16 March 2020 – Appreciate What You Have Today

Weekly YES Quote!

“Why didn’t I learn to treat everything like it was the last time? My greatest regret was how much I believed in the future.”
Jonathan Safran Foer, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

Weekly Reflection

I’m just going to start by calling out the elephant in the room: COVID-19.

The more news I watch on television, scroll through on Twitter, and hear about from coworkers, friends, and family members, the more I realize how important and quickly things can change.

How priorities we once had have become depriorities: going into the office, going on a coffee date with a friend, hitting the gym on your lunch break… all these social activities or activities that take place in public places are being dismissed left and right as the priority of social interaction has been traded out for isolation and quarantine.

How the big meeting you’ve been stressing and busting your ass preparing for may be pushed weeks out. How much hair did you lose in the process that now seems like a big ol’ waste of time?

How professional sporting seasons and concert hall performances are getting cancelled. I mean how many of you already made your March Madness brackets and got all stoked to talk smack and win some money only to find out that the event won’t be happening?

Hell, we can’t even go to the supermarket to purchase toilet paper because everyone and their mother is buying it all up! Like seriously people!?

We need to focus on what we have now and be present in our daily lives.

It doesn’t do us any good to only look ahead to the future when everything can change in an instant.

This week’s quote is from a book (Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close) about a 9-year-old boy, Oskar Schell, whose father dies suddenly in the tragic collapse of the World Trade Center on 11 September.

How often do you catch yourself taking things for granted like your parents, your animals, your siblings, your partner, your coworkers, your car, your job, your housing location, your housing situation, your meal preferences, your dedication to your country, your philanthropic contributions to society…

Maybe not all of these are applicable to you, which is more than okay, but how often do you stop to appreciate the person or activity in the moment when it’s actually happening?

Weekly Challenge

I won’t give you a cliche wash your hands for 20 seconds minimum challenge – though please do to prevent the spread of germs. And, oh yeah, cover your mouth when you cough, thanks;)

Instead I challenge you to reconnect with someone you’ve lost touch with.

I want you to really dig deep to consider who that someone is.

I want you to listen to your gut.

And when that first name pops into your head I don’t want you to erase it Etch A Sketch style or try to come up with someone else.

Write that someone’s name down, write down the reason they popped into your mind, open your phone for what its intended purpose was, and dial the number pertaining to that person.

There’s a reason that someone came to mind – DO NOT IGNORE that reason.

It likely isn’t going to be easy or might even be a bit uncomfortable, but if it was going to be easy and comfortable then that someone likely wouldn’t have come to mind.

Maybe that someone isn’t even someone else. Maybe that someone is you.

Whoever that someone is, show them the attention they deserve and listen to them when you talk to them. Be honest with that someone and allow yourself to reconnect.

You never know… you or they may not be here tomorrow.

Reminder to Just Say Yes and Follow Me!

As always, say yes to experiences that present themselves to you! Life is full of fun and wonder – don’t be stuck at home wondering what life could be like, should be like, would be like… drop that nonsense! Get out there, say yes, and never look back!

Click on the links below to follow me on my social media accounts, and definitely subscribe to the blog for more exciting Yescapades!

As a disclaimer, I was not paid by any of the above linked sites. This review is solely mine without any monetary compensation. I will however receive a kickback from the affiliate links if you choose to make a purchase.

9 March 2020 – Time to Get Uncomfortable

Weekly YES Quote

“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”

Elizabeth Appel

Weekly Reflection

Have you ever thought to yourself, wow it would be so awesome if or if only X would happen it would make everything so much easier?

Like, fill in the blank with that if  thought you’ve got floating around in your head right now!

Now think about what you may need to do for yourself to achieve that if

Is it outside of your knowledge base, thought up current reaches, or comfort zone? Well, I have a news flash for you: it’s time to get uncomfortable!

You deserve the best and NO ONE… I mean seriously, no one… is simply going to deliver it to you on a golden platter.

Take myself for example – I’m tired of living paycheck to paycheck while trying to reduce my debt, save for property to have as my own in a location I want, and have enough PTO and money to comfortably travel to see the world and the people I care about most.

