Travel Tips!

…so you don’t pull your hair out (this is what I’d add to that title if I wasn’t concerned about the URL being too long). Going on vacation is always something to count down to, and plan day-in and day-out. Next week, I will be travelling to the Golden State to visit one of my closest high school friends. With life being so busy lately, it’s nice to know that I’ll have a few days of catching up, exploring, and relaxation. Even though I’m literally counting down the minutes till my flight, I have to say there is A LOT to do between now and then.

To me, the hardest part about travelling is packing. You can’t pack your entire closet and jewelry box, even though you want to. You’re packing up a frenzy and then you remember that your favorite t-shirt is in the wash, or you’re halfway through your flight when you remember that you didn’t pack the shoes that matched the dress you remembered to take. There is nothing. more. frustrating. than. forgetting. the. shoes. Luckily, I’ve got a few simple ways to make your packing process a little less stressful!

1. Make lists!

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This seems ridiculously simple, but it can really save you from a serious headache. I’m definitely a culprit of making a mental list, or just packing what I see in plain sight. Just sit down with your morning coffee and list out each item by category: Outfits, Accessories, Toiletries, Make-up, etc. Then jot things down as you think of them or see them. Not only will this help you think of everything you would want to pack, it will help you ensure that you actually pack them! There is no better feeling than crossing an item off a list!

2. Pack in outfits, not items!

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Do you ever just throw clothes into a bag because you think “Oh I’ll definitely wear this shirt!” and then end up not wearing them? Save yourself the headache of ending up with 12 shirts and one pair of jeans to work with. When you pack, make stacks of outfits: bottoms, tops, accessories, even the shoes you’d wear with the outfit. Once you have all your stacks laid out you can decide if you can mix and match anything to eliminate an item. Maybe the shorts from one outfit will match with the top from another, and you can nix an entire pair of shorts altogether. This will not only help you pack a little lighter, but it will ensure that you don’t end up getting dressed in your hotel room wishing you had packed the shirt that matched perfectly with the skirt you’re wearing.

3. Buy reusable travel bottles!

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Instead of stressing out about finding a travel sized version of your favorite face wash, just buy reusable plastic bottles and make it yourself! It’s more economical and it makes sure you don’t have to go a week wishing you had your favorite beauty products with you. When I mentioned I was writing this blog post to a coworker, she gave me another great idea. Put your foundation into a contact lens case; it will definitely last you at least a week and you won’t need to carry the bottles with you!

I’m confident I’ll have a few California inspired posts headed your way, and until then, you can follow my adventures on Instagram @notyoureverydaybrowngirl!

xO K

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Top 5 Moments of Spring Break 2014!

I know this post is about a week overdue, and I apologize! My spring break was absolutely wonderful, the road trip was just as fun as I expected it would be, and the whole vacation was relaxing and full of lots of laughter and memory-making (is that a word?). Instead of writing out paragraphs of each detail of my vacation, I decided to just give you my five favorite moments of the five day journey. Now, this isn’t to say that other moments were not memorable or perfect, but these are the five that have carried the most weight. 0315141809aed

1. The drive

The drive itself was so much fun. We left Jersey at 4:20 am, hoping to reach our destination by 5 pm. I drove the first stretch, and S stayed up and rode shotgun to help me stay awake. We created a roadtrip playlist ahead of time, so we passed the first few hours of the trip singing along. We got to watch the sun rise, and we caught a glimpse of the Washington Monument when we passed by Washington. Since it was our first time on vacation away from our parents, and our first time ever driving a car through these other states, this was a pretty big deal for us.

2. St. Patty’s Day

Unfortunately St. Patty’s Day was the day I lost my phone, womp. That was pretty depressing, and also the reason why my Instagramming suddenly stopped. Disregarding that, St. Patty’s Day was fun because we all got dressed up in our finest green clothes, and wore cute shamrock headbands to Myrtle Beach. Though it was cold and rainy, we walked the boardwalk and bought lots of souvenirs.

