Gearing up for Her Conference 2016

The past year has held a lot of firsts for me: the first time living on my own, the first time moving away from home, and the first time travelling on my own.

Last summer I boarded a plane by myself for the first time to visit my best friend in Texas, and then did it again two weeks later to go to New York for Her Conference.

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Her Conference is a conference put on by Her Campus every year for young women in the media.

This is a place where bloggers, journalists, and students with huge dreams gather together to network and learn from each other.

Last year Her Conference changed my trajectory for good.

For the first time I was surrounded by people who wanted the same things I did, and people who were actually doing what I had only ever dreamt of.

At the time I was a college student who was satisfied but not excited about where my life was going and Her Conference opened my eyes and helped me realize that yes what I want is possible, but not unless I do something about it.

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Meeting Hilary Rushford at last year’s conference

So I started putting things into motion and chasing my blogging dreams full time. In fact, I chased them all the way to New York City. And while my time here is coming to a close, I couldn’t leave before this year’s Her Conference.

I was thrilled when they invited me to be a correspondent (this conference has my heart, y’all!) and I can’t be more excited to attend this weekend!

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^ My excited face

There are going to be exciting speakers like Samantha Powers, Nastia Liukin, and Rebecca Minkoff; Editors like Vanessa K. De Luca and Joyce Chang, and Andi Dorfman, a former Bachelorette.

Last year Saturday was my favorite day of the conference (Saturday is mostly bloggers!) and based on the line up I have a feeling it’s going to be my favorite day again!

Rebecca Minkoff is the morning keynote (swoon!) and James Nord of Fohr Card is co-hosting a workshop. Consider me pumped!

And not be materialistic, but last year the gift bags were amazing. I am looking forward to dig into this year’s bag because with sponsors like Ulta Beauty, Amtrak, Juicy Couture, and Vera Bradley I’ve got a feeling that this year’s will be even better.

I am going the whole nine yards when it comes to taking y’all along so you can see just how life changing it is! I’ll be snapchatting, tweeting, posting on Instagram, and vlogging for my YouTube channel. You might even see an update or two on Facebook.

This post is sponsored by Ulta Beauty, Amtrak, Juicy Couture, Vera Bradley and Her Campus Media. All opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that make Mostly Morgan possible!

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Taking Care of Yourself in Your Twenties

Allow me to be a bit dramatic and feel free to roll your eyes, BUT twenty-one feels way different than twenty ever did.

When you are 20 you were still a teenager just a few months ago, you’re only two years out of high school. Twenty-one is another story entirely. You go from being twenty, to being in your twenties.

All the sudden the fact that you’re an actual adult starts to sink in. When I was twenty I lived at home largely supported by my parents. Now I’m living halfway across the country supporting myself.

Your twenties is when your adult life really starts, and the decisions you make now can impact you far into the future which is why I’ve been really focusing on taking care of myself with a few of these methods:

Eating well

When I was in high school I worked in an ice cream shop. After every single shift I’d come home with either two scoops of ice cream or a hot fudge shake.

That’s not going to fly anymore. Not only am I not running 50+ miles a week, but that’s just not good for anyone regardless of exercise level. Now I cut out meat and dairy and feel better than I ever have.

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There are so many benefits that come along with a vegetarian diet, but I’ll just list a few:

  • You’ll reduce the risk of heart disease
  • You’ll reduce the symptoms of PMS
  • You’ll save mad dolla dolla bills, y’all
  • You’ll be more energetic
  • You’ll be helping to save the planet

Trust me when I say going vegetarian is easier than you might think, but if you aren’t ready to make that step consider partaking in meatless Mondays. You won’t get all of the health benefits of a vegetarian diet, but you’ll be a bit healthier in the long run.

Take your vitamins

If you’re not getting all of your vitamins from your food, make sure you’re taking vitamins. I have been using the Vitafive daily gummy vitamins for just about a month now and I’m head over heals.

They are gummy and delicious and customized to your own individual needs. A lot of the packs are vegan (mine are!) which is a great plus if you’re cruelty free.

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I have the beauty pack as it helps with skin and hair and I’ve been trying to grow my layers out. I take monthly update pictures and maybe it’s all in my head, but even about a week short of the month I feel like I’m seeing more hair growth in July than I did in May or June.

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Also, full disclosure: The gummies are actually good. I’ve had gummy vitamins before that taste like chalk. These taste like candy!

The Beauty Pack vitamins have Omega 3, Vitamin C, and Biotin, all designed to help with your skin, hair, and nails.

Interested in trying VitaFive vitamins? Use code ‘morgan30’ for 30% off!

Sleep

In my freshman year psychology class I learned that you can’t become so sleep deficient that you’ll never be able to fully catch up and that fact terrified me.

Being well rested makes your days go so much more smoothly and personally, it’s my biggest mood booster.

