Wednesday, April 30, 2014

WELLNESS 101: EATING CLEAN - My Go-To Easy Kale Salad!

Along with my current running schedule, I've decided to proactively eat clean. I do my best to eat 80% healthy, while still allowing myself 20% to indulge, so I don't feel deprived. I know that "abs are made faster in the kitchen", so as my vacations for the Summer quickly approach, eating healthier will ensure I feel my best in my bathing suit. I've found that eating healthy is not difficult when you have yummy recipes on hand. Today, I want to share with you all one of my favorite kale salads!

I briefly "Instagram"-ed a photo of this salad last Saturday, and I'm sure it won't be the last time either. It's such a great, light but still very filling salad. ENJOY! <3

Kale, Edamame, Almonds, & Dried Cranberries Salad

Yield: Serves 4 Prep Time: 5 minutes Total Time: 10 minutes

4 cups chopped kale, stems removed
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 cup edamame
1/2 cup slivered almonds
Cilantro Dressing (as much or as little as desired)

1. Put the kale in a large bowl.
2. Add the dried cranberries, edamame, and almonds. Toss gently.
3. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to coat. 
4. Serve.

Chopped Kale


Slivered Almonds

Ingredients added together & ready to be tossed! 

Do you have any delicious salad recipes you'd like to share? Let me know in a comment below! :)

Denise Joyce

Monday, April 28, 2014

My Sigma Beauty Most Wanted!

If any of you follow me on Twitter and/or Instagram, you may have noticed that I won a Sigma Affiliate giveaway last week. I was one of two lucky winners to receive a Sigma Spa Brush Cleaning Glove (in the color of my choice: PURPLE!), Dry 'n Shape, & the F80 - Flat Kabuki. This prize is an $88 value! I cannot wait to receive my goodies in the mail! 

Being a particularly frugal individual, I've always tried to control myself from spending too much on the Sigma Beauty website. Although, it's always hard to pass up an amazing deal. There are two particular brush sets that I've been eyeing for quite some time now featured below, so it may be the right time to splurge! 

 The Sigma Beauty Make Me Crazy Essential Kit was specially designed for a fun yet functional makeup application. This kit contains twelve colorful brushes from our best-selling Essential Kit. The brushes come in an innovative and functional container that turns into two brush holders to keep you stylish and organized.

Brushes Included:
E05 - Eye Liner: Create smooth and even lines. Use with gel or liquid liners.
E30 - Pencil: Soften and smoke out lines. Soften pencil liners along the top and bottom lash lines, add shadow to line the eyes, or use to highlight inner corner of eyes.
E40 - Tapered Blending: Soft blended crease. Using just the tips to apply color, sweep back and forth through the crease for a diffused and blended finish.
E55 - Eye Shading: Even application of color. Place color across the whole lid for an even and strong application of product.
E60 - Large Shader: Uniformly cover the whole lid with product. Apply cream shadow base or cream shadow for quick and even coverage.
E65 - Small Angle: Create precise lining. Moves fluidly and easily across the upper and lower lash lines. Use with gel, cream or powder liners.
E70 - Medium Angled Shading: Soft application of color. Use for brow highlighting or to blend the crease.
F30 - Large Powder: Even powder application. Uniform blending of powder products onto the face and body.
F40 - Large Angled Contour: Subtle cheek application. Use the angle to softly contour the cheekbone. Can also be used to apply blush.
F50 - Duo Fibre: Creates an airbrush effect onto the skin. Can be used with powder, liquid or cream products.
F60 - Foundation: Smooth foundation application. Apply liquid or cream products such as foundation and primer.
F70 - Concealer: Conceal small areas. Conceal the hardest to reach areas such as around the nose and eyes.

The Sigma Beauty Sigmax® Essential Kit contains ten brushes specially designed for a high definition, flawless makeup application. The brushes in this kit feature exclusive Sigmax® fibers, uniquely designed to apply powder, cream and liquid products without absorption into the bristles. The Sigmax® Essential Kit has everything you need to achieve a perfect and flawless face.

Brushes Included:F80 - Flat Kabuki™: Application of liquid or cream products to flat areas of the face such as the forehead and cheeks.
F82 - Round Kabuki™: Blend mineral products onto the skin.
F84 - Angled Kabuki™: Buff cream blush or bronzer onto the skin.
F88 - Flat Angled Kabuki™: Blends foundation easily onto hard to reach areas of the face. Angle fits all areas of the face seamlessly. Works especially well on cheekbones and contours of the nose.
F86 - Tapered Kabuki™: Apply cream and liquid foundations onto the harder to reach contours of the face.
P80 - Precision Flat™: Stipple concealer on sun spots, blemishes, and other small imperfections.
P82 - Precision Round™: Apply eye shadow base or primer onto the lid.
P84 - Precision Angled™: Apply product to areas such as the sides of the nose and the hollows of the cheeks.
P86 - Precision Tapered™: Exact placement of concealer in harder to reach areas such as around the eyes and nose, chin, and around the mouth.
P88 - Precision Flat Angled™: Use for precise application of concealer products anywhere on the face. Works particularly well around the eyes and nose.

