A few months ago, I was dealing with a horrible skin issue (on my FACE) that I talk about here. Around that time, I read an article that my go-to health guru, Chris Kresser, wrote. It was about the effectiveness of his favorite all natural, organic skin care line – Annmarie Skin Care.

I was intrigued because his advice and recommendations have been invaluable over the years – always spot on. I looked into the skin care line and was so taken back by the purity, quality, care, and ingredient makeup of every product (I am obnoxious when it comes to how much I research supplements, ingredients, and skincare. More about that in a minute).

And because I’m a sucker for all things beauty, skin, wellness and health, I had to try these products right away.

Just before I was about to place an order, my mail came and believe it or not, a reader of mine (thanks Amanda!), who had read about my skin issue, sent me a few products from Annemarie Skin Care that had helped her. I tried the products and.was.hooked.

Change is good. I think it’s healthy to change it up.

I love to change up my skincare products, but there are a few non-negotiables in my rotation that are permanent (I talk about and gave them away them here).

Annmarie Skin Care is one of them.

I called my Mom to tell her how amazing these products are and had no idea that she had already been using Annmarie Skin Care all throughout her cancer treatment per her immune therapist and oncologist’s recommendations. My Mom’s cancer is estrogen-receptor positive, meaning that the cancer grows in response to estrogen. Because of this, she is on medication that blocks all estrogen, which has devastating effects. As women, estrogen is what gives us glowing skin, hair, strong nails, mood balance and cognitive support, endocrine function, strong bones, etc. – too much or too little of it and we are off balance.

Being on a medication that totally blocks estrogen is really difficult, especially for the skin. I have to say, no one can believe that my Mom is on this medication, let alone going through cancer. Her skin is glowing. And the best part? Annmarie products are so pure and natural, we don’t have to worry about any chemicals having adverse effects or interacting with her medications, treatments, and healing. Here is my beautiful Mom a few months ago…I got in touch Annmarie Skin Care right away and met Jasmine and Abby, which ended up being the greatest gift of all. We became fast friends and they were so taken back by mine and my Mom’s experiences, they got in on my holiday giveaway. After the new year, we started to discuss how we could collaborate to offer something special for PMS readers.

The customer service at Annmarie is beyond – you are treated like family and they just get it. Annemarie Skin Care is all about kindness – kindness to yourself, your skin, your emotional body and each other.

I wanted to interview Abby before announcing what we came up with for you guys. Just so you can get a better idea of the heart behind these lovely people and their products – products that live up to the quality of the ingredients they are comprised of.

Abby is a Licensed Esthetician, as well as the Wholesale Account Manager for Annmarie Skin Care. At Annmarie, she nurtures all wholesale accounts with independent contractors and spas, integrative health and wellness centers, fitness and yoga studios, boutiques, natural markets and online retailers. Additionally, she handles all product training for staff members and offers ongoing education for customers. Her life’s purpose is to educate and inspire people to feel beautiful through self-care rituals.

Continue Reading

I used to really struggle with saying no. I felt like if I ever said no, it meant that I wasn’t a positive person coming from a place of a “YES-to-life!” attitude. I also felt like the universe would never allow me to attract anything good if I didn’t stay positive and be open to any and all possibilities (even if I knew deep down that it wasn’t the right avenue for me). I have never felt more psychologically checkmated, insecure, and miserable. For 24 years, I had a very hard time saying no.

There was also an immense amount of guilt whenever I said no. Partly because I was a people pleaser and partly because I hated myself.

Sometimes, I would start to hint at a no and then feel so awkward/guilty/wrong/loser-ish, that I would just fold. Like a napkin. Every.damn.time. It was pathetic and it breaks my heart but also makes me cringe to think back on.

You will always have a hard time saying no as long as the f*cks you give about how you are perceived outweigh the f*cks you give about yourself.

I hated myself for not having control over being able to vocalize and act on my own wants and needs. I hated the self-imposed pariah I had become – a fearful ninny who chose unhappiness over uncertainty in the name of her own convenient version of the Law of Attraction: self sabotage/delusion edition.

This prevented self-respect, emotional intelligence, dignity, happiness, control, my innate power, relational luck, and an emotional backbone from developing.

And because I had nothing to build on, I convinced myself that my only relational purpose, whether it be with friends or lovers, was to build UP other people.

If you don’t have an emotional life of your own, your limits and standards will always be up for dissection and negotiation.  You are no longer the C.E.O of Y.O.U. You devolve from the vessel you were born as, to a flailing origami boat in the water – intricately built but so easily destructed.

The most successful companies have rock solid terms and conditions that are always adhered to for a reason.

What are your terms and conditions?

If you don’t have any, you will have a problem saying no – whether it be to other people, sh*tty circumstances, the story you’ve chosen to subscribe to, self-limiting beliefs, your fears, issues, insecurities, etc.

