Here are the main things that I appreciated in 2017. Just gonna do some quick reviews and ramblin for people who may be interested in what I was obsessed with in the past year! *Heads up: lots of links, stolen pictures from the internet, and personal opinions about superficial and capitalist-based products in this one.
Categories: beauty, body, food, life
1.TonyMoly sheet masks: every time I use one of these babies I feel sooo pampered and relaxed. These masks are my go-to because they have the perfect amount of serum and hydration so they aren’t dripping down my neck when I have them on for those recommended 20 minutes. I know it’s a good sheet mask when the scent of it isn’t too artificial. My favorites have been: rose, tea tree, rice, and pearl. Honestly, I love anything that claims to brighten and hydrate! *Edit: I just wanted to add that face masks don’t discriminate against how we personally identity. Valuing skincare and keeping up with your hygiene is important for errbody
2. NYX eyebrow setting mascara in the shade “espresso”: yur gurl was not born with bold bushy brows so I never really bothered to mess with them too much. Allofasudden, the makeup industry comes thru with new products and Instagram decides that beauty is now defined by the shape and definition of yo eyebrow. Uh…what. Using the infamous Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz in “ebony”, I practiced those hairlike strokes (as taught in every Youtube tutorial) and I plucked my eyebrows less. In the summer, I struggled with melting brows until I started setting them with the amazing NYX eyebrow mascara. I love the tiny brush and the way it makes the hairs stay in place all day. Here’s pics of the Evolution of Pajtsua’s brows:
3. EltaMD UV Clear Broad-Spectrum SPF 46: Number three goes to sunscreen. Tbvh, thinking about sunscreen always makes me think about going to the pool as a kid and rushing to get the stinky Banana Boat sunblock on my body and obviously not waiting 15 minutes before jumping into the water. I always struggled with oily acne-prone skin so I was nervous about breaking out from facial sunscreens. Liah Yoo is a Youtuber who’s super knowledgeable about skincare so I took her word for it when she mentioned how much she loved the EltaMD for oily and acne-prone skin. After I wash my face and apply toner in the morning, I use one pump of this for my face and neck. It doesn’t have a heavy scent nor does not feel tacky/sticky. I am obsessed, definitely worth the $32.
4. Dove Go Fresh bodywash: Not much to say about this besides the fact that it smells good and you should prob count on not having to replace it for a longer amount of time. I specifically love the cucumber & green tea scent in the 34 oz size with the pump. This lasted me and Charles from June til early December (did I even shower?) But seriously, it will take you awhile to empty this container and the pump makes it very convenient!
5. Colgate MaxFresh, Breath Strips toothpaste: You know when you stay over at other people’s houses and you forget your toothpaste so you have to use the one they have in their bathroom? I am always so sensitive to the grainy-ness of toothpastes that are marketed to help “sensitive” teeth (like Sensodyne?) And being the forgetful person that I am, every time I go out to pick up a new tube of this paste, I always mistakenly get Crest instead of Colgate because they have similar names. I always stock up with a 2 or 3-pack so I don’t forget which is the one I actually like. I love the breath strips effects and how clean my mouth be feelin after brushin’!
6. Organic coconut oil: Ofc I needed to mention the historical and most versatile product of basic survival. It’s used for cooking, but I mainly use this for deep conditioning hair masks on my dandruff-prone scalp, an alternative shaving cream, eye makeup remover, a natural remedy to soothe bug bites, and of course an all-over body moisturizer. I grew to love the sweet smell of coconut and I feel really pampered when I use it in replacement of a lotion, especially in the winter time. I’ve also learned that coconut oil has anti-aging benefits? However, oils can change texture really quickly because of it’s ability to be solid/liquid based on the temperature. So be mindful of where you store it!
7. Roasted sweet potato, black bean, & corn salad: My friend Katie made this dish when we traveled down to North Carolina together last May. During the summer of 2017, I made this salad a few times because I wanted to explore and try more plant-based meals because Charles and I got kinda spooked after watching What the Health on Netflix. But despite the drama on veganism, this dish is really easy to prep and there’s a good mix of ingredients that I usually wouldn’t lean towards (like black beans and corn). The lime juice and olive oil “dressing” ties the flavors together really well and I’ve even added a little bit of chopped ginger and other random ingredients like green onion or habanero peppers to add more spice. Season the sweet potatoes with salt/pepper/paprika and keep it in the oven til it’s crispy – so gud. Let me know if you try this recipe out!
