5 Of My Favorite Products To Get You Through The End Of Summer

I have never really written a post about products and cosmetics, but I figured why not?  I’m a big Sephora fan, and I’m also always on the lookout to try new things, whether it be hair products, skin products, or makeup.  The summer heat and sun get to be rough on your body (that’s not to say that winter weather isn’t), so here are 5 new beauty products that I’ve been trying this summer that I totally 100% recommend.

*I am not being promoted for any of these suggestions

  1. Buddy Scrub Coffee Body Scrub

We all love drinking our morning coffee, but did you know that coffee, and to a larger extent caffeine, has skin health benefits when used externally.  In fact, coffee is proven to help reduce cellulite and promote smoother shinier skin.  This Buddy Scrub is the perfect product to use in order to get that “summer bod”.  Just lather and scrub your body a couple times a week and you’ll have yourself smooth and healthy skin.  The scrub is totally natural, vegan, and cruelty-free with no harmful products or ingredients you can’t pronounce.  It smells amazing too!

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Buy it here through Anthropology for $18

2.  The Pocket Palette, one-use make-up kits

The Pocket Palette is a start-up company that created these mini makeup kits for on-the-go travel and disposal.  Each palette contains a single portion of BB cream or foundation, a single portion of lipstick that doubles as rouge, and a single-use mascara brush.  The palette is tiny and can easily fit inside any pocket, purse or container making them super easy to carry with you.  I have used my pocket palette for overnight trips when I don’t feel like lugging a large makeup kit around and for after events such as golf where I need to quickly cleanup and make myself look presentable before dinner.  After use, you simply throw the kit away, and the makeup is great quality and very versatile.

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Buy them here in sets of 3 or 10 ranging from $12 to $35

3.  Tarte Mermaid Glitter Gel

Glitter is having a major moment right now thanks to the growing popularity of music festivals and festival fashion.  This gel-like body glitter is just the thing to get you festival-ready for all those instagram pictures.  It isn’t an eye shadow like other glitter products.  Instead, the liquid gel dries on to the skin, keeping it in place anywhere on the body.  Not only does the glitter work great against skin, but the jar is super fun and aesthetic.

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You can find it here from Sephora for $18

4.  Too Faced Hangoverx Replenishing Face Primer

This primer doubles wonderfully as a face moisturizer since it restores and helps contain moisture in the skin.  As the name suggests, it’s ideal for hangovers, but also any activity where your skin looses moisture such as working out and sun exposure. For those long summer days outside, this works as the perfect remedy making skin supple, smooth and lively.  As a bonus, Hangoverx has no shine or oily effects which is much appreciated when it comes to a good everyday primer and “lotion”.

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Buy it here at Sephora for $34

5.  OUAI Sun of a Beach Ombré Spray

Ever tried the old trick of squeezing lemon in your hair to make it lighter?  And it kind of works? Temporarily.  Well, OUAI has come up with a product based off of the classic lemon hack, but works stronger and stays longer.  Sun of a Beach Spray lightly bleaches the hair in a healthy way that doesn’t dry the hair out.  It smells nice and has little texture.  And, it actually really works!  The spray gives you a summer sun-kissed look which we all want while still looking very natural and healthy.

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Buy it here from Sephora for $24

*Pro Tip:  As I mentioned, I swear by Sephora.com since I love their loyalty program. Living in a rural area means that I need to order most of my products online, and Sephora is amazing for that.  I pay $10 a year to get free shipping which saves a lot of money in the long run, plus I get free samples which are great for travel, loyalty points for free awards, a birthday gift, and special deals that include a lot more free samples/minis.  It’s a fabulous program especially for college students.

