ART HOTEL

IBIZA sits in an archipelago located at the southern mouth of Spain.

ar·chi·pel·a·go
/ˌärkəˈpeləˌɡō/
1. An Archipelago is a landform that is a group of many islands. Some of the most famous archipelagos of the world are many of the islands around Japan, Hawaii and the British Islands.

The weather sits about 90 degrees daytime, it hardly rains and it’s really nothing less than paradise which makes it a trendy beach destination in Europe.
Nude beaches, fresh seafood, a plethora of unique shopping, wild nightlife, young people, old people, budgeters, rich, famous DJ’s,  tourists of all accents, and nationalities.  It’s a melting pot of vacationers from all over the world!

I was in Paris, France, for a work trip in September and with my weekend free, I thought… why race back to the States and instead spend some time cheaply jet setting around Europe.

With a recent interest in Ibiza, my mission to find a place that had something to do with “A”. Ibiza ends with an A but couldn’t find anything else about Ibiza that I could make some sense with. Hmmm… wtf could I make “A” about. And then I start doing research of Ibiza. See, I always try to find a way around it. Whether it be a sea or river, city, country, museum etc..

Then BAM!

AN ART HOTEL. 

And that’s how I ended up in Ibiza, feeling guilt-free. Booked a $150 roundtrip 90-minute flight from Paris, and took off.

PARADISO IBIZA ART HOTEL!

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I’ve never stayed at an art hotel but heard a little about them.

They are unique boutique-like hotels with art-like concepts catered to trigger creativity, though poppy colors and designs.

Art Hotels are typically priced higher than regular chain hotels. Personally, already thinking how hotels overcharge, compared to comfortable and spacious Airbnbs it’s hard for me to book an expensive small-boxed hotel. But this one was so cute!

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Digital Nomad Tip: What service or influence can you exchange for a discount.? You can’t just exist, that’s what tourists do. You find a way to hustle.

I emailed the hotel manager, offered video/photos/influence and, they agreed and made staying at this artsy boutique hotel would be both affordable and full.

Welcome to Paradiso Ibiza Art Hotel. This hotel’s point focus on bold, vibrate colors with a playful chic atmosphere.

This place is definitely a vibe.

The neon, colors, design, the poolside DJ and the fact that there was tattoo shop available on site made this experience worth coming to Ibiza. Of course I hit the town and beach, but I hid away at this fascinating hotel a little more, soaking up this little artsy slice of paradise. I’d totally recommend this place to anyone. Adults only, so keep the kids at home.

xoxo,

A.

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$imple Tip$ to $ave Thousand$ on Travel

I get it. Traveling can seem expensive if you’re not doing it right. Flights, hotels, transportation, food, and excursions. It can seem intimidating when planning a trip. For some, those separate entities quickly add up, it freaks you down, you shut it down.

Or the best excuse, “not now, but someday I’ll be able to afford it.” And that is where most fantasy escapes go to die. In the “someday pile” that never happens because life will always continue to happen. Cars will need new tires, childcare will always be expensive and, cheap dates, gas, and new winter boots will likely get most of the free money that could have taken you around the world.

I’m here to tell you to quit that bullshit and start planning the trip of your dreams. Here are four simple tips, I’ve come across to make the journey much more affordable and the memories grand.

  1. Pay attention to when/where and how to book your flight. 

I am a slave to google flights —It’s personally my favorite website. There is nothing that gets my adrenaline going more than trying to figure out a route to get to the various locations for the best prices. Figuring out what city will give you the most affordable flights, calculating layovers and other commutes such as train rides, and cabs to lock in the right price. Sometimes, it’s pretty simple. You’re flying internationally?.. find the closest international airport if it’s not in your hometown. Europe? New York airports will be the cheapest. Going to Asia? Take off from Seattle or Portland.  According to my great friend Wikipedia, here are the top 10 international airports in the U.S. They are usually the cheapest when flying abroad.

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You can find round trip prices for quarter of the cost you may find leaving from your hometown. That’s a simple part of traveling that a lot of people overlook. If you’re somewhere in the middle of America, like I am here in the midwest, check all the surrounding airports within a 300-mile radius to ensure you’re getting the best price. You’d be surprised how a $20 Megabus ticket or train ride to the next big city saves you hundreds of dollars. Less cost for flights, more money for the vacation. Also check into travel deal sites such as Scott’s Cheap Flights, Skyscanner, and Hopper. I personally love Google Flights for the ability to track price cuts and alerts on when to book its lowest fare.

