Give Your Lashes a Boost

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I’m going to cut straight to the chase, here… When I want to give my lashes a boost, I turn to falsies. I especially love individual false eyelash clusters, applied just at the outer corners of my eyes. I find that this is the best way to achieve lashes that are long and full, while still natural. Less Snuffleupagus, more Justin Theroux.

If you’ve never tried false eyelashes before, don’t be intimidated. Perfect application takes practice but, once you get the hang of it, it’s like learning to ride a bike. In my opinion, individuals are a lot more forgiving for beginners than strip lashes are. Make a mistake? Nothing to worry about. All you have to do is remove or reposition the misplaced lash.

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Not sure where to get started? Let me walk you through the process…

Choose your eyelashes.

Personally, I like to purchase varying lash lengths of the “knot free” variety. Sometimes you’ll find sets that already include multiple lash lengths. Also, I prefer the individual eyelash clusters to actual individual lashes… But it’s up to you! You can create different effects with different types of eyelashes.

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 presetPrepare your eyelash adhesive.

Individual lashes are much easier to apply with glue that’s gone a little tacky. I dispense a small amount of my glue onto the back of my hand and let it set for a minute before I begin my lash application. Oh, and, unless you’re using an eyelash color other than black, it doesn’t matter whether you use clear or dark glue.

Prepare your natural eyelashes (while waiting for your glue to go tacky).

If you like to curl your eyelashes, now would be the best time to do this. I, personally, don’t curl my eyelashes (I get eyelash perms once in a while, more on that in another post) but I do like prepping my lashes with a clear mascara before beginning, using the wand to groom my lashes outward.

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 presetFigure out where you want to place your eyelashes. 

I like to apply my individual lashes so that they accentuate just the outer corner of my eye. I start by applying the shorter pieces to the center of my lash line and gradually increase the length that I use toward the end. I follow the same concept with my lower lashes. Also, Instead of placing the false lash directly onto my lash line, I like to lay them against my natural eyelashes. This helps give a more seamless, blended, and natural look.

Use a good pair of tweezers to apply your individual eyelashes.

It’s important to have a good pair of clean tweezers – emphasis on clean. Your false lashes will cling to any residue on your tweezers and make it difficult to deposit onto your lash line. I like to keep a cleansing wipe on hand to help clean my tweezers off in between applications.

Finish it all off with mascara.

I like to run my clear mascara over my natural and false lashes to blend them together before topping everything off with my favorite mascara.

Shelley (:

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A Story About Domestic Violence

Where did October go? I feel like we’ve approached the last months of the year so fast… In the month of October, I posted about Breast Cancer Awareness. Today, before we completely dive into the month of turkey and pumpkin pie, I wanted to hand the keyboard over to someone very brave who has a story to tell in honor of Domestic Violence Awareness.


“Courage, dear heart” – C.S. Lewis

One in four. That’s the statistic of how many women will fall victim to domestic violence. I never thought that I would ever become a statistic, one in four. I never really understood the subject or honestly cared to know because I swore I was better than that. I swore it would never happen to me and I felt confident about that.

We met in what seemed to be a scenario straight out of your typical cheesy romance flick. On vacation with your best friends and you met a handsome local who shows you all the best his city has to offer. We were inseparable & by the time you knew it we were traveling hours on end just to get time together. As you can imagine things got serious fast. Eventually it got to the point where we couldn’t stand being apart anymore.

He was rough around the edges but had what seemed to be a sweet soul. I was his protector and at the time thought he could be changed. Things moved fast & I had already experienced the first signs. The first time is one that stays fresh in my mind.

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He always had a temper and was to get very jealous. The fight started over giving directions, which escalated to him yelling and exchanging some unkind words. I have always been someone who finds its best to give things and people space, especially in situations like this. After meeting back up I learned that giving him space didn’t help, in fact it enraged him even more. Trying to keep my cool I get in the car and try to ignore him but that doesn’t work either. After hitting me with my purse, he threatened to throw it out of the moving car. Then I began to freak out inside and start crying which pisses him off more. I hung my head out the window and tried yelling for help. But in a moving car in the mountains of Reno, Nevada, no one could hear me. I still wonder to this day what the cars passing by thought I was doing. By the end of this fight I was left in a car, clothes torn off and crying. He had taken my phone away from me during the fight so I wouldn’t call for help. After that night that wasn’t the only thing he took from me.

