Travel Diary: Sedona, Arizona

I swear time moves faster when you’re on vacation! My time in Sedona, Arizona has already come & gone & I am super sad that it is already over. Continue reading to check out my trip!

A bit of holiday traffic slowed us down from getting into Sedona; but once we arrived into town we were sure to stop in to one of my families frequent pizza stops. Pisa Lisa is a great spot in town & luckily for me they have gluten-free crust. The food was incredible & it was nice to get a drink in after the long flight! After filling up on pizza we stopped at the groceries to get supplies for the week, then back out to a local winery, Vino Di Sedona, for a bit more wine & cheese. We sat outside as the sun started to lower & enjoyed live music while we snacked on some cheeses; it was a perfect ending for the first night.

As Sunday came along, we decided to keep it relaxing & explore more of our favorite spots in Sedona. We grabbed breakfast at the Pump House Station Urban Eatery; my mom & I ordered the smashed avocado toast & the salmon toast & split it between us. Both meals were so delicious, something I would definitely order again! After exploring more a bit in Sedona we stopped by the Mariposa, which is a Latin grill. They have amazing views of the red rocks surrounding the area. My family & I sat outside (I had my mom take part in a mini-photo shoot) & enjoyed the views with a glass of wine. We stopped for dinner in the Tlaquepaque shopping area, which is beautiful by itself. There are so many different boutiques & many cute places to take some pictures! We had dinner at El Rincon which is a Mexican restaurant with some amazing guacamole; if you go there you have to order it, as well as the Prickly Pear Margarita, that I became obsessed with over the trip.

Monday or Memorial Day, was another day spent relaxing. My mother, Aunt, & I spent the morning getting massages at the Page Springs Winery. That massage was much needed, my shoulders were so tense even the masseuse noted on it! After the massage, we stayed for some wine, I mean we were already there! Just down the road was another winery called Javelina Leap Vineyard. We decided that we would spend the day Winery hopping & it was the perfect way to spend Memorial day! For the evening we stopped by the Airport Mesa in Sedona to check out the amazing sunset. It was absolutely gorgeous over the red rocks.

Tuesday was the day that we decided to start our hikes. We started the day at the Coffee Pot Restaurant, named after the rock formation that is located behind it. Every time I have eaten there it is always good & they are known for their many omelettes. After a protein filled breakfast we hiked the Devil’s Bridge Trail. We started the hike a little later in the day so it became very hot very quick. Other than the heat, the hike was very enjoyable & the view at the end was incredible! Once we came back from the hike we visited a town nearby Sedona called Jermone. Jermone is located up on a hill & the views are so cool. We stopped by a restaurant called The Haunted Hamburger known for their amazing Bloody Mary’s. My mom ordered one & said it was incredible, I of course, stuck with my Prickly Pear Margarita. The food was amazing as well, & to my luck they had these delicious gluten-free buns!

Wednesday was a full day! One of the hottest days of our trip we decided to visit a popular spot known as Slide Rock. Slide rock is a natural water slide located in one of the  parks & it was so much fun! I took my Go-Pro down & looking over the videos is just so cool! After sliding down the rocks in freezing cold water we decided to grab some drinks at the Indian Gardens Cafe & Market. We had some wine & sat outside & we even saw a snake in the garden! All the water sliding tired us out, so after a nap we decided to walk around the shops on Sedona’s main street. I bought a cute touristy shirt & we stopped by a Mexican restaurant downtown called Oaxaca. Again, they have amazing guacamole & Prickly Pear Margaritas, also an amazing view of my favorite rock formation, Snoopy Rock.

