August 31, 2011

Review It! Revlon Scented Nail Polish

"Hey, hey, smell my finger!" Though you may not want to go around inexplicably saying this to just anyone, you will probably love to show off your scented nails if you use Revlon's scented enamel nail polish. Here's the gist: when it dries, the nail polish smells like its described name (mostly fruits). I used "Mad About Mango."
Cost: $5
 My Rating: 2.5/5

Though I was mad about "Mad About Mango's" perfect Summer color, I was absolutely rabid about how difficult to manage the paint actually is. It comes out a little gooey, doesn't go on evenly, dries on the brush too quickly, and it's almost impossible to work on a much needed second coat. When you go to apply the second coat, you have to make sure to use a thick wad of paint because otherwise you will smear the bottom and top coat together into a mess. This is even if you wait for the first coat to dry. Even after both coats are dry to the touch, you can still smudge the thick coat of paint with your finger or by accidentally hitting something. This is what happened on my big toe after putting on my sandals (I waited over 10 minutes for the paint to dry):


Let's not forget the upside: the color and smell. I adore this almost neon orange color, it has gone splendidly with a lot of my Summer outfits and I have used it more than any other color this Summer. Revlon is true to their word when they say this line is scented. At least with most of the colors. 
I tried out a bunch in the store just to smell them and see how well they went on (pretty much the same problems with application in every color). Grape was by far the strongest and most well done in smell. Later at home I almost ate my finger while absentmindedly resting my head on my hand. A few of the colors didn't really have much of a smell to them or they weren't very distinct. Even if it does have a good smell, it only lasts until after a few washes. And we want to wash our hands, people.

In short, buy it for the smell if you're really crazed by the idea of smelly fingernails.
I hope this review was helpful!

August 30, 2011

Just Another Fish Swimming







Outfit details
Top: Abercrombie ($10)
Shorts: Express ($20)
Shoes: Ann Taylor Loft ($10/$30)
Jewelry: Tarpon Springs, FL
Headband: Self Knit

I actually can't swim very well, but I can look cute in a bathing suit! Especially with this "sarong" from Diva Swimwear. It's basically a coverup that can be worn multiple ways at the beach. When I used it this Summer everyone loved it. Being 100% silk it's super soft and easy to wash. I used it as a scarf one day for school; it really heated me up under the sun, but I used it for class where the A/C is cranking at full blast all the time. Scarves are great alternatives to sweaters for the classroom, theatre, etc.

Years ago when I worked at Abercrombie (the kid store for A&F), I saw this cute little top on clearance for $10 and bought it before my manager had the chance to buy it herself. This was a triumph. Anyways, point is, if you can squeeze into kids' clothing, go for it. Abercrombie kids has the same clothes as the "adult" store but at half the prices. Of course some things may still look awkward even if they fit, but it's worth a try! I just wouldn't advise it with pants.

August 24, 2011

I'm Just Sayin'... Trouble Picking Glasses

Some people are photogenic, some people look great in glasses, some people look just plain old great no matter what. I am like neither of the above. Though I usually wear contacts because I can't really rock the nerdy look, I do sometimes turn to my glasses even when I head out the door. 

Buying a pair of glasses isn't easy, especially if they're your only everyday option. Stuck with a pair that were too long for my face, I only wore my first pair of glasses when I absolutely needed to see something on the board in school. Probably would have saved me from almost walking into a fence on the first day of freshman high school wore though...
My face is oval shaped which is great for hair styling, but not so great (in my case at least) for glasses. When buying (sun)glasses think about your face shape first then your skin tone and hair color.



Here my friend Manasa is rocking a pair of men's glasses. You wouldn't think so just by looking, right? At least I was surprised. She has more of square-shaped face so she's able to pull off something big. She also has big eyes so something small and narrow wouldn't work out for her.

It's also great to look through the men's section for deals on prices. With glasses though, you want to invest a little extra than what you'd hoped if it's the case that you like them more than a cheaper pair.



