It Looks Different For Everyone

It looks different for everyone.

Some of us radically change our look. Cut the hair, color the nails, change the makeup, whole new wardrobe, different accessories, new shoes. It's like a golden ticket to a new lifestyle and a new personality (until you learn that the inside doesn't change with the outside).

Some of us drop everything and don't move. Can't get out of bed, can't eat, can't sleep, can't read, can't even get on Facebook. It takes too much energy, and I can barely handle my interior monologue right now, let alone all the things the world is trying to make me pay attention to.

Some of us take on new tasks: completely re-organize the kitchen, start a new business, get a new knitting pattern started, write a new book, read a new book, start going to the gym, change diets.

Some of us let go of the things we know we should be doing; stop showering. stop brushing teeth. Stop eating healthy food. Stop drinking water. Stop controlling urges.

Some of us just binge-watch tv and day-drink.

It's one of those things you really don't realize how it affects you until you're in the middle of it.

It's just like experiences. Twenty people can experience the same thing, and every person will have different thoughts and feelings about it, and it will affect them different ways. What might not even phase me could possibly be your downfall.

You cannot judge people based on their experiences. Nor can you justify their diagnosis.

And don't you dare give me that "You have a great life, learn to be grateful" crap.

So what if they have nothing to be sad about? So what if they've grown up in the upper-middle class and have never gone hungry? Yes there are people out there who are worse off. But you cannot judge someone by their experiences or their diagnosis. Because everyone is affected by things differently.

That's the thing about depression; you meet someone and you might not know they're suffering, because that's just how they are. And then when they're gone, you think, "I didn't know." Because for them, the depression was normal.

For me, depression is not caring about my health, my cleanliness, or my physical body. Stress looks like eating sugar and taking naps. It's apathy; not caring about things I should care about.

So what? What can you do about this?

Listen. Be there. Support. Encourage. Don't judge your friends, and make sure they know you won't judge them. Be trustworthy and honest, so people know they can go to you. And always tell everyone how much you care about them. You never know when those words will mean the world.

Lavender Love - 7 Uses for Lavender in Your Life

I love lavender! 

It's one of those awesome scents that everyone has made soap and lotion and perfume out of, but none of it smells as good as real dried lavender, and real quality lavender essential oil.

So how great is lavender, really?

It's multi-purpose oil that will change your life!

1. Antibacterial and antifungal. You can use lavender to treat cuts and scrapes, much like you'd disinfect a cut with neosporin. 

2. Stimulates hair growth. Many people say lavender can significantly stimulate hair growth and scalp health! 

3. Helps your body produce antioxidants, and keep the cells in your body healthy. 

4. Lowers the bad bacteria in your gut. Use a drop of oil in your tea, or put some in your yogurt or in your lemonade! It can also reduce stomach pain and nausea. *Not all essential oils are created equal! Make sure you check the quality before consuming the oils!*

5. Aids in mood disorders. People with anxiety, depression, and other mood disorders have been known to respond to lavender aromatherapy.

6. Insect repellent, and bug bite itch relief. Put a drop on the bug bite to stop the itching. You can also mix with a carrier oil and use as a bug repellant.

7. Aids in sleep and insomnia. Having trouble settling down? Diffuse some lavender in the air, or put a few drops on your pillow. Lavender is soothing and will calm down your brain to help you sleep.

How do I use lavender in my day to day life?

Stressful day? I recommend you immediately take a hot bath with lavender in it, and drink some cold lemonade with a drop or two of lavender.

Bruise, cut, scrape, or burn? Mix a few drops of lavender with your FCO and massage into the area.

Can't sleep? Feeling down? Put a few drops of lavender on a damp hot cloth and rest it on your forehead.

Need to freshen up your home? Mix lavender into a bucket with hot soapy water and use it to clean and disinfect surfaces in your house.

Allergic to your fabric softener? Put a few drops of oil on a rag or a dryer ball, and throw it in the dryer instead of using fabric softener. Getting away from softeners has helped my skin so much!

Here are two of my favorite lavender oils. I love the oils by Brooklyn Botany (Just got it in the mail yesterday.) I love all their oils (they have the BEST Rosemary I've ever tried).

