Day 1

 

So this was my second time going to England and France. The first time I went I was 15 and was traveling with my high school. I was super excited about going a second time. There were a lot of things I got to do and places to see on my first trip because my teachers gave us lots of freedom to explore so I already had an idea of what I wanted to visit again and what I didn’t need to see.

I booked my flight pretty last minute. I would say I booked the trip about 50 days before my departure date. Flights dropped all the way down to $554. I was originally going to buy tickets around July 4th when tickets were $684, then stuff happened and didn’t look like the trip would happen. In October, the trip looked like it could happen again so when I looked at flights they all seemed to be around $804. My friend and I kept an eye on the prices and even at one point they went all the way up to $1000. One day I got a text from my friend telling me that prices dropped. Funny thing is that I spoke to someone from the UK and they told me that $684 was a lot and I could find something cheaper and I thought they were crazy when they said that. Look how lucky I ended up getting?

This post is already getting a little too wordy.

Soooooo I booked a flight for 10:30 at night thinking that the flight would be less crowded. I was completely wrong. The flight was very packed and at one point I felt like the couple next to me were literally cuddling on top of me.

The airline was kind enough to give us earphones, eye masks, and ear buds.

img_4184

They gave us this dinner

img_4185

I did a lot of reading and did not get any sleep

img_4183When I got off the flight I met my best friend, Holly in Heathrow airport. Holly flew from a different airport than me. We planned to take an uber to London, but we had issues getting it because neither one of us could use data so we ended up going back inside to try the Heathrow Express. Unfortunately, the Heathrow Express wasn’t working for a few days so we had to ask a worker and he said to take the tube. We got onto a very packed train. We had to switch trains twice and drag our luggage up lots of staircases. We pretty much screamed tourist. It took us about 2 1/2 hours to get to our hotel. We probably looked insane when we walked into the lobby because we were hungry and so tired from our ridiculous journey on the train.

We stayed at the CitizenM hotel, which is right across the street from the Tower of London. It is right above the Tower Hill tube station.

img_4196

img_4296

I took the room pictures the day we left the hotel.

img_4297

img_4298

Holly and I were starving at this point and neither one of us ate breakfast so we planned to walk to Borough Market. It was 3:30pm at this point so we had to move quickly if we wanted to get there before it closed at 5pm. As I mentioned before neither one of us had data so we took pictures of the directions. We knew it was on the other side of the bridge so we walked over the London Bridge. We thought we saw the market so we started to walk toward it and completely forgot about our directions. We were so wrong. So completely wrong. I laugh now but at the time I think my stomach wanted to punch me.

img_4188

This is where we ended up. I can’t remember what is the name of it. By this point we knew we wouldn’t make it to Borough Market in time so we did the only thing we knew best to do and we grabbed some Starbucks.img_4189

While drinking our Starbucks we were trying to figure out how we could get to our next destination. We bought tickets for ice skating at Somerset House. Neither one of us wanted to get on the tube again so we figured we would walk there. Walking was definitely a good idea because we got to see a lot of cool stuff and even stumbled upon this unknown church ;).

img_4190St. Paul’s Cathedral

Hello beautiful Somerset House!

dsc01007

dsc01006

We ate at Tom’s Kitchen.

img_4191

They gave me warm milk with my tea. I have never had that happen at a restaurant.

img_4192

So Somerset House has tents surrounding the ice rink. One of the tents had a bar that had lots of couches and tables to sit at. Holly and I had a little bit of time before our ice skating time so we bought a cup of mulled wine to try because neither of us had ever had it. Sadly, neither of us were a fan which was a bummer because I have read so many blog posts with positive reviews about mulled wine. It looks like I will have to stick to regular wine.

img_4194

And then it was ice skating time! πŸ™‚IMG_4195.JPG

 

Traveling with a Carry On

carry on.jpg

Back story: In 2013, I went to the Republic of Ireland for about 2 months with my school. I went to 4 different cities. I packed all my clothes in a huge duffel bag type suitcase. The duffel bag was incapable of standing up unless I was holding the handle and it was extremely heavy so I ended up having to pay a heavy baggage fee. The suitcase hurt to pull even if it was just for a block. Every time we traveled to a new city I dreaded it. I had to carry the suitcase up and down lots of stairs because we stayed in historical buildings that didn’t have elevators. I pretty much looked ridiculous anytime I was carrying my suitcase around especially if it involved cobblestone streets. I promised myself I would never pack a large suitcase again.

Before I explain how I packed my suitcase I have to mention that I did check the suitcase and I used the expander zipper when packing. Both airlines I flew with did not charge me for one checked baggage.

