*This is not an ad, I just LOVE this brand*
I have heard about Ipsy for a while, and have been intrigued by it. But it wasn’t until last November that I gave in and subscribed. After getting my first bag, I was obsessed! I couldn’t believe that for only $10 a month, I was getting 5 brand-name products as well as a super cute little pouch. From Benefit to Tarte, my bags have been filled with products that I love. For those of you who don’t know how Ipsy works, you sign up and create an account where you can check all of the products, brands, shades, colors, etc. that you love, and Ipsy then puts together a monthly bag with 5 products that fit your preferences. Each month, they also choose a theme.
Today I wanted to share my thoughts on the February Ipsy bag and the products I received. The months theme was “unzipped”, which was all about feeling sexy and confident no matter what size, shape or age you are. As most of you know, I’m a huge advocate for positive body image and self love, so I could not have loved this theme more (especially during the month of Valentine’s Day). The pouch was light pink with black lace (super sexy;) and was filled with 5 products I absolutely loved!
1. Jersey Shore Cosmetics- Apple Harvest Hydrating Lip Balm
I was super excited when I saw this in my bag this month since I had just ran out of my favorite lip balm (and it’s winter so my lips are dying). The apple smell is super strong, but not too overpowering. Made with sunflower oil, beeswax, coconut oil and cocoa butter, it’s extremely hydrating (even with just one layer) and goes on your lips super smooth.
2. Pur Cosmetics- Mini Fully Charged Mascara
Mascara’s are one of my favorite beauty products, and I love trying out new ones. This Pur Cosmetics mascara is very pigmented and spreads your eyelashes out well. While no mascara will ever pass the Benefit They’re Real (will always be number one in my heart), this one is definitely coming in a close second.
3. Luna by Luna Cosmetics- Baked Highlighter in Electra
I had received a Luna eyeshadow in one of my previous bags and loved how it looked on me, so I was happy to get another one of their products. This came in a really generous size and was a stunning color! I tried this on right away and loved how smoothly it blended in. Since this is a baked highlighter, I put a tiny bit of liquid highlighter over it, and it was the most beautiful glow I’d ever seen.
4. Luxie Beauty- Blending and Shading Eye Brush 249
I had never heard of Luxie Beauty before, but I was in the need of a new eye brush so was happy about this. It’s a double sided brush, with one side for blending and one side for shading. The really soft tips makes it really easy to blend. Love this brand and I hope I get more products from them!
5. Make Up Forever- Aqua XL Eye Pencil in M-10 (Matte Black)
This products kind of intimidated me when I first saw it, but I actually really like it. It’s a fairly pointed tip, but soft, making it easy to use for blending. I wasn’t a huge fan of it for my bottom lash line, but I used it on the top for a smokey eye look, and it worked super well.
If you are interested or have been thinking about trying Ispy out, I highly recommend doing it! The subscription is super easy to navigate, but more importantly Ipsy does a great job at making it easy to skip a month or to cancel your subscription (I hate it when brands try to trick you into spending money by making it hard to cancel your subscription). Ipsy stands for so many things that we need more of in this world, and I can’t wait to support their business more and continue to get my personalized bags every month.
If you try Ipsy out, let me know what you think in the comments below!
To start off the week, I thought I’d do a post that I’ve been wanting to do for a while (but also DREADING!). I’m sure most of you already know that I love to travel and explore the beautiful world we live in. I’ve been blessed with a life that has allowed me to experience so many new cultures and wander through the beautiful landscapes of so many places. So, as you can probably already tell, today’s post is going to be my 4 favorite places in the world. I’m just going to preface this by saying that it was nearly impossible to come up with a list of only 5 places (also this is in no particular order); every place I’ve ever visited could have a place on this list, but I did it, so here it is!
I’m just going to start out with an obvious one, my beautiful little tropical city/state/island/country of a home (I think I got everything, haha!). To be 100% honest, growing up in SG I don’t think I appreciated it as much as I should have. I went through so many stages where I was so bored and just couldn’t wait to get out of there. But as I got older and reality began to set in that my time was running out, I began to realize how much beauty there was all around. I’m not going to ramble on for too long (trust me, I could write pages), but I will link some of my past SG blog posts below. All I’m going to say is that SG is one of my most special, unique, and colorful countries in the world, and I have been beyond blessed to be raised and shaped by this place that will always be in my heart.