The Kurim Case: A Terrifying True Story of Child Abuse, Cults, and Cannibalism by Ryan Green

The Kurim Case: A Terrifying True Story of Child Abuse, Cults, and Cannibalism by Ryan Green, narrated by Ernie Sprance Genre: True Crime
ISBN (print edition): 978-1535024389
Pub date: June 29, 2016
Rating: 4
Amazon | Audible | Goodreads 

This book outlines the story of the Kurim Case, a case taking place in another country, and it reads like a report or a professional document. It is not a novel, but the story is still written with the intention to get the reader's attention, ask questions, bring to to a climax, and leave with a conclusion.

In the beginning of the work, he warns the reader that there are some details that someone with sensitivity should be cautious of. This warning was only mildly warranted; there were only a few instances where the torture endured by the victims was outlined in such graphic detail, and in the scheme of things, by a fluent reader of crime novels, it was some of the less violent and disturbing that I've read. That being said, if you can't get through your typical crime novel, or a James Patterson torture scene, best leave this one off your list.

All in all, I tore through it very quickly (it's short, so I listened at work, and read it in one sitting). It kept me engaged and interested, and I'm very satisfied with the work as a whole. I would have liked just a little more detail and breakdown of the mental disorders and psychological influence that happened (I love that kind of stuff) but for a fan of true crime who wants a quick engaging read, this is a great book!

The narrator was also very good. Narrators can make or break an audiobook production, and Sprance definitely made it.

Special thank you to the author for providing the Audible book to me!

7 Secrets for When You're Coming Down With Something

I have a pretty good immune system, and when I do get sick it's rare (which is amazing, considering how many children sneeze in my face). I have a few things I do when I think I'm getting sick. I can always feel it because the first thing to happen is my adams apple swells up and hurts. That's warning sign #1, and it means I have one day to do what I need to do to avoid getting sick.

So here's what I do!

flu, sick, cold, fever, immune system

Thanks for visiting! Just so you know, The Life and Lies is an affiliate of several websites, and may collect a fee for your clicks, purchases, and subscriptions. Any item featured or reviewed may have been received free or discounted, but in no way affects my review. Thanks, and enjoy!

1. Don't exercise. As much as I love my 30-minute mid-day power workout, when I'm coming down with something, I don't work out, and I take it easy in dance class. The body has a limited amount of energy, and I'd rather it spend all the energy possible fighting a possible flu rather than getting ripped abs.

2. Drink Orange juice + Whisky. Seriously though... I drink 2 huge glasses of OJ, each with a shot or two. Alcohol is antiseptic, and if I have anything in my throat, it'll kill it. OJ is packed with vitamins, minerals, natural sugars, and fiber.

3. Stay Hydrated. Whether that be with tea, coffee, water, apple juice, etc. make sure you stay hydrated! The more fluids you can wash into and out of your system, the more effective your lymphatic system will be.

4. Eat healthfully. Don't cave and eat junk food. Get some soup, chicken pot pie, a salad with protein, etc something for your body to run effectively on.

5. Do the Healing Codes. Every time I do the Healing Codes before I get sick, it curves the sickness and I fight it off. The times I'm ill are because I didn't do them! I know it sounds ridiculous... how can a few hand motions boost your immune system and help you fight off a cold? Well honestly I don't totally understand it, but it has to do with negative energy, spark plugs, and quantum physics. It's all very well explained, and if you're interested, you should totally check it out. I've had nothing but good experiences using it, even though nobody in my family believes me :p

6. Medicinal Essential Oils. Scratchy throat? Thieves. Aches and pains? Bath with rosemary and tea tree. Congestion? Hot wash cloth with peppermint and lavender on your face. Seriously, guys. These things are amazing. Why drink 30+ cups of tea when you can just rub a few drops of essential oil on your skin and get the same benefits?

7. Sleep. Seriously, go the f*ck to sleep. Sleep that crap off! Along the same lines as the "no exercise" rule... your body has limited energy stores. Let it use the stores to keep you healthy. Cancel your plans for the night, so you won't be canceling your plans for the whole week.

Good luck! Stay healthy, wash your hands,  and don't let kids sneeze in your face.

