Sanity Haul: 11 Things That Helped Keep Me Together

Michelle VanTine Photography

Michelle VanTine Photography

Let me explain something about myself…

I am a roller coaster junkie.

The type that’s here for making up games to pass the time on the lines at six flags, then second guess her decision once strapped into the first row of seats before smile-screaming her way into torturous bliss through every loop, drop and turn. Me and thrill have a long history.

However, my July 2019 was filled with the type of rides Vivian Green was singing bout in ’02. You know the vibes.

The ones that feel like spiritual terrorism invading your entire body.

Self-love replaced with self-amnesia.

I forgot about my capabilities, my blessings, my bigger picture, my breath… one-time Carl walked in our crib after work and found me puffy-eyed and defeated on our bedroom floor… this after already crying for like two back-to-back, zig-zaggy days.

Twas a sight yo.

In general, this year has felt like quite the cocoon thus far. Transformation sounds real cute on Instagram until it invites itself over IRL— with a special guest named Mercury Retrograde.

Which I read (incredibly too late lmao) would be more wild than usual.  

This what Refinery 29 said:

And, bad luck: “This summer’s Mercury retrograde isn’t going to be easy,” warns astrologer Lisa Stardust. “During this retrograde, we will be moving back from Leo to Cancer, then from Cancer to Leo again.”

That means we're in for some drama. “Expect big declarations of love and fiery arguments, followed by emotional manipulations with the aim to control others,” Stardust says. “We are dealing with intense degrees that can trigger momentary outbursts.”

Or maybe this feeling of general dissatisfaction is purely caused by me, myself and I… or perhaps a dark orgy of all the above or wait… what if my emotions are an amusement park in Quantum Physicsville that some extra-terrestrial nigga gets to enjoy while I question my entire existence???


Here’s what’s beautiful about it all: the umbrellas that held me down during my moments of torrential downpour.

But more so, the fact that I get to share some of them with you right now. Which is actually worth the bumpy journey.

Anyways, you know how YouTube is cluttered with beauty hauls and shit? Well let’s consider this a sanity haul of 10 treats I read, tasted, downloaded, smelled, etc. that helped reset my energy + perspective.

My hope is that they keep you from getting soaked when the forecast gets stormy. Please feel free to add shit in the comments outside this list that’s worked for you! xx TG

SOMETHING TO READ | City Of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert


Many a spiritual guide have said that all suffering on Earth exists because of "an obsession with oneself," which feels like the fucking truth to me.

This is why in the age of self-help mania, reading fiction has become incredibly important to me as a healthy form of escapism. Fiction gives us a break from overanalyzing our lives, while also reminding our imagination that it’s still safe to come outside and play.

I know binging a Netflix series could do the same thing… but my eyes are already constantly locked to a screen of some sort, so a break from that feels effective as well.

To me, novels are a reminder that enjoyment is just as necessary as improvement. Cue: City Of Girls.

I often refer to Liz Gilbert (of Eat Pray Love fame) as my Angelina Jolie and me, her adopted black child. My God, she is one of the most effective communicators on the planet in all mediums.

Anyways, this book is SO DELICIOUS…. AHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!! In short, it’s a sexy and smart story about a young woman’s hoe phase in NYC during the ‘40s. There’s a lot more depth than that but as you can see this descriptor is getting kinda thick so please just take my word on this book. It’s yummy.


I left ‘Happy’ + ‘Focus’ at my Sirius job this day lolol whoopsi

I left ‘Happy’ + ‘Focus’ at my Sirius job this day lolol whoopsi

When I went to the Consumer Discovery Show this year, one of the standout brands I got to test out was Scentered which seduced my attention just off the witty name but then kept it when I took their mini kit home for a thorough assessment.

They’re a set of all-natural, portable aromatherapy balms to help with finding your center moment-to-moment.

The ones I rocked with the most are ‘Escape’ and ‘Be Happy.’ Scent is our strongest sense linked to memory and these tiny pleasures held that science up by reminding me of better times.


