Summer 2018 Plans…?

Hello everyone!

The end-of-the-semester madness got the best of me again, and it’s been a while since you guys have heard from me! But now it is the middle of June (how the heck did that happen??), and a long summer stretches out before me! But don’t get me wrong… I may not be jet-setting as much as I did last summer — check out some of last year’s adventures here and here — but I have plenty on the docket this year!

Before the end of the semester, I took to my trusty planner and I wrote out ALL of my goals for the next few months. I wound up with about three pages filled with possible plans and ventures for me to begin working on over the summer — and I can’t wait to get started! I thought I would share some of them with you 🙂

Blogging?

I plan on sticking to the Monday/Friday schedule that I had maintained a few months ago, and maybe even adding Wednesday there too! I’m also going to put some serious thought into my content. What am I super passionate about? What do I want to write about every day, and publish posts about every other day during the work week?

YouTube?

I have wanted to do YouTube videos since I was in middle school and watching JuicyStar07 and AllThatGlitters21 on my iPod Touch when it was way past my bedtime. I never had the guts to do it, even all through high school until a few months ago, when I published my first video! I am planning on only putting up one or two videos a week, but it’s a start!

Fitness Instructor Certification?

For a few years now, I have thought about getting my personal training certification after I graduate. I am going to begin that pursuit this summer, by first getting my fitness instructor certification online from the American Council of Exercise (ACE)! As I study, I will also be trying my hand at writing and producing more fitness content here on this blog… hence what I said before about focusing on what I’m passionate about!

Traveling?

Last week, I went out to visit with my family in California again (blog post to come!). All that’s left now is my yearly trip to the shore with my family! Other than that, I will be traveling back and forth between mine and my fiance’s homes, just so we can spend more time together. Don’t worry… I’ll be posting regularly on my personal and blog Insta accounts, if you want to see what I’m up to daily!

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Other than these key points, I also have an internship with a local art show, and volunteering at my local historical society. So, you could say I have a lot on my plate! But I’m determined to make Summer 2k18 the best summer yet — and I’ll be taking all of you with me on my adventures before senior year begins!

With love and excitement for the future!

XOXO

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What’s In My Travel Bag?

Hello everyone!

It’s been about a week since I’ve posted! I decided to take an unplanned break from blogging after I got home from Stone Harbor. Since I was traveling yet again this past weekend to Grand Cayman (where I am now),  I just wanted to rest and be with my family before I traveled again! However, since this is my first post from Cayman, I thought I would share what I have in my travel bag! More specifically, this is what I keep in my personal item bag when I’m on the plane.

Since my carry-on is a bigger carry on and is usually either stowed in the overhead compartment, I need to keep all of my essentials in this bag. So, before I left for California, I hunted for a good tote bag big enough to carry what I need, while not too big. So, as I usually do, I went to Goodwill and Community Aid first. I’m so glad that I did, because I found this gem at Community Aid for $10! It’s originally from Aldo, so I’m hoping that means that it’ll last for a long time.

So inside the bag, I try to keep everything pretty organized for easy access at the airport. I have a computer case holding my iPad and the little keyboard that I use to write my blog posts with (so, if you’ve seen more typos than usual, that’s probably why.. it’s a little more difficult to type with the bluetooth keyboard). I always have a book to read in the airport and on the plane, an I usually just take an easier read like this Sarah Dessen book. I have a book light in case I need it to read with on the plane, as well. I keep a brush and a scrunchie to keep my hair in line and out of my face. In the red “Fifteen Puzzle” case, I keep my earphones, so that they don’t get tangled up with other things in my bag. I also make sure to always have a notebook and a pen with me to write down ideas for blog posts and stories! Then of course, I have my sunglasses in their case and an extra battery charger for my phone if my phone or iPad runs low on energy. I have my wallet for obvious reasons of course, with my ID and money. I have my quart-sized bag of toiletries that I can easily pull out for security.

Inside my toiletries bag, I keep the essentials that I can’t just put in my checked bag. So, here I have mascara, concealer, sunscreen, hand lotion, toothpaste, hand sanitizers, and deodorant. There are a few products, like the face mask and the deodorant, that I probably don’t need to put in with the liquids, but I just like to have them all together for easier storage.

