in Beauty

#Onebrandmotd: Rimmel


We are back with another #Onebrandmotd. If you’ve been following for about the past month, you know what this is all about. If not, I am talking about a beauty challenge that Gaby, from Beauty by Gaby, and myself came up with called #Onebrandmotd. This week brand is Rimmel London.

Brand Challenge

For those that do not know what the brand challenge is, let me explain!   Each week Gaby and I will be doing a full face using one makeup brand. We decided to alternate between high end and drugstore to provide some cheaper options. Check out our hashtag #onebrandmotd to see the finished looks on social media.

Rimmel London

Rimmel London is a drugstore brand made famous by Kate Moss.  With cult favorite lippies and the ever so popular it Rimmel Stay Matte matter. This brand really deserves a lot more praise.  A personal favorite of mine is the bb creams and contour palette.

I needed to create a look that was quick and easy, after all, I do wake up at 3:30 am and do not have the mental compacity to do a full face in the morning.  It also needed it to be interview appropriate since I had one later in the morning.

I was able to create a super simple, sun-kissed glow, summer look that worked very well for my interview and also helped me look alive during the day.  The #Instaflawless Skin Tint has been my go-to foundation because it provides just enough coverage and still looks very natural.

Face Deets


I hope you all enjoyed this week #Onebrandmotd.  Don’t forget to follow up with us next week where we will be featuring Too Faced Cosmetics.

in Travel

100 Things To Do In Portland, Oregon Before You Die- Review & Interview with Author Ann Smith


Hi, Friends! I hope you all had an amazing Thanksgiving weekend. I had a fun-filled weekend with family, playing tourists in our city. Recently, we had the pleasure of reading and reviewing a wonderful book called “100 Things to Do In Portland, Oregon Before You Die.”


100 Things to Do In Portland, Oregon Before You Die” was written by Ann Smith and Allison Symonds, who wanted to give readers a glimpse of what Portland has to offer.

Ann is an Oregon native who has lived in Portland since the early 2000’s. She also owns a local PR company called A.wordsmith PR in downtown Portland. Being centrally located, Ann knows all the wonders this city has to offer.

Allison only moved to the Pacific Northwest in 2014, but it didn’t take long for our wonderful state to win her over.

100 Things to Do In Portland, Oregon Before You Die

I, myself, have lived in Portland since 2000, but have yet to experience everything the city has to offer. Honestly, I was not even aware of many of the experiences highlighted in this book. Fortunately, I do now.

This book is perfect for anyone, whether you live here or are just visiting the area. It has a suggestion for just about anything one could need, from food and entertainment to culture and shopping. The authors also provide tips for some of the attractions, such as when to visit (in order to skip lines) and what to order from certain eateries. Fortunately, many of the activities contained within the book can be done year-round.


My family and I have decided to try and make it a point, each month, of picking at least one activity from the book to gain a new experience or revisit a previous one.  Keep in mind, though, that not all of the activities are appropriate for children – so use those as opportunities for a date night with your partner, or just a night out with friends.



The Oregon Zoo is a must-see for any visitor, no matter what time of the year. My kids and I had not visited the zoo in a while but took the opportunity to do so last month. The zoo offered free admission to everyone on that day, and it was pretty packed – but very much worth the visit.

**On the second Tuesday of every month is a discount day**


One thing Portland is known for is the abundance of food carts. It’s no wonder then, that they are also the first activity in the book. With over 600 food carts to choose from, you are guaranteed to find something you like.  My fiancé and I are avid foodies, yet we have barely scratched the surface. We have some go-to favorites, of course, but with so many options available we began making it a rule to try a new one each time we have a food cart date. Anything’s PASTAble and The Grilled Cheese Grill are just a couple of our favorites.

**Anything’s PASTAble closed down this month, with the hopes of coming back in the spring of 2017**


Visiting Tom McCall Waterfront park is probably one of my favorite things to do. Many things happen at the waterfront – getting great pictures, riding KERR bikes, visiting the Saturday market, or even taking a jog.  No matter the time of year, though, there’s always a beautiful view.


