Sibling Love

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We always have that one friend who never leaves. The one who stays through all your idiosyncrasies. The one who protects and shelters through tough times. For me, this person is my sister: My one and only. She is the one who has always been with me, through the darkest of days.

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I was a typical teenager: rebellious, the one who thought she knew everything there is to know. Sometimes disrespected my parents by doing exactly the opposite of what they told me to. I always wanted to do things my parents would say no to, just to irk them. Obviously, I was going through my teens. Some may say teens might not even be humans. I do agree a little bit. I was horrible myself. But through all of this; sneaking outside the house, giving me her pocket money, standing up for me, my sister has always been there for me. And I know, that I have ALWAYS taken this fact for granted.

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There have been times when I have disrespected her in public, only to make her feel bad about herself. When I think about it now I feel pathetic about the person I was to her. Being the older one, I should’ve protected her, been there for her. Now that we are adults, we are much closer than we were before. This is because I left home to be in the US, and distance made our hearts grow fonder. I am really lucky my sister stuck around to know me better, even though I wasn’t around much for her. I definitely am lucky to see the kind of person she turned out to become. I feel like I never really influenced much of her life. But it is great that she became her own person. The values and the standards she has set for herself are distinguished. I love her very much.

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If your sibling is estranged for some reason, reach out to them today, let them know that you still care. For every human, it is important to have that sense of belonging; whether it is family, a loved one or even a friend. You already have that friend, embrace them without question. Understand that, no two people are the same. The differences fuel the fire to move forward and why not take your sibling with you on this journey you can enjoy together? Some things I can never change about my sister, but the important qualities I would never like to change.

Loving lately

Just wanted to share a few things that have got me excited in the past couple months. Apart from dreaming about my wishlist, I have truly enjoyed the things I have mentioned below.

  1. MUJI Bag: I was strolling through MUJI three weeks ago to get their acrylic drawers for $10 (as if I didn’t have enough) but the deal was too sweet to resist. You can store a LOT in these drawers. I found bag organizers on sale and this particular bag caught my eye. It has a blue denim kind of look and is water resistant (tried and tested over the weekend in the rain). It’s a small bag that is perfect for everyday essentials and I have been carrying it every day to work. It’s just easy-peasy and fulfills my desire to be super organized! You can check out what’s in my bag here.
  2. Trader Joe’s: Since I have started controlling what I consume every day, I have much appreciated and driven miles to find a Trader Joe’s. The variety of snacks they have makes me want to buy everything. And the dark chocolate is amazing. What more can you ask for. Who knew I would get this excited about grocery one day. Loving Trader Joe’s.
  3. Cole Haan Jacket: This jacket has been a savior in the cold weather. Winter has been bearable with this jacket. It is really comfortable and not too heavy for a long coat. It’s made with 100% down/feathers and the wine color I love!
  4. Apple watch: I am glad that I splurged on my apple watch for New Year’s. I am really happy with it. I had the Series 1 which had terrible battery life so I returned it. The Series 2 was definitely worth the wait. It reminds me to do everything!! Like to stand up when I am lounging like a hippo, breathe when I am super busy and don’t have time. I love it! And its looks so chic like all other apple products.
  5. Skin care: Last but not the least, I am loving my skin care routine right now. I look forward to it every morning when I wake up and at night before bed. It keeps me feeling fresh and lively. When you feel good about yourself you can definitely conquer the world. At least I think so. I know I have been saying this for too long. But I am working on getting my skin care routine up soon. Meanwhile, you can follow me on Instagram (@sonalkam7) where I will be posting my skin care edit in pieces.

I hope you also have a few goodies that you have been loving. Please feel to share them in the comments below!

My Wishlist

I hope you guys are enjoying 2017. It’s been a good start for me personally. I’ve got the ball rolling on the whole healthy lifestyle situation. I don’t eat when I am not hungry. I am not thinking or dreaming about food when I am idle. So far so good.

There are a few things that I wish for this year and I thought I would share them with you. NOTE: I might sound greedy as you read through the post but hear me out. I plan to only indulge on special occasions and only if I have earned it by accomplishing my goals. I hope you find inspiration in these pieces and work towards what you wish for.

So here goes!

