3 Things I Do Everyday to Get Closer to My Fitness Goals

 1.  Prepare.   It’s easier to reach fitness goals if you are prepared!  I always have a plan and a list of priorities. Otherwise, I won’t accomplish anything.  I always start off my day with seeing what’s on my schedule and find a time to fit in a workout.  I also decide what I want to focus on (upper body, core, legs, etc).  If I know I only have time for a workout during my lunch break, then I aim to do the workout then.  On crazy days, I break up workouts.  I’ll maybe do a 20 minute workout during lunch and then do another once I get home.


If your schedule changes during the day (and it happens to me all the time), don’t use it as an excuse to skip your workout. Even if it’s one you have to cut down to only 10 mins, it’s still worth doing because it’s training your mind to stick to your goals and not give up right away!

Another thing I like to prepare in the morning (or the night before) are my meals!  I found that this simple change has helped me tremendously.  It’s so easy to buy something unhealthy when you find yourself without a lunch (McDonald’s drive thru, anyone?)  So I make it a habit to bring my own snacks and meals.  You also have more control over the portions and ingredients.

2.  Nourish.  Well, it’s great you did all those workouts so it’s important to consume foods that will keep your body strong and energized throughout the day.  The biggest change I made was the way I thought about food.  I now tell myself that I am going to eat to nourish my body.  It’s all about changing your mindset when it comes to eating. I found that by making this small change, I was more likely to choose healthier meals.  I like to snack on almonds or berries, and I eat lots of lean protein with vegetables.  But don’t get me wrong! I will have that cookie once in a while. It’s all about balance!


3.  Reflect. What’s the point of doing all the preparation and hard work if you don’t take the time to think about what you’ve learned or achieved?  You can only get better when you take the time to reflect on what it is you have done so you can prepare for the next day.  At the end of the day, I usually think about what I did well and what I need to work on. Once you start taking the time to reflect, you will discover your strengths and weaknesses.  Most importantly, this is also a time to give yourself a pat on the back for a job well done and give gratitude!

How to Survive a Male Dominated Workplace:  Establish yourself as a professional woman, not as a sex object

I’m writing this post because I recently had a conversation with a client about how difficult it is to be a woman in a male dominated industry.  She works in media and production which was also similar to my previous background.  She was telling me about how she is constantly fighting to have her ideas heard at work but it always turns out that men are praised more than women. She mentioned that in a room full of men, if you are the only female, you might as well keep your mouth shut since they won’t listen to your ideas and they tend to only see you as a sex object.  It’s a harsh reality in the workplace and I can totally relate.  I’m not saying that this is always the case, but I’ve certainly witnessed similar situations where men hold the power and women are just seen as pretty faces.  I’ve heard men say degrading and insulting things to women. It can make work very difficult. Fortunately, I have learned valuable lessons from a few powerful female colleagues in the past.  I carry everything I’ve learned from them with me and it’s helped me throughout my career. After nearly 10 years of working in a male dominated industry, I’ve decided to share some wisdom on how to step out of the shadows and be a leader…even in a room full of men.


My old office with a view!


So it’s time to get real here.  You have a vagina and he has a penis.  Get over it.  The only body part that matters in the workplace is your brain.  So use it wisely and rise above the rest.

