OOTD: When the City Makes You Rude

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OOTD: Dress & cardigan – Forever 21 | Bag – Zara | Shoes – White Mt. | Watch – Apple

MOTD: Foundation – Urban Decay | Setting Powder – Tony Moly | Blush – Benefit | Brows – Daiso | Lashes – Maybelline | Lips – Chanel

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Small town girl, wishing to be a city girl, but doesn’t realize the consequences of living in a city include finding a new side of her that she didn’t know she had. This is the beginning of my bold and rude side that came out when I had lived here for a few months.

Dallas is a stretch of never-ending city. An urban sprawl. And with it comes the bold, the rude, the people who do not care.

As a small town girl, I was promised a friendly state of people, but forgot that I was moving to a city. I take back what I said before about Pennsylvanians being rude – they are rude in their own way, but city folk are definitely more rude!

So here are the top ways that I have become bolder, ruder, and more outspoken here in the city.

1.) Driving

Driving here is not for the weak, the indecisive. You must think and act quick. At first I was so angry that I was getting cut off almost every single day driving, but you get used to it and you start doing it to other people. The lane is randomly turning into a turing lane only? You have to assert yourself into the other lane! The light here is only 3 seconds long and there’s 500 people waiting? You HAVE to speed through! It’s insane learning how to drive here. I feel like I’ve become those NYC/Boston/NJ drivers that I used to despise!

2.) Speaking my mind, even when I previously would have found it not appropriate.

People are going to screw you over here. This is just how it is. In the inner city, people will harass you for money for a train ticket. You have to say no and walk away. People will treat you badly when you need an issue resolved in a store or in a customer service situation. You have to say things you didn’t want to say because sometimes, being polite isn’t going to work here. I used to be the quiet girl who didn’t want to offend anyone, but lately I’ve been surprising myself.

The “wine expert” at Central Market insults me when I ask for a particular type of wine, I automatically am rude to him. Good? No, probably not. Conditioned for this response. Yes, completely. One good thing coming out of this is my combined phone skills with now my “boldness” has gotten me what I wanted from customer service with different companies.

3.) Not caring about what people think of me.

I used to care about being polite. When someone cut me in line in a store in PA, which was rare, by the way, then I would just let them. Now because it happens SO OFTEN, I will just walk right in front of them. Because chances are they aren’t going to say anything anyway. I think the constant heat also contributes to the lack of polite people in this city during the summer. Overall, the heat makes me angry, which in turn makes me just stop caring about how people look at me because I’m too annoyed to care.

 

It’s not Texas that made me “rude,” but the city that did it. City living really does toughen you up, and to some my area of Dallas may not be considered a “city,” but the small town Central PA girl in me thinks that North Dallas is a city because it’s part of the urban sprawl. I think Texans are in general kind and friendly, but the mixture of heat and the constant migration of out of state people really does effect the behavior. You have to be firm and assertive to live in any city, and Dallas is no exception!

Thankfully, I can still look like a gentle and polite girl with floral dresses like this. I try my best to still keep myself well-dressed, and Forever 21 has always been my go-to for affordable and cute outfits. I’m a simple girl, ok?

Nicoco

Fighting My Obsession with the Distance of Blue

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It’s so hard to find what I want inside. I wanted to hide from the bitterness of the cold, the frozen tundra in my mind. It’s intricately part of who I am. Trying to run away from the mountain peaks, the snow drifts, the red wind-stricken cheeks, the dry skin from the cold air that falls upon me as I watch the sun rise over the horizon of glaciers.

I am and have always been mesmerized with the distance of blue. Rebecca Solnit describes the distant of blue in her book “A Field Guide to Getting Lost,” as the want for something that is not there. You can see it in the distance, the air particles casting a hue of blue in the distance. It could be a town, a mountain, something on the horizon, but once you reach the destination, you find that the place you were seeing was not real. It is the emotion that can never be explained. It is the place where you can never go. Places you will never arrive at. I see the future that seems so bright and full of meaning and when I live through it, it just seems so mundane and not how I thought it would be.