© 2013 Sigma Enterprises, LLC

Have you checked out Sigma Beauty's website lately? Don't forget you can get 10% OFF your order with the code "SPRING2014" through April 30th! What's on your most wanted list? Let me know in a comment below! :)

Denise Joyce

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

21 Questions Tag

Sometimes I feel like you all don't get the opportunity to know me better, so I've decided to do the "21 Questions Tag" today. Hopefully, you guys don't mind the back to back tag posts this week. I promise my future blog posts won't be tags, but for now, enjoy getting to know me a little bit better! <3 

Me after a nap... LOL

How old are you?
I'm 27 years young! ^_^

What is your middle name?
Joyce (Surprise surprise... LOL jk!)

What nationality are you?
I'm a 2nd-Generation Filipino-American. Both of my parents were born & raised in the Philippines. My mom immigrated to the U.S. when she was 18, and my dad immigrated when he was 25. They met here in San Francisco, CA. 

What do you do for a living?
I'm a Customer Care Representative. It can get stressful and frustrating at times, but in the end, I love helping others! One day, I hope to have a career doing Social Media Marketing. 

If you could visit anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
Lately, I've been obsessed with going to Finland! I really want to rent a glass igloo and sleep under the Northern Lights. It's on my bucket list! <3

Where is your favorite place to shop for clothing?
I love Nordstrom, H&M, & American Eagle Outfitters(Especially for jeans, because their "jegging" fits me perfectly!)

What shoe size are you?

How tall are you?

What is your favorite color?

Do you have any siblings?
Yes. I have one older sister, Danielle, and one younger brother, Daniel aka "Bentz".

Danielle, Bentz, & Me at Disneyland

Do you have any pets?
Technically, no. My sister has a super mutt(Lhasa Apso, Maltese, Beagle, Chihuahua, & Shih Tzu), named Beau, and my brother has a Yorkie Schnauzer mix, named Duffy. They're adorable stinkers, and even though they're not technically mine, I still love them like they are.



My boys after our daily walk...

Do you have any children?

Favorite makeup brand?
High End: Urban Decay & Benefit Cosmetics
Drugstore: Revlon

What do you like to do in your free time? 
I love to dance, run & hike outdoors, read dystopian novels, have long Netflix Marathons, take long naps, cook, & EAT! 

Do you leave the house without makeup?
Absolutely! I usually only do a full face of makeup before I sit down to film and for special occasions. I believe that makeup is meant to only help enhance your natural beauty. The more you can embrace your bare face, the more beautiful you'll feel each day. 

Favorite Season?
Autumn (Scarves, boots, & sweater weather!)

Do you still live with your parents?

What's your favorite movie? 
Mean Girls

Favorite food?
Anything Japanese... ramen, udon, and most of all sushi! 

Tent or Hotel? 
Hotel! I enjoy camping on occasion, but I usually prefer to have a toilet, shower, and warm, comfy bed. LOL

Favorite YouTube Channels?

I never miss a video from these ladies! They inspire me to keep my channel going and continue to do what I love!

If you have a blog, please feel free to do this tag & leave me a link to your blog! I'd love to learn more about you too! 

Denise Joyce

Monday, April 21, 2014

Running Tag!

With Spring finally here and Summer's "bikini season" fast approaching, my running days have quickly become my favorite days of the week! I love how running allows me to take care of my body while replenishing my mind and soul. It's great that I've found an activity that I enjoy that also continues to improve my overall health. I've been tagged by quite a few of you to do the "Running Tag". My video answering the "Running Tag" questions below went up last Saturday morning, but for those of you who don't have fifteen minutes to spare to watch my video, feel free to read my answers, provided below. 

1. How long have you been running?

I started running track in 5th Grade when I was 11 years old, so if you'd like to count since then, I have been running for 16 years. I actually stopped running after 8th grade, but I stayed active doing Cheerleading & Golf in High School. I was also on a dance team and played club basketball in college. I've always been able to run 1-3 miles easily, but I didn't start proactively running again until Spring of 2012, when I decided to start training for my 1st 5K race, The GIANT Race.

