Make Your Own Scrunchies!

Right before we left for Portugal I decided I wanted to make some European-ish accessories. I'm talking the day before we left. I love the look of a scarf tied around a pony-tail, but a lot of times the scarf will slip off. So I thought a scarf-like bow on a scrunchie would be perfect. We saw some scrunchies at Forever 21, or maybe it was H&M, a few days before, and I couldn't believe that scrunchies were coming back. But something about the bow makes them a little more acceptable to me. I had this red fabric forever just waiting to be helpful in making something cute. I think it did it's job well!
I made a video showing you how to make your own bow scrunchie as I think it's easier to watch it happening rather than reading how to do it.
We hope you enjoyed this post and will experiment with making your own scrunchies! If you plan to do so, please pin the image below.

xo, Savannah

12 Tips For Your First Trip Abroad

Traveling is a fun adventure that allows you to explore a world outside of your own. However, there are many things to think about before you travel to another country. Done the right way, you can set yourself up for success as soon as you land. After a few trips of our own, we have compiled a list of things that will make your life easier on your first trip abroad.

1. Buy travel insurance. Besides the fact that having insurance will give you peace of mind, you'll want it in case a flight gets canceled or your luggage gets lost. It can also cover things like insurance for your rental car- just make sure you read the fine print.

2. Order money from your bank ahead of time. Some banks will let you withdrawal other country's money without an extra fee, so check to see what they will charge. You can avoid ATM fees and constantly-changing exchange rates if you get cash before you leave the country. Depending on the country, it may be cheaper just to use an ATM. Just do you research and figure out the best fit for you before you leave.

3. Bring a cross body bag that zips or locks shut. When you are walking around a new city, you need a way to keep your belongings safe and right by your side. Don't bring a bag that is open on the top. If you decide to use a backpack, just make sure you wear it in the front when you are in crowded places. But whatever you do, use something that at least has a zipper.

4. Purchase plug converters for the country you are going to. Check to see if your destination country has different plugs that what your home country uses. If they do, you'll want to buy a couple to take with you. You can buy converters right on Amazon. Make sure you check that the converters you are buying work for your specific country- there are a lot of different plugs out there!

5. Find out the country's emergency code/number. This isn't 911 everywhere you go. But you'll want to know this before you go. If you happen to need to call the emergency number, you won't want to have to look it up first.

6. Find out where your Embassy is. This is just good practice. Maybe we watch too much Homeland, but being prepared for the worst is never a bad thing.

7. Make copies of your passport. Leave one at home and keep one with you on your trip- in a separate place from your original passport. When you get home you can shred these or store for your next trip.

8. Do you research on tipping. How much should you be tipping in your destination country? This is different all over the world- some places don't even tip.

9. Find a couple restaurants and activities that are a must do and then leave all the other time for exploring. When you are in another country, you have to have some flexibility. A lot of the time things won't go according to plan. This is a fact and you'll need to have an open mind to make sure you can roll with it. If there is a restaurant or sight that you desperately want to see, make sure you see those things. Make a reservation. But leave time for exploring. You will find things you love that you just couldn't find in your internet research. In fact, if you are traveling somewhere where a different language is spoken, you probably can't find half of the things there are to do online. Be prepared to walk around and stumble upon things you've never heard of.

10. Drink only water for the 48 hours before you leave. And the whole time you are traveling. Hydration is so important when it comes to long flights and travel. And while you are at it, buy a box of Emergen-C to take with you. Start drinking it two days before your flight. We didn't drink Emergen-C every day on our trip, just the days leading up to flying through the day after arriving. The last thing you want is to get sick on vacation, so stay hydrated!

11. Add an international plan to your cell phone. Or make a plan to get a pay-as-you-go local phone. If you haven't done this, you'll end up with a hefty phone bill even with just one google search. Plans are different for every country, so you'll have to call your carrier to figure out pricing. Just make sure your settle this before you go!

12. Pack a foldable reusable bag. I can't tell you how important this bag was on our trip! In other countries they charge for plastic bags, as they should. So having your own bag will not only save you a little cheddar, it's way sturdier than any plastic bag. But we ended up needing to use this bag for more than just groceries. We used it for carrying giant water bottles that we bought when we were walking around, groceries, goods we purchased from vendors on the street, camera accessories, and even to move stuff around in our luggage for different flights. You can't even imagine all the ways that this little bag could be useful. It's so universal. It's takes up little space and will save your butt more than once.

