3.31.2015

Road Trip - Charleston

As we were cruising up I-95 on the way to Myrtle Beach, we kept seeing huge billboards for a roadside attraction called South of the Border. Some signs were stupid, some were cheesy, and some made us laugh out loud much longer than they should have. I think we were delirious from all the time in the car. We don't have many billboards in Washington and probably saw a hundred signs for this place. When we were leaving Wilmington, we decided that we had to adjust our route so we could stop at this crazy tourist trap on the way to Charleston. 

South of the Border's main purpose is gas station and rest area, but since it opened in 1950, it has grown to a square mile in size and now has restaurants, a motel, a campground, fireworks stands, many shops, a small amusement park, and a reptile zoo. You can even take a ride in the glass elevator to the top of the Sombrero Tower. It's totally campy and kitschy and ridiculous. I think we would have enjoyed it a lot more if it wasn't completely dead. The lack of other customers gave it a real creepy vibe, especially with the mariachi music echoing in the background. It was also really cold and windy outside, so we didn't spend as much time as we could have checking out this place.





After a three-hour drive, we ended up at Mt. Pleasant Memorial Park, under the Ravenel Bridge. Again, it was only 45 degrees, so we didn't spend too much time outside. We power walked to the end of the pier to see Charleston Harbor and strolled through the war memorial. It was a really pretty park that would have been awesome on a sunny day.



We crossed the bridge, went into historic Charleston, and walked through Waterfront Park, which I fell completely in love with. The 12-acre park has palm trees lining the boardwalk, a huge lawn, oak tree lined sidewalks which create a canopy for the benches, a few wading fountains, and a pier with porch swings! It was adorable. Again, I wish it was warmer because we could have spent all day there, but we were in pain from the wind and rain so we left.





We walked downtown a little ways to get out of the wind and realized nothing was open. It was only four o'clock in the afternoon and we couldn't figure out why it was so dead. We finally came across signs on the doors of various museums, galleries, and restaurants that said they all closed early due to inclement weather. What weather? It was cold and sprinkling, but it wasn't dangerous! Nothing was open. We were perplexed. 

We got in the car and drove to the Citadel. It's a state-funded university and one of the six senior military colleges in the country. The campus is made up of 27 buildings surrounding a 10-acre grass parade ground, and it's always open to the public. It was so cool to walk around and take in historic buildings, like the Summerall Chapel and Howie Bell Tower, as well as the monuments to the armed forces on the parade ground. If you ever visit, try to go on a Friday to watch the parade. 




After the Citadel, we grabbed food from Ye Old Fashioned Ice Cream & Sandwiches, then checked into the hotel to defrost. When we turned on the TV there were constant emergency alerts, saying there was a freezing rain watch and schools, government buildings, and offices would be closed the following day. But...but...the weather reported a low of 38 degrees. Didn't they realize it has to be 32 degrees for ice? We were still so confused. 

The next morning, we enjoyed free breakfast at our hotel where they had a South Carolina shaped waffle maker! Then we took a Gray Line tour from a heated minibus. (By the way, there was zero ice. Our tour guide explained that they had a major ice storm last year and they were paranoid about a repeat). The houses we saw throughout the city were unbelievable. After the tour, we wandered around some historic churches and cemeteries, walked through the French Quarter, then made our way to Rainbow Row to see the pastel homes of the 1930s. We ended the day with a stop at City Market, which was totally empty. No one wanted to sell their goods in the cold, open-air buildings. Bummer.








As we walked down King Street, looking for a snack and hot cocoa before heading to the airport, I got a text telling me our flights were cancelled. Apparently Atlanta had some ice and that's where our connecting flight was. We were rescheduled for the following morning. We ducked into an ice cream shop so I could call the airline, hotel, rental car company, my mom, and Jacob to figure out this change of plans. After that was settled, we really couldn't figure out what to do. Nothing was open! We couldn't visit a plantation, the ferry to Fort Sumter wasn't running, and most museums were closed. Plus, we were too cold to wander around outside. So we grabbed an early dinner at Brown Dog Deli then checked into our hotel. We ended up going to Target and a movie that night. Ha! We set our alarms for 4:30 am so we could spend the following day traveling back home. Thankfully none of our flights were cancelled or delayed.

All in all, I had a really good time on this trip. I got to see parts of the country I've always wanted to see. Every single person we encountered was super friendly and kind. I wasn't counting on such cold temperatures, but it was a freak weather incident and nothing I could have planned better for. The normal range is 65-70 degrees this time of year! Carrie and I had fun driving around in our teeny red rental car and made some good memories.

3.30.2015

Spring Playlist

I am into so much new music lately and I love that it's all upbeat, fun, poppy songs, perfect for a sunny spring day! Check it out.

