Friday Fives

Hello everyone!

Sorry that I’ve been MIA these past couple of weeks, but Z and I found a beautiful little apartment and have been busy bees trying to get all we need for it. We have also been making lots of plans that have needed some serious sit-down time, scheduling and financial talk. But more about that in another post.

Today I was looking at what to post about and I realized that I’ve been trying a couple of new things, and loving lots of old ones. So I thought I would put it together in a little “Friday Favourites” or as I’m going to call it “Friday Fives” post. I’m going to try and keep this series up (unlike past ones :S Oops… Sorry!), also because I truly have been trying to get out of my comfort zone and read new things, try new make up and even shop for clothes more regularly…

So with no further ado, here are this week’s Friday favourites:

Emily Ley’s Office Boxes

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The cutest office boxes out there

These boxes are seriously adorable. The color and the size are perfect for any table or book shelf you have in your home office, living room or bedroom. Z and I are definitely beach people so these colors fit right in with our “theme” (Z doesn’t even know we have a theme for our home’s colors, but that’s OK…). I love keeping every room in the house organized and looking as neat as possible (I’m not OCD at all…) so these boxes are great to have all our books, magazines, important papers and files in one spot.

Walmart White Sneaker Shoes

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Yes, I know what you’re thinking (“Seriously…? Walmart shoes…?) But Yes!! These sneakers are super comfy, cost you only $6 and look super cute in a T-shirt dress, jeans or shorts. There are so versatile and comfortable, I’ve been wearing them non-stop. I have the black ones that I use weekly to run errands and take Shelby on our morning and afternoon walk, and the white ones for dressier days. Like this past 4th of July when I wore them with super cute H&M navy high-waisted shorts and a white shirt.

Huhuhero Sipa Pens

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These pens have not left my purse ever since I got them from Amazon. They’re less than $10 (about $6 I think.. win!). They write extremely nicely, so smooth and with incredibly vibrant colours which is sometimes hard to find. My favourite part is that they don’t smear when you write with them. They just make your notebooks and agendas look incredibly neat, colourful and girly. Thanks to Emily Ley for testing them out!!

Plums

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Plums have been on our permanent shopping list for the past two weeks. They’re in season, they’re yummy and they make the perfect summer snack while at the pool (especially if you keep them in the fridge and they’re nice and cool…). They’re benefits are also amazing: eating them will help you maintain a healthy digestion, help iron absorption, they’re rich in antioxidants, help protect your eyes and they have anti-aging properties… In a nutshell: you should eat them! (P.S.: no, I’m not a nutritionist and I just got this information from my doctor. If you don’t like them, don’t eat them!)

Vanilla Mochi

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Next to plums, these are the second item that is on our permanent shopping list (if you have questions about this list I keep talking about, just let me know in the comments below and I will write a post in it 🙂 ). Small, yummy, cool… It’s just the perfect summer desert next to fruit. I’m not a big ice cream person, but these small treats sure do get addictive. Z likes the red bean flavour, so we keep one of each in the freezer. We get ours at the Asian market, but I’m sure you can also find it at your regular grocery store.

And that’s it for my Friday Fives of this week. Let me know in the comments below if there is something you have been loving this week 🙂 Until next time!

Lots of love, Yara

 

Moving Series: Quick Pause

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Hello and happy Friday loves! 

If you’ve read any of my Moving Series posts, you will know that Z and I were planning to move to Florida in the next year. 

After giving it some thought and talking extensively about it, we’ve decided to put moving plans on hold for now. Don’t get me wrong, we’ll still move south, we just don’t know when. 

There are a couple things going on in our lives that are making us realize we need some more time before taking that step. One of the main reasons being our job situation. My current full-time job is going great, there is so much growth and learning opportunities and I believe it would be wasted if we decided to leave in a year. I’m also very blessed that Z agrees with and supports me in this matter. 

We have also decided to move into a new apartment, closer to a train station so we can more easily get to work and university. And this is one of the most exciting parts for me. Z and I don’t “own” a lot of things; some kitchen ware, clothes and a couple more things. Which means that this apartment is a completely white canvas that we get to personalize and adapt to what we want it to be. And I couldn’t tell you how excited I am about this. New decor, Pinterest ideas galore… (P.S.: you should follow me on Pinterest to see all the ideas I have for the new apartment!). 

