Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Sweaters Aren't For Lazy People

School is back in session for most of us! It's still winter and pretty chilly in most places (shoutout to New England for braving it through winter storm Juno) so we're all trying to figure out ways to stay warm. 

Another thing about being back in school and cold weather is how easy it is to wear sweats and a sweater everyday. It's easy and it's comfortable, but I think there's also a way to dress comfortably with a crew neck sweater without looking like you were just being lazy that day. 

My sister gave me a super warm crew neck from her school since I gave her one from mine, and it is so soft! It is soft and warm and I love it. 

I wanted to wear it out, but I didn't want to just look like I rolled out of bed. So my solution was to layer a button up underneath like what a lot of preppy people do, and I just dressed up my outfit with cuffed jeans, some booties, and a purse. The beanie was a nice touch for the warmth. 

The result? A comfortable, warm, but yet polished outfit. The layering makes it look preppy but the beanie adds an edge to it. It's one of my favorite outfits to wear. 

San Jose State Sweater: Gifted from my sister // Denim Button Up: Billabong, similar // Beanie: RVCA, gifted from the boyfriend // Jeans: Express // Booties: c/o Macy's // Blush Pink Purse: Forever 21 // Elephant Ring: c/o The Collegiate Standard

This is one of my most comfortable and favorite outfits ever. I will definitely be repeating this outfit over and over again. Don't judge me. 

What is your go-to style for class?
Chau for now

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Celebrate Valentine's Day for FREE with a Giveaway!

Valentine's Day is coming up! And yes, I will admit that it is a consumeristic holiday designed to have both sappy and desperate people spend their money on things that may or may not make their special person (or potential special person) happy. I mean, even Darell for a long time wasn't too big of a fan and as a result we've had quite a few bad Valentine's Days over the years. 

SO, I would like to change that experience for you and make your Valentine's Day a fun one, whether you're celebrating with a significant other or a friend. 

I've teamed up with a few other bloggers to host this wonderful giveaway for you! The prizes are two $50 gift cards to Chili's for dinner and either AMC Theaters or Regal Cinemas for a movie and dinner type of date night. And if you already follow me on social media, then you are already guaranteed a few entries!

The ladies below are my co-hosts who helped make this giveaway possible, so please show them some love:

College is Love // Livin' and Lovin' (me, hehe) // Live to Be Inspired
Hurray I'm a Mommy // Caravan Sonnet // Heavens to Betsy

And some other lovely ladies who helped make this giveaway possible: 
Bee Splendid
She Be Knowin
Pen Paper Pad
Wetherills Say I Do

The giveaway ends at midnight on February 7th, so make sure to get your entries in before then! & don't forget to use the hashtag #LNLVDayGiveaway when you post on social media. Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Chau for now

Friday, January 23, 2015

The Beauty of Diversity

If you follow me on Twitter or "like" my page on Facebook, you will see that every now and then I tweet or post about something regarding the Asian American community and diversity. I've also written about working for my university's diversity department in the past as well. 

I love diversity. And when people say that word they usually only think of racial and ethnic groups but it can be that, it can be people who grew up in different places, people from different classes (social classes), or even just men and women. 

However, when it comes to the topic of diversity in regards to racial and ethnic groups and the real issues that people deal with, we tend to get quiet. People are fine talking about the cultures or traveling or the foods but once issues that these people deal with come up, no one wants to talk. 

And that's understandable too. I mean, no one wants to offend anyone and for different reasons, people may just not want to deal with the problems. It might be because they just want to be "normal," it might be because someone may think that it isn't fair to talk about the struggles of certain groups and not others, or it could even be something along the lines of something regarding what their parents believed. 

Some people think being "colorblind" is the answer. Although you may have a good heart in saying that by thinking that everyone is one and the same, saying that you're colorblind actually diminishes that other person's racial/ethnic makeup and takes away their identity. And regardless of how close a person is to their racial/ethnic culture, dismissing an important part of one's identity is never okay. 