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3. Planet Fun

This place was a pleasant surprise. Our first day at Ocean Isle was marked by rain and 40 degree weather. We were pretty bummed until we looked up what we could do indoors and found a place not too far from where we were staying. We decided to check it out and were ecstatic when we found out that with $15, we could play unlimited mini-golf (glow-in-the-dark mini-golf might I add), unlimited laser tag, unlimited bowling, and unlimited arcade games. I have never heard of a place in Jersey that has such an amazing deal, and we had more fun than all the little kids running around the place combined.

4. Walking on the beach and finding seashells

Even though it was cold during our stay, we walked on the beach as much as we could. We were all so happy to find scallop seashells that were intact, because up here they’re mostly broken. We picked up a bunch, and I’m excited to find a place to display them. The waves were beautiful, even in the rain, and there was nothing like walking on the beach to remind me that summery days are coming.

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5. Wine and Cards Against Humanity

Every evening we had the same drill- playing Cards Against Humanity. If you haven’t played it, then the best way to describe it is a rated-R version of Apples to Apples. We enjoyed a lot of laughs because of this game, and we indulged in some cheap wine as well. Classy and fun.

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Can it be any more perfect?

Happy Spring!

xO K

Packing for Spring Break

This Spring Break is my last spring break…ever. The thought is extremely disturbing and terrifying but I’ll deal with that later. Luckily, my friends and I are going out with a bang so to speak, and we’ve planned for the last spring break to be absolutely amazing. Since we’ll have to pack light to fit all of our luggage in the car, I’m trying to be disciplined and pack only what I absolutely need…the problem is that I absolutely need EVERYTHING! I guess I’ll have to deal with that one later, but for now, here are a few absolute necessities that I’m tossing into my bag for this vacation!

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Rosebud Salve- this stuff is amazing for your lips. It smells so good and it’s all natural…definitely a must-have for a week on the beach.

2 States- like I said in the Roadtrip Essentials post, you need to take a book on such a long trip. I picked up this book in India after falling in love with a borrowed copy. I can’t wait to re-read it!

Clean and clear Morning Energy Purifying Face Wash- this energizing face wash is going to be perfect for morning walks on the beach.

Old Teen Vogue magazines- I’m taking and re-reading last year’s Teen Vogues, hoping to get some blog-spiration!

St Patty’s Day garb- We’ll be on vacation during St. Patrick’s Day…which is code for we are going to be celebrating the green holiday in style. I’m packing lots of themed stuff for a fun day.

Travel journal- this travel journal comes with me on every vacation, and I like to document all of the funny things that are said, all the music we sing along to, and all the cool things we see.

Bold lip color- this bold lip color is becoming a traditional beauty item for spring break. It’s perfect for a night out, or for a beachy day.

Hair extensions- no beach trip is complete without putting brais, feathers, or color in your hair. These pink hair extensions will be fun to wear on the beach or out at night.

I hope you all have a wonderful Spring Break! Follow @notyoureverydaybrowngirl on Instagram for pictures of our roadtrip!

xO K

Nadiad, Gujarat

Towards the end of our trip, we visited my mom’s family in Nadiad, Gujarat. My grandmother grew up in Nadiad, and my mom was born there but was raised in Mumbai. The last time I was in India, we visited Nadiad for a couple of days and met our family. This time was very different because I was so much more aware of what was happening, and everyone looked so different to me. I’m sure they felt the same way…I was only a little girl when they last saw me! We spent our evening at the bungalow where my grandmother grew up, and all of our extended family travelled to meet us. It was a very warm reunion, and everyone was able to catch up after such a long time.

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My cousin and I had a fake fight over this tray of jalebis. Have you ever had a jalebi? If yes, then you know exactly why we were fake fighting…yum.

I asked my uncle to give us a tour of the bungalow, and because he is awesome, he agreed! We climbed up to the terrace, which I had heard many stories about. When my mom was little, she and all her cousins would sleep out on the terrace at night whenever they visited Nadiad. Can you imagine a sleepover under the stars?

