Delay of Post

Hello Wonderlanders!

I apologize for the delay in posting – I’ll still be doing a ManiMonday post, but it’ll be in conjunction with Tuesday Tip & Review as I haven’t been able to take care of my nails yet.  I’ve got some house cleaning to finish that will ruin my nails so I’ve decided to finish it first before starting a new mani.  I have other nail stories that I could write about, but I’d like to do something for New Year’s Eve so I’m delaying the post. 

Xoxo,

Allys

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Five For Friday: 2014 Christmas Edition

Hello Wonderlanders!

Today’s Friday Fives will be about “Things I Want to Do For Christmas In the Future.”

  1. Have everyone who is present on Christmas morning drinking hot chocolate with candy cane and marshmallows melted into the chocolate.  This just sounds so yummy and even though I’ve yet to try it, I’m sure it tastes awesome.  If you’ve tried this, let me know what you think of it below!
  2. Open one gift on Christmas Eve, and the rest on Christmas Day.  This doesn’t happen in my parents house because my 35 year old brother’s birthday is on the Eve and he’ll throw a fit if his day has to be shared with Christmas. I get that December birthdays suck for many people because their family and friends tend to clump everything into one gift given on Christmas, but there are ways to point this out politely without fit-throwing.  We also have started to open gifts later on Christmas Day for some reason.  When do you open gifts?
  3. Stick to one color theme, ornament size, and type of lights on the tree.  The definition behind the terminology of Obsessive-compulsive disorder does not apply here, it’s more an aesthetics thing for me – I like things to be coordinated and matching.  Things can also be coordinated and not matching, but it really depends on how well coordinated the mis-matching items are.  We don’t use a normal fluffy evergreen.  We have a tree in out background (it’s an evergreen, I’ll update the name later as I don’t remember it right now) and it has branches spread out and spaced out.  Which means there are distinct 6-12 inch gaps between each layer of branches.  We had mini ornaments on them, but then my mom bought large glass ornaments and put them up.  It just looked so darn odd.  We had to purchase some new lights as well but the type of light (white versus warm yellow) was mismatched so our tree was lit up at different lumens.  Plus, coiling the light up just didn’t look as nice and clean as on a full, fluffy pine, which brings me to point 4:
  4. Stick to fluffy pines in the future if putting up a tree.  I don’t care if it’ll be a real tree or a a fake tree at this point, but it needs to not have huge blatant gaps that drive me crazy.
  5. Either go all out for Christmas (house lights, decorations all around & other traditions), or do nothing at all.  I don’t celebrate Christmas for religious reasons.  I do it for cultural reasons, and the culture I live in is based on Christianity, but it doesn’t mean I am celebrating for the same reasons the founders of this country are.  So if I choose to not celebrate Christmas, it can be easily done.  For the past 8 years my parents have been half-assing Christmas with just the tree.  No more lights, no more full house decoration.  Nothing else gets put up or done so it really looks out of place to have that Christmas tree.  I love you mom and dad, but all this yo-yoing has got to stop.  Pick a side and stick with it.

What are some of your family traditions?  What are some, if any, traditions you’d like to incorporate with your family?  I’d love to hear back from you!

Season’s Greetings,

Allys

Thoughtful Thursday – Holiday & Christmas Edition

Hello Wonderlanders!

This holiday season, when you meet with family, try your damnedest to see things from other’s perspectives when you beg or fight to disagree.  Say “I love you” to the people that matter to you and mean from the bottom of your heart.  Treasure and cherish the moments you have together.  Put down that phone, that tablet, and that computer or other electronic gadget and be in the moment and present with your family and friends.  Create memories of attentiveness that will last a lifetime instead of missing the little things in your haste to document everything on video or photo.

We are too often confined and addicted to our gadgets and social media that we forget to live in the now.  Breathe.  Stop. Look around, smell the air, feel your environment with all of your senses and really try to mentally pay attention to what Uncle Bob is saying instead of staring down at your phone, nodding your head and saying “Uh-huh.”  Memorize people’s faces as you talk and really think about what they’ve said, what they’re trying to say, and what’s to be read between the lines.

