A Trip to Pitt

*This post does not contain any affiliate links & contains 100% of my honest opinion.*

Hey friends, long time no see! It’s nice to be writing about something that fills my heart up with so much happiness again. I finally took the plunge and added solo traveler to my extensive list of titles. Thanks to two amazing people I’m so lucky to connect with; Marley and Mbalenhle, I was so inspired to start seeing the world through my own eyes.

City of Bridges

About a month ago, while sitting in discontent at work, I decided to reserve an Airbnb for a few days somewhere I’ve never been before. While the spontaneity was so thrilling, the idea of comfort and safety lingered in my mind so I chose somewhere just far enough away from home for it to be a trip, a place I had never been before but heard so much: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

From November 2nd to 5th, I was free to explore the city of bridges in whatever manner I pleased. Along with visiting famous attractions and beautiful views, my plan upon arrival was to eat my way through the city and enjoy the sites. Being the deal hunter my mother raised me to be; I bought a two-way Megabus ticket for about $9 and reserved an Airbnb for 3 nights at $31 a night totaling $119.70 after fees. While exploring the city for four days, I was able to use Uber’s and Lift’s to get around for a total of $47.51. Overall travel expenses for the trip totaled around $177.

Here’s a rough draft of my itinerary during my time in Pittsburgh. I planned a loose schedule in case anything unexpected popped up (which of course it did) so the asterisk* marked tasks were added along the way.

I’ll admit there were some quick little stops to places whose names are escaping me but were dashing none the less. This city is rich with history and I felt I could easily travel back in time from many places I visited. The Warhol Museum was an extremely educational place when it came to learning more about Pitt’s background.

My Favorite Places in Pittsburgh:

The Andy Warhol Museum

The Mattress Factory

Kelly O’s

The Famous Breakfast

S&D Polish Deli

4 potato and cheddar perogies and Pittsburgh Style Haluszki

Many of the concerns I got from those that had heard about my solo trip were regarding my safety as some described Pittsburgh as a fun but low key dangerous place. During my trip I played it safe and took Ubers for long journeys when the sun went down and avoided places I internally felt on edge. Overall there weren’t many moments in Pitt that I felt in danger as the city abundant with colleges was very warm and welcoming to me. On average I walked about 4-5 miles a day while exploring from Spring Hill down to Oakland.

Image by Google Maps

To anyone thinking of becoming a solo traveler, let me leave you with this:

When you go looking // for what you want to see, //

please don’t be surprised // if it’s better than your dreams.

Cheers to exploring new places and trying new things,

xo Bri

You Go Girl: @fit_blonde_mj

Hey friends, it’s time for the first installment of You Go Girl! The Series! I hope you’re all as excited as I am. After taking some time to work out the details, I’m finally ready to get the ball rolling and cannot wait to let you know about some amazing boss babes!

Every once in a while, I get so lucky to come across an inspirational and supportive blogging friend. One girl that’s stood out to me since finding her on Instagram is Mikaela; her positive, warrior energy is so motivating that I knew I just had to be her social media pal.

Mikaela is the creator of the blog A Blonde in the Crowd which I would describe as an inspirational and motivational lifestyle blog. I knew since I began this series that I wanted Mikaela to be the first Boss Babe featured. After speaking with her a few times, I felt so empowered and loved the energy she’s always sending out.

Luckily I was able to ask her a few questions awhile back so we could all get to know her a little better.

I knew we were birds of a feather when I asked Mikaela what message she was hoping to send out through her blog. Her response;

“I want to share that it’s okay to be real and human. That we should normalize feelings and emotions. That it’s okay to not be okay all the time and it’s okay to talk about how your feeling and reach out for help. I just want to be a safe space where people can be themselves and hopefully find comfort in my posts. “

As I saw Mikaela helping others while helping her self, I knew we were a lot alike. I’m grateful to have found such an amazing blogging friend in this vast field.

Here are three posts from her website that we both would recommend:

Broke and Beautiful

The Quilt

You Can Be Both

Want to see more of this amazing Boss Babe?
Photo by @jcoonphotography

Website: ablondeinthecrowd.wordpress.com

Instagram: @fit_blondie_mj

Twitter: @fit_blondie_mj

Facebook: ablondeinthecrowd

Pinterest: Mikaela Jaquette

Who’s one Boss Babe you’ve been inspired by lately?

