#SoloTravelWithSubi | Glamping in Venice, Italy

On September 25, 2018, my journey began. This trip was not supposed to happen, nothing was going as planned, but something in the air told me to take a leap of faith and “just do it.” So, I packed my bags in haste and booked a night flight to Venice, Italy. Sitting at the gate, I was tired, hungry, but still in good spirits. There was an empty seat in first class an upgrade and I was so grateful. The food was yummy, it was quiet and I was able to journal, watch movies and really relax. In this time of transition from college to working in the real world, I really needed a reminder of what I was passionate about. To center.

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IMG_8321 September 26, 2018. I made it. All of this space and it was all mine for the next two days! No worries, no phone calls, no text messages, no notifications. Just me. The tent had enough space for myself and three other people. This tent was made for sharing. But sometimes, a little selfishness is what we all need.  Thanks to winning an Instagram contest launched by @YouMeTravelCo and Sponsored by @GoOutsideIt, I was set to be here for 3 days and 2 nights under the stars in Italy, and I was so excited. Glamping was something that was new to me, none of my friends had ever done it, so this experience was unchartered territory.

What is “glamping?”Glamping is a portmanteau of glamorous and camping and describes a style of camping with amenities and, in some cases, resort-style services not usually associated with “traditional” camping. My version was a bit more humble than the over the top luxury, but it was luxurious to me okayyyy!! The whole experience from the moment I stepped onto the grounds was so peaceful. I loved every second. The tent was spacious, with three beds total, two twin and one full, so the tent can ideally fit 5 people if you include the couch.IMG_8318

IMG_8109.jpg There was a full range kitchen just outside the tent for me to cook, and that is one of my passions, cooking, and it’s something that I don’t get to do very often, seeing as I’m never home long enough. I was able to buy fresh groceries at the store built for the campsite just a few feet away from my tent, and I sang and danced in the kitchen, around fresh air and open sky

My favorite part of the trip was my day on the beach. What a liberating experience. I put my wireless headphones on and blasted Afrobeats, Soka, Compa, Caribbean music, anything that made me happy, I listened to it. I closed my eyes and spun around, dancing laughing, not caring who saw me, because this was my therapy moment. Releasing the kid inside and just dancing it out without a care as to who was judging or watching me. I danced for all the days that I was frustrated, wanting an outcome that did not go my way. I danced for the triumphs in my life, all the good things and amazing feats that I had accomplished for a young woman my age, and I danced for the future. There are so many good things ahead of me, all I have to do is work hard, pray harder, and be persistent and consistent.  It was so freeing, and it gave me hope that somewhere in the world there was a young girl doing the same, dancing it out and living in the moment, because once you go to bed, that day is gone. Don’t cry, don’t dwell in sorrow, dance it out.

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IMG_8254 Traveling solo, you have to take your own pictures, and you have to get creative. While on the beach, I propped my phone on a rick and stood it up with my bag, placed the camera on a timer and ran to do poses! IMG_8169

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If you’re ever alone and you want pictures taken, and want to get the exact shot you want, get creative, have fun with it! Use the objects around you to make your vision come to light. Whether it’s a tripod, a stack of books or even some rocks on the beach, you can make your surroundings work for you.IMG_8181Each night I wrote in my journal in order to really capture my feelings and reflect on what each day there taught me. The biggest thing that I can say is that this trip gave me an opportunity to be with myself, to really check – in and be sure that I was right where I needed to be, and I wish I could do it all over again. If you want to see more of my trip, and really get a feel for the experience, head to my YouTube and watch the whole vlog here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ccWkQMELxAw

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My Tent At Night

Thank you so much for reading! Have you ever wanted to solo travel? Let me know in the comments below where you plan to visit!

P.S. Here are some shots I took from the plane looking over Italy!

 

xoxo,

Sincerely, Subi

Neutrogena Naturals | Product Review

Hey there guys!! Ah! I love skincare, facial and body skincare, I love it all! I wouldn’t call myself a product junkie, but I would say that I am willing and open to trying almost anything new as long as i is good for the body, natural and if I’ve done research on it. This is about a skin care line that made me reconsider becoming a customer again.

