Clark’s Elioak Farm – Exploring Maryland

I heard about this place from a friend who lives in Howard County. What peaked my interest was the fact that the artifacts from the “Enchanted Forest” were transferred to Clark’s Elioak Farm. The “Enchanted Forest” was a theme park in Ellicott City but it closed in 1995. The park was untouched for a long time until the current owner allowed the structures to be moved the this farm.

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Clark’s Elioak Farm

Clark’s Elioak Farm is located in Howard County, MD. Its 540 acres are part of the farmland protection programs meaning the land cannot be used for non-farm development. The farm has been owned by the Clark family for seven generations! Pretty cool!

The main attractions for this farm is a petting zoo, the enchanted forest restoration – which includes the pine tree maze, pony rides, train rides and the hay rides. On the weekends, they have Ellicott’s City’s bubble man, Mr. Barry Gibson, who brings bubble magic to the farm. There are also face painters and food vendors on the weekends. Lastly, for the fall lovers out there, a farm cannot be complete without a pumpkin patch! So during the fall, you can bet Clark’s Elioak Farm has that too!

Cost of Admission

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It’s $7.50 per person (free for babies <1 years old). I’m not sure if you think that’s pricey but I think it’s pretty reasonable for what Clark’s Elioak Farm has to offer. We easily spent 3 hours there and could’ve stayed longer if I only had the energy.

The rides also cost money except for the hayride which takes you around the farm and is included in the admission. The Pony ride is $2 per person, the cow ride (not real cows) is $2 per person, and the train ride is $4 per person. I’ll discuss each later.

Petting Zoo

This place is great because it has a lot of animals to see and pet. And ladies and gentlemen, baby goats! Who doesn’t love baby goats?!?!

Ok, that gif above is not from the farm, but I thought it was funny.

Anyway, again, I digress. E and baby bro thoroughly enjoyed watching and petting the animals that they saw. From goats, to sheep, to cows, emus, ponies, and more! E loved feeding the baby goats. She’s usually scared of the bigger goats so it was nice to see her be able to feed the little itty bitty baby goats. Did I mention I love baby goats?

There’s also a tiny little barn that houses chickens and rabbits but there are warnings that they can bite, so petting is not encouraged in this case.

 

Enchanted Forest

Part of the appeal for me is to see the structures that were in the old Enchanted Forest Theme Park! I’m such a kid I know! But the structures are from old fairy tales and it’s just so fun to look at them and imagine yourself in the fairy tales.  They are placed all around the farm and if you’re a big kid like me, it’s fun to seem them placed in different places on the farm!

Pine Tree Maze

Some of the structures from the Enchanted Forest are hidden in the pine tree maze. I believe the original plan was to have people come and cut down these trees for Christmas. However, now that the trees are so big, they are now part of this amazing “maze” with hidden gems from the ol’ theme park. Ok Clark’s Elioak Farm, I see you ;-).

What’s great about this maze is the smell. Pine trees. Yassss Christmas! I mean I know it’s not the holidays yet, but wooooot! The smell of these pine trees is enough to make even scrooges get into the holiday spirit!

I loved this place! I mean, the kids enjoyed it too because of all the stuff they “found” in the forest!

 

The Rides

There are several rides that you or your kids can enjoy at Clark’s Elioak Farm. Some of them are worth it and some of them are up to your preferences. We enjoyed all the rides ourselves. =)

The Hay Ride – included in the admission

So you basically go in a huge truck and it takes you around the farm. It’s a good way to take a break while doing a little “sight seeing.” The great thing about this is that you can go on it as many times as you want. I recommend sitting on different sides of the truck if you go on there twice so that you can see different things while going around the farm.

 

The Train Ride – $4 per person

So, it’s the same exact route as the Hay Ride. Yes, you got that right. BUT if you don’t like “crowded” spaces and you like to see the view of both sides of the vehicle AND your kids LOVE trains, then this is the ride for you! It also comes with tons of “choo choo” sounds which baby bro loved so much.

 

The Cow Ride – $2 per person

For the little ones! If you’re comfortable letting your kids go without you for a couple of minutes, this is the ride for you! ;-). Adults can also sit with their kids, but this ride is specifically made for the little ones. I think baby bro, who is 2, may have been a little scared going by himself, but E saved the day. The ride operator was really nice and let her go without a ticket. Woot!