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I love getting inspiration on Pinterest…

If you know me, you know I love Ikea. And since we’re still young and relatively broke (that sounds kind of bad but I just recently graduated Uni so you can imagine that money doesn’t fall off our ears over here…), it’s the best place to get started [no worries though, one day I’ll have my Pottery Barn/ Williams Sonoma/ Z- Gallery home!]. 

So I was thinking that since plans have changed, I would put our moving series to the side for now and start a new one (can you tell I don’t have this blogging and “being consistent” thing down yet?): our New Apartment. I thought I’d take you guys with me through the shopping, decorating and inspirational process. It’s going to be on a tight budget and for a relatively small apartment, so it should be interesting to see how we achieve that. 

What do you guys think? Is that something you guys would like to read about? Let me know in the comments below! 

Lots of love, Yara

Journey Of A (Non-)Immigrant…

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This is just a small binder with some of my immigration documents…

The quality is terrible, but that’s my friend Sabela and I at a Spanish gathering 3 years ago…
Hello loves and happy Friday! 

I have debated long and hard about whether I should write this post or not. “Should I make it a series?” “Will people even like this?” “Is this something I should even talk about…)” etc. 

But recently, I came across someone who clearly didn’t know anything about people like me: international students. Living in the U.S., and particularly in Denver, a lot of people live side by side with this huge current issue of immigration. Considering all the political and media focus this topic has had, I was surprised by how little this person knew about the difference of me and an illegal immigrant. And before I continue writing, let me make a huge disclaimer

I am in no shape or form against anybody moving to a different country to improve their life and/or the life of their children and family. I am in no way judging the manner in which people do it. This is simply a blog post to explain MY personal situation and how it differs from other people’s.

Now that this is clear (I hope), let me give you an insight into what it is to be an international student. Technically we’re not considered immigrants (we are: “temporary/ non-immigrant aliens) but I feel like not too many people are aware of that. 

For starters, getting to where I am now has neither been easy nor cheap. Coming to the United States with a Student Visa is a very long, intimidating and tedious process. When you decide you want to come and study in this country, you have to apply to the U.S. Embassy in your country for a student visa. And it is not as easy as it sounds. To try and keep this process explanation short, there are 5 things you need to provide BEFORE you apply for this Visa: 

  1. You need to provide them with a very long list of documents about yourself and your family, demonstrating “strong ties” back to your home country (meaning: that you intend on going back once you’re done with university); 
  2. You need to prove foreign residence, your and your families;
  3. You need to demonstrate/ adhere to the rules that you will only study in an academic environment once you get to the U.S. (and not work unless it is in a campus location with very limited and supervised hours); 
  4. You need to prove that you have sufficient financial support and ability to not only study but also to live in the U.S.; 
  5. And finally you must show prove that you have been accepted by the university: which requires that you travel to the city you intend to move to, apply for the university/universities, show prove of sufficient funds to them and that you can support yourself, and show prove of a very good health insurance with coverage requirements that include travel back to your country if needed… 

In case you didn’t catch it, these are requirements you MUST meet prior to applying to attempt to get your visa. So all this time, you are not guaranteed to be approved to come to the U.S., but the trip, the applications to universities, bank documents that need to be translated, health insurance coverage that also needs translation… they all cost money. And before you go and think that money comes out of my ears: no, I am not rich. Neither is my family. But we saved up for quite a while before even starting this process. 

So lets say that you do get approved by one of the universities you applied to (because if you didn’t, then there is obviously no point to the next step), then comes the application for the student visa, also known as F-1 Visa. Keep in mind that every single form, document and photo you send to the embassy requires payment as well. So yes, saving money is almost a requirement for all of this so: PLAN AHEAD! 

To start this application you need to submit an application fee (this changes every year so check the USCIS website for updates on that), Form DS-160, which comes with all the same required paperwork that you previously accumulated, valid copies of your passport and passport-style photos (I believe at least 2). Submitting all of this does NOT guarantee that you will get approved. Now, you have to wait to see if you’re granted an interview with the U.S. Official at the Embassy. 

Once you receive notice that you have, you will have to choose a date and go to the U.S. embassy that is closest to you (mine was the one in Madrid because it’s the only one in Spain), and go through that. After being through the whole process I am glad people ask me for advice because I believe the only reason why my interview was fairly short (almost 3.5 hours) is because I kept a huge binder with copies of every single thing I had send them. They couldn’t find one of my papers, but luckily I not only had a copy for myself but also one for them to keep (Score!). 