  1. Dagne Dove- Charlie Tote: Go to this website and look at the bag. You’ll know exactly why I want this. It’s absolutely gorgeous! It has a pocket for everything you want to carry through the day. It even has a pouch for shoes or maybe an extra top/tee you’d want to carry if you are going out after work. And the best thing is the detachable key leash. I am pretty sure I’m not the only one frantically looking for the house keys in my bag while its freezing outside. This one is top on my WANT list. It is extremely pricey ($495) for me but someday I will afford it!
  2. Perch by Urbio 5-piece starter kit: This is such a chic way of organizing your desk or vanity or even plant some succulent in them. I love how clean it looks and you can see it in action on Tamira Jarrel’s blog post. This is good inspiration for my desk/ vanity that I will be setting up when I move in a couple of months. It is affordable ($39) and you can also purchases additional pieces to go with it.
  3. Umbra Storage: This website makes me want to buy everything! I love their HUB Ladder in White ($80) to use as a entryway coat rack or just for your throws by the couch. Their wall planters are so modern and chic and some of them also have shelves for storing some books or a small speaker. I love their variety for jewelry storage from stands and boxes; they have it all. Once you scroll through the site you’ll probably end up buying things you didn’t know you wanted. Definitely looking into Umbra for my next apartment storage and organization.
  4. Charlotte Tilbury Instant look in a palette Seductive Beauty: This palette is so beautiful. The shades are subtle and smoky at the same time. I REALLY want this palette. It is everything you would need for travel except for a lip color. But she even has kits with the lipsticks of your choice. It is also a pricey purchase ($75) but this has made it to the top of my beauty wish list. It’s perfect!
  5. Chanel Skin care: I have been looking to switch to Chanel for skin care. I don’t what it is, but the creams and also their makeup are so luxurious. I love how they smell and feel on the skin. The fragrance isn’t overwhelming at all. I am looking into the Chanel Hydra Beauty Crème ($87), Le Lift crème anti wrinkle eye cream ($105) and the Rinse-off foaming mousse cleanser balance+ anti-pollution ($45). Obviously I cannot afford all of them together. But I will work on acquiring them one at a time. Goodbye Savings! LOL.
  6. Mejuri 360 earrings: This pair ($95) is made in 14k solid gold. I love indulging in earrings cause I wear them everyday as opposed to necklaces or rings. It is definitely next on my jewelry radar. Mejuri has a great selection of everyday fine jewelry and I think they have something for everyone.

I hope you have enjoyed my wish list and want to indulge in luxury yourself. It’s always great to have goals and some motivation (shopping) to achieve them. These beautiful pieces are certainly going to keep me on my feet this year. Wish me luck!

Food for my skin

The holidays can be really stressful and leave no “me” time. After 10 days of being away from work, I did get me time but I also got lazy time. To be honest I neglected my skin care a lot just because I was so drained out and lazy. In fact, I should have been proactive about this; considering I love piling on layers of hydrating products on my skin. As a result of this, my skin started acting up. I broke out on both cheeks and obviously I had the famous chin pimple. It’s safe to say now that the chin pimple is going nowhere.

For the colder months, I have begun a series of great serums and facial oils that have helped my skin get better if not perfect. These serums/ facial oils might not be new but I just wanted to share what I have been loving recently. I have used these for almost a month and a half now. Some of them for longer and they have taken my routine to the next level.

I have been enjoying the Glossier serums and new serums from The ordinary by DECIEM. These are so great and moisturizing. My skin has become so much better and the texture is smooth. I haven’t been breaking out much after I started using these. Also, reviewing the Sunday Riley JUNO oil, I have to say I really like it. I put it on every other night and my skin feels so good the next morning. The days I don’t use this I use the MISSHA Super aqua cell renew snail sleeping mask. This overnight mask is so luxurious and super affordable. I really like this between the days I use the face oil. I would suggest anyone who is passionate about skin care to try serums that really suit your needs. They are great way to get your skin feeling healthy and looking better. I know skincare takes time to really show its effect but trust me once you have the routine going it’ll all be worth it.

