Friday, November 29, 2013

My Only (Few) Wishes This Year

I hope all of you had a restful and blessed Thanksgiving! Now, it's almost December, meaning that Christmas is coming up soon! That being said, I decided to make a wish list because it's an easy way to tell certain people what I want without telling them *ahem, cough cough*

Haha, I'm just kidding. But I did create this to mostly remind myself what I do still need (want) for myself. There are a couple other things I'd like, but this is my main list.

From the top-left going down through the columns:

Army Green Double-Breasted Coat: currently on sale $29.95 // H&M
I have like three coats: two black, one red. The two black ones are faded and the red one fits me weird. I've also had all three of these coats since my freshman and sophomore years of high school, so a new coat is a little fitting, right? (Get it? haha). I also want a coat that could potentially be longer on me so I can wear it as a trench. I'm short so this isn't so hard to accomplish. This coat looks thick and the right length for me, so I'm aiming for this one or one like this!

Corduroy Skinnies: $34.94 // Old Navy
I think I definitely have enough jeans, but sometimes they're too uncomfortable for me and I want something different, whether the color, texture, or both. I also just feel like corduroys make you automatically look more comfortable, except they are more acceptable to wear out than leggings.

Fuzzy Cable Knit Sweater: $15.80 // Forever 21
I need more layering pieces! I also need some more plain sweaters like this one to wear comfortably, whether at home or out with friends. A friend of mine just gave me a black one she didn't like anymore, and I just noticed how many dark pieces of clothing I have in my closet. Forever 21 also makes this sweater really cheap.

Black Maxi Skirt: currently on sale $14.97 // Cotton On
I love skirts and dresses, and while I currently have one maxi skirt already, it's more of a tribal print that seems more appropriate for summer. I just like having neutral versions of any piece I have in my closet. Cotton On is also my favorite store, ever!

Black Crop Top: $17 // Foreign Exchange
I don't currently own any crop tops, but I want one because I like the effect of wearing it with something high-waisted (which are all of my skirts/most of my shorts). I simply chose this one because it is really simple but has cut-outs on the shoulders. I actually don't mind if it isn't black, but I chose it for this specific style. It can be printed or another look, but for the sake of this post, I'll show this simple, but notable one.

Lace-Up Boots: currently on sale $36 // Cathy Jean
My last pair of lace-up boots were from Forever 21 that I had for a couple years, but my dad threw them out over the summer because the soles of the shoes were coming apart, and I couldn't even wear them in the rain anymore because water would seep through. Since then, I've been wanting a new pair to replace those ones, and I like these ones.

Wooden Crate: currently on sale $14 // Typo
You're probably wondering why there is a random wooden crate on my wish list. Well, I'm always trying to find ways to reorganize my things, and a wooden crate would help store some stuff near my desk, and another one could also help organize all the food my roommates and I have on top of our fridge! We always like to stay stocked on food, but sometimes it looks really messy and it blocks our tv, so having a wooden crate to store all that would be nice and make our room look less cluttered.

Canvas Satchel: $108 // Anthropologie
This is definitely the most expensive item on this list by far, but that's why it's a wish list, right?
Anthropologie is one of my dream stores to shop at, simply because their home furnishings and clothes are just exactly everything I would want in my life. As you can tell from the price of this really nice bag, the prices aren't exactly in my range. I remember looking at baby clothes from there once, and a dress for a baby girl was 78 dollars. Really?! That is waaaaay too much for a baby dress. But anyway, that is beside the point. I own a couple large tote bags, one really small one that can't even hold my wallet, and the one that I use all. the. time. It's time to change it up with the size and style, so why not want myself a satchel?

RGB Oxblood Nail Polish: $18 // Otte
I actually put this on my wish list to represent the fact that I am currently obsessed with the color oxblood! It's a really deep red that looks maroon-ish. I'm not sure why I like it so much, but I would love getting anything in this color, whether it be a bag, shoes, pants, a hat--anything!