Drop a comment with the name of another Boss Babe you’d like to see featured on You Go Girl!

Cheers to supporting other amazing individuals in our blogging community,

xo Bri

Meatless In America

Happy World Vegetarian Day!

Hey friends, it’s been roughly 9 months since I’ve refrained from eating meat. When I spontaneously decided to give it up, it was under the distress of learning more about the meat industry; with the comfort of being the only person I cook for; and supported by compassion as an extreme lover of all animals. Around the same time, I was also on a strict budget so worrying about what to eat when out and about wasn’t an issue.

After a few months, I noticed not only physical changes but mental as well. Random headaches and sicknesses began happening less frequent along with a change of smell in my body odor. My overall mood was as colorful as my Pescatarian diet; passing on poultry has truly changed me from the inside out.

I’ve just felt so great since making this lifestyle change.

Kicking this one habit landed me with a string of bad habits melting away. Whether it was the newfound willpower or simply a change in chemicals; whatever was happening to my body was much needed. Cigarettes and alcohol were less desirable to me and hobbies like running and yoga were entertained daily. Being mindful of my other habits and their impact on nature came so naturally after a few weeks of changing my diet.

A month in I invested in yummy protein powder to balance the sudden decline in protein while I researched my new way of living. I tried Olly Plant Powered Vegan Protein at Target which was about $20 and I absolutely love it! On average I would mix one scoop of powder with almond milk about every other day for the two months my Olly powder lasted. The biggest change I noticed after adding this to my regular diet was an increase in energy which was possibly an indicator that I had ingesting too little protein in that first month. Not only is the powder plant-based, it’s also vegan, non-GMO, gluten-free and super yummy! Does it get much better than that?

While I’m so excited to continuously learn about living meatless in America, I hope to eventually obtain a vegan diet. In addition to cutting back on my waste, this will allow me to grow the foods filling my diet which I’m super excited about. This past summer, eating fruits from my tomato garden was both extremely yummy and truly rewarding.

What’s one eating change you’ve adopted in 2019?

Cheers to one contribution to making the world a better place,

xo Bri

p.s. Have you checked out my new Intro Video on YouTube featuring Milo? Click here to laugh your head off!

Spooky Season

Hey friends, happy spooky season!

With the new month and new moon upon us, I decided now was as good a time as any to focus on my writing goals. Today I want to give you the 411 on what I’m doing for Blogtober! For those that don’t know, Blogtober is a tradition or challenge where bloggers post (about) every day in October. This is my first time participating in my five years as a blogger, I’m excited!

I hope to provide daily content using both WordPress and Youtube to create art and collect my ideas. The content of this month is focused on the benefits of practicing yoga, meditation, and mindfulness, a peek into my lovely life, spooky season (of course) and lessons I’m learning along the way.

Check out my Fall Bucket List to see some things I’ll be writing about this month.

Stay tuned!

As day one falls upon us, I’ll also be celebrating World Vegetarian Day. Meatless in America is about delicious protein substitutes and insight on my time as a vegetarian so far. I’d like to also post my overdue introduction video on YouTube as I plan on contributing some videos to my Blogtober posts. I’m super excited about the amazing content I hope to create during this next month and the growth from my lifestyle changes.

May this month show you the strength you need to succeed in the challenges you’ve been hoping for!

Cheers to a new month full of new beginnings,

xo Bri

p.s. If you’re also participating in Blogtober, drop a link to your first post in the comments!

Curly Hair Cures & Creams

Hey friends, this past weekend I was beyond flattered when a beautiful bartender asked for my advice on styling curly hair. We discovered we have similar hair types based on our nationalities and characteristics of our curls. While anyone would have answered this question and moved right along, I was left thinking about the encounter for days.

After 10 years of trying to find the right recipe to soothe my frizzies and breakage, I can finally say I HAVE MASTERED MY CURLS! For any girls with curls, you know this is such a relief. After years of tears, flat irons, and all the wrong products; I’ve found a solution that heals and hydrates my curls.

While every girl and curl may have a different recipe, I’d like to share some things that helped me and maybe what your hair care routine is missing!

Wash

  • Cut back on the number of days you shampoo your do!
  • Coldwater keeps your curls shining & frizz-free.
  • Comb through your hair while your conditioner sets. Use your fingers or a wide-tooth comb for minimal breakage.

