To the Person Who Can't Say "No"

To the Person Who Can't Say "No"

Why is "Yes" so much easier when "No" is a shorter word?
views, no, no, no!

Look, I can say it; I can type it and I can shout it from the rooftops, but why on Earth when someone needs me can the word "No" not come to mind?

No, I don't really want to babysit. No, I don't want to drag my kid out of bed to go to breakfast. No, I don't want to help with your tasks that you didn't make time for. Why can't I just stop? Why can't I slow it all down and give myself a break? Come on self you know you have enough on your plate, enough already! OK — just say no. Ugh, my brain cannot retain what my heart tells it to do.

When I was growing up, I was always told to be a "kind and caring" girl, someone that people can come to. I was always offered a listening ear and a hug, which Momma I am so grateful for, but at the same time, I think I have overdone the advice given to me at an early age. A source of my anxiety is the idea that people will think I don't care enough. I will rip myself to shreds if someone says I should've done more. I will replay the moment over and over, and as much as I tell people to relax and take tasks one at a time, I myself am a hypocrite — Yup, in that aspect, I do not practice what I preach. . . but I'm learning.

Many people see strength in a "yes man," a person who can juggle it all while running on four hours of sleep. Truth be told I am this kind of person. The kind that does too much for too many. I will lose sleep over the work of others. I will offer myself until I have nothing left to give. I will go without just to make others comfortable and most days I can handle it and other times I drive myself nuts. I have "loaned" money with no return, I have lost sleep, I have answered the phone at obscene times, I have cleaned someone else's space before my own, and I have held hands and hugged people in need; I don't regret any of it — hear that — I don't regret any of it, but I do struggle.

Anyone who knows me knows that I am not just a mom; I am a fiancé, I am a student and I am a world of other things. Any one of those things could be overwhelming for someone, so just imagine being them all and trying to handle everyone else's circus. I love being helpful and needed, but sometimes I need a helping hand too.

I am "the strong one" or "the mom friend", and by that I mean the friend who is always there for adult advice and questions. I have to learn things and know how to explain them, I have to go above and beyond because if I do the bare minimum people will think I suddenly just stopped caring. If I don't put six emojis and start using periods in my text messages people assume that I hate their guts. Seriously. . . this happens around two to three times a week. I have been taken advantage of by so many people that I consider important.

It's not fair to tell myself no. I have cared more about others' problems than even they did, and that's not fair. It's not fair to continue doing things for people even when they have squeezed me dry like a damn sponge. It's not fair that the bulk of my relationships go one-way. I automatically have the expectation that people are like-minded to me, that they will do and be what I need because they take the time to know me. . . but that's not always the case. People have boasted about the fact that no matter how they treat me I will call, that even if we argue I will continue to send messages and keep up with them and on paper that sounds like I'm the best, but in reality, I am damaging myself more than they ever could've. I read a quote today that hit me like a truck, "Some people will only 'love you' as much as they can use you. Their loyalty ends where the benefit stops."

It is a common idea that you shouldn't change yourself based on others' actions. As much as I agree with that statement, I really like to think it doesn't apply here. I have continued to be genuine and to be optimistic when I lend a hand or voice to someone, but I'm learning that I can love from afar. I'm learning that I can say that I'm not up for it today, I can choose where the conversation stops and say that I have had enough; I'm learning that I can be truthful in the fact that I am tired. I am allowed to weed out toxicity.

I'm learning that my life, although encompasses others, doesn't just revolve around their needs. You can care without putting every emotion and every ounce of energy into someone else. You are allowed to say, "No". It isn't a bad word. It creates boundaries and sets ground rules. Treat yourself how you would treat others; The "reverse golden rule," it's new and super exclusive. You are allowed to ask for help and light the world on fire at the same time. You are allowed to point out when someone hurts you and love them at the same time. I'm learning that love also includes myself. That it is important for me to surround myself with those who will notice when I'm down and lift me up, and those people will understand why some days the answer is just "No."

Cover Image Credit: Quote Fancy

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To The Girl Struggling With Her Body Image

It's not about the size of your jeans, but the size of your heart, soul, and spirit.


To the girl struggling with her body image,

You are more than the number on the scale. You are more than the number on your jeans and dresses. You are way more than the number of pounds you've gained or lost in whatever amount of time.

Weight is defined as the quantity of matter contained by a body or object. Weight does not define your self-worth, ambition or potential.

So many girls strive for validation through the various numbers associated with body image and it's really so sad seeing such beautiful, incredible women become discouraged over a few numbers that don't measure anything of true significance.

Yes, it is important to live a healthy lifestyle. Yes, it is important to take care of yourself. However, taking care of yourself includes your mental health as well. Neglecting either your mental or physical health will inflict problems on the other. It's very easy to get caught up in the idea that you're too heavy or too thin, which results in you possibly mistreating your body in some way.

Your body is your special, beautiful temple. It harbors all of your thoughts, feelings, characteristics, and ideas. Without it, you wouldn't be you. If you so wish to change it in a healthy way, then, by all means, go ahead. With that being said, don't make changes to impress or please someone else. You are the only person who is in charge of your body. No one else has the right to tell you whether or not your body is good enough. If you don't satisfy their standards, then you don't need that sort of negative influence in your life. That sort of manipulation and control is extremely unhealthy in its own regard.