  1. Don’t flirt. Just don’t do it.  Establish yourself as a working professional not as the fun flirty girl or office hottie.  If you are an attractive woman, this is going to be difficult as men will be throwing themselves at you.  So what does this mean?  This means do not overdo it at happy hour with your coworkers.  And for God’s sake, do not sleep around!  I hate to say it, but the sexy secretary doesn’t exist in the real world.  It’s called fantasy, gentlemen!  Ladies, once you open the door to flirting and even sexual invitations, you have already set the stage for who you are in the workplace.  You are telling men around you that it is okay for them to look at you as a sex object.  Please don’t be THAT girl.  People will take advantage of you.  Don’t think for a second that flirting with the executives will help you get a promotion.  It doesn’t work that way and it’s better to earn it with hard work than with your body.  Not to mention, it can hurt your career and reputation.  Believe it or not, there are men who did not take the sexual harassment training seriously!  So it’s up to you to make the best impression so that people respect you.   As for that quid pro quo bullshit?  Forget it.  Establish who you are.  A strong woman with a brain.
  2. Don’t be afraid to share your ideas in a room full of men. So the guy sitting next to you in a meeting has a college degree and an impressive resume?  Well, your college degree and experience is just as credible.  If you have ideas to contribute, share them out loud!  Meetings are opportunities for you to learn, build strong relationships and showcase your amazing ideas.  If you are the only woman in the room, you need to overcome the fear of being rejected.  I know it can be intimidating.  You may get shot down a few times, but don’t give up.  The worst thing you can do is give up.  Keep fighting and work hard for what you want!
  3. Stand up for yourself. You know what’s sad?  Every time a woman stands up for herself, she is automatically labeled a bitch.  Since when did standing up for yourself become something bitchy? Well, we can save that discussion for another day but don’t let that prevent you from speaking up when someone tries to bring you down.  Just know that there is a professional way to do this without being nasty.  I had a hard time with this, but I’m glad I learned it quickly.  I always looked much younger so people never took me seriously and thought they could say whatever they wanted to me.  But the fact is I’m a lot older than I look and I deserve some respect.  I couldn’t remain passive anymore.  I had to speak up and you should too if the situation calls for it.
  4. STOP APOLOGIZING FOR THINGS THAT YOU SHOULDN’T BE APOLOGIZING FOR. I have this in bold caps because this was my biggest problem when I first started working!!  My former coworker and I had a huge discussion about this.  I kept starting sentences with “Sorry, I just have a question for you” or “Sorry, here is the presentation you asked for”.  It’s an easy thing to do nowadays to add “sorry” to sentences.  Then I realized that I shouldn’t be sorry for having a question and I shouldn’t be sorry about handing in a presentation (unless it was late which it never was).  So you have to ask yourself, is there anything truly to be apologetic for?  If not, then don’t say it.  The truth is any woman who says “sorry” too much automatically establishes herself as a subordinate, which is something you do not want in the workplace. Strong leaders do not apologize for everything.  They only apologize if there is truly something to apologize for.  I know, it seems like a small detail but it makes a huge difference in how people perceive you.   Trust me.  If you want to remain as the pushover intern, go ahead and say “sorry” in every sentence.  This small word makes you appear timid and weak.  But if you want to be a leader and there isn’t anything to be sorry for, then stop saying it!
  5. Know your boundaries. Okay, so you and Joe Schmo have been spending late nights together in the office to meet deadlines and he’s warmed up to you.  Now he is expecting you to disclose some personal information.  Well, don’t.  No matter how cool or welcoming he may seem, don’t spill about your recent breakup, marital problems, etc.  Remember this is the workplace, not your therapy session.  Because people are constantly competing with each other at work, you can’t risk someone using your personal life against you.  The old saying of coworkers first, friends second remains true.
  6. Learn to say NO. This was the hardest lesson for me to learn especially because I worked as an assistant for many years and I wanted to prove that I was dependable and hardworking.  However, the truth is by saying YES to everything, you are only hurting yourself and your performance.  There’s an art to doing this and that is to communicate to your boss or coworker what you have on your plate.  Your boss may not know how much work you have already, so it’s best to let him/her know.   From my experience, most bosses will appreciate your honesty and help figure out a way to complete projects on time (may not always be the case but open communication is key).   The last thing they want is for you to fail because that will make them look bad.  Also, this shows them that you are someone who knows how to prioritize and communicate.  As far as coworkers go, there’s a fine line in helping them without hurting your performance.  You can’t be doing favors under the table all the time.  It’s tricky, but you have to use good judgment.  The bottom line is you can’t please everyone.   If you think that you will appear as someone who is good at your job because you say YES all the time, you are wrong.  You should be good at your job because you know when to say no.
  7. Be a team player. You probably think I’m tricking you right now because I just told you to say no, but there’s a balance here.  Let’s be honest, everyone in the workplace is competing with each other.  Sometimes people have your back, but most of the time, you need to watch your own.  However, just because you are in a competitive environment, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be a team player.  Most likely you are working on projects together, so you need to contribute.  The key here is to not to let people take advantage of you.  If you are always the person who is doing all the work, then you need to say something.  Be wise and learn from your coworkers.  Everyone has something to offer.
  8. Use your brain and not your cleavage to engage people. This sort of goes back to number 1, but it’s worth mentioning.  Mixing business with pleasure is a deadly cocktail.  Please don’t use your cleavage or offer sexual favors to win people over.  If you want to engage people and have them listen to you, start with how you carry yourself.  Maintain good posture, make eye contact and dress professionally.  Take some extra time to make that sales presentation strong and solid to win your clients. Impress people with your knowledge.  They always say that knowledge is power, but I think it’s only powerful if you know how to use it.
  9. Keep educating yourself on your industry and line of work. I can’t stress enough how important this is.  The world is constantly changing so it is crucial to stay abreast of these trends.  When I first started working, I thought that someone would show me the way and hold my hand.  But it doesn’t work that way so you have to be proactive by taking classes or whatever it is you need to do to sharpen your skills and get ahead.  Remember, the more educated you are, the more successful you will be.  Also, people will take you more seriously, you will be credible and you will establish yourself as a leader.
  10. Be tough while maintaining a positive attitude. Do not go throwing around emotions in the workplace.  There’s a time and a place to be emotional but work isn’t one of them.  If you are having a bad day, don’t pass that negativity on to other people.  You don’t want to appear weak.  If some project at the moment seems impossible, use available resources to help you.  Brainstorm for solutions and use logical reasoning instead of emotional excuses.  You have to remain positive, smart and strong.  It’s easier said than done, I know.  For me, I usually focus on relying on my knowledge and less on emotions to solve problems.
  11. Don’t be afraid to talk to your boss. Stop putting your boss on a pedestal.  Yes, you heard me. I know this sounds so silly, but you would be surprised at how many people feel like they can’t approach their boss because they are way up there and you are way down here.  I’m guilty of it.  One thing I’ve learned is that you have to level with your bosses and build healthy professional relationships with them.  If you have an open relationship with your boss about your goals and performance, you will be a stronger professional and he/she can guide you to where you want to be.  Moving up or asking for a promotion starts with a discussion.  But you have to initiate that discussion first.  Let it be the first discussion of many to help build your career.

