2017 Life Style and Beauty Hits/Miss’

Okay guys, I’m not even going to do an introduction, this is going to be a long one so let’s just get into it.

Tart Amazonian Clay Matte Palatte

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You guys know I’m all about matte nudes and it’s sad that it took me so long to get my hands on this sweet thang. The colors are so creamy and pigmented and blends so effortlessly. It’s been my go-to everyday for a “natural” work look. Been getting lots of compliments as well, so if you’re like me and haven’t gotten your hands on one of these, go!

Milani Coral Cove blush

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This one was a HUGE disappointment for me unfortunately, but I couldn’t resist buying it initially, it’s so PRETTY! However, the color pay off is just not up to par, I have to pack on so much and even then it somehow disappears into thin air before I even know it. You definitely get what you pay for – won’t be repurchasing

Cover Girl finishing powder in 110 translucent light900

You guys, I’m so torn with this product! So here’s the thing, I love it because it makes my face/makeup look so FLAWLESS. My makeup is gorgeous on the days that I finish with this powder. The shade that I got is perfect if I do a full look with highlight/bake etc, but it’s a bit dark just as an overall setting powder. It may be more perfect when my skin is a touch more tan in the summer. Now, the downfall is the packaging and basically everything else. In the picture above you see the powder sitting on top of the perfect little porous petri dish, mine however does not look like this. I basically had a powder mess on my hands right before work – I was so pissed! The petri dish was bent in multiple places and that applicator is pretty much worthless. And I can’t forget to mention the smell – oh god. Have you ever smelled your grandma’s old make-up back in the days?! It’s got this very perfume-my old-fashion-ny smell (LOL). No thank you. But I can’t give up the quality of the finish and the price. I’m probably gonna give it another try and hopefully the next one won’t be a disappointment in packaging!

Loreal liquid eye liner

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From the first couple of runs I was really going to throw this liner away. It smudges and runs like a mad woman! I had raccoon eyes regardless of what I did, no trick in the book helped! I literally had to sit in my office with a mirror in front of me so I can could continuously monitor it. But – miraculously after the first week or so it stopped smudging…CRAZY right?! I’m not saying it perfectly stays in place now but it’s definitely much better. The felt tip glides on pretty smooth, feels much better than my normal Kat Von D one, and applies a lot more product as well, it’s not quite as drying. I’m probably going to keep trying out new ones though.

Maybelline highlighting concealer

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What can I say, besides that this is a complete BUST! So disappointed guys! I saw a couple of YT girls say how much they liked it so I gave it a try. NOPE. The brush tip doesn’t do a good job of holding up especially once the product is released, I’m either not getting enough product or getting too much. I’m all about efficiency, I don’t want to spend a couple of minutes trying to color in my triangular highlight areas under the eye. Will not be repurchasing.

Pyunkang Yul toner

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I will be doing an updated winter skin care routine soon so I don’t want to share too much here but this is a toner that I started using since August and I’ve been enjoying it.

The Face Shop rice water oil cleanser

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After coming off of the Beyond Oil Cleanser, this cleanser is a complete disappointment. It basically feels like oil on top of water…if that makes any sense. It’s super light weight and I have to do at least 2 rounds to get a 75% clean feeling. It’s going on my black list unfortunately

Cosrx acne patch

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The Asian beauty community has been raving about this product for a long time and I just haven’t gotten around to getting my hands on it but WOW, I have been missing out. I definitely need to journal my results a lot better but I had two small breakouts on my chin last week and decided to use the patches on it. I kid you not, the smaller pimple was almost gone the following morning and the other pimple came up to the surface. I have no idea what kind of magic is in these little sticky things, but I love it! The only minor complaint I have is the variable sizes. Don’t be fooled, it just looks big in the picture. I have no need for the very small circles. This product will probably be a staple in my stash!

The Face Shop rice water cleansing foam

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The oil cleanser was a disappointment but this little baby here makes up for it. I started using this over the summer and swear it’s done some pretty amazing things to my skin/face. I used to have A LOT of redness and pretty prevalent uneven skin tone but I noticed that the redness slowly went away, my skin got clearer and brighter. I’m sure it’s a combination of a couple of things, but this just might be my new holy grail! Side note – I’m actually not sure why they call it a foam cleanser because it’s not really foamy at all….

Dr. Brandt retinol serum

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You all know I’m well into my 30’s – so it’s time to start easing into retinols, unfortunately. I didn’t really know where to start but quite honestly I needed to spend a couple more pretty pennies to make VIB status at Sephora so the hyped up reviews on this product convinced me to purchase it. It’s M-E-H at most. I mean I haven’t noticed any dramatic changes? or maybe it’s preventing my otherwise aging skin? IDK! What I know is that I’m not pleased with the smell (LOL). I can get pass it though and it does go away after a short time. The one thing that I do like is the packaging, it’s very sleek and elegant, very genius with a twist pump for hygiene and oxidation prevention but when I factor in the price point, the smell, and overall result it’s probably going to be on my blacklist as well!

