Preview of Hmong Hat

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Above is a piece that I embroidered that is going to be pieced together to make a Hmong Hat. It’s been a while since I did any type of embroidery and I’m excited to see how the hat turns out.

I am pretty sure that I held a needle before I held a pencil. My grandmother handed me a needle, thread, and scrap piece of fabric when I was three. Sitting next to my grandma near a big window for natural light, I would practice my stitches. In hindsight it was probably her way of getting me to sit down and not run around and get into trouble.

Thread tension was one of things that took me a while to get a hold of. If it’s too tight the fabric will pucker so it’s best if the same amount of tension is used throughout the fabric.  It took me years before I made something that was worth keeping.

In the piece above the stitches are linear and not actual cross stitch. This pattern is pretty simple so maybe I’ll make myself more than one hat. It’s honestly more cost effective to buy a hat, but I love looking at something and trying to figure out how to make it myself. Can’t wait to show everyone the finished product.

Antelope Valley Poppy Fields

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It’s finally Spring Break! I’ve been counting down for a while and to start off my Spring Bring, I took a last minute mini road trip to Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve.
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When we went one of the trails was closed off and that seemed like it lead to where most of the poppies were blooming. For parking you have to pay $10 for the day and I would advise to get there early as the parking lot fills up pretty fast.  A field of flowers gives me the excuse to do a bunch of yoga poses! Above my cousin and I are in Dancer’s pose. This is one of my favorite poses and I can’t wait to get my leg higher and go into the full expression of Dancer’s Pose. Maybe I need to get a strap.
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Some parts of the reserve are a little barren and have very few poppies as you can see in this picture while I’m in three legged dog. It was super windy the day I went so I wasn’t able to finish all the trails which was a little disappointing. The wind increased the chill factor! Wind is pretty common here so I would recommend dressing according. A lot of people didn’t stay that long due to the wind.
The trails range from easy, moderate, to difficult. One trail was a little step, but there is one paved path that is wheelchair accessible. The paved path is about 4 feet wide and there is one turn around point.
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Tip: There are more poppies and less people outside of the reserve.  In the photo above I was trying my best to smile in the wind.
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We stopped for lunch in Lancaster and took a moment to try out the Musical Road. The road has sets of grooves on it so when you drive over the groove at 55 mph it sounds like William Tell Overture.  It’s a cute little hidden gem and worth checking out while looking at poppies.

Pink Adidas NMD_R1 Rerelease!

Every time I see these shoes, I’m like those belong on my feet. Honestly, it’s a little silly since I usually workout barefoot on a yoga mat or if I do wear shoes I fold my yoga mat over so I don’t shred the mat. Even then, I’m against wearing shoes on my carpet so I either wear indoor workout shoes or opt to go barefoot. Yet I find reasons to justify my purchase. They are pink. They will look cute with my leggings. They are mine.
Adidas is going to rerelease a couple of their shoes and tonight the shoes that I have been eyeing can possibly be mine. The shoes are going to be available at 3 AM EST or 12 AM PST. Hurry! Run! Don’t Wait!
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Above is the NMD_R1  in Sun Glow/Running White. According to the Adidas website, the shoes,”Is the look of the past inspiring the future. NMD’s innovative look pays tribute to adidas’ collective memory while boldly experimenting with new shapes, angles and materials. A sock-like stretch mesh upper gives these women’s shoes a close, contoured fit. The energy-returning power of boost™ combined with distinctive EVA heel plugs helps keep steps soft and light. A glow-in-the-dark rubber outsole adds a flash of style at night.” The difference between Sun Glow and Vapor pink is the material of the lining. Sun Glow has breathable mesh lining while Vapor Pink has a knit lining.

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Above is the NMD_R1 in Vapor Pink/Running White. The knit version is described as,  “a unique combination of shapes, angles and materials, the NMD_R1 shoes pay homage to adidas innovation. Modern design concepts and bold archival details combine with the responsive power of boost™. These women’s shoes have a sock-like stretch mesh upper for a comfortable feel.”

I can’t wait to unbox these! Let me know which one is your favorite!


Nars Impassioned Blush Swatches and Review

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Today I picked up a new blush at Sephora. I’ve been looking for a matte pink blush for a while but I couldn’t decide between NARS Impassioned or NARS Threesome. Sadly Fresno lacks a Nordstrom so I couldn’t compare the two side by side so I decided to buy Impassioned and wait to buy Threesome. NARS sure has some awkward names for their shades but I’ve never had one that I disliked. 
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NARS Impassioned is described as a “rich orchid” and is $30 USD for 0.16 oz. It is a muted rose color with neutral to warm tones. In my head, I envision Threesome to be more cool toned and a tad bit lighter so that can justify another blush purchase right? Stocking up on light matte blushes wouldn’t hurt anyone. I like to lightly layer a pale matte blush over a cream blush to create a water color effect.
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Please excuse my chipped nails, I was testing out a Dior nail polish and gel top coat. Both didn’t last very long since I’m pretty rough with hands. I have the blush watched on the left and blended out on the right of my arm. This is part of the permanent range of blushes but Threesome is a Nordstrom exclusive and limited edition. So I can’t wait too long before I add that one to my collection.  The formula is soft and finally milled. I was worried that it might be a little powdery since it was so matte but on the skin it doesn’t appear to powdery. 
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This is a versatile blush color that I would wear everyday. I think it would be harder to pull off if you are more of a medium to deep complexion.  The formula is easy to blend and easy to sheer out if you prefer a less pigmented look. There isn’t a huge wow factor to the blush but it’s nice addition to my collection. 

