Thursday, August 20, 2015

How to Pack for a Semester Abroad | Travel

Hello world!

As I've mentioned before, I studied abroad in Barcelona in the fall of last year. Before I left, I freaked out about packing. I could only bring one big suitcase and one carry-on and that didn’t feel like anywhere near enough room for all the stuff I wanted to bring for four whole months. 

In the end, I was so happy that I could only bring a limited amount of clothes because I lived in a really small room and I wouldn’t have been able to live their comfortably with a bunch of big suitcases crowding the corners.

I thought I would pass on some advice for those who might be preparing to leave for the semester so you don’t get stuck with too much stuff and nowhere to put it! This list is most suitable towards people studying in a place that will stay warm for a few months, like Spain or Italy. If you’re going to Copenhagen, obviously you’ll need more sweaters than shorts!

Before we get into the list, consider this: I would highly, highly recommend leaving empty space in your bag. If you fill it to the brim, you won’t have room for souvenirs you pick up throughout the semester. And if you’re studying abroad in Europe, you won’t be able to resist buying a ton of trendy clothes.

Also, wear big, comfy clothes on the plane. I wore my biggest sweatshirt and carried my winter peacoat in my hands so I could save the space in my bag.

Check out that plane attire...definitely wasn't freaking out when this was taken!

The most complicated thing about packing for a semester abroad is the fact that you’ll most likely be traveling all across Europe (if that’s where you’re studying) and you’ll be exposed to different temperatures.  For example, I was based in Barcelona where it was really hot until around the end of November, but I traveled to Germany, Italy, Denmark, Belgium, Switzerland, and The Netherlands throughout the semester, and saw all types of climates!

Story time: I went to Oktoberfest in Munich at the end of September when I was still wearing shorts and tank tops in Barcelona. When I arrived in Germany, I was wearing knee-length leggings, a long sleeved t-shirt and sandals. I thought this was preparing for colder weather, but I was SO wrong. I was freezing and felt so stupid seeing all my friends in boots and winter coats. I had to buy a pair of shoes and a jacket in Munich so I wouldn’t die of frostbite!
(Also if you’re going to Oktoberfest and staying in a hostel, bring sweatpants and warm clothes to sleep in or you’ll be sorry!!)

Enough rambling...let’s get into the list!


- At least 2 weeks worth of underwear, more if you have room…doing laundry is never fun, and you might not have the kind of technology you’re used to at home
2-3 bathing suits - you don’t need more than that, I promise!
a few pairs of shorts (4 -5)
2 pairs of jeans
a few pairs of leggings
lots of socks, you will probably lose some traveling everywhere
a few long sleeved shirts
a few t-shirts - workout shirts can be worn to sleep in too! 
10 tops for class and travel
5 dresses for class and travel
5-10 outfits for going out - this is where I ended up purchasing new stuff abroad, so don’t go overboard on this.
a pair of gloves
a hat/baseball cap
toiletries - don’t go crazy, you can buy almost anything you need once you’re there
hair styling products and tools


This was the area where I had to hold myself back the most (I failed. Don’t bring a million pairs of shoes like I did.)
1 pair of boots
1 pair of sneakers
2 pairs of sandals
1-2 pairs of flip flops
1 pair of shoes for going out (you can wear sandals out when it’s still warm)
 maybe 1 pair of flats - not necessary, but nice to have something closed-toed other than sneakers and boots


a backpack for class
a drawstring backpack for the beach/travel
1-2 purses for shopping/going out
an umbrella
a passport holder - it feels so dumb to wear one of those around your waist or neck, but keep it under your clothes and no one will know…you will be SO sorry if your money/passport get lost or stolen
a wristlet - Barcelona is known for pickpockets, but it’s a huge problem in every major city, so wearing a wristlet is a good way to keep your belongings close. I wore one every time I went out and it was great because I didn’t have to wear a purse and I knew exactly where my money and phone were - right in my hand!
a towel or two
shower shoes for hostels (trust me on this one. ew.)

