getting lost & found in prince edward

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If it was a blur, did it even happen?

Today was quite the adventure.

I woke up, only having thirty minutes to get ready because I slept in after staying up until midnight studying for a math test. I was a little nervous for the test, but after taking it, I was relieved that my teacher said I was doing well…but I should study just a little harder. I then played ping-pong with my friend Maddy, took a nap in a sleeping pod, and then decided to take on Hong Kong alone. I had one mission in mind: get cash at a functioning ATM.

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Long story short, the Moovit app failed me tremendously. It took me through a really shady neighborhood full of men, who were just standing around smoking cigarettes. I kept passing the same street over and over again. Walking around in circles, I was on the brink of giving up. As the panic gurgled in my chest, I took a breath, and opened up GoogleMaps. Turned out that I was no where near the bank. The bank was two miles away.

So, I walked, focusing on everything except being lost. The dilapadated and quiet streets  turned to a bustling city with neon lights and railcars. I took a rest at the designated “rest area”, a place made specifically for sitting. There was a cute sign that said, “take a break.” My break was indeed much-needed. I couldn’t help but admire the cute fountain that wrapped around the park, and wonder what stories lied within the beautiful architecture in front of me.

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WIth a little cash in my wallet, and food in my stomach after stopping at my favorite “fast food-chain” (Cafe de Coral is not actually a fast-food restaurant. It’s far from McDonald’s or Taco Bell. The atmosphere is relaxing. Dishes range from pork + rice to duck soup. I had the pleasure of eating the pork, duck, + rice. While I’m not a huge fan of duck, I loved the pork. Sorry for not taking a picture, the lighting was horrible.), I attempted to find the MTR station. It was at this moment that I realized I could’ve taken the MTR station one stop from school instead of walking 2.5 hours, but otherwise, it was a fun experience.

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On the way back to the station, I stumbled across the cutest street filled with plants. I couldn’t believe it. There were so many stands of plants, succulents, full-sized cacti, flowers, hydrangeas, and so much more. I’m not sure if this location has an actual name, but if you do find yourself in Hong Kong, be sure to stop by this lovely street. It’s across the street from the Prince Edward MTR station. It’s definetly worth seeing!

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This adventure continues as my friend brings me back McDonalds while I’m writing this post. The plan for tonight is just chill and binge-watch Rick and Morty after such a long day. (I’m also making a point that we watch the Logic episode of Rick and Morty first to kick of the marathon.)

I’m thinking about doing a study tips post for next week. Though, the feedback for my travel posts are incredible. Thank you, but I’m not sure! Please let me know by commenting below.

get lost. get found. 

-hello ninetyseven (@helloninetyseven)

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spontaneous adventures in hong kong

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I am truly not one for spontaneity…

…Yet, for about four days straight, I have found myself walking through the streets of Hong Kong with a group of girls by my side, a dessert in my hand, and wonder in my eyes.

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My newfound friend Ashley, as pictured below, asked me to hang out with her and some friends after a Wednesday class session. I’d only had one class with Ashley, so I was completely honored to spend some time getting to know her and her friends. Before hopping on the subway, we stopped at a fried chicken stand about a five-minute walk from school. I wasn’t feeling chicken at the time, so I bought a waffle with butter vanilla sauce and…peanut butter?! Yes, peanut butter. I watched the woman drizzle it on, but when she handed it to me, it didn’t click that this peanut butter sauce is the same thing that makes me swell up and get hives. I took one bite, and my theory was confirmed. It was indeed peanut butter.

But huzzah! Luckily, one of Ashley’s friends was willing to eat my perfectly good waffle and she even paid me for it, because she felt really bad about the situation. (I very much appreciated the extra subway fare.)

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After walking around The Ladies’ Market, where ladies sell high-end handbags, toys, shoes, water-shooting speakers, and stuffed animals, we found Holy Ground: the biggest Forever21 I’ve ever seen in my life! It is four floors of aesthetic goodness, but unfortunately for the men, they have a tiny section in the back. This store is definitely dedicated to the ladies. It has everything an American F21 would have, plus more. Including stationary, pillows, hats, backpacks, shoes, and pool toys. My mind was blown. I was amazed. AND, there’s also mini escalators that take you through the store! I love Hong Kong.

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Forever 21 was fun, and while the girls swung their shopping bags in delight, I was starting to get worried about how we’d get back to the residence halls. Long story short, my red-haired friend and I were too tired to wait on the free university shuttle that transported us from downtown to the residence halls. We would’ve had to wait 2 hours and ride 40 minutes. So, instead, we rode two public buses–one to a sketchy station in the middle of a roundabout–back home, and arrived about an hour earlier than our friends. I was so happy to get back at a decent hour because I had an 8 a.m. class the next morning!

