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A brief reprieve from the heat! It’s been a busy past few days for me and I had a day to get out of the house and get some fresh air (albeit socially distant), which was really mentally and emotionally healing for me. Although I’m basically adjusted to staying at home 24/7, sometimes I still get a little bit of cabin fever and need to go out.
What’s New This Week:
Okay, so we’re still not quite done with the guest bedroom, but we’re like, 98% close (instead of 95% last week). Jun installed the curtain rods but we received the wrong curtains, so there was a bit of a delay on that, but I’m hoping I can get it all completed and photographed after this busy weekend so that I can share the big reveal!
My itchiness from my mysterious autoimmune symptoms has finally subsided to no longer being a daily occurrence, but I’m noticing I still get tremendous flare-ups and I’m suspicious that it’s a reaction to some sort of food. My lips are also still incredibly chapped no matter what product I put on it except for A&D ointment, so I’m at a loss of what’s going on, but it seems my symptoms are constantly shapeshifting and it’s difficult for my doctors to grasp any idea of what could possibly be happening. Sometimes they blister up and ooze pus, and they really burn like crazy – sometimes so bad that I wake up in the middle of the night with my lips on fire. Are these cold sores? Another allergic reaction (am I just becoming allergic to everything?)? I honestly have no idea what’s going on, but it’s really worrisome because this has never happened to me before. Man, the human body is nuts sometimes.
Aside from that, I’ve been focusing on completing so many different projects and I’ve felt really inspired to tackle the bigger ones I’ve been putting off, especially since I’ve regained some energy this past week. I’m trying to take advantage of my energy levels this week and see how many cool projects I can get done!
Volume 20 of Friday Favorites is coming right up!
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
Beauty: Spiral Hair Ties
If you’ve been keeping tabs on my quarantine style, I’ve been heat styling my hair a lot less and trying to get more creative with other hairstyles – those trendy space buns have been on repeat for me lately, and they’re so much easier to do when you have spiral hair ties. Not only do they give you that messy-chic look for your buns, but they pull far less on your hair than regular hair ties, but still do a great job of keeping your hair up. I get headaches if I wear ponytails or buns too tight, so I use these instead of regular elastics during the day and then use my silk scrunchies at night for maximum comfort.
Since I’ve been sheltering-in-place for months now, I’ve been living in athleisure and loungewear. I needed something that was still comfortable, quick to throw on, but also chic enough to look put-together in a minute. It only made sense to go with this super-chic leopard number: the leopard print alone is a statement in itself, and the silk makes the blouse look like it costs more than it actually does. The oversized fit is still casual enough to work super well with a pair of jeans, but it’s definitely work-appropriate. If not this blouse, definitely consider a similar one that you can throw on in a split when you have an emergency Zoom meeting with your coworkers! It’s always good to have a few “emergency” pieces in your wardrobe like this, just in case.
Food: Trader Joe’s Matcha Green Tea Ice Cream
Even though I’m sad that Trader Joe’s Ube Ice Cream is now sold out for the year, I’m pleasantly satisfied with their new flavor, Green Tea Matcha! It’s not bitter but still has that genuine matcha taste. And I’m lactose-sensitive, but their ice creams never cause me discomfort. The list of ingredients is relatively short, the matcha taste is genuine, the ice cream is creamy, the price is reasonable ($3.99), and minimal stomach problems makes this ice cream a win in my book!
Health: Organic Matcha Green Tea Powder
I really try to refrain from heavily caffeinated drinks, but alongside my favorite mushroom coffee, I also love matcha! Matcha has a lot of antioxidants that have cancer-fighting effects, prevent heart disease, type 2 diabetes and helps with weight loss. I make hot green tea from tea bags during the wintertime, but since it’s summer I’ve been mixing this matcha powder with hot water and then storing it in the fridge to use as a base for matcha lattes. All I have to do is add some of my favorite almond milk creamer and a little bit of coconut sugar, and I have a super delicious iced matcha latte that’s 1/3 the caffeine of a cup of coffee!
I’m so close to finishing up the guest bedroom makeover, and I’m quite satisfied with the look of these really affordable end tables. The gold hardware makes it look really upscale, and you get the look of marble for less (the surface is glass). I wanted to keep the budget for this room as minimal as possible, so two of these for under $150 was perfect for me! I didn’t feel a need to invest in high-quality and extra-durable bedside tables for this room, because as its a guest bedroom it won’t get a lot of wear-and-tear, and I don’t think my guests will bring enough of their small knick-knacks to really need bedside tables with drawers. I don’t know that I could recommend them for regular use in a bedroom, but they’re definitely a bargain for the living room.
