Travel-Blog: Madrid Spain Day One!

Hello everyone, thanks for coming back to my blog to read about our grand time in Europe. This is my last blog post documenting our time, but I do have a few follow up posts I may do about Europe in general. We also went two summer’s before to Ireland and England, so I may do some blogs about those as well! I have also done some other traveling, so I may document that too! Thanks for being apart of the journey! This post is about our five long days in Madrid, I say long, because if any of you have been to Madrid, you will see that five days is so much time. Madrid is pretty small, and you could see it all in one day if you try!
We got to Madrid from Barcelona, I had not booked a way there, and I was a little stressed about it, but our hostel host had told us about a bus that could take us. It was a long bus ride, about 7 hours. Once we got to the bus station, we found the metro, and rode to a stop near our hotel. We stayed at a hotel with a kitchen and bathroom, but the A/C sucked, and no matter how many times we complained it never worked.  We stayed in the center of Madrid, a close walking distant to everything, although I would say anywhere you stay in the center of Madrid is going to be close to everything. Madrid is small, but we found lots of things to do. We relaxed for a little in the hotel, and then got some dinner.
The next morning we headed off to see the sites. Our hotel wanted about 12 dollars a day for wifi, so we would go to the starbucks conviently near our hotel and use their free wifi. I would look up things for us to do and maps. Madrid is super easy to naviagate! We set out for the Plaza de Cibeles, which is a small plaza that is at the end of the famous Gran Via street. Here you see some great gothic buildings and a beautiful fountain. If I could nick-name Madrid, I would call it the city of fountains.
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 It was so so hot this day, we enjoyed the shade!
While we were sitting in the shade a group of bachelor partiers (I assume) were on one of those bike carts, it was so funny! We then started walking towards the Goya museum which I read really great reviews for, the lines were short when we got there, but it was too pricey for our budget, so we skipped.  By the museum there is a small gothic church that seemed open to the public, lots of tourist were taking pictures and going inside, when Jeff and I peaked our heads in we quickly realized there was a wedding going on inside, oops! How embarassing, I guess those “tourists” were actually just guests.
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We then walked through some small clobble-stoned streets towards Plaza Mayor.
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Plaza Mayor is very famous, it is a 1700 inspired plaza with restaurants and a huge statute in the center. I read a blog that mentioned a funny story about the statue. They said that the horse once had an open mouth and that it was the perfect size for small birds to fit in, but they couldn’t get out, and they would die inside (sad, I know), and that the statue would just reak, and they didn’t know why it smelled so bad, until they discovered bones when they were repairing it. The mouth has since been sealed, thank goodness, we didn’t have to smell the stinky horse!
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After walking around Plaza Mayor we walked towards the Madrid Palace, which I heard is one of the largest active palaces in Europe. You would think that Palace of Versailles would be larger, and if you consider the gardens it would be larger, but if just considering the buildings themselves, the Madrid palace would be much larger. While walking towards the palace we stumbled upon a view beautiful buildings and churches!
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 This church is right before the palace!
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Here is a side view of the palace, you can see how it goes on forever!
 Across from this view there is a fountain. Honestly, this entire section with the spanish apartments and fountains and everything was so beautiful, one of those pictures you could never quite capture with a camera! When I look back on Madrid, I fall in love with the city all over again, I don’t think I clearly saw it until I started this blog. I was so exhausted, burnt-out and just wanted to be back in America when we were in Madrid, I didn’t realize how amazing it was!
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 After you pass this beautiful site, you can enter the palace gardens, which are directly behind the palace. It is so beautiful!
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 We did so much on our first day exploring Madrid! But, I was able to find so much more things for us to do! So hang tight, and I’ll be posting about the 3rd & 4th days in Madrid, and our LAST day we spent in Europe! Thanks again for reading! If you have any questions feel free to send me a DM!
-Mariah

 

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Travel-Blog:Barcelona, Spain.

