the best present, evar

March 23, 2015

brooklyn skyline

As an early birthday to myself I signed a lease for a studio apartment in Brooklyn. Oh yeah, if you did not know, I moved.

If you don’t know, now you know.

Which would explain my hardcore absence on my writing and well, everything. It all happened so fast – in a matter of a week, I viewed the place, got my credit approved (A big shocker, seriously.  Not being sarcastic at all), and signed the lease. I moved in three days later that week. Boxes and bags everywhere. No mattress. Nothing.

This is not some quarter crisis decision-making type of ordeal. I have thought about moving quite some time and I have mentioned it as one of my 2015 Goals I wanted to work towards. (Forgot? Let me remind you here). It was a matter of opportunity and finances aligning. Again, this was not an impulsive decision…

New York’s leasing/renting requirements are so different than California. I am too lazy to go into the full on details of the specifics, but let’s just say there are so many requirements that can trigger difficulty. You may need to involve a Broker, maybe not. It makes signing a lease in CA look and taste like sweet, ass cake!

Now, coming close to two full weeks in my apartment, it is beginning to feel like home. Truly, my own space that I can come to. It is my first own apartment in New York! Playing my music loudly without any care, roam around without pants, keeping things in an orderly fashion the way I like it, and most of all: decorating and furnishing it the way I want it.

Every idea romanticized is, well, obviously, romanticized, but the reality is this is a huge responsibility. The biggest factor was is it within my means, and am I willing to make such a commitment?!

Smaller factors were one, my apartment is a studio apartment. Translate to small space; I do not even know the exact square feet, but I justify it with: it will only be Me, Myself, and I – and maybe a cat in a few short months. Secondly, living on a budget as a twenty-somethings-year-old is another story of its own. But specifically, how does one furnish an apartment with a tight budget? I moved in with my luggages and whatever I have hoarded from the past few months from my old loft, which were Mason Jars and hangers, really. After visiting Boston last weekend, my Aunt generously purchased me a mattress!

If you are in disbelief that this happened, I can assure you that you and I are on the same page. Even after the fact.

I am really in love with my life. I would be lying to you if I said it sucked balls and if I was unhappy. I can truly sit here and complain and go on and on, but I do not want to utilize my blog as a form of negative expression. I believe in throwing out positive thoughts into the Universe, as cheesy one may deem it to be. Whatever!

This month so far has been a series of great highs; frankly, I am kind of fearful that something terrible may surface, but you know what? I am going embrace all the great things that are happening to me. I need to eliminate the whole idea of this is too good to be true bullshit.

I mustn’t let fear rob my happiness, and you should not either.

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If you look closely, it’s a sage and crystals that were gifted by my Big Sis along with my new succulent plant. Above is my little kitchen – I kid you not when I say this. The only area that is completely furnished. Although I am not used to such a smaller cooking area, I don’t cook as heavy, so this is doable.

Teaser photos, but I will share when I am completely satisfied with everything. Sorry I have not been super active on my website. So many things happening offline, and with transitions in both professional and personal, I appreciate your patience with me.

Thank you for all your kind words through instagram, love notes and text messages on congratulating me on such a personal milestone! I am truly blessed with the greatest people. More stories later (:

– C

PS: Six days until my birthday? Where did the time go? I just remembered it was 25 days?!

growing up: body image

March 15, 2015

In a recent published article, I opened with the best part about growing up is knowing your self-worth and values. You can view that article here.

Truly believe in that. In last week’s post about turning 25, I mentioned how I learned to ease the pressure of figuring it out and trying to handle my shit.

Tonight, I am going to share something insightful as well. Well, something I discovered about myself. You know how in our teenage years and maybe even today, we deal with so many insecurities? Whether it is about staying in trends so we won’t feel left out or lacking skills in our profession. The whole what if I am not good enough bullshit. They say that when you get older, we learn not to give a shit anymore about what people think, and that goes for every aspect of our lives. I am sure you’ve seen postings it on Tumblr along the lines of: the less you care, the happier you’ll be. The Tumblr community is pretty amazing and right.

I have to agree. Women in their thirties tell me that their twenties were filled with uncertainties and insecurities. Uh, yes. I concur. But being in my twenties are definitely better than my teens.

Man, I was not the same person as I was in high school. Thank goodness.

I know one thing for certain, my battle with my body image is a work in progress, and ongoing. Like every person, I have this argument with myself between having to work out or having that extra slice of pizza. Guess which one I will take? If you answered pizza, you know me damn well. I will eventually try to “work it off” later.

