Thursday, June 16, 2016

Beauty from within and without

In the past, I've never been a big make up user. I've always used make up now and then but never more than some drug store brands and a little Mary Kay after attending a party and buying too much make up (actually my mom bought it for me). Make up was always fun but something I could never really afford without coupons and going to Walmart. Since I dislike Walmart, I just stopped buying make up.

This all changed when Gwen Stefani and Urban Decay collaborated last fall and came out with an eyeshadow palette. I had to have it. I used an appropriately timed Sephora gift card that I received for free through my health insurance company at the time to buy the palette. About a month later her lipsticks, lip liners, blush palette, and eyebrow make up came out. I own most of the collection minus 3 of the lipsticks. The rest is history. I've turned into what someone would call a beauty junkie. I'm a total newbie to the make up world, so I've been watching many you tube videos and follow many Instagrams and Pinterest accounts for advice, inspiration, and ideas.

My poor husband thinks I'm crazy, but the way I see it is that make up is art that I'm not that bad at. Although it is not the cheapest art, especially when you try to stick with the all natural, vegan brands that don't test on animals and use ingredients you can pronounce.
It's also helped me through the grieving process by giving me something to fill my mind and the times I find myself feeling sad/lonely without my mom. It's one of those things my mom would love to do as well, play with make up I mean.

What are your beauty habits/routines? Are you low or high maintenance? Do you like playing with make up or would rather do without?

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Light at the end of the tunnel

I want to extend my deepest and most sincere thank you's to those of you who have reached out to me over the past week. I'm doing better, every day is a little better than the last. I know I will always miss my mom, but I also find comfort that she is no longer in pain and is in a much better place. I'm also gradually feeling better about the other situations going on around me. Between keeping myself busy with day to day stuff (full time job, tutoring, kung fu, running, etc) and other fun events, I have been able to push the majority of the stress and worry to the back of my mind. Through family members who have reached out to me and shown their support and that they understand and agree with how I'm feeling along with therapy, I'm able to work through what I'm feeling and why. It's helping me to draw a line between what I can change and what I can't change.

I can't change what other people do, say, or think. I can only change what I do, say, or think. I am trying to do positive, say positive, and think positive. Anything else is being thrown away. I find myself praying and thinking of God much more often. It comforts me and helps me re-focus on what's truly important. For those of you who know what's going on and are helping me get my message across, thank you. For those of you who don't know what's going on, please keep me and my family in your prayers. We are all going through a hard time with the loss of my mom and with other situations occurring recently. I see a light at the end of this tunnel that we're in currently. And I have high hopes that everything will work out the way they're supposed to. I know God will look over me and my family and He will be there no matter what happens.

I'm going to take this summer and use it to focus on what's important to me and my family. Vince is my family, he is most important to me along with my brother and father. We will get through this. God has a plan. Next posts from me will legitimately be better and better.

In other news, I am working on expanding my beauty knowledge. I've joined this program called Influenster which is completely free and you get free products and samples as long as you do reviews. Sounds awesome. You guys might be seeing some beauty insight from me coming over the next few weeks. This blog is currently themed around me becoming a better, healthier person. I feel like beauty products contribute to my goal of becoming better, healthier, and happier all around. I enjoy playing with beauty products and trying them out. To me it's an art form that I am not too terrible at. Although I am only a beginner testing the waters in this new passion of mine. :-)

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Mother's day without a mom

I know this is late, but this is something that I have to write and get out there into the universe. This is something I've been struggling with over the past few weeks and I tried to close myself off from everyone around me and push all my feelings deep down inside me and try to smile despite it all. Needless to say this backfired and bit me in the butt.

May 8th was the first mother's day without my mom. It was one of the worse days of my life and the week leading up to it I was a complete wreck. Most people don't know since I tried my best to cry only when I was alone. There is no good way to explain how it feels to lose a parent. It's something most people go through, but usually it isn't when you're still in your twenties. My mom wasn't just a mom. She was my best friend. I told her everything, no filter. I talked to her daily, usually multiple times. When she was near we would hang out often. Every mother's day I'd do my best to get her a sweet card and some beautiful flowers along with doing whatever it was she wanted to that day. This mother's day was very different.

This mother's day I was reminded constantly on how I no longer had a mom. I saw my friends sharing their special days on social media and gorgeous pictures of them and their beautiful mothers smiling and being happy. All I could do was cry and try my best to remember the good times with my mom. All I wanted to do was call my mom, talk to my mom, hear her voice, see her smile. Instead I'm imagining what it would be like if she were here.

I ask you all to be there and be understanding for your friends who have lost a parent and are going through grieving, especially through these holidays like mother's and father's day. No matter how long it's been, it doesn't ever get easier. You may become more numb to it but every holiday, every birthday, and every life event will be harder without my mom there. I keep thinking my future kids will never know their grandma and that just makes me more sad. The last few weeks of her life still haunt me to this day and I doubt I'll ever be able to erase those horrible memories. I've started therapy recently due to this and other stresses in my life from other sources. I hope it helps me start healing from the loss of my mom and helps me feel better, even slightly. Thank you for hearing me out. And I do plan on posting more positive posts soon. Despite all of this, I've still been working out, doing kung fu and running as much as I can. I'm trying my best to cope and move on with my life. Some days are better than others. Thank you for being there for me and for understanding.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Workout Journal 2016

Thanks to a great recommendation from our Kung Fu Sifu, I have started a workout journal for the year of 2016. It is a great idea since it keeps you accountable. The idea is that you write what you want to do during your workout, then you go back and write what you did/didn't do. This way you can keep track of your improvements/fall backs. And hopefully, over time, you will see yourself improving in your exercises. i.e. maybe you start at 5 push ups. But by the end of 2016 you get up to 20. And you don't struggle as much.

