BARCA! You a special place in my heart. I didn’t have any expectations but a good time and a good time is forsure what I got. I was in Barcelona for about 6 days which was a great amount of time, a bit too long but also I didn’t do and see everything on my list. I stayed in the Urbany Hostel which I am so lucky because it was in walking distance to almost everything. I created this list so that you can also be in walking distance to everything. That does mean bring good and comfortable walking shoes. I normally do not complain about shoes but even I had to buy little sneakers for the rest of my exploring…Then it started pouring with rain so those little sneakers were soaking wet and I had to buy an umbrella. So be prepared for almost anything… oh and keep in mind the siesta time because they are not kidding…when it’s time to nap oh its time to nap! This just means that the little local stores and restaurants are going to be closed. I found that it tended to start around 3:30/4 and ended around 7:30ish and sometimes 9. So make sure that you have your snacks and water ready! I noticed that the chains like burger king and McDonalds were still open so there’s always that option so you’re not hangry in Barca! Also here’s a little tip Head to the supermarket- like carrefour get some snacks there is a ready to eat counter at most of them! Also you can eat your snacks at Parc Guell, on the beach at the Bonkers!
I organized the list in the order that flowed well with proximity ! I hope it helps!
Bonkers del Carmel – This is a great view point! It is quite a climb up and we did have to crawl over and under a few barriers. I’m not totally sure if this is a city approved location or just a local hangout but it has an amazing view of the city also a great place to watch the sunset or have a picnic.
About a 16 minute walk to…
Parc Guell MUST MUST MUST Get your tickets to see the mosaic benches a head of time! It just guarentees you a time to view them and you don’t have to wait in line. The benches are really pretty and they do give you a great view point of the parc and the entire city! But it is free to walk around the parc and go up the mosiac steps. If you do one thing in Barcelona it should be to see this park. Also if you post one pic on instagram from your time in Barca it should be from this park…it is just so picturesque! Good job Gaudi!
About a 24 minute walk to…
Sagrada Familia – Be organized and Buy your tickets online! From my experience you should probably book a few days in advance! The outside is really cool, like no other building I have ever seen before and of course pictures to ot do it justice for its beauty. I was not organized and did not get to see the inside but that is on my list for next time. The friends that I made said the inside was even more breathtaking than the outside.
About a 20 minute walk is a really great place for brunch at Firebug Restaurant! Such amazing and food that will fill you up for all the walking you’re about to do. The prices were very reasonable! And you can actually see the Arco de Triunfo from the patio of the restaurant.
About a 4 minute walk to…
Arc de triunfo – It is very pretty and again great for people watching! I sat on a bench and journaled for a few hours. There is a big park that you can definitely walk around or have a picnic if the weather is great!
About a 22 minute walk to…
Casa Batllo – skeleton Balaconies – there is a museum to go inside – since I was on a budget I did not go through the museum – I came to barcelona for three reasons… the tapas, the nightlife and casa batllo. This building did not disappoint! Highly recommend that while you get your steps in that you walk past this beautiful place.
About a 17 minute walk to…La Boqueria – the most amazing food market – walk around check what there is and then walk around a second time – there is so much food, fresh food, enchiladas, freshly squeezed juice, crepes – bring cash – there’s a little atm right outside of it and one further down the street – don’t stress – you can get fresh juice from 1 Euro and like empanada for 3 euros and a full crepe that will need some help finishing for 8 euros. If you keep going along the street you will find…
La Rambla – Shopping !! Shall I say more! All the best european brands are steps away! Check out Stradivarius and Bershka some of the coolest clothes.
About 8 minute walk to…
Barcelona Cathedral – in gothic quarters – another great barcelona building that has so much beauty in a very gothic looking neighborhood.
About a 17 minute walk to…
Barcelonetta – The beach!! This beach is quite a long one! Taking a long walk down it is the most relaxing and there’s benches to sit and be nostalgic! Be careful I’m gonna warn you…I did see a couple of rats sooo just watch your step 😉 There is also great people watching
FC Barcelona Camp Nou – book in advance too – I didn’t have time to do this but the friends that I made really enjoyed their time on this tour, they are also big soccer (football) fans. When I go back to Barca I will definitely put this near the top of my list.
Have an extra day – Fountain of Montjuic – check for fountain show times they do change them per the season
- Great view of the city – can take a gondola up or hike if you have the time
For Midnight adventures ! Just a heads up the Spanish start eating dinner at 9 and I’m sure you’re familiar with tapas so they keep eating till around 12 and then hit the disco! …They also don’t come home till about 6 in the morning (see why the siesta time is so important!) Ahah so what I did was eat dinner at 9, then sneak off back to the room and nap for a couple hours and wake up at midnight ready to drink my cervesa. I went to the club Opium, it is definitely one of the best clubs I have ever been to. Really good music (worldwide top 40’s), such a great vibe it was right on the beach (but be careful because I saw a girl’s purse get snatched while she was making out with a guy on the beach). I remember the cover being a bit expensive but it included your first drink so kinda evens out. Ten out of ten recommend!
