Sunday, December 30, 2012

New Years Resolutions and 43 Things

New Years is by far my favorite holiday.  While most holidays are sort of cozy times spent with family, New Year's Eve is an elegant and exciting night to get dressed up and celebrate with friends.  It is glitzy and glamorous, an evening filled with glitter, sparklers, fireworks, and champagne toasts to a new beginning.  Besides the New Year Eve celebrations, what I love most about New Years is it is a time to come full circle, to look back on what you have done over the past year, and decide where you are going in the new year.  Many people do this by making new year's resolutions.  

In popular culture, the new years resolution is regarded as something you say you will do, but promptly forget.  For me, though, new years resolutions are a serious and important part of my life.  When I heard about the custom as a little girl, I immediately embraced the idea.  I recall scribbling out new year's resolutions at my grandma's kitchen table when I was about ten.  Haha..I wonder what my ten year old self wanted to achieve... If only I had that loose-leaf page!  I do have a little notebook where I have kept new years resolutions and other goals since my late teens.  I regard my resolutions as true goals.  Sometimes they are goals I can achieve in a year's time, others are ongoing and life-long.  While writing my new years resolutions, I let my self dream big.  What is amazing to me, looking back, is that some of my resolutions were just pie-in-the-sky fantasies when I wrote them down, but years later I have completed many of those almost-forgotten goals that I once thought impossible.  This does not surprise me, since I strongly believe in the law of attraction.  For me, writing down goals each year in the form of new years resolutions is not an act of empty promises, it is a means to use the power of intention to build a better life.

Since this process is so important in my life, I wanted to share with you a website called 43things that I use which allows you to list goals you would like to accomplish.  43things is a slightly interactive goal-setting community. You can view other's goals, "cheer" goals (the 43things equivalent of a facebook "like"). You can comment on posts or message members.  When you complete a goal, you can write a post about how you did it to help others who want to do the same thing.  You can also read "How I Did It" posts to get information about your goals.  Completed goals are added to a things done list so you can look back on what you have accomplished.  I find this site so useful and helpful in keeping my goals in sight!  I try to check in often to read my list of goals and make any updates.  

I said the site was slightly interactive because, while your posts are public, your profile is very low-key and only gives as much information as you want to put out.  My 43things profile is very discreet and without information that identifies me such as my picture.  Some people use their real name and photos, it depends on your taste.  You also don't have to interact with other members if it doesn't interest you.  You can use it strictly as a place to keep track of your goals.  I like the "cheer" aspect though, to me it's almost like a little prayer for your goals.  So, I cheer others and like to get cheers.  I have also had experiences where someone posted something helpful or said one of my posts benefited them, and that is pretty awesome! 

43things has a separate list to add your new year's resolutions.  You can check them off when they are accomplished, and look back on prior years.  So, if you are thinking about setting some new year's resolutions, you might want to check out 43things, its a really useful website.  

I wish you the best luck in accomplishing your dreams in 2013!  Hope it's a wonderful year for you.    



Saturday, December 29, 2012

New Years Eve Outfit???

NYE 2013
NYE 2013 by artaslife featuring black wedges

I have a little velvet dress that I think is perfect for New Years Eve... It is similar to this one in my Polvore set. The only problem is I think its a little dressy for the party I'll be going to. So I'm on the fence as to whether to wear it or not. Plus I've gained some weight over the holidays. As much as I love to get all dressed up for New Years, I'm not sure I want to draw attention to myself by over-dressing. I could style it down and rock it out, but I like this dress done simple and glam for NYE.

Friday, December 28, 2012

My Family's Random Latin American Tradition

I just wanted to share a quirky holiday snack my family enjoys.  My family has been in the United States for generations now.  Our ancestry is strictly European.  However, we have one yummy holiday tradition that is straight from Latin America...

(Picture from Google Image Search-Libraloves)

Guava and Cream Cheese Crackers
I had a boyfriend who was born and raised in Colombia, and we spent a lot of time with each other's families.  One year, he was coming to dinner with my family for Christmas, so we decided to prepare something together to bring with us.  Neither of us was much of a cook, so I suggested we make some of the delicious guava crackers I had tried at his grandmother's house.  Our crackers were a huge hit with my family, and although the Colombian guy is long gone, these crackers have become a yearly holiday tradition at my house.  They make great hors d'oeuvres for any casual get-together, and are quite simple to make, if you can get a hold of the ingredients.  Goya products are available at many supermarkets in the US, especially in areas with large Latino communities.  The crackers are quite easy to find, but I don't always find the guava paste at every store that sells Goya products. 

Goya Crackers (They are like large thick soda crackers)
Plain Cream Cheese

Goya Guava Paste

To make the crackers you simply spread a liberal amount of cream cheese onto each cracker, and add a slice of the guava paste on top. That's it!

