Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Nails of the Week: Almond + Leopard

Aloha everyone!

I hope this post finds you well! I hope that you're happy, healthy, and doing mighty mighty fine!

I wanted to share my nails of the week with you. 

I haven't done done my nails in a long time. I used to do almost weekly creative designs but I got busy. And then last summer and fall, I had events and celebratory moments that had me getting my nails done in the salon.

Recently, I've been into almond shaped nails. I've always gotten them shaped when I got my nails done for an extra $5 (*insert eye roll*) at the salon. Once the special occasions stopped, my nails went back to normal square.

I decided to grow them out and shape them myself. How hard could it be?? Not that hard until I made one nail too sharp and nail stabbed my chin. No worries though, the raised bump went away in like 2-3 days. LOL.

Since I shaped my nails, I decided to do something more than just a normal single color polish. I wanted a design and decided to go with something sassy - leopard print.


Excuse the little black nail polish smudge there. LOL. I just let it be. I let it wash away in the shower or when I wash my hands.


But check out my nails on day 9. They're clearly outgrown but barely a sign of chip. This top coat by China Glaze is now my holy grail. It's way more expensive than I would normally pay - $10 - for a nail polish. It really does last though. This is will now make my money vanish...HOWEVER, since my polish lasts longer, I won't need to use my top coat on a weekly basis like I was doing before. BOOM. WIN! Money saved?

Oh the way we justify our purchases. Oh my, oh my.

;]

Til next time.


Xoxox

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

One of the Happiest Weekends

Aloha everyone!

2017 has already kicked off to a great start. I am so blessed to be surrounded by love, laughter, and support. Sometimes it is easy to overlook the little things in life. I am really  hoping that this year, I can cherish the small moments as well as the big and to remember to always be grateful.

The first weekend of January, I had an opportunity for a whirlwind of social events that kept be busy, exhausting, yet all worth it. I was smiling from ear to ear the whole weekend. 

Here's how my weekend went down...in pictures...and of course, almost entirely food:


A chirashi bowl for me. Yes oh yes, please.
And my friend and her newborn <3

Uni

Ice cream flavors from all over the world - even the Philippines <3
Of course, I chose coffee. Country? I forgot :(

A reunion with my graduate school girls in a living room just talking.
Girl talk, pregnancies, engagements, marriages
Love, life, challenges
We talked about ERRRRRYTHANG

Sadly, I didn't get a chance to save my photos from Sunday. I Snapped the day, but did not save them. BOO! It was a lot of fun too.

I went to a Mexican bakery and purchased guava rolls. I love my Porto's Bakery, but the Mexican bakery totally beat Porto's because it was waaaayyyy less sweet.

I also went shoe shopping and bought Bobs. They were on sale. BOO YEAH. I bought a black pair with a leopard print lining. Fabulous <3

And you know what's awesome for my old lady feet? It has memory foam! It's like walking on pillows. Love. Love. Love. 

[ credit : www.zappos.com ]

[ credit : www.zappos.com ]

That was my weekend. And it was beautiful in all regards. I am so thankful for weekends like this. No major event. Just people who love each other, catching up, making memories.

<3<3<3

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Product Got Me Confused? Maybelline Push Up Angel

In late December, I purchased a new mascara.

As recommended, I switch out my mascara every 3 months for hygiene purposes. I love trying new mascaras and Maybelline has always been my go-to brand for mascara. I don't think, if my memory serves me right, that I have been disappointed with a Maybelline mascara...

...until NOW!! Though, I'm not 100% sure. I am confused!

I picked up The Falsies Push Up Angel without even really reading in the detail the titles. To be honest, I picked this up because it was purple and had the word "angel" on it. I've tried 3 - 4 different Maybelline mascaras and have never been disappointed. I figured Maybelline could do no wrong and whatever I picked would be amazing.



When I opened the mascara tube for the first time and saw the wand, I was thinking "what the heck?"
In the store, I did not even check out the how the wand looks like because I did not care. This wand is just weird. The wand is designed for you to be able to get right at the root of the lashes and wiggle your way up to "push up" your lashes.

