Three Days in Boston: What to Do and How to Budget for your Trip

    Boston is a historically rich and beautiful city that I’m so glad I traveled to on a whim last November. I was originally planning to meet up with Lauren’s Journey but things came up and I decided that even if I couldn’t meet her I could go alone!

    I hadn’t really explored a place alone since being in Europe so I was a little scared. But Boston was such a great place for me to dip my toes back into solo travel!

    Below you’ll find a map of all the places I visited and places I wish I had visited. The map also includes some brunch and regular food recommendations!

    Getting Around Boston: the Subway System

    Boston’s subway is soooo easy to use. You just have to know the name of the last place on a route because that’s what trains are called.

    For example, if you were trying to go from Park Street to Hynes Convention Center you would take the green line. But there are four trains: the Boston College (B), Cleveland Circle (C), Riverside (D), and Heath Street (E). But the E trains don’t go to Hynes Convention Center, so you’re left with the B, C, and D trains. None of which have Hynes in their name, but they all cross that specific stop. You just have to look at the map at the stations! And make sure you’re in the right station, inbound or outbound.

    Inbound trains are heading towards downtown and outbound trains are heading out of downtown. It’s pretty easy to get a hang of and I only went into the wrong station once. But I noticed before I paid thank goodness!

    Read more…

    What I’m Doing to Improve my Mental Health

    I’ve recently talked about how my mental health has been really bad. At the end of last year, I was lonely and sad all the time. So I started working on things to do to make me live a happier life.

    Since then, I’ve found more things that really help keep me in a positive mindset, so I wanted to come back with another post. This time it’s not focused on things you can do to just be happier at the moment but to promote a continued positive outlook.

    There are only two things on this list that maybe not everyone will be able to do: going to therapy and getting an animal. But I thought I would include them just in case someone is looking to include those in their life. Especially since I feel like the idea of therapy is not really talked about enough.

    So let’s get to the list of items I’m doing to improve my mental health.

    Tracking Daily Gratitude

    I used to keep a daily gratitude journal a couple of years ago. It was actually my new year’s resolution in 2016 and I kept it up for about two years and then I willingly quit. I decided I had learned that every day had its positives and I no longer needed to document them to see that.

    Now I know I was wrong.

    a planner with a happiness scale and daily gratitude listed
    macbook with stickers on a bed with a poetry book and planner. In the planner is a happiness scale and daily gratitude

    I’ve started keeping track of daily gratitude again, but only one thing a day in my planner. Every night before I go to sleep I write down one thing I was grateful for that day. Even if I think of more, I will only ever write one. Because it only takes one good thing to improve your mood.

    Keeping a Happiness Scale

    Along with my daily gratitude, I also keep a daily happiness scale in my planner. This doesn’t really affect my mood nor is it to help on a day-to-day basis. It’s more of a bullet journal tracker item. I’m doing it to maybe catch a pattern. And to prove that I’m not always sad like my anxiety tells me.

    Read more…

    The Best Books I Read in 2019

    *Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. If you click on a product link or use one of my codes, I may receive a small compensation at no additional cost to you. I only recommend products I love or use myself!

    I’ve done posts like this in the past but haven’t blogged about books in almost two years. Crazy considering how much I love reading. Like I read 65 books this year? That’s the most I’ve ever read in a year before! I may have read a lot of books this year, but there were not a lot of five or even four stars.

    Previously I’ve shared 5 to 12 books on these lists, and this time I have nine books. And for once, most of them were actually published in 2019 (or 2018).

    One more note before we get started, these are not in any ranking order! So the first one is not necessarily the best and the last is not necessarily the worst.

    Edinburgh Twilight

    Not going to lie, I picked up this book just because it had ‘Edinburgh’ in the title. You can make the girl leave Scotland, but you can never kill her study abroad obsession.

    I was actually so impressed with this book! The author was perfectly able to capture how it feels to walk around in Edinburgh and really did their research on Scotland in the early 1800s. I haven’t read historical fiction in forever, but this book made me want to start doing that again.

    And did I mention it was a murder mystery as well? Sign me up! I was actually so impressed with this storyline, the characters, and the author’s writing in general that I stalked her up and down GoodReads to see what else she had written.

    Edinburgh Twilight by Carole Lawrence

    Description from GoodReads:

    As a new century approaches, Edinburgh is a city divided. The wealthy residents of New Town live in comfort, while Old Town’s cobblestone streets are clotted with criminals, prostitution, and poverty.

    Read more…

    Gift Ideas for the Environmentally Conscious

    *Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. If you click on a product link or use one of my codes, I may receive a small compensation at no additional cost to you. I only recommend products I love or use myself!

    This year has been the year I’ve tried so hard to be more environmentally conscious. It started small and has grown slowly, but I am still so proud. Every person’s effort counts!!

    Also, let me just say I am not one to usually do gift guides. I find them so generic and never actually helpful, which is why I’ve only done a post about stores to buy unique gifts. And I think a lot of people just do them to get the affiliate money, and while there are affiliate links in this post, my main purpose of this post is to get more people excited about helping the earth and to show you how easy it is.

    The holidays, in general, generate a lot of waste. Between wasted food, packaging, and bad gifts that go straight in the trash, Americans throw away 25 million tons of garbage every holiday season. That’s 25% more than during the rest of the year.

    So you have to get gifts that aren’t going straight to the trash, and gifts without a lot of waste. Even better if you get gifts that help reduce waste all year round! So let’s get started with these environmentally friendly gift ideas!

    Reusable Cotton Rounds

    reusable cotton rounds for removing makeup

    Get these for the makeup lover! Instead of having to always drop money on makeup wipes they can use these reusable cotton rounds with coconut oil or micellar water to remove their makeup with absolutely zero waste. And they are much gentler on the skin than those popular makeup remover wipes!

    Read more…

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