March 20, 2019

Budget-Friendly Skincare Routine for Combination Skin

This post is sponsored by Bioré but all content and opinions expressed here are my own and that of The Caro Diaries.
One of the hardest things about having combination skin is finding the right products that work for you. I've tried just about everything – both drugstore and high-end – and it still feels like it's impossible to find the balance that's needed to treat both the oily and dry patches of my face. Some products dry me out even more, while others don't even begin to treat the oiliness, and it's a serious problem.

I've been a fan of Bioré's products for a really long time, as you know, so when I heard about their new line of Blue Agave & Baking Soda products, made especially for those with combo skin, I was dying to try it! I picked up the line's Whipped Nourishing Detox Mask and the Balancing Pore Cleanser, and it's safe to say I've added it into my regular routine pretty quickly!
I wasn't sure exactly why the combination works perfectly on combo skin, but if you're smack dab in the middle of oily and dry, this is your skin's secret weapon! Baking soda is known to deep clean and get into your pores to remove all the guck, and it can be very harsh on your skin, so the Blue Agave, which is known for it's conditioning benefits, helps to soothe and nourish the skin! The combo makes it possible to target both the oily and dry patches, which is a very hard balance.

And even though the products are perfect for those with combo skin, they also have tons of benefits for those who don't consider themselves to have combination skin – which means that these are the perfect addition to basically everyone's skincare routine! Each product is priced at under $7, which makes it affordable and attainable for just about every budget – who says skincare should be expensive?
I tried the Whipped Nourishing Detox Mask, and it's the best for feeling like you got deep down in your pores and cleaned everything! The mask has menthol in it, which gives you that intense, pore-tingly sensation that feels amazing (and makes your skin look it too!). It's a whipped texture that applies so smoothly onto a wet face, and in only 3 minutes, my skin felt drastically cleaner! (Instructions say keep them on for 3-5 minutes, and no longer!) I will say, if you have sensitive skin or you're sensitive to menthol, this product may not be right for you as it might cause short-term flushing of your skin. But to be honest, my skin is fairly sensitive, and I had no reaction to it!

The Balancing Pore Cleanser is definitely the newest addition to my every day routine because it was a great face wash that exfoliated (it has jojoba beads!), deep cleans and leaves my skin feeling smooth, refreshed and just all-round clean! I used it in place of my regular face wash at night, and really felt like it removed all the guck and impurities from my pores and took off the remnants of makeup trapped in my skin. I can definitely see how using this product long-term can make my skin softer, brighter and healthier! 
I ordered these online through Walmart, but they're available in stores all over (check here to see where it's available), online through Walmart, Target or even Amazon!

 
While it's no secret that I'm a fan of Bioré and especially this new line, I feel like anyone with combo skin will be too!

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March 11, 2019

March Goals

So, Carnival has come and gone, and now March is in full swing, which means it's time to share my goals. February brought a lot of consistency, a virus and tons of Carnival prep – I even shared more about Trinidad Carnival on my Instagram Stories, and it's all saved in my Highlights, so if you missed it, go check it out!

Now that Carnival is finished, life is a little slower in some ways and definitely more hectic in others. I won't be hitting fete after fete anymore, but I'll be working a ton more trying to get my April issue out on time, as well as helping with three other publications coming out in the next two months. So it's going to be crazy - but fun - as always!

Now let's get into this month's goals and last month's recap!

Check out last month's goals and recap post HERE


RECAP OF MY FEBRUARY GOALS

1. READ SIX BOOKS // I really wasn't sure I'd be able to do this one, because February was so hectic, but I'm happy to say I managed to read 6 books in time! I knew the first week or two of March would be Carnival and recovery so I wanted to make sure I was ahead of my reading schedule (link to goodreads challenge) and i'm proud to say I did it!  

2. EXERCISE 5 DAYS A WEEK // I definitely exercised way more in February, and even days that I missed training, I'd make the effort to go to the gym and do an hour, wake up early in the morning, or go to a lunch-time yoga class. However, two weeks before Carnival, I got super sick with a virus and I was out for three days straight, making it that much harder to workout 5x that week. Besides that week though, I met this goal, so I'm giving myself partial credit here!  

