Houston: Travel Post

I spent the weekend in Houston for the first time! It was a great road trip and also my first time traveling alone. I read on a few blogs about how beneficial traveling alone can be so I put it on my to-do list and it was an amazing experience that I plan to do a lot more now. Check out a few beginner photography iPhone pics below!

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Hotels.com had an good deal so I decided to stay at the¬†Westin hotel in Houston which is connected to the Galleria mall. I was on the 13th floor and had an amazing view of uptown. You can also see a small glimpse of downtown. The hotel is nice…not perfect…but nice and spacious.

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King Suite
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Hermann Park. Can you spot the pretty rainbow?
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You have to check out this place called Tacos A Go Go. I believe it was in the midtown area.
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Tacos A GoGo food porn: Two breakfast tacos, potatoes, refried beans, and sangria
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Admiring a Tesla SUV at the Tesla store in Galleria mall
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A huge standalone Topshop in Galleria mall…I was in heaven

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I took a lot more pics but I lost most of them because I ran out of space on my phone and thought I emailed them all to myself before I deleted them but I was wrongūüė¶ ¬†¬†I can’t wait to order a new iPhone with more space!¬†I went to the Gerald D Hines Waterwall Park and I really wish I had those amazing pics to share! I found out that a friend I haven’t seen in years lives there now so we had a chance to catch up before I got back on the road.¬†I did not have a lot of time to explore the city but I will definitely go back to Houston and check out more food and places to hang out in the near future.

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Sunrise

Next time I travel (which will be soon) hopefully I’ll have plenty of space to take some great photos. Thanks for checking out the blog.

Loving Someone Unapologetically

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I started writing at 3am and exposed something that’s been on my heart.

Being unapologetic can come off as heartless. You don’t give a fu** about someone else’s feelings. But I’m learning that in some situations it can be far from that. In a situation where you love someone who doesn’t love you and you remain platonic friends with them to “see what happens,” your heart ends up at a crossroad. So do you own up to your feelings and stop things from being one sided or do you just continue being friends because that’s the right thing to do and you don’t want to come off as some crass heartless human being?

Loving unapologetically means you picked a side and although it’s one of the hardest things you will ever do, you chose not to muffle your feelings just to please the other person. You will know if you are not being transparent. You will be fine one minute then when you lay in bed at night you cry about it because you weren’t real with yourself in the first place. Loving unapologetically means that you accepted that love doesn’t just wipe away with a sponge. Loving unapologetically means that you will not accept a connection that is simply one-sided. It also means that you will not half a** your emotions. It will not make you happy in the long run. What will make you happy is accepting that you gave someone your all but you are not the one that they choose. So you wish them the best and stop responding until you are completely past it. You pray for nothing but happiness and success in their lives whatever that is for them, but that picture you have in your head of wanting a future with them is not reality. You are fascinating. Fascinating people don’t settle they keep it moving. If you ever had a situation in your life where you ended up loving someone and they don’t love you, I want to tell you right now that it is OK to cut them off, not look back and don’t apologize if you tried everything else. Just live your life and love yourself first. You know what loving someone who doesn’t love you feels like? You have just been shot in the chest and now you have to stop the bleeding. You clean it and put bandages over it everyday waiting for it to heal. Every time you get a text message from this person, you start bleeding again and you have to start the healing process all over again. Your wound will get infected unless you choose to do something about it. You have to take time for yourself to heal and become strong again. So then choose. No one will hate you I promise. Block them temporarily. Grab your favorite food and a glass of wine. Cry a little bit more if you need to. Then start living your life like you are going to die tomorrow.

Book flights everywhere and go sightseeing.

Call your family.

Skydive if that’s what you really want to do.

Be so busy that you no longer have time to think about losing them anymore. Stop apologizing for loving someone and it not turning out the way you wanted it to. Once the gunshot wound heals, there is a whole new adventure out there waiting for you to experience. You don’t have to settle. ¬†You are doing this because in the back of your mind you know fascinating people deserve much better. You deserve to move on completely and do some big things in your life without idealizing over someone. If they wanted to be with you then that’s what they would be working towards. Accept that it is not their goal and it shouldn’t be yours either. I’m not saying that things can’t change. I am saying that you can’t wait around to see if things will change.

