Sequin Gowns & Mermaid Crowns

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Top 10 travel tips for budding jetsetters

Well, hello! It's been a minute, but I'm here with something I've been working on for a while. I've always been into traveling and seeing the world is absolutely on my bucket list. I do travel a lot, but until recently, I didn't feel it was enough to call myself a "jetsetter."

Now, however, by the end of this year, I'll have been in 5 different airports and visited 5 different cities, some of them multiple times. It seems like every couple weeks we are going somewhere! It's a lot and often takes a few days to recover, but it's totally worth it.

Our latest trip has inspired me to put together a list of my top 10 travel tips that I've come to follow in the past year, and some that have been good old standbys from my many trips home during college.

Be prepared for security

When you're waiting in the security line at the airport, use that time to your advantage. Make sure you have your boarding pass and ID in hand, remove any jackets or accessories necessary and start taking out any electronics and liquids that need to go through the scanners separately. The more prepared you are ahead of time, the less chaotic it will be once you actually get to security. Also, a bonus tip, when you're collecting your things from the belt, grab everything and move to a nearby bench. That way you can take your time getting yourself together and not be in anyone's way!

Be familiar with airline rules

Every airline has different rules when it comes to bags. Some come with a personal item and a carry on with each ticket, and others will only let you bring a small personal item (cough, cough, Spirit.) Make sure you know what you can take before arriving at the airport so you're not stuck panicking about what you're going to do with an extra bag! Bonus tip: Don't risk bringing a bag bigger than the designated dimensions. Some airports are more lenient than others and will let you get away with something a little too big, but others are strict and may make you check it if it doesn't fit inside the box! (I learned this the hard way and made a scene in Philadelphia airport. Needless to say, I didn't pay extra to check it.)

Keep yourself entertained

Plane rides can be nerve-wracking and also kinda boring. If you're not planning on sleeping or it's a longer flight, make sure to bring things to keep yourself entertained. Make sure you download music that you can listen to offline, bring a book or a video game. My fiance and I brought our Nintendo Switch and played Mario Party this past weekend and it was so much fun! It also made the time go much faster. So if you're a nervous flyer like me, I highly recommend it!

Always have your beauty essentials

There are certain beauty products you should have with you in your purse or backpack that will make your life a lot simpler. Things like a nail file (not the sharp, pointy kind), a makeup wipe and some moisturizer really come in handy. Anything that you need to feel comfortable should be in your kit! Plus a cute little makeup bag also doesn't hurt. ;)

Dress comfortably but fashionably

I like to be comfortable just as much as the next person, but I absolutely HATE seeing people traveling in their PJs or whatever they just threw on in the dark. Flying used to be a luxury and people would dress to the nines to travel. Those days have passed, but that doesn't mean we need to worry flight attendants that a homeless person snuck onto the plane. In a world overrun with athlesiure, there is no excuse to not look fashionable and comfortable while flying. Normally, I'll go for a cute pair of jeans with a nice sweater or even a cute graphic t-shirt with a jacket. On earlier flights that make me want to die, leggings and an oversized tee are an easy throw-on pair, but with the right pieces, can still look put together. Think more casual, less loungewear.

Get your packing done ahead of time

This one is a toughie for me. Packing gives me MAJOR anxiety. I hate having to decide what I want to wear ahead of time, and I'm always worried I'm going to forget something. Which is a warranted fear, since 99% of the time, I do. However, I've found when it comes to packing for a trip, you need to find the sweet spot: Not too early, not too late. I'd say two days before is a good option. It's early enough that if you forget something, you can toss it in or pick it up at the store, but it's also late enough that you have time to really contemplate what you want to take.

Use things in your hotel room creatively

When you're traveling, especially with limited bag space, there are certain things you can't bring with you. Additionally, you are away from your home where a lot of comfort items stay behind. Learning to creatively use the things you find in your hotel room can make for easy solutions to your problems! For example, I stand in front of the bathroom mirror to do my makeup. I also have extremely cramp-prone feet. So standing on hard, cold tile is just asking for an awful foot cramp. Sky had a brilliant idea by using a folded up towel for me to stand on, in place of the floor mat we have in our bathroom. Another example: wrinkled clothes and no iron? Hang the garment in the bathroom while you take a shower. The steam will help to release the wrinkles in your clothes! I also always carry a Febreeze wrinkle release spray with me, which also helps!

