Hi lovelies!

If you’ve been following my blog for the past few weeks, I mentioned in my June Favorites post that I would be driving across the country this summer and making several stops along the way.  In a few of the stops we planned doing day hikes at various State and National Parks.  So today I’m going to be doing another What’s in my Bag post featuring the items I carry in my backpack for those longer hikes- if you’re interested in my beach bag version of this post, you can check that out here.  This post has a lot of different items to cover so I’m going to try to be a bit more brief than usual in my descriptions but feel free to leave a comment below if you have any questions about any of the products mentioned!

  1. Watch– The Polar A300 fitness watch is my favorite watch for any sort of work out activity- whether I’m hiking or running or just out for a walk.  I pair it with a heart rate sensor and it provides me with feedback like how many calories I’ve burned and percentage of daily activity goal that I have achieved.  The watch band is also comfortable enough for me wear for a few hours and easy to wash.  The only thing that it is missing for me is the distance traveled but I’ll usually use a website like to figure that out after I’ve finished working out so it isn’t too much of an issue for me.
  2. Hiking boots and socks– This one seems like a no-brainer but really, a great pair of hiking boots with some nice thick socks makes a huge difference in how much you actually enjoy your day of hiking.  Nothing ruins amazing views like aching feet!  I picked up this pair at REI and they are so comfortable!  The height is perfect so my ankles have a little added protection but not so much so that it inhibits my movement in any way.  Just make sure you take your hiking boots out for a couple of walks in the time leading up to your hike to make sure they are properly broken in!
  3. Jacket– My favorite camping/hiking jacket is The North Face Apex Flex GTX Jacket- mine is in the color TNF Dark Grey Heather.  It is totally waterproof but so breathable and does a great job keeping me warm when the weather cools off.  I sized up so I would have the option of layering it but so far I haven’t needed to.  As with most cool weather gear, the price point is a bit high at $199 but I have gotten so much use out of it and it still looks great so I would say it’s definitely worth the price!
  4. Water bottle– Hydro Flask is my holy-grail water bottle brand.  I’m one of those people who prefers to drink really cold water, so I am constantly on the hunt for insulated bottles that keep ice cubes in my drink for long periods of time but don’t sweat on the outside of the bottle so I can carry them in my bag without worry.  This bottle achieves both of these and comes in a few different sizes as well.  I definitely recommend this bottle to keep you hydrated!
  5. Food- I always make sure I have a few protein bars packed in my bag when I know I’ll be out for a few hours, they take up very little room and it’s just never a bad idea to have a little bit of a boost with you for a long day of activity!
  6. Sunscreen- This is so important guys- your shoulders and face are going to be constantly exposed to the sun while you’re out and you have to protect them!  I prefer the sport sunscreen for hiking because I have found that it holds up the best against all of the sweating that goes on through the duration of the day.
  7. Hand sanitizer and baby wipes- I’m a little bit of a dirtophobe- which I’m pretty sure isn’t an actual word but you get what I mean!  I am constantly using hand sanitizer, no matter where I am so being able to keep my hands, etc. clean when I’m out for a day of hiking just always makes my life a little easier and I think that you’ll find you have way more uses for baby wipes than you ever thought you would- those things are handy!
  8. First aid kit- This can either be something you put together yourself or something that you pick up at a sporting goods store- mine is from Dick’s Sporting Goods- but either way I think that it is super important to have the basics with you! Neosporin, Aspirin, Hydrocortisone, bandages of a few different sizes- you get the drill, anything you think you might need in case you run into any issues during your day.

My backpack is The North Face Women’s Surge Backpack and it is so comfortable for me to wear all day with plenty of padding on the straps and added buckles for added support!

Thanks for reading!  What are your hiking essentials?


Beauty · Fashion · Favorites · Lifestyle




Hi lovelies!

Today I’m going to be adding to my original My Favorite Things post- I had so many things that I wanted to share with you guys the first time that the post ended up being crazy long, so I decided to separate it into two segments.  So, here we go with four more of my holy grail, all time favorite items:

1. Favorite Makeup Item

If you’ve been following my blog for the past couple of weeks, you know that I have battled oily skin and acne since I was a teenager and have always struggled to find a good foundation that didn’t feel too heavy but held up against my troublesome skin and busy schedule.  The Urban Decay All Nighter Liquid Foundation is the best one I have found that achieves both.  I apply it with a makeup sponge and it is super blendable, easy to work with, and leaves a natural airbrush-looking finish!  It is a bit pricey but I have found that a little bit with this product goes a long way and I can achieve a full-coverage look with less than one pump of foundation.

