Tips on How to Organize Jewelry

Jewelry is one of my favorite accessories! You can easily transform any outfit just by adding a piece of jewelry.

I have a lot of jewelry as you can see from the pictures. Finding a way to organize it all has been the first thing on my to-do list for quite some time.

I wanted to organize it in a way so that I could see it all and easily pick out what I wanted to wear. I read somewhere that if you don’t see you won’t use it. I think the person was referring to makeup but I think it also applies to jewelry.

I found the necklace displays and tiered bracelet rack at HomeGoods, the mirrored jewelry box from Nordstrom Rack, and the earring display at the Container Store.

I have found that these are the best ways (for me) to display and organize my jewelry. I can easily see what earrings, bracelets, watches, and necklaces I have to wear, and my rings are stored safely where they won’t get lost.

These pictures also give a sneak peak into my Christmas decor! I was so excited to decorate this year that I started not long after Halloween. With it being Amelia’s first Christmas, we are so excited to get everything ready and perfect for Christmas!


Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!

This Thanksgiving is much different than last year. Last year we were mourning the death of my dad (read last years Thanksgiving post HERE). Little did we know that God had so much in store for us this past year. Little Amelia and passing the bar exam are just two of the many things we are celebrating today.

From my little family to yours, I hope you have a wonderful day filled with family, friends, good food, and great love!

1 Year.

It’s been one year since I got the phone call. One year since my sister uttered that phrase. One year since I sat on my couch hunched over crying and hyperventilating.
One year since I lost my best friend, my hero, my Dad.

This past year has been difficult, too difficult to really put into words. It’s hard to explain, even to my family, the magnitude of my sorrow. But, to be honest, I try not to explain it to anyone anymore, because this year has been the worst and best year of my life and it’s hard for anyone to truly understand that.

My Dad died and then I found out I was pregnant and then I graduated law school and then I studied for and took the bar exam and then I gave birth and then I started a business.

I’ve cried almost every day for various reasons. If it wasn’t because of my Dad then it was because of my pregnancy. If it wasn’t because of law school then it was because of the bar exam. If it wasn’t because I was sleep deprived then it was because I was fighting with Bret. I think the biggest reason is because this was supposed to be my year. Everything important in my life was happening this year and my Dad was supposed to be there. Law school, the bar exam, and children. He was supposed to be there and it kills me that he isn’t.

This year has tested me in more ways than one. It tested all of my relationships, my stamina, my physical endurance, my patience, my intellect, and my emotional stability (or lack thereof).

It’s been quite a year and I’m exhausted.

I miss my Dad more than words can describe. I wish I could have five more minutes with him because I have so many questions and I just want one last hug.

Today is a struggle for one more reason: I get my bar exam results.

He was supposed to be with me when I found out. I imagined we would be at his house and he would crack open a bottle of wine the minute I found out, either to celebrate or console. Or we would be at our favorite restaurant, where he would have our waiter on stand-by ready to bring a plate of guacamole dip and a raspberry margarita.

I still feel like George O’Malley from Grey’s Anatomy when he said “I don’t know how to exist in a world where my dad doesn’t.”

I feel like part of me is in limbo and I know, with time, it will get better. I hope this next year without him will be a little bit better than the last. Until I get to point where I can say “I’m okay” and mean it, I’m just going to take it day by day.

For a while after he died, I kept wondering when things will start to feel normal again or go back to being normal. But this is my new normal.

My new normal is a gaping hole in my life where my dad used to be. It’s the Saturday’s I won’t spend eating donuts and eating Mexican food with him. It’s the hour long phone calls I don’t have where he would tell me about every little detail of his life since the last time we talked and hearing another story from my childhood again.

I wish this wasn’t the way it had to be. I’d give anything to go to VG’s or Tony’s with him again. But I’m telling my heart to beat again because he wouldn’t want to me to live a life mourning him.

I heard the song “Tell Your Heart to Beat Again” by Danny Gokey recently (you can watch it below) and felt like this song fits my life so much right now. I’m constantly telling myself to keep going when I slow down and just mourn him for hours. But I can’t. I won’t let myself because I know that’s not what he would want.

