Where I've Been. Where I am. Where I'm Going.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

I've spent my entire life trying to make my parents proud.

I could not tell you how many times my mother and father told me that graduating was important to them. I never saw it as an option. Quite frankly, I didn't always see it as something I would do for myself, but more so for them. 

For years, I jumped around and wondered what I would get a degree in. I had always wanted to teach, but someone once told me, "Teachers live miserably because they don't get paid a lot." I quickly pushed that to the side and decided on lawyer...which then turned into computer science...then somehow moved into marketing...and in the midst of this chaos, I melted into the world of teaching. 

The process was full of doubt. I cringed at the idea of telling others what I had finally decided. What would they say? Many people looked unimpressed and others continued to tell me I would be filled with regret. 

I always look back and I'm so thankful to have been raised by parents who, no matter what, have always supported my decisions in life. 

My entire life I thought that once I had my degree and adult job, I would magically transform into an adult because adult job = adult? Right? 


I feel like people forget to tell you about life post-graduation. 

Some days I still wake up and think I have homework...and then I realize I don't have homework but I do have to go over some of the work I took home... aka adult homework.

On other days I wake up and think to myself, "Wow, I'm really getting paid to hangut with my little friends? PLUS, I get to teach them about really cool things and sneak in a life lesson here and there? How did I get so lucky?"

BUT on some days I ask myself, "What's next?"

I made my parents proud. I'm working at the school I used to go to. I've been to about 15 countries in the last year. I've found the most wonderful boyfriend. What is next?


It is SO weird to reach a point of my life where most of  my goals have been met. I have no idea where I want to go from here and some days it's a little scary. I'm taking it one day at a time and trying to figure out what my greater purpose is. So, where am I going? I'll let you know when I find out!

My ONE and ONLY Brow Lady! @browsbycakes

Monday, August 28, 2017

I don't know about you, but I'm very picky when it comes to my eyebrows. I absolutely hate it when I get my eyebrows waxed because 99% of the time, they take off too much hair and leave them very thin. I have struggled for years and it's been very difficult to find someone that really shapes my brows how I want them. Until...I went to Sugar Bee Wax!  (I actually got my first Brazilian Sugar Wax here and it was an absolutely amazing experience. I thought it was going to hurt a lot more than it really did. Thankfully, Cynthia was quick and made it painless). Getting your eyebrows done should not be a pain in the ass. Cynthia carefully draws out your eyebrow shape before she even touches a hair. She then asks you if this shape is something you're happy with. Trust me, you'll never leave Sugar Bee upset with this method!
I truly struggle with my eyebrows due to overplucking for years. I fill them in every day and it is the most tedious part of my makeup routine. In fact, even on the days where I don't wear makeup, I almost always fill in my brows. I feel so incomplete without them! You should see me telling my boyfriend, "Hold on boo! I need to put my eyebrows on before we go anywhere!!!" I can't wait until my eyebrows are exactly where I want them to be. Cynthia's told me I just need to be patient. She also tells me I'm not allowed to pluck in between waxes because I need an experts help, AKA her. She has made my life so much easier. Not only has she been waxing my eyebrows, but she's been tinting them! A lot of you have been wondering what an eyebrow tint is, so let me sum it up for you.

What is brow tinting?
Brow tinting is done with semi-permanent hair dye. You will see benefits and results immediately after the service. I love it when we leave the dye on a little bit longer because it leaves my brows extra dark! The dye on the skin lasts about 2-3 days. However, if you don't want the dye to be on your skin no worries! Just let her know that you only want to dye the hairs! The dye will last about 2 weeks and it'll be the best 2 weeks of your life, haha.

Why do I love it? The dye darkens my features and makes my eyes pop. It makes my eyebrows look more arched, which gives me a better, more fierce shape. Sometimes I think that I don't have hair on my brows but in fact, they're just too blonde to be seen. When I tint my brows, every hair becomes prominent and my brows look thicker. To top it all off, the dye coats the hair, so afterwards the diameter of each hair is bigger.

-Cynthia likes to tint the brow a shade or two lighter than your hair, so the tint can fade gradually and the results can last longer, but that’s a personal preference.
-Tinting boosts volume, the color makes each hair prominent.
What to do after the tint?Do not wash your face immediately after because it will prevent the color from fully soaking into the brow hairs. You can wash it a couple of hours later. This, will fade any harsh color on the skin and give the brow a more natural appearance.  

Up keep?
Try not to wear brow makeup while the tint still lingers on your skin, so that you do not have to use makeup remover to remove it. Makeup remover can make the tint fade faster. You won't need eyebrow makeup anyways, trust me! When washing your face try not to scrub or exfoliate over your brows too roughly (that also causes brow hairs to shed and cause gaps in the brows).