I entered a giveaway on @curlsandcouture‘s Instagram and won a couple of products from the new Neutrogena Naturals Line. I have very sensitive skin – very much acne prone since ceasing my use of a very powerful acne regimen- and I tried almost everything Neutrogena. I tried the sensitive sin line, the acne clear line, I tried the Deep Clean Scrub, everything. And I had given up, but when I saw the giveaway on Instagram, I decided to do some research.

From the website: “Every Neutrogena® Naturals product is made according to our core values, with the same standards of efficacy and excellence as everyNeutrogena® product you know and trust — to create pure skincare from nature. With natural plant-derived ingredients, the average of our line is 94% natural. Products Not Tested on Animals. Up to 50% post-consumer recycled content in our bottles. Our folding cartons are made from 100% recycled paper with up to 60% post-consumer recycled content. Partnered with The Nature Conservancy to protect natural sources of clean water for people, plants and animals.”

The brand uses 5 effective ingredients to cleanse and purify the skin: Tara Seed: It works to build moisture levels with the skin, rich in Vitamins B, C, and complex sugars. Willowbark: this contains a “beta hydroxy acid,” this ingredient is known for its ability to detoxify. Inca Inchi Oil: full of omega fatty acids. Yerba Mate Leaf Extract: a powerful anti‐oxidant that contains bio-nutrients and Vitamins B, C and E. Lemon Peel: this brightens and visibly tones the skin.

Courtney’s giveaway included 5 products: Purifying Makeup Remover Cleansing Wipes, Purifying Facial Cleanser, Purifying Cream Cleanser, Purifying Pore Scrub, and the Multi-Vitamin Nourishing Moisturizer. I didn’t know where to start, but I got it down to a little post-make-up routine.

 

 

 

My Favorite products in the line are the Purifying Makeup Remover Cleansing Wipes, the Purifying Cream Cleanser, Purifying Pore Scrub, and the Multi-Vitamin Nourishing Moisturizer. The products are gentle but effective and I am really happy with how my skin has maintained since using it (about 4 months). I’ve had a little trouble with the pump of the  Purifying Facial Cleanser, it won’t open for some reason, but the Neutrogena team assured me that they’ll get another one to me soon! These products have been lasting me so long – I travel with them in small quantities, and I am always finding new combinations for them. I am for sure a Neutrogena customer again!

neutrogena.com/naturals

xoxo, Sincerely,

Subi

#OneDay : In Milano, Italy

I know, I know. I know what you’re thinking: This is about to be a post about visiting Milan in the summer and walking the streets of the city, catching a train to a swanky Italian club, good pasta, and an unexpected something. Well. I can tell you right now, this is not what you think.  Bear with me, because this might just be worth your time. And, did I really just use the word swanky?

Stay: Meliá Milano  Via Masaccio, 19, 20149 Milano MI, Italy Phone: +39 02 44406

This place is stunning. Now, it’s not hotel Shangrila, but it comes pretty close. 8 floors, outside the city center, stained glass ceiling panels, comfortable beds. I walk into the lobby and everything is well lit, of course, it’s 8 in the morning, but this is Italy, come on, everything looks glamorous. My room is this modest but complete amenity heaven. Queen bed with down sheets, fully stocked fridge, Lights that change the mood at the touch of a touch-screen, and the best part: the bathroom.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Now, I love bathrooms, I do. I’m that person that judges a place on the condition and feel of the bathroom, how weird am I, right? Well, I don’t care, because this bathroom was it. Glass paneled shower, plush towels, and a toilet with a bidet head. You’re wondering why that’s so important now, but you spend a day walking around in the hot Italian sun and look me in the eye and say you dont wish there was a bidet in your room. Haaaaa That’s what I thought. It was a lovely stay.

Walk: Literally Everywhere.

Yes, there’s a metro. Yes, there are rentable bikes, and yes, there are taxis. Truthfully, I couldn’t find a console to buy a metro ticket, and after further research, they could only be purchased from a few select stations, so I was out of luck. This was nothing like France. That aside, yes, walk everywhere. I encourage it; you get a feel for the true nature of Milan and the people who live there when you’re not hopping from tourist attraction to landmark. After checking my iPhone, I found out that I had walked some 13 miles which is not too shabby!! My feet were killing me by the end of the night but I did not care- I loved every minute.

