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On Living Abroad 


It’s been 2 years and 3 months since I’ve lived in Vancouver now. It is an amazing place to live and I am so lucky to live here, but it’s probably taken me about this long to really feel like I could call this place my home. Ever since I was about 16 years old, I knew I wanted to move away for college and part of me didn’t think I would ever move back home after.

I originally wanted to move to NYC for undergrad, but chickened out when application time came. I ended up starting my adult life in San Diego, and when I was 22 I moved off to NYC for graduate school, following my dream. Shortly before moving to NYC, I found my soulmate, and he would end up taking me on a path I had never foreseen, a wonderful and exciting one. And after 4 years in NYC, I ended up here in beautiful BC, the place he was lucky enough to have called home his whole life. Some of my patients ask me why a girl from Southern California is living up here, as if it seems crazy… and I have to convince them how beautiful it is here and how great of a place it is to live. Sometimes I wonder if I’m trying to convince them or myself.

But I truly do love it here. Up here, the air is clean, nature is lush, the skies are bluer, and I am constantly in awe of the natural beauty surrounding me. The city is vibrant, people are active and healthy, and there are dogs everywhere (I LOVE that part)!

What’s made it so hard for me to call this place home isn’t the lack of beauty or endless amount of things to do… What truly makes a place home, is that feeling of comfort that you get when you’re with those who make you feel safe, understood, welcome, and for lack of a better word, loved. To me, what I just described is the true meaning of family. And for me, family can extend beyond blood relatives.

I have met some pretty incredible people here and am lucky to have been taken in and accepted so quickly by Matt’s family. It is only now, 2 years and 3 months later, that I can look back and realize it’s been a while since I’ve cried thinking of how much I miss my family or friends that I left in Chino Hills, San Diego, or New York and how hard it is to “make a family” out here.

But today, I cried again. My mom and dad are visiting Vancouver and I got to see videos my mom had taken of my 10 week old nephew (who lives in San Francisco) who I’ve been lucky enough to have seen TWICE before he was 7 weeks old. I watched at least a dozen short videos of him cooing, smiling, or even just laying there observing his surroundings. Matt reminded me we had to get going so I could prepare for my next day at work but all I wanted to do was sit there and watch those videos… because I realized those videos would be the closest I would get to holding, touching, smelling, or kissing my baby nephew and I don’t want him to grow up and miss it all. I told Matt after we left my parent’s hotel how that felt and I just started crying. This time I let myself cry, and didn’t feel ashamed or try to stop myself from thinking that I should be over it by now.

I realized it makes me human to feel this way, and although living abroad seems amazing and adventurous, sometimes it hurts. So my message to myself after all of this is to cherish each moment with those you love because when we leave this earth, all people will have of us is the memories we made with them.

xo,

Juliana

How To Get The “No Makeup” Makeup Look 

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I’m feeling a little under the weather today. I haven’t been sick in such a long time (thank you immune system!), but finally I’ve come down with a bit of a bug. I luckily had the day off of work but felt like being snuggled under the covers all day. I had to leave the house to run some errands and go to the pharmacy but didn’t want to leave the house completely bare-faced because if I’m really tired, my under-eye circles could probably scare the boogie man! (And by the way, this look may not be for everyone because if you’re one of those girls that can leave the house without any makeup on looking downright flawless, I envy you, girl!). Since I just couldn’t be bothered to put on a full face of makeup I headed for my go-to “No Makeup” Makeup Look! I figured today would be a great time to share the products I use to achieve this look!

 

This look is great for when you want to get ready in less than 5 minutes and still look presentable. This is my go to look for a day of running errands or if you like to keep it low key, it’s a great easy everyday makeup look. I’ve worn these products camping (okay, glamping :P), heading to the beach, on lazy Sundays, running errands, whenever I’m in a rush, or for a fresh faced youthful look!

 

Alright, let’s get started!

 

1. Moisturize. I have been loving Origins Vitazing moisturizer with SPF 15. When you first dispense the product it looks white with almost a grainy look to it, but as soon as you start blending it in, it starts to develop a little bit of a color. It almost acts as a very light coverage tinted moisturizer. I would be careful if you have oily skin. Since I have normal/dry skin, this product works great for me.
The Origins Ginzing under eye cream has been great for daytime use. It has almost a sheen to it and this works for me since my under-eye area can get very dry and crepe-y. It’s supposed to reduce puffiness as well, and I’m not sure I can attest to that, but it does the job of moisturizing the under eye area.

 

2. Conceal. Spot conceal any dark spots, acne scars, or problem areas you have. Many of us have redness around the nose, so that’s a good area to dab a little concealer if you’re not planning on wearing any liquid foundation. I have been absolutely loving the Urban Decay Naked Concealer. It’s creamy, pigmented, does not settle into my fine lines, and the applicator makes it very easy to work with. Not all concealers can be used for both the face and under eye area, but this one definitely can.

 

If you’re dealing with any blemishes, I love the CoverFx Blemish Treatment Concealer. It has 1% salicylic acid in it to treat blemishes while concealing. It blends like a dream and has great coverage for those spots.
Don’t forget to blend, blend, blend! I just use my fingers to gently dab in and blend the concealer.

