Life in Mascara: June 2015

Monday, June 29, 2015

Women Getting Things Done: Joahna Pinuelas Akalin

I am fueled with creativity and inspiration from those around me and so this month I thought I would feature someone whom I grew up with and admire. My friend Joahna and I met many moons ago in Catholic school. After I moved we kept in touch here and there as things tend to happen but thanks to social media we found each other again some years back. Looking into her life I am touched to see her get married and have a beautiful son. Joahna has always been an upbeat and creative soul so when she launched her online business I knew it was the right fit for her. But I am going to let her tell her story and I hope it inspires you as much as it has for me.

Hi, My name is Joahna! I am the creative soul behind Funky&Little.  I was born and raised in Southern California and I attended The Art Institute of California where I studied Interior Design.  While in college I met my husband in sunny San Diego and 8 years later we had a beautiful little boy, Enzo. Soon after having him I decided to leave the corporate world and become a stay at home Mom. Although being a Mom is the best job I've ever had, I always felt like there was something missing. I yearned for a creative outlet and that is where Funky&Little was created.  

I am inspired by art, music, fashion and travel but my biggest inspiration is my son Enzo.  

During a family trip to Turkey, I discovered the "harem style" pant that have been worn there for over 2,000 years. My creativity started flowing and I started designing a contemporary "harem style" pant for children in funky prints that were practical, stylish, and of course play-ready.  I love designing children's clothing and I hope you will love them too.

I really feel like from the moment I wake up, I hit the floor running. I really couldn’t accomplish everything I do without the help of my husband. As a stay at home Mom/business owner my family life always comes first and I’m extremely grateful to have such a supportive husband that is always willing to lend a helping hand whether it’s cleaning the kitchen or cutting fabric with me.
I’ve always taken great pride in my work but even more so now that I own my own business. I have developed a self trust in order to over come huge obstacles in becoming secure in my ability to find solutions in everyday challenges. I would say a great piece of advice for fellow women entrepreneurs is to build a set of goals and vision for yourself and always trust your instincts and new ideas. In the future I hope to see my business grow and definitely introduce new items to the Funky&Little brand. 

Funky&Little has been kind enough to offer my readers a 15% coupon at her shop with the code MASCARA15. It will be valid for 30 days. So go now and take a look at all the amazing pieces at her shop. We here at Life in Mascara are BIG fans!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

5 Summer Essentials

If you are like me and can't wait to get out of the house on the hot summer days, then this post is for you! Here are the 5 things I swear by to get me through 100+ degree days.

1. Sweaty Bands $15- I have a handful of these. I can't stand stray hairs in my face while I am sweating and these bands are the perfect ones. They are lined with velvet so they don't tug at your hair and they stay in place. I use these for all my marathons as well and I never have to adjust. Plus they have every color and pattern available. Perfect for any outfit.

2. e.l.f. Studio SPF 45 Sunscreen $6- Absolutely love this stuff! Normal sunscreen can irritate my skin so when I saw that el.f. had a powdered form I jumped at it. I love using it alone or over my makeup. It blends right in and doesn't cake. 

3. Frills Tumbler $14- Anything that creates is just adorable! On a regular day I drink a gallon of water, but come the weekend I forget and often find myself dehydrated by late afternoon. Carrying a tumbler around allows you to sip on the go. It is a constant reminder that you need to hydrate even more so in the hot months ahead.

4. Trader Joe's Refresh Sunscreen- This can be used for the body and the face. It is light and basically orderless. It blends into the skin with ease and doesn't leave me feeling sticky. Plus it doesn't irritate my skin. Win!

5. Rose Gold Aviators by Target $16.99- Jump on that rose gold bandwagon! These are sure to make you look stylish while protecting your delicate eyes.  

Monday, June 22, 2015

Summer Drops

Here are a few items on my Summer wishlist all light, bronzed, and coral. Perfect for the coming months.

Let me know if you have tried any of these and what you think of it. Let the summer fun begin!

