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