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okko, an AAPI-founded minimalist bodywear

okko, which stands for “Our Kind of Knockout,” is an Asian American female-owned brand founded by Phoebe Kunitomi (ok, but how cool is her name?!). This slow fashion bodywear brand was created with minimalism and consciousness in mind; each intimate piece is designed for versatility and comfort and offered in neutral colors, with the occasional limited edition color such as the current Agave option. The AAPI-founded brand’s mission is to help people clear the clutter in their top drawer of bodywear by creating lasting quality pieces that they’ll want to reach for over and over again.

“…most importantly, I learned that buying like a minimalist means I can live like a maximalist — fabulous and free to enjoy parts of life that aren’t defined by material things.” Phoebe Kunitomi

What first stood out to me was the variety and diversity of women in the photos on the website and social media: women of different shapes and sizes, different skin tones, and real skin textures (i.e. no Photoshopping out stretch marks or cellulite). Personally I found that very refreshing to see.

Phoebe of okko was kind and generous enough to send me their products to try out for myself. I received the Honey signature bra and brief, as well as the reusable nipple covers in cream color. Using the size chart, I opted for size S in both top and bottom pieces.

okko signature bra and brief in Honey color
okko signature bra and brief in Honey color

The okko bodywear arrived in eco conscious packaging. The signature bra is made of a premium blend of 73% nylon and 27% spandex, so it feels very soft and smooth. It has removable pads and is wireless, which means it doesn’t have a hooked back, and makes it more comfortable to wear longer because the band won’t feel too tight or press into your skin.

However, the bra fits me a bit loosely and leaves a visible gap around my underarm area, and I don’t usually wear full coverage bras so I think I’ll feel more comfortable wearing a smaller size.

The new and current version was revamped to also have removable hooks for the straps so they can be adjusted for a racer back style. It also has a longer body, which I think I’d like because I do sometimes find the bra riding up and have to pull it down.

The signature brief is made of 75% nylon and 25% spandex, with a 100% cotton gusset. It gives a slightly cheeky reveal in the back, which I like, but the front cut doesn’t look flattering for my stomach. I’m not sure if it might be the size or the color, so I’ll have to try another color and/or size to see the difference.

Now that I’ve had some time to wear the signature set, I think next time I’ll order the bra in XS and maybe brief in size M, maybe. (There is a note on the website that the bra runs large so those in between sizes should size down, and sizing down for briefs result in a cheeky fit whereas a larger fit gives more coverage).

Overall, I am happy with my okko bodywear set and will definitely be ordering another set! I appreciate the quality of the products as well as the brand’s ethos and commitment to quality over quantity, in addition to the uplifting message of inclusion, diversity, and body image positivity.

I’m also pleased to say that I am now a brand ambassador because I absolutely love supporting an Asian American brand as well as a fellow AAPI female (I’m all for women empowering women)!

For more information about the AAPI-founded brand, visit the okko website and if you order, please use my code KIANA23 to receive a 10% discount.


5 Woman-Owned AAPI Brands That’ll Bring You Joy

Happy Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month!! Did you know that it was originally named Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month back in 1990 and later renamed in 2009? Facts.

“The effort to officially recognize Asian American and Pacific Islander contributions to the United States began in the late 1970s, and took over 10 years to make it a permanent month-long celebration.” Origins of AAPI Heritage Month (

asian american pacific islander heritage month cover
Vitalii Abakumov / iStock via Getty Images Plus

There are many reasons and many ways to celebrate, but one that anyone and everyone can do is intentionally support Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) artists, creators, and writers, and shop AAPI brands and businesses. The best part is you can do this all year long, and you can show love to their social media anytime.

Last year I posted lists of Asian American brands to support, Asian American beauty brands, and a list of Hawaiian brands as well. This year I’d like to add a short list of new (to me) Asian American small businesses, many of which are also female founded and woman owned!

This list was carefully curated to showcase quality brands that are consciously created for people and the planet. It just happens to be a bonus that they’re all AAPI brands so that whenever we support them, we’re elevating Asian American Pacific Islanders and female entrepreneurs too!


