Sequin Gowns & Mermaid Crowns

Saturday, January 18, 2020

Adulting is hard

Adulting is hard.

The past few months have been, well, completely nuts in all of the best and worst ways. We've had some super highs and some really low lows and well, that's just being an adult.

I can't say I particularly care for adulting. It's all bills and cleaning and working and blah. Being the kid at heart that I am, I wind up feeling trapped as I am often held back from doing what I really want to do since, ya know, #responsibilities.

My personal financial goal is to make enough money to not have to worry about money. I'm not sure that will ever really happen. But, I'm here to find the sunshine hiding behind the clouds.

Yes, adulting can be really difficult and suck the life out of you.

I'm not here to air my dirty laundry or bore you to death about student loans (just kill me, ugh) but I WILL tell you a couple of fun stories.

The past few days, I have failed majorly and dealt with some troubles.

Last weekend, Sky and I had a wonderful day exploring Captiva Island. We went to a really cool restaurant, did some shopping and watched the sunset on the beach. We also found some really cool shells!

Also at the beach that we were not alerted to: some really nasty bugs.

After the fact, I discovered they are referred to as "no see ums." They are really tiny bugs that look like little black specks. They will suck your blood and it will hurt. Unfortunately, you probably won't realize they're there until after they've bitten you.

Let me just say, I've spent the better part of the last five days looking like a freaking leopard and scratching my skin off. I literally just wanted to dunk myself in a bath of calamine lotion and just stay there.

Having to work all day while wanting to do nothing more than scratch every inch of my body was rough. It really sucked. As I write this, I'm still itchy in some places, but not nearly as bad as the absolute hell I went through on the first couple days.

Anywho, adult fail number one: Didn't do my research, didn't bring bug spray. OUCH.

On the funnier and relatively sadder side of things, I have been trying SO. DAMN. HARD. to have dinner cooked for Sky when he gets home. His schedule has changed (also a sucky part about being an adult) and now I'm home about two hours before him. We used to cook together, but it's just too late to eat by the time he gets home. So now, me, the absolute novice of a cook, is in charge.

So last week I went to cook something I thought I bought but never actually got it so yeah. I heated up a pizza instead.

But the real kicker was last night's fiasco. The meal I was making literally could not have been easier: toss some corn and potatoes into the pan, season, plop in the chicken, season then bake. Bam, done.

This was a big step for me as a cook, since I have a huge aversion to touching raw meat. Don't ask me why, it just grosses me out. But I figured I could stomach just literally transferring the chicken from the packet to the pan.

Well, see, that right there, was my downfall. I cut open the packet to drain the juice so I didn't get it everywhere when taking out the chicken. I did this over the sink. If you don't already see where this is going, then boy you are in for a treat. I held tight to the chicken and gently poured the juices out. The next thing I know, JUST as I was about to take the chicken over to the stove to put on the pan, one of those slippery little buggers made its way out of the packet, into the sink and straight down the garbage disposal.

It was like slow motion. I screamed NOOOO as I watched it slide away from my grasp so fast there was no saving it.

Image result for noooo gif

Luckily, I got some adulting points for finding a solution to my problem instead of doing what I really wanted to do, which was give up, cry and order a pizza. But the food actually turned out good and I gave everyone a great, ole laugh, including myself.

Therein lies the point of me telling you all of this. To get through everyday life as an adult and not be miserable every time something doesn't go your way, try your best to appreciate what you DO have and try not to dwell so much on what you don't have, can't do or screwed up.

If you mess up or just have a problem that is weighing down on you, find a solution. Do your research and get it done. If you're having a bad day, do something that makes you happy or even just makes you smile or laugh. Something as simple as watching stupid cat videos on YouTube can really make a difference in your mood! If you get yourself in a better mood, the obstacle you're facing will be easier to overcome!

Thank you for coming to my TED Talk.

XOXO, Briana

Saturday, January 4, 2020

New year, BETTER me!

If you've been following my blog for a while, you know that I usually set some kind of goals at the beginning of the year. I do this for multiple reasons, including actually trying to hold myself accountable, having a tangible list to go back to and hopefully, inspiring some of you to aim for goals of your own!

This year, I watched a YouTube video from one of my favorite channels, Brittany Vasseur. If you haven't watched her, she's great! Lots of organization tips and other helpful things, like how to ACTUALLY meet those year-long goals.

I watched her video on that and she explained that setting static goals just doesn't work and recommended setting "active" goals. Now what does that mean? So instead of "lose 50 pounds" your goal would be "work out three times a week."

