Travel-Blog: Berlin, Germany!

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Hello everyone!  I know it’s been forever since I posted about our European adventure, but life has been soooo busy! This post is about our first day  in Germany, because we did so much, I thought I should separate the posts, so it wouldn’t be too much to read!
( Quick life update: Jeff and I have both gotten jobs and are working towards moving into our own apartment down in LA! Hence the hectic busy life excuse, Ha ha. )
Now back to the fun part: talking about our lovely time in Berlin, Germany. We spent four days days in Berlin, and our days were jam-packed! We took an early morning flight from Oslo, to Berlin. To get from where we were staying in Oslo to the airport, we had to take a train. We bought tickets for the cheaper and longer train, to only find out that the train did not leave that early. So we hopped on the pricer faster train, and we had to pay more once we got to the airport. We were pretty disappointed.
If you are planning a trip to-and-around Europe I would highly recommend flying between countries. We flew to all of our destinations, and spent less than $200 dollars a person. Other forms of transportation such as getting the Eurorail-pass can cost anywhere from $500-$700 dollars a person. We also took a few trains from airports and a few buses but the fares were very low, and I would say we spent less than $50 dollars all together! It’s worth it to fly, Europe has many low-fare flights, but also keep in mind, that the low-airfare airlines have very strict regulations about the weight of bags, and some airlines only allow one bag per person! I would recommend looking this info before packing and leaving for your trip! (If you’re interested in what I packed for my Europe trip & packing tips, and what to bring, I will write a separate post about that!)
My last recommendation about flying between countries is to if possible book later morning flights. We decided to book the earliest flights possible, with the idea in mind that if we book earlier we would have more time in the countries we were flying into. However, it turned in trouble, as we could not always get trains and transportation that early in the morning to make the flights, and we were sometimes forced to pay for expensive taxis, and trying to converse with with hotel/hostel staff that we could not call the taxies ourselves because we did not have cell service. It was truly a nightmare. Book flights, but book later flights, even if they are a little bit more expensive, it will save you $$ in the end!
So, we finally made it to the Oslo airport, there is only one airport by the way, most European airports are small and you do not need to get there early, in fact you do not know what gate you need to be at until it’s time to board the flight at most airports. We flew Norwegian Airlines, which by the way is amazing, and arrived at the Berlin airport.
The Berlin airport was extremely small. We  walked around looking for train information and ATM’s that wouldn’t rip us off. We finally stumbled upon a counter with a worker, who booked our tickets on the U-BAHN, which was about $1.50 a person. We mapped out which trains we needed and which stops were closest to our hotel, and took off. The U-BAHN was extremely hot, and hardly any seats, but we managed to find some seats, and took off our heavy backpacks and settled down for the 20-30 minute train ride through what appeared to be German country side. We got off and then caught another train, which took us to a stop about a mile or so from the Hotel. We walked for a while, and then realized we were walking in the wrong direction. Eventually we got on the right path, and we made it to our hotel.
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Here’s a picture of one U-BAHN station entrance, that I found to be really cool!
The hotel was your average hotel, we had a suite, and they provided turn-down services, and even had harbo gummy bears on each of our beds! Dani and I had accidentally booked this hotel, when we were searching for hotels. We were trying to decide between the hotel we stayed at and another hotel that provided breakfast for a little more cost. Well, we thought we booked the breakfast hotel, and when we got the confirmation we were shocked that neither one of us had realized that it was the other hotel! Also the booking was non-refundable, so we were stuck! That being said the hotel was actually in a great location!
Berlin is HUGE, and did I mention there is 100’s of 1000’s of things to do there??? Well, we were luckily centrally located, that if we went any direction from our hotel, we would find something interesting to do and see! Maybe that is just how all of Berlin is, but we were only a few miles away from everything that we all wanted to see!
After arriving and checking into our hotel, we were all very exhausted, and starving. We found a mexican-style restaurant and got burritos that were very good, Dani and Shane got burrito bowls, and had left overs. After that we went back to our hotel and everyone relaxed. I fell asleep, exhausted from the travel. I was asleep for about 30 minutes when suddenly, I was being woken up, because Shane had found a place he wanted to visit that did free tours on certain days (the day we had arrived) that was going to close, and we were going to get there in time, if we left right away! I was so so so groggy, but Jeff grabbed my hand and guided us there. I pleaded with him to just leave me behind, but i’m so glad he didn’t! It was worth the rushed, sickly-sleepy feeling walk! Shane wanted to see the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church, which was originally built in the 1890’s.
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 Here is the backside of the church, I did not get a picture of the front, (BTW all these pictures were taken by yours truly)
We walked about 1 mile or so, and we stumbled upon the church. It was so beautiful, it was in the middle of a plaza, surrounded by new buildings, shopping, a restaurants. Inside the the bottom of the church is a museum about the churches history.
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Here is a picture of the entrance to the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church museum section.
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 These pictures showcase some of the amazing details of the inside. It was seriously amazing! There were also displays, and pictures on the walls, I just did not photograph them.
After we went to the church, we heard some live music playing, in English. It was a punk rock type band playing music in a plaza. There was lots of people around, some dancing, some eating at surrounding restaurants and others were there enjoying the sites, such as us. There was a huge fountain with kids playing in the water, and people cooling their feet off. We looked at some shops, and walked back to our hotel.  As we were walking we saw lots of little stands selling curry wurst, and found an interesting fountain. Living in California with severe drought, seeing multiple fountains and lush green plants everywhere was spectacular!
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 We stopped here and rested our sore and swollen feet, and took a couple of candid selfies, and pictures. Notice how Dani and I are wearing basically matching shirts, I guess it’s a BFF thing!
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This day was pretty relaxed compared to the days that followed…


