Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Chloe Gift Set + Sephora Samples

Hello everyone!

Last week, I purchased a 1 oz Chloe by Chloe eau de parfum at Sephora for $75.

Then of course, 2 days later. I received an email from Sephora for VIB Rouge members about a Chloe by Chloe perfume gift set that includes 1 oz perfume, 3.4 oz lotion, and 0.17 oz mini perfume. All of this for $80, a $112 value!! Annnnd it came with FREE 3-day shipping! 

So you know I had to jump on that really awesome deal!!!

I returned the perfume I purchased in store and bought the gift set that I could only find online. 

I also got a bunch of samples to go along with it.

Chloe by Chloe (per Sephora website) has notes of pink peony, freesia, lychee, magnolia flower, lily of the valley (happens to be my sorority flower!), rose, cedarwood, amber and honey.

I love Chloe because the scent is not too overpowering and lasts most of the day. One of my favorite perfumes is Burberry Brit Sheer, but that does not last longer than an hour or two. Way too expensive to disappear too soon.


The beautiful pink and gold box

The goodies!!!

Look how cute this mini is

Samples: mostly skin care :)

Just thought I would share. The packaging is way too cute and I must admit, I was way too excited to share :D

Xoxoxo


Monday, September 26, 2016

Monday Sayings: Changes


I may have posted this quote already but I came across it again and I was taken aback as if I had just seen it for the first time.

The truth in it is pretty wild and pretty crazy. 

Next year, life will be different - possibly in small ways or big - but it definitely will not be the same.

There may be new loves, heart breaks, new jobs, loss of jobs, illness, death and new life. Anything can happen. Only one thing is guaranteed, it will not be the same as this year.

As the year quickly comes closer to an end, it's wild to see what 2017 has to offer me.

I was so blessed this year with so many great things happening to me - passing both my licensure exams, getting engaged, taking on a supervisory role at work supervising a studen intern. 

I am blessed. I am grateful.

Wishing your year was great so far. If it hasn't been the best, I hope the next few months turns completely around for you.

xoxoxo

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Summer 2016 Favorites

Oh my word!! Fall is here ya'll!! I am sooo excited but also so sad to see summer go. Time goes by so fast, I want it to slow down and enjoy whatever is left of my youth. LOL.

Like in seasons past, new favorites are discovered and old favorites resurface. Not too many beauty items this time around probably because when it's summer and hella hot, I wear less and less makeup.

Here are the loves of my summer:

COVERGIRL LASHBLASH PLUMPIFY MASCARA


( credit : www.ulta.com )


I went to dinner with a friend of mine and loved her lashes. She always has great lashes but that dinner, they were more va va voom! She was using the CoverGirl LashBlast Plumpify mascara. I got myself one and loved it! It really accentuates and extends my really long lashes. I am not the best at applying mascara but something about the wand allowed me to easily fan out my lashes to give them shape comparable to falsies <3


SHEET MASK



Sheet masks have been my jam! One of my favorite Youtubers +AprilAthena7  / Youtube AprilAthena7 is the queen of sheet masks and she actually got me on the boat! During the summer, sheet masks have been the greatest thing! The coldness of the sheet mask on my face when it's 90 degrees out was the most settling and amazing feeling right before bed.
I am not sure if they actually do what they say they do. I just really love the sensation. I get my sheet masks at Daiso. They come 3 in a pack for $1.50. I also get masks at Ulta when they are on clearance.


ZUMBA!
( credit : www.clipartion.com )

I have probably mentioned this in a previous post, but I joined by local YMCA and have fallen in love with Zumba. I have had gym memberships in the past, but never really stuck because it got boring and repetitive. 
I wanted to get back into exercise when my primary care doctor told me that I should get active. I was in late my 20s at the time and she said exercise is good for heart health and overall health. I've always known that through the news, friends and family, etc, but when my doctor told me to my face, I took it seriously. 
I already have Lupus which is working against me. I need to work 10x harder to keep my health up. I joined the Y and found an exercise routine that has stolen my heart. I love music and I love dancing, put them together and it's a match made in exercise heaven.

NECKLACES

I was not much of a daily necklace wearer. I love necklaces, but I love statement necklaces that I wouldn't wear daily. 


