*200 Posts* Looking Back

Wow, here we are, 4 years and 200 posts later. I’m going to try not to make this too mushy, but I’m truly amazed, proud, in-awe, and every other positive adjective of myself, this blog and all the places it’s gone. When I first started I was a bored high school student sitting in a class I really didn’t care about. I didn’t know who I was and I was desperately looking for answers. Swimming, school, friends, family, I didn’t know what my true life’s purpose was. And it surely wasn’t to just float through life doing whatever, I needed a purpose. The driving force to get me going. I started writing about things I enjoyed: food, fitness, travel, body image. I wrote for myself. But suddenly I realized the power that I had with my words, the power this platform I created had. People started coming up to me at school, “hey, I read your blog post the other day on body image and it was so inspiring”, “you’re blog post on those Singapore brunch spots was awesome and I tried a bunch out”. I was reaching people, people were reading my blogs. That’s when writing about things I enjoyed or cared about became my passion. It wasn’t about putting on this front that everyone would like, it was about sharing my story, my journey and my experiences while promoting what I cared about, kindness, self love and positivity. No matter what I’m writing about, how old I get or where I am in the world, those three things will always be where I’m rooted, and those three things will always be where SwimEatLove is rooted. I’m beyond grateful everything this blog has given me. It’s connected me to some of the most incredible and inspiring people, allowed me a creative outlet to express myself without any limits, and it’s given me purpose. So while I’ve now hit this milestone of 200 posts, there’s no slowing down. I want to share my story, be open, honest and vulnerable as long as I possibly can.

So to celebrate, I thought my 200th post would be a look back on the last 4 years, the posts I’ve loved, the ones you’ve loved and a bunch of others in between.

It all started with me sharing my love for swimming, the good, the bad and the ugly. Butterfly or Butterdie “When you are floating there in the water desperately trying to grab onto the lane line, is when it hits you. You are gasping for air and using the lane line to keep you above the water, while also trying to rip your super tight goggles and cap(s) off your head.”

I’ve shared photos through Life Through A Lens to give you all a little peak into my life. I’ve shared my love for food through my Food Adventures from around the world and many recipes I’ve come up with myself (some heart healthy, some healthy for your soul).

I began to share my journey to self-love, although a hard one. The ‘Perfect’ Self. “It blows my mind that I can pick up a magazine with the header “The New Plus-Sized Model”, flip it open and see a gorgeous woman wearing size 8 clothes. As a society, we have painted a picture of what the ‘perfect’ woman looks like; long skinny legs, a flat stomach, thin arms, and narrow hips.”

When I traveled, you traveled. You came with me around the world; Thailand, Paris, Korea, Japan, New Zealand, Cambodia, California and so many more. My adventures became your adventures and I loved that. I shared my journeys in those places and also what it took to get there. Holiday Travel Tips. “As this post is going up, I’m in an Uber on the way to LAX ready to hop on a plane and head back to see my family for the holidays. Since traveling is something that almost everyone does during the holidays in one way or another, I thought I would share my holiday travel guide/tips for today’s post. I’ve done some other “travel tips” posts in the past (be sure to check those out!), but this one will be my updated one specifically for the holidays. Enjoy and happy traveling! xx”

I found myself becoming interested in new and different things, and I shared that with you. Never thought I’d be a little fashion guru. Natural Glam- “No Makeup” Look. “Good morning lovelies! Now that it’s back to school and work, there’s a lot of 5 minute, easy makeup looks going on. Today I thought I’d share my natural, go-to no-makeup look with you all. I wasn’t always a ‘wear makeup to school’ kind of gal, but lately I’ve found that it helps me feel put together and ready for the day. Having basic makeup done makes me feel like I’ve made an effort for not only people around me, but myself as well. For me, natural looks are all about keeping your skin healthy and glowy while still covering up all the imperfections.”

And along with fashion, I’ve become obsessed with beauty, as well as all things summer and the beach but we already knew that. Summer Beauty. “It’s finally that time of the year where we’re all whipping out our bikinis/suits and headed to spend time at the beach, the lake or even just by the pool, soaking in every ounce of sunlight in hopes to get that perfectly sun-kissed skin. Today’s post is going to be all of my summer beauty tips and go-to’s to get you looking fresh, relaxed and glowing. Under each section I have linked some of the products I have been loving this summer.”

I shared by true and lasting love of my beautiful island of Singapore with you. Mega Guide to Singapore. “Planning on visiting Singapore or always wanting to visit? These are my top 10 things to do in Singapore. It may only be 31 miles wide and 17 miles long, but the beautiful island is PACKED with fun things to do!”

For two years now, I’ve brought you into my life during the holidays. Trying to share my profound love for Christmas and the season, 12 Days of Christmas has allowed me to do so. Christmas Tag. “Red or green – which color occupies your life during Christmas? Red, and red glitter. What’s your favorite Christmas accessory? Gold hoops. Do you buy presents or try DIYs? Buy presents, but I love putting together gift baskets/sets. Chocolate, Strawberry, or Vanilla – what do you prefer the most during Christmas? None of them… everything PEPPERMINT! What is your favorite Christmas slogan? Be naughty, save Santa the trip;)”

And what I’m most proud of is how open I’ve been about the hardest parts of my life. Sharing about my struggle with an eating disorder with you all was the hardest decision, but the best decision I ever made. As scary as it was, the number of people who reached out thanking me for trying to break the stigma was life-changing, and I don’t say that lightly. It was become a big part of my life and will stay with me forever, even way after recovery. That’s what this blog has been about, helping others feel less alone. Mental Health Moments are a way to make sure that this important conversation is being had. If no one else will talk about it, I sure as hell will. To My Eating Disorder… “Today is National Love Your Body Day, and while I try to preach and live by the idea of self-love, I’ve been struggling with this by a battling with an eating disorder. It’s not something a lot of people talk about, and it’s not something a lot of people talk about publicly. But I’m ready to break that mold. The scariest thing about this whole battle has been feeling alone in my fight. But I know I’m not the only one. I’m here telling my story with hopes that it can help others out there feel a little less alone. I’m not posting this looking for pity or attention, I’m posting this because reading other peoples stories was such a big part of the start of my recovery. If this can help even just one person feel a little less alone, then it’s worth it.”

