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Introducing Naomi Lu

April 25, 2018

Naomi two months

Hello! It has been a while since I last blogged. I gave birth in February! Introducing Naomi Lu, born on 2/20/18 at 4:06PM. I am just getting past the newborn haze and feeling like myself again, but my heart feels so full and I am so thankful to have this little girl in my life. She is an easy baby but started rejecting the bottle a month ago, so I feel like I am constantly nursing. When I am exhausted and when the days feel so long and when I long for freedom, I try to remember the feeling of her warm body on me, the touch of her tiny hands clutching my finger, the sweet smiles she gives, the funny faces she makes at herself in the mirror, and all the small milestones I am blessed to witness. It’s hard to believe that I can provide all the nourishment she needs and the comfort she seeks. I know that when she is older, she won’t need me the way she needs me now, so I cherish the late nights when I get to hold her close. I love this little angel.

I have three more weeks at home before I return back to work. I look forward to adult conversations and to eat a hot meal without interruption, but I am also sad to be apart from her for so many hours every day. Since life is extremely busy right now, I am not sure how often I will be blogging. There are definitely things about my pregnancy and now motherhood that I think will be really helpful to others, so I am keeping this blog open. Thanks for following me on my new journey!

Life, Lifestyle

Gift Guide for the Homebody

December 6, 2017

gift guide for the homebody

I cannot believe Christmas is in less than 20 days! I’m so happy that I’m all done with my Christmas shopping. There were some amazing Cyber Monday deals this year, so I purchased everything online! I have created holiday gift guides for him and her the past two years. This year I am going to do something slightly different. I tend to hibernate during the winter, so I thought it’d be fun to come up with a gift guide for the homebody like myself. I would also love to hear your product recommendations!

Planner // I just purchased a 2018 planner and I cannot wait to start writing things down. Of course I probably won’t get around to doing most of the things I dream up, but as long as I have a plan, I will get around to at least half of them!

UGG Slippers // My feet are always cold, so I live in these slippers all winter long. I love the soft sheepskin and have bought several pairs over the years. Here is a version for men.

Barefoot Robe // Of course I have to recommend my favorite robe! These are the most luxurious robe I’ve ever worn. They are incredibly soft and feel like you have a cozy blanket wrapped around you all day.

Eye Mask // I purchased this eye mask from the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale a couple years back. It is made with copper which is supposed to minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. I packed this for our family vacation to Alaska last summer and it did an amazing job of staying on all night and blocking out all the light.

Candles // If you’re going to stay in, then scented candles are a must. I love Nest candles because the smell lingers throughout the entire apartment. Even though Nest is quite expensive, the candles will last a long time. The last one I had lasted for about 6 months!

Electric Kettle // This is on my Christmas wish list! On weekends I’m often boiling a pot of hot water on a sauce pan to make tea, drip coffee, or hot chocolate. Having an electric kettle would be so much faster and you can set the temperature based on the type of drink you’re making.

Crockpot // I love spending weekends baking and cooking. People say slow cookers are perfect for busy work days, but who even has time to prep in the morning?? I never use the slow cooker on week days. This All Clad slow cooker is one of my favorite items in the kitchen. I prep everything in the late morning, and then I can go about my day doing other lazy things around the apartment before dinner is ready.

Humidifier // A humidifier is great in the winter because it helps prevent dry skin and the spread of airborne viruses, but it also helps relieve cold/allergy symptoms. A much cheaper option is from Crane, though it is meant for just a small room.

Face Mask // My Sunday nights are reserved for face masks. I am loving this charcoal mask that will shrink pores, firm skin and strip away dead skin. When I need extra hydration, I will put on a sheet mask.

Hulu and Netflix // We recently canceled cable! No more Chopped or Real Housewives for me… Instead, I will be binge watching shows on Hulu, Netflix, or Amazon Prime.

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Beauty, Makeup, Skincare

Sephora VIB Sale Haul and Recommendations 2017

November 10, 2017

Sephora vib sale 2017

It’s my favorite time of the year–Sephora VIB sale! This sale happens once a year in November and it is 15-20% off all items sold at Sephora. I keep an ongoing wishlist so that once the sale approaches, I know exactly what I want and won’t purchase too many items I don’t need. Here are the sale details:

  • VIB Rouge 20% off – Nov 3-6, Nov 10-15 – Coupon code 20FORROUGE
  • VIB 20% off – Nov 10-15 – Coupon code 20forVIB
  • Beauty Insider 15% off – Nov 10-15 – Coupon code INSIDER15

Every year, I stock up on my favorite Drunk Elephant products. I have been using the DE C-Firma Day Serum and DE T.L.C. Framboos Glycolic Night Serum for years. I always wait for the holiday limited edition because the kit includes a few sample sized items for about the same price as purchasing the full size items separately. I also stocked up on Beauty Blenders and PMD Replacement Discs. I have been searching for a new foundation and decided to get the Milk Makeup Blur Liquid Matte Foundation after receiving a sample to try out a couple weeks ago. I love the coverage and it keeps my face matte the entire day. This foundation is also silicone-free, which is something I’ve been trying to eliminate from the beauty products I use. There are two items other bloggers have raved about, so I decided to pick them up as well: Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow Sleeping Mask and Tata Harper Purifying Mask. My first impression have been positive, but I will post a review on these two products in the future.

Though I did not splurge on too many products this year, I do have some product recommendations for those who are shopping the sale this week. In addition to the products I mentioned above, these are my top 5 makeup and skincare recommendations:

Makeup:
Skincare:

Let me know what products you’re picking up from the sale!