Kathy Ireland Lounge and Pajama Pants - A Lazy Girl's Dream Come True

You know how you have that one pair of PJs you wear all the time and you want to live in them?

In college I was obsessed with those thick fuzzy warm pants. I literally wore them all the time, everywhere. That's the thing about college, you can get away with wearing your pjs to class (and the cafeteria).

Now that I don't live in the mountains anymore and the coldest it ever gets is 40 degrees, I've retired my thick fuzzy pants in lieu of something more free-flowing. I wear my Kathy Ireland pants almost every night.

They're very soft, free-flowing, and comfortable. They're made of that super-soft t-shirt fabric everyone loves! I love that the elastic is strong enough to keep them on my hips, but not so tight that they leave a mark. It took 10 minutes for me to decide which pattern to get, but I ended up with the pink on pink.

I only wish the drawstring were real, not just a bow.

Seven patterns... which is your favorite?

Review: Conspiracy of Ravens

Conspiracy of Ravens by Lila Bowen, narrated by Robin Miles
Genre: YA or New Adult fiction, Historical Supernatural fiction
ISBN: 9780316302272
Pub date: October 11th 2016 by Orbit
Rating: 3
Goodreads | Amazon | Audible | Audiobooks.com

This whole series has me feeling all mixed up.

On one hand, the plot and story has a lot of potential, the writing is pretty good and keeps me reading, and the characters are well developed and complex.

But on the other hand, there's a lot that I don't like. Most prominent, the main character in this story is a young girl abused to the point of a sexual identity crisis. (S)he has no identity, is very confused, and has very little guidance on the matter.

The plot also seemed to drag a little in this one near the end. The beginning and middle was fairly well paced, but it wasn't nearly as well thought out and complex as Wake of Vultures. And it didn't really end the way I wanted it to.

This series is not one I'm going to continue. Part of it is because of the slowness and disappointingness of the plot in this novel, but the other part is the subject of Nettie/Rhett's identity crisis.

I feel like because she was abused by a man she hated, and neglected by a woman who was supposed to keep her safe, she lost all respect for women. She didn't want to be a part of that "woman" stuff. So instead she decided to become what she had respect for: the men in the horse training camp.

But rather than become a strong heroine, she became a broken confused scared young girl who tries to change who and what she is because of past experiences.

And I know the author was trying to make a statement about something, but I feel like it's done more hurt than it's helped. I wish Nettie/Rhett would learn that she is indeed perfect just as she is, she wasn't born in the wrong body, and that being a man or a woman has nothing to do with who you are or how you act.

Somehow I doubt that'll happen. So I'm retiring this series and moving on to greener pastures.

Good luck, Nettie Lonesome.

I threw away all my makeup

Yes, you read that right. I threw away all my makeup.

I haven't worn makeup since I was sixteen. My teenage rebellious stage consisted of my mother telling me I looked so pretty when I did my makeup, so I stopped doing it because I was trying really hard to be angsty (I was such a bad kid).

After discontinuing use of makeup, I discovered all the watery eyes, burning skin, acne, and itchy face and neck was from the makeup I was putting on my face. My acne cleared up almost immediately and I felt so much better about myself.

I experimented with a few different brands of makeup, including Almay, Bareminerals, Bobbi Brown, and several others that claimed to be hypoallergenic, all of which made me have the same reaction. Being a ballet dancer, I had to wear makeup for my shows, and it was always a painful experience.

Eventually I gave up. I realized what it was that I was allergic to: stuff that didn't belong. Shortly thereafter, I noticed my skin responding to shampoo, conditioner, perfume, body wash, and hairspray.

Now I don't put anything on my skin except things that meet two or three of these qualifications:

  • things that come from a plant (directly with no added fillers)
  • things I can find in my pantry/refrigerator
  • things I can pronounce

So just to prove my point (and to make space in my bathroom, since I wasn't using it anyway), I threw it away. I stopped holding on to it. I'd kept it around as a sort of security blanket; "I can use it if I have to." But I'm over it. I'm happy with my skin, and even when I break out, it's totally not a big deal anymore.

So there it goes!

I also threw away my old perfumes, conditioners, and bath and body works soaps that I can't use.

