Your Guide to a Fun (And Affordable) Valentine’s Day

It’s that time of year when being obnoxious with big heart shaped balloons, unreasonably huge size teddy bears, and delicious chocolate strawberries is acceptable.

Now, the luxurious gifts are always welcomed but not everyone can afford to get their valentines something nice(unless you’re married, you better go all out). So I’ve thought of a few ideas for people who waited for the last minute to plan something or simply can’t afford to drop cash on some gifts. I guess you can call it “The Guide to an affordable, yet thoughtful valentines day”.

1. Pizza

No matter what, pizza is always a great way to end your day. So it might be a personal preference but it’s the best option that has unlimited amounts of options. You can buy it from your favorite pizza place or go the cheap route and get little Caesars. Because hey, pizza is pizza and if they’re complaining…Drop them. You don’t need that that kind of negativity in your life(I’m joking- but half serious). Ps. You can also get an oven baked pizza from your local grocery store.

2. If the weather is right, go outside

There is a likely chance that you spend your days cooped up indoors, so why not change it up? If it’s not rainy or windy there should be no reason for you to be inside. Go on a nice walk, plan a picnic at the park(bring that pizza that I mentioned earlier with you), go for a bike ride, play catch. There are so many outdoor activities you can do plus every restaurant will be packed.

3. Movies

I’m not talking about going to the movie theatre(although going to the drive ins is a really good idea and I highly recoomend it). I’m talking about a movie or two at the house. I understand that this is an activity that you can do any other day but make it special. Get some snacks or a tub of your favorite ice cream, softest blanket and just enjoy the company. If it’s a night in with a gal pal, I suggest Magic Mike 2! More dancing scenes, if you catch my drift.*wink wink*

4. Flowers

Here is another personal preference. I absolutely love flowers and I’d like to think everyone else does too. Flowers can be pretty expensive on Valentine’s Day BUT there is another option to get flowers. The farmers market! It’s rare that you ever find a farmers market open on the same day but try to be strategic. And if you’re one of those people who celebrates Valentine’s Day earlier or later than the actual day, just plan accordingly. Even if you buy one rose or something it still counts. It’s a little sad but it counts – “A” for effort, am I right?

5. Arts and crafts

Open a bottle of wine, beer, soda(if you’re not of age) and get out a canvas or some paper. If you’ve never tired this, you really should. It’s super fun(AGAIN, personal preference) and there is so much more time for conversation and laughs. It doesn’t have to be only painting though. The dollar store has coloring books and some color crayons. Arts and crafts can be very therapeutic, especially when you have someone to work on something with.

6. Board games

Bust out the UNO cards or some board games. I’m sure you can even find some multiplayer games in the App Store but I don’t recommend being on your phone at any time during these suggestions. It sounds like an old person thing to do but you can honestly spend hours playing one game. Like people say, “time goes by fast when you’re having fun”.

7. Watch the sunset

It’s super cheesy but it’s pretty nice. There is nothing more peaceful than watching the sun go down and having someone to share it with.

8. Adventure out

I know this is sort of already stated but why not go to a place somewhere new? Take a stroll while drinking your favorite coffee/tea. Take a trip to the beach or the forest(maybe that nude beach you’ve been always planning on going to, eh?). Keep things entertaining by discovering something new. Best way to do that? Yelp and/or instagram! These apps have given me tons of ideas on new places to venture out.

The point of this post is so that you find alternatives and you don’t spend a ton. Valentine’s Day is all about spreading the love to the people who matter in your life. Having someone’s company and showing you care no matter if it’s your significant other, family member, or friend. But remember, pizza is ALWAYS a good idea!

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22 Random Facts

Feelin’ 22, so here are some random facts about me! You never know, this one day could help you on a game of Family Feud or something.

 

  1. I have a freckle on the middle of my nose.
  2. Sunflowers are my all time favorite flower! They make me happy because they’re so pretty.
  3. I love Italian food.
  4. I use to dislike sushi, but now I like it.
  5. I use to play piano.
  6. For the past two years I’ve been writing poetry. Will I share it one day? Yes but not anytime soon.
  7. I am the only one out of me and my siblings that is not named after someone.
  8. I’m obsessed with green tea.
  9. I’m a sucker for RomComs.
  10. I can’t walk into Barnes & Noble without the need to buy something.
  11. I’m definitely a beer person.
  12. I’m in love with California but I think I need to move and experience something different for a bit.
  13. My favorite season is fall.
  14. My cat is named after a Harry Potter Character(Luna Lovegood).
  15. I was born in San Jose but grew up in a small town called Los Banos. Now, I’m back in the bay area.
  16. I’m intrigued by Greek Mythology.
  17. My dad paid for my first tattoo when I was 18.
  18. I’m planning to get the words “La Luna” tattooed under my left butt cheek when I go to Spain. Don’t ask me why, just know that it will happen. Yolo.
  19. Beaches, Forests, and concerts are my happy places.
  20. I want to go to some hot springs locations.
  21. I love the smell of freshly brewed coffee in the morning.
  22. My favorite all time song is “Love Me Like You Do” by Ellie Goulding and “Robbers” by The 1975

