spice up my life?

August 25, 2015

Summer is flying. We are practically at the end of August, meaning summer is over and #backtoschool is in season. This entire time, I am thinking what have I been doing all summer? I don’t know!

When Monday rolls around, you get the repetitive question: how was your weekend? Every weekend is the almost the same response: it was good! Nothing too exciting.

Gosh, can I sound more enthusiastic about life?

As the leaves are slowly changing here – I said “slowly,” I think it is time to focus and fill my life with excitement, again. It is time to break out of my monotonous-ish cycle of work, yoga/gym, girlfriends, and drinking routines.

I started my current position three months ago, and it a strange feeling where now, I finally feel settled into work (and New York). Of course, I am still learning as I go and taking on new responsibilities such as overseeing interns and spearheading the interns orientation with our showroom manager, but… I don’t know why I feel the way I do. I think I mentioned this before, but I also found myself in somewhat a complacent feeling.

This is my biggest problem – fighting for something, once it is achieved, then I am like, “Now what?” You get those thoughts, too right? I wrote about that before – this mental checklist to high anxiety. I am not deliberately planning to be anxious like before because the conditions previously were counterproductive, and I never felt like shit and miserable for months, ever, in my life. But seriously, what now? How do I break out of my … rut? 

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You all know I am a big fan of challenges and new adventures, so what did I do? Enroll myself in a business writing course. This is helpful for me because in my current role I am drafting business strategies all the time and an additional skill to beef up my resume. My company was kind enough to expense this cost, which is about a good $500 for a short-term course. This is truly the art of asking. Yay! (Did I tell you I love my job?!).

I forgot what it is like to be in a class setting, so come October this will be interesting. Not to mention, business writing can be such a different format for me to transition into – I am used to writing whatever comes into my head and my formatting is a no-formatting kind of style.

Need to continue to spice up my life and get myself out of this uncreative and routine rut. Any suggestions? I need a new book to read – I have not read in over two weeks… Anything would be appreciated!

Thanks for tuning in for my brief announcement! I was briefly absent – obviously because I am in a rut and producing regular content is challenging, y’all, but trust me, I have been working on stuff. I like to have it perfect before it goes live. Perfectionist issues.

In the meantime, here are some tunes for you on this fine ass Tuesday:

 

– C

role play: being an adult

August 17, 2015

1936945_101698503175622_5724465_nI remember in college where I was racking up classes because I just wanted to be done and explore the whole “real world” jazz. You watch movies and how their world is and hoping when you’re an adult, you’d live close to that life you’ve seen on TV. An idea that romanticized a little, and we get caught up – or at least I have been so guilty of it.

I know there is no manual on Life, but sometimes I wish there was…

To my recent graduates, you should be proud that you’re done and it is an accomplishment. However, don’t get all entitled now. Just because of your fancy paper, you are not easily handed a job of your interest – ouch? That is the ultimate truth. No one tells you that nitty gritty details, or things as taking on irrelevant jobs just so you can bring in income and stay afloat. Some of us get lost in chasing paper and forget about our passions. But hey, do you – whatever means more to you.

While I know that life is very much as a living and learning journey, I feel like there are many things being sugar-coated and no one pays close attention to the reality of things. Don’t get me wrong, essentially I am an optimistic realist, if there is such a person, then let it be me. Like everything in life, there will always be the good and bad – the ugly and pretty. Adulthood is fun, and nice, but there are the hurdles and not-so-pleasant stuff. Nobody ever tells you the real, bad shit that happens in life – the reality of it. Sure, there is so much freedom, but there is a price for freedom as well.

I love being on my own and a grown up, but I hate the responsibilities that come with it. Sometimes, I just want my mom to hug and tell me everything will be alright.

I remember when I did not have a care in the world other than maintaining a part-time job to have income to spend it on useless crap and cheap rent. Now? I have to worry about health care plans and what will be most beneficial for me. Co-pay, PPO? I have no idea what all this entails.

I’ve always wanted to be an adult and well, now I am it. Be careful for what you wish for, a classic saying goes.

Well, damn.

