Summer Pics – Boden Giveaway winner!

Hello from San Bernadino! I just thought I’d give you a peek into my week away. Yea, I know, it’s basically food….

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photo 2{ Tupelo Junction Cafe, Santa Barbara }

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photo 4{The Lucky Penny, Santa Barbara}

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{The Shop, Santa Barbara}

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{Enjoy Cupcakes, Santa Barbara}

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Have you ever wondered what happens when you get three teachers together? 

Thanks for all who entered the Boden giveaway! The winner is…

Calli Welsch!

I will be contacting you shortly!

Thanks for stopping by! I’m off for more fun in the sun!

Happy Thursday!

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How to: Vacation the RIGHT way

I just wanted to let you guys know that I’m on vacation this week in SB and L.A. so there will be a scarcity in blog posts, but do follow me on Instagram (@snippetswithalex) to keep up with my adventures 🙂

You know those vacations when you’re so preoccupied with getting through all the must-do attractions that you end up needing a vacation from your vacation? Well, I know all about that. I used to make a list of all the things I want to do on vacation and end up hopping from one thing to another without any down time. Now I know better. Vacations are supposed to be when you get away from the busyness of life and let your body, mind, and soul rest. It was hard for me to come to terms with the idea that it is OK to just be still and it is OK to not do anything for a change. I used to feel guilty for not being productive. Have you felt that way too?

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I don’t want you to miss out on the opportunity to give yourself that time of rest and rejuvenation, so here are my five tidbits on how to have a restful vacation.

1. Sleep in
Yes, the early bird does get the worm, but in this case the rested bird will get the energizer bunny.

2. Do what you want
I am the type of person who likes to do things by myself at times. Did I go see a movie by myself already? Yes. Did I go out to  breakfast with nothing but myself and a good book? Yes. Do I feel good about it? YES.

3. All about the people
Yes, I do like to do things by myself, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t want community. This specific trip was for me to visit my good friends and catch up with them — no need to go on any adventures or extravagant activities. Some friends were worried about not being able to keep me “entertained” during my visit. But you know what, heart to heart conversations over coffee does wonder to the soul.

4. Walk to places
If it is reasonable, take the time to walk to your destinations! Sometimes it is hard to slow yourself down because of habit, so force yourself to by walking. Trust me, it definitely helps.

5. It’s okay to splurge a bit within reason.
I’m not saying to blow hundreds of dollars doing who knows what, but I’m saying it’s OK to get the steak if that’s what you’re feeling.

Thanks for reading and hopefully you will have at least one restful vacation this summer. 🙂

Happy Monday!

Oh and the giveay ends TONIGHT at MIDNIGHT.

Don’t forget to enter the $50 to Boden Giveaway!

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Some Kona, Hawaii Lovin’ Tips

It has definitely been such a great week being able to spend it in Kona, Hawaii full of rain, sun, ocean, volcanoes, and horses.

Now, if you didn’t already know (but I hope you do), Hawaii is made up of several different islands. The island that people usually hear about the most is Maui. But you know what? I say, you should take a go at the Big Island. It’s absolutely amazing because you get a little bit of everything: the serene life, the night life, the country life, the ocean life, and the forest life.

If you are planning on going to the Big Island, here are the tours/activities that I did, and maybe that will give you some direction. 🙂

Water Activities
1. Surfing w/ Kona Mike’s
Speaking as a person who has never really swam in the ocean for long periods of time…YOU NEED TO TRY SURFING, especially in Hawaii! The waters are beautiful, warm, and crystal clear. Kona Mike’s is an awesome surf school. Their team of instructors have been surfing for at least 10-15 years so they know what they’re doing! You will feel safe no matter what. Basically, the lesson consists of them timing the waves right and giving you a push for a jump start (because paddling fast is hard for a first timer!). They will give you pointers along the way. SUPER fun! They also have a professional photographer out there to take pictures of you that you can purchase afterwards (prices are not outrageous). My little cousin and I decided that we wanted it to be just us so we signed up for a semi-private lesson.

