What Happens in Vegas… When You Get Sick?

being-sick-in-vegas

Last week I was in Vegas from Sunday to Wednesday for work. It was a great time, not to mention had a major career moment when I spoke on my very first panel during the conference!! Here’s where it goes from THIS IS AWESOME to WUT. I got sick. I NEVER get sick. Seriously, I really don’t. I can’t tell you the last time I was sick (besides last week). Well anywho, I start feeling a little sluggish on Sunday, but I also got about 4 hours of sleep thanks to a few libations on Saturday night so I figured that was the cause.

Monday morning I wake up with a sore throat but figured it was from all of the smoke in the casinos. After being up for a couple hours I started to get the chills and my head/nose started to hurt. CRAP. It was happening.

I got some DayQuil and slowly began to feel alive again until about 4 hours later when it wore off and I had to slug back a couple more DayQuils as I talked to hundreds of people. It was brutal.

So I went to bed early (in Vegas, who does that?) and hoped I would wake up better. I tossed and turned throughout the night and woke up sweaty then freezing. Basically, the apocalypse was happening inside of me. It was so bad and to make matters worse I knew people were having the time of their lives outside my hotel window. The next morning my fever broke and I was just a sore throat, stuffy nose gal. Much better than the previous day. But through this entire fiasco I learned how to be sick in Vegas and now I’m going to share it with you in case you find yourself in this position some day (I hope you don’t). This is also being created for that one lucky person who someday Googles “what to do when you’re sick in Vegas”. 😉

Look, Vegas is a hard city to be sick in people! It’s full of dry air, smoke, lots of walking, heat, and good food and lots of water is more work to come by then it needs to be. Here are my tips:

1. Get DayQuil. 

I can’t stress this one enough. DayQuil is my go-to. It’s the medicine you need to take if you still have to try and function while being sick. You can go for NyQuil too but I usually just stick to DayQuil unless I know I can get a lot of sleep in. You can get it anywhere in the convenience stores within the casinos or at Walgreens or CVS.

Zicam is another winner, this stuff is AWESOME! If you’re havin’ nose problems I feel bad for you son, I got Zicam and… yeah, I got nothing. I thought I had a better line for this. 

2. Drink Liquids: The not-fun kind.

Keep drinking water and warm water with honey if possible! I made a horrible mistake of drinking a hardcore cold brew on Monday morning and I swear it escalated my cold times a hundred. Drink tea only if it’s non-caffeinated. It’s so tempting to get drinks there even if it’s not alcoholic because everyone has a drink in their hand. Also, realized how hard free water can be to come by in Vegas. Get a large water bottle somewhere and then just find places to fill it up. This might be a hard task because water fountains are practically non-existant but I found them in the meeting areas of hotels. So look around and go deep into the hallways of the hotels way past the casino part and you might get lucky. Or just keep buying water but you’re already sick so you might as well try to save money.

If you can get your hands on a humidifier go for that too! You need all the hydration you can get in that city!

3. Rest. 

Look, I know it’s Vegas but if you need to lay down for a couple hours DO IT. I was lucky that I had my own hotel room so I could just go to sleep early but if you’re with a ton of people this might get rough. Try to push through and sleep as much as you can. I also understand if you just want to YOLO and deal with it when you get home…

and may the odds be ever in your favor!

Feel free to get a shake if ice cream helps your throat too 😉 My go-to was Johnny Rockets! I also ate a massive pizza and delicious pasta. And In-and-Out. Not sure if that helped or not…

johnny-rockets-flamingo

pasta-at-the-venetian-las-vegas

in-and-out-vegas-flamingo

did-ceasar-really-live-here

flamingo-front-vegas

A Honeymoon in Aruba: Where to Stay and What to Do

I’m only about two years late on this post but it’s finally here! A recap of our honeymoon to Aruba! First, let me tell you why you should choose Aruba! Aruba is “The Happy Island” and it really does live up to its slogan, everyone is super nice and it’s one of the few Carribean islands where you don’t have to stay on a resort. It’s extremely safe so you can go all over the island and explore.

Where to Stay

While there are resorts on Aruba, staying on a resort isn’t required in Aruba since it’s so safe. We stayed at the Marriott Stellaris Hotel and Casino. They have normal rooms but the top floor is reserved as the “Tradewinds Club” that costs extra but gets you amazing views and lots of food and drinks! I felt like it was pretty close to a resort vibe with the upgrade to the Tradewinds Club. We ended up staying there and it was awesome. They had breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The lunch and dinner were a sample of food from the restaurants at the hotel and this is what we ate every day (minus one night) and it totally fills you up! They also have free cocktails every evening with a fully stocked bar where you can just make your own drinks (this part was the best!!!). They had good booze too, think Grey Goose, Jack Daniels, etc. They also had a stocked fridge with pop and the local beer that you could get throughout the entire day. So if you wanted to drink for free all day, your options would just be the beer and then wait for the hard liquor in the evening.