What did I bring as my carry on?

A North Face backpack that you would use for hiking or large textbooks.

How long was my trip?

8 days

What season was it?

Winter

img_0012

Everything that went in the suitcase:

  • 7 pairs of leggings
  • 1 pair of jeans
  • 2 pairs of pajamas
  • 8 undies
  • a bunch of bralettes
  • 1 NYE dress
  • 1 pair of nude tights
  • 10 hot packets
  • 1 curling iron
  • 1 flat iron
  • 1 pair of sparkly gold flats
  • 1 pair of knee high suede boots
  • 2 pairs of tall socks
  • 5 pairs of ankle socks
  • 1 green vest
  • 2 flannels
  • 6 tank tops
  • 1 long-sleeve shirt
  • 1 short-sleeve shirt
  • 1 black satchel
  • 2 pairs of gloves

How did I keep everything condensed in the suitcase?

Large zip-loc bags for clothes. I put all my socks in the knee-high boots.

img_0013

Did I use everything I packed?

No. I never wore the flats

Did I throw away anything I packed?

Yes. 2 undies, 2 pairs of socks, 2 sets of pajamas, and 1 tank top

Why did I throw them away?

Anything I threw away was old or had a hole in it. The pajamas should have been thrown away a long time ago. They had holes and stains. The tank top that had a hole I wore on NYE during the day with a sweater. The hole was in the armpit so no one would notice and I didn’t wear it all day because I had to change into my NYE dress in the evening. I really liked that tank top but it really needed to go. My mom let me take any of her old socks that had holes.

What did you pack in your carry on?

  • a pair of Steve Madden sneakers
  • 1 nook
  • North Face fleece jacket
  • 1 adapter
  • all of my chargers
  • 1 digital camera
  • 1 bag of make up
  • 1 bag of all the stuff you need for the shower(soap, deodorant, etc.)
  • 1 slice of bread and 1 justin almond butter packet
  • 1 portable charger
  • 1 pair of eyeglasses
  • 1 pair of sunglasses
  • phone
  • 1 scarf and hat
  • 1 hairbrush
  • 1 pair of fleece socks for my Hunter boots
  • 1 lint roller

My passport and wallet stayed in my hand.

What did you wear on the plane?

  • flannel
  • tank top
  • leggings
  • sweater
  • coat
  • pair of socks( I threw them away too)
  • Bralette
  • Hunter boots

Did you bring jewelry?

Whatever jewelry I wore on the plane is what I wore during the whole trip.

What did I like about packing in a carry on?

It was easy to carry around. I had to switch hotels, take the eurostar, and travel on the tube with my suitcase. It also prevented me from buying stupid things that I would regret later on buying.

What were some negatives of packing in a small suitcase?

Obviously, I couldn’t pack extra stuff so I quickly became sick of having to wear the same hat, sweater, and scarf. I had to make sure every outfit I wore could also be worn at night. Luckily, I didn’t spill anything on myself because if I did then I would be s*** out of luck. All of my outfits had to coordinate with the color black so that everything matched. Β All of my shirts had to be long because I wore leggings almost everyday. I packed leggings because they took up less room than jeans.

Would I pack like this again?

Yes. I would change things, but I definitely liked the ease that having a small suitcase gave me.

Is there anything I wish I did or didn’t pack?

I wish I packed warmer shoes. I shouldn’t have packed the hunter boots or the flats. The hunter boots were too bulky for this type of trip and it didn’t rain enough for them to be necessary. I would have liked to have more jewelry with me.I definitely needed a warmer scarf.

Wow! That was a long post. πŸ™‚

12 Thoughts I Had During My First Barre Class

Happy Wednesday! I tried a barre class for the first time. I have heard all these great things about barre and pilates classes so I figured I should join in the fun. Instead of doing a full on essay about my class I figured I would write a list of the 12 things I thought of while taking my first barre class.

august goalst

Some things I wish I did before I went to my class.

1. Wear socks

Apparently, some people love wearing socks and some do not. When I went into the studio I asked the girl at the desk if I should buy them and she said to try it out first without them. I regretted not wearing them after about 2 minutes of starting the class. I was slipping so much that I couldn’t really get as into some of the dance type moves. What is strange is that the majority of the class did not wear socks and they didn’t seem to have any issues so I think I may just have a strange problem with sweaty feet when I work out. Gross!