3. FINALIZE MY CARNIVAL ACCESSORIES // Of course, this happened super last minute – but I somehow managed to get it all together in time: my Monday Wear, boots, tights, accessories and even glitter spray to make sure I was looking extra sparkly on the road! 

4. GET TO SLEEP EARLIER // I feel like this is always going to be a yes and no for me, because it was really dependent on the night. Sometimes, I stayed up til 3 am, and others I was passed out by 11:30 pm. I've accepted this is just who I am, although I'm always trying to get to bed earlier regularly!

5. TRY SOMETHING NEW // This is super tiny, but was something so totally new for me. If you know me, you'll know I'm so boring with my manicures: they're always gel polish, either in a bright red, a pale pink or trusty nude, and sometimes if I'm feeling exciting I'll do a deeper red. That's it. Four shades! Lame, right? So, last month I tried both white nail polish AND rose gold chrome nail polish, which I did to complement my Carnival costume. I shared them both under the NAILS highlight on my Instagram, so if you're looking for nail inspo, I gotchu! 

TOTAL: 4/5: Overall a great month, considering I hit most of my goals! 


MARCH GOALS

1. GET BACK ON TRACK WITH EATING HEALTHY // Carnival was last week Monday and Tuesday, and after months of being super strict and eating super clean, I gave myself the rest of the week to 'cheat', and eat all of the cravings I had while I was hardcore. Now that the last few days have passed, I need to re-commit to the healthy lifestyle I'd been following and it's a massive goal for my month to get back on track. I've seen in the past how easy it is to continue 'cheating' after Carnival (especially because there's no huge goal in sight: Carnival you're literally half-naked on the street so you're super motivated!). 

2. SCHEDULE MORE BLOG CONTENT // Now that I'll have a littleee more free time, I want to commit to blogging more often than just twice a month. Really trying to become more regular, especially as I approach my 6-year blogging anniversary at the end of the month! I'm trying to work on creating more content for TCD. 

3. BOOK MY FLIGHTS FOR E'S WEDDING // One of my besties from my sorority is getting married in the Fall! I know that I don't want to miss seeing her walk down the aisle to the love of her life, and so I've planned a quick little trip for her wedding, and to visit some friends in Boston and Connecticut. This month, I want to book flights while they're still affordable, book my hotels and finalize the details so I can officially RSVP YES to Erica and Matt!  

4. WAKE UP EARLIER // In the last few months, I've been making an effort to be up earlier, and at the start of the year, I was up consistently by 6 am. But obviously, as time passed and as I've gotten less and less sleep, I've found myself hitting the snooze button more and more. I live 5 minutes away from my office, and I definitely take advantage of that sometimes, so I want to get back to waking up early and enjoying my slow mornings before the work rush begins!

5. START BACK POSTING ON INSTAGRAM // Instagram has definitely been the platform I've been the most hesitant to jump back into since returning to TCD, and I've been really slow starting back. In the last few months, I've started to post more on Instagram Stories, even creating a few highlights and showcasing some things that are important to me! But I want to find the motivation to post more photos to my feed. So, if you have any advice or suggestions on content you'd like to see, let me know!


So, that's it! My goals for March! They're a mix of personal and blog goals, and I think that they're gonna be hard to accomplish! Let's do it! 

What are your goals for this month? 

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February 14, 2019

How to Keep at Your New Year's Resolutions (Even After January)

Now that we're more than a month into the New Year, some people have already started failing at their New Year's resolutions. It's a sad fact, but a fact nonetheless, most people don't make it past January with their goal to be a 'new' them for the year. And I get it: in fact, most years, I fall off the wagon with some goals too. It's nothing to be ashamed of, cause it happens to the best of us, but it's something to learn from.

I think that's the most important part of a New Year's resolution. Not completing the resolution itself, but learning and growing from trying to change certain aspects of yourself or your life, seeing how you perform and react to change, and seeing how hard you persist with a lofty goal. It's definitely hard, but if you make it through the year, it's worth it.


My resolutions this year are a little vaguer than normal, because I'm letting one word guide me instead of goals. But that doesn't mean I can't fall off the wagon. In fact, it's easier than ever. So I spent some time reflecting on all progress I've made on resolutions throughout the years, considering those I succeeded with and those I failed at, and I decided to share the magic potion to staying on track with your resolutions past January!