In the Christian perspective, we are all made different for a reason. God wants us to celebrate the differences rather than ignore them. Besides, Jesus interacted with a variety of different people--Jews, Gentiles, Samaritans, you name it. He hung around them and loved it. 

No one wants to be uncomfortable. Of course, we are human and we want comfort. But it is so important to be open and willing to talk about diversity because honestly, it's a beautiful thing. When people are able to celebrate each other rather than try to ignore or hide the differences, diversity can be amazing. 

Especially with everything going around the country in regards to police and race, it is the perfect time to start having open and honest conversations about race in our country. If we don't talk about it, no one will ever know how to make it better. 

So who is with me! 

What is one diverse fact about yourself that you find pretty darn great?
Chau for now

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Attempting Casual

The weather in Southern California has been bipolar lately (when is it not?) with temperatures varying from snowfall in parts of California that probably have never had snow before all the way up to the 80s. The sun also decides to come and go as it pleases as well... unfortunately. 

I usually like dressing up my outfits with anything, whether it's with my shoes or my accessories, but lately I've been trying to change it up by dressing more casually. I mean on lazy days I'll wear a sweater and jeans (usually to class), but I've been wanting to incorporate more casual looks into the outfits I actually try on. Haha. 

One of the biggest things that can make a difference in an outfit that I've noticed? Shoes. 

You could wear a super fancy outfit with sneakers and the whole vibe of the outfit changes. Change those shoes to stilettos and the outfit has taken a completely different turn. 

Zip-up Hoodie: Cotton On // Striped Half-Sleeve Shirt: H&M // Black Peplum Dress (shown as skirt): Forever 21 (old) // Mustard Yellow Tights: H&M // Shoes: Target // Mustard Yellow Beanie: RVCA - old gift from the boyfriend

I also tried to layer out of inspiration from Pinterest and the way other people have online. I layered a loose, long shirt over a dress and tied a jacket to my waist to give it some definition. 

I want to try more casual outfits like this, and I'm sure that California's weather will allow for it. 

Do you have any tips to dress casual but chic? Or at least not lazy?

Chau for now

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

#YearofHappy: Sending Love to Myself

Two weeks ago, I wrote a post about learning to love yourself, especially while you are single. It got such an awesome response that I was so inspired by people's responses to it. 

Well, for the year of 2015, I also just so happen to be participating in a link-up called #YearofHappy, hosted by Lizzie of October June and Allison of AllisonLeighann

Every month, there will be a new prompt, and the purpose of each prompt is to inspire happiness and optimism within the people participating, and even the people reading and following along with the bloggers that art part of this. I love this concept because I feel like so many people are just existing and not really living. And lots of people can fake their happiness really well, but on the inside they're dying. So this link-up will be really cool to read about from other bloggers as we see how their journeys go this year. 

This month's prompt? Write a love letter to yourself. 

Dear Kriselle, 

It's a new year. And this year is going to be a big one for you. 5 years with Darell, turning 21, and graduating from college on top of other things that you don't know are going to happen just yet. Almost 3 weeks into the year and it is already looking like it's going to be one rollercoaster of a year, even more so than 2014. 

Amidst all of the craziness, never forget how wonderfully amazing you are, and don't let anyone make you think otherwise. 

If people want to comment on your relationship, let them. No one can dictate how & who you date (although they can try), but besides that, you've been with the guy for almost 5 years. That should speak mountains about your relationship by itself. 

If people want to comment on your blog, let them. You love what you do, which is the most important part. People aren't getting the opportunities that you get to do and aren't getting to meet the people you get to meet, so they can just sit there and hate if they'd like to. Won't stop you from doing what you love.

If people want to comment on your opinions, let them. Throughout the time that you've been in college, you have learned to be more openly (and sometimes bluntly) honest. So what if you think against the norm? You have a unique perspective. We also need less fake people in the world. 

If people want to comment on how you live your life, let them. You know what you're doing and even if you don't, you are old enough to make your own decisions. 