And it is at this interview that they tell you whether or not you are approved for a student visa. If and when that’s the case, they will charge you an issuance fee, take your fingerprints and your passport will be taken by them in order to get your visa (which is glued/ stapled into your passport). Then you can either pick it up or have it mailed to you if you don’t live by the embassy. It is advised to you on every official website, and by me too, not to make travel plans prior to this last step, because as mentioned there is no guarantee. 

So as you can see, this is no quick trip to the embassy or short application to fill out online. It takes a long time (mine was close to 8 months), quite some money and a lot of commitment. And once you’re in the U.S. you are closely monitored and have to keep in constant contact with USCIS and SEVIS (both of which monitor your every move in the country) to make sure everything you’re doing is legal and allowed. 

After four years in Denver and finishing my university degree, I got approved for OPT, which is a program that allows for international students to work during one year in the field they studied (I did Journalism and PR so now I work at a PR firm). 

If you’re wondering if I want to stay, I do. But it’s going to take a very long process to switch visas (from student F1 to work H1B) and I could write a whole other blog post on that. Like I said, I’m just trying to explain the process to those who don’t know about it and maybe even help somebody out who is trying to do the same. 

If you have any comments or questions, please leave them below. I’d love to hear what you think about this, if you knew about the process or even help you if you have any more questions. 

Until next time! Lots of love, Yara 

 

May Favourites

Hello loves and happy Friday! 

It’s the second day of June and I thought I would give you a quick round-up of my May favourites. I know many bloggers and Youtubers do this, but I do like seeing what people love, have been using constantly and what works for them. 

So with no further ado, here are my May Favourites: 

  1. “Grace Not Perfection” by Emily Ley – I’ve devoured this book in less than 7 days, reading on the train, in the bathtub and late into the night. I believe every woman, whether you’re a mom or just starting your career or university, should read this. It’s not just a book about someone’s experience, but Emily has a way of bringing God and his message closer to you and opening up a whole new way of life. MUST-READ !! 

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    You can find the book HERE
  2. Earl Grey” Tea by Twinings– as mentioned previously on the blog, Z and I love love love tea. It really has become our little morning and evening tradition. And this one from Twinings has definitely been the top contender. It’s smooth and strong, but won’t keep you up at night so it’s perfect to enjoy with a couple of biscuits. Z likes to add a little milk sometimes to soften the flavour. 

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    Perfect morning and afternoon tea. Get it at Kroger or Target
  3. “Mimosa & Cardamom Cologne” by Jo Malone – if you know me, you’ll know I’m an all-time Wood Sage and Sea Salt lover (it’s never missing in my house), but the other day I stopped by the Jo Malone section in Nordstrom and fell in love with THIS scent. It’s perfect for the summer. I only took home a tester, but I’m going back this weekend to get the full sized bottle. 

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    Even the bottles and packaging are elegant at Jo Malone.
  4. “Naked Skin” by Urban Decay – this concealer has been my best friend these last couple of weeks and I had totally forgotten how good it was. Keeping up with two jobs and a crazy puppy, you can imagine how sleep hasn’t been my best friend lately. It completely covers my under-eye circles and helps make me look fresh and awake, even when my brain can’t say the same. 

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    I usually get mine HERE or at an Ulta store
  5. Last but not least, the first and only lipstick that has made me want to get a lipstick collection: Slow Burn 246 by Marc Jacobs. It gives my lips just the tiniest bit of extra color making them look plump and healthy. It has such a creamy and soft texture that I sometimes forget I’m even wearing it. I truly am not a lipstick girl in general, but I have been wearing this non-stop lately. 

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    Get yours at Sephora or on the Marc Jacobs website

Let me know what some of your May favourites were. Anything I din’t mention that you guys can’t live without? Comment in the section below! 

Lots of love, Yara ❤️ 

I’m Not Wonder-Woman

It feels weird starting this post. Even more to be thinking about things this way. But it’s true. 

I’m not Wonder-Woman. And that’s OK. 

Today I was looking over my agenda and my notebook (post about these coming soon), all the things I had to do, the things I wanted to do, prioritizing and all while staying sane. I’m going to be very honest that even though I love writing and keeping this blog, sometimes I just don’t have the energy to write. 

