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How To Wear A White Dress – Mistake Free!

Did You Know? The theory for the fashion rule to wear white after Memorial day started at the height of its popularity, the color white signified upper class and refinement. You wore white at summer resorts and society events, while the masses wore drab colors as they labored away. “By the 1880s, in order to tell who was acceptable and who wasn’t, the women who were already ‘in’ felt it necessary to create dozens of fashion rules that everyone in the know had to follow…That way, if a woman showed up at the opera in a dress that cost more than most Americans made in a year, but it had the wrong sleeve length, other women would know not to give her the time of day.”

( v i a )


YAY! ALL WHITE EVERYTHING!

I love wearing white. The color is fresh, clean, young and classy.  I feel like white is a perfect color for any occasion and is definitely a go-to for me.

I used to fear white.  I either risk my outfit getting dirty (hello spray tan) or wearing a fabric that was see through & revealing of all my precious undergarments.

However, I fear no more! Mostly because I don’t care if either of those accidents happen, but also because I’ve mastered avoiding them.

How-I-wear-White

How I Wear White, Mistake Free:

Start with the White Dress:

I wear white shorts & pants all the time, but dresses are also an easy option.  To avoid anything see through or too revealing go for a flowy style or a piece w/layers. I avoid maxi dresses that are white & super long because that’s more fabric to get sabotaged by dirt or stains.

Add Bright Shoes:

The fun part about white is that it matches everything. I’ve been known to pull out my hot pink heels when I wear white because the pop of color adds dimension, if you ask me.  It takes away from concentrating too hard on the dress.  If you’re trying to be a little more casual, white also looks classy & pretty with a nude shoe.

And A Bright Lip:

You’re either doing a bright lip, bright shoe, or both!  This lip stain does NOT move.  Once it’s dry, you really don’t have to worry too much about getting it on your outfit. And a bright lip really pops when you’re wearing all white. I love that combo on anyone!  OoOoO la la

Classic Gold Jewelry:

Subtle gold jewelry, tan skin, and a white dress?!  Yes!  To keep it smooth & classic, go for these skinny chains. Subtle, but the perfect detail for pulling all the pieces together.  I realized when you add a simple piece of jewelry it shows effort. HA! I used to always skip little jewelry, too lazy.

Oil Up w/Avocado Oil:

This one & my next are the biggest secrets.  I’ve been using Avocado Oil as moisturizer lately, it’s not very greasy & soaks in the skin just right.  I would typically recommend a bronzing lotion because I’m obsessed with fake tans but when you’re wearing white that can be a little risky.  Avocado Oil will shine perfectly on your bronzed skin to help you glow – without risking stain.  I put oil on any skin that’s showing!  Also, if you have a spray tan, make sure you do 1 day & 1 shower before your big white moment.  That ways the tan is super stuck on your skin & won’t make your dress brown. You get it.

Never Skip the Highlighter:

The key to life throughout the summer? Highlighter.  Who doesn’t want to glow?! I put it on my shoulders & collar bone, if they’re showing.  It really helps everything POP!

And Finally, Makeup:

Less is more when it comes to wearing makeup while you’re wearing white! Especially if you’re in a hot weather area where make up tends to slide after a while.  There’s nothing worse than foundation marks on your fresh white clothing, right?!  That’s my nightmare, looks cheap & high maintenance to me.  So, I do my face routine that I do for work days – concealer, highlighter, maybe blush & a little bronzer, then my eyes.  But that’s it!  You don’t want to risk touching your face & having the product transfer to your clothes.


Welcome Memorial Day & the summer heat! Welcome! Today, I walked outside my apartment & actually had a hard time breathing because the humidity & heat was so thick it felt like I was breathing under water. (Dramatic?) Anyone else feel me?! NOT a hot person, most definitely dreaming of a thick snow storm.

Also… note, Last Man Standing was canceled. I found out the news yesterday.  I’ve only watched the entire season through about 4 times on Netflix so I was really depending on fresh, new seasons to start soon. Anyone have other light comedy sitcoms to share?  I’m totally open to cheesy.

Have a great weekend everyone!  Be thoughtful,

Xx

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Beauty

My Easy, Everyday Makeup (free) Routine & 5 Reasons You Should Get On Board

Did You Know? The thinnest skin is found on your precious eyelids measuring at .02mm thick.  The thickest skin is found on your feet measuring at 1.4mm thick. ( v i a )

 


I never thought I’d see the day where I wouldn’t want to wear makeup all day, during work, but here we are.  For the past 2 months I’ve abstained from MOST of my makeup at work.

 

My Daily Makeup Routine

I used to think makeup was important at work because it helps you look awake, alert, professional, clean, put together, on time – but I’ve had a shift in mentality recently.  I don’t want to put shit on my face when my computer screen & a few people are the only ones reaping the benefits.  Most of the time I don’t even look in a mirror so I’m not even able to marvel at my artwork.

I’ll admit, I’ve never been the person that’s afraid to go outside of the house without makeup, or in my sweatpants (sometimes pajamas).  So going without makeup wasn’t necessarily fearful for me, as I think some people that wear makeup every day can end up feeling.

I decided to ditch the bronzer, foundation, blush, eye shadow, highlight, or whatever else I was using every day.

