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I was finally in need of a good beauty haul from ULTA last month to repurchase some of my favori...

January Beauty Haul


I was finally in need of a good beauty haul from ULTA last month to repurchase some of my favorite basics and try a couple new items recommended by friends and my esthetician.

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Repurchases:

I received a sample size of the Better Than Sex Mascara almost a year ago and it's just about to be done so I decided to get the full size since it's one of my favorite mascaras. I do still love the less expensive Maybelline Falsies Mascara for everyday wear so I mainly use the Better Than Sex Mascara for nighttime wear or special events such as weddings.

This is my third tube of Tarte Amazonian Foundation because I love the full coverage it provides and the variety of skin tones it caters for. I reviewed this foundation in greater detail here but if you're looking for full coverage, this foundation is on point.

I bought this same EcoTools Bamboo Brush Set about 5 years ago and although I cleaned my brushes often, I decided it was definitely time for a new set. I use the bronzer brush on a daily basis and the price tag is very affordable for such amazing quality brushes.

The Clarisonic Radiance Brush Heads are a self explanatory purchase but I did decide to go with the 'radiance' brush heads instead of the 'normal' this time around to see how they differ. I don't notice a huge difference but they are both soft and gentle on the skin which is ideal.

I used to buy expensive toners until I found the SO Totally Clean Facial Toner. The smell isn't harsh and it works just as effectively as the expensive toners except with a $5.99 price tag at Ulta.

NYX Butter Lip Glosses are a repeat purchase times a million. When you find the perfect texture lip gloss (not sticky) that comes in a variety of pretty colors and is 1/4 the price of expensive cosmetics it warrants a repeat purchase for life.

New:

The Murad Facial Moisturizer was recommended to me by my esthetician recently when I went for a facial. I expressed to her that my combination skin often results in a slightly shiny forehead later in the day yet the lower half of my face seems to be on the dry side. She recommended the Murad moisturizer because of it's matte finish for oily skin and I've noticed a remarkable difference.  

Essie Gel-Setter Nail Polish - The set includes a colored nail polish + a gel-setter top coat and no lamp is needed to set the polish. I chose the color Watermelon which is very pretty in person and I thought it would be perfect for Spring and Summer. Admittedly I haven't used this set yet because my nails are currently the shortest they've ever been so I'm working on growing them out before prettying them up.



Well, that was a mouth full of a post. If you made it this far, thanks for reading my reviews and feel free to share any of your favorite beauty products that are a must try!

I had the opportunity to travel to California twice for work over the past few years and I...

California Dreaming


I had the opportunity to travel to California twice for work over the past few years and I took some personal time to explore. Both times I stayed in the heart of San Francisco and on the second trip I was able to make it out to Sonoma Valley with some friends to explore wine country. I'm dreaming of the day I can make it back to see other parts of California because San Francisco and Sonoma stole my heart for the entire beautiful state. Just look at that majestic view of the Golden Gate bridge I was able to capture on a clear day. It's typically quite foggy around the bridge.

Here's a glimpse at some of the scenery I witnessed while touring California.

San Francisco











Sonoma, CA







This recap makes me want to plan a trip asap back to California to explore more of the beautiful US west coast.

Wanderlust Wednesdays

Link-up Rules:
1. Follow Kerri, Kate and myself on Bloglovin

2. Link up your favorite travel recaps or travel related posts

3. Grab our Wanderlust Wednesdays button and link back to our blogs

4. Be sure to visit other blogs and build your travel bucket list!


There are so many amazing restaurants in Orlando beyond this list but these are some of my favor...

Best Resaurants in Orlando


There are so many amazing restaurants in Orlando beyond this list but these are some of my favorite places to visit for lunch, dinner, and brunch. I figured it would be a helpful guide for visitors or even locals looking to dine out and enjoy some of the best cuisine in the Central Florida area.

Shari Sushi Lounge
 Shari is my all-time favorite sushi restaurant located downtown Orlando. They have happy hour on sushi rolls and drinks everyday from 5-7pm so I frequent here often with my girl friends to catch up.


Santiago's Bodega
I'm a huge fan of Spanish tapas. Santiago's has an amazing tapas dinner menu and also one of the best all-inclusive brunches in town.

Dinner

Brunch


Known for their incredibly huge portion sizes and delicious food. I went for brunch recently with some coworkers and we felt like it was a Man vs Food challenge. Definitely a must if you want to indulge!


This French restaurant is located in Epcot's France pavilion. We went for Valentine's day on a double date with some friends and had a nice view of the fireworks over the lake. K said it was the best steak he's ever had and my roasted duck was pretty fantastic. 




