College Grad Gift Ideas

Some ideas for the college grad in your life:

1.  A cook book

2. Dinnerware set

3.  Coffeemaker

4. Pearl earrings

5. A nice professional starter work tote

6. Diamond Earrings

7. A starter leather handbag

8. A leather wallet

9. Aviator shades by Ray Ban

 

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What I Would Tell My 20 Year Old Self

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I have very few regrets in life. In fact, I believe the things that happen to us happen for a reason, and life just sort of works out according to God’s plan. However, there are a few things I’d tell my younger self:

  1. Life is short and fragile. Don’t hold back love. Have you ever missed the opportunity to show your appreciation to someone who has had a big impact in your life? I have and it devastated me when this person passed away. I never got a chance to repay this person’s kindness let alone say a proper ‘thank you’.
  2. Start investing in your 401k plan no matter how small the amount and no matter how much debt you have. A little goes a long way and compound interest will eventually kick in especially since time is on youth’s side. Unfortunately when I graduated college, the Great Recession hit a year later, which wiped out half of my 401k. It did eventually rebound 5 years later but left a very sour taste in my mouth.
  3. Build up an emergency savings account that can last a few months should a job loss happen. Ideally have a 6 month buffer. In my field, it was super hard getting a job during the Great Recession. No one was hiring and there were stories of people borrowing from their 401k to make ends meet.
  4. Don’t keep up with the Jones’. Forget FOMO. Forget ‘Treat yo self”. If I could do a few things over again, I wouldn’t spend $2,000 on a wedding dress because, at the time, I wanted to experience saying ‘yes to the dress’. I would tell my then boyfriend now husband to go with a modest diamond size because now I feel obnoxious when I wear my ring to work and realize I have the biggest diamond. Of course next to my friends I don’t, but that’s FOMO for you. Lastly, I would not have bought a timeshare. I mean I’m glad we have it. It’s paid off, but really, we could do without it.
  5. Don’t stay in a dead end job because you’re comfortable and think it’s stable. Get out. Passion, drive, and sheer motivation in what you want to do coupled with the right boss will propel you upwards. It may take awhile to find this combo, but with patience, it’s out there.
  6. You may feel poor now, but you won’t be later on. Life will get easier. In my college years and during my early twenties, I felt so poor in context to my friends. At the time, I felt hopeless because they had their parents pay for everything like a new car, vacations, and rent. Versus me, I had to pay for everything myself with a student loan burden, and a 10 year old car ready to croak. But with grit and determination I’m now debt free, and am at a point where I can start investing. Life really does get better after debt.

I hope some of you younger readers find this useful. Definitely take it into consideration when thinking about your own future and know that it does get better with the right financial choices.

What I’ve Learned From Makeup

Makeup is sure addicting. All the glitz and glamour that I feel from wearing it makes me feel great, and it sure helped boost the little self-esteem I barely had. However, I’m learning there’s a balance to have so we don’t over or under indulge ourselves. I’ve gotten to a point where I’ve over indulged and now all the purchases that I’ve made don’t make me feel good anymore. Does that happen to anyone else?

But this is a good feeling to have because at least I can change my situation quite easily. I guess I’m not happy that I have to dip into savings to pay off my credit card bill this month, and it looks like I’ll be taking $500 instead of the $300 I initially thought. It’s not sitting well with me, which brings me to what I’ve learned from it all:

  1. Find your style and forget the trends. If you don’t, you’ll be buying a lot of ‘stuff’ and possibly tossing a lot away. Buy what makes you feel happy and what makes you feel comfortable and confident in yourself.  Forget trends until after you build up a good base.
  2. Buy basics and/or multi-taskers. Skincare. Hair care. Makeup. Clothing. With clothing and makeup, these items should multi-task and transition through multiple seasons. Don’t buy an expensive event dress, only to be used for one or two times out of the year and end up collecting dust in your closet.
  3. Create an everyday uniform for work. This includes clothing and makeup.  Clothing and makeup for work should help you feel comfortable and confident so your main focus is work.
  4. Makeup has a shelf life. I seriously just learned this today, what being a newbie and all. If you look closely at your makeup labels, it’ll show an image like the one below, but I’m sure many of you already know this. Don’t hoard makeup since it expires. Buy what you need to save yourself some money.               Image result for makeup shelf life
  5. Skincare also has a shelf life so buy what you need and don’t hoard.
  6. Luxury handbags are overrated.  At least where I live. It was thrilling when I bought my first one, however, I’m pretty rough with my bags.  So when I wear my designer bag, I feel like I’m walking on eggshells out of fear of spilling liquids on it.  You know spending over a grand for a bag hurts. Not sure I want self-inflicted stress in my life.
  7. As women we have to draw the line with our spending so we could also be investors. I’m currently realizing this, and I’m taking a stand for change so I can get back to saving and investing.
  8. Budget. I think I’m going to create a monthly budget for beauty products, clothing, and accessories.