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So I ran out of my eye cream a couple of months ago and was in desperate need of a new one so rather than going back to my original Lancôme one, I opted to try this one out. I’m not sure if it was a mistake or not, we’ll see once I’m done with the jar. The consistency is sort of tacky (?) almost sticky, it definitely doesn’t have a cream like texture. To be honest, given my age, skin and attention (LOL) I can’t ever really tell how well eye creams are working. However – I will report that lately when I apply concealer or basically any makeup, the area under my eyes have been pretty smooth…..something may be in the works here. I will keep you posted!

Sara Chapman facial lift

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I know, this little gadget looks a little bit funky but believe me when I tell you it does CRAZY things! According to the maker of this product, the purpose of this tool is to bring circulation and blood flow to the face/skin as well as lymphatic drainage. However, the Asian beauty community swears this is facial reconstruction without going under! Too bad I’m so chubby and my face/neck/cheeks are also not an exception so I’m not seeing quite as dramatic a change as some of the reviews have stated. Now I’m not claiming that this will slim your face or eliminate your double chin over night, but the results, although subtle, has been pretty amazing for me. Just the other day, I noticed how different the front view shape of my face was, specifically my chin/jawline. It had a very V like effect (I hope this makes sense). Although I had contour on, that was a change that had never been so prevalent before. I will keep you all posted though. Perhaps if I lose some weight I may see better results!

Vera Wang pants

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Do you have one of these? Do you have any of her pants?! OMG – you need one, every woman does! They’re so perfect for work and comfortable enough to wear with an affordable price point too. I have 2 of the one shown above

Charter Club knit robe

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This is the perfect robe! I’m not a freeze baby at all so this has just the right coverage and warmth for this season. I would have preferred an all white one but they didn’t have any available

Bandolino suede booties

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These are the cutest little booties ever and it’s pretty comfortable as well. I love the block heel for walking ease and the height is just perfect! I can’t believe I’ve held off jumping on the bootie (LOL) wagon! I was once told people of my height and physique shouldn’t wear booties because it’ll make me look even shorter and stubbier. Well – I tried it, seen it, and I love it! I’m sorry, but I look DANG cute! (LOL) Will definitely be adding more to the collection next fall!

Martha Stewart quilt

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Let me start off by saying Martha ain’t my girl. She just isn’t my cup of tea, I’m sorry, but for the love of quilts – does she make a good one! I’ve loved this pretty little thing since I’ve laid eyes on it a while back and just haven’t been able to justify making a purchase. However – here in America where we get crazy on the Friday after giving thanks, I was able to convince myself I deserved it this year! (LOL)

Chantelle and Elomi bras

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Just pretend that gorgeous model is me because it’s exactly how this bra fits! If you’ve followed any of my blogs you know that I am consistently on the search for the perfect bra because I don’t have the average size bust. Long story short, I walked into Nordstroms and walked out a whole new woman! First of all, if you haven’t been fitted before or even if you have, you really need to go into Nordstroms and have those girls work on you. They truly know their stuff. I’ve been fitted and measured before at lane Bryant and Victoria’s and both places were obviously wrong – I know this because as soon as the Nordstrom gals told me my size and put on these bras, the fit and look was completely out of this world. I’m sure they made a nice commission off of my purchase but I definitely learned a lot. It’s now been 6 months and my bras are still holding up very well. The only down side is the price point, it’s VERY expensive, but again all investments are. You get what you pay for.

Alright that ends my list of goodies for the year. I realize that I don’t do these types of blogs as often as I should but honestly it’s because I don’t go through that much product. I’m not buying products just for the sake of reviews and blog posts and in addition, even if I do buy something I like to allow enough time to at least give it a fair review. I know a lot of bloggers post reviews very frequently but it’s just not realistic for me so I will probably be sticking to a yearly review unless I run into something super exciting or it’s part of another blog, like my skincare, then I’ll definitely share it.

As always, thanks for reading! Stay warm Midwesterners!

– Cyndie –

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Happy New Year – Resolutions

Highlights of 2017

We celebrated my parent’s retirement with a big bang in May of 2017 and it was such a joyous celebration. We spent a good year putting together the entire operation and it definitely paid off. We knew going in and we still know the hypocrisy surrounding the choices we made running the event in such a non-traditional way but we have no regrets, and how nice it was to stand out; to actually succeed at that. We certainly LEARNED a lot and will probably never throw another party that lavish again (never say never), but it was so worth it and well indulged while it lasted. An infinite amount of thanks to my parents for raising us so humbly and for their many years of working tirelessly to provide for us. Lastly, thank you for staying by our side and giving us your full support in throwing the year’s most unconventional party.

