How To Plan The Best Road-trip Ever

As you might have seen in this post, I went to Nashville last month with one of my best friends. It was so much fun, but also a lot of planning ahead of time went in to make it fun. Today I wanted to share some of my best tips for how to have a successful road-trip, whether it is a 2 hour drive or a 20 hour drive.

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1. Plan your stops
Our trip was only 6 hours there and 6 back, so we only made one stop about 3 hours in to eat and get gas. It was nice for both of us to know that we were stopping there because it gave us something to look forward to and then we were both on the same page about when and where we were eating.

2. Bring drinks/snacks
This is especially important if you are going to be in the car all day and will need some energy mid-afternoon. This also can save you time since you won't be stopping at gas stations as often to pick up a pop or a bag of chips.

3. Plan your route ahead of time
Don't just trust your GPS to take you there. Make sure you at least have an idea of the route you will be taking, and make sure it is the quickest or easiest route. If you are traveling through a city that has lots of tolls (Chicago, I'm looking at you) make sure you have change for that or see if there is an alternate route that will allow you to skip the tolls all together. Even if the alternate route adds a little time onto your trip, it is usually worth it.

4. Figure out gas beforehand 
If you are road tripping with friends, make sure you settle how you are splitting gas beforehand. You don't just want to stick the driver with the entire cost, so I recommend rotating who fills it up as the trip progresses, or just add up the cost of gas and split it equally at the end to reimburse whoever paid.

5. Make a playlist or download some podcasts
If all your passengers can agree on a podcast, it is a great way to pass the time. Otherwise just make a playlist that includes all of your favorite songs!

6. Get your car ready
I'll be the first to admit I am not great with cars. But you probably want to clean out your car, fill your tank and check your tires before you begin on a road-trip.

7. Know whether to book your hotel ahead of time
If you have one final destination that you are reaching, make sure to book ahead of time to find the best option. But if you are doing a road trip that is multiple days long, consider waiting to book so you don't lock yourself into stopping at a certain location. This means that you are not on as tight of a schedule and can go slower or faster than originally anticipated depending on what sights you stop to see.

8. Book any attractions/events ahead of time
If you are going somewhere that involves tickets, you most likely will want to purchase those well in advance. If you wait until right before your trip, there is a good chance they could be sold out.

9. Ask social media friends for trip recommendations
If you let people know your final destination or a state you are going through via a tweet, more likely that not one or more of your followers will have gone there before and will have good tips on what to see and what is not worth it.

What advice would you give someone about to embark on a road-trip? Tell me in the comments below!
xo, Scarlett


Styling $7 Paper Bag Shorts

Top: Old Navy | Shorts: Shein | Sunglasses: Shein | Shoes: Birkenstocks |
 Bag: Forever 21 (similar) | Necklace: thrifted 

Okay guys, I have something to confess. Since posting about the sweaters I got from Shein, I have placed 4 more orders from them. Honestly I just can't pass up a good deal on trendy pieces that I may only wear a few times, so Shein is a great website for that! 

These shorts in particular were only $4.80 when I purchased them because of a sale, but even now they are only $7! Such an affordable way to test out a new trend! They are so comfy and perfect for the "paper bag shorts" trend of summer 2018. If you haven't heard this term before, it is basically just referring to the ruffled waistline that resembles a cinched paper bag! I really like that this pair is neutral but still has stripes to make them a little more fun. The length of these shorts is also great, and the cinched waistline is flattering! 

Sunglasses are another great thing to buy from Shein if you prefer buying cheaper sunglasses. These were only $5 and they have become my go-to sunglasses of the summer. 

Overall this outfit is one of my favorites because it is affordable, cute, and comfortable. I love how these shorts are a bit fancier than just jean shorts and make it look like I put more effort into my outfit than I actually did. 

Do you like the paper bag shorts trend? Have you ever purchased items from Shein? Share in the comments below!

xo, Scarlett


Recently Reading: May 2018

With summer break beginning halfway through May, I have had even more time to read the past few weeks! I read 5 books this month, and three of these books were ones I would highly recommend! 

