Havana, Si!

 

 

B461A887-DB41-4DD4-BF5B-D1CAE58BC2C6 (1).jpg

Havana is without a doubt a place filled with intrigue, history and culture. It’s as if the buildings, monuments and streets have remained frozen, suspended in time.

IMG_6799.JPG

You can still spot the golden age’s decayed signs and detailed architecture, the scribbled signatures from dead poets and writers who visited their fave coffee shops & bars.

My first highlight just happened to be a Mojito Bar on my first night.

La Bodeguita Del Medio

Facetune_25-04-2018-17-00-43.jpg

This place has been around for years and years, littered with the portraits and ghosts of icons that have enjoyed a Mojito or 2. Faces like, Pablo Neruda, Nat King Cole, Ernest Hemingway. Legend has it that they gave birth to the Mojito here, and boy were they strong. It’s a small space packed with tourists & locals, the atmosphere is magical so make sure you stop by for a drink.

La Guarida

IMG_6765.JPG

A hidden gem, this fab restaurant has hosted people like the Obama family off the main central Havana roads. As you make your way up those aged marble steps, you discover a restaurant and soon too, a bar. While on the bottom floors reside bustling locals, playing their music joyfully and enjoying time with their families, while the scent of tobacco drifts through their wooden, colorful blinds. Once we sat down, the dishes at the restaurant were absolutely delish and the cocktails are equally as good! The best part? You get a full view of the city in a private setting.

Ridin’ Round 

26229825_10155184513377322_6817255180912710452_n.jpg

Clearly had to indulge in one of these retro car rides, luckily my brother is fluent is Spanish so we were able to haggle as some of the prices can get quite steep for 1 hour rides. You’ll see these cars all over old Havana, so take your pick and ride on. They’re great for photo opps and sight seeing.

Take a Walk

IMG_6279.JPG

IMG_6278.JPG

There’s nothing I love more than walking around a new city, listening in on conversations from whispering locals and adapting to the pace of their routines. In Havana, you can spend hours exploring the streets and discovering new places, most of them are abandoned and almost remind you of ruins from another era.

IMG_6800.JPG

That’s how I came across this artisan who was selling seashell pieces that would make Ariel envious,

25A33B41-D0D3-40B5-864A-F4D5B352FB38.jpgD5B1DF1A-F34D-4986-A420-0B479626F9B5.jpg

 

Have you visited Havana yet? If you’re a fan of exploring cities, this is the perfect next spot to fly out to!

IMG_6752.JPG

 

Sunsets & Sirens at Sri Panwa

90a83911-b92d-427b-8e5e-5f023c8e6a61.jpg

By now you must have guessed that I’m pretty passionate about Thailand, must be something about the exotic sights, the smiley locals and luxurious hotels.

Speaking of luxurious hotels, Sri Panwa was one that will never leave my soul & body & mind. While I was only there for a short time, it had left an imprint and impression on me forever.

Let’s start with the actual location of this paradise, it’s tucked away from buzzing Phucket city life and tourists, it even has its own stunning private beach, in Laem Phan. It’s right on the edge of the island that’s how you get sights like these,

0afea402-d58f-483b-a672-eb3094404431.jpg

 

*gasp* I know. When I took this shot I had to stare down at my camera for a good minute or two because it looked like a dream.

When we got there, the sky was already melting into sunset,  magic hour. The staff recommended to have drinks and dine on the rooftop, a place they call “Baba’s Nest”. And so – we did! After all, I saw so many photos of this mystical bar, that I had to check it out for myself.

120988b3-15ad-4f28-b24b-204eac9448ee.jpg

ede3f45f-21eb-4f35-a4a0-ba40739b43b3.jpg

 

77E48F2F-B227-4BCB-9C7A-4F9A0D63C749 (1).jpg

If you ever find yourself in this part of Thailand I would highly recommend booking ahead, sunset is their busiest time, naturally.

8D4A008B-441B-42F3-9D92-78DFF51D2C2D.jpgI seriously couldn’t get over the view. I had a moment of reflection, gratefulness from the beauty surrounding me and how blessed I was to be there in that moment.

As night fell, they dimmed the lights to match the setting.