Flight Example:
Flight cost Detroit to Thailand $2200
Flight cost Chicago to Thailand $681
Train from Detroit to Chicago $32
Flight Savings– $1500

Simple, right?

2. Be flexible.

When deciding on where to go definitely take the tourist seasons into account. Greater demand, higher prices.

To get the best price, and in my opinion, the better vacation, being flexible in the time of year and weekday will give you the best bang for your buck. Planning tropical escape around the holidays will cost notably more than a random excursion in March. And going in March will free up space that would otherwise be occupied by crowds of annoying tourists getting in the way of your epic scenic photos. 

If you can, tell your job you need Wednesday- Tuesday off as opposed to Monday-Friday. Flights are much more affordable leaving on a Tuesday or Wednesday than a Friday afternoon. Airlines need you to fill the plane. Lesser demand, lower prices. Easy. From personal experience, I’ve also found Tuesdays and Wednesdays the cheapest day to book internationally. 

3. For the love of God stop booking hotels.

I dodge most hotels when traveling. With a world of Airbnb, it’s hard to be contained in a small box with a bed and maybe a microwave. Again, doing some research, get to know the area before you travel and if it’s safe to be out on your own, try to find other accommodations. Airbnb’s are usually half of what hotels costs. And there, you find kitchens, backyards, and probably some sort of a grocery store right around the corner. If booking in advance, luxury, spacious, Airbnbs can be quite attainable.  You can relax in a local space where you don’t feel like your wasting your vacation away stuck in a tiny hotel. In a location filled with competition resorts, many Airbnbs step their game up and offer full kitchens, multiple bedrooms, bathrooms, hot tubs, pools, rooftop terraces, amazing views, “instagramable” ambiance etc. For my trip to Tulum, we were faced with options.

Example:
5 nights in Tulum, Mexico.
Ahau Tulum “resort type” hotel: $400/night
Luxury, 2 bed/4 bath Airbnb:$100 night
Savings: $1500

Another option, my favorite, especially for solo traveling, is hostels.

If you plan on spending more time on the go, than relaxing in your room, then save even more money and book a hostel. I’ve stayed in dozens of hostels throughout the world, and while every hostel is a bit different, if you’re someone who prefers traveling being out and about all day, why spend boatloads on a room you’re only partially using? If traveling solo, hostels are great for meeting others like yourself. Because they are shared space,  bring a lock, and use the room to get some sleep. It can easily turn that $1000 accommodation bill into $100.

Example: 5 nights Antwerp, Belgium
3-star hotel “Diamond and Pearl”– $105/night.
5-star hostel “Yust” — $25/night
Savings: $400

My hostel experience in Belgium met every need a traveler could want and need. Yust, located in Antwerp, is an exceptional hostel equipped with a gym, laundry, cute spacious lounges, free coffee/tea, a restaurant on-site, in-room clean bathrooms, private bunks, and just an overall ambiance that could easily be mistaken as a 5-star hotel. I felt like I was cheating the system only paying $26 per night. And while every hostel certainly doesn’t drip 5-star-ness, you’d be surprised where $25 could get you. If you’re not someone who likes sleeping amongst strangers, private rooms are also an option for a little more.

Every hostel is different though so do your research. 

4. Don’t be a fat hoe.

I get it. Traveling to a new place and trying all kinds of enticing dishes seem like a dream. At least to me, it does. But let’s be real, unless you’re budget allows you to eat out for every meal in your hometown, why tf would you do that when you’re traveling. Yelp will influence you to take all of your money without you even realizing it.

Convenience? Perhaps. Saving, hell no.

**unless you’re in a place where the dollar stretches far, like Thailand ok**, but even then save your money**

Find a local store, and plan your meal. A person can easily spend $25 at a restaurant for one meal. Times that by how many times you have to eat, and that can add up very quickly. Grocery stores around the world offer vast food options, and street food is a great way to taste local dishes, cheaply. If you’re in a space where you can turn groceries into cooked meals, even better.

Example: 10 meals in Tokyo, Japan
$25 –restaurant meal
$10– street food
$75 — groceries for the entire week
Savings: upwards $175

Trading in high fees for a consistent meal is where so many go wrong. Stop wasting your money on food that will eventually become waste in your toilet as well. Get enough to eat wherever you chose to dine, but try not to break your bank while doing so.

So there you have it. Here are my top 4 tips on how to travel smart, and save on budget while freeing up money for actual adventures. It seems easy but so many people fail on these simple steps and overspend by hundreds or thousands. You don’t have to be rich to see the world; being smart helps though. 

xoxoxo,

A.