ONE // SET REALISTIC GOALS

I feel like this one is pretty much the reason why most people fail at their New Year's resolutions: they create too big of goals that are highly unlikely to be achieved in one shot. Instead of putting "clear all debt" or "lose 100 pounds" on your list, aim for something a little more achievable.

Know yourself and what you're actually going to do before making a goal that you'll more than likely not achieve. So instead of "lose 100 pounds", make your resolution to eat healthier for the year, or get to the gym more. Being realistic sets you up for success in the long run.


TWO // WORK AT THEM EVERY DAY

It's called a New YEAR's resolution for a reason: they'll happen over a year's time. It doesn't happen overnight, and it's totally unrealistic to expect that to happen. The beauty of a resolution is that it's meant to change your habits, and that takes time and requires you to put in work. If you want to get out of debt, you can't just save money on one day and expect that to make a significant difference. It's important to learn and understand that in order to keep the goals you made for yourself, you'll have to work at them, even a little bit, every single day!


THREE // DON'T BEAT YOURSELF UP FOR A BAD DAY

That being said.. not every day is going to be perfect. If you're really trying to eat healthier, and you have one bad day of eating like total crap, that's OKAY! It's okay to have ups and downs – in fact, it's healthy.

It's important to recognize that it's alright to have a bad day, but you can't let yourself turn it into a bad week or a bad month, because soon it'll be a bad year. This is what you call 'all or nothing' type of thinking – and breaking this mindset is the first thing you should do if you ever want to succeed in any goals you set.


FOUR // REWARD YOURSELF

Listen, New Year's resolutions are hard. If they were easy, everyone would keep theirs year after year, and the world would be a happier, healthier, wealthier place, right? But they're hard: and that's not to be forgotten, so find ways to reward yourself for staying on track.

Say your resolution is to exercise more, create mini-rewards to keep you going! Exercise 5 days this week? Treat yourself to something nice. Make it through a month of consistent exercise? Reward yourself with a little gift. These small encouragements will help you continue to crush your goals day by day and month by month!

FIVE // KEEP YOURSELF ACCOUNTABLE

If you want to do something this year: talk about it. Tell everyone you know. Beg friends to join in on the resolution with you. Make a group chat to encourage each other to stick at it. Tweet, Facebook, Instagram the journey. Let the world know what you want to do, because if it's out there, you'll be shamed into actually doing it. Because no one wants to be the person who didn't achieve their goals!

So find someone who has a similar goal as you this year, or just ask a friend if you two can hold each other accountable for your individual resolutions, and then stick to it! Keep in touch regularly and encourage each other. Share your wins, share your mistakes and even share when you fail – because you'll get back up and go again and again this year!

So.. now that February is in full swing, will you still keep at your New Year's resolutions? 
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February 11, 2019

February Goals

This post is coming a little late in February – to be honest, I haven't as much as opened my laptop in weeks! But I committed to blogging and I'm trying my best for 2019, so here we go..

Can you believe we're already in February? I feel like I say this every year, but January always feels soOoOoOo long, and then the rest of the year flies by, and it's looking like 2019 is no different! But let's see what I want to accomplish in February!

Check out last month's goals and recap post HERE

RECAP OF MY JANUARY GOALS

1. RE-COMMIT TO THE BLOG // Can I give myself partial credit for this? While I didn't blog at all since my last goals post, I drafted several posts, brainstormed a ton of ideas for my content calendar and slowly got back into Instagram Stories. I know I need to be more consistent across all channels, but it's been so difficult transitioning with work, and it's a crazy time of year, but I'm positive I'll be better! 

2. PERSONALIZE MY SPACE AT WORK // I definitely didn't do as much as I'd hoped, but I did bring in little details that reflect who I am to make my office feel more 'me'. I think this'll be a passion project throughout the year, and month by month I'll see small changes, but I started by bringing in some candles, a personalized calendar featuring photos of the kids in my family, a desk clock, a little acrylic box with my name on it, pen holders and a cute little decor sign. So while it's not perfect, I'm chalking this as a win!  

3. SAVE MONEY // In January, I actually did pretty well at not spending money unnecessarily. Besides the must-haves like gas, groceries, my gym membership or medication, I avoided spending in the month of January and I really impressed myself. I'm hoping to continue this 'no-spend' trend as much as possible throughout the year, but it's so hard! 