Stop with the distracting accessories and really spend time with your family.  You’ll fall in love with them all over again as you pay attention to the genuineness of your interaction.

Merry Christmas from my family to yours! May the day bring you peace, love, and joy for the year to come.

Sincerely always, 

Allys

Whatnot Wednesday – A Merry Christmas Eve

Hello Wonderlanders!

I hope that you are having a wonderful time with your family(ies) wherever you are.  It’s the season to celebrate the good, and rejoice over the triumph of the less fortunate things that have happened in your lives.  I was going to do a post under Wedding Wednesdays under Christmas weddings, but then I realized that I didn’t really have any friends who would have a wedding at this time of the year that I know of.  This post is a bit more personal than my other posts, because I’ll be talking about my life at home and the things I experience.

I’ve wanted to write to pen pals for a long time, but never really had anyone to do it with.  Finding pen pals online was not an option because my internet use was limited as a child and throughout high school.  I never thought about it until I was on Instagram and started seeing a whole community of snail mailers who keep the art alive. After reading over several pen pal wanted ads, I finally responded to maybe 20 of them. By the end of day one, I had agreed to exchange letters with maybe 8 people.  By the end of day two, 14.  Tonight?  I’m on my 15th.  This is my cap for now.  It’s already a bit overwhelming thinking about how many people I have to start letters to, but it will be so worth it. I have 5 Stateside, and 10 international now, ranging from ages 16-36.  I think there is lots to be learned from people of different ages and from all over the world.  Learning is one of my passions, and letter writing will definitely foster that passion.  I’ll write more about the letters as time goes on, but I am definitely excited to be making new friends and seeing the world in a different way.

*I am writing this here as a bit of a warning that the rest of this post will be a bit of a downer.  If you want to maintain your holiday cheer, I’d like to bid you adieu, and enjoy your time with family and friends.*

It’s been a little bit of a rough week due to family issues.  In previous posts I had mentioned that home was a major trigger for me.  My mom has control issues and me being a round peg and not fitting into her square box personally is driving her nuts.  Her going nuts translates to me having various mood swings and wanting to be alone.  The person who patiently suffers through all of this is my dad, and I cannot thank him enough for his support.

Today is my brother’s birthday, and it sucked.  He is on parole and may possibly be incarcerated for violating his parole.  There are many ways he could have circumnavigated or prevented this instance of violation, but it occurred anyway which will be casting a dour mood on the rest of my holidays mainly because my mom is now uptight and anxious about what will happen to him.  He’s the middle child and my mom still babies him because he’s her natural born youngest, and he also did a good job blaming her for most of his troubles.  Not everyone who gets incarcerated is guilty, nor are they all innocent, but deep down in your heart when its someone you really know, you know what the truth is.  It doesn’t change that I love him, but I am angry at him, and respect him less, for the way he has handled things.  It’s a point of contention between our mom and I, but I know she’ll always choose him and that’s alright with me.

If you make the conscious decision to complete an action, take responsibility for the consequences, good or bad.  By doing so, you are truly being an adult.  When your words say a separate thing from your actions, no matter how mature you think you are, you aren’t.  It doesn’t matter if you have mental health issues – somewhere in your head, in your heart, deep within, you know right from wrong.  Accept your decisions as your own, and shoulder your responsibility instead of making it someone else’s cross to bear.

Wishing everyone the best from the bottom of my heart,

Allys

Tuesday Review – W. K. Kellogg Arabian Horse Center

Hello Wonderlanders!

Today’s review is going to be about a place that is near and dear to my heart.

I entered university/college a very sheltered child and was actually bullied by my roommate and some floor mates my first year in the dorms.  I was lucky to find a club and an organization which promoted an interest of mine and from there, I developed lots of friendships and a support system which stands to this day.

