Career Finance Fitness Lifestyle

Goals Progress – April 2018


My existing certs are going to expire so I need to get some PDUs under my belt quick to keep them active but I honestly haven’t looked at my options yet. I still really want to get PMP certified so I’m hoping I can find a class that fits my schedule.


As usual, finding my balance is not going well. Going on vacation to Hawai’i for my birthday in March really set me back and I haven’t been able to find that motivation. I am still going to be the gym/working out regularly but my diet is horrible. I need to get back on it because summer is seriously right around the corner.


I am happy to report that I’ve been making significant progress on my financial goals and am currently at 10% progress! I’ve been obsessed with getting rid of this debt and since I buckled down in February, I threw an excessive amount of money at my debt. We’ll just say that it’s enough to fund 2 big international trips which makes me sad because if you know me, you know I live to travel. But sacrifice now to play a lot later!


I don’t know if my blog progress is worse than my career progress! I’ve been really horrible about putting in the work to see the growth, but I do have a few Hawai’i posts planned so I’m hoping that’ll get the ball rolling and give me a spark of motivation. I have been slowly building my IG following, but XOMO has been at a complete stop but I swear I’m gonna get my ish together one of these days.

Career Finance Fitness Girl Boss Lifestyle

2018 Goals

I personally dislike making New Year’s resolutions because I never keep them, but I usually set goals I want to accomplish. I know, I know, it’s already halfway through February but I’ve finally finished setting my 2018 goals! 2018 isn’t about “new year, new me,” but more “new year, better me.” I feel like I have a lot I want to do this year, but I think they’re pretty reasonable goals. I broke them down into 4 categories and I’ll keep this page updated regularly and bookmarked on the top menu to keep myself accountable!


  • Renew PMI-ACP Certificate (July 2018)
  • Get PMP Certified

My PMI-ACP (Agile Certified Practitioner) certification expires in June this year and I need to get it renewed by taking 30 PDUs (Professional Development Units). I also want to get my PMP (Project Management Professional) certification so I figured I’d knock off two birds with one stone and do both. I’m not entirely sure if I have enough project hours yet for the PMP, but I’m definitely going to try.

A post shared by Roxy Olivas | XO (@xanolivas) on


  • Lose 1 – 2 inches around waist
  • Find fitness balance

I’ve always struggled to find balance in my fitness routine – I’m either at the extreme super fit, no cheat days mode or the “eff it” eat and drink whatever you want mode. I’ll go super hard and get really fit, then I’ll blow it all when I’m on vacation. I know, I’m not overweight but my clothes don’t fit the way I want them to and I really need to find my sweet spot between bikini ready and fried chicken and coke!


  • Pay off loan
  • Be debt free by December 2019

This is probably the most personal goal that I’m sharing because nobody ever likes to talk about money, let alone be honest about their finances. I’m really grateful that I’ve been able to live so comfortably after getting my degree, but I haven’t been the best steward of money. There was a year or so that I was completely debt free and it was amazing! But I ended up totaling my car, traveling a lot, and in all honesty, lifestyle creep got to me. It’s not something that I’m really proud of because there honestly is no good reason for me to carry all this debt.

The average American household carries $137,063 in debt – $16,883 in credit card debt, $29,539 in auto loans, $50,626 in student loans, and $182,421 in mortgages. While I fall way below average, just the idea of carrying any debt gives me anxiety and I miss the freedom of being debt free. I still live pretty comfortably and throw some extra money at my debt but it’s time for me to really suck it up and buckle down.

This is more of a longer term goal since there is realistically no way for me to pay off everything by the end of the year unless my salary doubles. I sat down and crunched all the numbers and I can definitely pay off the personal loan I took out by the end of the year. The remainder of my debt is my car, and it’s the biggest chunk. I actually leased it for 3 years thinking I’d want to upgrade to a newer model at the end of the lease, but didn’t really want to lease again so I ended up buying it. It kind of sucked starting over last year, but I think it’s pretty reasonable to put a December 2019 payoff (possibly earlier). I’m not completely comfortable sharing the big number yet, but you can follow this progress bar by percentage until I am! 😉 But I will share it at some point.

