July intentions

Hi everyone and happy July! The year is halfway over and it feels like just yesterday I was ringing in the new year and now we’re halfway done! Crazy how fast time goes by (even though time is an illusion but whatever). You all know the drill, here are my goals/ intentions for July!


  1. Finish CHAARG Bootycamp // I’m doing this workout guide along with Insanity and Bootycamp ends at the end of July so I want to give it my all and finish strong!
  2. 120 oz of water  daily // you already know
  3. Organize everything I own // This is an ongoing process. A month ago I cleared out a lot of stuff I own and now I need to organize it!
  4. Keep planning for CHAARG // I am SO excited for fall and getting back to school and in order for me to be prepared… I need to get planning!
  5. Get everything for my apartment bought + ready // I move into my apartment August 11th, so naturally, I want everything ready to go by August 1st.
  6. Start DIYing // I keep watching DIY videos + I’m so obsessed! I want to start DIYing things for my apartment and back home
  7. Work on training my dog // She is such an angel in the house, but she’s crazy on walks. I need to get her to keep her cool around bunnies, squirrels, and other dogs!

What are your intentions for July?

❤ Alicia ❤

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June wrap up

How in the heck is June already over? How the heck is 2018 already halfway over? This year has flown by more than any other in my opinion and once school starts 2018 will be over before I know it. Let’s see how well I achieved my goals in June


  1. Plan for CHAARG // I’ve been doing a bit of planning here and there, working on retreat, socials, etc. It’s hard planning things in 1 day when people don’t email you back but I’m working on it
  2. Start CHAARG Booty Camp or Insanity // I’m almost done with week 2 of them both, and I will be taking a mini-break in a week or so because I’ll be out of town but I’ve already planned it so I won’t be missing a workout!
  3. Eat better // I’m eating much better, eating out much less, and making almost all of my own food
  4. 1 gallon of water daily // Doing so well on this!
  5. Figure my whole major thing out // I’m in every single class I need for the fall which is all I needed!
  6. Read // I haven’t finished a single book. I’ve been in a weird funk and the last thing I’ve wanted to do was read… I started one and I just haven’t had the motivation to finish
  7. Go to bed earlier // Most nights I’ve been in bed by 9 and sleeping by 10 but other nights (weekends) I haven’t been asleep until 1 or 2… Balance I guess?
  8. Less screen time // This hasn’t been happening but I’m working on it I guess haha.

How did your goals for June go?

❤ Alicia ❤

Next stop? Platform 9 3/4

Happy Wednesday everyone! I hope you are all enjoying your week so far. If you read my last post, you may have noticed that I completely ignored my entire trip to Universal. I did this so I could make an entire post dedicated to Universal Studios and all of its glory!


My family and I arrived in Orlando Sunday night (after driving from St. Augustine), checked into our hotel room, went for a dip in the pool, and then hit the sack to save our energy for our 3 days at the parks.

My Monday morning wake up call was about 5:30 (thanks dad) so that we all could shower, eat, and chug some coffee and still get to the park at 8am when it opened (we got early entrance because we stayed on a Universal resort… highly recommend!!)

First and best view

The first thing we did was head to Diagon Alley to ride Escape from Gringotts. Another thing I would totally recommend doing first thing in the morning (honestly just do both Harry Potter Worlds first because it gets SO crowded later in the day) because the line was a breeze so early but we went back later and the line was much MUCH longer.

Entrance at Escape from Gringotts

Since we were running to the roller coaster, I wasn’t fully able to appreciate Diagon Alley in its glory, however, when we emerged from the ride (as a changed woman I might add because it was INCREDIBLE) I was completely in awe of Harry Potter world (and was still in awe each time we came back after). The attention to detail, how interactive the whole park was, and how I actually felt like I was getting ready to go to Hogwarts; after I bought my books, wand, and robes of course.

After we had thoroughly explored Diagon alley (don’t you worry we come back 2 more times), we took the Hogwarts express to Universal’s Island of Adventure, which held Hogsmeade. Just as Diagon Alley had done, I felt submerged in Hogsmeade. They captured everything, from the snow and icicles adorned by each building, to the various characters, to Moaning Myrtle in the bathroom, everything felt, looked, and smelled real.

