Lifestyle

Find blog posts about everything having to do with living a happy + healthy lifestyle here!

*This post is sponsored by BioClarity and Her Campus Media. All opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that make EmmaLenhart.com possible!*

No-Fuss Skin Care Routine for 2017

I’m about to let you in on a little secret about me. I have had the most terrible, rough time with my skin. Seriously. All throughout my teenage years, I was constantly battling with acne-prone, oily skin.

I’ve tried almost every skin care system and treatment on the market. I’ve visited dermatologists, taken oral antibacterial pills, tried Proactiv…the list goes on. My skin is extremely finicky and breaks out with no warning and is hard to clear up. Enter in BioClarity, a new naturally derived skincare 3-step system I’ve been trying out. Below you will find my BioClarity review!

BioClarity Acne Review

BioClarity harnesses all of the amazing nutrients that are out in nature and packs them into simple skin care products. The products are also vegan, gluten-free, and cruelty-free. Yay for protecting animals!

One thing I love most about my new BioClarity skincare is the fact that I am confident that it is actually good for my skin because it is naturally derived. It doesn’t have harsh chemicals in it that could potentially dry out my skin and mess with my oily/combo skin.

The Skin Care Routine + System

My BioClarity skin care routine consists of three simple steps:

  • Step 1 – Cleanser (main ingredients: Green Tea, Chamomile, Cucumber)
  • Step 2 – Treatment (main ingredients: Oat Kernel, Salicylic Acid)
  • Step 3 – Restore Gel (main ingredients: Floralux, Licorice Root)

BioClarity Floralux Skincare Review

I love the restore gel because it comes out of the tube a dark green color (which makes applying it fun!) It makes my face feel super refreshed and soothed.

The Benefits of BioClarity

BioClarity is clinically proven to fight acne, soothe skin, reduce pore size, minimize redness, and even out the skin tone. That’s music to my ears, especially because I struggle a lot with large pores on my T-zone, and frequently experience breakouts.

BioClarity Cleanser

BioClarity products combine the power of prescription-grade salicylic acid and regenerative and restorative Floralux – a new and unique naturally-derived ingredient from chlorophyll (the green stuff in plants) rather than using benzoyl peroxide to target breakouts (which is known to cause redness, dryness, and irritation.)

My BioClarity Review

Personally, I really liked the skincare system and did not find that the products irritated my combo/oily skin. My skin has not broken out since using BioClarity, and I really like the 3-step regimen. The products do smell a little too earthy for my liking, but I guess that’s the price you pay when you get naturally-derived products! The awesome ingredients is worth the smell to me.

Interested in trying out BioClarity for yourself? Use the code EMMALEN for 50% your order!


Have you ever tried BioClarity before? What is your BioClarity review?

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Below you will find 32 self-care ideas you can easily practice. Having a positive mindset and a clear mind is super important for setting yourself up for success. It’s hard to be hopeful about the future when you hate your current situation. While everything in life may not be in our control, we can control some of it and learn to take care of ourselves. Practicing self-care while still in college is important for managing stress and anxiety in some of the craziest years of our life yet! In this post, you will find 32 self-care ideas you can try for yourself.

Accepting yourself

Growing up, I was a pretty big introvert (and still am.) Because of this, I would get anxious when I had too much on my plate, and needed a lot of “alone time” to feel good every day. Some of my other friends didn’t operate the same way and would get frustrated or annoyed when I told them I would be hanging out at home when they were out at dinner/etc. It took me a long time to realize that I wasn’t just “lame”, but rather wired differently and I needed to recognize that in order to take care of myself.

Ever since realizing that about myself, I try and take time for myself throughout the week. Some of my favorite self-care things to do are taking a nap, online shopping and treating myself to something I’ve wanted for a long time, or making myself a heaping bowl of ice cream. 

I’ve compiled a list of 32 self-care practices you can try on your own to take some time for yourself this season. What are you doing to take care of (insert your name here?)

What is self-care?

Simply put, self-care is the art of taking care of yourself and realizing that you are a human that has needs, whether you want to admit it or not. Self-care is sometimes pushed to the back burner of our lives when we see more pressing situations calling for our attention. Self-care isn’t really anything too serious, but rather something that I think should be normalized.