 

The Pony Ride – $2 per person

It’s literally one of the shortest pony rides ever. But E was insistent and I was in a giving mood. Also, had to give it a go for my readers right?!? eh? eh? haha… E loved it of course, but I may forego this one unless they go around the little “track” like 2-3 times.

 

Extras

The Photo Zone

There’s a “Photo Zone” set up so you can take your little family and pose for pics with a cute little set up. Haha however our little ones weren’t too into it.

The Hay Maze

A little mini maze that for some reason was so much fun for E and baby bro. The hay is low enough so you don’t necessarily have to join your kids inside the maze and still see where they are at. E and baby bro ran around like crazy when they figured out how to get in and out of the maze. The older kids tended to be on top of the hay, so just look out for your little one as they traverse through the maze.  We could’ve stayed in the maze for a while but I wanted to explore some more.

 

Other fun stuff

It’s not every day you get to sit on a tractor. Baby bro loved it so much, I had to pry him off the seat. It also makes for a nice photo op! There are also wooden trains and other fun structures around the farm for kids to play in.  Lastly, they do have a store that I forgot to take a picture of. But they sell lots of locally farmed items. I went ahead and bought their apple butter which is actually pretty good on toast. E even wanted to make apple butter sandwich which she ate and loved as well =).

 

Final Thoughts

We had such a great time at Clark’s Elioak Farm! There is so much to do and see for both kids and adults. I would definitely come here again. I recommend going here in the fall because there is a pumpkin patch for the fam and it’s not so hot. The only shade you’ll really find is n the pine tree maze so if it’s too hot, you may get a little uncomfortable when exploring the farm itself.

Thanks for reading and have a great rest of the day!

(all gifs are from giphy.com)

 

3 Days in San Jose-Bay Area with a Kid

A vacation with kid(s) is not a vacation at all… sort of. Let me preface this by saying we went into this trip knowing that our almost 5 year old girl was coming to this trip. Baby bro stayed with A’s parents because he isn’t quite ready for the travel life yet.  We decided to hit up the San Jose-Bay Area for this particular “vacation.”

Knowing that E was going, A made plans to make sure that all our activities are kid friendly. He wanted to travel further away from the Bay Area but considering we were only there 3 full days, it was better to just stay around the area.

Here’s how we traveled with a toddler and what we did while we were in the Bay Area.

5 Hour Plane Ride

Flying with a toddler is no easy feat. Even though E usually does what she is told, it’s hard to keep toddlers seated for 5-6 hours straight. Even I don’t like to sit for that long.

So we brought toys, snacks and of course the ever magical iPad. At this point of parenting, I choose sanity over shame.

She did pretty well! She went to the bathroom like a bajillion times (ok, just twice) but she was happy playing with her toys and eating her snacks. E even refused the iPad after 15 minutes because girl couldn’t stay seated for so long.

Thankfully she was small enough and careful enough not to touch the seat infront of her. Yes there were two meanies who kept looking back at us but dude, Southwest’s new chairs are so thin now that even me putting my drink in the seat back pocket caused the lady infront of me to give me the stink eye. Like chill out lady, it was one time. I really think she already had the preconception that it was going to be a bad flight because there was a kid behind her. E did not cry, did not talk out loud, and touched the chair infront of her twice when she was getting out of her chair to go to the bathroom. Get a grip people! Sorry you were so perfect as a child. We all bow down to your greatness. *end rant*

Anyway,  after the flight a couple of ladies sitting across from us and behind looked at E and said “what a great little flyer you are!”  I’m petty, so of course I responded a little louder than usual – “oh thank you so much! She tried her very best!” I’m sure I got an eye roll or two from the people in front of us but oh well. Again, after becoming a mom, I have no shame and no chill when it comes to my kids. Don’t mess with mama bear. I won’t do anything bad, but I will be petty. LOL

Getting Used to A Different Time Zone

Ok so the west coast is 3 hours earlier than where I’m from. So naturally I knew that E would have a hard time with the time change. I did let her stay up past her bedtime but she still woke up at 4am the first day we were there.