You are strong and persistent in all that you do, so don't let the opinions of others prevent you from living out to your fullest potential. It's difficult, but that's okay, nothing good ever comes to anyone that easily. 

And as Taylor Swift says, "Shake it off." 

You're gonna do great.

Chau for now

Friday, January 16, 2015

Pursue Him: 4 Ways to Find Your Own Faith

It's still the beginning of the year where people are still talking about any resolutions or goals they may have for the year. And the point of goals is to basically become a better person. A goal that a lot of people make in some form or another usually has to do with their faith. 

Most people (especially those that identify as Christian) usually make some kind of goal or resolution to better their relationship with God in the new year, myself included. So many people claim to follow Christ or believe in God, but how many of them actually do?

I have realized over the years that most people grow up claiming to be people of faith. It's not a bad thing, but the question is, how many people really know what they believe? Or how many people even believe what they say they believe? 

I'm not saying this to bash on anyone for anything, but I believe that it is so important for all of us to evaluate why we believe what we do. Are we believing it because it's tradition? Because of pressure from others? Or is it because we genuinely choose to believe what we do?

I think that it is so important for everyone to have their own faith and to choose what they believe. Sometimes it may line up with what your parents believe and many times it may look a little bit different. 

Just like how we are encouraged to explore and develop our own interests throughout adolescence and into adulthood, the same goes for your faith as well. Whatever you decide that you believe, I always encourage exploring your faith and beliefs and comparing them to what you grew up with to see what means the most to you. 

Some tips to explore and find your own faith for this year: 

1. Examine (and question!) your parents'/family's core beliefs and rituals they practice. 
Whether it is sitting down and thinking about how much you agree or disagree with what your parents believe or talking with your parents about what they believe (if you're comfortable doing this with them), this is the first step. Growing up, I never questioned what my parents believed (they believed different things), until one day I noticed differences in what they believed. I talked with people at my church about some of the differences in my parents' beliefs and chose what to believe for myself. 

There's this stigma that questioning what you believe is of the devil or something bad like that, but honestly it's not! It's good to examine what you believe, and if you are a Christian like I am, questioning doesn't always lead to becoming an agnostic or some other religion. I've questioned what I believed and my parents believed, and it has helped me figure out my faith and has made my faith stronger. 

2. Read! Bibles, blogs, books, everything you can about your faith.
This is not only to educate yourself, but to tie back with your parents beliefs, you can read and compare with your parents' beliefs and see for yourself what you want to believe. It's always much better to read up and learn for yourself rather than just take everyone else's word for it. 

3. Explore different churches. 
Every church is different. As a Christian, it is so important to be in community with other people who are like-minded. Trying out different churches allows you to find where you fit depending on the style of the church, how the pastor preaches, and the people that you get to interact with. 

I've learned throughout the past few years that a good church is one that makes you feel comfortable to be with the people around you, but yet you always feel challenged to do better, not pressured. A good church has people who want to encourage you and love you. A good church has pastors who are real and transparent with their congregations. A good church always strives to be better. 

4. Talk with others. 
Being in community is so important, like I said in #3. So when you go to churches or read your Bible or examine what you grew up believing, talk to other people about your journey. Find people who you can trust and that have a faith that you admire and maybe aspire to have someday. It's good to have other people that you can talk about questions and discoveries you may have along this journey. Don't forget that you are never alone.

It is a new year, and so it's the perfect time to have a new goal of finding your own faith this year to differentiate yourself from the people around you. Your faith is your own, and it's so important that you have developed your own personal thoughts for it and aren't just following a crowd (or your parents). 

This year, I'm going to be working towards pursuing God with brand new eyes and spend time with Him. I've decided to make the word "pursue" my word of the year, and I hope you have a word for the year as well.

