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Monday, January 28, 2019

Meal Planning with M

Like many of you, I am on the go Monday through Friday, which leaves me with very little time to think about what to make for dinner.  The days that I don't plan for I end up eating something unhealthy, eating out, or not eating at all. None of these are great options. One thing I have learned is that meal planning is definitely the way to go. It saves time, money, stress, and unhealthy temptations. This trick of the trade is something I learned from my mom years ago. She would always ask what we wanted to eat, look at our schedules, and make a grocery list from there. Growing up, I was always used to going to the grocery store with a list of items to check off. During college I tried to adopt this routine, but it was definitely something I struggled to maintain on a regular basis. Fast forward to #adulting. A month ago I moved out of my parents house, and I've been forced to learn how to meal plan and eat on a budget.  Todd and I have adopted this routine and it has been a huge help.


On Thursdays I usually sit down to inventory what's in our fridge and cabinets, checkout our schedules for the upcoming week, preview the weather (because yes it determines what we want to eat), and get some food inspiration. This all sounds like a lot, but it ends up being a fun process for me. It's no secret that I'm a foodie, so I genuinely enjoy planning out meals and finding new recipes to try. When it comes to recipe seeking, I consult Pinterest, cook books, Instagram, and recommendations from my fellow foodies.

The next step is to plan out the meals and make a grocery list. I like to build in leftover days because these ensure that we eat everything we are cooking and it gives us a buffer. When planning, I usually include work day lunches, work week dinners, and a couple of make anytime meals. These anytime meals are for when we forget to defrost protein or change our minds about what we want. As for lunches, I like to select one meal prep option and make four portions of it. I'm sure you're wondering why four and not five. I refuse to eat the same thing day after day, so Wednesdays or Fridays I break up my lunch choice with leftovers or something else. For breakfast I usually eat oatmeal or yogurt with fruit and granola.  In year two of teaching, I've done a much better job at eating breakfast on the daily. Last year I did an awful job at this, which definitely impacted my energy levels.


So the next step is to go grocery shopping now that the list has been created. Our new home gives us lots of great food shopping opportunities- Whole Foods, Trader Joes, and Wegmans. Wegmans is great because they have an app that tells you exactly what aisle the items are in and how much they cost. It's been super helpful for us since we are #ballingonabudget.

Some things that have helped me find time to meal plan and prep include using a crock pot, spending some time on Sundays prepping lunches, preparing certain meals ahead of time (think those that require more chopping), and sharing the cooking nights with Todd.

This week's recipes:
Lunch: Orzo with butternut squash, spinach, and blue cheese
Monday: Kale and Kielbasa Soup
Tuesday: Chicken Tortilla Soup
Wednesday:Pork Chops with wild rice and green beans
Thursday:leftovers
Friday: Pizza and salad
Weekend options: Quiche, fried rice, Sweedish Meatballs, or macaroni and cheese

What's your strategy to eat healthy?
XOXO

Monday, January 21, 2019

101 in 1001 Update

If you've been reading for a little bit of time, then you know that I love a good list. Naturally, a few years ago I opted out of making new year resolutions and opted to try a Mackenzie Horan inspired 101 in 1001 list.  The first time I created one, I basically created it and forgot to come back to it. I seriously think I crossed maybe a total of twelve things off the list..pretty pathetic.  Two years ago I decided to give it another try. You can read the post here. This second time around I haven't been great about sticking to setting goals from here to check things off the list, but I am definitely doing much better than before. My current list expires in September, and I still have 66 tasks to complete.  As of today, I've completed 34 of the items since the start. 

What have I crossed off in the past year?


7. Publish three “how to” posts 
Looking back, this is one of my favorite types of posts to write. There is something about inspiring  others that I really enjoy writing about. 

17. Learn how to give myself a blowout
I went most of the summer without applying heat to my hair because my hair was reaching a really unhealthy point. When I went back to school,  I purchased a new blow dryer and since then have slowly been mastering the blowout. I watched this video over and over again to help. I've gotten to the point where I can blow out my hair, go to bed, and then wake up to just run the flat iron to smooth out the bumps from sleeping on my hair. This has significantly decreased the amount of heat that I've exposed my hair to. 

18. Move into my first grown up apartment/home 
In December, Todd and I bought our first home together. We skipped the whole renting phase and went straight from our parents house to owning our own home. It's a two bedroom two bathroom condo, so it's smaller than the single family home we thought we wanted. However, the smaller space is perfect for our current lifestyle. I'm excited to share more home updates with you guys soon! 