I made a very brave attempt at changing my unhealthy lifestyle mid-year. As you know I’ve been battling with weight-loss for ages and still am. I embarrassingly made a public(?) announcement to keep myself in check but only did 1 or 2 check-ins and then dropped the ball, surprise-surprise. Other unexpected changes in my life was put forth and so I had to put a lot of things on-hold – yes, even my weight and health unfortunately.  Regardless, I’m proud to say I didn’t give up entirely. I still made and continue to make an effort to make smart food choices (during the week) and exercise moderately when I can. Over the course of this time I’ve lost a total of 9-10lbs and gained it all back (as of last week) I’m sure more now after the HOLIDAYS (lol).

My baby turned 7 this year! To the average parent, that may be just another birthday, an insignificant number, but to any special needs parent, every year means a milestone met. I haven’t seen my child so chatty and engaged before. I feel like we’re connecting on a whole new level, we’re very close to having full conversations now. He’s gained slow but persistent momentum in all that he does and I continue to learn the depths of what patience means. Over the last year he’s learned to write his full name, do simple math, read books upon books, JUMP with both feet off the ground, go up and down the stairs alternating his feet and the best part he has slowly started to embrace more affection and emotion. And oh how he loves to sing..effortlessly and so passionately. I try very hard to remember to cherish and immerse myself into these wonderful moments and memories as best I can.

2018 Goals:

Self confidence and being STRONG: This year I’m going to try very hard to build a more positive self image, both physically and mentally. I will try to stop victimizing myself and feeling bad for all the things that I don’t have and allowing it to label me as a person. I will break out of my shell and I will stop being toxic to myself.

Organize and time management: I realize that I never seem to be able to accomplish what I need to do even with sufficient time. When I reflect back on the last 12 months it’s truly because I’m not organized enough, I try to be, but I’m not actually following through. I have started to incorporate this into my routine little by little this month. Just the other day I gave myself 2 hours to do 2 tasks. When my hour was up, regardless of where I was in my work, I put it away and moved on. The key will still follow from last year which is to be realistic with my goal, time, task, and schedule.

Make memories: Last year was very much focused on many things and people outside of the home, this year I really need to make my family a priority; most importantly my son. I’d like to try new things, do 1 day road trips, have a picnic, experience new food, new culture, try non-traditional activities. I would love to incorporate 1 fun day a month into our schedules; that should be a realistic expectation don’t you think?! I’m so ready to explore this year!

Healthy: Don’t frown, we all know it’s cliché, new year new me! (LOL). Again the same thing will carry from last year, my new action plan is, see #2 above, ORGANIZATION. I’m very plan driven, so if I fail to plan, or if I detour from the plan, it’s pretty much game over. I’m incorporating a lot of new recipes and routines so I hope it will be fun and effective.

And that’s it folks, I’m really trying to keep it simple to maintain as much realism as possible. Our new years eve was very low key, we’re so old it was quite the challenge to stay up to count down, but we made it nonetheless. I hope you all celebrated well, toasted merrily, and stayed safe amongst all the bustle of the year end closure. I wish you all nothing but the very best for the coming year. Much love – Cyndie

Holiday Home Tour: Part 2

Alright guys, here is part 2 of my Holiday Home Tour of the kitchen and living area – we are just going to jump right in!

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Let’s talk about that blinged out light fixture! Once again, I wasn’t sure how I was going to incorporate both glam and woodland together but I knew that I wanted to hang these little crystals somewhere. Initially, I wanted to put the crystals on a birch wood branch and set it in my living room but that didn’t pan out and deemed to be almost impossible. Very CAREFULLY I wrapped just a plan green garland around the entire fixture and then cut up a very long holiday pick and shoved those pieces into the garland. Then I just used ornament hangers to hook the crystals into the center. It took a lot of rearranging and of course climbing up on my beautiful island but it definitely paid off, I love the finished product!

Garland: Hobby Lobby / reused from years ago

Crystals: Hobby Lobby / reused from years ago

Picks in garland: Michaels / reused from last year

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This year on my island I didn’t want to do anything too flashy or festive that I would have to haul on and off when I needed the space so I was in search of the perfect display platter (is that what you call it?), I’ve been wanting one for a while now anyway. I already had one gifted to me but it’s made of clear glass and I was wanting something that packed a little more punch, know wad-I-mean?! Anyway, I made a couple of runs to Home Goods and finally spotted this one that I liked. I didn’t love it at first but it was the perfect color, size and height. But what made it even more perfect was adding that beautiful dome on top. I’m quite the genius sometimes (LOL j/k). I have another display platter piece that came with this dome top but I didn’t like how the whole thing looked on my counter, so one day I put the dome on top of the white platter for another reason and realized how well it went together, and there, a new creation was born! Let’s not forget chocolate chip cookies for Santa per Rowyn’s request!

