Monotony will kill you

When people say "I love to travel" what a lot of them really mean is "I love to vacation". There is a big difference. 

If you want everything to be perfect and go right and you always want be comfortable and relaxed then you like to vacation.

Traveling, by nature, involves a certain amount of pain. Some sadness. Some hardships. Some bad moments. It's challenging and not easy.

Never before have I had such a roller coaster of a trip than my recent stint in Costa Rica. It can be perfectly summed up with this wonderful quote:

Travel quote by Anthony Bourdain

Travel may make me want run away and crawl under a rock sometimes but I've never found anything so worth it. It's opened my eyes to not only new places and experiences but how to be a better me. In those moments I successfully navigate a new city or make new friends with total strangers, I find a piece of me comes alive in a way I don't experience at home.

Anyways, here's Costa Rica & Nicaragua:
Playa Madera, San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

#Skelfie

I'm obsessed with my Halloween costume this year so don't mind me while I post a million #skelfies.


Skull planter

I have this thing with skulls.

Skull planter | A fickle heart


So when I found this ceramic skull "pencil holder" at the Mall of America (no longer available but here's a mini key chain version) I was a very happy girl. I immediately knew I was going to use it as a planter - I mean, have you seen how cute skull planters are? So I bought a succulent (okay my mom did), put some rocks in the bottom for drainage and made myself an adorable little desk planter. 

5 tips for visiting Paris

How to travel in Paris

Ahh Paree. Perhaps the most romanticized city in the world and on nearly everyone's bucket list. I've been lucky enough to visit Paris twice and while I'm no expert, I thought I would share some lesser spoken-about tips that I've picked up during my visits.

1. Try AirBnB.

Our sunset drive through Paris with our Airbnb host and her friend
When looking for a place to stay, try Airbnb! If you don't know what Airbnb is, it is a great alternative to hotels or hostels. You can rent a room or an entire apartment from a local resident - who are screened for safety by the way. If you rent a room then the owner will be living in the apartment during your stay and they can be an excellent source for tips and recommendations.

I rented a room with a friend during my first time in Paris and hit the jackpot with our host. She was so nice, so gracious and so helpful! She and her friend even drove us around the city at sunset so we could see the Eiffel Tower light up. Staying with her made my trip extra special and helped us feel more like city insiders and less like tourists.

2. Lower your expectations.

Arc de Triopphe with scaffolding
Arc de Triomphe with scaffolding. Not what we were expecting but still beautiful!
Wait, hear me out! I don't mean to say Paris is not great but keep your expectations in check. You probably won't sit front row at fashion week or be swept off your feet by two hansom young men named Jean and Michel (I know, I know - Mary Kay & Ashley did so that means it happens to everyone right?). Paris tends to be over-romanticized and if you build it up to this magical city where every moment is a fairytale, you will be disappointed. Don't get me wrong, Paris is a lovely city with great culture, people, art, food and wonder but it is also a huge metropolitan center with homelessness, noise, litter, traffic and pollution. I still think Paris is a city worth visiting but don't put it up on a gilded pedestal. Arrive with an open mind and you will experience the city in its own way. 

6 tips on visiting Versailles

6 tips on visiting Versailles, France


If you are visiting Paris, I absolutely recommend visiting Versailles. And here's how you do it:

What is Versailles?

Versailles (pronounced vair-sigh) is a town some 15 miles outside of Paris. When most people mention Versailles, they are actually referring to Château de Versailles or the Palace of Versailles. It was built in the 17th century and has been home to the lavish French court and famous rulers including King Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette and later on Napoleon. The palace and smaller estates sit on a more than 700,000 square feet property filled with gardens, fountains, canals and even its own farm.
Illustration of the Versailles estate

How to get there

  • Easiest way to get to Versailles is to take the train. Take the RER C line and get off at the last stop for "Versailles Château". Parisbytrain.com has an awesome detailed guide of exactly how to do this and buy your ticket. It's a great resource for navigating all of the Paris metro lines.
    A smaller palace on the Versailles estate

  • BUY YOUR RETURN TICKET BEFORE YOU ARRIVE. Seriously, just select "round trip" when you buy your ticket. Don't wait to buy it at the station at the end of your visit. You will be tired, hungry and have to wait in an extremely long line of tourists struggling with the ticket machines at the train station if you do.

What's in a shoe?

Guess leopard print hightop sneakers

Never taking off my new Guess leopard print, high-top sneakers.

If Scarves Could Talk

A close up of a gray knit scarf worn with a two toned faux leather jacket.

If scarves could talk, this one would have a few stories to tell.

Let me explain...