Travel Posts

Back to Death Valley N.P.

1:50:00 PM Andrea Ryan 4 Comments

Zabriskie Point
Mustard Canyon Drive
Artist's Palate Drive
Mesquite Flat San Dunes
Badwater Basin
DRESS: Billabong  |  SUNGLASSES: Zero U.V.   
          Over Memorial Day weekend my husband and I decided to take a little last minute trip to Death Valley National Park.  Since he had never been, we have been wanting to go.  I went a few years ago with my family (see that post here).  We realized that it is almost summer and will be too hot to go for a while.  We also had a free hotel night from Hotels.com and figured it would be a good time to use it.  This was our third free night from that site and I highly recommend it.  
          Death Valley seriously has so much to do.  It is one of my favorite National Parks!  Before going there I just though it was a basic desert that happens to be the hottest place with the lowest elevation.  It is so much more than that.  There is still a ton that I haven't had time to do and I've been twice.  There are sand dunes, salt flats, salt formations, multiple canyon drives and hikes, amazing geological formations, a volcanic crater, mysterious moving rocks, an old borax mine, mountains, and so much more.  It's very diverse.  
          If you go, there are a few things to keep in mind.  It is the hottest place on earth.  The hottest recorded temperature was 134 degrees at Furnace Creek.  Since it is so hot you really need to make sure you have tons of drinking water and a full tank of gas as often as possible.  We brought three water bottles (which we refilled at the visitor's center) and two gallons of water.  We were only there for one day.  Also, it only reached just over 100 degrees.  Depending on when you go it may be a lot hotter.  I think I sweated more than I ever have in my whole life.  You can't use air conditioning in your car because your car might overheat.  Regardless of the heat, it was still very fun.  It doesn't feel as hot as it is because it's not humid.  That's what makes it bearable.  I recommend doing any hikes in the morning.  We still want to go back in the future because we haven't seen everything.  

4 comments:

I'd love to hear from you. Leave a link to your blog if you want to follow each other!

Purple in Bloom

3:22:00 PM Andrea Ryan 0 Comments

TOP: Caution to the Wind  |  CARDIGAN: Forever 21  |  JEANS: Asos  |  SHOES: Sam Edelman  |  BAG: Forever 21  |  SUNGLASSES: Zero UV  |  HORN NECKLACE: Forever 21  |  SUN NECKLACE: Souvenir from Maui
          It's that time of year again, when all of these purple Jacaranda trees bloom in Southern California.  I love them.  I hear that they can be pesky because they are sticky but they are so pretty.  This is one of the cute tops that I bought for my honeymoon.  I love the colorful stripes.  It's just from T.J. Maxx.  I paired it with my mom jeans from Asos.  I seriously wear these too much.  I need other jean options.  I only have a few but these are my favorite.  I'm also wearing these super cool rose gold sequin shoes.  I bought them for my birthday in October and totally forgot about them.  My husband found them about a week ago and it was the best surprise! 

0 comments:

I'd love to hear from you. Leave a link to your blog if you want to follow each other!

Beauty,

Sonicare Electric Toothbrush Review + Giveaway

5:41:00 PM Andrea Ryan 0 Comments

   
          I've always wanted to try an electric toothbrush.  I usually buy the most basic ones and I go through them too often.  It ends up being a lot of wasted plastic.  On top of that, I never really felt like they did a good job.  My husband has been using an electric toothbrush for years and wanted me to get one.  He immediately loved using one and wanted me to have cleaner teeth too.  For some reason I was kind of afraid to try one.  I think it has something to do with the vibration.  It freaked me out.  lol, I know I'm a baby.  I drink coffee or tea ever day and my teeth need a toothbrush that can do an amazing job of cleaning.
          I've been testing out the CariPRO Ultrasonic Electric Toothbrush from Smile Brilliant over the past few weeks.  Smile Brilliant has branched out from teeth whitening.  If you recall, I reviewed the whitening product in the past so of course I wanted to try the toothbrush.  What's special about the CariPRO Ultrasonic brush is that it has 5 different setting, which is more than your average electric toothbrush.   The setting pretty much cover all of your dental hygiene needs.  Here is what you can do:
CLEAN- I use the cleaning mode every time I brush my teeth.  It's what I use for standard brushing.
WHITE- Occasionally I will use whitening toothpaste to brush.  I don't use it every time, but when I do I use this mode.
MASSAGE- I will use this mode to brush my tongue from time to time.  It's really nice for your gums too.
GUM CARE- I don't use this one often but it's also nice to use one your gums, after you use the clean mode.
SENSITIVE- This is the mode I started out using.  The vibrating was a lot for me to handle in the beginning.  I used this until I adjusted to using an electric toothbrush.