You can buy school supplies, an international cellphone, and most other things (if you’re in a major city) once you get settled, so don’t worry about that before you leave and don’t freak if you forget something…you probably will forget! (I certainly did)

This is definitely not an exhaustive list, it’s actually pretty basic - but it covers the major important things! I hope someone found this helpful…I know I could have used this a year ago! 

If you’re going abroad, enjoy every minute of it. You’ve probably heard that a thousand times already, but I would kill to be in your position right now. It’s the best experience I’ve ever had and I’m so jealous of anyone who’s going this year. So make the most of it!

As always, thanks for reading! Did I miss anything important? What did you pack for your semester abroad? Leave me a comment or email me at . I’d love it if you followed me on Bloglovin’ and Pinterest (I pin cool stuff, I promise). Be sure to check back soon for more posts!

Bye for now,


Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Liebster Award [Tag] | Wandering Through Life

Hello world!

I was recently nominated by Elle and Her Beauty Blog, Georgia Charlotte, and The Sixth Disney Princess for the Liebster Award. This tag is basically to give recognition to bloggers who are just starting out and to discover new blogs. I was really happy to have received this nomination - thanks again guys!  And I think the concept is really attention to new bloggers is awesome (and very much appreciated!).  I had so much fun doing the Versatile Blogger Award a few weeks ago, so I thought I’d give this one a shot!

The rules are as follows:

- Once nominated make a post thanking and linking the person who nominated you.

- Include the Liebster Award sticker in the post.

- Nominate 10 other bloggers that have 200 followers or less who you think are worthy of the award. 

- Let them know they have been nominated by commenting on one of their posts. You can nominate the person who nominated you.

- Answer the 10 questions asked to you by the person who nominated you and create ten questions for your nominees.

Here we go!

Since I was asked 30 questions, and I don’t think you guys really want to read all that (I’m not quite that interesting!), I decided to choose a few and combine similar ones.


1. What is currently at the top of your birthday/Christmas/anything Wishlist?

Big thing: A new car (hi mom) - not really holding my breath for this one!
Small thing: A new curling iron - I’ve had the same curling wand for three years and the ceramic is starting to chip off…that’s not what you want.

2. What is your favorite thing to blog about?

I’ve only done one so far, but my favorite post was my drugstore haul. I love getting home from the store and laying out the new things I bought. Testing/writing about them was really fun.

3.  Who is your most beloved celebrity style-icon or role model?
Easily Blake Lively. If I could look like/steal the life of anyone on earth it would 100% be her. Do I even have to explain why? She’s flawless.

4. What is or was your favorite school subject?

In high school I always loved history and Spanish. In college I study psychology and my favorite classes have been Abnormal Psych and Personality Psych.

5. What would be your dream job?

In a perfect world I would be a criminal profiler (picture Dr. Reed from Criminal Minds but less guns and drama) / trial consultant (someone who analyzes body language and behavior of jury members and reports back to attorneys). I’m planning on getting my Master’s in forensic psych to try to move towards this career path, but we’ll see what happens!

6. Favourite Harry Potter character?(haha!)

Love this question because I’ve been a fan of Harry Potter since I was a little girl (but who hasn’t?). Harry is #1 in my heart for sure hahaha but after him I would say Ron or Hedwig.

7. Do you have a favourite TV show? If so, what is it?

I can’t answer this with just one show because I have a serious addiction to binge-watching Netflix, so I’ll give you my list. Friends, How I Met Your Mother, Scandal, and Grey’s Anatomy. I could go on, but that might reveal how much time I’ve wasted watching TV, and I’m not ready to embarrass myself like that on the internet just yet! 

8. Which youtuber would you most like to meet?

Probably an expected/cliched answer for a beauty blogger to give, but I would love to meet Zoe Sugg (Zoella). I’ve always loved watching her videos and looked up to her. I feel like she would be lovely to know….also wouldn’t mind looking at ThatcherJoe for a few hours hahah

9. Do you have any interesting/hidden talents? If not, is there anything that you wish you could do?

Sadly, I don’t have anything too exciting up my sleeve! I would love to be able to sing really well. I admire people with this natural ability so much, so if you have it, use it!

