Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Preview of Apartment Life: Living with a Kitchen

I've been on winter break for just about a week and a half now, and I was so blessed to have a couple friends let me stay at their apartment while one of them went home to North Carolina for winter break. I stayed close to school rather than moving back home because of work so I wouldn't have to commute so far. 

I've really enjoyed living here so far mainly for one reason: A KITCHEN! 

Living in the dorms have been fun because of the community and being on campus, but the thing that I've always wished that I've had was a kitchen, and most on-campus dorms only have kitchens for those with special health needs and can't eat what's in our dining hall. 

Because it'll be my senior year next year, I really want to slowly transition to post grad life, and that includes living in an apartment off campus. One of the main reasons: having a kitchen so I can cook!
I didn't grow up eating a ton of American food on a daily basis because my parents always insisted on feeding us Filipino food. I hated it growing up because I hated eating rice with everything but I'm so grateful for it now that I'm older. 

One of the biggest reasons for wanting my own kitchen is being able to eat Filipino food when I want! I can't do that now because most of my cooking consists of typical American breakfast foods, but as the break goes on (and when I eventually have my own apartment next year) I'm so excited to learn. 
I love having my own kitchen because I love grocery shopping and the idea of preparing my own food for me to eat. There is also that satisfaction of your food tasting good and knowing that you made it yourself. 

I've been pinning lots of easy (and cheap) recipes for me to learn so that I can try cooking some new things on a college student budget. I love experimenting with new foods. Send me some pins if you have any ideas for me to try!

Follow Kriselle Mendoza (Livin' and Lovin' Blog)'s board Let Me Eat on Pinterest.

Even though I'm only staying in this apartment until mid-January, I'm going to enjoy it while I can, especially the kitchen. It's making me excited for getting to do this for real next year! Until then, I'll experiment with what I can, and follow me on Pinterest if you want some ideas too!

Chau for now

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Color Swap with Wetherills Say I Do

Christmas is a great time for gift giving, and I had the awesome opportunity to participate in a kind of gift swap called The Color Swap, featuring a bunch of bloggers from The Peony Project (I've been mentioning them a lot lately!). The swap was hosted by Melissa of Two Miracles.

The Color Swap was a gift exchange where you had to buy your partner a collection of things that are their favorite color and things that they like, of course. I was paired with the lovely Madison of Wetherills Say I Do, and she's already posted what I got for her on her blog! You can check that out there. It's about time that I get to talk about and publicly thank her for what she's given me as well!

As you can see, my favorite color is orange, and she did a great job at getting me some cute stuff in that color. I would have to say that my favorite things are all the things she got me from Poppin. All of their office supplies are so sleek and I love how they color coordinate everything. That's a big deal for me. 

As a writer, I think it was very fitting that Madison had given me a notebook. I love notebooks even if I have no use for them. I will always find a use for notebooks. Any excuse for me to write things down or make lists is fine with me. 

Of course, a writer needs a writing utensil, right? I was given a neon orange Sharpie and I really like how the color looks on paper. I was a little nervous, but the color is easy on the eyes and is actually lighter than I thought, which I like. (And excuse my little typo where it says "family," haha.)

The two other products I was given included a pebble eraser and the soft mini tray. The eraser is simply too cute and perfect for me to even use it and the tray is perfect to hold random little pieces of clutter hanging around my desk. I like how both of them feel too. 

Orange recipe cards were the last thing I received in my package, and I couldn't be more happy with the timing of it too, especially since I'm living in an apartment over winter break and am planning on living in one in a few months as well. These will be perfect for me to record all of my mom's recipes for my favorite Filipino foods. I've already started asking her for help on that and these cards will be perfect for me to remember them. 

This was a great gift to receive right before Christmas! I could always use more things to help organize myself, and with each coming year I make a goal for myself to be more organized. I'm hoping that these will help with that, haha. Don't forget to visit Madison's page to see what I got for her as well!

Chau for now

Saturday, December 20, 2014

From New England to the South: Annaliese of Southern Belle in Training

This is the last of my sponsors posts for this month, I promise! Haha, but my last sponsor for the month was Annaliese of Southern Belle in Training. This isn't the first time she's been on the blog, and it probably won't be the last. Haha. 