It just made my lashes look like a mess. The formula was also too wet for my taste and ended up clumping my lashes. I like a little clumping but not to the point where I look like a have chunks of lashes. Yeek. Maybe as the mascara gets a little older the formula will dry up more and it will work better? AHHH.

Sigh.

I was so upset that I bought a different mascara the following week.

Then my softy self wanted to give the Push Up Angel another try and so I did. And just as I had expected, the mascara dried up a little bit and I actually liked it. I felt totally bad because the first time I used this mascara I sent a mass texts of "WORST MASCARA EVER"  to my fellow beauty junkies.

The next day, it was all clumpy again. I continued to use this mascara continuously for the rest of the week. It was either a hit or a miss. I am not sure if it was me or the mascara but I don't know why I couldn't get a good day every day.

On a good day, it didn't give me the voluminous va va voom lashes I strive for. Instead, my lashes were slightly lifted and natural looking.



I am just not sure how I feel about this product. Still totally stumped on whether I like it or not. However, I do know for certain that I will not be buying this product again.

Have any of you tried this product??  Is it just me? Or am I the only undecided or the only one who does not know how to use this product to its fabulosity?


<3<3<3

Monday, February 13, 2017

Monday Sayings: No Such Thing As Forever?

Aloha everyone,

Back in November, my cousin from the Philippines came to stay with us for two weeks. I took him out to a mostly seafood restaurant in Hollywood where they cook seafood in a bag that sits in boiling water. 

Customers can write on the wall. On my way out, my cousin spotted this phrase that I was actually facing the whole night but never noticed.



"Walang forever" which translates into "there is no forever."

And it hurt my heart. 

I've gotten my heart broken so bad but I still believe in love.

Whomever wrote that must've had his or her heart broken, cut into pieces, and ran over by a hundred semi-trucks or something.

Whatever the case, it just broke my heart that someone out there didn't believe in forever. I know shit happens and things end and the trauma from the experience stays with you. That is life. But to not have hope for a forever I guess is what really makes me sad. 

Maybe I do live in a fairy tale land as my former classmate had told me. It was in my heath class our instructor asked us to partner up and tell our partner how we would want to die. I told my classmate, "In bed next to my spouse and hopefully at the same time like in The Notebook." Ok, yeah. I guess I live in a fairy tale.

But I do believe in love.

And to whomever wrote that, I wish you love, health, happiness and an opportunity to believe and hope in forever.

Xoxox


Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Saying I Do: First Venue Tour Complete

Aloha everyone! 

Last Monday, I completed my first venue tour! :D

I was supposed to go with a girlfriend who couldn't make it last minute due to her two sick babies. Both are under three so she had her hands full.

I thought about cancelling out of nervousness and laziness. Los Angeles has been experiencing heavy rain a few days a week each week since the year began. The rain and cold make me want to stay under my covers.

I put my big girl panties on and braved the rain, and went to the venue solo. I felt so independent!! 

However, when I did arrive, I did feel overwhelmed. My mind blanked. I was unsure if I asked the right questions. I don't think I asked enough questions. 

One obvious thing I knew about weddings is that they are expensive. One thing I learned today is that if you want to have the wedding pictured in your head to be manifested into real life, it's way more expensive than what you actually thought it would be. The cost just kept adding up and the more overwhelmed I became. My fiance is not the wedding type. He's more of a "let's go to court." He hates big parties and he hates being the center of attention. He also freaks out about the money to be spent. As the dollars went up, I imagined his jaw dropping. And that's just with the basics plus "cheaper" yet simple additions.

I got my print out that detailed my expenses. Eight pages worth that included fine print, yet no hidden fees. The representative handed me the paperwork and told me to "take your time, but not take your time." He said prices will go up about $10/person some time in February. He told me that he cannot hold the date (which was not my ideal date) for me. If someone puts a deposit in, of course that individual will get the venue. He told me that if I call him within 48 hours and decide to go with his venue, he can give me discounts. WHAT A SALESMAN.

I took my printout. Sat in my car. Called my friend to process my feelings of feeling overwhelmed, confused, scared, nervous.