Photo courtesy of

Photo courtesy of

It ain't gotta be Wednesday for me to crush on my friend Devi Brown. Wise like a buddah. Generous like a mother. Quick-witted like a gangster. She’s one of the warmest hearts I've ever had the opportunity to learn from and grow with.

Devi truly understands and practices the art of surrender. I’m forever grateful for the messages she sent me when I reached out from my bedroom floor and I immediately felt a calm in the way she reminds me of truths I already carry.

Revisiting this audio workshop we created together on chilling our inner control freak stitched me up and also listening to her Dropping Gems podcast episode on balancing life and creating joy was an A1 decision as well.


Courtesy of the US Dept of Defense

Courtesy of the US Dept of Defense

For the most part I love motivational words that are potent yet gentle, but then there are times when raw and hardcore are the way to go. That’s where Goggins comes in to coach the fuck out of my divine masculine energy.

He’s a very intense Navy SEALS vet turned hyper-athlete who grew up under some of the worst circumstances I’ve ever heard of, lied plenty of times and failed plenty of times all before eventually re-designing a hell of a new life.

Carl is a big fan of his which is how I got put on. The Joe Rogan interview he did recently was a true push in a better direction for me. Key word, push.



Admittedly it’s challenging to describe this new non-alcoholic, all-euphoric drink in a small space, but there’s a reason I felt a lil pouty when I got to the last can. Lots of sexy science involved in this one, I’m surprised they got it to taste good. A bit splurgy in my opinion. However, I can’t front and say it didn’t upgrade my overall state of mind. Pop Sugar and Vogue have some dope (long-form) honest reviews.

SOMETHING TO RUB | Natural CBD Sleep Cream


This was my first time using a CBD cream and WHOA. Virginity well taken by Dr. Kerklaan Thereapeutics. I know the c-word is excessively on trend right now, but to me, the bitch earned her popularity. At least I can honestly say that with this joint.

I remember in college there was a hypnotist who pulled up for an event and I made sure my ass was up on stage so my mind could be hijacked. Long story short, I faked a “nap,” cause I felt bad for dude’s non-magical powers.

All of that to say, this CBD is the closest I ever got to being hypnotized lmao



Because when you’re re-learning peace of mind, studying in a loudass room gets really challenging. More on that here, but ironically I’m sending you to an IG post lmao smh. If you’re not dieting though, peep the caption + some thoughtful comments below it.



Us human beings long to be free or at least feel free. Just sucks that autonomy always seems to come with a price tag. Not when you’re on the pavement though.

Ever since the euphoria that was your girl running the Brooklyn Half Marathon, it’s been rough catching me catch my breath back out in the streets.

I just really really love the gym and usually do a quick HIIT treadmill ting and call it a day. But my boo Angela Yee reached out for me to join her monthly joint and I couldn’t decline.

Running is always hardest right at the start, but once that stride finds it’s groove, an untouchable peace is birthed. Don’t even get me started with biking…. WOOOOOOO



LMAO what can I say yo, this bad boy just made #2 such an enjoyable part of my day. Years ago their ad was the first time I ever watched an entire commercial on YouTube without skipping forward after 5 seconds.

Been saying for a minute that I’d cop a bottle, but never got around to it till recently. You’re probably familiar, but in case not, it’s basically a discreet, environmentally-friendly odor eliminator for when you wanna feel like a cherub on the toilet. Idk it’s just a little thing that brought me big pleasure.


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BRUH. This app is like your natal chart but with hot sauce. All your stardust, all your bullshit just splattered on a canvas. By using your date/time/city of birth it helps you better understand the current chapter you’re in as well as the ones to come. You can even view your personality profile side by side with a friend’s so you’re both more easily comprehending each other’s paths. Major recommendation if you’re not already up on it. The insight might break you, but only to build you sturdier.


Realness— Please note that I independently select + write about stuff I truly rock with and think you'll like too. At times She’s Beauty And The Beast may have affiliate and advertising partnerships so there may be revenue from sharing this content and from any purchases made. This revenue is then invested back into the maintenance and forward movement of the brand. Thanks so much for your support. xx TG