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Travel-Blog: Norway!

Hello everyone! I wanted to create this blog to highlight my recent adventures in Europe. So, I will be starting from the beginning, Norway!
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 This picture was taken on june 3rd 2016, it depicts the Oslo Fjords, which were absolutely breathtaking! We began our month long journey by flying 10.5 hrs from LAX to Oslo, Norway. Our friends journeyed the day before, and we arranged to meet them at our Air BnB (By the way we did not have cell service!).
DAY ONE:  June 2nd 2016
After we landed at Gardermoen Oslo Airport, we took a high-speed train to Oslo’s city center.
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 Our Air BnB host gave us directions to her apartment from the airport, but we were exhausted, in a foreign country, not accustomed to our very, very, heavy backpacks, and found ourselves lost. We arrived in the city center, and walked in circles for about 2 hours looking for the correct bus station. We asked multiple people where to find the bus station, and they kept telling us to go back and fourth between places! So frustrating! We eventually talked to the right person, and they told us we were looking for a city bus (we apparently were at a different bus station) and directed us to correct place to find the bus we needed! Whew! We found our bus, but needed tickets, so we tried buying them, but the machine would only take change! We had just exchanged our money at the airport and did not have enough change.
Exhausted and sweaty, I left jeff with the backpacks and went to the convenience store to buy a coke and get change, however, they did not have enough change! I eventually found a place that would let me buy a coke and get coins. Jeff thought I got lost, or taken (poor, fella!). We bought our bus tickets and then our bus came. Our host told us which station to get off at, and then to just walk five mins and we would somehow stumble upon her apartment. Well… we didn’t. We walked in a few more circles until we found the correct street and our gracious friends waited for us for about 3 or 4 hours outside! Thank goodness they were outside or we would not have found where we needed to be! Our Air BnB was so cute! It was like an Ikea add! She left us famous Norwegian chocolate and we rested for the night! We also went out and bought some expensive kebab for dinner. Norway is extremely expensive, just an FYI!
The next morning we had big plans! We all slept about 4 solid hours, but the excitement of adventure was like a strong cup of coffee, and I practically skipped the few miles into the city center. We walked along the promanade-like street that had shops along the sides, fountains, and much more! Oslo is fairly modern, but this street gives you that historical European-feeling, that you picture.
DAY TWO: June 3rd 2016
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At the end of this long street is the Royal Palace, which is a bit of a hike! We walked up to the palace and you could look down at this beautiful street, and it is a stunning view of Oslo!
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After this beautiful scene, we walked to the docks, and walked along the wooden board-walk along the beautiful Oslo shoreline. Here, is where you can also see where the Nobel Peace Prize is awarded each year. There was also a wall with paintings of what we thought depicted syrian refugees.
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 We knew that Norway was famous for it’s beautiful Fjords, especially in Bergen. However, it was too pricey for our month long adventure to take the three plus hour train ride to Bergen. So, we opted to see the Oslo Fjords, which leaves right off the dock pictured above. It was worth it! There was a tour stand and we were able to walk right up and book a same-day tour! We had about three hours until our boat left, so we walked around the board-walk and shops. While we were exploring we stumbled upon a beautiful art museum, that was painted in bright colors that reflected into the water. It was so beautiful!