White platter: Hobby Lobby / $12.99

Dome Top: Target / 12.99

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These chairs came from Instagram inspirations. I’ve been scheming Instagram pictures for months and when I saw this look, I knew I had to replicate it. There were so many different styles but this was what I came up with that was simple and budget friendly. I looped a simple white ribbon around these little premade miniature wreaths and tied it onto the back of my counter stools. I specifically chose a white satin ribbon to match the rest of my theme and also because satin would bring out more of a glam effect versus something matte. I also finished off the look with a little bow using the ends of the ribbon. I think it turned out great. I love looking at it when we sit around the island for meals; it’s so FESTIVE!

Wreath: Michaels / $5/each

Ribbon: Michaels / reused from years ago

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I’m definitely WREATH-ED out this year! But I’ve always wanted a large pretty wreath to hang in my kitchen. I don’t have my dream kitchen yet, but there’s no harm in trying to test out that look right?! I looped the wreath with some left over rustic yarn I had laying around and hooked it onto a 3M hook which I placed on top of the cabinet, you can’t really see it because it blends in so well with the color of the cabinets (point intended). And then I just added a red bow to the center; it’s so simple, very effortless, and works so well for the area.

Wreath: Michaels / $4

Bow: Michaels / reused from years ago

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And then I took out my holiday hand towels, per usual. I change them up only during the Fall and Christmas, otherwise I use pretty basic towels. But can you see the cute little reindeers?! And it still looks elegant enough for my taste! (All of my hand towels are purchased from Home Goods between 5.99 -9.99)

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Okay, first of all, that throw – I cannot tell you how fancy I feel when I sit on my couch (LOL). Serious. Here’s why you get what you pay for, the piece was pretty pricey, for my liking anyway, but it is oh-so-soft! And the color is PURE WHITE. The material is heavy and dense and doesn’t shed. It’s just perfect; even my son loves it!

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Okay – and these pillows? How perfect right?! I just love it so much! The fancy, fringy ones, when I saw these bad boys at Home Goods, it was instant love at first sight. I needed to have it! It was the perfect pop of shimmer that I needed in my living room. I picked it up without much contemplation because there were only 2 sets left. It was a bit expensive but I figure I could work it into other areas of my home and during other seasons as well to accent other colors. Anyway, thank god I did because I went back to Home Goods the following weekend and the other set was gone. So initially I went with this first look for a while, the shimmer ones and the two tone ones. But as I continued to look at it, it just didn’t seem complete, the pillows seemed too sparse and spaced out so I went on a hunt for a fifth pillow to really tie in the entire look altogether. It took a couple more trips to the store but I finally found it, the monogramed one in the middle. It had white in it which flowed with my theme but it was also different from the other pillows – just enough to stand out but wasn’t too busy. I enjoy it, I think it looks cozy and classy and winter wonderland-ish!

Shimmer pillows: Home Goods / $19.99/each

Dual tone pillows: Home Goods / reused from last season

Monogram pillow: Home Goods / 16.99

Throw: Home Goods / $39.99 or $49.99 (can’t remember, sorry)

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For my console table, I wanted to keep it minimal to avoid the feel of clutter. I kept most of the staples and incorporated a couple of pieces to continue the flow of my theme. It would have been nice to prop the tree a little higher to balance out the lamp but I didn’t have anything that would work in this space. I also thought of picking up the larger version of the tree but didn’t want to spend any more money so I just left it as is. Now for the glam factor, I knew I wanted something “mirrored”. I’ve seen plenty of bath display items that would have worked but of course I didn’t find any locally. Once again after a couple of runs to Home Goods I finally found this cute little display. It was actually in the dish aisle, and that’s okay, it works perfect for what I wanted. And then to top off the entire presentation, I added a miniature frosted deer and the most heavenly scented white candle – you always need a candle (or a couple) during the Holidays!

Rustic glam tree: Michaels / reused from last year

Crystal platter: Home Goods / ~$16.99

Deer: Hobby Lobby / (sorry I really don’t remember, less than $20 for sure)

Candle: Home Goods / part of my current collection

And that is it for this second installment. Once again, thanks for reading and I hope you’ve enjoyed it as much as me.

 

 

Christmas Home Tour Part 1

Hey friends and family, I know this is so late and a bit unconventional but I thought it would still be nice to finish sharing my holiday home décor with you all. It’ll be a couple of installments so bear with me. As always, I will try to include prices and where I purchased each item from.