Okko, which stands for “Our Kind of Knockout,” is a slow-fashion and conscious brand founded by Phoebe Kunitomi. While the core of her philosophy is based on minimalism, you don’t have to be a minimalist to recognize the high quality comfort of the body wear products, which currently include bras, briefs, thongs, socks, and reusable nipple covers, all available in a variety of sizes and neutral colors to suit different skin tones and body types.

I received a set and will be writing a longer piece soon. (Spoiler alert: I love it and am now a brand ambassador!)

Website: (use my code “KIANA23” for a 10% discount!)

signature set in “blush” from

Dewy Monday

This cruelty-free L.A. based brand of natural body care products and artisan soaps offers hand-crafted products made with plant-based ingredients, as well as minimal and recyclable packaging. I had the pleasure of meeting creator Duwie herself and seeing all of the goods at a recent pop-up event.


delicious looking selection of body butters from


Pronounced “Air-ANG-giss,” this line of luxury candles was named for the white, star-shaped orchid and has been featured in many magazines, including Marie Claire and Martha Steward.

“I founded Aerangis, not just to relive my own cherished memories through scent, but to help others use fragrance to tell their own stories.” -Alicia Tsai, Founder


Stories of New York gift set from

Petite Studio NYC

This slow fashion brand was founded by Jenny Wang, in response to difficulty finding pieces that fit her small size. Not only is each piece designed for petite frames but also with sustainability and ethical approach in mind.


model wearing lucia pants from

Silk and Sonder

Founder Meha Agrawal created this self-care platform and community to help people “find compassion, clarity, creativity, and connection in their daily lives.” It is a subscription-based service that includes a guided journal and mobile app integration to improve well-being.


Silk and Sonder journal image from

Tell me what are some of your favorite Asian American Pacific Islander brands? Are they woman-owned and small businesses? Let me know in the comments!

Valentine’s Day Gift Guide

Do you love Valentine’s Day? You can probably already guess that I do! While I’m not into hiked up prices and crowds, I do love love and hearts and all things sweet and pink! I don’t think it has to be anything expensive or cheesy, just thoughtful and kind. I’m all for fresh flowers from Trader Joe’s or Costco!

However, if it helps I did make this list of cute Valentine’s finds at Amazon to give you some last minute Valentine’s Day gift ideas. Making and looking at wish lists just cheers me up whenever I need a break.

Note: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Sweet Treats to Eat

A Gift Inside Golden State Fruit Chocolate Covered Strawberries 12 Love Berries
$37, Amazon

If you’re looking for that romantic gesture but don’t have time or want to make your own, these chocolate-covered strawberries look delicious are a best-seller!

Godiva Valentine’s Day Heart Box Goldmark Assorted Chocolate Heart Box
$14, Amazon

Chocolates are usually safe choice for anyone, and you might as well choose a pink heart-shaped box and give quality chocolates! Godiva happens to be my favorite chocolatier.

Scents That Smell Like Love

Yankee Candle Signature Candle
$10-$25, Amazon

Generally speaking, you can’t go wrong with candles as long as you choose one with a great fragrance. I like the large tumblers but the small tumbler could be a good option. Pink Sands, Wild Orchid, and Ocean Air call out to me but there are plenty of other scents to choose from.

INJUNE Handmade Soy Wax Healing Candle Organic Dry Flower and Rose Quartz Candle
$20, Amazon

To be honest, I haven’t tried this so I don’t know if it’s actually a good product (it has 4.5 stars from 64 ratings). It looks gorgeous though! I am curious and the “Rose and Ebony” candle contains “rose petals and raw rose crystal stones.”

Rose Noir & Oud Scented Candle
$32, Amazon

I have yet to try this La Jolie Muse brand but I love the packaging. Look at that beautiful glass jar.

Damask Rose Scented Candle
$27, Amazon

This is also from the same brand above and has a beautiful glass jar. I am intrigued and the ratings and reviews are very good. Everything’s coming up roses!

Umiors Jasmine Scented Candle
$13, Amazon

It’s the price point and pretty pink packaging for me, as well as the chance to have a different floral fragrance than the classic rose scent.

Looks That’ll Steal Hearts

FOREO LUNA 3, Smart Facial Cleansing and Firming Massage Brush
$150, Amazon

This is definitely splurge item for the skincare lover in your life! You know what, it could even be yourself. Why not treat yourself on the day that celebrates love? Pink is for normal skin and purple for sensitive skin.