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Life, Lifestyle

30 Things I’d Tell My Younger Self

October 25, 2017

 

I turned 30 today! For a while, it seemed like this day would never come. My first thoughts this morning were: “I’m old! Time for some anti-aging creams.” and “I need to get my life in order!” I spent the day reflecting on my 20’s and realized there are so many great lessons, accomplishments, and memories from my 20’s. Even though I’ve been 30 years old for less than a day, I already feel wiser and ready to tackle the challenges ahead! Here are 30 things I’d tell my younger self, and also want to continue reminding myself going forward:

  1. Be curious, try new things.
  2. Make time for the important relationships in your life.
  3. Take time daily to unplug from technology.
  4. Do NOT over-tweeze or wax those eyebrows!
  5. School is important, but you don’t need to get straight A’s. Go have some fun!
  6. Be a good role model to those around you.
  7. Listen more.
  8. Get rid of toxic / negative people in your life.
  9. Tell the people you love “I love you” often.
  10. Forgive those who hurt you.
  11. TRY waking up earlier.
  12. Stand up for others, even when it’s hard.
  13. Eat healthier, spend the time to meal prep.
  14. Always put yourself in the other person’s shoes.
  15. The guy who makes you cry is not right for you. And don’t worry, your heart will heal.
  16. Travel as much as you can. Go see the world.
  17. Reflect on your mistakes and learn from it.
  18. Be proud of your body.
  19. Don’t let anyone else’s perception influence your choices.
  20. There is never the “right” time to do anything. Just go do it!
  21. Ask for help when you need it.
  22. Be selfish with your time–don’t overcommit.
  23. Celebrate the small victories in life.
  24. Always put money into savings, no matter how small.
  25. You are your own worst critic–no one can see your imperfections the way you can.
  26. Don’t do things just to please others.
  27. Be patient and persistent.
  28. It’s not only OKAY to say no, but it’s a must sometimes, so get comfortable with it.
  29. Dream are not out of reach, so dream big.
  30. Life is great. Not always, but things always get better.
Beauty, Makeup, Skincare

September 2017 Beauty Discoveries

October 10, 2017

september 2017 beauty discoveries

Hello! I took a month off from blogging because I needed time to focus on other priorities but I have been planning my content calendar and I am excited to start working on them. Even though I have not been blogging, I have been trying out lots of beauty products every month. I’m excited to share these new product discoveries that I have been using the entire month of September:

CosRX Low pH Good Morning Gel Cleanser

CosRX is a Korean skincare brand that focuses on fewer ingredients and customized products based on specific skin type. The products are very affordable yet effective. I’ve had a chance to try out several products from CosRX and I am pleased with the result. A new favorite is the Low pH Good Morning Gel Cleanser. I was intrigued by this cleanser because of the low pH. Cleansers often strip our face of natural oil because of the higher pH. This gel cleanser is gentle on my sensitive skin and leaves my face refreshed and clean in the morning.

Thayers Witch Hazel Alcohol Free Toner

I have always used toners after cleansing because it removes any left over residues. This toner is alcohol free and leaves the face well balanced. Besides this, there are no other added benefits so I am going to try something new after I’m done with this bottle.

Boscia Luminizing Black Mask

I received a sample size of this in one of the Sephora Play boxes so I was excited to give it a try. The first time I used it, it was a bit painful because I had to wait for the mask to dry before peeling it off the face and a bunch of facial hair got pulled in the process. I thought this charcoal mask did a much better job of clearing my pores than my mud masks. It leaves my skin dry afterward, so I have to apply serum and moisturizer immediately.

GLAMGLOW Thirstymud Hydrating Treatment

This is typically what I apply after the Boscia black mask. I also love applying this pre-flight because the hyaluronic acid locks in moisture. This would be a great mask in the dry winter months or for anyone with dry skin.

Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush – Unstoppable

This is an exclusive shade that I purchased during the holiday sale last year. It is a great fall color that goes well with my medium skin tone. I am a fan of the Tarte Amazonian Clay blushes and have them in several shades. The colors are long lasting and blends well with liquid and powder foundation.

MAC Cosmetics Crystal Glaze Gloss – Love Your Body

This gloss was part of the “Work it Out” limited edition. I typically don’t like glosses, but I like how this formula is not sticky or shiny. It isn’t long lasting but does hydrate the lips. While the packaging is nice, I don’t like jar packaging because it is unsanitary to keep dipping my finger inside.

I would love to hear what products you have been trying out. I have been testing out a lot of new products so I will be posting an updated morning and evening skincare routine soon!

Lifestyle, Travel

Grand Alaska

August 31, 2017

Matanuska GlacierMatanuska Glacier

This post is long overdue. I meant to post about my Alaska trip a lot sooner, but I lost access to all of my edited photos and I had to motivate myself to re-edit. I spent a week in Alaska with my husband’s family and we had an amazing time! It was my first time visiting Alaska and my sister-in-law did most of the planning, so I was pleasantly surprised. Even though I knew Alaska is the largest state, I was still shocked by the size of it! Not only does it require a lot of time to explore Alaska, but it can also be difficult getting to parts of the state. We started in Anchorage, made our way up to Denali/Healy, then back down to Palmer and Seward. I imagined Alaska to be beautiful and scenic (from watching the movie The Proposal), but seeing it in person was astounding. It reminded me of driving through South New Zealand–everywhere we went was breathtaking. One of the highlights of the trip was salmon fishing in Seward. It was my first time fishing and I caught two salmons. We were able to freeze and bring the salmons home to San Francisco and have been trying out various recipes.

I would highly recommend visiting Alaska. We look forward to going back someday. Here are some of my favorite photos from the trip!

mount healyHike to Mount Healy. Yes, we hiked all the way to the top!

mount healy

mount healy

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