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Happy 4th of July weekend! As I dive deeper into the systemically racist core values that this country was founded on with all the reading, research, and conversations I continue to have, I admit it feels really strange to be celebrating freedom and independence right now. Although I am grateful to have the freedoms that I have as an American, I want to continue probing into our country’s colonized history and make myself aware of the faults in our systems that continue to oppress people. In this way, I hope I can better learn how I can contribute to the push towards social change.
Sobering thoughts aside, I hope that you all enjoy your mild-weathered weekend with your loved ones and continue to stay safe during the backdrop of COVID-19. Please remember to be safe and practice social distancing when you can!
What’s New This Week:
I laid pretty low from work this week to prioritize my health. I was feeling pretty under the weather earlier this week because I had some feverish aches and pains from my existing Epstein Barr viral infection (not COVID, just to clarify). I had a telemedicine appointment with my doctor and will be doing more blood tests to rule out any dietary sensitivities causing my hair loss, itchiness and fatigue as well as finally seeing a rheumatologist. I’ve been hopping from doctor to doctor and I’m glad I finally have one that is listening to my medical concerns and symptoms this time around. It’s been frustrating trying to pinpoint the proper treatment and tests since my symptoms are constantly changing, but since I dated and documented my symptoms in a journal I was finally able to thoroughly articulate my concerns to my doctor and get pointed in the right direction.
I also had my first distance reiki healing session, which I’ll explain further in this post.
Aside from health stuff, I spent most of my time this week planning out the guest bedroom makeover and I’m really excited to share my plans for this on Instagram. I save all of my DIY home improvement stories to my highlights so if you don’t follow me yet, make sure you do!
Let’s get on with Volume 16 of Friday Favorites!
More Friday Favorites:
- Friday Favorites Vol. 23: Plant Mama Life, I Got COVID-19, February Zero Budget Challenge
- Friday Favorites Vol. 22: Coconut Jelly Sheet Masks, Easy French Dip Sandwiches, Affordable German Knives & More
- Friday Favorites Vol. 21: DIY Salon Blowouts, Autoimmune Protocols, My New Favorite Book, Taking Breaks & More
- Friday Favorites Vol. 20: Matcha Madness, Leopard Print Obsession, Thoughts About “13th” & More
- Friday Favorites Vol. 19: Workout Favorites, Indoor Grilling & More
Every year when the weather transitions to summer, I always wind up changing my facial cleanser from a more gentle and hydrating formula to one that’s more effective at oil control. Being of Filipino descent and having more pigment in my skin I have more active sebaceous glands, so paired with the triple-digit California heat during summertime it’s basically my skin’s recipe for disaster. That said, I’ve switched my cleanser back to my tried-and-true Rice Water Foaming Cleanser from The Face Shop. I’ve used it religiously for 6-7 years now and it’s never let me down with effectively cutting down on my oiliness and reducing my clogged pores without stripping my skin. It also helps brighten and minimize any dark spots caused by recent pimples. At under $10, I always recommend this cleanser over any other American drugstore product as Korean formulas have a tendency to outshine most formulations at similar price points.
I am a huge fan of anime as well as sneakers, so I always love to see anime and sneaker culture collide in art. One of my favorite artists @drawmelike_ reimagined the cast of Sailor Moon in modern-day streetwear and I had to get this T-shirt of Sailor Moon in Jordan 1 Chicagos and a North Face Puffer to match my own pair of Chicagos. This outfit is fire but somehow it fits Sailor Moon’s character design so perfectly. She also did a streetwear redesign for every one of the original Sailor Guardians as well as Tuxedo Mask, so it’s way worth checking out the rest of her designs and picking up a shirt of your favorite Sailor Guardian. I really want Tuxedo Mask in light blue, but I also want Sailor Mars in creme… I can’t pick! I want them all!
Food: Simply White Cheddar Cheeto Puffs
I almost don’t want to recommend these because despite the fact that they’re “simpler” than the normal ones (which just means no artificial colors or flavorings are used in these, and they’re made with real cheese). They’re so sinfully good that even the smaller bag would invalidate this as a less-bad-for-you-option because you’ll wind up inhaling two bags in one sitting. I actually don’t think I’ll ever go back to regular Cheeto puffs. I want to tell you to go run out to your nearest grocery store and try some, but I also want to tell you to never try them so you don’t become addicted like me.
