Beauty, Health

What to Expect from a Facial on Groupon

As a birthday gift to myself I decided to get a facial (for $40 cause I’m not rich). Before today I was a facial virgin, here’s what to expect if you decide to get one:

First and foremost I went to LiWei Beauty located at 90 Bowery #405, NY, NY 10013 (This post is not sponsored but if anyone wants to run me my money that would be solid).

Upon my arrival the receptionist checked my Groupon to make sure I wasn’t a scammer and then she led me to a room where I was instructed to take off my clothes, put on a pink towel dress, and put all of my belongings in a drawer. I then laid down on a gray massage table that was about twin size.

Gentle-harmonious music set the ambiance as I waited with my eyes closed for something to happen. This experience was especially fun for me because with my eyes closed I had to essentially use my ears to see. The treatment began with various lotions massaged onto my face. The aroma of the lotions/creams were very relaxing. I tried hard to concentrate on the smells and let go of all the thoughts preventing me from unwinding. While the lotions were on there was a heat lamp directed on my face that emphasized products. After about 5 different items were put on my face this is when my skin care tech gave me a neck and shoulder massage. Who knew I was so tense! I felt her take our knot after knot with ease.

What came next I was not ready for…After I had reached a state of tranquility the tech wiped off the last lotion and placed a cover over my eyes. Then I felt a light shine on my face and the clacking of tools hitting each other. The next thing I felt was cool silver touch my face and pressure comparable to being stabbed slowly by tiny needles. All of my blemishes were popped and squeezed… slowly. This was the least enjoyable part of the facial because of the level of pain. I have a pretty high pain tolerance and this was enough for me to clench my fists. Beauty is pain people!

When I was laying there I initially thought they should have did the painful part first and then the calming lotions but my facial was not over yet. After the scraping I smelt an aroma similar to tea tree oil and the slight heat of a square tool that was used to spread oil along my skin. The heat form the tool allowed for feelings of blissfulness. This was followed by a different product painted on my face. I especially liked this product because of its cooling effect on my skin. Think of the sensation you get when you chew a piece of minty gum and inhale; now picture that but on your skin. I was left alone for what felt like ten minutes, during this time the product hardened into a mask. Thankfully, this mask did not hurt when peeled off. After the mask the tech rubbed two more products onto face and then told me of the promotions they were having. The combination of massage, aroma, and music was the perfect recipe for relaxation.

If you’re stressed or looking for an excuse to treat yourself I highly recommend getting a facial. The feeling of renewal that washed over me post appointment was definitely worth $40. 10/10 experience.

 

 

Food

Where to Eat This Weekend: Raclette

I have a simple question for you: Do you love cheese? If you answered yes to this, then boy do I have the place for you!  Meghan and I agreed to try new restaurants once a month. Monday evening we went to the first restaurant on our list, Raclette. Located at 511 E 12th St NY, NY.

Upon entering the front door your nose is hit with a stinky smell. It threw me by surprise initially and then my brain registered that it was the aroma of various cheeses, duh. Even though it was a Monday night, the place was packed. Just a tip for any one interested in going:  all members of your party have to be present before you can be seated. (I was late (as per usual) and Meghan had to wait a few minutes in the cold, Sorry Meg!)

Raclette’s evening atmosphere seduces the guests. The dim lighting and candle lit tables allow for feelings of intimacy in the setting. The tables are small so you can still hear the person you’re with even as music plays in the background. This restaurant is ideal for a date (whether it’s platonic or romantic). Hint to readers: Valentine’s Day is around the corner.

Prior to going to the restaurant I did a little research on the menu to see what I was working with. To my demise, I still was unprepared when the waitress asked me what I would like to order. For our starter we decided to share the tomato tartine. This dish consists of mozzarella pearls, cherry tomatoes, arugula pesto, and fresh basil on a toasted nan. It looks like this:

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Looks pretty enticing doesn’t it? Trust me, it tastes as good as it looks. Every item in this dish complimented each other.  I’m not big on tomatoes but when paired with the other ingredients, a true masterpiece. Tomato tartine: $14

With the main course we decided to go with the New York for Two. This item is one of the Raclettes which is rack-melted alpine cheese that is scraped table side. YES, this is the place that scrapes the oozing cheese right onto your meal. Talk about mouth watering. This moment is so beautiful you might want to document it so you never forget. To all my Instagram photogs, definitely worthy of being on your ‘feed’. This dish consists of a 12oz. filet mignon, sautéed mushrooms, roasted asparagus, (my personal fave) and potatoes. It looks like this:

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This was taken a few seconds after the cheese was scraped onto the dish. Picture perfect I know. I’ve always been keen on taking pictures of my food even before I started blogging, now my pictures have purpose! Anyway, getting back to the entrée, it was absolutely delicious. The New York for Two is pretty self explanatory in the sense that it feeds two people. If you’re one of those individuals that likes to put each food item on the fork before consumption you’ll enjoy this dish as the pairings are superb. New York for Two: $56

After eating my starter and entree I was just the right amount of full. Sufficed yet not overwhelmed. Quite the opposite of the type full that makes you feel like you could have a heart attack at any second.

