FAVORITES

My Favorite Glossier Products

I briefly mentioned putting this post together in one of my California posts, so here we are! I am really excited about this because I have been using Glossier products for about a year. My boyfriend’s sister (hi Emilee) actually told me about Glossier and then there was a pop-up shop in Chicago right after I moved here, which made it easy to try the products. I have tried quite a few of the products and have some that I LOVE!! There are some I would probably never try since I don’t wear much makeup, but I would guess they are also amazing.

These are my favorite/go-to products…

1. Milky Jelly Cleanser: I have gone through quite a few bottles and I love it! It comes in a travel size and a bigger size, so it is really easy to test it out. I started with the travel size when using it for the first time, but have repurchased the bigger bottles. My skin always feels so soft and refreshed after using it. It is gentle, but still gets makeup off.

2. Mega Greens Galaxy Pack: This is my favorite face mask of all time. It comes in a little tub and lasts a pretty long time. I would say I use it once a week and it lasts me months. It smells good and leaves my face feeling very bright. This comes in as a duo with the Moon Mask if you want to try both. I really just prefer the Greens mask though.

3. Lash Slick: The first time I tried this mascara, I hated it! After a few more uses, I realized how long it made my lashes. I also love how natural it looks. I don’t feel crazy wearing it, especially since I don’t love wearing too much makeup.

4. Lidstar – No one ever talks about these, but they rock. I feel like they are so easy to use and add a little shine to my eyes. They are basically an eye shadow in a tube. It comes in 6 different colors, but I always find myself using “Moon” and “Slip.” They look super natural and I love the added shimmer. You can also purchase these in a “duo” so it’s a great way to try a couple!!

There are so many other products I am in the process of trying or that I want to try! I am trying out one of the serums right now, and so far I like it a lot (Super Glow Vitamin C Serum). I am also testing out the Balm Dotcoms. I am not a big fan of most lip products, but we will see. They are definitely adorable. I am hoping to try some other serums, the lip gloss, and the moisturizers at some point too!

Have you tried Glossier? If so, what are your favorite products? Outside of Glossier, what are your favorite skincare or makeup brands/products? I love trying out new ones!!

 

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TRAVEL, weekend

California Day 3: Exploring LA

The last California post is officially here! Day 3 was super fun but it was our last day there so we didn’t have a ton of time to explore.

We woke up around 8am, got ready, and checked out of the hotel. We were able to check in our bags after checking out though, which I always love. Exploring is never as fun with multiple bags, so always check to see if you can leave them with the hotel!

We Ubered to Alfred Coffee after our hotel. I hear so many people talk about this place and there were a ton of locations to pick from, so we headed to the one in Silverlake. I got a matcha latte with almond milk and it was really good. Connor and I sat there awhile talking and sipping our drinks, and then decided we needed breakfast.

We tried to go to Blue Star Donuts down the street but it was closed (it was Labor Day so we weren’t surprised). Then we got an Uber to Cafe Gratitude. I have seen this restaurant on YouTube and it’s all plant-based. It’s overall a very positive/cute place. We decided to split a sweet and savory meal. We went with “Vivid” which was an açaí bowl and “Nurtured” which was a breakfast wrap. Both were yummy.

After breakfast, we went to a couple stores I love: Glossier and Outdoor Voices. I picked up some new products and some that I ran out of. I will likely do a post on my favorite Glossier products, so I will share more then. I love getting a chance to go to the actual store, rather than ordering online. I wish the pop-up would come back to Chicago.

Our second to last stop of the day was Griffith Observatory. It was my second time there, but Connor had never been. It was such a nice day out and it was super crowded. We walked around a little and saw the Hollywood sign. We didn’t stay super long, but it was still a good place to go.

The last stop of the day was Koreatown. We had a couple places in mind to get food and we honestly planned to go to multiple places (that didn’t happen haha). Our main stop was Myung In Dumplings. Connor saw this restaurant on Anthony Bourdain and the food looked great! We both got dumplings and they were giant. I got the veggie and Connor got the kimchi/pork.

Our friend was able to meet up with us here too, so it was great to catch up with her! We also got bubble tea with her at Mr. Boba. It wasn’t my favorite bubble tea, but it was fine. There were so many bubble tea shops to pick from, so there might be a better one nearby to try!

After eating too many dumplings, drinking bubble tea, and catching up, Connor and I went back to our hotel to get our bags. It didn’t take too long to get them and then we got an Uber to the airport.

So that was basically the end of the trip, other than flying back to Chicago SO LATE at night. We had a really nice time exploring so many places in California. I think my favorite part of the trip was Joshua Tree, but it is always fun exploring big cities too!