10. Out of all of the items in your makeup bag, which one would you be unable to live without?

It’s a tossup between eyeliner and concealer. I could live without foundation if I had a good concealer and I think I look like an alien without eyeliner haha

I nominate:

xtinebeauty - from one Christine B to another! hahaha

I know I only chose 7 people instead of 10, but I really think these blogs deserve the attention! 
Be sure to check these guys out because they’re awesome!

My questions:

What is your biggest goal in life?
What is your favorite day of the week and why?
Who is your favorite Harry Potter character? (this was my favorite question to answer, so I’m passing it on!)
Who is your favorite YouTuber?
Where in the world would you most like to visit/live?
What is a hidden talent of yours?
How long does it take you to get ready in the morning/for a night out?
Why did you start a blog?
Who is your biggest inspiration?
Where do you see yourself/your blog going in the future?

As always, thanks for reading! I hope you enjoyed this post and that my answers weren’t too boring hahah…I had a lot of fun with this tag, and I hope the people I nominated do too! What did you think of my answers? Leave a comment or email me at . I'd love it if you'd follow me on Bloglovin’ and Pinterest (I pin cool things, I promise). Be sure to check back soon for more posts!

Bye for now,

Sunday, August 16, 2015

3 DIY Detox Waters | Recipe

Hello world!

Sometimes you need a little something extra to help you feel cleansed and refreshed. Natural detox waters can be a great way to achieve this! 

There’s a huge craze going on right now surrounding “teatoxes” which I haven’t tried myself, but would probably give a shot if I heard enough good things about. But, I can’t guarantee that those options are actually safe and healthy solutions to flush out toxins and reduce bloating. 

Good news is, the following 3 recipes are 100% natural, super easy to make, and taste great. Even if you’re not looking to detox, they’re a great way to jazz up plain old water and make hydrating a lot more interesting.

These recipes are so refreshing for summer and really easy to make! Just throw everything into a pitcher and let it sit for a few hours in the refrigerator before drinking. Most recipes like this use a lot of the same ingredients so you can try out a bunch and decide which is your favorite!

1. Cucumber Grapefruit Detox Water

This combo burns fat and rids the digestive tract of toxins.

What you’ll need:

1/2 gallon water
1.2 sliced cucumber
1/2 medium sliced grapefruit
1/2 sliced lemon
A few mint leaves - I couldn’t find any at the grocery store, so I used mint flakes and they work just as well!

2. Superfruit Detox Water

This recipe is great for boosting your metabolism and flushing out toxins.

What you’ll need:

1/2 gallon water
A handful of raspberries
A handful of blueberries
1/4 to 1/2 sliced cucumber
1/2 sliced lemon
1/4 to 1/2 sliced grapefruit
1/2 sliced pear

3. Raspberry Detox Water 

This recipe is packed with antioxidants to cleans the kidneys, liver, and colon.

What you’ll need:

1/2 gallon water
2 tbsp raspberries
2 tbsp blueberries

As always, thanks for reading! I hope you enjoyed these recipes. Are there any detox waters you love that I should check out? Leave me a comment and let me know! Or email me at . Click to follow me on Pinterest and Bloglovin’ . Be sure to check back soon for more posts like this!

Bye for now,

Friday, August 14, 2015

August Birchbox | Unboxing

Hello world!

Seems like I was just writing my July Birchbox post! I love getting subscription boxes in the mail because it's like a fun surprise and trying out new products is so fun. This month, as always, I was super pleased with the amount and quality of products I received.  Let’s get right into it!

This month’s box is printed to look like a pool, and I really dig it. Turquoise is my favorite color and this design is so pretty and fun for summer!

At first glance, these 6 products look like such a good bargain for only $10 and I was really pleased with the variety of each one.


