MAC’s Cremesheen in Shanghai Spice – A Nude for Olive Tones?

So I’m going to Hawaii next week…. I’m a bridesmaid in my cousin’s wedding and I’m super excited for a few reasons…

1) Hawaii. Duh.

2) Mini vacation!

3) I get to do her makeup :-)

She was a bridesmaid in my own wedding and I’m so excited to be sharing this special time with her. When she asked me to do her makeup, I immediately said yes and I plan to surprise her with a few gifts for the day of. In the process of finding her a few special things, I found myself a wonderful summery nude lipstick for myself! haha.

This might be a classic for some, but for me, it’s new and I am loving it.

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In person, Shanghai Spice is a bit darker but you can definitely see the peachy tones in it. When you look at it, it’s a soft peachy nude with brown undertones as well, perfect for someone like me where most nudes tend to wash me out. But on my skin tone, it’s perfect!

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It’s peachy but on the lips it gives a good soft look without looking too pink or like you’re trying too hard to have nude lips. Like I said, it helps give me a simple, nude look without washing me out. That’s the funny thing with nudes on my skin tone. A regular nude can give me the “I’m sick” or “I’m dead” look, which is not cute.

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I’m hoping to wear this for the wedding, but my dress is a fun coral color and I might need something with a bit more depth to. Maybe a lip liner will help though, as the formula is extremely comfortable on the lips. It’s also the kind of lipstick where I don’t necessarily need a mirror to apply it.

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Yeah, I think it’ll work with a darker lip liner underneath :-)

What do my fellow tan/olive/yellow-toned girls think? Have you tried this? Or anyone really! It’s such a pretty peach…

xo, Briana

This is not a sponsored post.

Shower The People

If you’re a fan of James Taylor, then you know his beautiful song, “Shower The People”

I tend to be pretty quiet and private about certain things on social media, even in my private accounts, but I posted on my personal Facebook the other day that my family has been experiencing a lot of grief that past week or so. One of my dad’s very best friends passed away unexpectedly and it was very hard on all of us, but especially he and my mom. They are currently in Guam for the funeral, as that’s where he had been living with his family.

Besides that, though, as hard it was (and still is, of course), we got news throughout the rest of the week that other friends of ours had passed away, as well as some acquaintances. They always say that death comes in threes, but for us, it’s been more than that.

One of my very favorite bloggers (Emily Myers, aka The Freckled Fox) also recently shared that her husband was diagnosed with very aggressive stage 4 melanoma cancer. I also learned last week that a close family member of mine was diagnosed with an inoperable cancer. I suppose when it rains, it pours?

I originally posted on Facebook as my own way of saying that it had been a reminder how precious life is and to tell those you love that you do love them, because you never know when life will be cut short. I got a lot of friends and family responding with sweet thoughts and prayers, which wasn’t my intention, but of course I appreciate the sentiments. It meant a lot to myself and my family.

This week has been a simple yet emotional reminder how precious life is.

When death occurs close to me, I tend to be okay. I’m a realist in those times. But when I learned that my dad’s friend, who I considered an uncle, had passed away, I began to cry. I hadn’t seen him since I was maybe 12, but he was so close to my dad. Their relationship, helped shape my childhood. Weekend BBQs, slumber parties with his step-daughters, and our families even bred our Rottweilers together for years. My sweet husband had never met him, but he knew that my uncle meant something to me. This last Monday my family and I were able to attend a memorial service here in California for him and I’m so grateful because I got to see my auntie, their daughters, and other friends I hadn’t seen since my childhood.

I posted the other day on Facebook that I planned to resume regular blogging, which I will, but it just didn’t seem to fit this week. I hope you understand. and thank you, if you do. I appreciate each and every one of you. I truly do.

I shared a few lyrics from the song and I’ll go ahead and do the same here.

I love you. Truly.

“Oh, father and mother, sister and brother, if it feels nice, don’t think twice,
just shower the people you love with love, show them the way that you feel.
Things are gonna work out fine if you only will do as I say, just
shower the people you love with love, show them the way you feel.
Things are gonna be much better if you only will.” – James Taylor

xo, Briana

 

Day 7 & 8 // Spartans, Vegas, a Boat & a Summary

Click Here for my previous post on Days 5 & 6, which will also have links to previous posts.Β 

Ahh… The last post in my husband’s and my awesome road trip adventures.

We woke up early Saturday morning to head to Las Vegas where I mentioned in my last post my SIL (Bub’s twin sister) and her boyfriend were doing the Spartan Super race. We arrived in good time but they had already started. With the crowds and the fact that you had to pay to get in…

Well, we knew we had a few hours to spare so we headed to the local casino since the race was a few miles south of the actual city. We stayed there a little bit to cool off (we forgot what hot dry air felt like) and maybe play a few slot machines where we both came out a head by like $10 ($13, me!).