ETUDE Play Color Eyes #Rose Wine (21AD) | Vivid 10 Color Eye Shadow Palette
$22-$24, Amazon

I try to embrace February as the perfect month to change up my usual nude eye shadow palettes and go for something more rosy! While I don’t feel totally comfortable with bright pinks, I do like the softer and more wearable Rose Wine color option. Lots of options to choose, including Cherry Blossom (true pink), Wine Party, Peach Farm, and a variety of neutral palettes including Caffeine Holic, In The Cafe, Leather Shop, and Bakehouse.

CLIO Pro Eye Shadow Palette
$22, Amazon

If you do want to go for pink eye shadow, why not make it pop? This CLIO eye shadow palette offers a nice variety of finishes, including a very sparkly pink glitter shadow.

Urban Decay Naked 3 Eyeshadow Palette
$40, Amazon

For more color options within one palette, Urban Decay Naked 3 is a lovely neutral rose-hue collection. It’s very soft and wearable, and doesn’t scream pink.

ILNP Boutique Nail Lacquers

I’ve recently been using ILNP nail polishes and I love them! I’m going to wear “Daydreamer” for Valentine’s but these other pink and red colors caught my eye. “Sunday” will probably be in my next haul if I order in time for spring. “Say Love” is a very popular red and I will eventually pick up a red for my collection, and “Juliette” is one of their most popular polishes.

ILNP Daydreamer – Carnation Pink Holographic Ultra Metallic Nail Polish ($10, Amazon)

ILNP Sunday – Pastel Pink Speckled Nail Polish ($10, Amazon)

ILNP Say Love – Ruby Red Holographic Nail Polish ($10, Amazon)

ILNP Juliette Holographic Nail Polish, Rose Gold ($10, Amazon)

FENTY Beauty Gloss Bomb Universal Lip Luminizer – FU$$Y Shimmering Pink
$20, Amazon

This is my favorite lip gloss! It’s flatter, feels smooth, and actually tastes great.

NYX PROFESSIONAL MAKEUP Butter Gloss, Non-Sticky Lip Gloss
$5, Amazon

NYX is a very affordable cruelty-free beauty brand, and this would be a nice way to add a pop of color without committing to spending a lot. There are 33 color options so there’s sure to be something! I like Eclair (Pink), Strawberry Cheesecake (Warm Pink), Peaches and Cream (Pink Coral), Sorbet (Vibrant Coral), Vanilla Cream Pie (Mauve), Creme Brûlée, and Apple Strudel.

eos USDA Organic Lip Balm – Strawberry Sorbet
$3.50 Sphere, $4.50 2-pack Stick

EOS lip balms are my favorite. I personally prefer the sphere but the 2-pack stick option is a better deal. You can’t go wrong with Strawberry Sorbet! This is a nice little add on to whatever you’re giving, or even just sweet to present with a greeting card.

If you’re looking for more fashion and accessory Valentine’s gift ideas, check out my last post! Let me know what you’re giving or what’s on your Valentine’s Day wish list.

Valentine’s Day Outfit Ideas

What to wear for Valentine’s Day or Valentine’s weekend? Well, it depends. Do you want a casual look? A little more romantic? Or downright sexy? I’ve curated a list and narrowed it down to my top ten choices that I’d found on Amazon.

Note: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Casual and Comfy

Be Mine Valentine Shirt
$20 (Amazon)

This is super cute and trendy, and definitely a Valentine Shirt for sure. Wear it for the ‘gram or taking pictures or TikTok videos, or just when you feel like you want some love.

LOVE T-Shirt
$18 (Amazon)

I like the soft, muted color of the dusty rose pink option (although I can’t tell if the lighter and brighter pink is the same or different color option), and the cute design of the heart with arrows and L-O-V-E. It also comes in black, white, dark gray, dark blue, burgundy/maroon, and very bright turquoise. I’d wear it even after Valentine’s. There is a similar version but says “XOXO” instead of “LOVE,” if that’s more your style.

