4 Things You Should Do Every Morning

School has begun, life is crazy, and its easy for stress to start creeping up. About a year ago I made it a goal of mine to enjoy my mornings more. In result of being an athlete my entire life, I had become so accustom to waking up and getting out the door for practice in 13 minutes, that mornings were more of a blur than a time to appreciate.

When I stopping rowing, it took me a good 4 months before the sound of my alarm didn’t make my heart race and my stomach drop. I had to make a conscious effort to make mornings slow and enjoyable again. Here, you can read here about my morning routine (its kinda funny too, gifs and all), but today I wanted to share more about what I do to put myself in a healthy headspace for the day.

Say a prayer as you brush your teeth 

When you’re standing over the sink, looking at yourself in the mirror you should pray. Something quick and to the point. One of my mentors gave me the idea of having a certain topic to pray about, for every day of the week. For example: Mondays I pray for my family, Tuesdays for international issues, Wednesday for my relationships, etc. I find that when I start the day off with prayer it is easier for me to continue staying in connection with God for the rest of the day.

Do some positive reading before putting on your clothes 

I sit on the edge of my bed before changing clothes and I do a quick devotional, or a read a few pages of whatever inspirational book I’m reading at the time. Usually there are some good nuggets included and it becomes something I can meditate on for the day.

Set a healthy intention as your coffee drips 

This is one that really challenges me. You can read my journey on becoming more healthy here, and here, but really it takes small lifestyle changes to make any long term changes. So, in the morning I set one intention or goal for the day that specifically relates to my eating habits (I have no problem going to the gym, but if you do maybe that could be your thing). Lately, my two goals have been to only “indulge” when it is a social occasion with my friends, and to really pay attention to my hunger signals and eat only when my body is telling me it needs food (aka chill on the snacking, ‘lysse!).

Have a sense of gratitude for necessary appliances 

One of my co-workers planted this idea in my head and it really stuck with me. She told me that every morning she thanks her toilet and her shower for being there and doing their job. Simple and important huh!? So now I do this with my sink, shower, running water, toilet, and especially my coffee machine. In addition, I also say quick prayers for the farmers and the countries that my beloved coffee beans come from.

Are there any morning rituals you partake in?

Much love,



Hip Hip Hooray For August Favs

Hey Suns (is that weird? I kinda like it) This is just a quick post, that turned out to be kinda long, about the products I have been obsessing about lately! Oh and happy first day of school!

Lush Coffee Face & Body Scrub

I first learned about this stuff from my little sister and when I was at Short Pump Mall the other day I couldn’t resist picking some up. The product has coffee grinds, coffee infusion, agave syrup and other moisturising additives included, so it does a great job of exfoliation and moisturizing ! The grinds allow for the exfoliation to occur and of course coffee is a stimulant too, so it helps the skin perk up a little bit. This is my first Lush product, and I only bought it because #coffee but it has definitely proved its worth!

Starbucks 24oz Waterbottle 

I’ve been eyeing these things all summer and yesterday I finally decided to buy one. They have had a bunch of bright…slightly obnoxious colors in the stores but when I saw this clear one I knew I needed to snag it fast. #Hydrate

Y’all, i’m probably the most obsessed with these! I got mine on sale at Old Navy and they are definetly my favorite purchase of the summer. They are so easy to wear because you can literally just throw them on with a T-shirt underneath and a cute sandal and you’re set! I’m really excited for the weather to cool off so I can wear them with a long sleeve and some booties!

TOMS Deodorant 

My mom is the kind to send me daily emails with the next thing that could possibly cause cancer, but this particular issue really stuck with me. There is a lot of research about aluminum in deodorant and the dangers it can cause. So, I started using TOMS natural and aluminum free deodorant. It’s such an easy change, and I love the scent, so why not? I also recently started using a DivaCup, so if you’re interested in my opinions on that feel free to get in contact with me!


