Sunday, January 14, 2018

Hello 2018!

We are a couple of weeks into the new year, and I am still thinking of my intentions. I am not necessarily of the "new year, new you" mentality, but I am all for self-reflection. Here are a few things I have been thinking about for 2018. I'm sure some new goals will get thrown in the mix and shared here in the weeks to come. Let me know your goals for 2018 in the comments!

My goal for the past few years has been to read at least a book a month, so about 12 books a year. This past autumn, I have kicked my book love into overdrive and doubled my goal with 28 books read this year. Now, I'm going to strive for 36 books. We'll see if I can do it! 

In 2017, we took an amazing trip to South Africa. This year, I want to keep up our international travel as well as add a few stateside trips in as well. Currently thinking about a California road trip and another Asian adventure. I would also love to go on an Alaskan cruise.
One of the most difficult things in adulthood is making and maintaining friendships. You just don't have those built in places to connect and packed calendars further complicate things. I also admit that I am a terrible texter. I've come to terms that that probably won't change, but dear friends, I have a hoard of stationery and a love for brunch-let's hang out.  

They may call it spring cleaning, but I think a lot of people agree that the new year brings a desire to reorganize and declutter. Embracing the less is more attitude, I need to give Marie Kondo a re-read and make a plan of attack on this apartment. I keep daydreaming about building a tiny house or renovating an Airstream, so even though I have a small apartment, I could simplify even more!

One of my goals this year is to sort out a grown-up version of a bedtime routine. I would love to have a relaxing ritual to end the day. Journaling, meditation, a little beauty self-care are all on offer. 


Friday, December 1, 2017

Is the Blog Back?

No. At least, I can't make any promises. All I can say is I'm trying. I never started this to make a business or even for anyone to read. Not diminishing the full time bloggers out there. I just love my day job-it's my calling. Everyone should get to follow their passions. But even if my main focus wasn't this here piece of the internet, it was a meaningful project. I enjoyed spending hours (what ends up being many hours-as above, blogging is workkk) thinking of ideas, taking pictures, and fleshing out some semblance of a story-musings of something in my life.

Until I didn't. I'd think of an idea. I'd take the pictures. I'd even upload them, edit them. But I just stared at the blank electronic page. Unsure of what to say. Unsure of my voice. Did I have anything to say? Did it matter? My finally putting fingers to keys is not a statement of banished doubts. I could immediately get stuck back in that mindset tomorrow and never post again.

My time away from this forum also doesn't represent how I felt in other aspects of my life. Of course, there are days when I don't want to get out of bed or nights when I am restless, anxious, skin crawling and unproductive. But for the most part, I've been enjoying those things I love. But keeping the posts to a snap on Instagram. And maybe an emoji for a caption. It's hard to find the words sometimes, exhausting to find the words sometimes-so I just needed the pretty pictures.


Anastasia Beverly Hills Subculture | The Ultimate Fall Palette

December 1st is still Fall y'all! And even if you are already jamming to Christmas music and basking in the glow of your twinkle-lighted tree-this palette is still perfect for the holidays. I know the Subculture eyeshadows have been making the rounds of some major controversies, but now that that has settled down...I thought I'd share my thoughts and a few eyeshadow looks.

When I first saw the color scheme of this bad boy, I had to have it. Did I know how to rock an orange or teal eyelid? Hell no-but who could resist these peacock feather, rich hues? I'd figure it out...and then, I read some reviews...which led to hours of YouTube videos of people tearing up this palette. If I was already worried about pulling off the bold shades, a troublesome formula wasn't going to help. There were a few reviews citing no concerns, so I crossed my fingers and purchased.

And I love it. Not that the critiques are unfounded, they are super pigmented shades, but I haven't experienced much of the complaints myself. I use the lightest amount-no swirling here-and plan the shadows accordingly. You can't blend a blue into an orange. But you can lay down some complementary shades for some badass contrast. Below are a few looks I've photographed if you need some inspiration!

Pumpkin Spice

Peacock Feather

Moscow Mule

Camo (& a cat)

If that Beauty Insider Holiday Reward is burning a hole in your wallet, definitely check Subculture out. It will make the perfect holiday gift for your trendiest make-up loving friend or as a treat for yourself to be holiday party ready. And if you end up being in the anti-Subculture camp-I'm sorry I steered you wrong. It was worth the shot.


Sunday, September 3, 2017

Plan with Me | September 2017

Hello September! It's my favorite time of year! Fall feels like fresh beginnings. It's also my birthday month which, for me, is  a time of thinking through new goals and future adventures.

I decided to mix it up from my usual planner and test an Erin Condren Life Planner. I have heard so much about these planners, but the style didn't seem quite for my neutral loving self-until the neutral version came about as well as the hourly layout. My personal Filofax was great for jotting down an appointment and keeping a few to-do's, but lately, I have been wanting to take a bit of a deeper dive into my time and seeing what I can make from each day.