So that is it! I'm hoping that I'm able to get something like these things on my list for myself or for Christmas sometime during the next month.

What do you want for Christmas this year? (If you're my friend and you're reading this, I'm seriously asking hahaha)


Thursday, November 28, 2013

To Be Thankful


Happy Thanksgiving! We all have more reasons to be thankful every day, and today is the day that we all reflect on those things. I've definitely been thinking about all the things I'm thankful for over the past few weeks or so, just because things have happened in my life that have allowed me to be able to think back and be amazed at where I've come.

I'm thankful to be alive. I'm thankful to be in college. I'm thankful for 2013. It's been a great year. I'm thankful to be able to learn in school and in life. I'm thankful for food (especially food). I'm thankful for my boyfriend. I'm thankful for all the support he gives me in anything that I do. I'm thankful for God's grace. I'm thankful my family. I'm thankful for my roommates. I'm thankful for my church. I'm thankful for so much more than this list can name.

What it means to be thankful: To me, it means to reflect and be grateful for your stance in life at this very moment. Whether you are makin' bank or your family is falling apart, you still somehow find a reason to be thankful to be alive today.

This is a short post, but I hope you find many more reasons to be thankful today. God bless you all.


Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Thanksgiving Fest 2013

This past Sunday, my church held our largest event of the year, which is Thanksgiving Fest! We gave away 400 full turkey dinners to people in the church and around the community--in the process, we filled up our church to its capacity with over 500 people overflowing everywhere, and over 100 people gave their lives to Christ!

Source: Family Church Signal Hill's Facebook
We had over 70 volunteers from church help out with ushering, greeting, giving free haircuts, giving out turkeys, giving out boxes with the makings of a Thanksgiving dinner, and so much more.

I was an usher, so I had to sit people in their seats and engage with them and make them feel welcomed. I had so much fun getting to know these people and hearing little bits and pieces of their stories. I had asked most of these people I'd talked to after the service what they thought, and they all enjoyed it and hoped to come back again next week. I genuinely hope that I get to see them all again soon.

There is such a joy when you get to give back to the community, and it means so much more during the holidays because it shouldn't be a time for people to go hungry or be sad. People should have a good time with their friends and family, wherever they may be. Family Church hoped to relieve some of that by providing a box filled with all the makings of the Thanksgiving dinner: corn, mashed potatoes, gravy, green beans, stuffing, dressing, place mats, and a huge turkey to carry with this box filled with food. Seeing the joy on these people's faces was such a sight to see.

Here, I'll let these pictures speak for themselves [:


Monday, November 25, 2013

Black Friday Prep: Making the Most of It


Thanksgiving is coming up, so that means a break off of school (and usually work), tons of great food, and... Black Friday shopping!

This consumeristic tradition is going on its 6th year with me! I started doing this during my freshman year of high school to experience shopping early in the morning and scoring some great stuff in the process. I've always been one to try and get some great clothes, accessories, anything for a great deal, and people always ask how I do it! Black Friday is one of those reasons.

These tips are what I've learned through personal experience, and while they don't guarantee 100 percent success (since Black Friday is so unpredictable), I hope that they can help make your time easier! 

1. List EVERYTHINGI mentioned in a previous post how much I love lists and how great of a help they are to me. My mind is already so scattered, so creating lists of what I need when I go shopping is therapeutic for me, even if I don't actually take the list with me. I always keep a list of what I think are classic pieces that I need on my phone, so if I'm shopping and run into a great deal for a certain piece, I buy it and cross it off my list. Whether it's listing what you want to buy, where you want to go, or even who you are going to shop for, creating a list helps organize your thoughts and gives you an idea of how much money to bring, what you can afford to buy, and all that good stuff. 

