Motivational Monday w/o June 13th: Commitment

After this week’s Life Coach training, this quote really resonated with me –

“When you’re interested, you do what’s convenient; when you’re committed, you do whatever it takes.” – John Assaraf

Stay Inspired!

Comittment

How To Travel On A Budget

It’s no secret. I live to travel. I will go anywhere, at any time given the chance. I find it to be the most educational & rewarding experience – even more so than food! (Gasp!). Every place, like every person you encounter, is a teacher. Just open your eyes and take it in. Let go of your ego and be open to something new, uncomfortable, challenging and absolutely life-changing.

travel-the-world

Over the years, I’ve visited some extraordinary places and many people have bombarded me with the questions –  “How did you pay for it? That must’ve been expensive…” “You must make a lot of money.” Gotta love everyone’s assumptions. First of all, I’m not a millionaire but I’m a damn independent and resourceful adult.

nOTRE

To be honest, my paycheck is more like a reality check. People say find the courage to take a leap of faith and do what you love. Well, I love writing (hence the birth of this blog). I love sharing ideas, giving advice on daily tips, food, travel, motivating my loved ones, talking about how cute my dog Rambo is 🙂 and finding a way to document my life so I don’t forget the adventures and can hopefully share with future loved ones. They say if you know a writer you will never die. That’s pretty amazing to think about.

I also have to pay bills, so after years of hemming and hawing, and dabbling here and there, I officially launched my consulting company, BLC Communications. That’s a whole other post. But it’s really awesome being your own boss! OK, back to this post…

Trips are affordable and don’t have to put you in debt but you have PLAN. Listen folks, we all have bills, rent/mortgages, student loans and other obligations. It’s easy to put off those dream trips, but when is the time really right? Never and now!

ticking now on check boxes

  • Rack up credit card rewards: Almost every card has a point system or a cash-back clause. This means every time you make a purchase you’re automatically earning redeemable extras on the side.
  • Apply for airline and hotel points: Get those loyalty rewards! Signing up for an airline / hotel membership is almost always free, so why not collect miles with each flight / hotel you book for no cost? Remember you can sign up for multiple carriers and hotel chains, or if you prefer one airline / hotel chain, look into their credit card affiliates.
  • There are always travel deals: I have never paid for a first class/business flight. I’ve used points or been upgraded because of my flying status. If you do not have either, then I suggest you dig through a bargain bin when it comes to airfare.
    1. Good sites: The Flight Deal, Sky ScannerAir Fare Watchdog
    2. Apps: Hopper and DealRay (not free but great finding price ‘mistakes’)
    3. Check your airline websites – they offer some great deals
    4. I love perusing Jetsetter, Living Social Deals and Groupon
  • Search for affordable destinations: Look for countries within your budget. While I am dying to go to New Zealand + Australia that trip is going to have to wait. This year Keith and I are going to China + Southeast Asia. Points for flights + hotels, and when you land the US dollar is strong! There are also a ton of affordable European and South American countries thanks to the low exchange rates and discounted flight routes (see #3 and the sites for carriers).
  • Consider low-cost lodging: I, personally, have never done a youth hostel, although it’s an option. You don’t have the stay at the Ritz (unless you have points, of course!). Really consider other options like chic boutique hotels or AirBNB!
  • Save small for a big returns: We all have daily habits that can add up. I love trashy gossip magazines and the food bar at Whole Foods. By cutting back on these ‘vices’ for a month you could save a bunch.
  • Be open to when you travel: Sadly, it’s almost impossible to find cheap summer fares to Europe or inexpensive winter flights to South America. Your best bet? Go in the spring or fall when there’s still good weather, but no crowds or high prices.
  • Save your personal time off days: Tack your vacation on to a holiday (Memorial Day in May, Labor Day in September, and Columbus Day in October). Since these are domestic days off, traveling outside the country won’t be as crazy as New Years, Christmas or Easter.
  • Use inconveniences to your advantage: Things don’t always go according to plan. In these cases, it never hurts to ask for a refund or at least an upgrade. For example, on a recent trip, Keith and I had just checked into our villa. It was around midnight and a drunk guy tapped on our patio window. It was not a dangerous situation, but could have been. We called security and the staff handled everything professionally and comped that night. Although it was a slight frustration, a free night is a free night! Cha ching!

Motivational Monday w/o June 6th: The Universe

One of my favorite books is The Alchemist. The main character, Santiago, goes through many trials and tribulations on his journey. One of the things he learns that resonates the most with me is:

Universe

Try it out this week. #StayInspired. #3QT

Travel Tips: How To Look Good After A Flight

My 2016 travel season has begun so many of my posts will now be centered around travel tips and destinations (past and current).

I love travel. I live for the long flights, meeting new people, immersing myself in new cultures and shoveling as much food as possible into my mouth.

travel everywhere

I can do it alone (Buenos Aires), with my husband, Keith (Around the World Trip), with my best friend, Linda (Eat Pray Love Trip), or a group of friends – you know who you are (Miami, NOLA, LA…). The truth is, for me, travel represents risk and that’s living! If you’re not a little scared or uncomfortable, then you’re not living life. I fear missing opportunities by merely existing in my comfort zone.

