My Updated Skincare Routine

I went over this on my Instagram stories on Wednesday night and got lots of questions, but I also wanted to link products for you guys so here we are!

I was going to call this my midlife skincare routine, but some of y’all don’t know me personally and don’t get why that’s funny so we’re moving on…

I want to preface this by saying that skincare is complicated. What seems to be working for everyone else may not work for you. Our skin is our largest organ and is super complex. It’s constantly changing and adapting so I am constantly doing the same thing with my skincare.

I have combination skin leaning more oily. I’m currently running dry because of the weird weather we’ve been having here in the DMV, but the current skincare routine I have has been ongoing for about 3/4 months now and it’s been working out great for me through this season.

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A good, gentile cleanser

My cleanser has been easy for me. I want something that’s going to keep the biofilm of my skin very healthy, but also get it all cleaned up. I have had the Tula for awhile and it’s been great, but I got the Mario Badescu products for Christmas and I love his cleanser a lot more. I rotate between them mainly because I’m too lazy to move one from the shower to the sink, but they both have been great fo me.

Something to help get the makeup off

When my skin is temperamental aka I’m getting stupid, random breakouts, I always use something to scrub my face. I have a knock off Clairosonic from Conair, but I lost the charger for it (we’ve all been there. Did this with my camera too) so I’ve been using my FOREO Luna FoFo. I also hate whoever named these products, but that’s fine. You do you FOREO. It’s like a little baby rubber scrub brush, but it can also analyze your skin. It’s actually really cool, but it’s expensive. I got mine in a FabFitFun Box, but you can find much cheaper dupes on Amazon without the fancy extras.

A high quality moistorizer

I think your moisturizer can either make or break your skincare routine. Even if you have oily skin, you need to use a moisturizer. I SWEAR BY THIS! I like something very thick to suck in all the moisture during the night and to really coat my skin to protect it while I sleep. If you like a lighter option, go for the Kate Sommerville. This one feels like nothing is there, but still puts in the work while you sleep.

Adding the extra serum boost

Everyone acts like serums are stupid extras that don’t do anything… Let me tell you sugar, your 50 year old skin will thank you for investing in some hyaluronic acid and a good vitamin C serum. Even adding some simple essential oils can really crank up how hard your skincare works. Plus none of these smell bad so at least you have some good scents on your face!

I do go a little easier on my skin in the morning. I usually just wash it after the gym and put a light moisturizer on with SPF in it before I put on my makeup. I think great skin is made at night time and I’ve seen the results over the years. My skin is very important to me and I hope if you struggle with your skin, this can give you the help you need!


How Freckled Finn Came To Be

As some of you may have seen from my bombardment of posts on Instagram, John and I finally got around to launching our DREAM COMPANY!

We have been working on this for months and this idea has been in our heads for years and it has finally come full circle! I wanted to write this blog post to not only explain what our new business is, but to explain why this is something I personally wanted to do and how it’s affecting the direction my blog and other things in my life are going.

So… Let’s start with the story!

I have always been a big dreamer and when I met John I think that was something he really liked about me (or at least I hope. I actually don’t even know if he likes me half the time lol). We met in college, as many of you know, and we used to always ask each other, “If you could do anything, what would you do?” and John’s response to me was always, “I would run my own fishing company”.

We would sit there and talk about how we would do it, what we would do, what our biggest, craziest idea was for this company, and eventually he started letting me add in my crazy ideas too (they usually involve a taco stand, but he goes along with it). When we finally got out of college, I had some money for us to take this idea and turn it into a reality. I was so pumped that we could finally get started and John pushed it off and said it wasn’t the right time.

This went on for months with me, honestly getting really pissed off about it. I must admit John and I get into fights a lot because John is so practical/numbers/data oriented and I live my life off hope. I was mainly frustrated because I believed in this company that didn’t even exists yet! In my mind all I could think was, “Do you not believe in us? What about our big dream? Why don’t you trust me?”