My instructor: Logan
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2. Kayaking and Snorkling with the Kona Boys (in the Kealekua Bay)
This is a MUST DO. The Kealekua Bay is one of the best spots to go snorkeling with tons of colorful fish and coral. There are a lot of tours out there that will take you out there via a cruise boat, but why do that when you can go KAYAKING?!! Kayaking is hands down the best way (besides hiking) to get there.

I suggest going with the Kona Boys. I did a lot of research and these guys got awesome reviews. They are all well knowledgeable of the history of Hawaii and are super fun and chill. The tour I decided to do was the Morning Magic Kealekua Bay Kayak and Snorkel Tour.

My uncle and I were lucky enough to be the only ones going out that day and so we had a private tour! Our guide, Jared, was awesome! You could tell that he was passionate about what he does and he loved talking about the unique history of Hawaii. As we paddled out there we were lucky enough to be surrounded by several pods of spinner dolphins playing in the bay. I wish I had my camera to take a picture of it! (My uncle has most of the pictures, so hopefully I will be able to post some soon). We took our time to paddle across the bay (so for those worried about not having the strength, don’t worry!). We got a tour of Captian Cook’s monument, snorkeled for about 2 hours, had lunch, then paddle back. Such a memorable adventure! I would say to ask for Jared, but he’s leaving in May for Australia! 😦

Tour guide: Jared

20140222-102803My uncle and I

Land Activities
1. Hilo – Farmer’s Market / Big Island Candies
If you’re into fresh fruits, there’s a great farmer’s market (certified locally grown, not Costco lol) in the city of Hilo (It’s a small city, so you’ll be able to find it) that you should check out. Also, the factory of Big Island Candies is located in Hilo as well! BIC has the most amazing shortbread cookies around! And if you get the dipped ones, you can be reassured that they are hand dipped to perfection! Once you walk through the doors, they give you a free sample and you can find a bunch of other samples hidden in the shelves too! And here’s a tip: If you want to try a specific flavor, feel free to ask the front desk for some. They would be happy to let you try any flavor you’d like!

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2. Volcano National Park
ABSOLUTELY AMAZING. Usually when you picture beauty in nature, you think of lush green trees or colorful flowers, but the Volcano National Park will definitely change your mind on that. We only had 2 hours there so we just saw one of the craters, the lava tube, and the crazy landscape. We wanted to see where the lava was going into the ocean, but it was dark and it was quite a hike over lava rock. With a 9-year-old, we didn’t want to risk it.

My use of words won’t do justice to the beauty of this place, so let me just show you.

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3. Horseback Riding w/ Waipio Ridge Stables
When my uncle said we should go horseback riding in Waipio, my first reaction was “Why would we go horseback riding in Hawaii?” Well, let me tell you, it’s a must as well. I only took the 2.5 hour tour which only led us to the cliff overlooking the waterfall and valley, but if you take the 5 hour tour, you would be able to go to the waterfall and swim (which is what I’m going to do when I return). It’s absolutely gorgeous! You will ride through lush green trees and you can just hear the peacefulness in the air.

Sorry, no pictures yet.

4. Mountain Thunder Coffee Plantation
Kona is known for it’s amazing coffee, so you must stop by a plantation! We chose Mountain Thunder and decided to take advantage of their free tour. They took us through what it takes to make a quality bean as well as the different types of plants on the island. A great informative tour about quality coffee making. And it’s absolutely gorgeous up there as well.

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I hope that gives you a jumpstart to your Hawaii trip!

Aloha!

How to: Pack for Hawaii

Aloha! 🙂

Try not to be jealous, but I am currently in Hawaii soaking up the cloudy-sunless sky for a week long vacation! Be prepared for pictures of my adventures later on, and reviews of the tours I signed up for.

But before any adventures happen, you have to start with your luggage! As a person who is a last minute packer and with bad memory, an exhaustive list would have been nice to have. Well lucky you, I’m going to share my complete list just in case you decide on taking a trip to the beautiful islands of Hawaii. BTW, I’m writing this after I realized that I completely forgot a number things. So hopefully you won’t make that same mistake.