I have been called chubby, fat girl, and all that crap when I was growing up. I can sit here and tell you how all the bullying and name-calling impacted my self-esteem growing up, but no. Not here to share some childhood sob story. However, there is a photo below. Enjoy it.

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Here is my thought: I will never be a size-0. Ever. And I am okay with that. Finally coming to full acceptance of my body image.

Near my pubescent age, when someone identified me as a “thick” individual, I always thought they were trying to be nice about calling me “fat.” But now, I acknowledge and know the difference.

I have become proud of the physical features that I once hated so much and to be teased about constantly. For instance, my legs. I hate denim shopping -still do- because I have thick legs, but I love them because they’re strong legs. Your girl can squat. I wish I was taller so I can have long, strong legs like Beyonce, but who really can be like Bey, though? Foreal?

Basically what I am saying here is, we all have different body shapes and sizes, and as much as we are bombarded with diets, “How To Lose 5 Inches” articles, and the definition of beauty by the media, we are beautiful. If you have not caught any campaigns by Dove, then you are missing out. There is this new video about Girls with Curly hair. It’s so amazing, you must watch it here.

Self-love is not just loving yourself internally: like your mind, soul and your qualities as a person. It’s externally too, with body and all of that. I believe in health, sure muscles awesome, but health and well being comes first.

I am also starting to find the beauty in aging, too. There is a documentary on Netflix called Advanced Style, where this blogger photographs older women in New York killing it in their personal style day-to-day. You can find his blog here. That’s kind off topic, but I thought I would share that bit.

What provoked me to write such a lengthy story about my body image was caused by a conversation I was having with my Big Sis, B. She keeps reiterating how much I have grown . I have and proud of it. Another year older, a milestone-age if you will, caused me to reflect in so many ways and share these stories with you.

Hope I am not boring you. Moral of the story? Learn to love yourself wholly. Embrace the skin you’re in. But if you’re in the pursuit of that six-pack or whatever your workout regime may be, don’t self-hate in the process. All we can do is try to be a better version of ourselves, inside and out. But for me, after years of my obsession with weight and body issues, I have learned to love myself in the process.

It takes time, trust.

Anyway, I bid you goodnite. Thank you for tuning in family & friends.

– C

PS: Two weeks until my birthday. I had a meltdown today… do not ask me why. It’s petty.

 

 

 

 

 

 

international women’s day

March 8, 2015

Happy International Women’s Day!

I do not need to scream it or share my stance on feminism on all my social feeds because it’s kind there. I know some people are not transparent compared to others, but if we are friends on any platform, I share a lot of information that gives you an indication that yes, I am a feminist and I believe in gender equality. 

If you are in tuned with social media today, there are two popular hashtags that are roaming Twitter-sphere that are spreading ideas about today’s International Women’s Day. #InternationalWomensDay and #NotThere. I have linked it for you all to take a read to acknowledge the movement and the information that is being shared. Here is a breakdown for the whole Not There campaign on Yahoo News.

I know friends and people who are timid of the “F” word, because of the lack of knowledge or feel that there are certain things that define a feminist, but what I am learning about the movement and the term itself, there is no right or wrong. Sure, there is a true definition of feminism. But to me, if something does not sit will well with you, and because you are a woman, and you feel the need to vocalize yourself, then damn, you might be a feminist and you may not even know it. Or, you are having a stomach ache, but I am going to go with the first one.

Since we are on the topic of women and feminism, last night the Brooklyn Museum held an event celebrating Women and the timing was perfect. Although there were great art displayed, my objective was to see Tavi Gevinson, from Style Rookie/Rookie Mag, and Anna Holmes, Founder of Jezebel, in a Conversation. 

It was an event that I found randomly on Twitter, you know, scrolling my feed and catching up what I missed in that day. Next thing you know, I saw Rookie Mag tweeted about Gevinson’s as a speaker at some event. I knew I had to go, because she is considerably young and so established in the media. Although I was hoping she would speak more about how she became such an icon for teenage millennials, how her business took off and so forth, the conversation with Holmes narrowed down to women in media and projecting feminism through their work as creative types.

It was beautiful. I wish I was able to record the entire thing because Holmes asked such profound questions that I have been pondering myself about feminism. It was nice to know even a grown ass woman who is older, experienced and with great wisdom have thought about the same questions as I have as a young feminist. My favorite question asked was, “Do you think feminism is trendy?”

DSC03069 DSC03072And we have tossed the word “empowered” out there many times, especially as women, but you know what? I do feel empowered after last night’s event and today’s trending topics. Although, we as women, are not where we want to be exactly, it’s 2015 and today it feels good to be a woman.