Debt Progress – 22% as of 8/2

22% Complete


  • 5,000 views a month on the blog
  • 10,000 IG Followers

I’ve had this domain name for a few years, but didn’t get serious or consistent about blogging until last June. It’s been a fun hobby and I especially love documenting my wanderlust but I’ve also made a few extra bucks on the side! I want to focus on growing my blog this year by creating more valuable content. It’s definitely been a trial and error process seeing which posts get hits (e.g. my Pop Fit Leggings Review is my most visited post), but we’re learning!

Also, my sister and I recently launch what I’m calling my little passion project – XOMO Society. If you’ve been following along for a while, you know that I tried to do XO Women a few months back but it quickly fizzled out. I got a burst of inspiration at the end of last year, decided to partner with my sister, Mo, rebranded, and relaunched as XOMO Society – a community for strong, ambitious women of color. We make weekly YouTube videos and posting regularly on our Instagram and looking for awesome women to feature – it’s a lot of work! I kind of took a hiatus around my sister’s wedding and haven’t gotten back on the horse but will definitely be doing that soon. I just think it would be so awesome to grow this community – the one I didn’t have while I was growing up.

I’ve got some lofty goals set up for 2018, it’s kind of intimidating but definitely can be done. Subscribe to my newsletter and follow along!

Read my monthly progress posts:

Boston Destination Lifestyle Massachusetts USA

Why A Little Island Girl From Hawai’i Is A NE Patriots Fan

I love football. Not so much that I know a ridiculous amount of stats or to call plays – hell I don’t even like playing Madden – but I love football. I just love the game. I love how emotionally invested the diehard fans are. I love the rivalries, the trash talk. I especially love when the New England Patriots pull of those flea flickers. I always get asked, rather condescendingly,

Why are you a Patriots fan?

Why in the hell would a girl from Hawai’i be a Patriots fan? The obnoxious answer is, We don’t have a team, so I get to pick whoever I want. [insert sassy emoji girl] Which is true. I have Hawai’i friends whose loyalty lay all across the US so why can’t I be a Pats fan?

My first live Pats game @ Gillette Stadium

The truth is, I never grew up watching football or any other sport for that matter. Most people’s loyalty is inherited through their parents or the city they grew up in – I was SOL on both counts. But I learned the game while I was in college watching the Patriots. Specifically, the 07 Patriots – you know, that heartbreaking season they went undefeated and got burned by the Giants in Super Bowl 42. I didn’t even fully understand how epic that season was at the time.

I get it when people say they hate Tom Brady. I didn’t even like Tom Brady at first. I remember watching him that season thinking, there is no way this guy is that good. That was 10 years ago and Tom Brady is still that good. Hell, you could even argue that he’s better. I jumped on the Pats train when they drafted Rob Gronkowski in 2010; I was at the University of Arizona when Gronk was there and if I’m being completely honest, I loved that the Pats had the same colors as my beloved Wildcats.

Happiness after the epic Butler catch of SB49

Call me a bandwagon fan, call the Pats cheaters – I’ve accepted the endless trash talk that comes with being a Patriots fan. It just comes with the territory. But whatever you say or think about them, I think they play some great football, that Belichick is a football genius, and Tom Brady is absolutely the Greatest Of All Time. I just love the stories. I love Tom Brady’s underdog story – 6th round 199th draft pick. I love how Belichick finds these undrafted free agents who come in clutch. Between Gronk, Edelman, and Amendola and even back to Bruschi – the legendary linebacker who’s half Filipino and a fellow Arizona Wildcat – there is just so much for me to love about them.

Meeting Trent Dilfer the season he said the Pats ‘were done’

I love my New England Patriots and you can trash talk me up and down all day everyday, but I’m a ride or die kind of girl. I know that Brady is not immortal and the dynasty isn’t gonna last forever, but I’m gonna enjoy this ride as long as we can and even if they start having season records like the Browns, I’m still gonna wear that Flying Elvis loud and proud. #PatsNation

Beauty Lifestyle

Get Free MAC Makeup with the Back To MAC Program

Back To MAC is MAC Cosmetics recycling program and I’m always surprised at how many MAC users don’t know about this program. I’ve been a loyal MAC girl since I was in college and it’s one of the reasons I’ve stayed loyal. The program is basically to bring in 6 ’empties’, you can get a free lipstick or eyeshadow.