 The simple taste of the crackers coupled with the rich cream cheese and ultra sweet guava is to die for! Give it a try and maybe you will start your own guava cracker tradition! 

Liebster Award

I'm so honored!

I've been nominated for a Liebster Award by NINΔ † ELLΔ, who is a fabulous fashion and beauty blogger. Please check her out!
Blogging has turned out to be such an incredibly rewarding activity.  My life has become richer because every day on my dashboard I am able to see the world through so many unique and beautiful points of view.  I also love knowing that people all over the world are reading my blog and are interested in what I have to say.  Seeing comments from my readers still inspires a childlike glee.  It is like getting a little gift!  That's why I'm so honored that  NINΔ † ELLΔ chose me for this award.  Its like getting a even bigger gift!!!  I am very thankful for the exposure it offers, both as a chance to earn new readers, and an opportunity to check out the other bloggers she nominated.  I also love the fact that I get to spread the love and showcase some of my favorite bloggers!

The rules for the award are very simple: You need to answer the 11 questions from the person that nominated you (make sure you link back to them in your post!), then nominate 11 of your favorite bloggers who have less than 200 followers and ask them 11 new questions.

My Answers:

1. Why did you start your blog ?
I started my blog first as a way to share the things I loved.  You can read about the birth of my blog here.

2. What's your goal (with your blog) ?
To share my viewpoint with people that could benefit from it.  Whether it be offering my readers enjoyment, ideas, or connecting them with information that is useful.  The beauty of the internet is that we can all contribute something.  I want to do my part.  

3. Which super power do you want?
I want the ability to speak every language. 

4. How many languages do you speak?
English (native) Spanish (conversational) and I'm just starting with Korean

5. What's your resolutions for 2013?
I have many.  I view new years as a perfect time to reflect on my goals, so my new years resolutions are really important, not just empty promises.  I'll be writing a post about this soon, so stay tuned!
6. Do you have any pets?
No pets.

7. Who's your favorite designer ?
My opinion changes from moment to moment, but I love the classic yet feminine style of Chanel.  To me Chanel embodies timeless style.

8. If you had to change something about yourself what would it be?
Quite frankly, even if it's vain, I'd like like to be drop-dead gorgeous!

 9. What's your favorite food?
I love to try new foods, I'm always up for experimenting.

10. What's your favorite color?

11. What's your favorite movie? and why?
I love romantic tear-jerkers like "Titanic" or "The Notebook."  There is also a really beautiful and tragic Bollywood movie called "Devdas" That I adore.  The story, clothes, scenery, and music are hauntingly beautiful. 

A beautiful song from Devdas

My Questions:

1. What is your favorite part of blogging?
2. What are your favorite types of blogs to read?
3. What do you enjoy most in a blog, good content or beautiful pictures?
4. What is your favorite current fashion trend?
5. Is there any trend you wouldn't be caught dead in?
6. What is the one beauty product you would recommend above all others?
7. How would you describe your style?
8. What is your favorite place? Why?
9. What is the place you would like to visit most? Why?
10. What is your most prized possession?
11. What is your favorite song?

My Nominees:

If you are a new reader and like what you see, please follow me. I always follow back!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

3 Ideas for Spicing up a Denim Shirt

There are countless ways to style a classic denim shirt.  Here are three ideas for adding some interest with jewelry...

Add a bold chain or multi-strand chain.

Wear it with a charm necklace or gemstone statement necklace.

Pin on a collar necklace.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Travel Pics- A Walk in the Korean Countryside

Last summer, while in Korea, I went to my boyfriend's hometown.  It is a little town called Munui located about one and a half hours from Seoul.  On the second day of our trip, my boyfriend had to help his mother by working in her restaurant.  I was alone in the house and bored of watching Korean TV, so I did something very unusual for me, I decided I was going out to explore his town by myself.  I love to travel, but rarely do anything alone if I can avoid it.  For some reason, though, I felt compelled to get out and see the sights.  I made my way down to a lake with mountains that I had spied earlier, and followed a path back into the woods... That is where I stumbled upon this magnificent scenery.  The farther I walked, the more beautiful it became.  I'm so happy I took that opportunity to see this charming town, and now I am sharing it with you.  Hope you enjoy my pictures.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Outfit of the Day-Christmas Day

Today I am celebrating at home with my family. This is what I am wearing:

A chiffon tunic with is not really dress length, so I'm wearing it with black skinny ankle pants.

Glitter wedge heels

These little black enamel with silver trim and rhinestone earrings.  They are small, about the width of a nickel.

Merry Christmas to all my readers!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas!

