Pop Of Mustard Yellow
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I'm Still Learning

You know when you were a kid you couldn’t wait until your next birthday because you were guaranteed presents and attention. Now we’re in our 20s and every year seems like a realization that we are not where we pictured ourselves to be in all aspects of life whether that is relationships, career, or personal goals. Don’t worry, you’re not alone. I remember being 13 swimming in my friend's pool as her 23 year-old sister hung out with her friends on the deck. I watched from a distance, honestly thinking they were all so grown-up living that adult life. Only for me to reach the age of 23 and not know wtf is going on most of the time. It’s good to have those goals, and sometimes we (meaning ourselves) are our worst critic. Things never go as planned, but they also may not be as far off as we think. 

Some days you may feel like “F**k, I do not have my sh*t together.”

Some days your mood may be: “Just trying to get to the next day”

Nonetheless, we all need comfort and positivity sometimes. There are some things I've been learning and coming to realize over the years. 

On Love:

When you have found the one, hold on to him/her. Cherish that connection because that partnership is everlasting. I met my husband back when I was 16 years-old, and contrary to how things worked out, I actually did not plan or envision myself getting married (especially so young). To some that may be a goal, to me it was a life blessing to meet him without even planning it. With your partner, you should feel like your best self, its not always easy but you'll know if its worth it. Let’s remember that we are all about growth and many of us are in that “figuring out phase”, hold onto the one who supports you. pushes you. comforts you. sees your vision at times when you don’t. Don’t get caught up in the “togetherness” of it all, it is okay to have a vision that is separate from theirs, it is also okay to be in a relationship with yourself. 

On Career:

The worst thing they can say is no, right? I have a problem hearing "no", but what I've realized is its better to hear a response than nothing at all, so I keep pushing for an answer. Why? Because I believe in myself, even at times when I feel like it'll never work out. Apply for that job that you are totally not qualified for! Because again, the worst thing they can say is no. Most of us are still trying to navigate through and there will be moments where you are saying to yourself “What the hell?!” Trust yourself and stay consistent and persistent. It is going to happen for you, one day you'll look back at these moments wondering why you were so stressed. 

On You:

To realize the value of you, ask my mom. Whenever I'd dread my birthday, she'd pray to see her next one. Learn to value those friendships. They are everlasting. You don’t have to have it all figured out. You may never really be fully prepared, but this is life and it is our biggest teacher. Have your priorities together and never settle. Have fun. Be vulnerable. Be spontaneous. Don't be afraid to be open and love. Surround yourself with like minded people. People are who they attract, so if you don’t like someone in your circle look at what was it that drew them to you and take it from there. Don’t get caught up in the social media hole. We are a generation that craves instant gratification. Sometimes we miss the little things in life…we are only in our 20s once. May not always seem like it, but you're doing great. 

  Wearing:  Tory Burch  Top  | Banana Republic  Shorts  | Gucci  Loafers  

Wearing: Tory Burch Top | Banana Republic Shorts | Gucci Loafers 

I have my ups & downs with color in my wardrobe, but I do love a good mustard yellow. My recent trip to Montreal was fun but cloudy and gloomy, bold statements and pops of color is one way to stand out. 

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Pajama Errands
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  Wearing : J.O.A   top   

Wearing: J.O.A top 

Running errands or going to work in pajamas is probably frowned upon, but a silk pajama esqué top is an exception. Lately with Ramadan its been difficult finding the energy to do things. So here are little ideas to get you out of bed and help your mood:

  • get some sunshine
  • opening the curtains
  • eat a good meal, if you can
  • don’t stay up until 3am
  • go out for a walk
  • get off social media if it’s unhealthy
  • take a relaxing shower
  • don’t stay in bed the whole day
  • plan out your day
  • listen to music
  • change your clothes
  • set yourself small goals
  • say yes to fun events
  • plan a dinner out
  • talk to a close friend
  • drink a cup of tea/coffee, if you can

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Let's Travel
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Let's travel the world! Wouldn't that be great? How many times have you had an ad on social media pop up with "I Quit My Job To Travel The World, You Can Too!", because I have and unfortunately that is just not how life works. With travel bloggers taking over our Instagram feeds, it can be hard for some of us to imagine travelling the same way. Some people think I'm constantly traveling, and even I don't travel that much. So main thing: Don't compare yourself! If you've ever felt down, wondering how in the hell people get to travel so much... stop. I'm going to let you in on how I travel because the trick is simple; planning ahead and time management. 

How I do it?

Google Flights is my best travel friend! Why? Because it shows me the world, literally, and with flight prices to boot. If you're in school, everyone is given a set schedule. The same with work, I may not be working right now, but my favorite travel partner is my husband, so I check his schedule for work holidays. Why? The sooner you plan, the better the prices, the easier it is to figure out where to go and what to do. Plus when life gets too stressful, a travel plan gives a fun goal to look forward to. Getting away from college and work can help give you and your mind free thinking time. Traveling is the best way to allow yourself to put the world into perspective. Remind yourself that life is short and you can be free to explore and make the most of it.

