Header/Navigation Bar/Social Media Icons

Sunday, January 24, 2021

Game Changing Skin Care

Skin care was a very distant thought in my teens and early 20's. I remember sleeping in makeup and never even considered using a moisturizer. When I did wash my face before bed, I remember grabbing the Dove soap bar. My how times change. My habits changed in my late 20's and really made a turn in my mid 30's. Here I sit at 38 and I marvel at how much my skin has changed for the better. I spent most of my early to mid 30's puzzled by break outs while noticing those fine lines increasing. 

Let me just stop and say...the change was not really for aesthetic purposes...it was how my skin felt and how I felt about it. Below, I am breaking down the products and habits that made a HUGE difference in my skin. I know that everyone's skin is different and the products that work for them will vary. I am just sharing what worked for mine in hopes it may help someone else. I am not selling products and this post is not affiliated in any way.

My skin breakdown:
Combination (oily ad dry)
Breakouts and aging 
Super sensitive

My goals were:
feel confident without much makeup
preventative measures (gracefully age)- I know I am 38 but I wanted to start putting in the work now
decrease breakouts

So, here is the line up...

1. Curology-I would say this was the biggest piece of the puzzle. You take a skin quiz pointing out what your skin needs are. They send a customized bottle (you can choose the frequency) and you can even contact them if you think your formula needs to be changed. Mine is targeted for fine lines and to prevent breakouts.
*Use it every night

2. Botanic Tree Glycolic Acid Cleaner-I saw this recommendation from the adorable Sister Studio's IG. I was skeptical because my skin is so sensitive. I use this twice a week (usually the nights I use my self tanning drops) with my face cleansing brush and it has helped so much. 
*Use 2-3 times a week at night with face cleansing brush

3. Tula 24-7 Moisture-a reason I had so many breakouts was that I had such an uneven distribution of moisture. I use this each morning before my makeup. It gives skin a glow and I love that it is not greasy.
*Use it every morning

4. Tula Beauty Sleep-the creator/founder of Tula shared this is the one product that is a must have for her and I can see why. It contains probiotics and helps minimize the appearance of fine lines. 
*Use it every night

5. Tula Rose Glow & Get It Eye Brightening Balm-this is magic and I look forward to putting it on every morning after I wash my face. It helps minimize fine lines, is cooling, and helps my undereye look refreshed in the A.M.
*Use it every morning

I didn't add this in the graphic but one thing I love right now are the Isle of Paradise Tanning drops. I just add 5 drops to my moisturizer and I love how it is NOT orange based. I use shade medium.

I usually only have to replenish the products every 3 months. My curology comes every 3 months, as well. I have learned you don't have to use a ton of a product and I am able to make it last longer. 

These products have worked wonders for me but another huge piece is that I made some changes to my habits. 

1. Drinking More Water
I went from only drinking a bottle of water a day and drinking tons of caffeine to drinking around 50-64 oz of water and limiting it to 2 coffees a day. 

2. Limiting Dairy
I love ice cream but I had learned to limit it to a few times a month. I would say this is the biggest impact to my skin. I switched to almond milk in coffee and cereal and limit my dairy intake. Not only has this helped my skin but how I feel. 

I hope this post was able to help someone who may be struggling with their skin. I know it made me feel so self conscious. Interested in posts like this? Leave a comment below.


Saturday, January 2, 2021

New Year...New Beginnings

My favorite thing about the New Year is that it brings hope for so many. Although we can make a change anytime we are ready and take steps to move forward, a new year signifies a fresh start for many. 

I don't know about you but during quarantine life and 2020, I had more time than ever before to reflect on what is important to me. I also learned the importance of living in the present. One of the biggest lessons I learned is that being intentional makes a huge impact in all areas of my life. I have never cherished so many moments with my family, took the time for self care, and reflected on goals and the steps I need to take to reach them. Although 2020 has such a negative connotation (because many lives have been so greatly affected), I think we all learned a lot and had the ability to slow down. 

Enough about me. Let's talk about some habits and items that I feel are MUST HAVES for Goal Getters this New Year. 

I rounded up some of my fav things that I think are such simple, new year staples to help you get in that #goalsetting mindset. 

