Homemade White Pizza- Goat Cheese & Pesto

Hey. Just sharing a delicious white pizza recipe made by yours truly one random night. The dough is pre-made and the ingredients are fresh and delectable, yet so simple, you get a tasty lil boogie pie that looks very impressive for any novice.

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Ingredients

1/2 Ready made pizza dough (Pulix)
Olive oil
Pre-made Pesto sauce (Publix)
Garlic powder
Italian seasoning
Salt & pepper to taste
Fresh Mozzarella chunks
Parmesan, Romano and Asiago blend (shredded)
Portabella mushrooms
Sun-dried tomatoes (completely dried out)
Fresh basil

Instructions:

  1. preheat the oven to 500°F
  2. Sprinkle some flour on your working surface and place the pre-made dough down
  3. knead the pre-made dough and let it sit covered with plastic wrap for one hour
  4. Prepare the fresh toppings, Chop the mushrooms, basil and mozzarella. Set aside the sun-dried tomatoes, pesto sauce and goat cheese.
  5. Spread the dough into a round pie shape. Use the hot sheet pan to help the dough spread.
  6. Top off with your ingredients. First olive oil, italian seasoning, salt & pepper, garlic powder, pesto sauce, mushrooms, tomatoes and lastly, the cheeses (except for the goat cheese).
  7. Bake pizza for 7-10 minutes and top it off with the fresh basil and goat cheese.

 

What is Your Hair Telling You?- Take the Porosity Test

What is Your Hair Telling You?- Take the Porosity Test

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Did you know that we can moisturize our hair with water alone? Water is actually very essential to the health of our hair; that’s why we like to see it as the first ingredient in our hair products. We can wash our hair and scalp with water. This method is known as the Water only method which a lot of curly heads swear by. Water can even tell us when we apply too little, too much or when we need to replenish. But what water is really telling us is our hair’s porosity level.

Porosity is the measure at which our hair can absorb moisture and retain it. Each of our hair strands are made up of three important sections, the Cuticle (outer layer), the cortex (middle layer) and the medulla (most inner layer). Our cuticles lift depending on the amount of manipulation or processing your hair receives. Lifted cuticles allow moisture or water to penetrate and escape from our hair which is why some of us feel like our hair dries out very quickly. The more open the hair cuticles, naturally the more porous the hair as it can receive more water. But just as quick as porous hair receives moisture, the moisture escapes from the hair just as quickly.  This is why porosity plays a big role in reaching our maximum growth potential. It forces us to care for our hair according to our specific porosity level.

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There are a few tell signs that let us know immediately what our hair’s porosity level is. Luckily these signs are visible to the human eye so you’ll be able to figure out your porosity level after reading this blog post.

Learn your hair’s porosity by taking our short Porosity test!

1. Do beads of water collect at the ends of your hair just after washing?

YES       NO

2. Is it difficult for your hair to absorb moisture quickly?

YES       NO

3. Does your hair absorb moisture easily?

YES       NO

4. Do you struggle with retaining moisture?

YES       NO

5. Does it take a while for your hair to dry?

YES       NO

RESULTS

LOW Porosity = If you answered mostly YES, you have LOW porosity hair.

HIGH Porosity = If you answered mostly NO, you have HIGH porosity hair.

MEDIUM Porosity = If your answers were in between YES and NO, you have MEDIUM porosity hair.

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Characteristics of LOW porosity

  • Small beads of water collect at the ends of the hair strands
  • Water/moisture does not easily penetrate hair strands
  • Hair cuticles lay flat not allowing moisture in or out so alternative methods are used to help lift the hair’s cuticles
  • You usually do not have to moisturize hair again for at least 3 days

TIPS:

  • Warm up your conditioner before use or apply warm water to hair prior to applying a conditioner or moisturizer for more penetrating results.
  • Use indirect heat (green house method, hooded dryer, steamer, etc) to open the hair cuticles, allowing moisture, protein and nutrients to reach the cortex.
  • Squeeze and smooth moisture into hair with palms
  • Add oils to conditioner for deeper conditioning
  • Try the L.O.C. method of moisturizing