What are your goals for your faith this year? How will you encounter God this year?
Chau for now

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Filled with Style Envy: Style Stalking Book Review

I love discovering different ways to rock an outfit, and for the most part I'm pretty open about the way I dress. I like trying out different styles and types of clothing for the most part, so discovering Style Stalking by the founders of Refinery29 was not only so great, but also very practical for me. 

I appreciate fashion and the ability to express oneself and transform your look with clothes, and Style Stalking provides different tips to dress for different styles and trends, like denim, tomboy, vintage, black, brights, and so many other types. 

Every section features the basic tips to wearing each trend/style, different ways to wear different pieces, how to dress in each trend/style throughout the year, and more. 

What I really appreciate is that this book is practical, but it's also a good coffee table book where people can appreciate the pretty outfit photos. At least I can. 

This book has really inspired me to take my style to the next level this year--I want to step up my game in the way I dress and experiment a little bit with things like brights and metallics and the ugly-pretty look. Before this book I was already planning on doing a mini overhaul of my closet (as I do every year) and trying to get more versatile and interesting pieces, along with basics that are pairable with anything! I may or may not have outfits on the blog this year that are inspired by this book [;

I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys fashion and wants some inspiration for their own style. Whether you are just starting to get into fashion or you are obsessed with it and study it the way I do, this book is great for everyone. That's another thing I like about Style Stalking. It's not made just for beginners or for people who have been into fashion for a long time. This book was made in a way so that it can work for anyone. 

So what are you waiting for? Start style stalking!

What are your style goals for 2015?

I received this book courtesy of Blogging for Books. I was not financially compensated for this post, and all opinions are my own.
Chau for now

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Luxurious and Unique: Modaym

Everyone dreams of shopping and owning high-end fashion and accessories at some point in their lives. I mean who doesn't want high quality pieces of clothing and accessories? 

That is where Modaym comes in. Modaym has been one of my sponsors for the past few weeks and they are an online boutique that sells high end, luxury fashion pieces. They feature up-and-coming brands, and they feature these pieces directly from the independent designers themselves. They even have a page featuring the designers and letting shoppers know a little bit about who the designers are and their stories. 

Not only can you read up on the designers, but you can contact the designers directly to see if they have something you want in stock or to get something CUSTOM-MADE directly from them! That is pretty awesome, that Modaym can connect you with designers directly like that.

Modaym is also offering two ways to get discounts for Livin' and Lovin' Blog readers! Use the code "LovinModa" at checkout for 10% off your entire order, and create an account to get an additional $10 off your first purchase!

They have everything from sculpture jewelry to knits, so be sure to check out Modaym for some great luxury pieces from independent designers!

Some things to check out from them: 
Italian Leather Handbags
Newbury Knitted Wrap Vest
"Precious Hibiscus" Silk Scarf
Rings (and these aren't your typical rings like at Forever21, these are nice enough to be even engagement rings!)

Facebook // Twitter // Pinterest

If you'd like to be featured on the blog or get shoutouts on social media like Modaym and others, visit my sponsor page for more info & use the code "HAPPYNEWYEAR" for $2 off any spot over $5!

What's your favorite product from Modaym? How do you feel about shops supporting smaller, independent fashion designers?
Chau for now

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Re-Introducing the #ootd

When I first started out with writing this blog, one of my initial focuses were originally to do mostly fashion posts with others sprinkled in. Since then, I slowly moved away from that unintentionally to do more beauty, faith, food, and dating posts. Especially the dating posts. 

As much as I love what I have been able to do with my blog as a result of expanding it, fashion is still one of my true (and first) loves that got me into wanting to blog & become a journalist anyway (fashion journalism is basically what I want to do). 

So, one of the goals I made for myself for this year was to re-introduce the #ootd to the blog. Not only that, I'm also hoping to up the game for photos not only for fashion photos, but for all of the photos that go on the blog. 

I'm hoping to have at least one outfit photo up on here at least once a week or biweekly, depending on if I'm able to get shoots done with the boyfriend, Darell, when I'm home or photographer friends in the area I live in depending on how my schedule goes. 