What’s an empty?

An empty is the empty makeup packaging – like used up lipsticks, powders, etc. Items that count for the program:

  • lipsticks
  • lipgloss
  • powders
  • blush
  • eyeshadow pots
  • paint pots
  • liquid liners
  • twist liners
  • fluidline
  • foundation
  • concealer
  • eyelash containers
  • bulk makeup wipes packaging

Things that don’t count for the program:

  • regular pencils
  • makeup brushes
  • eyeshadow refills
  • blush refills
  • accessories – sponges, applicators, etc.

How do I exchange my empties?

You can take them to any MAC store or counter. If you don’t live close to a store, you can mail them in. US residents can mail to:

7603 Trade Port Drive
Louisville, KY 40258

Canadian residents can mail to:

Attention: Customer Service
550 Petrolia Road
Toronto, Ontario M3J 2W3

Although, I can’t vouch for the mail-ins, I’ve never had issues exchanging them in store.

What do I get for free?

A free regular packaging lipstick e.g. the standard black bullet shaped lipsticks – which is a $17.50 value! They won’t let you exchange for any VIVA Glam or limited edition packaging lipsticks. Also, if you’re in an actual MAC store, they’ll let you exchange for a regular packaging eyeshadow pot. (Also a $17.50 value!) The last time I did an exchange for Back To MAC, I got this lipstick in Whirl.

Is there a limit?

The maximum number of items you can exchange at a time is 18 – which will get you 3 items.

It may seem kind of daunting to have to ’empty’ out 6 MAC packages, but honestly, you’d throw them out anyway so you might as well get a free lipstick out of it!

Life Lessons Lifestyle

A Look Back At 2017

They say the only reason you should look back is to see how far you’ve come and I definitely have the tendency to do it often. I’m so grateful for everything in my life, but sometimes I can’t believe how far I’ve come. I feel like I say that a lot, but even talking to my mom the other day, she was telling me how she remembered my last few years of college when I used to call her bawling my eyes out because I couldn’t do it anymore. It wasn’t just college, but it was all these personal issues and all the unknowns of the future.

Looking back at my 2016 review and thinking about all the things that happened this year, I have to say 2017 was my best year yet. It really is like Steve Jobs said, any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on.

I definitely had my moments of doubt and insecurity and I stressed out about unnecessary things, but there was so much more good than there was bad. In 2017, I moved to a boujie ass apartment, got a new job with a really nice pay bump, met awesome new friends, kept amazing old friends, and still kept catching flights, not feelings. (Okay, maybe I caught some feelings, but I caught flights to avoid those feelings!) I traveled to new places like Denver, Boston, Tulum, and Cancun and to old places like Tucson, Las Vegas, Austin, and Phoenix. I had a ton of firsts, a handful of lows, and a lot of highs.

In January

I shot a gun for the first time and went to Tucson to celebrate my sister’s engagement.

In February

My 5th grade best friend got married to the love of her life, I had a mini reunion with a few sorority sisters in Denver, and I moved from the suburbs to Uptown Dallas.

In March

I celebrated a low key 28th birthday and went to my first Mavs game.

In April

I visited Denver again and started a new contract job. It was a risky move for me because I don’t really like working contract positions, but I took the risk hoping that I’d get converted to a full time position or at the very least, that I’d get to learn some new skills to add to my resume.


Was a lowkey month for me, but I had another one of those moments where I reflected on the past 5 years of life. So much reflection that I wrote A Letter To My Newly College Graduated Self

In June

I went to my first Texas Rangers game and went to Las Vegas to have a mini family reunion to celebrate Father’s Day and my Mom’s birthday.


Was spent exploring more of Dallas and realizing how much I really do love this city. Living in Uptown is a completely different experience from living in the suburbs. It kind of blows my mind how much I love it here because I said I’d never move to Texas and I really wasn’t expecting to love it so much.

In August

My sister came to visit.

In September I did my first ever solo trip to Boston and went to my first ever Pats game at Gillette Stadium. You have no idea how happy I was to be there.