Don’t stress too much. I slept earlier than my usual time so I could make sure that if she woke up early, I could play with her until A woke up. The man can sleep forever if not woken!

Toys helped here, as well as the iPad, since she can watch a show (usually Team Umizumi – a math show – yes, she’s a nerd) while I get ready for the day.

Another advice I have is to just try to go with the flow. Either you stress about getting home “on time” for their real bedtime at home, or see if he or she can handle it and play it by ear. We chose the latter. She had no problem staying up because girl has major FOMO and would stay awake forever if she could. She then would wake up at 6 am the next day and then 5 am and then 5:30am the last day. Not too bad!

San Francisco/Muir Woods

Brenda’s

The first day there, A, E, and I went to get brunch at Brenda’s in San Francisco. What a lovely place! We came for brunch (so way before the lunch rush) on a Thursday, so we were able to get seated right away. As you enter the place they have a huge blackboard on the right side where people can write their names down when waiting for a table.

The hostess was very nice and politely let us know that everyone has to be present for our party to get seated.

Their signature dish is their beignets – we got the plain, the apple pie flavor, the nutella flavor and one savory one which had crawfish in it. I’d go for the sweet ones over the savory one, but the crawfish wasn’t bad. We also really loved their shrimp and grits. I chose to get an omellette which is nothing to write home about but you know, not bad. We usually don’t get our kids their own stuff and just share with them but hey, it’s vacation for E too, so we got her chicken and biscuits. The chicken was crispy and the biscuit flaky. She approved! The fries were good as well.

I recommend coming here when you visit SF. It’s great!

Muir Woods

After that, we decided to hit up Muir Woods. This park is famous for having a lot of tall Redwood Trees. True story: I told my mom we were going to the Redwood Forests and first thing she says back is “Is that where Robin Hood lives?” Gotta love her! She funny!

This is definitely kid friendly to a point. There are trails that are paved well and is good for parents with strollers. You can also choose different trails that would either go 1/3, 1/2, or a full way around the forest.

We enjoyed walking together and E seemed to like nature more than we thought she would. She walked the whole loop! Be aware that the bathrooms are near the “base camp” so if you have a toddler that you know pees a lot, you may want to put on a diaper on him/her. E didn’t need it this time but you never know!

South Bay Area

Kunjip Restaurant

There are some Korean Restaurants in the San Jose area. Kunjip was recommended to us by a friend who used to live near here. It mostly has soups and 4 meat dishes. We decided to get the soups because we had a pretty heavy brunch.

I’m not sure how I feel about it to be honest. I got the kalbi tang which is a beef rib stew. The difference with this soup and other kalbi tangs that I’ve tasted is the jujube infused broth. I don’t think I like the jujube taste, but if you’re into that, this may be a winner for you. They definitely give a lot of meat and you will be full if you eat it with rice.

We also got the Sulung Tang which is an ox bone soup with white noodles. Typically, you add salt/seasoning to it because the broth doesn’t have a strong taste. So I did that, and it tasted fine after adding the salt. But I definitely still hungry after eating this. So you may want to order something else with this.

Overall it was ok. It’s not my favorite, but the soups aren’t bad and it looks like from other reviews that the meat dishes are also good.

Creamistry

We couldn’t be on vacation and not go to dessert places. Other than the bajillion bubble tea places in the Bay Area, I wanted to try some fancy schmancy ice cream place. So when I saw that this place used liquid nitrogen to make their ice cream, I had to bring E so she could see it.

Overall, the experience was cool. As for the ice cream, I would recommend going for the flavors that are more plain because we got the fruity pebbles, the cheesecake with cheesecake pieces and the taro with mochi. You can choose to have your toppings mixed in or just on top. Both the fruity pebbles and the cheesecake ice creams were pretty overbearing – we had the toppings mixed in. The taro was the tamest flavor and it was pretty good – we had the mochi (which also has a mild flavor) just on top of the ice cream.

The Source

The next day, we started our day by going to “The Source” to get some vegan, organic acai bowl. We so fancy, I know ;-). This place is pretty cool. There’s only 3 little tables inside, and one huge table outside. The fourth wall facing the street is a huge garage type of deal which opens up, opening the front of the store fully.  The decor gives off a cafe type of deal.

