How to Create a Flat Lay Background

FlatlayDIY How to Create a Flat Lay Background DIY
I got bored of using my desk and bedsheets as my flat lay background. So I decided to create my own flat lay backgrounds to switch it up a bit. This is a pretty project to do! I would recommend grabbing a partner though as contact paper is super spiky and you don’t want to have any mishaps.

Materials:: 

Contact Paper
Foam Poster Paper
Credit Card or Gift Card
Scissors

Steps:: 

1. Cut contact paper to size. I leave excess so that I can wrap it around the back but that is optional. If you want to make a two sided board you can cut it exact so you can use the other side as well. That is more difficult so I opted with one-sided backgrounds.
2. Peel backing off and carefully place on top of the surface.
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3. Use the card to smooth out air bubbles. Go in one direction!!!
4. Flip the board over and press down the excess.
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I ended up making 4! I can’t wait to use them. Thank you for reading.

What to buy During Nordstrom’s Triple Point Days

Nordstrom’s Triple Point Days::

From May 3-7 Nordstrom Rewards Members and cardholders earn 3X the points on net purchases made in stores or online at Nordstrom, Nordstrom Rack and Hautelook. Mother’s day is just around the corner so pick up a gift while shopping for yourself.

Candles::

Right now my favorite candle is Baies by Diptyque. It’s quite a splurge for me but I adore the packaging and the scent. I have a dull nose so I opt for stronger candles that I can actually smell. Diptyque candles have a strong throw and the scent can fill up a large room Baies features the scent of a bouquet of roses and blackcurrant leaves. Rose scented candles with a little something extra are the type of candles that I adore. There are three things that make me happy: roses, wine, and makeup. Plus the packaging is beautiful and when the wax is all used up the container can be used to store makeup brushes.

_6588595 What to buy During Nordstrom's Triple Point Days ACCESSORIES MAKEUP
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Other scents that I would recommend:
_6588614 What to buy During Nordstrom's Triple Point Days ACCESSORIES MAKEUP
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show?id=3YpKoERaXDM&bids=357944 What to buy During Nordstrom's Triple Point Days ACCESSORIES MAKEUP
_6588608 What to buy During Nordstrom's Triple Point Days ACCESSORIES MAKEUP
show?id=3YpKoERaXDM&bids=357944 What to buy During Nordstrom's Triple Point Days ACCESSORIES MAKEUP

Makeup::

I recently bought NARS blush in Impassioned as seen in this post and would pick up the shade Threesome. Light matte blushes layered over cream blushes give off a watercolor effect seen on a lot of Kpop artists.
_100471535 What to buy During Nordstrom's Triple Point Days ACCESSORIES MAKEUP
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Accessories::

For handbags I tend to opt for a saffiano leather because they are easier to take care of and scratch resistant. I’m a bit rough with my handbags. I currently love my clutch from Rebecca Minkoff featured in my outfit post here.
_100479065 What to buy During Nordstrom's Triple Point Days ACCESSORIES MAKEUP
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Ballet Slippers:: Pastels & Tutus

Pastel26Tutus Ballet Slippers:: Pastels & Tutus OUTFITS
This outfit consists of a long sleeve top with a tulle skirt. Since it made me feel like a ballerina, I took pictures in my satin ballet slippers. Gives me an excuse to take them out outside of my barre exercises. I love how this clutch is shaped like an envelope! The zipper edging adds additional texture to the outfit. The tulle and satin balances out the edgy cutout top and zippered clutch. Feminine with a dash of spice just how I like it.
Pastels26Tutus2 Ballet Slippers:: Pastels & Tutus OUTFITS
 Outfit: Long Sleeve Top (Sold out) One Size, Tulle Skirt S, Clutch & Ballet Slippers
Pastels26Tutus3 Ballet Slippers:: Pastels & Tutus OUTFITS

Since I moved back to Fresno, I enjoy finding cute spots for pictures. This a bike tunnel that is part of the  Old Town Clovis Trail off of Clovis and San Jose. What are some other hidden gems in the Fresno/Clovis area?

Pastels26Tutus4 Ballet Slippers:: Pastels & Tutus OUTFITS

 

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Stay tuned for more outfit posts. Thank you for reading!

:Photography: Victoria Chang

Sneak Peak:: Mikasa Brush First Impressions

MikasaEyeEssentials Sneak Peak:: Mikasa Brush First Impressions MAKEUP

My package from Mikasa Beauty just arrived from Canada! This a relatively new brand that reached out to me to offer my readers a 25% off discount code. The brushes arrived about a week after I ordered and each brush was packed in individual boxes.