By taking your long-term goals and cutting them up into smaller, short-term goals, they become more attainable and easier to plan and create a routine. So I'm definitely taking this solid advice and trying it for myself!

This year, my first New Year as a WIFE (I still can't really believe that, haha), Sky and I have chosen some things to work toward together as well as our own goals. I think that will work out better for us because we can do things together and hold each other accountable!

Learn Spanish — Duolingo DAILY!

As a Latina woman, I have been desperately trying to learn Spanish pretty much my entire life. My dad is fluent, but my mom can't speak it hardly at all, so I didn't grow up hearing it as often as a fully-Hispanic household. I understand A LOT but struggle to quickly translate and lack vocabulary. My husband, on the other hand, who is 100% NOT Spanish, knows almost as much as I do. He seems to have a knack for languages. LOL. Anyway, I digress. My insane and amazing hubs surprised me with a Christmas/Anniversary gift of a trip to Puerto Rico in June (I am SO excited!) so that's hopefully going to push us toward achieving our goal of really being able to know enough of the language to understand and speak.

Love this quote! (Spanish Mama via Pinterest)

If you've never heard of Duolingo, it's a pretty cool app that is FREE and helps you learn a ton of different languages. It gives you a set of daily tasks and it's actually really fun. Sky and I were doing it the other day and absolutely cracking up at some of the story lines in the lesson! So we are going to try to do that every day or at least several times a week.

Read 12 books — Pick up a book at least a few times a week

Boy, I miss reading. Sky and I are both avid readers, but since we've been together, our tendency is to do just that—spend time together. That hasn't really included the mostly solitary activity of reading. Even though we both love it, there is so much going on in our lives recently that we just haven't made the time for it.

Some books I'd like to read! (Photos: Goodreads)

So this year, I really want to try to swap out some time watching YouTube together for snuggling up together with our books a bit before bed time and getting in some reading! I like signing up for the Goodreads challenge! You can choose how many books you'd like to read this year and track your progress.

Take better care of myself — Face masks, nail polish and lots of fruit

The past few months have been somewhat of a whirlwind. So much has happened and changed over a short period of time and I kind of have felt like my feet have not touched the ground. And I'll admit, I haven't been taking care of myself as much as I'd like to.

My usual goal is to do a face mask three times a week, but I have hardly done any. I haven't done my nails since my wedding (which I honestly thought would help them to be healthier, but nothing's changed, so slap on that gel lol). I also haven't been exercising or eating the way I'd like to.

So my goal to change my habits this year is to take the time for myself. I'm so in love with my husband that I never want to be away from him, which is amazing because I am so lucky, but I don't want to completely sacrifice caring for my body. Giving up 10 minutes of snuggling to slap on a face mask before bed, I think, is something I just owe to my body.

(via Pinterest)

As for my nails, I hate spending the money to get them done, but I do have a pretty extensive collection of my own nail polish. It's possible that I hate painting my own nails more than paying someone to do them, but the fact that I don't have to leave the house has its perks. So I'm planning to always have some happy color on my nails so when I look at them or take an Instagram picture of me holding something I smile!

As for eating and exercise, that is always a goal of mine. I have struggled with weight issues my entire life (thanks, PCOS...) and I don't expect it to, honestly ever, go away. But, I do have a nice motivation, several actually, to drop a few pounds and get a little stronger. Sky and I bought the Nintendo Switch game "Ring Fit Adventure." The game is cute and a little cringy, but in a good, funny way. The best part though is that it gets you up and moving but you're actually playing a game while you exercise, which is pretty cool. So we plan on doing that together and taking walks when the weather is nice. I really want to be in better shape for our trip to PR in June. I also owe it to myself to be at least a little more healthy.

Big things to come!

My last goal is a little non-descript because I don't want to give anything away just yet. But I have some big plans on the horizon and my goal is to be really consistent and have some fun! More of that is yet to come, so keep your eyes on social media for that announcement, hopefully, this month!

XO, Briana

Monday, December 23, 2019

Beach Babe Gift Guide 2019!

I know it's a little late this year...okay, SUPER late, but if you're looking for a cute, unique last-minute gift for the beach babe in your life, you've come to the right place! I'm looking at you who are still shopping or have plans to celebrate after Christmas! Plus, a bonus, all of these are just as great gifts year-round!

I've put together a list of things that I think are either really cool, useful or just plain fun with a beachy vibe.

I've tried to collect a variety of things and price ranges so there is something for everyone!

