A Day In Sonoma County

A Day In Sonoma County

My boyfriend is the type who typically isn't big on suggesting things to do but, realizing he was staring at not being home on the weekends until pretty much April, he announced last Friday evening he wanted to do something on Saturday. I wasn't feeling like going to Monterey Bay Aquarium as we'd done that for our last day trip, so then he suggested Napa. I agreed. We hadn't been in a while and hadn't really done a full day there properly in a while.

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Learning to Say No & When You Don't Owe Explanations

Learning to Say No & When You Don't Owe Explanations

As someone with anxiety and an inherent need to not have people mad at me, saying 'no' has always been difficult and over-explaining my actions became as second nature as breathing. If a manager wanted to know if I could take on extra tasks, I would say yes and over-commit even if my bandwidth was actually full. I was afraid to refuse and this often let to me feeling quite burnt out or overworked.

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A Quick Tip About Train Travel in Europe

A Quick Tip About Train Travel in Europe

Europe is a continent well-connected by train, making it easy to hop from city to city or country to country. Between IC trains, locals, high-speed rail or Eurostar trains, you'll find yourself fairly spoiled for choice when it comes to riding the rails. It's also a great way to catch the scenery if you aren't in a massive hurry. 

That being said, if you've never travelled by rail in Europe before and embark on this adventure, there's one quick tip I wanted to share that seems so simple on paper but can be totally overlooked.

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Light Coverage Superstars

Light Coverage Superstars

In my twenties I was a full coverage fan; the thicker, the less of my real skin showing, the BLOCK EVERYTHING the better. And my skin still probably hates me for it. And looking back, it wasn't that I always needed the cake I just let my self-conscious, low-esteem riddled brain think so. You could swipe a finger down my face and have enough to conceal spots. I would have made NikkieTutorials proud.

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Why I'm Cutting Back On Chasing Frequent Flier Miles

Why I'm Cutting Back On Chasing Frequent Flier Miles

Manufactured spend. Churning cards. Sign up for X card for Y bonus miles. The game of leveraging mileage earn and using miles is known as "The Hobby" to travel hackers worldwide. Countless travel blogs will cite card deals or best cards to sign up for (that they usually get an affiliate cut from) or ways to fake spend to meet card spend minimums for miles, promote mileage buying deals, etc. etc. For the past two years I've drank the Kool-Aid the Hobby is often serving and while it did get me a reduced cost trip to England and a few other places, it also helped put me into $20k of credit debt.

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How to Pack Light (And Still Feel Like You Have Everything You Need)

How to Pack Light (And Still Feel Like You Have Everything You Need)

I had asked on Instagram what followers would like to see as travel topics for future IG Stories, and my friend Marni of the excellent baking blog Happy Go Marni commented she would love to see the topic of how to pack light and feel like you have all the things you need. So naturally, as this topic is near and dear to me, I jumped on it and thought not only would it be great for a quick IG Story, but also a great blog post.

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Going On the Keto Diet

Going On the Keto Diet

As someone who loves pasta and bagels and is Italian-American and grew up on the Standard American, carb-heavy diet, attempting a low-carb, ketogenic diet seems like quite the hurdle. But I did dabble with really trying to be better at it in 2017, though for various reasons my approach was on again-off again and while I overall lost about 11 pounds, it wasn't where I wanted to be and some of that was on me and not being consistent.

So this year, for 2018, one of my goals was to improve my overall health and that includes my weight and diet and overall general wellness. I've noticed the older I get the more bloated and sluggish I feel after large, carb-heavy meals and since I didn't want to spend every day in digestive discomfort and actually make progress in losing weight, I need to better commit to keeping calm and keto on.

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Meandering In Munich (Germany Diaries Pt 4)

Meandering In Munich (Germany Diaries Pt 4)

We arrived after our brief Alpine adventure to Munich, staying at Schiller5 Hotel, a rather great and affordable option on a side street across from the main train station in an area that is, frankly, not great. It's just a bit shabby and a bit too modern is a brutally ugly way. But needs (and budgets) must and despite the neighborhood not being utterly idyllic, the hotel itself was really nice and the staff really friendly. So if you're looking for budget, convenience to public transport (which LOL WE WILL GET TO IN A BIT), but without sacrificing quality, then Schiller5 is a good bet.

Anyways, I'm not sure what I expected of fair München. Maybe it was being based in a less historical, kind of iffy neighborhood. Maybe it was that Rothenberg, Heidelberg, and the Alps were so freaking charming and quaint, but I found myself a bit disenchanted with Munich, maybe unfairly so.

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Afternoon By the Alps (Germany Diaries Pt 3)

Afternoon By the Alps (Germany Diaries Pt 3)

We departed lovely Rothenberg after a brief overnight and decided to help for the Alps to go look at the very famous Neuwanschtein Castle. My bestie is a big Disney fan, so really, when in Germany...you take the Romantic Road there of course! Maybe it's hyped up marketing, maybe it's cliched, but I liked the drive as we buzzed along surface roads and took a break from the Autobahn. 

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Bathroom Shelfie #1

Bathroom Shelfie #1

I got inspired as most things happen these days, in the bathroom sitting down and staring at my shelves aimlessly. As I noticed that I have a tendency to line up my skincare there fairly neatly (one of the only times I'm that organized with my home), I thought it would make more a neat Instagram photo. Then I thought, "well, I need more blog content so why don't I do a sporadic bathroom shelfie series?"

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Hello Heidelberg: Part 1 of the Germany Diaries

Hello Heidelberg: Part 1 of the Germany Diaries

It was, literally, planes, trains, and automobiles for me to get from San Francisco to Heidelberg. After some mixups with Air Berlin where they had eliminated a leg in my outbound itinerary and never actually told me, I changed my routing and instead of landing in Frankfurt and taking an easy train ride or hour-long shuttle, I ended up landing in Dusseldorf and taking 3 train connections without a seat. Fun times! 

But getting to Heidelberg was worth it. Once I got to the main station and on the bus taking me the short drive over to the Aldstadt area, I was pleased to find the routing takes you along the Neckar River. Once I got off the bus, I was in love.

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Postcards From Germany

Postcards From Germany

I went to Germany for the first in the end of May, visiting the college town of Heidelberg, the super charming, fairy-tale town of Rothenberg ob der Tauber, a quick afternoon on the Romantic Road down to Schwangau, and then ending in Munich. I wasn't sure what to expect from Germany, and a few very minor language barrier issues and my awful pronunciation of käse aside, Germany proved to be pretty incredible although not without a few frustrations with some rental car woes (always check if there's a deposit hold when using a debit card and always take photo and video of where you parked when you return the car). But that aside, me and my best friend saw and experienced some awesome things.

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ColourPop Pressed Powder Shadows

ColourPop Pressed Powder Shadows

I love me some ColourPop, with their super affordable range and quality cosmetics. I've loved their Super Shock shadow formula that's like squishy meets powder, but sometimes you just want a standard pressed shadow. And ColourPop delivered with a range of pressed shadows that I can only assume will keep growing.

I picked up 7 of them, 3 singles in a custom kit (Secrets, Take a Break, Labyrinth) and 1 curated palette called Blow Me Away. How do these eye shadows stack up? Keep on reading! 

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Current Morning Skincare Faves

Current Morning Skincare Faves

The weather here in the Bay Area has gone from rainy and a bit cold to the ever ubiquitous sunny overnight, and as we traverse more into Spring and the air is beginning to dry more so is my face. I don't have dry skin per se, more combo leaning midway, but enough where as I've entered my 30s I've learned to appreciate the need to treat dehydrated skin more and more. 

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Skincare 101: Easy Steps To Better Skin

Skincare 101: Easy Steps To Better Skin

Is there anything more vexing as trying to attain perfect, flawless skin? Okay, maybe running out of coffee. That is up there in the realm of things being "the worst.But here's the thing I feel compelled to get out of the way off the bat- perfect and flawless skin that looks literally like porcelain is more the work of Photoshop than beauty products, and it's a standard that is nigh non-existent in reality. Nothing in a bottle will actually turn back time, despite how clever or catchy marketing is.

What you can attain, however, is improving what you have to work to a more reasonable standard, ie- giving dull skin more glow, finding ways to tackle acne, improving hydration, etc.

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