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Travel: 5 Tourist Hacks for Washington DC (with Photos)

Hi everyone! I’m currently sitting on the Washington Deluxe bus going back to New York City from Washington DC. I figured that it would be wise to write this post since everything is still fresh on my mind. We spent about 3 nights in Washington at the Donovan House Hotel (not the best hotel I’ve stayed at, it’s on the average side), which is a Kimpton Hotel and if I had to compare it to New York, New York wins hands down! That’s a personal preference of course but culturally speaking, Washington definitely has more cultural activities to offer such as museums, memorials, the national zoo, the national cathedral and the list can go on. Was 4 days and 3 nights enough to see everything? Absolutely not! Below are 5 tourist hacks for Washington DC, gained from personal experience of course because there’s no better way to learn than to experience it yourself!

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1. Be your own tour guide 

You know those Citysights or Big Bus hop on hop off busses? Whatever you do, DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT book a tour with those. Unfortunately we paid about $50 per person for a 48 hour loop bus but don’t be fooled, they only run from 9am to 5pm on a daily basis and if you want to take a tour at night, you have to pay another $50 per person. Trust me 8 hours go by extremely quickly and there are 4 loops in total, each loop taking over 2 hours to complete because it has to stop every 5-10min. Plus the worst part is you spend half your day waiting for a bus at the stop, they say that the bus should come every 30min but do they come every 30min? NO!

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Here is what you should do: 

Go on one of these city busses websites and download the map, print it out and circle all the places you want to go. They always go to the top tourist attractions. Then go purchase yourself a metro card for the metro busses and the rail (there are more metro bus stops than these hop on hop off ones). Generally tourist maps will probably cost you around $2 but it’s well worth it. Make sure you plan in advance, see where the nearest metro bus stop is for each place you want to go and be your own guide.

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2. For those who are travelling on a budget 

There are tons of places to visit and see that don’t charge you an entrance fee, just go look up Smithsonian Institution museums. The Smithsonian Institution is the world’s largest museum and research complex, their objective is to increase and diffuse knowledge, hence all their museums and galleries requires no entrance charge. The institution is administered by the United States Government and trust me, their museums and galleries are not only very impressive but well worth visiting.

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I like Shake Shack so much, I just had to take a photo with it! Yummy!

 

3. Carry an umbrella 

Whatever you do, make sure you carry a small umbrella with you in your handbag because from what I’ve heard and experienced, Washington has more rainfall than Seattle, which is a lot apparently. So don’t risk it, just carry an umbrella. The weather seemed a little unpredictable while I was here (end of October), on the day we arrived, it was 26 degrees and the rest of the days were 14 degrees and that’s a huge difference. It would be sunny in the morning and then grey and cloudy in the afternoon. Keep your umbrella in a ziplock bag because you don’t want to walk around holding a wet umbrella when it stops raining but you also don’t want it to wet your handbag.

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4. Georgetown is a must

Of course you can’t only go see museums, monuments and galleries in Washington. You also need to relax and do some shopping and I personally think Georgetown is perfect for that purpose. It’s the oldest town in Washington and it is named after the King George II of Great Britain. It’s the perfect place if you’re looking to explore and hang out in a trendy town with lots of boutique stores, cafes, restaurants and bars. Walk down the beautiful cobble stone streets and just admire the beautiful architecture of the town.

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5. Keep snacks on you

Food is something you actually have to make time for when you’re travelling, unless you’ve planned in advance and made some reservations at your favourite restaurants. We hardly ever book the hotel with breakfast because sometimes you really just want to sleep in a little and not have to rush downstairs for breakfast or mostly likely you want an early start to your day and the last thing you want is to spend an hour having a breakfast buffet. Breakfast can be healthy and simple when you’re travelling, head to your nearest CVS (they are everywhere) and stock up on some greek yogurt, muesli, fruit or instant oats and voila! Breakfast sorted! Of course coffee can be pre ordered as room service or just head to a Starbucks (my personal favourite is the pumpkin spice latte). Make sure you keep a small pack of nuts or biscuits just in case you’re hungry and you’re in the middle of something, it should keep you satisfied till you get to a restaurant.

Also, there are so many parks, you might want to make a friend or two like I did with my popcorn! 🙂

 

Hope you enjoyed this post! Happy travelling! If you want to see more photos from my trip, make sure to share this post and comment below!

