Candytopia

I cherish the moments where I can just kick back and be a kid again! That means having fun and being carefree without having bills, issues, and whatever other adult situations on my mind. Well this weekend I got to do just that by going to Candytopia! It was held here in Dallas, Tx and of course I got to live in the moment with one of my best friends, Nicah. If you aren’t familiar with Candytopia, it’s a pop art museum that you can interact with and of course eat all the candy you want. I highly recommend anyone in the area to check it out. It’s great for the family and for singles too! Check out a few of my photos below:

 

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Travel Guide: Carry On Essentials

Spring is finally here, and that means it’s time to start traveling for Spring Break. There are so many things you may feel you need to go on your new adventure, but there are just some items you can’t leave home without. It’s a given for what to pack in your main suitcase, but what should you bring with you in your carry on?

When I’m traveling, there are a few essentials I must bring no matter what. I want to share those items with you today, so maybe you’ll get some ideas on what you can bring.

Airpods

Wireless headphones are a godsend. They are so easy to store and use that it makes listening to music, videos, and audiobooks more convenient than ever. My favorite is Apple Airpods. They come in a white case that also acts as a charging dock and two earbuds.

I take them with me everywhere even when I’m not traveling. These would be good to have on the plane or even with you in the hotel’s gym. I love the fact that there aren’t any wires to get tangled up in so it is hassle-free to take them out of the case and into your ears every time. The charge lasts a long time too, so I do not constantly have to plug them into a wall.

Portable Charger

A portable charger is a must! We all like to be connected to the internet and social media regularly. The thing is, is that if you don’t have your smartphone, laptop or tablet charged there is no way to use them and capture epic moments on your trip.

It’s easy for your battery to get drained as you take videos and snapshots of what’s going on around you. Let’s not forget using the GPS to get around town so you’ll want to have something small and powered with electricity to get you through the day and resuscitate your devices.

Laptop

Having my MacBook Pro is a necessity for me majority of the time, and when traveling, it’s no different. I’m not going to rant and rave about how great MacBook Pros are today, but I will stick to why I have to have it with me practically at all times. Don’t get me wrong it was a great purchase, but even if you don’t have a MacBook, it is crucial to have some sort of laptop on deck.

I love having a laptop because it is great to get business done on a larger screen while I’m away from home. It stores more and usually has certain capabilities that your smartphone can’t always provide. I don’t know about you, but I get tired of trying to navigate through apps that only allow you certain abilities because it is a mobile version.

If you’re a writer like me, then you know how much of a struggle it is to write on a tiny screen, and all you can use is your thumbs. It’s doable, but not convenient. I enjoy the space and ease it gives me to come up with content and communicate with clients no matter where I am.

It is also a great way to kill time while waiting on your flight. You can surf the web, look at videos, edit photos you name it! Most airports and hotels have free wifi so getting use out of your laptop shouldn’t be a problem while on your trip.

Makeup Travel Bag

If you like to get glammed or wear makeup regularly then packing a makeup bag with brushes and products you love is a must. I like to keep things simple and pack the following:

  • Foundation
  • Contour kit
  • Eyeshadow Palette
  • Liquid Eyeliner
  • Powder
  • Brushes
  • Setting Spray
  • Highlighter
  • Primers
  • Mascara
  • Eyebrow Pencil

It sounds like a lot, but I keep everything compact by getting mini versions in things like mascara and setting spray, palettes, and kits. Having a palette or kit helps you fit multiple shades and product in one item. That will make it easier to carry around and give you various looks. My favorite eyeshadow palettes to bring with me are the Huda Beauty Obsessions and the Morphe Palettes. There’s nothing wrong with looking as good as you feel on your vacation.

Kindle

I probably should have just labeled this E-book, but I have more experience with Kindles. I’ve had the Kindle Paperwhite for about five years now and have loved every second of it.

This is great for avid book readers who have a variety of books they want to read while on the go but don’t want to lug a ton of books around to do it. I mean some books are as thick as an encyclopedia. Who wants to carry that around if you don’t have to?

I love how I can purchase or read any book with only a click of a button. It is compact enough to fit in a purse or backpack and big enough to see the text with ease. All you have to do is charge it with your portable charger, and you’ll be good to go.

