Winter of 2016, my husband and I decided to donate, sell or toss a large amount of our belngings. I wouldn’t label ourselves as a ‘minimalist’ family, but to live with less has definitely made cleaning a lot easier.
Plus having a Roomba.
Feeling uninspired? Check out these books.
The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and Spark Joy by Marie Kondo
Everything that Remains: A Memoir by The Minimalists
Each anniversary that passes always brings some familiar feelings and thoughts. I always contemplate over the previous years and find myself amazed at how our story has developed in the pass x amount of years. This day marks seven.
Fabian and I were both students in Great Lakes, Illinois, when we met at the ages 19 (me) and 21 years old. I reflect upon how fast (five months after we initially got together) our friendship and relationship progressed into an eternal commitment to each other and raising our beautiful daughter. Like most young married couples I know, they will tell you that it’s definitely a challenge, but it can be a very meaningful one in hindsight.
At the age of 19 throughout my early twenties, I felt this need to grasp tightly to initial feelings. I couldn’t comprehend what marriage was suppose to be like, because I had never been in one. It took me awhile to figure it out and in most recent times Fabian and I worked diligently to solve this ‘mystery’ together.
We have quite the story, but I have chosen to withhold previous chapters and focus on today.
I don’t often confess to the world how I feel, but I do have to say that I am incredibly blessed and overwhelmed with love.
I love a good moisturizing sheet mask. Especially if it meets the criteria of being affordable and effective. Affordable, considering the cost of these sheet masks accumulate quickly depending how often you utilize them (as well as the brand). And obviously if it’s not effective, why even bother. Fortunately I have discovered that at the cost of $2.99, Pond’s Hydrating and Firm sheet mask are both. With agave extract, collagen and hyaluronic acid, your face is left feeling exactly what the product claims…hydrated and firm. You can find these sheet masks at your local Rite Aid, where it currently is buy one, get one 50% with a Rite Aid card. Trust me, it’s worth it.
By the way, I have to share how gorgeous these flowers are. My husband and I don’t typically celebrate Valentine’s Day, so it was a sweet surprise to come home to a large bouquet of roses. It definitely elevates the room, especially on a Saturday or Sunday morning when I am able to witness the sun actually rising and peeping through my blinds.
Just got off the phone with my mom. We were joking about how nowadays I find myself dressing more and more like her. Proof is in the yellow shirt I am currently wearing, that I recently purchased at a local thrift store due to 1) My deep appreciation for a vintage aesthetic and 2) It greatly reminded me of my mom.
Growing up I recall my mom’s closet primarily being dominated by a variety of collared shirts. Her favorite was, and I think still is yellow, so a yellow collared shirt immediately brings back memories of her in her late twenties, early thirties.
Even our hair was very similar.
But anyway, I love the look…and I love you mom!
I spent the majority of my Saturday morning impatiently waiting at a local pharmacy and then having to skillfully navigate through a crowded grocery store. Two tasks that are very minor, but by the time I knew it, half the day had gone by. In my head was a list of what I thought I needed to accomplish. What I realized was that sometimes it is perfectly okay to NOT be productive. It is okay to put the list aside and simply enjoy a beautiful Saturday…at the beach. So, that I did. Upon returning to my apartment I felt recharged and relieved from the earlier frustrations that I experienced that morning. I sometimes become so consumed with ‘this’ and ‘that’, but giving myself permission to chill is liberating.
I have a few favorites from January. Nothing too crazy. I will make this quick. My Sunday night ritual has a new addition, which is GlamGlow’s Gravity Mud Firming Treatment. I finally found a more affordable alternative to my favorite dry shampoo. Batiste! And then last, but probably the star of this brief favorites post is this $7.25 black denim jacket I purchased at a local thrift store. My search for the perfect black denim jacket is over.
Upon checking out at the cash register, the kind lady scanning my items took a brief pause to look at my Burt’s Bees Cleansing Oil (with coconut and argan oils). “How do you use this?” She asked. Aside from providing thorough directions, I found myself elaborating and raving more about this particular product. It’s not new in the market, but it definitely is a staple!
I recall a time I thought it was taboo to use oil to clean my face, but it has been the first step in my double cleanse routine prior to bed time for past few years. Massage a few pumps on to dry skin and watch the oil melt away makeup and other impurities. After washing off the remaining oil proceed to the second step, which is using a delicate facial wash such as the Neutrogena’s Ultra Gentle Hydrating Cleanser for a deeper clean.
It sounds like more work than it should, but it’s so worth it. And in my opinion, it’s a lot more economical than facial wipes.
