My Travels: Germany

Our final country we visited on the Europe trip was Germany. While it was one of my favorite places we went, it started out on a somber note: visiting a concentration camp, Dachau.

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Although this was not a happy and exciting experience like the rest of the trip, it was incredibly moving. Seeing where the prisoners used to sleep, where they were killed, where they were buried… Very hard to look at, but enlightening as well.

After we left Dachau, we continued on our way to Rothenberg ob der Tauber, which would be our home for the next two and a half days. It was a long drive, but well worth the wait.

Rothenberg is an old, medieval walled city, so perfectly preserved that when you step inside the walls you feel like you were transported back in time.

If it wasn’t for the modern clothing, smartphones, and cars, I would’ve believed I had stepped back into 950 AD.

The city was eerily enchanting. The skies were constantly overcast and grey, adding to the mysterious feeling. There was one bright spot in the whole town: a giant Christmas store, three stories high, filled with more Christmas things than I had ever seen in my life.

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The picture doesn’t do it justice. It truly felt like a winter wonderland!

On the last night of the trip, we took a walking tour of the city, led by a Night Watchman. He told us about the history of the city and what the night watchemen of long ago did to protect the city at night. Like everything else about this city, it was creepy, but really cool.

Sadly, this amazing trip had to come to an end. We boarded the plane back home with heavy hearts and tired eyes, but knowing that we would remember this trip forever.

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My final My Travels post about the incredible time I was able to spend travelling across Europe would not be complete if I didn’t take the time to thank the wonderful people that spent these sixteen days with me. To Megan, Hanna, Kailani, Connor, Ben, Ryan, Kevin, Jordan, Mr. and Mrs. C, and so many more: Thank you for making memories with me that will truly last a lifetime.

Be sure to be on the lookout for my next My Travels post which will highlight the trip I took to New York this summer with my family!

The other editions of My Travels are:

Costa Rica // London // Paris // Switzerland // Austria // Venice

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My Favorite YouTubers

When I’m not reading or writing blog posts, I’m probably on YouTube watching endless amounts of OOTDs, DIYs, and haul videos. I absolutely adore some of the girls I’m subscribed to, so I thought I should share them with y’all (because I know you’ll love them too!)

Meredith Grace

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Meredith was one of the first girls I subscribed to when I made a YouTube account, and I’ve loved watching her go through high school (and now college!) She’s a year older than me, so I enjoy watching her college advice videos because I know I’ll need them next year! She also created a blog recently, so be sure to check that out as well.

Her Channel // Instagram // Twitter // Blog

Kate from LoneStarSouthern

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Confession time… I’m absolutely obsessed with Kate. I found her channel while looking for a Lilly Pulitzer agenda review, and immediately fell in love with her and her channel. After watching a few videos, I discovered she also had a blog, and she’s one of my big inspirations for starting blogging in the first place! She’s also from DFW, and my dream is to randomly run into her during one of her blog photo shoots. Ah, a girl can dream.

Her Channel // Instagram // Twitter // Blog

Danielle Marie

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Danielle is only a junior in high school, but you would never know due to her composure and maturity! She makes such high quality videos and definitely deserves all her subscribers! Fun fact, she’s also the one who inspired me to go to my weekly yoga classes!

Her Channel // Instagram // Twitter

Emery Eyssen

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I’ve been subscribed to Emery on YouTube since back when she was a shared channel with her friend, Lauren! She’s also younger than me, but, like Danielle, you would never know that due to her confidence and maturity! She recently started making videos solo and I’m super excited to see how she develops as a YouTuber!

Her Channel // Instagram

Bianca Celine

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I’m a fairly new subscriber of Bianca’s but I consistently love every video she puts up! All her hauls are #onpoint and I just love her personality. Can’t wait to see more from her in the future!

Her Channel // Instagram // Twitter

Who are your favorite YouTubers? I’m always open to suggestions on who to watch next!

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A Month Without Dairy

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I had a dairy addiction. For the past 18 years of my life, I couldn’t go a day without drinking milk, eating cheese, or consuming some other dairy-related item. Until this January, I didn’t even know the negative effects dairy was having in my life. “It can’t be that bad for you,” I thought.

I was wrong.

On January 1, 2016, I made a commitment to myself to not eat any dairy for the next month of my life. Was it difficult? Yes. Was it worth it? Absolutely.

The changes I noticed:

  • Better skin.
    • I had always been told that dairy makes you break out, but I truly had to see it to believe it. Even just three days in I already had clearer skin, and a week in- well, let’s just say my skin hasn’t been this clear in literally years.
  • I lost weight.
    • Kourtney Kardashian cut out dairy and lost 13 pounds in a month in a half. I didn’t expect anywhere near that, since I don’t have a personal trainer or the constant access to delicious, healthy foods. To my surprise, by the end of the month I had dropped 10 pounds. TEN. POUNDS. It was crazy! And I didn’t have to change anything except to stop consuming dairy.

