Here Comes The Bride

Sunday, April 30 marked only 97 more days until my sister, Morgan Vanderhei says, “I do.”

Welcome sign was purchased on Zazzle, along with the other framed signs.

My mom and a couple of her bridesmaids and I had been planning the details of her Bridal shower for quite some time now and they all came to fruition.  Thankfully and much to our contentment, she loved everything (couldn’t be happier).  Are you working to plan a bridal shower or wedding event in the upcoming future?  Here are some more photos and details about the day:


All the shower guests absolutely loved the mimosa bar, it was a huge hit!  Highly recommend it.
Surprisingly enough, the lace and burlap runners adorning the tables were also purchased at Walmart (Vintage Burlap and Lace).  One of my favorite aspects, decoration wise of the shower were most definitely the “BRIDE” balloons I got at Party City.  I was able to pre-order them, pay for them ahead of time, and scheduled to pick them up Saturday morning when I left to drive home (so convenient).

The balloons helped create a focal point for the room.IMG_5217IMG_5147IMG_5077IMG_5079Now the countdown to the wedding commences!
We played a classic newlywed game where I asked Andrew questions ahead of time, wrote his answers on large sheets of paper, and had her guess her answers on the spot on a dry-erase board.  All of the guests received the fifteen questions and were able to fill out their guesses prior to Morgan making her guesses, super fun!

My favorite game was without a doubt ‘Bridal Shower Bingo’, played while Morgan was opening gifts.  I purchased the cards off of Zazzle and filled them out myself.  I thought it was a creative, unique game that connected the guests with the bride-to-be while she was opening presents (which let’s be honest, can get kind of boring).  Even better, I got amazing feedback that people thoroughly enjoyed the bingo game.IMG_5118The adorable, lavender bars of soap were shower favors for all the guests that we placed on the tables.  Amy, one of the bridesmaids purchased them from the Good Earth Soap based in Kewaunee, Wisconsin-be sure to check out their Facebook and website for more, homemade products!

Have any more questions?  Feel free to comment below or email me!



#OnTheGo Protein Breakfast Smoothie

A couple weeks ago at a speaking engagement, a woman was telling me how she typically skips breakfast because she’s constantly rushing to get her kids ready and out the door to school before she goes to work.  Although I don’t have children, I expressed how I sympathized with her running around in the early mornings and quite frankly not usually being hungry at that point in time.  I joke on a regular basis that I “run of coffee and protein bars,” but it’s not far from the truth until lunch time rolls around.

One saving grace that still allows me to leave my house on time in the morning, take my breakfast with me, and still get the necessary nutrients (and more) that I need to fuel my body is my daily protein breakfast smoothies.

Breakfast Smoothie

Let’s be honest, the majority of people don’t openly LOVE kale or spinach.  Putting them into the smoothie ensures you’re still getting those veggie vitamins without having to choke it down with a hideous cringe on your face.  I just throw it all into my Hamilton Single-Serve blender, mix everything up, and pour it into my Blender bottle and I’m ready to go!

Have any other questions about the products I use for this recipe?  Comment below!


Redefining “Thankful”

It will never happen to me.

They’re normal thoughts that inevitably cross our minds when we encounter or hear of a tragedy, accident, or unfortunate event that happens to someone else.

As I was driving home to Wisconsin Rapids on Tuesday, November 22 for an extended Thanksgiving weekend with family my mindset on how loosely I use and feel about the rather emotionally packed word, “thankful” completely changed-just in time for the true value of the term to sink in the hardest it ever has before.

I knew it had been raining for the good part of the afternoon and the forecast called for more rain into the evening hours.  I checked the weather outlook, the temperatures appeared to be well above freezing (abnormally warm for this time of year).  So I decided to hit the road as planned after I finished on air in the six o’clock news.  The highway was fine from La Crosse to Tomah, as I pulled off I-90 and decided to go through McDonald’s for a burger and fries after realizing my hunger needed to be met before the rest of the trek home.  I scarfed down my burger and snacked on my fries as I got back on the road, shortly there after turning onto Highway 173 towards Babcock.  If you’re at all familiar with this road, you know that it’s built on a former main line for the Wisconsin Valley Railroad, traveling through central wetlands, and seemingly never ends.  I always joke that my biggest fear is breaking down, running out of gas, or getting into an accident on this stretch because (1) I’m afraid of the dark (2) It’s practically a scene straight out of a horror movie, but I never imagined something would happen.