Style

  • Skip the towel; air dry or use a cotton t-shirt.
  • Add your oils and products before your hair is completely dry.
  • Section your hair before adding any product.
  • Avoid using hot tools on your hair including flat irons, blow dryers, and curling wands.

Shop

Here are some products that transformed my curls;

One product that initiated the transformation of my curls is Shea Moisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen & Restore Leave-In Conditioner which is $5.94 (or $4.99 from TJMaxx).

Not only did this little jar last me quite a long time, but there was also a noticeable difference in how hydrated my curls became. The smell, texture, and price were all extremely agreeable as well as the natural products used to create this leave-in.

Another Shea Moisture product I highly recommend is the Jamaican Black Castor Oil Conditioner. From the same line as the first product I tried, I incorporated this amazing natural conditioner into my shower routine to spread even more love to my curls. Starting my hydration routine in the shower has dramatically changed my hair and allows me to live comfortably for 2-3 days in between washes. While this product can be found on Amazon for $7.99, I got it for a steal at TJMaxx for only $5.99!

The last product that has become a staple in my hair care routine is Cantu’s Curl Activator Cream which I found at Walmart for about $6. I use this right after the shower as well as days that I’m on my third day of bed head. Not only has this product helped hydrate my curls, I’ve also noticed my ends are not nearly as dry and I’m not struggling so much with breakage.

Frustrated with your curls lately? Try incorporating one of these healthy habits into your hair routine for a significant change!

What’s one part of your curly hair care routine that you swear by? Let’s talk about it to help younger girls avoid what we had to grow through to figure this curly hair thing out!

Cheers to embracing our lovely locks,

xo Bri

This is Bumpin: 9/19

Hey friends, this month my music has been influenced by bands that play at the Phyrst, exploring different styles of music & hype songs that help me feel like a baddie while I’m getting ready.

I’d like to give a special shoutout to Freak the Mighty on dropping their first single this month! It’s so awesome to see someone else from Freeland doing big things. Go check them out on Spotify!

Drogba (Joanna) – Afro B

Shotta Flow – NLE Choppa

Cash Sh*t – Megan Thee Stalion, DaBaby

Landslide – Fleetwood Mac

Vindicated – Freak the Mighty

Takeaway – The Chainsmokers, ILLENIUM, Lennon Stella

Dreams Money Can Buy – Drake

Uh Huh – Quadeca

What’s My Age Again – blink – 182

Toast – Koffee

While some of these songs are newer, I’ll always keep a few old tunes or classics on repeat. As the amazing Bob Marley once said, “One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain.” I’m excited to see where my new found interest in the music industry takes me!

What have you been bumping too this month?

Cheers to finding new tunes to bump to,

xo B

Fall Bucket List ’19

Hey friends, Happy 1st Day of Autumn!

As hot summer season transitions to cooler fall, I’m inspired to make a change along with nature. Inspired by Rosie Culture’s fall post and seeing the first orange leaf of the season I decided to create a fall bucket list. I’m super excited to write about these experiences as I check them off and hope you enjoy tagging along with me.

Go to Pumpkin Festival 2019 (10/11)

Learn about the history of witches

Have a spooky movie marathon

Visit a museum

Check out a show or concert

Create yummy fall dishes

Go on a hike

Invest in a plant (preferably a succulent)

Give up one bad or unproductive habit

Read 10 new books

Get my palm read

30 days of yoga challenge

Write a short story

I decided to stick with thirteen to keep myself from getting overwhelmed about not finishing on time. I hope to continue this seasonal trend and let me know if you enjoyed this post!

Stay up to date on how things are going as I check items off my Fall Bucket List by following my Instagram! What’s one thing on your list of Fall things to do this season?

Cheers to trying new things,

xo Bri

Vox Box #2: Lancôme

*There products were gifted to me by Influenster. This post does not contain affiliate links and all opinions & jokes are 100% my own!*

Hey friends, I decided to spice things up for my second Vox Box review! Check out my video to see what I thought of these three products in my resent gift from Influenster.

Monsieur Big Waterproof Mascara

Price: $25

Would I recommend: DEFINITELY!

Would I purchase: Absolutely! This is an investment.

Le Monochromatique in Haute Couture

Price: $25

Would I recommend: I do recommend to anyone looking for a multipurpose, pigmented powder.

Would I purchase: Absolutely, I’m ordering Eclat as my Christmas gift this year.