But then there is how I feel about it afterwards. Because I have left that place, that time, that moment, it is now again in the distance of blue.

The snow was always a pain, a loneliness that blanketed the Earth and all who tried to travel through it would be blocked by it’s silence. But now I long for those quiet moments in the silence of the falling snow. The warmth of the inside. The closed in emotions that are released in a starry chilled night drive when you can see the entire sky opening up, the pressure of the daytime clouds dispersing. And I miss it dearly.

I don’t think moving any particular place will solve my problem regarding the distance of blue. The hues of blue will always be where I am not. I think the solution is within. But I am scared. It is within my passion for writing. I am scared of what I will sacrifice, what it will take to learn and master the craft, how I will learn to connect people to my writing. Writing is not an easy task when doing it well. To do it well, you must be able to transport your audience to that moment and engage all senses so they will feel and understand the meaning of your words.

The distance of blue is what attracts me to traveling, and sometimes I forget how vast the travel within the mind can be. I can be anywhere I want to be in my mind. Those who cannot think like a child will have a hard time. The people who have been hit so hard with reality that they cannot imagine their inner world. I don’t want to forget about my inner world. That is where memories and imagination is skewed, travel is possible, and from where the greatest inspirations grow from. The next step is writing those inspirations down.

Nicoco

OOTD: It’s Still Summer

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OOTD: Top – Korean Thrift | Shorts – Mossimo | Bag – Zara

MOTD: Foundation – Urban Decay Naked Skin | Setting powder – Tony Moly | Blush – Benefit Dandelion | Lashes – MAC mascara | Brows – Daiso pencil in Natural Brown and Hourglass’ pencil in auburn | Lips – MAC Huggable lip color in Origami Orange

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Well, I have been wearing loose clothing due to the hot weather still, and this thrifted shirt from Plato’s Closet is perfect for this damn hot weather. Who said it was fall, huh? The one thing I liked about PA seasons was autumn and we don’t really have an autumn here.

This is kind of just an update post, really. I dyed my hair darker because I couldn’t stand the blonde-copper tones, but of course I couldn’t get rid of it completely, as you can see. I have also recently gotten a stomach ulcer, so I am on a strict diet and Chinese herbal meds, and it started last weekend and I actually am feeling a lot better after a few days of the treatment. I’m really going to use this to jumpstart my health journey (again).

I made a goal that I would be fairly in shape by the time I went back to PA to visit. I have now about four months to lose the weight I put on and to grow out my hair. I think using this strict diet and slowly adding things back in will help me a lot. This stomach ulcer has had a silver lining. I got off caffeine, refined sugar and alcohol, which was an absolutely terrible experience. I had a migraine for three days straight, chills and back pain. I did cheat a little when I went to a Yelp Elite event, I had a fourth of a glass of wine and a bite size brownie. Sigh, I’m so bad. Tsk tsk.

But seriously, I didn’t realize how bad my habits had gotten until I had this ulcer. I was drinking every night at least two glasses of wine, and kind of also got into drinking beer (after going to a Yelp event in Fort Worth…), I was drinking black coffee twice a day, and eating basically whatever I wanted, in between meals and such.

After getting into Traditional Chinese Medicine more and more, I see how important it is to take care of your body. Now, I do not agree with my TCM doctor who told me that anything that tastes good shouldn’t be eaten because its probably bad, but I do agree with him on the fact that eating healthy has a LOT to do with health. And eating at the right times in the day is also a key to eating healthy. I’m thinking of doing a whole post on that subject.

Anyway, hope you like the outfit even though I’m sure y’all are rushing to get out your jeans and sweatshirts and scarves and whatnot. But unfortunately, its still “Texas” summer for now. Let’s just say I cannot WAIT until October!

Nicoco

Exploring Dallas Through Yelp

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We’ve been in the DFW area for almost a year now, and I can say confidently, as an extreme introvert, making friends and actually getting out has been hard. I have started some great friendships through my job, but the thing that has helped us discover and connect with places and people the most here in Dallas is Yelp.