And here is something I am proud to share with you all:

CHARY TNF MAGPublished on TNF Magazine – to view this season’s issue, please click here. This is so amazing! An international publication first off. Man, things are moving and shaking for me, that I am so overwhelmed…

Also, I have great news to share with you all! Remember how I was talking about taking chances and not waiting until we are ready? Well, something happened. Have no idea what the eff I am talking about? Lemme refresh yo memory here.

Until the next post. Thank you so much for reading and tuning in for today’s post. Don’t forget today is also Spring Forward on your clocks. That means, another hour until the sun sets. Yes! A lengthy post today, but I hope you got something out of it.

Oh, one last thing I promise: thank you for the tremendous feedback on my last post about turning 25. I am glad I resonate with many of you. Hope it provoke you in some way for you to ease that pressure off of yourself or reassured you to continue doing you.

(:

– C

25 in 25

March 5, 2015

I know I have neglected my writing and sharing stories with you all. Not that I do not want to share personal stories, but I am struggling to find that balance between work and life right now. Details on that later. It’s close to midnight and while it is late, I had this urge to share a quick post with you all.

They say age is nothing but a number.

I have mix feelings about this line. I am turning twenty-five in twenty-five days. (March 29th – greetings are always welcomed, haha). Creepy. How scary. Ugh, I am getting old. Are you thinking that, too? I bet you think about that, too.

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To my original thought of this post, I vaguely remember my chubby, nerdy, middle-school self asking: I wonder where I will be at twenty-five…

I was quickly going over the things I have accomplished and what I have yet to accomplish. Frankly, I would say, I am nowhere near where I thought I would be. Not beating myself up over this, just so you know. For someone who persistently wanted to get her shit together, I am confidently saying I sorta have my shit together. Emphasis on sorta.

But what I really want to say is I have suppressed, or minimized rather, the whole pressure of needing to have-my-shit-together and trying-to-figure-it-out. Instead, I am going to embrace being.

Meeting people who are significantly older than I am, and to hear them say they do not have their shit together makes me a little scared, but I realized that if these older men and women are still trying to figure it out then I have time, or I do not need to have this large amount of pressure to figure my shit out. 

I learned that things do unfold naturally. I firmly believe in persistence, hard work, and timing all coincide to create a thing I call luck. My definition of luck is when hard work meets opportunity. But… some can say otherwise.

Here’s a side note, and maybe irrelevant: in the early months I moved here, I was in that vicious stress cycle of wanting to get this-and-that done. My persistence got me where I am today, but I should have more kind to myself because I was beating myself up for my shortcomings. We all do, and it is natural, but not advised.

So, for all my twenty-somethings family and friends, do get your shit together, but be kind to yourself while you are at it. If you are a goal-getter, then go get it. If you are unsure about what to get, explore what pulls you in. The whole idea of having your shit together at a particular age is something that sprung on society, making us feel like we ought to.

Why conform? Do you.

– C

PS: I really do not know if I made any sense, but you get the idea – I hope.

 

beauty: what’s in my makeup bag?

March 1, 2015

I have been trying to be consistent with one section on my blog and by far, that is the beauty section! It is slowly growing and I hope you are enjoying what I am sharing with you babes.

Today I wanted to quickly share products that I carry on-the-go, give or take a couple of products, but on a regular basis, this is what I carry:

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Products shown:

  1. Chloe perfume – here
  2. Kiehl’s Lip Balm – here
  3. Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencil – here
  4. NYX Cosmetics’ Soft Matte Lip Creme – here
  5. Urban Decay’s Naked Flushed – read it here or shop here
  6. E.L.F’s Liquid Eyeliner – here 
  7. Victoria’s Secret Hand Lotion – here

I think it is time to update what’s in my bag post. If you missed that old post, you can find it here.

The snow definitely changed my mood. I had a laundry list of things to do today and instead I ended up staying in and only accomplished in re-organizing my room. My desk is half-tackled. Extremely lazy at this point…

Have a good one, y’all (:

– C

brunch book club: girl on the train

February 25, 2015

I always thought book clubs were for old ladies, but here I am, a mid-twenties gal exchanging book discussions over brunch with other twenty-somethings ladies. This past Saturday I participated in the things you see in movies or things you’ve read about: sitting around, discussing plot and characters accompanied with great food, laughs and Prosecco!

Thought I share some visuals along with a short description of the book:

DSC02961DSC02966DSC02963DSC02952DSC02954DSC02973DSC02968DSC02967To be frank, I always wanted to say I am in a book club or I’ve been to one – HAHAA! Technically, I had no idea what the premise of the book was, and I had no clue that it was in the thriller genre. I only knew the publishing house by default, but it turned out to be an unexpected, great pleasure.