          Something that is really nice about this toothbrush is that you don't have to charge it very often.  I was afraid to get an electric toothbrush because I didn't want to worry about always having to charge it.  I have been using it 2-3 times a day for nearly a month and haven't had to charge it once.  Also, it can be expensive having to buy replacement heads with some brands but these are super affordable.  My husband's cost over $30 for 2.  These are only $13 for 2.  The CariPro Electronic Toothbrush as a whole is very affordable compared to similar brushes on the market.  If you are interested to learn more check out these Smile Brilliant FAQ's.
          Since using the electric toothbrush for about a month, I have found that my teeth feel much cleaner.  Honestly, they feel cleaner than they have ever felt.  I don't know if I could ever go back to using a regular toothbrush.  It also makes me feel more confident because they look whiter.  I struggle with confidence with my smile because my teeth aren't very straight (even though I had braces for two years).  Of course I will do anything to get that extra bit of confidence.

You can use my code to get 10% off the CariPRO Ultrasonic Electric Toothbrush: fancyfashioncastle20

GIVEAWAY
Enter the giveaway for a chance to win your very own CariPro Ultrasonic Electric Toothbrush!
electric toothbrush reviews

0 comments:

I'd love to hear from you. Leave a link to your blog if you want to follow each other!

Lifestyle,

Our Big Sur Elopement

9:20:00 PM Andrea Ryan 2 Comments

          If you've been keeping up with my blog or other social media accounts (Instagram), then you probably know that I just got married.  My husband and I had been engaged since October, 2017, so we had a pretty long engagement.  We wanted to take our time in planning and saving to pay for the wedding.  I think A year and a half engagement period was perfect for us.  We also didn't want it to be as long as two years.  Also, after trying on some dresses I knew I wanted to make my own.  I had to have enough time to do that.  I will be doing a post more about my dress later on.
          Pretty soon after getting engaged we knew what we wanted.  We knew that we wanted to have a ceremony with just us and then have a reception with friends and family.  Since we don't live close to anybody we know, we thought it would be crazy to have the reception in California.  We just feel like the ceremony itself should be enjoyed between the couple only.  I was never really one for wedding traditions.  I think most of them are cheesy and pointless.  After playing around with the idea of eloping in Greece and Hawaii, we decided just to get married in California.  We scouted out a lot of spots in the state and settled on Big Sur.  It is my favorite place in California, so we thought it was special enough.  It's where we went on vacation about 3 years before moving here.  Greece had too many legal complications and we decided to just honeymoon in Hawaii.  Our reception is in June.  I'm super excited for that and I have been planning like crazy.
          In order to elope in Big Sur, it can be a little complicated.  Many places and parks don't allow weddings.  A lot of other spots require a permit.  A permit isn't too difficult to get.  You just have to call around to see what to do.  We stayed in Carmel that whole weekend and it was magical.  I am in love with Carmel by the Sea.  It's the cutest little town.  We actually visited Carmel last June, to look for spots to elope and that's when we decided we wanted to get a hotel there when we get married.  If you are interested in doing the same, you can find our officiant HERE.  She was super helpful with the planning process as well.  She took the majority of these photos at no additional cost.  Some of them we took ourselves, using the same process that we used for engagement pictures. 
          After looking back at the weekend I feel like it was perfect.  I don't have any regrets about keeping the ceremony private because we are still going to have a reception.  I could never just go to a court house and get married because I don't want it to feel like just another errand.  It has to be special in my opinion.  Also, neither one of us really like a lot of attention.  That's why we wanted it to be with just us.  I know a lot of people wonder if they should elope or not and I think it just depends on how you do it.  I think if we did it in a simple way, I would definitely regret it.  We didn't do it to keep the ceremony more simple or to relieve stress.  We did it because we wanted to have an extra special ceremony. 