About 10 minutes into that long, desolate stretch of highway, I called home to let them know my whereabouts and talked to one of my younger brothers, Ridge.  I joked about being stuck behind a semi truck (which always seems to happen on that road) and told him I should be home in about 30 to 40 minutes, even though I was most likely further out than that (I always underestimate just how long it takes to travel on that stretch and then make the drive from Babcock, through Nekoosa to Wisconsin Rapids).  As I hung up and set my phone back down into my cup holder, I had this odd, eerie feeling as if something wasn’t right.  For a fleeting moment I thought “What if I don’t make it home?”  I know it sounds so peculiar, but now, reflecting back it was as though God was trying to warn me.

For a few minutes I thought back on my fairly decent track record with driving and my one accident as a junior in high school that wasn’t my fault.  Those thoughts were fleeting as my attention quickly turned to how excited I was to get home, surprise my 17-year-old brothers with an early Christmas present tickets to the Badger, Gopher football game on Saturday, and to spend time with my loved ones.

I was driving under the legally marked speed limit off 55 miles per hour, had both my hands on the steering wheel, was not using cruise control, had my seat belt properly strapped across my body and buckled tight, and was singing Dan + Shay’s new song, “How Not To,” when the unthinkable happened.  I hit a slick spot on the road, catching slush under my tires I began to fishtail.

I remember trying to turn my steering wheel in an effort to straighten myself out on the narrow roadway while gentling pressing the break as to not make matters worse, but the situation escalated nonetheless.  My jeep slid sideways into the other lane before tipping into the ditch on my passenger side and flipping upside down.  Someone asked me if I was screaming as that would be their initial reaction, but the truth is I can’t remember exactly what was said other than “No!”  I know as I began sliding I started to say, “No…no…no…” and as the ditch became more apparent my tone, volume, and urgency escalated into a yell and a slight cry as I put both my hands up to the ceiling to brace myself against the roof of my vehicle.  As I felt myself flipping and heard the crunch of my vehicle against the quiet marsh ditch, my only thoughts were, “Please God, let me make it home to my family.”

It all happened so fast, but rather slow at the same time.  The thoughts that passed through my mind in that fleeting moment and the images of those I cherish most that flashed before my eyes are things I will never forget.  Before I knew it, I was upside down, looking around my vehicle in a state of shock I reached for my phone that was now lying on my windshield (thankfully) still plugged into the outlet charging (keeping it from shattering or flying around my vehicle to an unreachable spot).  I immediately called 911, letting them know I was somewhere in the middle of Highway 173, had went off the road, and that I was okay.  While talking to dispatch, a light abruptly began shining through my driver’s window.  Shaking, I stretched out to roll down the window.  It was a man who had been traveling behind me and watched the accident unfold, a UW-La Crosse student.  He tried to open my door, but was unsuccessful.  Thankfully, he was able to open my back passenger door as I unbuckled my seat belt, crawled into the back seat and texted my dad, “I went off the road on 173, I’m fine. You’re going to want to come.”

I turned to look at the front seats to see items that were sitting beside me just minutes ago floating in water.  I began grabbing bags and handing them to him, as I attempted to calm myself down and embrace the fact that, “I’m okay, I’m okay.”  He told me to take my time as I attempted to joke about how I over packed and now it’s an inconvenience in more ways than me making multiple trips out to my car to leave my house.  He helped me carry my bags to his car as we sat in the heat attempting to warm up, waiting for police and first responders to arrive.

When fire fighters and responders arrived on scene they checked to see if I was okay, I just kept saying, “Yes, I’m fine,”  looking over at my vehicle in disbelief that I was indeed, fine. They left, calling for a tow truck, leaving me with a local first responder as I continued to wait for police and my dad.  I sat in the truck, tearing up on and off as I attempted to wrap my head around what had just happened.  I was texting my best friend, roommate and dad when they arrived on scene.  I relayed to the officer what had happened, watched the tow truck flip my Jeep over, pull it out of the ditch, and up onto the bed of the truck as I saw my dad pull up behind the officers I walked over hugging him and both my brothers as tight as I could.

