Current Obsession: Hair Products

Maybe it is because I just got a haircut last week, but I have been going the extra mile in tending my locks recently to make sure that they stay nourished despite me drying it out with the hair dye. My relationship with my hair has always been a love/hate one. Ever since high school, I have been damaging it with multiple dyes, perms, hair straightening treatments, etc. I often joke that it is miracle that I am not bald yet with all of the “drama” my hair has been through!

I recently restocked some of my favorite hair care items in my home since I was running low and thought it was the perfect time to share some of my secrets below! With the usage and the combination of these items, I have noticed a major improvement in the condition of my hair. I am no longer cringing every single time I touch my dry ends. Instead, my hair has gotten dramatically silkier, smoother, and softer. HORRAY!

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First and foremost, I do not wash my hair every single day. Contrary to common misconception, I do not think hair gets that dirty just by being out and about.… READ FULL POST

Weekend Reads: June

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Photo: Inspiration Feed

I am so excited that it is time for me to update y’all on some of my favorite books from the month of June! This month was particularly insane with moving, chaperoning field trips, wrapping up the school year, etc. so I was scrambling until earlier yesterday to finish all of the books on the list before writing this post.

While selecting the books that I wanted to read for this month, and later recommend, I tried to pick ones that were the quintessential “summer/beach reads.” Not to worry, though, if that is not your thing! I also managed to sneak on the list a few books that have the perfect killer plot (no pun intended!) or inspirational anecdotes to jumpstart another glorious season in 2015! Enjoy!

June Book List

Secrets haunt people. The more you try to avoid them, the more it will have a devastating effect on your life when they are finally revealed. Big Little Lies tells the story of a group of moms whose children all attend the same primary school. In the very beginning of the book, we know that something horrendous happens to one of the parents at the school later on.… READ FULL POST

Five Highlights of the Week

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Photo: Mashable

Hellooooo, summer break! I have missed you and have been secretly (okay, maybe not-so-secretly) pining for you for what seems like eternity.

I have been officially “off” teacher-mode since this past Tuesday and let me tell you, summer vacation for educators surely lives up to the hype. Honestly, the last few days have been about nothing but relaxing, working out, and getting my groove back! It has been glorious and I cannot wait to keep up this lifestyle until early August, when I am due back at work. Of course, the next month or so is not only about fun and games. I have a huge load of pre-work for the next academic year that is due the minute I step back inside our school building. John and I are also also still slowly chipping away at fixing and cleaning up our brand-new apartment. Nevertheless, I am grateful for this time off and the rejuvenation that is coming my way!

With that said, here are some of my “top hits” from this week:

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1. I get haircuts about three to four times a year. When I go, it is usually not to get a trim, but to make some pretty significant changes since I do not really want to pay $70-80 just to cut a few inches, ya know?… READ FULL POST

How to Plan Your Workout Routine

I think it would be hard to find another gal who likes structure and routine more so than me. I love consistency. I love knowing what to expect in my future, both in twenty minutes and a year from now. Of course, this does not mean that I do not leave room for the unknown. In fact, because I am so use to routines in my daily life, I am often delighted by an unexpected surprise and would seek out a spontaneous adventure every now and then. Part of the reason why I rely so heavily on my routines (and am also a stickler at making ’em!) is because I know myself very well–if I do not make a plan and follow it, I would be too lazy to have the discipline needed to set something up along the way.

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Photo: Title Boxing Club

Fitness falls directly into this category. Working out is not something that comes naturally for me. It is something that I know I should be doing in order to stay fit, both mentally and physically. Therefore, I knew I had to come up with a few different ways to motivate myself so that I stay on track and go to my classes at least five times a week, if not more!… READ FULL POST

Wishlist Wednesday: Beautiful Beaches (Guest Post by Grace)

While we were texting, Lisa gleefully informed me that today was the first day of her summer break.  While I am definitely happy that she gets a well-deserved rest, there is a petulant little girl in me that is pouting because those of us with 9-5 jobs don’t get a 3 month vacation.  Hence, this week’s “Wishlist Wednesday” is a mental vacation post (because who doesn’t love a trip to the beach?!).  The beach has always been my relaxing refuge, and listening to the waves is guaranteed to make me feel better.  So read on for a few beaches I’d love to escape to!

1) Cannon Beach, OR

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Even though I’ve only been here once, this beach is one of the first that pops in my head when I think of relaxing beaches.  A friend and I went on Memorial Day a few years ago, and perhaps we got there at the perfect time because the beach was almost deserted, the sun was setting beautifully on the Pacific (I’m quite partial to the colors of a Northwest sunset), and it was absolutely serene.  I hope to go back again soon, and hopefully enjoy a few hours of blissful tranquility.… READ FULL POST

Current Obsession: Nordstrom Summer Clearance Sale

With Nordstrom’s Summer Clearance Sale now active, I am really excited to share with y’all some of my favorite picks! Although the sale is on until June 28th, be sure to act fast when purchasing– some of these clothing items are already gone in quite a few sizes! A few of the accessories are also currently backordered 🙁

Note: since Nordstrom offers free shipping on all items, do not wait to have all of your goodies picked out before checking out. Check out as you go so you do not end up with an empty cart since nothing is reserved until you press that final “submit order” button!

