Summer. Do. 2017

Every year I compose my Summer. Do. list. This is basically all the things that I want to do this summer. It can range from 'go to a drag show' to 'get a darker tan'. I don't think I made one last year but since I'm getting back into the habit of blogging, her we are. So without further ado here is this year's ...

Summer-Do-20171. Rides at the Santa Monica Pier. 

2. Movies at the beach

3. Have a bonfire/ make s'mores

4. Eat sushi once a week

5. Go bike riding

6. Visit Catalina Island

7. Go swimming once a week

8. 24 hours in Las Vegas

9. Start geocaching again

 

So that's what I have up my sleeve for the summer. What are your plans? Leave them in the comments. I'd love to know! 

 

Amanda ❤

Summer 2017 Reading List

I realized lately that I hadn't been reading as much as I used to, so a week or so ago Bub and I spent an afternoon at Barnes & Noble. Now, I wasn't able to buy every book that interested me *Insert super sad face here* , but I was able to buy a few. Thankfully, Bub also picked up a few books that I was interested in so now we can share them, and I thought I'd show you. 

Summer-2017-Reading-List

Now these ARE affiliate links so if you decide to purchase any of these books that means that I could make a small commission from them. I mean, that could be cool since I'm trying to get BBG to a wider audience, but if you don't, that's cool too, but you totally should buy a book and read along with me, that way we can talk about it. Any who, I'm rambling now...

...ON TO THE LIST! 

  1. The Little Big Things: 163 Way to Pursue Excellence By Tom Peters 
  2. Driving With the Top Down By Beth Harrison
  3. Money: Master the Game By Tony Robbins (Bub's book) 
  4. How To Be A Bawse By Lilly Singh (I'm currently reading this one.) 
  5. Social Media Marketing for Dummies (Bub's book)  

 

Other books on the list include: 

  1. Superbetter: The Power of Living Gamefully by Jane McGonigal
  2. The Badass Librarians of Timbuktu by Joshua Hammer
  3. The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls
  4. Make Your Mind Up by Bethany Mota
  5. Murder On The Orient Express by Agatha Christie

What I've also been craving is to learn something. I want to read something that has some sort of workbook. Maybe learn a new language? If you have any suggestions on what else I should add to my summer reading list, or the type of workbook I should pick up leave it in the comments and I'll be sure to take a look into it! 

Amanda ❤

Ocean Trails Reserve Hike

A few days ago Bub and I decided that we wanted to go hiking. We were set on Point Mugu again when we realized we weren't quite in shape to scale that beast of a mountain, so we chose another trail closer to home. We ended up at Ocean Trails Reserve. You have to trek through a particular president's golf course to get to the trail that we went but it was worth it.

Ocean-Trails

Once we hit the bluff we took the trail to the left. It's unpaved, rocky, and the last five words on the precautionary sign read "proceed at your own risk". As soon as I saw that, I knew there was no way that Bub was going to go on the other 'safer' trail, so down we went. 

Ocean-Trails-Reserve-Wild-Flower

Walking-The-Shore-on-Ocean-Trails

Ocean-Trails-Waves

Ocean-Trails-Self-Timer

Hello-Ocean-Trails-Reserve

Ocean-Trails-Self-Portait

Ocean-Trails-Cairn

Of course I ended up picking up some trash. You guys, mylar balloons are NOT the business, they're cute for all of five minutes but when you release them, they almost always end up in the ocean. Also, there seems to be a lot of crab/lobster pots that wash up along this particular stretch of the beach so I've been trying to brainstorm a way to bring them up the narrow trail.

Secretly, I was hoping that I'd be able to find some rope to send off to Planet Love Life as a donation, and I did. Until it didn't want to budge from underneath the rock that it was stuck under. I asked Bub to try his hand at it and he couldn't do it either. I also hadn't even thought about finding any rope on our hike so we had no knife to try and cut it. "Leave it. That rope's not going anywhere." 

Don'tTellMeThatThisRopeIsn'tGoingAnywhereBecauseThisRopeIsGoingWithMe! I found myself a sharp rock and soon just started hacking away at it. I mean, when I'm determined, I'm determined. Ha! 

Overall we had fun though and I totally intend on going back to try and find more rope. Prepared for next time though, with a knife and some gloves.

Amanda ❤

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. 

What's-In-My-Beach-Bag

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. 

2/Sunglasses

    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! 

Small-Steps-To-Live-A-More-Ocean-Friendly-Life

  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

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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. 

February-2017-Gratitude

  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. 

My-Dad-Made-Me-a-Feminist

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 ❤