Being a single woman in Southern California doesn’t exactly offer me the opportunity to do all of the above – California is only becoming more expensive

When I think about the how to make my if I had enough money statement a reality I become extremely nauseated because until recently I had no idea how to change my financial situation and that scared the hell out of me.

But so what!

I have the power to do something about it and make that if a reality and so do you!

Or, you and I can just get mundanely comfortable where we’re at with no room to blossom.

In true Aly Yes Ma’am fashion (with all due respect of course)… fuck that.

Weekly Challenge

I challenge you to write down your list of ifs.

Brainstorm what would…

  • make your life better
  • relieve stress and take some serious weight off your shoulders
  • help fulfill a void you’ve been feeling lately
  • bring a smile to your face and fill your body with giddy joy
  • help improve the life of someone dear to you who may be going through a rough time

Then I want you to jot down how you’re going to make moves to change these if situations.

Don’t put too much pressure on yourself – that won’t help the process.

Instead, if you’re having trouble, take the process slowly.

Maybe…

  • taking 15 minutes away from your phone to disconnect from the social media world will make your life better by helping you to refocus your efforts on yourself instead of what you see everyone else doing.
  • eliminating an unnecessary task like having to grocery shop at 5 different stores in order to make 1 meal will relieve some stress that’s been building in your life lately.
  • volunteering for that organization you’ve been meaning to reach out to or give your time to to help a cause dear to your heart will help fill a void you’ve let sit and possibly grow.
  • going for a hike, enjoying a solo coffee date, going to the movies to catch that new flick, or cracking open that new book you haven’t had time to read will put a fatty grin on your face.
  • picking up the phone to call that someone you’ve been thinking about will make their day.

Whatever it is – DO IT! Don’t hesitate to get uncomfortable in order to improve your life!

For me, I joined the Arbonne business to provide me with the flexibility of earning additional income so that I don’t have to give up and settle. Arbonne is the perfect avenue for my busy life schedule to provide me with the additional income I crave to kick my ifs to the curb.

There’s a solution for each of our if scenarios.

We just have to be determined enough to figure out what the avenue is, and when shit gets real uncomfortable… we have to step up to the plate and swing for the fence!

Never let the uncomfortable keep you from a better, more rewarding life – you owe it to yourself.

Reminder to Just Say Yes and Follow Me!

As always, say yes to experiences that present themselves to you! Life is full of fun and wonder – don’t be stuck at home wondering what life could be like, should be like, would be like… drop that nonsense! Get out there, say yes, and never look back!

Click on the links below to follow me on my social media accounts, and definitely subscribe to the blog for more exciting Yescapades!

As a disclaimer, I was not paid by any of the above linked sites. This review is solely mine without any monetary compensation. I will however receive a kickback from the affiliate links if you choose to make a purchase.

The Future of Fashion is Thrifty: Best Thrift Stores in San Diego

Today’s Fashion Scene is THRIFTY AF

Stop the Madness – Stop the Retail Shopping

As a materialistic society (don’t roll your eyes you know it’s true) we’re constantly searching for the latest trends in fashion, and there’s nothing that you can’t order online and have delivered to your door within a couple of business days.

But is that really what we should be doing as a society?

Should we really be spending our hard earned cash on retail material items from Nordstrom, Nieman Marcus, Macy’s, Forever 21… even going deeper into household items such as Bed Bath & Beyond, Target, Bath and Body Works… I could write an endless list of retail stores. And don’t get me started on Amazon…

Be Thrifty and Shop at Thrift Stores

More and more people are making the switch and going the thrift store approach to stop the madness of crazy high price tags and supporting the overabundance of sweatshop support and overpopulation of material just… excuse my French… shit.

So why should you shop at thrift stores you might be asking? – Well, let me share with you some awesome reasons why thrift store shopping is of great benefit:

1. Thrift Store Shopping is Better for the Environment

That’s right my fellow environmentally aware friends – thrift store shopping is better for the environment.

We have enough junk floating around causing more and more pollution. People shop on the regular, outgrow stuff (physically and emotionally), and then simply decide to discard or donate the items. And where do you think those items go?

SCIENCELINE did a study on The Troubled Second Life of Donated Clothes of where donated clothes wind up, and the results shouldn’t surprise anyone: while some of our donations are able to be re-sold at Thrift Stores, the others are shipped off to other countries or end up in landfills.

