Updates from Instagram

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I WILL update you all with my adventures but creating blogposts has proven difficult while traveling. I have been updating my Instagram (@city_loveee). Feel free to follow our adventures there! Also, we bought our return tickets. We will be back in Southern California June 14th. Definitely expect updates of our travels this summer! 

- Christina

Best of Paris, France

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Paris was lovely. I was freezing, but it was lovely. I came to realize that I had never been in cold weather for as long as I had been. Between London, Dublin, Cardiff and now super cold Paris, my body was wondering where Southern California had gone. We we’re only in Paris for a few days (because it would be a crime to pass Paris on our way to Spain without stopping for a bit. & it’s likely that we’ll return later in the trip.) 

I studied the French New Wave (a French film movement) in college so I really wanted to see the beauty of Paris. And Paris IS beautiful. Unfortunately, for us we did experience unkind treatment from some Parisians. For us, the language barrier did prove to be difficult. But we did have a great time nonetheless. 

As we traveled to Bordeaux we were told that it’s more Parisians that want travelers to speak French, not necessarily the French want you to speak French. We experienced much more kindness in Bordeaux & the language barrier was less of an issue. (I would love to create a post about our time in Bordeaux but I actually became ill from how cold I was in Paris. I was shivering in Paris, so I was sick in Bordeaux. :( But here are the photos I posted on Instagram from Bordeaux. Here & here.)

Although we did enjoy the city of love!

Where We Stayed:
We’ve been enjoying our accommodations with Airbnb. We stayed here while in Paris and found it to be a great central location, & a great space to sleep, cook & hang out. We could even see the Eiffel Tower from our window! (See here!) 

What We Did:
We bought a ticket for the Paris Bus Tour that traveled around Paris so we can see all of the sights. Paris is truly a beautiful well planned out city. The monuments were specifically placed so you can see them from far distances throughout the city. Another fascinating fact is street leading to the Palais Garnier (the opera house that inspired The Phantom of the Opera novel) purposely has no trees so you can see it’s beauty from far away. No trees block the view!) It’s really worth it to go on the bus tour so you can see all of the monuments in a few hours & get some fun facts while you’re at it! 

Where We Ate:
We honestly ate in a lot. We frequented all the different markets in Paris to gather supplies for dinners in. There were a lot of baguettes, fruit & pasta with vegetables. We did go to a vegetarian restaurant called La Verrière. It was buffet style with plenty of vegan options. (You load up one plate with what you want. We were confused on if we could go back for seconds.) There was a language barrier with the gentleman pointing out the vegan options to me. He pointed to a grain based salad and said it had tofu. Turned it out it was cheese. I found out pretty quickly it wasn’t tofu. I’m not going to beat myself up over these vegan fails. They’re bound to happen. If we return to Paris I really want to try Hank Vegan Burger

So that was our experience in Paris. Have you been to Paris before? What did you like?

By the way, we we're in Paris on March 19th - 22nd. I'm a little behind on posting our whereabouts. If you're interested in more up to date posts, feel free to follow me on Instagram! (@city_loveee)

- Christina

Dublin Lush Haul

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I feel that in every city we visit there is a Lush storefront. Fortunately for me, Lush is 90% vegan, cruelty free & an ethical company. All of which I consider when I make my beauty and cosmetic purchases. 

While in Dublin, I knew there were products I was in the market for, so I stopped in. I knew I needed shampoo & recently heard about their shampoo bars. There are SO many options for their shampoo bars. & they work perfectly for traveling because it’s one less liquid product to worry about. I decided on Godiva Solid Shampoo Bar because it is both a shampoo and conditioner bar. (That way I wouldn’t have to carry my conditioner anymore!) It smells lovely and really leaves my hair soft, shiny & light. 

I was also in the market for some lotion. I told the sale associate that the New Charity Pot Body Lotion that I had been using was really greasy on my hands (& would take forever to sink into my skin). He said that it can be greasy because it has olive oil in the ingredients. He suggested Handy Gurugu. I tried it on my hands it’s a smooth body butter consistency. I liked it immediately. Unfortunately after I purchased it, I realized it’s just a hand cream. It doesn’t bother me to rub on the rest of my body. Oh well. 