4. CUT OUT DIET SODA // I am SO proud of myself for this one! For the first two weeks, I completely cut out diet soda, and I was feeling so good! Then, I would allow myself to have a sip of one if I wanted, without feeling like I needed to have the rest. I definitely slacked a little bit lately and have been having one more often than I would like (though still WAY less than I'm used to, so it's good?) and I want to cut down even more. 

5. EXERCISE 5 DAYS A WEEK // I'm giving myself partial credit because some weeks, I exercised more than 5 days, while others I fell short at 3-4 days! But I'm definitely more active and that was the overall goal, so this is a win! 

TOTAL: 4/5: Definitely not my worst month – I'm proud of myself for sticking to most of these! 

FEBRUARY GOALS

1. READ SIX BOOKS // Carnival is the first week of March, and I know that week is going to be crazy and I'm not going to have enough time to read at all, so I'll probably fall behind if I'm going for the 'one book a week' idea. So I want to get ahead of myself and read a couple extra books this month in anticipation of those hard weeks! 

2. EXERCISE 5 DAYS A WEEK // Bringing this January goal with me to February, especially because Carnival is around the corner (oh my goshhh!) and I need to feel comfortable and be fit for the road! I'm hoping to train 5x a week, but also planning to get workouts in wherever I can! 

3. FINALIZE MY CARNIVAL ACCESSORIES // This is less of a goal, and more of a must-do, but Carnival is around the corner and I feel so disorganized. I haven't even figured out what I'm wearing on Carnival Monday, or ordered my boots or anything yet! So I definitely need to get on Amazon and figure all of that out ASAP! 

4. GET TO SLEEP EARLIER // For the most part, I've been so much better at getting to sleep earlier, but I still find myself staying up late some nights, whether it's reading, playing games on my phone or just doing work, and I definitely pay for it the next day when I'm falling asleep on myself in my office.

5. TRY SOMETHING NEW // I think one of my biggest flaws is my hesitance to try new things sometimes, even when it comes to the smallest things, so I'm hoping to try something new this month – maybe it's a food, maybe it's an exercise, maybe it's a new hairstyle.. whatever it is, I'm excited to try! 

So, for the most part, my goals are all self-improvement goals, but I'm excited to see if I can get through them this month! 

What are your goals for this month? 

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January 07, 2019

January Goals

Wow, I haven't done a goals post in so long – literally since 2017! How is that possible that it's been two years since my last goals post? That's depressing! Anyways, I'm excited to start 2019 on a positive and productive note, and part of it means keeping my goals in check.

2019 brings new opportunities, new experiences, a new role I'm stepping into, and new chances to live my very best life every single day. I'm excited for all the possibilities that the year holds, but I'm very anxious to see how it all plays out. Above all, 2018 taught me I need to let go and go with God, so I'm leaving 2019 in his hands. But not without a little work on my end. Let's get started with my January goals:

JANUARY GOALS

1. RE-COMMIT TO THE BLOG // You know how badly I dropped the ball last year, and I really don't want that to be the case for 2019. So for one of my January goals, I'm hoping to spend some time brainstorming content, growth and opportunities for TCD and my readers. 

2. PERSONALIZE MY SPACE AT WORK // We spend so much time in our office – more time than we do at home (!!!) – that I think it's important to make it feel like 'you'. I'm hoping to take the time this month to really make my space feel like me, so that I'm looking forward to going into the office, and feeling my most creative and productive while I'm there. Ain't nobody wanna sit down and be unproductive for 8 hours. 

3. SAVE MONEY // While in Trinidad I might not be hitting the mall or Sephora every week, I fall victim to irresponsible spending and I don't even realize it. I'll run into the pharmacy for one thing and walk out with a substantial bill (every time!), or I'll forget to pack myself lunch and I'll have to buy something. I do it way too often and it adds up, so I want to start the year off on the right foot and save more. 

4. CUT OUT DIET SODA // I am really bad with this: I drink Diet Coke like it's my job. And while it might not have any calories or any sugar, it's definitely not good for me, who am I fooling? So I need to cut the addiction for real. I'll limit myself to one or two on weekends, or if I need a chaser with a drink (better diet than sugar, right?) 

