The BEST Cruise You’ll Ever Take

The BEST Cruise You’ll Ever Take

Trying to find the perfect cruise can take a TON of effort, but guess what? I’ve found the most amazing cruise out there for you!

I must say I cannot take credit to finding this amazing cruise–that’s all thanks to my hubby! We traveled with our best friends on this cruise & it made it all the better because they are so great to travel with. Our cruise was from October 20th – October 26th, 2019 & the weather was absolutely gorgeous!!! Every day was sunny and in the 80’s-90’s (my fave weather).

A couple years ago we took our first cruise through Carnival with my husband’s family for New Years & my college graduation & we fell in love. Cruises are SO easy because literally everything is taken care of—really!!! There’s NOTHING to worry about other than a sunburn!

This cruise we just got back from was also through carnival & is called the 7 Day Southern Caribbean Cruise From San Juan. Click the link to book our exact cruise!

Travel Day 1: Flying to San Juan, Puerto Rico

Blake & I boarded our Southwest plane in Kansas City to head to paradise mid-afternoon with drink tickets in hand, cheers! After a very short layover in Fort Lauderdale we boarded our last plane to Puerto Rico.

The Puerto Rico airport isn’t anything super fancy, but we did book a hotel room there at the San Juan Airport Hotel that is connected to the airport. We had to walk through an abandoned terminal to get to the hotel (it was pretty sketch), but once we checked in & got to our room it was pretty good. Of course, being an airport hotel it was a bit pricey for what it was, but CONVENIENCE. I could (barely) see the beach from our hotel room! Rooms start around $200 & breakfast is included.

Staying at the San Juan Airport Hotel was very important for us because our shuttle to the cruise ship left from the hotel the next morning.

Book your stay at the San Juan Airport Hotel here: https://airporthotelpr.com

Day 2: Boarding the Carnival Fascination

If you’ve ever taken a cruise before, you know that every ship boarding day gets easier than the last! This was our second cruise, so things went a little more smoothly because we were prepared.

Pro tip: Leave from the airport to your cruise ship by taking the Carnival shuttle. You pay for this in advance while booking your cruise, and you’ll seriously be glad you did! They handle your bags for you and make sure you get to the ship on time (taxi’s def won’t guarantee that!!).

Boarding at the port in San Juan was so much better & more organized than Galveston’s port (sorry, TX).

When embarking onto the ship be sure to have these ready to go:

  • boarding pass
  • passport / citizenship documents (including any necessary visas)

After going through the embarkation process on the pier, we were surprisingly in our room by 1:30pm. We had a little bit of time to explore the ship before our room was ready.

Definitely make sure to pack the necessities in your carryon because there’s a pretty good chance you won’t be receiving your checked luggage until the evening.

Click here to check out my blog post on how to pack the perfect cruise carryon bag. It includes links to all my favorite travel products!

Day 3: St. Thomas

Sorry to spoil it for ya, but this was probably my favorite destination out of the 5. They truly spoiled us by giving us one of the BEST excursions first!

Blake & I went to Meagen’s Bay Beach and I am not kidding when I say this is the most stunning beach I’ve ever seen! The water was blue green and I could see my feet and the ocean floor even in very deep water (people who are scared of the ocean, this place is for you). Pretty sure we saw the Kardashian’s yacht in the distance . . . haha no joke.

Sadly, we only had a couple hours to spend at this beach, but we def soaked in every second! This beach is nice bathrooms (considering), picnic tables to use for free, and a bar (you better believe I bought some Truly’s!!!). The water seemed to be super salty, so it was very easy to float!

To get back to the ship we got back on the open air bus that brought us to Meagen’s Bay Beach & it dropped us off at the sky ride–we got an amazing view of the island and the gorgeous water.

I think Blake & I agreed that the ship could’ve happily left us at this beach for the entire week!!! But really–if you ever get a chance to come here, DO!

Day 4: St. Maarten

We had the most amazing excursion planned for St. Maarten, but sadly it ended up getting cancelled. Our original plan was to go to Maho Beach (the airplane beach), but our water taxi was blocked by a yacht & couldn’t get out. Carnival credited our account for the cancelled trip.

Blake & I were supposed to go on the excursion with our friends who travelled with us, so we found other plans and took a water taxi from our pier to Great Bay Beach (behind us in the photo above). The water taxi was $7 roundtrip & we could clearly see our ship from the beach! There are lots of little shops & places to get food / booze.

There are chairs & umbrellas available on the beach to rent–you rent those from the sketchy guys walking around on the beach haha! All of the guys have their own section of chairs & you should definitely haggle with them. They wanted $20 to rent a set of 2 chairs & an umbrella, but I talked one of them down to $5 for the whole set up!! A STEAL!

The water at Great Bay Beach is so amazingly clear and clean. The beach itself is also somewhat clean. Definitely save your money by taking the water taxi to this beach instead of booking an excursion. You will have much more time to relax & have fun by going to Great Bay Beach!

Day 5: St. Kitts & Nevis

Blake & I did Jeep Wrangler off-roading to a black volcano sand beach. We drove through St. Lucia’s mountainside & a jungle & I am so glad we got to have this experience.

The funniest / scariest part of this excursion was that there was a bar at this beach & some of the people drank quite a bit in the 50 minutes we had there (which was SO not long enough for me). We thought we were taking a bus back, but our leader said EVERYBODY GET BACK IN YOUR CARS. LIKE WHAT!!!!! Omg it was wild–keep in mind everyone still had to drive on the opposite side of the road!