Self Care Ideas

32 Self-Care Ideas to Practice in College

  1. Listen to your favorite album on a vinyl record. If you don’t have a record player yet, check out this one. It’s only $45 and I love mine!
  2. Take a bath and put extra bubble bath in. Don’t have a bath tub? Use your favorite body wash in the shower.
  3. Re-watch your favorite episode of a TV show on Netflix. (I love re-watching Broad City or New Girl episodes…hilarious!
  4. YouTube “beginner yoga” videos and try it out on your living room floor.
  5. Call up a friend that you normally don’t get to talk to or usually just text. Ask them how they are doing and share stories.
  6. Re-arrange your closet or dresser. Organizing always helps me clear my head and makes my room feel less stressful/cluttered.
  7. Pamper yourself with body cream and give yourself a proper manicure/pedicure.
  8. Search for Pinterest recipes for a DIY at-home facial. My favorite one is here, which helps with oily skin and breakouts!
  9. Light a candle in your room.
  10. Write in a journal about what has been going on in your life lately (I love this one!) I’m not much of a journal-er, but I find it helps me take a step back and realize how amazing my life truly is!
  11. Buy yourself flowers! I love seeking out new markets and grocery stores in my neighborhood in search of the prettiest bouquet.
  12. Invite someone to go get coffee with you that you normally wouldn’t.
  13. Spray your favorite perfume on the bottom of your shower before you get in. The smell will fill the room! (Bright Crystal is one of my favs!)
  14. Strip your bed of all the sheets, pillow cases, and comforters. Wash and dry them with lots of dryer sheets 😉
  15. Go to a museum in your city (or somewhere nearby) by yourself. Allow yourself to spend as much time at one exhibit/piece as you want.
  16. Find a library that currently has that book you’ve always wanted to read and go pick it up.
  17. Make a healthy smoothie or acai bowl. I love using up my old bananas by blending them with frozen fruits + kale.
  18. Go for a run or hop on a treadmill/elliptical. I love listening to ’90s R&B when working out 😉
  19. Create a new playlist of all your favorite songs and load it up onto your phone or Spotify to play when you are on a commute/hanging out at home.
  20. Make a handmade card for someone you love. Pinterest has a ton of great ideas and they don’t cost a dime! (Well…besides the stamp.)
  21. Go through your closet for old clothes that you don’t wear or use anymore. Research and find somewhere to drop off the clothes to donate.
  22. Read a passage of the Bible that you feel speaks to your current situation. Pray to God about what is on your heart and listen for a response.
  23. Get a massage. These can be expensive but are worth it and a once-in-awhile treat (at least for us college students.)
  24. Deep condition your hair with a mask. Don’t want to spend money buying one? My sister swears by using coconut oil on dry hair.
  25. Prepare yourself some comfort food. Macaroni & cheese, pizza, chocolate cake, oh my!
  26. Write down a list of the 20 things and people you are thankful for in your life right now.
  27. Listen to a podcast that interests you. I feel like so many don’t use the Podcast app on their iPhones…hello people! It’s already downloaded on your phone and a ton of podcasts are free to listen to.
  28. Make yourself breakfast early one morning and enjoy it in bed.
  29. Find an event going on in your city and attend it. Scared to go alone? Invite a friend/family member/co-worker.
  30. Look at old photos with people you love. One of my favorite things to do is watch home movies from when my sister and I were little girls!
  31. Go for a hike or long walk in your area. Breathe in the fresh air and admire the nature around you!
  32. Play with or pet a dog. Don’t own one? Try visiting a shelter or even volunteering!



What is your favorite way to practice self-care? Have you tried any of these 32 self-care ideas before?

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As a recent Chicago newbie, I set out on a mission to survey the streets to find the best Chicago coffee and coffee shops. I know how boring it can be to work/study in the same old spots, and I also know how expansive the city of Chicago is. So, I did the work for you and compiled a list for you to refer to in your pursuit to find the perfect cup of joe. The 5 places I’ve listed below are my tried and true spots and get the Emma Lenhart stamp of approval. These places are (in my opinion) the best Chicago coffee shops.

If you’re anything like me, coffee is very important. Not just any coffee. But deep, rich, flavorful coffee. So I’ve decided to round-up the best Chicago coffee!

Coffee is the juice that keeps me going on long days and drags me out of bed on cold mornings. I can’t remember the last time I went a day without drinking it. (Am I okay?) Well, I’m a night owl and a college student! Give me a break.

P.S. Yes, I have tried all of the Wifi connections at all of these locations and yes, they all work well. I know how important that can be! 🙂

Best Chicago Coffee Shops

The Best Chicago Coffee + Coffee Shops

1. Heritage Bicycles

Best Chicago Coffee Heritage Bicycles

Credit: Emma Lenhart

This is the hands down the coffee shop I frequent the most in Chicago. If you happen to visit this location on a Friday/Saturday, I will most likely be there. Yes, there is both bicycles and coffee at this place.

Heritage is snuggled in a perfect location in Lakeview, with just enough hustle + bustle around, but not so much that it’s distracting. The decor in the shop is extremely minimalistic (and beautiful). It’s basically what I want my future kitchen/home to look like. Well, minus the bikes.

This location is half bike shop, half cafe. Don’t worry, though, the bike side of the building isn’t loud or out of place. It actually adds a nice novelty element and is fun to watch on a study break.

The coffee and drinks at this shop are delicious and I love the pastries, too. My favorite things to get are a latte, and a biscuit (they bring them in from Bang Bang Pie!)

Located: 2959 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago, IL 60657

2. Heritage Outpost

Best Chicago Coffee Heritage Outpost

Credit: Emma Lenhart

Heritage mentioned twice on this list?! Sorry, but it’s simply just too good to pass up.

Heritage Outpost is the sister coffee shop of the Heritage location mentioned above. I personally decided to make my way over to Heritage Outpost after seeing one-too-many Instagram posts about it on my feed. It looked too good to be true, but alas, it was perfect.

Heritage Outpost is a coffee shop/bar/bakery all rolled into one. That’s right. They serve tequila at this coffee shop!