Neck Pillow

The neck pillow is definitely a travel essential. It will make sleeping on the plane much more comfortable. You can find them at a Target or Bed Bath and Beyond near you to give you an idea of where to look.

Neck pillows can help you avoid straining your neck because of sleeping while sitting up and being in one spot for possibly hours. The same thing applies to those who choose to drive to their destination. The support and comfort are a win-win for all.

Essential Oils

Essential oils may have not been on your mind when you thought about packing, but let me tell you why they should be.

When you’re on your trip of a lifetime, you don’t want to worry about getting sick. Essential oils are great for boosting the immune system and fighting off infections.

It also supports digestion that way if your stomach is upset or if you’re having indigestion you can get relief naturally.

Not to mention vacations can be draining and make you super tired. If you have the right essential oil on hand, then you can get a quick energy boost without caffeine.

Travel Size Toiletries

Please, please, please don’t forget to pack travel size toiletries. You don’t want to get stuck using the hotel’s cheap shampoos and conditioners that dry your hair out.

It’s so easy to go to a store like Target and get empty travel bottles. Not only will you not have to worry about if the liquid matches the airport’s regulations, but you will also be able to keep up your skin and hair routine without any problems.

So there you have it my travel essentials for 2019. These items are what get me through any trip and some I use regularly. Either way, they’ll be a great addition to your carry on while you travel for Spring Break or any other vacay.

 

What I Learned After College

I haven’t done a real reflection post in a while and thought that this was the perfect time to do one. I want to share the lessons I learned AFTER college was over and done with. These are some lessons that truly changed my perspective and life for the better.

Not Everyone Is Your Friend

I learned this both in and out of college. I’ve had many friendships that have ended over the years that I thought would last for a lifetime. You’re not going to get along with everyone and shouldn’t expect people to appreciate your friendship the way you do. You’re two different people that have different backgrounds and experiences.

Those experiences shape you into who you are and how you relate which may mean you clash and that’s okay. The important thing is finding those people who you don’t constantly clash with that are your biggest fans and vice versa. Those people who will have your back through it all.

I can proudly say I’ve found that in my two best friends, Veronica and Raquel. I feel sufficient with them being my only two real friends and am blessed to have them in my life.

Your Job Will Be Different Than Your Degree

I heard that this happens, but I didn’t think it would be me. I ended up getting my first real job in insurance and my current job is in collections. That is completely different than advertising, but strangely I’m okay with this. I feel like I ended up where I needed to be and the convenience of my job to my apartment also helps.

I still hate that I worked so hard for my degree to not even do anything with it. All I have is to say I have an education. At times it feels like a waste of money when I see how much my student loans are and how I’m not making ads. Honestly, I don’t think I would have been happy in advertising anyway so it worked out.

Life Happens After College

I thought that because my college experience wasn’t the best that I was doomed for life. To my surprise, it has been the complete opposite. Don’t get me wrong it hasn’t been all rainbows and butterflies, but it has definitely been better than college.

I don’t deal with bullying anymore and finally, have the independence I dreamed of having in school. I’m starting to figure out what I like and have actual hobbies. It’s way better than going to class and then back to my room trying to make friends with people who don’t care about me.

I have even traveled more than I did in school, but I could use some more travel in my life. I’m still successful and beating the odds. I’m finally getting my emotional and mental health together to where I control it instead of the other way around. I definitely like how things are starting to go regardless of the mistakes I may make along the way.

You Won’t Meet The Love Of Your Life Right Away

This was a hard one because I’ve always longed to be in a relationship and get married someday. I just got out of my first real relationship for the better and realize now that it’s not all it’s cracked up to be.

I ‘ve gotten comfortable with being by myself because being in a verbally, emotionally abusive relationship is not worth my wellbeing. We had good times,  but the bad outweighed them. I finally see that it’s important to take your time to get to know someone and not rush the process.

You’ll probably date quite a few people before you find the one and that is okay. There is no law that says you have to date one person for the rest of your life out of obligation when it’s unhealthy for you. I also don’t need to be married right now or ever to feel complete. I’m my own person and bring something unique to the table and he should too. We don’t have to be each other’s half to make a whole. We need to already be whole to come together in a relationship that will last.