My Glasses: Anne Klein ($120+)

These are my newest (2nd pair) glasses. Also thick, plastic rimmed as they are pretty popular now. The frame on these are cool because they're actually a dark brown and the inside subtly shines blue in the light.
These Anne Klein's are narrow length and width-wise. This is good for my narrow, oval-shaped face and my relatively small eyes. The only downside is that they looked great on me when my hair was short, but now that my hair is long, it's a bit overwhelming for me to wear dark glasses with dark hair, skin, and eyes. Sometimes they look better on with my hair up.
I'm not very savvy when it comes to choosing glasses, but these are simple tips to help get you started.

By the way, the photos of me were taken two years ago after I donated 13" of my hair to Locks of Love. Please check them out and do the same if you can. They even accept dyed hair as long as they're natural colors!

Surreal Surroundings








Outfit details
Dress: Forever 21 ($30)
Crossbody: Fossil ($20/$50)
Shoes: Sofft
Sunglasses: Daisy Fuentes ($14)
Necklace: USF Bull Market ($20)
Earrings: Fossil

This Summer I visited the new Salvador Dali Museum in St. Pete, FL because it's free for USF students!! And because I love art galleries and such. Clifford and I ran around the museum playing with all the fun things to do inside and outside. We walked through a "labyrinth," made wishes on a wishing tree, found each other in the glass structure of the museum, contemplated art in the "Contemplation Room," tried to find the hidden images in the art. So much more! The Fountain of Youth was right at our feet too! We may or may not have had a sip....

In the picture with all the paintings surrounding me, I am attempting to pose like Gala, Dali's favorite muse and wife. The painting I'm trying to imitate is one of my favorites of his simply because it's so fun and ingenious.

Taking advantage that it was still Summer though it was nearing the end, I wore a nice floral dress that I got years back from Forever 21. The only downside to the dress is that the back is very low cut, to where my bra shows a slight bit. I tried to safety pin it but it seemingly did not work. Well, whatever, it's Florida. Knowing there would be a lot of walking and running around, I wore my most comfortable pair of heels. They're from Sofft and are amazing. By the way, if I don't post the price for something, it's because I don't remember.Oh, and you finally get to see the sunglasses on my face!

August 20, 2011

Summer's End






Perhaps it is because I took Summer classes for the first time this year that this season has come and gone so quickly. Perhaps it is that we are never satisfied with the free time we are allotted with our friends and family. Perhaps it is that we become greedy with the ease of relaxation that we suddenly look up and scramble towards the things that should now be taken care of. This Summer has been eventful

Rain has been prevalent this season and despite its dampening of a few plans, I am extremely grateful to it for providing this drought-stricken state with some refreshment. For once, there was a very bearable Florida Summer! Not once did I see the temperature reach 100!!

Tomorrow kicks off another start of the school year and a powerful round of internships for me. I will have a tutoring job twice a week at a middle school and will be interning a couple times a week on top of my classes. In the Spring semester I will be interning as a full time English teacher. Please wish me luck as the hard but exciting times commence in my academic career. I will try my best to keep this blog updated as often as possible, but please bear in mind my workload.

Hope your Summer has been relaxing!

August 19, 2011

I'm Just Sayin'.... How Best to Comb Hair

Welcome to the first "I'm Just Sayin'..." on video! Thought it'd be easier to visually demonstrate my opinion on how best to comb or brush hair. What I do may not be best for others, especially for those with different types of hair. If you have wavy or curly hair especially though, you may find some tips to be useful. Hopefully everyone can take something from this vlog though. Enjoy!

 

P.S. Please excuse the terribly loud orange room.

August 18, 2011

When Tears Turn to Smiles





Outfit Details
Dress: Bebe ($118/$125)
Shoes: Sam Edelman
Earrings, Bracelet, Necklace: Fossil
Rings: (Index) Banana Republic, (pinky) grandfather
Nail Polish: Revlon: Mad About Mango
Sunglasses: Daisy Fuentes

One of the greatest highlights of my summer was my good friend Marissa's wedding! Congratulations again! Many thanks to her husband Travis who served our country, he is now safe in the arms of his bride. The wedding was beautiful and heartwarming. My friend Andrea (pictured) invited me as her guest since I would sometimes hang out with her and Marissa back in high school. Can't believe my friends are starting to get married off already! *le sigh*

Anyways, as always craziness ensued in my eagerness to get there. I had this adorable outfit all planned out super in advance for the wedding. As I was packing things in the car, I forgot the most important thing - the wedding outfit! I had the top and skirt hanging in my room and was planning on hanging them in the car to avoid wrinkles. But in my excitement I left as soon as I packed the suitcase in the trunk (I had my shoes in the suitcase though - thank goodness!). Of course I didn't even notice this small detail until after I was already 10 minutes away from Gainesville (2 hour drive by the way)! I panicked in the car so badly I almost made a U-turn on the highway. Thank goodness I'm able to control my crazy impulses. 
Oh and shout-out to Pegasus, my car - lookit how cute he looks!

