Guest Post // February 18th, 2017

Sidebar: I thought that it would be fun to have a guest post from one of my friends every once in awhile to switch things up. This week Eileen On wanted to share her 3 tips on loving yourself inside and out.

Hello beautiful humans, as Alison would say. As her first guest to blog on A5T, let me introduce myself. My name is Eileen and I have had the pleasure to work alongside and become friends with Alison the last couple of months. She has been a great mentor within the workplace and a sister figure outside of the 8 – 5 schedule. When Alison asked if I would be willing to share some tips on her blog, I was more than happy to, but there was one problem… I had no idea where to start!

The more I thought about the month of February, the more I wanted to write on the topic of love. Just to clarify, I am no love expert, but I do know a little bit about loving myself. Growing up, my mother has always told me, “You have to love yourself first before you can love anyone else.” Years later, I finally understand the meaning behind those inspiring words.

Tip #1: Loving Your Skin

Being able to love the reflection you see in the mirror starts with having clear skin! A couple weeks back, Alison and I talked about skincare and I realized I have been neglecting my skin by using the wrong products all these years. She suggested that I try this simple skincare routine and then build upon that foundation at a later time.

Start off with cleansing oil to remove makeup, rinse with warm water, and pat dry. Follow with a cotton pad and a little bit of micellar water to wipe off any remaining makeup. Finish up with a light moisturizer to lock it all in! It’s simple, easy, and the products are affordable. Even with my sensitive skin, I am happy to say these products are gentle yet cleansing. I can’t wait to try other products and take care of my skin the correct way!

Tip #2: Loving What You Eat

Nothing is hard about eating, but eating healthy is hard! During this time of year, chili is great for warming up your belly and it’s simple to throw together. Two years ago, I bought this cookbook from a non-profit, which I volunteered for, and have finally cracked it open. I can promise you this Santa Fe Chili is unique and you’ll go back for more! I can’t wait to try other dishes from “Recipes from Home: The Bethlehem Farm Cookbook.”

Santa Fe Chili

Yield: 8 servings

  • 3 ½  – 4 cups of dry beans (any type), soaked (OR 7 – 8 cups canned beans)
  • 1 onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 TB oil
  • 2 cans corn (fresh or frozen)
  • 28 fl. oz. diced tomatoes (fresh or frozen)
  • 2 packets of dry ranch seasoning
  • 2 packets of taco seasoning


  1. Place the soaked beans in a pot. Add fresh water until it is about an inch above the beans. Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer about 75 minutes until tender.
  2. Drain beans (do this whether you are using canned or cooked beans)
  3. In a large pot, sauté garlic and onion in oil for a few minutes.
  4. Add remaining ingredients to a large pot.
  5. Bring to a boil. Turn down heat and simmer for 20 minutes.

Tip #3: Loving Who You Are

Having confidence in who you are is the most beautiful and the most attractive quality one can display. Whether it’s having confidence in an answer on a test or having confidence to talk to that cute guy across the room, it’s a quality that everyone admires. As easy as it is to talk about, building confidence cannot be set within a time frame, such as a New Year’s resolution. It is an on-going process, building from one stage to another. Love yourself and allow that confidence to light every room you enter!

Leaving you with these three tips, I hope that you learn to love yourself first!

With Love, Eileen O.


Five Things // February 10th, 2017

Happy Friday wonderful people! If you are reading this right when it posted then I have already landed in Germany, hallo Deutschland! Yes, that is right I was lucky enough to get to go for 6 days on business! While getting ready for this trip I thought I would do a post on what things are important to me when I travel and what items I use. So why don’t we just dive right in!

So why don’t we just dive right in!

One // Comfort

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Whether I am on a short or long flight it is still important to me to try to be as comfortable as possible and that can mean different things for flights. For the that I am taking, I know that it is going to be a long overnight one so my comfort items I am bringing will cater to that. Probably my number one item is an eyemask (Amazon), I sleep better in complete darkness and I have an easier time falling asleep. Also aiding in the sleeping process are earplugs (Amazon), these are just as important! Especially if there are young children on the flight or chatty people around you, it’s good to have something to block out all the noise. A neck pillow (Amazon) adds much needed to support since I am so susceptible to stiff necks… they are the worse and I hate them. To round out this group I added a scarf (Abercrombie & Fitch, no longer available) which can have multiple uses. It can serve as a blanket for extra warmth or even as a makeshift neck pillow in case you forgot one or it is a short enough flight and you don’t want the extra items to haul around.

Two // Entertainment

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Entertaining yourself on a plane can be hard, especially for long flights. Sometimes your not in the mood to read what you brought or you’ve exhausted your Spotify playlists. That’s why I think it’s important to have a few options to entertain yourself. I have 2 books, one has short stories and one is a longer novel depending on my mood. I also have my Amazon Fire tablet with me where I have access to my audiobooks and some Netflix downloads (I downloaded the Crown and I am very excited to check it out). On my iPhone I downloaded a playlist of some of my favorite songs and a few episodes of my favorite podcast, My Favorite Murder (great dark comedy podcast, two thumbs way up). And we can’t forget the noise canceling Beats headphones my friend Gina lent to me for my travels; thanks Gina you’re the BEST!

Three // Skincare & Hygiene

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I want a few items to be easier to get to such as lotion, face wipes, lip balm, and my toothbrush & paste. Airplanes can be very drying as most of you know so having hand cream (Kiehl’s), face lotion (Nourish Organics) and lip balm (Glossier) is very helpful so my skin doesn’t feel dried out. Face wipes (Simple) are also great for longer flights to help you refresh a little after you’ve taken a long nap. And I don’t think I have to explain the toothbrush and paste (Marvis) too much. If you’ve slept for a couple hours this will help with any kind of dragon breath you might be facing, but also if it’s a short flight or you don’t feel like brushing your teeth on the plane a pack or gum will be sufficient enough until you get to your hotel room.