2. Have an idea of what your plan is going to be. Black Friday shopping isn't usually something people decide to on the spur of the moment (especially at 4am that morning), so it is always good to have a general idea of what you are going to do. Are you going to shop right after Thanksgiving dinner, or are you going to wake up at 4am to go shopping? What stores do you plan on shopping at? What do you need and what do you want if there's a good deal or some extra cash? How much money do you plan on spending? Writing this down helps (see tip #1). Keep this in mind when planning:
    • Check store openings! Make sure you know what time they open so you can make sure to get there early.
    • Do you want to shop at a mall or go to stand-alone stores like Best Buy or Target? (As for me, I personally prefer malls).
    • Are you willing to drive to multiple locations? 
    • Are you going to buy gifts or splurge on yourself? (This is an important one). 
    • Be prepared to spend more than you planned. You know it's going to happen when you see that item you just need to have!
3. Now that all being said, HAVE A BACKUP PLAN. Like I said, Black Friday is unpredictable. We've all heard those stories of crazy ladies being trampled on at WalMart or BestBuy on that Friday morning. If that thing you needed (or wanted) to buy is sold out, be prepared to check out another store. If you realize you've spent too much, you're going to have to decide what needs to be returned (and if it can be returned). 

4. Patience. Yeah I know it's easy to get excited then cuss out the person who takes the last parking space in the parking lot right as they're opening the store. Just beware of things like that and know that things aren't going to go your way, as much as you try. (see tip #3). 

5. My final tip for now: Go shopping with a friend! Shopping at 5 o'clock in the morning isn't fun alone, especially when everyone is going crazy and lines are really long. It helps to have a friend to keep you sane and help you out when things change. Plus, they can help keep you company when you're waiting in all those long lines to check out or enter a store. Besides, you can always hang out with them after all the shopping is done! I think they help make the experience fun. Unless you're a control freak and can't stand to have anyone help you. Then please, go by yourself and don't hurt anyone around you. 

Haha, but seriously, have fun with it! Whether it's your first time or tenth time going along for this official start to the Christmas season celebration (as I see it), just have fun and don't sweat the small stuff. You don't want to start the holiday season holding a grudge or getting high blood pressure from Black Friday. It's a fun experience, so just go with it! I hope these tips help you score some great deals and deal with all the madness that comes with Black Friday. Good luck! 


Saturday, November 23, 2013

November BirchBox

I've been so busy this week! I'll write about that in a later post; however, I must say that I've been slowly starting to get into using my November Birchbox that I received earlier this month.

If you don't know what Birchbox is, well it is a (mostly) beauty subscription box, where you can get samples (and sometimes full-sized) products for only $10 a month! There is even a subscription for men!

I subscribed to Birchbox last month so this is my second box. I got my October Birchbox really late in the mail and last month was so busy for me that I wasn't able to write about it! So, I decided to start with this month.


Tuesday, November 19, 2013

This Past Week in Photos

It's been a busy weekend and now it's back to another week. On the plus side, Thanksgiving is next week!

So I haven't posted since last Friday, but that's because I've been so busy prepping for finals and this weekend was just a lot of celebrating, which is obviously not bad. Here are a few photos of some highlights of last week [:




I tried this nail hack I found through Pinterest that was supposed to get rid of all your nail polish with one cotton ball... Can you tell how successful I was? 

Friday, November 15, 2013

Maybe Perfect Isn't so Perfect?

Have you ever had that awkward moment where you ask someone about their significant other and they tell you, "Oh, uhm actually we're not together anymore..."

STORY OF MY LIFE.



Well, this unfortunate situation has happened to me a total of five times now since I've gotten back to school. Unfortunately, it doesn't get any less awkward every time it happens either.

Other than those five people that I have been directly and awkwardly told of their breakups, I've seen and heard of another four couples at my school break up.

While the breakups themselves are tragic, that is not why I have felt so disturbed. It is the fact that I thought ALL of these couples were perfect. Well, at least they looked perfect.

You know exactly what I'm talking about. Those couples that look like they have it all together or at least look like they've solved any problems they may have had, if any. Those couples that post really adorable pictures on Instagram or Facebook or hang out with each other all the time. Those couples where the male seems to be a total gentleman (not that he isn't now) with his girlfriend and they both look so attractive together.

