Happy Holidays + My Favorite Things

My best friend and I wish you happy holidays!

Hi Friends!

Whoa that was fast! I am very glad that it is holiday season though because for the first time, I partook in traditions like buying / decorating an Christmas tree (seen above!), writing holiday cards, attending holiday parties and charity events, and volunteering. All of these things have made me feel very warm!

I also wanted to say thank you to those of you who read this blog. I really appreciate the support and your visits to the PLACE.

For today’s post, I wanted to share *a few of my favorite things* (like the song) this year that brought me a lot of delight, joy, gratitude and/or otherwise warm and fuzzy feelings. I hope that some of these things will also make you feel good, or at least make you think of what brought you happiness this year. I think it’s important to pay attention to these good things so we don’t take them for granted. Enjoy!


 Screen Shot 2015-12-20 at 9.29.56 PMI rave about these lipsticks because they are quickly replacing the traditional lipstick bullet (at least they have in my make up bag). These formulas deliver a lot of color with a matte finish, and they don’t budge at all once they’re dry. They’re also way easier to apply than a traditional lipstick, and don’t require a lip liner to delineate a shape. If you’re looking to try out different make up looks, I’d say experimenting with a lip color is an easy way to go, and it doesn’t get much easier than a liquid lip color.


Screen Shot 2015-12-21 at 4.22.23 PMThis year, our girl came out with her number ones compilation along with her newest single ‘Infinity’ (which ironically was not a number one BUT was a solid break-up song). I don’t need any excuse to listen to Mariah Carey but I LOVED that this re-release made her songs relevant in the charts and radio again. According to my Spotify account, she is my most played artist of 2015 – not surprising.  I was also blessed enough to attend her concert in Vegas, which was a once-in-a-lifetime and almost religious event for me. I have to give thanks to Mariah for her many songs that helped me relish the good times, mourn the sad times, and, of course, celebrate x-mas with the one and only ‘All I Want for Christmas is You”.


Screen Shot 2015-12-21 at 4.20.01 PMI love multifunctional pieces and I’m a huge fan of the huge chunky scarf. What I love most about this is that they really do keep your neck and chest very warm as a scarf when you’re outside, but if you’re inside and it’s kind of drafty (yet not cold), you can throw it over as a shawl or even a small blanket. I feel a little glamorous too with a big scarf – very fitting for the season! Zara has a great selection of these pieces.


I’m really grateful that Ted exists as a platform for anyone with internet to listen to researchers, educators, activists, artists, experts in their field etc. share what they’ve learned in their line of work. For most of us, this knowledge is free! True that TED lectures don’t go in-depth I am also excited to attend a TedX talk in Berkeley next Feb. Here are a few talks that have  been really fascinating to me.

On Stress | On Microbes | On Vulnerability | On Depression


Screen Shot 2015-12-21 at 4.20.33 PMWhile I’ve never identified as spiritual, I find it curious when the stars seem to align (or when life coincidences take on meaning). The author of this book is from Brazil and originally wrote it in Portuguese, and while I’d been interested in reading the book several years ago, I was reminded of it while visiting the local bookstore shortly after I’d returned from my trip to Rio de Janeiro. The most incredible part of my time in Rio was reconnecting with someone I’d consider my soul sister, and sharing our experiences and stories. It’s interesting I’d happen upon this book so soon after my trip, and as I was reading, I kept going back to these conversations we’d had during our time.

It’s a great story about finding one’s life purpose, and it’s jam-packed with a lot of great quotes. This one is my favorite: “And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it“. Think about it.


Screen Shot 2015-12-21 at 9.01.30 PMLike many, I listen to music every day, and have been for as long as I can remember. I’m so grateful that music streaming makes all kinds of music (except for Taylor Swift but whatever) available whenever for the $10 I pay a month. It’s an amazing luxury to have when I can’t imagine what life would be without music.



Screen Shot 2015-12-21 at 9.06.32 PM
Yes! I took this picture!

This place is my sanctuary. It’s beautiful and blissful, especially on a clear weekday morning. When I come here, I feel lighter and more peaceful. I’ve had my most joyful moments here, and I also come here when I’m sad. I always feel better when I’m in the garden, regardless of how I’m feeling before I enter. I like to find a spot where I can’t see anything man made – no buildings, cars, signs. Being surrounded by the beauty of nature can be so nurturing to the spirit. If you’re a San Francisco resident, I highly encourage you to bring a blanket, a book and yourself out to this park.


I know you’ve heard it all before but regular exercise is good for the body, mind and spirit, especially when it involves upbeat music, a group of lovely ladies, your best friend, and some banging dance moves. I’m really glad to have found some semblance of an exercise routine by going to Zumba 2 to 3 times a week at the YMCA. It’s very ME and it makes me feel good. Let me end here with this amazing video “When It’s Your First Time at Zumba”

That’s all folks. I hope you have an wonderful, safe, warm holiday and a fantastic New Year celebration. I am sure many of us are ready for a fresh start and it is coming! Thanks again for reading.



3 thoughts

  1. Oh yes, what would we be without Spotify! I also used to love last.fm to keep track of my music (back then when it was actually good).
    “The Alchemist” – I read that one, too, this year. I also read “The Little Prince” not too long ago for the VERY first time 🙂 Such a beautiful story and really worth reading.

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