Thursday started off with another one of our favorite hikes, Cathedral Rock. Though it does have one portion that is a little tricky, those parts are always my favorite. One part of the climb is a little tight & I always say that I feel like Spider-man when I am climbing up. The top has amazing views of the valley below & it feels so relaxing once you’re finally at the top. Once we made our round trip we stopped by the Enchantment Resort for more views & Prickly Pear margaritas! I have become so obsessed with Prickly Pear I had to buy some prickly pear candy! The night was completed with our trip to the Blazin’ M Ranch. The ranch has a little town built where guests can learn to lasso, shoot, ride a tractor, & buy some drinks. Dinner is involved, which included these amazing ribs & baked potato. After dinner there was a show that featured some comedy & country music. It was very family friendly & a lot of fun as well!

Friday was our last day in Sedona so we had to make it a good one! Another day meant another hike & this time we were trying a new one. We went on the Soldier’s Pass Trail, which features the Seven Sacred Pools. The hike did not feature any high climbs which was nice in the heat. Once again the hike parched us, which meant it was time for another drink! We stopped at the SaltRock Southwest Kitchen for a relaxing lunch. Everywhere you go in Sedona has amazing views & outdoor seating is always the way to go.  We ending the night eating all of our collective left overs & having a talk on the patio.

Once again another amazing vacation is over way too soon. Sedona is such a relaxing & beautiful area I definitely recommend it; through visiting with my mother it has totally grown on me!

So where are some of your favorite places to visit in the States?

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Summer Reading List

Hi all & Happy June!

Since I’m still finishing up my trip in Sedona I thought I’d share a post with you while I’m away!

This trip has gotten me into the summer time mood BIG time. So I figured I would share with you guys my reading list for the summer! I have books everywhere & the list of books I want to read is never ending. I decided to pick 4 books that I already have at home that I want to have finished by the time summer is over. All books are linked if you’d like to check them out for yourself!

1.  The Witches of New York by. Ami McKay

I love love love books about witches; whether it be fiction or not they just fascinate me. A quick synopsis of the book is that it’s about a 17 year old girl who starts to work as a shop girl for these two other women & soon she finds out that she has these spiritual gifts.

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2. in a dark, dark wood by. Ruth Ware

Ruth Ware recently seems to be all the rage in the psychological thriller genre which are the type of books that I mainly read. I started reading this book while I was at work & it was really hard to put down & I still haven’t gotten to finish it yet. If you’re a fan of Gillian Flynn, like me, it seems as though you’ll love Ruth Ware just as much!

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3. I’ll be Gone in the Dark by. Michelle McNamara

If you’ve been reading this blog or know anything about me you’ll know that I am OBSESSED with true crime. This case has always been so fascinating to me so I had to read it. I started reading this book at work too, before the Golden State Killer suspect was caught, & it had me totally wrapped up in it. Michelle is such an amazing writer, even though it’s a true crime book she wrote the book as if it’s a story.  I still haven’t finished it & I can’t wait to, just be prepared to be scared!

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4. Big Little Lies by. Liane Moriarty 

I have read Liane Moriarty books before & they are always amazing! I know this book has recently been made into a TV-show but I have had to hold off on watching it because I am one of those people who have to read the book first. The book focuses on 3 women throughout some difficult times. I can’t wait to get into it!

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Thanks for stopping by!

What books are on your summer reading list?!

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What’s in my Carry-on?

Hi all!

Sedona, Arizona is now one day away & I couldn’t be more excited! Today I am going to share with you what I normally have in my carry-on for my trips!

1. A Book

Every time I go on a trip I always make sure to have the current book that I am reading. Even though I don’t exactly read on the plane, because I get motion-sick when I do, I have it for when I am waiting around to board the flight. Currently I am reading The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest by. Stieg Larsson. It’s the third book in a very popular series & I couldn’t recommend them more, especially if you’re into crime novels!

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2. Water Bottle

Keeping hydrated is KEY especially when traveling! I always have a water bottle in my carry-on, I empty it before I pack it so I can make it through security with no problem. Once I make it through I buy a bottle of water & fill my water bottle up. I personally like using my own water bottle & I am not a fan of drinking out of plastic bottles!