Besides this, the new year has really gotten me thinking about my health and how I feel everyday. To be honest, it has been hard to get into routine. I am trying to eat right and may be throw in some exercise with that. I am feeling well and enjoying eating more greens. It’s really surprising I haven’t craved crazy amounts of sugar that I usually did. I hope the last 17 days of your new year have been great and productive. Keep moving because we have a lot to achieve and enjoy this year!

Welcoming 2017

Happy New Year everyone!
I hope you have woken up from your drunken state and have dealt with the hungover state well. Energize with lots of fluids, cut down on greasy breakfast and coffee which will only make you dehydrated. Also, sleeping it off helps. It’s a been there, done that kind of advise. Lol.
I’ve mentioned before that New Years’ day always goes in reminiscing; also thinking about what I did achieve this past year, my immediate future goals and what I plan to conquer this year.
I must say 2016 surely breezed through but I did manage to learn a thing or two. I wanted to share those smaller victories that have made me more confident and allowed me to be a bit wiser this year.
I definitely learned how to live alone in an apartment and fight the little fears all by myself. I am terrified of insects. Any kind of tiny creatures really get me worked up. I surely had to deal with them myself. I think its safe to say that I’ve crossed this obstacle with flying colors.
Secondly, I can sleep all alone with the lights turned off. I know a lot of people who need a night lamp to be able to fall asleep peacefully. This definitely is a big victory for me. I know this was one of the most difficult things I had to deal with when I came to the US. You don’t realize how dependent you are on your roommate or friends when you live with them. You take these little things for granted only to realize that you did not know how to sleep without the lights. Or did not know how to make food from scratch. You always had a lot of help.
My friends always tell me that I am quite judgemental about people. This year has undoubtedly taught me otherwise. I am much more patient with people and have learned to give everyone the benefit of doubt they deserve. This has helped me to look at the positive much before the negative steps in. It makes the experience of meeting new people much better and fulfilling. At the end of the day, you want to like and be liked, right?
This year was also a little weird as it was mother’s 10th death anniversary. I guess it has been long enough to be okay. I do miss her a lot but i am at a happy place where I can talk about it and feel grateful to have spent the time I did with her. I am the person today because of her and my dad. I have realized our family needs us as much as we need them and we need to be there for them.

I have been keeping a one day at a time attitude. I accomplish smaller goals which helps me to draw a bigger picture. I know that I want 2017 to be even better in terms of personal and professional growth. Don’t be afraid to try new things and embrace change. It will only make you more awesome and different from the crowd. I plan to try a new thing every month next year and see where it takes me. I am optimistic about the future and about me!

Sending some love and motivation your way. Let’s fall in love. Let’s thank our parents for their love and support. Let’s be healthy and start afresh. Let’s conquer 2017!

What’s in my bag?

Happy Holidays everyone! I hope you all are enjoying this time of the year with your family and friends. My family is back in India, so I will be spending christmas with my friends in Philly.

So I wanted to share what I have in my handbag when I travel or just for work. I will be posting my travel essentials soon, so stay tuned for that.

I have been carrying my green Kate spade crossbody with a flap. I believe this style is currently sold out and I couldn’t find it online. I got it during the labor day sale this year when they were trying to get rid of the older styles. I know a lot of people like zippered bags but this one does not have one. But works just fine for me. Nothing has fallen out of the bag considering that I am quite clumsy with all my belongings.

The cardholders that I am currently using is a red one from Coach that I bought 2 years ago, also during labor day sales. It is the one with their logo embossed on the outside. The other one is from Aldo which has floral prints and gold hardware. Both have lasted me a long time and were purchased for $9 each. Totally worth the price. My handbag always has the other important stuff in pouches. I dislike having my make up just lying around in my bag and I cannot find it when I need it. Its like not finding my apartment keys when it is 15 degrees outside. So frustrating. Anyway apart from two pouches of essentials and my wallet/ cardholders, I always carry a pen, my work ID and a little notepad. You never know when you might need it.

So the first pouch of essentials contains dental floss because hello!  you do not want cilantro from that taco or spinach from your salad to show on your teeth. Then I have an antacid or something for the loosies. I also have meds for cramps during that time of the month. I carry listerine breath strips. They are so small and perfect to travel with. I carry a small travel size of nivea hand and body lotion for the colder months. A hair clip from Sephora for when I do not want to deal with my hair. And a minion flash drive. Its so adorable. And also bath & body works hand sanitizer in black cherry merlot. Do we need an explanation for that?