I’ve loved horses since before I really knew what they were.  I was the kid screaming bloody murder at the San Deigo Zoo because Mommy wouldn’t let me take the Shetland Pony home.  (I was 5, I get a free pass on that.)  And anytime after that pony, I just wanted to pet the horse or ride it and I was given chances for it with my Dad’s colleague’s daughters whom owned their own horses.  It was from the five siblings that I first got a glimpse of what a relationship between a horse and a person could be like and I was intrigued.  But then for many years, I didn’t get a chance to visit the horses or the family and I pushed it to the back of my head until college.

My school has a wonderful history tied to the Arabian horse breed in the United States.  The land that Cal Poly Pomona was built on was originally owned by W. K. Kellogg, the cereal magnate.  That ranch and its land was later donated to the University of California, but was used as a remount depot during World War II.  After acquiring the land, in 1949 the W. K. Kellogg Foundation of Battle Creek, Michigan then deeded the land to the state of California, stipulating that the land had to be used for education purposes and the Arabian breeding program had to be continued along with the traditional Sunday Shows.  Eventually, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona was established and an equine sciences program was created as well.  To this day, students are a big part of the Arabian Horse Center, through participation in clubs, volunteering, and work, or any combination of the three.

The Arabian Horse Center not only serves as a place for students to participate and learn but also to educate the public as to the versatility, grace, beauty, and endurance of the Arabian breed.  The W. K. Kellogg Arabian Horse Center is open all week from 8am-5pm for non-guided tours of the stables.  If you’re ever in the area, especially around the first Sunday of the month from October through May, you should stop by to tour the stables.  If you’re in the area on the first Sunday of the month, stop by for the Sunday Horse Show which was established back in W. K. Kellogg’s time.  The Show starts at 2pm and lasts for about an hour or more and there is much to be learned and seen.  Admission is between $4-$5 and the show is often a family favorite, but fun for all ages.

I joined the Equestrian Drill Team at the Arabian Horse Center my freshman year without any horse experience.  Through the club and volunteering at the Horse Center, I learned a lot about horses from equitation to breeding to showing to what it takes to run a horse farm.  I was promoted to treasurer my sophomore year, then president of the club for both junior and senior year.  I’ve worked at the Horse Center part-time since junior year.  I’ve even ridden in some Sunday Horse Shows and I also announce for the Show some Sundays.  I’ve seen three live foalings through my participation with Foal Watch at the Horse Center, and watched my first foal enter training.  These were things I never thought I would be able to do.

CP Magnitude (My first foal, born in 2012, photo circa 2012.)  Photo Credit: W. K. Kellogg Arabian Horse Center

CP Magnitude (My first foal, born in 2012, photo circa 2012.) Photo Credit: W. K. Kellogg Arabian Horse Center

Through the opportunities the amazing staff at the Arabian Horse Center provided me with, I’ve grown as a person.  Through the people I’ve met at the Horse Center, I’ve grown as a friend.  There are so many opportunities for leadership, responsibility and friendship there.  If you’re looking for a school with an opportunity to work with horses, consider Cal Poly Pomona.  If you want to gain experience for working in the equine industry, the Horse Center has ample opportunities as well. To learn more about the W. K. Kellogg Arabian Horse Center, please visit their site at www.wkkelloggarabianhorsecenter.com/

If you ever stop by for a Sunday Show, feel free to drop me a note – I’d love to meet you!

Until Next Time,

Allys

*All opinions shared are solely my own, and I am not paid or rewarded for endorsing this program.  If you liked the content you read here, please check out my other posts and subscribe!*

Male Crush Monday – Stephen Amell

Hello Wonderlanders!

How was your weekend?  I kicked mine off by hanging out with some old friends and trying out a new restaurant.  Then I spent the rest of the weekend with my fambam getting things ready for Christmas.  I think I lost the drive halfway between wrapping my few presents nicely.  When I started, I was super excited and looking forward to trying out Japanese gift wrapping methods (look it up on YouTube) which looks easy but was really much harder to do.  By the third to last present…let’s say the quality was a little bit lacking.

I also found a few penpals both domestically and internationally and I am super excited to see where this goes.  Now I really have to schedule out my days to fit everything in.  Anyone else find out that when they go home for the holidays, suddenly all your time becomes your mom’s time?

