Hooray Collective: Argentina

This July marks my one-year anniversary as a contributor to the awesome collaborative blog Hooray Collective, where I write every 30th of the month. On this blog, I’ve been sharing most of my posts there in my weekly Link Love roundups, but I’m pretty dang proud of some of my writing over at HC so I’m going to be showcasing my posts there more prominently on my blog. Here’s what I wrote for this month.

Buenos Aires Obelisk

We fell into each other’s lives that night, so quickly, so seamlessly, it was like we had always known we’d meet.

“I’m T,” you said.

“I’m A,” I responded.

You asked where I was from that night, making a joke about me possibly working for the White House. I asked where you were from and I despaired at the fact that your hockey team was the Canucks.

It was the Fourth of July that night, so you wished me a happy Independence Day and I lifted my drink to a toast made in the name of freedom.

We were with other people that night, me with my girlfriends and you with your ragtag band of fun-loving bros. The six of us began our night together, swapping stories and laughter and drinks, as the best of nights often entail.

Read the rest of the post over at HC!

What Matters

“He may love you. He probably does. He probably thinks about you all the time. But that isn’t what matters. What matters is what he’s doing about it, and what he’s doing about it is nothing. And if he’s doing nothing, you most certainly shouldn’t do anything. You need someone who goes out of their way to make it obvious that they want you in their life.”
- Unknown

Sometimes I wonder how different I, and my life, would be if I had come across this quote one, two, three years ago and took it to heart. Like, really took it to heart, because I’m sure at some point in that three or so year time span I’d come across that quote in one form of another, whether it be coming across it randomly or a close friend telling me something that pretty much amounted to the same thing.

But here’s the thing.

I didn’t come across it. Or pay any attention to advice like it.

I’ve long past the stage of where I plot ways to embody “hell hath no fury like a woman scorned” in a way that would make Shakespeare proud wonder what could have been or what might have been.

Looooooong past it.

But still I dwell on quotes like the above because it always reminds me of just how much has changed since then.

Luckily, the change has been for the better.

I’ve learned how to recover from a broken heart.

I’ve gained some amazing new friends, best friends, ones that I wouldn’t trade for the world and are my friends till the end.

I’ve gone on some spectacular adventures.

I’ve met a cute boy or two.

I’ve turned my apartment and this city into a home.

I’ve grown into myself and figured out how to be happy.

There probably were easier, less painful routes for me to take to experience all of the changes I’m grateful for.

I’m sure there were ways that didn’t involve crying for days, for a start.

But I took the cards I was dealt and ran with it and learned from it and grew from it.

That’s what matters.

And that’s what I’m concentrating on today, tomorrow, and every single day moving forward.

Link Love, Vol. 64

I finally went to Jazz in the Sculpture garden for my first time EVER on Friday. It’s a weekly Friday thing in DC during the summer, so I’m not sure how it took me my third summer in DC to finally go. “Sangria in the Sculpture Garden” would be a better title for the event if you ask me, but I still had a good time catching up with friends and enjoying the gorgeous, GORGEOUS weather DC served up that day. Anytime it’s breezy and not humid in a DC summer, I’ll take it!

I also have two friends who are visiting this weekend and I am SO excited to catch up with both of them. One is a girl I worked with at my old job, so she and I will be doing our usual routine of hitting up Sephora and then grabbing a dinner of noodles. The other is a friend who I haven’t seen since… November? December? as he’s been abroad. He isn’t back in DC permanently yet, but since I haven’t seen him in MONTHS, I’ll take what I can get.

Food
Penne ricotta pasta salad. Mmmmmm.

I love French onion anything. I love pasta. So one pot French onion pasta?! I’m sold.

Amanda shares a recipe for chocolate orange macarons. In what may or may not be a coincidence, some of these ingredients might have suddenly appeared on my grocery list after reading her recipe…

Life
On Claire’s blog, Cassie asks what’s your excuse?

Online
Tim shares what he’s learned from blogging.

Relationships
Somewhere out there, someone regrets letting you go.

Kate writes about what we never talked about.

There’s a cost to breaking up and moving out.

Travel
Margo shares eight things you must do to get the best out of Prague. This had me reminiscing about my own time in Prague several summers ago!

musicalpoem Around the Web

In my first piece on Medium, I wrote about the time my friends and I went to Tianjin on a cheese pilgrimage after six months of living in Beijing. If you like the story, there’s plenty more in my books ONE WORD SAYS IT ALL and TWO WORDS SAY MORE!

