Saturday, September 26, 2015

One Thing At A Time...Life Pause

Hello all!

I have not written since the beginning of August. My life kind of turned upside down with heartbreaking news at work.

My beloved pilot program that I have been with for more than 2.5 years had lost its funding. The team that has made me the happiest in a workplace would be dismantled. And we were devastated. It sounds dramatic to say devastated, but my team of 12 workers and 3 bosses were so cohesive and so tight knit, we finished each others' sentences. In some weird, crazy way, it feels like a death in the family. We are still grieving and processing the loss of something we poured our hearts into. We were a dedicated, passionate bunch who genuinely believed in the work that we did. 

Four of the 12 would be laid off. One of the three was let go. 

I'm currently finishing one case in one program, transitioning out of my program that lost its funding, and training in a new program within my agency. My seniority allowed me to be placed elsewhere.

My mind is in all kinds of places. I find myself asking others to repeat. I find myself spacing out. I feel like I am on a different planet.

And to top it off, I am soon to start a new per diem hospital gig in the next two weeks.

As you can imagine, my brain is not all there. 

I haven't gone to yoga in weeks because I'm so tired after work. Currently splitting my time between three programs that demand full time dedication is exhausting.

As sad I am to see my current program officially end October 16, I am looking forward to life finding balance again.

I am exhausted. I am emotionally and physically drained.

Once life settles down again, I hope to get back onto blogging. And I do look forward to catching up with some of my favorite bloggers.

Til next time,

<3<3<3


Sunday, August 2, 2015

Saying Goodbye 10 Years Later


I can't believe I'm admitting this, but I've had most of these makeup items for almost 10 years (MAC Wonder Woman for 4), a whole decade. I know, I know. That's like makeup hoarding up the wazoo and I'm finally saying goodbye. 


Part of holding on to them was because of the nostalgia. I bought the Clinique palette in college while a sophomore at UCLA. I remember exactly how it went down.

I went to the Clinique counter in the UCLA store. I was intimidated and did not want to admit I was new to makeup. I told the Clinique saleswoman that I left all my makeup on the train. I think she knew I was totally lying when she was asking me questions about what I had lost, what kind of foundation I used, if I was oily or dry, what shades I liked. Internally, I was like WHA? but what I blurted out was I can't remember. My mom bought them for me. I am sure she saw right through me.


I bought the Clinique palette and the Urban Decay eye shadow (far right, second from top). The rest my sister gave me. They were her old make up which probably means they're most likely at least a decade old. 

It was hard to let go of these treasures. They remind me of starting out in makeup. I probably didn't blend well and certainly had no idea what I was doing. 

I've learned so much about makeup in the last few years. And despite knowing I should have thrown these away, I just somehow convinced myself I would go back to them, although knowingly I knew I wouldn't because they were so old.

I've summoned the courage to say goodbye. After all, they're only taking up space for new goodies, right?


<3<3<3

Sunday, July 19, 2015

My Summer Fashion Essentials

Summer is in full swing here in Los Angeles. Though this weekend, we experienced some weird tropical weather reminiscent of the Philippines and Hawaii: extremely hot one day and thunderstorms and rain the next. I'm not complaining :) A break from the scorching heat is happily welcomed!

This summer, I've been grabbing certain pieces from my wardrobe that have become my summer essentials of 2015. These are my go-to, I-don't-care-how-many-times-I-wore-it pieces.

CLOTHING: Long Draping Cardigans 

Forever 21 Kimono








Pink Melo Cardigan (purchased from Ross)







FOOTWEAR: Flip flops

Dollhouse (purchased from Ross)



Mossimo (purchased from Target)


ACCESSORIES

Floral Sunglasses (purchased from Ross)







Target Earrings 


What have been your summer essentials?



<3<3<3



Sunday, July 12, 2015

Real Talk: In A Rut

I've been in such a funk in the past year, more so in the past few months. I have not been feeling good about myself. My home life is a mess. My health has hit some road bumps. I found myself surrounded by negativity and got stuck in it. I've eaten up my sorrows and gained weight that made my clothes fit a little tighter making me feel more insecure about myself. It is as an awful, vicious cycle that we all go through.

I feel lost. I feel like I have lost a sense of self. I am angry and irritable all the time. I sleep early to not be awake. These ruts that come and go are normal I suppose, but it really does not feel good.

