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For those who have been out of the loop, I recently announced a beginning of a new chapter in my life on IG and no, I’m not launching a clothing line or beauty brand. I don’t love fashion or beauty to that degree, and no, I’m not releasing any presets hah. Just to be clear, I know plenty of people who do all of these things and in no way talking ill of them or hating on anyone — it is just not my thing.

Bustle did an interview with me a month ago, in which I revealed what my next steps were.

*Recommended to read the feature first before continuing on to the backstory.

After being a full-time blogger for 4 years, I found myself questioning my purpose. I wanted to do more; I became unmotivated and really felt like I was just going through the motions everyday. I was too comfortable and while there is nothing wrong with that at all, I personally found it unsettling. I then stumbled upon @LisaOliveraTherapy’s account and found myself resonating with all her writing. I loved her style and presentation, and became more than a little obsessed over what she was sharing. I believe I started spamming my own IG stories with all her posts, LOL. However, a lot of my followers loved it too and started following her as well.

As I continued stalking her IG, I wondered, how can I be this knowledgable? How can my writing help people like this? I clicked on her website and read, “Hello! I’m Lisa. I’m a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist….” Wait, a what?! I honestly had no idea that MFT’s existed, I mean, I don’t know anyone personally who does this. I just always thought the possible career options for psychology majors would be counseling or psychiatry. I then started looking up information on MFT programs, how to become one, California requirements, schooling, etc. Literally within 3-4 days, I decided that I was going to pursue this path. That being a LMFT was what I wanted and what I believe my purpose is. Helping others has always been something I enjoyed and my blog/IG’s underlying theme has been to promote self-growth. I’ve had handful of personal conversations with people all over the world over their personal issues involving depression, family, suicide, relationship issues, etc., but always knew I couldn’t go beyond offering a phone number they can call to get further help or websites for more information — because I don’t have the professional background or means to help further.

You know when things just make sense all of a sudden? That’s exactly what happened to me and everything fell into place really quickly. The next thing I knew, I was talking to program coordinators, reviewing schools to attend, and applied before I even told KSOLE! Haha. Yeah, he was surprised.

While I will be focused on marriage and families, there’s two key things I also want to make sure I really work on during my journey and career as a MFT — to help raise awareness within Asian American and Pacific Islander communities about mental health and wellness, and to assist creatives and entrepreneurs. When I quit my job, I went through a tough transitional period and not many people could relate. In fact, I fell into a short depression during the first two years of entrepreneurship because no one tells you the truth. We hear overnight success stories and read about how people got to where they are, but there’s so much that’s left out because it’s not glamorous to talk about. As someone who has gone through the corporate transition into entrepreneurship, I feel that my background and experience will allow me to connect on a deeper level with creatives and entrepreneurs.

As an advocate for suicide prevention and mental wellness, and someone who speaks about personal depression and my own connections to Alzheimer’s and diabetes, it was only natural for me to want to go beyond donating time and money. While I am still figuring out more ways to help, I believe that being a MFT will allow me to grow beyond who I am and make an impact within my community. It is by no means, an easy career. It’ll take me 4-5 years to complete the program and my required hours, that’s assuming I find placement for my hours easily. There’s two exams required before becoming licensed and opening a private practice is not an easy task either. I have a lot of work ahead of me, however it is going to be worth it!

Does this mean I’m quitting the blog? NOPE. The first two years are pure schooling — online classes. The last two years is when things will eventually shift and something will have to give, as that’s when I’ll be interning/in clinicals. Balancing reading, homework, projects, traveling, and everything else in my life has not been too bad but I’m only in my first and a half month. I started end of May. However, I do feel a lot more pressure and have started to set more boundaries. I also have started seeing a MFT who works with creatives often so I have someone keeping me sane, and I have my personal trainer to help me alleviate tension and stress via workouts.

I know I will be learning and growing a lot through these next 4-5 years and there are going to be times where I’ll probably be crying and so stressed/exhausted too. However, that’s all a part of this path I have decided to embark on and I hope to keep you all updated once a quarter on how things are going as I want to take you on it with me! Especially if anyone else is thinking about going back to school/starting grad school, unsure of changing in any way, etc.