Magic Behind My Brows? Brow design with Cynthia
Cynthia started doing brows when she was 12 out of her mother’s home, friends would come over and she would charge them $5 to tweeze their brow. Over the years, she continued to do brows for other trusted individuals from home. (I was one of them) Cynthia has always been eager to learn new techniques. I know that she loves what she does and I can truly see her passion for it. She shapes the brows according to the face shape and the clients desire. She spends about 10 minutes making an eyebrow map on your face with a white eye pencil. Before she takes off ANY hair, she asks whether you are comfortable with the shape or not. You never have to worry about her waxing too much hair. Her goal is to let your brows grow. (AKA Brow Rehab!) I promise you that she is able to see your potential brow shape before its been there. She only waxes what needs to go and leaves every hair she can work with in the future. After your wax, Cynthia will let you know how to maintain your brow shape. At the end, you can also ask for a proper brow fill in. (What I love about this is that Cynthia teaches you how to make your eyebrows seem more arched. I've definitely learned how to full in my eyebrows thanks to her!"

PricesBrow Design Wax: $20
Brow Design Sugar: $25
Overall, I would just like to add that I know that sometimes the eyebrow journey seems tough. It has taken me months to get to a shape that I'm actually comfortable with. However, it can be done. Something I've learned is that you can't just let your eyebrows grow out. You do need to get them waxed every so often? Why? Your skin needs SOME stimulation. The way Cynthia waxes eyebrows actually makes your hair grow back in places you didn't think you would have hair. It's pretty awesome. I'll post some of her pictures before, and you can see for yourself how amazing she is. If you want to follow her, click here!


Organic Wax & Sugaring

Friday, June 30, 2017

I started my sugaring journey about a year ago and I've never looked back. Since then I've been to many waxing studios and I've realized that not everyone will wax you the same way. Some people are quick, meanwhile, others are slow. Some make it painful and others make it painless. I've been through it all in the last 14 months and I know a good salon when I see one.

When I made my appointment with Organic Wax & Sugaring they were very professional and worked with my schedule. As I arrived, I was greeted with the woman at the front desk. The space itself is very beautiful and well decorated. The room is bright and creates an environment where one feels relaxed and fresh,

I worked with Olga this evening and I'm convinced I could not have been treated any better. As I sat in the room she explained the process to me and walked me through the difference between normal waxing and sugaring.

Brazilian Waxing: The wax is applied in the direction of the hair and then removed against it. For my sensitive ladies, this can be an issue. When waxing, the paste sticks to the actual skin and can pull some of the skin. This can cause redness or burning.

Sugar Waxing: The wax is applied in the opposite direction of the hair growth and removed in the direction of the growth. When sugaring, the sugar only sticks to the hair follicles and dead skin.

I decided to go with the sugaring treatment because I've found it's what works best with my skin. Sugaring leaves me less irritated overall and let's be honest, I'm a huge fan of anything organic.

As I was getting waxed, Olga told me story from her childhood that really made me connect with her. She said that sugaring is something that can be traced years and years back. When women would hang out and have girl time, they would make the sugar paste themselves. In fact, it's very easy to make. It's simply sugar, lemon juice and water! When women had their girl's night, they would sometimes bring the younger girls along as well. The younger girls, like always, wanted to be just like the mommies. So what would they do before waxing each other? they would dip sticks into the wax and give them to the younger girls and then send them off to play. While the girls played, the mommies took turns waxing each other.

I found this story to be genuine and entertaining. It kept my mind off the waxing and by the time she was done telling the story, the waxing process was almost done.

Olga was quick and always warned me before pulling. She also applied pressure to ease the pain after she pulled.

Will I be coming back? Yes, most definitely!

I went ahead and booked my appointment for next month and I look forward to seeing her again! If you're new to waxing or if you want to know more about the process, I would recommend you pay this place a visit. They do an incredible job at informing you and letting you know exactly what's going on!

Best Wishes!

I asked for a trim and she actually listened!

Thursday, June 29, 2017

If you're anything like me, going to a new hairstylist is a pretty big deal. Recently, my hairstylist moved and I haven't cut my hair in over 5 months. I always try and get a trim before I'm out for the summer but I was starting to get worried because I couldn't find anyone I quite liked. However, this week as I was scrolling through IG, I came across @shannelandhair. I quickly fell in love with her work and decided to pay her a visit. Shannel is located in the Salon Lofts (Buckhead Location). I had never been here but I fell in love with the concept! If you're a stylist, you can book your own Salon Loft for your personal use. The area is very chic and modern/magazine style, with white walls and Pinterest decor. I knew that I would be coming back as soon as I walked in.

