Backpacking During the Holidays

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Growing up, I was always around family for the holidays. I celebrated Christmas with my immediate as well as extended family on both sides. In December 2015, that changed. I backpacked the United Kingdom during the month of December, which meant I would be away from my family holiday traditions for the first time. I would miss out on Christmas on both sides of my extended family and cousin gift exchanges. With my immediate family, I would miss the tradition of Junk Food Day. It’s a day where we go to the grocery store and buy junk food we normally don’t eat. I wasn’t sure how it would go. To say I was blown away by my friend’s hospitality was be an understatement. 

Every family I stayed with was incredibly gracious. I experienced my first English Premiere game, experienced the German markets in Manchester and Birmingham, and have a most festive Christmas in Liverpool. I’ll never forget having Christmas in Liverpool. I woke up Christmas morning and my good friend Jesse told me to come down for presents. My parents gave me money for my trip, so I figured I would watch him open his presents and celebrate with his family. When I get down there, his parents pointed to a pile of presents and told me they were for me. I was speechless. I had no idea this would happen. I still smile when of this memory. I thought “I have nothing to give back”, “How will I bring all of this home”, and “This is more than I get at home. I should try this more often”. We spent the morning opening and enjoying presents. That night, I took part in a very delicious five-course meal with friend’s family.

I had fun eating with my friends and their families and learning about how their traditions. I learned Boxing Day is an actual holiday. It’s a bank and public holiday, so families get another day to spend time together. Boxing Day originated in the 1800s. IT’s also a full day of watching futbol (soccer) and so I watched my friend’s favorite team Liverpool play. I celebrated that day almost as much as Christmas.

I learned the families I stayed with had more formal traditions than my own family. My family has a laid back Christmas. I fondly enjoyed dressing up and having nicer meals and afternoon tea. I could most certainly celebrate the holidays in England again.

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**Looks like Nate Johnson had a BLAST backpacking during the holidays! A huge  thank you for being  a  guest blogger!**

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Welcome to BLOGMAS!

Ladies, Gentlemen, and anything else that can read!

 

It’s that time of year again and I am so excited to be taking part in my second blogmas as as blogger!

I have some festive themed posts lined up for the month of December as I count down the days until Christmas and I can’t wait to unveil them!

I’ll be hitting all the good stuff such as my widhlist, gift giving guide for him, her, and friends, Christmas styles,  my holiday favorites, and looking back at my year of blogging! In October I hit a full 4 years of blogging. Isn’t that exciting?

In all honesty, I hope everyone enjoys reading my posts! Have a happy holiday and a wonderful new year!

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Couples Wedding Attire Guide

We are still in wedding season and there are couples out there who need help! The real question is…“What do you wear to a wedding?” Now the answer to that question varies. Firstly, what kind of wedding are you and your Love Bug attending? Is it a beach wedding or is it a traditional wedding? You have to know where you’re going before you know how to dress!

I have compiled 5 different outfits for 5 different types of weddings for you and your significant other that will make everyone’s head turn!

 

Casual Wedding

We all go to the traditional casual wedding which is great but some of us an get a tad bit too comfortable and too casual! You don’t have to go all out but don’t go as if you’re going to the grocery store. Simple dresses or skirts with a natural look for the Mrs. and simple dress pants with a simple button down for the Mr.!

Semi-Formal Wedding

Now if the wedding you’re attending isn’t casual BUT it isn’t too formal you need to dress SEMI-FORMAL! This includes your cute dark cocktail dresses and suits!

 

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It’s my dream to attend a beach wedding AND to have a beach wedding of my own but people think it’s hard to dress for the beach but in all reality it’s very simple! Firstly, high heels of ANY sort is a NO-NO! Keep is simple and keep it cute with sandals so you won’t sink in the sand! You should think breezy, comfortable, and weather appropriate which means you need to think about where you live exactly!

Drk & Sophisticated Wedding

You receive your wedding invitation and you have to get all sexy and sophisticated! It’s important to go DARK because dark is not only sexy but it’s also sophisticated and mysterious. Black is the go-to and should be paired with colors such as red or red-orange to give the look a pop of color and your Mr. will be in a traditional tuxedo!

Black Tie Wedding

Dark and Sophisticated is completely different than Black Tie! Black Tie is toned down versus Dark and Sophisticated. The dress is a simple black cocktail dress but your Mr. will still be wearing his classic black tuxedo!