If there’s ONE takeaway I want to ingrain into you, it is this — IT DOES NOT MATTER HOW OLD YOU ARE, if you feel like changing your path, do it. Do not let society’s expectations and supposed standards stop you from being happy. You can restart, recreate, and redo your life AS MANY TIMES AS YOU WANT — as long as that’s what YOU want. It’s OK to be 31 and finally figure out what the hell you want to do. It’s OK to be lost and confused at ANY age, it’s normal and completely fine as long as you are taking the steps and doing something that will help you figure it out. DO NOT just sit there and think it’s going to hit you, fall into your lap, be given to you. You have to actively seek out what you want and by all means, explore all avenues that interest you. Sometimes your passion ends up turning into a job that actually burns you out, and in turn, no longer interests you. So it’s important to try a variety of things and see which one really sticks/brings you happiness.

Wishing you the best of luck in your own journey and if you have any questions about this career or your own journey, feel free to DM me on Instagram!

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By Lisa Linh by Lisa Linh - 1w ago

It only took about 3 bed frames, 2 mattresses, numerous holes in the walls, and about 6 years in total to figure out exactly how I wanted to style my bedroom.

Also, before I continue on, let me also remind you that I do live in a studio apartment so this corner is what I refer to as my bedroom.

If you’ve read my entryway refresh and reading nook post, then you already know that my apartment theme is boho chic. Wood is the key material in all my big furniture pieces and you will find faux fur decor all around for that cozy feel.

With this refresh, I wanted to invest on a good quality bed frame and mattress. My previous frames were from Ikea. No hate on Ikea, I still shop there but we all know their furniture can break pretty easily (hah). After 3 months of searching, I ended up purchasing this platform bed frame from West Elm, upgrading myself from a full size to queen. I love that West Elm’s team builds large furniture pieces for you within your home — so no assembly required on my end and they take all the boxes/trash with them.

As for the mattress, I ended up paying for a Lull, after hearing several friends rave about them. The mattress arrived within a few days, in a box, took no time getting set-up and no major scents attached. I know some mattresses do have a slight odor when initially unboxed but Lull did not (at least I didn’t smell anything funky).

After the bed frame and mattress were sorted, I went on a week long research journey on sheets. I’ve had Parachute sheets for the last two years but I wanted to see what else was out there, just to be sure. After a week of comparing 4-5 brands, I ended up picking Parachute once again. They have the most variety (in materials), I like the color options offered, their customer service is great and they have stores in LA. I ended up with a king sized linen duvet cover, a new pillow set, sateen pillow cases, and linen bedsheets. No regrets whatsoever! I stay cool and cozy every night and the cats obviously love them too.

FYI: linen does not attract/cling onto pet hair as often as cotton does, which is why my duvet cover and bedsheets are linen.

Once I got the bed situated and finalized, decorating was a piece of cake. I wanted to incorporate pieces that reflected my personality, as well as pieces that I can see myself keeping long term. As a music lover and someone who enjoys photography, I propped up some vinyls and film cameras from KSOLE’s personal collection. I also have Polaroid memories from previous trips up on my wall and I held onto the LA Times issue announcing Kobe’s retirement (Yes, I’m a Lakers fan but don’t talk to me about the last 2 years, hah). To reiterate the boho theme, I bought a mini bull skull is from my friend’s Etsy shop, Shop Jitana. In addition, the macrame hanging over my bed is also from Etsy (full details below).

So am I done decorating? Probably not. However, I’m done refreshing the bigger furniture pieces and plan on holding onto the majority of what you see here for a few years.

Does it finally feel like home though? Fuck yes. As someone who spent the last 2 years traveling and barely being at home, I can finally say that I much rather be at home than running around the world — although I won’t turn down a good trip. This apartment is an extension of me, my oasis and my getaway from the chaos. I couldn’t be happier with the turnout.