So what am I saying? Enjoy your youth – let’s not rush things and especially growing up. It’s inevitable, but let’s enjoy the journey and eventually, adulthood will and does catch up to us. Those in college still, embrace the lack of responsibilities, absorb life as much as you can and learn from all over!

I’m done preaching – for now anyway.

Let’s go back in the archive – read about my check list when I was a recent graduate, years ago here.

You have a happy Monday and the rest of the week. Thanks for tuning in! Special shout out to my cousin, K for tagging this photo of me on Facebook years ago. If it was not for that tag, I would have not able to find cute throwback photos of me! Lol, I look the same.

K, bye!

– C

 

my perfect dinner date(s)

August 14, 2015

Imagine you are hosting this lavish dinner party and you can invite whoever you want. I mean, whoever you want. Dead or alive. Who would you invite?

It sounds kind of silly, right? Not really, and actually the whole purpose is, me defying the whole concept that women cannot have women friends, but also these women that I am about to share inspire me in certain ways. Some are in the same industry and some aren’t, but it shows you how you and I, woman-to-woman, can be successful and empower one another. We don’t have to compete.

After deep, serious thought, here are the babes who I would like to RSVP to my dinner:

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Eva Chen – This first Asian American Editor-in-Chief (formerly at Lucky) at Conde Nast Publications. Started at Lucky as an intern and became one the youngest Editor-in-Chiefs, ever.  Now, she’s spearheading the fashion at Instagram. I admire her ambition and just how she interacts with her audience through social media. Plus, she has an amazing career advice. “It is a lot easier to say ‘no’ and spread negativity than to create [..] and being creative takes positivity and self-assurance. So, believe in yourself!” 

How Michelle Obama & Meryl Streep have raised strong, confident daughters

Meryl Streep – fell in love with her with the obvious Devil Wears Prada, but she’s a classic actress, plus her stance on feminism, duh. Michelle Obama – our freaking hip, ass First Lady. Not only she promotes health and wellness, she has this humorous, and sass to her, but remains classy. Not to mention, how knowledgeable she is and how she is fashionable!

"We’re pretty good at things now that we’re on year 20 of our friendship" - Amy Poehler

Tina Fey + Amy Poehler - Their friendship teaches us that you can be friends with other women in your industry and be supportive of each other successes. These two (along with Mindy Kaling and Molly Shannon) made it possible for women to break into comedy, in my personal opinion. I feel like there are now more women willing to do groundbreaking bits. Smart and funny never go out of style.

Stopped watching the Office a while ago but still think Mindy Kaling is equal parts funny, smart, and hot.

Mindy Kaling – Minority, woman, “not your average body” and an amazing writer. She’s so confident in what she does, ruthless about it and her realness is so attractive. Side note: she’s releasing her second book in the Fall! Here is a snippet of what she thinks of confidence“Work hard, know your shit, show your shit, and then feel entitled.”

emma watson wonderland shoot5 Emma Watson Enchants for Wonderland Magazine by Christian Oita

Emma Watson – Not only for her amazing Hermoine role and my freaking love for Harry Potter, but the woman she is becoming is amazing. Her strong feminist stance and her role in the United Nations! Ugh, she’s just amazing and is doing great things at such an early age.

  "My clothes are so minimal that what I read and how I smell are important." http://www.thecoveteur.com/lykke-li-style/

Lykke Li – I will need an artist at the dinner party who can cover Drake tracks and hers – plus I’ve never seen her live (yet!). “My clothes are so minimal that what I read and how I smell are important.”

 Angelina Jolie who is fighting for the poor and disadvantaged in the world and holding World Leaders to account for failing to lead as they should.

Angelina Jolie – a humanitarian and understands what is like to be privileged and helps those are unprivileged. She and Brad are one of those good couples who care about their kids and helping the World in ways they can.

I can really make an extensive invitation list for my imaginary dinner, but I will keep it short and exclusive for now. I am certain not everyone feels strongly the same as I do when I say I am for female friendships, but what I learned growing up and reading up on women matters (read: Roxane Gay’s Bad Feminist) is that there is something wrong with YOU if there is a lack of lady relationships.

Let’s backtrack a little in the archives: female friendships do exist, and my thoughts on finding friendships and surrounding myself around great women.