Worse thing is that I know there are plenty women out there, that do it and do it well. Emily Ley, Jillian Harris, Emily Ann Gemma, Alexandrea Garza, Courtney Shields Albright… These are just some of the few that inspire me and are constantly on my browser when I need inspiration, advice or maybe just something good to read or watch. These women inspire and encourage me every day, in an indirect and genuine way, to become a better version of myself. 

And so in this post I wanted to share with you a couple of things that have been going on in my life, how I’m trying to overcome them and what has helped me so far. 

My daily dose of inspiration 

Almost every day, during lunch or when I’m on the train heading home from work or right before going to bed, I go onto one of these ladies’ websites/ blogs/ YouTube channels and take a look at what they’re writing about, what they’re doing or things they’re reviewing. A lot of times I love just browsing their websites just to find small or big things that have helped them get through tough or new situations. And I LOVE IT. I love watching how they get through these new life events and figure it out just like I’m doing now with my life. 

To give you a little background on what has been going on in my life, let me tell you how my last year has been: 

I graduated at the end of last August from university. One of the best feelings I have ever had and yet, one of the worst transitions onto what now? Since then I have had an internship, two jobs and a confrontation with a company that was less than legitimate. It has been a true roller-coaster. Now I have two jobs, one full-time during the week and another one part-time on nights and weekends, to keep me going until I figure out how long I will be at this full-time job. Yes, it’s madness. And no, I don’t know how I do it. Sometimes I cannot tell apart if it is the weekend or the week, if I’m supposed to be up or sleeping or if it is one of those rare days I have “off”. What I tell myself to keep going and stay positive is that we all go through tough and unknown moments in our lives. Just because they’re difficult, it doesn’t mean they’re impossible. And I am lucky enough to have the love and support of my boyfriend on every decision I make. 

With all of that being said, and as I’ve mentioned, I have been looking at ways to improve my life schedule, routine and balance of those. That’s how I found my new and currently favourite blogger, business owner and mom-goal: Emily Ley (also current fave: Simplicity and Grace! Thanks Emily!!). She really has influenced and shaped the way I think about life, simplifying everything and being happy. So I am very happy because I have just ordered my first Simple Planner and cannot wait to get started. She also sends the sweetest weekly emails with advice, tips and tricks on how to simplify your life, home, work schedule, etc. I love reading her emails on the train on my way to work. It truly is relieving when you see that someone else went through these struggles and had to figure it out. But now, they’re there to help you resolve those. 

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Mine is on it’s way, but this is the Simple Planner I got from http://bit.ly/2rHHy58

Trying to keep things Simple and give yourself Grace 

Whether you’re religious or not, Grace Not Perfection is a book I will from now on recommend to every woman I know to read! It is incredibly eye-opening and gives you a sense of relief and love for things like I haven’t felt in a long time. 

Just as I said at the beginning of this blog, I thought I had to do it all, and do it perfectly. Post on the blog several days a week, excel at my work and be a good girlfriend to Zach. As much as I continue to attempt to do as best I can in all of that, I truly am not perfect. And sometimes, it’s OK to give in and pat yourself on the back for what you have accomplished. The other night Zach and I had pizza for dinner on the couch at 22 o’clock (10 p.m.). It was so much fun and so relaxing. Sometimes I forget how understanding, loving and non-judgmental he is, how he is fine with eating pizza late at night and doesn’t need a fancy dish to be ready before 19 o’clock (7 p.m.). 

That day I had also been at both my jobs and had worked solo the last couple hours at my second one. Everything that needed to be done was accomplished and I smiled at how proud I was for that and how I deserved those slices of pizza. 

I don’t want to spoil the book for anybody, but I truly encourage you to read it and reflect on the small, precious and beautiful things in your life that deserve more your attention than being perfect and busy. You’ll thank me later 😉 

Team Work makes the Dream Work 

I am beyond blessed and lucky to have Zach by my side. He is such an incredible, hard-working, smart and understanding man, and sometimes I cannot believe I forget. But being with his has been the biggest blessing of my life. 

He is always supportive, encourages me to go further and reach my goals but holds me back when it’s enough. After reading Grace Not Perfection, I also realized that he was always there to take part of the load from me and helps so much to keep me sane. 