Now time to take a nap ;)

P.S. Below is a list of all the items in my bedroom, in case anything sparks interest and you have to have it too!

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A recap of my recent trip to Seoul, Korea through the lens of my Yashica T4 film camera.
Film used - Portra400.

It was my first time in Korea and to be honest, Seoul never really intrigued me and I never once had an urge to visit this city. However, after this week long trip, I fell head over heels in love with Seoul and am itching to go back as soon as possible. From the culture to the people, to the food and the technological advances, I am now recommending everyone make a visit to Seoul any chance they get.

Half of the blogger babes that were on this Korea trip hosted by AmorePacific

AmorePacific’s Beauty Campus at Osan

Our first day in Seoul was spent at the Beauty Campus of AmorePacific. We learned all about the history behind the brand, from how it started to seeing all the products (and packaging) they ever created.

Inside AmorePacific’s Beauty Campus

Kunku & I

View from my Signiel hotel room

Signiel Hotel

Our first two nights were spent at the Signiel hotel, which is owned by Lotte and located in the tallest tower in Seoul. The room I stayed in was spacious, well decorated, and featured stunning views from the room and bath tub. I absolutely loved my stay here and hope to return someday!

AmorePacific’s HQ

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Street Food

Cat Cafe

Photos shot by Lisa Linh - FILM - Yashica T4

Myeong-dong is one of the primary shopping districts in Seoul. The two main streets meet in the center of the block with one beginning from Myeong-dong Subway Station (Seoul Subway Line No. 4) and the other from Lotte Department Store at Euljiro. Many brand name shops and department stores line the streets and alleys. Common products for sale include clothes, shoes, and accessories. Unlike Namdaemun or Dongdaemun, many designer brands are sold in Myeong-dong. In addition, several major department stores have branches here, including Lotte Department Store, Shinsegae Department Store, Myeong-dong Migliore, Noon Square and M Plaza. The department stores carry many premium labels and other fashionable goods at reasonable prices.
Myeong-dong also has family restaurants, fast food, plus Korean, Western and Japanese dining options. Many restaurants in Myeong-dong specialize in dongaseu (pork cutlet) and kalguksu (noodle soup). Other businesses in the area include hair salons, banks and theaters.

- Korea Tourism Organization

Whether you’re only in Seoul for 24 hours or for a few days, do not skip over Myeongdong! I was in Seoul recently for an influencer trip and was only given one free night to explore as I pleased, so of course I made sure to spend that entire time in Myeongdong.

Known mainly for their shopping and street food, Myeongdong is always alive with tourist and locals roaming the streets in search of a good time. From cat cafes to beauty shops galore, there is literally something that will catch your eye as you walk around. While I spent less than 6 hours roaming Myeongdong, I did make it a point to do the following 5 things before I retired back to our hotel.

  1. Cat Playground

    Address: South Korea, Seoul, Jung-gu, Chungmuro 2(i)-ga, 충무로2가 66-4

    Ok, this mainly for my cat lovers. You honestly can’t miss the cafe, as you’ll see a couple big furry cat mascots walking around, showing you exactly where the cat cafe is. I’ve gone to cat cafes in Bangkok, Quebec, and Los Angeles, but I believe Myeongdong’s cat cafe has the most cats I’ve ever seen in one place. The sign says there’s 50 of them but I think it’s more around 30-35, unless the rest were hiding some where. We spent a good 45 minutes in here and yes, there is a small entrance fee and you must purchase a drink but it was so worth it.

    Slippers are provided, as well as protective bags for your shoes and purses. You can also buy cat treats to feed the kitties and the ones with blue neckties around them aren’t to be touched (because they get anxiety).

  2. Get boba!

    There are plenty of boba spots to choose from in Myeongdong, but the one I tried was Tiger Sugar (51 Myeongdong 1(il)-ga, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea).

    I went with #1, which I believe is the milk tea with brown sugar and one of the most popular drinks they have. I will have to warn that they do use real milk and you are unable to adjust the sweetness/sugar level. While it was good, I found it hard to finish because it was way too sweet for my taste (I typically do 25% sugar). I’m also lactose intolerant but had brought the drink back to the hotel to try. The boba itself was fresh and soft, but the milk tea could’ve been better (IMO).

