Is it just me, or does it feel like 2017 is already zooming by?! Granted, there are only 28 days in February so this month passes by quicker than others, but that’s still 28 whole days that have come & gone. And as every other YouTuber/blogger out there does at the end of the month, I would like to share my favorites for the month! Spoiler: they’re not really products so these are things you should experience yourself to see their worth~
1. Bikram Yoga
One of my New Years’ Resolutions was to exercise more regularly (or more in general because I honestly worked out less than 10 times in 2016, probably). Although it’s great having a gym in my apartment complex, it has also been a struggle; I end up justifying not walking over to the gym in the morning by saying, “Oh, I can go later after work,” or “I can go tomorrow” … and then never go.
I started going to my local Bikram Yoga studio at the beginning of this month to force/trick myself into exercising (because I’m not wasting money… I paid for the membership!) & I’m actually into it. But why am I into physical activity? What’s so great about Bikram Yoga that makes me want to exercise? Who am I & what have you done to the real Izi?!?
I promise, I am the real Izi. I just happened to have found the most captivating workout for me (so far… disclosure: I’ve only been to 6 or 7 sessions as I write this so I am no expert) & I think that’s how people get into working out regularly–they found out what works for them. If you don’t like the exercise regimen, you’ll dread doing it & then eventually never do it again. A few things I enjoy/find beneficial from Bikram Yoga:
- The heat! The hour & a half yoga session is done in a heated room so you sweat right away, even during the breathing exercise. It is a challenge trying to stay hydrated, not getting too light-headed, & complete the whole cycle of poses when you’re literally dripping sweat. However, it feels like you’re really getting a good workout/stretch in because of how much sweat you’re producing. PRO-TIP: If you go in the morning, drink a lot a lot A LOT of water the day/night before. I’ve noticed that if I don’t hydrate a lot beforehand I’m suffering more during the session.
- Every session you attend, you do the same 26 poses. So after a while, you know the order & what to expect. You also know what you can work on on this time around. One goal of mine is to be able to be more flexible & have better balance, and the poses we do help promote improving these aspects. From my first session to the latest I’ve noticed that I’m able to extend my leg more or reach further & it’s only a matter of time before I’ll be able to hold each pose correctly.
- Participating in yoga & being around other people gave me the excuse to buy cute sports bras LOL (& boy did I have a terrible fiasco while trying to buy these cute sports bras…). It’s not to impress anyone since everyone is sweaty af as well, but I feel like I’m at my best & I can do my best when I’m dressed well & I can compliment myself in the mirror in front of me.
I’m sure we all have things about ourselves we would like to change, whether its our appearance, strength, intelligence, or any other aspect we are insecure about. What if there was a way that you could actually do so?
DICE by Yun Hyunseok is a webcomic I’ve been reading on the LINE WebToons app (which has a bunch of different comics of various genres so you can find something to your liking!) centered around this what-if scenario. In that world, magical dice exist and you can use them as attribute points towards certain characteristics, like you would in an (MMO)RPG game of some sort. The gamemaker X notifies you of quests where you can receive more dice via your cell phone. Sounds great, right? Well, as you can probably expect… things go to shit.
There are 142 chapters split over 3 seasons (& it’s still going!), and as the story progresses through each season gets more interesting and adds more depth to what’s already happened each time. The illustration is very good as well so props to the artist. I eagerly wait (& by that, I mean I open the app multiple times a day to see if it’s updated even though I know it only updates one time once a week) every week for the next chapter.
It’s easy to say, “Oh, I wouldn’t change anything about myself,” being outside of that world, but I think if I were in that universe and did come across the dice the temptation would be very strong. Appearance or endurance/agility is the thing I would attribute my points to. But I think that’s the big message of the comic: to love yourself as you are and that you already have the power to change whatever about yourself if you desire.
3. NEW GAME!
My boyfriend (who I jokingly say is kind of a weeb) heard about this anime somehow and wanted to watch it with me. I don’t watch a lot of anime (I’ve only seen the hype-y ones I see all over the internet like Attack On Titan, Yuri On Ice!!!, and Erased), but he knows what type of animes I like, and his recommendation doesn’t disappoint. The story follows a high school graduate’s career journey as she becomes acquainted to her new job at a highly successful video game company & befriends her new quirky co-workers.
All of the people who work at the company are women, by the way (not a single man in sight!) and I like the statement that makes (whether its intentional or not). The tech world is dominated by men, and although that’s changing, it sends a message that women can’t be as successful as men in those fields. Seeing a series about women making video games & a girl chasing her dream to make her mark in the company is very inspiring.
We finished the series in a few days via Crunchyroll since there are only 12 episodes less than half an hour each. We spent a good chunk of our Valentine’s Day weekend just watching it in the hotel room/when we got back home. It lowkey made me wish I had the nerve when I was applying for college/in undergrad to chase a tech-related job (one of my other passions besides psychology is web/graphic design!). But it’s never too late to chase your passions & it’s never the end-all-be-all once you finish chasing one!