A few months ago I had my first Reiki healing session and while it was a life-changing experience, I still feel like alternative healing is relatively inaccessible because it’s not covered by medical insurance. Rick McFall, an internationally-renowned hypnotherapist, Reiki healer, founder of The Southern California University of Alternative and Complimentary Healthcare (SCUACH), and owner of The Healing Shoppe in Upland offers 30-minute Reiki sessions for just $20. He believes that 30-minute sessions are all that you need at a time, which is great to hear because most Reiki sessions begin at $100 and go up from there! I recently heard that he started offering distance sessions, so I booked a session and had my appointment the very next day.
It was a very memorable session: at first, I was skeptical because he called me on the phone, told me to get comfortable, and then said he would hang up and conduct the session using his partner as a conduit and then call me after the session was over. I had a lingering thought: “what if he’s not doing anything at all and just setting a timer for 30 minutes? What if this is a ripoff?” Lol. But I saw so many of his positive Yelp reviews, so I had to believe in his credibility and integrity. I laid in bed and got comfortable, and the next 30 minutes that followed were remarkable: where I normally fall asleep within 10 minutes after having my eyes shut, I was wide awake and attentive the entire time. I saw visions and I felt things that came out of nowhere. It’s hard to explain, but I really felt like I became a radio transmitter and was receiving some radio frequencies. At some point I felt a huge release of emotions and felt a lot of pent-up fear and anger release, and it was overwhelming. But after I got it all out with some crying, my energy continued on and flowed through the session.
After some time, I opened my eyes because there was a thought in my head that said, “you’re all done.” And I’m not kidding: literally a few seconds after opening my eyes and bringing my focus back to the room, Rick called me on the phone and said he just finished. Then he told me that he sensed some coldness in my feet and so he worked on that area more – this was so synchronistic because I have Raynaud’s and get severe chills from poor blood circulation in my feet, and I had a flare-up during the session that wound up going away after a few minutes. I wish I was making this stuff up, but I’m not.
Rick is located at The Healing Shoppe in Upland, CA, but I think you can book an appointment and do a distance session with him no matter where you live. Reiki is magical and energy work knows no bounds. I highly suggest you try it or email Rick with any questions. The $20 session is so worth it and I’m thinking of booking with him on a weekly or bi-weekly basis because he makes Reiki so affordable. They have many positive reviews on Yelp, so give him a try. Thanks, Rick!
Home: Buckwheat Pillow
Anyone like me and buy a new cheap $20 pillow from Target every year only for it to flatten out? I’ve always had a hard time finding the right pillow because no matter how much money I spent it was either too flat or too fluffy for me, and my neck always suffered. I finally found my missing buckwheat pillow while unpacking some boxes from our move and I’m so relieved to have found it! Buckwheat pillows are made of buckwheat hulls, which allows a unique and customized neck support during your sleep. The hulls create a shape that cradles your head exactly the way it needs to be cradled, similar to a beanbag chair. You can pat it down or build it up, which means one pillow can be adjusted many times over and compatible for basically anyone. I highly recommend trying a buckwheat pillow if you also have the same problem finding the perfect pillow. Buckwheat can be a little noisy (they sound like a bean bag), but it’s not a huge sacrifice you make in exchange for custom comfort!
Lifestyle: $3 Eucalyptus Shower Bundles
Trader Joe’s always has a bunch of mini gems and their $3 eucalyptus bundles are one of them. After reading this post from the Eating Well blog I was sold on grabbing a bundle from my local Trader Joe’s and trying it out – it worked surprisingly well! Trader Joe’s sells fresh eucalyptus bundles for only $3 (located in the fresh flower section with the floral arrangements inside – not where the potted plants are located outside) and you can tie them with twine and hang them on the neck of your shower head to create a really aromatic spa experience that really helps with your sinuses. I get allergies a lot during this time of year so this was a big relief! The bundles last for around a week for me, but you can keep them up for decorative purposes (it looks really boho-chic). I even find more longevity out of them by rubbing eucalyptus essential oil on the leaves! Make sure to grab the most aromatic bundle and be aware that the smell is more noticeable the hotter you run your water.
