Category: Love

Travel | In Love with San Juan

Fish and Cars
(Dress – In Love with Fashion, Earrings – Betsey Johnson)

This floral dress from In Love with Fashion is perfect contrast to Fort San Cristobal in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The aged stone, the imperfection of beige and the stain from the rain all appeal to me.

Fish and Cars
(Dress – In Love with Fashion, Earrings – Betsey Johnson)

There is something inherently romantic about Renaissance arches, peeled layers and benches.

Fish and Cars
I could imagine a couple simply holding hands here.

Fish and Cars
The view from Castillo San Felipe del Morro is gorgeous.  I love the yellow mixed in with the blue combined with the natural blue of the sky and the green of grass and trees.

Fish and Cars
(Dress – In Love with Fashion, Earrings – Betsey Johnson)

The fort is so beautiful that I could not imagine that war is fought here.

Fish and Cars
I could read an entire book in one of these small domes right by the blue of the ocean and sky.

© 2013, Fish and Cars. All Rights Reserved.

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Simplify and Organize Your Life

Fish and Cards
(Cabinet – Room & Board, End Table – Room & Board, Jars – Crate & Barrel, Flower table arrangement vase  – LSA)

“Live simply so others may simply live.” – Mother Teresa.

“The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak.”  – Hans Hofmann, Introduction to the Bootstrap, 1993.

“Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.”  – William Morris.

Orderly Organize Things

Earlier this year, I spent an enormous amount of time organizing my home. It was organized prior. However, I wanted to conduct a thorough “walk through” of everything I own to ensure that each item in my home is something I love, is functional or is beautiful. I decided to focus on one room at a time. Thus, I started with the closet. Before I put clothes away, I thought through where each type of clothing would live.  Each item, hence, lives in its home accordingly.

I organized my clothing by occasion. My walk-in closet contains my shirts, trousers and skirts for work. My armoires house my coats and jackets. Dresses for special occasions live in the closet in one of the other rooms. Focusing on one area at a time, I tried on every piece of clothing and made a decision to either a) keep the item, b) fix the item, c) sell the item or d) donate the item.

For clothes that are in dressers, empty the space first. Thus, I took all the dresses out of all the drawers of a dresser, tried on every single piece and sorted accordingly. For those pieces I decided to keep, I folded and placed them on an empty space where I could spread the dresses I chose to keep by color and then by material. After I finished grouping all the dresses, I put them in their home, by color and material, respectively. I did the same when organizing my sweaters, jeans, shorts, t-shirts and the rest of my closet.

I use beautiful bowls to display jewelry where I could see them as I find the panoply of earrings, necklaces and bracelets both aesthetically pretty and functionally useful. For drawers in the bathroom, I use bamboo dividers to organize beauty products. From time to time, I check their inventory, which is helpful, as I would not purchase lotions from Bath & Body or Victoria’s Secret if I still have a supply of them.

Small bookcases and clear boxes serve as excellent homes to shoes! because they will be easier to find, they will be organized and preserved neatly and they will not require lots of real estate.

It feels good! every time I finish organizing a room!

Inner Beauty

In this information age when instant gratification (and impatience) have become part of our culture, we are constantly overloaded with things to do, statuses to update, people to see, photos to upload and challenges to work through. It has become more important than ever to simplify our lives.

1. Clear your mind. Let go of any negative emotions, every single pieces of anger, frustration, bitterness, jealousy, envy and hate. Let go of any bad memories including any grudges, nightmares or horror in your mind’s eyes. Let go of any worries of the future. Take negativity out of your mind by doing the following: praying to God or your Higher Power, meditating and releasing your need to control, journaling your feelings, listening to the whisper of waves or the rhythm of rain, or hiking a lake or forrest. Afterwards, take action. Take action to resolve any conflicts that resulted in any negative emotions. Take action to learn about yourself and others so situations do not repeat. Take action to forgive and forget so the past does not paralyze you or adversely affect your future. Take action to build a healthier, more loving relationship, even if it requires you to look hard at yourself, take responsibility for your mistakes, provide yourself with tremendous self-compassion and give a sincere apology to another human being.

2. Eliminate negativity in your speech. Besides clearing your mind, watch your speech. Understand when you must speak naturally, when you must think before you speak and when you must not speak at all. When you are in stressful situations, when you are angry or when you face confrontations, you may say things that you do not mean or that you will regret later. Furthermore, gossips, criticisms and abuses will add negativity to your mind, not to mention the hurts that they cause to the target of such speech. Therefore, if you have such tendencies, admit, study and change the habit. Thrive to resolve conflicts. Be congruent in your tone of voice, message and body language. Ensure your content is positive, appropriate, accurate, necessary and prompt. And look forward to deeper, more authentic relationships!