 

Be Careful What You Wish For

Be careful what you wish for. At the beginning of 2019, I made a resolution —for 2019 to be the year of TRAVEL. Not that I was necessarily new to the idea of getting up and go, but I wanted 2019 to be different. There were so many places, I’d once put as bucket list and eventually I knew I had to start crossing some of those destinations off.

It was December 31, in a chilly, yet sweaty Toronto bar that I cheersed 2018 away and all that came with it.

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12/31/18 — New Years Eve, Toronto, ON

 I wanted to step into 2019, open arms with a goal to do what makes me the happiest — traveling.

Be careful what you wish for because it will come true. The universe listens and what we focus most on will come to be eventually (Reasons why positive thoughts are so important).

Knowing I’d eventually go somewhere for the entirety of April, like my previous annual travel trips, I started planning for a month’s escape to tackle Europe for the first time.  However, as the year started to unfold, I realized 2019 would bring me to so many other places other than the Europen frontier.

It wouldn’t just be my normal one-month getaway. The entire 2019 would be an adventure around the world that started with one simple wish with magic.

While there’s so much to unfold and layers of how I got to this point, it’s now the beginning of December and I’m stuck in awe of how I pulled this off.

I am literally spooked looking back at my year. I’ve been on the road traveling, more time than I spent at home. With more than 26 destinations, my average of going through airport security is twice a month, and sometimes more than that. I have never been on the go so much of my life that I practically live out of my suitcase. 26 destinations down, with two, left and this Detroit girl is officially dizzy. While my love for film is always intertwined with my escapes, it’s gotten pretty difficult to keep up my normal momentum of going and editing. It’s like I get home, try to unwind, and before you know it, I’m off again.

I have hundreds of hours of footage I’ve only barely skimmed through. In the mix of planning, going, and doing freelance work for others, I try to stay on top of things but in reality, in 2019, I haven’t had much time. Much time for anything at all honestly besides getting to my next destination.

Never boasting, and always humbly grateful. This is where 2019 has taken me thus far.

Toronto (2x)Atlanta (4x), Las Vegas (2x), Chicago, Tulum, New York, Amsterdam, Antwerp, Paris (2x), Geneva, Antibes, Monte Carlo, Alkmaar, London, Arcadia, Alaska, Astoria, Mackinaw Island, Los Angeles, Ibiza, Phuket, Miami.

2020 will definitely be different. It has to be. Ya girl needs more stability and while I joke about staying in Detroit and staring at my ceiling for months next year, I’m serious.  

While I haven’t had much time to give y’all much of anything, besides the few pics I’ve posted on social media, I’ve accumulated so many that I want to dump out. Maybe I’ll get some editing done in time for the month of April. Stay Tuned!

A video of what summer was supposed to be… Until I realized I had the rest of the year to travel.

2019 Summer Series

Make sure to subscribe if you don’t want to miss a beat. 

Happy December!

xoxo,

A

Sarah & Jon Paul Kubala

I did my first wedding y’all!

OK, so wedding videography is completely new territory. Never having filmed a wedding came with a lot of anxiety days leading up to the big day. My love for film and creating digital content didn’t fail, well… almost. Here’s a look into me trying something new for the first time.

Morning of September 28, 2019

Scrambling, anxiety, etc.

Having not done this before, I really didn’t understand what I was in for until the wedding rehearsal the night before. I instantly knew I needed another camera and a little help of another cameraman wouldn’t hurt. Panicked, I freaked out. I called on some people but was left short for me to do it on my own. My fault. Well, only onwing my Canon 80D, the morning of the wedding, I scrambled to find a camera rental that was not only open but had available cameras for me to rent. THANKFULLY, Woodward Camera came through and despite the hefty $2000 rental and running around like a chicken with my head cut off, (thanks Chase Bank for being open on Saturday) I was able to rent a Nikon 750 paired with a 24-70 mm lens. I am a strong user of Cannon so familiarizing myself with a new system with a little over an hour was a bit overwhelming. Pulling it together, I halfway figured it out.

This is the equipment I had to work with;

Cannon 80D. (50 mm  2.8 prime lens, 70-250 5.6 mm zoom, 18-55 5.6 mm zoom. Nikon 750. 24-70 2.6 mm zoom. 2 GoPro Hero7. Wireless mics. 2 boom mics. DJi Mavic 4 Drone. Tripods & a stabilizer I’ve still yet to master.

