What's In My Beach Bag?

As somebody who practically lives at the beach, especially during the summer, there are a few things that I like to keep  in my beach bag that aren't beauty related, so I thought I'd share them with you. 


1/ You Had Me At Aloha bag 

    I actually picked this up from Ross about a week ago and needed to have it. Before this, I was using a mesh bag that allows sand to seep through so it doesn't get stuck. 


    A cheap pair that I bought at Santee Alley and then attached gemstones to. 

3/Purell Hand Sanitizer (Affiliate Link)

    As anyone who's been to the beach with me can attest to, I have a tendency to have mini beach clean-ups. It just comes naturally. I can't help but start picking up trash, so having hand sanitizer in my bag really helps when there aren't bathrooms to wash my hands. 

4/ Hawaiian Tropic After Sun Lotion (Affiliate Link)

    I'll admit that there are times when I forget how long I've been out in the sun and end up getting a little burned when I never intended to. This stuff smells amazing! (Coconut and papaya) It contains aloe and shea butter so it cools and relieves any burns and also helps to maintain your tan. 

5/ Hawaiian Tropic Tanning Lotion (Affiliate Link)

    Despite knowing how bad it is to tan in the sun, I really do love it, but to help achieve that tan a little faster I like to use this tanning lotion. 

6/ Beach Stakes (Affiliate Link)

    How many times have you laid down a blanket or towel on the sand only to have to find things to lay on the corners so it doesn't go flying away? Well these sweet little beach stakes help stop that. You just pull a corner of your towel or blanket through the hole, then dig the stake into the sand, and all is well.    

7/ Kindle Fire 

    Even though I try to keep my electronics away from the beach to keep from sand getting into them, I do like to bring my kindle to read my books. I never really know what reading mood I'll be in when I get there. With my kindle, I have my library with me. 

8/ Mexican Blanket

    I got this blanket a few years ago when I took my trip to Catalina Island


These are pretty much my bag essentials. What do you keep in your beach bag? 

Also, this post contains affiliate links which means that if you make a purchase through those links, I get a small commission. Thank you for supporting BBG! 


Amanda ❤

Small Steps To Live A More Ocean-Friendly Life

So tomorrow is Earth Day and if you've been wondering how you could live a more ocean-friendly life, I can tell you that it's not so hard. I know it may seem like a huge undertaking. I mean, what difference can one person make? The answer honestly is, a lot! It's also nothing earth-shatteringly difficult. Just making a few small swaps is all it takes and I'm here to tell you about them! 


  1. Don't Be Trashy

Make sure that the trash that you throw away makes it's way into the proper receptacles. Something that I've noticed during beach clean-ups is that there is usually an accumulation of trash near the trash cans. I guess people have a tendency to think "close enough." Well no. "Close enough" is when it's actually IN the trash can. 

2. Ditch The Disposable

Make it a point to use reusable bags, water bottles/cups, and containers. Keep a reusable straw and a fork in your bag so that you can use them whenever you're out and about. Plastic straws are one of the top five ocean trash items and easily get swallowed by ocean animals.

3. Say 'No' To Foam

Instead of biodegrading, plastic breaks down into tiny particles which are ingested by and kill fish. (Surfrider.org)


See, I told you it's not so hard. Just a few swaps and  you're golden. Which one will you implement first? 

Amanda ❤

Meet The Vaquita


This is the Vaquita. They are the smallest porpoise in the world. They never stop smiling, and there are less than 30 of them left making them the world's most endangered marine mammal.

They are critically endangered and their extinction is only imminent. Save the Vaquita Day is July 11th and they may not even make it. They are endemic to a small area in the upper Gulf of California.

Vaquitas are the most critically endangered marine mammals in the world, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Between 1997 and 2008, unsustainable deaths in gillnets caused vaquitas to decline from around 600 to 250. Since 2011, the resumption of illegal fishing for a large endangered fish (the totoaba) increased the decline to 34% a year, resulting in only 60 vaquitas remaining in December 2015. The swim bladders of totoaba fetch large sums of money in Hong Kong and Chinese black markets. In response to the alarming rate of decline, the Mexican government instituted a two-year gillnet ban throughout the vaquita’s range (2015-2017), increased enforcement with the Mexican Navy, and compensated fishers affected by the two-year gillnet ban ($72 million). Despite these substantial government actions, illegal fishing continues and will likely result in extinction of vaquitas in the next few years.

