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New Orleans Travel Diary

Posted in Travel, Travel Guides
on March 17, 2017

As I’m writing this post, I’m currently on the long (somewhat grueling) 8-hour drive back to Dallas! Akash & I just left the wonderful city of New Orleans, and thanks to the amazing invention of personal hotspots, I’m writing this post covering our trip while it’s still fresh on my mind.

This was the first time to New Orleans for both of us, so we definitely opted for the sightseeing experience rather than the Bourbon street experience. If you’re wanting to take a trip to a city where you can explore all the random nooks & crannies, New Orleans is perfect for that! We spent 4 days here, and to be totally honest, we definitely ran through our itinerary in just two. Basically what I’m trying to say is that there’s not a TON to see, so if you’re not wanting to do a ton of walking & exploring, NOLA might not be your favorite spot.

With that said, let’s jump into all the fun things we did and saw on our trip!

Day 1

We got up at 5 AM (ugh) on Sunday, and embarked on our 7 hour drive to Louisiana! The drive really wasn’t that bad- given, I slept for a large part of it (sorry, Akash.) Our first stop upon arriving in the city was walking around the French Quarter before our 4pm check-in at our AirBnb. We had to pay $20 for 2-hour parking which kind of sucked, but we had a good time walking around the French Quarter.

The #1 thing on my list for our trip to New Orleans was to try beignets- I’ve seen everyone and their mother post about these on Instagram, so I was dying to try them myself! We made our way over to Cafe du Monde, and stayed in line for a good 5 minutes before realizing that it would probably take a good 2 hours to make it through the line. I had heard a lot of good things about Cafe Beignet, and it was right down the street so we made our way over.

The wait at Cafe Beignet was only 10-20 minutes, and all of the staff there was so nice! Needless to say, we enjoyed our little snack.

After Cafe Beignet, we spent the rest of the afternoon just wandering around the French Quarter, and taking some fun pictures.

4m rolled around, and we eventually headed over to our AirBnb. I shared the place we were staying on my Insta stories, and got a ton of questions asking about where we stayed, if we liked it, what neighborhood we were in, etc., so I decided to go ahead and link it for you guys in case anyone else is wanting to visit the city & is looking for a place to stay.

Akash & I both loved the place that we stayed at- it was extremely clean, beautifully decorated, in a safe neighborhood, and perfect for a couple visiting the city. The only thing I can say is that I do wish it was a little closer to the French Quarter- driving over to the French Quarter took on average 15 minutes; 30 minutes with traffic. Other than that, we both had such a great first experience using AirBnb.

If any of you are visiting New Orleans anytime soon, I’ve linked the place here– definitely check it out!

After settling into our room, we headed out for dinner at Parkway Bakery & Tavern for some po-boys. I actually got a ton of recommendations from you guys on my Instagram to stop by for their po-boys, and they definitely didn’t disappoint! I ordered the golden shrimp and Akash got the roast beef; he didn’t like his too much, but I devoured mine in a matter of minutes. We also tried their ice cream sandwiches, which were alright- they advertise them as homemade, but they were packaged like any other ice cream sandwiches you could find at a Walmart. In my personal opinion, not worth the $4.50 each that we paid.

Day 2

I actually had an interview for an internship I’m applying to for this summer on Monday morning, so the majority of this morning was taken up for that. After my interview, though, we headed out for my favorite meal- brunch!! Per your recommendations again (can you tell the trend here?) Akash & I had a delicious brunch at the Ruby Slipper Cafe in Uptown. This one tops the list as my favorite meal that I had while in New Orleans. I’ve been to a ton of brunch places (breakfast/brunch food is my FAVE) but this one definitely makes the list of my all-time favorite brunch spots! Akash & I both ordered the Chicken St. Charles, and it was to die for. Seriously thinking about it now is making my mouth water, haha.

After brunch, we wandered around the area into Harrah’s and the Shops at Canal Place. I always find it funny how no matter where we go we always somehow end up at a mall. We spent a little while wandering in the shopping center, and then headed back into the French Quarter. We spent a while just strolling around Bourbon Street, appreciating all of the pretty architecture that we don’t see much of back in Dallas.

