This was the best.day.ever. Thank you to everyone who helped make this possible. We love you.
Madeline (and Steven)
We’ve all heard about the hashtag #girlboss. It’s all over instagram and was made popular by Sophia Amoruso, the controversial CEO and founder of Nasty Gal (an online vintage clothing store). Her book, #girlboss, sparked this online hashtag and movement. While intended for a positive purpose, #girlboss is only inclusive of one type of woman, leaving out a good amount of women who make this world go round.
Girlboss: A confident, capable woman who pursues her own ambitions instead of working for others or otherwise settling in life.
I’ve used the hashtag numerous times on instagram posts, but it wasn’t until this week that it really started to bug me. I couldn’t figure out why at first. I’m only 22, I own my own business, I do what I love every day… so why do I not feel like a #girlboss. That’s when I realized just why #girlboss had been on nerves.
When Steven and I got married, I told him that I could never be a housewife. Not because I saw anything wrong with it, but because I LOVE what I do. I really truly enjoy working and wanted him to know that I was not going to give that up. Well, this past week, we’ve been joking that I’ve fully embraced being a housewife. The truth is, I’m in my slow season at work and Steven is in his busy season. He’s working 12-16 hours a day, meaning I’m spending some more time at home just to make sure the house stays clean, laundry stays done, and there’s food in the fridge. It also means that he is working nights and I’m not quite sure what to do after work. (I may be binge watching Law & Order and baking A LOT…) Steven is super supportive of whatever I want to do, but also is loving joking about how the tables have turned.
After all this joking, I really started thinking about my #girlboss status… In all honesty, I felt like because I wasn’t working on something regarding my business, I had lost my #girlboss title. Insecure me thought that I was losing everything I had worked so hard for because I was spending a good chunk of time supporting my husband and doing chores. I mean… you never see anyone saying #proudhousewife #Ilovelaundry #Dishesarethebest. It’s just not as glamorous as owning your own company.
But, if this past week has taught me anything, it’s that being at home is HARD WORK. We don’t have kids yet, but keeping the bills paid, laundry done, dinner cooked, and the house clean is not an easy task when you also work. (I kept finding myself breaking a sweat from all the vacuuming.) In all honesty, sitting at my desk with my coffee seemed like a dream in those moments. So what I’m wondering, is why we only glorify women who run their own companies? Why don’t we give props to all of the moms and wives who support their husband’s companies or careers, the women who work 2 jobs, are single moms, are nurses or doctors or police officers, who put their dreams aside and their family first?
I’m tired of feeling like putting my family first is me “settling”. I’m tired of feeling guilty for it. I’m all for women being successful and following their dreams, but why do I feel guilt when I choose to put my family or my marriage first?
I don’t have an answer or idea of how to change this… but I did want to let other women know that they’re not alone in feeling this way. Just because you don’t own your own company or make millions, doesn’t mean that you’re any less of a boss at whatever you choose to do. We all have a purpose in life and for some people it’s being a mom or a housewife. For some it’s being a teacher or a nurse. For some it IS running that multi million dollar company like a BOSS. Whatever it is, know that you’re a strong and powerful woman and I commend you for doing what you feel called to do, no matter how much money you make, how many people you employ or don’t employ, or how glamorous the job is. You serve a unique purpose and I think that’s pretty boss.
Is it really worth it?
I’ve seen these boxes all over my instagram for the past few years. I have always wondered if it was really worth the hype and if it was worth the money. I decided to finally take the plunge and try it out for myself.
If I’m being honest, upon opening the box it felt like Christmas morning. I couldn’t wait to see which goodies were in my individualized box. Some of the products are the same in every box, however some products are different. Depending on your level of membership, you can choose which ones make it into your box, but I loved not knowing and having the surprise factor.
Here is what was in my box!
I’m loving these scents! I normally wouldn’t spend this much money on essential oils. (I normally buy mine from Target.) However, you really could smell the quality in these oils. They are 100% natural pure grade and it shows!
