a short stay in Echo Park, LA

a short stay  in Echo Park, LA

I had a three day weekend so Sean and I decided to go for a quick and sweet getaway to our neighboring city, LA. In particular, the Echo Park region of Los Angeles. We Airbnb’d a gorgeous, minimalist space that was walking distance to solid coffee, amazing food, and Echo/Elysian Park. We only had a little over 24 hours but we made the most out of it-enjoy the pics friends.

Smorgasburg

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Before we actually dived into Echo Park, we stopped by Smorgasburg-an open-air foodie market heaven located in Prospect Park. It was our first time and for anyone planning on going to this, go hungry! Parking and entrance is completely free (woop woop) and the venue is basically the parking lot of a chain of produce markets.

The unique thing about Smorgasburg is the vendors. All foods are from local vendors-everything from live uni, to Filipino desserts, to savory fusion tacos. A dreamland for people who love good food! Unfortunately, Sean and I had a hefty breakfast so we didn’t get to try much. We loved Shrimp Daddy (Hawaiian-styled shrimp, macaroni salad, and rice). AMAZING and so flavorful. This was the busiest stand out of all of them.

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We also grabbed a refreshing hibiscus and oolong tea drink from PopdUp-they specialize in mixing flavored soda with tea. They also come in these adorable glass jars, very Instagram worthy.IMG_3224_Fotor.jpg

The venue also has a small strip in the middle where vendors were selling everything from homemade candles, vintage clothing, to crafty jewelry. Such a great way to spend a Sunday morning/afternoon in LA. We will be visiting again soon!

Art District / Salt & Straw

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We still had some time to kill before check-in so we stopped by our favorite region of LA-the Art District. I wrote a post about this district quite some time ago if ya want to check it out! We were feeling peckish so we stopped by Salt & Straw and got the infamous Honey Lavender ice cream. If you can, please please try this-I was tempted to buy a pint and carry it around with me all day lol.

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I was starting to get hungry again so we decided to get a bite at Cafe Gratitude-a very hyped up vegan restaurant that I have been dying to try. First off, the place is so beautiful-everything is clean, modern, and spacious. Such a relaxing and inviting place to eat. Sean and I shared just the nachos and boy was it freaking scrumptious. It certainly did NOT taste vegan. Any vegetarians/vegans who haven’t tried this place really is missing out!

Echo Park / AirBnB

 The AirBnB that we stayed at for the night was simply gorgeous. Aesthetically pleasing and a genius use of space-the hosts had renovated their back house to a comfortable one-level studio-type home. We were originally going to stay at a hotel but there is nothing more intimate and immersive than staying in the neighborhood that you are visiting. Our hosts were the best- I really wanted to stay for at least another day!

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Echo Park was just a short walk (less than a mile) from our little abode and what an interesting park it is. There was a real sense of community there-vendors selling piping hot food, kids playing in the grass, and cute ducklings swimming about. Really loved the laid-back atmosphere.

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Late lunch was a cute vegan restaurant called Sage. Very eclectic and designed beautifully inside. The menu is delicious and all plant-based. We shared a Vietnamese Banh Mi sandwich that was super yummy.

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The highlight of the night was having some wine and cheese at The Semi-Tropic. No pictures for this place as it was too dark but pics won’t do it justice anyway. This place is randomly located next to a KFC and someone’s house-it was pretty funny trying to find this place but so worth it. We got the cheese & charcuterie plate that included brie, truffle, prosciutto, and some nuts/apricots. WOW. Hands down best cheese plate I’ve had. By the way, I am lactose intolerant so I suffered greatly after. HA. Will do it again in a heartbeat.

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We then walked along Sunset Boulevard to browse through various bookstores, bars, and stumbled upon the Echoplex that happened to be in the middle of a stand-up comedy act. The Echoplex is an intimate venue that usually houses concerts for independent artists-unfortunately no one we knew was playing that night but we definitely enjoyed the last half of the act. This is definitely a place to go dancing/clubbing/chilling if you are ever in the area. Really cool vibes and loved the ambience.

After the wine and cheese, we were both completely shattered so we spent the rest of the evening relaxing in our cozy home and really soaking in the possibility of having our own place soon.