"The story begins in 1962. On a rocky patch of the sun-drenched Italian coastline, a young innkeeper, chest-deep in daydreams, looks out over the incandescent waters of the Ligurian Sea and spies an apparition: a tall, thin woman, a vision in white, approaching him on a boat. She is an actress, he soon learns, an American starlet, and she is dying.

And the story begins again today, half a world away, when an elderly Italian man shows up on a movie studio's back lot—searching for the mysterious woman he last saw at his hotel decades earlier.

What unfolds is a dazzling, yet deeply human, roller coaster of a novel, spanning fifty years and nearly as many lives. From the lavish set of Cleopatra to the shabby revelry of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Walter introduces us to the tangled lives of a dozen unforgettable characters: the starstruck Italian innkeeper and his long-lost love; the heroically preserved producer who once brought them together and his idealistic young assistant; the army veteran turned fledgling novelist and the rakish Richard Burton himself, whose appetites set the whole story in motion—along with the husbands and wives, lovers and dreamers, superstars and losers, who populate their world in the decades that follow."

First off, I chose this book from my to-read list because it was one that had been there for years. I know a lot of people loved this book, but I was not a huge fan. I felt that the characters stories did not all seamlessly weave together and overall just wasn't a huge fan of the plot. I did really like Pasquale as a character though, and I wish the book had been more of his story or at least gone more into depth onto his character.

Would I recommend? Probably not... I would give it 2.5/5 stars if I had to rate it.

"Evelyn Hugo is finally ready to tell the truth about her glamorous and scandalous life. But when she chooses unknown magazine reporter Monique Grant for the job, no one in the journalism community is more astounded than Monique herself. Why her? Why now?

Monique is not exactly on top of the world. Her husband, David, has left her, and her career has stagnated. Regardless of why Evelyn has chosen her to write her biography, Monique is determined to use this opportunity to jumpstart her career.

Summoned to Evelyn’s Upper East Side apartment, Monique listens as Evelyn unfurls her story: from making her way to Los Angeles in the 1950s to her decision to leave show business in the late 80s, and, of course, the seven husbands along the way. As Evelyn’s life unfolds through the decades—revealing a ruthless ambition, an unexpected friendship, and a great forbidden love—Monique begins to feel a very a real connection to the actress. But as Evelyn’s story catches up with the present, it becomes clear that her life intersects with Monique’s own in tragic and irreversible ways."

I really enjoyed this book. This would make such a great beach read for the summer because Evelyn's story is very compelling without being too heavy. Of course, there still are sad parts of this book and there are a few surprises weaved in as well. This story was very well written as well, and I have already added all of Reid's other books to my to-read list because of how much I enjoyed this one! 

Would I recommend? YES! 

"As dusk approaches a small Dublin suburb in the summer of 1984, mothers begin to call their children home. But on this warm evening, three children do not return from the dark and silent woods. When the police arrive, they find only one of the children gripping a tree trunk in terror, wearing blood-filled sneakers, and unable to recall a single detail of the previous hours.

Twenty years later, the found boy, Rob Ryan, is a detective on the Dublin Murder Squad and keeps his past a secret. But when a twelve-year-old girl is found murdered in the same woods, he and Detective Cassie Maddox—his partner and closest friend—find themselves investigating a case chillingly similar to the previous unsolved mystery. Now, with only snippets of long-buried memories to guide him, Ryan has the chance to uncover both the mystery of the case before him and that of his own shadowy past. "

This is the first novel in the Dublin Murder Squad Series that I have read, and overall it was pretty good! I loved the character development in it and how the story unfolded. My only complaint is that this book really had 2 large mysteries in it, and only one was solved by the end. I am unsure if the other one will be solved later in the series, but if it is never solved then that would be a big flaw to me. I always feel like when authors do not tie up all loose ends, especially something as big as this, they are just lazy even if it is supposedly "intentional." 

