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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Christmas Fly!

 

It’s that time of year again! Everyone is preparing for their annual Holiday Parties and you, ironically, have absolutely NOTHING to wear! You can’t just show up in any old rages because you have to match everyone’d Christmas Fly.

In this post, I have compiled 3 different outfits for 3 different types of holiday parties.

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We all go to them and someone hosts an ugly Christmas sweater party at least once in their life but this outfit is a little different. We still keep the ugly sweater theme BUT we’re making it cute too!

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The casual holiday attire is exactly what it means…CASUAL! Unlike the ugly sweater outfit it’s casual but not too causal that you just lounge around the house. This outfit is prefect for the office holiday party.

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Now I don’t know who exactly hosts formal holiday parties but someone out there does and if you’re invited to one you must come prepared to slay! So dress up in white and pair it with your baddest red heels, bag, and lips! The gold earrings make the outfit pop by adding a bright element to the outfit.

I think you’re ready! You are officially ready to head to the party and make heads turn! No one will be able to tell that you had nothing to wear and hey it can be our little secret. I won’t tell if you won’t!

2017 Christmas Wishlist!!

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The Christmas holiday is near and like everyone else I have created my very own wishlist! Now what’s the likelihood that I’ll actually receive any of these as gifts? Well there’s a super small chance that I’ll actually receive any of them and I’ll have to buy them for myself but hey that’s why it’s called a wishlist right?

Lately I’ve been doing some window shopping and these items sparked my interest.

This item was on my list last year as well but I just absolutely love this James Avery Renaissance Key Pendant. Something I’ve said for the past few years is that I want that special someone who has the ONLY key to my heart. I know it’s cliche but that’s something I want for Christmas at some point in life.

Something warm and cozy is also on my list and what better way to stay warm than with my favorite character Mickey Mouse! I noticed this cute Mickey Mouse Silhouette Sweatshirt in the Disney Store a few days ago and it’s been on my mind ever since. This sweatshirt is cute and simple which is what I love and it’s timeless.

Now I love what my next wishlist item stands for. The Kay Jewelers Personalized Color Stone Claddagh Ring.  The two hands represent FRIENDSHIP, the heart represents LOVE,  and the crown represents LOYALTY. This ring can also be worn in different ways to determine you relationship status. I just love this ring and I do believe it would be something neat to pass down to my kids someday.

I am a photogenic person an love taking pictures but getting them printed seems like a hassle sometimes! This item is fairly new and I want to give it a try. Having a portable printer, when using it correctly, can be a time saver and I can print my pictures right then and there. This HP Sprocket Photo Printer  is not only cute but it’s convenient and stylish.

Last but not least I am finally embracing the traveler in me! This year has been one for traveling and I want to be able to document my travels and where I’ve been. This is why I decided to put the Personalized Scratchable World Map. I want to be able to remember where I’ve been and I think this is a fun way to do it.

That’s it! That’s my Christmas Wishlist! Is there anything on your Christmas Wishlist? Something you can’t keep your eyes off of? Please share it with me in a a comment below! Happy Wishing!

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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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!

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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!

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!

Secrets for a Successful Third Year of College

Last Thursday marked the end of my 3rd year of college! This year has been full of amazing ups, very few downs, and wonderful memories! I will definitely say that this year, out of the 3yrs I’ve been in school, has been my best year by far.

During my 3rd year I’ve even learned some valuable lessons that I will always take with me. These lessons have helped me have not only a fun memorable year but also a very successful one! These are lessons that no one really tells you and we have to learn on our own. You can call them secrets and here are my spilled secrets that no one tells you but you learn them anyway!

1. You’ll LEARN how to make friends that are lifetime friends!

Yes, we learn “how to make friends” during elementary, middle, and high school but we don’t “learn.” Lets be honest: How many friends do you still have from elementary/middle/high school? If you can answer this truthfully you may have said less than 2 or none at all. That’s because the friendships have faded away and that’s okay!

When you get to college you learn how to make friends that will last you for the rest of your life! Most likely, the friends in college will be your best friends and possibly the friends that are in your wedding party!

2. We always say failure isn’t an option BUT sometimes we have to accept it!

I had to learn this the hard way a few times and this time was the last time I was going to learn the hard way! We, as people, always say that failure isn’t an option but sometimes we have to accept our failure and keep it moving. I had to drop a class this semester because I knew there was no coming back from that class and it would have KILLED my GPA. I knew it was time to drop the class and accept that.

Let’s be honest…you didn’t fail. You just knew that you had to look after your GPA and whatever sanity you had left!

 

3. Get more BANG for your BUCK!

Even with a job you are BROKE! You’re going to always need something for this class, food to survive the entire week, and gas which is seriously so overpriced that you may consider buying a bike and peddling everywhere! The important thing is to get as much as you can with as little as possible. Don’t purchase anything if you know you don’t need it and if it’s free it’s better!

 

4. Have fun & make as many beautiful memories as possible!

Yes we are attending college to get a degree and yes we are there to work so hard that we are sleep deprived but you are also there to step outside of your comfort zone. You step outside of your comfort zone so much that you have no choice but to meet new people. Those people will become some of your greatest friends, like I mentioned in the 1st lesson, or they can become your worst enemy.

The important thing is to have fun and make beautiful memories that will last a lifetime! You’ll tell your children these stories. The people you create these memories with will be the reason you continue to make memories.

I can say I met 2 of the most wonderful spirits this school year and I have created memories with them that I will tell my children at least a hundred times! I’ve made so many memories that I can’t wait to make more with them this summer when I go on a road trip to visit them.

 

Again, these are the reasons I had such a wonderful year! I’ve finally met some friends that I can rely on and that I am truly happy with. I couldn’t have been more happier and I already can’t wait for June so we can go on adventures in their city and also August so we can go on adventures that will probably make great books one day!

I never understood what people meant by “College is what you make it” when we are always told to study, study, study but I get it now. You can study and still have time to enjoy school. You’re only an undergraduate once…make the best of it while you can.

 

“I didn’t know I was having fun in school until I began making memories!”

~Erriel JD