Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Monday, December 15, 2014

Birchbox Pop-Up Shop (Paris, France)

When researching ideas for my weekend in Paris, I was so excited to learn that Birchbox France was hosting a pop-up shop--perfect timing!

Admittedly, I have not subscribed to Birchbox France. It costs 13 €/month (compared with $10/month in the U.S.) and almost all of my money is going toward traveling--in fact, a one-month Birchbox subscription here would pay for a train ride to Paris! Still, I couldn't resist visiting the pop-up shop and seeing what it was all about!


Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Lille, France - VLOG

I know I haven't even finished posting about my October vacation, but I just spent the weekend in Lille at the marché de Noël (Christmas market). Normally, I'd wait until the rest of the travel posts are up, but this is not only time sensitive (it's Christmas, after all!) but it's also a vlog! Yes, that's right, I tried my hand at vlogging.

So instead of writing about my weekend, I photographed and filmed it.



As this was my first time vlogging, I know the video could have been so much better, so I'd love any tips you may have! (FYI, most of it was filmed on my iPhone 5S.) Also, feedback about whether I should continue to vlog my trips or go back to writing about them would be wonderful. Thanks in advance!

Shoutout to my lovely travel buddies for putting up with me as I experimented with vlogging this weekend. You ladies were great sports!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Krakow, Poland

About a month and a half ago, I set out for Eastern and Central Europe with one of my roommates and our friend. Don't worry, you'll hear all about the trip! But first stop: Krakow.


Thursday, November 27, 2014

Product Review: MONAT Rejuveniqe Oil Intensive

As I previously mentioned, I've rallied my younger sister to test out some beauty products for me while I'm in France. She already reviewed the Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant, but I had one more product for her to try.

c/o Daphne Logan

The MONAT Rejuveniqe Oil Intensive is a multipurpose oil that can be used on nearly every part of the body, from nails to skin to hair. What's not to love? Well according to Daphne, it seems like everything is to love.
The MONAT Rejuveniqe Oil Intensive is my newest necessity. I am normally skeptical of putting oils in my hair, as I have had scarring experiences with grease quickly overtaking my fine, curly, locks. This product touts a list of ingredients sent from heaven however, including Abyssinian, baobab, buriti, camelia, carrot seed, monoi, meadowfoam, and moringa. (For those of us who aren’t cosmetic chemists, these translate to moisturizing, nourishing, purifying, healing, and protection against pathogens.) I put the Rejuveniqe Oil Intensive on my scalp before showering and on the lower half of my hair after showering, and I was later blessed with smooth, light hair that looked healthier than ever. The next morning, I rubbed the oil under my eyes and along my smile lines for a fresh, rejuvenated, less sleep-deprived look, which served me well for hours. And, what’s more, this unique combination of plants and plant derivatives has an amazing, one-of-a-kind, pick-me-up, citrus-esque scent. (The truth about this product, though, is that you can use it anywhere—I use it as an all-around moisturizer after showering. It actually works wonders.)
A necessity, huh? Maybe it's a good thing she got to test this out in my place! And If you're interested in the MONAT Rejuveniqe Oil Intensive, watch this video to learn even more about it.

c/o Daphne Logan

Thank you to iFabbo for providing the samples that facilitated this discussion.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Product Review: Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant

Since my move to France, my mom has informed me that I've received beauty products to review here. As the products are all the way back in the United States, I've employed my 17-year-old sister to test them out!

c/o Daphne Logan

First up, we have the Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant. I asked Daphne to simply test out the product, take some photos, and let me know her thoughts on it, but she went above and beyond her call of duty and wrote a full-blown sales pitch. I'm just going to copy and paste it, it's that darn good.
The Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant gave me a major serotonin boost with its relaxing, aromatic combination of rice, oatmeal, green tea, and gingko, all blended into a powder. To activate it, I wet my hands and poured about a teaspoon of it into my palm, then rubbed my hands together to create a paste. I massaged this onto my face and was still soaking up its calming and refreshing effects after washing the paste off with warm water. When activated, the mixture releases papain (papaya enzymes), rice enzymes, and salicylic acid to micro-exfoliate dead skin cells. The salicylic acid also helps with a variety of skin conditions by causing dead skin cells to shed more quickly, allowing for more new cell growth, and both preventing and treating clogged pores. And another plus is that the Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant contains no artificial fragrances or colors—it’s natural perfection!
...I think that means she likes it? She mentioned separately that her face felt even smoother post-use. I just hope she saves me some for when I get back!

c/o Daphne Logan

Thank you to iFabbo for providing the samples that facilitated this discussion.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Châteauroux, France

Hello, my darling readers!

I am so sorry to have abandoned you for so long, but I was bogged down with lots of administrative work since my move to France. After finding an apartment here, we didn't get WiFi until a few days before our two-week vacation, and since then I've been dealing with validating my visa and French residency. But I'm so excited to be back and I have lots of amazing content planned for you!