Is there something you're holding on to that you have stopped using but you haven't gotten rid of yet? trust me, throwing it out feels so good.

Avidlove's Kimono Robe

Everyone needs a silky sexy robe, right?

I got this one from Avidlove. I love it! It's short, about mid-thigh length, and very soft and silky. It comes in 8 different colors, all of which are gorgeous. It's one of those items that is exactly as it appears in the photos!


My photos don't do justice; it's very shiney and soft!

Thank you to Avidlove for sending me this robe!! <3 I love it, and so does my cat (and fiance!)

The Benefits and Uses for Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree is like the aspirin of the oil world: it cures and does everything. Here are just a few uses for tea tree oil!

Health and Healing

  • Clears up a sore throat (add a drop to 4-6 oz water and gargle)
  • Kills fungus and ringworm (mix with a carrier oil and apply topically) 
  • Helps with Headaches (diffuse for aromatherapy, or put in a hot bath)
  • Heals minor cuts and scrapes (apply topically. You can dilute with a carrier if you have sensitive skin)
  • Alleviates itching from bug bites 
  • Eases psoriasis (mix with a carrier like Coconut or Rosehip oil)
  • Helps kill acne and heal from the scaring
  • Pulls aches and pains out of sore muscles (put a few drops in a hot bath)
  • Kills head-lice (add a few drops to your shampoo, and then mix with a carrier and use as conditioner)
  • Heals sunburns (mix with a carrier and apply topically)
  • Kills yeast infections (consult your doctor before using vaginally. Remember, not all oils are created equal!)

In the Home

  • Pest repellent (diffuse, or mix with water in a spray bottle and spray)
  • Deodorant for trash cans or stinky corners (put a few drops in the bottom of your trash can, or mix with water and spray down the area that stinks)
  • All purpose cleaner (mix with water and vinegar in a spray bottle)
  • Clean up your washing machine (run an empty load with 15-20 drops of oil)

Here are a few TTO options I recommend. If you don't know where to start with essential oils, check out this article on how to get started!

No, we are not. But we can be.

Two days ago I was thinking about a blog post related to the pledge of allegiance, and I decided against it because I thought it was a little past time. I changed my mind in light of what has been going on via facebook.

All over the internet, people are posting the pledge with UNDER GOD in all caps. As if this will make a difference. It is their facebook-election-prayer.

Unfortunately, we are a country where we justify murdering babies, we keep drug-addicted teens in prison longer than rapists and murderers, and our school system revolves around getting standardized testing grades up to acquire more money from the government.

We are not a nation under God.

We snubbed God a long time ago. We turned our back, threw up our hands, turned up our noses, and walked away.

This whole election has got everyone stressed because 1. The democrat can't be trusted, 2. The republican is disgusting, and 3. a third party hasn't won in ages. So it's between Voldemort and Umbridge. Hitler and the Anti-Christ.

But this is not the end. Here's why I'm not worried.

Whenever people freak out about what's happening, something they can't control, it's because they are believing lies. So here are the two lies we are believing, and the correct ones we need to replace that thinking with. Whether you believe in a sovereign God or not, you can still learn to replace lies with truth.

The Lie: The wrong candidate will win.

This is straight-up not true. Whoever is supposed to be president will be president. The wrong candidate will not win. The candidate who God wants in office will be in office. We may not understand His reasoning for it, but we have to be humble and trust. Here's the truth: God is in control of the election, and He will place His president where He wants them. 

The Lie: Once the president is in office, that's it.

Here's the amazing thing about God... He changes hearts. He can take any heart, young or old, hard or soft, So believe it or not, the candidate who gets into office doesn't even matter. Because we worship a God who changes people.

The Lie: There's nothing I can do.

Get on your face. Worship, pray, and fast. this nation will not change without sacrifice. Get a prayer group going where you each take an hour and pray around the clock. Write letters. Pray for the hearts of our people in office.

Let God be God.

So get on your face, trust the Lord, and maybe one day, America will be One Nation Under God again.  

5 Things you need to start your Essential Oil experience

Always wanted to get into essential oils but don't know where to start? Super-haleybop to the rescue. Here we go.

