2017 March Adventures: Joshua Tree Dry Lake, “See you later”, & Yosemite

Can you believe March is nearly over?! It went by so quickly! March was a fun-filled month. It was filled with some emotional highs and definite emotional lows, with a close friend moving all the way across the globe. Also, this month truly kicked off the next couple of months I have ahead, since April, May, and June will be quite hectic. So let’s delve into to the month of March.

Joshua Tree Camping: The month of March started off with a good old camping trip to Joshua Tree… yes, again. I can’t get enough of this place… can’t you tell? My fiance and I went camping with the same group of friends. We spent the days hanging out and enjoying the environment around us and the night exchanging stories around a camp fire. It’s always great starting off the month camping and disconnecting from the real world for a weekend.

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Not Saying “Goodbye”, but “See you soon”: One of my good friends from middle school moved to Australia this month for an indefinite amount of time. Her family threw her a going away party and a bunch of us got together to celebrate her new chapter with her. I’m so excited for her to start this new adventure, but at the same time I was sad to see her go. Naturally, I nearly cried… I’m such a baby. But I know that I will see her in the near future. And now that it is so easy to connect with friends across the globe, I know that we will still stay close.
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Yosemite National Park: This past weekend, Wesley and I went to visit Yosemite National Park. We have both been before with family, but never have visited it together. We left the LA area early around 6:00 AM and headed out to the National Park. When we entered the park, it still took us almost an hour to get to the valley floor, but it was well worth it. We drove through the tunnel that leads into the valley and my jaw dropped. The view you see instantly takes your breathe away. The shear magnitude of the beauty of Half Dome, El Capitan, and the cascading waterfalls are so picturesque. We did a few hikes within the valley floor and I was in awe of the environment I was immersed in. After a long day of sightseeing we checked into our tent/cabin at Half Dome Village. Since we knew that it was going to be cold at night, we opted for a heated tent… which I highly recommend if you are staying there during Winter… even though it’s already Spring, it was still a bit nippy. Our tent was nice and cozy and just perfect for our stay. We had dinner and the hall within the village and enjoyed the free wifi and just hung out there for the rest of the night. The next day we woke up in the valley floor, which was pretty cool. We had breakfast again in the hall. The nice thing about staying within the National Park was that we could take our time leaving the park and we were able to enjoy the views just a little bit longer. Before we left the park, we did one more small hike to Bridalveil Falls and then we were off and headed back home.

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March was a great month and I know that the months are just going to get busier and go by quicker, but I’m not complaining! I’m really excited for the next couple of months. I’ll be sure to keep updating my blog! Thanks for reading and remember to stay curious and keep exploring!

2017 January & February Adventures: Joshua Tree, Hiking, Lake Arrowhead, & Las Vegas

The first 2 months of 2017 have been so much fun and have really set the tempo for adventure! I thought I would start a new series where I would recap at the end of each month on some of the adventures I went on throughout the month.

January:

Joshua Tree: My fiance and I started off the year camping in Joshua Tree with a bunch of friends. It was a great way to start of the new year. We spent two days enjoying the scenery and relaxing with our friends.
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Malibu Creek State Park: One weekend Wesley and I wanted to go hiking in a new area that we’ve never been to. I saw this hike and it looked interesting because they filmed the tv show MASH at the end of the trail. It was a pretty easy hike, but it was a little long, but very manageable. After, we decided to drive around PCH and enjoy the breeze from the coast. It was a nice short getaway for the both of us.

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February:

Lake Arrowhead: At the beginning of February my fiance and I went out to Lake Arrowhead with some of our oldest friends from high school. We rented a condo for the weekend and spent the weekend bonding, relaxing, and reconnecting with our friends.

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Las Vegas: Wesley and I were invited were to Vegas to watch Elton John with a few of our other friends. We hadn’t been to Vegas a while and nice getaway with friends. We saw Elton John the first day we arrived and he was amazing. He was so entertaining to watch and we were all in awe of a legend. After went through of some of the casino and just hung out and had a fun time. The next day we went to Top Golf and spent the afternoon there and ended the night at Ceasars. Vegas was a great way to unwind with our friends.
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These past two months we spent a lot of time bonding and reconnecting with friends. Hopefully March will be filled with just as much fun as these past two months.

Current Favorites

Since I don’t really change up my daily routine too much to do Monthly Favorites, I thought I’d share my current favorites with you all.
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1. Tarte Amazonian Clay Full Coverage Airbrush Foundation – I have mentioned this product more than a few times on this blog, but I love it so much. For me, it is a tried and true product that I know I can depend on if I want good and lasting coverage. This product feels light on the face, but still gives great full coverage. What I like the most about this product is that it blends so well into your skin and looks natural. For this product, you push your brush into the netting of the product and blend in with a thick make up brush.

