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Lets Talk About Our Skin: Sun Protection and Raising Awareness


While in some countries this time of the year you have a cold weather, cloudy days filled with rain or snow, those kind of days you wish you could stay warm in bed instead of going to work or school, in other parts of the world you may find a clear blue sky, sunny days, and a great excuse to wear your favorite shorts with a tank top and sandals. Wherever you may be at, whether its cold or hot outside, everyday is important to take care of your skin and protect it against the sun. I know you’ve probably have heard this way too many times, but have you actually thought about it?

A few years ago, well, know that I think about it, almost 10 years ago (wow, time does go by so quickly!) I thought that I was invincible. I would listen to my parents telling me to wear sunblock before going outside, but the truth is I thought the most I would get if I didn’t protect myself was a bad sunburn. Not that I wasn’t aware of skin cancer, I just never thought I would get it or at least no one close to me, and yes, this is no excuse, but I hate that sunblock lotion is quite sticky and it feels like it takes forever to get absorbed. 10 years ago, a family member was diagnosed with melanoma. From that point on, my view about protection against the sun changed. 

What do you do to protect yourself from the sun? I don’t really like it when people tell me “don’t go outside, don’t go to the beach or if you do go to the beach, don’t go tanning”. Let’s get real, the probability of sun exposure is too high on daily basis, and yes, even higher if you go to the beach, but you still are going to get some degree of sun exposure wherever you might be at, and yet, most people won’t stop doing their daily activities because of it. Instead of prohibiting activities, we should teach prevention and protection methods that can be applied in our day to day, and most importantly people should be educated. They should learn about the risks, the consequences, about the why of everything. As Nelson Mandela said: “Education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world”. Thus, I’ll try to explain two of the most common consequences of sun exposure and how to prevent them.

Freckles and that caramel toned tan…


I have red hair, light skin and, like most redheads, freckles on my face, on my shoulders, and on my chest… pretty much on all sun exposed areas. Some people like freckles, they think they look cute. Others don’t like them, my mom has tried to get me to use one of her facial lotions that helps clear the skin from freckles, but a few people, like me, don’t really pay much attention to them. I used to not care about my freckles until I was in med school. 

Freckles, or ephelides, are small, brown, circular shaped, flat marks or patches located on sun exposed areas of skin (face, neck , shoulders, arms, chest). During summertime they may darken and become more noticeable, but during wintertime they tend to fade or lighten up. They are usually found on fair skin people, blonds and redheads most frequently. 

How do you get them? Well, freckles are our body’s reaction to sun exposure. Once ultraviolet rays come in contact with the skin, it stimulates specialized cells in the epidermis, melanocytes. These melanocytes then increase their production of melanin, a pigment that gives the color of our skin. Usually the melanin is spread across the skin, into other skin cells called keratinocytes, which results in that caramel tone tan that we all love to have when going to the beach. However, other times the melanin is accumulated in certain areas of the skin, forming freckles. 

Why is this important? This pigment, the melanin, is produced with the purpose of reducing the damage that UV rays generate. Think of it this way: every time you go tanning, sun exposure produces lesions to your body. Yet, your body fights this back and tries to protect you. It tries to reduce these lesions by producing that tan, those freckles, that people actually enjoy. Then, the more you get tanned, the more freckles you have, the higher the probability of getting harmed by sun rays. As the World Health Organization states: “any colour change from our natural skin colour is a sign of damage and offers little protection against further damage.”

(This image was taken from : "Sun Protection: A Primary Teaching Resourcen." WHO Library Cataloguing-in-Publication Data (2003): n. pag. WHO Library. Web. 15 Dec. 2014.)

When I learned how freckles and suntan were produced, I actually felt guilty. All this time I have been exposing myself to harm, while my body has been working hard to protect me. However, as shocking or scary this might make you feel, will you say no the next time you have the opportunity to travel to an exotic island, go surfing, or just to the beach? Some people will answer yes, that they wouldn’t go, but others, the majority, will think the opposite. It amazed me how my family member even after being diagnosed with skin cancer, even after overcoming this event, he wanted to be able to go to the beach with his friends. Yet, I couldn’t blame him for wanting to have a normal life back. Then, the question is, what can you do in this situation? Acceptance is the key. You can’t expect people to hide from the sun, but you can guide them, modify their lifestyle choices, so that each time they are outside, the risks are less. 