We have now purchased a dry-erase board and match our schedules and responsibilities there, taking such a huge load from having to remember every single little thing that needs to be done and therefore having more time to spend and enjoy with each other. I really cannot complain since he most definitely cooks better than me and isn’t scared to venture and try new recipes none of us has done. But the fact that I know he is there to do things with me, is the reason I can keep going. 

I cannot wait to spend the rest of my life with him and make memories, traditions and grow old together. 

P.S.: If you couldn’t guess, he’s not very amused by the filters. But I love him for that!


Having Grace

Last but not least, is having grace with yourself and your loved ones. This is going to be a quote I live by now. This misconception that us women have to do everything and excel at everything and keep everything together is never going to stop following us until we decide to cut it off. And that’s exactly what I am doing. 

I have the greatest partner God could have send me and I know I don’t need to be perfect. I just need to do the best I can with the means I have. And that is all OK. Forgive yourself and understand that life and things and tough situations happen. You can let them take over your life or you can take control and not let them overwhelm you. There is so much beauty in this world and so many small things that make it worth shutting off the TV. Like when we let Shelby (our puppy) out of her kennel in the morning and she just runs like a maniac and wants to kiss and jump onto everybody. We have now started waking up 15 minutes earlier just so we can all lay in bed and enjoy some time together while sipping on some morning tea and coffee. 

The post-crazy situation in bed 🙂

It’s small things like those that I now want to cherish and remember. So from now on, I’ll let the chaos and crazy jumping and playing take control, so that I can smile with Zach and enjoy the fact that she’s still a puppy and full of energy and love. 

I know this hasn’t been the regular type of post, but I hope that whoever reads this gets some inspiration and encouragement from this. You are not alone, you are loved and you have one life to enjoy to it’s limit. Take advantage of it !! 

Lots of love, Yara 

Our Travel Wishlist

Hello loves and happy Monday, 

Last week was pure madness at my work and in life, so I apologize for not posting anything. But now that i was typing away this next post, I came across another issue. 

I was thinking for a while what topics I could talk about. When skimming the internet, you see so many fashion and style blogs that I thought I should jump on that wagon and start doing more blogs on that. But I’m going to be very honest: 

I don’t have that great of style; I don’t shop enough to write weekly posts about fashion; and I don’t take professional-quality type photos that it would even look good in this blog. So I’ve decided to stay away form that for now. 

On another note, I did start to get that travel-excitement when the summer gets closer and thought, what better way to supplement that than looking at what places were on Zach’s and my wish-list. Despite the fact that we won’t be doing any traveling this summer, I thought it would be great to have a list of places on my blog that I could eventually revisit when we were ready to travel together. 

So with no further ado, here are our top 5 places to visit. 

1. Fiji 

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Both these pictures are from the travel Fiji website http://www.fiji.travel/
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Dreamy vacation homes

You will quickly figure out that both Zach and I are beach people, because this list is basically composed of dreamy beach destinations. Despite it being quite far from us, these combination of islands are on the top of our list to visit. There is just a different, special, air to Fiji and we’d love to be able to take a couple days to relax by the clear blue waters. 

2. Japan 

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Photo from http://en.toureast.com/destinations/asia/japan
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Traditional tea ceremony

Again, for this country I’m more than lucky and blessed that Zach is as much of a Japan (as a country) and tea aficionado as I am. We are both very fascinated with the cultural mixes of past and present, modernism and traditions. Zach has been there before, but we’d like to go together and discover some of the more traditional cities together one day. My mum has also invited herself to this trip so it would be fun to all go together. 

3. Martinique 

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Photo credit: http://us.martinique.org/

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Martinique’s unique coast lines via goo.gl/bDS7Vo 

The island that is probably closest to us, Martinique is a place that is hard to believe exists. Crystal clear waters, the French influence and flair, it’s where European and West Indian mix. Not many people know that this is the native country of Joséphine de Beauharnais,  Napoleon Bonaparte’s first wife.  

4. Cyprus 

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photo credit: goo.gl/pLE8bg
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photo credit: goo.gl/vBTZ09

Sharing an island with it’s neighbor Turkey, Cyprus is one of the most fascinating European countries in our opinion. In Cyprus, people speak Greek. Yet it is literally next to Turkish speaking people. The island is 9,251 km2 long (about 3,572 sq mi) and it incredible how two different people share that space. Aside the cultural aspect, Cyprus truly is a little piece of paradise in our very own Mediterranean which I find spectacular. 