We also paid a visit to Jackson Square, and went inside the cathedral as well. At this point I was dying to see what the hype over Cafe du Monde was all about- every single time we passed the Cafe du Monde in the French Quarter, the line was about a mile long! I checked my GPS and discovered there were actually multiple locations, one being just a mile away, so Akash & I made our way to the Cafe du Monde at the Riverwalk Outlets. It was a little bit of a longer walk, but you can actually go by the riverside and it’s a super relaxing & scenic walk. The weather was just bright enough for some fun pictures but a little breezy, so we were comfortable.

By the time that we had walked around the whole area by the riverwalk, Akash & I were both exhausted, so we headed back to the neighborhood where we were staying. We found this little pizza place called Reginelli’s, and then we headed straight home.

Day 3/4

Day 3 & 4 were pretty uneventful- we basically went back for more beignets like 3 times, and spent a little bit of time browsing the shopping centers in the city. On Tuesday, though, we did get a chance to stop by Dat Dog for some amazinggg hot dogs!

Later that day, we also swung by District Donuts. For all my Texas girls- it’s a lot like Gourdough’s, but (to be very honest) not as good. My expectations for this place were pretty high, and it wasn’t as good as I thought it’d be. I ordered the Berries & Cream donut, and Akash got the Cookies & Milk.

On our last day in New Orleans, Akash & I finally got to stop by this brunch place that I’d heard so much about- Surrey’s Care & Juice Bar. As you can pretty much see in this post, Akash & I aren’t crazy about Cajun food… but when we came here, I had heard so much about their amazing shrimp & grits, so I decided to give it a try. Y’all- IT. WAS. SO. GOOD. We also got their apple juice to try, and that was amaze-balls too. If you’re in the area, this place is a must-try!

Whew- that’s it for part 1 of my New Orleans travel diary! Congrats to all of you who made it to the end! 🙂

The Ultimate Spring Break Packing Guide

Posted in Fashion, Travel
on March 1, 2017

It’s that time of year again- Spring Break is finally upon us! Time to break out the bikinis & head to the beach, YAY! This year I won’t be partaking in typical spring break adventures- I’ll be heading over to good old New Orleans, Louisiana! However, I did want to give all of you ladies who are planning to take a beach trip a comprehensive list of everything you’ll need for the week.

I made sure to try and include everything you’d possibly need, without getting into the basics (underwear, everyday toiletries like toothpaste & toothbrushes, etc.) Hopefully this list will help y’all out! 🙂

Day 1
For day 1, I styled a super simple but put-together look, featuring some pretty staple pieces. You’ll notice that I tried to include some pieces that can be repeated without repeating a whole outfit. Even though looking cute is a huge priority when packing for your vacay, you also have to remember that you’ll more than likely be spending a lot of time outside- which means comfort is key! My advice is to stick with pieces that will go with several looks, and will make your life easier. Carrying a cross-body satchel bag like this will make it super easy to keep all your necessities on hand, like your wallet & sunnies.
Day 2
For day 2, I included some staple summer items- a comfy white top & some high waisted denim shorts. It makes for a compact cover up for when you and your friends go out to lunch & don’t want to be walking around the beach in a bikini with a food baby. Don’t worry, it happens to the best of us. 😉
Day 3
Day 3! Another tip for looking cute on spring break is sticking with simple, inexpensive jewelry that you won’t mind accidentally leaving behind. We all know sh*t happens during spring break, so be sure not to bring your nicest diamonds- stuff gets thrown around, stolen, etc., so your best bet is just bringing inexpensive stuff that you can live without.
Day 4

Packing some cute tops like this is a major tip for keeping your outfit game strong over spring break. These types of tops take up barely any room in your suitcase, but make you look 90 times more put together. Plus, you can never go wrong with a white bikini! The white will make you look so tan, in case you haven’t gotten tan enough so far in the week.