The acai bowl is delicious! Lots of fillings and you’ll definitely get full with just one order. The juices are kind of expensive so maybe skip that if you can. We didn’t get their coffee but it looks pretty legit so get at your own risk =).

Happy Hollow Park & Zoo

Since we did travel with E, A found the nearest zoo he could find from where we were staying.  It’s a zoo and amusement park for kids.  I mean what more can you want? Bear in mind that I did say “for kids.”

The zoo isn’t big at all. The largest cats they had was a jaguar I believe and there are not larger animals. You will see capybaras which are totally awesome rodents. Lemurs and other small mammals, tortoise, vultures, and other birds. They do have a petting zoo with overly aggressive goats and really timid sheep.

Another cool thing they had was when E got to meet their resident tarantula and hedgehog. There was a learning session and they told us all about these pretty cool creatures.

After that, E was all about the carousels and the rides. These are included in the price so your kids can ride these rides as many times as they want. That’s a plus for me because if carousel ride admissions these days are esssspensive!

Din Tai Fung

It’s not a vacation unless A gets to satisfy his food cravings. This restaurant has a Michelin Star and is located inside the San Jose Mall. They are famous for their dumplings. So of course, we had to make a trip there.

Although we waited quite a while, a nice tip is that you can “reserve” via yelp and if you get there within 15 min of your yelp reservation, the wait supposedly isn’t as long.

You can see the cooks making the dumplings right at the front. And when you enter, it’s probably the cleanest Chinese Restaurant that I’ve ever been to. The servers are so nice and the place is just very welcoming.

We got a lot of food! Cucumber Salad, 3 orders of soup dumplings (pork, and crab & pork combo), sauteed bokchoy, this peanut noodle dish (I forgot the name of the dish), beef noodle soup, shrimp fried rice, and spicy shrimp wontons.  Ummm yes please.

The difference between this place and other Chinese restaurants is that even after stuffing our faces, we didn’t feel that feeling of heaviness or being overly full. I noticed that these dishes were not as greasy as other Chinese foods and that their ingredients are really fresh. This is something I’d definitely be visiting again when we go back to San Jose.

Sunnyvale Farmers Market

Parking was a nightmare but this Farmers Market is massive compared to anywhere near where I live. Tons of places come and show off their awesome businesses. I fully support this and would totally visit here whenever I can.

San Francisco

PPQ Dungeness Island

Back to San Francisco, we hit up PPQ. We’ve heard such great things about this place and this is the one restaurant I was really excited to try. Seafood is my weakness. I totally wish that crabs were part of my daily meals.

Dungeness crabs are massive! If I were to compare it to how much meat I would get from a #1 male blue crab, I would say it could be about 3-4 times as much meat. We ordered the roasted garlic dungeness crab, the house garlic noodles, and crab meat fried rice.

All three entrees were delicious. The house garlic noodles were very flavorful and the crab meat fried rice definitely did not skimp on the cram meat. The dungeness crabs were also good. However, this east coast, Maryland girl is still all about the blue crabs. The meat of the dungeness crab is not quite as tender as the blue crab but it was still quite delicious. You have to at least give this place a go =).

San Tung Chinese Restaurant

I know… it looks like all we did was eat… but when your husband has an endless appetite, this is what happens. This place is famous for their chicken. We came on a Monday at around 5:45pm and there was already a 1 hour wait.

Even when our names finally got called, the place was packed. It’s almost like a big hole in wall type of place. It’s not clean by any means, but you can tell that people that go here don’t care about that kind of stuff because they know the chicken is that good.

We ordered the chicken and some good ol’ jajangmyun – noodles with black bean sauce. I mean, the thing is I wasn’t blown away by the chicken. It’s good. It’s not a 1 hour wait type of good. But I can tell you that the ja jang myun was bomb. Like legit one of the best that I’ve tasted. Still not a 1 hour wait type of good, but definitely worth a visit.

Bubble Tea

The Bay area is full of bubble tea places. So I went ahead and tried three different ones for each of the 3 full days we had there. Here are the ones I tried.

