Where ya Been: An Update with ‘Lysse

    Hi hello did ya miss me!?

    It’s been far too long since I’ve posted something new, so I thought I’d finally tell you why. For a second there, I thought about doing a Day in the Life vlog to make this a little more fun, but the problem with that is time.

    If you follow me on any other social media, you may know that I am currently a 4th and 5th grade resident teacher during the day and taking 15 credits for grad school at night. You see…I don’t have a lot of time. Continue reading

    Beauty, Lifestyle

    Nip & Fab, Viper Venom & Dragon’s Blood Oh My!


    I’m here to bring you another product review. I want to start off by saying that I think all of these products are priced well and can easily be found online or in stores at CVS Pharmacy or Ulta. It has been a few months since I’ve tried out some new products that aren’t for your hair, so I was really excited about these, especially because the entire brand was entirely new to me.

    My initial impression is that the brand and the products are very innovative and affordable. When I first received the items I was intrigued by the different ingredients used, and the variety of products for individual needs (minimize pores, retouch finish, plumping). On the other hand, I like to keep a lot of my face products “natural” or at least with ingredients I am familiar with and I can’t exactly say that about these products.

    What I Got!

    Viper Venom Eye Roller:

    It’s rare that I get a new product and immediately fall in love, but y’all this is it! The product is advertised to address wrinkles, and dark circles and while I don’t have wrinkles, I feel like my dark circles are very apparent without make-up and it is often the only reason I decide to put make-up on. I have only been using the product once or twice a day for one week and the difference is incredibly evident. BUY BUY BUY!

    Cleansing Pads:

    I consistently buy another brand of make -up wipes, despite the fact that they aren’t my favorite. They leave a oily residue and I always feel like I need to rinse my face afterwards. These Nip & Fab wipes don’t leave a residue, and they don’t make you face feel sticky or tight. If you were a lot of make-up I could see how you would dislike these because the pads are small circles and you may need to use more than one. Lastly, it smells like sunscreen which I really don’t like.

    Dragon’s Blood Plumping Serum:

    When I first received this product I was a little confused as to what it was…”a plumping serum.” Is it a moisturizer? Should I use it at night? What does plumping mean? Online the product description says that the Dragon Blood “forms protective film on skin to protect against environmental aggressors.” In theory this sounds cool, but I can feel that protective film on my face which isn’t my favorite. And again, the smell is too strong..

    Viper Venom Fix Blurring Shot:

    In theory this product is pretty cool. It is advertised as “blurring” fine lines and pores to give you a “retouched finish” so in my head it sounds like the perfect product to use on the days that I don’t wear make-up. A little goes a long way, and I like the dropper packaging. I can’t say it makes a huge difference, but I can see the effect.


    Overall, I can confidently say that I will definitely be buying the eye rolling product again and maybe the face cleansing pads. If the fragrances were changed I would be more apt to buying the Viper Venom Fix Blurring Shot. Honestly, this was a really fun package to receive because I had never heard of the company or even a lot of the products, so thank you to Nip & Fab and Collectively!


    lysse on life

    Beauty, Lifestyle

    Deep Conditioning with Deva Curl: A Review

    I feel like I have been waiting to write this post for forever now, but I truly care about taking the time to test drive new products out before I write a full review on them. I have been working with Influenster and Deva Curl for a while now, and have been blessed with the opportunity to be a brand ambassador for Deva Curl. A few weeks ago, I was sent a complimentary box of two of their newest products, the Deep Sea Repair & Strengthening Mask (8oz. $36) and Melt into Moisture Matcha Conditioning Mask (8oz. $36). If you’re new to Lysse on Life and are interested in some of my previous Deva Curl Product reviews you can look here and here!

    Over the past two the three months my curls have been driving me crazy! All of a sudden it seems like my curls get tangled and matted so quickly, and overall my hair lacks the healthy bounce and shine it once had. I know I should have been doing this all along, but for the first time since I’ve been ~12 I have been been wrapping my hair at night. I desperate for a solution and these new Deva Curl masks literally showed up on my door step just in time.

    So, over the last three weeks I’ve been using both of these products about twice a week. I’m going to say up front that I did not always follow the written instructions. Sometimes you gotta be a rebel, right? It felt like a lot of work for me to wash my hair, apply the mask, then wash it out again, AND I personally felt like it needed more time to sit in my hair. A few times I applied it in the shower right after shampooing, then washed it out when I finished showering. Other times I wet my hair with a spray bottle, then applied the mask throughout my hair trying to be as thorough as possible. Each attempt, I left the mask in for varying amount of times. 15 minutes when I decided to do it right before, or during, a shower. 3 hours when I would put it in, then put my hair in a bun before running some evening errands. Then that one time I forgot and left it in over night. Honestly, I think I had the best results the day after this but *shrugs*.  
    Deva Curl

    So what did I think?

    I’m not going to say that I thought either the Deep Sea Repair mask or the Matcha mask was magical and  “strengthened” and “conditioned” my hair like the name says it should, but I do think it made a difference. While my hair has still been crazy tangly (honestly, I think I just need a hair cut) I have seen a major improvement in it’s bounce and shine. If you stayed on a strict schedule, I believe these two products (or one or the other) would be very beneficial.