All the “Chill” beer you want! 

chill-beer-aruba

The Marriot Stellaris also had an awesome pool, great restaurants, and a casino! We only went to the casino for a bit but it was cool to walk from the beach and into a casino and feel like you’re in Vegas!

view-tradewinds-club-aruba

marriot-stellaris-aruba

If you want another option, there are tons of hotels along the beach all side-by-side and they all seemed pretty similar. Next door to the Marriot was The Ritz-Carlton and holy crap that place was really nice. We walked around the hotel and it was beautiful. Very upscale. If that’s the style you are looking for, I would recommend The Ritz.

We almost stayed at The Renaissance Resort but the only downside is that it’s not on the beach, however, they do have a private island that you can go on and there are even flamingos on it! Chances are you have seen a video of this on your Facebook timeline, it’s that magical looking paradise with flamingos walking around!

What to Do

Safe to say there are lots to do on the 19.6-mile long island of Aruba. Here’s what we did below!

Snorkeling Tour

mi-dushi-boat-ride-aruba

The waters are crystal blue and amazing! Neither of us had snorkeled before which a pro tip on this one; if you have never snorkeled before, try practicing before you go! I ended up swallowing so much salt water that my stomach did not feel so hot.

We went on the Mi Dushi snorkel tour (they also offer other boat rides, but we did the “Taste of Aruba”) and it was a great experience! We went to 3 different locations, the first one was an easy one for beginners and the other one was easy too then we did one hard snorkel dive in the deep waters where there was a shipwreck! If you’re an experienced snorkeler, you could’ve dove down and saw it since it’s not too far from the surface. On our tour we got lunch and I think it was my favorite meal there. My mouth is watering thinking about it. It was fish, rice, and I think veggies with a dessert. They also had alcoholic beverages for all you could drink, but not going to lie, I barely had any it didn’t seem like the others were really drinking either. You’re in the water most of the time.

The Mi Dushi tour was also a great deal for 4 hours of snorkeling and lunch! They also stop and let you jump off the boat and have some fun.

mi-dushi-snorkel-aruba

There I go!

Road Trip!

Again, one of the great things about Aruba is how safe it is! You can rent a car and go off and explore the island on your own! As fun as it was, we got super lost and it made my pretty car sick thanks to all of the small, winding turns up hills and the road signs are not the same as in the states… But it was still great! Might be the highlight of the trip actually because it was just us two navigating our way around this island. The island is barely 20 miles long so you can go to both ends and stop numerous times in one day. We found ourselves in a lot of places… like a random baseball game, the cliffs by the ocean, even PIZZA HUT! Side note: They have Pizza Hut and Taco Bell so we ate at both to taste test it. Spoiler alert: It tastes exactly as it does in America. Lol

pizza-hut-in-aruba

Also, are you ready for one of the best parts of this mini road trip? The car. And it’s even better if you know Brandon and I (we’re both small people, and this car was perfect for us).

tiny-aruba-car

tiny-car-in-aruba

Just look at that beaut!

We did drive to my favorite place in all of Aruba, rock wish gardens next to the coolest cliff I’ve ever seen.

cliffs-of-aruba-ocean

aruba-ocean-cliffs

Now here’s something you HAVE to do if you visit Aruba. Leave your “wish rocks” on the beach. There were piles of rocks all over the place, and they are left from others who have visited. You are supposed to pick flat rocks (as many as you want), and then start your “tower of devotion” they can contain a wish each.

Here’s mine!

wish-rock-piles-in-aruba-beach

rock-piles-in-aruba

wish-rock-pile-of-devotion-aruba

We also stopped at a couple of other beaches and even went snorkeling again (by this point we were practically pros)!

Archaelogoical Museum of Aruba

For all my history buffs out there! It’s a small museum and free of charge. It’s close to downtown so I would suggest getting dropped off there by a taxi then walking around to the shops. You shouldn’t have to plan a ton of time at this museum since it is smaller, but it’s fun to see everything and learn more about the history of this island. It’s definitely a place they don’t teach you about in school!

The outside of it is beautiful too. Just look at the colors of these buildings!

archaelogical-museum-of-aruba

aruba-archealogical-museum

chilling-at-the-aruba-museum

outside-of-aruba-museum

Go Shopping!

They have a mall and the downtown area (aka Oranjestad) that is perfect for shopping and getting street food! I even got a coconut drink that a guy cut with a machete and even let me have a whack at it! The shops are great and something for everyone. They have typical souvenir stores, beach stores (think: like Pacsun), grocery stores, and basically everything. It’s a cruise ship stop so you’ll probably see a lot of people purchasing things they need. I actually bought a straightener at one of the electronic stores because I forgot mine at home #FirstWorldProblems.

shopping-in-aruba

carnival-cruises-aruba

 

The Kukookunuko Party Bus

Saving the best for last on this one. YOU GUYS THIS IS SO MUCH FUN! The Kukoo Kanuku is a party bus that takes you around to bars of Aruba and they have a tour that includes a dinner as well. We did the dinner one and it was awesome, it’s a great opportunity to make friends on your trip. We made a few friends that we saw throughout the trip (a couple even gave us their snorkel gear because they didn’t want to take it on the plane – and now we own snorkeling gear! BOOM)