A friend gave me this small, dainty heart pendant necklace for birthday and I have been hooked ever since on small simple necklaces.



( credit : www.target.com )

( credit : www.target.com )

( credit : www.target.com )


I have been eyeing these twoTarget necklaces ($19.99 each) for the longest time but I'm a cheapie (LOL) and couldn't fathom paying $20 for a cheapie necklace that would probably turn rusty over time. 
Then one day, I saw both of them on clearance for $9.98 and using my Target Cartwheel app, it was an additional 20% off making each about $16.
DEAL! LOL. I purchased both which totaled to less than one original piece :D

SNAPCHAT

I thought I would never give in but one of my best friends kept pushing it. Whenever we got together, she would tell me something new and I would say "What! You never told me!" and she would respond with, "Well if you had a Snapchat..." LOL. So I gave in and eventually learned to love playing with the filters. I must admit, I am not the most photogenic person, BUT Snapchat makes me look and feel pretty! LOL

Some of my favorite selfies:






video
(Waiting 10 minutes to remove my sheet mask)

ENGAGEMENT RING:



Words cannot even describe how over the moon I am! Self-explanatory :D

DOUBLE SHOT ESPRESSO OVER ICE (with milk + sugar)

I love coffee not so much for the caffeine but for the taste! My coworker and I love coffee and would together get our afternoon coffee. She has a long drive home after work and would always get the double shot espresso over ice with milk and syrup to keep her up. I tried it one time and became hooked! It's delicious! Tastes just like a latte for half the price. You can ask for the double shot in a grande/medium cup and put milk and a little bit of sugar (how I prefer it) and boom!! 

What were your Summer 2016 Favorites?? Are you ready and excited for Fall?

Fall is when the dark berry lipsticks start to come back and I anticipate I will be wearing those colors. A dark berry is my favorite color to wear and in my opinion looks best on me. 

Bring on the pumpkin everything! Fall, I am ready!!


Xoxoxo

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Real Talk: Getting My Life Back!

Why hello everyone!

This past weekend, I put in my two weeks notice for my per diem job.

For those of you who don't know, I work a medical social worker in an emergency room on Saturday nights from 3:30pm - midnight. I have been doing this for the past year and have really really enjoyed the work despite the chaos, stress and pressure. My ER night shift team has been tremendously awesome and I will sincerely miss them dearly, especially the ones I have worked closely with and have gotten to know beyond a professional level. 

Working 6 days a week was fine in the beginning and even up until the 7th month. I had a routine in which Saturday mornings I would pretty much lay in bed until 12noon trying not to consume energy in order to prepare for my 8 hour night shift. Sundays were my zombie days in which I just lay in bed all day and watched LMN. Life was fine, life was grand. 

The only problem was that I wasn't living life. I was just working and then after work became a couch potato. I missed out on social events and milestones because I worked or was too tired to function. 

By month 8/9, my body started to slow down and let me know it was getting tired. Working 6 days/week is hard, but when one of those shifts is until midnight, it throws your whole body out of whack.

I am an early riser 99% of the time. Waking up at 9am to me is pretty rebellious for my internal alarm clock. 

When I came home from work, I would not sleep until at least 2am and there were times where I would sleep around 3am-4am. And so I blamed it on the coffee and for a month did not have coffee before or during work. Coffee wasn't the culprit. I was still up til the wee hours of the morning.

Then I realized it was just my mind and my body. I was still too overly stimulated from my workplace (which, mind you, is very fast-paced and stressful, yet thrilling) to just knock out when my head hit the pillow. 

I asked the nurses who have overnight shifts workings 7pm-7am if they went to bed right away. They all said no. They all said it took them 2-3 hours to fall asleep.

I realized our bodies just need to unwind after a shift. It didn't help that I was an early riser. So if I went to bed at 2-4am, I was still waking up at 7/7:30am..

By the 8th month, my body was exhausted and it would take forever to recover. I felt normal again by Wednesday, but come Saturday, my life would spiral back into exhaustion.

This isn't healthy for anyone, but it definitely was not healthy for someone like me who has lupus.

I was so exhausted that I would get headaches. I would just be so tired, my exhaustion started to impair my Monday - Friday job. 