She, along with Liv of Liv, Love, Laugh both held the "Dating" ad spots on the blog this month as a surprise prize from winning my birthday giveaway a couple months ago. 

Annaliese is someone I've been "friends" (I only use quotes because we've never met in person) with since summer 2013 when I first started this blog. She's seen my blog from its beginnings and I've watched her blog grow and evolve as well. 

Her blog has improved so much as a fashion and lifestyle blog and I'm honestly very impressed at how much her photos have improved specifically! I'm hoping to have more quality photos like that more consistently in the future. She has such a cute sense of style!

One of the first things that drew me to her and her blog when I first met her was her faith. See, I had just started blogging and wanted my faith to be apart of my blog, even if it wasn't the primary topic I talked about. She was already blogging and seemed to have successfully write a quality blog that incorporated her faith into it. Not only that, she herself just seemed like such a sweet and genuine person, and those kinds of people are the ones that I tend to like and be more likely to follow. I'm all for being real. I always talk about this when I talk about her but it's because her love for Jesus is so evident in her life. I love it.

She wants to go into radio (which I think is rad, especially because I've never met anyone aspiring for that) and she is also currently living in the South although she's originally from Maine (hence her blog name, haha). 

Annaliese is just the girl that would love to meet and genuinely be friends with anyone! She is such a sweetheart and I have loved getting to know her over the past couple of years. 

So check her out! She's a cool girl and you won't regret it! Here is the past couple of times she's been on the blog: 
Her previous sponsor spotlight with another blogger
Guest post: Maintaining your faith in college

Some posts I really like on her blog:
Perfect Sweater Dress
A New Season of Singleness (an oldie but a goodie, even if I myself am not single)

Facebook // Twitter // Instagram
Chau for now

Thursday, December 18, 2014

For the Love of Journalism & Theology: Liv of Liv, Love, Laugh

I love meeting and following bloggers who blog about things with substance, and Liv from Liv, Love, Laugh is one of them. Every time she writes, there is meaning to it. She's also an aspiring journalist like me, which is also something that makes me immediately like a person more [: haha. 

Liv is one of two bloggers who had my "Dating" ad spot for the past month, and it has been fun working with her. She was actually one of the winners of my recent giveaway celebrating my birthday, and as a surprise addition to the prizes, I offered Liv and Miss Alk ad space on the blog! 

Liv blogs over at Liv, Love, Laugh. The name is resemblant of the phrase, Live, Laugh, Love (to me at least), but I believe the name is meant to also describe her life and how she lives it. Those are my thoughts, not hers. Haha. I've been following Liv's blog for a year or so now, but I've only started getting to know her a little bit more this year. 

She is a journalism student living in New York. SO JEALOUS. I feel like if you're going to do journalism anywhere, you either need to be in the heart of LA or NY. Especially New York. Most major newspapers and other publications have HQ in NYC. 

Fun fact: we also have a mutual friend in real life! Liv & I have never met in person. We have only met online through blogging. But this past spring, I met a guy from her school that worked on the newspaper with her, and she later told me that she was on the same staff. I didn't know that at the time that I met him, so that was pretty cool. 

One thing I love about Liv is how she isn't afraid to talk about her faith. She talks about it on her blog and talks about unique things in regards to faith and religion. She goes to a Catholic university and her dream is to be a correspondent to the Vatican City, so it's safe to say that she is a proud Catholic. I like her perspectives and posts, like her tweet about how the eucharist is made: 
She's an awesome girl. She has a lot to say and isn't afraid to voice her opinions about it. I like her for that. I also love her love for journalism. A woman after my own heart. 

Check her out if you haven't already! Go stalk her. (It's okay, I won't tell her you did). 

Some cool posts by her: 
Giving Tuesday
100 Hours of Poverty

Facebook // Twitter // Instagram

Chau for now

November + December Sponsor Spotlight: Peony Project Ladies

It's been a while since I've had a sponsor spotlight, but I just relaunched my sponsors page last month along with Adproval's new beta system allowing for coupon codes for ad spaces. If you are interested in purchasing an ad spot with me (they're relatively cheap!) use the code TISTHESEASON for 25% off any ad space worth more than $5 at checkout!