Last week, I decided to take charge and do something about it. 

This rut, this funk has to end! I've been feeling sucky for too long. No more drowning in my sorrows. I AM STRONGER THAN THAT.

I am slowly taking steps in getting reacquainted with who I am and fixing the brokenness I feel inside. 

I've started to detach myself from negative people. Negativity and pessimism are highly contagious when you're feeling weak. I've started to open up (very very slightly!) to my mom and tell her that her actions are destroying the family instead of bringing us together. I am telling myself that ruts are temporary. I've been in them before. There is no reason why I cannot get out of this one. 

Instead of parking close, I park further away (if it's safe) to get my body moving. I bought a Groupon for 10 Liberation Yoga classes. I read about it before I made the purchase and it made my eyes water. I hope it gives me the inner and outter peace I am seeking.

From their website, just a few points that stood out to me:
LIBERATION YOGA IS DEDICATED TO PROMOTING
  • HEALTH soundness, especially of body or mind freedom from physical or mental disease or pain, a condition of well being 
  • PEACE inner contentment, serenity; peace of mind the absence of war or other hostilities
  •  FREEDOM the condition of being free from constraints, exemption from an unpleasant or onerous condition, ease of facility of movement 
 As bloggers, we tend to highlight the happy and the beauty. We sometimes forget that behind the computer screen can be a person who is suffering, who is hurting. A person who is human and experiences happy moments and sad moments. 

Here's to my journey ahead of reacquainting myself with myself (as funny as it sounds). I am looking forward to finding myself again and finding my happiness. 

And with that, I will leave you with one of my most favorite quotes. I am not sure where it originated from, but I heard this line in the film My Big Fat Greek Wedding:

"It is the character that is the strongest that God gives the most challenges to...And take that as a compliment."

<3<3<3

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Spring 2015 Favorites and Oh Noes!

Spring came and went and now summer is here! One week into summer, I can't forget the goodies that have made spring beautiful and glamorous! 

FAVORITES <3

LIQUID LIPSTICKS

Liquid lipsticks have made their mark in the beauty world this spring and they continue their beauty domination. So it's no surprise that they have made their way to my favorites list. 


Sephora Collection Cream Lip Stain, 13 Marvelous Mauve
stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick, Patina 
Sephora Collection Cream Lip Stain, 01 Always Red

Sephora Collection Cream Lip Stain, 13 Marvelous Mauve
stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick, Patina 
Sephora Collection Cream Lip Stain, 01 Always Red
(I know Marvelous Mauve and Patina look soooo similar, but when you're a lippie hoarder/junkie, the slightest difference means two different colors! LOL)

Sephora Collection Cream Lip Stain, 13 Marvelous Mauve

stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick, Patina 

Sephora Collection Cream Lip Stain, 01 Always Red

Why they're favorite-worthy:
- Matte
- Easy to apply
- Long lasting
- Barely drying
-Touch-ups are easy, not cakey
- Opacity (one swipe is good, especially with stila Patina)

NuMe TAPERED WAND
NuMe Tapered Wand (far right)
(Photo from numeproducts.com)


Why it's favorite-worthy:
- The tapered wand gives dimension to the curl
- My curls actually last for more than an hour
- Gives me the curl I love for my medium length hair
- Heats up quickly

TARGET EARRINGS



I bought the trio mainly for the peal and gold studs, but have also been loving the simple pearl.

Why it's favorite-worthy:
- Gold and pearl/white have been my favorite color combo for jewelry
- Classic, simple and elegant
- Good size, not too big, not too small
- Glamorizes any outfit!


OH NOES! </3

BIG SEXY HAIR SPRAY & PLAY HARDER FIRM VOLUMINIZING HAIRSPRAY 



Why it's oh-no material:
- Makes my hair crispy and crunchy, even with just a light spritz
- Smells like alcohol

What were your spring faves and oh noes?


<3<3<3

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Food Adventures: MUST TRY!! Po'boys, kimchi pasta and pie!

WARNING: YOU MAY GET HUNGRY ;)

I was originally going to write about a few eateries where the food was beyond good. But as I started writing, there were only two that really stuck out as must-try's with one honorable mention.

I hope you just ate because if you didn't, you will be hungry!

