If you don’t know your rising and moon signs, you haven’t met your whole self yet.

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Photo by Noah Buscher on Unsplash

I’m not sure when I learned that I was a Libra. It’s just one of those basic facts that you come to know about yourself, like your birth date, your address, or your eye color. And although I wasn’t a die-hard student of astrology, I knew enough about the personality traits ascribed to Libras to see that I definitely belonged in that tribe. Fair, likable, love of beauty, and the arts. Who wouldn’t want to be identified with that? …

More affordable, less hazardous cosmetics for everyone

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Photo by Siora Photography on Unsplash

Affordable clean beauty products are coming to a store near you, thanks to Revlon. The global makeup giant is the first to release an EWG Verified ™ cosmetic to mass retailers. In a press release yesterday, they unveiled their Photo Ready Prime Plus ™ Perfecting + Smoothing Primer, which was created with intentions of meeting the EWG’s highest standards.

If you’ve read my article, Should You Be Using Clean Beauty Products?, then you’re familiar with the EWG, or the Environmental Working Group and their Skin Deep Database. They’re on a mission to “empower people to live healthier lives in a healthier environment.”

Don’t toss out all your favorite products just yet.

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Photo by Brandless on Unsplash

I’m not as clean as I probably should be. And by clean, I mean I’m not overly concerned about the products that go into or onto my body. From time to time I’ll choose an organic apple over an apple grown in pesticides. With cleaning products, I often consider what chemicals I must be inhaling while I cough from nasty fumes.

Should we be concerned about what’s in our beauty products?

I never really thought about the potentially harmful effects of my beauty routine. Not until I heard this episode of Goop’s Beauty Closet podcast episode on clean beauty products.

In this episode, Nneka Leiba, Vice President of Healthy Living Science at the Environmental Working Group (EWG) shared some shocking information. First of all, the Food and Drug Administration does not regulate cosmetics. How did I not know this? No one is watching over what goes into the soap I used to clean all my, um, places? …

Did I rethink my passion, or redefine it?

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Photo by Tim Gouw on Unsplash

If writing was my self-proclaimed passion in life, why did I hate doing it so much?

At least it felt like I hated it. Each time I sat down to write, I spent five minutes staring at my hands. Before you could say “writer’s block,” I was off to something else.

I spent a significant amount of time dreaming up topic ideas. I’d jot them down. Judge them. Rank them. Assign their worthiness with pretty little doodle symbols. Sometimes I would even compose bits and pieces of the work in my mind. Editing in the air. …

How unrealistic expectations can ruin blended holidays

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Photo by Anthony Tran on Unsplash

That first Christmas together as a new family left me feeling more like an outsider than a new wife and stepmom. This surprised the hell out of me. My husband was a wonderful partner who always made me feel included and valued my input on family life. My stepson was a sweet boy who truly enjoyed having “Miss Heather” around.

Yet I couldn’t shake this feeling of being the new guy on the block. The one just outside the group. Where was this coming from and what kind of terrible person was I for feeling this way?

Looking back, it’s not surprising. I honestly was “the new guy”, entering a family that was established eight years before me. …

What was waiting on the other side.

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What would you be willing to do to make your life extraordinary? Get up early to fit in a workout? Pinch your pennies to reduce debt? Take a class to learn a new skill? How about walking across a bed of hot, burning coals?

I attended Unleash the Power Within, the popular self-improvement seminar produced by motivational giant Tony Robbins. I attended with hopes of changing my life. Learning how to achieve my goals, improve relationships, and generally enjoy life more.

The signature event of this seminar is the Fire Walk. After we registered for the seminar, I began to wonder if I had what it takes to firewalk. I read articles on the science behind it. I watched MythBusters debunk it. I saw Oprah conquer it on YouTube. I concluded there was nothing to it. …

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My parents were very independent and capable of taking care of themselves. Until one day, seemingly suddenly, they weren’t. My mom had some balance issues that resulted in two or three falls over about a year. The last one landed her in a nursing home, and doctors said she’d be there for a while, or forever.

This left my dad alone in their mobile home in a small, rural community in my hometown. He was able to get around pretty well and still drove his car. I was glad that he did (until I wasn’t, but that comes later). Public transportation is pretty scarce where they live and Uber was a concept far too foreign for him to grasp. …

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Photo by JodyHongFilms on Unsplash

I changed jobs, again. After retiring from the Army three years ago, I was somewhat lost in my employment goals. I explored a couple of different jobs and still didn’t know where my interests and talents should be used. I left my last job of a little over a year to pursue a career as a freelance writer.

Career changes can spark a sense of insecurity and doubt and questions flooded my mind. Who was I to leave my job to pursue this writing dream? What if I don’t have the talent and skill to write well? …

What I Wish I’d Done Different

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Photo by Tierra Mallorca on Unsplash

I ventured into real equipped with a real estate training I barely paid attention to and an obsession with Million Dollar Listing New York on Bravo. But the Philadelphia Suburbs is not Manhattan and I am not Fredrik Eklund.

The ability to set my own schedule and the idea of unlimited earning potential appealed to me. I dreamed of fun and fancy open houses. Beautiful properties that would practically sell themselves. Helping deeply appreciative families find their dream home.

Interview all the brokerages.

Deciding which brokerage you will be associated with is probably the most critical decision you will make in your real estate career. I interviewed exactly one brokerage. That’s it. Just one. Ten real estate offices in my area and I looked at what one could do to support and train me. …


Heather Morgan

Freelance writer who loves to write about personal growth, family, and just about anything. Retired Army Veteran, wife and stepmom, pet mama to two rescue dogs.

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