I Wish Time Would Slow Down

Its the moment I’ve been waiting for, yet now that its here I can’t help but wish it wasn’t. I am now able to have a cell phone, drive a car (my own car), stay out late, go to the bar and drink; pretty much everything I wanted to do when I was younger. I’ve waited so long to be this age and its pretty cool for the most part. The only thing is that I wish time would just slow down.

Growing up I wished that time would pass by faster to get to an age when no one can tell me “you’re too young for” this or that. While wishing I was older and getting frustrated by adults telling me “no” because I wasn’t old enough, I didn’t listen to the warnings or the lectures that followed.

Adults would tell me how fast time would pass by or how I should take advantage of my youth. They would then share some story to relive the glory days and tell me that they wished they were young again. I didn’t listen of course; the warnings sounded like a broken record that I didn’t care to listen to.

I should have listened. I was just too caught up in wishing I was older. Its not that I didn’t take advantage of my childhood/teenage years, its that I spent too much time wishing I was an adult. I don’t think I appreciated everything as much as I could now or savored every great moment while it occurred. I was caught up in a day dream of one day being “old enough”.

At the moment,  I am older and the cliche part of it is that it feels like only yesterday my big sister and I were getting tucked into bed by our parents (now she will be tucking in her own child later this year). Life has passed by like I had hoped and now I comprehend that I have become the adult that lectures my little sister as she rolls her eyes thinking she knows exactly what I am talking about. As people say, “the student becomes the teacher” or something along the lines.

The irony of this whole situation is how the tables have turned. Here I am, hoping that whoever reads this stops and enjoys each moment as it comes and savor every great milestone. Sometimes I catch myself forgetting and thinking about how old I am when I have so much time ahead of me. So here is a quote to leave you with:

“Our life is made up of time. Our days are measured in hours, our pay measured by those hours, our knowledge is measured by years. […] And yet time eventually runs out and you wonder in your heart of hearts if those seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, years and decades were being spent the best way they possibly could.” 
― Cecelia Ahern

Travel Bucket List

I catch myself talking about this travel bucket list of mine yet I never sat down to write one, well I’ve finally gathered my thoughts to write one. I can’t wait to cross out places while adding new ones. Here is my bucket list:

In the states:

  1. Seattle, Washington
  2. Havasupai, Arizona
  3. The Wave, Arizona
  4. New York, New York
  5. Multnomah Falls, Oregon
  6. Painted Hills, Oregon
  7. Portland, Oregon
  8. Umpqua Hot Springs, Oregon
  9. Antelope Canyon, Arizona
  10. Grand Canyon, Arizona
  11. Yellowstone Park
  12. Niagara Falls
  13. Alaska
  14. Watkins Glen State Park, New York

 

Out of the country:

  1. Greece
  2. Italy
  3. Spain
  4. Austrailia
  5. Iceland
  6. South Africa
  7. Cuba
  8. France
  9. Croatia
  10. Argentina
  11. Peru
  12. Ecuador
  13. Colombia
  14. Costa Rica
  15. Tulum, Mexico

 

Why You Should Travel Solo

Summer 2017, the first time that I traveled completely by myself. The thought of wandering  alone use to scare me only because I could never could recall a time where I was ever walking the streets by myself. But I guess when it is something you feel like you have to do, you do it regardless of fear.

In 2016 I made the decision to travel across the sea and unfortunately none of my friends were able to accompany me. Being the impatient person that I am I then decided that I was going to spend some time in England no matter if I was going alone or not. I was done waiting for people and I felt that if I spent my whole life waiting for someone I would be wasting time wishing I hadn’t waited for anyone.

When I booked my trip and started to talk about how excited I was people would ask me, “who are you going with?”. When I said I going alone people then would follow up with a series of things, “are you scared?”, “your’re crazy”, “be careful, it’s dangerous”, “why don’t you wait for someone to go with you” or “didn’t you see the news?”. I knew people were just showing me they care or worried about my well-being but I didn’t let those thoughts get to me. Sure, I was nervous but I was determined to go and I didn’t want think “what if”.