The First Look

The first look is a sneaky way to shake the wedding nerves and a chance to get bridal party pictures done before the ceremony. Doing this also helped bridge the gap between the wedding and reception due to party pictures. While, I know this concept isn’t new, I’ve never witnessed it and honestly it just makes so much more sense. Makeup is fresh and we’d go straight from the first look and onward to the ceremony. Because of the on and off again rainy day, we set up shop inside the Detroit Public Library and the Detroit Institute of Arts. Starting off in the library, there was barely any natural light and for those who film, you understand the panic of great image quality. I did not bring my lights, so I was a little traumatized. Luckily, the Nikkon which works so much better than my Canon in low light situations came through.

Afterward, we uprooted outside to get pictures of the bridal party. Thankfully the rain held off for the most part so I was able to film without the worry of damaging my equipment. There I also set off my drone for aerial footage then proceeded to get aggressively yelled at for filming in a no-fly-zone. Oops. Running completely everywhere trying to get every shot left me drenched in sweat, but I genuinely felt in my element.

The Ceremony

The wedding took place at the Crown Plaza Hotel downtown Detroit. Up on the 25th floor, the outdoor aerial views of the city were immaculate. Knowing this would be a short ceremony was absolutely nerve-wracking. So much to capture so I set up one of my cameras in a stationary location, tied in the microphones to the minister and the groom and thought I’d take my other camera on the go with me as I capture the details of the ceremony. The wedding was short, sweet and beautiful. Everything went according to plan, but I WILL NEVER SHOOT A WEDDING ALONE AGAIN. While I tried to capture everything, I definitely missed some important shots. And while I could easily blame others for blocking my shots or not having an extra cameraman, I just wasn’t prepared. Honestly, this part wasn’t fun for me. I LOVE love, but stress… eh not so much. However, lesson learned and  I now know going forward what to expect. A short ten-minute ceremony left me more breathless than running 4 straight miles.

The Reception

So the reception was nothing short of fun! Cruising on a boat in the Detroit River was exactly what I needed to relieve some of the stress I had built up hours earlier. We were on the three-decker Diamond-Belle cruise that sailed from 7pm and once you’re on, you were on.. nobody gets off until we dock at 10pm.  While I was still working, of course, the waves helped suddenly soothe the huge bubble of anxiety that overcame me from the ceremony. While the day consisted of tapering rain, thankfully by the evening, the skies were clear and we were able to enjoy a night on the water. Having worked the entire day without energy refuel I was pleased to finally take a bite between filming.  I was there to get the details, first dance, speeches, cake cutting, the partying, the drinking, etc.  Still trying to master my rented Nikkon last minute was a little off-putting, but somehow I pulled it all together.

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The 10 hour day flew by so fast and before I realized, I was hopping off the Diamond-Belle, totally exhausted and a bit nervous about what my nervous fingers were able to capture. Filming with the 24-70 mm prime Nikkon lens, I fell in love. A week later, I couldn’t shake the need to level up and it drew me into investing in a new lens for my Canon.

After hours and hours of editing, freaking out, editing some more and finally satisfied, here is a quick video of Sarah and Jon Paul Kabula sharing their first look as they take the leap into forever. The song, Explosions in the Sky by So Long, Lonesome was what the two walked down to in their wedding. This was a big moment for me and I can’t wait to see what the future brings of making those special moments count.

Enjoy,

xoxo, A

ALkmaar— The City of Cheese

Cheese me, please!

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Alkmaar is one of those cities I tracked down just because it starts with the letter A. But 30 miles north of Amsterdam wasn’t too much of a drag so I decided to settle here for two days, giving myself some time to explore this strange city out.

Its population just over 100,000 is another city based off a canal. I’m finding that a trend here in the Netherlands.IMG_8631

What are they known most for?

Traditional Cheese Markets.

Why did I come here?

For the cheese, please.

Staying at hostel yet again, I checked into the Kings Inn. Coming from Amsterdams standard, I was pleased to find that this hostel was much nicer equipped with a restaurant, bar and cute community space. The downfall, I was roomed with a lady who had this laughing condition where she’d just randomly have laughing, farting, outburst at all times during the night. One thing about hostels is that you have no control over who you room with.

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Anyway.. back to the city.

Every Friday during the summer months, Alkmaar residents and tourist flock to the city center for its traditional cheese market. I never knew so many people who cared about cheese, but then again I’ve never before been to Alkmaar.