I also have my makeup bag here from Ipsy, which I like to have on beach vacations since it is waterproof. Inside, I put some toiletries for the plane; such as face wipes, eye mask, oil blotting sheets, earplugs, a nail file, and some hair ties. I’ve found all of these to be essentials while I’m traveling on a plane, especially on longer flights where you might like to try to sleep.

I’ve been really enjoying writing about travel-related things on my blog this summer, since it has been such a big part of my life for the last two months! I’m thinking about writing more about my advice for longer flights, since I took a red-eye back from California, and I thought of some extra tips for others who may be taking a red-eye or a longer flight while traveling! If anyone wants to see something in particular on my blog, please feel free to comment any blog post suggestions! I would love to see them 🙂

XOXO

L

Weekly Recap: Stone Harbor!

//MONDAY//

 

I woke up later than I expected (again…) at around 10, with coffee and doughnuts waiting downstairs. While I was sleeping, my boyfriend went to the beach, and then went back to the house before heading out with my mom and cousin to the bakery and the Wawa down the street. All this, before he woke my lazy butt up XD

After breakfast, we got ready and headed down to the beach. We had intended to stay for about an hour and then head back to meet my parents for lunch, but it was so windy at the beach again! We waded in the ocean for about five or ten minutes, but once we headed back and tried to lay down a blanket and sit, it felt like we were being sand-blasted! Needless to say, that “beach day” did not last long. We stayed for about five minutes more before heading back to the house for showers.

I got ready, and then our whole family headed out to a restaurant called Chill. It is a rooftop restaurant, so everyone was a little concerned about wind, but it ended up being pretty pleasant up on the rooftop! I had avocado toast and lentil soup. They were presented beautifully and I wish I had remembered to take a picture, but I was so hungry that I tore into my lunch without a second thought! It was a pleasant way to spend part of the afternoon, and since we had to wait a little longer than usual for our food, the restaurant sent us a dessert for us all to share, on the house! It was a s’mores dip, and it was dangerously good.

Nathaniel and I hunted down an ATM after lunch, and then shopped for a little bit. I got a couple pairs of sunglasses (which he treated me to because he’s such a sweetie), and he got some cheese from the Bread and Cheese Cupboard. We walked around a little bit more before returning back to the house for a nap. As you can probably already tell, this vacation in Stone Harbor is going to be a pretty lazy and laid back one! I’m okay with that.

We woke up for dinner, which was egg noodles with broccoli alfredo sauce, courtesy of my aunt! It was so delicious! After dinner, we tried to find baseball on TV, but instead, we settled for Last Man Standing, which is a family favorite! We all congregated inside, since a pretty wicked storm rolled in. Dark clouds were coming in pretty quickly, and as soon as the clouds came over us they started dumping rain. Pouring rain, wind, and lightning, and there was even a tornado warning at home! Even so, like most summer storms, it passed quickly and left us with just rain and sporadic lightning strikes.

After the worst of the storm had passed, Nathaniel had to leave to go home, which made me so sad! But I’m so glad that he was able to come for as long as he did 🙂 After he left, I just hung out with my family watching television, since we couldn’t go outside and go for an ice cream run (which has been postponed for tomorrow evening.)

//TUESDAY//

 

Today, the guys all went on their annual golf trip. So, us girls usually plan a fun trip for ourselves as a group, too! This year it was my mom, aunt, grandmother, and me, so we decided on something a little more low-key. We went down to Cape May and just walked around the promenade, exploring all of the little shops. It had been a few years since I had been there, so it was nice to refresh my memory and go and see what was new there! We had lunch at a place called Delaney Irish Pub and Grill for lunch, and they had a surprisingly large and daring menu (for a self-declared Irish pub). I ended up getting a tomato and mozzarella salad, which was beautifully presented and delicious. I nearly cleaned my plate.

We walked around a little bit more, and stopped to get some ice cream for my grandmother, who was craving some. I got a scoop of tiramisu ice cream, which was a little too sweet but was still pretty good. It was just fun to hang out with the women in my family.

After we got back from Cape May, I went on a short run. It was so hot out that once I got back to my house my grandmother took one look at my beet red face and exclaimed, “You’re really sweating, girl!” I changed out of my sweaty and sunscreen-y clothes and drove into Philly with my aunt and uncle to pick up my cousin Sarah from her apartment. She wasn’t able to come at the beginning of the week, so we were really excited to see each other! She didn’t know that I was coming, so I was able to surprise her 🙂 I even got to meet her little kitten, Margo, who is the cutest and tiniest cat I have ever met!