3. Glasses & Contacts 

If I wear my contacts on a long flight my eyes completely dry out! So I always make sure to pack my glasses case, contact case, & a travel size contact solution so I am able to change into my contacts after the flight!

4. Snacks, Snacks, Snacks 

I am a lover of all snacks. I always make sure to have at least 2 snacks with me on a flight. I usually go for some kind of cracker snack, like cheez-its, goldfish, or even popcorn, & then trail mix is a go-to as well. Trail Mix is super easy to take especially if you are traveling with family because you can buy a large container & split them up into smaller bags among the family!

5. Ginger & Lavender

All of a sudden this turned into a grocery list but hear me out. I bring along these Ginger snacks called Ginger Candy that have become my saving grace. As I said I deal with motion sickness, whether it be in the back of a car, on a boat, or if I am looking around too much on a plane I start to feel nauseous. Ginger is amazing for nausea, so I always make sure I pack 5-6 of these ginger snacks to suck on incase I start to feel a little sick.

We have essential oils all over the house, lavender being one of the favorites. My mom got me into bring a little bottle of lavender essential oil & a wash cloth on the flight. Either on flight you can add a few drops to the wash cloth & breathe it in, it helps you relax; or you can use the lavender for after the flight, by going into the bathroom, wetting the cloth a little & adding a few drops to the cloth. I like to wipe my face with it, the smell of the lavender seems cleansing to me so after a long flight I find it to be rejuvenating. Also, I have this super cute pineapple themed bag that I keep all my beauty stuff in!

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6. My phone/Audible & Podcasts/Headphones 

Bringing my phone along with me seems pretty obvious on a flight, but I use it for more than just my plane ticket & keeping in contact with others. Since I find it very hard to read on a plane I fill my phone up with my favorite Podcasts & Audio books. Audible is such an amazing platform if you enjoy reading but don’t have the time to sit down & read a book. Instead you can do what you need to do but listen to someone read it to you instead! On my Audible account I have Outlander by. Diana Gabaldon downloaded. It’s a book I’ve been wanting to read for quite some time now; since it is a larger book it’s much easier to have it downloaded on my phone. I also have all sorts of episodes from my favorite Podcasts downloaded. I am very into true crime so my all time favorite podcast is Last Podcast on the LeftI am just such a huge fan so I always make sure I have the new episode downloaded as well as my favorite episodes to re-listen to on the flight.

Thanks for stopping by!

What are some of your favorite things to bring on your carry on?

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Pack With Me: Sedona, Arizona

Happy Hump-Day!

In 3 days I’ll be headed off for my first adventure of the summer! Along with my family I am visiting Sedona, Arizona. So I thought I would share what I am packing for the trip!

I have been there twice before, but my Mom & Aunt seem to visit there constantly. There are many things to do in Sedona; most people enjoy all the trails through the rock formations which are open to the public. Since we are going in the spring/summer & Arizona is already hitting high tempuratures packing light was key!

The first outfit that I always start with is what I am going to be wearing for the flight. Since we are flying out of Cleveland in the morning, we will be arriving in Sedona pretty early. The goal for on flight outfits for me is to be comfortable, but not look so much like a bum! I choose my favorite pair of demin shorts, they are super comfortable & they won’t be annoying during the flight; with it I choose a comfortable t-shirt, I sure do love my band t-shirts! This outfit to me is perfect because even if we don’t have time to stop at the hotel before exploring the town I’ll be ready to go! IMG_0076

Once the on-flight outfit is taken care of I focus on grabbing my favorite tops that I have that I can basically pair with anything. The tops also had to be light & airy since the projected forcast for the week goes up to 90 degrees! Since I will be gone for only a little over a week, I really only bring 2-3 pairs of shorts & alternate tops. I choose to bring my jean shorts, a soft pair of maroon shorts, & this super cute new jean skirt that I am obsessed with!