1) Paper Mate Flair Pens-really you could use any pens you have. These are my personal favorite because I love the fun colors and they don't bleed through the pages like my beloved Sharpies. You can find THESE on Amazon. 

2) Planner-again, you can use any planner depending on preference and budget. I love the Erin Condren Life Planner. I have tried Plum Paper, Kate Spade, and great ones from Target but always go back to Erin Condren. I love that you can customize the planner based on what you need and I love adding pictures and my name. A simple planner from anywhere works. The point is to have a way to get organized that works for you. (none of these items are affiliated)

3) Journal-I just ordered a new journal. I think journaling is one of the most amazing things we can do. Whether journaling about your day, writing a quick reflection, writing bible verses or quotes that are powerful-there is something about reflecting on YOU and your feelings. I always feel empowered when I go back and read a journal page where I was having a hard time or bad day and reading ahead to see how I overcame it. This is something I always recommend for my clients to do. It truly is powerful. (I could write a whole post just on journaling).
4) Vision Board Supplies-I LOVE vision boards. It is SO cool looking back at my vision board from last year and celebrating the areas I grew in and the goals I met. It is also cool to see what things I STILL need to work on. A vision board can be as simple or extravagant as you want it to be. The goal is to visualize what you want to work towards. There is such beauty in taking the time to reflect in this. The strategy is when your vision board is complete-put it somewhere you will see it frequently. I have some shelves upstairs with a lot of my counseling books and items (since I currently don't have a counseling office and do telehealth). My elliptical is facing it so I saw my vision board quite a bit. 

You can read last year's vision board post HERE.

Simple Vision Board Supplies:
computer or construction paper or poster board
write or draw on it
magazine clippings
markers, crayons, pencils

If you are wanting to make your vision board a little EXTRA, here are some supplies to use:
cork board or canvas
scrapbook supplies (stickers, letters)

You can even create a virtual vision board in Google Slides Canva, or Powerpoint. You can save it as your desktop or save it as the wallpaper on your phone so that it is a constant visual reminder. Below is a quick example I created in Google Slides. 

Either way, any type of vision board can be a powerful tool to envision your future hopes and goals. 

I wish you all a Happy 2021. I am so thankful for this community and networking with you even more is something I look forward to this year! If you purchase any of the items above or create a vision board, please tag me...I would LOVE to see all of you #goalgetters!

You can follow me at the social media accounts below:
FB (account with my husband): Thoughtful Thoughts

IG: @counseling_and_confetti
IG: @ackersbooks

Twitter: @melroseacker


Sunday, October 4, 2020

Social Emotional Learning and This Week's Top 2

Happy Sunday! I hope you all had a chance for rest, renewal, and relaxation. I don't know what it is like where you are but in Texas the weather has been gorgeous! It has been in the 70's and low 80's which is total fall weather to us. I want to break out the flannel and boots and drink all the pumpkin spice lattes. I know...so basic. Haha.

With school back in session whether in person or virtual, the need for social emotional learning is bigger than ever before. We have students who may be struggling with anxiety, feeling overwhelmed, or struggling with emotional regulation. As a past teacher, school counselor, and administrator emotional regulation was always an area that many students needed support. When my husband and I began writing books, I dreamed of creating a social emotional learning series because of what I had learned working with students. I realized the value of SEL and the need to explicitly teach those skills to students. We cannot expect students to just know these skills, we have to teach them just as we do with academic skills. I am so excited that we finally began our SEL series: Thoughtful Bots. Thoughtful Bots was created to be simple, bright, and written in the form of social stories. You can check the books out below. 

My Angry Robot

My Mindful Robot

To accompany these books is a  FREE Printable!! This can be used for students to write or draw their strategies after reading the books. These would be great for a small group or SEL lesson. 

Here are a few examples from a Kindergarten and 1st grade kiddo. I love how one said their strategy to help them feel calm is to lay down and relax and eat ice cream (my love language).

I hope these will be helpful tools as a parent, teacher, or counselor! I am also doing a GIVEAWAY right now for copies of both books! Like The Stylish School Counselor on FB or follow Counseling_and_Confetti on Instagram for more information!

You can also check out Ackers' Books on FB and Instagram.

Now, for this week's Top 2 Fav Items! Each week I will be sharing two favorite items. I am trying to keep it simple. It may range from beauty products, food, accessories, and everything in between.