I couldn't concentrate. I was always tired. I couldn't focus. I was forgetting things. 

I was looking forward to quitting my per diem job as much as I enjoyed it. My M-F job mattered more because it was my fulltime job that provided benefits.

I tried to last until the end of the year, but my body was telling me no, it's not strong enough. I decided to listen to my body.

My last day is October 1st. I chose October so that on my resume it shows that I have been there from October 2015 - October 2016.

I am so excited to get my weekends back, my health back, and my life back.

I get to see milestones and be a part of them. I won't be missing out anymore.

I AM SO EXCITED!

It really feels like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders.

Cheers to getting my life back!


Xoxoxox

Monday, September 19, 2016

Monday Sayings: Working Hard


I cannot remember where I ran into this but I love it. 

It really should be one of life's philosophies if it isn't already. 

We do really get what we settle for. 

One of my biggest pet peeves is those who complain and take no action. 

"I hate my job." "I don't like this." "I don't like that." etc.

I hate my job too. LOL. But I do have to pay the bills and so I stay. At the end of the day, we do what we have to do. However, while I do that, I am working hard to get to where I want to be. 

Life will not always work out the way we wanted or envisioned, but we have to still at least try to and get there. If not, we are just settling with what happens. 



Xoxox

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Taking Back My Body: Weight Gain

Weight is such a touchy subject. It is definitely a sensitive topic and can easily offend or annoy others.

I am currently at my heaviest weight. I am 5'2.5" and I currently weigh 117 pounds. That is in normal range, but what brings me down is that I have gained 12 pounds in the last 3.5 years. In hindsight, that is not too bad. I have heard (but not verified) that as we get older, our metabolism slows down and that for women, it is much easier to gain weight than to lose weight. 

If you do the math, it looks like I gained 4 pounds each year in the last 3.5 years. Yeah, I guess that's not so bad, but as a female, it freaks me out.

I hate that my pants are tighter and my face rounder. It makes me feel insecure. 

I don't have big boobs ("Itty Bitty Titty Committee" where you at?! LOL). It's really crazy and disheartening to look at myself in the mirror and see that my belly is way bigger than my boobs. Sad and funny at the same, but dang, really sad. 

I absolutely hate shopping for clothes. It's not that fun for me. I'd rather get my hair and nails done. The majority of the pants that I have are from at least 4 years ago. My work slacks are from college. I graduated college in 2008. And these pants were always 1-2 sizes too big because I HATED shopping that much, I would try it and if it wasn't way too big or small, I just bought it. All my pants were too big and held up with a belt. Now, I don't need a belt. And now, it's quite tight.

It really annoys me when I tell friends that I've gained weight and that it bothers me and they respond with, "oh but you could use a few pounds." That's besides the point. The point is that I do not feel good about myself right now. 

I also hate when I am not validated. "Oh you're so small. Stop it."

Petite girls can feel insecure about their weight too!

Some of the things that I know that caused me gain weight:
1. This sounds awful but 3 of the last 3.5 years, I formed a strong relationship friendship with a colleague who was really heavy set. When you spend so much time with someone else, you adopt their habits. She encouraged me to eat anything for any occasion because I "deserved" it. Soon enough, I "deserved" cake in addition to my burger just because I "deserved" it with no real reason to "deserve" it
2. Stress eating when I entered my current job a year ago. A job I do not love and ended up eating my misery
3. There were times when I felt "addicted" to food. No matter how full I was or even if I wasn't hungry, I just wanted to eat. The taste of food or the mere action of chewing and swallowing was comforting
4. I stopped being active which did not help since I work 6 days a week mostly glued to a desk

My weight has been bothering me for some time and I decided to take action.

I've said this in a previous post. I am a big believer that people should not complain if there is no action taken. 

You get what you settle for and I did not want to continue feeling like a blob anymore. 

A few months ago, I joined my local YMCA. It is really expensive at $47/mo. I take the Zumba classes and use the equipment. Because membership is so expensive, I have to really maximize my use of it. Can't let my hard earned money go down the drain!

Of course, health trumps the number on the scale.

But let's be real. The number on the scale affects our self-esteem. 

My weight goal is 110 pounds. 

I'll keep you posted on how I do.

