Wednesday, January 18, 2017

London Budget:

Happy Wednesday!

Since I can't get London off my mind, I figured we could at least switch gears a bit from the places planned for my trip and focus on my budget instead.


Keep in mind as you read, we will be in London for 7 days and will have a direct flight from New York to London.

Costs: 
Heathrow Express:                                                             £28
Weekly Tube Pass (Zones 1-2):                                         £33
Breakfasts (7 breakfasts in England):                                £10/per breakfast (7)
Lunches (7 lunches in England):                                       £15/per lunch (7)
Dinners (8 dinners in England):                                        £20/per dinner (8)
Transport to Stow-on-the-Wold:                                       £30
St. Paul's Cathedral Tour:                                                 £18
Airport Food:                                                                    £20
Spend Money:                                                                  £225

Total:                                                                                £694 approx. $1,041 (with a 1.5 exchange) 
                                                                                          **keep in mind that the exchange rate is                                                                                                    very low right now so the price could drop                                                                                                 below $950 if things stay as is until March.


I will now give you a better understanding of what the costs include and why we chose to include them in our budget. Here's a breakdown: 
  • To take full advantage of our night in London, my friends and I are going to opt to take the Heathrow Express. It will cut our transport time down and allow us to get to our Airbnb in time to grab a pub dinner. 
    • A cheaper option would be to take the tube into the city and then transfer at Victoria Station or Kings Cross. 
    • A more expensive option would be to take a cab from the airport into the city 
  • Rather than put so much money on our Oyster cards, my friends and I have opted to buy a weekly unlimited pass for zones 1 and 2. This will make planning easier. We don't have to limit our tube trips and we can just see what the weather is like and how tired we are. We are going to avoid cabs and Ubers. This will be much more feasible with the night tubes running. 
  • A £10 breakfast in London can mean a lot of things. If you are really hungry, you can go to most pubs in London and get a full English breakfast with tea or coffee for £10. You could also get a coffee and pastry at Starbucks if you want a lighter meal. If you want to go even cheaper, you can just stock up on cereal and milk from Tesco or Sainsburys
  • For lunches, there are too many choices to even name. Some of my favorites are sushi from Wasabi which will cost anywhere from £7-14. You can also go to a sit down and get a lunch special for around £15. Once again, if you want to be cheaper than £15, you can head to a grocery store. Tesco has a meal deal for £3 that includes a sandwich, side dish like chips, and a drink. 
  • £20 for dinner might seem like not enough but don't forget we budgeted spend money that could be used for extra alcohol. However, if you would like just one drink then this budget should be correct. Also keep in mind that you probably will want a cheeky Nandos one day for dinner. You can get a chicken pita with two sides for £8.95. The extra cash you save that day can go towards another dinner at a pricer spot like the Coppa Club
  • Transport for Stow-on-the-Wold is budgeted for £30. This price should allow you to go to most day trip locations outside of London. The national rail is great and pretty affordable plus there is a great Megabus system out of Victoria Coach Station. Some other fantastic day trips include: Brighton Beach, Bristol, Cardiff, Oxford, and Cambridge. 
  • Now for the £18 budgeted St. Paul's Cathedral Tour, you could use that for the view of your choice. You can do the London Eye for £21, The Shard is £35, Tower Bridge for £11, etc. We chose St. Paul's because it will have great view of East London. Plus, we will get to see the amazing architecture inside the cathedral.
  • Airport food is pretty self explanatory but this budget will include a quick meal with a drink or a coffee and snack. You have to remember that they will feed you on the plane too! 
  • Spend money was tricky for me. I wasn't sure how much to budget because I will be limited to one suitcase and a carryon to fit everything into. However, I also included coffees, tea, and sweets into this spend. I believe that around  £50 will be enough for all of those extra snacks and £175 will be for souvenirs. 

Friday, January 13, 2017

London Spots: Part 2


(photos from top left: Pinterest, LovelytravelsblogLovelytravelsblog, Pinterest) 

I've officially started a countdown! I am getting a little ahead of myself but prepping for a trip is half the fun! Don't ya think?...Just me? Ah, well!