    However, there are plenty of boba shops to choose from as you’re roaming around Myeongdong so you can also go with other options!

  3. Shop at Style Nanda Hotel

    Address: 37-8 Myeongdong 8-gil, Chungmuro 2(i)-ga, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea

    The cutest shop you’ll ever see. This hotel themed/styled store has 4-5 levels to shop from, including a rooftop and coffee shop. We spent probably an hour going through every floor, as each has a different theme and category of clothing. The first 2 levels are dedicated to beauty supplies. Not only are the prices decent, their variety of looks are also great and so we were able to all buy something we love (and there were 5 of us girls shopping). While I am sad there’s not one in LA, they do ship worldwide so you can bet I’m going to be shopping there from time to time now.

  4. Eat street food

    This one is a given! The street food in Myeongdong is clean, delicious, and affordable. There’s a great variety to choose from, including spicy rice cakes, fried shrimp, fried cheese, lobster tail with butter, desserts, and much more. Just be sure to have cash on you!

    We tried the tteokbokki (spicy rice cakes), gimbap (sushi roll), and fried shrimp. Really wish I had the chance to try more but you know what happens when you get overly excited and eat a bunch of things at once right? You get full too fast! Hah. Highly suggest skipping restaurants and eating street food here. You’ll love it so much more and it’s such an experience.

  5. Don’t forget your beauty goods!

    Okay, you can’t go to Korea and not buy beauty products right? There’s a beauty shop every few steps, so you don’t have an excuse not to go into one. Korea is known for beauty and skincare, they literally have everything for anything, for all types of body masks and creams. Best of all, they’re all decently priced.

    I went a little nuts and bought hand and foot masks for my friends, some eye masks and these amazing hydrogel patches for your legs. They are the best remedy for after long flights and I’m so mad that I did not buy more than 1 pack because I cannot find them online now. But anyways, make sure to stock up when you’re there — otherwise you’ll majorly regret it.

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Laneige Cream Skin, Lip Sleeping Mask, Water Sleeping Mask, and Mamonde Rose Water Toner

Innisfree Hydrating Serum and Eye Roll-On

Mamonde Rose Water Gel Cream

Mamonde Rose Water Toner and Gel Cream

Innisfree Hydrating Mist w/ Green Tea

Sulwhasoo First Care Activating Serums

AMOREPACIFIC Time Response Skin Reserve Creme

I recently had the opportunity to travel to Korea with AMOREPACIFIC and get a further look into their brands. If you are unfamiliar with AMOREPACIFIC, they are one of the top cosmetic brands in Korea and have been growing rapidly within the U.S. market in recent years. They’re sold in Sephora and Neiman Marcus, but you can also order directly from their website.

While AMOREPACIFIC is its own brand, it also has a wide portfolio of brands under them as well, which includes Innisfree, Laneige, Mamonde, Primera, Sulwhasoo. These are the brands I also had a pleasure exploring and learning more about during my trip to Seoul and Jeju Island.

I have to admit that I’ve always been a “one-trick pony” when it comes to my skincare routine. I firmly do believe that if it isn’t broken, then don’t fix it, meaning if the products work then why change right? During my trip, I realized that while I love the items I’m using now, I do notice a different type of glow with Asian beauty products. Mainly because their formulas are tailored for my skin specifically , therefore the ingredients are aimed to work better on Asians/Asian Americans. After two weeks of testing a handful of items that were gifted to us during the trip, I’ve narrowed down the top 10 favorites that I’m certainly will be restocking on (once I’m out).

*Please note that these are products that I found works best for my skin/skin type, which is mostly dry and acne prone. These products do work differently on everyone and I always suggest getting samples from Sephora first to try before you splurge.