Pictured above is the Complete Eye Set that consist of ten brushes:

  • 1 of Mikasa E100 – Angled Liner Brush
  • 1 of Mikasa E110 – Eye Liner Brush
  • 1 of Mikasa E200 – Angled Shadow Brush
  • 1 of Mikasa E230 – Eye Shader Brush
  • 1 of Mikasa E240 – Short Eye Shader Brush
  • 1 of Mikasa E300 – Blending Brush
  • 1 of Mikasa E310 – Pencil Brush
  • 1 of Mikasa E320 – Tapered Blending Brush
  • 1 of Mikasa E330 – Large Blending Brush
  • 1 of Mikasa E400 – Double Ended Brow Brushes

 

Mikasa Brushes are comparable to brushes from M.A.C. and have a hard time saying no to trying out makeup brushes. Personally, I tend to lean towards MORPHE because of the affordability. I’m kinda bad and buy multiples of the same brush so I can hold off on washing my brushes. I’m not known for my minimalist tendencies.

I am still playing around with brushes so that I can give an in-depth review on each brush. So far I like how soft the brushes feel on my skin and the simplicity of the design.I have a feeling that I will be reaching for these brushes often.

If interested in purchasing brushes, you can use my affiliate code CAROLCHANG25 at the checkout for 25% off.Thank you for reading and stay tuned for a complete review.

My Trick to Scoring 6 Cronuts Without Waiting in Line & Other Food Finds in NYC

Cronut2 My Trick to Scoring 6 Cronuts Without Waiting in Line & Other Food Finds in NYC TRAVEL

Dominique Ansel 

189 Spring St, New York, NY 10012 |  (212) 219-2773
Dominique Ansel is a world famous pastry chef that created the Cronut! Image a croissant and a donut having a baby. There is usually a line out the door of the bakery in SoHo and I wanted to guarantee that I would be able to grab one during my short trip to NYC. I usually base my travel itinerary around 2 things: food and picturesque locations.
Just a tip: there is a strict 2 cronut limit per person and they usually sell out before 11 A.M. However there is a way to ensure that you get the delectable pastry in your tummy by preordering! Pre-orders have to made 2 weeks in advance and you get a box of 6 cronuts. A lot of locals were extremely envious of my huge box of cronuts.
Cronut1 My Trick to Scoring 6 Cronuts Without Waiting in Line & Other Food Finds in NYC TRAVEL
Only 1 flavor is released every month and April’s flavor is blood orange cream almond cream!  I love the little garnish on top of the glaze. In the picture below you can see the cream oozing out of the cronut. Now that I’m back in Cali all I want are cronuts but I won’t be satiated by just any cronut out there.
Cronut My Trick to Scoring 6 Cronuts Without Waiting in Line & Other Food Finds in NYC TRAVEL
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Alphafusion1 My Trick to Scoring 6 Cronuts Without Waiting in Line & Other Food Finds in NYC TRAVEL

Alpha Fusion

365 W 34th St, New York, NY 10001| (212) 279-8887

I love trying Asian Fusion Food and Alpha fusion was just the right pick. Pictured above is a sushi pizza topped with spicy tuna, seaweed salad, avocado, jalapeño, peanuts, and fish egg with spicy aioli. Salmon can be added on for an extra charge.
SushiPizza2 My Trick to Scoring 6 Cronuts Without Waiting in Line & Other Food Finds in NYC TRAVEL

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AlphaFusion My Trick to Scoring 6 Cronuts Without Waiting in Line & Other Food Finds in NYC TRAVEL
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PiggyBuns My Trick to Scoring 6 Cronuts Without Waiting in Line & Other Food Finds in NYC TRAVEL

Joy Luck Palace

98 Mott St, New York, NY 10013 | (212) 219-2828

At Joy Luck Palace, I was thrown off by the communal seating but rewarded with great tasting dimsum. It was also a nice treat to have a couple of them in cute animal shapes. The piggy bun is filled with custard while the bunny bun is filled with a red bean paste. They were so adorable! I hesitated a little bit before eating them.
BunnyBuns My Trick to Scoring 6 Cronuts Without Waiting in Line & Other Food Finds in NYC TRAVEL
The next time I go to NYC, I’m going to take more days to fully enjoy more food the city has to offer. Thank you for reading!

