INTRODUCING NEW PRODUCTS TO YOUR SKIN… INTO IT OR NOT?

photos by Nicole Belasmo

Hi friends 🙂

Since the move down to OC I’ve been very selective with the events I go to (since mostly all of them are in LA) but I’m so happy I decided to go to this one with Farmacy Beauty.  It was a farm-to-table lunch at a restaurant called Manuela in the arts district of Downtown LA.  A bit of a drive for me from OC, but so, so worth it.  THE FOOD WAS LIFE-CHANGING. Sara and I were freaking out haha.  I wish the photographer took photos of the food so I could show you (it was delicious AND pretty) but she was probably too busy eating like we were hehe.

We made our own flower bouquets, which is now sitting beside my computer on the kitchen table. Whites, greens, and pops of pale apricot and light rosy pink.  Quite lovely!

I’m actually a newbie to the skin care line (Farmacy Beauty) so it was nice to learn about their products through the makeup tutorial they held.  The celebrity makeup artist was showing us how we could mix the honey oil with our foundation.  I’m curious to try it out… it sounds crazy to mix oil with your makeup, but they said how it doesn’t leave an oily residue.  To be honest I probably wouldn’t try mixing it with my makeup, but I would definitely test it out for my skincare routine.

Are you guys open to introducing new products to your skincare routine, or are you a creature of habit & don’t want to mess up the system you got goin’ on?  I definitely have my ”regulars” but I love adding and taking away certain products and seeing the change with my skin.  If the product is good, I usually can notice differences after just one night.  That’s when I decide to keep it in my routine.

I think my skin/body always likes changes to the products I use.  For ex., I have to switch up the deodorant I use about every 2 weeks or else my body acclimates to the deodorant and beats it… haha.  In other words, the deodorant stops working.  Now I usually switch up my deodorant every other day.  But I do have my favorite…… [this one]

Do you guys have a favorite deo? I’m always looking for natural, aluminum free deodorants that actually work!

MATTRESS TALK

Happy Monday guys 🙂

About a month ago the mattress we ordered online arrived at our doorstep.  When we moved into our new place we decided we wanted to upgrade from a queen to a California king bed, so we had to say goodbye to my old one and start searching for something new and improved.  I looked at a handful of different companies online, read reviews, and compared my options.  After everything I found online, we decided to get the Hybrid Mattress from [Leesa], which I’ve heard great things about from my friends, and the reviews online were impressive.

Basically it’s a combination of spring and memory foam.  The first couple of nights we slept on it, it was too firm for our liking.  I think it needed a good few days of airing out (since it came in a compact box) because it definitely became more squishy after the first week.  After about a month of sleeping on it, I can say overall that it’s semi-firm with a soft, breathable top and it has great support.

On my old mattress I used to almost always sleep on my stomach (which isn’t the best sleeping position for your lower back) and now on this mattress I mostly sleep on my back and side.  Rudy and I both love it!

What kind of mattress do you guys like?  Are you the type that needs to go into a mattress store and lay on each one to ”test them out” or are you transitioning into the new way of buying mattresses—-ONLINE!?

[Click here] to see more about the Sapira mattress

WELCOME TO MY SHOE-FFICE!

…BUT WHERE DO I PUT MY SHOES?! —–the question I asked myself as soon as I finished filling up my closet with all of my clothes and bags.  GREAT!  Shoes take up TONS of space, and if you don’t have a built in shoe closet, it can be tricky to find ways to keep them visible and organized (not stacking them on the floor of the closet). Given I had no space for my shoes, I had to get creative.  I wanted something that I could display my heels on.  Something with doors so that they wouldn’t accumulate dust, and something that adds to the decor of my space.  I went on IKEA’s website and found this one, which I thought was really pretty!  I want my office to be only white and tan colors (think Tulum), so this would be a great fit.  I went to the store the next day to see it in person, and decided to get it.  In a perfect world, I would’ve gotten the double cabinets (they have an option for 2 of these side by side) but I didn’t have enough space on that wall. Grrrr.

