Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Summer Skincare and Beauty Essentials

Happy Tuesday!
Hope everyone is surviving the heat, my a/c keeps going out so it's like my own personal sauna at home haha! In these summer months, skin care (especially those with oily skin like mine) is crucial and make-up is often involved in many of your daily routines, I personally love a strong lip color that can brighten anyone's look! Here are a few of my favorites for summer that will keep you looking fresh all season.
Neutrogena Pink Grapefruit Oil Free Acne Wash //  Ok, if you have oily skin this is a secret weapon! I have used this wash since my senior year of high school and now into my grad school years. My skin has a (big) tendency to break out and this keeps a lot of my acne at bay and if you are currently breaking out, give this a try! It may be too harsh on those who don't have acne and/or oily skin so if that's you, only use 2-3 times a week. It always makes my skin feel fresh and gives the prettiest glow after use.
Clinique Pep Start Sampler Set //  I have always really liked Clinique's brand of make-up and skin care, it is often the first "designer" brand we are introduced to (hello 12th birthday makeover parties!) and sometimes gets overlooked. Their skin care has been a staple of mine since I first started wearing make-up, my mom gave me a set in my teens and told me how important skin is and to start taking care of it early. As always, mom was right!
Clinique Pep-Start Eye Cream //  This eye cream might be on the newer side but it has already found its way into my bag of must-haves! It reduces wrinkles and de-puffs around the eyes, for an extra spark put the tube in your refrigerator to have a real pop once you apply.
Clarisonic //  I love, love, love my Clarisonic! It is the perfect high-tech cleanser, it's like a spa day, everyday, but without the spa prices. There are various options as well as different brush heads for everything from anti-aging to acne to wrinkle reverse. Also, you can use lots of your everyday washes on the Clarisonic so you aren't bound to just their products!
Earth Science Herbal Tonic Mist //  You still need to moisturize in the summer but with it being so hot, heavy creams tend to weigh down and cause greasy skin and breakouts. A mist is something that is much more lightweight and still provides you with the essentials ingredients to give your face what it needs!
Aveeno Protect + Hydrate Skin Lotion //  The most important skin rule of all, especially in the summer...wear sunscreen! This is crucial, some sun is great for your skin, even recommended but laying out for hours and getting burned is the biggest beauty no-no of all. It will cause early signs of aging including wrinkles and crows feet and the most concerning? Skin cancer. It is no joke, wear your sunscreen!
EOS Passion Fruit Moisturizing Lip Balm //  These little lip balms are budget friendly and come in the yummiest flavors! I always start my lip color with this balm as a base!
Revlon Lacquer Balm //  Dramatic lips have always been my favorite beauty trend and these are the best lip colors HANDS DOWN! I have been trying out lipsticks and glosses for years and none of them really compare to these and I always get compliments whenever I'm wearing one of the bright colors. My favorites are Provocateur, Flirtatious, and Vivacious!
Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion //  Another must-have for summer? Primer! Shadows can disappear on lids faster than ice cream melting so primer, especially this one by Urban Decay makes sure you stay flawless all day and night. How strong is it? I used to coat this potion on my eyes in the southern days of summer for outdoor cheerleading camp as well as beauty pageants under bright lights and Sorority recruitment in the prime of August. My shadow never even budged!
Urban Decay Eye Shadows // Speaking of eyes, I have been a fan of these sparkly shadows with interesting names for years. The touch of sparkle adds just the right amount to make any look pop, I especially love Midnight Cowboy, Midnight Cowgirl, Toasted, Smog and Sin.
bareMinerals Complexion Rescue Tinted Gel //  I love a good tinted moisturizer in the summer, it has coverage but still feels lightweight and not heavy on your face. If you do get acne like I do, the worst thing you can do is pile on foundations and powders, it will just clog your pores more and powder will cake on and make acne more visible. A lightweight foundation like this is perfect! If you desire more coverage, I also recommend this foundation!
Benefit Erase Paste Brightening Concealer // This brand has the cutest packaging and best products around. If you have to wake up super early like me, their under eye concealer is a miracle worker! Soft, creamy and complete coverage, you can't go wrong!
Nars Blushes //  The brand known for it's umm, rather intense names have become a cult classic and their blushes are a staple of many make-up artists and Hollywood elites. Can you honestly say you have never heard of their famed blush, Orgasm? The pinky-peach blush with a hint of sparkle literally looks flattering on EVERYONE, seriously, it is a must-have beauty product not just for summer but forever and ever! I also really like their bronzer, Laguna, which can give you a golden glow without the harmful UV rays!
Dinoplatz Blotting Tissues // These blotting papers not only look trendy, they make sure you stay shine free all day in the summer sun and heat. Being from the south, humidity kicks in at 6am and stays all day, my skin can look like an oil slick by 8am. The tissues which are made from a natural Hanji (a Korean handmade paper from a mulberry tree) soak up oil and leave you looking fresh faced!
Essie Nail Polishes // I run a lot so my toes are always needing another coat of polish, these super budget friendly polishes pack in a fun punch of color and can be a great way to brighten up. Another plus? They are in small bottles which allows you to throw them in your bag and if you ever need a touch up, just take the tiny container and polish up!
Beauties, I hope you enjoyed all my summer skin and make-up picks!
Stay cool!

