Cabin Fever: 7 Ways to Battle it this winter 14

7 Ways To Battle Cabin Fever // Being Leanna

Cabin Fever is defined by Merriam-Webster as: “extreme irritability and restlessness from living in isolation or a confined indoor area for a prolonged time”.

Who doesn’t get like this in the winter? No, your house might not be that small and i’m sure you’re not living in isolation if you’re on the internet reading this but you feel restless nonetheless. Maybe we should just call it the winter blues. When it’s cold we feel forced to stay indoors. It’s suffocating. The sun sets so early that it’s dark before we even get out of work. I don’t know how anyone has motivation in the winter, if it’s dark out I assume it’s midnight and should be in bed (ha!).

So, how do you get out of that rut and beat cabin fever?

I’m so glad you asked

// Linger over activities outside of your home

Even if it’s just your weekly trip to the grocery store. Get out and take your time. Slowly wander the aisles of your grocery store, i’m sure there are a ton of items you’ve never seen or tried before. Maybe you’ll find some great cooking inspiration! Meander through your local home improvement store for inspiration one night. Even take a few laps around the mall when you’ve gone in just for one store. Cabin fever is the feeling of restlessness after being confined so, get out and stretch them legs!

// Get out of your town

Now I know not everyone can just up and get away but if you can, go for it! Change up your scenery for a day or even a weekend. Nothing is more refreshing or rejuvenating (for me) than getting out and exploring somewhere new. I’ll be heading to Philadelphia for the first time for a long weekend in February and i’m already looking forward to it.

// Clean house, clean mind

No need to wait around for spring to get cleaning, do it now while you’re not fighting the urge to go play outside! Tackle one room a day until your house sparkles. Plus, the lemony scent of the cleaners will totally help you to imagine it’s spring (or is it just me that associates lemon scent with lemonade and summer?). Cleaning my room always makes me feel refreshed and less stuck. It’s easier to feel relaxed when you’re not cluttered by tons of things. If you’re feeling up for it, go through and toss or donate items you aren’t using. 

// Work out

Seems easy but, I know just how hard it is to peel yourself out of your cozy bed in the morning. I’ve been trying (mostly unsuccessfully tbh) to get out of bed earlier in the morning to get on the treadmill. I’m lucky enough to have one in my home but you don’t need a treadmill to get your blood pumping! In the evenings when I get home from work I like to do a quick workout/stretching session. It helps me to keep up my stream of energy from work and it keeps my butt off the couch. Getting even a small workout in will energize you for the rest of the evening. Getting out to an actual gym will probably help battle your cabin fever even more. 

// Meet up with a friend

This one might be a bit obvious but I had to put it out there. Go to a local coffee shop, the library, out to dinner, anything! The change in scenery will be nice and it always feels so good to catch up with a friend. You could discuss any thing from the awesome accounts you’re following on Instagram, to your favorite book, and maybe even discuss hating the winter, misery loves company!

// Sign up for a class

Any class! It’ll get you out of your house regularly and you’ll learn a new skill or perfect one you already had. Cooking, working out, pottery, the options are endless! A lot of school districts have after school programs for adults with lots of different class options. and I highly suggest checking it out. Additionally, Groupon is a fantastic resource for finding workout classes and your library probably even has a list of class options offered locally. 

// Write up a spring bucket list

Everything you wish you could do now but it’s too cold, write it down. Get a whole list of things you want to do this spring and make them happen! If you want to go hiking, plan it out with a friend now. Say you want to explore your city, there are tons of resources online to find a great walking tour to try. If you want to get more exercise, sign up for a race in your area and get training! Nothing motivates more than a future deadline.

Now, i’m not saying these will magically cure your cabin fever. It’s a tough feeling to shake, especially because winter seems to be never ending up here in the Northeast. I hope these ideas help you battle the itch to get out as much as they help me when i’m feeling suffocated by my own house. Let me know in the comments your best tips and let me know if you have any recommendations for my trip to Philly!

7 Ways To Battle Cabin Fever // Being Leanna


Top 3 Views In London if you Aren’t Afraid of Heights 15

Top 3 Views In London // Being Leanna

Top 3 Views In London: If You Aren’t Afraid Of Heights

A lot of people are afraid of heights. This post probably isn’t for you. The best way to see a city is to get up high and enjoy the view. I’m not sure what it is in me that causes me to seek out the tallest buildings wherever I go but it happens. All three of these places were high on my list (pun intended) when I made plans to go to London. Especially the Shard. It’s the tallest building in Western Europe and no place for someone who panics around heights. I thought i’d gather up my favorite London tall spots for those that want to seek out the best views. 

