Tuesday, January 22, 2019

4 Binge Worthy TV Shows on Netflix and Amazon Prime

This may sound very simple, but one of my favorite things to do together with Shane is find a binge worthy show. It forces me to put the phone down at night, and it gives us quality time and a common interest to look forward to on a regular basis. Recently we've had a ton of luck with several different series we just simply cannot stop watching. As soon as we've finished one, we're always asking around for the next best show to watch - so with that being said, I thought it might be helpful to you guys to chat about the four most recent shows we've binged on and a little about each! I'm ranking them in order of how much we liked them - here we go! 

1. Power // Available on Starz, Amazon Prime, and Hulu 

Hands down, best show we've ever watched! This series originally aired in 2014 and has 5 seasons of episodes available to watch (season 6 airs this July). Power is an American drama series that tells the story of a New York based drug dealer who wants out of his deep seeded life to pursue a legitimate business. Without giving too much away, each episode has you on the edge of your seat and we simply could not turn it off. It's regularly one of Starz's most watched series, and arguably the best written show of all time (in my opinion). 

2. Bodyguard // Netflix Original Series

A new drama series originally released in 2018, Bodyguard is the story of an ex-military vet who fought in the Middle East and prevents a suicide bomber from blowing up a train in London. In light of his heroic act, he's promoted to a bodyguard position for a high profile politician. This is yet another action packed series that leaves you hanging at the end of each episode! There's only one season so far, but I'm hoping they will continue this series, because like Power, we couldn't get enough! 

3. Dirty John // Available on Bravo, Amazon Prime, YouTube, Vudu and Google Play

This has been my latest television binge! I first heard about Dirty John on a podcast where they interviewed one of the daughters who this story is based on. So yes, it's based on true events which makes this show even more interesting! Debra, the main character of this series seems to have it all - she's beautiful, successful, family oriented, and lives in Newport Beach, California. The only thing missing in her life is love, which ends up being the background for this entire series. I have two episodes left to go, but can hardly wait to see the ending. A little tip, the first episode is really slow - I actually asked my audience for their opinion, and all said to keep watching which was definitely the right move!

4. Siesta Key // Available on MTV and Amazon Prime

Siesta Key is an American Reality Television Series based in you guessed it -- Siesta Key, Florida. To be honest, I was shocked we liked this show as much as we did but there's just something about watching a group of privileged 20 year olds subject themselves to drama, scandalous love scenes, and heartbreak. It originally aired in 2017, and after a wildly successful start, MTV ordered 8 more episodes to be added on to season one. Season two airs tonight! 


Thursday, January 10, 2019

7 Steps To Revamp Your Skincare Routine After The Holidays

Faux Fur Teddy Jacket (currently 40% off) // Skinny Jeans //  Turtleneck Sweater (comes in two colors) // Gucci Crossbody // Raye Booties

Let's face it, the holidays are full of travel, eating out of the ordinary, alcohol and all the fun things! But, what does that mean for our skin? For me, it generally means dried out skin from dehydration and flying. It means breakouts from eating foods I don't typically eat, and it means I need to show my skin extra love and care post holiday season. So today, I want to share 7 things you can do to revamp your skincare routine after the holidays!

About a month ago, I made my first appointment at Toska European Spa for a facial. After several consecutive months of random breakouts, I was fed up with whatever the heck was going on with my skin and decided it was time to splurge on the best facialist in town, and boy was that the right thing to do! First off, if you aren't familiar with Toska Husted - do yourself a favor and become familiar with her. She is the fairy god mother of skin! I would say she's probably most well known for having Jennifer Anniston as one of her clients, but aside from her laundry list long of accolades, she's just extremely knowledgeable and wants the best for each of her clients. My first facial with her was the brightening and lifting bespoke facial, Jennifer's personal favorite according to Toska! My second facial with her is Kim K's personal favorite, the Supreme Oxylight facial. So now you're probably thinking - that's great Vanessa, but what are they exactly?

