2017 resolutions: makeup, fashion, home, and creativity

It’s almost the end of January, but I thought it’s still early enough in the year to discuss them. Honestly, I don’t think that you need to make resolutions at the beginning of the year; you can make them at any time of the year (or so I tell myself because I always make resolutions past the start of the year).

Let’s jump into it!

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video game filled weekend | pax west 2016

Over Labor Day weekend, I attended PAX Prime West at the Washington Convention Center and I had a blast. It was four days basically filled with walking around, trying out new games, seeing new tech and, overall, just having fun. Sure, by the end of each day, I was exhausted…we hardly ate and the one day that we did eat (which happened to be the last day), I felt amazing afterwards. So tip number one: keep nourished. It will help you keep on going for longer.

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looking back: a year in seattle

a year in seattle: city skyline

I cannot believe that it’s been over a year since I moved to Seattle. It’s been a crazy whirlwind, that’s for sure. I have yet to regret the move — especially since the move was a big one, without help from family or friends.

There has been a lot that happened in just a year:

i adopted a cat, who completely changed my life. Luna is my whole universe and I love her more and more each day. Adopting her made me feel a little less lonely in a big city and has taught me to be more patient.

i changed jobs. I haven’t talked about this yet on the blog, but when I moved to Seattle, I was a Marketing Specialist. Just under a year later, I transitioned to a Visual Designer role, which is more aligned with my passions. I went to school for digital media, so it’s nice to go back to my roots and do something creative again.

i upgraded apartments. After living a year in basically a studio, I knew I needed a bigger place. Moving in general is pretty horrible and it gave me a lot of anxiety, but I think this was worth it. Sure, I live outside of Seattle right now and do have to sit in traffic to and from work, but the upgrade in space more than makes up for it.

i fell in love. Another topic I haven’t touched upon on this blog, since it’s a bit more personal, but I did start dating someone here. I won’t say much, other than he’s my Superman.

finally, i feel like i’m home. One of the hardest things about moving to a new city is that it’s hard to call the new place home. Sure, there are times where I miss something from LA or from Hawaii, but I don’t regret moving here. It’s a place I’m happy to live in for a long period of time. I don’t find it boring or hard to do things (which was a common feeling I had living in Hawaii). Washington is just a wonderful state to live in.

2016: the year of focus

always the optimist

I have written this post in my head over and over for the last couple of days and I finally had the a-ha moment that made me realize what I was trying to say:

I just need to focus.

It was only until I realized that I was constantly worrying about the same things over and over:

  1. I needed to figure out if I wanted to stay in the apartment that I am currently living or find a more affordable place.
  2. There were two large vacations I needed to plan for just in the beginning of the year.
  3. I’ve been starting feel like I wasn’t doing anything creative any more.

These thoughts of worry would come in waves – to the point where I just needed to lay down and want to cry a little. However, I knew that crying wasn’t going to be the answer and the only way that I could really work through the worries is to pinpoint how I could improve these feelings of anxiety.

So this year, I’ve decided instead of creating a laundry list of resolutions (that I know I am not going to finish anyway), that I would focusing on three big things: home, finances, and spirit.

For the home, I want to be able to make the move as seamless as possible – starting with tidying my apartment and doing an overhaul of the things I own. I think my first clearing my surroundings, I can then clear my mind. Also, there are aspects about the home I want to explore more: cooking, baking, DIY-ing…though I probably will suck at anything DIY. I want to make my apartment feel less like an apartment and more like my home.

For my finances, there were a lot of things that I was thinking about in conjunction to the vacations. I needed to save for the new apartment, while still paying bills and paying off my student loans and debt. I want to focus on my finances in bite-size pieces and come up with a plan on how I can achieve multiple financial goals at once.

And finally, for my spirit, I’m going to refocus my blog a little and talk more in depth about these two aspects of my life. I feel by having a channel to share my learnings (and failures) in re-focusing and invest more time in my blog, the creative juices will start flowing again. I have left this blog without an update for so long that I feel like this new motivated push will help me come up with interesting (and hopefully inspiring) content.

I hope you come along for the journey – and I hope by focusing on these three things, I can share a bit of my world with you.