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Special Saturday: Who I Am Today Is Partly Because of You

I sat down last week to write my dad his Father's Day card. In it I thanked him for having taught me many things and for instilling in me a sense of pride over my worth ethic. I told him I was who I am today because of him. That got me thinking. While my father and my mother were the pillars of my youth, I am not a clone of them. I have my own ideas, my own tastes, my own beliefs that often vary wildly from theirs. If they taught me everything, where did all the variances come from?

We are surrounded by many individuals who walk side by side to us. They too have their own beliefs. They are their own person. But it is the moment when we come into contact with them that they imprint on our lives. For better or for worse, you will always remember certain conversations, certain people, certain experiences. This will mark you. This will make you who you are. This is why years from now you will remember them when someone asks you why you put peanut butter and jelly on Ritz Crackers (thank you Tech Style News). 

But not all interactions with others are positive. We are clouded with negativity and fester hurt feelings. We give ugliness a place in our hearts. And it is during this dark period that we manifest it towards others. It is up to that other person to either receive and reciprocate or to deflect and grow. Either way, negative interactions mark us as well and it will be something we too will always carry.

I can easily dwell on my hurtful past and harbor anger for those that wronged me. But as I work on forgiving and growing, I realize too that I am who I am because I lived through these moments with certain people. I shared their pain. I took it on from them. But in the end, I chose to leave their dark cloud and look for greener pastures. While they are no longer in my life, they still marked me. Our experience together made me grow, made me hesitant to certain things, and open to others. What I am trying to say is upon reflection, there can still be growth as an outcome from a dark place. And that is where I choose to stand. Upright, growing and accepting.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Empties #3

Seems like I have amassed quite a bit of empties since my last empties post here. So here is what I think about these items:

1. The Body Shop Vitamin E Body Butter- Loved the smell of this. Reminds me so much of this cold cream my mom used to wear when I was little. It feels to me like adult baby lotion. I absolutely love it and feel like I could use this one all year until winter when my dry skin would need a bit more. 

2. Neutrogena Fresh Foaming Cleanser- I have had a bottle of this in my house since college. It is a hands down no brainer reach for one step product. Removes even waterproof makeup without tugging and over drying. I feel like no matter what, I will always have a bottle of this laying around.

3. Suave Professionals Dry Shampoo- It was a sad day when I finished this bottle. This stuff realy extends your wash for up to 5 days (well for me it did). I would need to use a bit on the 3rd day and then layer on a bit more for the 4th and 5th day. I never had any visible build up of white patches. It did its job and gave my hair a fresh scent and bounce to it.

4. Chanel Chance Eau Tendre- Such a sweet innocent scent. Really miss having it in my daily life. It brings back a lot of memories for me as well and I really like that in a scent. It should be able to denote times in your life when you were really happy. I think that is what scent is all about.

5. The Body Shop Brazil Nut Body Butter- I think this one is a great one to use during the colder months, maybe not so much in the Spring when I used it as I felt it was a bit much. Nonetheless, it smelled great and kept my skin hydrated.

6. Nourish Organic Replenishing Organic Argan Oil- Another sad day when I finished this product. I love using oils right before I get out of the shower. I like to massage some into my skin as a base for hydration before body butter (yes my skin is that dry). This product was absorbed quickly into the skin and had a very nice smell and not the granny scent some Argan Oils tend to have. Also, I noticed my skin would not get irritated after shaving when I would use this afterwards. BIG plus for me here!

7. The Body Shop Vitamin E Face Mist- With the same nostalgic scent as the body butter, I enjoyed spritzing this on my face every morning. The actual sprayer is one of my favorites as it delivers a very fine and even mist that some toners don't have so your face doesn't feel wet and dripping. Instead it feels refreshed and hydrated. 

8. Fresh Soy Fresh Cleanser- Have really been missing washing my face with this every morning if nothing other than because of its crisp cucumber scent. Full review here

9. Boots Botanics Organic Face Oil- I went through this at a rather embarrassingly fast pace. Slathered my entire top half with this stuff. Can they please make it in a gallon size? See my thoughts here.  