In October I went to my first music festival, Austin City Limits, with some of the best people in town.


was the most eventful month of the year. I got converted to a full time employee and for me, it reminded me that I really do love what I do for a living and it reinforced all the past life decisions I made. I went to Scottsdale, AZ to help my sister out with some wedding things and spent Thanksgiving weekend with some of my favorite people in Tulum and Cancun, Mexico. We visited Chichen Itza, Dos Ojos Cenote and I even went ziplining for the first time! It totally reminded me how much more of the world I need to see.


In December

One of my best friends spontaneously visited me in Dallas. Some people seriously just get you and she’s definitely one of my people. Not to mention we can still act like little kids together.


2017 was so good to me, but 2018 is mine.

Fashion Lifestyle Reviews

MM LaFleur Review

I tried my first MM.LaFleur Bento Box 3-4 months ago and I loved the concept of getting quality, fashionable work clothes delivered to me without having to deal with the hassle of going to the mall, browsing racks, trying on clothes, and standing in line. I know, I know, what girl doesn’t want to go shopping?! It’s funny, cause I used to be a pretty bad shopaholic, but as I’ve gotten older and progressed in my career, I have less and less patience for shopping. Don’t get me wrong, I still get the itch from time to time, but these days I avoid malls like the plague.


So what is MM.LaFleur? The brand was launched in 2013 by Sarah LaFleur, Miyako Nakamura, and Narie Foster. Designed for the professional, working woman in mind, their Bento Box has the same concept as other monthly subscription boxes with the option to purchase all, one, or none of the items in the box. Each box is filled by a stylist with several high quality workwear pieces and an accessory meant to fit your style.




MM.LaFleur has awesome customer service and each piece is really high quality. The killer was the super high price point – the cheapest piece of clothing in my Bento Box was $145; the scarf was $65.



  • High quality items
  • Awesome customer service
  • Most items fit great
  • Fast shipping
  • Convenience
  • Decent size range (0 – 22W)
  • Only receive boxes when requested



  • High price point ($110 – $325 for clothing items)
  • Charge for Bento Box even if you don’t buy an item



After signing up for an account on MM.LaFleur, you fill out a survey on your fashion preferences, choose the day you’d like to receive your items, and enter your payment information. A stylist will pick out items for your Bento Box and the box gets shipped to you. You have 4 days to try everything on, keep whatever you want, and send the rest back. Shipping is free both ways and you’re only charged for the items you keep. Your first box is free, but subsequent boxes are $25 regardless of whether you purchase or not. You only receive Bento Boxes when requested, unlike other subscription services which send you a box and charge you monthly.



These were the items in my first box:


Sant Ambroeus Jardigan

I wear cardigans all the time at work, so I actually really loved this cardigan. It fit well, was super comfortable, and I loved that it didn’t have buttons. I couldn’t justify the $195 pricetag, though.


The Tory 2.0 Dress

I didn’t care too much for this dress. It was comfortable and the pockets are super cute, but it just wasn’t very flattering on. It kind of made me feel like I was dressing like my mom’s friend.


Greenpoint Skirt
Deneuve 3.0 Top

I didn’t care too much for either of these pieces. I’m really short (5’2″), have wide hips and no boobs so things have to fit right to look good on me. The skirt overall fit okay, but the slit in the front didn’t work for me. The top was comfortable, but just not my style.

 Rachel Dress


I LOVED this dress. This was my favorite item in the box – it fit amazing (Look at the back!), the color was pretty, it wasn’t super tight, and the material was really nice. If I was going to keep anything, it would’ve been this dress, but again – it was so expensive. I just can’t justify $240 for a dress.


Herringbone Scarf

Herringbone Scarf over the Rachel Dress

Awkward turtle face


I’m not much of a scarf person, mostly because I don’t know how to wear them and also because in Dallas the weather is bipolar and mostly warm so there isn’t that much of a need for them. The Herringbone Scarf is a wool-cotton blend and it was huge! (See it wrapped around me as a blanket in the ‘awkward turtle face.’) This actually might be good for someone who gets cold in the office. I loved the color and feel of it, but like all the other items, $65 was a deal breaker.


As much as I loved that Rachel dress, I ended up sending back all the items. I love nice things and I’m all for investing in classic pieces I’ll wear all the time, but I just couldn’t justify spending $150+ for one item. For reference, I’m definitely an Express / J. Crew / Banana Republic type of girl but I could get 2-3 items on sale for the price of one MM.LaFleur item.