 Hello lovelies! Once again, thanks for heading over to my blog and reading about our fantastic month-long adventure in Europe! This post is about the 5 days and nights we spent in Barcelona, Spain, which was amazing. Jeff and I cannot wait to return! We stayed at a hostel, Barcelona Nice and Cozy, which was a great deal. We got a room with a balcony, and it was so nice and clean! I have to rave a little about this place, because it was the best place that we stayed at during the entire month! The owner was the sweetest. Upon arrival, she took us in and gave us a map, but also showed us what we could do in Barcelona, and how to get around using the Metro system (which is super easy).  She cooked an amazing breakfast everyone morning, and was just very personable. I would highly recommend this hostel, it was also in a great location, about a 10 minute ride on the Metro to the beach and anywhere else you would want to go. It is located near a residential area, with local restaurants, and we met some really great, kind people.  The rooftop was also accessible, and the view was so amazing !
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We arrived in Barcelona from Paris. Our flight was delayed quite a few hours, and we kept being shuffled around. But we finally made it, and we took the metro to a stop near our hostel. We then walked to the hostel. In Barcelona the Metro is super simple to navigate. They have about 5 different lines, that all connect at some point. The Metro also offers a deal where you can buy a card with 10 rides, for 10 dollars, which is great when you are there for a week. Jeff and I each got one card.  The Metro drops you off a short distance from the beach, and directly onto the Rambla.
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It rained, actually poured the first day we arrived. I was still a little sick, and due to the rain we decided to hang-back at the hostel and rest for a little while. Once the rain let-up we went out and explored the little down-town area. We ate at a little restaurant, and the food was super good. I got a brisket type sandwich  and Jeff got steak and eggs over fries. Our server was really nice, and tried to help us feel comfortable using our high school learned Spanish. I felt really uncomfortable at first, but eventually we were speaking some  Spanish easily with others.
We then went back to the hostel, I was feeling much better, had re-gained most of my energy back, but Jeff began feeling very ill. The next morning we woke up, and I was ready to explore and go to the beach! But Jeff woke up just as sick as I was when we were in Paris. So, we had to have another day in bed, so Jeff could rest up. We went to the grocery store and bought food for the day. One item we got was microwavable chicken dinners, but they were not frozen. Well, I thought it would be fine, but I woke up in the middle of the night and got food poisoning, so lovely when you’re sharing a bathroom with strangers in a Hostel. So here we are both just so sick in Barcelona, in a hostel, let’s just say it was pretty embarrassing.
So our second day in Barcelona, was basically our first. Jeff felt well enough to be able to go around Barcelona. I was so excited to go to the beach! It stopped raining on us at this point. Everyday of our trip it rained, but after our first day in Barcelona, it finally stopped raining on us, although we did go to Spain which was in a current drought.
We took the Metro to the beach, and then soon realized we did not have a towel… oops.. we had to end up buying one of those touristy towels. The beach isn’t you’re American beach. It reminded me of a beach you find at the lake. It was very lovely, we stayed in the sun and packed a lunch and had a picnic on the beach.  We had salami and crackers, cokes, and some fruit! The water was much colder than I had expected! We explored the beach area and some shops.
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The next day we went to the Rambla. We did a little shopping, and found an incredible outdoor food market. I got some fruit cups, and we also bought some nachos, they were not so good.
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We also explored areas around the Rambla. Honestly, I was so exhausted from our exploring in Europe, that I treated our time in Barcelona as a “real vacation” and tried to enjoy, relax, and not try to do so many touristy things and sightseeing. It was worth it, we may not have seen all the wonders of Barcelona, but we had an amazing time, and we loved being in Barcelona, and we know we’ll most likely make it back again another day!
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Our fourth day in Barcelona, we set out to see the Gaudi benches. My advice for seeing this wonderful sight is to map it out ahead of time. We were going off of a metro map that had a place near the Gaudi park, where the benches are, however there are two ways you can climb to the site. One way, which is the way we took was about 1000 vertical stairs, it was a treak, then on the other side of the park there is a freak escalator… when we saw that we couldn’t believe it. I know that some buses as well will take people pretty close. Either way you take, it’s worth it, because the view is amazing. Another word of advice, is that during the summer times, high tourist season, they block off the benches and make you pay to go see them… well we were not down for that so we just looked from afar. It wasn’t the exact same thing, but it was pretty cool!
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 Our last day spent in Barcelona was a mix, we went to the beach for a little, walked around, and hunted for souveniers. We ate paella at a restaurant near the beach, it was so good!  It also happened to be fireworks night in Barcelona, a day they celebrate every summer, it was such an awesome way to end our time there! Everyone was doing fireworks. We went to the beach for a little while and watched some of the fireworks over the ocean, and then went back to our Hostel where the owner had set up a spread of cheese and such and wine, and we enjoyed our last night in Barcelona! The next morning we had a bus to catch to get to Madrid. Also sorry the photos are poor quality below, they are from my iphone… this difference is crazy, haha!
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I hope you all enjoyed reading this blog, up next is our five days spent in Madrid! – M

Sephora VIB & Beauty Insider Sale Must Haves!

Hello everyone,

I am so excited for the Sephora VIB and beauty insider sales! I have teamed up with some other amazing beauty bloggers to give you a fantastic list of beauty buys that you must get during the Sephora VIB sale!

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The sale runs from November 3-6 and again 10-15th, so there is plenty of time to get some great stuff! If you are anything like me, then you spend some big bucks at Sephora!

If you haven’t already you should defiantly sign up for to be a beauty insider, which is free, and is fantastic, when you rack-up points you get free gifts with purchase and a free gift on your birthday. If you spend $350 within the year, you get to VIB status and if you spend over $1000 you get Rouge status. I am not at Rouge status and most likely never will be, but VIB status is great during the sale, because you can get a 25% off, and if you are a beauty insider you can get 15% off!

Not sure what to buy? We have got you covered there! Here is my top ten faves that you should pick up with your 15% or 25% discounts!

