Top 5 Worry-Free Travel Tips



“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” – St. Augustine

Travel is (IMO) one of the most important and influential decisions that anyone can make. Whether you're 10 or 100, travel broadens your horizons, introduces you to new people and experiences, and just makes you happy (and all of your friends jealous).

Travel is GREAT, but planning the perfect get-away can be stressful, especially on a budget. And that keeps a lot of people from travelling (cue to me wistfully looking at flights I can't afford!)

Here are my top 5 tips for stress free travel:

1) Plan. 

Planning can make or break a trip. I recommend at least a month for short trips, 6+ months for longer, international trips. Google, Pinterest, and search all your heart desires for accommodations, flights, transportation, attractions, etc. Find maps of the subway system, and make a schedule. If you know what you'll be doing every day and how to get there, you'll spend more time actually enjoying your vacation and less time stressing out about being lost in an unfamiliar city. You can be like the crazies (aka me) and plan every waking minute, or just get a feel for the city and be more spontaneous during your trip. 

2) Save.

This kind of goes along with planning. But, if you're on a budget (or just plain thrifty), you're going to want to have an amazing vacation, while spending as little as possible. Putting yourself on a "payment plan" by putting away a part of your pay every week, or committing to not spending $5 on coffee every day, every penny will add up! Set up an automatic transfer through your bank and you probably won't even notice the money you're putting away. 

Having the money saved in advance prevents that terrible post-vacation credit card bill guilt, and allows you to not stress about the money that you're investing into travel! This also puts you ahead of the game to start planning your next trip!

3) Make Copies.

Your passports, itinerary, flight details, hotel names and addresses, who you're travelling with, contact numbers. Anything and everything you could possibly need, print it off, screenshot it on your phone, email it to yourself (cell phones die people!), and leave a copy of everything with your family or a trusted friend. If anything goes wrong, you'll want to have a copy somewhere secure. Backups = less stress.

4) Consider Group travel.

Travelling in a group is a) cheaper b) FUN! 

Grab a few friends, split a hotel room, and travel together! Or better yet, travel with a group of strangers through a tour company! Not only is there strength (and less stress) in numbers, it generally makes it cheaper to share travel costs than to go at it alone. I'm actually travelling to Europe next year with EF college break (not spons.) and instead of worrying about flights, hotels, etc, we're spending our time thinking about what we'll eat, see, and buy! 

5) Take care of your home.

While you're off travelling the world and making memories to last a lifetime, the last thing you want to worry about is your home. My friends at SimpiSafe sent me this awesome checklist to make sure everything (and everyone!) in your home is safe while you're away! For more info on them and their system you can visit them here and learn more about keeping your home safe while traveling!


What are your favorite tips for a worry-free trip? Where is your next adventure taking you? Let me know!

love + pixie dust,
Sarah

Thrifty Thursday: Hidden Treasures

The thing about yard sales, thrifting, or shopping secondhand is you never know what you're going to get.

Some weeks, you haul home armloads of stuff. Others, only one item.

This week, I visited multiple sales and nothing.

I actually only ended up with ONE item. But it was a good one!


I scored this Kodak Colorburst 100 instant camera for ONE DOLLAR! I honestly was prepared to pay $5-$10 for it, but when the guy told me he only wanted a dollar, I was over the moon! I have no idea if it works, but it's still a great addition to my collection! A quick look on eBay tells me it's not worth too much, but it is still one of my favorite finds of the season so far! 

This week we started getting ready for our own yard sale coming up...which means we went through everything in our house - from my school things, old movies, toys, and games to my grandmother's old recipe books.'

I was in vintage-lovers heaven when I hauled out this tin full of recipes. Some dated back to the 1950s and I was shaking just holding them. So much love and history soaked up in some pieces of paper. 


Our family isn't really into sentimental keepsakes, but since my grandmother moved in with us, I've gotten to know a lot about her life and it is so wonderful. If there's one thing I've learned after travelling and being away from home over 5 years, it's that family is important and one day they'll be gone - so cherish it while you can!


What did YOU find this week? Let me know in the comments! 

love + pixie dust,

sarah

Thrifty Thursday (on a Friday!)

I am a terrible blogger..but better late than never!
Here are a some of my favorite things I picked up this week!


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Hello, sideways pictures that I am too tired to rotate!
Teapot, $1 
Queen Elizabeth Mug, 10 cents


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Jewellery Box, 75 cents!!! I am in LOVE with this box. it's the perfect size to hold my bracelets and i am just in love with it.

I also found a couple of purses (including a guess clutch that I got for 50 CENTS!!), some more dishes, and a picture frame + sweater for my sister!


Unfortunately I'm working this weekend so I won't get out to any yard sales (i MAY go out on my lunch break hahah), but I AM sending my dad out to check them out - so we'll see what he find!

Thrifty Thursday: Church Sale Haul!

