Travel Bucket List 2016

I love to travel and go to new places. I think that exploring this amazing world that we live in is the best thing anyone can do! By coming into contact with new people and places, we broaden our horizons. So that’s why I’m so excited to be able to share with you my list of places I’ll be traveling to in 2016! From Central America to the wild wild West, to very close to home, I have lots of exciting things planned! I can’t wait to hear where you’ll be going too 🙂


MY TRAVEL BUCKET LIST

First let me preface this list by saying that I am very lucky to be given so many opportunities to travel! I can’t express enough how lucky I feel as a 19 year old to be able to visit amazing places like these. But anyway, without further ado!

1) The Wild West!

I’m going to be spending my summer working as a counselor on a giant Boy Scout camp in the Rocky Mountains! I’m a Vermonter who’s never been further west than Minneapolis, so to be traveling approximately 1,861 miles to New Mexico for a summer job is something I’m really looking forward to!

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2) The Dominican Republic

I am so excited to be heading to the beautiful Dominican Republic in March. However, this isn’t a vacation! I’m volunteering with a nonprofit foundation called Wine To Water to help bring clean drinking water to people who can’t access it. We’ll be drilling wells and making water filters to distribute! I hope to make a difference there, even just in my small way. Clean water is such a huge environmental issue, and it’s one I’m passionate about.

(If you’d like to donate to my fundraising efforts for this cause, you can click here! 🙂 )

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3) Climb 3 Adirondack mountains!

I love to hike, and one of my lifelong bucket list items is to climb all 46 of the Adirondack mountains. This year I want to be able to add 3 to my list! They’re all located in upstate New York, so it should be fairly easy haha! Some of the peaks are really quite difficult though. I’ll start off simple!

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There’s my travel plans for 2016! Hopefully I’ll get to add some more day trips in as we go through 2016 🙂 Where are you headed this year? What places have you always wanted to go to? Let me know in the comments! Thanks for stopping by 🙂

Love Kiki

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All opinions are my own; this is not a sponsored post. All photos from Unsplash.

If you enjoyed this post, you may also enjoy What’s In My Makeup Bag? or Camino De Santiago 2015

My New Year’s Resolutions

Hey guys!

As my last post of 2015, I want to share with you my New Year’s resolutions. But first, I want to thank you.

Thank you to every single person who has taken the time to visit my blog, comment on a post, leave a like, or subscribe. Thank you for the sweet comments and for helping me out via Twitter when I struggle with WordPress. Thank you for the inspiration from your blogs, and thank you so much for letting me be part of this amazing blogging community. I’ve only been blogging for 9 months, and it’s my favorite thing. So a big thank you to each and every one of you!

So, without further ado, here are my resolutions for 2016 🙂

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Step out of my comfort zone. Say yes! I’m making a rule for myself to say yes to one new experience a week in 2016. People grow due to their experiences, and I’m always excited to try new things. But, I don’t want to stretch myself too thin, so I’ll pick and choose my priorities more carefully as well.

Grow my blog. I love being creative and interacting with all of you in my little online space, and I can’t wait to make my content even better and grow my readership. Side note: I also plan to rewrite those embarrassing first posts haha!

Improve my photography. I love taking pictures, and I want to get myself some new equipment and really see what I can do this next year. There’s always something to learn!

Let go of my need to always be right. I believe that to be happy, we need to not stress the small stuff. Learning to go with the flow sometimes could help me relax more 🙂

Spend less time online. I spend a ton of time online, either blogging, doing homework, or endlessly scrolling through social media. I need to unplug a little more and do more real-life projects!

And of course, travel more! I have a couple really exciting adventures coming up in the new year, and I can’t wait to share them with you all 🙂


What are your resolutions for the New Year? I’d love to hear about the exciting things you’ll all be doing. Let me know in the comments, and as always, thanks for stopping by 🙂

Love Kiki

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All opinions are my own; this is not a sponsored post.

 

Insta Roundup #2

Happy Wednesday! Who’s ready for Christmas? I’m trying to get in the spirit, but unfortunately I just had my wisdom teeth removed and I’m feeling pretty miserable. I was hoping to put up an OOTD for you guys today, but the pouring rain and my drugged-up, puffy face kinda stood in the way of that haha. That’ll have to wait for next time! In the meantime, since I’ve been spending so much time in bed, I thought I’d share with you guys what I’ve been doing lately, which is mostly Instagram and Snapchat haha. If you missed the last installment, check out Insta Roundup #1 too!