    Personally, I would purchase the matcha mask again over the Deep Sea Repair. One because I like the jar packaging, two because I could use less product each treatment allowing for the jar to last longer, and three I preferred the consistency as it was smooth and silky yet still thick like a mask. For the Deep Sea Repair mask, I felt like I had to squeeze so much out each time, the consistency seems more like a normal conditioner, and my tube is nearing its end after only five-ish uses. Obviously this will differ depending on how much hair you have…but I have a lot. For both products I was able to work it into my hair easily, and it washed out without leaving any additional residue. Lastly, I enjoyed both fragrances and didn’t think they were too overpowering.

    Now, it’s no secret that Deva Curl’s products are not affordable for everyone all the time. If you’re new to the brand I would recommend starting out with the products from their One Condition Decadence “No-Poo” and Conditioner line.

    If you have specific question about these products, or any other Deva Curl product I’ve reviewed make sure to leave a comment below!

    lysse on life


    Moving Forward By Looking Back

    Home. That is a complicated concept for me. I’ve lived in quite a few states/cities and home can be defined many ways. Home is where I had some of my more formative years during high school (Texas). Home is where my mom is (Virginia). Home is the last placed I lived (Charlottesville). In Virginia, home for me is Charlottesville. I moved to Virginia right after graduating high school and after a quick summer spent at my mom’s new house I was off to The University of Virginia for undergrad.

    I made it a goal when I first got to grounds that I was going to engage with the actual Charlottesville community. Not to be confused with the UVA community. I volunteered in various public schools. Went to church, babysat, played recreational sports with people who had zero connection to the University. In addition, a lot of the classes I chose to take required us to go out into the community. Learn about the different neighborhoods, the history that happened in them, and how the city has changed due to that history. Events like Vinegar Hill, and Massive Resistance are two historical events that come to mind. To me, it was incredibly important to understand the space I was living in. And I wanted to try to understand it from the perspective of those native to the city, not from the perspective of those from the “Master’s House” like some of the native Charlottesville residents refer to the University as.  Continue reading


    4 Ways to Use Picture Prints to Make a Space Your Own

    Settling In

    I have been living in my new place in D.C for a little over two weeks now. The first week I had five storage bins, my work clothes, and bins of beauty products that I had with me in the dorm. Last weekend I returned to my mother’s house to pack up my high school bedroom set that would soon become my adult bedroom set. And this weekend I have pretty much finished unpacking all my boxes and finding a new home for all my knick-knacks. Unfortunately, due to the height of staircase ceiling, my box spring could not complete the journey to my new room, and thanks to the inconsistency of Walmart, the foldable box spring I ordered has also not made it here yet. So yay for week two of sleeping with my mattress on the floor!

    Despite my mattress being on the floor, I am feeling more and more settled each day. With all my boxes unpacked, I have began thinking and pinteresting about how I want to decorate my new space. Yesterday I bought two new plants that have made me ridiculously giddy, I’ve been on the hunt for a new white or off-white comforter, and I would love a rug as well.

    In my room in Charlottesville, I had a corner of my room that was a gallery wall of such with picture prints of my friends from Texas, college friends, the boy and I, and Christmas cards from the families I babysat for. While I loved it in my previous room, I’m looking to use picture prints in a different way this time around.

    Picture prints

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    Money Money Money Monayyyyy

    So i’m living the adult life now. For real this time. While i’m making more money that I ever had before, in reality, I’m living on a very small stipend this year…like i’m eligible for food stamps. With the cost of living here in Washington D.C. budgeting and knowing where my money goes is at the utmost importance. Before the move I was doing a good job of recording my expenses by hand in my bullet journal, but now I need something more automated and sophisticated. I’ve been doing research on some of the best money management apps, and utilizing my new DC library card to check out books all about money, so here is a quick list of the resources i’m using to track my spending and learn more about the financial world.  Continue reading

    fitness, Lifestyle

    Running to Challenge What I Tell Myself to be True


    I’ve felt in a little bit of a slump concerning blog ideas but I’m really excited to share this with you all.

    During my first class of “Numbers, Operations, and Algebraic Thinking” aka how to teach math to kindergartners through 2nd graders, our professor told us: “You are no longer allowed to say that you are not a math person” Raise, your hand if you’ve ever uttered those words. Yup, I assume it’s a lot of us. She continued to impress on us the importance of having full confidence in the content we are teaching because our students deserve that. Math may not have come easy for you, you may not have always liked it, and you may have to put in some extra work to improve, but from here on out you have to set an example for your students and you will be a math person.

    Continue reading


    Independence Day in D.C

    This week I spent my first 4th of July in my new city, Washington D.C! In the midst of the craziness that is student teaching, and taking 9 hours of credit, I was excited to have a day off to see a little more of the city. Some new friends and I made plans for the afternoon but intentionally left the morning open so we could just chill. I used that free time to lay in bed and watch West Wing (#patriotic).

    Continue reading


    I’m Not in Charge

    I’ve definitely written about this before. I had a picture book with this verse as a child, and as an adult, this truth continues to resonate and breathe life into me, so here it is again. When times are smooth sailing remember the Lord is in charge, when times are tough, the Lord is still in charge.

    Continue reading


    5 Things to Do After Moving to a New City

    Since graduation, I have been working really hard to go through all my belongings, finish up paperwork for my new program, and really get a grip on all the logistical things I need for the move. I know when I get there I will be thrown right into 10 hour days so I want to prepare my list now for all the things that need to get done after moving to a new city!

    Continue reading