When you fly by the seat of your emotional pants, everyone will start to notice that their shoes could use a little cleaning. You then become “useful.” And as fun as it is to have a bunch of people around, you don’t realize until it’s too late that the exploitative joke is on you. You’ve been the ding-dong doormat all along.

You then feel so badly about yourself that you start to equate being needed (used), with being wanted.

And just like a literal doormat, because you’ve been an emotional doormat for so long, the insecurity you feel over the accumulated filth, dirt and psychological stench of others starts to cripple you.

You then begin apologizing for having any HINT of:

  • Boundaries
  • A voice
  • An opinion
  • Limits
  • A need for clarification
  • Standards
  • Breathing air
  • An existence

I felt so useless and disgusting from being the doormat that the psychological dirt of others was wiped on, that instead of getting clean, I overcompensated by becoming a perpetual YES person.

I did this as a means to detract from the unbearable filth I had accumulated. Whenever I said yes, it was like taking a quick-fix shower that made me feel temporarily clean but ultimately left me feeling even dirtier than before.

Like always attracts like. I was attracting circumstances, situations, events, friendsh*ts, and relationsh*ts that continued to doormat me as much as I continued to doormat myself. 

And as much as I genuinely hated being a doormat, at least it was familiar territory that I took comfort in the predictability of. My heart could not handle banking on anything in which the outcome was uncertain – like saying no and backing it up with dignified, white horse action.

If only I would have known the power of saying no.

Here’s what I’ve learned about saying no, how it saved my life + 10 things to say no to NOW…

Continue Reading

shop the look

Hi Guys! If any of you either write in or are familiar with the comments section below each post here on PMS, you most likely have read Lorelle’s comments. Because I try to read and respond to every comment that I possibly can, I quickly got acquainted with the healing power, empathy, connectivity, and deep understanding of heartbreak Lorelle possesses. This was not only apparent in her comments that were in response to my posts through the years, but most notably in her responses to other readers. She just gets it. The time, care, and love Lorelle takes to respond to others in pain despite a busy schedule astounds me. I was going through a hard time in my personal life a few months ago and I would find myself late at night reading through Lorelle’s comments with a new perspective and in complete awe of her gift. At that point, I knew I had to contact her. We Skyped (she lives in Australia), and became fast friends. After a few months of correspondence, I asked her if she would write my first guest post. I don’t take submissions for guest posts and currently only have my Mom and a few colleagues scheduled to write posts in the upcoming months. Lorelle wanted absolutely no recognition, links, or accolades. I didn’t give her any topic recommendations because I knew I didn’t have to. Like me, Lorelle wants to provide real, assessable answers and get people out of pain, suffering and destructive patterns that she knows (we ALL know), all too well.

With that being said, here is the first guest post ever on PMS. Lorelle, take it away. 

You know when Natasha writes about riding on your white horse? Well, there’s a part of you that aligns with this from the moment you are born.

It’s your inner GPS. Your emotional GPS.

We all have one. Sadly, I think we are forgetting how to follow it. Call it intuition, gut feeling, a sixth sense, they all mean the same thing. I am hoping these words will help you recalibrate your own GPS. Your emotional compass that exists to help guide you.

It begins with trust. You need to trust yourself before anything else in life. Imagine you are a plant. You need to shoot down your roots to further your growth. Plants don’t think about it, they just KNOW to do that. Survival instincts are powerful. We all need to TRUST ourselves. You need to practice tuning in, so your instincts become razor sharp.

Your inner GPS guides you every day. But you may be getting out there on the daily without tuning into it. However, it can be hard to connect to this inner knowing when you are swimming in a deep sea of pain. Your focus is lost, and your feelings are so intense, you may feel you are drowning in them. Keep the faith though. There are pluses to everything in life, even when you are in desperate and deep pain. I think when we are at our lowest we are at our strongest. Yes, I did just write that.

And here is why…

When you are broken inside, when you have been f*cked over, when you cannot get out of bed, when taking a shower is too hard, when you are unable to eat, you’re in such a powerful place. Yes, it’s painful too, unspeakably so, but know this: When you see all your brokenness, you have to pick yourself up. Piece by piece. You must love yourself and connect with your sense of self-worth again. You will learn what broke you. A lesson exists for you. Your emotional GPS will reflect back to you what you need to work on for self-growth. This is an incredibly powerful place to be. Raw but pure. It’s a gift.

Remember this: Anyone who brings you deep, soul wrenching pain, is not meant to be in your life. Take the lesson and exit.

Sometimes we head in directions ready to enjoy the adventure ahead. Sometimes it’s not right for us and the people involved are not who they at first seem. You’ll know this as your emotional GPS will signal it to you. If you are headed in the wrong direction, it will try and redirect you. Tune into the messages that you are getting.

Is it a sense of being let down, lied to, or just feeling constantly like things are not adding up?

These messages are not your imagination, they are instincts allowing you to feel what is happening (things you may not yet be able to see).