This is a controversial topic depending on who you are talking to. Many will say Voodoo Doughnuts have the best. Others will say Blue Star Donuts. Voodoo Doughnuts are nostalgic and creative, but I also love heading to the little mom & pop donut shops – like Sesame Donuts or Donut Land. Donut Land is a newly discovered favorite, recommended by Ann herself. Her favorite donut is the cinnamon crunch donut; and speaking from personal experience, it does not disappoint! The doughnut itself was fresh and soft on the inside and had just the right amount of crunch on the outside.


These are just a handful of the attractions and experiences the book has to offer. The book even offers “activities by season,” and I can’t wait to take part in some of these seasonal recommendations.

Interview with Author: Ann Smith

I also had the honor of interviewing Ann herself on the book research, writing process, and some of her Portland favorites!

– What was the inspiration behind creating the book?

I was fortunate to have been contacted directly the publisher, Reedy Press, which is based in St. Louis.  They were looking for someone to write a Portland-focused book and a former colleague of mine (from my time in St. Louis) sent them my way.  How could I say no?!

– Did you find the writing process to be long? Or was it quick once all the research was complete?

For me coming up with the list of 100 items was the easy part.  In reality, we could have filled many more pages! The writing process was supported heavily by my co-author Allison Wofsey Symonds who made sure that we stayed on course and within the deadlines.

-The book is full of amazing activities with a wide range of options.  How did you narrow down your list?

The narrowing down part was hard!  Like I said we could have easily come up with hundreds of more great suggestions for things to do in Portland. To come up with the list I started by brainstorming my favorite things in Portland and then had a larger meeting of the minds with everyone on my team at work.  It was important to me that the book didn’t just include my favorite things as that wouldn’t be a very well-rounded list!

– Is there an activity or place that did not make the cut, but deserves an honorable mention?

Most definitely.  I keep thinking of additional experiences that would have been great in the book.  Darcelle XV as one of the city’s most iconic performances; what’s the Scoop for great (and fun!) ice cream; and Wildfang for girl-power clothing.

– How long did the research process take?

Not long, really. We already knew something about every place on the list and for those needing a little more research; we dug in as we went along.

– When it comes to Portland and donuts, people automatically think Voodoo Donuts.  What donut shop is your favorite?  If any. 

I actually live out in Tualatin and my absolute favorite donut shop is Donut Land, located in a nondescript strip mall out there.  If you go, you must try the cinnamon crunch donut!

– Portland is also known for food carts.  Is there one food cart that is an absolute must try?

It’s impossible to pick just one!  I work downtown so my go-to carts are in that area.  Chez Dodo on the corner of 4th and SW Stark; I highly recommend the chicken curry over Chef Shyam’s world-famous pan-friend noodles.  I’m also a big fan of Tito’s Burritos on the corner of 3rd and SW Washington; three Asada tacos for less than $5! And while you’re in the neighborhood, visit El Pilon on SW 2nd and Oak.  Their handcrafted Colombian arepas, empanadas, and patacones are unbelievably good.

– Using the activities in the book, what would a day in Portland look like for you?

Get a jump on the day by taking in an early-morning ride at Burncycle. After a quick shower, head out for breakfast at Waffle Window on Hawthorne Blvd.  After breakfast stroll down Hawthorne and check out some of the vintage shops for something uniquely Portland.  From there we can head out to the Columbia Gorge for a day hike at Multnomah Falls. Stop at McMenamins Edgefield for some tots and a pint of Ruby ale.

After a mid-day bite, head back toward town. Swing by the Adidas employee store in North Portland and pick up some new swag for half price before heading to the Pearl District to meet up with friends for a swanky cocktail at Teardrop (look for the extra-large ice cubes) before a fun evening of tapas-style Peruvian fare and the infamous Sacsayhuaman (aka Sexy Woman) drink at Andina.  If you still have energy after all of that, catch some live jazz at the nearby Jimmy Mak’s before calling it a day.