We went back to the venue where you could actually watch the final obstacle without going past the lines or anything. It was an interesting obstacle to watch… The racers have to basically do a Tarzan by holding onto a rope as they swing over water. Sounds simple enough. But after watching for two hours we decided that about 90% of the people did it wrong because to get the rope to you, there is a string attached so you could pull it in.

However, that string stays attached and as each person swings across, the rope and string combo typically went between their legs… making it interesting (and mostly painful) when they attempted to jump off only to find that a rope and string yanked on their crotch… and if you didn’t get it in the crotch, you typically fell from the rope straight into the water. Most people fell in the water but the few that made it across with the rope between their legs got a quick wake up call. Then the very few that put it to the side successfully made it across, but then might get a leg cramp as well.

It was all amusing.

Some men walked away head held high but some also limped. Heh. A lot of people also got leg cramps.

We finally saw our team come through, though! They both landed in the water, with the strings to the side. Haha.

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Regardless, they finished proud! 9 miles and 27 obstacles later!

The rest of the afternoon was spent resting and then getting ready for a nice dinner with our aunt and uncle, who we stayed with since they live in Las Vegas.

Then the four of us crazy party animals walked the strip of Vegas for maybe an hour, watched the Bellagio water show, then went home to bed. We all drank lots of water. haha.

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Hubs has a thing with taking pictures of fire hydrants now.

The next day our uncle took us to Lake Mead for a day on his boat. He’s so proud of his boat. It’s adorable.

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We all grew up going to these awesome desert lakes and rivers in the summer time. It brought back a lot of special memories for all of us.

Fun fact : My sister and bub’s middle sister were best friends in elementary school and as such, she went on a river trip or two with their family. Ha.

Coming back, we were all nicely burned, but cooled off by the river. It was a great way to end our trip.

We left soon after getting back but the drive home was a great welcome back to California, as we hit horrible traffic just from everyone leaving Vegas to get back home on a Sunday evening. When it should take 3 1/2 hours, it took nearly 5. Welcome home! Haha.

That concluded our trip, though.

We arrived home around 11:30 pm after 2,355 miles.

Our trip went as follows :

Home –> Mammoth Mountain –> Death Valley National Park –> Zion National Park –> Bryce Canyon National Park –> Capitol Reef National Park –> Arches National Park –> Moab –> Canyonlands National Park –> Monument Valley –> Zion National Park –> Las Vegas –> Home

Overall, we drove through 4 states, 6 national parks (don’t forget Death Valley!), 18 different highways, ate out only 4 times the whole week, did multiple hiking trails, drove on random off roads with the possibilities of falling off sheer cliffs more than once, got sun burned, hiked a wicked yet angelic (haha) trail, had lots of PB&J and turkey sandwiches, hit sleet, got rained on, got sand blasted, and talked to people from all over the country and even the world.

It was a great trip.

If you had to ask what places or parks we might go back to, I’m positive we would go back Zion, Canyonlands, and Arches. Those three offered the most in regards to our wants and needs, from off road adventures to a variety of hiking trails. They were also the prettiest, with large canyons, structures, and monuments. Just breathtaking really. Moab is also another place on our to-do list as we really want to explore that area so much more.

If you plan to go to any of these places, most of the parks, if not all, have reserve only campsites so call or check their websites for availability. These are good options for families or for anyone who wants a “proper” campsite with a fire pit and running water :-) Bub and I don’t mind roughing it out a little bit, so the BLM option worked out for us. Also be aware of the weather. In my experience of traveling through Utah at different times, rain and inclement weather can happen at any time. It can be sunny one minute and then the next, monsoon weather. Which is typical of any desert really. But it just adds to the beauty; if you’re prepared of course :-)

I hope you enjoyed this series on the Mighty Five. I enjoyed writing about it, but of course I certainly enjoyed experiencing even more. I hope you have the chance to do the same, whether it’s the Mighty Five or some other exciting adventure.

To finish off, here are a few of my favorite John Muir quotes, a man who knew the value of nature and life.

The mountains are calling, and I must go…

Of all the paths you take, make sure a few of them are dirt.

xo, Briana

This is not a sponsored post.

The Mighty Five : Day 5 & 6 // Back to Zion We Go!

Click Here for Day 4 of our trip! There will be links for the previous days in that post as well :-)

We woke up with the sun Thursday morning and headed out before anyone noticed us in the parking lot in Page… Haha. Our goal was to arrive early enough in Zion so that we could find a camping spot.