23. Read a book a month 
As a Language Arts teacher, I feel like I am constantly reading. Whether it is for my own pleasure, a book my students are reading, or a read aloud I'm doing with my class I am always in the midst of a book or two. Something that I have learned professionally is that you have to model a rich literacy life in order for students to buy in. This means that sometimes I am reading during class while my students are reading.  It is important for them to see me modeling what I ask of them. 

January: Tangerine by Edward BloorFebruary: March:To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper LeeApril:Nine Women, One Dress by Jane Rosen, May: Words Their Way June: A Handful of Stars by Cynthia Lord, July: Small Great Things by Jody Picoult, August: Mrs. Bixby's Last Day by John Anderson, September: Fish in A Tree by Lynda Hunt, October:Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan, November: 180 Days December: Dear Martin by Nic Stone

30. Obtain a coaching certification 
This year I returned back to the field hockey club that I played for in high school. I've transitioned from player to coach. I also started in a new high school coaching role. Between these two opportunities I was required to obtain several certifications. Most of these were related to safety. 

39. Go for a hike somewhere new 
If you're looking for something cheap to do while traveling, hanging out with friends, or while on a date, then I definitely recommend hiking. There are so many trails near you that you probably don't even know about.  This summer we went to North Carolina to visit friends and spent an afternoon exploring some trails. It was lots of fun and a great way for us to get some exercise while catching up. 

59. Take dance lessons 
I took a dance lesson last year, but not the type of lesson I had intended for when writing this list. For a friend's bachelorette party we took a booty popping class. It was so much fun! I still would like to take ballroom dancing lessons to prep for our wedding. 

72. Plan a ladies’ weekend
One of the highlights from last year was that I was the Maid of Honor in my best friend's wedding. One of my big duties was to plan her bachelorette party weekend.  We ended up going to Nashville. I am planning to share my Nashville travel tips some time soon!

87. Go on a road trip
When you're balling on a budget road trips become your favorite way to travel without breaking the bank. Todd and I are at the point in our lives, where our friends live all over the country. In order to see a lot of our close friends we have to travel, so road trips have become our new specialty. You can checkout our guide to road tripping here

93. Take a trip with my mom 
It's no secret that my mom and I are very close. One of the great things is that we are both teachers, so we tend to have off the same days. Last Spring Break, we ended up taking two mini trips. We kicked off our break with a road trip to upstate New York with my dad and our dogs.  My brother's college lacrosse team had a game, so we decided to make an adventure out of it. While we were there, we got to see Lake Ontario. It was a tad bit chilly, but definitely an experience that we will always remember.  We then came home for a day and packed our bags again to head to Virginia. We were in search of a new place to travel to for our family vacation. We found a sleepy little town that we ended up going back to this past summer for an entire week. 

100. Visit NYC
This was actually one of the first things I did to kick off 2018. Thanks to a series of snow days, I had the opportunity to spend a weekend in the city with my sorority sisters from college. One of them lives outside the city in Hoboken, NJ.  We spent half the weekend exploring the city and the other half in her town. It was so much fun, but I definitely recommend a quality jacket if you're going to explore the city during the coldest weekend of the year!

So how in the world am I planning to come anywhere near close to finishing this list? Well, to be honest, I know that I will not be completing every item by September. I started grad school a little bit later, so I won't have my Masters or reading specialist certification. Realistically I think I can complete about 35 more things on the list by September. My plan is to make a monthly checklist to be able to cross things off. 


So looking ahead at January and February. The following items are on the agenda: Start coloring in my adult coloring book, Continue to read, Send birthday cards, Continue to get back to running regularly, and Collect addresses

A few of these items I have already been in the process of completing, so I am hoping to finish them in the next month or so.  There are a few other items I am in the process of checking off list, but I'm not quite ready to share them with you guys yet. 

What are your goals for the upcoming month? 
Have you ever created a 101 in 1001 days list?
XOXO

Monday, January 7, 2019

Guide to the Lilly Pulitzer After Party Sale


In case you didn't know, the Lilly Pulitzer After Party Sale is Monday beginning at 8 a.m.  You can gain early access in stores this weekend or shop online January 7th-8th. I've shopped the sale quite a handful of times both online and in person. Some years have definitely been better than others as far as pricing and sizing goes. 

The last time I wrote a guide to the Lilly Pulitzer sale was in August of 2016. At that time I shared that I wasn't shopping because I was saving for "adult things" like a car and to move out.I kind of laughed at this when I went to look back at what I written before because I've achieved both of those things. At this point in time, I'm undecided if I will end up purchasing anything or not. With buying a home, my budget is pretty tight. But part of me wouldn't mind finding a cute dress for a wedding I have in May and something for my bridal shower (I'm hoping we can have it in this summer).  We will see how good my self control is because I originally said I wouldn't be logging on to eve browse, and if you know me then you know that I'm pretty much a shopaholic plus a Lilly lover. Thinking about it, a lot of my dresses don't fit like they used to, so I definitely wouldn't mind adding a few new pieces. 


You may or may not know already, but Lilly Pulitzer rarely has large sales... in fact they only occur two times a year (August and January).  They used to do an in person summer warehouse sale, but they no longer do it. Anyways, due to the low frequency there is always a lot of hype surrounding these sales.  You have to be strategic about your shopping and it helps if you know some of the secrets to conquering the sales, especially the online ones. I have a few tips to help you out, in case you've never shopped the sale.

Create an account
If you're able to, it's always best to create an online account ahead of time. I recommend adding your card into your account ahead of time too because it speeds up your checkout process. The faster you check out the more likely you are to get what you want. Fun fact: adding items to your cart does not guarantee that you will get them. 

Once you're in the virtual line, DO NOT HIT REFRESH!
This is probably the biggest thing you need to know. It can be annoying waiting in line and sometimes it moves pretty slowly.  It is tempting to hit the refresh button to see if anything will change, but I'm warning you that you will regret it. Hitting the refresh button will take you to the very back of the line. I've waited in line for two hours before... just find something to do and stick it out. Your other option is to shop later in the day. This is a great option if you aren't looking for something specific. Usually by 4 pm there is no line. 

Know Your Size
It's important to know your size because all items purchased during the After party sale are final sale, which means there's no returning. If you do purchase something that does not end up working out, then you can always sell it at a consignment store, Facebook marketplace, or to a friend. 

Have a Positive Attitude
Just like anything you do, there are things that might frustrate you about this sale. There's a chance that you might not get the item you've been lusting over. Be prepared, the site might crash. I feel like the past few sales it has happened within the first hour or so. Yes, it's annoying, but it's just due to the insane amount of Lilly lovers.  Being optimistic through the whole shopping process will make it much more enjoyable. Let's be real, in the whole scheme of things, you probably do not need these clothes that you are buying. They are a want, and it is important to keep that in mind. After all, who can be grumpy when shopping at Lilly?
Self Control
We all know that Lilly Pulitzer items rarely go on sale. It can be quite tempting to go a little overboard when shopping the online sale. Try to make a budget and stick to it. You don't want to regret over spending your money on items that you won't be able to return. 

A few of my favorite Lilly outfits from the past year or so:





Best of luck shopping. I cannot wait to see what you purchase!
XOXO

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Page 2 of 365

As promised, I'm back with another post. Shocker..I know right? I made a vow to be a better blogger, and I'm doing my best to keep my word. Today was day two of the new year. It was page two of our 365 day book. This 365 day book of mine is one that I am incredibly excited for. With a new year comes an opportunity to set the reset button. It is kind of funny to think about because realistically not much changes between December 31st and January 1st.  Many people spend the month of January obsessing over their resolutions just to fall off the train by mid February.  I have never been one to set resolutions. In the past I have set goals and done a 101 in 1001 list. The 101 lists have been so fun to make, but I'm always the worst at following through with checking things off the list. However, goals and intentions are where I usually thrive.  I find them much easier to achieve, and they don't seem to overwhelm me as much. You might be thinking they are the same thing, but they are actually different! Goals are something you hope to achieve but might fall short. Whereas intentions are setting the mindset you want to have.


This year my intention is to simply form good daily habits. Now that we are in our own place, I've had to adapt how I live in many ways. The daily Starbucks trips have come to an end, the random trips to eat out during lunch because I was too lazy to pack have stopped, the shopping sprees without thinking twice are no longer, and even more simply my daily routines are totally different. I've taken on more responsibilities both physically and financially. #adulting is in full swing now, and it is now time for me to pull it together. Sure I could set some resolutions related to this, but I feel like setting the intention to be mindful of my daily habits will take me further. After-all, nothing changes long term if you don't make any short term changes along the way. 

Goal Getter
I'm a huge fan of setting goals. I like to set goals that are achievable with a little challenge. If it is not reasonable, then you will just end up feeling defeated. This year's goals are related to self improvement. 

101 in 1001: I absolutely love these lists, but I think I was a little out of touch with reality when I made my list. There are some things on here that I know won't be crossed off. This current list is set to expire in fall of 2019.  With the little bit of time I have left, I want to work to reach at least 50% of the items before it's time to make a new list. I think I can easily get fifteen items crossed off.

Fitness: The item that is on everyone's new year resolutions list.  I seriously need to start sweating for the wedding now that we have hit the one year mark. I have been awful about working out regularly since I've started #adulting. I feel like the past two years I've gone in waves of being really good about it and then I fall off again.  Today I started the BBG twelve week plan. I completed the first four weeks at the end of the summer, but back to school and coaching took up all of my time (or at least that's what my excuse is). I'm ready to make myself a priority, which means making time for daily workouts. I think these workouts will be great for my current schedule because they require minimal equipment, are flexible, and not too time consuming.

Daily Routines: We moved almost three weeks ago, but with the holidays I have yet to form daily routines. If you know me, then you know that I thrive with routines.  I'm hoping to form routines filled with healthy habits over the next month or so. This includes silly things like sitting down to eat breakfast before leaving for work, reading daily, going for a walk with the dog each day after work, picking my work clothes out for the week, meal prepping, daily skincare routines, etc.


Find balance: If there is one thing I sucked at in 2018, it was finding balance in life. I'm the type of person who commits whole-heartedly to anything and everything that I do. If I'm going to half-ass something, then I just would rather not do it.  There's definitely pros and cons to my all or nothing attitude. The pros are that I usually excel at what I put my mind to, but the cons are that it usually means another part of my life suffers. It's no secret that my plate is full, but I need to be better about balancing coaching, teaching, time with friends, time with family, blogging, fitness, and simply time to take care of myself. I am hoping that my intention of 2019 will help me find this balance.

Whether you are setting goals, intentions, or resolutions it is important to hold yourself accountable. The first month is easy because you are surrounded by so many other people who have this rejuvenated mindset, but as the year goes on this tribe tends to dwindle providing more temptations than before. Know that you are not alone in your new endeavors. There is always somebody out there cheering for you or going through the same struggles you are. 

What are your goals or intentions for the new year?
XOXO

Monday, December 31, 2018

Life Updates

Long time no chat... it has literally been four months since I last sat down to publish a post. Definitely not my proudest blogging realization.  While the hiatus is not something I am proud of, I do have to say that sometimes something has to give in the height of a busy schedule.  While I have missed writing posts and interacting with each of you regularly, I honestly don't think my posts would have been the quality that I strive for.  Furthermore, I have realized the importance of taking a step back to give yourself some time to breathe. As you will soon read, life has been a little bit crazy lately.  Lots of life has happened since August, so today I wanted to hop on to share some life updates with you. 


Teaching Career
I'm still plugging away with grad school.  This past semester I decided to slow down to one class.  I knew that between the chaos of the start of the school year and coaching I wouldn't have enough time to dedicate to two classes. Taking one class was refreshing because I was able to really focus on applying what I was learning to my daily teaching practice. I also felt like I was able to be more engaged with the content because I wasn't balancing as big of a work load as I had the semester before. While slowing down means that I won't graduate as soon as I had hoped to, I'm realizing the importance of balance. I'm pretty sure I would be part of the new teacher burn out if I continued on the accelerate path I started with.

Speaking of teaching... this year I finally have a contract, which has brought me more confidence, stability, and freedom. While I am only in my second year, I have already learned so much. The first (almost) half of the year has taught me how to manage my time, speak up more, get creative, take the time to truly get to know my students, and has bettered my classroom management. I have also been lucky enough to enjoy some incredible professional development that has inspired me to change some things in my room as we embark on the new year. I'm thinking of sharing more teaching related posts in the new year to provide you with a more wholesome view of life.

December was a crazy month at school.  This year there was an extra week between Thanksgiving Break and Winter Break, which definitely put my classroom management strategies to the test.  It was a fun-filled month with lots of energy and excitement from the kids.  I think the only way I survived was with lots of coffee, a little medicine ball tea, advice from my mom, and my wonderful coworkers.

Coaching
One of the biggest reasons behind my blogging  hiatus was probably the time I spent coaching field hockey. I have been coaching for the past few years, but this season I stepped up from volunteering to an actual position.  I was fortunate enough to take a chance on a (new to me) program working with someone who I barely knew. As it turns out I traded in my alma mater team, but I have gained a new mentor that I love working with, an even better understanding of what it means to be a coach, and athletes who have restored my love of the game.This change came from a series of unexpected events, but looking back I can say with confidence that everything truly does happen for a reason. As I look ahead to 2019, I am excited for the growth we have planned for our team.

Wedding Planning
This week we officially hit the one year mark until our big day. Wedding planning has been one of the fun parts of life for me! The past month or so I was able to check off a few things from the list, but these will be shared in a post to come! Here's a sneak peak of a little something my mom and I have been working on.



New year, new home
The biggest update of all is that Todd and I have purchased our first home together.  We have been living in our hometown with our parents since we each graduated college. It was great to be able to establish ourselves professionally with the support and cushion of our parents being so close.  We are now both working in places we envision ourselves staying at for awhile. We were both making long commutes to and from work, so we began toying with the idea of buying a place this summer. One of the perks to spending time at home post college was that we were able to save up a good chunk of money. We figured we would move out within the next year, but we did not think it would happen this soon. We found a place online that was much closer to where we work and I coach. Back in October we went to look at it thinking nothing would come out of it... 24 hours later we put an offer in and it was accepted! Two weeks ago we made settlement, and we are still working to get everything organized and decorated. With the holidays, we have spent more nights not home than we have enjoying our new place. I am excited to share more about our new adventure in the future.




I'm looking forward to taking the day to finalize my reflections and set my intentions as we begin a new year.  I am thankful for the support and love from friends, family, and readers that I have had this year. I'm very much so looking forward to the fresh start to revive my blogging habits and get back to better routines.

See y'all next year!
XOXO



Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Summer Health and Fitness

One of my favorite things when reading blog posts is when the blogger portrays themselves as a human rather than someone who is flawless. Living in an era where everyone shares the best version of who they are while hiding there flaws can put a ton of pressure on people. Today I'm here to give you a post filled with real talk that I think many of you can probably relate to. When it comes to health and fitness, we all have a different relationship and varying philosophies. It is a subject that I think can be sensitive for some if it is not approached in the right manner. 


I'd be lying if I said I went to the gym or for a run every single day and that I eat clean all of the time. However, what I can tell you is that I listen to my body and what it needs.  This summer I have taken the time and energy to focus on my overall health. Concentrating on my physical health has in turn helped my mental health too. I take each day as it comes, and depending how I feel I may deviate from the weekly plan I had established. 

What I have learned is the importance of balance. Some weeks are filled with workouts and healthy eating while others contain more fun and less healthy choices. Sometimes our lifestyles simply do not allow time for every meal to be homemade and filled with veggies. It is important to be able to forgive yourself and not obsess over the days where your choices are less than healthy. 




I think one of the biggest things about staying healthy in the summer is all about the choices you make. Being mindful of what you are putting in your body and how you treat your body is so important. I try to incorporate seasonal fruits and veggies into my snacks/meals. I find it much easier to do in the summer for some reason.. maybe because I have more time to go to the market or because I like the season's produce better. I also try to limit my alcohol intake. This is so helpful with not feeling bloated, keeping my skin healthy, and not consuming empty calories.  When given the choice, I try to walk rather than drive or take the stairs rather than the elevator. This is simple, but it keeps me from being lazy. Another great thing about summer is that the weather is nice and there are more options for outdoor entertainment.  I like to take advantage of these opportunities and meet friends to do things (go for a walk, hike, etc.) rather than meeting to eat a meal. My last little trick is to stay hydrated by drinking tons of water.  These are just a few small things that help build a healthier lifestyle.
 

So what does my summer workout schedule look like?
It depends on the week, the weather, and what my calendar looks like. On a given week you can find me doing some combination of running, waking, playing field hockey, or taking a few classes at the gym. My goal is to get four workouts in a week, but it usually ends up being more like three each week.  Most summer weeks I play field hockey games in a women's league two times. These games are about an hour long and involve lots of cardio.


Weeks where I play two games, I usually try to stretch more and go to a cycle class at the gym. When I don't have any games, my week usually consists of two runs (2-4 miles long), a les mills class (bodypump), and a cycle class. I like to mix things up because it prevents me from getting bored and it works different muscle groups. 