1. Orleans and York Deli
Shrimp and oyster po'boy

Three words: OH MY GOSH. I do not know what I did to deserve such heavenly delightfulness, but I am very thankful I found this spot!! This is only half the sandwich as one whole was way too much. The oysters and shrimp were so plump. PLUMP. No skimping on the size or quality. 
As I was looking up po'boys in the Los Angeles area, restaurants described their po'boys as "a new twist on the po'boy" or "LA version" or blah blah blah...I wanted something close to the real thing. This sounds dramatic, but I think about this po'boy AT LEAST 1x/week. I am in love. Don't judge >_<

Kimchi pasta

Pasta is not one of my go-to/favorite foods. And I can barely stand kimchi (overeating it in elementary and high school has turned me away). So why in the world did I order this dish? Because it was spicy! LOL. I can't resist my spicy food.
I was very surprised and impressed with this dish. I never would have imagined that the dish tasted the way it did. Surprisingly, it did not taste like kimchi. It was creamy goodness with a kick of heat.

The Honorable Mention: Pie Hole
Earl grey pie
The earl grey pie is one of the most popular items on the menu. It definitely lives up to the hype! The slice is creamy, fluffy, and airy with the perfect amount of sweetness. Delicious. 

If you're ever in the LA area, you must give these places a try! You won't regret it! :)

Now off to the next adventure!

<3<3<3

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Nails of the Week: Flowers, Leopards and Spots

Another nail post! One of my favorites as I enjoy doing my nails and looking at nail designs myself. 

Doing my nails is one of my biggest stress relievers. Life has been crazy and hectic lately so I've had the opportunity to escape into a world of polish, brushes, and  creativity...definitely my sanctuary :)

Here's what I've done in the last two weeks:

1. Inspired by +MissJenFABULOUS :
Not quite the same but her I replicated her technique to create the floral. 



2. Polka dots and leopards
I wanted something pink and springy. I looked up designs and got inspiration from there. The lighting is off. Whomp. I used to take photos with the great light in my old office. We moved suites recently and the natural light that comes through the windows is blocked by the trees. There goes my "studio" lights. LOL


<3<3<3



Saturday, June 13, 2015

Our Vegas Birthday Weekend: Food, Fun, and MARIAH!

My birthday was 10 days shy of one month ago, but I had the greatest time ever! It still feels like yesterday. And that's when you know it was a good time.

Memorial Day weekend happened to be my and Ben's birthday weekend. It was a special birthday weekend because he turned the big 3 - 0 on May 22 and I turned 29 on the 23rd. We actually didn't realize our birthdays fell on MDW until two weeks prior. We were trying to figure out why plane tickets were so expensive! Then my coworker pointed it out during my rant. Regardless, it was one of the BEST birthdays ever if not THE BEST.

There were plenty of laughs, birthday wishes, food, and my favorite - MARIAH CAREY! - to be had.

THE FOOD
Shake Shack - Shack burger and fries
Amazing, but not blown away! Delicious nonetheless

Shack Shack - Red velvet concrete
Not a big fan of red velvet, but this was AMAZING!! GET THIS!

Serendipity 3 - Fried eggs benedict
AWFUL. Don't bother on the food

Serendipity 3 - Frrrozen hot chocolate
THIS is what you come for

THE SELFIE
Ben got me the ever so mainstream NuMe 5 - in - 1 Lustrum curling wand set. I've been wanting it for over a year now and I finally get to play with it, not just stare at it online. Hehe ;P
I LOVE IT!


MY HIGHLIGHT: SEEING MARIAH LIVE
Mariah was all over Caesar's Palace: magazines, posters, key cards

Blurry photo but she is still fierce, baby!

BUTTERFLY!!

It's just a sweet, sweet fantasy baby
...except for me, this was real <3

One sweet day
The feels ya'll! <3

The birthday duo
Even though the weekend was supposed to be about his big 3 - 0, he made me feel like the queen of he weekend. Ever since I found out Mariah was coming to Vegas, I've been itching to go. What a sweetheart for sitting through a Mariah Carey concert. Thank goodness for iPhones! LOL :p

I already know 29 is going to be a great year. It's been a beautiful start to the end of my 20s. Bring on the adventures :)


<3<3<3


Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Two Months Later...I Am Back, Healthy, and Lost?