2. Favorite Place to Shop

This one is constantly changing depending on the season.  You know how that goes- you’re obsessed with the summer line but then the fall clothes come out and suddenly you aren’t sure if you’re even in the same store.  Lately, my go-to has been LOFT.  They always have different sales going and I find great quality stuff that I am able to pair so many different ways and create more looks with one piece.

3. Favorite Book

One important thing to know about me is that I am a total bookworm.  Reading has been my escape since I was a little girl and majorly into with Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys.  Even now, mystery is still my favorite genre but one book has always stood above the rest.  And Then There Were None  by Agatha Christie is a timeless and haunting murder mystery that I find myself re-reading over and over and recommending to anyone who asks.  You only think it’s a classic “whodunit” but you’ll just have to read it for yourself to find out.

4. Favorite Beauty Accessory

The speak for themselves.  They are super easy to put in, leave my hair feeling soft, and deliver huge results- plus they heat up super quickly, a major plus if you’re like me and usually getting ready at the last minute.  I do have to apply a light layer of hair spray with these, which I don’t usually with a traditional curling iron but the time saved getting ready when I can simply throw these in, do my makeup, take them out and be ready to go makes them totally worth it.

Thanks for reading! Hope you’re having a wonderful Monday!


Beauty · Fashion · Favorites · Lifestyle


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Hi lovelies!

Can you believe we’re already heading into August?!  The summer is going by so fast, I swear it’s going to be Christmas time before we know it!  With the end of the month comes time for another post on things I’ve been loving this month.  So if you’re interested in hearing more about my July obsessions, just keep reading!

1. Liquid blendercleanser

My beautyblender is definitely my most-used makeup tool.  I use it every day so, respectively, it also gets the most wear and tear.  I used to use the beautyblender solid soap and I felt that it was doing a sufficient job cleansing but then my sister actually purchased a bottle of the liquid soap and I fell in love.  The liquid soap really gets my beautyblender feeling like new and I am confident that it is clean and not worrying about any lingering dirt in my pores.  Total game changer for me guys, I definitely recommend it if you’re a beautyblender user, and if you aren’t, then I doubly recommend that!

2. Too Faced Love Light Prismatic Highlighter

This line of highlighters is fairly new and with how much I love all things Too Faced, of course I had to give them a try.  I’ve been in the market for an intense highlight shade since my Becca Champagne Pop is a bit more on the gold side, and that is definitely what I got with the shade Blinded by the Light.  It is a beautiful highlight shade, super pigmented, and perfect for that summertime glow!  Plus, how adorable is this packaging?!

3. Tory Burch Miller Sandals

These sandals have been on my wishlist forever!  I’ve love the simple, yet elegant vibe that they bring to a look.  I finally caved and picked them up at Nordstrom and I am so so glad that I did!  I wear them almost every day!  They are so comfortable and go with basically everything!  The only thing that I will note is that they do run a bit on the small side.  I’m normally a size 8 but after trying them on, I purchased these in 8.5 and they’re actually a bit snug but I think they will stretch some as I wear them so they should be perfect after I break them in a bit more.

4. Eyebuy Direct Digital Screen Protection Glasses

Like a lot of you, I’m sure, I spend a ton of time in front of my computer screen.  I had seen this site mentioned on a few different YouTube channels and I knew that one of their primary products were advertised as lenses containing blue light or digital protection.  The site is fairly inexpensive and super easy to use- if you already wear prescription glasses, all you have to do is enter your current prescription and choose whether or not to add the digital protection.  I wear them whenever I sit down at my computer to work and don’t have to worry about straining my eyes starting at the screen!

Until August!  Thanks for reading!


Beauty · Lifestyle


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Hi Lovelies!

Today I’m going to be talking about my every day makeup routine!  Depending on what I have going on for the day, my routine does vary a bit but this is my basic look if I’m planning on heading out for a few errands or just going to work.  All-in-all, it takes me about twenty minutes to throw on my makeup in the mornings.  So if you’re interested in learning how I achieve this look, just keep reading!