 

  1. OOTD shot from this post! Loving rompers and beanies so much right not, especially since we have no snow 😦 Thanks to my little sister for being my reluctant photographer haha!
  2. Writing blog posts, having some lemon tea, and making arrangements for my next adventure! I’m super excited to be volunteering in the Dominican Republic this spring-but more on that later!
  3. An outfit shot from Mustard x Navy, showing again my love for beanies 🙂 I must have at least 10!
  4. Thanks to my lovely boyfriend for taking “candid” photos of me haha, even if he does so begrudgingly!
  5. The weather’s been so crazy lately, this from where I stand photo was taken in December! I need some snow here soon, although I think my hopes for a white Christmas are in vain…
  6. Another shot from the previous OOTD. I love putting photos in black and white haha.
  7. Throwback to warmer weather on the lake where I live at school! Can’t wait to get back to that gorgeous place.
  8. Shameless selfie showing off my makeup look of the day #noregrets! Check out what I used to create this look here.
  9. Last but not least, a little inspiration to get us through the week! Don’t forget to live each day to the fullest 🙂

Do you guys love Instagram as much as I do? (To be fair, I love it a lot haha!) Please leave your Insta handles in the comments, or just follow me on Instagram and I’ll be sure to give you a follow back! I love checking out fellow bloggers’ accounts 🙂

Instagram can definitely be a time suck, but to me it’s totally worth it! What do you think? Let me know in the comments! Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

Love Kiki

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All opinions are my own; this is not a sponsored post.

If you enjoyed this post, you may also enjoy FOTD: Sample Edition or Obstacle Workout App Review

App Review: Room For More

Hey guys! I’m super excited about this app review, because this app has solved one of my biggest phone problems! I love the convenience of a smart phone and being able to whip it out and take a picture of anything at a moment’s notice! But the issue that I run into, and that I’m sure a lot of you have too, is a storage one. My phone’s Photos app is overflowing with selfies and pictures of my cats…that’s where Room For More comes in!


ROOM FOR MORE- REVIEWED

This app has seriously been a lifesaver for me! The creator reached out to me to review this app, and my first thought? “Huh. That sounds interesting but it’s probably annoying to use and not very practical…”

I was wrong! This app is the bomb. It stores your photos in your own private cloud, and no on but you can access them. I have so much more space on my phone now!! I know as avid bloggers, a lot of you guys probably have to same issues with phone storage as me, especially in this digital age. So here’s a solution! Here’s what Room For More’s creators have to say about it.

Storage: Never delete a beloved photo or video again. All content is securely stored in your own private cloud, freeing up tons of space on your phone.

Access: Photos and videos can be viewed anytime from any connected phone or tablet, or from any computer via the Room for More website.

Control: You decide who can see your photos and videos, with options to share publicly on Facebook and Twitter or privately with custom Web links.

Retrieval: Back up photos and videos on a computer or external hard drive at the push of a button. Room for More will send you an email with all your content in a .ZIP file.

Privacy: Room for More never sells users’ personal data. It will never snoop on photos, videos or other data to sell ads — or for any other reason.

Quality: All content is stored in original quality, with no limits on file size or video length.

I’m super happy that I got a chance to use this, it’s perfect for me! It’s available for iOS and Android, and if you’d like to test it out, click here to get 6 GB of storage free, courtesy of the kind creators 🙂 I was super happy to be wrong about this app. I think it would be great for anyone who takes a lot of travel photos, or just takes lots of selfies like me haha!


I’d love to hear what you guys think about this! Do any of you use Room For More, or something similar to store your photos? Let me know in the comments! Thanks for stopping by 🙂

Love Kiki

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All opinions are my own; this app was provided for free, but this post is free of bias.

If you enjoyed this post, you may also enjoy Like The Cool Kids or 10 Beauty Gifts Under $10

Insta Roundup #1

Instagram is probably my favorite type of social media. I check it more than Facebook or Twitter or Pinterest-I think it’s safe to say I’m obsessed! I’ve been seeing Instagram roundups everywhere lately, and I really enjoy reading them! It’s such fun to see snapshots into other people’s lives (at least I think so! Maybe I’m just nosy haha), so I thought I’d do one too! If you’d like to follow me, you can click here– I’d love to check out your accounts! 🙂 Hope you guys enjoy.