Facial #1 // Brightening and Lifting Bespoke Facial

This facial combines four types of electric currents to tone and sculpt facial muscles, which improves muscle memory and revitalizes the epidermis. I really liked this facial! My skin felt so tight, clean, plump, super hydrated and lifted afterwards, and it had a glow I've never seen before! The currents were not uncomfortable at all, I felt no pain (this is a question a few of my friends had for me), and overall it simply feels like something is vibrating on your muscles.

Facial #2 // Supreme Oxylight 

The Supreme Oxylight facial adds Oxygen Therapy in the form of a pure oxygen infusion spray, as well as full spectrum LED to provide the ultimate combination of treatments for optimal non-invasive skin rejuvenation. This is a facial Kim Kardashian raves about so I was super excited to try it out! My mom actually had it done out in Seattle, and that's where my curiosity with this one was sparked. The oxygen on your skin is extremely refreshing and cooling, perfect for de-puffing after the holidays! Overall my skin felt much cleaner (loved the microdermabrasion at the beginning) tighter, and lifted post facial. I actually had the opportunity to record this facial via Instagram Stories so I could show you guys how it works step by step, so be sure to watch the behind the scenes there if you're curious! 

Naturally, when you splurge on anything you want it to last... am I right?! So I took Toska up on her skincare regimen recommendations and made a change to the products I was using. Toska European Spa is one of the only spa's in Charlotte that carries highly acclaimed French Skincare brand - Biologique Recherche. You may be familiar with their product "P50" which is the holy grail of toners and talked about constantly amongst celebrities, beauty experts, and magazines. Each person is unique in their skincare needs, so if you're interested in seeing what's right for you skin, I recommend filling out their consultation request form here. However, I will be doing an updated skincare regimen post in the near future! I like to test things out for a couple months so that I have an accurate description of what it's done for me long term, but I'll go ahead and say it has changed the game with my skin thus far!

So, with all of that being said: here are seven things you can do today to work towards healthier looking skin! PS: some of these are tips from Toska herself!

1. Implement your skincare regimen twice a day // Yes! Not once, but twice a day! I was only cleansing and taking care of my skin once a day prior to my facials with Toska. She recommended I move towards a twice a day regimen - morning, and night and I believe this has made a significant difference in my skin!

2. Add each product to your skin in a gentle upward motion // During my facial, I learned I was applying my skincare regimen incorrectly. You want to pat the product gently into your skin rather than rubbing it in, and you want to apply it in an upward motion to prevent from pulling downwards on your skin (which creates wrinkles - no thanks). 

3. Apply all products to your face, neck, and decollete // It's pretty common to apply your skincare regimen to your face and neck, but what I had not heard (and maybe you have), was to also apply it to your decollete. The skin on your decollete is very thin and will show signs of aging earlier on - to prevent that, you should be applying your regimen to that area as well! 

4. Get a facial once a month // Before meeting Toska, I wasn't really sure how often someone my age (28) should be getting facials, and I knew I wasn't doing enough in terms of skincare. Anyway, she recommended coming in once a month. Obviously getting facials can be a splurge, but this is one of those "invest in yourself" things that are extremely important long term. Skip the night out, new clothes, or happy hour with your girlfriends a few times and repurpose that money for something that gets you long term value (Toska's facials start at $120 - not a bad deal for what you get). When I'm 60, I know I'll be thanking my 28 year old self for that sacrifice. 

5. Invest in skincare products that make a difference // If your current skincare regimen isn't causing you to see a difference, chances are it's not doing a whole lot. Seek an expert and follow their advice for a month, if you notice a difference than it's worth continuing! Biologique Recherche isn't the most expensive brand on the market, but it definitely isn't cheap either. However, it has made a major impact on my skin in just one months time! I would spend my money on this brand ten times over to not have to see those fine lines and wrinkles, and without splurging on Botox which is even more expensive (I've never had Botox, and my goal is to take care of my skin in a way that I don't ever feel like I have to get it). 

