Where Have I Been & A 30 Before 30 Update!

Home Sweet Home // Being Leanna

I’ve missed you guys!

Wow, it has been a long time since I’ve showed up here to say hello. I thought i’d take a nice summer break and here we are in mid September. I figured i’d only need a couple weeks before I wanted to come back, maybe a month or two tops and it’s been 4 whole months. Where does the time go?

If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook you might know that I disappeared because I bought a house! I wanted to take the time to be able to pack, move, and unpack before coming back to blogging. And then I wanted to get all settled in the new house. And now I realize that will probably take me years to be fully settled. People always say that it takes time to make a house a home but i’m very impatient and wanted everything perfect right away. I’ve learned to be more patient now that I’ve been here for three months. 

As I write this i’m sitting in my living room that only has two things hung up: a clock by the door and a huge “Home” sign that you may have seen on Instagram. They’re the only two things up in my whole house. It’ll get there. I have plenty of before and after pictures of the projects I’ve done that i’ll be writing some detailed posts about when I get the chance.

Now that i’m back, i’m not sure what my schedule will be like yet. I will be back again this week with a more detailed “what i’ve been up to post” because i’ve done more than just buy a house in the past three months. The more important reason I chose to come back today is that it’s been a year since I wrote my 30 before 30 post so i’m due for an update! 

Yes, that also means it was my 28th birthday on Sunday! So, lets see what I’ve checked off in the last year. Unfortunately, there’s still a ton more to do so I’ve got to get my butt moving this year!  

30 Before 30 // Being Leanna

30 before 30

-Go to Iceland

-Head out to the west coast

-Do a vacation to just relax, I don’t always need to be exploring

-Go ziplining flying adventures here! I did this for my 27th birthday and it was a blast! You can read about my

-Go parasailing *Almost happened, better luck next summer

-Get paid for a blog post

-Buy a house – I closed on my house June 27, 2017! I cannot wait to show you guys the before and afters!

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

-Get a promotion at work * only 6 more months of my traineeship left!

-Design my own blog template *started this but haven’t finished

-Read 50 books *about halfway there!

-Date No details :-]

-Say “yes” for a full day

-Get a new car

-Sell something I’ve made

-Learn to let things go *As much as I can anyways :-]

-Try a new workout routine, anything I haven’t tried before *I may have mentioned this but i’ve been going to Pilates consistently since April!

-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 outPhiladelphia * When I went to I treated myself to a nice dinner all by myself and it was wonderful!

-Host a dinner party once I own my own house * I hosted a kickoff party, dinner party is next on my list!

-See the northern lights

-Throw a big 30th birthday party

-Splurge on a nice clothing item or accessory

-See a NY Giants game *Going in October!!!

-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 * I am now the proud momma to 2 kittens. Check out my Instagram for adorable pictures of them

-Learn to get better at communicating my feelings, i’m trying! * I’ve gotten much better at communication in general this past year but it’s still a work in progress!

What’s next?

I have definitely made a significant dent in my 30 before 30 list and I think I can do even better this year. i’ll be able to focus more on the fun stuff like riding in a hot air balloon, paying down my student loans and heading to the west coast this year! Let’s hope I can get that all done before i’m thirty. 

Be sure to keep an eye out later this week for a more detailed “What I’ve been up to” kind of post. I’ve missed you all and i’m so glad to be back. Leave a comment below so I know i’m not just talking to the void after being gone for 4 months. Whoops!

 


A Guide to the Space Center Houston 8

A Guide to the Space Center Houston // Being Leanna

Have you ever gotten wicked excited over something you thought would just be okay, and then it made your day? Well, that was my experience with Space Center Houston. The space center was somewhere I wanted to go while in the area but it wasn’t at the top of my list. Lets be honest, meeting JJ Watt was (didn’t happen, sadly). Because the space center is 30-45 minutes outside of Houston depending on where you’re staying, it wasn’t our biggest priority. After doing some research once we were settled in, we decided it was well worth it to spend the money, rent a car and just go! In hindsight, this might have been one of the best decisions of the whole trip, and we did a lot of awesome stuff in both San Antonio and Dallas.