With love…xxx

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Beauty: GlamGlow Review

Hi everyone! Tonight I’ve decided to stay in, not only because my feet are just not made for walking (I’m literally on the verge of getting blisters on BOTH pinky toes) and also I’ve decided to actually stay in and enjoy this hotel that I’ve paid a vast amount for. I’m not going to lie, Washington DC isn’t quite New York City. I miss New York City so much and I’ll only be going back for one more night on Friday, just in time for Halloween and also the parade which we will be partaking. 🙂

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As I arrived in New York, one of the first things on my mind was… GlamGlow. I’ve heard youtube bloggers rave about it, magazines rave about it and everyone who has access to it and have tried it all swear by it. I was very sceptical at first because I’ve tried many mud masks before and it really didn’t impress me. So at first I just asked for samples, which I tried and immediately the next day I headed over to make sure I had enough GlamGlow to last me the whole year!

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No words can describe this product, truly, the YouthMud is my favourite! I’ve tried the ThirstyMud, SuperMud and YouthMud (yes I have a slight obsession). My skin was velvet to the touch after I used YouthMud, it was so so so soft and smooth. When you first apply it, you get a tingly sensation (ok it’s more than tingly) and it has these small pieces of, I’m not sure if it’s seaweed or some form of tree?! That is for the exfoliating after the 10min when you rinse off the product. The only thing that I disliked is the tight feeling you get on your face when it dries, like all mud masks but it was truly an amazing feeling once you can look past that.

There’s also the ThirstyMud which is so perfect for dry skin and since I have dry skin, I’ve always been pretty obsessed with keeping it hydrated. The ThirstyMud also gives you a tingly sensation when you have it on but it doesn’t have any exfoliating action.

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Expensive? Yes! Is it worth it? YES! A little goes a long long way and no regrets! I got the Christmas Gift Set because then I get all 3 for the price of one! Perfect! 🙂 If you want more details on this or want to purchase a set, you can email me on
mary@lovemarylu.com or comment below 🙂

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Lifestyle: 5 qualities fitness freaks have that get them ahead in life

I’m not saying that fitness freaks are the perfect humans (ok maybe just perfect on the outside) but the amount of time, sweat, blisters and calouses it takes to be THAT fit and look THAT fit, surely they must have some admirable qualities that all of us should adopt. Plus I’m writing this post to address something that I’m really passionate about and hopefully I’m able to inspire some of you to start training and take your health and fitness to the next level 🙂

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1. Dedication and commitment

Dedicating your time and committing to something this hard is never a smooth and easy ride. Now if you’re comparing dedicating your time and committing to practising piano or taking your pet to the dog spa regularly, that is like breathing, which should be second nature to you and that’s how easy it is. Committing to training and exercising regularly is extremely difficult because your body aches and your muscles are sore the next day and plus sweating a mini waterfall down your face is really not attractive. If you’re able to dedicate your time and commit to regular training and exercises, you’re strong enough to do anything.

2. Patience

Personally, I’m not a patient person, I’m the type of person who expects to see results from my efforts almost immediately. At one stage, I was so obsessed with my transformation from the gym, I would literally stare at my body every single day after gym and complain constantly when I didn’t see a difference. Now I’ve finally learnt to concentrate on the training rather than the transformation. It takes minimum 3 months and sometimes years for fitness freaks to look the way they do so if you’re able to still dedicate yourself to exercising without seeing immediate results then you’ve mastered “patience”.

3. Discipline

Whether you’re into savoury or sweet, we all have guilty pleasures that we indulge in once in a while or once too often. I’m a savoury person, I love restaurant food, fast food, crisps, french fries, basically all oily fried, heart attack in a bite type of foods. I’m not really into cake or chocolates but honestly, I’m not sure what’s worse. With health and fitness, there’s also the nutrition element to it, you can’t just exercise and still eat a load of junk. Those who are super fit MUST control what they eat as part of their lifestyle and not a diet (diet is temporary and lifestyle is permanent) which means someone offering you cake and chocolates or french fries and you saying no like you really mean it, that takes discipline.

4. Time managemet

In this day and age, you often hear people use the excuse that they “don’t have time” to do certain things but the truth is, you will always have time to do something that is important to you. It’s all about time management and priorities, which links back to 1 and 2 above. Exercise is probably one of the “to do’s” that people use the “I don’t have time” excuse the most. I’ve noticed that since I’ve included training and exercise into my lifestyle, I’ve managed my time much better than before because I would spend less time sitting around doing nothing. Instead I would plan my time around my training and try fill it up doing other things such as making green juice and cooking up something healthy.

5. Keeps you grounded

If you’ve pushed yourself hard enough physically, you will sweat, you will ache and you will feel as if the air you’re breathing is so thin that you may want to pass out. We’re human after all and no matter how much you earn, what position you take at work, who you are in society at large, you will get tired and feel depleted. A good sweaty workout will bring whoever you are down to the ground no matter how invincible you feel. Some of us may need it more than others 🙂

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With love…xxx