TRAVEL

California Day 2: Lots of Driving, Salvation Mountain, & Downtown LA

Day 2 was a lot of driving, but still super fun. We started our day in our cute Airbnb by Joshua Tree. We saw the sun slowly rise through the windows and I eventually got up to actually see it. It was really beautiful. We got ready super quick and hopped in the giant SUV. Our first stop of the day was 1.5 hours south, AKA Salvation Mountain. I saw Salvation Mountain in the movie “Into The Wild” and it looked cool/interesting. We figured we should go while we were already pretty close.

The drive was super easy (especially for me since I just sat in the passenger seat!) and pretty. We passed so many palm trees and the Salton Sea on the way. Salvation Mountain ended up being in the middle of nowhere. It was easy to park at and there was quite a bit to explore. I really had no idea what to expect.

It was super cool though. You could climb (walk around is probably the correct word) pretty much anywhere you wanted as long as you stayed on the “yellow brick road.” You could go all the way to the top or go into some of the little coves. It was all so colorful and fun. I took a bunch of pictures which I could barely see since it was so bright and sweat a lot during my time there. We also met a man from New Hampshire who thought it was going to be an actual mountain he could climb, which I thought was funny. I can see why he would think that because a colorful, artwork mountain is not something you see every day. I am glad we went and we got some really cool photos.

After Salvation Mountain we spent so much time in the car. We planned to meet up with friends to go to the beach, and Connor and I technically ended up there. We tried to go to Newport Beach but the timing didn’t end up being great, it was super crowded, and it was a bit gloomy out. I really want to go to Newport at some point since it looks very nice, but this wasn’t the trip for it after all. We decided to go toward Venice Beach and Abbot Kinney to walk around.

I visited Abbot Kinney when I went to LA with my dad in college and it was so nice, so I wanted to show Connor. Somehow we found parking and we were able to walk around. There are so many yummy restaurants, coffee shops, and stores to go into. It feels very California on that street to me.

We got late lunch at Lemonade, which ended up being on the first corner we turned on the street. I love Lemonade for a few reasons. It isn’t too expensive and it’s fairly healthy. It is also a fun place to try different things. Lemonade is cafeteria style but instead of the classic jello, mashed potatoes, and green beans, there are fun veggie dishes, grain dishes, and things like stuffed avocados. They also have the best lemonade. The blood orange is by far the best.

After Lemonade, we popped into Cha Cha Matcha since I love it and a matcha sounded a nice. Cha Cha Matcha is definitely an instagrammable place, but it also has great matcha drinks. I just got a latte, but there are other drinks to try too. We finished up our time on Abbot Kinney by going into a few shops. My favorite was Urbanic. It’s a gift shop with cute cards/gifts and a back patio full of plants. I ended up with 3 greeting cards for friends/family.

It was finally time to drop off our rental car, so we took it back to Enterprise and Ubered to our hotel. We decided everything would be easier for our last day if we didn’t have to worry about parking and driving a giant SUV through LA. I think it was the right decision.

I picked a hotel in downtown LA since neither of us had really been downtown before. We stayed at the Freehand and I LOVED it. The lobby was really dark which I didn’t love. It brought me back to my middle school days wandering through Abercrombie and Hollister haha. But other than that, it was amazing. Everyone who worked there was super cool and friendly. The lobby has a ton of seating, a bar, a coffee shop, and a flower shop. There is also a rooftop pool and bar. We never got to use the pool, but I would love to go back sometime.

Our room was small, but all we needed. I am pretty sure the Freehand has more of a hostel set-up in addition to private rooms. The room seemed so clean which I liked. Sometimes I don’t feel “at home” in hotels but this one seemed pretty great.

We got ready super quick and met up with the friends we were supposed to go to the beach with. We decided on drinks/rooftops and dinner. Everywhere we went was within walking distance of our hotel which was perfect! Our first stop was The Standard. I think this was my favorite rooftop of the night. The drinks were amazing, the view was great, and there was a decent amount of seating.

The next rooftop was at the Intercontinental. This one seemed a bit fancier, but we could still get in with our more casual outfits. There was a $10 cover fee but the view was worth it. I didn’t get a fancy drink at this spot, so I can’t recommend anything. However, it seemed like the bartenders put a lot of effort into the fancy cocktails, so they are probably worth the price tag. We spent a good amount of time at this rooftop chatting and enjoying the view, but then we were ready for dinner.

We walked a few blocks and got Italian food at Bottega Louie. We each split a pizza. Connor and I got a Tartufo pizza that had mushrooms and egg on it, which was amazing. All of the food looked delicious and there was a giant case of any dessert you could imagine.

Our last stop was the Freehand (the hotel we stayed at). The rooftop sounded really fun, so we gave it a try. It was very crowded and it had a tiki bar vibe. The drinks were expensive, but SO good. I got “Neon Nights” and it was the perfect mix of fruity and smoky from the mezcal. Once we finished our drinks, we called it a night and said goodbye to our friends.

Stay tuned for the last California post!!

TRAVEL

California Day 1: Joshua Tree

This is the beginning of a wonderful series highlighting my trip to California for Labor Day Weekend. Connor and I flew out super late Friday night. Anyone surprised? Haha!! Our flight took off around 10pm CST and we landed close to 1am PST at LAX. It was very late, so we rushed to get our rental car at Enterprise and to get some food. Unfortunately we ended up in a giant SUV, but it ended up working out! I imagine most of the midsize cars were taken earlier in the day. We wanted to go to In-N-Out but we missed it by like 15 minutes. Instead we got some Taco Bell since it was right next to our hotel. It was honestly so good. Then we headed to the hotel. The first night we stayed at the Holiday Inn by the airport. It was probably a 5 minute drive from Enterprise, so it was a good spot and not too pricey. I would recommend it for easy access to or from the airport.

We got 4 or 5 hours of sleep and started our journey to Joshua Tree National Park. Our main reason for this trip was visiting this park. It’s about 2.5 hours away from LA, so it wasn’t a bad drive. We were up decently early so we had an easy ride there without traffic. We had breakfast at Inn-N-Out which was pretty funny. It opened at 10:30 so we figured we had to. It was my first time there and I was impressed. I feel like my “burger” was pretty packed for not having any meat on it. Also, In-N-Out was very crowded when we got there. I was surprised since it was early, but it must really be the best fast food.

We got to Joshua Tree around noon and got started on our adventure. It was 30 dollars to get in the park, but you can go in for a week straight with the receipt. That was perfect since we ended up going back into the park 2 more times that day! We decided to drive out to the furthest point we wanted to see first. The road through the park was super nice with signs and places to pull off to see the “exhibits.” We started at Cholla Cactus Garden. This wasn’t really a hike, more of a quick stop for photos. The cactuses were really cool and of course I got them stuck to me even though I tried to avoid them haha.

The next stop was Jumbo Rocks. This stop was super fun since you could climb around the rocks and wind through them. I’m terrible at climbing but I still got some nice views. Connor did a bit more exploring than I did for sure. We were able to see the Skull Rock too which is pretty popular and actually right in front of all of the rocks.

Our longest hike was Hidden Valley Trail. This was our longest hike due to the heat. And by long I mean 1 mile. It was so hot outside that we opted to stick to the shorter trails and exhibits. Hidden Valley was probably my favorite. It was a perfect way to see all of the different features of Joshua Tree in one trail. It is full of rocks, cactuses, Joshua trees, and more. It made for some really pretty pictures and lots of water breaks!

We made some other stops to walk around and see the actual Joshua trees, but that was the end of our daytime adventure. On our way out we stopped at the visitor center so I could get some post cards. It is a good place to stop on your way in as well to get some directions and ask questions to the rangers.

After our afternoon in Joshua Tree we grabbed a quick coffee. There is a tiny coffee shop there called Joshua Tree Coffee Company. They make their own coffee and have a cute patio area. We both got a cold brew and relaxed on the patio.

Then we checked into our Airbnb (linked here). We stayed in Yucca Valley which is super close to the park. It was probably a 10-15 minute drive from the Airbnb to the park. Our Airbnb was super awesome. It was on a bit of a mountain with a nice view. The decor was so cute and very Joshua Tree. There was also this cute little pool (very little). We never actually used it, but it added to the aesthetic. I highly recommend checking out Airbnb’s if you plan to go to Joshua Tree. The hotels didn’t seem great in the area, and our Airbnb ended up being super nice for the price.

After a quick break we drove back to Joshua Tree. It was time for sunset! We were really excited to see the sunset from Keys View. It’s a nice view for sunset because it is over a Valley with mountains surrounding it. We were pretty late to sunset, but we did make it!! Parking is crazy over there since so many people go for sunset, so leave well in advance so you can get a parking spot and a sunset watching spot. The sunset was beautiful since it was such a clear night, but the drive back was even more beautiful. The bright, colorful sky with the Joshua trees made for the best drive and some amazing photos.

After sunset we needed some food since had only eaten In-N-Out all day. The food selection isn’t amazing near Joshua Tree. There is a lot of fast food around and some more local spots. Honestly the local spots didn’t look too yummy, but we ended up at Pie for the People. We each got a slice for dinner since they were giant. They had a bunch of other options for full pizzas, but we didn’t want to wait (very tired from traveling the day before and being in the 100 degree heat all afternoon).

We ended our day back in the park. We drove 5-10 minutes in to see the stars. There isn’t any light in the park and the sky was super clear. We watched the stars for a bit and then headed back to the Airbnb. They were so pretty and it was nice to see so many stars for the first time in awhile. The view would have been even better if we drove further into the park.

That is about it for our first day. It was my first big National Park experience and I loved it. There is something very peaceful about Joshua Tree and the landscape as a whole. I would love to go back during the colder months to do some of the longer hikes. I really want to find Heart Rock!!!

FAVORITES

August Favorites

I haven’t done a favorites post in awhile, so here we are! I am sharing some of my favorite things from August (and probably before August too).

1. Nest Diffuser: I got mine at Nordstrom Rack. I think they are normally $50, but they are only $25 at Nordstrom Rack! I have the Japanese Black Currant scent and it is so nice, but also powerful, which is great. I hear they last like 6-9 months, so I will let you all know!

2. Converse: I go through phases with Converse. I have probably had like 20 pairs since middle school, but they really never get old for me. They are the perfect shoe for the summer because they match everything and I think they are really comfy! I have been wearing my black pair a bunch, but the white are my favorite for summer! I think a light pink or light purple could be really cute too.

3. Trader Joe’s Thai Vegetable Gyoza: This stuff rocks. It’s so yummy, so easy, and a nice price! They have it in the freezer section at Trader Joe’s and it is about $4 I want to say. It’s not the healthiest thing, but it’s a fun treat.

4. Amber Oil Perfume: I found this at Whole Foods. It’s a tiny roll on perfume that smells so nice. I believe the size I have was around $9, but I linked one I could find from Amazon. The scent lasts all day and it’s not too strong where you would get a headache.

5. Photos: I recently started printing out photos to decorate my apartment. I printed some larger 8 by 10 pictures that I have been hanging up. I am also working on a little map decoration with photos which has been fun.

6. Stationary/cards: This might be my #1 favorite right now. I have been obsessed with sending cards to friends and family. Some of my favorite places to get cards are local shops like Foursided or Neighborly, but Trader Joe’s (only 99 cents!!), TJ Maxx, and Target have great cards too!

7. Hello Fresh: I have mentioned Hello Fresh a few times on here, but it is still a favorite and I am still ordering from it a couple times a month. The meals are so yummy and it makes my week a bit simpler. Sometimes I hate getting it because then I have to cook, but at the same time it makes me cook a yummy meal.

8. Summer walks: It is summer and the weather is great in Chicago. I love taking walks after work or on the weekend to get outside, but also to explore. I always find new restaurants, murals, or shops that I want to visit!

9. La Colombe canned coffees: La Colombe is one of my favorite coffee shops, but I can’t go there all the time or everyday, so I am always getting the canned coffees. They have a few different flavors at the grocery stores near me, so I will always pick up a few for the week. I like the vanilla and caramel flavors the best, but I heard they may be putting the oat milk draft latte in a can (my favorite to get at the actual coffee shop).

That is all for this favorites post! Let me know what some of your favorites are right now! I would love to try them out!

CHICAGO, ENTERTAINMENT, weekend

Another Weekend In Chicago

Happy Sunday night! I am bringing back a classic post that I always used to write. I realized that these can be fun and semi helpful. Depending on what I do on the weekend, these can provide Chicago recommendations, or even just give ideas of fun things to do on the weekend! Connor and I didn’t have a lot planned for the weekend and I loved that. Sometimes it is nice to be at home, organize, go to my favorite places, and relax. We didn’t want to do anything too crazy this weekend since we have some trips coming up in the next few weeks.

Onto the recap…

On Friday night Connor and I headed to Tinley Park for a country concert. We saw my favorite country singer, Dierks Bentley. It wasn’t my first time seeing him, but I was so excited because he is a great performer and playing his latest album (“The Mountain” is one of my favorite albums ever!!) We got snacks, a drink, and a pretty good spot in the lawn to enjoy the show. After the concert, we headed to Chinatown. We have a post-concert tradition where we get late night food in Chinatown after. Chinatown is sort of far from our place, so going there on our way home from the concert venue works great. Plus, Chinatown has a bunch of late night restaurants to choose from.

We ended up at Shinya Ramen. I found this spot on Google when I was looking up late night restaurants. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but the reviews were awesome. We got there around 11pm and there were a few other people enjoying ramen. We were immediately seated and order pretty quickly too. We got yummy drinks (a matcha latte cocktail for me and a blood orange mojito for Connor), spicy edamame (AMAZING), and our ramen. Connor got the tonkatsu and I got the tofu veggie option. The ramen ended up being awesome. My favorite part was the broth and Connor loved the pork in his ramen. There were about 12 ramen options and a bunch of other menu items, so there should be something for everyone. Additionally, prices were good! Drinks were $6.99 (so inexpensive for Chicago) and ramen was anywhere from $11 to $15 I would say. Lastly, the staff was so nice! They checked in a few times and made sure we were enjoying our food, which I loved. I highly recommend and I will definitely be going back!

After ramen, we headed home to go to sleep. I have been so tired lately, so a good night of sleep was necessary. Connor and I decided to have a more productive Saturday and get a few things done. On Saturday morning, Connor and I headed to the NYC Bagel Deli in Lincoln Park. We love it and its close to some shopping we wanted to do! We both got sesame bagels with artichoke parmesan cream cheese. The bagels are really good and the cream cheese is even better! After eating our bagels in the car, we went over to Nordstrom Rack. I love Nordstrom Rack. It is where I get most of my clothes that I wear to work. Everything I get there is simple and I always wear it a ton. I ended up with a couple sweaters I can wear to work this fall which was great! After Nordstrom, we drove over to a Walmart Supercenter. We rarely go to Walmart since it isn’t super convenient, but it is worth it every now and then! We picked up some picture frames for some photos I wanted to hang up and then went back home.

We spent the rest of the afternoon cleaning and organizing our apartment. We end up organizing every week or two since our place is so small. Plus, with working and not being home a lot, it can get messy. Connor did the dishes and I worked on laundry and picking up the apartment. I love having clean home so much! We also made time to book a trip somewhere fun for the fall! To end the night we made Hello Fresh and enjoyed some Moscow mules!

We woke up so late on Sunday, but I love getting to sleep in. We immediately got ready, hopped on the train, and got coffee at Big Shoulders in West Town. It is right off the Blue Line, so it is super easy to get to! The shop was so cute and I loved the decor. It was open and bright too which was nice. I could see myself blogging or reading there on the weekends. I ordered an iced matcha latte and Connor got an iced vanilla latte. We sipped our drinks a bit there and then got back on the train.

We decided to go to State Street. State Street is right downtown and a great area to shop. There are a ton of stores I like over there, but the only two places we wanted to go were Target and TJ Maxx. We walked around target and got a couple essentials and then went to TJ Maxx. A few of the main things I was excited about included a cute shirt I could wear to work from Target, vegan gummy bears, and some natural deodorant from the brand NATIVE.

After shopping, Connor and I parted ways as he was going to see a movie with a friend and I was heading home. Sadly, I got locked out since he had the keys, so I sat outside blogging and munching on my new gummy bears (the brand is Lady May and they were good!).

After being locked out for the duration of a movie, all I wanted to do was cook dinner, shower, and lay on the couch. Connor and I had plans to get dessert after we made dinner, but we decided to push that off until later in the week. Stay tuned on my Instagram to find out where we got dessert!

That’s all for my weekend post. It wasn’t a super crazy weekend. We really just relaxed and enjoyed a few little adventures. What did you do this weekend?

TRAVEL

What I Am Packing For California

Happy almost Friday everyone. I am already so excited for my upcoming trip to California. I have been planning out what I am packing for a few weeks now, so I thought I would share. I am pretty good about packing for trips since I usually only pack in a backpack. I am hoping I can fit everything into my backpack, but I may end up using a small duffle bag. We are doing a pretty good mix of things while we are there, so I will need clothes/shoes for hiking, going to the beach, and exploring LA.

Here are some of the main things I am bringing to California (with some product links):

Hiking boots

Hydration pack (it is going to be super hot on our hike so I’ll need lots of water)

Leggings or shorts with matching tank (shout out to Outdoor Voices)

Running shorts

A couple t-shirts (one to sleep in and another for the flight home or if I am feeling lazy)

Two dresses (easy to throw on while still looking cute)

Jeans (might need but also might not ever wear haha)

Swim suit

Sandals

Converse

Sunglasses (I will honestly end up bringing 2 options even though I only need 1 pair, but I am indecisive)

Jewelry (an extra pair of earrings and a necklace)

Other than that I will bring toiletries and other essentials! And clearly I will be packing pretty light which is good for walking around and moving from hotel to hotel. What is the number one thing you always pack for trips?