I have come to find that I don’t mind being alone simply because my own company is always enjoyable. Traveling alone helped me discover more things about myself and allowed me to self reflect. For me, independence is a big thing but then again it’s probably because I grew with parents who metaphorically threw me in the deep end to try to teach me how to swim. Going to another country was sort of like that for me because I had to be this person who would rely solely on myself with the help of strangers.

On that note, one of my favorite things about my trip was meeting new people. I asked them about themselves and they told me their stories. I found that people were friendly and willing to help. When with a friend, it is easy to pay no attention to others around you and stick to each others company whereas, traveling alone you are somewhat forced to talk to others around you. Once you speak to the people around you, you start to truly understand that everyone has their story to tell and listening to real life stories grants you satisfaction. An example of this is when I was on a four hour train ride to Scotland from England. I met this old man who talked my ear off about his lovely family and community at home. He told me about the life he had lived which was pretty neat.

Another thing that I enjoyed was making my own plans and doing them on my own time. For the days that weren’t planned it was my chance to do what I liked and in all honesty, I played it by ear. Even when I met up with my tour group, we had some free time in which no one was obligated to stay together. Having things planned is a great thing but there are times when “going with the flow” makes an adventure within itself.

At the end of my trip, traveling solo made me feel like I could accomplish anything. It felt like I had conquered the world in a sense that I earned my place in it. People thought I was crazy for going alone but maybe that is the whole point. We, as people, should do some crazy things every once in a while or even the things we fear. Traveling alone should be encourage. Read about a place, do your research and book the ticket. It doesn’t even have to be to another county, it could be to a city an hour away from your house. The point is to put yourself out there in a way you haven’t done before. You can travel alone without completely being alone. The world is a wonderful place and it would be ashamed to miss it because you were waiting on someone else or because you were scared.

 

Favorite Instagram Bloggers

Out of all the social media platforms, Instagram is my go to. Its one of the ways I can keep up with my top favorite bloggers. I get a lot of my inspiration from them; whether its an outfit of the day, travel post, or fitness routine. Here are my favorite bloggers on Instagram, enjoy!

Florencia95Florencia95

I LOVE her! She is actually the first person who introduced me to the world of blogging so there is so much appreciation for her. I love how relate-able she is to me in regards of being my age and also a college student who is taking one day at a time.  She is a fashion blogger located in the east coast whose biggest inspiration is Miranda Kerr. What I like most about her, besides her style and personality, is she interacts a lot with her followers. If you’re trying to reach her, the best is on tumblr but her Instagram is where you can look at all her style looks. Which are AMAZING!

sincerelyjules

SincerelyJules

Julie has a simple laid back style that is very cute. She wears a lot of tee’s, which I love because I’m someone who is always in a tee so if you’re looking for a day look she is your girl. For me, its easier to connect with her due to her Mexican background and that’s important to me because I haven’t found another Mexican blogger that has inspired me the way she has. I’ve been following her for a while and every time I see her brand at Nordstrom I can’t help but feel happy for her.

happilygrey

HappilyGrey

Mary is one of those bloggers that has you hooked from the start. Her photos have this unique contrast in them that leave you intrigued but not only just because of the quality of photos. Her style is shown from different angles and looks. From her everyday looks to her sports wear, shes working the whole thing!

somethingnavy

SomethingNavy

Arielle is another fashionista that I completely adore. Her instagram stories are so cute because you get a little fashion, family, and her answering follower’s questions. I’ve seen her career as a blogger blossom to partnerships with Bandier and Nordstorm. She’s another blogger than interacts really well with her follows via instagram comments. What I’ve notice is that, yes shes a fashion blog, but shes been experimenting a little with her posts. Besides fashion, she sometimes posts about her daughter, her home, and skin care products.

lissyroddyLissyRoddy

A fashion blogger who is located in London, England who rocks the monochrome looks. I really love Lissy’s style because she is a real life example of who you would think of when you’re describing posh. I believe she captures London’s style really well. I like that she tags the bands she uses, especially because they’re brands that I shop at as well. Give her instagram a look and peek at her blog and YouTube channel for more inspiration!

ThriftsAndThreads

I recently followed Brittany, who also covers content for Refinery29. I wish I had her closet because all her looks are amazing. So yeah, she really is #ClosetGoals that I hope to one day reach. I’m glad that I happened to stumble upon her instagram by accident. Her looks are pinterest/save to board worth. If you haven’t yet, go now and push the follow button. Her posts will not have you disappointed.

Bay Area Buzz

Bay Area Buzz

For anyone who lives in California, especially the bay area definitely follow Bay Area Buzz. I love it because they cover places and events that I didn’t know were in the bay area. They also provide travel posts that are outside of California – who doesn’t like a good travel post, am I right? Another thing that the account participates is giveaways which is my favorite and its fun!