Additionally, I wanted to live more in the present and celebrate the little things. I had been following Paper & Glam on YouTube and on Facebook for a while, and finally made the jump to ordering some stickers. Couldn't resist the fall colours and the cutest of icons to make even cleaning dishes look glam!

Erin Condren $10 off code |  referral link
Paper & Glam Stickers  |  Shop 

Hope you enjoy this plan with me and the start of a new season! 


Thursday, August 31, 2017

GRWM | Everyday Make-up

I'm on a video roll! Today, I thought I'd share a "getting ready with me." Just an everyday look with my go-to products!

Too Faced Shadow Insurance 
Milk Make-up Highlighter 
Wet n Wild photofocus Foundation in Nude Ivory 
Glossier Stretch Concealer in Light 
Too Faced Brow Envy 
Wet n Wild Eyeshadows in Nutty, Brulee, & Panther 
Hourglass Ambient Lighting Edit 
Physician's Formula Eye Booster Liquid Liner 
Tweezerman Rose Gold Eyelash Curler 
Physician's Formula Kohl Kajal Eyeliners 
Julep With a Twist Lash Boosting Bamboo Mascara 
Bite Beauty Fig & Rose Gold Lipstick


Sunday, August 20, 2017

Video | Power Hour Clean with Me

My apartment needed a little pick me up. I loveee watching "clean with me" videos, so I thought I'd try making one.

Cleaning Supplies | 
I buy all my cleaning supplies from Target. I love Method brand and Mrs. Meyers.
Diffuser & EO | Muji
HelloFresh Referral Link 

Thanks for watching!

Monday, August 14, 2017

Review | Onzie Flow Yoga

I had been in real need of some new yoga outfits. My current workout wardrobe was constantly being rotated in and out of the laundry. I had been following Onzie on Instagram, and a few yogis who seem to always be repping their stuff. I loved how many neutral colored yet bold designs they featured. They are high quality with a price tag that's way more affordable than brands like Lululemon. Think $50-60 dollars per item. Every so often they have a discount code which is when I ordered. You can also find their stuff on which is where I ordered to get the Petunia print that was off season. I have also seen Onzie at Nordstrom Rack-the difficulty there is finding your size.

These photos are some real awkward timer shots, but I hope they give you a sense of the fit and movement of these pieces. I really can't wait to order some more. The fabrics are super luxe with edgy design details. They also passed the hot yoga test with regards to moisture wicking. I will say I prefer wearing the Ballerina capri in a non-heated, not so sweaty sesh as the fabric has a more cotton/sweatpant feel (despite not being cotton-they are just more cozy feeling). It showed a bit of sweat marks during class though instantly were dry after leaving the room. I also realized I prefer long pants for hot yoga, so I am not slipping when holding my shin or ankle (trikonasana). The high rise legging are perfect for that since they are long, skin tight, but super movable. They are so sleek, it's almost like water. The bra is full of details with the darting, high neckline with chest cut out, and X back. They have so many awesome strappy selections. And speaking of straps, I just love the lace ups on the side of the ballerina capri. I ordered an XS in the pants and a S/M in the bra.

Ballerina Capri in Stone

(I feel like I am in a Thinx ad...)

Open Heart Bra in Black 

High Rise Yoga Leggings in Petunia

(Both the fox & I are headless)

What are your favorite styles or prints from Onzie?

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Birchbox | August 2017

My August Birchbox arrived! I loved the summer sunset design, so I had to bring back the nail art. I have matched my mani to my box a few times- (The first time here; and here; and here) I can't believe that was two years ago! Anyway, back to 2017, here's the box & the nails!

I picked the curated box this month. I love a good mask, and this one came with the pur-lisse Blue Lotus Seed Mud Mask and a hair mask, Living proof Restore Mask Treatment. I also have had the amika Bombshell Blowout Spray and enjoyed it and the color of the Stila liquid lipstick looked gorgeous.

With that said, after 5 years of subscribing, I have canceled my subscription. I was tempted to when they had changed the point system but kept going to see if it would still "spark joy". And after a few months, sometime not even sharing the box, even on Instagram,  I realized it was time to try something else. I was just receiving too many of the same brands over and over again, and ones I couldn't use because of their stance on animal testing. That doesn't mean I'm done with monthly beauty boxes! I have decided to try out Petit Vour. It just seems to be a better fit for my beauty profile. I will still order from the Birchbox shop-they have a great mix of beauty and lifestyle products, promos and gifts with purchase, and I love their limited edition boxes. I am just ending the surprises.

Let me know what beauty subscription boxes are your favourite!

