My Skin Story and Natural Makeup Tutorial

My Skin Story and Natural Makeup Tutorial

Before You Begin Reading:

Make sure to subscribe to receive post notifications and to be included in the seasonal giveaways. There’s no catch here and definitely no email blasts… It’s just the best way for me to stay connected with you!

This post is divided into three sections: My Skin Story, My Makeup Routine, and My Skin Care Routine. I know it’s a bit more wordy than normal, but I truly hope you will take the time to read each section. You won’t regret it, I promise

My Skin Story

“It’s like peaches and cream.”, or “You look like a little porcelain doll.” are comments I remember hearing about my skin as a little girl. While I didn’t make much of the comments as a young child, I would come to long for those days of peaches and cream skin not too shortly after that… By the age of twelve to be exact. I remember going in for my fifth-grade school pictures and being worried about those bright red spots on my face. Why did I seem to be the only kid my age with these unattractive things gracing my cheeks and chin? I scanned the room looking for another student I could relate to, but all I saw was peaches and cream. Little did I know that was the start of a very long, challenging journey with troubled skin.

By seventh grade, I had paid many visits to the dermatologist with the hope that they could remedy my skin situation. After testing out various topical treatments that simply weren’t strong enough for my oily, cystic acne prone skin, we found a solution. The solution required me to take medication, twice daily, coming to a total of five pills each day. I was on my way to peaches and cream skin, but at what cost to the rest of my body?

I remained on this medication from the age of fourteen to the ripe old age of twenty-two. While I struggled with break-outs at times along the way, this remedied the situation enough for me to go through high school and college without being known as “pizza face.” Any time I tried to go off the medication, the acne would come back with a vengeance. So, on that medication I remained, dreaming of the day when I would be back to peaches and cream skin for good.

It was at the age of twenty-two that the medication began to rear its ugly head through various side effects. Melasma (a dark brown discoloration of the skin) covered my face, and stomach aches started to be my new normal. I began to question just how negatively this medication might be affecting my body. Thinking about how long I had remained on that five pill a day regiment started to seem a bit outrageous, and I knew I couldn’t continue any longer. That’s when I finally agreed to take Accutane, the king of all acne medications, with the hope of clearing my skin for good. Accutane was my final resort and seemed to be my only option as I was going on my tenth year in a battle against cystic acne that didn’t look like that was about to end any time soon. I knew the side effects of this drug had some risks, but I was willing to go through with it in order to have clear skin. At this point, I was growing very weary of this battle, and so I began my six-month long treatment on Accutane. 

My Accutane experience was what I would describe as, well, TERRIBLE. The drug was not working as it had on other patients, so my doctor increased my dosage. Once, twice, and finally a third time until we saw an improvement in my skin. Sure, my skin was clear now, but over half my hair had fallen out and my joints began to stiffen as a result of the increased dosage. These extremely challenging side effects proved to be a lost cause when after six months of treatment, my cystic acne came back just as strong as before. Only now I had barely any hair to mask my face. Here is a photo of what my skin looked like once I finished Accutane.

Am I going to have acne the rest of my life? I didn’t know any eighty year olds with cystic acne, but I felt like I had a good shot at being the first. I felt like doctors had failed me. Allowing me to remain on medication for such an extended period of time, and increasing my Accutane dosage to three-times the recommended amount for my body weight seemed like very poor practice in hind sight. I decided my only option was to take my health into my own hands. And so, I began my research. Countless hours were spent on the computer researching and learning about acne, it’s causes, and possible solutions. Here is a summary of the three main things I learned that helped me reach my life-changing solution:

  • The skin is our body’s biggest organ. If our skin is showing signs of sickness, it’s being caused by something internally. This is usually related to the gut, hormones, or stress. (Make sure to get all of those in check if you deal with any skin conditions).
  • Food and digestion have a lot to do with the inflammation in our body. Inflammation displays itself in many different forms, acne being one of those.
  • Foods like gluten, dairy, caffeine, and sugar are known to cause inflammation in our body.
    I stared into the computer screen, the light illuminating my sick skin. YES! I thought. THIS COULD BE ME! By the next day, I was passing on all foods that fell into any of those four categories. No gluten, dairy, caffeine, or processed sugar. Within a few weeks, my skin was 100% clear and I have not had a cystic pimple since. AHHHH! I honestly had never felt freer or more accomplished in my entire life!