  1. Primer: I have rather large pores, especially in the area around my nose so I love the Benefit Cosmetics Porefessional Primer as a base for my makeup.  I gently massage it into the center of my face and work it outward to cover my face.
  2. Concealer: For covering dark spots and acne scaring, I apply the Smashbox Studio Skin Concealer with my beautyblender.  I apply a shade the same color as my skin tone to my scaring and let it sit for about a minute before blending it out and then I use a lighter shade under my eyes and on my eyelids to hide any discoloration there.
  3. Foundation- For average day wear, I prefer powder foundations as opposed to liquid foundations just because I feel that the lighter coverage allows my skin to breathe a little better.  My go-to brand for powder foundation is bareMinerals, I use the Loose Powder Matte Foundation and apply it with the Beautiful Finish Foundation Brush, which is great for applying the product and building up desired coverage.
  4. Bronzer- For contouring and bronzing, I use the Benefit Cosmetics Hoola Matte Bronzer on my cheekbones, forehead, and under my jawline.  I also use a blending brush to apply it to my eyelid and crease in order to add a little bit of contrast on my eyes.
  5. Blush- My go-to blush is the Too Faced Sweethearts Perfect Flush Blush in Sparkling Bellini.  I brush a small amount across my cheekbones with an angled contour brush.
  6. Highlighter- I absolutely love highlighters- they’re so stunning and fun to use!  My current highlighter obsession is the Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed Highlighter in Champagne Pop.  I lightly dust it above my cheek bones and then I use my finger to also apply it under my eyebrows for my brow bone highlight and in the inner corner of my eyes to brighten them up a bit.
  7. Brows- I like to keep my eyebrows very natural looking for daytime wear and also am usually running a bit late at this point in the routine so I turn to a tinted brow gel rather than a pencil or other brow product to save time.  Lashfood Browfood Tinted Brow Enhancing Gelfix is great because it is formulated for the product to cling to eyebrows as it is applied so it makes your eyebrows look fuller in addition to holding them in place.
  8. Mascara- For mascara I use the Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara.  I have this mascara in both the regular and waterproof formulas and both are great so if you haven’t tried it, I definitely recommend that you do!

And that’s it!  Thanks for reading!


Beauty · Fashion · Lifestyle


Hi lovelies!

Hope you all had a great weekend!  Yesterday, I attended the wedding of a good friend from high school and let me tell you it was HOT out!  The couple got married in an old church in my hometown that is affectionately referred to as ‘The Glass Church’ and it is exactly what it sounds like.  It’s a very small, one room church made of all glass and that July sun shining in through made for a rather toasty- albeit beautiful- afternoon.  You’ve probably noticed by now that I can usually be counted on to chose full length dresses, however for this event since I had an idea about how warm it would be, I went with this adorable navy dress that I got from Lulu’s.  This dress is so cute and comfortable, is less than $50, and comes in a ton of different colors!  On a side note guys, if you haven’t ordered anything from this website you definitely need to check it out.  I have ordered so many of my special event dresses and even a few casual dresses from them and I am obsessed!  They have so many options for different styles and often have great items go on sale!  Shipping is always fast and easy, and though I haven’t actually had to return anything yet, the return policy seems to be pretty straightforward should you need to.

I paired this simple green and gold pendant from LOFT to add a little bit more color to the look and went with my Tory Burch sandals to make sure I would be comfortable moving around all afternoon in the heat!

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Thanks for reading!


Beauty · Lifestyle


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Hi lovelies!

Real talk here guys.  I have battled with oily skin and acne since I was a teenager. It’s literally been a constant battle for me for most of my adult life.  I have tried so many different products and regimens over the years with scattered success.  For the past few months  I have been using the Clinique acne skin care line.  It worked fairly well most of the time but I still struggled with bad flare ups every now and then and I thought my skin and I could do better.  I saw a starter kit for Proactive+ in the skin section at Ulta and decided to give it a try.  So now I’m using sort of a cocktail of different products and have actually seen a ton of improvement in just a few short weeks.  If you’re interested in learning about my current skin care routine, just keep reading!


For those of you who don’t know, Proactiv+ is a three-step system beginning with an exfoliating wash, followed by two treatment lotions.  It is super quick and easy to use and I love how quickly I started seeing results with my frequency of breakouts and even with the color tone of my skin.  I was a bit skeptical about buying it at first, it is a bit on the pricey side and I actually had tried the old formulation of Proactiv when I was in high school with disappointing results.  I’ll keep you guys updated, but I’m really liking the direction this is heading in so far!


One Clinique product that I still find has amazing effects on my skin is the City Block Purifying Charcoal Clay Mask.  I apply it twice a week to my freshly washed face and let it sit for about five minutes, before gently exfoliating it off with warm water.  My skin feels so smooth every time I use it and continues to stay matte longer after I have used it.  It only takes a small amount to cover my entire face in a thin layer so you really get a lot of use out of the product for what you’re paying.

The other Clinique product that I really like and use as part of my every day routine is the Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel .  I apply it every day when I go to do my makeup, before I apply my primer to ensure a nice even base for applying any other products.  It also comes in a lotion form but I definitely find that the gel works better with oily skin.

