Browsing Category: Life

My 2014: The Year My Life Changed Forever

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Since the new year pretty much on the other side of the door, I guess this would be a perfect time to reflect on this past year of 2014. A year ago, I definitely didn’t think much would change in my life by the end of the year. Even though I wanted more, I can honestly say that I didn’t think much would change, including my job, relationships, and people in my life. Boy, was I wrong.

*Deep breath”

For the rest of my life, I will always remember 2014 as the year that I lost my mom. Even as I typed those four small words, my eyes just burst into tears. She passed away on September 17, over 3 months ago and I’m okay, just like I know that after a small stroke, followed by a heart surgery and an amputation and countless of rehab before ultimately transitioning, she is now finally okay.

Although I think about her every single day (with more than an occasional outburst of waterworks from my eyes) and miss her from the deepest depth of my soul, I’m not sad. I’m actually happy, because she’s at peace which has put my brother, sister, and I at peace, as well. Between the beginning of April until her death, we as individuals were going through a lot.

A month before all my mom’s illness issues popped up,  my sister/roommate lost her job, which left me to cover all of our joint bills. Luckily, I was blessed enough to be able to do, but still it was stressful, for both of us. Two months after that, my brother and his ever-loving and supportive wife had just begun the life changing journey of entering the fostering/ adopting program and received their child. Due to other other things with my siblings, I was left to handle all my mom’s business, meaning making sure her bills were paid, going to doctor’s appointments, and filling out countless paperwork while working a full-time.

However, all that stuff is a blur and doesn’t matter anymore. I just miss my mom.

*Dries tears*

Despite that, 2014 is also the year I acquired a new mindset on just being happy. So, simple, yet so hard to do at times. I started to do what made me happy. If it meant laying on the sofa all day watching movies saved on my DVR and indulging in guilt/sugar/fat-filled snacking, I did it, but not that much. I especially embraced this new philosophy after the death of my mom.

I’m going to carry this personal pursuit of happiness from this year into next and set my goals. Well, not necessarily “goals”, but things I’m striving to do this year.

  • Become certified to become a teacher – This was something I considered back in February 2014, but fell to waist side so I can help my mom. Now, I’m prepping to take the certification test within in the next couple of months. Yes, the person who never wanted kids and didn’t think kids would like her has come to realization that it’s not true. Well, the latter anyway. Still,wish me luck.
  • Continue paying off debt – I did pretty good at this in 2014 by being meticulous with paying bills and stalking my credit score like ex on Facebook. I’m going up the ante in 2015. I’m aiming to pay off almost half my debt this year. I’m knocking off the smaller, but still diabolical ones first and cutting back on some unnecessary expenses. Crazy how paying off bills instead of buying new clothes makes me feel so happy. I guess that’s part of being an adult.
  • Nurture strong AND true relationships –  Despite the emotional personal year I had, I somehow met and built a couple of great friendships while also learning to let some go.  It’s hard coming to realization that some people you truly care and/or really like just can’t reciprocate that back to you and eventually you have to realize that it really is you and not them. They were showing me who they are, but I wasn’t paying attention. However, once I started to do a life cleansing and removing the people and things that didn’t make me happy, I noticed that the number of numbers in my contact list had shrunk. Hmm….and I’m okay with that!

So, I’m very optimistic for the new year and the journey I’m about to embark. I’ll see back here on January 5th and have a Happy New Year!

Stay Stylish!

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Candles Are Awesome

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I love candles. Well, most people do, which is why they are usually my go-to last minute gift. Seriously, a nice and fragrant candle is a great gift to receive. So, I tend to load up on them.

Although, I’m a fan of most candles, I’ve recently become fond of soy candles. One brand that has been burning around my house is the Fall harvest trio from Old Factory. The trio included Pumpkin Spice, Cranberry, Autumn Leaves, which were all very fragrant WITHOUT being to overwhelming. Even my sister-in-law who is sensitive to most candles, because of the strong scent applauded these candles.

Old Factory candles are hand-poured in the USA with natural soy wax, self-trimming cotton candle wicks, and premium fragrance oils. The Old Factory Candle Gift Sets each contain 3 different scented candles. Each candle burns clean and even for 20 hours.