I think the first week was a little shocking for the other employees.  Like maybe I had an illness or was SUPER hungover or Wafiq & I were breaking up.  In my defense, I don’t think I looked like an ailing ghost, I think it was different from what they were used to seeing.  ESPECIALLY in the mornings when my eyes are puffy and usually red because of allergies + without makeup my freckles & sun spots are visible.  I definitely don’t have the smoothness & dimension that foundation & bronzer bring to the table.

After a week or so went by I perfected the moisturizer, concealer, and mascara routine to a point where I still felt put together, but free.  I think all makeup wearing people, including lovers of makeup, can admit there’s nothing like a fresh, bare, clean face.  YUM.

 My Daily Makeup Routine

My Routine:

  1. Clean Face: Stick to your normal face wash routine.  Full disclosure, I skip this step most mornings. I like the oil that my face accumulated overnight & prefer not to wash it away.

  2. Moisturize: As you know, I’ve been using this Tepez Cream, but am always looking for a stellar moisturizer (tell me!!)

  3. Oil: I like an oily face.  Lately, I’ve been trying Avocado Oil.  I put a thin layer all over, including my neck.  Even Wafiq does this step now 🙂

  4. Conceal:  Use any concealer under your eyes to brighten your entire face with little effort. Lately, I’ve been using this one, but I switch all the time.  Make a huge triangle under your eyes & the spots you want to cover << for me, it’s always around my chin.

  5. Blend:  Wet a beauty blender, I love this one, then start dabbing the blender all over the concealer until it’s blended out & looking smooth.

  6. Powder:  Unless it’s really hot outside, I can skip this step.  Otherwise, I put a translucent powder or a nude eye shadow from this pallet under my eyes to keep the concealer in place all day.

  7. Curl Lashes:  I have stick straight lashes, so curling is a must!

  8. Mascara:  I’ve used this one since I was 16.  I noticed doing both the top & bottom eyelashes helps A LOT.  Sometimes I’ll do the top only & when I look in the mirror, I get scared.

  9. Chapstick: Don’t forget to moisturize your lips!  This finishes it all perfectly!

 Every-Day-Minimal-Makeup-Look(5)

That’s my new every day, work “look”.

I’m feeling a bit empowered, when I look at my gorgeous coworker’s fully contoured & looking like a hard 10 face – I still find myself happy that my face is clean & nearly makeup free. Confident that I can wear my oily, moisturized face with a dab of concealer & way less product.

So much less to think about, right?!

 My Daily Makeup Routine

5 Benefits of Less Makeup During Workdays:

  • Save money on expensive makeup products

  • Easy & fast – meaning less time getting ready in the morning & more time sleeping

  • Focus on the health of your actual skin – moisturizing & clarifying the skin that you have

  • Enjoy weekend makeup again – you’ll be creative & energized when you get to do a full face of makeup with all your products on a well-rested face

  • Boost of confidence – You’ll feel proud & confident to rock the carefree make up look at the office! Trust me 🙂

My Daily Makeup Routine

I throw on layers of makeup on the weekends or a night out or anytime I’m bored.  Bring on the blush, glitter, bronzer with a glow, fake lashes, red lipstick, and whatever else I can find –  but as far as day to day, super minimal is my new routine!

I totally understand this sounds silly to a lot of makeup-free people but once you get used to wearing makeup it’s kind of weird to walk away from it…  For anyone that sits behind a desk the majority of the day & doesn’t see the point in spending $$$ on an expensive, gorgeous, high glow, foundation to wear all day at work.  Skip it! Save it for the weekends & weeknight outings.

My Daily Makeup Routine

To make my life even easier, I roll my hair up into a clip before bed & let it down the next day for a super relaxed curl.  That’s it.  My morning routine is 10 minutes max.

Anyone else started wearing less makeup during the day when you’re staring at the computer for hours? Let me know! I need a support group.

Have a great start to the week & as always, be thoughtful

Xx

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Life

15 Things To Get Done This Spring

Did You Know: It’s World Poetry Day March 21st so I thought I would share this one:

Some days,

I feel everything at once.

Other days,

I feel nothing at all.

I don’t know what’s worse:

Drowning beneath the waves

or dying from the thirst. ( o.m. )


I love places with 4 seasons because they’re precious & only a few parts of the world get to fully experience them. For the rest of us, Spring is a date on the calendar & something to pretend we actually experience.

Spring Checklist

I use the change of seasons as a check in.

I hate getting comfortable.  I’m 50% a lover of routine & my home BUT I’m 50% ready to pack a suitcase & start a new life-altering adventure next Tuesday.  Too much comfort gives me anxiety. That’s why, with the change of seasons, I try to get my shit together.  Mix in a couple planned trips, organize my memories, and throw things out!

I’m also the person that has lists EVERYWHERE.  I have a list for every thought in my mind.  As I was making my Spring To Do List I thought I should turn it into a post so you guys don’t have to sit down & do the brainstorming.   Maybe you can take a few things off my list to add to your own, and share a couple things from your Spring lists?  Changing little parts of our routines & making plans is key to cultivating adventures. And who doesn’t like adventures?