So, what do you need to know about the Space Center? Keep reading to see my full guide for how to spend your day at the Space Center Houston

Space Center Houston: A Guide 

A Guide to the Space Center Houston // Being Leanna

Getting there:

1601 NASA Parkway

Houston, TX 77058

The Space Center Houston, as I mentioned, is a little ways away from Houston. It’s about a 30-45 minute drive depending on where in Houston you’re coming from. We had no car while we were there so we opted to rent a vehicle for the day. You could easily take a cab but it’d probably cost you a pretty penny. Even Uber was estimating about $45 round trip. It was easier to spend the $100 for the car for the day and then be free to explore everywhere else in the city we couldn’t easily get to on public transportation. 

A Guide to the Space Center Houston // Being Leanna

 

Tickets and Hours:

Adult tickets: $29.95 / Kids 4-11 $24.95 / Seniors $27.95

Alternatively, if you’ll be in Houston for longer than a day and plan on doing a lot of sightseeing, I highly recommend grabbing a CityPASS. Those are $59 for adults / $49 for kids 3-11

The hours vary depending on what time of year it is and whether or not it’s a weekday or a weekend. I highly suggest checking the website before you go. I’d aim to arrive as soon as they open for the day, it really helped save us some time in lines. 

A Guide to the Space Center Houston // Being Leanna

Attractions:

//Independence Plaza 

I still can’t get over how a space shuttle flew on top of an airplane. That’s insane. Now that the space shuttle is retired you can go in both! There are a lot of awesome interactive pieces in the airplane but my favorite part was how it’s all focused on education. There are so many things that show all the different types of careers there are and really encourages kids to explore those so that they can one day work at NASA. 

//Tram Tour

 This is the first thing you should do when you get to the Space Center to avoid long lines. You can book a specific time online but I found it easier to just arrive as the Space Center opens and hop in line. This is around a 90 minute tour of the NASA campus, filled with lots of stops and fun facts. You’ll get to see where real astronauts train, a whole replica of the International Space Station, and the original Mission control in all its glory. At the end of the tour you’ll see one of the Saturn V rockets and it is ginormous. At 363 feet tall and 6.2 million pounds when fully fueled it’s the tallest, heaviest and most powerful rocket we’ve ever flown. 

//Living in Space

This attraction is everything you’d think it would be. It’s a demonstration all about how the astronauts live in space. It’s about 30 minutes but the presenters are there for questions afterwards. I don’t know about you guys but all I think about is how cool no gravity is, not any of the challenges of actually living that way. You’ll learn how they cook food, sleep and yes, even how they use the restroom in space!

//Astronaut Gallery

Another amazing attraction for all ages, the space suits throughout the years. This features all different types of suits and other paraphernalia throughout the years of space exploration. You’ll learn a bit about the research that goes into the suits and how they’re designed with their specific wearer in mind. 

//Level 9 Tour

The VIP tour. If you’re really into space or just want a bit more in depth of a tour, this is for you. For $129 you and 11 others will get a 4-5 hour private tour of the NASA facilities. The admission also covers the main admission into the Space Center as well as an included lunch. 

A Guide to the Space Center Houston // Being Leanna

Food:

There is a food court available but i’d suggest waiting and eating out in town if you can. It’s typical cafeteria food, nothing bad but you can certainly get a better meal out at a restaurant. But, you cannot leave without checking out all of the astronaut food in the gift shop. Freeze Dried Ice cream is a must. 

Additionally, you can have lunch with a real astronaut! These are once a week so be sure to plan your trip around this fun event. Tickets for kids 4-11 are $39.95 and adult tickets are $69.95, this includes general admission. You do need to reserve a specific date and time but getting to spend a whole hour with a real astronaut is a once in a lifetime opportunity! 

A Guide to the Space Center Houston // Being Leanna

There you have it! A complete guide to the Space Center Houston. There are so many more attractions within the facility but the ones I mentioned are the must sees. I spent a good 4-5 hours there and you could easily spend longer if you went and saw all of the presentations and demonstrations. 

