Category Archives: Travel

A Few Vacation Pics

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A Few Vacation Pics

Hellooo! I didn’t take too many pictures during my recent family vacation to Asheville, North Carolina but, of course, I took a selfie or two and had my dad snap a few as well. My dad is a great photographer and usually does the majority of the picture taking when we’re on vacation. And, I was so busy enjoying my damn self that I guess I just forgot! Anyways, take a looksee:

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^^^ These pics were all taken at Altapass Orchard.

Now, you might find yourself wondering who that handsome man is in the last person and that is the one and only BILL CARSON. He is the owner and face behind the Altapass Orchard on the Blue Ridge Parkway and he is an absolute delight. The orchard in itself is gorgeous but the real fun happened shortly after we got there and a country trio began to play music in their gift shop.

In the gift shop was a stack of bumper stickers boasting the phrase “Honk if you survived a dance with Bill Carson” and I thought it was hilarious. I had no idea who he was at the time but I did know I wanted that bumper sticker for my car desperately. So, as luck would have it, Bill just so happened to be at the gift shop with his wife to enjoy the music and cut a rug on the dance floor.

And, dance we did. Bill and I shared a lovely hoedown to the country music and it was a complete blast. After our dance, my dad bought me the bumper sticker that I had my eyes on because I earned it, damnit. My family had a riveting chat with Bill afterwards about his life story as a NASA engineer and how his sister and himself came in possession of the Altapass Orchard.

Long story short, Bill’s sister purchased the land which developers were very interested in to build along the Blue Ridge Parkway. This was a massive “no no” though and the Carson family refused their offers to buy it. They have since had the land recognized by the National Parks of North Carolina so that it can never be built on and have its vast beauty appreciated forever.

Bill Carson was a joy and I loved learning his story and the hard work that was put in to keeping the Altapass Orchard afloat during the past five years of insufficient crops thanks to climate change. The orchard serves not just as that but as a sort of clubhouse where local music is played and anyone can get up and dance. And, if they’re lucky, they can survive a dance with local celebrity Bill Carson too!

Are there any local celebrities in your neck of the woods? What is your favorite fall activity? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

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Vacation Eats: The Moose Cafe

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Vacation Eats: The Moose Cafe

Hello, hello everyone! When it comes to family vacations, my dad is the king of planning. From activities and shops to hikes and the best restaurants in the area, he spends time scouring the internet and travel books for stops to make for the ultimate vacation. While in Asheville, North Carolina for our vaca, we had dinner at The Moose Cafe after shopping a charming little farmers market right down the street. Although the menu wasn’t the most vegetarian friendly, I still managed and ended up with a massive plate o’ carbs. Check it out:

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^^^ Awwww yeahhhhh

During one of our previous trips to Asheville, we had breakfast at The Moose Cafe and that was really crazy good. And, despite only having one option to eat for dinner, it was still really crazy good. I was able to pick four side dishes to form one mega meal and went with the cheesy grits, mashed potatoes, mac n’ cheese, and French fries as well as a slice of cornbread. As if that wasn’t enough carbohydrates for ya, don’t even get me started on the pre-meal biscuits and apple butter. YUM!

From a health perspective, this might not have been the best meal. But, from a “I was super hungry” perspective, this meal fucking SLAPPED. The biscuits were huge, soft, and fluffy. They literally melted in your mouth with a butter and honey finish. And, committing even more carbicide on the main course was just what I needed after a long day.

Some of the sides were definitely better than the others and I have them ranked in the following order:

  1. French fries
  2. Cheesy grits
  3. Mashed potatoes
  4. Mac n’ cheese

However, once I had them reheated as leftovers, they all tasted really freaking good! Funny how that works out!

What is your favorite spot for breakfast in your neck of the woods? Where do you like to eat if you are vegetarian, vegan, gluten free, etc.? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Featured Image By: Facebook

Soba Sushi And Noodles: YUM!

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Soba Sushi And Noodles: YUM!

Salutations! Some of you might recall that my family had a vacation to Hilton Head planned. However, with Hurricane Dorian wreaking havoc, my dad didn’t want to take the risk and we ended up in North Carolina again for our yearly family vaca. My family loves Asheville, NC and have vacationed there at least three or so times in the past handful of years. The art scene, the nature, and, of course, the delicious food are all reasons why we keep coming back and I, for one, am not mad about it!