Clean and Clear

We all have those days where you can just feel a breakout forming, for those problem areas, I just pop on a small amount of the Clean and Clear Advantage Acne Spot Treatment  and it quickly reduces redness in the area around the breakout and definitely cuts down on clearing time.  I love this product!

What are your current skin care faves?  Thanks for reading!




Hi lovelies!

Hope you all had a wonderful and relaxing 4th of July!  I promised a full review of the Away’s The Carry-On in my Travel OOTD post a few weeks ago and since then I have gotten to use it a few more times and it has truly blown any other luggage line out of the water for me.  This product actually comes in two sizes: The Carry-On and The Bigger Carry-On which are advertised to pack for 3-5 days or 4-7 days respectively.  I chose the smaller of the two options because I often fly with smaller airlines which similarly have smaller overhead space for your carry-on bags.  My bag is in the color Sand, in case anyone is wondering!  The price point is a bit high on this bag but I think it is definitely worth it with all of the modern and helpful features that come with it.  So now, lets get into the review!


  1. Sleek design- The stream-line design of the Away suitcases is perfect for several reasons- other than the fact that it’s super cute and compact of course!  First, the hard shell protects my belongings, which is great since suitcases tend to get bumped around so much during travel.  Even if I end up having to check my bag, I am confident that my luggage will be secure.  Second, I am a serial over-packer!  If there is extra space, I will fill it with stuff that I probably don’t actually need.  But with this suitcase’s shape and material, even when I fill completely, it still slides in and out of the overhead compartment with ease.
  2. Easy movement- The wheels on this bag are the 360 degree spinner wheels, which makes it roll super smoothly.  The bag itself is also very light when empty so there’s no added weight to what you’re dragging around.
  3. USB charging port- I honestly haven’t used the charging port much so far but I love that I have it as an option when I’m traveling so I can use it if I run my phone battery down while I’m waiting in the terminals.
  4. Combination lock- This was actually one of the biggest selling points for me.  The three-digit combination lock is super easy to program and to use- it is so convenient that all you need is to remember is your personalized combination, rather than having to travel with a key that could get lost!  The two zippers insert into the lock itself so when set, it’s impossible to unzip your luggage and it’s TSA approved so no worries about going through security with your belongings locked away.


  1. Compression closing soft storage compartment- First off, I am obsessed with the two different compartments!  The soft clothing side is large enough for me to comfortably fit a few different outfits and essentials and then the compression pad easily flattens out any extra space to help the bag close nicely when I’m done.
  2. Zipper closing hard storage compartment- The second compartment, the hard storage side is great for storing shoes, toiletries, hats, and hair tools.  It also has plenty of space and then zips securely closed to protect your more fragile items.


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All of the Away Travel bags also come with a little laundry bag and a dust bag to put the suitcase in when you aren’t using it!  Great additions to an already great product!

Have a happy Thursday!  Thanks for reading!


Beauty · Fashion · Favorites · Lifestyle



Hi lovelies!

Hope everyone is having a fun and safe holiday weekend!  I’m going to try to do a post at the end of each month talking about all of the different things I have been loving that month- from makeup products to iPhone apps to books I finished reading.  I know it’s July already so obviously off to a great start here but better late than never!  So if you’re interested in what I’ve been obsessing over in the month of June, just keep reading!

1. In a Dark, Dark Wood

This psychological thriller is the debut novel by Ruth Ware and I literally could not put it down- seriously, I carried it around the house and read while I ran the vacuum cleaner.  I don’t want to ruin anything so I’ll just tell you that if you’re looking for your next great read and love a little bit of chilling mystery, here it is.  I definitely recommend this book to all of my book lovers out there!

2. Urban Decay De-Slick Complexion Primer

Between oily skin and the summer heat, my skin is constantly putting my foundation to the test so I’m always on the hunt for a good primer.  I decided to give this one a try for my trip to Vegas earlier in the month and guys, this one is a game-changer.  It keeps me matte and shine free for way longer than any other primer I have tried.  I can actually feel it clinging to my skin and providing a solid base for my foundation as I apply it.  I will definitely be repurchasing!

3. Roadtrippers

At the end of the month, my fiancé and I will be moving to Boston and we decided it would be an adventure to drive across the country and explore a little on the way there.  Neither one of us has ever lived outside of California so the thought of planning a road trip of that size through a lot of unknown territory seemed pretty daunting.  A friend suggested we check out Roadtrippers- a free iPhone app designed for planning road trips- who knew!  It has been super helpful in figuring out where we will stop, how long between each stop and what other points of interest might be near each of our stops.  I highly recommend it for a road trip of any distance!

