I’ve decided to do something I’ve been wanting to do for quite some time: start a monthly roundup series!
In these posts, I’ll share what I’ve been up to during the month, some of my current favorite things, possibly some personal info (if there’s anything I can’t stand not to share!), and of course adventures in San Francisco and beyond. Every month takes me to different destinations, restaurants, and on different adventures, so I’ll keep some wiggle room for these posts here on out. Any suggestions? Leave them in the comments below. Thanks! You’re a pal![divider style=”thin” title=”” text_align=””]
+ New York
Columbus Day Weekend was all about family time. The husband and I just moved to California a little over a year ago, but New York will always be our home. The long weekend was spent making spontaneous plans, dancing at my sweet little cousin’s Bat Mitzvah (she looked like a princess, I swear), holding way too many babies (ahh, my friends have babies now?!), and stuffing our faces with too many bagels. Oh, and the pizza. Heart face. Unfortunately, we didn’t have time to make it into the city (about 45 minutes away), but spending time at our childhood homes is always something I cherish.
Two of our dearest friends were celebrating a big birthday this month (30!!!), and decided to visit Napa Valley of all places! Of course we had to make the journey up to see them, being only 1.5 hours and all. Oh, I just love living so close to where people vacation. 😉 It was obviously so super awesome to see them, and we cleared a lot of land in our short visit. 8 wineries in 2 days (no, we didn’t do tastings at all of them…) in a mustang convertible? Please and thank you! Also, the husband and I took a hot air balloon ride, NBD 😉 (OMG, IT WAS ONE OF THE MOST BEAUTIFUL EXPERIENCES OF MY LIFE). The 5:30am wakeup call was definitely worth it. More on that soon, I promise. If you want a few peeks, check them out on my Facebook Page.
A few miles away from Napa we got to see my friend Annette from Bucket List Journey, who fed us the most AMAZING meal at her restaurant, sugo trattoria. Homemade pasta and chocolate mousse? It was honestly the best Italian since we’ve moved to California. True story.[divider style=”thin” title=”” text_align=””]
+ Fall fun! Although the weather hasn’t really gotten chilly yet in California, and it definitely doesn’t feel like fall, we still made sure to continue the festivities. Pumpkin picking, corn stalking, and hay rides with my little nephew.
+ Paint Night with some girl friends! It’s all the craze right now. I wouldn’t call myself an artist now, but it was definitely fun to let my creative side shine a bit!
+ HALLOWEEN! No costumes this year, but we still got in a little trick or treating and candy eating.[divider style=”thin” title=”” text_align=””]
Most liked Instagram Photo = 828 likes (!!!)
I totally expected a photo from Tahiti to be the winner (like the one below), but apparently I was wrong. It seems my underwater shots were a big hit this month (I agree, I love that photo too, guys). The image below came in ever so slightly below, at 1 less like, 827 in total. So, basically a tie. Follow me here.
By the Numbers:
I must admit, it’ll be interesting to see how this changes next month. Onwards and upwards, friends!
What I’m Reading: Crazy Rich Asians
This National Bestseller by Kevin Kwan will surely have you ooing and aahing after almost every page. The amount of money these families have is quite ridiculous, and it’s interesting to get a glimpse into their lives. Part old money, new money, nosy relatives, and scheming social climbers. And Rachel Chu, the main character in the book, is just so, you’ll see. :p
As People stated, “There’s rich, there’s filthy rich, and then there’s crazy rich”.
Progress: 75% finished![divider style=”thin” title=”” text_align=””]
For Your Wishlist
I’m absolutely swooning over this hard shelled suitcase. It’s just so pretty, I can’t stop looking at it online. If you need some travel inspiration, I highly recommend Lonely Planet’s newest book, Our List of the 500 Best Places to See. I just got it in the mail, and I can’t stop looking through it. Can’t stop, won’t stop.[divider style=”thin” title=”” text_align=””]
A Week in Guatemala: The Must Do’s | Guatemala is full of surprises, and you can see so much of this fascinating country in just a short week. Check this out if you’ll be in Central America any time soon, or just want some inspiration (and pretty photos) for a future trip.
The Mini Guide to Mendocino: A Coastal California Getaway | Mendo has got to be one of my favorite little towns in all of California so far. Not only does the area provide some of the best views, but the ice cream – OMFG. I’d drive 4 hours for the raspberry chocolate chunk any day. Not kidding.
Packing List | Bora Bora and Moorea | The ULTIMATE resource if you’re heading to the Pacific Islands! You’ll obviously need a few bathing suits and some sunscreen, but check this out for a few unexpected items to bring. You’ll thank me later.
Get Wet in Hawaii: 6 Must-Do Water Activities | Snorkeling in Maui has got to be one of my favorites, but it’s obvious, there’s just so much to do, in and on the water here. I almost broke my nose attempting to stand up paddle, but that’s a story for another day. 😉
Pacific Coast Highway Road Trip: San Francisco to Mendocino | Looking for photos of California’s coastline along Highway 1/Pacific Coast Highway? This is your post. Also, check out the stops we made from San Francisco to Mendocino – a great reference to one of the most breathtaking drives in the US.
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I’m excited to check back in next month to (hopefully) say I have completed all my goals!
+ read/finish two books | (I can’t seem to get through the one I’m reading right now, even though its so good!)
+ spend less time on my computer/phone | (I think I’m getting addicted, it’s bad and I don’t like it.)
+ get 10k followers on Instagram | (You can support and follow me here, thanks guys!)
+ go on 2 weekend trips | (Have one trip planned so far… need to plan another.)
+ try 4 new restaurants | (Time to change it up! We always go to the same ones!)
+ make 4 new recipes | (Let’s face it, my husband deserves a good meal, or
+ 10k+ steps a day on my fitbit | (I’ve been slacking quite a bit this month. Time to get back on track.)[divider style=”thin” title=”” text_align=””]
Quote of the Month:
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+ I finally entered the world of affiliate marketing, and I have to say, it’s much tougher than I thought! I made a whopping $22.64 in 16 days so far! Thanks for all your support, everyone! I truly appreciate each and every purchase. It not only helps keep this blog up and running, but also helps funds my travels. Hey, every little bit helps. You guys seriously rock!
+ Travel Channel noticed me on Instagram and asked to feature one of my photos. No feature just yet, but at least they’re seeing (and liking) my content! A win in my book!
+ LIGHTROOM. Enough said. If you’re looking to up your photography-editing-game and aren’t keen on learning photoshop, get Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 6 instead. It’s now my go-to for basically all edits. So intuitive and easy to use. My photos are SO much better after a few minutes of editing on Lightroom. Definitely worth the $150 investment in my opinion (download it here).
+ I got my first REAL tangible check (as in, it came in the mail, not paypal) from a huge travel company I worked with this month. It was a great campaign and I’m happy I got to be a part of it.
+ An email subscriber list. I finally set one up. I know, I know. After 3+ years of this whole blogging thing, it was about time.[divider style=”thin” title=”” text_align=””]
Around the Web
Some of my favorite travel reads this month
+ The Five Most Brave Moments in My Life | And no, it’s not all travel related. This woman is brave with a capital B.
+ I Transform Famous Landmarks Using Paper Cutouts | Pretty freakin’ cool, if you ask me. Go check it out.[divider style=”thin” title=”” text_align=””]
The husband is running his third (!!!) half marathon this year next weekend in Big Sur, so we’ll be spending a glamorous few nights 2 hours south. Lots of hiking, eating, and spontaneity are in the plans — shh, just don’t tell him that.