Lifestyle: Bulk Crystals from CrystalRiverGems on Etsy
Honestly, I can never have enough crystals. I love buying them for friends, and since my favorite crystal shop in San Diego closed due to the pandemic I’ve been trying to find crystals through small businesses online. That said, I love CrystalRiverGems on Etsy! They sell a bunch of crystals by the pound at bulk prices, and shipping is free over $35 – and that’s a selling point for me because shipping crystals can get expensive due to their weight.
I bought some beautiful chevron banded amethyst (which is darker and more vibrant than regular amethyst), rose quartz, selenite sticks, and 6 pounds of black tourmaline to fill my glass lamps in the guest bedroom. All of the crystals I bought were less than $10 for 1 lb, the sizes are pretty decent, and for the amount you get, you really get your money’s worth! If you like buying a lot and giving them away to friends, I definitely recommend this shop.
Entertainment: 13th (Netflix)
“13th” has been a recommendation of many in a lot of antiracism conversations I’ve been having. 13th was incredibly insightful and focused a lot on the corruption of politics through financial lobbying of the rich. It revealed a lot about the faults in our justice system and how it’s rigged to serve the people with the most money and punish the ones who can’t afford to buy themselves out of jail, which are Black bodies. The reality is colonization and capitalism benefits and profits off Black bodies and makes it far too easy for Black people to become incarcerated. Once incarcerated, all of their American rights are stripped away, such as food stamps, the right to vote, government-funded healthcare, and many more. Plus, it becomes difficult to get a job after serving a prison sentence. So how are convicted felons supposed to re-enter society after forever being branded a criminal? Add profiling to the mix, and it makes sense why 1 out of 4 of Black Americans are likely to face jail time. Ironically enough, those who are innocent are the ones who serve far too much time, while those who commit serious offenses typically have the money to buy a shorter sentence or a free ticket out of jail altogether.
For the most part, most of us know that the US criminal justice system is corrupt, but 13th dives further into more sinister topics, like the privatization of prisons and how American Legislative Exchange Council legally allows corporations and politicians to partner together and create legislation that benefits predominantly rich people. 13th reveals a lot about stealth politics and also breaks down systemic and institutional racism in a way that many of us find difficult to explain to others. I highly recommend watching this.
Okay, you know I’m a manifestation junkie, but I love being able to understand it from a more scientific and psychological perspective. Manifestation does work, and this article breaks down the science behind it. Our brains have what’s called a “reticular activating system,” which acts as a filter for your attention based on the parameters or “topic” you set for it. It’s the reason why when you consider buying a Jeep, you suddenly see tons of them on the road for the next month.
This article on RAS breaks down the way your brain works so that you can better understand your brain’s functions and use it to your advantage so that you can achieve or get whatever it is that you’ve set your sights on.
This Week’s Quote: “I am no longer accepting the things I cannot change. I am changing the things I cannot accept.”
I feel like this year’s headlines have definitely demanding my attention and calling for my action. From racism, feminism and learning more about our society’s unjust systems, I’ve been making it part of my regular programming to self-educate so that I know how to change the world by influencing the people around me. The truth is, aside from what’s going on in the world today, since 2018 I’ve been focusing on my own trauma healing as a victim of rape and abuse, and it’s been extremely difficult for me to reflect on the traumas I’ve gone through and not feel angry about it. There are many people in the world like me who have suffered at the hands of inflicted trauma, so I’ve been striving to educate myself on many topics so that I can equip myself with the tools to dismantle these corrupt systems as a single person. My experience is only one facet of the many different ways that oppression exists, whether its sexism, racism, classism or anything else. So I don’t want to sit idly with my anger and not do anything about it. Black people don’t deserve to die. Women don’t deserve to be raped. Gay people don’t deserve to be beaten. The list goes on. So while we all know that there are so many injustices that happen daily, what are we actually doing to make the world a safer and fairer place for everyone? I am no longer accepting the things I cannot change. I am changing the things I cannot accept.
That’s it for this week’s Friday Favorites! If you liked Volume 20, 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!
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