To celebrate, I recently had a few ladies from the Peony Project, a Christian blogger support group I'm in, sponsor me for the past month! Unfortunately, due to finals their sidebar ads are no longer on my sidebar and I didn't have this post up sooner, but better late than never, right? 


This here is Susana from Hurray I'm a Mommy. As you can tell, she's a new mom exploring and enjoying motherhood. She writes a lot of personal posts about herself and thoughts she has on certain things. One that I really enjoyed was her post about surviving the holidays after a loss. No matter what time of year you lost a loved one, there are always those first few holidays that you spend without them, and it's hard. 
Other than talking about her personal thoughts, she shares some recipes, talks about owning a puppy vs. having a baby, and so many other fun types of posts that come with being a newlywed and a new mom. Show Susana some love and check her out!

Facebook // Pinterest // Instagram

Kenji is a very strong and beautiful woman of God and Rheumatoid Arthritis survivor and she blogs over at Kenji is Here! She has a french bulldog named Poopsy, loves karaoke, and is loud and loves people! She writes a lot of meaningful posts, whether it's about the tattoos she has or even just how grateful she is for being where she is in life. Kenji is very real and vulnerable on her blog, something that I really appreciate and look up to in other bloggers. She isn't afraid to talk about the positive and negative things going on in her life, but she always does it looking on the bright side, always finding the joy in every situation. I applaud her for that because many bloggers can't do that or just don't. If you want to follow along with someone who will talk to you as if you're right in front of them, definitely check out Kenji! She is a great girl. 

Twitter // Bloglovin' // Facebook

Norkor blogs at Voyageur Africaine, which translates to African Voyager in English from French. She is originally from Ghana and has been traveling the world since she was 6. She is currently in a gap year, and she's using that time to travel, of course. I love that she will bring her African culture into some of her posts and she definitely writes a lot about her faith in Christ. I especially love how bright and vivid her photos are in every post because I feel like they are able to allow the reader a peek into the beauty of her adventures. She will definitely leave you with a longing feeling of wanderlust!

Facebook // Instagram // Bloglovin'

Heather blogs over at Broken with Remedy, an inspirational lifestyle blog. She is an expectant mother writing about her pregnancy and encouraging others through her posts for teen girls or about prayer. She is still navigating through the blogging world but she's definitely enjoying the process! She definitely has a heart to serve and wants her blog to be an outlet for that. 


Bijee is the woman behind The Reflections of a Good Woman, an inspirational blog that talks about relationships, friendships, and life in general. She works to reach out and help out everyone who may need the encouragement. Her blog very well reflects the name. Her posts are meant to motivate you to do something or change something in your life for the better, usually little by little. Some of them include: the blessing of breakfast and devotional time in the morning, or an honest post about telling people that they cannot dictate who her own daughter should become. Bijee does a great job at definitely working hard to motivate people to evaluate and reflect on themselves as people and even on a spiritual level at times. Her faith definitely shines through. 

Twitter // Facebook // Pinterest

So those are my sponsors for this month! It has been amazing being part of the Peony Project and getting to meet such a wide array of women who share the faith that I have. Sometimes it's hard to be a blogger that incorporates their faith into their work, so it was heaven sent for me to find this group and be part of it. 

If you are interested in being part of The Peony Project, there are directions on Betsy's (the founder) page about it! If you are interested in sponsoring Livin' and Lovin' Blog and want to be part of this community, get some more information here. I have a variety of options, from free swaps to a two-month long sponsorship where you get all the perks plus some customization to your experience so that you are getting the love you deserve! Don't forget to use the code TISTHESEASON at checkout to get 25% off any spot more than $5!

Stay tuned, because I'll be featuring my two top sponsors for the month very soon! [: 
Chau for now

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

The ULTIMATE Christmas Guide Roundup: For Your Secret Santas/White Elephants

This is part 3 of my ULTIMATE Christmas Guide Roundup for this year! I did two others for girls & guys if you missed out on those. For the past couple of weeks I've been researching through tons of different blogs to see which ones had the best, unique, and variety of gift ideas for whoever you're shopping for. And today is all about your Secret Santas & White Elephant gift exchanges.