Packing List for Hawaii for 6 days:
1. Tops:
– 3 Tees/Tanks
– 2 Shirts/Blouses (a little nicer to go into town or out to dinner
-Undergarments

2. Bottoms
– 1 pair of long pants (linen or light fabric would be best)
– 2 pairs of shorts
– 1 maxi skirt
-1 dress

3. Water/Activity Wear
-2 sets of swimwear (another to wear as the other one is drying)
– 1 cover up
-Small backpack (if hiking)
-2 running/water safe shorts
– 1-2 workout tops
-Water bottle

4. Toiletries
– Toothbrush/Toothpaste/Floss
-Razer
-Sunscreen
-Hair Straigtener
-Light natural makeup (plus WATERproof mascara)
-Makeup Remover / Cotton Swabs / Q-tips
-Body Lotion
-Facewash
-Deodorant

5. Accessories
-Hat (only if you’re a hat person)
-Sunglasses
-Headphones
-Small beach bag/tote
-Book for the plane ride and beach
-Phone chargers
-Camera chargers

6. Shoes
– 1 pair of close-toed sneakers/hiking shoes/ etc
– 1 pair of “I don’t care about” flip-flops
– 1 nice pair of sandals

7. Other
-Bandaids (Bring them! I already have a cut on my foot. Ha)

My suggestion is to try to fit everything into a carry-on which is super possible. Then carry a backpack and put all your “Entertainment” stuff in it. My problem during this trip was that I had my big camera bag and so unfortunately they made me check a bag. Oh well!

Here are some snapshots of my trip thus far!

Processed with VSCOcam with b5 preset3 hour layover in Maui. It was either Burger King or California Pizza Kitchen. Lol

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 presetLotus Flower

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 presetPanko Crusted Ahi Roll

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My roommate for the week. 🙂

Processed with VSCOcam with m5 presetThere was a Luau going on a few feet away from us.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetBeach Fun!

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Processed with VSCOcam with c1 presetHawaiian Chicken Sandwich

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Follow my trip on Instagram! 🙂

How to: Survive Post-Holiday Blues

Ah, the holidays are over. Right now you are probably experiencing Christmas-withdrawl, food and sugar comas, family overload, smaller bank accounts, and back-to-work anxiety. Just know that you are not alone in your post-holiday blues.

Here are some of my suggestions on how to deal with the transition back to real life:

1. Ease your way in by rewarding yourself every two hours for surviving with leftover Christmas chocolate.

2. Secretly listen to your favorite Christmas carol at least once a day until you are ready to let go.

3. Start walking in the morning for at least 10 minutes, and increase your time every day as you begin to get used to your ligaments moving again.

4. If you are experiencing an extreme case of anxiety, take 5 shots of a peppermint mocha latte. Slowly ween yourself off.

5. Space out your use of your Christmas gifts. Don’t use or wear your gifts all in one week! Spread it out so you can enjoy the excitement of new things longer.

6. It’s okay to leave your Christmas tree up for a little while longer. Just remember, the longer you wait, the harder it will be. I suggest the last day to keep it up should be Jan. 11. Longer than that, and it will probably be a fire hazard, if it isn’t already.Don’t say that I didn’t warn you!

7. Read your favorite blogs (wink wink) to get your mind off your post-holiday blues.

Hopefully that list will help you get through!

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Here are some snippets of my vacay!

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Half Moon Bay – Coastal Walk behind the Ritz Carlton

20140102-150203.jpgGot to spend a week with this cutie pie!

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The grandchildren. Yes, we are extremely mature.

20140102-145742.jpgSome mansion near Caroline Park – Redlands, CA

20140102-145754.jpgAwesome palm tree we found

20140102-145804.jpgStarting my couple of days in Santa Barbara with Backyard Bowls of course!

More picture and outfits in a wee bit! Follow me on Instagram for more snippets and FIRST LOOKS of outfits before they’re published!