why you should use kayak explore

Why You Should Use Kayak Explore

Kayak Explore has quickly become one of my favorite websites for travel now that we’re on a budget due to our mortgage payment. It’s a travel tool that allows you to browse for flights to different destinations all over the world so that you’re able to find something in your price-range, and as long as you’re a bit flexible when it comes to timing and the location, you’ll have a blast booking travel this way.

Here’s why you should use Kayak Explore:


The obvious reason is that you’ll find cheap flights to fun places. Instead of becoming completely horrified when I have the urge to travel and find that a certain destination doesn’t work with our budget (like, at all), I go straight to Kayak Explore to see what we can afford. The website gives me reasonable round-trip options which is wonderful since air travel has become so expensive over the past couple of years. This is a great way to see the world and save money at the same time.


 Instead of having to dig around multiple travel and airlines websites for the best date/airline/price combination, Kayak Explore does all of the hard work for you.


Since moving back to the States and finally settling down in one location, we’ve discussed going back to Europe to explore all of the countries we missed while living in Scotland. Because of a quick Kayak Explore search, we completely changed gears and decided to purchase flights to Panama and Peru. We’ve never been to Central and South America before and that’s why this trip seems really exciting. Kayak Explore will broaden your horizons and I guarantee you’ll book a trip somewhere unexpected.


Looking at a map filled with flights from your current city to every location in the world? That’s fun. You can also give the website certain search criteria like weather and activities. Want to plan a ski vacation with your significant other? No problem.

Have you ever used Kayak Explore?

Other posts you might like:
+ 5 Tips for Traveling on European Budget Airlines
+ 10 Travel Photography Tips


Filed Under: Travel8 Comments

a weekend in wyoming

Today Morgan from The Misadventures of Morgan is sharing her favorite things to do in Wyoming. Since I’m dying to go to Yellowstone National Park to visit Old Faithful, this post couldn’t have come at a better time. Enjoy!

Weekend in Wyoming

When I was younger, I was utterly confused by the amount of people who would flock to Wyoming during their summer vacation. Having grown up in the state, I found it to be quite flat and boring. It wasn’t until I had moved away for a while that I realized how great the Cowboy State actually is. Classic case of “you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone”. Now that I’m back home, every weekend consists of a fun getaway to somewhere nearby. This is a state that I think everyone should experience at least once in his or her life. Yes, that means you! Are you ready to plan your perfect Wyoming weekend?

Sightseeing in Wyoming

Wyoming is a pretty large state. With over 97,000 square miles of land, there is quite a lot to take in. Luckily enough, I’ve done a bit of traversing around and have figured out a few of my favorite places that I think would be perfect for a weekend getaway.


This has got to be one of my favorite places in the country. While it stretches over both Idaho and Montana as well, the largest portion of the park is found in Wyoming. Yellowstone offers a huge amount of wildlife, landscape, and geothermic activity for you to explore. The great thing about the park is that it offers so many ways to get outdoors! You can hike, camp, boat, fish, drive through herds of bison, and even participate in a snowmobile tour during the winter! It’s a great way to get in touch with nature all while learning about the importance of land conservation at the same time.

Sightseeing in Wyoming

Favorite Activity: Old Faithful. As Yellowstone is home to the world’s largest collection of geysers (over 300!), it would be an absolute shame to miss out on the most famous of them all. Old Faithful erupts every 91 minutes, making it the most predictable geographical features on the planet.

Bonus: Yellowstone is also a massive volcano. The largest on the continent. So that is pretty dang cool.


Okay, so this is the town that I grew up in, but hear me out! Cheyenne is the capital of Wyoming, but with only around 60,000 inhabitants you are still able to get a country vibe with the conveniences of a city. The best time for tourists to visit Cheyenne would be the last two weeks of July. That is when Cheyenne hosts the world’s largest outdoor rodeo: Cheyenne Frontier Days. This is the perfect weekend getaway for those looking for a bit of rodeo and nightlife excitement. You can spend your day at the Native American Village learning about the many tribes that once roamed the Great Plains, or spend your time at the carnival enjoying the many rides and food vendors scattered across the midway. Every day there is a large rodeo featuring some of the best riders and ropers in the country. Every night there is a concert ranging from classic country to old school rock ‘n’ roll. If you aren’t so much for hiking but like to relax with a cold beer and good music, Cheyenne is your perfect Wyoming weekend location.

Things to do in Wyoming

Favorite Activity: During each rodeo they have a wild horse race. Dozens of teams of cowboys are each given their own wild horse (absolutely never been ridden), which they have to saddle and ride one lap around the arena. The first one at the finish line wins!

Bonus: Cheyenne Frontier Days was founded in 1897 and attracts nearly 200,000 people every year! What are you waiting for?


