Fenty Beauty Make Up Giveaway!

Just updating the blog to announce a MAKEUP GIVEAWAY.
I am giving away one of Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty Stunna Lip Paints in ATTACHED.

Watch this video below on YouTube for the details! Make sure to click through







*Giveaway not sponsored or affiliated with Rihanna, Fenty Beauty, YouTube, Instagram, or WordPress

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What Mommy Groups Taught me About Porn | Why You Should Talk About Where it Fits in Relationships and Marriage

If you’re a mother in 2019, you’re likely in various social media groups or apps that allow you to connect and communicate with other parents across the world.

Groups like unicorn moms (where I’m blocked, and still don’t know why) or a local mommies group contain over hundreds of thousands of mothers sharing their experiences, stories, and advice with others like them and not so much like them. You can even find groups specific to hobbies you have, weed? wine? Disney? stay at home? military? work from home? triad relationships? you name it…just search away.

Within these groups are banned topics from most of these groups including politics and vaccines (which, honestly, anti-vaxxing specifically shouldn’t be allowed in mommy groups— the fear and misinformation spread is ridiculous).

One topic that isn’t banned but is becoming a nuisance in groups is PORN. Other than one time in college, where I got into a debate with a friend about how porn is/isn’t degrading to women. I never knew how strongly people were against it. I was on the “isn’t” side and she was on the “is” side. I figure if it’s a consensual choice for the woman, then she can make money how she wants, no shaming or patronizing here. It’s become a heavily regulated industry, so I’m told. Power to her for being confident enough to share that intimacy with the world, I have no bad words about women in the porn/adult industry. Of course, as any industry there are issues within but that’s a different topic for another day.

Prior to being in these mommy groups, I had no idea it was such a heated topic for so many women. It gets so ugly. So many stories of women being upset that their husband is cheating on them, only to finish reading their post and finding out they caught them watching porn. The first time I saw this, I thought it was a troll and was so confused. Nope, turns out it was real and there’s validity to their feelings.

Post from a mommy group I’m in

I grew up in a big city, DC. Then I moved to one of the biggest in the world, New York City, and from there I ended up here in Los Angeles. The whole suburban mindset isn’t one I truly understand. I have friends who confidently show off their nipples (not breastfeeding) and other parts of their bodies knowing their peers can understand beauty without sexuality. Sex isn’t taboo among my personal peer groups, it’s talked about a lot, sometimes in too much detail…but nonetheless none of my peers think porn is bad.

The posts to mommy groups often end up in a heated debate with one side calling the other “uptight prudes” and the other side calling them “stupid whores”. Seeing them so many times over gets old and annoying. It goes nowhere and ultimately everyone is entitled to their own opinion.

What I’ve realized through these debates is that women were never really raised to speak about porn growing up (teenage years). So we’re left in this gray area where we’re influenced by certain factors like religions, region, and peers. For some porn is a disgusting secret, while for others it’s an open topic much like anything else. Personally, I don’t think the whole population has to commit to either being okay with it or not. Obviously, it should be a personal choice. When it comes to relationships and porn…this should be something discussed before getting serious and especially before getting married. Don’t be the woman who has 3 kids with and a seemingly perfect husband, only to find him watching porn one day and feeling like the world has come crashing down (see below). You’re entitled to your emotions and your opinions but lets put that on the list to talk about before you commit.

For my unmarried/uncommitted friends reading this. Here’s a cheat sheet for you

Topics to Talk About Before Getting Serious/Married
– Religion
– Politics
– If you want kids,
– How many kids you want
– How you’ll raise the children
– Vaccinations (this shouldn’t be a thing but seriously, make sure you’re with someone who knows to vaccinate children)
– Where you want to live
– How you want to live (ie: we want to travel a lot vs vacations here and there)
and now on that list…porn

Just like religion and politics it’s so important to discuss where you stand and how/if you’ll be able to continue the relationship on that notion. I’m in no way saying that everyone has to agree with what I want, or even what their partner wants, but it’s so important to discuss the place of said topics above, in your relationship.

For example, if you follow one religion and they follow another, will you two be able to raise your children in the way you wish? Some will be able to, while others will not be able to. Politics-wise, would you be able to be with someone who voted for Trump? Lastly, Porn…if you don’t accept it is your partner willing to omit that from his/her life? People fail to talk about these things then end up in the mommy groups feeling stuck and unsure of where their relationship stands. It is completely preventable if we start discussing topics more.

All in all what I’ve learned from these mommy groups, that I tell my friends now is to add that to their list of things they want to discuss before getting into a serious relationship with someone.