This may be my favorite product from the box. I always struggle with bags under my eyes. No matter how much sleep I get, they always seem to be there. These eye masks worked like actual magic. I kept them on for 5 minutes and there was already a noticeable difference. I can’t wait to see the difference after multiple uses.
I’ve used a lot of Moroccan Gold Series products and have absolutely LOVED them all. They have all helped repair my colored and heat damaged hair. Because it is made with pure moroccan argan oil, the only thing I had to watch was how much I used it. Using these oil based products too frequently increased the amount of times that I had to wash my hair in a week. I would still highly recommend.
If you’re like me, you’re hesitant to put anything on your lips without know what is really in it. This brand of lipsticks are wonderful. They’re phenomenal quality and made without parabens, sulfates, and phthalates. It has an expensive price tag, but well worth it.
Y’all are gonna want to jump on this mask fast because it is limited edition! My skin gets SO dry in the winter and this mask helped bring my skin back to normal in only 5 minutes!!!
I use dry shampoo way more than I am willing to admit… It’s something everyone should have. I use it to freshen up my hair after a long flight, during a busy week when I just don’t have time, or on newly washed hair that is too soft to style. I’ve never used such expensive dry shampoo, so I did not know what to expect. Let me tell you. This dry shampoo was so light, I couldn’t even tell that my hair was dry shampooed. It didn’t give it that gross “whitish” tint, but left it looking fresh and natural. Due to the price tag, this is not something I’m going to buy regularly, but I was very surprised by the quality. I didn’t think dry shampoo could work that well.
I would be lying if I said I was a makeup guru… I’m just blessed to have a best friend that is a makeup artist. But in all honesty, this palette is beautiful. The tones are the perfect balance of natural and sparkle. I love eye shadows that I can wear during the day as well as make pop for that night out. This palette is perfect for that. I’s also a wonderful size for traveling when you don’t want to bring that huge travel case like me.
Available in two colors (as shown above). I was raised very frugal. Never in my life would I spend $49 on a throw. BUT HOLY COW IS THIS SOFT!!! It is so lightweight, but keeps me unbelievably warm on the couch. (I may just have to splurge for another!) This is also a GREAT gift idea.
I’ll be honest. I’ve never used a highlighter pencil before… Let me tell you. This was revolutionary. I was worried about how well it was going to blend, but I think it actually worked better than the powder type. I’m also a sucker for champagne colored anything. The only thing that I will say about this is I wish it sparkled more, however it is good for every day wear.
Well, that’s it for my fabfitfun box. I was worried about whether or not I would really enjoy this box. Turns out, I LOVED it. I used all of the products and really enjoyed the high quality of each product. There was nothing that I didn’t enjoy.
All in all, the products I received totaled $321 if bought individually. With fabfitfun, I received all of this for $49.99. If you’re interested in trying out a fabfitfun box or gifting one this year, use my link here and the code “SANTABABY” for $10 off your box.
Hope you have enjoyed this review!
One of my new year’s resolutions is to be honest and unapologetically me. I owe it to myself and I owe it to the wonderful people who have been following my journey. Sadly, that doesn’t always look so pretty. It is so incredibly easy to hide behind Instagram filters and act like working out is something glamorous and that I look like a Victorias Secret Sport commercial at all times. I wish that was the reality. I think a lot of women wish that was. Sadly, with social media, working out always looks so perfect. Every time I open the app there’s a beautiful picture of someone in a perfect workout outfit, barely breaking a sweat, lifting more than I weigh. I know where my security is in life, but still, those pictures can make anyone feel inadequate. I’m here to tell you that you are not alone. Working out is not pretty and you definitely do not have to like it.