Oh, those couples.

I see couples like that around me all the time. I look at my poor boyfriend and I and think, "Wow, we are so messed up compared to them."

When we're not having fun and laughing with each other like best friends, we're weird, we fight a lot, he gets angry, and I like to cry. He doesn't always like doing things with my friends and I hate that he plays lots of videogames. We're extremely rude to each other. That's the simple, honest truth.

Sometimes I look at those couples around me and think that they probably don't have as many issues or problems as I do in my own relationship. But yet they're broken up and I'm still in a relationship.

I'm not trying to rub my relationship status or someone else's lack of relationship in anyone's face, but all this is just causing me to think. I don't know these people's stories and what they go through, but I guess that for whatever reason, things just don't work out for them.

That all being said, I'm brought back to the thought of the amazing grace that saves me every single day. I am humbled to know that it is only by grace that I can be where I am today because I have so many issues and don't deserve what I have. But then again, who does?

I guess looking perfect most definitely doesn't mean perfect. It's a difficult concept to wrap my mind around, that maybe those people that look perfect together may not end up being so.

I talked to my New Testament professor about this post after class yesterday, and I asked her opinion on it. She basically told me that I don't need to compare my relationship to others and that I shouldn't. Society gives us a standard that we feel like we need to follow but who's to say I'm doing things wrong and that someone else is doing their relationship right?

I'm trying to say that as long as no one is being abused or battered in any way, shape, or form, and as long as you both aren't trying to live as a "perfect" couple, than I guess that means you're alright. Just keep doing what you're doing and growing they way you are and you'll achieve satisfaction, not perfection.


Wednesday, November 13, 2013

HUGE Elf Haul!

I don't wear much makeup daily, but that doesn't mean that I don't enjoy it! Last week, I got a package in the mail for a huge order of Elf Cosmetics that I got in the mail! If you don't know what Elf stands for, it's EyesLipsFace. It is one of the cheapest, but still great quality makeup brands out there.


I decided to buy a whole bunch of stuff, plus the 100-piece eyeshadow set for free if you entered in a coupon code. 

So what did I get? 








  • Elf Essentials Professional Complete Set of 12 Brushes // $12 // They consist of:
    • Eyelash Brow & Wand, Smudge Eye Sponge, Defining Eye Brush, Blending Eye Brush, Eyeshadow Brush, Lip Defining Brush, Concealer Brush, Eyeliner Brush, Brow Comb and Brush, Foundation Brush, Bronzing Brush, Total Face Brush

Last but not least, I got the Elf Everyday Eyeshadow Palette (not currently for sale). If you want it, use the coupon code BDAYFREE on purchases $15 and over.

I'm so excited to get into using all of these products and try out some makeup looks with them!

What do you need in your makeup collection?


Monday, November 11, 2013

Fall Giveaway With AR! (CLOSED)

Fall means that it's time to bundle up and be cozy! This post is extra special because I'm doing a giveaway collaboration with my lovely friend Adriana over at With Love, AR which is good news for you guys! Giveaway = FREE STUFF!

Enter to win this scarf and beanie!
SPONSORS:
Kriselle @ Livin' and Lovin' // Adriana @ With Love, AR

We were talking one day and decided that we wanted to do a giveaway together to celebrate the coming of fall. Check us out as we talk about the giveaway on Youtube here. As a result, we're giving away a sea green colored scarf and a golden-studded gray beanie to one lucky winner! We love our readers so much that we bought these with our own money! Just enter through the giveaway below and you'll be entered to win! The giveaway will end on Monday, November 18th at midnight Pacific Standard Time. Unfortunately, this giveaway is only currently available to residents of the US and Canada.

Both the beanie and scarf are from Target, and we both chose items that we would like for ourselves if we weren't doing a giveaway. So we both love the pieces and hope that you do as well! Good luck, and happy entering! [:

a Rafflecopter giveaway




Saturday, November 9, 2013

God is a Little Crazy... Isn't It Great?