Now I work in a female dominated industry which is a huge change but a lot of the above still applies.   I hope that this helps empower women who feel like their voices are unheard in their line of work.  It’s not to say that men don’t feel invisible and unappreciated in the workplace.  I’m sure that happens more often than we know, but I just wanted to share my experience as a woman who has worked for many years with plenty of males.  No matter what your work is or who you work with, just remember to always be respectful to the people around you.

How to change careers, gracefully!

If you had one shot or one opportunity, to seize everything you ever wanted in one moment, would you capture it, or just let it slip? – Eminem

I’ve been getting asked a lot of questions on how I handled my career change so I thought maybe I’ll write my story and also give some helpful advice on how to pursue your passion.  Remember, today is the day for you to take action to do something you love.  It is never too late to live your dream.

There are people who will tell you that you can’t make a living doing what you love.  Some will tell you that you simply aren’t good enough, strong enough or smart enough.  I even had someone tell me that at my age, I should focus more on finding a husband and having children, not a career!  Ha!  It frustrated me, but I looked at it as a challenge.  It was an opportunity to prove them wrong, but most importantly to give myself the chance to live the life I’ve always wanted!


Now, this wasn’t a decision I made over night.  It took several years of research, planning and preparation.  I was always  passionate about skin and holistic health, but didn’t have a clue on how to get started.  All I knew was that I was hungry for it.  I wanted it so bad, I was willing to bleed for it.  In my mid twenties, I hit a point in my life where I was just unhappy with myself.  When I had looked back on my life, I felt as though I didn’t accomplish anything and I certainly wasn’t proud of some of the decisions I made.  Finally, I decided to make some changes and take action.

Yet still, after all that planning and research, I couldn’t get myself to pull the trigger!  I was on a roll and then I froze.  Fear had gotten the best of me.  I kept doubting myself.  I couldn’t help but think, what if I FAIL??

A year and a half ago, I was on a business trip in San Francisco for my old job and had dinner with some colleagues.  I was having a rough night and I couldn’t get myself to be present in that moment.  I felt lost in the conversations throughout the evening.  I found myself bored and wondering what I was even doing there with these people!  As I was walking back to my hotel that night, I realized that now was the right time for me to put in my two weeks notice!  Haha yes!  I had spent so many years planning on exiting this job gracefully, so I couldn’t wait any longer.  I was ready.  I wasn’t going to let myself fail.  The only option I had was to be successful.  This was it!

Fast forward a year and a half later, I am now a successful Licensed Esthetician in the Los Angeles area and I love what I do!  So here are some steps I took in making that drastic career change.  Hope it helps you, too!