Entertainment: Kingdom Hearts 3
After playing Disney’s Villainous so much recently (mostly online on Tabletop Simulator with friends), I’ve been wanting to re-play the Kingdom Hearts games so I could experience a few Disney worlds. I’ve only played 1 and 2 in middle school and high school respectively, but since the 3rd one was on sale I had to get it. Needless to say, part 3 brought me a lot of nostalgia: although it was very different from the first 2 Kingdom Hearts games I enjoyed the game for what it was. My favorite worlds were Toy Story, Tangled, and Pirates of the Caribbean. If you really enjoy Disney movies and also love adventure games, definitely give the Kingdom Hearts series a try. I recommend starting with the first game so that the plot makes a little more sense (you can buy 1, 2 and 3 in a bundle on the Playstation Store), but if you’ve already played 1 and 2 you can get a brand new copy of the 3rd game for $17.77.
I know Pride month was in June, but I amidst the racial conversations we were collectively having I didn’t have the chance to discuss my own story: I’m bisexual. For some of you, that might come off as a surprise, and likely the reason is because “I don’t act like it.” Bisexual erasure is a real thing in which bisexuals are sidelined because there is so much pressure to identify as either straight or gay; additionally, if you are queer, there is a certain assumption by straight folks that queer people should behave or dress a certain way in order for straight people to openly understand that the individual is queer. Also, when bisexual people enter into a seemingly heteronormative (aka “seemingly straight-looking”) relationship – aka, me with Jun – it feels like society really erases the bisexual part of the person.
I’ve never felt a need to be vocal with my sexual declarations because it’s my orientation and I shouldn’t have to argue with other people about it – but being bisexual often puts me in a place where I’m invalidated because I don’t openly “act” or “dress” queer. The truth is, sexual orientation and sexual identity are just spectrums – not just a “yes” or “no” – and we all fall somewhere within it. Where men can sometimes act really hyper-masculine or women can act hyper-feminine, there is the automatic assumption that because queer is a minority group within the sexual identities that the only way we can identify queer people as such is if they act hyper-gay. And I’m not. This puts me in a strange area because a lot of folks assume that I’m not queer enough to claim bisexuality, or that I lack a certain amount of bisexual experience that this makes me straight but “curious.” I don’t agree with this. It makes a lot of bisexual people feel as if they have to behave a certain way in order for the world to see their bisexuality as valid. While it is true that I have spent most of my romantic encounters in heteronormative and straight relationships, it doesn’t mean that I’m any less bisexual. The bottom line is that I am attracted to certain women in the same way that I am with certain men, and just because I am attracted to both genders does not mean that I look at women as if they’re prey. Just because I swing both ways doesn’t mean that I’m looking for a hook-up with every single woman I encounter. Bisexual does not mean hypersexual.
I know that this might be unfamiliar territory for many people, so I also recommend reading the above post as well as 5 Myths About Bisexuality That Contribute To Bi Erasure to understand more about bisexuality.
This Week’s Curious Thought: “Are you in love with a person or an idea?”
View this post on Instagram
Good ol’ @werenotreallystrangers always hitting with the thought-provoking posts. I’m sharing this one because I really hope it’s helpful to someone who might need to read this. I feel like at some point many of us have stayed complacent in relationships for this very reason – I admit, I’ve found myself in this position in a few previous relationships. Moving forward I consciously make sure to ask myself this question to make sure that the relationships I have – whether romantic or just friendship – still remain nurturing to my soul. Oftentimes we force roles upon people in our lives despite ignoring the reality that they may be unable to fulfill that role, and that’s when you really have to ask that hard question: are you in love with them or the idea of them?
I always believe that you can make love work and it never comes without its challenges, but it depends on the situation. If you’re unsatisfied with your answer then it really becomes a matter of whether or not this is something you’re both willing to work on together so that you can both show up for each other in the way that you need. Jun and I are polar opposites so it can be really challenging for us at times, but asking myself this question from time to time allows me to pause and reflect on where we are right now and how we can course-correct. Doing this helps us meet in the middle so that we can remain true to ourselves while being able to provide the love that the other person needs.
That’s it for this week’s Friday Favorites! If you liked Volume 16, be sure to subscribe to my newsletter below so you get informed as soon as I hit publish on a new Friday Favorites post. And don’t forget to follow me on Instagram!
More Posts to Check Out:
- Manifesting Your Dream Life
- Spend, Save or Invest: What Should You Do With Your Tax Refund?
- Is Noom Worth the Price? My 156 to 135 lb Weight Loss Journey
- Friday Favorites Vol. 21: DIY Salon Blowouts, Autoimmune Protocols, My New Favorite Book, Taking Breaks & More
- A Resource Guide to Antiracism & Systemic Racism (#BlackLivesMatter)