These are the recommendations:

  • Wear sunscreen lotion everyday… yes, everyday. Nowadays, thankfully, sun protection awareness has increased and products with UVA and UVB protection are available to everyone. As a consequence, lotions are no longer sticky or smelly, but more adapted to what the consumer wants and likes. Products may vary from lip balm with SPF, CC creams, makeup foundations, to body lotions with a touch of sunblock. Make sure you protect all sun exposed areas. Apply any product with a minimum of SPF 15 20 minutes before going outside (it needs time to be absorbed), and then reapply every 2-3 hours later and/or after getting out of a swimming pool.
  • Wear hats during the summer and sunglasses while driving during the day, or when going outside.
  • Avoid direct sunlight from 10 am to 4 pm… Seek shade! During this period of time, the sun rays are the strongest because the sun is at its highest point. Remember that the longer you are exposed to the sunlight, the higher the risks of lesions. Therefore, avoid tanning during these hours. If your friends want to go tanning and you know better than doing this, but you don’t want to miss the fun of spending time with your friends, you can always use protective clothing, sit under the shade of an umbrella, and make sure you have sunscreen on all areas of your body that will be exposed to the sun.
  • Avoid sunlamps and sunbeds. These methods of sun tanning use UV radiation that can damage your skin.
  • Maintain a routinely check up with your dermatologist. After observing my family member’s experience with skin cancer, I’ve realized that it is important to go to the doctor even if your aren’t sick, but just for a check up. This way, you have an up to date of your body’s health state and if there is anything wrong with it, it will be discovered at an early stage. This recommendation is more important to those persons with higher risk: fair skin people, redheads and blonds, and people with family members who have had skin cancer. 
  • Last, but no least, create consciousness about the importance of protecting your skin. As this quote states: “…Change comes from within, not from the outside”.  You, and only you, are responsible for your life choices. No matter how many times people are going to tell you do this or do that, you have the changing force. Help spread the word and inform others as well.




Finally, don’t stop here. If you want to learn more about protecting yourself from the sun, here are some useful websites:



Bibliography:
"Brown Spots and Freckles." DermNet NZ. New Zealand Dermatological Society Incorporated, 2008. Web. 15 Dec. 2014.
"Sun Protection: A Primary Teaching Resourcen." WHO Library Cataloguing-in-Publication Data (2003): n. pag. WHO Library. Web. 15 Dec. 2014.

“Protecting Yourself From Sun Exposure.” Nosh Fast Facts. Center for Disease Control and Prevention. 2010. Web. 15 Dec. 2014.

Makeup of the Day


The other day I had an event at night so I decided to go crazy with my makeup. Let me explain this before you see the photos, or else you are going to think I’m exaggerating haha, because this look, as you’ll see, is quite simple. I usually don’t use much makeup in my everyday (hence why I said I went crazy with the makeup). I’m happy with just a black mascara and a chapstick or lip balm, no foundation, no eyeshadow, no eye liner, only that. When I go out, that’s another story. I dust off my foundation haha, pop open my eye palettes, find my most pigmented lipstick, and try my best to do my makeup as professionally as I can (I’m still learning haha). 

For this look, first I applied a foundation primer since I needed my makeup to stay together for the whole duration of the event. I used Smashbox’s Photo Finish Color Correction. I love this product, it’s super soft and not at all greasy, definitely recommended. Next, I used Diorskin’s Nude Foundation, which is my current go-to foundation. I set the foundation with Clinique’s Blended Face Powder for a matte finish. To contour my face, I used MAC’s Bronzing Powder Refined Golden tone

After I finished with my face, I focused on the eyes, which is my favorite part. First, I used the Urban Decay’s Eyeshadow Primer Potion. I must say, I was amazed that at the end of the night, my eyes looked as if I had just painted them. This product is really effective! Then, I applied Urban Decay’s Naked Palette 3 Burnout eyeshadow all over my lid, which is a nice pink color with a bit of shimmer. For the outer half of the lid, I used the copper eyeshadow in the L’Oreal Colour Riche Quads Forever Bronze Eye Palette. This eye palette is incredibly pigmented and has nice rich colors. With a clean blending brush, I carefully blended the copper eyeshadow with the pink eyeshadow. Also, I added a bit of that copper color into the crease. Next, I applied the brown eyeshadow (not the darkest brown) of the same L’Oreal eye palette into the outer “v” of my eye to give it more depth. For the lower lid, I applied the copper eyeshadow, from side to side, and the brown eyeshadow in the outer half. Finally, I used the Maybelline’s Eye Studio Lasting Drama Black Gel Eyeliner to do a small wing. I find that using a gel eyeliner is easier than a pencil eyeliner. I feel that I have more control and that I can reach in-between the eyelashes. 

