Must See Historic Sites in Philadelphia 4


Must See Historic Sites In Philadelphia // Being Leanna

Must See Historic Sites in Philadelphia, PA

When planning a trip to Philly you’re probably on a mission to see the amazing historic site, the Liberty Bell. After all, it is pretty famous. But, did you know that the Liberty Bell is in the middle of Independence National Historic park? 

Independence National Historic Park has been around since 1948 and it consists of over 20 buildings on 55 acres of land. Talk about impressive. Check out a map here to start planning your visit. It’s tough to see everything so I’ve summed up my top 3 spots to see within the park. Certainly you should hit as many spots as you can but if you’re cramming everything into one weekend these are the 3 you need to visit. 

Must See Historic Sites In Philadelphia // Being Leanna

General Park Tips

Most of the historic sites are free to enter but, Independence Hall requires a timed ticket (still free) to get into. Tickets can be picked up at the Visitor’s Center which opens at 8:30. The visitor’s center also has a cafe, restrooms and maps for the whole park. Most of the sites don’t open until 9 so you’ll have time to grab breakfast before you go. In the warmer months I highly suggest getting a portable breakfast and eating in the grass or on one of the many park benches to take in all of the sights. There are security persons and metal detectors to get into the buildings (at least the ones I went in) so be mindful of what you’re bringing with you. You’ll need to take off your jackets upon entering and put any coats and bags through a conveyor like at the airport. 

 

Must See Historic Sites In Philadelphia // Being Leanna

Independence Hall

If you’re American or have ever taken an American History class you’ll know this as one of the most historic sites in the USA. It’s the birthplace of the Declaration of Independence, where the Articles of Confederation were adopted and where the US Constitution was enacted. In the west wing lies the original copies of all three of those documents. There is so much incredible history here that it’s my number one must see in all of Philadelphia. 

Must See Historic Sites In Philadelphia // Being Leanna

Congress Hall

Located within Independence Square, Congress Hall is exactly what it sounds like. From 1790-1800 this was home to congress and the senate while Philadelphia was the temporary US capitol. Both George Washington and John Adams has their inaugurations here. If that’s not enough history for you the Federal Mint, the Navy, and the First Bank of the US were all established here. 

Must See Historic Sites In Philadelphia // Being Leanna

Liberty Bell Center

Located directly across from Independence square the Liberty Bell center is another must see attraction. The bell itself is located at the end of a long hallway sprinkled with everything you could ever want to know about the State House Bell (as it was originally called) and its famous crack. Believe it or not, the crack isn’t a crack at all, it was part of a repair job gone wrong! Be sure to ask the attendants any questions you may have; they know all that there is to know about the bell and its history!

Must See Historic Sites In Philadelphia // Being Leanna

There you go! The top 3 historic sites you need to see in Philadelphia. Yes, there are dozens more but these are the 3 you cannot leave town without seeing. Conveniently they’re all right next to each other so it makes for the perfect mid morning itinerary. Be sure to check out this review on the Sonesta Philadelphia if you’re looking for somewhere to stay in Philly! Also, make sure you’re always looking for art, it’s everywhere in Philly. I even wrote a whole post about the best street art in Philly so you’ll have a guide!

pin me for later!

Must See Historic Sites In Philadelphia // Being Leanna


Spring Bucket List & 10 Free Blog Post Ideas 25

Spring Bucket List & 10 Free Blog Post Ideas // Being Leanna

Happy first day of spring!!! After what has felt like an endless winter I am so happy that today marks the first day of spring. There is still 2 feet of snow on the ground here (yuck) but i’m hoping it’ll melt quickly so that I can start to break out my t-shirts. We had a teaser of a nice week in February of 60+ degree weather and I’ve been dreaming about spring ever since. The daffodils were even starting to pop up but now they’re covered in snow.

Last year I wrote a spring bucket list post so I figured what way to celebrate the equinox by doing the same thing for this year! A lot of the things on my bucket list this year are the same so I figured i’d sweeten the deal for you guys by also including 10 free blog post ideas for spring! Click on the link at the bottom of this post to see the list, no downloads or signups necessary!

Spring Bucket List

//Go hiking now that I’ve got real hiking boots

//Finish up Helene’s course Instagram For Success – I’ve been majorly slacking on finishing this for some reason!