Would I recommend? Yes, but not if you like your mysteries solved by the end

"In his wildly entertaining and inspiring follow-up to the New York Times bestselling phenomenon Love Does, Bob Goff takes readers on a life-altering journey into the secret of living without fear, care, constraint, or worry. The path toward the outsized, unfettered, liberated existence we all long for is found in a truth as simple to say as it is hard to do: love people, even the difficult ones, without distinction and without limits.

Driven by Bob’s trademark hilarious and insightful storytelling, Everybody, Always reveals the lessons Bob learned—often the hard way—about what it means to love without inhibition, insecurity, or restriction. From finding the right friends to discovering the upside of failure, Everybody, Always points the way to embodying love by doing the unexpected, the intimidating, the seemingly impossible. Whether losing his shoes while skydiving solo or befriending a Ugandan witch doctor, Bob steps into life with a no-limits embrace of others that is as infectious as it is extraordinarily ordinary. Everybody, Always reveals how we can do the same."

If you have read Love Does by Bob Goff, this book is basically a continuation of that. Bob Goff is a great storyteller who uses many stories from his own life to get his point across that overall we need to love one another, even difficult people. He doesn't say it will be easy, but it is simple. I love listening to storytelling podcasts, such as Sounds Good with Brandon Harvey, and Bob Goff's writing has a similar feel to it. 

Would I recommend? Yes!

"Amber Patterson is fed up. She’s tired of being a nobody: a plain, invisible woman who blends into the background. She deserves more—a life of money and power like the one blond-haired, blue-eyed goddess Daphne Parrish takes for granted.

To everyone in the exclusive town of Bishops Harbor, Connecticut, Daphne—a socialite and philanthropist—and her real-estate mogul husband, Jackson, are a couple straight out of a fairy tale.

Amber’s envy could eat her alive . . . if she didn't have a plan. Amber uses Daphne’s compassion and caring to insinuate herself into the family’s life—the first step in a meticulous scheme to undermine her. Before long, Amber is Daphne’s closest confidante, traveling to Europe with the Parrishes and their lovely young daughters, and growing closer to Jackson. But a skeleton from her past may undermine everything that Amber has worked towards, and if it is discovered, her well-laid plan may fall to pieces. 

With shocking turns and dark secrets that will keep you guessing until the very end, The Last Mrs. Parrish is a fresh, juicy, and utterly addictive thriller from a diabolically imaginative talent."

THIS. BOOK. I was hooked from the beginning, when we were only getting the story from Amber's perspective. But then halfway through we get Daphne's perspective as well, and it gets 10x better. Then the third part we get both of their perspectives and it ends in a thrilling and satisfying way (which after reading In The Woods was a relief because I did not want another open ended ending).  I have so much I could say about this book, but I don't want to spoil anything. Basically, if you like psychological thrillers, such as B.A. Paris' books, you will probably really enjoy this one too. 

Would I recommend? YES! 

What books have you read and loved recently? I would love to hear in the comments below! 
xo, Scarlett


48 Hours in Nashville

Last week I kicked off my summer with a quick trip to Nashville with one of my best friends from high school. We joke that we basically just ate our way through the city... but honestly there were too many good places we wanted to try!

First off, we went to our Airbnb to drop off our stuff. We found a cute little one bedroom spot that was within 15 minutes of everything we wanted to do. It was great because we were not planning to go downtown every day, so we wanted to stay in a location that would still be close but not right downtown.

This is a glimpse of the Airbnb we stayed in. It was a great location, clean and cute, and the hosts were great! If you are looking to go to Nashville I will link it here so you can check it out and see if it would work for you too. It was also an affordable option, which was huge for us college students!

Also, if you have never booked through Airbnb before, you can get $40 off your first trip by having a friend who already has an account refer you! I know most people know about this, but it is worth mentioning again because it saved us $40!

After we dropped off our stuff, we headed out to Radnor Lake to walk around after the long car ride. It was pretty cloudy when we got there and even sprinkling off and on, but it was still so pretty!

We even saw some interesting birds! And many squirrels and chipmunks...  