Years of acne concealing techniques and strategizing how I would mask my skin were now a thing of my past. It was back to peaches and cream for the first time in over eleven years. Now, honestly, every time someone comments on my skin I have to refrain from sharing my skin story that I am oh so passionate about. Often times I respond with an, “Oh thank you so much, that means a lot to me.” But all of you, my faithful blog and Instagram friends, prompted me enough to share the FULL story. Thank you for being interested enough to ask and to listen. It means the world. I hope that you find this story inspiring and please be sure to pass it along to anyone you know who struggles with their skin.

It was truly my skin story that inspired me to start Halfway Wholeistic. I learned that living a holistic lifestyle is the best way to live a beautiful life, but living it without becoming consumed by holistic remedies is even better. Living a Halfway Wholeistic lifestyle means following the rules of being holistic about 85% of the time, while still enjoying a scoop of ice cream or a bite of my husband’s pizza every Friday night. It means buying high-end, natural products for things that matter most, and learning to compromise when it doesn’t. Most importantly, living Halfway Wholeistic is a reminder that we will never be WHOLE, or complete during our lifetime. Curing my acne and living a holistic life has improved my life in so many ways, but it is in no way the end to all challenges I still face and will face in my lifetime. For this reason, I am still only halfway whole on my own. The only way to be truly whole comes from within. For me, that wholeness comes from the Lord. He is the one I rely on to make me completely whole in this broken world. I know I will face many more challenges in my lifetime, living a holistic lifestyle and relying on the Lord are the two ways I see most suitable for facing those challenges.

In Conclusion

For healthy skin, I suggest:

  • Eating organic.
  • Cutting out or limiting gluten, dairy, sugar, and processed foods.
  • Drinking a lot of water! 
  • Managing stress.
  • Using quality products on your skin.

My Makeup Routine

Pictures of Jennifer Aniston and J-Lo seemed to find their way to my Pinterest boards whenever I was searching for my ideal makeup look. Now that I had clear skin, I wanted that dewy, glowy makeup look to go with my peaches and cream. Can I get an amen? I went to just about every beauty counter in the mall and collected samples so I could find the one that worked for me. I narrowed my search down to a small list of makeup essentials that I use to create that dewy look I envied for so many years. I’m a minimalist, these are literally the items I use every day… I own nothing more than what you see here. I don’t want to spend money on endless beauty products (let’s be honest, there’s A LOT to choose from) so I stick with what works. Below you will find all the products I use as well as a video tutorial of my makeup routine. Make sure to comment below or email me at with any questions and I will get back to you!

Makeup Essentials

Brush Essentials

Other Essentials

My Skin Care Routine

Like I mentioned before, living a Halfway Wholeistic lifestyle means finding a middle ground in the holistic world. I do not purchase the most expensive, holistic products. I have found products that are paraben free and get the job done well. Alba Botanica has been my brand of choice. By the way, this post is not sponsored in case your “This is a fake sponsored post” antennae are going up. This is just a list of products I’ve come to love and use every day!

Morning Essentials

Evening Essentials

Natural Acne Topical Treatments

I use tea tree oil and Sovereign Silver Gel to keep my skin clear if any breakouts do arise. SERIOUSLY. Do yourself a favor and purchase the silver gel. My husband and I both use it for acne, burns, and cuts. It’s a miracle worker! I also use the liquid for to treat my colds and have even cured an eye infection as well! No joke. This stuff is amazing.
Thank you so much for stopping by and taking the time to read. I hope you found encouragement here, and maybe a few makeup tips as well! Have a great weekend my friends!