2. Urban Decay Naked Basics Palette – This was one of my first Urban Decay products that I have bought. I was tempted to buy one of the Naked Palette, but I didn’t want to commit to buying a $50 palette, so I thought this product was a great alternative. I think this product lives up to it’s name of being a great basic palette. The eyeshadows blend really well and is a great palette to use as a neutral palette.

3. Herbal Essences Dry Shampoo – I know that there is a huge trend right now of not washing your hair everyday, but I am not a true follower of this trend. I get really self conscious about not washing my hair everyday because I feel like my hair gets oily quickly. But there are some days where I get lazy and don’t want to wash my hair. On those days, I reach for this dry shampoo. This dry shampoo does not leave a white cast like most other products and it really helps absorb the oils from your hair and it smells amazing. I section off my hair and spray directly into my roots and rub and brush into my hair and it last all day.

4. Adidas Thunder Sackpack – I have had this backpack for a while now, but it wasn’t until recently that I’ve really appreciated it. I bought this backpack while I was on vacation in Quebec City. What I love about this product is that it is great quality for the price that it is. This bag retails for $17, which i think is a bargain for Adidas. This backpack has a great soft material inside the pack and has convenient zippers to hold all of your stuff. I have had it for nearly a year now and it is still holding up well.

5. NYX Tame and Frame Tinted Brow Pomade – I have been a lover of the ELF eyebrow gel, but I wanted to try something similar but different. This product has great pigmentation , but still gives a natural look. This product really controls your hair and gives you a sharp finish to your brows.

6. Nike Roshe Run – These were my first Nike purchases ever! I have had these for a few years, but I recently fell back in love with these shoes. Wearing these shoes feel like walking on clouds and are so comfortable to wear. If you need good support to your arches, these are great because of the thick soles of the shoe. I love running and trail hiking in these shoes. The only down side to these shoes are trying to keep it clean, but that’s ok because you can just wipe it down and it’ll be good as new. I have two pairs of Roshe Run, but I hope to grow my collection.

Hope you enjoyed this post! Thanks for reading! 🙂

Book Review: #GIRLBOSS by Sophia Amoruso

Let me just say this first, I don’t usually read books… I listen to them on through Audible on my phone on my way to work, at work, and on my way home from work. If that offends anyone, I’m not sorry.

Anyways, I recently finished listening to #Girlboss by Founder and CEO of Nasty Gal, Sophia Amoruso. I was never a huge fan of Nasty Gal, but I was intrigued with this book because of the name of the book, #Girlboss. Even by the title, I knew that this book would have empowering topics about being a successful and independent woman. I absolutely love this book. Sophia is such an inspiring woman. This book is about Sophia Amoruso and her wild spirit and how she started her successful business, Nasty Gal out of her love for vintage clothing. She gives great detail of every aspect of her triumphs and defeats on how she started her business and how she found herself and stayed true to herself.

One thing that I really took away from this book is to stay true to yourself and that being your weird self is just fine. She emphasizes that being true to yourself can lead to great success in terms of self happiness and possibly financially. She states that you need to find what you really want to achieve in life and go for it. Sophia wants readers to take away that every girl deserves to be confident with themselves. She also states that being kind to yourself and to others will get you far, of course if the person really deserves to chewed out… then  it’s fine to be mean. haha. At least that I what I got out of it.

Finally, I really appreciated this book and found it really empowering to know that I have the ability to take control of my life and to do what I want to do. Nothing can hold me back. Also, knowing that I took risk will be a triumph in itself. This book taught me that I need to not be so self conscious about what I do or how I look, but that I should do what I want and do what makes me happy because, isn’t being happy most important? I recommend this book so much to anyone that is looking for some inspiration to either be more confident with themselves and to start taking charge of their lives. Absolutely love this book.

Current Favorites: Music

Ever since I could remember, my taste in music is constantly changing. In a day, I can go from listening the best of the oldies to alternative rock to slow jams to electronic. I love music and love how you can match the music that your listening to how you feel. I grew up with a wide range of music, but mostly classic rock because of my dad and The Beatles because of my mom. Also, growing up I played the alto saxophone and the baritone saxophone and I played in the Jazz Band at my high school. This experience exposed me even more to jazz and classic music. I loved it. My taste in music changes every day and open to most music, even on rare occasions, country. I thought that today I would share with you 5 bands or artist that I am currently into. Enjoy!