The wedding was the next day. Crying to my parents, I begged them to overnight ship my outfit. Of course, I've never been spoiled in life. They told me to suck it up and head to the mall (the only mall in town). Despairing after looking from store to store and trying on dress after dress, I went into Bebe. Let me tell you: I walk in, an associate greets me and asks if I need help, I almost walk past but turn and tell her my situation. Homegirl hooked me up! She basically did all the shopping for me and found this adorable number which she gave me a small discount for. This will probably be the most expensive thing you will see me post. Emergencies are emergencies. She was great. If you're reading this, thank you Hope! Her name is ironic, huh?

Anyways, the dress ended up being even better than option number one as posted here. Lesson of the Summer? Let out all your pains and cry, but know there is always hope if you just try. Isn't fashion poetic?

August 15, 2011

Review It: Cetaphil

My Rating: 5/5
Cost: $9

Welcome to the first "Review It" where I'll give my honest opinion on products I use; expect these reviews every 15th and last day of the month. Cetaphil is a product true to its word that I use everyday, twice a day. Not only is it a facial cleanser that removes the excess oil from the skin, it removes any extra dirtiness such as makeup. 

I don't wear makeup very often, but the few days I do, I want to make sure it's off my face before I go to bed. I used to cringe in having to use my eye makeup remover because it would sting my eyes, but one use of Cetaphil takes even my eyeliner off. Of course, I still have to be gentle and make sure I get it off right after I use it, but for the most part it's gone and I'm satisfied. For someone who does wear makeup often, I would recommend using Cetaphil after makeup removers, to make sure everything is gone and to remove that oily feeling makeup removers leave behind.

Having problems with acne for a long time, I was recommended Cetaphil by my dermatologist. It alone cannot remove acne, but it certainly helps prevent it. But the product can be used by all skin types and there is even a moisturizing facial cleanser if I remember correctly.

The best part about it is that you only need one small pump per use. One 16oz. bottle lasts me 6 months. That's while using it twice a day for my face and for about a week as an emergency body wash after running out of body soap. It's definitely worth the price. Eventually I just bought Cetaphil's soap bar and used that. It was great for my skin! All the benefits of the facial but it certainly did not last 6 months. The downside to the bar of body soap was that it didn't even last a month. I went through one bar very quickly and it's pricey. 

My dad, however, was suffering from dermatitis as his skin is very sensitive. When I heard that Cetaphil came out with a new product specifically for that, I printed some coupons and bought Cetaphil RESTORADERM body wash for him. His skin continually showed improvement until his dermatitis was cured. He only needed one bottle too.

Cost: $15

I also use their ultra moisturizing lotion from time to time and it does not eventually leave my skin dry like other lotions. It really does what it sets out to do. During the winter time, it's my hero. If I have a dry skin emergency, it's my go-to.

Overall, the facial cleanser and other products wash off wonderfully, quickly, and easily with a couple splashes of water. They leave your skin feeling fresh and clean but never dry skin out. The only downside I can come up with for this products is that the facial cleanser sometimes stings a little if there are small lesions on the skin. Still this is nothing painful or unbearable. The products are expensive but are well worth their money, especially the facial cleanser, RESTORADERM body wash, and the ultra hydrating lotion. 

I would recommend this product to anyone at any age because it is important to clean your face up to two times a day but there are many products out there that are toxic to the skin. Cetaphil does the job ten times better without harsh chemicals.

August 13, 2011

Read All About It! The Invisible Man

My Rating: 4/5

Holding its mysteries from start to finish, this book was extremely enjoyable and I would recommend it to any reader. The language is old-fashioned and some of the words are formally British, so that would be the only set-back for someone just looking for a good book to enjoy.