Night out SB

I put this one in just in case! Usually when I go on a trip, my friends & I always try to at least have one fancy dinner in the city, & get prettied up for a night out. You could totally re-wear a pair of wedges from earlier in the week, and just throw on a pretty dress. You’ll look effortlessly cute & not have to worry about bringing a ton of extra heels- plus, you won’t have to worry about damaging your favorite heels during your night out.
Beauty SB
DO NOT FORGET SUNSCREEN. Last year, my boyfriend & I took a trip to Mexico, and all I had packed was aerosol sunscreen. Big mistake. We were stopped at airport security, and ended up forgetting to get sunscreen before going to the beach. Needless to say, we both came back looking like freshly cooked lobsters. Learn from my mistake and bring sunscreen! Don’t forget sunscreen for your face & your lips too- a lot of people tend to forget these.
I’d also pack a few bold lip combos- just in case you decide to dress up a little on one of the days, and on your night out on the town. Always a good option to have in case you need it!
When I think of beach trips I always think glowy- which means bronzer & highlighter galore!
As much as we’d all like to go makeup-free for a week at the beach, spring break is the prime time for Insta pics- which means looking presentable with the least amount as possible! This is where BB Cream comes in. It gives you just enough coverage, but it prevents the cake-face look. I’d throw on a quick & easy coffee color in the crease & call it a day! This Sugar Lip Balm is also amazing since it doubles as sunscreen but gives you a little tint to your lips. Easy breezy beautiful!
Casual SB
I thought I’d go ahead and include these so that y’all don’t forget them! A lot of times the nights will be cold, so be sure to bring a cardigan or a sweatshirt so that you’re safe. Also remember to bring a set of pajamas- chances are your clothes during the day will be soaked, so pack some comfy clothes for night time. I’d also bring some light comfy tees in case you decide to stay an extra day or just in case of emergencies. Having an extra tee that goes with everything will come in handy at some point!
miscellaneous SB
Last but not least, some of the miscellaneous items that you won’t want to forget! I always forget my razor when I go on trips, and end up having to use the crappy disposable ones that the hotel gives out. Since you’re going to be in the sun for the majority of your trip, it’s a good idea to bring deodorant, some hair ties, and some aloe vera.
It may not be the cutest thing, but fanny packs are incredibly useful. Plus, I’m pretty sure they’re making a comeback. My sorority includes them in our Bid Day baskets. Everyone on spring break has one!
Some other things that are always a good idea- an extra battery with a connecter to your phone, Advil, a first aid kit, a book to read on the beach, a beach towel, hair ties, and of course any cameras you’re planning to use & a speaker for playing some tunes!
I hope this list was useful for some of you in one way or another! This post was focused on trips to the beach, but if y’all are going anywhere else for spring break let me know! I’m working on a packing list for New Orleans right now, so if you’re interested in seeing that leave me a comment and I’ll totally do that for you! Hope all of you have an unforgettable & most importantly  safe spring break!

Shop some of my spring break essentials!

¡Vamos a Mexico!

Posted in Travel
on October 12, 2016

This past summer, my boyfriend and I took a trip to Mexico. You can check out the travel diary I made here! It was one of my first times being on vacation without my entire family, and it was the first time I’d ever planned a vacation all on my own. We had so so much fun, but planning the whole trip was definitely quite a handful to handle. For those of y’all who are here from my old blog, you’ve already seen the pictures I shared from the trip, but I really wanted to write a post sharing with y’all my tips for planning a trip for the first time. Being college students, we were also trying to minimize as many costs as we could, so the majority of my planning tips are for those of y’all on a budget. I’m definitely not an expert (yet), but I hope some of my tips can help relieve some of the stress that comes with vacay-planning.

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I don’t know about y’all, but I’m definitely a planner. I like to know exactly what I’m going to be doing each day, where I’ll be, how much it’ll cost me. For those of you who are like me, you’re going to hate this tip- I recommend not booking excursions prior. I can’t speak for other locations, but for Cancun, the number of excursion vendors is insane. Thanks to the handy rule of supply and demand, if you wait until you arrive to book, the options are endless. We were able to visit Xplor park, go scuba diving, get massages, and zip line- all for under $200. Let’s just say that we definitely learned the power of negotiation on this trip and leave it at that. 😉

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Tip number 2! Dining in any tourism-heavy city can be pricey- if you don’t know where to look. It’s easy to just stop by one of the popular tourist restaurants like Senor Frog’s or Carlos & Charlie’s, but if you’re not wanting to pay a fortune for a plate of mediocre nachos, I’d recommend dining at local places or their supermarkets. I know what you’re thinking- supermarkets??? Yes! After doing some research, I found that the supermarkets in Cancun also have food courts, and the food isn’t half bad- at ALL. Honestly, I would’ve eaten there over the other places we’d tried even if it wasn’t less expensive. Their food courts are pretty legit, too- they had a gelato station, a bakery (complete with gourmet cakes and pastries), a pizza place (made to order), and a ton of other food like sushi, pasta, sandwiches, you name it. It also didn’t hurt that since there was a supermarket right downstairs, the drink selection was endless.

This one may seem like a no-brainer, but pack comfortably. Unless you’re planning to spend your entire trip in the resort, I definitely recommend packing clothes and shoes that are suitable for walking long distances. We spent a lot of our week exploring the city, which meant lots and lots of walking. With walking and crazy humid weather comes sweat, and you definitely don’t want to be dripping with sweat and wearing clothes that aren’t comfy!

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This next one is for those of y’all who are hoping not to spend your entire vacation budget on transportation. Take the bus! The buses run all the way down the Hotel Zone and even down into downtown, so it can essentially take you to wherever you need to go in Cancun. We stayed near the end of the Hotel Zone, so walking into the busy part of town was quite a trek. Each ride on the bus- no matter how long- was only about 50 cents in pesos. This brings me to my next tip: if you plan on taking the bus, convert a little of your cash into pesos. Without getting too deep into math, the rate if you pay in pesos is about half of what you pay if you pay in US dollars- bottom line is, pay with pesos.

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When hotel searching, I recommend using a travel agency like Expedia or Travelocity. It makes it easy to determine hotel/resort prices. You don’t necessarily have to book with them, but I personally found it easier to do so. I was able to look at excursions and resorts all through the same site, without having to go back and forth and back and forth. Plus, sometimes they have promotions on certain resorts, that brings the price down a little.

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Next, look into hotels rather than resorts. We stayed at the Real Inn Cancun, which is a hotel about a 5 minute drive from the busy area of the Hotel Zone. With the money we saved by staying at a hotel rather than a resort, we were able to do a ton more excursions. Along with that, we had a ton more freedom to eat wherever our hearts desired, and we weren’t restricted to just food at the resort.

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So that concludes my travel tips for a trip to Cancun! I’m hoping this will reach a few of you well because of winter break coming up in the near future. I’m hoping to plan a trip this coming holiday, but I have yet to pick a destination. Let me know your suggestions!

Chicago Travel Guide

Posted in Travel
on September 29, 2016

Hey y’all!!

So as most of you know, I went out of town last week with my mom for a little girl’s trip to Chicago. I took aton of footage and got some awesome pictures that I can’t wait to share with y’all!

My mom and I sat down before our trip to plan which spots we wanted to hit, and I thought I would share it with all of you in case any of you are planning on visiting Chicago anytime soon! I’m in no way a Chicago expert but the both of us really enjoyed our trip, and we were able to hit everywhere on our list.

Without further ado, here we go!

1.) Chicago Cultural Center

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The cultural center doesn’t have too much to do or see, but the architecture in this building is seriously incredible. This glass ceiling is made by Tiffany & Co., and they have a ton of super cool mosaic-style decor, which makes for some pretty cool pictures.

2.) Millenium Park

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3.) Shedd Aquarium

If you’re in kind of a time crunch, you might not want to stop by here, but if you have the time for it, it’s definitely worth it! To be very honest, it’s not much different than your regular aquarium, but it is pretty cool.

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4.) The Art Institute

I’m the first to admit that I hate museums, but the Art Institute is supposed to be one of the best museums in the world, so it’s a must-see!

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5.) SkyDeck Chicago/360 Chicago

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You probably don’t need to go to both 360 & the SkyDeck, so I think you could honestly just go to one of them. I personally prefer the SkyDeck a little more, but feel free to take your pick! We went to the SkyDeck during the day, and 360 at sunset. Make sure you check the weather before planning!

6.) Magnificent Mile

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Chicago’s famous mile-long shopping! Imagine a more spread out version of NYC’s Fifth Avenue.

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There’s a little Catholic church hidden on the side of Mag Mile, with a pretty courtyard tucked inside. If you’re ever in the area, it’s a super cute place for pictures!

7.) Grant Park

Buckingham Fountain in Grant Park- it’s right next to the lake, so it’s a great place to take a walk!

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8.) Navy Pier

I don’t have an actual picture of Navy Pier, but it’s one of the top tourist attractions of Chicago. We personally didn’t do much there, it’s kind of more of a family activity.

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9.) Lincoln Park

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The Lincoln Park Conservatory is a nice little botanical garden, with some pretty flowers. It’s free, too, which is a plus!

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Right next door is the zoo, which is also free!

Hope y’all enjoyed seeing all my favorite parts of Chicago! If you ever find yourself in Chi-town, be sure to send me all your pictures! And if you’ve already been, let me know your favorite spots!