Back with another Friday favorites weekly roundup.
FIVE FRIDAY FAVORITES
My New Couch!
If you follow me on Instagram, then you already know that I purchased a new couch during my week off. My old couch had a good run, but it was time for something new. I am so obsessed and in love with my new couch that I don’t even want to leave the house because I just want to spend all day lounging on it. It’s bigger than my last couch and a lot more comfortable. I love the sectional because it gives me the perfect corner to lounge and work on blog posts. Ugh, I’m just in love.
New Pant Silhouettes
Is this not one of the most unflattering photos of me? But, I was so in love with these pants I wanted to share. I’ve just been in the mood lately to try different pant fits like straight and crop wide leg, etc because I am just over basic skinny jeans. Will I still wear them? Yes, obviously. But, I’ve just been more open to try something different. I loved these pants that I picked them up in this pink and green. I actually ordered them on line to get the petite version so they will be more cropped on me. I also picked up these joggers that I’m really excited about.
Work/Life Balance :: After Work Dates
I mentioned last week that I started a new job this week and so far I have been loving it and really enjoying learning everything. Plus, the work/life balance has been great so far. At my previous job, I would leave around 7 or 8 and barely had time to eat when I got home before bed. But, so far, I’ve been getting out during normal hours and have actually had time to live my life. Yesterday, Eddie and I headed to Brookfield, by the WTC to have dinner. It’s been so long since we’ve had a little date so it was nice. We both got Umami burgers and fries and then walked to Fulton Place for bubble tea.
Gong Cha Bubble Tea
If you’re a long time follower, you know that I am ride or die for Vivi Bubble Tea, but recently I’ve been gravitating towards Gong Cha bubble tea. I’ve just been feeling like Vivi has been too sweet lately and the Gong Cha one has more flavor. They even have a lot of different varieties of other teas I want to try. I’m still a true Vivi fan, but I’ve been enjoying trying something different lately.
Canvas Tote Bag
I have a thing for small bags. Seriously, the smaller the better. So I like to carry my favorite crossbody to work, but it doesn’t always hold everything like my book and planner and essentials. I’ve been using like free canvas bags as my “extra” bag but I didn’t like how flimsy they were and I just wanted a good canvas bag to hold my extras. I picked this one up from a boutique at Turnstile in Columbus Circle and I absolutely love it. They have a bunch of different texts, but I really loved this New York one. So much so, that I also got the matching sweater and it comes in a tee as well. If you are ever in the Columbus Circle area, I highly recommend visiting Mulberry & Grand, they have so many cute pieces.
THIS WEEK WAS
I was really nervous to start my new job because it’s something new and unknown. Plus with my social anxiety, I just knew it was going to be a challenge and adjustment. But, honestly, I have really been loving it so far. I love my manager and I feel like I’m learning so much already and I just feel like it’s a good step in the right direction for my future. I know I have a long way to go and lots more to learn and to adjust to, but I’m feeling really excited and inspired and hopeful on what’s to come and taking it one day at a time.
I mentioned in last week’s Friday Favorites that my mind is fully on spring & vacation fashion. I’ve been doing a ton of online “window” shopping and wanted to share what I’m eyeing by retailer. Last week I shared my Abercrombie & Fitch and Urban Outfitters picks and this week I’m sharing my Nordstrom picks.
Watching… Trying to finish up my Marvel movie marathon with Eddie. We’re going to watch the second Avengers movie today.
Listening… R.I.P by Sofia Reyes, Rita Ora & Anitta, All I am by Jess Glynne and the new Jonas Brothers song Sucker have been on repeat.
Reading…Match Made in Manhattan. It’s pretty slow so far and I’m having a hard time connecting with it so I’ll keep you posted on my thoughts.
That’s all from me today!
Thank you so much for reading and stopping by. Hope you have a great weekend!
I just want to start off by saying thank you so much for all the supportive DM’s I received on Instagram about starting my new job. It was very much appreciated and helped with my anxiety over starting something new. Everything is going great so far and I’m really loving the company and learning about everything. As part of orientation, I’m off to spend today in the store so I’m quite excited to learn more about the company and the customer first hand.
Anyways, I wanted to keep things casual and conversational for today’s post. During my week off last week, my “me week” if you will, I spent a lot of time working on my blog and it really got me thinking how much I love having my little corner of the internet. So today, I just wanted to share a quick post on why I love blogging.
I’m gonna be real with you for a minute. I have thought about quitting blogging many, many, MANY times.
I won’t go too much into it in this post, but contrary to popular belief, blogging is hard. There are so many aspects that go into it and it’s so much more than just taking a pretty picture and posting a photo. You have to make sure your website is easy to read, the speed is up to standard, the design is appealing, SEO friendly and equipped to handle anything that this crazy and unreliable technology can throw your way. And you not only have to work on creating original and useful content, but then promoting that content and trying to get people to read and stick around and basically want to be your friend. And don’t get me started on Instagram. I’ll stop because I’m going off on a tangent. But, it’s a lot.
And there are so many times where I felt like I was freezing my butt off in the cold to take photos or staying up late at night working on blog posts while I dozed off just for nothing. It’s hard when you get caught up in the numbers and comparing yourself to others. But, again, that’s not what today’s post is about. It’s about why I love blogging.
Every time I thought about walking away from blogging or chose to take extensive breaks, I just found myself missing having an outlet to share my thoughts and my style. An outlet where I could pour my creativity, passion, time and effort into.
It’s no secret that blogging can be profitable. A lot of people get into it just to make money and it’s painfully obvious who is doing it to make a quick buck. I’ll let you in on a little secret, I barely make money from my blog and yet I can’t walk away because it’s something I do for myself and something I love.
I started Live Laugh Linda as a recent college grad and intern. I felt lost, kind of culture shocked going from taking naps mid day between classes to working full time and I felt like I had no control over anything. I was bottom of the totem pole in terms of title’s at work and for a lot of my career, I felt like the bottom of the food chain.
But, through all that, I had my blog where I could get creative and come up with ideas and didn’t have to run it by anyone for approval. It gave me a platform to share my highest points, my lowest points, lessons I’ve learned over the years and my love of fashion and beauty. It pushed me out of my comfort zone and it challenged me, but it also comforted me when I felt like I was losing control of everything else.