Stick to trusted sites and hotel chains

This one's a doozey. It's easy to get drawn into a seemingly charming, boutique hotel for a good price. However, they can't always be trusted. What may look "charming" online may wind up being basically a dump once you step foot in the place. I speak from experience. Since then, I've stuck to anything under the Hilton umbrella for the most part and I have not been disappointed. I think boutique-style hotels are cool, but it's hard to tell what you're actually getting for your money. If you do book a hotel outside of a major company, do it through the company's website. They are more trustworthy than sites like and Kayak. Also, do your homework. Check sites like Yelp and TravelZoo for reviews, also keeping in mind that there will always be some good and some bad reviews.

Have a plan

Some people may disagree with me on this one, but I think I make a good point. The idea of spontaneously whisking away to a new place may seem exciting and romantic, and it can be, but not always. If you travel somewhere without any plan at all, you run the risk of winding up sitting in a hotel room all day, or not even making it there in the first place. I like to at least have SOME kind of idea of where I'm going and where I'm staying before making the trip. I say, make a few broad plans, like going to a certain area, and explore from there. You'll still have that adventure, while staying sensible. You don't want to wander around and wind up in a dangerous part of town, or get lost in a place where you don't speak the language. As much as you'd probably be fine and have a story to tell, it's better to try and prevent something like that from happening if you can!

Bring a buddy

Traveling is always more fun when you have a companion. It helps the boring parts fly by and makes everything more of an adventure. Having a buddy means having someone to share your experience with! It's also much safer, since you have each other's backs. So whether it's a significant other, a friend or a family member, bring someone along to share the fun!

XO, Briana

Thursday, October 18, 2018

12 books I plan to read in 2019

As a lot of you already know, I love to read! At the beginning of each year, I open up my little GoodReads app and set myself, what I think to be, a reasonable and attainable goal. How many books can I realistically read in a single year?

Usually I play it safe at a meager 12; one per month. Doable. I did it last year, actually, and I was very proud! So at the beginning of 2018 I set the same goal.

Needless to say, this year hasn't gone quite the same.

See, last year I was single and had a crazy, inconsistent schedule. That made for a LOT of alone time at weird hours when I should probably be asleep. Instead, I read.

Now, I'm engaged and living with my fiance plus, I work the same schedule each day. My nightly routine usually consists of Netflix and popcorn with Sky. My morning routine is usually sleep, eat, get ready for work.

Doesn't leave a lot of time to read.

But recently, since Sky also loves to read, we've been trying more to take the time to read a few chapters now and again. When I went to show him GoodReads and my yearly goal, I was totally surprised to see I had finished a whopping ZERO books.

I'd started one before we started dating. And that was it. Still haven't finished it, and have moved on to a new book. And I think I started something else somewhere in between there that just kinda got lost...Maybe I should finish that one too...

Anyway, this sudden knowledge and thirst for reading has motivated me to ATTEMPT to get a head start on my list for 2019.

When I originally wrote this, I was going to attempt to read ALL 12 books in four months (by the end of the year.) Unfortunately, Hurricanes Florence and Michael took up about a month of that time, so not do I not have the time to read, I'm super behind on everything else in life.

I figure maybe if I tell you all about my challenge that you will hold me accountable and I'll actually do it, instead of telling myself about it and then forgetting about it in a week.

So the collage above features the 12 books I'm going to commit to at least TRYING to get through over the next year. That includes the ones I'm already reading.

1. Living Buddha, Living Christ by Thich Nhat Hahn
2. Buddhism for Busy People: Finding Happiness in a Hurried World by David Michie
3. Crazy Rich Asians (Crazy Rich Asians Trilogy Book 1) by Kevin Kwan
4. China Rich Girlfriend (Crazy Rich Asians Trilogy Book 2) by Kevin Kwan
5. Rich People Problems (Crazy Rich Asians Trilogy Book 3) by Kevin Kwan
6. Zodiac (Zodiac Book 1) by Romina Russell
7. Wandering Star (Zodiac Book 2) by Romina Russell
8. Black Moon (Zodiac Book 3) by Romina Russell
9. Thirteen Rising (Zodiac Book 4) by Romina Russell
10. Siren (Siren Book 1) by Tricia Rayburn
11. Undercurrent (Siren Book 2) by Tricia Rayburn
12. Dark Waters (Siren Book 3) by Tricia Rayburn

Follow my progress on GoodReads, here!

Saturday, September 1, 2018

Pinspiration: Beach baby

Even though 99% of what I've been pinning is wedding related, there have been a few other gems here and there! These ones just give me major good vibes!