London Eye

One of the most recognizable Ferris wheels in the world. When in London you must t0 minute, 1 rotation ride on the London Eye for some stunning views of Westminster and the river. For £22.45 it’s not the cheapest of activities but for stunning views of the city you can’t go wrong. If you’re looking for more of a special ride you can pay £26.45 and get a ride during the day, and at night! If you’re looking for just one ride, the absolute best time to go is sunset. Be aware that when you buy your tickets you pay for a particular time. The London Eye is the world’s largest observation wheel. Each of the 32 capsules are fully enclosed which is perfect for rainy London days. If you go during New Year’s you could even get to see their spectacular fireworks display! 

Top 3 Views In London // Being Leanna

Top 3 Views In London // Being Leanna

Top 3 Views In London // Being Leanna

The Shard

Western Europe’s tallest building. On a clear day you can see up to 40 miles! You can even see the Olympic village. This is easily the best place to get amazing 360° views of London. You’ll be up on the 72nd floor and outside! You can feel the fresh air and hear the bustling city below you. It’s a one of a kind experience. They have general admission tickets and you can even get champagne service! You can buy your tickets in advance online and save 15% (£25.95 or buy them the day of. At the time of booking you do need to chose a time slot so be sure to plan your day around that time! I highly suggest sunset for even more stunning views.

Top 3 Views In London // Being Leanna

Top 3 Views In London // Being Leanna

Top 3 Views In London // Being Leanna

Tower Bridge

Besides being one of the most recognizable landmarks in the world Tower Bridge is also known for having an awesome glass floor 42 meters above the water. Yes, it’s much shorter than the other two breathtaking spots to get a lovely view on this list but it’s got glass floors. Talk about a rush. The exhibit goes through the whole history of the bridge and upstairs in the walkway they have a whole exhibit all about bridges. Even if you aren’t into architecture it’s fascinating reading about how different types of bridges work and seeing them all over the world! Plus, you cannot beat the £9 price (£8 if bought online). The best time to go is when the bridge will be opening. Check out their website (linked above) to see the next time it’ll happen!

Top 3 Views In London // Being Leanna

Top 3 Views In London // Being Leanna

Top 3 Views In London // Being Leanna

And there you have it! 3 of the best views in London, especially if you aren’t afraid of heights. Be sure to check out my other London based posts here and here with tons of other activities to do!

Directions:

You can easily do all three of these in one day and I’ve provided a map below. Start at either the London Eye or the Tower Bridge. Tower Bridge and The Shard are a quick 12 minute walk away and from The Shard you can hop on the Tube and take the Jubilee line from the London Bridge station to the Westminster station. 

 


25 Get To Know Me Questions- 2017 12

25 Get To Know Me Questions // Being Leanna

Hello and happy Tuesday! 

After going over the responses from my reader survey (that’s still open!) I noticed that a lot of you are new readers so I thought take them time to do a little questionnaire to introduce myself! I love these kinds of posts because it opens up some things that I never really talk about on the blog. Plus, it’s the beginning of the year and what better time to re-introduce myself than in January! Lets get on with the questions!

25 Get To Know Me Questions:

1. What is your middle name?: 

Maria. The Nina, the Pinta and the Leanna Maria. Those were definitely Columbus’ ships, right?

2. What was favorite subject at school?: 

In high school I always loved science the most. I loved doing lab classes and writing out experiments. The structure and order of science always appealed to me. In college I mostly took fashion classes (it was my major) but outside of those I really loved my marketing classes. So much so that I briefly went back to school for marketing but I never followed through with it. 

3. What is your favorite drink?: 

Is it lame to say water with lemon is my favorite? If so, then i’ll go with lemonade. Nothing tastier than a lemonade on a hot day. Alcohol wise? Beer all the way. I’m a huge fan of seasonal beers. 

4. What is your favorite song at the moment?: 

I am still obsessed with Heathens by Twenty One Pilots. I could listen to them all day every day and not get tired. 

5. What is your favorite food?: 

Chicken pot pie. Sushi is a close second but I could never turn down a hearty chicken pot pie. But, only if it has a homemade crust. None of that puff pastry for me. And for sushi, I love everything as long as it’s not spicy. 

6. What is the last thing you bought?: 

I bought a bunch of books on Amazon just before the new year. Not sure if i’ll like any of them but, they were all $3.99 or less so I’ll call that a win. I’ll have a review of them when I get around to reading them. 