 

3. Set. This Hello Flawless Powder by Benefit is AMAZING. I have been using it for years now to set my foundation or even for a little extra coverage on lighter makeup days like this. It has a natural satin finish which isn’t too dry or powdery on my dry skin. It literally does make your skin look flawless and the powder is so smooth and finely milled. I recommend using a big round fluffy brush to apply.

 

4. Brighten. A good blush can really wake up your face and bring it back to life. I have been using the Becca Mineral Blush in Flowerchild, which is a peachy pink blush with golden highlights. Dust your blush of choice onto the apples of your cheek and slightly upward in a straight line up to your ear. This will make your cheekbones pop.

 

5. Shape and Set. Use light strokes to fill in your brows with a brow pencil or for a more natural look, you can use an eyebrow powder or matte eye shadow with an angled brush to fill in your brows. A good rule of thumb for those of us with dark hair is to choose a color a couple shades lighter than your hair to give the most natural effect. And for those who have blonde hair, go a couple shades darker.
An optional step is to set your brows with a brow gel/mascara to keep them in place. I have been using the L’oreal Brow Stylist Plumper Brow Gel Mascara in the color Light/Medium. It also comes in the shades Transparent and Medium/Dark. Since I’ve lightened my hair with my ombre/balayage highlights, I’ve actually been liking using the light medium color because it gives my brows an overall lighter appearance.

 

6. Accentuate. Curl those lashes and put on a couple coats of mascara to really bring out your lashes and wake up your eyes. Since I have straight Asian lashes, 99% of the time, you’ll find me using waterproof mascara since it tends to hold my curl much better. I was recommended to try the Maybelline Lash Sensational Mascara by my girlfriend Josephine and I have been loving it. Thanks Jo!

 

Sometimes, if I have even less than 5 minutes, I’ll only use steps 1, 2, and 6 before I head out the door.

 

Thanks for reading and let me know if you have any recommendations or what you like to use for your “No Makeup” Makeup Looks!

 

xo,
Juliana
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Summer Sunday Feels

I LOVE Sundays. To me, Sundays were made for sleeping in, lounging, recharging, but also enjoying some Sunday Funday time! We had a family birthday party to go to this past weekend and I had the Sunday feels. I had no idea what I wanted to wear when I walked into my closet, but I knew that I didn’t want to have to think too much about it. And to my, and hubby’s surprise, I left the house in the first outfit and pair of shoes I put on… I know, shocker!😉

The trick to that relaxed and effortless Sunday look that you can also feel fab enough to go to brunch in is having the right key pieces.

Here are a few tips on using pieces from your closet to create your summer sunday look:

  1. An effortless one piece outfit. I chose this polka dot H&M piece out of my closet because all I needed to do was literally throw it on and tie a bow. Done! Other pieces that would work well would be rompers/jumpsuits, a maxi dress, or a sheath dress.
  2. A pair of shoes you can “slip” into. I am a BIG fan of slip on shoes, mostly because I love the feeling of my feet being free. It must be the California girl in me that grew up in flippy floppies pretty much 365 days of the year. So when I discovered these mules I thought to myself, “slip on shoes that come in heel form?!” That was a no brainer for me!
  3. Statement accessory. I felt a hat worked best to pull this look together. Find whatever works for your outfit/mood/style to tie everything in.



  

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Forever 21 Hat | H&M Dress | Forever 21 Heels

I hope you’re having a wonderful Sunday! Thanks for reading!

xo,

Juliana

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Rainy Day Essentials

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Living in Vancouver, you definitely learn to appreciate two things. The first is: sunshine, because when it’s sunny here, it’s BE-AU-TIFUL. And the second thing is a great rain jacket.

Here are the essentials that get me through those rainy days:

1. A Solid Rain Jacket. For a city that rains so much, you don’t see THAT many umbrellas. And I am all for this, because I am not the biggest fan of umbrellas. After living in NYC, I developed a secret fear of getting my eyes poked out by one of those unnecessarily pointed tips. Plus, why do umbrellas have to take up so much room??😉 I would much prefer a light rain jacket with a hood. I love this jacket because it has a feminine cinch at the waist, nice zipper detailing, and best of all there’s a little hood that can be zipped away.

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2. A Pair of “Are those rain boots?” Rain Boots.  I love a cute pair of rain boots that have fun funky designs… but the forecast isn’t always accurate and sometimes that rainy day turns into a beautiful sunny day, which is exactly what happened the day these photos were taken. And when that happens, it’s good to be wearing a versatile boot.

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3. Hair Texturizing Spray. There’s nothing that can ruin a good hair day like humidity and rain. When this happens, I like to spray my favorite sea salt spray into my hair and give it a scrunch to give my hair some texture and dimension. That way, I turn my frizz into something more manageable. My favorite texturizing spray since cutting my hair short is the Not Your Mother’s Beach Babe Texturizing Sea Salt Spray infused with Dead Sea Salt & Sea Kelp. It can be found at Target and Ulta in the U.S. but I haven’t found it in Canada yet.