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 A funny antidote: the swan in the photograph above was not very happy about a huge mastiff sitting so close to the water. The swan kept charging at the dog, and they had a bit of a quarrel! It was pretty funny! Anyways, back to the trip. Eventually it was time to board our boat and set sail on the Oslo Fjords.
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We rushed to be at the head of the line, because we wanted to make sure that we had side-seats so we could be able to see the Fjords! Here is a picture of our boat, I liked that it had Scandinavian flags! Most individuals in Norway can speak English, and because English is most universal our tour was in English (lucky Americans!). We quickly boarded and were off in the Nordic waters.
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 Our tour guides brought us around the shoreline and showed us famous building and gave a small historical lesson. We saw the Oslo Opera house, which was designed to look like the Sydney Opera house. One interesting thing about the Oslo Opera house, is that they have a flat rate for all shows and seats, because they want everyone to be able to afford a ticket to any show! We thought that was pretty cool!
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 The Fjords boat tour was absolutely breathtaking! I could not capture the real beauty! They brought us around the small islands, and described the old customs. On most Islands houses cannot exceed certain perimeters, and have to be painted certain colors, such as red and yellow! We also went by “Rabbit Island” which was once inhabited by 1,000’s of rabbits. We also went by an Island with an old church, which is now used as a light-house.
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 It was fairly hot this day, we felt like we were getting sunburnt and sweating, then suddenly, it started to down-poor! It was crazy! Here we were on this tiny boat in the Nordic Sea, with a sudden down-poor! The tour staff started climbing on top of the boat to close the top, I was worried it was so slippery. The plastic covering, didn’t do much. I still got soaking wet, but, I didn’t mind! It felt surreal to experience such a moment! The Fjords were so spectacular and I would highly recommend seeing both Fjords if you have the chance! Here are a few more photos of the Oslo Fjords.
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 I really enjoyed our short amount of time in Oslo. Norway in general is so very expensive, so we decided to make it a short stop on our month long adventure. We spent about one full day and one half day in Oslo, but we were able to experience so much! Next time we plan to stay longer in less countries! After this long eventful day, we walked about three or four miles back to the Air BnB and packed our bags. We had an early flight the next morning for Berlin, Germany to catch!

Thanks for reading!

-Mariah-

How to be a blogger and stay true to yourself!

Hey guys,

I have had this on my mind lately, and wanted to write a quick post about blogging in general.  I have been getting a lot of questions lately about “how did you start blogging”, “how’d you get to where you are”, etc. So I just wanted to do a little post about my feelings/ thoughts for blogging!

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So, to answer a few questions, I have been blogging, on and off for about a year, and I started really getting into it last October. I started my blog as a travel diary, to document and write about my stories from my month-long trip to Europe. I love traveling, writing, and taking pictures, so I thought it would be fun to combine them, and a place to direct friends and family who were interested in our stories/ trips. From there I really started to enjoy blogging and creating some fun content. I started following other bloggers and blogs on social media and joined a few groups of other bloggers about one month ago and more than doubled my Instgram followers!  Once I started reaching out to others, my “brand” or Social media just started to grow and I have been really enjoying getting to know others in my niche. However, with it comes some draw backs, not everyone is so kind, and it is a learning curve.