My vehicle was towed to Rapids and aside from my engine being waterlogged and a few minor (barely visible) dents on the roof and passenger side it’s fine too.  I’m still in disbelief and rattled at what happened and most likely will be for quite some time, but the important thing is just how thankful I am that I am okay.  A variety of outcomes could have followed the incident and I’m grateful for the way things unraveled that evening (and for my incredible guardian angels that were watching over me). The scare of the unknown allowed me to reflect and realize just how incredibly thankful I was in that moment and am over this holiday season and at this point in my life, not just over Thanksgiving.  I have a loving family who are truly my best friends, incredible friends and connections scattered throughout the state and in different parts of the country, and a job I love that allows me to meet new people, share stories, and positively impact the community I’m blessed to still call home.

Whatever God has in store for my future or for your future is unknown, that’s why it’s called the future.  While it’s nice to plan, dream, and wish for things you want to accomplish and obtain, sometimes it’s best just to stop and appreciate what you have right now, in this moment-your life.  Personally, there’s countless goals I hope to achieve, places I want to travel to, new adventures I would like to try, and certain people who I pray to have by my side through it all.  But the truth is, who knows if any or all of those things will actually happen.  Trials and tribulations have a way of showing us what really matters and guiding us in the direction we’re supposed to go.  Learn from mistakes, find the strength to move forward from hardships, and trust in His plan.  I may not know with certain what’s going to happen from year to year, monthly, hourly, or even from minute to minute.  However, one thing I do know for sure is that this moment is something you can’t get back.  Listen closely to others, create new memories, cherish old memories, hug your loved ones tight, and love unconditionally in the present because things can change in the blink of an eye.



What I’ve Learned as a Multi-Media Journalist

I’ve hit my one year marker working as a Multi-Media Journalist.  The past twelve months haven’t been easy, but it’s been a rewarding journey thus far to say the least.

If someone asked me ten or even five years ago what I wanted to be, I would’ve said I was pursuing a career in sports medicine and laughed if anyone told me otherwise.  Yet, as fate would have it, life and God had other plans in store for me.  I arrived at college with intent of earning an Athletic Training degree and pursing a pre-professional track towards a Physical Therapy degree.  As I dove deeper into coursework, I quickly realized sports medicine wasn’t for me (despite how much I love sports).  In turn, I changed my degree to Communication Studies and Sports Broadcasting.

It’s crazy to think I graduated a year and half ago already…where does the time go?!  I received an Organizational and Professional Communication Studies degree from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse in May of 2015, securing and starting an internship with WXOW News 19, the local ABC affiliate prior to receiving my diploma.  After a few months of being known as the “Quintern” and developing my camera, writing, and broadcasting skills I was offered a full-time Multi-Media Journalist position with the station-which I gladly accepted. Enough about my back story, let’s be honest most of you probably know it already or don’t care to hear details about my life, I get it.  I’ll get to the main focus of this post.  The fact of the matter is, over the course of the past year as a local television reporter I’ve developed my on camera speaking skills, enhanced my ability to edit quickly on deadlines, met many incredible people in the community, heightened my knowledge of how broadcasting works, polished my interview skills, improved my writing ability, and expanded my creative eye for capturing unique video shots for stories.  However, there are also a few broader life lessons I’ve learned along the way as a Multi-Media Journalist, that are applicable to anyone no matter what profession you’re