The day after, I shared a “family dinner” with three other new friends and watched Rush Hour 3 in my friend Alex’s apartment. This was totally not planned but beat watching Pacific Rim at the university (an Orientation Week event). We are definietly not Master Chefs, yet somehow we pulled it together. Our cozy meal of beans, corn, mashed potatoes, and strawberry ice-cream brought our friendship together in ways I could never imagine. I am so grateful to have friends that love to cook and chill together.

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On Friday, after more orientation events that included free bubble tea, cotton candy, more ice-cream, crepes, and a talk about course-sequencing, I texted Alex again to see if he was available. He was, and we decided to take on Sham Shui Po. We walked a few blocks, sweated our faces off, and settled for good ol’ McDonald’s because we were desperate and couldn’t take out cash from the ATMs. Then, I snapped this photo, we went into this weird corner store that sold really cute and affordable notebooks alongside toy guns and dish soap, we were awestruck over a number of cute dogs in the area, tried to walk through a park, but couldn’t find the exit, found another park where we saw elderly fit women working out their thigh muscles, and talked on a bench under a street lamp. It was a great night.

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If your professor sends you to a shady photography gallery in the middle of an unexplored city with rivers and chain-smokers, don’t fret. It’s normal. Yesterday, I rode the subway out to Wong Chuk Hang to visit Blindspot Gallery. There, it was an Alice in Wonderland-themed exhibition that explored what the meaning of reality was–or is. There were photographs of time progressions, videos, paintings, drawings, and free cupcakes. My favorite part was hands-down the free cupcakes, but I felt far from suave as a cruised through the intelligent crowd of established artists and their friends wearing a Calvin Klein sweater and ripped shorts. Stuffing my face was sugary perfection, I studied the art, praised the heavens when my professor counted my attendance, and skidattled out of the sketchy gallery. Lucky for me, there are two more fieldtrips back to this gallery. (Hopefully there will be cupcakes.)

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I took this shot in the bathroom of the gallery. I loved the way the light hit the windows. Below, is a little office space. It sits in the front of the garage right before the gallery.

Processed with VSCO with m5 presetJust before heading back, my friend and I snuck into a Chinese temple. (I didn’t photograph anything, out of respect, but it was beautiful. There were candles burning and we saw people stopped to pray in front of the Buddha. We tiptoed around the temple to find many fishtanks, oriental rugs, and gold sculptures. We even peeked into a sunroom to find a ton of shoes lying around, as the patrons of the temple prayed in another room. There was a small fountain with a huge golden Buddah on top that my friend couldn’t resist taking a picture of It was a spiritual experience that I will never forget. Before we went back on the subway, I took this shot. I can’t get enough of the architecture here!


Comment down below if you’ve ever had an unplanned adventure, and what you did!

Thank you so much for reading.

(*I finally have wifi, so you can check out my Instagram posts of my adventures here!)

Cheers,

-hello ninety seven

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The Sunshine Blogger Award

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The Rules:

  1. Thank the blogger who nominated you.
  2. Answer the 11 questions asked.
  3. Nominate 11 other blogs and ask 11 new questions for them.
  4. Finally, list the rules and include the Sunshine Blogger Award logo somewhere in the post.

Thank You + Questions

I’d like to thank Lashes, Love, and Lifestyle for nominating me for this lovely award. I am so honored to be considered for something like this, because I’ve only just started my blog.

  1. Favourite drugstore makeup product?

I hardly ever wear makeup now. I’ve been makeup free for about a year. But, my favorite product was the NYX First Base Primer Spray. It made my face so dewy, and I loved it.

What’s your favorite place you’ve ever visited?

London. It was such a memorable trip, because I’d been wanting to go there for years after watching The Parent Trap a million times. I loved that there were so many things dedicated to The Beatles.

Are you a dog person or a cat person?

Dog person. Cats are evil and scary.

What’s your dream job?

To be writing full-time (blogger or novelist), working from home in my London flat.

Favourite high-end makeup product?

The Naked 2 Palette. I love all of the rosy eyeshadows.

What’s your favorite type of food?

Noodles, specifically pho. I’m in Hong Kong right now, so noodles are easy to find! I’m also so obsessed with milk tea/bubble tea. Noodles and bubble tea are life!

Favourite TV program?

Of all time: either Rugrats or Dance Moms. I finished watching Master of None. I think it’s hilarious and painfully realistic.

What’s your go to outfit?

A ringer tee, shorts, and my black bomber jacket.