Body Language 

I recently found out about Body Language through a radio station I was listening to on Spotify. I love their sound. The music that Body Language produces and creates sounds so airy and light to me, but still has a heavy and strong beat to it. Even though they are heavily electronic, to me it still sounds very organic. I love listening to Body Language when I want to rock out to music without the heavy sounds and screaming. Also, their music is really sexy to me… if that makes sense. haha.

Fitz and The Tantrums

Fitz and The Tantrums are so awesome! I also found this band through a radio station on Spotify… maybe the same one as Body Language. Fitz and The Tantrums’ sounds are mix of modern blues and soul mixed with alternative rock. It’s an amazing sound. The music is good road trip music I must say. When my boyfriend and I head out to the desert, I love listening to this because it keeps you moving and awake. All of their songs make you want to snap and sing along to. I’m so happy I found out about this band.

Foster the People

Growing up, I was into alternative rock like Incubus and No Doubt ( I still am), but I think a lot of the music that I like now stems from listening to music like that. Foster the People is a  great example of this. I think their sound is a bit more grown up and appropriate for more age, but still ties into the alternative rock genre. I don’t know how to explain it well, but their sound to me sounds so hallow (in a good way), but full at the same time. I love the guitar and pianos with this band. The mix of everything together just sounds so good and I love listening to them when I am doing boring work or on long drives home from work.

Demi Lovato

I’ve always really liked Demi Lovato’s music, but this song… THIS SONG IS SO AMAZING! and catchy! It really is a good song for summer. I love singing this in the car and rocking out to with the AC high swinging my hair back and forth… I’ll be honest, I feel like a bad ass singing to this song. Also, Demi can really sing unlike some other ex-disney stars and I think she has talent.

Kenny Loggins

Yes, Kenny FREAKIN’ Loggins… “Paging Dr. Loggins…” (Archer) CAUSE YOU’RE IN THE DANGER ZONE! Sorry, I had to. This song is so awesome and his music is so freakin’ awesome! Whenever I’m working out or running, I have to listen to some Kenny Loggins. His music it just so pumped up and full of energy. Also, this is great music to listen to if you want to sing loud and let loose… footloose… 🙂 It’s just great rock music from the 80’s and its amazing. Deal with it.

An Open Thank You Letter To My Parents

I recently watched Buzzfeed’s video called Children of Asian Immigrants Reveal Sacrifices Their Parents Made and it got me thinking about the sacrifices my own parents made in order for my sister and I to live a comfortable and loving life. Here is their story…

My parents had a “whirlwind romance” and met at their work in Manilla, Philippines. They dated and married within a year and soon made plans of living life together. After my parents married, my dad had to take a job in Saudi Arabia and my mom headed to Hawaii where my grandma and her other sisters were. For months, my parents lived separated only communicating through snail mail and every once in a while through phone. Finally, after my dad’s job wrapped up they met up in Hawaii and decided to move to Southern California. Their first place in states was in a small and cramped apartment that they shared with my mom’s friend. My mom got an admin job in downtown Los Angeles and my dad worked a warehouse position out near the ports of LA.  For awhile, they had to make due with what jobs they had and try to make a new life, here in the states. Within a few months, they were able to get their own place together in Koreatown. They lived in a studio apartment in the heart of K-town, which wasn’t the safest at the time. My dad use to tell me stories of when he would head out to work, he would have no gas because someone had pumped it out in the middle of the night. They use to tell me when I was younger, that the size of our living room was the size of their first apartment together.

In 1986, my sister was born. At the time, my mom and dad had already gotten jobs with the state and were making just enough to support them. They were able to save enough money to purchase their first house in the suburbs. It was a small house, but it was just right for the 3 of them. When my sister came along, my dad took some odd jobs here and there to earn extra money. My mom told me of stories of how my dad would wake up in the wee hours of the morning and go do paper routes and then after he would go to his normal desk job. After my sister was born, my couldn’t take a lot of time off for maternity leave, she only was able to take about 6 weeks off. Every morning, my mom would have to drop off my baby sister to a baby sitter and wouldn’t see her until about 6 or 6:30 PM to work her job.

I was born in 1989. We moved into a slightly bigger house in a better neighborhood. My mom and my dad were working hard at their jobs and got promotions that they deserved, but that meant less time spent with me and my sister. My sister and I grew up with baby sitters, being in after school programs, and being home alone in the summers. My parents wanted to keep us busy during the times we didn’t spend with them, which I didn’t understand when I was younger. All I wanted to do was stay home and do absolutely nothing. In the late 90’s, we moved into our current house which was situated in a city where the schools were very good and the neighborhoods were known to be very safe. I knew my parents were proud of themselves for being able to look back at where they started from and realizing how far they had come. I, on the other hand, did not want to move or lose seeing my friends. But looking back on it now, I don’t regret it at all.