Here are a list of suggested reading + viewing from the women above: Eva Chen at the Webby Session, Tina Fey’s Bossypants, Amy Poehler’s Yes Please, Mindy Kaling’s Why Not MeEmma Watson’s UN Speech, and Angelina Jolie’s medical choice.

See babes, #queenscancoexist – who said it can only be one on top? Why not support and empower one another to all be on top? YES.

Bye! Happy Friday (:

style: capsule wadrobe

August 9, 2015

I hate to be cliche, but I do love fashion, plus, I work in the industry. I am still discovering my personal style and what silhouettes are more flattering for my body type; I’ve observed which styles and pieces from my favorite stores and wardrobe that I tend to cling onto.

While I strive to collect pieces that are transitional and can be easily manipulate as different outfits, I have decided to take a on a new and exciting challenge when it comes to my personal style and fashion. Similar to the 30-Day Challenge where I will not shop, I am on the pursuit of building a capsule wardrobe. What does that mean?

A capsule wardrobe is a “mini wardrobe made up of 37 really versatile pieces that you totally love to wear,” said by Caroline Rector. Rector’s blog is called Un-fancy where she documents her seasonal capsules with only 37 pieces.

You probably think I am crazy, and I am, but I will tell you why I am serious about this project – rather a lifestyle change. Now that life is less of a “transitional phase” and more of strutting to my everyday beat, I want to try to focus on the bigger projects in my life and make room for new experiences. I do not want to stress out everyday figuring out to wear or purchasing things that are in-season that doesn’t stick true to my personal style. Read: lazy and save money, just kidding, but in all seriousness, I do want to solidify my personal style as well as save money. With less items, I do not have room for noise and distraction that “isn’t me.” For instance, in the recent years I’ve noticed, that I am not one to wear much vibrant colors.

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Not only that, but I do not have a closet, literally. I have a rack mounted to the wall and a Sterlite dresser with wheels. I remember mentioning that my studio apartment is small – I don’t know the definite square footages, but it’s small and very fitting for a single body, two at most. So due to the lack of space, I am kind of encouraged to live minimally.

I did a lot of reading up and watching videos about capsule wardrobes and the benefits of living a decluttered life, and truthfully, I was inspired. I want to make room for other things in life such as practicing mindfulness, and experiences to enrich my soul and spirit. So believe me friends, this is beyond the style – it’s a lifestyle change I am hoping to gain from this challenge.

Although I would say my wardrobe is quite small already and carefully put together, that means this challenge would not be a difficult transition. My next move is to refine it and decide on how many pieces I would like to make up my capsule wardrobe. In the process of refining my closet, this means I get to sell or donate my old stuff and replenish it with new investment pieces! Y’all know I am about quality pieces that can be in heavy rotation. I already have this minimalist style going on, so this is easy breezy! 

I am very, very excited about this project! I wanted to visually show you what I currently have: DSC04039

This is excluding majority of my shoes and bags that are at the doorway of my studio apartment. I can confidently say that what I currently have are great pieces already, but I am going to dive in again to see what pieces are worth keeping.

What am I going to include in my capsule? I made a board on Pintrest! You can find my Fall Capsule inspiration here or click on the little cute icon on the left side bar where it will direct to you to my main page to see all my boards. I will definitely add more pins when I come across pieces I like.

Archives: missed out on my last fashion challenge? That was sometime last year and I successfully killed it. Or, if you missed out on my style inspirations, you can view that here. If you want to learn more about building a capsule wardrobe, you can read it here on PureWow or learn the 101 from the woman herself. Not much of a reader? Watch this TedxTalk video here about only the 10-items wardrobe! This is the very video that inspired me to refine my already minimal lifestyle.

Okay, I provided a lot of information and may have sound redundant, but it was only to emphasize my point here. Hope you guys got it!

Thanks for tuning in! I literally just woke up, made a smoothie and opened up my laptop to make this announcement! Also, very excited to play today at #TheDoOver10 today. Looking forward to good vibes and music.

Frankly, I miss doing the Do in LA, but let’s see what good in my new ‘hood (;

– C

 

korean beauty: skin food // skin care

August 5, 2015

I have been patiently waiting for the right time and the right products for me to indulge in. I am sure you have heard the buzz around Korean beauty brands – from skincare to make up products. This is not new that Korean beauty products are making its way into the American market.