I still don’t fully understand why from there I didn’t seek more help or try to end things. Though every time I did it was like he was a new and improved version of himself. He would become my knight in slightly shining armor. It never lasted long though & before you knew it he was back to his old ways. Days turned into months and the fights got more frequent and violent. I will admit near the end I began to fight back, I was tired of being treated like garbage. That doesn’t excuse my actions. I’m not here to give you a detailed log of everything I encountered, that’s not the point of this.

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I’m here to tell you that it does happen. One in four could be you. It could be your coworker, classmate, friend or even a family member. Domestic violence doesn’t discriminate. You can be male or female, of any color or culture. What it does do is change you. How you think, how you act, how you are, all of that changes. I didn’t think anyone cared or could help me but really I was too scared to even help myself. There is only so much others can do for you before you realize you have to do the rest yourself. It may be very cliché to say but it’s true, “what doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger.” I don’t regret what has happened to me because I am stronger. I was broken but I’ve learned more about myself now than I’ve ever know before. Only because I had to put myself back together again.

I don’t hate my ex nor do I hold ill feelings towards him. We all have inner demons we are learning how to cope with. I was so embarrassed and scared of what had happened or what would happen. Then I realized tomorrow offered me a new beginning and yesterday’s struggles gave me strength to move forward. Life is filled with positives and negatives. You just have to learn how to flourish through the negative and bad situations, just like flowers grow from dirt.

No one but you has the power to keep yourself down or distinguish how you should feel about yourself. No one has the right to make you feel unworthy or low. If there is ever anyone in your life that makes you feel less than yourself, that isn’t right because love does not hurt.

To all those out there who have become victims of domestic violence. Know that you are not a victim but a victor and now one in four can be victorious.

Favorite Fashion Trend: The Off the Shoulder Top

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As the warm weather dies down and my shorts and skirts retreat to the back of my wardrobe, I find myself struggling to find ways to avoid the temptation to live through fall and winter in my yoga pants and oversized sweatshirts.

This year, I’m downright obsessed with the off-the-shoulder trend. It’s a look that’s effortlessly chic, comfortable,  and flattering on any body type. The best part? They dress up my stretchy jeans and are extremely forgiving in the belly area without being dowdy or frumpy.

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Personally, I love shopping this trend at PacSun for it’s wide range of style options and affordability (this is not an add, I repeat, this is not an add… I just like my PacSun).

Here are some of my favorite styles off of PacSun.Com:

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So what’s your fall fashion must have? If you say yoga pants and big sweatshirts, then just know that I’m high five-ing you through the screen right now. I love dressing up but comfy loungewear will always be my number one go-to.

Hope you’re all having a wonderful day (or night) wherever you are!

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Shelley (:

 

It’s #BreastCancerAwareness Month

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Today, we’re talking about your boobs. Yes, your boobs. Specifically, making sure you’re checking them regularly for any of the following:

  • A hard lump on the breast or underarm.
  • Dimpling on the skin’s surface.
  • Changes in the nipple (Perhaps your nipple is retracting inward, you have some redness or swelling, you notice any discharge, or maybe just a change in the overall appearance… These are all things to look out for)
  • Any unexplained change in the shape or size of the breast.
  • Any pain or tenderness that won’t resolve.

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Why? All of the above symptoms are characteristic to breast cancer. Chances are, you have a story to share about breast cancer. If not one of your own personal battle with it, it’s that of a loved one. That’s because breast cancer is extremely prevalent among women. Studies show that 1 in every 8 women will develop breast cancer throughout her lifetime. That’s 12% of women. Breast cancer also happens to be ranked the 2nd leading cause of death in women.

Ladies, early detection is key. About half of diagnosed breast cancers are actually detected after performing a breast self-examination. If detected early, the five-year survival rate is more than 93%. So make sure you’re checking yourself out on the regular. It doesn’t have to be this big ordeal. You can do a self-exam while blowdrying your hair in front of a mirror, while lying down on your phone checking your emails, or while bending over in the shower shaving your legs. Just rub in circular motions and don’t forget to check beneath your underarms, as well.

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Here is my favorite resource for information about Breast Cancer is BrightPink.Org. They offer in depth statistics and picture-guided steps on how to perform self-examinations. Also, I text PINK to 59227 to receive Breast Health Reminders monthly. It’s easy to forget to do your regular checks, so it’s helpful to have a reminder going.

I wish you all the best of health and hope you have a wonderful day wherever you are!

Shelley (:

The Less is More Approach to Handbags and Purses and Double-Duty Makeup Products

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I used to carry a large handbag and, no matter how much I tried to keep it organized, things always tended to get a little ugly in there. Receipts and candy wrappers (often containing chewed gum), loose hair pins, an array of nude lipsticks, empty birth control containers, pens that I stole from various checkout clerks… I let it pile up until it got to the point where, if I didn’t pour everything out onto the parking lot floor, I’d never be able to find my car keys.