‘Til next time, xoxo

confidence and being okay in your own skin

learning to be confident

This post has been sitting in my queue for quite a while and I think it’s time to talk about a topic I’ve strayed away from: body confidence.

One of the things you might have noticed about my blog is that there is no posts where I’m pictured in them. The main reason for this is I have a lot of body confidence issues and just haven’t felt comfortable with photos.

I have been trying to learn to be okay with my body and I think starting a blog where I am putting myself out there was sort of my first step to that. There is just something about sharing your life that makes you feel more confident, so I’ve decided to share why I have body image issues and what I’m doing (and will be doing) to help me not be so insecure.

I pulled these images from my instagram – but here’s just a sampling of what I look like. I have been about the same weight and build for the last two-ish years now, so weight has not really been my confidence buster. But one thing you will notice about my photos is that my left arm is actually not fully developed. Like the Lady Gaga song, I was born this way. I get asked a lot what happened? and my answer is always the same – “this is just how I was born.”

I try to be tough about it. I’ve had 25 years of dealing with it. But there is just a lot of times where I feel like I’m so different. It’s hard for me to buy coats and long sleeves because it just doesn’t fit right. Not to mention whenever I try to do something that slightly resembles physical labor, someone jumps into help. It kind of makes me feel helpless. Kids stare at me funny and are sometimes scared. But I get it – I am different.

And being different is hard. I know that everyone has something about them that they don’t like. And it’s not that I don’t like my arm. I love it. It’s me and it’s a huge part of my life. But even then, I feel like I will always be an outsider. Before, I used to pretend it didn’t bother me. Now, I realize that technique doesn’t work. It feels like a weight on your chest and I hated that feeling. So I’m trying to be okay in my own skin and embracing my flaws.

Sure, I’m different, but different is good.

so how do i try to make myself feel more confident?

One thing that I have been trying to do to help me feel more confident is just to keep my head high and back straight. I used to (and still do sometimes) slouch a lot. When I’m at my desk, I realize that I’m slouching and will instantly correct myself. I don’t know what it is, but I feel better just doing that. It gives me a boost of confidence and I don’t feel so mousy.

Also, I’ve tried smiling – even when I’m alone. It’s just an instant mood booster. I think it tricks your brain a bit, but hey, sometimes, you gotta just smile to feel better.

Finally, I repeat little mantras to myself. I know that sounds weird, but I’ve talked about mantras before – and I will actually say those mantras out loud. The quote above is something I’ve thought about a lot – confidence comes from loving yourself. So repeat after me: be the person you love. Do things you love to do and do them for yourself.

I know this is a pretty heavy topic for a musings post, but I wanted to get this out there because I eventually want to be posting some of my looks and just of me in general because I feel like this blog lacks a personal touch. This means that there will be more pictures of myself, plus hopefully some videos – that’s something I have always wanted to do, so I’m working towards that being a goal. I want to be more open in this blog and I feel like this is a huge first step for me.

Thanks for listening/reading – and I hope some of my techniques help you. Tell me your body confidence tips in the comments below.

’til next time, xo!

briefly

#nationalicecreamday with trader joes

Happy Friday!

This week has been a bit slow for me. I haven’t really done much, other than doing a lot of shopping and testing out some new foundations. I’ll be doing a blog post on my drugstore and high end make up hauls and first impressions soon.

It was #nationalicecreamday on Sunday, so, of course, I dug into some trader joe’s cookie butter ice cream (pictured above). It’s crazy delicious and has actual chunks of cookie butter. I put some macaroons from whole foods in there to give it even more sugar. Best. Idea. Ever.

I can hardly believe that the month is coming to an end. I feel like it was just June and now it’s almost August?! Crazy. Soon it’ll be fall, which means I get to visit my sister in Alaska! I am really pumped about it.

Grace from the stripe featured this delicious recipe for lobster rolls…if I wasn’t so afraid of cracking my own lobsters, I would make this in a heartbeat.

How adorable does Jenny from margo and me look in Paris? She gives me such travel (and bangs!) envy…one day, I’ll make it to Paris. One day. I never thought I would dig skirts with those cut outs, but she really pulls it off!

What have you been doing, reading, watching, etc this week?