After the park we headed over to Brentwood so my friend could show me where she lived last fall when she went to school there for a semester. We grabbed dinner at a Mexican place called Chile Burrito and then headed to Jeni's. Neither of us had ever been, but it was definitely worth the hype and I was excited to find out that there are locations in other cities too! I got Savannah Buttermint and Dark Chocolate Truffle and they were both delicious!

We then walked around a few of the shops there and headed back for the night.

The next day was our day to go downtown. We had to stop in at Biscuit Love for breakfast and try the famous bonuts that everyone raves about. These were also worth the hype! The bonuts (or biscuit donuts) themselves were warm and delicious, but the lemon mascarpone and blueberry compote was what made them even better! 

While we were in the gulch we went around the corner to the famous wings mural too! 

Next we went to the Pedestrian Bridge to get this great view of the city and snap some pictures. Then we went to sit on the steps shown in this picture to people watch and enjoy the day.

Then we decided to get lunch at Acme Feed & Seed because you can eat on the rooftop! There was a good view, and the food was pretty good too! Personally, I loved the fries but thought the burger was just okay. But the rooftop was great so I would definitely still go back. If you do go, just know you order your food downstairs at the counter, and then once they bring it out you can carry it up to the rooftop yourself. We had to ask an employee how that worked since we were unsure if we could take our food up!

Next we drove to East Nashville to The Soda Parlor. I had originally wanted to get the waffles with ice cream since that is a popular item they serve, but we just settled on splitting a milkshake since we were both so full from lunch! This is a great picture spot since they have a lit up sign and the milkshakes are fancy and cute. And while the milkshake itself was good, I did not think it was worth the price. If I went back I would definitely try the waffles instead!

Then Tuesday afternoon it started pouring rain so we went back to our Airbnb to relax for a little bit. For dinner, we had to try some Hattie B's, but we still were not that hungry so we just split some chicken tenders and fries. We also got it to go because it was still rainy and Hattie B's was very crowded! We opted for the mild chicken, and it was really good. If you like spicy things, I have heard great things about the spicy chicken, but neither of us are a fan of spicy things so we stuck with mild.

On Wednesday we headed to 12 South to checkout Five Daughters Bakery. They are famous for their 100 Layer Donut, which is a croissant donut that takes 3 days to make. I honestly wish I could have tried like 5 different kinds because they all looked great, but I ended up with a maple glazed one that was SO GOOD. They are all filled with cream in the middle that makes them even better!

And the outside of the bakery is just too cute too!  Love the colors and the outdoor seating was great. They also have a neon sign inside, which can be great for pictures too!

They also had a Parent Trap donut which I thought was so fun, especially since it was peanut butter and cookies and cream! But since I am not a big peanut butter fan I skipped it and got the maple instead!

Finally we ended with walking down 12 South to the I Believe In Nashville mural. There was nobody there when we went which was awesome since sometimes there can be a line for pictures at different murals in Nashville!

Overall it was a really fun trip, and Nashville is a great place to go if you love food! Especially if you love donuts... or bonuts...

Have you been to Nashville? What is your favorite thing to do there? Share in the comments!

xo, Scarlett


Summer Bucket List 2018

For my final summer, I knew I had to make one last summer bucket list. I didn't add too much since I am working a lot this summer, but I knew I would want to add some fun things into my weeks too!

I have been making a summer bucket list since 2013, and I have blogged about each one! So if you need more ideas to make your own list, checkout my past lists and laugh about how far my blog has come since 2013 (yikes).

Summer 2013
Summer 2014
Summer 2015
Summer 2016
Summer 2017

1. Nashville
2. Hot air balloon show
3. California
4. Watch fireworks
5. Eat a snow cone
6. Go rollerblading
7. Mini golfing
8. Make smoothie pops
9. Drive-in movie
10. Farmer's Market
11. Read 15 books
12. Have a tech-free weekend

This summer has already been so fun and I have already crossed off #1 and #8!

What do you have on your summer bucket list? Do you have any fun trips planned? Let me know in the comments!

xo, Scarlett


Sit Down With Scarlett: 5.21.18

Since it is my first official day of summer break (WOO!) I figured I should catch you guys up on what's been going on in my life the past few months.

First off, how cute is this sign at a new acai bowl shop that just opened in Grand Rapids?! A friend and I got bowls together to celebrate being done with finals and they were so good! 

Anyways, I just wrapped up probably the most chill semester of college so far. Part of it was an easy class load of mostly core classes I had to finish, but also I think I just know what works for me now for school and do not get easily stressed over assignments or tests anymore. Though check back in when I am going crazy next year in grad school and I am sure it will be a different story ;)

I also finished my last semester of observing in the clinic which is crazy! Next fall I get my own 3 clients and while I am so excited I also feel like I cannot possibly know enough to have my own! Of course, that is why I have a supervisor who will be able to help me along the way.

I mentioned in this post that I have been trying to teach myself Italian using Duolingo. I am 35% fluent according to the app now so that's been fun! While I would not say I am able to understand that much yet, it was interesting that while I was reading Beautiful Ruins this month I was able to understand a few words from some of the Italian dialogue in it!

As you are reading this, I am heading on a girls trip to Nashville! I have never been, but one of my best friends studied there last fall and is planning on moving there once she graduates. Since she loves it so much and since I have only heard good things, we decided we needed to spend a few days there! The main problem was that I work every weekday and she works every weekend, so we had to squeeze it in this first week before I start nannying every day!

This summer I am nannying again, but for 3 different families! I love the variety of nannying for multiple families because then I don't have to spend all week with the same few kids, if that make sense? I am nannying for the same sweet twin 4 year old boys that I watched last summer for 2 days, another family with 9 year old twin girls for 2 days, and then a family that has 5 kids (that I have been babysitting for since I was 15!) for another afternoon and then one evening a week. So while it is going to be more than I originally anticipated, it is still very doable and I think it will be a great set up! Plus let's be honest, grad school is expensive and I probably won't have a job during the year next year so might as well work as much as possible this summer!

Since this is my last summer ever (so sad) I am determined to relax and just make it a great summer overall! I also am planning on tackling the "post a blog post every day for a month" goal off my 101 in 1001 list this July (or potentially August depending on how things shake out), so that will be a fun challenge! If you have any post requests, please leave them in the comments because it is surprisingly hard to come up with 30 posts for 1 month when I usually only post 4-5 per month!

xo, Scarlett


Summer Bullet Journal Page Ideas

With summer break comes many fun things, from travel to bucket lists. If you have a bullet journal, it can be a fun idea to add in some special pages in the summer to keep things organized and to keep you excited about upcoming activities or trips!

There are so many different travel pages you can do. My 3 favorite ideas are a packing list, your itinerary or plans for what to do, and then either a memories page or journaling a little every day you are there!

Here is a page I have put together for an upcoming trip to Nashville. I kept it simple by just adding the dates and ideas on what to eat, see, and do. I wrote down all of the potential ideas in pencil since we haven't narrowed down exactly what we will hit yet. But I want to have plenty of ideas when the time comes!

I have a separate journal I use when I travel to keep memories and mementos in, but if you want to keep it all in one place you could do a spread like this in your bullet journal! 

I will have a separate post soon sharing my own summer bucket list, but I wanted to share some ideas I pulled from Pinterest because there are so many cute ones!

If you are interested in seeing what I have had on my previous summer bucket lists, checkout these links! 20132014, 2015, 20162017

I am nannying for 3 different families every week this summer, so I know I'll be keeping a close eye on my schedule to keep it all straight. I prefer to use a planner outside of my bullet journal, but if you use your bullet journal as your planner it would be a great idea to add in your new summer schedule!

In addition to a bucket list, I usually have a list of things I just want to accomplish, such as reading certain books, organizing stuff, etc. Sometimes I just include it all in one list, but I think making a separate to-do list would be great too!

Low the layout and sections on this one

What pages will you be adding to your bullet journal this summer? Share in the comments below! 
xo, Scarlett