7. Favorite book of all time?: 

I can’t say if it’s my favorite book or not but, I read this book every, single winter around Christmas. It’s called Halos and it’s by Kristen Heitzmann. It’s the perfect story to read around Christmas, it’s got a bit of mystery, and a lot of Christmas spirit. I’m Catholic and this book talks a lot about God and faith and I just love it. Aside from that, any Jodi Picoult book I’ve ever read has had me hooked. 

8. Favorite Color?: 

Any sort of turquoise or blue color. If you look in my closet a good third of it is various shades of blue. 

9. Do you have any pets?: 

Yes, 4 cats. Yup, you read that right, 4. It’s too many and my mom and I know it. 2 of them are 12 years old and are my brother and I’s cats. The third is one that’s all my mom’s and she’s adorable. The 4th is my brother’s cat that he had to give up because he can’t let him outside where he lives now and this guy needs to be an outdoor kitty. 

10. Favorite Perfume?: 

I’ve mentioned this perfume a ton of times on the blog and it even got a special feature in my Best Makeup of 2016 post. The brand is Fragonard and the scent is Belle Chérie and it is the most beautiful thing I’ve ever sniffed. According to the website, this is the description: A bouquet of flowers, fruits, and wood to celebrate this carefree fragrance: A top note of tangerine and star fruit, a middle note of jasmine, heliotrope and lily-of-the-valley and a back note of sandalwood, tonka bean and vanilla. It smells amazing and it lasts on your skin forever. 

11. Favorite Holiday?: 

Hands down, Christmas. I love the magic that surrounds the holiday, the lights, the family, the gift giving and the food!

12. Are you married?: 

Nope, single as can be.

13. Have you ever been out of the country, if so how many times?: 

I’ve gone on two trips out of the country but I’ve been to a lot of  countries for just two trips. England, France, Austria, Poland, Hungary, Slovenia, and Italy.

14. Do you speak any other language?:

I wish! I do have the Duolingo app (check it out, it’s free!) that I try to play with every day. I’m working on Italian currently. 

15. How many siblings do you have?:

I have a brother and two step siblings. 

16. What is your favorite shop?: 

I’m going to be a stereotypical blogger and say Target only because they have everything! If we’re talking just home stuff though than Crate & Barrel or West Elm. My favorite clothing store at the moment is Express. 

17. Favorite restaurant?: 

I’m putting two here, one local restaurant and one in Venice, Italy! The Venice one is called Dal Moro and they have literally the best pasta I have ever eaten in my life. The local restaurant is called Kuma Ani and it is an amazing sushi restaurant here in Albany, New York. If you’re ever in the area you’ve got to check it out. 

18. When was the last time you cried?: 

I honestly couldn’t tell you. I’m not much of a crier. 

19. Favorite Blog?: 

There’s no way I could pick just one. Helene and Taylor are some of my favorites and of course Mistle who I stole this 25 questions tag from :-]. Wayyyy back in the day I wrote a Blogs I love post, it’s not the most updated but here’s a link

20. Favorite Movie?: 

The Town. I don’t know what it is about that movie but I love it so much. Any time it’s on TV I just have to watch it. I also really love Inception. 

21. Favorite TV shows?: 

I don’t watch a lot of TV but I really love How To Get Away With Murder (i’m a season behind), Orange is the New Black, and House of Cards. 

22. PC or Mac?: 

Neither, I use a Chromebook. But, before that I always had a PC and I still have my old laptop just so I can use my Cricut. I wish they could make it work for a Chrome. 

23. What phone do you have?: 

The Samsung Galaxy s5, i’d keep it forever but the charging port isn’t working too well. I’m debating whether to get the Galaxy s7 or the Google Pixel. I’d love to know if any of you have the Pixel and what you think. 

24. How tall are you?:

5’9 and I love it. The only thing that I dislike about being tall is shopping for pants, they’re never long enough!

25. Can you cook?: 

I can cook. Let me rephrase, I can follow a recipe. Luckily, I haven’t had any cooking disasters (as of yet) and I do a pretty good job. I’m no master, and I don’t come up with recipes on my own but I do pretty good. Now baking? That I can definitely do. 

And that’s it! Let me know your answers to these questions in the comments or take them and write your own post! I love getting to know other bloggers. A huge reason I started blogging was to make new friends so introduce yourself! Also, be sure to take my reader survey if you have a minute, it’ll really help me gauge what you guys like and don’t like. 

