23 trips around the sun

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Today’s my 23rd birthday, which means I’ve gone around the sun 23 times already. I’ve seen hundreds of sunrises and sunsets, I’ve cried, I’ve laughed, I’ve let people into my life who’ve given me their positivity and light, and I’ve cut people out of my life who weren’t serving my happiness anymore. I’ve moved, I’ve learned, I’ve relished in my good decisions and learned from bad decisions. I’ve read books, I’ve written things I’m proud of, I’ve begun my journey toward figuring out exactly who I am. I’ve fallen in love. And I’ve grown closer to my faith.

I don’t share a lot on this blog about faith, because I know there are some of you who practice different religions, and that’s totally fine. But one thing we all get from practicing faith and recognizing religion is striving toward bettering ourselves, which is exactly what I’ve been doing over the past year, and it’s what I plan to continue to do. It’s actually ironic that I bring this up because a little verse I really love is Psalms 23, and since I’m 23 today, it seems fitting to mention it. Basically, it says:

through faith my soul is restored, I will be lead to the paths of righteousness, I will fear no evil, and goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life.

And I think no matter what you believe, this can be applied to your life, and I have been applying it to mine and I’ve seen such a positive difference in my thinking and overall approach to living.

Here’s to another year of living, loving, and growing. <3

Haul: Sephora + YSL

Hey guys! Last weekend, I went shopping at Sephora and I also received goodies from YSL, which is super exciting. And if you follow me on snapchat, you already knew all about my little fangirling episode when I got the YSL box in the mail. Anyway, here are some things I picked up recently. What is your favorite makeup right now?

**Disclaimer: I received products from YSL as a complimentary gift for review on this blog. All words and opinions are my own**


Yves Saint Laurent Touche Éclat — I’ve never purchased anything from YSL, so when I received this package in the mail, I was eager to try it out. These products are perfect for shine control and larger pores, which is something I’m always on the lookout for!

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YSL Blur Perfector — This is to be used throughout the day whenever your face gets a little shiny. If you like a matte look, yet still want to be radiant, this is the perfect product. Plus, can we just talk about how perfect their packaging is???

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YSL Blur Primer — You could have the best foundation on the market, but it wouldn’t mean anything if you don’t use a good primer. I’ve always been, and always will be, a Benefit Porefessional girl, but this primer is great too. It mattefies, and because of the gold flakes, it doesn’t give a dull appearance.


Sephora Haul — It’s been a while since I’ve actually purchased something from Sephora (because the closest store is 40 miles away!), but I decided to treat myself since my birthday is this Sunday! Benefit and Urban Decay are my favorite brands. What are yours?

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Operation Pore-Proof Kit — I absolutely love Porefessional, so when I saw that there was an entire kit dedicated to mattifying and reducing the appearance of pores, I jumped and bought it. These Benefit kits are perfect for those of us that want to try different products, but have commitment issues (especially when one bottle costs about $30). Ya know??? Anyway, I love this so far!

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Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion — If you don’t use this, you need to. This is the best primer for those of us with oily lids. It keeps your eye makeup stay on all day long, and keeps it looking perfect. I’ve been using this for years, and I’ve tried other primers, but none of them compare.

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Hoola Matte Bronzer — I’m really in love with bronzers right now, but a lot of them have shimmer and highlight in them, which I don’t like. I like matte looks, so this bronzer is perfect.

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Versace Bright Crystal — I love the smell of this! This is actually the first fragrance I’ve purchased that doesn’t smell like vanilla. This smells like a variety of flowers and it’s so light and perfect for the day time. I’m obsessed.

I’m other places on the Internet too!

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Photos: Sacred Garden on Maui

Hey guys! This week I spent a lot of time outside and with friends. Earlier in the week, a friend and I explored Maui’s countryside, we ate at a new restaurant, and we visited Maui’s Sacred Garden for the first time! Here’s some photos from the week:

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This little farm was really cute. I usually go here during the fall when the pumpkins and sunflowers are growing, so it was different visiting during the summer. They have a cute little country store and lots of little animals too. (Not pictured: two really mean miniature ponies. But I think if I was a miniature pony, I’d be bitter too).

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My friend and I ate at a new restaurant (it’s not new, but it’s new to us), and it was really good! It’s in an older part of Kula, which is in Maui’s countryside. I saw this neat old car, and got overly excited. I really like old cars, probably because of watching Top Gear with my dad. Thanks dad.

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I’ve been drinking so much tea lately. I stopped drinking coffee about two months ago, and I’ve never felt better. Yes, I’ve had a few cups of coffee since then, but I’ve mainly been sticking to tea. Maybe my Dutch/British boyfriend is rubbing off on me? Who knows. Whatever it is, I’m loving tea. What are you favorite kinds of tea? (I’m obsessed with Teavana, and I’m unashamed)

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Also: I highly recommend this book. It’s all about finding yourself, and the meaning of your existence. I’ve heard nothing but praise for it, so I’m excited to read it!


