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


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…


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?

A Note to Bloggers: Beware of Scammers

For me, blogging is just a hobby. I don’t get paid to do it. I do it on my own time, whenever I want. But for most of the people that I have come across, blogging is a job. It’s a full-time commitment that pays the bills and puts food on the table. Blogging can easily become a job through product review, advertising, and endorsements. This week, a “company” wanted to collaborate with me on I Sort of Beauty, and it didn’t take long for me to realize that it was a fake solicitor.

I’m naming the company because I would hope that this does not happen to anyone else. Two weeks ago, Tops Wedding reached out to me on email to ask me to collaborate with them. Here’s how it went:

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Work It: My Working Out Update

Did I ever mention how much I dread doing leg presses? I can press my own weight now, but it comes with so much pain the next morning. I remember the first time I tried to press my weight (120 pounds) last month and I pinched a nerve. I stretched and did everything right after my workout, but didn’t soak my body in warm water to soothe my muscles.

The other night, right after my workout, I got home and jumped right in the tub and soaked my body in Adovia Dead Sea Bath Salt. The product claims that the minerals,

 bring fast relief from aches, pains and bothersome skin conditions. Turn your bath into a pain relieving, rejuvenating spa with the potency and effectiveness of Dead Sea Bath Salt.

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The Dead Sea Bath Salt contains magnesium, potassium, bromides and calcium chlorides. All of these minerals contribute to the therapeutic benefits, and reduces inflammation and discomfort – exactly what I need after a two hour workout. I dissolved one cup of the Dead Sea Bath Salt into a tub of warm/hot water. After soaking in the tub for 20 minutes, I followed up with a steamy shower. The next day, I was still in a bit of pain, but no where near what I experienced that last time I was at the gym…and a bonus? My skin felt super soft afterwards. (Retail: $24)

photo 5Mainly, I  focus on abs because I want a tight core, but I do other workouts at the gym as well. I have not used a jump rope since I was in middle school, but I’ve been using one lately to work on my cardio. It’s a lightweight 10ft long cable and spins super fast. As a beginner,  I was skeptical about this jump rope because it actually hurts if you miss a step and hit yourself by accident. You can imagine that a clumsy person like myself got hit a couple of times before I got it right. After a couple of tries, I got into the groove easily. I find the cable a bit too long, but it can be adjusted to suit the user’s height. According to the site:


  • Rope Handle Turns at a 90 Degree angle to prevent tangling and bending.
  • The Secret Sauce to Blasting Fat is by doing 50-100 jump ropes, a few times and a few minutes daily, anytime and anywhere! 
  • The rope is also very light, making it easy for beginners to master double and even triple unders. 
  • This is a wire rope so WIRE CUTTERS may be needed to cut the rope. Made of very tough material, meant to increase durability for the rope regardless of the environment you train in. Perfect for Cross Fitness Training, Boxing, Endurance Training & General Cardio
  • PORTABLE – With the rope, you also get a nylon bag to carry it in so you can bring it with you everywhere and Start Jump Roping when you have a few moments!

I’m still excited for my ‘new year, new me’ body! 2015 is just two months in and I can’t wait until Summer is here.

Are you working out? What do you use to soothe your muscles after a workout? What tools do you use to workout with? Tell me in the comments section below!