’til next time, xo!

briefly

naked smokey and warby parker glasses

[su_heading]Happy Friday![/su_heading]

It’s been a while since my weekly briefly post. I am (hopefully) getting back in the swing of blogging, so you should be seeing more of these types of posts in the future.

ICYMI: The B Bar has it’s monthly blog linkup and the topic was our hidden talents. Check out all the bloggers who participated.

I have been reading Aziz Ansari’s Modern Romance – a book I had no idea was going to be filled with actual research. It’s amazing how much work he put into it. Pick up your copy here.

Also in my reading queue: Harper Lee’s Go Set a Watchman. To Kill a Mockingbird is one of my favorite books, so I will definitely be reading this one next after Modern Romance.

Urban Decay released the coveted Naked Smoky palette (pictured above) and I snagged one the day it was released. I am a huge fan of the smoky eye look and the palette is a mix of mattes and shimmers – and super easy to wear day or night.

How has your week been? Let me know in the comments below!

photo taken from my instagram

blog linkup: my hidden talents

blog link up - my hidden talents

I haven’t participated in The B Bar’s blog link up in a while, but this month’s question sounded fun. So, this month, I am answering the question:

What are your hidden talents?

remembering song lyrics with one listen – one of the things I learned while taking teaching classes is that I’m an auditory learner. You would think I would remember everything anyone would ever tell me – nope. My brain remembers song lyrics. It’s extremely distracting, but it makes singing along really fun. I often times find myself thinking in song lyrics and have been able to figure out songs better than Shazam. Sure, this talent isn’t super helpful with real world problems, but it is quite fun.

i have a great poker face – the thing is, I don’t use it for playing poker, but it’s really handy in real life. Most people don’t know when I’m freaking out (super handy during work) or when I’m replaying the latest episode of game of thrones in my head (because I’m still internally sobbing about Jon Snow). Granted, it also means I suffer from RBF most of the time, because I don’t always look outwardly happy. But, when I look sad, I’m probably not (unless I’m still thinking about Jon Snow).

seeing patterns wherever i go – maybe this is because I love math, but I can see patterns in things. I don’t mean I can tell what ikat is vs chevron, but it’s like I can see number sequencing or how things fit together. It’s so hard to explain, but it’s kind of a cool talent. It makes seeing the world fun. It’s like counting or visualizing things in a different way.

So what are your hidden talents? Plus, if you want to see other bloggers’ talents, check out the links below!

Alyssa J Freitas
Annie Reeves
The Not Quite Adult
Equal Parts of a Whole
Life Modifier
soak and simmer
Carrie Loves
Otherworldly
Emilie Lima Burke
Knowing Kelly
Something Good
PreppyPanache
Cassandra Monroe
Ember & March
Rossetto
Feathers and Stripes
Leigh Clair
Southern Soul
All The Pretty Stars
Perfect Enough For Us
Mrs. on the Move
The Toppy Top
Mint Julep Girl
A Minimalist Blog
Beauty and the Pitch
Meg Biram

’til next time, xo!

on growing older: stop to smell the roses

There’s just something about birthdays that make you stop and think. You think about the past year, changes you’ve made, things you want to do…you basically think about everything.

I guess turning twenty-six isn’t a big deal. It’s not like turning 21, where you could finally drink. Or 18, where you are an “adult” (a term I use loosely, because even know, am I really an adult?). But it finally means for the first time, I’m closer to 30 than I was to 20. Now, things are feeling a little real.

And this is when I start to think…am I doing all that I want to do in my life? I made a list of things that I wanted to do for my 25th year – and I don’t know if I really accomplished any of them. I’m not doing yoga, but I am working out. I’m sort of eating healthier, but I can’t seem to cut sweets out of my life. And I am definitely not streaming…so my confidence level has not gone up. Oh – and the blogging twice a week? Yep, not doing that currently.

I think part of the problem was I was focused on trying to do all these things and not really enjoying doing it. If I want to make positive changes in my life, I have to enjoy the changes while it happens.

So – this is my resolution for my 26th year – stop and smell the roses. Stop. Live. Enjoy.

I’ll be posting smaller posts of all the little things I’m enjoying, including restaurants, movies, and random places I have visited. It’s time to enjoy what I’m doing, and the changes will come.

’til next time, xo.

photo from my instagram, taken at universal studios hollywood’s the simpsons’ ride.