6. Apply your skincare from thinnest product to thickest product // I didn't know this until about six months ago, so maybe I'm naive, but I was applying it all wrong! Knowing how to apply your products makes a big difference in how they work. Start with your cleanser, then move to your toner, serums, creams, and moisturizers last. 

7. Don't workout with makeup on, and take care of your skin post workout // Both newly learned lessons for me! I used to workout right after work, so I always had a full face of makeup on. According to beauty experts, this is only clogging your pores and allowing the makeup to seep in (makes sense). Furthermore, once you've sweat you should be applying your skincare routine immediately after. Sweat, dirt, and bacteria from being in the gym lead to breakouts. Grab a few travel sized skincare products if you don't have time to run home immediately afterwards and apply your cleanser, toner, and any serums you may use. 

Alright friends, that's a wrap on skincare for today! Another long post, but I hope you find it helpful! Don't forget to check out my Instagram Stories to see the behind the scenes of my most recent facial. If you're in the Charlotte area, take me up on my recommendation and reach out to Toska. I promise, you will not be sorry. In the meantime, you can read up on her skincare tips and tricks on her blog here. Let me know if you have any questions! 


Monday, January 7, 2019

What One Year of Marriage Looks Like From His & Her Point of View

Hi! Welcome to our cozy little home and our anniversary/holiday photos! Today marks ONE year of marriage for Shane and I (I wrote my portion on our anniversary). How on earth has it already been a year!? This has been on my mind for the last 6 or so weeks, because I just can't seem to grasp that we are a whole year down the road! How?! As a culture, we are so obsessed with the perfect love story, prince charming, engagements and that fairytale wedding we've been dreaming of since we were little girls. BUT, how often do you see people talk about life after "happily ever after". Not that often right? So today, Shane and I are going to be sharing our two points of view, and lessons learned along the way, in our very first year of marriage. I'll start us off! 

First of all, our wedding was everything I've ever dreamed of.  Romantic, intimate, in Charleston, classy, smaller etc. Second, our honeymoon was also everything I've ever dreamed of! I kid you not when I say I was on cloud 9 all 10 days we were in Hawaii... well, minus the half an hour we thought an incoming missile was on it's way to Maui and we were going to die, but I like to forget about that little incident so we'll skip that part for now. We came home mid January to start our lives as Mr. & Mrs. Dyer and while I was excited about that, I was not excited about going back to work. Shane and I lived together for several years before getting married, so going into this new season of life I felt like we were pretty well prepared in terms of cohabitation, but one of our biggest hurdles prior to marriage was this job of mine. I've talked about this in previous blog posts (here), but I just wasn't happy at work anymore and it was bleeding into life at home. Shane and I did not see eye to eye on me quitting my full time job to pursue my blog, and getting married wasn't magically fixing that issue. In fact, it may have made it harder. Marriage changes you, all of a sudden you have this lingering thought of "forever" over every big life decision and it isn't just a "me" game anymore. 


We are both highly independent people, and a little head strong when it comes to each other. We've had to really learn the definition of compromise in relation to each others happiness. I needed Shane to support my passion to feel at peace with it, and Shane needed me to understand the logistics and responsibilities that remained job or not. Once we came to this realization, this topic was solved. Of course some days we still struggle with it a little bit, typically out of frustration from another source, but overall the quality of our relationship greatly improved once we figured out how to understand each others needs and move forward as a team. This has truly made such a big difference in our relationship, and his support means more to me than anything.


Oh man, the hot topic for all newlywed couples. I would consider myself pretty finance savvy - but if you ask Shane, he would tell you he wins in this category. This was probably our second biggest struggle in year one of marriage. I mentioned above we are highly independent people, so combining our finances after living independently for all 5 years of our relationship was tough. We both had totally different ideas of how this was to be done, and what the "right" way was. Not to mention, it's so dang taboo to talk about with friends so how are you even supposed to know?! To help both of us understand what our separate obligations were each month financially, we created our own spreadsheets with total expenditures each month and compared. From there we came up with what was reasonable for each person to contribute financially to a shared account each week, and what that account was to be used for. Our finances still aren't perfect - but we've made great progress by just being transparent, coming up with a plan, and communicating effectively on this topic. 