Anyways, on to the main male for today – Stephen Amell. Some of you may recognize this handsome man from CWTV’s show Arrow.  He’s got good looks, amazing abs, and does this ridiculously hard workout thing called the salmon ladder while making it look super easy (Don’t be fooled – it’s harder than he makes it look).  He’s taken ladies, and a father to a darling daughter that he sometimes showcases on his Facebook fan page.

Bu-ut….

I don’t just crush on a guy simply for his looks.  I’ll admire them yes, but crushing on them is whole different thing.  I’ve got standards.

Behind the good looks, Mr. Amell also supports fundraisers for cancer research or to benefit families that need the money to support cancer treatment for a loved one. He has an ongoing “F*ck Cancer” T-shirt fundraiser (https://represent.com/stephen) and was recently challenged to an archery shoot-off by Ryli Valliere.  He uses social media with a deftness of hand, humble and genuine with his fandom and not afraid to share his opinions of things going on in society.  There is human arrogance in some of his words, but not that archetypal celebrity arrogance.  He doesn’t use his social media like other celebrities to propagate mindless self-indulgence, but rather to provoke thought and support.  He isn’t promoting his show and ignoring his fandom, but rather interacting with them and encouraging them to give feedback.

I’m interested to see what he’ll do in the future, but for now, keep doing what you’re doing, Captain Sinceriously.

What do you think of Monday’s man?  Comment and respond below!

If you liked this topic, please check out my other posts or subscribe if you’d like to receive more in the future!

XOXO,

Allys

Five For Friday – Beauty Edition

Hello Wonderlanders!

I’ll be sharing my first Five For Friday items today!  I apologize for the late post – it was a busy day.  It’s a beauty edition and I’ll be listing and discussing my top five beauty must-haves!

  1. Lip Balm – I am quite addicted to my chap stick and lip balms!  If my lips are dry and I’m aware of it, it’ll drive me to distraction.  I almost compulsively put on chap stick any time my lips loose that smooth feeling. My traditional go to ones are the Chap Stick Moisturizer original.  More recently I’ve also been using Burt’s Bees which are a bit more expensive, but also really nice with flavors that are fruity, yet natural.  I’ve noticed that the Chap Stick seems to last a little be longer than Burt’s Bees, but they’ve both been awesome at keeping my lips moisturized.
  2. Lotion or Moisturizing Body Cream – I am currently favoring L’occitane Fortune 8 Hand creams (30 ml tubes sold as a set of 8 with four original hand creams and 4 floral scents).  I always carry lotion wherever I go, especially in the wintertime because my hands get dried, chapped and split easily.  For overall body lotion, I personally prefer Jergens because it isn’t too thick, and doesn’t leave any oily residue.  I also use glycerin or baby oil in the winter since my skin is more sensitive to the weather.  My favorite scent in lotions is Berlye Taga’s “White Pearl Sakura Goat Milk Moisture Body Milk Lotion.” I use this one sparingly for it’s scent, because I don’t feel like it really quite moisturizes much.
  3. Sunscreen – I live in sunny SoCal where the perpetual sunshine provides a lovely tan but also increases the risk of skin cancer and spotting of the skin.  I don’t care where I get the sunscreen, I have to have it for my arms, legs and face and neck no matter what the weather is.  Any face products I use, like moisturizer (tinted or untinted), BB cream, all have to have sunscreen as part of the package.  My go-to sunscreen is Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunscreen in SPF 70 or 55.  It is lightweight, doesn’t make my face oily, and doesn’t have any lingering fragrance.
  4. Mascara – I’m lucky that I can get away with just using mascara to make my eyes pop and on a busy morning, if I don’t have enough time to apply a full face of makeup – mascara does the trick to make me look more alert and awake.  I don’t have any that I really like, because I feel like all mascara’s work pretty well, but I’d love to hear your opinions about it.
  5. Facial cleanser/make-up remover – This really helps you maintain healthy skin.  Depending on your skin type, you’ll need to do some research to find your best match in cleanser.  For some of my friends, a generic drugstore cleanser works wonders, but for others, they need a specialty cleanser.  For those of you whom wear make-up a lot, a good make-up remover is a necessity, as any residue left on your skin can cause a breakout.  I use an exfoliating cleanser at night to rub away  any dead skin, and a gentle cream cleanser in the morning to wash out any oils I may have accumulated on my face through the natural process or via transfer from my hair to pillow.