Alkmaar owns the title of the “city of cheese” for a reason. Cheese markets were organized in the past where cheese was delivered early in the morning to Waagplein, traders weighted and approved the cheese stacks and started selling to the customers. While now, the pounds of cheese traded are not sold directly to customers attending, the market is filled with traditional clothing to give the tourist a glimpse into the rich history of trading.

The cheese market spectacle can be seen from April to September every Friday, starting at 10.00 am.

There is a lot of cheese at the market. Pallets stacked full of waxy orange wheels of cheese, all spread out in the main square in front of the cheese museum. The whole event is quaint, and pleasant, insofar as watching people buy cheese can be enjoyable.

If you don’t like big congested crowds, this place would not be for you. I did get a little claustrophobic and found myself along a canal because it became too much of a fuss navigating through the city.

But was it worth it?

Hell yes, the cheese was amazing.

Never have I ate cheese so delicious.

Take a look at my 4-minute-video where I navigate you through the cheese markets, the food, and the city of Alkmaar.

4 Fun Facts About Alkmaar

  1. Alkmaar it was the first Dutch city to successfully resist Spain during the Netherlands war of independence in 1573.
  2. John Lennon’s first guitar was made in Alkmaar and there is a Beetles Museum located in the city.
  3. Dutch eat an average of 17 kilos of cheese per person per year? Most cheese is still eaten on bread in the Netherlands? This is the origin of the expression “de kaas niet van je brood laten eten”, which means “don’t let anyone else take what’s rightfully yours”.
  4. The people who live within Alkmaar are called ‘kaaskoppen’, this means cheese heads and refers to the cheese market of Alkmaar.

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A Little Witches Tale…

What if I told you everything you ever wanted was attainable and you had the inner powers to do so?Sounds like a bunch of hippie witch sh!t right? To some??.. Sure! But for those who understand the Laws of the Universe, they too understand that you are entitled to your greatest desires. 

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You ever wonder why hippies are so happy? And witches are so damn powerful?

Well allow me to let you in on some universal secrets or refresh your memory for those who are interested.

There are 12 Universal Laws of the Universe. 

In no particular order, here they are:

  1. Law of Attraction
  2. Law of Vibration
  3. Law of Action
  4. Law of Divine Oneness
  5. Law of Cause and Effect
  6. Law of Compensation
  7. Law of Vibration
  8. Law of Relativity 
  9. Law of Rhythm
  10. Law of Gender
  11. Law of Perpetual Transmutation of Energy
  12. The law of Polarity

They are not preached enough but very important to know and understand. Its the reasons your life is currently shaping the way it is and it’s they’re great reminders to be conscious of the present and your divine powers. Some relate to it as religion and praying to God, while others on a spiritual level, sometimes involving science, chants, physics and more. 

I’m not going to get into the breakdown of each and every law, (please do your research) but I do what to share how a few of these has helped me get my self in order and started living out my dreams. 

(This is not a bragging post either, I just want to share my secrets). This happy witch coming to you extremely humble. 

 

No 1. LAW OF ATTRACTION

OK, so my favorite law that I probably preach the most about is The Law of Attraction. 

The law of attraction is simple: thoughts become things. 

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Your thoughts are scientifically proven to hold various frequencies and when you think of certain things, your thoughts are met with frequencies of action. 

If you want love, put that frequency out of showing the world love, and I bet love will come to you much faster than sitting there upset thinking about being lonely. 

You must concentration of the things you want, rather than the opposite.

As a kid, if want your mom to buy Froot Loops cereal the next time she went to the store, you wouldn’t sit there and think about the off-brand Raisin Brand that you hated…?, would you? NO! Your mind was focused on pouring your breakfast bowl the next morning, drooling as that spoon hit your tongue with the greatest satisfaction eating some fruity Froot Loops. Right?

You thought about what you wanted, you put the energy out there, asked for it, and who knows, maybe you had those Froot loops the next day waiting for you.

Now let’s take it to a grander scale. (I don’t know why we unlearn the basic principles we learn as children).

My wish: I want to travel, film and do what I love.

I imagined it. Made vision & bulletin boards, and journaled. Descriptive of where I wanted to go and imagined me doing it. I daydreamed about new locations whether in the U.S or not and thought of ways to get there. Whether it was a music festival, a supermax prison or months of adventuring other countries…  I researched and told people about my newfound thoughts. I emit that frequency out into the universe on a daily basis. I am not thinking about going broke in another country without food to eat, I am thinking of thriving and having a great time. I don’t think about being stuck in the Michigan snow all winter, I see myself out exploring elsewhere.

What came next was the universe allowing me the opportunity and means to do so.