4. Capsule Wardrobe
If you are familiar to the minimalist fashion lifestyle, you know what a capsule wardrobe is. If you have no idea what this or are just delving into this world of capsule wardrobes/minimalism like me, here’s a quick rundown.
You walk to your closet & think “I HAVE NOTHING TO WEAR!!!” despite having sooooo many clothes to choose from. You try on something, don’t like how it looks, then try on something else… repeat the cycle until finally you’re content with what you’re wearing & there’s a pile of rejected outfits at the foot of your bed/on your chair (& then it becomes THE chair… you know what I’m talking about). This became a decision I dreaded every time I got ready for the day & I would just reach for leggings and a cute top.
One of the most popular solutions for this dilemma to come into fruition is the capsule wardrobe. You basically have only a set number of tops, bottoms, and shoes for that specific season, but they are easy to mix and match with each other, creating an abundance of different outfits you can wear. It helps make the decision of what to wear easier because you know they all look good with each other. The capsule does not typically include PJs, lounging clothes, workout attire, formal attire, undies/bras, and accessories.
Living in San Diego, it is difficult to have season-specific clothes because, well, we don’t really have “seasons.” SD has the reputation of having pretty nice weather year-round, and it lives up to that reputation most days, so for me, I feel like having seasoned capsule wardrobes is not as appropriate. That is why right now, I am trying my hand at just a single capsule wardrobe fit for all four seasons.
I spent one of my days off just purging everything–the pile of stuff I was going to try to hand me down to my sister/sell/donate was HUGE. It was very cathartic to just purge everything & see what a difference it made in my closet. I was able to get rid of my hanging clothes divider because I didn’t need those clothes anymore. I have some stuff in reserve because I couldn’t bare to part with it and/or they seem more summer appropriate, so I might create a spring/summer & fall/winter capsule wardrobe later in the year.
At the end of it all, I downsized the clothing in my capsule to about ~50 pieces, which I am pretty proud of, but I’m still trying to downsize more.I’m also doing the reverse-hanger trick thing (where you hang your clothes the other way, then when you use the item you put it back the right way so over time you’ll see which pieces you aren’t even wearing over time). Since this is my first stab at trying to have a capsule wardrobe I’m sure I’ll learn a lot within these next few months.
The next thing on my list is to replace my basics with pieces from ethical clothing brands (brands that are fair-trade and/or organic, pay their employees fair wages, etc., but are on the pricier side due to these characteristics), but I’m still doing a ton of research on these brands & I’m waiting until I can save a little bit before spending $$$ on them. I’ll update y’all on how the capsule wardrobe/journey towards ethical living & minimalism plays out as it happens.
5. Itsjudytime’s It’s Eye Time Palette
My daily makeup routine–if anything, since my work doesn’t require me to look presentable to anyone but my coworkers–is moisturizer, concealer, brow gel, and eyeliner. And on days where I wear full-face makeup, I tend to skip or go very light on eyeshadow because I don’t know how to eyeshadow (I say it like it’s a verb but that’s how I can describe it accurately). So why I keep buying eyeshadow palettes is a conundrum to me.
However, I just had to buy the Itsjudytime It’s Eye Time Palette from Pixi. I am a huge follower of her channels on YouTube, her vlog channel specifically. When she announced she was releasing an eyeshadow & lip palette I instantly knew I had to get the eyeshadow palette.
And it was such a struggle to get this damn palette! If you have me on Snapchat, you saw the whole adventure on my story when it happened.
The only place that sells Pixi products in the US (that I know of) is at Target. So when the release date came, I made sure to visit Target that day. But it was sold out when I got there! Impossible, I thought, but I saw news that some Targets put them out on the floor before the release date so that’s why some stores were already sold out of the palettes. On my day off, I went back to my local Target to see if it was in stock… and it was not. I drove to another Target to find the same result. I took a boba break because YA GIRL NEEDED BOBA FOR THE STRESSSSSSSS. Then I decided to just go home because I didn’t want to try driving to another Target only to meet that same disappointing feeling. So I ended up ordering online & buying another item to just to get that free shipping. The lengths we’ll go to try to get that instant gratification, huh?
I got the palette in the mail a little over week after the stressful hunt (which happened in January), but I didn’t actually use the palette until this month. I am blown away at how pigmented and nice the colors look on my eyelid. With other palettes, I feel as if the shades all look the same & look muted/nothing like the swatch when I actually apply them on my eye. The shadows in the palette create classic looks, which is what I’m all about since I can’t do anything too fancy, so I know this is going to be my go-to. Plus, the names of the colors are cute little easter eggs if you watch her daily vlogs. At least this solves my little conundrum for a while: I don’t feel the need to buy another palette at the moment.
That is all for my favorites this month. I love to explore & do new things so I’m excited to see what next month brings. Have you tried/read/watched any of these things? What are your favorites for the month of February? Let me know your experiences & thoughts about them–I’d love to discuss!
P.S. Check out my big adventure for this month: Valentine’s Day Weekend! It’s another one of my faves, but I already wrote about it so I didn’t want to talk about it again LOL.