You Should Date You

This is so so so important. It was the biggest and best lessons I could have ever learned. It kind of goes with the whole relationship piece. It’s important to get to know who you really are and want to be. It’s not going to be linear, but it helps to have somewhat of an idea of who you are and where you’re going.

I’m currently dating myself by figuring out what makes me happy, what I like to do, and how to enjoy my own company. I’m finding out that I don’t need a man or anyone else to make me feel whole and love myself. Looking back at my past, I can tell that’s what was missing from the equation. The way I allowed people to treat me and how I treated myself showed that there was a lack of love and confidence.

I’m happy to say that I’m learning to love me and gaining confidence every day. I’m taking care of myself in a holistic way. Let me tell you it feels great! Don’t get me wrong we all need connection, but you shouldn’t be dependent on the connection. Interdependency is the goal and I’m getting closer and closer every day.

These are important lessons I learned after college that is helping me get through life as we speak. Of course, this is just a smaller segment of a larger picture but still has just as much value.

Through the mistakes, heartbreak, and good times I’ve come to realize that life isn’t linear and stops for no one. You have to grab it by the horns and make it instead of it making you. The great thing about life is that you never stop learning.

So I’ll continue to learn and be resilient through the trials I may face. I encourage you to do the same because you’re worth it no matter what people say or how hard life is hitting you right now. You are not your mistakes and you are important. Don’t forget. Trust me I have to remind myself every day.

Top 5 Makeup Staples

Makeup is another passion of mine besides being active and writing. I have a makeup collection that is organized similar to a beauty blogger and am a Rouge member at Sephora. So today I want to put on my beauty blogger hat and share my top 5 makeup staples.

Foundation

I have a variety of foundations to fit my mood for any occasion or day. Finding the perfect foundation is rough and takes a lot of trial and error. Some of my favorite foundations are:

  • Nars Natural Radiant Longwear Foundation in Macao
  • Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation SPF 15 in Warm Almond
  • Fenty Beauty Pro Filt’ R in 420 (soft matte)
  • Bobbi Brown BB Cream SPF 35 in Dark

These are my go tos because they give me great coverage and last all day regardless of if I wear a primer or not.

Contour Kit

I absolutely love to contour. I have a couple contour sticks that I love, but none of them beat my Smashbox Contour Palette in Medium/Dark. I can’t get enough of this palette especially the terracotta bronzer. It is the perfect shade for dark skin and it even comes with step-by-step instructions for those just starting out. I use this kit every time I put on makeup even if I tell myself I’m not going to go all out I somehow gravitate toward the bronzer every time.

Highlighter

Having a glow is my signature look. I wouldn’t be me without a shimmer on my cheeks. I try to tone it down, but I can’t go without the shine. Some of my favorite brands to get my highlighters from are:

  • Kylie Cosmetics
  • Huda Beauty
  • Becca
  • Anastasia Beverly Hills

Lipstick

I am so a lipstick kind of girl. If I don’t have anything else on, but want a little makeup on then lipstick is my go to. I love a matte lip and am obsessed with the Kylie Cosmetic Lip Kits for that matte look. I use numerous kinds and finishes of lipsticks, but matte and Kylie Cosmetics are my favorites. The next would have to be Kat Von D.

Mascara

Four Words…Better Than Sex Mascara. As risque as the name is, the Better Than Sex Mascara by Too Faced Cosmetics is my absolute favorite mascara of all time. I also like the Maybelline Great Lash for a more natural look and the L’oreal Voluminous Million Lashes for that false lash effect at a reasonable price. But back to the Better Than Sex. It gives me that long false lash look that I like without overdoing it. It lasts for a long time so you’re getting your monies worth and throughout the day so your look looks as fresh as it did before you left. Mascara is a must for any makeup look to bring out your eyes and finish the look.

I could go all day about all my makeup favorites and collection, but these are the top five that I must have with me anytime I want to make up my face. I enjoy playing around in makeup and trying new looks, but it’s also nice to have a go-to look when you don’t want to really think about your look in too much depth. I hope you guys check out some of the brands I mentioned and get why I love them so much. Tell me about your favorite makeup brands in the comments and your staples you can’t live without!