The most important thing to keep in mind is that we all have set backs, so if you have an off week or two, it isn't the end of the world. I am excited to see where 2016 brings me, exercise-wise. Hoping to see some awesome work-outs this year with improvement across the board. But even if I get worse at something, that's ok too.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Six healing sounds

Over two weekends from October 31st to November 8th I was able to participate in an awesome Qi Gong workshop through our Martial Arts & Wellness center. The idea behind these healing sounds is that it is a vibratory way of healing. Here I will go over briefly what we learned since it was very helpful and I would love to share this with others so that they too can know and utilize these healing sounds.

There are five elements and six healing sounds. The elements form a symbol and when practicing you should always start in the current season and then go in order of the seasons/elements. The elements are fire, earth, metal, water and wood. Currently we are in the metal phase/autumn. This changes just as there are changes in nature. Each element channel has a main organ with a secondary organ. For autumn/metal the main organ is the lung, and the secondary organ is the large intestine. The lung is a surface type of organ, it takes in what we breathe and controls many things such as how we speak/express ourselves (i.e. sighing). Each element also has associated emotions; for the metal element the positive emotions are courage, righteousness and the negative emotions are sadness and grief. The color associated with this channel is white and the sound is "ssssss."

The next element is water. Water is associated with winter and the primary organ is the kidney. The secondary organ is the urinary bladder. Kidneys take our what our bodies don't need and help regulate blood pressure. The positive emotions are alertness, compassion and gentleness; the negative emotion is fear. The color is black or dark blue and the sound is "choooo." The following element is wood and is associated with spring. The liver is the primary organ and the gall bladder is the secondary organ. The liver and gall bladder play important roles in detoxifying the body. The positive emotions are kindness and forgiveness; the negative emotions are anger, stress and frustration. The color associated with this channel is green and the sound is "shhhh."

The next element is fire and is associated with summer. The heart is the primary organ and the small intestine is the secondary organ. The heart is important factor in moving blood and oxygen through your body. The positive emotions are joy and happiness; the negative emotion is violence. The color associated with this channel is red and the sound is "hawwww." The following element is earth and is associated with Indian or Gypsy summer. Earth is in the middle of all the other elements since everything goes through the Earth. The primary organ is stomach and the secondary organ is spleen.The stomach is important since it begins the digestion process and prepares nutrients to be ingested. The positive emotion is kindness and the negative emotion is worry. The color associated with this channel is yellow and the sound is "whoooo."

The sixth healing sound is the San jiao channel. The idea behind this healing sound is that heat is normally in our heads and chest. The idea is to move the heat downwards and out, to move fluids down. There's no specific organ for this channel but the lymph system is considered part of this channel. The sound is "heeee."

The idea behind all of these healing sounds is that you imagine the light and positive emotions going into the specific organ channel and you imagine the negative emotions leaving the specific organ channel. These healing sounds are meant to be not only therapeutic but also meditative. The amount and frequency needed depends on everyone's specific situation.

If you missed the recent seminar, do not fear since there's another one coming up in January 2016! Check out the information HERE.

How do you meditate, relax or heal yourself?

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Workout buddy need apply

It's that time of year again... With Thanksgiving and Christmas around the corner, the intensity and frequency of the exercises and workout sessions must increase. For the love of Turkey! And everything else that is so so worth it, you must #chasethebird, or workout everyday until Thanksgiving, so you don't feel regret and extra chubby on what should be a joyous celebration of eating everything you want. (Pumpkin Pie included!)

On that note, I am seeking a workout buddy or two to motivate me through the next few months. I'm looking for someone to go to the gym with me a lift weights and/or do Yoga or Zumba classes with me. I currently have a running buddy who runs long distances on Sunday mornings with me, and my husband who goes to Kung Fu class with me during the week. But I am a member of LA Fitness and would like to take advantage of this membership. If you're looking for a buddy to go to LA Fitness with you, let me know. I go to the Morton Grove facility and unfortunately can only go to this location. Hoping this location works for one of my friends who has time to workout with me, at least once a week. See the schedule below for the classes:

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

A 90's and early 2000's look back

Whenever I think back to the late 1990's and early 2000's, I can only think of one hobby that I partook in nearly every day. My life centered around the hobby known as chat rooms, AOL Instant Messenger and MSN. Of course all while jamming out to No Doubt, Everclear and System of a Down. When I first started chatting online, I was excited just to be there, talking to people across the US, across the world. I got to "meet" some of the most interesting people, and some of the most boring people. Over time I realized some of them lived to be online, creating websites just to build themselves up and make them look cool. But then I discovered the actual cool people, who ended up leaving the realm of the chat world. And I eventually left it too. But this post is reminiscent of the time I spent online and the people I found and got to know.

I remember signing into AOL Instant Messenger and despite having way over 200 screen-names on my list, I would only look for one in particular. It's funny how little things over the interwebs can turn into big things in your head. Thankfully I grew up and out of the chat scene and finally met my soulmate at one of my college summer jobs and married him almost two years ago. I will always look back to my time in the chat scene and think fondly of it. In a few weeks, I will be attending Riot Fest where No Doubt will be playing and I am sure there will be flashbacks.

What do you remember of the 1990's and early 2000's?