All in all, I had a very pleasant experience at Raclette. Try it out and let me know what you think!

P.s. Look how cute my date was:

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Entertainment

What to Watch This Week: “1922”

My dear friends I ask you to for one second to reminisce on the now dead franchise, Blockbuster. Please take a moment of silence to remember the dearly departed. Now we’ll fast forward to present day and think about Netflix.

According to Forbes, the online movie and TV streaming platform is worth $61.6 billion dollars. Not a bad deal for only being twenty years old.

Netflix has been efficiently allocating their earnings by creating a handful of notable new content e.g. Stranger Things. 

Today the focus is on a new Netflix original titled, “1922″. This hour and forty-two minute adaptation of Stephen King’s novella was written and directed by Zak Hilditch. Unfortunately, I have not read the novella so I did not have much to compare or reference to. I would consider this a good thing because I almost always think the book is better than the movie. Getting back to the point, this ominous crime thriller is definitely the film you want to watch to get you into the halloween mood. I won’t give away any spoilers because where’s the fun in that? Just know this film is not for the faint hearted as there are numerous gory scenes. It will pull and your heart strings while simultaneously keeping your eyes on the screen.

The plot centers around farm owner, Wilfred Leland James, confessing to the murder of his wife. The death of his wife is only the beginning of an array of consequences Wilfred faces throughout the progression of the film. What would you do to keep what you love?

The cinematographer sets cool tones in the film to bring to life the eerie atmosphere of the dead. The motion picture offers an elegant arrangement of shots ranging from wide angle to close ups that make the viewer feel like they’re on set.

1922 definitely gets a five star rating in my book. Watch it, let me know what you think!

 

Current Events

What Happened in Vegas… Should be a Wake Up Call to America

What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas?  Not this time. If you don’t already know, early yesterday morning  64-year-old, Stephen Paddock, took it upon himself to arrange over 10 automatic weapons from his room on the 32nd floor in the Mandalay Bay. Paddock opened fire into the Route 91 music festival on the Las Vegas strip. He is responsible for the death of 59 individuals and injuries to more than 500 classifying this as the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history.

This is an act of domestic terrorism ignited by a white male. Individuals tend to associate terrorism with foreign countries when this is very far from the truth. I read a false headline yesterday while the shooter was still unnamed that read ” Shooter connected with ISIS”. The media is so quick to profile these types of events and assume it was a certain type of person. We as a country need to wake up and realize that these horrific events are happening on our home base by our own people. It is so heartbreaking that these mass shootings are becoming apart of our reality. I am only twenty two years old and I have already lived through four of the events: Sandy Hook 27 killed – 2 injured, Virginia Tech 32 killed – 23 injured, Pulse Nightclub 49 killed – 58 injured, Las Vegas 59 killed- 500+ injured.

It throws me off how the media emphasizes the fact that he “had no criminal record” as if that is something we the public care about, as if that makes him any less of a terrorist. Wake up America. All I ask is that you question why the N.R.A. has such a strong hold on the people in power. What can we do to prevent this? Stricter gun laws. GUN CONTROL. Use your voice. Speak your truth. We should not have to fear going to school, movies, or concerts. We should not have to think to ourselves “I’ll risk a mass shooting and go in public today”. This is not the reality I want to live. Attention people of power: your “thoughts and prayers” aren’t enough.

 

Health

Let’s Talk About Mental Health

I’m here today to talk to you about mental health and why it is imperative that we erase the stigma around it. What is a stigma? Stigma (n): a mark of disgrace associated with a particular circumstance, quality, or person. We should not by any means associate mental health with the word disgrace. Your feelings are never a burden.

Let’s face it, it’s severely easier to pretend your life is all sunshine and rainbows than to face the reality that it’s not. We’ve become all-star pretenders, trust me I know from first hand experience. My Instagram is all the evidence I need. What content do I post? I curate my posts to only show the images I associate with my happiness. It’s human nature to want to show the world the best side of you but there’s so much more that goes on in life than the posts on a timeline. Our Instagram is not an accurate depiction of our real life.  

I’m human, therefore, I feel an array of emotions throughout the day not only happiness. Some days I am sad, others I am filled with rage. You know what though? This is okay. It’s okay to feel sadness, anger, and whatever other emotion you feel. What isn’t okay is letting your sadness eat away at you. My mind is my own worst enemy; there are days where I am at war with myself. I don’t quite know how to tell someone else I’m not okay. I find convenience in letting myself deal with my problems. This is where the flaw lies. Think of a snowball rolling down a mountain as it gains momentum it picks up more snow on the path down. This is how my mind works I think of one problem and before I know it I’m thinking of 50 other things wrong with my life and cursing myself.  

