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Month: November 2015

Absolutely Necessary Travel Accessories Or You Will Regret Life

Every time I travel I’m competing with myself, trying to pack even less than I did the last time. It’s weird I know. But because of this quirk I think I really got this what do I absolutely need when traveling thing down.

Quick rundown on the absolutely needed/mandatory: Clothes, duh. I might do another post about this because I have so much to say on loafers alone (recommend!). Basically I brought 4 grey shirts and I wish I had brought more. I didn’t realize how into this whole “uniform” thing I was/how seriously I appreciate a good grey tshirt. After I packed I looked at Natalie’s packing list because she is the ultimate cool girl and I was surprised I had unknowingly packed the exact same items! Does that make me the ultimate cool girl too?

Sidenote: Don’t bring a scarf. Unless you are going somewhere uber cold like Russia where it’s snowin’ and a blowin’, it’s more of a hassle. I find when I’m walking around a city I warm up quickly and then the scarf becomes too much and it won’t fit into my purse because my water bottle ahhh! scarf= not worth the trouble

Ok on to the Absolutely Necessary Travel Accessories Or You Will Regret Life

1. Water bottle, preferably the small camelbak. This baby will fit into all decent size purses and now you don’t have to pay crazy amounts for water. sidenote: guys, bring this empty bottle through airport security and then fill it up before the plane. I was shocked when my friends didn’t know this so I’m spreading the word!!

2. Spare phone battery charger. Life Saver. Seriously. Using maps and looking up yelp reviews (ok and instagramming) will drain your phone. My sister gave me mine and it’s was the most useful present I’ve ever received!

3. You will never regret bringing a neck pillow. Even for a domestic 3 hour flight. For real.

4. Ziploc bags. Hi, I’m actually your mom. and mom’s are always right ;) I’m constantly surprised by how often I use these when I travel, for make up, snacks, dirty clothes, pesto from Italy that might stain a coffee table… you just never know.

5. Actual travel-sized, face wash. I love face wipes, really,  they do it all! However they never really clean my face, and I can feel it. I travel with this face wash :)

6. E-reader device. A nook or download the Overdrive app to your phone, aren’t you happy you packed your spare phone battery charger? No matter where I go, I’m going to want a little down time and I’m going to want to read during that time. Bringing books doesn’t make sense and yall they are heavy. With Overdrive I could read a book in the evenings and have so many options to choose from depending on my mood.

These are things I learned the hard way that I absolutely need for any trip one month or shorter. Longer trips (3 months +) have the same back bone but will need a bit more, i.e. a spare hiking backpack. Seriously, I always end up hiking and never remember to bring one.

P.S. Check out what I packed for my weekend in Monterrey and a book to bring with you :)

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Book Review: All The Light We Cannot See

All The Light We Cannot See takes place before/during/and just a wee bit after WWII. I would categorize it under historical fiction with an undercurrent of fantasy or otherness, which is actually a bomb category if there was one! At first you aren’t sure if the if the before is flashbacks or what you think is the present is flashforwards so it’s a bit confusing. I like the way the author ties all the individual tales together in a not obvious way. It’s a lovely novel.

And yet.. I couldn’t help but feel I had been here before. To me All The Light We Cannot See is a lesser version of The Book Thief. A way less emotional, leave me because I have no emotions left version. So while it’s a good and weirdly fast read, if you have read The Book Thief I would say you can pass this one for another on your book bucket list.

Overall rating: 3/5


Back to My Roots: Monterrey

IMG_6286My grandpa is on what he is calling his “Farewell Tour”. Let it be known he is healthy as can be, I obviously get my flair for drama from him.. Gramps has been making the rounds and I was lucky enough to go to Monterrey with him a couple weeks ago as his official photographer :) I quickly packed, listened to one semester spanish love song a few times and off we went.

I hadn’t been back since I was 11 for my cousin’s wedding. Here’s what I remembered: the Sesame Street water park, the best fresh juice of my life, and cousins upon cousins.

The trip was off to a spectacular start because we flew instead of driving, hello it was a 50 minute flight!! amazing! we were one of the first to immigration and when it was our turn they wouldn’t let us through because we didn’t have an address for where we would be staying. and we had no clue. no wifi = no messing about. god bless you wifi for existing. without it I couldn’t whatsapp/email/facebook anything to my cousin picking us up. Finally caving in and spending extra, I called my dad and he gave us the first address on the rolodex he could pronounce. and zoooom through we went. phew.

