Monday, November 26, 2018

To Kenya With Love, & Without Luggage

Nairobi, Kenya
What a journey the last 48 hours have been. 

If you want to skip this recap part, please feel free to head below to the next part about Kenya.

In case you missed it, here is a recap so you know why I don't have luggage when I arrive:
*Really quick, I had changed my ticket earlier in the day (the day that I left) with the airline KLM. KLM contracts out to Delta in the USA until I arrive in Europe, then I fly KLM. Originally, I was to fly BWI > NYC > Amsterdam > Nairobi.
I changed it to be BWI>Detroit>Amsterdam>Nairobi
I did this to avoid Dulles. Big mistake. HUGE. (Pretty woman anyone?)
Also, please note the Amsterdam > Nairobi flight stayed the same. Or supposedly.
You follow? Okay here we go.
-Arrive at BWI
-Delta desk man says I can't have my boarding pass because I don't have a visa for Kenya (that I don't need yet. You see, you do need a visa to get into Kenya, but you don't get it until you arrive IN KENYA). He goes on and on about how I'm going to get in trouble.
-I search for 30 minutes on website where I can't figure anything out. Call my friend, she confirms I don't get it until I arrive. She calls her dad, an actual Kenyan diplomat. He says he can call the embassy. This is ridiculous that we are almost about to involve an embassy over wrong information and a guy who thinks he is very powerful behind his desk. 
-I get back in line. Wait another 30 minutes.
-I talk to same man again, tell him the embassy will get involved. Oh look at that, suddenly I'm getting a boarding pass.
- Except I don't, because now he can't find my ticket. He calls the airline, I call the airline. They say it has been fixed. It hasn't. I find this out later.
He says KLM changed it in their system but not Delta.
-This continues for an hour.
- He finds ticket, while still going on and on about how I'm wrong about my Visa.
-He calls me sweetie about ten times like I'm a woman who is just so stupid.
-Finally with an hour to go he finds what he needs, yells "good luck with that visa sweetie" (Sarcasm), then I get to security.
- I wait at the gate, go to board. 
STOP! They say the same as the man, I don't have a ticket.
-Everyone has now boarded, I'm sure I'm about to miss this flight. 
-The desk lady tells me "this is not my problem, I have other flights to deal with, oh well"
- At this point I let her know very sharply and loudly with many people watching, that it is in fact, her problem, since they messed it up and my luggage is about to leave without me and this is not okay.
- She eventually lets me on.
-The plane now needs fuel. This puts us behind by almost 45 minutes.
- I realize I am in fact, now going to miss my connecting flight in Detroit, which was the whole reason I changed my flight in the first place, which messed up everything, and here we are.
-It was a stressful flight.
- I arrive, everyone takes their sweet time getting off the plane and I have 5 minutes before my connecting flight takes off. I realize I am 5 gates away.
- I run harder than ever before.
- I reach the plane, everyone claps, I think I'm good to go now.
Arrival in Amsterdam
-I arrive in Amsterdam, sit at the gate, then prepare to board.
- They scan my boarding pass.
- DELTA CANCELLED MY TICKET when they couldn't figure out their jacked up system. I am not the first, in fact Delta was going around screwing up alot of tickets.
- They rebook me and inform me, I will most likely not be getting my luggage, since it says my flight was cancelled. They are still able to get me on the flight though.
- I call my friend Maria that I'm meeting in Kenya and my mom franticly. My mom looks into my luggage.
-My friend buys me stuff that I will need upon arrival (since I'm arriving at 10pm).
- I don't have any meds that I need, I had so many herbal supplements, antibiotics, and MG meds (plus inhaler) I was afraid of them confiscating at customs. 
I panic for the next 8 hours.
-When I arrive, mom informs me I'll be getting my luggage the next day.
Okay. I can deal with that.
Getting my luggage is another long story but yeah....

So that's the story. I now have my luggage.