2. Thrift Store Shopping is Good on Your Wallet

Thrift stores, like I hit on before, carry donated items that are seen as holding value to modern day consumers.

Some popular brands I’ve been able to stumble upon at thrift stores include Madewell, True Religion, Free People, Anthropologie, Calvin Klein… and all for a fraction of the price!

So not only are you helping with the reuse / recycle mentality to keep items from being dumped in the laps of other countries or from winding up in a landfill, but you’re also helping purchase quality items that don’t break the bank!

And hey! The longer these items are able to be passed from hand to hand – because let’s face it, you’re going to grow tired of the items at some point likely and end up donating them back into the stream – the longer they stay out of the trash.

3. Thrift Store Shopping Sparks Creativity

How tired do you grow looking at advertisements from The Gap and Old Navy?

They seem to put out the same dull “designer” look no matter what year we’re in or fashion trend seems to be going on. Like, hello, where’s the creativity?

Thrift stores are full of gems waiting to be unearthed and incorporated into your wardrobe!

Trends are always coming back around and into fashion. Use high waisted / super-tapered pants for example! Extra low-rise pants are a total thing of the past and high waisted is so in again. Just wait, bell-bottoms aren’t too far away from becoming mainstream again – I’m calling it!

And that’s what’s great about thrift stores: you never know what you’re going to find, but wouldn’t you rather find it at a thrift store for the fraction of the price knowing you didn’t contribute to the landfill down the road or worse the landfill across the pond?

San Diego’s Best Thrift Stores

So, without further ado, I want to share with you the best thrift stores in San Diego based on their selection, mission, and other fun factors that make them the best thrift stores to shop at.

Flashbacks Recycled Fashion

fashion

Photo from Yelp

Flashback Recycled Fashion is a thrift store located at 576 S Coast Highway 101, Encinitas, CA 92024.

This thrift store wins major points for… you guessed it… flashback items!

Talking to creativity this thrift store is never a miss. This thrift store carries wigs, costume jewelry, wacky and business appropriate belts, and off-the-wall-where-did-you-find-that clothing / shoes / accessories / jackets… you name it!

Whenever I’m in the mood for something different to really set the tone for my wardrobe I think of Flashbacks Recycled Fashion thrift store.

Thinking about going to that fun costume party your neighbor was talking about the other day, rave in the desert you’ve been wanting to attend, or general outfit face-lift you’ve been meaning to undergo… look no further than this thrift store. You’re bound to find something that’ll give you the extra edge you’re looking for!

AMVETS Thrift Store

Team Amvets Thrift Store is a thrift store located at 3441 Sutherland St #2031, San Diego, CA 92110.

Now, there are many Team Amvets thrift stores throughout San Diego County, but this specific location is by far my favorite for nick knacks, trinkets, and household items.

Need a set of plates or glasses? Looking for some board or video games? Trying to furnish your apartment, house, guest house, or vacation rental? I recommend checking out the AMVETS Thrift Store.

Furthermore, proceeds from purchases at AMVETS thrift stores go towards supporting veterans my providing programs and services.

Buffalo Exchange

buffalo

Photo from Buffalo Exchange

Buffalo Exchange is a thrift store located at 1079 Garnet Avenue, San Diego, CA 92109 in the Pacific Beach neighborhood.

Whenever I’m looking to sell and buy I look to Buffalo Exchange as my primary thrift store.

They will buy gently used shoes, clothing, and accessories such as handbags that are vintage, trending, or seeming to sell well (like high-waisted pants, shorts, and skirts).

This thrift store offers 30% of the selling price for those who want to keep the cash and bounce, or they offer 50% of the selling price for those who wish to receive store credit or go shopping same day.

If you are interested in selling I highly encourage you to go during the week. If you can’t go during the week because you work a 9-5 M-F grind like myself, I suggest you arrive early and plan on waiting a while… like at least an hour.

And don’t be discouraged if they don’t choose to buy your items from you – styles and what they’re buying change on the regular. Either keep the items for another day, put them for sale on Poshmark, or simply drop them off across the street at The Goodwill.

Now YOU’RE Thrifty AF

Consider making the change to thrift store shopping. You’ll be doing the environment, your wallet, and your creative fashionista personality a thrifty service.

Reminder to Just Say Yes and Follow Me!