Teaspoon

Probably my favorite out of the three that we went to. The boba here is lightly sweetened and had the best texture out of the ones we went to. They also had interesting flavors. The ones we got were very refreshing. We got the Creamy Jasmine and House Milk Tea – both with the “less sweet” version.  You can definitely taste the tea in it but it wasn’t overpowering and didn’t have the bitterness taste to it.

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Urban Ritual

We didn’t know where to go in the city so we yelped and this little gem came up in our searches. We all thought it looked interesting so we went ahead and tried it. It wasn’t bad. You can also choose the sweetness level and when I thought mine was too bitter, I was able to bring it back to the baristas and they were able to increase the sweetness level of the drink. The boba was ok.

 

Happy Lemon

Back in San Jose, this one is known for the cap cream on top of the drink. Unfortunately, our was mixed right into our drink so I can’t completely say that I tasted the difference between this and regular milk teas that I’ve bought. The drinks weren’t bad though and the boba was also consistent in its texture.

 

Closing Thoughts

This trip was great in that we got to visit our loved ones and we were able to go to lots of different restaurants and activities. The hardest parts were that E woke up early every morning and then getting her adjusted back to our regular time zone when we got back from the trip.

There wasn’t a day that where we were not tired because E is not the easiest to sleep in the same room with. Yes, traveling with a toddler is definitely not a real vacation. However, I did love having her with us and seeing how excited she was when we would try something new. It’s just a different kind of fun. And I love making these kinds of memories with her and with baby brother in the near future!

Thanks for reading the longest blog ever and have a great rest of the day!

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(All gifs are from giphy.com)

 

10 Step Korean Skin Care Review

Ok so I’ve talked about how my skin has been breaking out like crazy since having my second child. I’ve also reviewed the Clarisonic Mia 2 and how it’s helped a bit with my breakouts. This time, I’m going to talk about the 10 step Korean Skin Care Routine. This was huge for me because how does one review each product if I’m using all of it at the same time?? So I won’t! I’ll just take you through the steps and as a whole, let you know how it worked out for me!

What is the 10 Step Korean Skin Care?

Kbeauty is trending nowadays because most Kpop stars are known for having the smoothest, flawless faces.

However, I do want to stress that I know many Korean friends who have great skin that don’t use Korean skin care. So genes may also have something to do with it.

With that being said, I still wanted to try it because as a mom, I rarely have time to go out and get a facial or go to a spa so this is my way of getting my own relaxation time at night.

The 10 step korean skin care includes: an oil based cleanser, a water based cleanser, an exfoliating scrub (2x a week), a face mask (2x a week), a toner, an essence, a serum, eye cream, lotion, and sunscreen (in the morning).

Yes, that is a lot. The first night I tried it, it took me a total of 20 min (without the mask). The next morning, it was 10 minutes (without the exfoliator, and without the mask). After I was used to the steps it took me 9 minutes at night (plus 5 with exfoliator or plus 20 min with mask), and 6 minutes in the morning. Not bad.

The Products

You can probably buy these things separately. But because I’m a noob and these things are esssspensive, I bought the 10 step korean skin care (for combination skin) pack at SOKO Glam.  Here are the products that they chose for me:

  1. Klavuu Pure Pearlsation Divine Pearl Cleansing Oil (oil-based cleanser): claims to remove makeup and brighten the skin
  2. Neogen Green Tea Real Fresh Foaming Cleanser (water-based cleanser): claims to remove impurities such as sweat and dirt and to brighten, calm and hydrate the skin
  3. Neogen Canadian Clay Pore Cleanser (exfoliator): claims to eliminate sebum, blackheads and dead skin cells
  4. Manefit Bling Bling Hydrogel Mask – Whitening Platinum  (one sheet mask for single-use): claims to give you a radiant glow to leave you with hydrated, supple, and dewy skin
  5. Missha Time Revolution Clear Toner (toner): claims to help encourage cellular turnover to give you a clear, bright, even skin tone
  6. Neogen Real Ferment Micro Essence (essence): claims to have skin plumping benefits and give you glowing, supple skin
  7. Missha Time Revolution Night Repair New Science Activator Ampoule (serum): claims to repair and hydrate skin to give you a luminous smooth, and even-toned skin
  8. Benton Fermentation Eye Cream (eye cream): claims to help repair, hydrate, plump and smooth the skin around the eye
  9. Etude House SoonJung 10 Free Moist Emulsion (moisturizer): claims to give skin deep hydration and increased elasticity, as well as repair skin damage
  10. Missha Mild Essence Sun Milk SPF 50+/PA+++ (sun screen): lightweight sunscreen that won’t leave your face feeling greasy