But for real, please go on this if you like to have a good time. They start off by picking up everyone at their hotels. Then, we went to the beach for a kick-off champagne toast and then to our first bar.

kukookunuku-party-bus

aruba-champagne-toast

Next up, we ate dinner at some random place (if you do this option, don’t be afraid when they take some backroads to a dark place…) The food was awesome and it gave you the chance to meet everyone on the bus. Keep in mind, if you aren’t interested in meeting new people and you’re just hanging with your sig. other, that’s okay! You won’t feel pressured to talk to other people. But once the drinks get flowing you might think otherwise…

They have a special deal where you can purchase a small water bottle from them for like $10 and then when you go to the bars, you can get really cheap drinks in your water bottle (think $3 and under) – this also brings up an important point: They will accept American money and debit cards at some places.

Highly suggest purchasing the water bottle, though, it’s a great deal!

aruba-party

I would love to flood this post with pics from this night, it was EPIC. Please promise me you will consider this if you visit Aruba!

Save this post for later by pinning it!

honeymoon-in-aruba

Are We Really Empowering Women?

are-we-empowering-women-correctly

I feel like I’m beginning a Carrie Bradshaw-inspired article by making the title up there a question. I had an experience the other day that made me think about feminism and empowering women. A millennial women’s blog reached out to my work interested in featuring our product and sharing tips on trip planning – keep in mind, coming from a female because it’s a women’s blog. I thought it was pretty cool! Then realized they were fishing for a woman CEO and I’m the only girl at my work so I never heard back.

It made me disappointed that a place whose purpose to empower women had zero interest in sharing a woman’s perspective that lacked a big title next to their name. I totally understand that getting a CEO for an article is way better than just a random person, but is it really when it’s a female talking to other females?

But it made me realize that we all do this even if we really want to raise women up. Think about it, if you had the opportunity to take a CEO out for coffee or the behind-the-scenes hard worker, you would take the CEO because it’s a “CEO”. However, many strong-willed women aren’t the one who’s the face of a company, many are secret power workers. Stay at home moms for example… that job is a tough one. But where’s the excitement towards them?

I mean, I do it too. I automatically turn my head at what looks like an “average person” but if that’s how we work this world, we have a problem on our hands. I would love to hear your thoughts on this. Am I making a big deal out of nothing or am I on to something?

What’s Goin’ On? 3 Things to Do This Weekend

I’M BACK! I’M BACK! I’M BACK!

February got a little dicey at the beginning for blogging then I got super busy and had crazy things happen so I just decided to give up on the shortest month of the year. Which, by the way last month was the craziest, fastest month of my life by far (then I was quickly reminded it’s the shortest month of the year so this is probably accurate for everyone)…

Anywho, I have a couple great posts lined up but I just wanted to craft one today to let you know that I’m still alive and kickin’. I wanted to share a few random tidbits and things that I think you should know about. This was actually pretty much my February in a nutshell but decided it could be a “What Should I Do This Weekend?” post.

So here’s a few ideas:

Read Gone Girl 

This technically should go in a separate “February Books” blog post but as you can tell from where this post started, I didn’t really get to reading like I did in January. However, I did read Gone Girl, and yes, I read it in a few days tops, I had to finish it! I never watched the movie so it was all fresh for me. Here’s what I will say about the book; it wasn’t bad but I expected way more. I kept reading because I was waiting for the mind-blowing end and I didn’t really feel like I got it. I won’t give away any spoilers so don’t worry, but I really thought there would be a crazier ending. Don’t get me wrong, it was crazy but I thought there would be an alternative ending from what happened.

After I finished the book I watched the movie and it was good! Crazy seeing Rosamond Pike playing Amy, I only know her as Jane Bennet in Pride and Prejudice!

I would love to hear what you thought of Gone Girl! Most people would rate in their top books that they couldn’t put down. I’m waiting to read The Woman in Cabin 10, as I hear it’s pretty similar on the thrill scale.

Watch movies fo free at fmovies.se 

watch-free-movies-online

I sure hope I don’t get in trouble for this one but this was hands down one of the best internet finds, ever. The website fmovies.se lets you watch any movie you want online! Even those in theaters! Say goodbye to your productive weekend with this site. I literally watched back-to-back movies one day. Passengers, which was good. Arrival which was super, super confusing. And Ms. Sloane which at first I wasn’t sure about it but after thinking about it I recommend it, especially if you like shows like Scandal.

Plan an “Experience” 

airbnb-experiences

THIS IS FLIPPING AWESOME. Airbnb just launched a new thing called Experiences where you can book actual adventures instead of a place to stay. You get to connect with local experts and they will create experiences for you whether it’s planning a horseback riding trip in Rome, run and fitness in London, and my favorite: party like a disco queen in L.A.