Living in New York City and working in the fashion industry is hard. Sometimes you feel like your voice isn’t heard and like you’re not important. Especially since I struggle with anxiety, I tend to retreat into myself and I just appreciate having a platform and outlet where I can share anything and everything and feel like my voice is heard.
So to sum up today’s post and answer the question, why do I love blogging… I love blogging because it’s something I do for myself. Yes, I want people to read and I want to provide style inspiration and life advice and all that, but even when the numbers aren’t favorable and it feels like no one else is on the other end of this computer screen, I feel like I accomplished so much by just putting myself out there and seeing ideas and posts come to life and challenging myself to understand things that were once foreign.
That’s all from me today.
Thank you so much for stopping by and reading! Hope you all have a great rest of the week!
Today is my first day at my new job and I am a mix of emotions. Excited, but also absolutely terrified so wish me luck and please send any good vibes my way!!
I’m really excited about today’s post because I am finally sharing an in depth post on my small “office space.” And I use the word office lightly because honestly it’s just a small corner in my apartment that I took over and decided that this is where I’m going to set up shop. I’ve changed small things around here and there over the years and I am finally really happy and content with my current set up. So I wanted to share some photos and details of what I keep on my desk and why and a few tips on how to create the best work space for yourself.
I used to do all my blog work sitting on the couch and quickly realized that I was nowhere near as efficient as I could be. After coming home from my full time job and sinking in on my couch, I would quickly fall asleep sitting up. So, at the bare minimum, I really wanted a desk. I picked up this white desk from Target a few years ago. I pretty much walked in with no game plan and knew I wanted a white desk and didn’t want to spend a lot of money. I think this was maybe $100 and pretty easy to assemble and I’m still happy with it to this day.
My original work space went something like this:
When I first set it up, I had it rotated so that my back was to my all art and I faced out towards the living room. But, I really didn’t like how it looked and how it seemed to take up so much room in my living room. Plus I would always push it in towards the wall when I finished working and would have to pull it back out when I wanted to work and it was just too much.
I also didn’t have a real desk chair. I had some random, old ripped up one from an old dining set and it was so uncomfortable and quite frankly, ugly.
My wall art, I loved at the time, but looking back realize it was a mess. It was honestly a big mix of stuff that I had accumulated while working at Cosmo. I had two prints that were not framed, that I just hung up. One large print that was super preppy and not my style. One print talking about wine and I barely drink wine. And then I had an NYC print that I had purchased and actually still love, but the frame was black and it clashed with my two white frames and two unframed prints. A mess.
I was also thick in my magazine days back then so my desk was an ever-growing stack of magazines and honestly a dumping ground for every colorful, fun, sentimental trinket that crossed my path.
I started to resent my desk space honestly. It didn’t make me feel inspired or happy or in the words of Marie Kondo, it didn’t spark joy like it once did. So a big goal for me in 2019, was to spruce it up, stop hanging on to every old thing and invest in my work area.
So, a few notable changes I made:
I flipped my desk so I now face my wall art and my decorations and I honestly like it so much better. For starters, I used to just stare at the back of my decorations and it just looked messy and cluttered. I also think it fits my living room space so much better.
I finally got a new chair, which I shared back in January. I am obsessed with my green velvet chair. It is so pretty to look at and so freaking comfortable.
I got rid of the magazines I keep on my desk because that is no longer a part of my life and again in the words of Marie Kondo, they just didn’t spark joy anymore. #ThankUNext
What’s funny is that, at my full time job, I love a clean and clear work area. The more white space and empty a desk looks, the better. I just feel like I can’t focus and work when I have all this clutter around me. But, at home, in my personal space, I like being surrounded by fun and colorful things that I love and that inspire me and remind me of a good memory.
So, on the left side of my desk, I have:
A pink Laduree box with a rose on top that I think is so pretty and it’s where I keep some of my new neck scarves and hair accessories like bows and scrunchies.
A Victoria’s Secret train case where I keep all my beauty samples that I need to try in there. I like it because there are three compartments so I can divide the samples up by skincare, makeup and hair care.
A selection of smaller fashion “coffee table” books that I’ve accumulated over the years.
A Harry Potter coin bank that I picked up on a random trip to Target. I mean, come on, he was too cute not to come home with me and you guys know how much I love Harry Potter.
A lucky bamboo!
A pineapple jewelry plate that was a gift from my previous coworker. On the plate itself, it says Hello Beautiful and I think it’s so darling. I keep my everyday pieces there for easy access.
A little pink door that I picked up last year during my Puerto Rico vacation. It looks just like the doors in Old San Juan and makes me so happy.
A pink moped that I picked up in Vietnam. The most common mode of transportation in Vietnam is via moped so this really reminds me of Vietnam and is so cute.
The Grinch funko pop! A gift from my mom this recent Christmas. The Grinch is my absolute favorite. I can watch it year round and recite all the words. But, especially when December hits, I’m watching it on repeat, with the occasional Elf break.
The bottle of Veuve is a new addition. It was a gift from some coworkers on my last day of work and I just though it was so freaking cute not to display. And I love the pink/orange color combo.
You can’t see in this photo, but behind that I keep and old Starbucks cup when they had limited edition designs so this one has sunglasses all over it and I keep pencils and pens in there.
And lastly, I keep my pink elephant that can hold my phone or iPad while I work. I like that there is a spot for me to store items too so I keep my glasses cleaner and some small scissors in there.
I obviously use my desk for work so I have my laptop, iPad and my planner. I’m quite OCD about organization so whenever I finish working, I make sure to push my chair in and stack my planner and laptop so the space looks nice and organized.
On the right side of my desk, I have:
A pineapple candle that is so cute and smells so good. I’ve obviously never burned it because I want it to keep it’s shape, but I have dropped it before so it’s kind of dented on one side.
Another pineapple, but with sunglasses on. I love anything pineapple related, but I go wild when it’s a pineapple with sunglasses on. It’s just so cute, I can’t handle it. Anyways, this is actually a hand sanitizer holder that I like to keep on display. The sanitizer in it is actually pineapple scented too.