Just wanted to wish 
a very Merry Christmas 
to all my dear readers and followers that celebrate this holiday.  I hope you enjoy your day surrounded by peace, love, and family! 

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Bargain Brag-Macy's/Vivi Preview

Yesterday I was doing some last-minute Christmas shopping at Macy's.  Macy's occasionally has good sales, but I do not shop there too often, because for the most part, I am able to find the same or similar merchandise for less at stores like Ross and Marshall's.

But since I was there, I did a little shopping in the junior's department.  

I found this soft open-knit mint green sweater. 

 The tag said $4.99, which was 85% off the original price! 

I was excited about my score, because it is rare to find a nice item like this for so little, especially at Macy's.  

When I got to the register, the sweater actually scanned as $1.99! 

Which is simply amazing...This item is in perfect condition, not so much as a pull.  I'm thinking that either someone returned this, or else it spent some time lost in the back room and was put out on the floor after being marked down, because there is no reason for this sweater to be that cheap! Either way, its mine now. 

Also, earlier this week, I went to dinner in Chinatown for my birthday, and we stopped in a few stores while we were there.

I went in Sanrio and my sister bought me this cute Hello Kitty key cap.

Even the plastic bags are cute in Sanrio

I got Chinese Vivi too.  I recently discovered this magazine, and although I have seen quite a few issues online, this is the first I have ever owned.  Unfortunately, the most recent issue they had was November.  

Vivi is packed with adorable clothes.  If you like Asian fashion you must check out this magazine!  I will try to scan some pages after the holidays.  Here is a little sneak preview of this issue.

Review- Garnier Moisture Rescue Refreshing Gel Cream for Dry Skin

Just a quick review...

I requested a free sample of this product from the Garnier Website.  (Garnier seems to give out samples of their products pretty often, so check them out if you are interested.)

This is what Garnier's Website says about the Garnier Moisture Rescue Refreshing Gel Cream for Dry Skin:

Locks-in moisture for 24 hours. Blocks-out dryness. Oil-free.

Is it right for me?
Over time, an active lifestyle and environmental factors can damage skin’s natural protective barrier, causing it to lose moisture faster than ever. Moisture Rescue Refreshing Gel-Cream is right for you if you want long-lasting hydration.

How do I use it?
Gently apply Moisture Rescue Refreshing Gel-Cream every morning and night to face. This lightweight, oil-free formula instantly penetrates.

What I say:

I really liked this moisturizer! 

As I have mentioned in previous posts, I did not use much in the way of moisturizers until just recently.  I have never tried a gel moisturizer so I was very interested to see how it would be.

My skin is normal, not too oily, not too dry.  When it comes to skincare, I'm like Goldilocks: products meant to control oil make my skin dry, heavy creams make it greasy.  This moisturizer was just right.  I loved the light, non-greasy feel.  After I applied it, my skin still felt clean, yet perfectly moisturized.  It has a fragrance, but I did not find it unappealing or heavy.  I would definitely recommend this product.  Although I tend to buy higher-end when it comes to skincare, I would certainly consider buying this.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Bargain Brag- Extreme Couponing?

I love a good bargain! It seems logical that I would be a big coupon-user, but surprisingly, I NEVER use coupons!  They just seem like such a hassle.  I've watched the TV show "Extreme Couponing" and been amazed by the savings the participants got.  Those cases are extreme, though, and those people spend all their time thinking of coupons.  I can imagine a million things I'd rather do than clip and organize coupons. It just seems pointless to do all that work just to save a few cents. I have never had the patience for it.  

But when I visited my dentist for my check-up last week, she gave me a few sets of coupons for Colgate products.  They were for 50 cents off of Colgate toothbrushes and toothpaste, and $1.00 off of Colgate Total toothpaste.  I immediately thought of the fact that they carry Colgate at the Dollar Tree, which is a store where all items are only one dollar.  

I headed over there to rack up on some 50 cent oral hygiene products.  The best part was, they actually had a small size of Colgate Total, which is not something they normally carry.  Since I had three $1 dollar off coupons for Total I snagged three tubes for free!!! AWESOME.  

This whole haul of items cost me only $1.50.  

So, will I become an extreme couponer? I doubt it... but it was pretty cool getting such a good deal!

So, do you love or hate coupons? Have you gotten any good coupon deals lately?

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Outfit of the Day

Today is my birthday, and I'm headed downtown with my BFF, sister, and her boyfriend. We're going out for dinner and then we'll check out a show at a comedy club. 

comedy club

I've had this furry vest for awhile, but rarely find an occasion to wear it. I thought this look was appropriate for today, since its casual with a touch of glam. I like it better with the leopard pumps, but I decided to go for my over the knee boots since I'm meeting up with my friend early and we'll probably be doing some walking out in the cold.