Friday, August 03, 2018

It Begins Again...

So. I’ve decided to revert back to my beginnings—blogging in the true and rawest form. Remember the days of Xanga and Live Journal? The days when blogging was literally a personal diary of all your thoughts and re-caps of your favorite days, only everyone and anyone with internet had access to your thoughts? That’s what I’m going for.
I’ve decided to make it a challenge. I literally just decided that right this second. Oh no. What have I done. Today is August 2nd. I’d like to write every day until the end of August, even if it’s just a short blurb. I want it to be fun again. For now, this is my little secret. Oh, but GOD am I so bad at keeping those. I never share secrets maliciously. It’s like my brain doesn’t know what my mouth is doing. Or in the very least that for a few moments, I’ve forgotten the definition of “secret.” Oh whale. We’ll see how this goes.
I’m going to attempt to read in the dark now (by flashlight). Note to self: Tomorrow do a post on my trip to Washington.

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Monday, March 26, 2018

A Weekend in Kauai



Hawaii is a dream destination for pretty much every person (not born there, that is) that I've met in life. Despite being born and raised there, I never did much inter-island traveling when I was younger.

Recently, I've been taking advantage of the fact that I'm from such a beautiful place and exploring some of the other islands on my trips home. Previously, I visited Maui. This time around, my family and I took a short (literally a weekend) vacation to the island of Kauai.

So here are some of the things we did on Kauai that I definitely recommend if you go to visit!


1. Get a fresh coconut at a fruit stand


Not only are coconuts totally Insta-worthy (#doitforthegram), but nothing beats fresh coconut water and coconut meat. If I'm being completely honest, I can't stand boxed coconut water. I've been spoiled with the fresh stuff all my life and you need to trust me when I say there IS a difference!

Finding fruit stands in Kauai is fairly easy. You can literally just plug "fruit stand" into your maps app and find one nearby! Just choose a coconut and they'll cut it open for you to drink out of. Just be sure you finish the water before you leave so you can ask them once again to cut open the coconut for you to eat! Eating the coconut is the best part!

2. Nā Pali Coast Tour


If you can stand to be on a boat, definitely look into taking a tour of the Nā Pali Coast. Disclaimer: the tour is a bit pricey (~$150+ per person) but check with the concierge of wherever you're staying to see if they can get you a discounted rate!

The Nā Pali Coast is the side of the island of Kauai that is inaccessible by road. The entire north-west side of the island are basically huge cliffs -- the road cuts off around south-west side of the island and from there you can only see these cliffs by boat or air.

My parents, sister, Brandon and I did the Blue Dolphin boat tour that included a 1 hour stop for snorkeling. The concierge at our time share recommended the morning tour over those later tours. She told us that the mornings are usually calmer rides than later in the afternoon.


Dolphins swimming along side our boat during the Nā Pali Coast tour!


This baby dolphin was being such a ham!

3. Queen's Bath


Unfortunately, we never ended up getting to Queen's Bath because of bad weather BUT it was on our list and highly recommended to us!

We drove out to the trail but decided when we got there not to go through with it because it was raining, making it slippery and dangerous.

The trail's head begins in a residential area near the north side of the island close to the Princeville resorts. There is a small parking lot at the trail head--and by small I mean about 7-ish spots. The trail is short, but wet and steep (especially when rainy) so consider bringing decent shoes.

4. Waimea Canyon


They call Waimea Canyon the Grand Canyon of the Pacific. It's located on the west side of the island and is easy enough to get to. The red dirt & rocks of Waimea are what makes it so reminiscent of its Arizona counterpart!

It's a short drive, and wasn't crowded at all when we arrived (late afternoon)! You really just drive up to the top of a mountain, park in a spacious parking lot and take 2 minute (if that) walk to the viewing point. Once we arrived, we really only stayed around 10 minutes for photos and then headed on our way! We were able to fit this in after our morning tour of Nā Pali, and if you go straight there from the boat tours its really close!

It's a little chilly up there, but obviously we were fine in our post-boat attire.


See the tiny waterfall in the back? So pretty!





Have you ever been to Kauai? What did you do while you were there? 


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Wednesday, February 07, 2018

Valentine's Day Gift for Men | JORD Watches Giveaway!


This post is in collaboration with JORD Watches, but all opinions are my own.

Hey guys! Valentine's day is coming up and I know that the whole present giving thing can be such a struggle for some girls so I thought I'd share something with you guys! Be sure to read to the very end for the giveaway!