Think about what you want, and it will come back to you. Think about what you don’t want and that it will come as well. The law of Attraction isn’t biased to your thoughts. It doesn’t decipher through to sort out what you really want. The frequencies received and given are blunt. What you put out is what you attract. 

Werid, huh?

Nahh.

For those who are clueless to what I’m talking about, please go watch/read The Secret and take some serious notes. This movie seriously changed my life the moment I watched it and I know it has the power to change yours if you really put your mind to it.

 

No. 2. THE LAW OF ACTION

The Law of Action is our personal ability to manifestation. This is the law that reminds us that dreams don’t work unless we do. That action is necessary to understand if you want to get what you want.

“The Law of action states that you must do the things and perform the actions necessary to achieve what you are setting out to do. Unless you take actions that are in harmony with your thoughts and dreams and proceed in an orderly fasion towards what you want to accomplish, there will be absolutely no foreseeable results.  It is here with the law of action that most people falter when pursuing success.  It could be their fears or laziness that get in the way.” -As stated here. (Thanks internet!)

 

About two years ago, I was extremely tight for money, living in the basement of a (nicely put) east Atlanta party house. I was sleeping with my mattress on the floor & sharing a bed with a friend. CNN hadn’t called me back after an interview and I had no idea where to take my brand new infant baby, we know as April in the A. Tired, broke, yet always working I knew this wasn’t’ meant for me. Already knowing the principles from The Secret, I realized I hadn’t put the universal laws to test yet. I was surrounded by negativity and accepted what life gave me.

I started writing down EVERYTHING I wanted to accomplish. I had giant post-it’s that I put all over my room with goals that I’d see on a daily basis. I also put pictures up reminding me of all I’d done in the past (because sometimes you forget your greatness) and printed out other portraits of what I wanted to do in life. I put Oprah on the background of my phone and changed my Instagram bio to “Travel Vlogger” yet hadn’t stepped foot out of the U.S. (besides Canada) and started reciting affirmations and telling myself daily things I was grateful for.

Immediately, life started to change. I began attracting more positive people into my life, and opportunities began unfolding. I moved into a better environment and my life was taking a more positive turn. Nowhere close to where I wanted to be, I had to put in hours after hours of work, dedicating my life to uprooting my brand to something more. I didn’t have it together but I started rephrasing my sentences to “I want to” to “I am” and, “I will.”

The thing about the Universe is that it only understands the frequency’s you put out. And the thing about dreams is that nothing worth it comes without hard work. I continued filming, editing, and creating.. each time, learning more getting better and more efficient. Cringing at mistakes, (while attempting to keep positive) and trying not to repeat. I realized my dream wasn’t quite the cheapest so stepped up my work ethic. I got another job where’d I’d work late nights and long weekends. I knew what I wanted didn’t come easy and I put action towards making my current dream a reality.

And guess fucking what? After all that hard work, and action of constantly leveling up my brand, I attracted a network and a job that allowed me to travel frequently.

Say it ain’t so.

The law of action is how we get things rolling.

Your actions have to align with your dreams. In most cases it what you enjoy doing the most, so lucky you. But nothing has the ability to fully manifest itself if you just stand there. Want to fulfill your dreams? Then Do! Start now!

NO 3. THE LAW OF COMPENSATION

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An old friend of mine would always cheers to ‘abundance’ and I loved it. She understood the ‘Law of the Universe’, and abundance falls right in with The Law of Compensation.

The Law of Compensation is when you are compensated for your deeds and when compensation pays its dues, blessings, and abundance arrive. It’s showing constant gratitude, living a life full of love and giving purposefully, and allowing compensation to come back and reward you.

Compensation can come in many forms such as money, gifts, people, new jobs and experiences. You may win a prize, receive a thank you card, come into an inheritance, make a new like-minded friend, get some help or attract something you have been wishing for. “

This law ties in a lot with the Law of Cause and Effect. Put out the best version of yourself and you will be compensated. Smile and you get smiles in return.  I will get into this later, but moving back to Michigan was the best move for me.

Learn to use the Law of Compensation to create a good, healthy and prosperous life. You won’t meet a poor witch. If you do, then know they are not using the universal laws in the correct way.

NO 4. THE LAW OF DIVINE ONENESS

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Now this one is a big one.

Everything is connected to everything else. What we think, say, do and believe will have a corresponding effect on others and the world around us.