  1. Establishing community connections is key.  The time old argument between what is more useful: education or experience is one that will continuously be debated for years to come.  One thing is for certain, no matter what you do in life or where your journey takes you-it’s all about WHO you know.  Establishing relationships is what helped me start my broadcasting career in college with a local internship with Coulee Region Sports Network.  Furthermore, creating and maintaining positive connections with local business owners, community leaders, managers, students, etc. is what helps me discover and create stories for broadcast on a daily basis.  Ask for business cards, give others your business card, think of something unique about people you meet that will help you remember them the next time you run into them, and remember that neither of you will most likely remember what was talked about, but people always remember how you make them feel.
  2. Planning is a crucial component in success.  Sure, there are days when I’m rushing around, stories pop up out of no where, and I’m not prepared in the least bit; forcing me to think quick on my feet.  However, for the most part, the extra time I spend reading up on my story, doing some research, and talking to experts to get a better understanding of what I’m reporting on not only makes me feel more comfortable with the subject matter but makes the quality of my work that much better.  This applies to many different things in life.  As the saying goes, “haste makes waste.” 
  3. Appearance plays a large role in others’ perceptions and your attitude.  Waking up an hour earlier or even a half hour earlier to get ready and ensure you like your outfit and the way you look for the day plays a factor in a lot of things.  First off, it provides you with the confidence, poise, and not to mention, feel good attitude to start the day.  Second, being a reporter comes with a self-image that needs to be maintained within the community.  Whether you expect it or not, people are going to start recognizing you at some point and it’s important to keep up that well-rounded, professional perception they view you in when they’re watching you on their TV at home or when they run into you in the community.  Even if you aren’t in the broadcast profession, maintaining your appearance and presenting a well-rounded image shows people that you take pride in yourself, possess keen organizational skills, and value time management-trust me friends, it stems a lot deeper than looks.  It gives others a glimpse into your professionalism, values, and what kind of person (and employee) you are.
  4. A firm handshake, good eye contact, and a smile go a very long way. Soft skill sets are many times overlooked in our society as people let a fast paced, technology driven lifestyle consume them.  Despite the apparent lack of strong, face-to-face communication abilities, there’s no doubt those qualities still play an instrumental role in relationships, achieving goals, and attaining success.  Remember, a first impression can never be redone.  As one of my favorite quotes says, “Your smile is your logo, your personality is your business card, how you leave others feeling after an experience with you becomes your trademark,” let your impact be a positive, memorable one. 
  5. Pour your heart, time, and energy into work, but prioritize time with family and friends too.  Finding a healthy balance between work and leisure can be difficult.  Waking up early to work 9+ hours then coming home to a never-ending to-do list is tiresome and quite frankly most of the time I end of falling asleep from pure exhaustion and waking up even more stressed than the previous day knowing everything I need to accomplish (the struggle is real friends).  It’s in those moments of chaos you remember to prioritize spending time with friends and family because it’s those precious, fleeting moments that you can’t get back.  While it’s vital that you invest in your work too, it’s even more important to embrace those that mean the most to you.
  6. Life gets lonely and work is time consuming-make time for YOU.  During the first year of my full-time career I was the “Weekend Multi-Media Journalist” for my station (the normal progression for a new reporter in the business).  This meant that I typically that Mondays were my Friday, I had Tuesdays and Wednesdays off for my “weekend,” and I worked Saturdays and Sundays.  In addition to that skewed schedule, I was on call Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights which meant that I took a camera and tripod home and needed to be ready to go with the ring of a phone call if there happened to be breaking news.  This limited my nightly plans, forced me to turn down chances to hang out with friends, and didn’t allow me to travel home or visit friends.  I would be lying if I said I wasn’t lonely or slightly depressed at times.  Constantly coming home to my tiny, one bedroom apartment and always thinking about work even when I was clocked out.   With that being said, it’s paramount to create YOU time and force yourself to develop a way to transition out of work mode.  Whether it’s a certain point at your drive home that you stop thinking about work or a ritual when you arrive home that ensures you relax a bit, keep your mental and emotional health in mind.
  7. ALWAYS say yes to new adventures.  As a reporter, I’ve had the opportunity to do things I never would’ve had the chance to do in different fields (that’s pretty neat if you ask me).  Throughout those experiences like: crawling into an old WWII plane, learning how to ski while I helped break a Guinness Book of World Records,  covering a behind-the-scenes story on EPSN’s College GameDay, and standing waist deep in a cranberry bog while reporting on harvest, I’ve learned a deeper, much more valuable lesson-say yes to adventures and never miss an opportunity to cross an item off your bucket list!
  8. Make time for exercise and healthy eating habits.  It seems like a crazy, extremely simple concept (I know).  Nonetheless, when your daily schedule is as unstable as that of a Multi-Media Journalist’s it’s helpful to plan out meals and work out times.  That may mean waking up an hour earlier in the morning to go for a run or driving to the gym after the 6 p.m. show when all you really want to do is curl up with a bowl of popcorn in your bed.  But it’s those decisions that help provide you with ample energy to put all your time and energy into your work and personal life.  It’s easy to pick up unhealthy food choices on the go, but you’ll pay for it later.  By taking charge of my consumption and choosing fruits, veggies, protein, excess water, and minimal lattes I’ve drastically noticed a positive shift in my mood, energy, and perception on tasks I need to accomplish both in the newsroom and at home.
  9. Comfortable shoe choices are always in style.  I’m a pageant girl, I’ve competed in the Miss America Organization for six years and love heels.  Yet, I’ll be the first to tell you that on the days I choose to wear heels to work, I typically have flats tucked away in my bag.  On those days, in the instance when I go to grab my camera, camera bag, tripod, purse, and microphones I typically regret my decision to rock 3 to 4 inch pumps even though they go with my outfit perfectly.  Sure they may look good, but they’ll leave your feet screaming at the end of the day.  There’s also that chance you get called to a story that’s not heel conducive, say a muddy field or construction zone.  In those situations it helps to be prepared with those flats and/or keeping a pair of rain boots under your desk (a lesson I learned the hard way this past year).
  10. Embrace successes, but always remind yourself there’s room for improvement.  I continuously save clips of myself on-air in the studio, live shots of me out in the community, and stand-ups from longer stories to my computer.  I recently looked back at clips from when I first started and couldn’t help but laugh, smile, and feel humbled all at the same time.  It helped me realize that each day is a learning opportunity and while I’m thankful I have gained so much knowledge and experience in my field over the past 12+ months, there’s always room to improve.  It’s a valuable lesson that many of us tend to forget as we get wrapped up in the moment, yet it’s one that helps keep us thankful for the past and grounded and hungry as we look toward the future.

