n i c o c . o

* n i c o c . o: August 2014

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Goodbye Summer



In 30 minutes it will be September first. I know technically that is not the end of Summer, but to me, September is Autumn, and I'm sure many would agree with this. 


It's a bittersweet time because it's a bit like the playing is all over and we are back to the routine. I think I also don't like the fall and winter because going through those seasons remind me that I'm getting older faster and that everything has an end.


While there is a new beginning in spring, the fall and winter months are long and harsh here in the northeastern US. 


I always wish I would be a child again... When things were much more simple.


Saturday, August 30, 2014

Plain to Bold

When I was in school, I always wanted to have my own style but fit in to a certain extent. So I wore jeans everyday and tried to look as Asian American as I could. I didn't want to look like a Starbucks-Hollister-Ugg American girl (if you know what I mean...), but I wanted to fit in to a certain extent.

Now that I'm older yet still look super young, I can't stand going out in just jeans. I feel so.... Plain! And honestly I do think that I can look like a very plain girl when trying to "fit" in, so lately I've been gravitating towards bolder styles. Here are some ideas to help you become more bold-looking if you are feeling plain: 

1.) Wear a variety of different types of clothes. If you always wear jeans, wear skirts and dresses! I hardly ever wear one type for a week. And at work I try to avoid dress pants and tend to wear different types of dresses and skirts.

2.) Use a bright shade of lip tint. This is my big one. No matter what I'm wearing, whether it's gym clothes, work clothes or going out clothes, I always make sure to have a shade of bright coral, pink or red lip tint.

3.) Have an accent piece. Wear a plain outfit but with bold jewelry. Wear plain shirts with a brightly printed skirt. Wear a plain outfit but with shoes that stand out. It makes a huge difference!


Dare to stand out.

Thoughts

When I thought about what to write today, I couldn't really decide on one thing to write about. Not sure if it's a waste of time, but lately I've been thinking about how I feel about my own body, health and future. Some of the main goals for the next few months and years include the following:

1.) Being able to wake up earlier. I actually have developed a disorder called Delayed Sleep Phase which is either caused by repeated bad habits and sometimes genetics where the person's sleep phase is shifted from the normal sleep cycle, which is usually between 10 pm and 6 am. My sleep cycle is between 1 - 2 am and 8 - 9 am. The way you can tell if you have or are developing this is by asking yourself "when am I the most productive?" For myself I feel tired all day and then my high energy and focus comes at 9 pm. At that time, I am able to focus on my work and chores the best. Unfortunately it is unhealthy to have this sleep phase because this is how I become hungry at night and why exercise is harder to fit into the day. Not to mention my day job starts early and due to that I go into the office half-asleep.  So to correct the sleep phase disorder, natural sunlight is one of the best ways to tell the body it's time to get up. Sunlamps are expensive, so I am planning to wake up and immediately take walks at sunrise. Wish me luck!

2.) Lose the extra weight. I already mentioned this earlier in another post, but this has bothered me a lot because my small frame is meant to be in the 46 kg range and I'm about 50 kg right now. And keep in mind, I'm 153 cm tall, so honestly that's not where I want to be. All my childhood I wished to be short because I thought I would be cute.... Little did I know that it would be much harder to maintain weight! T^T/ I used to be 46 kg, but ever since getting married, I've gained weight. 

3.) Drink more water. Someday I may write a post about skin, but just to give you the short story, I've struggled with moderately severe acne for most of my life. Starting at age 13 and still dealing with it at age 23. Drinking more water is definitely one of the best things a person can do for their skin, and for some reason that's always been a challenge for me! One of the things I've really been into lately is drinking sparkling water. It's so addicting! But expensive ah.

4.) Blog and learn more new things! I have always blogged on and off for years, gaining readers and then disappearing. I really need to break that habit. And one new thing I'm working on right now is getting my travel agent license. I think it will help me travel the world more thus learn more things. When I lived in Thailand, I learned so much more than I ever could in a classroom. The last thing I want to do is be stuck here!

5.) Stop half @$$ing things. Meaning - actually try to do well at my day job. Try to actively talk and connect with people. Actually change my eating habits and get off my sugar addiction. Run when I work out! Finish what I start!

That all came together better than I thought it would. I'm sure other women are struggling with the same issues. I always wonder how they can resolve them?!

And lastly, here's my post workout brunch:


I had oatmeal, fried egg with cayenne, raw kale with a teeny bit of organic each and peppercorn dressing, a half of grapefruit, two strawberries, coconut water and herbal basil and rose tea for afterwards. It was really good...!

Kay. 

(^O^)/

Friday, August 29, 2014

Cheat Days

A lot of people who are actively seeking to pursue a healthier diet don't believe in having cheat days, but I decided I would have 1 cheat day for every two weeks that I eat healthy. And today is one of those cheat days:


I ate breakfast at work. Today is "food day" so there's not much of an option anyway. Lol

So far I've had a peanut butter donut (which wasn't that good because I don't particularly like peanut butter), egg-potato bake, and a small French toast. 

Sometimes it's important to have some cheat days so you can stay same, but from what I've heard is that a lot of the time once you get really into your healthy lifestyle, you don't look forward to your cheat days. You begin to stop craving sugar and transfats. Artificial flavors are no longer appealing. And you begin to crave for the foods your body needs such as nutrients found in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts and seeds.



I can't wait to get to this point when I can be free from my addiction to sugar!


Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Health: Meal Portioning - How to Control Portions

This is honestly one of the biggest things about changing to a healthier lifestyle that makes all of the difference. It can be hard at times, but controlling the actual amount rather than just the type of food is important.

