23 Thoughts On Turning 23

happy birthday, humor, aging, birthday humor, twenty-something, existential crisis

1.  Holy shit, I’m old.

2.  Well, not really.  But still.  I graduated high school five years ago.  Holy shit.

3.  I should probably get a wrinkle cream, right?  Start now, before it’s too late?  Good idea, me.

4.  Maybe I should take out my nose ring now.  Is 23 too old to have a nose ring?  …Or a giraffe onesie?  Or a t-shirt with a giant cat on it?

5.  Maybe I should get a boyfriend now.  Is 23 too old to be single still?  How many more years until I have to worry about fertility?

6.  I don’t want a boyfriend.

7.  Jennifer Lawrence is 24.  She has an Oscar (probably).  I’m 23… and I don’t have an Oscar.

8.  Shit.

9.  Is 23 too early to have a quarter life crisis?

10.  Is 23 too late to start acting classes so I can catch up to Jennifer Lawrence?  I wanna be BFFs with Bradley Cooper too.

11.  Bradley Cooper was on an episode of Sex in the City, right?

12.  They’re all in their thirties and still single on Sex in the City.  I’m fine.

13.  But really, what age does your fertility start to decrease?

14.  Maybe I should get another cat.

15.  Or make a real estate investment.  Or stocks?  Or get my own apartment.

16.  Whatever, the internet says it’s fine to be a wild and carefree twenty-something.  I’m definitely okay.

17.  Too bad the internet doesn’t say anything about being a twenty-something with a badly paid job and two other part time jobs on the side.  Who lives with her Mommy.  With a well-loved Netflix subscription.  That’s “wild and carefree,” right?

18.  Maybe I should Google “fertility declines”.

19.  Thank God 23 is old enough to buy wine.

20.  And adopt cats.

21. Maybe I should register with eHarmony.

22.  Or not.  Are there still birthday cupcakes left?

23.  I’ll be fine.

xo, kelsey (2)

Let’s Have a Real Conversation About Anxiety and Mental Health

Let's have a real conversation about anxiety #anxiety #mentalhealth

For all intents and purposes, I had a good day on Tuesday.

I woke up to an Etsy kit order after a 10 day dry spell. Work was productive, we had a Mardi Gras party with potluck food, and I crossed some big things off my to-do list. Then I went to a Galentine’s Day party with some friends and had more good food and good company. I came home early enough to package the Etsy order and give my skin some TLC. I prepared for the next day: clothes picked out, lunch packed, and workout planned. There is nothing that is stressing me out, or should cause me to feel uneasy.

Yet for the fourth night in a row I am overwhelmed with anxiety. Tonight I can feel it in my bones like a dull ache. I keep rolling my shoulders like it’s a soreness I can stretch out. Every few breaths it feels like I have the wind knocked out of me and my mind is hit with an incoherent panic. I am on my couch, which is theoretically my favorite place, but I am still so uncomfortable. I really want to pace just to move around but I don’t want to be that person who has to pace, you know?

I have given up that I will ever be “cured” of feeling like this. A few months ago my doctor said she thinks she’s done all she can do as far as pharmaceutical help, which was disappointing to hear. I know we get bashed for being a “toss a pill at it” kind of society but for years I still hoped I would find my miracle medicine that would offer respite from rough patches like this without totally making me feel like a zombie. I recently said to my mom that people who are addicted to drugs or try drugs get thought of as bad or weak people but I totally get it. There is an allure when you feel so crappy but there is something that can momentarily cure you. I’ve gotten drunk as a response to anxiety on a few occasions (and deeply regretted all of them, by the way, I don’t recommend it) but in the moment when it feels like the legal drug isn’t fixing it you wonder if something else would. When I start to feel like that I’m really glad that recreational drugs frighten me more than anxiety. Panic attacks are absolutely awful but at least I know I’ll always wake up after it.

Not only is anxiety uncomfortable, but at this point it feels hopeless as well. Maybe this is how I will always be. I can have fun to a certain extent but I will always be on a leash that I can’t unhook myself from. Sometimes I feel like a dog running free only to be expectedly snapped back by the neck. Even on good days I know that more often than not when I go home my mind will try to settle and this indescribable dread will set in. Sometimes it pretends to have a reason (“Did that joke I made sound too mean? Did my question at the staff meeting sound stupid? What if I don’t order enough lunches for the meeting next week?”) or it comes without warning and I drown in discomfort. And I honestly don’t know if I prefer one or the other.

I saw my first therapist in college before I knew what was happening to me. I described to him that I felt like I lived two lives: Bad Kelsey could not see the light and could not connect with Happy Kelsey or the things that brought her joy, and Happy Kelsey would look back at Bad Kelsey and think she was ridiculous for feeling the way she did when her life was so great. The two were not friends. Bad Kelsey sobbed in stairwells while on the phone with her mom while Happy Kelsey posted about how much fun college was on Facebook. I was 18 when first described this and was told that my “episodes” were anxiety attacks. Now it’s almost 8 years later and both Kelseys still fight for my attention.