My cousins/family is the best and I’m so grateful they let me in with zero warning! the mi casa es su casa is law people and i love it.

First things first, hiking at Chipinque!IMG_6320

big slides are for big kids
big slides are for big kids

IMG_6309IMG_6318A virgin Mary on the path because of courseIMG_6328Our destination! IMG_6334IMG_6342Super blurry but this is a tamale place! PSA! there are dessert tamales! and they are delicious. IMG_6345they love me. this is my cousin’s “country house”, it was so pretty and they have all sorts of fruit trees!! I saw my first pomegranate tree! IMG_6360fam jam lunch!IMG_6367right after we finished eating, grandpa got on the trampoline because YOLO.

I met my cousin, Xeromara, at the lunch for the first time and she invited me to Zombie Fest. One of the characters from Walking Dead was doing autographs. how cool! *the girl was tiny with blonde hair, is totally blocked by my cousin’s husband getting his signature. an important moment!IMG_6375IMG_6377IMG_6386I met up with my cousin Tania and her family (and brand new baby!). She said she had been wanting to try the Wheel of Fortune, I was thinking umm ok? yea I’m down. We walked through parque fundidora (highly recommend!) and it was so beautiful as the sun was setting. IMG_6384IMG_6387Spoiler: turns out the wheel of fortune was the ferris wheel! apparently the direct english translation is wheel of fortune haha. It looks kinda like the London Eye right?IMG_6396view from the top. the best. IMG_6399

I got to see a whole new Monterrey! So much has changed but the people are still as nice and wonderful as I remember! I’m determined to improve my spanish, which can’t be too hard because I’m severely lacking, and then return again and be able to communicate with everyone!

Things to know should you be considering a trip to Monterrey/Mexico:

  1. Be prepared to eat. People want you to know and love the food as much as they do!
  2. Choosing water over soda will get you weird looks and questions. I’m serious.
  3. Be prepared to laugh at yourself if you don’t speak the language. Keep trying, people want to understand you as much as you want to be understood.
  4. Don’t be afraid to ask the locals! They are crazy nice and proud of their city!

I can’t believe how long it has been since I had seen my family. man oh man am I lucky to have them. And though my grandpa looks more scared than happy in the photo below I promise you, he was thrilled with the trip! maybe he’s reconsidering his tour title now :) IMG_6419

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I can’t believe fall/the holidays are right upon us! While I’m wrapping my head around that, I’m going to spend the weekend catching up with friends and family, and most importantly cleaning. Is fall cleaning a thing?

Have you ever wondered who decides the newest emojis? I haven’t updated my phone yet for the new ones but am excited for the curly hair emojis!!

I know it’s November when I start craving potatoes. Seriously any kind: cook ’em, smash ’em, put ’em in a stew.

Stop the presses!!! Emma Watson interviewed Malala and it’s extraordinary *heart eyes*

Dainty gold ring I’m eyeing

Celebrity odd couples seem to be all over the news lately

I’m weirdly loving Miley Cyrus’ cover of Hey Ya

Cycle class in a pool?! Count me in!

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Muggle vs Non-Maj

Sorry, Snape. I can’t.

Yall. I have gone along with Jo’s crazier ideas and put up with all her shenanigans. Full stop. I cannot get behind her latest: the American term for muggle is non-maj. It’s so horrible, so embarrassing, so american? idk my bff jill. I refuse.

here’s a lil refresh on the other items i’m still saying, “wtf jk rowling” to.

  1. Lily and James dying at 21. THAT’S TOO YOUNG.
  2. Everything Snape did/said. He clearly has problems, possibly mental and the fact he is allowed around kids is insane. Hi, he was bullying an 11 year old orphan. get it together man.
  3. The whole is Snape good or evil debacle. my heart.
  4. Dumbledore for not telling harry anything about anything until it was always too late.
  5. Dumbles dropping baby harry off at the dursley’s without even talking to them. Just because we now have Safe-haven laws (thanks Texas!) doesn’t mean you can drop babies everywhere. #rude
  6. the fact harry named his kid albus severus. no wonder the play is called the Cursed Child.

To cancel out all the feelings of pain and angst, here is the newest Potter Puppet Pals video!

PS. The Ultimate Harry Potter Day, PSA! Tom Felton is Louis Leonowens,  and Harry Anniversary!

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