Genifique Yeux Advanced Light-Pearl

Price: $69

Would I recommend: If that’s what you’re in to…

Would I purchase: No, unless I reach a point in my life where fine lines and wrinkles become an issue.

Have you tried any of these Lancome products? What did you think?

Cheers to Influenster for helping me try new things, xo Bri

Bet You Didn’t Know…

Hey friends! I was tagged by Hannah, the creator of Everyday Freebies & More, for a blogger challenge! You should definitely check out her site after this; one of my favorite posts is How To Save Money on Food. The original creator of this tag was Jenni at Housewife Hustle. You can find her original post and the reasons why she created this tag here.

The challenge is for me to list 7 things about myself I bet you didn’t know, even if you read my blog, follow me on social media, or hit me up IRL.

Bet you didn’t know…

1. The moments I feel closest to earth are summer nights when fireflies light up the air around me and everything under the moon is a little more magical.

2. Proper grammar is more important to me. Double negatives make me cringe & nowadays no one seems to know the proper way to use “been” in a sentence.

3. I’m an extremely sentimental person which sometimes makes letting things (and people) go kind of hard.

4. I haven’t traveled out of the country yet but I plan on 2020 being a major travel year. I’m so excited! Some places I plan to travel include Spain, Cuba, and Italy.

5. I love to sing and make up little raps on the daily. Some of my favorite songs have verses or lines I’m not crazy about so I often reword it and sing my version instead.

6. One of my daily struggles is similar to Trypophobia. While I’m not exactly afraid, small clusters of holes cause me extreme discomfort and aggression.

(That could be exactly what Trypophobia is but when looking for an actual definition, thousands of images popped up and I just couldn’t hang.)

7. I don’t have a middle name. It’s one of the many ways I avoid conforming to societal norms (thanks mom and dad!!).

I hope you enjoyed getting to know me, now it’s your turn! I tag these seven boss blogging babes to tell us some things you bet we didn’t know:

Just the Game of Life | @Jennsgamoflife

Sincerely Shirley | @sincerelyshirleyy

Femme Naturelle | @1Femmenaturelle

Vibrant & Gray | @vibrantandgray

Girly Gabble | @girlygabble

CARATIGERLILLI | @Caratigerililli

The Walk Paper | @littleRedFox_c

Rules Recap

1. Share 7 facts about yourself that aren’t super present in your blog.

2. Tag 7 bloggers you adore.

3. Shoutout back to me, so I can I read and get to know everyone more too.

Did you know any of these seven facts before reading this post?

Leave me one interesting fact about you in the comments!

Cheers to learning something new about myself everyday, xo Bri

Hubble Contacts Review

*This post does not contain affiliate links and is 100% my honest opinion.*

Hey friends, this month I tried something different and ordered my contacts online! I was super excited to see the $1 offer and had just run out of contacts so I thought, why not? (Shout out to Instagram ads for coming to the rescue, am I right?) Well, here’s what I thought after spending a month with my $1 Hubble Contacts.

Considering I spent $1 on these, I wasn’t expecting much. Good thing too cause you know what they say; no expectations, no disappointments. I planned on canceling my subscription after seeing the $36 monthly fee plus $3 shipping and since popping the first pair in, I knew I made the right decision.

When they arrived a week after I placed the order, I was ecstatic. Free and fast shipping? Yes, please! The packaging is adorable and I dig the easy to store boxes they come in however the actual contacts weren’t the best.

Considering Acuvue Oasys (who also offers a free trial!) has spoiled me since I was 14 years old, I felt my special eyes just needed more love than Hubble’s contacts were giving. The harder, plastic feel of the contacts initially made me nervous to even insert them into my eyes however, once I recalled contacts were initially made out of glass I stopped stressing.

Having daily contacts for one month was enjoyable as I didn’t need to use contact solution and it kept me from second-guessing days I wanted to rock my glasses. Unfortunately, those were the only two things I actually enjoyed about my contact experience with Hubble.

Would I buy this product again? No. For $1 back-up contacts (yes I kept a few pairs stashed away just in case) they weren’t the worst however I won’t be budgeting $40 a month for the convenience of saving on contact solution and having them appear one my door step.

While it was exciting to try something new, Hubble Contacts just wasn’t it for me.

Do you wear contacts or glasses?

Cheers to 2020 vision, xo Bri