This was all just a long-winded way of saying that I’m frustrated. I wish I had something uplifting to say but I am writing this with no solution or neat conclusion to sum up. I had a good day today, but still am ending it with deep breathing exercises and tears. I had a good day but it wasn’t a good day. And tomorrow might be a good day but could also not be a good day because I never know which Kelsey will show up. I wish they would RSVP so I knew what to expect.

To end this, let’s chat. Tell me about yourself. I want to keep talking about this because I know I’m not the only one who feels this way and feels alone sometimes. Let’s share and get these feelings off our chests.

  • Do you have mental health challenges? What are they?
  • How do you deal?
  • When did they first start? Has it changed?
  • Do you ever get angry or frustrated? How do you manage those feelings?

Or tell me something else mental health related in the comments, and reply back to another. Let’s have a real conversation, okay?

xo, kelsey (2)

Life Lately: Candid Happenings


Tap, tap, tap. Is this thing still on?

I took an extended break from blogging again while I “found myself” *vomits*. Because working full-time PLUS another part-time job PLUS trying to manage my anxiety was too much. The winter was very rough for my mental health and I just now feel like I’m recovered from it. The skies are clearing up for summer and so is my mind. I’m feeling rejuvenated at work, at home, and with life in genreal. And I have tonnnsss of new ideas for posts.

So what has been happening? What’s the 4-1-1? What’s the hot gossip?!

I turned 25 in March! Happy birthday me! Sorry I missed my 25 Things About Turning 25 post, but you can read about 24 and 23 things I’ve also learned from years past. They’re pretty much the same, honestly. Maybe I’ll do a retroactive 25 things once I hit the 25 1/2 mark. I’m assuming I’ll be wiser then, but I really don’t feel much wiser now. I celebrated my birthday by buying myself presents and going to brunch with my friends. It was glorious. There was a boozy milkshake with a giant birthday candle involved, so what more could you want?

I bought a bunch of new make-up! I successfully completed my 2017 no buy make-up ban for January and February, then went HAM in March on account of “Birthday Month.” And by HAM I mean spending a sum of money at Ulta that I am uncomfortable admitting aloud. (But my Ulta Points account looks AH-MAZING!) I’ve been testing the products I purchased and am planning on doing some reviews soon– including some skincare products I got that were suuuper disappointing.

I took a break from make-up to concentrate on my skin! To totally waste all the money I spent on make-up, I have taken a break from it while I explore new skincare. I am currently trying out Curology, a prescription skincare subscription service. I won’t go into full details because I have an entire post planned, but it’s essentially an online dermatologist. You get paired with a medical professional to assess your skin and they cultivate a topical medication to treat your issues. Though my results have been slow and steady (and not without set-backs) I am very happy with how things are going. More soon!

Speaking of skincare, I have taken a serious rededication to my health. Part of busting out of my anxiety hole included busting out of my bad habits hole, and I’m pretty sure my clear head is partly due to that. I am eating much more nutrient dense foods, am back to exercising regularly, and have set new goals for myself. I’ve successfully lost 20lbs (!!!!!!) since April 1st, and am really enjoying getting back into cooking healthy meals and watching my progress. I went to school for health and wellness, but you wouldn’t know it by how I acted. I figured it was time to start living like I valued my life, ya know? You can look forward to more healthy eating posts coming your way. And maybe some exercise posts too?

That sums up my 2017 so far. Aside from raging against the political machine and continuing to let my cat rule my life, things have been good. And I’m excited to get back in touch with my blog.

So tell me, what do you want to see from Candidly Kelsey? Make-up? Skincare? Food? Bad jokes? Let me know! And leave a comment with what you’ve been up to recently!

xo, kelsey (2)

How to Contact Your Representative

How to Contact Your Representative / www.CandidlyKelseyBlog.com

Hello, hi, howdy and welcome to my first official political post in which we discuss how to contact your representative. Regardless of what your political opinion is, it is very important to know how to contact your officials. Your voice doesn’t end with voting for your president and it’s important to stay in contact with your officials. But unfortunately, not everyone knows how to talk to them– or even who their representatives are. So let’s change that, huh?

Let’s just start by saying that this is a non-partisan post. I obviously have political opinions (follow me on Twitter and you know exactly what those are) but this post is not for that. The point of this post is to make sure each person is armed with the knowledge of how to stay in contact with their officials, regardless of their ideologies.

How to Contact Your Representative:

  1. Know your elected officials. Your senators and representatives are JUST as important as your president. This website is the official US Gov site on contacting your officials, but (in my opinion) isn’t as user friendly. WhoIsMyRepresentative.com can help you find who your representatives and senators are by searching via zip code or by state. It will also link you to their webpages and contact info.
  2. Learn their stance on issues that are important to you. The internet has tons of great resources to find out more about them and their voting record. VoteSmart.org and OnTheIssues.org are great sites to learn about their stance on important issues and how they’ve voted in the past.
  3. Write them a letter. They represent YOU. Let them know what issues are important to you. If you don’t agree with their record, you can tell them– but be respectful about it. They’re not likely to pay attention to a letter full of expletives. Explaining your points and why you feel that way is a much more valid argument than just telling them they’re wrong. Even if you do agree with their record, tell them, and tell them why. About.com has a great article on tips for writing a letter, and although this other template is about biology, it’s a great example of the format a general template for writing to your representatives. Just take out all the science stuff and replace it with what is specific to you.
  4. Stay updated on what is happening. Whatever happens in congress is public record, and is archived. The best places I found to read about the legislation in the senate on Senate.gov, and the House of Representatives on Clerk.House.gov. The websites aren’t super user-friendly, so take some time to explore them. Each bill has a name, so you can watch pieces of legislation as they are updated. You can follow specific pieces that are important to you and track their progress. And although the news covers them, you can also follow Executive Orders signed by Trump on WhiteHouse.gov and read them for yourself.
  5. Continue to voice your opinion. If something happens that you are happy about then write, email or call your representative’s office. If something happens that you don’t like, do the same. They are YOUR representative. And the only way they can represent you is if they know how you feel.