As for the lips, I used MAC’s Pro Longwear Lipstick in the color Till Tomorrow


*Sorry for the quality of the photos, I tried my best to find a good lighting so that the makeup could be appreciated. Also, excuse the modeling poses haha, I was trying to find the best way to show the eye makeup :P


Our own little space

Sometimes we need a little time on our own, a space to get away from all that’s going on in your life and just enjoy yourself. It’s kind of like recharging your batteries, do you know what I mean?

My little space where I can turn to when I need some “me time” is going to the swimming pool. I love swimming, I love the feeling that I get once I’m in the pool. I feel such a connection with the water: I feel alive and free, I feel at peace. All my thoughts, all my worries, are gone, as if the water just washed them away, and instead, this immense feeling of joy and happiness overwhelms my body. If I’m stressed out or angry/sad, swimming and doing excise helps burn all that.

The pool where I go is an outside swimming pool, surrounded by grass, plants and trees. Although it’s part of a gym, sometimes I like to stop and stare at the view and pretend I’m all by myself, it’s only me and the nature all around me. Specially at night, when the stars and the moon light the pool, I wonder, how can I be so lucky to be alive?


What do you like to do when you need some time off to focus on yourself?


Banana Bread Recipe






One of my all time favorite cakes, although it’s called a bread I don’t know why, is the Banana Bread. Once in a while, there is an overpopulation of bananas at my house (we have a banana tree), so what better way than to use them all for baking a banana bread. Before you go on reading, you must know I’m no chef, I’ve never taken culinary classes, I’ve only watched my mom bake cakes and too much Food Network haha. The following is a recipe I made up and here are the results (pictures included).


Ingredients:
4 overripe bananas (you want them to be sweet, so try finding a yellow banana with no green color on its peel) 

1 1/2 cups of flour

1 cup of brown sugar

1 tablespoon of baking powder 

1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg 

1 teaspoon of cinnamon

Pinch of salt

3/4 cup of water (you could use milk instead)

1 stick of butter at room temperature

2 teaspoons of vanilla extract 

1/4 teaspoon of orange zest



Directions:
1. Preheat your oven at 300˚C. Butter and flour a baking pan and set it aside.


2. With a mechanical whisk, mix together the butter and sugar. I like to take my time doing this step. I like to stir really well until the butter turns a pale yellow color, but is still quite firm. This could take about 5 minutes or more, but don’t do this in a  hurry, take your time.

                                     


3. Once you have mixed the butter and sugar, add half of the bananas (that would be two bananas) and let the blender kind of mash the bananas and mix them well with the butter. You’ll notice that the mixture becomes thicker.

                                     


4. Add one by one the eggs. Make sure you stir everything well enough before adding the other egg. The mixture will become lighter and fluffy.

5. Add the nutmeg, cinnamon, salt, and vanilla, and stir everything together.

6. Combine the flour and baking powder little by little with the mixture. I usually add part of the flour, stir really well, add part of the water, stir really well, add another part of the flour and so on. 

                                     


7. Finally, add the second half of the bananas (two more bananas) and the orange zest. 

8. Bake the banana bread for about 45 minutes or until a toothpick or knife comes out clean after inserting it in the cake. 







Berry Colored Nails: Foxy by Revlon

It seems that berry color and all similar shades are the color trend for autumn and winter. I love that tone, especially for lips and eyes. It’s the season to rock a cranberry smokey eye paired with nude lips or baby pink lips, and, if you’re in a hurry or you just don’t want to wear too much makeup, you could pull a plum lip with just a black mascara for your eyes, and it would still look great. So, following that trend, I thought I could try a dark berry color for my nails. I used Foxy by Revlon and liked the results. It’s a dark purple, similar to a plum shade, with a metallic undertone. I really liked it because it has a shimmery finish, but if you are a matte nail color kind of girl you can try OPI’s Lost on Lombard, which I was told is similar. 

Which color trends are you most enjoying for autumn and winter? 




Beauty Review: My Most Recent Purchases

Every time I go do some grocery shopping I always find myself ending up at the makeup aisle, hasn’t this happened to you too? Even if I’m not going to buy anything, I’ll just go and check what new products have arrived, which ones I haven’t tried out yet, or just to find an old time favorite that I've run out of. The other day was no different, I was at the makeup aisle once again and saw that some products were on sale… yey! I bought a few, it wasn’t much of a splurge, but I decide to share them with you anyways. Hope you enjoy!