As always, say yes to experiences that present themselves to you! Life is full of fun and wonder – don’t be stuck at home wondering what life could be like, should be like, would be like… drop that nonsense! Get out there, say yes, and never look back!

Click on the links below to follow me on my social media accounts, and definitely subscribe to the blog for more exciting Yescapades!

As a disclaimer, I was not paid by any of the above linked sites. This review is solely mine without any monetary compensation. I will however receive a kickback from the affiliate links if you choose to make a purchase.

27 January 2020 – Be Present Today

Weekly YES Quote

“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it…”

Ferris Bueller

Weekly Reflection

We live in a world crowded by social media… nothing new to anyone in this statement! It’s completely overwhelming the amount we check our:

Instagram (likely at least 5X per hour),

Facebook (likely at least once per day),

Pinterest (likely at least three times per week – I’m daily),

Reddit (likely at least once per week)…

[insert social media here that takes you away from focusing on you]!!!

In an effort to focus on myself and pay more attention to me, I started keeping a daily journal. Simple right!

I take roughly 3 minutes in the morning to reflect on what I’m grateful for, what would make today great, and to set a daily affirmation. Then, before going to bed, I take roughly 2 minutes to jot down what went great that day and what could’ve made the day even better. SIMPLE!

The daily journal kicks off with a reflective quote (similar to how the weekly yes quotes are setup) and low-and-behold there was my favorite quote from Ferris Bueller!

He makes a beautiful point about stopping and enjoying the present.

If we’re constantly going going going as our cultural pushes us towards, we’ll miss out on all the wonderful things going on around us.

We wake up, walk out the door, bust ass at our jobs, maybe hit the gym / grocery shop / cook dinner after work, get ready for bed, and then wake up the next morning to do it all over again. We get caught in this never ending do-loop, and rarely do we stop to look around, and more importantly, do we stop to focus on ourselves.

Weekly Challenge

While going through your normal routine this week stop and reflect on how you feel while performing the regular actions:

  • Do the actions bring you joy?
  • Do the actions seem mundane and lackluster?
  • Are these actions your idea or someone else’s?
  • Is there a new action you’ve been wanting to add to your routine?
  • Can you spice up the actions to make them more interesting or desirable?
  • Are you focused during the action or do you catch your focus slipping away?

Take some time this week to really pay attention to yourself and your needs.

It’s 2020! A new year! Start it off right by focusing on #1: Y-O-U

Reminder to Just Say Yes and Follow Me!

As always, say yes to experiences that present themselves to you! Life is full of fun and wonder – don’t be stuck at home wondering what life could be like, should be like, would be like… drop that nonsense! Get out there, say yes, and never look back!

Click on the links below to follow me on my social media accounts, and definitely subscribe to the blog for more exciting Yescapades!

As a disclaimer, I was not paid by any of the above linked sites. This review is solely mine without any monetary compensation. I will however receive a kickback from the affiliate links if you choose to make a purchase.

In Search of the Edge: Cactus to Clouds – Mt San Jacinto

Cactus to Clouds

“The Edge…There is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over. The others-the living-are those who pushed their control as far as they felt they could handle it. They pulled back, or slowed down or did whatever they had to when it came time to choose between Now and Later. But the edge is still out there.”

Hunter S. Thompson

Impulsive Hiking Decision

Tuesday afternoon my phone lit up with a text from one of my good friends, “Can you do Cactus to Clouds tomorrow?”

My friend, Russ, and I had been casually talking about doing the strenuous 22 mile hike a few months prior, but we had never worked out the details.

I knew it was a tough hike, but I had done tough hikes before. I had the gear and the time off, so why not? I don’t have “yes” tattooed on my body for no reason (seriously, I have “YES” tattooed on my body)!

Getting to the Trailhead

Russ is a pilot, so we decided against the 5 hour drive and instead took a Cessna 172 over to Palm Springs.

We started the morning flying over the mountains at sunrise while relaxing and taking in the views the desert had to offer.

We arrived at the trailhead a little after 0700 where the usual signs greeted us: “stay on the trail,” “pack out what you pack in,” and our personal favorite “hiking beyond your ability can result in injury or death.” After all, the best hikes are the ones that warn you of death, right?

