Long Distance Loving

Hotel Rooms & New Places

For me, the best part about being in a relationship is constantly finding new ways to have fun with my guy. He’s in Waltham, MA and I’m in the Bronx, NY so most of our relationship is digital over text messages, phone calls, and FaceTimes. I get to see him every two or three weeks (which feels like forever, btw) but when he’s here we always try to make the most of our time together.

My boyfriend recently came to visit last week and stayed for the weekend. We’ve been to hotels and Airbnbs in the past and I’ve always wanted to highlight the places we get to stay at. This time, we were at Four Points by Sheraton in Long Island City.

I forgot to take pics when we walked in, but the interior is modern and clean. The service was quick and easy with no delays. However, there is only one person at the front desk so checking out was unnecessarily lengthy because there was someone in front of us trying to check in.

The bed was pretty comfy and was close to a big window that overlooks some neighboring buildings. I love sun drenched rooms in the morning so the location of this specific room was perfect for us as well.

We’ve got a running joke scoring the bathrooms at the places we’re at. I don’t remember how it started but the bathroom is usually the first place we check when we arrive. The bathroom here was a little too close to the bed in the living area and the toiletries looked cheap. However, it was very clean, well lit,  and the walk in shower with shampoo, conditioner, and body wash dispensers added a nice touch.

 

We also loveee to order in when we’re together. Sometimes we’ll go out for lunch or dinner but staying in and eating together is more fun because we get to just be ourselves and not disrupt anyone. Four Points also offers a decently priced breakfast service that we took advantage of the morning we had to check-out. I had eggs with sausage and home fries. My boyfriend had pancakes with bacon. The home fries were the best, both well seasoned and delicious.

Overall, we had a really lovely stay. The next time I get to see him will be during Valentine’s Day weekend. This hotel was on the list of places I’d like to stay at that weekend, but we ended up booking at Aloft Long Island City – Manhattan View instead. I’m so excited I get to keep experiencing these new places with him.

This will always be my favorite thing about being in a relationship. There’s always something to look forward to when I get to see him. It’s true what they say… distance does make the heart grow fonder.

My 2018 Accountability Partner is an App

“There’s an app for that” was the first thing my friend said after I told him I wished I could track my daily movements and meals better. After our workout, he encouraged me to download MyFitnessPal. I was determined to start logging my meals, tracking workouts, and setting weight goals.

This was last year, February 2017.

It didn’t take long  for me to get bored of my new shiny new toy. The “hassle” of having to keep up with the app and remembering to count calories became laborious and I grew more and more disinterested in it. A week later,  I deleted it without really giving the app a fair chance.

Fast forward to November 2017

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I’ve been back on it for over a month now and I think I’ve figured out how to stay on it and be consistent. If you’re looking for a way to stick with your 2018 health and wellness resolutions, consider MyFitnessPal. Here are some tips and things to think about to get you started:

  1. Be intentional: Are you serious about your goals? I knew exactly what I wanted and needed from the app last year but because I wasn’t serious about my goals it resulted in me losing interest quickly. MyFitnessPal is a great accountability partner but no one and nothing can keep you accountable if you don’t want it 1000% – full stop.
  2. Make friends: I know this sounds silly, but consider making friends on this app if you plan on sticking with it long term. The first thing I did after re-downloading in November was going straight to the community board to find like minded people. I now have friends to  share workout ideas and questions with. I cheer people on and the love is reciprocated on days that I need it most. MFP fitfam will keep you going when you want to give up.
  3. Plan when to log and stick to it: DO. NOT. BE. THAT. ANNOYING. PERSON. LOGGING. FOOD. AT. THE DINNER. TABLE. Repeat that like 2 or 3 more times until you get me. When I first started logging my food again, I didn’t have a process so I’d log when the meal was in front of me. This may not work for everyone but I try and map out my meals at the beginning of the day and make adjustments in my free time or after the day is over. Whether you plan and log it in the AM,PM, or sporadically,  just don’t do it in front of your friends or family… they tend to get annoyed (which is totally fair).
  4. Don’t skimp on the calories: I always thought that counting calories was stupid until I realized that it truly works for my weight loss plan. The food library in MFP is pretty robust but the calorie count can be all over the place depending on how the food is prepared. Make  sure you give  details of the food, size, and how it’s cooked. This will help with a more accurate output of what the calorie amount should be.
  5. FullSizeRender-4Join Challenges and Win: If creating better lifestyle habits is not enough of an incentive to stick with this, there are challenges that anyone on MFP can join to win cool prizes. Currently, I’m enrolled in the Special K #FuelYourResolution and the White Claw Pure Start challenges. Each challenge tracks your progress by number of times you track workouts and foods logged and selects a winner at the end. It’s a cool way to compete with others and stay on track.
  6. Have fun!: This stuff is hard. If it were easy everyone would be doing it. Don’t be so hard on yourself if you go over the calorie limit for the day, didn’t hit your step goal, or missed the gym. Go at your own pace and have fun doing it! The results will come. Here’s mine…

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If you’re considering joining, my username is keepnguyening. Add me! Looking forward to seeing you on there 🙂

Back At It (Again)

Two years ago, I said I was going to start blogging again and come back to this site. TWO. YEARS. Time really flies by when life is busy happening. Every once in a while, I’d say to myself “I should get back to blogging at some point” but it just never became a priority.