A little under two weeks ago Brandon and I got MARRIED. He's my HUSBAND now! Eek. That's going to take some getting used to. When it came to exchanging wedding gifts, I was at a loss. Buying gifts for him is always a struggle because he doesn't really have a "thing." Well. He loves Star Wars but he has enough of those things for now so getting him a practical gift that won't just sit on the shelf collecting dust is a struggle. Whenever I ask if he's had his eye on anything he always shrugs his shoulders says "nothing really." SIGH.

Cue JORD, A wooden watch company with gorgeous designs!



I've seen these watches around a few times on the internet and thought it would be the perfect solution for a classy, useful and thoughtful gift! Ordering it was a breeze. I used a tape measure to measure his wrist for sizing purposes (luckily for me he doesn't pay much attention to those type of things) and chose a style.


I went for a more simple design and chose the Frankie in dark sandalwood and smoke
because I knew that this would be Brandon's first nice watch and I wanted him to be able to wear it with different things!

The watch came to me in such beautiful packaging. It came in this amazing wooden box, which made it so easy for me to just slap a bow on it and carry it directly to him as his gift on our wedding day!

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Although, I've got to say that the thing that made this such a special, special gift was their watch engraving option. On the back, I was able to put a short message and include our wedding date (1.28.18 -- the dots are difficult to see in the photo) so that every time he wears it, he can remember our amazing wedding day.

Maybe I've just gone soft since the wedding but I just think that it's so so special to have, and the small touch of personalization warms my heart.

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Inside of the box you get your watch -- which, by the way, smells AMAZING. Okay. It smells like wood. So I guess I think wood smells amazing! -- a little pillow to hold it, a pen full of their finishing oil to keep your watch conditioned and prevent cracks or damages, a polishing rag, instructions for care and extra links and pins to adjust your watch size!

Brandon's watch ended up being the perfect fit due to me measuring his wrist, but it's nice to know we have the extra links!

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I think JORD watches are beautiful and Brandon was impressed with my gift choice for him, leaving me so pleased with myself. I can tell he actually likes it and isn't just lying to me because he's gone around showing it to his family and friends, saying how cool it is and how he finally has a nice watch to wear when he gets dressed up! LOL!

So, what are my actual thoughts on JORD watch?

I'm pleasantly surprised by how much I love it! I know it's not mine, but I'm so impressed by the quality of the watch! Here's a quick bullet point list of my thoughts:

  • The watches are in a decent price range for their category. It may seem pricey at first but they're higher-quality watches, and run around the same price range as other watch brands in the same tier.
  • Brandon has commented on how light the watch feels due to the wood and he absolutely loves it. Not really something that I thought about but it's good to know!

  • The wood thing is so unique and fun to me. As someone who likes nice things, but doesn't quite like designer names (it just feels sooo bougie to me) I'm so impressed by this watch.
  • They make wooden bands to go with apple watches and I'm highly considering getting one for the days that I want to be a little more fancy with my techy-watch because I’m low-key jealous of Brandon’s watch.
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GIVEAWAY TIME!

If you're interested in getting a JORD watch for your guy (or gal!) for Valentine's day, you can enter my giveaway to win a $100 coupon code to go towards a watch!

All you need to do is click here or visit https://www.jordwatches.com/g/moexplores and fill out the form to enter!

The giveaway ends on 2/11/18 and the winner will receive a $100 coupon code to go towards a JORD watch!

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Friday, December 01, 2017

Beginner Eyebrow Tips & Tricks



Your brows are such a key player in having great makeup, but learning to fill your brows properly is kind of tough! It took me years to develop my brow skills and even know I don't feel like I'm as great as some girls I've seen out there!

Regardless, today I'm sharing you some of the brow secrets I've learned along the way.


1.  S P O O L I E S   A R E   Y O U R   B F F 

Whether you decide to use pencil, powder or pomade you must have a spoolie! Not having a spoolie to perfect your brows is like only having the little sponge tip applicators to do your makeup -- While it's entirely possible to get a decent look out of it, your makeup would look SO much better with a proper blending brush!

So, why would you do your brows without a spoolie? You need that spoolie to evenly distribute the product throughout your brows without giving it a crazy sharpie look. TRUST ME. 

2.  B L E N D ,   B L E N D ,   B L E N D

Oh, you thought we were done talking about spoolies and blending? NOPE. I'm dead serious! Blend your brows like there's no tomorrow!

I always start by outlining the tops and bottoms of the brow, then blend the color towards the middle of the brow before I even think about adding any more product to the center. Blend as you go, after you make any significant placement of color. This will help you not to over-do it with the product and avoid way-too-dark brows.


3.  D O N ' T   F O L L O W   T H E   * E X A C T *   S H A P E   O F   Y O U R   B R O W S 

Every tutorial I've ever seen always says to "follow the natural shape of your brow." While they're not entirely wrong, you don't want to follow the exact shape of your natural brows. Especially if the shape of your brows aren't all that great! It's okay to improve your shape with makeup. Most people do!