If you’re still not sold on coming to Houston, read this: 12 Reasons you Need To Visit Houston! If you have any questions at all leave them in the comments!

Question of the day: Have you been to Houston? What did you do there, tell me in the comments!

 


7 Tips To Help You De-Stress 17

7 Tips To Help You De-Stress

Oh hey, hi, how are you?

In case you haven’t noticed, I haven’t been around these parts for a little while. I’ll be the first to admit that I can get overwhelmed pretty easily. I can be a bit of a control freak so when things are up in the air it makes me stressed. In my last post, I mentioned that i’m in the process of buying a house. If you haven’t bought a house before, it’s pretty stressful. As someone who worked at a financial institution for 4 years, I thought I was well prepared for the process. I was not. So today, I thought i’d share how I’ve been dealing with my stress in hopes that it might help some of you through a stressful situation. 

 

7 Tips To Help You De-Stress

7 Tips To Help You De-Stress 

// Make a list and prioritize it

I am a huge list maker. Every day I write a to do list and it helps me so much. I really think everyone can benefit from utilizing a daily or weekly to do list. To take it a step further, I highly suggest prioritizing that list. Write things in order of importance. Things you absolutely need to get done that day, or week and put them first. The smaller, less important things can be done once you get the more important things taken care of. The benefit of making a list is that you have a visual representation of everything that needs to be accomplished. You won’t have to keep trying to remember certain things because it’ll already be written down. 

// Get out of the house

Changing up your scenery can really help to de-stress you. Go sit outside, go for a drive, get away for the weekend if you can. Fresh air can do wonders for your mood. Going up to the lake always helps my mood and stress levels but when I can’t do that I like to go for a walk or even just sit out on the back deck. I’ll take a few deep breaths and remind myself that my stress will go away, that this overwhelming feeling is brief. Try it sometime.  

7 Tips To Help You De-Stress

// Exercise 

Go take a walk, go for a run, hit up the gym or an exercise class. All the endorphins you get from working out will make you feel better. Working out also will help to distract you from whatever is on your mind. I’ve been going to pilates 2x a week and each time I’m there I completely forget about everything else that’s going on. 

// Try to get enough sleep 

Stress will keep you up at night. And then, you’ll stress about not getting enough sleep. Writing out my next day’s to do list really helps me to get to sleep a bit better at night. Getting all those ideas out of my brain before bed time allows me to fall asleep more quickly. Also, on days i’m super stressed, i’ll take Melatonin before bed time. Now, i’m not a doctor and i’m not telling you to take this, i’m merely suggesting you look into it if you have trouble sleeping. 

7 Tips To Help You De-Stress

// Do something just for yourself

I’ll admit that i’m guilty of doing things just for the blog or for Instagram. Sometimes it’s nice to just eat a meal without taking a picture or trying out a makeup or skincare product without taking pictures first. I love writing product reviews and I especially love writing travel posts but when i’m stressed its nice to just enjoy things without taking notes for a blog post or whipping out my camera. Do something just because you want to, don’t think about how you can turn it into a post. Lately, I’ve been watching a ton of YouTube. I won’t blog about it, I won’t share it on social media. I’m doing it simply because I enjoy it. 

// Pamper yourself

One of the best ways for me to de-stress is to really take the time to indulge myself with beauty stuff. Lounging with a face mask on, taking the time to really exfoliate or do a nice manicure. Those are all little things that I like to elongate to help me unwind. I wrote all about how to pamper yourself right here!!

7 Tips To Help You De-Stress

// Don’t be afraid to take a step back

This one is the most important tip! In my opinion… Sometimes the best thing to do when you’re feeling overwhelmed or stressed is to cut something out. For me, that was blogging. If i’m overwhelmed I know that I need to slow down. As much as I love blogging, I know it’s something I can set aside and it’ll be there when i’m ready to pick it back up again. If there’s something extra in your life that you can set aside for a bit, do it. It’ll help you to focus more on what needs your immediate attention. 

Let me know in the comments what you do to help de-stress! I’m sure more than just I want to know about it. We all feel stressed, overwhelmed and overworked sometimes so share your experiences below!