Shift Dress: Express // Utility Jacket: Borrowed from a friend // Scarf: Birthday Gift from a couple years ago // Crew socks: Forever 21 - similar // Booties (old): Forever 21

With all that said and my first #ootd of the year done, I'm excited for what this blog is going to turn into this year, especially in regards to fashion & my personal style!

What is a style goal you have for this year?
Chau for now

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Let's Spread the Love + FREE Phone & Desktop Wallpapers!

Happy Tuesday! 

I didn't expect to create this post actually, but after the OVERWHELMING positive response I received from yesterday's post on singleness and self worth, I decided that I would help out with tip #3 of reminding yourself of your value. 

I have created multiple free "I am worth more" printables/wallpapers for you to download as you please! I have created a phone wallpaper (that had the iPhone in mind but if you don't have an iPhone and download it, let me know how it works out!) as well as a desktop wallpaper in two different font styles, depending on your preference (There were quite a few guys who also read my post yesterday which made me so happy, so I wanted to cater to them as well)! 

As another added bonus, I wanted to also offer a printable version of the graphic from my 2015 goals post to also help push you to do things and get things done this year!

To download, just go to whatever wallpaper/printable that you would like and click the link to the image to download it!

Enjoy :] 

Download this 2015 "Make Things Happen" wallpaper/printable HERE

Download handwritten "I am worth more" iPhone wallpaper HERE

Download script "I am worth more" iPhone wallpaper HERE

Download handwritten "I am worth more" desktop wallpaper HERE

Download script "I am worth more" desktop wallpaper HERE

Chau for now

Monday, January 5, 2015

For All the Single Ladies (& Men): You Are Worth More

When I normally write posts about dating, they are normally catered to people in relationships. And of course, I am in a relationship myself so it is natural that I would. However, for a couple months now, I have planned to write a post early in the new year about a very important thing everyone should be aware of before they even get into a relationship: You are worth more. 

If you grew up in the Christian community, you probably heard some female in your church or school talk about your worth and say those exact same words: "You are worth more." You probably heard this phrase countless times especially if you are single. 

If you didn't grow up in the Christian community, you probably didn't hear this phrase as much, if at all. And if you did, you probably heard it along the lines of "Focus on yourself." 

I decided to write this post because I wanted to focus on the single people who read this blog for once. I talk so much about being in relationships; I wanted to give some advice that could apply to singles as well. (In fact, this post can apply to everyone really, because we all need to know our worth and our value.)

Another reason I wrote this post is that I've seen people in my life (both single and in relationships) struggle with their self-image of themselves, and (especially if they're in a relationship) it plays out in their relationships with others, and not always for the better. I, myself, have struggled with my self-esteem and gotten entangled in relationships, but the experience of learning to love myself is one that everyone needs to experience at some point in their lifetime.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

2015: The Year of Making Things Happen

Happy New Year!

I hope that you all had a fun and safe New Year's Eve celebration last night. I know I did! But now, it is finally 2015, so let's get down to business. (points if you finished those lyrics and got that reference!)

2015 is going to be a big year for me. I'm going to hit a lot of milestones, and I'm also going to be celebrating some with the boyfriend, Darell, as well. There is a lot that I want to accomplish this year, and everything that I do this year will set the tone for next year (I also have some huge goals for 2016 as well. I know, I'm thinking waay ahead). 

I know that everyone talks about resolutions for the new year, but I don't like using that word because I feel like there is a more likely chance not to accomplish your goal if you use that term. Because let's be real: how many people actually finish their New Year's Resolutions from the beginning of the year to the end? 