Whether you're shopping for your best friend whose name you secretly pulled out of a hat or you're shopping for potentially anyone, these gift ideas are sure to make shopping for your Secret Santas. (Note: Most of these are for women but there are a couple gender neutral gift guides in there! I also have a few ideas as well, saved for the end!). 

Like my other gift guides, I will categorize these, although to only 3 categories this time: Unisex, Female, My Ideas (because this is my blog & I'm special :). I hope these posts will help you pick out some cool (or funny/weird, depending on the group of people you're shopping for) gifts!


Girl in Betsey - All these gifts are pretty sleek--warm throw blankets, convertible chargers, a coffee maker, a chocolate basket, and a few more other ideas. And the great thing about these gifts are that you can get (most) of them expensive or cheaper, depending on what the spending minimum is for your gift exchanges. 

All the Joys - I love that Meagan features gender neutral gifts like Krystin from Girl in Betsy does, but they're different kinds of suggestions, a few being for people who are either older than 18 or 21--like mini liquor bottles, a bunch of lottery tickets (seriously, my cousin did this one year bought like $30 worth of scratchers and gave them with a ketchup bottle haha), or any kind of techie stuff for all ages, like portable speakers. She also suggests sports-themed things, which would be unisex if the group of people you're shopping for has both males and females as huge fans of sports (unfortunately my family wouldn't fall into this category--at least no one is a die-hard fan). 


The Preppy Scientist - Cute stationery, beauty products, and even a Scrabble-themed mug!

Books, Beauty, & Bars - Gift ideas for under $15 - feat. gifts like cute Anthropologie mugs and a "minimergency" kit!

Coming Up Roses - 15 gift ideas under $15 - feat. gifts like an inspirational quote print and a silicone ice ball maker... That one seems so interesting!

Girl in Betsey - Some classy stocking stuffers


Anything for the kitchen or home - If you go to any home goods (or Home Goods, pun intended) store, you can easily get anything from pots and pans to lamps and display pieces for the home. Most of these are gender neutral unless there is a clear theme to it, like pink sparkly baking supplies or something... I don't know. Haha. These are also meant for people who have higher minimums for purchasing Secret Santa or White Elephant gifts (like my family.. my wallet is crying)

Those random books you find in stores like Urban Outfitters - You know the ones I'm talking about--the ones about your poop or awkward family photos or all about bacon. They're the hilarious (and sometimes informative) books that will have you distracted for hours in the store! These are perfect for trolling on your friends and family, unless that's their personality... then you're actually buying the perfect gift for them!

Gourmet Food Baskets - While my family wouldn't care for these too much, maybe the people you're shopping for would. If they are foodies always looking for new types of meat or cheese or any kind of food or if they just like to eat some good stuff, then these would be really yummy to give away. 

Practical Techie Gifts - Practical techie gifts are the most gender neutral gifts, I believe. These are things like portable chargers, speakers, devices (anything portable, really), or even some random things like fancy flashlights (some cousins trolled with this last year or the year before) or heating blankets (I got that one a few years back) or a body massager. These gifts can either make everyone want them or make everyone laugh at the loser I mean person who got stuck with them, haha. 


This gift guide was definitely the shortest out of all the gift guides, but I hope these were helpful nonetheless! Please check out my other gift guides for guys & gals if you missed them! I just made shopping WAAY easier for you soooo.... You're welcome. (points if you get that reference)

Andddd THAT'S A WRAP! (pun intended hehe)

What have you gotten for Secret Santa/White Elephant gifts in the past?
Chau for now

Sunday, December 14, 2014

The ULTIMATE Christmas Gift Guide Roundup: For the Guys

Today brings me to part two of my massive lists of Christmas gift guides! Today it's time to give the men some love, because I feel like with gift guides they're mostly catered to girls. Besides, I have a boyfriend to shop for too so I'll be using these gift guides (& his eclectic tastes haha) to get him a good gift & speak his love language :] 

Unfortunately, the blog world has been taken over by females so most of these gift guides are written by females, which is still fine! But of course I'd want to hear it from a guy's perspective. I managed to find two sites that included gifts for gamers (because I'm so surprised none of these girls seem to have gamer (boy)friend(s) in their life!). If you know of any male bloggers with gift guides for men (or if you are one & have one) please leave a comment with a link below! 