Abercrombie Sale

Abercrombie Sale

If I told you Abercrombie was having a sale what would be your reaction? I’m assuming you would do one of two things. You would either raise your eyebrows at me in question of why on earth I was telling you about a sale going on at a teeny bopper store, OR you would head over and check it out because you admit their clothes are quite adorable regardless of that early 2000s stigma that goes along with the name. I for one LOVE their clothes and think stores beloved by my 12 year old self (Abercrombie and Old Navy to name a few) don’t get quite as much attention as they should. I’m all about texture and quality over brand, and the fabrics used for Abercrombie clothes top the charts in my opinion! So, if I’ve convinced you that Abercrombie isn’t just for teeny boppers, check out my favorite picks from the sale that’s going on now! Be sure to use code 11017 for an extra 30% OFF YOUR ENTIRE PURCHASE! 


Hope you found something you like! I have a few of these items already and they are among my most prized pieces in my closet. Have a great weekend, friends!

4 Tips for Decorating Your Entryway

4 Tips for Decorating Your Entryway

Over the past two years, our entryway has been through many changes. It was like a revolving door for throw pillows and decor. This month I decided to focus in on this space and design it once and for all. Here are my four tips for creating the perfect entryway you won’t get tired of. As usual, click on the links and photos to shop the products I used. Make sure to leave a comment and tell me what you think!

1. Pick a Paint Color

Before my entryway makeover, this space was painted in a light gray color like the rest of the walls in our house. While the gray looks good in other spaces within our home, it did not suit this space. The lighting and brick floor did not work well with the color of the paint. To brighten up the space I decided to paint this room white. 18 hours of painting was a bit rough, I’ll admit, but worth it! It brightens up the room, accents the brick floor, and showcases the furniture and artwork. Our walls are painted in White Dove and the baseboards are Swiss Coffee.

2. Make Necessary Structural Changes

I made three structural changes to our entryway in order to allow the furniture to flow and fit within the space. I removed the hanging pendant and opted for recessed lighting. The light I put in is a recessed light fixture that fits in a space created for a ceiling light. I did not have to add canned lighting for the recessed light to fit! I also moved the light switch over in order to be able to center the artwork on the wall. The final change I made was to have our old outlets replaced with new ones. All of these structural changes allow the space to look fresh and updated.

3. Choose a Focal Point

Before I began the entryway makeover, Jordan and I had made a bench out of rubber wood and hairpin legs I bought on Amazon. I knew I was going to use this in my entryway, so I worked around this as my focal point. If you are not up for a DIY project, you can find a similar bench here!

4. Add Accents

It is important for me to keep things simple, clean, and minimalistic in my home. For that reason I opted for these gorgeous frames from Highland Hardware and filled them with minimalistic prints I found on Etsy. The sleek, simple frames add so much style to the wall! As for the pillows, I kept things monochromatic by adding a patchwork Hmong pillow and white linen lumbar. I had originally placed a colored pillow here, but with the brick flooring it proved to be too much pattern and color for my liking. Surprised? Didn’t think so. 😉 When working with a monochromatic color palette, I make sure to add different textures in order to keep things interesting. Finally, I added a small fiddle leaf tree and white ceramic pot to pull the whole look together.

That’s it! Hope you guys like it! Leave a comment below and let me know what you think 🙂 Don’t forget to subscribe to receive notifications about new blog posts and seasonal giveaways. Oh! And check out the gallery below for more inspiration and to shop my favorite entryway decor.

Shop My Favorite Entryway Decor


My Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Picks

My Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Picks

linen pillow // candles // rug // concrete candle // artwork // woven pillow

It’s official! The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale is here and officially open to the general public! If you’re anything like me, you might be a little tired of hearing the words “Nordstrom Anniversary Sale”. My Instagram feed has been flooded with post after post advertising the products I COULDN’T access because I’m not cardholder. But I just couldn’t help myself. The waiting game is over and it’s time to snag a few of your favorite pieces while the items are in stock and the prices are reduced! And seriously, the prices are really good! This is one sale you shouldn’t skip out on.

And now for the really good news… A Nordstrom gift card giveaway!

As if that wasn’t enough good news for one day, I’ve decided to a special thank you for following along with me, I am giving away a $50 Nordstrom gift card to one lucky winner! All you have to do to enter is subscribe to Halfway Wholeistic. You can do that by clicking here. Enter your name and email address and you are officially ENTERED!

CLICK HERE to enter the giveaway!

For Additional Entries:

Follow on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest!