2. Why did you start running?

I initially started running because of my Dad. I went to private school from Kindergarten through 8th grade. Sports became available in 4th grade, and he always encouraged me to try all the sports available (Fall: Volleyball, Winter: Basketball, & Spring: Track). I started running again in 2012 to get into better shape and later train for my 1st 5K.

3. What is the furthest distance you have ever ran? 

My longest race was the Inaugural Livermore Half-Marathon, which is equivalent to 13.1 miles. 

4. What is your best running memory? 

Finishing my very 1st Half-Marathon! Up until then, my longest run had only been about 10.5 miles, so I was really proud of myself. Especially for running uphill for almost all of mile 8!

5. What shoes do you run in?

6. What are your favorite and least favorite distances to run or race?

I love 5Ks, because they're really fun and quick! I don't think I have a least favorite, but if I had to choose, I'd say 10K. It's not as easy to pace, since it's not quite short enough. It's also not long enough for me to be impressed by myself, like I am with running a Half-Marathon. LOL
7. Do you have a running partner? 

Unfortunately, no, I do not. If anyone, I do run with my sister from time to time, but since we have different paces, I tend to run ahead of her.
8. What is your favorite place to run?

I run Sawyer Camp Trail at least once a week! It's a 6 mile trail and along the Crystal Springs Reservoir. It has markers every half mile. It's super convenient to see your distance, while also enjoying the view along the water.

9. What is your favorite running accessory?

I haven't purchased any fun running gadgets yet, so I'd have to say my Belkin Ease Fit Armband and Skullcandy Chops Bud headphones

10. Do you like outdoor or indoor running?

Outdoor! I prefer changing my route and seeing different scenery. I try to avoid treadmills most of the time! I get bored a lot quicker, because I pay too much attention to the numbers on my screen, distance, calories, etc. Plus, I'm always afraid of falling! >_< LOL

11. What is your favorite time of the day to run?

I prefer to run in the very early morning or very late afternoon. Midday runs can get very warm and just too uncomfortable to run in. 

12. What races have you ran?

The GIANT Race 5K 2012

The Neon Run 5K 2012

The GIANT Race 10K 2013

Color Me Rad Run 5K 2013

Dirty Girl Mud Run 5K 2013

Awesome 80s Run 5K 2013

The Inaugural Tinker Bell 10K 2014

The Inaugural Livermore Half-Marathon 2014

13. What music do you listen to when running?

Anything fast & upbeat & happy! Being a dancer, I find that I try to match my pace with the tempo. Slower music tends to slow down my pace. 

14. What is the hottest or coldest weather you have ever ran in?

Coldest weather would be around 27. Hottest weather would be around High 70s. If I tried to run in anything hotter, I'm pretty sure I'd die!

15. What are some other exercises you love?

Yoga, Pilates,  and any high intensity interval training, like Cardio Kickboxing. 

16. Are you currently training for something?

Nothing right now, but I'll start training soon for the GIANT Race Half-Marathon on Sept 7th. 

17. What are your current or future goals?

My current goal is to get a better PR for my next Half-Marathon in September. My future goal is to go to Greece to run my 1st Marathon! (I want to do the original Marathon like Pheidippides from Athens to Marathon.) One day, I hope to be an International Marathon runner in general, running marathons in Barcelona, Paris, and more! :) 

18. Advice for new runners

Commit to a race to help get you started! 

19. Why did you start making running videos/blogs? 

I want to share my Wellness journey with my readers/subscribers, and I hope to inspire others who were once in my shoes.

20. Who will you tag?

My childhood friend, Stephanie:, my fellow Filipino runner, Paulo:, & YOU!

If you have a YouTube Channel or blog, feel free to answer the questions and leave me a link to your "Running Tag" in the comments below!

Denise Joyce

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

My NEW Bedroom Decor: Purple, Black, & Paris!

I've been in my new apartment for almost six months now, and I am proud to say that my place has FINALLY come together! At 18, after high school, I moved out to the Central Valley. I lived in Merced, CA for a little more than four years(August 2005 through July 2009) while I was earning my degree in Economics. This was my first time leaving the nest, but at 26 years old, with a thriving career in the Beauty Industry, it was about time!

Needless to say, I was super eager to decorate my very own space! The inspiration of my new bedroom decor was my UNG DRILL mirror from Ikea. I wanted items that were chic, elegant, and sophisticated. Along with my love of Paris, France and incorporating my favorite color purple, I'm very proud of the finished product. 