So for now, I’ll keep going and hope that each day gets a little better and a little easier, no matter how broken I’m feeling.

I love you & miss you, Dad!

Sephora VIB Sale!

Sephora is one of my favorite stores and makeup is one of my favorite things.

I love playing with new products, trying different eye looks, and finding the best lighting for the ultimate highlight shine.

The Sephora VIB Sale is a highly anticipated sale because Sephora never has sales. Unlike Ulta, who has coupons for the nonprestige brands every week and the occasional coupons for prestige brands, Sephora only has a sale that happens twice a year.

The coupon has no exclusions, can be used as many times as you’d like, and is legit the best thing ever (because really, how often does high end makeup go on sale?!)

You must be part of Sephora’s rewards program to take part in the sale. If you’re not a Beauty Insider, you can sign up HERE.

There are 3 tiers to the Beauty Insider Program: Insider, VIB, and VIB Rouge. For the sale, Insider’s get 15% off and VIB and Rouge get 20%! When ordering online, use the codes INSIDER15, 20FORVIB, and 20FORROUGE, respectively. The sale lasts from November 10-15.

This year, Rouge got two sale weekends! So naturally, I shopped and got a huge haul to share with y’all today! Below are the things I bought during the first weekend and a list of things I recommend that you consider picking up when you shop the sale this coming weekend.



As an aside before I get into my haul and recommendations, I use only cruelty free makeup and skincare products so all of the products below are cruelty free!

Jack Black ChapstickJack Black Lip Blam
$7.50 HERE

These lip balms are my favorite! I used to use the Chapstick brand (blue tube only!) but I decided to find a new lip balm because I can’t go a day without something moisturizing on my lips. These are creamy and make your lips feel instantly better! I’ve only tried the shea butter kind because I don’t like flavored lip balms. Highly recommend to anyone!

Belief Kitbelief Holly Jolly Hydration Set
$38 HERE

The belief Aqua bomb is Bret’s favorite moisturizer so I picked up another one of those. But I found this set that has a full sized moisturizing bomb, Hungarian water essence, and moisturizing eye bomb. We haven’t tried these three products but they are for dry skin and we both have veryyyy dry skin, especially in the winter. So I figured we would give this a try, especially since a full sized aqua bomb and moisturizing bomb are each $38, so it’s like you’re getting the other two item free.

OH NutureOleHenriksen Wonderfeel Double Cleanser, $32 HERE
Force of Nurture Intensive Hand Cream, $22 HERE online only
12 Days of OLE Glow Skincare Advent Calendar, $69 HERE

This cleanser is amazing! I use it to take off my makeup and it gets every last bit off, even stubborn mascara bits. The hand cream is also a lifesaver! I got a sample size in the OleHenriksen advent calendar and it has basically healed my dry hands overnight. I also highly recommend the advent calendar if you are looking to get into skincare but aren’t sure where to start. The advent calendar has samples of all the popular products and each one is great.

Verb HaircareVerb Volume Shampoo and Conditioner
$16 each, HERE & HERE

So pregnancy basically ruined my hair, as it does to most women. My hair is falling out in massive chunks and I have tried so many different shampoo and conditioner combinations to try to get my hair back to what it used to be. I was recommended this brand by a friend so I decided to try it out (I’ll let y’all know how it is later).

Smashbox PrimersSmashbox Drawn In. Decked Out. Travel Primer Set
$22, HERE

I have been wanting to try the Smashbox primer water and pore minimizing primer. I’ve been on the hunt for a good primer for my dry skin and that will work well with the foundations I like. I sampled these in store on my face and liked the way they feel so I am excited to try these on my face.

Tartelette Toastedtarte Tartelette Toasted palette
$46, HERE

I have been waiting to get my hands on this palette! I love warm neutral tones for winter. When I bought this I wore it the next day to dinner because I was so excited to try it and, let me tell you, it did not disappoint! I swatched the four shimmer shades and, boy, are they stunning. If you love warm neutrals, I highly recommend this one!

