What Coffee Taught Me

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1. Buy Local When You Can

There is nothing better than freshly roasted coffee beans ground right on the spot for your cup of brew. Buying coffee straight from a local roaster means less stagnant time between roasting and brewing, allowing for a fresher cup. You’re also supporting a small business that is trying to survive in the same place you call home.

2. Know The Origin Of Your Product

Single origin coffees come from either one particular farm or location. Knowing the exact source of your beans lets you know as much as possible about what you’re about to ingest. And who doesn’t want to know what they’re putting in their body?

3. Keep It Simple

It’s daunting seeing a menu that has hundreds of items. I’ve come to appreciate the beauty of a simple selection. My favorite cafes have menus that usually span only one or two boards. Trying out intermittent fasting made me appreciate black coffee and the multitude of flavors that can come from one single ingredient.

I’ve learned these things from coffee but they can be applied to almost anything else. Support your local businesses, know what goes into your food, appreciate the simple things in life.

Have a great weekend!

REVIEW: Fuse Gelnamel Starter Kit in V-Amp

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I’ve been wanting to try these gel-polish-UV-light-kit-things and when I saw that this was 50% off, I had to scoop it up! Sensational’s Fuse Gelnamel Starter Kit in “V-amp” caught my eye with its wine-colored polish that is perfect for autumn.

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Plugged the lamp in and went to work on my nails! I love the look of a high-gloss polish so this one takes the cake. It starts off a bit cloudy but over the next couple hours the shine really starts to come through. I don’t recommend this for people with brittle nails as the filling/buffing required will definitely make it worse.

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After about 6 days, the polish started to chip on me. Interestingly enough, I applied the polish on my right hand exactly as instructed and that was the side that started chipping first. My left hand has only seen minor edge chipping and I applied the polish with a wipe of cleanser in between the first and second coat.

I like the look and the feel of this polish. It’s durable and ideal for people who don’t like to change their polish often. Only one to two coats and your nails are done, with a dry time of literally only 30 seconds per nail. This one’s a winner for sure, just avoid it if you have thin nails!

Budget-Friendly Planner Supplies

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I’ve gained a new addiction lately… planning out every single detail of my life. Okay, not really, but I’ve started getting obsessed with decorating the crap out of my planner.

Getting into having a cute planner meant needing supplies. I quickly saw that things like stamps and washi tape were not cheap.

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Looking for basic tapes? Check out eBay! There are multiple listing of simple tapes that are under $2. Fast and cheap way to build up your collection. They aren’t as high quality as those special branded Japanese tapes but they function the same. Dollar Tree, a popular US dollar store, has been stocking their own brand of washi tapes lately too.

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Correctional tapes can be found anywhere now, this one was from the dollar section at CVS. There’s also a decorative kind that you can’t write on but are perfect for cute borders. This Deco Runner tape is another dollar store find but is also stocked at JoAnn’s! Buy a hole puncher for making your own pages, mine’s from Daiso. Do spend a little money on writing utensils. I love Japanese multi-pens and they can be found at JetPens as well as Amazon for the best price.

Dollar stores can be treasure troves of quality brand items that were either over-purchased, misprinted, or discontinued. I love checking out dollar sections at places like Target too for crafting supplies. You can find great basic supplies that are really inexpensive and sometimes even with cute designs.

Happy hunting!

REVIEW: Nutra Nail Gel Perfect in “Pretty Pink”

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DIY gel manicures are everywhere, from $60 complete kits to $7 gel-like finish nail polishes. I found this Nutra Nail kit at a dollar store that promises a gel manicure look with no UV light required.

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The process is pretty easy. Apply the activator, apply the gel polish right after and repeat one more time. Apply one last coat of the activator and let it dry for 2 minutes or so to get that shiny finish. The finished product is pretty convincing with a high amount of shine and density.

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This lasted only 5 days for me before it started chipping and breaking off like crazy. The removal is moderately easy with dipping your fingers in acetone until it can be wiped off. I was disappointed in the strength of this polish, I expected it to be stronger than my usual polish with topcoat.

For a buck, it wasn’t bad. The smell is strong and I didn’t enjoy the application process at all but the finished product is nice to look at. Maybe the UV-cured polishes are a bit stronger? I’ve been dying to try the Sally Hansen kit but am hesitant dropping $70 on it.

BEFORE: Desk Spring Cleaning

Oh man, spring’s almost over. I’ll admit that I’m a bit late when it comes to the annual spring cleaning thing. I’m rushing to finish organizing and cleaning all the things I swore I would when March came around!

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My biggest project is my desk. My awesome desk was handmade by my father and somehow transported upstairs through our teeny hallway with my help. When I was a skinny 13 year old that didn’t lift yet. I remember lots of battle scars that day.

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So of course, ten years later all the nooks and crannies of this desk ended up stuffed. Things I no longer use, things I didn’t even know I kept, and things I wanted to keep using were all jammed together. You can even see an unopened bag of coffee there lol.

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These are a few photos of inspiration that I’m drawing on. It’s crazy how much cleaner a space can get by just simply hiding things. Whether it be away in a drawer or cabinet, or just partly hidden inside a basket or bin, hiding stuff from plain view can instantly change the way a room looks.

I’ll be back with after photos soon! Hopefully… this project is a thorough one.

Seeing Stars: Vintage Star Maps


     
I have this innate love for astrology, though I’ve never taken a formal class or read any books. There’s just something about stars, galaxies, and the prospect of something out there that is so mysterious and intriguing. It also helps that images of outer space from the Hubble telescope are damn gorgeous.

These Etsy products I stumbled across would be great decorations for any bedroom or office. Vintage star maps have such beautiful geometric shapes. My favorites are those with the classic navy blue and white color schemes.

Click any image to go to their Etsy product page!

Thrift + Market

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My friends and I went to the Little Italy Mercato (Farmer’s Market) this morning expecting a decent crowd buying flowers and treats for Mother’s Day tomorrow. That is exactly what greeted us. I scored three beautiful bouquets for only $11. Now if I bought flowers from any grocery store, I’d only get one bouquet for that price. But three? Score!

If I could, I’d buy fresh flowers every week.

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Earlier in the week, I dropped by one of my favorite thrift stores to scope out some home goods. I came out with this pretty frame and plate for only $2.50 all together. Seriously, the plate alone looks like something I could purchase new for $5. I paid only 75 cents! The best part is when you find out the history of the things you buy. This little saucer came from a series of flights conducted by America West Airlines back in 1989. I plan on turning the frame into a chalkboard later on.

One of the things I love about San Diego is that our constant sunny weather allows for great farmers markets almost all year round. All the fruits I sampled today were so sweet and tempting. I love farmers markets and thrift stores! Great value for your dollar and lots of things to look at.