Another thing I love about this location is that it is actually located in a hotel lobby. While that may sound problematic on paper, (interweb?), it actually works out flawlessly. I love sitting at Heritage Outpost, with a good cup of coffee, and people watching everyone that bustles through the doors.

The decor in this location is also very aesthetically pleasing, with a large wall that reads “Money can’t buy happiness, but it can buy coffee.” Amen to that.

Location: 1325 W Wilson Ave, Chicago, IL 60640

3. Buzz: Killer Espresso

Best Chicago Coffee Buzz Killer Espresso

Credit: Eater Chicago

Seriously, if you haven’t been to Buzz yet, please go.

Buzz is located in Wicker Park which is one of my all-time favorite places to hang out in Chicago. The store is a short walk from the Blue Line Train and decorated beautifully. It also has an awesome ambiance and calmness about it that is perfect for getting work done. The shop in Wicker Park also has two levels, which I like. I usually order my drink downstairs, and then mosey my way upstairs to settle in and snag a seat close to an outlet 😉

Located: 1644 N Damen Ave, Chicago, IL 60647

4. Osmium Coffee Bar

Best Chicago Coffee Osmium

Credit: Workfrom

This bar is located right off the Belmont Red Line and is another go-to of mine. I love the layout of the cafe and how bright and vibrant the colors are at Osmium. Their graphic design is on point (something only I would point out.)

The staff at Osmium is also incredible and I’ve always had pleasant experiences there. My favorite drink to get at Osmium is an agave latte. SO GOOD.

If you fall in love with the coffee served at Osmium and want to make it at home, check out their online store. where they sell a ton of different roasts and blends of their Dark Matter coffee.

Located: 1117 W Belmont Ave., Chicago, IL 60657

5. Gaslight Coffee Roasters

Best Chicago Coffee Gaslight Coffee Roasters

Credit: Bon Appetit

Gaslight is probably one of the busiest spots on this list, but it’s still a great place to get some studying or work done at. But beware, you usually have to keep your eyes peeled to grab a chair/table at peak times during the day.

I like going to Gaslight with a friend and having a laptop date. A.K.A. “Let’s sit next to each other for multiple hours and do work while not talking and drinking lots of coffee.” 😂

Located: 2385 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60647


Where is the best Chicago coffee shop in your opinion? If you don’t live in Chicago, where do you go in your city to get work done/study? 

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It’s officially the holiday season and you know what that means…pretty presents under the tree! But if you are a college student (or just broke in general), buying gifts for your loved ones may stress you out. Good news! You can still buy great gifts without having to break the bank. Find some perfect gifts under fifty dollars in the post below!

And if you need some extra holiday cash this season, check out my older post here that teaches you how to make money online using some of my favorite sites.

My favorite way to earn money fast is by using Opinion Outpost, a website that pays you to give your opinion about different topics! I love how Opinion Outpost pays out in PayPal 😍 Click here or on the banner below to start earning $$$!

Gifts Under Fifty Dollars

Holiday Gifts Under Fifty Dollars!

For the Beauty Lover

Have a friend who is constantly making trips to Sephora or dragging you to Ulta? She may be a beauty lover! All of these pretty picks are under $50 and will totally show her that you care, and pay attention to all those beauty gurus she follows on Instagram!

A few of my other favorites for beauty lovers include anything by Mario Badescu (especially this silver powder and drying lotion.) I’ve also given Soap & Glory products as gifts before because they have the cutest packaging ever, aren’t super expensive, and make great gift sets. This gift set is under $20 from Soap & Glory and looks amazing!

For the Fitness Junkie

If your friend hits the gym every day and never goes anywhere without her S’well bottle (another great gift!), she may be a fitness junkie. Receiving quality workout gear is always nice, and something people sometimes may not splurge on for themselves. Find gifts under fifty dollars for the #werking girl in your life.

Another perfect present to give is a Lululemon headband. These headbands are seriously the best because they have little grips on them that catch all of your flyway hair. I’ve had mine for years and they never give up!

For Your Mom

You can’t forget about momma during the holidays! You can still find gifts under fifty dollars for her, too.

While I’m sure your mom will appreciate anything you get her, I always think a well thought-out gift is best. What does your mom enjoy doing in her spare time?

If your mom likes to read, consider getting her a popular book or journal. If she likes to spend time outdoors, think about getting her some nice hiking gear or a fitness tracker. Remember, it’s the thought that counts!

For the Boyfriend/Husband

What is it that is so entertaining about shopping for boys? Who knows.

I love this coffee mug warmer for another gift idea. It keeps your drink hot while being minimalistic enough to keep on a work desk. Another idea is to get your man some merch to rep his favorite sports team. My hometown team is the Cavaliers, so the official NBA Champions shirt is always a go-to 😉


 Don’t Forget to Get Cash Back!

If you’re shopping for items online, make sure you use Ebates! The Ebates plugin installs easily into your browser and gives you cash back on everyday purchases. I use Ebates every time I online shop + I love getting paid through PayPal cash back!

Ebates Coupons and Cash Back

*This post does contain affiliate links.*

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