I'll divide the gift guides into different sections, list the blog's name, & try to give mini descriptions so that you don't have to go through every gift guide to find what you're looking for (or you can if you want to, be my guest [:). 

I hope this makes gift shopping just a little bit easier for you by taking a whole bunch of potential gift ideas and putting them in one place! I considered creating my own gift guides, but as you'll see there are already a ton out there, so why add onto the thousands of gift guides when I could just share the best ones? 

Anyway, skim through the different categories and I hope you find something useful! Let me know if you do end up buying any of these items or use any of these gift guides for your own gift giving! 


An Old Story - MAKE, THRIFT, BUY! I featured these in my last gift guide for girls, but Hannah features some great stuff to make for anyone in your life, really. This gift guide is perfect if you are on a budget!

Haute Mess Mag - Gift ideas under $50, $100, and $200

Royally Pink - Many of these ideas are pretty minimalist, so if that sounds like the man you're shopping for, then this is for you! 

The Kardia Blog - for the Manly Man (features some cool techie stuff too)

Flawlessly Flawed - This guide truly does have a variety of living and clothing accessories for the men in your life. From mugs to a gin kit to some Nikes to some boxers, I like the variety this guide gives. 


Michelle's Paige - Michelle features different types of hip-looking clothing, shoes, and accessories for men.


From My Vanity - Whether or not your man likes to cook/grill or run, there are a ton of really cool tech-y gifts & gadgets for men who love the latest in technology. 


Alicia Tenise - Like her last gift guide, this one for men is so classy and chic. Includes things like: a beard care kit, a cocktail maker kit, a flask, a bowtie, and some classy-looking headphones.

Ali Rose - Also definitely for the classy and more mature man (although she includes a cool Spiderman ornament!) This list features items like: Whiskey Stones, some crystal beer glasses from Tiffany's, and a skin care kit from The Art of Shaving. 

Sweet Tea & Sass - This is definitely for more preppy guys (also features gift guide for her) 


Life Hacker - This blog features SO MANY things for gamers! From the games themselves, to clothes, to books, to music, and even splurge-worthy gifts, I'm pretty sure you can find something here. (some stuff featured is specifically for girls too, like some of the cosplay stuff!)

Man of Many - Specifically features games & gamer accessories. Darell definitely owns some of the stuff on this list already!


So that's it for my gift guide for the guys! These gifts can be used for any man in your life, whether a boyfriend, a close friend, or a male family member. If you or anyone you know (preferably a male blogger, but if you're a girl that's okay too) has a gift guide for gamers specifically or other ones for men, link to them below! If you missed my gift guide for girls, check here.

Stay tuned for my gift guide for your Secret Santas/White Elephants!

Chau for now

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

The ULTIMATE Christmas Gift Guide Roundup: For the Girls

Hey guys! So this week, to get into the Christmas spirit I'm doing my research and choosing my favorite gift guide posts by other bloggers so that Christmas shopping could be made just a little bit easier for you. Today's roundup is all about the girls or girlfriends in your life. 

I'll divide the gift guides into different sections, list the blog's name, & try to give mini descriptions so that you don't have to go through every gift guide to find what you're looking for (or you can if you want to, be my guest [:). 

I hope this makes gift shopping just a little bit easier for you by taking a whole bunch of potential gift ideas and putting them in one place! I considered creating my own gift guides, but as you'll see there are already a ton out there, so why add onto the thousands of gift guides when I could just share the best ones? 

Anyway, skim through the different categories and I hope you find something useful! Let me know if you do end up buying any of these items or use any of these gift guides for your own gift giving (or yourself, hehe)! 

