New Years Resolutions!

I always try to remind myself to make resolutions throughout the year but there is always something about the new year and a fresh start that inspires fresh goals.

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Source: Google

So here are some of my own

1. Career research and networking: With the start of the new year I hope to start looking into a new career or possibly going back to school. I want to network and go on informational interviews and job shadow and meet as many new people as possible. Keeping both my options and my mind open to new opportunities.

2. Save to spend: I recently heard from my brother who heard via Freakonomics how it isn’t practical to stress out about saving in your 20s. So instead of trying to scrimp and save and miss out on concerts or trips,  I’m going to save to go to concerts and on trips! I want to  cut down on frivolous spending and focus instead on what I really want and use my money to go after those things.

3. Travel: Anywhere and everywhere, however I do have a few trips at the top of the queue.

Seattle: Ashley and I have been wanting to go for some time so we will hopefully make it happen soon!

New Orleans: Also have been wanting to go here for a long time and have been pre planning it with a friend, just need to save up and hopefully I’ll be there this spring!

Nashville: My cousin is getting married in Nashville this year and I’m so excited to visit and plan a trip to the south.

4. Be adventurous: I just want to constantly remind myself to put myself out there and meet new people, go to new places and not be lazy or boring.

5. Be happy: Whatever I’m doing and wherever I’m at I can be happy and appreciative for all that I have. Don’t waste your time doing things that make you unhappy, make time for what does!

-K

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Amazing Apps: Travel

I am going on a big trip soon and I am so excited!

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Parts of my trip have been all planned out for me while other parts have been left completely up to me. Exciting and overwhelming. Luckily traveling has been made easier through some very handy apps. I wanted to share a few I have been using and plan to use on my travels.

1. JetRadar: This app is soooo helpful. It is really user friendly and can help you find a flight from anywhere to anywhere.  All you have to do is plug in where you wanna go and when and the app does the rest. You can set limits on how many stopovers you have, flight duration, airline, and it will literally give you hundreds of flights to choose from. You can select favorite flights and save your searches while you shop around. You can also purchase tickets directly from the app or from the website.

2. Kurrency: The best thing about this app is its simplicity. Open the app and choose which currency you want to convert as well as the amount. I also like that is gives you the name of the currency along with the conversion rate. I have traveled before and kept a little card with the conversions on it. Trust me the app is better. It gives you up to date exchange rates and can easily switch from one conversion to another.

3. iTranslate: Like Kurrency this app is simple and easy to use, plug in the languages and what your trying to say and bam its there. It also has a microphone feature that will read the word or phrase out to you, so not only will you know what to say you will know how to say it!

4. Citymaps2go: This app provides offline maps that you can use without using your data. You just need to download the maps and your ready to explore! I can’t wait to use this app while aboard. It will be much handier than carrying around huge maps all the time and will help me look less like a tourist!  The full version costs $2.99 but there is also a free “lite” version that allows you to download a limited number of maps.

Enjoy and let us know what apps you like to use while traveling!

-K

Some Windy City Fun

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 I recently took a trip to Chicago!

I’ve been to Chicago a handful of times and each time I find something new to love. My last visit was in February, the weather was frightening and kept me inside so this time was chilly but manageable.

Most of the time was happily spent with family outside of the city. I pretty much ate constantly and enjoyed catching up with the fam. If your ever out in the midwest go to Steak ‘n Shake! It is amazing. Essentially a diner, I think I’ve only eaten there once but every time I’m out there I go for a shake. They always have your standard flavors plus amazing other creations, and they are open 24 hours.

While I was in the burbs most of my trip, I was able to go into the city several times. My first trip into the city was to go see improv! Chicago is famous for improv and many great comedians and SNL folks have come through the Chi Town circuit. I went to IO for a Saturday night improv show. It was my first professional show and was so much fun. There were amazing comedians and it was just a fun night with my family. IO is downtown right by Wrigley field so we also got to walk around downtown a little and check out a few bars too!

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Second City is also in Chicago, if you wanna go to either venue I suggest checking out shows and buying tickets in advance. Shows will sell out and I did see plenty of people tuned away at the door.

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Another new discovery for me was the Wicker Park area. It’s a little hipster but was fun to walk around for a few hours. There are tons of great little stores and cafes to check out. I got an amazing Chai Latte from Filter and definitely would have spent more time there if I had it. It was so warm and comfy in there. The barista was super nice and the couches looked so inviting.

I also found a great gallery, the Jackson Junge Gallery they had lots of different pieces and had tons of prints and Chicago art if you wanted to take a piece home. If street art is more your thing Wicker Park has tons of it.

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Enjoy the pictures and Chicago if you get a chance to go!

-K

Central Coast Getaway

photo 1A few weeks ago I went on a weekend getaway with my mom and aunt. We were celebrating my aunts birthday and decided that a quick trip down the coast would be perfect. We ended up in Pismo Beach which is about 4 hours south of San Francisco. Pismo and the surrounding area is the perfect beach town – perfect views, great people, and delicious food.

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I wanted to offer some tips for planning a weekend getaway and share with you some of the fun times we had. We picked a hotel off the main highway, we wanted it to have ocean views and close proximity to all of the area without being right downtown. We did some research to pick out what would be the best place for us – which included a fabulous balcony.photo 3

When picking a hotel you should really consider these three questions;

1. How much time will you be spending in the room?

2. How close is it to the activities that you will be doing?

3. What amenities will you be using at the hotel/do they offer them?

During the weekend we had two fabulous dinners. One at Steamers and one at Ventana Grill. I highly recommend both restaurants if you are in the area. They both offer great drinks and a full and flavorful menu.

The big highlight of the weekend was an afternoon at the Sycamore Mineral Springs spa. The mineral springs have been around for over 100 years and the resort was built around them. The spa was tucked away in the forest and featured a variety of massage packages. Additionally you can rent a private hot spring for an hour. It was definitely worth it, and the grounds of the resort were absolutely breathtaking.Image-4

On our way out of town we stopped at Avila Valley Barn, they had a pumpkin patch (which I checked off my list), sunflower fields, farm animals, and local produce and goods to purchase in their store. We weren’t planning on going but saw it on the road and decided that it would be a great stop.

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Weekend getaway tips:

1. Do some research about what the town or city has to offer.

2. Talk with locals about their favorite things to do (restaurants, sights, ect).

3. Don’t plan too much – go in with some ideas but leave time for exploring whatever you may find along the way!

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Happy travels!

-A