Y’all know I have been saving my money for those gorgeous Anthropologie leggings and Poshmark is helping me get there! Poshmark is an app that allows you to sell clothes online and its v easy! They do take percentage of your earnings, but they also pay for shipping so to me it evens out. So far, I have sold 4 items and made a total of $75, aka I am hella close to my $100 goal. Now that this purchase is becoming a little more realistic, I’m having a hard time deciding between these anthro leggings or a pair of align crop leggings from Lululemon. The anthro ones are gorgeous, but the Lulu ones I could wear more often and they are the most comfy pants to ever grace your body. Comment below which one you think I should get?!

I hope you enjoy some of the things that are making my life a little brighter, and let me know if you decide to try any of them, or already have!



4 Things You Need to do Before Going Back to School

Last summer around this time, I wrote an “Open Letter to My Third Year Self,” a post I really love because it was a good snapshot of my life at the time, and represented the progress I was making as a person.

This year, I decided to write up a list of things I do/need before classes start. I hate the beginning of the year because it doesn’t resemble any normal schedule…and I like routine.  These four things help me survive the first few weeks both academically and mentally!

Buy a planner  

Y’all had to know that this would be the first thing on my list! But seriously, buy a planner,  write in it, refer back to it, take it with you everywhere, I promise it can change your life. If you’re not already savvy with organization, I recommend you read this to give you a few ideas.

Have a Calm Mind

Starting a new school year can give me anxiety sometimes. Like when you first read the syllabus and you see there is a 15 page paper due in December, or just realizing how expensive your textbooks will cost this semester, all the chaos going on can be #stressful.  I recommend you just take a deep breathe and focus on what is happening in the current week.

Say No

This is always the hardest for me. In the beginning of the year there are so many new opportunities right in your face. This club, that research lab, this volunteer slot, and it is easy to want to do everything. I’m the queen of thinking that I can somehow squeeze everything into my schedule, only to realize that outside of class and work I only have a few grim hours to play with. So, when opportunities arise I first pray about them. I want to make sure that I am spending my time with the correct things and I want the Lord to confirm that for me. So say yes to some things, and say no to everything else. Balance is key here. Remember present > perfect. Screen Shot 2016-08-19 at 12.22.30 PM

Buy these Pens (or something)

At the start of every school year I buy this pack of sharpie pens. I have a thing for making my notes look nice, and assigning certain pen colors to certain classes. It’s just my thing. Find something that is inexpensive and can make the daily grind just a little more fun.



I pray that y’all have a great start to the school and I encourage you to not be so hard on yourself, you’ll be great! I mean, you are the Sun and all.



Make Up Forever Lipstick Review

Hey friends! Today, my Make Up Forever Lipstick samples came in the mail! I’ve known that I was getting it for about a week now so I was v pumped to see if on my front porch after getting home from the gym. #gains

It was in an all black box with this simple packaging on the inside. Nice and sleek, right?! 

Before receiving the samples I did not know what colors I was going to get, out of the 45 colors in the entire collection.  My immediate reaction after looking at the packaging of the individual boxes was oh gee I got all red…

Fortunately that was not the case! I received:

  1. Artist Rouge Mat M401
  2. Artist Rouge Creme C600
  3. Artist Rouge Creme C211

Here are swatches on my hand that should give you a better idea of the color. From the bottom up:

Artist Rouge Mat M401

Surprisingly, this red looks really great on me. It’s not too too bright and crazy, but definitely gave me the Tracee Ellis Ross or Jurnee Bell bold lip goals I’m always going for. Definitely a win! The other two colors were creme, but this was a mat texture. I almost liked it better than the others and I didn’t feel like it dried out my lips at all!

Artist Rouge Creme C600

So it’s white. Realistically, I’m not sure if I would ever wear it on its own, but if  I wanted to get really fancy I think I could mix a color with it and be v DIY if I really wanted to. It has a nice creamy consistency and is very moisturizing. (If you’re one of my real life friends and you want this lipstick, its all yours!)

Artist Rouge Creme C211

After opening this color I got really excited because it is close to my all-time fav lipstick, which is the Pigalle shade by NARS (see comparison below). This Artist Rouge shade has more berry tones to it, as opposed to the brown tones my NARS color has. I did enjoy the creme texture but less is more is definitely the motto for that. Another win in my book!