Truth is, I HATE working out. With a passion. I mean, look at my shirt. It literally says, “I hate running”. I require a partner to do anything other than cardio, I complain through out the entirety of the workout, and at the end I try to convince them to get McDonalds with me. Working out is NOT for me. It doesn’t look glamorous at all. In fact, my friends laugh at my incompetence when it comes to figuring out the machines. In fact, the other day, my best friend Meg turned around for two minutes to put something away and somehow I flew off of the machine onto the ground. Still not sure how that one happened…
With Instagram though, I could definitely fool you. While I’m not incredibly strong, I’m an active person and do a good amount of cardio. I could convince you that I love working out, that my outfit is always on point, and I’m not huffing and puffing after five minutes. But that would be wrong.
I want you all to know that what you see on Instagram isn’t reality. Working out is hard. I do it because I want to be the healthiest me I can be. Doesn’t mean I have to like it though. I struggle to go to the gym. I struggle to not compare myself to the fitness pages on Instagram. I struggle to remind myself that what I see on Instagram is a false reality. I want you all to know that you are not alone. Fitness journeys are a struggle, especially when you love food as much as I do. Remember to not compare yourself to what you see on Instagram or any social media. You are a unique and beautiful individual. Focus on yourself and trying to be the healthiest, best you regardless of what the Instagram standard might be at the moment.
I recently graduated from college. Recently meaning a few short weeks ago. I was so unbelievably excited to be graduating (for obvious reasons), however I wish someone had given me a heads up about what was about to come next. I was overwhelmed with emotions. Some good, but a lot that were not so good. Everyone always talks about how wonderful graduation is, but no one prepared me for what really was going to happen after the graduation magic wore off.
You have just spent four or more years of your life in school, studying, cramming, eating ramen, and wondering if the $50,000 you’re paying every year is worth it. If you’re anything like me, you are absolutely dying to get out! I can not explain to you the feeling of sweet relief when you walk across that stage to get your diploma. Knowing that you did it. Knowing that you never have to take another test again or write another 20 page research paper. You will feel like a kid in a candy store for a good few weeks. Sadly, though, that overwhelming joy is going to slowly wear off. Your friends will move back home and start new jobs. Some will go on to travel. Some will continue their education. Suddenly, you’re not going to know what to do with yourself. You will wonder if that job was the right choice, if you should’ve traveled instead, and whether you want to pursue higher education or not. You will also, at times, be extremely bored. I didn’t understand how much time school took up. Now that I’m not studying on the nights and weekends, I’m not quite sure how to spend my time. I’ve binge watched Netflix, re-organized my entire room and closet, cooked and baked more than ever, gone out with friends almost every day, started reading a few new books, and still I have time! I’m definitely not complaining, but I do wish that someone had warned me about this excess of time I was about to have so that I could at least plan some ways to occupy myself.
Everyone and their mother saw on social media that you graduated. Here comes the questions. “Did you like your school?” “What was your degree in again?” “Did you graduate with honors?” “Where are you working now?” “How does your job fit with your degree?” “Do you like your job?” “What do you plan on doing in the next few years?”
Basically everyone wants to hear how well you did in school and what your five year plan is. I wish I had printed out cards to hand out to people instead of telling the same 10 minute story every single time. I thought after a week or two the questions would die down, but I was definitely wrong. Be prepared for LOTS of questions, especially if you graduate around the holidays like I did. You thought everyone asking about your love life and career was bad before? Graduate. They will be so much worse.
Don’t let their questions wear you down. Trust me, I know how exhausting they can be. To help with this, I created a simple 2 minute run through of what I’m doing, or what I plan on doing, and then try to steer the conversation in another direction. As annoying as all the questions are, just remember that they’re asking because they want to know and their intentions are good.
If someone had told me this beforehand, I definitely would have saved a bit more. Unless you were blessed and had your education paid for, you’re going to have to start paying off those student loans. All of that extra money you thought you had and could spend on clothes, traveling, and expensive restaurants? Yea… it is going towards your loans now.