 

  1. Top left. Throwing it back to my Spain hiking adventures this summer! (You can read about those here, here, or here if you like!)
  2. Middle top. I dressed as a flapper this Halloween with some 1920s inspired makeup- I think it came out pretty well! (I took about 10,000 versions of this selfie before settling on the perfect one- can you tell haha?)
  3. Top right. Stopped along a river on a road trip to take this snap of the fall colors.
  4. Left side. Having fun while shooting a recent OOTD- you can check out more shots from that over here if you like.
  5. Left side middle. Yes I take a lot of pictures of myself…are you seeing a theme here? I do admit that most of my Insta photos relate to blogging and what I’m currently wearing! However if you like these kinds of accounts you may enjoy that, I don’t know… I promise I’m not a total narcissist all the time!
  6. Right middle. Okay maybe it seems like I am…shameless selfie…so sorry. I was feeling my straight hair that day! Can anyone recommend a good heat protectant for straightening hair?
  7. Bottom left. Missing the summer weather so much right now…shot from a past OOTD.
  8. Right side middle. Another shot from this post.
  9. Right bottom. Showing off my new favorite eyeshadow, Bad To The Bronze by Maybelline. Read more about it in my November Favorites if you like.

As you can see, I definitely use my Instagram for #ootds, among a few other things! What do you think of Insta roundups? What kinds of photos do you usually post? Are you as obsessed as me haha? Let me know in the comments! Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

Love Kiki

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All opinions are my own; this is not a sponsored post.

If you enjoyed this post, you may also enjoy Obstacle Workout App Review or Poppies and Peter Pan Collars.

 

Hunter Mountain

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TGIF, guys! This week has been insane, I’m deeply in need of some R&R lately. School and classes are really catching up with me, I think I feel a spa day coming on! Thankfully last weekend I actually did end up doing something relaxing. I took a quick road-trip from my college to the Woodstock area of New York, in the Catskills, and took a hike up Hunter Mountain!

It was a beautiful fall day out, and the leaves were just starting to turn. My boyfriend is from the area, so we stopped by his house and picked up his dog to take with us! He loved the hike 🙂

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 The trail was about 3.8 miles from our base start point to the peak, and much of it was very steep. If you’re new to hiking, I wouldn’t recommend this one- it was basically straight up the whole way! However if you’re an outdoorsy type, this is definitely a trek worth making; the views are absolutely gorgeous. Sturdy shoes are necessary, the trail is very rocky and it’s extremely easy to twist an ankle: I came pretty close a few times! Choose boots with ankle support, and a stick or pole to help you out on the descent isn’t a bad idea either. My boots are Oboz Sawtooths, and you can find them here.

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There’s a fire tower on top of Hunter Mountain that is open to climb most of the year, and if you climb to the top you can see literally for miles and miles! Here are some shots of the gorgeous autumnal views. You can see the Catskill mountains until they meet the sky! hunter10
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The firetower and cabin area are maintained by weekend volunteers from the area! They stay in this small cabin and help hikers that come through.

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 This peak is over 4,000 feet, and the trail we chose was 3.8 miles. We (and the dog!) completed it in just under 2 hours. It was such a beautiful day for a hike, and it felt amazing to make the most of the last few nice outdoor days! Overall, I definitely recommend Hunter Mountain to anyone looking for a fun yet challenging weekend hike. For more pictures from it, check out my Instagram! I’m looking for new bloggers to follow 🙂

Also, to those of you paying attention 😉 I’ve chopped my hair off again! I took about 6 inches off, and it just skims my chin now! It was a pretty spur of the moment decision, but it’ll grow back haha. I’m really liking it!

What have you been up to lately? Any fun outdoor adventures? Made any spur of the moment beauty decisions? Let me know in the comments! Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

Love Kiki

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All opinions are my own; this is not a sponsored post.

If you enjoyed this post, you may also enjoy OH-FEST 2015 or Camino de Santiago 2015

Santiago de Compostela

After 26 days of walking and over 500 kilometers, I have finally made it to Santiago de Compostela!!

 


It feel so incredible to have finished my second Camino! The road was long and rough and every day was tougher than the last, but I am so proud of myself for completing this for the second time. Here’s my official certificate of completion, called a Compostela! It’s issued to each religious pilgrim by the Catholic Church, and they write your name on it in Latin.

 
This experience is truly life changing for every pilgrim, and each pilgrim learns new things about themselves along the Way.

Here are 5 things the Camino taught me that I will carry into my life back home!

1.) Remember why you’re doing it. You may be waking in 100 degree heat through fields of nothing for kilometers and kilometers, but you chose that! Don’t forget your reasons, and your goals will be that much easier.