Below you will find my picks from the sale for both the home and for yourself! I mean, it’s fun to beautify your house and all, but don’t forget to treat yo self too people!

For the home

For You

Hope you found something you just couldn’t live without! Don’t forget to enter the giveaway by submitting your email here! Winner will be announced this Tuesday. Good luck and happy shopping!

Blog Signature copy

Dairy-Free Ice Cream

Dairy-Free Ice Cream

What type of dessert person are you? A cake person, cookie person, chocolate person, ice cream person? I am hands down an ice cream person. Try to tempt me with pastries or pies and I could resist all day long. But ice cream? I don’t stand a chance. I remember dishing up heaping helpings of ice cream as a little girl after dinner, going out for ice cream after a big event or achievement, and even making homemade ice cream for holidays like the Fourth of July. I prefer a scoop (or two) of mint chip, but I definitely don’t discriminate against any flavor.

A few years ago I was having a few health issues that forced me to remove gluten and dairy from my diet. Passing on a dinner roll was hard enough as it is, but giving up ice cream was simply out of the question! I turned to ice cream stand-ins like those made from coconut milk or almond milk, but they just weren’t the same. So of course I turned to Pinterest for a dairy-free ice cream recipe I could try at home. I read a few and modified them to come up with the simplest recipe that would be easy to make on a regular basis. I’ve been meaning to share this with all of you for such a long time because it is a serious game changer. I mean, paleo, organic, dairy-free ice cream… What more could someone want?! 

The following recipe will allow you to create a dairy-free ice cream base. This is a vanilla ice cream recipe that you can add to in order to create additional flavors. I love pairing this ice cream with fresh fruit, and also frequently make a chocolate and rocky road flavor which you can find below as well. 

Before You Begin

The day before making your ice cream you will need to make sure you have an ice cream maker and put the container in the freezer for a minimum of 24 hours. A few of my other ice cream must-haves are a hardy ice cream scoop, white ramekin bowls and pretty spoons for serving, and an ice cream container where you can store the leftovers!


Dairy-Free Vanilla Ice Cream Base

*This will create a base flavor which you can eat as a plain vanilla ice cream, or you can add other ingredients to create the flavor of your choice.

2 Cans Coconut Milk

6 Egg Yokes

1 Cup Maple Syrup

2 tsp. Vanilla


  1. Put all ingredients in a pan.
  2. Cook on high heat, stirring constantly with a whisk.
  3. Upon the first sight of boiling, remove pan from heat. (Boiling the mixture will create a pasty texture).
  4. Chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
  5. Pour mixture into your ice cream maker and let it work its magic!

Other Flavors:

Dairy-Free Chocolate Ice Cream

Add the following ingredients to the base (vanilla) flavor

3 Heaping Tablespoons of Cocoa Powder


Dairy-Free Rocky Road Ice Cream

Add the following ingredients to the base (vanilla) flavor

3 Heaping Tablespoons of Cocoa Powder

1 Cup Toasted Blanched Almonds

1 Cup Mini Marshmallows


I know making homemade ice cream can sound like a bit of a chore, but this one is so simple and easy that it’s worth a little extra effort! Not to mention it’s practically GOOD for you 😉



My “Office” Reveal

My “Office” Reveal


Happy Friday, everyone! Thanks for stopping by to check out my new work space. I am excited to show you my new favorite spot to work from home! My days of sitting on the couch with my laptop are behind me. This desk space is kicking my productivity into gear, and more importantly, the big, empty space in my living room has been filled! I spent many days (a year and a half to be exact) staring at this blank space in our living room wondering what in the world to put here. After a long stint of designers block it hit me. Praise. I’m loving the look and functionality of this new space!

The clean lines of the desk and chair flow perfectly into our living area without looking like to much of an “office”. The lampclock, and artwork add just a bit of texture to break up some of the white. And that rug. Initially I didn’t have a rug in this space, but I moved our morrocan shag rug from another room and it fits perfectly. 


Thanks again for stopping by! Happy almost weekend!






