My life with a full time job and a case of wanderlust

I have a full time job and I love it. I’m an Event Services Manager and I work on so many different events that there’s always something different going on. I get to work on concerts, sporting events, conventions, Sundance Film Festival and more. Needless to say, my job keeps me VERY busy. And I happen to have started this project, Meraki Planning.

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You could say I’m a bit ambitious. Maybe overly so, but I have a lot of dreams and goals that I’m determined to reach. Among all of this though, I have an extreme case of wanderlust. I daydream about visiting new places all the time. I hope to one day be able to fully combine the two, but until then I do what I can to travel.

I’m lucky enough that I get a full three weeks of vacation time with my company. Not many people in the USA get as much time. Some are lucky to get two weeks. Now the difficult part of using my time off is timing it right. My schedule is so busy that I have to often wait for a slower month to take my vacations. But I do it. I feel that more Americans NEED to take advantage of their vacation times. They need that time to step away from work and relax a bit. I fully believe it is essential to our health.

I am the type of person that almost constantly needs change. I typically take it out in my hair. One thing I love about working in the event industry is that although things can be similar, each event is different. I also don’t like to stay in one spot for too long. I can get very restless, hence the daydreaming of new adventures.

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So how do I make my full time job and travel work?

I plan.

I save money.

I check kayak explore and Skyscanner regularly for deals.

I keep track of my work schedule and what months are the least busy.

I’m flexible on location.

I realize that I don’t always need to go far for a new adventure.


All of these factors help me to make travel work for me while I continue to work full time at a job I genuinely enjoy and do not want to give up. Is it hard? hell yes. But it is so worth it. A BIG part of making travel work with a full time job is prioritizing. This goes along with saving mostly. But if you want to make travel work, you need to prioritize what is important to you. Is it buying a coffee everyday, saving for a new gaming system, going to the bars every weekend, or going on new adventures and experiencing new cultures. If you make something a priority you can reach it.

My next trip will be coming up soon. I’m going to Reykjavik, Iceland for my first ever solo adventure! I will be sure to keep you lovelies posted on my travels.

How do you manage to travel with a job? Or did you quit your job to travel the world? Share your stories below :)

Chao Beautifuls!

Daily To Do List

Today I wanted to share with you my daily To-Do List. This is how I keep track of EVERYTHING I have going on, and is a necessary time management tool.

I have always written down to-do lists. I tend to write multiple a day… and drive my family nuts with all of the scraps of papers I would leave around the house with my lists. SO because of my obsession, need to create a list of tasks and activities for my day, I have compiled a daily to do list that allows me to stay on track. This is what has been working for me

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My to do list has a section to list tasks, with a box to the left to check off each task as I go. I have also a note area where I can write down reminders or motivational quotes to help me through the day. One thing that I have always had a hard time with when I’ve found other to-do lists online, is an area for timed activities separated from regular tasks. Most of what I have seen only has one or the other. I have included both on mine so you can see what tasks and activities you have at specific times and which you can go at your own pace.

If you are interested in a copy of my to do list you  can get a FREE downloadable print of the daily to do list .

I hope this helps you manage your time as much as it has helped me :)

Chao Beautifuls!

My top list of things to do in Las Vegas

Las Vegas, otherwise known as Sin City, has an abundance of activities and places to see. It is a city that caters to almost all  ages and groups of people. Whether  you are into the nightlife, like to gamble, love to shop, check out live shows, or are a thrill seeker.

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Having grown up only six hours away from Las Vegas, I have traveled to there many times. As a kid, it was for soccer tournaments, now its for a quick and easy getaway on the weekends. Through my times visiting this crazy city, I have experienced a lot of Vegas. Below I have compiled my personal list of things you must see and do in Las Vegas.

1. Coca Cola and M&M World

While technically two different places, these two shops are right next door to each other. If you have kids with you, this is the perfect stop. If not, it’s still worth checking out. Mix together a bag of different colored M&M’s. Or try around the world drinks from Coca Cola World.

2. New York New York Roller Coaster

This is one for the thrill seekers. And it is also a favorite of mine and my siblings. Every time we go to Vegas we make sure to ride on the roller coaster that wraps around the outside of New York New York hotel.

3. Stratosphere

Yet another stop for thrill seekers or for those interested in a view. At the top of the stratosphere you can see the Las Vegas Strip. The Tower itself is about 1,150 feet high. Some of the activities you can do here are: Sky Jump (bungee jump), the big shot, insanity, and x-scream. You can get more information on these rides here .

4. See a show

Las Vegas has a wide range of shows that you can check out during your time there. You can see magicians like David Copperfield, Concerts such as Celine Dion, Cirque de Soleil, and much more. You can check out the full list of shows here.

5. Bellagio Fountains

The fountains are a great sight when you are walking on the Vegas strip. The fountains are coordinated to change with music and offer a spectacular and free show to view. During the day the fountains go off about every half hour. At night they’re scheduled for every 15 minutes. I personally prefer seeing the fountain show at night, but it is worth seeing in the daytime as well.