 

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Here is our front entrance. I tried to keep it clean but festive. I really wanted that woodsy, house in the woods, cottage feel. Not sure if I captured it but I sure enjoyed it while it lasted plus it was fun to put together. It took me a couple of weeks to finish the look because I had a very difficult decision of the hearts with the birch wood. I ended up with these long, thin, ones from our local florist, Bittersweet Flower Market. They were perfect, I just wish I would’ve picked up a couple more. I actually really wanted the ones from Home Depot which were the classic white tones but they were pretty expensive, $20. Those logs were bigger around but too short for the look I was going for. I think a cute little red sleigh would have been the perfect addition to polish off the look but I didn’t want to spend any more money – for this year anyway. The crate is old from last year as well as the greenery and lights.

Logs: Bittersweet Flower Market fresh / 3 for $15

Crate: Walmart / reused from last year

Greenery: Michaels / reused from last year

Lights: Walmart / reused from last year

 

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Isn’t this the cutest tree you ever did see?! It wasn’t always this cute though. I bought it last year on a whim and when I got home and tried to put it where I thought I wanted it, it was HIDEOUS. I hated it. I also misplaced the receipt and had already done a million returns by that time so I just kind of stuck it away in the garage. This year, I had an epiphany and decided to place it outside, here, with a little red bow, and what a wonderful idea it turned out to be. It’s so simple but so right for the entire setting!

Tree: Home Goods / reused from last year

Bow: Michaels / old collection from yeas ago

 

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Last years wreath was pretty nauseating, so again, trying to keep with my rustic theme, I opted for a DIY grapevine wreath this year. A little back story, I got some inspiration from pinterest and wanted to replicate and mesh a couple of those looks together. The finish products looked very elegant and minimal with the entire floral flock and bow tied to the left side of the wreath. I got to work and was working on this a little bit at a time throughout the week and I would stick it behind our Christmas tree at the end of the night. So one night my son was playing with it and left it tilted with the flock on the bottom as shown above. GAME CHANGER. I wanted that look! It works so much better with the bow up on top! Don’t you think?! Tip – to be cost effective, use pipe-cleaner wires to tie everything together that way you can readjust as needed and/or put together a new look next year!

Grapevine Wreath: Michaels / $4.00

Greenery: Michaels / reused from years ago

Floral flock: Michaels / $5 with coupon

Pipe cleaners (invisible): Michaels / $.99 for a pack of 12+(?)

Bow: Michaels / reused ribbon from years ago

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Let me tell you about this entryway piece. It took me half a year to put together LOL. The ideation process started months ago and slowly, very slowly went into effect. I wanted to try to incorporate as many old pieces as I could. I couldn’t figure out how to mesh together glitzy glam and woodland. I started out with the birch wood candles and then worked everything else around that. The initial look had no drama, so I went back in to add some height element to the look (tip). Although the birch wood candles came in 3 different heights, I wanted to emphasize that even more because of the blank space available. So I put the tallest and the shortest candles on top of my clear glass candle holders to balance out the height on the opposite side. The same concept was then applied to the little neon lit Christmas trees. The four white pillar candles were then added to fill up more blank space which worked very especially when everything was lit at night. Finally, the apothecary jar in the middle also came from many inspirations. One of either my Youtube or Instagram gals had mentioned putting goodies in a readily accessible spot to hand out to anyone that stopped by the house, I loved that idea so! We handed out these peppermint frosted pretzel rods to many…many delivery guys J, and family as well! Finally, let’s talk about this bush of greenery. My house smelled heavenly for days. If you know me, you know I love love love seeded eucalyptus so I wanted to incorporate it into one of my Christmas looks this year. With the limited amount of space I had, this was really the only spot I could showcase it. I do feel bad not taking a picture was the garland was FRESH, because it was so much more full and bouncy, like it was meant to be there. I enjoyed the look overall, but some days I couldn’t tell if it was making me claustrophobic? It’s kind of messy for my liking but nonetheless I attempted the look and I think it paid off for the most part. Plus, I really wanted to hide what was underneath this little reindeer.

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I broke it during “take-down” a couple of years back and couldn’t glue the hook back onto the plaque but couldn’t manage to throw it away. I have a reindeer obsession during the Holidays if you didn’t know. We also don’t have a fireplace but I wanted to hang up stockings for my son so I improvised and I think it turned out pretty good. On the shelf below is a storage box with all of my photos of family and friends that I’ve collected through the years..so if you’re ever in my home, you can busy yourself going through that memorable piece of history. Next to that is our winter accessory basket – it’s a godsend.

 

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Birch wood candles: Hobby Lobby / reused from last year

Tea light candles: Dollar store / reused from years ago

Clear candle holders: Home Goods / reused from years ago

Neon Christmas trees: Home Goods / reused from last year

Jeweled candle holders: Home Goods / reused from years ago

Apothecary jar: Home Goods / reused from years ago

Christmas tree candles: Home Goods / reused from last year

White Christmas cone: Hobby Lobby / ~$7

Pillar candles: Dollar tree / reused from years ago

Stocking holders: Hobby Lobby / reused from years ago

Stockings: Hobby Lobby / reused from years ago

Eucalyptus: Bittersweet Flower Market (fresh) / 4.99/bunch

 

And that’s it for this first installment. Thanks for reading and I hope you liked the pictures, it was taken with my new Samsung Note 8, I think it almost replaces my DSLR.