Up until recently I’ve thought about blogging more and more. I started losing some weight and that became my motivation for writing because I wanted to document my journey. At my heaviest, I was 157 pounds. I knew I had to eventually do something about my weight gain, but like blogging, for some reason it never became a priority. I had gained 25+ pounds over the past year and a half, and I started to lose much of it in October 2017. 

At first, it happened pretty organically. I traveled to Vietnam for 2 weeks and came back almost 10 pounds lighter due to diet and mostly staying active every day – not to mention, it was hot as hell. It jumpstarted my fitness journey when I got back to the states and I’ve been working out and eating well consistently ever since. I’ve lost close to 20 pounds altogether and I’m determined to lose about 10 more to get to my weight goal.  

Getting my body back has been a life-changing and rewarding experience. I’m learning that it’s really not about the number on the scale. No matter what size I was, I was genuinely happy with all of my accomplishments and where I was in life. Focusing on me has made me realize how fulfilling it feels to work on the most important project in life that takes commitment and dedication. 

If there’s anything this past year has taught me, it’s that there’s no time like the present. It’s easy to push things off because we simply “don’t have time” or think too much about what we did in the past past or capable of in the future, but there’s always time and having the “right now, right here” mentality is the best attitude to tackle anything. Most importantly, if it means a great deal to you, you’ll always get back at it (again).

Good luck with all of your challenging resolutions for 2018. Oh, and Happy New Year!

When to Throw Out Makeup? “Never” Isn’t The Answer!

This is so embarrassing, but I feel like I need to just get it out there before I say anything else in this post – I have a really bad habit of hoarding makeup. Yeah, it’s as bad as you’d imagine. It’s bizarre considering that I’ve never been a hoarder in my life. During college, I moved around a lot so I was always keen on throwing away personal items, no matter how sentimental or precious. But when I started beauty blogging, I’ve kept products (regardless if they worked or not) stocked in my bedroom.Recently, I made the bold, but sad, decision to toss everything. Well, maybe not everything, but a lot of products. I know some of my fellow beauty bloggers out there are also guilty of this. While it may make you feel like a beauty queen with all those drawers filled with beauty products (like me) here are some reasons to start tossing it all out:

    1. You can ruin your own skin: No, I’m not exaggerating! It’s never happened to me (thankfully), but I’ve seen other people break out with rashes and inflamed areas of their skin. It’s  bad  to the point where they have to stop wearing makeup for some time and need to let their skin breathe and heal. Literally, bacteria=gross.
    2. It doesn’t even look good on you (#justsaying): I cringe whenever I find out that people use eyedroppers in their mascara just to keep it “alive” a little longer. Girlfriend, let it gooo! Clumpy mascara is such a big no-no. Also, you do know that you’re just letting the bacteria fester, right? Pro-tip: I get an Ipsy bag every month and so far, have received mascara in every bag. Even though they’re just samples, they last just as long as the regular size (3 months). You should be throwing out your makeup if it smells, looks, and feels different on your skin. And please, NEVER add anything to your products just to keep it lasting a bit longer. It’s not worth it!
    3. Would you eat old food?: A friend asked me this the other day and it didn’t make sense to me until I started throwing out my old products. Bottom line, you wouldn’t want to eat expired food, so why would you let your skin soak up expired  products that are probably crawling with bacteria?
    4. You think you are saving money, but you’re not: My biggest reason for not wanting to toss out the old products was because I didn’t want to “waste” money and I had this insane idea that if I tossed it out, I would somehow end up needing it later. Crazy, I know. That is such backwards logic, it’s not even funny. While my stockpile of expired makeup got bigger, I kept packing on new makeup to compensate for what I couldn’t use but didn’t want to throw out. It got bad because I was spending more money on makeup when I didn’t really need to. May not be the case for you, but a lot of it also has to do with my inability to give into beauty temptation! 🙂
    5. Your life and your boyfriend/girlfriend will thank you: Throwing out old makeup and skincare products did wonders for my living space. Little by little, my bedroom was clear of clutter and I felt good knowing that I didn’t have to worry about breaking out because I’m using my blush 3 months later than the expiration date. My boyfriend, if you know him from my past posts, was also relieved that I finally got rid of most of makeup…little does he know, I’ll be restocking pretty soon. 

Here’s a list from popsugar on when to throw out makeup products:

Screen Shot 2015-11-22 at 8.51.17 PMWhat’s a product you keep around even though you know it’s expired?

I SORT OF BEAUTY IS BACK!

When I first started I Sort of Beauty, the goal was just to document my experiences with beauty. Real talk, I think it turned into more than I was capable of handling at the time, and I ended up having to put it on hold. In the past couple of months, while I Sort of Beauty went offline, I’ve had a lot of life changes. I’ve started a new career in tech, explored my love for cooking, and just purely focused on my many life goals. I think I’m in a somewhat stable point in my life where I can finally dedicate time to my little corner of the internet again. 

I was planning to roll out a new and improved look after the new year, but there really is no time like the present. I’m really happy to be back and share my beauty experiences with you all again! Please subscribe and check out my future posts.

xoxo,
Linda