Destination: First thing I do is figure out a list of places I'd like to visit and all the long weekend and vacation day options. A fun way to figure out where to go is to type in your travel dates and departing airport, but leave arrivals open. Google Flights shows a map with the different prices for each location point. You can even filter destination options based on your budget. 

Stay: I love AirBnb because it allows me to stay in unique hidden little spots within a city. Hotel Tonight (app) is my go-to for last minute hotel bookings and spontaneous trips. Obviously, the summer and long weekends are peak times meaning it'll be expensive, so book smart and book ahead. 

Things to do: That's a tricky one. I research A LOT. I check multiple sites, check the location map and local reviews, I ask friends for their experiences. Then I write out a list of the most important places (restaurants, cool sites, hidden gems) and the rest I usually find while exploring myself. I like to go on a trip with a basic understanding of the area and what I want to do, mainly to save time. Not everyone likes to do that, so on this website, I divide up exactly what I did on each day to help or give you a general idea. 

Google Flights
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Why can't I travel?

I'll start with my most recent trip to Puerto Rico. A few weeks ago, my husband told me he needs a trip to get away from work and stress. So I did my thing and checked Google Flights to find any destination options that fit our budget. Puerto Rico seemed like the best place for a quick weekend getaway. When I mentioned it to my brother, he asked a question many others have asked before "how do you travel so often?" followed by "why can't I travel?" 

I know this doesn't apply to everyone. I see a lot of my friends traveling and posting their experiences, but if you've ever asked yourself this question perhaps you need to push out the negative "I can't" and figure out how you can. I told him to come with us on our trip, which he immediately followed with an "I can't..."

1. "I have work": So I told him, we plan to leave Friday after work and take Monday off. Vacation days are there for a reason. 

2. "It seems pricey": The roundtrip flight was under $200, but I understand cost is a major factor and can be overwhelming to deal with. Just as we save up, pay rent, etc. It's important to save and splurge on yourself every once in a while. If you want to travel, set a goal and save up for it. 

3. "I'm busy that weekend": I told my brother if he really wants to come I'll change the dates, which I did. But more importantly, I told him to stop finding excuses and start finding solutions. 

Same story with my friend Asma. 3 days before leaving for Puerto Rico, she texted me to see if I was free for a movie. When I mentioned I would be in Puerto Rico, she said: "I wish I could travel like that". So I said, "everything is booked and set, come with us!". A few 'I can't - can I -  I can' texts later and she booked the flight. And honestly, our trip would not have been the same without them all.

Yes it is not often someone else will plan the whole trip for you, but that shouldn't be the reason why you don't get out there yourself. 

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Why is this important?

I've written about the fear of missing out, watching these people on social media traveling around the world making it look so easy. Pushing down this lavish lifestyle that may make us doubt ever being able to do the same. Unfortunately, I've had a few people watch my social media feeling this way and the truth is, that's not why I post. Let's be honest, I don't get paid to write or to post photos. For me, it's not about the fame, the money, or anything. It's sharing my happiness. I've learned through the hardships of life, from my mom actually, to find any reason to be happy and to make others happy. 

So if you've ever caught yourself saying I wish I could do that, work towards making that wish a reality. I love to plan. I will open google flights and just look at different destinations, compare flight prices, plan out itineraries just for fun. I understand that "planner mentality" doesn't come naturally to all. Planning a trip in my husband's eyes is overwhelming, figuring out even a restaurant to eat at makes him not want to go. It's why I write my itineraries, my experiences, my stories. You can turn to guidebooks for that dry and easy-to-read city guide but if you're on my website I want to share what worked for me and travel tips I picked up along the way. Ever get that I-wish-I-knew-then-what-I-know-now feeling, well that is what I want to share. So you can just book the flight and go!

Sharing my travel experiences is no different than a friend asking me for suggestions, I genuinely want you (and I may not even know you) to be happy. It is not always perfect, but nothing in life is. I've said it before, I've been sick on trips, gotten lost, in the wrong Ubers. Nothing is perfect, but there is no substitute for just getting out there and traveling.  

I love hearing stories of great travel trips! Tell me about the whirlwind romance you had in Buenos Aires, about the time you got lost and found the best street food in Vietnam. Regale me with stories of solo traveling, of finding inspiration across Europe, of feeling lonely in Dubai, of making new friends at a hostel in Istanbul, learning a new language in Morocco or learning about yourself in Colombia.

Life goals are put into perspective when you are able to get away from the stressors in your life, it opens your mind to what is really important. This gives you the opportunity to look at the world from a larger point of view and remind yourself that you are not stuck in the same place you have always been, the world is yours to explore.

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