Categorizing it as an old-fashioned thriller, I wanted to sympathize with the protagonist even through his outbursts. As his background and intentions are revealed, the reader has to ask oneself what would be done if he or she were invisible. Would invisibility be as advantageous as the protagonist of the story describes? Or would the difficulties he faces surpass these advantages? The protagonists' reasoning for wanting to reach his ultimate goal is not clear, something that I found to be both lacking and strong suits of the novel. On one hand, it seems an excuse for finishing off the story, on the other hand (and more strongly so) it is a wonderful way to get the reader to question the character's intentions. Great discussions can be held with this question alone.

One point I would have to research to understand is why Wells chose to make an albino man specifically invisible. The novel explains this somewhat, saying the white pigmentation in the skin and hair makes invisibility easier, but I got the feeling that Wells was arriving at a deeper level with this, perhaps about discrimination against albinos. Whether Wells himself was discriminating the population or simply intending for his readers to think over the issue, I cannot say for certain simply from this reading.
Themes: use of science, experimentation on animals and humans, albino, discrimination, reign of terror, invisibility 

Check out the poll on the blog everyone! Hope this review was helpful!

August 12, 2011

I'm Just Sayin'... Knit Picks

Before anything, I'd like to announce that there is a Spanish version of this blog now available here!  This should help make things more organized. This link is also available in the "Links" section.

And now, welcome to the second "I'm Just Sayin'...." Although Summer is sadly drawing its last threads, a great thing to do during this time of year is to pick up a hobby. One of my favorite artsy hobbies is to knit. 

Knitting is no longer an old lady thing, now it is a great way to show off your skills and fashion sense. Not only does it help relieve boredom, it's a great way to save money on pieces like scarves, hats, gloves, headbands. Also saves money on Christmas gifts *wink, wink*

My most recent Summer knit has been a cotton headband which I've worn on several occasions. I even use it to keep my hair out of the way when I wash my face. For this headband I went with a bright green color for its attention-grabbing brightness. The money I spent on the cotton yarn was minimal. 120 yards (which will allow for a couple headbands) cost me a little over a buck.



What you will need for headband: 
-Size US 8 needles
-Lily Sugar'n Cream Cotton yarn
-Scissors
-Threading needle
-(8 to 10 cast on stitches)
-(16" in length)
-Here is the pattern for a similar headband. 
Use the first pattern (garter stitch) if you're a beginner.

Learning to knit can take time (a few hours) but it's well worth it. I messed up and redid the first scarf I made at least ten times before I was satisfied with it. Because this is a much smaller project, it should go by a lot faster even if it's your first time. How does one learn to knit? Forget the books and check out the tube! Here are some links to YouTube videos that I used to learn:

(The most helpful for me)

(It's also helpful to see different ways of doing the same thing)


Check out other videos on your own to see if they help you with that a-ha! moment in learning knitting. If knitting doesn't seem to be your thing, try crocheting. Good luck and enjoy! You'll be SO proud of your first knit piece! 

I mean, I'm just sayin'....

August 9, 2011

The Pretty One in the Front




 Outfit details
Top: American Eagle ($25/$30)
Shorts: BCBG ($24/$80)
Shoes: Wet Seal ($6)
Earrings: American Eagle
Necklace & Ring: Icing (5 for $10/$15 & $7)

Run to Icing. Their clearance section is 5 for $10 whatever is originally priced under $15. Everything else on clearance is $5 each. I went with the 5 for 10 deal and got a few other knit-knats, including two necklace hangers.

Normally I don't wear these flats unless I know I'll be doing some minimal walking. They're very comfortable, but they don't really have a heel to them. Every shoe, flat or not, needs to have some sort of an elevation from the ground to save your back. It's extremely risky business for the spine if you walk in something so flat otherwise. 

The American Eagle top is new but I get their texts which sometimes includes exclusive discount codes you can use at the register. Text "JOIN" to 32453 for the texts and thanks to American Eagle's Twitter for the tip!
The BCBG shorts I got years ago at Dillards. The outlet and department stores always have great BCBG sales. I love these shorts, I was complimented on them just today (different outfit - to be posted?)!