Visit: Parco Sempione   Piazza Sempione, 20154 Milano MI, Italy  Phone:+39 02 8846 7383

A beautiful park in the center of the city, this made me realize the true appreciation I have for cities with a healthy balance between nature and man-made. The park is lovely, with side cafes, a playground, and a full-on bar. Very European. A playground a couple of steps away from one of the many entrances, and a dirt path looping around and through the entire park. I walked around for an hour, people watching mostly, and listening to see if I could make sense of any conversation with the French that I knew. I picked out a few words. My favorite part of all in Sempione was the pond. I fed the ducks, and I should have been better with taking pictures, but this moment was just for me. It was so fun, I don’t think I’ve ever just taken a minute to feed the ducks alone like that, and it was calm and cool in the shade of the willow trees.

Eat: Serendib Indian & Sri Lankan Cuisine Via Pontida, 2, 20121 Milano MI, Italy  Phone: +39 02 659 2139 

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Outside the Restaurant
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Mango Chutney, Green Cilantro Spicy, Plum Chutney
Potato Samosas with Rics Cakes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Aubergine in Spices, Potato Curry and Stewed Lentils
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Vegan Byriani at the end

 

 

 

 

 

 

Before you roll your eyes, take a second. Sri Lankan in Italy? You’d be surprised about the Asian population in Italy – I have to go back and more research. But this restaurant. This place was amazing! So authentic and genuine, the owner really cares about his guests. I was new in Milan and I needed good food that’s wasn’t pasta, know what I mean? I was so pleased with my choice. Serendib is in this side street off the main square and it doesn’t look like much when you walk up, but inside is gorgeous. Authentic decor, truly amazing smells of food and the promise of a good meal. I knew walking in that I was going to want to stay forever. They delivered. I had the vegan sampler: potato samosas as a starter and a main course of eggplant in traditional spices, potatoes, mixed veggies, and biryani so good it’ll make you fly to Milan just for a taste. And order the mango juice- with ic, bc disclaimer, (Europeans do not do ice in their drinks unless upon request) – it’s so good!!!

All in all, Milan is a flex zone! Got there if you want to shop, or if you’re with your girls, your significant other, your lover. Go if you’re ready to stunttt, and shop, and all the boogie glamorous things. I was not ready, but I will be next time. The time was too short!! It really I need to go back. And next time, yes yes, I will try the pasta.

Wash N Go in a Type 4 World

Hey Curl Friends,

For those of us who have a busy day, maybe you have classes, meetings back to back or even have the days where every hour is allotted for. Where does the time go? More importantly, what time do we have to dedicate to our hair in the grand scheme of things? That’s what the wash n go was designed for. Perfect for the busiest of bodies, the wash and go is literally what it says it is- a style designed for you to wash your hair, and go, leave the house with your hair done. There’s a trick to this style, pals, don’t underestimate. For every hair type there is a method that works best, and for my naturals in the type 4 realm, maybe you’ve given up on the wash n go. Maybe your hair shrinks, it doesn’t like low manipulation styles or your hair just “doesn’t look right.”  I tried something new and tested out the wash n go for myself. With the help of DevaCurl, I was able to make some shake.

I’ve added the video of my whole wash n go process with my hair onto my channel, and the video will be just below.

The DevaCurl brand has three classifications of products available for different hair textures and curl patterns: Wavy, Curly, and Super Curly. Because my hair is very thick and has tight coils, I opted for using the Super Curly kit for my hair. The Livin’ Large Super Curly Edition Bonus Kit comes with three products, the 32 fl. oz. No-poo Decadance Cleanser, the 32 fl. oz. One Condition Decadence Conditioner, and a free full-size Ultra Defining Gel (12 fl. oz.) The kit runs for $88 USD, a little pricey, but it is worth every penny.

Overall Thoughts: The scent is very clean, the DevaCurl line is one that I feel would work really well with a hair care line of similar caliber (no paraben, sulfates, or silicones) but that has a true scent. The one product that I did notice that had a scent was the SuperCream Coconut Curl Styler, and its scent was very subtle. In reference to how I felt while using it, the products, I did like that it gave me a ton of slip, which was great for detangling and there was never a moment where I felt like the product was weighing my hair down.