But please note, I will be doing this the healthy way with controlling my diet and exercise. I am not restricting calories but just being smarter in what I eat - instead of eating fried fish, get the broiled or baked fish. 

The little things make a big difference. 

Sorry if my post was all over the place! 

I literally just spilled my thoughts onto the keyboard and went with it. 

Please stay healthy. Be healthy. 


Xoxoxo

Monday, September 12, 2016

Monday Saying: Pets Are Family


I came across this on Instagram and it just made my heart melt.

I've been begging my fiance (oh it sounds so weird saying fiance now instead of boyfriend) for a dog when we move into our new place. 

One day, I'll get a puppy and I'm going to love that puppy like none other!

Love your furry friends. They are all you really got.


Xoxox

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Throwback Thursday: Nail Design Beginnings


In the last few weeks, I did not have time to really do anything fun with my nails as time was precious. I was studying intensely for my board exam and would feel ever so guilty if I did something too time consuming on my nails.

So I did something real quick. Flowers with a dotting tool.

When I did this nail design, I had a flashback to when I started toying around with nail designs. Oh the nostalgia! <3

This flower design was the first, if not one of the firsts, to get me to fall in love with what other designs I can do. 

If you get a chance, check out my old post on some of my beginner designs. 

Oh the memories <3


Xoxoxo

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

LCSW Pampering + Fixing My Hair

Aloha everyone!

In my post last week, I mentioned that I passed my board exam to become a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. Definitely an accomplishment in the world of social work.

And of course, I am the queen of celebrations and will celebrate anything big or small. Passing a crazy four hour exam definitely deserves some celebrations!

So what did I do right after my exam?

PERUVIAN FOOD
I had some Peruvian food with a former colleague. If you haven't had Peruvian food yet, ya'll must try!! Definitely delicious. I ordered aji de gallina for the first time and oh my oh my! It was really really good.

NAILS DONE
If you know me well, you know I am a nail person! I wish I can get my nails done all the time but it gets pricey yo. 
I treated myself to gel nails and finally found a baby pink that fits my skin tone. It's soooo beautiful! It's called "Rock N Rose" by DND. Love!! I can't stop staring :D

FIXED MY HAIR
As I had mentioned in my previous post, I had my hair done in July using balayage technique and I went lighter, much lighter than I have ever gone. The color was blonde-ish. After 3-4 weeks, the  color faded to a brassy and vibrant orange. Not the biz-naz! I went back to dark because that blonde-ish was definitely not the ish on me.

THE BRASSY ORANGE BEFORE:



THE BROWN AFTER:





I am very happy with the results! And I must say, it makes me look younger :D

The color is an ashy brown. My hairstylist asked if that would be okay and I said sure, I like ashy brown. She said this color will still fade, but it will not turn orange. PERFECTLY FINE WITH ME.

Darker is definitely more me, but I am happier that I gave the lighter color a try. Going bold like that is definitely out of my comfort zone and I'm totally glad I gave it a shot. 

Life is short. Just do it!


Xoxoxo

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Throwback Thursday: Going Blonde-ish

Aloha everyone!

For my 30th birthday in May, I decided to try something different with my hair rather than my go to peekaboo color hairstyle. 

I did balayage! I know that does not sound adventurous to most people, but mind you, I have never dyed my top layer of hair (in fear of roots growing quickly), just the bottom layers for easy maintenance when roots grow out.




Balayage was step one towards going lighter. In one of my 30th Birthday Diaries series post, I shared pictures of the blonde I wanted to go, but was not brave enough to go that drastic.

Last July, I went back to my hairstylist and asked to retouch my balayage but go lighter and cut my really long hair :D

And here's what went down.




The pictures do not do the color any justice. These pictures show the hair color to be more brown than blonde.

Regardless, I loved it!!! But sadly, my hair just could not hold the color for too long. My hair quickly turned brassy and orange after 3-4 weeks. Not even purple shampoo could save the day.

This light hair balayage thing was not the ish for me. Way too much maintenance, damage and money spent for touch-ups!

It was fine while it lasted but I just could not keep up.

Last week, as part of my pampering celebration for passing my board exam, I got my hair done and my nails done which I will share next week. 

I hope the rest of the week is good to you and I wish you a beautiful weekend.


xoxoxo