Warning: This is a long post. Probably because it’s been a while and I miss you guys.
Yesterday was my birthday. I spent the better part of it feeling sick and in a hospital, which has become like my second home over the past few years. My life has deviated from the picture perfect plan I had imagined when I was younger, but I’m grateful because it’s motivated me to improve my wellness and to really dive into learning more about self-care, which ultimately led to this blog.
Last weekend, I went on a hot air balloon adventure with some of my amazing friends. This is what I decided to focus on the day of my actual birthday. In all honesty, even that was a rough day. I barely made it out the door because I had a terrible migraine. We were all running on little to no sleep. We drove far and the hot air balloon company we picked was quite disappointing. It was 118 degrees outside and we were in a balloon filled with scorching hot air. But we made the most of it. And it turned out to be an amazing day. Probably one of the best days I’ve had in a while. Check out my personal Instagram (@xoxo__maryanna) for hot air balloon pictures if you’d like to check those out!
After hot air ballooning, we drove around the Temecula Valley in search of food. We found an amazing spot called Toast. It was hard ordering because everything sounded good! They had creme brûlée pancakes, sangria pancakes, and much more. I ended up going for the avocado toast because, well, avocado. Need I say more?
After breakfast we drove around Old Town Temecula where most of the restaurants were still closed. We stumbled upon a Farmer’s Market, where I got fresh juice made of strawberry, orange, and guava. Eventually we needed a break from the heat, and ended up in a small coffee shop with a big “Espresso” sign out front. They have a very comfortable couch that we lounged on for quite some time.
Lake Elsinore was the next stop. Mind you, we had none of this planned other than the hot air balloon. We were completely winging it. We drove around the perimeter of the lake for about an hour before we found an entrance. Along the way, we essentially got a self-guided mini tour of the city. The shops. The houses. The roads. I’ve been to Lake Elsinore before, but this seemed so new to me.
We decided to drive to Corona to get mani-pedis after that. The girls got some spa time while the guys watched sports at an Islands close by. We all ended up going there after to get some food before we called it a night (we did start the day at 3 A.M. after all).
I was exhausted and knew it’ll take time to recover, but it was completely worth it. My summer has been filled with doctors appointments, medical procedures, and lab work. It’s hard to remember what it’s like to have fun sometimes. So what I’m really saying is…
I strongly urge you to explore. Even if it’s just your city. Even if you’re short on time or money. Even if you aren’t feeling your best. Just do it. Do something fun.
New Beauty Finds
Retail therapy. On my actual birthday, as soon as I got out of the hospital, we drove straight to the mall. Adding to my beauty collection cheers me up and I love having more beauty tips to share with you.
If your birthday is coming up, here are some beauty products you can score for free this year: (1) Sephora lets you pick between a GlamGlow skincare set, Bite Beauty makeup set, or Bumble & Bumble haircare set; (2) Victoria’s Secret gives you a $10 coupon which I used towards a lip scrub and a lollipop shaped bath bomb; (3) NYX gives you a $5 coupon which I used towards a lip color remover; and (4) Kiehl’s gives you a free Lip Balm #1 with any purchase and I bought a travel sized toner.
There are a ton more freebies available. I’ll be claiming more online and there are some I chose not to do this year (for example, I called Urban Decay and they have the same gift this year). Keep in mind that you may have to sign up for a rewards program and/or online newsletter which is free, but will require some advance planning to get your coupons on time. Speaking of which, still waiting to hear from Ulta about that…
I’m really excited to try the GlamGlow skincare set from Sephora because I’ve been obsessed with the GlamGlow InstaMud Mask lately. It literally only takes seconds to do, which is super convenient if you have a busy day (which is even more reason to mask and pamper your skin)! I was able to see a difference with my pores right away. The formula is purple and bubbly and so fun to use! Check out pictures on my Instagram feed and videos on my Instagram Stories today to see it in action. Disclaimer: The InstaMud Mask was sent to me by GlamGlow complimentary for sampling purposes. All opinions are 100% my own.
My Instagram is where I post many of my first impression reviews and updates, so make sure to follow me there (@ExploreBeautyXO) if you haven’t already!
Let me know what’s new with you! Any beauty finds you want to share? Anything you’re excited for this summer?
Thank you so much for reading and let me know if you have any questions! Leave me a comment below and you can also DM me on Instagram 😘