(Another) Year of Realizing Things

The great 21st century philosopher Kylie Jenner once said “I feel, like, this year is really about, just the year of realizing things” and the youngest Jenner was not wrong. As every year passes by I realize more and more who I am and where I am meant to go.

This was the year I realized the importance of creating strong foundations in order to build something great. This is only the beginning of a long journey. The only person I will have my entire life is myself, and I intend to continue making myself my first priority in order to be of use to those around me.

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Unlike other years, I used this year to spend time alone, intentionally skipping events and choosing to do more low-key things. I realized that I didn’t miss any of it. The people that will last (and are deserving of my effort) are people I can incorporate into my life seamlessly. This can look like buying groceries with my super busy friends so that we can see each other and catch up before we both have to head out on our separate ways to whatever else is on our to do list.

Most importantly, I learned the importance of doing what I love and playing to my strengths. There is enough room at the table for everybody to eat, there is really nothing stopping me from success. I acknowledge my privileges, like having parents that let me take a year off to build my own education and allowing me to skip grad school. I threw away my lifelong plan of pursuing a degree beyond a bachelors and I decided to go into a field that I was naturally drawn to. Not everyone is afforded that privilege and I am beyond humbled, grateful, and indebted to my parents for allowing me to be me.

The best relationship is the one I have with myself, so I hope to continue to express myself as boldly as possible. We’re all meant to shine~ we can’t be afraid of that <3

sandra damian
Mindful Layering

I ascribe minimalism as the highest form of discipline. As a result, I am mindful of what I choose to wear and avoid anything that doesn’t add value or function to the outfit. Layering delicate necklaces, however, has been a great way of adding an effortless touch of cool to any outfit. Many of the looks I’ve seen incorporate religious or personalized pendants, a great way of incorporating tradition into your every day look.

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#SELFCARESUNDAY: SPRING CRSSD 2018
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My favorite house and techno event of the year! CRSSD is a relaxed and easy event to attend because it's right in Downtown San Diego so getting to and from the event takes five minutes walking. In past years I've had the opportunity of seeing Cashmere Cat, Zhu, Dubfire, and Flume, to name a few. This small festival hosts three excellent stages (Palms, City Steps, and Oceanview) which can cause conflicts if you're an avid music fan but nonetheless makes the event super easy to navigate. CRSSD holds an event in the Spring and in the Fall, and they never fail to deliver, but the Spring event holds a special place in my heart because it always lands the weekend of my birthday! 

Pre-party #1&nbsp;

Pre-party #1 

This year I was most excited to see Kyle Watson, Nicole Moudaber, and Billy Kenny. Dancing with my friends (both old and those that I make at events) is my favorite way to boost my serotonin and dopamine levels. I always feel so refreshed (albeit exhausted) after a day of dancing to my favorite songs.

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#SelfCareSundays : GET FAR FAR AWAY

I'm not a fan of nature but there comes a time when you need to get out of the city hence, Palm Springs. A little over 100 miles outside of Los Angeles, Palm Springs offers fresh air and gorgeous views of the San Jacinto Mountains. That paired with the relatively calm energy of the city brings a girl back down to earth without feeling overwhelmed by a lack of wifi. 

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I started off my day trip by taking a tour of mid-century modern homes for Modernism Week.

It just so happened that our friends were playing a pool party at the Saguaro. Dancing with my friends is my favorite hobby. Music truly does sound better when you're surrounded by people you care about. 

After touring desert homes and dancing in the heat, I was exhausted but headed home feeling refreshed and in better spirits than when I arrived. I love this 

#SelfCareSundays: Skincare HABITS

"How you treat yourself in your 20s will determine whether you'll age like wine or milk" 

Aging is inevitable, and we can do so gracefully by taking preventative steps. I am approaching my mid-20s and have already noticed an increase in sunspots and less elasticity in my forehead. While small imperfections may not be obvious to those around you, realizing that you are no longer as fresh-faced as you used to be can negatively play with your emotions. 

Growing old is a gift that not all get to experience but that does not mean we have to look the part. Sun exposure is usually the biggest culprit in aging a person, and while the summer sun may feel good beaming against your face it also puts you at risk of skin cancer. Why not honor your body by creating habits that will benefit you in more ways than one?

The following is a list of habits that I am continuously practicing and improving upon in order to put my best face out there. 

1. Washing my face daily. Seems like an obvious one but an easy one to forget. I used to have very texturized skin but once I found a routine that worked for my skin, my skin has improved dramatically and I only get a pimple here or there.

2. Less caffeine. I never drank coffee to wake up so this was an easy habit to kick, and I drink water instead to keep my skin happy. 

3. Collagen rich food. Eating more healthy food gives my skin a more youthful, plump appearance that can not be replicated with makeup. 

4. Vitamin C has helped brighten my appearance and has many other benefits.

5. Sleep. Quite possibly the most difficult one for me to get around to simply because sleeping is a challenge for me. I'm energetic and need constant stimulation so chilling out and trying to sleep sounds beyond boring. Going out always leads to late nights/early mornings and that is what affects the appearance of my skin more than anything. When you're asleep, your cells regenerate and contribute to a healthy appearance. I'm taking the rest of February "off" from social gatherings in order to work on my sleeping habits. 

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Rings on Rings on Rings

With the possibility of Tom Brady winning his 8th Super Bowl ring this upcoming Sunday, I'd like to talk about my long-time favorite accessory: rings. 

Not only are they the easiest way of dressing up any photo of you holding a beverage, they also add a certain flair and interest to an outfit that can't be replicated through a necklace or a pair of earrings. The width of your ring can determine the vibe of your outfit. Dainty jewelry is usually seen as classic and elegant, and look great as midi rings (rings worn on the second knuckle).

Soko Open Circle Statement Ring in  Gold  and Silver

Soko Open Circle Statement Ring in Gold and Silver

While I love dainty jewelry as much as anyone else, it's bold rings with a character that become instant conversation starters. I'm heavily inspired by rock stars and hip-hop artists that don bold, in your face rings because they add an element of cool that can't be replicated by those lacking the personality to wear them. 

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I typically get mine secondhand (or as gifts) as those tend to be more unique finds, but cheap rings are also cool in my opinion given my tendency to lose rings easily. What is your preference when it comes to rings: the more the better or do you like to showcase just one standout piece? 

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#SelfCareSundays: MANIFEST, BITCH.

While it may only be the 64th of January and some of our new year's resolutions have fallen to the wayside of our memories, it does not mean that we are not on track to achieving those goals we set out for ourselves.

Personally, I did a great job of following my updated diet plan for the first two weeks. However, by the third week, a lot of the renewed energy and motivation fell by the wayside and I began to just eat small amounts of whatever I could get my hands on. Not ideal when you're trying to become mostly plant-based (but not vegan), but that doesn't mean I'm going to throw away my goal and go back to eating garbage all the time. Instead, I have done a little course correction to get me back on track with my goals. 

A big part of my intentions for 2018 has to do with being true to myself. True to my creative spirit that had been largely ignored during my time in college. This means leaving positions that were fantastic and emotionally/financially rewarding in exchange for experience in a field I hadn't thought about pursuing until I took business classes for fun during post-grad. 

In the fall, I was nervous before an interview for a super competitive program and a good friend of mine reminded me to manifest a successful interview.

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I did not get an invitation to join the program after my interview. It was something I had wanted to do, but it wasn't something I was truly passionate about. My heart wasn't in it, and I was only doing it because of the prestige. Getting rejected was the best thing for both parties in this situation because if I had not been rejected, I would not have realized how much I dread staying in the same field for the rest of my life.  I realized what I'm truly passionate about (something that was obvious to everyone but me) and decided to change things in my life to better serve my interests. 

To keep me motivated -and to release creative energy- I created a mood board with photographs and quotes to remind me of my goals for this year. Goals are met through hard work and time, but they require action above all. In Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell, he describes the correlation between time spent practicing and the success of extraordinary individuals. This correlation became engraved in me, and that is why I work every day to develop skills to help be successful in the future. 

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I'm going to set this as my iPhone background as a daily reminder to work towards my goals -in some manner- every single day. This didn't take me long to make, in fact I used Google Presentations to create it and it was the easiest process. If anyone else has made or decides to make a mood board, please share with me! I love learning about other people's goals and I'm just a highly visual person so I crave visual inspiration all the time. 

Peace out! 
- Sandra