 This week, my #1 FAV item is the Tula Rose Glow and Get It Cooling and Brightening Eye Balm. I seriously get so excited using it every morning...especially when I stay up working late. It helps those under eye bags and helps me wake up in the morning with the cooling effect. 


I have been wearing my 2nd fav item on repeat this week. Y'all know it's all about the chains lately. This one is a great price and is the perfect layering piece. And, friends, it is $12!!! It is from one of my favorite shops, Groovy's. 

I hope you all have a great week. Don't forget that you can enter my Thoughtful Bots Book Giveaway! Details are on FB and Instagram.

Confetti & Hugs,


Follow Me on Instagram @counseling_and_confetti


Sunday, April 5, 2020

Wellness Check In's

Hey, friends. I hope you are well and took some time for self care this weekend. I enjoyed indoor camping and lots of baking. I hope to top off the weekend with reading. I am currently reading EQ Intervention and it is so good! 

Today I wanted to talk about wellness check in's. With what we are all facing right now, wellness check in's are so vital. Checking on our students, teammates/co-workers, family members, and friends is key to supporting each other socially/emotionally. I recently created a wellness check in to utilize in Zoom meetings. Many times in our meetings, we are very focused on the tasks at hand. However, we can't give our best if we are struggling emotionally. We know we can't get to Bloom's without meeting Maslow with our students. This is the same with adults, too. We can't be a highly effective team if we aren't taking care of our people. 

Many of you reached out through Twitter, Instagram, & Facebook asking for the link to get your own copy!! Details on how to access your own, FREE copy is at the end of this post. 

Ways to Utilize the Wellness Check In:

1. You can print the check in and use when we are all back to face to face settings. It can be used at the start of counseling sessions or even be used in a classroom cool off area. 

2. You can use these in a Google Classroom. You can post it under Assignments with Wellness Check In as the Topic. You can set it up where students just respond privately to you to give their number/check in.

3. You can use it as a form. You can use it as a picture in a form and have students submit their info to you. You can either have them enter their name or set the form to where it collects their email address. I would suggest names because their emails may not match up. Example below:

4. You can use it in Zoom meetings. You can do wellness check ins and you can have people enter their number in chat or privately message it (whatever you are all comfortable with). To show it in the meeting, just have it pulled up and share screen.

Keys to Using Wellness/Check In:

1. Keep it confidential. I think we all know this one but we want to ensure we are keeping people's check in confidential and not share with others.

2. Follow Up!! We have to make sure if someone says that they are a 3, 4, or 5 that we individually check in on them. Check in's are great but not if we aren't truly using them for the purpose they were created for...and that is to provide support. 

3. Remind everyone it's okay to not be okay. Discuss that it is okay if you're a 4 or 5. Sometimes people are afraid to be open with this. Let them know the purpose of this is to check on them and see how you can help. 

I hope this is helpful for all of you. You can get your own free copy below. The only disclaimer for copyright is that you keep my blog/name information at the bottom of the product. If you use the Google slide version and make a copy, please ensure that the copyright/info is not taken off. Other than that, it is all yours to print or use however needed.

I would love for you to share how you are using it!! 

Please feel free to tag me on the following social media accounts (please just make sure you are following your district/business policies)
Twitter @melroseacker
Facebook: The Stylish School Counselor    (PS I am working at changing everything Stylish School Counselor to Counseling_and_Confetti)
Instagram (where I am the most active): Counseling_and_Confetti

Have a great week. Remember, there are positives each day, sometimes we just have to look for them! 

Throwing confetti your way,


Wednesday, April 1, 2020

FREE Activities for HOME

With many schools closing around the country, educators and parents are working so hard to ensure they are taking care of kids! I can personally speak to how hard it can be to juggle working from home and "homeschooling" your own kids. I can't even imagine for parents who are having to work outside the home, as well....I am thinking of you all and sending positive vibes your way. 

I think we can all agree that staying connected to our students and providing easy to use activities is our goal. It is has been so heartwarming seeing the joy on students' faces talking to their teachers. I think the silver lining in all of this is how everyone realizes how vital our education system is. 