  1. I started setting goals for myself each day. In the morning I would tell myself that I would need to spend at least 1 hour after work researching a program or school near me in the career I wanted. This was difficult for me to do after a long day at work, but I forced myself to do it.  Other times, I told myself I would visit a spa or skin center during my lunch break or make calls to find out how I could break into the industry.  I started small and set bigger goals financially, which I will get to.
  2. I did my research on the industry. I had to educate myself on what this industry would be like, what jobs were offered, salaries, etc.  Since the State of California had pretty specific requirements before you can be issued a license for Esthetics, I had to find out how long the training program would be, what I had to do to complete it, and if I could afford to even do it.  It’s important to know what you are getting into before you invest any time and money.
  3. I checked my finances.  I would never advise anyone to quit their job for another or go back to school without fully reviewing your financial situation.  This was important especially because I was living with a partner at the time, so it wasn’t a decision I could make on my own.  I had responsibilities and bills to keep up with.  I had to make sure he and I could live comfortably.  One of the goals I set for myself while I was still at my old job was to SAVE “X” amount each month.  So of course, we had to change spending habits as a couple.  We focused on just spending money on the basics and put the rest into a savings account.  Then I started looking into a budget I could invest in my training program, how much tuition would be each month, what I could afford to pay and what I couldn’t.
  4. I looked into what other avenues my new career could take me. So I loved skin, but does that only limit me to work in a spa? Can I work with doctors? Dermatologists? A holistic health center?  What would my license cover in my practice?  I had to really think about this one because I wanted options and room to grow as a professional and not find myself limited in one path.
  5. I compared the salaries of my old job with my potential new job. For me, it wasn’t about making a lot of money but rather doing something I loved.  However, I still had to make sure I could make enough to sustain myself. After all, I had bills and undergrad loans to still pay!
  6. I interviewed someone who had the job I wanted. Luckily, I’ve been going to the same Esthetician who has been working on my skin for years and I was able to pick her brain on the industry.  I asked so many questions and learned so much.  I highly recommend you do the same.  This is the best way for you to figure out if your new career path is right for you.
  7. I asked my family and friends for help. Believe it or not, this was a hard one.  I always felt the need to be able to do something on my own, but the reality is, I simply couldn’t go through this journey alone!  I had to look to my family and friends for support and encouragement because I kept doubting my abilities.  That really is the true beauty of following your dreams.  Just when you forget how amazing you are, your loved ones will be there to remind you of it.  Someday, they will need that from you, too.
  8. I cut the fat. Meaning, I cut out distractions and things that would derail me from achieving my goals.  I chose to not be in a relationship and not date, which was a hard one for me because this was the first time I had been truly single in about 8 years!  I really made focusing on my career a priority.  I couldn’t have late nights out anymore because I had to be up early the next day for class.  I also started to surround myself with more positive people and ignored the negative ones.  It was learning to incorporate discipline and focus in my life.
  9. I organize my skills and experience. I honed all my skills that I acquired from my previous jobs and thought about how it would transfer over into my new career.  You have to remember that just because you are changing careers, it doesn’t mean that your background and experience from your previous jobs go to waste.  Rather, you can apply it to your current job and use it to your advantage.  For example, I have 6-8 years experience in sales, customer service and database management.  My job now still requires all of those even though it’s a totally different industry.
  10. I looked to God for guidance, strength and courage. There were so many times I felt like I shouldn’t have quit my old job because I was scared of failure.  Whenever I felt that way though, I looked to God for guidance to keep me strong and confident in my abilities.
  11. I started networking. I started reaching out to business owners, well known Estheticians in the Los Angeles area and attended events.  You have to put yourself out there and sell yourself.  Otherwise, how will anyone know how amazing you are?  It’s also a great way to learn from those who have years of experience in the industry. Building relationships is so important.  I can’t stress this enough.  They say it’s all about who you know and it’s true.  Opportunities are offered by creating these types of relationships.

Now let’s say you have made the career change and are doing what you love.  The next piece of advice I have to give you is to keep yourself educated.  If you want to truly be the best in what you do, make sure to keep yourself hungry for the next big thing.  I’ve mentioned this before, but if you think you know everything then you’ve already compromised your success.  Remember, your industry is constantly changing, the world is changing and people are changing so you need to keep abreast of these trends.  The most successful people don’t lie dormant; they are constantly motivated and eager to learn.