2 comments:

I'd love to hear from you. Leave a link to your blog if you want to follow each other!

Travel Posts

Hawaii Honeymoon: Maui

9:11:00 PM Andrea Ryan 0 Comments

          For the second half of our honeymoon, we went to Maui.  If you missed my first post about Kauai, check that out!  We spent 6 days exploring most of Maui.  I'm sure that there is tons that we didn't have time to do but here is what we did. 
          We stopped by Baldwin Beach the first day we arrived, for sunset.  We didn't get a chance to go back, but it's a super nice beach.  It kind of reminds me of Hanalei Bay in Kauai because there are mountains on the left side.  
          My favorite beach in Maui is Big Beach at Makena State Park.  Its huge and very private.  The water was amazingly clear and blue.  I think it was the clearest water I have ever seen.  It's a good place to spot sea turtles as well.  There were a ton of locals there so I think it's more of a less known spot.  Now I am wondering if I should be sharing or keeping it to myself (lol).  It's the best beach.  
Road to Hana
          Our first main stop on the Road to Hana was Twin Falls.  It's a short hike that leads to two waterfalls (the one on the left is smaller).  There is a little pool of water at the bottom.  It's a nice little hike that goes through some bamboo.  
          We made a few other stops along the way but another one of my favorite stops was the Lava Tube.  I visited a lava tube when I went to the big island but this was was more elaborate.  You can go further inside and there are all sorts of cool formations.  You do have to pay $12 to get in, but it's worth it.  Watch out for giant cockroaches! 
          These photos were taken at the black sand beach at Waianapanapa State Park.  It's a mandatory stop on the Road to Hana.  There are some lava arches, caves, and trails.  I wish we could have spent more time there but the Road to Hana takes a whole day.  We left by 6:30am and made as many stops as we could.  We went as far as Haleakala National Park and turned around to make it back as the sun was setting.  The roads on the Road to Hana are super curvy and you don't what to be there when it's dark.  Almost every curve is a one lane, with yield signs.  A lot of the local drivers don't yield very thoroughly, so it can be scary.  I'm not going to map out the whole journey with mile markers and stops because there are already so many travel bloggers that have done that.  It's pretty easy to find if you search for it.  
          The last stop, after Hana was Haleakala National Park for 7 Sacred Pools.  We had to do this hike the same day as the Road to Hana because the other route goes around the back of the National Park but it's not paved.  You can't really go that way unless you have a jeep.  Although the waterfall and pools were really pretty, my favorite part was the huge bamboo forest that the path goes through.  It's super dense and very large.  I had been to one on the big island but I don't remember it being so large.  
          Another must-do is Haleakala for sunset or sunrise.  We went for sunset because you have to make a reservation in advance for sunrise.  I'm not sure how hard it is to get one.  I prefer sunset anyway.  You need to plan to get to the top a little earlier than sunset and it's hard to find parking because the lot is very small.  We actually had to park at the visitor center and hike to the top.  Also, it's pretty chilly up there so bring a jacket and pants.  This was one of my favorite things from the whole trip.  It feels like you are on a different planet. 
          I'm not sure the name of this beach but it's north of Lahaina.  There are a bunch of little coves that are good for snorkeling.  They are by resorts but you can go to them if you can find parking.  It's a law in Hawaii that every beach have public access.  
          A really good snorkel spot is Ahihi-Kinau Natural Area Reserve.  You head toward Makena State Park,  pass the park and continue until you reach the parking lot on the right.  We went a few times and the lot was never full.  You must have reef safe sunscreen to snorkel there.  We saw some sea turtles and tons of cool fish.  I think this was the best spot that we actually snorkeled at on this trip.  
          We saw so many rainbows on this trip, especially in Maui.  I think we saw about 15 in Maui alone.  This one was from our resort.  
          The Waihee Ridge Trail hike is another must-do.  It's 5 miles round trip.  The first 2.5 miles are completely uphill so it is a bit tiring.  It's so amazing though because you are hiking on a narrow ridge.  There are beautiful canyons on both sides and you can see the ocean.  Once you get about halfway up you are totally in the clouds.  I think I will always remember this hike. 
The perfect ending to the honeymoon

0 comments:

I'd love to hear from you. Leave a link to your blog if you want to follow each other!