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Sephora Favorites Skin Super Foods

I was able to score this here beauty. All the heart eye emojis...It's been quite difficult from what I hear online, but lucky for me, the city is full of Sephoras. I was ready to do my thang and take pictures and write a post. And then, I had a little sense of adventure and decided to try my hand at making another YouTube video. I mean at some point it has to click and get a bit easier? Anyway, hopefully you enjoy, and it helps in case you are thinking of making a mini road trip to get the Skin Super Foods set!

Tarte Maracuja Oil
Tatcha Luminous Dewy Skin Mist
Josie Maran Cosmetics Whipped Argan Oil Face Butter
Tata Harper Regenerating Cleanser
Boscia Luminizing Black Mask *Not cruelty-free
Farmacy Honey Potion Renewing Antioxidant Hydration Mask
Youth to the People Age Prevention Superfood Mask
Herbivore Botanicals Coco Rose Body Polish
Kopari Beauty Coconut Melt

Have you picked this up? What are some of your favorite products from these brands?


Thursday, August 3, 2017

Another little Glossier haul

Super excited for these new little things. I tried everything right away, but some things I need a few more go-arounds before I can make a proper review.

My main focus was trying the Glossier Perfecting Skin Tint and the Stretch Concealer. I was running low on my usual skin make-up items and wanted to have something in a more natural skin finish. The light is a perfect match. The Skin Tint is just that, a lightweight-basically water-like-hint of color. The Stretch Concealer is full coverage but keeps a dewy, natural finish. I need to try these out a bit more before I can reach my final verdict.

I love my skincare, especially masks, so I had to pick up the Mega Greens Galaxy Pack Detoxifying Face Mask. It reminds me of the old-school face masks-you just need the cucumber slices. I didn't think I needed another lip balm product, but a balm dotcom sneaked in my order. I went with coconut, and I have to say it's my new favorite thing. Plus, the packaging is great.

What's your favorite Glossier product?


Monday, July 31, 2017

Beauty Field Trip | Glossier Showroom

I made a little order from Glossier  some time back. I was super intrigued by the brand and was excited to test out some of their cult products. But like any beauty addict, I wanted to try more. I figured I'd take advantage of my NYC location and visit the showroom to swatch some things before purchasing. My first mistake was going on a weekend-there was a pretty long line, especially considering the summer heat. But once on the penthouse floor, it was fun to explore the Instragram ready space.

At least with the line system, it wasn't too crowded on the floor, so you could take your time deciding on the shades you wanted. I was eyeing up the foundation and concealer, so I definitely wanted to check the color match and feel the texture. I also ended up with a few other things-stay tuned.


Sunday, July 30, 2017

Birchbox | July 2017

Hello again! I am trying to get back on the blogging wagon. I feel like summer is a time when schedules become a bit unpredictable and despite doing a lot of cool things, both beauty and life, it's hard to find the time to put the thoughts into words. Last night, I annotated a calendar to try to get myself organized with blog ideas.  I thought I'd start with sharing my July Birchbox with you before August rolls around.

Box Breakdown
Oribe Matte Waves Texture Lotion
Avene Cleanance Expert
Beautaniq Beauty Blush Serum in Sunrise
Bobbi Brown Beach Eau de Parfum
Marcelle 3-in-1 Micellar Gel Eye Makeup Remover

Overall, it looks like a very summery box befitting of the theme. I am always excited to test out new skincare, and it's cool that the blush almost doubles as skincare. Oribe has super luxe hair products, but I haven't tried anything in lotion form-just the black canister hair sprays. And of course, you can't get more summertime than Bobbi Brown's Beach.

What did you get in this month's BB?


Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Pantry Organization & Vitacost Staples

I've been in an organizing mood, going through everything I see. Unfortunately, my tiny NYC apartment doesn't allow for many options. Not only have I been trying to physically organize my space, but I have also been trying to organize my head space-pretty much just my life. Between commuting, early morning yoga sessions, long hours at work, and a (sometimes) active social life, I need to streamline the grocery shopping, meal preppin' process. Otherwise, it would be Thai take-out every night (though typing it out now, doesn't sound like a bad thing...)

So I thought I would share how I set up my tiny "pantry" aka the cabinet above the stove, and a few of my staples I order from Vitacost. Online ordering and quick shipping is so convenient and having a few of these staples lets me whip up meals with limited fresh ingredients. So I'm not tempted to sign on to GrubHub.

Superfoods | I love ordering superfoods from Vitacost. If I am watching a healthy YouTube channel and an ingredient piques my interest, I can compare different brands, think about sizes, and check prices. So much cheaper than going to Whole Foods, and it prevents you from impulse buying all the things. I'd much rather see the crazy bill in an online check-out window where I can then proceed to *remove from cart*. Some of my favouries: Goji Berries, Maca Powder, Pumpkin Seeds, Chia Seeds, Cocoa Powder. Also thinking about ordering some Spirulina next. 