Facetune_19-04-2018-23-23-17.jpg

 

The next day we indulged in the hotel’s room lavish amenities. We got a place with an infinity pool overlooking the lush surroundings. As soon as we entered the room, there was a lovely citrus smell lulling us, and a soothing iPod playlist that’s so perfectly matched and curated for the sights around.

602A360A-AE76-42E8-9FBC-37498E62BD59.jpg

We also abused the included mini bar filled with cooling mint scented towels, a Nespresso machine, soft + boozy drinks. They even had a bowl of fresh fruit and info cards laid out on the mini table beside the patio.

We then made our way to a breakfast buffet fit for royalty, with complimentary champagne. Our hearts + glasses full and we wished the day would never end.

2B7DD5FE-9EAA-4920-B416-F2A47D98790A (1).jpg

IMG_5726 (1).JPG

53A35E69-7FE3-43AD-A544-2282078F6ED7

I took a dip after having a bite, and the water was just perfect. Seriously;  it all felt like a dream! Everything we wanted and more was at our very fingertips with helpful staff and breathtaking views.

Even though we said goodbye, Sri Panwa will never leave my heart, and I will cherish the memories here forever & then some.

 

 

 

If Mermaids Had Legs They Would Totes Do This Retreat

As mermaids we’ve definitely heard of underwater swimming sessions, retreats, photo-shoots and even classes! But rarely do we see opportunities that offer these things AND combine them with an environmental impact.

After all, without our oceans, we wouldn’t even have any of these options available to us in the first place! So it’s SO important to give back especially in such a bleak time of marine life devastation.

Screen Shot 2018-04-13 at 5.02.07 PM

That’s when I came across miss Christine Ren on Instagram, an underwater performer, diver, and activist in Marine conservation. She’s curated and organized a magical trip, fit for us salty sirens where you explore bodies of water in #travelworthy destinations like Koh Tao, Thailand and sunny Los Angeles ( with a flippin’ 10% going towards ocean conversation!).

Screen Shot 2018-04-13 at 5.00.51 PM

The program is meant to immerse you into another dimension, one filled with movement and nature. What kind of movement you might wonder.. well one that makes you filled with connection and purpose.

Screen Shot 2018-04-13 at 5.02.14 PM

I mean, let’s be real, it’s not often that you get to dance + meditate underwater alongside exotic sealife, AND get pro pictures of those moments taken.

I wonder if mermaids had legs if they’d take up underwater ballet as a hobby…I guess there’s one way to find out.

Find out more about these retreats : http://christinerenfilms.com/workshops/koh-tao/

Using my code SIA-18  you’ll get a special 10% off!

 

 

Top 3 Beach Times In Phucket

 

When I was traveling to Phucket, I knew I would be exploring the best beaches in the world.

Afterall, Thailand has such clear waters, bright white sands and exotic sealife…But now the issue comes down to choosing! If you’re on a shorter vacation time and trying to squeeze everything in, I know your struggle. That’s why I made this list of my top 3 beaches for you merbbz.

 

 

Mosquito Island

eabe102d-73df-4e61-bb7a-34ae925d1fa9.jpg

You’ll have to take a boat to this one from Phi Phi Don, luckily I was on a boat tour traveling the surrounding islands for that day so I was able to easily jump off and spend an hour there.

Something that’s truly magical about this beach is how shallow some of the water gets, you can fully lie down in the water without getting clashing waves. There were also cute fishies that swim between your toes and fingers, unafraid of human contact and since the water is so clear, you can see them from the surface.

 

Surin Beach

65e8c37c-c9c4-472a-b95d-ec5d41ed1860

This one is kind of hidden, which I like! Don’t get me wrong, there’s still tourists that frequent Surin beach, but unless you’re staying in the area it’s a little out of the way from most hot spots.

ed7c85d8-57f6-4c19-8176-41ebc7033a48

The water is so crystal clear, it looks surreal ( hey that rhymes- sort of!) and I love that there’s some rocky cliffs you can jump off of or sunbathe on.