2.) Sunscreen is always a good idea! There’s nothing worse than a backpack chafing on a sunburn, and sunscreen protects you and makes your skin look much better in the long run. Don’t leave without it!

3.) However much stuff you think you need to get along- you need much less than you think you do. We tend to collect things, but having to carry all those things on your back really teaches you to prioritize!

4.) Don’t trust the water unless you’re positive its drinkable. No explanation needed.

5.) To quote The Unbreakable Kimmie Schmidt, you can stand anything for ten more seconds! Just one baby step at a time.

 
I hope that any of you who are considering doing the Camino enjoy these photos! Feel free to contact me with any questions about the trip-you can find my email under the Contact Me tab. Thanks for stopping by!

Love Kiki

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For more about the Camino, check out Part 1Part 2, and Part 3!

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The Road So Far-Part 3

Hello everyone, and thank you so much to those of you who have been following my blog so far along the way-it really means a lot to me! For those of you who missed it, I am currently walking the Camino de Santiago, a pilgrimage across northern Spain to the tomb of St James the Elder. I’m currently about 3 weeks into the trip! You can read more about what the trip is in Parts 1 and 2, as well as Camino De Santiago 2015.

I’ve now been in the more mountainous part of Spain for a couple days. Yesterday I hit the highest point on the Camino, which gave such a great feeling of accomplishment. The views have been simply incredible, as I walk along the rim above the long valleys.  Here’s a shot of me at the top!

I’m wearing the same outfits in most of my photos haha-I only brought the bare minimum on this backpacking trip. You can expect a post once I return home of exactly what I brought, for anyone wishing to read about what one needs on the Camino!



I also got the chance to stop by and visit a Templar Knight castle in the lovely little city of Ponferrada. They thought at one point that the Holy Grail could have been at this location, and so they dug all through it. Fortunately it has undergone renovations since then and is simply amazing! I got a delicious ice cream cone at the shop across from it too-what more could you ask for?

Here a few more shots of the Camino-as they always say, a picture is worth a thousand words!


This trip has proven to be just as life-changing and incredible as the first time I completed it. All the walking time truly gives a person time to reflect on who they are and where they are going, and I feel so lucky to be here doing it. I highly recommend this to anyone who loves travel and hiking! Thanks for stopping by 😊

Love Kiki

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For more about the Camino, check out Part 1, Part 2, and Santiago de Compostela!

The Road So Far- Part 2

It’s been a week or so of walking, and I find myself settling into the daily rhythm. Waking up at 5 wearing my walking clothes, pulling on my boots and stepping out the door of the hostel right onto the trail. Usually I walk about 6 kilometers before stopping for breakfast. It’s hours before sunrise when the walk begins, and I love the serenity of it. Sometimes the Camino is right next to a road, and sometimes it’s so far from civilization it feels like I’ve gone back a few centuries. It’s amazing to think how many people have walked the same path over hundreds of years.

From starting in the province of Burgos, I have now crossed into Palencia and am just a couple of days from the city of León! I can’t wait to get there, but for now I’m enjoying walking through the countryside. Here’s a few shots to give you a bit of a feel of the trail!

 
          

As you can see, we’re walking through the flat and hot part right now. This are is known as the Meseta, and many pilgrims take a bus through it instead of enduring the awful baking heat. To anyone thinking of doing this trip, don’t forget to carry at least a liter or two of water walking through this area-and sunscreen is a must as well to survive this section. I made the mistake of forgetting to put it on the backs of my legs, and I suffered a miserable couple of days. Sun protection is top priority! Thankfully, the Meseta does end eventually.

Love Kiki

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For more about the Camino, check out Part1, Part 3, and Santiago de Compostela!

The Road So Far-Part 1

Buenos días! I haven’t been able to update as often as I’d like to-WiFi has been pretty scarce so far. At just a few days into the Camino (not counting the 3 I spent in Madrid and Burgos) I’ve already seen and experienced so many amazing things along the way, which I’m sure I will share in due course. While in Madrid, I stayed in a hostel just down the street from the center of the city, Plaza del Sol. I tasted a wide variety of delicious things as well, and as a self proclaimed food enthusiast, my tastebuds were very happy! Here are a few highlights from Madrid!

       I hope these snapshots give you a taste of Madrid!  Thanks for stopping by and following along with my journey!

Love Kiki

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For more about the Camino, check out Part 2, Part 3, and Santiago de Compostela!