//Eat outside! This is one of the best parts of the spring and summer for me. 

/ Go to a happy hour outside! Again, being outside is the best part about spring. There’s a bar right next to my work that has the most amazing patio and I can’t wait to get out there and relax. 

//Buy a house! Yeah, lofty goal but i’m currently very seriously looking. So exciting and stressful all at once! If you’re looking to see how I’ve been saving up for a house, check out my spending ban post here! 

//Clean out all of my books. I’m a book hoarder. I still have books from my teenage days that really just need to get donated. 

//Start running outside. I said this last year too and it barely happened. I hate running but it makes me feel so good afterwards so I need to get back in the habit. 

//Clean out my closet. Before I transition my wardrobe from winter to spring I want to try everything on. Donate what I don’t want, toss what can’t be donated and make a list of things I need in my wardrobe. 

//Create more fashion posts. Keeping on the theme of going through all my clothes, I want to do more fashion posts! I miss them and even though I probably won’t have a ton of stuff to link i’m hoping you guys would still like them. 

//Book my fall trip to Denver! That’s right, i’m going to Denver in the fall for a long weekend! I’ll have more details when the plans are more solid. 

//Spend a weekend up at camp! 

10 Blog Post Ideas For Spring

Hope you liked my spring bucket list, be sure to share your bucket list with me in the comments or tweet me @BeingLeanna when you write your own spring bucket list! 

You might also like my 30 before 30 list!


How To Update Old Blog Posts 24

How To Update Old Blog Posts // Being Leanna

Hey ya’ll! 

In the beginning of the year I set a goal for myself of updating my old blog posts. I’ve been going through them starting all the way at the beginning (I started this blog by doing a month long link up!) and doing a few posts every month throughout the year. So far, it’s been going great! I’ve seen some interaction on old posts that never had any sizable views before which is incredibly exciting. 

Because of how helpful these changes have been for me, I wanted to share with you all how I update old blog posts! 

How I Update Old Blog Posts

Pick a Post

I started way back in the beginning of my Being Leanna days and have been slowly working backwards. You might only have a few to update but I suggest going through every post just to make sure!

How To Update Old Blog Posts // Being Leanna

Yoast SEO Plugin

First of all, I should note that I use WordPress but I’m sure there are similar plugins for Blogger. Ya’ll, this is the best plugin for WordPress. We all know that SEO (search engine optimization) is incredibly important for your blog posts and I never had this when I first started. The first thing I do is to work on my SEO. 

How To Update Old Blog Posts // Being Leanna

SEO

I add in a keyword, something that resonates with the tone of the whole post. For this post I chose “organized” because that was the main topic. Staying organized. From there I also add in a “meta description” which is the description you see under the title when you Google a page. I don’t know about you guys but I always read that description when i’m looking for something on Google so I know I want it to be something that will give a potential reader a good idea of what to expect in my post. 

How To Update Old Blog Posts // Being Leanna

Readability 

Another amazing thing about Yoast is that they analyze the readability of your post. It’s been incredibly helpful when editing my posts because early on, I was all about the wordy sentences. Sentences that are too long aren’t easy to read. Strong writing has never been a skill of mine but i’m working on it! Also, In my old posts I never used subheadings either which visually break up all the words. I like to go back into posts and add relevant subtitles to break up all of the text. Subheadings are also a great place to add links to your other blog posts!

How To Update Old Blog Posts // Being Leanna

Writing

Obviously this is the most important part of any post. When I go through and edit and update old blog posts I always begin by reading the text out loud. This helps identify any sentences that are structured strangely and times when you repeat something too often. 

You’ll also notice that over time your writing style has changed, mine certainly has. I like to go back and update old blog posts so that they’re more in my current voice. Back over a year ago I was still struggling to find my style of writing so it’s good to back through and edit things. 

I have also gone back to edit the formatting of my words. What was I thinking loving centered text? Now, I justify all of my posts. I love how it looks, and I think it fits more with my style. 

How To Update Old Blog Posts // Being Leanna

Title

This one is a hard one. Sometimes I want to update the title but I don’t have the original picture to be able to re-edit. In those cases I generally just add onto the current title like I did in this case. The post went from “How I Stay Organized” to “How I Stay Organized- Using Multiple Notebooks” which gives a bit more of a glimpse into what the post is about. Always make sure your title is captivating! 