You all know how I love skincare products – what can I say, I love flawless skin, so I had to give it a try.

After extensive research and reviews, I decide to dive head first into a product that I have been wanting to try and need in my regime. I am all about multifunctional products, but my current face mask does not exfoliate my face like former products I’ve used.

What does it mean to exfoliate? Basically take off all the dead skin off – think of a snake shedding, but not as gross. It’s not recommend to exfoliate everyday; I believe the rule is once per week. Don’t believe me? Read it here on Marie Claire – I back it upppp! Back, back, back it up! 

Skin Food. Food for your skin in short.

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So what do I think? First off, this product is strictly for exfoliation – hence “scrub” and it is different for me to have a single function product.

Packaging didn’t WOW me – it’s simple. However, the smell is amazing. I got the Black Sugar and it smells so divine! This is also their most popular face scrub selection.

Side story: I was very excited to find a store in Chinatown that carried Korean products and first thing I said is, “I need to go now!” Of course, I bookmarked it right away on Yelp. For all my New York beauty lovers, you should check out the store off Canal and Mott named oo35mm. Cheaper than Amazon!

I slowly want to switch out my current skincare routine for Korean brands, as a trial and see which brands I favor more.

Here are some archive links for you: my current face mask I’m using, or an older face mask from Lush Cosmetics. Or if you want to explore Korean Brands, here is a popular beauty blog shares what you need to know. For a short version, Into The Gloss published a piece, too.

Are you using any Korean beauty brands? If so, which ones? Do tell!!! I am always interested in expanding my beauty shelf.

Thanks for turning, beauts! Until the next beauty post (:

– C

cheers to friendships

August 2, 2015

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Walk with the dreamers, the believers, the courageous, the cheerful, the planners, the doers, the successful people with their heads in the clouds and their feet on the ground – Wilfred Peterson

This was a great quote to kick off August and it’s so relevant to today’s post.

Humans are interesting – maybe that is why I love learning about people. But I am one of those people who not only wants a good time, but to connect. Do you crave that, too? I am very careful with who I a surround myself with.

I remember when I first arrived to New York, I was on the hunt to connect with like-minded people, especially women. I wanted to immerse myself into friendships that cultivated ambition, similar values, career-driven and simply, cool babes.

I wrote this article published on CityElla about Making Girlfriends in the City. Initially, it did not catch much traffic, but in time and in small doses, I would get comments on instagram and emails about meeting up. I was in shock! There were women who wanted to connect and felt the same emotions as I did.

The power of words, I tell you. Even to this day, I am making new friends and it is nice to meet women writers who share the same passions as you do, but expressed so differently.

Where am I going with this? Finding and making friends is hard (but give it time for it to unravel). Especially when you are a transplant in a new environment. Tell me, when was the last time you made a new genuine friend?

Also, what I am learning is that in the hustle and bustle of life, it is easy to get wrapped up in your mundane routine, dismiss social invitations and hang with certain crowds. However, the relationships worth saving are the ones that are reciprocal – there has to be some effort there. This rule is heavily applied to my long-distance relationships – with time zone differences, it is hard to schedule phone calls, and FaceTime dates, but that doesn’t stop me for trying to make a friendship work.

It is really nice to surround myself with women who share the same wave lengths plus share the same moral values in basic human goodness. I value my friendships because good people are rare to come by.

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#squad

K, bye!

style: investment pieces

July 29, 2015

I rarely wear anything that is flashy; my wardrobe selections have always been subtle that easily blends into my minimal lifestyle. The only time I wear sparkly, sparkly is NYE because it’s required, haha!

My whole subtle thing also applies my jewelry selections, which I do not have an outstanding collection of.

The whole midi-rings and simple pieces have been trending for months – no, maybe years now, and as much as I hate diving into a trend, this one I could not resists due to the simple designs.

I have been on the hunt for quality jewelry for a long time. In the recent months, I have been asking around and reading up on things, when the beaut Cynthia, beauty bogger at cynthialions, mentioned that she picked up her rings from Catbird in Brooklyn.