I'm sure we will come up with many more tips when we travel again, but if you follow all of these, you will be set up for success. Do you have any travel tips you'd like to share? Leave them in the comments below.

And if you liked this post and would like to see more like it, please pin the image below on Pinterest!

xo, Savannah

An Honest Review Of Our HomeAway in Boston

We received a free stay at this HomeAway property for our honest review.

If you follow us on Instagram, you know that we recently got back from a trip to Portugal. And worry not, we will have many posts about that trip very soon. On our way back from Portugal, we spent 2 nights in Boston at this lovely HomeAway property. We had big plans to explore the city of Boston for the 2 days we were there but we literally only left the apartment to eat. We spent all of our other time inside relaxing. I think it was a little ambitious to plan on exploring a new city that was cold + snowy, after having traveled for 2 weeks. We just couldn't do it.
We have never used HomeAway. We were surprised to discover that they have more than 2 million unique properties in 190 countries- so there is a property for everyone and every budget. The booking process was similar to other vacation rental companies. What I didn't love about renting from this particular property is that it is owned by another company, Sonder. And Sonder had their own booking system that we had to go through. So we had to book through both HomeAway and Sonder. However, I have noticed this happens on other vacation rental platforms, so you just have to know that when you book.
This property was a 1 bedroom/1bathroom apartment near Boston College. We were close to the Green Line and a bus stop. Since we didn't rent a car during our time there, the proximity to public transportation was a plus. However, because we were so close to the train, it was very loud at night. We were happy to be close to several restaurants and markets.
We ate at Eagles Deli, had bubble tea (twice) at Kung Fu Tea, and ordered pizza from Ecco Pizzeria. One day we took a 20 minute bus ride to The Breakfast Club. We actually genuinely enjoyed all of these places.
After being out of the country for 2 weeks and eating very different breakfasts, we were very happy to eat some good ol' American breakfast. The Breakfast Club had gluten-free pancakes so that was a major plus. If you don't have car, don't worry- there are plenty of restaurants to explore nearby!
Ecco was the first thing we ate as soon as we arrived to our HomeAway. It was perfect for our lazy vibes. The pizza is a little fancier than your average delivery service and the have gluten-free pizza!
Overall, we enjoyed our stay here, and it was a great place to relax. If you would like to book a stay with HomeAway, click here!

If you like posts like this and would like to see more like it, please pin the image below!

peace, Casey

How To Pack For 2 Weeks In A Carry-On

Why on earth would someone want to pack for 2 weeks in a carry-on? I would have asked the same thing until I did it myself. But on our trip to Portugal we did just that. We thought long and hard about making this decision and in the end I'm really glad we packed in a carry-on. We moved around so much on our trip and were often stuck for hours between hotels/Airbnbs- having anything bigger than a carry-on would have been a nightmare. Many times we had to carry our luggage up and down stairs too (think 4th floor walk-ups in Lisbon and down to the underground subway). But the biggest factor was cost. We flew on 8 planes and paying to check baggage on all those flights just wasn't an option.

Here are 9 tips if you are trying to pack for a long period of time in a carry-on suitcase:

1. Plan your outfits + stick to neutrals. This is an obvious tip, but we all know that towards the end of packing you just start throwing things in your suitcase. There is no room for this when all you have is a carry-on. If you have a beautiful top that you love but aren't exactly sure what pants it works with- don't take it. Make sure that each piece you have works with exactly what you have. It's a balancing act. The best thing to do is stick to all neutrals. (Or things that are easily interchangeable.) Almost everything I brought was black and that is the easiest way to go. I mean, you could bring all yellow things and it would be way better than bringing pieces in 10 different colors.

2. Only take 2 statement pieces. Having a statement piece like a floral or polka-dot top will make your wardrobe for the trip seem a little more lively. If you don't care about that, you can definitely bring 0 statement pieces. But just set yourself a limit. Casey and I knew we'd be taking photos of each other so we definitely wanted some piece of interest for that.

3. Take less than you think you need, and then take even less. If you are like us, you wear the same basic pieces. There's no need to think you will want to dress any differently when you travel. When you have all your outfits planned out, you probably could handle taking some things out. You need less that you think you do. I bought this really cute top specifically for our trip and I almost did not bring it. It required an undershirt and although it was thin and took up little space, I was on the fence of whether or not I thought I'd actually wear it. I chose to bring both pieces and guess what? I never wore it. A good rule of thumb- if you are ever on the fence about a piece, leave it at home.