2. Lake Nojiri, Japan
Every summer, my family and I travel to Lake Nojiri in Northern Japan where we own a lake cabin/house. The cabin has been in my family for over 50 years (my dad also grew up going there in the summers), and is a very special place for us. There’s nothing fancy about it at all (we just got running water and a flushing toilet 2 years ago), but it’s the most magical place in the world. It’s one of those places where reality just takes a back seat and you spend your days swimming, boating, cooking and eating. On a typical day, we usually wake up fairly early, eat breakfast together, spend time by the lake either swimming, lifeguarding or tanning, and then spend our afternoons shopping and getting everything ready for dinner. Our cabin is on a hill looking down on the lake, so the sunrises and sunsets are absolutely stunning. One of my favorite days of the year is はなびたいかい (hanabi taikai- the firework festival); we drive down to sit on the docks, bundled up in sweatshirts and blankets while we watch the beautiful hour-long fireworks that reflect alluring fireworks on the calm waters of the lake. Just being able to sit there with my family with nothing else to worry about is such a special thing, making this place so near and dear to my heart.
3. Phuket, Thailand
Phuket has appeared a lot in my photos, but I don’t think I’ve ever explained why we go to Phuket so often or why I love it. The flight between Singapore and Phuket is only about an hour and 40 minutes (and super affordable!), making it the perfect destination for a quick beach getaway. Phuket is filled with gorgeous beaches, shimmery turquoise water and amazing food (most importantly, haha). We typically wake at around 8 (that’s late for us!) and have a leisurely breakfast before we head down to the beach for the day. Then in the late afternoon, we head back to the room to shower and get ready for happy hour and dinner. We almost never eat dinners at the hotel (since the prices are usually marked up), so we catch a tuk-tuk (a motorcycle-driven taxi) and head to some of our favorite local places for some really good Thai food. All we need is 3-4 days in Phuket to feel re-energized and ready to go. Once my family leaves South East Asia, quick little Phuket trips is one of the things I’ll miss the most!
Favorite restaurant: http://www.eatbargrill.com/welcome/
Favorite hotel: http://www.lemeridienphuketbeachresort.com/
4. Paris, France
When I was a freshman in high school, I had an amazing opportunity to go on a week-long trip of a lifetime to Paris for a language immersion program. We paired up and home-stayed with families who opened up their homes for this purpose. We were expected to get from the house to the school (or wherever else we were meeting) by ourselves on the metro (and again on the way home). The mornings were spent at a language school working on our French, and the afternoons were spent walking around the city and doing everything you would do in Paris. Some of my favorite things we did were going up the Eiffel Tower, taking a boat ride down the Seine, walking through Montmartre up to the Sacre Coeur, attending a Macaroon baking class, and shopping on the Champs Elysees (and of course the incredible amounts of cheese, pastries and bread that was consumed). What stuck with me the most about this trip was that the further away I got from being in Paris (afterwards), the more I appreciated it. While I did absolutely LOVE it while I was there, I was amazed with how much stuck with me. It’s been four years to the day since I was there, and cannot wait to get the chance to go back! (Disclaimer: this was before I took infinite amounts of photos everywhere I go, so enjoy this one of me by the Eiffel Tower eating some cotton candy:)
Singapore Blog Posts:
Top 10 Travel Tips post: https://swimeatlove.com/2017/03/18/top-10-travel-tips/
For today’s post, I thought I would just share the list of food items that I always have in my dorm room. One of the scariest things about coming to college (at least for me) was that I was going to get sucked in to the late night pizza orders and junk food eating habits of college life. To combat this, I always make sure I have these items on hand to grab whenever I want a healthy snack (at any time of the day). I hope you find this helpful, and if you have any other ideas/staples, share them in the comments below! I’ll try to find links to as many of these as I can.
- Trader Joe’s crunchy, no-stir peanut butter (I could put good old PB on almost anything)
- Justin’s nut butter packets
- Snyder’s pretzels
- Chobani yoghurt (I like making yoghurt bowls using yoghurt, bananas and granola)
- Chobani yoghurt flips (peach cobbler is my favorite!)