Last, but certainly not least was what we had for breakfast the next day. We longingly said goodbye to our little home and our hosts and drove off to Winsome. Echo Park has a handful of renown breakfast/brunch places and Winsome seemed to a very popular one. The location was tricky to find since it was nestled next to a neighborhood and an apartment complex, but the food and coffee was so good.

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I had the avocado toast (THE BEST I have ever had) and Sean had a classic egg, bacon, and cheese sandwich (very delish). Again, the decor was on point-a trend that I have noticed during our stay at Echo Park. I even loved the look of the menu!

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After, we stopped by the Santa Monica pier to really savor the last few hours we had before going back to the OC. As you can tell, this trip focused mostly on food haha! Echo Park is a very hipster, eclectic, vibrant place to visit. I loved how we found the most amazing food in the most random, unforeseen areas. I will be back in the future, there is so much more to see! I do hope you enjoyed this lengthy post of me rambling on and on about how pudgy I got from all the eating I did.

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paige xx

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Coachella 2017 | My Experience

Coachella 2017 | My Experience

whoa hey what Paige went to Coachella? Yes. It is true I went to Coachella weekend 2 this year with my boyfriend and a few close friends. This post is not going to be a typical, picture-sprinkled post because I am going to talk about my personal experience with Coachella from the perspective of someone who doesn’t do well with germs, dirt, crowds, and heat. Lol.

I made a promise to myself this year to try new things and push my ever so tight boundaries a littler further. Coachella was a gigantic leap for me because not only would it be my first music festival, but also my first time camping. Before I get into any details…Coachella is what you make of it. I really dislike it when people bash on this festival because of the dust, sweat, crowds, heat, etc…like seriously? You are going to one of the hugest 3-day, outdoor, festivals in THE SOCAL DESERT. It will NOT be comfortable so you really have to an optimistic mindset going in. And this is coming from someone who gets anxiety with everything that Coachella has to offer. Yeah I have a lot problems but I survived, had a good time, AND will likely go ahead (minus the camping).

Car Camping

Wow. Haha. Camping in triple digit weather is no joke but the experience was a good learning lesson for me. It doesn’t matter how much ice or portable fans you take, the heat will get to you unless you love being roasted. My friends and I ended up napping as much as possible during the day so we had energy when it got a lot cooler during the evening.

It was hilarious because the comparison between our group and college frat next to us was night and day. While we were napping, they were playing beer pong and dancing around.

Coachella offers portable restrooms and 24 hours showers at all camping sites. The porta- potties were horrendous so be prepared: disinfectant wipes, toilet seat covers, and toilet paper will be your best friends for the weekend. The showers were actually quite nice! They felt private and each had a section with a bench and a hook to put your dry belongings and towel somewhere. Sandals is a must! Don’t you dare go in there barefooted. You’re just asking for athlete’s foot. The line for the showers were long but I never had to wait more than 20 minutes to shower which is not that bad. I also would go at odd times of the day like 3pm when people were most likely in the festival.

Phone charging was okay as well. Each camping site had a section full of outlets for you to charge your phones. Some people forgot the actual wall block part of the charger and only had USB cords. This is fine but we quickly found out that a lot of the USB outlets did not work at all. I highly recommend just getting a few external batteries and charge them all before Coachella. I saw a lot of people with solar-powered chargers as well!

Food and  drinks. There was plenty of this all around the camping sites. I was surprised at how good the food was but everything was obviously expensive. Ramen cups, bread, peanut butter & jelly, and bagels were staples for me. I also had a propane stove which was a life saver. They also had a merchandise store where they sold essentials like sunblock, band-aids, water, ice, blankets, fans, etc…Again, pricey but if ya need it, ya need it.

I should also add that I carried a fanny pack with me at all times with my wallet, sanitizing hand wipes, tissues, face wipes, Advil, lip balm, phone charger, and sun block.

All in all, I would have enjoyed camping so much more IF it wasn’t so darn hot. I would have been ecstatic if it was a good mid 80’s every day but triple digit weather fried all of us alive.

The Actual Festival

Coachella was fun. It’s essentially a huge open space with food, drinks, and good music. They had a big shaded craft beer section with open charging stations that we spent a lot of our time in during the hotter parts of the day. A lot of food, drinks, and dessert options and some cool zones that had huge fans blowing cool mist.