If you’re a reporter or have worked in the broadcasting business, there’s other trivial aspects you’re probably familiar with that most certainly teach valuable lessons.  Like learning how to continuously back up your stories so you don’t lose your work when your editing software freezes (be prepared for all possibly outcomes).  Or always bringing a spare battery out on a story just in case yours does quicker than expected or you’re called to breaking news (again, preparation is everything).

I’ve been fortunate enough to begin my career in the same city I moved to as a relatively naive 18-year-old, eager to begin college while learning more about myself and what I wanted out of my future.  This is the same city that showed me through trials and tribulations what I was meant to do with my profession and provided me with the connections and tools to make it happen.  I don’t know with certainty where my career will take me in the years to come, but I do know one thing-this city will always hold a special place in my heart.

“In La Crosse, Tianna Vanderhei WXOW News 19.”Want to follow my journey from here and stay up-to-date on my stories?

Be sure to check out WXOW-Tianna Vanderhei on Facebook, @WXOWVanderhei on Twitter, and @TiannaVanderheiTV on Instagram.

Pumpkin Planters for Fall

I spent my Saturday morning following through with an adorable (and extremely easy) DIY project to add some festive fall feel to my front steps.

Things you’ll need:

  • Two standard jack-o-lantern candy buckets (or more depending on where you plan to place them)
  • A can of gold spray paint
  • Blank paint and a paint brush (optional if you’d like to repaint the face on after the spray paint dries)
  • Scissors
  • Mums or fall flowers of your choice!
  • Potting soil
  • Gardening gloves

img_1423img_14211. First and foremost, I purchased two jack-o-lantern candy baskets and gold spray paint from Walmart and bought a planter of three different mums from a local flower shop.

Set everything out together and start by spraying the pumpkin buckets with the gold spray paint at a far enough distance to avoid running (do not spray paint the bottom of the buckets yet).img_14332. Cut the handles off of the pumpkin buckets.  Touch-up holes around the handles with more spray paint if necessary. (Keeping the handles on while you spray the buckets provides you with something to grab onto while avoiding getting paint all over your hands).IMG_1434.JPG3. Flip the containers upside down and spray the bottoms.  Leave them for about 30 minutes to an hour to ensure they dry properly.IMG_1435.JPG4. Carefully separate the mums and transplant them into each of the jack-o-lantern buckets.  Use the extra potting soil to gently move the plant’s branches aside and fill in the rounded gaps.img_14375.  Place your new, shiny, DIY planters wherever your heart desires!  You can turn them so the jack-o-lantern faces outward leading up to Halloween and/or turn them around so just the pumpkin front shows-perfect for extending the decor through Thanksgiving.img_1447img_1448Take some time to unleash your creativity and let your DIY skills do their work!