I keep three small notebooks on my desk, partly because I like how they look and partly because I like to keep notebooks on hand in case I want to write down an idea or thought. The orange one is special to me because it was a gift from my best friend when I left Teen Vogue.
On this side of my desk, I also keep a selection of books, but these are books that I’ve read and love so they get a spot on the desk. Towards the bottom I have the entire Crazy Rich Asians series, then I have the entire Brooklyn Girls series, my favorite book of 2018 Playing with Matches and then Mindy Kaling’s book because I am obsessed with her.
My polaroid camera because it’s too cute not to be on display and I loved taking polaroid photos in Puerto Rico.
I was so excited when I found this album frame at Urban Outfitters. I had all these polaroids from my vacation and didn’t know the best way to store them or display them and thought this was perfect. There is still room for more photos in the frame and I like that I can flip to other photos based on my mood or what color scheme I’m going for.
I have a jewelry box from Vietnam where I store some of my favorite pieces.
I have a limited edition Mickey box from when I bought some Disney jewelry last year and I also keep all my Mickey jewelry in there.
More funko pops! Blair Waldorf because she is an icon and my Queen. And Gidget from the movie Pets. If you haven’t seen the movie, her character is really sweet and she is obsessed with the dog next door and she gets quite tough and sassy when she has to save him. I just love a powerful female and Eddie and I joke that our relationship is pretty much like Gidget and Max so that’s that on that.
How To Curate The Best Work Area For Your Small Space:
First things first, it’s important to make the most out of your space. If you’re like me, you don’t have the luxury of a full office space so you have to really get creative. Which is why, I use my desk not only as a work space, but as a vanity to do my makeup. I also use it for storage since I keep little boxes and trinkets on my desk for me to store jewelry and accessories. I also keep a large ottoman underneath my desk which serves as a foot rest for me and more storage for random items.
Understand how you work best. At home, I work best when my space looks like a photo straight from Pinterest which is why I love to keep it heavily decorated and colorful because that’s what inspires me and helps me work. But, if you work best with an edited and clean space like how I am at work then decorate accordingly.
What’s your brand? I think it’s important to understand what your brand is or what you want to convey to others because once you do, you can create a space for yourself that will help you create and enforce that brand. For me, some important parts of my brand is that I love all things colorful and I strive to be personal and share personal stories on my blog. So I created a space for myself that is colorful and that features personal trinkets that make me happy like items from my vacations and things that I love like NYC, Disney, pineapples, etc. And I find that, that helps me create content that stays true to my brand.
Make sure it’s not only photo worthy, but practical. When I first created my desk space, I was more so concerned on how it looked and it wasn’t really practical. Frankly, it was more of a hassle to work on my desk space than not. So be sure to create an area that works for your needs in terms of storage and space.
Don’t be afraid to experiment and move things around until you’re happy. It took so much trial and error until I was finally happy with my workspace not only with how it looked, but how functional it was.
I like keeping a calendar nearby to help me plan out my editorial calendar and obviously just to help me understand what day it is (lol). Eddie gave me this one to me as a gift for Christmas and I adore it. Each month is a different Disney movie and I love seeing which movie each month is going to be. You guys also know how much I love Disney so I love having this touch incorporated into my work space.
I found Jamel’s (Melsy’s Illustrated)) artwork at the end of last year and was absolutely obsessed with all her prints. I knew I wanted to update my wall art, but kept putting it off because I couldn’t narrow down which prints I wanted. But, I finally got my act together and I’m really happy with the outcome.
I picked this one because I’m almost always sipping on Starbucks with my head in a book.
I just liked how this one looked and how pink it was. Plus, it was a Valentine’s Day print and you guys know how much I love that silly holiday.
I picked this one because I loved the colors, the skyline and again NYC related plus I personally love a straw hat in the summer.
I hope you enjoyed this thorough walk through of my small work area and it inspired you to create the best workspace for yourself. I apologize if this was all over the place, I just wanted to share my “desk journey” if you will and the story behind a lot of my little trinkets.
Thank you so much for reading & stopping by! Have a great week everyone!
It’s been a while since my last Friday Favorites post. With the weather being so cold and it being pre daylight savings time, I was stuck in a rut and unmotivated. But, since the sun is finally shining and it’s been a while since my last roundup, I finally have something worthy to share, so here we go!
FIVE FRIDAY FAVORITES
Leaving Victoria’s Secret
If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen I recently left my job at the Victoria’s Secret corporate office. I’ve been pretty vocal here on the blog and on social media how much I loved my job and the people I worked with and the company itself. But, my position and the company have changed so much over the last year and I found myself getting too comfortable, not being challenged, feeling stuck and overall feeling in a rut.
So when an opportunity came knocking on my door, as cheesy as it sounds, it just felt like a sign. Leaving was a really hard decision because I really did love the people and my experience there and it was truly bittersweet. I was very emotional on my last day especially seeing so many people come to wish me good luck and say goodbye and bring gifts or write me emails. I’m always in my head and my own world so for people to make me feel special and valued, it was just really nice.
I’m a little sad at the moment, but I’m also a mix of hopeful, excited and even scared, if we’re being honest, on my next steps. I’ll definitely keep you guys updated when I get settled into my next position.
I decided to take a week off before I started my new journey. Pretty much everyone around me was telling me it would be the best thing to do and I’m happy I listened. I was feeling a little burnt out and I just needed some me time and time for me to just be lazy and do what I want. This week, I stayed home and slept in, ate everything in sight, took naps with Kenny, and binge watched The Real Housewives of NJ, re-watched the Taylor Swift concert several times and flipped through random YouTube videos. Plus I got my hair cut, bought a new couch for my apartment, bought new notebooks for my new job and I’m just feeling really refreshed.
Pineapple Face Mask
This was a gift from my boss on my last day at work. I had tried the Sephora clay masks, but have yet to try their sheet masks. I have a complicated love/hate relationship with sheet masks. I feel like I don’t necessarily see differences because it’s a one and done kind of thing. I also hate taking it off after 10 minutes and throwing it away. I just feel like I’m wasting it and there is still so much product to be used. Like I said, complicated. But, I was excited about this one because I am obsessed with pineapples and this mask did not disappoint. It smells so good!! And it felt really good on the skin. Again, I didn’t see any big skin differences, but I like the way it made me feel. It made me feel so bougie and relaxed and like I was at a spa so I may pick up more just because I like the experience.