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A few tricks I have for sticking with a sleep schedule are:

  • Set a bed time. I’ve always been one to stick to the rules so even if I’m the only one enforcing a bedtime I’ll start to feel guilty if I’m up much later than the arbitrary time I set for myself.
  • Have a bedtime routine. If you follow the same exact routine every night before bed your body will begin to associate those actions with sleep and you can condition yourself to feel drowsy.
  • Turn off the electronics. This one has been said over and over again, but for real: if you’re playing with your cell phone in bed you’re going to have trouble falling asleep. Put it away!
  • Wake up at the same time every day. Even the weekends. If you’re waking up at 7 every weekday for work and then at 11 on the weekends you’re going to have a ton of trouble sticking to a schedule.

Reduce stress

You’re navigating a career, relationships, financial independence, and everything else that comes with early adulthood and it’s stressful.

I get that.

But try and limit your stress and do things that make you happy, instead. Easier said than done, but oftentimes a lot of people’s stress comes entirely from themselves.

So don’t feel like you are supposed to have everything figured out, or like you’re the only one going through whatever it is you’re going through.

Take time for yourself and focus on self love and self care. That can mean weekly bubble baths or quiet walks at night. No matter how busy you are, pencil in relaxation.

What habits have you put into place to start taking care of yourself in your twenties?

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Treat Yourself with a DIY Spa Day

This post brought to you by Pure Silk Shave Cream. The content and opinions expressed below are that of Mostly Morgan.

Summers used to mean lazy days and pool floats, but this year I’ve got my first “big girl” job in the city and so I’ve been working long days and coming home to do more work for my own personal projects. I love my internship and keeping up with my blogs, but every now and then I just need to slow down, unwind, and destress. I usually don’t feel myself getting overwhelmed until it’s too late so I’ve been sure to work self-care into my weekly routine. And as much as I’d love to be pampered at the spa each week, a girls gotta eat.

Instead, I’ve got my own pampering routine that won’t break the bank and leaves me feeling both relaxed and rejuvenated and ready to take on the week.

A spa-like atmosphere

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Maybe I take things too far, but I like to have a relaxing setting to come home to. I keep my apartment pretty neat, but every Friday after work first thing I do is a big deep clean. From there I’ll light candles, turn on my salt lamp, and play some relaxing music.

Tip: If you’re looking for relaxing music to play, Pandora has a great spa playlist!

A soak

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I couldn’t be more grateful to live in an apartment with a bathtub (#blessed). I’ve always done my best unwinding in the tub, and whether it’s a stressed mind or stressed muscles the bath alleviates all tension. While I’m in the bath I unwind for as long as I need to and then fall into my hygiene routine. This might be strange, but I find shaving my legs to be oddly therapeutic and I’ve been using Pure Silk Shave Cream because it prevents nicks better than my old method of water and shampoo and it smells amazing. Plus! Nothing makes me feel more pampered than having silky smooth legs.

It’s the little things, ladies. 

Tip: Now is the perfect time to try the Pure Silk Shave Cream because you can get it for free! For a limited time only, grab the coupon on 7/10 to get Pure Silk Shave Cream in Redplum at CVS for free (combine $0.50 off coupon in Redplum and $1.00 off with the CVS app).

It can also be found at Walgreens for $.89 (combine $.50 off coupon from Redplum with the Walgreens sales price of $1.39).

Face masks

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I am a face mask junkie. For the purpose of this post I went and counted and I have 11 different face masks in my medicine cabinet. Living in the city has turned my docile skin quite temperamental so face masks are not only for pampering, but also for maintenance. I use them several times a week, and oftentimes try and DIY my own, too!

Tip: Looking to DIY a facemask? Check out Pinterest! I always find great recipes there.

Fresh polish

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I am not one to have polished fingernails, but in the summer I always have a fresh coat of paint on my toes. While I don’t love the process of giving myself a pedi, I do love the end result. I always feel so put together when I’ve got smooth legs and shiny toenails!

Tip: Dunk your nails in ice water when you’re done painting and the polish will set quicker. No more creases in your polish!

Relaxing with media

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Aha! So that’s what the traditional spa day is missing. To end my spa days I generally call it a night earlier than usual and snuggle into bed to watch TV or a movie. Once I start my at home spa days I’m done working for the day! I’ve been on a New Girl kick lately, though I find myself gravitating towards the chick flicks pretty often, too!

Tip: If you don’t have Netflix or another streaming service, there are a lot of full-length movies on YouTube! I love saving money and doing spa days at home, how do you treat yo’self when you’re feeling stressed?

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NYC Must Visits: The Birchbox Soho Store

I’ve been subscribed to Birchbox for over a year now. In fact, I’ve been continuing to get boxes sent home while I’m living in New York so when I go home it’s going to be like Christmas.

With that said, I haven’t been able to enjoy any of their boxes since moving here so when I found out they had a Birchbox Store I was eager to check it out.

And let me tell you: I wasn’t disappointed. It is every blogger/instagrammer/product junkie’s dream. Honestly.

There are rows on rows of beauty products all leading to the “Build Your Own Box” in the back of the store.

I was adventuring with my two new favorite girls, Danie and Lara (+ Lara’s Instagram Husband, Elliott!) and to say we were in heaven would be an understatement.