It's been a long while! I know :(

April to the beginning of May was a difficult time! I was sick for 3.5 weeks. Yes, that sounds crazy and impossible, but when you have an autoimmune disease like Lupus, your immune system doesn't have the power to fight off viruses. And with an autoimmune disease, the immune system fights BOTH good AND bad so my body had a difficult time recovering.

It feels good to be back :)

As happy as I am to be back, I'm feeling a little lost in this blogging world. I am not quite sure which direction I am going with this blog. I haven't done a makeup review/haul/favorites in a while because I haven't purchased anything unfamiliar to me.

I love trying new makeup, but recently, I've been so overstocked I'm trying to use what I have and trying to be mindful of not overspending. 

I love food though who doesn't?? 

Lately, I've been on a kick of trying new places and I even started Yelping! :) I love Yelp and have always used Yelp a the food bible that I realized I should start Yelping myself.

As you can tell, I am all over the place.

For the time being, this blog will just be my own personal (yet) public diary...things that I want to remember and look back on. 

So if you're down for the ride, then let's go and I hope you enjoy. If not, that's totally okay too :)

<3<3<3

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

In The Kitchen: Chocolate and Avocado

I thought I would start a series of food I make here and there. I already have one recipe on my blog about Baked "Fried" Pickles (if you love pickles, you will love this recipe!). When I remember (and have time), I love taking pictures of what I make. I am one of those who enjoy taking pictures of food. I share them with my mom and my boyfriend. It's like I make them a part of meal? Now how sweet and inclusive am I?! LOL. Just kidding, just kidding. 

I thought it would be fun to share some of the things I make and recipes I try. I enjoy reading these kinds of posts and I hope you do too!

Chocolate covered strawberries
Funny thing is I used to HATE chocolate covered strawberries probably because I hate strawberries. I made these once for my coworkers and fell in love. Fun fact: I still can't stand strawberries by itself.

I was inspired to make this two weeks ago because I was craving them. And I just wanted one. I was at the mall and stopped by Godiva to buy one chocolate strawberry. One strawberry was $9.50. YOU GOT TO BE KIDDING ME! It was one for $9.50 and 6 for $12.50. I could have bought 6 but the others would have gone to waste. I walked out of there thinking, Who the heck do you think you are, Godiva?! Call me cheap, but I would NEVER pay $9.50 for a strawberry dipped in chocolate.

The next day, I made some myself for under $9.50. And as you can see, I made more than one.

Banana walnut bread
I got this recipe from Sonia from Youtube's sccastaneda. She had a video sharing her banana bread recipe. I have been meaning to make it but all of my bananas would be gone before they had a chance to get overripe. The only change I made to the recipe is to add dark chocolate chips on top and to decrease the brown sugar from 1 cup to just a little less than 3/4 cup. 

My parents actually LOVED it! They are very hard to please when it comes to my baking saying everything is too sweet. The bread was perfectly moist and had the right amount of sweetness. My mom has even special ordered a batch for her office. YES!

Frozen chocolate peanut banana bites
I saw this on Instagram. My version is not as pretty as the original, but it sure was amazing! :)

Egg in avocado
Avocados have been so trendy lately! I've seen mashed avocado on toast (which I eventually tried and loved!) and I've been seeing this egg avocado bake. Totally weird idea, but it was pretty good. I would totally make this again, but I would probably gravitate towards the avocado mash. It was faster to make and I enjoyed it more.

Frozen coffee cubes
I am still trying to master the perfect iced coffee. It just doesn't come out like the coffee shops do. For starters, my coffee would always get diluted when I put in ice cubes. I tried the trick of freezing some coffee cubes (here, I froze about a small Styrofoam sized cup) to put into my coffee. I don't know what went wrong. The coffee was too bitter, but at least my it was not diluted?

Chocolate walnut clusters
With my leftover walnuts and dark chocolate chips from my banana bread, I decided to make some chocolate walnut clusters. So easy to make and you can control how chocolatey or how walnuty you want it to be. LOVE! It is sometimes hard to find just walnuts and dark chocolate, two of my favorite things. 

Here's how I made it:

video

I hope you enjoyed a look into my kitchen eats. If you have any amazing recipes to share or tricks on the perfect iced coffee, please do share! :)


<3<3<3