I’m sure everyone has used Yelp at some point to look up reviews, or at least has come across the website/app at some point, but it is a social media platform that lets normal people review and rate restaurants, stores and other places. The main focus of Yelp is definitely restaurants. Within Yelp, there is a community of individuals, split out by regions of the world, called the Yelp Elite.

My husband is a chef who is obsessed with reviewing and trying new places and foods. Last December, he was voted into the Yelp Elite group, and ever since I’ve stepped into that world with him, I have also been obsessed with bringing up my reviews, my food photos, check-ins, etc. It costs nothing to join, however you have to be voted in. There are events that you can attend for free to try out new restaurants or stores, and your Elite status will show as a reliable source on your reviews. And Dallas is a great place to be a Yelp Elite member.

The app helps you find some of the best and cheap places to eat. I have found a lot of my now favorite places by using Yelp. After attending the Yelp Elite events as a guest to my husband, I’ve made a few friends, and most importantly kept up my socializing skills. I am always excited to go now, as before I was nervous. I know I can hold conversations with strangers as long as we have a few things in common: we both love DFW area, we love to eat, and we want to explore more!

I’m looking to obtain Elite status for 2017, so I have treated the platform very seriously. I write reviews, I take pictures, and I do so shamelessly. I don’t care if others are staring at me taking a picture of me holding up my food item to a decorative wall. Because I want to show that I can deliver high-quality to the site. Because I care about where I live, I decided to be here. And most importantly, I want others to know about where to go when they come into town.

Consequently, my Instagram has sort of become a Foodstagram, which was not intended. And I have had to re-look at how I eat, how I can portion control, and how often I can eat out. But I think with the right balance, I can maintain a healthy lifestyle and be a Yelp Elite. #goals2017

 

Summer Dresses

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OOTD: Dress – Forever 21 | Bag – DKNY | Shoes – Report

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Shift dresses are a great way to hide your weight gain. But the one problem I’ve had with this one is feeling also like a drape. I started wearing a belt with it, but then it’s so short! I think really the only solution is to actually try harder to get back to my health body.

But the outfit is still cute, right? It’s floral, flowy, and perfect for this (still) hot weather. I have this reoccurring problem where I wear very summery clothes to work and then freeze to death in the A/C there. I swear its not normal. Everyone in the office is wearing jackets and blankets, yet the A/C blasting persists. Office life, I guess.

So I’ve been just praying for it to get colder, which I never thought I’d do, because then I won’t have to chose between freezing or melting. And actually this the first time in a long time where I am actually EXCITED for fall! I always hated fall and winter in PA because I had really bad seasonal depression. But here in autumn, the skies are blue and bright, but the temperatures are very reasonable. We don’t have the beautiful colors that PA has, but we do have a very temperate season that lasts quite a long time.

As for the winter, I think I’m actually excited because I hope it will be snowing in PA when I go back to visit. I miss it. But I know I wouldn’t want to live in a cold climate for a while because it gets old after about a week. The people down here who either moved here a long time ago or grew up here in Texas say they want to move up north to experience the snow, and I just laugh because I know they will get tired of it quick, just like how I’ve gotten tired of the summers here pretty quick.

x Nicoco

Wake Up

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As anyone who knows me would understand, it was hard when I moved to Dallas, Texas from my hometown in Pennsylvania. And I remember it was one of EDEN’s songs that got me through that transition.

EDEN, formerly known as The Eden Project, is an Electronic-Indy artist from Ireland. I’ve been following him since he started music. A lot of people assume that people who like EDM are trance lovers and people who go to raves, but for me and my sister, we are the type of like to listen to EDM, or any music for that matter, in solitude. The feelings of the music are what we are connected to. And my younger sister is the one who introduced me to EDEN.

It was always a little harder growing up 8 years apart for me and my sister. It was hard to find common ground because we were always going through completely different stages of life. For that reason, I think both of us were closer to our brother, who was the middle child. But the last years that I was in PA, we became very close. It was a bittersweet relationship: two sisters who grew up in the same home but at different times. She saw me go through all of my older trials and hardships, I saw her go through things I’ve already experienced. And it was only the last few years that I was in PA that we were able to finally talk, find out that we are actually more similar than we thought, and connect.