– Cyndie –

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fact or Fiction? Mind Over Matter?

This blog is a bit late post Halloween but nonetheless I’m sure people always enjoy an interesting and perhaps even spooky ones for the brave. I wish I didn’t have any personal encounters and stories to fascinate viewer minds but unfortunately I do.

For as long as I can remember now, I’m a scary cat, plain and simple. I wasn’t always that way, as a child and young teenager I can’t recall ever being too scared of anything, I actually enjoyed a pretty good adrenaline rush every now and then. However many unforeseen events occurred in my life during my mid-teenage years and I can’t pinpoint if that’s really what shook my soul out of sync, but nonetheless, something snapped out of place and my entire thought process was never the same again.

Fast forward to my college years, I moved from my small home town to Minneapolis MN in the fall of 2006. Now we all have heard the stories as children, especially if you are Asian, about sleep paralysis and all the unknown eerieness that comes with that right? So here I am excited about life as a young adult in a bustling new city and just trying to settle into my new home. I responded to an ad for a lower level duplex rented out by this young bachelor. I went to see the place and wanted it right away, you can say I was young and stupid and impulsive. At first glance the place seemed okay, pretty light and airy. It had 2 bedrooms, a small kitchen and a wide open living room, plenty of essentials for a college student.

I moved in in September and I remembered something very odd that struck out right away. Prior to moving in, the landlord, who lived in the upstairs duplex asked if I could move in sooner, he’d like some company because it was too quiet and “cold”. As creepy and eerie as that statement was, I didn’t make much of it and moved in a couple of weeks later. I settled in and felt like things went pretty well the first month, even though the only thing furnished was my room I was still happy and excited as can be, even threw a house warming party with all my friends and family.

Soon, the excitement settled and the happiness ended. One night I dreamdt that I woke up to use the bathroom in the middle of the night, something I regularly did. Then there was a knock on the bathroom door, I thought it was odd but opened it anyway and saw what I thought was a man that brushed pass. So I asked my husband, who was my then boyfriend, to go check. When he came back, he had a very expressionless look on his face and just said “it was a man, he’s not happy that you’re here, this is his home”. And just like that I woke up. You bet it was disturbing, and I never really got over it. A string of events would follow this incident.

Maybe it was the fear that lived and remained in me that instigated the proceeding events, regardless, it happened, and it was real. Honestly, I try very hard not to think of it anymore. I try very hard to lock it in the past. Not soon after this dream I would encounter the first bizarre happening. It was a Friday night I am sure, Koby had to work overtime. And I remember just being uneasy all day knowing I was going to be alone. We even worked it out that I would try to fall asleep and he wouldn’t wake me up before he goes to work at 11pm. But it didn’t work and I was toggling between being half asleep and half awake when he left, you know, the perfect timing for a phenomenon to occur. I had been sleeping on my tummy, with my head turned to the left. Perhaps I may have dozed off, I’m sure I did, but when I woke up in a haze I heard some movement like walking on carpet and then saw someone standing by me. A tall figure with a hood that resembled much of what Koby wore, at least that’s what I thought. I was awake, at least partially, I know that because I was consciously thinking all of these things. I thought perhaps he forgot something and came back. But I realized the figure wasn’t moving and then my heart started pounding and I realized I couldn’t move. I fought and fought and fought tirelessly, but I still couldn’t move, could barely breathe. So I decided that perhaps if I closed my eyes I would be less scared. In what felt like forever, I still couldn’t move. And then I felt the bed sink down next to me…and I knew.. exactly what was happening. I could see it laying down right next to me, and I tried my best not to stare. At this point my body went into fight or flight so with all my might my one arm went in for a punch and I broke free and fell to the floor. I think it took me less than a split second to rush out of the house with my keys and phone in my night gown in the dead of night. It was October, the night air was brisk. I had no idea where I was going to go and what I was going to do. I sat in my car and cried as I drove around contemplating my next step. I browsed through my phone and made multiple calls to no response. Finally, someone picked up, an acquaintance, a good friend of my cousins. He made it to my house in no time and sure enough brought along his rosary. After all of the reassurances took place, he made camp on my bedroom floor that night and I was able to finally get some shut eye. He was definitely my savior angel that night.