We got back onto the 89 then hit the 9W again where we entered Zion National Park again, this time from the east entrance. We decided in the beginning of the week that just one night and one morning in Zion was not enough. It’s a lot like Yosemite National Park in that it’s a big park that has a lot to offer, from hikes to scenery.

When we arrived at the only first come, first serve camp in the park, we managed to find a great camping spot. We snagged it up and made it our spot for the next two nights.

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We wanted to be able to do a lot our first day back to Zion but the wind picked up again and it was a little chilly. It seems like the storms were following us. Since it was a little cold, we decided to take an easy hike and go to the beginnings of the Narrows. You can get to them on a nicely paved hike but we also would walk right alongside the river bank.

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This leads into the narrows, where you are definitely going to get wet. We have done this hike before but in the middle of August, when the cool water felt good. But in the middle of April, it’s a bit chilly. Most people hiking it wear waders and water proof shoes. We simply enjoyed the view and the river then walked back to camp where we could find refuge in our truck when it got too cold.

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Everything was so green. It was so pretty.

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On the way back, I was greeted by a very persistent squirrel who wanted to see if my bracelet was edible.

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He was supremely disappointed. It’s actually a violation to feed the wildlife and you could even be fined up to $100 if found feeding them.

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Back at camp we made some chili and just enjoyed our campfire. We went to bed early, which is typical when camping. Pouring rain woke us up in the middle of the night but we were prepared by having covered our stuff with an Eno canopy over the picnic table. Not too sure how every one else in the camp fared but we were ready.

The next day (Friday) was a bit warmer but the wind still had a chill in the air. We went ahead and decided to hike to Emerald Pools. There are 3 pools you can hike to, the lowers, middle, and upper. We went ahead and went as far as the uppers, which aren’t long hikes but they’re decent. Kids are able to do the hike no problem.

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Those are the lower pools, which are surrounded by huge rocks and at times even have water falls flowing. You continue up the path and find other pools.

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These pools are actually bigger than they appear in the photo, but the rock formations are impressive.

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Hiking back down it got a little warmer so that we actually had to take off our jackets.

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Heading back down…

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We decided to go off the beaten path from Emerald Pools and go along a horse trail and try to follow the river. We had to find away to cross the river at some point and while we tried to get a loose log to go across, the river took it away. I finally suggested we just walk across, even though neither of us wanted to get our feet wet because the water was pretty cold. But we did it anyway. It took all of 15 seconds to cross.

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Getting my shoes back on!

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We continued to just walk alongside the river until we got to the museum in the park. It was a nice relaxing day for us.

After getting back to camp, we thought it would be a good idea to find a shower in town, where we found a place that offers 7 minute showers for $5. The camps inside the park don’t have showers, although they have running toilets, sinks, etc. So in 7 minutes time I found out I could fully wash my hair, my body, and shave my legs (which were neglected for a week. sorry babe) with about a minute to spare and enjoy the wonderful hot water.

Showers are awesome.

Afterwards we looked at a few shops in the very small but cute town of Springdale and then had dinner at the Bit & Spur Saloon, which was a recommendation from a few friends. Everything is homemade, even the ice cream they serve. It was nice to have food other than cereal, sandwiches, and chili. Not to mention it as tasty Mexican food. For us Californian’s, it was a nice treat.

We knew this was our last night of camping and we wanted to make sure it was a memorable one so we drove through their mile long tunnel (built in the late 1920’s) and hiked a half mile to the canyon overlook where we witnessed a spectacular sunset.

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On the drive back, the colors mixed with the sun rays created an amazing view.

But before driving back to camp we spotted a very narrow canyon below the bridge leading out of the tunnel and we decided to go check it out and see if it was something we could hike next time to go to Zion.

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It goes on like this for maybe a quarter mile and then turns left into another canyon area that we didn’t get to see. The sun was setting fast and we didn’t want to get caught in the dark or anything.

That concluded our last evening in Zion. We packed up what we could and called it a night.

The next morning we had to get to Las Vegas to meet my SIL and her boyfriend, who were running the Spartan Super Race.

But that’ll be the next post :-)

xo, Briana

This is not a sponsored post.

The Mighty Five : Day 4 // Off-Roading & Monuments

Click Here and Here for Days 1&2, and Day 3 in case you missed them :-)

Wednesday morning of our trip, we woke up to blue skies and fluffy white clouds. It was chilly (really chilly) and a bit windy (really windy). We decided to make our way to Canyonlands National Park by way of an off-road trail that a ranger told us about the day before.

The nice thing about the trail is that it’s relatively easy to find and it also follows the Colorado River for quite a ways so you have gorgeous views a lot of the time. And if you’re not following the river, you’re right along side huge red cliffs and gorgeous structures.