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How to Spend 48 Fabulous Hours in Edinburgh Scotland

Hi there!  I just recently returned from a 10 day trip to Scotland where I pretty much road tripped from the Highlands all the way down to Edinburgh.  The whole journey was amazing, and I felt like I was really able to see the whole country.  However, more on that later (look out for a Scottish food post!).  One of my favorite places that I spent time in was the last place, Edinburgh which is a surprisingly bustling metropolitan center full of history and culture.  The last weekend was spent there, and although I definitely could have spent at least another day exploring the city, I was able to pack a lot in those two wonderful days.IMG_7297

Edinburgh isn’t very big in size and population compared to other landmark European cities, but the number of noteworthy sights, neighborhoods, and, quite frankly, tourists make the city feel larger than it is.  It takes on the vibe of a smaller and slightly less stylish London that is easier to walk around and harder to get lost in.  I arrived late in the afternoon on Friday having just played golf nearby.  The immediate cosmopolitan atmosphere of the city center, where my hotel was, made me realize that this place was different from the rest of Scotland.  Our hotel was very modern and stylish, as one would expect from a nice city hotel.

For dinner that first night, I ventured across town to the neighborhood of Stockbridge which is a hip high-end area bustling with coffee shops and gastropubs.  I went to a recommended restaurant called Scran and Scallie.  Nothing in Edinburgh is that far away, so my taxi ride to Stockbridge was an easy ten minutes and it easily paved the way for a light walk back to my hotel.  Scran and Scallie is a very popular gastropub serving traditional Scottish fare in a gourmet manner.  The clientele is young and fun, echoed by the quirky takes on traditional Scottish decor.  The menu appears very traditional with practically any pub fare you can think of available (meat pies, haggis, fish and chips), as well as some more contemporary options.  My Dad and I both opted for classic British entries, while I tried a Scottish specialty and he had an elevated Caesar salad for starters.  My haggis appetizer was a bit risky since I had never tried it before, but it was really good (the texture is oddly comparable to falafel) and I felt as though I was truly embracing the culture.  Our pies (mine was a seafood pie and he had a steak and ale pie) were deliciously comforting and really hit the spot after a day of golf in the rain.  The seafood pie, in particular, eluded flavor with salmon, cod, and shrimp mixed in with mashed potatoes.  Scran and Scallie is really the perfect place to indulge in local cuisine prepared beautifully in a fun atmosphere.

 

The walk back from Stockbridge was surprisingly easy and very pleasant.  The city feels very safe at night, and it is super cool to see all the sights and buildings lit up.  The famous hilltop castle that overlooks the city gleams brightly in a slightly eerie manner to the bopping crowd below.  Back at the hotel, my dad and I went to go check out Bar 1, 1 Square, and although my dad felt a little out-of-place, I found the Bar to be super trendy and cute.  They specialize in fancy schmancy gin and tonics (the hippest drink if there ever was one), as suppose to the traditional scotch collection that is found in most Scottish bars (more my dad’s cup of tea).

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Saturday was an early morning since there is so much to see and explore.  After a breakfast of Scottish smoked salmon (literally the best stuff ever) and black pudding (which is surprisingly delicious), I walked up castle hill which is a super cool walk to use my prepaid online ticket to Edinburgh Castle at 9:30.  On the way, there was a cute little farmer’s market that, if I was a local, I would totally be shopping at.  The castle is admittedly a tad touristy and you have to arrive right when it opens to beat the big buses, but it offers great views of the city and has a very interesting history.  I recommend going straight to the crown jewels exhibit since that line gets long very quickly and it’s probably one of the more impressive parts of the castle.  The castle takes about 2 hours, depending on the crowds, but you can totally condense it and choose to see less or more.

 

Tourist central of Edinburgh is the Royal Mile which you are fed directly into from the exit of the castle.  At first, the crowds are a little overwhelming but they filter out, and if you ignore all the street performers and touristy shops, the wide street is definitely worthwhile to walk down.  St. Giles Cathedral is a highlight and a must-see.  The Cathedral is huge and full of beautiful stain glass windows.  The tall blue ceiling is enough to take your breath away.  Farther down the mile, the crowds disperse and it’s fun to look around the admire the buildings and spirals.  The street finishes at the Holyrood Palace which is an official residence of the Queen.  It is fun to tour the palace and check out the old Holyrood Cathedral ruins since the place is rooted deeply in history.

