DNA Keepsake Jewelry

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In January, I placed an order with Sacred Legacy Arts. I ordered 4 beautiful pieces of artwork (aka DNA keepsake jewelry). I ordered a beautiful European bead that holds my breastmilk and a few strands of my daughter’s hair, a unique DNA crystal necklace, a Tree of Life necklace from Maid in the Woods (cabochon from Sacred Legacy Arts), and a 14k white gold ring. All of the items I ordered contain my breastmilk.

IMG_0942Sacred Legacy Arts specializes in preserving DNA keepsakes as a beautiful work of art in the form of jewelry. Kelly from Sacred Legacy Arts can preserve breastmilk, hair, umbilical cord, placenta, ashes, flowers, a piece of cloth (from a wedding dress or veil), and much more into jewelry. It is amazing. The process includes preserving the keepsake in jewelry-grade resin and then placing the keepsake in a ring, necklace, European bead, earrings, etc. Kelly from Sacred Legacy Arts has truly found a beautiful and unique way of preserving precious memories into a wearable form of art.

IMG_0900What is really cool about the process of preserving the DNA keepsake is that it doesn’t have to be “plain”. Sacred Legacy Arts has many flecks, shimmers, and tints to add to the DNA keepsakes. For the ring and European bead, I asked for the fairy milk blend, which looks like how it sounds (extremely magical). The keepsakes are a beautiful milky-pink with pink and iridescent flecks and shimmer. They are absolutely beautiful and I love how they turned out! For the tree of life necklace, I asked for the gold shimmer, which really hones in on the yellow color of breastmilk. Lastly, for the DNA crystal necklace, I asked for the milky opal look, which contains iridescent flecks and really show cases the brightness of breastmilk. Everyone’s breastmilk is different, so every DNA keepsake will look different. Keep that in mind if you decided to order from Sacred Legacy Arts. Plus, every DNA keepsake will be different since they are all handmade. This definitely makes each piece a work of art!

IMG_0918Shop updates are at the beginning of every month. I believe the July shop update was on the 3rd. There are still a few pieces that are available, but usually the most popular pieces sell out within seconds. The first time I tried to order the European bead, I added the bead to my cart immediately as the shop update went live. I went to checkout and after I typed in all of my card and shipping information the bead was already sold out! I type pretty fast too! As a word of advice, it is crucial to be ready to place your order when the shop updates go live. No pondering or deciding which fleck or shimmer to include. All of this needs to be decided before the shop update so you can quickly checkout and snag the pieces you want!

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Sacred Legacy Arts began in 2014 with the vision to create tiny time capsules of wearable art for families to preserve their most cherished memories in a tangible, sensory experience.  Instead of tucking mementos into little boxes that are rarely seen, they wanted to find a way to take those precious memories and turn them into beautiful works of art that could be worn and treasured. Each DNA keepsake is carefully handcrafted and it shows. Every item I ordered is so beautiful and unique. I can tell that so much care, thought, and passion went into making them. I’m so glad that Sacred Legacy Arts was created. I will forever treasure the works of art Kelly created using my breastmilk and my daughter’s hair. I will definitely order from Sacred Legacy Arts again in the future! THANK YOU KELLY AND THE SACRED LEGACY ARTS TEAM!

I also wanted to give a shout out to Maid in the Woods and Anueva Jewelry. Doreen from Maid in the Woods handcrafts all of her jewelry. Unfortunately, the tree of life cabochon from Sacred Legacy Arts was discontinued, but you can still order the tree of life necklace from Doreen. She now works with another DNA keepsake artist for the cabochon that is included in the beautiful tree of life wirework necklace. She has amazing pieces and I’m so happy to have a tree of life necklace from Maid in the Woods. Also wanted to mention that her packaging is AMAZING. I was blown away about how much thought and passion went into the packaging. Thank you, Doreen! Anueva Jewelry created the ring my DNA keepsake was placed into. The empress ring is also no longer available on Sacred Legacy Arts, but there are many other beautiful pieces available from Anueva Jewelry on Sacred Legacy Arts. Anueva Jewelry specializes in handmade, eco-friendly, nature inspired jewelry. I love all of her works of art. Thank you Jennifer from Anueva Jewelry!

Pictures below of the amazing works of art:

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Make Up: Your Life Guide to Beauty, Style, and Success – Online and Off by Michelle Phan

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I recently finished reading Make Up: Your Life Guide to Beauty, Style, and Success – Online and Off by Michelle Phan. I didn’t read what the book was about prior to purchasing. I mainly bought it because I’m a huge fan of Michelle Phan and thought it would be a good read. I’m so glad I bought the book!!! One of the best reads I’ve had in awhile, as far as inspirational books go.

IMG_0009For the past few years, I’ve had a fascination with women who have been successful from the ground up. Women like Michelle Phan, Sophia Amoruso, or Oprah Winfrey are so inspiring and their stories are interesting to hear. That is why I had to read Michelle Phan’s book. Her book, Make Up, came out in 2014. I wish I knew about the book back in 2014, but I only stumbled upon it recently when trying to bid on #Girlboss by Sophia Amoruso on eBay. I didn’t win the bid (wanted to keep the price below $5 for #Girlboss) and so Michelle Phan’s book popped up as a similar item. The book was a little over $3 and came with free shipping on eBay. I was so excited and purchased immediately. I couldn’t wait to receive the book!

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The book starts with a summary of Michelle Phan’s life until 2014 and then dives into fantastic tips about makeup, skin care, life, etc. I would go into more detail, but I’ll let you read the book and find out about all of her great advice and tips! Make Up is perfect for anyone that is about to start their career, no matter the age. I really wish I would have known about this book in 2014 because I graduated from college then. Make Up has an entire section about interviews, resumes, how to dress, and pretty much everything you need to know in preparation for a job. Plus, Michelle Phan gives such great advice in the book for young women with the motivation to succeed and be big in their career! I’m three years into the start of my career in the e-commerce world and I am still learning. I gathered so many great tips and felt so inspired after finishing her book. I have very big goals for my career and will achieve them. I need to stay true to myself, work hard, be humble, and everything will fall into place.

Make Up did not only inspire me in regards to my career, but has really inspired me to put more effort into my blog. My blog is more of a part-time hobby and only something that I work on during my free time. I have many goals for my blog and would love to be an influencer like Michelle Phan. I would love for people to come to my blog with advice or seeking answers to a problem. That is why I’ve started to write reviews on products, write how-tos/DIY tips, and write about what I am passionate about. I want to educate and help people discover what is best for them. Plus, I really love makeup and skin care products and love trying new things out myself. That’s why I’m writing about her book on my blog, to help others who need inspiration or seek inspiration. This book is perfect for seekers, especially young women who want to strive and do their best at everything they do.

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I am so glad I stumbled upon Make Up by Michelle Phan. I feel so inspired! If I knew Michelle Phan in person, I think we would be best friends. She did re-tweet my Zombie Barbie look that I re-created from her tutorial a few years ago… and we both love video games and Spirited Away! Random fact that is kind of funny… I work at the company that helped manage her makeup business, em cosmetics, prior to her re-branding and re-launch. She apparently came to the headquarters and they had a big party! If I only worked here back then and had the book, I could have asked for her autograph. 🙂 What a coincidence! Anyway, the next book I want/have to read is definitely #Girlboss. Now if I can only snag #Girlboss for less than $5, that would be AWESOME.

Leave a comment below if you have any suggestions on inspirational books I should read or have a question about Michelle Phan’s book. Enjoy! 

Nature’s Little Squeeze Reusable Food Pouches by WeeSprout

IMG_1490This post is long overdue. A few weeks ago my daughter turned one. She eats all types of foods now. She loves foods like applesauce, purees, yogurt, etc. A few weeks ago we tried feeding her with a food pouch (a mix of strawberry and banana puree). She loved it and loved the pouch! She was extremely excited to hold the pouch and feed herself. She’s at that age where she wants to start feeding herself. We loved the pouch too, easier and less mess. But we felt like buying pouches could get costly and we already have a ton of baby food at home. We didn’t really want to buy the pre-filled food pouches. We started doing research and found the Nature’s Little Squeeze reusable pouches by WeeSprout. They had great reviews and the price was extremely reasonable! We bought the 6 pack of 5 oz pouches. We were excited to try them out… and I’m glad we did!!!

IMG_1708We received the pouches right around the time I started weaning her from breastfeeding. She was extremely fussy during the change and didn’t want anything to eat. I was extremely down and didn’t know what to do. I work full-time so I kept praying and hoping she would quickly adapt to the change. Luckily, she instantly knew what to do with the pouches and ate all of the contents inside! I was so happy to see her eat and finally feel satisfied/full. These couldn’t have arrived at a more perfect time. They have made our lives easier with weaning and made our daughter so happy.

We fill the pouches with pureed baby food and yogurt. They seem to work best with these types of foods. But you can also put foods like oatmeal or smoothies in them. And the design is pretty neat with a see-through globe on the back so you can easily see the contents.

There is a double ziplock that is extremely strong. No messes here. I tried throwing them on the ground, squeezing on the pouches, stepping on them, and trying anything I thought my daughter might do. The pouches DID NOT pop open and make a mess. They are extremely baby proof and will not make a mess. Of course, I would watch your baby/toddler if you decide to get these. They can squeeze the food out from the top, but that’s expected. I never give the pouches to my daughter if she seems no longer interested in eating… I’ve learned this the hard way (haha).

The pouches are freezer safe. I haven’t tried freezing any food in them yet, but if you make big batches of baby food, you could definitely use these to store food in the freezer.

IMG_1698Another bonus is that they are extremely easy to clean. I use a bottle brush to clean the pouches and it literally takes me a minute to wash everything at night. Anything that can save me time is great. They are dishwasher safe too!IMG_1699

They are made of great quality materials that are strong, and eco-friendly, allowing for repeated use. They are BPA, PVC, lead, and phthalate free. What I love is that the pouches can be used again and again, which saves money and natural resources compared to disposable food pouches. AND the packaging and pouches are all recyclable. What’s not to love about that?!

Overall, I LOVE these pouches and I’m so glad I found them. They are amazing!!! What’s not to love about them? They are such a great product, easy to use, clean, eco-friendly, and awesome.

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How to Save Money as a Millennial

I’ve had many people ask me how I save money as a millennial. People know that the majority of millennials are most likely on an entry-level job income, probably still in debt due to school, trying to pay rent among other bills, all while trying to save some money for our future. So how do I do it? I’m just like any other millennial…

Step 1.  Get out of debt.

I mentioned that most of us are in debt, still paying for school and maybe even credit card debt accumulated while in school. I made it my goal to finish paying all of my student loans prior to the 6 month grace period (the time frame before they start charging interest on your loans). I actually had some loans that already charged interest, so I did not want to be charged even more. I paid off the loans with interest first. Once I was out of debt, I purposely stayed out of debt. I know so many people who finish paying their loans, get their first job out of college, and then buy a brand new car. While that is great (go you!), I did not want to continue to be in debt. I’m still driving my little car I got in high school. And I plan to drive my little car until it breaks down. Of course I’d love a new car, but if I do not need it, then I do not need to buy it. If you have to buy a car, looking into used cars is a great idea if you want to save money.

Step 2.  Learn to have fun for free or at home.

This is probably the boring step. So many people around my age go out every weekend. They go out to eat with friends, go out to parties, or go out to places that cost money. While this sounds fun, going out every weekend costs a lot of money. Instead, learn to have fun for free or hang out at home. It is so easy to entertain while staying in. You can have a fun karaoke party with homemade hor d’oeuvres or have a movie night with popcorn or have a potluck with friends. If you are creative, the possibilities are limitless! This leads me to step 3…

Step 3.  Cook your meals at home.

Imagine you are one of those people who go out to eat everyday… maybe you grab breakfast or a Starbucks on your way to work, go out for lunch at Panera, and maybe on your way home you grab dinner from your favorite Asian restaurant. This adds up to a lot! $5 for a tall Starbucks beverage, $10 at Panera, and maybe around $12 for dinner. This is $27. And who knows, it could be more… I’m only estimating on what I would spend for a drink, lunch, and dinner. I know many people who fall into the routine of eating out for every meal. So $27 a day, $135 per week, around $810 per month, and almost $10,000 a year. Maybe even more a week/month/year if you go out for “fancier” meals on the weekends. Not only is this probably unhealthy, but it is very expensive. Imagine what $810 could go to each month… this could be someone’s rent payment or part of a mortgage payment. Or $10,000 a year?! That could be a great down payment on a new car. On average, I spend about $50 a week on groceries for me and my husband. So each month, around $250-$300 on groceries. We rarely go out to eat and when we do we use a gift card. If we stick to our monthly food budget and only spend about $300 on food, that is about $3,600 a year. This would mean we’re saving $6,400 more a year versus the person who goes out for every meal. Going back to step 2 of saving, add this amount per year to how much you spend going out with friends every weekend… that’s a lot!

Step 4.  Live minimally.

I also know a lot of people who go out to buy new clothes every month. Of course, I love fashion! I love looking good and having a new outfit that makes me feel great. Unfortunately, part of saving money requires that I only buy clothes when I truly need new clothes. I do not go out every month to buy a new wardrobe to follow all of the latest trends. I suggest looking into the idea of a capsule wardrobe. Only have staples, classics, and simple items that can be mixed and matched to make many outfits. I recently cleaned out my closet (I could probably even clean it out even more…) to live minimally and have a capsule wardrobe. If you buy great quality/classic items, wearing your clothes for years should be no issue. There are sweaters and shirts that I have had for about 2 years that are still in great condition. This can also apply to anything you buy. Before purchasing an item, think about if you really need it. Eventually you will start to gain an inner peace by not having many items and living minimally. Plus, you’ll save money in the long run.

Step 5.  Coupon!

I am actually bad at this step. I use coupons and search for deals on some things I need, but not everything. For example,  I only buy my laundry detergent when there is a great sale like buy 1 get 3 free or something crazy. There are an unlimited amount of resources online to help you learn to be a couponing pro. I try to use coupons when I can, but if I need something like toothpaste and I do not have a coupon, I’ll still buy it. Couponing and getting great deals on things you need can definitely help you save money as a millennial.

Step 6.  Budget everything.

I use Mint.com to create budgets for my monthly expenses. Mint is a great way to see where your money is going, how much money you are spending, and to truly figure out what you need versus what you want. It is also a good idea to look at your bills when setting up a budget. Do you pay about $100 a month on a cell phone bill? Maybe you do not really need a plan that costs $100 a month. My phone plan is $30 a month and I couldn’t be happier with the quality and service.

Step 7.  Invest in your future!

I’ve heard many people around my age who say they do not invest in a retirement plan of any sort. This goes hand and hand with saving money. Invest in something that will grow and give you an amount of income that you can enjoy life on once you are older. I want to live comfortably, travel, and enjoy life once I retire, so I invest and save money for these reasons. Investing in your future goes hand-in-hand with the steps above… maybe instead of spend $10,000 a year on food, this $10,000 could go into a 401k or some other type of retirement plan or savings.

 

There are probably more steps to save money as a millennial, but these are a few main steps that I follow in my life as a guide to saving. I have also been very strict for the past few years because I have been saving up for a home. You do not have to be as strict as me, and I do not plan to be as strict as I’ve been on saving money for forever, but if you truly want to save then it is important to follow some type of guideline to saving.

New York City: May 2014

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The trip to New York City was absolutely great. I’ve included a few photos in the slideshow above. As mentioned in my previous post, the trip was an elective for school. This was my last elective class for my undergraduate degree.

We went to a variety of companies/designers/brands. We visited Tory Burch, Ross, Foxcroft, Maker & Co., Ralph Lauren, Saks Fifth Avenue, JCPenney, The Container Store, Fossil, Macy’s, and Oscar de la Renta. I had a great time and learned a lot! So glad I had the opportunity to travel to NYC and visit great companies.

As a group, we also did a great food tour in Greenwich Village and saw Motown: The Musical. It was great! I already miss the food from the food tour (the arancini and pizza was the best!). The broadway show was so great too! We also visited the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Anyone could easily spend an entire day at the MET.

We also had free time. For me, my free time consisted of sightseeing and food. I visited a variety of places in NYC including a few stores (UNIQLO & NikeTown), The Empire State Building, Central Park, and the 9/11 Memorial just to name a few places. As far as restaurants, I ate at Joe’s Shanghai Chinese, McGee’s Pub, Havana’s, Europa Café, Serendipity, a cute café in Bryant Park, Amici Il, Ferrara Italian Bakery, on top of the Marriott in Times Square at the rotating restaurant (forgot the name), and The Halal Guys.

I had so much fun and already missed NYC! I cannot wait to go back.

Chicago, IL – Shop.org Annual Summit

Sorry for the late update! I got back from my trip to Chicago for the Shop.org Annual Summit on Wednesday the 2nd. I had such a great time! I met so many people, networked, heard great speakers, made some great friends from my university, and just overall really enjoyed myself.

Chicago McCormick Place Convention Center

This is a picture of the McCormick Convention Center. I stayed at the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place Hotel. It was really nice and convenient since it is connected to the convention center. And yes, those are fireworks coming from a nearby stadium (I am guessing the US Cellular Field?).

Chicago River

The pictures above are just a few pictures from the Chicago area. I did most of my exploring on Sunday. I visited the Willis Tower, Navy Pier (best thing was the Chicago-style hot dog), Michigan Avenue, Cloud Gate in Millennium Park, and had Chicago-style pizza at Pizza Due (refer to above picture of Mr. Last eating a large salad). I had so much fun exploring! Chicago is a beautiful city.

The conference was busy with speeches from keynote speakers, breakout sessions, and networking in the Expo Hall.

The first day, Monday, consisted of a student program for the selected NRFSA members that were able to attend. Scot Wingo, CEO of ChannelAdvisor, and Vicki Cantrell, SVP and Executive Director of Shop.org, talked about retail and the future. We, the students, then got to hear from people with “cool retail jobs” varying from a Social Media Manager for Anthropologie to an Analytics and Email Operations Executive from Estée Lauder. The best part of the student program was hearing from the executives! Bob Myers (President and CEO of Sheplers Western Wear), Mindy Grossman (CEO of HSN), Sona Chawla (President of E-Commerce at Walgreen Co.), David Bolotsky (Founder and CEO of Uncommon Goods, LLC), and Matthew Siegel (EVP of E-Commerce at ANN Inc.). I had SUCH a great time hearing from all of the speakers at the student session.

For dinner on Monday night, we went to Chinatown and I tried very interesting dishes. I had jellyfish, sizzling salted fish and eggplant, a longan bubble tea, and I tried a bite of my friend’s red bean dessert. I really enjoyed it!

Tuesday consisted of great keynote speakers like Miki Berardelli (CMO of Tory Burch), Matt Marcotte (SVP, Global Stores of Tory Burch), and Jonah Berger (Author of Contagious: Why Things Catch On). I actually got the book signed by Jonah Berger and took a picture with him!

During our breaks we explored and networked in the Expo Hall. It was great! And we had a little bit of fun… like trying out the oxygen bar, winning Skullcandy Headphones, and getting tons of free stuff!

Tuesday night was the networking and reception at The Field Museum. They had delicious hors d’oeuvres (mini sandwiches, little squares of unique pizzas, etc.). What was also cool is that we could explore the exhibits for free!

I really enjoyed Chicago and hope I get to visit again soon. I really enjoyed the Shop.org 2013 Summit as well. I would LOVE to attend next year! It was a great learning experience and a great opportunity for a young student perusing a career in Digital Retailing.

For more photos, please view my Flickr set!
Or my public Instagram: My_Trip_to_ShopOrg_Summit13