My obsession with giving second hand items new life sparked after being an active user on the Instagram like app, Depop. While I enjoyed selling items from my extensive collection of impulse buys (now pretty much sold), I grew to embrace the idea of purchasing thrifted and vintage items. Most retail stores I typically gravitate to, try to mirror vintage styled pieces but then sell them for a higher price. Although it is a lot more time consuming, there is this thrill of searching for one of a kind clothing on Depop or thrift stores that are so much more affordable. To make the deal sweeter, it’s better for the environment (Watched The True Cost? If not, it’s on Netflix).
- In the picture above (shout out to my daughter, Luci for taking this picture), is my current favorite piece of outerwear. It is a light, oversize gingham jacket I purchased at Captain’s Helm for about $18. This shop is not your typical thrift shop like Goodwill, but still…at $18 I consider this a great find. I have seen different versions of the gingham jacket that range from $60-$1,000, but not quite like this. I love pairing it with bright colors, such as the t-shirt I am wearing underneath.
- Duckster Windbreaker from The Wonder Shop. This is probably one of the first vintage items added to my closet. There is a hood you can utilize by unzipping the collar area. The quality is legit. Like Captain’s Helm, The Wonder Shop is not your typical thrift shop. I believe this piece was $24, but I would rather wear this vs. a similar one from Forever 21.
- Leather Jacket from Disabled American Veterans (DAV) Thrift Shop. This petite leather jacket, in this gorgeous color (it’s like gunmetal blue?) with purple buttons still had the original tag on it, showing a retail price of $180. I got it for $24. I know a black leather jacket is a classic, but this is a beautiful alternative. On another note, click on the link to read more about the incredible charity services accomplished by the proceeds earned when you shop at the DAV Thrift Shop.
- Lauren Jeans Co. by Ralph Lauren button up from Disabled American Veterans Thrift Shop. For $3.95, I scored this amazing light weight, blue and orange diamond printed top. I was already imagining it tucked into dark high waist jeans. I had to.
- Floral Wrangler Top – Mall Crusher . Purchased on one of my favorite Depop shops. I can’t recall the exact price, because it was a bundled deal. I wear this top all the time. It looks pretty damn good tucked into high waist denim. Whether it’s a skirt, shorts, jeans…and then add on a denim jacket. I love it.
- Coach Purse. This item was actually given to me during a Career Women Symposium. So, not bought. The first 100 attendees to sign up for the event were able to receive a free outfit from Working Wardrobes. I happened to be apart of that first 100. The Working Wardrobes event was so much fun. I encourage you to click on the link to read more about this amazing organization.
Southern California may not be the destination to experience a traditional winter season, but that definitely has not stopped me from struggling through typical skin concerns in colder weather.
Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair. I have mentioned this product in a previous post, but no joke, I am on my third bottle. My skin always feels hydrated and glowing after each application. Pricey, yes. Tip. Save your money on other skincare items such as facial wash and moisturizer, and go big for a great serum.
Laniege Lip Mask. Suddenly I have the worst chapped lips. Partnered with consistently applying Aquaphor throughout the day, I use this leave on lip mask a few times a week prior to a good night’s rest. I purchased this baby during a layover in Taiwan, out of boredom. Thankfully I did, considering it does provide some much needed…and I mean…NEEDED relief.
Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess. For the most part I have made the treadmill my friend these past few months, in place of running outdoors. To provide a bit of warmth to my face I use this natural, oil-free bronzer. Also on the pricier side, but the product item itself is pretty big, and it will last you forever. Tip. Make sure you get the right shade for you. A little goes a long way, so selecting a shade lighter than what you need will result in more application.
Maybelline Brow Precise. Additional favorite to add to the list, because I did not think I would find an alternative to Glossier’s Boy Brow that was a lot more accessible. At almost half the price, you can maintain your brows and effectively add volume to it. I use this whenever I am lazy. And colder weather tends to do that to me.
I would like to express my gratitude to my dear friend and sister from another mister, Nova, and her beautiful family for inviting us in welcoming the new year in her lovely home…and also for the many pictures taken that night. It was a night full of love, laughter and food. To summarize, it was perfect.
A very brief history on how how I met this queen. We go all the way back to April of 2010, during an unexpected two day trip to Guam. During that time we were both in the process of preparing to depart from the comforts of our own homes and into adulthood. Our paths crossed again soon after and then years later, where she resided with us for a few months. Fast forward to the present and we currently live in the same state, about 15 minutes away. I am super blessed and extremely thankful for our friendship.
Prior to the celebration, I was in my apartment writing down some goals for 2018. Most of which were on my list for the past x amount of years, not due to the fact that I was not able to achieve them, but because I am a never ending work in progress. I always strive to do better in different areas of my life, such as self (mind, body, soul), relationships, career, education and finance. I plan to base a lot of my content for this year around these categories, in an effort to document that progress and to keep myself accountable.
Every year is completely different and 2017 was probably the more drastic year I experienced in awhile. And I say that with a grateful heart.
I hope everyone is having a great start to 2018!
“There is no right time, there is only right now.” – Mel Robbins