Author: SarahSiera

The Challenges and Beauty of Life Changes

The Challenges and Beauty of Life Changes

Isn’t this always how it goes… one big life event happens right after another leaving you with barely anytime to breath in between? I feel like this is the only way we’ve ever known these last two years- living in constant movement.

For a little background, so you can either relate, or gasp at our craziness, Tyler’s master’s degree was in progress, we got engaged, I changed jobs, we planned a wedding, Tyler changed jobs, we moved, we got married, Tyler graduated (yay!), we bought a house, I changed jobs again, and we moved (again). That doesn’t even include everyone else’s life events that we were a part of, that is just us. I don’t know about you, but to me, that’s a lot to deal with. Especially coming from a person where change doesn’t come easily.

These changes can bring each their own challenges. It can be hard to accept change and insert yourself into this new world you’re supposed to adapt to. To us, key challenges were dealing with longer time apart for studying, the stress of dealing with wedding planning, the unknown of taking a new job and hoping it’s all you expected, picking up yet again and moving to a new town of unknowns, changing a martial status from single to married, and buying a home that comes with the stress of signing up for a 15 year commitment.

BUT- they also bring you to see a new beauty in life that you didn’t know was there until you experienced these changes. Before these changes occur, it’s all an unknown, but once they happen, you realize how positively they can impact your life and change your perspective. Let me share with you how I changed my view from these are crazy and this it all too much, to, I am so lucky and blessed to have this life.

The long few years of the Master’s Degree- when Tyler had any free time away from work, he used it to study. Almost anytime I saw him, he was studying. Although it was hard, we made sure that each and every time we had a day off together (maybe once every two weeks), we’d use it to do something we loved. We’d hike local state parks, go on long bike rides to the ice cream shop, kayak at Elkhart Lake, or just spend a rainy day binge watching Netflix with our favorite snacks and candies. Even though we weren’t spending a ton of time together, we made sure that when we did, it was quality time. That’s the beauty in it.

The stress of wedding planning- yikes. Where are my current brides at? You know exactly what I’m talking about. With all of the to-do lists and volunteers willing to lend a supportive hand, you just wanted to tell everyone that you got this. However, let’s be honest, without any of that support, your wedding wouldn’t be what you envisioned in your mind. I needed all of those people to help me make my day exactly what it was- perfect. I felt pretty loved to have all of those people willing to help. That’s the beauty in it.

Taking a new job- eeks. This one always terrifies me to no end. Did I make the right choice? Am I going to like my new team? Is this the right career path for me? How long do I have to sit in this position if I hate it? We both did this and we both struggle with this one. We definitely overthink to the point where we can’t eat and can’t sleep. There are just so many unknowns. But, after you do it, and see how sad, yet grateful your old team is for all of your contributions, and then how excited your new team is to have you and your skills that you bring to the table, it all makes you feel pretty accomplished. That’s the beauty in it.

Ohh, the dreaded move. Gosh, have we moved so many times together. From determining where we’re even going to live and hoping there is something available, to timing out the move from the old apartment, and not to mention adding in packing time, it becomes extremely hectic. However, what a great time to start fresh and declutter your life. Purge the extras and plan for the future. Through my current move, I’ve sold and gotten rid of all the extra clutter we have and it feels amazing. Out with the old unorganized mess, and in with the new! When else are you forced to look at everything you own and decide if it’s worth putting in a box to bring with you to your next destination? That’s the beauty in it.

Changing your martial status from single to married. That is a biggy! You don’t realize just how big of a step that is until it’s written out in paper and you’ve changed your name over on all your big important documents. You went that entire part of your life with that one name. It’s an end of an era, good-bye maiden name! It isn’t until someone amazing comes into your life and the thought of changing your name to theirs forever is just the perfect thing. It’s a bond. It’s the commitment. It’s being tied to your best friend for life in marriage. That’s the beauty in it.

Buying that first home. Another big change and commitment. Living life as an apartment dweller is all you know with minimal responsibilities and the ability to pick up and move where your next journey takes you. This home is signing you up for a 15 year commitment, the good, the bad, and the ugly, it’s all there for you…for 15 years. But, as newlyweds, we signed up for something that is ours and only ours. A place we can call home together. A place where we can maybe even grow our family some day. It’s a look into our future and where we can start our roots together. That’s the beauty in it.

 

How You Can Deal With New Life Changes

So, you need help dealing with change. Remember, you aren’t alone. We all experience life changes- it is a big part of life after all. Just lead with these three things and the rest will follow:

  1. Embrace the love and support you get- don’t push them away during the fear of the unknown.
  2. Give it time. Change is hard.
  3. Find the positives in all aspects of the change. You’ll be surprised at how they outweigh the negatives.

Want Clear Skin? L’BRI Has Aloe Power

Want Clear Skin? L’BRI Has Aloe Power

I don’t know what I did before I had L’BRI. I wish I would have found these products in my teenage years. Why? Because I absolutely love them! My skin has never been more clear or more healthy in my life. I don’t have to worry about breakouts, blemishes, or allergic reactions. I’ve even spent time with a dermatologist for a breakout that occurred from other products- well not anymore. I never give it a second thought that those issues might occur again because with these products, I know they won’t. All L’BRI products are natural and the main ingredient is aloe vera. There aren’t any harsh chemicals or intense perfumes that will irritate my skin- it’s all just pure and natural.

