ExploresMore is Moving!

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Hello my lovely readers! Today I come to you with a bit of exciting news-in about 6 weeks I’m leaving Los Angeles behind and am moving to Paris! I’m taking a year off between high school and college to work as an Au Pair in France. Being a European citizen (I’m fully German and the first person in my family to be born in America) I’ve always loved Germany and dream of going to college either there or somewhere else in Europe. I’ve loved the city ever since I first visited and can’t wait to spend at least the next year of my life there. And, here’s to hoping I become tri-lingual! I am so excited to start this next year, and hope you all will be here every step of the way. Cheers!

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[Photos are not mine. Click through for credit, they’re taken by one of my favorite photographers on flickr!]

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Up To The Getty

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Hello my lovely readers! About two weeks back my family and I took a short trip up to the Getty to see the newly restored Jackson Pollock mural. For those wondering, it’s truly beautiful and worth seeing in person! I always enjoy going up to the museum, because not only is it free, but also because the art, view, and general atmosphere is always incredible. I also made sure to see the Queen Victoria photography exhibit, which I recommend to anybody who has the chance to see it. I hope you enjoy this post! We went around sunset which led to some stunning views.

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Outfit info:

Jacket: LF — Pants: J. Crew — Shirt: Brandy Melville

Purse: Longchamp Le Pliage — Shoes: Doc Martens

Necklace: Hamsa (similar here)

Thank you so much for reading! If you enjoyed this post, be sure to follow me on here or through Bloglovin’! I also have a Twitter account and an Instagram account 🙂

Julia

P.S. Just want to give a quick heads up that posting next week (through May 10th) might be a bit irregular due to the AP exams (AP Environmental Sciences and AP Literature for those wondering) and PROM (!!!) on Saturday! Post will be up, but maybe more than three days apart. That being said, I know what will be going up and can’t wait for you guys to see that content, and I can’t wait to show my prom pictures! Anyways, that’s enough rambling, hope you all are having a great Thursday! 🙂

A Rainy Day On Oahu

Hello my lovely readers! Following my family’s stay on Kauai, Hawaii, we decided to island-hop and check out Oahu as well. While I didn’t enjoy this island quite as much as Kauai, we still had a lovely stay. Highlights included eating from the Shrimp Shack, an extremely delicious food truck, sleeping right next to the ocean, visiting Pearl Harbor (a post on its own, coming soon!), and super delectable fruit lunches from the side of the road. I hope you enjoy these photos and brief descriptions!

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Like I said above, the fruit sold at the side of the road was to die for. I didn’t get a chance to try the coconut, but the one of the baggies pictured above was my lunch one day.

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That brown thing I’m holding (a fried banana), was my desert. While a fried banana isn’t the most lovely picture, I thought I’d show you guys just because it’s a must-try! There was salty-crunchiness mixed with the sweetness of the banana; a perfect balance.

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Out of our two full days on Oahu, we spent the first one sightseeing. This included stopping at beaches to see the surfers ride the 10-foot waves in. Just watching gave quite the rush, the waves were huge! The beaches were also beautiful, but it was much too cold for swimming; most of the time, it was raining. One thing I noticed about this island is that there are many more locals. Kauai was a tourist island, while on Oahu University of Hawaii students would crowd the beaches to watch their friends surf! It was filled with more local hotspots.

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Another stop included visiting the Dole Plantation. I had been quite excited to see this, but was very let down when we got there. The whole thing is more of a tacky amusement park than anything else. There’s a huge souvenir store (with overpriced goods galore), and you can only really get the see the pineapples growing if you pay a lofty fee. There was a small portion open to the public, where one could read about pineapples, but I was expecting more. Across the street from the amusement park nightmare were the actual growing fields and factories; I would have loved to go in and see how the process really works, but it was not open to the public. Quite a let down, and unless you have small children and are willing to spend the money, it’s really not worth it.

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While unrelated, I thought I’d share this beautiful rainbow with you. It rained almost all day, and this was a nice little sunny moment.

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Above is what I wore that day: a Gap Body Tee, H&M shorts (similar here), Reef Flip-flops, and my vintage flower kimono. I had just gotten splashed in this shot from one of the huge waves. Being Hawaii though, the water wasn’t even too cold, so it was all okay (and my camera didn’t get wet, an added plus!).

Thanks so much for reading! If you enjoyed this post, be sure to follow me on here or through Bloglovin’! I also have a Twitter account and an Instagram account 🙂

Have you ever had a travel experience go wrong, like the Dole Plantation did for my family? Comment below, I’d love to hear (or read I guess, hehe) your stories!

Julia

Packing Skincare For A Tropical Vacation

Hello my lovely readers! Today’s post is all about what skincare I packed for my vacation to Hawaii. I ended up getting a ton of use out of most of this stuff, and I hope you find my thought helpful! Back at home, these products are my daily “holy grails”. I am now back in Los Angeles, so expect the fashion/makeup/Oahu posts to start rolling in. Can’t wait to share all that is to come 🙂

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Above is the bag that I used to pack all my stuff. I completely forgot to snap a picture of my own bag, however, I found it online! I love this for traveling. It’s quite compact, but so much fits inside! It’s even waterproof, and comes with a mirror. I promise, it fits everything. Find it here!

