Saturday, December 3, 2016

Midwest Travels (Part II): Milwaukee

Milwaukee, MKE, Milwaukee WI, Brew City, Brew Capital

I never expected Milwaukee to be listed as one of my "must see" places to visit, until I met my mom's fiancé, Bart, who was born and raised there his whole life. They both went in August, and I saw some of the photos she posted with envy. It is such a cute, charming town! I was getting more and more excited for my visit.

How can I describe Milwaukee? I would say it's [almost] like Seattle of the Midwest with a European flair, and Chicago's forgotten cousin. There is a vibrant arts and shopping culture, and though the city is underrated, I fell in love. It seriously puts Sacramento to shame. It's also prevalent with German-inspired architecture, which is not something you see in the West Coast.

Why am I comparing it to Seattle? Because of the gorgeous waterfront (Lake Michigan) makes for fresh fish catches. Though Milwaukee Public Market is much smaller than Pike Place Market, it still has thriving eateries (restaurants, and seafood/meats/cheese abound), bars and gifts.

Unfortunately, we only dedicated 1 whole day in the city (on Black Friday) because we stayed in Bart's sister's house in Mequon, which is 20 minutes away. And much of our time was spent going to Barts' family and friends' houses. But take a gander at some of the photos of this beautiful city!

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Midwest Travels (Part I): Wisconsin Dells

Wisconsin, Wisconsin Dells, The Dells, Waterpark Capital of the World, WI, Midwest, Lake Delton

I haven't ventured into many states in the US, except for mostly the West Coast (not counting California, I have visited Nevada, Oregon, Washington, and Arizona), Hawaii, and New York. It is a dream of mine to visit all (if not most) 50 states. So when my mom started going steady with Bart (my future stepdad), who hails from Wisconsin, I was down to go. I have never visited the Midwestern part of the US before, despite having relatives in Chicago. I wasn't familiar with Wisconsin except for Madison, Milwaukee, and Green Bay. I also knew that Wisconsin as full of beer and cheese (and beer-cheese foods). 

Bart has been wanting to take us to Wisconsin Dells ("The Dells" for short), aka the Waterpark Capital of the World. It is located north of Madison and near Lake Delton. The Dells is basically Disneyland for Midwesterners: there are multiple waterparks galore, attached to some of the resorts and each other! Because it is obviously freezing, the outdoor waterparks were closed down. Luckily the indoor waterparks are open all year round for those who still wanna splash around.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

November Beauty Favorites (+ a few life updates)

Holy crap, did 2016 happen in a blink of an eye?! It just seemed like yesterday when we were ending 2015: I was in my last days of my internship at Make-A-Wish®, and my mom and nephew went to the Philippines for Christmas and stayed there for 3 weeks. Now, 2016 is coming to a close and there are 107 days left until the wedding. Last year, we were doing rough drafts of the guest list, booked our ceremony and reception sites. Now, I am just starting to design our invitations, buy gifts for the wedding party, and buy our rings. We have a lot more to do: Cecilio renting his tux (as well as his men), getting my dress altered, finalizing details with our vendors, more DIY projects, honeymoon planning and doing our private dinner tasting!

I didn't get a chance to post a lot last week due to being on vacation (I went to Wisconsin Dells, Milwaukee, and Chicago), but my next few posts will consist of photos of those trips.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Top 5 Fall Nail Polishes

Fall offers a wide range of shades to choose from. Unlike spring and summer, when you gravitate towards brights or pastels, anything goes in the fall. Want a vampy varnish? You got it. Not feeling it? Oh, embrace the nudes! You can even get away with bright colors too. Cool-toned colors (like blue and violet) don't come to mind when you think of fall polish, but when they're muted, they pop against the leaves and go well with that olive-green jacket. Here, I will showcase some of the nail polishes I have been sporting for the season.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

The Blogger Tag

I got this tag from Katie from Beauty from Katie here and I haven't done a general beauty/lifestyle one in a while...so here goes! Here's how you guys can get to know me better!

Monday, November 21, 2016

My first experience with eyelash extensions

Now, during my 2 years of beauty blogging, I have not done a single review about mascara. Sure, I would round up my favorite mascara in any of my monthly favorites post, but I have not gone on an in-depth review and analysis. Maybe because I find it easier to swatch a lipstick, and test it out all day. And there are so many mascara wands that it overwhelms me. Finally, I have felt like I could not take an good photo of my lashes (the selfie mode for the iPhone is terrible for detailed shots). Until I learned a trick from Youtube star Chrisspy (I can't find the video): basically, for detailed eye shots, you take a photo of your eye, but you're not doing it in selfie mode. Instead, you have a mirror in front of you, and you take a picture of your eye with that mirror. The photos above are taking with my iPhone 5C in front of my Tartelette in Bloom Palette mirror.

I don't wear false lashes either. I did one time for Halloween last year, and I think I did a good job putting them on for the first time, although it became loose by the end of the night. I'd just rather wear a really, really good mascara like Too Faced Better than Sex or L'Oreal Voluminous. I did try false lashes during my wedding makeup trial and I loved it.

As you can see, I'm not a big eyelash person. I love mascara but I don't go crazy about it the way I do with lipstick. Yet I want to make my eyes pop even more. Oh, the dilemma. So when my mom's boyfriend Bart gifted us a voucher deal to get eyelash extensions, I jumped at the offer.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Sephora Fall 2016 VIB Sale Haul

'Tis the season for the Sephora Beauty Insider sales! It's like having Christmas twice a year: one in April and one in November, where you can purchase anything for 20% off (10% if you're only Beauty Insider). The Beauty Insider sales are for those are are a Beauty Insider member: it's free to join, but if you spend $350/year you get upgraded to VIB Status, and $1000/year gets to VIB Rouge Status. Each higher up membership earns you more perks, such as early access to the sales, custom makeovers, extra points, and beauty classes. 

I have been able to pick up a lot of goodies, not just with stuff I personally bought but a reward using my points, some samples, and my birthday gift. Here's what I purchased!