My Expectations

For me, acne is my biggest issue. But more than that, I also wanted to decrease the appearance of scars and sun spots on my face. I want my face to be brighter and more moisturized. Lastly, I wanted to decrease the appearance of wrinkles on my face, especially around the eyes.

That sounds like a lot but I mean I spent $200 on the set so I mean it better do at least half of what it claims!

The First Day

Here is my face on the first day. As you can see there’s lots of acne scars and lots of sunspots on my face.

Before trying this skin care,  my routine would consist of an oil cleanser, water based cleanser using the clarisonic, toner, lotion, then eucerin cream on the dry spots on my face. My face would feel pretty sticky but since I was going to bed anyway, I didn’t mind.

After the first time trying the products, I didn’t notice any major difference in the way my skin felt except for the fact that my face didn’t feel as sticky or greasy. Note that I still used the clarisonic for the water based cleanser and spot treated one big dry spot on my face with the eucerin cream.

The Next Day

I woke up a little scared because I wasn’t sure if I was going to see any redness or rashes. They say you should test things out on your skin first but I didn’t to that. But I’m a “go big or go home” type of gal so there you go.

Luckily, no breakouts. I did the day skin care routine (double cleanser, toner, essence, serum, eye cream, moisturizer, and sunscreen) and did my makeup as usual. I don’t do foundation and I stopped using the tinted moisturizer last month, but NARS concealer does the trick for me to cover up the pimples and the dark circles around my eye. Yay for make up! I didn’t notice any difference with makeup application after the new skin care routine. I did notice that my skin had a subtle brightness to it.

 

That night though, I did notice that I was breaking out a little on my forehead. I wasn’t too worried though because I read somewhere that every time you change your makeup routine, you could expect some breakouts in the first week or so.

 

After 1 month

Throughout the first month, my skin felt cleaner and more moisturized. I also saw that my skin was brighter (not as dull-looking). However, my main problem – acne – came and went and came back again. I don’t think the products made it worse, but I don’t really think they made it better (acne-wise).

After the 1st month, my skin did look good, however, I wasn’t sure if it was because of my cycle (ya know what I mean ladies ;-)), or because of the products itself. So I kept going into the second month just to see what happened.

After 2 months

So the pictures below show the results after weeks 5, 6, 7, and 8. As you can see, my face definitely looks a lot brighter. I used the same lighting and location each time so it wouldn’t skew my results. I can’t really tell if it took away my dark spots. But I know that the larger dark spots are still there (rows 2 and 3 below).

My biggest issue is still the acne on my forehead. I definitely still have major breakouts on my forehead. Maybe they are not as big, but I have so many little bumps on my forehead! I don’t know which is more annoying!

Overall Assessment

My Expectations

From my expectations, I think this 10 Step Korean skin care routine hit a couple of points. My skin definitely feels more moisturized and as you can see from the pictures, my face is definitely brighter. Not oily-brighter, but just brighter in that I felt like it has some “glow” to it now. As far as wrinkles, the camera can’t pick it up, but I did notice a slight improvement in the fine lines around my eyes. They don’t seem to be as noticeable as before.

However, I think the 10 Step routine also missed a couple of points. I’m not quite sure if my sun spots went away though. I feel like they stayed about the same. My acne… oh man… I wished so bad that it worked. I even tried to switch up the serum between week 6-8 to see if it would help and it looks like it either stayed the same or made it even worse =(.

The Products

Most of the products in the 10 step korean skin care routine I bought, lasted about 1.5 – 2 months. I did the recommended regimen, which is a morning and night routine every day. The eye cream and the essence are what I have tons of leftover – I think they can last 1-1.5 more months. The toner and the oil-based cleanser are what I had to reorder after 5 – 6 weeks. Also, there is only 1 sheet mask. Luckily I had some other sheet masks so I was able to 2 the recommended 2 sheet masks per week. That can get so expensive!