I now know a lot of that was stemming from his fears of crunching numbers and also just fear of us being in such a crazy place in our lives with just having graduated college. Around November of 2019 I finally said, “It’s now or never”. I had made a plan for him, I explained how I would get things done, I drafted up our website, and he finally gave me the okay.

So here we are, one month in. I would have to ask John exactly to know what he thinks, but based off our conversations so far, I think he’s glad we finally took the jump. Yes, there are things we didn’t expect, but they are good and bad.

This has been the best experience in the first month. This company gives me so much joy to work for it and watch it grow, even in the short lifetime it has had. I can’t wait to see where it goes in the future.

Now, you may be wondering where my part in all of this came from. Well you can check out our website or watch the Youtube at the bottom of this post to learn what we’re all about, but it actually worked out perfectly for me to fit right into this company.

I have been passionate about the environment for years now. I have always wanted to do something to change the planet. I first really got my heart lit on fire by this two summers ago when I was working in an entomology lab (yes that’s the study of bugs) where we were doing sustainable agriculture research. I learned so much about farming, crop growth, organic farming, and ag in general. Then I graduated and got the most boring job on the planet!

Now I must mention this job in the entomology department was HARD. It was outdoors in Maryland in the middle of the summer in fields of corn and soy beans and broccoli and peppers. It was farm work and lots of counting bugs and lots of dirt and rain and chicken poop and guess what? I loved every second of it. My job now is in an indoor lab, I have a desk, I get to wear what I want, I can work from home some days and I hate this job with a passion.

I know this job is not for me, but I know learning and helping change the planet is for me. I know I was so happy at that other job and I know with Freckled Finn, I can do that work and more. I can do the work I want to do and make change.

I want to focus more on this company and these ideas and less on typical “blog” things. I will be taking a step back from this and it will be heading in a new direction, but I’m not exactly sure what that will look like yet. I hope you guys learn something from watching us grow and change and I hope you come along for the ride with us!


Episode 11- A Controversial Relationship with Debt

In this week’s episode, Clarissa goes solo for the first time to talk about some serious truth! She discusses her new year’s resolutions about her relationship with debt, how it changed after reading Dave Ramsey’s book, and how she is moving forward. Debt is not something that needs to run your life and she’s sharing some ways you can stop it.

Dave Ramsey

His Instagram is @daveramsey and his book is Total Money Makeover

If you guys have any questions about this episode, please reach out to John or me on Instagram!



My Word of 2020

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I sat and thought long and hard about this word. I know to many of you this seems really cliche, but I wanted this word to be my guide through 2020 and into the decade. I have really huge dreams for 2020. My mind is always moving a million miles a minute and in 2020 I wanted to bring many of those dreams to life.

I started by writing out my dreams for the year, but I wrote them as if they have already happened. A few of them are…

I do not give up, even when times get tough

I am healthy and at peace with my body

I radiate positivity

I work for myself

After I wrote these down, I thought to myself, “What is the theme between all of these?” I wanted to make sure I had a mantra for when life hits (because guess what queen it always does) that would refocus me on my goals. That word… is RISE.

I almost didn’t pick this word because of how it is very strongly associated with Rachel Hollis (who I love, but she coined it first). I didn’t want people to think I was just stealing it from her but honestly, I couldn’t think of a better word for the message I wanted to tell myself in this new decade.

I have barely been alive for 2 decades. I will turn 23 in June and I know this decade is going to be HUGE for me. In my short two decades of life, I have found that the thing that holds me back the most is fear. Fear is just an idea. Our fears are taught to us. We fear others’ judgment because we see how we judge others. We fear heights because we know they can hurt us. We fear loneliness because we know what it feels like to be alone with our thoughts and have the horrible FOMO of watching others be together.

In 2020, I say no more. Every time someone tells me I need to fit into their idea of success, I will rise above them. Every time I make a mistake in my business I will rise above it. Every time we struggle to navigate our crazy relationship, we will rise together.

