California Vacation Costs

Hey guys,

It’s taken me a while to put up this post not just because of a deadly disease I have called procrastination, but also just because I’ve really been trying to think of the right ways to be able to explain and breakdown everything that I did in a way that makes sense and is helpful; which, I think I’ve finally got.

Recently I got a request from someone I know asking me to detail more or less the cost of our California trip because they were interested in setting a trip up there as well, BUT they were on somewhat of a tight budget.

* * * * * *

Before I get into the technicalities of it all, I just want to mention that throughout our time booking this trip (which was pretty much only 3-4 months), we were on a tight budget as well, AND it was somewhat of a last minute decision to book.

We had been going back and forth about it for a WHILE until we were all finally just like screw it…we’ve never traveled altogether before, and it could be a great and fun experience for us all; plus (at the time) my brother had been going through a break-up and his birthday was approaching, AND the time we were going was a little bit after MY birthday, so we figure it was the perfect time to do it.

Being that it was all a little last minute, we tried to be as smart as possible about our finances, like putting money to the side from each of our checks and as much as we could  put to the side at the moment, going for Airbnbs instead of hotels, buying groceries in bulk instead of eating out every night, and finding discounts on park tickets.

I also just wanted to mention that since we were all traveling and doing these things together, we split relatively all of the costs down the middle so that it was all even and wouldn’t be nearly as much as it would have been had we all paid for this stuff individually.

That being said, I’m going to go into all of the nitty-gritty details about all of the things I just mentioned.

* * * * * *

Necessary Expenses: Places to Stay, Food and Transportation

  1. First thing’s first, FLIGHTS. We used this app called Hopper which really came in handy when it came to booking our flights because it allowed us to track them for a while to see when/if prices for them were going up or down. It would also give us predictions for the best/worst times to book because they would either be the cheapest in the moment or they may get slightly cheaper (same with the alternative of it possibly getting more expensive). Does that make sense? Per person, our flights going to San Francisco was $119 which was the absolute cheapest price we probably could’ve gotten it for (and we flew Alaska Airlines and was a straight flight). Coming home from Los Angeles, we actually weren’t as lucky with a straight flight or a cheap one for that matter. We ended up accidentally waiting a little too long and the price per person went up to $181 (we flew American Airlines coming back home).

1200x630wa

2. Second were the Airbnbs. Doing this ended up helping us a LOT too believe it or not because we easily would’ve ended up spending twice as much had we stood in a hotel. In total for the airbnbs we spent about $1,386.20. We were only in the San Francisco airbnb for 2 nights, which came out to a total of $830.16 (which per person was $207.54).We were in Los Angeles a lot longer (4 nights, 5 days), which came out to a total of $1,112.07 (which per person was $278). The thing that I liked about booking the airbnbs the most was the fact that they did the payments in installments. That was super helpful, they asked you to pay half of the cost the day you booked it, and then the other half later on down the line (which for us was about a month and a half after we first booked). So we didn’t have to worry about putting all that money down all at once.

airbnb-678x381

3. Next was Ubers. Unfortunately while we were in San Francisco, our only real form of transportation was taking Ubers everywhere. We spent a LOT of money on it, which kind of sucked, but honestly, we had no other option. We didn’t know the buses or trains like that so if not for Ubers, we would’ve lost a lot more time simply trying to figure out how to get around. So, I would not recommend doing this unless you completely plan ahead for the public transportation use OR do a car rental, which we didn’t think necessary to do since we were only in San Francisco a day and a half. We spent almost $200 on Ubers all over San Francisco.

636590541716802602-EPA-BRITAIN-UBER-TRANSPORT

4. Next was booking our MegaBus tickets from San Francisco to Los Angeles. We played around with the idea of renting a car to drive ourselves to LA, but thought it would be an extra unnecessary expense plus paying for gas, snacks along the way, etc., so we stuck to taking a bus there. The tickets in total were $216.50, which per person came out to about $54. Not too bad. Plus it was an interesting experience to drive along the coast for ALL of us to enjoy instead of taking turns driving and what not (it was also a 6 hour trip btw).

megabuscomflorida_750xx4866-2737-0-78

5. Next was our car rental in Los Angeles. This we found to be a little more necessary just because of the longer amount of time we spent here, plus all the places we ended up going. It was just better and easier. We rented our car from a website called Turo , which was super quick and easy to use. The guy we rented from was really nice and super responsive for any/all questions we had about the car. Plus his car was really nice (we had gotten a 2017 Nissan Altima). The total for the car, given the amount of days we needed it for, was $261.91, which came out to about $65 per person; it was also pretty good on gas and we only had to fill it up 2-3 times.