 Benefit Cosmetics Air Patrol Eyelid Primer - Full size, $29

This will be a great way for me to branch out a little with my makeup collection. As I mentioned in my Top 5 MAC Products Post, I’m a lover of the Paint Pot in Soft Ochre as an eyeshadow base, and sometimes I’m guilty of sticking with the same products over and over again. At first glance, this looks like a great alternative. I’ve always been a fan of Benefit, so I have a lot of faith in this already.

2. Dr. Brandt Pores No More cleanser - Full size, $35

The day before this box arrived, I was saying to a friend that I wanted to find something to shrink my pores to manage annoying blackheads around my nose.  This claims to “degunk pores for fewer blackheads and smoother skin”. After one use, my skin felt tighter and super clean!

3. LAQA & Co. Charm School Kit - Set of 3, $20

This crayon kind of reminds of the Multiple by NARS product that can be used on more than one area of the face. This is meant for cheek and lip color, and I love the shade that I received. It’s a really pretty peachy color that looks great as both blush or lipstick and is perfect look for the summer.

4. Number 4 Super Comb Prep & Protect, Full size, $32

I didn’t even mean to list this product fourth, so I laughed when I saw the brand name of this product! As I’ve mentioned many times (seriously it's so annoying, I can't stop talking about it) my dry and damaged hair is such a nuisance to me. I’m finally sucking it up and getting a big haircut tomorrow (AHH, so nervous) but I’m still happy to have received this. I’m going to make a big effort to protect the ends and care for my hair after I get it cut so I can avoid it getting so damaged this time. 

 This product is a leave in conditioner that seems really healthy for your hair. It’s sulfate-free and strengthens and nourishes the hair to keep it from breaking and preventing split ends. This made my hair feel super soft and shiny and I can’t wait to try it again after I get my haircut.

5. Oribe Masque for Beautiful Color - Full size, $59

As I mentioned a few weeks ago, I recently started using Oribe conditioner and I’m in love with it. This brand is definitely pricey, so that’s why I was so excited to receive products from them. This is supposed to tame frizz and counteract dryness which, as I mentioned above, is something I am always seeking to do. I’m going to try to make this one last as long as possible because I wouldn’t want to shell out so much money unless it’s an incredible product.

6. Oribe Shampoo and Conditioner for Beautiful Color - Full size, $14-42

Like I just said, I’m a huge fan of Oribe hair products, and I’m much happier with the price of this one if I eventually decide to purchase the full size version.  I haven’t tried this one out yet, but I’m sure I won’t be disappointed when I do try it. If you’re looking for a high quality product that’s great for your hair, definitely try out Oribe. It may be a bit expensive, but every once in a while, it’s a great splurge option.

I’m really satisfied with these 6 products (still can’t believe I got 6 this month!) and I’m happy to find a place for them in my everyday beauty routine.

What do you think about the products I got? Have you received anything really awesome from Birchbox or any other subscription box service? Leave a comment and let me know or email me at

As always, thanks for reading! Click to follow me on Pinterest and Bloglovin’ . Be sure to check back soon for new posts!

Bye for now,

Monday, August 10, 2015

Drugstore Haul + First Impressions | Haul

Hello world!

I went a little crazy at CVS today, and I couldn’t wait to share what I picked up! Drugstore products can be so hit or miss, but when you find something high-quality it feels like such a steal because the prices are so good. I did a little research beforehand so I could hopefully avoid any misses. There were a bunch of sales going on and I had a 25% off coupon, so I was able to get a whole bunch of stuff for just about $50. I’m going to post the original price of each item, just for future reference when these sales might not be going on. Keep reading to hear my first impressions on what I picked up!

Maybelline Dream Fresh BB Cream 8 in 1 Beauty Balm Skin Perfector - $9.49

I have a really annoying skin tone when it comes to matching foundations and things like that because I usually fall between shades (I’m usually Light/Medium or Medium with warm undertones). I picked this up in Light/Medium and was pleased to see that it was a really good match for me. It had pretty decent coverage, especially for a BB cream and blended well with my foundation. The package claims to do wonders for your skin, so I will probably repurchase this if it lives up to those claims!