The Kardia Blog - For the Lovely Lady 

Label Twenty Nine - For the girl who keeps everything in her bag--gifts under $50

Sweet Tea & Sass - For the preppy girl! (guy gift guide included in the same post)

Stylish Classy & Sassy - Gift guide under $50

Mostly Morgan - Other than three of the items featured--including a terrarium, a scarf, and a necklace--(all cost less than $40 anyway), everything on this list is relatively cheap (under $15) if you're on a budget!

An Old Story Blog - For the ultimate money saver--MAKE, THRIFT, & BUY! Hannah features a bunch of things that you could give to basically anyone in your life by making, thrifting, or buying something if absolutely necessary. I love these ideas!

Royally Pink - Some glamorous and luxurious gifts that really aren't too expensive, but they look like they are (well, the Kate Spade candle is actually pretty pricey for a candle but it's still really cute)!

Polished Perfectly - For the college student. This gift guide features a lot of preppy items, so if the person you're shopping for likes that kind of stuff then this is perfect!

Alicia Tenise - Honestly, many of these products are great for the home (and adorable too!) but there are a few fashion accessories and some makeup as well. This is one of my favorite gift guides!

Shell Chic'd - A nautical gift guide for the "nauti" girl. Haha I love puns!


A Lovely Commotion - general gift ideas for anyone who loves makeup! Featuring Michelle Phan's new book (I'll post a review on that soon), a Kate Spade iPhone case, a Kate Spade fragrance, and of course, makeup!

Daily Katy - Skincare

Royally Pink - Makeup Gift Sets (I want ALL of these!)


A Lovely Commotion - The Beach Bum

A Lovely Commotion - These aren't clothes, but they are all items related to fashion, whether it's a book on the history of the dress or some statement accessories. 


Butcher's Niche - This great gift guide includes a variety of cooking accessories, like appliances, an apron, and all around pretty things for the cook in your life!

A Savory Feast - This gift guide includes cool and unique cooking gifts for foodies, like a sushi maker, a donut pan, and a fondue pot! 

Strength and Sunshine - Another post of unique gift ideas, such as a tortilla bowl maker, a world cuisine spiralizer (that's a mouthful... no pun intended), and Soom Tahini, which is sesame butter! There are so many other cool gifts in this post as well!

*Many of these gifts are unisex too, so get them for the guys in your life as well!


Mandy Living Life - These gift ideas include a combination of travel-friendly items and things that you can display in your home to show off your love for travel. If the person you're shopping for loves to travel, these are all very practical (and cute!). 


Kate the (Almost) Great - Accessories for bookworms! She makes a few good suggestions of specific things for each accessory she mentions (posters, mugs, e-readers, and other book-themed gifts). 

Polka Dotted Blue Jay - All book suggestions. These are all non-fiction/inspirational books, like Girl Boss, Yes, Please, Crazy Sexy Diet, and a couple more!


Butcher's Niche - Beautiful and simple home accessories

Open Spaces Blog - These are all rustic holiday-themed home accessories, so these gifts are best given before Christmas, unless the person you're giving them to loves the Christmas season so much and wouldn't mind getting it the day of or after. 


Butcher's Niche - Most of these gifts aren't extravagant, but if you really know who you're shopping for they would make really cute and meaningful gifts (I love the big spoon, little spoon pillows!). 

Dirt to Daydreams - This guide includes different price points of some pretty pretty gifts--$25 & under, $50 & under, and splurge-worthy gifts!

Heavens to Betsy - Betsy recently opened an Etsy shop herself, so she teamed up with other Etsy shops to promote some of their stuff with some coupon codes! (I'd take advantage of that if I were you!)

Yearn Love Grow - Ashley talks about different shops she loves rather than items. A few of them are faith based, like She Reads Truth (I wrote about them recently!) and random ones for nerds and mommies and others. 


Dirt to Daydreams - List of companies that give back something to a certain community (brands include Krochet Kids (the founders are alumni of my school!) and the Giving Keys)

Many Sparrows - Kayla talks about her favorite products from companies that give back and why she recommends them as gifts! (coupon codes included!)


Strength and Sunshine - Some cool products to help aid in making your workouts better!

BLOGGER [*ahem (; ]

The Kardia Blog - Honestly, you could get most of the products on most of any of the wishlists I featured for a blogger, but if you want to get really blogging-specific, these are some great gifts to help aid in the creativity process :] 


Label Twenty Nine - All simplistic but chic items for the minimalist in your life (or for the person who is wants to try minimalism--perfect for the new year coming up!)