2a5c5341-37c8-4c60-bfe5-f1a9ba7770ca.jpgThe sand is so soft, even when stepping into the water,  and the beach is sheltered by lush palm trees so you can always find a shady spot, no matter how busy it gets.

Maya Bay 

0830aae4-35d5-4e0f-b8bb-8594c1300868.jpg

How could I not mention Maya beach? Famous for the 90’s movie “The Beach”, this is definitely the busiest out of the three.

The water has gradient shades of blue, and is surrounded by jutting rock formations.

8ed2f825-4838-4aa7-a9a2-18d4d3ff857c.jpg

If you have enough time to explore the island, it’s quite small but inhabited by kitties and chippering birds.

I heard they recently closed it down though, due to coral reef damage, I do hope they reopen it soon enough but I can definitely appreciate the concern with marine conservation.

b5b12bfd-770c-4161-9eb7-fb72a0891591.jpg

 

What other beaches do you still dream about in Thailand? Leave me some suggestions in the comments!

82722ecc-c8ca-490a-8b24-26ab91494d13.jpg

Somewhere In The Thai Jungle

390a6269-5cfd-4e25-b921-ac65c66c678b-1

 

If you’ve ever wanted to spend the night in the exotic, isolated and opulent south-east Asian jungle, explore Villa Zolitude Resort & Spa #villalife.

When I think of Phucket, I imagine, (as we most do) bright white beaches and translucent waters with shimmering coral reef and sparkling zebrafish. I picture the iconic Phi Phi islands jutting from underneath turquoise waves, the cloudless blue skies and humming sound of long tail boats.

But with this beauty, comes popularity, and retreating in the jungles of Thailand can offer a type of luxury and unforgettable privacy that these hot spots can no longer provide.

cb6514bc-64f9-49f4-ada6-442ece7aea80

 

Staying at this 2 story pool villa was a dream. It was a temporary sanctuary in the jungle, tucked away from the hustle and bustle of tourist attractions.

14abb8b5-7d37-4fcb-9e9f-cbc2ba7d2595.jpg

 

I felt an endless sense of calm as we entered the property, greeted with smiles and lavish wildlife. I had just come back from the Elephant Sanctuary and needed a place to hide from the blazing afternoon sun.

The interiors of the villa were beautifully decorated, accessorized with traditional tapestries with surrounding room length wide windows and two floors of bliss.

f45a6ccd-b5e9-4b9d-a699-4e5c188e0305

Spending most of my time by the deep blue infinity pool, that spilled and overlooked onto the quiet hillside with lots of music & a few glasses of wine.

 

37411322-b1af-4af7-b240-e343e5101ffb.jpg

I heard a blend of bird & insect orchestras at all times of the day;  whether in the afternoon, evening and morning hours, we never felt alone.

 

As night approached I ordered in villa dining to celebrate another amazing day in Thailand, the service was exquisite.

b39f3d07-188b-4de0-a67d-b9c29a0c63e5

 

At sunrise, I was woken by the sounds of the jungle surrounding me and I traced the sun with my eyes until it was flooding our room.

857a3136-150e-4e65-a448-6d869c7dfe27.jpg

Before saying goodbye, I stopped by their spa for a full aromatic body massage (which was excellent). I don’t have photos from those moments, but the spa had an open concept setting surrounded by small ponds and lilly pads, buzzing with the sound of dragonfly wings and crickets.

a352c37a-8429-4544-bf31-6a7945f4aaf9

 

Villa Zolitude will forever weigh on my memory as an unforgettable, intimate and healing experience. What’s the next jungle resort I should swim by? Leave me suggestions in the comments ❤

Mermaid Monday: Splash Into Tarte’s New Mermaid Collection

IMG_5799

I’ve been waiting for this collection to drop for a while, patiently, twiddling my fins, and now it’s finally HERE! (Yes, I am very excited if you couldn’t tell). The best part though- is that I got the three items I wanted before they sold out!

I had seen similar no-name brands release their own version of mermaid brushes, but the bristles looked questionable. As you’ve guessed I’m not a huge fan of buying products or cosmetics of a lower quality, even if the packaging is super adorbs- what are ya going to end up doing with them if they don’t fulfill your make up needs?