Turo-first-time--370x260

6. And finally shopping for food in bulk. We thought this would be one of the best ways to attempt to save some money out there as opposed to spending on eating out every single day whether it be breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks or all of the above. So, on our first official day in LA we went to a nearby Walmart and spent $140 on groceries with all of those things to sustain us for the rest of the week. Now, of course we did end up eating out a few times because there were certain places out there that we wanted to try, but generally, I think we did pretty good with saving SOME money by buying our food in bulk. Plus our Los Angeles airbnb we had the entire house to ourselves WITH a fully equipped/stocked kitchen, so why wouldn’t we take advantage of that?

Image result for walmart

* * * * * *

Leisure Expenses: Eating Out, Theme Parks & Souvenirs

large_1930

So this part is for the extracurricular things we obviously decided to do on the side that weren’t “necessary” but did cost a decent amount of money.

  1. Amusement parks. While we were in Los Angeles we couldn’t pass up the opportunity of going to the amusement parks….I mean, we could’ve, but I wasn’t going to let that happen!!! So, we ended up going to Disneyland and Universal Studios. Typically, the prices for tickets to these parks could be pretty freakin’ pricey, if we’re being honest, BUT we were able to get discounted prices on ours thanks to my mom’s job and this website that employees there tend to get discounts for on a variety of things. A typical 1-day ticket to Disneyland (per person) costs $174, for an adult. With my mom’s discount, we were able to get our tickets for $149. Similarly with Universal Studios, one ticket normally costs about $139, and we were able to get them for $94.50. Unfortunately I don’t have any tips and tricks for this one other then to try googling discount codes or seeing if your job or anyone you know’s job offers discounted prices on things like this.

2. Souvenirs & Food. This one is kind of hard to write and talk about just because I didn’t bother to calculate how much I/we spent on food or souvenirs, and even if I did, it wouldn’t really matter just because stuff like that depends on the particular person traveling. Personally, whenever I travel anywhere, I’m a huge souvenir person, that’s just how I am, but Diego for instance isn’t. I have to like force him to get little souvenirs because he’s fine with just experiencing the places, taking pictures/videos, and just being good that way. As for food, again it depends on the person or people you’re with, as well as yourself. We ate at a few different places in the Disney parks, we got In n Out, we tried this bakery called Susie Cakes, we tried this place called the Rose Cafe for breakfast one day and then we bought the food in bulk from Walmart for all the other days we were there.

So, all in all, when calculating everything, yes we still spent a decent amount, BUT it just basically comes down to being mindful of your spending habits and looking for deals whenever you can. At the end of the day, it’s vacation so you should be splurging a little, BUT there are also ways to be smart about it like finding affordable apps for flights, places to stay, etc.

* * * * * *

I hope you guys enjoyed this post and that it gave you a better perspective as to the cost(s) of a trip like this, more specifically when you’re in a group and on somewhat of a tight budget.

Also, just an FYI that I did 2 travel vlogs on my YouTube channel completely showing how our trip went in both San Francisco and Los Angeles , which, if you haven’t already done so, you should DEFINITELY check it out. It also shows you a better idea/view of the airbnbs in case the pictures on the site aren’t that great.

Don’t forget to like and subscribe to the channel btw to stay up to date with all of my videos 😉 .

Thanks for reading and I’ll see you guys in my next post.

-Xoxo, LeoGirl ❤

Read More

My Favorite Healthy-ish Snacks

(*None of which are actually shown in the image, I just couldn’t really find anything better for the sake of the post’s cover photo haha.*)

* * * * * *

Hi Guys! 🙂

For today’s post I wanted to share with you guys a list of some of my favorite healthy-ish snacks.

I thought this would be a good post because if you’re anything like me, you’re a HUGE snacker, and even though we may be trying to diet a little more and clean up our eating, old habits die hard.

And personally, for me, the hardest part of “dieting” is not being able to snack the way that I used to (obviously it’s for a greater purpose, but nonetheless, I miss it so much sometimes 🥺😩)

So, that being said, I wanted to share with you guys some of my healthy-ish alternatives that have been working pretty well for me whenever I want and/or feel the urge to snack; they’re nothing crazy and also not that bad macro-wise, which make them even better.

I figure since there’s some variety to the different snacks I eat, why not break them up into categories?

The categories I chose were chocolate-related, chips (although some also include popcorn and crackers), and just “other” because there’s a few different things going on in that category.

* * * * * *

So, without further adieu, here are some of my current favorite snacks:

Chocolate

*For all of the Fiber One brand snacks, some of the main nutrition facts to look out for are shown right there on the boxes.*

img_5204.jpg

IMG_5207

img_5208.jpg

img_5210.jpg

The Fiber One snacks are really great because this brand alone, comes with a variety of snacks for you to choose from. A lot of them tend to be like 90 calories only which is why you’ll see that end up being advertised the most. It’s great because they’re pretty tiny for you to just grab one and go, which is usually what I end up doing everyday. I’ll pack my lunch, throw one of these in my bag for a midday snack, and I’m ready to go! 🙂

 

The Len & Larry complete cookies are pretty good, but they’re also pretty hefty when it comes to the amount of calories that are within them (total calories for 1 serving, which is technically only half of the cookie, is 200 calories!!). A lot of people tend to say that they’re also pretty bland and dry tasting, but for a while I REALLY liked them……until they came out with the complete CRUNCHY cookie (shown on the right side)!!!

