How to experience the world without breaking your bank.

First things first… Let’s take a look at your finances.

1. Live cheaply–The main expense for most people (besides kids) is their mortgage. I live as cheaply as possible. If travel is something you have to do, and you’re not rich–you need to live as cheaply as possible. No point in spending all of your hard earned money renting or on a mortgage if you’re never home!

2. Cancel any monthly subscriptions that you don’t use/ and or need–I just cancelled an HBO Chanel I didn’t even know I had! Hey, $10 is $10.

3. Marry rich–What? It’s a legitimate option that would work. On the other hand you’ve probably been a mooch your whole life and should listen to that Destiny’s child song ‘independent women’ a few times if you’re inclined to take this route.

4. Reserve an Airbnb instead of a hotelThanks to Airbnb there is now a cheaper place to stay than your good ole Marriot. Plus, a lot of them are nicer than hotels. Hotels can be more than half of your travel expenses.

5. Camping/Glamping–Campsites are ridiculously cheap. Not. a camper? Glamping may be for you.

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6. Travel to a destination where you know someone–Meaning you stay for free! Or you can do what I’m doing next September/October in Germany and travel with someone who knows someone–and still stay for free! This is a seriously underrated tip. When anyone tells me something  like “Oh my sister lives in Hawaii, I need to visit her” Im like “Well, I would fly with you anytime!” lol Hiii Kaitlyn, Don’t forget me.

7. Don’t over pay for stupid tours–Although some are great, instead, I would recommend choosing maybe one tour or excursion of some sort that is highly-rated by trip advisor and affordable. Trip advisor is perfect for researching prior to any trip because it has tons of reviews, links the company websites, pictures, etcetera so you know exactly what you’re paying for and how much it will be. I always use it while “planning” any trip. I put that in quotations because I don’t do a whole lot of planning, but I do like to know a little about where I’m going and what there is to offer. Side note: if you’re ever heading  to Montreal, do the Segway tour!

Money-saving tips for roadtrips:

⇒ Split gas

⇒ Pack a cooler and drinks so no unnecessary gas station stops for over-priced water

⇒ Get an Airbnb with a kitchen so you can cook in a few times, or a campsite as mentioned above.

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Remember:

Experiences are priceless

You were not born to pay bills and die

You can get out of the nine to five mindset

You can lead an UNPOPULAR lifestyle just like me

 

Wanna keep it in your own backyard-type adventure? Check this ‘Ways to Adventure on a Budget’.

 

-E

Where you can find some of the best views in NY

This 17 mile long state park is worth all of the hype. Letchworth State Park, also known as the Grand Canyon of the east includes 3 waterfalls, restaurants, hiking trails, and no shortage of spectacular look-outs requiring zero effort to enjoy.

It was named after William Pryor Letchworth who fought until he died to preserve the natural beauty of this land. Before he passed, he gave the land and estate to the State of NY to be used as a public park to ensure its preservation.

For $10/car, I’d say we got our money’s worth. I was lucky enough to spot a double rainbow above middle falls, my personal favorite of the 3 waterfalls.

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Great bend look out was the first spectacular overlook that I remember and looking back at the pictures, I see why it was so memorable. I’d say don’t look down, but then you would miss the view! 😉

 

FOOD AND DRINKS:

There is a restaurant and Inn on site formerly belonging to Mr. William Letchworth himself. His old country estate is now the Glenn Iris Inn. In Greek, Iris actually translates to rainbow. The fact that I witnessed a double rainbow above middle falls, just adds to this already amazing trip.

 

Highly recommend the Almond Joy cold brew cocktail. After hiking over 300 stairs on a 90 degree day, it brought me back to life. There was whipped cream and a cherry on top, but it looks like I consumed it before I decided to snap the pic. The strawberry daiquiri was a little too icy for my taste, I prefer a much smoother blend. The cajun-style burger with bacon was phenomenal. Although there was air conditioning indoors, for some reason we ate outside on the patio (not my decision).

 

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Like this NY adventure? Then you would also like this ADK Island camping experience.

"Appreciating the outdoors is something I think everyone should work on. The natural beauty of the world breeds happiness." -E

Every Body Is Beautiful

Café at 407

A café with a cause.

MaryEllen created Ophelia’s Place — a nonprofit organization that helps individuals struggling with disordered eating, eating disorders and body dissatisfaction. They offer support services, treatment programs, education and community for anyone struggling. Some of Ophelia’s Place is funded by this amazing little café on Tulip St. in Liverpool, NY. Café at 407 is a coffee shop created for the sole purpose of funding this treatment center. The café supports Ophelia’s Place with the belief that EVERY BODY IS BEAUTIFUL. 

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Circles of Change is an outreach movement that was created by Ophelia’s Place to change the culture and conversation around health, beauty and body image. Its goal is to help people reach their full potential and ultimately CHANGE diet culture and skewed standards of beauty, with the end goal of putting an end to eating disorders, disordered eating and body dissatisfaction.

I love the mission of Circles of Change and while blogging at Café at 407, I found some inspiration.

I gave $15 today to help someone struggling — I gave someone hope.

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Buy this shirt

Want to get involved? Click here to give back OR give to the cause by purchasing a shirt with a message of empowerment for you or someone you love + become a part of something bigger while supporting families and communities impacted by eating disorder, disordered eating and body dissatisfaction.

For another way you can get involved, become a Warrior for Change. After much thought and consideration, I took the first step to become a Warrior by taking the pledge.  

👉🏼Take the pledge with me 👈🏼

I choose to:

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I choose to accept every body

I am a warrior for change

You can also get involved with different “circles creating change.” You can become a Movement Warrior, Wellness Warrior, Community Warrior, Parenting Warrior or Media Warrior. Whatever your interest, there is an empowering community circle you can join to find tips and tricks to change the conversation and culture within those interest circles.

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Additional information on Ophelia’s Place:

  • Ophelia’s Place was established in 2002
  • It is a national leader in redefining beauty & health
  • 100% of the profits from Circles of Change products (like the “Be Brave” shirt above) goes directly to supporting the cause, Ophelia’s Place.
  • Every coffee and baked good at Café at 407 supports the movement and the cause
  • Even employees tips go directly toward supporting the cause

Not only are they behind a great cause, but the desserts are handmade every day and phenomenal! The menu is also worth mentioning — serving up local coffee and tea, paninis, grain bowls, salads, smoothies and more. They try to source all of their food locally as much as possible. One of the absolute best of Liverpool, NY! If nothing else, just stop by and enjoy a cup of with a side of coffee cake; they would love to have you!

Something new every day, YUM.

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XOXO

 

-E

Glamping

Glamping: In a nutshell, it’s glamorous or luxurious camping. Instead of sleeping on the ground, you get to sleep on an actual bed, with fluffy pillows and a cozy comforter. You have access to water, rest rooms, showers, and maybe even Wi-Fi with a continental breakfast. Though some believe it defeats the purpose of camping, I disagree for the simple fact that it’s not camping — it’s GLAMPING. The whole purpose is to enjoy the outdoors more comfortably. It is especially great for people who don’t have the skills to be out in the wilderness with nothing more than a tent and a lantern.

*This is a Sponsored post for Seneca Sol Glamping, but all opinions are my own.

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I just had my first experience glamping right here in NY. Perfectly placed in the middle of the Seneca wine trail, you will find Seneca Sol Glamping. With over 30 wineries to choose from, there is plenty to do! 7 minutes from Watkins Glen (home to the famous Watkins Glen gorge trail), and Only a few minutes from Grist Iron Brewing Company where you will find delicious beer and a chill environment to grab food.

The check- in desk/lounge area is located in a tent, holy CUTENESS!

 

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The cherry tent is a homemade safari tent equipped with a little stand up closet with hangers, a desk, 3 lanterns, a queen size bed, a decorative chair, a bench, a chest, AND a back patio with table and chairs.

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You know you are glamping when you can charge your phone with a lantern.

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There is a beautiful bath house located a short distance from the camp with fresh water as well as individual showers and toilets. Towels, washcloths, shampoos and conditioners are all provided for you.

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On site, you will find a 10 – 15 minute nature trail. SO incredibly gorgeous in the fall!

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You had me at COFFEE BAR.

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Other perks:

  • Includes free breakfast.
  • Each night around 7:30 pm a communal campfire is lit for glampers. Firewood is supplied.
  • Free Parking
  • Free cancellation within 48 hours
  • You can choose to stay in a Teepee
  • Free Wi-Fi

Although they are officially closed for the season, they will reopen in May 2018! To book your stay next season or for more information, check out Seneca Sol and all they have to offer. To find out which wineries are located on the Seneca wine trail click here.

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Need cute glamping gear? Get this teepee vibes shirt at Reelnomadic. You’re welcome.  🙂

 

-E

 

Ins & Outs of Old Montréal

A city full of never-ending festivals, old school architecture, and French charm. ❤️ With so much to do, it’s hard to get bored. Here is a list that scratches the surface of what to do and how to get around Old Montréal. When planning a trip to Montréal in the summer time, I would suggest booking a hotel in Old Montréal.