There were 2 rides in Hogsmeade, The Forbidden Journey and the Flight of the Hippogriff (nothing special… just your typical kiddie ride). We rode the Forbidden Journey first. This ride navigates you through Hogwarts, where you can see Dumbledore in his office, moving pictures, the Gryffindor common room, and Harry, Ron, and Hermione sharing a bit of information about what the ride will entail. Once aboard the ride, you begin soaring through Hogwarts (you’re told that you’ll be watching a Quidditch match), battling dementors, seeing dragons, dodging the Whomping Willow, and getting an earful from Draco Malfoy. This ride is pretty much stationary, tilting you up, down, and every which way, moving when scenes change to shake it up with real-life figures (dementors, trees, etc.). Finally, you make it through the ride where Dumbledore and the entire Gryffindor Quidditch team thank you for helping them with the game. This ride was my personal favorite across the 2 parks because of the tilts, turns, movie screens along with actual moving parts.

Hogwarts!

Once we mustered up the courage to leave Harry Potter World (you wouldn’t want to either… trust me) we explored the rest of the Islands of Adventure park, riding the Jurassic Park water ride (kinda cool kinda scary and I didn’t even really get wet), seeing lines quickly getting longer before we decided to just ride the rest of the rides in this park early the next day, grabbed lunch, and then heading back over to Universal Studios.

Once back at Universal Studios, we explored LA, New York, London, and San Francisco (the park is divided up into cities) before going on the Race Through New York ride (hosted by Jimmy Fallon), a 3-D ride where you literally do not move but it 100% feels like you’re bouncing around New York streets, rocketing to the moon, and falling from 75 story buildings. To finish off this day at the park, we went on the Shrek 4-D ride where Lord Farquad somehow comes back to life ????? and we have to kill him again ???? before retiring to our hotel, grabbing dinner, waited for the pool to reopen post lightning scare, and then hitting the sack early for a long day ahead of us.


Tuesday was definitely the longest day of activities for us (I walked more Monday though because of all of the exploring we were doing). Our day started out once again at 5:30-6:00 with our assembly line of showers, teeth brushing, getting dressed, coffee drinking, getting HYPED for my birthday, etc.

For my birthday, I requested that we eat at Harry Potter World (because if you’re going to have your birthday at Universal, you might as well have it at the best part) so we ate at the Three Broomsticks at Hogsmeade. We had a cute little bird join us for a few minutes, who finally left after she figured out we weren’t going to feed her. I tried pumpkin juice for the first time (very good BUT SO SUGARY) and enjoyed a nice first meal of my day.

Well what did you expect? Pumpkin juice?!

Right after breakfast, we hurried around the park trying to get in all of the rides we wanted to ride but didn’t want to wait long for. These included the Kong, Fast and the Furious, and Hulk rides. The Kong and Fast and the Furious rides were basically the same just different plots. You’re on a bus, there’s a conflict, and the driver and you have to save the day. Neither were that great to me. Had we waited 85 minutes for the Kong ride the day before, I would have been highly disappointed. The Hulk coaster was definitely very cool. Your standard roller coaster: first drop, upside down, corkscrews, a photo taken at the WORST second, etc. It was nice to ride a real roller coaster in the midst of all of the CGI and 3-D features.

We were then taken back to our childhood days as we visited Dr. Seuss’ world. We rode all 3 rides (carousel included), visited all of the shops, and reminisced about the good old days. We were the only group there without a kid under the age of 10 but we didn’t care.

By this time today, our feet had begun hurting again so we took the Hogwarts express (the only way to get from park to park without leaving) to head back to Universal Studios.

There, I had my first legal drink in San Fransisco at a wharf-style restaurant, before returning to our hotel for some more drinking and a dip in the pool.

Once we were feeling up to it we headed back to Universal’s city walk for dinner. We ate at the Cowfish (contradictory since I’m vegan I know), a restaurant with the most amazing black bean burger and veggie sushi I’d ever had! My mom then proceeded to tell the wait staff (without my knowledge) that it was my birthday so I was sung to in front of the whole patio of people. Was I embarrassed? Yes. Will I remember it forever? Also, yes. Happy 21st birthday to me!


With much chagrin, my time in Universal had to come to an end. That morning, after packing up our car and checking out of the hotel, we got into the park early so we could ride Escape from Gringotts again only for it to break while we were on it (we got to ride it again). We took the Hogwarts express one final time to Islands of Adventure where we ate at the Three Broomsticks again (my mom bought us a meal plan for the trip and we’d only used half of it so we had to spend it all today and that restaurant accepted it), rode The Forbidden Journey again, explored the rest of what we hadn’t seen, including a SpongeBob store and an E.T. ride (which was actually super adorable). We completed one final lap of the park, grabbed some Ben and Jerry’s and a few trinkets before making our way out of the park.