  1. Laneige Water Sleeping Mask | $25

    • This is literally my favorite product ever because I’m so lazy when it comes to masking. I hate clay masks and always hate the mess those make, but with Laneige Water Sleeping Mask, all I have to do is put it on and go to sleep then rinse off in the morning. I use this at least twice a week and always after vacations/flights. It hydrates my skin every single time and doesn’t have any scents or weird textures. It’s gel and goes on transparent, no residue or stickiness at all. Highly recommend this one!

  2. Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask | $20

    • Another favorite by Laneige and this one is travel friendly. There is also a lip balm version of this that I keep in my bag at all times (Berry is my favorite flavor). Both items I cannot live without and don’t know how I did until now. My lips used to get pretty chappy and dry, sometimes crack (sorry TMI), because I am not a huge water drinker. I’m working on that but in the meantime, these two products have saved me from all the embarrassment. They have rave reviews on Sephora (6K+) and my boyfriend loves them too so get your man some as well ;) He’ll thank ya!

  3. Primera Mild Facial Peeling Gel | $23

    • I’m going to admit that I’m not huge on face peeling things but I decided to give Primera’s Mild Facial Peeling Gel a try because it seemed simple to use. so why not? Upon first use, I was disgusted — not at the product but of my face. So much dead skin came off and surprisingly, there was no burn or smell or any weird chemical things you’d expect from a peel. This literally washed away my dead skin cells and left me with soft, smooth skin. I automatically became obsessed and love using this once a week, as I don’t wear make-up on the daily. If you do, I’d suggest twice a week.

  4. Innisfree Intensive Hydrating Serum with Green Tea Seed | $27

    • I have a few serums listed on here and just to clarify, I don’t use them all at once (LOL). I alternate between serums depending on what I’m going to do for the day. When I’m at home, just working, I use the Innisfree Intensive Hydrating Serum with Green Tea Seed. Why? Because of it’s lightweight and retains moisture longer, and its water-light texture absorbs pretty quick. When I’m at home, I’m usually really passive with my routine. I shower, throw on some skincare and do what I need to do. Therefore, I want something quick and easy, that absorbs right away while keeping me hydrated all day. This one does the trick!

  5. Innisfree Intensive Hydrating Eye Roll-On with Green Tea Seed | $20

    • Paired with the above, for my work at home days, I love rolling on the Innisfree Intensive Hydrating Eye Roll-On with Green Tea Seed. It’s compact and also great for traveling, in which I use it on flights all the time. There’s no mess, sometimes excess product does squeeze out so I suggest being light on your pushes. Otherwise, I love how this is such a no-fuss product that does what it’s supposed to do.

  6. Innisfree Hydrating Mist with Green Tea | $14

    • If you don’t know, I’m a huge huge huge fan of mists! In fact, I literally just grabbed this Innisfree Hydrating Mist with Green Tea and sprayed it on me, at my desk. Hah. I have the travel size and you can bet that it’s always in my carry-on bag for flights and whenever if I’m carrying a larger handbag. I love the feeling of the mist, there’s no weird smells, it absorbs onto my skin quickly, and I feel instantly “alive”. Well, I look more alive as it gives you a healthy glow once sprayed on. I’m actually running low already and need to buy the larger one soon.

  7. Sulwhasoo First Care Activating Serum EX | $105

    • This is one of the two pricer products on the list so I totally get it if you’re weary on purchasing. As mentioned earlier, try sampling it at the stores first, to see if you like the texture. The Sulwhasoo First Care Activating Serum EX is meant to be the first thing you put on your face, even before your toner. It sets the tone for the rest of your skincare routine, activating and boosting the effects of each one. There are actually 5 different types of serums you can choose from with this line, each with different scents to pertain to your mood, but all moisturizes & provide radiance — Forest Morning, Gentle Blossom, Original, Capturing Moment, Inner Fullness.

