Friday, July 31, 2015

JULY FAVORITES

Is it just me or did July go by super fast for everyone else too? I can hardly believe that it's already the thirty-first, but here we are. Before July is over and done with, I wanted to share some items that I've really been loving this month.  Here are a few of my favorite things.

1. BKR GLASS WATER BOTTLE - Every time I clean my room, I almost always end up finding hella empty plastic water bottles. I never really realize how many bottles I've managed to hoard until I'm attempting to haul all of them to my recycling bin in one trip. I decided that the plasticky madness had to stop. I invested in a BKR water bottle and I fell in love~*~*~


PROS:

  • It's reusable. You can say good bye to mountains of plastic water bottles.  
  • It comes in two different sizes. (500 mL and 1L. I got the 500 mL one.) 
  • Available in many numerous colors and patterns. (Decisions, decisions.)
  • The no leak sealed cap has a loop for your fingers. 
  • Doesn't affect the taste of your water like reusable plastic water bottles do.
  • It's adorable. Seriously. Who knew a water bottle could be so cute?

CONS:

  • Opening is a tad bit small. This may be a deal breaker for people who like to put ice cubes in their water bottles, as whole cubes are unable to fit into the opening. 

2. HARMLESS HARVEST COCONUT WATER - *Beyonce voice* I've been drinking, I've been drinking. Coconut water, that is. This is hands down the best coconut water. EVER. I wasn't a big fan of coconut water before, but tasting this particular brand changed my mind.


PROS:
  • It tastes fucking magical. Like straight out of the coconut magical. 
  • Sometimes it's PINK. (How freakin cute is that?) But there's no food dye involved here or anything like that. This just means your bottle is special. (All of their coconut water is clear when first bottled. Some turn pink because of varying levels of antioxidants interacting with light. Pink = more antioxidants for you!)
  • Certified organic
  • No sugar added

CONS:
  • It must either be immediately consumed or refrigerated. If you leave a bottle outside (yes, even in room temperature) for even like... an hour, it may spoil and the taste will definitely be affected. (Whenever I buy Harmless Harvest to drink for later, I put an ice pack into an insulated lunchbox and take it with me to Whole Foods. I transfer them into said lunchbox as soon as I get to my car.)   

3. HOURGLASS VEIL MINERAL PRIMER - Wearing makeup in the summer heat without primer is a big no-no for my combination skin. Otherwise, it literally feels like my face is melting off. (Cue Edvard Munch's painting, The Scream) I've sampled my fair share of makeup primers, but none of them were holy grail status to me... Until I picked up Hourglass' Veil Mineral Primer. I will be purchasing the full sized product once this one runs out.


PROS:

  • Feels super lightweight in comparison to other primers that I've tried. 
  • Fragrance free. A huge plus to those who aren't fans of perfumy (Is that a word? I don't know??? I couldn't think of a better one) products. 
  • Makes foundation application very smooth.
  • Has a pump. Most primers come in tubes that you have to squeeze. 
  • My makeup holds up well all day. (With occasional help from a little powder.)
  • On days I don't feel like wearing foundation or BB cream, I still find myself reaching for it because it minimizes pores, keeps oil at bay, and has SPF 15.
  • A little goes a long way. I purchased the travel sized version at the beginning of July, and it barely looks like I've made a dent in it.

CONS:
  • On the pricier side. ($18.00 for 0.33 oz. $52.00 for 1 oz. $72 for 2 oz.)

4. MURAD PORE REFORM SKIN SMOOTHING POLISH - I've been on the hunt for a good exfoliator for awhile. I came across Murad's Pore Reform Skin Smoothing Polish when I was watching Desi Perkins' (*fangirl scream*) updated skin care routine video. In the video, she claims that it's the "best exfoliator" that she's ever come across. I happen to agree.


PROS:

  • The micro-polishing beads in the product are very finely grained, so it doesn't feel abrasive at all. 
  • Left my skin feeling super soft and clean
  • I don't have very acne prone skin, but was getting occasional breakouts at the end of June. Using this product helped steer those breakouts away tremendously. 
  • Visibly tightened my pores 
CONS:
  • On the pricier side. I went back and forth on whether I really wanted to purchase this for a few weeks. Why would I spend $30.00 when I was only spending $5.00 on St. Ives' Apricot Scrub? (However, I'm totally glad that I decided to take the plunge. It was worth it. Desi Perkins does not lie, people.) 

