Thursday, December 31, 2015

New Year's Eve intentions - Setting goals for the New Year

Hi loves!
I can't believe it is the last day of 2015! This year has flown by! I had one of the best years but also one of the hardest of grad school I think, caused hitting a slump and really struggling to get thru the last couple of months because of stress and experiments gone wrong.

I traveled a lot this last year, I got to go to Boston for an amazing conference, Barcelona for another amazing conference and further growing my network, Cyprus to visit family, sequoia national park with the boy to relax and enjoy nature, and back to Boston to spend the holidays with family.

I am going to be sappy and say that I really struggled with stress the last 6 months. If I'm real with myself, it started in June when I really started to put a lot of pressure on myself to finish and advance two projects faster, and beating myself up when those projects didn't go as planned. I then went on my trip and didn't give myself any time to actually relax, as I felt I had to be productive every single day. And then when I got back, I went straight back into work mode and I was so stressed when many things went wrong (thanks, science!), my anxiety kicked in and I had lots of headaches, month long migraines, and weight gain (anxiety and stress kicks cortisol production into overdrive, leading to weight gain, in addition to working long hours, not making time for myself to work out which I love and not having time to cook healthy food). While I'm in no means fat or anything, I am unhappy with myself when I look in the mirror, and I think it stems from me not taking care of myself and not taking time to relax. I went to a neurologist and they gave me drugs for migraines, but after just resting during thanksgiving and Christmas, I noticed my migraines and headaches went away! For real! The second I started feeling stressed again I felt a headache coming on. That made me immediately tell myself relax etc. and it helped! It really shows that you have to take care of yourself! That is my number one goal and resolution this year!!!

1. Take Care of yourself - Be kind to yourself
One of my big big goals is to take care of myself and be kinder to myself. I tend to expect way too much from myself sometimes, and overextend and overbook myself. It is important to Just Say No to things, and be "selfish" sometimes. I would always say ok to things and try to hang out with multiple people and fit in things to accommodate others, and I realized I can't do that anymore. I need to put myself first, and even with work, when things don't work or I can't get much accomplished, realize that I am doing the best I can and I can't do more than I already am - I am already working to my max! I beat myself up and tell myself why can't you get this done? Why are you messing up? Why aren't you working out? You know what inner voice, shut up! I'm doing the best I can!

2. Eat healthy and have a balanced diet.
I really do enjoy cooking, I just find myself never having time to do it - and so, I get lazy and am too tired, and end up getting take out. So I spend 100$ + on groceries for the week, and then spend more money on top of it eating out because I'm too tired. I also noticed that I have been getting headaches and migraines because I am not eating right - since I started a meal plan and I am eating a lot more veggies, spinach, and some multivitamins, I am feeling much better! So my goal is to cook more often, eat healthy, and have a balanced diet. That's not saying I can't have treats and eat out, which I still will, but during the week I vow to have a focused healthy diet and splurge a little on the weekends!

3. Stop spending so much on extra things not necessary 
I canceled a couple of subscriptions I had (like Ipsy, a recurring online Yoga class one [I bought a deal so its cheaper hehe]), because looking at my bank account statements especially this month, I am spending a lot of money uselessly. I also canceled a magazine subscription, and need to stop spending money on lunch and random things on groupon (guilty pleasure!). This way I can manage my finances and budget better!

4. Workout at least 30 minutes a day and work on meditation
This is a big goal for me and it fits in with number 1 of taking care of myself - I LOVE working out, and I realized I was happiest when I worked out regularly - It is just something that makes me feel good about myself. I got so strong when I was working out regularly, and it made me feel so powerful! I want to get back to that stage, which last time I was there was a year and a half ago. It is also super helpful to managing my stress, so my goal is to work out at least 30 minutes a day. I bought 21 day fix videos which are only 30 minutes long, so on days where I don't have much time to work out, I will do those, and when I need a release and a longer workout, I will head to the gym!
I also want to work on doing yoga every day (mostly nightime, helps me relax), and get flexible! I have gotten so much more flexible in the last couple of months from doing regular yoga, and I LOVE it! I'm not normally flexible! I also want to FINALLY be able to do a headstand or handstand, a goal I have been talking about for years! I am much stronger and know that with more commitment, I can make it happen this year! And lastly, work on meditation, this really helps me deal with my anxiety or panic attacks, particularly focusing on breathing and grounding myself. It is something I have to do and the more I work on it the better I am at preventing myself from getting panic or anxiety attacks.