I became a curious cat – did my research and all of that jazz before committing to a purchase. You have to be particular when hunting for jewelry or any accessory for that matter. Especially when things are not real gold because it tends to fade and make your fingers, wrist, neck or whatever body part green!

As much as it painfully hurts me to drop more than a certain amount on certain things, I know it is worth every cent because quality triumphs quantity in this case. There are certain things you can be frugal about – such as paper towels that you use up and dispose. Then there are certain things like a solid white-tee and simple statement pieces that can be recycled in your daily wardrobe that is worth splurging in.

Or maybe this is what I tell myself…

But I am so happy with my purchase! I got Catbird’s Threadbare’s Ring in Rose Gold:

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You might have seen this image on instagram posted yesterday. Random side note, for those who follow fashion news – CFDA selected Catbird as part of their new members. You can read about that fashion news here.

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I truly admire the minimalism craft – I am not a gold person because I’ve gotten super tanned this summer, but the rose gold is fitting. For more ring inspiration, I created a whole imagery board showcasing ways to style Catbird’s stackable rings. You can find that here on my Pintrest.

Typically, I never share about clothing and accessories purchases, but… you know – whatever. Had a couple inquiries since the share yesterday, so here is the full on post!

Happy Hump Day, beauts! More entries coming your way (I hope you’ll like) (:

- C

beauty: no-make up make up

July 26, 2015

With summer in full effect and the humidity waves hitting New York every so often, I’ve become so lazy to wear any make-up.

As much as I love the sky rocketing boost beauty products make me feel sometimes, I am not down to waste product. I mean that!  It is wasteful because it is melting off my face! I decided to let my face breathe-ish when the weather doesn’t permit me to be cute.

Here is what I have discovered! Typically, I don’t wear full coverage aside from my Laura Mercier‘s tinted moisturizer. I swapped the tint for plain ol’ moisturizer with SPF. Throw on some NARS concealer on my minor breakouts, dark spots and circles. Splash on some mascara, a little bronzer and the nude lip cream I swear by, NYX Cosmetics in London.

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Accidentally, I am one of those girls that don’t look different with or without make-up. I love this routine because I can slip out of my apartment in a matter of 15-20 minutes. You know what that means? More time to snooze or fiddle with my outfit of the day, which is probably the most time consuming part of my getting-ready routine.

DSC03938 copyDSC03943 copyThe products above are listed below (left to right):

  1. Neutrogena’s Oil-Free Moisturizer
  2. L’Oreal’s Miss Manga Voluminous Mascara
  3. NARS’ Creamy Concealer
  4. Benefit Cosmetic’s Bronzer – HOOLA
  5. NYX Cosmetics Soft Matte Lip Cream – London

If you missed my recent reviews for some of the products I’ve shared, you can read about my tinted moisturizer here, or about my concealer here. Or if you are unsure about skin care, I did a 101 not too long ago.

Feel free to leave me love notes if you are interested in other products that you want me to write about!

Happy Sunday, dolls! Summer got me feeling all kinds of lazy and work is exceptionally busy at the moment, hence my absence. But I promise I will check in here, plus I have so much news to share with you all. Thanks for tuning in (:

Bye!

 

beauty: you like them nails

July 12, 2015

I like dark tones all-year-around, no surprise there. Daily attire, make-up (specifically lipsticks and nails), so yeah…

I enjoy dipping my toes in dark tones, literally, while my fingers get some (light) color loving. Now, if you did not know, I am quite the nail polish hoarder. When I moved to New York, I threw over thirty bottles away that was accumulated over a couple of years. From large drug store brands to cheap, one dollar collectibles. Now? I am very selective in shades, brush applicator and brand.

Take a peek at some of my current favorites:

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Absolutely in love with D&G’s packaging – a total sucker for all that stuff. I know presentation is not everything, but nowadays it is! Working in media/pr makes you think a little different about details, and  those details such as package says a lot about a brand. Essentially, it is all branding. That is a whole other subject that I am not going to dive into, but if you ever want to talk about that, holler!

My current shade:

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Speed of Light by COVERGIRL picked up my local Target. You can find the product here.  I fell in love with this color. The formula is smooth and rich; the color is nude with a slight hint of gray. Due to the squarish shape, it makes the application process easy.