Cafe Tutu Tango
An art-inspired tapas restaurant featuring local artwork and live entertainment including belly dancing, magicians and live music. Located in the heart of International drive, this place is a must!



Bosphorous Turkish Cuisine
K and I had a lunch date at Bosphorous located on Park Avenue in Winter Park and I felt like I had died and gone to heaven. The food did take quite long to come out but it was well worth the wait. A family-owned Turkish gem in Central Florida.


Pom Pom's Teahouse
I absolutely love this Teahouse and Sandwicheria located downtown Orlando for some eclectic sandwiches and amazing teas. The chef is originally from Thailand and she has created very unique sandwiches plus soups and sides that are just out of this world!

 
Maxine's On Shine
One of my absolute favorite brunch spots located in a neighborhood street in the heart of Orlando featuring live music, amazing food and fabulous drinks. Maxine herself makes an appearance often and stops by your table to chat.

Brunch


Dinner


Taverna Opa
I rang in my 30th birthday a few years ago with a bunch of friends at Taverna Opa. The Greek food and entertainment makes this restaurant a fun spot to visit to celebrate. Dancing on the tables also happened because they encourage it. Expect to have a good time here located in Pointe Orlando.


We've been back since my birthday to take my BFF visiting from Trinidad to have a nice dinner out since the environment and food are amazing! 

 
Spice Modern Steakhouse
Spice offers a nice atmosphere for a date night with steak and sushi being their specialty. I'm a big fan of their brunch and lakefront scenery.




Sushi and burgers seem like a strange combination for a restaurant but we decided on this spot for a blate with Ashley and I was so pleasantly surprised. Naturally I went for the sushi and it's so different from the typical sushi restaurant but absolutely delicious in it's own way. 




Tell me about your favorite restaurants so I can come visit some day!

This weekend was a cold and rainy one in Central Florida so we kept it very low key. On Friday n...

Super Bowl Weekend


This weekend was a cold and rainy one in Central Florida so we kept it very low key. On Friday night we headed out for a quick Italian dinner and spent the rest of the evening watching movies at home.


Lola matches my gingerbread pajama pants.


On Saturday I spent the morning cleaning the house and doing some errands before heading out to Lake Nona for a drink at Graffiti Junction and then dinner at Nona Blue. The Ahi Tuna salad was to die for!




I went to bed early Saturday night suffering with a migraine so naturally I woke up early on Sunday to prep for the Super Bowl. K found this recipe and wanted to try it out.


We ventured out for some lunch at Johnny's Other Side on Sunday and ran into one of my favorite radio hosts that I listen to every morning on the way to work. I was supposed to go to a friend's Super Bowl party but my migraine came back with a vengeance so I decided to keep quiet at home after lunch.



How was your weekend?

FYI: Our travel linkup is happening on Wednesday so feel free to join Kerri, Kate and myself by sharing your favorite travel recaps.


Wanderlust Wednesdays

Happy Friday! I've been having some serious wanderlust since we traveled to so many ama...

Friday's Best


Happy Friday!

I've been having some serious wanderlust since we traveled to so many amazing places in 2015 and it seems we've now come to a hiatus after the busy holidays. With K being in a new job, he doesn't feel comfortable taking too much time off of work so I've been figuring out how we can squeeze some long weekend trips in for the very few holiday weekends we get in the US and then one international trip to Jamaica for my cousin's wedding. #ThatTravelItchTho

In other news...

Super Bowl Sunday:
So with the Super Bowl being this weekend, I was looking for some healthy recipes and found this Honey Mustard Baked Chicken Wings recipe which looks amazing.


Things I Love:
This mug. I recently stumbled upon LookHuman.com and posted about the Mascara & Mimosas clothing line they have. Kate bought the sweatshirt and I bought the tank top which are perfect for our Sunday brunches. They even have some funny and sarcastic Valentine's gifts.
Best Smelling Award:
 Goes to Bath & Body Works' Wild Honeysuckle hand soap. I just recently did another haul from B&BW and I can't stop smelling my hands after using this soap. That probably sounds weird but it's true.
Favorite Reads:
Amanda's (Meet @ The Barre) photography guides found here, here & here offer great tips for professional/fashion photography. I did an online photography class late last year and learned all the technical details but honestly haven't had time to practice. These guides have convinced me to spend some time this weekend really figuring out what is what.


Lola Says:
"I love my Merrick's Cowboy Cookout treats gifted to me from Chewy.com."

I swear she loves treats more than life itself. As soon as I open the pantry where I store her treats, she coming running like a bowling ball.


Genius Award:
Goes to Publix for this Ice Cube Tray Sushi recipe. Sorry to feature two recipes in one post but I think the sushi lovers out there might just love the concept.


Have a fabulous weekend!