 

25 Get To Know Me Questions // Being Leanna

Spending Ban: How, Why, And Tips For Getting Started 6

Spending Ban How, Why, And Tips For Getting Started // Being Leanna

I’m starting 2017 off with a bang. Or rather, a ban. A spending ban!

Throughout the entire first quarter of 2017 (January, February, March) i’ll be restricting my spending to necessities. Why on earth would I do this? How is it possible? I’m about to lay it out for you all (without giving away too many $ specifics) and I’ll be sure to check back at the end of the quarter to let you know how it all worked out with updated tips!

Why am I starting a spending ban?

I plan on buying a house this year. I’m participating in a grant and the money is available to me starting April 1st. Side note: If you’re interested in buying a home but you don’t think it’s something you can afford check into your community as many have first time home buyer programs. The way my grant works is that I save up a specific amount for 10 months and they quadruple it. You heard that right, quadruple. It ends up being around $9,400 that I can use towards closing costs, inspections, or even as a down payment if i’d like. 

While that’s amazing, I still want to put down some of my own money on the house. I have a set goal that I want to have in my savings so that I can put a certain amount down and still have a safety net. Because I want to have a set dollar amount in my savings by the end of March, I need to put myself on a spending ban to get me up to where I want to be. 

How I’m starting and how you can too!

First of all, set a dollar amount that’s doable.

You want to pick a goal that’s difficult but still attainable. The dollar amount will depend on you and your lifestyle so don’t get crazy and set a goal for 2 thousand if that’s not realistic. It’s important to set a challenging goal but it also needs to be something that’s doable. Go over your budget and see what you can realistically save if you don’t spend your money on inconsequential things like going to the movies.

Go through your budget and decide what is a necessary expense and what isn’t.

Obviously bills are non-negotiable. They have to be paid. Food needs to be eaten, and car expenses have to be taken care of. Basically everything else can go. I don’t need to go to Target, I don’t need to go out to eat, and I certainly don’t need to buy snacks or coffee at work. If you want to go a step further, cut out cable if you can. Check out your phone bill and see if you can change your plan. Turn your heat down. Every little bit can help you save a few bucks and over time that really adds up!

Set an allowance. 

You can’t just not spend any money for three months. Dinner with friends will be tempting, a car will need an oil change and an ice cream might just be what the doctor ordered on a crappy day. Set up an allowance to account for those things. I already set aside $40 from each of my paychecks to go into a vacation account and I’ve decided that for the next three months i’ll be allowing myself to use that as my allowance. If I need a new toothbrush, a dinner with a friend or just really need to go to happy hour I can use my allowance and not feel guilty.

Cash is king.

Keeping your allowance in cash helps you to realize just how much you’re spending. I always keep a credit card on hand for emergencies but I leave the debit card at home. It’s too easy to swipe. I suggest taking your allowance out of the bank at the beginning of the month. You’ll know exactly how much you have to spend so you’ll end up being more frugal. Any extra at the end of the month can be deposited into your savings instead of rolling it over. 

Keep the temptations away. 

Lots of stores have sales right after the new year. Unsubscribe from emails, uninstall any shopping apps on your phone and don’t clip any coupons! Just because something is on sale doesn’t mean you’re saving money. If you weren’t going to buy it in the first place you aren’t saving anything. Use a holiday gift card to shop if it’s an absolute must. I don’t want to go three months without new makeup or clothes but I know I’ve got plenty of both. 

Eye that checking account. 

If you’re like me, you pay all of your bills online. To make things easier, add up what you need to have to pay your bills for the month and transfer the rest out into your savings. If you’re on a bi-weekly pay schedule figure out what bills get paid out of which check and transfer the extra to your savings accordingly. The less extra money you leave in your checking account the less likely you’ll be to spend it. If you can, setting up automatic transfers into your savings account will greatly help. 

That’s it! For now anyways. Those are my basic tips on how to put yourself on a spending ban. As I go through these next three months i’ll be sure to update this post if necessary and come the beginning of April there will be a full report on how this worked out for me with updated tips on how to help you save some extra money!

Let me know in the comments if you’ve ever put yourself on a spending ban and how it worked for you!

Spending Ban How, Why, And Tips For Getting Started // Being Leanna 

 


2016 Year in Review 12

2016 Year In Review // Being Leanna

Happy New Year!!

I have a feeling that 2017 is going to be my best year yet. (Edit: I might be wrong, 2017 rang in and my website went down for 24 hours while I was switching hosts, no bueno) 2016 was a blast but i’m happy it has come to a close. In proper blogger fashion i’m sharing a recap of my 2016, from the great, to the not so great and everything in between. Hold tight and join me on my ride through 2016! 