Because of that, I refer to my "resolutions" as goals. Here are my goals for this year, not only for this blog, but my personal goals as well: 

Blog Goals:
[] Rebrand/redo the blog design (only tweaks, not a complete overhaul :)
[] Get back into #ootd posts, at least biweekly
[] Host at least one giveaway every quarter
[] Have Instagram following hit 1K
[] Have Twitter following hit 1K 
[] Attend at least two blogger events
[] Develop at least 2 new blogger friendships
[] Collaborate with more local brands and shops
[] Launch my two projects I'm working on by June of this year :]
[] Participate in at least one full-on photoshoot (with a hair stylist, makeup artist, a stylist, everything)
[] Get published in a large publication (online or print)
[] Host my first blogger event

Personal Goals:
[] Go on a road trip with friends
[] Get my own apartment!
[] Learn to cook a Filipino dish that isn't lumpia
[] Travel out of the country
[] Find a job that will give me a stable income (or at least have my current job give me a more stable income)
[] Turn 21 haaaay 
[] Have my first legal drink (after I graduate and am off contract from my school, of course #Vanguardproblems)
[] Witness Darell graduate & receive his AA! 
[] Have a GPA of at least a 3.5 or higher for my last two semesters of college
[] Go to Camp Whittle 
[] Go back to Royal Family Kids Camp
[] Read at least 6 novels for pleasure (since 12 didn't work last year)
[] Go on a date with Darell where we look like tourists/too rich for our own good haha

Okay, so one of the main things I'm excited for is graduating college. As of right now, I'm set to graduate this December, and even though that's not until the end of the year, it's a pretty great thing to look forward to. And I also want to take this blog to the next level too. I'll be going on 2 years with the blog this year, and I want to really propel it into what I envision it to becoming. 

I'm declaring 2015 as the year of making things happen, and I hope that you will declare that for your life this year as well. Here's to a new year!

What are your goals for this year? What are you going to do differently?
Chau for now

Review of 2014 Goals

On the first day of this year, I wrote a post about my goals for this year, both personal and blogging related. I figured that the best way to end this year and the most fitting last post for 2014 would be looking back at what I've been able to accomplish, and looking forward to dreaming even bigger in the coming year. 

Here are my goals and what I've accomplished: 

Blog goals:
[x] Fix up site design
[x slacked on this in the last couple months, however] Consistently post 3 times a week
[I'm getting there!] Schedule more posts!
[x] Connect and collaborate with other bloggers
[x] Take better photos
[This worked up until October. ] Post YouTube videos on my channel (also meant to partner with this blog) at least once a week
[x] Film better quality videos with the boyfriend
[x I went to one this year and met some bloggers that have now become real-life friends!] Participate in a few events with brands and/or other bloggers
[x] Have at least 500 Facebook fans
[x] Increase following on all social media!
[x overall] Hit 10,000 pageviews

Personal Goals:
[] Thoroughly study through at least half the Bible
[x] Get back on with daily devotions
[x] Pray more
[Sadly, not even close.] Read at least 12 books by the end of the year
[x] Get my car PLEASE
[x] Get a job off campus
[x] Find a place to live for the summer
[] Get my community college transcripts omg I've put it off too long haha
[] Learn to cook a Filipino dish
[2 out of 3 ain't bad] Travel to at least 3 different states
[x] Go on a roadtrip
[x I attempted this one] Do a cover video
[x] Go to a museum
[x] Do something touristy in LA
[x] Try a new type of food!
[x] Do a pinterest craft in real life

Okay so I did a pretty decent job at completing my goals so far, right? This year was intense, emotional, and very busy for me. A few of my personal goals I didn't get to accomplish but next year I want to make that change. Despite that, I still say that 2014 was a great year for me! I learned a lot about myself and the people around me, and it was a year of growing pains for me and Darell as well, hands down. I didn't talk much about my favorite personal moments of this year like I did last year, but it's okay, I'll remember those moments in my heart, as corny as that sounds. 

Well that's it! That is my last post for 2014! Tonight, I'll be spending New Year's Eve with the boyfriend's & his family. FUN FACT: We've never spend any holiday in the holiday season in the almost 5 years we've been together! So tonight will be very memorable for me :] Until tomorrow, Happy New Year! Enjoy tonight with your loved ones. 

What have you accomplished in 2014?
Chau for now