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4. My Best Fur-iend. Okay, Toby, our little Corgi is pretty much an every day essential. The handsome little fellow even has his own rain jacket. It’s pretty much normal to see dogs in rain jackets in Vancouver.🙂

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Zara Jacket | Garage Top | H&M Scarf (similar here) | Grey Skinny Jeans (similar here) | H&M necklace (similar here) | Brown’s B2 Rain Boot (similar styles here)

Thanks for reading!

xo,

Juliana

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Cabo Dreams

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Wanderlust is real. I’m a couple days past Earth day now, but I think it’s safe to say that Mother Earth wouldn’t mind us celebrating her every day. We live on such a beautiful planet and I want to be able to see as much of it as possible. The sun was meant to be felt, the water to be splashed, the sand to be squished between your toes. 

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There is a quote about travel that is just  perfect. 

“Travel is like love, mostly because it’s a heightened state of awareness, in which we are mindful, receptive, undimmed by familiarity and ready to be transformed. That is why the best trips, like the best love affairs, never really end.”

 -Pico Iyer

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When I travel to a new place, there are three things that I feel I must do for the trip to feel complete. 

1. Relax. Isn’t that the reason that we call it a vacation after all? I spent most of March working my little bootay off. I worked 6 days a week for weeks, sometimes working 11 hour days with close to an hour commute each way. Needless to say, by the time the end of March rolled around, I was exhausted and in much need of a vacation. And also, sometimes you just need to get away!

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2. Adventure. What better way to see a place than to jump right in? Although I don’t consider myself particularly coordinated or gifted when it comes to sports, I do like adventure! We stayed at the Hacienda Encantada resort and were lucky enough to arrive at the resort just before the last horseback riding tour for the week left! There is something that makes you feel so in touch with nature when you are riding a horse.  

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3. Seeing the culture. The REAL stuff. I love seeing the native foods. Okay, well also smelling and tasting the native foods😉. I love observing the customs of different cultures, the way people in different places interact with each other, and the experiencing the local flavor. People watching is the best when you’re on vacation. I love to see all the intertwinings of what makes a place special. It’s like watching the inner gears of a watch. They all seem to be moving independently of each other but when you look at the big picture, it’s all working together so beautifully in perfect synchrony. 

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I can’t wait ’til the next adventure!

xo,

Juliana

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My love/hate relationship with white jeans

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I have a love/hate relationship with white pants… I think every girl can relate. White jeans can be your best friend in the summer time. That is, if you don’t live in a city where you have super/hot and sticky summers… like NYC. Ahhhh I definitely miss summer days in New York City. What I don’t miss is that sticky, sweaty, clammy omg-I-just-stepped-outside-and-I-already-need-another-shower feeling you have 98% of the time. But I digress! You can frolic in your white jeans from daytime right into the night time by just popping on a pair of pumps! And unless you’re some kind of Bond girl that can run marathons in heels (if you are, You go girl!), at this point you should probably stop the frolicking because, well, you might just hurt yourself. Also, if you’re as clumsy as me… you can wear your white pants for about 2.2 hours before you spill some kind of ketchup, mustard, relish or guacamole on yourself. Can you tell I love hot dogs and Mexican food? So, ladies, be sure to equip yourself with a Tide to go pen or Shout wipes. You won’t regret it.🙂

Dynamite top | Guess jeans | Michael Kors pumps | Express clutch | Nordstrom Rack necklace | Michael Kors watch

xo,

Juliana

Just In Time for Summer

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Well hello there! It’s been a while since my last post on Inspire Me, Mon Ami. Since my last post, I celebrated my 27th birthday (the first one ever as a Canadian), moved into a new apartment, got our first puppy, and finally started working. Toby, our little Corgi, was my 27th birthday present… one I will never forget. As a first time dog owner, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. As soon as I found out we were getting Toby, like a soon-to-be mother, I started reading tons of books on Corgis and training/taking care of puppies.

 

 

Before I knew it, he was here and Matt and I gave him every ounce of our time. During puppy potty training, they say that before you do ANYTHING in the morning, you take your puppy out to go to the bathroom. So… I did as I was told. Often times, I would be in my flannel PJs, nothing on my face other than my glasses and a giant messy morning hair bun, taking out little Tobes. And it’s not like I live in a quiet cul-de-sac where no one would see me. I live in Downtown Vancouver where not only do I have many neighbors, but I have many friendly neighbors.

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So… as a new fur-mother, shame went out the window along with any worries of how cute my outfit looked that day. At one point, I even considered chopping off my locks and trading in my ‘do for a bob. I’m still only half kidding about that… haha but for these past few months, I put almost everything aside to focus on our little furry little family member and my new career. And now that I’m getting used to work life and doggy owner life, I’m back at it with Inspire Me, Mon Ami… and just in time for summer! Thank you so much for reading!

xo,

Juliana

 

Windsor Kimono | Windsor Crop Top | Zara Jeans | Forever 21 Sandals

And here is the little guy making his first appearance on the blog.🙂

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