10. Lush Tea Tree Water- I credit this product with keeping spots and irritations away from my face. My skin has done a complete 360 since I started using proper skin care and Lush was the start of that. Again, the sprayer here is one that delivers an even mist over the face.

11. Crystal Essence Chamomile and Green Tea Deodorant- Perfect for everyday use if you are not going to be doing intense sweating. 

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Fun Summer Ideas

Summer is my favorite season. Not just because my birthday is during this time (July 2 for those who want to send happy thoughts) but because I feel it is a time I can go out and do stuff. I manage very well in the heat and actually thrive in it. So for those of you who are like me, I put together some fun ideas you may want to take part in during these next few months. Enjoy!

Photo Credit
Why not cool down during these hot times with a refreshing adult beverage at home? Sangria, it has fruit, which is technically a summer salad, which means it's good for you. No but really, I follow an easy recipe of one bottle sweet red wine or pink Moscato D'Asti and 1 bottle fruit soda. Bottle sizes vary I know, so what I look for is how many ounces are in each and make them equal. You can use Sprite, Fresca, or flavored mineral water. But what I really like to use is Berry or Lemonade Italian sodas. They seem lighter to me and more fruit flavored. Then I raid my fridge and cut up some fruit. I like to add mango, cherries, and oranges. It gives it a fun tropical vibe. If you are really in a pinch, dump a bag of frozen berries and you are good to go.

Paddle boarding. Half surfing, half canoeing. This is a great workout as you will find your core getting the work out of your life. Balancing standing on the board while paddling is no easy task. And for the brave at heart, try practicing some yoga on your board. Find your center...Namaste!

How about a trip to the beach? Fun story, the first time I went to the beach in Texas I was unprepared for the water to be hot as the water in California is always cold. I was shocked and thought something was wrong. Take in a long stroll or a run on the sand. It's a great workout. Plus you can't beat the view! And while you are there, why not partake in a beach devotional...

Find yourself admiring the ocean view, one of God's greatest creations, and reflect back with this devotional from Hallmark. A beach trip is something I do about once a year so I plan on using this every time I go. Years from now I can look over my entries and see where I was spiritually at the time. Almost like a mental scrapbook.

Pick your summer novel. I read this book one summer on our family trip to Mexico. I was so hooked you would find me in any corner of the house trying to get some reading in while the house was full of family and kids running about. 

Photo Credit

How about keeping a summer journal? Make it fun. Think Smash Book. Add pictures and mementos of all your summer adventures. And how cute is this journal by CakePaperie? Flamingos scream summer!

What are your summer plans this year? I'd love to hear them!

Monday, June 15, 2015

Wedding Planner

Given the chance to add another notebook or planner to my life, I will jump at the chance. My stationary collection boarders on the line of hoarder but they all have a purpose...or will all have one someday. So when husband and I started planning our Church wedding, I jumped into research for the perfect wedding planner. I am not very traditional in the sense that I want a fairly tale wedding. More so, I want our wedding to focus on who we are, our family traditions, and the flair of our surroundings. 

Being the massive Lara Casey fan that I am, I am also a fan of her work over on Southern Weddings. It centers around the culture and traditions only people living in the South could really know. It placed value in the peace one can find sipping on iced tea while sitting on the porch on a hot summer night. The importance of manners and thank you cards. The love for one another. It was a community I knew all too well.

This year Southern Weddings released their Southern Weddings Planner and I do not think that I discovered it right before its release date to be a coincidence. I was not just taken by its beautiful white exterior with gold detailing, but by the description of what this planner is intended to be. It states that it "encourages brides to plan marriages more beautiful than their weddings" and its contents will "help couples begin married life in a joyful and intentional way". That is exactly my vision of what I want for us. Yes a lovely wedding, but more importantly, not to loose sight of what 'marriage' actually is. 