2. Stand in front of the mirror

One of the workers mentioned that it is nice to stand in front of the mirror as a beginner. When everybody was waiting for the class to start they were all standing against the wall so I was under the impression we would all be standing around the instructor so no one would be in the front. I picked a spot in front of the mirror. The barre class had 2 mirror walls and 2 mirrorless ones. As soon as the class started everyone moved to the middle of the room and I realized I was in the front. I felt so bad for everyone behind me. It was obvious I was new. Luckily, standing in front of the mirror definitely helped me see if I was doing all the moves correctly.

My butt was sore the next day so I definitely think I got a great lower body workout.

In other news, I went to visit my friend Holly in Virginia a few weeks back. We traveled all around central Virginia, which looked gorgeous with all the mountains covered in snow.

We took a drive over to Roanoke, Virginia to go ice skating in the city. We had a blast laughing at ourselves and trying our best not to fall. High fives all around that Holly and I did not fall. πŸ™‚

Here is the outfit I wore while iceskating.

;( lettuce tacos.jpg

(Gotta love snapchat)
Jacket: Anthropologie
Hat: Nordstrom Rack
Jeans: Free People
Scarf: Nordstrom

 

 

Disney Vaca Part 2

Second Post from the Disney Vacation. I treated this as what it was which is a vacation so the pictures aren’t the best quality.

umbrella.jpg

Tuesday, we woke up early to get ready for the day. We planned to start our day at Magic Kingdom since we had reservations for Cinderella Castle for 10am.

Backstory of the Cinderella reservation

Normally getting reservations for the castles at Magic Kingdom can be a bit hard to grab. Reservations open up 6 months before the date of the reservation so they usually get booked quickly. The Friday before I left for the trip I was looking at Snapchat and I saw a friend’s snap story showing her scrolling through the Walt Disney World Dining Reservation page. I figured why not look up what is available for us when we get there. Holly and I had planned to only have one reservation during the whole trip. We figured we would just grab something in the parks. I scrolled through the Disney website and my eyeballs rolled out of my skull (bit dramatic) as I saw a spot open for breakfast at the castle. I texted Holly immediately and we decided we should book the reservation since this kind of circumstance is rare. BTW, it costs us $120 for a breakfast for 2.

We hopped on one of the Disney buses that are available for free at all the Disney resort hotels. We made it to the Magic Kingdom just in time to see the Welcome Show. Guys, I worked for the company for 8 months and I always wanted to see the show. Why did I never see it? Because I was too lazy to get up. The show was adorable and it really gets you excited to enter the park. They even picked a family to help them open the park. Adorable!

When we walked into the park we immediately had a beautiful view of this fancy thang.

castle.jpg

We waited in line for the mine train, but the wait was too long and we were worried we would be late for breakfast so we didn’t last long in the line. No worries! We were able to ride it the next day.

blooper 1

Take 1

blooper 2

Take 2

mk

days til xmas

When we got to the castle, we were greeted by cast members who gave us a paper with my name and I had to give it to a cast member when I walked into the entrance hall.

entrance hallentrance hall 2

The entrance hall was pretty with fancy curtains and stained glass windows.

chandelier

xmas tree

Each person gets to take a picture with Cinderella. Here’s the thing, Holly and I knew we were 2 23 yr olds that obviously were a tad bit old for this whole thing, but we also recognized that it would be fun. Would I do it everyday? No. Holly and I went when we were little so we didn’t remember it too well so we said who cares to the age thing and had fun.

We took a picture with Cinderella in front of A Christmas tree, then waited for our name to be called so we could walk up the spiral staircase.

elevator

Once we reached the top of the staircase we were greeted by another cast member. Holly and I got really lucky because we were seated at a table that was right next to one of the windows.

cinderella tableview 1view 3

Our breakfast came with a drink, pastries, and a meal. In addition, we were given a wishing star and wand. Fancy, eh?

menu

menu 2

tea at castle

drinking teaview 4pastriesmickey muffineaten pastries

wand and star.jpg

After breakfast we ran around Magic Kingdom for a bit before we skipped aka rode the bus to Hollywood Studios. We got really lucky again because Holly was able to snag fastpasses for Toy Story Mania. Toy Story Mania’s fastpasses run out quickly because the ride is a super fun, interactive game.

 

toy story.png

 

 

 

 

 

 

We were having so much fun in the parks that we forgot to grab something for lunch so we were super hungry around dinner time. We went over to the Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater restaurant to see if they had any tables open. Fortunately, we only had to wait 20 minutes for a table.

dine in.jpg

The restaurant is designed to look like an old time drive in movie theater. All the tables are shaped like cars and a big screen shows clips of sci-fi related videos.