From now on I'll be posting the price I paid as opposed to the regular price on these items (paid/regular). You may have noticed (or not have cared) that I've not been posting in Spanish. I'm working on separating the two languages in order to keep things organized. Don't despair! Till next time!

August 7, 2011

You Just Pick a Place





Outfit Details
Tank top: Urban Outfitters ($10)
Shorts: Guess
Scarf: American Eagle
Shoes: Urban Outfitters ($10)
Sunglasses: Daisy Fuentes ($14)
Bracelet: USF Bull Market ($2)
Scarf in the Summer? Heck yeah! A colorful Spring scarf adds life to an outfit and makes you look snazzy without effort. Take a square scarf, fold it in half like a triangle, with the pointed part in front, have the ends come around the back and to the front. You can hide the ends on the inside of the triangle or leave them dangling like I did. Bunch up the top of the front of the scarf to give yourself room to breathe and for a relaxed look

Olive green, like the color of the shorts, is a great alternative to the usual jean colors. I find that it matches well with a lot of colors like reds, oranges, pinks, blues, purples, yellows, etc. Just don't pair it with greens I'd say and you should be good!

White sunglasses are great for the summer but have always been tricky with me because they seem too neon bright against my tan skin. When I tried these on from Daisy Fuentes though, I saw that they're a little off white and perhaps that's why they don't look offensive on my face. Maybe it's a Hispanic thing and that's why it works? Dunno. But they're super cute all the same.

I used to work at USF (my university - go Bulls!) as a "Conversation Leader" basically teaching and talking to international students who are there to learn English. When I bought the bracelet at school I was curious to know what what the barely visible writing meant; recognizing that it was in Chinese, I asked one of my Chinese students. Apparently it means "happy girl." So I take it as a good luck charm and figure that I'm a happy girl when I wear it. I guess I have several good luck charms for different occasions. Anyone have a good luck charm?

By the way, the instrument I'm holding is an African "Kalimba" and the painting was done by my uncle who lives in Cuba. He gave it to us as a gift. And yeah, that's a portable crib. I miss my niece and nephew!!!

August 5, 2011

I'm Just Sayin'... Shopping for Heels

What you are about to see...
 
is top secret...

I would never so casually show the whole world (ok, the few that visit this blog) such a large portion of my heel collection. Shoes, heels in particular, are my thing. So when my friend Huong came over the other night asking for advice on heels I gave her what I hope were helpful hints that I'll now share here for the blog's first "I'm Just Sayin'...."
So Huong (whom I've known since kindergarten, I'm just sayin'...) says she only owns two pairs of super dressy heels. She wants more for everyday use and different occasions, but let's face it - those beauties are pricey. The first thing to keep in mind is price. I never buy a pair of heels for more than $40 and only if I'm in super love with them. Except for my Bobbi Blu's. But my Bobbie Blu's are special. If you're rich just buy whatever looks pretty and ignore anything else written henceforth. Anywho, here's whatcha do:
  • When buying heels (or anything) always go to the sales rack first. Repeat. Sales.
    • They're neither "out of season" <--no such thing! Nor are they damaged or used. They're on sale to make way for the new ones.
    • Set yourself a budget and stick to it!! My budget is usually $30 but I try to stay under.
    •  Department stores are your friends. They have HUGE sales at different times of the year.
    • **Major** Forget Black Friday. That's child's play. The morning after Christmas has amazing deals. How about a pair of Coach flats (regular $200) for $25. That's my amazing mother for you. Gracias Mami!
  • When buying boots (with a heel or any at all) get them AFTER the cold is weaning or gone. That's right girl! You'll have to wait another dang year, but it'll be worth it when it's down from $200, $100 to $60, $40, $--
  • You need some essential colors, in order of importance: black, brown, white, (silver)
    • Silver is more for going out. White is more formal, daytime thing. Brown is more casual. Black is always appropriate.... Don't quote me on that.
    • This being said. Look at your shoes. Slap yourself if all you see is black. Omigosh. This world needs color!!
  • Comfort is just as important as price, if not more so. 
    • Admit to your shoe size and buy the right size! Except for my Bobbi Blu's....I'm just sayin'.
    • For comfort and stability, the heel should be thick and about 2-3". 
      • It is not necessarily true that the shorter the heel the more comfortable it is. Sometimes a super short heel (0.5") is awkward to walk in.
    • Check the "old lady shoes" aka brands like Clarks, Sofft, Easyspirit, etc. I have a pair of each of these (pictured here) and they're super cute. These will be your "everyday" shoes and lifesavers.
    • **Important** If you must wear super high (4"+) heels, get them with a platform in the front. It balances you and saves your feet (Obvious Example).Thanks to my beautiful sister for this tip!
Certain types of heels are also essential to have at least one good pair of around. Here are some examples of each I recommend: 