There was a time in my life where my personal darkness consumed me to the point of choosing self-harm. I would wake up every single day and wish I hadn’t. To be frank, I couldn’t tell what was the exact cause of my pain but to feel so alone inside yourself and to consistently choose darkness is not something we should do. Looking back now I don’t recognize that person I was, although she does make a guest appearance in my life every now and again. I’m hoping that my honesty will help others understand that they are not alone. If ever you need a person to talk to, I am here. We only get one life so you must constantly and consistently choose yourself. Struggling with yourself? Take a mental health day, you deserve it.  Life is an uphill battle I will not lie but I promise whatever hurt you are feeling will always heal with time. I’m living proof.  

I want to bring to attention Logic’s performance of 1-800-273-8255 at the 2017 VMA’s. I’ve never cried over an artist before, but this one got me. His song title is the number to the suicide prevention hotline. Please watch the video below it is so incredibly important. “I don’t want to cry anymore, I want to feel alive, I don’t even want to die anymore.” You. Are. Never. Alone.

Thoughts

I’m back! (And I’m Better)

A sincere apology to all of you who actually keep up with my blog because I have been on a little hiatus post grad. Where did I go? Well.. the main reason I’ve been MIA is because I didn’t have a laptop. The computer I was using was loaned to me through Saint Peter’s so I had to part ways with it. BUT, I finessed real quick and bought myself a new Mac. (No I’m not rich, I just spend money like I am). That’s a different story though.

I strongly encourage all of my fellow artists to find the time to write, read, sing or whatever it is that makes you happy. I know we’ve all got lives and sometimes it feels overwhelming to try to sit down and get a hold on your thoughts, but trust me you’ll be glad you did. My problem is, I wake up check my phone for any new notifications and then I get sucked into the realm of the inter webs. One minute I’m scrolling through Instagam and then I realize I’ve been browsing all my social media repeatedly for 3 hours.. Talk about a waste of time. Yes, I love keeping up with my friends and watching random slime videos but I need to draw the line somewhere. That’s why I’m sitting here typing this. I’m in the process of figuring out what’s important to me.

What’s happened since my 3 month hiatus? I graduated. WOO! Do I have a job lined up? No. Does that mean I’m a failure? No, because I have a job currently and I’m making silent moves. I’m working 3 days a week now.. not four. So I really have no excuses left except myself. I’m going to Ireland next week. Don’t worry, I’ll write about it (I promise).

I know it seems like I’m bouncing around here with this post but that’s just how my brain works. Since my work shifts have changed I definitely have ample time to write, create, and organize these thoughts of mine.

I hope this post encourages you to do something! No more choosing negativity and pessimism. Choose happiness. Or don’t, it’s your world!

Expect posts from me on Mondays & Fridays. Thank you all for following my little blog, seriously it means a lot. 🙂

Travel

A Weekend in Clearwater Beach, Florida

I’m very fortunate I get to travel as often as I do. I hold the state of Florida very close to my heart. So when Philip (my beau) asked me to accompany him to a weekend trip to the sunshine state, naturally I said yes. Fun fact: I used to live in Lakeland, Florida in the first grade. My family and I only lived there for the duration of one year. My dad’s side of the family lives there so every summer I would go down and stay with them. They always spoiled my sister and I so it was extra fun spending my childhood summers with them.

Fast forward to present day: I need you all to understand the spontaneity of this trip. Phil really just asked me on a Monday if I’d be up to go to Florida on Thursday and I said yes with no hesitation. Who in their right mind turns down a random vacation?! Not this girl. Only missed two days of class.. Don’t tell my professors.

We arrived at Newark airport at 7 a.m. for our 9 a.m. flight. Everything was smooth sailing from that point or should I say smooth flying? Ba dum chhh. The whole weekend it was sunny in the low 90s. No complaints from me. Our first day there I was introduced to Philip’s family that lives outside of Tampa. They were super sweet.

The next two days were spent being beech bums. The water was a little colder than what I’m used to for a Florida beach but still how could I complain? Sidebar, SPF 30 doesn’t really do anyone justice in the F.L. sun. Phil and I explored the bar scene of Clearwater Beach and hopped around to places like Crabby’s and Shepard’s. After a few more spots we got tired of being around other people so we grabbed our drinks, blankets, camera, and took it to the beach. Trust me the beach is way cooler at night when there are no people around but I wouldn’t advise you to get in the water.

On our second to last day we spent the day at weeki wachee springs canoeing. I sat in the middle so I didn’t have to participate in any rowing (lucky me). This was my second time there, the first time around I kayaked by myself. I enjoyed this time in particular because I saw manatees! IN REAL LIFE. They’re huge and beautiful like cows of the ocean. We actually saw about five in total (lucky us). I definitely advise you to take a trip there! The water is the perfect temperature that gives you a refreshed feeling afterwards.

It was a weekend for the books or blog in my case. I’m going to stop with the corny jokes I promise. Seriously, Florida continues to amaze me with all it’s beauty and I can’t wait to be back. Here are some photos from our trip:

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