1. First, you need a good set of oils. You can buy a variety pack...

...or you can pick a few good bottles of multi-purpose oils. Here are my recommendations: Peppermint, Lavender, Frankincense, Tea Tree, and Rosemary. I consider these oils "staples" in my cabinet. I never leave the house without them.

2. Then you need a few different options of carrier oils. You don't want to put oils directly on your skin unless you know your skin can handle it. So get yourself some coconut oil, almond oil, rosehip oil, or avocado oil. Here's a nice set that has rosehip oil and two oil blends that come with it, and here's a set of five different carriers!

3. You need a way to store your oils. They should be kept in blue or amber bottles (if they aren't already), and kept in a cool dark place. A medicine cabinet or a carrier case works well.
Here are two of my cases I use. The wood one stays on my dresser, the travel case is what I take when I'm on the road.

4. A diffuser is the next step. You can put oils in the air with a diffuser or humidifier. Get one specifically designed for essential oils. Here are two of my faves.

5. Make your oils portable. You don't want to take the whole bottle with you, or you could end up with a mess and a lot of wasted money. So put a small amount in roller bottles, or a travel pack. I have my travel keychain pack with me at all times, and it has been a lifesaver!

Good luck, and be sure to check out the benefits of those oils I mentioned above!

Heartless by Marissa Meyer

Heartless by Marissa Meyer
Genre: YA Fiction, Romance

ISBN: 9781427267948
Pub date: Feiwel & Friends (November 8, 2016)
Rating: 4

Long before she was the terror of Wonderland―the infamous Queen of Hearts―she was just a girl who wanted to fall in love.

Long before she was the terror of Wonderland, she was just a girl who wanted to fall in love. Catherine may be one of the most desired girls in Wonderland, and a favorite of the unmarried King of Hearts, but her interests lie elsewhere. A talented baker, all she wants is to open a shop with her best friend. But according to her mother, such a goal is unthinkable for the young woman who could be the next queen.

Then Cath meets Jest, the handsome and mysterious court joker. For the first time, she feels the pull of true attraction. At the risk of offending the king and infuriating her parents, she and Jest enter into an intense, secret courtship. Cath is determined to define her own destiny and fall in love on her terms. But in a land thriving with magic, madness, and monsters, fate has other plans.

In her first stand-alone teen novel, the New York Times-bestselling author dazzles us with a prequel to Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.

Heartless comes out November 8th. You have a few days to decide if you want to read it.

Do you like having your heart broken? Are you a glutton for punishment? Do you love amazing strong brave magical sexy heroes that ruin your whole damn week? Are you a masochist? This book is for you.

But if you're emotional and you love happy endings and sweet love stories, stay far, far away, because I'm an emotional wreck right now.

This book is devastating.

first of all, listening to the audio, it was a bit silly. The accent switched between American and British, and it was weird. The story itself was bonkers (which is to be expected, this is Hearts we're talking about).

What killed me is there's no way for this story to turn out happy. I mean, we know the story of Alice in Wonderland... we know what happens to the queen of hearts. And I am 100% sure of it, so I quit right after the meadow scene. I'll let it work itself out happily in my head. Because I don't feel like  having to explain to my boss why I'm crying about a YA novel.

THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS AFTER THIS POINT. well not really spoilers because this is what I want to happen.

So in my head, Jest took Cath to the Hatter, who made her a hat to make her brave and not afraid of her horrible parents. She marries the king, kills him and blames it on the jabberwock, kills the jabberwock, rules the kingdom of Hearts by herself, and partners with the white queen in Chess to save their kingdom. And she marries Jest and becomes the happiest girl in the world and has a dozen adorable hilarious magical children. Eventually her parents ask for her forgiveness for being wretched and she forgives them and bakes them cake. 

Even though I know that isn't what happens. It's not even close. Here, Marissa Meyer, just take my heart and stomp on it already. It would have been less painful.


So why did I give it 4 stars? Because even though it was silly (honestly I almost quit in the beginning) and the writing wasn't phenomenal, it made me care. It pulled me in, I felt my heart rate change, I experienced everything right along-side Cath. And that's why it hurt so darn bad!