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins is amazing – just so you know, it is on New York Times #1 Bestseller. It is written in three different perspectives: Rachel, Anna and Megan. Three different women, somehow all intertwined with one another. Someone dies and an extreme drunk is trying to solve the mystery. Who is who?

The story is super compelling and after a certain chapter, you keep turning the page-after-page. I couldn’t stop. I found myself cursing at the characters on the train. Imagine a girl on the train reading The Girl on the Train – I know, it sounds funny, huh? Hahaha!

For you who are interested in a thriller and suspenseful read, I highly suggest The Girl on the Train. If I didn’t convince you enough, check out the goodreads review here. I have heard most readers compare Gone Girl with this book, but I cannot say anything yet only because I have yet read Gone Girl, but that is on my to-read list next! If you have read both, feel free to leave a comment which is your favorite! (:

Thank you, G, for hosting a wonderful book club! And it was my first time, ever having quiche! So scrumptious.

Hope you enjoyed the photos and the book intrigued you a little bit. If you are looking for reads or want to know what book is my latest read, you can find me on goodreads.com. Click this link here to find my profile. I try not to overload my reviews on what books I’ve read.

Okay, it’s midnight. Goodnight!

– C

beauty: nars concealer

February 22, 2015

If you’re having a lazy day like myself, all I do is slap on concealer for those dark spots/ blemishes, some BB Cream and I am out the door versus the full on foundation and blah, blah, blah, blah. This often happens when I snooze more than my usual 2x…

I have been on the hunt for a great concealer for a long time. Typically, I am resistant to high-end brands because of the sake of the brand’s name. And I like to experiment with drug store/low-end brands than designer ones. However, I had to splurge for this one because a concealer is such an essential in every woman’s makeup kit.

Decided to give the notorious NARS a try:

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There are so many reviews about NARS radiant creamy concealer. YouTube’s Beauty Gurus such as Claire Marshall from HeyClaire talked about this before in her 2014 Favorites Video, and my beauty blogger friend, Cynthia from cynthialions.com – you can see her post here. I finalized my decision when I was lurking the NARS section, asked questions to the saleswoman, then she applied it on me and boom. Sold. It was game over.

Here is the dirt: the consistency of the product, the applicator is amazing – allowing you to really target the areas you need to. The best part? I use it for my dark circles, a couple of dabs and using a concealer brush then dabbing using my ring finger gently across my eyes from inwards to outwards (from my nose bridge to my temples), viola!

The only con that I found so far is that it is not long-lasting. I hate having to touch up my makeup, but sometimes when you have an afternoon meeting, it might be required.

My verdict is it really does conceal and a keeper in my current beauty routine.

– C

are we ever ready?

February 20, 2015

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Read this over and over, again. Let this be engrained in your mind and your thoughts.

You catch yourself asking yourself and your friends: am I ready for this? Are you? I often get asked: how do I do it? “It” can mean anything in my book. Moving to the other side of the country without any job prospectives. Diving into a field I have minimal experience in. Wearing heels in the Winter. Dealing with constructive criticism in front of an entire staff yet keeping my cool and staying collected. Yeah, that happened.

I cannot give you a flat out response in how I execute things the way I do, but above all, I know that I am risk-taker. I also understand that by me saying just do it is easier said than done, but I have always been the type to just go for it. At a very young age, I experimented with this thought, idea, whatever you want to call it. Me, being the curious and adventurous soul I am, I always went for it. I never knew what the results were if I didn’t attempt it. What-if’s questions always irked me.

Planning can only go to a certain extent. Life is filled with unpredictable happenings and if we all wait until this so called “right time” or “when I am ready,” who knows when that right time may be or when we will ever be ready for anything, especially life-changes.

The only advice I have for shenanigans like this? If you have the will and the determination, then that says something. You can do it. Obviously, you’ve thought about it and obtain the drive, now it is time to just do.

Get thrown into the deep end – dive in, head first. It’s the best way, really. I know this from experience.