Hope you enjoy this video of me and my friends having the best time ever exploring the streets of Barca! Hehe Just kidding… you millenials will remember its the hit some strut by the Cheetah Girls 2 Movie but notice a lot of the places I recommend in the video!
We all know hosting a party can really add up!! Buying food, booze, and decorations isn’t cheap. Here are my tips and tricks to save that money and still host the BEST CHRISTMAS PARTY EVER !!!!
Food and Drink
- Make it a potluck (mainly appetizers)
- Pick cocktails that can use cheaper liquors or make the event BYOB
- Base your foods around ingredients that are in season to save grocery money
- Cook small things instead of buying food
- Use what you already have decoration wise
- If you don’t have a lot of Christmas decorations, you can DIY tons of them!!
- Do either Kris Kringle or cookie exchange instead of gift giving
- Use cheap Christmas dollar store plates for a pretty but cheap alternative to china or glass (and easier clean up too!)
- Create some free Christmas themed games such as pin the nose on the reindeer or Christmas movie trivia
- Stick to a budget and list out what you need to buy before you go out to avoid wasting money
- Don’t give a fancy invite. Not sure if people really send invitations to these anymore, but if so, e-vites or Facebook events will save you a lot of money and time too!
The Perfect Gift! It may sound impossible but I promise it’s out there. I don’t mean to brag but I’ve mastered a method that gets the perfect gift every time. I’m not gonna lie it does take effort and some thinking but that’s what makes it perfect… the thoughtfulness that you put into the gift. ( LOL that’s cheesy…let’s just get into it)
I have major categories I like to follow when I think of gifts I can buy for someone. These categories can fit anyone you’re buying for…Grandma, best friend, boyfriend and I like to cross some off right off the bat depending on the person.
Here are my categories:
- Shoes (slippers)
- Electronics (tones of phone accessories out there to make everyone’s life that much easier)
- Hobbies (are they into Yoga? Golf? Tennis? Baking?)
- Memorabilia (sports fans? Tv show fans? – one tree hill or friday night lights)
Know What’s Out There
When I’m buying for a specific person, I think of my categories and I immediately cross out some categories so I narrow down the search for the perfect gift. For my mom… I know she’s not in need of any more jewelry, and definitely not electronics because she’s overwhelmed by the electronics she already has, so adding to it would not be the perfect gift. So even though a google home is a popping gift in recent years it’s still not something that she would find useful. Cosmetics I’m going to cross out because she likes to buy her own (so that she can get the Sephora beauty insider points 😉 but if say an eyeshadow palette is what she wanted I would check what’s out there and then investigate as I like to call it, which would be the listen and pay attention step. See what kind of palette’s she already has, what colors she likes/wears? Or if she wants a palette for special occasions…Know what’s out there is important so that you have an idea of what your working with and the price range. Trust me the bells will ring faster when your at the listening stage if you know what’s out there. This is just a quick scroll on the internet or a walk around the store.
Listen Listen Listen
Listen to them when they speak because they will subconsciously give you hints. For Nicola’s birthday I got her a small pair of dainty earrings because I knew she wanted to start wearing more earrings but didn’t like them being too big and bulky so that’s what I went searching for. Also listen closely if the person you are buying for has ever complimented something you are wearing or doing. Earlier last month I went hiking with my mom and she complimented my long sleeve athletic shirt and guess what she’s getting for Christmas…her own cute long sleeve shirt for cold hikes or to layer for skiing. When she’s warm and stylish on the hills she’ll think of me 😉
You may be thinking that listening is the same as paying attention well yes they go hand in hand. Once you have that hint like the earrings or the long sleeve active shirt you gotta observe…what’s their style? Do they like geometric shapes? What colors? Are they big logo or a small logo kinda people? And most importantly don’t get them something they already have! If they already have geometric earrings don’t get them another pair…but take note that they like a style that has defined points and lines. Or if you’re not sure…give them an experience or activity that has to do with one of the categories that they have never done before. My old roommate in university loves lipstick and has an enormous collection so instead of adding to the collection a colour that she may already have. I decided to take her to a lipstick lab where she gets to create her own colour and make her own lipstick. That way we spend time together and she gets too create a colour she loves.
Those are my three simple steps to finding the perfect gift for those special someone’s in your life. Remember this is the best time of year so make sure you are not putting too much stress on yourself, just open your ears, the hints are all there!
Happy shopping pals!
P.S. I’ll post gift guides for each category to help y’all a little more.
I’m sure I’m not the only one who often finds themselves overloaded with stuff to do. Between work or school, volunteering, trying to have a social life, and getting your everyday things done, it’s not always easy to stay organized and keep yourself calm. (more…)
I love lists! During this time of year…it’s all about lists and checking them twice. It’s the most wonderful time of the year… but also the most busiest, so let’s sing it all together now… TIS THE SEASON OF LISTS!