The second pouch has my makeup/ skincare essentials. I always carry my kate spade mirror that was gifted to me by one of my friends. A travel size bottle of the Versace yellow diamond perfume. This is the only perfume I enjoy wearing and everyday someone asks me what it is. I carry the glossier mint balm dotcom

and the no.1 pencil from their holiday set that I talked about in my splurge post. I also have the Glossier generation G lipstick in Zip and Clinique moisturizing gel in the travel size. For my lips, I have the Fresh sugar rose lip treatment.

I hope you guys enjoyed this post and have some ideas about what you might need or want to  have in your bag for the colder months.

Stay warm and be safe for the holidays.

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10 Things I am enjoying right now!

Now that you guys know a little bit about me, I wanted to share a few things I have been enjoying lately. Hope you find something in common or something new to enjoy yourself!

  1. Home-cooked meals: When I lived at home(back in India), I took home cooked meals for granted. And now, I really miss it. But considering Pia’s mother is visiting, we are having home cooked meals everyday!
  2. The little book of skin care by Charlotte Cho: This book is really great if you want to start your own skincare routine. The information she has provided is great even for a beginner to understand. Her experiences make me want to visit Seoul myself!
  3. Skin-care: I have really started taking care of my skin since fall/winter is just around the corner. Also, because I do not wish to have scaly skin like a snake which I did last year. The book really helped me understand why I need to take so many steps to make my skin look and feel right. The entire experience feels like I am at a spa and gives me time to concentrate on myself.
  4. Baby pics: My cousin had a baby girl last month. She is just so adorable. I was amazed by her expressions and her fearlessness. Her life is so simple- eat, sleep, poop, repeat! I have been loving her pictures on Instagram. Its my daily dose of gooeyness. I love her!
  5. Sleeping: I am religiously sleeping 7-8 hours a day which I have always wanted to do. No skimming- I have noticed my body/ mind is loving it! Zzzzzzz!
  6. Some good news: This year has been great with good news. Two of my close friends from school decided to get married. Congratulations to Roshni, Pria and Sid! Few friends got promotions. People seem to be happy around me. So I guess I am really happy 🙂
  7. Shopping: This should have been at the top of my list! Since it was my birthday a few days ago-I shopped a lot! The labor day sales didn’t help either. I bought two Kate spade bags, a LOT of skin care items from SokoGlam, Uniqlo basics etc. I will follow up later with 10 of my favorite items this month!
  8. Homeland on Hulu: I know this show aired a few years ago, but I recently started watching this. I have already completed 4 seasons and just began my 5th one last night. Its a complete rollercoaster of emotions if you enjoy psychological/political thrillers. Must watch!
  9. Cereal: My favorite cereal for a while has been Lucky charms. I love them! My colleague was really surprised (a little offended) when I told her that I didn’t know what it was. My apartment has been stocked up since then!
  10. Day-dreaming: Come on! I love day-dreaming about random stuff. It gives me great pleasure to see where my mind can wander when I am idle!

I hope you enjoyed my list! And please comment below with what you have been enjoying. So I can get on it too! Also, just want to take a moment to be thankful for all my friends. Every now and then I realize how lucky I am to have found them. I love you guys!

10 Ways to be positive and happy

I have been recently brawling with being positive and looking at the “brighter” side of things. I am sure most of us struggle with this every day. And if you don’t you are very lucky my friend or you might be living in denial. So I thought I could share a few things I do to make myself feel better through the somber times.