All of this did not go without hard work.  I’ve never worked so hard in my life.  I’ve cried, I’ve made sacrifices, I’ve crawled on my hands and knees for all of this.  With that said, it was all worth it.  I have no regrets other than not doing it sooner.

I’m good at what I do and will stop at nothing to be the absolute best.  It takes a lot of patience, hard work and dedication.  I’m always challenging myself and setting goals everyday.  For me, 2015 was all about the transition and obtaining a license to practice.  2016 is now focused on networking, building client relationships and starting business initiatives.  Recently, I’ve been looking into starting my own business on skin and holistic health.   I’m 31 now and living life to the fullest. I couldn’t be happier and I hope you find your happiness too if you haven’t already!



Monday Motivation: Stand up and do the right thing

Just a quick post as this was quite a difficult weekend for me which challenged my morals and values.  Unfortunately, I witnessed acts of disrespect inflicted on others.  I can’t get into specific details about it, but I was faced with the decision to either do something about it or to just walk away.  I chose to stand up for what was right and I’m glad I did.  Being disrespectful towards other people is not acceptable and I wasn’t going to tolerate it.

In that moment, I could have responded with hateful actions and words, but instead I approached the situation with compassion.  I was angry, so all I wanted to do was yell and be nasty right back.   However, throughout my life experiences I’ve learned that standing up and doing the right thing doesn’t mean responding with hate and disrespect.


After that experience I felt really bothered and I started to hate the world.  Why do people have to be so cruel?  But just when you start to believe there are no good people left in this world, God sends someone to prove you wrong.  I met an amazing woman yesterday afternoon who works diligently in the Los Angeles area to help mentor troubled children and families.  Just hearing her speak about her passion in helping the community was enough to inspire me to start thinking about what I can do in my own life to reach out to others with acts of kindness.  I used to volunteer a lot in school, so this woman actually inspired me to start working with the community again.

So I challenge you this week to reach out to others with acts of kindness and do what is right.  I know in our everyday lives we are faced with difficult situations.  It may seem better to not say anything at all and just turn away.  But what message are we sending when we don’t stand up for those who are being disrespected and terrorized?

Fitness challenge of the day: Plank it!

So remember how years ago everyone was planking on buildings, stairs, desks, trains, etc? Well, it’s time to bring it back!  You can do it anywhere and it’s a great way to strengthen your core!  There are different variations, so please see Neila Rey’s five minute plank below and have fun planking!



Monday Motivation: Gratitude

What’s the first thing I do when I wake up every morning?  I thank God for giving me another day and for keeping my family and friends safe.  Expressing that gratitude towards God is so powerful because it reminds us that we can never take things for granted.  All the things that happen to us, good or bad, are blessings from God to help strengthen and enrich us.

With that said, what happens when our day simply seems as though there’s nothing to be thankful for?  You know what I’m referring to.  The guy who cut you off on your morning commute, your kids not listening to anything you tell them, running late for work, that deadline at work that you procrastinated on.  I mean, is it possible to express any type of gratitude on a day like that?  The answer is yes!

I attended daily mass this morning and I have to admit I was feeling really grumpy.  I couldn’t shake off the feeling.  As a result, I already had it embedded in my mind that today isn’t going to be a good day. Fortunately, the homily gave me some things to think about which instantly helped me put things in perspective.  One, God doesn’t leave us to suffer as much as we believe He sometimes does.  Two, we all have something or someone in our every day lives we can be thankful for if we only make the effort to open our eyes and ears to what God is trying to tell us.

Think back to a time when you felt appreciated.  Perhaps it was a time when your husband or wife thanked you for listening to them vent about a bad day they had.  Maybe it was your boss who praised you for taking the extra time to pick up the slack on the last minute project.  How did that make you feel?

That brings me back to what I mentioned above which was God doesn’t leave us to suffer.  If we look around us, we have the blessings of family, friends, coworkers and yes, even strangers!  God works through other people to inspire us and pick us up when we are feeling down.  So let Him work through you today by expressing gratitude towards someone.  If someone holds the door open for you, make sure to thank them even if you are in a hurry. Tell your wife you appreciate her making breakfast.  It may be a small act of kindness, but it can make a big difference.  We don’t know what someone’s day has been like, so the least we can do is make it better with something so simple and powerful.

So I challenge you today to express some sort of gratitude towards someone and see what happens.  Tomorrow isn’t promised to us, so make the most of this blessed day.

