May 31, 2015


5/1 Lazy day...
5/2 Tested out Oceane's Makeup Remover Pen
5/3 Green Tea Waffle @ Hiro Asian Kitchen
5/4 Failed study day...
5/5 Finished grading and grade updating!
5/6 RIP Taylor Clark
5/7 Nirvana documentary - so good
5/8 Working hard or hardly working? Ugh, rough day.
5/9 Picked out outfits for Taiwan
5/10 Happy Mother's Day! 10 Things My Mom Taught Me About Beauty
5/11 McGurk's wings - added to review
5/12 Could not stop eating today...ugh
5/13 Neil deGrasse Tyson & Sauce On The Side
5/14 Evan at the ER
5/15 Back to Bloomington
5/16 Travel day - off to Taiwan!
5/17 Travel day - off to Taiwan!
5/18 Figuring out the MRT (beef noodle soup) and walked around Wanhua's market (agar jelly, McD's Sesame McFlurry, first 50 Boba Milk Tea, giant buddhist temple)
5/19 First morning seeing the mountains...bibimbap at TMS National Palace Museum, Ay-Chung's intestine noodles, Hot Star Large Fried Chicken, SFT Juice and Ice - Mango and Green Tea Snow
5/20 Rest day...walked around Sinjuang & ate purple corn and fish cake barbecue
5/21 Went to market with grandma...showed us cool river, bought custard pies and cream soda pops
5/22 Went to Danshuei to see gulf, bought Durga figurine, relaxed at Yuan tea house, and went to the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall in Jhongjheng
5/23 Went to Jioufen tourist site to see the coolest market, tried their Taro ice cream wrap and green tea mochis, visited the huge tea house, and went to Songshan to look at tea stuff
5/24 Met Ashley! Visited cultural art center, back to Shinlin for snow and hot star chicken, and hookah night at 1001 Nights
5/25 Aunties and cousins day...ate at the famous Din Tai Feng and visited Taipei 101
5/26 Went to Jinshan district to visit the deceased and ate Korean barbecue afterwards
5/27 Rest day...having really bad digestive pains :(
5/28 Rest day...
5/29 Went to emergency room today for ulcers...ate really good dragonfruit
5/30 Finished the best pineapple I've ever had and grandma mended my leggings
5/31 Goodbye Taiwan...I ate myself to death, but it's alright.  I'll be back!

Getting dropped off at the Taiwan Taiyuan International Airport
I wanna fly on the hello kitty plane...


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May 10, 2015

10 Things My Mom Taught Me About Beauty

This woman has taught me so much and she continues to be one of my greatest influences in life.  I'm so lucky to call her my mom.  Some of my favorite conversations with her have been about character, honesty, food, style, and beauty.  

(1989) my mom was and still is a huge fan of culottes

She was a history teacher by trade and always talked about how much she loved her profession.  I never fully understood why she missed being an educator until I had the opportunity to teach.  It's truly a rewarding experience, and I understand why she valued her students and their education so much.  She is at her best when she teaches and I'm so grateful.  I really don't think I would have turned out this well if it wasn't for her guidance and encouragement.  

(1995) my dance recital

I have so many things I want to pass on to my future children, but for now, I will continue to learn as much as I can from her and share some of her words with you as time goes on.  With that said, in honor of her and of Mother's day, I wanted to share a few things my mother has taught me about beauty.  

She passed these great tips on to me, and now, me to you:

1. Do your hair
My mom would never let my brother or me leave the house if our hair was a mess.  She made us aware that our face and the hair that frames it is the first thing people look at and that it's important to give them our best face.

2. Dress well
This goes along with her lessons about looking presentable in public.  It doesn't take a lot of money or time to put effort into how you look.  She, also, always talked about dressing in a way that subtly reflects your personality and not following fashion trends.  Be yourself!

3. Wear sunscreen
My mom is crazy about sun protection and I'm understanding that more now as an adult.  Our skin is the largest organ that we have as humans and damaging the tissues under sunlight or tanning beds is not the best.  Sunscreen does a lot more work than you may think.

4. Fresh-faced is your best face 
My mom has taught me so much about skincare and how my skin needs to breathe to stay healthy.  In her opinion and my own as well, wearing too much makeup is not practical for every day and is just not a good look in general.  If you look completely different with makeup, then you're wearing too much.