Just Treat Yourself

We all need a way to decompress in life. Some people turn to the ‘night life’ to release all the pressure they get from work. Others may turn to alcohol and sadly maybe even to drugs. People just have different ways of dealing with life. However, when a person is religious it’s quite the opposite. I feel like anyone religious has quite a bit of restrictions to follow based on their beliefs. Thus, they find creative ways to have fun in life.

For instance:

  1. Travel – Take a trip. This harms no one. In fact, it’ll only expand a person’s viewpoint because it takes someone out of their bubble and introduce them to a new cultural experience.
  2. Have a hobby – Some people road bike, golf, or maybe even surf. For the ladies, maybe it’s shopping. More specifically maybe it’s luxury handbag collecting. Nothing wrong with this as long as it’s not on credit.
  3. Date night – Having date night with your significant other or maybe even with friends is a great way to heal from a hard and long work week.
  4. Spa Treatment – Doesn’t have to be a spa day, but taking care of your body is another way to feel rejuvenated. You know sheetmasks, skin routine, hair care, etc.

It’s possible to live a healthy and happy life religious or not!

Thankful to Give with Open Arms

I’m so thankful to be at a place where I can comfortably give back to my family and friends.  I love it.  I don’t feel burdened anymore and now I welcome celebrations and milestones with open arms.  It really is a great feeling when you can give freely and expect nothing in return.  Not only does it give the warm fuzzies, it adds meaning to life.

Sometimes life can feel too fast over here in the Bay Area.  Most of us are grinding away trying to keep up with the status quo and often times we forget to celebrate each other’s milestones.  I’ll admit to that.  But it’s different now.  I’m thankful to have a different perspective, but most of all, thankful that debt freedom helped me get here.

 

Chit Chat: Already Thinking of the Next Trip

Can a girl dream?  It’s been great taking a week off from regular life that I’m already scheming for another trip.  I get jealous just thinking about the French who have 2 months of vacation a year.  I wish I could get the same perks, but again, a girl can dream right?

Just dropping in to say hello and to say that I’m still here.  Still getting back into the swing of things, and trying to get back into work mode.

It’s the end of hump day, which means we’re already near the end of the week! Looking forward to TGIF!

Overdue for A Vacation

My last vacation was 10 months ago, and I can’t believe it’s been that long.  I’m definitely feeling the affects of not taking any time off with work being so stressful and having to study after hours.  I really don’t know how some people do it but seriously everyone needs a break right?

On this upcoming trip I haven’t planned any activities for me and my husband to do.  This time around I’ve decided that we’re just going to wing it.  I’ve always been the planner but now that I’m a wee bit older, I’m starting to view vacation as a means to just relax.  In the past vacation was always about an adventure –what site to see, what food to try, or what museum to visit.  Now I think it’ll just be good to take time off and randomly explore a new city.

In other news, I’m slowly getting over the damaged packaging my sheetmasks came in.  It wasn’t just about the sheetmasks, it was also about an eye cream (Innisfree Orchid Eye Cream) I ordered last month that was supposed to come in today.  Well it never came and I’m starting to think otherwise about shopping on Amazon for international products.  I seriously don’t want to keep ordering from them if my package and/or product comes to me defective.  It’s a hassle to return because it’s unwanted waste of my time to have to ship it back, and because it feels like I’m getting ripped off.  I get it, accidents do happen.  But who pays for it?  The customer.  I’m really hoping Amazon does something about my two orders –one coming to me damaged and the other not even arriving.  Ugh, I really need a vacation.

Update: Seller has contacted me to refund my money for the eye cream.  I’ve also received all the products that I bought from Amazon, minus the eye cream.

[Innisfree] Jeju Orchid Eye Cream 30ml
Innisfree Eye Cream – I really wanted to try this, but it hasn’t come in yet and it’s been a month already.