3.  Say “No” to unnecessary tasks and commitments.  Give priority to those tasks and commitments that are urgent, add value to your life or allow you to spend quality time with those you love. Say “No” to and decline any offers that do not bring any joy or value to you. To manage all of my tasks, I consider each task’s importance, urgency and amount of effort required to complete the task.  Then, I prioritize. The highest priority goes to a task with high importance, high urgency and the least amount of effort. I use beautiful “To-do” lists to create and remind myself what I want to do for the day. When I was in college, I planned my week by the hour. To prepare for finals, I broke down a topic by subtopics and allocated an hour or two for each subtopic one or two days before a final. I’ve gotten straight A’s for semesters using this method! After making a list, finally and most importantly, I take action. Now, I could cross this off my list! Mission accomplished.

Have a beautiful day! – And let your inner beauty shine!

© 2013, Fish and Cars. All Rights Reserved.

You are Naturally Beautiful

Fish and Cars

(Moisturizing Lotion – Clinique, Clarifying Lotion – Clinique, Anti-blemish Solution – Clinique, Eye Makeup Remover – Lancome, Baby Oil – Johnson & Johnson, Foam Cleanser – Clinique, Exfoliator – Lancome, Deep Cleansing Emergency Mask – Clinique, Sunblock – Neutrogena, Lip Balm – Clinique, Eye Cream – Lancome, Night Cream – Lancome)

Part of being beautiful is taking care of yourself, of your skin.

Outer Beauty

Wear sunscreen. Sunscreen is one of the most important steps in taking care of your skin because sun exposure can cause dark spots, wrinkles and skin cancer. I love the Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry Touch Sunblock (with at least a SPF of 30) because it is non sticky and feels good on my face.

Because the skin around the eyes is very thin and delicate, I use an eye cream every day. Antioxidants such as Vitamin C boost collagen production and ingredients such as calendula reduce puffiness. I apply the Lancome eye cream for these very purposes!

In addition, I moisturize my face every morning with the Clinique moisturizing lotion so it is soft, smooth and shiny. If I have a break out, I use the Clinique Emergency Mask. I personally love this product, because all of my pimples disappear and my face is shiny again!

Because I have very dry skin, I could not live without Johnson & Johnson‘s baby oil. To moisturize and soften my skin, I use a dab of the baby oil immediately after a warm shower.  It helps to contain the moisture and soften dry skin.

Inner Beauty

Everyone is naturally beautiful. Society defines beauty as what we see in magazines. They are tall and thin and light-skinned. They wear expensive clothing that they may not own themselves. They have a team of service professionals whom apply their makeup, style and put on their outfits, photograph and market their beauty. Most of us are out there living our lives. Our faces are not printed in magazines but our faces, our bodies are still beautiful.

I have photographed models and non-models alike. I believe that make up could transform our outer beauty. I believe we could emphasize our best features and find our best angle. However, I find that the most beautiful people are those whose inner beauty shine. They are comfortable with themselves. They are who they are in their own skin. They have a confident attitude of – “This is who I am – Take it or leave it.”

Be yourself and embrace your uniqueness.

1. Do not compare yourself with others. All of my life, I am lucky that I am not jealous or envious. I learned as a child that someone somewhere could be smarter, prettier, wealthier or  more talented than you, and most importantly, that I am different. Therefore, I have learned to focus on what I want and what I need to do in order to create the future that I want. I have learned to be happy for others and learn from their success. Thus, acknowledge that you are different and unique. Define your life. It is yours to live.

2. Think independently.  As an independent thinker, I have the power of choice – what I would like to purchase, what I want to learn, whom I want to love, where I would like to travel, how I would like to make money. And this power of choice comes from knowing who you are and what you like. We are influenced every day by perceptions, perspectives, bias and values of other people. Thus, it is vital to discover and know your own values and live your life accordingly. Question and form your own opinions. Consider the perceptions of others but do not let others place a limitation on you or tell you what you should be. You choose what you want. You start and do the work. Don’t leave your life up to others.

3. Protect your dignity. Dignity is you as a whole. It is what you do, who you are. Do things that make you feel proud. Understand your personal boundaries and limits, and do not lower your standards to anyone.  Protect your self-esteem, and provide yourself with positive affirmations.  Separate facts from interpretations and do not jump to conclusions about what others think of you.  Respect and stand up for yourself and others. Although it is difficult, remain calm and practice empathy when you encounter a conflict. Forgive yourself for the mistakes you have made, and be grateful for what you do have.  Love yourself and others, and thrive to be whole and happy.

Have a beautiful day! – And let your inner beauty shine!

© 2013, Fish and Cars. All Rights Reserved.