Maybelline Pumped Up Colossal Mascara - $7.99

Ok, I liked this mascara, but I don’t think it lives up to what it says on the packaging. It claims to add 12x the volume - which is crazy if you think about it. When I applied it, I definitely did not notice this much of a difference, however, it’s still a good mascara. It’s volumizing, just not that volumizing. I’m still a fan because it left absolutely no clumps and fanned out my lashes in a really pretty way. I would almost compare it to wearing a bunch of those individual false lashes. Skip it if you’re looking for extra length, but pick it up if you want to add volume without adding clumps.

Rimmel Kate Moss Lipstick in Rossetto (05) - $6.29

I think this range of lipsticks are some of the absolute best drugstore lip products out there. I already own a red shade and a dark plum shade that I reach for all the time, so I wanted to pick up a new shade to add to my collection. I chose this pink shade because it’s a little brighter than the pinks I usually go for and I wanted to branch out a little. I’m pretty pleased with it so far, it’s bold without being too bold, and goes on super smooth. If you haven’t check out this range yet, definitely go for it the next chance you get!

L’Oreal La Palette Nude 2 - $19.99

I think I’m going to make a separate post dedicated to this palette, because it’s really beautiful and I want to give it the attention I think it deserves. I haven’t tried any eye looks with this yet, but the swatches I’ve done came out super smooth and silky and I’m really excited to give it a shot. Stay tuned for a full post!

Milani Lipstick in Nude Creme - $6.79

I’m already obsessed with this lipstick. I refused to give in to the nude lip trend for the longest time because I felt like it wouldn’t be a good look for my skin tone and would make me look washed out. But, I love Milani lipsticks so I finally caved and gave it a shot. I’m so happy I picked this shade up because it’s the perfect combination of pink and nude. It’s subtle without being invisible. Also, it has the same great watermelon-y smell of all Milani lipsticks, which is always a plus for me. And the packaging. You know.

Milani Color Statement Lipliner in Nude - $3.50

I bought this pencil to go with the nude lipstick I just mentioned and I realized this was the first Milani lip pencil I had ever purchased! I was super happy with this when I tried it out. It glides on really smooth, doesn’t pull at your lips, and makes it so simple to outline or fill in your lips in only a few seconds. 

L’Oreal Infallible 2-Step Lip Color in Neverending Nutmeg - $15.29

Are you noticing a pattern? I bought this gloss/liquid lipstick/what even is this? because I thought it would go well with the two nude Milani products. It looked a little bit darker in the tube than the other two, but I thought it would still be a good match. Turns out, it’s a lot darker. Good news is, it’s still beautiful. And, it actually looks really nice over the Milani lipstick. It’s a bit of a strange product because it goes on like a gloss, but then kind of dries like a liquid lipstick. I liked it a lot, but it was a bit drying on the lips. I didn’t use the second step which is a clear balm to seal in the color, so maybe if I had put that on top, it wouldn’t have felt as drying. I’m actually happy this turned out not to be the same shade as Nude Creme because it’s pretty unique for my collection.

Garnier Refreshing Remover Cleansing Towelettes - $7.49

These are my favorite makeup remover wipes of all time and probably always will be. I love them so much because they are safe to use on your eyes, including mascara, so they eliminate the need for separate face and eye makeup removing products. They smell good, they’re gentle, and they work extremely well. I will always repurchase these because I know they will never let me down, and I highly suggest you give them a try!

As always, thanks for reading! What are some great drugstore products that you’ve discovered? I would love to hear, because I’m all about quality products that don’t break the bank! Leave a comment to let me know or email me at  Click here to follow me on Pinterest and Bloglovin’.

Bye for now,


Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Top 5 MAC Must Haves | Wandering Through Life

Hello world!

I remember when I was first starting my makeup collection (which really wasn’t all that long ago) I was constantly overwhelmed not only by the number of brands, but the different products that each brand has to offer. 