Viseart Minx PaletteViseart Theory II Minx palette
$45, HERE

I have been wanting to try a Viseart palette for the longest time; I have heard nothing but great things about their shadows. The difference between swatching this palette and the Tartelette Toasted palette is insane. Tarte shadows are very creamy but these Viseart ones are on a different level. They feel like butter! I cannot wait to wear these color this winter!

Bite Cava & Primerbite beauty Matte Creme Lip Crayon in Cava, $24 HERE
Line & Define Lip Primer, $22 HERE

I love bite’s formula of lipsticks! I have several mini lipsticks in neutral shades and one of this year’s holiday kits. They are creamy and moisturizing and I couldn’t wait to pick up a new color. I decide to pick up Cava because it is a nice lilac beige color that seemed like it would be good for fall and winter. I also picked up the lip primer, per the recommendation from my friend. I never used to wear lip liners but have recently gotten into wearing them. I wanted something neutral that I could wear under several shades and this one fit the bill!


Tartelette in Bloom Palettetarte Tartelette in Bloom palette
$46, HERE

I cannot recommend this palette enough for those who want a good neutral palette with a couple shimmer shadows. The shadows are creamy, blendable, and buildable. You can create many different looks with this palette so no need to worry about it being a one trick pony.

Becca Under Eye BrigthenerBecca Under Eye Brightening Corrector
$30, HERE

Before pregnancy I had dark discoloration under my eyes and in the inner corner of my eyes. After pregnancy, it got worse, lol. This brightener/corrector makes it look like my eyes aren’t dark and I got a full nights sleep (if only, haha). A little bit goes a longgggg way. I bought this last year and, despite using it all the time, it looks like I’ve barely made a dent.

Bite Lip Kitbite beauty Champagne Discovery Set
$35, HERE

I think this is probably one of the best holiday kits this year because everything in it is full sized. It comes with Multistick and Lip Pencil in Cashew and Lip Gloss in Champagne. Cashew is a rose taupe color that is a perfect neutral color for any look. The lip gloss is a metallic gold color that adds a nice pop to any look. I have been wearing Cashew a lot lately because it is so creamy and makes my lips look great.

ABH Sugar Glow KitAnastasia Beverly Hills Sugar Glow Kit
$40, HERE

I love ABH’s highlights and this kit is perfect. Usually the glow kits kinda bother me because there are always half or more than half the colors that don’t work for my skin tone. However, this holiday glow kit is perfect. Even though some of the colors look dark in the pan, they aren’t when you swatch them or wear them on your face. All four colors can work easily for a variety of skin tones, mine included. I slightly considering getting another for when I run out….


Some of the things listed below are things that I consider to be great products. However, certain makeup items are all about personal preference. What works on me may not work on you, and vice versa. So here is a list of things I love that work for me that you could try if you’re in the market for something new.

Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara, $23 HERE
Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer, $54 HERE
Hourglass Vanish Seamless Finish Foundation Stick, $46 HERE
Becca x Jaclyn Hill Champagne Pop, $38 HERE
Kate Somerville ExfoliKate Cleanser, $38 HERE

That’s it for my haul and recommendations! Let me know in the comments below what you are getting from the sale and what your favorite makeup products are, I’d love to hear them!

Colorado Road Trip

I went on a short road trip to Colorado for my aunt’s wedding. In our car was my grandpa, mom, Bret, Amelia, and I. It was Amelia’s first road trip! Below is an overview of what we did and how the trip went!

Day 1: Vista, CA to Flagstaff, AZ

A little background: my mom has one brother, my Uncle Tom. He passed away from cancer in 2011 after his 9 month battle. He, my Auntie Carolyn, and cousins Clark and Becky lived in Pagosa Springs, CO and we used to visit them there, especially when it snowed!

In July, my mom told me we’d be attending a wedding in September; my Auntie Carolyn was getting married again! We all knew right away that we wanted to go and my mom hoped our whole side of the family could go too. Well, after much deliberation and requests for time off, my whole family got to go. And by whole family I mean: my grandpa, my mom, my sister, brother in law, niece, brother, sister in law, Bret, Amelia, and I. This was our first family vacation where the whole family could go since I was six and we went to Walt Disney World. Since my siblings, their spouses, and my niece are all my favorite people, I was very excited for this trip. And, to make it better, my mom rented a house in Pagosa so we could all stay together! My sister and her family drove the whole thing in one day and my brother and sister in law flew in on Friday night.