5. EXERCISE 5 DAYS A WEEK // I'm not saying I need to run a marathon or spend three hours lifting every single day, but I want to commit to doing something, even if it's for 20 minutes, every day! I'm an all-or-nothing kind of girl, and I find that I'm either obsessive with working out or I'll not do a thing for months, so I want to make it a natural and healthy part of my routine – not where I'm obsessive, but where I genuinely do it to feel good every day. Here's to a healthier me! 

Cheers to a new month, a new year and a more committed me! 

What are you hoping to achieve in January? Let me know in the comments below! 


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January 03, 2019

My 2019 New Year's Resolution: Unapologetic

Happy New Year to you! I spoke a little bit last year (OMG, that feels so weird to type - I'm gonna end up writing 2018 for the next 3 months lol) about how I wanted my return to blogging to be 100% authentic, to feel real, and to be unapologetically me.

So when I was thinking about what I wanted to go forward in 2019 with, I knew I wanted to focus on one word. For me, it almost felt natural for that word to be unapologetic. I want to ensure I'm taking the time to be 100% unapologetic in my thoughts, in my words, in my actions.


Now don't get me wrong: unapologetic doesn't mean selfish, it doesn't mean conceited and it doesn't mean unfair. What I mean for unapologetic is that I want to be so sure of every single thing that I do, decision that I make, thought that crosses my mind, that I feel no remorse. I want to be so sure because I want to shape my 2019, and I know that being unapologetic in my every day life will help to change my habits for the better. I want to be unapologetic in..

how I treat my body // I find that, much like most people, I fall into the trap of being healthy for a month or two of every New Year. Luckily, or unluckily, for me, Trinidad's Carnival is always within the first three months of each year, so I spend the first months eating really well, exercising like crazy and being really committed to my body – and then I fall off the wagon.

This year, I don't want to do that. I want to commit to treating my body well: beyond just eating well and going to the gym. I no longer want this to feel like a 'resolution', I want it to be a part of my life.

how I treat my mind // I find myself being very hard on myself, especially when it comes to my mental health, and it's something I want to work on this year. Too often, I push my mental health and wellness on the back burner, and I want to prioritize it in 2019.

how I spend my time // If it's one thing that a new year can teach us, it's that life is short. I mean, think about it, it was literally January 1, 2018 like 2 minutes ago! Time is flying!

So often, I find days blurring and flying by, and I realize that I haven't done much to live during that time. So I want to focus on living more in 2019: experiencing more, travelling more, being more present. I want to be purposeful with my time, I want to stop procrastinating and I want to commit myself to putting my all into every single moment.

my financial decisions // I'm not sure if it's just me, but I spend money SO quickly, and on literally nothing. I'll pick up a pack of gum, and then all of a sudden, I've dropped a small fortune on items I don't really need, or I'll pick up lunch every day because I don't feel to pack lunch for work. And all of these little habits add up to one expensive practice.

In 2019, I want to really focus on my financial health, building and sticking to a budget, learning to invest my money and making the conscious effort to work towards my savings.

expanding knowledge // Towards the end of 2018, I really started to read more regularly, and I rekindled that love for reading. In 2019, I've taken the challenge to read 52 books: one book a week. My logic is that I read 30+ books from September to December, so reading 4 books a month can't be that hard, right?

But besides reading books, I want to keep learning. I want to constantly take courses online, read business books, read articles related to both my field and others. I want to challenge myself mentally.

committing to myself // I think this will be the hardest of all, because I'm definitely my biggest critic. This year, I want to be a little selfish, and I want to commit to myself.

Whether it's work, the blog, my side hustle or just bettering myself, I want to 100% believe in myself, and go all in. Knowing that I'm diving headfirst into everything I do should be the confidence I need to absolute rock it, and succeed in every aspect of my life.

my relationships // Whether it's with family, friends or a romantic relationship, I want to be more unapologetic about my commitments to these relationships. Too often, I find myself prioritizing one relationship or group over the other, and definitely see and feel the strains on my other relationships.

I want to be fair to myself, and to those who I'm in a relationship with. I want to make the effort that's needed, and really learn what I need to give and receive from each and every relationship.


And so, with that, is my 2019 New Year's resolution. I hope to see changes across all aspects of my life, and I pray I embody this word wholeheartedly throughout the year and years to come.

Do you choose a word of the year? Do you set New Year's resolutions? Let me know in the comments! 

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