What is in my traveling skincare bag?

2017, Beauty, houston, naked palette

Hubby and I are weekend travelers. Whether it is a weekend in the cabins, or a drive down to Houston, we like to save our vacation days and head out to experience some adventures for the weekend.

This past weekend I headed out to my parent’s house in Houston to celebrate my sister’s birthday. We usually leave right after work so that means I have to pack an overnight bag quickly.

In order to make my packing experience less tedious, I keep a beauty bag with my favorite default items.

I get my favorite items in a sample size or a traveler’s size from Sephora. This way I have the same products to use even when I’m traveling.

Skin care-

Neutrogena makeup wipes|Origins Checks & Balances Frothy face wash|Origins GinZing scrub|Origins Original Skin Serum|Josie maran argan oil|Rose water

If it’s been a crazy weekend and I’m exhausted this is my holy grail. I just wipe my makeup off using this, and rinse before heading straight to bed. If I’ve got more time, then I use the frothy face wash & scrub. Most of the time, especially if I wore makeup that day, I’ll use the face wipes, then use the scrub just to make sure my skin is baby smooth. I’ll use the rose-water as a toner and follow-up with my serum & the Argan oil depending on how oily my skin is.


Naked skin makeup|Urban Decay concealor|Kat von d tattoo liner|Elizabeth Arden pencil liner|Voluminous mascara|Naked palette|Anastasia contour kit|Stila Stay All Day liquid lipstick

If I’m going to Houston for a normal weekend, then I usually pack these items. A good base consists of my foundation and concealor and that’s what I build the rest of my look on. My sisters usually have the more elaborate items I can borrow if need be. I tend to pack the basics and change-up my lip color to change my look. The Naked Palette has a good range of neutral colors so that I can use that for day looks as well as night looks.

I prefer a bold eye look over a bold lip look but if there is a special event then I will use my bright Stila lippie.

If I’m traveling for a wedding, then I pack some additional eye colors in gold, silver, and sometimes even my Anastasia Modern Renaissance eye shadow palette. That palette has some nice rose toned colors that go well for weddings and other events.





Weekend tourist: Washington, D.C


Life is most exciting when you do spontaneous things. This past weekend we decided to take an impromptu trip to the nations capital.

My siblings flew from Houston where they met up with my cousins. Hubs and I flew straight to DC while the cousins  drove up from New York.

Let me tell you a little about my cousins…

Growing up this set of cousins were always closest to our family. My aunt is like a second mother to me- always taking care of us, always there to talk to us and give us advice. She’s my mother’s best friend. The two of them are rock solid and in my entire life I’ve never seen them angry at each other at all.



That was always the inspiration for my sisters and I. Every time my mom and aunt would be on the phone talking about exciting or mundane things, my sisters and I would turn to each other and be like “that’s the type of relationship we want in the future.”

My cousins are made from the same thing. Growing up, I never had a biological older brother but that never meant I never had a older brother.


This weekend was a reunion of sorts. When we lived in New York we used to see them all the time. Moving to Texas has made that more difficult but we still keep in touch. IMG_3513.JPG

This was also the first time my cousins and husband got to spend a great deal of time together. I can’t praise the Lord enough for this blessing.


We spent some time at the National Mall park, saw the Lincoln memorial, the Washington memorial, the Capitol Hill, the two of the Smithsonian museums, the Library of Congress, and the outside of the White House. IMG_3535.JPG

Because we planned our trip on such short notice, we couldn’t take a tour of the White House because you need at least 21 days to request a tour.


We also ate at some amazing places this weekend! Breakfast/brunch at Ted’s bulletin is a must if you go to DC. The menu is divine and the food is delicious. Be mindful that there is always a rush so a wait time to 30 mins is expected.


We also had Georgetown cupcakes, and Max Brenner for dessert. Dinner was different both days as well. We opted for burgers at Grand Trunk, a funky Indian restaurant where the Naan burgers are a delight. The second day we ate at Tosca, an upscale turf and surf place. Everyone’s meal at Tosca was divine. I’ve never had a more fabulous salmon and hubs has never had a more succulent Chilean sea bass.

Over all the meals, sights and company were the best on this trip.

Alhamdulilah. Praise God,  thank God.

Throwback Thursday: Dubai!

abu dhabi, dubai, grand mosque, masjid, sheikh zayad mosque

Last December, hubby and I went on a trip with my in-laws to Dubai and Abu Dhabi. We’ve never been before and we had a blast exploring the gorgeous cities. We took a stroll through the exuberant malls, a dip at the beach, a ride on a camel, and so much more. 

We traveled to the Mall of Emirates, the Burj Khalifa, the Dubai Mall, Ferrari world; we saw the Burj Al Arab, explored the Global Village, and pray at the Grand Mosque also known as Sheikh Zayed Mosque. 