The first that called my attention and the one I’m most excited to try out is the Maybelline lipstick in Dazzling Plum. It’s a rich ,medium tone, plum color with a little bit of a glossy finish. I haven’t worn it yet, but I have a good feeling about it! I think I’ll use it the most when going out or to spice up a simple outfit. 

To go with this plum lipstick, I bought the Revlon Photoready Eye Palette in the Metropolitan shade. This palette contains neutral eyeshadow tones that would combine perfectly with the Dazzaling Plum lipstick. Also, it has a gold eyeshadow and a silver eyeshadow that can work to turn a daytime look into a nighttime look.

I’ve read a lot of good reviews about Revlon’s Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain and Revlon’s Colorburst Matte Balm. I love that these are chunky lipsticks. I feel like I’m using a crayon to paint my lips and this just makes it more fun to do my makeup haha. I got the Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in the Romantic shade, which is a cherry lip color. It looks great and, most importantly, has a long duration. I ate food and drank water while wearing it and it didn’t fade away. I was a little bit hesitant about the Colorburst Matte Balm in the Audacious shade. Because of being a redhead, I don’t really like wearing a lot of orange or yellow clothes, much less makeup, but I was feeling a bit adventurous at the moment and bought it. Let me tell you that I’m not disappointed with my decision. This shade looks really nice and I think it goes well with the color of my hair (so if you are a redhead, don’t be afraid to try it out!). It has a matte finish (duh…Colorburst Matte Balm… haha) and it doesn’t fade away easily. 

Last, but not least, I found this nail polish, Sally Hansen Hard As Nails in the Mighty Mango color. I like that it’s a vibrant orange color, something different from the usual nail colors I would go for. 


Have you tried any of these products before?? Tell me what do you think :)







Outfit of the Day: Black and Blue Monday

Hi guys! I’ve never done this type of post before haha, so you’ll have to bare with me. Sorry for the quality of the photos, I used my computer since I don’t have a camera. I’m saving money to buy one in Christmas :) I usually don’t like combing blue with black, but I thought it worked out with this outfit. I don’t remember where I got the blouse or the leggings. My mom gave me those leggings a few years ago, maybe three years ago, but I think she got them from an unknown little store. What I like about them is that sort of pattern it has, although I think you can’t tell from the photos haha. Anyway, hope you like it!





Jewelry Inspiration!

The other day I was looking into my drawers, trying to find ways to accessorize an outfit, and while I contemplated my options, I thought it would be a good idea to share with you some of the jewelry I’ve been using lately . I don’t know if this has happened to you, but for me choosing what necklace, bracelet, or ring to wear is tricky and hard. It’s either that you don’t want to outshine your outfit, or sometimes you just want to call the attention to the jewelry your wearing. To ease things out, I guess we need some inspiration, and hopefully I’ll help you with that haha.


  1. A friend of mine went to Colombia and bought this wristband that was handmade by local indians. She added golden and green beads to give it a twist, which I think looks great! It is different and works great when you want your outfit to stand out.
  2. This bracelet I bought it from Misako. I love that it is simple and yet it calls your attention. It looks delicate and elegant. 
  3. The reason why I placed the earrings and this bracelet together is because my mom made them! She is really good at making handcrafts and jewelry. In some other post I’ll show you more of the bracelets and necklaces that she has made. I love, love, love the earrings! The blue stone she used is perfect because it calls attention but in a subtle way. They won’t overpower your outfit, yet with a simple black blouse o top it would look great as well. What I like about the bracelet is its shape. It’s different and works well with a casual outfit. I usually wear it with some other bracelets to add color, but the shape defiantly stands out.
  4. The rest of bracelets in the photo are from Stradivarius. I love that store haha. They are sold together, but the best part is that you can also do different combinations, like wearing them separately or with other bracelets. I love the colors and the combination of beads. I haven’t worn them, but when I do I’ll post a picture of my outfit!

Budweiser Video

I saw this video on Youtube and thought it would be nice to share with you. It raises awareness to the dangers of drinking and driving in a different way... That dog :)


My Take On Peanut Butter S'mores In a Jar

I decided to bake something for a friend of mine, his birthday will be soon so I thought it would be a nice gift. The original recipe can be found here and make sure to view all the mouthwatering recipes found on this blog. 