Four // Snacks

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Packing snacks are very important because first you may not get food on your flight (not even peanuts, sad face) or you do get a meal and it may, unfortunately, be something you don’t like. If you don’t feel like bring your own you can always get something while at the airport. I think to bring simple snacks are a great option because you don’t want to anything to upset your something and you also want to courteous to people around you and some smells might upset people.

Five // Staying Healthy

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I don’t know about you, but usually after I’ve been on a plane 9 times out of 10 I get some kind of bug. To help combat germs that circulate through that recycled air it is a good idea to bring some sort of antibacterial for your hands. Another great thing to have on hand are tissues! If it’s a cold plane ride and your nose is running you will be happy you have them or if you are in need of a napkin they will come in handy!

What is important to you when traveling?


Five Things // February 3, 2017

Happy Friday wonderful humans of the internet and if you can’t tell my the title of my blog and the title of this post, I am going to raving about 5 things I am into this week. So buckle up cause here we go!

One // Chinese New Year 

This past Saturday I had an opportunity to kick off Chinese New Year by eating delicious Dim Sum and watching the loin dance in Cleveland’s own Chinatown restaurant Li Wah. We had a small group of us eating all the deliciousness that Li Wah has and my friend Eileen was our tour guide for the day showing us just some of what Chinatown has to offer. If you are not familiar with Dim Sum, it is a style of Chinese cuisine where there are small bite-sized portions of food served in small steamer baskets or on small plates. Typically carts are pushed around a restaurant where people can order and get there meals right there and then. We started out our meal with Shumai (pork & shrimp dumplings), Har Gow (shrimp dumplings), and Tofu wrapped pork; I don’t think I can pick a favorite child out of these three, but if I had to it would probably be the Shumai. Our next round to taste was Cha Siu Bao (baked pork buns), Spring rolls (vegetarian). Now I am usually not the biggest spring roll fan but OH EM G… these were so delicious and the Cha Siu Bao was a little bun of pork happiness! To round out our meal Eileen thought it would be good to try a dessert, Dan Tat (egg custard tart). Now first let me start out by saying that I am not what you would call a dessert person, so with that being said I can’t say I was the biggest fan of of this egg custard tart. All of the goodness was accompanied by a pot of jasmine tea, we needed all the help we could get with digestion with all the food we ate!

Shout out to Eileen for sending me all the names of the food we tried that day!

Two // Search Party 

Does anyone need a new show to watch because I am volunteering TBS’s Search Party as tribute. This dark comedy is based around a missing girl that the main character Dory (Alia Shawkat from Arrested Development) “knew” back in college and she becomes obsessed at trying to find her. Do you like murder mysteries and satire at twenty-something hipster’s expense? Well then get ready to binge watch this 10 episode series and become instantly hooked! This is Nancy Drew for the millennial and I assure you, you will not be disappointed. Here is a nice tip, if you download the TBS app (how I am watching it) you can choose between the edited episodes on TV or the explicit one so you can get the full experience when someone drops F bombs.

Credit of Photo

Three // Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate 

Is it possible that I have found the holy grail of nighttime skincare? Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate is a little miracle worker, I swear little esthetician elves come and give me a facial while I am sleeping. This nighttime oil claims to restore the appearance of skin by morning and I feel that my skin has seen an improvement since I have started using it. I am a big believer of using oils for overall skincare, I know there has been a lot of buzz around oils for the past year but it is with good reason. I don’t use this as an alternative for my moisturizer. I simply add about a dime size or less to my finger tips and pat into my skin after cleansing my face, wait for it to absorb a bit then follow up with my nighttime moisturizer. The lavender scent is very relaxing, it helps set the mood in my bedtime routine. There are other great uses for this product, just click on the image to what else Kiehl’s suggest!

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Queen of the Nighttime Skincare

Four // Topshop Robe 

If you are like me and can be happy living in a robe, if you had the choice, the let me introduce you to this buttery cloud of warm and coziness robe from Topshop. I was looking into getting a new robe since my cotton one was just not cutting it for the winter months. I wanted to feel warm and luxurious when I lounged around in my robe for hours after my shower, so began my hunt. I really wanted a “I stole this from a hotel” look to my new robe and I just so happen to find it at Nordstrom. The off white color with navy blue piping was just what I was looking for, although the varsity lettering Not a Morning Person across the back isn’t may favorite part of it the pros of this robe thoroughly out way the one con.

Check it out at Nordstrom!

Five // Nail Polish Top Coat

30 seconds to a dry fresh painted hand of nails, sounds like a myth right? WRONG. I was at Ulta this past week to pick up a few things I was running low on and one of them so happen to be a top coat for my nails. I usually buy Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Fast Dry top coat (which I do really like and I think it dries really quick), but I decided that I was feeling extra rich that day and decided to shell out the extra dollar it cost to upgrade to the top coat in a box, Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Anti Chip Top Coat. What is the difference you might ask while my usual top coat (the first one I mentioned) is an extension of the Fast Dry line, its fast drying and with the great applicator brush its simple to apply. The cons are that I usually have one or more chipped nails by the next day. The fast drying anti chip top coat that I just bought is also fast drying, but in comparison to the first it’s FAST FAST, 30 seconds and I felt comforting not babying my nails. From what I can tell the anti chip claim on the box is legit, the picture below is 4 days after I painted them!

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