Our car took two days to drive to Pagosa, which was definitely nice since we had a newborn in our car. We rented a Ford Expedetition since we had 5 people and lots of luggage.

The first day wasn’t too eventful until we reached Williams, AZ, which is a Route 66 town outside Flagstaff. My mom’s friend from high school lives there and he took us to a cute Route 66 themed diner for dinner.

Route 66

The only rough part was Amelia staying awake and crying for a majority of the night.

Day 2: Flagstaff, AZ to Pagosa Springs, CO

Our drive to Pagosa was speedy and I was happy to finally be out of the car for a couple days. On our way to Pagosa, we stopped in Durango to visit Uncle Tom’s resting place. The cemetery in Durango is on a hill that overlooks the town, it’s a gorgeous view. A year after my Uncle passed away, his remains were buried there. Last year when my Grandma passed away, my mom and grandpa brought half her ashes to Durango and buried her with Tom. I knew visiting his grave was going to emotional for us. I captured this sweet moment of my grandpa and mom standing at the grave.

Uncle Tom

The house we stayed at was on a lake and was the cutest thing I’ve ever seen. Everything was made out of wood and had a country theme to it. There were windows everywhere that looked out over the lake.

That night, my aunt had a dinner for both sides of her and Bob’s families and friends. Amelia was a hit with everyone! Becky and Auntie Carolyn loved holding her and cuddling her. Becky currently lives in Hawaii and I don’t get to see her often, so it was really great for her to meet Amelia and Bret and to spend time with her.

Becky and Amelia

Day 3: Pagosa Springs, CO

This was our only full day in Pagosa and it rained for a majority of the day! My sister, brother in law, Bret, and I drove around the historic downtown area while everyone else stayed at the house.

The wedding and reception took place at the Canyon Crest Lodge. It was up on a hill or mountain and overlooked a valley full of trees and beautiful fall foliage. The wedding was outside but luckily it had stopped raining for the ceremony.

Becky looked gorgeous and Clark looked dapper as they walked down the aisle together. But, if I may speak for everyone there, Auntie Carolyn took our breath away. She wore a stunning embroidered gown; she was glowing! (And of course, I cried as she walked down the aisle. It happens at every wedding I go to, I can’t help it) During the ceremony, she and Bob looked so happy.  There was such a sweet moment when Auntie Carolyn, Clark, Becky, Bob, and his children stood in a circle and Bob prayed for their new family.

The reception was a blast! Layla was super entergetic and danced, basically, the entire time. The toasts were so sweet. Bob’s son’s toast brought me to tears.

Wedding Family

Amelia slept through the ceremony and the reception. She wore an adorable mauve dress that had glitter on it. She ended up with glitter all over her. It was nice to be able to spend the night with my family and see Becky. Clark lives in AZ and visits us in CA often but we don’t get to see Becky anymore since she moved to Hawaii. She’s a month younger than me and is basically like my sister so I miss her a lot when she’s gone.

Grandpas Girls

Day 4: Pagosa Springs, CO to Kingman, AZ

Unfortunately, our time in Colorado had to come to an end. We dropped my grandpa off at the airport in the morning because he was going on a cruise up the Mississippi River and then going to my cousins wedding in Minnesota.

We stopped by the Four Corners and the Grand Canyon. The Grand Canyon was gorgeous. I had only been once before when I was around 11 or 12 years old so I didn’t really remember it and seeing it again was great!

New Mexico

Four Corners

Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon Family

Day 5: Kingman, AZ to Vista, CA

In the morning we had breakfast at Cracker Barrel! This is my mom’s favorite place; she loves their food and their country store. While we waited for our food to arrive, my mom and I shopped. We may or may not have bought a lot of stuff….