Some of the other products shown:

  • Sally Hansen: Pacific Blue and Lacy Lilac - inexpensive purchases at $2.99 per bottle. PB is a very bright blue – Claire from HeyClaire mentioned this as one of her favorites years ago. LL is a nice, light shade of purple – lavender if you will.
  • Essie: Absolutely Shore – $8.50 per bottle, more on a semi-splurge side. What I love about Essie (typically my brand preference) is the play on words when naming the color shade, but even how months of no usage, the formula can still be used with a few shakes and rolls.
  • Dolce & Gabbana: Nail Lacquer – $24.99 unfortunately I could not find the link to the actual product I was gifted, but the undertone is red with darker overtone. So from afar, it may be seen as black, but really it’s a deep, deep, dark red. Oxblood?
  • Butter London: La Moss – $15 per bottle at Ulta. I love this color and this brand. That is all.

Keeping it short for you all. I know I have been absent – it comes in waves.

Hope you all are having a great weekend! Happy Sunday!

 

drunk in uber post

July 10, 2015

I went super lengthy for a Facebook post – as mentioned, it was my first anniversary in my new beloved home, New York.

While I can go on-and-on about my ups and downs of this current journey, I rather share the encounter I faced during the midst of happy hour with my gal pal and first genuine friend, K, who I may add is a writer as well.

We met in the Lower East Side at this bar called Piano, where happy hour starts as early as 2pm and ends at 8pm. With frozen, strong, and tasteful margaritas and a young, hip crowd, it is truly irresistible. Plus, during happy hour where wine and beer is cheap as $4 – c’mon more reasons to drink, dare I say!

Anyway, while K and I enjoyed our evening and catching up with each other, an older gentleman, Brian, decides to excuse himself into our space area. He was polite, though, and we exchange a few words before he said, “Can I tell you what I think about you two right now?”

Without exchanging more than 2 minutes prior his question, this older gent gives us a full sense of how K and I are as people. He said all these kind things that really resonated and touched my soul. 

His opener of his vibe analysis was, “I sense that you’re very smart. You are also a generous person, very kind and not afraid to put yourself out there. You also have very high energy – it’s a good thing.” I was pleased to hear such things, but I was super shock how I uttered a couple words to him and he can recognize such qualities of mine. 

He proceeded to tell me about what he thought of me and asked K if he nailed it. She agreed, and he and I continued to chat some more. I was questioning how can he tell with a few word exchanges, he said in comparison to a Woman’s Intuition, he had this intense capability to read energy. He kept saying that I was smart and my bright future. To me, being a smart girl will always top being the hot girl. Brains supersedes, always. 

He said some wise words, that can be a general application to life, but really hit me considering what I’ve endured in the past year: don’t doubt yourself and continue to be persistent.

I cannot fathom how heavy my heart feels when I meet complete strangers when they can call me out on my very being. It’s strange, creepy, but man, it’s refreshing because you are always in your bubble, right. Think you know how you are and how you carry yourself. What if it’s wrong or what if it’s accurate? I am glad that I carry myself subtly in ways that I imagined to be described.

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I could not not ask to take a photo with the complete stranger who contributed to my evening celebrations.

Before Brian and I separated ways, he was tremendously kind and reassured me that I will have a bright future for myself if I continue to work hard and pick myself after every fall. That I will be the ones who will struggle immensely, but will have a worthy story to tell.

Little did he know, I run my own blog that shares that regularly (:

The title remains true to it’s publication – I wrote this half drunk in my Uber from Piano this evening. I usually don’t take cabs or Ubers because it can be costly, but I deserve it. Treat yoself!

Again, cannot believe it’s been a year since I have moved here. I am utterly happy and in love with my life in New York. Best relationship I’ve ever been in – yeah, I said it!


This track came out in circa 2010, when I was going through a heartbreak at the time and somehow this became my life anthem. Fast forward to five years later, still remains one of my favorite tracks because it conveys the true meaning of my life and mission: I’m on the pursuit of happiness and I know everything that shine ain’t always gonna be gold, hey I’ll be fine once I get it, yeah I’ll be good.

Goodnight family and friends, and thank you for your continuous support! (:

With Love,
charypie