Label Twenty Nine - All artsy fartsy products :]

A Tiny Traveler - The girl who wrote this intended it to be a general gift guide I believe, but when I looked at it all I could think of was HIPSTER! I know they're not necessarily artists, but I think that the true hipsters are. All the fakes that are doing it for trend don't consider themselves artists. But that's just my opinion! So, anything on this list is sure to be well-received by the hip.


I hope you were able to find something useful from this gift guide roundup! I worked really hard and did my research to provide some pretty but also some unique gift ideas. Tomorrow, I'll be talking about what to get the man in your life. Stay tuned! 

Chau for now

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Study/Finals Tip: Use a Planner (or App) and Make Lists!

Finals are upon us, and I am beyond stressed. Tests don't worry me too much (I only have 2 this semester), but this semester my finals are mostly papers. 

One of my favorite and most recommended study tips is simply: GO TO SLEEP! However, come finals week, that tip just may not apply depending on how many assignments you're procrastinating on (because let's be honest, we're doing all of these last minute). 

I've learned that planners and any other organizer are your best friends during this time. Whether it's an app or a paper organizer (I prefer paper), it is so important to have everything written down somewhere. 

I usually try to write down whatever I have due in the coming week or in the next few days and I do things in the order that they are due. For example, if I have two classes on one day with assignments due in both, of course I'm going to do the work for the earlier class first. 

I know that if you have a planner chances are you probably use it on a weekly or daily basis already, but if you don't at least make a point to purchase (or download) something to help you list out all you have to do. 

Even if it's simply getting a piece of paper or post its and writing lists of what you need to do, both will help. I think lists are always useful and relevant to use no matter what situation you may be in. 

Okay, so finals week is coming up and I am so excited to be done! What other tips do you use for finals week? Do you use a paper planner or an app to stay organized? 
Chau for now

Friday, November 28, 2014

Count Your Blessings: Thanksgiving Edition

Happy Thanksgiving! Today is a day of thanks so remember to be thankful and be blessed. 

There have been so many terrible things happening around the country and around the world so I think that it is so important to remember all the privileges we have that many others don't. 

I'm thankful that because of what I look like, I don't have to worry about people looking and thinking of me negatively upon first glance. I feel so sorry for the people in this world that are racially profiled like that every day. 

I'm thankful for the freedom of speech that I have. Shoot, if I lived in one of those countries that regulated the media we consume, then this blog wouldn't even exist. 

I'm thankful for my college education and the opportunity to live in an upper-middle class area. Compared to where I grew up, where I currently live and go to school is like a dream for me. I'm thankful to even make it out of the bubble of my hometown, where many people settle for what they have. 

I'm thankful for having the problem of working then shopping tomorrow before noon. The fact that I have a job and can shop leisurely for myself and others is a great blessing. 

I'm thankful to be able to go home and spend Thanksgiving with my family, even if only for a little while. I hope that all the people who cannot are able to find some group of people to fellowship and be with on this holiday.

I'm thankful for having a God who always puts me in check and is always waiting me to come back to him, even when I run far, far away. His love is so much more than I could ever imagine or comprehend. 

What are you thankful for today?

Chau for now

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

See's Satisfies My Chocolate Cravings

I have such a sweet tooth! My taste in sweets and desserts vary depending on my mood, but sometimes, I just want some chocolate. 

A couple weeks ago, See's Candies opened up a location at Fashion Island in Newport Beach! If you live in the LA/Orange County areas, then make a point to come to Fashion Island to do some shopping and satisfy your sweet tooth while you're at it!
A photo posted by Kriselle Mendoza (@duhhkrisellee) on

I was invited to visit the store the eve before its grand opening with a bunch of other bloggers and it was great to meet some new people and explore See's Candies more in depth. For example, I got the chance to pack a box full of See's chocolates to get a first-hand experience at what employees at See's get to do. 