  1. Take a good nap: Sleep is really important to induce positive thoughts and rejuvenate your mind. I won’t go into the science of things but I try to sleep for 7-8 hours daily.
  2. Enjoy a drink/ Listen to music: Whenever I am alone over the weekend or during the week I like to turn on some music I enjoy or videos I like to watch. I do this with a glass of cold juice or wine for weekends.
  3. Read something motivational: I know not many of us like to read but there are some motivational books that are perfect for pick me ups during the day or read motivational quotes online.
  4. Make a list of short term goals: I love making to-do lists!! This helps me to be focused on my current tasks and also make short term achievable goals. This is important to understand your own capabilities and strengths.
  5. Love yourself: I know a lot of people who find flaws in themselves and forget to embrace who they are. It is really important to accept your true self to move forward without being hung up on what is wrong. It is always good to know your weaknesses so you can work towards mitigating them.
  6. Take up a hobby/ exercise: I cannot stress enough on the importance of having a hobby. This will help to keep your mind active no matter how old you are. Another important key to being positive is exercising. The blood flow in your body will help you clean out your thoughts and help you sleep well at night.
  7. Worry less: Everyday I remind myself to not worry about the things that are out of my control and just concentrate on my priorities. This can be really difficult but it does get easier once you make a conscious effort to do so. Just take a deep breathe and move forward!
  8. Eat healthy: Ayurveda describes beautifully how the food you eat affects the formation of your thoughts. Some foods can make you lethargic or even stressed out. Learning more about what you consume and making conscious decisions can go a long way. You need to be fit mentally and physically to have a healthy and happy life. It’s not to late to start today.
  9. Smile: Every time you smile your mind will automatically take you to your happy place and make you feel better. It doesn’t take much to smile at a stranger at a store or even your colleagues on a hard day’s work. It definitely will get you through a tough day.
  10. Give your 100%/ This is your life: You worry less, give your 100% from the time you get up and things will always move in a positive direction. This is your life so don’t worry about making mistakes and enjoying every second of it. You only live once!

Time Flies!

Time definitely flies. I just realized I haven’t written in four months, It is crazy! My day goes by so fast at work that when I am home, I laze like a hippo and have now started to look like one. I have been catching up on a lot of shows- Quantico and Hawaii Five-O being the latest. Its like I am hypnotized by the TV. The idiot box is definitely living up to its name. I am trying so hard to be productive but somehow it seems difficult once I lie down on my cozy bed after a long day’s work.

I really enjoyed my birthday in September celebrating it with the amazing Broadway show- KINKY BOOTS. I recommend this one to all age groups. Its a perfect blend of crazy, funny and sad. I really shouldn’t say sad as it was much better at depicting sadness. I was smiling as I cried.

I had a great meal with friends at Craft House which is in Suffern, NY. It is definitely worth a try. Their drinks are delicious and the Peach Cheesecake was to die for. What else do I need- I got food, great theatre and some alcohol. Oh! And my friends to enjoy this with. They even gifted me a fall jacket from COACH. My first ever!

Talking about jackets- Fall is here! Its so much better to snuggle with the person you love and smell the fresh air when you are out. I really love fall. Its gives a different quality to the breeze and the trees. Of course I am talking about the beautiful colors of the leaves as they turn yellow, orange and amber. I had never seen fall before because Mumbai doesn’t have fall. We have monsoon (I really don’t know why). But the first time I experienced fall I was so mesmerized by my surroundings. The aroma of pumpkin spice lattes, cinnamon and apple pies. YUM! It is my favorite time of the year. It is crazy how I never forget my food while talking about other important things. I guess I am just one of those people who eats while being happy, sad or stressed. Its a bad thing- definitely a bad thing. You see how the Hippo is still lazing on the bed?

The most exciting event of 2015 is that my sister is finally visiting me! I’ve been here more than 4 years and this is the first time! I’m so thrilled to have her over and show her my life that I have built here. I do believe it is important for family to know how you are really doing. It helps ease their worries and obviously makes life simpler. Also it ts that time of my life that Indians my age are pressurized to get married. All parents are worried about whether their children will ever find the love of their life (more like someone who can tolerate us). The hunt for the perfect person goes on. Just for all the parents who read this- YOUR KIDS DO NOT WANT TO DIE ALONE! We do want to find someone. Having said that, its not easy to find that one person among 7 Billion people now, is it? So sit back, relax and help your children in other ways and also have fun with them. That is important too!

Work has been hectic since I am learning new things everyday! Being in the cosmetic industry, you constantly have to keep up with the times, the trends etc. Its an ever growing business that calls for innovation and research. This industry has a lot to offer. I have finally gotten into make-up and to be honest- I love it! Never did I think that I would, but its fascinating and fun at the same time. Hopefully I’ll learn some new make-up techniques and share just like the new trend of make-up videos and blogs. I’ve also been catching up on all the cool ideas people have for putting on eyeliner. Trust me its an art and not everyone can master it.

I’m enjoying buying cosmetics and spending a lot of money on them. I bought the Urban Decay smoky palette, splurged on a nice organizer, lots of lipsticks among other stuff. Its been fun to experiment with all the make up and wear lipsticks to work. Its definitely a simple way to feel great about yourself. The past four months have been great in terms of work and also because I bought a beautiful car. It was long overdue and I wanted it before the winter set in. Commute has been so comfortable; this upgrade was necessary.

I’m definitely going to be writing soon about how I love the holidays or how much I shopped with my sister.It is going to be so much fun. Can’t wait to have you here Payal Kamath!

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Enjoying summer at Asbury Park

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Al Hirschfeld Theatre- KINKY BOOTS

A tribute to loving and losing

Some people say love hurts, others say it brings happiness. I would say love brought me life’s greatest lessons. I was 16 when I first started actually dating someone. It was kind of a big deal. Being from India I can definitely tell you that parents are really not okay with you seeing someone at that age. That’s when they expect you to enjoy life (start thinking about your career). I really did want to make it big in life. I was very ambitious at 16, I wanted to be a doctor. I even put a LOT of effort towards being one. Of course, now at 25, I know I wouldn’t have been able to succeed doing that. Anyway, the person I was dating was literally the opposite of who I was. He was funny then, we hung out a lot and he wasn’t ambitious at all. It was a typical high school relationship. I couldn’t have asked for more. I really thought I was going to marry him. Then, I went to college, I grew up.

The break up wasn’t really as difficult as it should have been. Considering I was dreaming about my perfect wedding with a person I had been for almost three years. I moved on rather quickly. I remember my friends telling me I was too practical instead of being emotional at the time. It was me who broke up. I wish I could go back and apologize for being a hard ass that I was. I din’t really care about what the other person felt. I always thought I should be happy. If not break up was my best bet.

As I started college, I became famous with the ‘senior’ guys. I was a bit of a carefree/ hippy back then; never gave a shit about what people thought of me. I guess that’s how I survived college. I made great friends who are still with me. I met someone worth being with at that time. He was really nice, funny and sociable. Would engage a crowd with a great conversation. But then all of this led to many insecurities which led to a break up. That’s what happens to good college relationships- people move abroad and long distance brings insecurities. That relationship was a big factor that led to me moving out of my house and coming to this country. Of course by the time I got here I had already broken up. Who wants an old relationship when they are in a new country. Right? Oh my god! This is who I was before- shallow who had no empathy towards anyone.

I wasn’t going to get away hurting everyone that came into my life. So I finally met someone who changed me completely. Definitely for the better and yes, I am not with that person anymore. He is happily married now to his girlfriend/ ex-girlfriend of God knows how long. I was a drifting bird in his life so to say. And I do wish them the best for their future. They are really suited for each other. And some part of me wanted them to be together even when I was dating him. How messed up is that. I’m sure many people out there must have felt like me. I became this lonely, dull person who smoked and drank all the time to make myself feel better. I never asked myself once is this relationship really worth it? But when I did I stayed away from trouble. It took me a long time to accept that I was cheated on, being lied to and rejected while living in the same house. My advice- Never do it. Move the hell out! Also, never think that you are going to end up alone. Its root cause of all failed relationships.

Anyway for what its worth, I learned a lot from each one of them, even from the ones I dated for a short time. And I wish I was in touch with each of them. But that doesn’t really happen these days. No one talks to their exes anymore, everyone just stalks them on social media! Come on! You all know I’m right about this one. That’s how all of us feel good or bad about ourselves depending how our exes are doing.

Today I do learn about their lives and I do feel extremely happy for each one of them as they get married or find the one they truly love. I am evolving and moving towards forgiving my past and doing away with regrets and being strong for my future. I certainly don’t feel as insecure as I used to before (can’t be a 100%- not insecure) haha! I learned about who I really was as a person. Inside and out. Gave me perspective and motivation to be better than who I am.

Today I am happy- not only for myself but also for the ones I loved and lost.

P.S: If ever my exes get to this- I want you guys to know that it was great to have you all in some of the most important phases of my life.