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Commence Hiking – Skyline Trail

The trail started out pretty well marked considering the portion of the hike from the desert floor to the tram isn’t maintained by the state. Though as we gained in elevation, the trail began to lose clear markings of where it truly was.

We lost the trail several times and had to boulder over massive rock piles in the general direction of where we were going in hopes we’d find the trail again. Although this was actually pretty fun, we didn’t take into account how much extra energy we were expending.

We were still smiling at 5,700 feet (1,737 meters) when we stopped for lunch, patted ourselves on the back for how much we had climbed in elevation, and how good we felt.

5th hardest hike in North America? Yeah, maybe to some people we thought, but not us. We fueled up on good food and an equally good view at flat rock. Then figured we’d reach the top by sunset, take some sweet pictures, and be back to the airport by 2000. Oh man, were we wrong.

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The Traverse from Hell

Shit got real, real quick: the stops for pictures thinned, the GoPro stayed in the pack, the climate quickly changed from sunny desert to snowy alpine, and the grind really began.

2,000 feet (610 meters) of elevation gain over 2 miles (3.2 kilometers) is no joke: the temperature dropped into the 40’s, the sun disappeared above the trees, and the dirt trail started accumulating more and more snow. It was when the trail started handing us 60% inclines that we started cursing at ourselves for thinking we were too good for trekking poles.

Those 2 miles (3.2 kilometers) took us two hours! But when that glorious patch of blue sky appeared in the distance, marking that the traverse from hell was finally coming to an end, we felt rejuvenated.

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Tram to Summit

Only 5.5 miles (8.9 kilometers) left to the summit. 10 miles (16 kilometers) down, 11 miles (17.8 kilometers) to go. Wait, what? We had been hiking for over 7 hours and we weren’t even halfway? Thank goodness this thought didn’t sink in. We were just happy to be on a flat trail, for now.

Despite the trail being completely covered in snow, from the tram to the summit the trail was clearly marked since we were now in the state maintained portion of the hike.

As we passed the ranger station we paused to layer up, fill out our permits (these are required from the tram to the summit and they’re free), and head out into a winter wonderland.

The last stretch! I kept thinking we could still reach the summit by sunset, but 5.5 icy miles (8.9 kilometers) in 2 hours was not going to happen.

However, we did get a sunset over Wellman’s Divide, which was 2.3 miles (3.7 kilometers) from the summit. It was insane! That remarkable sunset will forever be burned into my memory – not only because of how beautiful that desert sunset was with our birds eye view, but because of how hard we worked to achieve that view.

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The last little bit of light in the sky was leaving as we broke through the trees and revealed the twinkling lights of Palm Springs where we had started some 12 hours prior. 10,834 feet (3,302 meters) was so close!

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The wind was brutal once we scrambled the last little bit to the top, but nothing to that point has been more satisfying than holding that San Jacinto peak sign with our barely working, frozen hands.

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Summit to Tram

After slipping and sliding on the way up, we decided it was best to throw the crampons on for the decent down especially since it was pitch black now.

Ten minutes into our descent Russ turns back to me and says, “We really should’ve put these on 4 hours ago.” All I could think to myself was, we also really should’ve brought trekking poles

Even though we were now heading back down in elevation, altitude and exhaustion was hitting us hard. Full blown headaches, hallucinations, tunnel vision… I think all the bravado of making it to the top had left our bodies, and we were just ready to be done.

I kept zoning out until my headlamp would catch a snow drift, and I’d think I saw something moving out in the woods. My head was on a constant swivel despite telling myself that nothing was out there. Rocks were turning into animals, trees were turning into people… I was tripping hard.

Russ was speaking complete nonsense, or my brain was incapable of understanding any meaningful conversation at that point. Likely a combination of both. The only thing I could make out besides the routine grunting were variations of the F bomb.

Hitting the 1.7 mile (2.7 kilometer) marker was almost a better feeling than reaching the summit.

As beat up as my body felt at that moment, I was ready to run to the tram. I even calculated how much time it might take us based off the trail conditions and the darkness. It could all be over in less than 20 minutes if we just ran… (Later on we both talked about how we thought about asking the other if we just wanted to run it out, but between altitude sickness, ice, and pure exhaustion neither one of us suggested it out loud).

Tram to Airport

FINALLY the ranger station!