Guys, if i had to recommend either of them to you right now, I would instantly say go with the crunchy cookies, they’re SO good, and not as crazy when it comes to the calories per serving size. 1 serving size is 6 cookies and comes out to 160 calories.

Although in general, as I always say, you should try them both and come to your own conclusion(s) about them.

* * * * * *

Chips

img_5211.jpg

In general, I LOVE to snack on Ritz crackers which is why there are 2 different “kinds” shown here. I think they’re SO good. But if I had to choose between all the different flavors, etc. I think I would say that these 2 shown are my absolute favorites.

The toasted chips have a nice somewhat subtle salty taste to them, and each serving is is 1oz which is about 8 chips, and comes out to 130 calories, whereas the Hint of Salt crackers, have VERY little salt to them at all, but still taste good to me. A serving of these is 16 grams, which is about 24 crackers and equates 80 to calories.

img_5215.jpg

0028400200592_0600

These are my absolute FAVORITE chips. If I go to any store now and am on the hunt for chips, I’ll most likely be finding and grabbing for these (unless it’s a cheat-day and I’m craving something else 😂). 1 serving size of these is about 15 chips, and comes out to 160 calories.

41--C+RH7kL

I really don’t tend to crave popcorn like that anymore the way that I used to when I was younger, but the few times I do, I’ll opt for grabbing a bag of this. It’s gluten free, light, airy and just generally tastes really good. This is also a great snack because since it’s so light, the calories in just one bag are super low, it’s only 100 calories. That’s really not bad at all for like a midday or late night little snack.

* * * * * *

Others

HaloTop_900

Recently whenever I really am craving some ice cream, Halo Top has been my way to go. Diego actually introduced me to this brand. The great thing about this ice cream brand is that it’s low carb, low fat, AND high protein; and depending what flavor you end up getting will depend on how many total calories are in that one pint (which is shown right on the front of it). My personal two favorite flavors are the cookies and cream (320 calories total) and chocolate chip cookie dough (360 calories total) ones (highly recommend you try those).

51uMBgHas2L._SY300_QL70_

I used TO love fruit snacks when I was a kid, but it had gotten to a point that I ate them so much, I ended up disliking them for a LONG time. But, recently I’ve begun to really like and want them again. I like the Mixed Fruits one, but if I had to choose between the two, I would 100% go for the Berries ‘N Cherries flavored ones. This again, is not too terrible of a snack for throughout the day. One pouch goes for about 80 calories total.

chobaniflip17

I’m not usually a HUGE fan of yogurts, but nowadays if I ever actually want and/or crave one, chances are, I’m going to be going for one of these. These are great because each package comes with a little side for the yogurt, along with another side for the toppings of that specific flavor. My personal favorites include Cookies and Cream (190 calories), Almond Coco Loco (230 calories), Smores (180 calories), and Peanut Caramel Satisfaction (200 calories).

* * * * * *

I hope you guys enjoyed this post, and that in some way, shape or form, if you’re anything like me and are in need of looking for some healthy-ish alternatives for snacking, this helped you.

When it comes to things like this, it all comes down to personal preference. You really just need to try a bunch of these things and really figure out what you like, what you don’t, what works for you and what doesn’t. What works for me, may very well not work for you, BUT you have some new possible recommendations here that you can try out and hopefully end up liking!

What are some of your guys’ favorite stuff to snack on when you’re in the mood (whether they’re full-on healthy or healthy-ish like a lot of my suggestions)?! Do we have any of the same favorites? Maybe you have some that you could recommend for ME to try! Let me know in the comments, I’d love to hear from you guys ☺️👇🏼

As always, thank you guys so much for reading, please follow, like, share and comment and I’ll see you guys in my next post! 🙂

*Also, something for you guys to think about….I’ve really been wanting to do some sort of Q&A post for a while now and have already been getting a few questions from people on my social media, so if you’re interested (either in the comments below, reaching out to me directly on social media or through email), ask me some questions of things you guys would like to see me address in that post! 😀 The questions can literally be about anything; my blog, my future, relationships, family, personal stuff, etc. etc. I want to make it as fun and interesting for you guys as possible, so don’t be shy! 🙂 *

-Xoxo, LeoGirl ❤

Read More

Tips For Self-Care

Hey Guys,

Yesterday started out as a pretty good day; I was feeling a lot better compared to how I was the past few days (health wise), work was fairly quiet, and I had actually gotten home at a decently early hour (which if you know me and my hectic schedule, that rarely happens nowadays). After I got home, however, things went downhill quick and unfortunately, it was one of those things that REALLY just ends up ruining your entire day altogether…..

