We’re going going, back back….

…to Cali Cali.  Did I just date myself with those lyrics?!  We are moving!  We are going back to California.  The last 15 months or so have been amazing.  There are so many things that I am going to miss about Hawaii and a few I could do without ever dealing with again (7 inch centipedes!).

The spirit of Aloha: the word Aloha translated means “the presence of breath” or “breath of life.”  In action, it’s much more of a feeling, a sense of oneness. On my second day at my current job, we had a regional meeting and our managing partner came out from Missouri. It was a big deal. I walk in and know no one, another admin from another office walks up introduces herself with a hug and a kiss on the cheek (hugs and air/cheek kisses are very common greetings). Then she introduced me to other people that were there. It was such a welcoming experience! Its such a big family, truly. Anyone we’ve met here has been very welcoming. When the cashier at the grocery store asks how your day is going, they really want to know! It’s very different from what I’ve known in California where people tend to be on auto pilot within their own bubbles. This genuine hospitality will be one of the things I miss the most!  

One of our favorite pastimes is eating!  There’s so much good food here!  The seafood doesn’t get much more fresh and I’ve fallen in love with real Japanese ramen (not in a cup or package)!  Here are a few favorite places to eat:
Ocean House:  The food is great, it’s right on the water, the perfect place to take family or friends.
12th Avenue Grill:  This wasn’t rated the best restaurant in Honolulu for nothing!  The food is outstanding, the service is wonderful and the atmosphere is perfect for date night.
Buho: contemporary Mexican food in Waikiki. Ah-mazing!  Plus, it’s a rooftop bar with a good view of the fireworks every Friday night. 
Leonard’s:  Malasadas. They’re Portugese donuts, can come filled with a variet of flavored custards. Delicious!
Kyoto Ramen Yotteko-Ya:  ramen. The broth is so rich, simmered for over 10 hours. I could just drink the broth, it’s that good. 
The Veranda at the Kahala Resort:  overlooks the pools, dolphin area and beach. We do a lot of life planning and dreaming here with a Cafe Kahala. Is so relaxing. 


Up until our move, I had lived in the same city all my life.  I was itching to get out and only after I was gone, did I have an appreciation for Northern California. Hawaii will always hold a special place in my heart, and I look forward to visiting in the future but family is where it’s really at, and for us, family is in California. 

Here are some photos from the past year!  


Mahalo Nui Loa Hawaii for welcoming us with open arms! 


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CC+ Naturally Pretty Palette

Highlight and contour plus blush, oh my!  You may or may not know that I have been on the hunt for a matte highlight that is light enough for my skin, which isn’t so fair, but apparently fair enough that it’s been near impossible to find what I am looking for.  I have also been on the hunt for products/palettes that multitask and condense my makeup kit as I travel.  Enter the IT Cosmetics CC+ Naturally Pretty palette.


The packaging is a really pretty silver-y color and it has a mirror that almost fills the lid of the palette.  Each powder contains anti-aging ingredients (score!) and the size of each powder is generous for only $38.  The powders:

IT’s Your Color-Correcting Brightener!:  While I was looking for a highlighter, this does the trick to even out some of the underlying redness that I have.  It’s just enough to give me a little bit of highlight and blends wonderfully.  The flecks of colors within the powder help to counteract pigmentation in your skin leaving it radiant.  Then I can add just a bit of shimmer highlight at the top of my cheekbones.

IT’s Your Naturally Pretty Blush!:  This is a new go-to!  It’s very pigmented but blends in so smooth.  It has a little orange/melon undertone to it, which works great with my skin tone.  I haven’t had the chance yet to try it on anyone else with a different skin tone so I look forward to seeing how versatile it is.

IT’s Your Perfect Warmth Bronzer!:  When it comes to this bronzer, the verdict is still out.  I really wanted to use it for more of a contour powder to save some space in my kit but while it looks rich in the packaging, I have to use a lot of it to see even the tiniest bit of bronze.  Granted, it’s not meant to be a contour powder, it’s meant to be a bronzer…but still.

Overall, I really like this palette.  While the amount of product is generous, the size is still compact enough to fit in your kit and leave room for plenty of other goodies.  Since Sephora doesn’t carry IT Cosmetics (and Hawaii doesn’t have an Ulta) I went to Ulta while in California last month to pick this up.  It’s my first foray into the brand and I am looking forward to trying out other IT Cosmetics items.

What IT Cosmetics item should I try next?!


Julep Beauty Inc.

Travel Basics

The hubs and I went on a mini vacay this weekend!  Where do you go when you already live in paradise?  To the outer islands, of course! :). We were only gone for a few days and while I could have packed a full checked bag, I didn’t.  So that meant that I needed to shrink my makeup bag.
While on vacation I like to relax. My skin gets a break too from my daily makeup routine. I’ll get dolled up for a nice dinner out but as we play “tourist” I keep it pretty simple. Here’s what’s in my bag:


I know it may look like a lot, but I am a girl that likes choices. 🙂  I am doing a lot more traveling over the holidays and have a few items on their way that will make this haul even more condensed, maybe. Here’s the list:

Dr. Jart Primer (not shown): great for oily skin and smells kind of lemon-y

Covergirl Ready, Set, Gorgeous: for a drug store foundation, it lives up to the hype! It even lasted through a 60 minute massage with my face in the pillow for the majority of the time! More on this in another post.

Benefit Cosmetics FakeUp: my go-to under eye concealer. It’s hydrating and doesn’t settle in fine lines.

Benefit Cosmetics 5 in 1 eye primer: verdict is still out but I like the subtle shimmer, makes a great highlighter.

Julep Pore Minimizing Blush: LOVE! I’m hoping they make a setting powder or foundation in this formula. It really does minimize pores…it’s awesome!

Mac Studio Fix Pressed Powder: sets foundation, great airbrushed finish.

POP Cosmetics Bronzer: good, semi matte for that sun kissed glow.

NYX eyeliner in Brown: brown is a great color when you want a more natural look.

Julep Sweep Eyeshadow Palette: great neutrals on the go. It’s very powder-y so make sure you tap the excess off your brushes before applying.

Mary Kay Ultimate Mascara: great volume and length. 2 coats and you’re good!

Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow: my go-to for brows and the brush pictured is my favorite applicator.

Mary Kay Foundation Brush: (older version) great brush, dense, doesn’t shed and easy to clean.

Mary Kay Blush Brush: (newer version) this is actually my least favorite brush I own. About 2 years ago MK “updated” their brush set but I prefer the older version. This brush is really rough and sometimes I feel like it takes my makeup off rather than put blush on. Why’d I bring it you ask? It’s smaller than my other blush brush, which I’m not super in love with either but I just ordered a new one!

Crown Brush: check my a October favorites
Post to read more about this awesome brush.

Enjoy some pictures of beautiful Maui! By a happy accident we stayed at the Fairmont Wailea. It is gorgeous!