I mean, seriously! How. Cool. Is. That?

 

I know it’s only Tuesday, but whatcha doin’ this weekend? Did you realize that time saving starts this Sunday?… I can’t believe it either. It’s already almost Spring ya’ll!!

 

 

Monthly Book Review: January

january-book-reviews-and-audio-book-review

WE MADE IT! First month of 2017 down. I do have to say this month has been filled with so, so, so much personal growth. I’m reading way more than any other January I’ve experienced in my life and I’ve already done so much soul searching to be a wiser person (you’ll see why when you start to pick up the theme of these books I read)… Self-help anyone? But lay off, those are my favorite types of books!

You probably don’t remember this (because why would you?) but about this time last year, I told the world (my blog) that I was going to have a year resolution of reading more. Well, I actually did! Don’t count me in as a book scholar anytime soon but I thought about reading books more than ever and actually did. Again, I read like a book every couple months but that’s more than I did before! This year I’m already ahead of the game with three books under my belt!

P.S. If you’re a Goodreads user, add me as a friend and do the 2017 book challenge with me! My goal is to read 30 books this year.

P.S.S. I’ve become a HUGE Kindle fan and that has really helped step my reading game up. Especially after discovering Overdrive where you can check out Kindle books from your library without even stepping a foot in a library!

The Sell: The Secrets of Selling Anything to Anyone

To be honest, I started this awhile ago but picked it back up when I needed audio to listen to during the Holidays. I have this book in audio form and I’m so glad that I experienced it this way because the author (and reality TV star) Fredrik Eklund narrates it himself and if you’ve ever watched Bravo’s Million Dollar Listing: NYC, you will understand how much spunk and character he has! I read on a Goodreads review that someone felt like he had a huge ego talking about himself throughout the book, but if you actually hear his voice you realize it’s just who he is and he makes it sound okay! I mean the man is super successful and you’re reading a book about how to take points from him, so he’ll naturally sound a little ego-centric. But it works for him.

My favorite parts of the book were about him describing his everyday life, he puts a lot of emphasis in keeping himself healthy, in fact, he suggests sticking to liquid lunches (think: smoothies) so that he can stay on top of his game all day long. Heck, I have lunch then usually get a little tired, cue that “2 pm feeling”. He also sticks to a strict schedule of waking up at 5 am, working out, then working until around 9 pm, but then once he’s off, he’s off. He also takes off Sundays. The moral of his story: Work really, really hard. It’s a refreshing read and enjoyed every second of it! Even when he starts to talk about the real estate bizz, I still found it interesting!


The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business

I’ve had this on my list for awhile and I am so glad that I finally read it! I finished this a couple weeks ago and I still think about it almost every day. It’s such an intriguing book. I kept thinking to myself how in the world they could fill an entire book up about how to create a good habit (I’ll tell you how below), but they just kept sharing stories about things you would not even think about and how that relates to “building a habit”. Here’s an example: You know how we all brush our teeth? Well back in the early 1900’s, people didn’t brush their teeth so when a new toothpaste came out, the brand was trying to sell their toothpaste to people who don’t even brush their teeth in the first place. So the advertiser first tried to find what would make a person think of brushing their teeth. Answer? To have good looking teeth and remove film from their teeth (more about that film in the book). Next, they needed to make the habit stick so they would keep using the product. So in comes a chemical to create bubbles when you brush your teeth and a minty fresh feeling afterward.

So that’s pretty much why we brush our teeth now, minus the fact that we need to take care of our chomps, but because we built a habit of needing a clean feeling in our mouth to remind us that we brushed. Crazy, huh?! Also, here’s how to build a habit: First, find the que, like are you bored, lonely, or tired? What’s the “que”? Once you find the que you do the habit and then once the habit is done you get the “reward”. So what you need to do is find a new habit to replace the old one. I’m probably butchering this and making it confusing so I’ll just stop now and let you read the book. HIGHLY RECOMMEND for anyone! If anything, you get to read crazy stories of how advertisers have made you purchase something without you realizing it. If I didn’t graduate with a degree in advertising, I would’ve been freaked out. You wouldn’t believe how much Target knows about your shopping habits…


Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear

First of all, I love Elizabeth Gilbert, who doesn’t love a little Eat, Pray, Love action? I’m actually currently reading that now because of this book! I have to be honest, though, this was my least favorite book out of the three this month but not because of the author, only because I felt like it really applies to authors and writers. She created the book for all walks of creative life, but it still felt so much for a writer who wants to publish novels. That being said, I still throughly enjoyed it! I just skipped around a lot when she would get on a tangent that I didn’t really care as much about.

Most of the time, I read this book before bed and it was always a pleasure doing that because it was so free spirited and light heartened. She would make you think at times and have “aha” moments other times. If you’re struggeling to finish something creative, I would suggest this book to help you get over that hump. You can also check out her podcast “Magic Lessons”. It stems from this book but the cool thing is that every episode features a person struggling with their creativity so you hear from them and then she brings in one of her famous friends (authors, poets, songwriters, etc.) to help give the person some guidance. It’s some good stuff if you’re into that sort of thing!