Overall, MM.LaFleur delivers on high quality items and great customer service. It’s definitely catered to the professional, working woman and if I had the budget, I wouldn’t think twice, but deep down I still have my cheap Asian tendencies and had to pass. As you can see from my pros and cons list, I didn’t find anything bad about it, but costs trumps everything for me. If they lowered their price point more, I would probably try it again, but otherwise I’ll stick to my twice a year stops to the mall on sale weekends.

Fashion Fitness Lifestyle Reviews

Pop Fit FREE Leggings! – Olivia Review

A few months ago, a friend of mine told me about this POP Fit promo for free leggings and my first thoughts were – free workout clothes? I’m in. But as they say, nothing is ever free, free. I got to pick which leggings I wanted but the catch was I had to pay $11.99 for shipping. I’m not super big into shopping anymore – I think I have too many clothes I don’t use – but I don’t think twice about buying new workout clothes because I really put them to use.

Olivia Leggings

I ended up choosing these black/green Olivia leggings and I think if you click the picture link, you might be able to snag them for free yourself. I’m pretty picky about my workout wear – it needs to be drifit-ish material and the bottoms need to fit snug and comfortably but still flattering. I’m pretty loyal to my Nike capris and full length leggings and have yet to find anything that compares, but $11.99 didn’t hurt.

Some claims from the POP Fit website:

  • Thick waistband that “hits your hip & tummy area in exactly the perfect place”
  • Leggings stay perfectly in place
  • Heavier more durable fabric


I wouldn’t buy them again. They weren’t a complete loss, but not worth the full price IMO.


  • Comfortable and waistband does sit in a flattering area
  • Does stay in place (for the most part) while working out
  • Designs are pretty cute
  • Not terribly expensive


  • The waistband shrinks and gets warped when you put it in the dryer
  • Material is decent, but feels like will deteriorate after excessive use
  • Holds onto moisture more than I’d like

Leggings in action at the gym

I do think the style of these are really cute. I know a lot of women who love sporting the athleisure look and these definitely fit the bill. The mesh is soft but seemingly durable, but these are more for athleisure than they are for working out. I like the material for the most part and they’re super comfortable, but it holds moisture more than I’d like.

I rotate my workouts between weight lifting, hot yoga, and HIIT cardio workouts PLUS I sweat a lot, so I need something that’s comfortable and durable, but still flattering. The moisture thing isn’t so bad with lifting and HIIT, but when I’m in hot yoga, I notice it more because I’m sweating a lot more. In class, I’m used to wiping my sweaty hands on my leggings to get a better grip during poses, but when I used these leggings, it felt like I was just rubbing a wet towel.

I’ve had these for a few months now and I workout pretty regularly during the week so these were definitely put to the test. My biggest gripe is after so many washes, the waist band shrinks and gets pretty warped. Maybe I’m supposed to air dry these? I honestly don’t read instructions, but I don’t have time to air dry all my leggings. I’ve had some pairs of Nike leggings for years (circa 2013) and they’ve held up really well – I don’t see these lasting as long.

If you’re looking for something more casual and not for workout use, these might be for you, but I probably won’t be purchasing any more. If these were $11.99 regular price, I’d might reconsider, but the Olivia Leggings I got was $37 full price and I could get my favorite Nike Pro Leggings for the same price.

If you wanna try these leggings for yourself, I did find these other styles that are free (+ S&H):

POP Fit Heather Leggings
Heather Leggings

Mandy Leggings

Have you tried POP Fit Leggings? Do you have other favorite brands?
Let me know in the comments below!

Beauty Lifestyle

Half Skull Makeup / Dead Ballerina Halloween Costume




This Halloween was the first year I actually got brave enough to go out with my face painted! I always get way too perfectionist about it so I end up being something cute and just do an extra glammed up face, but I was kind of addicted watching all those cool Halloween makeup tutorials on YouTube and decided to attempt a half skull. It was actually way easier than I thought it’d be – especially considering that I have no artistic drawing ability. It worked out, though, and I ended up being a dead ballerina.