The Process: In the video, you’ll see me keep my hair in those four braids and this is to combat tangling at every stage of washing my hair. I love doing this, because not only does wash day go by so much faster, but I don’t have to constantly detangle my hair or spend an eternity doing so afterward. The Camille Rose Lavender Detangling Spritzer ($11.99 USD) was a plus in the process and just for good measure – plus it smells amazing! I also use a blow dryer to stretch my hair — that is the only purpose of the blowdryer, and on a cool setting that’s all it was doing. This way, my hair is elongated and I’m not damaging it with heat. After all of the product was applied I followed with the Femme Noir Flower Bomb Hair Growth Oil ($21 USD) to seal and shine. Many have asked me how my hair ended up in the shape that it did– I actually had a pin in my air as it was drying in order to manipulate the final look, so that helped a bunch, plus that’s my comfortable part.

Cons: My hair did feel a bit dry after the gel dried on my hair, and maybe that means that gel is not my thing, and because I liked the hold that it gave my hair I think I’ll try it again to be completely sure. This method did not leave my hair at it’s softest state, but it did last a long time and looked great! Again, it was my first time and where there is a will there is a way!

All in all, I really like the results! My hair lasted for 4 days which is not too bad for my first go at it! The products I used are a little on the pricey side but I promise it is so worth it! Deva Curl even has travel sizes if you want to just sample. If you guys want me to do a wash and go with drug store / more affordable hair care brands, don’t hesitate to let me know in the comments below!

Sending good energy for your next wash n go,

xoxo,

Subi

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Hourglass Cosmetics | Arch Brow : Product Review

For the days when your brows need that little extra push and pop, come thru #ArchBrow!  The product was sent to me complimentary for testing, but all thoughts are my own.

I’m not one to mess with my brows. Never have I ever gone to get them waxed or threaded, but maybe when I’m bored I’ll pluck a stray hair here and there. I let them live! But when @influenster sent me the new @hourglasscosmetics Arch Brow Shaping Gel, I had to see what the hype was about. There are 6 shades and one clear in the Arch brow line ranging from Blonde to Dark Brunette, which matches with the blackest of black hair. Because I’m not the type to particularly care for the storng statement brow, and I was unsure of which color would be best for me, I opted for the clear gel.

First impression? — I posted a little video on my YouTube channel here. This was my first time using the product. The brush construction was unexpected. It’s a dual brush – 2 sided with 2 different bristle length. One is for shaping and the other for product application. As the gel that I received was clear, the difference is very subtle, but after the first brush stroke, my eyebrow hairs are definitely more clean looking than before. The brush was easy to use and it made me feel good knowing that this product was vegan, especially as one who is on a natural journey herself.

Did it help me achieve my ideal brow look? — Well, to be honest, I walked into this with no expectations whatsoever, so yes, yes it did. I suppose if I was to opt for a brow gel that was colored I might have seen more of an effect, but I was satisfied. In the video, I only apply a light brush of bronzer, no heavy makeup.
These little wonders can be found @sephora 🌺

I hope your weekend is fruitful and bright and filled with productivity, whether that means crossing tasks off your to-do list, or to tackle the mission of sleeping in order to do so. Sending hugs through the internet waves!

xoxo,

`Subi


P.S Are we pals? Don’t forget to follow me on social media so we can stay in touch! 

 

 

I Promise.

Dear Reader,

This is all new to me, writing. Some say they were always born to write, some just pick up a pen one day and the rest is history. For me, this is something I have alway wanted to do, but never did. But I think one thing that is most important in the writer-reader relationship is trust, as is most important in all relationships. So I dedicate this first post to you, to the ones who took the time out of their busy, or maybe not-so-busy day to read my work, my thoughts, my words. And with this dedication I also have a promise. To you. To you, I promise always to be real. If I’m having a bad day or if something doesn’t go well, I promise to convey that in the best way possible. I promise not to be perfect, because who can be perfect but God? I promise to answer your questions to the best of my ability, and to let you know when I can’t answer a question. I promise I don’t have all the answers, but I also promise to do my best, to be my best.

Thank you for buying a ticket to this crazy ride called Life with me.This journey will be filled with so much of me, and you’ll soon find out who that really is. I promise you this will get interesting.

Sincerely,

Subi