Clockwise: Clarks, Bobbi Blu, Sam Edelman, France Arno (Paris), Nine West (x2), Aerosoles, Antonio Melani, Jeune & Jolie: Par Andre (Paris), Nine West
  • Work and everyday walking heels should be comfortable even at the end of a long day.
  • Transitional heels are those that are formal or elegant with a dress but casual with jeans. Experiment doing this with shoes you may have doubts on.
  • Flip-flop heels are necessary in Florida. Those pictured are also transitional, only downside is they're made of wood on the bottom so they're super heavy after walking in them a while.
  • Wedges tend to be extremely comfortable and you won't sink in the sand. Another Florida thing...But the only option at a beach wedding! I'm just sayin'....
  • Color is important in heels too. Here's a guideline if you're not sure what colors would be okay:
    • Good: teal, red, burgundy, lighter yellows, prints
    • Bad: highlighter colors
I mean, I'm just sayin'...

Para el primer "Solo digo..." de este blog, hablaremos sobre como comprar tacones. Mi amiga vino preguntando como comprar una variedad teniendo poco dinero para gastar.

  • Lo mas importante es el precio de los tacones. Ve a las tiendas con un limite en mente. Casi siempre mi limite es $30 pero trato de buscar algo por menos primero.
    • Es posible, pero tienes que ir a las tiendas de departamento donde tienen muchas ventas buenas.
    • Siempre mira las ventas primero. ¡Esos tacones no estan fuera de  moda y son nuevos!
  • Cuando vayas a comprar botas (sin o con tacones) trata de comrarlas cuando se este acabando el frio o al pocito de acabarse. Estaran descontadas mucho mas.
  • Algunos colores de tacones siempre son imporatantes de tener. En orden de importancia: negro, carmelita, blanco, (platiado). 
    • El platiado es mas para salir a un baile, el blanco es mas formal o para el dia, el carmelita es mas casual, y el negro es appropiado para todo
    • ¡Con todo esto dicho, por favor, tengan color! Hace falta color el este mundo!
  • La comodidad es tan importante como el precio.
    • Compre acuerdo su talla. 
    • Para comodidad y estabilidad, trate de comprar un tacon entre 2 y 3 pulgadas. 
      • No es verdad que los mas corto el tacon lo mas facil que es caminar en el. A veces un tacon de solo 0.5 pulgadas lo hace muy dificil caminar despues de un rato.
    • Compren de las marcas de zapatos de mujeres mayores. Son comodos y puede ser que veas un estilo bonito. Yo tengo un par de zapatos de cada una de estas marcas: Clarks, Sofft, y Easy Spirit.
    • **Importante** Si tienes que usar un par de tacones altisimos (4"+), traten de usarlos con plataformas. Miren aqui para ver lo que les digo. Te mantiene la estabilidad y salban sus pies. 
Los tipos de tacones tambien son importantes de tener una variedad:
  • Trabajo y todos los dias: Estos tacones son comodos mas que nada. Puedes caminar en ellos todo el dia y no te duelen los pies.
  • Transicional: Pueden ser casual o formal y elegante dependiendo como te vistas (con pantalones o vestido, etc.)
  • Sandalia: Este tipo es tacon pero bueno para lugares calurosos como la florida. Solo digo....
  • Cuñas: Estos tacones tienden ser comodos y buenos para caminar en la arena y otros superficies asi.
  • Color: Color es importante en los tacones tambien. Aqui hay una guia si no estan seguros de que colors serian buenos:
    • Buenos: teal, rojo, borgoña, amarillos claros, estampados
    • Malos: colores marcador
Bueno, solo digo....
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