The inside of the festival was also the only place that had flushable, stalled toilets. Hallelujah. I would sometimes enter the festival JUST to use these toilets haha.

The art. The exhibitions this year were so interesting-definitely take the time to check them out. I did not read much about them so I am unfamiliar with the artists but the huge bulbous, vegetable-like sculpture were SO CUTE and my favorite. They also provided some shade which was a plus!

Comfy shoes. You will be walking A LOT, especially because the festival is vast with multiple stages, it is absolutely mandatory to wear shoes you can walk in for a long time. I saw some girls wearing platforms or high heeled boots and they looked cute but they were obviously in pain.

Dust. Something to cover up your nose and mouth is essential-especially when it got windy. There were no sandstorms the weekend I went, but I have heard stories of how bad the winds can get. Even with no wind, the dust gets kicked up by the thousands of people walking so there were parts of the festival where you can see the cloud of dust. So a cute bandanna to cover up will become handy.

Music. So gooooddddd. Some of my favorite performances were: Two Door Cinema Club, The XX (AMAZING), Justice (WOW), Hans Zimmer, Bon Iver, Breakbot, DJ Snake, Empire of the Sun, Banks, Porter Robinson and Madeon, and so much more. I didn’t even watch full sets for some of them but I still enjoyed the fact that I got to see them live for a few songs. As for the headliners, none of them were really people that I listened to very much. I watched Lady Gaga for the first 10 minutes but had to use the restroom and ended up sleeping. Kendrick was okay-no guest appearance which I was hoping for…One of the biggest and most recurring issues was the fact that the EDM artists like Marshmello and Galantis would be performing in the Sahara tent which is like a dome from hell. It’s not an open space so people were getting trampled, there was no air ventilation, and it was just a crowded nightmare. I ended up not watching quite a bit of some of the DJ’s I wanted to see because of how over-crowded it was.

Good vibes. Almost everyone a Coachella is really friendly and people come in with good attitudes. Our camping neighbors were amazing and basically built our campsite for us by helping with the tent and EZ up. Everyone is there to have an awesome time-I mean ya spend a couple of hundred bucks, ya might as well have a good time. Even the staff was SO positive, helpful, and they were obviously having fun as well.

To sum it all up, I feel like I had a great experience because I was quite prepared and I was surrounded by people who I am extremely comfortable with. There were definitely moments where the heat got to me or I was being suffocated by the crowds where I had waves of really bad anxiety. But when you are with people you trust and you are prepared, you will be okay! I have to say I was proud of myself for surviving (well, barely as I was sick for almost a week and a half after) and definitely going again next year!

I hope this post encourages anyone who’s terrified (like I was) of Coachella to consider attending. This experience makes me want to consider going to other festivals and venture out a little more!

paige x

Arts District | Los Angeles

Arts District | Los Angeles

This past weekend, I visited the Arts District in Los Angeles and I took some snaps of everything that Sean and I ate and saw. If you ever visit SoCal or California in general, the Arts District is a must if you like eclectic, “hipster”, rustic vibes-loving coffee and/or beer is also an advantage!

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As you can see, a lot of good food and coffee in the area. There are also many fun breweries around the area but I wasn’t able to capture them on my camera. Barcade (a bar and arcade in one-super cool!) and Angel’s Brewery are two  that we enjoyed. Both have very cool, chill environments and presumably amazing beer (I don’t drink lol).

Hope you enjoyed this small collection of photos!

 

xx paige

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter | 4 Years

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter | 4 Years

 

This past weekend, Sean and I celebrated 4 years of being together and wowzie has that gone by fast! We have been wanting to visit The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios in L.A. ever since it opened and we FINALLY had a full Saturday to go and boy was it worth it.

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The entrance to Hogsmeade was like a big, warm welcome to childhood. I grew up with Harry Potter and it was so exciting-I almost peed my pants. It really is beautiful, especially all the little details like the cobblestone walkways, the lampposts, crooked chimneys, etc…just AMAZING.

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The first thing we did was the Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey ride-you go through the Hogwarts castle, including the Defense against the Dark Arts classroom, Dumbledore’s office, etc…

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Apologies for the dark pictures! The line was moving fast so it was difficult to take proper pictures without getting trampled on. These definitely don’t do it justice. There were so many details that I wish got on camera, you really feel like you are in Hogwarts! Fair warning, the actual ride consists of virtual reality and can make you extremely nauseated especially if you suffer from motion sickness (me, all day every day). Other than feeling like vomiting, the ride is so fun and totally worth waiting for!