5. Bali 

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Wonderful Indonesia via goo.gl/Pe5E7r
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photo credit via goo.gl/PHVZR0

Bali, a yogi’s paradise. And despite neither Zach or I being into yoga, I wouldn’t mind starting to practice at a place like this. The peacefulness of the architecture and relaxing sounds of the ocean make me want to jump on the plane right now and spend some days over there (instead of being at work in the city heheheh). 

And that’s it for today’s blog post. What places have you visited or which ones are on your bucket list that I didn’t mention? Any recommendations? Let me know in the comments below. 

Lots of love, Yara 

Graduation Gift Ideas

Happy Friday! 

Gifting is one of my favourite things to do. I love making my gifts personal, and special, while trying not to break the bank (if you know what I mean). But I do try to put as much effort into it as I can. Because growing up, I was lucky enough to have parents and friends who showed me how special it was to get a gift that wasn’t the norm or on every other shelf in town. 

Once I moved to the US I discovered Etsy, and fell in love. For those of you who don’t know what Etsy is

“Etsy is a global creative commerce platform. We build markets, services and economic opportunity for creative entrepreneurs.” It’s a website/store where creators, artist and anybody who has a product that is different, any entrepreneur, can go and sell their items, and people like me who love unique and handmade things can go and shop like crazy. 

Since graduation is around the corner (literally!) whether you, a family member or a friend is graduating, there is always the questions of what to gift. There is so much out there and honestly, this is probably one of the “easiest” celebrations to get gift for. I thought I would put together a couple of options from Etsy to give you ideas and inspiration for your own gift. 

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“The Tassel was worth the Hassle” Glass I’m Spanish and extremely lucky that my friends here are either Spaniards or wine lovers too. So this gift just seemed more than appropriate. If you know your guest of honor enjoys a glass from time to time, this will be a fun and useful little gift. 

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Personalized Candle This one is my personal favourite. It’s the cutest little detail to gift someone. They offer many scents, you can include the name and even a quote for the person. The best thing is that once they’re done burning it, they can clean it out and continue to use the glass it comes in. Here is another option that is also very cute. 

il_570xN.1192700758_ha4w.jpg Personalized make up pouch This pouch doesn’t have to be for make up. I have a similar one where I just put everything that has to be in my purse at all times and it is so convenient and cute to have this little pouch. It can also be used as a clutch to go out and is a very sweet reminder of their accomplishments. 

Personalized passport holder This gift is great for a man or woman because who doesn’t love a simple passport holder where they can store all the important documents they need? It’s sleek, holds a passport, cards and your boarding pass, and comes in four different colors. Plus, you can add the initials of the person in the back and have a special quote on the front. 

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Year Planner Just like all the items on my list, this planner can be personalized with a name or date. What I love about these is how useful and necessary they are, especially for somebody who is graduating and starting a new job or job search. They keep you organized and on track of everything. Plus, this again is uni-sex and can be for a man or woman. 

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And last but not least, a graduation card! These are, out of all the gift options, my very favourite. And that’s because you can really personal and write that person straight from your heart. What’s best about these is that they are small and can be kept in a small box or on the wall or fridge forever. I keep every single one of the cards that my friends and family have written to me, because the thought, effort and time to do it means the world to me. Hallmark has also tons of options, but if you want it to be unique, check Etsy

What types of gift do you guys like to receive? Is anybody else obsessed with personalizing as I am? Let me know in the comments below! 

Lots of love, Yara

Moving Series: Where to move to?

Happy Monday! 

If you’ve read my Step 1 in our moving series you’ll know that we’re planning on a quite big and far move to the most southern tip of the United States. As much as we’re incredibly excited and cannot wait for this year to go by so we can enjoy the warm southern weather, there is also a lot of planning and saving that needs to happen in this time. 

There are also so many questions and boxes that need to be checked off before anything can happen. And I guess that asking the right questions and having answers for those is as far as we’ve gotten in this planning process. 

Now, moving is not just about packing and picking up to leave, but having a destination to arrive to. And that we have not decided on yet. We know that Florida is where we want to move to, but we have no idea about what city. As mentioned in Step 1, Zach has lived on the Gulf Coast of Florida before. But he doesn’t want to move to the same city. There are a couple of things we are keeping in mind when thinking about the perfect city: 

  • Are there jobs? 

