What I’ve Been Loving

It’s Sunday night and the weekend is wrapping up. I feel like as I’m getting older, I treasure my weekends more. I like to fill them up with activities that are fulfilling and make me happy.

Here are a couple of discoveries I’ve been into lately:

Podcasts

I am OBSESSED with these. Living in New York City, I’ve been gravitating towards listening to podcasts on my iPhone rather than listening to music. It’s convenient and keeps my mind going when I’m commuting on the subway, especially when I’m standing up in the train. There is something humanizing listening to someone’s voice and talk about something that is of interest to them. It may possibly be hearing the variant tones in a person’s voice that really brings a story to life in comparison to reading a book.

I can go on and possibly create a separate blog post of specific podcasts I listen to, but the one I listen religiously to is Chris Gethard’s Beautiful Stories from Anonymous People. The whole premise of the podcast is the comedian host – Chris Gethard opens the phone line to an anonymous caller for an hour and he can’t hang up first – no matter what. What makes this podcast so great is that I’ve listened to a variety of callers share shocking confessions, family secrets to philosophical discussions. Literally anything can happen on this show and not knowing the trajectory of the conversation makes it fun and intriguing. There have definitely been times when I have sympathized with the callers or laughed along to something witty Gethard has mentioned to relate to the caller. Gethard is an awesome host with humility and knowing that he resides in Queens (aka the best borough) makes him even more likable. To check it out yourself, tune in for free here: Beautiful Stories from Anonymous People

Modern Love Section from the New York Times

I must admit, even though I am subscribed to the weekend New York Times, I sometimes find myself not reading every nook and cranny of the papers. However – I never skip the Sunday paper for the Modern Love section. This is my absolutely favorite. What I love about this section is reading from real people and their unique story of love. Sometimes the stories are sweet and tender, sometimes it’s foreign to me. That’s what makes this section so great – it’s like listening to a dear friend open up about something so vulnerable and accepting their loving truth. One that pulled on my heart string is a dying wife’s creation of her husband’s profile on dating sites. Knowing that her husband deserves to fall in love again even when she will no longer be on this earth, moves me. It really opened up my mind in the ways people express unconditional love and how to move forward knowing nothing is permanent. Here is the article: You May Want to Marry My Husband. Reading the Modern Love section has expanded my mind and heart to the trials and tribulations of love.

Peter Pan Donut & Pastry Shop

Who doesn’t love a good doughnut? This is my favorite doughnut shop of all time. Located in Greenpoint, Brooklyn – this place has old-school charm and great taste. The doughnuts are affordable and taste so fresh. My personal favorites are the Blueberry Buttermilk & Sour Cream doughnuts. I know what you’re thinking, sour cream? They don’t taste like actual sour cream, but the consistency is just divine. Oh – and their apple strudels are to die for. Pick one or a couple for the weekend, and cash only.

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Instagram

Instagram is definitely a social media outlet I tend to browse the most. And here a couple of people I’ve been following:

Natalie @_skinbloom – I am lucky to actually be IRL friends with Natalie who has an instagram page dedicated to all things skin care and beauty. She is sweet, honest and pure. Her posts are not only aesthetically pleasing to look at, but she gives great and detailed reviews. I rely on her to give me the dish on what works and what doesn’t work for skin. Whenever she posts something I am always curious to read what she’s been loving because she is beautiful inside and out.

My Modern Met – All things art, design and photography. I love to browse this page for all things imaginative and creative. Often times, they have artists take over the insta page and post their art. I learn so much from the different techniques and styles.

Kiko Mizuhara – I’ve been a fan of her since college. American born, but raised in Japan – this lady is a force in modeling and acting in Asia. She has been crossing over – recently starring in The Weeknd’s new music video (!!!) Her unique style and quirky personality makes her extremely charming and endearing. A quick browse on her page – she has fun fashion, great music tastes and exploratory travel pictures.

These are a couple of things I’ve been loving – would be curious to know what you’ve been into. Always looking forward to discover new things 🙂

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Things I Love: July 2016

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I’ve always been interested in the things people buy and reach for when they want to feel their ultimate best. It’s uncovering insights about someone that makes them uniquely their own. For anyone curious, here are a couple of items I’ve been loving recently.