Today, I wanted to share some FREE resources with all of you. My husband and I write books over at Ackers Books. One way we wanted to share during this difficult times is to record videos reading our books. I am not sure if you knew this but there are copyright issues if you read a book and record it so we wanted to take that worry out of the way! Below are links to some of our recordings that you can use at home or to share with students (you have our permission)! We are also linking some FREE activities that you can share/use at home or school. 

The first video is from the book My PE Teacher is a Ninja. You can access the video below. 

The second video is My Counselor is a Princess. You can access the video below.

The third video is Hootie Lou (one of my favorite books). You can access the video below:

We also have FREE Activities linked on our website over at Ackers' Books

I hope these resources are helpful as we all navigate these new challenges. I hope you're all staying healthy, practicing self care, and are well. I am SO excited about the next blog post and a freebie that I can't wait to share!!!


Thursday, March 26, 2020

All the Feels

I am so excited to share a book review with you all today and a book giveaway. I think we can all agree it has been a heavy past few weeks so I am eager to share something light and upbeat today.

Today I am sharing the book Marcy's Having All the Feels by Allison Edwards. Y'all, this book is pretty precious. It reminds me a lot of the Disney movie Inside Out.

Marcy, the main character, is struggling with her emotions. She really wants to just have the good feelings but realizes how important ALL of the emotions are.

I love how it breaks down the different emotions and gives examples of situations in which a kid may experience those emotions.

This is not only a great addition to your counseling library but also for your home library. It is whimsical and cleverly written.

You can check out my video review HERE.

I don't have students to directly use this with currently but I plan to use this with a kiddo in individual counseling. The first thing that came to mind that would be a great addition is my free Feelings Foldable.

Students can draw the emotion and under the flap write or draw when that feeling has helped them in a situation. Then they can share!

I hope this is a resource you can use in your counseling practice. I hope you are all staying healthy (physically, mentally, and emotionally) during this challenging time.

Lots of Love,


Friday, March 13, 2020

Talking to Kids About COVID 19

Good evening, friends! The world has been full of anxiousness lately. People are fearful, businesses and schools are closing, and the toilet paper struggle is real. LOL! (I had to add something light).

There are SO many different conversations happening and planning that is occurring. However, one of the most important conversations to have is with our kids. If we think about what our kids may have been exposed to (seen or heard) when it comes to COVID 19, it can be concerning and understandable that some kids have increasing anxiety. Some may even have some form of post traumatic stress. An example is a child going to the store with their parent and seeing empty shelves for the first time or long lines wrapped around the store. This can be alarming for anyone. Another example is a kid sitting at a restaurant and seeing the media coverage. I can speak to this personally. I was at a restaurant with my family and my daughter (who has already been quite anxious about the topic) saw the coverage of people in a hospital with masks and the death toll. All of these instances can truly affect a child's anxiety level. So, as a parent and/or educator....how do we start this conversation with our kids? What we share and how we share it makes all the difference.

Below are a few resources and tips for talking to kids about Coronavirus/COVID 19

  • Stay Calm: our kids react based on OUR reactions
  • Talk about it: give facts but choose the facts you give to not cause added stress
  • Avoid 24/7 discussion over the topic 
  • Limit media exposure
  • Keep a schedule (if your child's campus is closed, create a schedule while they're home). We know kids thrive with routine especially during stressful times. (Great example my friend Leslie shared: source: Neuropsychology & Education Services for Children & Adolescents)

  • If your child is feeling anxious, talk about healthy coping strategies such as mindfulness (video HERE), writing or drawing in a journal, talking to a trusted adult, and doing fun activities to take their mind off of the topic
  • Help kids address their fears. The videos below contain great resources to decrease fears and give facts. There are a lot of silly rumors out there or media coverage that can be alarming.

Also, here are great tips from UNICEF:

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by everything you’re hearing about coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) right now. It’s also understandable if your children are feeling anxious, too. Children might find it difficult to understand what they are seeing online or on TV – or hearing from other people – so they can be particularly vulnerable to feelings of anxiety, stress and sadness. But having an open, supportive discussion with your children can help them understand, cope and even make a positive contribution for others.

