Questions & Answers
Thanks for all of the questions that you submitted in the comments on my Instagram! I’m really excited to answer all of them. I’m going to start with the most frequently asked question:
Q: What’s your fitness routine?
A: Great question. It depends! Right now, I’m training for a competition so I’m working out 2 times a day, 6-7 days a week (run in the morning, weights at night). When I’m not training for a competition though, I work out 3-5 times per week but the same routine (cardio in the morning and weights at night). I have a little bit more flexibility with my cardio too when I’m not competing so I mix things up between spin classes, flow yoga, and running. I also prefer to run in the morning vs the evening because I really feel like it helps me jumpstart my day and get it off to a great start! I’ll be snapping some of my workouts on Snapchat over the next few weeks so you can see how I put in work in the gym.
Q: What’s your meal plan/diet?
A: The short answer to your question is lean protein, veggies, some carbohydrates, and good fats. The ratios vary depending on if I’m training for a competition or not. I also drink a gallon of water every day. I also take supplements to help with muscle recovery, flexibility, and overall health (multivitamin). I’ll do a post on my grocery list and meal prep this weekend and have it up for y’all next week since I usually do those things on Sundays.
Q: What’s your favorite vacation spot?
A: Being a California girl, I love sunshine and warm weather so you’ll usually find me vacationing anywhere where there’s a beach. But if I had to choose just one place I’d go to time and time again, it would be Jamaica. And I’m actually closer to it now that I live in NYC…winning!
Q: How do you keep your energy up and find time to work out?
A: My diet and the exercise really help with the energy part. And coffee of course haha. When you fuel your body with the right foods and exercise regularly, you’re giving your body what it needs to run like a well-oiled machine. You know what else is important here: SLEEP! I know not everyone can get 8 hours a night (I sure can’t) but I usually get about 6-7 hours and that works for me. When you sleep, you give your body the time it needs to heal itself and perform at its best. As far as finding time to work out, having a schedule helps me and I prep everything in advance to make things easier. But like with all things in life, if something is important to you, you find the time to do it.
Q: What motivated you to do a competition?
A: The desire for a new challenge and the discipline that comes along with that. I found myself slacking off with my workouts lately and I remembered how much I enjoyed the routine from when I started training for my first competition over a year ago. I never competed (caught a nasty chest cold from the office two weeks before the competition) but I was so proud of myself for sticking to that regimen for 3 months and seeing my body change in ways I never imagined. I want that feeling again and to actually hit the stage this time. And I will get there!
Q: What’s the first item you’d grab from your closet if there was a fire?
A: As much as I love all of my shoe babies, I’d have to say my beloved Kurt Geiger leopard pumps. They’re so unique and rare that I doubt I’d be able to find them again. Plus they make So Kate Louboutins all the time or I can special order them so I’d be okay without those. I think. Wow, I almost had a panic attack trying to decide and answer that haha!
Q: How does living in NYC inspire your fashion aesthetic?
A: I don’t think my aesthetic has changed much if at all since I moved here. But I have embraced some trends and changed my approach a bit. Since I take public transit everywhere, I find myself thinking more about my daily schedule when deciding what to wear day-to-day. I also do more things like wearing tshirt dresses with sneakers too which I probably would never have done if I still lived in California. The best part about living in NYC is that people don’t look at me weird for wearing so much black all the time because everyone does it here!
Q: What’s your skincare regimen?
A: This is a long one so are you ready? Okay. I wash my face in the shower using my Clarisonic (game changer) for 3 minutes twice a day and I use the Purity face wash by Philosophy as my cleanser. Once a week I mix in a little Exfolikate by Kate Sommerville into the face wash to exfoliate my skin. I use a little bit of Clarins toner and apply DermaQuench by Kate Sommerville as soon as I get out of the shower. After about 5 minutes, I apply my Cucumber Gel moisturizer by Peter Thomas Roth and Lancôme Progrès eye cream and I’m all done! Once a week I also do a clay mask. The Glamglow supermud mask (the one in the white jar) is my favorite by far! Every now and then I do a peel and I use the Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta peel wipes. When I’m on the go or I need to take off my makeup before I wash my face, I use the Neutrogena makeup remover wipes and then wipe my face with Simple cleansing wipes to make sure I got everything. I also like the Simple wipes to just wash my face when I’m on the run and I feel like my face is sweaty and gross in between showers. It gets really humid here and the subway is a sauna so I sweat a lot. TMI.
Q: Who takes your photos?
A: I have an amazing photographer named Kristin who takes my blog photos. She’s super talented. Our relationship started out as strictly professional 8 months ago when she responded to my Craigslist ad but now she is one of my best friends! Love you boo!
Q: When did you get interested in blogging and fashion?
A: I’ve always loved fashion! My mommy is one of the best dressed women I know. She’s my style icon for sure! She took me everywhere and I would sit there and watch her try on clothes and shoes as a kid. I loved every minute of it! I picked out all of my clothes myself or had a say in what my mommy ultimately bought when we shopped for school clothes. I also styled all of my outfits too from my hair accessories down to my socks. I drove my mother crazy but I had to look good. No detail was ever too small in my opinion and I still believe that today.
