Monday, July 31, 2017

New York 2.2

1 // A tourist swamp at the Wall Street Golden Bull.
2 // Departing Lower Manhattan.
3 // View of the Statue of Liberty from the Staten Island Ferry.
4 // Coney Island!
5 // Art walls at Coney Island.
6 // Brooklyn Bridge as the sun begins to set.
7 // Panorama view from the Manhattan Bridge at sunset.
8 // Menu at the Black Tap.
9 // American burger and a cotton candy Crazy Shake ◊

Sunday, July 30, 2017

New York 2.1

1 // Little Italy.
2 // A mural — big city of dreams, indeed.
3 // Egg Shop, a recommendation of Inthefrow.
4 // Lemon-mint water.
5 // Top notch aesthetics.
6 // Pepper egg.
7 // Ferrara.
8 // Mini cannolis.
9 // Grand Central Station ◊

Saturday, July 29, 2017

New York 1.2

1 // What a sight to behold whilst biking through Central Park.
2 // A view of Belvedere Castle from across Turtle Pond.
3 // The Met — a visit for another time.
4 // Picasso
5 // Van Gogh
6 // Matisse
7 // Pollock
8 // Monet
9 // Joe's Pizza ◊

Friday, July 28, 2017

New York 1.1

1 // We waited around for an hour after arriving via Megabus for the first coffee shops to open.
2 // Other delicate confections at Dominique Ansell Bakery, home of the Cronut.
3 // Seating at the Dominique Ansell Bakery #aestheticgoals
4 // Mirabelli plum and brown sugar cronut — absolutely scrumptious!
5 // More cronuts in the making.
6 // The arch at Washington Square Park.
7 // Lovely plants at the Union Square Park Farmers' Market.
8 // The otherworldly entrance room to the New York Public Library.
9 // First time beholding the corporate advertising monstrosity that is Times Square. ◊

Wednesday, July 19, 2017


Blogging is a commitment. This post itself is retroactively published because I haven't blogged for about a month. Blogs make it easy to organize a compilation of thoughts, but sometimes when there's not enough time for that, journals are nice to jot down tidbits of thought and feelings. Despite my preference of keeping a blog to keeping a journal, I feel most connected to myself with pen in hand and ink flowing. Lately, having bought a Moleskine, I've been journaling and sketching a bit more, but again, my issue with journals is that I can't easily go back to edit my thoughts from the spur of the moment. Here, I suppose, is an augmented compilation of those inspired snippets. (Content warning: explicit language below the break.)

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Retail Therapy

It's been a while since I've done some sort of haul post. This here is everything I got for my birthday gift to myself: an It Cosmetics CC cream, a travel size Too Faced Better Than Sex mascara, a Tarte sampler (free gift from Sephora), Lush Rehab shampoo, Lush Lust perfume, and CosRx Centella Blemish Cream. So far, I'm incredibly happy with everything here, so there's not too much I want to write about. Nevertheless, a few comments.

» It Cosmetics CC cream in Light ($38)
I've always had problems finding suitable foundations for my skin tone and texture, but this CC cream is the best I've tried so far. It doesn't feel heavy but still does a good job on coverage (you can see that it covers my tattoo quite a bit). It also has more yellowish undertones than my Maybelline Fit Me foundations, which does wonders to prevent me from looking orangey. It's probably one of the priciest items in my makeup drawer, but I feel like its important to have a good quality foundation because it goes on your skin all day, and I hate having clogged pores. My only complaint is that it doesn't blend into my skin perfectly and can be a little streaky, but that's also likely because I have really dry skin (I've had this problem with every foundation and concealer I've ever tried). An added bonus is that it has 50 SPF.

» Too Faced Better Than Sex mascara ($12)
I'm don't typically use mascara because my lashes are so short and straight that they don't show up with mascara anyway. Even more concerning is the cost-effectiveness of buying expensive $35 mascaras, which a) I wouldn't wear often, and b) would need to be replaced every three months if you're going by the book. Nevertheless, I started to wonder if high end mascaras would make a difference at all. This one is nice; I like the formula which isn't too goopy or clumpy, and the brush is dense enough that it covers all my lashes all the way. Out of the tube, a little bit of formula does stay on the tip of the wand, but that's easily wiped away on the edge of the tube.

» Tarte Gift Set — Amazonian clay 12-hour blush in Paaarty and Tartiest Lip Paint in Birthday Suit
Even though these are small sample sizes, they still pack a lot of product. I'm a huge fan of both of these because the colors suit me and they wear extremely well. You can see the swatches on my arm, the blush on the left and the lip paint on the right. They're both really great for a natural look.

» Lush Rehab Shampoo ($14)
This is usually much more than I would ever spend for shampoo, but I bought it toward the end of the summer in DC when I was running out of shampoo but didn't want to waste a huge new bottle. I enjoyed this shampoo formula. It has peppermint and is super clarifying and fresh feeling, perfect for humid DC, but again it is much more than I would be willing to regularly spend.