And, as usual with my list type post all these pictures are from my Instagram! If you want to see more, be sure to follow me!

7 Tips To Help You De-Stress


This or That: Battle of the Mascaras V2 8

This or That: Battle of the Mascaras V2 // Being Leanna

This or That: Battle of the Mascaras V2!

I hope you guys like this little series I’ve been doing called This or That. I really enjoy comparing products to see what’s the best of the best. Today, i’m bringing you two new (to me) mascaras that I’ve been wearing for a month now.

 

Maybelline Lash Sensational $8.99

We all know and love Maybelline. In fact, my all time favorite drugstore mascara was Maybelline’s the Rocket for the longest time. Lash Sensational promises a “full fan” effect.

 

Pacifica Dream Big Volumizing mascara $16.00

Pacifica is a natural beauty brand that’s 100% vegan and pretty affordable. I’d say they’re right smack in between drugstore and high end prices. This was my first ever Pacifica product and I can tell you right now I’ve got a “must try” list about a mile long now.

This or That: Battle of the Mascaras V2 // Being Leanna

Packaging/Wand

Maybelline: Perfectly sized, curved, plastic applicator with 10 layers of bristles in various lengths. Some short and some long. Really looks like it’ll get onto every lash. The rest of the packaging is pretty normal. Pointed on both ends, nothing spectacular.

Pacifica: Has a straight, boring tube except for the sweet unicorn design on the lid! The Pacifica applicator has uniform, plastic bristles and, with the twist of the top of the wand, the bristles contract and become more tightly lined up.

Winner: Maybelline – even though the Pacifica packaging has a unicorn. Sorry!

This or That: Battle of the Mascaras V2 // Being Leanna

Application

Maybelline: Glides on like a dream. Only takes a few swipes. Grabs every teeny tiny lash. A bit of a wet formula. Can be messy on the eyelids (or am I the only one who still gets mascara everywhere?) Only one coat needed.

Pacifica: Glides on like a dream, gets every single lash in a few passes. Works great with just the regular wand but looks even better with the second coat. Drier formula but stickier to help coat lashes.

Winner: Pacifica, even though it does require a second coat I prefer the more dry formula.  

This or That: Battle of the Mascaras V2 // Being Leanna

Appearance

Maybelline: Eyelashes for days. Every single lash is coated and fanned out perfectly. The head of the wand really helps to fan out the lashes and the formula holds a curl. Lengthens just a tad but the volume is really dramatic.

Pacifica: Really lengthens and volumizes without looking spidery. Holds a curl well but doesn’t curl the lashes itself. Because of the two coat process i’d say it’s definitely more voluminous than the Maybelline. Very dramatic without being crazy.

Winner: Maybelline – The perfect fanned out lashes just can’t be topped in my opinion.

This or That: Battle of the Mascaras V2 // Being Leanna

Length of wear

Maybelline: Great all day, no issues with this flaking. I attribute that to the wetter formula. It does wear off at the ends by the end of the day. On days I work out right after work i’ll have some smudges under my eyes.

Pacifica: Doesn’t move all day. No flaking, no fading, no smudges under the eyes. I do find that i’ll get a bit of flaking on my glasses lenses but nothing on my face.

Winner: Pacifica

This or That: Battle of the Mascaras V2 // Being Leanna

Removability

Maybelline: Easy peasy but causes a mess while you take it off. Raccoon eyes for sure. I use a micellar water on a cotton pad and this comes right off.

Pacifica: Easy peasy again to remove. Micellar water on a cotton pad and it’s gone in a few seconds. The drier formula seems to help it to make less of a mess all over my face. It sort of comes off in pieces instead of completely dissolving.

Winner: Tie!

This or That: Battle of the Mascaras V2 // Being Leanna

Overall winner?

Maybelline! But, I equally reach for both of these. On days when I just need to quickly apply and go i’ll use the Maybelline. I can usually even get away without having to curl my lashes. Every other day I grab the Pacifica. I do prefer the formula of the Pacifica mascara but the Maybelline one will dry down a bit and I know i’ll be reaching for it more and more. Plus, it’s almost half the cost! What’s not to love?