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First row: Maggy London Floral DressCaslon Maxi Dress (currently only $30!), Lush Kylie Skater Dress (currently only $28!)

Second row: Lush Woven Shirt (currently only $23!), Topshop Lace Shoulder Top (currently only $30!), Free People Side Tie Top (currently only $40!)

unnamed-1First row: Kendra Scott Rayne Necklace (I am OBSESSED with these and bought two during this sale– the magenta and the turquoise!), Marc by Marc Jacobs New Q (best bag purchase I have made this year yet!), Michael Kors Amelia Watch

Second row: Tory Burch Chandler SandalKate Spade Initial Necklace (I bought one for myself and one for my boyfriend’s little sister during the Christmas season last year– they are so elegant and simple!), Tory Burch Slim Diana ClutchKate Spade New York Small Studs (currently only $30— I have three pairs and love switching them up!)

As always, let us know if you have found other goodies worth sharing!READ FULL POST

9 Things I Learned About Clean Eating (Guest Post by Mara)

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If there is one person I would trust to provide me guidance and advice on living a healthy and clean lifestyle, it would be Ms. Mara. Mara and I first met during my freshmen (her junior) year at Cornell. Immediately, I knew I wanted to be her friend. She just radiates positivity and happiness. In fact, I do not think I have ever met a single soul who had anything negative to say about her (which is a very rare trait nowadays!) We bonded over many common interests and have stayed the best of friends ever since. Although she currently lives on the other side of the country in Arizona, we keep in contact pretty much daily and swap countless stories about what we are doing to keep up the healthy and active lifestyle 🙂 I am SO grateful that she decided to take the time to share her tips and tricks as to what she is doing to maintain a sustainable clean diet despite having a hectic schedule.

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Welcome to the LisaTChen blogging community, Mara!

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Googling “clean eating program” generates pages upon pages of results, and intuitively we know what to do (no processed foods, less sugar, moderation, etc.READ FULL POST

Five Highlights of the Week

I just got back tonight from a four days, three nights camping adventure with my oh-so-energetic kiddos to Virginia. What a trip! I can honestly say that I have a newfound appreciation toward parents– especially ones who have more than one child! Taking care of forty scholars (and their ever-changing needs) twenty-four hours a day was no easy feat. On top of that, our anticipated four hour bus ride back today turned into an eight hour adventure because our bus driver got lost and traffic was a nightmare (oh, by the way, did I forget to mention that the air conditioning on the bus broke toward the beginning of the ride?!) Needless to say, I am mentally and physically spent, and will definitely be taking this entire weekend to fully recuperate!

With that said, this week was also one full of crazy “highs” for me and I know I will be focusing more on remembering these moments (rather than the exhaustion) in the long run!

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1. I officially moved out of my studio apartment this past Monday! It was such a bittersweet moment. As you guys know, I loved every moment of living there. Unfortunately, the space was just too limited for both John and I.… READ FULL POST

Wishlist Wednesday: Home Edition (Guest Post by Grace)

Since Lisa is in the process of moving into her new apartment, I figured it would be somewhat fitting to do a home decor themed post.  Maybe it’s because I’m transitioning into my mid-20s, but I’ve been noticing more and more that the things that catch my eye in store windows happen to be decor related, and I’ll find myself thinking how nice something would look in my future home.  However, because I currently don’t have a need to be decorating and apartment, today’s post should also be subtitled “Things I Would Buy for My Place If I Didn’t Have to Think About Money.” So read on for a quick few items I’ve come across that I’d love to decorate with!
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I came across this chair while at Restoration Hardware with a friend a few weeks ago, and it was SO comfortable!  Even if I can’t realistically afford this specific one, a slightly more affordable option will be definitely a must in my future home for curling up with a cup of tea and a good book.

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Since I started with the chair, I have to have a nice snuggly throw blanket to go with it.  How else am I supposed to ward off the chill as I sit engrossed in my latest book?!  … READ FULL POST

Current Obsession: Summer Polish

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Photo: Essie

Whenever I need to de-stress from an exhausting week, I try to pamper myself with a mani-pedi. In Brooklyn, I have found a few places near me that are friendly, clean, and cheap. Usually, I can get a mani-pedi combination for around $25 (tip included!) so I do not have to feel too guilty for indulging once every other week or so 🙂

With summer vacation rapidly approaching, I have found myself constantly reaching for the brighter colors. However, I have also realized that vibrant colors are not necessarily the only ones I can go for that will make my nails “pop.” I have found a few shades of richer/darker colors that will also absolutely work for this time of the year!

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My most recent mani-pedi shade. Check out the name of this color below!

Here are some of my current favorites (Note: You will see that I choose exclusively from the brand Essie. After trying out multiple brands, I have found that Essie works the best for me. I usually love the colors in their collections and they will last me a good a week and a half before I have to repaint my nails.… READ FULL POST