Sequin Gowns & Mermaid Crowns : 2018

Thursday, April 12, 2018

The death of social media

This may seem a little dark, but hear me out. We are in the age of the downfall of social media. Or at least what it was originally intended for.

My boyfriend and I just had a nice, long conversation about this. What do you think was the original intention of social media? In my opinion; to stay connected with family and friends. To share.

I am an open book. I have never and never will have anything to hide. I have nothing in my life that I am ashamed of or embarrassed to share. And that's one of the reasons I took to social media in the first place.

I love to share. Whether it's a random thought, a funny meme I saw or something new I learned, I want to tell everyone. It's one of the reasons I'm in the profession I'm in, and why I'm good at it. I'd say, "it's why they pay me the big bucks," but I would be lying if I said I made the big bucks, lol.

Regardless, I'm a writer and a blogger and an optimist. I love to share and if I can make someone smile or make someone think, I'm content.

When social media became a thing (yes, I know I'm aging myself here) I was excited! Wow, a cool way to keep in touch with people who I either A. don't get to see often or B. would probably never talk to again if it weren't for social media.

My best friend from 2nd grade is still one of my good friends, thanks to Facebook. I don't talk to her every day, but seeing all of the amazing things she's doing in her life makes me feel good! It makes me feel like I can still be a part of her world, even though I'm not there.

And that's what I feel social media should be! A way to keep the people you care about close without the physical necessity.

Now some could argue that, "oh well you should make the effort to call or visit and not rely on social media." And to that I would agree, partially. But if we're being completely honest, if social media weren't a thing, how many people do you think would have just faded out of your life by now? How many friends would you have lost due to just "growing apart?"

To me, there are many people who I feel I have a stronger connection to because of social media. My friends back home, my family in Puerto Rico. I don't have the option, or the time, to call all of them on the regular. Don't get me wrong, I would love to be in constant communication with everyone who's ever meant something to me, but that's just not feasible.

Now to get to my point. Why do I think it's dying? What do you do when you log on Facebook? Are you excited to find your next meme to post? Or are you constantly worried about what other people are going to think about what you post?

This is your personal space. You have the right to freedom of speech, you can do whatever you want. You choose who can see into this little world of yours. So why should you be self-conscious? Why should you walk on egg shells, constantly worried about that old-school aunt or that overly-critical cousin to harass you and make you feel bad?

YOU SHOULDN'T. Hence, my point. The conversation around social media has shifted from a new form of communication to a new place for people to be assholes. And I don't say that to be funny...okay maybe a little, lol. But think about it. Cyberbulling is a thing, right? A big thing and a big problem. That comes with the shift I'm talking about. Social media has basically become a giant fishbowl. You make your little fish castle and everyone you know, and sometimes don't know, have an easy, fool-proof way to judge you.

But why? Why do people have to make everything negative? Why does society take anything that shines bright and snuff out the light? I don't have the answer to that, but I do know that the only way we can combat it is to ignore it and work through it.

I, frankly, don't care what other people want to judge me on. My thinking is that, you chose to follow me, you chose to see my posts, if you don't like it then sionara! I don't really know what else to say on it, other than find your way. Make social media about being social and enjoyable like it was meant to be. Block the haters...no, like I mean literally block them. If that person is going to treat you poorly online, then they'll do the same in real life. They don't deserve any of your attention.

You should be able to post whatever on your personal sites without having to worry about being criticized. Now that is a situational statement, seeing as a lot of times when posting something political, you should be prepared for a difference of opinion. But embrace conversation instead of criticism! Talk about things; if you do get a "troll" in your midst, attempt to have a conversation. If they don't respond to that then, again, sionara.

I'm not sure how to bring this to a conclusion, since it is entirely based on a rant I had earlier this evening. But I just wanted to share this with you. Share a thought. Share an idea. Because that's what it's all about. Make someone smile, don't drag them down.

Why do I share things on social media? Because I want to share my happiness with the people I care about. I think about what makes me happy: a like from an old friend, a comment from my mom, my boyfriend pulling up a photo and saying, "wow you are beautiful." I want to do that, I want to share my own happiness and add to theirs, and yours! I also feed off of intelligent conversation. I post things that will get people talking to me or that they can relate to. That is why I post whatever I damn well please, and will continue to do so.

XO, Briana

Friday, April 6, 2018

Where in the world...?