I drew inspiration from a few YouTubers, but the tutorial that was probably the easiest for me to follow was this one from Roxxsaurus:




I mean, she has the same name as me so it must be good, right?! I practiced a few times before Saturday before I felt comfortable with doing it and even then, I was still a little nervous. The teeth were definitely the hardest part and figuring out how to work with the grease paint was a challenge since I have an oily t-zone, but I think I’ll be better prepared for next Halloween. I’m already thinking about doing some gory SFX makeup for next year! But here’s a list of products I used:


And an outline of how I did it:


  • I started off by priming my face with Benefit POREfessional Matte Primer, making sure I covered that t-zone area and priming my lips with vaseline – that grease makeup dried out my lips!
  • I filled my brows as usual, then went onto doing a really heavy smokey eye using MAC’s Carbon (matte black) and MAC’s Gesso (matte white). I finished it off with the Eylure Faux Mink Lashes in Opulent. (I seriously LOVE those lashes).

  • before & after of the smokey eye

    Next, I drew the outline of the top of the skull and the nose part with a nude colored lip liner then started coloring in the white portion of the skull. I actually just ended up using cheap grease makeup from Spirit Halloween so I had to layer it twice. I’d let the first layer dry before putting on the next and set it with MAKEUPFOREVER’s HD Powder.
  • I outlined the top line of the skull and nose portion with gel liner and used the black grease makeup to fill it in. I tried the look using just the black grease makeup, but it was so greasy and constantly smudged. I noticed the liner stayed a lot better for the detailed parts so I used it for the outlines and teeth but used the grease makeup to fill in larger parts.
  • The teeth/mouth area was the hardest part, I honestly just really tried my best to imitate a picture of a skull I found on google. For the teeth, I tried to keep the lines as thin as possible and I TRIED my best to blend it nicely. I also went back in after blending with the white grease paint and set it with the white eyeshadow.
  • The hollows of the cheek were also a hard one for me. I outlined the shape with the gel liner, filled it in with grease makeup about 3/4 the way to the teeth, set the grease makeup with black eyeshadow and used a blender blush to blend it towards the teeth.
  • The last step, I attempted to add some depth to the skull by shading under the cheekbones. The good thing about Halloween makeup is, it’s almost better when it’s messier. Plus, I figured no one would really notice in the dark!




Here’s some dupes of the outfit I wore!

The finished makeup look!

What did you dress up as for Halloween? Did you do any fun makeup looks?

Career Girl Boss Life Lessons

The Best Career Advice I Ever Received


I recently watched a TED talk by Drew Dudley and it’s a great talk about leadership, but a question he posed in it made me reflect on my own life. He said,

How many of you guys have a lollipop moment, a moment where someone said or did something that you feel fundamentally made your life better?

It struck me mostly because I had been thinking this past week about the things that have led me to where I am today. It’s still pretty early in my career, but I definitely have had my own lollipop moment.


My last year of college at UofA, I spent most of my free time applying to jobs. I can’t even remember how many I applied to and how many interviews I went on. I remember it being the worst because I was about to be a new college grad with no internships under my belt and the only relevant work experience I had was working part-time at an IT Help Desk for one of the colleges on campus.


Tech interviews were especially stressful because I’d often get asked to write some code on the spot or verbally draft up some logic over the phone. It didn’t help at all that I suffered badly from Imposter Syndrome, but I sucked up my nerves and went through every interview I got hoping that somebody, anybody, would say yes. At the end of every interview, they always asked if I had any questions and my favorite one to ask was this:


What’s the best career advice you have ever received?


I’d get great reactions and thoughtful answers – I really wish I remembered them all. But there was one answer in particular that’s stuck with me.


I was interviewing for a Software Developer position in Ithaca, New York. I had interviewed with one other person in the company and they wanted to set up a second interview with their Vice President at the time; she had seen my resume and wanted to speak to me herself. We had a great conversation; she seemed intrigued by my background and satisfied with my answers.


When I asked her what’s the best career advice you ever received? she replied:


Never take a job that you know how to do.


I was confused by what she meant and she explained, when you take a job you already know how to do, you’re not learning anything new. It doesn’t mean take a job that you’re absolutely unqualified for, but take something you can learn and grow in.


I was surprised – and relieved. Mostly because I had felt so unqualified and inexperienced for most of the jobs that I was interviewing for, but also because it put things into perspective. It’s guided me every time I’ve come to a crossroad in my career. Every time an opportunity came up, I’d be scared that I wouldn’t know what I was doing and the advice always came to mind.