REN Skincare sets ($15-$75)

One of my favorite skincare companies has the absolute CUTEST gift sets! I really love REN's high quality products and none that I have tried have done me wrong! They are all staples in my every day routine! Right now, they are offering sets ranging in price from stocking stuffers at $15 all the way up to a full skincare routine at $75, which is a super steal IMHO. They have different "themes" I guess you would call it like nighttime routines and travel favorites!

Dolkii Radiate Aloha Graphic Tee ($45)

Dolkii is a Hawaiian-owned clothing company that sells super cute tees and other great pieces and is all about empowering women! This "Radiate Aloha" tee is a great piece that she can throw on with some cut offs over her bikini and head out to the beach! I love the quality of these tees and the message is always very positive and happy! I chose this shirt because I liked the color and the graphic, but there are tons to choose from! And they also go up to a XXL!

Gunn & Swain The Perfect Wave Soy Candle ($12 $26)

The description for this candle says it all: "This candle has hints of bamboo and floral, reminiscent of a day at the beach, catching the perfect wave and lounging under a palm tree and a bright hibiscus plant. This candle will have your home smelling like surf and summer all year long." I can smell it just based on that description! Yum! On top of that wonderful scent, Gunn and Swain make their candles in small batches using essential oils and they are also vegan and made with 100% soybean wax! I also adore the very modern look of it and the fact they the wick has no black soot. Plus, right now, it's on sale!

Antonym Baked Blush in Copper ($36)

Antonym is an organic and natural cosmetics company with some really beautiful products! I cannot speak to experience since I haven't actually tried the brand personally, but boy are they gorgeous. The packaging alone gives me some major beach vibes, but this blush in particular sings to me. I love a good bronzy, coral blush that gives you that sun kissed look.

James Michelle Tropical Leaf Earrings ($148)

I personally have been absolutely drooling over everything this company releases. Their jewelry is so cool and simple, yet makes a statement which I really love. Even better, a lot of their pieces are made just for beach babes! These particular earrings are on my personal Christmas list. I love the shape of the hoop and the color of the gold. And obviously the awesome little monstera leaf!

Sienna Byron Bay Nail Polish ($25)

These nail polishes are EVERYTHING. They have such unique colors, the packaging is super cute and they are vegan and cruelty free! Also super cool is that they are water permeable, so the beach babe in your life will keep her polish chip free for longer, even after those long days at the beach! I instantly fell in love with the color "Kiss" which is a super bright, almost neon coral pink! *Drool.*

Freestyle Watches Shark Clip Apple Watch Band

I personally own an Apple Watch that I wear daily and a Freestyle Shark Clip watch that I use for beach vacays and anywhere I'll be in close proximity to water (including sweat.) I personally hate the silicon band that comes with the Apple Watch Sport. When I use it to work out, I sweat and it gets real uncomfortable, real fast. So the though of being able to combine my two favorite watches into one sounds super cool! Freestyle just released their classic, fabric watch bands that can attach to your Apple Watch! So for any activities that will make you sweat and won't dunk you in the water, this band is great! A solid, in-between choice for daily, sweaty activities, but still with all the perks of your smartwatch!

Hemleva Monstera adansonii 'Archipelago' Keychain ($18)

While that plant name is a mouthful, this is the cutest little Monstera leaf keychain and would make a great gift! Hemleva is all about plants and have some really cute products! They also have a "plastic free" packaging option, which just makes my heart sing.

Sandy Feet Hawaii Mini Clutch ($25-$35)

There is a very strong chance I've featured Sand Feet Hawaii on my blog before. They have such great prints and such cute bags! And honestly, you can't really go wrong with gifting a bag! This mini clutch is perfect for gals on the go. Your beach babe can stash her phone, cards and lip balm in here and toss it in her beach bag or grab it out to go to lunch! A small wristlet is a very versatile bag and is a great addition to anyone's accessory collection.

Paula Beltz Creations Cutting Board

Consider this a bonus product, since her Etsy store is closed until the 26th, but boy does she make some cool stuff! Any thalassophile will find her work dreamy with those super-realistic waves added to many of them. I think the cutting boards are so cool and will help bring that beachy vibe to the kitchen! I also love the little seashell because it can be used to hold anything from rings to keys! She also makes the cutest ornaments and coasters with the same wave style! Until her store reopens, you can check out her Instagram! 

Which gift is your favorite? Share your favorite, go-to gifts with me in the comments! Happy Holidays!

XO, Briana

All photos belong to their respective companies and I do not claim any of them as my own.