My Favorite Place To Blog

Blogging. I have a love for it, and when I want to get into my zone, I have to go to specific places. Sometimes I want it to be quiet and calm while other times I want an environment with stimulants yet still serene.

My Apartment

I always love being by myself in my apartment especially when I want to write. I can control the atmosphere. If I want background noise, I have the authority to turn on music or the television if I want. When I want things quiet, I can turn it all off with the only noise being my thoughts.

I never thought I would enjoy my own company as much as I do when I’m blogging at home. There’s just something about having your own space that allows you to be creative.

Starbucks

When I first started blogging, I would go to Starbucks nearly every day. It has that same variation as my apartment but is usually on the side of being a stimulant and serene. I love the smell of coffee and the ambiance from the people to the music.

I enjoy my favorite latte, mocha, or caramel macchiato while I type away on my MacBook. I get tons of work done every time I go. Starbucks has and will always be one of my favorite places.

The Library

The library is definitely quiet and calm. I don’t go often, but when I do, it helps me focus. I’m able to keep my train of thought effortlessly without the distractions that I sometimes have in my apartment or Starbucks.

I also like the fact that I don’t feel the need to buy anything to stay there for hours. When I’m at Starbucks, I feel like I should always buy something to use the establishment. That’s most likely what you’re supposed to do, but still, it can get expensive. The library is a great way to get all types of work done and get out of the house to change up the scenery.

Bottom line, I love changing up where I write because it helps my creativity flow whether it’s changing from sitting at my desk to the dining room table to the couch while at my place or going to Starbucks and the library. I love to go to these places almost as much as I love the content I create while there.

When it gets warmer, I plan on using my patio more and using the Starbucks patio too. Being outside is another great way to get my creative juices going, but I digress. I hope you enjoyed learning about some of my favorite places to blog. These places help me get into the zone to create content that I think you guys will enjoy.

DIY Vanilla Latte

I love trying to make dupes of my favorite drinks and smoothies. This time I tried to master the Vanilla Latte similar to what I get from Starbucks. I’m trying to cut back on how much I eat and drink out so this recipe will be perfect for those days I don’t want just regular coffee and need the kick that espresso gives.

You may feel that espresso is bad for you and may have even been told to cut back, but I’m here to tell you that it’s not all bad. Espresso actually has many benefits that you’ll love.

Better Concentration

The energy you get from espresso can also make it easier for the brain to focus on daily activities. It fires up dopamine in your brain to help concentration and fight exhaustion. You will even notice your productivity level increase, but be careful to not consume too much because it will affect your sleep.

Helps With Weight Loss

You probably didn’t know that espresso can make your workout feel less intense. It helps you endure more to lose weight with all the energy you get from it. You also will be less sore and the espresso itself is low in calories to aid in your weight loss goals. So take the time to have a little espresso before your workout. Trust me you’ll see a difference.

Boosts Mood

We all know that the caffeine in espresso is a powerful stimulant. It can help with low moods throughout the day especially if you suffer from depression by helping to remove exhaustion and boost brain activity too.

Loaded With Antioxidants

Just like coffee, espresso has tons of antioxidants that can help with inflammation, preventing diseases, and even protect you from UV rays and pollution to name a few.

Those are just a few of the benefits of espresso. Go to Expresso Experts to learn more about the health benefits it has.

The Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 Cup of Milk of Choice
  • 2 teaspoons of Instant Espresso (Medaglia D’Oro)
  • 2 Tablespoons of Vanilla Syrup (Torani)

This recipe is super simple and super delicious! You start by putting 1 cup of milk into a saucepan and heat it until you see vapor and a slight simmer. While that is going on, put 2 teaspoons of instant espresso and 2 tablespoons of vanilla syrup (I use Torani but any syrup will do) in your mug or travel mug. Once your milk has a slight simmer and vapor coming out, pour it into the mug with the rest of the ingredients and stir. Now enjoy your latte!

I hope you guys try this recipe out and tell me what you think!