Buffalo Plaid Hoodie Long Sleeve Button Casual Shirt
$25 (Amazon)

Keeping it casual, I really like this pink plaid button up long sleeve shirt with hoodie. It comes in nine colors, so if pink isn’t your favorite you might like one of the others. It’s also not overtly Valentine’s so it’s easier to wear more often or whenever you feel like it.

Valentine’s Day Love Heart Graphic Tee Cute Heart Shirt
$14 (Amazon)

College me would have really loved this, but so does casual me. I like that it’s not too strictly Valentine-y, due to its mostly gray color. and buffalo plaid heart. Wear it with distressed jeans and a pair of Converse, and you’re set to go.

Dress It Up

Tie Back Long Lantern Sleeve Ruffle Dress
$40 (Amazon)

This is a cute, very girly dress that I think would look great whether you’re out on a day date or hanging out with your galentines. It comes in different colors, including black, white, red, wine red, and lavender, but I personally like the pink. It’d also make for a nice spring and summer dress, don’t you think?

Short 1950s Retro Vintage Cocktail Party Swing Dress
$33 (Amazon)

“I wanna say we’re going steady / Like it’s 1954” – Ariana Grande, “Tattooed Heart”

Once again, I’d chose Blush pink but there are tons of color choices, including red, dark red, and fun prints too. I also think the yellow and coral are gorgeous for spring and summer. The other question would be what shoes to wear with it? Would you choose classic pumps or strappy heels?

Sleeveless Wrap Cocktail Party Dress
$39 (Amazon)

This is similar but more modern and less demure than the vintage dress above. I like the yellow, mustard yellow, and light green a lot but would wear those during different seasons. For Valentine’s, there’s gorgeous red or you could go more subtle with “Light Puce” (pictured), light purple, or wine red. Which would you choose?

Accentuate It

PU Leather Top Handle Satchel Shoulder Tote Bag
$34 (Amazon)

For once, I’m not choosing pink but red! I actually don’t wear or have a lot of red, especially classic bright red, in my repertoire but this is too stunning. This is a beautiful light pink version available, as well as classic black, gray, and khaki. Aside from the color, I like the details and think this could be a nice statement bag that could add some wow to whatever you’re wearing, be it a nice dress or a casual tee with jeans. In the future, I’ might also give it some love for the holiday season (Christmas and Lunar New Year).

Labair Shining Envelope Clutch Purse
$15 (Amazon)

Maybe you don’t want to buy a Valentine or heart or LOVE specific shirt, or already have plenty of red, pink, and/or purple in your wardrobe already but could use a cute little something special. This sparking clutch with gold chain strap could be that! Pink is the obvious choice for Valentine’s but I also like the champagne color. Other color options include black, white, gold, and silver.

Make It Sexy

Floral Lace Trim Satin Cami Pajama Set with Robe
$30 (Amazon)

This is a sexy 4 piece set! How could I not add it to this post? I think everyone should have at least one item that makes them feel special and desirable.

Would you wear of any these? What do you think of my choices? Share what your personal tastes are!

My YesStyle Top 10 Picks – Lace & Lingerie Edition

I’d signed up to be a YesStyle Influencer some time again and had forgotten all about it. Oops! So now I’m taking the time to get to know the website again, and wanted to share the top 10 pieces that caught my eye in the YesStyle Lace & Lingerie section. Most of these are on sale until January 30, 2022 so I didn’t list their prices, but they’re all very affordable and budget-friendly.

If you do decide to order, then please use my Rewards Code “KIKI23” and you’ll get a discount!

Click on the item names to be taken to their respective pages.

Lucuna – Off-Shoulder Lace-Up Blouse

Oh wow, I really like this one and it comes in so many gorgeous colors! You can’t go wrong with classic white, but if you want to add a pop of color to your wardrobe there’s a stunning yellow, or softer blue or pink that’d be so sweet for spring. I honestly can’t decide and would want to get at least two. This top would be great for easily dressing up a pair of jeans or shorts.

Alfie – Lace V-Neck Dress

Simple yet sweet and elegant dress that you can dress down or up. I’d wear it casually, maybe with sandals, heels or even boots, and accessorize with a necklace and bracelet. What do you think?

camikiss – Lace Trim Wireless Bra

These bras look pretty but also comfortable! While you might not wear it to show to others, I’d consider reaching for one of these to wear under a loose-fitting sweater or button-down shirt. The only question is which color and how many? There are three basic neutrals but also sage green, periwinkle blue, light lavender, and a bold poppy pinkish red. I’m leaning towards the white, green, blue, and red. Decisions, decisions.