In the midst of growing, I started worrying about my content being perfect, trying to make sure my social media had a “theme” and that I was following everyone’s advice, of being consistent and knowing your audience, etc. However, I started to realize that I was no longer blogging for me, and no longer doing it for the enjoyment as much as just doing it because if I didn’t keep up, then I would be in then hole.

I then took a break, and started thinking. Blogging can be someone’s career, it can be someone’s aspiration, but it doesn’t need to be forced. I do not want to create content that I wouldn’t be interested in.

So, here’s the advice I feel like sharing. Take it or leave it, agree or not, here it is– which is my point:

 Stay true to yourself.

Here are some of the ways, I think, you can be a blogger, and still stay true to who you are:

  • Write what you love! I always try to write, and post things that I would enjoy reading, or learning, or looking at! After all, this is a space that I see the most, and a place where I will look back on. It doesn’t matter to me if that means less likes, or views, I just want to create what makes me happy and fulfilled.
  • Post what you like! I have struggled to post some things, because I worry about my theme or how it will be received, but if you love what you post, someone else will too.
  • Interact with others in your niche! To me, this is the best part of blogging, getting to talk with other bloggers and truly make connections is so fun! You can also ask them what interests them too!
  • Try not to stress about the numbers. It does take a lot of effortful time, but everyone started from somewhere. If you do want to “grow” you will get there, you just have to find the right niche and group of friends along the way. But at the end of the day, numbers matter to some brands and people, but it what matters most is the authenticity of those who are interacting with you!
  • Brush off the small stuff. I think it is more important to have real genuine people following and engaging with me even if it is one person then a bunch of random people who do not care .
  • Be your authentic self. Make sure that you are doing YOU! If people do not want what your putting out there, then that’s their problem, not yours.
  • Check in with yourself.  Trust me it’s a hard thing to do, but check in with yourself and make sure you are following what you want and what you have decided is best for yourself, your blog, and social media.

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         Thanks for reading

       -Mariah-

 

 

House plant guide!

Hey guys,

Thanks for heading back to my blog! I have been talking about it for awhile now, and I have finally found some time to write up this post! I am absolutely obsessed with house plants, and I am always hunting for new ones!

House plants are all the rage right now, and  you can pretty much them at any store with unique ideas of how to incorporate them into your decor. I am obsessed with neutral tones in my house, so I feel like having greenery really helps to add some color.

I have never been much of a green thumb, but I have found a few house plants that I have managed to keep alive, and I thought I would share with you how easy it is to care for them. I also want to share with you my favorite stores to pick up plants, which plants work the best, and I will include some care and tips.

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Also, I am not sure of all the names of plants that I own (silly, I know), but I will do my best to let you know where they came from!

My favorite place to go shopping for house plants is Ikea, so strange, right? But they have amazing deals and a wide range of plants. The first plant we got was the Draceana Sun Ray. This plant is so cute. When we originally got the plant it was so small! We have since repotted it twice, and it has grown twice it’s size.

Purchased at Ikea
Plant: Ikea; pot: Home Depot

Tip 1: When buying house plants, keep in mind that they do like to grow, and that the pot you have now might not be large enough. So, if you absolutely love the pot, make sure you buy something that will stay small. Ikea is great, because they’re pots are reasonably priced !

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Plant: Ikea; pot: Home Depot

 

Most of our house plants are from Ikea, and unfortunately, I do not know the names, I have looked them up, and I am still unable to tell you, but if you love one of them, check them out and see if they have the plant at your store.

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Plant & Pot: Ikea

The two black pots we are using, we got at Home Depot. Which is my second favorite store to get plants and supplies. We got our succulents, cactus, and other outdoor plants there.

Tip 2: Make sure to get the right soil for your plants. Did you know roses, and cacti like different soil? Me either. But I learned. Once we repotted these plants into the correct soil they grew and looked great!