I really wish I went with someone. This is something major to process.

As I write this, I am still processing everything going on so hopefully it makes sense. If not, my brain is still in TENSE mode but I suppose that makes my post more authentic? LOL.

Most venues look pretty much the same. And at the end of the day, it's going to be my experience and memories that will count not one venue over another. Though each venue has different things to offer which come with different personalities/hospitality manners. UGH. CONFUSING.

Don't listen to me right now. I am a big puddle of OMG WHAT DO I DO.

Anyways, I sneaked in some pictures on my dying phone. Enjoy. Tell me what you think :D






Xoxoxo

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Saying I Do: Wedding Planning Begins!

Hello everyone! 

Welcome to my wedding planning series "Saying I Do." I am finally cracking down on this wedding planning that I have been avoiding. 

I got engaged at the very tail end of July. I had my final licensure exam in late August so wedding planning at the time was out of the question. After I passed my exam (woot woot), my mind was too fried to do anything that involved planning, thinking or any kind of brain usage. 

Christmas 2016 weekend, I started to email a bunch of venues and got multiple responses. It overwhelmed me and I swept it under the rug. 

Now, I am officially ready to tackle it head on and get this wedding going!

I have booked a viewing of two venues on February 5. I am super nervous and super excited at the same time.

All I know is that my wedding ceremony and reception are most likely going to be held in a banquet hall in Glendale, CA. Glendale has fond memories for me. I love Glendale. I used to work near Glendale. And most importantly, my grandma used to live in Glendale and we would come weekly to visit her. Definitely fond memories of Glendale. 

I have small details picked out such as theme, colors (I think), cake topper, bridal party - all the non-stressful stuff. LOL.

I totally understand why people hire people. It is really overwhelming.

I have planned baby showers, huge birthday parties, but dang, planning your own wedding is no joke. And it's very different from a baby shower and a huge birthday party.

I hope you join me in my journey towards the big day. It is definitely going to be exciting, stressful, tearjerking and amazing.


LOL

I am really digging the red dress :)
Sorry it's blurry by the way. I have no idea why it is. It's in HD and everything :(


<3<3<3

Monday, January 30, 2017

Monday Sayings: "I Can't Stay There"

I saw this post on Instagram and I loved it. Every one is different and may interpret it in their own way and in their own right. And that is perfectly okay.

For me, I see this as growth in maturity, growth as a person, as in becoming a better me and closer to who I strive to be. 


Life is constantly moving and we must constantly move with it. 

Moving forward towards who we strive to become. 

Experiences, relationships, work, challenges, life....they all change us. And it is my hope that we all grow from these different factors of life. 

There's enough bad in this world, let's keep moving forward to who we want to become. 

What is your interpretation?


<3<3<3

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Booty Booty Booty Booties Everywhere

Thursdays are my chillest days at work.Instead of being stationed at my hospital, I get to go my agency office that is quiet as it houses no more than 10 people and usually, there are only about 6 people working at a time. No supervisors. All chill people. So of course, Thursday is my favorite work day. LOL.

I had finished my work much earlier than expected and decided to make a video dedicated to my relatively new black Liz Claiborne booties. I love them. I love the quilted back. When it comes to boots, I love a slight two-toned look or a duo textured look.


[ credit : www.jcp.com ]

Here goes it. LOL.



As you can see, I had some time on my hands. 

And don't mind the choice of song. For some reason, that was the only accessible song out of all the songs on my phone.

Anyhoot, enjoy and have a good laugh ;)


<3<3<3

Monday, January 23, 2017

Monday Sayings: Blessed, Yes

Hello everyone! Happy Monday!

So far this year, Los Angeles has seen a weekly rainstorm. As much as I hate the rain, I've learned to appreciate the sunshine after the rain.

Last Thursday was the day after heavy rain and the morning after did not disappoint. 

I wanted to share the few snaps of the day. Thursdays are my lax, slow days at work also known as "Snap Thursday."

Enjoy <3


How beautiful is this sky!


Even though the sun was shining, it was still freezing as heck


How cute is this! From Georgetown Cupcakes in Los Angeles.
You must check them out if you are in the area!