 

Now that I had my ‘arount the town’ clothes together I had to start with the hiking clothes. We always try and get out early in the morning to hike or else the heat makes it impossible to take 10 steps (I don’t do too well in the heat!) Most of the hiking clothes have UV protection which is important, you don’t want to burn out in the desert! Along with my fancy hiking pants from Columbia & Eddie Bauer I threw in a few Penn State t-shirts, I mean you never know where you will find some fellow Alumni!

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To end my packing I threw in a few accessories, such as some silk scarfs to tie in my hair or around my neck (it’s my new fav trend), and a couple hats as well! Where I live I don’t wear hats out & about too much even though I love wearing them! I threw in my new hiking hat that will protect my eyes & the back of my neck from the sun. I got it from TJ Maxx & I just loved the funky floral pattern! I also threw in my black pom-pom hat that I got last year from TJ Maxx as well; I thought it would really complete one of my desert outfits!

 

Now that my packing is done the excitment & waiting is just killing me!

Thank you so much for stopping by & packing with me!

Where are you excited to visit this summer!?

 

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5 Steps to my Skin Care Routine

My skin has been through hell & back. It’s dry one minute & oily the next. Not only that but I have the butterfly rash & my face is covered in freckles (which I love dearly). I used to have horrible breakouts throughout high school, it seems as though I could never get my skin under control.  Even though this combination skin has been hard to handle at times I have finally created a skin care routine for myself that has been working really well for me & I wanted my steps with you!

  1. First & foremost… DRINK YOUR WATER!

I realized when I wasn’t drinking a lot of water, that is when my worst breakouts would be… especially in college. Now I make sure I have a water bottle around me at all times, you can even be fancy & add lemons & whatever else you’d like to the water; just make sure you drink it! If you have a Fitbit like I do you can easily track your water intake to make sure you are getting the recommended daily amount, which is 8 8oz glasses, or what I aim for is 64 fl oz. which is about 3 large water bottles. Trust me, you may not realize it right away but in a week or so your skin will be thanking you for hydrating!

2. Wash your face twice a day!

Washing your face is very obviously an important part of a skin care routine. You  want to make sure all the daily ‘gunk’ as I like to call it, is washed off your face so it can breathe. I wash my face right when I wake up in the morning & before I go to bed as well. I’ve been using Orange & Pink Lemon Scrub by Daylogic which I’ve really been loving, I’m already onto my second bottle! I started using the product through St. Ives & the other day when I went to the store to pick up a new bottle they were out! Luckily this product by Daylogic was there, which is the same exact scrub from St. Ives & works just as well, it’s a little cheaper too! Along with it, I use my Clarisonic Mia to help really clean deep into my pores. I love my Mia I’ve had it for quite some time now & after every use my skin feels so soft! You don’t need the Mia to get a good clean though; a good scrub with your hands can do the trick (as long as they are clean)!

3. Tone, Tone, Tone

So you’ve washed your face… but don’t stop there! A toner is an important part in the skin care routine. It helps get deeper into the pores & clean anything that you may have missed & to me helps with pesky pimples. Often toners can be expensive & you may not quite be sure what is in the product. I’ve resorted to using my own DIY toner which I really have been loving; PLUS it’s super easy to make!

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The toner is 1 part Apple Cider Vinegar (which is good for just about everything!) & 2 parts water. BAM! Now you have your new toner! I put my DIY toner into an old contact solution container that I had laying around, so you can use any empty little bottle you have. I apply the toner to a cotton ball & rub it all over my face after washing & then I give it a few seconds to dry. If you notice that you have sensitive skin I would test the mixture on your wrist to see how your skin reactions to the vinegar, I’ve had no problems but of course everyone’s skin is different!