I have also purchased some air plants from target. I think target has discontinued selling them, but you can find them anywhere! These plants are super easy to care for, and they are so cute! They do not need to be planted, so they can go anywhere.

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Air Plant & geometric shape: Target

Tip 3: Make sure that your pots have holes at the bottom for drainage. If you over water you house plants, they will wilt and die, which is no fun. If you have a pot that doesn’t have a hole, you can also add rocks in the bottom of the pot to help with the water, but make sure you are watering the plant less.

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Spider Plant, & Pot: Ikea

Tip 4: Most house plants need low-light and light water. When shopping for house plants check for this. I know many people say that succulents are great indoor plants but I have never experienced them thriving inside. They need so much sun, and they love being outside.  Also remember that while they are indoor, plants still need some sun, so make sure they are in an area where they can get indirect light.

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Plants: Home Depot; White pots: Ikea, Glass pot: gift from a friend

Tip 5: Use filtered water, I know it sounds a little goofy, but, have you noticed the tips of your plants wilting, it has to do with the minerals in the water, so once I switched to filter water, and plants looked healthier. I use water from my glass, that I may not drink, because these plants do not need to be watered everyday, it isn’t a huge deal to use filtered water!

Last tip: Find the right fertilizer! I know it’s not the most organic way of doing things, but fertilizer works! We found a non-toxic blend of some sort and it did wonders for our rose plant! This plant was one rose in a tiny (size of a fist) planter, and now it is huge! We fertilize our plants once every two months.

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Plant: Gift; Pot: Home Depot

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Thank you so much if you have read all of my tips, and tricks to having happy little house plants. Comment below if you have any tips/ if you want to know more about my plants/ where they came from, etc.

-Mariah-

 

 

 

 

 

Top Ten TextBook Tips (how to get the cheapest deals for those over-priced paper weights).

Hey guys with school starting this week I thought it could be helpful to give some  tips for getting textbooks at the best price ! Whether you are just starting school, or you’re unsure of all the tips for scoring the cheapest textbook, I have some advice that may help you!

As a undergrad, and now grad student, I know the struggle of expensive textbooks, I’ve spent up to $500-800 in a semester before and it really sucks. Sometimes there’s just no way around it, the professor won’t budge on the edition or where it comes from but, a lot of the time you can get the textbook for much cheaper than in the bookstore, and other outlets.

One major piece of advice: always remember to never buy the textbook before you get to class, sometimes the professor tells you you do not need it or will say get the earlier edition. So it’s important to wait and see first! 

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1.  So the first place to look for text books is Amazon. They have MOST textbooks and offer free student prime, so you can get prime books within two days, which is fantastic if you have an assignment. However, what I will say about Amazon prime is that they tend to jack-up the prices for textbooks and they can try to get you to pay for prime after the student trial is up. I’ve been there, and it is no fun to be charged $80 dollars especially on a college budget. If they do charge you, it is possible to reverse it though with a lot of effort.

You can also buy without prime, which is typically cheaper. So, if your professor is nice and gives you leeway you can do that.

Another amazon tip is while you wait for the non-prime text to arrive, you can buy the textbook at the book store and return. Some book stores do not let you to return after a week or two, but they may let you rent the book and return after a longer date! So there are always options with using Amazon.

Amazon also has e-books, but in my experience it is just as costly and I prefer the paper books!

2. You can also look for an older edition and ask the professor if it will work. A lot of the time professors will let you use a cheaper and older edition, I’ve even had teachers give us old page numbers to make it work. You can also email your professor and ask them if they know previous students looking to sell their old textbook!

3. Check online groups like, Facebook groups. I have both bought and sold textbooks on Facebook sell pages, just make sure to meet in a safe place, with a buddy, and to check that all the pages are there! You can also haggle on the price, because trust me when someone wants that textbook out of their lives they may be willing to sell for less!