 

After the mile, I, being a die-hard Harry Potter fan, wanted to check out some notable Harry Potter sites in the city, notably Victoria Street and the cafe where JK Rowling wrote the first couple books.  I grabbed a quick lunch at a little cafe and continued to venture across town back towards the castle, but, this time, instead of walking up the mile, I walked on the edge of old town which is bordered by a valley with the train station underneath.  The views from there are great and there is a park that lines the street.  Victoria Street is the most “aesthetic” street of Edinburgh and claims to be the most photographed.  It is also the street that JK Rowling based “Diagon Alley” after, and really looks like it is out of a movie.  The shops are super fun along the curved street too! I then made the pilgrimage to Elephant House which calls itself the “birthplace of Harry Potter” to take some pictures, and I also photographed “Tom Riddle’s grave” in the nearby Grey Friar’s graveyard (creepy I know).

 

By this time, it was already mid-afternoon, so I ventured over to New Town to walk around and shop.  A highlight of New Town is the Scott Monument and park, a huge gothic steeple that distinguishes itself from the Edinburgh skyline.  Dedicated to the author and thinker Sir Walter Scott, visitors have the ability to climb the monument which I opted not to do since I wanted to get over to the shops.  I enjoyed a couple of hours shopping at British and European shores (including Topshop, Zara, and Harvey Nichols, a fabulous British luxury department store) while also in search of a quilt, being the cliché tourist that I am.  Shopping around Edinburgh is delightful, and there is a surplus of great stores that are harder to find in the US.

 

For my second night in Edinburgh, I went to Wedgwood Restaurant which is a widely considered one of the best in the city complete with a Michelin star and four rosettes.  That being said, the restaurant is nice and simple with a modern atmosphere that isn’t at all stuffy.  The food is centered around local game and seafood with very Scottish ingredients prepared in an elevated manner.  I had a douglas fir smoked salmon dish and an interesting savory bread pudding which was to die for.  My dad had a seaweed vongole pasta starter which was very unique and venison with haggis for his entry.  The highlight of this special meal was the very sticky toffee pudding, a celebrated Scottish dessert and a must try for anyone traveling to Scotland.  Wedgwood is a great restaurant located conveniently on the Royal Mile where you really get to appreciate Scottish produce and fine cuisine.

 

That wrapped up my stay in Edinburgh as I had a 10 am flight the next day.  Overall, I found the city to be delightful and could have definitely spent another day there.  Alas, I was able to squeeze in a lot while I was there.  Highly recommend exploring this city for yourself, even if it is only for 48 hours.

May Picks- Summer Style Must-Haves

Summer has “officially” started (finally), at least for me as I’m back home and enjoying some incredibly warm weather ahead of what’s going to be a steamy Memorial Day Weekend.  Happily, summer means the end of a crazy last month of school, the start of summer jobs, and more time which makes me able to write more!  Leading into June, here are some summer “must-haves” and trends that will be all over the place soon.

Block Heel Sandals

  • Block heels, along with tiny kitten heels, have been seen all over the streets with good reason since they are super stylish and can work perfectly for a variety of occasions (casual to formal).  What’s also fun is that the trend is super broad, meaning that many different styles can have and are having a fun and bold block heel.  For summer, opt for a bright colorful pair to make any outfit stand out.

 

Cage Bags

Wide Leg Pants

Matching Sets

Slide Sandals

Exploring London- Part 1: What to see

Hello world!  I write to you from my dorm room in upstate New York relishing this brief period of free time that I currently have.  School has been going well, but more on that later.  Right now, I’m reminiscing on the amazing summer that just “ended” yesterday.  One of the highlights from my last high school summer included a once in a life time trip to London.  My grandparents took my brother and I on a 7 day journey across the Atlantic from New York to Southampton, England on the world-renown ocean linear, the RMS Queen Mary 2.  The voyage was a super relaxing and fun opportunity, but, for me, the anticipation to arrive back in my favorite city made me so excited to get to England.

