Monday, August 31, 2015

i'm still here

I've missed you guys! How are you? Let's catch up. 

Consistency is something I really strive for on my blog but I've been struggling this year. Firstly, travel blogging is very difficult & I commend the people who can do it well. Speaking of which, my dear friend Katie is nominated for a Bloglovin' award for travel blogging! I am so freakin' proud & excited for her. She's so humble & says she doesn't deserve it. But she does! She has amazing photography skills, travels to very unique places & has great tips and advice. Her blog is definitely worth a visit & vote for her here!

I've decided that I need to give myself smaller goals with blogging. I have such grand dreams for this place on the internet but because I put so much pressure on myself, sometimes it feels looses it's fun. Can you relate? I really want to share my travels with you but the posts become such a huge project between editing all all the photos, writing and linking. (See my most recent post about Europe here. It's about my favorite city, Barcelona!) Do you feel the same way about some blog posts? Do they become time consuming for you, too?

I feel that I was starting to niched myself into a vegan travel blog. Which is my intention but I want to still talk about my other interests. I still am going to post about Europe frequently, but not necessarily every post. I've also decided to have the small goal of posting at least once a week. A post once a week is better than going a whole month procrastinating my next post. How do you keep consistency on your blog? I'd love to hear your tips!

I also have been busy trying to find a job & I've found a GREAT one. I work as a social media manager. (Insert emoji of the face with the eyes open really wide + the emoji of the one with heart eyes.) It's a perfect position for a blogger. Now that I do social media for a living, my personal social media is becoming more of a priority. Twitter has quickly become one of my favorites. & Instagram's new update has made me so freakin' happy. I've always struggled with how I want my Instagram profile to look. The struggle of having square photos or posting the full crop of the photo was something I was constantly going through. If you scroll through my feed on Instagram you can see the struggle. Not proud of it. But now that's a thing of the past. ;)

I also couldn't be consistent this month because I got 3 of my wisdom teeth pulled. I'm not exaggerating when I say it was the most stressful & painful experience of my life. I had an atypical experience which made it more awful than it is normally. I'll spare you the details. 

Summer is almost over & with fall in the horizon, I want to use my calendar & pay a little more attention to my to do lists. Do you have things that stay on your to do list for forever? I'm tired of that. Time for a change. 

What have you been up to? Excited for a new season? New goals?

- Christina

Tuesday, August 04, 2015

Barcelona: A City Guide

Barcelona is by far my favorite city in Europe. So much so, Keith & I have serious plans to live there. We went to Barcelona twice on our trip, so this guide will comprise of both trips.

We stayed in 2 Airbnb listings (here are some tips to find some great Airbnb listings!) while in Barcelona. Unfortunately the first listing we stayed at, is no longer available but we stayed here our second time around. The photos do not give this listing justice. It is a beautiful place with handmade furniture a very nice host. It also has great air conditioning and special windows to keep the noise out. Which is very important in Barcelona!

La Sagrada Familia arguably the most popular tourist attraction in Barcelona. & there's a reason for it! They started construction on this church in 1882! & it's still under construction! It's absolutely breathtaking and fascinating. (To learn more about it, there is a documentary about the church on Netflix, Sagrada: The Mystery of Creation.) 

When you arrive at the church, tickets can be purchased on the opposite side of the entrance. The tickets have a timeframe of when you can enter the church. We went during lunch time on a weekday so we had about an hour wait before we could get in line. (I'm sure the wait is longer on the weekends & in the summer, so keep that in mind.) Because we went during lunchtime, we bought our tickets and got lunch nearby. (A lot of the food options nearby are touristy, so keep that in mind as well.)
Visiting the Sagrada Familia and Park Güell on the same day worked out perfectly for us. (They are relatively close to each other.) Antoni Gaudí was the architect who designed the Sagrada Familia & Park Güell (& many other buildings in Barcelona!) so it rounds out the day nicely. Park Güell began as a housing development for the affluent but funding ceased after a period of time. What is left is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site for us to explore! 

The ticketing for Park Güell is the same as the Sagrada Familia. Purchase your tickets and they provide a time slot of when you can enter the park. We arrived in the late in the day, so once again our wait time was around 45 minutes. The park is large, so while you wait to enter this "neighborhood" part of the park, you can explore the free parts of the park. 
We went to La Boqueria every day we were in Barcelona. La Boqueria is a large outdoor market right off of La Rambla (the main drag in Barcelona). There are A LOT of vegan options (fruits, vegetables, nuts, olives, spices & fruit juices) and A LOT of non vegan options (a lot of cheese, dead farm animals & sea life). I extremely happy with vegan side of the market. Every day we would get fruits and vegetables for the day, along with a daily fruit juice. (There are A LOT of fruit juice options! So shop around!) 
Seeing the best soccer team in the world, with the best soccer player in the world is a once in a lifetime opportunity. That is, FC Barcelona and Lionel Messi. So I would HIGHLY suggest seeing one of their soccer matches. We sat in the nosebleeds but loved every moment of it. We saw Messi score a goal! It's truly an experience so don't pass up the opportunity if you can.

This is 1 of 4 posts about Barcelona. & I'm really excited to share more tips about my favorite European city. So stay tuned for vegan options in the city, local drinks & what to do for FREE in Barcelona.

Feel free to click around the blog for more posts about Europe! 

- Christina

Sunday, August 02, 2015

Weekly Goals 007

Here's another installment of my weekly goals. 
A way to hold myself accountable for my goals by sharing them with you. 

Happy August everyone!

I'm finding myself creating these goals and having difficulty actually accomplishing them. Because they are sitting there unaccomplished, I've decided to suspend these weekly goals until I actually accomplish them.

Last Week's Goals:

Cook at least 2 new recipes. I went as far as deciding that I want to try a cashew cheese recipe & a new dessert recipe but didn't go through with it. Any cashew cheese or dessert recipe suggestions? =) 

Goals Still Not Completed:

Work on Keith's onesie. 

Work on Europe scrapbook.

Both of these goals are take many hours to accomplish but hopefully I can finish them before the end of August! 

Do you have any goals for this week? This month? I'd love to hear them! I hope you have a productive positive week!

- Christina