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4 Resolutions For Your Personal Brand

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It’s New Year’s Eve…which means it’s time to roll out some resolutions. I’ll be completely honest here, I suck at keeping (sometimes even making) resolutions. With a growing business and big plans underway for the family, I am sharing 7 New Years Resolutions to boost your brand.



4. Schedule and Stick to It
Outside of work for my clients, this is one I have such a difficult time with for our own brands. It’s clearly given that I have a lot going on. There are so many tools out there to help “schedule”, but I think really mentally reminding myself that keeping up with content, posts, editing, or whatever it might be is what makes or breaks my success. I usually say “oh it’s not that important to post, who cares” (again for my own accounts) only to end up 2 weeks later with nothing. Scheduling out creating and when to share is going to be a big one for me in 2019.



3. Quality Matters – Content is King
My husband is my biggest supporter. I can’t express how many times I’ve hindered my own success (again with my own brand endeavors) because we weren’t using the best tech gear like the other creators. He constantly reminds me that it’s that story of what I’m sharing that matters, not how much the camera I used cost for a video or photo. I stopped doing vlogs because all I have is a GoPro Hero 5 and a GH4, but all the YouTubers use a cannon g7x.



2. Purpose/Intent- Not just money and “fame”.
Sometimes, I get so caught up with what’s on my feed and trying to keep up that I forget that it’s not just about beating someone with a larger following and it’s not about making more either. My intent for creating and sharing experiences is purely to let me exercise my entrepreneurial and creative aspirations. To give me the platform to work with and for the oceans. Of course, we need money to survive, but that can’t be the only motivation to do things. This is one people should really listen to. I hear so many times the phrase “my kids should/will want for nothing” and I personally believe that mentality is what holds us back as a society. While the premise of that saying is to make sure we’re financially and mentally prepared for children, it also states that the material checklist is what makes us “successful”. Let’s feed each other experiences not material things.



Lost in Space follows the lives of a multi-racial family, The Robinson’s,  and their life living in space and on another planet. The Robinson’s go through multiple events with their (or a loved one’s) lives at stake. It kind of reminds of Lost,  but with robot-aliens and families. I highly recommend this show for families with kids (probably over the age of 7 — but there is use of adult language), though those without kids can enjoy it all the same. We watched each episode together with our son. What we love about this show, is what we love about Bob’s Burger’s, and that’s the importance of family. The Robinson’s are a true representation of going through whatever it takes to keep the family together and safe.
(Watch it on Netflix)

5. Superstore


I’m actually shocked that more people don’t already watch the comedic genius that is Superstore, this show stars America Ferrara and features a diverse cast tackling everyday issues of the blue collar workers. If you’ve ever worked retail or a minimum wage job, you’ll find this show highly relatable. What I love most about this show is how progressive it is, ( yes, if you didn’t get that by now I am a progressive) this current seasons tackles issues in a lighthearted way that doesn’t dissuade audiences from continuing to watch. There was even a hilarious gun episode in the earlier seasons. I truly hope “the other side” watches with an open mind. It’s one of those shows that can unify us, through comedic relief. It’s woke af. Also, as a Filipino, there is representation for Filipino-American’s in this show, with a real story line and even some bits of Tagalog which we rarely ever see on American television.
(Watch it on Hulu)

4. You


This one is on Netflix now, so there’s no excuse not to watch. I had to use the badass Gif of Shay Mitchell with a glock for this one. You is truly an underrated show, and the only reason it’s not in my top 3 is because it’s a thriller and not everyone loves thrillers. This show also stars Gossip Girl alum, Penn Badgley, who plays an obsessive boyfriend type. I think what makes this show is the narration, paired with the talented acting, you truly feel immersed in a story,  which is great because the two main characters are literary lovers. This show truly takes you on a roller coaster ride of emotions and moments of yelling and side-eyeing at the TV. Go add this one to your list, and binge the series today!
(Watch it on Netflix)