Morphe Store Opening
They just opened a new Morphe store at my local mall and I’m so excited. If you follow the beauty community on YouTube, you know Morphe is always talked about. Good or bad, they are everywhere and on everyone’s radars. I’ve enjoyed the products I’ve tried in the past and I really appreciate the price point, but I always hated ordering online and paying for shipping. So I’m so happy about the store opening and it did not disappoint! I picked up the new Jeffree Star collab sponges which are amazing and the setting spray which I love so far. They also sell Jeffree’s brand in stores so I picked up another liquid lip. I’m just really excited and can’t wait to try more of their products.
Everyone has been complaining about daylight savings this week and I just don’t know why! Granted, I had the luxury of sleeping in and relaxing at home this week, but still, I love daylight savings. The sun is out longer and when I leave work it won’t look and feel like midnight anymore. I suffer from seasonal depression and I truly thrive in the sun and in warm weather so just having the sun out and feeling like spring is within reach is making me so happy.
My mind is fully on spring and my upcoming trip to Puerto Rico. I don’t know if the current weather agrees with my mindset, but all I can think about is spring fashion.
I’ve been doing a lot of online “window” shopping lately, i.e I’m scrolling through every site although have yet to make a purchase. And I figured the best way to share my spring picks would be to organize them by retailer. So today I’m sharing what I’m eyeing from Urban Outfitters, which shockingly has some amazing pieces and Abercrombie & Fitch, which you know is one of my favorite brands.
I’ve been running low on all of my favorite skincare items so I’ve been dipping into the different samples I’ve received from my Sephora Play box. So I wanted to share what I’ve loved so far and what I plan to purchase the full size version of.
I’m late to the vitamin C serum train, but I really like how this one made my skin look.
I’ve also been looking to pick up a new fragrance and after running around Sephora smelling everything, I’ve narrowed it down to three options, all from Jo Malone. I think this one is my favorite, but I also love this one and this one.
Watching… I’ve never been a big Marvel/Superhero movie kind of gal although my boyfriend is obsessed with the franchise. But, this week I was on quite the Marvel kick so I googled a list of the best order to watch the movies in and Eddie & I have been working through it. I have a major crush on Captain America! But, more on brand, I’ve also been binge watching The Real Housewives of NJ on Hulu, keeping up with the current season of The Real Housewives of NYC and watching the current season of RuPaul’s Drag Race. There is a Vietnamese queen this season and she is everything!!
Listening… I’ve just been listening to Taylor Swift honestly. I’ve been watching her Netflix concert special on repeat and my family has gone on strike because of it, but I’ve just been on a Taylor kick.
Reading… I am embarrassingly behind on my 100 book goal but anyways I’m finishing up Matchmaking For Beginners by Maddie Dawson and about to start Match Made in Manhattan by Amanda Stauffer. My all time favorite read of 2018 was Playing With Matches by Hannah Orenstein so I’ve been on quite the “matchmaking” book kick lately.
HAVE YOU READ?
When I opened up to my doctor about my anxiety, he recommended looking into Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. I’ve yet to take the plunge, so I really appreciated Arielle opening up about her CBT experience. It was so relatable I wanted to cry, especially when she talked about her fear of flying.
I just discovered Tiny Love Stories from The New York Times and I can’t get enough. Some stories are so cute they will make you cry, some will make you laugh and some are just cringeworthy, but I can’t get enough.
I start my new job on Monday. I am a big mixing bowl of emotions. Scared, excited, nervous and hopeful so please send all good vibes my way!
I also spent this week trying to get ahead of blog posts since I know I struggle managing the blog when big life things are happening so it won’t be radio silent over here next week. I’m especially excited because I keep talking here on the blog about wanting to update my desk space and I think I’m finally done!! I really love the outcome and I’m finally sharing my work area next week.
This weekend, Eddie & I will probably continue our Marvel marathon. It sounds cheesy, but we spent a lot of time together this week and I’m really enjoying his company. He really is such a sweetheart.
That’s all for me! Thank you so much for reading and stopping by. Hope you all have a great weekend!
I took a teensy bit of a blog break for a week and a half. Partially because the winter blues have hit me so hard and I’m feeling a little uninspired and desperate for a tropical getaway. And because I’m in the midst of some personal life changes that I needed time to process. Thank goodness daylight savings is next month. I feel like being able to leave work without it being pitch black outside will help breathe some life back into me!
Today, I’m back with another makeup post. Specifically for the girl not really into makeup. So if you wear it just for work or for photos or feel like you have to throw a little something on every now and then and even for the girl newly into makeup that’s just trying things out, I’m sharing some basic makeup essentials.
K-beauty strikes again. This product is incredible and the absolute essential for the girl not into makeup, but who still wants/needs makeup. It comes in three shades, fair, medium to tan and their newest one which is caramel. It’s basically a white cc cream that adjusts to your skin tone when you apply it. Which is wild, but incredible. Especially if you have anxiety about picking the right foundation shade like I do. Since this is a cc creme, it’s not going to look super cakey and makeup like on your face. It really looks like you just have flawless, radiant skin. You guys know I take my skincare very seriously so for the most part I have pretty clear skin. But, I really struggle with redness and even though this is light, it really does help cover my redness. I apply this with my fingers like moisturizer and it’s just incredible.
For those days where you just look a little too tired. This product really helps conceal that and helps brighten under the eyes. You can apply this before concealer to really help get rid of dark circles or even wear it by itself. I’ve applied this alone with no concealer and then locked it in with translucent powder and I really like how bright and awake they made my eyes look.
I think we can all agree that we struggle with dark under eye circles. I really like this concealer because it not only covers dark circles, but the formula also has anti aging properties and sunscreen. It’s also feels lightweight and is easy to blend out so you don’t get the cakey feeling or look. You can pick up your shade and lightly apply some under your eyes and blend it out to conceal or you can pick one shade lighter and apply under your eyes to not only conceal but to highlight and brighten your face.
