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.

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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.

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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).

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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.

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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.

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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).

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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.

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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?

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Leisure Expenses: Eating Out, Theme Parks & Souvenirs

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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.

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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 ❤

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On The Menu Today: Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse

Hey guys!

Today’s post is FINALLY going to be another restaurant review/recommendation type post 🙂

It’s been almost 4 months since I’ve done one of these because we just haven’t really been going out to eat much these days, and if we have, they’re either regular fast food places or places that I just didn’t think were interesting enough to do an entire post on.

About 2 weeks ago though, we FINALLY went to a new place, and I thought it would be the perfect time to take pictures/notes (mental notes, not actual pen & paper notes LOL) and do a post on it.

The name of the place we’re going to be talking about today, if you read from the title, is Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse, which is located in 6th avenue in Manhattan (right near Radio City Music Hall if you’re familiar with the area at all).

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The Ambiance

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This place is definitely on the more pricey/fancy side, which we don’t normally tend to do too much just because unless it’s like a SPECIAL occasion (the way it was when we came here), we don’t feel the need/want to have to come and spend a ton of money on places like this.

It is, however, always great to be able to get all dressed up and come to a really nice place like this every so often, which is exactly what we got to do when we came here 2 weeks ago.

Del Frisco's Double Eagle Steakhouse - New York City, New York, NY

Photo of Del Frisco's Double Eagle Steakhouse - New York, NY, United States

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Right off the bat I would say this is the perfect place to go to for an anniversary date, a birthday, or even just a regular date that you may like and/or want to splurge on.

Diego and I came here for our good friend Shakerra’s birthday dinner. She was actually the person who chose the place too, I had no prior knowledge of this place whatsoever. After we established that we were coming here though, I did my research and actually saw that they have quite a few different locations around the U.S., but this is the only one  they have in New York.

There was 5 of us, so we had called in beforehand to make a reservation for our party. I don’t think reservations are mandated, but they are recommended.

Our reservation was for 7:30pm and easily we spent 2-2 and a half hours here; between waiting to be greeted, taking our orders, waiting for our food, eating, getting dessert, etc. etc… Although 2 and a half hours IS pretty long obviously, it really wasn’t that bad being that we were all enjoying each others’ company, as well as conversation.

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The Food/Drinks!

For drinks , aside from our water, we all chipped in to buy a bottle of Rosé wine, which Diego, Jessica and I actually really liked.

Shakerra (the birthday girl) and Genaro didn’t care for it too much so she ended up getting a sweet sort of wine that I didn’t get a chance to get the name of, BUT she enjoyed that one a lot more, and Genaro got a simple cranberry and vodka.

For our food, all of the steaks in the picture(s) below are going to look the same/similar, but I swear some of them ARE different!! haha

Going down the line of what we all got….:

Me: 8 oz Filet Mignon.
Diego: 16 oz Prime Ribeye.
Jessica: 16 oz Prime Ribeye.
Shakerra: 16 oz Prime Ribeye.
Genaro: 16 oz Prime Strip.

We all also got and shared 3 different sides. As you can see in the picture, the sides aren’t THAT big, but they were big enough that we all got to pick on and enjoy them altogether.

The sides we ended up getting were: Chateau Mashed Potatoes, Potatoes Au Gratin which had Scallions, Bacon & Aged Sharp Cheddar, and Lobster Macaroni & Cheese (which I personally have never had before, but actually really liked).

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As for dessert, Shakerra’s boyfriend actually surprised her with a cake at dinner that they brought out when it was time for us to have dessert so that we could all sing happy birthday to her.

It was super cute, and actually tasted REALLY good (I believe it was from 1800flower.com if you guys wanted to check that out).

To complete the review we also ended up getting desserts directly from the restaurant (which are shown below).

On the left is a Butter Cake which has Butter Pecan Ice Cream, Fresh Whipped Cream & Caramel sauce, and on the right is Chocolate Mousse which has Salted Caramel Chocolate Fudge & Miniature Chocolate Cookies.

Y’all know I’m a HUGE dessert person, so this was heaven to me. All of them tasted amazing and were very much worth EVERY calorie.

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General Thoughts

Overall I can 100% say that we all enjoyed ourselves as well as the food here. Everything from the location, the ambiance of the restaurant, our server, and the actual FOOD obviously, was great.

The only minor thing we all didn’t care for was the fact that we had to wait for what felt like 45 minutes more or less for our food to come out, which obviously it’s a pretty big restaurant so we knew we would have to wait a bit, but we didn’t think it would be THAT long either. However, to the same extent, as I mentioned early on in the post, we were very much entertained talking, laughing, etc. so it did help a bit with the wait.

Other then that, everything was really good and we all do 100% recommend it to you guys to try at some point or another. Do keep in mind though as we said, that it is more on the pricey side, but definitely worth the price (we all thought).

As usual though, please try it for yourselves and come to your own conclusion(s) about this place.

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I hope you guys enjoyed this restaurant review/recommendation post. Let me know in the comments or on social media if there are any places in particular around New York that you guys think we should try, and we’ll definitely be sure to do that!

Also, let me know if you guys happen to end up trying this place at all, what YOU thought about it, or if you’ve already been there before, did you guys think it was worth it or not?

I’d love to hear from you all about it! 🙂

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

-Xoxo, Leo Girl ❤

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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.*)

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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.

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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.*

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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.

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Chips

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Others

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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).

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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.

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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).

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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 ❤

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