Over the last few months, people have continued to ask what I use on my skin. The answer is simply L’BRI. From face wash, lotion, masks, foundation, eye shadow, lipstick, body lotion, shampoo, conditioner, body wash- you name it, I use L’BRI.

These products were introduced to me by my sister-in-law, and like a typical women to women suggestion, I figured I’d give it a shot. If it was going to give me clear glowing skin and was all natural, the risks seemed minimal. So, I gave it a shot, and within the first week, I was hooked!

I use basic skin care set 1. My skin tends to be a combination of oily and dry, so the combination trio works best for me. However, if you have very oily skin, the deep pore trio will be best for you, and if you have dry or sensitive skin, the gentle skin care trio is for you. However, the steps will be very similar for all of them.

Step 1: Deep Pore Cleanser

I start off by wetting my face, taking a nickel sized amount of cleanser, and wash my face with my fingertips. Then, I rinse with warm water, dry my face, and remove any excess mascara. The nice thing about these products is they are chemical free, so you can scrub off any makeup you have with ease and without burning your eyes.

Step 2 (Sort Of): Exfoliating Face & Body Scrub 

The great thing about this product is right in the title- face AND body scrub. I typically use the exfoliant on my face about once a week, so this is not by any means a part of my daily routine, but it is thrown in there weekly so I figured I’d touch on it. This is a very coarse scrub so it really gets rid of that dirt in those nooks and crannies in your face that washing daily can leave behind. But, because it’s so coarse, I don’t recommend this daily. Also, if you have a breakout, I also do not recommend this, that can irritate your skin even more.  When I’m trying to get rid of that dry skin in the winter or clear out my blackheads, this is the time I go for the exfoliant.

Step 3: Gentle Freshener

You can think of this step as your toner, minus the burning sensation of the alcohol that most toners have. I spray it directly on my face and wipe with a cotton pad. It helps get rid of any left on dirt and freshen the skin. This is a step I never skip- I love the way my face feels with this freshener!

Step 4: Smooth & Firm Eye Repair Gel

This product I know a lot of women actually keep in their fridge, which speeds up the eye puffiness reduction process. Using my ring finger, I’ll apply it to my under eye, eye lids, brows, and in between my eyes. I’ll let this sit and dry slightly before applying my moisturizer, I feel like it has a better effect that way.

Step 5: Moisturizer 

Depending on the season, I use two different types of moisturizer. The Gentle Moisture Lotion I use primarily in the summer since it’s little bit lighter weight and I’ll use my L’BRI sunscreen moisturizer with it.

But, throughout the rest of the year, since I live in Wisconsin and winters can be harsh on your skin, I use the Intense Moisture Cream- and let me tell you, it’s amazing! Definitely my favorite and go-to L’BRI product! It’s really becoming an obsession, but my skin has never looked better because of it- completely hydrated and super smooth. It’s also rich in anti-oxidants, so I alway recommend even if you don’t use it during the day (which, once you try it, you’ll be using it every second you can) at least use that as your moisturizer before bed to let it soak in.

That’s it! That’s all I do to my skin on a daily basis are those simple steps. It takes 5 minutes out of my day, morning and night to apply these products and it is worth every second. Within 4 months, you can transform your skin the way I did- NO blemishes, NO dark spots, reduced redness, reduced eye puffiness, and no forehead wrinkles. It worked for me!

 

If you’re interested in trying out product yourself, visit www.sarahsiera.lbri.com  and click on customer sign-in/go shop to sign up (it’s free) and view catalogs and products. Enter my number, 402886, and start browsing. Don’t think, oh this was just her way of selling it to us- honestly, no. I only sell it because I love it! After talking to others about it, they wanted to try products, so to make it easier I became a consultant. I really am sharing this because I want other women to have the same positive experience I have with these products. And the nice thing is, if you hate the product (you won’t), you can get a refund. Tyler even uses L’BRI and he’s also blemish free! These products are a win in our household!

Any questions you have regarding my skin care routine, L’BRI products, or the benefits of aloe, feel free to send them my way. I’d love to hear your feedback and your thoughts if you’ve tried the products yourself!

Pura Vida!

Pura Vida!

Arrival

Two weeks ago, Tyler (the hubs) and I were in Costa Rica for our long over-due honeymoon. We were in-between so many different destination choices, that eventually we just decided to pick one and save the rest for our next trips. Also, doing a price comparison, Costa Rica by far gave us the biggest bang for our buck. It had everything we were looking for- relaxation and adventure! We booked through Apple Vacations online, which made it easy.