4. TOMS Majorca Suede Bootie

I talked about these already in my White Shift Dress post but really they belong here too!  I am obsessed with them!  They might just be my favorite booties I have ever owned.  The color is super versatile and they are so comfortable!  I’ve been reaching for them with a ton of different looks this month and I love that I’ll still be able to pair them with plenty of outfits in the fall as well.

Until next month!  Thanks for reading!





Hi lovelies!

I was nominated for the One Lovely Blog Award by the wonderful Lauren of Not Your Average Girly Girl.  She has a ton of great posts ranging from a What’s in My Bag: Carry On Edition to Favorite Foundation Brushes.  Definitely check her out if you haven’t already!  Thank you so much for the nomination and support, Lauren- you’re the best!

So here are the rules for the One Lovely Blog Award:

  • Thank the person who nominated you and link their blog
  • Share 7 facts about yourself
  • Nominate (up to) 15 fellow bloggers
  • Let your nominees know that you’ve nominated them!

And now here we go with 7 facts about me!

  1. I am one of two and my younger sister is four years younger and four inches taller than me
  2. My foolproof way to jump-start a day is with a nice hot vanilla latte
  3. On the weekends, I volunteer at a marine mammal rescue center as part of the animal care team
  4. I am currently engaged to my high school sweetheart- we’ve been together since I was fifteen years old
  5. I read a lot!  Reading has always been a passion of mine and I truly believe the words of George R.R. Martin when he said that “a reader lives a thousand lives before he dies”- or she in this case
  6. I am of mixed ethnicity- my Mom is Caucasian and my Dad is Chinese
  7. My favorite sport to play is soccer but my favorite sport to watch is football

My nominations (apologies if you’ve already been nominated):

Special shout out here to all of you amazing bloggers for being such a welcoming and inspiring community!  I don’t know exactly what I expected when I decided to go ahead and start blogging but I have been overwhelmed by all of the positive thoughts and feedback that I have received so far- so thank you from the bottom of my heart! And thanks everyone for reading!


Beauty · Lifestyle


Hi lovelies!

With the summer solstice taking place earlier this week, I thought this would be a perfect time to talk about what all I carry in my beach bag!  I have lived near the Pacific Ocean my whole life and spending summers at the beach with my friends and family is always something I look forward to.  The contents of my bag do vary a bit but these are the things I make sure I always have with me for a trip to the beach!


There are a few essentials that seem like a no brainer since we’re talking about the beach here but I threw them in there too!


  1. Towel- I actually am in the habit of packing two ‘towels’- one standard sized beach towel to dry off with and one large, thin blanket to sit on so I have plenty of room.  I picked this one up from the accessory section at American Eagle and it’s huge but doesn’t take up too much room in my bag.  They don’t have this one in stock anymore but they do have one similar here.
  2. Water- Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! As a long time runner, I can never stress hydration enough,  I almost never leave the house without water and the beach is definitely no exception.
  3. Reading material- If I’m not swimming or surfing, then I’m laying out with whatever book I’m reading at the time.  For me, books and SPF are the perfect combination!
  4. Earbuds- I keep my most listened to playlists on my iPhone so I tuck my earbuds in my bag, just in case it’s a particularly loud day on the beach.
  5. Sunglasses- It’s super important to protect your eyes from getting sunburnt, everyone knows to always reach for sunscreen to protect their skin but don’t forget about shielding your eyes from harmful UV rays as well!

*My bag is from a Kate Spade Outlet so I got it at a great price, it is the perfect size for all of my essentials and it’s easy to clean- I’m obsessed with it!

As far as the products I bring with me, a long day at the beach usually means a lot of sun, salt water and sweat so I make sure I keep a few things handy!


  1. Sunscreen- This is my go to brand for sunscreen, it has varying options for SPF and it isn’t greasy- plus it smells amazing!  I used to use the spray version since it was so easy to apply but I find that I get much better coverage with the lotion.  I also use a separate face formula since I have acne prone skin.
  2. Body mist- I received this body mist from Victoria’s Secret as a gift and with its floral scent it is perfect for freshening up when I’m ready to head out.
  3. Face powder- I love the Benefit Hello Flawless face powder for mid-day touch ups.  I sweep it all over my face with a Sigma powder brush to quickly refresh my look.
  4. Lip balm- Chapped lips drive me crazy so super moisturizing lip balm with an easy applicator is a must have!

Thanks for reading! Hope you’re having a fun summer so far!