If you had the opportunity to create a makeup product, what would you make?

Photographic makeup. It sounds super high-tech and would be super expensive to make, but what if there was an mascara you put on, and whenever you blinked, it took a picture of the moment you were in. I’m not sure how it would work, but if it did, I would like to be a founder of that product/brand.

How did you get into blogging?

I’ve had around four blogs before I reached this one. I was inspired by Zoella to start putting my words online. I started watching Aspyn Ovard as well, who really opened my eyes to minimalism, clean formats, and aesthetically-pleasing photos. If I could’ve started blogging in middle school, I would’ve. It just took me a while to learn how. I think a middle school blog would’ve been embarrassing, though. Plus, I’m constantly changing and once I don’t like my blog, I make a new one.

Blogging has really given me a sense of community and a place on the internet. I keep coming back to blogging because I love how nice everyone is, and learning about new lifestyle tips and ways to improve myself.

Name a product that you bought because of Youtubers/Bloggers.

A Beauty Blender. Those were all the craze, back in 2014, and I just had to have one. Aspyn Ovard influenced every beauty decision I ever made.

Nominees:

Thoughts of K

A La Fit

The Joy Witch

Skirts N Quirks

QuestType

Camila Aimbire

beautyandpizza

laurenellen

Shazeda

Danielle Collison

Madelyn Grace

Questions for Nominees:

  1. What is your favorite song at the moment?
  2. If you could only wear one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?
  3. What is the best book you’ve ever read?
  4. How do you relax?
  5. What is the grossest thing you’ve ever eaten?
  6. Why do you blog?
  7. What is your favorite Disney movie?
  8. What is your favorite theme park?
  9. Have you ever been in love?
  10. What advice would you give to your high school self?
  11. What’s the scariest thing you’ve ever done?

 

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my pamper routine // how i care for natural hair

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Hello,

Tuesday are my official self-care days. It’s a day where I spend about seven hours just pampering myself to the heavens. I have dedicated my Tuesdays to self-care because I know I deserve it. It’s also because lately, I’ve felt as if I’ve exhausted my body, and exerted a lot of my energy on negativity. As I recently commented on a fellow blogger’s post, “our bodies are not machines. We must take care of them.”

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I’ve had natural hair for about two months now. The whole process of transitioning to natural has been one that I have enjoyed fully. From this journey, I have gained a new confidence in my hair, my appearance, and how I carry myself. I start off my hair care routine by washing and conditioning my hair with the Cantu Cleansing Cream Shampoo and the Hydrating Cream Conditioner. These are 10/10 products for anyone thinking about going natural. My hair feels so moisturized every Tuesday on wash day. I’ve never used a shampoo that has made my hair feel so clean either. These products are relatively inexpensive and can be found for under $10 each at Sally Beauty. I have also seen Cantu products in Wal-Mart, Kroger, and Target. Hopefully, if you’re interested, these won’t be hard to find.

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Throughout the week, my hair tends to get very dry. So, I use a deep-conditioning hair mask (which let sit in my hair with a plastic cap for about thirty minutes), a leave-in conditioner, and an oil sheen. Not only do all of these products leave my hair shiny and detangled, they also smell amazing!

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As for skincare, I have dry skin. So, it is sometimes hard to find the right product that will not leave little red bumps all over my arms and legs, as well as moisturize well. Luckily, I have found two face products that do just that! Since it was Self-Care Tuesday, instead of using my daily cleanser (Clean and Clear Morning Burst rocks!), I decided to step up my facial routine by using the St. Ives Blemish Control Apricot Scrub. I love the way it smells and I truly feel as if it works for my skin. I used to use this every day, but I found that it was too harsh to use daily. My holy grail moisturizer is the Pond’s Dry Skin Cream. It has a thick, tacky consistency that I love, and feel like it will last all day. I have been using this every day since last year, and have had no issues. Both can be found in any grocery store or Target for inexpensive.

I also use a body sugar scrub that smells so delicious, is inexpensive, and can be found at any drug store. This also keeps my skin hydrated and moisturized. Since, using this daily, I’ve had minimal dry and itchy skin!

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I am not one to go and get my nails done at a salon. While it has been a relaxing experience in the past, I really like to do my nails at home. It’s very calming for me. Having my nails painted makes me feel like I have my life together while looking like I have my life together. I truly hate the feeling of having a broken nail and crusty hands. A few years ago, my mom bought a whole collection of Michael Kors nail polishes. They’ve seemed to have lasted forever. But my go-to color is called Fantasy. I adore the minimalistic and chic design of the MK nail polish bottle.

I also binged watched a few Kardashian episodes, while painting my nails. It’s my guilty pleasure!