How To Update Old Blog Posts // Being Leanna

Pictures

Can’t forget the pictures! In my old posts I always just added pictures in here and there and never did much with them. When I go through and update my blog posts I like to resize the pictures (so they aren’t ginormous and load faster) and I like to make them all uniform in size. Back in the day I never added titles to my pictures either, big mistake. When you to to pin them on Pinterest there weren’t any captions at all. Not good. 

Open up the picture editor and add in a title. I always rename pictures to have the same title as the blog post with my blog name at the end. I like the uniformity. The Alt caption is what shows up at the bottom of your picture when you post to Pinterest. Super helpful for anyone Pinning your images! Speaking of, there’s a pinnable image for this post at the bottom if you want to save this! 

PicMonkey 

In addition to editing the pictures that are already in the post, if I can I like to add in a Pinterest friendly image. Vertical is the way to go for Pinterest and most of my old pictures were always horizontal. I’ll open up PicMonkey (it’s free!) and edit away until I get a nice, vertical image. This might just be me but I like to put my name on all of my pictures. Sort of like a water mark. Not sure how helpful it is, but it makes me feel better so I do it. (Except for these because they’re all screenshots and you can clearly see my website address)

How To Update Old Blog Posts // Being Leanna

Last, but certainly not least, I like to add in my thank you banner that you see below! 

Questions of the day: How do you update old blog posts? What are your most used bookmarks? You can see mine in all of the screenshots above!

How To Update Old Blog Posts // Being Leanna


A Stay At The Sonesta Philadelphia Rittenhouse Square Hotel 15

A Stay At The Sonesta Philadelphia Rittenhouse Square Hotel // Being Leanna

I’m just going to come out and say it. I’m a hotel person. I love the idea of an Airbnb, a hoste,l and even camping (or glamping) but sometimes a good ole hotel is the way to go. I was looking in to Airbnb’s for my trip to Philadelphia and I couldn’t find any in the area I wanted that were less than a hotel. So, I booked the Sonesta. It was my first time ever staying in this chain so I wanted to take you all on a tour of my room and share my experience! 

A Stay At The Sonesta Philadelphia Rittenhouse Square Hotel // Being Leanna

Sonesta Philadelphia 

Location

If you’re looking for a centralized hotel in Philadelphia this is it. Being centrally located is the number one priority for me when i’m looking for a hotel. I literally walked everywhere I needed to go. Not once needing to step onto public transportation. Just a 5 minute walk in any direction and you could be at a main attraction. The fact that I got free parking in the garage was icing on the cake. I almost took a train into the city because it would have been cheaper than paying for parking. Yikes.

A Stay At The Sonesta Philadelphia Rittenhouse Square Hotel // Being Leanna

Check-in/out process

I’ve never had a quicker or more friendly check-in experience than I did at the Sonesta hotel. The gentleman that checked me in (wish I could remember his name!) got me ready to go in record time all while answering my thousand questions about different attractions and places to eat. He also gave me the run down on the room service menu because I was starving and a bit stressed from the drive. The concierge also informed me that even though my checkout was noon that I could keep my car in the garage until 6pm that night! That’s insane for a city where parking is $10/hour. The front desk even called my room shortly after check in to make sure everything was up to my standards. I don’t know if this is normal for a nice hotel but I was smitten either way. 

A Stay At The Sonesta Philadelphia Rittenhouse Square Hotel // Being Leanna

The Room

So much light and space!  I was booked in a room with 2 queen beds. It was more space than I needed and I loved it. So much room for activities! Or, just using the second bed as a dresser #guilty. The bathroom was a tad small but just fine for one person and the lighting was insane. So great for makeup (if you’re interested in what’s in my travel makeup bag let me know!). The room also had a great couch, mini fridge and a full sized ironing board. I don’t know about you guys but I hate those mini ironing boards. I roll my clothes when I pack but they always end up with a few wrinkles that I need to get out. Plus, the art was pretty great. If you know anything about me you know I’ve got a map obsession.