The greatest thing someone can share with me is knowledge. I seek ways to improve myself because I understand I have flaws and I am willing to work on them. With that said, someone recommended I read Nathaniel Branden’s “Six Pillars of Self Esteem” because it has a great foundation in explaining how one can improve their overall self esteem. And as we know, having healthy self esteem is essential for everyone in not only feeling their best, but performing their best. Self esteem trickles into the respectful and meaningful relationships we build with people on a day to day basis. Nathaniel Branden’s “Six Pillars of Self Esteem” goes beyond the typical self help books. It actually has actionable exercises one can take to moving forward in becoming your best self. The book goes in depth into different parts of self esteem. Here are a couple of key points in easy digestible text I pulled from each topic:

The Focus on Action – “We must become what we wish to teach”

The Practice of Living Consciously – “A mind that is active rather than passive”

The Practice of Self-Acceptance – “When we fight a block it grows stronger. When we acknowledge, experience, and accept it, it begins to melt”

The Practice of Self-Responsibility – “Taking responsibility for my happiness is empowering. It places my life back in my own hands”

The Practice of Self-Assertiveness – “Self-assertiveness means the willingness to stand up for myself, to be who I am openly, to treat myself with respect in all human encounters”

The Practice of Living Purposefully – “The root of our self-esteem is not our achievements but those internally generated practices that, among other things, make it possible for us to achieve”

The Practice of Personal Integrity – “The challenge for people today, and it is not an easy one, is to maintain high personal standards while feeling that one is living in a moral sewer”

The Philosophy of Self Esteem – “No other individual or group has the power to determine how I will think and feel about myself”

Solid, honest and uplifting words to help us build a healthier self esteem.

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The next thing I’ve been loving is Hanae Mori’s Butterfly perfume. I tend to gravitate towards soft scents and when I smelled this, I was instantly hooked. To add on, Hanae Mori is a fashion designer in Japan who became the first Asian woman to be admitted as an official haute couture design house in France. That’s pretty bad ass, so I was sold. Taken directly from Sephora’s website the scent is described as, “The fragrance is a rare blend of berries and flowers with a distinctive tone of strawberries and almond, and a lingering impression of vanilla. The subtle composition of scents make it a fragrance unlike any other.” The bottle is also very unique and beautiful. The top (which I accidently broke when I dropped the bottle) has a shape of a butterfly with folded wings. I’ve also gotten many compliments on the perfume, so that’s a definite plus.

It’s summer in NYC and I’ve been on the hunt for a good mattifying face cream for my oily skin. I was lucky to find Botanic’s Mattifying Gel-Cream Shine Away at a Duane Reade. It’s a unique jelly like consistency that has a subtle herby fragrance to it. It moisturizes my skin without feeling greasy, and it’s great under sunscreen. As an added bonus, it hasn’t given me any breakouts, so I’m a happy lady.

It’s no secret that I love watching travel videos and vloggers, in particular J-vloggers. These are video vloggers in Japan. I was watching Kim Dao’s video and her friend Laura was handing out these beautiful choker necklaces to her friends. You can find them here: https://www.bambiluna.com/collections/all. I bought the Maru Choker and I love the simplicity and edginess it adds to any outfit I wear.

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I have also been loving the floral trend that’s been mixing with masculine pieces like floral bombers and these Vans x Opening Ceremony collab sneakers. I love Vans because they are so comfortable, especially their slip ons because it is so easy to put on. When I found out Opening Ceremony was continuing their Year of China line with Vans, I was intrigued. The beautiful delicate satin flower details with the intersection of the tough and tomboy feel of Vans instantly caught my attention. I was lucky enough to snag a black pair in the Opening Ceremony NYC shop and I’m looking forward to wearing them with many outfits.

So that’s a wrap with a couple of items I have been loving recently. And as a reminder, items should not define your whole self worth or happiness, but it’s fun to complement our self expression.

I’m interested in knowing what items or non items have been making you feel best in the comments below.

 

Sakura Matsuri 2016: Cherry Blossom Festival

Warm weather, light clothing, flowers blooming. Spring has certainly sprung here in New York City (even though I write this on a cold and rainy Sunday). Out of all the seasons, spring definitely elevates and revives my mood with happiness. There is a running theme of growth and renewal in spring that makes me have a special spot for this joyous season.

One of my favorite things to do in spring is visit the Brooklyn Botanic Garden and admire the beauty of the cherry blossoms thriving. What makes Sakura Matsuri even more fun is the accompaniment of taiko drumming, cosplay and delicious Japanese food like onigiri.

In comparison to last year’s festival, this year surely stood out. For one, the cherry blossoms were in full bloom and the blushing pink petals falling off the trees was so scenic. I felt like I was in a Miyazaki film.

Seeing nature in bloom was so therapeutic, I highly recommend people taking walks in parks and gardens if you need to clear your mind. If you really want to take your zen a step further, meditating for a couple of minutes can do wonders. Closing your eyes, taking deep breaths and reopening them to the sight of red, pink and purple flowers is refreshing. It really makes me appreciate the little things in life, that nature provides us with. I can truly say I left the garden with my soul feeling rejuvenated and I will definitely be back.

Do you have a specific spring activity you like to do?  I’d love to hear from you!