-Do you think there is a “thing to do” that Portland is missing, but should consider having?

I lived in St. Louis for three years so would advocate for major league baseball and frozen custard!

-Do you see a second book in the making?  If so, would you consider expanding to activities in Oregon as a whole?

Whew, I don’t think so, but you never know! I’m from southern Oregon originally so would love feature activities across the state if there’s ever a book number two.

If you intend on visiting Portland or are currently living in the area, I highly recommend picking up “100 Things To Do in Portland, Oregon Before You Die.” As a Portlander myself, it has opened my eyes to so many great things the city has to offer, just waiting for me to find and experience. I would like to thank Ann and Allison for giving me the opportunity to work with them, and for providing all of us with so many ideas of how to experience Portland. My family and I will continue to enjoy many new adventures with the help of their book.

in Blog Life

Mystery Blogger Award


Happy Wednesday!  Over the weekend I found out we were nominated for the Mystery Blogger Award by Real Unicorn Mom.  We’re a little behind on getting the post this post up, but better late than never, right?

Award Rules
  • Thank whoever nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
  • Mention the creator of the award and provide a link as well (Thank you and congrats to Okoto!)
  • Tell your readers 3 things about yourself.
  • Answer the questions from the nominator.
  • Nominate 10-20 people.
  • Notify your nominees by commenting on their blog.
  • Ask your nominees any 5 questions of your choice.
  • Share a link to your best post(s).

For starters, thank you Real Unicorn Mom for the nomination.  I am extremely grateful that you chose me as part of your nominations.  I would also like to congratulate the creator of the award, Okoto.

About Me

I have to provide three things about myself. Hmmmm…. Well, I am originally from Guam, USA, but currently living in Portland, Oregon.  I know, huge transition!  Living in Oregon has really weakened me when it comes to heat, lol.  I am also a mother of two beautiful girls.  They are 10 and 15.   I hate they are growing so fast, but I am doing what I need to do to cherish our time spent together.  Beauty is a huge love and addiction of mine.  I am trying to be better about purchasing items I don’t need, but it’s all so pretty!

Answered Questions
  1. What is the best aspect that you have learned through blogging?  I have learned that I take on way too much and plan too much for a short period of time.
  2. If you could travel to anywhere in the world tomorrow where would you go?  I would love to go to Paris, France.
  3. What advice can you give other bloggers?   Continue to learn, engage, empower and support other bloggers.
  4. What is something about yourself that is interesting?  Probably the fact that I have 40+ first cousins.
  5. Where is the best place that you have visited and why? Guam- it’s home!  
My Best Post
My Nominees
  1. Beauty By Gaby
  2. How to Provide
  3. Linda Talks Beauty
  4. Writings & Worship
  5. Out of the Box Fashion
  6. Sparkle & Spice
  7. Alexandra Quinlan
  8. Ambers Trendy Thoughts
  9. Alifya Lifestyle
  10. The Mama Source
My Questions For You
  1. Who has inspired you through your blogging career?
  2. If you had to choose one food to eat for the rest of your life, what would it be?
  3. What songs have you completely memorized?
  4. What movie, book, or tv series would you live in?
  5. What’s something you like to do the old-fashioned way?

Thank you again, Real Unicorn Mom for the nomination!  I am looking forward to seeing what you all have come up with!

in Lifestyle, Travel

Tigard Street Fair- Taste of Tigard


Hey, friends!  We are back today to talk about the  Taste of Tigard.  For those of you who are local and live in Oregon, know that Tigard is a suburb outside of Portland.  On June 17th, Tigard held their first ever Taste of Tigard or tasting tour to be specific.

Tigard Street Fair

It was an opportunity for Tigardians to sample local entrepreneurs food and beverages.  This event was very much worth the visit.  There were maybe 2-3 vendors that I have actually tried and the rest were new to me.

The event was over by SYMPOSIUM coffee, which is also where  Tigard Street Heritage Trail and Rotary Plaza will be.