4. Ask other people who have taken the course if the books are absolutely necessary. We’ve all been there, bought the expensive textbook the professor insisted you buy or else you wouldn’t be able to pass the class, and lone-and- behold you do not even crack open the text and yet still manage to get the A. This one is a little bit risky, but in the past I have had friends who have taken a course with a professor where they said you have to get the book and they told me that I would be fine without it. I didn’t purchase the book and ending up getting an A in the course. So, it may work, just take the advice with a grain of salt, what works for one person doesn’t mean it works for everyone!

5. Have a friend/ roommate taking the same course ? Ask them to share! Also you can make copies of the book  if it is short, or you and a few others could all pay for the book and then make copies. The only difficult part is, then who gets the real book?

6. Check-out other websites like Chegg, and book byte. I have gotten books from both. They also give money back when you return your book in good shape!

7. Rent books. When I was a freshman I thought I needed to keep all of my psychology textbooks for my book selves and for my own knowledge, but you know what, I never re-opened them or needed them. Renting textbooks is a great alternative to paying big bucks for them. You may be thinking, but what a waste of money, why not buy it and re-sale. Well, textbooks are like cars, once you buy them brand new and shiny, they lose value quickly and it isn’t a guarantee that the professor will use the book in the future and that someone will be willing to purchase your book for the higher price.

My favorite site to rent from is Amazon, but you can also rent from the bookstore. Also you can save a ton if you wait to rent the book after the first week or two of class. If the professor says something like “You won’t need the book until the third week” then rent it the moment you need it because sites like amazon will rent for a time-period, and they drop their escalated prices after the first few weeks of school!

8. Buy and re-sale. Like I mentioned before, this isn’t my favorite method but it does work, but say you buy a book for $100 new, its hard to sell for $80-100 used, so why not rent it for $20-30 same cost, and less hassle of trying to re-sale.

9. Check to see if it is at the library. Many professors will have copies there you can loan from, however, some libraries only let you rent for a certain number of days, so be careful when choosing this option. You can also just ask the professor to loan you their extra copy, typically if they know you already they may, or if you cannot afford it they are genuinely nice people and will try to help you out. So if you are really struggling to buy books, always ask them for advice.

10. If there is a book at the library, and you only need a few chapters for assignments, you can always make copies at the library. You can also check local libraries too!

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I hope that some of these tips were helpful to you, if you didn’t know these tips and plan on using them, comment below! Have tips of your own? Tell me in the comments below. 

Thanks for reading, 

-Mariah-

 

Summer Beauty Favorites!

Hey guys,

As promised, I am updating my beauty favorites for summer!

img_0704.jpgSummer time is my absolute favorite. I tend to use less products and makeup, it’s usually hot, and I am always swimming when possible!

1. Banana Boat spray oil with spf 15


I have been using this brand and product forever! I am super fair-skinned but I have the potential to get some bronze (thank you Greek, Portuguese, and Italian roots). I always use sunscreen (spf 50) and then use this intermitedly! It helps me not only get a little tan, but helps me not to burn!

2. Up & up self-tanning lotion

When you spend a lot of time out in the sun and the water, you need to keep skin hydrated, so I use a self-tanning lotion to help keep my summer-glow!

3. Too faced bronzer chocolate

I always hide my face when tanning, so it’s important to use a great bronzer to help match the rest! I’ve talked about this brand before, and I love it! Best bronzer around!

4. Dove dry spray

I love this during the summer, it sprays on easy and dry.

5. Ogx Brazilian keratin therapy 

This is my favorite of the ogx line! It is so think and the shampoo and condition are amazing! I have thick, curly, prone to tangle hair and during the summer it feels unmanageable, but this shampoo and conditioner are great!

6. Treemme recovery mask

Love this stuff, my hair is dry and during the summer it gets worst, someone reccomeded I do a hair mask so I picked this up at target and love it! It smells amazing and my hair is so happy!

What are your favorite beauty products to use during the summer ?

Thanks for reading,

-Mariah-

A Weekend in San Diego

Hello everyone, I recently went to visit my friends down in San Diego and we had a blast! So I thought it would be fun to document some of the fun things to do when visiting!