To find the road in Moab you follow the 191N onto the 279 which becomes Potash Road which then becomes Shafer Trail, which eventually ends up in the national park itself.

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On the beginning of the drive you see signs for petroglyphs and even dinosaur tracks. We decided to check out the dinosaur tracks. All two of’em.

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Hubs was kid of skeptical. I myself am not too sure what to think of them. Haha.

Back to the pretty drive though!

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Mobbing Moab! That was my husband’s chant all morning. He loved it (the phrase and mobbing). Our Tacoma is 4×4 but you don’t necessarily need one for this road, unless the weather is wet and the road a bit slick, then I would recommend a 4×4. Moab itself is known for it’s off road trails and Jeeping. There are tons of places to rent such vehicles in town.

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This is one my favorite National Park pictures because it’s on a trail that not many can go on and it’s the adventure of getting there that makes it more special.

This part of the trail is where it got sketchy as you start your ascent up the cliffs and into the canyon more. You literally drive back and forth on switch backs that have sheer drop offs. I’m not one to get nervous when we off road because I fully trust my husbands capabilities of driving as well as the truck. But this trail towards the end was a bit of an adrenaline rush.

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This was making our way into the canyon more and heading on up the mountains.

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You can see the trail we came on!

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The trail continues to follow the side of the mountain. When the roads were made, they weren’t made into the mountain like most roads, but rather with the mountain so it follows the natural curves and outlines of it.

It was a very exciting drive to say the least. It took us maybe an hour and a half to complete about 30 miles? I think… Ha. It was around there.

Once inside the park, you’re on top of mesas and plateaus that allow you a view of the canyons, which gives the park it’s name. We didn’t linger too long, however. Just long enough to make sandwiches and decide to head out when we realized there was a forecast of snow for the night. No thank you!

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We found another off road trail that got us out of the park and back on the main highway.

From there we headed south from the 191S to the 163S that led us into Monument Valley. Leaving Canyonlands meant we did all 5 parks in just 4 days. But really, we were able to focus on the parks we really wanted to (Zion, Arches, and Canyonlands). It was a bit rushed, but that also left us with a few days to spare where we could play around some more.

Back on the road we go, headed back to Zion we decided, via Monument Valley and northern Arizona.

Before we got there we stopped and saw Mexican Hat, an interesting rock balance in the middle of the desert.

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Getting to Monument Valley! We didn’t linger here, but just drove through and only stopped once for a few pictures.

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We continued onto the 163S which hits the 160W and then finally the 98W where we ended up in Page, AZ. Page is known for Lake Powell by the way.

Our goal was to go back to Zion that night but it was getting late and the chances of getting a camping spot in Zion were really low. We couldn’t find camping in Page or even on BLM land since there was a creepy van parked where we might have camped but decided we wanted to live.

So we parked in a hotel parking lot and made “camp” there instead. Everything got thrown into the cab while we made our beds as usual in the back! Only problem the whole night was getting hit by sprinklers.

To be continued :-)

xo, Briana

This is not a sponsored post.

The Mighty Five : Day 3 // Arches & Showers

In my previous post (Click Here For Days 1 & 2!), I left you off at Capitol Reef Nat’l Park, where camped on beautiful BLM land. Thank you Utah for being so awesome and offering that.

The next morning (Tuesday), after breakfast and packing up again, we drove through Capitol Reef, stopping to take a few photos.

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The Chimney.

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In Capitol Reef, it’s like Bryce in that you can drive through it and see most of what you want to see. Kind of boring for us who like to hike around and explore the in’s and out’s.

But at any rate, we drove through the park and made our away onto the 24E–>70E–>191S and headed into Arches Nat’l Park! This was a place that we were excited about; lots of hiking could be done and beautiful structures to be seen. It took us a few hours to drive here.Β  This is also the most eastern of the parks.

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Right when you get to a plateau and really get to drive through, you already see amazing structures.

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The Three Gossips

The nice thing about this day was that it was warm although windy. And by windy, I mean really windy.

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Do you see how his hair is slicked back? haha. That wind, man!

There were various arches we could see and we made our way around the park pretty easily in the truck and also hiked and climbed through a bunch of them.

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We saw the backside of Delicate Arch, which is typically the one you see on postcards, patches, and pictures. It was a 3-mile round trip to the arch and we did a different path where you see it from a distance.

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Landscape Arch. It’s like a really big, natural bridge that no one is allowed to walk on. Ha.

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We also walked through the Devil’s Garden, which leads to Landscape arch. The wind helped push you along as you got blasted by sand.

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We saw a fun place to explore off the path and thought we would check it out.

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It was a dead end to the left so we meandered back to the trail. Haha.

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Our favorite arch to see and explore was the Double Arch, seen below.

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It’s really big and really amazing. I mean, really, really amazing.

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I don’t know if you can see how very big it is.Β  To look up into it from the bottom almost makes you dizzy. You really get a sense of awe when you see it up close in person. It’s truly amazing.

That night we were unable to find open BLM land that had open sites and because we were also feeling a bit grungy from the lack of showers, we got a campsite that offered them. It was so refreshing. It’s amazing how hot water will make you feel after hiking, sitting near a campfire, and getting hit with sand. We also got to explore the town of Moab a little and go through the shops as well as eat at a local pizza place that serves beer brewed right there in Moab.

Moab is a great town for those that love to off-road (yes!) and also anyone who loves river rafting, mountain biking, and even sky diving. It’s a great place for any adrenaline junkie really. It sits right on the Colorado River and is a beautiful place.

To be continued… :-)

xo, Briana

This is not a sponsored post.

The Mighty Five : Day 1 & 2 // Zion Bound

2,355 miles later… My husband and I are home.

We are tired, we are sunburned (thanks Lake Mead!), our clothes smell of sweat and smoke, our truck is full of red dust, but we are happy. We’re also very grateful and so appreciative that we were able to take this time away together to really explore some amazing places.

For the entire trip, I’ll be doing a few posts so I can focus a bit more on each park, as it one had it’s own unique character about it and deserves it’s own place here on my ol’ blog.

So to start off, let’s see where the journey began and how we got to Utah :-)

In my last post, I mentioned that we would be in Mammoth Wednesday-Sunday, leaving Sunday morning to begin our journey! We headed south on the 395, then cut across the 136 to the 190 to drive through Death Valley National Park.

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We mostly drove through it and only stopped to use the rest room and get a few pictures of the views. The weather was a bit warm there — 98* when we were about 130 feet below sea level. We didn’t have time to visit the lowest point, but I’m glad we were able to drive through and see some beautiful California desert.

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Once we drove through the park, we headed onto the 127 then hit the I-95 which took us to Las Vegas where we then got onto the I-15N which took us all the way to Utah. Turning off in St. George UT, we got onto the UT-9 and headed on in to Zion Nat’l Park after nearly total 8 hours of driving. Phew. It was a trip.

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The one nap I took. Haha.

We got in a around dusk and because of that, we were very lucky to find a camping spot. We shared a group site with a couple from Washington and 7 college students from BYU-Idaho. We all sat around the fire pit and discussed movies, places we’ve traveled and had a good time just visiting.

The next morning was the morning we were most excited about.

We woke up early, had breakfast, packed up the truck, then took a shuttle to the trail head for Angel’s Landing , one of the most infamous hikes in not only Zion National Park, but the national park system itself. Here’s a link about Angel’s Landing.

We started just after 0900 and began the our hike up the steep, nicely paved trail.

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That, my friends, is Angel’s Landing. You gain 1488 feet in elevation, so it’s pretty steep with a lot of switch backs along the way, up to Scout’s Lookout, which is the point where you can turn around or continue onto Angel’s Landing or the West Rim Trail.

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GoPro view!

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This is an infamous hike because the last 1/2 mile you’re climbing on sheer cliffs that have 1000+ feet drop offs. One wrong move and you could, well, fall. Way, way down…

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Getting to Scout’s Lookout was extremely difficult, not gonna lie. I wanted to take multiple breaks but my husband kept pushing me to keep going and I’m glad he did. I didn’t want to quit, but to stop would have taken us a longer time and I’m pretty proud of the time we made for the whole trip.

At the top of the peak, you have some awesome views of the canyon.

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Hanging out. It was kind of trippy to look straight down from here.

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We pretty much ran down the trail on our way back because the trail is so steep, your body just wants to naturally run.

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We finished up the hike, cooled our feet off in the river, then decided to head on out to our next park! But we made it back to the trail head in pretty good time! It total, it took us just under 3 hours to do the hike, start to finish. They say it takes an average of 4-5 hours for most people to do it. So I’d say we did pretty good.

It was difficult to leave so soon but we had to make it to our next park in good time.

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On the way out, we took our typical tourist photo of course :-)

From Zion, we continued on the UT-9E to the 89N to the 12E then the 63S where we ended up in Bryce Canyon National Park! Bryce is known for their red rocks (found throughout most of southern Utah, really) and their crazy formations called hoodoos. They’re rock structures that look likes kids put there after playing with Play-Doh.

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Now we’ve been here before and it was actually pretty dang cold. There was snow on the ground. And we were in shorts and tank tops. We decided to only drive through and take some quick pictures before our GoPro died. Our feet were also cold.

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I know there aren’t many (few, really) pictures of Bryce, but for us, we had already been there a few years ago and it’s the kind of park that you drive through and look at. Not much to do, really. Especially when it’s cold and windy.

From Bryce, we got back onto the 63, heading north, and drove through the 12E. Along the way we went up and down various landscapes from open fields, dry desert, to snowy mountains. A few hours later we drove through Capitol Reef Nat’l Park.

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It was getting to be late afternoon and they only had one camp ground in the park, which is based on reservations. We found out from the camp host though that in Utah, you can pretty much camp anywhere on BLM (Bureau of Land Management) land as long as it’s so many 100+ feet off a main road and you can also have a fire if there’s a pit. So that’s what we did! It was actually a lot prettier than camping inside the actual park. The only downside is no running water and bathrooms. It’s just you and nature.

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We were able to witness an amazing sunset there, too.

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It was a cool and very windy evening. Our fire wasn’t actually able to catch properly because of the wind. We decided to call it a night and went to bed pretty early.

In summary for this post, we left Mammoth Sunday morning and arrived in Zion early evening byway of Death Valley and Las Vegas. From Zion, we drove to Bryce through the eastern exit and from there drove to Capitol Reef.

To be continued :-)

xo, Briana

p.s. In case you’re wondering, we did most of our research through the National Park website and also VisitUtah.com where they have lists of things to do, itineraries, etc. We planned our trip based on a 5-day itinerary although we tweaked it a little here and there of course. But more on that later :-)

This is not a sponsored post.

Time For Adventures

It’s been almost 2 weeks since I’ve last blogged. My last few posts have been more on life rather than beauty and that’s okay with me because this blog is supposed to consist of all things life, not just beauty.

I’ve been wanting to write and while I have a few ideas, I didn’t make myself write them because I’ve been focusing on a few more important things going on right now and am also trying to be more in the moment. My husband’s fire season starts next month and with that, he could go away at any time and be gone for weeks. So with that coming up, he and I have been wanting to do a big trip before his season starts. I’m also going to Hawaii next month for my cousin’s wedding, of which I am a bridesmaid. Unfortunately, my hubby can’t come because it’s the exact same time his season starts.

One thing that I love about my hubby is that he likes me to be involved in whatever he does. If I weren’t with him, I may never have gone rock climbing, hiked as much as I have in Yosemite, been to Alaska, explored various national parks, or fell in love with camping as much as I have. While I may not be as adventurous as he is, I’m thankful that he wants me right next to him on every adventure he goes on.

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While I love my blog and what is has become in my life, right now I’m focusing on my personal life and am simply going to enjoy it without the guilt of “oh, I didn’t write a post today or this week…”.

I hope you understand. I promise to show pictures of our adventures, but for now, I can’t wait for it to begin.

Tomorrow we’re heading to Mammoth Lakes for his family’s annual trip and then on Sunday he and I are heading to Utah to explore the 5 main national parks. We’ll be traveling all week then will head back to Las Vegas to cheer his sister and her boyfriend for their Spartan race then come home Sunday. We’ll be camping out in our truck, which is fully prepped for traveling and sleeping in. He’s made it super cozy with the camper shell. I’ll have to show y’all sometime. It’s our own little camper.

Until next time Yosemite...

Until next time Yosemite…

Walking along the river.

Walking along the river.

National Parks are the best.

National Parks are the best.

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Here are some links to previous posts that include our traveling adventures!

CA Roadtrip Part 1

CA Roadtrip Part 2

Alaska Favorites

More Alaska

Fishing in Alaska

Yosemite Post Featured on Freshly Pressed!

Camping in Joshua Tree

In the mean time…

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xo, Briana

Positive Vibes

Sometimes I wake up on the wrong side of the bed, figuratively of course. But none the less, I’m put in a mood thatΒ is less then cheery. I can joke and laugh but then I’m still feeling moody. Today, for example, I’m just feeling kind of “meh” and it’s annoying me. I can’t snap out of it.

I’ve been having difficulty sleeping for a while now, but that’s also normal for me. I’ve simply come to terms that I’m just a bad sleeper. I also have an annoying contact lens and my glasses are at home. I’m also feeling hangry (hungry+angry). And my hair has been bugging me this week, almost to the point where I contemplated cutting some of it off. But I’m not. I know I’ll regret it. Like I always do. But you know what I mean about the hair, right? Ugh. Some days…

So can you tell I’m in an irritated mood?

A few things I might try to help myself feel better includes a) eat something, b) put on fun lipstick (currently wearing a fun coral pink now), c) list a few things that make me happy. I need positive vibes.

So let’s do it.

1) My husband. That’s a given though. But this week he’s been especially awesome. The other day he surprised me with a brand new backpacking pack. I’m so excited to use it and can’t wait to go on a trip. Even just thinking about it now makes me so happy.

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That there is my new backpack. It’s a Gregory Deva 70, the 2015 model. I took a screen shot of it from the Gregory website because the picture I have makes it look sad since it’s empty. Haha.

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And that is my handsome hubby all dressed up for his sister’s wedding. and of course me in my bridesmaid dress ;-) I loved getting my hair done that day. And we couldn’t help but sneak a few kisses during the wedding. Haha. We’re no longer the new newlywed’s in the family.

2) The beach. We spent two days at the beach this past weekend and it was marvelous. So relaxing. We also got some awesome tans.

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This picture was last October but the scene was the same, even the bikini.

3) Guilty pleasure music.

This weeks (or month’s) playlist includes Nick Jonas, Bruno Mars, and Katy Perry.

4) Family. Tonight we’re celebrating my oldest brother’s birthday and also we’ll be missing one sibling, I’m looking forward to quality time with my family.

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I love them.

5) Milo. Pets really know when you’re emotional or something. They just get it. He’s been attentive to me today and I totally appreciate his puppy dog eyes and they way they look at me.

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How cute is he?

6) Bonus…

you guys!

I was nervous about my blog post last week, my #DearMe post. But some of you wrote me private messages and left sweet comments that made me feel so good. I love you guys.

And now I feel better. Seeee how that works?

If you’re ever feeling blah, try writing down a few things that make you happy!

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xo, Briana

FTC : This is not a sponsored post.

#DearMe

In honor of International Women’s Day (March 8), YouTube launched a campaign called “#DearMe” where all women and girls, or anyone really, were invited to share open letters that they would write to their younger selves. And it could be on anything, from body image to love to self-confidence, etc.

I read a few letters and watched a few videos myself. And I suppose I’ll go ahead and share my own #DearMe letter, going back to my 15/16-year old self. I could probably go through my old journals and go from there, but for now, I’ll just go off the top of my head.

Oh boy. Here we go.

Dear Me,

Here you are, 15 or maybe 16 years old. But it’s sophomore year, the year where things change for you and will forever shape you. You have thin brows because you over plucked; you want to fit in and in a lot of ways you do, but inside you feel so insecure. But that’s okay. I think all kids that age do. You’re not alone. There’s a couple of things I want to tell you, from my 26-year old perspective. That’s right, we’re 26 now. And we’re doing pretty good and feeling pretty happy, too. Things haven’t exactly turned out the way you might expect them to, but it’s even better than you could have expected. More on that later.Right now, I want to give you some advice and also pick at our brain a little. Excuse my grammar.

I’ll try to make this short, but we’ll see how it goes.

First of all, don’t be ashamed of how you do in school. Yeah, you passed all of your classes with average grades and learned things. Mostly A’s and B’s with one C thrown in. Thanks Mr. H and good ol’ geometry. But maybe try a little harder. You can push yourself and get great results. Don’t just get by because you’d rather let people think you don’t have to study to get good grades or because you’d rather hang out with your siblings and their friends. Trust me, you are going to need those studying skills in college! And don’t be afraid to ask for help if you’re struggling with something.

Don’t be afraid to try new things. Go ahead and try out for choir. Heck, you know they took just about anyone. And don’t be ashamed to hide your voice just because one guy laughed when he asked you to sing a song after you mentioned you were thinking choir. He didn’t mean to make you feel bad. He just has bad people skills. and yes, sports are fun! They’re not a burden. They’re not something to torture you with.

Be open with your friends, as hard as it is. Sometimes the people that are the meanest are the closest to you. You need to be open with them and let them know when they hurt you. Maybe they need someone to talk to, because things are hard for them and the only way they cope is to make others feel bad. There are other girls out there that will be your friend because they want to be your friend, not because you’re someone they can simply vent to and get upset with over any little thing to let their own frustrations out. But be there for them anyway. They need you.

You keep listening to music that makes you feel unhappy. You keep thinking it’s making you feel better by their words. Yeah, yeah, yeah. They feel your angst, the fact that your parents misunderstand you and smother you. But in reality, it’s those words that put those thoughts in your head. It’s not true, sweetie. You have so much to be thankful for. Don’t listen to tough and hard music. It might make you look tough on the outside, but on the inside, you know you’re hurting and want to ask for help but your pride isn’t letting you. Just let it go and tell someone you’re struggling. It’s okay to feel upset. It’s okay to ask for help. You’re not bothering anyone. In fact, the ones close to you want to help; stop pushing them away.

IMG_4224Oh yeah, the punk/rock days. You wore dark clothes and didn’t want your picture to be taken. And if you did have you picture taken, you never gave a real smile, if you smiled at all. You have a beautiful smile my dear. Show it.

Then here’s the big thing. Boys.

They’ll get ya in trouble, I tell ya. And by trouble, I mean mess with your head. Oh, how they do.

You started out with a sweet boyfriend the beginning of sophomore year. He was nice to you and everything, but let’s be real. His kisses were mediocre and after your first kiss, you knew it was all downhill. Then you find out later on he cheated on you, but you only find out after after you break up. You broke up with him because you knew it wasn’t going anywhere. The feelings were gone. Then suddenly, a senior who is the brother of one of your girlfriends starts paying attention you. You were both on ASB (Associated Student Body) and so you had to see each other about once a week. Your school is small and so all of the classes are close together. It’s not uncommon for seniors to be friends with sophomores or even freshmen, but anyway.

By the way, don’t bother with ASB. You only did it because you thought it might help you in college, but guess what? You’re going to save money through community college, honey. Oh yeah!

Moving on.

You liked the attention he gave you. It made you feel happy to know a senior might like you. You, the girl who never felt pretty even though there were boys who had crushes on you even though they never talked to you. Maybe it was your home school image that made you feel so insecure about boys. I know you’re uncomfortable with your social skills, but don’t worry; you mature and grow up just fine.

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You’ve always been a reader. You loved fantasy; it took you places you could only dream about. Don’t be ashamed of the fact that you love to read. It helped shape you when you were growing up and being home-schooled. There is no normal. It’s okay!

The attention he’s giving you, while it lasted for months, isn’t go anywhere. He makes you promises but tells you to keep them all a secret, “until the time is right.” You never get involved with him physically, but emotionally you are so attached. He tells you not to tell anyone about your “secret relationship.” You’ll find out soon enough he’s been doing the same to two of your other girlfriends. When you find this out, you’re going to get angry. You’re going to be upset and do things to yourself you might regret. You’ll tell your family it’s just school that is bothering you because you never told any of them about him, except your sister who was working as an office assistant. They knew all the gossip among the students.

I wish you had listened to your warning signs but you know what? Out of all crap he’s going to put you through and all the sleepless nights he’ll cause (maybe this is where you anxiety was triggered. But don’t worry, you’ll eventually learn to control it. Mostly. anyway), you’re going to come out stronger and happier.

Once he figures out what he’s done to you, he’ll give you a crap excuse and you buy it. But you swear you’re never going to let another boy do to that to you again. and you won’t. Because not even a week after this goes down, you’re going to “meet” your future husband. You’ll meet and reminisce about things, ask about where he plans to go to college, and in the end, you’ll exchange numbers. Three weeks later, on May 27, he’s going to tap you on the shoulder before you go back inside your house to ask if you’ll be his girlfriend. Then about 8 years and 2 weeks later, he’s going to propose. You won’t see it coming, by the way. Then a year and one month later, he’ll become your husband.

That’s right, your husband. He’s the brother of your sisters friend. I won’t go into too much detail but I’ll just say for you, it’s all a fairytale. And right now, you are living very happily ever after. In fact, he’s cuddled up in bed next to you. He’s so cute.

I think what I want you to learn and take away are these few things:

Push yourself. You’ll be surprised at how smart and talented you really are when you just give your all.

Try new things! Don’t worry about what other people think!

Be yourself and stick up for yourself.

Listen to your heart.

Don’t sweat the small stuff. It’ll all work out!

Ask for help when you need it.

Finally, don’t give up. You might be hurt but something better is out there for you.

Well, we’re getting to end here but before I go, I want to say just a few more things.

Thanks for hanging out with everybody. You were never picky about who you ate lunch with; don’t stop that. You don’t belong to a cliche or an image.

Listen to happy music once and a while. That “punk” rock is fun to listen to, but only if you’re NOT upset. It makes you feel and see things that aren’t even there. Your parents love you and aren’t trying to hold you back. Same with your siblings. They’re all protective of you and maybe know a thing or two. Or three. Tell them all you love them, too. It’s so important for people to know that and feel it, too.

Spend some time with your grandma’s. They love you so much and want to be a part of your life.

Finally, stop plucking your eyebrows and ease up on the eyeliner.

Eh, you’ll figure it out eventually, thanks to YouTube.

Well, self, until next time.

xo, Briana

p.s. That same boy that broke your heart and strung it along to all those months? He’ll regret it; trust me. He’ll tell you later on when he realizes he’s forever lost you to your now husband.