Here are a few more of the spots that I am most excited about experiencing on our trip: (who am I kidding...I am jazzed about every single part of this trip. Riding the tube. Waiting in line for coffee. The "litter" bins in Regents Park...everything!)  
  1. St. Dunstan in the East- This spot is an old church 
  2. Cahoots- This bar is underground and looks like it came straight of the 1940s (picture above)! It has Cahoots Newspapers and is modeled like an old Underground station! I can't wait to try this place out and hear some jazz and swing music! 
  3. Monmouth Coffee- How could I go to London and not check out the top coffee shops? London is where I really began to enjoy coffee. I would get flat whites from Costa Coffee before I even knew what a flat white was. My friends and I are going to check out the Covent Garden location (pictured above) bright and early one day. I can already picture my Instagram feed with the classic shot of this place. 
  4.  Holland Park- This is an old favorite of mine! I remember the first time I went, I was all alone and it seemed like I had the place to myself. Flowers cover the place. It reminds of what the Secret Garden would look like. 
This list could go on and on but I am going to limit myself...for now! Check back for more details on my London trip! 


Monday, January 9, 2017

Outfit of the day!!

Outfit
Dress: h&m (sale)
Tights: Forever 21
Shoes: Payless 
Earrings: Francesca's 

Makeup
Eye Primer: NYX proof it! 
Eyeshadow: 
Tarteist - dominate
Color Tattoo Metal - Inked in Pink
NYX - Copenhagen
Mascara: Too Faced Better Than Sex
Lipstick: Kylie Cosmetics - Maliboo  
Eyebrows: Wet n' Wild crayon & Essence Make Me Brow
Blush: Clinique Mocha Pink 



Wednesday, January 4, 2017

London Trip 2017


As I said in my last post, I am going to London in TWO MONTHS! How can that be possible? Even crazier...I haven't been in London for 3 years. Needless to say, I am beyond excited. 

If you know me, you're probably not surprised to know that my friends and I have planned the whole trip out pretty much by the minute. I've even gotten my outfits picked out. Here are just a few of the places that I am most looking forward to experiencing on our trip: 
  1. Sketch London- This place is an Instagrammers dream! With it's famous pink booths and pods toilets, you can't go wrong with a visit. My friends and I have decided to get drinks in The Glade (pictured above). This room makes me think of Oscar Wilde and has a real Fin de si├Ęcle feel to it! Also, the room doesn't require reservations and there is no minimum order. To eat in the Gallery (pink room), there is a minimum of two courses per guest. To make sure our budget allows us to experience everything on our list, we have feel that drinks instead of two courses makes more sense. 
  2. Cahoots- This bar is underground and looks like it came straight of the 1940s (picture above)! It has Cahoots Newspapers and is modeled like an old Underground station! I can't wait to try this place out and hear some jazz and swing music! 
  3. Monmouth Coffee- How could I go to London and not check out the top coffee shops? London is where I really began to enjoy coffee. I would get flat whites from Costa Coffee before I even knew what a flat white was. My friends and I are going to check out the Covent Garden location (pictured above) bright and early one day. I can already picture my Instagram feed with the classic shot of this place. 
  4.  Holland Park- This is an old favorite of mine! I remember the first time I went, I was all alone and it seemed like I had the place to myself. Flowers cover the place. It reminds of what the Secret Garden would look like. 
This list could go on and on but I am going to limit myself...for now! Check back for more details on my London trip! 



Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Looking Forward:

Hello everyone! Long time, no see.

It's 2017, can you believe it? I definitely can't! Last year flew by and yet so many things happened.

365 days ago, I was still living in Chicago. I was working at job that I hated. My friends and family were hundreds of miles away. And most shockingly, I had only watched Gilmore Girls two times through.

Now, I am back in Pittsburgh, loving the city as a post-grad! I have a job that I love doing! I've made new friends as well as connected with old ones. I have another nephew and loved see my other nephew grow into a sweet and hyper 3-year-old. Last but not least, I've watched Gilmore Girls 5 times!

To make 2017 even better and filled with more change and growth, I've made some resolutions!


A few more things I am looking forward to in 2017 are: a trip to London, moving into a new apartment, lots of DIY crafts, a trip to down south, and mastering the application of eye shadow! 

Monday, August 22, 2016

Outfit of the Day!


top: Forever 21 // skit: h&m // shoes: Shoe Department // Necklaces: Forever 21 



Tuesday, August 16, 2016

This Weekend I:

Watched: the Office for the first in a while and it was even funnier than I remember! 
Listened: to my mom and best friend talk about Pokemon Go
Learned: how to play Pokemon Go
Ate: homemade cake with chocolate mint icing
Read: this month's book club book, Fates and Furies
Drank: a Tokyo Drift from Hidden Harbor 
Thought: how great it was that my best friend visited me from DC 
Wished: that the weekend was one day longer
Realized: August is flying by! 
Bought: tacos from Qdoba :p