Life is good. God is good.f God is great. 

I heard this song on the radio last week and it touched my heart. Every word he sang, I felt. And you can NEVER go wrong with the voice of Mr. Charlie Wilson!



"Ask me how I'm doing. I"m blessed, yes
Living every moment, no regrets
Smile up on my face, I'm like oh yes
I'm blessed,yes, I'm blessed, yes"

<3<3<3

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Taking My Body Back: Strength Over Numbers

Hello everyone!

Happy belated MLK Day! <3

I am writing this post on MLK day though I doubt this will be posted the same day. [The next best thing - this is getting posted on Women's March Day where women all over the US are marching for equal rights, ownership of our own bodies, etc]

I have been itching to write this post for a while but life gets in the way. I figured I would get to it today - on a day that honors a man who fought for love, light, and equal rights. 

I wanted to share a post on self-love and the new light shone into my life. No better day than today to share my update. And WARNING: This will be a long storybook post. 

Back in September, I started a post series called "Taking My Body Back" after gaining weight over the last few years. I was determined to lose weight to go back to my pre-Lupus body weight. That was my goal. I was very focused on the number and how the extra weight made me self-conscious. 

Since that post, I was not too good on following my goal of a great diet. I was exercising 3-5 days/week but was eating double after the gym, totally counteracting my gym efforts. I was also eating a lot more sweets than I should have and over-snacking at work out of boredom. 

In December of last year, I felt like I hit a "weight rock bottom" when I could not close my favorite pair of jeans. As I was progressively gaining weight, I was still able to suck in my tummy and close them. On the day of my friend's baby shower when I attempted to slip them on, no amount of sucking my gut in could get them to close. I was devastated. Reality hit me. I have definitely gained weight. My pants were getting tighter over the years and months, but now, they just would not close.

I gained 15 pounds in 3 years. Five pounds in 3 months. I was starting to get scared. I was losing control over my eating. And the more out of control I was, the more self-conscious I would become and the more I would eat out of stress and helplessness. I was spiraling in this hole of uncontrollable eating and unhealthy eating habits. 

Throughout all of this, I was still loving my gym life of Zumba. As much as I love my Zumba, it was taking a toll on my left knee making it painful to participate. What used to be the quickest, funnest hour of my day turned into a long, painful hour. 

I decided to switch up my Zumba days and do it every other day. I also wanted to take other classes at the gym such as strength and yoga/pilates. 

I wanted to be strong. I was becoming less focused on size and numbers and admiring bodies of strength. I wanted to be those women who were fit, those women who could do push ups and lift more than 20lbs.

My sad little deconditioned self could barely lift 10lbs. I can't do modified push-up to save my life. I was in bad shape. Part of it was me and part of it was the toll my Lupus took on my joints. I would say it was mostly me though.

Since late December, I have been working out 5-6 days/week doing Zumba and strength training. I may not quite be losing weight (yet), but I feel myself getting stronger. 

I can do ONE modified push-up now. LOL. That seems like a lame accomplishment but it is not to me. That is ONE more than I could have ever done before. 

In the last few weeks, I found the courage to take these classes. Before, I was too shy and scared to try something new (watch out for a future post on this). I am proud of myself for coming out of my comfort zone. I may not be able to lift as heavy weights as my fellow gym class attendees, but I am not in competition with anyone else. 

I am in it to win it for me. And winning means getting stronger, getting toned, getting fit and most importantly, getting healthy. In the last few weeks, I've been eating much healthier. My portions have even been better controlled. I am eating a regular size portion as opposed to my overindulging double. Once you take care of your body, the rest will follow.

I am not quite where I want to be yet, but I am taking my time. And as I take my time, I am falling more in love with fitness. It's crazy. I never thought I'd be a "gym rat" as my friends now call me. But I hold that title proud. There is nothing wrong in taking care of your body in a positive, healthy way. 

And I am happy to report, I tried on my jeans this past weekend...and they fit. My weight is the same, but it seems that my body is flowing in a better way than it used to. I still have my little baby belly but I feel like that will stay with me for a while. LOL. 