5. Get organized!
This is a big one for me, not saying I am disorganized, but I have to prioritize things and help prevent my stress at work! If I can plan things out and organize my thoughts, I can more easily get things done and prevent getting stressed out, work fewer hours because I can be more efficient, and not get headaches, etc. See? It's definitely a cycle!

6. Blog Goal - Start Youtube channel
I can't really think of a definite goal for my blog, since it has greatly skyrocketted this last year and I have improved so much, in photo quality, regular posting, working with so many brands and making great friends, growing my following. Of course I want my following to grow even more (who doesn't!) but I vow to not let it get to me. There is so much competition with other bloggers on Instagram and people buy followers, likes, comments, etc., and I just want to do me and grow my following organically. I got pretty upset a few months ago when I was rejected from a campaign because I didn't have a certain number of followers. Then I realized having a certain number of followers to appease brands - that is not why I started blogging - I started it to keep it as an enjoyable outlet to write and post creatively about outfits and other things I love - It gives me balance when I am tired of science and work - and I am proud of myself for keeping up with blogging even though I was stressed out and having a hard time with work. It really did help even though I still struggled, I wonder how difficult it would've been without this outlet! So another goal of mine for this year is to start my Youtube channel. I have a channel and have a few videos that I attempted to make, but they aren't great quality and I haven't posted in a while. I have a few ideas for a new series to start, and I enjoy snap chatting videos, so I thought why not try to get organized and start youtube videos! I don't want to compete with other youtubers, as there are so many make up artists, etc. on youtube, so I want to start something unique and not focus on the numbers!

Thanks so much if you have read all of this all the way down to here! I'm impressed :)

I think the way to really set yourself up for success with new years resolutions is to make them something attainable, and something simple like taking care of yourself, which encompasses working out, eating healthy, and whatever else it takes - instead of saying I want to lose weight or I want to do 100 pushups. Does that make sense?

What are your thoughts on these goals? What are your goals for the new year? I'd love to know, leave them in the comments below!

Have a splendid, lovely and beautiful New Year's eve and upcoming 2016!!

Thanks for a great year and thanks for reading!

xo
Andrea


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Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Holiday Work to Party look - Part 2!

Hi guys!
I have had a relaxing time in Boston visiting my parents for the holiday and today I am flying back to LA. My boyfriend came along for a couple of days too which was great, and we had a good time going into the city and exploring!
Here's another holiday outfit I wore to a holiday party/out for drinks right after. I did wear this to lab also but without the leather boots, haha! but I loved playing with a light scarf and a moto faux leather jacket! My mom got me this blue lace top as well, that I don't remember where it is from, but you can find similar Here. I then wore my black Fabletics Leggings that I have literally been wearing every day since I have been home because they are so COMFY and WARM! I subscribed to fabletics a while ago to get a cheap outfit and I stayed subscribed but just make sure I skip the month every month, which can be annoying but I avoid getting charged 50$. I would cancel but I like seeing the monthly selections and the clothes are actually super comfortable and stylish! So I really don't mind it, even though some people have complained that it is a scam. Want to know a secret that I do tho? When I enter my credit card info I use Bank of America's shopsafe feature which gives me a limit to how much can charge on a generated number so even if i forget I wont get overcharged because it will get declined if I forget to skip the month! Shhh don't tell anyone I told you that! If you want to check out Fabletics you can see their selections Here!
I then rewore my black leather boots that I hadn't worn in a while but now started wearing them to more and more events. You can see Amazon's selection of boots Here, as I can't remember the brand!
The moto jacket I am wearing is from Express that I bought last year and I love how "bad-ass" it makes outfits look! The scarf I borrowed from a friend and it was perfect to cover up when it wasn't too cold (before I left LA it was rather warm during the day).

What do you think about this outfit? it is nice to be able to see how different the look is with just a jacket instead of a scarf cover up! 
What have you been wearing this holiday season? I have been in love with red and cobalt blue! What are your favorite colors? 
In addition, I hope you all had a great Christmas if you celebrated, and hope you got to at least spend time with your loved ones! I know I needed this time to refresh and recharge, so it was nice to be away for some time!
I have a flight tonight and it's snowing in Boston, hopefully flights go smoothly tonight! wish me luck, I have the worst luck when it comes to layovers!
I will have a new years resolution post coming soon when I get back to LA! And I am hoping to start a new project with youtube videos that I have put on the back burner all fall, so I will let you know the progress on that! Would you be interested in watching youtube videos or do you prefer outfit photo posts? 