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Recently, I took a good look at everything I bring with me on a daily basis (garbage aside) and realized that I carry a lot of things around that I really don’t need. Things like a wallet full of retail rewards cards and used gift cards, my entire medicine cabinet, and an overflowing makeup bag. So I decided to simplify… And since I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one with handbag related hoarding issues, I thought I’d share with you a few good ways to consolidate some of your daily essentials:

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  1. Get a hand sanitizer key chain. Bath and Body works have some really adorable and yummy smelling ones here. You probably carry hand sanitizer with you regularly, anyway, so this is a nice way to consolidate items and make your keys a lot easier to find in your handbag.
  2. You don’t need to bring your entire first aid kit, but a bandaid and a little bottle of a pain reliever are a good idea, just in case.
  3. If you wear contact lenses, fill your contact lens case with fresh solution and store that in your purse instead carrying of a whole bottle of saline.
  4. Instead of carrying your whole wallet, keep your credit/debit card and a little bit of cash on hand. Card holders are always a nice alternative to a full on wallet, as well.
  5. Instead of a powder compact, bring oil blotting sheets for touch ups. These take up a lot less space than a bulky compact and a lot of them come with powder likes these by The Body Shop.
  6. Carry makeup that has the ability to multitask. I love clear mascara (Maybelline makes my favorite one) to neaten up my eyelashes and brows throughout the day, a lip and cheek stain like Benefit’s Posey Tint, a good BB cream, and Josie Maran Intensive Creamy Oil to moisturize my lips, hands, and elbows.
  7. Use a jewelry pouch to house your earbuds and/or charging cable to prevent tangling.

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Minimalism isn’t the lack of something. It’s simply the perfect amount of something. – Nicholas Burroughs

Shelley (:

Starting Out as a Makeup Artist and Pursuing Your Passion

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I never thought I would ever seriously look into becoming a professional makeup artist. I was just a girl who watched one too many Michelle Phan makeup tutorials. Completely self taught. No formal education. No license. Not even a kit I could be proud to call my own. Only ever did makeup on myself or on the occasional willing friend. It was an idea I nurtured in the very back of my mind, but never really pursued… Mainly out of fear and doubt.

Fear and doubt have a way of keeping us from doing the most incredible things.

“I don’t have the education.”

“I’m afraid of failing.”

“Passion isn’t going to pay the bills.”

“I’m not good enough.”

The first piece of advice I’m going to give you today is one that I constantly have to tell myself: Your passion is always worth pursuing.

If your passion is in beauty, then today’s post is for you. I recently, FINALLY, began my journey as an aspiring professional in the beauty industry and I’ve gathered some tips from makeup artists I’ve met that have really helped me get started.

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  • Educate yourself. If you have the means to go through formal training right now, go for it. If you don’t… Don’t let that stop you! There are so many successful self-trained makeup artists in the industry. Use the internet as a resource. Learn from other makeup artists. Pay attention when you’re getting your makeup done.
  • Figure out what your strengths and weaknesses are. Maybe you’re killing it at full-on Rue Paul’s Drag Race makeup, but not so much at minimal no-makeup makeup. Or you’re really good at a smokey eye but haven’t mastered the perfect winged eyeliner. Remember: practice makes perfect and you want to be putting practice into areas you know you could be better at.
  • Get yourself some business cards. I’m a strong believer in the law of preparation. Wale Oladipo said “You cannot enter into any outstanding future you are unwilling to prepare for.” You may not have clients yet, but you never know who you are going to meet. I’ve been in so many situations where complete strangers have asked for my business card, even without seeing a portfolio, and I didn’t have one to give them.

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  • Fake it ’til you make it. I recently had the opportunity to work with a makeup artist who has decades of experience in the field and she told me this. There isn’t anything you can’t do (or can’t learn to do). Refer to the first bullet point.
  • Build your kit but, when going on your first few gigs, try not to dwell on what you’re missing. You can always mix colors together to get the right shade of foundation, concealer or lipstick. You can double up your lipstick as a cream blush. You can use a darker foundation or concealer as contour if you happen to be missing the right shade. You can make it work.
  • Always remember to take before and after photos. This is not my greatest strength. It’s easy to get a little overly excited, dive right into it, and completely forget to take a before photo. It’s just as easy to become so absorbed in that moment when your client sees the finished result and forget to take an after photo. You’re trying to build your portfolio. Don’t forget to take lots of pictures!

