACK PANTHER… oh and live your best life! 😊

Retired College Athletes: My New Passion Project

Hello wonderful people! I hope this Thursday is treating you well!

Today’s post is a mix of two things: an announcement and an ask for help.

For those of you who may be new to my blog, I’m a former college athlete. I played basketball for the better part of my youth (since I was 7) and for four years in college.

My college athletic story… well, I haven’t shared much of it on this platform. To be honest,  even a full year later, I’m still digesting my career, everything that happened, all that went into it, etc.

But I know I’m not the only one. When you’ve played a sport your whole life and then it stops one day, things can seem a bit weird. The word “closure” or lack thereof comes to mind and everyone deals with it differently.

From chatting with friends and fellow college athlete acquaintances I’ve met along the way, I’ve heard some amazing, heart-breaking, crazy, triumphant, and incredible stories of their time in college athletics and I would love to highlight those stories in my newest passion project: Retired College Athletes.

Retired College Athletes will be a blog, podcast, and ultimately a book of stores from former college athletes. It’s about us speaking transparently about how our college athletic experiences were in hopes of gaining perspective from other former athletes’ stories, but also giving valuable information to aspiring college athletes as well. Don’t you wish you knew then what you know now? I sure do!

So please, share it all, the amazing, great, good, bad and ugly. My only caveat is that it’s true.

In years past, it seems as though the only college athletic stories I’ve heard are of those who went on to be pros in their sport. While that’s wonderful and I invite anyone who has had the opportunity to do so to contribute, I think it’s about time people hear from the rest of us, the 98%.

There are over 400,000 NCAA student-athletes, and [98%] of us will go pro in something other than sports.

With all that said, I would REALLY REALLY appreciate it if you could spread the word about this passion project. For those who may be interested, there is a survey to fill out. It is only for former college athletes, but I would love to find ways to incorporate others as well, so leave your suggestions in the comments. (I’m not kidding, I’m open to any suggestions!)

Also, please spread the word! Share the survey link with those you feel might be interested.

Your stories are the driving force behind this project. Tell your story and help future college athletes be better informed going into what will be a life-changing experience for them.

The survey will be open until February 18th, 2018 Thank you in advance! You guys are the best!

Until next time, get up, get moving and live your best life!

Target’s Universal Thread Clothing Line is like Madewell But Cheaper

I love Madewell! My love for their clothing began last summer, 2017, when I traded in my old pair of American Eagle jeans during their recycled jean drive in exchange for my first pair of Madewell jeans.

Until that point, I felt that all jeans were built the same, so why jeans would ever cost over $100+ was beyond me. The pair of jeans I got were $135, but fortunately, I didn’t have to pay a dime. I was one of the first 10 people in line at their jean recycling event, so I got mine for free!

Since then, I’ve had a hard time taking them off.  But my perspective on jeans wasn’t the only thing that changed that day.

 

 

 

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I got the 10″ high-rise skinny jeans in the Danny wash from Madewell.

 

Have you ever walked into a Madewell store, or any store, and thought to yourself, “Wow, I could buy everything!” You pick up a shirt and say, “This is definitely my style.” Then you walk over to next shirt and say the same thing. Oh, and the skirts in the corner,  it must be a coincidence, but they’re totally something you would wear too.

Now you’re faced with a dilemma. You have Madewell taste, but not Madewell money. I get it, sometimes you really do get what you pay for. Madewell clothing generally lasts a long time, and in the long run can be worth the money. But when you’re trying to gear up for the incoming season and picking out the latest trends, I don’t think you want to drop stacks at that store. So how can you get around it? Universal Threads!


What is Universal Thread?

Universal Thread is a new brand only available at Target. It just launched this past weekend, February 4th, 2018.

Now, I’ve been one to steer clear of Target clothes because I haven’t had the best luck with them. The quality of their clothing (not their shoes) has always left something more to be desired. But this past weekend I fumbled into Target to get a few kitchen supplies, and as usual, I found myself in a section of the store I had no business being in, the women’s shoes and clothing department.

I distinctly remember a woman saying, “Now, these are my type of prices,” and like the well-trained bargain shopper I am, my ears perked up. She was holding up a striped faux linen (it was 100% cotton) button down shirt that if someone threw it into a Madewell story, you honestly couldn’t tell the difference.

I quickly picked up my size and continued to look around. From sweaters to shoes, and shirts I was quite impressed. They have the same vibe as Madewell, classic/preppy style, and a neutral color scheme, but the biggest difference between the two are the prices.

Universal Thread clothing is generally under $40, while Madewell clothing is usually $50+. I will say, the biggest reason for this price disparity is the fabrics that each company use. Madewell is known for their leather, while Universal Thread uses faux leather. You will also find more acrylic fabric in Universal Thread clothing as well, so it depends on what is most important to you, price or quality.

Here is how similar these brands look.


Madewell

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Universal Threads

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In my opinion, they are quite similar, and that’s great for anyone who is trying to look good on a budget. So next time you’re in Target, be sure to check out their clothing section and look for Universal Thread. If you like Madewell at all, I’m sure you’ll find something you like from the Universal Thread line.

As always, if you found this blog post to be helpful or informative please share it on social media and subscribe so that you never miss a post.

Until next time, get up, get moving, and live your best life!