Woah. It's been over two months since I've posted a blog post, and boy do I suck haha. I sincerely apologize to anyone (if anyone) who has been anxiously awaiting my next story of ridiculousness. My life has gotten a little bit busier than it used to be, hence the lull in posting.

But now, I'm determined to get back on track and into a routine of posting regularly again, even if it's just a short review or story that I think you all will enjoy!

For now, I'll start with an update and some things to come!

So I bet you're wondering exactly what I've been up to. Well there are a few answers to that!

First off, I told you before that I had just started a new, full-time job in news! Well, I'm about three months or so in now and it's been pretty awesome. But it's also very time consuming, stressful and straight up exhausting.


When I got into news, I was definitely not prepared for the horror I'd be dealing with on a regular basis. I can't tell you how many murders, fires and kidnappings I write up in a week. Or a day even. It's insane. Thankfully, I have a pretty strong backbone and I can handle it. But, that doesn't mean that emotional trauma doesn't manifest itself in other ways than having panic attacks every day.

I sleep, like, a LOT. I stay up late after work until like 3 or 4 a.m. (Mind you, I work nights so I don't get off until 12 usually.) And then I sleep in until 11, or 12, or sometimes 1. Then I'm back at work at 2:30 p.m.

So I spend most of my time sleeping and sometimes eating. The rest of my time is spent with my boyfriend!

Which leads me to the next part of my story/excuse of why I haven't been around.


With my new job I also met the love of my life. It was crazy how it happened. We just kind of hit it off and the rest was history. We went out the first time on what may have actually been an accidental date, and then talked to each other for hours each day after that.

Actually, to spin off of that for a minute, one of the reasons we got so close so fast is that he really helped me get through one of the hardest times in my life. Only two short years after my maternal grandmother passed away, my abuela passed away suddenly from a heart attack. My family and I were totally stunned and it was just an awful thing to experience. But, I don't really want to talk about that too much, since I want this to be a happy post. I know she would want me to enjoy my life and be happy, and that's exactly what I've done.

Anywho, I've been spending almost all of my free time with Schuyler and it's been awesome. We've only just been dating for three months, but it feels more like three years! We've already had some amazing times together and are planning for many more!

But yeah, that explains where I've been, so let's talk about where I'm going! I've still been pretty active on Instagram, but I'm fully aware I need to do more. But I'm planning some cool things for the blog coming soon!

I've got a few book reviews I'm working on, some more "Let's Talk About This" posts and some fun travel things I think will be really cool!

So bare with me and stick around for more coming this month!

XO, Briana 

Friday, February 2, 2018

NeoStrata Foaming Glycolic Wash


As you all well know, I am a skincare addict. As much as I love makeup, I think I’m just a big a fan of all the different skincare products the world has to offer. Anything that is going to make me look flawless and glowing like a goddess gets an A+ in my book!

So I’m pretty excited about doing this particular review. Thanks to BrandBacker and NeoStrata for letting me test out this amazing product! Foaming Glycolic Wash is one of the coolest face washes I’ve ever tried.

The first thing that got me excited was the “foaming” aspect. When you put this cleanser on your face it’s like you are pampering your skin with clouds from heaven. I’m not even kidding. It’s super soft and feels very gentle on your skin, but you’d better believe that baby is doing some WORK.

You take a pump in your hand and rub lightly onto your damp face. Just doing that, the cleanser will exfoliate and smooth your skin texture. And you will notice it immediately.

The first time I used it, and every time after that, my skin looked totally airbrushed. It somehow gives your skin the same look as if you just put on something like Benefit’s Porefessional, but there’s nothing there…it’s just your face!

One of the other things that amazes me is that the glycolic acid in the wash gives you a deep clean without actual soap, and lactobionic acid does the exfoliating. I enjoy using this cleanser after taking off my makeup to get off whatever my makeup remover doesn’t or in the morning before applying makeup. It leaves the perfect blank canvas for any look from no makeup to full glam.

NeoStrata recommends using the wash both in the morning and at night, as tolerated. Seeing as how this 3.4 oz. bottle will set you back $40, I’d say it’s absolutely worth the splurge; especially if you are planning to use it exclusively.

The brand itself is known for their skincare that helps to improve the visible signs of aging, treat acne, dry skin and other dermatological conditions. According to the website, the Foaming Glycolic Wash is one of the brand’s most potent cleansers and has ingredients meant to “gently exfoliate and unclog congested skin to prepare skin for optimal benefits of the regimen that follows.” NeoStrata also recommends the product not be used by those with sensitive skin. The wash is soap-free, but also fragrance-free, dye-free and paba-free.