In 2015 the Mexican government implemented a 2 year ban of gillnets throughout the Vaquita's range in hopes that this would help the population recover. The Mexican government has determined that emergency action is needed to temporarily remove some of the remaining animals from their threatening environment and create a safe haven for them in the northern Gulf of California.

Officials estimate the plan will cost more than $3M in 2017 and will rely on a variety of funding sources, including donations from the public, private organizations and non-profit groups. There is an urgent need for immediate funding to avoid delaying efforts.

Every donation is vital in keeping these beauties alive. Every bit counts.

If you'd like to donate, or want to learn more about this precious little porpoise, visit VaquitaCPR.org

Amanda ❤

February 2017 Gratitude

I'm a firm believer in showing gratitude for the things that we receive. I like to take a few minutes at the end of the day to write them down and so here are all of the things that I was grateful for in February. 


  1. Spending time at the park
  2. Max sleeping in bed with me
  3. The rain
  4. Dance nights
  5. Taking my shoes off after a long day
  6. Starting water week
  7. School starts. My final FM class
  8. Falling asleep early
  9. I think I'm ready to take this fashion entrepreneur class
  10. The rain, again
  11. Hulu
  12. It being warm enough to go to the beach today
  13. That I don't have to pay of going to the doctor
  14. Spending time with Gary
  15. Antibiotic ointment
  16. Starting my morning with Daybreaker
  17. That Max didn't fight me when I gave him his bath today
  18. Getting off work early
  19. Reading while taking a hot bath
  20. Being able to trust the Universe
  21. That Gary comes back today! 
  22. Almost two weeks into my fitness
  23. Salads from SaladFarm
  24. Started Vaquita ad
  25. Work out Rest day
  26. Did the beach clean up
  27. Taking Gary to the Aquarium for his first time
  28. My bed after a long day

Do you regularly write down the things that you're grateful for? What are some of the things you were grateful for in February, or this month so far? 

Amanda ❤

My Dad Made Me A Feminist (And He Doesn't Even Know It)

With the word 'Feminist' being tossed around so aggressively these days like it's the worst thing a woman can be, I like so many other women in the world will proudly admit to being one.

Does that make me bad? No.

Do I hate men? Quite the contrary. 

What I can tell you is that I've been a feminist probably since I was about 10 or 11 years old. Although I didn't know there was a word for it back then. 


By the title of this post, you can probably guess who turned me into a feminist, although he did have some help from my mom. 

You see, when I was younger and in about second grade my mom would continually tell me that "can't" should never be part of my vocabulary. If you put your mind to it, worked hard and stayed determined, I could do anything that I set my mind to. 

And I grew to believe it. 

So as I was growing older my dad would come in and do the rest. 

"Get an education." 

"Get a good job." 

"Never depend on a man."

"Never put all your money into a joint bank account."

"Don't cry over a boy."

"Learn to do your own taxes."

"Learn how to change your own tires."

Because my parents were divorced, one of these lessons would be drilled into my head almost every weekend.  So I knew how to change a tire before I even knew how to drive. I knew that if I wanted something, to never depend on somebody else getting it for me. 

By the same token, my grandparents lived in a small town in Mexico where gender roles rule. Women and girls stayed in the house cooking and cleaning, while the men and boys got to go out and do things. They played sports. They played video games. 

Well guess who would be the one to get into trouble almost every day for questioning and rebelling against those gender roles? You guessed it! Me. I was constantly getting into trouble for playing video games in the small arcade, for climbing trees and throwing rocks and breaking glass bottles, and just being too aggressive for a girl. But I didn't mind. I liked it. I would hear my mom's voice saying, "Don't let anybody tell you that you can't do something." 

And if you were to ask my father whether or not he's a feminist, he would probably tell you that he wasn't. But here's the thing guys, if you want your daughter to get an education, so that she's gets a good job, so that she can support herself and not have to depend on a man, then you're a feminist. If you want your wife to be someone who works and contributes money to the family income, then you're a feminist. If you leave her to choose her own clothes, then you're a feminist. 

So Dad, thanks for making me the person that I am today. 

Amanda ❤

Photo A Day 2017 Week 1

Earlier this week I decided that I needed to start using my dSLR more often so I've been lugging it around with me for the past week. And I'll be honest, it's been so long that I've actually taken photos with it that I've almost forgot to take photos on a couple of days, but I'm slowly getting back into it. So bear with me for the first couple of weeks as I get a handle on taking photos again. Honestly, this Mental Floss article was the inspiration behind picking up the camera again. So every Monday, I plan to show you my week in photos. I don't intend to post the stories behind them or any other notes, just photos for the sake of photos. 