 

Maui’s Sacred Garden

I’ve lived on Maui for 17 years, and only recently stumbled upon this little slice of heaven. If you couldn’t already tell, I’m utterly obsessed with plants (Exhibit A: My Instagram) As soon as we walked in the entrance, we were greeted by one of the owners: “Welcome to your new favorite place!” Then he showed us to the tea room and offered us tea and some silent meditation before he would give us a quick orientation of the nursery, gardens, reading rooms and labyrinths.

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As soon as I walked into the nursery, I felt so calm and ridiculously happy. It was so quiet and serene, I could’ve stayed there all day long.

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This smaller, 7-circuit labyrinth is inside the greenhouse, and is the most common universally. Labyrinths are used as walking meditation. Before visiting the Sacred Garden, I’ve never walked a labyrinth before, and honestly I’ve never even heard of one! So this was a unique experience for me.

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In the reading room, there was a little book where guests wrote thank you notes, testimonies of how meditation changed their lives, and how their visit to the Sacred Garden increased their happiness and wellbeing.

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The Buddha Garden in the center of the nursery was breathtaking. Regardless of your religion or beliefs, I think everyone can benefit from sitting here and meditating. While I was sitting here, I felt a weight lift off my shoulders, and an overwhelming happiness wash over me. Plus, the statue itself was so beautiful. It’s 600 pounds of solid monkeypod wood from Bali, which is incredible.

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Labyrinths are often confused with mazes, but this shouldn’t be the case. While mazes are designed to trick you with dead ends and false paths, the labyrinth has only one path leading into the center and the same path leads back out. Mazes are games that cause you to get lost. Labyrinths are paths of peace, prayer and contemplation and are designed to help you find yourself.

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Paia is one of my favorite little towns on Maui because of it’s vibrancy and hippie culture. This store is also a favorite of mine. If you want to see celebrities on Maui, this is the place to be. Alice Cooper, Owen Wilson and Steven Tyler frequent this shop, and it has the cutest things inside!

 

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The sunset view from my house is always so stunning. I love my home.

 

 

Haul: Lush (aka overpriced, organic stuff I didn’t need)

Yes, I caved again. Lush is too addicting, I can’t stop. I’ve only purchased things from Lush a few times, but every time I always get a mask/scrub. I never got the whole bath bomb thing, mainly because I don’t have a tub at my house, but also I don’t want to be floating in glittery water. Anyway, here’s what I got from Lush!
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The thing I love the most about Lush is that their products are organic, cruelty-free and they really do help your skin be the best it can be. Yes, they are expensive but I think it’s worth it since they don’t test on animals, they’re all natural and they are of a higher quality.

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Ocean Salt — Living in Hawaii, I’m obsessed with anything sea salt and coconut. I’ve seen this product around before, but I’d never purchased it because I was worried it would be too harsh on my sensitive skin, but after using it a few times now, I’ve found that it’s actually very soothing. The sea salt and lime work to exfoliate and cleanse the skin, while the coconut oils moisturize and calm the skin. Plus, it smells so good!

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Mask of Magnaminty — This is my second time purchasing this mask, because I’m absolutely obsessed. It’s so great for people with blemishes and sensitivity, because it’s made out of clay and peppermint, which purge your pores of all impurities, and it has vanilla and honey to soothe the skin as well. I usually use this a few times a week, and it really helps to keep my complexion even and happy.

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Bubblegum Lip Scrub — I love soft lips (but then again, who doesn’t?) This lip scrub is so amazing and it tastes good, and since it’s all natural, it’s safe if you accidentally consume some! I use this every morning, and it really helps to keep my lips soft and healthy looking.

What are your favorite Lush products?

Beauty Swap + My new favorite things!

Hey guys! I’ve met some really amazing people through this blog, which I’m so thankful for! Some of the great things about blogging are networking, discovering new things, and creating lasting relationships. Alexandria at Winifred Jac, organized this blogger beauty swap, which was so much fun! My partner was Tristan of Pursuit of Beauty and she sent the cutest package!

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Can we just talk about these Kate Spade cards? I need them.

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This. This is the cutest package I think I’ve ever gotten… ever. I was so happy opening it, I had the biggest smile on my face!

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Here’s what I got in my beauty swap package! I haven’t tried any of these products, so I’m super excited to try them out. Have you guys tried these products out?

Butter London lotion — I’ve seen this lotion around before, but I’ve never tried it because I buy cheap lotion in bulk at Costco #Merica. But after a few days of using this lotion, I really love it! It’s full of healthy vitamins and oils, but what I love the most about it is that it’s vanilla-scented!