Admission to the event was free and there were opportunities to purchase items from the vendors.  The best route is purchasing the tasting passport.  Early bird pricing was $11 and then went up to $15.  Either way, it was worth the pricing.  You were provided a sample from each vendor including the liquor!

I, unfortunately, missed the purchasing time frame for the passport but was able to purchase items a la carte.

  1. Tigard Farmers Market
  2. Symposium Coffee
  3. Koi Fusion
  4. Indio Spirits
  5. Flyboy Brewing
  6. Stash Tea
  7. Zuniga Foods
  8. Patty-Cake, Patty-Cake
  9. Divine Catering
  10. Don Flores
  11. Le Cookie Monkey
  12. Southern Thai

Since I didn’t purchase the passport, I went ahead and just did a la carte items from certain booths.  I may or may not have gone back later to a specific cart for seconds.


Located on Sundays at the Tigard Farmer’s Market and Thursday Night Market in Downtown Tigard-  We tasted the Thai iced tea and Chicken Satay.  The Thai iced is probably one of the best I have ever had.  Very similar to a brand that I like to purchase in-stores.  Chicken satay and pickled veggies were great.  My favorite was the pickled veggies.  I would have gotten a whole plate of it if it was allowed.

Don Flores- Fish Tacos

Don Flores

This is a new food cart in Tigard, located behind Sherries Jewelry box.  My fiance is very picky when it comes to fish tacos.  He always compares them to the ones in San Diego, where he says the best fish tacos are found.  Surprisingly, these met his expectations and mine.  They were so good that we even went back later in the evening for a couple more!

Symposium Coffee- cardamom latte

Symposium Coffee

Is a really cool coffee shop located in the heart of downtown Tigard.  I personally am not a coffee drinker, but my fiance is.  He loved trying the Cardamom Latte with plans to go back and try the lavender.

Zuniga Foods- chips and salsa

Zuniga Foods

This was our first time tasting their salsa or even know they existed.  We seriously need to get out more!  The salsa was fresh and very tasty, partnered with the chips- they are a great healthy snack!

Le Cookie Monkey- desserts!!

Le Cookie Monkey

Amazing desserts at a reasonable price!  What more could anyone want?  The cookies are crisp on the outside and soft on the inside- exactly how they should be!  They also provide a number of other desserts, if cookies are not your thing.  We will definitely go back and grab some sweets!

Taste of Tigard is a great family friendly event.  We loved seeing everyone come out to support the community and definitely something we will attend again.

in Beauty

#One brand motd: NARS Cosmetics


We are back with another #Onebrandmotd. If you’ve been following for about the past month, you know what this is all about. If not, I am talking about a beauty challenge that Gaby, from Beauty by Gaby, and myself came up with called #Onebrandmotd. This week brand is Nars Cosmetics.

Brand Challenge

For those that do not know what the brand challenge is, let me explain!   Each week Gaby and I will be doing a full face using one makeup brand. We decided to alternate between high end and drugstore to provide some cheaper options. Check out our hashtag #onebrandmotd to see the finished looks on social media.

Nars Cosmetics

Nars is another cult favorite brand.  Mainly known for the famous blush ‘Orgasm’, and for good reason.  Orgasm is absolutely beautiful!  Unfortunately, I am not using the blush color in my look today, but I worked in the lipgloss.

This look is a no makeup, makeup look.  I do have days where I go all out, but most can be found very minimal.  That’s my style and what works for me.  Check below for the deets!

Budget Friendly Ways

Let’s talk budget real quick!  Since this brand is a luxury brand, I wanted to touch base on how I get some of my high-end products.  I couldn’t justify spending $29.00 on a single eyeshadow.  I would suggest checking out value sets like the Sephora favorites.  This is how I obtained the dual-intensity eyeshadow and the full-size lipgloss.

You can also join Sephora playbox.  It’s a monthly subscription that gets you five sample, deluxe size samples, or an occasional full-size product for $10.00 a month.   You can sign up here.

My last suggestion would be shopping at Nordstrom!  The NARS counter always has a gift with purchases.  The girls at my counter are super nice and give out great gifts.  I ended up with a gloss, liner, mascara, small blush, and cream blush stick for purchasing one of the cheek palettes. Well worth it!