My Favorite Casual Weekend Outfit

My Favorite Casual Weekend Outfit

A few weeks ago Jordan and I went to San Diego for the weekend. Every time I visit a new city I find myself completely consumed with the beauty and culture of the town. The newness seems to bring out the adventure in me and I just want to walk the streets, find the cutest places to eat, and people watch for days. This weekend I decided to try to take on that same perspective in my hometown, a place I have lived in my. entire. life. Thanks to the long weekend we drove down to the Historic Downtown Orange District this morning. I convinced myself I was a stranger in a new town and enjoyed sitting by the fountain, grabbing breakfast at a darling cafe, and strolling through the boutiques like I had tons of time to kill.

Do you guys ever find yourself being more adventurous when you travel or visit a new place? What are some ways you keep things new and exciting in your hometown? I tend to go to the same restaurants over and over (and order the same darn thing every time too) so I’m making it a goal to branch out and see my city through the eyes of a tourist.

And just in case you need an outfit to tour around in, I have linked my favorite weekend outfit for you! These slip on shoes are my absolute favorite. They are so comfortable and perfect for walking around in! Of course I never leave the house without a big ol’ bag to dump everything in. And the jacket, shorts, and peplum top are soft and cozy enough to convince me to step out of my yoga pants for a little while. 😉

Hope you all had a wonderful, long weekend!


10 Straw Handbags You Need for Spring

10 Straw Handbags You Need for Spring


Isn’t this Bougainvillea just to die for? These pretty bushes have completely taken Orange County by storm and I can’t get enough of them! Wishing I could just transport all their pretty pink goodness to my backyard stat.

Speaking of things I’m totally loving lately… Is it just me or have you guys noticed all the pretty straw-inspired handbags out and about this spring? It seems as though these beach bound bags are no longer reserved for a trip to the coast. Rather, they can be paired with your casual, day-to-day outfit and feminine evening attire as well. Their versatility and unique detail have convinced me that I need to add a few to my spring and summer wardrobe. While searching around for the perfect one, I rounded up my top ten favorites for you guys. Take a look and let me know which one you like best!

1. Gaia’s Ark

This is a must. Its classic design is being snatched up by just about anyone and everyone. Hurry up and gets yours! (pre-order only) Find it here!


2. Oval Straw Tote

I love love love the shape of this bag. Forget the jewelry, this will be the only accessory you’ll need to make your outfit stand out! Find it here!


3. Patsy Straw Tote Bag

The color on this babe of a bag is what I love most. The light colored straw will be perfect for spring and summer! Find it here!


4. Straw Clutch

It’s a clutch made from straw. AND it has the cutest fringe detail. Enough said. Pair this with a feminine dress or romper and you’ll be ready for a night on the town! Find it here!


5. Round Wicker Basket Tote

The long strap on this round bag is a selling point for me. Being able to use it as a cross-body bag is a huge plus! Find it here!


6. Sierra Straw Tote

Sam Edelman does it again. The detailing on this bag sets it apart from the rest. If you’re looking for something with a little extra sass, this is the tote for you! Find it here!


7. Isabella Straw Tote

Isn’t the fringe the cutest? The white detailing puts this darling tote in a league of its own. Find it here!


8. Straw Clutch Bag

Simple, minimal, and oh so affordable. Find it here!


9. Fuschia-Striped Straw Bag

This bag adds a feminine flare with the perfect pop of pink. Find it here!


10. Pitusa Pom Pom Straw Bag

Oh those pom poms! They add the perfect amount of “fun” to this bag. Find it here!


So, which one is your favorite!? I’m having a hard time choosing just one 🙂

Blog Signature copy

Shop all the bags in this post here.

Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree Care Tips

Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree Care Tips




I’m almost certain the most frequently asked question I have received so far in my blogging experience is about my fiddle leaf fig tree. If you’re anything like me, you are desperate to keep that beauty alive and thriving. Not only are they absolutely gorgeous, but those babies are expensive! Killing that thing would be as tragic as the loss of a family pet in my opinion. Well as you can imagine, I did my fair share of research when I finally purchased my tree. I talked with the indoor plant specialists at the nursery, read numerous blog posts, and searched the internet for the most reliable fiddle leaf fig care tips. So far my tree is doing really well, so I thought I would share my top tips with you all! I get endless messages from readers who are desperate to revive their poor trees. No need to stress my friends! Follow these tips and your precious tree won’t let you down!