A Stay At The Sonesta Philadelphia Rittenhouse Square Hotel // Being Leanna

The Lounge

The Sonesta has what they call the ArtBar and it was a great lounge/bar area. I would sit and sip a beer while on my laptop after dinner some nights if I didn’t want to sit in my room. I also got probably the best margarita of my life here. If you follow me on Instagram then you saw the to-go cup they prepared it in for me to take to my room. It’s the perfect place to take a quick pit stop in between sight seeing or to spend the night at. If you’re looking for a more fine dining kind of place Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse is also attached to the Sonesta. Steak people have heard of this place, apparently it’s amazing? All I know is that it was packed all weekend. 

A Stay At The Sonesta Philadelphia Rittenhouse Square Hotel // Being Leanna

Sounds/Sights

The building itself is a piece of art, you can’t miss it when walking or driving down the street which is really cool. The whole front of the building is a mural and it’s stunning. Speaking of views, my room was classified as a “room with a view” but it was just a view of the office building next door. I could see up and down the street a little but not much. Luckily I don’t care much about that as I was barely in my room during the day. As for the sounds, the hotel was pretty quiet. I could hear outside traffic just a bit but the hotel is on a main road. I couldn’t hear anything in either of the adjoining rooms but if people were in the hallway it was incredibly loud. It’s the one complaint I had about the hotel. Luckily nobody ever hangs out in the hallways but if people are strolling to their room and talking in the middle of the night, you’ll probably hear it. 

A Stay At The Sonesta Philadelphia Rittenhouse Square Hotel // Being Leanna

Overall Thoughts

Would I stay here again? Absolutely. In a heartbeat. The next time I stay in Philadelphia, or anywhere with a Sonesta hotel i’ll book a room there. Their staff was beyond expectations. I asked questions about my map every day, asked about restaurants to eat at and how safe certain neighborhoods were to walk around in at night. Everyone was friendly and had great advice. Even the bartender who made my margarita helped me map out how to get to a donut place the next morning. 

Looking for more Philadelphia info? Check back as i’ll be adding more posts soon, for now here’s my guide to the Street Art in Philly and my Casual Vacation look

Question of the day: Have you ever stayed with Sonesta? Tell me your experience below!

Liked this post? give it a pin!

A Stay At The Sonesta Philadelphia Rittenhouse Square Hotel // Being Leanna


WIWW: Casual Vacation Style 10

WIWW: Casual Vacation Style // Being Leanna

I don’t know about you guys but when I travel I tend to chose comfort over style. I love looking great and trying to chose the nicest outfits for my vacations but in the end I end up wearing the comfiest clothes that I can walk all day in. Casual is my vacation style. On this particular day, I got in a nice mix of both! Comfy and stylish, at least in my opinion. 

WIWW: Casual Vacation Style // Being Leanna

WIWW: Casual Vacation Style // Being Leanna

WIWW: Casual Vacation Style // Being Leanna

WIWW: Casual Vacation Style // Being Leanna

WIWW: Casual Vacation Style // Being Leanna

Boots (similar) // Jeans // Top (similar) // Necklace (similar)

As you can see, my outfit pictures are not that great. I also can’t link anything exact but my Hollister jeans. No, I didn’t think anyone still shopped at Hollister either but, these were $25 and they fit like a glove. I haven’t done a fashion post in a long time, I need practice. I don’t even have a full body shot. But, I’ve really missed doing outfit posts so I wanted to throw one together for you guys to see what you think of me bringing back the fashion stuff. Yes, no, maybe?

I love fashion and style, heck, my degree is in fashion, but I rarely spend a ton of money on my clothes. Once I buy my house this year and get settled in a big goal of mine is to pare down my closet and start shopping for more timeless pieces. Pieces I can switch up and wear with anything. Pieces that have a bit more quality and durability. Forever 21 and Express are my go-to shopping places right now and I am in need of some serious upgrading. 

So, my question to you all is, where should I go, where do you love to shop? I love J.Crew and Banana Republic but i’m not a fan of preppy style all the time. Halp! Maybe i’ll even make my first ever Nordstrom purchase! I don’t even think I can consider myself a blogger unless I own something from Nordstrom. HA!

Anyways, thanks for reading my mostly nonsense post to gauge if you guys want more casual fashion. Please let me know in the comments!