My favorites are the water-based cleanser, the eye cream, and the toner. I felt like the Neogen Green Tea Cleanser was effective in cleaning my face.  The Missha Time Revolution Toner also felt very refreshing and when used with a cotton ball, can pick up the last bits of dirt on your face that the cleansers/clarisonic didn’t get. The Benton Fermentation eye cream is also very soothing and does not feel greasy at all. I really feel like it decreased some of the fine lines around my eyes.

Would I Recommend It?

If you’re skin is not acne-proned and you just want something to brighten your skin and make it more moisturized without breaking you out, then yes go for this 10 step korean skin care routine. But for me, I just wouldn’t pay this much if it didn’t have the effect I wanted it to have. My acne is still a problem and though I did like the brightening effects of this 10 step skincare, I think I will just keep the toner and essence for that purpose.

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Thanks for reading and have a great rest of the day!

(all gifs are from giphy.com)

Exploring Maryland

I often get excited when we go out of state. Especially now with kids, we rarely get to do much when it comes to traveling. So when we do get a chance to go away, it’s always a big deal to me. But I realize lately that Maryland has tons to offer and I’ve been taking my state for granted. So I’ve decided to do a series on exploring Maryland!

Actually, this may be more like a new tab in my blog because I just want to be able share my experiences in Maryland-DC area. I’ll also put in my input as to whether the places we go to are good for kids because that’s my life now.

I’ve been struggling with blogging lately because I feel like my life has been “boring” just doing normal parent things. But then again, I think other parents would be interested in what may be happening in Maryland or the DC Metropolitan area that could be something fun for their kids as well! Or something just for just the parents to do for date days or date nights ;).

So here we go!! Join me as I explore Maryland!

Here are some previews of what I’ll blog about soon!!

Places to take the kiddos

Before kids, I had no idea that Maryland had all these places specifically for kids to run around in. Whoever thought of these places are geniuses. Yes please tire my kids out so they will pass out when we get home! Yassssss!

Badlands is great! We love going here 🙂

Rockville Town Center is also great for kids!

Places to eat!

I used to yelp a lot. I mostly wrote reviews on places I liked though, because what if the restaurant was just having a bad day? There were exceptions…. Anyway, I figure why not write full blown experiences on here? Maryland (or the DC metropolitan area) has many wonderful places that I want to write about!

I’ll write about whether or not these places would be good for kids or if they are more for adults only.

Yuraku
Cameron’s Seafood
SlapFish
Ambar

Other Things To Do In Maryland

Although I am a parent, I also want to make sure that I have my own life. I had a life before marriage and before kids. So I want to make sure that I explore Maryland (and the DC metropolitan area) for myself as well.

Ambar – Capitol Hill
Ocean City, MD
Ocean City, MD
Frederick, MD
La Casita Pupuseria – Takoma Park
Escape Room – DC
Exploring DC – Subway =P

So come join me as I embark on this new blogging adventure! I am excited to have a little bit more direction when it comes to blogging.

Thanks for reading and have an awesome rest of the day!

EM Cosmetics Infinite Lip Clouds Review

The EM Cosmetics Infinite Lip Clouds have been in the market for a while now. However, I have yet to write a review about it because I wasn’t blogging at the time that they came out. I did a review on the True Gloss lippies which I loved and decided to write a review on these awesome Infinite Lip Clouds as well. (Update! Review for the Fine Liner Brow Pencil here!)

Disclaimer: EM Cosmetics was kind enough to provide me these Lip Clouds to review (Thank you EM cosmetics!!). However, I am not affiliated with them, nor is this review sponsored in any way.

What are EM Cosmetics Infinite Lip Clouds?

The website claims that Infinite Lip Clouds are long wearing lip crèmes which are “light and fluffy” with “rich color payoffs.” These lippies have a matte finish, applies as a “vibrant liquid lipstick, and wears to a beautiful stain.” Michelle Phan states that she was inspired to create this formula after the beauty community requested a “non-drying liquid lipstick.”