We used to go on many adventures even though our town was small. And EDM was the background music to our lives. EDEN definitely brought us together a lot, through different struggles at the same time, but being able to sing his lyrics together always made us feel like maybe even though we were going through various things, we weren’t so different, so isolated, as we had thought. We had each other.

One of the most difficult things about moving to Texas was leaving her behind. It was something I needed to do because I was not growing as a person in PA. I needed to come out of my comfort zone, so I took the plunge and took a job here in Dallas. It was a smart decision for my career and my personal development.

But it tore my heart apart because I think it hindered my relationship with my sister, or at least distanced us to what we were before. We no longer talk everyday, or go on adventures. I don’t know what she’s doing right now, but I know we are living separate lives.

I remember one of the last nights I was there. We were strolling down the streets of Carlisle at night, as we sometimes did on the spur of the moment, and we were taking turns singing EDEN’s new song, “Wake Up.” We both interpreted it as EDEN needing to leave to make his career his priority and him leaving his hometown to follow his dream. And even though I am not by any means doing the same thing, it really hit me. I hope it hit her heart in the same way. It made me realize how painful it was to grow sometimes. It would be a long time until the next time we might be walking and singing together. It would be a while until we would meet and act like nothing had ever changed.

Who would I be when we met again? How much will she have changed until the next time I would see her? Would we still have that connection? Or would we be like strangers, not knowing anything about each other’s lives?

Even though I’ve written so many times about how I was stuck in PA and happy that I moved here, it was something that hit my heart very heavy. EDEN’s music holds that connection still between us, I know it. I know it because every time I listen to “Wake Up,” I still to this day, almost a year later, burst into tears, because all of it comes flooding back. The times we took random road trips when I was heartbroken. The times we had sleepovers when I was an adult and we talked late into the night. The places we went, the pictures we took (she is a very good photographer), the fun we had, even through all of our individual troubles. And it reminds me of the last night before I left.

I was staying at my parents’ house because we had cleaned out the apartment. She was lying on the floor next to me, we were talking about how weird it was that it wasn’t going to be this way anymore. It was unreal, and I’ll never forget that moment.

If you’re reading this, Abby, I really hope we can go to the EDEN concert together. Then we could sing “Wake Up” together again.

Taken by the Winds

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When you’re following the winds all your life, you tend to be led off course. You wonder what it all means anyway. What is the meaning of the routine? It’s for your health? For your sanity? It’s as if we’ve chosen to be blind and are going with the wind no matter where it takes you.

At the same time, we resist our dreams because we are afraid that nothing will become of us. So we continue the routine of daily tasks.

You want to feel the sun warm my clammy skin and you want to gaze over the horizon as the sun falls towards the sea. you want to bury your face in the sheets in the morning and wake with the rising of the sun. You want to spend hours admiring God’s creations, walking paths in the forests, watching the clouds and trees follow the wind. You want to contemplate the meaning of each thought and feeling and how humans react. You want to be invisible, yet have a purpose.

Instead you’re trapped sitting here at a computer, fumbling over your words even when written. You’re searching for a new routine that can support your current lifestyle. You’re contemplating what you want to do with your life in a way that is set to this society because you feel like you have no choice. The spirit dies every time we are forced to fit this mold, but what can we do?

It’s a treasure in the back of your mind to remember simple times, to relive intense feelings in your memories. You remember way the skies turned an orange pink over the oceans. You remember the feelings of being comfortably alone in a sea of people in the market place. Yet these things are easily overlooked on a daily basis and you forget what you’re doing. You barely have time to think nowadays.

 

OOTD: Hiatus Outfit

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OOTD: Dress – Rue 21 | Bag – Calvin Klein | Bra Straps showing – VS

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I guess I ended up taking a break and I really didn’t mean to. I’ve been busy sulking about my health. I could’t understand why I just can’t lose weight even when I eat right. I recently was diagnosed with hypothyroidism, which explains the weight problems. It also explains the chronic fatigue, inability to sleep at night, and digestion issues.