Such a staple in any makeup bag. Whether you use a cc creme, a bb creme, a tinted moisturizer or full on foundation, you have to set your makeup. I have oily skin so it’s essential for me to set my whole face, but even if you have dry skin, you need to set certain areas to ensure they don’t move like around your nose, your mouth, your forehead and under your eyes. Like the name suggests, its a translucent powder so it does not have any color. It’s not concealing anything, it’s just locking in your makeup and smoothing everything out. I’m currently using this one, which is okay, but I swear by this cult favorite one.
This product smells like summer! Bronzer is another product that can be scary if you’re new to makeup. When I first started, I wouldn’t approach bronzer with a ten foot pole. But, now it’s become such a staple for me and my favorite product to apply. I really like this one because it’s light and natural and you can really build it up rather than it applying heavy off the bat. It used to be available in only one shade, which was “bronzer,” but now it’s available in multiple shades so you can really pick which one goes with your skin tone and your comfort level.
Don’t let the mix of colors scare you! This blush just gives you a natural flush. It also has a bit of shimmer in it which I find nice. Most highlighters these days are super blinding because that’s the current beauty trend. But, if you’re going for a simple and easy makeup look, a blinding highlighter doesn’t really go with that look. This blush adds that natural flush and natural glow.
I used to be a die hard Benefit fan when I first started getting into makeup. I think their packaging is so fun and they make some really great staple products. It honestly used to be my goal to own every single product they sold! Girl Meets Pearl is a liquid highlighter, which sounds scary, but I promise you it is not. You twist it and some product comes out on top. You take your ring finger and dab it into the product and then pat it onto the high points of your cheekbone to blend it out. You can wear this over makeup and even by itself because it adds the most natural and prettiest glow.
Eyeshadow can seem super scary if you’re new to makeup. But, I think having at least one go-to palette is essential. I really like this one because the colors are warm brown tones which most people feel comfortable with. I think there is also a nice combination of light to dark brown shades and a selection of shimmer shades so you can really play around depending on your comfort level.
My absolute favorite lip product that I suggest to absolutely everyone. This is similar to a liquid lip, but it doesn’t really dry down so you don’t get that super drying feeling on your lips. But, it also stays on pretty much all day. Perfection is my personal favorite color because it’s a dusty rose color that gives you the “your lips but better” look.
I like to think of this as “adult lip balm with some color”. It moisturizes your lips and even has sunscreen so it protects them as well. When I was younger, I went to an outside concert and was so sunburnt at the end of it and my lips were so swollen for like a week. I couldn’t figure out why and then I realized my lips had gotten sunburnt too! So I love that this has sunscreen in it. It comes in a variety of colors, but my personal favorite is the rose. The colors are pretty sheer, but you can for sure build it up a bit. It gives you that “just ate a red popsicle” kind of effect, but there is also a sheer one if the color isn’t for you.
If I was stuck on a deserted island and could only bring one thing, it would probably be mascara. It’s such an essential to me and I wear it even when I have no makeup on. This one is by far my favorite and I have repurchased it multiple times. I really like how they lengthen and add volume. The formula isn’t too wet or too dry and it’s also not too clumpy or too fine. It’s just the perfect middle ground and it makes your lashes look amazing.
Thank you so much for reading! I hope you enjoyed today’s post.
And thank you for putting up with me during my small blog break!
How often do I say I’m excited for a post? Honestly, pretty much every single post. But, I am extra excited about today’s *photo heavy* post featuring one of my closest friends, Liz.
Liz and I have known each other for over two years and we met while working at Victoria’s Secret together. She has since moved on to a different company, but we still kept in touch and have built a really strong friendship.
If we’re being honest, I don’t have many friends in my life. I’ve been burned in the past and it’s made me quite jaded. I normally keep to myself and keep the wall up when I meet new people and I rarely let people in. So the friendships I do have in my life are very strong and very important to me.
Liz & I constantly talk about my blog and she is incredibly supportive. She’s not a blogger herself so I really appreciate her point of view and how she challenges me to look at things outside of the “blogger bubble.” She’s a fellow only child so we bond over our “only child-ness” even though she’s weirdly extroverted. She used to always joke and ask me when she would be featured on the blog or the gram so I figured she would be the best guest for a Galentine’s Day post where I share what I consider the 5 most important rules of friendship.
BE HONEST… ABOUT EVERYTHING
If you’ve read any of my past posts about friendship and relationships then you probably know that honesty is the most important thing to me. I had an experience in the past where my close friends would smile to my face and act like everything was fine and then behind my back would share their true feelings and speak really poorly about me. It’s something that hurt me so much and one of the reasons why I’m so jaded when it comes to friendships. So, honesty is so incredibly important if you want to have a genuine relationship with someone.
I think if someone is a true and genuine friend, you should be able to be honest with them about everything. I know that if I ask Liz for feedback on my Instagram or what she thinks of a blog idea that she’s going to give me her real opinion. And she knows that if she asks for my opinion on something she wants to buy or is wearing that I’m going to be honest. But, deeper than that, I know she’ll call me out on my BS and vice versa.
My point is, if someone is a true friend, you don’t have to worry that you don’t know what they’re thinking or that they’re thinking something different than what they are telling you because they will actually just tell you to your face. You should be able to be honest with your friends and tackle issues head on rather than running around telling everyone what you think of someone rather than telling that someone.
Can you tell I have PTSD from my past friendships? Rant over.
It’s nooooooooo secret that I am an awful texter. I think I’m in the mood to have text conversations maybe once a month. Sometimes I’m just busy with my weekly routine and so exhausted by the end of the day that I just don’t want to talk. And sometimes, I get in these moods where I just want to isolate myself. It’s just me. I prefer a phone call to a text and I prefer being in the moment than having a phone glued to my hand. I’m weird, I know. It’s truly nothing personal. It’s just me. It’s self preservation. It’s self-care. It’s just me.
I had a friend who would get so mad at me for not texting and would constantly and repeatedly text me and be mad at me and this was at the height of my depression. And when I would text her back she would just be stand offish and mad and rag on me for not texting.
So, I think being a good friend is taking the time to understand your friend and understand what they need or why they do what they do.