My interest in blogging didn’t happen until about 3 years ago. People would always compliment my outfits and ask me where I bought things and I’d gladly tell them. And then I thought, I could use my Instagram to show everyone what I’m wearing that day and tag the brands. So my “blog” kinda started that way but then I figured I should legit start one (get a website and write about my outfits) and so I did that in May 2015.
Q: What inspired you to start blogging?
A: My desire to help others find their personal style and look their best. When you look good, you feel good. Fashion is my true passion and if I can inspire someone else with what I’m doing, that’s everything to me.
Q: Do you blog full time?
A: No, I do not. I work full time as an analyst at a consulting firm. I also do freelance work as a style strategist. Cocoa Butter Diaries is my “me time” so it doesn’t feel like work at all. Eventually I would like to do styling and blogging full time as they are truly what I love doing the most.
Q: What would be your perfect day?
A: I wake up and I’m alive to see another day. That’s the perfect day to me. But honestly, a day where I do things at my own pace and on my own schedule is perfect. I’m extremely efficient so I hate when my time is wasted.
Q: What is your daily routine?
A: I get up at 515 every morning. I heat up hot water and lemon that I have steeping in a travel mug overnight with a sprinkle of cayenne pepper and a little agave and then throw on my workout clothes. I walk and feed Dexter while drinking my water. I go for my morning run. After my run, I drink a protein shake and eat a rice cake. I shower and get dressed for work. I make sure Dexter has enough cold water to drink throughout the day and then grab my things to head to work. I have a coffee on the way to work and usually do blog things on the train (write posts, catch up on emails, social media). I eat breakfast as soon as I get to the office. Work. I eat every 2-3 hours and I bring everything to the office so it’s ready to eat (more on that in another blog post). I eat a snack while I’m on the train ride home (usually another protein shake, some berries, and a rice cake). When I get home from work, I walk and feed Dexter and then change to go to the gym. I drink my pre-workout before I head to the gym and then go lift weights. I’m fortunate to have a full gym in my apartment building so I don’t have to go far to work out. After my workout, I shower and eat dinner. Before bed, I get everything prepped and ready for the next day and then I usually watch something I recorded on my DVR and fall asleep in the middle of it haha. Repeat!
Q: What made you move to NY?
A: Work. I had worked as a pricing analyst at a large company right out of graduate school for 5 years and I wanted to make a career change. I was offered my current job in NYC 6 months after I made the decision in my mind to change careers. I left everything I ever knew behind to start a new chapter in my life. It’s been almost a year and I don’t regret it at all! And leaving Dexter behind even for a short time was not an option. He’s my responsibility (and also his grandparents said no haha).
Q: How do you balance work, blogging, and life?
A: I always feel like I’m neglecting one aspect to be honest. But then again, I’m my toughest critic too. I think I manage to balance them well though. I try to be 100 percent focused on my assignments at work when I’m at the office and do CCB Diaries business during my down time and on breaks. I keep in touch with my family and friends back in California the best that I can given the time difference but we use social media a lot to keep in touch. I’m also a firm believer in having your own time to yourself. You need it to stay sane. My biweekly trip to the nail salon is that time for me. I sip my tea, read, and enjoy a little pampering. I always make time to do that no matter what. And it’s like I said before, if things are important to you, you find the time to do them.
Q: What do you do for work?
A: I am a data analyst at a consulting firm so basically I’m up to my eyeballs in spreadsheets all day. My academic background is in Economics (I have both a BA and an MA in it). I build models to analyze data and I love it…nerd alert!
Q: Do you have a boyfriend?
A: Not at the moment. But you will never see him on the blog if and when I do. Some aspects of my life should remain private in my opinion and also I respect his privacy.
Q: You have amazing shoes! Where do you get them from?
A: Why, thank you! I’m a shoe lover at heart. I make shoe contact before I make eye contact. I know, it sounds kinda petty, but, it’s true. The style I favor would be the stiletto and the brand that I favor is anyone who sticks to that motif. I also have the essential styles of shoes that every woman should own in my closet as well in both some shade of brown and black (OTK boots, ankle boots, pumps, flats, sandals, etc.). But since I do work in the corporate world by day, I own a LOT of pointed-toe pumps. My favorite pump is the “So Kate” by Christian Louboutin. It is perfect in every way to me. I also own some other “cult classics” but I tend to default to my pumps for work. I tend to wear flats mostly on weekends but I do have some great ones that I don’t mind wearing to the office on occasion such as my Nicholas Kirkwood loafers, my Chanel espadrilles, and my newly acquired Loeil slingbacks (I’m obsessed with them already). I know that a lot of my shoes are designer but that doesn’t mean that you have to get designer shoes too. I consider must-have styles to be investment pieces that I’ll have for years to come so I don’t mind splurging on them. And if you take care of them properly (i.e. sole protection, heel cap replacement, and cleanings) you will!
I hope you enjoyed my very first Q&A post! I had fun answering all of your questions. And if there’s anything else you’d like to know but were afraid to ask, shoot me an email! Love you all!