I had been to London once before when I was younger, and my lasting impression of it was that we did not spend even close to enough time there.  This time around, I had the same feeling of un-satisfaction that I had the first time I visited the city.  I don’t know what it is about London, but it sure is a hard place to leave even with its infamous cool dreary weather.  It might be the lively atmosphere, or the enduring charm of the storybook buildings, or, better yet, the quirky, yet attractive culture of tradition mixed with modern sensitivity.  If you cannot tell, I love London, and, because of that, I will be sharing tips and suggestion from my trip in a three-part series while I desperately try to grasp onto the last glimpses of summer.  It might take a while since I’m still trying to adjust to my new surroundings, but I hope to continue writing while in college.

When I arrived in June after a 2 hour drive through rolling hills of green, the city was a sweating thermos.  Supposedly, the day before we arrived, the temperatures were the highest they had been in 40 years.  Who knew we’d be complaining about the heat in London (of all places)?  Still, we took advantage of the dog days of summer by walking around the bustling streets, and sipping away at delicious elderflower cordials from Harrods (a refreshing must try).

 

 

Walking the London streets has to be one of my favorite feelings.  I probably looked like an idiot while I observed the walls, doors and iron work of the buildings, but, believe me, there was no way to prevent myself.  Even though I was there for only 5 days or so, I made a habit of strolling around in the morning.  I swear by the steps on my Fitbit, and it gave me much satisfaction to see myself easily crushing my 10,000 step goal early in the day.  Between the quaint residential streets, and the majestic parks such as Hyde Park, there are plenty of fabulous places to explore.  I highly recommend taking some time to observe the wonderful London surroundings when visiting the city.

 

 

The museum scene in London is rich with plenty of unique options ranging from culture, history, art, and science.  This time around, I visited the Imperial War Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum.  Both were extremely well done and insightful.  The War Museum has an amazing interactive exhibit on World War 1 that walks you through the details of the war from the start to armistice day.  There are many more exhibits throughout the museum, but I didn’t get the chance to explore due to the sheer amount of time it took to get through one massive exhibit.  The V and A is a classic London museum that plays host to an immense collection of 3D art and design; all preserved in an old beautiful Neoclassical building.  The renaissance tapestries and ancient sculpture galleries are wonders to behold, and I loved the British fashion history exhibit which showcases important work from both english and european designers throughout history.

 

You of course have to go see a show in London!  There are plenty of broadway-esque shows playing in the west end theater district which are fabulous to see, but a lesser known secret is Shakespeare’s Globe on the south bank.  The theater is a complete replica of the original with cheap standing room seats, basic scenery and balconies.  The vibe is super fun, and the theater does a great job showing adaptations that appeal to younger audiences.  I attended a performance of Romeo and Juliet which was super well done despite it being unconventional.

 

My favorite day in London was spent at the Harry Potter Warner Bros Studio which is located right outside of London.  Being a crazy Harry Potter fan, I felt overwhelmed being on all the sets of my favorite movies.  The tour is quite intensive, carrying you through multiple sets, both inside and out, and takes about 3 hours to complete.  One big highlight is the butter beer that is available for purchase midway through the tour.  They also have butter beer ice cream that I highly recommend as a way to cool off on a steamy summer day.

Suggestion:  If you go visit Warner Bros studio, take the train from Euston station to Watford, a suburb about 20 miles outside of London.  It’s fairly cheap and fast compared to a taxi.  Once you arrive in Watford, shuttles will take you directly to the exhibit.  For more details visit https://www.wbstudiotour.co.uk/getting-here.