When you say Wisconsin…

…you’ve said it all.

Well, that’s how the song goes anyways and as a proud Sconnie, I’d have to say that statement isn’t too far off. There are plenty of natural amenities, key attractions, and attributes about the Midwest that make it the best place to live (I’m biased), but Wisconsin especially.

First off, let’s open up the history books. Prior to Wisconsin becoming a state, the region was explored by French explorer, Jean Nicolet who landed in Green Bay in 1634. Did you know, Green Bay is the oldest city in the state? Yup, that’s right, the Green Bay Packers aren’t the only historic piece of Titletown my friends. In 1660, a French trading post and Roman Catholic mission were established near present day Ashland (northern Wisconsin). Then following the Revolutionary War, Wisconsin was organized as a territory on July 4, 1836. Finally, Wisconsin entered the union and adopted the present constitution in 1848.

The Badger State is geographically unique in the fact that thousands of years ago, most of Wisconsin was impacted by glaciers; scraping the hills and leaving behind rich deposits and lakes. The state can be divided into five land areas: the Lake Superior Lowland, the Eastern Ridges and Lowlands (Great Lakes Plains), the Northern Highland (or Superior Upland), the Central Plain, and the Western Upland. In turn, Wisconsin embodies a wide variety of terrain that allows for a multitude of recreational activities. From fishing, to water sports, to rock climbing, hiking, and biking, there’s something for everyone to do in dairy land.

Here Are Some Fun Facts About the Dairy State:

  • Blue Moon ice cream was created in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1950. You can only get it in Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Michigan.
  • The first hydroelectric plant in the U.S. was built on the Fox River in 1882.
  • The Republican Party was founded in Ripon in 1854.
  • One of the most famous national parks located in Wisconsin is Devils Lake. It was first established in the early 1900s. It is the oldest and most visited park in Wisconsin that welcomes 5 million visitors annually.
  • The original Barbie doll was created and manufactured in the state of Wisconsin. Barbie’s full mane is Barbie Millicent Roberts.
  • With an average of 2,500 performers, Milwaukee’s Summerfest is the nation’s largest music festival.
  • The state song, “On Wisconsin!” was established in 1959, but it’s been popular since 1909.
  • Wisconsin’s main exports are diary, cranberries, whey (Wausau is the capital of the world), ginseng root, and sweet corn.
  • Minnesota may be the “land of 10,000 lakes,” but the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources publishes a listing of more than 16,692 lakes.
  • The state dance is polka, established in 1993, it represents the rich German and Polish background of our ancestors.
  • Why is Wisconsin nicknamed the Badger State? Early miners in the region either lived in mine shafts or dug their homes out of the sides of hills, thus resembling the tendencies of badgers.
  • When it comes to Wisconsin’s ethnic roots, settlers were 42.6 percent German, 10.9 percent Irish, 9.3 percent Polish, 8.5 percent Norwegian, and 6.5 percent English.
  • The first ice cream sundae was introduced in Two Rivers in 1925. It was the first time that cherries and a banana were used to complement the sundae flavor. (You’re welcome world)

On Wisconsin!

10 Beauty Tips Women Need to Stop and Start Doing

There’s beauty practices that we, as women do on a regular basis and don’t really think twice about or frankly don’t care about enough. They’re little things that we may know aren’t the best or are things we could improve on drastically, yet we continuously ignore the little, positive voice of reasoning in our head (myself including).