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These first two things that I packed were more “in-flight essentials” than anything else. I always need to have hand sanitizer on me, because I get sick constantly (and I chew my nails, bad combination, I know). Clean hands automatically make me feel more human on the plane! This one is one that my mom got as a freebie, however, you can literally find some anywhere (Bath and Body Works makes really yummy smelling ones!). These Clean & Clear oil absorbing sheets also always come along. After a plane ride, I simply wipe one over my face to look fresh and ready to go!

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A very vital item that got thrown in with the rest of my skincare stuff is a hair brush. Sadly, I forgot my normal one at home, so this had to do for the vacation. However, I give much credit to this little guy! The brush was a find from the dollar section at Target, and really did its job during the trip.

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Of course shampoo and conditioner came along. These two are from Lather; I scored them from my mom. I used them both up, and they smelled delicious. I especially liked the “mint thyme” scent of the shampoo, it smelled so fresh and clean! Both worked well, and I might be looking into the full sized products now that I’m home.

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Another array of hair products that came along were my hair oils. I found these were vital after a few days at the beach, when the salt water had completely dried my hair out. The John Frieda one was a sample, and honestly a little too oily for my taste. However, the L’oreal is my all time favorite, and it has soo much product in it! After washing my hair at night, I’d rub the oil in, braid my hair, and then sleep on it. In the morning, I always had soft beachy waves! Perfect for the tropical vacation. And it smells like watermelon 🙂

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Dry shampoo ended up being the one thing that I didn’t get a ton of use out of. I went swimming nearly every day, and thus I showered/washed my hair everyday. However, this John Frieda one is perfect for traveling. Dry shampoo is usually a must for me, and this small size is so practical!

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Bobby pins were an essential for this trip. While they’re not exactly haircare, they were still a vital part of what I used everyday while getting ready! I pinned back my beachy hair everyday, or used the “DNA Pins” to put my hair up in a bun while tanning. I stow them in an old Altoids tin, I’ve found that’s super practical for traveling!

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These skincare products are the reason I live (or, the reason my skin isn’t scaly and hideous). Not available in the US (sorry American readers!!) I stock up on the face cream and body lotion every time I visit Germany. Bepanthol is available throughout Europe, in many countries I believe (I know France and the UK for sure). It is great for skin with eczema, and comes with me where ever I go. The face cream (the smaller, pink one) was especially helpful during this trip because my skin was always dried out from swimming. I used it twice a day, and that helped keep my skin nice and soft. The body lotion (big blue one) was great after a day of being in the sun. (find it here, however, the website is all in German)

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Aquaphor is my staple when it comes to lip, nail, or intensive face moisture. My lips and nails got pretty dry from all the snorkeling I did. So, I’d just slather this on at night, right before bed on all the affected areas, and my skin was totally refreshed in the morning. It’s scentless (and often used on babies), so even the most sensitive skin (my skin) can handle it.

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And of course deodorant came along. This one is my favorite of all time, the Nivea Stress Protect 48 Hour Spray. I believe that this is only available throughout Europe, so once again I am very sorry to my non-European readers. For those in Europe, find it here, or in any drugstore! (find it here, but it only ships within Europe)

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And the last, but must important thing that came along, is my sunscreen. My bottle was all nasty, but I just wanted to show you which one I used during my trip. It worked great, and kept me protected all day at the beach. It also worked really well with my sensitive skin. Don’t forget sunscreen when going on a tropical vacation!! It’s incredibly important. 

And thank concludes this post! Thanks so much for reading 🙂 If you enjoyed this, be sure to follow me on here (by giving your email above) or through Bloglovin’. I’m also on Twitter!

What do you pack when you go on vacation?

Julia

Spending the Day on Kauai’s North Shore

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Hello lovely readers! During our trip to Kauai, Hawaii, my family made sure to check out the island’s North side. We spent a lovely day visiting the lighthouse, beach hopping, and even discovered a cool cave along the way. It was a day well spent, and I highly recommend visiting all the spots we hit up if you ever find yourself in Kauai. I hope you enjoy these photos, and I’ll be sure to explain everything as I go.

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While going to our destination, we happened to drive under this amazing tree tunnel. I, always desperate for the good shot, ran out into the middle of the road to take it. The whole entire street goes along like this, and some parts even get so dense that barely any light comes through. Definitely something worth seeing!

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Our first destination of the day was the Kilauea Lighthouse, located on the North Coast. Walking to the lighthouse, the view was magical. It’s surrounded by bluffs and bright blue waters that are always crashing up against the rocks. If you’re lucky (and patient) enough, sometimes you’ll even see a whale flying up from the waters. The lighthouse offers free binocular rentals, so don’t worry about bringing your own. For those history nerds, there’s two exhibits inside; the lighthouse contains a rich history as does the nature around it.

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Following the lighthouse, my family drove up the coast for quite a while. This is where we happened upon my favorite spot of the day: Anini Beach. The view was out of this world. Everywhere I looked, there was golden sand and clear blue waters. Parts of the beach are shaded by large growing trees, which are beautiful and very fun to climb on.