After trying these colors out, I googled to see that the retail price is $22 each. I paid $32 for that NARS color so the price is also a win! If you like these colors, or want to look at the other 42 colors in the collection, you can get yours here! Comment below if this was helpful, or if you have any more questions about the samples I received!

*I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes*



Guest Post by The Sister: Neg-a-tiv-i-ty

Neg-a-tiv-i-ty: the expression of criticism of or permission about something

Negativity is an epidemic that’s spread all around the world. It can be the most contagious and the most fatal. You never know what might hit you on the way to work or just to go out for the night, so it’s important to have the perfect vaccine.

When you walk into the doctor’s office to get your vaccine, you should know that you’re basically getting injected with a little of the virus. It’s almost like the same thing with negativity. It’s everywhere and it’s not going anywhere. Its going to get to you somehow, you just have to have the immune system to overcome it.  In my opinion, there are four ways to best overcome the plague; negativity.

First and foremost, you have to surround yourself with the right people. There’s a quote by some genius that reads, “You can’t keep dancing with the devil and ask why you’re still in hell.”  That pretty much sums it all up.  If you continually hang out with people who tend to bring you down or stress you out, don’t be surprised if you go home overwhelmed. If you ever feel irritated, anxious, pressured, or nervous around a certain group of people, they are not your people. Take a moment, realize how the negative energy is making you feel, and exclude yourself from the narrative that you probably didn’t ask to be a part of (lols T-Swift).  You are constantly being influenced by the people around you and you don’t even know it.  It could be as simple as everyone wanting to go see a horror movie and you following along even though you know darn well, you’ll sleep with the lights on and lose at least three hours of sleep. All that does is increase your electric bill and takes cash out the wallet for the Starbucks you’ll actually want to get in the morning. Try to neighbor yourself with people who uplift you instead of weigh you down.  Who do you laugh with the most and stress with the least?

Second, you can’t be a negative person. There is another quote by another genius that reads, “You can’t litter negativity everywhere and wonder why you have a trashy life.” Once again, that pretty much sums it up. Take note of how negativity makes you feel, and then, focus on not inflicting it on anyone else. Negativity is just as easily given as it is caught. If you’re having a bad day, don’t distribute that energy everywhere. When you constantly go around with a poor attitude, you are literally negativity in its truest form. If you feel like things around you are constantly ticking you off or you’re simply just not having a good day, channel you’re animosity into something productive. In the end, it’s better to center your “bad vibes” into something that will benefit you, rather than undermine others.

Last but most definitely not least, try you’re absolute best not to stress about it. Everything you do and everything that happens to you, happens for a reason. Wondering what the reason is, might be the most frustrating part, but knowing that there is a reason can be very reassuring. Continue to remind yourself that God has a plan for you and he is in absolute control over your life. Everything you go though is meant to happen and is meant to help you grow. All your roughest battles and biggest hardships are just road bumps on the way to a better you. It even comes down to remembering when Chick-fil-a forgets my Chick-fil-a sauce, it was for a reason. The Lord says in Jeremiah 29:11-14, “For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you, and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you, and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.” If that’s not comforting, I don’t know what else to tell you! Keep in mind that God has your back every minute of every day.

All in all, negativity is such an issue these days. Its spread through physical contact, social media, day to day conversations, and even the way you carry yourself. Know that by learning to stay away from it, not being it, and not stressing about it, is the fastest way to a cure.


Selea (The 16 year old sister to Lysse)

Long Distance Rambles & How We Try to Make it a Little Easier

Whenever I want to vent about my feelings of being in a long distance relationship I usually decide to keep it inside because I think about the friends I have who have been doing this the entire length of college, or the people who are separated by a greater distance, and suddenly I feel like I should just keep quiet because I don’t really have it that bad.

My boyfriend and I are roughly 6.5 hours away from each other. Due to the type of school he goes to, it makes it difficult for me to go visit him because I can’t stay with him at school. Not to mention, the time commitment and the obligations he has, restricts his ability to come visit whenever he wants. As a busy person myself, I get it, and I feel like we as a couple handle it pretty well, but there are definitely tough moments.