Your emotional GPS will “hashtag” the words and lines you are hearing that are not true. They will keep popping up in your mind.

Take heed! I can think of many times I got a direct hit message off my emotional GPS. It comes at you, a thought, a random word, a question mark about something you just saw or heard. It’s a simple piece of information when it comes to you. It will make you stop and think. These little nuggets of information are raw. They are like intuitive rain drops. You feel it, look up and wonder “hmmm rain?” Take heed of that tiny drop, because it alerted you to the potential storm that may be ahead.

Regardless of the situation, your GPS will be rerouting you constantly if things are not good for you. Red flags will be flying. Flapping even. Neon lights will flash. Next time you see one of those, know that your emotional GPS is talking to you. Trust it. Listen to it. It’s like your heart beat – 24/7. That’s the simplicity of it. It’s part of you.

There is so much unending power in following your intuition. When your heart is broken, your GPS isn’t. When life has shattered in front of you, your GPS is still in one piece. When you feel you have lost your way, your GPS knows you haven’t. In your very darkest moments, find solace and peace in that aloneness. TRUST yourself! Love yourself enough to realize those raw little gut instincts are there for you. The overriding message your emotional GPS always wants you to receive is “You are worthy and lovable.”

When you feel negative and unloving energy, get out of there! You cannot thrive with this. Stop listening to others, stop believing things you want to believe and let it go. If things are getting hard and going nowhere, there is a message in that. Reroute.

It is one thing to show commitment to a situation and loved ones who appreciate and deserve you, but another thing to keep trying in situations that are destructive for you. Your emotional intelligence is inside your GPS. It sorts the wheat from the chaff. It helps teach and guide you as you go through your life, experiencing things and learning from them.

Here are the core messages that your emotional GPS wants you to receive:

Continue Reading

shop the post

Emotional vampires are some of the most toxic people you will ever encounter.

Most emotional vampires are extremely passive through the way in which they withdraw your emotional blood.

Some do it subconsciously.

Some narcissistically take advantage and feed off of how validated you feel by them taking the time to zero in on you, find an emotional vein, and draw from your emotional neck.

Just like with gaslighting, emotional vampires often do their work gradually. This way, they can reap the benefits of the cheapest means of manipulation, control and a pseudo feeling of significance amidst an internal insecurity that is so deep, their emotional body cannot manufacture its own blood.

If it could, they wouldn’t need yours. 

Looking back, it’s weird because no matter what the avenue of “blood withdrawal” was in past relationsh*ts, my instinct was conscious of the how emotionally drained, exhausted, depleted, and “not enough,” I always felt. The problem was, I reverse-narcissistically took those feelings of depletion to mean that there was something wrong with me; that I had to work harder to be “good enough.” This disabled my ability to acknowledge that I was not only running on fumes but that I had allowed the withdrawal/depletion in the name of my own delusion – seeing what I wanted to see. 

I get frustrated when I see articles breaking down the obvious characteristics of emotional vampires. Not only is it pretty self-explanatory, but breaking down the obvious makes you that much more dumbfounded as to why you EVER got in the position of exposing your emotional neck to these people.

It’s okay though. We all have.

If you struggle with self esteem and confidence, emotionally vampiric friends, lovers, family members, and co-workers will push your buttons and emotionally paralyze you while they de-pedestal you into their own personal doormat. As this happens, you feel more lifted, ovulatory, and special than ever before. Why? Remember – the worst relationships have the best MOMENTS because that’s all they can ever have – decent moments that are only elevated because of the bullsh*t they’re surrounded by.

If you eat crap every day and then once in a while, get a beautiful little macaron from Paris, the moment that you have that little macaron is going to be monumental. Not because it means that your diet is now balanced, but because the crap that you constantly eat surrounding the macaron moment, renders you THAT much more thirsty for and appreciative of any little crumb that gets thrown your way.

I was talking to my Mom about some emotionally vampiric acquaintances and exes recently. She brought up a fantastic point:

Emotional vampires can be so appealing because they tap into your innate attraction to Hunter-Gatherers. The only problem is, they are hunting YOU. Don’t be the deer that feels special just because the hunter has its red laser light on it. Hunters HUNT. If they could connect and empathize with their prey, they wouldn’t shoot. The fact that the red laser light is on you has nothing to do with you being that much more noticeable or special than the other deer. It has everything to do with you STICKING AROUND LONG ENOUGH for the light to remain on YOU.

They say that sunlight will kill a literal vampire and I think that it’s just as true for emotional ones. The only thing that will disable and disinterest emotional vampires is your light. And only you know where your amplifier is.

But how about when you find yourself in the darkness of your triggers?

What should you so when an emotionally vampiric fake friend or ex comes back into your life and apologizes?

Here’s everything you need to know about emotional vampires + how to replenish your emotional blood once and for all…

Continue Reading

shop the look