White Tie Wedding

The ULTIMATE type of formal…the kind of wedding that can be considered A ROYAL WEDDING…the WHITE TIE WEDDING! With this type of wedding it’s a MUST that you come looking like you’re related to the Queen of England! For the ladies you’ll arrive in full length ball gowns, in brown or black, and glamorous hair and makeup. The gentleman shall arrive in a tuxedo with a tail, a bow tie, formal shoes, and white gloves for dancing if you feel the need for them! “If you are looking for inspiration then check out this wedding suit and tuxedo page for some fashionable ideas.You’ll feel like you’ve stepped into the Great Gatsby at this wedding!

Also here is a wedding guest style guide for an extra boost!

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There you have it! 5 different styles for 5 different weddings from casual to Great Gatsby formal! Now you and you’re Love Bug will be the HOTTEST couple at the wedding well next to the bride and groom of course! Just remember that it’s not your spotlight to steal! Happy wedding season to you all!

 

 

ReviewsBee

Okay everyone lets be honest: Aren’t you almost always busy? Are you so busy you can’t stop and do the research or do the math? I can honestly say that with school starting I understand the EXACT feeling! It seems like there’s so much to do but not enough hours in a day but there’s help! ReviewsBee has come to our rescue and has done the research for us and all we have to do is simply read them.

ReviewsBee has gathered expert and consumer reviews and created top 10, or less, lists for popular products or even tips!

Now I have to admit that this ReviewBees infographic is my favorite because I will be traveling with children in the future and it’s important to know how to travel with toddlers because they don’t understand traveling just yet. Thanks to ReviewsBee they made traveling with toddlers easy as 1…2…3!

tips to travel with a toddler

 

Here is another infographic pertaining to children and convertible car seats.

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ReviewsBee also takes your health into consideration! I mean if you don’t then who will?

 

If you are like myself and need a little extra help doing your research you should DEFINITELY check out ReviewsBee! I’ve already followed some of the things listed on the Secret of Healthy Sleeping infographic and I must admit it is extremely helpful! When you stop by tell them Erriel JD from Erriel J’s Life Chronicles sent you their way!

Dear College Self…

As a third year college student I’ve learned so many things about myself that I never thought I knew. It’s been a time for growth, reflection, and new beginnings but let’s be honest: nothing comes easy! I’ve written a letter to my younger college self, because I’m still in college, to share some of my best advice over my 3 years. As a 3rd year college student I’ve learned so many things about myself that I never thought I knew. It’s a time of growth, reflection, and new beginnings but lets be honest: NOTHING COMES EASY!

 

Dear Young College Self,

 

WOW…you’ve come a long way since starting college in August 2014! It may have seemed so long ago but little did you know time was going to fly by and you would be here. Over the 3 years you’ve come to learn that many things change and very little will remain the same and it’s important to cherish every single second you’re in college because it’s the best time of your life! There are some things you should know:

Firstly, know that what’s good for someone else may not be good for you whether it’s knowing how you study or doing something your friends are doing. I recall my biology lecture professor telling me, “use logic over your memory to study.” Did it make sense to me? No, but I went with it because as the professor you think it’ll work for you. In the end I didn’t do well in that class because I didn’t trust my gut. You have to find your own way of doing things that makes you comfortable.

Secondly, CREATE A BUDGET FOR YOURSELF! College can be all fun and games until you want to do something fun that costs money that you don’t have! You don’t have to go spending money to do something fun & you don’t have to spend tons of money of fancy food either. I can remember have only $30 left to last me a week. I had a car, which I used to get to and from work, that needed gas, needed food, and wanted to do something fun with my great friend. You can’t complain because let’s be honest…things could be worse. That week I made that $30 stretch far! Instead of going out my friend and I went half on a large pizza and had a “Netflix Movie Night!” With the remaining funds I put $15 in the tank. Budgeting in college is SERIOUS! It’s almost like it’s forcing you to grow up and figuring things out yourself. Being able to budget while in school will set you up for financial success after school. Those student loans kick in just a few months after graduation. The amount that you owe can seem like you will never be able to pay it back. But believe me, you will! Consider looking into a resource who can help save you money by refinancing your student loans. Money doesn’t make the fun because you can make your own fun.

LIVE A LITTLE! Yes, it’s important to study and earn the good grades. Yes, it’s important to go to class but again college is supposed to be the best years of your life too! Sometimes a good friend and a full tank of gas can take you anywhere! Take a 1 Day Road Trip and see where it takes you, go out for a night on the town, and go to that party! Have some fun and enjoy yourself even if that means getting all dolled up just to go out to eat.