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We have only visited San Diego twice, and both times our friends introduced us to the micro-breweries that are throughout SD. Most of the breweries have small areas where you can hangout, play games, drink, and the atmosphere is great!  You can also hop from brewery to brewery, as they tend to be in close proximity to each other! If you are planning a trip to SD I highly recommend going to North Park and checking out the breweries there.

We left for SD on friday evening, we live about two hours away. We got in a little late and did not spend much time at the breweries. Our friends recommended a burrito place to eat at, Lucho Libre, it is decorated head-to-toe in wresting garb, the atmosphere is fun, but the food was amazing! We then called it a night.

The next day we slept in and then we went to an amazing Koren BBQ place, mana. I’d only tried KBBQ once before, and I have to say this place was so so good! We had so much food, and the was amazing!

 Then we went to Balboa park. It is seriously a dream, it reminded me so much of Spain. Balboa park has museums, resturantes, concert halls, and a botanical garden. We spent the evening playing games on the grass. They also have flower gardens you can explore! If you have a small amount of time in SD, make Balboa park your main priority, skip the beach, I swear it’s worth it!

We also stopped by pigment in north park! It is a dream land! I love this place!

Speaking of the beach, we did stop by Pacific beach, it is pretty touristy but the weather was perfect, and it was so fun to visit!

The first time we visited we also went to La Jolla Cove, you get to see all the cute little seals!

So if your going to visit these are some of the places I highly recommend going !

-mariah-

Travel-Blog: Las Vegas, Nevada!

Hello,

I am super behind on my blog, so I have been trying to post of the content I have been holding onto! So this post is going to be all about the fun we had visiting Las Vegas in February and March. We went to Vegas in February for my birthday, Jeff sort-of sprung this fun idea, and invited our friends in San Diego.

We arrived fairly late, but it did not stop us, we got to our hotel just behind the strip. I would love to stay at a hotel on the strip, but a friend of mine had a deal for a time-share at the Hilton resort, and it was so amazing and a great deal! So, when we decided to go back in march, we knew we had to stay there again!

For my birthday, when we arrived my friends had made me a cake and surprised us when we first got there, it was so nice! We then headed out to the Wynn.  The next day we went to a pool-party at the cosmopolitan (my favorite hotel/casino/restaurants).  We went all around the strip, trying new places, and foods.

We only stayed two nights, so the next day we had to leave, but before we left we went to the Hoffbraugh house. Defiantly stop by if your in Vegas, it’s so fun!

If you order a shot from them, it comes with a spank! They also have fun games you can play to win drinks, etc. We went both times!

The second time we went on our way out we stoped at skinny-fats. The food was fantastic!

 

Thanks for stopping by,

-Mariah-

Travel-Blog: Disneyland “Minnie Vacation”

Hey guys,

if you read my post “Happiest Place on Earth” then you would know that I got engaged right before going to Disneyland! It was such a fun surprise that I haven’t had time to share some of the content I captured! I thought it would be fun to share my recent experience at Disneyland!

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We decided last minute to go to Disneyland. They were offering a socal-pass deal, which cost $150 dollars for 3 days at Disneyland, about half price per day! I couldn’t pass up the deal, so I begged Jeff to go and we went! Because it was the last weekend before the pass would expire, and so I decided to book a hotel.

We stayed at the Red Lion hotel about half-a-mile walk from the entrance. We drove in on Friday evening, checked in, and then headed for the happiest place on earth. It was so packed there… I’ve never seen it so packed! It was grad-night, plus peak season for travelers, and the last weekend to use the socal-pass. We took advantage of the shorter waits in the evenings.

The next morning, we went out to eat at Ihop, and then set-off for the park. We had a game plan, to try and ride the longer-wait rides in the morning, and grab fast passes for later in the day. While on our way to Space Mountain, someone was super nice and gave us their fast-passes.

Tip: Defiantly take advantage of the fast-pass system at Disneyland, as well as using the Disneyland App. I loved the App, it gives you up-to-date wait times for rides, so we were able to base our route and what ride to go to next, and while it was super packed in the park, we were able to ride about 16 rides in the 14hr day we spent there (score).