Of course this is one of our main concerns, because we don’t want to move somewhere that has limited job possibilities or depends on one industry only (like tourism or another). We both want to make sure we have a chance to excel in our careers. 

And of course looking and finding jobs is going to be a whole other topic we will have to work on once we’re closer to the move. Neither of us is moving with a job there, so we will have to start small and then grow as we go.

  • Is it relatively affordable? 

Since we are moving from Colorado, this is one question we have already checked off. Florida is so much more affordable then we’re we currently are. And that’s one of the main reasons we’re moving in the first place. Living in Florida will allow us to live comfortably while starting our careers.

  • Is it popular or crowded? 

As much as we’d love to live in Miami or another bigger, more popular city, those factors are always correlated to them being pricier and more crowded. And as much as both Zach and I are very sociable people, we don’t mind a less crowded place at all. Plus, we’d like to eventually buy a house and grow our family. And we’d rather do it in a calmer city.

  • Is it safe? 

This point goes hand in hand with the previous one. The more popular and crowded a city is, there more chances are that it’s safety is reduced. I grew up outside of a really big city, but I can clearly remember the difference in my parents behavior when we were home than when we were in the city. 

There are just so many more dangers that come with lots of people and cars… So we know that we want it to be a calmer, more family friendly area. 

We do have a couple of cities that are high contestants for our choice, amongst which are Jacksonville, Clearwater, Fort Myers and Cape Coral. 

But there is no set decision yet. We have just been researching a bunch of cities and looking at which one fits our criteria the most. Hopefully we can decide on one in the next few weeks so that we can start putting more effort on finding a temporary place and start looking for potential jobs we can apply to. 

Let me know in the comments below if you’ve made a move like that before. How did your planning go? 

Lots of love, Yara 

My Skincare Routine

Hey loves, happy Friday! 

I know this post schedule has been all over the place, but I think I will stick to Mondays or Wednesdays and Fridays. I’m currently working on the weekends, so it’s hard to come up with content on Saturday and Sunday. Bare with me please! 

Now onto what this blog really is supposed to be about. It has definitely taken me some time to figure out what worked for my skin and what didn’t. And don’t get me wrong, I have NOT spend tons of dollars on skin care. Just because it takes so long to see if something has a good effect on your skin and what makes you break out. Keeping it simple and consistent really has been my main focus. 

And The Body Shop has been my holy grail for the last two years. Their products just have been so good to my skin and making sure it looks and feels it’s best in the crazy weather that the state of Colorado has (two days of snow and then a warm day…). The Body Shop products are also super affordable and the best part is: they’re 100% vegetarian and cruelty free. So you’re getting a great product, at a great price and for a good cause. Who doesn’t love that? 

The first product I use after a long day of work and running errands is their Camomile Silky Cleansing Makeup Removing Oil (try saying that 10 times…). This product is MAGIC. Whether you’re wearing foundation, concealer and setting powder or super waterproof mascara, this cleansing oil will melt it into nothing. Just one or two pumps is enough to rub it onto your face and see all your make up come off. At this point, I can’t live without it. There are two different of these cleansers, this liquid one and this cleansing butter. I want to try the butter next, but I know I’ll have a backup of the oil just in case. That’s how much I love it. 

Next I use this cleansing gel which is so good at removing any residue the oil might leave on your skin, plus it makes sure ALL of the make up is gone. Since I have oily skin, it also keeps it nice and balanced, not crazy stiff but clean and firm. Sometimes I will use it with my Vanity Planet cleansing brush, to get a deeper cleanse of my skin. I use the softest one of the brush-heads and just place the gel on it before gently cleaning my face. The brush is waterproof, so I love using it when I take a shower or bath at night. 

Next come my two favoutite products in the whole process: masks! So I have two from The Body Shop that I absolutely love. First is this deep cleansing mask. Like I said, I do have very oily skin, and this mask works wonders for it. It deep cleans, gently exfoliates and finally purifies your skin, leaving it feeling like new. When t.h.a.t. time of the month comes and I can feel pimples coming in, I’ll try using this mask twice a week and keep my skin flawless. I even had Zach (my boyfriend) give it a try the other day when he got a pimple and he was shocked the next day when the pimple was reduced to a small and dry little mark before disappearing completely. It WORKS !! 