The great thing was we had a direct flight from Chicago to Liberia right off the bat. Between the two of us, we downed an entire bag of Garrett cheese popcorn and two boxes of candy- we would be your definition snackers. Upon arrival, we realized the Liberia airport is small, which makes it super easy to navigate. You exit the plane and there are people holding signs with names on them to take you to your resort. We hopped on our bus and made the 1.5 hour trek to Dreams Las Mareas in El Jobo. According to reviews, the ride was supposed to be treacherous and bumpy, however, we really didn’t find it too bad.

Oh, I forgot to mention, Costa Rica is hot- very hot! We got to the resort, in our jeans of course since we were coming from Wisconsin after all, and were greeted with a cool towel and a glass of champagne while we checked in. We instantly changed into shorts, we literally were dying from the heat, and decided to hit up the first restaurant for lunch before we spent the rest of the afternoon laying by the pool. Even though it was an extremely long and early day, we instantly felt ourselves starting to relax. A week away from work is exactly what the both of us needed.

Zip Lining 

The next day we went zip lining with Spider Monkey Canopy Tours and let me tell you, it did not disappoint. Jose picked us up at the resort in his truck, which we were confused about at first, but it ended up being just fine! We arrived and were taken on a hike through the jungle, where we saw two sloths and a group of howler monkeys. The tour guide started shaking the tree and those monkeys can sure howl! After our hike, we made it to the start of the zip lining tour and the sites were absolutely beautiful.

As the start of zip lining got closer, I started to get a bit nervous. I’ve never been before and we were up awfully high. Tyler had done it in the past so he knew what to expect. I think what made me the most nervous was when they handed me some leather-bound gloves and said, “this is your brake.” Umm, what?

They harnessed me up and there was no going back! I’m glad I didn’t chicken out because it was a blast! After the first few lines, Tyler went down “superman” style vs. the traditional sitting position. Then, he started to be a bit more adventurous so the guide flipped him upside down and pushed him down the line- I was just terrified watching that! But, he said it was amazing. So, sure enough, Tyler convinced me to step out of my shell only a little bit and go superman style with him. Well, when you’re going alone the entire time and go with someone else almost double your weight, you go MUCH faster- and going face down was even worse! Even though I screamed the entire time, as he laughed, I’m glad I did it- it was so fun and I lived to tell the tale!

Arenal Volcano

Although we had a few days in-between where we did nothing but laid by the pool and ate nachos, we planned our next excursion to Arenal Volcano. We were hesitant to go since it was three hours away, but we decided it was worth it. When else would we get the chance to see a volcano like that?

Well, the day started extremely early. We were on the bus by 6:30 a.m. Our tour guide, Vinny, gave us great information on the country throughout our trip. We stopped for lunch at an authentic Costa Rican restaurant, which was fantastic. The fresh squeezed papaya juice, chicken and rice, and this amazing dessert that tasted like Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal were all great. After lunch, the trek continued. The closer we got to the volcano, the prettier it got. The volcano is closer to the rainforest, so everything was bright with beautiful plants and flowers. We arrived and started our hike through the rainforest. Tyler loves doing his videography, so we got wonderful shots throughout the day. They called our area the “cloud forest” because of how high up you are throughout the hike. There were hanging bridges throughout which were a bit terrifying to walk over, especially when there are groups of people on the bridge. Let’s just say we weren’t too excited going on those even though we pretend to be happy in this photo below, haha.

But, the volcano and sites were beautiful. I can honestly say I’ve never seen anything like it. I’d recommend this trip to anyone visiting Costa Rica.

Before we hit the road again, we stopped at some natural hot springs that were formed from the volcano. They were a bit more commercialized than I thought, but it was super relaxing. Next, we went to dinner at a restaurant near Arenal. The food was wonderful and it was the closest restaurant to the volcano- dinner with a view! Then, back on the bus. We got back to the resort around 10 p.m. It was a long day, but completely worth every minute!

The Rest

We spent the rest of the time trying out the new restaurants on the resort, reading books, napping, and starting adventures of our own. The resort is tucked away, so we decided to hike around the resort, and it was well worth it! About a half mile into our hike, we ran into a private beach with white sands and turquoise waters. It was gorgeous. We continued on and ran into a wild dog that wanted nothing to do with us, but made his way all the way to the resort.

Monkeys Galore

Another highlight of our trip- the monkeys! We had SO many spider monkeys at our resort. They only came out every few days, but one morning there were about 10 just hopping around our balcony. Tyler has amazing video, once he has it complete, I’ll post a link in this blog for you to check out. They were grabbing things out of his hands and eating any snacks they could find. Absolutely adorable.

Sunsets

We ended each day with a sunset. They were gorgeous! Bright orange with yellows and pinks. We sat in our beach chairs and just watched the sun go down, which was a perfect end of a day and start of an evening.

As we were taking video during one sunset, another photographer came up and said she wanted to get a picture of us with the sunset in the background. Who could pass that up?

It ended up being my favorite picture from the entire trip.

Overall 

Visit Costa Rica! It was amazing. The people were fantastic, the food was great, the adventures were fun and we definitely weren’t ready to leave. There was so much more we wanted to do, but couldn’t squeeze it in. Until next time, Costa Rica.

Pura Vida!