I hope you all enjoyed this week #Onebrandmotd.  Don’t forget to check back next week for our high brand end.  If there is a brand you would like us to do, leave us a comment below!

in Beauty

#One brand motd: Kat Von D


We are back with another #Onebrandmotd.  You might be thinking what is she talking about?  Well, I am talking about a beauty challenge that Gaby, from Beauty by Gaby, and myself came up with called #Onebrandmotd.  This week we are doing #One brand motd: Kat Von D.

Brand Challenge

What’s a brand challenge?  Let me explain.  Each week Gaby and I will be doing a full face using one makeup brand.  We decided to alternate between high end and drugstore each week to provide some cheaper options.  Check out our hashtag #onebrandmotd to see the finished looks on social media.

Kat Von D

Kat Von D is an amazing brand with amazing products, but after looking in my collection, I quickly came to find that I didn’t own much of her products.  Crazy, right?  This motd called for a lot of creativity.

I actually thought I had a blush and some lippies as well, but as you can tell from the picture above- I only own the Shade and Light Contour Palette and a sample of tattoo liner.  The used the contour palette as eyeshadow, brow powder, and my contour/highlight.


The palette worked great as an eyeshadow- very blendable and the colors worked perfectly.  I am a nudes girl anyway.   I don’t have to tell you how great it worked as a face palette- that’s what it is made for.  As a brow powder, it did the trick.  It went a little bolder than I like, but a little blending and you are good to go.

I am going to take advantage and utilize this palette more for all over the face.  It takes up less space in my makeup bag and great for travel.  Now off to Sephora to purchase more Kat Von D.  I still can’t believe that these are the only products I own.

I hope you enjoyed this weeks #onebrandmotd.  Don’t forget to use the hashtag to show us your look!

in Beauty

NeoStrata Foaming Glycolic Wash


Let’s talk skincare.  If you are going to spend money on anything, I suggest spending it on skincare items. I am not saying that you can’t find affordable options because there are.  It’s all about testing products and coming up with a regime that works for your skin.  I have been incorporating the NeoStrata Foaming Glycolic Wash into my skin routine for the past few weeks.

All About the Brand

Neostrata started in 1988 in Princeton, New Jersey, by two doctors.  They wanted to be able to offer their products to everyone.  They now have NeoStrata®, Exuviance®, and CoverBlend® under their belt and are sold over 80 countries worldwide.

NeoStrata Foaming Glycolic Wash

A potent, pH-balanced, foaming facial cleanser for experienced Glycolic Acid users who prefer a deep cleansing.

  • High strength, pH-balanced, soap-free face wash
  • 18% Glycolic Acid smoothes skin texture
  • Lactobionic Acid gently enhances cell renewal
  • Recommended for experienced Glycolic Acid users

First, let’s start with the packaging.  A major plus this product has is the pump.  I always appreciate a company who adds this in.

Now, I don’t use this cleanser every day and I do not use it in the morning and in the evening.  I use this once or twice a week for deep cleansing.

This product is something that you have to work into your routine, especially if you have sensitive skin like I do.  If you do have sensitive skin, you can work the product in slowly, like I have.  Then eventually move into just mornings or evenings, when your skin is used to it.  I love that it acts as a mild exfoliant and unclogs the skin.

Final Thoughts

This product is perfect for someone with normal skin.  If you have sensitive skin, then please be careful when using this product.  Like I said, I use it minimally and like it.

Give it a try for yourself!  I’d love to hear what you think about it.  Leave a comment below!

*Powered by Brandbacker*

in Beauty

#One brand motd: Wet-n-Wild


It’s that time again, brand Challenge time!  You might be thinking what is she talking about?  Well, I am talking about a challenge that Gaby, from Beauty by Gaby, and myself came up with called #Onebrandmotd.  This week we are doing #One brand motd: Wet-n-Wild.

