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.

 

 

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. 🙂

lifestyle

Unclutter Your Life

I’ve realized in my 21 years of life that I am on the road to becoming a hoarder. Read this article I wrote for my university newspaper, The Pauw Wow on how to avoid being like me. I promise I’m working on changing!

When the snow melts and the breezy air begins to welcome itself, the thought of spring cleaning tends to plague the minds of many. Here are a few tips when getting into the groove of the new season.

First and foremost: if you haven’t used it or worn it in over a year, throw it away.

According to the APA Practice Organization, hoarding is a subtype of obsessive compulsive disorder that is characterized by three core features: the acquisition of a large number of possessions; the failure to discard a large number of possessions; and living in spaces that are sufficiently cluttered as to preclude their intended use.

More often than not, individuals hold onto items for memories and other psychological reasons. The more items you hold onto, as the years go by, the easier it is to want to hold onto everything. This is why organizing and uncluttering your life are necessary.

When asked about her thoughts on spring cleaning, Betty Zhu, said “Why just spring and not every season? You should really clean all year.”

Yes, we all like to think we have impeccable fashion taste, even if you haven’t worn any of the clothes that have sat in your closet for the last three seasons. Ladies and gentlemen, if you have neglected it for the past eight months, it’s safe to say you’re not going to touch it this month. What’s excess is not needed. Repeat this in your head until it becomes your mantra.

We’re going to tackle some of the usual suspects that tend to lead to overcrowding: makeup, clothes, books, etc. According to  an article on the Huffington Post, makeup such as mascara is meant to be replaced every three months or so. Yes, makeup is expensive so it’s understandable why one would want to keep it, but it’s healthier if you don’t.

Grab a big bag and start sifting through clothing to find out what does not fit anymore, what is old, and what you have never worn. Once this is done, put it all in said bag and drop it off to any organization like Goodwill, Veterans of America, or American Red Cross that will take used and gently worn clothing.

Donating clothes rather than throwing them to the garbage is a way of knowing your memories will live on. Most of all, it eliminates space in your drawers or closet and makes room for more.

Miscellaneous items and other small things can pile up quick if you let them and what was once a few hair ties and pens eventually turns into the “junk drawer” which, by the title, suggests that you can do without 95 percent of the items found in the drawer.

The key to minimizing clutter is to set goals for yourself. Write everything you want to accomplish down and tackle the list one item at a time.  A clean living environment and workspace can alleviate the stress clutter can bring.

Travel

Last Night at the Met

When you have someone that agrees to go to the Metropolitan Opera with you I advise that you keep them! Two nights ago I got all dolled up or in other words I put on the nicest dress I own with a good pair of heels and made my way to Lincoln Center with my handsome date.

Going to the opera is definitely an experience everyone should have at least once in their lifetime. My experience was a rather funny one and here’s why:

First and foremost I have to give a general warning to everyone reading. WARNING: Do not and I repeat DO NOT drink a full bottle of water and then a glass of rosé before the performance. To my demise I did both these things and not even ten minutes into the program my bladder was fighting against me. Ladies and gentlemen keep in mind this was my first opera so I was unaware of all the rules you need to abide by. I get up from my seat and leave my coat, wallet, and phone with my date. Trust me if I could have held it in I would have but my bladder plays zero games. Upon exiting the house the usher asks me if I was leaving. I told her I was only going to the restroom and I would be right back. She then tells me she doesn’t know when the next break is for her to let me back in. This puzzled me a little but my urge to pee was too strong so I said it was fine and made my way to the restroom. Once the deed was done I made my way back to the door I exited from and realized there were no handles on it. No way back in. I thought to myself ‘Okay the next break has to be in ten minutes or so’, wrong. I soon found out the intermission was not for another 40 minutes. Not only did I not have a phone to contact Philip (my date) and tell him what had happened but I didn’t even have money to buy a drink!

I feel like things of this nature happen so often in my life that at this point all I do is laugh. I was locked out for the whole 40 minutes and decided to watch the program from the Orchestra floor. On this floor there was a room designated for people like me who were late or locked out too. When intermission finally rolled around I traveled back upstairs and saw a distressed Philip waiting for me. I explained what happened to me and we both laughed it off. After intermission was over we watched the second act of Rigoletto and then left during the next intermission for our dinner reservations. All things considered, it was a fun experience the entire cast was very talented and I feel lucky to have been apart of it. The opera is definitely a good excuse to dress up fancy.

Here are some pictures I took, the Metropolitan Opera House is nothing short of exquisite.

 

Food

Where to Eat This Weekend: Beechwood Cafe

My love for food grows by the day so I know good cuisine when I taste it. Sitting at the corner of Grove and Mercer in downtown Jersey City, you will find Beechwood Cafe. As soon as you walk through the door the staff is very welcoming with warm smiles and offering service.  Warning: this place gets PACKED for brunch.

The first time I went to Beechwood was about two years ago. It was the beginning of the ‘I Spend All My Money on Food’ chapter of my life. The first time around I ordered the  Beechwood waffle for $9 (I highly recommend this dish). The waffle comes with strawberries, bananas, whipped cream, walnuts, and syrup. I always get the berry compote for an extra $2 to give it the cherry on top feel. This is my favorite dish at the cafe so it’s safe to say we know what I ordered the next 6 times I found myself there.

Recently, I’ve decided to be a little more spontaneous and switch up my ordering habits. I tried their bowl of chili and I swear that is what love tastes like. They pack so much flavor in one little bowl. I order tortilla chips on the side as a chip n’ dip situation.

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bowl of chili

I could write about this place all day but that would only get your mouth watering. Wipe up the drool and take a trip for yourself. The atmosphere of the cafe is very trendy and just waiting to be snapped and posted on Instagram. They are located at 290 Grove Street, Jersey City! If my words can’t convince you maybe these photos might help.