In my closet I put two small wooden racks (each with 3 levels) that I use for all of my flats, sneakers, and slippers.  I still have a large moving box full of shoes that didn’t fit in my closet + shoe cabinet (mostly boots) so I think I might have to have them on one of the garage racks we will be getting.  Or do you guys have any other ideas?  I feel like it’s so weird to put your boots in the garage but I feel like that’s my only option?

I also got a cute wooden ladder from IKEA that I put next to the cabinet.  Cute, huh?  Only $45.  Compared to all of the other ”trendy” ladders I’ve seen online, this is a STEAL!

ALSO, I had to show you guys what’s on the other side of the camera…. a big hot mess!  Only one side of the room has been making progress hehe.  I have a bunch of random things that don’t have a place to go yet, so I need to get on that.  4 yoga mats…. unnecessary.  Hats that need to be hung.. decorations and paintings that need to go up on the wall…. pictures/documents that need to be filed… the list goes on.

What do you guys think about the shoe cabinet?  Let me know your thoughts in a comment below 🙂

WIN A FREE NIGHT AT MY FAVORITE SAN DIEGO HOTEL!

Anyone looking for a free night stay at one of my favorite hotels in San Diego?!  I’m so excited to be partnering up with the Pendry San Diego to give you guys a chance to win a free night stay, a pair of Signature Pendry X Stance socks, and two Moët champagne vending machine tokens!

I’ve stayed at the Pendry numerous times and each time I have an incredible experience.  The staff is very friendly and accommodating, they have a rooftop pool, and award-winning restaurants.  It’s in a great location in downtown SD, walking distance from all the bars, shops, restaurants, harbor, etc.

If you guys are interested in participating in my giveaway, go to my instagram: [@hannamontazami] and click on the post with the photo you see above, and follow the instructions to enter.  I’ll be announcing the winner on Saturday, so you have until then!

Sara and I had a ”staycation” there on Monday night to shoot these photos, and we had such a great time.  We booked a relaxing massage, had a happy hour glass of sauv blanc and sushi roll appetizer at one of their most popular restaurant’s Lionfish, and then a big Italian dinner at Provisional kitchen.  We woke up, ordered room service (yes we practically ate the whole time lol), and took some photos by the pool and the lobby.  There were a bunch of Swedish people sitting at the pool on Monday afternoon, I almost wondered if there was a Swedish convention haha.  Have any of my Swede readers heard about the Pendry in SD?!

Let me know if you guys have any questions about how to enter.. I’m happy to help!

MAKING OUR PLACE OUR HOME

Hi guys 🙂

I wanted to show you guys the progress we’ve made —and haven’t made— on our new place in OC.  Decorating a place is a long and slow process, especially if you want things to be perfect.  It’s expensive, so I didn’t buy everything all at once.  We’re probably all guilty of that 1-stop shop IKEA run at some point in our lives haha.  We’re taking our time to find pieces of furniture that we love, instead of buying something that is ”okay” just because we need it.  I mean, it’s not exactly ideal that we sat on the couch eating our dinners around the coffee table for about a month, but it sure was worth it when we finally found our perfect wooden dining table!

Basically the only furniture we had moving in was the couch, a coffee table, and some side tables.  We slowly accumulated our bed frame, mattress, dining table, and lamps over the course of a month.  We ordered really pretty tan leather dining chairs that are arriving next Wednesday… I can’t wait!

I’m sure you guys see the mess that’s happening behind our dining table…. in the second bedroom.  I’m really struggling to find a perfect way to make it a guest bedroom AND office.  I also need shoe shelves in this room.  I need to be smart about what furniture I pick out, since the space is SMALL and I need the room to serve dual purpose.  I was thinking a pull-out couch (for guests to sleep in if they stay over), a standing shelf unit for my shoes, and some type of small desk where I can set up my desktop computer.  I’m preeeeetty sure I can make it happen, I just don’t want it to look crammed.  HELP!

Obviously this was just a ”sneak peek” update of our place, and once each area comes more together, I will do separate blog posts on each room.  As of right now, the living room is the most ”done” so that will probably be first up on the list.

As far as decorating goes, Rudy and I have *thankfully* been on the same page with mostly everything.  There was a point where our place was starting to look a little girly, and Rudy quickly put his foot down lol.  He’s like, ”we need some color!”.  Then we added some cool boyish things like the colorful parrot, his record collection and record table, some blue pillows, etc. for some added character.