Wilder Dreams – V-Neck Plain Sleeveless Crochet Top

Okay, but how cute are these? I love the details of the flower embroidery. Such a nice selection of colors too. I’d go with either green or pink, but I’m sure there’s a pleasing and flattering choice for everyone.

Magimomo – Lace Trim Short-Sleeve Cropped Cardigan

Very cute and sweet little top that’s dressier than a fitted tee but not as dressy as a blouse. I’d wear a lacy bralette underneath, like the one I’d listed above. White will match with everything but the powdery blue will add a bright touch of color that’s perfect for spring. Which color would you choose?

ever after – Embroidered Eyelet Lace Blouse

Romantic, classy, elegant, casual…you choose. This is a very versatile blouse with beautiful and delicate details. It also looks very easy and comfortable to wear and take care of. Elevate your style just by switching your usual top with this blouse.

Honet – Plain Lace Trim Square Neck Skinny Cropped Camisole Top

This is an attention-getting frilly top with lots of eye-catching details and I am here for it! Wear it on a date or for yourself. It comes in soft pastel colors so it’s perfect for spring. Personally, I would have liked the sage green but also adore the petal pink and bright baby blue.

Glamaker – Off-Shoulder Lace-Up Floral Print A-Line Dress

This is a soft and sweet, romantic and chic dress. I love how it looks with its subtle floral print and sexy-yet-subtle off the shoulder style. I think it would look flattering on anyone who wants to feel a little lovely and dressed up but without going overboard.

Donnae – Lace Hem Trench Coat

Yearnin – Spaghetti Strap Lace Up Asymmetrical Plain Dress

Gorgeous dress! This one’s a head turner and will capture everyone’s attention. I think it’s meant to be worn on special occasions like a festive party or fancy date night. Do you agree? It comes in green, red, navy blue, almond, and black.

What do you think of these items? Did any catch your eye? If so, let me know which ones are your favorites!

ILNP Nail Polish Haul – My First Order

You may have read my post where I wrote that I gave away all of my nail polishes back in August, 2020.

As an early Christmas gift to myself, I decided to place my first ILNP order. ILNP Boutique Cosmetics specializes in cruelty-free and vegan nail polish that’s also 7-Free and non-toxic. I’d been eyeing the brand thanks to my friend who raves about their polishes.

ILNP package
ILNP package. How cut is the tissue paper?

It took quite a lot of self-control and time figuring out what to place in my first order, particularly because I wanted to stick to a budget of $50 (enough to quality for free shipping). I felt like I was working on a school final project! I wanted some variety, colors that I’d wear now or soon, and that I’d want to wear again and again. That meant not to order all pink shades or all metallic glitter (which apparently is my go to), bright red (that I’d only want for Christmas/Lunar New Year/maybe Valentine’s), and no bright colors that I wouldn’t wear until summer.

It was also a challenge to narrow down and pick between similar colors! Not to mention, try to ascertain their true IRL color based on the few photos and mixed reviews posted. All in all, it took me almost a week to decide but here’s what I choose, listed mostly in order of what caught my eye.

By the way, I cheated and allowed myself to get seven nail polishes, since I was able to use the first order discount code and one of the polishes was on sale (one dollar discount). The box arrived with room for 8 so I felt like I had an incomplete set.

ILNP first order
My first ILNP Boutique Nail Lacquers

Flamingo Pink Holographic Ultra Metallic Nail Polish Nail Polish

Dusk to Dawn
Dusky Blue Holographic Nail Polish

Silver-Gold Holographic Ultra Metallic Nail Polish

Happy Hour
Vibrant Gold Holographic Ultra Metallic Nail Polish

Night Drive
Blue to Purple Color Kissed Ultra Holographic After Dark Nail Polish

Opal Sunset
Opalescent Pink Holographic Jelly Nail Polish

Red to Gold Color Kissed Ultra Holographic Nail Polish

my first ILNP nail polish haul
ILNP nail polish in Daydreamer, Dusk to Dawn, Fame, Rosewater, Happy Hour, Night Drive, and Opal Sunset

I swatched them all and was quite pleased. Something that slightly surprised me is that the holographic colors and more subtle colors are the ones I liked the most. Maybe after a year of not wearing nail polish, my tastes have changed. Pink metallic glitter used to be my jam, but not anymore. Of the polishes I’d receive, I’d say my least favorite was Fame, which I didn’t expect because in theory I’d thought I’d really love a silver-gold metallic, but its texture is a rough foil, and not as complex as the other polishes. That might be an unfair assessment because I’m comparing it to six other polishes, but I’m just being honest.