 

If you’re in the market for a new drugstore mascara, I highly suggest both but for $8.99 Maybelline is your best option!

If you liked this battle of the mascaras post you might also want to check out my other This or That posts:

Battle of the Blushes // Battle of the Cushion Foundations // Battle of the Bronzers // Battle of the Mascaras V1

Liked this post? Pin it for easy reference!

This or That: Battle of the Mascaras V2 // Being Leanna


April Showers Bring May Flowers: Life Lately! 16

April Showers Bring May Flowers: Life Lately! // Being Leanna

Life Lately: May

April showers bring May flowers, or, in upstate NY it’s been more rain. We’ve got leaves on all the trees but not so many flowers just yet. Still crossing my fingers.  

You may (or may not) have noticed that I took last week off from blogging. Generally, I write all my blog posts for the week the weekend before. I had a pretty eventful Saturday so I took Sunday off to relax and get organized for the week ahead. So, here’s what I’ve been up to lately!

// Lake George

You guys! It’s almost time for lake season. I went up to camp last weekend to help clean up and get things ready for the summer. I got to stroll around town, take some pictures of the calm lake and enjoy a margarita on the deck of one of my favorite restaurants in town. What can I say, the lake life is the life for me. Are you guys as calmed by water as I am?

// Packing

I’ve been living with my mom since moving back from South Carolina so that I could save up for a house. Her house is currently under contract to be sold so we’ll be moving out soon. I’ve slowly been going through all of my stuff and tossing what I don’t need or didn’t even remember that I had (gasp!). Because I might have to move twice, it’s also been a fun challenge deciding what i’ll need to have on hand and what can go into storage.

April Showers Bring May Flowers: Life Lately! // Being Leanna

// Pilates

Guys, I’ve finally found a workout I love. I’ve been going twice a week for a month now and i’m obsessed. I work solely on reformer machines and it’s the best workout I’ve gotten in a long time. It’s a bit expensive (house budgeting is no fun) which is why i’m only going 2x a week but, i’m already feeling way better. I’m already starting to see some arm and leg definition again which is great. Now, I just need to get some more cardio in so I can get that flat stomach in time for summer. My biggest May goal is to drop 5lbs. I’ve been walking but I gotta pick up that pace and run. Tell me what your favorite workout class is!

// Smoothies

I tend to go in cycles with breakfasts and lunches and right now i’m on a major smoothie kick. So much so that I even shared my daily smoothie recipe. It’s quick, it’s easy and it fills me up until dinner even on days when I go to Pilates right after work. I’m probably going to start experimenting with different combinations soon so tell me what your favorites are!

April Showers Bring May Flowers: Life Lately! // Being Leanna

// Shopping

The Ulta and Sephora gift cards I had gotten for Christmas had finally taunted me enough to spend them. I’ve had so many things on my wish list to try and I cannot wait until my orders come in. Unfortunately, I was a bit slow on the Sephora sale but I still got some amazing goodies I can’t wait to share! I love reading haul/first impression type posts so i’m going to do one for you guys! Also, be sure to let me know if you got anything good from the Sephora sale, I’m always on the hunt for new products. 

//House Hunting

Normally I wouldn’t want to jinx my good news so early for fear of it falling through but, I just can’t contain myself. I’m under contract to buy a house!!!!! Finally. I’ve only been talking about this for what feels like years and now it’s actually happening! Please pray that it doesn’t fall through.

You know how people say “when you know, you’ll just know?” I definitely knew. As soon as I got the email for the listing and saw the pictures I was in love. I had an appointment to see the house at 9:30 last Saturday and my offer was in before 11:30am. What can I say, when I want something, I want something asap. So, i’m already having a hard time being patient. The closing will probably be mid June and I cannot wait. I’ve been pinning everything in sight lately because I want all the things.

So, yeah. Big stuff going on around here lately! I cannot wait to start decorating and doing some DIY projects so please let me know in the comments if you’d like to see those kinds of posts around here!
Hope you all have an amazing week and be sure to follow along on Instagram if you want to see more pics like the ones above!

April Showers Bring May Flowers: Life Lately! // Being Leanna