Bring minimal shoes. For our trip a stylish sneaker and our hiking boots could've worked for the whole trip. We did bring some nicer comfortable shoes though, and we used them a lot. Don't bother with heels or having a variety to choose from. A sneaker and a nice/comfortable shoe like this one will usually do the trick.

And when it comes to makeup, only bring the necessities. There's something about traveling that makes you think you will want to wear or try new things when it comes to clothing and makeup. Every single time I travel I never wear half the makeup I bring. Bring the absolute bare necessities. We didn't wear any makeup for the last week of our trip because we were mainly exploring out in nature.

4. Leave (most) toiletries at home. Bring things that are not interchangeable like a travel size of your favorite dry shampoo. Leave things like shampoo and conditioner as your hotel will most likely have these. If you are really short on space, don't pack any toiletries at all. You can always buy these things when you get where you are going.

5. Use Space Saver Bags. These are a lifesaver for things like bulky sweaters and coats.You have to use these sparingly and wisely as they can become more of a pain if you don't have the right things for them. You don't want to stuff these bags full, just use them to condense a few things.

6. Wear your biggest item on the plane. This is pretty self-explanatory- If you are having to pack boots or a winter coat, save space by wearing those pieces.

7. Join forces and coordinate who is bringing what. This won't work if you are traveling solo, but if you are traveling with a friend, plan to share some things. Only one of you needs to bring a curling iron. Figure out who needs to bring what, but both of you don't need to bring 2 of a lot of things. Every little thing you can share counts.

8. Book a hotel or Airbnb that has a place to wash your clothes. If you are traveling for 2 weeks, you are more than likely going to need to wash something- especially if you are trying to pack in a carry-on. If you can't stay in a place with a washing machine, then do like we did and hand wash your clothes. Whatever you do figure out a way to wash your clothes so you can bring half the amount of clothes you'd need for 2 weeks. Bring enough clothes for a week and wear them twice.

9. Utilize a backpack or purse in addition to your suitcase. On most planes you can bring two items- your suitcase and a personal item. This is usually how you carry your valuables like laptops and cameras. But you can also fit things like your makeup, laptop, and chargers in there.

10. Pack socks and underwear in nooks. If I'm traveling in a big suitcase, I like to keep things like underwear and socks all together in a packing cube. But there's no room for that in a carry-on. One packing cube takes up 1/4 of the suitcase. Roll these things up and stuff them into the little spaces that nothing else can fit in- like inside your shoes.

Most of these tips are great for packing in any sized suitcase! But if you are packing in a carry-on, you will want to strictly adhere to these.

If you liked this post and would like to see more like it, please pin the image below on your Pinterest!

xo, Savannah
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7 Harsh Realities of Blogging + Social Media

Savannah + I have recently-ish joined several blogging Facebook groups. Boy have they been eye-opening. I have learned a lot and have gained followers from interacting with the groups, so that's cool. BUT I've seen another side of blogging that you don't see anywhere else.

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Many girls share their biggest struggles with blogging + social media on these groups. A lot of these girls want to know how to grow quickly and how to make money as a an influencer/blogger. Some of the girls in these groups will share their disappointments + frustrations when things aren't moving along as quickly as they'd like. Savannah + I totally understand that, but there are some harsh realities out there that I wish I could prepare all new bloggers/influencers for.

1. Not everyone is not cut out for this life. Some days I wonder if I am. Savannah + I both have pretty thick skin, but this influencer/social media world will get to you. And I'd like to tell you that blogging isn't personal and when someone unfollows you on Instagram that it's not personal. But unfortunately it oftentimes is.

The reality is- when you put yourself out there for public opinion, some people aren't going to like you and/or your content. When IG stories came out, I unfollowed so many people whose pictures I loved but whose personalities I didn't. Decide if you can handle this.

2. Not everyone is going to make it. There are a zillion people trying to make it in the blogging/Instagram/YouTube world and a lot of them don't have the talent or patience for it. I notice a lot of girls who just like the idea of taking pictures of themselves and getting free stuff + making money for it. I think a large portion of girls get into this world for that very reason.