Have you ever been to Orlando? What parks did you visit?

❤ Alicia ❤

Road trippin’

Happy Monday everyone! As most of you know, I spent 2 weeks ago in Florida. What some of you may not know is that my family and I road tripped there, making a couple stops along the way to Universal and one on the way back! I’d never been to the three cities we visited so I wanted to share my road trip experience and the places we visited.


Chatanooga Tennessee

While I’ve driven through Tennessee many times (on trips to Florida) + I’ve visited Graceland in Memphis but I’d never been to Chatanooga. My parents always remarked on the “Come visit Ruby Falls” signs when approaching Tennessee but we never decided to pay it a visit. However, on this road trip, we wanted to see what Ruby Falls was and if it was worth the extreme advertising.

So, after 9 is hours of driving ( and lots of bathroom breaks) we made it to Chatanooga and headed over to Ruby Falls.

Ruby Falls is a 145-foot high underground waterfall inside of Lookout Mountain. It was discovered by Leo Lambert in 1928 while drilling.

After taking an elevator down 100 or so feet, we walked through this cave (guided by our very southern tour guide Doug) for about a mile seeing various cave structures before reaching Ruby Falls, which was definitely worth the extensive advertising. Once at the falls, we watched a light show which lit up the waterfall which played along with some music!

Sadly, we had to walk back to the elevator an head back up into the heat. However, despite having to re-enter the 90-degree weather, we were able to see lookout mountain which is basically just a deck that looks out to all of Chatanooga.

We only had one night in Chatanooga, so after leaving Ruby Falls, we ate dinner at the Waffle House, swam in the hotel pool, and hit the sack for another long day of driving Saturday.


St. Augustine, Florida

Driving to Florida from Chicago is honestly one of the worst things ever. You start driving at 4 am, don’t stop until it’s dark, and then finish however much more the next day. Not this time though!

We drove about 9 hours day one, and about 7 hours from Chatanooga until we reached St. Augustine, the oldest (colonized) city in the United States.

We arrived in St. Augustine at about 5 or 6 in the evening on Saturday, so we opted to relax in our hotel and just swam and ate dinner to gather up our energy for another long day on Sunday.

Sunday morning, we packed up our stuff and headed to the heart of St. Augustine. Initially, we thought we would be visiting the Spanish Fort, but found SO much more.

The Spanish fort was incredible, made of coquina (Spanish for small shells), and aged wonderfully. I loved learning about how so many tried to take down the Spanish, yet the coquina held up and no one succeeded in entering the fort.

Once I’d had my history lesson for the year, my family and I all wanted to see more of what St. Augustine had to offer so we decided to take a trolley tour of the city. The trolley tour is something I would 100% recommend to anyone who visits. On this tour, you’re carted around St. Augustine for about an hour, seeing historic buildings, museums, Flagler College, plantations, restaurants, specialty (chocolate factories, wineries, boutiques) shops and so much more! I wished we had more time to hop off at every stop to see everything St. Augustine had to offer. If I ever go back, I’m definitely going to make sure I spend at least 2 whole days to see everything (and eat everything!). Sadly, our time in St. Augustine had to come to an end. Onto Universal!


Sarasota, Florida

Something I never wanted to do was leave Orlando. Universal was all I could have hoped for and more (in my opinion better than Disney World) but eventually, we had to part ways. On the way back (well sort of out of the way) we visited Sarasota for a few days to visit some friends of ours. They retired to Florida a few years back and they are loving the laid-back atmosphere of Florida, and so did I. Their house was cute and cozy with a lovely lanai off the back. To top it off, they have 2 Shih Tzus and they’re both vegan (for health reasons) so needless to say I was in heaven! We spent the first full day there just relaxing, swimming in their community pool, and eating good food.

We were exhausted and had hurt feet so doing nothing was the only thing on our agenda for the day. However, we ended up going to the beach to see the sunset, shelling, and taking really cute pictures!

Day 2 of our visit we woke up bright and early, hit the Dunkin Donuts drive-thru, and drove about an hour to Myakka River State Park see some alligators! At the State Park, we took an hour-long airboat ride around the river and got to see so many birds, fish, and alligators.