ChapStick Hydration Lock — Keeping hydrated and using sun protection is so important in the summer, but a lot of people forget about their lips! I use a lot of lip products because I’m one of those people who can’t stand having dry lips. It drives me insane. And from the very first time using this lip balm, I fell in love. It makes my lips so soft and visibly plumper too! Seriously, stop reading this and go buy it right now because you’ll thank me.

Jelly Belly Cocktail Classics — Candy is great. Candy is necessary. But cocktail-flavored candy? Sign me up. These are so yummy!

NYX Micro Brow Pencil — I’ve always been a brow powder kind of girl, because the pencils and gels intimidated me. So I’ve always used NYX brow cake powders. And I’ve only used this pencil a few times, but I think I’m getting the hang of it! And it really does make it so much easier to apply especially on the go.

Eccolo Journal — You guys know how obsessed I am with notebooks and journals and making lists, so when I saw this in the box I squealed.

A huge THANK YOU to Alexandria for hosting this beauty swap and Tristan for these lovely gifts! This was so much fun! Go check out these two ladies, they’re pretty amazing! <3 

Photos: Life lately + How I edit my photos!

Happy Sunday! Believe it or not, I really haven’t been taking many photos lately because I’ve been stuck inside my office. I haven’t been doing much of anything! But I did get out and do a few things, but nothing compared to my other photo posts. I hope you have a beautiful and relaxing Sunday <3
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How cute is this cottage in the woods? I felt like it was straight out of a fairytale.

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You guys know I had to buy more plants… Because… They’re so cute.

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My brother just got back from a two-week backpacking trip through New Mexico, and last week he went on another camping trip on Maui. And today he’s leaving for another week-long camping trip. I’m so proud of him, he’s doing great things!

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I’ve been missing these evening walks through my neighborhood. The sky turns the prettiest shades of cotton candy blues, purples and pinks. I’m so lucky to live in paradise.

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Just in case you guys forgot what I look like ;)

 

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Views of Maui from the house! Living in a house with tons of windows is so incredible, especially in the mornings when the morning sun peeks over the mountain.

How I edit my photos: A lot (I mean, a lot) of you have been asking me how I edit my photos on my blog, and I just use VSCO, which is heavenly for people who want nice looking photos, but don’t have the skill/talent to full on photoshop their photos (aka, me!).

Would you guys be interested in a post all about how I edit my photos? Which filters I use, settings I use, photoshop things, and photo styling tips? Let me know!  :)

 

About him.

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I’ll just start this off by saying the universe is finally on my side. If you’ve been a long time reader of mine, or if you know me in real life, you’ll know that I’ve had bad luck in relationships (says every girl ever, but really it’s true. And it’s no one else’s fault but my own). Anyway, I finally met someone worth introducing to my parents, and showing off to my friends and readers, and gushing about all day long. And at first, I wanted to keep this to myself, because the best things in life are sometimes better kept private. But this is too great not to share with you guys.

How we met was actually quite unconventional, but let’s just say it involved a cricket… That’s all I’ll say for now. From there, we started talking every day, all day, well into the nights. There hasn’t been a day that we haven’t talked, and somehow our conversations never die, or get dull. We agree on nearly everything, we have the same sense of humor, we share similar goals and dreams.

When we first met, I didn’t think we’d end up where we are right now. I just thought it would be an interesting friendship because we had so much in common, whether it be sports or music or movies or thoughts. But the more we talked, the more I began to really love the person he is, and I wanted to get to know him even better. You know when you meet someone, and you just know they’re going to be in your life for a long time? Yeah. This is what he is to me.

He has the softest eyes.
 And when he looks at me, I feel welcomed and safe. 
He has the loveliest, most genuine smile. 
A smile that’s so big that it makes his eyes smile too. It’s the type of smile that gives you butterflies and makes you feel like you matter, that you’re important, that you’re loved.
 He has the kindest heart, and the purest of intentions. 
He’s caring, trustworthy. 
He’s the most intelligent person I have ever met, and he always knows the right things to say. 
The more we talk, our conversations deepen and I could talk to him for hours and never be tired of his voice. 
His voice. He has the most unique accent, which is a mixture of Dutch, British and Canadian. He sings to me. His words warm my heart. 
He has influenced me substantially. 
I talk to him and it makes me want to be a better person. 
He makes me want to be alive. 
He’s an inspiration. We pray together every night, we build each other up, we support each other. 
Since I met him, days seem brighter and the nights don’t seem so scary anymore. 
I wake up and I’m glad that I did. 
He’s like a drug to me and damn, am I addicted. 
I need him, 
I want him, 
I crave him every day. 
He’s part of my daily routine. 
I met someone.
 Damn, I met someone and he’s quickly become my earth, moon, and stars. 

You know that feeling when you get home after a really long, stressful day and you close your door, put your bags down, and breathe? Or when you go home to visit your parents, and you feel so safe and comfortable and completely yourself?

That’s what he is for me. He’s home.