Spring Checklist

Shoes ( h e r e ) // Pants ( other color options: h e r e )

15 Things To Get Done This Spring:

  • Clean out your living space, cliché, but this is major. For help: Click Here

  • Take advantage of the sun being out & workout outside (… and shed any added winter weight)

  • Start your allergy medicine regime

  • Buy extra flowers to fill all of your rooms, this is the time to go overboard!

  • Change up your wardrobe, wear florals & pastel colors like: this floral maxi dress & this pink sweater

  • Organize or create your outdoor space (yard or patio) & get a fire pit to have a few fires

  • Start mastering your self-tanning routine, for help: Click Here

  • Order your summer swimsuits, a favorite: one piece here & two piece here

  • Plan your summer vacation & weekend getaways

  • Bring your doggie on a canoe, before it gets too hot & uncomfortable for them

  • Go Camping! While all the flowers are blooming & it’s cold at night

  • Organize your photos from the year so you can start fresh

  • Backup your phone (I’m the worst at this)

  • Download music that has a Spring vibe: Like this or this

  • Write down 5 things your grateful for this Spring

Spring Checklist

Ok, what did I miss? Favorite Spring activities?

I’m currently off to grill burgers.  We haven’t been grilling recently but the weather is already starting to steam in Texas so the BBQ has been calling.  Not to mention it’s been forever since I indulged in my all-time favorite Basic Burger salad & something about the warmer weather has me craving it!  (Can you tell I’m starving hungry?!)

BYE!

As always, be thoughtful

Xx

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Beauty, Food, Life, Style

5 Things I Can’t Go A Day Without

Did You Know? 68% of the people suffer from Phantom Vibration Syndrome, the feeling that one’s phone is vibrating when it’s not. ( v i a )


I love investigating peoples routines & what they do every single day, meaning they’re obsessed.  For a long time that was Target for me.  Not a product, but a place.  I went to Target all the time & it was the one thing I desperately missed when I was out of the country.  I’ve gotten it together since then.  (*Amazon Prime*)

But of course, there are still products you use every single day that you can’t go without & those are the secret’s I need to know about!

Below are mine…

5 Things I use Every Day

5 Things I Can’t Go A Single Day Without:

1. Coconut Oil:

I’ve recently started experimenting with other oils as moisturizer, which I’ll update on later, but I still use coconut oil every single day in the kitchen.  I love the taste it brings to a dish.  I use it as oil when sautéing, mix it in my oatmeal for breakfast, or give my little doggie a spoonful as a treat.    I prefer cooking fresh meals as often as possible & coconut oil goes right along with that – I use it for everything in the kitchen & I love that it doubles as a use for pretty much anything else.

2. Hair Clips:

I can’t go through an entire day without using a hair clip.  My entire life I’ve had long, thick hair which I’ve loved but have only been able to manage with a tight ponytail.  I started hating the huge line mark that a tight  ponytail was making so I made the brave switch to hair clips & haven’t looked back.  I either: 1. Half dry my hair & twirl it into a bun, securing with a clip 2. Pull half my hair up once wearing it down has had its moment  3. Clip up when I get out of the shower when my hair is still wet.

Keep in mind, hair clips give your hair room to move so you’re less likely to have breakage.  And I should note, I currently do not own a curling iron so the only way I achieve any volume or curl is by wearing my hair in a bun w/a clip all day or overnight.. When I let it down, BOOM – curls.

3. White Shoes:

They’re too easy.  I wear these either letting my dog out in the morning, at work, after work, a quick run to the grocery story, the beach, with a fancy dress for a night out… Shit, I’ll wear them with anything, anywhere.  I buy a new pair OFTEN because they’re so affordable & there’s nothing better than clean, bright white shoes.

4. Moisturizer / Chapstick:

Cannot survive a day without my moisturizer.   I’ve always had super dry skin & I’m pretty much always trying to hold a self tan, so a moisturizer is an absolute MUST.  The past year I’ve been using my oil of choice & this Tepez Cream.   My face is super sensitive & will break out if you look at it incorrectly, so I’ve tried TONS of products that haven’t worked.  Oils & Tepez Cream never let me down – but I’m still looking.  Anyone have a fantastic moisturizer or eye cream that pumps in moisture they swear by?!  I’ll send you a thank you note if you tell me your secrets… Seriously.

And of course I carry chapstick everywhere.  The one place I NEED it daily is next to my bed.  I smear it on before I sleep and it moisturizes my lips all night long so I wake up fresh.  I can’t fall asleep without it.

5. Huge Sunglasses:

Even on a cloudy day I’m wearing sunglasses if I’m outside (or in a bright room?).  I can’t stand the strain on my eyes from squinting.  Once you realize how much huge, dark sunglasses helps your eyes you’ll never be able to go a day without them.   {They also come in handy when you’re super hungover, at the grocery store, buying frozen pizza, and run into your ex boyfriend.}


When I think about the things I can’t go without, these come to mind.  I feel like each of them serves a purpose in my day to day functioning, including my $15 H&M pants I was wearing in my recent Instagram pic.  As long as I have these items, I’m good to go, ready to conquer the world!

What products can’t you live without?

Have a great week & be thoughtful!