Also, take into consideration that I didn’t use any base or top coats because I don’t have any. I think a shiny clear coat could really add to the shine factor, especially for Dusk to Dawn, and also smooth out the rough texture/finish of Fame.

Expect to see swatches as I wear the all the colors (individually) at some point.

Have you tried ILNP? Which color(s) would you most want to wear or see swatched first?

2021 Favorites

Part gratitude and part reflection, here’s a little roundup of my favorite things from this now past year, in no particular order.

Note: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

iPhone 13 Pro

After 6 years, I finally gave in and upgraded from a iPhone 6s to the new iPhone 13 Pro. Even though it was quite a hassle (I did not expect to go through such an ordeal with the process itself, which took about 2 hours at the store), and I couldn’t get the color I wanted (silver; Amazon) because it was out of stock and backordered for several weeks, I am still happy to finally treat myself. I’ve yet to really put the new camera to use but looking forward to doing more of that!

I got it in gold (Amazon), but would you have chosen classic graphite black (Amazon) or the trendy new blue (Amazon)?

iPad Pro

Ok, yes, I am heavily dependent on technology. I’ve always loved my iPad Pro that I bought back in fall of 2016. I didn’t realize how much it added to my life until the battery recently crapped out (won’t hold a charge or turn on even while plugged in). I took a quick look at the newer models available now and decided I’d rather just pay to replace the battery.

What I love most about my iPad Pro is being able to use it for reading ebooks and listening to audiobooks, especially while I’m eating or tidying up because it allows me to enjoy it hands free, compared to holding a book. It’s also bigger and less distracting than using my iPhone, which I use for so many other purposes that it’s hard to focus on reading.

Bullet Journal(ing)

This was something I just started back in March. Essentially it’s part planning (or tracking, for me), journaling, and keeping my favorite information organized in one place. It allows me to focus but also relax and enjoy, compared to using my MacBooks for the same purpose (because like my iPhone, I use my MacBooks for so many other things and so it’s distracting compared to using a physical journal to write in). I recommend starting with a cheap one if you’re just getting into “bujo.” I’d bought two of these dot grid journals (Amazon) for less than $10 each (yellow was one of Pantone’s 2021 Colors of the Year), pictured with Zebra Midliner highlighters (Amazon).

small yellow bullet journal bujo
small yellow dot grid bullet journal (bujo)

Nail Polish

You may remember that I gave away all of my nail polishes back in summer of 2020. I just bought nail polish again as an early Christmas gift to myself back in December. Specifically, ILNP. I love their holographic effects and beautiful colors.

ILNP first order
ILNP first order

Products to Review

I received several complimentary products in exchange for my honest review. My favorites were Briogeo, SNP Moisturizer, and Yankee Signature candles.


This was a little bit of love/hate for me, because I hadn’t gone to the gym for over a year due to the global pandemic. I started to get back into a great groove again, only to be disappointed when people were not following the mask mandate despite the rising numbers of covid cases due to the highly contagious Omicron variant. As such, I’ve taken a break from the gym since just before Christmas and am not sure when I’ll go back again.

Home Gym Equipment

Thankfully, I do have a few essentials so I can work out at home. It’s not even close to the same as the gym, but it’s better than nothing. I have a yoga mat that’s served me well over 10 years, plus two sets of dumbbells and a stability ball. I combine those with my fitness bands and can put together a decent routine.

Liquid IV Hydration Multiplier

These little babies help me stay hydrated, especially when the weather is cold so it’s hard for me to drink plain water (it makes me feel cold and hurts my throat). My favorite flavors are Tangerine, Passion Fruit, and Strawberry. I am not a fan of the Lemon Ginger, haha. I’ve yet to try their other flavors. I also like that they come in little paper stick pouches, not plastic.