After dinner we headed over to see the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights. The lights show was awesome. Christmas music would play and the lights would flicker along to the song. Holly told me that this was the last year the park would have it, which is such a bummer because it’s a spectacular show. Holly wanted to see Fantasmic so we went to watch that show. Fantasmic is about a dream that Mickey Mouse is having. It shows all the famous characters from famous Disney films. There are a lot of lights, music, and dancing involved.

osbourne 1

osbourne 2

osbourne 3

osborune 3

Right after Fantasmic we rushed out of the park to get on the boat that would take us to Epcot. We made it about 20 minutes before Illuminations started. Illuminations is the fireworks show that is shown at Epcot.

We were able to stay at Epcot for extra magic hours because we were staying at a Disney resort. We were able to ride test track together and even met 2 british guys that made us laugh as we were waiting in line. Holly had never been on the ride inside the ball in Epcot so we did that and then we decided we were ready to get to bed.

To be continued….

 

Disney Vaca Part 1

Last week, I made a quick trip to Walt Disney World. About 3 weeks ago, I texted my friend, Holly to see if she wanted to go on a short vacation and we both agreed Disney would be a fun choice. Holly is in law school so she was on her winter break. I had a brief moment in my schedule that made me free. We went for 4 days and we had an absolute blast. I thought I would show a few photos from the trip. Some people may find these photos helpful in case they are visiting the parks.

bag.jpg

On my first day my flight was delayed 3 hours. I didn’t think to check my flight status before I left so i didn’t realize it was delayed until I was already in line for security. I have no idea why I didn’t check the flight status. I normally do, but I guess my brain was more focused on Disney and getting to see one of my best friends. *face palm* I spent around 5 whole hours in an airport that barely had anything in the terminal. I sort of turned the airport into my office and made a ton of phone calls. I ate a sandwich that I brought from home that I really wish I took a picture of because it tasted amazing!

When I finally landed at the airport I was greeted by Holly, who had bought me a black coffee. πŸ™‚ We headed straight for our hotel, All Star Music. Holly found a great deal on the hotel so I paid $127 for 3 nights.

IMG_1178IMG_1177IMG_1175IMG_1174

We quickly got dressed and headed to Disney Springs (aka Downtown Disney). We ate at a new place, Morimoto Asia. Holly and I shared a california roll. I ordered a Lo mein vegetable for myself with a side of green tea. This was my first time trying a california roll, I would definitely get it again.

restruant

sushigreen tea

lo mein.jpg

It was only 10 when we finished so we walked over to Paradiso 37 to have drinks. I ordered a house margarita and Holly had sangria. We both agreed chips and guacamole would be a nice addition to our drinks.

After almost two hours of talking we headed to the buses. We wanted to get a good night sleep since we had to be up early to have breakfast at Cinderella Castle.

Second post to be published soon. πŸ™‚

Mini Beauty World

Happy First Wednesday of the Year!

I am planning on going to Disney World with my bestie very soon! I have work and some other busy things to do before I go so I decided to go shopping this week for some main essentials for the trip. Part of my ‘New Year’s Resolution’ list is to be more organized. I figure if I start packing a bunch of days before the trip, then I won’t stress about packing the night before. I stress about packing even if it is for a one night trip in some small town in Connecticut.

I already own 3 bottles that hold 6 ounces of fluid so I was in search for something smaller. I prefer pouring shampoo and conditioner in tiny reusable bottles rather than buying miniature shampoo and conditioner bottles. I think the reusable bottles are way easier since they are bigger and it makes it cheaper for me. I once bought the miniature shampoo bottles for a 5 day trip and I ended up going through 2 bottles. I am only bringing a carry on for my trip so I had to buy a lot of miniature versions for my everyday beauty essentials.

My shopping list:

  • Three bottles that hold 3 ounces of liquid
  • Toothpaste
  • Mouthwash
  • Steripod for my toothbrush

I found these adorable polka dot bottles from Conair. I am obsessed with polka dots so this felt like a huge win.

bottles

S-shampoo
C-conditioner

I put my astringent in the spray bottle.mini bottles

I put some emergency medicine in the mini green dot case.

I use the scrub at night to help get all the dirt out of my pores after a long day at the parks. I use the foam wash in the morning.

whole set

toothpaste, mouth wash, shampoo, conditioner, face wash, medicine, cotton balls, floss

I use whatever soap the hotel offers. Luckily, I didn’t have to find a bottle to put my face lotion in since it already comes in a small case.

Have an awesome Wednesday! πŸ™‚