This beautiful national monument is not only a geological wonder, but it has a deep history with the Native American tribes that occupied the Northeastern corner of Wyoming. The story I was told as a child was one of a group of girls who were being chased by an extremely large bear. The girls ran to escape from the bear and climbed on top of a rock where they began to pray to be saved. Their prayers were heard and the rock began to grow up and up and up into the air with the girls on the very top. The bear began to claw the sides of the rock trying to get to them but it became too steep for him to climb. Once the rock reached the sky, the girls were turned into stars and were safely away from the bear forever. However, scientists actually believe Devil’s Tower probably eroded away over time from a much larger rock. This theory is quite less exciting but probably a bit more accurate. If you love the outdoors, paying a visit to Devil’s Tower is perfect for you! There are many miles of hiking land as well as the opportunity to scale up the rock itself! The surrounding area also boasts many dude ranches where you can take a guided horse ride in the forests surrounding the tower. This is a relaxing area where you can learn a little Native American folklore or try your hand at the cowboy lifestyle, all while having the beautiful Devils Tower in a picturesque background setting.

What to do in Wyoming

Favorite Activity: Hiking around the base of the tower. This thing is ridiculously tall, 1267 feet, so the couple hour hike around the base is unreal. Especially when you see the tiny little people free-climbing their way to the top.

Bonus: There were many names for this monument before one was decided: Bear’s House, Bear’s Lair, Home of Bears, Bear’s Lodge, Bear’s Lodge Butte, Bear’s Tipi, and even Grizzly Bear Lodge. In the end however, they ditched any mention of ‘bear’ and decided on Devil’s Tower.

Sunset in Wyoming

Wyoming is a vast landscape with some beautiful peaks and fantastic valleys. It is definitely the ideal vacation spot for those with a little bit of love for the outdoors. If you are up for an outdoor adventure keep the places mentioned above in mind for your next outing! The Cowboy State is the perfect place for a weekend getaway from the hustle and bustle of city life. And I’ll be here to welcome you with open arms!

You can find Morgan here:
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Filed Under: Guest Post, Travel, Wyoming11 Comments

$100 cash or phone photography giveaway

Cash or Phone Photography Giveaway

You guys, I’m super excited for this giveaway. Since it will be one of my last sponsor giveaways for a while, I wanted to offer readers something fun… and what’s better than cash and photography gear for your phone? If you love snapping photos with your iPhone like me, you’re going to go wild for Photojojo’s phone lenses, mobile tripod, and their pocket spotlight. And if photography isn’t your thing, pick the cash and spend it on something nice because you deserve it!

The Rafflecopter entry widget is located below, but first, be sure to visit the bloggers who made this possible: Route Bliss, The Misadventures of Morgan, P.S. Remember This, Jodi Bean’s Blog, Snow in Tromso, and Reasons to Dress. Good luck!

Giveaway Rules:
+ Giveaway will be live from August 18 – September 29
+ Must be 18+ or have parental consent to participate in giveaway
+ One winner will be chosen and verified on September 29
+ Winner will be notified via email and given 48 hours to respond
+ If no response, a new winner will be chosen
+ Giveaway is open internationally but if out of USA, winner will choose Paypal cash instead of photography bundle
+ Hosts are not responsible for lost or damaged goods

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Filed Under: Giveaway59 Comments

excerpts from my childhood diary

Excerpts from my Childhood Diary

My parents unloaded a bunch of my childhood “stuff” at our house when they stayed with us in mid-July, and although Brandon wasn’t too excited to go through more cardboard boxes, he found all of my journals to be extremely amusing. Let me first start out by explaining that I was a dramatic child. And weird. And if you took the time to read every single page, along with the random year-long breaks in between (I apologized to my diary for constantly leaving cliff hangers), you’d find the different stages of life I experienced. Plus sibling drama, ex-boyfriends, mean teachers, an obsession with boy bands, and poems — lots of poems. Needless to say, we all sat around the living room for a solid two hours and I read my entries aloud until everyone was in tears. Then my parents wondered if I’m actually related to them.

And now… excerpts from my childhood diary. Spelling errors and all.

1. August 12, 1991 – I love lamp cats.
I love my cat Nicki it is a girl we are getting another cat. I LIKE CATS.

A day later…

My cat is very prity she is cyot we play together.

A day later…

We are gitting another cat she belogs to my bother Jon. (Note: We didn’t acquire another cat for a while. I kept lying to my diary because I was so damn obsessed with cats.)

2. May 1993 – Every gold fish should have a proper name.
I got two gold fish there cute. there names are Rick and Jessica.

3. December 25, 1994 – Deep thoughts.
THIS IS WHAT JON IS!!!!!!! Green slob. Green blob. Green poopa wad. His poop is green because he eats his SNOT SNOT SNOT!!! (even tho it’s Christmas he’s that!!!!!!!)