The planner is gorgeous inside and out. The cover is made of cotton with a linen feel. It is very sturdy and has room inside to grow so you can feel free to add in any additional inspiration. It guides you through the entire process from engagement to wedding celebration with various checklists and deeper content. Each section is intended to be filled out not just by the bride, but as a collaborative effort between the bride and groom. That is very special to me because I want to make sure I honor what husband wants for us as well. Once completed it will become a memory book of sorts for husband and I to look over for years after. Priceless. 

Friday, June 12, 2015

To All The Dog Lovers Out There

***Fair warning: if you are human, you will cry at this video***

Husband showed me this video the other day. I could barely get through it. It made my heart hurt so much and it was all I could do from not launching into the Kim Kardashian ugly cry. Dogs. One of God's most beautiful creation. The most pure form of love that can ever exist.

This is very emotional for me because as I write this my dog Bear has been in the hospital since Monday. I came home to him laying down crying in pain. That dog never cries. Ever. Not even when I almost lost him to diabetes. He is strong and my ever faithful companion. As I scooped him up I noticed how swollen his left leg was all the way up to his armpit where a rather large bump had formed. Last month, he had a spider bite on his chest form into a ball and then rupture. Now this. He just can't win.

Bear is a mystery of science. He always is. His tests never come out completely positive or completely negative. It is always a lot of guess work and praying we are doing the right thing. As I held him in my arms waiting for them to take him to the back, I cried all over his little head as he rested lethargically and whimpering against my chest. I soothed him as best I could and prayed with an open heart for God to save him as I was sure this was the end and I was not prepared to be without Bear. But as I prayed and Bear's pain became more evident, I thought 'how selfish can I be' and knew I was praying for the wrong thing. With all the pain in my heart, I whispered into Bear's ear that I knew he was in pain and if he needed to let go to do so. I thanked him for having given me 8 beautiful years together and for protecting me and loving me. For teaching me more than anything how to properly love and care for someone. If I am maternal it is because of having to consistently take care of him during all of his illnesses. I told him he no longer had to worry about protecting me. That I was safe and I was loved by the family we now had. I assured him I would love him forever. But my Bear, my ever strong Bear, he was not ready to give up.

After countless tests and guesses of cancer, cushings, and thyroid Bear was found to have gall bladder stones and irritated lymph nodes. The most concerning thing was how badly his glucose has been fluctuating going as high as 3 times its normal rate and then crashing far under normal as well. 5 days my fur baby has been away from us and today I will go see him and hold him. I could not go before so as not to excite him and cause his glucose to sway any more than it should. I am afraid to rejoice at the fact that he is getting better because I know that he can be taken away from me at any second. But my heart fills with panic and then relief when the vet calls me twice a day for an update. Every morning I call and talk to the attendant to see how Bear woke up and every time I ask that they tell him that I love him and that I miss him. I want nothing more for my Bear to come home healthy and be the happy curvacious Min Pin he has always been. Until then I leave it all in God's hands and will continue to do what is best for Bear. I owe him at least that. I really owe him everything. 

If you are a dog lover, hug and love on your pets every day for we know not how long they are here for. And if it is in your heart, please send some prayers up for Bear and some happy thoughts. We here at Life in Mascara would be eternally grateful. 

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

New in e.l.f. Brushes

In my May trip to New York I went to the e.l.f. store to pick up a few goodies. It is what I imagine a small child to be like inside Dylan's Candy Bar minus the squealing...ok maybe a little bit of squealing happened...ok a lot of squealing happened! High on my list was some of their new brushes to add to my collection. In my opinion, e.l.f. brushes are such good quality and comparable to the Real Technique brushes and with a much bigger variety. Here is what I picked up:

1. Crease Brush $3- Thin and precise. Works great when creating a cut crease look. 

2. Mineral Powder Brush $3- My only complaint here is that the brush is a bit small for me to buff loose mineral makeup all over my face. It does do the job wonderfully but I would have preferred a fuller brush. So just think it will take you a bit more time. However, fits rather well under the eye and through the 't zone' so if you just want to set your mineral makeup with e.l.f. Mineral Booster then you are good. 