But cleansing and exfoliating your skin too much can dry it out, and not even someone with oily skin like me wants that. To combat too much dryness and keep my skin healthy, I switch up my masks and use this one once a week. It is a leave-in mask, you just apply a thin layer onto your skin after cleansing it and just go to sleep. In the morning I’ll just gently wash it off with a cloth I have wetted with hot water. Your skin will look so plump and hydrated and healthy after using this product. 

Finally, after all these treatments and products, I like to finish my skin care off with this moisturizer, which is soothing and feels so good as well (I have just run out of it, so this weekend I’m definitely making a pit stop at the mall to get it again!). Yes, I use a day cream even if it’s my night-time skincare routine, just because I like to use an old-school SPF cream in the mornings. The reason why I like to use this specific cream is because it is made of organic and natural products and just adds pure hydration to your skin. It also doesn’t make my skin feel more oily than it already is, which is my favourite part. 

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Please let me know if you have any questions or suggestions for me in the comments down below. Is there anything I’m not doing which you think is a must? Is anybody else as obsessed with The Body Shop as I am? 

Lots of love, Yara 

Welcome to Our Little Zoo

Hello beauties and happy Wednesday!  

If you know anything about me, this won’t come as a surprise: 

I love animals !! Love love love them!! 

And since I have been in the US, living by myself and trying to get the hang of being and adult and being responsible for myself and such, I have had the chance and luck to own animals. I seriously love everything about it. 


First up is our baby girl Shelby. She is a 6 month old Jack Russell Terrier. And to be completely honest, she is the last dog breed I ever thought I would own. I’m a big dog lover. My dream dog (still..) is a Belgian Malinois or a German Shepherd. I like big, protective dogs. But I’m not going to lie, that owning Shelby has given me a whole new prospective on this small dog breed and it’s capabilities. She is WICKED smart. And I mean insanely smart… 

We do not keep her on a leash when we walk and she will just run a meter or two in front of us and the immediately run back to us. She waits at all crossings for us to let her go and will even come and sit by our feet when we see another dog and call her to come wait and see if she’s allowed to say hi to them. I really could just blabber on and on about her. I’m extremely impressed by how quickly she learns to listen to commands and even fetch the ball (we didn’t have to teach her, she simply started bringing the ball back for us to throw it for her…). 

Plus, she has the cutest puppy face and has everyone wrapped around her finger. Since she is a female Jack Russell, she is toward the smaller size and currently weighs 9 pounds. Zach wants her to grow more, but I think she’s the perfect size: manageable but not tiny. 


This is Perlita, our parakeet baby girl. The reason why we got her a couple weeks ago is because I grew up with parakeets when I was younger (Zach too). I just love their company and how much fun and sweet they can be once they get used to you and being out of their enclosure. 

I also love it when they sing and talk. I have been reading tons of blogs and online magazines about how to keep them busy when they’re alone and how to keep their minds entertained and young. Birds are great companions and really easy to take care of. I usually change her water every single day and refill her food every other day (she is a slow and messy eater). As far as cleaning her bird cage, it just has a small tray that pops out at the bottom and you can just remove that and throw the paper or newspaper out and put a new one in. Easy and quick! 


Last but not least, Mr. Hank. Hank is a Rose Petal Beta Fish and our last addition. His story is quite funny…: 

Zach is obsessed with fish. Fishing, fish and fish tanks. He loves them and would love to have a huge salt water fish tank. But if you read my last blog post we are planning on moving to Florida in a year and it wouldn’t be smart to invest our money and time into a big fish tank that would be very hard to transport down to the other end of the country in a U-Haul. So instead, we decided to get Hank (on a trip to just “look” around the pet store). Beta fish are resilient and easy pets, if you’re wanting to start yourself. They can live mostly anywhere (fish bowls, small tanks like ours or anything bigger/ better) and don’t need much. 

Obviously you cannot interact as much with a fish as you can with a parakeet or dog, but they’re still fun to watch and own. They are definitely the best pet to start with, since dogs to take lots of time and commitment (with walks and training etc.) just like parakeets, if you want them to be friendly and used to be around people. 

Let me know and comment below if you have any questions about any of them or would like to know some more in depth information on them. I’d love to start writing more about them. 

Lots of love, Yara