Favorite Workouts:
Full body: Les Mills Body Pump (at the gym) & Kayla Itsines
Cardio: Cycle or interval runs
How do you stay healthy during the summer?
XOXO

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Road Trip Essentials, Tips, & Tricks


If you read Monday's post, then you know that Todd and I took a mini road trip earlier this month. We drove from Pennsylvania to North Carolina for a long weekend. It was our first road trip together, and overall it was a success. I thought it would be fun to share some of our tips, tricks, and essentials to road tripping. If you're anything like us, then you are living with champagne tastes on a post grad budget.  The two of these don't always align, but we are finding ways to make it work while still living life to the fullest.  We love traveling and exploring, but it can be costly. One of the ways we manage to travel while sticking to our budget is by driving places rather than flying. Yes, it takes more time but it is actually fun! Plus, it gives us time to chat about our wedding planning, life plans, and everything else you could possibly imagine. 


Once you decide where you are going and where you are staying there are a few more things to do before you are actually read to jump in the car and hit the road. The more planning and preparation you do the smoother your trip will be. 

Get the car ready
I'm not talking about loading it up, but actually prepping the car. It's important to make sure your oil and other fluid levels are filled. If you're going further it also might be a good idea to take your car to the mechanic for an oil change, tire rotation, and overall check in. Your future self will thank you for spending a few extra dollars on this if it means you get to and from your destination without any car issues. It's also more comfortable to travel in a clean car. Confession- I'm the worst at keeping the car clean and will avoid cleaning it at all costs.  However, recently I realized that it only takes thirty minutes to vacuum it out, clean out the trash and extra stuff you've accumulated, wipe down the interior, and wash the windows.  Traveling in a clean car just makes you feel so much better during the trip. The final preparations is to make sure that the car is stocked with chargers, and AUX card, hand wipes, and tissues. 

Map Out Your Route
Before heading out for your trip, be sure to map out to see what the best way to go is, where to stop, and the best place to leave from.  This was definitely one of the mistakes that we made. We didn't realize until we got on the road that the plans we had before leaving for our trip actually took us out of the way and added almost an hour to our trip. While mapping out your route, it is also important to note about when/where you will need to stop for gas and where the gas stations are along your route. Gas stops should be quick, so it's best if you can stop along your route rather than taking a detour because of your lack of planning. 

Combine Your Stops
If you're anything like us, then you like to just get to your destination as quick as possible. One way to do this is to combine your stops. Try to plan stops that allow you to grab food, let the dog out if he/she is traveling with you, use the restroom, and fill up your gas tank all at once. This will check three things off the list all at once and allow you to get back on the road again. 

Pack a Cooler
Pack a cooler or lunch box with water, sodas, and snacks. This will allow you to keep driving when you get hungry or thirsty. Plus, when you do stop you will be able to save any leftovers you may have for later on in your trip. 

Use Cruise Control
As you are driving it is helpful to use cruise control.  This keeps you from traveling too fast and getting a ticket.  It also makes it easier on you and it will save you on gas too.

Create a Playlist
Good music is definitely key to a successful road trip. I highly recommend creating a playlist filled with a variety of music. Variety is key because it keeps things exciting. We listened to my summer playlist for a lot of the trip. We also used to the time to begin searching for the first dance song for our wedding. We are still searching, so if you have any favorites we'd love to hear your recommendations!
Check out our playlist here! 

Caffeine Stop
What's a road trip without a caffeine stop? We definitely were in need of one during both ways of the trip.  Back to spending minimal time on stops and optimal time on the road.. I highly recommend downloading the Starbucks App or app for your favorite chain to get caffeine from. On the way home, we used the Starbucks app to find a store along our route and order our coffee ahead of time. When we got there, our coffee was waiting for us. We took a total of seven minutes for the stop to use the restroom and pick up our order.  Fun fact- water is free at most places. We got our water bottles filled with ice and water while we were there too. 

Eat Before You Go + Pack Snacks
It is helpful to not start the trip out on an empty stomach. This was a mistake we made on our way down to North Carolina. Starting on an empty stomach means that you will have to stop for a meal, which is a longer stop and you probably won't need gas yet which goes against the optimize your stops rule. Packing snacks allows you to satisfy your hunger without driving. Here are some of our favorite road trip snacks/drinks.



What are your road trip essentials?

XOXO