I honestly didn’t realize how much stuff I had until this move.  It’s overwhelming.  I’ve been getting rid of a ton of clothes, shoes, decorations, old papers, etc. and it’s a world’s difference.  Being organized and not having so many items makes you actually USE your things.  If you have too many things or your disorganized, you never end up actually using your stuff!  I still have a little while to go, but I’m making progress!

What do you guys want to see more of?  I’d love to hear your suggestions on specific blog post topics so we can get into the fine details 🙂  Let me know in a comment below!

IMPORTANT UPDATES

photos by Sam Kimm for Love Lola

Hi guys 🙂

I hope you guys enjoyed my Bali guide!  A lot of you messaged me on instagram saying it was a big help, so I’m very happy to hear that!

I wanted to write this post to give you guys an update on my life and what’s going on at the moment. The below might seem kind of randomly listed but I thought this was the best way to deliver the updates haha.

So many exciting things are going on in my life right now and I feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day to get things done, but I’m happy to be busy working.  I feel like as soon as I moved down to OC I start booking tons of modeling jobs in LA.  Haha, that’s life’s funny way of working.  I’ve been spending a LOT of time in the car driving, so basically it takes up my whole day.  I do plan on starting audio books though, after my mom gave me the idea.  Usually I listen to music on the way up in the morning, and a podcast on the way home, but I think an audio book would be more interesting and make the time go by quicker! After all, it is about 3 hours per day sitting in the car… stop and go… stop and go.  LA traffic is way more unbearable once I got used to OC traffic haha.

I LOVE decorating our new place.  I’m constantly looking up different kinds of furniture, changing things around, adding different pieces to the space.  It’s so fun!  But also way more expensive than I had imagined.  I want to do a home tour blog post when I’m finished!

I’m not exactly sure what is going to happen with this website.  Website, not blog.  I will definitely continue blogging regardless of what platform I am represented by / with.  Things are a bit up in the air right now with my agency, but I wanted to tell you guys to stay connected with me on Instagram if my blog is not working!  From there I will let you guys know where to find my blog (it might still be this website, or another).  I will give you guys updates when I know 🙂

I decided to skip out on Coachella this year, and instead we’re going to Cabo!  Rudy and I got invited to join his friends on this trip, and we’re so excited to get down there.  I’m pretty sure I’ll have FOMO of Coachella because I haven’t missed it since I first went, but I will be juuuuust fine with my margarita on the beach.

Rudy and I got the Leesa mattress, and we’re currently doing our ”research” to let you guys know how we like it.  Look out for a blog post on our new hybrid mattress and if it’s the right one for you!

Okay that concludes my list of random updates!  Comment below if you have any questions 🙂

THE BALI GUIDE

HI GUYS. I know this is overdue, but thanks for being so patient with me!  Over the past few weeks I’ve been jotting down little memories from our trip so I can make sure to include everything essential in this post.  I’m going to go in chronological order by area.  This is the order of the different areas we traveled to in Bali.  I’m only recommending the places that I truly loved, so if you ever happen to travel to Bali, I hope this will help make your trip THAT much better.  Please let me know if you have further questions (just leave a comment below) and enjoy!

Let’s start at the airport— we flew Eva air (in economy seats) and I highly recommend it when flying to Bali.  It was comfortable and the food was surprisingly good for airplane food.

Before we left for our trip Rudy bought these special visa fast passes from The Bali Concierge [click here] and I’m so happy we had them!  Someone was waiting for us with a sign as soon as we stepped off the plane, and escorted us through customs.  We avoided the entire line (it was LONG) and an officer stamped our passports right away.  Then they took us to a waiting room (with water and macadamia nut cookies) while they grabbed our luggage for us.  They made things so easy peasy… and after the 22 hour travel it was SO worth it.  They made sure we found contact with our pre-scheduled driver and we were on our way to Ubud!

First stop: UBUD

Ubud was magical.  Definitely make it a part of your Bali itinerary. The first night we stayed in a beautiful villa at Chepung Sebali [see my post on the hotel here].  Upon arrival they greeted us with red, white, and black string bracelets with a dragonfly charm, which was supposed to bring good luck.  Mostly everyone in Bali wears a version of this bracelet… so sweet.  We had dinner at Junglefish, then woke up the next morning to a gorgeous sunrise.