Last week, I was super stressed and anxious and apparently I wear my emotions on my sleeve because even through gchat, Liz could tell. She literally said to me “I can feel your nervous vibes via gchat.” I was floored!! But, more than that, I was really blown away that she called me out on it, let me work through my emotions, offered her support and then moved on rather than getting mad at me or making it about her.
BE THEIR BIGGEST FAN
Shoutout to all my friends who believe in me and build me up when I’m not strong enough to believe in myself.
A few noteworthy shoutouts:
Dana & I have known each other for almost a decade and have seen each other at our best and at our worst. But, through all that, she is one of my most thoughtful and supportive friends. Anytime I feel down about anything from blogging to dealing with my anxiety, she is always there to build me up and knows when I need tough love or gentle encouragement.
My work wife Anna & I have known each other for more than 2 years and have grown so close. At the end of last year and still to this day, I’ve been really struggling with my anxiety. She was the one who really pushed me to open up about it and help me normalize it so I wouldn’t feel crazy and wouldn’t feel so stuck in my head. And she’s also really become a mentor for me professionally.
Remember when I said I was super anxious last week? I really couldn’t have gotten through the week if it wasn’t for Liz. She really built me up and encouraged me during every single one of my breakdowns. We have an interesting friendship dynamic because we’re always joking around and making fun of one another. We’re rarely cheesy and emotional, but every now and then we have those much needed deep conversations and I always walk away appreciating our friendship even more.
My point is, a true friend builds you up and supports you no matter what. If you want to be a unicorn then I’m going to support you in that. If you don’t know how to boil water, but suddenly want to be a chef then I’m going to support you in that.
BE A GOOD LISTENER & SAVE THE JUDGEMENT
Boy troubles, work troubles, life troubles…. sometimes you just need to complain and rant. And if you can’t do that with a friend, then who can you do it with??
At work, we have this mandatory ethics workshop we have to take and in it, we learn about “actively listening.” Basically, being engaged in what someone is saying and not thinking about what you are going to say in response. And I think a good friend is someone who actively listens. Who lets you rant and cry and scream and just get it all out.
And more than that, they let you do all that without passing judgement. We can all agree that we want to be able to open up to our friends and tell them our most inner thoughts without worrying if they’re going to judge us. I never push my friends to open up if they don’t want to. Sometimes, you want to keep it in and establish your own opinion and work through it how you want before you open up. But, I do try to make it clear that I’m always willing to offer an ear and I would never judge. I may not agree with something you say or do, but I will support you either way.
I also think being a good friend is knowing what your friend needs during a rant. Sometimes it’s advice and sometimes they don’t want advice and they just want you to listen so I think it’s important to not only be a good listener, but also to pick up on their cues.
BE THE BEST VERSION OF YOURSELF
I think we can all admit that we’ve had friends in our life where we felt the need to cater to them or be someone we weren’t around them. And you walk away at the end of the day feeling gross and weird.
But, around your friends, you should be able to be yourself. You should be the best version of yourself. Personally, I am incredibly sarcastic. My jokes are self deprecating. I always try to find the humor in every situation because that’s what helps me get through the day. And I call it as I see it. I’m not everyone’s cup of tea and I get it. But, I’m comfortable enough around my friends where I can be myself. I can be as sarcastic as I want and they are not going to run the other way or get offended.
Just like you can’t change a boy, you can’t change who a friend is as a person so either take them or leave them. And if you feel like you can’t be yourself around someone then maybe it’s not the right fit. And that’s okay.
It’s my first Valentine’s Day themed post of the year! I know, I know. You and a majority of the population hate V-Day, but I absolutely love it. Pink & red everywhere and no shortage of candy or flowers sounds like a dream holiday to me. Plus Eddie always gets me the sweetest and most thought out little gifts. Last year he gave me a Mary Kate & Ashley DVD collection, a RuPaul Funko Pop, a t-shirt from one of my favorite YouTuber’s merch shop and some doughnuts. I just thought it was so thought out and included a ton of my favorite things!
Okay, I’ll stop trying to sell you on Valentine’s Day. But, today I wanted to share my date night in essentials. Eddie & I are such homebodies especially when it’s cold out so we know a thing or two about having a fun date night in at home.
Pull out the extra pillows, extra blankets, the fluffy comforter, whatever it is, pull it out! I think the most important thing when having a date night in, is creating an ambiance so you don’t feel like it’s a normal day on the couch. Sometimes Eddie & I like to throw the comforter on the ground and pile some pillows on top and sometimes we like to just pull out some extra blankets and bury ourselves under them on the couch.
Just because you’re staying in, doesn’t mean you have to throw on that stained oversized shirt and call it a night.
We all have a stained oversized shirt right? Or am I the only one with the oversized white tee with nail polish and spaghetti stains that I refuse to give up cause it’s so comfortable?
Anyways, I think throwing on a cute pair of pjs or loungewear will help create a fun date night in vibe and again really differentiate from a normal lazy night in. I can’t get over how cute and comfortable this sleep romper is. VS has been doing the sleep romper thing for a while now and this is my first time trying it and I am in love.
Your Favorite Meal
Food brings everyone together. So whether you’re making dinner in or ordering out, start your night off with your favorite meal. It’s also nice to create excitement around the date night because you have something to look forward to at the end of a long week.
Luckily, Eddie is normally up for anything and I’m the picky one so we never butt heads. We always love getting a large pepperoni pizza or splitting dumplings & sesame chicken from the Chinese restaurant and our all time favorite is Thai food from Viv in NYC.
A Movie Night
This is an obvious date night in essential. But, Eddie & I normally have a list of Netflix or Hulu movies or shows that we want to watch, but will only watch with each other so neither one of us spoils it for the other. So we always look forward to settling in on Friday night and watching a new movie or catching up with our favorite t.v shows.
Make It A Game Night
It sounds so cheesy, but I love a game night. I picked up Uno Attack a few weeks ago and it is literally my prized possession. Eddie & I can get quite competitive so we spend most of the time laughing and arguing about what’s a rule or not a rule. And recently we’ve been really into playing Super Mario and Mario Kart on his Nintendo Switch. As much as I love settling in with a good movie, it’s nice to switch things up and do something with more communication required.
Thank you so much for stopping by & reading.
What’s your date night in essential? Or are you more of a night out on the town couple?