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Roaming through the shops and browsing around in Honeydukes, Zonko’s, and Ollivander’s was so sentimental. We decided to get a Chocolate Frog for a souvenir but passed on the wands (very pricey at almost $40). They even had interactive wands for around $10 more that allowed you to use spells to perform magic in certain areas of the park. Naturally, we had to try the famous butterbeer and the hype is real! I prefer the hot version. It basically tasted like a buttery, rice-crispie treat in liquid form-very addicting and sugary!

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There is basically one sit-down restaurant in the Harry Potter park: The Three Broomsticks. The food was surprisingly good and decently priced for an amusement park restaurant. I got the Lemon Herb Chicken with Corn/Potatoes and Sean got the Fish and Chips. The atmosphere is amazing and cozy, especially with the soft Harry Potter soundtrack playing in the background. Hogs Head (the pub and only place you can purchase alcohol) was busy and one of the few places that sell hot butterbeer. YUM.

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Overall, it was a magical experience and people of all ages will adore this place. Sean and I basically spent 8 hours in the Harry Potter section and used the other two to wander around the other parts of Universal Studios haha. Something definitely worth mentioning is the new AMC Walking Dead attraction. It’s a walk-through attraction where walkers scare the living shit out of you. So funny and a must.

I hope to one day visit the Harry Potter park in Orlando, Florida as I heard it’s bigger. I highly suggest visiting The Wizarding World, even if you are not a Harry Potter fan. It literally whisks you away to another land-I could live there!

 

xx/paige

Plant-Based Diet: Benefits, Cravings, Meal Plans, etc…

Plant-Based Diet: Benefits, Cravings, Meal Plans, etc…

Friends!

I have had a love-hate relationship with the way I have been eating for the past 24 (almost 25!) years of my life. I knew what I was putting into my body but I honestly didn’t care, even though the consequences were quite clear. Before jumping into this, let’s address something.

I am not forcing anyone to change their diet.

What you choose to put in your body is your decision only. This post is simply for sharing purposes and to help/educate anyone who is considering a plant-based diet.

Here are some of the benefits I experienced when I switched to a plant-based diet:

Weight Loss 

I lost a noticeable amount of weight since switching to this diet. I also incorporated interval-training exercise every other day.

More Energy

This is something I was not too sure of. I didn’t think I would feel more energetic but that heavy, sleepy feeling I usually got after lunch basically disappeared.

Decrease in Period Symptoms

Noticeable decrease in bloating/swelling around the stomach area and my cramps were very minimal.

Better Mood

Another aspect I didn’t think would happen to me. I don’t feel as grumpy or moody as I used to, especially after eating a heavy meal. It’s true what they say: you are what you eat. 🙂

There are two types of vegans: 1. the healthy ones 2. the unhealthy ones. You can be a vegan and still munch on potato chips, fries, Oreos (yes, they are vegan), etc…If you are considering this diet, educating yourself and making sure you receive all the nutrients your body wants is very important. I highly recommend this book: How Not to Die by Dr. Michael Greger. Extremely informative and it is all based on evidence/facts/research. No bias for the poor animals being slaughtered (although it’s an amazing benefit), just factual evidence that a plant-based diet is indeed a healthy, wholesome diet.

How to Begin

Like I said, research. Read about it first! You’ll be amazed on how much you can learn about how the body works. I borrowed books from the library, followed/read blogs, perused through articles online, etc… Some people choose the vegan diet for medical purposes, physical purposes, or even mental purposes. Whatever your purpose may be, make sure to take the healthy route. You’re body will thank you.