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TheOutBound

Out Bound is a travel blog that is taken over by other wanderlust souls around the states, exploring national and state parks. The pictures are very beautiful that you can’t help the growth that happens in your travel bucketlist after every post. I’ve recommended this blog to all my friends and family who have discussed their interest in photography and travel and now I’m recommending this blog to all of you! I 100% stand by it because I love what they’re all about.

Travis Burke PhotographyTravisBurkePhotographyChelseaKauai

I have these two bloggers together because they are both travel and photography bloggers. Their images are beyond breathtaking, example: The image on the right. A happy coincadent is that they travel/work together on some of their content together which was a cool fact to learn while following the two. They’re another reason that my travel bucketlist has grown as well.

NomyourselfNomYourself

I’ve always been open minded to vegan/vegetarian food but Mary has me really debating on going vegetarian(I don’t think I’m ready to give up chicken yet, sorry Mary) altogether. She has definitely made me interested on the topic of veganism along with an appreciation for vegans. She has her cookbook and I’ve made some of her recipes which were so good! Plus her Instagram photos just make your mouth water.

vegannnxoVegannnxo

Lisette is newly announced blogger who started her instagram earlier this year. She currently is only on Instagram and I excited to see her blog grow more than it already has. Whether you’re vegan or not, every food lover would love this blog. One look at her photos, and you’re hooked! Her content covers vegan restaurants along with vegan menu selection items with a brief description of what shes eating and how delicious is which leaves me hungry for whatever she had. If you feel as if something missing in your life, it’s probably because you don’t follow Lisette, so go FOLLOW!

matcha.sfMatcha.SF

The best thing a matcha lover could find is a matcha blog that is local. I have so many of their posts saved on my collection and I plan to one day visit every place they tag. If you’re a matcha lover, follow this blog and your life will be so much better however your cravings for some matcha will multiply.

zibaartystoneZibaartystone

This is for my book worms! Ziba, like me, is a potterhead which is an automatic follow from me. She covers a lot of Harry Potter content but that isn’t only what she covers. Ziba posts book and film reviews using her photos to illustrate the magic you can find within the books and films. I enjoy how at thhe end of every post, she develops a relationship with her followers by asking them questions.

Four Waterfalls in One Day

Days of searching every hashtag and pinterest post, I finally made my way to McCloud Falls and Burney Falls. I have always said that the farther up north you drive, the more enchanting California becomes. Never did I experience the charm of northern California till one day I packed up my bags, filled up my gas tank, and set my GPS.

The trip was a total 5 hours (no longer than a trip from San Jose to Los Angeles). While getting closer to the destination, I was greeted with scenic views of forest trees passing by as I drove through Shasta County. With just an hour left of traveling, Mount Shasta came into view. It’s frosted top glistened as it started to prepare itself for the Autumn season.

I arrived to the Middle Falls parking lot. For the people who aren’t into the hiking aspect of exploring, there are three parking lots for the tree water falls. One located at lower, middle, and upper falls. For the people who love the hiking aspect, the total hike is three miles from lower to upper. It is an easy trail with breathtaking views. If you’re anything like me, you could space out the trail by sitting at every falls to savor it’s beauty with every moment or start up conversation with other visitors.

 

Autumn was soon approaching, therefore the water and weather would soon get cold. For the most part, I was right. The point of traveling to the falls was to cliff jump from each one. I took my time at the lower falls as an opportunity to build myself up for the upper falls jump. Once I convinced myself to jump the lower falls, knowing the water would be freezing, I still not was prepared. It was by far the coldest water I have ever swam in. However, the experience was one hundred percent worth it. Now that I’ve seen the falls, I’m excited to go back when the weather becomes hot and the water becomes warm.

Visiting McCloud falls did not take as long as I expected so it was a no brainer to make a  detour to Burney Falls on the way home; a thirty minute drive from McCloud. President Theodore Roosevelt had once claimed that the falls is the eighth wonder of the world and if you have ever come across it, you would believe it too.

The parking lot is very accessible to Burney Falls as well. Just park your car, take a walk down the stairs, and you’re there! As for the hikers, there is a one mile trail loop that you can take.

The trip was a total of one day but I’m sure if the water was warmer, the day would have been longer. All four waterfalls reminded me how beautiful the world is and how much I have been missing. I even witnessed a bear run across the road, which is something I thought I would never see. I had a wonderful time and I recommend everyone to take a trip far up north, past San Francisco, to experience Shasta county. I, myself, look forward to the next time I visit in the spring.