I had quite an eventful Saturday since I decided to venture outside of my apartment. New for me, I know. But, I met up with my friend Liz to shoot some fun photos for Valentine’s Day and it was a day filled with laughs. Plus, I still had more photos to take when I came home so it was quite a productive Saturday and by the end of the day, Eddie and I were falling asleep on the couch, exhausted from the day’s activities.
And on Sunday, I spent most of the day being a couch potato before cleaning my apartment. I skipped the apartment cleaning last weekend and I definitely regretted it. I’ve really started to see my weekly apartment clean as self care because I like the one to two hours of peace just organizing and cleaning everything and when I finish it makes me feel like I have my life together.
Anyways, I’m really excited about today’s post because it is in honor of The Lunar New Year or Tết in Vietnamese culture. This year it falls on Tuesday, February 5 and is celebrating the year of the pig. Tết is the most important holiday in Vietnamese culture and after being lucky enough to spend the holiday with my family in Vietnam a few years ago, is something that has become very special to me.
So today, I wanted to share 5 fun facts about my Vietnamese culture.
Over 40% of the population have the last name Nguyen. My mom’s last name is Nguyen so growing up I was very aware of the last name and how common it was, but had no idea that it was THE most common last name in Vietnam.
The Most Common Mode Of Transportation Is The Motorbike
Only the very wealthy in Vietnam own a car so the main form of transportation is a motorbike. If you’ve ever seen videos or photos of a Vietnamese street, it can seem very overwhelming because there are motorbikes everywhere. Plus crossing the street is like playing a game of chicken because you’re just stopping and going and trying to avoid the motorbikes while they’re trying to avoid you!
Riding on the back of a motorbike is definitely one of the highlights of my Vietnamese vacation. There is truly nothing like it. Just being in the middle of it all and feeling the wind in your face and hair and seeing all the sights without being confined to a car is so amazing. It’s also incredible to see how they carry everything on the motorbike. Between groceries and larger items, they just balance it on their lap or in the front of the motorbike and carry on like it’s nothing!
Coffee & Cuisine Play A Major Role In Vietnamese Culture
Vietnam is the second largest coffee producer in the world. And it’s incredibly popular amongst the people and even seen as a social gathering opportunity especially for the men. There are so many cafes in Vietnam. Seriously, there are entire blocks of just cafes that offer wifi and some even have hammocks for you to rest on. In the morning, most men will go to the cafe to drink coffee and socialize. Traditional Vietnamese coffee has condensed milk in it and can be enjoyed hot or cold.
The cuisine is also very important and most meals feature fresh ingredients purchased and cooked day of. One of the most well known and popular dishes is pho which is a soup containing rice noodles, a beef broth and some kind of meat. Rice is also the main feature of pretty much every meal. Growing up, rice was important in my household so it’s a mindset I grew up with so when people tell me they don’t have a rice cooker or don’t really eat rice, I am shocked!! And most Vietnamese food is grilled and contain a lot of veggies so it is seen as one of the most healthiest cuisines in the world.
Vietnamese Culture Is A Melting Pot Of Many Different Cultures
If you look back at the history of Vietnam, the country spent many years under the control of China, Japan and France in addition to the long war with the United States. And because of that, the Vietnamese culture has a lot of different influences from all of these countries. Whether it be in food or values or a certain way of living, it really is a melting pot of all of these different cultures.
The Language Is So Hard To Learn
Believe me. I have been trying to learn my entire life and all I can do is count from 1 to 10 and say Happy New Year and thank you confidently. The language has different tones and changing the tone could mean saying something entirely different. I tried to learn from Rosetta Stone and got lost on chapter 1 when they were teaching the many different sounds “a” makes based on what the accent mark looks like. I genuinely did not get it!! You can have the same word, spelled the exact same way, but the accent marks are different and it could mean entirely different things. One day maybe I’ll finally figure it out, but my future of speaking fluent Vietnamese is not looking bright!!
Thank you so much for stopping by and reading!
I hope you enjoyed my 5 fun facts and if you have any questions about visiting Vietnam or the culture, feel free to reach out.
And wishing you all a Happy Lunar New Year and good health and prosperity in the year of the pig!
My mom had this book when I was growing up and I absolutely loved it. It told you what animal you matched up with based on your birth year and every little detail you could possibly want to know based on your animal like who is your best love match and what your personality is probably like. I thought it was so cool.
But, over the years, my mom and I lost the book.
So since the Lunar New Year is coming up, I went on a mission to find this book on Amazon and ordered it immediately when I found it. It’s just so cool and so interesting to read it now as an adult. When I received the package, everyone at my job was so excited and I was reading everyone’s horoscope. I’m the year of the monkey and my mom is the year of the rat so 2020 is actually going to be her year!
January is seriously the longest month of the year and it’s only the first month of the year! But, it is finally February. You guys know I love fresh starts and the first day of a new month just feels like a fresh start.
I’m excited for February because of Valentine’s Day & Lunar New Year and have some really fun content centered around the two holidays.
Last year, I was so great and consistent at blogging in January, but fell off the bandwagon in February and then took a nose dive the rest of the year. But, I want this year to be different so wish me luck on keeping up and staying consistent!!
I recently came across this Instagram account called the Sad Girls Club that promoted mental health and created a community where people could come together to discuss their mental health and to support one another. You guys know I struggle with anxiety and occasional depression and I’m really trying to make mental health my priority and finding this account made me so happy.
So often there are quotes or people in your life that are constantly trying to promote positivity. Saying things like, you are okay, you are happy, everything is great. And while I appreciate that, sometimes you need someone to tell you, it’s okay to not be okay. And I love that this account does just that. And I love the community from it.
They recently posted a photo about taking medication for your problems and how it’s okay and so many people in the comments came forward and said they were taking medicine and how much it has changed their life or their personal story and it’s just such an amazing community.
I recognize that the photo may be creepy, but I love my huggable pug! I’m not sure if I’ve talked about this on the blog before, but this was a “just because” gift from Eddie. Ya know, a just because I love you gift.
He bought me this to help with that time of the month. You can stick this huggable pug in the microwave to heat it up and lay it on your stomach or back during your period to help ease cramps and it’s the best thing ever. You can also freeze it so Eddie also uses this when he gets bad headaches as well.