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

What to Do? San Diego Weekend Edition

Hello all!

I just came back from the best little mini-vacation to wonderful, sunny San Diego, California! San Diego has been on my bucket list for a while now, I love the state of California and have now crossed L.A., Anaheim and San Diego off the list. California is great because there is so much to see and do plus the weather is fantastic year round. Back to this past weekend though! Let's start off my tips so you can plan your own weekend getaway.

1. Stay Close to the Action

San Diego quickly became one of my favorites when we soon after arriving it was evident how close together everything was. We chose to stay at the Hard Rock Hotel San Diego since we knew the hotel would be nice and it was right next to the Gaslamp Quarter. Gaslamp is essentially tons of restaurants, shops, boutiques, bars, etc. If you plan on going out and having a really good time, say a bachelor/bachelorette party, girls weekend, group couples weekend and so on this is the perfect option. You are right in the middle of all the action and it is within walking distance to everything in the Gaslamp district.

Checking in was a breeze and all Hard Rock Hotels have such great d├ęcor! This specific one even has the famous sushi restaurant, Nobu, inside. There is also a really cool Roof Top Pool and Lounge that you can beat the heat at. I've stayed at several Hard Rock locations and they are always top notch in service and good prices, they normally have a good discount to offer as well!

2. Visit the Gaslamp Quarter

As I mentioned above, the Gaslamp Quarter is filled with shops, cute boutiques, fantastic restaurants and fun bars. The area can be a bit "touristy" so you will see a mix of everything from families, singles, couples, college kids, pretty much every age you can think of! If you are traveling with little ones, I will say it looks like it could get a little rowdy after hours in certain locations, think a lower scale Bourbon Street (found in New Orleans) so keep that in mind. You can walk everything in the quarter which is a good time saver and better for your wallet! However, there are plenty of cabs and rickshaws if your feet can't handle anymore walking.
The Quarter has some really great food options including my picks Lou and Mickey's , Ocean Room, Chocolat (amazing crepes and gelato), The Blind Burro, and Cafe LuLu. If you want more after 10pm fun (and over 21), look at the huge selection of bars, lots feature live music on the weekend so have a drink, listen to some tunes and relax. For my fashionistas out there, be sure to check out all the cool boutiques along the district!

Lots of fun to be had in this area but as always be safe and careful. You will be around large throngs of people especially after dark, ladies I suggest wearing a crossbody bag so you can have your hands free. In any case where you feel uncomfortable, always go with your gut feeling. Also, avoid looking like a tourist meaning wear normal clothes and don't stare at guide maps or look confused at your phone. Just mind your surroundings like you would in any situation and have a good time!