Growing up, I would say I was a trouble maker. I was a rebellious kid and didn’t want to listen to my parents. We fought…  we fought a lot growing up. My parents gave me a lot of tough love, which at the time, I saw as them being super strict, but now that I am older… I really appreciate. I didn’t care about anything growing up. I didn’t care about my future, I didn’t care about school, I didn’t care at all, which is what caused a lot of our arguments. At the end of high school, I finally got my shit together and straightened up . I got into California State University of Los Angeles and received a Bachelors of Science in Health Science. My sister, the smarter one 🙂 (which I’m totally fine with), went to UCSD and UC Berkeley. According my parents, education was everything and school had no cap in terms of dollar amounts. Wherever we wanted to go, my parents would make it work. Ever since my sister and I were little, my parents saved their own hard earn money into a college fund for us and in turn, we were able to go to college debt free. They could have spent that money on nice cars, expensive jewelry, luxurious vacations, or a huge house, but they saved it for my sister and I and for our future.

My parents taught me and my sister to be ambitious and to dream big. They taught us that with hard work and an education, that we can make anything happen in our lives and that we can live our lives to fullest as long as we worked at it. My parents taught me a valuable lesson that nothing comes easy or free in life.I could still be living at home with them and live an easy life off of them, but they taught me that I should be proud of being independent and earning and saving my own money. I grew up in a community where kids drove Mercedes and BMW’s in high school and their parents gave them everything. But did that make a strong relationship between the child and the parent? Not always. When I think about it now, I really appreciate the tough love that my parents gave me. Instead of material things to look back on that my parents could have given me, I have memories to cherish with them. I’m so grateful for everything that they have shown me and given me. My relationship with my parents is wonderful, I can talk to them about almost anything without hesitation. We even have a group chat together!

My parents could have had a nice and easy life in the Philippines, but those chose to leave their families, their siblings, and their livelihoods all behind to have a better future in the states and for their future children. They’ve missed so many birthday celebrations, holiday celebrations, family reunions, and even deaths because they were in the states raising me and my sister. Growing up, I use to resent that my parents put in the long hours at work and that I only saw them at night or in the morning when they were dropping me off to school. I didn’t realize that it was for me and my sister and for our future. Now that my parents are older and my mom is retired and my dad will be close to retiring, they deserve to live an easy, happy, and loving life. And now that I’m older, it the time for me to repay them for the things that they had given me. Not necessarily in terms of money, but with memories that we create together and living a successful life. I’ve never said I love you to them as much as I do now, but I truly and deeply mean it with everything that I am. I know that they will probably never read this, but I cannot say thank you enough to my parents for the life that they have given me and my sister. They have sacrificed so much in order for my sister and I to live the lives that we do. If it wasn’t for them, my sister and I wouldn’t be where we are in lives and I thank them for that.

Thank you Mom & Dad, I love you.

Pioneertown | Joshua Tree

Over the weekend, my boyfriend and I along with our friends decided to explore Joshua Tree and near by Pioneertown. I really love the desert and what the landscape has to offer. Even though it was pretty hot… about 100 degrees… it was still a lot of fun! We first headed towards Pioneertown. Pioneertown started out as a live in set for old westerns that were made back in the 40’s, since then it has turned into a cute quaint town for vistors to explore. It’s super cute and they even have a town shoot out between two dueling cowboys. Unfortunately, we didn’t stay to watch, instead after our quick visit, we headed out to Joshua Tree. Even though my boyfriend and I went there recently, we couldn’t stay away! Since our friends like to off road and explore, we thought it be fun to explore some trails out in the park. I love that we are able to explore landscapes through dirt roads and off the beaten path. It gives you great opportunities to see the landscape in a whole different way.

This day was pretty spontaneous and so amazingly fun! Check out the video below to see what went down! Enjoy!

Pioneertown | Joshua Tree from Jasmine on Vimeo.

Photo Diary: A Day in Los Angeles

Today my boyfriend and I went to check out the Natural History Museum in LA and Downtown Los Angeles. The Natural History museum is so amazing. I’m so surprised that I have not been to there yet, but it was definitely an experience to check it out, I highly recommend it. In the museum, you get to explore different species from different places around the world and different time periods. It’s so amazing. Also, the museum exposes you to different cultures and different areas around the world. Also, they have a great exhibit that explores how Los Angeles was found and developed. After we explored the museum and the grounds around it, we headed towards downtown. We walked around near Broadway and ate at Umami Burger. It was so delicious! My boyfriend had the “Manly” burger with the truffle fries and I had the Umami “Original” burger with the Korean Fries. It was all really delicious! Today was so much fun. I love days like these. To the next adventure!  
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