Take a look at this photo of my brows (below). The top line is where I like to outline and shape my brows. The lower line is where my brow hairs actually grow. If I were to follow that line, I would have entirely different eyebrows!

If you need a better explanation of what I'm talking about, be sure to click play on my eyebrow routine below!



4. Y O U  M U S T   C O N C E A L !

I'm telling you, this will chnage your brow's life if you haven't already started doing this! Concealing beneath and above your brows are serious game changers if you're trying to achieve that clean, professional-looking brow. Even if you're doing a terrible job at grooming and upkeeping all the stray hairs, concealing will help to make everything look super clean.

I never used to believe in concealing my brows. It was an extra step and I didn't think it made that big of a difference, but trust me...IT DOES. If you watch my video you can see just how big of a difference it makes!

5. ALWAYS FINISH WITH BROW GEL

I use brow gel to finish off my brows for a number of reasons. First, it acts as a kind of barrier to help prevent the pencil, pomade or powder from slipping all over the place. If you get a waterproof gel, then it will really help your brows stay in place. Second, My hairs don't really grow towards the front of my brows. To make it look fuller and thicker, I use the gel to define the hairs there and make them stand up. 

Another reason you could use brow gel is if you want to add just a tiny bit more color. If you buy tinted brow gel, you can always darken or lighten up your brows if the color of your brow product isn't exactly the color you're looking for. 




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What type of products do you use for your brows? Let me know in the comments below!


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Beginner Brow Tips + Tricks


Saturday, November 25, 2017

4 Must-Have Drugstore Skincare Products!


Skincare gadgets, tools and "extra" skincare products are my jam right now. I've been obsessed with buying anything and everything that's supposed to improve my skin, be it a crazy new gadget or a luxurious serum or cream. BUT because I'm so obsessed with buying literally everything and anything, that means that I need to be weary of how much each product costs.

I've put together a list of a few of the awesome skincare finds I've been using lately that don't break the bank. You and your new, amazing skin can thank me later!

F A C I A L   S T E A M E R -- $30


One of my absolute favorite things to do on a weekly basis is give myself a long, luxurious facial. When you go to get a professional facial, they most likely will use steam to open up your pores. I recently got one on amazon to use at home and it has been SO nice.

Doing an at home facial and masking at home always makes my skin feel great afterwards, but with the steamer my skin feels softer than ever. I've seen so many expensive steamers out there (the Panasonic one is almost a hundred bucks!) but I turned to Amazon and found this affordable option


I love essence. This one by ELF is the first one I've tried and it's made me excited to look into other brands out there that sell affordable essences! When I first heard about them on YouTube, the only ones I really heard about were by the brand SK-II but their essence runs for $179. WHAT? Definitely out of price range.

So when I was browsing through Target and saw that ELF had come out with a new skincare line and they were offering an essence and it was under $20 even...I was sold! It is DEFINITELY worth the buy. This essence has become a staple in my skincare routine.

Even when I decide to skip my usual 14-steps and just stick to cleansing and moisturizing, I still always put on this essence before my moisturizer. I love it and it's now a must-have for me!

(PS -- ELF is currently having a 50% OFF SALE until 11/27/17 for all orders over $30! Take advantage!)



H Y A L U R O N I C   A C I D   S E R U M -- $5-$15


Serums are another amazing step I've added that has made a day and night difference with my skin. hyaluronic acid sounds kind of scary (at least it did to me at first) but it's meant to help your skin retain moisture and revitalize the outer layers of your skin. That means softer, younger-looking skin!

This one is the exact one that I have from TJ Maxx. You can also try this one from Amazon if you prefer.

Bonus: I also love Vitamin C serum for my skin. I got my two serums from TJ Maxx for $5 each (seriously such a steal! I always recommend TJ Maxx or Ross for awesome skincare finds!) but you can also get them on Amazon for pretty cheap. I honestly love Amazon for everything. With Prime it shows up to my door in 2 days and I never even have to leave my house! Which I never do. LOL
Facial sponges have CHANGED MY LIFE. Okay, not really, but it's made washing my face so much easier! Facial sponges come to you paper thin and dry. Once you add water they puff up and are so great for getting off your cleanser or face mask without getting your arms + the skin all soaked!

Basically it makes rinsing off your face so much neater. I've seen them at Target sold by EcoTools for $5 for 3 of them. You can also buy them in bulk on Amazon to save some money. If I remember correctly this is the one I ordered but you can literally get them in packs of 50+ if you want! 



What low-end skincare products have you been loving lately? Let me know in the comments so I can try it out!