It's no longer about the number on the scale. To me, taking back my body means eating healthy, getting fit, feeling stronger and feeling the best I've ever felt in a long time.

So delicious, but so dang expensive!

Please remember that the most important thing that we can do for ourselves is to keep ourselves strong and healthy. If not for ourselves, for those that we care about - family, children, friends, loved ones.

<3<3<3


Monday, January 9, 2017

Monday Sayings: The Gift of a New Year

According to many, 2016 was one of the worst years in a long time. Now that 2016 is part of the past, we have this amazing opportunity to make 2017 a great year. 

Yes, there are things that we cannot control such as health (sometimes), heart aches, accidents, bullies, layoffs, hardship, etc. What we can control is how we respond to them. What we can control is our faith, our determination and perseverance in making things better.

Life is a gift. Life is short. Not everyone has the opportunity to live the life you have. The mere fact that you are able to read this blog post makes you lucky. 

Let 2017 be a year that we are grateful for what we have. 

Let 2017 be a year when we recognize that we were blessed with a gift of another year.

As cheesy and cliche as it may sound, we are true writers of our lives. Let's make this next chapter a great one.


Xoxox

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Christmas 2016 Cookies and Nails

The holidays came and went. As always, way too fast!

A few weeks ago, I came across a Facebook video that the Food Network posted on "How to Make Brown Sugar Pecan Bears." The bear cookies are hugging a pecan!! If you knew me well or even not so well, you would know that I absolutely love bears! Bears and puppies are my favorite faces.

When I saw this post on Facebook, I knew I had to take on the challenge.



Now, please be mindful that I am no baker and I did not have pecans! LOL. It was all in good fun trying to recreate the cute little cookies.We also made some snowmen, Hanukkah dreidels (not pictured), and gingerbread men that I kind of went crazy decorating. Too much fun and too tasty!


It was a spontaneous cookie night. We did not have pecans so the bears are hugging sprinkles. Though the bear on the bottom right was a rebel and unfolded his arms during baking




And to go along with all the holiday festiveness, you know I was going to do my nails.


The Santa Claus belt is my favorite style of holiday nails. 

My snowman looks a little funky. LOL. But that's okay. 

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season. And may you all have a blessed 2017!! 


Xoxox

Monday, January 2, 2017

Fall 2016 Favorites

AHHH. Happy New Year!! I know this post is way overdue. I had started this post right before Fall ended and am now posting it in 2017. I guess that is life! It moves quick!

I feel like every year zooms on by quicker and quicker. Like chillax time. Why you such in a rush?

I'm 30 now. Slow down. LOL.

Just as with every season, we fall in love with new things and old things. Sometimes, all things. LOL.

Here are what stole my heart this Fall:

TARTE: LIGHTS, CAMERA, LASHES




I had hauled this in a post in early October. I purchased it during Ulta's 21 Days of Beauty. It was originally $24 and sold as beauty steal at $10. GAH! I hate that I love it. Mascara should not be more than $10. Ugh. 

I really love how it makes my lashes look. I naturally have long,curled lashes (don't hate me). The mascara helps my lashes to fan out. Love it. 

TOO FACED: NATURAL EYES





I got this beauty as a birthday gift this past May. I didn't really use it until this Fall. I don't know why I waited so long. I love it! I love playing with eye shadow looks and using fun colors from time to time, but I do love a natural smokey eye. You can never go wrong with neutral colors. You can go natural or va va voom!

The packaging is pretty with a sturdy tin case. The only down fall is that the product itself is pretty heavy. Small, compact size for traveling but it definitely has some weight to it.

e.l.f. ANGLED BLUSH BRUSH



When I went to Las Vegas on Thankgiving, I realized I had left my makeup brushes at home. The first time I didn't make a packing list, I forgot something. That's why lists work! >_< I did not want to spend loads of money on brushes because I had perfectly find brushes at home. 

I went to the drugstore CVS to hunt for some cheapie finds. AND DANG! They were expensive. Why are they in the drugstore?! Brushes were $12-15/piece. I decided to bite the bullet and grabbed the essentials - foundation brush, powder brush, and blush/contour brush. Oy my wallet. 