Xx

 

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Life, Thoughts

Life Chat: Meeting Nick from New Girl

Did You Know? When Tim Allen was 25 years old he was arrested in Michigan after he was found to be in possession of 1.43 pounds of Cocaine.

( v i a )


Hey everybody!!

 Austin Texas

What are we up to?!  I’ve been doing my best to engage in SXSW activities.  Wafiq & I always love how cool Austin feels during this time.

Last weekend we were walking around when it was rainy and cold, all the streets downtown were bustling with people & we both immediately felt like we were in another city.  So alive & streets filled with people, not to mention the cooler weather & rain made us feel like we were on vacation… Yes, rain and cold weather makes us feel like we’re on vacation, lived too many years in desert weather!

 Austin Texas

We walked by the SXSW red carpet outside the Paramount Theater & noticed a premiere was showing.  I’m not sure what the movie was BUT, Nick from New Girl was there.

We had an excited moment as we walked by & both excitedly said “It’s Nick! It’s Nick!”.  There were people with their phones out & he was pretty open to talking or saying hi to his fans but as we walked away I realized I didn’t like seeing him.  I don’t want to meet Nick.

Meeting an actor takes away from their character, of which I love!  For example, I want Nick to be Nick – but he isn’t & if I met him I would realize that.  Wafiq & I will forever consider that man to be: NICK. Period.   So he may too busy to talk to us, but we’re too committed to his character to meet the real him.

 Austin Texas

There’s one more weekend left for us to go out (and avoid favorite actors) so we’ll see what we can get into.

We’re currently having perfect weather that hasn’t heated up too much & I’m pretty grateful to enjoy it while I can.

And as much as I would love to say I’m loving the sunshine staying out so late now that we’ve had daylight savings time, it’s really kicking my ass in the mornings.  I don’t remember this being a problem before?!  I was used to getting out of bed easily for Yoga every morning but all of a sudden I feel like I’m still in REM sleep when my alarm goes off…

 Austin Texas

PS.  I’m probably the first person in history to admit this, but I’m a complete fuck up when it comes to my essential oil diffuser.  It smells like something is on fire?! And I’m 90% sure something is, so I stopped using it. That lasted a whole 7 days.  Am I missing something?!

Ok, off to read Sandcastle Kings – a book about Jesus.  We’ll see.

As always, be thoughtful…

Xx

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I recommend..., Life, What I Wore

Loving Lately: Three Everyday Favorites

Did You Know?  Originally, scientists wore beige coats. In the late 19th century, medical professionals chose white ones. The color white was chosen because of the idea of hope and expectations for healing and recovery that the physicians would bring. ( v i a )


Boi, why you so obsessed with me?!  If the following three items had a voice, that’s what they would say. Screw monthly favorite posts, who really has time to try 1,000 products in 1 month and know what’s working and what isn’t?! Impossible.  But there are a few items that I’ve been loving lately, genuinely loving. Let’s get real, that’s what’s important to share.

Also we’re nearing the weekend, I’m planning 0 activities.  SXSW is coming to Austin the next two weekends and although I barely understand what SXSW actually is – I do know there’s a lot happening and always somewhere to be with free drinks and free phones, so I’ll be there.

For now, if you buy all three of the below items you’ll be out a cute $30 << Pretty proud to say that.

Loving Lately

White Canvas Sneakers from Target

I should start by saying I’m a lover of socks & covering feet completely.  The very first thing I look at on a guy is his shoes, if he’s wearing sandals he’s in a terrible category.  OMG I went on a dreadful eHarmony date once & the tiny guy that was supposedly 6ft tall was wearing jeans & sandals, on a first date!  No no no no no.  I don’t have very many deal breakers, but that’s one of them.  Sandals are strictly for the beach or pool.  There’s no beach or pool on this date!

Ok, back on track, I love wearing white because it’s fresh & clean and I love shoes that I can wear with socks that lace up snug.  These shoes are the winning ticket. They’re only $16.99 so when they get too dirty you can buy another pair to keep them looking fresh.  White shoes go with everything  << you’ll notice I wear them in almost all of my pictures.  I was buying stupid expensive Reebok’s before but when I found these $16.99 Target shoes, I felt like I won the lottery.  Now they’re all over my house.

Trader Joe’s Ultra Moisturizing Hand Cream

I’m a nail biter.  So it’s important that 1. I have my nails painted 2. I have moisturizer on them at all times << That combo keeps me from eating them.

The key with moisturizer is to be a little greasy so it sits on my nails without soaking in completely.  This keeps the polish looking fresh, but not too greasy where I can’t touch anything without leaving behind an oily finger print.  I’ve gone through three, yes three tubes of this cream in two months.  I’m obsessed.  I’ve recently purchased another one to leave by my bed… and put on my arms, legs, feet, hands, shit anything really, right before bed. OBESSSED. (I found this other really cool article on beauty products from trader Joe’s for anyone interested: 15 Reasons to Start Buying Beauty Products from Trader Joe’s)

Wine Saver Pump with 2 Vacuum Bottle Stoppers

Shut the F up.  WOW. How did I not know this existed years ago?!  Thank you little baby Jesus for Christmas because Wafiq bought me this wine vacuum for Christmas & its changed my life!  I love wine but I love one glass, or two at night.  Then I work diligently at squeezing the cork back down the bottle in order to keep the wine crisp.  Always a fail and always frustrating.

