30 Before 30 10

30 Before 30 // Being LeannaWell, the time has come. I have been gathering this list together for some time and I figured what better time than my birthday to kick off my 30 before 30 list?

I’m turning 27 tomorrow (the 24th) and i’ll also be crossing off one of the items on my list! I’m hoping everything on here is pretty doable because i’m giving myself three years, and none of this is too crazy but we’ll see. Let me know if any of these are on your 30 before 30, or 40 before 40 or just your bucket list! I’d love to know.

30 before 30

Go to Iceland

Go to the west coast

Go on a vacation to just relax!

Go ziplining

Go parasailing

Get paid for a blog post

Buy a house

Go to a blogging conference or beauty con, can’t decide

Get a promotion at work 

Design my own blog template

Read 50 books

Date

Say “yes” for a full day

Get a new car

Sell something i’ve made

Learn to let things go

Try a new workout routine

Run a 5k, 10k if i’m feeling good

Go to a concert at SPAC or Tanglewood

Splurge on a super fancy meal/hotel/night out

Host a dinner party once I own my own house

See the northern lights

Throw a big 30th birthday party

Splurge on a nice clothing item or accessory

See a NY Giants game

Pay down my student loans as much as possible

Ride in a hot air balloon

Work on getting better at Italian

Adopt a cat once I get my own house

Learn to get better at communicating my feelings

 

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The Best Travel Accessories- Items I Won’t Travel Without 14

The Best Travel Accessories // Being Leanna

The Best Travel Accessories:

If you love to travel you have your old standbys that you just won’t, or cannot travel without. Today, I wanted to share my must have travel accessories and why you need to add them to your list as well! 

The Best Travel Accessories // Being Leanna

// Cozy Apparel

No matter the mode of transportation you’re taking to get to your destination you have to be comfortable when traveling. A comfy t-shirt, some leggings and a sweatshirt or scarf you can throw over them are key when traveling. I always travel in a t-shirt with a sweater scarf or a cardigan. Snag this vacation appropriate shirt here!

The Best Travel Accessories // Being Leanna

// Comfortable Shoes

Keeping on the theme of comfy clothes, you need some comfortable walking shoes. I’m a huge fan of Toms. They are breathable, comfortable, easy to slip on and they go with everything. I’ve walked all over Europe in these, hiked, and sauntered around the local mall in these all with no issues.

The Best Travel Accessories // Being Leanna

// Sea Bands

Now, I can’t definitively say that these aren’t just placebo effect but they truly helped me out on my last trip. I get so incredibly motion sick on planes that I was willing to try anything. Dramamine works wonders but on a 10 hour plane ride it wears off. The little plastic nubs basically dig into your skin to hit a pressure point that’s supposed to ease nausea. They aren’t uncomfortable to wear but they do leave marks for a while once you take them off so there’s definitely no hiding them.

The Best Travel Accessories // Being Leanna

// Phone Camera Lenses

These little guys have been one of the coolest things i’ve bought for my phone. It clips onto my camera and has a macro, fish eye and a wide angle lens. They take a little bit of playing around with but once you get it down they’re great. Plus, they even come with teeny tiny lens caps to keep dust and fingerprints off.  

The Best Travel Accessories // Being Leanna

// Notebook

Okay, okay, this one is super simple. But I really will not travel without a notebook. I like to keep a travel journal when I go places, it really helps me to remember the little moments. And, when you go overseas and you don’t have data on your phone it’s really handy to write down directions to help you out when you can’t get wifi. 

The Best Travel Accessories // Being Leanna

// Microfiber travel towel

To save space in my bag on my most recent trip, I opted to buy a microfiber towel. This thing is awesome. It folds out into a full sized towel and it really soaks up every drop of water. This is the perfect option for when you’re staying at hostiles that don’t provide towels or just if you need to save some space in your bag. Plus, if you tuck this in your carry on it can double as a blanket or a pillow on for your trip. 

The Best Travel Accessories // Being Leanna

// Extra Phone Battery

Probably the most important of all the travel accessories mentioned. You need an extra battery for your phone when you’re going to be traveling around. My battery drains like it’s nobody’s business and this has came in handy multiple times. This snaps right onto your phone through the charger port and carries a full charge. The best part for me is that it adds some bulk, but it will still fit in my pocket or tiny wristlet. 

And that’s it! Those are my top must have travel accessories. I will not travel without any of them. I’ll be going to Texas on October 1st and i’ve already got all these items gathered so I know not to forget them. Let me know what your best travel accessories are so I know what else to grab for my upcoming trip! Be sure to check out my other travel posts like how to pack 8 days in a carry on

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Bloggers Tell All- A Fun, Informative Tag! 6

Bloggers Tell All- A Fun, Informative Tag // Being Leanna

Happy Monday!