 

 

Alright, next time, which hopefully will be a little bit sooner now that I’m starting to get the hang of this college thing, I’ll write about my shopping experiences and London fashion.  Stay tuned!

 

Great new places to try in Edina

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Entrance at Coalition

Yes, I know that I’m moving across the country in a week, but that doesn’t mean I cannot rave about some great new food joints in my hometown.  This summer in Edina has been bustleing as 3 very popular restaurants have moved in.  A lot of recent hype has acquired from the new residents, making the summer exciting and lively.

 

Ole Southern: An up and coming chain based in Hayward, Wisconsin; this traditional bbq is an off-branch of Famous Dave’s.  Ole Southern’s focus is on creating real authentically prepared meat.  The menu is simple, full of different kinds of meats which you can pair with sides such as a delicious mac and cheese, and barbecue rice.  The meats include ribs, pulled pork, brisket, chicken, and hot links.  They can be by themselves or in a sandwich complete with a mouthwatering soft bun.  The atmosphere is very reminiscent of a casual-fast type place with an order-at-counter system, making it ideal for takeout.  If you do choose to eat in, it is a fun vide with tables painted as American flags and country music playing amongst strings of lights on the ceiling.  I’m personally I’m not a big fan of ribs and I always thought that bbq was pretty much just ribs, so I didn’t know what to expect from Ole Southern.  I was so surprised by how much I loved the brisket that it has completely changed my mind about bbq.  If you are in the mood for some good old meat, Ole Southern will hit the spot!

 

Coalition: Among the bustle of popular restaurants nestled along the 50th and France area is a new addition to the overwhelming choices that downtown Edina offers.  Coalition is a refreshing classic gourmet american place that offers a variety of foods for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  The menu and its namesake is based off the concept of bringing a bunch of local food providers, bakeries, and farms together to create a vast and tasty menu that is sure to suit many preferences.  I’ve eaten at Coalition for both breakfast and lunch.  The breakfast puts a good twist on classics such as pancakes and french toast.  I tried both the pineapple upside down pancake and the vanilla crème french toast.  Both were divine.  In addition to the comfort food options on the breakfast menu, the restaurant gives you these amazing cardamon donut holes to start.  They come out fresh, warm, and, most importantly, delicious.  For lunch, the menu is pretty straight forward with a section for starters, salads and sandwiches/burgers.  The apple brie salad is super tasty and refreshing, while the chicken cheese biscuit sandwich hits the spot if you’re in the mood for some hearty food.  It seems like you cannot go wrong with anything at this nice casual newcomer.

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The clean simple interior of Coalition.  

 

Town Hall Station: Situated at the location of an old independent gas station, Town Hall Station is a creative “stop” to go and “refuel”.  They even kept the old vintage gas sign, making the atmosphere feel nostalgic for a day long gone.  The restaurant might strike an outsider as an old-time diner like place, but it is, in fact, a bumping hip hangout joint complete with a full service bar and great atmosphere dinning.  The menu is not what you’d expect, as it features a lot of Southwestern cooking, in addition to classic burger creations.  The nachos are exceptional as a starter, and if your feeling the Tex-Mex, they have loads of taco options.  The burgers are spectacular with their signature one really standing out.  It features two patties full of briskets and covered with cheese for a juicy creation.  The vibe is super fun, service fast, and food good.  What else could you ask for when you want to have a good time!

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The fabulous pulled pork nachos which are completely soaked in queso!

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The old time feel is brought to you by the vintage sign advertising Town Hall Station in the parking lot.

Since I’m leaving soon, I’ve been trying to make an effort to go out and explore my hometown often.  It has been fun to truly find what Edina has to offer and take advantage of that before I go.  I urge others to do the same if your going to college.  I cannot believe that I’m leaving in a week, as time has flown by, so everyone, use up the time with fun stuff while you can!

 

I’m Back!

Hello readers (who probably forgot about me), and non readers who I want to become readers!  I apologize for not writing these last months as I’ve been extremely busy with graduation, senior obligations, college decisions, and travel.  Everything has been a ton of fun, however, and I have now finally found time to share my fun with you!