I won't sugarcoat it, we still haven't figured this one out really well but we are making progress. This was a topic that came up in premarital counseling, and while we don't really fight that often, when we do fight - we haven't figured out how to do it well. We are polar opposites in this category. I want to talk it out, feel heard, and ultimately consoled for what I'm upset about, and Shane prefers to walk away from the situation and not talk about it (which drives me nuts). Fighting is part of every relationship (I always say if you don't have any arguments or quarrels then something is wrong), so this is a topic we will continue to work on and get better at over time. 


Our families live on opposite ends of the country, so holidays aren't easy! In addition to that, our families are also territorial about whose spending what holiday where, which has made this a topic of conversation in our relationship. How do we juggle keeping both families happy, without spending an arm and a leg on flights for the both of us? Unfortunately, this isn't seamless yet either. Flights to the small town of Syracuse, NY are upwards of $500 this time of year and multi-city flights to both New York and Seattle are an unspeakable price. So, Shane went to New York a few days before Christmas and spent time with family, and then came home on Christmas Eve to be with mine who traveled to us this year. Ultimately, we would love for both sides to be together as one so we don't have to split up since we already spend so much time apart, but it just wasn't in the cards this year. One of my goals for 2019 is to move into a house that can hold both families at the same time. 

Honestly, we have been really blessed in this first year. We are both happy, healthy, continue to learn about each other daily and grow as a team, and we have great jobs that will give us the future we desire. Those are the main pillars of a relationship, the rest can be learned. We are not perfect, and would never claim to be - but I'm so proud of our relationship together, our growth over time, and our passion to be better. I know it sounds sappy, but I fall more in love with Shane each day. He is my best friend, and life is simply way more fun with him in it. 



2018 is in the books and it will go down as one of the best years yet. Over the years when you’re growing up, marriage begins to creep into a lot of peoples thoughts about how it would be and what the experiences would be like. For me, I couldn’t have asked for anything more. I consider myself very blessed and the luckiest man alive to be able to spend my life along side Vanessa. There are a lot of experiences and things that have come up in our first year of marriage, so I figured I would break it down into 3 different areas. 


First, I’ve learned that you need to be patient. In both good and bad ways, this year I believe I’ve learned to become much more patient. With my wife, with my life, and ultimately on the things that we can control. Often times, I feel like we take for granted the little things, the experiences, the daily interactions, etc. in life because we get so caught up in a lot of the “bigger” things. Things like “where are we going to go next on vacation or a trip”, “when are we going to upgrade from our current home and move into something bigger, nicer, or in a better neighborhood”, “when am I going to get that job I’ve been looking for”, etc. etc. Those things are all great, but I’ve realized a lot this year that those things take patience and not to overlook all of the blessings and things that you have in your life currently. 


The second is communication. This is something that I’m still working on if you asked Been, but I’m trying to get better!! Ha 😊 In all seriousness, communication is critical in almost everything that we do, most importantly marriage. Communicating not only your day to day plans, activities, or ideas, but also communicating about your feelings to one another. The toughest part about communication for me has been being able to take a step back and put myself in her shoes rather than think about myself. During pre-marital counseling, our good friend Aaron used to always talk about always thinking and almost forcing yourself to have a servant mentality. Instead of thinking about how communicating or not communicating certain things will impact you, think about how they’ll impact your wife. That means good, bad, or indifferent. We’ve come along way on this subject and it's something that’s made our relationship stronger. 


