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 🙂

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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Not to be Cliche, But ‘New Year, New Me!’ is in Full Effect

I’m so sore today. Why did I do that to myself yesterday? Why did I do all those leg and abs exercises? Ugh. For someone who has not been to the gym in a while (2 months) I really felt like hurling after my workout yesterday. As much as I despise New Year’s resolutions, I think they are necessary if realistic. With each passing year, I’ve always set a goal for myself but it always falls through midyear. This year, in 2015, I’m going to try something new and only do monthly goals. They say it takes 21 days to make or break a habit, so here’s what the next three months will look like for me:

January 2015: This month’s goal is to hit the gym two days a week and yoga once a week. Yesterday was the first day back at the gym. My boyfriend, who is also training me, showed no mercy and I doubt he will go easy on me in any of our future workouts.

February 2015: February is all about eating healthy. I’ve started eating a salad a day, whether it be for my full meal or as a side, but this month will be all about fruits! I never eat enough, so I’m going to start eating an apple and a banana a day. Yum!

March 2015: This month, I think, will be the hardest. No eating out and no takeout. None whatsoever. I spent so much money in 2014 on dinning out and takeout when I could have made my own meal, so this month will be a big change in diet and finances. So just a heads up friends, don’t invite me out, we will be having dinner parties instead! 

For some motivation to tackle this month’s goal, I decided I want to lose 5 pounds. Weighing in at 123 pounds on Friday, January 9, I hope to be at a healthy 118 by February 1st. Hey 2015, let’s do this.

“The only way to keep your health is to eat what you don’t want, drink what you don’t like, and do what you’d rather not.” – Mark Twain

My Top 5 Beauty Items

Last week, my friends tagged me on a challenge to pick my top 5 beauty items that I can’t live without. My list is not that long, but the number of products that I own has tripled in size ever since I started blogging. Some products have rotated off my dresser, and others have made it into my daily regimen. It’s actually kind of embarrassing because I’m always carrying 3 or 4 makeup bags around since I never know what I will need, and when I will need it. I’m still trying to figure it out, but I do have a couple of products that I absolutely love. Here are the five products that I use on a daily basis…and figuratively speaking, I probably could not live without:

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Tea Tree Squeaky Clean Scrub (The Body Shop)

Laser FX Bright Serum (Dr. Brandt)

Prep & Soothe Daily Moisturizer (Clear Clinic)

They’re Real! Mascara (Benefit Cosmetics)

Tinted Lip Balm in Hibiscus (Burt’s Bees)


When I first started this beauty journey, I was pretty lost about what to try, when to try it, and sometimes, even how to try it. I have not been blogging for very long, but I have one very strict rule that I abide by since I’ve started –  cleansing my face twice a day. For some people, it’s suggested that they only wash their face once a day, in the evening, to prevent dryness. But I have fairly normal skin (holla!) and my skin benefits from two thorough washes a day. Read More…