 

That’s a wrap for January! What did you guys read? 

 

The Worst Job I’ve Ever Had (Part 1)

I’m about to go rogue on this post, ya’ll. It’s Thursday night and we’re going to a concert that doesn’t start until 11 and I’m freaking out about how tired I will be tomorrow. HOW OLD HAVE I GOTTEN? So what am I going to do in the meantime? Write this post with some liquid courage by my side.

Everyone has that one job that was just bad. Well, I have two. I’ll start out with the not as bad one AKA “Part 1”.

It was the end of my first semester freshman year in college. I hadn’t had a job since coming to college so I was down for some money! I also didn’t have a car in town so I didn’t have a million opportunities coming my way. However, one of my friends mentioned that she worked at an office downtown at night and just calls people (so basically it was a call center) and it paid A LOT, like we’re talkin’ like $12-14/hour, and that was a fortune compared to 2007-’08 minimum wage of around $7-something. I can’t remember the exact amounts here but let’s just say this job paid a ton more than what I was used to. (Just wait till you hear how I spent these doll hairs…!)

Anyway, I was definitely going to try and get this job. So I went to interview and it was downtown Lincoln in the Gold’s building (found out later it was walking distance but my little freshman legs still found a way to hitch a ride every night). Here was the job. Are you ready for this?

Here’s what you do at this job.

  1. Sit in front of a computer with a headset. Okay, I got this. That’s easy.
  2. The computer will call someone automatically and you better be ready to read that script verbatim in front of you requesting money for a politician or political matter that has to do with something independent and/or progressive.

That’s all you did. Basically just calling people all over the country and asking for money. Guess what? On one of my interviews I had to call someone, read the script in front of me, and by golly, this person actually gave me money! WTH. Come to find out this would never happen again…

None the less, they hired me on the spot. EF YEAH.

my-worst-job-ever

So I worked for about two weeks following. It was awful, you guys. I do love talking but I’m not the biggest fan of talking on a phone, especially to people who don’t even want me calling them! To make matters worse I have to ask for money. Ah, I hated it so much.

Looking back now I do wish I tried harder. Not because of the job but because of what they were doing. I remember some politician guy doing a live video conference with everyone because the team helped raise so much money for him. For all I know, it could’ve been Ralph Nadar! I dnk! But everyone was freaking out about it but I had no idea what was going on.

Anywho, I was bad and did not like the job. I just didn’t fit in and I was becoming exhausted having to work every night. My last night there the manager pulled me away about an hour in my shift, took me in the office and agreed this just might not be a good fit, but to let me decide what I wanted to do. It was also time for winter break and I was leaving to go back to Omaha for a few weeks and work at my beloved PacSun. She let me wait it out and give her an answer when I was ready.

Side note: I worked at PacSun for a couple years and it was my first job where I actually called my coworkers my best friends so I had high expectations going into this Lincoln establishment.

A week or so into winter break PacSun job I realized, ya know? Why work somewhere you hate? I know what it’s like to work somewhere you actually love so this job in Lincoln just wasn’t worth it.

So I called my manager during my lunch break and she sounded almost as relieved as I did that I wasn’t coming back. So she set up my check to be sent my way. I hadn’t worked long enough to get more than one check at this point. But here’s the catch… I get my check and it was a good chunk of change. So what do I do?

Purchase a roundtrip flight to Arizona to see my best friend and book tickets to my first (of many) Lil’ Wayne concerts in Phoenix. OMG my mom was so pissed that I just spent all my money like that. Looking back though, it was worth every single penny, I still think of that trip all the time!

1930682_1018775112521_1559_n

1909485_1018773472480_5145_n

1928752_1017532001444_2899_n

So moral of the story: Try new things, you might hate it, but at least you can get Weezy tickets out of it!

Best of all: Once I returned from Arizona, almost a week to the day: Lil’ Wayne announced he was coming to Omaha. ROUND TWO!!!!!!!

Fate has a funny way of working, huh?

Also, shout out to all the workers at that place – they were super nice people who really cared for what they were working for. I wish I could remember the name of the place, but it’s somewhere in the Gold’s building. Not sure if they’re still around but if this sounds like your line of work – go find them!

Trying to Keep Yourself in Control When Nothing Makes Sense

Oh man.

Ugh.

I no likey.

I know I’m not alone on this and I hate that I’m even writing a post about this to share with the world but I know I’m not alone but man guys, life has been a little rough the past few days, huh? I can’t read Twitter without my blood boiling, Facebook is actually (how? I have no idea) but not horrible, but still nothing to run away with just yet. It’s still crappy. Then I turn to Insta and things start to make sense again. I look through Snapchat and my god, people are living and… wait, are they smiling too?

Okay, so not everything is falling apart like I thought.

*Apple watch dings* New CNN article: “Trump… wall… abortion…” Omg.