You might have heard of these tips: use a smaller plate at dinner, use a bento box to control your portions, eat smaller portions of more things. (And I'm not talking about "eat many small portions of things throughout the day"... I'll explain why that's a myth in a different post soon!) I actually do the smaller plates and bowls thing already, and I had a cute bento box up until recently when it broke.


I was eating out at work or just bringing regular sized containers until last week... I finally bought the Pyrex containers!


It's measured at exactly 1 cup (about 237 grams?) so the portions are perfect for a girl trying to eat healthy! Especially since I have an office lifestyle, I should not be eating as much as a girl who is constantly on her feet. 

Examples of how my weekday with these containers would go:

Breakfast: 1 cup of oatmeal with chia seeds and cinnamon and protein shake with fiber

Snack: 1 cup of pretzels, almonds and dark chocolate combined 

Lunch: 1 steamed sweet potato with parsley and olive oil (pictured above) or tomorrow I'm having 1cup of gyuudon (^∇^)

Snack: 1 cup of fresh cut peach

Dinner: Small plate with about 1/2 cup of cooked jasmine rice with chicken and basil stir fry

Snack: Herbal tea with 1 cup of frozen fruit

It's a great container for office girls - you should try if you get the chance! 

#OOTD

Taking full body pictures is awkward for me right now. Probably because I don't have a full size mirror and would rather not use the building window reflection at my office to take a selfie.

Nevertheless, here are some of my recent  outfit of the day Nicoco styled pictures.


Ethnic looking blue and white dress.


With a hold butterfly bracelet!


Cheetah print long chiffon sleeve... In summer?!




Floral dress with black boot heels.




Long jacket-like dark blue dress with hold details.


Baggy t-shirt with black (unpictured) skirt.


Me: chiffon top over printed earthy colored tank and black chiffon skirt. Brother: plain white tee under a grey cardigan and sand cargo shorts.


Long floral dress with a rust colored cardigan. 

And one more to show how awkward full body shots are at the moment:


Black tank top with long floral skirt... 

Awkward as heck! I need to learn how to pose when other people take pictures of me!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Another Beauty Rant

To compliment my other post, let me just rant again to try to understand... 

While girls can keep up with their appearance by staying in shape, doing skin treatments, eating healthy, and wearing make up, there are some things I will never understand about men.

"You would look nice if you did your hair."
*gets mad when girl takes time to style hair*

"You are forbidden plastic surgery."
*Proceeds to like all models with obvious procedures done*

"Why is your skin not that clear?"
*Becomes annoyed when girl takes time to do skin treatment, spend lots of money on laser treatment, or even take time to touch up make up throughout the day*

"You're getting chubby."
*Expects girl to eat all the same meals and portions as himself*

What now?! What are we, dolls that always look good with no make up?

Guys seem to like the girls who wear loads of make up... But the problem is most of the time they don't seem to realize how much effort is put into it! Just look at the pictures of the same girls (Asian) without make up. It's sometimes scary! Imagine her without the works:


Kudos to the girl for taking all the time on this photo 😳

But really, what's wrong with having a little of this sometimes:


She seems to really keep up with herself. Perfect V line face 😭 

If you want the look, the work has to be there! Guys, be more patient. Girls, stop complaining.

End rant #2


Rant on Beauty

Every time I think about my health goals, I can't help but remember what men like and how different I am from that ideal. My face is rounder, my eyes are too round, my hair isn't shiney enough. I'm definitely not in the "skinny" range for being Asian and for my small frame of 153 cm. I also do not have completely clear skin, and clearly need to drink more water per day. There was a time when I had nicer hair, paler skin, a thinner body, more oval shaped face, and clearer skin, but always at different times in my life instead of all at the same time!



I know it may be silly to follow what men would want, but honestly I am not going to be one of those girls who ignores the beauty standard as an excuse. I can be my own person while still being the healthiest, skinniest, and prettiest that I myself can be. I can still create my own style while following the beauty standard. Just like people who criticize plastic surgery, people might criticize me for this.  But honestly if there is something about yourself that you do not like and you are able to fix, and you know that if you fix it your confidence will increase, why would you not do it?! Just to be "independent" or "your true self," ah?

There are some girls out there who know how men want them to look, act and dress. You might call them bimbos, tools, or fake, but the truth is that if they truly love their style this way, they are far smarter than the girls who are not willing to do it. Why should guys pay attention to something they don't want?

You might say, it depends on the girls personality, right? Of course this is part if it! No point in having a super well kept wife who is bitchy all the time, right? True women know how to get what they want by manipulation. Not bad manipulation, but the true art of how to influence people. You can read up on that in Dale Carnegie's book, How to Win a Friends and Influence People. 

The point of all of this is that I am going to try to achieve all of the above by December of this year. This is the Asian beauty standard I'm using, not the American (but maybe a little bit of the European). I did a pretty bad job this summer, so I need to get on that now! 

Anyone who reads this, please hold me accountable. 


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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

The Music Building

We often come here to hear Ice and Ten play the piano.


As soon as I walk in, I always feel a calm feeling drape over me.



The colors, shapes and textures give the building it's artsy personality. 





Usually when Ice or Ten plays, the echo of the acoustics of the main hall takes us to a moment of pure music appreciation. 




And for some reason, we always go at dusk. 


Goodnight. 

Waterfalls

It was like stepping into the spirit world.


The misty waterfalls all along the path.



We walked the four hour path in awe.




I was a bit tired since I am outof shape. >_<


 Afterwards, we went to a pho place dnd I devoured an entire bowl of pho in five minutes, no lie.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Bios

Recording our video for our cover of 'Bios' from Guilty Crown was actually really fun!

We filmed near a lake right before sunset.







Great experience ー can't wait to see the end result!