Empties | 2014 Vol. 2

Thursday, January 15, 2015

I decided I want to start this year with a clean slate and get rid of any empties I have from 2014 so I can keep track of how many products I used up in 2015.  So here are the last few products I used up from last year.

I know it's not that much, but I'm actually pretty bad about using things up.  I like to buy things, but they just sit there most of the time.  Hopefully I'll start using more things up this year so that I'm not wasting my money anymore.

Body products
Softsoap Pure Cashmere Body Wash.  This was actually my sister's.  She gave it to me to finish because she didn't really use body washes.  I thought it was ok; the scent was light and it lathered up pretty nicely on my loofa.  What more can I say about a body wash?  I might consider (re)purchasing this if it were on sale and I had coupons for it or something, but I won't go out of my way to look for it.
The Body Shop Loofa.  I received this in a gift set from The Body Shop a few years ago as a Christmas gift from a friend.  I actually really like this loofa better than the one I'm using currently. It's a lot softer and I don't feel like I'm scratching my skin every time I'm using it.  It also lathers body washes pretty well.  I would probably not repurchase this, seeing as it most likely cost a lot more than what I would like to spend on a loofa.

Josie Maran Argan Oil Light Sample.  Got this from Sephora, duh!  I have to say a little goes a long way and these samples lasted me at least a few weeks.  You should also know that I'm terrible at moisturizing my skin every day.  This sample absorbed into my skin pretty well and doesn't make my face too oily.  The only thing I wish the sample came with was the droppers so that I am only using about 3 drops per using rather than random amount every time.  I have repurchased the travel size of this.
Tarte Maracuja Oil Sample.  Another sample from Sephora.  Apparently I'm Captain Obvious today.  The Maracuja oil is a lot thicker than the Argan oil light.  It does leave my face pretty oily after each use, but that doesn't really bother me that much because I use this at night.  I've repurchased this and am currently using it at night.

L'oreal Lash Out Butterfly Mascara.  This is probably the first mascara (I'm a late bloomer in the makeup world) that I really loved.  It made my lashes look voluminous and fluttery.  I like my lashes to look more on the natural side so I usually don't layer mascaras or even wear multiple coats.  I want to do a review on this soon so I will talk more about it in the review.  Have repurchased multiple times.
Jordana Best Lash Extreme Volumizing Mascara.  This was a hand-me-down from my sister.  I know you're not supposed to share mascaras with anyone, and I usually don't, but for some reason I feel it's ok with my sister.  We don't do it often, and it's usually just letting the other person try it once to feel the hang of the mascara before going out to purchase it for themselves.  I didn't use this mascara often but it was just sitting in my collection for the longest time, so out it goes.  I will most likely (re)purchase this in the future to see how I like a new tube of it.

INM Out The Door Topcoat.  This is currently my favorite top coat.  It beats Seche Vite in my book because it is not only cheaper (I got it for $3.99 at Bed, Bath, and Beyond!), but is also free of some of the bad chemicals that are included in Seche Vite.  It dries just as fast and leaves your nails just as shiny as Seche Vite.  It also does not goop up as early as Seche Vite.  I actually noticed it started getting thicker about 2/3 of the bottle.  I have repurchased this and will always repurchase unless I find something better.
Bath & Body Work Twilight Wood Pocket Bac.  Another hand-me-down from my sister.  I don't know how to describe hand sanitizers besides from their scents.  This was a pretty strong scent and I won't repurchase in this scent.  I have repurchased the Pocket Bac from Bath & Body Works in other scents though.
EOS Strawberry Sorbet Lipbalm.  This was the lip balm that kept going on.  I purchased it to try, then gave it to my sister who gave it back to me.  I swear I was trying to use this up for over several months but it just would not end!  It felt like I went through my Lemon Drop one so much faster than I went through this.  I have another Lemon Drop one to use, but after that one is done I don't think I will be repurchasing EOS lipbalms again unless I find an amazing deal I can't pass up.

I've already used up some more products since the beginning of the year and will probably do another empties post either after I finish using a certain amount of products or every few months.

What are some of the products you've recently used up?

Reflection & Resolutions

Friday, January 9, 2015

Happy 2015!  I know I'm a little late on the whole new years resolution thing, but better late than never right?  But before I get into my resolutions for 2015, I thought I would do a brief reflection of 2014 for me.  PS: this will be a super lengthy post!

2014 Reflection
It seems like each year is zooming by faster and faster and last year was no exception.  The only way I can think of to describe 2014 is a roller coaster ride that I slept through.  It felt like I was floating through life for the whole 2014.  I experienced all the adventures that life had in store for me, but I made no advancement in any aspect of my life at all.  And thinking back on that, it really bothers me.

I made no advancement in my career.  I still have the same job I had last year (not that I'm complaining about it) and haven't really looked for something better at all.  I will admit that we did work on some, or a lot of, new things at work in 2014 but just like everything, I'm slowly getting bored of it.  On top of that, I did not take any other prereq classes toward a program that I want to apply for.  I basically started 2015 where I started 2014.

My spending habits took a turn for the worse last year, and I didn't realize it until one month, luckily(?) it was December, when I was paying my bills and basically I spent my whole paycheck paying for my loans and my bills.  That moment when I realized I spend the same amount that I made was an eye opener.  I had a super bad habit of charging everything onto my credit card (thankfully my spending is still within my limits, aka no credit card debt!), and it was so easy to get carried away since I am not physically handing over the money from my wallet; I was basically underestimating how much I spent on things, and thinking they somehow wouldn't add up to a crazy number larger than what I had in mind.

