Tuesday, December 31, 2013

New Year's Eve Look

New Year's Eve outfits this year seem to revolve around glitter and sparkles. Not mine. And yours doesn't have to either! If you're on a budget, don't feel the need to spend $50 on a new sequin dress or $100 on a pair of glittery heels. I'm all for busting out items I already own and working it.







































I celebrated NYE early so here was my outfit:

Lace pattern dress - Forever21
Tights - Forever21, thick; not the super thin ones everyone wears now
Heels - Nordstrom Rack
Shoulder bag - Michael Kors

I pretty much owned the dress and tights for a couple years now but never wore the dress and tights together to make a winter look. The heels and shoulder bag were bought earlier this year.


As for the makeup, this is what I used for a simple smokey eye look. I've attached links to give you a better idea of what I used:



Naked Palette - Virgin, Sin
Dark Purple (4th row, 2nd to the left), 
Dark Charcoal (8th row, 3rd to the left)


(an older version from my mom)


  Love,

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Handmade: Easy DIY Christmas Cards

I know this is a super late post so it might not even be helpful for this year but hey, you can always use this for future Christmases! This is a short, simple, and sweet post on how you can make easy, simple, pretty Christmas cards for your loved ones. 

What you'll need: 
  • Card stock - I bought mine from Target and for 50 cards in multiple colors and shapes, it was about $7 which is really a good deal compared with store-bought cards! I use this card stock all the time. 
  • Black ballpoint pen - I used a Uniball.
  • Silver/glitter gel pen - I had this from when I was younger (remember those gel pens in a bajillion different colors that we'd collect for no reason?!)


My cards turned out simple but cute. They really only consisted of two elements: fake calligraphy (find a how-to here) and strung Christmas lights. Use the ballpoint pen for the calligraphy and the string for the lights. Use the silver gel pen to make bulb shaped ovals on the string for the actual Christmas lights. I ended up not filling in the calligraphy for my friends' names but you can get creative with it and don't forget to add a sweet message underneath!


Wishing you all an amazing holiday season!! And as always, thanks for reading :)

P.S. Sorry the rest of my blog's photos have disappeared...I have no idea what happened :( I'll try to get that working when I get the chance....might take a while.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Easy Storage: Nail Polish and Makeup





Hello everyone!

If you're someone who has small collections of makeup and nail polish, this might be perfect for you! This is a super easy and quick way to store all your nail polish and makeup. I actually have makeup in my bathroom so this is all the random makeup that I use once in a while but not everyday that I might want easy access to. If you don't already know, I'm quite a beginner when it comes to the topic of beauty. My nail polish collection may look small compared to yours and I don't have a huge makeup collection so I don't really need a makeup-specific storage unit or anything like that. I just put my stuff in small Sterilite storage boxes from Target that I got on sale (5 boxes for $5).


Nail Polish Storage

Laid out all my nail polish and organized by color
Placed nail polish bottles upright with cotton balls and polish remover



Less Used Makeup Storage

Makeup I use for special occasions
A close-up, just in case you're interested
Probably won't stay this organized but it'll be easier to find!

I know this is super easy and you might already have a way to store your beauty items but doesn't hurt to share! Enjoy :)

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

What's in my Pocket? - December 2013 Edition



Have you heard of Pocket (formerly known as Read It Later)? If you haven't, you definitely have to check it out! It's a simple app that you can install on your phone or an add-on extension you can install on your Internet browser. Why is it so cool? It saves links, which includes articles and videos, for you to revisit later. At the click of a button, you can add a webpage to your Pocket!

Because of this amazing technology in the form of an app, I've saved SO many articles and videos to look at later. Especially at work, when I'm checking up on Twitter or Facebook, I'll see articles or videos I'll want to look at later when I'm not at work and put them in my Pocket. I've accumulated so many things lately that I thought it'd be cool to share what's sitting in my Pocket that I haven't looked at yet. 

Here are some interesting links that are sitting in my Pocket that I haven't actually looked at yet. If you're bored, definitely check out some of these links if they jump out at you. That's what this blog post is for. Things I save in my Pocket are perfect for that break from work or studying, while lying in bed, or waiting at the bus stop. Here are some in no particular order:

Technology Related

Buzzfeeds

Videos

Interesting

If you want me to post things that I've archived that I think are worth sharing, let me know! :) I've come across a lot of cool things lately.



Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Samsung Galaxy S4: Review & Tips

This is definitely overdue but here's my review for the Samsung Galaxy S4 after owning it for about 3 months. I'm still new at using the S4 so these are just my personal thoughts but if you're thinking of switching to the S4, have just recently switched, or just want to read more tips on how to use it better, I hope this helps you in your situation!

Pros
  • Camera - 13mp camera is one of the better phone cameras on the market right now. Can't say no to high quality!
  • So many more features than the iPhone, including a wide variety of camera features.
  • Pattern lock
  • Swype - Being able to swipe letters to create words is sometimes easier when you can only type with one hand.
  • Audio levels - I like being able to adjust the different sound/audio levels based on type (e.g. Ringtone, Notifications, Media, and System volume).
  • More customizable than the iPhone - Yeah, on the iPhone you can move apps around but on the S4, you basically get multiple home pages and can have access to important stuff faster, like flashlight or weather.
  • Widgets - I don't use many but I think they're pretty cool to have a couple on my screens. I use the "Assistive Light" which gives me a flashlight at the click of it. I also have "Active Apps" which shows how many apps I have running in the background.
  • Large screen
  • Drop screen menu from the top of the phone and everything included there, like Driving Mode and Multi-window.
  • Blinking notification light - I don't have to turn on my phone screen to know whether I missed something.
  • Bluetooth - Works well with my new Civic and usually connects automatically.
Cons
  • Auto-focus - If you have the iPhone, you know that when you try to take a picture, you can click on different areas to focus on causing the lighting to potentially change dramatically. This is one feature I miss.
  • Driving mode - Although it's there for a good purpose, I've tried using S voice to draft and send a text message. I was so frustrated that I'm never using it again because it couldn't understand what I was saying.
  • Not receiving certain text messages, which actually might be an iPhone issue from my switch.
  • Bluetooth (sometimes). Sometimes when I turn it on in the car, text messages have the option to be read in the car to me. It's cool but the reason it's a dislike is because it works on it's own time. I have no idea when it's going to work and when it doesn't. Unless this is a car bluetooth issue.
  • Pattern lock and home screen widgets can't coexist - For some weird reason, the S3 allows you to have widgets on your home screen along with a pattern lock but that's not an option on the S4 unless you take off security. And even then, it doesn't look like the S3 does. Instead, you can just customize 4 different lock screen pages which I don't like as much.
  • Difficult to use emojis - Up until a week ago, I only was able to use emojis in my GO SMS Pro texting app because I downloaded an emoji keyboard. Just found out how to use emojis in other apps like Twitter and Instagram but I have to use a different keyboard. See my Tips below on how to do this.
  • Touch "back" button - I'll click the back button a lot accidentally when taking photos because I put my thumb there and it'll close the camera app. Just something I'll have to get used to.
  • Less user-friendly than iPhone - However, this is the price you pay for joining the Android family. It's a little less easy to use, but it comes with a bunch of features (and at least those features come with descriptions mostly!) Just once in a great while, you'll get a pop-up of instructions or a comment about your action and sometimes it won't sound straight-forward. But just read those messages carefully and you'll get used to it.

Tips
  • Recommended keyboard SwiftKey, either on GooglePlay or Amazon Appstore
  • Recommended messaging app GO SMS Pro
  • Widgets I currently use 
    • Active Apps Manager
    • Assistive Light
    • Clock (digital) (4x1)
    • Picture Frame
    • S Memo
    • Yahoo Weather (2x2)
  • Ways to maximize battery life
  • Place your most used features in your top 5 on the drop screen menu - My top 5 are Wi-Fi, GPS, Sound, Screen Rotation, and Bluetooth. Having these at the swipe of a finger make it easier to turn these features on and off to save battery life. It may seem like a hassle but it's become second nature to me already and it really helps in saving data usage also. 
  • Swipe down from the top of the screen with 2 fingers to reveal all features.
  • Cancel your apps regularly - Hold the home button for a couple seconds and swipe your apps away to either the right or left. Certain apps (i.e. Waze) won't actually turn off when you cancel the app so either go straight into the app and turn it off or go to the drop screen menu to cancel/turn it off.
  • Swipe away notifications regularly - Notifications are seen from the drop screen and can build up if you don't Clear them all or swipe them away individually. I'd do this a couple times a day, depending on how many notifications you receive.
  • How to get emojis - I found out you can use emojis by using a certain keyboard and typing in words that will get substituted with emojis. A little more difficult but definitely easier than rooting your S4 (like jailbreaking is to the iPhone). The only problem is that I don't like typing with that certain keyboard so what I'll do is use my favorite keyboard (SwiftKey) as my default keyboard and have the Google Keyboard with the Emoji for English words add-on available. When I really feel like using emojis, I'll go to the drop screen, change the default keyboard to the Google Keyboard, and type in emojis that I want. It's quite a hassle, and you have to know the words for the emojis you want to insert, but I'll see how it goes. It's the easiest way that I know of (although it'd be much easier if you just use the Google Keyboard of course). For instructions on how to make this work and a list of emoji words, go here.
  • Limit your widgets The more widgets you use, the more battery you drain. I'm not sure if this is right but it seems like if I'm not on the page/screen a widget is on, then the widget isn't actually being used? So I spread out about 6 different widgets among 3 different screens and it doesn't hurt my battery life too much.
  • Get used to taking photos without hitting the back button.