So here's to week one being down and 51 weeks more to go! 

Palm Trees; California; Sunshine

Birds of Paradise

Hollywood; Villa


Max Ammo; Girl and Cat


Max Ammo; Orange Tabby

Latte Art; Barista; Starbucks

Amanda ❤

How To Be A Good Starbucks Customer


 I know we've all seen those articles about why Starbucks baristas get your name wrong. Revenge and them being bored are usually what that whole thing gets chalked up to, but as a Starbucks barista myself, I'm going to let you in on a little secret. 

Promise not to tell, right? 



Here we go. 

It's because it's loud. 

Yup. There it is. That's the reason we get your name wrong sometimes. Also, it's kind of your fault as well, but.... hey!

For anyone who has ever worked retail, we know that the saying "The customer is always right" is total bull. Yes there are times when they're right, but there are also times when they're so terribly wrong.  So I'm here today to tell you how to be a good Starbucks customer because being a good Starbucks customer can come with a few perks. 

  1. Use Your Big Boy/ Girl Voice.
    So a majority of the time we end up writing the wrong name on your cup simply because we can't hear. There are so many noises going on behind the counter that you don't even realize. A couple off the top of my head are: Blenders blending, steam wands steaming milk for lattes, the espresso machine grinding espresso for shots, the safe beeping letting you know that it's ready to be open, the ovens beeping letting us know your pastry is ready, the coffee timer beeping letting us know it's time to brew more, the Ditting machine grinding beans for fresh coffee, the two hour timer beeping letting us know we need to change the sanitizer water, people having conversations in store, people having conversations on their phone, music playing, and depending on the store, the air curtain that starts up every time the door is opened. There is A LOT of noise.

    And these are all usually going off at the same time. 

    Here's how it might be your fault: You're speaking as loud as a shy 5 year old. Have you ever wondered why it seemed like we were always yelling at you? It's because we can't hear. When we say, "I can't hear you" and lean forward, that doesn't mean speak more quietly because yes, I'm trying to read your lips as well. 

    via GIPHY

  2. Assert Yourself
    This is for most of the people who use mobile order. If I'm on bar, yes I see you standing there, and unless you're a regular who I know by name or face, I have no idea whether you used mobile order, or if you stood in line. Don't just stand there on your phone or stare at me while I make drinks expecting me to know who you are, because I've learned to ignore the people standing around waiting.  I'm focused on these 20 drinks that are in front of me that need to get made. The only way I'm going to notice you is if you're standing there and I don't have cups queued and let's be honest, if it's the morning time, who knows how long that's going to be. 

    You are an adult. You just paid $4 for a drink. Assert yourself. Ask for what you paid for. 
    "Hi, do you have a mobile order for Josh?" 
    "I sure do! Here you go!" Proceeds to hand Josh said drink . 
    And that's when other people who have been standing around waiting for *their* mobile order come forward. We've been trained to call out mobile orders when they're done. If you're not in the store when it's finished, you might not hear that, so don't get mad at me when you've been waiting for 15 minutes and still don't have your drink. Come ask for it. 

    Like I just mentioned. We've been trained to call out mobile orders when they're done. If you ARE in the store when we call out your drink, again if I don't know your name or face, don't assume that we know who you are. I don't know whether you paid in store or through the app . 
    "I have a mobile order for Stephanie."
    If you don't let me know that you're there, then I'm just going to assume that you're still on your way to the store, and I'm going to continue to make drinks. A simple, "That's me!" or "Right here" will reduce your wait time. 

    via GIPHY

    3. Picture Us As Your Bartender
    With all those "Don't talk to me before I've had my coffee" or "But first, coffee" people out there, your morning brew is what you NEED in order to function for the day, right? Tips are pretty important to us. We notice them...and the people who give them to us. Just like being at a bar, you know you get better service or small perks from your bartender when you tip well. They're more attentive to you, they'll give you a shot on the house, etc. Now without incriminating myself, if you're a good tipper, more likely than not, you'll get little perks here and there from your local barista too. We're just trying to make the experience right for you. 