But this collection ticked everything off my list:

-Vegan

-Pro quality

-Mermaid Appeal

+ enchanting, mermazing, shimmery…I could go on.

So as promised, here’s my full review on my fave items from Tarte’s mermaid collection : The Be A Mermaid And Make Waves Palette, The Mermaid To Minutes Brush Set and The Glitter Gel.

IMG_5699.JPG

The Brush Set

If this is your first brush set or if you’re adding this to your growing collection, these will be your new go to’s.

633F9E8A-DE7D-4845-97AA-3F68D2451995.jpg

First off the bristles are super soft, I played with each and everyone and they all deliver great results. There’s 3 face brushes and 2 eye brushes. I usually re-use my personal face brushes and just clean the same one in between shades (I have a different kit for my makeup clients), but it’s nice having 3 options to paint with. It feels like a luxury.

I used the face brushes to paint on the glitter gel, which I review below *though a note to you merbbz : make sure you clean them well as the gel tends to grip to the hairs.

The base also feels really secure- they don’t feel flimsy or cheap, and love seeing that ombre tail shine under the light when I’m doing my application. It adds such fun to my routine!

The eye brushes are great too because you can use them to smudge, deposit and blend colors together.

The Palette

Omg. Where do I start? This is the best eyeshadow palette i’ve ever laid eyes on and it’s not just because of the punny names of each shade (seriously, I feel like Tarte knew exactly my mer-vocabulary and encapsulated it all into this product).

IMG_5801.JPG

The colors are pigmented, blendable, buildable and feel buttery smooth and best of all: extremely wearable.

Don’t you hate it when you buy a collection and can only use like 3 of the 10 eyeshadows from the palette? Well, that’s definitely not the case with this palette.

33d47910-20d5-4db9-b669-f4dcb0aa08f6.jpg

Maybe it’s because I’m a huge wearer or metallic nudes, but these shades are literally perfection and give off that beautiful wet look while keeping your lids smooth and dry. I’ve even convinced my nude eye loving BFF to splurge on this palette.

Tarte also put in some beautiful matte shades for accentuating and complimenting those rich metallics which I so appreciate.

Swatched:

 

18AC34B9-3976-45E8-9856-E510A3DEB5FE

 

79efa8a6-978d-48ba-8522-a968b10aa326.jpg

 

The Glitter Gel

OK- so those who know me, know that glitter runs in my blood. I have in bath products, body lotions, hair sprays, clothes, lipsticks, you name it.. I probably have it somewhere in my treasure cove.

But this glitter gel is positively fin-tastic and it’s not just because of the packaging ( which is obviously, adorable ).

IMG_5800.JPG

The gel keeps the glitter and shimmer specks on your skin for hours on end, no loose fall out or sweating it off – I’ve even tested it underwater, and it stays on!

IMG_5764.jpg

It casts a beautiful moonbeam sheen that makes you look hella magical, while packing on some scattered scale like pailettes.

A221F80E-AAA9-4339-B397-12001BCAF3D0.jpg

I placed it on my collarbones, and on the outside of my eye where I would use highlight, I also played around with it under my eye and in the inner corner, though I always say be safe with glitter near your eyes.

Facetune_01-04-2018-22-40-06.jpg

Naturally, it was a nightmare to take off at the end of the day ( but hey- why would you want to take it off?). My reco is to take some tape and almost as if in a waxing motion, peel the glitter off areas of your skin after wiping down with a makeup remover, that really takes care of those stubborn pieces. The smell is also.. Not so lovely, it reminds me of paste or glue.

Hot tip: If you remove most of the glitter before showering, you’re also helping the environment as glitter can seep into our water and become impossible to extract ( yay!).

SO if I had to choose and prioritize my faves, I would rank the palette as #1, then followed by the brush set and finally the glitter gel. The glitter gel is a nice to have- especially for those of you who perform and do events, but it’s a bit harder to work with on a day to day.

3822AB5B-5A78-4C69-ADC9-7372979C06C2.jpg

Have you tried the Tarte Mermaid Collection? What are some of your faves? Let me know in the comments below!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

33d47910-20d5-4db9-b669-f4dcb0aa08f6.jpg