Finally, the last thing that I’ve really learned is super critical is support. That’s a very cliché boring term, but truly supporting your significant other is much harder to do than a simple word. It’s tough to be supportive sometimes and in our case it was something that I had to trust this first year of marriage. Been and I are both very similar in the fact that we’re very driven to be successful. I would venture to say that it’s probably one of the most important things in our relationship and at the end of the day takes up a large majority of our time. I travel almost every week for work with a demanding schedule and she’s a full time blogger working 50+ hours a week. At first, I’ll admit I wasn’t as supportive as I should have been when she first quit her full time job to take on being a blogger, but I could tell how much she wanted to do it and how passionate she was about being successful with it.  Being supportive has proven to be one of, if not the most important things in our relationship and our professional careers. It will take some trust and some self sacrifice, but it’s proven to be very important.

PS: Shane and I wrote our inserts without knowing what each other wrote. I thought it was pretty neat to see our view points are very similar but written differently! This was his first time ever writing anything for the blog, so I would love to know if you guys enjoy these kind of posts, and if you'd like to see more of them! 


Wednesday, January 2, 2019

My 2019 New Years Resolutions

2018 was a year for the books! We started day one as Mr. & Mrs. Dyer for the first time in our lives, and boarded a plane to Maui shortly thereafter. I'm not sure the start to any other year will top that one - but we shall try, am I right?! Looking back on 2018, I feel incredibly grateful for the health, happiness, joy, and family that surrounded us. We are insanely blessed, and very lucky to live the lives we live. With that being said, I'm excited and looking forward to what 2019 has in store for us and always love setting new goals and aspirations to only become a better version of me. 

I'm a firm believer in writing your goals down somewhere, so that you can refer back to them periodically and hold yourself accountable for the progress you are or are not making towards them. I also work well with the buddy system, so this year I'm sharing my goals with you -- so you too, can hold me accountable! Some are big, and some are small - but regardless of size, I hope to achieve them all. Here we go! 

1. Make the bed everyday // This might seem silly to some of you, but I only ever make the bed when I'm cleaning. By taking the time to make the bed each day, I feel like I will set a positive tone for my day. There's no better feeling than crawling into a made bed each night, plus - Shane really appreciates it. 

2. Give more of myself to our marriage // My mom has served my dad for almost 30 years. She makes his coffee for him every morning, she cooks dinner for him every night, and she's one of the most selfless women I know when it comes to family. I want to focus more on the little things that Shane appreciates like a clean house when he comes home from work, a home cooked meal, folded laundry etc. 

3. Write more // I focused less time on writing last year than in previous years, mainly due to the amount of traveling we did. However, I really want to focus on getting back to 3 blog posts a week here. 

4. Commit to my skincare routine twice a day // I made a big initiative in 2018 to take better care of my skin. This year I want to commit to my routine both morning and night.

5. Set a financial income goal for The Cheeky Been // I'm extremely goal oriented and need these types of markers to hold me accountable each month. By setting a long term goal for myself, I can break it down into monthly markers to make sure I'm on track. 

6. Buy a new home // This is a goal Shane and I have together in 2019! We love our first home together, but are ready to expand and prepare for the future. 

7. Drink BCAA's during my workout, and protein directly after wards religiously // I drink protein after my workouts with Ro, but I usually brush it off after my own workouts and essentially I'm wasting a workout by doing that. So, this year I want to focus on making both of those things a routine habit daily. 

8. 21 days no sugar // It takes 21 days to create a habit. I eliminated sugar before our wedding for 6 months and never felt better! Unfortunately, as soon as the wedding was over I went back to my sweet tooth. Shane and I want to do this together so we can hold each other accountable! 

9. Drink more water // I made a stride towards this in 2018, but I'm still not drinking the recommended amount per day. It's so good for your skin and body in general, and lord knows I don't want the wrinkles! 

10. YouTube Channel // This is one I'm most excited about! It's already in the works and I'm hopeful for a January launch! You guys have been asking for more videos for years now, so I can't wait to start this new journey and see where it goes!

Alright, so that's it! This list might get a few edits as the next few weeks go by -- but for now, these are my ten things to focus on. And with that,  I'm off to make the bed! Love you guys!



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