Want To Want Me - Jason Derulo



Doing It - Charli XCX feat. Rita Ora



Can't Deny My Love - Brandon Flowers



Believe - Mumford & Sons


I Want You To Know - Zedd feat. Selena Gomez


Talking Body - Tove Lo



Take Me To Church (cover) - Ellie Goulding


Lampshades on Fire - Modest Mouse


Little Red Wagon - Miranda Lambert


Cruel - The Veronicas


Sugar Remix - Maroon 5 feat. Nicki Minaj



Where The Sky Hangs - Passion Pit



Lean On - Major Lazer feat. MØ



Sparks - Hilary Duff
(full song to be released April 7)



Now I'm just dying to hear the new Britney Spears/Iggy Azalea song on May 5th!
What are you listening to lately?

3.29.2015

Radha Beauty Review


Brandbacker and Radha Beauty treated me to a few skin care products! Radha Beauty is a relatively new company with natural skincare and oils lines. They believe beauty doesn't have to be bad for us, so their products use high quality organic ingredients which are effective and good for Mother Earth. They also partner with women-empowering organizations, use Eco-friendly packaging, and never test on animals. I've been using these three products every day for a few weeks.



Radha Beauty Vitamin C Serum is made with vitamins C and E, and amino and hyaluronic acids. It's purpose is to provide anti-aging effects. It stimulates the production of collagen, neutralizes free radicals, smooths fine lines, fills wrinkles, and moisturizes. It's 98% natural, 72% organic, made without alcohol or parabens, and is safe for all skin types.

After I wash my face in the morning, I apply a thin layer. It's almost watery and has a very, very light citrus vitamin scent, but it goes away instantly. It's sticky at first, but dries within a minute and doesn't feel like anything is on my face at all. I'm happy to report I haven't had any reaction on my sensitive skin.


Radha Beauty Intensive Youth Eye Gel contains plant stem cells for intensive anti-aging effects, plus matrixyl 3000, aloe, cucumber, vitamin E, rosehip oil, and hyaluronic acid. It helps to eliminate dark circles, puffiness, dryness, and sagging by hydrating and tightening the delicate skin around the eyes.

About ten minutes after the Vitamin C Serum, I continue with the Eye Gel. A little goes a long way with this stuff and I love that it's completely fragrance-free. My under eye area instantly felt moisturized and smooth. I've been applying it at night too!


Radha Beauty Retinol Moisturizer has 2.5% active retinol, aloe, green tea, Shea butter, and jojoba, sunflower, and palm oils. It does not contain any fillers, fragrance, dyes, or parabens. The concentrated serum supports natural cell turnover to improve skin's texture and tone. It also softens the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, enlarged pores, and dark spots.

Finally, I apply the moisturizer to my face and neck. It's also fragrance-free, which I absolutely love. It's a little thicker than I like, but my skin felt smooth and soft. Now that the sun is coming out, I'm only going to use this at night. Apparently Retinol shouldn't be used in the sun and I need my SPF moisturizer anyway.

Sponsored post. I received a free sample in exchange for my honest review.

3.27.2015

Influenster Temptations VoxBox

Influenster sent me something for my cats to test! I received Tempations Tasty Chicken Flavor cat treats and the new Temptations Snacky Mouse.


I filled the toy with the treats and let Jack and Sally have at it. The mouse has three holes so the treats fall out as they bat it around.  It took them a loooong time to figure it out and they kept trying to eat the treats out of the holes. Not the brightest.


We tried it again on the hardwood floor and they picked it up a lot faster. Sally was sort of afraid of it at first. She'd sit back while Jack did all the work, then snatch the treats. She got the hang of it soon enough.

video

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They were totally spoiled and we had fun watching them!

I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes.
All opinions are my own.

3.26.2015

Road Trip - Wilmington & Wrightsville

We arrived in Wilmington on our third day and immediately started stalking TV and movie locations. There were no tours happening during the off-season, but we still saw tons of stuff. Check out that post here. We also walked down Riverfront then wandered around Battleship Park. USS North Carolina is open for tours and there are beautiful views of the Cape Fear River from the park. 





Then we went to Wilmington National Cemetery. It's 5.1-acres hold over six thousand veterans.




Afterwards, we hung out on Wrightsville Beach. It was a sunny day, but still chilly.
We sat on the pier for quite a while watching all the surfers. I even got a little sunburn. 








We then walked through the UNCW campus and ate dinner at a local pizzeria. We bought snacks at the grocery store and made it back to the hotel in time to shower and settle in for the Oscars. It wasn't the best of shows, but I still love watching it. I'm also an excellent predictor. I entered a movie theater contest before I left and came in first place with 9/10 correct guesses and won a $100 gift card. Yay, movies! I don't know how you guys on the east coast do it though. I was exhausted when the show finally got over.


Next up: Charleston