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Jung Saem Mool Corrector Palette

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This year a lot of color correcting products were released. I was a little late to the color correcting craze, and recently decided to buy a color correcting palette. I was torn between buying all of the Urban Decay Naked Skin Color Correcting Fluids or a color correcting palette like the Stila Color Correcting Palette. Cream formulas are stickier and cling to the skin longer than liquid formulas. This caused me to lean towards the palette from Stila, but there was something that held me back from committing.
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Jung Saem Mool is a famous South Korean makeup artist with her own channel on Youtube. She released her own makeup line last year and I have yet to try any of her makeup. Adding another layer of makeup intimidates me what if it’s too much? I dropped the idea of purchasing from Urban Decay and Stila to try out something from a makeup artist that is known for being able to enhance natural beauty without looking overdone.

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Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance Palette Swatches

This palette is perfect for fall with the burgundy tones. The neutrals would help tone down and blend out the burgundy for a very wearable everyday look. I can’t wait to pair it with a gradient burgundy lip.
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I love the suede packaging, it reminds me of my first Naked palette. There are a total of 14 finely milled eyeshadows with warm neutrals and pops of berry. Anastasia Beverly Hills is improving their eyeshadow formula and I’m tempted to the Master Class by Mario palette as well. I’m supposed to saving for the relaunch of Too Faced Sweet Peach Palette…
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Top:  Tempura, Golden Ochre, Vermeer, Buon Fresco, Antique Bronze, Love Letter & Cyprus Umber
Bottom: Raw Sienna, Burnt Orange, Primavera, Red Ochre, Venetian Red, Warm Taupe & Realgar


Urban Decay Full Spectrum Palette Swatches

Shifting from mermaids to unicorns, this palette is that I wished the Urban Spectrum Palette to be. There are three rows each with seven eyeshadows organized  in a rainbow fashion. 21 Urban Decay Eyeshadows are showcased against a shiny black case.

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I can see it used with a trio of like colors vertically or even a full on rainbow eye with an entire row. As someone who usually gravitates towards natural eyeshadows, this will be fun addition to my makeup collection. 
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I love that it has a hinged lid with a huge mirror. One of the reasons why I didn’t purchase the Urban Spectrum Palette was due to the lack of a hinge. This palette is more travel friendly than the Urban Spectrum Palette as well, but I personally wouldn’t travel with this palette.

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Swatches: Alchemy, Warning, Midnight Blaze, Hundred, Minx, Delirious, & Platonic
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Swatches: Gossip, Seize, Calavera, Hatter, Blindsided, Sketch, & Iced
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Swatches: Paranoia, Jones, Goldmine, Mean, Metamorphosis, Faced & Bump

Bye Bye Bay

Last weekend, I decided to check out two set of mosaic tiled stairs in San Francisco- The Hidden Garden Steps and the 16th Avenue Steps. Both set of stairs are community projects set in the Golden Gate Heights neighborhood.  
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I prefer the art on the 16th Avenue Steps more but the Hidden Garden Steps weren’t as populated. I would recommend parking by the Hidden Garden Steps and working your way up to the 16th Avenue Steps. You could continue up to Grand View park or work your way back down. 
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Personally, I would admit that I dread running and avoid it. Pilates, yoga, hiking, anything but running. Stairs are a nice alternative and a good warm up workout. If only Fresno had a hidden gem like this…

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The Hidden Garden Steps, sister of the 16th Ave Steps, are less populated and it’s easier to take pictures and to enjoy. I would recommend climbing both set of stairs early in the morning to avoid the crowd.

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As of today, I end my short chapter in the Bay Area. I spent two years teaching high school in East Oakland, two long but valuable years. Two years that I will always hold near and dear to my heart. My students taught me about love, resilience, and passion. 
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I’ll miss my students. I’ll miss the weather and being able to wear sweaters year round. I’ll miss the food. It finally hit me when I started to unpack, that I’m no longer in the Bay. I’ve been a little emotional lately with missing all the good things that I had and scared of the future. It’s been a good two years, but it’s time to say good bye. 
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This isn’t good bye forever, but goodbye for now. 

Burma Superstar

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 Sometimes I get tired of eating sushi or pho. I’m rarely adventurous but a nice alternative is Burmese food. Burmese cuisine is influenced by the neighboring countries- India, China, Laos and Thailand. The dishes are flavorful and unique.

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Out of all the Burma Superstars that I’ve tried in the Bay, the one in Alameda is my favorite. The atmosphere is cozy, the lines are shorter, and the food is great. We got Burmese Samusas to share and each ordered our own dish.  The dishes are big enough to split one between two! I would highly recommend ordering their coconut rice as well.

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My dish was the chicken kebat. The chicken was moist and it wasn’t too spicy.  I can’t wait to try making this myself at home.

Visiting Connie

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Last weekend was a little departure from a carefully planned routine weekend. A weekend that I needed, to break the cycle of keeping myself locked up in my apartment. So I braved Bay Area traffic, and drove directly to Santa Maria after work. 

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H&M Crop Top  XS (old)  &  American Eagle Hi-Rise Shorts 00
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A boat, a raft, and lots of laughs

Let’s just say that I am the opposite of a thrill seeker. I cling to my planner and plan my life for fun. So pushing myself to do slightly dangerous things takes a lot out of me.  I tried rafting for the first and probably the last time. I’d rather just sit on a boat and lounge around than actually go in the in the water…
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After spending Saturday at Lopez Lake, we decided to have a quick stop at the beach before I make my trek back to the Bay. Montana de Oro is secluded and serene, perfect for a picnic for two. Personally, I would pick a cute spot on the bluffs and read a book alone.