There are so many days that I feel like I'm a terrible Christian and that I cannot comprehend why God loves me and blesses me in all the ways that he does.

This past week, the Holy Spirit slapped me in the face and reminded me that I'm not alone.

I've just been learning a lot about myself and the Holy Spirit lately, and it's really cool, actually. Earlier this week and even last week, he'd been pushing me to invest in a new study Bible, and I finally did. It's coming in next week, so I'm excited to dive back into the Word and have a Bible with all the notes and trivia that I love. Yay! 

Another thing is that I've loved getting to know my friend, Hilary, lately. She works in Orange County, so on Thursday nights when there's worship practice, I carpool with her home and back to the OC the next morning. These car rides have allowed for lots of time to talk and get to know each other. I've really enjoyed being able to spend this time with her and just get to know her in general. I've loved getting to know bits and pieces of her story throughout the weeks, and she's become a really great girlfriend, and I can't wait to get to know her better [: Shout-out to you, Hilary! 

I think the craziest thing of all started in choir recently. Before we started rehearsing for our choir festival we were going to be performing at and my choir director wanted to take prayer requests. I didn't think there was anything that I felt needed to be prayed for, but once she started praying over everyone's prayer requests, after praying over a girl's sister who had been depressed and suicidal, I lost it. 

I started bawling my eyes out, and I didn't know why. I actually still am not completely sure why, even now. I was depressed back in high school and definitely did not feel that way now. As my choir director kept praying, I just kept crying to myself, even as we went into a time of worship. I felt a great sense of peace and calmed down a bit until after choir. I felt the Holy Spirit telling me to check my mailbox even though I didn't know why, but I did. There was no mail, but when I turned around, one of my good friends, Jacob, was standing there and asking how I was. As I started to tell him, I also started tearing up again. I began telling him through sniffles and tears about all the stress of school and life hitting me and he was just there, listening and encouraging me. He prayed for me before he headed off to work, and I once again felt at peace. I couldn't believe what God had so blatantly done in my life right then and there. It's true that a genuine desire to draw near to God will draw him near to you. I ran into my friends Kaciny and Sierra later and took a few pictures for them before they asked me the same question and I responded in the same way--in tears. I couldn't believe how emotional I was being, but I felt a sense of relief in releasing all those tears (and fears) to people I trusted. 

God is so good, and I mean those words with every bit of my being. He knows exactly what he's doing, even if you think he's crazy. Shoot, I know I think he's crazy sometimes. Regardless of it all, God is just so much more amazing and awe-inspiring than we could ever even comprehend. And you know what? I'm okay with that. At least I know that I'll be taken care of. 

How's God been working in you lately? I love hearing stories. Email me, if you'd like at: kriselle@livinandlovin.com. 

I hope that you are encouraged and that God bless you.


Friday, November 8, 2013

Hello, Upgrade!

Talk about a facelift! If you've been following my blog, then you most likely have seen its old design--a more narrow site with a simple cursive font and an orangey and coral header. The site still has its simple template, just a different look: a wider site, two different fonts, a new navigation bar, and some nice-quality pictures.

I made an announcement in a recent post about some changes to my blog. For one, I completely changed the name from Through the Eyes of a Cali Girl to Livin' and Lovin'. I also was able to get a blog makeover with the help of my friend and old roommate, Melissa. I'm so lucky to have such talented friends around me!

So, why the change?
I wanted something new and something that I felt that I was more pleased with and needed to do some rebranding.

How to navigate my new navigation bar:

Well, my about me and contact pages are still the same, so no worries to that!

Fashion & Beauty: Basically anything fashion and/or beauty. It's pretty self-explanatory.

Food and Culture: This section will have my food posts plus a bunch of others that are about college, my travel adventures, and anything else. That will be the "Culture" aspect of my blog.

Faith: This section represents my faith, to be simple. This is where I can talk about things I'm going through or feeling or something from the Bible. Anything regarding that will go here.

And my last section, Love: Anything and everything about relationships will go under here. This section isn't as full as I'd like, but have no fear; I'll be writing some more about this soon!