Brand Challenge

What’s a brand challenge?  Let me explain.  Each week Gaby and I will be doing a full face using one makeup brand.  We decided to alternate between high end and drugstore each week to provide some cheaper options.  Check out our hashtag #onebrandmotd to see the finished looks on social media.


This week’s brand is none other than the drugstore cult favorite, Wet-n-Wild.  Wet n Wild is one of my favorite drugstore brands, if not the favorite.  They have great products at really affordable prices.  I am even going to say they have the best eyeshadows at the drugstore.  If you do not own the comfort zone palette, getcha some!

Face deets

  1. Photo Focus™ Foundation– Cream Beige
  2. Photo Focus™ Pressed Powder– Warm Beige
  3. MegaGlo Dual-Ended Contour Stick
  4. Color Icon™ Blush (old packaging)- Mellow Wine
  5. MegaGlo™ Highlighting Powder– I actually used their cream highlight that was an LE.  The one provided is an alternative.
  6. Wet N Wild Going in the Wild Palette- Limited Edtion- Going in the Wild (Unfortunately, this palette was from a few years back.  You’re lucky if you can get their hands on it).

Here is my finished look.  I did use one of the new Wet n Wild balms as well but lost it in the deep depths of my purse.  First world problems, I tell you!

What are your favorite Wet n Wild products?  Let us know in the comments below!  Also, share your #onebrandmotd using our hashtag.  We’d love to see what you create!

Have a beautiful day!

in Beauty

#Onebrandmotd: Benefit Cosmetics


Wednesdays are for brand challenges with your makeup bestie!  What am I talking about?  Well, I am talking about a challenge that Gaby, from Beauty by Gaby, and myself came up with called #Onebrandmotd:  Benefit Cosmetics.

One Brand Motd-  Benefit Cosmetics

What’s a brand challenge?  Let me explain.  Each week Gaby and I will be doing a full face using one makeup brand.  We decided to alternate between high end and drugstore each week to provide some cheaper options.  Check out our hashtag #onebrandmotd to see the finished looks.

Week 1- Benefit Cosmetics

We have decided to start our brand challenge with Benefit Cosmetics.  The look that I have created is a no makeup, makeup look- that can be done in about 5 minutes.

On the face:

Porefessional Primer

Hello Flawless Oxygen WOW- Beige

What’s up!  Highlighter

Ka-brow! #3

Roller lash

Lolli balm

I hope you all enjoyed our first weeks looks using all Benefit cosmetics.  Tune in next week for our Wet n Wild looks.

in Beauty

Let’s Get Wiggy With It

Let’s Get Wiggy With It
This is a sponsored post. All opinions are mine

Have you ever wake up in the morning look at your bedhead mop and just think nah nah nah nah nah?

We have found the perfect solution for you!  It’s a product that allows you to instantly and effortlessly change not just the color and length but also the style of your hair within 60 seconds. Let’s get wiggy with it.


Divatress is one of the beauty industry’s leading e-Commerce websites.  They carry products ranging from wigs, hair care products, beauty tools, and cosmetics.  You do not have to be a beauty professional to order from Divatress.  You can be the average mom, just wanting a small change at an affordable price point.

Freetress Lace Front Wigs

We suggest trying free tress lace front wigs.  These wigs are a special type of wig that is made out of real human hair or synthetic hair.  The hair is tied by hand onto a sheer lace base that lays on top of the scalp.

Depending on the on how these wigs are cared for, they can last anywhere from 3-6 months.  For virgin hair lace wigs, these can last anywhere from 6-12.   With the affordable prices provided by Divatress, you will definitely be getting your money’s worth.

Here are some of the wigs they offer

You can also choose different colors that best match your skin tone.  If not, get crazy and choose something totally out of your comfort.  That’s the freedom that the free tress lace wigs provide.


Have you tried wigs before?  If so, how do you like them?  Do you have a particular style of wigs that you like better?  Leave us some comments below!  We’d love to hear your thoughts on wigs and what styles you go for!  I’ve always been curious about different hairstyles but never thought about using wigs to obtain to those looks.