  8. AMOREPACIFIC Time Response Skin Reserve Creme | $150

    • The second expensive item on this list and one of the top sellers of AMOREPACIFIC. There are two sizes and the $150 price is for the .5oz; the 1.7oz is $450. The AMOREPACIFIC Time Response Skin Reserve Creme is a luxurious cream, meant to fight anti-aging with antioxidant-rich green tea power that helps improves the firmness, hydration, and overall skin tone. Those who are concerned with loss of elasticity, dryness, uneven texture, and dullness are recommended to try this cream. Within the last two weeks, I’ve noticed my skin texture becoming slowly getting better and am awaiting to see what a month to three months will do!

  9. Mamonde Rose Water Gel Cream | $26

    • Yes, it smells like roses but it’s not overpowering! Of course, everyone’s sensitivity is different but the smell does not bother me one bit and I have a pretty sensitive sense of smell. I have the travel size of this gel cream and love using it in-flight. The gel makes it easy to glide across my skin and keeps me hydrated throughout super long flights (ex: 13 hours+). No stickiness, no mess. Also easy to use as you can either use your fingers or a small spoon/spatula to scoop out the product.

  10. Mamonde Rose Water Toner | $23

    • This is my forever favorite, always need in my life product out of all the things on here — ok well except for the water sleeping mask and lip mask/lip balm, those are forever favorites too. However, this is what really got me hooked into K-Beauty because I was skeptical at first. This toner has really changed my skin, I use it day and night, even have a travel version, and have recommended it to everyone. Why? Because it’s the BOMB. FYI: it does smell like roses, but faintly. This toner hydrates, moisturizes, and nourishes my skin all day long. If I’m in a rush, I throw this toner on and some serum, and I’m good. Don’t even have to use moisturizer sometimes! It’s that good, but then again, don’t take my word for it — go try it out at Sephora ;)

Bonus: Laneige Cream Skin Toner & Moisturizer ($33) is a newer item (to the U.S.) and can be bought at Laneige’s website directly. It’s not listed in Sephora yet! This is a great product for those who hate multiple steps and/or are lazy (like me). The 2-in-1 hybrid preps skin like a toner while leaving it super soft as it moisturizes. Great for normal to dry skin and can be used day and night.

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By Lisa Linh by Lisa Linh - 1M ago

Brisas

Breakfast at Brisas

Breakfast at Brisas

Brisas

El Puerto

Fortune Cookie dessert at El Puerto

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Most people think you have to have a high paying job to be able to experience the luxuries of traveling. However, that is not true at all as anyone from any tax bracket can travel. The question is, are you willing to sacrifice a little more in exchange for a trip?

Before we get into how to save, let’s go ahead and pick a destination. Where is it that you want to go? Remember, you don’t have to go far to have fun. Staycations and flights within the state are just as great as an international trip, and are ideal if you’re tight on vacation time or budget.

Once you’ve settled on where you want to go, start planning your budget. How much is the average cost for flights or a rental car (if needed)? What’s the going rate for accommodations during the time you’re planning to go? Remember, it’s always cheaper to book a trip during week days versus weekends, and during off-seasons. A simple Google search can help you find out when the busiest times of the year are for each city.

Below are a few websites I like to check for the best deals (for flights and hotels):

Be realistic about your budget when it comes to booking flights, accommodations, and activities. Budget for food and transportation, check-in bag fees, and/or other miscellaneous expenses. The key is to make sure you never get caught off-guard and end up spending more than you planned for.

Once you have an idea of the overall cost of your trip will be, start a travel fund and put 5% (or more) of your paycheck into it. The amount you put towards your travel fund is completely up to you and when you plan on going. Obviously, the sooner the trip is, the more you want to stash away.

Analyze your spending closely. Where is your money currently going and if you’re living from paycheck to paycheck, read this to help you budget better.

Suggestions: Pack your lunch everyday for work, cut down on unnecessary expenses or opt for cheaper versions/non-branded versions of things, walk or bike to work (if possible), carpool with a friend or take public transportation. If needed/wanted, pick up a side hustle or sell stuff on eBay.

Sacrificing things here and there for your trip is a temporary phase, so don’t worry if things get a little tight. It’ll be worth it once you’re on your vacation!

Originally written by Sho with editing by Lisa Linh.