4. December 26, 1994 – Dabbling in Poetry.
Hinky Dinky Little Winky Go Buy Food From My Friend Stinky. Stinky Likes To Eat And Eat So This Will Be A Little Treat!!!! I Skipped Some Pages OOPSY!

5. July 1996 – Future poet.
I made up these new, fun but stupid songs heres one of them: Take me out to the Oregon game take me out to the game. Buy me some ox and cornmeal sacks I don’t care if I ever get back to Oregon City. Where I’ll go down in fame cause it’s 1, 2, 3 strikes your dead in the Oregon game. THE END!!!

6. August 1996 – Rude boy boy.
Today my boyfriend dumped me! Well, really it was two days ago, yeah, it was at a football game an awesome game. We won the other team 42 to 0 and right there he had to do it, he had to dump me. He said Rachel I want to act cool like I have more than one so every body has a chance to be my girlfriend but he really didn’t have any more girlfriends, but… I guess he did. I was his number 1 chose as a girlfriend he said, but he is stupid and I don’t like him anymore. (HA HA HA)

7. April 15, 1997 – Bunny drama.
I just woke up and I kinda still feel sick. I hope its a better day today. We have play practice. Gotta go see ya…

After school…

I was wrong, today was almost the BEST day of my life cause I have another pet. A baby bunny it’s name is (I think I’m not sure yet) Spicy Jr. Panecake FooFoo. Its a little baby we found it outside in my back yard without a mom or any other bunnies so we adopted it. Gotta go to bed! See ya!

A day later…

Today the rabbit or bunny was eating a little bit. I want to take it up to my room so I better go and clean it. Bye.

After the cleaning…

ITS NOT FAIR! :( :( :( I can’t put the rabbit in my room and I cleaned and everything just so I could and I can’t! :(

8. May 3, 1997 – Runaway.
Today I am running away. My dad, brother, mom, sister, ect. dont like me. Dad says he would rather have me gone then stay here. :( I know its the right thing to do. Bye.

Later that day…

Ok so the running away thing didn’t work out so well!!!! My dad didnt let me even go out of the house probably cause mom would get mad but I know he wanted me to leave. Oh well. BYE! Rachel

9. May 7, 1997 – Death and Boyz.
Well this is not a special memory but oh well. My bunny died it was horrible. I cried and cried he was gasping for air and it was so scary. He did in his cage. I was really sad. Well I gotta go.

A day later…

Today was okay I guess. I still miss the rabbit. It was so cute. Today Mike gave me a ring and I lost it. I didn’t tell him cause he would get mad. He’s really nice. Mr. K (band teacher) is being a jerk! At first he was really nice! Tomorrow I have band!

A day later…

Today me and Brandon broke up. We went out for almost… a long time. I got tired of him. HE HE HE HE. Gotta go!!!

P.S. I missed my bus!!

10. August 8, 1998 – The boy list.
My boy list. OOOH AHHHH.
1. Justin Timberlake
2. Brian Littrell
3. Lance Bass
4. J.C.
5. Nick Carter

11. August 11, 1998 – The pits.
OMYGOSH yesterday Amber made me shave my armpits. See I’ve never had to cause I don’t have any hair there and she made me. Last night I spent the night at Ambzers it was da bomb!

12. September 1998 – Dumped… again.
I’m sad Jeremy dumped me at a football game because I wouldn’t sit with him but before that we went to Brenna’s party and he say by me, had his arm around me and danced with me. He also asked if he could kiss me but I said not today (IM SO STUPID!) Now he’s going out with someone else and she won’t even dance with him! – Rachi

13. January 1, 1999 – Betches be cray.
I know it looks weird: 1999… scary I’m almost 13!! Cool huh??? Okay I’m playing basketball and I’m on the “A” team and a guard. My friend slapped me in the face cuz she’s mad so I thought wut the heck? I don’t have to put up with this crap! Well you guessed it! Shes not my friend anymore and I’m happy-go-lucky!! See ya, Rachi.

14. February 9, 1999 – Don’t hate the player, hate the game.
I dumped Calvin he was a jerk. I’m going out with Ryan he’s really nice and I hope we last long (as a couple). I like him sooo much!

A day later…

Today went okay. Ryan doesn’t really talk that much at lunch when he sits by me. We talked more when were were just friends. Oh well. I might dump him.

15. June 18, 2000 – I’m so fancy.
My friend copies EVERYTHING I do. My clothes, my sayings, my SN on AOL, my hair. For God sakes!! That woman shops in my closet!!!!!

Some thoughts while reading my work:
+ I didn’t like punctuation.
+ I had a lot of ex-boyfriends.
+ The ragey teenage stage probably drove my parents nuts.

I could go on but this post is getting out of control.


Filed Under: Lifestyle24 Comments