Now, back to Kenya.
Here is what I have learned on Day 1:

1. The two main languages here are English and Swahili. This is because they were a British Colony but are now a one party state (as of 1964 they are the Republic of Kenya).
2. Anywhere you go, you will get a scan for security, bags checked, and metal detector.
This includes the mall, stores, and anywhere else. If you go to the airport, you get out of your car, and get searched.
3. You can get antibiotics over the counter. You just tell them what you need and they hand it over like Advil.
4. You can get free medical care at the mall.
5. You can buy a memory foam mattress for as low as $35.
6. Power outages are quite common, but no one really knows why. If you happen to be getting a pedicure and the lights go out, nothing stops. I found this really funny.
7. The currency can be figured out by dividing by 100. So if something is 1000 shillings, it is $10.
8. Tips are not expected at restaurants (of course we still do).
9. Uber is like $10 for a 40 minute drive.
10. Eggs are not refrigerated (similar to Europe).
11. Kale is chopped up for you when you buy it at a market.
12. Giraffes can in fact, head butt.
13. If you attempt to feed a giraffe by keeping your hand flat instead of using your fingers, they wrap their long tongue completely around your hand. I saw this happen to someone. 
14. Everyone is extremely nice and accommodating.

To see photos- check out my stories! I'll be saving them as well on my highlights. 
Oh and I have been VLogging!

Thank you so much to all of my friends and well wishers who saw my travel struggle. 
You helped so much! Thanks to Maria for having things to me when I arrived.
I have to tell you, even without my luggage earlier, I'm LOVING Kenya.

Tomorrow we leave for safari. 

Much love-

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Weekly Prep: Dog Edition

Baltimore, MD, USA
Something that has changed recently for Ella and I is my new office space.
Instead of me being home all day now, she is often alone for several hours (although not as many as it used to be when I worked my 12 hour days and she had a dog walker).

Something special I've started doing for her when I get home to ease the transition, is a daily kong.
If you don't already know- Kongs are rubber toys with a hollow center that can be filled with yummy treats for dogs. They come in several sizes and "strengths" as I call it, which you can see below. 
They also have puppy Kongs as well. They are most commonly used for crate training, but now we use them as rewards or boredom toys (it uses the mind to retrieve the things inside).
Kongs can be bought via Amazon, or your local pet store like our favorite PetValu.
We use Kong Extreme.

For reference:
Pink & Blue - Kong Puppy
Red- Classic
Black- Extreme

dog prep

Ella happens to love her food and eats it all. Because of this, I don't want to over feed her each day. 
So what I do is I put her food inside, but first I soak it in water. 
I layer the Kong with peanut butter too. 
To make this easiest, I'm going to put it in receipe format. 

dog Kong
Packed Kongs ready for freezer

1 Large Kong (this is dog dependent)
Peanut butter (make sure it's dog safe we use Skippy Naturals)
Dog Food
Small Bowl of Cold Water

Add dog food to small bowl of cold water, allow to soak about 5-10 minutes.
With a clean Kong, add spoon full of peanut butter to inside bottom of Kong.
Next, add spoon full of food (after soaking).
Continue to layer with peanut butter and food.
Put in freezer until use.

The water that the food soaks in will help it to freeze making it more like a freezy pop. 
You don't have to freeze a Kong, but this helps it last longer. Especially with my pup Ella who finishes everything super quickly. 
*They are also non-toxic and dishwasher safe

I also like to do 5 for the entire week so I don't have to make them when I'm tired and get home from work. Ella also doesn't have to wait for me to make them either, which she does, staring and drooling the entire time. 

Let me know what you think of this doggie prep idea!

Have a great week.


Thursday, November 8, 2018


Baltimore, MD, USA
This is my newest series of posts that include the questions that I receive the most often.
It won't be blog posts in a row (like the dating series), but rather as I run into the questions.
The last post I did like this (also the dating series) was centered around Why Are You Still Single? 
Which included a video post, if you remember.
Because it's becoming a common occurrence, I decided to start it on the blog.