Girl Scout Cookies!
It’s Girl Scout cookies season! I had two coworkers selling cookies on behalf of their nieces so naturally I purchased from both. Hashtag Competition!! This was my first time trying these Peanut Butter Patties. I know, where have I been? And oh my gosh they are amazing. I’m stocking up!!
And in case you couldn’t tell, my period is coming up hence the chocolate craving and the huggable pug.
THIS WEEK WAS
How boring & how old am I that I like to talk about the weather? I’m not even talking, I’m just complaining about the weather!!
But, this week was so cold. I wish I could go into hibernation and stay in my flannel pjs and stay under my warm covers until spring comes. If only we could be so lucky.
Between the weather and the fact that I am PMSing, I’ve been finding it so hard to motivate myself this week. My energy is very low. But, I have some fun plans this weekend and actually leaving my house so hopefully it warms up a little bit and I get my energy and motivation back!
I haven’t shopped much this week, but I wanted to give you guys an update on the pieces I shared in last week’s Friday Favorites.
These jeans didn’t work out for me at all. I ordered my normal size, but they fit like they were two sizes too big so I just ended up returning them.
And this dress, I wanted to love so much, but it was just too big and not as flattering as I thought. It’s not as bad with a belt, but I’m just going to return this as well.
Although it’s freezing outside and we are in the dead of winter, I am looking forward and daydreaming about sun and warmer weather. So I’m really trying to find the best sunscreen to incorporate into my everyday skincare routine.
The most important skincare tip is to use sunscreen because the sun is so damaging to your skin. But, sunscreen itself is typically heavy and oily and greasy and normally I don’t want anything to do with it or want it near my face. But, I know that they have come out with a lot of amazing face sunscreens so I’ve rounded up a few that I am currently eyeing.
P.S – I’ve changed my nighttime routine a bit and I’ve just been using this serum, this serum and finishing off with this oil to try to add some life back into my dull winter skin.
Watching… The Real Housewives of NYC season 8. Other than that, there is nothing on Netflix or Hulu that is calling my name. If we’re being honest, I really just want to re-watch You!!
Listening…Maybe because I’ve been reading Dumplin’, but I’ve been on a Dolly Parton kick recently. 9 to 5 and Two Doors Down are two songs I’ve had on repeat this week.
Reading… I finally finished Dumplin’ and it was amazing and gave me all the feels. I just started Big Sexy Love by Kirsty Greenwood and so far it is amazing and I am loving it.
I am venturing out of the house this weekend! Yes, you read that right. I am in fact getting dressed and leaving the house. I’m spending Saturday with my friend Liz and we are shooting some fun Valentine’s Day content which will be up on the blog later this month. I’m so excited because we have been talking about this and planning it for forever now and I’m so excited to do it and see the final product.
Other than that, I plan to work on my blog this weekend so I can finally stop feeling behind! And play video games with Eddie. I’m really into Mario Kat at the moment!!
That’s all from me this week!
Thank you so much for reading and stopping by.
I hope you have an amazing weekend & stay warm wherever you are!
I recently did an Instagram poll to see if you guys wanted to see a week’s worth of what I actually wear to work or styled winter work outfits. For the most part, a lot of you guys wanted to see my everyday work wear. So last week, I shared an entire week’s worth of what I actually wear to work. It was super casual and super dressed down since comfort is key to get me through the week. But, I also wanted to do a week’s worth of styled winter work outfits for those of you who may have a dress code to stick to or just like dressing up for work.
A quick disclaimer that not all of these items are shoppable. You guys know I am all about looking in my current wardrobe and restyling pieces to really stretch out my closet and get my money’s worth. But, I linked similar items and I really encourage you to look at your current wardrobe and create new outfits with what you already have. I’m all about saving a buck!!
Am I giving you major prep school vibes? I’m kind of living for the plaid, school girl look!
The white button down is actually the same one I wore on Monday in my “What I actually Wear To Work.” So the biggest style tip I could ever give you, is to get you a classic white button down. You will wear it weekly if not daily because it’s so versatile!!
I threw a blazer on to dress it up a little bit more and to add some more color, but you could definitely get rid of the blazer. I also love that when the weather gets warmer, I could just wear this without the tights and with some mules instead of booties.
Wearing black jeans or regular blue jeans with sock booties are my absolute favorite look. I like how it makes your legs look so long and it really pulls an outfit together. So this is definitely my go to in the colder months anytime I have to dress up a little.
My shirt is an older purchase from last summer I believe so it’s sleeveless. But, to keep me warm I threw on this sweater blazer, which is actually my mom’s, but I keep stealing it!! She has them in three or four colors now and they are so versatile and go with everything and anything. It’s definitely one of the best investment pieces we have purchased.
I told you I have been loving plaid lately!! I especially have a soft spot for green plaid because it reminds me of my school uniform when I was younger.
I’ve been loving monotone outfits lately because I think it’s such an easy way to pull a look together and make it seem like you put in so much more effort. I’m really into green at the moment, but how cute would a pink monotone outfit look in the spring?
Same black jeans and booties because it’s easy. A top that I bought maybe two years ago, but is my favorite top because it’s so flattering that I wear it all the time. And a pink vest that I picked up literally three years ago! I used to be so into vests because I love how they tied a look together. And the pink color is such a nice change from the classic 9-5 black.
I’m trying to get into different style jeans other than skinny jeans. I want to get into straight leg jeans or cropped wide leg, but I just don’t know if I can pull it off! But, I do love these jeans so I hope I’m pulling them off.
I also love a striped top and I like that this top is dressier than a striped cotton tee. I also love Vans. If it’s not summer and I’m not in sandals, I’m just wearing my vans. I picked up these pink ones on super sale in the fall and can’t wait to really wear these in the spring.
And there’s a week of styled winter work outfits! It’s always nice to dress up a little bit more and I honestly wish I made more of an effort to get dressed for work. But, the long hours and constant running around has me just in jeans and a tee honestly.
But, I hope that if you have a dress code or like dressing up that I provided some style inspiration.
Thank you so much for reading & stopping by! Have a great rest of the week!