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!}

bluelotus.com

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-

Engaged Update: Wedding Planning & Shopping.

Hey guys,

I thought it would be fun to give a little update on engaged life, wedding planning, and wedding shopping!

Getting engaged is magical. I honestly felt like I was on cloud nine for a month or so, and then the white fluffy clouds began to dissipate, and we got back to normal life. However, life went back to a normal, more comfortable place. We were sort of stuck in a relationship limbo, where we felt like we were more than just dating. So, being engaged, has been wonderful so far.

I had always imaged that once I got engaged that I would want to sit back and enjoy it, I wasn’t going to go into wedding planning mode, I was going to cherish our time as an engaged couple. But, let me tell you, it is difficult. Everyone, and I mean everyone is going to be asking you everything wedding related, “when are you going to get married”, “where”, “what’s the plan”, etc. And when you are first engaged, when you’re asked these questions you just want to be left alone on your little cloud, so if you have someone newly engaged in your life, give them a little time to let things set-in before bombarding them with questions.

We’ve been engaged for almost three months. Initially, it is so fun to surprise everyone in your world, calling family and friends, and telling my co-workers, was so fun. But, now that the engaged excitement bubble has lifted, I have been in wedding planning mode. Let me tell you, it has been the easiest thing I have planned! Everyone tends to get stressed about wedding planning, but I am nothing but excited, and making decisions for my wedding has been so easy. I feel like I can say yes to everything, and it’s easy to say no to things I don’t love. I think it is easy for me, because at the end of the day, it’s a party to celebrate the start of my marriage, to the greatest guy in world.

Like any girly-girl, I have been pinteresting what I’ve wanted for my wedding for a long time, and now with DIY’s tutorials everywhere, I know that I can have everything I could dream-up for a decent price. And, while most dresses are out-dated on Pinterest or is sold out, I actually found, tried on, and purchased part of my wedding dress!

My friend was in town, and I had found something I loved from Anthropologie online and luckily they have a wedding shop in Beverly Hills! Well, it was so fun to go shop and try on and make my first wedding purchase.

I’ve also asked my sister to be my maid of honor. For a long time I knew I wanted her by my side. I was able to go visit my family this summer, and I was able to make her a box of goodies and popped the questions. I was a little nervous to ask her, so I cannot image the feeling of proposing to your potential fiancé! She cried, I cried, and my step-mom too, it was such a special moment I will truly cherish.

While I was in Utah visiting, my step-mom, sister and I went wedding decor shopping, and we had an absolute blast, we got a few things, and I cannot wait to bring everything together, sometime next fall.

We still haven’t set a date, I am moving soon, and Jeff has just wrapped up his thesis. So soon I will be able to share with everyone our date!

I think I will continue updating my blog on my wedding progress, with advice, and my antedotes, comment below of any ideas, or let me know if this was at all helpful!

-Mariah-

 

“Green” Cleaning Products Review

Hey guys,

Thanks for heading back to my blog. I wanted to share my thoughts about some new cleaning products I have tried!

During my spring cleaning stint, I came across Grove Collaborative, which I am linking here, https://www.grove.co/home and an amazing deal they were offering. (Disclaimer- This is not sponsored, I just loved the deal they offered, and if you like these products, maybe this is a place you can get some for a lower-price!).

They were giving away a free Mrs Meyers set, some sponges, and a glass bottle, if you made a purchase of $20 dollars, and they were offering FREE shipping. So for $20 dollars I was able to get about $70 dollars worth of products.

 I had no prior experience with these supposedly “greener” products, but I wanted to test them and see if they were as great or better than my regular store-bought products. I am always skeptical, but I wanted to see. I have been testing and using these products since May, and there are some products I love, and others that I feel like are not worth the cost!

(I love the sponges by the way, and the bottle cleaner is awesome ! )

I tried both Mrs Meyers, and Method products. I love the design of Method products, they are super cute and colorful so I always gravitated towards them.

 However, I wasn’t as impressed with the products. I got “shower cleaner” it smells nice, but even using it every few days, I still needed a stronger product to handle soap build-up. I also purchased their floor cleaner, which is awesome! It smells great, but I think it holds up the same as any other, much cheaper product. The anti-bach spray I got was good, but nothing extra special. I also got hand soap from them, which I love, and will most likely continue buying! Over all, I like Method, but I think I could stick with the other products just fine.

I love using my Mrs Meyer’s products. They work great, maybe even better than regular brands.

 My favorite product I got from them is the Basil- scented multi-surface spray. It smells heavenly, and a product I will defiantly buy again! I also go hand soap and dish soap, I think they are great, but they are pretty ordinary.