Someone help me, I need another romance to read to get this story out of my head!

Get your copy at Amazon, Audible, or Goodreads.

Here's a sample clip!

Quest for the Best: Bluetooth Headphones

I love audiobooks (which you should know by now). I also love music, and listening to podcasts while I work, clean my room, or exercise. I'm lucky enough to have a phone that actually does what it's supposed to (you can read my adventures of electronic devices here) and I've recently been on a quest for the best bluetooth headphones for the money.

It took a while, but I've found them. Welcome to The Quest for the Best, Bluetooth headphones edition.

1-3 stars

Here's the first pair I've ever gotten. I give 'em a 3.5. They didn't fit my head very well, and I had to use a headband to keep them pressed into my ears (my head is the size of an eight-year-olds).

These had trouble pairing to my device, but once I got them the sound quality was okay. But they broke after one use, and didn't stay in my ears very well.

These suckers just straight-up would not go in my ears. there's something wacky about the shape/design. They won't go in/on/over however they're supposed to work! I gave them to my co-worker and she couldn't use them, so we gave them to my other co-worker and he tried them, and then threw them away. After posting my amazon review, the seller emailed me and asked me to take the review down!

+easy to use
+connect to my phone fine
+good instructions

-bad sound quality; very tinny and grainy, not fun to listen to music if your music goes down in quality by 50%
-the small size ear-bud covers DO NOT go on. I tried for almost 30 minutes (and I'm really good at this, cause I've reviewed a ton of these now) but they wouldn't go on.

All in all, they're like, maybe worth $10, but not $30.

These were horrible. bad sound, bad fit, bad controls. then they broke.

The sound quality on these were no good.

4 stars

I'd recommend these for wearing around the house, listening to audiobooks, etc. they don't get very loud; which is annoying when you're in the gym and don't want to listen to Justin Bieber.

These two from SoundPEATS were pretty good. They're both comfortable, pretty good sound, easy connectivity, and good controls. I use them a lot and am happy with them.

5 stars

These are the ones I prefer out of all of these. They're comfortable, they have a hook to keep them around the ears, but they're very flexible, so they fit around the ear without putting pressure on. 

And the sound quality is awesome!! I love them. 

True Bliss - stress relief essential oil blend by Living Pure

I recently got my hands on a bottle of True Bliss essential oil blend by Living Pure. I have used their oils before (I have their Frankincense). I am so happy with this True Bliss bottle.

It's a stress-relief blend that has Rose, Orange and other citrus, Cedarwood, Lavender, Vanilla, and Patchouli.

from Living Pure website

When I first opened the bottle it filled the whole room (granted it had leaked, see video footage here). I put it in the diffuser and it was amazing. I won't say it stopped my anxiety or made me pass out. But I will say it made me immensely happy, and I did feel more chill. 

I'm very happy with this oil. You can buy it directly from their website where they have free shipping and a promotion (buy 2 bottles, get a free bottle of lemon oil) or you can get it on Amazon for about half the price.

Better eating challenge? Week 3...

It's been a long week.

Last week I was only in town Monday and Tuesday. Wednesday morning I headed off to my sister's hometown of New Bern NC where we helped her get her wedding in gear. We made treats, tore apart and re-setup the  church, and and shared many many bottles of wine.

And you know what? I don't feel guilty at all for eating fifteen buckeyes and a plate full of pimento cheese sandwiches. Because I've been eating really well the past few weeks, and I'm going to eat well this week too.

That's the point of this. It's not a "perfect diet," or a series of strict rules or recipes. It's about sticking to what you know your body needs, so you can splurge sometimes and not feel guilty.

Except yesterday, when I ate Taco Bell. I needed something fried.

A photo posted by haley (@thelifeandlies) on

Moving on!

Yogurt with Granola
Bagel with Cream Cheese

PB and Fruit Mash
Graze snacks

Cheese, salami, crackers
Baked Potato and fixings

Hope you're hanging in there with me! Good luck!


Copyright 2016 Haley Mathiot. All reviews are 100% honest and unbiased. One or more items featured in the blog post may have been free or discounted. Receiving free or discounted product does not affect review. For more please see my disclaimer page.