I went to the supermarket and bought baking pans. Apparently a lot of people use these type of pans because when I got to the supermarket only a few were left and, out of all of them, this was the one that worked the best for me.

I crushed some butter cookies (not graham crackers) into crumbs and added melted butter to form the crust. I wanted a thick crust so I used a lot of cookies. Next, I placed the crust in the oven for 10 minutes until it was golden brown. Since I didn’t find marshmallow creme, I added about two fingers height of small marshmallows and placed them in oven for 5 minutes until it melted together. 



While the marshmallows cooled down I prepared the brownie mixture following the instructions stated in the box. I added 2 tablespoons of peanut butter (honestly, I think it was a bit more) and 1 tablespoon of water (the mixture was thick so the water was necessary haha).




I placed the brownie mixture over the marshmallows and baked it. Don’t get scared (as I did haha) if you noticed that the marshmallows puff and some even get mixed with the brownie. 



For the final touches, I placed one layer of peanut butter and another layer of chocolate spread on top of the brownie.




The results: Although the marshmallows mixed with the brownie and it was hard to tell the there was a layer of marshmallow separate from the brownie layer, it tasted great! The marshmallows gave a special something to the brownie, not only taste-wise, but also consistency. 

Some Thoughts About a Video

Hi! Yesterday I stumbled upon this video and thought it would be a good idea to share it with you. I don’t agree completely with all of the arguments that are discussed here, but overall, I do agree with the main idea of this video, that is to accept who you are as a person, as a woman. Although it talks about how the media portrays the “ideal” woman, I think it can be applied to everyone. We all have the pressure to look and act a certain way, not just women, and this influences how we feel about ourselves. The purpose of sharing this video is to send the following message: embrace yourself, love the person you are, your body, your personality, and don’t ever let anyone make you feel the opposite. Personally, I enjoy makeup and clothes and these things make me feel comfortable with myself. At the end of the day, it’s all about what works for you, what makes you feel strong and confident. You may have heard this before, but remember that beauty comes from the inside :)





Blue Nails!

Yesterday I was bored at home so I decided to paint my nails! I wasn’t sure how this was going to turn out because I’ve never used a blue color before, but I like the results. I tend to paint my nails with neutral colors, light pink, or nude shades, but from time to time I like to be a bit daring haha and go for different colors, like this light blue nail polish. As for the base color, I usually choose a transparent nail polish. This time I applied a light pink, almost white, color as the base thinking that it would help set the blue color better. Then, I applied two coats of China Glaze’s Secret Peri-Winkle. Hope you like it!




Some thoughts: Appreciate your work and efforts!

Today I wanted to write about learning to appreciate yourself, your own accomplishments. To introduce this topic, I want to share with you my experience in university:

When I graduated school, I thought that university wasn’t going to be as big of a change as everyone I talked to said. …Little did I knew that I would struggle so much. Once I got to the second year of university I realized how different it was from high school. I was used to the teaching methods from my school, where they encourage us to think and analyze. Whereas now, I face classes (like anatomy) that required plenty of memorizing and little logic. It was a big impact in my life because as I tried to keep up with the class and as I tried to learn these new teaching methods, I started to get low grades. It hurt my pride and my self confidence. With time, I became trapped in a vicious cycle: the more I struggled, the lower the grades, the less self confidence. It got to the point where it affected other areas of my life and all I would do was blame my self; I became my worst enemy. Yet, as they say, time heals all. Little by little I fought back and got the hung of things. Still today I have a hard time but not as hard as it was before. The difference between now and before is my perspective of the situation. Although I still doubt myself and I’m still afraid of failing, I try to encourage myself, to push my limits and look for excellence. The key I think is that you have to learn to appreciate your own efforts, even if the rest of the class has better grades. Instead of focusing on others, it’s best to focus on yourself. This means that if you have overcome an obstacle, then you should acknowledge this and treat yourself to something you like. Try to feel better with yourself. Today I got exempt from a class, and, although I could have done better, it is a big step for me. I feel proud :) 




(Photo from: http://www.listofimages.com/mountain-sunrise.html)


Beauty Review: Hair Products- John Frieda & Petal Fresh Organic

Hi everyone! How are you? So, I’ve been thinking about what should I blog and I thought that I would start with something that I’m currently interested in: hair products. First off, I don’t actually use many hair products. With time, I have started to pay more and more attention to my hair. I’m very laid back about it, I barely blow dry it a bit after I shower, I think that says it all haha. Recently, I’ve been reading and learning about different ways to care for and keep your hair healthy. I’ll share with you my thoughts on that later on in other posts. Today I wanted to give you my opinion on two brands of shampoo and hair conditioner. The first one I had never used before and the second one is one of my favorites. Hope you enjoy!