OLD MONTREAL THINGS TO DO:

1. Segway Tour—Old Port—French: Vieux Port

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Honestly one of the coolest things I’ve done. A silly and unique experience including a one hour tour along the old port of Montréal on these bad boys. It was well worth the money. You get a 15 minute training session which is easy peasy, I promise. Want to know how to get around in style for around $60/ person? Schedule your segway tour here.

If you look in the background to the left you’ll see a white clock tower located at Clock Tower Beach. If you book the old port Segway tour, you will go right by it. Although there is no swimming at this sand strip in the city, it’s still definitely something you don’t want to leave without seeing. Way behind us under the bridge, you will find the only Six Flags in Canada! Add that to your to-do list while in Montréal.

2. Notre-Dame Basilica of Montréal

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Stunning church inside and out. A must-see while roaming the streets of Old Montréal. This church is so photogenic! Am I right?! Rich in history and beauty, what’s not to love? Located in the heart of Old Montréal, making for an easy walk to nearby food afterward. For food advice read: The Best Food in Montréal.

3. The Montréal Observation Wheel

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Although it wasn’t open for business when I visited, it is now officially open! For rates and details, click here.

  • 360 degree panorama view
  • Air-conditioned/ heated.
  • Open year-round
  • Anti-UV tempered glass panes

4. Scena at Old Port

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Right at the Old Port sign, you will find this bar/restaurant. Includes:  large outdoor patio  equipped with umbrellas and an outdoor bar. This cutesy bar also comes with wine and a view of the water. In the summer it is a chill bar/restaurant.

Not only is this a super cool spot to relax in the summer and grab a drink, but it’s also an event venue. Hold your conference, corporate event, or even wedding there in the beautiful Old port of Montréal! Definitely a unique venue for a wedding! Want more info? Here you will find what you are looking for.

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The best part of Old Montréal is walking and exploring and all the city has to offer. The cobblestone streets, the views from rooftops, the unlimited places to eat and drink, the zip lining, the old port, and so so much more. Every bar, shop, and restaurant are decorated to perfection making it extremely difficult to choose where to go! We actually walked in and out of so many places, simply to scope them out. Old Montréal is the best part of Montréal. One I will be revisiting and booking a hotel in very soon.

5. Mount Royal Park

Not exactly Old Montréal, but it is certainly blog-worthy. A Beautiful park over-looking the city with views just as amazing at night as they are during the day. In the winter months you can cross-country ski, snow shoe, ice skate, tube, etc. In the warmer part of the year you can picnic, walk, guided tour, hike the 3 peaks, bike, etc. For details and to book your scooter tour of the park, click here.

HOW TO GET AROUND:

Metro – (subway ) Place-d’Armes is where you want to get off to go to Old Montréal where everything is located. It is a longer walk than we desired, especially in the heat. There are scooter rentals and bike rentals all over the place which is convenient.

Uber – I love Uber because they know exactly where to pick you up. Not necessarily the cheapest way, but 100% the most convenient. No comparison. Download app, set up your credit card info, and get rides. Easy as 1, 2, 3.

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Taxi

Ever been to New Orleans? You might want to put it on your list!

xo,

-E

Bridal Shower Honeymoon Basket

My girlfriend is getting married and I wanted to think of a bridal shower gift that was cute, but also meaningful and unique — So I thought about a few things..

#1) What will they actually use?
#2) Try not to leave the groom-to-be completely out (poor guys always get left out.)
#3) What is something that they would say that is definitely from Erin? (That’s me.)

The third is how I came about the honeymoon basket idea. I love travel, and they will be traveling for their HONEYMOON. What a brilliant idea!! One that is not on the registry. Hopefully not every single person in the world takes this idea because as a result, registries would be pointless, and brides would not receive anything they actually asked for (sorry bride-to be’s.) The best part of this idea is it is 100% customizable by YOU. Anything travel related, and— if you know where they are headed, you can customize your gift to according to that! Most of these items were bought at T.J. Maxx. Amazing deals.

Item number one:
Luggage tags: They are adorable + makes them feel fancy. For more travel gift ideas click mytagalongs.

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Item number two:
Tropical pens and Bucket List notepad — This is great if they don’t know exactly where they are going and it will get them motivated to actually throw some honeymoon ideas onto paper. My gf has kids and I didn’t want her to put off the trip forever! She deserves to go wherever her heart desires — and so does every bride.

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Item number three:
Neck pillows for two. AWH-dorable. One boyish, one girly-ish.

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Item number four:
Travel Backpack: Especially when it’s hot out. Nothing is worse than hauling a huge or uncomfortable purse around with your wallet, ID, passport, camera, etc. This Stylish, neutral, gold-studded backpack from my travel experience, is a necessity.