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To end my routine, I like to read or plan. Both relax my mind and help me cope with the anxiety that I have been struggling with recently. In my top list of books, (The Fault in Our Stars = #1and All The Bright Places = #2), Milk and Honey ranks as #3. I cannot travel without this book. I cannot live in a space without this book. I’ve returned to the book many times. It is because it helps me find clarity and is relatable. As for my planner, I bought it for $6 at TJ Maxx. TJ Maxx isn’t a store I go into a lot, but I am so obsessed with their planners and decor. I’ve become serious about planning this summer and ordered college stickers for my planner yesterday from Amazon. (They were only $4!)

If you’d like, you can check out the video version of this post here on my channel. (Or click the thumbnail with the black letters above!) Don’t forget to subscribe! I also posted a few shots on my Instagram, which you can see here!

Comment down below your self-care routine!

Thank you for reading!

-hello ninetyseven

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tips for traveling with anxiety

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Hello,

I cannot believe that in just a few hours, I will be on a plane on my way to Hong Kong. I am excited to explore the city but more than thrilled to visit Disneyland Hong Kong. While I’m writing this, it’s 12:36 a.m., and I have to be up by 3 a.m. because we have to be at the airport, and be on the plane by 7 a.m. Though it sounds hectic, it’s actually relaxing to have a few hours in the “morning” to write a blog post. I am very grateful for this opportunity to travel abroad, though, I have been very anxious about going somewhere unfamiliar.

I’ve had quite a few panic attacks when thinking about my study abroad experience. It is all because change scares me a lot. The thing I worry most about is not getting to class on time because I am in such a big city, and the academic shuttle ride to class could take up to forty-five minutes.  I also worry about getting lost. I worry about the math class that I’m taking, and not having the right materials for my photography class. There’s also a lingering thought in the back of my mind that it will be the ultimate struggle to make friends. I also worry about getting ill and not having enough medication.

Most of these thoughts seem irrational when I’m looking at them on the computer screen. You may even think that they’re irrational because, in a way, they are. But when someone is struggling with anxiety and panic attacks, everything seems rational–including the irrational thoughts. Though with each panic attack, I have found a new way to, not necessarily avoid a future attack, but cope with new ones in the future.

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Purchase something from home to remind you of where you came from. While on my Target run two weeks ago, I stopped by the home decor section and found this adorable wax warmer. It basically serves as a candle, but instead, uses a light to melt scented wax. It is much safer than using an open flame to make a room smell nice. It is also dorm-friendly, so I’ll be taking this with me, and plugging it in the nearest outlet in my dorm room. It shaped like a deer, I love deers, and it’s calming because it reminds me of the deers around my home.

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Plan to wear something comfortable (and that you feel confident in) during flights and long travel days. I’m pretty sure that it’s just me, but there’s truly no better feeling than wearing something that is comfy and cute. I actually like wearing new outfits while traveling. If I have to wear something for a 16-hour flight, (yes, I know.) then I want to feel amazing in it. My lightweight sweatshirt is so comfy and I love the color. The sweatshirt is from Calvin Klein and my leggings are from Forever21. I highly recommend not wearing skinny jeans on a plane, and instead, wearing leggings or sweatpants for maximum comfort during a flight. The more comfortable you feel, the less likely you will have a panic attack. For me, when my clothes are tight, I feel trapped, and then everything begins to spiral.

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Make sure you have all of your documents the night before, so that you won’t have to scramble the morning of your flight. Before we headed to the airport, the evening of our trip, we stopped by FedEx to make multiple photocopies of our passport and other important documentation. This is probably one of the most important things to do, especially if disorganization makes you anxious. I am one of those people. If I can’t find something, I get hot flashes, my chest gets tight, and it’s hard to breathe. This is all because I think that I’ve lost something crucial. I recommend making at least three copies of important documents so that if you do lose a copy, you have a backup plan.

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Don’t be embarrassed to take a comfort object. Listen, my pal Losto and I have been through a lot. He’s pretty much been there through every panic attack that I’ve had. He’s seen a lot. He’s seen the world. I am not ashamed to have him under my arm while walking through the airport. If you need to have a comfort object, (whether it’s a stuffed animal, a blanket, a pillow, or even an actual pet) by all means carry it shamelessly. If you know that something will immediately calm you down, just by holding it, take it. Don’t be embarrassed. You will thank yourself later if you find yourself in a stressful situation.