Bonus: Always, always, always fact-check yourself. Don’t blindly share things that you see online. There is such a thing as “fake news” and it’s unfortunately all over social media pages. A quick Google search to see if something is real will save you from spreading false info. It’ll also keep you from looking dumb, which is nice.

There are tons of other ways to stay updated with what is happening in our government, but this is what works for me.

If you have other ways you like to contact your congressman, or other ways to stay updated on what is happening in congress, please leave them in the comments for others to see. Let’s make it a little easier to make our voices heard.

xo, kelsey (2)

The BEST Drugstore Make-Up

Make up doesn't have to cost an arm and a leg. Check out the best of the best drugstore make-up, including foundation, highlighters, bronzer, mascara, setting spray and more. / www.CandidlyKelseyBlog.com

Who says good make-up has to be expensive? It doesn’t. You can slay without giving up eating or taking out a small loan. And if you’ve ever thought about getting into make-up but don’t know where to start NOW is the time to get into it. And I’ve got a round up of the best drugstore make-up just for you.

For the purpose of this list, these are all things that can be physically purchased at a store that carries what are considered “drugstore” brands: Walgreens, CVS, Rite Aid, Ulta, grocery stores, etc. If you’re looking for things with drugstore prices but can’t necessarily be purchased at a drugstore, stay tuned for my next post featuring affordable make-up.

Presented in order of putting them on ya face:

Primer: Maybelline Master Prime Blur + Smooth – $9.99

Foundation: L’Oreal Infallible Pro-Matte Foundation – $12.99

Dry skin kids, don’t fret at the word “matte.” I have dry skin and love this foundation. It stays all day, and doesn’t look cakey or weird on my dry skin. I recommend moisturizing, priming, then using this foundation with a very damp beauty blender. The moisturizing and the damp beauty blender make all the difference, I promise.

Concealer: Maybelline Fit Me Concealer – $4.99

Fit Me has been compared to the NARS Creamy Concealer. It’s got a great consistency and is a medium coverage. Plus, at the price, it’s great to get a few different colors for days when you want a super highlighted look vs. just a daily look.

Powder: Rimmel London Stay Matte Pressed Powder – $4.99

Bronzer/Contour: Physician’s Formula Murumuru Butter Bronzer – $14.99

Don’t freak out a the price tag, this bronzer is WORTH IT. It’s lasts forever, and the color is the perfect neutral undertone with a warm finish so you can use it for bronzing and for some light contouring. Plus it literally applies like butter. Skip the expensive latte for a few days to justify dropping the $15 dollars on this sucka, and you will not regret it. I have high-end bronzers, and still pick this one everyday. It’s the best of the best drugstore make-up.

Highlighter: Essence Pure Nude Highlighter – $4.49

It’s cult favorite for a reason: the most natural but gorgeous glow. To up the intensity, mist your brush with a setting spray before applying it to make it a little more “wet.” Much like the Butter Bronzer, I have many high end highlighters but use this one daily.

Blush: Makeup Revolution The Matte Blush – $5.00

Super pigmented and a ton of colors. Just make sure to use a light hand when applying.

Mascara: Maybelline Lash Sensational – $8.99


The Maybelline Color Tattoos are cream shadows and they are almost literally tattoos. I used to work triple shifts between working at a gym and waitressing, and could put these on m eyes at 9am, and get home at 3am after a 6pm-2am waitress shift and my eyeshadow would still be flawless without a primer. These are bomb.com.


This eyeliner is comparable to Kat Von D’s Tattoo Liner in “Trooper.” Though this one is a felt tip and the KVD is a brush pen they apply very similarly. KVD may be a smidgen darker, but for the price difference of $16 bucks I’m fine with that.

Stays all day, including the waterline. This liner applies very easily, and also lasts forever.

Setting Spray: Maybelline FaceStudio Master Fix Wear Boosting Setting Spray – $12.99

Comparable to the Urban Decay All-Nighter setting spray, IMHO. They even have very similar ingredients lists. I use this as a setting spray, and to help dampen my brush when I want to intensify eyeshadow or highlight colors.


Just ’cause the Youtube gurus are using Marc Jacobs and YSL doesn’t mean drugstore make-up isn’t good. Drugstore make-up will still snatch your face, I promise.

Did I miss any other great products? Leave them in the comments!

xo, kelsey (2)