5. Eat well and stay hydrated
My mom loves anything food related and taught me how to have a good relationship with food.  I was taught that moderation really is key and to eat a variety of things to stay happy and healthy.  She also taught me to never stress about food.  Being on a diet, counting calories, counting points, and all of that takes the joy out of eating.  Oh, and of course, hydration is important.  Our body is comprised mostly of water and our level of hydration affects our physical and mental performance. 

6. Learn to feel satiated at 80%
My mom taught me the importance of feeling full at 80%.  Whether it be full in your heart or in your stomach, 80% is a good place to be content at.  This practice has taught me to not expect so much from people and that eating well doesn't mean eating a lot.

7. Smile, laugh, and dance 
My parents love the disco era and as a result, my brother and I are disco babies.  We have no problem being upbeat and expressing ourselves through smiles, laughter, and dance.  It's one of the best ways to show your inner beauty.

my dad was super excited about donating in exchange for a banner
...this is what he wanted on the banner

8. Wash your face at night
This goes along with #4.  Your skin repairs and rejuvenates itself at night and it's important to go to bed with purified skin.  A clean face is the best canvas for skincare products and allows the antioxidants, peptides, and lipids to penetrate through the skin.

9. Develop a skin care regime
My mom bought me my first set of skincare products when I was 12 years old.  It was the Clinique 3-Step System.  I still use all of those products today, but have incorporated other products into my skincare regime as well.  I usually switch out some things to adapt with the changing seasons and climates.

10.  Self-care vs vanity
This may be the greatest lesson of them all.  She has made me mindful of self-care as opposed to vanity.  Self-care is a necessity when vanity is not.  Self-care relates to self-esteem and having a positive image of yourself.  Vanity can make a person appear insecure and even narcissistic.  It can be destructive to spend that much time anazlying your physical attributes.  

Things that I've adopted on my own:
1. Get facials, regularly
A professional facial every once in a while makes such a drastic difference to the texture of my skin.  My skin always feels amazing afterwards, so I love getting facials.

2. Do my nails and toenails
My mom keeps her nails natural, but natural nails seem boring to me.  My style consists of a lot of neutrals, so I feel like I need nail polish to provide a pop a color.  

3. Meditate
My grandpa valued meditation.  Because of his influence, it has always been an interest of mine.  Headspace has been around since 2012 and is one of my favorite iPhone apps.  Every morning after breakfast, I try to take a few minutes out of my day to meditate.  It allows me to clear my head and feel the state of my being.  It's actually really hard to achieve the feeling of centeredness on some days.  Meditation is a lot more difficult than it looks.  It's like the mental form of yoga, and yoga is extremely physically challenging.

4. Exercise regularly
I love when my face and body turns red after a workout.  The flush of blood makes me feel like oxygen and nutrients are saturating the all of my tissues.  How can that not be great for my skin and for my body?!

5. Dry brushing
This is a more recent addition to my skincare regime that focuses on the skin on my body.  Dry brushing to slough off dead skin cells has made a significant difference to the appearance of my skin.  My skin looks and feels really healthy and soft.  The brushing can feel really abrasive at first, but I have been learning to enjoy this kind of exfoliation.  

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What's In My Bag? (ft. Influenster x Carefree)

A mini crossbody bag is my must-have accessory for the spring and summer.  My favorite bag is a white, faux leather mini crossbody that I bought at Zara last summer.  It's the perfect size, color, and weight.  Listed below are other cute crossbody bags that I've found online.  Happy shopping and enjoy the video!

FOREVER21 Chained Faux Leather Crossbody (Black, Tan, Cream, Coral)
FOREVER21 Quilted Faux Leather Crossbody (Black, White, Red, Blush)
KATE SPADE Cedar Street Mini Maise (Black, Bright White, Mint Mojito, Rosy Dawn)
ZARA Croc Mini City Bag (Sea Green)
ZARA Mini City Bag (Lime Green - subtle)

ZARA Mini Messenger Bag w/ Metallic Fastening in White

(I received complimentary Carefree pantiliners from Influenster for testing purposes)
food, drink, & restaurant reviews:
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