3. The Good Place


This is another show that I’m shocked more people aren’t watching or talking about. Starring mommy favorite, Kristen Bell (though she’s not a mom or anything close in this show). The show follows the lives of Eleanor (Kristen Bell), Chidi (William Jackson Harper), Tahani (Jamila Al-Jamil, who’s been a buzz lately), and Jason (Manny Jancito) in the after life. I believe the show is in it’s 4th season, and just when you think the show’s story is going to have it’s drop-off point they stun you with creative plot lines to keep you engaged and interested. This show was one my husband and I were unsure of watching with our son. I had already watched the first 3 seasons and my son was begging to watch. We decided to re-watch the episodes with him and it turned out okay. Adult language is mostly omitted too. I feel this show opened up conversation about the different kinds of religion and beliefs out there with our son. We’re agnostic but support our kids in any belief system or religion, should they choose to adopt one (as long as it doesn’t hurt other people or the environment). Also, another show that features a Filipino character…I promise this isn’t on purpose. I believe there are only 3 shows on Network TV that feature a prominent Filipino- American (please feel free to correct me, Superstore, Crazy Ex Girlfriend, and The Good Place.)
(Watch it on Hulu/Netflix)

2. The Orville


Oh my another space show.  This show is about the lives of a series of crew members from different species aboard the ship, The Orville, created by comedy legend Seth McFarland. This is one we’ve recently gotten into and one we watch as a family. Our kid is a lot more mature than most, so I don’t think most kids would be able to watch this show. The writers of this show are brilliant to say the least. They touch on what we in the sustainability world call “wicked problems”, which is laments terms means there are issues in the world, that don’t have a “stop all” solution. There are also conceptual plot lines that mirror the “deepness” of shows like Rick and Morty, that make you go “wait a minute, that was really deep…” after you’ve just laughed your ass off. The new season starts on the 30th, so I definitely recommend catching up soon!
(Watch it on Hulu)

1. The Bold Type

I’m actually so mad that this show isn’t more popular. Especially among my followers and readers, which according to insights, is mostly made up of female millennials (ages 22-34). This show follows the budding careers of journalist, Jane. Powerhouse, Kat, and aspiring artist (of sorts), Sutton. They touch on issues like the Muslim ban, me too, white privilege, and so much more. It’s astounding to me that more of my own friends don’t watch this show considering they touch on the topics of conversations that we talk about on a daily basis. My favorite story this past season was Kat, owning her blackness after being raised by ‘colorblind’ parents or the whole menstrual cup episode and the hypocrisies in the world with trying to do good but not taking into account other factors that won’t fare well in the situation. This show is beyond brilliant. It’s real, it’s raw, and it deserves so much more recognition. I’ll probably post a couple full articles on this show because I believe it deserves to be more popular than it currently is.
(Watch it on Hulu)

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Larchmont Sanctuary Spa Review

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My first proper massage was given to me by my husband when we were first dating, at 21 years old. Since then I have had a total of maybe 5-6 proper massages, until just  about 3 weeks ago I had never had a proper spa day, and as cliche as it is going to sound…it changed my life. Thank you so much to everyone at Larchmont Sanctuary Spa

Upon entering the spa, I was warmly greeted by the Front-Desk girl, who showed me to the locker room. It was a cozy room painted a calming blue color with showers and sinks, with a locker area to keep your personal belongings. There were complimentary slippers and robes to use and of course calming music playing. Since it was my first time having a proper spa package/day I questioned whether it was necessary to be fully clothed or keep undergarments on,  I felt embarrassed to ask, but the front desk girl was very chill about my question and told me that either or work. The robes were too cozy not to experience the full feel 😉

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I got to experience the “me-time” spa package, which started off with a copper bath.

The copper bath was in an isolated room, the tub was large enough to fit about 4 people, comfortably. The tub was surrounded by candles, jade stones, and mirrors. The water was warm and filled with essential oils, flower petals, as pulsating jets kept the water going. There was also complimentary champagne in the room– mama needed that. The bath was so relaxing. It felt like a weight had been lifted off of my shoulders. Come to find out, copper tubs are said to have amazing benefits like body healing, skin health, and melanin production.

After the bath, I took some time to immerse myself in the zen vibes of the waiting room  before my jade stone massage. A couple moments later I was ushered into the massage room where I spent about an hour and a half getting a full body massage. I work 2 jobs, one of which is more physically laborious than the other…to say that I needed the massage was an understatement. I felt every tight muscle separate, parts of my shoulder and back that I didn’t even know were as stiff as they were, were handled with the most amazing care. With the lavender essential oils and hot jade stones massing my body, it added to the repairing of my body and mind.

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Before the last event on the schedule, I was able to experience the sauna, which was tucked away in the back area of the spa. Luckily, no one else was in the sauna, so I was able to enjoy the room alone. I mediated while in there and found more calm. Soon enough I was called in for my facial.

IMG_4887I received the rejuvenation facial. Yumie was an absolute gem, she assessed my skin and we talked about problem areas and possible fixes to my skincare routine. I was highly impressed. The facial came with extractions and injection of vitamins. It lasted about an hour and a half and my skin felt so refreshed. Video can be found on my Instagram.