I also got to take home a goodie bag full of yummy chocolates. Even though I'm not much of a chocolate person, I appreciate See's Candies more than other brands because it's a brand that my grandma loved. Being around See's Candies reminds me of my childhood and when my grandma would bring home the See's famous Lollypops for my sister and I to devour when my mom wasn't looking. 

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Working in Retail on Black Friday

I've mentioned before that I work in retail. I have also mentioned before that I go Black Friday shopping every year. In fact, this year will be my 7th year in a row. For the first time in 3 years, I will be working in retail on Black Friday. 

When I was in high school I worked after I Black Friday shopped and this year it will be before. There can be a huge difference in your energy and what you can get when your schedule works out like that. 

When I worked Black Friday for the first time, I was able to get my shopping done as usual from about 5am-10am, but since I didn't have a car at the time, I had to linger around the mall until my shift started at about 1pm. This year, my plan is going to be vastly different. It has to be. 

I will be working the opening shift at work this year, from midnight to 7am! That will be the most crazy time to work because everyone will be pouring into the store for all the deals. I haven't worked in Black Friday for so long so it will be interesting. 

Last year I compiled a list of tips to help with Black Friday so I'll definitely be making sure I check back to that post to get my game plan on point after I get off work. I'm hoping that although I'll be starting shopping a couple hours later than I usually do, I'll get the same great deals like I did last year. 

Luckily, I'm not working on Thanksgiving Day, but that also means that I'll probably have to cut my time with my family short so I can make sure I get enough rest. Besides I'll probably go Black Friday shopping myself afterwards, so I'll definitely need the energy for it. Wish me luck!

Got any other tips for me? 
Chau for now

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

One of the Best Ways to Keep the Love Alive

Over the past few months, I have seen tremendous growth in mine and Darell's relationship, especially in the field of communication. It has always been something that we have had and continue to struggle with. 

In the past I've talked about how he and I both have completely different love languages, and while it's still difficult for us sometimes, we have both been trying to actively show love to each other in the ways that we need to be loved. 

Over the past few months, I have discovered one thing that Darell and I do that is really important to do in relationships, no matter your love language. I think that doing what he and I have started to do is beneficial and essential to every couple to help keep the love and passion alive, especially when things may not be going so well.

Regularly remind your significant other why you love them. 

Here is why that is one thing that you can do to improve and maintain the quality of your relationship:

+ If you love language is words of affirmation like me, then being on the receiving end of this simple activity is literally showing you that you are being loved in a way that you understand and appreciate. 

+ You become more observant and intentional with your significant other. You start to really look at who they are as a person and watch them interact with others, and once you become more aware of these things, you start to find more things to love about them, some you may have never noticed before. Even after 4 years I'm still learning things about Darell that I am falling in love with all over again. 

+ Even if your love language isn't words, doing this activity will help you be more intentional and almost force you to express how you feel on the inside to that special person. And since this is not normal or comfortable for you, it will be that much more meaningful to your special person. 

+ When you've been in a relationship for so long, it is easy to forget why you love this person, especially if there are fights always on the rise. This is a good way for you both to take a step back to breathe and as Darell says, "think about why you started in the first place." Darell says that doing this keeps him in check with why he's still with me especially when we're not on the best terms with each other. 

+ What Darell and I do when we do this exercise is at the end of the day or when we're about to go home for the day when the two of us hang out, we will tell each other one reason we love each other and literally say, "I love you because..." I started doing this with Darell mostly because he doesn't feel comfortable expressing love to me with words. This way, he's slowly getting more used to doing this but I also get to think about what really made me fall for him to begin with. This isn't something we do all the time, but doing it at least a couple times a week has really helped us.

+ It puts you both in a good mood. Doing this even when you're not in a great mood will encourage you both and remind you both that there are good things in you that you may not notice that your significant other does notice. 

Since we've started doing this, I've been seeing changes in my relationship with Darell for the better, and I'm very thankful that he's been a trooper in opening up how he really feels about me by expressing it in words. It isn't something he is comfortable with or used to so I really do appreciate that from him. He and I have both grown through doing this, and I think couples at any stage of their relationship would benefit from this. 

So how do you keep the love alive in your relationship? How do you express yourselves to each other?

Chau for now