My advice – get a cheap bottle of wine from Trader Joes prior to logging on the student loan website. It makes it just a tad less overwhelming.
You won’t see it coming, but you’re going to start a “new year, new me” phase in the middle of May. You’re going to adjust to post-grad life and start adulting. With that comes a lot of freedom, a lot of change, and a really good time to work on yourself as an individual. I personally chopped off a good chunk of my hair and got a new wardrobe. Never saw that one coming, but hey it is a new phase of life so might as well embrace it!
You just got through years of cramming, awful tests, bad professors, and crappy cafeteria food. You also just got through years of 2am McDonalds runs, late night dance parties, Sunday brunches with your girlfriends, and honestly some of the best nights of your life. Your friends got you through a lot. They were there to save you from every awful first date and held you during the break up you never saw coming. During the past four years, your friends became your family and now you have to learn how to love them from afar. If you’re like me and my best friends, there will be a lot of facetiming, snap chatting, heart emojis, and tears as we learn how to be long distance best friends.
While you’re hating what you thought your dream job was or loving the job you thought you were going to hate, remember that what’s meant to be will be. These are the days you’re going to look back on and laugh about. These are the stories you’re going to tell your kids when they’re going through the exact same thing. So don’t freak out. Go live life. Take risks. Go on adventures. You will be okay. You graduated college so you’re obviously a smart individual. Live in the moment and live for yourself, not the crazy relatives around the dinner table.
Hope this advice helped some of y’all prep for graduation and what life is going to look like for you.
I figured I might as well start this blog with a little background about me. If you couldn’t tell from my social media postsor exploring my website, I was born and raised in New Jersey. Yes… I know… It isn’t the state of choice to be from if you are a country singer, however being from Jersey has had its advantages.
For one, being from Jersey differentiates me from a bunch of other country artists out there. People get extremely curious and wonder what a girl like me could know about country music. The truth is, I have some pretty country roots. One whole side of my family is all in Louisiana (and pretty country if you ask me). Aside from growing up on Johnny Cash and Patsy Cline, I spent holidays and time during the summer down south doing what I thought was normal – going tothe hunting camp, fishing, eating good ole southern cooking, and sitting around a bonfire in the evenings. It was only when I got older that I realized that wasn’t “normal” for folks from New Jersey (unless you live in south Jersey, in which case it totally is!) Either way, it made me who I am today.
Growing up in New Jersey also gave me a lot of the confidence and strength to pursue music that I needed at first. People from Jerseytell it to you like it is. It isn’t a bad thing, just the truth. When I was first starting out, I needed people to be critical of me in order to improve. Sure, it can hurt at times, but from it I only got better. It took being harshly criticized a few times in order to gain a backbone and some confidence. Heck, I still get harshly criticized some times, but I don’t take it to heart. I take the criticism to mind, improve what I can, and move on. This has been crucial in my musical journey. I can’t let a “no” or someone that doesn’t like my sound stand in my way, I have to keep moving on with their criticism in mind.
Criticism aside, Jersey fans are passionate about their country music, especially from a hometown girl like me. My fans in New Jersey have been so extremely supportive of me even through my move to Nashville. I think because they know that I am true to my roots and proud to be a Jersey girl despite the stereotypes. Let’s be honest, I might be living in a Nashville world, but this Jersey girl still does not pump gas!*
Hey guys –
Well you spoke and I am answering! I have heard from lots of y’all asking that I start posting more content about myself, my personal life, and my journey. I thought what better way than to start a blog? Now let me preface this blog by saying that I am in no way a writer. Spellcheck is a close friend, however it doesn’t catch my every mistake. I am not creating this blog to show off my writing skills though. I am writing this blog so I can become better connected with all of you! A ton of y’all have already responded to my posts telling me exactly what you would like me to blog about, but if you have any more ideas, don’t hesitate to forward them my way. I hope y’all follow me on my blogging journey! Posts coming soon….