Because of this mentality, I forced myself to travel anyplace I could get to in my early 20’s and the bug hasn’t stopped. If anything, the urge has gotten stronger. I find it my best educator and one worth the investment.

So to kick off these weekly 2016 summer posts on travel, I am going to start with some of my favorite ‘tips.’

Enjoy, stay inspired, and remember, we are always ¾ There….

Tips For How To Look Good After A Flight

I am an ugly flyer. For me, its more about comfort at this point and not looking like too much of a train wreck when I land. I know I will never look like a million bucks when I walk off a plane, but there are some very good tips to keep it together.

SLEEP

It’s a universal fact that flying wreaks havoc on your appearance. Can we say under-eye bags, wrinkled clothes, dry, lifeless skin, and don’t get me started on the hair.

Before the Flight:

  • Get a good night’s sleep
  • Stay away from caffeine and alcohol
  • I am a huge fan of alkaline water, which balances your PH levels. I carry the drops everywhere. You can put them in your bottled water, coffee/tea, soups, etc.
  • I see people get so jiggy and it only makes the airport / boarding situation worse. I always tell my companions, “In airports, move slower and you’ll go faster.”
  • No make up! This is important for +5 hour flight because make up gets trapped under the dehydrated top layer of skin. This translates into blotchiness and breakouts.
  • If anything, where SPF moisturizer. Yes, you may be inside but the UVA light is still there. Trust me on the sunscreen.

During the Flight:

  • Say no to alcohol! Unless you’re flying first/business class where they serve premium liquor, I’d recommend steering clear of alcohol. Cheap booze causes puffy face syndrome as well as fatigue.
  • Did I say hydrate? I always position myself on the aisle seat for bathroom breaks. I chug water with my alkaline drops. Try and stay away from caffeine, but if you need it, opt for matcha green tea because it contains 1/3 less caffeine than coffee but also contains antioxidants that help fight free radicals.
  • Bring an eye mask and noise cancellation headphones to sleep. To top off this attractive look, I usually wear a hoodie. With all this gear, how could I not pass out?
  • No salt! Say no to the cookies and pretzels. Not only do salty, spicy and greasy foods cause disturbances in your gut balance, they will also cause facial puffiness and bloodshot eyes.

Almost Time to Land:

  • Give yourself a mini-facial: grab one of those pre-moisturized cleaning towels and wipe all that airplane grime away. Moisturize with an SPF moisturizer and pat on some lip balm.
  • I take my pill pack very seriously. No matter where I go, these bad boys come with me. Take your vitamins!!!!! During a flight, the most essential ones are: Vitamins C, D and the Omega 3s with a glass of alkaline water. You can also just add lemon or lime to water and this will give the same result.
  • I love aromatherapy so will take a sniff of either a lavender or frankincense scent to chill me out.
  • I always look like a fraggle rock character when it comes to my airplane hair. My solution? My DogPound Hat. But of course, feel free to use whatever hat works best for you. Add some sunglasses to the mix and you walk off looking refreshed, yet mysterious.

DP

Motivational Monday w/o May 29th: Self Talk

I think this sums it up. And don’t feel guilty patting yourself on the back every once in a while. You work hard, and deserve the kudos! Stay inspired.

Self Talk

Motivational Monday w/o May 23rd: The 5 Things to Quit

The 5 Things to Quit:

Definitely easier said than done, BUT, if you can quit these habits, your life will improve tremendously. I am guilty of each one, but try and remain aware of when I succumb to them, and consciously make it a point to stop.

Trying to please everyone? It’s never going to happen. It’s actually impossible.

Fearing change? Well, change is inevitable in life. If we fear it, we fear living.

Living in the past? There is nothing you can do about what happened. The only thing you have control over is now – the precious present moment.

Putting yourself down? You are one of a kind – there will never be another ‘you’ again. Make every moment count in your life. You were put here for a reason.

Overthinking? Stop. Keep things simple. Life is much less stressful this way.

Letting Go Of

 

 

Motivational Monday w/o May 16th: Everyone is a Teacher

Everyone in your life is a teacher. They come into your life for a purpose – to guide / challenge / inspire.

I have met some extraordinary people and they have helped shape my story. Whether I knew them for a second or for years, they have all impacted me in some way… and I will never be the same because of it.

Stay Inspired.

MM May

Motivational Monday w/o May 9th: Keep a Big Heart

Motivational Monday: I continue to struggle with my love of food/consumption and staying fit. I have definitely improved, but like my profile pic, I still have work to do in that department. For me, happiness is a wonderful meal with wine/champagne and great company. For that reason I will probably never have a six pack, but then again, I never did 🙂 Cheers to this Motivational Monday meme. Keep a big heart, be happy and stay inspired! #3QT

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Motivational Monday w/o May 2nd: The Wisdom Prayer

This has been a tremendous year and it’s only May! Never a dull moment: When one story ends, another begins! This quote has a lot of special meaning for me – Stay Inspired.

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Motivational Monday w/o April 25th: Dreams

I love instant gratification, but I realize the best things in life are worth the wait and do not always work out the way you expect them to. You will reach your goals with persistence, hard work, honesty, passion, keeping your word, and keeping others accountable for theirs. Don’t give up because what you believe is what you will ultimately achieve. Stay inspired!

Dreams