Since my arrival two months ago, I've already visited the Loire Valley, Paris, Krakow, Prague, Vienna, Budapest, the French Alps, Lyon, and Florence. I'm going to focus on my home city right now, though--Châteauroux.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Break Time

I know I've left you all hanging for about a month now, but with good reason--I had no Internet until a few days ago. Moving to France has been wonderful, but more stressful than I had imagined. I've decided to continue this "break" for a couple more weeks, as I'll be traveling throughout Eastern Europe and won't even have computer access. I'm so sorry about this, I miss you all and can't wait to get you all back in the loop! xoxo

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Guest Post: Top 5 Fashion Must-Sees in London

My final HCBN guest poster is Frances, a travel blogger who has lived all over the world but currently resides in London. Here, she talks about London's fashion hot spots, which I can't wait to see for myself!

London is arguably the most fashion-forward city in the world. Names like Alexander McQueen, Rosie Huntington-Whitely, and Vivienne Westwood have made waves around the world from this British city.

And who can deny the sophisticated yet edgy style of Londoners? If you're looking for the ultimate London fashion guide, here are my top destinations for style and shopping.

Oxford Circus (http://oxfordstreet.co.uk)

Photo credit: Magnus D.

The only place in the world where there's a Topshop at every corner, Oxford Circus is the highlight for shopaholics. Londoners and tourists alike visit this sight every year to pick up goodies from Primark (a cheap outlet store) to H&M to House of Fraser to the Apple Store. The best time to come is during the holiday season, when the Winter Wonderland illuminates the street.

Harrods (http://www.harrods.com)

Photo credit: Herry Lawford

No trip to London is complete without a stop at Harrods. Attentive sales associates wait patiently as customers browse through Gucci and Michael Kors bags. My favorite spot is the festive food hall filled with fresh groceries and treats. Grab a cupcake and tea while appreciating the stylist décor.

Selfridges (http://www.selfridges.com)

Photo credit: Mark Allanson

Another luxury department store, Selfridges is the spot to find your fave high-street brands. It's nice to walk around and admire the window displays. There's nothing like coming home with the iconic yellow shopping bag.

Camden Market (http://www.camden-market.org)

Photo credit: David Simmonds

Look no further than Camden Market for something more edgy. Jump from stall to stall, finding all kinds of trinkets and doodads, like hand-painted t-shirts, booze-shaped umbrellas, and watch necklaces. Storefronts on the main street are decorated with giant Converse shoes, a dark angel, and even a fire-breathing dragon. After picking up a handmade shirt, grab a mouth-watering Nutella crêpe and sit on the motorcycle seats by the water.

Brick Lane Market (http://www.visitbricklane.org)

Photo credit: Garry Knight

If vintage is what you're looking for, Brick Lane is your stop for secondhand style. Here, you'll uncover high-quality mom jeans from the nineties next to worn-out military boots. Inside, there are all kinds of crafts, including toy soldiers strung around a necklace.

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Get in touch with Frances:
Wanderlust Noteshttp://www.wanderlustnotes.com

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Guest Post: Sarawak, Borneo, Malaysia

Next up in my guest-post series is Syaza, an art and beauty blogger from Malaysia. Most people I know have never been to this beautiful country, so read on to learn about her hometown!


If you are a fun-loving adventurer who likes culture and exotic things, let me introduce you to my lovely hometown state, Sarawak, the "Land of The Hornbills" of Borneo. Before that, I am Syaza from Bloobs Blurbs and I am currently a resident of Miri City, known as Oil Town in the past, which is one of the renowned cities of Sarawak.


Borneo is known mostly for the longboat trips down murky rivers, jungle trails green in tooth and claw, smoky longhouses and drunken dances, strange creatures and hidden caverns, and blowpipes and head-hunters--and you’ve found just what you’re looking for.

Sarawak is "classic" Borneo par excellence, and few other places will reward a little adventurous spirit so grandly.

Traveling around here in Sarawak is not just by boat--there are now air and land options these days. Of course, you will need to travel here by air from West Malaysia, but if you are coming to visit from Sabah you could take the bus (although it may take an 15-hour ride to reach Miri). Before continuing to Niah and Mulu (it takes around an hour these days to reach the small town of Batu Niah), do remember to stop by Lambir for some fun water splashing.


The beauty of Sarawak is its blend of tribal tradition and unfettered nature: everything from the scattered valley farms of the Kelabit Highlands (the most popular place there would be Ba'Kelalan, which is very cold in the morning!) to the bird's-nest trading communities of the Niah Caves to the nomadic jungle Penan people has its own place.


Of course, plenty has changed here since the first intrepid explorers started charting the tree-strangled hills, and the grim realities of modern capitalism have affected many of Sarawak’s treasures, particularly in the receding rainforest, where relentless logging continues to take its toll.
However, the essential flavor of the region continues to saturate most aspects of life here, and it’s still possible to find untouched corners of wilderness where it feels like the last 100 years never happened. The longhouses may have satellite dishes, the cities may have tower blocks, and the jungles may have airstrips, but at the end of the day, Sarawak is unlike anywhere else on earth.


If you wish to know more, you can talk to me on my blog and other social media. <3

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Get in touch with Syaza:
 
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