Do let me know your thoughts in the comments below! I read them all and will check out your blogs, just have been a little crazy busy lately! 

Have a great new year!

xo
Andrea



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Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Holiday Outfit - From Work to Holiday Party

Hello!
It's been a crazy couple of weeks and I am finally back with some outfit posts that I have been working on! Last week was rather stressful and I was pulling some late nights in lab so I can finish everything up before I headed to the east coast for the holidays. It is rather nice to relax and shut my brain off from work, and not have to think about anything "complicated" other than what I am going to eat and do that day! It is really nice. My headaches have started to go away and I realized they are all caused by stress! I am also trying to catch up on my sleep, something I got very little of this past quarter and had never been able to catch up on!
This last week was full of various holiday parties after work, so I decided to wear some cute transitional outfits that were appropriate to wear to work and also could easily transition to a holiday party later in the evening!
I have been posting this latest outfit on Instagram, if you haven't caught my sneak peak, here is the outfit! I am obsessed with wearing red this holiday season! My mom sent me this red lace top that is perfect for the holiday season, that I believe is from Target (Shop similar here). I also paired it with these black leggings that are super comfortable, and they are actually my workout pants from Fabletics, but I have been wearing them to work and outings because they are so cute and simple! No one can tell they are workout pants! For work/lab, I wore my hair up in a pony tail so it would be out of my way and these black hidden heeled sneakers from Sketchers, that give a little length to my legs, and then before I left for the holiday party, I just let my hair down and changed into these knee-high leather heeled boots that I have had in my closet for about 3 years now -- I bought these from Ross/TJ Maxx (Search Similar Here) a while ago and never wore them! I have been doing "shopping" in my closet and finding pieces that I haven't worn in a long time, like these boots and also this really pretty red jacket from Forever 21! (Shop Similar Here). It is kind of nice to find these old/new pieces because I was starting to get really bored with my wardrobe and been itching to go shopping, even though I don't have money! Accessories I pulled together this gold bracelet from Charlotte Russe, a neutral tassel bracelet from the Yayoi Collection at Boyajian Trend Gallery, and some earrings also from Charlotte Russe.

Day time / Work/Lab Look:



Night time/Holiday Party Look Transition:

Top: Red Lace Top Target | Leggings: Fabletics Salar Workout pants | Sneakers: Sketchers Heeled Sneakers | Jacket: Forever 21 | Leather Boots: Ross/TJ Maxx | Accessories: Cuff Bracelet and Earrings: Charlotte Russe, Tassel Bracelet: Yayoi Collection from Boyajian Trend Gallery, Sunglasses: Mango

What do you think of this easy to transition outfit? What is your go-to color or outfit this holiday season? Are you doing anything for the holidays? Any travel? Do let me know about your plans in the comments below! I love reading about what you are up to and what you think!

Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas! 
xo

Andrea

PS. Want to give me a gift for the holidays? Follow me on my various social media outlets using the links above! I would greatly appreciate it! 



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Friday, December 11, 2015

Makeup Tutorial - Urban Decay Vice 3 Festive Holiday Look

Happy Friday!
I am so so glad it is the weekend. It has been a crazy few weeks in this December with long hours in the lab so I am happy it is finally holiday time and things are starting to wind down and celebrations are starting with office holiday parties!
Today my department is having an "Ugly Sweater" Holiday Party, and I decided to do festive eye makeup to match my ugly sweater (see my instagram @phd_fashionista for a peak at my cool science-y ugly sweater! lol!)
I broke out my Urban Decay Vice 3 Palette that I have been in love with for the past year because of the great pigmented colors, but I haven't used it in a while. Since I knew it had a vivid green and red, I decided to use them to create a holiday look! See the look and take a look at the tutorial below!