Hope you enjoyed this post! Feel free to post any comments or any of your own suggestions :) 

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Oct/Nov: Handmade Cards

Happy December everyone!! It feels like forever since I've done a cards post so here it is. Cards that I've made in the last two months. Most of them were pretty simple because I haven't had too much time on my hands lately, but almost all of them incorporated the "fake" calligraphy font. I love using it because it makes cards look formal, fast. It's amazing how font choice can make such a big difference.

If you're interested in learning how to fake calligraphy, you can check out a website like this or search online for more inspiration! You really just make it your own. How I do it is I draw a line next to each area that's a downstroke and fill in the space. Practice makes perfect (and I'm still practicing!)











Feel free to comment and share links to your own handmade cards! I love seeing them (I even have a Pinterest board dedicated to inspiration).

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Fashion: Work Casual Clothing Haul

Yay, clothing haul!!! This is my first one and I don't see too many hauls that are done through a blog post (mostly on YouTube) but it's okay! I was up for the challenge. Just to let you know, this is a clothing haul of all work casual items that I have purchased in the last year, because I have actually bought a lot of clothes in the last year for work as I was making the transition from student to full-time employee. Yes, that was my excuse for shopping more but I think that's quite a valid one! :)

A few points I should make before we dive in...
  1. I threw together many outfits using only items I have purchased in the last year. So I know, the combos could look better (i.e. "That outfit would've looked much better with darker jeans") but just keep in mind that these are just items I've bought lately, not my whole collection of clothes I wear to work (so please cut me some slack!) 
  2. This post is mostly to show you what outfits are possible and also what I've bought for work. Oh, and I apologize if you can't wear jeans to work. I can wear jeans to work so that's why my outfits may look a bit more on the casual side. 
  3. I didn't make these fall/winter specific outfits. But I've arranged them in order from spring/summer-ish outfits to fall/winter-ish outfits, if that helps at all.
  4. Descriptions are below each picture.
 

^ Dress: H&M,  Cardigan: H&M,  Flats: Nordstrom Rack




^ Dress: Ross or Marshall's,  Blazer: Forever21,  Wedges: Nordstrom Rack,  Watch: Macy's


^ Top: Nordstrom Rack,  Jeans: Aeropostale,  Cardigan: Express,  Necklace: French Quarter (SLO),  Flats: Nordstrom Rack



^ Top: Forever21,  Jeans: Macy's,  Flats: Nordstrom Rack


^ Top: H&M,  Jeans: Aeropostale,  Boots: Payless



^ Top: H&M,  Jeans: Aeropostale,  Blazer: Forever21,  Wedges: Nordstrom Rack,  Watch: Macy's 


^ Top: Forever21,  Jeans: Aeropostale,  Blazer: Forever21,  Flats: Nordstrom Rack

 

^ Top: Express,  Jeans: Aeropostale,  Blazer: Forever21,  Wedges: Nordstrom Rack



^ Top: H&M,  Jeans: Aeropostale,  Blazer: H&M,  Flats: Nordstrom Rack,  Watch: Macy's 


^ Top: H&M,  Jeans: Aeropostale,  Flats: Nordstrom Rack,  Watch: Macy's


I hope these outfits inspire your own outfits for work! :) If you have any additional questions about a specific item or want to see a normal work casual outfits post including other items from my closet, feel free to leave a comment down below. Thanks for reading!!