I am so excited for today’s post. One of my favorite bloggers, Christine from Simply Stine wrote this Bloggers Tell All tag post on Friday and I just knew I had to participate. I am all about “get to know me” type of posts and I especially love posts with blogging tips. So, why not combine the two like Christine did? Perfect. Please go check out her post (if you haven’t read it already) and let me know your answers in the comments below, or write your own post and tweet me!

Bloggers Tell All Tag:

Bloggers Tell All- A Fun, Infomative Tag // Being Leanna

// What was your first post about?

My first post was a very poorly written introduction with no pictures. I repeat, no pictures. Deep sigh. Feel free to read it here as I would never take down any of my posts, no matter how embarrassing haha. 

My first “real” post was the one following my introduction and it was a Thanksgiving ootd. I still love this outfit (rip jeweled sweater) but the pictures are again, awful. 

// What is the meaning behind my blog name?

I went pretty simple. My name is Leanna and I’d like to think that my blog is all about Being Leanna. Clever, right? Honestly, coming up with a name was super difficult for me. I decided to start a blog ( I had had other journal type blogs wayyyy back in the day that will remain hopefully hidden from the world) months before I actually did because I could not come up with a name I liked. I wanted my name to be able to carry across all social medias so I wanted something short that could be the same on every platform. Finally, Being Leanna was born. 

// Who/What inspires your work?

All of my readers, fellow bloggers, makeup/skincare trends, travel sites. Literally everything and anything can inspire me. I always have a running list on my phone of things or products to check out, blog post ideas, etc. Also, i’m a huge fan of Buzzfeed so, they definitely help me figure out what’s trendy. 

// Proudest Blogging Accomplishment:

Having people comment or email me and tell me that my travel posts have inspired them in some way. Whether that was to help them plan an upcoming trip or to help them to decide to travel. It really warms my heart when you guys get something out of what i’ve written. Especially when those posts mean so much to me. #travelbloggergoals

// Do you have a tip for staying organized?

Boy do I ever. I am a very organized person. I have lists upon lists of things going at all times. One organization tip that really helps me is my current two notebook situation. I have one notebook for all things travel. My current inspirations, details from all of my travels, and ideas for future travel posts. My second notebook is for everything else. Blog post ideas, outlines for those ideas, notes from previous webinars i’ve attended and a list of linkups I like.

// Explain how you prepare for a blog post:

I’ve got a different process for different types of posts. If it’s a travel post i’m putting together I like to do all of my research first. Gather some fun facts, make sure i’m spelling things right and verifying the names of places i’m suggesting. Then, I like to have a handwritten outline for how the post is going to be laid out. From there i’ll go through my photos and pick out the ones that fit the outline best and i’ll get them edited and ready for the post. Then, I write!

If it’s for a makeup or any type of product post I’ll take pictures immediately upon receiving the product. Next i’ll test the product for at least 3 weeks before I write a review so I know i’ve tested thoroughly. I’ll outline how i’d like the post to go. Is it a review, a comparison, a whole brand spotlight? From there I’ll write and then edit the pictures I like best.

Bloggers Tell All- A Fun, Informative Tag // Being Leanna

// Favorite/least favorite part of blogging”

My favorite thing about blogging are the connections i’ve made with other bloggers. I feel like i’ve got friends all over the place and that’s a fantastic feeling. I love having a creative outlet that connects me with other people.

My last favorite thing is that it does take over your life if you let it. I definitely am guilty of staging photos for the blog or Instagram. I have yet to do something just because it’ll make for a great blog post but, I sense it’s coming.

// What camera do you use/other equipment:

 I use my trusty smart phone, a Galaxy S5 to be exact. I’m still not to the point where I want to spend the money on a DSLR but i’m getting there. It would be great to learn how to use them but I just don’t have the time or $ right now. 

I have some lenses that I bought off of amazon and they work pretty well for being clip-ons for a phone camera; I highly suggest trying them out. 

I also have a mini tripod for my phone with a remote so that I can take some pictures of myself. Hopefully i’ll get back into fashion pictures soon. 

// Biggest mistake you’ve made blogging:

Not keeping up with social media. Every blogger wants to grow and reach more people but up until recently I didn’t out in nearly as much time as I should have in advertising my blog. I find it hard to advertise myself and lure people to check out my amazing blog. Unfortunately for me, organic growth doesn’t really happen anymore. 

// How has your blog changed? 

Being Leanna has changed a lot since its birth in 2014. I always wanted to be a beauty blogger, and still love posting about beauty and products but I find i’m slowly switching over to more travel. I don’t want to limit myself by blogging about just one topic but I’ve definitely narrowed down my scope of topics since beginning and it’s so much more fulfilling. 