So I’m on a treatment plan now, and I’ve been too depressed about the way I fit in clothes lately. Another excuse is that its been ridiculously hot here. I know, I should expect that.

I do plan on getting back on track once my treatment ends. I will continue my healthy lifestyle plan and cut out more sugar. I think the biggest habits I need to stop is snacking in between meals.

I know some people swear by the eating small portions all day thing, but seriously, it’s bad for you. Going by the Chinese body clock, there are certain points during the day that you should try to avoid eating. Those times are 9 am to 11 am, 1 pm to 3 pm, and 7 pm to 7 am. During those times, certain organs are working the hardest in your body to process what you have put in your body during the other hours. It’s important to avoid eating so those organs can work without interruptions.

Anyway, this has become a rant, and I’m actually tired at the time Im supposed to be tired, so everyone have a good night, day or afternoon.

Nicoco

The INFP Contradiction

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Being an INFP is rare. Understanding us is a lot of work. We definitely have our downfalls. We value the creativity and intuition that we naturally have, but at times we long to have the organization and logic that other have.

We like making lists, but we don’t confine ourselves within them. We go with what we feel is best at the time. But we like to make lists to feel organized, no matter how much of a lie that is.

We like to make routines, because otherwise we would float away in the stories of others that pass us by each day, beckoning us to follow them. Routines are hard to follow but they bring us structure and allow us to fit in with society.

We like to start new projects to feel productive, but then get pulled away by the tides of life, making choices on the whim because we are following our intuition. It’s a fault, yet still it works for us.

We sometimes are in the mood to clean, and when we are, we clean and tidy everything, letting go of all of the things we collected based on feeling, because we know if we don’t, clutter will build up and envelope our minds, subconsciously causing stress. We tend to miss the mess around us if we don’t consciously make cleaning times, which we hate.

We become obsessed with certain things, trying to achieve perfection while doing it with the least effort, making us lazy perfectionists who care so much without actually caring, and it gets confusing.

We get lost so far into our minds that we forget to take care of ourselves, even when we want to. Maybe it’s because we don’t prioritize mundane tasks. We’d rather go on an adventure looking for a new type of wine we’d heard about than clean the dishes we just made from dinner.

We’d rather follow the emotions deeper, even if it means hurting, because without emotions, we feel empty without a purpose. We want to know how it connects with the rest of the world, the reason for it, the way to heal pain and spread happiness. We are connected to our feelings even when we pretend we can separate emotions from actions or thoughts.

We avoid conflict because it interrupts our curiosity. It forces us to deal with real tangible problems and use logic. We are escapists and will do anything to avoid the problem.

We have great extroverted intuition, meaning we intake things and understand them. But we often forget to voice our opinions because we feel that telling them won’t make a difference.

In a way, our downfalls are almost poetic. Nothing we do is usually logical. It can really cause us problems. But when we see it as the story that is unfolding that we call our own special story, we can still see the beauty in it. Maybe a lot of others will find this just irresponsible, but without a doubt, the INFP can find the romance in the way someone forgets to clean their house while they are lost in the passion of what they love to do.

OOTD: I Can’t Always Have it Together

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OOTD: Dress – Target | Sandals – Calvin Klein | Bag – Thrifted | Necklace – Forever 21

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I think it’s mostly because I feel uncomfortable looking put together, but I can’t seem to be put together most of the time. Ever since I destroyed my hair, it’s been crazy messy even though I cut it in April. I like to think of it as a reflection of my life: messy but still working for me.

I might be stuck in between wearing pigtails with ripped jeans and wearing straight short hair with a pencil skirt, and I thought it might be due to my age, but I’m starting to think it’s just who I am. I’ll be late to meetings (or not even show up because I forgot), but I’ll do all my work diligently. I’ll eat healthy all day but then drink half a bottle of wine in one go. It’s a contradiction, but maybe it’s also my version of balance?

Either way, I’m still trying to be healthier, trying to be more organized, trying to get things together. I hope this year will be the year I can find some control with my messiness. Yet there will always be a part of me holding on to it because it’s part of who I am.

Nicoco