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Make a playlist of your favorite songs and bring your headphones. Listen to music at any point during your day. Whenever you have a little free time, (maybe during a layover or while other passengers are boarding) pull out your device and plug in. I find this especially helpful during take-off. I turn on some music and jam out. Then, my mind is taken off of the thoughts of what could possibly go wrong during the flight or how constricting the seatbelt is. My go-to song for when I’m feeling anxious is Black Spider-Man by Logic. For some reason, I am always calmed when I listen to it.

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Don’t forget your medication, herbal therapy, etc. Like the documentation tip, this one is also very important. I started using herbal therapies about three weeks ago. There’s a health foods store in walking distance from my house. I went inside after having another panic attack and asked an employee what was the best (and cheapest) anxiety-relief option. She brought me to Urban Moonshine Joy Tonic, which is currently on Amazon for $10, and it has been the best herbal solution to coping. There’s a lot of aromatherapy type things in this small bottle that instantly makes you relax. All I do is spritz this twice under my tongue when I’m feeling a panic attack coming on, drink a glass of water, and then do a breathing exercise. In a matter of minutes, I am relaxed and able to focus. I will warn you though, the taste is horrible. It does not taste like candy. It tastes very disgusting, has an aftertaste, and puts a slight burning sensation in your throat. But, it does provide quick relief. (*I would not use this every day or with prescribed medications.*)

If the post got a little wordy, here is the link to the video version of this post. While you’re there, please subscribe. I post videos on Thursdays. I also shared three pictures from this post on my Instagram, so feel free to check those out as well.

Comment down below what you do to keep yourself calm, while traveling.

Thank you so much for reading!

-hello ninetyseven

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minimalistic back to school lookbook

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Hi,

Back to school season is in full effect, and that means the back to school sales are alive and well. I’ve been wanting to change up my style for a couple of months, but just didn’t know how. A few thrifting and haul videos later, I have found that my style has evolved into a more feminine/sporty chic. I don’t mind. Forever21, H&M, and Macy’s had some incredible deals this past weekend. I scored the two plain shirts for $3 at Forever21 and $9 at H&M. The deals this weekend were incredible.

I can’t really choose a favorite outfit because I adore them all. But I think the outfit I’m most comfortable in is the striped shirt and skirt from H&M. I’ve never owned a skater skirt before, but have always admired them. I get Parisian vibes from this outfit, which is perfect since I’m teaching myself French right now. Haha. I’m also a sucker for a ringer tee and a striped dress, though. The most “daring” outfit for me is the last one because I usually don’t wear suede skirts. But I feel so confident in it.

Please click the link here (or the thumbnail with black letters above) to subscribe and check out the video!

Thanks for reading,

-hello ninetyseven.

look one: h&m dress

look two: calvin klein top // f21 leggings

look three: h&m top // pacsun jeans

look four: h&m top + skirt

look five: h&m tank top // f21 top + leggings

look six: f21 top + skirt

*please excuse my outlets*

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what’s in my bag/in-flight essentials 2017

 

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Hi,

For my first post, let’s talk about flights. In a few days, I will be heading to Hong Kong, where I will be studying for a few months. I’m super excited for the experience, not necessarily the twenty-hour flight. My carry-on bag is from Target, and it’s a special kind of bag that is splash-proof and prevents people from stealing information from the credit cards inside. I found this for under $50, but it’s well-worth the price, and it holds literally everything that I need.

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Next, we have my essential essentials. I just bought this cute wallet from Target for around $15. It is very roomy and I love that my phone even fits inside one of the pockets! I have my inhaler, Apple headphones (which I found in a moving box in my basement), a wall charger, my portable charger, and three tinted lip balms.

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I am OBSESSED with these tinted lip balms. They keep my lips so moisturized during the day, and for some reason, I have a lot of funny applying them. My favorite is the Coral Blush because it’s the most pigmented. I tried the other two colors and was slightly disappointed at how sheer they were. I had to mix them together in order for it to be seen on my lips. I would recommend buying the Coral Blush and leaving behind the other two.

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Right now, I’m into planning and lettering. I got this adorable/artsy planner from TJ Maxx. I also carry around a small notebook that I keep story ideas, brain dumps, and French terms. Currently, I am making it my goal to learn three French terms a day, and so far it’s working out. To write everything down, I use these colorful triangle pens that I bought from school. I’m not sure if they can be found in-store.

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Lastly, I want to stay healthy while on the plane. I found some immune support chewables in the health section of Target, as well as an eye mask in the travel section of Target. Honestly, I am always afraid of getting sick, and hate when there’s a strong light in my eyes while I’m trying to sleep so this will be perfect.

 

Please subscribe to my channel: hello ninetyseven by clicking the link here or the thumbnail at the top of this page.

Thank you for reading,

-hello ninetyseven

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