// Have you attended any blog conferences?

Nope, but i’d love to! If I can’t make it to a blog conference in 2017 I’d at least like to meet a blogger friend in person somewhere. They aren’t the same, but they’re similar. 

// Best tip for anyone thinking of starting a blog:

I’m going to go ahead and steal Christine’s answer because it is such amazing advice. Do not start a blog for the free products, the money, or the notoriety. You have to start a blog because you want to write, you want to share your knowledge with other people and you want to work really hard. Sure, free products are awesome, but that can’t be your goal. I blog because I love to share my knowledge with people and I want to make friends.

Blogging is a lot of hard, time consuming work so if you’re looking to start a blog, be prepared! Trust me, the fun is more than worth all the time and effort.

Bloggers Tell All- A Fun, Infomative Tag // Being Leanna

Let me know your bloggers tell all answers in the comments, or write your own post!  Above is the list of all the bloggers tell all prompts! Be sure to check out Christine’s post and let her know how awesome this tag is! 

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No Bake Granola Bars: A Quick and Easy Recipe! 21

No Bake Granola Bars// Being Leanna

Happy Friday! 

Today, i’m doing something a little bit different and re-posting a recipe I had posted about a year ago. I loved this recipe so much because it’s so incredibly easy to make and I’ve made them numerous times. I wanted to re-share this post because i’ve been having a huge craving, plus, now that it’s back to school season, these are the perfect treats to make to pack in your little one’s lunchbox! 

Hope you enjoy… again!

I am so excited for this post you guys. I’ve been dying to make my own oatmeal/granola bars for a very long time. And to be honest, I have no excuse for not making them. So, I made a list for myself and made sure to grab everything I needed at the grocery store this past Sunday. Why the sudden motivation you ask? If you read Simply Stine you’ll know that she posted an oatmeal bar recipe a week or two ago and I just had to try it. So I did. And here it is. It’s a bit different than hers so I posted my own recipe below. I hope you enjoy!

No Bake Granola Bars:

No Bake Granola Bars// Being Leanna

First off, I gathered my ingredients. I cannot make anything without putting everything out on display. I also like to lay out all of my measuring cups and spoons for easy access. Once this was all set up and ready, I grabbed my wet ingredients, measured  them out and melted them down in a pot on the stove.

No Bake Granola Bars// Being Leanna

Looked gross, smelled AMAZING. Like Chex Muddie Buddies, which reminds me, I want to make those now too. Anyways, once that was all deliciously melted I moved it off of the heat and added all my dry ingredients. Seriously, so simple it’s impossible to mess this up. 

No Bake Granola Bars// Being Leanna

Smoosh it all out into a baking pan and toss in the fridge for at least 4 hours. I know, I know, don’t worry, you can certainly lick the spoon and have as much of this while it’s still gooey as you want. I won’t judge. Using a lined dish totally helps save on dishes and is a great trick to help cut them up later. Just pop out the paper and break or cut up the bars. No sticking!
No Bake Granola Bars// Being Leanna

Just in case you weren’t drooling yet….

No Bake Granola Bars// Being Leanna

No-Bake Granola Bars
Delicious oatmeal based granola bars.
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Prep Time
20 min
Prep Time
20 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 cup Peanut butter
  2. ½ cup Honey
  3. ½ cup Coconut oil
  4. 1 tsp Almond extract
  5. ¼ cup slivered almonds
  6. ½ cup dried cranberries
  7. 4 cups old fashioned rolled oats
  8. 1 ¼ cup chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Line an 8x8 baking dish with parchment (or wax) paper and set aside.
  2. Using a medium sauce pan (on low heat) melt the peanut butter, honey, coconut oil and almond extract. Stir until well combined and then remove from heat.
  3. While mixture is cooling add in oats, cranberries and almonds and stir until everything is coated. Feel free to add more or less of these ingredients to get the taste and consistency you would like.
  4. Wait for mixture to cool before adding chocolate chips, or add them in so they melt and combine with the rest of the contents.
  5. Transfer to lined baking dish and smooth out until level. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
  6. Once bars are hardened pop out the parchment paper and cut into bars or other shapes. Wrap in plastic wrap or Ziploc bags and keep refrigerated.
Being Leanna http://beingleanna.com/

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To Contiki, or not to Contiki: A Detailed Review 5

To Contiki, or Not To Contiki: A Detailed Review // Being Leanna

 

Contiki:

  • Travel company for 18-35 year olds
  • Destinations in the USA, Canada, Europe, Latin America, Asia, Australia and New Zealand. 
  • Over 300 different trips to chose from
  • Trip lengths from 3 days to over a month

To Contiki, or Not To Contiki: A Detailed Review // Being Leanna

Why Contiki?