This went on for what seemed like a continuous vicious cycle, I just no longer witness any sightings except for one night a couple of weeks prior to moving out. And this time, I wasn’t sleeping alone. Koby was right next to me when I fell asleep. I swear him and I were just talking, I must have just slipped off into a quick sleep but before I knew it my eyes were open and I saw something sitting, straddled on top of me, strangling me. Something ugly, evil, laughing. I couldn’t breathe, couldn’t scream, refused to close my eyes. So once again, I fought, and when it realized that I was fighting, it removed its hands from my neck, cackled and reached over to Koby’s neck. I thought, “oh hell no”. With the strength of a hundred men, I got up to reach over to throw a punch amid screaming “f*** you” and flew right out of bed on the other side of Koby.

The length of time I was in this house was 3 months. It felt like an eternity. I cried every night, I feared in day light, I feared even more when darkness fell. I dragged coming home from work, dragged coming home from school. If there’s anything that I never stopped being reminded of about that house was how cold it was, it was ALWAYS so cold, so damp.

Anyway, that was the last of that! My dad has taken a lot of time to convince and reassure me that it was nothing but a twilight moment perceived through fear and nothing more, otherwise known as the mind playing tricks on you. Thanks for reading, I hope it was a good Friday read for you! J

 

 

Chit Chat

Hey friends! I hope you all had the bestest Fall. I can’t believe how fast that’s come and gone, I barely had any time to prepare. I felt like I didn’t even get to fully enjoy the moment, especially any of my home décor. Sure enough I hadn’t a clue it was daylight savings today either.

I finally got a small breather today and thought I’d sit down for a chit chat and update session. I swear, I’ve been so busy, between life, home, and work. So many changes are happening in my life right now (mostly good) so I’m just trying to soak it all in and do the best that I can. Well, let me just say the Christmas music has started and so has the decorating. In previous years I’ve been able to fully put away my fall décor and even had ample time to put up holiday décor, however I’ve been super busy and this weekend was the only time I could squeeze out of my schedule to get the bulk of the work done, phase 1 that is. The work that would typically take me almost 2 weekends to do I got done in 1 day, I know, kudos to myself. However, I do have my sweet husband to thank this year. I’m sure he felt almost guilty watching me huff and puff and jump as he was gallantly pokemon-ing a few feet away on the couch. So, a round of applause to him for helping me put up the bone of the tree, that’s actually the most time consuming part!

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So let’s talk decor, details, and stories. No matter what you do (unless you’re very well off), I always, always recommend analyzing your budget and spending within your means (and if you have a spouse, compromise). You all know I’m a big advocate for that. As far as home décor goes, I started out with nothing, moved to used items, then gently used, and now have frequently included new, selective, purchases as I deem necessary. Believe it or not, I bought this tree about 5 years ago for $25.00 off of craigslist and it didn’t even come with a tree stand. My co-worker donated one of her old ones to me and I creatively made it work. It is a beautiful, very well made, very classic 7.5 ft slim tree with individual branches, none of that easy 2 or 3 piece stuff (although that would be so nice and efficient). The very first year that we had a tree, my son was 2. I had been saving money that first year and was able to put it towards some items the following year. I spent less than $100.00 including the price of the tree that first year we celebrated and then the items accumulated from there. Another tip is to check out the stores frequently after the holidays for their markdowns. Best way to get holiday décor. Here comes my next set of advice/rules. Even if items are marked down and seem like a fabulous deal, never go shopping without a plan – especially if you’re on a budget like me. Don’t just buy something because you think it looks nice, or dirt cheap. Actually, I don’t recommend home décor at all until you figure out the kind of style and taste you like and have actually put time into that research. For instance, the holiday season has a lot of red décor, and I see A LOT of beautiful pieces in that color scheme but I decorate in a completely different theme so it wouldn’t make sense to waste money buying all sorts of mismatched items (not my thing). So you definitely have to know yourself before you fork up the money; very important.

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Here are my blank canvases this year. I’ve been to the drawing board numerous times since summer and have slowly come to a conclusion of what I want this year. If you’ve seen any of my previous holiday décor, you know I’m into white and basics, ESPECIALLY FOR THE HOLIDAYS. This year will be Winter Wonderland; A Walk in the Woods – I’m very much set into honing in deeper and spinning off of last year’s theme. Hoping to be able to capture a little bit of glam and sparkle also! In the last couple of weeks I’ve been going up and down the aisles of Home Goods and Hobby Lobby to see what I can incorporate, I haven’t made any investment purchases, only a few fillers for my tree.

So to recap, do your homework! Just like you shouldn’t go grocery shopping when you’re hungry and without a list, you shouldn’t go décor shopping without a vision and a blueprint. It’s important to incorporate things you like, but make sure you plan well as to be careful not to end up creating clutter; defeating the purpose. And as I’ve stated before, you don’t need to buy everything at once. Do with what you have and then incorporate as you go, which is why I said it’s important to do what you like. Don’t go for themes you know you’ll get sick of right away, waste of time, effort, and money. Although my theme has always been WHITE, each year I take a whole new approach whether that be including new pieces to emphasize an old theme, or rearranging items and furniture to capture a new look.