I know I'll get the inevitable comment of, "Well if you don't like your job maybe you should get a different job" or something along the lines of those who work at Starbucks not being the smartest. This isn't a rant post about how shitty *YOU* think *I *feel my job is. I actually love my job but this is more of a guide to help people get the best experience that we're trying to offer customers. What I've written are my own thoughts on how to get a better Starbucks experience and no way reflect the company. :) 



Amanda ❤

52 Quotes For Your 2017 Bullet Journal

The new year has just started and maybe you're starting to organize  your new bullet journal. OR you're like me and have been getting your bullet journal ready for a few weeks now. Either way. I like to have quotes in my BuJo to look at every week and so I've compiled 52 of them so you could put into your own BuJo if that's something that you also like to do. Let's go! 


  1. Happiness itself is a kind of gratitude. -Joseph Wood Krutch
  2. Some pursue happiness - others create it. - Ralph Waldo Emerson
  3. Success is getting what you want. Happiness is wanting what you have. -Dale Carnegie
  4. Happiness is a vine that takes root and grows within the heart, never outside of it. -Paulo Coelho
  5. Remember that happiness is a way of travel-not a destination. -Roy M. Goodman
  6. In spite of everything, I still believe that people are really good at heart. -Anne Frank
  7. When eating a fruit, think of the person who planted the tree. -Vietnamese Saying
  8. No wind favors he who has no destined port. -Michel de Montaigne
  9. True goodness springs from a man's own heart. All mean are born good. -Confucius
  10. A man cannot be comfortable without his own approval. -Mark Twain
  11. Those who are free of resentful thoughts surely find peace. -Buddha
  12. Be patient and calm for no one can catch fish in anger. -Herbert Hoover
  13. Action is the foundational key to all success. -Pablo Picasso
  14. I count him braver who overcomes his desires than him who overcomes his enemies. -Aristotle
  15. Manifest plainness; Embrace simplicity; Reduce selfishness; Have few desires. -Lao Tzu
  16. All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence; Then success is sure. -Mark Twain
  17. Without a humble but reasonable confidence in your own powers, you cannot be successful or happy. -Norman Vincent Peale
  18. If I have lost confidence in myself, I have the universe against me. -Ralph Waldo Emerson
  19. Self-confidence is the first requisite to great undertakings. -Samuel Johnson
  20. I am not a has-been. I am a will-be. -Lauren Bacall
  21. Put your future in good hands- your own. -Unknown
  22. Energy and persistence conquer all things. -Benjamin Franklin
  23. Remember that the man at the top of a mountain didn't just fall there. -Unknown
  24. Never let your head hang down. Never give up or sit down and grieve. Find another way. -Satchel Paige
  25. You just can't beat the person who won't give up. -Babe Ruth
  26. Winners never quit; Quitters never win. -Vince Lombardi
  27. Success is walking from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm. -Sir Winston Churchill
  28. It's not what happens to you that determines how far you will go in life; It is how you handle what happens to  you. -Zig Ziglar
  29. It doesn't matter who you are, where you come from. The ability to triumph begins with you, always. -Oprah Winfrey
  30. I'm a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more I have of it. -Thomas Jefferson
  31. Pleasure in the job puts perfection in the work. -Aristotle
  32. You do your best work if you do a job that makes you happy. -Bob Ross
  33. Knowing is not enough, we must apply. Willing is not enough, we must do. -Von Goethe
  34. The man who has no imagination has no wings. -Muhammad Ali
  35. You can't build a reputation on what you are going to do. -Henry Ford
  36. Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible. -Tony Robbins
  37. If you can dream it, you can do it. -Walt Disney
  38. One way to keep momentum going is to have constantly greater goals. -Michael Korda
  39. Honesty is not a policy, it is a state of mind. -Eugene L. Hote
  40. It takes less time to do a thing right than to explain why you did it wrong. -Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
  41. I have found that if you love life, life will love you back. -Arthur Rubenstein
  42. Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks about changing himself. -Leo Tolstoy
  43. Character is what you are in the dark. -Unknown
  44. One minute of patience can result in ten years of peace. -Italian Proverb
  45. You are responsible for you. -English Proverb
  46. Love all, trust few, do wrong to none. -William Shakespeare
  47. It is not fair to ask of others what you are unwilling to do yourself. -Eleanor Roosevelt
  48. A bad workman blames his tools. -Chinese Proverb
  49. We learn by watching and listening. -Japanese Proverb
  50. Win or lose, do it fairly. -Knute Rockne
  51. The time is always right to do what is right. -Martin Luther King, Jr. 
  52. Imagination was given to us to compensate for what we are not, and a sense of humor was provided to console us for what we are. -Francis Bacon

And there you have it! Go ahead and write them down in your bullet journal or stick them in a place to give yourself some motivation/inspiration! 


Amanda ❤