8. Paprika: I know, what a random thing to love! In the past, I have always seasoned my food with everything I see in the kitchen: salt, black pepper, garlic salt, lemon pepper, steak seasoning, etc. But I’ve grown to love paprika for its ability to give my food some color and heighten it’s taste. I sprinkle it lightly on my potatoes, pan-fried tofu, and scrambled eggs. I’ve noticed that there is not a strong “spice” scent to paprika like chili pepper flakes or cumin. Rumor has it: this spice also has a lot of health benefits? I am now just learning that it’s a good source of Vitamin A and it’s packed with antioxidants. Nice! I honestly just wanna be more mindful of my salt intake to stay healthy and avoid high blood pressure in the long run.
9. Spicy Korean noodles: One time I heard my friend Cua say: “if I eat something spicy, it better be really spicy or it’s not even worth my time suffering” / or something along those lines hahaah. *Edit: she actually said: “It better be really spicy or I refuse to eat it”. In the past year, the popular spicy Korean noodles have been my go-to quick meal for at least one night out of the week. Our Level 1 meal would be eating it with chopped green onions, rice and seaweed packets. If we have more time, we would sometimes bring it up to Level 2 by throwing some bok choy or some other veggie into the boiling water for the ramen, along with the items from Level 1. But ok, Level 3 gourmet ramen meal would include everything I just mentioned plus some form of meat (bacon, grilled chicken, or pork) and a fluffy omelet on the side. DE-LITCH-OUS. I’d like to know: what do you add to your spicy korean noodle dish? #enhancedramen #gourmet #animedoesitbetter #whyisitsoesspensiff
10. Bullet journal: For those who are not a part of the “bujo” community yet — it’s really just the perfect combination between a diary, a planner, and a to-do list all located in a blank journal that you “design”. When people approach me about starting a bullet journal, there’s always an assumption that they need to be artistic to manage/keep up with it. I definitely thought the same thing in the beginning — but as soon as I stopped trying to copy other people’s formats from Pinterest or Instagram, I was able to really enjoy the relaxing process of creating a logging system that worked for me. I basically lay out what I need to get done based on every year, month, week, and day. It’s also a place to store lists of random ideas (i.e. restaurants to try out in Mke, date ideas, packing lists). It has really helped me to have a space for “expense trackers” to stay on top of my bills. I have my recurring expenses listed and each is indicated if it’s on auto-pay. Here’s a visual of mine:
11. This Is Us: This is a show on NBC that I started watching with Charles late last year. I have always loved Mandy Moore since A Walk To Remember and The Princess Diaries so she initially drew me into it. This show is narrated by the parents (Jack and Rebecca) and their three children (Kevin, Kate, & Randall) and there are constant flashbacks to when Jack and Rebecca are young so the audience can get bits of their love story. It amazes me how the show was able to cast young people who look so much like the adult versions of Kevin, Kate, and Randall. Overall, I can’t get over how this show keeps me way too emotionally invested in each of the characters — and simply for the raw and relevant struggles that they go through: body image, mental health, racism, classism, adoption & foster care, and exploration of identity are all major themes for the Pearson family. The subtle elements of surprise keeps me feelin hyped for each episode (but tbvh that’s how I know it’s a gud show). My favorite characters are probably Beth (Randall’s wife) and Kate’s fiancé, Toby. I love their humor, realness and the way they show love for their partners. #goals
12. Yeti coffee tumblr: $30 might seem kinda steep for a container that is suppose to transport liquids, but this cup got me instantly loyal to the Yeti brand. It is made from “stainless steel with double-wall vacuum insulation” to keep your beverages hot/cold for longer. I experimented by filling dis special magic mug with a couple ice cubes and letting it sit overnight: BRUH the ice was still ice in the morninggg! Not only does this keep my hot tea hot and iced drinks tastin yummy, I am also able to avoid using disposable cups at coffee shops AND I usually get some form of discount for bringing my own mug. #saving10cents
13. Bluetooth transmitter for my car: If you drive a vehicle that is 17 years old like mine, you might have a hard time playing music from your phone. My CD player is broken and my tape player doesn’t work with those cassette adapters to plug into a phone. I plug this transmitter into the 12V/cigarette lighter socket and change the FM radio to an unused radio frequency in order to power the audio signal. Then I can turn on my phone’s bluetooth and play my Spotify playlists hands-freee. This makes my road trips way easier and fun.
Alright that brings us to the end of another blog post aka Pajtsua’s List of Things. But lemme be real: “blogging” isn’t easy like some people might think. First of all, it’s like writing an essay for school, but I’m doing it for fun and by choice. Also, I feel super vulnerable when I put myself out there and share my thoughts, feelings, and opinions. It’s hard to publish something without the fear of judgment. It also takes a lot of time to make sense in words and then try to find pictures/links AND make it look cute. Not to mention, I should really be spending this time playing catch-up with my graduate school work, yikes. But I do enjoy it (and my recent career assessment results told me it’d be a good career path haha) so I want to keep doin it for as long as I can. Tanks for reading, friends. Luv yall.