I’m not going to get into detail about it because it’s more on the personal side and something to discuss in a later post if at all, BUT because of having a shitty end to the day, I thought it was the perfect time to put out THIS post which, as you saw from the title, is:

TIPS FOR SELF-CARE! 💆🏻‍♀️🎉

* * * * * *

Self-care is any action or activity that we do which helps us take a step back from our responsibilities for a few seconds, minutes or hours in order to care of our mental, emotional, and physical health.

It can literally be anything. Anything that helps make you feel good and rejuvenated to continue to kick-ass at work, or while doing your chores, or whatever the case is.

I thought this was the perfect time because whenever you’re in a shitty mood like I was yesterday, aside from obviously kind of wanting to just do your own thing and be left alone by everyone, don’t you to some extent end up wanting to do things that will somehow cheer you up and make you feel better? Because I know I sure do, even if it means doing them alone.

Now, everyone is obviously different and likes/prefers different things to make them happy and feel good, but I figure I can share with you guys some of the things I typically like to do when I’m down (including what I did yesterday), that usually end up bringing me out of my funk in hopes that maybe it could help you do the same now or in the future for yourself.

OR maybe you’re not in a funk at all, and maybe you just want some things to help fill up your free-time that’ll still make you happy, but also feel productive…these ‘tips’, although they’re more suggestions of things to do then actually tips, can be used for any of the above.

* * * * * *

Woman's hand writing on a notebook with a pen on a wooden desk.

  1. WRITE. Usually whenever I’m in a funk or have any free-time at all is normally when I catch up on things like my blog or book. Writing soothes me SO much and usually ends up making me feel like a new person whenever I’m done. Whether it’s in my notebook, on sticky notes or written in the notes on my phone, you’ll always catch me jotting things down whenever I get a chance. It’s soothing to be able to jot down whatever it is I may be thinking about in the moment (not every single second of the day obviously, but if I feel it’s important and that I may want to go back to it later on).

1_p_6FssCNxJeNsuHeo0HlsA

2. READ. Unfortunately, I don’t always find the time to be able to do this, but when I DO…it’s the best. I completely tune everything out and just focus on the book I’m reading; the characters, the situation going on, whatever it may be at the time, to the point where I don’t even want to sleep until I finish reading whatever it is. I find that reading is a nice way to calm your mind, especially at the end of the night, if that’s the sort of thing you’re into like I am.

How-Start-Working-Out-Home

3. WORKING OUT. Going to the gym and working out can be so unbelievably therapeutic for a person’s mind, body and soul (believe it or not). If you’re reading this and you’re not into working out at all, I can see why you would probably roll your eyes at this one, because it’s so cliché for someone to say, but I promise it’s also 100% true (if you’re into the workout at the time anyway). It’s a great stress-reliever after a long day to just go ahead and release all of your pent up frustration, aggression, or whatever the case may be for you and just take it ALL out on the weights.

1453252591-skincare-woman

4. A SKINCARE ROUTINE. Another cliché and typical suggestion to make, because it’s something that everyone always suggests, but it really is another good one and actually the one I opted to do last night. Doing a skincare routine whether elaborate or basic is so soothing and will for sure make you feel good by the end of it (to some extent anyway). I mean, who doesn’t want smooth, clear and radiant skin right? After all, it is the first thing you see of yourself, as well as the first thing others end up seeing of you, so why not make it good?

Studio nail beautician polishing female nails

5. And finally, GETTING A MANI/PEDI. Again, another cliché suggestion, but any sort of pampering that you do for yourself whether this, a skincare routine, a haircut, etc. is sure to make you feel rejuvenated and good about yourself in some way, shape or form. I mean who doesn’t love to feel and actually get pampered, right?!

* * * * * *

Well that’s it guys…these are things that usually tend to make me feel happy, good about myself, and productive.

Obviously there are probably a ton more, different from this list, that you would be able to think of, but the ones that I mentioned are the ones that are generally all, if not, MOST of the things I tend to gear towards whenever I’m in a funk or just looking to do some ‘me-time’ stuff.

Self-care is a form of self-love, and if you’re anything like me and tend to be super busy and on-the-go all the time, you should try to make time for it AT LEAST once or twice a week.

It really is important and needed in order for you to reflect, release, relax and rejuvenate to carry on with the rest of your week and/or start your week even.

I hope that you guys enjoyed this post, and that it helped you in some way, shape or form. As always, thank you so much for reading, please like, comment, share and follow and I’ll see you guys in the next one!

-Xoxo, LeoGirl ❤

Read More