  1. Urban Decay foundation:I absolutely love this foundation for summer, it is light weight, a little goes a long way and the color matching is on-point!img_0440
  2. Urban Decay eyeshadow primer: Hands down the best eyeshadow primer I have used!
  3.  Too faced born this way foundation: The perfect fall/ extra coverage foundation! I am currently using this, as my face has broken out since being back in a school (stress!).
  4. Too faced bronzer: This stuff is my favorite bronzer ever, it smells amazing (chocolate) and it’s light-weight and stunning! img_0705
  5. Too faced better than sex mascara: There is no better mascara in my opinion! I have long-thick lashes and I have never loved another mascara like this!dscn1556
  6. Becca highlighter: This stuff is gorgeous to wear! So shimmer, and I always get compliments!dscn1538
  7. Benefit gimme brows: I have super light brows so this stuff is fantastic! I love it, my eye brows look great and natural!
  8. Bumox plumping lip gloss: I have such little lips, and I am telling you this stuff rocks!
  9. Mac lipstick: Mac lipstick is fantastic, but so expensive so I would highly recommend using that discount to get some!dscn1566
  10. Atelier Cologne: Honestly I have two of their perfumes and love them! Get any! They are pricy so I might get another with that sweet VIB discount! img_0438

 

Thank you so much for reading this blog! Check out these beautie’s picks as well:

Lauren’s Picks

Cecily Picks

Leigh’s Picks

Jeanny’s Picks

 

-Mariah-

Versailles, France.

Hey guys, back at it again! This blog post is about the two days we spent in Versailles, France. Versailles is just outside of Paris, some may consider apart of Paris, I’m not too sure.  The main reason to go here can probably be inferred from the name of the town! The Place of Versailles is located there! Since sophomore year, and learning about the french revolution and the Sun King, I always wanted to visit the Place of Versailles, and after you read and see my post, I know you’ll want to as well, because it was a blast!
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We began our journey to Versailles France from Paris. I honestly had no idea how we were going to get there, up until this point I had pretty much pre-planned how to get to and from certain destinations. We packed our backpacks and set off on foot. The night before I saw a Metro-station, so we began there. We road the metro for about $1.50 a person to a stop called Versailles, only to find out we were only about half-way there.  We walked around the station, finding a subway, but there was no WiFi. We just walked in a direction until we found a place that offered WiFi. We stumbled upon a McDonalds!
If you ever need wifi in Europe, there is a good chance that you can find a McD’s and they will have it for free. We stopped and I was able to look up the info I needed. It was about a 10 walk to the train station, that took us all the way into Versailles station. The main station is about a 5 minute walk from the place, you can practically see it from the station. It was pouring down rain the minute we got to Versailles, and so we couldn’t walk to our hotel.
At this point I was even more sick than the day before ( like deathly sick). We got a cab to our hotel, which was about a 10 minute ride, it was a life saver. We checked in, the hotel was like an apartment building and a hotel. It was a modern, and really nice. The first time in a while where we had a hotel with our own bathroom since Florence! But the hot water barely ran, and the staff hours were ridiculous. I was so sick, and all I wanted was to take a hot shower.
We spent the whole day at the hotel, while I rested up. The original plan was to spend half day at the Place, and then the next day as well. It is such a big place, and you can purchase a two-day pass. Unforchantly, we were unable to do so. But one day was sufficient!
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We got up the next morning, and I felt well enough that we could go to the Place! We got a bus there, and then walked over to the place. You enter from the back. They sell tickets there, the line was short to buy the tickets, but they had closed one entrance so we waited in line to get in for about an hour and a half, before we went in. It’s worth the wait.
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(Funny side antidote)
While we were waiting in line, there was a group of ladies, who did not understand personal space. It was raining and one woman kept getting her umbrella stuck in my hair, and poking me in the eyes.
The Palace was everything I could image. You start by walking into a hall with the history of the Palace. They also give you a map. We walked around through many rooms, like the king’s quarters, and the famous Hall of Mirrors.  Every detail was absolutely amazing!! From the painted cellings, to the gold details! Ah!
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While the inside of the Place is remarkable, it’s the gardens that you really want to see! Wow, so immaculate, gorgeous green lush, amazing fountains. I like to describe going to the Place of Versailles as going to a theme park, without the rides. In the gardens there are restaurants and you can rent golf carts to ride around. You can rent bikes, and boats. It’s truly an amazing! We spent the entire day there, and still missed so much! It was truly a special experience, and I would highly recommend it to anyone ! Even as a day trip from Paris, it would be spectacular.
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My only advice is to get there early, to stand in the lines. You can also buy your ticket ahead of time. I also recommend going to their gift shop they have the cutest trinkets. They have one both in the Place and in the gardens. I got my mom a little water can candle from the gardens, because my mom loves to garden!
We got up the next morning, still unable to get a hot shower btw, super early, because we had flight to catch to Barcelona!
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Thanks for reading!

 

Wedding Registry Guide (for the modern bride-to-be!)

Hello everyone and happy Wedding Wednesday!

I thought it would be fun to share a little bit of my wedding registry and to also share a little wedding registry guide!

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Planning a wedding is stressful enough, although I do have to say it is not nearly as stressful as it is often portrayed in the media. So, it is no wonder that creating a wedding registry can be stressful for brides-to-be as well. When I first started my wedding registry, I was having so much fun, it is like online shopping without all of the guilt and questioning if a product is worth spending money on. However, the caveat to a wedding registry is that you should really keep your party guests in mind when registering.