There have been several times where I felt completely inadequate. Like I wasn’t smart enough, wasn’t good enough, or I didn’t deserve to be in that position, but I’d remind myself that it’s okay to not know everything. I’d take a step back and realize that the few things I didn’t know how to do, I could figure it out with some help and guidance. Pretty soon, those ‘unknowns’ became familiar territory.



In Sheryl Sandberg’s book, Lean In, she brings up research that found that men apply for a job when they meet 60% of the qualification, but women only apply if they meet 100% of them. It’s surprisingly true. I know that I’ve felt that way and I’ve even seen this in practice – my male friends have much more confidence applying to jobs than my female friends.


That confidence comes with time, experience, and a little bit of faith in yourself. I’ve found that as long as you have a great attitude, a willingness to learn and work hard, you’ll figure it out. Don’t be afraid to take that job, or at least apply for it! You never know – it might just be exactly what you needed.


I ended up not getting an offer for that position. They had asked if I was willing to relocate and even though at that point, I would’ve gone anywhere, it probably wouldn’t have been the best decision. I think they were willing to give me a chance, but in hindsight, they knew it wouldn’t have been the best fit for me. I didn’t even have a clue where Ithaca was and having a little Hawai’i girl moving from Tucson, Arizona to upstate New York would’ve been some serious culture shock.


It’s kind of crazy to think how much of an effect that lollipop moment had on my life. I doubt that VP even remembers interviewing me. You never realize how much of an impact that moment makes until much later, but in retrospect, it ends up being so sweet.


Have you had a lollipop moment?
 What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
 Share with me in the comments!

Career Lifestyle

XO Remixed – New Layout, New Logo, New Mission

I’ve been a part of the blogosphere on and off for years (think back to Xanga if you’re old enough) but it was never more than an online journal. I dabbled for a bit in makeup and beauty blogging in college, but it quickly turned into more of a materialistic thing than a passion and fizzled out. Since I moved to Dallas, I tried finding my niche in travel and food blogging, but while I love the two, I couldn’t find the passion in it either.

The thing that’s always bugged me about social media is, a lot of it is smoke and mirrors.

And while I love the pretty travel destinations and I’m guilty of endlessly scrolling through perfectly curated Instagram feeds, there’s always been a part of me that craves real substance and authenticity. Where are all the pretty girls who care more about their careers than the number of likes on their post? Where do the awkward smart women go for advice? Who do the little girls have to look up besides celebrities?

I realized in the past few months,


the thing I’m most passionate about is encouraging and empowering other women.




I love seeing other women do well and the reason I’m so passionate about this, is because I didn’t have a lot of it when I was growing up, especially not as a woman in tech. I was always in a female to male ratio of 1/60 (at least) in engineering school and I can’t ever recall hearing about a woman at the C-level in any IT company. Granted, the world has made a lot of strides in the right direction with the Sheryl Sandbergs (COO of Facebook) and the Ginni Romettis (CEO of IBM) of the world and I love hearing about programs like Girls Who Code.


But where are the women like me who haven’t reached the top of the ladder yet?


The average everyday working women. The women who grind day in and day out. The women who are told you’re not smart enough, you’re too ambitious, or even, you’re too pretty to be doing that. Who’s out there to tell other young women that they can do that, they’re so worthy, and that doing things ‘like a girl’ isn’t a bad thing at all.


I’ve been googling for the past few weeks for blogs from, quite honestly, someone like mea quintessential female who loves getting dolled up on occasion but also gets geeked out over video games and wants to be more than just a pretty face and a nice ass. I haven’t found her, but this tells me, maybe I need to step up and be her. There’s a phrase that says, “if you can’t find the light, be the light.” and for some reason I feel this immense responsibility to be that.


I am by no means perfect, nor do I have all the answers. I’m especially not a man-hating feminist – I wouldn’t be where I am had it not been for my male superiors who believed in me.But I wanted to share my journey in the hopes of helping others along theirs and maybe even inspiring other women out there. What better way to do that than revealing the remixed – new layout, new logo, new mission.

XO is a complete work in progress, but I hope that you join me on this journey to bring together not just the fellow women in tech but all the ambitious women out there. Let’s do this.