How crazy is that, 200 posts. And guess what, I already see 400 on the horizon.

Much love always, Aime.

 

New Year, Same Me

One of the best things about 2017, for me, was that it was a year of discovery in many ways. I learned so much about myself, the people around me, the places I love and the world in general. With so many huge milestones happening this year, it would be hard not to stumble upon new discoveries. Usually at the beginning of every year I write my new years resolutions, typically revolving around school and swimming. This year when trying to write them, I found it particularly hard to think of anything. I starting reflecting on the past year and everything that had happened and I had learned. Instead of writing resolutions for the year, I decided to write myself vows, vows that I know have been created out of the experiences I’ve had over the past couple of years. My vows for the year represent who I am as a person and all the things I hold near and dear to my heart.

With lots of new and exciting content coming to the blog this year, I thought a perfect way to start is to share some of my vows for the year with you all. What are some of your resolutions/vows/goals for the year? Let’s share them in the comments below!

My Vows

1. I vow to put my family above everything else. After leaving home for college this year, I realized that there is absolutely nothing that is more important to me than the close bond I have with my family.

2. I vow to love myself and my body no matter what and to appreciate all the things my body allows me to do . After dealing with many years of body image struggles, I feel like 2017 was the first full year where I never looked in the mirror and thought I was fat or felt the need to suck my stomach in while wearing a bikini. It also happened to be the happiest I’ve ever been in my life.

3. I vow to allow myself to try new things, even if it seems scary. If there was a theme to this year, it would be trying new things. I’m going to be completely honest, most of the new things I tried were terrifying at first (ie. leaving home for the first time), but they also ended up being some of the best parts of the year.

4. I vow to become an adventurer of the world as best as I can. One of my biggest passions is traveling, and I was lucky enough to travel to two new countries (New Zealand and Korea) last year that I absolutely fell in love with. I hope that I can add another new country to the list this year. But beyond traveling to new countries, I vow to allow myself to explore the areas around me, whether it’s in Singapore, LA, or Tokyo, and to appreciate all the natural beauty of the world.

5. I vow to treat my body and mind as a temple, but in a balanced and healthy way. Of course I love working out, staying fit and eating healthy, but I also love skipping a day at the gym or pool to go explore a new city with my family and to eat food I love (even if it’s not the healthiest). I felt like 2017 was the most balanced year I have had. I focused on my health and fitness every single day, but also allowed myself to take a break if I felt like I needed it.

6. I vow to open myself up to new hobbies and passions. I had an amazing moment earlier this year where I discovered what I felt my life purpose was. That moment only came from allowing myself to try and find new things I was passionate about. I vow to allow myself room to try new things that I have an interest in, knowing full well that I may fail.

7. My last vow is to allow myself to be 100% real, authentic and honest on my blog and Instagram. This is something that I learned to do over the past 6 months, and it has been amazing. It’s not easy to be out on social media sharing personal information about your life and struggles, but I think it’s important for all of us to show our true selves every day on every platform. My whole goal through my blog and Instagram is to inspire others to be healthier, happier and laugh a little more. I have been amazed at the responses and messages I get to my posts, it’s what keeps me going every single day and I vow to keep that up as best as I can through this year.

I just wanted to end this by saying how extremely grateful I am to all of you for reading my posts and following along on my life adventures. This blog and Instagram have quickly become one of my biggest passions and I am so thankful for that!

My Study Playlist

I know I’m not just speaking for myself when I say that homework and studying can be MISERABLE. Most of the time, the only thing that can help me focus and write a paper or study is a really good playlist. Here are some of my favorite songs to listen to to keep me on task and motivated. What are your study songs? Comment them down below!

Chill:

Rise Up- Andra Day

Slow Hands- Niall Horan

Waiting on the World to Change- John Mayer

Yours- Russell Dickerson

Growing Up- Macklemore & Ryan Lewis (ft. Ed Sheeran)

Better Man- Little Big Town

Carry On- Fun

My Wish- Rascal Flatts

Terrified- Katherine McPhee

In Case You Didn’t Know- Brett Young

For Her- Chris Lane

Motivating:

Last Name- Carrie Underwood

Here I Go Again- Whitesnake

Can’t Get You Out of My Head- Kylie Minogue

Shoutout to my Ex- Little Mix

Underage- Kelsea Ballerini

Perfect Strangers- Jonas Blue

Love- Jana Kramer

Think of You- Chris Young (ft. Cassadee Pope)

Back Home- Andy Grammar

Life is a Highway- Rascal Flatts

Hold it Against Me- Britney Spears

 

 

Life Through A Lens #17- SHIFTING SEASONS IN LA

Photogenic buildings right by the Santa Monica Pier.
When in LA…
Beautiful evening views from campus.
Pasadena city hall with a deep blue background.
Living the high life…on Rodeo Drive.
More snaps from the famous Rodeo Drive.
Weekend brunch with a view- Santa Monica.
The bar at the outdoor Plan Check in Santa Monica.
Fall break in LA calls for hanging by the pool in Beverly Hills with a cold drink.
BOTTOMLESS MIMOSAS! The bar seat view at Market Provisions on Beverly Boulevard.
The Beverly Hills original Farmer’s Market is almost as magical as Disneyland.
Mid-October sunsets over the LA sky.