Characteristics of HIGH porosity hair

  • Hair absorbs water or moisture almost immediately
  • hair feels dry even after applying moisturizer
  • color treated or chemically processed hair
  • lifted cuticles

TIPS

  • Do protein treatments to seal the gaps of the lifted cuticle. This allows the hair to accept moisture easier
  • monitor your hair’s moisture and protein levels as too much moisture can make the hair just as supple and weak as dry hair
  • Try protective styling to prevent manipulating the hair so often
  • Always use a water based moisturizer or pure water alone then seal with a butter or oil. See our plant based hair products here

Characteristics & Tips of MEDIUM porosity

  • Can experience qualities of both low and medium
  • alternate between deep conditioning and a protein treatment each wash session

I hope you learn something new about your hair every time you leave here. Until next time My Sweets.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Prague, Czech Republic- All for $582

Prague, Czech Republic- All for $582

What’s up! Are you looking for a Travelers adventure or are you the type to read travel blogs on end and scroll through the picturesque Instagram feeds of inspiring vagabonds, tagging their posts to your ‘Bucket List’ Collection archive like I do? This year, I took that leap. I gave up on the wishing, dreaming and vision boarding this year, partly because I just didn’t make the time to complete my board and mostly because all the things I envisioned started to manifest as soon as the new year began. Guys, I am here to tell you, skip that step and just do it already! Yea I know it’s easier said than done but because I love you all so much, I am going to give you some tips and tricks that I applied that got me all the way to Prague, Czech Republic.

While this opportunity was by total luck, the budgeting and preliminary steps for it was planned and the most important part. So do you want to know how I traveled through Europe for only $582? Keep reading.

First, I have to shout out my cousin Jazz a.k.a my Travel Buddy for sharing her awesome and scholarly news in the family group chat and asking if any of us would be down to accompany her on a week long Euro-trip free of lodging charges. (I told you it was by total luck).

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1. Get a Passport

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Okay for the preliminary steps of how this whole thing kicked into gear started by getting a passport of course. This little blue book can take up to 6 weeks and depending on where you are going, your passport may need to be in active status for at least 6 months! There are lots of locations to choose from when you apply for your passport like the post office and the tax collectors’ office. Make sure you have a lot of patience, 2 forms of ID- a birth certificate and a drivers license, $150 and more patience. You can set an appointment if you have enough time before your trip and this may save you from the long wait.

2. Get an International Data Plan

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Check with your cell phone carrier and inquire about an international data plan. There are alternatives if you want to save a few bucks. You can get another sim card, download WhatsApp but you will need a reliable wifi connection everywhere you go for this option or just simply unplug. The international data plan came in very handy because not every place in Prague had wifi. Not to mention it was pretty spotty at times and irritating when I wanted to “facetime” my family the city and post on the gram.

Verizon offers the Travel Pass for just $10 a day. After turning your phone on roam it will send you a text noting when your time expires (24 hours). It draws from your existing data plan so keep in mind not use all of your data before your trip or you will be stuck connecting to the spotty wifi like all the other tourists wherever you go if there is a hotspot at all.

Which brings me to my next preliminary tip!

3. Get an adapter and/or converter.

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What’s that you ask my fellow clueless first time vagabonds like myself. Here is a very simple run down. The outlets are very different abroad because of the voltage. Here in America the standard voltage is 120V whereas in most of Europe it is about 200V+. Unless you want your devices blowing up, you need a CONVERTER to CONVERT our voltage from 120V to a higher voltage. You then will need to hook that converter into an adapter that has prongs to fit the outlet of wherever you will be, hook your phone charger up to the contraption, plug it into the wall and voila you’ve got power! Luckily most devices have a built in converter so all you will need is the adapter piece which will cost you way less than having to purchase both the converter and the adapter. I’m a bit of a techie but my frugality supersedes all of that so I searched for some good ones and found a very inexpensive adapter on Amazon for less than $8! You’re welcome =)

 

4. Budget Budget Budget!

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This was probably the most I spent on anything the entire trip.