// Personally, I chose to travel with Contiki because, even though i’m an adult, I didn’t want to terrify my parents and travel solo my first time overseas. I saw a review of Contiki on a travel bloggers site and then did some more research from there.

// Lots of inclusions

All accommodations, transportation and breakfasts are taken care of. Each tour has a bunch of included activities as well as a few dinners. Contiki also gives travelers the option of adding days before or after the trip in the same accommodations so you don’t have to switch hotels/hostiles. I took advantage of this my first trip and it was fantastic. 

To Contiki, or Not To Contiki: A Detailed Review // Being Leanna

// 8 ways to travel

Having 8 different ways to filter trips is an excellent way to help you find the trip that fits your style best. They have discoverer, high energy, in-depth explorer, easy pace, camping, sailing & cruise, winter & ski and finally, short trips & festivals. Phew! That was a lot. My first trip was Easy pace, and my second was Discoverer. There is something for everyone!

// Me time & optional activities

The two things that really sold me on Contiki were the ability to have a ton of free time but also, the option for activities with the group. The Me Time options are activities that you can pay extra for. Signing up for the optional activities through your tour manager is cheaper than doing the activities on your own generally so, if it’s something you’d be interested in, sign up. Some optional activities I did include: Moulin Rouge in Paris, a visit to Bath, England, a gondola ride in Venice, and a salt mine tour in Krakow. 

// Knowledgeable staff

The trip manager is an endlessly amazing resource for you. Need to know where the best restaurants, cash exchanges or shops are? Your tour manager has the answer. If it weren’t for my last tour manager a lot of those kids wouldn’t have made it back to the hostile some nights. 

To Contiki, or Not To Contiki: A Detailed Review // Being Leanna

Tips for Contiki:

// Book through the actual website but, book your own flights. They can do the flights for you but it’s generally cheaper if you book that yourself. 

// Join the message board for your group. It’s important to talk to people before you go (especially for us introverts) so that you can make friends before meeting people in person. 

// Contact customer service or use the live chat to ask about your tour before you book. Some tours join other ongoing tours in the middle and I highly suggest avoiding that at all costs. For me it was incredibly difficult to make friends with people who had already been together for a week. 

To Contiki, or Not To Contiki: A Detailed Review // Being Leanna

// Be prepared for long days and nights. A lot of these tours are party central and you will be up late every night. If partying isn’t your thing, there’s not shame in going to bed early, my first trip I never partied and still had a great time. 

// Do some research on the places you’re going ahead of time. Plan ahead and get the right currency and especially check the weather before you pack! Getting cash at cash exchanges aren’t always the best, and if you don’t speak the language you can get ripped off so be sure to get cash before you travel!

// Get there ahead of time if you can because it’ll reduce some travel anxiety. You won’t need to worry about meeting your tour on time or finding your hotel if you arrive a day early. If you get there early you’ll also be able to start to get used to the time difference. Double bonus.

To Contiki, or Not To Contiki: A Detailed Review // Being Leanna

My Trips:

// London & Paris

I took it easy with my first trip and just went to 2 countries over 8 days. I arranged to arrive 2 days early so I could do some of my own exploring and had a blast. A few other girls arrived early so I had a travel buddy my first day out and about. There could not have been a more positive experience for me my first time doing Contiki. It’s why I booked a second time. There are still people from my first trip that I talk to and one who I’ve met up with a few times. You can read my London and Paris recaps for more details. Part 1. Part 2. Part 3.

// Eastern Trail 

Because I had such an amazing first go-around I wanted to go on a more intense trip so I searched around for trips based on how long I could go for. I found the Eastern Trail and it had a ton of places on my bucket list so I went ahead and booked. It wasn’t until I joined the message board that I discovered that the Eastern Trail was part of a much larger tour called the European tour (which I highly recommend if you can take that much time). I opted to take an extra 2 days in my last city and it might have been the best part of my trip.

To Contiki, or Not To Contiki: A Detailed Review // Being Leanna

// Comparison: I had such different experiences between my two trips. I made no long term friends this past trip. With my first trip, my only regret was only spending time with a small group of people so I tried to hang with everyone on my second trip. I spread myself too thin and ended up without any real friends. I highly suggest finding your person as soon as you can. Even if you talk to everyone you need that one person who you room with, who you sit on the bus with, and who keeps an eye out for you. Despite that experience I would still book through Contiki again and the overall experience was amazing. If you read any of my recent recaps you’ll see I had a fantastic time. Check them out here: Vienna, Krakow, Budapest, Slovenia, Venice, Rome

 

Have you traveled with #noregrets with Contiki? Would you? Let me know in the comments!

**This is not a sponsored post**

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