1.  Ask open questions and listen

Start by inviting your child to talk about the issue. Find out how much they already know and follow their lead. If they are particularly young and haven’t already heard about the outbreak, you may not need to raise the issue – just take the chance to remind them about good hygiene practices without introducing new fears.
Make sure you are in a safe environment and allow your child to talk freely. Drawing, stories and other activities may help to open up a discussion.
Most importantly, don’t minimize or avoid their concerns. Be sure to acknowledge their feelings and assure them that it’s natural to feel scared about these things. Demonstrate that you’re listening by giving them your full attention, and make sure they understand that they can talk to you and their teachers whenever they like.

2.  Be honest: explain the truth in a child-friendly way

Children have a right to truthful information about what’s going on in the world, but adults also have a responsibility to keep them safe from distress. Use age-appropriate language, watch their reactions, and be sensitive to their level of anxiety.
If you can’t answer their questions, don’t guess. Use it as an opportunity to explore the answers together. Websites of international organizations like UNICEF and the World Health Organization are great sources of information. Explain that some information online isn’t accurate, and that it’s best to trust the experts.

3.  Show them how to protect themselves and their friends

One of the best ways to keep children safe from coronavirus and other diseases is to simply encourage regular hand washing. It doesn't need to be a scary conversation. Sing along with The Wiggles or follow this dance to make learning fun.
You can also show children how to cover a cough or a sneeze with their elbow, explain that it’s best not to get too close to people who have those symptoms, and ask them to tell you if they start to feel like they have a fever, cough or are having difficulty breathing.

4. Offer reassurance

When we’re seeing lots of troubling images on TV or online, it can sometimes feel like the crisis is all around us. Children may not distinguish between images on screen and their own personal reality, and they may believe they’re in imminent danger. You can help your children cope with the stress by making opportunities for them to play and relax, when possible. Keep regular routines and schedules as much as possible, especially before they go to sleep, or help create new ones in a new environment.
If you are experiencing an outbreak in your area, remind your children that they are not likely to catch the disease, that most people who do have coronavirus don’t get very sick, and that lots of adults are working hard to keep your family safe.
If your child does feel unwell, explain that they have to stay at home/at the hospital because it is safer for them and their friends. Reassure them that you know it is hard (maybe scary or even boring) at times, but that following the rules will help keep everyone safe.

5. Check if they are experiencing or spreading stigma

The outbreak of coronavirus has brought with it numerous reports of racial discrimination around the world, so it’s important to check that your children are neither experiencing nor contributing to bullying.
Explain that coronavirus has nothing to do with what someone looks like, where they are from or what language they speak. If they have been called names or bullied at school, they should feel comfortable telling an adult whom they trust.
Remind your children that everyone deserves to be safe at school. Bullying is always wrong and we should each do our part to spread kindness and support each other.

6. Look for the helpers

It’s important for children to know that people are helping each other with acts of kindness and generosity.
Share stories of health workers, scientists and young people, among others, who are working to stop the outbreak and keep the community safe. It can be a big comfort to know that compassionate people are taking action.

7. Take care of yourself

You’ll be able to help your kids better if you’re coping, too. Children will pick up on your own response to the news, so it helps them to know you’re calm and in control.
If you’re feeling anxious or upset, take time for yourself and reach out to other family, friends and trusted people in your community. Make some time to do things that help you relax and recuperate. 

8. Close conversations with care

It’s important to know that we’re not leaving children in a state of distress. As your conversation wraps up, try to gauge their level of anxiety by watching their body language, considering whether they’re using their usual tone of voice and watching their breathing.
Remind your children that they can have other difficult conversations with you at any time. Remind them that you care, you’re listening and that you’re available whenever they’re feeling worried.

Video Resources
Below are some great, kid friendly informational videos about COVID 19/Coronavirus:

Video by Science Mom:
Video by Children's Hospital Colorado
Kids asking doctors their questions

Video for Older Kids by BrainPop

I am also creating and sharing a video that will be released this weekend for kids that will include an activity/lesson. Feel free to use it with students if you are utilizing distance learning in your district or at home with your kids.

I hope these resources are helpful! I think at the end of the day, we all know that this isn't an easy situation to deal with. What we do know is the only thing in our control is to focus on the good and the positives in each day. Talk to your child about the good things that are happening and brainstorm ideas of ways to be kind and help others (from afar-social distancing).

Image result for there is good in everyday quote

I hope you all stay healthy and well!

Melanie Acker, LPC