Get Rid of Temptations

I highly recommend doing a good kitchen fridge/cabinet cleaning when starting. Toss out anything that basically has animal by-products. In doing this, you are forcing your body to eat alternative (more healthy) foods when you do get hungry. Go the extra mile and get rid of foods that may not have animals by-products, but are still not good for you like chips, candy, etc…

Be Aware-Be Positive

Be aware that you will be cooking a lot more and differently in the kitchen. Obviously you can still go out to eat; there are many restaurants that can give you vegan options or have an entire menu revolved around plants. Although they are healthier than McDonald’s, even these types of restaurants still add a crazy amount of sugar and sodium into your so-called “healthy” vegan meals. I have looked at the nutrition facts for Urban Plates, Lyfe Kitchen, Veggie Grill, etc.. and it really is shocking. That doesn’t mean you have to avoid eating out altogether; just laying out all the facts haha 🙂

Be positive. Understand that you will have mad cravings for some crispy bacon or that juicy hamburger from In N’ Out. It won’t be easy that’s why I suggest easing your way into it. Revolve a plant-based diet for only three days a week, then transition slowly to four days, five, and so on. Most people fail after trying to get into it cold turkey. That’s actually what I did but I was already so prepared and I was not consuming much animal by-products to begin with.

Cravings-Alternative Snacking

This one was the hardest.

For savory snacking alternatives, try:

plantain chips/veggie root chips/roasted chickpeas/flaxseed chips/assortment of nuts/popcorn (without butter obv.)

For sweet snacking alternatives, try:

dates/fruits (berries, grapes, bananas)/dark chocolate (check ingredients first)

For snacks-that-fill-you-up, try:

Almond or peanut butter with fruits or veggies/hummus dip/all-natural bars/oatmeal loaded with fruits, nuts, spices

BIG TIP: not having any accessible junk food/animal-based food in the house in general, forces  you to snack on other things. Just don’t buy it and you won’t eat it.

I can go on and on and on…but that is for you to discover 🙂

Meal Plans: What I Eat in a Day

Breakfast

Option 1: Toast with avocado spread, sprinkled with garlic salt&pepper/side of oatmeal loaded with blueberries, bananas, cinnamon, and honey.

Option 2: All natural granola with almond milk/side of mixed berries (or smoothie)

Snack

Any type of fruit/veggie with hummus dip

Lunch

Option 1: Brown/wild rice, black beans, sweet potato with onion, seasoned kale and broccoli/side of sliced avocado.

Option 2: Quinoa, fried/baked tofu, side of mixed veggies (bokchoy, broccoli, spinach, cauliflower, green beans).

Snack

Healthy chips/nuts/popcorn/fruit

Dinner

Option 1: Tofu scramble: firm tofu, soy sauce, variety of veg, nutritional yeast/side of steamed carrots/cabbage

Option 2: Vegan tacos: wheat tortilla, seasoned tofu, lettuce, pico de gallo, onions, cilantro, beans, corn, etc…(One of my favs!)

Snack

A green smoothie/fruits

Obviously, I change up what I eat quite often. These are only two or three days worth of meals in a week. I also tend to snack a lot more than three times throughout the day. I eat almost every 2 hours, but everyone is different when it comes to metabolism.

Consistency

Once you start getting into the routine of cooking, packing, learning, and trying new foods, you will start to notice how great you feel. Everyone has to go through those difficult first few weeks. The key is to stay consistent. Don’t slow down! Once you feel comfortable, start exploring new types of grains, vegetables, fruits, etc…I’m definitely in that stage at the moment. It can get boring eating quinoa and brown rice all the time; try spelt, buckwheat, wild rice, etc..

I am already a very skeptical person. I knew eating well was good for your body but I didn’t think that this diet would have such a positive impact in my life. Many people associate “vegans” as preachy, know-it-alls, annoying. Not all of them are, and they shouldn’t be. Who are you to tell someone what to eat and how to eat it? Respect each other.

For anyone who is curious about a plant-based diet, I hope this post was just the beginning of your journey. I guarantee that your body will thank you in ways that you never knew. Good luck friends.

xx | paige

Morning Routine | Makeup, Breakfast, etc…

Morning Routine | Makeup, Breakfast, etc…

heya friends!

This is my realistic, week day morning routine. I will be showing you a routine I do when I actually do decide to wear a little bit of makeup. I mostly go completely bare-faced with just moisturizer on but there are days when my skin and eye bags aren’t looking too great.

I get up at around 7:30am for work which is definitely not as early as I used to wake up for my previous jobs. So this time is actually considered really nice for me haha. I have always been a morning person so I usually don’t struggle to get up.

The first thing I do is tinkle and brush my teeth/wash my face. I have been switching between the Origin’s Ginzing Scrub Cleanser and my gifted homemade coconut oil bar soap for the morning. Then I moisturize with the Simple Face Moisturizer with SPF 15.