Hopefully 2015 will be a lot better in every aspect of my life.  So, here are my resolutions for 2015.

2015 Resolutions
Work on blog.  I want this blog to be my baby this year.  I want this to be my main hobby and put a lot more effort to growing this throughout the year.  Given that, I want to post regularly.  I'm hoping for 2 posts per week for the first half of the year and then transition to 3 posts the second half of the year.  On top of the post, I definitely want to work on my photography skills.  (PS, I just tried to spell skills with a c... scills...)

Budget better and spend less.  As mentioned above in my reflection, 2014 was the year I really went crazy spending a lot of money on impulse buys.  This year I really want to focus on saving as much money as I can and be strict with my purchases.  I want to only purchase quality things that I need.  I would also like to see myself go through the 100 days no buy challenge sometime this year and succeed at it.

Become a minimalist.  I've realized over the past few weeks, I have a bunch of crap in my room.  Along with my previous resolution, I want to become more minimalistic.  I want to declutter at least 10 things per month, whether its just old packaging I've kept around because its so pretty, or old and expired products I can't seem to part with for some odd reason.  On top of the 10 things per month, I want to declutter one additional thing for anything that I buy during that month.  For instance, if I purchased 4 beauty products during that month, I would be decluttering 14 (10+4) objects that month.

Put more effort into hair, fashion and nail art.  I am lazy when it comes to these departments.  I consider putting my hair into a pony tail as doing my hair; I want to invest in a 1.5in curling wand so that I can curl my hair more often.  I also need to venture out and buy more clothes.  I have the same set of clothes for the longest time and my sister has been literally begging me to get a new wardrobe.  Unfortunately, new wardrobe = money... money that I'm trying to save.  And lastly, I used to love doing my nails.  I want to do more than just paint my nails one color (sometimes with the accent nail).  I want to do more designs and buy some cheapaffordable nail art supplies on ebay to play with my nails.

Redecorate my room.  I still live at home, in the same room I've been in since we moved here 14 years ago.  Basically everything I have in here is still very childish.  I want to declutter and redecorate my room to reflect my style and personality that I have now, instead of the mixed matched furnitures that I have in here.  I still have a lot of things in here that are very childish, ex my sheets and the stuffed animals around the bed, and they definitely don't reflect who I am today.  Basically I want my room to be my space, my escape from the reality.

Exercise.  Another goal that's been on my resolution list every year... This year I really do want to run a mile under 8 minutes again, if not in the 8 minute range.  I used to be able to do that easily in high school (on a dirt track too!) and I'm quite ashamed I can't do that anymore.  I hope to run a marathon of some sort sometime in my future so this will be a start to that marathon training.

Tone body.
  I've always wanted a toned ab area but I don't think I've come super close to it yet.  The closest was probably last April when I was doing the 30 day ab challenge.  I really want some toned abs so that I can feel a bit more confident in my body.

Eat healthier.  As I'm turning 25 (eeeek!!!) within a few weeks, I definitely need to take care of my body better.  I've always took advantage of my fast metabolism but I need to start coming to the conclusion that it won't be with me forever.  I need to eat healthier, (less junk food, less fast food, less soda, etc) so that my body can remain in a health shape.

Reconnect with old friends.  I hate to admit it but, I have lost touch with a lot of my friends from high school.  Last year I had the chance to reconnect with a handful of old friends and it was nice.  This year, I want to maintain, or even improve on, those friendships along with reconnecting with more friends from high school.  It would be nice to catch up and stay in each other's life rather than remaining as strangers.

Take more pictures.  The last few years, I probably only took a few hundred pictures of my life.  I want to take more pictures so that I can document my life better and maybe start a scrapbook with those pictures.  Plus I have no other excuse not to; I now have a phone with an excellent camera quality.

Improve my Chinese.  I am a horrible Chinese.  Mandarin was my second/third language (I grew up speaking a mixture of three language at home) and unfortunately none of them stuck around once I started learning English.  I have taken some Chinese classes here and there but I don't feel confident in my Chinese to hold a conversation with someone at all.  I am able to listen and understand what others are talking about, but I am not confident with my speaking and reading skills.  I would definitely like to work on that somehow this year.

Read 12 books.  I swear I always have this goal every year for the past few years, and I can't seem to meet it some how.  12 books in a year, meaning a book a month and somehow I still can't read that much!  Hopefully this won't be too hard this year as there are some exciting books I'm anxious to get started on.  Currently I'm reading The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty and Where We Belong by Emily Giffin.

Be creative.  I want to do more craft projects this year.  I want to knit more.  I want to learn how to crochet.  I want to dip my toes in some graphics designing (for the blog), editing better pictures, etc.  I just want more creative outlets this year and hopefully I can budget my time wisely to get to all of them.

Record daily highlights.
  Last year when I was in a pretty bad state of mind, I always made it a point to think about my day and write down 2-3 good things that I wanted to remember the day by.  Honestly, I think that was one of the things that had helped me out of my mini depression I had early last year.  Unfortunately as life picked up, I forgot to keep track of it daily and it got to the point where I was trying to remember what I did three weeks ago; and if you know anything about me, my memory kind of sucks.  So this year, I want to have a memory of some good things that happened every day of the year.

Be happy.  Lastly, but most important of it all, I want this year to be a good year.  I want to be happy, and do things that will make me happy.  I know a lot of that will come from just not caring about what other people think of me.  I just want to be happy and make the most out of this year.

What are some of your new years resolutions for 2015 and how are you planning to accomplish it?