5. THE SHAYTARDS - I've been watching the Shaytards for awhile now, but I've been finding myself regularly watching reruns this month just because it brings me joy. I swear, I watch at least three of them a day because their family is just that hilarious to me. Besides making me l-o-l on a daily basis, I think Shay Carl has one of the craziest life stories ever. Below is one of my favorite vlogs of theirs. Check them out if you want a good laugh. :-)

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

OCEAN AVENUE


Outfit details:
Top - Nasty Gal
Bikini Bottom - Target
Kimono - Nordstrom

As soon as I found out it was going to be one hundred and three degrees Fahrenheit in San Jose, I dropped everything and started running towards the coast as fast as I could. There was just no freaking way I was going to put up with that shit. Nope. Not today. There's something about stupidly hot weather that brings out my inner two year old. (In other words, naps are needed, I start speaking gibberish, and tantrums may or may not be thrown.) 

I found myself at Seabright Beach in Santa Cruz, where the weather was overcast and windy. I prefer autumn to summer and gloomy weather is something that I've been missing. With that said, it was a refreshing change from the insane heat wave that SJ has been experiencing in the last week or so. It was also nice that I could wear all black without bursting into flames.

P.S. Can you tell that the heat turns me into quite the drama queen?

Friday, July 24, 2015

PRETTY THINGS AND CHICKEN WINGS

Outfit details: 
Shirt - Stolen from Jerik
Leggings - Target
Shoes - Urban Outfitters 
Hat - HUF (borrowed from Vivian)
Bag - Zara
Lipstick - Whirl by MAC

Vivian and I had two objectives for today. First, we wanted to look at pretty things. Second, we wanted to eat chicken wings. (Specifically the San Tung kind, which meant this called for a trip to the city.) We hopped into VVN's suburban soccer mom vehicle and made our way to San Francisco. (Yes. Multiple fierce duets were performed during the drive. No. We are not coming to a city near you. You know. On the off chance that you were wondering.)

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Our first stop was the De Young Museum in Golden Gate Park. We had to park kind of far from the museum itself, but we didn't mind the walk much because it was a beautiful, sunny day. (Karl the Fog was nowhere to be seen.) We saw plenty of fascinating art and the whole experience was well worth the ten dollar admission fee. I'd have to say that my favorite part about the De Young was the observation deck tower. (Pictured at the very beginning of this post.) The view was damn impressive. I could see the entire city from up there! Between the art itself and the extraordinary view of SF, Vivian and I definitely saw many pretty things.



Our second stop was San Tung. I had never eaten there until today, but I've always heard the same three things about the place over and over again. 1. Their chicken wings are legendary. 2. The wait to be seated is almost always super, crazy long. 3. Trying to find parking is the hugest pain in the ass. Luckily, we found parking after circling the block a few times. We also happened to arrive at the restaurant ten minutes before they opened for dinner service, so we were seated and served right away. (Can you say winning?) Chicken wings? Check.

San Francisco was way too good to us, and overall, it was a fantastic day. Then again, any day is a good one when it involves fried chicken or your best friend. So if you're having a bad day, go grab one or the other. Actually... it would definitely be best if you grabbed both.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

ALL FUN AND GAMES

Maybe it's just me, but there's something about being around cousins that makes me feel like I'm seven years old again. My cousins will always represent a little bit of my youth that can never be taken away from me, regardless of how old we are. The memories of being childhood playmates will stick with me and forever epitomize nostalgia in its purest form.

Back when we were youngsters, our families would take regular trips to Dave & Busters and us children would wreak havoc in the restaurant/arcade. A few of my cousins are visiting from out of town, so my brother and I decided to take them to the old stomping grounds. Games were played. Tickets were won. Quality time was spent. It felt just like the old days. 

A few things I learned yesterday:
1. I fucking rock at Mario Kart Racing. Come see me. (Toad, ftw.) 
2. Four person air hockey tables are a thing. OoOoOoOoOo. Technology.
3. With that said, it's physically impossible to play four person air hockey without screaming.
4. If you're giving away the spare tickets you've won, give them to a family with an only child. (Murder may occur amongst jealous siblings.)

Saturday, July 18, 2015

SWEET EMOTIONS

My friend Penny (Or Mac, as I like to call her) is the best baker I know. A couple of months ago, she made me the most legit emoji macarons as a birthday present and it seriously blew my mind that they looked so freaking accurate. You can only imagine how heartbreaking it was to get myself to consume those lovely, little works of art. I wish that I could have kept them forever, but alas, they disappeared into the black hole that I call my stomach.

Last night, Penny schooled me on Macaron Making 101, and we made the emoji macarons that she gifted to me for my birthday, as well as a batch of plain ones. I don't think I did too shabby for my first time, but I owe that to Mac for teaching me the ways of the macaron.  

I now understand why these pretty patties are so damn expensive. They're a really tricky treat to make! Baking them is a really intricate process, and you have to be extra gentle in handling the ingredients and the macarons themselves. I've got a newfound respect for all the macaron makers out there. I appreciate you. Special thanks to Mac for sharing her craft with me. 

P.S. But really though. Aren't these emoji macarons the cutest thing?