College is your opportunity to meet your “Forever friends.” These are the friends that will most likely be in your wedding. Just know that everyone you meet in college aren’t your “forever friends.” There are very few friendships that will actually make out of college while the others will simply fade away. Just know that you can’t hold on to all of your relationships and force them to work because all relationships have a purpose. It’s better to have 4 quarters than 100 pennies because less is always so much more!

Also remember that everything passes and nothing is a bad as it seems. Thing may seem hard at that moment in time BUT it will pass and things will always get better within time.

College is an amazing adventure. Think positive, follow your heart. chase your dreams, appreciate the time you have there, live in the moment the best you can, and most importantly love yourself and grow each day!

 

Wishing you all the best, love, and joy,

~Your Older College Self

Dressing Room Dreams

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We all have been inside a dressing room at some point but lets be honest…you don’t really enjoy being inside a boring dressing room that’s the size of a shoe box. A dressing room should be a fun space for you to try on clothes and get ready for your fun filled day or event.

I recently discovered this company called Arhaus and was inspired to create a moodboard of what would be in my dream dressing room. For years I’ve dreamed of building my dream home and of course as a fashion-forward woman and a fashion blogger I have to have my perfect dressing room! Getting ready for your day should be fun and with a little motivation not boring and uninspiring. There are a few must have items I want in my home dressing room to make it a fun functional space.

1. Comfy Circular Couch

I’m all about having my friends help me get ready when I need them to and they should always make themselves comfortable when in my home. Besides a soft king sized bed what else screams comfort? A nice comfy couch! The 4-piece sectional is the perfect center piece for my dressing room where my friends can sit back, relax, and possibly witness a mini fashion show from yours truly.

**Check out other sectional sofa options here!

 

2. A Bookcase or A Shoecase?

Everything has a purpose but some items have multiple purposes! I’ve turned this gorgeous bookcase into the perfect shoecase! I have a high volume of shoes and begin able to see all of my shoes in one place makes me joyous!

 

3. My Room in Crystal LIGHTS!

I’m not a huge fan of chandeliers but this one was screaming my name! The color makes it feel vintage and the crystals bring out it’s extra beauty. It makes the room pop!

 

4. Simple Vanity

All dressing rooms need a vanity!

5. Photobomb & Music

Being a blogger I take pictures to showcase my outfits and what better way to take pictures than with a mounted camera and your favorite music. There would be a designated spot for a mounted camera and a space for a wall speaker with a mounted holder for my iPhone or tablet to listen to my personalized playlist.

 

6. Accessory Island

If you have a space for your clothes and shoes you most definitely need a space for your accessories! This “accessory island” would be closer to the shoecase and would hold my sunglasses, earrings, necklaces, lip sticks, headbands, and anything other accessory that I own.

 

7. 3-Way Mirror

When you’re getting ready you have to know how you look in the outfit to determine if you’re going to “go through with it.” A 3-way mirror should do the trick! You can see yourself in 3 different angles and show off just a tad bit.

8. A Little Culture

I love different cultures along with my own culture but I love the concept of Ganesha that brings good luck and fortune. When I see artwork of Ganesha I become breath taken by the vibrant colors so it’s a definite that I have a beautiful Ganesha piece in my dressing room.

There you have it! My dream home dressing room! A room that matches my style, my comfort, and a space where I can hide whenever I need to do so. Be sure to check out Arhaus for more beautiful furniture pieces for any room in you home!

 

Fashion Road Trip Essentials

Road trips are so much fun! You get to see wonderful sites along the way and you get to see friends, like I did, upon arrival after the long drive. Like many, I want to be comfortable while sitting in the car for such a long period of time. For me I was traveling to Houston,TX to visit friends which is a 4hr and 45min trip.

Before I left I packed 3 essential items that were to go with me inside my car while I was driving to my destination!

1. FLIP FLOPS 

When I drive long distances I love to kick my shoes off just like I’m at home! Flip flops are the easiest shoes, besides flats, that I can kick off and toss to the side.

 

2. SUNGLASSES

Living and driving through Texas during the summer mean the sun is out and shining so bright that it literally blinds you! Within my car alone I have 3 pairs of sunglasses: one in my drivers door, one in my glasses holder, and one in my glove box. I may have to wear my prescription glasses with my sunglasses but at least I can see!

 

3. DUFFEL BAG

You may be wondering, “why a duffel bag?” Well I had 2 duffel bags: one for clothes and one for food. My food duffel remained in my front passenger seat for easy access to snack while on the road. Is it fashion? Not exactly BUT the bag was cute!

 

When you go on your next road trip I hope you think of my 3 essentials! They may come in handy when you plan your next trip!