We dropped off our permits so they would know we were alive in the morning and saw the sign for “TRAM 0.3 mi.”

It was almost over! Then the most soul crushing part of the hike hit. The last 0.3 miles (0.5 kilometers) were a zig-zagged, concrete ramp. That’s one lap around the track plus some change straight up.

At this point it was 2100 and for whatever reason I had convinced myself that the last tram was at 2115 (it’s not, it’s at 2145). I was in full panic mode.

Russ had really slowed down due to the altitude sickness, and there was no way I was letting us miss the tram. I didn’t even pause to take my crampons off my boots. I just started running up the hill from hell using my arms to pull myself up the railings. There was no way we were spending the night on top of this mountain. Side note: if you do get stuck on top, the ranger station keeps its heated bathrooms unlocked and that’s where you bunker down for the night. 

I burst through the doors to an empty room, and ran up a flight of stairs nearly colliding with a group of housekeepers. One read my mind before I even had the chance to ask. He looked at me apologetically and said, “It just left, I’m so sorry you missed it.”

My heart sunk. Just as I was about to burst into tears I heard a voice behind me say, “Don’t worry. There’s another one at 2145.” The voice behind me belonged to Jodi, the woman who was our saving grace for the night.

The problem with there being another one tram down at 2145 was that we had to be at the airport no later than 2200, otherwise we weren’t flying out that night.

It’s an 11 – 15 minute tram ride down, and another 15 minutes to the airport from the bottom of the tram parking lot. No matter what you do, 26 – 30 minutes of travel time cannot turn into less than 15 minutes.

Jodi, our tram angel, called for a special tram to come up just for us so that we could make it to the airport (potentially) in time. Shout out to Jodi! You were our MVP that night, and we’ll never forget you.

We called an Uber just before boarding the tram and kept our fingers crossed that the Uber would be waiting for us at the bottom since you lose service immediately once you start going down the mountain. Luckily another angel in disguise was waiting for us.

Our Uber driver knew service in the area was bad, and she waited for us instead of taking off when we didn’t answer our phones. As soon as we got in the car, Russ politely asked her to drive as fast as she was comfortable with since at this moment we had 12 minutes to make it to the airport on time. Her response was perfect, “Don’t worry. I used to drive an ambulance.”

Holy moly did that woman take off! We were estimated to arrive at the airport 4 minutes past closing, and she got us there 2 minutes before 2200. That woman was a road animal!

We burst through the doors at the airport, checked out, and were at the plane by 2200 exactly.

Hiking Cactus to Clouds – Not the Best Impulsive Idea Even for the Most Advanced Hikers

I would not suggest doing this hike on a whim.

Everything that needed to go right, went right for us, but we were lucky. We were reliant on factors outside our control, which can always go sideways.

That being said, Cactus to Clouds is an epic adventure! If you’re in good shape and you have your gear in check, go for it. It may not be enjoyable the entire time, but you’ll be stoked you did it.

What was in my Pack, and What did I Wear?

Always, always be prepared for long hikes!

Seriously, you cannot be over-prepared. We went through all of our water and food, and put on all of our layers before the end of the hike. If we hadn’t packed the way we did, we might’ve not made it – sometimes being lucky just isn’t enough.

Cactus to Clouds Packing List:

I couldn’t find my trekking poles that morning (again, impulsive decision) of the hike otherwise I definitely would’ve packed them. So, below is the list of items I should’ve packed:

  • Trekking Poles
  • Thicker Gloves (My hands were barely working at the summit)
  • Salt Tabs (shout out to Russ for bringing some, however I would bring more next time)
  • GU’s or some other quick carbs

Reminder to Just Say Yes!

And, more importantly as always, say yes to experiences that present themselves to you! Life is full of fun and wonder – don’t be stuck at home wondering what life could be like, should be like, would be like… drop that nonsense! Get out there, say yes, and never look back!

Follow ME 🙂

Click on the links below to follow me on my social media accounts, and definitely subscribe to my blog for more of my exciting Yescapades!

As a disclaimer, I was not paid by any of the above linked sites. This review is solely mine without any monetary compensation.

However, I will receive a small kickback from Amazon if you purchase any of the items linked to Amazon. As always, I only link to items I believe in! I would never lead you astray.

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