The hardest part about the spa package experience was having to leave. I could’ve lived there forever. The front desk girls also gave me a gift bag with a personal note from the Spa Director, Bevin. It added the perfect personal touch to the entire experience. I think the most important thing to draw from spas and massages is investing the wellness experience into a place that is as personable as The Larchmont Sanctuary Spa.

 

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This post was made in collaboration with Larchmont Sanctuary Spa.

Kid-Friendly Steakhouse Experience: Fleming’s Children’s menu.

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image1I have to admit for an 8-year-old, Bri has been to some really awesome restaurants, partly in thanks to the visits with his awesome grandparents/ my in-laws with great taste, but also because he has young parents and lives in an awesome city. So he was actually super excited to hear that Fleming’s had invited us for dinner and had a Children’s Menu available. We went in to the Downtown LA location for dinner last night, on a mommy and Bri date. Some alone time with my oldest child was long overdue. Upon arrival were greeted by such an accommodating staff. The manager, Michelle, was incredibly helpful throughout the experience. The hosts sat us quickly at a large booth, it didn’t look like there were any particularly “bad tables” either. Everything seemed fair game, nothing too close to the kitchen or bathrooms.

 

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(Bread basket)

 

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We got settled in and were offered a basket of bread rolls and water. I am truly grateful there were no straws too! Not only would they have looked kind of tacky, they are incredibly horrible for the environment— taking about 500+ years just to breakdown into micro plastics, but that’s a different discussion for another time. Bri got a hold of the Children’s menu and his eyes immediately closed in on the Colossal Shrimp Tempura. DSC_0709-2He had a choice of a starter salad or apple slices. I wish I could say he picked the salad, but he opted for the apple slices with caramel dipping sauce. He sure did love that caramel dipping sauce too. He started dipping the bread in it shortly after he devoured the delicious apple slices. Bri’s Colossal Shrimp Tempura was served with some veggie tempura too and a choice of either fries or a potato waffle. The potato waffle was a fun spin on a starch side. Bri’s only complaint was that there was no syrup for his potato waffle. Real refined palette there. haha.

image2(cooked to perfection)

I ordered an 8 oz. Filet Mingon with a side of Yukon Mashed Potatoes and Creamed Spinach. The steak was cooked to perfection, a perfect medium-rare to a beautiful cut of meat. The sides were warm and so filling. I paired my meal with a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon, it was all delicious. Our server Stevie, and the manager, Michelle, were so kind and accommodating. No one acted like Bri was a nuisance, like most places do at the sight of children. The staff was the icing on the cake for the experience, speaking of sweets, we didn’t have room for any because we were so stuffed! We’ll have to visit again and try that lava cake!

Are Six Flags Memberships Worth it?

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Short answer: Yes and No.

We’re diamond members of Six Flags Magic Mountain (though the memberships are valid for all locations) We upgraded our season passes to diamond memberships after a May visit.

The perks to our pass are that you get free admission to both Magic Mountain and Hurricane Harbor. Yes, you can visit both in one day. 35% on almost everything in the park. Truth be told I still haven’t found what doesn’t qualify for the discount. You get flash passes every visit, for ONE ride. Free drink refills, Bring-a-Friend-Free days, and consistent 35% discounts for tickets for friends. Oh and Free Preferred Parking and Diamond Member Waterpark access– with reservation.

Sounds great right? But what is up with the reservations?

Well, they sell these memberships like gym memberships. There are more passes to go around than there is actual capacity for these “perks”Reservations have to be made in order to accommodate the free parking and Diamond Member Waterpark access by 5am the day of. Peak days like Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday holidays should be reserved 3 days in advance.

Our last visit to the park, which fell on a Friday, I didn’t get on a single ride. The lines were way too long and just not worth it to us. Membership wasn’t very useful. My husband did wait in line with Bri, our oldest, for one waterslide. It was crowded in the tide pool. Actually, everywhere was crowded. It could’ve been worse by my patience is very thin with crowds. Thus making the trip not worth it.

If you’re someone who doesn’t mind crowds and waiting in line for 20mins to 1 hour for a ride that lasts less than 1-minute, then good for you.

I think the memberships work if you plan to go frequently. We’ve been 6 times in the last 3-4 months. It’s also great if you can do weekdays, to avoid the weekend crowds and long wait times. We pay roughly $15.00/month per person or $45/month for all 3 of us. Tickets cost anywhere from $59.99-$89.99 for a one-time visit. So we’ve already gotten our money’s worth and more with the 6 visits thus far.