A lot has been going on in my life recently including 2 big international trips, and myself preparing to move to New York for school.  With summer coming to an end, I’m hoping to share the adventures that I’ve had, and will have before I head out to school.  I’m trying to revamp the blog so that it’s  more of a overall lifestyle blog with me sharing tips and wisdom from my life centered around my favorites hobbies (food, travel, and fashion).

Then, once I move out to New York (and by the way, NY means small college town living, not city that never sleeps), I will focus on trying to live a fulfilled, adventurous, and classy college life.  I will share tidbits on how I’m doing that, in addition to travel.  My college’s location is a tad isolation from city life, but I believe that I’m going to have easy access to cities up and down the east coast, in addition to the atlantic shore and charming small town life.  I cannot wait to hopefully expand this blog while focusing on a more college student targeted audience!

I will try to post more content in the next couple of days, as I attempt to revamp everything!

Thank you, Addie ❤

St. Michaels, Maryland-Where charm and style meet

Some of my earliest and fondest summer memories involve Maryland’s eastern shore and the Chesapeake Bay.  My grandparents own a house right on the water and it is where I have enjoyed every single 4th of July of my life.  Maybe I’m bias and I’m certainly nostalgic, but, for me, the shore is probably one of my favorite places.  It is a place to have fun and relax while absorbing the summer sun and the quaint culture that occupies the small town of St. Michael’s.  Although I’m especially fond of the town, I believe that it is a great destination for a family vacation or a small weekend getaway.

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A beautiful sunset on the bay

Rural Maryland feels like a different world compared to bustling city streets and the everyday grind of daily life.  However, the town is situated only two hours from D.C and even less from Baltimore making it ideal for a quick trip. A tourist town at it’s finest, St. Michaels offers plenty of lodging options to take advantage of.  Spending the day boating and relaxing is easy.  Being right on the water, it is easy to access boat retails and such to enjoy the beautiful Chesapeake Bay.  Also, the harbor is great to check out since the docks are usually filled with yachts and sailboats alike.

 

The town offers many great shops and restaurants.  There are clothing stores such as “Knotty” and “Chesapeake Outfitters”along with jewelry stores offering a wide range in price and product.  In addition, there are many design stores full of trinkets and various art galleries.

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One of many great shops in St. Michaels.

 

In terms of restaurants, a town favorite, “Ava’s”, offers great stone-oven baked pizza along with pasta and sandwiches.  I recommend the “Chef’s speciality” pizza but you can’t go wrong with a classic margarita or a chicken parmesan sandwich.  Another place that is great for breakfast or lunch is “Crêpes by the Bay”, a crêperie with a menu consisting of breakfast, savory and desert crêpes.  I personally enjoy the smoke salmon crêpe but the bacon and egg breakfast crêpe is also a great option.  If you really want to experience Maryland culture, then visit the “Crab Claw” to eat the local speciality, blue crab.  You get the full experience since you are in charge of shucking the crab meat from the shells.  It’s a lot of fun!

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Who doesn’t love a good crêpe?

 

After eating dinner in town, be sure to save room for “Justine’s Ice Cream Parlor”.  In addition to their fantastic ice cream, this classic joint serves great sundaes and is home to an infamous “wall of shakes”.  Although the “dreamsicle” shake is definitely my choice, customers can choose from many unique kinds and flavors of shakes, contributing to a truly classic experience.

St. Michaels truly embodies small east coast charm while offering comfort and style.  It is great in the summer, especially over holidays such as the 4th of July.  Come and watch fireworks and celebrate while taking in the beauty of Maryland’s eastern shore.

St Michaels’ travel website: http://www.stmichaelsmd.org

Ava’s pizzeria: http://avaspizzeria.com/eats/

Justine’s ice cream: http://avaspizzeria.com/eats/