 

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Travel Bucketlist: Places I want to go

With February wrapping up means that March and Spring Break are on its way. That means there will be tons of traveling for some of us while others will be planning staycations to have a good time. Both are great ideas! I’ll be in the staycation bucket this year, but that doesn’t mean I can’t think about the places I’d like to go and the adventures I would have in them.

I decided to list out the different cities or countries I want to visit sometime in the future. This isn’t an extensive list by any means, but a snapshot into my travel mind. Here we go:

Fiji

Fiji is a beautiful Island near Australia that I’m dying to go to. From the photos I’ve seen it seems like a tropical paradise where I can get away from all of my typical worries. Its waters look crystal clear and I can just imagine scuba diving deep into the South Pacific/Oceania Oceans. Not only would I go scuba diving, but I would love to go hiking in the falls of Taveuni known as Fiji’s Garden of Eden. I may never get to go, but I’m sure if I did it would be an experience to remember.

blue body of water
Photo by Stephen Paris on Pexels.com

Paris, France

I’ve always wanted to experience Paris in the cliche lovey-dovey way. I’m a sucker for romance and Paris is the perfect place to fuel the flame. I would love to experience the Eiffel Tower and get a view of this beautiful city. I feel like it would be interesting just to explore the city from the cuisine to the sights.

eiffel tower in paris france
Photo by Nextvoyage on Pexels.com

Bahamas

The Bahamas are a no brainer. Most people get to go at least once in their life typically on a cruise. I would love to cruise around the Bahamas on the Carnival Cruise Line or another high-quality cruise ship. Just imagining the beaches and tropical drinks make me want to pack my bags today. It would be great to go on pigs beach or go snorkeling to admire all the interesting sea creatures.

dock with cottages
Photo by Francisco Cornellana Castells on Pexels.com

Egypt

Pyramids. Enough said. The rich history that Egypt holds is enough in itself to make anyone want to travel there. I would love to be amongst the pyramids and ride camels through the dusty deserts.

sand desert blue sky egypt
Photo by David McEachan on Pexels.com

I hope someday I will get to visit each of these places and create memories with family or friends while there. I aspire to be well traveled and be able to look back on my life in old age and be satisfied with how I chose to live my life. One of those things being the places I traveled to. Let me know your top 3 places you want to travel to next.

How My First Juice Cleanse Went

Anyone who knows me knows that I hardly ever go without a real meal. I’m definitely the hangry type so making sure I eat is good for everybody especially my sanity. With that being said I decided to mix it up and do a juice cleanse. They’re a great way to detox your body faster and give you that energy boost you need after a long week of eating poorly and gulping down a ton of caffeine.

I have a plethora of cookbooks and a nice selection of them involve juicing and smoothies. When I realized that buying pre-made juices would really hurt the bank I looked through my cookbooks and decided to make my own.

My detox of choice came from the Juice + Nourish: 100 Refreshing Juices and Smoothies to Promote Health, Energy, and Beauty by Rosemary Ferguson. She already has 3 detoxes ready to go in the book. All I had to do was follow them. In the cookbook, there is a one-day detox, two-day detox, and three-day detox. As mentioned before, I get hangry so, for now, I went with the one day detox. Hopefully, in the future, I’ll be able to do the three-day beast.

Anyway, I wanted to share with you guys my personal experience doing a juice cleanse. That will entail how I felt before, during, and after my cleanse was over.

How I Felt Pre Detox

Before I started my cleanse I felt super sluggish. I’ll admit as much as I love being healthy, the last few weeks I significantly slacked off. With my birthday being last week (Woo 24!) and Valentine’s day, there was plenty of opportunities for me to eat like crap.

I love sweets so the cake and chocolates were right up my alley. I had Chinese food, burgers, tacos you name it I ate it. I also haven’t been able to work out too much because I started a new job and trying to figure out my new routine. Enough of the excuse though.

Another symptom I had was my skin. My skin went on full breakout mode. I have never seen my skin act so bad in my life. It didn’t matter what products I put on it, nothing was working.

I also noticed I have been pretty bloated. That’s not like me and yes I did gain a couple of pounds. Still, I shouldn’t feel so uncomfortable because the extra weight was only about 3 pounds.