Aaaaand I’m back to the beginning again.

This past election was ROUGH, everyone knows that, even people across the world who aren’t U.S. citizens. Then once the dust (sorta) settled, things started to get normal again. Then Mr. Trump began presidency. Things started to feel warm and fuzzy again once we marched in the streets with love for the Women’s March. Then, BAM! Horror struck. In so many unimaginable ways. Is this what it felt like back in the day when history was totally backward*? (I’m lookin’ at you slavery, pre-LGBT freedom of marriage, that was sadly only over a year ago, and the KKK walking around like they owned the place (still do)). *It’s still backward

I truly feel scared that my brothers and sisters are going to begin suffering unlike they have ever suffered before. AND THEY ARE ALREADY SUFFERING.

This world is cruel, man. And this is coming from a white kid who’s had everything handed to them in life. I DON’T EVEN UNDERSTAND to its fullest extent how bad it can be and I’m PISSED.

I’m so mad and I want to scream from the rooftops.

But here’s the thing, I don’t know how to feel because 1.) I need to do my duty and stand up for what is right (but this is consuming and makes you mad and irritable almost all the time) or 2.) Find the positivity in life and don’t let everything consume you (but, hey that’s what I get to do because I’m WHITE). But then there’s the perfect balance:

1.) Always care about what’s going on and pay attention. 2.) Speak up when something is wrong and speak for those who don’t have a voice. 3.) Shine in your community and change lives right in front of you (Holla, TeamMates! Which everyone should join).

I can tell you one thing that I’ve learned. YOU can make a difference. I hateeee how people are against politics being shared on social media, yes, to an extent be kind and don’t share #fakenews but ya gotta stay WOKE, know what’s going on. It’s so important and you can really make a difference. Just look at what’s already happening around us! A crappy Nebraska senator resigned because of a Tweet he retweeted about the Women’s March. That happened because of the march! And go ahead and beat me up for calling him crappy, but he is. He wants to talk about morals and thinks he knows what’s best for people but yet he can’t keep his personal life together. Also, how did he get his job basically taken away when Trump earned presidency from Tweets? Ah, that’s just a discussion for another time I suppose.

Okay, this rant is over. I was never going to revert to politics on this blog but writing this out makes me feel better and connected with people. Who knows, I might even get super uncomfortable about this and remove it. But until then, here it is.

I love all of you human beings! Let’s make this world a better place.

P.S. When is the next Women’s March?

All of the Thoughts I Have While Watching The Bachelor

This might become a 20-part series because of all the thoughts that run through my brain while watching The Bachelor. Before you knock it and tell me it’s brain damaging, let me tell you something. It keeps you on the tip of your toes! (Even though you start to realize it’s also way over-dramatized like every season that came before it). Oh well! I’m just going to sit here and pump out a blog post while watching tonight’s episode. Enjoy! Please share your favorite moments in the comments so we can laugh together and make fun of this show.

Thoughts:

How does everyone look so healthy and skinny? Don’t they just drink a lot and they have to share space with all these people, how are they maintaining such great hygiene? I would have like 10 pimples, be bloated, and have greasy hair from avoiding trying to steal the shower from someone else. I bet there’s always cold water.

Girl #1: “You just have to get competitive to get time with him. That’s what we signed up for.”
Girl #2: “Hi Nick, can I steal you for a second?”
Girl #1: “OMG! I hate her. I can’t believe she thinks she can just take time with him. We have to share.” *cries*

When Nick goes back to his hometown do you think he really personally knows all those people in his hometown? It’s Milwaukee that’s a big city and you just so happen to know the pastry chef? No.

WAIT. An ex just appeared right after I typed that! NO WAY. This just can’t be real. Have you seen the movie The Interview? Where the fake grocery store appears in North Korea? That is how this town “date” feels.

I want to like Nick but then he says stuff like, “Uh, I had a couple firsts here… with girls”. Really? Are you trying to brag? That might not be first date material. 

I honestly just don’t know what to say about Corrine. I just needed to say at least something here because she can’t be ignored. Don’t you think she’s just forced to stay on this because she makes it drama filled? I wouldn’t be surprised at all if that’s how this show works. Correction, that is definitely how this show works.

I can’t believe some of those people are in their early 20’s. That is just insane to me. It’s like the Real World. I can’t watch it anymore because they are younger than me and I used to look at them like they were super old. 

The awkward moment someone reads your name on a date card… “Woooo!”… “Wooo” …”Yay!” …”Woo!”

“Oh, I’m so happy for you… you have a one on one!!!!” – a girl hiding behind so many angry feelings 

I love how the million dollar question whenever they are on a date is asking why they are on this show. It’s like they lowkey know that this show probably won’t help and they have to be crazy to think it will.

One of my pet peeves: “I have a surprise for you!” FALSE. The producers of ABC paid lots of money for you to do this one thing.

Question. Someone please answer this for me. How come when they go on those dates where there’s a huge audience, someone doesn’t spill the beans and spoil it? I’m assuming a contract, but that’s a lot of people! 