I wouldn’t have made it through the month without the delicious dairy-free recipes I found on Pinterest. Here are my favorites:

Here are some I didn’t get a chance to try myself, but look delicious:

While I certainly missed some things (cheese pizza, queso from Torchy’s, cheese on my sandwiches…) the results were clear and undeniable. I would 100% recommend a no-dairy diet for anyone wanting to lose weight or clear up their skin!

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Monthly Goals: February 2o16

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My January post about my goals was essentially my New Year’s resolutions for the year, but I thought that taking the time to make goals on a monthly basis would help me achieve my long-term goals as well! Here’s what I want to accomplish this month:

  • Cut back on bread.
    • I eat a lot of bread. (Like, a lot of bread.) January was my month to cut out dairy (be on the lookout for a post to see how that experience went) and while I can’t cut out bread completely, I do want to reduce what I do eat of it.
  • Continue counting calories.
    • Counting calories is what has helped me lose the most weight in the past, undeniably. If I can keep it up, it will help me get into the shape I want to be in!
  • Go to yoga once a week.
    • My city’s athletic center offers a beginner yoga class every Thursday night, free to members. I have been going with my mom and it’s a lot of fun, as well as a way to relax from a stressful week.
  • No biting my nails!
    • I’ve been doing a pretty good job of this, but I want to keep it up so my nails can stay long and pretty.
  • Start looking for a job.
    • I was waiting until a little into second semester to look for a job because I want to be completely comfortable with my ISM mentorship before I add in another responsibility. Hopefully February is a good time to start job-hunting!
  • Keep attending Bible study.
    • One of my good friends, Alli, invited me to Bible study at her house a few weeks back, and I’ve been loving it. Hopefully it can continue to be a part of my weekly routine!

Next month, I’ll update you on my goals for March, as well as share how I did on my goals for February!

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Hunter Boot Review

hunter boot review

This Christmas, I was fortunate enough to receive a pair of Hunter rain boots! Since it’s been a month or so since I got them and I’ve had a few chances to wear them, I figured it was time to do a review in case you were thinking about purchasing some of your own!

I’ll review these boots in categories: comfort, durability, usefulness, and price.

Comfort: I would definitely recommend wearing thick socks with these boots. Even when purchasing the recommended one-size-down, I still can wear thick socks with my boots. I’m glad, because the first day I wore them with thin socks I got blisters! Now, this may be because I was walking all over the local Outlet mall with my friend Jaya, but seeing as I will be using them to walk all over my college campus, I want to be blister-free as long as possible.
Other than the blisters, which can be avoided by wearing thick socks, the boots are actually fairly comfortable!

Durability: Since I’ve only had these boots for about a month and a half, I can’t speak to their long-term durability, but what I do know is that it looks like I haven’t worn them at all (and Texas has had it’s fair share of rainy days in the past month.) I definitely anticipate them lasting me a long time, since they’re made out of real rubber!

Usefulness: If you’re going to be outside in the rain a lot (college is a great example of this) Hunter rain boots would be so useful. Since I’ve used them multiple times just within the past month, I’m excited to see how much use I can get out of them in the future! I can’t wait to bring them to college with me next fall and know that I can walk around campus and not have to deal with soaked sneakers later.

Price: My mother purchased these for me at Nordstrom. However, Costco is selling Hunter rain boots (while supplies last) for $79.99 ($70.00 under Nordstrom’s price!) so if you’re a member there, that’s where I would head to first. If you’re not a Costco member, simply ask Nordstrom if they’ll price match and they will (my store didn’t even need to confirm we were Costco members- we aren’t!)
Overall, for price, I would say these boots are worth it if you anticipate getting a lot of use out of them, or using them for multiple years. If this is just a trendy item you want, I would suggest similar-styled rain boots from Target.

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Overall: If you live somewhere where it rains a lot, Hunter boots would be a good investment for you. If you only want them as a trendy item you use a few times, or it doesn’t rain much where you live, then maybe buy a less expensive option.

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My Travels: Venice

While we were staying in Austria, we took a day trip to Venice, Italy! It was a long coach ride there and back, but it was well worth it.

We started off in a group at Saint Mark’s Basilica. It was beautiful! After that, we were set free to explore the city on our own.

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The archetecture in the city was just gorgeous. You could spend hours getting lost in the many twists and turns the city had to offer. We spent most of our time wandering around, taking pictures and just taking in our surroundings.

It was extremely hot there (in comparison to Austria and Switzerland) and when we stopped for lunch we found somewhere shaded and cool. I got pizza and ate a whole one by myself (not surprising when you remember we hadn’t eaten since we left the hotel at 6 AM.) To be honest, I still dream about that pizza sometimes because of how good it was.

After lunch, we found a gelato stand! Gelato is traditionally Italian, so it was cool to eat a traditional food while we were there (besides pizza, obviously.) It was so. Freaking. Good. It was a perfect way to cool off and end a great day in Venice!

When we arrived back in Austria, there was a bratwurst stand still open because they were anticipating our return! All 200 of us gathered in line to eat a very late dinner (it was 11:00 at night!) I happened to be the first in line, and I got a brat and fries. I went to bed that night full, content, and exhausted, ready for our trip to our final country, Germany, in the morning.

My other editions of My Travels are:

Costa Rica // London // Paris // Switzerland // Austria