Do not hold back on things you love or want to do because of how you interpret your body. You are enough. You are more than enough. You are more than your exterior. You are your inner being, your spirit. A smile and confidence are the most beautiful things you can wear.

It's not about the size of your jeans. It's about the size of your mind and heart. Embrace your body, observe and adore every curve, bone and stretch mark. Wear what makes you feel happy and comfortable in your own skin. Do your hair and makeup (or don't do either) to your heart's desire. Wear the crop top you've been eyeing up in that store window. Want a bikini body? Put a bikini on your body, simple.

So, as hard as it may seem sometimes, understand that the number on the scale doesn't measure the amount or significance of your contributions to this world. Just because that dress doesn't fit you like you had hoped doesn't mean that you're any less of a person.

Love your body, and your body will love you right back.

Cover Image Credit: Lauren Margliotti

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How To Rock Your Natural Curly Hair This Summer & All Year Long



All of your friends and your favorite famous idols all have long, straight hair. You take hours or get treatments on your natural curls to keep your hair straight, when in reality you are ruining the gorgeous curls that you should be rocking! I know it's hard to keep your curls under control, but with the right product and effort you can rock your curls all summer long. Curly hair is in! Here's how to rock your natural hair all summer long.

1. Coconut oil is your BFF.


Whether it's in your conditioner or you use it as a spray or leave-in product, coconut oil is a great way to keep your hair shiny and frizz-free. For those of you who often straighten your hair, coconut oil can help tame and treat your damaged ends. Conditioners and products with coconut oil in them are always my go-to products. I would but this on this list 10 times if that would make you use it!

2. Stay by the pool.


If my friends want to do something and I am having a bad hair day, I always suggest the pool. Not only can curls give you a beautiful thick messy bun, but my friends are always jealous of how good my hair looks in the pool. Curly hair, wet from the pool, is like a magic trick. Your hair will instantly look better.

3. Dye your hair!


If you are like me and can't stand having your hair look the same 24/7, I have found dying my hair keeps me from wanting to straighten my hair or want to change it. Dying your curls will make whatever color you get really pop and keep you feeling fun and exciting in your natural hair journey. You don't have to do anything too drastic either! Sometimes so highlights or a lighter color is all you need.

4. Rock the pouf!


Get that hair as big and crazy as you can get it, and ROCK IT! Don't let that volume and texture go to waste. Own your curls and wear them big.

5. Use a bandana or headbands for control & extra cuteness.


When my hair gets a little more out of hand than I like, I opt for a headband or bandana to help style it. With curls, your hair has texture and can actually hold a headband in place. CVS and Walmart offer a large (and cheap) assortment of headbands and bandanas for all of your curly hair needs.

6. Braid parts of your hair to give your hair depth or add control.


Sometimes a french braid on the side or over the top can not only make it look like you really took the time to style your hair, but also add control to your everyday look. I like to braid my hair when I know it is going to get frizzy or just want to slick down the top and rock a pouf in the back.

7. Invest in a good conditioner & hair mask.


While you are relaxing with your face mask, why not do a hair mask at the same time? A hair mask is a great way to hydrate your curls and get them bouncy, conditioned, and frizz-free. You can find a variety of good hair masks for under 15$ and you can use them 2-3 times a week.

8. Get bangs... or just fake them!

Maddie Hilliard

This one is #RISKYAF, but you don't actually have to cut your hair to get bangs. I use bobby pins to pin up my hair to give the illusion that I have bangs. It is great when you want to switch up your look or rock a ponytail or bun. Which leads me to my next point...

9. Bobby pins, bobby pins, bobby pins!


Use bobby pins to hold your hair in place and control your hair while you go for a messy look! I pin my bangs to the side with bobby pins or use them to hold certain pieces in place. They are especially helpful for updo looks!

10. Comb your hair while you're in the shower.


To avoid breakage and breaking apart your curls it is always best to comb your hair while you're showering. You need to condition your hair (to avoid breakage) and comb the conditioner through it until all of the knots are out. If your hair keeps getting caught in the comb and the knots aren't coming out, put more conditioner in your hair to help. Finish your shower and then rinse the conditioner out at the end. And BAM! Tangle and frizz-free curls. PRO TIP: Use a wide tooth comb, never a brush!

11. Invest in a hair turban towel.


You can get these on Amazon, at TJ Maxx, at CVS, and the list goes on. Instead of drying your hair with a regular towel and making it frizzy, wrap it in a hair turban to get the wetness out while keeping it moisturized. Hair turbans will help keep in all of the moisturizer and conditioner locked into your hair after showers.

12. Use scrunchies instead of hair ties.


Not only are they super cute to wear on your wrist, but they also won't crease your curls if you need to tie them up quickly. Scrunchies are also great because they can be tied loose and not damage or smash your curl pattern. I haven't used a hair tie in years and don't plan on using one anytime soon.

12. Be proud & rock the f*ck out of your hair.


Healthy and loved natural hair will never do you dirty. Love your curls because 9/10 people wish their straight hair had the same texture yours does! Curly hair is a whole look, let's start appreciating it more!

Love your natural hair and get inspired by all of the tips and pics of super fab curly hair!

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