3. Ultimate Blending Brush $6- Consider your brush collection incomplete if you don't have this brush. Such a great addition to my collection. I prefer using round top blending brushes to blend in loose powder and I have been doing just that with e.l.f. Studio S.P.F. 45 Powder

4. Lash and Eyebrow Comb $3- Somehow I no longer owned one of these. It doesn't do anything special but when in Rome...

5. Contouring Brush $6- If you are like me and paid an audacious amount of money for the NARS Ita brush, you can basically retire it and replace it with this one. Plus this one is a lot more dense and doesn't shed and its bristles crackle like the NARS one. Oh am I in love with this one! I can not wait to own and use it with their new contour palette. Anyone out there order it already?

6. Blending Brush $3- I like to use this after I have put all the different eye shadows on my lid to make sure there are no harsh lines.

Monday, June 8, 2015

All Things Macaroon

The first time I went to New York, Tech Style News took me to Laduree and I instantly fell in love with these decadent French pastries. There is something so chic about this light weight treat and the variety of flavors are so intense and delicious I just couldn't get enough. Since then I have developed quit an obsession for them that has even come across to stationary and other cute things. Above is some of the stationary and pen I recently found at Michael's. My #planneraddict friends can delight in knowing that they still have them and have gone to $1.00 each. They even have blank note cards that match the layout. The greeting card is just one I came across at my grocery store and I had to have it. I am thinking about having it laminated and turned into a dashboard.

I also came across this lovely makeup bag and matching mirror at Forever 21. They had them in a light pink color and I truly debating getting it and I slightly regret not but I got the white one instead because I felt they looked more grown up. They are plastic so it will be easy to wipe down if they get dirty in my purse. Now if I can only get my hands on the coveted macaroon lip glosses from Forever 21 I would be set!

Friday, June 5, 2015

Father's Day Gift Guide

I am all for hand made crafts as gifts for Father's Day (I even traced my own gigantic hand in my Father's card last year) but sometimes we want to give them just a little something extra to show them how much they mean to us. I selected some great options from Nordstrom that are sure to be a fit for any dad out there.

1. Bose SoundLink Color Bluetooth Speaker $129

2. Dad Apron $24

3. Dad First Gift Card- add any amount you would like

4. Acqua di Gio pour Homme Set $76.50

5. Kiehl's Men's Starter Kit $43

*This post is in collaboration with Nordstrom but the items are all picked by me. 

Wednesday, June 3, 2015


First and foremost, I want to preface this post by saying that I am not trying to push my beliefs upon anyone. I believe in religious tolerance and that everyone can coexist regardless of their faith. I am writing this post from my heart and from what affects me in hopes that it will in turn inspire just one other soul out there. That being said, let's get started. 

I went to Catholic school all my life. I even went to a Catholic University. My faith was always strong growing up. My parents provided a strong foundation of love and belief for my siblings and I to grow on. But as I got older, things changed a bit for me and I began to drift away from my church. I still prayed, I still believed, but I just wasn't present. I have been working the past few years in mending my relationship with the Lord and have been taking baby steps to do it. But it isn't that simple, and honestly, I forget sometimes to call on Him. This past January I had a very emotional experience which I wrote about here and I thought to myself 'ok from here on forward I am set'. I thought I had mended my distance but sooner rather than later there I was drifting away. 

A few weeks ago I came across a blog I had never heard about, Paper & Glam. I was instantly taken aback by how openly she talked about her religious beliefs without any concern of a backlash. She talked about how the most important thing to her was her relationship with God and how she actively read the Bible and wrote devotionals. I am always wary of talking about religion because it can be a touchy subject and something people can get very passionate about in a bad way. But Lisamarie of Paper & Glam didn't even hesitate. In fact,she has built an entire community withing her fabulous lifestyle blog completely devoted to all things Jesus. I went home with that on my mind and it came up in a conversation with husband. I told him how I wished I was closer to my church, wished that I worshiped with more devotion, wished to one day go on a mission trip but I felt like it was just not in me at this point. I just thought 'I need Jesus'.