As I walked into Shannel's Loft, I was greeted with a hug that made me feel at home! We got to know each other a bit before we started and we discussed my hair. I told her that I had dyed my hair a few months ago and that I hadn't had a trim in a very long time. I also expressed that getting a haircut is always a pain because stylist cut off way more than I'm comfortable with. With that being said, she ran her fingers through my hair and we came to the conclusion that one inch was something we both felt comfortable with. We decided to add long layers to my hair but to keep most of the overall length, mainly because I'm a little obsessed. We also went ahead and made an appointment for me to come back after my Cancun trip next week! I will be getting an Olaplex treatment that helps heal my ends and bring my curls back! (I'm actually super excited for this AND I get to keep the leave in conditioner!)

Before we cut my hair, we went through the shampoo and conditioning process aka my favorite thing ever. I love laying back as someone rubs my head. It's always an amazing feeling (lol, do you have a membership girl???) As we finished with this, she tousled my hair with a leave in conditioner for my dry ends and then we got to cutting. I was SOOOO relieved as I saw that only a little bit of hair was falling to the floor. (Hallelujah!) When she finished trimming my hair, I couldn't believe there was still hair.

Shannel went ahead and gave me the most beautiful blowout. At the end she wrapped my hair in saran wrap and put me under the dryer. According to her, this helps the blowout last longer! I have never been so pleased with my hair. It's always so difficult to find anyone who truly listens to what you want. I think I've found my hair lady and I'm not going anywhere <3

A place called home.

Friday, June 2, 2017

Traveling is something that warms me and gives me a reason to live. I cannot imagine being stagnant and living the same life over and over again. Is it scary at times? Yes. Do things go as planned ? Not always. Is it worth it? Always .

Sometimes when we spend so much time around people we know, we forget what it's like to get out of our comfort zone. I am someone that loves seeing my close friends constantly so the thought of being in a place where I know no one can seem scary. I walked into the airport, not knowing what to expect. I knew I had to charge my phone so as I got to my gate, I quickly looked for an outlet. I picked the one next to a couple of people that looked my age. As I sat down awkwardly, I pondered whether I should start a conversation with them or not. Curiosity got the best of me and as I caught someone's eye I said, "hey, my name's Melissa." We talked and talked until it was time to board. As our conversation came to an end I felt a sense of relief. "You do this all the time. You're going to be fine." I told myself.

I had a 5:30pm flight on Tuesday, purposefully. I knocked out as soon as I got on the plane, woke up for dinner, fell asleep again and woke up as the plane began to land. It was now 8:30am Wednesday.

Needless to say, Im a little unorganized. Some people Google their routes and make sure they know what they're supposed to do when they arrive but... I'm a little lazy. Although I landed in Barcelona, I had planned to stay with a friend of my mom's a few hours away from the city. I had no idea what to expect. I probably should have facebooked her or asked for a picture before my trip but again, I'm pretty lazy. The first thing that is always a bit complicated in a different city is the transportation system. I needed to figure out how to get from the airport, to the train that would take me to Mora La Nova. I walked in circles forever until I realized I first had to go from terminal 1 to terminal 2. Then I had take a metro from the airport to the main train station. THEN I had to take a 2 hr train from the station to Mora La Nova. (I had to wait 4 hrs because the train departs every 4 hrs and of course I barely missed the first one. But TBH me missing a train?? Nobody is surprised.)

I finally arrived around 4pm and my mom's friend was not at the station. lol. Ok so I may have freaked out and called her 4 times but to be fair, she got there 5 mins later and I was just being a baby.

Apparently her eldest son was graduating today and she had been rushing to have everything ready. She greeted me with a warm meal and she showed me around the house. She said she wasn't sure if I wanted to go to the graduation but of course I said yes. I thought it'd be the perfect chance to make friends.

When we arrived, her son introduced me to his 2 best friends and a French girl he had just met that week. That French girl was officially my partner for the remainder of the night and she offered me a stay in France. (which I will deff be taking up soon.) The guys asked us if we wanted to go to a huge party their friend was throwing so I asked my host mommy and she said to do as I pleased! We hopped in the car with her son and made our way out. This thing was literally in the middle of nowhere. I mean, we had to park the car and walk to the party in the middle of the woods. It couldn't get worse . While there, me and my new friend had a very deep heart to heart conversation. She is 19 years old and has traveled all her life. She has seen so many places and has such an incredible soul. Its been 6 months since she's seen her family and although this is something she is used to, it was at the moment making her feel very lonely. We shared stories and talked about life, love, friends, and traveling.  She told me that I felt like "home" and that somehow, the loneliness was suddenly not as bad. That night was overall a really nice experience and there were many times where I sat back and simply observed how everyone behaved. No matter how much I travel, it always surprises me how different other cultures are. At the end of the night I dipped my feet in the water, with my new friend by my side, and stared at the moon as the twinkling lights reflected off the pool. Everyone danced in the background and sang along to the songs. In this moment, I felt so lucky to where I was.

Im wasn't sure how I ended up there but I knew I was exactly where I needed to be.

Where am I now? Currently on a train, on the way to Croatia.

But first, a 6 hour wait at the Barcelona airport. Haha

Mels <3

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