» Lush Lust Perfume ($17)
I typically don't wear perfumes because lotions and such are more than enough to take care of daily scents already. However, these perfumes are not available in California because they don't meet the emissions standards (or something like that) so I had to get one at the Georgetown Lush. This one smells of straight up jasmine, one of my favorite scents. It is incredibly strong, so I don't use it often, but that means it will last and last for a while.

» CosRx Centella Blemish Cream ($15)
This one came at the recommendation of my smol child (check out her blog!) and I've been using it on the stubborn acne that's taken up residence on my cheeks and jawline. So far I haven't noticed a huge difference in my skin in the long term, but at night after my skin is irritated from washing my face, this calms it down right away.

That's it for now. There are a lot of products that I want to try in this upcoming year, so hopefully I'll have the opportunity to do more of these review posts in the future. ◊

Thursday, July 13, 2017

On My Own

After the last (somewhat incoherent) post and two therapy sessions, I'm taking the time to revisit what it means to be in touch with myself and my interests. Turning twenty was a wake up call to love myself first, to spend my money and my time and effort on the things that make ME happy, even if that means spending less money/time/effort on other people, and that's okay! The more I'm comfortable being myself, the more I will be comfortable being with others. It's time I rethink the meaning of independence; as much as I like to think that I am independent from, say, my parents and most other people, perhaps I am more dependent that I think upon my friends. We're growing up, and people are getting busier and handling new things in their lives. They won't be here for me as much as they were in high school, when we were all together. That was a concept that was very difficult for me to accept, but I'm learning to give people their distance so they can continue to grow and interact with others. It's terrifying for me, but I'm going to have to step out of my comfort zone and get to know new people too, so I too can continue to evolve as an individual. ◊

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

The Twentysomething Selfish Years

In setting the tone for my twenties, I'm forced to remember a few key aspects of my identity that are harder to change than others, namely my social anxiety and the habits that I am not yet aware of. Lately, a vaguely unfortunate confluence of events has brought me to think, question, write; wonder if my relationships are genuine and worth it; review the way I treat people and the way I am treated.

It occurred to me that we don't always receive the same amount of love that we give to the world. At first, the thought of this made me bitter: why should I waste my energy on people who don't reciprocate the effort? Again, I faced the agony of the thought that I am nobody's priority. But why should this matter? Perhaps I am too sensitive. Perhaps I care more than I should. But continuing to be thoughtful and kind is my choice, and how other people respond to that is a reflection of their character. I can only keep doing my best, even if it is not enough, even if I make mistakes.

It's a contradiction that's maddeningly difficult to make sense of: I want to connect with more people, so I need to stop connecting with people more. My social anxiety keeps me dependent on the few people that I know well and prevents me from reaching out to meet people. I have to be comfortable maintaining distance from my close friends if I want to overcome my social anxiety and reach out to new people. I need to focus on myself in order to know others.

However, a few changes are necessary. I remind myself to make myself a priority to myself. I have a difficult time allowing myself to do this because of the echoes of voices telling me I'm selfish and ungrateful. I end up being a doormat, ready to inconvenience myself at every whim. It will take a long time to convince myself that acting in self interest and self love is not selfishness. I am allowed to take care of myself first before catering to others. I do not need to set myself on fire to keep others warm. I don't remember where I saw this but sometimes, "You can lie down for people to walk on you and they will still complain that you're not flat enough."

They say your twenties are your selfish years. I'm learning to be okay with that. It's ok to be selfish, to act in self interest, ok to say, "No," to people, even the ones I care about. I'm still learning and growing. I'm not sorry for chasing after the things I want. I'm not sure if this post makes sense. ◊

Sunday, July 9, 2017

#obsessed: Glorious — Macklemore

The summer has truly taken a turn for the better. My scholarship finally disbursed, and with it comes a sense of ease from being financially secure. I love my new job, and I have the time to go out and explore DC. I'm seeing new places, new people; I'm newly a twentysomething, aka a strange feeling of newfound freedom and certainty of the knowledge that there are greater things to come. There's so much that's been happening that I haven't had the time to blog it all, but right now I'd rather be living in the moment. ◊

Friday, July 7, 2017

Le Diplomate

This is the year, the big 2-0. For my birthday, I decided to treat myself to a fancy-schmancy dinner at Le Diplomate, which is famous for being the establishment of choice among Senators and other political people. I brought Diana with me to avoid making a fool of myself when attempting to order food in French, a good choice considering I initially pronounced the name of the restaurant with Spanish phonetics (Di-plo-ma-te, emphasis on all the vowels).

Personally, I'm not the biggest fan of French cuisine, but in the spirit of #trynewthings, I made some culinary decisions that I normally would not have. This turned out to be a mistake with the foie gras, not because I didn't like the taste, but because I felt awfully guilty the entire time knowing the ethically questionable practices of producing fatty duck liver. I was very happy when they took away that plate and brought out the entrees. I had the duck, which I highly recommend, and would eat all the time if it weren't so expensive. I also loved the ratatouille, which, on top of the duck, was incredibly filling. The Caribbean sorbet for dessert was a good way to cleanse all the tastes, and, additionally, we had complimentary blueberry lemon scones for the birthday event. The bill for the meal was unspeakable (for a college student), but someday, I don't know when, I will return to DC, and I will order the duck again. ◊