Bulk | Quinoa, cashews (for vegan mac&cheese or protein energy balls), cous cous, oats are all items that routinely get added to the cart. Then, I can refill the jars. In addition to cashews, almonds, pine nuts, really any nut, you can order for a good deal and size. I have also ordered canned items (beans, coconut milk), though I can usually find these in my grocery store for roughly the same price. 

Bars | Great to have on hand, and a box usually lasts me a while. I love the Kind bars to keep in my bag or office for a quick snack. I also order Preston's Cliff bars, so he won't steal mine. He could eat a box of Kind bars in like 2 days, defeating the whole purpose of an individually wrapped bar. :) I also like to order the individually wrapped almond butter packets. Throw one of those and an apple or banana for a portable snack.

Spices & Oils | All those cooking ingredients that I really don't want to have to think about having to buy when I'm in the aisles of the grocery store. That is how we ended up with 4 jars of Paprika. My grocery store has a really good selection of various oils and spices, but if yours doesn't, Vitacost has your back. Avocado oil, nutritional yeast, pink salt, coconut oil are my staples. 

Non-pantry related, but vitamins and beauty products are also available. I can't help but sneak a new beauty item in with my orders. Vitacost also runs a lot of additional discounts and promos. I try to order when one is happening to maximize the savings. 

If you want to try Vitacost, here is my referral link that will get you $5 off (and me too).
What are your pantry essentials? 
And let me know if I should share other kitchen areas- thinking maybe the fridge next? Or teas & coffees?

Monday, June 5, 2017

Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser & Boy Brow

You can tell I took this pic awhile ago with the winter sticker...Oh well, that means I have had plenty of time to test the products out! Here is the quick review:

Boy Brow | Definitely adding this to my arsenal of favourite brow products. I have been using it non stop. It makes it seem like you have naturally perfect eyebrows. It doesn't give a bold brow look, but if I am doing a bolder brow, I like to use it to fill in the beginning of my brow to have a nice fading in effect.

Milky Jelly Cleanser | Even after using this for several months now, I am not sure what to think.  I haven't been wowed, but I don't not like it? It leaves my skin feeling clean and hydrated. It does an okay job removing make-up (doesn't quite remove all mascara, liquid liner). The texture matches it's namesake, and you only need a little bit of product per use. I think I just am not a fan of the scent-it's unscented fragrance wise but the scent reminds me of putty. Sorry that my description of this is not much help ;P

There are a few more products I want to order. I am curious about the super serums, and I want to try more of their coloured make-up products. And for the awesome stickers, of course.


Saturday, June 3, 2017

Birchbox Refresh + Reset Limited Edition Box

I am so behind on blogging! I just got back from South Africa, and I can't wait to share the photos. But before that I needed to catch up on my backlog of post ideas that I took the pictures for without quite making it to the writing. First up, I wanted to share Birchbox's Refresh + Reset box. It's been on the site awhile now, but who knows when it might sell out!

Box Breakdown
Eyeko Sport Waterproof Mascara 
HUM Nutrition Raw Beauty Green Superfood Powder - Mint Chocolate Chip Infusion 
ARROW REFRESH On-the-Go Cleansing Cloths 
Avène Thermal Spring Water
Living proof. Perfect hair Day (PhD) Dry Shampoo
R+Co ANALOG Cleansing Foam Conditione
S'well 9 oz. Bottle in Amethyst Quartz
Pointe Studio Jett Grip Light Socks

I love when Birchbox does a bigger box with a theme. There is always a mix of beauty and lifestyle goodies at a great price point. Whether you want to sample everything yourself or give as a gift. I've been back on a fitness kick, so I was already digging the theme of this one. Additionally, I had already tried most of the products included and knew I loved them. You can't go wrong with a Swell bottle. You get most of the cost of the box back right there. I have accumulated a couple of Swells but just had to have this cute mini size.

I actually ended up bringing a lot of the beauty items with me on my trip since they were the perfect size. The Arrow Refresh Cloths and Avene Thermal Water were perfect for the long-haul flight (and after hiking and camping!) Dry shampoo is always a good thing, and the R+Co Conditioner is a fav. The Eyeko mascara gives your lashes amazing length and lasts all day while still keeping lashes fluttery. I mainly do hot yoga, so the socks won't be necessary, but they are great quality and would work well for some home practice. Maybe for practicing some up the wall inversions with the non-slip sole... Finally, the box also includes a few packets of Hum Raw Beauty in Mint Chocolate Chip. These packets are perfect for adding to a smoothie to make it taste like a milkshake. I blend it with almond milk, extra greens, and frozen banana and top it with some cocoa nibs. Yum.

Anyway, definitely check this one out. I feel like all the products are everyday essentials, even when not at the gym.