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

PURPLE HAZE


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Outfit details:
Button up - Thrifted
Leggings - Forever 21
Shoes - Jeffrey Campbell
Lipstick - NYX Temptress

After what had seemed like forever, I finally got the chance to see my other half, Vivian. One of our favorite things to do is get ready together, so you can probably guess what we did when we hung out this morning. (I'm willing to bet we're not the only girls who are sometimes more excited about the process of getting ready than the actual activities that follow.) Vivs recently hit up Ulta's 40% off NYX products sale. Knowing that my love for vampy lipsticks burns with the intensity of a thousand suns, Vivian ended up buying me the gorgeous dark purple lipstick that I'm wearing in the pictures above. (Along with a few other things. I know, right... Isn't she just the greatest? Ugh, my heart.)  I can name very few things that are more fun to me than getting ready with her. I mean, what's better than makeup, great conversation, and being complete goofballs with the yin to my yang? Not much, really. VVN, U DA REAL MVP. 

Friday, July 10, 2015

THE BEST FRIEND TAG



Jennifer is my first and oldest friend. (I know what you're thinking. Jennie and Jennifer? Yeah. We get that a lot.) We met at good ol' Evergreen Elementary circa 2002, where we donned matching pig tails, held hands on the playground, never failed to participate in the annual talent show as partners in crime, and even shared a Myspace account. (Our URL was jens_4_life. We know. You don't have to tell us twice. We're deeply ashamed.)

Fast forward to present day - Jenn and I have now been best friends with each other longer than we haven't. We currently live on opposite ends of the state. (She's a San Diego chick now. Can you say California burritos??? Yum.) Regardless, we've made long distance our bitch and best believe that our friendship is still going as strong as ever.

Jenn was in San Jose for a couple of days and I let her crash at my place. We definitely don't get to see each other as often as we used to and we thought it would be fun to make this silly video of us doing Youtube's best friend tag challenge while we were together. (Warning: We laugh A LOT. Seriously.) This is what 13 years of friendship looks like. Jens 4 life.

Monday, July 6, 2015

GREENS ARE GOOD FOR YOU

I touched down in San Francisco last night and have returned from the east coast. My dude goes to school in Virginia, and I got to pay him a visit for a few days. Though I miss him already, it feels good to be back in California. (Okay. Maybe I just really missed In N Out...)

June was a busy month for me, and it wore me out, to say the least. I was dying for some down time, and I have to admit that a good amount of my visit in Virginia was spent taking it easy. (AKA binge watching the latest seasons of Orange Is The New Black and Project Runway, stuffing my face with Virginia's kick ass southern cooking, and taking naps whenever and wherever I pleased. I know, I know... health is just OOZING out of my pores.)

But whenever Jerik and I didn't feel like listening to Piper Chapman's annoying ass (I know you were thinking it too.) or indulging in barbecue and spuds, we did get around to... well... actually doing things. We borrowed a friend's dog for a playdate, dabbled with recipes we had never cooked before, installed and tested out his Jeep's new shocks, got his new apartment ready, etc. I could sit here and list out everything we did, but I think you get my point - A lot of stuff was done even with all of the "slothing" that occurred and it made my trip enjoyable. 

However, I think the best part about my time in Virginia (Besides the fact that I got to see Jerik. Duh.) was simply going outside. I've lived in the suburbs of San Jose, California for a majority of my life, so it's no surprise that I'm not used to seeing fairytale-like forests, ginormous waterfalls, or huge dirt roads around the corner from my house. And maybe the fact that I'm not used to that is why Virginia's outdoors captivates me to such a high degree. Like seriously, dude. I kid you not. At Jerik's new place, I feel like I'm in the middle of a National Geographic magazine the moment I step off of the porch. All I see is GREEN.

In the pictures above, we hiked to Cascade Falls - a waterfall that stands at a mighty 69 feet. It's one of the most beautiful hikes I've ever been on. Honestly, these pictures don't do the real thing justice. Go outside today. Soak up the sun. Get some fresh air. Nature is gnarly as fuck. 

Friday, July 3, 2015

MOVING ON UP

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Outfit details:
Flannel - Urban Outfitters
Cropped tank - Nasty Gal
Leggings - Urban Outfitters 
Shoes - Vans 

My favorite dude just got the keys to his new apartment today, so we went over to check it out. I have to say, it tripped me out to see a living space so... unoccupied. We plan to move all of his stuff in and decorate within the next couple of days, but we decided to leave it empty for tonight while we gave the place a mini housewarming celebration. What better way to break in a new home than with face masks and a candlelit~~** Chick-fil-a picnic? (Such relax. Very romance. Much chicken.) All in all, dinner was definitely on point and I'm so freaking happy for Jerik. He's moving onto (or should I say into?) bigger and better things.