I will warn you: if you get motion sick at all DO NOT DO THIS EXCURSION! The off-roading was quite a bit rougher than I thought it would be for a cruise excursion. What was crazy was never did they once check to see if any of us even had a driver’s license. They just loaded us up in Jeeps & started going! In St. Lucia they drive on the opposite side of the road & the driver drives on the opposite side of the vehicle. So another note: if this would freak you out to drive in traffic going the wrong way around a roundabout on the wrong side of the car, probably avoid this excursion lol!

The beach we went to after we got done with our drive was a black sand volcano beach. If you have never experienced this, I promise this will be the hottest sand you’ll ever feel in your life!!!!!! The water was absolutely gorgeous, but getting to the water from your table was another story. Needless to say, I think that was the one & only time I need to go to a black sand beach.

Our friends we traveled with took a taxi to to a private little beach club & they said this is the place to go in St. Kitts. Friars Bay Carambola Beach Club is gorgeous & romantic. If you’re looking for something a little more low key to do in St. Kitts–this is it!

Friars Bay Carambola Beach Club’s Facebook page is @carambolabeachclub. This page has their phone number & address!

Day 6: St. Lucia

Blake & I had the North Beach Getaway excursion planned in St. Lucia, but this got cancelled. We were actually glad it got cancelled because we found an excursion that was a lot better! Funny how things work out, right? I even had so much fun here that I didn’t take a SINGLE pic!!!!

We boarded a bus (omg that had NO air conditioning & it was easily 80-90 something outside & a long ride) that took us through the mountains & past banana fields to Glittering Sands Beach. The beach we went to was so nice & had chairs / umbrellas you could rent for $3, & lunch came with our excursion. I spent 3 hours basking in the sun just loving life!!!

Day 7: Barbados

Rockley Beach

I can’t decide if I liked Barbados or St. Thomas more–they were both absolutely amazing!!! The beaches in Barbados are serene, clean & STUNNING. Blake & I went to Pebbles Beach & Rockley Beach in Bridgetown on our excursion.

We rode to the beach on an open air bus, seeing the city. The driver took us by the Barbados Turf Club & George Washington’s old house. I bet you didn’t know George Washington had a house in Barbados!

Barbados Turf Club
George Washington’s home in Barbados

Rockley Beach was incredible! The water was bright turquoise & crazy clear. We rented chairs & an umbrella for $10–yeah, we’re luxurious and rent chairs everywhere we go haha. Rockley Beach was tied for my #1 beach on this trip, along with Meagan’s Bay. Pebbles Beach was the second beach we went to on this excursion & it definitely was not as good as the first. It was much busier & not as serene. We got an hour and a half at each beach, but I really wish we could’ve had all 3 hours plus the driving time at Rockley Beach!

The port here in Barbados has a ton of shops to walk around & look at if you like that kind of thing. You can get food, drinks, souvenirs, toiletries, etc. at these stores, but it’s mostly the kind of junk you would expect at port shops.

Day 8: At Sea

It was so nice to have a more low-key day where we could rest & just enjoy each other’s company without worrying about getting on & off the ship & making excursions on time.

We spent the day laying by the pool from 10am until 3 or 4. This ship only had 1 swimming pool, so it got pretty packed (standing room only–the hot tubs were XXX with drunk girls wildly twerking like they were in a music video! *yikes* haha I’m all for fun, but come on there were children!!!)

Pro Tip: Eat at the Mexican station in the main casual dining room! It was close enough to Chipotle for me & was absolutely DELICIOUS! I’m so sad I didn’t try it until the last day. Taco bowls are the way to go.

That night after dinner we packed our bags (so sad) so that we could get as much sleep as possible in the morning before our big day of travel. Definitely don’t wait until the last minute to get your things together!

Day 9: Travel Day

We got up at 6am to finish packing the things that had to wait until the very last minute & we grabbed some pastries to try to fill our bellies before travel day craziness ensued.

The debarkation process was pretty simple, but I felt like it could’ve been a little quicker (I guess this was a smaller ship than the last one we were on, so that one had more elevators). We had to wait in lines at the elevators to leave the ship, & once we got down to the ramp they scanned our sign & sail card & I ATE S**T coming off the ship! It was pouring rain; I was pushing a 50 pound bag ahead of me, pulling a 50 pound bag behind me AND carrying my purse & backpack (yeah, I don’t pack light) down a ramp that was at least at a 30 degree angle. My shoes had no traction & went flying down the ramp expecting it to end with a broken leg. The only thing I got LUCKILY was a little embarrassment ha!

Blake & I took the shuttle back to the airport, & I HIGHLY SUGGEST paying for the shuttle. It will save you lots of anxiety & panic!!!

Pros & Cons of this Cruise

Pros

  • HUGE PRO: Getting to see so many different beautiful countries! It would take so much more money & time to see 5 different islands planning it yourself.
  • Amazing weather in the Caribbean during October. Always sunny and 80’s-90’s. We never had rain.
  • Cruise ship was newly renovated.
  • The Alchemy bar was literally Abby & I’s PLACE. Shoutout to Marco the bartender! Marco, if you’re reading this I hope we meet again!
  • Delicious food! You’ll gain at LEAST 5 pounds.
  • The Carnival staff is always so amazing. They always feel like family by the end of the week which makes saying goodbye so much harder.
  • Late dinner. You have plenty of time to get all gussied up & cute for dinner & hit up a bar for some pre-dinner cocktails.