The second night we stayed at the Viceroy Bali, and it felt like we were on our honeymoon!  SO romantic.  [Click here] to see my post on the Viceroy.

Get drinks at: Apertif (fancy but the sweetest staff, crafted cocktails, and pool tables)

Things to see: the rice fields. They are so pretty!  We also really wanted to do the Ayung river float (water rafting) but we didn’t have time.  Rudy’s parents just did it when they were in Bali and they said it was the highlight of their trip.  I’m doing this next time I go there!

Things to do: shopping!  The Ubud market is probably the best local shopping in Bali. If you want to find authentic, local  stuff for cheap this is the place, definitely bargain as much as you can.  The street shopping in Ubud is really good compared to the other areas in Bali, so make sure to look around while you’re there!

Junglefish (at Chepung Sebali) is an open-to-the-public pool that’s great to hangout at during the day when it’s too hot to walk around. The gift shop at Chepung Sebali also has really cool jewelry so if you’re there, you should definitely check it out!

Things I learned: the ”Gates of Heaven” temple was not what it looks like from the photos on IG.  When we first got there, we were like, ”where’s the water?!” and then we see that someone is using a tiny black mirror under everyone’s camera to make it look like water.  It wasn’t at all like what you see on IG! Fake news haha.

The famous ”Bali swing” is kind of a dupe as well.  There’s tons all over Ubud, and they are a lot of fun to ride but it’s a total tourist trap.  I’m still happy I went though because we had fun riding it! The place we went to was called Alas Harum Bali, and they had a Luwak coffee tasting (Luwak coffee is made from coffee beans that have been ingested and pooped out by a weasel).  The weasel’s digestive system provides a special enzyme to the coffee bean.  I know it sounds nasty, but it’s actually good coffee and you should definitely try it if you’re there!

We went on a tour (to see the gates of heaven, a waterfall, the swing, and mountain-view lunch) that we ended up cutting short because it was too much driving for one day.  Make sure you look at how long the tours are before you book them!

Next stop: SEMINYAK.

I’ve been to Seminyak before so it was nice to be back.  It wasn’t my favorite place in Bali but it was cool to visit the places I went to on my last trip there.  We stayed at the W Bali which is right on the beach and has a very hip/fun vibe.  The crowd is more lively and the pool gets poppin around sunset. We really enjoyed our stay there!

Places to eat:

Sarong.  Oh my goodness this place has such amazing Indian style food.  It has a really cool vibe and the food is so flavorful.  Prepare to eat a lot, but you won’t regret it.

Sea Circus.  Aw I love this place, I used to go there for breakfast every morning years ago!  I recommend going for brekkie or lunch.  Cute decor, good vibe, in the town.  They also have a sister retail store called Neon Palms, which has really cute clothes for men/women next door).

I also hear Mamasan and Murah Putin are good restaurants too. We wanted to go to Motel Mexicola for happy hour/dancing but we didn’t make it.

Things to do: pool/lounge.  For a sceney pool/beach lounge go to Potato Head Beach Club.

Rent a surfboard on the beach, the waves are good for learning.

Places to go out: Da Maria.  A lot of Aussies but good music and fun vibe!

Next Stop: ULUWATU

Prepare to be amazed.  Uluwatu is one of my favorite spots in Bali.  It’s just special!  We stayed at the Six Senses (my favorite hotel I’ve ever stayed at) for two nights [click here for more about our stay at Six Senses], and then the Renaissance Bali for 1 night. Both were beautiful.

Things to do: SURF.  This is the surfer’s paradise.  Uluwatu, Impossibles, and Padang Padang are good beaches for surfing—according to Rudy.  Not for beginners though.