10 quick-guide registry tips: 

  1. Be guest-list friendly: Like I pointed out, it is important to keep your registry guest-list friendly.  Hopefully, you know many of your guest and can gage their comfort level for spending. Everyone has different budgets, and keeping that in mind, your registry should have wide range of prices and products.
  2. Register for household gifts: I know many people who just want a “honey-fund” and trust me I am there with you, my fiancé and I have lived together and have acquired enough stuff for the both of us and then some. But, there are guest who truly want to get you something for your home, and it is just that simple. My remedy for this is to do both. We have a honey-fun set-up on our registry website and I have also registered for gifts. I had a few friends and family members express to me that they would much prefer to give gifts than money.
  3. Use a wedding registry website: If you are anything like me, then you love items from many stores, and online items are not always available in the stores. I created my registry online using the knot. Not only is it a great way to organize items from different stores and you can make a honey fund, but the knot also works with donating some of the profits that are purchased through their sites to charities! That is something I can always get behind.
  4. Register for quality items: Try to find good quality items that can last a long-time. Think how nice it would be to use china, bowls, towels, etc years from now that a loved one gave to you to celebrate your wedding!
  5. Register for things you wouldn’t buy yourself: If you already have a household of  good durable items, then you should register for things that you would love to have, but couldn’t image buying yourself. I registered for some beautiful glasses, Anthropologie candles, plant holders, and some cute decrotive blankets (all things I would love to have but couldn’t justify spending money on).
  6. Register for items that are not on the average list: There are many things you could register for that you probably didn’t even think of, maybe a vacuum, rugs, back yard equipment, exercise equipment, cleaning products, storage baskets, etc. It doesn’t have to be all salad bowls, kitchen appliances, and fancy dishes.
  7. Register for experiences: Still not convinced that you should register for at least a few items? You can also register for experiences, the knot lets you create your own or add experiences to your registry. You can also let you guest know your favorite restaurants and ask for gift cards for dates!
  8. Have guest donate in your honor: I love the idea of having guest make donations in your honor rather than gifting you something. If you have family members that love giving and you want to do something special, this could be a great alternative!
  9. Ask guest to help with wedding expenses: I think this falls more in the realm of family. I have had a few family members ask what they should get us. I have even had family members offer to help with things as gifts. This is also a great option for those who really do not want gifts.
  10. Finding a balance: There isn’t an exact formula or calculation you can do to make sure you have registered for enough or too many gifts. You can look online, there are websites that can tell you based on guests how many to register for. But, like I said earlier if you know your guests then you can know how much. You can always add more items if your registry is “sold-out” closer to the wedding, but I recommend to not over do it. If you really have your heart set on certain things then really try to keep it closer to those items and not adding filler items.

Here is a sneak-peak at some of my Target registry:1

1. Kitchen aid stand mixer ($529), 2. Bath mat ($13), 3. Set of 4 dinning table cloths ($12/$47), 5. Copper kitchen utensils holder ($25), 6. Bath towels ($9/ $54), 7. Bar cart ($113), 8. Cake stand with glass lid ($30), 9. Peach throw ($27).

There are a few other things I have registered from target like an iron, a duet cover, luggage, storage bins, home decor, and a plant pot. I have also registered for a few items at Antropologie. I think we are registered for about 45 items, with 80 guest, as well as a honey-fund. I will update this blog post when I get closer, and after to see if it was enough/ a good ratio!

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Thank you for reading,

-Mariah-

 

Travel-Blog: Paris, France.