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My brother and I went for a swim. Snorkelers before us had claimed to have seen several sea turtles, but my brother and I didn’t get as lucky. We swam out pretty far over the coral reef, and started to get pulled out by the tide. However, we ended up making it back in, and enjoyed a picnic on the sand. After lunch, I laid down and read (John Green’s The Fault In Our Stars, it was spectacular). It ended up being a perfect break from all the sightseeing we had been doing earlier.

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As we were driving, we came across a large cave at the side of the road (The Maniniholo Dry Cave). Of course we ended up wandering in! It was quite spooky, and very dark. The only good shot I could get was this one as we were coming out. The cave is set into a huge, towering hillside, covered in vines and trees. The lighting is pretty poor though, so it was difficult to get pictures.

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Across from the cave, there was another beach. However, this one was not for swimming; it was more of a surfer’s area. It was quite beautiful though. We ended up just sitting on some rocks, watching the surfer’s try to catch their waves. The one above had quite a hard time getting in, because, like many beaches in Kauai, the water stays pretty shallow until you get way out.

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And that was our day! I wanted to include one more fashion related shot. My clothes weren’t very blog worthy, but I was a big fan of my jewelry. I picked up the ring at a surf shop in Kauai, and the turquoise bracelet is something a friend got me when she went to Thailand.

I hope you enjoyed this post! If you liked it and want to see more like this, be sure to follow me either on here, through Bloglovin’, or through Twitter!

What places have you just visited, or which have you been dreaming of? Let me know below!

Julia

Hawaii: Hiking Waimea Canyon

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My family spent the day hiking Kauai’s Waimea Canyon: a huge canyon often called the “prettier little sister” of the Grand Canyon. It was simply spectacular!

Our day began with driving into the canyon. At our first scenic outlook (pictured above) we bought some coconut slices to munch on (super delicious), and made our way to the railing. It was INCREDIBLY windy and cold, especially compared to the 80 degree coastline. So, if anybody is planning on visiting, bring a jacket! I saw more than a fair share of people wrapped up in beach towels.

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We continued to make our way through the canyon, stopping several times to glimpse the majestic Waipo’o Falls. I have the ultimate picture below (one that only dedicated hikers can get). And as you’re driving up, watch out for the wild chickens, they’re everywhere! Finally, my father pulled into our final destination: the Canyon Trail (or, well, the parking lot in front of it). We were off.

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First of all, let me tell you, this hike is not the easiest. The trail guide listed it as moderate, however, what made it so difficult was the red mud. Being one of the rainiest places on Earth, Waimea Canyon always has a wet ground; it’s extremely slippery, especially in the downhill parts (which is the large majority of the first half). That being said, bring good shoes, and make sure those shoes can get dirty. At the end of the hike my feet were covered in the canyon’s red mud. Second, come prepared for a workout. Seeing that the first half of the hike is mostly downhill, the second half is 1.8 miles of uphill. However, I (a non-hiker) think that the experience was well worth it.

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Because we did this hike, we got views that not every tourist gets. Not only could we look straight down into the canyon (my little daredevil brother got too close to the edge for our comfort), but we also glimpsed the canyon’s man-made arches (pictured above). By the time we got into the canyon, it had warmed up greatly (or maybe the hike just got our hearts pumping!); we were comfortable in shorts and t-shirts.

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At the end of the 1.8 miles we were met with an incredible look down the falls. Here we unpacked our lunch, sat down, and enjoyed the breathtaking view.

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We made our way back, and made sure to stop at the Canyon Overlook. About halfway through the hike, this outlook is ideal for families who don’t want to hike as far, or for people that don’t have the time (the hike took my family about 3 hours). While not as good as the views we got from a plateau further in the canyon, they were still pretty spectacular.

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The hike back was quite difficult, because it was mostly uphill. However, we made it back in about an hour, and there were no regrets, despite being pretty out of breath. We piled back into the car, and treated ourselves to one last outlook. This one gave us a glimpse of the North Shore ocean, and brought us to one of the rainiest spots on Earth! The look out onto the blue waves was pretty spectacular.
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To end the day, we treated ourselves to some Lappert’s Ice Cream. We had all wanted to check it out after reading some good reviews about it, and were incredibly excited. I thought it was pretty delicious, and sampled the Pineapple Coconut and Mauna Kea’s Secret flavors. However, we paid upwards of $6 per serving which I think is a pretty whooping price tag for ice cream. Still, it was yummy!

I highly recommend hiking the Waimea Canyon. The Canyon Trail was pretty rewarding, with incredible views off of the plateaus and a look down at the waterfall. For those looking to be more adventurous, there are plenty of longer hikes, but this one was perfect for a family outing. In conclusion, my last piece of advice is start your day earlyWe basically had the trail to ourselves (pictures with no other people in them!). It had started to quite fill up by the time we left around 2.

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Hope you enjoyed this post! Please follow for new posts, and be sure to add me on Bloglovin’ and my brand new Twitter account.

How have you been spending the first few days of 2014?

Julia