My last-minute trip to Japan, and my love of personality tests

My 30 second brief for Japan is: Get a JR (bullet train) Pass, and buy it couple weeks before you go. 10 days is enough time to see the major sights, but leaves you planning your 2nd trip on the flight home. English isn't everywhere, but it's still easy navigate solo without any Japanese. IDK about cherry blossoms but fall foliage is a pretty sweet backdrop! More knowledge of Buddhism would have made visits to the many temples even more meaningful. I liked Kyoto better than Tokyo - similar to how I like SF better than NYC. 7/11 in Japan has pretty damn good food - way more than your average snacks. Finally, staying in hostels and drinking sake are great ways to make friends (duh), and GO SEE THE SNOW MONKEYS!

I wrote a story on: Why I love personality tests and snow monkeys

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DIY Copper and Wood Paper Towel Holder

I got so inspired by a paper towel holder I saw in World Market a couple weeks ago, and realized I already had ALL the supplies I needed to make it! I had all this leftover copper pipe from the book/iPad stand I made, and I was obviously really excited to get more use out of my pipe cutter (yes, it's a thing and yes I already have one). Plus, I was excited to upgrade from the dingy paper towel holder I bought from Goodwill three years ago!

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Cape Town & New Year's Resolutions

Happy New Year y'all! This is a super belated set of pictures (since I went to Cape Town in September :-P) but my rambling felt super relevant for a new-year-fresh-start feel. Hope you enjoy!

My 30-second brief for Cape Town is: It felt a lot like San Francisco, which is probably why I felt pretty compelled to live there. Surrounded by ocean and mountains for outdoors activities, lots of trendy bars and cafes, and even wine country just 45 minutes away. Also, like SF, visible inequality and remnants of a complex history. Rent a car, venture out into the townships (e.g., Langa) for a more realistic/authentic experience, and do the free walking tours from downtown!

I wrote a story on: Finding new routines, and why my 2018 motto is "fresh over familiar"

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Iceland, the Laugavegur Trek, and hitchhiking for the first time

My 30-second brief for Iceland is: It's amazing. You probably need 3+ weeks to see all of its amazing-ness. I didn't see any of the major Ring Road attractions in my 10 days. You should do the Laugavegur Trek if you can squeeze it in. Food is expensive, but skyr is worth every krona. Bring a rain jacket. Maybe learn how to drive manual transmission. Or hitchhike if you're feeling brave. 

I wrote a story on: My first experience hitchhiking - and why I'm proud of it

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Seeing Kauai in 5 days: The Napali Coast, Queen's Bath, and more!

I can't believe it's already been over three weeks since our girls trip to Kauai!! It feels way longer ago - I'm already ready for another vacation! :-P What I have the most gratitude for was how little I personally had to plan for the perfect trip. The other girls on the trip basically did all the planning and booking, so all I had to do was say yes to everything, which made it such an effortless vacation. THANK YOU LADIES! While I was only there for five days, I feel like we experienced many of the places that give Kauai its nickname ("The Garden Isle") - keep reading for our favorite spots!

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DIY Canvas Planter / Storage Bin

HELLO AGAIN from a long hiatus from DIY projects! Same story as always - other priorities start to take over my life and I fall behind on my DIY to-do list! I've finally started to have a couple weekends free - thank GOODness for that summer slow-down. I've been trying to find some basket or storage bin for this big snake plant in my bedroom, since that green plastic planter is no eye candy, but it's been really hard to find something that fit it perfectly and didn't look gigantic at the same time. So with some free time on my hands, I decided to make my own canvas planter! (And then I made a mini one for a different plant, since it was so easy.) Keep on reading for the full DIY tutorial! 

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My travel tips for one week in Cuba

Ever since Emily and I went to Cuba, I've gotten so many questions about getting visas, planning trips, and recommendations of where to go - so I thought it might be helpful to share all my tips publicly! I know I said it before, but traveling to Cuba was an absolute breeze. The process is more intimidating than it is actually cumbersome, and I'd say this was one of my less complicated trips because it was easy and almost preferable to wing everything instead of make detailed itineraries in advance. 

So keep on reading for tips on visa, money, lodging, transport, internet, and places to go!

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