Hello lovelies! Thanks for coming back to my travel diary/blogs! This one is about the one, ONE, day we spent in the most romantic city in the world, Paris France. Wow, can I just start off by saying that we messed up big time, by only allotting one day for the city of Paris. I mean I really wanted to visit Paris to see the great Eiffel Tower, but there is so much to see and do, and it’s probably the biggest regret of the trip. The main reason that we decided to only do one day in Paris is because it is so expensive!
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We were on a pretty tight budget, and Paris hotels/air bnb etc, were outrageously expensive. We stayed miles and miles away from the Eiffel Tower, but we still spent over $100 for one night! In visiting France other than the Eiffel Tower, I wanted to see the Palace of Versailles, so we stayed in Versailles for two nights, and I decided to make that it’s own blog, so stay tuned for that blog as well!
We flew into Paris from Pisa in the early morning. We planned with our friends Shane and Dani to meet up with them, because it worked out that they could join us there! We arrived first, and waited about an hour or so for them. We then all met up and rode a charter bus into the city of Paris. I think we slept most of the ride.
I suppose at this point of the story I should mention that I was deathly sick. Remember my last couple posts, mentioning sore throat? Well when we landed in Paris, I was so so so sick. I must have gotten the flu, and it was one of the sickest I’ev honestly ever felt in my life! When traveling around you are exposed to so many people, not only just locals but others who visit the countries as well. My tip?
Bring some meds with you. I don’t know about you guys, but when I visit a place I typically take my entire medicine cabinet with me. I figured I wouldn’t need to over pack my meds, because when you’re packing a carry-on backpack to Europe for 30 days you try to pack as lightly as possible! So I did not end up packing extra meds. You really should bring with you cold and flu medicine when you visit Europe, because they do not sell what you are use to in other countries.
After we made it to our Air BNB the first thing we did was to look for a drug store. They are abundant they have the bright green first aid cross above them. Luckily for me there was one across the street from where we were staying. I was able to talk with a clerk and she helped me pick out some medicine. It sort of worked.  It was the same price as you would pay in the US.
I would recommend bringing enough for a week per person, because if it is sickness you have never been exposed to before, which is reasonable when traveling abroad, you may not be the only one that gets sick (Jeff also got the horrible sickness). So what can you do in Paris only in one day, and you’re extremely sick? Well here’s what I did:
We left the Air Bnb in the afternoon and we walked to find some food places near by. Jeff and I got bag-get sandwiches from a cute little shop.  They were perfect to snack on for the entire day! We then began the long and treacherous walk to the Eiffel Tower. We mapped it out and it said we were only about 3 miles away, but It took a  good two or so hours to get there. As we were walking we stumbled upon beautiful buildings.
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It was so dark and ominous, it had rained everyday we were in Europe so far.
This was a small plaza area and there was a carasoual. Paris is everything and more than what you imagin, it is just as romantic, with something on every corner to be in awe about. We saw signs for Norte Damn, and decided to make a little detour to see it. It was so beautiful in person!
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Notre Dam is next to a beautiful river, we walked along the edge towards the Eiffel Tower.
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The Eiffel Tower, was the main thing I wanted to see when visiting Europe, a childhood dream come true. We walked about 5 or more miles to get there, but it was well worth it! I was pretty sick, so I lagged behind, barely able to walk, I worried if I was even going to be able to make it to the top of the Eiffel tower.
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It was the Euro-cup while we were in Paris, and Paris was hosting that year, so most of the park that the Tower is in was blocked off. It put a bit of a damper on for us, but that was okay. When we got to the tower, the elevators were closed. I was so upset because there was just going to be no way I could climb the stairs with how sick I was. Then suddenly they decided to open an elevator, and the line was super short! Jeff and I got in line and got student tickets for $22 dollars a person, there was a sign posted that they would not sell tickets if you did not have an I.D but they let us get through! So my advice is to just try and see even if you forget a student I.D.
The money was well worth it! Going to the top of the Eiffel Tower was amazing. It was a surreal moment for us, It makes you feel like the world is such a vast place, and the views are unbelievable. When you go up, they drop you off about half way, and you can walk around and see the sites. The views from below is a white blur of buildings, traffic, and the green grass below. We could also see the Euro-cup playing.
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You get to stand in line to ride another elevator to go even higher up, and wow, you kind of start to feel a little queesy and you’re knees are a little stiff. It is so high up, (duh!). Getting to the top is the easy part. Here we are at the very tip-top of the Eiffel Tower.
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After we spent some time at the Eiffel Tower, we went to the Lourve Museum, home of the Mona Lisa.  It was so much more beautiful then what I expected, as much of Paris was. We decided to not go into the museum as it was pretty expensive and we decided to pay to go to the top of the Eiffel Tower. But going to the outside is just as beautiful. You can go inside, and they have free bathroom, which in Europe is amazing, and see a few things for free, so we did that!
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 We ended the night at a really expensive restaurant that I spent like $7 dollars for a Coke because I was so sick and need the carbonation. The next morning we started off for Versailles!
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Thanks for reading!

 

Fun Fall-Tag!

Hey guys!
 I love this time of year, and so I thought it would be fun to do the fall tag. I  looked up some questions and did my own little combination! If you have been tagged, then copy, answer, and post on your blog!

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What is your favorite fall food?
I love anything warm during fall, but I would most likely say mash potatoes and gravy is my favorite! Yum, wish I had some now!
What is your favorite fall color?
I feel like I change this, but right now I am obsessed with copper tones.
 
What is your favorite fall drink?
I love hot mochas all year long, but hot chocolate is especially yummy during fall, don’t you think?
Do you like pumpkin spice lattes?
Eh not really.
What is your favorite fall dessert?
So hard to decide, probably pumpkin chocochip cookies!
What is your favorite fall candle sent?
Warm vanillia
What is your favorite fall accessory?
A scarf!
 
What is your favorite fall outfit?
Leggings, boots, a cute tunic and a scarf.
What is your favorite fall makeup?
I prefer darker colors in fall, like purple, I have hazel eyes so dark purples are great!
 
What is the best thing about your town during fall?
My hometown is full of trees, and they all change colors during the fall, it is seriously so beautiful!
Smores or pumpkin pie?
Smores forsure, I don’t care for pumpkin pie, didn’t even have it on thanksgiving, ha!
Gloves or mittens?
Gloves! Mittens are cute but not so functional!
Plain hot coco, or flavored?
I like it plain.
 
Favorite thanksgiving tradition?
I love watching the thanksgiving parade.

Favorite thanksgiving dish?