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I wait for that to sink in a little and I do my natural makeup routine.

What I use:

Laneige BB Cushion in Medium

Urban Decay Naked Skin Concealer

Rimmel Stay Matte Pressed Powder

Colourpop Brow Pencil in Bangin’ Brunette

Benefit’s Gimme Brow

NYX Bronzer

Maybelline Falsies Mascara

Carmex Lip Balm

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The makeup takes literally 5-10 minutes and since I work at a lab, I always have to have my hair up which I love. I hate dealing with my hair so I just put it up in a pony tail or a big bun. I slip into my scrubs (which I also love because I don’t have to choose what to wear), snatch my bag, and on to my favorite (and most important) part: BREAKFAST.

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You know all those people who say they don’t have time for breakfast and end up eating just cereal or a granola bar? I actually make time for breakfast. I can essentially wake up at 8:15am and still make it in time for work but I purposely wake up early to make myself  a big breakfast. I usually eat two eggs, a slice of toast with avocado, some sort of fruit, and a glass of water every morning. Yes, I eat that much EVERY morning and I LOVE IT. Haha. I even sometimes make a fruit/protein smoothie on the side so I can drink it throughout the morning. I feel like it really helps with my energy throughout the day.

I can’t go a day without coffee. Luckily, my work provides me with an endless supply but I tend to drink just a cup in the morning every day. That usually does the trick. Now I am a happy, full, energized camper, ready for work!

As you can tell, I have a very basic weekday morning routine but it’s completely different from my weekend morning routines haha. Maybe I’ll do that in another post? Hope you enjoyed ❤

xx | paige

April 2016 Favorites

April 2016 Favorites

heya friends!

Ahhh, that time of the month again where we share our favorite items of the month. I can’t believe I’m actually doing well with these…granted it’s only the fourth month of the year but I shall prevail till December! lol. Anywho, I hope you enjoy this roundup of things that I absolutely cherished this month. Do comment if we share any favs ❤

  1. Colourpop Highlighter: Wisp

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I have been using this non stop since I got it and I will be continuing to use it! I had this in my previous Colourpop haul and for $8, this stuff is the bomb. If you need an affordable, cruelty-free, and pigmented highlighter, definitely give this one a try.

2. Lemon and Sugar Scrub

I started using a lemon/sugar scrub to lighten up the acne scars that I have on my back and I can truly say that it works! It takes time, but I do see results. I’ve been using it for a few weeks now and I can see a noticeable difference. I simply cut a lemon in half, dip it in some sugar, and exfoliate my back with this while in the shower.

3. Colourpop Brow Pencil: Bangin’ Brunette

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Another item from my Colourpop haul that I have been using religiously since I got it. I compared it to the ABH Brow Wiz, but it is more creamy and less waxy than the Wiz. Some people like that, some people don’t. I happen to love it and how easy it is to apply. For only $5, SO worth it!

4. Dove Shampoo and Conditioner

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I am never picky with hair shampoo and conditioner but this Dove combo has been amazing for my hair! I have used Pantene Pro V, Garnier, Herbal Essences, etc…and they all make my hair feel dry on the ends and super oily near my scalp…so weird but I didn’t really care haha. I decided to try Dove and these two make my hair feel divine and I do not get oily as fast.

5. Macadamia Hair Oil

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Another hair product! That’s new for me…I’m not much of a hair person but this stuff is so nice. I use this as a heat protectant and I also like to use this on days when I just want some moisture in my hair ends. Smells heavenly and makes my hair feel healthy!

6. Target Workout Clothes

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Oh goodness, I love Target. But I’m absolutely obsessed with their workout line. Obviously it’s no Lululemon, but I literally only wear workout clothes from Target. They fit me nice and their tops are always comfortable and plain. Plus, they are affordable and the quality is great for the price.

7. Veggie Fried Rice

Random, but I’ve been eating this every. single. day. I LOVE IT. There is nothing like some hot, egg and veggie fried rice with a cold glass of water. It only takes 5 minutes to prepare and tastes delicious. Especially with some soy sauce or ketchup… mehehehe.

 

So this was my April roundup! Hope you enjoyed ❤

 

xx | paige