Cons

  • This ship (Fascination) was much smaller than the previous ship we cruised on (Freedom). We were used to many more bars/night clubs, wider variety of food on the menu, more amenities/pools, larger casino. All of these sacrifices are totally worth it though for the destinations!
  • Getting off the ship every day at 7am for 5 days to go on excursions can really be exhausting. This isn’t necessarily a con, but if you tire easily you may wanna take a rest day every couple days & not do anything crazy.
  • Late dinner. This shift was like 8pm I believe, so by the time our formal dinner was over it was around 10pm & we were BEAT. Going on the late dinner shift also means you miss out on a lot of shows & cruise activities if you’re into that sort of thing.

If you take this cruise, I hope you fall in love with it like we did! I think between the two of us we’ve decided we’d definitely go on this cruise again. If you have any questions about my experience, I’d love to chat–shoot me an email!

xo, Han

Gerard Bertrand Gris Blanc Rosé 2019

Gerard Bertrand Gris Blanc Rosé 2019

$13.88, Macadoodle’s

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Gerard Bertrand Gris Blanc Rosé is the most wonderful wine to ever touch my taste buds, of course after Dom Perignon (but does that really count since that’s champagne??). This rosé is so perfectly balanced & delicate–ideal for a warm summer day on the patio, at the pool, or by the beach. I have tried both cheap & pricier rosé, & I must say this one takes the cake for sure! $14-ish is a wonderful price for the quality of wine. Gerard Bertrand knew what he was doing when he made this rosé–5 stars, Gerard!!!

Blake stopped in Macadoodle’s for a cigar and picked up this amazing rosé for me, & needless to say I’ll be going back for more! I enjoy the m o d e r n & simple labeling, but what I like most about it is its transparency so that the color of the wine can really be appreciated without bold label colors drawing the eye away from what’s really important. Gris Blanc translates to “grey white” in French–a perfect & subtle name to go along with the label color scheme & paleness of the rosé. The color of this rosé is absolutely stunning!

This Gris Blanc Rosé hails from the South of France & is made from Grenache grapes, which is my absolute favorite type of rosé. It has fresh & subtle aromas of berries & hardly any florals. Drinking this rosé tastes like the most beautiful sunny day. Your palate will adore Gris Blanc’s light bodied, crisp, dry taste followed by a smooth finish. The flavor intensity is on the lighter side & pairs great with just about anything; this rosé is also amazing on it’s own. It appears the grapes went through shorter maceration time to give the rosé a delicate taste & appearance, which I definitely appreciate.

Perfectly balanced & refreshing–this rosé is WORTH picking up a couple bottles when you can find it! It’s fresh, fruity, sophisticated taste will seriously leave you wanting more. My next task–go buy more!!! As always, don’t forget to stop & smell the rosé. Cheers!

xo, Han

Today’s Reflections 04.23.2020

Today’s Reflections 04.23.2020

Keep your friends close.

They say when the going gets tough people start jumping off your ship left & right. Personally, that couldn’t be more false. I am blessed to say when the going gets tough, my friends shower me with love & support. Thanks pals! ❤

This is more like this week’s reflections, not only today’s. I’m not going to lie; this week has been a rough one. Being an enneagram 8 (shoutout to all my 8’s!), I love control. I like to control my surroundings. I like to control my schedule. I like to control e v e r y t h i n g. I would control when the sun rises & sets if I could haha!

We are now on week ??? of quarantine / social distancing & people . . . I’M ABOUT TO LOSE IT! I need structure. I need a schedule. I need social interaction with someone other than my dogs & husband (love you, Blake). If this weren’t already enough to make someone lose their mind, let’s add family health problems into the mix!

On Wednesday I finally had just about all I could take & helloooooo meltdown. We all love a good meltdown, right?! *scoffs*

The amazing part about friends is their ability to make you feel like you can take on anything & that you’ll never EVER do it alone. Friends always know when you need a pick-up & just how to do it. Moments like those are the ones you remember forever.

Never take a friend for granted & don’t stop showing up for them. We need these beautiful, brilliant, funny humans in our lives to keep us sane. Make sure they know just how much you mean to them. I’m counting down the days until I can hug these lovely people again. Shout out to all my besties, y’all make my world go ’round.

xo, Han

Today’s Reflections 03.18.2020

Today’s Reflections 03.18.2020

I’ve been quiet, I know. But what is there to say when the world as you know it has come to a halt?

Media, news, social networking . . . it’s too much.

*deep breath*

Did you ever realize you took giving your friends a hug for granted? Did you ever realize you took going to work for granted? Did you ever realize you took leaving your house for granted? Going to the gym? Buying what ever groceries you wanted? Sitting in a restaurant? Holding your grandparent’s hand?

I thought I did, but I didn’t.

There is a greater lesson to all of this. While I don’t have a clear picture of what that is, what I can tell you is rest.

Find peace in solitude.

Find peace in slowing down.

Find peace amongst the chaos.

Find peace somewhere.

Humans are busy creatures. Work, hustle, stay busy, achieve, advance, obtain, create, develop, succeed . . . don’t you think that’s a lot? Existing is enough. We’ve made that out to be a lie though. It seems as though everyone is always focused on their next move–forgetting to just be. It’s okay to not always be hustling & living for the next moment ahead.

During this time while many are quarantined to their homes, I hope they rest. Being human is by far the most difficult task on earth. Humanity needed a lesson on slowing life down a little. The last week has seemed extra difficult & strange because the sun has not shone. Tonight, right before sunset the sun came out & I could finally feel its warmth on my face. There is something spiritual about that. It’s funny how a little sunshine can give you hope that maybe things aren’t so bad.