I know it’s everyone’s least favorite, but I love green-bean cassarole.

Do you go puddle-jumping?
Not so much, I don’t want to get sick!
Do you play in the leaves? 
All the time!
What is your favorite fall memory?
It is always walking in the park in my own town, the leaves all change colors it is truly beautiful!

If you could spend fall anywhere, where would you choose?

Hometown or back east!

Do you like any other seasons?
I mean fall is pretty much the best, but I love summer a little more !

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Thanks for reading!
Did you enjoy this fall tag?
Do we have any answers in common?

-Mariah-

Travel-Blog: Pisa Italy.

 Hello everyone! Thanks for heading on over to this blog post! As you can see, it’s about the day we spent in Pisa, Italy! You only really need one day in Pisa, it is a very small little place! I was also pretty sick this day so this post is going to be short & sweet!
We took an early train from Florence to Pisa. It was about an hour and a half ride. It was such a beautiful train ride through the tuscan side of Italy! I’ev said it before, but Im serious, I think riding the trains in Italy is the way to do it! I was starting to feel pretty miserable at this point. The day before in Florence I had a sore throat, but I deined that I was getting sick. But I woke up feeling horrible. So we pretty much did a half day in Pisa, in all honesty you can get away with even just a half day!
We got off the train at the only station in Pisa, and walked about 10 minutes to our hotel! It was a cute little hostel, and you could see the leaning tower from the window! That’s how close everything is in Pisa. Like Florence, the roads are very easy to navigate. Oh, and a small tip about navigating, when you have wifi and put in the directions and hit start, even when you disconnect from wifi, your GPS will still work, we did this on occasion!
We enjoyed walking through the streets of Pisa, it is less filled with tourist, and it feels like a piece of home, for me at least, the small town vibes and that there is  a little “downtown” shop area. We arrived at the hostel too early. But they were kind enough to hold our bags. We set off to see the big pearly-white building that brought us there in the first place, The leaning tower.
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As a child, and even as an adult, I pictured the “leaning tower of pizza” to be massive, like the statue of Liberty. I was astonished at how small it actually is. In comparison to other buildings near it, it’s larger, it’s just not as massive as I had imaged. Even in the pictures it looks larger. You can pay about $15 dollars to walk to the top, we didn’t.  In the picture above  you can see that the tower is not much larger than the church behind it.  The tower sits on pristine grassy area, surrounded by bright white churches and a museum.
After seeing the tower up close, we still had some time and we stopped at a lovely restaurant that had a great combo deal, and ate right next to the leaning tower! It was a great meal.  It was an extremely romantic setting, with beautiful flowers on a patio by the tower, sharing a meal with the one I love! Probably to most romantic date we’ve had, ha ha!
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And just look how close we were to the tower!
After our romantic meal, we went back to the hostel, and our room was ready. We decided to stay in for a little, I needed a rest, and the wifi was good, we did not have very good wifi at the last hostel, and it was so gross there, we just needed some time to relax! We then got up a few hours later and went looking for something to eat. I don’t remember getting anything to eat. We walked around and stopped in a few shops. We walked to this really beautiful bridge, and I of coarse needed to stop and take some pictures!
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 After we explored, we went back to our hotel and splet, we had to be up at 3am to catch a taxi to the airport, because we had a flight to Paris! The only problem was that we could not order a taxi, and the hostel staff did not speak a word of english. We used google translate to ask them to order a taxi and she seemed to say the y can’t too early, but she would get up early to call on. We got up the next morning, and we waited for about a half hour, and no taxi came. We were pretty stressed-out. It was the middle of the night with no taxis in site, and we knew we were going to have to walk back to the train station and hope that there was a taxi there. So we loaded up with our heavy backpacks at three in the morning and walked through the streets of pisa, I think we got there to the station in 5 minutes we were power walking. It was nerve-racking because we had these huge tourist backpacks, like hey look at us and steal from us it’s the middle of the night and we’re dumb! Luckily there was a taxi at the train station and we made it to the airport in time!
Thanks for reading!

Wedding Planning Updates!

Hello Everybody!

Thanks again for heading back to my blog.  I recently took to my Instgram stories and asked who would be interested in seeing a wedding shopping haul, and majority said YES! I thought it would be fun to post on here some of the great deals and things I have gotten for my upcoming wedding! I have other things to update you with for my wedding as well. We have also booked a date, and a few other great things that I thought would be fun to share!

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Choosing a date:

Picking a date was pretty easy! I knew for a long time, even before getting engaged, that I wanted to be married in 2018. While, that may sound silly, I had good reason. Jeff and I started dating on the 18th of January 2012, so 18 holds meaning for us. I was also really wanting to get married on the 18th in 2018, but there just wasn’t the right time! So we have chosen September 22nd 2018! I’m so excited for this date, it also happens to be the fall solstice, which means a fall wedding! Although, in California it is still very warm. We choose this date with the weather in mind! It will hopefully be not to hot not to cold, and there is only a less than 6% chance of rain during that time of year!