This part is probably my favorite. It truly speaks to that dorky accountant in me. I can literally crunch out calculations all day for no reason at all. But it served a purpose for me this time. Can you believe I traveled through Europe for a week with only $582? The timing for the trip was impeccable that I was able to use my tax refund for the airline ticket and my passport so all of the $582 was used towards spending money for the entire week. To be more precise I converted 454 USD for 125 Euros and 6,100 Czech Koruna prior to leaving to avoid any crazy currency exchange charges. I probably could have gotten away with exchanging less because I did go back with some cash but those made some nice souvenirs. But, here’s how you can make that money stretch. In the beginning, I used my Czech cash for whatever but as time went on I started to use my credit card for points! lol no but to save my cash for street vendors and some dope ass souvenirs. My credit card charges totaled $128. Combined with what I exchanged before I left, my entire trip came to $582! That is one hell of a deal. $582 may sound like a lot but I had no idea what to expect for my first time and TripAdvisor gave me some solid advice to budget at least 1,000CZK per day which was about accurate. Between the site seeing, eating and tipping 10% on top of every 600CZK meal, and the fact that they charge for water and a to-go box (lmao), it’s better to be safe than sorry. Besides, you can always hang on to the money and get it converted back to USD when you return. I’d still like to challenge myself to travel for less than $582 next time.

Bank of America ships your currency the same day if ordered by 2pm. For a small shipping fee, it can take 3-7 days to arrive to your mailbox or to a Bank of America facility near you. Mine arrived in about 24 hours max. You can also notify your bank that you are abroad via the app in less than 2 minutes so that you can begin using your credit/debit card right away.

5. Register with the U.S. Embassy

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This last step is optional, I didn’t do it but you can notify the U.S. Embassy of when you depart and arrive. Signing up for the STEP program allows you to stay abreast of any current issues happening around just incase some crazy shit goes down. Also it is helpful to download a translator app just so you’re not completely lost communicating in the native tongue. Plus its always respectful when you try to recognize another culture that is not your own. Learn a few catch phrases like “Thank you,” “Yes,” “No,” before you arrive because the second you’re off that plane, the culture shock is real.

Now that you’re ready to go, check back in next week for part two where I’ll list some exciting activities, food (mmm… European pastries) and the overly dope air bnb that we called home for the week right in Old Town.

xo, Andy

Wash ‘N Go-For VERY Kinky Coily Hair

Wash ‘N Go-For VERY Kinky Coily Hair

Back again, My Sweets! I am very ecstatic about this post because as we Naturals know, the Wash ‘N Go is more like a Wash ‘N Wait and can be a journey in its own. So let’s embark! This past weekend I attempted my second wash ‘n go and boiii did I discover something new about my hair! This lead me to explore more styling options and really dig deeper into the science behind my coils, kinks and curls.

FUN FACT: This post is very old guys. I actually wrote this on February 29, 2016. I was confused because there are only 28 days in February but I checked. That was a leap day!

*** Most of these ingredients in each step, I had on hand so please do not run out and get anything if you do not have it. Step 3 and on is the most critical to achieve this style with super definition so alter these measurements as you see fit. Always remember the amount of definition is your preference. =) Let’s get started!

Preparation

STEP ONE: Make your Bentonite Clay Mud (or hmu here and I can make you a custom one).

            Materials/Ingredients:

  1. Bentonite Clay
  2. Apple Cider Vinegar
  3. Distilled or purified water
  4. Non-metal spoon
  5. Large non-metal bowl

Add 2 T of Bentonite clay, 2 T of ACV, 4 T of water and mix with a spoon until you achieve your desired consistency.

STEP TWO: Make Aloe Vera Juice Leave-in (You can hmu here about this too).

            Materials/Ingredients

  1. Aloe Vera Juice, Whole Leaf (KEEP REFRIGERATED)
  2. Distilled or purified water
  3. Spritz bottle

Add the above ingredients to your spritz bottle, shake and set aside

Other ingredients that you do not have to make, include:

Andy Candy Supersonic Hair-Tonic

Styling Gel

Deep Conditioner

HERE WE GO…

STEP THREE: Detangle and section your hair. Dampen each section with your spritz and apply the bentonite clay mud (step 1) to your hair. Coat every possible strand as best as you can. You should begin to see definition. Let mixture harden on hair for 10 mins before rinsing out.

