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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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

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.

2016 Reflection

Each year is about something and this year, for me, was about preparing for next year’s adventures while establishing who am I am as a person. As cliché as it sounds – your life is a book filled with plots, themes, and unexpected events. With every year comes a new chapter and new lessons to be learned. This year was a crazy one with everything going on with the world and in my own life; I launched my biggest adventure yet – happiedaize.

Happiedaize has always been something that was mine, even before it was publicly created. I finally took a leap to try something new and out of my comfort zone, made something on my own – something I could show to the world [thank everyone who read, liked, commented, and shared]. It started as a simple tumblr blog until the bloggers that I was following inspired me to start my own personal blog. When creating happiedaize, I wanted to create a place where I could express myself without any limit or by one category. I wanted to reach people around my age who feel like misfits because words are what I look(ed) for when I am at my highest or my lowest. My goal is to write pieces that inspire people the way that I was inspired by other blogger. If I accomplish that, I know I’ve done my part as a writer.

2016 was a year of doing and that is why I believe it was a pretty good year. Instead of thinking or talking about what I was soon planning to do and never do it, I went out and did it while establishing some of my independence. I traveled to Mexico by myself (it was nerve wrecking but I did it), I went on another trip that I funded myself, I moved out of my dad’s house, got jobs while studying as a full time student, and I decided in the middle of the year that it was time to broaden my adventures and take a solo trip to the United Kingdom in 2017 [which I cannot wait to do]. I definitely surprised myself this year by finding confidence in myself that I was not sure that existed. 

After this year of new experiences I know more of the woman I want to become. Sure, I do not have it fly figured out but I do have an idea of what direction that I want to go. All I can think do is take control of what I can and see what follows after. It’s time to start thinking about what I have to do to become better to help my future self out. As for 2017, I think it will have the same amazing  impact for me as 2016.

Thank you to all who have supported me, I appreciate all the support and love; Happy New Years!

Photography: Anthony Fuccella (coolpoolpix.com)

How to Get More For Your Money When Shopping Online For Clothes

1.Sign up for websites that give discounts.

Lately I’ve been using UniDays to shop brands like Missguided, ASOS, American Apparel and Boohoo.  Every week is a different discount and sometimes different store. This website is only for college students, so you will need to use your student email to verify that you are a college student.

As for those of you who are not college students, ebates has great offers as well. Ebates as a variety of stores that you can shop at and earn cashback. It actually works! Once you click the link, you start shopping and buying your desired items. You’ll check out the same way that you would normally check out when online shopping except this time, you will be sent a check  every quarter.

(I’m sure there are other websites that help you save money when shopping, but these are happiedaize approved)

2. Sign up for brand newsletters

If for whatever brand you wish to shop at, make sure to sign up for their newsletters. You’ll be one of the first to know when sales start and end.

3. Leave items in checkout without actually checking out

It might sound odd but it works. A few days ago, I decided to torture myself and put my wishlist items in my cart. I wasn’t going to buy anything, its just something I do. Days after, I received an email offering a 15% discount. It may not be much, but when you’re on a budget or trying to get more or your money, this helps.

4. Follow fashion bloggers

Once I started following fashion bloggers, I was up to date on what was on sale and what was not from stores that I’ve heard of and stores that I’ve never shopped at. Also, if you’re one of those people who are always looking for new trends and love those REALLY pricey brands, a lot of fashion bloggers will offer similar pieces that are in the more affordable range. The key is to find fashion bloggers that have the same style as you and go from there.

Here are my reccomendations:

Florencia’s Clothes

Something Navy

WhoWoreWhat

The Trend Pear

5. Try to shop at more than one store

There are tons of websites that offer different styles and sometimes better quality than the stores you might already go to. Always look into the store that you are purchasing from(if it’s new). If I’m buying clothes from a website that i’ve never been to, I look at their reviews, twitter, instagram, and ask people that I know if they hae ever heard of that brand.

My Favorite Websites to Shop:

Boohoo

Zara

TopShop

Missguided

ASOS

H&M

Calvin Klein

Adidas

Cotton On

Forever21

If you know any other shopping tricks or any other stores that have great prices, please leave your suggestions on the comment section below.