April Favorites

I had been no joke studying, studying and well, more studying. This is the first weekend in a long time that I am not obligated to crack open a book and bury myself in it. It’s pretty freeing. I asked myself Friday evening, “What can I do now?” The answer? Cuddle up on our living room couch after eating Japanese take out food from Hooked on Sushi (please, if you’re in the Carlsbad or Encinitas you have to try it) and watch the last installation of The Maze Runner trilogy, The Death Cure.

I’ve collected a few favorites over the month of April.

The Flower Fields in Carlsbad, California. In celebration of my daughter’s birthday, my good friend Nova suggested we take her to this insanely gorgeous tourist attraction that is exclusively open from March to May.

Dr. Jart’s Tiger Grass Re.Pair Serum (picture above), I purchased at Sephora. It cleared up the redness that I was experiencing around my eye and cheek area. I remember seeing this item literally everywhere on social media late of last year, and it’s only now that I understand the hype of it. It really is a miracle worker in a 30 mL bottle.

Getting Curious With Jonathan Van Ness. One of the first episodes I listened to was one he did back in 2016 with author and therapist Stan Tatkin, “How to Navigate Dating and Love?” Listen to it! Jonathan Van Ness is hilarious, with great insight. Definitely check him out.

Lastly, I talked about studying…so I thought, why not include this Pilot P-500 Extra Fine pen. I get very particular of what I use to write.I take this pen everywhere, and when I loose it I can be so dramatic.

Hope everyone has a great start for this week and well, this May. 🙂

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New Additions

I saw a medical provider a few months ago after suffering from what I initially thought were simply seasonal allergies. While I’m sure that has contributed to my misery, she told me I had eczema.

I was advised to switch up the products in my beauty arsenal, which made me even more sad about my newly discovered skin condition. At this point I’m desperate for some relief. Hence, I’ve simplified the products I utilize and opted for a more sensitive skin focused regimen.

My search for gentle alternatives has led me to find these two favorites for the past few months. Please keep in mind I am not a dermatologist, and I can only speak on my own experience.

La Roche-Posay has currently been my #1. Specifically their double repair moisturizer with SPF and their intense soothing cream. Both products are super gentle, and doesn’t sting my face like most products do with my current situation. A bit on the pricer side, but very much worth it.

What I’ve Been Up To + Getting Older

I have dedicated a majority of my time studying. Hence, the lack of attention I’ve been giving to this blog. This weekend I decided to give myself a much needed break, and focus on having some quality time with my family and give me time to make another brief update.

A few days ago was my 27th birthday. My perspective of aging as altered over the years. I recall feeling a slight resistance to getting older, preferring to stay one age forever. 22 sounded good to me, but now I see that my early twenties consisted of a lot of indecisiveness and that I was too caught up in the past and creating a picture of my future, that it was difficult enjoying my present. At 27, I can’t say I’ve mastered “life”, but I am more accepting of the fact, that nothing is permanent. I’m not the only one getting older. Everyone around me is. All I can be is 1) in the moment and 2) grateful. And that I am.

I came home to this beautiful bouquet of calla lilly bulbs that my husband surprised me with. I love flowers, but this particular kind is deeply sentimental to me, as it was this type of flower that was used to adorn the venue of our wedding reception seven years ago.

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On another note, I wish everyone a great week! 🙂

 

 

Thrifting Again (Small haul)

In continuation for my love of searching for amazing thrifted finds, I gathered a few pieces from the last few weeks to share.

  1. Floral top – Looks pretty dreamy tucked into highwaisted jeans. With the first button unbuttoned. The floral design reminded me of something similar from Reformation.
  2. Black knitted tank – Hugs the body comfortably. It looks basic, but the quality is 10/10. Found this for a dollar.
  3. Yellow/Navy plaid blouse – Or can be used as light jacket. Not a big fan of plaid, but the combination of these two colors work so well. Additionally, it’s surprisingly versatile with a lot of items in my closet.
  4. Salvatore Ferragamo shoes- Super chic, and elevating to any outfit. When I purchased this, it literally looked like it was never worn before. The bottom of the shoe gave it away, but still.
  5. Black leather square toed ankle boots – Another staple in any closet. I’ve been looking for a pair just like this (see above photo).

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7 Year Anniversary / Reflections on Marriage

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.

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Dressing Like My Mom

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!

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A Clean Face Ft. Burt’s Bees Cleansing Oil

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.

 

Favorite Thrifted/Secondhand Finds

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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).

 

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.

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Old & New Favorites

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.

NYE and Welcoming 2018

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

 

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