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Dubai skyline from the beaches of Abu Dhabi

On our first day, we went to see the Burj Khalifa and the Dubai Mall. I’ve been to the Empire State building and other tall towers but man,oh man, was I not prepared for the height of the Burj Khalifa. The Burj Khalifa stands 163 floors tall, and a whopping 2,722 feet high! The family and I got to the observation deck and were astonished at the stability and the views from above. 

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Burj Khalifa- 163 stories high!

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There is so much construction going on in Dubai. Nearly every inch of the city has been constructed in the past 15 years. Even now, there is so much construction going on that nearly every time you look something has changed!

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One of the funniest things that I’ve seen is a life size aquarium in the middle of Dubai Mall! On top of that, they had divers! How awesome! 

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The Burj al Arab is shaped like a sail but it really is one of the most luxorious hotels in the world. In fact, it is the only 7 star hotel in the world! It’s built on an artificial island and is one of the tallest hotels in the world. As you can tell, this is definitely a trend in Dubai to try and outdo every one at everything!

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One of the other gorgeous hotels in Dubai is the Atlantis Marine Hotel. It’s a replica of the one in the Bahamas. I’ve never even been inside of the one in Dubai and I’ve never been to the Bahamas. But from what I’ve seen from the outside of this hotel, it must be beautiful! 

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We were lucky enough to be able to visit the Global Village while it was in town. Usually it runs 6 month and it features around 30 pavilions that showcase different country’s handicrafts, merchandise and cuisines.

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There were pavilions that had amazing ethnic clothing, food and even replicas of how it was to live life there before modernization.

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This was the entrance to the Miracle Gardens. One of the amazing things about the Miracle Gardens is that they change the sculptures every season and change up the way things look. 


Canon_India_Dubai_2014 1018  Of all the botanical gardens in the world, I’ve never seen anything more beautiful than the Miracle Gardens in Dubai. Acres and acres filled with carefully planted flowers sculpted various shapes.

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I would have totally loved to take wedding pictures in such a beautiful location! There were so many brides there that day taking wedding portraits. Canon_India_Dubai_2014 1005  From houses to cars, birds to various creatures, the gardens had so many flowers and greenery. This is an attraction you can’t miss if you are in Dubai. Most especially because the contrast of the outside desert world and the garden will make you realize how much nature can change depending on where you live.Canon_India_Dubai_2014 993

Can you imagine a desert land with temperatures reaching into the 90s on a winter day? Now imagine walking barefoot onto cool marble floors, and being covered from head to toe yet still feeling as if the whole area was air conditioned? 

That is how it felt to stroll through the Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi. 

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Completed in 2007, the Grand Mosque sits in the capital of the UAE. It is so big that you can’t miss it. For a place whose primary goal is to allow Muslims to worship Allah swt, the mosque cost around $545 million USD! The architecture and the details in the mosque are astonishing. You walk in and you feel as if this was supposed to be a palace of some sort. Canon_India_Dubai_2014 1220

There is a certain type of peace that fills you when you enter the mosque. Even celebrities such as Rihanna, Selena Gomez and friends have been at the mosque in the religious attire. 

We prayed Friday prayer at the mosque and it was filled with people from all over the world who came to see the grandness of the mosque.
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Sheikh Zayed, who commissioned the building of the mosque, wanted to erect a structure that showcased and unified the cultural diversity of the Islamic world. The architecture has various influences. One of the most astonishing things was that the material for the mosque was sourced from all around the world. 
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The points on top of the domes are gold plated and as is everything else that seems ‘golden’ in the mosque.
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Gardens surround the most on all sides. The greenery is a perfect complement to the royal architecture.
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The design on the pillars are actually mosaic tile designs not paint! From afar it looks like intricate painting but up close you can see the marble tiles used to create the floral pattern.Canon_India_Dubai_2014 1189

Throughout the mosque, there are intricate carvings of the Quran. From various ayats to the 99 names of Allah, you can be sure that the mosque really was made to worship the Almighty. Canon_India_Dubai_2014 1263    The entrance to the mosque is breathtaking! 

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If you can take your eyes off of the magnificent chandelier, you might be able to notice the wall covered with the 99 names of Allah.
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The men’s prayer hall was large and covered with detailed carvings. The women’s hall, which was smaller but had just as much decor on it. Needless to say, you get emotionally overwhelmed during pray at the mosque.

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On our last day in Dubai, we took advantage of the desert and went on a Desert Safari. The concept was quite interesting and nothing like I’ve ever experienced before. 

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A tour guide will pick you up from your location (hotel, house etc) and take you to the desert campsite far from society. It sounds scary but there are so many people there that its perfectly safe. 

The campsite had working restrooms, a place to ride ATVs, and an area where you could get food, do some shopping, and watch a belly dancing show. 
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It sunset was so beautiful over the desert and I definitely would do this all over again!Canon_India_Dubai_2014 1386I f you can get to Dubai for 3-4 days, I’d say do it! It is definitely worth it!