As we arrived in Barstow, Amelia had a blow out, haha. Luckily it was right when we pulled in at our stop so we could change her quickly. After our stop, we grabbed a quick Starbucks and headed home!

This day was also the day of the fatal Las Vegas mass shooting. I woke up around 3am to feed Amelia and was looking at my phone when the information slowly started coming out. At that time, there were only around 15 dead and 50 injured. By the time I woke up at 9am, the number of dead and injured had increased drastically. My heart was breaking for those who were at the concert and their families. I had several friends at the concert, who were all ok.

I continually pray the evil in this world will cease and desist as I raise my daughter in this society.
Even though the future seems grim, I continue to have hope.

October in Review

After a long hiatus, I am back!

I decided to take some time to get a schedule going and get used to being a mom (although I’m still not used to it, haha).

This month was a fun month!
September was spent at home for the most part, but October we really tried to go out often so we didn’t feel like we were trapped (we were going crazy being at home constantly).

First up: Colorado Road Trip!

There will be a full post devoted to this trip, but my whole family went to Colorado for my aunt’s wedding and it was so much fun! It was Amelia’s first road trip and it was my first road trip without my Dad. I’m hoping we do a lot more road trips in the future!


October 7: Childhood Home

This day and this past weekend were pretty emotional for me. We were finally getting ready to sell our childhood home and after the tenants moved out, my sister and I walked through it one last time. It was definitely a surreal moment walking through the house I grew up in, being in my bedroom, seeing where my dog was buried, and, in general, just seeing all the different places where I made so many memories.

This past weekend we got news that we have a buyer so that made it even more emotional because it solidified the fact that this house will no longer be ours. I’m definitely going to miss it!


October 8: Disneyland!

Amelia went to Disneyland and CA Adventure for the first time to celebrate my friend’s birthday! Even though she slept the entire day, it was so great being back at DL as a normal human being and not pregnant, haha!



IMG_8242The picture above is our family photo on Small World. I forced Bret to take a picture with me and the cacti because…well, I really like cacti, haha.

October 13: Christmas Shopping

Yes, we went Christmas shopping in October.

We went to Homegoods and found some great decor and gifts for Christmas. All while wearing a Halloween candy onesie!


October 18: Disneyland

Amelia had her second trip to Disneyland. This time we went with my mom and one of her friends. Again, Amelia slept basically the entire time we were there. It was nice going with my mom because we were able to leave Amelia with her while we rode Matterhorn!




October 25: Visiting Papa

Amelia had her 2 month check-up and got all her shots! (insert sad face here, though she took it like a champ) Afterwards we had lunch at the pizza place where my brother works and then stopped to say hi to my grandpa. When we got to his house, Bret handed Amelia to her and she sat in my grandpa’s lap for 15-20 minutes without crying. He just talked to her and she kept on laughing and smiling. It was the cutest thing!


October 31: Halloween!

We originally were not planning on dressing up but at the very last minute decided to DIY a costume for Amelia. Since we already have Nightmare Before Christmas outfits, we figured making a Zero the Ghost Dog outfit would be fairly easy (it was, haha). I also took some pictures of Amelia in the Snow White dress my sister got her. I got the poison apple mug during our last Disneyland trip and couldn’t pass up the photo op!




What did you do this month and what did you dress up as for Halloween?
Comment below and let me know!

Meet Amelia!

Amelia Wheeler Taitingfong
August 24, 2017
7 lbs. 3 oz.

Birth Story

I woke up around 3am on the 24th having contractions. I had had a false alarm on the 18th and these contractions started out feeling like those. Instead of waking everyone up, I wiggled in pain in bed for about an hour until my mom woke up.

We had been sharing a bed for a few days because Bret was up at our apartment working while I stayed where our families live so I could give birth down here. Normally I would sleep in my room but my friend Brittany was also staying with us because my mom had to go to work during the day and someone needed to be here to take me to the hospital, just in case.

So finally my mom awoke to my moaning and movement and asked if I was okay. Lol, no I wasn’t.

We spent the next half hour or so debating whether these contractions were worth going to the hospital. We finally decided to go when they got so intense I could barely move and started vomiting (tmi?).