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My last tip is to be proud of your work. You’re doing what you’re passionate about. You help remind women how beautiful they are every day.

Good luck!

Shelley (:

Apple Cider Vinegar Detox

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Sound gross? I mean, it’s vinegar, so it kind of is. The first time you try it, I swear it feels like you’re having foot juice. But don’t let that deter you!

Apple cider vinegar does some amazing things for our body and does not have to be consumed on it’s own. There are plenty of yummy recipes available throughout the web  that you can try. Personally, I like adding 2tbs of apple cider vinegar to an 8oz glass of water and either mixing that with honey, cinnamon, lemon, and a dash of cayenne pepper or having it with tangerine/grapefruit juice, agave nectar, ginger, and fresh mint leaves. You can also try mixing it with some olive oil and chia seeds for a yummy salad dressing.

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So what are the benefits of apple cider vinegar? Here are a few:

  1. It works wonders for your skin! ACV has properties that help promote the renewal of skin cells. I actually use it as a toner when I’m noticing my skin is starting to look a little lackluster. Just try not to let anyone get too close to your face because it’s definitely going to make you smell like a hot foot forest.
  2. It gives you energy. ACV is loaded with an array of B vitamins which are responsible for converting the food you eat into cellular energy. Try the first of the two cider cocktails I mentioned above. That one contains honey which, in combination with ACV, will give you a real energy boost! It’s also rich in vitamin A and C.
  3. Tummy issues? Apple cider vinegar is chock full of natural enzymes that encourage healthy bacteria in the digestive system and helps regulate metabolism. This, in turn, helps manage digestive disorders like boating, diarrhea and constipation.
  4. It might smell pretty bad on it’s own but regular consumption of ACV will help regulate your skin’s pH levels and fight off body odor.
  5. It aids in circulation by breaking up the mucus in your body and cleansing your lymph nodes.

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Just remember to grab raw, unfiltered, unpasteurized apple cider vinegar with the “Mother”. Probably the most popular brand is Bragg’s, which you can find at any grocery or health food store.

Enjoy your detox!

Shelley (:

The Hula Hoop: Not Just for Your Kid Sister

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What do you do for exercise? Do you go to the gym regularly? Take a spin class? Go for the occasional run?

I’ve always been extremely petite and, growing up, people would often tell me that I needed to gain wait… So I spent most of my childhood eating nothing but McDonald’s and avoiding exercise at all costs. Fast forward to my early 20’s and even something so simple as making it up a flight of stairs without gasping for air and feeling my heart race was impossible. The trouble is, by the time I even started to consider transitioning into a healthier lifestyle, the idea of going to a gym or doing any kind of fitness related activity in a public space just seemed… awkward.

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So my solution was to workout at home. I started following yoga and pilates videos on Youtube, bought my first yoga mat, then my first set of dumbbells, then a kettle bell and, most recently, a weighted hula hoop. A hula hoop! Like Beyonce and Michelle Obama.

I have to admit, it’s definitely my favorite way to work out. I hula hoop while I’m on the phone with my mom, while watching Friends reruns on Netflix, while brushing my teeth, while curling my hair… It’s an awesome way to squeeze a workout into your day! And you can literally do it anywhere, indoors or outdoors.

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So today, I wanted to share a few benefits of incorporating a hula hoop into your workout:

  1. It works your entire core. Hooping regularly can help slim down the waistline and strengthen your abdominal muscles. When purchasing your first hula hoop, remember: the heavier the hoop, the less challenging it is to keep it in rotation. So if you’re a beginner, go with a weighted hula hoop. As you become more advanced, go with lighter options.
  2. Actually, depending on how you incorporate it into your workout, it can work your entire body. Hula hooping is shown to work up to 30 muscles in your body.
  3. It can burn some serious calories. Hula hooping has been shown to burn anywhere between 400 and 600 calories per hour! I like hooping for 10 minutes as a warmup before my regular workout routine.
  4. It’s just as good for your mind as it is for your body. It takes a certain amount of concentration to keep the hoop rotating. If you’ve never tried it before, you’ll find that it’ll be a little challenging in the beginning but I promise you’ll get the hang of it! Now that I’ve been at it for so long, I’m even able to multitask and hula hoop while doing daily activities like texting or brushing my hair. A trick I can give you is not to look down at your hoop. When you’re starting out, try focusing on a point ahead of you and that should make it a lot easier!
  5. Ummm, it’s just… fun! Remember when Elle Woods said “Endorphins make you happy! Happy people just don’t shoot their husbands.”? Exactly!

If you’re looking for your first hula hoop, the one I have is on sale here.