This is my navigation bar for now. I may or may not fix it so that my categories will be more organized, but until then, this will work. There are also still a couple tweaks that need to be made to my blog, but I'm not too worried about it. They're minor and will be done by the end of this weekend.

Hope you enjoy my blog's new look!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

What's in My Back to School Survival Kit

A couple weeks ago, I received a package in the mail, courtesy of Her Campus. In it was my very own Back to School Survival Kit! I thought it was pretty cool to receive a package full of cool, free stuff just because! I always love getting things in the mail, so if you'd like to show me some love, let me know [;

Anyway, back to the Survival Kit:


My box full of goodies!
When I opened my box, I was surprised to find all of the goodies I found in it--there were things from Her Campus, Neuro, Luna, Poppin', Chipotle, and a box of SK Energy Shots that came in the day after this package!


My collection of Poppin' notebooks before giving them out to some friends!

These really cool purple gel pens, also from Poppin'!

Two of the really awesome things I got in this care package were a surplus of Poppin' gel pens and mini notebooks, both in purple! I really love school supplies so getting these were like having an early Christmas for me. They have all sorts of school and office supplies that are simple but stand out because of all the bright and fun colors they come in! My personal favorite are the orange supplies, of course. You can get $5 off your next order with the code: DORMSTYLE. What are you waiting for? Go check them out and get some Poppin' stuff. (Get it? haha). When you do get your new Poppin' supplies, post them on Instagram with the hashtag #dormstyle for the chance to win a dorm makeover as well! 

I also got some things from Her Campus; they were the ones who sent out these packages, and I am also part of the Her Campus Blogger Network, also through them. 

I received some cool HC stuff, like this HerCampus.com sticker (sorry that it's backwards), the "Have Fun, Stay Young" gym bag, all the Her Campus pens (I have an obsession with pens), and the Her Campus clipboard!





Back of the clipboard
Front of the clipboard


Another great treat--a buy one, get one free coupon from Chipotle! Chipotle is so popular and almost a staple to any college student's diet. They have great-tasting food that fills you up really well. I am so excited to use this! 


Another cool product that I received with my package--Neuro SONIC! This specific wild berry flavor is said to help boost mental performance, something necessary for every college student, especially at this time during midterms and preps for finals. There are other colors depending on your needs, but Neuro SONIC is meant to increase alertness, sustain energy, and support mental performance, everything you need when you're studying! 


Luna bars were another treat that I got from the package that are really good for healthy snacking! They're meant to help get things done and give you the energy you need in a healthy way. Luna is there to help you get from class to class each day.

The last and final gift from my survival kit were the box full of SK Energy Shots! These are another thing you can turn to when you need a boost of energy to get through the day (or night)!


I am so thankful to have gotten all of this cool stuff for free, thanks to all these brands and Her Campus for putting it all together. I've already shared and enjoyed these with my friends, you guys should definitely get some for yourselves! Everyone needs something to help them get through school. 

What's in your school survival kit?


Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Got My Stunnah Shades On

Two months ago, I won a giveaway from Fashion of Philly to win a year-long subscription to Stunner of the Month. Today I got my first pair in the mail!




When I opened the package, the sunglasses were in a cute little drawstring bag (pictured above). It was simple and cute. 

There was also a card that described the pair of sunglasses enclosed in the box. These are called "Rarity" from their Diva Collection. 


The sunglasses are a type that I would probably have to save until spring/summertime because of the loud print and bold color that it has. The frames are rounded which I think are cool, although not the first frames I would gravitate towards in a store. They remind me of the Beatles. The frames are a blue cheetah print, which make them really bold to wear.


While these aren't the type of sunglasses that I normally would pick out, I like them. I like trying things out of my comfort zone, and these sunglasses would be a great place to start. I may have to save them for warmer weather but I'm excited to incorporate these into my wardrobe! Until then, here are some pictures of me having fun with the sunglasses! [:






Chau for now♥