My mom drove like mad to the hospital (I think it was mostly because she didn’t want the baby to come in her new car). I called Bret and, luckily, he had his phone volume on high. He said he’d be down asap! And I kept reminding him to take his time and not crash on the way there (I kept telling him this because the Greys Anatomy episode where Dr. Bailey gives birth and her husband gets into a car accident on his way to the hospital was one of my biggest fears with Bret staying home to work).

We got to the hospital and they checked me into the L&D triage room. My mom and I kept praying I was dilated enough to stay (the main reason I went home when I had my false alarm). The nurse checked and concluded I was dilated enough to be admitted!

I was admitted to my own room and hooked up to every machine imaginable. One of the first things I asked was “when can I have the epidural?” Luckily, I was able to get it right away.

The epidural went in and I about cried. It felt so good to not have to feel those contractions. I know a lot of women opt for the natural, no medication births but that life is not for me. I knew from the day I saw the word “pregnant” on that test that I’d be having an epidural.

The next few hours went by slowly and Bret finally showed up. They gave me a tiny hit of pictocin to move things along more quickly. I was surprised that I was brought a lunch, lol. It was an all liquid diet but I didn’t care, I was starving!

My mom and I were talking and then all of a sudden I had this weird feeling in my butt. I asked my mom “so I have this feeling in my butt, is that me wanting to push?” And she looked at me and said “yes!”

I pushed for about an hour and a half (although it didn’t seem that long). I kept pushing but, due to the epidural, it felt like I was doing nothing, haha. The nurse kept telling me that she could see the top of her head but that she wasn’t quite there yet. But then the doctor came in, ready to deliver, took one look at me and said “this baby will be out on the next contraction.” We were all like, “wait, what?!”

And sure enough, he gave me an episiotomy and she was out! I felt a pop when her head came through and then her body. It was such an odd feeling but it was amazing. She was finally here!

I had only cried once during labor and it was pretty early on in the day when I started thinking about my dad. For about two weeks I had forced the thought of him out of my mind because I knew it would bring on a ton of emotions.

When Amelia came out, and I heard her cry, I started to cry. My mom came running over to me crying too. She knew why I was crying. Not because of labor, not because she was finally here, but because of my dad. 

Throughout this entire pregnancy I couldn’t stop thinking about my dad and how heartbroken I am that he isn’t able to meet Amelia. He loved being a grandpa to Layla and I know he would’ve loved Amelia so much. So that’s where her name comes in!

What’s In A Name

Amelia Wheeler.

No, she is not named after Amelia Earhart or Amelia Bedilia. Actually, she’s named after some of my favorite fictional characters. Amy Pond of Doctor Who, Dr. Amelia Shepard of Grey’s Anatomy, and Mia Thermopolis of The Princess Diaries. I have always loved the name and even more so because of these three strong representations of women who do great things.

For those who don’t know, my dad went by his middle name his entire life. His full name was Wheeler Nicholas Ashcraft the third. He went by Nick exclusively that when he had work nametags that said Wheeler but introduced himself as Nick, people got really confused, haha.

I knew from the beginning that I wanted to honor my dad in some way, whether we were having a boy or girl, because I knew this baby was his and God’s way of saying everything would be okay after my dad died. I always liked the idea of using Wheeler more so than Nicholas because Wheeler is pretty unique (only my extended family members have Wheeler in their name).

One day at school I was thinking of middle names for Amelia with my friends and I said, “Amelia Wheeler…nah that sounds weird and Bret wouldn’t go for it.” But Brittany stopped and said, “No wait, that’s actually really cute!” So it stuck with me and it took a while, but Bret finally agreed!

The First 48 Hours

She did have some jaundice, which has been quite the roller coaster for us. She had to use a light blanket and be in the incubator for a while. But the good news is, it’s going down! Each day her eyes get a little less yellow and her skin (although you can barely tell) gets a little less yellow too.

Newborn photo


We are so in love with this little angel baby! She is so sweet and makes the funniest faces (she gets it from me)! I’m so happy to be her mom and raise her using all the wisdom my parents bestowed upon me.