1. First I primed my lid with a eyeshadow primer, I always use the Urban Decay Primer Potion, to make sure my makeup lasts the entire day.
2. I then applied (1) Bobby Dazzle to the inner corner of my lid.
3. I then dabbed (2) Last sin into the crease and towards the brow bone to add an easy transition color.
4. Next, I added (3) Dragon, trying to blend it slightly with the white of the bobby dazzle. 
5. I finally dipped my brush in (4) Sonic and applied it to the outer corner, working it in a "C" motion, trying to apply some into the crease to create a transition and I used the fatter side of the brush to blend it so there were no harsh lines.
6. I then applied some (2) Dragon to the lower lash line for a pop of color - you can't really see this in the photo but I promise it is there!
7. I then lined my upper and lower lids as close to the lashline as possible with liquid liner, and winged it out. Check out a previous post for a tutorial on my cat eye!  I use my favorite Maybelline Line Stiletto liquid liner!
8. And last but not least, I added some mascara to my lashes - I used the Urban Decay Perversion Mascara - love this mascara! 



 What do you think about this look? Have you created any Holiday Makeup looks? I would love to see them or see your favorites, if you would link them to me below!
Do you have another favorite makeup palette for holiday looks? Do let me know what they are!

Do you have any holiday parties and festivities with friends and family coming up? I would love to hear about your holiday plans whatever they are!

Have a great weekend!

xo
Andrea

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Monday, December 7, 2015

5 Cheap and Unique Holiday Gift Ideas that won't break the bank

Hello!
Wondering what to get your friends and family this holiday season without breaking the bank? Run out of ideas of what to get someone who seemingly has everything?
I just finished paying my rent/bills and doing my finances and realized I don't have extra money to spend the rest of this month (and it's only the 7th! eek!), so I came up with a list of cheaper and unique ideas for gifts for my friends and family!
What do you think about this? And I love checking out Amazon for gifts because they are always cheaper and super easy because if you have prime then they get delivered super fast (depending on your city, sometimes here in LA I have received things next day when ordering the night before!)

1. A Cute Quotation Mug - Who doesn't love a cute mug for coffee or tea? I know lately I've been so busy to wash dishes, and all of my coffee mugs get used and sit in the sink - it's always nice to have an extra mug! And if there's a cute quote or design, all the better! I thought these were super cute and motivating. Check out Similar Here, there are too many cute ones on amazon for me to just link a few!

2. A Cute Tea kettle/tea set - I have been wanting a tea kettle/tea set for some time now! I like drinking tea in the evenings now as it is calming and not as much caffeine as coffee, and what better to make tea than with a really cute tea set! It's not a complete necessity but just to make yourself or your friends/family feel cute, why not! I couldn't find a single one I wanted, as they are all too cute, but check out Similar Here ! A tea pot set is definitely on my wishlist for the holidays!

3. Wine/Whiskey glasses and accessories  - If your loved ones and friends are of legal age and enjoy unwinding with a glass of wine, whiskey, or other beverage of choice, what a better gift than some cute glasses or accessories (corks, openers, etc.?) They should be relatively inexpensive and can be super useful at parties or entertainment, especially during holiday parties this season! Check out Whiskey Glasses Here,, Wine glasses here, or alcohol wine accessories here.

5 Cheap and Unique Holiday Gift Ideas that won't break the bank


4. Backpacks - I have been an avid carrier of large tote bags for my purses, but I realize I fill them up way too much and so they are usually super heavy on my shoulder. I have been eyeing these really cute backpacks since the summer, and I am really considering using one as my "purse" in the coming new year! Do you like these or do you feel more comfortable with a regular purse? Check out some of my favorite backpacks similar here.

5. Manicure Set - If you know someone who loves to get their nails done or just loves painting their nails, nail polishes or manicure sets are perfect! I would love to get my nails done at a salon more frequently, but as a poor grad student I really can't afford it! I went last weekend and got a manicure and pedicure and spent over $50! There are also now home gel manicure sets that are cool to use and last long, not usually as long as the gel manicures you get from a salon but at least for me (in lab I change my gloves constantly, rips off the nail polish fast!), they last longer than regular nail polish!  Check out regular nail polish here, manicure sets here, and gel manicure sets here!


What do you think about these gift ideas? Would these work for anyone you are buying gifts for? All the hard work is done for you already as I have included links, easy peasy!

Let me know what you think about these gift ideas, and I would love to hear other gift ideas you have, I still need more cheap gift ideas as I am not done my shopping yet!

Have a great week! xo

Andrea



*This post is not sponsored by Amazon, I just love shopping using amazon as a customer as it is usually cheap, easy and quick shipping, and have linked to products mentioned using affiliate links.

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