Here’s how the wine pump & vacuum works: you place the wine vacuum stopper in the wine bottle & place the pump over the top & start pumping. Takes 2 seconds & it’s sealed with the air vacuumed out of it… ?!?!   I knew we were legit when we went to a fancy restaurant & noticed all their wine bottles had the same stoppers!  Yeah, let’s just say they were very privileged to have my presence while dining.  PS. $13.99.  I can’t. I’m done.  No.


What have you been loving?  Share & I’ll try.

Have a great weekend & be thoughtful…

Xx

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Home, I recommend..., Thoughts

Tips, Tricks, and Ideas to Help You Clean Out Your Living Spaces

 Did You Know? Hoarding disorder is a persistent difficulty discarding or parting with possessions because of a perceived need to save them. A person with hoarding disorder experiences distress at the thought of getting rid of the items. Excessive accumulation of items, regardless of actual value, occurs.  Compulsive hoarding affects approximately 700,000 to 1.4 million people in the U.S. and only 15% know their behaviors are irrational. ( v i a / v i a )


MissBassmaster crashed – alllllll the users I’ve been having crashed it!  Just kidding, I wish. That sounds much better than the truth, me forgetting to renew my domain name.  Procrastinating & ignoring emails that I don’t understand finally caught up to me.  Thank God for my super helpful, wonderfully intelligent friends that can fix all my problems 🙂

 Cleaning-Your-House

It’s the end of January & time to talk my favorite activity – PURGING.  The New Year, especially when things have settled down & gotten back into a routine, is the perfect time to clean out your living spaces.  I actually attempt to throw things away every single weekend, in case immigration knocks at our door and kicks Wafiq & I out of the U.S., we’ll easily be ready to catch the red eye back to Dubai :0

Getting rid of things doesn’t come naturally to me or feel comfortable.  I cried when I had to get rid of a $10 box TV and $25 bright red sofa a few years ago as I was moving. Wafiq had to pry me off my red sofa as it was sitting outside by the dumpster waiting for someone to pick up for free. (#neverforget)  In the moment, it was traumatizing.  I latch on to items because they’re tied to memories & money.

One of the better parts of leaving the United States & living out of a suit case was having to get rid of everything.  I’ve done this a few times. All of a sudden you can live with minimum items & surprisingly barely notice, so I know it’s doable.

Since moving back to Austin, finally getting an apartment, and having more than -$100 in my bank account, I’ve tried to keep a handle on the “things” I have.  If I don’t have enough room for something I take it as a sign to clean out!  To brag – I’ve been doing a fantastic job.  Border line too good?  I’m throwing things out faster than I have a chance to doubt my decision. BYEEEEEEEEE!

Cleaning-Your-House

“Things” to get rid of TODAY:

Bedroom & Closet

  • Clothes that are uncomfortable
  • Clothes that are cheap
  • Clothes that are broken, tearing, or have holes (this includes bras/underwear)
  • Old Swimsuits that’s don’t match or fit
  • Shoes that are old or broken
  • Shoes that don’t fit
  • Clothes that don’t fit
  • Old jewelry that has changed color
  • Jewelry you won’t wear
  • Mismatched socks
  • Worn purses
  • Old pillows
  • Paper/books/magazines that collect in your bedroom

Random

  • Furniture (I’m serious.)
  • Pens/Pencils/Markers/Tape Rolls/Paper Clips/Stapler
  • Gifts (Yes. Gifts.)
  • Anything you have 2 of
  • Photos.  (Unless they’re very special, scan & throw them.)
  • Greeting cards.

Living Room

  • Books
  • Furniture that you don’t like
  • Paper (scan everything you actually need & save to a hard drive)
  • DVD’s  (one word, Netflix)
  • Video Games
  • Magazines
  • Decorations – knick knacks, wall hangings

Kitchen

  • Tupperware that doesn’t have a matching lid
  • Plastic Cups
  • Old food you’ll never eat
  • Cookware you have 2 of or that’s old
  • Serving utensils you have 2 of
  • Your entire junk drawer

Bathroom

  • Old makeup
  • Towels with holes or torn or too small
  • If you have too many towels, get rid of the ones that don’t match
  • Hair products you don’t use
  • Soaps, cheap lotions, old candles, old toothbrush, hand products – ANY product you don’t use
  • Unnecessary decorations

 Cleaning-Your-House

Tips:

  1. Understand the term: OLD.  If it’s old, it needs to go.  The items might not be old in age, but may be old in use or appearance.  Yes, you can judge your items by physical appearance.  If you have to question anything to determine whether or not it’s old, it’s old.  Throw it away.

  2. Don’t ask yourself – What if I could use this in the future?  That’s a killer question & a no win.  If you can answer it, that would make you a fortune teller.  If you end up needing something similar in the future you’ll buy another one or find something else.  It’s not worth the clutter in your house to ask yourself: What If?  What if you never need it again?  It’s just sitting there. Taking space.

  3. Less is more. Trust me when I say, it IS better to have empty/open space than space filled with crap.  Open & empty is trending & totally chic.  If you have a big ass table that the dogs ate the legs off of, throw it away.  You don’t have money to replace it?  Don’t.  Let the space be open.  (We did this & it’s fine.)

  4. Don’t feel bad about throwing things away.  This was the hard part for me, to literally throw items in the trash can.  Especially when you see how much you throw.  When you don’t have money you never want to throw ANYTHING away.  If you can’t find a charity, or if it’s broken & a charity doesn’t make sense, then throw things in your trash can.  Yes, waste it.  Recycle it if possible, but it needs to go.  Once you come to terms with the fact that you’ll be “wasting” things, and throwing things in the trash can, you’ll get better at it.  Not ideal, but sometimes that’s your only option.

  5. Always assume you don’t need it until proven you do.  I always tell myself I don’t need whatever item I’m debating about.  If I can’t find a great reason to keep it, it’s gone!  Unless you’re currently wearing it, cooking with it, or sitting on it – you don’t need it.

 Cleaning-Your-House

A few places to consider donating: Goodwill, Half Price Books, The Salvation Army, Safe Place but it’s also super important to google local organizations that are looking for donations. Unfortunately, Texas has an overwhelming amount of homeless people so Wafiq & I will bring them extra blankets, pillows, and jackets/clothes that we’re done using. Having a place to bring a lot of the items you’re getting rid of also makes the entire process easier. Find what works for you…

Cleaning-Your-House

I can’t imagine starting this process if you haven’t done it before.  I have very little to go through & it’s still an overwhelming day, but it’s worth it.  If you’re a newb, take it room by room.  Even closet by closet.  Do one this Saturday & another one next Saturday, eventually you’ll get there & your living space will have never felt better!  Throw on Michael Buble station from Pandora, pour a glass of wine & get to work. I’m telling you, it’s life changing & one of the most rewarding experiences I can share with you.  HA!

As follow up, I’ll need a report card from you.  I would like an A for excellent, impeccable, everything-serves-a-purpose room & an F for I’m hoarding but am scheduling with my therapist.  I would like a letter grade for each room you go through.  I’m holding you accountable!  And I’m not a fan of excuses.

 Cleaning-Your-House

Woofta! Here’s to a new week & a start to the most loving month – February.  Yes to big ass hearts & big asses, pounds of chocolate, extra kissing & hugs, romantic dinners & spreading the love – WE FREAKING NEED FEBRUARY THIS YEAR.

Now, more than ever, please remember to be extra thoughtful to all the peeps.  Just be thoughtful.  That’s it.  Nothing more.  I think that’s easy enough for everyone.   <3

Xx

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I recommend..., Netflix, Thoughts

Best of 2016: TV & Movies

Did You Know? There’s no reason to feel guilty next time you indulge in your favorite shows- 70% of Netflix users binge-watch their tv series ( v i a )


The most important conversation of 2016, what was binge worthy?!  What was worth those hours missed in front of the TV??  I have a few favorites — they didn’t all come out in 2016 but I watched them in 2016, so they count.

best-of-2016-tv-and-movies

( eye pads ) / ( socks )

I rounded up my favorite TV series I watched this year & a few of my favorite movies.

If you’re staying in & relaxing through the New Year weekend here are some binge worthy options to start your 2017 the right way!


 The Americans

The Americans

Different than other shows, I couldn’t peel myself away from the TV.  There’s suspense w a family dynamic that isn’t seen in other shows.  Lies, love, drama, murders, thrill, adventure, passion & loyalty like no other.  Also, I might be bias here, but it was refreshing/different to see non Arabs coming after America…

Jessica Jones Jessica Jones

I have a crush on this movie because I like the character so much.  A badass woman is all dreams come true, and the story line of this series is a winner for me.

 The Blacklist

netflix

I left this series during the first season but after tough convincing I came back to it, and I’m glad I did.  As soon as you think you have the series figured out, the twists keep it interesting & eliminate all room for boring.

 Chelsea

Chelsea Netflix

I was 50/50 with Chelsea Lately & was not a huge fan of her books… BUT, this talk show is constantly inspiring me.  Yes, Chelsea Handler is inspiring me.  You can tell she developed an idea for a show that would have more than senseless humor, & rolled with it.  Teaching proper vocabulary & spelling, the importance of politics, and incorporating WORLD knowledge – couldn’t be happier about this series.

Last Man Standing

Last man Standing

I would say New Girl as my 2016 favorite but I know I’m getting old on that one.  Last Man Standing is FUNNY!  I was hesitant, but have recently blown through 5 seasons nearly back to back so I don’t think I qualify to say I’m hesitant any longer.  The writers should be getting paid big $$…

Baby Daddy

Baby Daddy

I like shows that make me laugh.  There’s something about easy, quick TV episodes that can do the trick on your casual Wednesday.

Sense 8

Sense 8

This show took me a minute, but once I was into it I was hooked and couldn’t stop.  I think I binged the entire season in 1 day.  No shame.

How to Be Single

 How To Be Single

I almost wrote an entire blog post on this movie, I still might.  What a fantastic film.  The lesson for women to be patient & appreciate their alone time is something money can’t buy.   This movie needs to be taken seriously, ha! And all 20-30 yr olds should be required to watch it w that perspective.  LOVE this movie!

 Chef

Chef

Why would you watch a sad/emotional/thriller/bloody movie when you can watch a light & fluffy movie like Chef.  Is there anything better than this movie?  Can we get more made like this please?!

No Escape

No Escape

…but if you need high suspense/thriller/action – this movie is for you.  I watched it a couple times this year.

 


Time to share your favorite binge worthy movies & TV series of the year!  I’m having a major dry spell with TV series at the moment (forcing me to read), I’m not finding anything capable of getting me hooked – needs to be GOOD.

Enjoy this last weekend of December & remember to be thoughtful, always 🙂

Xx

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Life, Thoughts

5 Tips for Listening

HO HO HO!

5 Listening Tips

I’ve been wanting to write about listening for SO. LONG.  But I wasn’t sure how to get across what I wanted to say.  Then the holidays came creeping in & I realized this is one of those times of the year where listening is at the forefront of my mind.

People love to talk about themselves. LOVE IT.  The people who love it the most are the people who say they don’t.  Everyone loves to talk about themselves & topics they adore.  Period.  They might ask you questions, and look as though they’re listening, but likely are waiting for you to finish so they can bring it back to something they experienced.  You know you do it.  I do too. Everyone does.  I tell a story, you tell a story, I tell a story, you tell a story.  No listening or engagement.

But listening is important.

SO SO SO important.  And listening doesn’t mean staring in the general direction of a person talking & nodding your head.

I left a job several years ago that I absolutely hated.  I dreaded work every day, hated what I was doing & was focused heavily on accomplishing as little work as possible while I job hunted for something else.  I was only at the job for about 6 months.  When I said I was leaving several people were really upset & sad to see me go.  I looked like a deer in headlights trying to figure out why… How can these people be sad I’m leaving?  I did a shit job on all my work, I put 5% energy into everything.  I came late, left early.  So, blah.

This company threw me a going away party.  Offered to let me stay as long as I needed.  Supported, encouraged my path, handed out all their contact information to stay in touch.  Truly made me feel something special. I was completely stunned.  I thought they were going to kick me out the second I gave them a chance!

I’m TOTALLY the type of person to reflect on situations that I don’t understand.  Almost too much.  I focus on a situation that’s happened until I figure out the psychology behind it.

Later, I realized these people liked me because all I did was actively LISTEN to them.  I didn’t want to work, so I had conversations all day.  (Winner employee, I know.)  And I did NOT want to talk about myself, otherwise I would risk revealing my secret plans to quit.  Eventually, I knew everything about everyone!  I knew their families, their stories, their feelings, their pets, their pet peeves, their frustrations, their friggen health problems, boob size, weight, their happiness and their sadness.  I could tell you more about each of the employees than the all of them combined knew about me.  I knew every detail of their lives and offered comfort, a friend, gossip, bitching, a hug, whatever it was – I was there, front row.  (Still avoiding actually working).

This was the first time I noticed the power of listening.

I realized how listening can make someone feel.  Often times, all a person needs is someone to listen to them.  I heard the craziest stories, ideas, & theories that I sometimes totally disagreed with, or often didn’t believe but I fucking went with it, fully on board.  Intrigued, engaged, mesmerized, interested.

listening-tips3

 5 Listening Tips:

  1. Don’t be shy or afraid. Ask one question – How is your dog doing?  Do you have any travel plans?  Have you read any good books?  Do you actually enjoy work? Where did you get that dress?  Where do you do your hair? When you ask one question, you’ll be able to  keep the conversation moving for a long time, keep focusing on them.

  2. Continue asking questions about a topic they’re on, several questions.  Engage and respond.

  3. Keep an open mind!  Do NOT let your opinions get in the way of a topic that doesn’t agree with you.  Ask more questions to understand where someone is coming from rather than start disagreeing or arguing right off the bat – try to understand them and their thoughts.  How did they get there?

  4. If you hear yourself start talking about… yourself – quickly bring it back to another question for them!  It’s about them, not you!

  5. Don’t be an asshole & push a topic they quite clearly don’t want to discuss.  If they don’t appear interested in talking about a breakup they just had, ask them about their dog.  Don’t push for the sake of learning the newest gossip, again it’s not about you, it’s about THEM. If the conversation goes long enough, put a few feeler questions about deeper topics out there but do NOT push them.  However, people tend to open up more the longer they get to talk.

listening-tips2

Listening is the most fantastic gift to give someone – free, easy & special.

Come this precious holiday season, practice shutting the fuck up & listening to the people around you.  And be interested.  Even people you don’t like or agree with.  Listen, ask them questions, be an ear for them.  Don’t think about yourself or how you feel or that awesome idea you have – it’s not about YOU! It’s about THEM! And their awesome ideas & stories. Them them them!

Shhhhhhhhhhhh

Listening is a constant work in progress, even for the best listeners – but it’s also my favorite quality to find in someone.  A conversation between listeners goes the greatest depths w the most interesting results that gives you all the feelings.  Layers + Layers can be discovered, and can be quite fun.