Then I thought that Lush carrying toothpaste was a long shot, but I know they carry a lot of different products so I decided to give it a try. He informed me that they have a whole line of toothpaste flavors. Lush takes pride in their reduced impact on the earth so they strive to have packaging that will be able to be recycled or reused. Typical toothpaste tubes apparently cannot be recycled because there is no way for the product to be completely out of the tube (according to the sales associate). So Lush created Toothy Tabs which are a solid form of toothpaste that you dissolve in your mouth to create a paste in your mouth. Fascinating! The packaging comes in a little cardboard box so there is less impact on the earth. I’ve been using this product for a little over a month and have found that I only need half a tab to have enough toothpaste (I just bite off half and put the other half back in the box. I tried cutting it with a knife and it just makes a mess). The paste lathers really well and does a good job and whitening. 

I’ve really enjoyed these Lush products and suggest them highly. Lush is becoming one of my favorite stores & I’ve become a little obsessed. Are their any Lush items you love? Any suggestions for future purchases? ;)

- Christina

Update From Europe

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So traveling blogging is hard. I can't believe how long it's been since I last posted. Since I've last posted we have been to Paris, Bordeaux, San Sebastián, Bilbao, Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia & now we're in Seville. It has been a whirlwind of fun. 

I miss blogging. I miss the blogging community. I have gathered a lot of content over the past weeks but it's just a matter of getting them into the form of a blog post. I have a 10 hour train ride from Seville, Spain to Marseille, France on Sunday. (We'll only be in France briefly because we're on our way to Italy!) I'm going to start writing some blog posts so I can been more active again. 

Just thought I'd say hi. Tell me how you've been? It would nice to hear what normal life is like. Haha.


- Christina

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The photo above is of Valencia, Spain.

Best of Cardiff, Wales

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WHERE WE STAYED:
We stayed in our first hostel! & it was so funky/cool. The Bunkhouse Hostel has a great location being near the train station. They have a cafe/bar area that is decorated with bunting, Christmas lights, and origami cranes. It was very cozy and welcoming there. The staff is lovely and I highly recommend it. 

WHERE WE ATE:
The first and only night we stayed in Cardiff we ate at Bar Revolution. This restaurant and bar is huuuuge, nicely decorated and at the time we went (5pm) it was rather empty. But we found the food and staff to be lovely. The price point was perfect. For 3 euro we got a discount card that made our bill half off (that deal was specific to Wednesdays). I had a veggie burger that we modified to be vegan by removing the sauce. & there was a buy one get one free special on cocktails. 

The next day for lunch, I was pleasantly surprised to find a little cafe, The Plan, that had three vegan options on their menu. They offered a vegan sandwich, curry and salad. I opted to get the vegan sandwich before we hopped on the train to Paris. It was delicious and came with a yummy side salad. 

WHAT WE DID:
The reason we went to visit Cardiff was for the boys (my boyfriend Keith & our friend Sean) to visit The Dr. Who Experience. (Sean is a diehard Dr. Who fan.) I was not too fond of attending the experience so I opted out. Instead, I walked around town to do some shopping. 

eyes lips face is a vegan & cruelty free cosmetic line that has a storefront in Cardiff. Who would have thought? I was happy to see there was a whole store with vegan makeup. I wasn’t in the market for makeup but I was happy to see the availability. 

I needed to replace my vegan probiotic and I found a natural health food store down the street from where we were staying (Beanfreaks). I was talking to another man staying in our hostel and he informed me of Holland & Barret health food store. It is a chain of small health food stores throughout the UK, one of which was walking distance from our hostel. After one of the hostel employees pointed me in the right direction, I was a 5 minute walk away from getting my probiotic buy one get one free. Woo! 

I know going to find a place that offers vegan probiotics isn’t necessarily riveting material, but things have been difficult sometimes being vegan on this trip. I have eaten MANY potatoes, in the form of fries (chips) and chips (crisps). But it has evened out with meals full of vegetables. I was pleasantly surprised at how vegan friendly Cardiff was. I will definitely love to return. 

- Christina

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