Instagram and TikTok

These are my two favorite forms of social media. Instagram lets me keep in touch and “socialize” with friends, be they old or new, and also stay connected in a larger community sense. It’s also where I like to get info and inspiration for bullet journaling.

TikTok is just fun and entertaining. When Instagram feels too commercial or too “aesthetic,” I open TikTok and love seeing all of the fun dances and creative videos, and some very funny and relatable content. I’m still a newb at creating content with the app, but I still enjoy it and may attempt to do some more.

What were your favorites that got you through yet another year of a global pandemic?

Velvet Caviar iPhone Cases & Wish List

When I recently upgraded to a new iPhone 13 Pro, I knew I had to get a new case immediately for protection and that would also be pleasing to look at. I didn’t see anything I liked in store and there were so many pages to scroll through on Amazon. Luckily, my friend recommended Velvet Caviar to me! She has the holographic Nebula case.

I ordered two cases so I could get free shipping. It was a challenge to narrow down to just two and also come to the right total! My first two choices were just $1 shy of free shipping.

That turned out to be a blessing because it motivated me to choose the case that I’m currently using and love, so much more than I thought I would.

Rose Quartz iPhone Case

Rose Quartz was an obvious first choice for me. I have to admit, however, that I don’t like it as much in person. For some silly reason, I didn’t expect it to be flat and smooth. How awesome would it be if it had a slightly jagged texture to match its appearance? I’m just saying, quartz is a crystal but the case looks and feels plastic. It’s still cute but it looks more “young” than I’d expected, like teenager young or Hello Kitty young (which I know friend in their 30s still love so this could be for you). I’ll try using it in February to see if I’ll love it more over time.

White Opal iPhone Case

White Opal is surprisingly stunning even though its subtle in person, and I just love it so much! I wasn’t sure if I would. I don’t think I’m a “rainbow” person, but the colors (blue, green, yellow, orange, pink, purple) are very soft and the holographic shift makes it blend nicely. For the most part, it just looks pearlescent. Imagine you’re looking at a shiny pearl but it’s not simply white or off white; you can tell there’s a hint of colors reflecting off of it. Very beautiful.

My original second choice was Blue Opal Quartz, which just looks really beautiful especially for winter. I didn’t know until recently that I like that blue-purple color. Maybe it’s just a nice change from my usual pink-peach-coral-green vibes, or it’s on my brain more because of the newest iPhone color. Since I didn’t get the blue iPhone (I just don’t see myself as a blue person, and by next year when there’s a newer trendy color I’ll probably get tired of it but it’ll be harder to match with different color cases), I didn’t want to get this and have regrets about not getting the blue iPhone. I do think this would be especially pretty for winter so maybe next year.

My Velvet Caviar Wish List

I’ve listed in order of design style, not product type.

I’m on the fence about whether or not I’d like the phone rings. They’re for helping your phone stand up as well as giving you a better grip. Will they make the case look better or worse? Every now and then my iPhone does feel too big to hold, especially sideways when I’m watching a video.

The phone charms are not necessary but could add a nice little touch.

White Opal

White Opal Heart Phone Ring

White Pearl Phone Charm

White Opal AirPods Pro Case

Rose Quartz

Rose Quartz Phone Charm

Rose Quartz Heart Phone Ring

Blue Opal Quartz

Blue Opal Quartz Phone Case

Blue Opal Phone Charm

Blue Opal Quartz Heart Ring

My top two are probably the White Opal Heart Phone Ring and Rose Quartz Phone Charm, because they’d go well with my White Opal Phone Case that I’ll probably use the most. I think the Blue Opal Quartz Phone Case might look better with the White Pearl Charm, depending on whether or not the Blue Opal Phone Charm looks more blue or purple and has a shiny or matte finish.

What do you think of my choices? Velvet Caviar has a nice variety of designs so another might be better suited to your tastes. Let me know what phone case you’re currently using!

Easy Ways to Enjoy the Autumn Season

Today marks the official first day of fall! Although it may not feel like it (it was 100 degrees yesterday!), we get a full three months from September 22 to December 21.