Petal Fresh Organics- Color Protection Pomegranate and Acai Shampoo: 


This shampoo brand I had never seen or heard about before. I usually buy my hair products in the supermarket while my mom likes to go to different stores and finds various products that have turn out to be very good. So, a few months ago she went to GNC and found this brand that uses organic ingredients and few chemicals. This week, I decided to try it out. I was very excited because I think that the more natural, the better. The first thing I noticed was the scent. It smells really good :) It has a fruity smell, actually it reminds me of Skittles haha. The scent lasted long enough I think. The next day after I washed my hair it kept smelling like I had just washed it. The second thing I noticed was that the shampoo doesn’t foam so much. I thought it was because my hair was dirty or greasy but when I applied it again it still didn’t foam. Also, I noticed that my hair got greasy faster than usual, which was a little bit of a turn down. Maybe it doesn’t clean as deep as other brands or maybe I should apply it three times instead of the usual two. I’ll try this again and I’ll tell you later if it changed. The conditioner felt creamy and rich. I noticed that my hair looked shinier and felt softer. Overall, I did liked it and I do recommend it to you. If you have tried it, tell me what was your experience like :)



John Frieda- Brilliant Brunette Shampoo and Root Awakening Conditioner:

I’ve tried three products from John Frieda and so far they have been amazing! I’m constantly looking for different shampoos and conditioners because I’ve noticed that if I use the same brand for a long long long period of time, at first, my hair looks healthy and “happy” and then, later on, it looks dry and dull. Has this happen to you? I heard about this brand though a friend of mine, so I decided to give it a try. The first I tried out was Brilliant Brunette. I don’t have brown hair, I have natural red hair, and I know the shampoo is called Brilliant Brunette haha, but the reason I bought this one was because, although it doesn’t color your hair brown, it darkens your natural color. I prefer my hair rather brownish-red color than light red. It contains almond oil which helps hydrate and give shine. The almond oil smell is really lovely :) My hair felt soft and, with continued use, it looked healthier and felt more moisturized. After a good result with the shampoo, I tried the Root Awakening conditioner. It contains peppermint extract and eucalyptus that work to hydrate ,not only the roots, but also the scalp. For best results, I like to let the conditioner get absorbed by my hair and scalp so I wait 2-3 minutes before rinsing it. After using it, my scalp felt refreshed and, I can’t explain, but it felt like the sensation in your mouth that you get when chewing strong meant bubble gum. It is great if you have dry hair like me or if you have an itchy scalp. Both products are great for hydration and I actually like to use them when I go swimming. The chlorine in the pool really dries your hair so it is important to moisturize well.

A small introduction...

While I was in my last year of school, I think I never quite understood what graduating and going to university really meant. Frankly, I think I didn’t give it much thought, nor did I plan ahead so much. Choosing a career was hard for me because I was torn between something that involved writing and heath sciences. I love writing and expressing my thoughts through words, analyzing and reflecting upon literature or just observing the world around me and understanding it. Yet, I finally decided to keep writing as a hobby, for myself. I chose to stay where I live and began university soon after graduating from school. My university experience so far is different from what many of you might have had and, now that I realize, different from what I wish I could have. I didn’t get to move out of my parent’s house, travel to a different country or meet people from different cultures. The environment is quite competitive and demanding, and to put it this way, the people are different from what I expected. Sometimes I feel like Holden from Catcher in the Rye in the sense that what I want dearly is love, true love if it exists, a true bond and not just friends who come and go or relationships so fragile that don’t last long enough. However, this is not about friends and relationships, it’s an introduction, so lets not dwell upon that so much. Soon after the excitement of been in university faded away and time passed by, I found myself in a spot where I didn’t know which direction to take, what to do with my life and after a year or so I’m still in the same spot. After much thought, I realized that time never stops, life doesn’t wait for you until you are ready to keep on living it. It's up to you to make the best out of it. So, finally, the purpose of this blog is to share with those who are in the same spot as I am, with those who were, and, well, with those who are interested in, my attempts to make the best lemonade out of all the lemons that life has given me. Also, I would love to read your thoughts, comments, and learn from your experiences.