The next day was Friday and after work I found myself running errands and came across a religious store. I walked in with a purpose and went towards the devotionals. There I found a cover staring at me and if that wasn't God Himself talking to me, then I don't know what is. Ask and you shall receive? I asked. He sent. I received. The foundation of this book is you read a passage written in the form of a short letter to God and then you have a space to reflect on it. I am only 3 days in and each day I have had goosebumps reading it as each passage has had word for word something I have been mulling over recently. I even looked up to the heavens and thought 'you really are in my brain aren't you?' No, He really is in my heart. 

I would like to know how each of you work on keep strong in your faith. Is it a priority to you, or something you feel you are going through a routine with? Let's enlighten each other. 

Monday, June 1, 2015

New Year's Goals Update At Mid Year Point

image via Pinterest

The title alone, a mouthful I know. But can you believe we are mid year already? Who else is still recovering financially from the holiday boom? Goodness! I know this year has been a whirlwind for me. So much has happened in these past 6 months that when I look back, 6 months time alone feels like an entire year.

I wanted to regroup at mid year where I was with my New Year's Goals. You may remember in this post that I wanted to see them as goals and not resolutions. I just didn't want to add more pressure to myself than I normally would. So far, I will say, that I am very pleased with how I have approached things. Here are a few things that I have accomplished this year:

  • Family First- I wanted to make it more of a point to plan family events. My family is all spread out and we normally see each other once a year. It is very hard on me and on them too. Husband's family is all here and I have built myself a very strong support system of friends. I have focused on having monthly events where we come together and build memories. I want my boys to have as many fun filled memories with their cousins and their grandparents as I have of my childhood. Honestly, it has been very fun for husband and I as well. Seeing the boys so happy and running around is fulfilling but it also gives us a chance to relax and be surrounded by the people we love.
  • Debt Reduction- I had read that one of the biggest stressers a couple can have is financial debt. Well I brought in a truck load via student loans and a past life into this marriage. I have spoken many times about my prior relationship and how toxic it became. When I first left, I had nothing. Restarting your life from the ground up can be expensive and it sure was for me. My dog Bear requires so much medication and expensive food, I was still recovering from surgery and had a lot of medical bills, and then my car broke down. Money was leaving my account faster than I could replenish it. During that time, my brother came to my rescue and I will forever be thankful for his help and his patience as I began the long process to pay him back. After 3 years, I was finally at a place in my life where the sun was rising and I was able to do so. It made me so very happy to seal this debt. More than anything I felt like I was closing a chapter from that gray time in my life. But there was still more. I had been working very hard for years to eliminate it and with husbands immense help this year we were able to pay off one of the biggest debts that I had been carrying around for years. The relief I felt when I made the final payment...indescribable. Since then I have reassessed my finances and have redirected funds to the next debt line that will hopefully be taken care of. I am light years from where I started this year, but not quit where I need to be...not yet that is. 
  • Grow My Blog- Since relaunching my blog last September, I have poured my soul and my free time in creating content that I am proud and passionate about. I believe in what I do and hope to reach others out there. I long to build a community here of supportive and like minded individuals who will want to share their stories and passions. I post every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday and have not missed a single one since restarting. I also invested in transferring my blog into a website and hired a team to create a more aesthetically pleasing site. A handful of people have been kind enough to leave comments and I reply to every single one. Probably the most memorable moment was when Lara Casey commented on the post of her book review which has been one of the most emotional ones for me to write about. I write for me; I write for you. I want to hear your voice too.
  • Getting Published- Furore Magazine granted my life wish of having an article published. Such a surreal and exciting experience. I am still vibrating from that high.
  • Compete A Triathlon- I have run many a half marathons, but I had never delved into anything more challenging. This past May I did my first tri event and I did very well for myself. Such an empowering experience! I am very proud of my body and honestly have a new respect for it and what it can endure. 
As you can see it has been a full 6 months. I trust that the remainder of the year will be just as fruitful. Tell me, how are you doing with your New Year's Resolutions and Goals?