Another sign I needed a detox was my sleeping habits. I don’t mean that I would decide to stay up knowing I had to get up early. Oh no, this was I tried to go to bed at a decent hour and just couldn’t. Insomnia has been hitting me hard and little did I know that it could be a sign that I needed a detox. So, of course, that was the icing on the cake. No bloating, get some sleep, fewer breakouts, and no more regret from how terribly I ate. I would say it’s a win-win.

The Detox

The day I decided to do the detox I prepped my skin by exfoliating and I got in a nice workout early in the morning. After my workout, I had my first drink at 6:30 AM that she calls the “Tumeric Dream”.

The “Tumeric Dream” had a sweet and savory taste to it. It’s made up of apples, carrots, celery, pears, lemon, and ground turmeric. The reason for this juice was to kick start my liver for the day.

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The next juice I surprisingly enjoyed at 11:30 AM. It’s called “Super Green.” By the name, I thought I would hate it because normally green juices are gross if I’m being honest. This one was different.

“Super Green” has Kale, Spinach, Celery, parsley, apple, pear raspberries, and lime. It was refreshing and sweet and definitely gave me some energy back. I was getting hungry by this time and the juice was just what I needed to fill me up and add nutrients to my body.  That was the point to having the super green next so that the body can continue to get rid of toxins while getting nourishment.

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Around this time I also felt a little nauseous, but that is normal because of all the toxins leaving your body.

At 2:40 PM I had the next drink, “Berry Boost.” Out of the previous two, this was my least favorite. I could taste the berry, but it wasn’t very sweet. It almost had a bitter yet clean taste to it. Even so, it was still drinkable.

By this time I had an on and off again headache and was still hungry. I considered multiple times eating something, but I was determined to make it through all four juices without faltering.

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When 6 PM rolled around I had my last juice for the night and some chipotle (shhh). The last drink was called “A bit of Papaya.” It was good and I could really taste the ginger in it. This one is good to help you relax.

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How I felt After My Detox

I’ll admit, that first night I didn’t get much sleep, but I did feel energized and still do. I was able to catch up on my sleep the next day and I haven’t noticed any new breakouts. I also noticed I’m not having sweet cravings as much anymore and I think it has to do with the juice cleanse I did. Overall, I feel and felt good so I recommend people try it at least for one day like I did.

My First What I Eat In A Day

I always think it’s fun to see what people eat in a day. It gives me great ideas and overall interesting to see how or what kind of meals people put together. With that being said I thought it would be a good idea to share my first “What I eat in a day” type of post like I see on youtube.

Now for a disclaimer. I don’t normally cook every day, but last Wednesday I had the opportunity and I took full advantage of it.

I started my morning at around 4:30 AM with some avocado toast with everything spice (made from scratch) before I went to my barre class. I’ve started to try to eat before my workouts for more energy and to not starve to death afterward.

After having an amazing workout at barre, I refueled with a beet smoothie around 7 AM. I know I start my days early, but surprisingly it gives me way more energy than sleeping in. That is especially true when I workout to begin my morning.

When it hit noon I decided to go ahead and make lunch. I enjoyed a delicious pre-made quinoa patty on multigrain bread. I like gluten-free bread because it’s light and I feel that it doesn’t bother my digestive system as much. I added mustard, ketchup, and kosher cheese. Talk about delicious!

Around 2 PM that day I wanted a snack. I kept it simple with your basic banana and I made another smoothie because the beet one wasn’t that great. I don’t really care too much for earthy smoothies and should have put more fruit in it. The second smoothie I made was a mix of frozen banana, kale, and frozen dark cherries with rice milk. It was yummy!

At 5 or 6 PM I went ahead and made dinner. That included grilled chicken, mashed sweet potatoes and the best vegetable in the world, brussels sprouts. As a side tangent, I think everyone should invest in a George Foreman grill. It cooks the meat fully and fast while keeping it flavorful and juicy. A trick for the brussels sprouts is to put salt, pepper, and balsamic vinegar on them for flavor. Roast them for about 12 minutes at 425℉.

I know you shouldn’t eat after 6 PM, but I couldn’t resist. I had to get some french vanilla ice cream that I got from Whole Foods. It was definitely worth indulging in.

Below are photos of how everything turned out: