Hmong symbol key holder

Hello!

One of my friend turned 30 this year. In celebration, I created this Hmong symbol key holder for her and I’ll probably buy some of her favorite strawberry cake when I see her. She adores anything with Hmong symbols so I decided to make this.

I used my leftover plywood and drilled in holes to stick in the the 1 1/2 nail cups. They’re $0.98 for 3 of them, and I used some old stain mixed with polyurethane my sister’s partner gave me. Pretty easy and cheap. To hang the key-holder, I nailed in the wood some tooth saw picture hanger from home depot.  I cut out the stencil myself, used white paint, and sprayed the stencil once it was dry with some acrylic gloss spray. It took the longest but it was therapeutic for me. I hope you guys like it!

 

 

 

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Day 8 of Detoxing

I am craving yummy desserts tonight. The other day I went to Panera Bread and bought two gluten free coconut maccaroons dipped in chocolate. I’m not sure if they used regular sugar or honey so it may not be the healthiest treat I tried. It was soo good I wanted to replicate a gluten-free, grain-free, paleo, sugar-free, and dairy-free version.

I followed this recipe by Advanced Naturopathic.

It called for an electrical whisk but I don’t have one. I used a fork instead. The texture is suppose to be soft foam. Nailed it.

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It calls for 1/2 cup of organic honey. I didn’t have enough for 1/2 a cup, and I don’t think my honey is organic. I just grabbed whatever I had in the cupboards, and honestly I think that was too much honey. I followed the recipe for all of the ingredients and it did not pack well. I don’t know why but it looks, erm, a little funny.  It’s not burnt, just toasty. It’s not sticking but it tastes pretty darn good so I call it win!

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Today’s food consumption: Not enough water as usual

  • lemon slices with tea
  • coconut chia pudding
  • leftover green curry
  • black coffee
  • broccoli rabe with sliced fennels over quinoa and mixed greens, baked chicken breast, and orange vinaigrette
  • scattered coconut macaroon

One week Detox

Soo I have melasma. It started to become prominent when I turned 22. It was lighter in the earlier years, but I didn’t take good of my skin especially using sunscreen. Now I always apply sunscreen, and I absolutely hate it.  About two months ago, I started to breakout all over my face. I think the main cause was when I went off birth control pills in April 2018. Maybe the pill is completely out of my system, and now my hormones are out of balance. It’s all too soon to say, but my confidence has dropped pretty low. The acne and melasma prompted me to start seeing a new naturopathic doctor in Illinois.

Previously, I went to another holistic doctor in Wisconsin. She did a few blood test on me, and just sent me off with some supplements without really knowing what to do. It’s been over two months, and her team never followed up. The treatment for all of this is pricey, so I don’t want to waste my money if they don’t care about my skin concerns. So I’ve been looking for another naturopathic doctor. I think the new naturopathic doctor is friendly, and personable. We did things a little different. She recommended me to change my diet to paleo for a month. This is the reason why I’m writing this post. To keep track of my diet, and progress.

I really like her analogy about detoxing the body:

“Let’s try to think of of it as cleaning out the house. You’ll soon start to see parts of the house is damaged, and we can start treating and healing the house correctly.”

Isn’t it so simple and sweet? This is something I can do, and it’s affordable to some extent. I love that she was super honest of not rushing me to buy supplements. Yes, we’re taking things one step at a time because this melasma is fucking stubborn. I’ve never had kids so it’s gotta be something with birth control. I also got to experience acupuncture for the first time! It wasn’t a life-changing experience, but made me a little tired after.

Anyways, the next few sentences are going to be me journaling my diet so far. I’ve slightly cheated, and I give so many props to all of the vegans, vegetarians, paleo, keto, or any person that’s trying to eat heatlhy. It’s damn expensive, and there’s barely restaurants that has healthy food where I live. A round of applause for you if you’re eating healthy!!

9/17/18 day fucking 1: not enough water

  • lemon slices with hot water
  • arugula salad w/asparagus & over easy eggs and tomatoes

9/18/18: not enough water

  • lemon slices with hot water
  • kale & banana smoothie for breakfast
  • arugula salad w/asparagus & over easy eggs and tomatoes

9/19/18: consumed 3 ounces water

  • lemon slices with hot water
  • banana & almond butter snack
  • butternut squash w/ground turkey, mushroom, onion powder, parsley, and jalapenos

9/20/18: consumed 3 ounces water

  • lemon slices with hot water
  • kale & banana smoothie for breakfast
  • quinoa, baked chicken, sauteed kale, with vinaigrette sauce
  • dandelion tea
  • went out to cheese cake factory and ordered grilled salmon w/veggies
  • small cup of spicy curry