3. Visit the Donut Bar

When one of my West Coast friends mentioned we had to try the Donut Bar, which has recently be awarded numerous times for having the best donuts in San Diego and even the country, I knew we had to try it! My biggest piece of advice is to ARRIVE EARLY! Y'all I say this a lot on my travel posts but this is a key one. We had finished a 5k race and decided to walk over since it was so close, at 8:15am, 15 minutes after opening, it was an hour wait. Yes, my jaw dropped like yours just did. The line extends to crazy lengths especially on weekends.

Everyone looked at me like do we really have to wait in line for donuts? I made the point that what else would we really be doing for the next hour and we were only like 10 mins away from the hotel. So we took on the wait. Quickly we made friends in line with others awaiting the treats (and even became Facebook friends with several of our new buddies), it was like we were all in this thing together (yes, let's break out into a Disney song) and the closer we got, the longer the back of the line seemed to expand. Something cool that is done on Saturdays is the owner of the bakery will come out to greet everyone and even hand out free donuts to the kids! Check him out and the adorable angry birds donuts!

After making friends, laughing, and an impromptu Starbucks run (thanks to our new friends) it was finally our turn. There was a lot of hype with these donuts so we were ready to be impressed. They did not disappoint! Flavors ranging from Harry Potter themed Butter Beer to Strawberry Pop-Tart to a Homer Simpson inspired pink donut, so many choices. Scan the row, decided which ones you want then keep moving, those in back of you will thank you! The menu changes daily so there is always something new as well as old favorites. 

4. Visit the San Diego Zoo

We knew we had to visit the world famous San Diego Zoo, which is currently celebrating its 100th year! This zoo is huge, it straight up looks like a Jurassic Park type theme park, so wear your walking shoes! There are tons of animals, walking tours, bus tours, IMAX movies, Pandas, yes Pandas! Plus, my personal favorite the cute and sleepy Koalas. You can find out info on ticket options and how to plan your day here!

5. Sightsee on a Guided Trolley or Take the Tram to Explore Like a Local

Transportation is easy to navigate in San Diego and it doesn't hurt that everything is so close together! For a fun treat, take a trolley tour via the Old Town Trolley, if you are short on time, this is the best option. The tour is guided and you will get to see all the famous landmarks and then some! Find out all about the tours and how to get your tickets online right here! If you want to explore more independently, use one of the cities numerous trams, just be sure you remember where to exit and what line you are using!

There is so much to see and do in San Diego, you might not be able to see it all but you can see a lot! Everything from beaches, nightlife, dining, zoos, theme parks, and shopping are all to be found here. We loved that everything was a hop, skip and jump away from each other which made it easy to navigate and there was never a dull moment. Even on the way to the airport, we noticed the Unconditional Surrender Sculpture as we passed by and yes, since we had left early enough we kindly asked our driver to make the turn so we could see it up close! The iconic statue is located by a park near the USS Midway Aircraft Carrier Museum and is around lots of cute fish markets, ships and ocean!
If you are thinking about going to the Golden State to visit San Diego go ahead and make a weekend of it!

Happy Travels!



Saturday, May 28, 2016

Steals and Deals Saturday

Happy Saturday (enter flamenco dancing emoji)! I hope everyone has a wonderful long weekend and kick off the unofficial start of summer! Also remember to take some time to remember those who have served our country and give us this freedom everyday. Whether at the lake, beach or just chilling out at home (hello Disney Chanel Original Movie marathon, yes all the classics are playing for the next 4 days!) have a fantastic weekend!

On another note you may be doing some shopping since there are some fab sales going on so get to it! 

How come...I don't have time for this kinda of stuff in the morning?:
Credit: Pinterest

Nordstrom //  Half-Yearly Sale up to 40% off until June 5th. 

I love this tunic (under $30), this easy swing dress to dress up or down plus it has pockets, these Tori Burch sandals (33% off and will last you years), and this fun one-piece which is flirty (check out the back!) and flattering!

Anthropologie //  Extra 30% off Sale Items.