The membership is something that’s been rolled out recently and can use a lot of tweaking, and I know they will. Same with the park itself, upgrades can definitely be done. So yes and no it’s worth it.

My Favorite Products that have made Breastfeeding easier.

Screen Shot 2018-07-11 at 3.08.18 PMIf you didn’t already know from the posts I’ve shared on Instagram. Breastfeeding is something that has been pretty much new to me with this second round of parenthood. I wasn’t successful the first time around, mostly because of socio-economic differences (unmarried, teen parent, working/school with less flexibility, etc). It has been a challenge and though we’re only about 4 1/2 months in, Sagan has been exclusively breastfed. All the while I run my company, work on my own brand, juggle family time, finishing my degree, and SURPRISE work a part-time job (that I went back to at 4 weeks pp) I want to share 6 products that have made breastfeeding so much easier for me, with mamas new and on another round of parenthood who want to explore breastfeeding

 

6. Boobie Bars

boobiebars.jpgI’ll admit these are pricey, but when you’re as busy as I am and committed to EBF the ingredients in this make it worth every penny. My personal experience has been finding my boobs engorged after 3 days within a couple hours of feeding. Which in turn leaves me able to pump more and store. I’ve tried virtually every lactation supplement on the market and these have been the best thus far. I also get them for a little less at The Pump Station in Hollywood.

5. Bamboobies Washable Nursing Pads
bamboobiesnursingpadsOne of my wonderful Best Friend’s bought me a couple packs of these for my baby shower. They have been absolutely amazing! They are so comfy and environmentally friendly too. Which as many of you know is a huge bonus in my book. Unlike disposables, you can reuse these by tossing them in the wash after a day or soiled use. I love companies that make efforts to be a little more green while still being completely conventional to consumers. They’re so easy to insert and adjust in nursing bras too!

 

4. Bonita Bluum Nursing Cover

bonitabluumThis product was actually sent to me for review. I don’t post about every product I get sent, because sometimes they aren’t as amazing as promised. This nursing cover, however, is a must-have for breastfeeding mamas who prefer to cover while feeding, since the world isn’t as progressive as we’d hope it to be. The muslin is lightweight and breathable, which in this LA weather is so important. There’s also a feature that I haven’t seen on any other nursing pads, which is the adjustable opening to be able to see and bond with your babe. I love using this when we go to Six Flags, parks, beaches, etc. (Pictured in use above).

3. Bamboobies Nipple Cream  bamboobiesnipplecream

Another awesome Bamboobies Product. I am not exaggerating when I say that I cried so hard the first week of breastfeeding. My nipples were so sore because of my initial lack of milk and Sagan’s cluster feeding. Luckily, my amazing best friend mentioned above knew to gift this at my baby shower as well. It came in so handy and the jar has lasted me a fairly long time. The product is organic and cruelty-free. It eased the pain on my nipples by a large margin. While the hospital provided another brand, I feel this one did a much better job. You can even feel the difference in quality vs. the hospital provided brand.

 

2. My Breastfriend Pillow breastfriend

Everyone pretty much knows how great this product is. It’s helped so much through my breastfeeding journey. The nurses in the delivery room even commented on how great it was that I brought it along with me. When I say I was determined, I mean I was DETERMINED to make breastfeeding work this time around. What I love about the My Breastfriend Pillow is that it really helps with your posture. It has become a thing for my husband to be involved in the breastfeeding, by wrapping the pillow and fastening it around me. It’s very sweet. It is a staple for every mama to have on their breastfeeding journey. It should also be on your hospital bag checklist (though it won’t actually fit in any bag).

1. Evenflo Dual Electric Breastpump

evenfloOddly enough my insurance did not cover a Breast Pump, even though we were paying over $500/month for our family, health insurance monthly cause ‘Merica. We didn’t find this out until after I had Sagan. Luckily, I have amazing in-laws who gifted this to us last minute. I love its easy use and convenience. I know most opt for the $200 breast pump, but I truly prefer this one because it’s not as bulky and it’s compact and lightweight features make it easier to transport. As a mama who works remotely with her company, a part-time job, and is always running back and forth between places. This fits perfectly into a backpack without too much space, also it can be battery operated! (Yes, it went with me to Coachella + Catalina)

 

That’s it for now mamas. Hope you enjoyed this list, maybe I’ll make a video on IGTV or YouTube. Who knows. Let me know what you think about these products and what has helped you throughout your own breastfeeding journey.