Lastly – don’t decorate just to decorate..or spend money lol. I get it, we all live very different lives and have very different homes. Decorate according to your lifestyle. We don’t own a home, we live in a 2 bedroom townhome so we can’t do fancy things to the interior like painting, or drilling, or even simple but impactful things like window treatments. I take all of that into consideration. However, there’s only the 3 of us, my husband, myself and my son, who is for the most part well behaved and pays no mind to home décor. So I can place multiple candles throughout my home (with supervision), decorate with valuables and glass, and so forth. Even so, the way I choose to decorate also allows for functionality, which is very important. Can’t dress up a house and then not sit on the couch or eat at the table lol. And here’s why I said compromising makes a difference. If the people in your home don’t appreciate, agree with, or respect your work, then that’s something to consider as well. It’s not worth your time and money to have things ruined and broken all the time. Thankfully, both my boys are appreciative of my work, either that or they’ve learned to tune it out lol.

Last but not least, circling back to my mention of starting small, and starting with gently used items. Decorating may not be the thing for you. You may find that it’s not worth your time or effort, or that you lack the creativity (we all get that), or you’re just tired of the seasonal change in/out, whatever it may be, at least you haven’t invested a ton of money and having to deal with a bunch of items sitting and collecting dust.

I hope this bit of information can help all you new enthusiasts. Hopefully, when I complete this years look I can squeeze in time for another blog with helpful tips. As always, thanks for reading and stay warm!

– Cyndie –

Weight Loss Wednesday – Road to Healing

As you can tell from the header, this is a true short story in my fitness journey. For the last year, I’ve been battling very bad plantar faciiatis (95% on my right foot). If you don’t know, it’s pretty much heel/inner sole pain, usually due to many small but common factors. Along with my provider and myself, we’ve determined that my issue is mainly due to flat feet and progressive weight gain, unfortunately my ankles/feet can’t handle the pressure of my body weight :-(.

Anyway, a year ago when I saw my provider, she ultimately put a halt on my “exercise” regimine at that time stating I would worsen my condition if I didn’t wait for my feet to completely heal. So – I did, and I gained even more weight.

When I decided to start up my weight loss journey about 3 months ago, I knew this was going to be an enormous detour in my plan so I put on my big girl pants and proactively looked for a solution to combat my injury. And here’s what I did:

1). Brace – ing IT

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I purchased this foot brace a year ago from Amazon for probably less than $20 – but hated wearing it. I pulled it back out and wore that sucker every night, even if it meant waking up in the middle of the night and ripping it off. The key was consistency, slowly but surely, I started noticing less pain when I got up in the morning.

2). Ending TIES

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I permanently put my flats away. It was one of the hardest things because I LOVED LOVED LOVED my MK’s, and TB’s. My feet were like death by the end of a flat shoe day, it was so excruciating. This also meant changing up my entire shoe collection for work which really made me unhappy, but something’s gotta give, and not that heels made the issue any better, but it definitely lessened the pain by a couple of notches. It’s probably a good thing I have a sedentary job.

3). Iced and ROLLED

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I started icing my feet nightly with a bottle of frozen water before bed. I’d do this for about 15minutes or so depending on time. It did initially take away or numb the pain but really wasn’t getting deep into the muscle. Then one day while I was shopping around at TJ max, I found a “muscle” roller? I couldn’t help wondering if it would nip at the pain a little better, so I bought it on a whim, and what do you know. I LOVE IT. I was actually pretty painful at first, but I found my way around it and took my time getting to the pain from every angle and every roll. Due to the spikes, it really got in deep to the tissue, and almost like a knot, it was able to relax that muscle in a way. This was probably the best investment in my injury intervention.

4). Less weight BEARING

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Did I mention it before? Since starting on this journey, I have not done rigorous running or even walking really. I’ve probably done 2 days of the treadmill this entire time. About 99% of my training has been on the elliptical. It’s helped tremendously because of the amount of pressure it doesn’t put on my feet, most of it goes to my knees and glutes. And let me tell you, 45minutes on that machine will give you sweats and spaghetti legs. It has been the 2nd best factor in healing my plantar faciatis.

Today, I wake up with little to no pain in my feet. I no longer wear my brace at night, only on nights where I’ve done very strenuous activities. I’m so happy – you have no idea. I slowly started adding running back into my routine this week and have noticed increasing my feet rolling time so we’ll have to see if I need to hold off for a while yet. If you suffer from the same symptoms I really hope this blog helped you out, and if you don’t, well now you at least learned something new right?! 🙂

Thanks for reading!

– Cyndie –