What are your top 5 beauty must-haves?  Comment below and have an awesome weekend!  If you enjoyed this content and would like to see more, don’t forget to subscribe!

XOXO,

Allys

Thoughtful Thursday – A Brain Dump

Hello Wonderlanders!

You probably wonder why I call you, my audience, “Wonderlanders”.   Well, I’ll admit it’s a bit of a mouthful to say, and maybe not all that original.  My blog and site is called “Allys in Wonderland” and I wanted to emphasize a philosophy of “looking at the world through eyes of wonder” for myself, and since you are reading my blog, I interpret it as you are taking a journey alongside me and living in our world of wonder.  Yes, I know, that sentence was even worse with the number of times wonder and its variations show up.  I apologize.

While I want to write uplifting things and convey it in the things I present and share, it does not always match my current frame of mind. This week has been a bit rough.  I’m back at home for the holidays and my mom and I have been incessantly arguing on and off over family matters and my brother and my concerns over her and her health and triggers for me are going off left and right.  What’s helped to keep me sane is writing and thinking of what I want to write for you guys and also obsessing over planners. More about planners will be coming soon.  I want to reiterate my appreciation for you taking the time to stop and peruse my blog.  It gives me motivation to keep on going and to write even when I’m super tired.

On another note…

Back in October, I spent almost $400 on new beauty products because I had been using the same make-up brushes and set since sophomore year of high school.  Talk about a health hazard!  It wasn’t on that many items, mainly more expensive items that I decided to invest my money into in hopes that I wouldn’t have horrendous breakouts or a badly pigmented face.  I figured if it was something that helped me with my “loving me more” goal, I should really learn to use the stuff I bought, so I did a Make-Up week Challenge with my friend Vicky.  Needless to say, we survived most of it…we may have skipped a day or two… But I’ll be sharing some of those stories in future posts.

That’s it for tonight!

XOXO

Allys

WCW – Bubz Beauty

Hello Wonderlanders!

I’m on a bit of an unintentional beauty streak this week.  I actually didn’t realize it until early this morning that my posts so far this week have all been beauty related. I’ll keep this streak for the week, and while I can’t guarantee it won’t happen again, I hope you enjoy it and all the random bits of madness I’m sharing.

Growing up in a predominantly white and Hispanic/Latino community as one of the only Asians, who also happened to be awkward and nerdy, I didn’t have many role models of the same ethnicity to look up to.  I didn’t really watch TV or surf the Internet growing up because my parents restricted my time with electronics until the end of middle school.  Whenever I could sneak onto the Internet, I would look up fanfictions and check my secret MySpace account, and look for more “emo” music to listen to.  One of my only Asian friends at that time, Jennifer (who to this day remains my long-standing Asian/Tawianese Best Friend from Childhood), introduced me to a few YouTube artists and among them was a girl from the United Kingdom who used the name Bubbiosity  for her videos.  I remember the first video I watched of hers was “Let’s Get Wasted!” (http://youtu.be/2tyOrf0yGLs) which was both hilarious and somewhat truthful.  She made fun, uplifting videos and was never scared to put herself down while on camera.  Over time, her content has changed a little and become much more focused.  However, she never lost her theme of trying to make other smile and happy.

Lindy is the girl behind the videos. She is successful, and genuine and it makes me want to be her.  She got married over a year ago, has been a proud mom of two furbabies and is now a proud mother to her darling Peanut.  She has her own clothing and make-up brush line and is still very active on YouTube.  So active in fact, that she’s created multiple channels (BubzBeauty, & BubzVolgz) to handle all the different stuff she does.  If you have time, check out her awesome beauty tutorials on YouTube at BubzBeauty.

Hats off to this inspiring lady who has been uplifting spirits around the world.  As Bubz would say, “It’s a bubbiful life!”  Watching her videos gave me confidence in my own nerdiness and inspired me to be proud of my heritage instead of being ashamed and hiding it.  This has been a big step in me becoming me.

As always, feel free to comment, ask questions, or critique below and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.  If you have time, answer a question for me – Who was your role model growing up?  Who first gave you the confidence to be you?

If you liked this post and would enjoy similar content in the future, feel free to subscribe!  I will not send spam, and you’ll only receive notifications of when I post.

XOXO!

Allys

Tuesday Review – Birchbox

Hello Wonderlanders!

For the longest time, I wasn’t interested in beauty products beyond every day hygiene necessities.  Then I hit a phase in my life where I wanted self-improvement, and to me, it meant the whole package, mental and physical.  I started paying more attention to the way I was presenting myself, and that lead to my dabbling in makeup and beauty products and a perm.  In my quest for more knowledge, I started to read blogs about beauty and a good lifestyle in general and I stumbled on Kayla Aimee’s blog – Kayla Aimee Writes.  She’s so darn humorous and down to earth and full of goodness, but that’s for another day.  One of the things she had discussed and reviewed was a subscription service called Birchbox.

I was intrigued.  What was this magical subscription for only $10 a month?  Well, it features 5 personalized beauty samples a month for you for only $10 with free shipping. There are two subscription boxes – men’s and women’s.  You can get one for yourself, and one for your sibling or significant other and enjoy the goodies together!

When you join the subscription, you can either pay $10 a month, or $110 for a whole year.  For women, you create a profile by answering a survey about what beauty looks you like, what skin type and hair type you have as well as some other ones that I don’t remember off the top of my head.  I’m sure that the men’s section has a similar survey too.  This is how Birchbox customizes the subscription box for you.

I’m a college student on the college student budget and $10 for beauty product samples that I’d normally never try or even heard off really isn’t bad.  So far, I’ve received two boxes, November and December, and I’ve really liked the products I received.  I will post up about them later separately so I don’t overwhelm you guys as I am still playing catch-up to my weekday prompts. I do plan on posting a monthly review of my Birchbox samples starting in January.

My very first Birchbox(s)!  November and December 2014

My very first Birchbox(s)! Aren’t they pretty and full of mystery?November and December 2014

You may ask me how can I review something that I’ve only had for 2 months, but let me tell you, I know straight off when I have a physical item with me whether I will like it or hate it.  I liked the Birchbox subscription in case you can’t tell.  Yes, there were some items that I don’t need.  Or wouldn’t use normally for that matter, but it was still nice to be given a chance to try it out.  Plus, by reviewing the items you’ve received, you could earn up to 50 Birchbox points (their reward system) which equals $5 to spend in their shop.  Birchbox has full sized products of the samples you receive and more in their shop, and more ways to earn points on their site. I will be providing my referral link below – I earn 50 points anytime someone purchases their Birchbox subscription.  Please feel free to look through the site and see other blog posts across the web for reviews of their products and customer service.  So far I haven’t heard or read anything about bad customer service with Birchbox, but if anything changes, I’ll be sure to let you know.

I am not paid or given extra benefits by Birchbox for providing this review of their service.  All opinions stated are solely my own and I am imply sharing my opinion of the things I’ve used or come across that I find useful or not useful.  What you decide to do with the products in my review or opinions is not my responsibility.

If you liked this post and would enjoy similar content in the future, feel free to subscribe!  I will not send spam, and you’ll only receive notifications of when I post.

As always, I would love to hear your feedback – questions, comments, and concerns, so comment below and I will respond as soon as I can!

Referral Links:

Kayla Aimee Writes (http://kaylaaimee.com/) – A wonderful Southern lady shares her heartfelt adventures with her darling toddler

Birchbox Referral (https://www.birchbox.com/invite/allysinwonderland)