This is your friendly reminder to be a good listener this holiday season, and as always – be thoughtful 🙂

Xx

 

2017 Celebrations:

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Life

5 Ways To Make A Brave Decision

Did you know? “The top fear Americans reported in the 2015 survey is the corruption of government officials. In fact, 58 percent of respondents reported being “afraid” or “very afraid” of a corrupt government.” ( v i a )


In order to validate the following I have to toot my own horn a little.   I’ve appeared to be brave a couple different times in my life.   I feel like I’ve mastered faking bravery very well in order to get through specific scenarios.  (Don’t give me a strep throat test or you’ll see the opposite of bravery in a matter of seconds.)

5-ways-to-be-brave

Bravery can be a wiiiiiide range of things.  The brave decisions most people know about me are making moves, literally. Moving away after high school, Dominican Republic, Dubai

But Bravery can also be quitting or changing your career.  Breaking up with your boyfriend or dating a girl.  Being promiscuous.  Deciding to divorce.  Having a baby. Getting through health struggles or confessing to health struggles.  Sharing honest opinions, admitting you fucked up, crying.  Saying sorry. Meeting a new group of friends, networking, asking for a raise.

All of these choices, you should feel brave enough to do.

5 Ways To Make A Brave Decision:

  1.  RESEARCH

    Whatever it is that you’re trying to be brave about, learn about it.  Learn as much as you can. Ask questions that you’re worried about, don’t be afraid to say what’s making you scared.  Own the fears & ask about them.  Be sure to ask the internet, or sources that are going to give you their honest facts or opinions.  Avoid gossip like the plague.  Search for honesty & facts.  Don’t ask to hear an answer you’re looking for, ask to hear honesty.  One of my most recent brave moves was when I moved to Dubai, to everyone else it looked like too fast of a decision based on whole lot of nothing.  But I asked the internet any scary question I had, I skype interviewed people in Dubai that were doing what I wanted to do, I looked at my current situation, and I made a long, well thought out pro & con list.  I knew as much as I could have possibly known before leaving.

  2. SHUT UP

    Actions speak louder than words.  One of my biggest pet peeves is when someone talks about doing something 1 million times, every single day, and never puts action to their words.  Don’t be that person.  Do all your research so that by the time you start talking about it, IF you ever start talking about it, you’re brave enough to trust what you’re saying.  You already have a plan. No one can talk the bravery out of you, because the opinions of others can’t sway the facts you’ve already spent time researching.   Of course, they’ll be a couple close people that you might need to talk to before making your brave move in order to get your research in order, but keep quiet besides that.   There’s been a lot of “brave” decisions I’ve had in my mind that no one has ever heard about, because I did my research & determined I needed to shut them down.  Be smart and make your very own decisions before blabbering.

  3. BE SELFISH

    Sounds easy but it isn’t.  Everyone has a fucking opinion & it’s annoying.  At the end of the day, your main concern should always be yourself and your own happiness.  Here’s why – the people in your life are not going to get the best version of you if you’re not happy.  So do what you need to do for yourself to be happy, I promise it’ll only benefit everyone in the long run.  If that means breaking up with a boyfriend, he would also never have the relationship he deserves w you if you weren’t confident in it, in the long run it’s beneficial for both of you to do what you need to do for yourself to be happy. When your main concern is making yourself happy & you’re able to shut out all other distractions, you’ll be braver than you think you can be.  And eventually, everyone will get it.

  4. CONFIDENCE

    This one & the next are the 2 most important ways to be brave.  BE CONFIDENT.  Trust yourself! Trust yourself! Trust yourself!  You have no idea how many other people you’ll inspire by believing in yourself.   And remember, sometimes being brave is admitting when you’re wrong, that’s ok!  That’s one of the bravest things to do in the entire world because it makes you completely vulnerable < almost everyone struggles at this.  Sometimes you fuck up, make a bad decision, or trust the wrong people – that’s ok too.  Pick it up and move on with another brave decision.  Maybe you never want to have kids, maybe you want to come out of the closet, maybe you want to quit your corporate job & pursue acting – trust yourself!  Be confident through the whole process, beginning middle and end.

  5. BELIEVE

    Alright, I’m going a lil spiritual here, but what the hell – If you don’t have some kind of spirit then it’s going to be hard to have bravery.  I think we all have a path planned for us,  it’s a matter of trusting the path and believing in it.  That’s why I try hard to trust my gut & not let too many other opinions change it.  Even after a failed decision, I rarely regret it.  At the end of the day, any decision you make, whether it turns out or not was likely meant to happen.  Maybe there was a lesson to be learned, maybe it turned into the best decision ever, maybe you had to go through something to get out the other side a different person.  Whatever was meant to happen, will happen, so you have to keep going on your path & believe in all of it.

 5-ways-to-be-brave

And remember what’s the worst that can happen?  USUALLY, the worst isn’t that bad, its recoverable. We’re all afraid to be brave because we’re afraid to fail or what people will think when/if we do.  But if you don’t make a few brave decisions in your life then you’re likely concerned w too many other people and not enough about yourself.  Life is speedy quick, so brave decisions are important to act on.

What did Matt Damon say in the movie We Bought A Zoo?   “You know, sometimes all you need is twenty seconds of insane courage. Just literally twenty seconds of just embarrassing bravery. And I promise you, something great will come of it.”

Touche

Share your brave decisions below 🙂

Have a great rest of the week & be extra thoughtful

Xx

 

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