I think one of the harder parts is just not having an end point to the long distance. We don’t just go to different schools, we actually live in different states. There is no see “you at home during break,” like some other couples have to their advantage.Yeah, we both graduate in a year but that doesn’t mean we will be in a closer proximity any time soon. We both have things we want to do, and while sacrifices have to be made, personal goals are equally important.

To some degree, I don’t want to be a whiny person because I did choose this and I would choose it him again a billion more times, but my feelings are valid, and I’m allowed to be sad sometimes. I’m thankful for modern technology such as texting and FaceTime, but nothing can replace your person being within arms distance of you. Below are a few things we do as a couple to make it a little easier. 

  1. We talk everyday. A lot.  This may seem like common sense, but I’ve heard many times from people that they don’t talk to their person everyday. My boy and I FaceTime at every moment possible, and of course text sporadically throughout the day. We joke that when we actually need to call each other we have to scroll really far down in our recent calls to find it. He wakes up at crazy hours in the morning, but we basically just learn each others daily schedules and try to chat for even 3-5 minutes every chance we get. Then at night we typically have a more extensive conversation. In the beginning of our relationship someone asked me if we had set boundaries for how often we will talk, and it really caught me off guard. In no way do I feel like he consumes too much of my life or like I put off things in my own life just to talk to him. It’s not like that at all. If one of us is busy we just say that. No biggie.
  2. We write letters. This was his idea and the second after he suggested it I was like wait, have you seen the movie Dear John!? (he hadn’t) But yeah, once a month we write each other letters and stick them in the actual mail with stamps and all! Haha! Its really nice to just get mail that isn’t bills and it is something I can hold on to that is a little more special than a screenshot of a nice text.
  3. We know each others expectations for the relationship . This also might sound like common sense, but really. If one of us does something that makes the other upset, we address it in the moment and move on. We don’t let things linger. If something is wrong you need to speak up so it can be fixed now. Honestly, we rarely argue and I really think this is why. We both have and understand what the other expects and we stick to it. This can work for big things like overall expectations for how one should be treated, or little things like my expectation for us to exchange some words in the morning. If you take the time to make it clear what you do and do not need from your person, then it can save you from future misunderstandings.

If you’re in a long distance relationship please share your experience or any tips you have found to work over time!




Do What Makes You Feel Like You & Repeat!

I know it has been a few days since the last posts, but I’ve made it a point to only write when I feel I have something to say. I want it to be organic and genuine. Also, I’m thankful for all the great responses from my last posts. To all the people who reached out and told me how much they enjoyed it, thank you, thank you thank you!

In my last post, I mentioned that moving on can be a long, tough process. One thing I learned was to pay attention to when i’m happy, and to the activities that made me feel like “the old me,” then repeat! So simple right?!

For me, it was going to McDonalds and getting a Big Mac at 10:00pm with a good friend, wearing my hair curly, being loud and silly, exploring new places downtown, taking days for myself to sit in new coffee shops, dancing it out with my roommates, or shopping at Whole Foods. I became mindful of the activities, and people in my life who made me feel like me, and I increasingly tried to incorporate them into my life as often as possible.

So much of this progress came from me becoming mindful of what I really enjoy. I no longer participated in things that I didn’t like and I better used that time for myself. I learned about myself and I stopped doing things for the attention of others.

Last night I  watched the online release party for Shauna Neiquest’s new book, Present Over Perfect!  The whole idea of the book is to be more present in all the moments of life instead of stressing over being perfect which is costly, in terms of time and money spent. We should give up the frantic, expensive, exhausting life, and instead try to be present in the simple moments because that is where real life happens.

This frantic, rushed way of life was how I lived, before the boy situation and during. I thought being busy and everywhere was the goal, that it made me impressive. But no, we don’t have to give into that culture. Life shouldn’t be “measured in numbers, numbers in a bank account, on a credit report, or on a report card, but in the moments we spend in community” (basically memorized that from the small reading she did last night). I’m excited to read this book when it comes out Aug 9th and really embrace this philosophy to an even greater level!

I encourage you all to take note of when you are happy, when you feel like your truest self & REPEAT! Once a day do something that makes you feel like you and I promise you will thank yourself!