 

STEP FOUR: Rinse mud from hair with little to no touching with your hands. This prevents the curl pattern from being disturbed. Let the water do all of the work until the water runs clear. HELLO SQUEAKY CLEAN HAIR!

 

STEP FIVE: Apply deep conditioner of your choice, smoothing (praying hands) conditioner into hair. Wrap hair with a plastic cap for 5 mins.

 

STEP SIX: Rinse the conditioner from your hair. Again, little to no touching of your hair.

 

STEP SEVEN: Spray your aloe vera leave-in spritz all over your head (step 3) and apply oil mixture, sealing in the moisture (step 2). Rinse the excess oil from hair. NO TOUCHING. =)

 

STEP EIGHT: Smooth in your favorite styling gel using the praying hands method.

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IG: @Natashaleeds

 

STEP NINE: Clump your curls (shaking your head without breaking your neck) You should see extreme definition and your curls clumping and elongating. (This step can be messy you can go outside or wrap a t-shirt over your head. I didn’t care. I just cleaned the mess).

 

Let hair air dry, diffuse or use a hooded dryer and voila! YOU’RE DONE QUEEN/ KING! 

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IG: @andycandy.co

xo, Andy

Supersonic Hair-Tonic- Product Review

Supersonic Hair-Tonic- Product Review

 

Hey!

We recently opened our Etsy shop and we’re so excited to officially share our treats with all of you!!!

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One of our best sellers and my personal favorite is the Andy Candy Supersonic Hair-tonic. It’s a great aid for thinning hair and it’s filled with tons of nutrients that promote hair growth for stronger, moisturized and healthier hair. Like most of our products, this oil is multi-functional. It’s an awesome hot oil treatment, “pre-poo” and a great moisturizer and sealant for more coarse kinky curly hair types that require a little more hydration like mine. I especially love the Supersonic Hair-tonic as a hot oil treatment which is a great revitalizing technique for all hair types in my opinion. One major tip for success when applying a hot oil treatment is that the amount of oil you use is absolutely contingent upon the density and texture of your hair.

Thick and coarse hair– Apply a generous amount of oil to the scalp, hair strands and ends. Two-strand twist and wrap hair in a shower cap for 30 minutes and rinse.

Fine hair– Apply oil to the scalp and rub it down the shaft of the hair. Wrap hair in a shower cap for 30 minutes and rinse. If your hair is too oily for your liking, follow up with a small amount of shampoo and rinse again. (See video)

Here are some quick details of the other uses we mentioned earlier for our Supersonic Hair-tonic:
✔️Prevents breakage- coats each strand, providing the necessary moisture needed to finger detangle and make hair more manageable. Remember you want damp hair because wet hair is when your hair is in its most fragile state and prone to breakage. Which brings me to this next point.
✔️Fantastic Hot oil treatment- try this when your hair is just lacking moisture or feels dryer than normal. This will be like washing your hair for the first time after a silk press. My curls are back!!!
✔️Excellent Pre-poo- similar to a hot oil treatment but this is just the first step before applying any harsh chemicals to your hair like parabens, sulfates and other drying surfactents that are supposed to clean and strip the hair of it’s natural oils.
✔️Prevents Hydro-fatigue-preventing too much moisture from penetrating hair strands as the oil resin coats and protects the hair, which is why we use it as a sealant.
✔️Great moisturizer for protective styles & itchy scalp-keep that protected and moisturized while because just wearing a protective style won’t mean anything if you’re not still nurturing your hair underneath.

Tips to success:

  1. When detangling, always finger detangle first as this helps to pay closer attention to any single strand knots or split ends that should be clipped away so they won’t cause further damage to other strands
  2. For hot oil treatments, try massaging the oil into the scalp to stimulate hair growth.