LET GO right now.

Someone out there in the world is hurting and needs to see this.

Thank you if you read this all the way to the endūüôā

Virgo Fashion Checklist

My favorite time of the year for fashion will be here very soon (much sooner for others but I’m in Texas so I still have a ways to go until fall) and also my birthday is next month so I wanted to list all of the fashion items I need to have in my closet for the fall season. Starting from items I’m the most excited about:

1. A bomb ass Bomber Jacket

I want to buy bomb ass bomber jackets that will turn heads this season. I have seen a few with patches and cool logos on the back and I’m like I need this in my life right now!! It’s 105 degrees in Texas so I’ll just have them sitting in my closet waiting for the perfect cool evening to rock my jackets.

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American Badge Bomber Jacket khaki, Missguided
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Flower Patchwork Bomber Jacket, Storets

2. A Duster Coat that will leave haters in the dust

I will definitely want a nice long duster coat to stroll around the city or go to work in:

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BB Dakota Melton Duster Coat, Nastygal

3. Loafers so smooth they make me moonwalk

I love loafers! I have to shoutout bestie¬†on this one because many years ago I used to make fun of her for wearing loafers all the time (see her loafers in the pic below) and now I can’t get enough of them.

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Bestie¬†‘s favorite loafers. She got these from Shoe Carnival two years ago.¬†

My ideal pair would be the gucci princetown leather slipper but since my bank account is not setup for that at this time, I can just settle for these:

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Truffle Collection Esme Bow Loafers, Asos

4. A cape so I can practice flying

This looks so fashionable and sophisticated to me:

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Crimson Cover Cape, Nordstrom

5. Wallets with attachments

In the previous years I was really into carrying large bags. Now when I go out to run errands I don’t even carry a purse anymore! I now just carry my wallet. So for the fall season I want to buy wallets with chains and guitar straps:

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Rebecca Minkoff Whipstitch Guitar Bag Strap, $95
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Cleo Saffiano Leather Chain Wallet, Saks Fifth Avenue

What items are on your checklist for Fall?

Thanks for reading!

 

The Blue Apron Review

A coworker was gracious enough to give me a link to try out Blue Apron for free so I was excited to try it and see if it was me. When talking to people about it I still got a lot of “What is Blue Apron?” so I’ll just layout how it works first.

Blue Apron is a membership that delivers meals to your home every week. I’m not talking cheap fast food here. These are fresh ingredients delivered on ice in a box for you to make from scratch at home. You get to pick what day of the week you want it delivered so that you can make sure you are home since these will be perishable goods. I chose the 2-person plan which is the minimum and it consists of 3 meals a week. They also have a family plan that feeds four people.¬†On Sunday at the end of July I received the three meals. I was able to customize what type of meals I wanted so I chose not to do meat.

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The big Blue Apron box

The first meal was fresh basil fettuccine with¬†saut√©ed¬†cherry tomatoes and zucchini. It came with four¬†ingredients and three of what they call “knick knacks” These are seasonings and other things like butter or oil. This dish was one of the favorites since I am a die hard pasta lover. I have never tried zucchini in a pasta dish before and I was amazed by how good it tastes with the cherry tomatoes. Cherry tomatoes are by far my favorite kind! The flavor just makes me feel as if I’m at an italian¬†restaurant in Rome.

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Preparing the fresh basil fettuccine. I totally forgot to take a pic of the finished productūüė¶

A few days later I made the second recipe which was corn and green empanadas with cucumber salad and creamy ajo dipping sauce. This is not something I normally order in a mexican restaurant but I did have fun making it. I received eight ingredients and three knick knacks to make the dish. I enjoyed the flaky texture of the empanadas but the filling along with the garlic sauce was not my favorite. I’m not a big fan of cucumbers so the salad didn’t taste that great. I did not eat the leftovers from this dish but I will say it¬†tasted pretty good.