About Shoshanna: Sho is a DIY financial guru, known for her money tips and advise on credit card debt and is an expert on budgeting. She's helped several people raise their credit score, pay off their credit card debt, and also assists those in their taxes. She is currently focused on her medical career, but offers financial tips on ByLisaLinh.com during her free time.

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The first impression most people make about your place begins with your entryway. For my studio apartment, it is literally the first thing you see when you open the door, so I have to make sure it sets the tone and vibe for the remainder of my apartment.

If you’ve read my post about creating a cozy reading nook, you know that I’m all about welcoming good vibes with warm tones — especially since my carpet is a forest green. Wood elements have been my best bet in contrasting the carpet, along with adding in faux fur rugs to draw attention away from the floor.

I’ve recently teamed up with Frame Bridge to redress my walls and in the process, have found 6 helpful tips for refreshing a small entryway.

  1. Add a Bench or Console Table

    Prior to the bench pictured, I had a white console table that took up 3/4th of the wall space. While it was cute and great for storage, I wanted to tie in my overall apartment theme with a wood element instead. I found this dining bench at Urban Outfitters and it just so happen to be the exact measurements of my entryway. It was easy to build and is pretty sturdy, as I do sit on it from time to time to take off my shoes. Also another reason why I wanted a bench versus console table, was so I can sit down to put on/take off my shoes.

  2. Lightly Accessorize

    Since I wanted enough space to sit down, I decided to only decorate the ends of the bench. On the right side is a basket of scarfs and a vintage mirror tray that I found at a flea market. The tray holds a small vintage book, some stones, palo santo, a diffuser, a couple pieces of jewelry, and incense holder.

    I also have a little floating shelf (I found at an estate sale) above the bench, which holds random knick knacks/souvenirs from previous trips.

  3. Hang Photos/Art Work

    I have two large frames positioned towards the back of the bench, along with a photo framed right above the bench. All frames are from Frame Bridge’s “The Shop”. The sizes of the prints on the bench are rather large, as I wanted it to be noticed right upon entering. I also chose gold and black frames to contrast the bench. The quality of the prints are amazing and well beyond what I expected. Highly recommend using Frame Bridge for any custom print work you need.

  4. Use Baskets for Storage

    On the far right corner of my bench is a small basket filled with scarves. They’re always the last thing I throw on before I walk out the door, so I figured that would be a great place to place them. Underneath the bench is another small basket where I place my most worn sandals. Again, easy access and what I usually throw on for quick errands or to grab the mail. You can easily find baskets anywhere, but mine are from Target and Urban Outfitters.

  5. Throw In a Rug

    Since I have faux fur rugs all over my place, in an attempt to hide a good chunk of the green carpet, I decided to also add in a rug on top of the bench. To give a little more contrast and some slight cushion, I placed the faux fur rug (from Urban Outfitters) underneath the vanity mirror tray and the two framed prints.

  6. Add Some Greenery

    No surprise that my last tip is to add in plants. It’s a trend nowadays, everyone’s a plant mom and unfortunately because I have a terrible green thumb, I have to settle for artificial plants. I mean, it looks pretty real to me though. I purposely placed a faux plant on the far left end of my bench so that it ends up being behind my reading chair. This kind of blocks off the view from the other side of my reading nook, creating a barrier to separate the entryway and the reading area.

    On occasion, I do add fresh flowers on my vanity tray and adding in fresh elements to any area of your home always helps brings it to life.

Those are my 6 easy and simple tips to styling a small entryway. Honestly could be applied to any size entryway. Hope you enjoyed it!

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Celebrating 4 years of being a full-time entreprenuer feels a little surreal, I still wake up and ask, “is this really my life?” A decade ago, being a full-time blogger was not a reliable option. The industry today is still being figured out, as far as guidelines goes. Plenty of brands are still skeptical about influencer marketing and no one can predict where it’ll be in the next 5-10 years.