The truth of the matter is that those things do not come easy. You have to be different, and you have to add value to your readers/followers. You have to have something to offer people. Very few people make it by just taking pictures of themselves.
3. No one owes us anything-in life and in the social media space. I don't think anyone is knowingly entitled but a lot of the things I hear people complain about come from a place of entitlement. The truth is, Instagram doesn't owe anyone a following.. Just because I post a picture, doesn't mean it deserves any likes or reach. Your content has to be worthy of likes, engagement, and followers.

4. Brands really don't care about you. This may sound like the harshest reality of them all, but it's just a fact of this life. Brands will work with you for one of two reasons- they are interested in your following or your content. It's not that they don't care about you as a person perse, it's just that they are only interested in what you can provide them.

But think of it like this- working with brands is a business transaction. When you are dealing with money, your talent and what you can provide a brand is what matters more than anything, and it's they only thing that they should even consider. You don't just get a job because you have a good personality. You have to be able to deliver results.

I see people in these blogger Facebook groups that are so frustrated that brands aren't reaching out to them, but they create 'bleh' content and don't have a large following. You can absolutely land some decent brand deals without having a massive following but your content needs to be AMAZING. That is the ONLY reason a brand will work with you before have a large following.

Brands do reach out to people with small followings but they usually want you to do content for them for free or to not pay you much. Some even try to convince newbies to buy their product at a discount and promote them. Brand deals that are worth your time will come when you have a decent following and/or you content is strong.

5. It takes time. This may be the hardest one to deal with. I think it's easy to see influencers getting all these free products being sent to them and getting all these brand deals and to think it came quickly and easily. A very small teeny tiny portion of influencers become successful overnight. There are lots of people selling classes on how they made it big in 6 months, and I've never read any of those so I can't speak to whether or not they are true.

9 times out of 10 when something seems too good to be true, it is. Think of starting out as a blogger as starting a new job in corporate America. Some people move up the ladder quickly, some people quit, and some people stick it out but move up slowly. The influencer world isn't much different. In a way, your followers are your boss. Be patient and do the work. Success in the influencer world doesn't come quickly or without many struggles.

6. Your lack of success is no one else's fault. Thinking differently is your #1 way to fail. You aren't growing because of something you are or aren't doing. Period. There isn't a nice way around that. The Instagram algorithm isn't a punishment. When your picture doesn't get a lot of likes, that is not IG's fault. That's your pictures fault. It wasn't good enough. Period.

If your blog growth is stagnant, then you aren't promoting it the right way or your content isn't good enough. The sooner that you can realize that the success of your blog/social media is completely on you, the sooner you can figure out how to be successful.

7. You can't trust everyone. Some influencers + brands lie. It sucks, but just like any industry, there are dishonest people everywhere. People will steal your ideas and post them as their own. Influencers can be catty. And as previously mentioned, brands are only looking out for themselves. But you can't spend too much time thinking about what other people are doing. You have to think about yourself and your integrity.

When you are 100% truthful and run your business ethically, then you have nothing to hide. So try not to get too caught up in the shady stuff other people are doing. This is the hardest advice for me. I can get so bogged down in people who I know are being dishonest. Maybe they'll get caught. Maybe they won't. But again. you won't help yourself any by getting caught up in other people's dishonesty.

At the end of the day, you have to think about all these things and decide if this is the business you want to be in. The most important thing you should take away from this post is that this business is real life work. It can be a hobby, but if you want it to be your full-time job you have to treat it just like any other job. Know the risks, find your place and work hard!

If you liked this post, please pin it on your Pinterest!

- Casey

Easy Steps to Creating A Dutch Braid (AKA the Inside Out Braid)

If you follow us on Instagram, you know that we've been exploring cities and towns in Portugal for a while now. Since we have spent most of the days running around, braids have become our BFF. Seriously. Braids are cute and simple and keep your hair out of your face. And bonus, they help prevent that breakage that happens right in the middle of your strands where a ponytail would usually go.

We did a little IG story tutorial on the dutch braid last week, so I thought I'd do a more thorough tutorial on here to add to our 'Back To Basics' series. If you are interested in the other videos in the series, we have one on a basic braid, a French braid, anEd a fishtail braid. We hope these are helpful!

If you like this post and would like to see more like it, please pin the image below to one of your Pinterest boards!

xo, Savannah