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Happy hooping!

Shelley (:

Going Blonde When You’re Anything But

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“Asians can’t be blonde,” they say. “It just doesn’t ever look right.”

I’m always up for a challenge. When someone tells me that I can’t do something, it triggers this need within me to prove that I absolutely can. Especially when it comes to something so superficial as how I wear my hair… Because why should anyone else have a say in what color it should be, but myself? If I want blonde hair, I’m getting blonde hair. *Insert emoji with the sassy girl in the pink top doing a hair flip.*

If you’re Asian or just have naturally dark hair and are thinking of going blonde, I say go for it! It’s absolutely doable. In the past year, I’ve tried varying shades of blonde and have learned a few things that I think might be helpful to you if you’re thinking of coming over to the dark side (light side?):

  1. Do your research! Find inspiration from other’s who’ve gone from brunette or redhead to blonde. Examples of celebrities who’ve done this are Jessica Alba, Chrissy Teigen, Jamie Chung, Christina Hendricks (blonde to redhead and back to blonde), and the Kardashians. To be on the safe side, it’s best to look at people who have similar skin color and undertones as you do. You’re going to want to take photos of the type of color you want to the salon to give your stylist the best idea of what you’re looking for. That having been said, it’s crucial to also make sure you do your research and find the best colorist for you. I’ve made the mistake of just booking with the first person available, before… It was not pretty. Read reviews and be sure to book an initial consultation before just diving in.
  2. Take baby steps! Remember when Kim Kardashian went from jet black hair to Draco-Malfoy-platinum-blonde in one day? I’d recommend maybe not going that route. It’s just not the best for your hair! I know, I know, we all like instant gratification, but hear me out. The results are so much better when you go gradually. I’ve been in that situation where I just couldn’t wait for another appointment to go as light as I wanted… So I went all out and wound up with Kentucky-Fried-Tresses that I eventually just chopped off. When you go gradual, the result will look better and your hair will thank you. Note: If any of you are as stubborn as I am, you’re probably going to disregard what I just said. If you want to go platinum in one sitting, (1) please don’t try this at home and (2) refer to my first bullet point… make sure you do your research and consult with an expert colorist before proceeding!
  3. Observe proper after care! Try to go an extra day between washes. When I first went blonde, I would wash my hair every other day. For those of you who are used to washing your hair daily, I promise it will get easier… and it’s also been shown to be so much better for the condition of your hair! I now only shampoo once a week. Also, every 1-2 weeks, try using a purple shampoo to avoid brassiness. I like Kevin Murphy’s Angel Wash and Clairol’s Shimmer Lights. You also want to make sure that you treat your hair to regular hair masks… Doesn’t need to be anything fancy. A natural oil like olive or coconut oil is perfect for this!
  4. Rock your color with confidence! You’re looking good, honey. (: I told you you could pull it off.

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Shelley (:

A Bold, Vampy Lip for Fall

Vampy Lip and Acai BowlsFall really crept up on me this year. Really. I didn’t even know that fall had hit until just this morning, at which point we’d already been 4 days into it.

I do live in California, though, and we’ve been experiencing some intense heat waves for the past few weeks. I can’t remember the last time I put on a pair of pants or even a top with the slightest bit of a sleeve (scrubs aside)… It’s. Just. Been. Too. Hot.

So how does a girl acknowledge the change in seasons without the leather jackets, tall boots, and plush scarves? She rocks a bold lip, of course! So, today, I broke out my personal favorite lip color for the cooler seasons: Mac’s Matte Lipstick in Diva for that gorgeous, deep, port wine lip.

Mac DivaIf you’ve never dabbled in dark lip shades, I 100% recommend Mac’s Diva. It has the
perfect blend of red and plum undertones and suits pretty much anyone… But if you’re a little intimidated and not quite ready to take the plunge, you might want to start with something a little more red, like Bette from Nars’ Audacious lipstick range. Another great one (and for a great price, too) is Revlon’s Black Cherry.

Alternatively, if you absolutely love an intense, vampy lip, you can take on a color with deeper plum undertones, like Mac’s Satin Lipstick in Film Noir.

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Oh, and a quick little tip: before you put on your lipstick, scrub your lips with something like Lush’s Bubble Gum Lip Scrub. It’ll make your lipstick application a lot smoother, help the color last longer, and it’s delicious. You can also make your own DIY lip scrub by mixing sugar and honey.

Now, if you excuse me, I’m off to enjoy a vanilla chai tea to make up for the few days of fall that I missed. Feel free to ping me in the comments if you have any questions!

Shelley (: