Letting Go of Toxic Friends

advice, friendship, relationship, Uncategorized

It’s hard to know when a friendship is no longer beneficial to our lives and instead hurting us, because it’s easy to make excuses for people and forget or undermine our own feelings.

Real friends vs. Toxic friends. Image from lifehack.org.

Sometimes we justify friendships because people have been in our lives for as long as we can remember, but this is not a good reason to keep a friendship alive that’s hurting you. If your friend is making you feel bad about yourself, pressuring you to spend an exorbitant amount of time with them, or making you feel like you have to do something that makes you uneasy, you can rest assured the relationship has switched from mutually beneficial to toxic.

Image from lifehack.org.

For reference, good friends build you up, are a source of joy, love, and encouragement, and are people you look forward to interacting with.

Illustration by lumimari. Lumimari.com.

You can pretty much guarantee that friendships are over when you notice any of these signs:

Β°You are constantly helping your friend out of one mess or another, be I to financial, emotional, or otherwise.

Β°Your friend depends on you to do almost everything. If he /she wants to go out, it is almost expected that you be there. It’s almost as if you should have no life of your own because you coexist as one entity. If you ever feel like your personal identity is being robbed of you, speak up, and if that doesn’t work, run.

Β°You are constantly second guessing yourself, walking on eggshells, or feel pressured to do something. Whether your friend’s negative influence be putting you down or encouraging you to engage in substance abuse, it’s time to call it quits if you’re feeling like things are out of your control.

Image from redbubble.com

I learned to let go of toxic friends the hard way. Many times I found myself bending way too much to please others and yielding way too many of my own views and values. Sometimes it seemed like it was too late to get away from a toxic influence. It never is though, make the decision and simply end communication gradually.

It’s best not to go cold turkey but to give the person some sort of warning. Otherwise, the person may lash out at you and lack any understanding of your motives for ending the relationship. Just like any other breakup, the person deserves at least the decency of knowing what went wrong. Try to address the issues but don’t go into any arguments or bitterness so as to not reopen any old feuds.

I wish you the best possible vibes with your friendship breakups. It’s not easy, but it must be done.

Have you ever struggled with letting go of people in your life? Feel free to comment below.

Love and light!


Why Millenials Love the Show Friends + Rachel’s 5 Best Outfits & How to Copy Them

fashion, inspo

There’s no denying how iconic the show Friends was and is, and the same goes for its characters and their ultra-90s/early 00s attire. Their outfits are instantly recognizable. No one could rock a sweater vest like Chandler or a hippieish maxi dress with a scrunchie like Phoebe. Obviously, the chicest of the friends was Rachel.

The show’s appeal is widespread and well documented, as are that of “The Rachel” haircut and her style. Interestingly enough,

the show still draws a weekly audience of 16 million in the U.S., a big enough viewership to make it a viable hit on current network TV (and that’s not even including streaming)” – The Vulture.

Over twenty years have passed and the show’s current popularity hasn’t ceased. In fact, legions of new and zealously loyal fans have emerged.  Though plenty of other shows have accurately shown the sea of challenges that comes with entering adulthood, twenty something life is somehow more desirable in Friends. Maybe it’s the good lighting or the quirky impossibly large New York apartments. 

It’s probably because in today’s media saturated reality it’s easy for millenials to enter the social media frenzy and lose sight of what’s real and what’s filtered. Apparently Friends’ characters are friends to many of us. I know for me, that’s definitely the case. As is the case for many people, Friends got me through some rough nights. (colds, breakups, boredom, you name it)

As a 13 year old with cystic acne going through a very awkward phase, Rachel Green was one of my style icons, and I aspired to flail as cutely as she did. I always rooted for her, and knew she’d figure it all out.

Rachel Green, the slightly spoiled, totally lovable self professed shopping addict, exemplified late 90s to early 00s understated coolness. 

Read on for how to cop 5 of her best outfits, since it seems the 90s are never going out of style.

Here are my favorite Rachel outfits:

1. Dress + long sleeved shirt underneath

Layering was key to 90s style. I’m in love with the dress over shirt trend that’s reemerged recently and its so simple to recreate.

Turtleneck: Misha Nonoo, Dress:


You can literally wear any long sleeved shirt or turtleneck over a plain or simple dress and its like a magic formula for a cute outfit. As shown above, you can mix it up with plaid, a backpack, ans mules to achieve a 90sfied look.

The look was also expertly executed by Phoebe on several occasions:

2. Turtleneck + Plaid Skirt + Knee High Socks

This is the perfect fall look. A cute turtleneck and plaid skirt never will go out of style.

For a look at how one Cosmo writer succesfully copied iconic Rachel Green outfits and wore them in real life read her article. Also, you might cry, and it synthesizes why Friends was so iconic.

3. Chinese style slit dress (Cheongsam or Qipao) + strappy red sandals

I mean…. Could this outfit BE any cuter?…

Those sandals though. ❀❀❀

I am forever in love with brocade anything, cheongsam style dresses, which are actually a real traditional Chinese style dress (thanks Wikipedia), and strappy sandals. Apparently so was Rachel.

From Dresslily.com.

With so many awesomely cheap Asian online clothing websites, you have a lot of cheongsams at your fingertips. Rachel would probably buy hers on Ali Express these days. The one above is from the website dresslily.com and is $19.75. I’d recommend going a size or two up as I know clothes from Asian websites run small from experience unless you’re very petite.

From AliExpress.com

This one from Ali Express is only $14.49.

From Shoedazzle. 59.95.

4.The All Black Ensemble + High Low Black Skirt

I’m not really sure if this skirt can be found, but here’s a decent dupe (the only one I found)

This Sass & Bide playsuit is way beyond most our budgets at $343 and sold on netaporter.com. Rachel would go for it. πŸ˜„πŸ’Έ

5. Polished yet Sassy Mini Skirt + Sweater + Boots

Rachel somehow weaves elegance even into a mini skirt + boots combo. The black tights and sweater definitely tie the look together. This is the ideal outfit for when you want to look polished yet convey sex appeal.

This flirty pleated mini by Modcloth is ideal for the look. 49.99.

Any simple fitted black sweater and knee high or over the knee boots will do.

Simple and timeless black sweater. H&M – $24.99

These of the moment boots by Charlotte Russe will update the look and still give the same feel.

I could go on and on..let me know if you like posts like these and I will do many more! πŸ˜πŸ˜˜πŸ‘œπŸ‘ 

Thanks for reading! I hope this post gave you a little throwback fashion inspo!

Comprehensive Gift Guide Continued


My favorite part of the holdiays is honestly holiday baking. Chocolate + peppermint = heaven. πŸ«πŸ¬πŸŽ„ I’m literally obsessed with Food Network’s Holiday Baking Championship.

8. The techie. This year’s tech wathes are so cool, likable, and wearable, you don’t even have to be technologically inclined or even like fitness to like them.

They’re sophisticated, sleek, and smart. My favorite this year, the Misfit Ray in rose gold, pictured above measures distance traveled, steps taken, calories burned, and even sleep cycles. Wouldn’t it be fun to really find out how well you’re sleeping? They’ll make a great gift for any bonafide techie on your list, and could be a great option for fitness freaks too.

9. The parents. I think the goal of gift giving when it comes to family should be making your loved ones’ lives a little happier and showing you care, not out doing one another or seeing who spent the most. That defies the purpose of the season. 

Pay close attention to what your parents need to update and what they’re neglecting. Has Mom been using the same wallet for years? Could Dad’s coat use an upgrade?

A timeless quality wallet or other useful gift is an easy way to show you care.

 10. Teenagers. Teenagers are some of the toughest people to figure out when it comes to gifts, and to appease in general. Remember you were one, and how picky you were? Maybe you only wanted money or specific things? Even though today’s teenagers may be more exposed to technology and the adult workd world than ever, some things remain the same. Teens still love music, makeup, and fashion.

The elegant rose gold Beats by Dre.

Like us, teens still want to impress their friends too. Beats by Dre, a teen’s first high quality palette, or some Nike or other shoes of their preference would be well received.

I would like to remind you even though you’ve heard it before, I’m sure, that gifts should not be at the at the center of your holiday celebration. At the end of the night, it won’t be the presents that will be most remembered, but the quality of time you shared with your loved ones and the memories you made. Make your celebrations count & don’t stress!

More gift ideas to come! I hope you’re enjoying this series. Thanks for reading. Love you all!



A Comprehensive Guide to Holiday Gift Giving (for Everyone On your List)

Christmas, Food, Gift, Gift Guide, Holiday, Makeup, Party, Present, Uncategorized

Too Faced’s Merry Macarons palette, only available at Ulta. Isn’t it swoon worthy? Perfect for any makeup addict in your life (and me).

As many of you have probably gathered after past holiday seasons, it’s never too early to start thinking about buying your Christmas/holiday presents. Nobody likes a long line, angry coupon ladies, not finding the right size, being perplexed by what to get some of the people on your list, etc. Trust me, I know from working in retail.


Michael Kors’ Access Bradshaw Rose Gold Tone Smartwatch; A gorgeous & elegant unisex watch for any refined techie.

To hopefully help you on your gift-giving journey this year and make the whole process a little more filled with cheer, as it should be, I’ve compiled a list of my top picks this for every kind of person in our lives. Here we go! πŸ˜ŠπŸŽπŸŽ„

1. Best friend; Sometimes the people closest to you are the hardest ones to buy presents for. The advantage; you know them well. The disadvantage; there’s an inherently greater expectation to get the perfect gift. My tip; pick something you both love to do, and give them something that will enable you to do it together. Are you coffee junkies?


A DIY cold brew coffee kit would be an awesome gift. So would a personal espresso machine or a year subscription for a monthly dose of gourmet coffee.


This “coffee sock” cold brew kit can be found on Thrivemarket.com for 10.95

Do you both need some TLC? Get them a gift certificate to your favorite spa. Do you love music? Get them some concert tickets.

2. The makeup lover. There are so many good options for this person. Any makeup junkie knows NYX has some of the best drugstore-brand makeup period. Their soft matte lip creams are beyond good. This lovely box below would be welcomed heartily in any girl’s makeup collection.


These are tried, tested, and makeup vlogger approved. I’ve used this product too, and I love it all around. Desi Perkins, one of my favorites, just included them in her holiday gift/gifts for yourself haul.

The formula of this lipstick is perfect for when you want a matte lip, but don’t want a super drying finish. My lips are constantly dry, so it’s perfect for me.

3. The cook. Who’s the cook in your life? Your grandma? Yourself? Your boyfriend? Either way, this gift is perfect for the holidays for any home baker.


This adorable apple pie kit comes with all you need to make a delectable apple pie, and was featured in O, The Oprah Magazine. Find it on Kerbersfarms.com

The kit comes with an all natural pie filling, crust mix, a genuine Pyrex glassΒ pie plate, a kitchen towel, an instruction booklet, and a sustainable wooden crate.

4. The boyfriend/husband/significant other. This is probably the hardest gift to give. Sometimes you know the person’s taste perfectly, but there’s always that ounce of doubt. Especially when the person is picky. You can just never know for sure. I highly suggest making wish lists and trading them. You can never go wrong because no matter what, it’s something he/she actually wants/will use.


A heart-warming scene from “It’s a Wonderful Life”, one of my favorite holiday movies.

5. The mother in law or father in law. My top recommendation in buying a gift for this person is first, get to know this person a little bit. I know sometimes this isn’t an easy prospect, but trust me, it’ll any family time when you’re expected to interact with this person/people easier.

6. The sophisticated fashion addict. For me, this is the easiest one. I can be assured that pretty much anything I want, will probably sit well with any fashion addict. When it comes to picky or sophisticated fashionistas, finding out who their favorite designer is would be a good start. A candle by their favorite designer would be a lovely gift.


This candle is described as a feminine and sophisticated scent. At $65, it’s a little pricey, so pick someone who appreciates the finer things in life to give it to πŸ˜‰

The candle’s scent is described as “…leathery violet with vibrant woody notes.” on NeimanMarcus.com, where you can purchase it.

7. The bargain hunter. This is a tough one. I definitely find out their favorite go-to store is for bargains and get them a gift card there. Normally, I’m against gift cards since they’re a bit impersonal, but I think in this case it works.

Being Part of the Secret Art Show

art, Good cause, Uncategorized, Wine

The illustration/painting I submitted to the Burbank Arts for All Foundation’s Secret Art Show

Hello lovely readers! I hope you have all had an amazing work week and are having an awesome start to your three day weekend! (If you’re in the US) Thank you to all the veterans who have sacrificed immensely for our freedoms.


This past weekend, November 5th, I was thrilled and proud to be a part of the Secret Art Show in Burbank at The Burbank Studios. This event is organized by the amazing Burbank Arts for All Foundation, whose mission is to ensure art for all students in schools, a cause I have always cared about greatly. I studied to be a teacher and think the arts are an integral part of children’s development and that freedom of expression through art can change a students life.Β The foundation does such great work. Shout out to the lovely coordinator Saundra, whose dedication was the backbone of the terrific turnout Saturday and stunningly well put together, unique, and fun event. Artists from nearby studios such as Nickelodeon, students, Conan O’Brien and other celebrities, and talented artists contributed works of art, all 4 x 6″.


I contributed to the show last year, but I wasn’t able to attend, due to work. Chris and I were so happy to get to attend the event this year and met so many talented artists, students and their teacher who donated their time and photography skills to put on a fun photo op, the DJ from Iheart Radio, and kind and tireless volunteers. The wine and appetizers were yummy!


Thanks so much for having me! If you’d like/need an art-related gift for yourself or someone else for the holidays, you can still purchase some of the amazing art and contribute to this wonderful organization;


All the pieces are only $40.

BAFA Secret Art Show @ TBS (Β© Ross A. Benson)

This photo and the one below were found on MyBurbank.com & were taken by Ross A. Benson.

BAFA Secret Art Show @ TBS (Β© Ross A. Benson)

Live demos were provided by local artists.Β 

I love how art can bring people together and make positive changes in our community. 😊🎨