On the way back to the shore, we stopped at Wawa to get something to eat for dinner. I got a quesadilla that was much better than a lot I’ve gotten at bonafide restaurants before! Once we got back to the shore, Sarah and I walked around the downtown area… and I got some more ice cream. I couldn’t help myself (insert monkey-covering-eyes emoji here). But we had a lot of fun just walking and catching up, and we walked to the ocean and the bay to watch the water. It was straight to bed after we got back to the house at around 11!

//WEDNESDAY//

I went for a run after hanging out with my family at breakfast time. By the time I got back, Sarah and her friend Stephanie (who had arrived in the morning) had gone down to the beach, so I put on my swimsuit and joined them. I walked down to the beach with my dad, who wanted to track down my mom, who had been at the beach since early in the morning. It was a good thing I found her, since I had forgotten my beach tag back at the house! They’re pretty strict about the beach tags here. If you don’t have one, you can’t get on the beach, and that’s that. I found the girls, and we all sat in the sun together. Them tanning, me sitting and constantly spraying on my 100 SPF sunscreen. Once we got down to the water, it was so cold that we all screeched when the first tide came in and lapped at our toes. We got used to it after a while, but I’m always surprised at how chilly the water is, even in the dead of June.

After a few hours, we headed back to the house at 1 for lunch. I took a shower, because my bathing suit bottoms (the ones that I featured in my Summer Favorites!) bled black dye all over my waist. I still love the suit, but they’ve done that twice, even after washing them. I’m pretty sure that it’s because of the sunscreen, but there’s no getting away from that. It’s not like I’m going to burn (and I definitely would) to prevent it from rubbing black dye all over me. That, and can you imagine the weird burn I would get from that suit, since it has all the criss-cross detailing?

After my shower, we all ate some lunch and headed upstairs to relax. The girls took naps, and I worked on my blog post, Exercising on Vacation? After dinner, we all walked downtown to the bookstore, and after we got there a torrential downpour started. we ran from shop to shop trying to keep dry on the way back to the house. I wasn’t complaining, we stopped in a Teavana-like shop where I shamelessly tried all three teas and had a second sample of my favorite one. But, I did make up for it by buying some tea, so I think we’re even.

//THURSDAY//

 

Today was an extremely laid back day. The rest of the girls in the family went to the beach but I wasn’t really feeling it for some reason. I decided to go for a run and relax at the house instead. I went to Green Cuisine to pick up lunch for those of us who were interested… and the food is really good, but way too overpriced, which I forget about every year. I worked on the blog and hung out with my family until dinner. My mom made her chicken divan (vegetarian style for me), which is a Stone Harbor tradition for our family. Sarah had gone back to Philly to go pick up her roommates to come down to the shore as well, and when they got back we all went to Kohr Brothers for ice cream. We walked around town some more after that, before going to the house to play Yahtzee. It lasted for an hour and a half, before one of Sarah’s friends finally got a Yahtzee to end the game. Then, we all went to bed.

//FRIDAY//

Today was our last full day at the house! It was a rainy and dreary morning. But the whole family still went to Uncle Bill’s Pancake house (our annual tradition), where I got the pecan waffle. It was pretty good, however, the coffee could have been stronger. But my taste buds are pretty much dead from my excessive espresso consumption so it was probably just fine XD After that we came back to the house, we relaxed for a bit before I went for a speed-walk with my dad around town, since the weather had cleared up. We walked for over 2 miles, and stopped at the Wawa near our house to pick up some cokes. We sat and talked for a while longer until the girls caught up with us on their way to the beach. I headed back to the house to get ready to join them, and my mom came with me on the walk to the beach. I must have brought the bad luck, because once I got there it was pretty windy on the beach, so we didn’t stay for very long. I wanted to try an acai bowl from Shore Juice, so we walked there next. It was overpriced but worth it, because it was divine.

Once we got back to the house, I finished working on my OOTW post, and we watched the Food Network for a little while. Once we all got hungry, the girls went out for pizza at Stone Harbor Pizza. We got two large pizzas to all share, and the vegetarian pick was the bruschetta pizza which was to die for. Seriously, if you’re in the area, I highly recommend! I hadn’t been to the restaurant in a really long time and they’ve really stepped up their game with renovations and menu changes. Also, quick tip: it tasted even better with ranch, if you are a ranch lover like we are!