When I first mentioned that I was taking a 10 day trip to Kenya, I received MANY questions. 
I still do. I guess Kenya is not normally what you would think when you hear the word vacation so I thought I would go ahead and explain why I chose Kenya. 

First, this is my 31st birthday trip (as in, I'll be 31 this year).
Someone recently said they thought I was 23- bless your beautiful soul. 
My birthday is November 30th, and I figured what better way than a trip to a place I've always dreamed of visiting: Africa
I haven't traveled since May and this is actually going to be my fourth international trip this year. With all of the traveling I've done throughout my life (Kenya will be my 13th country but 17th international trip- I've been to Paris three times and Canada 3 times), even four international trips in one year is pretty big for me. 

January - Bangkok, Thailand (UB School Program)
April- Toronto, Canada (Friend's Wedding)
May- Paris & Rouen, France (Graduation Gift to myself)
November- Nairobi, Kenya (Birthday trip)

So suffice to say- I'M EXCITED!

Why Kenya? 
I'll keep it short with two reasons (other than it's my birthday!):

Business Reason: Kenya is currently at the forefront of innovation.
I recently watched this video- and was so inspired:

I find it truly awesome what they are doing in Nairobi and want to learn more while I am there.

Personal Reason: I've always dreamed of going on a real safari since I was little, seeing animals in the wild, happy and free, being in a real safari truck on the African plains...I'm already starting to tear up just thinking about it. Africa has always looked so beautiful and welcoming, with such kind people. I can't wait for all of the incredible experiences that I'll have on this trip (and photos and things to blog about too! I can't wait to share everything with you all).

We will also be visiting the beach - Mombasa!
This will be my first beach trip this year. 

For some amazing photos ahead of time, I've been watching the Nat Geo Kenya Instagram.

I'm so fortunate to have made my friends who are Kenyan, one of which is going with me on this trip and being a personal tour guide! We've already traveled together (Thailand) and she's an amazing friend. I'm so excited for what is to come. 

I leave November 24th so follow along for the before, during and after. 

When I return I'll be hitting the holiday parties hard!


Monday, November 5, 2018

The Whiff Co.

Baltimore, MD, USA
Tomorrow is another #TakeCareTuesday 
(as well as voting day- don't forget!)

When the Whiff Co. reached out to me via instagram to talk about their company, I was very excited. Self-care has become a very important aspect of my life, one that is non-negotiable today.
I used to be overworked, overly tired and frankly just over it. 
I've had a few burnouts in my life. 
One came shortly after my dad passed away, because to cope with everything, 
I put my life into my work. 
Shortly after, I just couldn't take much anymore. 
Another came a few years after that. I was giving so much to the companies that I worked for, that I just wasn't thinking about myself anymore.

So enter The Whiff Co.
The Whiff Co. is a gift box company that allows you to give gifts from local makers to someone in your life who may need it (or yourself- hey I'm not judging and I certainly needed one). 

From their website:
When life gets dark, bring some light back into their life with a beautiful scented candle and aromatic bath salts; essentials for any moment of stillness and self-care. This gift box comes with The Firefly Pin: a beautiful reminder that they are not alone. Each candle is hand-poured and scented by Handmade Habitat in Washington, DC. The bath salts are hand-mixed and packaged by Priya Means Love in Baltimore, MD. The Firefly Pin is designed by yours truly, The Whiff Co.

the whiff co box
The goodies inside my box as described above.

I love the idea behind it all and I love that it is the gift of self care.
Do you know someone in your life who needs a little self care, who works too hard?
This could be the perfect gift.

Mostly, I love that they use local creators/makers.

You can also just send a pin, a simple reminder that your friends aren't alone.
Mental health is extremely important to me. And reminding people that mean the world to you that they do, is also important. What a sweet and simple gift that can mean so much to someone.
the whiff co pin
From the website
 The packaging is beautiful as well. As you can see above it comes in a nice wooden box, giving you the feel of airy clouds and is just a quality gift that you can share and it will mean so much. 

Check out their website here and let me know who you would send a box to!

Have a great #TakeCareTuesday tomorrow!


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