Have fun!

xo, Andy

Recipe#6: Apple Spiced Roasted Whole Chicken-Slow & Steady

Recipe#6: Apple Spiced Roasted Whole Chicken-Slow & Steady

Mmmm! I will keep it simple so you can get to cooking. I like to reserve Sundays for beautiful meals like this one. It’s how I grew up and how I’ll grow old. Here we go!

Always ALWAYS ALWAYS clean your chicken. Whole chickens like this is are not always 100% rid of their feathers so make sure you get those out, they won’t fall off. They just cook and the site ain’t pretty or appetizing. Unless you like for your chicken to look like it was skinned in front of you and then cooked. Lol a little graphic but whatever.

1. Take a huge gallon or 5-quart pot (you know the one mama used to cook the greens). Boil 2 cups of water, 6 Tablespoons of kosher salt, a bundle of fresh Thyme and Rosemary, 3 Bay leaves, 2 lemons, 4 cloves of garlic and 1 whole of an onion.

2. Turn off the stove and remove the pot from the burner. Now for the best part! Pour the entire bottle of wine in the pot. Now throw in the entire bottle of apple juice in the pot and stir. Now you can add the chicken. Add more water if necessary because you want the chicken submerged. Let your chicken rest in the fridge for at least 8 hours. Congratulations my friend you just brined a chicken.

*Brining is crucial when roasting something for long hours like a whole chicken or a turkey. This helps the meat stay super moist and flavorful! Plus a marinade just can’t do this.

3. The next morning, remove your chicken from the brine onto a clean surface for drying. Pat dry your chicken and leave it to air dry for 30 minutes.

4. Season chicken with the seasoning ingredients and stuff with the remaining ingredients (apples, onions, herbs) and roast for up to 2 hours or until your thermometer reads 150°F. You can also season your chicken and let it rest for a few hours before you roast. The brine has done most of the work so this step is not necessary.

5. Remove the chicken from the oven and let it rest as the heat and the juices settle and finish cooking your chicken to 165°F. 165°F is the temperature you want, anything less, keep cooking.

6. Once your chicken has cooled, carve it up and serve.

This was the juciest chicken I ever had. My coworkers tried it and that was the common denominator to all of their opinions.

Bon Appetit! 😉

Ingredients For Brine

  1. 4-5 Cups Water
  2. Chateau Ste Michelle Riesling ( my favorite cooking wine, very affordable and tastes delicious alone. Also has sweeter options)
  3. Martinellis Gold Medal 100% Pure Apple Juice
  4. 2 Large Onions (any kind)
  5. 3 Bay leaves
  6. 2tsp peppercorns
  7. 2 lemons (halved)
  8. 3 Tbsp kosher salt

Ingredients For Seasoning

  1. 1/2 Tbsp Paprika
  2. 1/2 Tbsp Cayene Pepper
  3. 2-3 tsp Grinded peppercorns
  4. 1T Garlic powder
  5. 1T Kosher salt
  6. Whole Nutmeg (just a sprinkle)
  7. 2-3tsp Cinnamon

Grind the seasoning ingredients with a mortor and pestle for a more robust and cohesive flavor.

*Use the measurements above as a guide. I added more of what my nose preferred. The cinnamon really helped balance out the strong aroma of the paprika and the Cayene.

Lifestyle: Why Care for Self-Care??

Lifestyle: Why Care for Self-Care??

Over time I have become more health conscious and self aware. Not for any reason except that I get complete satisfaction from knowing that I feel good. It started with my hair. I was always somewhat confident in the person I was but of course as a teen, society trends tend to monopolize our thoughts and hide our individuality-so I relaxed my kinks when I joined the dance team in High School. It was like an over night epiphany that I was going to return to my natural hair after 8 years of relaxing it. I had done thorough research and found the alternative was much healthier, less expensive and most importantly, I could naturally be myself. WIN! I was in college at the time (where the name Andy Candy comes from). I could not really afford all of the top shelf products the YouTube vloggers raved about for the perfect wash n’ go and perm rod sets so I got to Doing It Myself (of course). At that moment I realized that my niche, my purpose, my outlet was the one thing that I tried to mask the entire time- My hair and care for that part of myself. This new love grew into more appreciation and respect for more areas of myself and I found that it was helping and inspiring others to do the same all through a little self-care.