I walked towards that cashier register and found e.l.f. Oh thank the Lord! We all know e.l.f. is affordable. I grabbed the essentials I needed from the studio line which was $5/piece. This angled blush brush was my favorite. It is the best for contouring. It's so much better than my expensive Sigma contouring brush. 

I will use this brush now for contouring. It really just adds that chiseled affect to my super found shapeless face. 

CHINA GLAZE EVER GLAZE ACTIVE TOP COAT


Holy freakin' cow! This is the best top coat I have ever experienced. This is something I would have never purchased if it was not for a sale. This retails for $10. Ugh excuse me? No.

Ulta had a sale on China Glaze for 2 for $12 and decided to give it a go.

I hope I don't jinx it by saying this, but that picture was taken on day 6 of having those nails. DAY 6. There is no chippiness anywhere!! The only downside is the very very strong chemical smell. Yeek. 

I am probably going to end up splurging on this top coat from now on. It is amazing. Amazing! Amazing!!!

FARMERS MARKET DELIGHTS



This a random favorite, but I just had to share! In Mar Vista Los Angeles, there is a farmers market every Sunday that a friend and I attend as often as we can. She lives a lucky two blocks from there. The market is very family friendly with fresh produce, baked goods, flowers and lots of great eats to choose from.


All summer, I've been eyeing this half load of roasted garlic bread and finally decided to pick it up. It's not the garlic bread that has been buttered up. The bread has garlic pieces baked into it. AH! DELICIOUS. If you know me and know how I cook, I LOVE LOVE LOVE me some garlic. Recipe asks for 2 cloves of garlic, I'll put 4 or 5. Yeah, that's how I do. No shame in my game ;)

After I purchased the bread I walked by this stand with samples of pesto on small pieces of bread. I tried several. HA. And I loved the pesto habanero. I do love my spicy. I knew right then and there that the spicy pesto would go so well with the garlic bread. AND LET ME TELL YOU. The taste was a match made in heaven <3 I also tried the pesto on pasta. Delicious too.

BATH AND BODY WORKS PUMPKIN SPICED CHEESECAKE CANDLE



Fall is not fall without pumpkin. This smells like sweet (but not overly) sweet deliciousness.


PURSE




This purse! I have no been in love with a purse for a really long time. I have purses and use them daily but I am not really in love with a purse. I buy cheapies because I get sick of them quickly and just kind of throw them around.

I was in search of a new weekend purse. Something small but yet big enough to hold my essentials - wallet, phone, hand sanitizer, lotion, mints, chapstick and lipstick. 

I found this bad boy which is simple yet edgy at the same time. It's black with gold studs lining the edges. It has a metal tassel that makes noise when I walk. I sometimes think someone is following me and realize it's just me. LOL. Sometimes it's annoying when I am in a rush. It's easily removable but I do love it.

The best thing about this purse is the price. $16.99 at Ross. Oh yeaaaaah...

ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK
( credit : www.goodhousekeeping.com )

I am not a big TV watcher at all and I wasn't a Netflix watcher until I found out Fuller House was coming out on Netflix. I borrowed my brother's account just so I can watch it. LOL.

Then in early November, I got reallllly sick. I was sick for 2.5 weeks with a upper respiratory infection. The first week I was on and off work. The second week, I was bed-ridden. And in my sick days, I decided to watch shows that were popular.

I found myself watching Orange is the New Black and holy freakin' cow! ADDICTION.

I was trying to finish all four seasons by the time Fuller House 2 started on December 9. LOL. 

AND I DID IT!!!

At the expense of my sleep though. Whomp. My addiction and race against the clock had me sleeping at 2 in the morning. I would come to work dysfunctional and groggy. It was awful. Eventually I learned to better manage my Netflix time. LOL.



Well, those were my favorites of the fall 2016 season which came and gone.

Now that it is winter, I am already falling in love with new products. 

I hope you have a wonderful 2017 filled with love, hope, health and all kinds of wealth.

Blessings be with you.

Xoxox