Think about it this way…
We are all made up of particles. Everything from the earth to the sun is also made up of particles. While our influence may not stretch out to others like the sun does to everyone, everything in your direct vicinity is affected by you and you affected by it.
There are no spaces between it. They vibrate and bounce off each other, bash together and even have arguments.
We are connected to the people, the ground we walk on and the air we breathe.
Divine all-knowing, the matrix, pure consciousness or universal mind energy, sometimes also known as Life Force or God.  Everything is one.
It is essential that the thoughts, feeling, and actions be for good.  This is why ya girl only practices white magic. When I call unto the universe, I try to only call unto what I want in return. I only do things that I wouldn’t mind having done to me.  The Law of Three, karma and other principles state that, for we “reap what we sow”. Remember that.
You are God, and God is you. We are always connected to the force of God because energy is God. God created her own universe, now start creating your own.
I hope this helps you start living your life to its greatest potential. We all deserve to achieve our deepest desires. Feel free to leave feedback, and we can get a conversation going. 

All love, 

A. 

How our intuition saved us from being Sex Trafficked in Amsterdam.

The moment I stepped out of the Amsterdam Airport, it could have been the end. Euro trip over. Tragic

Screen Shot 2019-04-14 at 12.14.03 PMWooo!! It was the day I’d been anticipating for nearly a year. Coming in on separate flights, I was thrilled to find my best friend Brandie in the airport upon arriving in Amsterdam. This was the beginning of our Euro trip where I’d ‘werk werk twerk’ and begin filming season 2 of my travel show. This was Day 1, and for those who really know me, it was April 4th.. my most favorite day of the year. What could possibly go wrong? 

Our immediate concern was how do we get from the airport to where we’re staying in the city center. The airport is about 20 minutes away from our first destination, and while unfamiliar with the Netherlands train and busing, we decided it’d be best to catch a cab until we figure out how to use the Dutch public transportation.

A young man approached us, out of nowhere. “Do you need a cab?” He’d ask. Like an angel falling from the sky, we jumped up, delighted and quickly said yes. Wow, that was so easy, we thought. Like a gentleman, he quickly grabbed my bag and begin wheeling it away from the airport, across the cobbled streets walking fast with intent. Keeping up with him, we thought it was strange that we were walking so far away from the airport but he assured us that this was normal. We hesitantly followed as we walked at least 5 minutes away. Passing a few cargo vans, and trucks, Brandie and I now knew this was strange as he mumbled on the phone something in a different language. 

“The cab will be here soon,” he announced. 

Weird. We thought he was the cab driver. We waited on the side of the road for about 10 minutes, still confused now our guard completely raised as this nice Mercedes car pulls up and literally stops on the side of the road. He didn’t pull over to where we were, just stopped in the middle of the street.  No cab hat attached to the top, no writings on the side of his car, and then out pops a man dressed to the tee in what looked like an Armani suit with very nice shoes. 

Hmmmmm… I’ve never seen a cab driver dressed so well before and driving such a nice luxury car.

Red flag! Red flag!

Quickly, I turn to Brandie and we exchange the same look of concern. 

“Hmmm…How much?” we asked.

“$75 dollars,” the driver says. 

“Oooh. That’s a lot more than we expected. No worries, we’ll take the train.”

The well-dressed man speaks again. 

“$45! He shouts”

You know, we’re just going to take the train. 

“$40!” he repeats. 

“Nahhhh.. we’re good.”

Both men quickly got pissed and aggravated and we decided it was time to abort the mission. Quicky. We retreat, grabbed our bags and got out of there as fast as we could. 

While there’s so much hype around Amsterdams’ Red Light District, according to statistics, 10 to 90 percent of those women are being sex trafficked. Amsterdam is one of, if not has the highest percentage of trafficking in the world and today was not the day! 

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Pic from La Strada International

We could only imagine the things that could have happened soon after. Maybe he’d roll down the back window, release gas and out we’d go. Our journey was not about to end the day we got there. 

Thankfully, we got out of there and found an actual taxi stand where there were writings on the car. So happy we trusted our intuition because who knows what would’ve taken place if we got into that car. 

If it seems shady and suspicious, it probably is. Trust your gut. 

Xoxo, A

ARMADA, Michigan

OK. To be quite honest, other than that the population being less than 2,000 and its the main industry being something of farming, what I know of Armada outside of Blakes Cider Mill is seldom to none. But the fact that Blakes Cider Mill alone brings in thousands of excited tourist every year, and it only being about 15 miles north of my hometown (Rochester, MI) made it a mission for an APRIL IN THE A daytime adventure.