I also guest posted on Jenn’s blog Near and Far Montana, writing in defense of returning to cities I’ve previously visited.

Beauty Haul: Toronto Edition

Remember when I visited Toronto? Yeah, I know that was a while ago, but I’ve only just got round to uploading this video! I did some beauty shopping with Clem and Asian Pear when I was in town. AP and I hit up Asian beauty brands as I have yet to see any Asian beauty brand carried in stores in DC (with the exception of Dr. Jart+ in Sephora and Laneige in Target). Clem and I visited Shoppers where I bought Bourjois products, a brand that I love but cannot get in the US. I can order it off ASOS and it usually works out to be a deal whenever ASOS is running a sale (which is often) but I wanted to be able to get matched to a foundation and swatch their products before buying! (Although now that I’ve just had a quick look through ASOS’ Bourjois offerings, I’m tempted to press “checkout” on the items I put in my cart…)

Anyhow, all of that is a long and ramble-y way to say I went to Toronto, I shopped and here’s what I got! I didn’t go too crazy — if you watch my last Toronto vlog, you’ll see just how many things Clem and I were looking at based on all of our swatches — but I did indulge a little. I’m happy with what I bought, especially as almost everything, if not all, are things that are nigh impossible for me to get shopping in person in DC!

Products Mentioned
Holika Holika Face 2 Change CC Cream
Holika Holika “After Drinking” Mask Sheet
The Face Shop New Zealand Volcanic Clay Blackhead Heating Gel Mask
Missha Signature Real Complete BB Cream
Missha Olive Mask Sheet
Missha Lemon Mask Sheet
Bourjois Java Rice Powder
Bourjois Rouge Edition Lipstick in “Violine Strass”
Joe Fresh Matte Lipstick in “Raspberry”
Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum Gel Foundation

My Favorite Things: Pai Rosehip BioRegenerate Oil

Pai Rosehip BioRegenerate Oil

I first came across Pai Rosehip BioRegenerate Oil in a post Kate wrote, where she mentioned it in passing. (Recently she did a full-length post devoted to the product.) Anna raved about it too way back in the day, as did Estée. Now, I often take beauty blogger reviews with a grain of salt because there seems to be an alarming lack of disclosure about sponsored posts (particularly with UK beauty bloggers!) but since these girls have been raving about Pai Rosehip BioRegenerate Oil for almost a year now and online reviews by others were stellar, I figured it was time to check out what this little bottle of orange-colored oil was all about. (Note: this post isn’t sponsored by anyone or anything, although if someone from Pai is reading this, I am not opposed to the idea!)

Rosehip oil is a fantastic oil for the face. It’s non-greasy, super light, and a natural acne and eczema treatment. (Here is a more in-depth post about the benefits of rosehip oil.) Pai’s version stands out from others because it has both the fruit hip oil (that’s so odd to type as now I’m picturing fruits with hips) as well as the seed oil. Apparently this makes Pai’s rosehip oil the most potent kind on the market. I believe this, because compared to my Mario Badescu Rose Hips Oil it has done way more for my skin in a shorter amount of time. Pai also claims that with regular use, their Rosehip BioRegenerate Oil conditions the skin, improving skin firmness and elasticity.

Despite the risk of sounding like I’m regurgitating all of the other gushing reviews about this product, I couldn’t NOT rave about it. My skin looks AWESOME since I’ve started using Pai’s Rosehip BioRegenerate Oil. Break outs are few and far between, the appearance of my acne scars have been reduced and my slight (sunburn-induced) freckles are lightening (yay reducing UV damage!). Pai claims that the oil can also reduce the appearance of stretch marks and fine lines, but I don’t have either so I can’t speak to that.

Unfortunately, the Pai line is not available in the US, although you can order it off the US version of the Pai website. Personally, I bought my bottle off Beauty Bay. I use 3-4 drops nightly after my serum and before my moisturizer. I’ve been using this regularly for about four months and have barely even used a quarter of the bottle. Facial oils have been a recent discovery of mine and as much as I like to trial new products, I’m cautious about experimenting with skincare. I’m not letting my bottle of Pai Rosehip BioRegenerate Oil go anywhere anytime soon; I think that it’s one of the best ones on the market.

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