So what sparked this post and what is the underlying message here? I am ready for newness in my life (;

– C

 

female friendships do exist

February 18, 2015

For all my ladies, who are skeptical about other ladies. You know what I am talking about. Exchanging odd body languages or sharing some “frenemy” type of relationship, or struggling to make new gal pals? Well, here is something to shed some perspective:

  • Abandon the cultural myth that all female friendships must be bitchy, toxic, or competitive. This myth is like heels and purses – pretty but design to SLOW women down.
  • 1A This is not to say women aren’t bitches or toxic or competitive sometimes but rather to say that these are not defining characteristics of female friendship, especially as you get older.
  • 1B if you find that you are feeling bitchy, toxic or competitive toward the women who are supposed to be your closest friends, look at why and figure out how to fix it and/or find someone who can help you fix it.
  • A lot of ink is given over to mythologizing female friendships as curious, fragile relationships that are always intensely fraught. Stop reading writing that encourages this mythology.
  • if you are the kind of woman who says, “I’m mostly friends with guys,” and act like you’re proud of that, like that makes you closer to being a man or something and less of a woman as if being a woman is a bad thing, see item 1B. It’s okay if most of your friends are guys, but if you champion as a commentary on the nature of female friendships, well, soul-search a little.
  • If you feel like it’s hard to be friends with women, consider that maybe women aren’t the problem. Maybe it’s just you.
  • Sometimes, your friends will date people you cannot stand. you can either be honest about your feelings or you can lie. There are good reasons for both. Sometimes you will be the person dating someone your friends cannot stand. If your man or woman is a scrub, just own it so you and your friends can talk about more interesting things. My go-to explanation is “i am dating an asshole because I’m lazy.” You are welcome to borrow it.
  • Don’t tear other women down, because even if they’re not your friends, they are women and this is just as important. This is not to say you cannot criticize other women but understand the difference between criticizing constructively and tearing down cruelly.
  • Love your friends’ kids even if you don’t want or like children. Just do it.
  • Tell your friends the hard truths they need to hear. They might get pissed about it, but it’s probably for their own good.
  • Surround yourself with women you can get sloppy drunk with who won’t draw stupid things on your face if you pass out, and who will help you puke if you overcelebrate, and who will also tell you if you get sloppy drunk too much or behave badly when you are sloppy drunk.
  • Don’t let your friends buy ugly outfits or accessories you don’t want to look at when you hang out. This is just common sense.
  • Tell your lady friends the truth so you can talk it out and either sulk companionably or move on to other topics.
  • If four people are dining, split the check four ways. We are adults now. We don’t need to add up what each person had anymore. If you’re high rolling, just treat everyone and rotate who treats. If you’re still in the broke stage, do what you have to do.
  • Essentially, you are whom you surround yourself with.

How to be Friends with Another Woman from Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay

I only typed up more than a few of my favorites from Gay’s Bad Feminist because I felt the need to share the ones I selected. Not only that I felt that these are the qualities I wanted in all my female friendships, it also reminded me that I need to obtain these qualities as well, y’know? I am fortunate to have great friends with both sexes; and I love, I mean love, my freaking friends, especially my girlfriends – old and new; California and in New York.

While I am beginning to cultivate new lady friends here in New York, I keep those qualities in mind and be conscious of who I want to enter my life. Just like dating, I am careful about who I am investing my time to be friends with. We all have to! Plus, I am in this phase where I have secured great people already, and new additions are great, too, but it is different for me. In which, I am starting my life from scratch. Making new friends, starting a career, and generally, building a whole new life – y’know? It’s scary and this is why all of these things are pertinent.

The last one, though: You are whom you surround yourself with. Keep that in mind.

Man or woman, if you have not read Roxane Gay’s book, I heavily recommend it. If you are looking for something to stimulate you intellectually, or just to learn about feminism in general, Gay writes in such great colloquialism that we all can understand, with a some humor and forwardness.

On a short note: I am still recovering from Monday’s madness. Updates, soon. Soon. I am so dead.

– C

beauty: new lippy!

February 15, 2015

I have been trying to branch out to new colors and different brands to see what else is out there beyond my collection. If you missed my favorites from my lip collection, you can view that post here. Of course, shades of red and deep burgundy are always my favorite.

Another red-tone to add to my list:

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Butter London’s Old Blighty shade, a moisture matte lipstick! You can view the entire product description here.

This purchase was on a whim; I’ve heard of Butter London through their amazing nail polishes, which I have shared on my instagram and the current color you see on my nails above. But I had no clue they offered a range of other products and cosmetics. Instantly, I had to take a peep at their lip collection. What I found so great about their product is that, it applies on matte, but has moisture that does not leave your lips feeling dried and chalky. At first I was hesitant because “moisture matte” seems unheard of and surreal rather, but it works!

The packaging is the cutest thing, too. I am so used to having round lip products, but this one is in a square form and everything about it is so chic! Again, a total fan of great packaging and presentation. The color reminds me of my MAC Chili, but less of a orange-coral tone, but definitely bright and lively.

I’ll post a selfie somewhere with the product on. Hope you all had a great weekend! Keep you all updated with other goods when New York Fashion Week is over! Thanks for stopping by (:

K, bye!

– C