Some of my favorite things on earth I will appreciate for the rest of my days:

Laying in bed with my friends watching Netflix

Exercising at a gym

Chatting with a stranger in line at the grocery store

Eating fast food seafood with the best friend my soul needed

Sitting in a coffee shop enjoying the atmosphere

Hugging my best friends

Easily getting what I need from the grocery store

Traveling freely

Scrolling through social media without my friends being full of fear/anxiety

Visits with my Papa

Communion on Sunday mornings

Game nights with the best company you could ever ask for

A glass of rosè at my favorite wine spot downtown

I hope everyone is staying safe & healthy with the pandemic among us. I didn’t think it was anything to worry about in the beginning, but now that things have escalated I find it hard to keep my peace. I will not let fear, uncertainty, anxiety, & negativity rule my life–God will surely see us through.

xo, Han

The Bachelor Episode 3

The Bachelor Episode 3

*** S P O I L E R A L E R T ***

Helloooooo, Bachelor Nation!

Y’all I’m convinced this is truly the most boring season of The Bachelor EVER! Also, I’m sick to death of hearing about the damn champagne. Get overrrrrr it, ladies! Not trying to be a Debby downer here, but I’m really hoping the season starts getting more exciting soon because I’m just about over it!

Date With Victoria P

Victoria P is so cute & I think she’s the bomb! All I could think about while they were driving in the truck though is where the heck is her seat belt????? The little moment that Victoria P & Peter had in the boot store was seriously adorable. I think he’s really into Victoria . . . just the way he is around her seems so real. BUT, what do I know? We’ve hardly seen Peter interact with any of the girls unless it was an interrogation about something going on in the house.

Anyway, this line dancing bar that they’re at looks like it’d be my JAM! I need to go rn. Who knew that Peter was a line dancer?! Never have I seen him look anything like a cowboy before . . . so a little confused, but das cool. I’m so happy she got the date rose at the end of the date. YAY YAY!!

Hannah Ann & Kelsey

OH MY LORD I CAN’T BELIEVE WE’RE STILL TALKING ABOUT THIS!

Their little confrontation on the couch was sooooo awkward! So when Hannah Ann was speaking with Peter about this situation & she said that she was being bullied by Kelsey . . . I can’t disagree there. During their talk Kelsey said that she’d called Hannah Ann “unkind words & names” & it wasn’t bullying–honey, you better check yo self! I’m so ready for this insane lady to go home!!! #champagnegate

Group Date

Date Card

  • Kiarra
  • Sarah
  • Tammy
  • Kelley
  • Savannah
  • Shiann
  • Sydney
  • Alayah

Finally, some entertainment! I’m so happy to see Demi!!!

Honestly, I think Demi’s appearance was literally the best thing about this episode (sorry girls!) & watching the girls open up the sleepwear Demi got them was HILARIOUS. I don’t remember who got the mumu to wear, but I’m here for it!

Watching Demi’s Extreme Pillow Fight Club was def bringing back some rugby competition vibes from Hannah B’s season when Luke P went apeshit on someone & it got outta hand.

Alayah.

Let’s talk about her real quick. I haven’t minded her in episode 1 & 2, but suddenly during this group date I L O A T H E her! When it was Alayah vs. Sydney in the pillow fight I have to admit I laughed a little (okay, a lot) when Alayah took that blow to the head. Alayah was def playing dirty & I’m not super happy that she won 1 on 1 time with Peter. Bleh.

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Post Group Date

Whoaaaa Sydney & Alayah. I guess that’s the new #champagnegate? Producers, quit drudging up fights just so there’s something going on in the house. Their convo was super weird–I think Sydney was confronting her in a roundabout way about being fake & a stereotypical pageant girl who can “turn it on” & we can all agree THIS WAS SO UNCOMFY!!

Alayah’s behavior in general during this episode is just extra cringe-worthy. This meme seriously sums it all up.

Did anyone else feel uncomfortable when Kelley was basically telling Peter that he needs to shave his beard? Also strange is when Peter was asking her if this whole thing was ” working for her?” Like I’m pretty sure that should be the other way around. Sorry y’all, but I don’t really think Peter has a grasp on this whole being The Bachelor thing. Yikes.

Side note: I cannot S T A N D when girls use their time with Peter to talk shit about other people in the house!!!! If that were me I’d be using every second to talk myself up lol.

Sydney going to Peter about the Alayah drama . . . I have mixed feelings (per my comment above), but overall I’m glad she said something because literally like everyone confirmed what she said. That bitch is sketchhhh! But can you BELIEVE Peter had the audacity to call Sydney out in front of the group??? That’s drama management 101! To me it wasn’t super cool that he called her out like that in front of everyone.

BUT PLOT TWIST PEOPLE!!!!!

She got the freakin rose . . . YASSSS! You know she’s probably gonna get jumped by people in the house when they’re all alone after this though haha.

Literally the Worst Pool Party Ever

I am sooooooo tired of Peter being a fuddy dud at all these functions. It seems like he’s often too wrapped up in his emotions to fully give himself to the group (which, may I remind you, is the point of the entire show).

When I heard this was gonna be a pool party I was like oh cool, that’ll be fun to watch. I should’ve known it’d turn into a full on interrogation session with detective Peter talking to all the girls about the latest drama. I wanna see somebody do a cannon ball or something. EVERY girl is in full hair & makeup having a miserable time. Get in the water!!! Also, is it just me or have we hardly seen this pool in the history of Bachelor Nation? LMK.

Back to Alayah (ugh, right?). SOOOOO SKETCHY that she didn’t want anyone to know that her & Victoria P knew each other prior to The Bachelor. I don’t think that it would’ve been a huge deal, but to lie about something like that is bizarre. One of my fave parts of tonight’s episode was when Peter confronted Alayah about that and she straight up looked like a deer in headlights! At this point I was convinced while watching that Peter was over Alayah.

Rose Ceremony

Roses

  • Kelsey
  • Hannah Ann
  • Natasha
  • Lexi
  • Madison
  • Shiann
  • Kelley
  • Kiarra
  • Tammy
  • Savannah
  • Deandra
  • Mykenna (I really don’t get why she was so nervous???)
  • Sydney
  • Victoria P

Byeeeee

  • Alayah (P R A I S E J E S U S!)
  • Sarah
  • Jasmine
  • Alexa

Final Thoughts

So I was totally digging’ episode 1 & 2 of this season, but now I’m having second thoughts after episode 3. My hope is that next Monday is a little more real excitement, & not as much producer-induced drama (overrrr it). After watching this Monday’s episode, my fave 3 rn are Victoria P, Madison & Hannah Ann. Don’t get me wrong there’s lots of others I really like (but let’s be honest we don’t even know them!!!), but these are the ladies that I feel like have the best chance of making it the furthest.

I am anxiously awaiting next Monday to see what will happen (& if Kelsey will get send home). 6 more days!!!

XO, Han

The Bachelor Episode 2

The Bachelor Episode 2

*** S P O I L E R A L E R T ***

Helloooooo, Bachelor Nation!

WOW. So much drama. OVER CHAMPAGNE! Last night’s episode was the 2nd in Peter’s season of The Bachelor & can I just say I swear these producers are just grasping for straws here???? For me, this episode didn’t do a whole lot besides make me loathe Kelsey. Per my Insta story poll, it seems one is either Team Kelsey or Team Hannah Ann . . . we’ll get into that later.

Let’s Talk About Hannah B.

This is the dirt we were all waiting for ALL WEEK! I think we can all agree that Hannah B put Peter in a really tough position by even coming to him on the show & talking about her lingering feelings for him . . . I have to say that is not fair. Peter is there at the mansion to meet new women and find his wife, not be Hannah’s third option (ugh, even though I loveee her!). I laughed when she looked him dead in the eye & said, “Let’s go catch a flight!” Honestly though, I thought he might. I think Peter is really having a hard time with how Hannah is feeling because he’s not totally over her, but GOOD FOR YOU PETER for retracting your invitation for her to join the mansion. *claps*

I loved watching the solo interviews of some of the girls in the house during the Hannah B portion of the show. They totallyyy have a right to be upset–even though it’s Hannah B, it’s ALSO Peter’s ex . . . which makes for an uncomfortable situation among all parties involved.

My thoughts after finishing the Hannah B portion of the show are that maybe Peter isn’t ready to be the bachelor. He obviously isn’t over her, or his face wouldn’t have been in her neck & he wouldn’t have hesitated with her so much. I’m not really sure if he can fully emotionally invest in a new girl right now when she’s still so fresh in his mind, & to be frank it seems down right UNFAIR to the new girls that are putting their heart on the line for him. Also, cancelling the group date wasn’t cool, but I also get why he did that. It wasn’t exactly his choice for Hannah B to show up & have that intense convo (or was it???).

The After Party (to the group date that never happened)

I don’t want an apology from Peter about how the day went. I want to SEE him get over Hannah B & actually put some time into these new girls! Okkkk I was floored (yet again) at how these girls were eating into Peter while talking to him one on one about Hannah showing up & taking up all their time. Honestly . . . I’d be pissed too.

Mykenna & Peter were V I B I N G during this time & I’m here for it. Sydney. That story. I’ve heard almost the exact same season on like every other season of The Bachelor & The Bachelorette. I really like her, but I think that story about how she grew up is the only reason she got the rose.

#CHAMPAGNEGATE

Oh. My. LAWWWDDDD!

I literally cannot stand Kelsey. Like with a passion. Sorry (not sorry) y’all, I’m team Hannah Ann, & not just because we have the same name. I genuinely don’t think that Hannah Ann knew that champagne was Kelsey’s that was set out by the fire.

1–Kelsey told some of the girls after Hannah Ann was already with Peter (so she couldn’t have found out that way). 2–The producers had multiple bottles of champagne set out in different locations outside, so how was she supposed to know that one by the fire was any different than the others???

This is where the producers SET UP some drama because there wasn’t any to be had anywhere else. At this point (uhhh reminder, we’re only in episode 2) the producers are just stirring the pot because these girls are boring!!!!!

Kelsey’s idea to share the bottle of champagne she got for her birthday with Peter was super sweet, but how upset she got over it just seemed soooo unreasonable to me. If you’re Team Kelsey you’re gonna hate me (idc), but this girl is C R A Y!!!!! Literally she is the Luke P of the season. Yeah, I went there. All of her meltdowns were so childish & ummmm was she wasted????

All I have to say about the stand-in bottle of champagne blowing up in her face . . . I N S T A N T K A R M A! (Here’s the video again for your amusement.)

Rose Ceremony Night

Lexi really stood out to me when she spoke to Peter tonight before the rose ceremony because she was being so understanding about his situation.

The gift Peter got for Madison–cute or weird??? Seriously, consider a real life situation where you go on a couple dates with a guy (one was to meet his family . . .) and then on your third date he gives you a photo of you & his family. Yeah, weird. Honestly, I would be happy at this point if Madison was the winner!!

Roses

  • Mykenna
  • Victoria P
  • Natasha
  • Jasmine
  • Sarah
  • Lexi
  • Hannah Ann
  • Alexa
  • Tammy
  • Alayah
  • Deandra
  • Victoria F
  • Shiann
  • Kierra
  • Savannah
  • Kelsey

So since The Bachelor is obviously in need of some drama, they’re keeping Kelsey around. Hopefully she doesn’t last a whole lot longer, but who else would play the villan?

Group Date

Date Carrrddddd! Alexa, Mykenna, Natasha, Deandra, Lexi, Victoria F, Kelsey & Hannah Ann got the group date card.

This group date was pretty freakin sweet. I wouldn’t even care if I won–just give me all those Revolve clothes!

Okay I could NOT stop wondering the whole time . . . are all these girls the same size??? How can they just pick anything out in this store & it’ll magically fit & be runway ready?

Omg can we just talk about Hannah Ann showing up on the runway in a wedding dress? Dead! DECEASED!!! That was ballsy.

Ugh I feel so bad for Victoria F. She’s seriously so gorgeous & not a trouble maker and all I want is for her to be happy. *cries* That outfit she came out in on the runway . . . HOT DAMN VICTORIA!! I don’t think she should be so upset about “Peter not seeing her” because girl, he saw you! Outfit & kiss combined?? Spicyyyy! It’s kind of b.s. that Victoria F. didn’t win the fashion show against Hannah Ann . . . we were all rooting for her, weren’t we?

One thing I couldn’t help but notice was that every time one of the girls was upset, Kelsey ran straight to them to try to comfort them. Kind of like she was trying to create allies. Coincidence? I think not.

End of the Episode

I am so happy that Victoria F got the rose at the end of the group date!!! She seriously deserves it.

Kelsey’s conversation with Peter was fake af. It was so funny because when he asked her if they could talk she was like am I in trouble? Usually if you have to ask it’s a yes! Hopefully in the next couple episodes he can see through the act she puts on for him. She keeps saying that she’s “over” the champagne incident, but obvs not because she ended the episode in the bathroom. Again.

High note: DEMI IS BACK NEXT WEEK!!! And it looks like there’s some hazing going on. I’m living for this . . . can’t wait! ‘Til next week!

xo, Han

The Bachelor Episode 1

The Bachelor Episode 1

*** S P O I L E R A L E R T ***

Hellooooo, Bachelor Nation!

So last night’s first episode of Peter’s season has me thirsty for next week’s episode. I am living for the drama on this season (okay, not really but you get what I’m saying)! Some relationships between girls in the house are already a little cray & it’s only gonna get crazier. YAY!

We all knew from the teasers that Hannah Brown would show up on this season of The Bachelor, but I don’t think anyone saw what was really coming at the end of the episode. I was FLOORED when Hannah B confessed that she made mistakes & still has feelings for Peter. I about lost my mind when he didn’t back off & invited her to join the house! WHAT!!! I def have mixed feelings about this–I wish Hannah & Peter would’ve just ended up together from the get-go, but I also feel like she wouldn’t even be competition against the other girls…she’s just the grand prize. So, we’ll see what she does next week!

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Let’s Meet the Girls

In The Running

These are the gals got a rose on last night’s episode, along with my first impressions after watching their entrance & interactions throughout the episode.

  • Alayah: family oriented, authentic, letter from her grandma seemed a little thirsty
  • Sydney: she threw a little shade at Hannah B in her entrance…& Hannah B’s my girl
  • Hannah Ann: cute & sweet, Peter seemed to really like her, she was the first one Peter willingly kissed, my pick for the first impression rose
  • Sarah: confident, real
  • Lauren: cautiously optimistic, Peter seems to like her
  • Victoria P: goofy, fun, lighthearted, sweet, daring
  • Mykenna: head over heels for Peter
  • Kelsey: maybe a little shy
  • Madison: sweet, confident, dominant
  • Tammy: funny, straight forward
  • Shiann: fun, maybe a bit insecure
  • Courtney: potentially trashy, wants to be cool
  • Lexi: she showed up in a red convertible. Yep, that’s it. That’s the tweet.
  • Deandra: who tf shows up as a windmill?? Awk since he banged Hannah B in that windmill….
  • Jasmine: Peter was so confused when he couldn’t understand a damn thing she was saying
  • Victoria F: dry sense of humor, not so confident, I thought she was going to be elimated
  • Savannah: the blindfolded kiss was not my styler, pretty bold, stole the first kiss from Peter (was he even into it???)
  • Kelley: nervous laugher, carefree
  • Natasha: weird, maybe a little kinky?, crazy eyes, probably the worst first impression for me
  • Kiarra: how did she fit in a freakin suitcase?
  • Alexa: debby downer

Eliminated

  • Maurissa: potentially possessive, fun
  • Eunice: flight attendant, confident
  • Jade: flight attendant
  • Megan: flight attendant
  • Kylie: bringing the condoms was trashyyy
  • Katrina: wtf was up with the picture of her hairless pussy cat?? Honestly like wtf I was so uncomfortable until I saw it was legit her hairless cat.
  • Jenna: showed up with an emotional support cow, awkward. Everyone who thought that cow was a horse needs to go. Now.
  • Avonlea: cheesyyyy

First Group Date

Since Peter is a pilot (duh!) the flight school group date is adorable. But Peter is showing no mercy with this first group date! I am literally so surprised only one girl threw up on that horrible spinning contraption. And I thought Hannah B picked some crazy group dates!

First Date

I loved watching the obstacle course!!! Low key mad that Kelley got the first date because she cheated & still got the sunset flight with Peter. But I guess the battle for love can’t always be fair, right? All the girls were SO jealous when she got back from spending the entire day with Peter, but who the heck wouldn’t be! We’ll see if the house can be a little less petty with Kelley next Monday.

First One-On-One Date

Peter has some BALLS! Taking a girl to his parents’ vow renewals on the FIRST DATE?! That’s some risky behavior in my opinion, but makes for some amazing drama.

That being said, this date was so sickeningly sweet. I think I would be terrified to meet the parents so soon…during their vow renewals…ON TELEVISION! At the end of the date when Madison & Peter got to sit down & chat together I feel like she was really saying all the right things, but I’m questioning if it was sincere or if she is just playing the game. I love Madison & I’m rooting for her–I also feel like the producers may be trying to frame their relationship for other reasons though.

Final Thoughts

Overall I’m diggin‘ this season of The Bachelor so far. The girls were wasted the first night, like a million kisses have already happened & Peter has some intense drama going on with Hannah B coming into the picture. I’m so pumped to see if Hannah B ends up ruining this season for all the women there (kinda hoping so, sorry not sorry). After this episode only my final 3 picks for the end of the season are Victoria P, Hannah Ann, & Madison. Who knows, this may change next week! Who are your top 3? I’d love to hear in the comments below.

I’m never really excited for Mondays, but IS IT MONDAY YET?! I’m ready for more Pilot Pete. ‘Til next week!

XO, Han

What’s In My Makeup Bag

What’s In My Makeup Bag

I’m soooo excited to share with you what’s in my makeup bag! These are my tried & true beauty products that I SWEAR by, & I’m sure you’ll love them too. I’ve scoured the internet to find the best current prices on these products (you’re welcome!) so that you can get a little more bang for your buck.

Eyes

Stila Shimmer & Glow Liquid Eyeshadow, Kitten & Starlight $24, Ulta

Kitten & Starlight are sooo pretty! I love to use the Naked Smoky palette & use the Stila Liquid Eyeshadow on the inner part of my eyelids. I dab a bit on my eyelid & apply it with my finger.

Too Faced Natural Lust Eyeshadow Palette $29.50 (regular $59), Too Faced

Urban Decay Naked1 Eyeshadow Palette $55.73, Walmart.com

Urban Decay Naked2 Eyeshadow Palette $26.99 (regular $54), Francy

Urban Decay Naked3 Eyeshadow Palette $27.99 (regular $54), Francy

Urban Decay Naked Smoky Eyeshadow Palette $24.97 (regular $54), Nordstrom Rack

Ulta Legendary Lengths Mascara $10.50, Ulta

Ulta Ultra Slim Brow Pencil, Soft Brown $10, Ulta

Face

Tarte Amazonian Clay Full Coverage Foundation SPF 15 $39, Ulta

I use Fair-Light Beige in the Winter/white months & Light Neutral during the tan seasons. I HIGHLY recommend going to your local Ulta to get matched with your perfect color!

NYX Cosmetics Concealer Jar, Green $5, Amazon

This green concealer is amazing at covering up any red blemishes. I use a concealer brush to apply green concealer over blemishes, then apply the Covergirl concealer over & blend. I apply this on my bare skin & apply foundation over the green concealer/Covergirl concealer.

Covergirl Smoothers Concealer $3.29, Target

I use the Light shade of concealer over the green concealer to banish red blemishes. Works like a charm!

BareMinerals BareSkin Complete Coverage Serum Concealer, Light $16.80 (regular $22), Walmart.com

I love using this concealer under my eyes in shade Light to get rid of dark circles. The coverage is flawless when I use a blending sponge!

SMASHBOX Holidaze Contour + Spotlight Palette $34, Amazon

This palette literally gives you the most perfect contour and highlight ever!!!

NYX PROFESSIONAL MAKEUP Studio Finishing Powder $3.33, Amazon

I use this translucent finishing powder over my foundation to get it to stay all day.

NYX Professional Makeup Matte Setting Spray $4.99, Target

After all that hard work that makeup better not BUDGE! I make sure my makeup is ready to take on the day (or night) with this matte setting spray.

Lips

Too Faced Lip Insurance Lip Primer $12 (regular $20), Sephora

Get those lips ready to keep that gorgeous color all day long with this lip primer. It’s seriously a game changer!

Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick in Patina $11 (regular $22), Amazon

Still Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick in Vino $11 (regular $22), Sephora

My favorite everyday shade ( & the color I wore on my wedding day) is Patina. It is a gorgeous matte dusty rose that I think would look good on literally ANYONE! Another one of my faves is a super deep red (the darkest red Stila makes) called Vino.

Brushes

Morphe Catch My Eye Brush Collection $19 (regular $36), Ulta–only in stock in stores

I like to use these brushes with my Natural Lust palette that didn’t come with a brush. They create such a professional look!

Real Techniques Ultimate Base Set $19.99, Ulta

These brushes work so well for the foundation & concealers I use! I personally don’t have this blender, but I love this brand of brushes so I’d be willing to bet it’s good.

Real Techniques Sculpting Set $19.99, Ulta

I cannot find my exact sculpting brush set anywhere, but this one looks like it would be amazing!

I hope you try some of these amazing beauty products & find them to be as amazing as I do! If you have any tried & true beauty products you swear by I’d love to hear all about it. Happy makeup shopping!

xo, Han

The Empowered Gal’s Guide to Hanging Christmas Lights (the easy way!)

The Empowered Gal’s Guide to Hanging Christmas Lights (the easy way!)

The Empowered Gal’s Guide to Hanging Christmas Lights

(the easy way!)

It’s finally that time of year! The air is frosty, stores are filled with holiday goodies, & all your neighbors have their Christmas lights up.

Whether you live in a house, dorm, or apartment I have the E A S I E S T light hanging hack to get you festive in no time!

I’m a Target gal myself, so I picked up some lights from my local Target. Good news–they happen to be on sale right now!

I picked up Wondershop Twinkling Clear Net Lights for $9 for our bush out front & several strands of Wondershop LED Mini Lights for $9 each. I only wanted to put lights around our front door & garage door for simplicity’s sake of taking them down later (lazy or genius?!).

Next was finding something durable & simple to keep the lights up. For years I watched my dad attach lights to our roof with those little plastic clips & I decided I wanted no part of that (ladders, no thank you)! I went to the Command hook aisle hoping to find something easy to use & they actually make light clips specifically made for outdoor use. WHO KNEW?! The Command Clear Outdoor Light Clips are only $9.99 for 36 (the clips are reusable–just buy new sticky strips).

These hooks are literally the easiest thing I’ve ever used! They come with sticky tabs to put on the back of the light clips. You peel & stick it onto the clip, then stick the clip to the door frame (or wherever you’re putting it). The package says to clean the surface before sticking the clips to it, but I didn’t have the time for that–I hung them up anyway & a couple wind storms later they’re still standing strong!

It took me less than an hour from start to finish to hang up lights around the front door, garage door & the bush. Who needs to wait around for someone else to put Christmas lights up for them? Girl, get EMPOWERED and hang those lights yourself!

Happy decorating! XO, Han

Secrets Retailers Don’t Want You to Know

Secrets Retailers Don’t Want You to Know

I have discovered some amazing tricks while shopping lately! These are total money savers & tips that retailers don’t just give out (seriously, why would they want you to know?!). Happy saving, friends!

Bed, Bath & Beyond

Bed, Bath & Beyond is one of my go-to stores for my household basics. One thing I can find there that I can’t find anywhere else (other than Amazon) is the Connoisseurs Silver Wipes I use to clean my silver pieces.

Save those print 20% off coupons, because guess what? They don’t actually expire!

You’re probably wondering why they even put expiration dates on the coupons–my guess is so that people will throw them away, saving the company money! Keep in mind that it is only the print / paper coupons that don’t expire — digital / smart device coupons do actually expire.

I found this shopping hack out when I was in line to buy my silver wipes at the customer service desk this summer. I was going on to the cashier about how bummed I was that I’d had all these 20% off coupons at home that I’d just thrown away because they expired, & she told me to dig them out of the trash because they’re still usable! The customer service gal told me that she had a customer in that week that used a 20% off coupon that EXPIRED IN 2011!

Lesson: never E V E R toss a Bed, Bath & Beyond coupon.

Hobby Lobby

Have you ever been wandering the aisles of Hobby Lobby waiting for just the perfect thing to jump out at you that completely ties your space together? Let’s just say that happens to be a buffalo plaid throw pillow (ALL the rage this fall!) & of course they only have 1 & it’s on super sale. Do not pass it up simply because there’s only 1 & you need more — ask for a raincheck!

At the returns register the cashier can write a rain check for you that secures the exact number of items you need at the sale price. They give you a call as soon as the item(s) are in & you can pick them up at any register for the same price you would’ve the day you found it. What I love about this is that you don’t have to pay more money for what you were already going to buy & you don’t have to stalk the aisles waiting for it to be re-stocked. I’d say that’s a win-win!

Lesson: if a sale item is out of stock, ask for a raincheck to get it at the sale price when its restocked.

Target

First of all, if you don’t already use Target’s Cartwheel app you are MISSING OUT! Simply download the Target app on your smartphone, then scan the items with your camera when you’re at the store & if there is a coupon or sale it will automatically pop up. You have to manually save the offer & let the cashier scan your wallet on the Target app at checkout. (Hello, savings!!!)

I stumbled upon this Target trick by accident when I was shopping for NYX Makeup Primer. It was $17 & I scanned it with my Target Cartwheel app and it said something like $5 or $6. I was confused because there was no sale sign in the aisle, so I found a gal stocking merch & asked what the deal was. She told me Target price matches their online prices. MIND = BLOWN! I had no idea! So when I went to the register I showed him the page on the app where it said the sale price at Target.com & he adjusted the price. I saved over $10 on this one item!

Intrigued, I did some more research when I got home & verified it with customer service during the next Target haul. Target will price match with Target.com, Amazon & Walmart to name a few. To price match, the item you’re matching has to be perfectly identical to what you’re trying to purchase at Target. When at the register, show the page on your phone where it shows the item & price on the competitor’s page & they’ll adjust the price. Isn’t this completely life changing?! Who doesn’t love savings!

Lesson: scan every item you’re purchasing the the Cartwheel app & ALWAYS do your price research before large purchases.

Complete List of Target Price Match Competitors

  • Amazon.com
  • BedBathandBeyond.com
  • Bestbuy.com
  • Barnesandnoble.com
  • Buybuybaby.com
  • Costco.com
  • CVS.com
  • Diapers.com
  • DicksSportingGoods.com
  • Gamesstop.com
  • JCPenny.com
  • Kmart.com
  • Kohls.com
  • Macys.com
  • Newegg.com
  • OfficeDepot.com
  • Petco.com
  • Petsmart.com
  • SamsClub.com
  • Sears.com
  • Staples.com
  • Ulta.com
  • Walgreens.com
  • Walmart.com
  • Wayfair.com

So the real question is now that you’ve saved all this $$$ on shopping you were gonna do anyway, where are you vacationing with all your savings?! Even more important question, what date did you book our vacay? 😉 If you come across awesome shopping tips & tricks, I’d L O V E to hear about them!

xo, Han