Hmong Outfit:: Batik & Silver

km-03271 Hmong Outfit:: Batik & Silver DIY OUTFITS
This outfit post showcases the first Hmong outfit that I made by myself. Growing up my mom would sew me outfits and this year she was diagnosed with carpal tunnel. This made it difficult for her to hold a needle and made me realize it was time for me to learn. For a month my cousins and sister would meet at my house and learn from my mom so that we would have matching outfits for Hmong New Year.
All of the Hmong clothes that my mom and grandma have made me will become part of my dowry when I get married. I always joke that I will have to make multiple trips because I have too much stuff. In fact the plastic container that stores all my Hmong clothes needs to replaced because it’s too full.
km-03249 Hmong Outfit:: Batik & Silver DIY OUTFITS

For the outfit I made everything except the skirt, necklace, and silver belt or siv. I was inspired by Batik for this outfit and incorporated Batik print throughout the outfit. Paired with a white skirt the focus is on the batik. Batik is a resist dye technique where wax is applied to the fabric in a design and then dyed with indigo. After the dye, the wax is removed and a white design is left behind. This is typically done on yards of fabric then pleated with hundreds of accordion pleats onto a skirt. Instead of usually actual batik, I used a fabric that had a batik print. I am still in the search for my very own batik skirt though.

Rosely took beautiful shots of the outfit! I posted a couple of my favorites. Stay tuned for tutorials on pattern drafting for a fitted Hmong shirt and for a traditional Hmong shirt. Let me now in the comments if you want additional tutorials on how to make Hmong clothes.

km-03200 Hmong Outfit:: Batik & Silver DIY OUTFITS
km-03204 Hmong Outfit:: Batik & Silver DIY OUTFITS

 

km-03208 Hmong Outfit:: Batik & Silver DIY OUTFITS

 

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km-03280 Hmong Outfit:: Batik & Silver DIY OUTFITS

 

km-03241 Hmong Outfit:: Batik & Silver DIY OUTFITS

Please like, share, and follow for more sewing posts. Thank you for reading!

Photography by:: ROSELY VUE PHOTOGRAPHY
Email her at roselyv09@gmail.com or direct message her Facebook for booking information.

Black and White:: Sweater & Scalloped Hems

File_001 Black and White:: Sweater & Scalloped Hems OUTFITS
Happy Monday everyone! Recently I’ve been into styling monochromatic outfits. I feel as if black and white is a classy yet difficult to style. By mixing different textures and structural elements, the outfit has some unique elements. I love this scalloped skirt and added a leather jacket to make the look more edgy. While I was walking around New York I was stopped and questioned multiple times about whether or not I was cold.
File_002 Black and White:: Sweater & Scalloped Hems OUTFITS
Outfit Details: Top Loft Sweater XS (Old), Express Vegan Leather Jacket XS(Old), Topshop Scalloped Skirt 00 (Old), Old Navy Scarf, and Steve Madden Sandals.
File_003 Black and White:: Sweater & Scalloped Hems OUTFITS
File_000 Black and White:: Sweater & Scalloped Hems OUTFITS

Stay tuned for a travel tips and my foodie adventure in New York City!

 Thank you so much for reading.

 

Photography:: Victoria Chang

How I Layer my Skincare

DSC_0141 How I Layer my Skincare MAKEUP SKINCARE
Before I get into how I layer my skincare products, here are some general skincare tips:
1. Wear sunscreen every day and don’t forget to reapply.
2. Make sure to remove all traces of makeup every night.
3. Drink a lot of water.
4. Don’t forget your neck!
I believe that preventative skincare is essential to stop signs of aging. My skin is combination dry and sensitive. Over the years, I have tried several products and ruled out certain ingredients that my skin does not agree with. One of the things that I struggled with was reducing my pore size and not being able to use products with witch hazel. Most products that claim to help reduce pores contain witch hazel. My work around is drinking lots of water and making sure that I layer my skin products and giving time for the products to soak in.

Evening Skincare::

Layering%2BSkincare%2B1 How I Layer my Skincare MAKEUP SKINCARE

Step 1: Makeup Remover 
My evening routine starts off with removing makeup. If I am wearing a full face of makeup, I cleanse my face first with a cleansing oil and then a second time with a cleanser. Then I go back with a q-tip dipped in a dual phase makeup remover and remove any leftover mascara on my lashes. This is to ensure that I remove all traces of makeup especially since I usually use a waterproof mascara.

Step 2: Cleanse
I usually use a lightly foaming cleanser that I dispense on my Clarisonic.

Optional Step: Mask


Step 3: Toner/Softener
After I lightly pat my skin dry, I use one pump of my lotion toner that is alcohol-free. This step makes my skin more receptive to absorbing the rest of my skincare. Most American toners contain alcohol and tighten pores while Asian toners are typically called softeners that prep pores for more moisturizers.