Speaking of delicious food, we ended up at an amazing Japanese restaurant called Soba in Weaverville and it was literally to die for. Normally, I’m not the type of blogger who has to take a picture of every meal I eat. But, I had to be “that girl” because my noodle soup bowl was out of control crazy good. Check it out:

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^^^ Peep me using chopsticks correctly for a whopping one time!

Before our main course, my mom and I ordered avocado sushi rolls to share, which was a vegetarian delight. My mom has never tried sushi before and, although she used a nose running amount of wasabi, she enjoyed it as much as I did! For my meal, I went with the Thai Coconut Noodle Soup Bowl with tofu and absolutely no mushrooms, which are the bane of my existence. According to the menu, this entree was made up of: “Red peppers, mushrooms, cilantro, lemon, spicy sesame oil & vermicelli rice noodles in creamy coconut & lemongrass broth”.

I have never tried a noodle soup bowl and it was actually my second option because I really wanted Pad Thai but, unfortunately, their recipe was made with fish oil which made it a no can do for me. So, I ended up with the noodle soup bowl which was a total blessing because it was one of the best meals I’ve had in months. The broth was rich and flavorful, the veggies were crisp and fresh, and the soft tofu was bursting with the taste of the broth it was soaking in.

I love a good, Oriental cuisine and, sadly, my stomping grounds in Ohio are severely lacking in that department. Akron and the surrounding areas have a lot of chain restaurants without much diversity so, when I can have an ethnic meal, I revel in it. I absolutely adored the bold flavors featured at Soba and it was nice to have a lot of vegetarian options to choose from, instead of having to opt for the veggie burger which happens at basically every Ohio restaurant ever, lol. *massive eyeroll*

If you find yourself close to Weaverville in North Carolina, definitely do yourself a favor and have a meal at Soba. The restaurant was cute and clean, the service was outstanding, and the food will blow your mind. 🙂

What is your favorite kind of food to eat? What kind of restaurants do you live by? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

The 10 Most Beautiful Places To Travel To In The Fall

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The 10 Most Beautiful Places To Travel To In The Fall

Hello, hello everyone and welcome to a top ten travel countdown brought to you by one of my darling fall guest bloggers, Lexie. Miss Lexie is the author of Living Like Lexie, a blog focused on travel on a budget. And, as a baller on a budget myself, she is truly a woman after my own heart! Today, Lexie is going to talk about the most stunning places to travel to during the fall around the world. Read up, pack your bags, and head off on your next adventure!

The 10 Most Beautiful Places To Travel To In The Fall

Every season has its own unique type of beauty. The fall is when the air gets a little crisper, the trees start to shed their leaves, and all of the Pumpkin Spice Latte lovers come out. The fall can have a special look and feel to it based on where you are. There are so many beautiful locations around the world that bring a whole new reality to what the season of fall is.

Here are 10 of the most beautiful places to travel to that provide the ultimate “fall” experience:

1- Bavaria, Germany

The southern region of Germany is known for its rolling alps, the birthplace of Oktoberfest, and the castle that inspired Sleeping Beauty’s palace. It’s a beautiful place to go to during any time of the year, but it’s especially stunning in the fall.

Imagine being able to take a train ride through the mountains while the foliage of the leaves changes color. It’s like a painting coming to life before your eyes. With all of the surrounding beauty, it’s also a great time to party at Oktoberfest. What could be a more appealing fall experience to have?

2 – Alberta, Canada

The Canadian National Park of Banff is flocked to by tourists at all times of the year. With its towering mountains, ever flowing forest, and emerald lake – it’s definitely a sight worth seeing. In the fall, this view is flourishing with color as the trees start to prepare for the winter months ahead. And a bonus: you can get out of the chilly fall air by taking a dip in the hot springs.

3 – Napa Valley, California

Fall colors and wine anyone? Going to Napa Valley during its off-season means that the hotels prices go way down, making it a great affordable option. You might not think of California as a top destination to view the warm tones of fall, but what you will find is that the already stunning wine vineyards are where the season’s colors appear. They display rows upon rows of the unique orange and red autumn colors.

4 – Tokyo, Japan

Tokyo is known for its Cherry Blossoms in the spring, but it is also a sight to behold in the fall. The red pagodas around the city are highlighted by the changing leaves of the season.