- Simply Balanced organic honey almond granola
- Some sort of flavored sparkling water, no calories (I like the grapefruit Ice and La Croix)
- Campbell’s chicken noodle soup
- 3 different types of chili sauce, including sambal for the Singaporean inside of me (I LOVE my spicy)
- Either milk or almond milk (usually unsweetened, vanilla almond milk)
- Instant iced tea and iced coffee mixes (these come in super handy when I’m in a rush to run to class)
- Iced tea: https://www.amazon.com/blendy-stick-flavors-english-20sticks/dp/B00U8NQKYO/ref=sr_1_7_s_it?s=grocery&ie=UTF8&qid=1516706345&sr=1-7&keywords=blendy+stick
- Iced coffee: https://www.amazon.com/Starbucks-Instant-Coffee-Sweetened-Count/dp/B01LTI9638/ref=sr_1_3_a_it?ie=UTF8&qid=1516706427&sr=8-3&keywords=instant+iced+coffee
- Protein bars (I always have some combination of Cliff bars, Luna bars and the Health Warrior Chia Seed bars on hand)
- Cliff bars: https://www.amazon.com/CLIF-BAR-Energy-Chocolate-Protein/dp/B0054RPY7I/ref=sr_1_4_s_it?s=grocery&ie=UTF8&qid=1516764164&sr=1-4&keywords=cliff+bars
- Luna bars: https://www.amazon.com/LUNA-Whole-Nutrition-Bar-box/dp/B075M5VNX6/ref=sr_1_27_s_it?s=grocery&ie=UTF8&qid=1516764129&sr=1-27&keywords=luna+bars
- Health Warrior: https://www.amazon.com/HEALTH-WARRIOR-Tropical-Variety-Gluten/dp/B00T0NE37O/ref=sr_1_1_sspa?s=grocery&ie=UTF8&qid=1516764107&sr=1-1-spons&keywords=health+warrior+chia+bars&psc=1
- Premier chocolate protein shakes (individually packaged)
I’m not usually the person who gets crazy excited about going to Disneyland, in fact the last time I was there was 10 year ago, but a few months ago my friend and I were talking about what to do for her birthday, and Disneyland seemed to be the perfect choice (after all, we do live 45 minutes away). Since the next time I go to Disneyland will probably be in another decade, I decided to write this blog post full of Disney favorites, tips/tricks and photos.
If you’re just going to Disney for one day, it can be hard to choose what to do and what to prioritize, so here were some of my favorite rides to ride and things to do that I would prioritize over other things. My favorite rides were Space Mountain, Splash Mountain, It’s a Small World (I know I’m a 5 year old inside haha!), Matterhorn (my favorite time to ride this is at night, especially during Christmas, because you get an amazing view of the whole park lit up), and Splash Mountain. All of these rides are the ones that typically have long lines, so be prepared to wait or spend an extra $10 on tickets to get fast passes (will talk about this later). Other than the rides, Disney is full of fun things to do and places to go. During our day at Disney, I would say we spent only about 50% of the time riding rides, and the other 50% walking around, eating and soaking in all the Disney vibes. With me being me, one of the things we did that I loved was starting our day at the Starbucks on Main Street. I know this sounds super basic, but I absolutely loved the vibe inside the Starbucks (even though the prices are slightly marked up). The store was PACKED and got me excited for the day ahead (I also would not have gotten through the day without my daily coffee). Other than Starbucks, the other food I would highly recommend trying is the Beignets and Mint Juleps in New Orleans Square. We decided to stop there for an afternoon snack around 2:30pm and ended up sitting there for an hour talking, taking pictures and enjoying our snack. It was a perfect little break from a crazy day. My last favorite, pretty obvious, is to end the day by watching the fireworks in front of Cinderella’s Castle. Disneyland is such a magical place and the fireworks that are perfectly times and choreograph to match all of the classic Disney songs is the perfect way to end a day at Disney. And of course, don’t forget to take tons of pictures throughout the day!
Knowing how much we were spending on tickets, food and transportation for a day at Disney, my friends and I wanted to make sure that we were getting the absolute most of the day. For starters, we decided to add an extra $10 onto each of our tickets to get fast passes. What that allowed us all to do was to use the app to book our fast passes for the rides. We were able to use about 10 fast passes throughout the day (which probably saved us a total of 4 hours from waiting in lines). Another tip if you are going to Disney is to designate one person to book the fast passes by making a “party” on the app. All you have to do is have one person add each person to their “party” and each time they book a fast pass, it automatically gets booked for everyone in the group. And when you get to the ride and get into the line, only that one person has to scan their phone and it scans for everyone in the group. Another tip that was super helpful was to go on the busiest/most popular rides earlier in the morning. We got to the park at 8am, right as it opened, and the majority of the people there were families with young children who weren’t exactly rushing for Space Mountain and Splash Mountain. The lines for the bigger, “scarier” rides are much shorter in the morning than they are in the afternoon/evening.
Photos: Because if you didn’t Instagram a photo, did you really go to Disneyland?!