If you follow my blogs, then you would know that time is super valuable to me, and I love getting the best bang for my buck. And Disneyland is so expensive, that to me it’s important to stay ahead and organized to make the most out of it!

We stayed and watched the firework show that night and if you watch near the Pirates of the Caribbean, and rush there as the show ends, you will get very lucky. They close down the ride during the show, so there is no wait ! I think we got on in about 5-10 minutes!

 It’s hard to not try/buy all the amazing treats in Disney. But, you cannot go to Disney without at least getting a dole-whip! I also tried a chocolate/ Carmel covered marshmallow!

I hope you enjoyed a little taste of Disneyland through my eyes!

– Mariah –

 

How to Europe: Creating the perfect Itinerary!  

Hello everyone,

If you caught my last post “How to Europe: Planning & Booking”, then you would have seen that I am doing a mini series on How to Europe, from planning and booking, creating an itinerary, and things you need along the way, hopefully there will be some advice for someone out there!

This post’s topic is going to be ALL about creating the perfect travel itinerary, to keep you organized when planning your trip ! In another post, I can discuss things to do once you have gotten to your destination that will make the travel itinerary magical! But, for now this post deals with creating a travel itinerary and keeping organized with booking everything. When I organized my month-long trip to Europe, I created a a similar list (not as pretty) that I color coded, and I used as a “Check off list” to make sure I had booked everything we needed in advance. Trust me, when you need to book flights around Europe, hotels, hosted, Air bnb’s, tours etc. it is nice to have a place to reference what you have booked, and what you need to continue.

The first Travel Itinerary Template I created is a monthly template. This may be handy when planning out your travels before booking everything. It can be overwhelming, you may have just bought a round-trip ticket to Europe, and your thinking “Now what?”, you may have a list of countries you MUST see, write them down, and then start looking at transportations, lodging, budget for that country, and things you want to see/do when your there. I also included a things needed section, maybe you need a visa, or a special kind of plug. For example, most of Europe uses the same type of plug, but when traveling to the UK or Ireland it is a different one, so you can note that. You might also want to put need bathing suit for Barcelona, or a dress for a different country because you want to go out or go to an event.

{Disclaimer: I created both of my travel itineraries using Canva, a free website that allows you to use free design templates for blogging, social media, etc. These templates are not being used for profit in any way, just a way to visually show my ideas!}

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Travel Itineraries Templates- Free PDF download

Tip: If you are still in that stage of “I just bought a round-trip ticket to Europe, and must see these certain countries, but do not know which to see first”, I highly recommend looking at google maps and creating a route that makes sense. Don’t fly from Paris to Italy, and then go back up to Germany. It makes more sense if you go from country to country in a logical way then hoping around, and wasting extra time you could be using on your trip. And, if you’ve read my other post then you know, the most valulabe thing you have in Europe is time, which is also why I recommend doing all of this planning and organizing ahead of time!

Here is the route we took: (We flew in to Norway, and left from Madrid).

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The second Travel Itinerary I created is a weekly travel template. It’s possible that you may be visiting multiple locations within a country, so it could be handy to have a weekly schedule, although, I did not have enough time to make one myself when I traveled, now that I have this template, I can next time !

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For both of my trips to Europe, I created a travel itinerary in google docs. There were three main reasons I did this. First, because I could share it with friends who helped work on it, second because it saves automatically, and lastly because you can access it from anywhere, so it is nice to have it there if you lose a paper copy wherever you may be! I did not use any pre-made travel templates, but I am fairly certain you can upload the pdf’s to google drive and have it there!

Tip: You may also want to create a list of all the sites/places you want to see, if your in Florence maybe seeing the statue of David is on the list, but you plan to only be there on a Monday, if that’s the case you’ll be out of luck, because it is closed! So it is important to also think of those things when choosing travel dates.

 

I hope that this post had been helpful, if you have any other travel-related questions, comment below!

-Mariah-