BLAKES CIDER MILL

Address: 17985 Armada Center Road, Armada, MI 48005

Blakes Cider Mill is one of the largest cider mills in the mitten and it exceeds the expectations of cider mills nationwide. Just in case you’re not used to the term cider mill, according to great Wikipedia…

A cider mill is a location and equipment used to crush apples into apple juice for use in making apple cider, hard cider, applejack, apple wine, pectin and other products derived from apples.

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It’s a regional place of interest filled with apples, giant pumpkins, donuts, and if you’re lucky, hard apple cider.  As many southern states may have never heard of such a place, here in the Midwest, it’s a mandatory visit once the air becomes cool and leaves start to change as we welcome another season of a Pure Michigan fall. So come with me, as I roll through rows of apple trees as I try to eat as much of fall treats before my belly pops open with gooey chewed up delicious donuts.

Here are 4 must-do activities while at Blakes Cider Mill.

  1. U-Pick
  2. Cider, Donuts, Beer, Snacks, etc.
  3. Train ride around
  4. Take tons of “basic” fall photos.

(If you have children, make sure to take them through the Funland portion.)

U-PICK

For someone who literally eats at least one apple a day, I had to make it a point to go pick out my OWN apples. Something about knowing just who picked it and where it came from makes me at ease in a world full of processed and questionable food. 

When rolling up to the cider mill, if you want to get right to the apple picking, skip parking and roll right into the U-PICK section where you’ll drive through fields of fresh organic vegetables until you make your way over towards the apple orchards where you’ll find dozens off rows filled with a variety of apple trees, ready for your eager hands… to pick!

To be specific, Blakes grow:

Gala 
McIntosh 

Golden Delicious 

Wealthy 
Jonathan
Cortland
Red Delicious
Granny Smith
Northern Spy
Cameo
Fuji

Who knew there were so many apple varieties grown right here in Michigan? Well I did, actually. But that’s beside the point.

When arriving into the Upick section, one must retrieve a bag from the workers, and proceed to fill the bag with whatever your soul desires. It’s that easy but you have to get to where it weighs enough for the minimum dollars spent is $15.

You can also pick your own giant pumpkins, vegetables and noses.

Cider, Donuts, Beer, Snacks, etc.

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This is truly why most people visit any cider mill nationwide. The sugary donuts, the sweet cider, and caramel glazed candy apples are an absolute MUST to get through Michigan’s autumn season. If you’re not participating in consuming any of these said above products, you’re doing it all SO WRONG.

In the main warehouse, you’re immediately greeted by a sweet aroma as the smell of freshly made donuts fill your nostrils. While walking through the thick smell of sweets,  one can actually see the process of the cider fermenting as apples are crushed and pressed to squeeze out the pure juice. According to Blakes, it takes 30 apples to make only one gallon of cider. Crazy.

Blake Cider mill uses thousands of their homegrown and picked apples and turns them into sweet cider by sending them through an apple press.

Other than viewing the apples pressing into cider and the bottling of the juice, you have the option to buy a handful of homemade snacks such as donuts, freshly roasted almonds, apple fondu, caramel apples, and a menu full of other treats. I,  being my usual fatass got all of the above and everything was finger licking, sticky and delicious.

In a separate area of the warehouse, you’ll find a store where all-natural products ranging from fresh-farm jams, pickles, and applesauce and purified, canned and ready for purchase. Blakes makes it their priority to never add artificial ingredients to their products while using the highest quality of fruits and vegetables.

Leave outside of the warehouse with room for more, because right next door you’ll find the brewery where Blakes Hard Cider is created and served.

I love beer. I’m coming back around to sweet beer so I decided to try out a flight of four of the hard ciders. I tried the Rose, El Chavo, Grizzly Pear and The Tonic.

TAKE THE TRAIN

Ok so the train, while not too adventurous takes you around the entire cider mill. Blakes sits on dozens of acres of spread out grounds ,so walking it may not be an option for some. Lucky for those, the train covers all of the lands, giving you a glimpse of everything.

You pass by the fresh vegetables still growing, a massive patch filled with pumpkins of all sizes, the apple orchard, corn stalks, and the massive farmland. The tractor- train ride runs for 25 minutes before it comes full circle back to the starting location. I believe it cost $3 per person to ride.

Ok.

This post is getting lengthy so I’ll sum this up. Blakes is an amazing place to take your family, a date, or just good friends for a daytime fall-tastic adventure. There’s something for everyone there and it’s a must-go-to if you ever find yourself in the Metro Detroit area between the months of September and November.

GO!

xo, A