I hope that this may have been helpful to you in someway!

Thanks for reading

-Mariah-

Trip to the Museum of Ice Cream

I scream

You scream

We all scream…

For the Museum of Ice cream ( MoI) !  img_0336

Hey everyone, I was recently lucky enough to go to the museum of icecream! First off, let’s talk about how crazy it was to actually purchase tickets.

The MoI was suppose to be a pop-up that only lasted a few months, I tried to get tickets for the first round but they sold out. But lucky me they decided to keep it running for another installment!

I had to hop on to their website the minute the tickets went on sale and I still waited about 10-20 mins before I was able to purchase! Almost as crazy as buying Adele concert tickets! Well, it was worth it! And because it was so magical and delicous I thought I’d share with you all!

The MoI experience starts before you walk in, the building is painted in the cutest shade of pink ever! And while you are waiting in line they have an outdoor garden area where you can play corn-hole, hoolahoop, and other fun games!

And then you get to enter the magical place! You first go to a room where you can taste chocolate and are told of the rules! Then it’s into the phone room!


Which was seriously so cute! You could listen to messages too!

Then you go into the next room, the los angelos themed room!


Every detail was perfection! They also treat you to an amazing icecream treat!

Then you get to go to the banana split room! With scratch and sniff wallpaper!


Then it’s off to the mint room, where you learn the fun fact that mint chip is the most favored flavor… what ?!?


It smelled amazing in here, plus we got to eat mint chip mochi!

Then you get to go into the sherbet 70’s style room!


Then your off to the popsicle and then gummy bear room! Plus you get to eat gummy bears!!


Then you go to a chocolate icecream paradise!


I didn’t care much for the treat in this room. 

And they save the best for last: the sprinkle pool! Everyone that went in was laughing so hard. It was so fun!!!


My favorite part! But trust me when I say we found sprinkles for days!

Then you get to go to the cutest gift shop, where you can take the cutest selfies, eat more treats and shop!


I really wish we could go again, but for now I’ll just drool over these pics!

 

Hope you enjoyed this piece!

-Mariah-

Spring beauty favorites 🌼

Hey everyone!

When I first re-created my blog I was not planning on doing a beauty section, but I’ve done a few posts and it was so fun, and everyone seemed to like them so here is another.

I am too busy to be bothered with a monthly beauty favorites (I tried), however I have decided to commit to doing a seasonal favorites! So here are my spring beauty favorites!

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1. Not your mother’s dry shampoo: tapioca!


I really love the smell of this dry shampoo! I try to go a few days without washing my very thick, knot-prone hair. I do not have greesy hair so I do not always need dry shampoo I mainly like it to freshen my hair when I’m in between washes! It is a super great product for decent price, and you can grab it at target which is always a plus!

2. Dove dry spray deodorant: I had seen dove cosmeticians about this spray and wanted to try it out! I have been a secret fan since I ever started using deodorant. This was a little pricy, but I love it! It has lasted a long time, smells great and it really is dry! I highly recommend it!

3. Allier cologne:


I know I had mentioned this before, but I finally got this in a full bottle and I love it! It smells amazing!! And it’s now available at sephora!

4.  Naked urban decay foundation:


The best light-weight foundation perfect of spring and summer! It is my perfect shade, and it blends so easy! It is a little too light when I have acne but, I use a counselor and viola!

5. Bio Oil:


When your gearing up for summer, a go-to should be bio oil. I started using this on some scars and I had noticed a difference! It is pretty oily so make sure your not wearing anything you don’t want to damage when using it! Also a little goes a long way!

6. Essie nail polish: limo-scene & stones and roses.


These have been my go to nail colors this spring! I loved the darker pink when it was colder! And now I am obsessed with the the lighter color! The lighter color is perfect to show off my new engagement ring!

7. Ogx argon and morocco hair oil

I love hair oils and serums! But I hate how expensive they are. I found this ogx brand to be a perfect medium! It smells amazing, my hair is so shinny and soft and it doesn’t brake the bank! And of course it’s available at target! What’s not to love!

8. Clinique prestart with spf 15:


I got this as a gift from sephora, and it is amazing! In spring and summer it’s so important to pretect our skin! Not sure why it retails for, most likely a bit out of my budget but it’s still really nice!

9.  Eos lip balm: mint.


I’ev shared my love of eos lip balm before, but I really love this new (to me) flavor! It’s perfect for spring!

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Thank you for reading my blog! I’d love to hear some of your favorites in the comments below! And, also comment on some beauty products I must get for summer!!

-Mariah-