Mid-range to high-end makeup doesn’t come cheap, so of course you want to make sure that you’re going to be happy with what you’re purchasing (especially if you prefer online shopping).

So, I’ve put together a list of my top 5 must-have products from MAC as a guide for anyone who might just be beginning their makeup collection and not sure where to start! I hope this helps…I sure know I could have used it when I was making my first few purchases!

1. Powder blush in Melba 

This shade is universally flattering and so pretty on basically every skin tone. It’s pinky peach color that’s perfect for spring or summer (and honestly, any time of year). It’s pigmented, but not so much so that you’re going to go overboard and end up looking like a clown. But, if it comes out too sheer for the look you want, it’s really build-able and blends super easily. I think this is a perfect place to start with MAC blushes and everyone should have Melba in their collection.

Obviously this is a heavy swatch...the color doesn't come out quite as strong on the cheeks!

2. Eye shadow in Soft Brown 

Wow, it was really hard for me to decide which shade should go on this list because there are so many amazing ones. I chose Soft Brown because it’s the perfect blending/transition shade that can be used for a million different looks. It’s pretty much a staple in my routine. I would definitely recommend picking up a Pro Palette and buying the eyeshadow refill pans because they’re only $10 each and it’s so much easier to store them that way!

3. Paint Pot in Soft Ochre 

If you’re more yellow-toned, like I am, this is the shade for you, but if you’re more pink-toned, then the shade Painterly will most likely suit you better. These paint pots are an amazing base for your eyeshadow that make the shades last much longer and stop them from creasing. Soft Ochre creates a blank canvas on your lid, which can be really helpful for those of us who have slightly discolored eyelids (mine make me look borderline diseased, so don’t worry, you’re not alone). I use this product almost every time I do my makeup and I love it and will repurchase over and over again.

4. Highlight/Mineralize Skin Finish in Soft and Gentle

This is a classic for a reason. This product is so pretty and shimmery and just wonderful. It makes your skin look amazing and glowing and beautiful and…I could go on and on. I like a not-so-subtle highlight, so this is perfect for me. If you tend to like a little less shimmer on your cheekbones, just use a lighter hand!

Story time: I once wore Soft and Gentle into a Sephora and a saleslady was helping me find a foundation that matched my skin tone. While she was applying different shades to my face, she said she loved the highlight I was wearing and asked me what it was. I was weirdly embarrassed to admit I was wearing a MAC product in Sephora so I told her really quickly and she was like “I’m going to pretend I don’t know what you’re talking about, but I know exactly which product you mean, and I love it”. Proof that this stuff is amazing.

5. Lipstick in Russian Red

There’s no debate as to whether or not MAC lipsticks are amazing, because it’s just a known fact. I think the perfect start to a lipstick collection (a collection that you literally will not be able to stop yourself from growing) is Russian Red. This is a blue-toned red shade and it looks so flattering on so many people and it makes for a killer look on a night out. I had a really hard time choosing between this and good ole MAC red, which is also an excellent color. I decided on Russian Red because it’s the first lipstick I ever bought from MAC and it has a little sentimental value for me, haha :)

6. The 217 Blending Brush

 I had to sneak a 6th product on here because this brush is that good. It’s so fluffy and the perfect size for blending any shade into the crease. I am obsessed with this brush and use it 100% of the time I put on eye makeup. It feels so soft and it does such an amazing job. Yes, it’s pricey, but you will get so much use out of this little guy. It’s worth it, trust me.

Ok, there you go! There were a bunch of others I could have chosen, and it was a struggle to narrow it down to 5 (…6), but I think these are some pretty good picks.

Also, I have a quick question! What do you guys think of the Prep and Prime Skin Refined Zone? I’ve never tried it, but I just picked up a sample! Let me know what you think!

As always, thanks for reading! What are your top 5 MAC must haves? I am more than open to hearing your favorites because I’m always wanting to try new products. Leave a comment or email me at . Click here to follow me on Pinterest (I pin cool stuff, I promise) and here to follow me on Bloglovin' !

Bye for now,