I am bigger than fear. I am bigger than other judgments. I am bigger than my failures. I will rise above all 2020 because I have a mission to fulfill. What does the sun do every day? It rises! It radiates! It shows up everyday! Even when it rains, the sun is behind those clouds! I have an obligation to myself to rise every day just like the sun, and in 2020, I will do just that.

I am so empowered to chase my dreams and you should be too! Your word for 2020 doesn’t have to be the same as mine or it doesn’t have to be any word at all! What I really want is for you to stop doubting yourself. 2020 is our new decade. It’s your first leap into the next 10 years. Don’t just take a tiny step, JUMP!


Keep Your Head Down, do the Work, and do you.

Something that has been weighing on my heart a lot lately is others’ opinions of us. This has been on my mind with my goal setting I’ve been talking about recently for 2020 (more on this in my Instagram stories and recent posts). One of my goals for 2020 is, “Keep your head down, do the work, and do you.” I decided for 2020, I’m going to do what I do best. The form that will take I am not sure of quite yet, but what I do know is that I’m going to be so stinking proud of what I do.

This year, I had my ups and downs with trying to find out what I was meant to do. I wasn’t sure how I was supposed to serve my audience with my talents or what exactly I was good at. I always tell John that my mind moves a million miles an hour BECAUSE IT DOES! I have a new idea approximately every 15 seconds and I want to give them all a go. Unfortunately, that’s not very practical.

In 2019 I discovered what I’m good at, how I want to serve people, and most importantly that I do not care one bit about what people think about what I’m doing. The people who get it, get it and those who don’t will never understand. I do not have time to convince people that what I’m doing is good, nor should I! I do this for me and for my community. That is all that matters to me.

Does that mean when people don’t understand my dreams or support them it doesn’t hurt? Absolutely not! We all want that reinforcement that what we’re doing is right. It feels so good to have others tell you how your work is paying off, but I don’t need exactly that anymore. What I need is for one random person to say, “You make me laugh when you call yourself a potato because I feel the same way all the time.” or “Your posts lately have been absolutely on point and I just wanted to tell you that.” or “This is a must-read!” Guess what? These are all things that have been said to me in literally the last week. Most from friends, some from strangers who have become friends, all meaning the world to me.

In 2020, I don’t need my family to tell me that I am a great writer or my friends to listen to my podcast. I don’t need you all to sign up for my email list or buy into my finance coaching. I need to keep doing me, keep doing what I love, and absolutely crush this near year. I promise you 2020 is not ready for this girl.


Episode 10-Renting Vs Buying A Home

This week, we talk about all things homes! John and I walk you through the benefits and disadvantages of buying and renting. Lifestyle choices have a big role to play in this decision, but finances do as well. There are lots of parts of buying a home that people don’t think about, but there are also many benefits to renting we take for granted. In this episode, we walk through this whole step with you. Oh and don’t worry, there’s no shortage of yelling either!

If you have any questions, please DM us on our Instagrams or email us at


Clarissa @clarksremarks

John @johnbruckman

Please don’t forget to leave us a review on Apple Podcast or Stitcher! It really helps to spread the word! Thanks for listening!

Episode 9-Investing Level 2

Yes guys, we finally decided to do show notes! It was getting too complicated and we wanted to make sure you could have as many resources as possible so here we are!

On today’s episode of the podcast, John is doing most of the talking! We decided to give you guys a more in-depth episode about investing. In this episode, we break down different ways you can invest such as


Mutual funds



Real estate

We also talk about how great dividend stocks are how these work.

Here are some of the links for more information:

Planning your 2020

Yesterday, I was watching the Start Today Morning Show, which is a live stream that Rachel and Dave Hollis do every weekday morning. Dave was talking about how on fire he was for 2020. He had spent the weekend planning out his goals for 2020, how he was going to reach them, why he was doing it, it just seemed like he had it all planned out.