9/21/18: not enough water

  • lemon slices with hot water
  • kale & banana smoothie for breakfast
  • coffee with almond milk @ 11:45am
  • quinoa & chicken with orange vinaigrette
  • went out for dinner to eat small shrimp wonton soup & grilled pork with sticky rice

9/22/18: not enough water

  • latte coffee with almond milk
  • quinoa, baked chicken, sauteed kale, asparagus, purple cabbage with vinaigrette sauce

9/23/18: not enough water

  • 2 ounces of dandelion tea
  • latte coffee with almond milk
  • quinoa, baked chicken, sauteed kale, asparagus, purple cabbage with vinaigrette sauce
  • went out to buy freshii buddha satay healthy bowl

9/24/18: not enough water

  • coffee with almond milk
  • panera apple salad with 2 coconut macaroon
  • gluten-free, dairy-free green curry I followed here – it was super good! It’s the featured image I have above.

I really hope my melasma calms down in the next few months. Anyone that has successful tips on melasma, please let me know! Anyways, three more weeks to go!

 

The Female Worklife

Aside from my librarian job, I work as a delivery driver/office/personal/bitch assistant. I didn’t want to sound so harsh with that kind of language, but the truth is, my second job is stressful. It’s mainly male-dominated, and yes, I’m here to whine about it, because I don’t have anyone else to talk to about the stress. I live on my own, and everyone is preoccupied with their life. Besides, this is my platform, right?

Working with men…is always fascinating and frustrating at the same time. I’ve come to realize that I aspire to be like men. I want to be just as smart, just as witty, just as fast, just as dreamy, and able to connect with everyone. I’m learning this is quite the opposite. If I’m too soft, I’m not able to do my job well. If I’m too hard, I’m instantly labeled a bitch. Bossy. So here I am, walking on this double-edge sword. What to do?

I came across watching a video of Cindy Gallop, the founder of make love not porn website. Gallop is astounding in the video. She offered wise words when women are stuck in that double-bind work scenario:

“ALWAYS BE THE BITCH.”

But she carefully rephrases that it shouldn’t be confused with bad behavior bitch. I absolutely love that, because in it she explains that it is better to be respected than well-liked because at the end of the day, people will trust a respected person to rise to the occasion to fix a bad situation versus a well-liked person.

All along I’ve been mildly practicing Gallop’s advice until she put it in words. Be a nice bitch, but with boundaries. Be a nice bitch, but stand on your ground. Be a nice bitch and don’t care about what people think about you. BUT! BUT! But, sometimes I relapse. When I lie in bed, I think in my head if I’m doing a good enough job. Did I hurt anyone’s feelings? Does my boss think less of me now when I didn’t do a good job with the work schedule? The question always burning in my closed eyes engulfed with darkness, “Am I good enough?” As women, our desire to please is endless.

Before I went to bed last night, I did some yoga and quietly spoke to myself. Just trying to ease the stress and the swirling headache. Is this enough? What else can I do to calm down my nerves? How can I apply these healing rituals during my stressful work areas? Does this even fucking work? Maybe I need a companion. Oh shit, I don’t even feel worthy of anyone’s presence right now. Are my coworkers right about me? That I crack down under pressure? Am I really the bad cop? Are they not taking me serious enough?

I’m sensitive to these playful remarks/jokes. It questions my work ethics and interrogates me at night. What am I doing here if I can’t seem to build a work schedule correctly? Why am I constantly being replaced when I am ask to carry out a task? That strips away my work credibility from my coworkers, and I am perceived as a princess. I refuse to believe that, because I’ve worked hard all my life to support myself. I will go to extra lengths to make sure my boss is getting quality and great service but only to find out he’s already assigned the task to someone else.

Maybe it’s time to leave? Maybe I’m not good enough. These fleeting thoughts are either going to save me or break me.

There is something to be learned here and I’m not quite sure I’m fully grasping everything yet. It will come but right now I HAVE to speak up, and use my voice to be the bitch with grit. Not bad bitch behavior, of course. I do want to better manage myself in a stressful environment, but learn when to walk away because I don’t want anyone to think I’m glamorizing a stressful work environment. I also refuse to be tossed aside when I have worked so hard. I want to be acknowledge, to be just as dreamy, just as fast, just as smart, just as carefree, just as compassionate, but with the heart and gold of a woman.