1. Water from the bottom instead of the top.

This is hands down the BEST tip that I learned from the specialist at the nursery. Here is what you need to do… Place your potted tree in a plastic liner that can be purchased here. When you go to water your tree, pour the water in the pan and let the tree suck up the water through the holes at the bottom of the pot. This allows the water to be equally dispersed and also prevent you from drowning the darn thing.

2. Don’t over water your tree.

My tree is about five feet tall and I give it one half gallon once a week. Water supply will depend on the size of your tree as well as the time of year (due to changes in temperature).

3. Clean the leaves with coconut oil.

I use coconut oil and a rag to clean the leaves once a month. This is important because it removes the dust from the leaves. Dust can block the sunlight, preventing your plant from soaking up the right amount of light.

4. Place the tree in a bright corner of your home.

The tree will thrive with lots of indirect sunlight. Indirect is the key word here! My tree is in a corner by a large window. It gets lots of sunlight, but is not getting beat-down by the hot, direct light.

5. Rotate your tree each week.

I rotate the pot ¼ turn each week. This allows all of the leaves to have equal access to the sunlight, promoting healthy growth for the entire tree.

6. Be nice to your tree!

I’m going to be honest with you, this tip is going to sounds insane. Like, you may even stop following my blog after you read this thinking that I’m a crazy fiddle leaf lunatic. Here’s the deal, many of you know I am a full-time second grade teacher. While teaching a science lesson on plants just a few weeks ago, our book began to discuss the various survival and defense strategies plants use to stay alive. The book went on to discuss how plants need the right amount of light, water, and air to survive. In fact, they fight for their lives through different defense strategies just like animals and people. light bulb moment. Your fiddle leaf fig tree needs to be CARED for the same way you would care for a pet. Water it, give it light, give it a name, talk to it in a high-pitched, sweet voice, love it, and leave it one spot. They take a while to get accustomed to their new environment just like we do! So, you think I’m crazy? Well, at least my fiddle leaf fig tree is still alive. Just sayin’. 😉 I dare you to try it!

Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree // Woven Baskets // Plastic Liner

Thanks for taking the time to read my friends! If you try these tips I know you will not be disappointed! Feel free to message me or leave a comment if you have any other amazing tips you use!

Blog Signature copy

Concrete Succulent Planter

Concrete Succulent Planter

Succulent 6

Spring is HERE my friends! I’m telling you, every fall I convince myself that I want to be stuck in that “cozy tea and candle” season forever, but when the spring finally arrives I always change my mind. I know many of you are still braving the last of the winter storms, but here in California that fresh-cut grass smell seems to be a little more prominent these days. Mix in the extra daylight and scent of blooming jasmine and I think I just may never come indoors.

With spring finally upon on us, I decided to tuck away the winter décor for good and brighten up the house a bit. I was trying to come up with a new centerpiece for our dining table, and came across something I just fell in love with. After searching Etsy for a while, I stumbled upon these handcrafted concrete planters from Opus Concrete and knew I had to have one! Next, I picked up a few of my favorite succulents, and within minutes I had myself a new succulent planter that will be sure to brighten our table through the spring and summer months. I’m loving the new planter on our dining table, but it really is such a  versatile piece… it could go anywhere! Moral of the story is that I would highly suggest you make one of these beauties for your home. You won’t regret it 😉

Items You’ll Need:


  • Lay down a layer of draining material at the bottom of the planter. I used dried beans!
  • Pour in some of the potting soil, just enough to cover the drainage!
  • Set each succulent in the planter, surrounding it with soil.
  • Cover up the soil with your top layer
  • You. Are. Done! Piece of cake huh?

Care and Maintenance:

  • Water your succulents once a week. I use the “mist” setting on our hose so that I don’t drown them in water.
  • Make sure they are getting lots of indirect sunlight!
  • Clean off the leaves with coconut oil once a month to make sure the dust isn’t blocking any light
  • Rotate your planter once a week to make sure all the succulent are getting equal light
  • Take your planter outside once a week to give it some fresh air and unfiltered sunshine.

Succulent 2

Succulent 3

Succulent 1


Blog Signature copy