Here’s also something to think about in the big picture: What difference do you think it could make  in the world if we all expressed more gratitude towards each other?

My journey in 2015

Goodbye, 2015.  You were a tough one, but ironically you were the best thing that ever happened to me.  I didn’t think I would ever recover after a hard breakup and I certainly didn’t think I would make a career out of my passion.  Well guess what.  It all worked out (with lots and lots of hard work!)  Here’s what I learned and accomplished this past year.  I hope it inspires you to follow your dreams as well!

  1. I learned to trust in God again. I went to Catholic school all my life and I come from a religious family.  Unfortunately, I never took it seriously.  I really hate to admit it, but I went to church every Sunday and didn’t always believe God had a plan for me.  In fact, I didn’t know if any of it was real.  After all, I’m the one in control, right?  Can it be that some higher power has anything to do with my life?  Well, a few years ago, I started to question my faith and I found myself making some bad decisions.  I was also unhappy with my job and how my life was going at that time.  I couldn’t help but wonder, “What purpose does my life serve here on earth?”  Yes, pretty heavy stuff.  I ended up talking to a priest at my church for some insight and it really helped me a lot.  I realized that I kept asking God for answers but my problem was that I wasn’t listening!  It was hard for me to believe that God had a plan for me, but He did.  It just required some work on my part and to learn to trust in Him again.  I kept making excuses that I didn’t have time for God, yet I had so much time doing other things that were bad for me.  So this past year, I made the effort to make it to church a few times a week other than Sunday’s and really devote my time to God.  It’s made a big difference in my life.  I know God has truly given me the strength and courage to pursue my dream career and build healthy relationships in my life.
  2. Your family and your friends will be there for you – if you let them in. This was a difficult lesson for me to learn.  Sometimes I felt like I couldn’t share my problems with my loved ones because I didn’t want to be a burden, but I learned that family and friends will do anything they can to help you get back on your feet. It’s important to open up and share.  Sure, family and friends may not always agree, but going through a difficult time by yourself can be depressing. Besides, wouldn’t you do anything to help someone you love?  It’s not about being a burden, but rather it is about working through hardships together. You stick together and pick each other up.  I am extremely grateful and lucky to have family and friends who have supported me through hard times.


    With my awesome family!

  3. I made my health a priority. I’ve always loved fitness and exercise, but I fell off track for a few years eating lots of sugar, drinking lots of beer and not making the time to work out whatsoever.  As a result, I gained about 20 pounds!  Seeing that my clothes weren’t fitting properly and I was always feeling so sluggish, I decided to make a change.  I broke bad habits and replaced them with good ones.  I quit drinking alcohol because that was the one thing that sucked the life out of me the next morning!  Not to mention it always made me so hungry for late night snacks.   I also started eating healthier meals by cooking at home with my mom and working out again.  I made an effort to be more active outdoors because I always loved the outdoors as a kid!  Plus, LA has a lot of cool hiking trails to offer.  There’s also a personal trainer and fitness advocate out here in LA who really inspires me.  Her name is Tanja Djelevic, and watching her videos has allowed me to challenge myself every day!  I became more aware of my mind, body and spirit.  It wasn’t so much that I wanted to look good (although that is a great benefit) but I just wanted to feel energized and ALIVE again.  It was about incorporating discipline in my life.  I lost 22 pounds in one year and I feel absolutely amazing.  I figured if I take care of myself and stay strong, then I’ll be able to take care of others.



Healthy Food!



Feels good to be back in shape!

  1. I simplified my life. Believe it or not, I gave away half of my stuff and it was HARD.  Nice purses, clothes, shoes, and jewelry. I focused on just the basics in life and I have to say there is something so rewarding about living a simple life.  I feel more balanced and at peace.  Not to mention it has saved me a lot of money!  How many clothes and shoes do I really need when I tend to wear the same stuff all the time?  (I know I’m not alone on this one!)  Honestly, I never thought I would be happy living with just the bare essentials, but it’s helped me focus on more important things in life like family and friends instead of the material things.
  2. I incorporated goals in my life. I always believed there are two ways to live your life: being reactive or being proactive.  Well, for a while I was being reactive, but then I started to choose the latter.  How many times did I tell myself, “I’m going to do this” but came up with a lame excuse not to.  Well as Arnold Schwarzenegger said, “You can have results or excuses.  Not both.”  No kidding!  So I started to set goals to challenge myself every day.  Some goals were in regards to fitness, esthetician school, career and family.  Having a goal to focus on each day allowed me to be more productive and live a much more fulfilling life.
  3. I spent more time looking into my soul instead of in the mirror. Yes, I love cosmetics and enjoy being physically attractive.  And yes, it’s true my job is to care for people’s skin and make them look good.  It’s so superficial right?  (Well, it’s not and I’ll get to that later).  But the reality is that the exterior will only last for so long, so I had to ask myself, what else do I have to offer?  Am I compassionate towards others?  Do I make time for other people?  Am I a good friend?  Am I a good daughter/sister?  Do I truly care for other people?  Am I a hard worker? Am I smart? What can I do to help someone today?  What can I do to be a better person? All these questions flooded my mind.  So I made more of an effort to focus on my relationships with others, make better decisions, strengthen my skills and work on my faults.  It’s still a work in progress, but I’ve learned to slow down, be grateful, be patient and let go of negativity and anger.