5 – Shenandoah Valley, Virginia

The Shenandoah Valley is the perfect place to take a road trip through. You can watch all the fall’s foliage pass you by like a movie. The landscape allows you to take in the incredible show that mother nature is putting on. The valley and hills present a new perspective at every turn, which will keep you captivated for hours.

6 – Paris, France

Paris is already romantic from the mystic it has surrounding it. The beauty of fall’s warm tones contrasting with the cool blue and gray tones of the city’s landscape give it a vibrant breath of life. Take a trip to the city of love with your love this fall to take in the city’s beauty in a whole new way.

7 – Iceland

Iceland is full of color for a land named after ice! There are many incredible sights to see in Iceland like its waterfalls, black sand beaches, and the Blue Lagoon. These places become even more surreal with the accent of the fall tones. Make sure you bring a warm coat and your camera along to this breathtaking country!

8 – Scottish Highlands, UK

Calling all Outlander fans! The Scottish Highlands in the fall takes you on an incredible journey that will make you feel like you are living out the show yourself. The highlands are gorgeous at any time of year, but they have a certain vibrancy to them specifically during the fall.

9 – Duluth, Minnesota

The city of Duluth is located right on the tip of Lake Superior. Duluth is full of hilly roads, unique shops, and often the well-known Minnesotan accent, don’tcha know? If you’ve ever pictured what a chilly fall day would look like spent relaxing in a log cabin while overlooking the warm fall tones surrounding the largest lake in North America, look no further than Duluth, MN.

10 – New York City, New York

New York City is great for those that love the fast-paced life of the city, but still want to have the opportunity to walk through Central Park with your Pumpkin Spice Latte and chunky sweater on. The fashion capital of the world is the place to be if you want to rock the fall trends and take in the atmosphere; while admiring both the fall colors and NYC’s skyline.

Are you ready to take off to one of these ten stunning destinations this fall? To make sure you are prepared and have everything you need packed up, download this free Ultimate Packing Checklist!

About the Author:

lexie

Lexie DeVries is a full-time college student from Minneapolis, Minnesota who is seeing the world one trip at a time – and doing it on a budget! Her blog Living Like Lexie shares her travel journey, as well as the tips and tricks she has found to make travel affordable. She is passionate about inspiring others to make their travel dreams into a reality, as she knows what an incredible impact traveling can make on someone’s life.

I’d love to connect with you!

Thank you so much to Lexie for sharing her travel expertise with us and do be sure to check out her blog and give her social media a follow! Where is your top destination to travel to this fall? What are some other great travel locations this season? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

How To Make The Most Of Your Family’s First Winter Getaway

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How To Make The Most Of Your Family’s First Winter Getaway

Winter can be magical, especially for those who’ll be experiencing it for the first time. If you’re planning on having your first winter vacation, it’s best to come prepared and also to make all the necessary arrangements beforehand. That said, we’ll be taking a look at tips to help you better prepare your first winter getaway:

The Transportation:

There’s nothing worse than having your trip cancelled before it even began. If you’re planning on going to your snowy destination through a series of air and land transportation, it’s best to purchase the tickets beforehand and don’t leave things to chance. Not only would buying your tickets be cheaper, but it would ensure that you have guaranteed seats.

And, if you’re planning on driving towards your destination, make sure that your car undergoes a tune-up to lessen the risk of it breaking down in the middle of the road. If you do plan on bringing your car (or renting an RV to serve as your transportation and your accommodation), make sure to bring an ice scraper or shovel, as snow can pile up on and around your vehicle very quickly.

The Accommodation:

As with transportation, the earlier you book your accommodation, the better — especially if you’re planning your vacation during peak seasons. This guarantees you lower prices and that you have a roof over your head. Apart from early booking, it’s just as crucial for you to consider where you’ll be staying. Don’t skimp on accommodation, choose someplace that has excellent amenities and can keep you warm — your family will thank you later, especially after they’ll be experiencing the snow and cold air for the first time. Popular choices would be cabins, condos, and even homes for rent, but you can also rent an RV with good heating.

The Activities:

There are many activities your family can partake in for your first winter vacation, from simple snowball fights and snowman building to more active activities such as skiing, snowboarding, or even snowmobile riding. If you plan on taking up the latter activities, it’s important that you make a reservation beforehand, and it would be a good idea to hire a guide or trainer to help you and the kids learn how to ski properly or for you to safely and properly use the snowmobiles. If you think skiing would, later on, become something that you or your family would repeatedly enjoy in the future, you might want to consider buying quality ski equipment, such as Nordica women’s skis for your wife or daughter.