How awkward is it to dance and kiss in front of 1,000+ people? No thanks.

Corrine at the farm just reassured me that she is being paid to be on The Bachelor. There’s no way this is real life.

“We’re in Wisconson and I couldn’t be happier.” – an actual girl on this show. Yeahhhh keep telling yourself that!

giphy

“Do you call this immature? *While grabbing her boobs*” – Corrine
Wait, what?

Fake laughs. Fake laughs everywhere!

Oh hell no. She just called herself a Cornhusker (Corrine). NO! You can’t be!!

Vanessa has already won. I call it. 

How long do you think they sit around drinking while Nick talks to each person individually? How are they not wasted.

Dawg. Christina. I LIKE HER!!! Where did she come from???

“I had a lot of fun,” – Corrine *who actually said the date was the worst and ran away and hated life on the farm*
OKAY

The amount of girls who run and jump into Nick’s arms… #CORNY

giphy-1

“Nick go skate around by yourself for a bit” – producer 

“Okay, everyone clear the floor and watch these adults make out.” – producer to the kids at the skating rink

HOLY SHIZ RAVEN’S STORY

Ohhh the drama when someone who already has a rose asks for more attention. 

5s4kkZ1

 

That’s all I got, folks! Next week I’ll be sure to drink vino at the same time to get better enhanced thoughts. 

giphy-2

Visiting The Wizarding World of Harry Potter Diagon Alley

visiting-the-wizarding-world-of-harry-potter

Ah, Harry Potter. One of the greatest things on earth. I don’t know about you, but I pretty much breathe everything Harry Potter. I’m constantly reading the series, watching one of the movies at least a couple (or few) times a month, scroll through multiple Harry Potter Facebook groups, you get the idea… So when Brandon agreed to go to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter during our quick stop in Orlando before heading to Aruba for a honeymoon, I was pretty much in heaven.

Universal Studio’s Wizarding World of Harry Potter did NOT disappoint. We only made it to Diagon Alley for lack of time, but still worth every penny galleon. We even waiting in line for almost 3 hours to board the ride “Harry Potter and the Escape From Gringotts”. You guys, I almost cried after this ride because it was like a childhood dream coming true! (More on that below).

diagon-alley-wizarding-world-of-harry-potter

So first, I would plan on at least one entire day or two just to be safe that you cover all grounds at both parks! There are two parks connected by the Hogwarts Express. Diagon Alley is inside the park and Hogsmeade is out on the island. Since we only had a limited time we opted for just Diagon Alley so we could explore it with the rest of the park. If you have to choose, I would suggest Diagon Alley because you have to pay for the Hogwarts Express as well, so it’s definitely the cheaper option.

You enter Diagon Alley from the streets of London feeling like a true muggle turning eleven and discovering that “yer a wizard ‘Arry”! It’s SO COOL! Here’s what it looks like on the outside:

outside-of-diagon-alley-harry-potter

Next thing you know, you’re in Diagon Alley! Now go get yourself a wand ya wizard! Stop at Ollivanders Wand shop and choose a famous wizard’s wand or opt for the interactive one!

choosing-your-wand-at-harry-potter-world

choosing-a-wand-at-harry-potter-world

This is something I wish I would’ve planned ahead of time. Here’s why: I thought that if you were buying a wand that you could do the whole “the wand chooses the wizard” thing. But it’s actually chosen at random sometimes for a quick show while everyone is in the shop. The other thing is you can only buy wands from other famous witches and wizards, where I thought it would be all kinds of wands you could choose from. So I went for Harry’s wand and to this day I still wish I would’ve gone for Dumbledore’s wand (the Elder Wand). That’s okay, though, looks like I will just have to start collecting them all… 😉

olivanders-wand-shop-harry-potter

The wand isn’t cheap, I believe it was $40 and not interactive. You can buy an interactive wand which is SUPER cool! Basically, it comes with a map to interact with things around the park. For example, there might be a feather in a shop window that you can make levitate. I would suggest this if you’re planning on spending a lot of time there to give you optimal time to explore all the secret wand places. Oh, and I suggest getting your wand early on to start your wizarding experience right!

food-and-drinks-at-harry-potter-world

butterbeer-at-harry-potter-world

One of the best parts! Bring an appetite and empty belly because there are a LOT of food and drink options everywhere you look. They have lots of little pop-up shops for drinks and candy that are so much fun to check out! I of course, snagged a butter beer with an upgrade to a collector’s cup! Gotta be honest, I wasn’t a huge fan of it but I still drank it because I just wanted to sip out of that cup! We also had lunch at The Leaky Cauldron which was one of the coolest experiences. The entire place is so realistic, it’s incredible what they did to build that entire park. So many details and it just feels like everything you’ve watched and read is right in front of you.