So Why Care for Self-Care? “Self Care is a divine responsibility.”

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It is easy to take care of ourselves on the outside but like most things, we tend to neglect and even completely ignore the things we cannot see like our mental and spiritual health. Self-care can be as easy as taking 30 minutes of everyday to just sit and clear your mind. In doing so you can reduce stress, reduce and prevent depression and allow yourself to  be presently in the moment. Here are a few 30-minutes exercises you can add to your daily routine to practice self-care with a little holistic wellness thrown in, of course.

Blow off some steam!

Have you ever heard of our body producing endorphins that give us a clear mind and a burst of energy to continue throughout the day? Well 30-minute exercise sessions are linked to better mental and physical (duh) health. Exercise is also believed to regulate our sleep patterns, boost our memory and boost self-esteem by giving us a sense of power from avidly practicing this new force of habit and meeting small goals we set forth. And I know you are probably thinking “uh, H*** no, I don’t sweat” (lol). Well it is said that two 15-minute sessions and even three 10-minute sessions  each day will enhance your overall health. And I know that these days we either have three options: (1) We all have that CHEAP gym membership or at least know someone who does. (2) There is a gym at the job or (3) We work at a gym. Whatever form of physical exercise you decide, be comfortable and consider it to be a lifestyle rather than a chore. Other exercises include: yoga, frisbee with your dog, jogging, walking, skating, and dancing. So if this sounds like your thing or even something new you would like to try, invest a little time into yourself each day to self-care. Δ Did you know this? Standing up 16 times  a day for 2 minutes is healthier than exercising for 32 minutes straight.

“I can make you put ya phone down…”

Unplug for a second and cut off your phone. No T.V. or any disturbances should impede on this special time to yourself. Take this time to think about absolutely nothing or maybe absolutely everything. Get your life together! For some this could mean meditating to soulful lyrics or soundscapes while burning an Andy Candy healing essential oil blend for some aroma therapy. Erykah Badu can make you put your phone down too. Head here to check out that track and mixtape. This is also critical if you work long hours behind a desk. It is extremely important to take walks, to refuel and clear your mind before you give it another go. Working yourself to the point of exhaustion is not actually helping you to produce better results. At some point your body slows down, your skills aren’t as sharp and you lose focus. You may be working hard in some ways than none but you are not working efficiently. Self-care actually saves you more time by reducing overload burnout, stress and allows you to refocus.

Arts & Crafts aren’t only for kids

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So when we hear those words arts and crafts we probably think of construction paper maybe some glue and the old cliché macaroni necklace type stuff. Well think outside of the box. Crafting has developed an entire new meaning for adults. It has expands into the realms of stamping, scrapbooking, and definitely don’t forget Doing It Yourself. I love DIYs, hence why I hand make hair and body cosmeceuticals! You can even take some time to color in those cute adult coloring books I have been seeing a lot lately. Its very therapeutic and easy to tote anywhere with you so you can’t beat that. There are also tons of videos on YouTube of DIYers who love to show off their innovative and creative prowess in the vastly growing industry of Crafting/Do It Yourself. I happen to particularly like The Sorry Girls at the moment. Check ’em out. Other forms of crafting can include cooking. Remember that show, “30-Minute Meals” with Rachel Ray?! Here’s something that may spice up your night and make for a little date night in with the beau or a nice spread for one. ΔTry picking a recipe from that show. Prep all of your ingredients the night before or just before you cook. Time yourself to throw down a “30-Minute Meal.” See if it really works or create your own recipe and blog about it and don’t forget to tag me =).

So if this post has you thinking of your self-care routines, really evaluate whether it’s efficiently working for you or if you’re just going through the motions. Try some activities from the tons listed above. In the links below you will find some Do It Yourself tips you can adopt for you and a friend during this holiday season.

 

Related Links

“Rewire Your Anxious Brain” Book

Word Rocks

Self-Care Kit

Self-Care for a Friend

My InspirationImage Source

Roald Dahl Quote

Happy Holidays.

Thanks for reading. ✌🏾💖