Personally, I don’t have 2020 at all figured out yet, but I do know I have some HUGE plans for the year. John and I are launching something very exciting, we will probably move again, we might get a new dog, and so much more. I wanted us all to enter into this new year intentionally. 2020 is the start of a new decade! It’s time to rev the engine and get this machine rolling! But don’t press the gas pedal just yet! Why would you start driving the car if you have no idea where you’re going (that wastes gas and it’s bad for the environment lol).

Being intentional with your planning and setting up fail-safes for the times you’re going to slip will be so important for keeping your goals on track. A few weeks ago I found the goals I had set for myself before my senior year of college. Don’t stress about finding a job, spend lots of time with your friends, try something really new, travel, etc. I actually did everything on the list except one thing… Read for pleasure during the semester.

Now you may be wondering, why do you care that you didn’t reach this goal? Well, to be honest, I really didn’t care about the not reading, I cared that I didn’t keep a promise to myself. I don’t even think I put in a good effort to try! To keep this from happening again and to set myself up for the best new year possible, this is how I’m going to set my goals.

1. Think BIG

I’m totally about setting huge goals. I think if you start big, you’ll end big. In 2019, I told myself I was going to blog every week for a year. I was graduating school, I was looking for a job, a new place to live, and that seemed really crazy at the time. Here we are, 70 blog posts later and just getting started.

The other great thing about setting big goals is you can break them down into smaller goals. The big goal can then become a little goal for each month and then another smaller goal for each week of that month and so on. It’s a really great way to actually achieve it. Like I said, start big, end big.

2. If… then

Now that you have these goals, what does this practically look like in your life? To do this, I like to write out if… then statements.

For example, if I want to show up well for John as a partner then I have to make sure I’m actively pursuing him and expressing love to him.

Now looking at this, I know that in order to reach this goal, this is what needs to be done, and I can take it even further if I need to. I can write down what “actively pursuing” him looks like or I can write down how he receives love and good ways to express it to him.

Writing out what you have to do gives you a clear picture of possible changes you need to make in your life, while also giving you a little helpful roadmap.

3. Keep them visible

Once you have this all set up, you need to keep your goals integrated into your life throughout the year. For me, this changes every year. Last year I had them on the front page of my morning journal. In the past, I’ve hung then on the back of a door or put them on a mirror, etc. Just keep them somewhere that you will see them every day.

Some more ideas:

•Make a note in your phone, screenshot it, and set it as your wallpaper

•Make a cute drawing and hang it on the wall (this is what I’m going to do this year)

•Put them on stickie notes around your house

•Put them on your nightstand next to where you charge your phone

•Hang them on the fridge

•Write them on a water bottle (but also drink your water)

I hope you guys find these helpful and get you all set up for the best decade of your life. I just also wanted to say thank you to those of you who make it this far in my blog posts. I’ve been doing this for a year now and your readership means the world to me. Thank you for spending time with me over this last year, watching me grow, giving me feedback, and loving on me. I’m so blessed with you guys!


Affordable Holiday Gift Guides!

I know I’m going to regret saying this, but I actually love doing gift guides! They’re so fun for me to find all the things for you guys to buy and I especially giving gifts. I love to give gifts to the people I love even if that means getting nothing in return. Giving gifts is a way I express love and I enjoy buying them. I know not everyone is like this and I respect it because I also know how frustrating it can be to get gifts for people you don’t genuinely care about or receiving things you don’t actually want/need.

Something I really want to stress before I start to share some gift ideas is the holidays are not about the gifts. So many people go into debt over the holidays because they feel like there is this expectation of gift-giving that they must meet and then you create this money pit that is crazy hard to dig yourself out of. Get what you can, but remember people want your presence over your presents.