I’ve put together a list of simple ways to embrace and enjoy the season, whether it’s your favorite season or you’re busy with work and school and what not. This list focuses on fall, so I’ve deliberately refrained from holiday-related items (hello, spooky season and Indigenous Peoples Day) and hope to post those another time. Of course, you can do more big ticket activities like buy a new wardrobe and visit a pumpkin patch and what not, but I wanted to focus on easy and simple ways.

Color scheme / palette

Rich and deep shades or bright and warm hues of reds, oranges, yellows, and browns. Some people love mysterious purples and I personally like dark or muted green colors.


I love scents and fragrances as an instant mood booster, be it for the home or personal care like soaps and lotions. For fall, I prefer to skip the personal care because I might not use it all and don’t want to throw or stash any away for 9 months, but if it’s small enough it could be okay.

autumn candles at Aldi
Pumpkin Cream Cookie, Pumpkin Cinnamon, and Apple Harvest Autumn candles at Aldi

While you probably already know that specialty stores like Bath and Body Works have a large selection of autumnal offerings, you can also find candles and wall plug-in fragrances at Target and grocery stores such as Aldi. I was amazed to find 3 wick candles for only $3.99 at Aldi! They look similar to B&BW in the glass jars and are about the same size. I suspect they may not be as strong or long lasting but they’re less than ⅕ of the price (B&BW usually $25 and maybe $10-$12 when on sale).

fall soy blend scented candles at Aldi (Honey Glazed Pear Cider, Smoked Pumpkin Cider, and Pumpkin Ginger Snap candles)
Honey Glazed Pear Cider, Smoked Pumpkin Cider, and Pumpkin Ginger Snap candles

I received this pumpkin spice Air Wick Essential Oils wall plug-in for free a few months ago and am looking forward to putting it to use.

Pumpkin Spice Air Wick Essential Oils
Pumpkin Spice Air Wick Essential Oils Wall Plug-in Fragrance

Home decor

While you may not want to buy blankets and throw pillows and other big items, you can still enjoy small and more affordable decorations. I’ve seen a lot at various dollar stores (Dollar Tree and 99 Cents Only stores) since July! If you’re feeling creative and crafty to make your own, just think of leaf and pumpkin motifs.

Food and beverages

Give me pumpkin and butternut squash and apple everything from soups to pastas and sauces and pastries. Does anyone else have an excessively long list of cravings for Trader Joe’s seasonal items? Good news though: you can find these flavors wherever you shop for groceries (or go out to eat). More good news: lots of vitamins and minerals in pumpkin and butternut squash and apples (just be careful not to consume too much sugar, fat, sodium, and cholesterol). You can also treat yourself to an occasional apple cider or pumpkin flavored coffee or tea.

Too busy or too tight of a budget to indulge in any of the above? Then how about this: simply go outside and notice and admire the trees and their changing colors, or enjoy the crisp night air. There’s a whole different vibe in your surroundings as the seasons change, so I hope you’re able to embrace it.

Tell me, what some of your favorite ways to enjoy this season?

RedKen Triple Pure 32 High Hold Hairspray

Rating: 3/5 hearts with stars


My Thoughts

I’d received this Redken hairspray for free in exchange for my honest review from Influenster and Redken.

How do you test and review a hairspray?

I think it depends on what you hope the hairspray will be and do, and then judge it according to how well it works with your hair type. I personally like hairspray that gives good, long-lasting hold for my styled hair (usually curled) without feeling or smelling bad. I’d like it to be touchable, not flaky, and smell pleasant or not at all.

I don’t use hairspray a lot but this one is decent. I’ve seen Redken products around and have heard good things but don’t have a lot of experience using their items. I like it but I can’t say I love it, not yet. It’s been hot so I haven’t styled my hair with heat often or needed much hairspray lately.

So far, I like that the product is designed to give an even spray and doesn’t leave my hair feeling crunchy or sticky, but I’ve yet to spray copious amounts so that might change. It’s advertised as having a neutral scent or minimal scent, but unfortunately I could still smell the typical hairspray scent. Makes me think a light and pleasant fragrance would have been better.


$24 for 9.1 fl oz/ 290 mL

Where to Buy

Ulta Beauty

More Info

Redken website