NeoStrata has proudly revolutionized the anti-aging skincare game for more than 40 years! They hold themselves to the "highest standards of quality and effectiveness to deliver products and results worthy of [their] dermatological heritage." Actually, the brand’s creators are known for their discovery that Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs) have profound beneficial effects on human skin. The brand offers multiple products catered to different skin types and conditions.

To wrap it up, I was 100% blown away by this and I absolutely love it. It’s good for your skin and worth the price if you want flawless looking skin! My only tiny dislike, if I even had to choose something, would be that it tastes awful. Avoid getting it in your mouth if you can! LOL.

You can purchase this wash here and other products at the NeoStrata website. The Foaming Glycolic Wash is part of the brands “Resurface” line, which also includes several creams, lotions and even a daily peel. You can check out those products on the website as well along with several sets to get you started!

XO, Briana

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Tuesday, January 2, 2018

New Year Wishes 2018


Welcome 2018! Happy New Year! Last year at this time I sat down with my thoughts and wrote out some New Years "wishes" instead of resolutions. I want it to be a positive thing that sticks with me throughout the year and not something that will haunt me if I don't reach the goals I've set. So I think I'll do the same this year!

In my last post, I took a look back at what I wished for my year in 2017. So for this post I'm gong to make new ones, in addition to rolling over the ones I didn't quite make come true.

Working on my fitness, he's my witness (whooooOOOOEEEE)

Image result for fergie glamorous gym gif

Number one for me this year is going to be my health. I've finally gotten to the point where I've got a full time job and a set schedule, so no more excuses for me! I really want to get back into a healthy lifestyle like I was back in the end of 2016. I was working out all the time, I was eating well and I remember how good that felt. I want to get back to that. I'm tired of my stomach constantly being in knots and I'm tired of shoving Christmas cookies in my face 24/7. lol I want to be shoving pineapple in my face 24/7 instead! As a goal, I'd like to get to my ideal body. I want to get to the point where I can just throw on whatever clothes and be like hm, ok. I'm pretty close, but still not 100% where I want to be. I want to tone, and lose a little more fluff weight so that I can be a true size 12.

Blog Babe


Next is blogging. Coming back to my newly found time, I feel like I've had a lot more time to write on here than I have in the past. I'm also newly inspired for some reason. So my goal for this year is to post two-three times a week as often as possible. I also want to be more active on my Facebook page, since I feel like it's lacking a little.

Moving on up

I really would like to move out of my parents house, now that I have a better paying job. I've saved some money working 3-4 jobs over the summer and having my own space would really be amazing. I lived by myself in college for a while and it allowed me a lot more freedom in ways. I had space to do yoga in my living room whenever, I did everything on my time and I got to come home after a long day and have some time to myself. Don't get me wrong, I love living with my family, but I'm getting to that point in my life where I think it's really time to take that big girl step.

YouTube Guru


I've been trying to start filming YouTube videos in conjunction with my blog. I like putting videos together and I think it's fun for you guys to see my personality in action along with my immediate opinions. In writing, everything is pre-thought-out. You can't really have an immediate reaction in a blog post, since you have to think about what your writing as you type. With video, I feel like it pushes me to be more relaxed and helps with my public speaking. I'm particularly good with words, on paper. In person, however, I'm not quite as easy to speak. I often get lost in what I'm saying and stumble on words. Plus, I think there are things you can more easily show in video than in pictures. So I really want to get working on it! I do have a channel, it's called Beach Babe Beauty, and I do have one video up that I thought went pretty well considering my newbie status. I guess my goal here is to try to regularly film videos and get that channel some publicity!

Mental & Spiritual

I always make a point to assess my mental health and my spirituality. These are both really important to me. My mental health because I have a history of anxiety and depression; spirituality because it is a part of who I am as a person. Maybe I'll write a post about that sometime! My goal for my mental health is to stay happy and satisfied in life. The happier I am, the better my mental health is. Spiritually, I want to focus on educating myself. I like to be an expert at something before I go around flaunting it. So reading lots of books and watching videos and such makes me feel like I deserve to humble call myself Buddhist. But, I'll go into that story at another time.

I'd say those are my main wishes/goals for the new year, aside from other little goals like actually making my GoodReads goal...missed it by one! And maybe to try and get to the beach more often, just for a walk or to read, when it gets a little warmer. Definitely not now though, since it's currently 18 degrees.

XO, Briana