Aside from the Fall Harvest collection, they offer 11 other collections including 2 I really want to try; Fresh & Clean and Spa Day. Other than the holiday season, I tend to stick to clean scents. So, those two collections are next on my list once the holiday season is wrapped.

Each set is themed around a group of related fragrances. So everyone is sure to find something perfect for every occasion, every room in the house, and all the special someones in your life. Old Factory Candle Gift Sets are sold exclusively on Amazon.

I suggest you might want to stock up on a few of these gift sets, because they make awesome gifts anytime and for anyone…including you!

Stay Stylish!

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WEEKEND AT HOME: Starbucks ‘Coldbuster’ Tea

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It’s definitely flu season, because my sister and I have blowing our noses repeatedly all week. So, this weekend, we plan to lounge on the sofa and watch Christmas movies all day to rest ourselves.

Luckily, all my issues have been just ‘nasal’, but I felt my throat getting a little itchy and knew that was body’s way of telling me I need to put on my boxing gloves and fight off a cold. Well, I knew I needed to soothe my throat and the best way I know to do this is with a big warm cup of tea. However, my laziness made me wondered did Starbucks have a tea that was good for soothing an itchy throat other than my usual go-to Zen green tea.

After a quick Google search, I was introduced to Starbucks’ ‘The Coldbuster’ tea which combines peppermint, chamomile, and steamed lemonade. As soon as I sipped this tea, my body instantly felt calm, soothe, and oddly refreshed (Thanks, Peppermint). Also, my sister who was feeling worse than me, felt the same afterwards, too. Aside for the feels, the tea even tastes awesome!

If it wasn’t for the fact that the instructions for the barista a little tedious to give over the drive-thru intercom, I would order this almost everyday.

So, the next time you are dealing with a cold or feel one coming on, might a suggest you run this recipe to your nearest barista.

  • Venti Cup w/ a bag of Refresh Tea (mint) and a bag of Calm Tea (chamomile)
  • Add half hot water and half steamed lemonade
  • Add a little honey for its anti-microbial effects
  • Optional: Add a pump of peppermint

Stay Stylish!

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Goodbye Juicing! Hello….SOUPING?

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Juicing was MAJOR the past couple of years and for good reasons. It was healthy, quick, and delicious. No to mention, perfectly chill for those hot days.

However, there is a new kid coming to town in the form in souping. Soupure is a new company that provides, soups, broths, and other warm and savory liquids that will be perfect for colder months. However, Soupure products can be sipped warm or cold.

Unfortunately, Soupure is currently only offered in L.A., but it is a start-up. So, I’m sure they are working to spread this genius idea.

Have you tried juicing? Are you interested in ‘souping’?

Stay Stylish!

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Weekend At Home: Pumpkin Decor and Design

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No matter where you live in the USA, you have to have driven past countless pumpkin patches and stands in the past couple of weeks. I haven’t stopped by one, yet. However, that is going to change this weekend, because October seems to be steamrolling and Halloween is going to creep up…fast.

Although pumpkins are mostly known for creating jack-o-lanterns for Halloween and some of the best pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving, they have become staples in home decor for fall. Over the years, the use of a simple of pumpkin your porch is so blah and boring. Now, pumpkins are adorned with paints, fabrics, and jewels to create pieces of art. Some pumpkin decor is so ornate that they are almost too beautiful to throw away and replace.

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In my opinion, some of the prettiest pumpkin designs don’t involve carving of any cutting. Instead, opting for basic supplies from most craft stores can add more design. A simple layer of paint and some metal studs and jewels can create gorgeous and fancy pumpkins. Also, wrapping a thin layer of lace can be just as appealing and simple.

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One of my favorite designs and uses for pumpkins is when they are used for table centerpieces. I love when they are painted in neutral shades of cream, gold, and white. It’s a simple idea that looks chic and elegant.

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When I was a child, I loved making and decorating jack-o-lanterns with my mom and brother. However, I would’ve equally loved, if not a  little more, to paint pumpkins in to fun cartoon characters. I know my brother would have been super amped to have a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle pumpkin. Character painted pumpkins would look nice mingled with simple pumpkins and jack-o-lanterns on your porch.

So, did you get any ideas for your fall pumpkin decor? If you want some more ideas, follow me on Pinterest. I created an entire board filled with more DIY pumpkin design ideas.

Stay Stylish!

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