Expect The Leaky Cauldron to be pretty busy all the time, but they actually move quick and get you in fast. It helps that there was just two of us so we could squeeze in. So if you’re in a larger group, you might need to save a little extra time for it. I had fish and chips and they were DELICIOUS!

food-at-harry-potter-world

Photo Credit

diagon-alley

diagon-alley-wrong-meme

Bahaha! That meme will never get old. Diagon Alley is one heck of a place at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter! The shops, food, everything. It’s just pure perfection! They do have one ride, “Harry Potter and the Escape to Gringotts” and holy crap it’s so awesome. You will most likely wait awhile in line to get in but it’s worth the wait. They use holograms and… I don’t want to give away anymore! But let’s just say you will feel like you are in the movie. It’s amazing. I almost shed a tear after it.

I don’t really have much more to say other than YOU NEED TO GO IF YOU HAVEN’T YET! I would be sure to plan lots of time if you can (it’s a busy place) and save money so you don’t have to hold back on anything like an interactive wand and trying all the foods you see 🙂

weasley-weezes-world-of-harry-potter

orlando-wizarding-world-of-harry-potter

gringotts-bank-harry-potter-world

visiting-the-harry-potter-wizarding-world-budget

busy-wizarding-world

I want to hear! Have you visited the Wizarding World of Harry Potter? What was your favorite part?! Any tips?

2016: The Year of Wine, Britney Spears, & Unforgettable Times

I think it’s because I’m getting older but HOW IN THE WORLD IS IT 2017? I don’t understand how the world keeps moving so quickly. It feels like 2002 was five years ago and don’t even get me started on how college feels like it was last month (really five years ago). HOLY CRAP.
Anyways, one of my fave bloggers, Helene In Between, put together an “End of Year Review” link-up and I had to participate! So here it goes (in no particular order):

top-travels-of-2016

1.  Driving around Laguna Beach while blasting Hilary Duff’s “Come Clean”. (And making Brandon super annoyed.)

laguna-beach-stephen

2. Experiencing NCLS games at Wrigley Field. GO CUBS GO!

cubs-games

3. Singing “Friends in Low Places” in front of the actual songwriter of that song!!!!

Now this one I will never live down. This was straight up destiny. Here we are just hanging and listening to music in Nashville at the Winners/Losers bar (can’t remember which one we were at), and of course, I want to go up there and sing karaoke with the singer, then he nonchalantly says, “That guy is one of the songwriters of “Friends in Low Places”. UM WUT. So I sang with the other singer in front of him!!! Then I was able to tell the songwriter (Earl Bud Lee) that I’ve always butchered the lyrics “slip on down to the oasis” to “old aces”. *facepalm*

friends-in-low-places-songwriter

4. Playing on the same piano as Tom Cruise in Top Gun at San Diego’s famous place, KC BBQ (also from Top Gun). 

piano-top-gun

5. Falling in love with the Las Vegas High Roller

I didn’t think I would fall for such a huge tourist attraction but this thing is so much fun! Here’s the thing: You get in there for a happy hour and you’re of course about to have a great time!

Here I am sad that I have to leave…

happy-hour-high-roller-vegas

6.Visiting the Unsinkable Molly Brown’s house!!

Those who know me know I loveeee the history of the Titanic, so visiting the famous “Unsinkable” Molly Brown’s house in Denver, Colorado was quite the experience! I learned a lot about her and grew in more love with her story. She was a huge activist for women’s rights and votes among her other philanthropic work. Highly suggest checking it out if you’re in the area. Beware though, the house is old and doesn’t have air conditioning so if it’s hot out… be prepared!

visiting-the-molly-brown-house

7. Visiting the Oklahoma City Memorial

I actually visited this place shortly after the attack when I was younger and this summer I had the privilege to see the memorial they have built. It’s beautiful and so peaceful. It’s a must-see if you’re in the OKC area.

oklahoma-city-memorial

8. Touring the Shedd Aquarium solo

2016 is the year I stopped being afraid to do things myself. I’m no longer afraid to go see a movie by myself, so I thought what the heck when I wanted to visit another museum in Chicago’s museum campus. IT WAS AWESOME!

shedd-acquirium

9. Seeing the one and only Britney Spears!

There’s really not much left I can say about this other than OMG. SHE’S FANTASTIC AND MY CHILDHOOD WAS THANKING ME!

13062341_10206383730774987_3899238912428526043_n

fave-posts

A Weekend in Chicago…

The Day I Became a Wine Expert – My personal favorite of the year!

20 Reasons Why 2016 Wasn’t So Bad

The best recipe of the year goes to… Vegetarian Buffalo Cauliflower Wraps!!!!

Visiting the Chicago Field Museum (I hope to do more posts like this in 2017 #Travel)

The Best Part of “Back to School” Season – These were my favorite photos of the year AKA my only photo shoot sesh thanks to Brandon’s photog skills 😉

Goodbye, 25. Here’s to another year!!

San Diego and L.A. Recap

The Stars I Saw in California

and the one, the only! “The Weirdest Weekend of My Life”

Welp, cheers to 2017! I can’t wait for this year. I am pumped for this year you guys.
Helene in Between