I want to be Better

People really piss me off. I know of people who are condescending, dominant, and crass towards everyone. I see them at least once a week, and I’m afraid if I explain why I have to see them, it might be too revealing of who they are. It’s sucking out the energy from me and I feed it because I don’t know how to address it. Makes my blood boil, and I have fucking road rage all the damn time. Today it’s pressing on me harder, and I’ve given it some thought. I hope I can carefully lay this out so I have a rubric to go back to my happy place.

I want to be a better person who can forgive and see the light in everybody.
Why? Because deep down some lame wise part of me is commanding me to do so. The other day I woke up and promised to live a more authentic life, and that authentic soul of me is telling me to give these freaks some love. WHY WOULD I WANT TO GIVE THEM POSITIVE VIBE AND LOVE WHEN THEY ARE SO. FUCKING. MEAN?

Because they need it the most.

This doesn’t comfort me one bit. In fact, it drives me fucking nuts. How can I possibly be nice to people who are incredibly rude and insensitive?

Because they need it the most.

What’s that one saying? “You can’t put out fire with fire.” Sigh.

My head is resting on my palms. I want to rip out my hair and smash glass. Life is so ironic, isn’t it? Somebody hurt your feelings? Well, turn the other cheek. As you can see, I’m quoting all of the great leaders out there, because that’s how bad I need a spiritual teacher to destress.

How can I be better? How can I grow from this? In normal circumstances, I cry about it, and this infuriates me even further. I cry harder because I’m crying over a situation I can’t control. Is there any tool to resolve this because I’m awful with anger.

Delayed Love

I have a friend who messages daily about her struggles on messenger. It’s not that I don’t care about this person, but I’ve noticed I don’t reply back. It’ll take me days to respond a short phrase, and that’s how it is lately; however, a deeper part of me knows this is unacceptable. How can I be so cold to someone who is there to console me? I’m reflecting on my behavior, and I’ve been quite aloof, not as bright, or witty. I don’t greet strangers with a smile anymore. I’m more guarded. I’ve exchanged patience with instant gratification.

As usual, some of the answers to my problems always float in at the strangest moment. Like Saturday, when I was driving back from Madison half awake. I’ve taken notice of my delayed responses to anyone’s feelings. Mine as well. I am quick to respond when I am wrong, but short to listen to others who have real problems. I’ve stopped looking beneath the surface. Usually there is a sort of undercurrent bringing me back to center, but I can’t find that current. I don’t know if I should be happy that I feel less, or if it’s all bottled up. It probably never left, but I’ve forgotten what it feels like.

I’m not sure what to say here. I’m trying to navigate through these stagnant and dull moments of life. I’m really trying to rewire my brain and heart for anyone that can be possibly effected by me.

I don’t like Cubicles

I have what I want. The jump start of a brand new librarian career, a new car, and near all of my loved ones back in WI. It’s just…something’s missing. Ahh, it’s never enough. I’m sitting in my cubicle and I realize I hate being confined in a cubicle so damn much. In any office, really. I feel constricted. There’s a wave of sadness that washes over me as I walk past through these brick walls.

I catch myself daydreaming a lot. By 4’o clock, I can’t wait to stroll back to my car. I feel a sense of joy when the cold air hits my face, and my sigh releases some tension in my bizarre heart. It’s therapeutic when I meet other cars on the road, and I am surrounded by all of them speeding. Wanting so bad to be elsewhere. Anywhere.

I don’t want to be here. I can feel deep in my soul it’s irritated. It’s not that I have a hard job, but I don’t want to be here in the long run. I work at a university surrounded by wooded areas with gorgeous trails. The leafless trees, and bleak skies has been scaring me lately. More lonely, actually. I think in order to combat this I want companionship. Someone to gossip about my needs, discussing getaways, sending virtual kisses, and giggling over inside jokes but I keep bumping into the wrong people.

I’m not desperate. I refuse to turn my body over for some superficial touch anymore. I just don’t feel like I all belong here. Like I was meant for something else, and it desperately yearns for me. It kills me that I can’t figure out what that thing is, and I am envious of people who have found their muse. Their passion, whatever it is. I am actively searching for you too.

Showpo Dress Review 

Yaasss!!! I finally bought something from Showpo. I’ve been eyeing this high quality fashion website for a year now. It’s pretty pricey and you can rack up to a hundred dollars with one or two items; however, the items are sooo beautiful. I wouldn’t spend much on the basics, but their dresses, shoes, and jackets are worth looking at. I made the plunge to buy a beautiful dress for a wedding I attended last weekend. Below is my quick review.

What is it: An online Australian fashion website if you’re looking for work or formal wear. Recently, they just added plus sizes up to 14.