Hey guys! Welcome back!
There's been a lot going on on my blog, and I'm going to attempt to narrow down my post topics...but it has proven to be hard as my interests tend to fluctuate and change every few months.

BUT yard sale season is here! There aren't any useful thrift or antique shops in my town, so when the snow melts and yard sales start up again, I get excited!

Every Thursday I'll be posting about my thrifting adventures the previous weekend!

This past Friday there was a Jumble Sale at a local church.
Now, yard sales are good, but CHURCH yard sales are better. Prices are always great, there's a  huse assortment of goods, and you really never know what you're going to find! I think I got some good deals and found some stuff I'm really happy with!

Here's what I found!!

First of all: This tea set! I actually got this the week BEFORE the church sale. There was a small moving sale so obviously I hit it up!


The lady who sold this to me said it had been her grandmothers, was passed down to her mother, and then to her! Entire set cost me $5!

(Note: I was going to include the prices for the items I got at the church sale, but there wasn't really any markings of what most of the things were priced at.  However, I do know my entire haul cost me $7. )

1) I have a confession to make. I am obsessed with vintage kitchenware. Do I live on my own? Do I have a kitchen where I can actually use this stuff? Nope. Do I obsessively hoard it anyway? Of course.


I've been eating and drinking a lot of lemon-infused things lately so I had to have this Lemon themed pitcher! It is so cute! I'm going to use it for iced tea this summer!

I also got two casserole dishes, and a set of two Coca-Cola glasses!



2) On the list of "things sarah will not let pass at yard sales" are cameras. I usually head for more vintage-y styles, but for some reason these stood out to me. And, lets face it, these two Pentax cameras are vintage to some children!


3) A few things were set at a price, so I do know that books were .25 cents for soft cover and .50 cents for hardcover. 

I picked up four books: 
Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone (one can never have too many copies of Harry Potter)
In the Unlikely Event by Judy Blume
The Collected Works fo CS Lewis
Lord of the Flies (my current copy is very tattered!)

Total: $1.50



3)  I've never actually seen Pete's Dragon, and there's something about things that look worn and well loved at sales that make me want to buy them. I also don't own Bambi in any format, so I had to have that as well.

Total: $1.00 (.50 each)


4) The crowning jewel of my haul! I stalked the one box of records until the person looking at them left. I think he felt my death stares on his back ;) Rummaged through old gospel and country albums and came across this! Mickey Mouse Disco! I'm always on the hunt for anything Disney, and Disney records is something I really want to collect more of. 

(I think these were .25 cents?


OH! I almost forgot! I may not have gotten him at a yard sale, but he is my favorite purchase of 2016! Meet my rescue dog, Flynn (yes, as in Flynn Rider from Tangled!) He's a year old, we don't know what breed he is, but he is a huge snuggle bug with lots of energy and love to give! 


Happy #ThriftyThursday! What is your favorite thifty find? Let me know in the comments!

love + pixie dust,

sarah 


VoxBox: John Frieda "Brilliant Brunette" Review

Good Morning/afternoon/evening/night/whenever it is where you are!

So a little while ago, I learned that companies will give you free things. Being a thrifty (never "cheap") person, you know I am all over that.

Thankfully there's a nifty little website called influenster that partners up people wanting to try new products (but aren't trying to break the bank) and companies that want honest reviews of their product.

When I first signed up, I realized it was based on your social media influence (hence the name influencster) and I didn't really think I had a chance of getting a VoxBox full of goodies.

But a little while later, I got an email..and I was IN! A few days later I got a box full of John Frieda products to review!

I got the "Visibly Deeper" system for Brunettes. This is a shampoo/conditioner/deep conditioning treatment. It's been over 2 years since I last colored my hair and I've been embracing my natural color for the first time since the seventh grade. 

So far I've been really enjoying the results! There aren't any drastic changes in my hair color, but there is definitely a deepening in the color. 

Left: Before Bottom Right: After 2 treatments Both: Oatmeal colored sweaters
You can almost see a difference, but the way my hair feels after using the products isn't really worth it. My hair feels weighed down and doesn't feel clean. I will probably keep using it until I run out, but in between my regular shampoo as a "boost" for my color than using it on a regular basis. 

I'm super excited to (hopefully) write more reviews in the future!

love + pixie dust,

sarah



*NEW UPDATE* Animal Kingdom's Nighttime Offerings

I posted a while back about the new night time offerings from Disney Animal Kingdom and how excited I was for them to happen in April!

Disney Parks Blog posted today that the show will not be opening April 22 as planned, but it has been pushed back until Mid-Late May.