NYE outfit // Being Leanna

January

I kicked off the year by sharing what I wore for New Year’s Eve while I was still settling into living back in New York. I started back at my old job working for a local credit union which felt like a step backwards. Luckily I was able to make a day trip down to the city to visit a friend that I had made through my first Contiki trip!

Champagne Cupcakes with Raspberry Buttercream// Being Leanna

February

In February I shared why I started blogging and how to re-use old Birchbox boxes while trying to figure out what I was going to do for my 2016 vacation. I interviewed for my current job and taught you guys how to make champagne cupcakes with raspberry buttercream. Yum!

A day in my life// Being Leanna

March

I found out I got my current job and celebrated profusely. I finally decided on my 2016 vacation and spent a whole day out and about (I did it in February and posted in March, whoops!) and had you all come with me! It was so fun doing a “day in the life” post, i’ll have to do more this year.

My Favorite Things: April// Being Leanna

April 

April was the month where I published my blogs most popular post, a review on some amazing Sunday Riley products. I got my first ice cream of the season and I bought a ton of stuff for my cubicle at work. I still can’t get over that I have my very own work space, I always had to share at my old jobs. 

The Best Places To Find Travel Inspiration Part2// Being Leanna

May

In May it finally started to warm up here and to celebrate I got my mom a grill for Mother’s day. I went up to the lake for the first time this season, oh, and I went to Europe for 12 days! Speaking of vacations, I also shared the best places to get travel inspiration

 

18 Hours in Vienna, Austria A Guide// Being Leanna

June

June is one of my favorite months of the year. A lot of people in my family have birthdays so we always have a big party. I shared the top three American cities I wanted to see and, I started recapping my Europe trip. I spent Father’s Day up at the lake with my dad and some friends out on the water. Plus, I finally put some stuff up on the walls in my room. Six months after moving in, clearly I was in no rush.

 

A Stopover Guide to Budapest// Being Leanna

July

I’m pretty sure I went up to the lake every weekend in July. Being on or near the water is so calming. Speaking of water, I recapped my visit to Budapest, a city divided by the Danube river. The same friend I visited in January came up and spent the weekend at the lake with me and we had a blast. I shared what motivates me and wrote about how to find the right foundation for you. 

Why you need to visit Ljubljana, Slovenia// Being Leanna

August

August was filled with a lot of blogging and it really showed; This was my month with the highest page views! I finished up my Europe trip recaps with three posts all about Italy. There was also a week where I did nothing but check and recheck that I spelled Ljubljana correctly for my review. I guess you guys really do love travel posts (and if you don’t, fill out my reader survey to let me know what you do love!)

Learning to Fly- Zip Lining with NY Zip Line // Being Leanna

September

Ah, my favorite month. You still get some summer like days but you can feel the crispness of fall – and soup season – beginning. I had some friends come up to the lake, had birthday celebrations for my brother and I and finished off my birthday by zip lining! For my birthday I also wrote out my 30 before 30 list of things I want to accomplish. 

Falling in love... with yourself // Being Leanna

October

Besides my amazing trips to Houston, San Antonio and Dallas, October was not a good month for me. I had headaches and migraines all month and only managed to write one blog post. I basically went to work, came home and crashed on the couch every day. Thank goodness I had fun in the beginning of the month.

10 Things I'm Thankful For // Being Leanna

November

Luckily, November was a much better month for me health wise. I kicked off the month by heading to NH to see one of my best friends get married. November was ended with my two year Blogiversary ( I can’t believe its been two years already!) and an amazing, and delicious, Thanksgiving feast with my family. 

Russian Tea Cakes Recipe // Being Leanna

December

The most wonderful time of the year! Every minute of December was enjoyable despite the frigid temperatures. I started the month by buying a Cricut to assist with a DIY Christmas gift. Now, i’m obsessed with it and have 28357387 project ideas for this year. I did the blogger thing and shared some recaps, first was the best skincare and hair products and then I shared my makeup faves, too! And, of course, Christmas and Christmas cookies happened!

Overall 2016 was a pretty great year. Obviously, nothing is perfect but, when it came time to write up this review of the year I couldn’t really think of anything negative to dwell on. I’m so thankful for everything that I have and every opportunity I’ve been given. Posts like this that require me to reflect greatly help me to realize how lucky I am. 

I hope you all have an amazing 2017! Leave a link to your 2016 review below, i’d love to read it!

Linking up with:

Helene in Between

Thanks For Reading // Being Leanna

2016 Year In Review // Being Leanna