Koh Tao, Thailand | Travel Photo Diary

Because I've been so off my game (and still am) I thought I'd take a peek into my travel photo archives and share another past travel! This time the destination is Koh Tao (or Ko Tao) which translates to "Turtle Island" and is located in Thailand. I've been here a few times in my lifetime and it's the perfect island if you're looking for a relaxed and low-key place where you can just chill about, hang out at beach bars, and ride around on motorbikes. Hope you enjoy:

△ This is not an unusual sight.

△ Lookout point from a hilltop bar.

△ #nofilter

△ Having breakfast with this view.

△ Plenty of spots like this.

 The harbor.

△ Cruisin' between islands.

Fresh coconut water for everyone.

△ I mean, come on!

More: travel

Let me know what you think!
Have you been to an island in Thailand?

Home Decor Details | Interior Inspiration

 While I love beautiful interior design, my heart is really with the little details and decor of a home. Anything from a neat little coffee table and a cool lamp to trays, vases, and frames. I like seeing that personal touch in a home and how that makes a space true to that individual. My eyes automatically search for the little things to learn about a person and that can be as simple as what someone have on their dresser, where they put a plant, or what kind of pillows they have on the sofa. Do you relate?

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What's your favorite kind of detail or decor in a home?

Choosing Friends & Growing Apart | What I've Learned

Choose your friends
I’m an extremely loyal friend and it’s an automatic thing with me; if we’re good friends, there’s an instant loyalty from my side. This makes it even more important for me to know who I make a friend and give that loyalty to. I think a lot of people forget that you can choose your friends and that you should. While most of the time friendships arise unpredictably, that doesn’t mean you can’t decide on who stays and who goes. They say we become like the four people we spend the most time with, but even looking at it on a larger scale (all the people in our lives), energies are always contagious. Surround yourself with people you feel a mutual love, respect, and understanding to. A great lesson I’ve learned is that being with the wrong people is much lonelier than actually being alone.

Finding your kind of person
Another important thing I’ve learned when getting to know new friends or choosing the people in your life is to really trust your intuition. I’ve never been misled by the feeling that someone is “a little off” or just not on the same wavelength as me. And if you’re unsure about someone, pay attention. A great quote to go by is: “when someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.” Everyone I’ve gotten to know and felt was my kind of person, I’ve become friends with. And everyone I’ve become friends with despite them not feeling like “my kind of person” I’ve not ended up staying friends with. The older I get the more I believe in and rely on that feeling you get when you meet a person you just know you have a mutual connection and understanding with.

Lost friendships
When I was younger I couldn’t imagine not being friends with a friend in the future. You kind of imagine it to happen in a dramatic or shocking way. But it doesn’t really. I feel that if it happens it’s usually because you choose to end the friendship… or you just grow apart. The latter will most likely happen to most people. Friendships fade, and it’s okay. Everyone changes and grows in their own pace, in their own way, by their own experiences and sometimes you just don’t click the same with a person as you once did. Some friendships will run its course and I find that when this happens it’s an everything-happens-for-a-reason kind of feeling. Usually it makes sense. And the cool thing is, sometimes a friendship will work better a second or third time around - down the line.

A great friend
I think we all go through stages of friendships and learn from each and every one of them; sometimes we expect too much or give too little. It’s a learning process. For me, the essential qualities in a friendship is the same as in any relationship: be honest, be loyal, communicate. And never take anyone for granted. I’ve learned that there are many different kinds of friendships. You’re incredibly lucky if you have friends in your life that are by your side through every stage and any situation you face, someone you can laugh hysterically with as much as call in the middle of the night when you need to talk. I’ve learned that these friends are gems, but not every great friend will handle your meltdowns as well as they can make you crack up, or vice versa. And that’s perfectly fine. There's no “great friend manual.” You can have awesome friendships in various shapes and forms and that’s the beauty of it.


What's an important thing you've learned about friendships?
Have you grown apart from a friend before?

Some Beauty Essentials: For a Few Days Away | Travel

I'm not sure if it's harder or easier to decide on beauty products to bring when you're only going away for a few days. On the one hand, it should be easier since you're away for such a short time. On the other hand, since you're only away for a short time you want to bring as little as possible and need to pick those products wisely (at least when you only have a carry-on!) So except for my holy grails (face washes and creams, etc) these are some beauty essentials I'll be bringing on a little getaway this week:

Hand Food Fruitigo, Soap & Glory. I've been loyal to S&G's Hand Food for some time and have recently been using the one with the Fruitigo fragrance that contains yuzu fruit and green fig, and it's become a new favorite. I feel that it's a very fresh and clean, kind of citrusy scent with that perfume-y quality to it. I have naturally dry hands and Hand Food is the hand cream that's worked best for me so far - it hydrates and softens my hands and doesn't feel greasy at all. (I bought this as part of a Hand Food trio set, I couldn't find the product sold individually so I linked the set.)

The Righteous Butter Mini, Soap & Glory. What I think is amazing about S&G's body butters is that they're as lightweight and airy as a lotion but as deeply hydrating and moisturizing as a heavy body butter. While you usually have to massage a body butter into your skin, this goes on effortlessly, absorbs right up, and leaves your skin feeling insanely smooth in a minute. It contains shea butter and aloe vera and is scented by the Original Pink fragrance which contains notes of summer rose, peach, gardenia blooms, and strawberries - so it has a fresh, pleasant, slightly fruity and florally scent.