Step 4: Eye Cream
At night, I use a richer anti-aging eye cream that I apply gently with my ring fingers.

Step 5: Essence
I pour my essence directly into my hands and pat it on my face- cheeks, forehead and chin, and lastly on my neck using upward motions.

Step 6: Serum
I use a serum that boosts the effectiveness of the ingredients subsequently applied skincare. If my skin is dry I also apply a moisturizing serum.

Step 7: Spot Corrector
I apply this where I have hyperpigmentation/scarring.

Step 8: Night Cream 
Finish off with a night cream.

Morning Skincare::

Layering%2BSkincare How I Layer my Skincare MAKEUP SKINCARE
Step 1: Exfoliate
In the morning I splash my face with warm water and exfoliate. I use a gentle enzyme peel that is in powder form when dry and when wet it forms a foamy lather.
Step 2:Toner/Softener
Prepping skin to absorb the rest of my skincare products.
Step 3: Essence
Step 4: Eye Cream
In the morning, I use a lighter brightening eye cream.
Step 5: Serum
Step 6: Spot Corrector
Step 7: Emulsion
An emulsion is like a pre-moisturizer. If you have oily skin this is the only moisturizing step you will need, if you have dry I would recommend layering two moisturizers afterward.
Step 8: Moisturizer
I apply a brightening light moisturizer.
Step 9: Cream
Creams are thicker than moisturizers and usually come in a jar. This step can be skipped but if you have dry skin like I do then it helps add another layer of moisture. I only apply this to where I am dry and avoid spots where I get oily like my t-zone.
 
Step 10: Sunscreen
One of the most important steps!  

:Holy Grail Skincare Products:

 

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Sometimes I Just Want to be a Unicorn

UnicornFrappuccino2 Sometimes I Just Want to be a Unicorn TRAVEL

2017 seems to be dominated my unicorn themed everything. Personally this makes me extremely happy as I love unicorns. People are finally discovering the beauty of a unicorn. A mythical creature associated with rainbows and glitter.

When Starbucks announced that they were going to release a Unicorn Frappuccino, I was thrilled and drove to the nearest Starbucks… a little to early. The unicorn themed frappuccino is available from April 19-23rd. After waiting a few more days, I went to Starbucks again on the release day and got my own to try. I don’t know how I feel about it. The drink is beautiful with enough sugar to kick start my early journey to diabetes heaven yet I was left disappointed. I wanted magic, rainbows, and glitter.

Below is Starbucks’ description of the frappuccino:
“The flavor-changing, color-changing, totally not-made-up Unicorn Frappuccino. Magical flavors start off sweet and fruity transforming to pleasantly sour. Swirl it to reveal a color-changing spectacle of purple and pink. It’s finished with whipped cream-sprinkled pink and blue fairy powders.”

Even though I didn’t enjoy it as much as I would have liked to, it’s worth to try at least once. My cousins went the day after I did and most of the Starbucks were already sold out of the ingredients, but they managed to hunt one down.

UnicornMacaron Sometimes I Just Want to be a Unicorn TRAVEL
While I was disappointed by my Unicorn Frappuccino, I was elated to find that there is a place in Fresno that sells Unicorn Macarons. Sweet Lyfe Boba Bar located by Fresno State sells them for $2.50. They pair well with the unicorn themed boba drinks and are so cute to hold. Much cuter than my attempt at making unicorn donuts a couple of months of ago.
While I failed at making unicorn donuts, I managed to be successful at making unicorn noodles. Pictured below is the unicorn bowl that assembled without the miso beet sauce.
UnicornNoodles Sometimes I Just Want to be a Unicorn TRAVEL
Finding unicorn themed recipe and food perks up my day to day life and I can’t wait to find more. Let me know if you have any recommendations.

 

Sneak Peek: Completing my First Hmong Outfit

File_000-1 Sneak Peek: Completing my First Hmong Outfit DIY OUTFITS
I’ve been trying to wait for all of my photos to be edited, but I really wanted to share this picture with everyone. Growing up I cross-stitched and would help my mom sew, and I figured that now would be a good time to learn how to sew an entire outfit. This outfit was made with a traditional shirt, and a shortened apron (sev). I paired it with a traditional white skirt with a shortened length and kept the accessories minimal as well to focus on the printed batik fabric.
I can’t wait to show everyone more pictures. Please follow for more updates! I’ll probably draft a traditional Hmong shirt pattern next. There have been a lot of requests for tutorials so when I have a more free time, I’ll film a tutorial of my other Hmong hat.
Pictures were taken by Rosely Vue Photography. Check her page out and message her for details.