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Corn & Green Bean Empanadas with cucumber salad & creamy ajo dipping sauce

The last dish I prepared was spicy ponzu-glazed catfish with zucchini, garlic rice and ginger peanuts. Apparently I inadvertently saved the best for last because this ended up being my number 1 favorite out of the three. I received five ingredients and six knick knacks to prepare it. This asian inspired dish had some amazing flavors that are really hard to describe so I had to refer back to the recipe card. First you have the spicy tangy flavor that comes from the ingredients ponzu sauce and sambal oelek. I didn’t even know¬†what sabal oelek was before receiving it in the mail a few weeks ago. Then you have the garlic flavors from the rice and the crunchy texture from the sesame seeds. So you see there was a lot going on with this dish but everything paired together very well.

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Spicy Ponzu-Glazed Catfish with zucchini, garlic rice and ginger peanuts

In my opinion, I believe that Blue Apron is a membership that fits people who:

  1. Enjoy cooking things from scratch
  2. Already cooks nearly everyday
  3. Want to cook more but don’t know how
  4. Wants to cook new and different types of meals but don’t know where to start

For myself, I only do meal prep on Sundays. Throughout the week I’m very busy and I do not have time to make meals from scratch three days a week. If they had a plan that was maybe 1 or 2 meals per week then I would be more inclined to try blue apron more often. I did enjoy the experience of trying new meals and they turned out pretty good. Check it out here¬†for yourself!

Thanks for reading!

Fav Skincare Products July 16

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I received an amazing gift in the mail over a month ago, and to my surprise it was a box of Josie Maran skincare products. I have the luxury of using the argan oil, cleanser, and body butter daily and so far I have noticed my skin looks a lot more hydrated (I also use the argan face mask every Sunday) Sadly, I do not have before and after picsūüė¶ ¬†Next time I need to remember to start documenting when I try new products. I used Josie Maran products in the past but moved on to try some other things due to skincare budget constraints. Despite the high end pricing this is still one of my favorite skincare brands. Her products are paraben and cruelty free, and the argan oil is organically grown, cold pressed, and harvested by women’s co-ops in Morocco (this is all on her website)

Argan oil

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Pros: Penetrates well, gets rid of dry patches on the face.

Cons: Way too expensive

Whipped mud mask unscented

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Pros: Easy to apply (I use a brush), does not dry out the face

Cons: Not as strong and penetrating as other masks I have tried in the past

Argan cleansing oil

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Pros: My favorite product out of the bunch!, Can apply without wetting the face first, easy to remove, very moisturizing, lasts forever

Cons: A little pricey ($32 for 6 fl oz)

Whipped argan oil body butter (citrus scent)

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Pros: Citrus scent is not overpowering, penetrates the skin very well

Cons: None at this time ( I haven’t tried the other two scents yet)

I wish I could answer how Josie Maran products stack up against other argan products on the market right now but I don’t have anything to compare them to yet. What I will say is the products deliver quick results for people with intense dry skin and I do recommend them for that purpose. My only gripe as I have previously mentioned, is pricing. The price of the argan oil is outrageous and you only get a few drops. If a bottle lasted for 6 months I wouldn’t complain. I got three small 0.5 fl oz bottles and after 2-3 weeks I would finish a bottle. I have decided to look elsewhere for pure argan oil.

I do plan to re-purchase the cleansing oil once that runs out. I enjoy cleansing my face with the oil twice a day since it is low maintenance and a little goes a long way. I predict that bottle will last around 3-4 months if not longer.

As far as the face mask and body butter I prefer to try some cheaper brands once I finish these products. I love the Josie Maran brand but there are thousands of brands out there and I want to look for products that can give me the best of both worlds. I want a great hydrating argan oil formula, I want a little to go a long way, and I want the pricing to meet somewhere in the middle.

Check out lilynlily’s blog post here for some great information about argan oil!

Feel free to post your thoughts, comments, and suggestions!

Thanks for reading!