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Booking a Venue:

We have also booked our venue! Which to me is the most stressful part of wedding planning! From having to decide how many guests will fit, the weather, is the date available the pricing, it just becomes overwhelming. Luckily, I was able to book in our local town’s park, which not only saves some money, but it was easy to book our date!

 

Choosing a Color Theme:

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This was super easy, in fact I don’t have an exact color palette chosen, but my wedding colors are very earthy toned, which if you know me, I love grey’s, whites, and metals. I am going to be mixing copper and gold (wish me luck), with wood tones, greens, grays, and a blush! I think this is most brides colors trending this year, but Im okay with that!

Picking a Wedding Party: 

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We just sat down this weekend and finalized our wedding party picks! If you read my last post then you would know that when I was visiting my sister this summer I asked her to be my maid of honor! I have also purchased and made my “Will you be my bridesmaids boxes” but I won’t show them yet until I get the chance to
“pop” the question to them! And my fiancé has also picked his wedding party, which was so easy, he has been really relaxed about wedding planning, but it was so cute to see him get excited and he knew exactly who it would be, like he was thinking about it before I even asked (which is a major win for all brides right? ).

Creating a Wedding Website:

I have completed finished my wedding website, with the knot and I am waiting for my fiancé to move up to Northern California so we can take engagement pictures and then I will launch it publicly!

Creating a Wedding Registry:

I have also started our wedding registry, which I think I will do an entire blog on, with what I am registered for, tips, etc. Stay tuned!

Wedding Shopping Haul:

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As promised, here is my mini wedding shopping haul! I will defiantly do an updated version as we get closer! I also do not have everything here, some things I purchased when I was in Utah visiting my family. I am also super lucky and will be able to borrow quite a few things from friends and family as well! As you saw in my “wedding Inspo” graphic, I like rustic and modern mixed together for my wedding! It is my dream to have hanging plants galore!

  1.  Four crate boxes, if you can see them in the way back! They have calk boards on the fronts. I am going to use these for drinks. I am planning on having glass drink containers, and these will give them some height, plus I can write in calk what the drinks are. I am also possibly planning on using one for wedding favors, but thats sort of still in the air. I really would like to get everyone a small succulent, but I’m not sure if its in the budget.
  2. Three Wooden Serving Plates, from Walmart and target. I am planning to use these for desserts or for cheese platers.
  3. Metal drink tubs, I have 6 of these, and I also have 6 copper plastic ones I got from Walmart. I think we’ll use all of them. My mom got these as a surprise and didn’t know I had the others. But the more the merrier.
  4. Gold plastic silver wear, I know plastic is not so fancy, but no one has gold silverware to rent. I think it will look fine though!
  5. Plastic serving dishes. These will be used on the dessert and food tables. I am envisioning them with parchment paper, and I think it will look very elegant!
  6. Copper geometric string lights. These are beautiful! I may use them for the dessert table! I also have loose gold geometric shapes for the banquet table.
  7. Plant hoops. I DIY’ed these bad boys. I have seen them all over Pinterest! And I love them. They will be the back drop of our wedding ceremony! If you want a DIY how to, comment below!!

 

Not pictured here: Green garland from hobby lobby: we have about 4 that are 6ft each, I plan on thining them too. My plan is to have one long banquet table with green garland down the middle. The greenery look so real in real life, and we are going to buy some real fillers and white and blush flowers.  I also mentioned that I had some geometric shapes which will be evenly dispersed throughout the tables. I also have gold serving trays, and the copper bins.1212356[5]

 

After I put everything away, I realized I missed these cute golden succulent shapes planters. I think these will be on the dessert table or something! I have four of them! I also am planning to use my house plants and incorporate them as well as buying many many more plants!

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Here’s the lights on!

And, here’s a close up of the cutlery !

Thank you for reading this enormously long blog post! If you want to see some of my latest wedding inspiration, or other things Im obsessing over lately, check out My Pinterest page!  

-Mariah-

Travel Blog: Firenze, Italy.