My blog was launched January 2014 and about a year later, I took an unexpected turn and quit my full-time job as a menswear marketer for a clothing brand. You can read the full story here. Needless to say, it’s been a wild ride full of ups and downs, but at the end of the day, I have no regrets on the path I chosen. I’m 100% grateful for all of this, but I also still need to be realistic as this industry is still growing and in all honesty, all of this could be taken away in a blink of an eye.

We all saw how Instagram was down awhile ago and while my blog is pretty solid, still doesn’t mean that it can’t disappear someday. However, I’m not worried because I have 12+ years of corporate experience under my belt and I am currently working on something that is outside of all this, which I’ll announce next month.

When people tell me that they want to be an influencer, I always ask why. I do my best to really explain what goes on behind the scenes, as the fluff filled portrayal of how we live (told by the media) is never accurate. We do more than take photos and eat avocado toast, not every deal we get is huge in numbers and half the time, we don’t even get paid on time — or worse, paid at all. None of the people I know in this industry walk around with their noses up in the air, act or feel entitled, demand things at all. I also wouldn’t tolerate anyone of that capacity in my circle of friends anyways. Many of us have built long-term relationships garnered by respect and trust. We work our asses off, pour our heart into our work, allow ourselves to become vulnerable to hundreds of strangers, and we put ourselves out there to be freely ridiculed, criticized, and bullied. I mean, we’re human and we are more than a title.

While I’m celebrating 4 years of self employment, I’m also reminding myself that I’m in an industry that has an unknown future so I need to take advantage of the time I have now. Throughout the last few years, I’ve had great opportunities to travel, work with brands I’ve admired, create content and push my creative boundaries. However, the best part of these last few years are the new friendships and connections with people all around the world. Being able to give advice and tips to thousands of people, being able to help people I’m probably never going to meet yet actually talking to them about real life shit has been so rewarding. The conversations I’ve had so far have been completely priceless and I look forward to more.

Of course, the lessons I’ve learned while enjoying this entrepreneurial life have also been important. For anyone navigating life and unsure of what your path is, let me tell you that you should take full advantage of your curiosities. I did and it was risky, but if I did not quit unexpectedly 4 years ago, I wouldn’t be where I am today.

Out of all the things I’ve learned, I believe these 4 things are worth sharing:

  1. Never keep your eggs all in one basket. Diversify yourself, your streams of income, and explore all your options. You only have this one life so why not do everything you want?

  2. You are not defined by or confined to a title. You are more than what you do for work, you are more than what you’re interested in.

  3. You are human; you will burn out, get stressed out, etc. Set your boundaries, make them known, and always make sure to take care of yourself.

  4. Invest in yourself. Keep learning, growing, and expand your knowledge. Don’t know how to do something, Google it, Youtube, ask friends. Do not just sit there and pretend like there are no resources out there for you to utilize.

Blogging is not an end goal (for me), it is a stepping stone and has allowed me to further explore and discover myself. I have a lot more to learn, a lot more shit to grow through, and a lot more to share, in hopes I can help you become a better version of yourself too.

Thank you for allowing me to do something I love. Thank you for riding along with me on this journey and I hope to give you much more as the years go on.

To 4 years and many more.

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I often get asked what books I recommend and while I’m not a huge reader, I am trying to read at least one book a month this year. I figured it’s best to have all the books I’ve read lately and/or love in one place so please find my recommendations below.

*This page will be updated at the end of every month throughout 2019 so be sure to check back often!

 Autobiographies
  • Around the Way Girl: A Memoir by Taraji P. Henson

  • Never Grow Up by Jackie Chan

  • Love, Lucy by Lucille Ball

  • Shoe Dog by Phil Knight

  • Years of Yes by Shonda Rhimes

 Self-Growth + Motivation
  • 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey

  • The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle

  • You Are a Badass by Jen Sincero

  • Unfuck Yourself by Gary John Bishop

  • Crushing It! by Gary Vaynerchuck

 Finance
  • Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey

  • I Will Teach You To Be Rich by Ramit Sethi

  • The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas J. Stanley

  • You Are a Badass at Making Money by Jen Sincero

Last updated April 28, 2019

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