Loving this Plaid Tunic, this romantic Lace Dress, White Tee (so soft!), this Striped Peplum Top and these adorable Dinner Plates!

Wildfox Couture //  20% off sitewide with the code ' OMGREEN '. 

How cute is this tee!? Seriously want everything from the summer collection.

Target // Sales online as well as up to 30% off patio furniture with the promo code ' HERO '. 

I want this outdoor set!

ASOS // 20% off with the promo code ' HISUMMER ' .  

Hello Pom-Pom Two-Piece Set!

Old Navy // All tanks, tees, swim, and shorts 50% off! No code needed!

Saks Off 5th //  Up to 85% off! 

Want all of this! Especially this (perfect for brunch) and this! How cool is this for traveling?

Baublebar //  Fantastic sale to get you ready for summer!

Kate Spade // An extra 25% off sale items with the code ' SPEECHLESS ' at checkout.

Bloomingdale's // Up to 65% off with the code ' BROWNBAG ' at checkout.

Happy Saturday and have a safe holiday weekend!

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Welcome to New York: Weekend Guide

New York is one of those cities you have to visit at least once in your life. It truly is not like any other place. You really need about a week to get a fill of the city and that still might not be enough! However, that's not how we do things around here, weekend trips are my specialty and I'm here to recap my most recent visit to the Big Apple and give you some tips along the way. We visited the city Friday night to Sunday evening and saw so much that I can't wait to share!

We arrived Friday evening via LaGuardia International Airport around 7:30pm. I would highly recommend flying into LaGuardia, it is much smaller and easier to navigate than JFK and a little closer to the city. There wasn't a ton of traffic so in about 30 minutes the hotel was waiting (just an FYI cab drivers drive FAST, don't be alarmed it's part of the experience :)

Our hotel was the wonderful Marriott Marquis in Times Square which is one of my favorite hotels, you are literally in the middle of Times Square! I'm talking billboards from your windows, play and musicals right across the street from the hotel Starbucks middle of times square. That being said, if you dislike crowds, bright lights and double decker busses this may not be the hotel for you. Something calmer on the east side like the New York Marriott East Side might suit you better. I have stayed at both and are two great choices!

Since it was only about 9pm, I wondered if anything was still open (HAHA) this is NYC everything was open plus it was a Friday night. We took Times Square by storm and by storm I mean we walked around looking at the different play/musical marquees (so many big names on Broadway right now), shopping (got the cutest pair of blush lace-up flats), browsing the touristy souvenir shops (hello Statue of Liberty foam hats), and snagging a piece of Junior's cheesecake (food coma) so all in all a pretty fun night! Utilize every minute you have in this fabulous city!

The next morning we were up before our alarms set at 7:30am beeped off and out in Times Square again to decide what we wanted to do on our full day in the city. I have found it easy to walk and take the tourist bus systems (yes, the double decker) and get the package which can take you all over town. Unless you are with a local or are a former one, you will get lost and/or not know where you are going. The bus helps alleviate some of that and you won't rack up on expensive cab fares. We used Grayline and found it to be a good service. So after we got our tickets we decided to walk over to Top of the Rock which was only a few minutes away. I love Top of the Rock, it allows you to see the whole city from a bird's eye view! Just a suggestion, get there early, I'm talking when they open at 8am since it is such a popular spot so you will avoid long lines.

After seeing the city from atop the Rock, we boarded our bus (look for your respected busses everywhere but be sure to ask which way it is going such as Uptown, Bronx, Downtown,etc.) to make a stop at the 9/11 Memorial and Museum. The Museum opened last year and I knew it was definitely something I wanted to see in person. The Memorial which is the two water pools you see engraved with the victim's names has been around for a few years and it always makes me tear up a little to see them. There are usually flowers placed on names, probably by a family member or loved one who misses them. Be mindful around this entire location, yes, it is a museum but it is also a site where many lives were lost. It's not a tourist attraction, it is a part of history and an area to honor those who are no longer with us.
After you purchase your tickets (you can do so in person or online) you walk into the museum and have the option of downloading the app to hear the walkthrough tour (narrated by Robert DeNiro) or having a recoded version with headphones that cost $7. The app is free but will drain 20% of your phone battery and if you choose the recorded version you must leave your I.D. with the front desk. It is the same tour narration, we didn't want to drain our phones since we had a full day ahead of us we went with the recorded version.
One of the first images you see is a chilling yet serene picture of the skyline, the last photo taken a minute or so before the attacks. This picture symbolizes pre-9/11, something that is hard to remember and may be non-existent to teens and young adults who were born during and after this time. How the world once was photographed in time.

There are several sections to the museum, numerous artifacts including the steel tower which was a clearly seen in the days following the attacks, stairs where survivors fled, painful reminders of what once was and an art piece that contains different shades of blue, all painted by those who try to depict what color blue the sky was on that day.

You may take photos in certain areas but you will enter a portion of the museum (the bulk of it) where no photography is allowed. It's an area of the museum where you see the newspapers of that day (it's odd to see how the headlines would change in the coming hours), replays from the attack from the famed Today Show during the time the first tower was hit, first responder calls, eye witness accounts, clothing that was found from suitcases and powerful images including those jumping from the buildings. A lot of this portion is difficult to walk through and if it is hard for adults it might not be the best idea for sensitive children to experience. The museum is beautifully done and I think it is not to be missed. It's important we don't forget what happened that day and remember those lost.

It's fitting that 15 years later the city of NYC is stronger than ever and has even completed the new One World Trade Center. You can now visit the One World Observatory to get a glimpse of the city in one of the tallest buildings in the world. The building is breathtaking!

After a little more sightseeing and a pit-stop in China Town (yes, you will be surrounded by faux designer bags and you probably will want one but be careful here! Do not follow anyone into any buildings even if they promise you a real life Louis Vuitton for $20. It's a fun area but be cautious.) it was time for lunch at Serendipity! Please tell me you have all seen the classic film!? If you haven't go watch it now. Well finish this blog post then go watch it!

This cozy, charming restaurant offers the famous frozen hot chocolate as well as other decadent desserts such as the "Forbidden Broadway Sundae", "Strawberry Fields Sundae" and if you are really looking to splurge the "Golden Opulence Sundae" which comes in at a cool $1,000. I'll stick to the frozen hot chocolate. They also have a variety of sandwiches, salads, burgers and some of the best fries I've ever had. This is a can't miss for me each trip! I recommend going for lunch or a late night snack (they stay open till 2am). My one rule...MAKE A RESERVATION. I can't stress it enough this is a small restaurant and lots of people want to eat here so that makes for quite the crowd at all hours of the day. Give them a call a couple of days before your visit and make a reservation so you have your spot!

We still weren't satisfied with the sweets we just had (lol) so time to make a pit stop at the Sprinkles Cupcake ATM (dreams do come true!), there are some really great cupcake spots including the famous Magnolia Bakery, Billy's Bakery, and Prohibition Bakery to name a few! Speaking of food, NYC has some crazy good stuff out there including the newest craze Rainbow Bagels! These can be found over in Brooklyn or you can have them shipped out nationwide from The Bagel Store. Did I mention there is funfetti cream cheese involved?

A little shopping on the East Side and it was time to return to the hotel for a nap, well at least rest for an hour then it over to Broadway! I love Broadway plays and musicals, I like to see at least one on a visit, they are a perfect way to relax, get off your feet and enjoy a live spectacle! The choice for this trip was Waitress, a musical version of the Keri Russell film plus music and lyrics by the talented Sara Bareilles. First off when you walk into the theater is smells like fresh baked pie, also they were selling mini-pies! The play was fantastic and would definitely recommend, the cast was amazing and I still have some of the songs stuck in my head.

There are lots of awesome plays and musicals right now, here is a full list! I have Aladdin, School of Rock, Fully Committed (with Jesse Tyler Ferguson aka Mitchell from Modern Family) and Finding Neverland on my personal list. I am also dying to see Hamilton but it is sold out and tickets are super expensive to buy via StubHub but I did learn there is a lottery where they give out 21 tickets a day so try your luck!

After the play, it was raining a little so we had dinner at this yummy Italian place in Times Square, NYC has some of the BEST Italian food, my all time favorite is Carmine's! After a late night it was time for bed but another early morning awaited us. 

First up, the Empire State Building! We had the two day bus pass so we just hopped on and hopped off, this is another attraction to arrive early at! The view is incredible and not to be missed, the observation deck is open to 2am, I think it would be amazing to go on a clear summer night!

After conquering my fear of heights, we walked for a bit then decided to visit Greenwich Village. It is a fun area that has a total hipster vibe, tons of cute, unique boutiques, restaurants and shops. I absolutely loved the boutique, 3NY, they had tons of cute clothes and fun graphic tees. They were so helpful I'm giving them a special shoutout!

Around lunchtime, we decided on Jekyll and Hyde's. Y'all this is such a fun restaurant! It's almost like a Disney attraction (think Haunted Mansion) with animontronics, creepy waiters, a true themed restaurant. I bet this place is really happening in the after hours, go by for one of the yummy drinks and enjoy your time taking everything in!

For the rest of the day we mostly just explored the neighborhoods and started our trek back to our hotel. It was a bit further than we realized but it was a nice day and it was fun to tour the city. We did go to this really cool record store, I mean they even have cats there. Nope, I'm not "kitten" you haha ok I'll stop with the jokes!

Sadly it was time to hail a cab back to the airport but I came back with fantastic memories and an urge to go back to the city soon! 

So to recap, if you are going to be in NYC for the weekend or 2-3 days, you can't see it all but you can see a lot!

1. Utilize bus transportations! If that's  too touristy for you, there is always the subway.

2. Walk! You can walk almost everywhere in NYC, yes some places take longer to get to especially if they are in opposite directions but nothing is better than sightseeing on foot.

3. Avoid looking like a tourist. If you have a guide map, looking constantly at directions on your phone or straight up look confused then you will be more succeptable to people who may not have the best intentions. 

4. NYC is a big place and can be confusing to navigate. With that being said remember if the numbers on the signs go up you are going Uptown if the numbers on the signs go down you are headed Downtown. That's all you need to know! 

5. Have frozen hot chocolate at Serendipty. You will thank me later. 

6. Visit Top of the Rock for a good view and there is even a restaurant! This area is also close to the Today Show, SNL and NBC studios. 

7. You have to go to the Empire State Building observation deck at least once in your life for the breathtaking view.

8. Go to the Carmine's on the upper West Side to get your Italian fix.

9. If you want to go to the Statue of Libery and Liberty Island, go first thing in the morning or one of the last boat stops at night. 

10. Take in the City! NYC is a place like no other, it's no wonder they call it he greatest city in the world. On any given visit and day you never know what hidden gems of shops, restaurants even people you may come across. No matter what you do in NYC make sure you have an adventure!

Happy Travels! 

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Disneyland and California Adventure in a Day

As you can tell, I love traveling but with my schedule I stay busy and unfortunately can't take the time to spend long amounts of time away from home. However, I frequently make mini-trips and have become somewhat of an "expert" on these short on time, big on adventure trips. I'm going to show you how to take on both parks, Disneyland and California Adventure in one day!

For my first tip, if you can stay on site do so. We stayed at the lovely Grand Californian Hotel but if you are looking for the most budget friendly, check out the Paradise Pier Hotel.  It is known as the "value resort" of Disneyland and one I highly recommend. Unfortunately, it does book fast so try to nail down your dates as soon as possible and look for discount rates (for all Disney hotels) throughout all times of the year. However, you can't deny the Grand Californian is the most elegant and beautiful of all the hotels!

Grand Californian Hotel Lobby 

After you book your room, you need to figure out what you want to see and do. Are you traveling in a group? Friends? Couple? Family? Each situation brings a new experience to the table. Couples probably want to have a romantic dinner at least one night whereas families are looking more to find quick service restaurants that can accommodate large crowds and foods for all members. As for the parks? I can give you one word of advice...ARRIVE EARLY! Yes, little ones (and some not so little ones) will hate the idea of getting up early but they will be happy when they are riding Space Mountain when others are outside in an hour wait.

You can find a time schedule here (bonus of staying at a Disney resort, Early Admission Hours).
Wall Art at Disney's California Adventure park

Now as we were discussing restaurants, there is one must do for those venturing over to California Adventure, is the Cove Bar. It has the best seat in the house for the some of the most scenic areas in the park. Oh and adults, they have the yummiest drinks! They even have a secret menu that has some fun drinks you have to try!
Line around 10:30am for 11am opening of the Cove Bar
Word to the wise, this place fills up early! We got in line about 30 minutes before opening (11am) and there was already a bit of a wait in line. Disney parks are all about arriving early! Once you realize this the more you will accomplish in a short time!

Yes, there are drinks with cotton candy that exist here! Lunch is also a good time to plan out the rest of the day since you will have probably accomplished quite a bit so far. Especially since you have been up early and arrived when the parks opened :)

On this particular trip we went to California Adventure first since there were more things we wanted to do at Disneyland and knew it would be easier to cross our must-do's off at California Adventure. Then we would be able to spend the bulk of our day at Disneyland. Luckily both parks are an entry-way from each other and withing walking distance so you can easily park-hop if you choose to. Here is a breakdown of park hopping ticket options here!

Disneyland is more compact than it's bigger counterpart over in Orlando so it is easy to cover lots of ground in one day but you will be walking ALOT so wear your comfy shoes! If you have younger kids, tackle Fantasyland first always. The rides are slower to load thus make the lines move at a snails pace at times. Now if you are touring with older kids, teens, adults, etc. then you can pretty much start wherever. Star Wars is a hot commodity right now and the newly launched "Hyper Space Mountain" is one you can't miss! That is if you like roller coasters (no, it does not go upside down) however, you can check out all the Star Wars Summer events here no roller coaster necessary.

Mini-trips also mean you can budget your money a little better without the week long stay. One of my biggest tips is food choices. I do not care about eating at sit-down restaurants each meal, there are so many snacks that we love and some we still need to try that it is sometimes better to forgo the large meals (and price tag) and snack your way around the parks. Choose one restaurant for your "big meal", I recommend lunch, dinner is automatically more pricy. No, snacking on churros, ice cream, pretzels,etc. is not the healthiest option but one day is ok to splurge a little! I also love getting fresh fruit at the snack stands and substituting fruit for fries with chicken fingers. Little cuts along the way can be healthier for you and easier on your wallet!

I do advise hitting some of the classic attractions like The Haunted Mansion (pictured below), the Pirates of the Caribbean, It's a Small World (yes, I know annoying but a classic), and Mr. Toad's Wild Ride. Also, if you frequent the Florida park then try some of the rides that are not offered at Disney World like the fantastic Indiana Jones Adventure and Roger Rabbit's Cartoon Spin. Check out a map of Disneyland attractions here and Disney's California Adventure here!

While you may want to go, go, go all day and the parks are fun so you may not want to take a break but you need to! Take a short nap for an hour or two, catch some pool time, explore the Downtown Disney District. You will feel refreshed and ready to tackle the parks (and crowds) again! We love going to the parks after dark. There seems to be less people, cooler temps and it's fun to see the parks at night! Even though you are only there for a short time, still take your time to enjoy yourself!

I hope you all enjoyed some of my tips on conquering the Disneyland parks in a day! Any tips I missed? What's something that you want to share? Let me know!

You can find all the information on Disneyland, California Adventure, rides, restaurants, hotels and more right here! Oh and Disneyland is still celebrating it's 60th Anniversary so there is lots of cool stuff happening, it's summer, you need a vacation, why not go to the "happiest place on earth"?

Happy Travels!