For Him

I sort of phased this towards Dad’s more than dudes because aren’t most guys just young Dad’s? Most things on this list I think would be appropriate for you to buy for your husband, boyfriend, Dad, Uncle, etc. Maybe just be cautious of the age appropriateness, but who am I to judge!

Slim RFID Blocking Wallets


Grill Accessories


Face Care/ Aftershave

HandsFree Call Radio Adapter


I linked a bunch in the images, but some of my favorites are Cards Against Humanity, Exploding Kittens, If You Had To, New Phone Who Dis, and Incoherent

Sports Merch

•Insulated Drinkware

I personally don’t buy YETI stuff, but I do buy 2 brands that are just as good (if not better) and much much more affordable, Ozark Trail and RTIC


Car Washing Supplies

This is just a fun, affordable gift my mom came up with a few years ago. My sister’s boyfriend had just bought a new truck so my mom took a big bucket and filled it with soap, rags, car wax, Windex, all the things! It’s super affordable and shows you put in some effort, but I also found a really affordable one that’s already put together!

Charging Stands


•A nice bottle of alcohol/nice cigar

For Animal Lovers

Honestly, I was just going to do for dog lovers, but both of my siblings have cats that I want to get gifts for and so now we are doing all the pet lover things. I also have friends who have animals who love stuff for their house that relates to their animals. It’s an underserved category so we’re covering it.

Light up dog harness

Custom Collars

Animal Portraits

Personalized socks


Key/Leash Holder

Cat Backpack

Pet Ornaments

Custom Food Bowls

Stocking Stuffers

I’m very tired of getting the same stupid stuff in my stocking every year (Mom I have enough Capstick, please stop getting it for me). Some of this I wouldn’t repeat, but they’re good ways to mix up what you get in your stocking and make sure they’re useful.

Small Jewelry


Reusable Bags

Headbands/Hair accessories

Face Masks


Reusable Straws

Earbud Cord Organizers

Mad Libs

Hair ties

Sleep Masks

Luggage Tags

Bottle Stoppers

Pop Sockets

For the Gals

This year, how about we buy each other something more than just a cute jacket, a mug, a candle, or some face masks? I tried to put down some ideas to give something more to your closest friends to show them how much you love them

Movie Night Boxes

Take a big popcorn container and fill it with treats, drinks, movie tickets, blankets, fuzzy socks, or whatever you want! Make a little movie night back so you guys can either stay in or go out and you can give a heartfelt, affordable gift.

•Subscription Services

I did this for my sister for her birthday and I think this is the gift that keeps on giving! Some services I recommend are





-Popsugar Box



I love to share good books with my friends and family and I love people to share them with me as well. Adding a book can be a nice touch to a gift. Some of my recent favorites have been

-Daring Greatly

-Girl Stop Apologizing

-SkinnyTaste Fast and Slow (this is an amazing cookbook)

-Smart Women Finish Rich

•Spa Day

I would buy these off Groupon or spurge if a place is having a sale. This is a great gift to give a friend that they definitely wouldn’t be expecting!

Movie Projector

Herb Garden Kit

Bathtub Tray

Bedside Smartphone Vase

Encouraging Artwork

Sentimental Gifts

Sometimes I think it’s worth it to spend a little more money and get something extra special. These are some of my favorite gifts with some really special meaning behind them.

Customized Ornaments

Picture Books

Map Artwork

Custom Jewelry

Another option

Event tickets

•Special Date

This one I wanted to add in because I’ve done this before for John and he loved it over getting a gift. For example, for his birthday last year, I took him to this luxury whiskey bar and he got to sample all of these really rare and unique whiskeys and he loved it! I know he loves whiskey and instead of buying him a bottle, I turned it into an experience.

Personalized Portraits

Another option

Custom Cutting boards

I really wanted to make sure everything I found for you was going to be on some type of sale or was coming from an independent person, AKA Etsy. I hope these give you some different options other than every other gift guide you’ll see this season. Just remember to make sure your computer has a full charge and you don’t overspend. Happy shopping!