BUT we also get another peek into the show! I'm still super stoked and I hope the extra time going into making it the most magical show on property!


love + pixie dust,

sarah


Fave 5! - Under-appreciated Disney Movies



Every Disney-lover knows there are a few movies that are the "favorites". The ones EVERYone and their mother has seen, the songs are everywhere, and unless you live on jupiter you know at least one song from these movies. They are the "Disney Classics", and usually feature at least one "official" princess (not always, but usually). And throughout this entire description, you've thought of at least one.

And there are what I like to call the "under-appreciated" movies - these movies didn't do as great at the box office, they may be less popular, they aren't the first you think of when someone says "Disney", but they are some gems of movies that get pushed to the side.

These "popular" movies get all the fame, the merchandise, and the theme park attractions while fans of the under-appreciated resort to Etsy and other online, unauthorized channels to express their love for their favorite movie.

Not to be a "I like it because it's not cool" snob, but some (if not most) of my favorite movies fall under the latter category. These movies contain just as (or even more) beautiful animation, moving messages, and life lessons as movies like Frozen or The Lion King that have gone on to become household names. Here's a list of my Fave 5! Underappreciated Disney movies!

1) Meet the Robinsons

There are a lot of themes that pop up in multiple Disney movies and one that I've been noticing since rewatching a lot of my favorites is overcoming obstacles and moving past the bad things that may happen to you.

Meet the Robinsons is a great example of this.

We meet Lewis, an orphan and amateur inventor, who's imagination and creativity keeps getting in the way of what he really wants - a family who loves him. After one too many of his inventions ruining his adoption interviews, he gives up on even trying to get adopted and decides to build a time machine to go back and see his birth mother, because if anyone is going to love him, it is her.
He meets a strange kid who takes him to the future and to a family. Lewis finally fits in - his inventions and failures are celebrated here! He finally feels like he belongs somewhere and is loved. After being chased by "bowler hat guy" (Lewis' roommate from the orphanage) who was determined to ruin the world. Because of all the terrible things that had happened to him - like not getting adopted, missing a catch at an important baseball game - Goob became bitter and cruel. 
Lewis learns that bad things happen, but you can get past them. Just let go of the past and
"Keep Moving Forward".

This movie holds onto the future that Walt Disney himself had seen - a future of hope and excitement. They even take the movie's repeated phrase "Keep Moving Forward" from one of Walt's most famous quotes:


We all have bad things happen in our lives - and where it is something big or small - we all have to make the decision to hold onto it and let it make you bitter and jaded, or to let it go and move forward into something better. And that's why I think Meet the Robinsons is an important movie for people of all ages to see - and why it is underappreciated

2) Atlantis

Alright, first things first. Look at this nerd:



Milo Thatch is a linguist, I mean, how many Disney movies feature a linguist as a main character? Like many other characters, Milo is on a journey to prove himself. He's joined by this cast of characters:




                      

The scenery, a diverse cast, exploring the concept of a lost city and what would be found there, new technology. Atlantis has it all. Milo's journey teaches us to follow our dreams and not to give up on what we believe in, even if we're laughed out of a room.

4) The Hunchback of Notre Dame

HOND is definitely underappreciated because it is kind of scary. I remember having an Esmerelda backback in preschool and loving it, but being too scared to watch the movie often. As an adult, I can see why. It definitely takes a risk making Hugo's novel into a children's film.

But the animation, the haunting score, and the message of justice and acceptance makes it one of Disney's greatest IMO. They took a risk, and it payed off.



The artistry itself is enough to put it on the top of my list.


Quasimodo is held prisoner for all of his life, but it is the walls he has built up himself that truly keep him in.  There are so many lessons to learn from HOND - lessons about the inside matter more than outer appearances, believing in yourself, etc. Everytime I watch, something else stands out to me.


5) The Princess and the Frog

Last, but most definitely not least, one of my absolute favorite princess movies. Although The Princess and the Frog is starting to gain a little more popularity, Tiana is still one of the most underappreciated princess (Okay, there are a few, but my girl Tia deserves as much or more love than Elsa). Where do I even begin with this movie?

The music and setting are phenomenal - "Down in New Orleans" is an iconic opening song and sets the stage perfectly. There's just something magical (and creepy - Dr. Facillier is one of the scariest villians tbh) about all of the songs. 
 
Tiana is the ultimate princess goal - she starts off having no interest in pursuing love because she had other goals. She didn't have a country to save or some kind of expectation to destroy, she just loved cooking and dedicated her time to it. She is a real person that young girls (and college aged girls who can't figure out what they're doing with their lives....*cough* me *cough*) can relate with. 

And we've also got Charlotte, Tiana's BFF, who is NEVER demonized or looked down on for pursuing true love, and her and Tiana remain best friends despite having different aspirations. Which I LOVE.

As always, Honorable Mentions go to:

  • The Good Dinosaur
  • Ratouille
  • Big Hero 6


What do you think? Any movies I've missed? Or do these movies not fit under the category of "Under-appreciated"? Let me know in the comments below!

love + pixie dust,

sarah