Enjoy the pool with a stunning cliff view of the ocean

day clubs: Single Fin (Sundays are the best days to go) or Roosterfish Beach Club (get the fish tacos)

monkey forest (we didn’t get to do this but wanted to)

Places to eat: La Baraca (we didn’t get to go but have heard amazing things)

NEXT STOP: NUSA LEMBONGAN

Ugh I love this place!  We took the ferry from Sanur to Nusa Lembongan.  We were told the ferry ride was ”intense” but it wasn’t anything crazy… quite enjoyable on the day we went.   We stayed at the Tamarind Hotel and it was such a great spot! [Click here for my post on the Tamarind].

Things to do: rent scooters! We were hesitant to renting scooters in all of the other places we visited in Bali, but we felt comfortable here because there weren’t many people on the roads.

Take the scooter over the yellow bridge to Nusa Ceningan, a cute little island with trendy bars on the beach, great beaches, and good vibes.  The beach bars have swings and hammocks over the shallow water which was great for photos.  We LOVED it here.  Rudy had his ”best surf day” here on the beach below Mahana Point (Cliff Jump).  White sandy beaches.  Get an ice cold beer at Cliff Jump and watch the waves come in!

A MUST GO: Devil’s Tear (Nusa Lembongan).  Holy shit this place was unreal.  It’s basically a cliff that is formed in a way that when it is high tide, it makes the waves come in and shoot back out a powerful mist out onto the ocean.  We were screaming it was that insane.  I wish I could post the video here (but it’s in my BALI highlight on IG) 😉  Go around sunset so the lighting hits the mist just right.

Take the small ferry boat (15 min) to Nusa Penida.  We didn’t have much time to explore the island because it was getting dark, but we had an amazing meal at Jungle Warung (except for the annoying amount of flies surrounding our table, the food was great!!).  Things we didnt (but wish we we could’ve) do on Nusa Penida: Kelingking Beach (T-Rex) and Crystal Bay.

We also wanted to swim with the manta rays at Manta Bay, but we didn’t have time!

Places to eat: we had really good cheap sushi at Oishii, and they even offer free rides to and from the restaurant to your hotel.

LAST STOP: CANGGU

We LOVED Canggu.  It was very our vibe.  Beach, chill people, good food, fun nightlife scene.  We stayed at the Kalapa Resort and Spa and it was the last stop of our trip.

Places to eat: FISHBONE.  We couldn’t believe how good the food was.  We could barely stop ourselves from ordering everything on the menu.  We had gyoza, black miso cod, ahi tuna, papaya salad, and caramel panna cotta for dessert.  It was a memorable dining experience if you can’t tell haha.  It’s also located right near the beach!

the Lawn.  We had lunch/drinks here and both were delicious.  It’s a beach club with DJs, and apparently they throw good parties there.  We left before the big party started.

Luigi’s Hot Pizza.  We were only in Canggu for two nights but we ate here twice… haha.  Bomb pizza and literally ICE cold beers.  Everywhere else in Bali sells cold beers but not ICE cold.  It was greatly appreciated after two weeks in HOT Bali.  Mmmm.

La Brisa- great day club on the beach

Shopping in Canggu is great!  We found a store that was near the city center (not the tourist area) which is where we got a lot of wooden dishes for our home.  The total came out to around $12… so cheap!

We bought our pillow cases in Canggu as well.  Take advantage of the home decor shopping in Canggu!

Things to do: surf, eat, chill, shop.

In my questionnaire on Instagram, I asked you guys what specifically you wanted me to include in this Bali guide.  A lot of you were interested in budgeting for a trip like this.  We were lucky to have the chance to collaborate with these amazing hotels, so accommodations were not included in our budget.  Bali is generally a lot cheaper than LA, so it’s definitely possible to ”ball on a budget” there.  If it’s within your budget, I would definitely recommend staying at one of these resorts even if its just for a night or two, because we had an unbelievably great experience 🙂

I want to give a HUGE thank you to Nicole at Inspo Travel (who helped us book Viceroy, W Seminyak, Tamarind Resort, and Six Senses).  I also want to thank Josephine at The Asia Collective for helping us book Chepung Sebali, the Kalapa Resort and Spa, and the Renaissance Bali!

I hope this was any bit of help to any of you traveling to Bali in the future!  Please feel free to add recommendations below, so others can get some advice from you guys too 🙂

xx

MORNING AFTER HAIR

Hi guys 🙂

Today we’re talking hair. Specifically about heat settings for your straightener!  I recently learned that I should be switching up the heat settings on my straightener depending on how clean my hair is. Basically if your hair is dirty and full of product, having too high of heat settings can press that product to build up into your hair strands, making it look dull and feel stiff.