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The Birchbox Store

The three of us all made our own boxes (because of course) and the array of samples was incredible. You can buy the fifteen dollar box where you get to choose one product from each category (hair, skin, makeup, face, and fragrance) or the twenty-five dollar box where you can choose any arrangement of five products.

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We all went with the fifteen dollar box and spent longer than I’d like to admit sorting through products and weighing their pros and cons.

There were some serious decisions being made, y’all.

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After we curated our dream boxes we went and explored the store a bit more before checking out and heading on the next adventure.

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Fast forward to now and I’ve had the opportunity to try out my products and I’m so happy with what I picked out!

My Birchbox Goodies

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Cuppa Cuppa Exfoliating Firming Tea Max: I love face masks of any kind and this is easily now in my top five masks ever. It goes on a reddish brown and has a warming effect on the skin. When you wash it off it’s gently exfoliating and your skin is left SO smooth.

Coola Radical Recover After-Sun Lotion: I love this because of it’s natural and earthy ingredient list and how smoothly it goes on. I only used a little bit when I got home because I really hadn’t gotten much sun and wanted to save it for when I needed it, BUT based on first impressions I’m quite happy with it!

Malin + Goetz Peppermint Shampoo: I am in love with any tingly or minty shampoo product and this fits the bill perfectly. There’s nothing more satisfying as a tingly shampoo after a long day, end of story.

Sud Pacifique Vanille Abricot Parfum:  Real talk – I’ve been wearing Viva La Juicy since I was fourteen and I’ve been on the desperate hunt for a new, “grown up” perfume for the past few months and love trying out samples. While I don’t think this will become my new signature, it’s still a lovely scent.

Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick in Bella: So this is way out of my comfort zone, but I do love the color. The formula is super drying, but that might be fixable with a base of chapstick. And I only put it on experimentally yesterday evening and kept it on through the duration of my Skype call with my boyfriend, so I can’t attest to the “stay all day” claim, but I will say it stays for at least 4 hours of skype.

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Now, in case you aren’t in New York and can’t get to the BirchBox Soho store yourself, Danie, Lara, and myself picked up a little gift for one of you!

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If you’re interested in winning the Birchbox Radiant Finish box enter below and we’ll be choosing a winner soon!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

What’s the best thing you’ve ever gotten in a subscription box? And what box is your favorite? Let me know in the comments!

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Styling Your Hair with Hair Extensions

Rewind two summers ago and my hair was to my butt. Last summer it wasn’t much shorter.  Now my hair is pretty short, hitting at midchest.

While I don’t miss rolling over on my hair while I slept, ponytails that weighed more than I did, or knots the size of my fist sometimes I do miss the fun beachy hairstyles that could be accomplished with miles of hair.

Throwback to having hair for years.

So while I love my shorter, far more manageable hair, there have been times when I really wished I could have long hair again just for a day.

So when Irresistible Me asked if they could send me some hair extensions to try out I was all for it.

I’ve never tried hair extensions before so I was a bit worried about how the whole process would go, but it turns out hair extensions are pretty intuitive to use.

With that said I couldn’t come up with a way to gracefully show you how to put your hair extensions on, so instead here is a video by Bronte Jones you might find helpful (starts at about 4:00):

Now! I thought that I’d show you three different hairstyles that benefit from the extra length and volume that hair extensions provide.

I ended up picking out the 24″ Royal Remy Hair Extensions in Royal Light Brown, but there are a ton of shades and lengths to chose from!

The Classic

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So of course here is the most basic thing you can do with extensions is just add length. I have mine curled because I find they blend in better that way and it gives an entirely different look than when I curl my current length of hair.

If you are going to be curling or straightening hair extensions, make sure that they are high quality and use real human hair or you might ruin them! My Irresistible Me extensions handled the curls like a champ (and a week after taking these pictures my extensions are still perfectly curled) and they stayed silky.

If you don’t have human hair extensions, don’t despair! You can use a heatless curl method to get bounce and body into your extensions. Consider wetting your extensions and then putting them in hair rollers or braiding them overnight.

With that said, this is pretty basic and doesn’t require much “how-to” so on to the next!

Milkmaid Braids

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My senior year of high school I rocked the half milkmaid braids a lot and I really have missed them since my hair was short.

They are so easy to do with extensions, though. I fastened to sets of the single clip extensions to a towel and braided down their length and tied it off with a band.

Then I clipped a braid behind each ear, crossed the braids over the top of my head, and bobby pinned into place.

Even if you do have enough hair to do these without extensions, they are great to use because you get to keep full volume at the bottom of your hair and your braids can be as full as you’d like.

Braids

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If I try to put braids in my hair at it’s current length my aesthetic ends up being “8-year-old going to soccer” instead of “bohemian chic going to the beach” and I love braids.

I think the longer your hair is the easier braids are to get away with. I also tried fishtail braids, and while a lot of my real hair ended up sticking out and looking like a mess, if I had hair pomade to hold those fly-aways in place it would have ended up being a really cool look.

Do you have any experience with hair extensions? Let me know what you thought! Love them or leave them?

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Irresistible Me sent me extensions to consider for posting, I am not being compensated.