With all the craziness that comes with this month I sometimes feel like I don’t have enough time to do everything or feel overwhelmed and forget to do so here’s a list to follow and not cram in everything on the 23rd and 24th like me in previous years. Of course this is the order I’m going to try and follow but of course cater it to your lifestyle and availability. These are also very low budget ones
- THE CHRISTMAS TREEEE! Put it up pals !! Or decorate a pineapple or a cactus. Even a festive fig tree if that’s what you have!
- Watch the Victoria Secret Fashion Show…ok I know some of you are like urg I hate watching it, makes me feel so bad about myself, but I LOVE watching it haha one year I actually cried because I thought it was just so inspiring to see girls working hard and achieving their goals.
- Write and Mail Out Christmas cards! I have never written my own, just tagged onto my parents… and I still will haha for some but now that some of my friends are living away from their parents home and some living with their significant others, and some abroad I’m thinking why not…it’s fun and personal
- Clean out unused toys, and clothes to donate
- Mail out Christmas Cards… and if you want mail out a quick little note to Santa 😉 !
- Check out the department window displays as well as the instore decorations. These are my favvvvoorite don’t forget to take some pics. I love the Hudson Bay ones in down town toronto
- Watch your favorite christmas movie… a little confession and I know I’m not the only one but Elf is in the background of everything I do…brushing my teeth you bet buddy is right there with me!
- Put together a gingerbread house…hehe see how I wrote ‘’Put’’ ahah not make, spend a little on the gingerbread kit so you save a little time on putting together all the ingrediants and waiting for the process
- Go skating – check for free nights or discounted nights at the indoor skating rinks or lucky for us who live in the cold have those free outdoor skating rink (obvs when it’s cold enough and the ice is thick enough)
- Take a walk around a new neighborhood and check out the christmas lights.
- Go to a Christmas Market – Bring Cash! To two reasons – most huts and stations can take debit or credit but bring cahs becuase it will help you stay on budget. When at a christmas market it can be easy to get carried away and tap tap tap the credit at lot of food stations.
- Have egg nog and rhum!
- Read twas the night before Christmas
- Craft an ugly christmas sweater or just buy one…lots cheap ones out there.
- Do a random act of Kindness #RAOK
- Have a board game night with friends and/or family
- Go to a Christmas Craft show – before buying from box stores see if you can find gifts that are hand made and locally crafted
- Donate to the local food drive
- Make a christmas ornament…wouldn’t it be cute if you made one every year and through the years you’ll create a collection and have something fun to reflect upon
- Bake Christmas treats for the office, an office, any office…if you don’t work in an office then your workplace, or if you have no workplace, maybe bring some treats to the local humane society for the workers, just maybe call in advance in case they have and special requirements.
- Listen to carolers or join in on the carolers… up to you
- Some family time, friend time, or alone time doing a puzzle in front of the fire whether that be with real wooden logs or a tv fire with a candle it all works
- Do another Random Act of Kindness ! #RAOK It’s officially the first day last minute shoppers begin their shopping so whether you’re one with the madness (me) or at home relaxing cuz you planned ahead (must be nice) don’t forget
- Last day before Christmas Day! Before the storm of insta stories of everyone sharing their new toys…remember to be grateful so on the 24th journal or jot down in a notepad a couple things you are grateful for this Christmas.
Happy Holidays! Happy Decemeber! Merry Christmas!
I hope this list serves as an your holiday advent calender! Check our insta @thebrokegirlsofficial to follow along and tag us so we can do it together!
This year I have had my share of airplanes from 40 minutes flights to an 11 hour flight. I’ll be honest I’d rather be on an 11 hour flight than a 40 minute one. I find I get so much more flying anxiety when it comes to the short ‘up annnnnd now your down’ rides. I have learnt a few tips and tricks to help me stay calm, cool and collected during the whole thing.
Here are my packing tips for your next trip!! Most of my vacations involve a giant backpack, but these still work if a suitcase is more your style. I wish I could say I can afford to bring 3 suitcases worth of stuff (because that’s what I want to do) but I can’t, so I usually try and stuff it into a carry on! Hope these help you pack for your adventure 🙂
Top 12 Halloween Movies to watch if you HATE Scary Movies
Halloween is a magical time, full of candy and parties, ghosts and goblins, and of course, lots of fun. One of the best parts of Halloween though, is curling up on the couch with your snacks and a hot chocolate (or apple cider) and watching a good old fashion Halloween movie. However, the trick is these flicks are not always a treat 😉 if you are like me and absolutely hate scary movies, here is a list of the best Halloween movies to watch, and their trailers, so you don’t have to miss out on this awesome part of the fall season.
Based solely on where we’ve been and the fantastic foods we’ve tried there; these are the foods you have to try in Europe. We’re sure we’re missing so many amazing meals, but we can only speak from experience, so please comment below any foods we’re missing! (more…)
1 thing to be grateful for everyday of the month
Find beauty in the Ordinary –