Hey guys! Thanks for coming back to read my travel blog! This blog is about the amazing, wonderful, lovely time we spent in Florence, Italy!  We spent three nights and three days in Florence. We traveled from Rome to Florence by train. We got the tickets for about $30 dollars, a really great deal! In Italy, I would highly recommend traveling between cities by train, the train system is simple, it’s easy to book tickets on their machines, the trains are really nice, and the trains are high-speed.
So we waited for our train, and boarded! We meet a really nice guy from Russia, and we talked with him for the three hour ride.  We got off at our stop, and I had mapped out the walking directions, but my GPS was not having it! So we walked in circles for a while and walked back to the station. We got a taxi, and thank goodness, because the hostel we booked was also a camp ground, and the entrance is a long walk up a desolate road. Needless to say, we were a little nervous. We got to the office, and of coarse we had to pay more in taxes. Then they brought us to our room. We had a room with our own bathroom, yay. However, it had mold. We just sucked it up and figured we were only spending a few hours there, and decided it wasn’t worth the hassle of complaining.
Besides being a hostel, campground, and a rentable venue, the place we stayed at was also a dormitory  for a small school that was funded by the Italian government, that brings over men from foreign countries, and teaches them Italian so they can file for papers to move to Italy. We meet some very interesting characters there!  The hostel provided breakfast, so that was nice! The first day we got to Florence, we traveled to the Hostel, so we decided to stay at the Hostel and relax.
The next morning, we set off for the city center of Florence. The City center is located right by the St. Maria Novella Station. If you are going to Florence, you can stay either in the city center, which is more expensive or stay in one of the surrounding cities, which is what we did. We took a bus to the train station, about a 10 minute or so ride.  It started to rain, so hid for a little in the station, bought an expensive map, because I left the hostel free one at home, opps, and then we started walking around to see the sites.
There is so much to see and do in Florence, but large monuments, and such are fairly close to each-other, and you can see it in one day, if you try and plan very well! Without planning well, we were still able to see everything we wanted to on our first day there. I absolutely fell in love with Florence. And I will say it was by far my favorite place we visited during our entire month-long excursion in Europe.
The streets of Florence, are very simple to navigate, and they all tend to lead in the same direction. We first walked to the St. Maria Novella Duomo, which is a large church that is now more of a museum. You can pay to go inside, we didn’t. The Duomo is magnificent! The details,  are unbelievable, it is a gothic style cathedral, and is over 500 years old! The Duomo sits in the middle of a plaza or a Piazza in Italian. The surrounding buildings are dwarfed in comparison.

 

 

 

 Then we walked over to the Museum that houses the Statue of David, which I wanted to see so so badly! We thought we were in the wrong place, lol, so we turned around and walked around. I also found out that it was going to be something like $20 dollars a person to get in, so that was a no-go. We decided in Rome, that we weren’t going to pay a lot to see things unless we were absolutely dying to see it, and unfortunately for David, he just didn’t make it on the list. But we  got lucky, and if you feel the same as us, you can get lucky, because Florence has a “Fake David” statue, which is almost as good. It was good enough for us! I would highly highly recommend seeing “Fake David” even if you plan on seeing the real David, and heres why. The Fake David sits on top of this huge, and I mean huge mountain top (?), not really sure if its a mountain, and you can see all of Florence from there !

 

Bonus, there is a small garden a little over half-way up the large and traitorous hike to the top. And the garden has benches and you can sit and relax. It was so beautiful! It rained on-and-off, and about 5 minutes after we saw fake david, it poured. But it made the sky-line look amazing!
The sun shone on the mountains in the horizon, and It was unspeakably beautiful. A moment I will truly cherish, it felt like one of those moments where the Heavens open and shine. I could not even capture the true beauty. Funny side note, as we were gazing at the beautiful city below, we heard some very thick accent Texans asking us to take their picture. They had fanny-packs and all. We laughed as we walked back down. We found the short-cut, by the way, there is one, UGH!
As we walked around Florence, we stopped and ate at one of those tourist trap restaurants, right in the middle of the center of florence, and It was actually a good deal, and the food was amazing. In Europe, in general you can find food for fairly good deals, just don’t buy drinks. The drinks are outrageous, as well as water. Make sure to bring a water bottle with you, and I would highly, highly, HIGHLY, recommend what my friends did, what I wanted to do, but decided to not do last minute, and that is to bring a water bottle with a filter built in. The main reason, money, but also because you can get water from anywhere, including bathroom sinks, sketchy looking water fountains, and from the hotel. I wanted to buy some, and found a great deal at Target for about 14 dollars for two, but I didn’t want to spend the money. BOY was I silly, because we ended up spending way, way more on buying water, then we would have if we had just bought the water bottles. I stand by this advice, and say it is the number one thing you should bring with you to Europe! NO JOKE!
Moving on, we then walked to the famous Ponte Vecchio bridge, which is a small bridge that has small jewelry shops along it. The jewelry is very expensive. In and around the bridge there’s many shops and stores to shop at! There are many stands that sell beautiful leather and other souvenirs. I got a beautiful purse! We stopped and ate some yummy food, and gelato! Walking to Ponte Vecchio bridge from the Duamo, you can walk through a small statue garden. It was a great place for us to stop and rest our tiered feet.
 Halfway on the bridge, there is a small cut-out area where you can stop and see down the river. It is such a beautiful view, and the perfect place to snap a few pictures!
Our second day in Florence, we explored more around the city! It rained more, and I didn’t think I needed to take pictures of the same things! On our second day, my throat began to feel a little soar, I figured that I had slept with my mouth open. I ate extra gelato that day, but as the day went on I started to feel sick. We cut our day a little short, and headed back to our hostel, where we spent time talking with some of the local residents and ate the hostel provided dinner! The hostel had a laundry area, and we were able to pay about 10 dollars to do a load of laundry, but it was well worth it! We were about halfway or a little less into our trip, and we had gone through most of our clothes. We packed enough clothes to last a little over halfway through our trip, so we would only have to wash our clothes once! Here’s a tip about laundry, we planned to wash clothes in sinks and such, but many hostels have signs and shared bathrooms and do not want you to wash your clothes in the bathroom ( Can’t image why, lol.) We got up early, packed our bags, and headed to the train station to get a train to Pisa!
Thanks for reading!