 

 

Item numbers five & six: 
Wanderlust bag & Franco Sarto shades.

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Item number seven:
Honeymoon dress. I probably should have gotten him swim trunks too, but I left him out. Sorry Scott, I said I wasn’t going to do that.

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Item number eight:
His & Hers mugs. I may have gotten a little carried away here because these don’t really have to do with travel, but they are so cute — AM I RIGHT?! Think of this gift as a filler or just because I’m my own person and I can give whatever gift I desire whether it’s relevant or not! #yourenotmyrealmom

 

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Item number nine:
All items placed in this cute pairs-themed tote finished with a pretty gold bow. Don’t forget the bow for the bride-to-be hat at the end of the shower! Maybe I am trying to sway where she decides to go for the honeymoon. Maybe it’s just a cute travel-themed tote that went with the flow, the world may never know.

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For more unique gift ideas that are sure to please the crowd, head on over to  👉🏼 annavasily: 15 Bridal Shower Gift Ideas To Stand Out

 

 

**This is not a sponsored post.

 

-E

The Best Food in Montréal

Where/What to Eat:

Those of you who know me, know that I have a deep love for food, probably deeper than the love I have for most humans. I did extensive research and strolled the streets of Montréal to find THE best food Montréal has to offer. Remember everyone speaks french in Montréal, but everyone also speaks English — thankfully, (since my bi-lingual skills are non-existent). Some restaurant menus are not in English so you really don’t know what you’re ordering. Oh the element of surprise. First comes my personal favorite.

1. Jardin NelsonEnglish Meaning = Garden Nelson

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This outdoor restaurant is called garden nelson for the obvious reason: You sit outside to enjoy the beautiful environment. Added bonus? Live jazz every day in the afternoon as well as in the evening. The food = small portions and the chef’s presentation is on point.  Helpful tip: get there right when it opens to avoid lines.  The lemon and rosemary chicken wings and maple glazed ribs were my absolute favorite. You’re welcome.

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You can buy a small pitcher of Sangria for $18, so make sure you bring your wallet. Not that you can tell from my duck face, but It was worth it.

 

2. Pizzeria No 900:

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Pizza is definitely one of my favorite foods, if not my absolute favorite. This bar/pizzeria is comprised of a trendy bar and gold accents making it look super edgy. I’m just as big on environment as well as the food so the first impression here is awesome. This little gem lays claim to the 5th best marinara in the world. After tasting the Margherita pizza, I can see why. I love a good crispy crust that can only be achieved by a brick oven, which is exactly how they make all of their pizzas.

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3. Paris Crepes

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Raspberry + Nutella, ‘Nuff said.

Crepes are a very popular french delicacy. They originated in northwest region of France, so it is no surprise Montréal stays true to its French roots. You can find crepes in almost every restaurant and café. The best place to get a crepe though — is a café that specializes in them. I give you, Paris Crepes. This place is cool for a few reasons. Its convenient location on the famous St. Catherine St. in downtown, Montréal is just one of many. It has a chill environment upstairs with giant open windows to savor your crepes while appreciating the downtown street view. This little café was packed at midnight with drunk people inhaling these things, but I decided to go in the morning for coffee. It was just as busy. It’s Safe to say this place does really well, and rightfully so. Helpful Tip: Bring your wallet, it’s pricy.

 

 

4. Comptoir400

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Pizza, wine, outdoor patio, and located in the heart of Old Montréal. That may have been an $18 glass of wine. Canada is a little expensive, but hey you only live once, YOLO. LOL.

Helpful Tip: **Literally every single restaurant you walk into in Old Montréal is honestly amazing. Every place is beautiful, the food is all amazing, and you can’t go wrong simply walking along near the old port and going to the first restaurant that catches your eye. You couldn’t possibly go to every wonderful restaurant.

 

5. Crescent St. AKA  Rue crescent 

Stumbled upon the BUMPIN’ street while wandering Saint Cathrine street. This is one of the coolest streets in Montreal as it relates to food. So many restaurants/bars and they are all packed out. Bachelorette parties walking by and everyone seems to be having fun. This street is not trashy in the least bit. Le Warehouse looked awesome, though I did not get the chance to go there. I did have a beer at Dundee’s, but I did not eat there. The restaurant/bar draws you in with their alligator sign and lit up torches out front. This street is a must-see.

 

6. Mlle Catherine

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Adding this because I really like ice cream and this place is adorable and so is my bf. Plus there is a little outdoor patio to enjoy your decorative waffle cone.