My sister and I agreed that we hadn’t picked enough shells the night before so we wanted to go to another beach to find some. This next beach we visited, however, had a rather pathetic selection of shells and it was excruciatingly hot so we decide to head home, pack up our stuff, and hop in the pool to prepare for the 20-hour drive that would happen over the next 2 days.


Have you guys taken a road trip lately?
❤ Alicia ❤

My Summer bucket list

Happy Summer (again) everyone! These past few days haven’t felt very summery (it’s been raining nonstop) so to get myself in the ‘summer spirit’ I wanted to make a bucket list for summer of some things I want to do!!! Some of these I know I’ll get done and some are there for days when I don’t have anything to and want some inspiration for something to do.


  1. Read 10 books
  2. Try new foods (I’m getting a super cool vegan cookbook soon and I can’t wait to make some recipes from it)
  3. Journal
  4. Unplug at 8pm for a week (and hope it continues)
  5. DIY something
  6. Have a picnic
  7. Go hiking
  8. Go to a farmers market
  9. See a movie
  10. Have a bonfire
  11. Train my dog
  12. Tie-Dye
  13. Do a day without technology
  14. Minigolf
  15. Watch the sunrise
  16. Write a letter to a future me
  17. Make a vision board
  18. Make nice cream
  19. Reorganize my room
  20. Get settled into my apartment and ready myself for school

What are some things you want to do this summer?

❤ Alicia ❤

21 things I’ve learned in 21 years

Happy Summer everyone! I’m back from Florida (posts on that to come) and am SO ready to get back into a routine! I didn’t even bring my laptop to Florida and it was so refreshing + relaxing (although I’m grateful my dad brought his because I had to register for 3 classes while we were down there) and I had a great 10 days just relaxing. However, like I said I’m glad to be back with my bed, my dog, and my own routine.

As some of you (or none) know, while I was in Florida, I turned 21!!! Woot drinking, gambling, blah blah. Something I LOVE reading are those “___ things I learned in ___ years” posts so I wanted to do my own! So, here are 21 things I’ve learned before turning 21.


  1. It is 100% okay to not be friends with people based on their political views – A lot of the times (especially recently) it has more to do with the other person’s morality than their choice of Democrat or Republican.
  2. Cutting negative people out of your life is so hard but so rewarding – I’ve cut out a few negative people from my life and yes, it’s shitty at first, especially if you were ‘friends,’ but week, months, and years later when you don’t have that negativity on your shoulder, your life will be so much better
  3. Always trust your gut – Something I’ve realized is that I’m very decisive. However, I always second guess myself and literally ruin my life choosing between 2 choices. One example of this was with transferring. Once I visited OU, I was certain that it was the school for me and once it had like 100x the pros than DePaul I knew I LOVED OU but what if I didn’t like it later, what if I didn’t make friends, etc. I had to visit OU again and it took 3 months for me to make a choice… UGH JUST TRUST YOUR GUT
  4. Life is too short to not have the nails, coffee, and underwear you really want – These are things I enjoy and I want to enjoy them without having to be stingy. I’ll buy cheaper food and clothes as long as these 3 things I get to enjoy.
  5. But in all real life really isn’t that short – Totally an unpopular opinion but life is literally the longest thing we ever do… so it’s not that short.
  6. Question everything – I’m one of those people whose worldview is based on the last documentary I watched. But, I’ve been learning to question things. I don’t believe something just because a person in power or the internet says something is true.
  7. Snuggling an animal can make any bad day at least somewhat enjoyable
  8. Don’t regret anything- I’ve always been that person who says “what if?” What if I’d stayed in San Diego/never even pick it? What if I never played badminton freshman year and started playing water polo instead? As I ask myself these questions wondering how my life would have been different, I also remind myself that if I never transferred, if I never chose San Diego, if I chose a different sport freshman year, etc. that I would never have met some of my best friends, never would have had so many incredible experiences and my life would be so much different. Would I probably like my life just as much as I do now? Yeah, but I love where I’m at now and the choices I’ve made.
  9. Never apologize for being yourself – people will tell you that you’re too much of this and not enough of that. But you’re you and really, that’s all that matters.
  10. Stand up for what you believe in… even if you’re standing alone – I’ve found that following the crowd is a lot less fun when you’re following for something you don’t believe in. It’s hard to stand up for yourself and what you believe in, especially if no one else is standing with you, however, in the end, it’s going to be so much more rewarding.
  11. Make time for what you love – I can’t stress this one enough. In the midst of school and work, taking time to read, write, or go to the gym is so important and can refuel myself to get everything I have to do done.
  12. Be punctual – I can only think of a few things worse [in my opinion] than being late and committing a murder is one of them. I am always early. Sometimes 5 minutes early and sometimes 30. Whether I head to the bathroom to make sure I still look presentable or I sit and tap away on my phone, I would much rather be early than show up right on time… or even worse… late.
  13. Try new things – Try a new workout, learn a language, try eating vegan for a week [yes a shameless go vegan promo] just anything to switch up your routine and remember – variety is the spice of life.
  14. Not everyone is going to like you – This one took me a LONG TIME to learn. I’m such a people pleaser and want everyone to like me and when someone doesn’t I used to try so hard to get them to. Now, I get it. I don’t like everyone and I know everyone isn’t going to like me, and you know what? I’m okay with that.
  15. Loving yourself is extremely hard but even more rewarding – Self-love is one of those things that seem rather ‘new.’ People everywhere are seeing that businesses all over are making billions of dollars on people hating themselves and we’re sick of it. Loving yourself can be one of the hardest things you do in your life, especially when you aren’t that seemingly ‘perfect’ person as shown in magazines ( even though the people in magazines aren’t as perfect as they are shown ).
  16. Getting enough sleep is VERY IMPORTANT – I know that when I get less than 7-8 hours of sleep I don’t feel as refreshed, healthy, and alert as when I get 8 or more.
  17. Travel – I learned far more about life from being in Peru than I ever have in a classroom. I can’t wait to keep traveling and learn even more.
  18. Staying in on a weekend can be just as (or more) fun as going out – I’m the definition of a homebody. I like to be my own company in my own bed. I’m usually down for a night out but cozy pajamas, a movie, and some snacks can definitely be better.
  19. Failure and rejection are a part of life – This took me until this past school to realize. Coming from a high school where I got everything I applied for, to a place with 30,000 other students and a lot more competition. Now, I have to work my butt off to get things I want and it’s taught me so much.
  20. Taking risks, while scary, can be so rewarding – Going against the norm, being different, and trying something so far out of your comfort zone can be frightening, but can be one of the best decisions you’ve ever made (at least all the risks I’ve taken have been)
  21. I have so much to learn – I’ve learned a lot in my first 21 years but I still have so much to learn. I learn something new every day and can’t wait to keep learning