We went back to the house again, and went down to the bay to watch the sunset with my grandmom. The bay is right down the street from us, so it’s a quick walk away. It was so bright and the colors were more subdued, but still pretty nonetheless. We had fun sitting together, and singing (cough*badly*cough) the national anthem. I’m not exactly sure why, but we serenaded the water anyway. That, and we took some cute pictures.

We got ready and then went out to play mini golf. It was just us girls, since the parents and grandparents were too tuckered to come. The golf course that we like is a three level course, and we go there every year, too. Usually it’s the entire family going, but this was fun, too. We played about halfway through, doing a livestream for part of it, until the power went out completely. We looked around, and the lights were out in the shops across the street. It was fine since we had flashlights on our phones, but it was still a little creepy. We played for a few more minutes until we were kicked out… Understandable, but still disappointing. We didn’t get a refund, but instead, we got vouchers to use for our game next year.

It was strange, because only about half of the shops downtown were closed. So, we walked around town a little bit more until we were all tired enough to go home. The power was out in our house, too, so my mom and grandmother had lit some candles. We all headed upstairs to get ready for bed (in the dark), until the power finally came on at about 11:30ish. I wasn’t especially tired, so I packed up all of my stuff after the power came back on, and watched an episode of The Hills.

//SATURDAY//

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We all woke up early since we had to be out of the house by 10 am. We packed the car up and were the last to leave, and before leaving town we stopped by 101st street’s gazebo to say goodbye to the ocean, which is a tradition that my family has. We always have to say goodbye to the ocean, and take some pictures as a family. Then, we just drove home and relaxed for the rest of the night.

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xoxo

L

Exercising on Vacation?

Hello Everyone!

Today is the first day of summer! And since it’s summertime and almost everyone has at least one trip planned, I thought I would write a little bit about how you can exercise while you’re on vacation. Even if it is the last thing you might want to do while you’re supposed to be relaxing and having fun, but I know that I at least want to be a little proactive with my fitness goals, even on vacation. So, I thought about it, and these are some of the things that I have done in the past to keep myself on track, without a gym nearby to count on.

Research ahead of time.

A week or two before you go on vacation, do a little bit of research. If you’re going to a hotel, does it have a gym or a pool you can swim laps in? Are the roads near where you’re staying safe for running? Also, maybe look on YouTube and find some hotel-friendly workout videos! I highly suggest Ballet Beautiful and Blogilates, they’re both Pilates based mat workouts that don’t need equipment and don’t take up an awful lot of space.

Combine site-seeing with your workouts.

This kind of goes hand-in-hand with doing your research. See if there are some hiking trails with beautiful views you could go see. If you’re going to the beach, go for a run on the beach! Rent a bike and ride it around the town where you’re staying. It’s also fun (and usually surprisingly inexpensive) to rent a canoe on a lake, too!

Come prepared.

Whenever I travel, I usually pack an exercise band or a resistance band in my suitcase, because working out with those in a hotel or a house can be pretty challenging! Also (and stick with me on this one), gliding disks don’t take up a lot of space in your suitcase, and those workouts are always plenty challenging for me. If you don’t have disks, use paper plates, plastic baggies that you can tie around your feet, or even those dumb bra inserts that they always put in swimsuits that I usually just pull out and throw away (and they work surprisingly well, under the circumstances). Bring along small things like this and stick to them if you don’t want to run or bike, but don’t have a hotel gym. They do the trick for short periods of time, like a week long vacation!

Work with what you’ve got.

Even if you forget (which has happened to me plenty of times), there’s still lots you can do with a beach/bath towel (as a makeshift yoga mat) and a smartphone. YouTube has been a lifesaver many many times! Just look up “hotel workout” or “apartment workout” and plenty of options will appear.

Be realistic.

Let’s be real for a minute. We all have the best intentions to keep up with our workouts, but sometimes it just doesn’t pan out the way we thought. And that’s okay! Don’t beat yourself up about it, especially if you’re on a trip to a place like Disney or Orlando where you’re already doing a lot of walking. HAVE FUN!! It’s your vacation! If you want to work out that’s one thing. However, if it’s making you miserable to keep up with your workouts and you feel like you’re missing out on experiences that you paid to be on vacation to experience, just don’t do it! You can always get back on track once you get home, but that’s a whole other blog post 🙂

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I hope this helps! If you have any tricks or tips for keeping track on vacation, please feel free to share them in the comments. I would love to see! And to help you guys out, here are some YoutTube videos that I’ve used in the past, and recommend for you guys… Not just for vacay use, but any time!

 

Tone It Up Love Your Body HIIT 

Blogilates

Rebecca Louise “How To Get A Summer Body” 

Ballet Beautiful 

I use each of these workouts and channels often, and love all of them! I hope you like them, too!

XOXO

L

Memorial Day Weekend Craziness!

Hello, everyone! Happy Summer!

I hope that everyone had a fun beginning to their summers, especially since most colleges are finished with their semesters, and high schools are beginning to end the school year as well! My Memorial Day weekend was pretty crazy, but the good kind, of course!

//SATURDAY//

Since I was traveling all day Sunday, Saturday pretty laid back. I spent most of my time with my parents, and packing up in preparation for my flight. I got to choose the final meal at home, so we had taco night, of course! Then we just watched Friends and Murdoch Mysteries on Netflix.

Packing up for my trip was pretty daunting, since I am spending two and a half weeks with my Aunt and Uncle in California. I packed up my biggest suitcase and carry on, as well as my new tote bag for my personal item. This is the first of many trips for me this summer, so I am planning on posting more travel content, which I’m so excited about!!

//SUNDAY//

Then, on Sunday, before heading to the airport, we met my boyfriend for some breakfast. It was so sweet of him to meet us, so that I could see him before I left! We had planned on going to a Friendly’s in a town that’s a good middle ground between both of our towns since we live about an hour and a half away from each other, but once we got there it was closed! So, we went for McDonalds instead XD I didn’t end up eating an awful lot since I was really nervous about traveling on an airplane by myself for the first time.

Once I got to the Philadelphia Airport, it wasn’t nearly as crowded as I thought t would be! There wasn’t a line for the check-in desk, as well as for security, which was amazing! My first fight was from Philly to Phoenix, which (other than an extremely intoxicated girl who I swear must have been a year or two younger than me) was pretty peaceful! I slept for most of it, and listened to Crash on my Couch podcasts when I wasn’t (and some when I was, haha!). Then I had an hour layover in Phoenix before boarding a plane to San Luis Obispo!

After landing in Cali, I reunited with my family there, which was so much fun! I got to see their new house and their yard, which has a beautiful pool as well. I also met their dog Tater, who is a beautiful chocolate lab and my new best (doggie) friend. We all had dinner together, and played Apples to Apples, before I took a shower and fell into bed. I swear, I was so exhausted that I must have fell asleep right as my head hit the pillow (which, if you know me, you know this NEVER happens to me!).

//MONDAY//

Memorial Day!! I hope you all had a very happy holiday, and I would like to thank all of the veterans who made the ultimate sacrifice so that we could all live in freedom, and have those wonderful beginning of the summer barbecues! Monday was my first full day in Cali, so that meant that it was JAM PACKED full of activity! My uncle was off of work, and we woke up bright and early for breakfast (coffee, coffee, coffee). Then we played a Pennsylvania Dutch board game called Der Shnickle Fritz, which is basically like checkers but more complicated and much more fun!

After that, we went to a trail near their house to ride dirt bikes and motorcycles, which was fun (albeit very dusty, haha!). Then, breakfast at a place called Joe’s, which had the best Chilequiles.  Then, back home, where I took a run around the development and ome of the trails nearby, whih was soo beautiful!! I swear, I took so many pictures, I would run 5 feet on the trail and then stop to take another picture!

After that I went swimming with my cousins, since it was in the 80’s and the 90’s, which meant that it was so refreshing to hop in the pool after a long run like I had!

To finish the day, we had a barbeque in celebration of Memorial Day. All in all, it was a relaxing night after a very busy day. I passed out early again… I’m thinking that this is going to be the running theme during this trip! But hey, I’m okay with that 🙂

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday weekend! Happy Summer!!

XOXO

L

P.S. Want to see more pictures from all of my adventures this summer? Check out my Instagram!