Before leaving for our next destination, we had lunch with the entire family. Since we were in Nadiad the day before the kite flying festival, my uncle wanted to give us a taste of how much fun we were going to have the next day. We climbed up to the terrace again and he showed us how to set up a kite. The kites used for this festival come separately from the rolls of string, called phirkis, and you need to tie them together every time you want to fly a new kite. My brother, cousins and I took turns flying the kite my uncle put up in the sky, and it was exhilarating to say the least.

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My uncle and aunt showed us how to prepare the kites for flight!

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This is the terrace where we flew kites, and where my mom had sleepovers years ago.

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This was one of our kites in the sky!

This post is dedicated to my aunt and uncle for the amazing time I had with them in Nadiad. I miss you and cannot wait to come back.

xO K

Taj Mahal, Agra

The Taj Mahal is one of the most breathtaking monuments I have ever seen. Hands down. No wonder it’s one of the seven wonders of the world. You walk in, and everything around you ceases to exist. It’s so beautiful, it can’t be real. I wish I had been able to spend the entire day sitting in front of it and absorbing it, but unfortunately we didn’t have time. Regardless, I absorbed as much as I could, and took a million more pictures than I will share here. If you ever visit India, make the trip. Trust me, it’ll be worth it.

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xO K

Shopping in Mumbai

Arguably the most exciting part about being in Mumbai was the shopping. Our second day in Mumbai was completely allocated for shopping (I know, only one day), and we literally shopped till we dropped. I decided not to wear jewelery that day because I knew I would find some amazing stuff once we started shopping, and I was right! I ended up taking these pieces straight out of the packaging and putting them on as the day went along.

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My shirt is from Charlotte Russe, you can find a similar one here. This is one of my favorite shirts because of how flowy and comfortable it is. I love the crochet detail in the front, which makes it versatile for casual and going-out wear.

My pants are from Uniqlo. I had been looking for the perfect pair of red pants before I found these right before we left for India. They’re really comfortable, and understandably sold out, so definitely keep a lookout!

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My bangles are from one of the markets we went to, they’re made from cloth which makes them unique and super cute.

My necklace (and arguably my most prized purchase from the trip) is from a street vendor. The best thing about the necklace is that it can be worn with just about anything, and it’s the perfect statement necklace for a night out.

I’m wearing a piece of jewelery called a baaju band on my arm. I saw it at the market and fell in love, I think it’s the perfect piece to wear with sleeveless tops, and it can also be worn with traditional outfits.

xO K

Juhu Beach- First Day in Mumbai

My family and I went to India for three weeks during this winter break. We were in Mumbai for the first few days, and then we travelled to Gujarat for my cousin’s wedding. After the wedding, we went sightseeing in Delhi, Agra, Jaipur and Udaipur, and ventured back to Gujarat for Uttrayan, which is a kite flying festival. This vacation definitely topped any vacation I’ve ever been on, and I enjoyed every single moment of it. Going on vacation with my cousins definitely made the experience better because we were able to share all the fun times together.

On our first day in Mumbai, we decided to visit Juhu beach. The last time I was in Mumbai, or India for that matter was 10 years ago in 2003, and I don’t remember much of it. Needless to say, a lot has changed in the last decade! My mom grew up in Mumbai, and she lived within walking distance from Juhu beach, and I especially wanted to visit a place I had heard so much about!

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The place was packed, but we walked along the shore for a bit, taking it all in. It was beautiful to say the least. There were peanut and coconut vendors along the beach, and kids were flying kites everywhere. It was awesome to be able to go to the beach the day after Christmas! We decided to stop to drink water straight out of a coconut…yum. Nothing beats fresh coconut water, let me tell you that.

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A glimpse of my outfit:

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My shoes are from Macy’s (and they’re superrr comfy), you can find a similar pair here.

My shirt is the baby blue version of the shirt I wore here.

My scarf is from American Eagle, and I’m so happy with how well it worked with the outfit.

That first day in Mumbai was the perfect start to an amazing vacation!

xO K