What I bought: Give me more dress in beige size XS

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Babe in the farthest left.

 

Material quality: I would say this is a better quality compared to Charlotte or Forever 21. There’s a nice heavy weight to the dress, with adjustable straps, and the dress has a slip so it’s not see through.

Pricing & Shipping: $49.95 + $9 (shipping) + $5.36 (tax) = $58.95

  • Ordered Aug. 7th, 2017 & received on Aug. 15th, 2017
  • Returns are store credit only and you must pay for returns

Packaging: Packed in durable pink bag wrapped with a plastic cover

showpobag

 

Shopping experience: Great! I will purchase again in the future.

  • Fast shipping even though they’re based in Australia
  • Expensive – I hope their company will expand enough for code discounts or free shipping/returns
  • Nice size inventory and you can get carried away with browsing

I am not affiliated with Showpo. I’ve been looking for blog reviews and I couldn’t find any so I decided to make my own. Enjoy!

Nature Republic Aloe Vera Gel Review

I love skincare. I started taking care of my skin when I turned 20, but I became really serious once I turned 22. Each year I purchase a different product, but I never make reviews until now. I am excited to report on finishing the famous Nature Republic Aloe Vera Gel.

front
Front view

I purchased this gel back in January 2017. This is a soothing aloe vera gel made from a Korean skincare company called Nature Republic. The gel is $7.79 on Amazon with free shipping since it is an Amazon prime product; however, Nature Republic’s website has it for $6.60 not including shipping.

side
Side view

Ingredients: Aloe vera leaf extract (92%), ethanol, glyceryl polyacrylate, dipropylene glycol, butyleneglycol, glycerin, propylene glycol, 1,2-hexanediol, polyglutamic acid, betaine , Sodium hyaluronate, Karen dulcis extract, spearmint extract, lemon balm extract, carbomer, phage-60 hydrogenated castor oil, triethanolamine, phenoxyethanol, purified water, disodium DTA.

back
Back view

I finally finished the tub of gel which contains 300 ml or 10.56 fluid oz a few days ago. It lasted me for 8 months! It’s a lot of product for an inexpensive price and I like that there’s multiple uses for it: a sleeping mask, body moisturizer, soothes burns and shaving, hydrates nails, lips, and eyes. I mainly used it as a face moisturizer day and night. A lot of YouTuber’s raved about this product, and I caved. Below are my thoughts.

Pros:

  • Inexpensive and a long-lasting product
  • Consistency is light, colored green but transparent, and sinks right into face
  • Gentle enough to be used all of over the face and body
  • Works extremely well for burnt skin (oven accident!)
  • 92% aloe vera extract
  • Nature Republic claims it is free of paraben, mineral oil and artificial colors

Cons:

  • Not moisturizing enough for dry skin
  • May have to reapply multiple times throughout the day
  • Has a slight refreshing fragrance that can irritate skin
  • Unhygienic packaging – you have to dip your fingers into the tub

Rating: 3/5

Overall thoughts: This a mediocre product. I should’ve paid attention that it’s just for soothing skin. It only worked well for my oily skin because it absorbs gel moisturizers really well vs thick creams. It did not break me out but lacks the antioxidants and anti-aging ingredients I am seeking for at this age. This isn’t a horrible product but I will not be purchasing it in the future.

 

GSLOVE Clothes Website

If you’re on the hunt for cheap clothes then look no further! GSLOVE provides trendy clothes with affordable prices for size small or plus size. 

Website first impression: Has a similar look to a’gaci clothes website. Easy to find search button, centered primary navigation, and clear headings (ex: clothing, plus size, etc.). Visuals are bright, flowery, indicating this is a clothing website.

What I purchased: 6 pieces of clothing varying from $6.99 – $9.99.

Total + Shipping:  $49.89 including $4.95 shipping

  • Ordered on June 25th, 2017 received on July 6th, 2017
  • More info for shipping can be found here http://bit.ly/2tfXPLf
  • “All returns will be credited as online credit only. Customer will be responsible for the return shipping cost. The return shipping is not refundable.”

Packaging: Packed in a sturdy red plastic bag. Each item is individually packed in clear plastic bag.

gslove

Shopping experience: Good

  • Cheap prices and shipping.
  • You get what you pay for – items may shrink and tear easier.
  • I love that they offer a variety of sizes so I can purchase for friends and family.
  • Shipping took 9 business days so plan ahead.

I am not affiliated with GSLOVE. I have shopped from here twice and couldn’t find any reviews on the website so I decided to make a review for an alternative to Forever21.