The formula consists of blending the “line-filling properties of a lip liner with the color saturation of a liquid lipstick.” It’s also cruelty-free and vegan!

EM Cosmetics Infinite Lip Clouds Packaging

For those interested, it comes in EM Cosmetics signature black and white box. As you open the box, you see Michelle’s saying at the end of all of her youtube videos – a simple “Good luck.” The makeup is always wrapped in the classic black tissue paper.

Once you unwrap it, EM cosmetics Infinite Lip Clouds are packaged in a simple black and white cardboard box. The color and the name of the glosses are on a sticker that runs from the top of the cardboard box to the side.  The stickers are actually really easy to peel off and none of the gunk gets on the box if people care about that stuff.

Then the lip clouds. Black lids with a golden EM logo on top and see through cylindrical container. Classy and chic.

Time to Try Them On!

I have 4 out of the 9 shades. I sort of knew what colors go well with my skin so I picked the 4 that I thought would be good for me. Faded Clementine, Rose Nude, Violent Magenta, and Crimson Red.

Faded Clementine

The website describes this lip cloud as a “soft tangerine.” I would probably describe this as more of a slightly burnt orange. Not quite as dark as a burnt orange but definitely has some brownish properties to it.

 

Rose Nude

The website describes this one as a “light pink, nude.” If Aurora Pink in True Gloss had a matte version, this would be it. It has the “my lips but better” vibe to it. I love this because I can wear for an everyday look.

Crimson Red

EM Cosmetics describes this color as a “true blue-red.” Supposedly, I read somewhere that this is one of the more popular type of reds so I guess people get this more often. Not sure how it is on my skin tone, but oh well, there you go.

 

Violent Magenta

A “deep magenta” is how this lip cloud is described in their website. I picked this color because I wanted to see if I could pull off a dark matte lippie. I’m not too sure… but I definitely like the color payoff. For a more bold look, two coats actually does the job. The pictures below show how my lips look like after one coat.

 

The Review

I’ll go ahead and break it down to the promises that EM cosmetics made for these Lip Clouds. I do want to say that I usually don’t like liquid lips because most matte formulas that I’ve had are drying and just not comfortable. These… are a different story.

“Light and Fluffy… with rich color payoffs”

Yes, yes, and yes. The formula is light and fluffy. It’s like a whipped cream kind of texture. Feels very light when you put on your lips.

The color payoff is amazing. Truly, very pigmented. I sometimes expect matte formulas to be a little patchy but even the darker colored ones exceed my expectations.

“Vibrant liquid lipstick, and wears to a beautiful stain”

I mean I only have 4, but the 4 that I have are great colors. The darker colors are striking and even the one nude color I have stands out. I often think of “vibrant” as bright colors, so I don’t think that describes these Lip Clouds. Because they are matte, they are not as vibrant as say, the True Glosses. However, the colors are great and then fades into a stain on your lips as time passes.

The pictures below show you my lips without the lippie and my lips after I wiped off the Violent Magenta Shade. You can see that there’s definitely a stain effect to it. That’s with wiping it off too.

 

“Non-drying”

True story. Legit, this is not drying at all. It’s matte and my lips don’t really feel like I have anything on them. Then I smack my lips together and realize I’m still wearing a lippie – but my lips feel soft and NOT dry.

“Line-filling”

I’m not so sure about this because I still see my lip lines. However, I’m not sure if this is really a claim or if this is just how MP described her formula.

Other factors

The application. Unlike, the True Gloss, the Lip Clouds have more of that typical doe-foot applicator. Still very easy to use and I can use the tip to line my lips since I’m lazy and I don’t have lip liners.

Transfer. Most matte lippies are transfer-proof. EM Cosmetics did not claim for these Lip Clouds to be transfer-proof. There is a little transfer after it dries, but most of the color stays on the lips.

Bottom Line

I would definitely recommend EM Cosmetics Infinite Lip Clouds. For those who want a matte finish but don’t want dry lips, this is the formula for you. It’s so comfortable to wear and the color payoff is amazeballs. It’s $16 per lippie and it’s worth every dollar. Just try it and see.

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Thanks for reading and have a great rest of the day!

(all gifs are from giphy.com)