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The Clothing and Apparel:

Lastly, you’ll want to invest in winter clothing. The last thing you’d want to happen is for you to freeze or get sick from the cold by not wearing the right winter clothing and apparel. There are many guides out there to help you out in packing up your winter clothing, and all of them would point to one thing: layers. Make sure that you all have many layers to keep your family dry and warm, but just enough that you can still comfortably move and enjoy your winter activities. It’s also important that you don’t skimp out on boots, gloves, and head protection. And, if you plan on skiing, make sure that you also buy or rent skiing or snowboarding goggles.

Your first winter vacation should be just as magical as your kids imagine it and, with these simple tips, you’re one step closer to making that a reality. So make sure that you plan and prepare for your trip to get the most out of it. Enjoy!

A Guide To Buying A Home In The Philippines

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A Guide To Buying A Home In The Philippines

Buying a home is a major life purchase. The wrong choice can result in years of regret, so you will want to do it right. However, the housing market in the Philippines can be a complicated thing to navigate through. To make it simpler for you, here are a few tips to help with your house-buying journey:

There Are a Multitude of Choices:

One of the first things you’ll notice when you enter the Philippines real estate market is that there are many choices available. Looking for a house and lot for sale in Cavite and other regions in the Philippines should be a breeze since you’ll be swimming with options. The trouble, is that you’re only buying one of them. The Philippines still has much land for houses to be built on.

You’ll want a property close to urban centers. This increases the price of the property significantly and does narrow down your choices. To help reduce your options, you should pick out the region where you want to put down roots and focus your search there.

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Get a Broker:

When hunting for real estate, it is best not to do it alone. You will want a partner that knows how the market works and can guide you through it. There are dozens of real estate brokers out there, and they can be a big help. However, note that many of these brokers work on a commission basis. They’re aiming to sell you a great property, but they won’t do it cheaply. This is why you’ll want to clear things up and talk with them about the budget you have for your purchase well beforehand.

Follow the Steps:

It can be tempting to skip ahead and pay off the seller to get your hands on the property. But, if you wish for no problems, then you will want to do it by the book. Start with a property viewing with your broker so that you know what you can buy. If you like what you see, send out a letter of intent. After that, pay the seller the agreed price and collect all of the necessary documents. This includes the title certificates, tax forms, and more. This is where a broker can be a big asset since they can help with the paperwork as well as the processing of the various fees. When done correctly, you will have your new property completely and legally under your control.

Be Prepared to Pay Extra:

When buying property, you will not just be paying the seller’s price. You might also end up paying several “hidden” fees. This can mean that your initial payment price is not enough. Always have extra money during the purchase so that they can be paid. Don’t be fooled by the price tag since that often does not include a variety of charges that are not associated with the payment. For example, you may plan to use a bank loan to pay for the purchase. This means you’ll need to pay the bank charges for the loan.

When you make that house purchase, you are committing yourself to a significant step. With the tips above, you should be able to buy without any regret. The property you buy will meet your needs, and it will be something you can be proud of.

Dogwood Festival Fun

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Dogwood Festival Fun

Hellooo! While in Atlanta, my family and I attended their Dogwood Festival which was really cool. It was like a huge open market with booths full of homemade art in various specialties like sculpting, photography, woodworking, and painting. There was also entertainment, food trucks, and a Frisbee event with the DISK DOGS OF ATLANTA which I am obviously super psyched about!

Being able to walk around and admire everyone’s art was like being at an outdoor museum and, although 99% of what I liked was way too expensive for my budget, I was able to get this gorgeous hand carved necklace by the artist, John Deveer, that I am in love with. Check it out:

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Although I am usually a gaudy girl when it comes to jewelry, I do love simple things, too! This wooden necklace is so stunning to me. I love the dark chocolate color with the black detailing and am lightweight obsessed with the toggle clasp on the black leather band. This necklace will seriously go with everything and it felt like a steal getting it for fifteen dollars! I am so happy to have been able to support such a talented artist and wish that I could have bought something from everyone at the Dogwood Festival.

Unfortunately and obviously, you couldn’t take pictures of the artist’s art but you can explore all of their websites if you click on the following. And, please be sure to check out John Deveer’s page, too!

Are there any art festivals in your neck of the woods? How do you support local artists? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah