January 14, 2019

My Honeymoon: Hawaii, Tahiti, and Bora Bora

Almost as much as we were anticipating our wedding, we were eagerly looking forward to our honeymoon as well. After all the stress of wedding planning for the past year or so, I knew I wanted to do a relaxing beach vacation as opposed to a city/exploring vacation. We also took the opportunity (it being our honeymoon and all) to justify going to Bora Bora which has been a dream destination of mine for years. Warning: this is going to be a pretty picture-heavy post!


Oahu, Hawaii

Since we knew that our end goal was to get to French Polynesia, we decided to break up the long travel by spending a week in Oahu first. Yes, I did go to Oahu twice in 2018 (as I mentioned in my Oahu vacation recap). However, there was so much we didn't get to see the first time around.


Since we didn't get to it on our prior trip, hiking up to the top of Diamond Head was a major priority.


We also did the Pink Pillbox Hike on the island's west side. This is my favourite hike I've done on Oahu thus far because there were no crowds (we probably saw about 6 people total) and the views were amazing.


We also rented a car and drove to the North Shore! I wish we had had more time to explore all the little shops in Haleiwa but we spent most of they day lounging at Waimea Bay instead. I did manage to get a photo with the iconic Colette Miller wings in front of Anahulu Shave Ice.


Hawaii, and Oahu in particular, have a very rich military history that my husband is really into. We did the USS Arizona Memorial and the USS Missouri on our last trip so this time we went to the Pacific Aviation Museum. In the Waikiki area, there is also a US Army Museum at Fort DeRussy which was incredibly interesting and also free.


Tahiti

After shopping and eating up a storm in Hawaii, we continued our journey with 48 hours in Tahiti. Although it's the largest and most populous, Tahiti is typically a stopover point for many people on their way to other islands in French Polynesia. However, it's beautiful in its own way with lots of lush vegetation and waterfalls.


We stayed in Papeete, which is the capital of French Polynesia. The Marché de Papeete is a must-visit for food and souvenirs.


I had also heard a lot about Les Roulottes (food trucks) that set up daily in downtown Papeete at Place Vaiete. These were interesting because they mostly served Chinese-style food but always with these giant plates of baguette. With the French influence over there, we got used to eating way more bread than we normally would!


Another thing I noticed all around the island were these beautiful, colourful murals that were basically everywhere.


Bora Bora

Then it was onto our final destination: Bora Bora. All of those photos you see of Bora Bora are what it looks like in real life... what an absolutely magical place. The airport is located on it's own little strip where there is no vehicle access. All of the transportation from the airport is by boat!


My whole purpose in going to Bora Bora was to stay in an infamous overwater bungalow (why travel so far to not do that?!) We stayed at the Sofitel Bora Bora Private Island, which is one of the smaller resorts but, as its name implies, it's located on its own private island. The grounds were perfectly manicured and the resort is adult-only which means quiet and very relaxing.


The water in Bora Bora was crystal clear and so warm. We spent each day doing some sort of water activity whether it was kayaking, snorkelling, or just floating around. What a serious luxury to have such access right from our bungalow.


Our resort offered a free boat shuttle to their sister resort on the main island. We took the opportunity to rent a scooter to tour around the main island "open air" style. There is only one road and it takes about an hour.


Bora Bora was the perfect end to a great honeymoon and I sincerely hope I get the opportunity to return. Maybe for a milestone anniversary? ;)

January 2, 2019

Louis Vuitton Surene MM

Happy New Year! 2018 was such an amazing year for me that I don't think it can ever be topped, but I am honestly looking forward to a much calmer 2019. Although I don't believe in making resolutions, two of my top priorities for the new year include focusing on my health and decluttering my apartment. In the vein of decluttering, I'm also trying to be more mindful of my purchases and buy things I truly love and know I'll get a lot of use out of.

This Louis Vuitton Surene MM is a recent purchase that has already proved its worth given how much use it's gotten. I have been wanting a new LV bag for a few years but nothing has ever caught my eye until this one. A medium-sized tote with three separate compartments (the middle is zippered for security), it features LV's iconic monogram canvas which is my personal favourite from the brand. It's been perfect for work but isn't too big to schlep around on weekends either. All I can say is it was definitely worth the wait!

Top: Wilfred (Aritzia) / Skirt: Wilfred (Aritzia) / Coat: Massimo Dutti
Boots: Steve Madden (similar) / Bag: Louis Vuitton

December 17, 2018

Christmas Stocking Stuffers for Last-Minute Shoppers: Drugstore Beauty Finds

Just as this gift guide is kind of last-minute (sorry guys, 2018 has just been such a crazy year for me), I'm sure some of you may be scrambling for last-minute gifts and stocking stuffers. If you've got a beauty lover on your list, look no further than your local drugstore for these fun finds. If you're in Western Canada, most of these can be found at London Drugs!


Makeup Brushes. I particularly love Real Techniques and EcoTools because they are great quality at an affordable price. The Real Techniques Mini Multitask Brush ($8.99 CAD) could easily be thrown into a purse for on-the-go touch-ups while something like the EcoTools Start the Day Beautifully Kit ($18.99 CAD) features brushes for a full face and comes in a useful storage tray. If your giftee is more of a makeup sponge girl, the Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge ($10.49 CAD) is a nice alternative to the much more expensive Beauty Blender.

False Lashes. Maybe not for everybody but if you've got a lash lover on your list, look for MesmorEyes, available as singles ($5.99 CAD) or trios ($12.99 CAD). This brand stands apart from your basic lash brand because theirs are designed specifically for your eye shape. Find the perfect fit for almond, hooded, round, and monolid eyes!

Face Masks. Single-use masks from Montagne Jeunesse like the 7th Heaven Pink Guava Peel-Off Mask ($1.99 CAD) are always a hit. Multi-use tubes, such as the new KISS NY Professional 24K Gold Peel-Off Mask ($6.99 CAD), are also a good pick for avid maskers.


Nail Polish. I like the idea of a colour/top coat duo like this festive red (Cherry Delightful) from Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure ($9.99 CAD). OG readers of my blog will know these polishes were among the first to kickstart my now insane nail polish collection (check out this post from way back in 2010).

Mascara. It's a makeup must-have that needs to be replaced every 3 months... every girl could use a backup! For something a bit fancy, there's the new L'Oreal Unlimited Mascara ($16.99 CAD) which has a two-position wand (straight or bent), but you can't go wrong with a classic like CoverGirl LashBlast ($9.99 CAD). The new Active version is supposed to be sweat-resistant and smudge-resistant, making it perfect for workouts.

Lipstick/Lipgloss. I feel like one can never have enough lip products, be it lip balm, lipstick, or lipgloss. CoverGirl has revamped their Colorlicious Lipsticks, now called the Exhibitionist Cream Lipstick ($10.99 CAD), with sleek new packaging and 48 different shades to pick from. I'm also obsessed with the super holographic Almay Goddess Gloss ($10.99 CAD) which can be layered over lipstick or worn on its own.

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