4. Moisturize

After your skin is toned & glowing don’t forget to give her an extra little hydration with some face moisturizer. For face lotion I don’t really have one product that I use, at the moment I’ve been going through samples that past me seemed to have stored in all my drawers. However, I have been using Total Moisture Facial Cream by Benefit which has made my skin so soft & smooth! Before I go out if i’m going for a more makeup free look I use a moisturizer with SPF. SPF is so important in keeping your skin healthy & avoiding sunburn, & yes you should use it even in the winter months! My go to SPF face lotion has always been Neutrogena, I use the Oil-Free SPF-15, it works very well with acne-prone skin like mine! So make sure you moisturize, your skin needs everything that it can get!

5. Argan Oil

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So this is a bonus step that I’ve added recently into my evening routine. Argan oil is amazing for your skin, it hydrates, smooths, works to prevent wrinkles, & helps with those annoying under eye bags. I found a small bottle, that again past me must have hid away, & I added a bit of Frankincense to the bottle. Frankincense helps even more with preventing wrinkles & adds a bit of a fragrance to the oil as well. I use the dropper from the bottle and add little drops underneath my eyes & pat it around my under-eye before bed; if you use Argan oil you’ll know that a little goes a long way so make sure you use a little bit each night!

These are my 5 steps in my skin care routine. It took me awhile to find out the perfect combination of steps to achieve clear skin so just remember everyone is different & you will find what works for you!

I’d like to know what are some of your favorite skin care products?

Thanks for stopping by!

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Road-Trip Playlist

Hi all!

With my trip to Sedona, Arizona coming up next week I’m starting my planning early (usually I’m last minute with everything)! I love adding music to just about everything I do, I have so many playlists made for the most random things, so of course I made one for this trip!

This playlist has the most random mix of songs that I’ve ever seen together! Songs from all different genre’s, but they all remind me of driving along an open road, with all the windows down, just total summer time vibes! Songs that everyone can belt their heart out to!

So please feel free to follow my new playlist! I’d also love to hear some recommendations from you! What are your favourite open-road jams?

Thanks for stopping by!

Cheers,
Hannah

 

 

 

Holy Guacamole

Hi all & Happy Friday! I have never posted a recipe before, which just seems crazy because cooking is one of my favorite things to do! Now that I’m back home & finally back into my dream kitchen I can go back to cooking more normal things instead of just chicken & rice for every meal.

Now that it’s getting warm one of my favorite snacks to eat in the summer is guacamole, not only because the produce is finally getting into season, but it’s super easy to make! I originally found the idea for this recipe on Pinterest [I would love to give credit where it’s due but I can’t find the recipe anymore] I have changed the recipe a bit however, but the idea to add greek yogurt in the recipe was definitely the Pinterest users idea & I’m sorry I can’t give you credit!

Holy Guacamole

Here is a list of the ingredients that I use for this guacamole recipe:

  • 2 ripe avocados
  • 1/4 cup plain greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 1/2 cup diced tomato
  • cilantro
  • 2 tsp. chili powder’
  • 1tsp. lemon or lime juice (I didn’t have any lime juice & helps with reducing browning)
  • salt & pepper to taste

This recipe is super fast, it takes about 15 minutes total (unless your a super fast chopper!)

First, Cut the avocado, remove the pit, & mash the avocado in the bowl until semi-creamy I like a little bit of avocado chunks in my guac.

Then, add in the greek yogurt & mix well, add in your diced tomato & onions as well as the cilantro.

Now I didn’t state an amount for cilantro because I think its all based on personal taste. I add a lot of cilantro, about 2-3 bunches because I love the peppery taste that it adds. However, if you don’t enjoy the taste as much obviously add in less!

After everything is added in, now it’s time to add the spices! Add in the chili pepper & lemon juice (I didn’t have lime juice at home so obviously if you have lime juice use that instead) & then salt & pepper to taste!

Finally your guacamole is ready & your ready to share it with your fam & friends (or keep it to yourself, there’s no shame in that)!

Thanks for stopping by! If you try out the recipe I would love to hear how it goes!

Cheers,

Hannah