What have you guys learned that I haven’t?

❤ Alicia ❤

Blogs I’m loving

Happy Friday everyone! I’m currently en route to Florida! I’m visiting Universal in Orlando and Sarasota as well and I’m super duper excited to be there, especially because I’ll be turning 21 while I’m there!

To keep spreading all of this love going during the month of June, I wanted to share some of my favorite blogs to share them with you guys!!! I love reading SO many blogs (so these are just a few of my faves) but I wanted to share some of the blogs I’ve been loving currently!


Jamie

I’ve followed Jamie for a while now (I think she was one of the first people I followed when I started blogging) and I absolutely adore her blog! From her vlogs, her Netflix reviews, and monthly favorite posts she always gives me ideas on what to buy/watch!

 

Emily

Emily (whom I don’t think I’ve ever met) and I came into contact sometime during or before freshman year at SDSU. There was probably a follow train of nervous freshmen and we ended up following each other on Instagram. We are both from the Chicago suburbs and she makes me want to get more into fashion because of all of her ‘how to style’ posts. Maybe one day a post of hers will spark me to make a wardrobe change instead of sporting leggings and t-shirts 24/7

Alys

Although I’m pretty sure Alys has only been blogging for half a year or so I feel as though I’ve followed her for much longer. She posts about mental health, traveling, college, and bullet journaling to name a few. Her bullet journal is SO AMAZING! I have tried to get into bullet journaling for a while and whenever I see one of her posts about it, I always try to restart mine because of how aesthetically pleasing it is.

Rachel

Something I love about Rachel’s blog are all of her traveling tips. As a gal who definitely wants to get some more traveling done sooner rather than later, I love seeing what frequent travelers do that makes traveling a breeze. Not to mention the photos she adds to posts are unbelievable and make me want to visit every nook of this beautiful Earth!

Hope

And last (but certainly not least) is Hope! While she doesn’t post too often, the posts Hope shares are always well thought out and have great photos to boot. I love reading about her life and various DIYs and recipes she shares!!


Make sure you give all of these lovely ladies a follow!!

What are some blogs you’re loving currently?

❤ Alicia ❤