Oriental, Batiste Dry Shampoo. No surprises here, right? The good about Batiste, and why I use it, is that it beats the worst oils and provides texture to your hair. The bad is that it can leave your hair feeling really gritty and powdery (to the point that you don't want to run your fingers through it.) I've tried six of the seven "official" scents and Oriental is the only one I genuinely like (though, I don't mind the Original scent) - I can't put my finger on it but I find it to be quite a warm and soft scent. It's supposed to have hints of fruits, flowers, and rich coconut. If you have recommendations for a good dry shampoo that's texturizing and inexpensive, definitely let me know!

Extra Virgin Coconut Oil Lip Balm. I picked this up on a whim at a supermarket in Thailand and remember not liking it at all as it felt so thin and slick on your lips (as you would expect coconut oil to be.) I randomly tried it again a few weeks ago and have been using it nonstop since. I think it's great for when you just want a quick hydration between cups of coffee or something like that, when you don't want or feel like packing on a thicker lip balm. This particular one contains extra virgin coconut oil, beeswax, vaseline, and rose hip oil. Have you used anything similar?


What are some of your absolute essentials for a few days away?

Top Romantic Comedies For a Pick-Me-Up

How are you spending the Easter weekend? I started the long weekend off by curling up with a cup of tea and putting on an old favorite romcom. My general taste in movies is something worth catching on the silver screen (I'm always game for a good action flick or thriller) but when I'm feeling terribly spent after a hectic month and just need some downtime and a pick-me-up I turn to my go-to list of romantic comedies:

The Proposal
Margaret is an executive chief facing deportation to Canada due to an expired visa and makes her assistant, Andrew, marry her so she can keep her position as editor, in exchange for promoting him. Not only can they barely stand one another but they have to learn as much as they can about each other over a weekend visiting Andrew's family in Alaska, and prove that they're actually in love. It's a really fun and enjoyable movie with humorous characters, awesome actors, and convincing chemistry. Trailer here.

This Means War
I mentioned I like a good action flick, what's even better is an action flick with humor. This is such a funny and entertaining movie, not to mention the great cast. FDR and Tuck are CIA agents and best friends that accidentally start dating the same girl, Lauren. They decide to keep her in the dark and continue dating her while staying out of each others way. However, with the guys' occupation in mind things get a little out of hand. Action, humor, and romance in one. Trailer here.

Maid in Manhattan
This was the first romantic comedy that I fell in love with, I even had it on VHS (remember those things?) Marisa is a single mother (and has the cutest kid ever) working as a maid in a fancy hotel in Manhattan where one day she's introduced to a politician staying in the hotel when trying on someone else's clothes while cleaning their suite, and is mistaken for the guest. I find that the storyline stands out from any other romcom I've seen and the movie always puts me in a good mood. Trailer here.

Confessions of a Shopaholic
There are so many reasons I love this movie, like 'Maid in Manhattan' it has sentimental value. It's about Rebecca, a journalist who's dream is to work for the fashion magazine Alette. In order to get there she accepts a job at Successful Saving, a savings magazine where she unpredictably excels at advising people about money. The only problem is, she's a shopaholic drowning in debt and is chased by a ruthless debt collector. It's an entertaining movie, witty, and even touching. Trailer here.

I wasn't sure if I wanted to include this movie, I do enjoy it a lot and have watched it several times but there's definitely a point in the film where I go: "OK, this is a little too crazy." While on a family vacation in France, Jen meets Spencer who also happens to be an assassin. They end up together, living a relatively normal life in the suburbs, but Spencer's past will soon catch up to him and Jen is very much dragged into it. It's pretty hilarious but also quite over the top, do expect guns and car chases. Trailer here.

Crazy Stupid Love
Cal learns that his wife has been cheating on him and finds himself in a bit of a life crisis. He meets ladies man and womanizer, Jacob, who makes it his mission to transform and coach Cal to get him back in the game. They strike an unlikely friendship and Cal witnesses Jacob, unexpectedly, fall for a girl. But their lives will soon intertwine in more ways than predictable, and it's a great twist. I want to say it's a little ridiculous somehow, but enjoyable. Trailer here.

Sweet Home Alabama
A light and sweet movie. Melanie is a successful designer in New York who's just gotten engaged to the mayor's son and needs to return to her hometown, Alabama, and reveal the news to her parents that she hasn't seen in a long time. Most importantly, to get a divorce from childhood friend, Jake, whom she's tried to divorce the past seven years. It's a frustrating journey where Melanie remembers her Southern roots and learns how her departure years ago affected her friends and family. Trailer here.

Something Borrowed
Rachel meets Dex in law school but never tells him about her crush on him, instead he ends up dating her best friend, Darcy, and six years later they're about to get married. After a drunken night on Rachel's 30th birthday she wakes up next to Dex and they soon realize they both have feelings for each other. Expectedly, things get way complicated. To be honest, the plot does bother me a little but I like the actors a lot and, quite randomly, think the ending is really good. Trailer here.


Do you have a favorite romantic comedy? Do recommend!

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