Yet, when it comes to our bodies, skin, and beauty, small choices now can make a huge impact later in life. Not to mention, they play an instrumental role in boosting our emotions, confidence, and positive self-esteem.Here are 10 things women need to stop and start doing for their own health and well-being:

1. Not washing make-up off before bed. We’ve heard it time and time again, “Wash your make-up off before you to to bed,” we’ve even told ourselves it…yet, inevitably we still end up falling asleep with cover-up coating our faces and mascara lining our lashes. So how bad is it to skip this step before slumber? Sleeping in make-up results in unnecessary exposure to free radicals, which the make-up holds onto. Free radicals breakdown healthy collagen in our skin and clog pores, resulting in acne. Also, during the daytime we accumulate stress and when you sleep with make-up on, we’re not allowing our skin to recover; this can lead to premature aging (wrinkles, oh no!). Obviously, one night of sleeping with your make-up on isn’t likely to cause serious damage, but making this a regular habit will.

2. Switch up your shampoo. A good rule of thumb? Think of your hair like your skin, when the seasons or environment changes your skin can range from dry and rough to oily and smooth, the same goes for your hair. Changing shampoo on a regular basis and using different formulas will help keep your hair healthy, volumized, shiny, and smooth.

3. Not moisturizing your face. First of all, by using a moisturizer (morning and night) you’re providing a base for your make-up which will help it look flawless. When you don’t use a moisturizer, you lose a layer of protection due to the fact that many of them now include an SPF, making our skin become dry, dull, and sometimes flaky. Trust me friends, spare the few extra seconds and apply a moisturizer that fits your skin type.

4. Thinking of lotion as an annoyance or added part of a morning/night routine. Lotion is an incredible product that helps to replenish dry skin, makes you feel and smell good,

5. Consuming excess lattes and drinks high in sugar and not enough water. Yes, coffee is a necessity in ensuring you get through your day and undoubtedly are also pleasant to every one you come in contact with (I get it). However, the sugar, artificial sweeteners, and calories add up quickly. If your latte intake is extreme like mine, try cutting down your consumption on a weekly basis and replace those drinks with green or black tea to provide you with a more natural source of energy. If you like black coffee, that’s also a viable substitute.

The whole, “drink 8-eight ounce glasses of water a day,” spiel is a timeless one health officials preach. The human body is made of 60 percent water and we’re constantly losing water due to urination and sweating. In turn, it’s important to consume an ample amount of H2O. Although other drinks and food can boost your fluid levels, water is the only substance that actually contributes to the balance. Also, water increases energy levels and improves brain functioning.

6. Start taking a multivitamin on a daily basis. Research has shown that aside from playing a key biochemical in the body, vitamins and minerals have countless antioxidants that help diminish the chances of chronic conditions such as heart disease, cancer, and dementia.  While you’ll get many antioxidants and minerals needed from fruits and vegetables, multivitamins are a good way to cover all of your bases (but are not a viable substitute).

7. Stop thinking solely about if a food tastes good or provides you comfort. Instead, ask yourself how a food will fuel your body and be mindful to cover all of your food groups.

8. Use aloe on a regular basis, not merely for after-sun exposure. Aloe is an incredible, multi-use plant that will help ensure your skin is looking it’s absolute best 365 days a year. I use an aloe lotion every single day, not just after being out in the summer sun. Why? Aloe

  • Aloe is an antibacterial and contains vitamins and minerals that can ease eczema and psoriasis flare-ups.
  • It can be used to remove make-up.
  • Substitute it as shaving cream. As stated, it’s antibacterial, slippery (allowing for a close shave), and it moisturizes (heck yes!).
  • Mixing 1 tbsp of aloe vera gel, with a tsp of almond milk, and a 1 tsp of lemon creates a natural, mineral based face wash that is ideal for sensitive skin, breakouts, and rosacea.
    • Want an anti-aging boost? Try mixing 1 tbsp of aloe with 1 tsp of 100 percent raw, organic coconut oil for a facial cleanse.
  • Aloe vera gel mixed with crushed up Aspirin creates an exfoliating face mask that reduces redness and moisturizes…what’s not to love?

9. Drink a glass of hot water and lemon in the morning. This morning ritual kick-starts your organs, helps to boost your immune system, and cleanses through detoxification. Personally, I try to drink a glass of hot water with raw honey, apple cider vinegar, and lemon in the morning. This combination not only aids in digestion, but it reduces belly fat, and increases your metabolism.

10. Don’t criticize your body, remember you’re your own harshest critic. Love yourself.