I definitely do NOT wash my hair every day.  I usually go about 2-3 days in between washes.  I can even go about 4 days, but I’d be pushing it haha.  Anyone else like this?  I wouldn’t be able to wash it every day… SO MUCH WORK, right?

So I basically found the perfect little straightener for me, one that has different settings tailored to the different levels of cleanliness of my hair.  It’s called the Morning After straightener from Bed Head [here]. The settings are ”wash day,” ”second day,” and ”third day” – to avoid unnecessary heat exposure. This makes it super easy for me when I’m in a rush and I don’t know what proper heat settings I should use.  The unique LED settings and  tourmaline ceramic technology reduces frizz and also keeps my hair looking sleek AF, for that salon blow-out look (peep my IG stories today to see how I style my straight, sleek hair!).

THE DIFFERENT OCCASIONS I USE THIS STRAIGHTENER:

  1. for sleek, straight hair.  I usually don’t like having slick straight ends so I twist the straightener when I reach my ends for a ”flipped out” look 
  2. to straighten the back of my head when I curl my hair.  I mostly straighten the top back of my head (where it’s naturally very wavy) when I have e-comm photoshoots.  For e-comm shoots we shoot a ton of photos from the back, so everything needs to look 100.  I swear the hair texture on the back of my head feels like it belongs to another person… It’s very thick/course and extremely wavy.  So you know I’ll be straightening those pieces before my shoots!
  3. on days when I need to touch up my look, to reduce frizz and create a sleek ”day after” style

You can shop it [herefor $34.99, and you can also see Bed Head’s other products [here]!

 

NUSA LEMBONGAN’S TAMARIND RESORT

Nusa Lembongan was one of our favorite stops on our Bali tour, and a big part of it was thanks to our friends at the Tamarind Resort.  The hotel is centered around an old tamarind tree (hence the name) and is very close to the port where you get dropped off by the ferry. There’s multiple pools (one with a stunning view of the ocean) and a mixture of rooms and villas. We had a room near the main pool and it was perfect for us!

One of the highlights of this hotel was their attention to detail.  They always had something a little ”extra” that really made everything more special!  At breakfast one morning, I ordered an acai bowl, and then it came out with my name spelled out in papayas!  So cute haha.  They also drop off BOMB homemade cookies during their turn-down service.

They also helped us with recs on where to go and what to see beyond the hotel.  Nusa Lembongan is a pretty small island, so it was pretty easy to find our way around and explore.  This was the only place we felt comfortable renting a scooter because there wasn’t any traffic and the roads were way less crammed compared to other areas in Bali like Seminyak and Ubud.  I would definitely recommend renting a scooter on Nusa just because we got to see so many beautiful places and it was so easy to get around!

Other highlights of the hotel: cocktail hour with the manager (they offered free drinks and appetizers during sunset for all hotel guests), breakfast selection, good privacy level, and they offer spa treatments.

This was another trip planned and coordinated by Inspo Travel, of course!  Nicole always gave us the best hotel recs 🙂 [Click here for more on Inspo Travel]

Two Perspectives

The difference between a pro camera and an iPhone selfie… which do you prefer?!

These were taken at a shoot for one of my regular clients, Stylist LA. I seriously LOVE working with this team… we’re constantly making jokes and laughing with each other. Never a dull moment.  I feel like workplace happiness is so important. I was listening to a podcast about this the other day actually. They were talking about how important it is to be working at a job that you love and enjoy doing. If it isn’t bringing you joy, is it worth it?

I remember being at one of my PR firm internships and hating it. I was steaming clothes, swiffering the floors, and packing boxes. I wasn’t learning anything valuable! After a couple months I really thought hard about what the f*** I was doing there. Was this really going to help my future career? No. Once I came to that realization, I was out of there. I sent her an email that I was no longer going to be interning there, and guess what? I never even got a response back haha. It was such a negative working environment there so I wasn’t entirely surprised.  Have you guys been in a similar situation?