    With my best friend, Amy.

  4. I learned to embrace who I am. For years, I thought I had to be someone.  I had to be this woman who was beautiful, gifted, successful and happy.  I had to look and feel a certain way to be accepted by society.  Then it hit me.  All I had to really do was be me!  I am a beautiful, gifted, happy woman who is successful.  I just never believed it.  So now, it’s not really about fitting in, but rather it’s about standing out!  If you have a gift, don’t be afraid to do something with it.  That person you have been longing to be has been YOU all along!
  5. Everyone has something to offer. I have to admit, I was a bit of a know it all.  But as I went through training for Esthetician school I found out very quickly that I DON’T know everything!  If you go into something thinking that you know it all, you’ve already compromised your success because the world is always changing and there’s always something to learn.  Plus, I was surrounded by students who were fantastic Estheticians and I learned so much from them.  You have to be open to learning from others and teaching them what you know too.  It’s how you strengthen your skills and work on your weaknesses. It’s all about working as a team.
  6. If you want to live your dream, you have to take risks. Believe me, it wasn’t an easy journey changing careers.  Especially getting into a career that is so competitive.  I spent a lot of time thinking I made a mistake.  That perhaps I should have just played it safe and stayed at my old job.  I was scared, but I had to stay strong and take some risks.  Getting what you want isn’t easy, but if you want it bad enough, you better be prepared to work your hardest.  I made a lot of sacrifices but in the end it was all worth it.


    I did it!

  7. I discovered what I really want out of my career. It’s funny because I went to Esthetician school thinking I would come out having the knowledge in skincare, but really I would be a freelance makeup artist doing fashion shows and photo shoots.  As I was going through the program though, I discovered that I really love helping people with their skin and that I would be successful in an environment that also promotes health and well being.  So I became more interested in skin treatments, spas and holistic health.  It was such a surprising discovery and now I really love it!

Working on a client during training.

Now I am living my dream as a licensed Esthetician administering facial and skin treatments at a fitness center and spa exclusively for women.  I love it because it’s an environment that empowers women to take care of their health and well being.  We have a gym, fitness classes and a spa.  What I discovered is that I may be spending time making women look good on the outside, but it’s actually a therapeutic experience that affects their minds and bodies. It goes beyond skincare.

I have clients of all ages and in different phases.  Some are working moms, stay at home moms, single, business owners, or retired.  They all come in despite their busy schedules for treatments or to work out because they have made it a priority to take care of themselves.  I truly believe that is so important in a world that is fast paced and hectic. Being raised by a single mom, I’ve witnessed what stress can do to you if you neglect your health.   A huge part of my job is encouraging these women to make their health a priority, to be confident in who they are and to achieve their goals.  It’s not about fitting into a mold or looking like someone else.  It’s about being you and doing what’s best for you.  In return, these women have inspired me to be a strong and confident human being.  I value my relationships with them and care for them in my heart. And that is truly what I find so rewarding about my career.  I am so lucky to use the gifts God has given me to work in a place that encompasses my values in life. I hope to one day open my own spa and wellness center.  I know that for the rest of my life, I want to inspire and encourage people to live happy and healthy lives.

What’s in it for 2016, you might ask?  Well, I still have a lot to learn but I plan on continuing my journey in my faith, career and family.  I hope to be successful, to remain humble and to always give back to those who have helped me in my life.  I am grateful for all the blessings, graces and lessons 2015 has brought me.  Here’s to 2016!  Thank you God, family and friends for helping me find myself again.