New Bedroom Decor

As you can see in the pictures above and below, the rest of my bedroom furniture came from Ikea as well. Being frugal about my earnings, I wanted to complete my decor without breaking the bank. Below you can see the pieces in my actual room personalized with some of my favorite items. I've also included links to where I've purchased that item or a link to similar item for you, if there's anything in particular that you'd like to get for yourself. Lastly, be sure to watch my latest video for a quick room tour and a closer look at everything... ENJOY! 

Overview from my doorway...

Overview of my vanity, mirror, & desk...

Overview from the opposite corner...

Duffy & Beau have been enjoying the new room thoroughly! ;) 

Denise Joyce

Monday, April 14, 2014

My April ipsy Glam Bag: "Beauty Rocks!"

My April ipsy Glam Bag arrived this past Saturday, April 12th! While the the music festival season is upon us, I was very excited to receive these products to create a fun and whimsical makeup look. This month's theme is "Beauty Rocks!". Although I haven't bought any tickets for any upcoming local music festivals yet, I hope to change that very soon! I'm eager to wear these products while I'm rocking out to some of my favorite bands. Check out the items I received in this month's bag below! 

April's "Beauty Rocks!" postcard

April's Glam Bag

dr. brandt microdermabrasion skin exfoliant 
Sample Retail (.25oz) Value: ~$9.75
Full Size Retail (2oz) Price: $78 or 3.5oz Price: $120

My first sample item was the dr. brandt microdermabrasion skin exfoliant. Exfoliating is one of my favorite steps in my current skincare routine. There's no better feeling than clear and smooth skin. I've heard so many good things about this product, so I'm eager to try it out. Not to mention how much value it adds to my bag!

Coastal Scents medium eye shadow brush
Full-Size Retail Price: $2.49

My next full-sized item was a Coastal Scents medium eye shadow brush. I actually received this same brush in my October ipsy Glam Bag, but ipsy was super generous about this duplicate this month. All ipsters who received a duplicate brush from a past Glam Bag, were offered either a bonus item in their May Glam Bag or 500 ipsyPoints to use toward an bonus item of their choice. I opted for the ipsyPoints, as I'm not too fond of surprises. (LOL!) I also decided to trade this brush with my sister for one of the products she receives in her Glam Bag this month. 

Urban Decay 24/7 Velvet Glide-On Eye Pencil - Black Velvet
Travel-Size Retail (.03oz) Value: ~$15
Full Size Retail (.04oz) : $20

My next travel-sized item that I was most excited about receiving this month was the Urban Decay 24/7 Velvet Glide-On Eye Pencil in "Black Velvet". As you may already know, eye liner is definitely a makeup staple of mine. On a typical day, I'm usually wearing eye liner if nothing else. Urban Decay is also one of my favorite makeup brands of all time, so I was obviously eager to get my hands on this product. It's a great, creamy formula, and it swatches beautifully! Check out my heart swatch below! <3 

Starlooks Lip Liner - Naked
Full Size Retail : $12

My next full-sized item was a Starlooks Lip Liner in "naked". Out of all the lip products available this month, I definitely wanted this one the most. Not only is it a gorgeous, pinkish nude lip color, but it's a super creamy formula. I don't own many lip liners, so I was eager to try a new one. I think this would be great for a variety of skin tones. Check out the swatch below!

Elizabeth Mott pop! goes the shadow - champagne
Full Size Retail : $12.99

My last item for this month was the Elizabeth Mott pop! goes the shadow in "champagne". This is a gorgeous eye shadow that is super versatile in my opinion. It's the perfect highlight color for your inner tear duct, brow bone, tops of your cheekbones, cupid's bow, etc. (If you can use a highlighter for it, you can also use this shadow for it! ;D) Considering my tan skin, I felt this color would work great for a variety of skin tones. Check out the beautiful swatch below!

The last item in this month's bag was an invitation to attend ipsy's Generation Beauty on May 31st & June 1st. All ipsters located on the West Coast were given this exclusive invite to attend. I'll be at Generation Beauty on both days, so if you're planning to go too, I'll see you there! ;D 

I think this month's Glam Bag was my favorite so far. There was a great variety of products in my bag, including items that I knew I'd already love and new products that I was very eager to try. If you don't have an ipsy subscription yet, what are you waiting for?! The overall value of my bag this month was ~$52.23! For only $10 per month, why wouldn't you want to sign-up?! Be sure to check out today and sign-up! :)

Lastly, don't forget that I'm giving away three Glam Bags that I've put together in my past blog post here! Enter now if you haven't yet! (This giveaway is INTERNATIONAL and ends on April 25th!) 

Are you a fellow ipster? What did you get in your Glam Bag this month? Let me know in a comment below! :)

Denise Joyce