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6. Dessert from Serendipity

 Serendipity is one of my personal favorites when coming to Vegas. It’s a restaurant that is located outside of Caesar’s Palace. I, however, do not go there for their meals. Their dessert is where it’s at. Try out one of their many Ice Cream Sundaes or Famous Frozen hot chocolate. You can see their menu here.

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7. Shark Reef at Mandalay Bay

The Shark Reef is an Aquarium inside the Mandalay Bay Hotel. Here you can observe a ton of fish and predators of the sea. Tickets are currently listed at about $20 for adults and $14 for children under 12.

8. Caesar’s Palace Forum Shops

If shopping is your thing, you’re going to want to check out the Forum Shops. Here you will find all of the high-end stores such as Gucci, Burberry, and Coach. They also have a pretty rad Nike store and an H&M.

9. Paris Hotel – Eiffel Tower

The Paris tower, much like the Stratosphere, offers an awesome view of the Las Vegas Strip. You can purchase a tour ticket that allows you to ride up to the observatory deck on the tower. It is a mini replica of the real tower in France.

10. Clubbing

While clubbing is not for everyone, if you go to vegas and are over 21, it is a must try experience. Clubs in Vegas draw in big name DJ’s. I was able to see Calvin Harris at Club Omnia when my sister and I went last. Most clubs have dress codes here, so be prepared to dress to impress. While Omnia is the only club I have been to, some other highly talked about Vegas clubs are Tao, XS, Hakkasan, and Marquee.

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You are planning an upcoming trip, but don’t know where to start or find good viable information. Or maybe you have an extremely busy schedule that prevents you from having the time to do proper research. If this is the case, don’t stress out, I’m here to help.

As a fellow traveler and planner, I have both the experience and the passion to help make your next trip an adventure that’s unforgettable. No matter the length of your stay or destination, Meraki Planning can help get you everything you need to be ready with the Travel Planning Package

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This package will help you to save time, money, and reduce stress. Meraki Planning aims to do all the heavy work while assisting you with your travel needs and meeting your specifications. I want you to have the trip of a lifetime.

Send me a message to set up a free consultation and to discuss pricing.

Review: Border Grill in Las Vegas

When you go to Las Vegas, it is a must to check out one of the many offered brunches or buffets. For this trip, my sister and I decided to go to the Border Grill. I will admit the main draw of the place was its $10 bottomless mimosas. It’s Vegas so of course we wanted to take advantage of this.

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Border Grill did not ask me to write a review for them. This is all my own opinion.

Border Grill is a Mexican Style Restaurant at the Mandalay Bay Resort on the Las Vegas Strip. When my sister first brought up this place for brunch, I was a little hesitant. I love mexican food, but the thought of it for breakfast wasn’t the best in my head at the time. Boy was I proven wrong!

Border Grill has a brunch where they offer an unlimited amount of small plates of the foods on their menu for $35. This is a pretty average price for breakfast in Vegas.Think of Tapas, when you think of brunch here. The size of the plates were small enough that you were able to order a large variety of the different plates offered while still getting a good amount of each specific menu item. My sister particularly loved the French toast while I favored the Huevos Rancheros.

Another real fun thing that this restaurant did, was they offer flavored mimosas. We tried peach, pomegranate, passion fruit, strawberry basil, blood orange, and carrot blood orange. My favorite was the strawberry basil. It was fun to be able to try all of the different flavors. Again, all of these mimosas were ONLY $10. Pretty good deal for a Vegas restaurant.

The only downside I had to this place was the walk. We stayed at Caesar’s Palace so it was a but of a hike to Mandalay Bay which is at the end of the strip. I promise you though that the brunch was well worth our 2 mile morning walk. In fact I recommend that if you are looking to do brunch in Vegas you make it a priority to go here. IT WAS THAT GOOD.

The setting of the place offers both indoor and outdoor seating so if the weather is nice and you like to sit out on the patios, they have that option. The setting was awesome and I have to say this was one of my favorite spots on my Vegas trip.

What are some good places you have gone to eat at when in Vegas? What kind of cuisine do you enjoy? Let me know in my comments! :)

Chao Beautifuls!

 

What happens in Vegas

Las Vegas is known as the city to party, gamble and do things that are generally not considered ‘normal’. A city with plenty to do and see, you will not find yourself having a dull moment.

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I went to sin city to for the weekend to celebrate my baby sis’s 21st birthday. Needless to say you can’t go wrong with celebrating in Vegas. Unless you decide to reenact ‘The Hangover’, which luckily for us there were no similar instances on this occasion, well other than staying at Caesar’s Palace… “This isn’t the real Caesar’s Palace is it?”

Living in Salt Lake City, I made the 6 hour drive south to meet up with my sister who flew in from her school. Let me tell you, that drive by yourself gets old real fast, but is MUCH cheaper and well worth it compared to spending the money on a flight down. Besides, my fellow Utahns know that a weekend drive to Vegas is almost a right of passage and considered a norm.


Friday Night 

For this shindig, we stayed at Caesar’s Palace. We got a pretty great deal off Kayak.

With my sister’s flight getting in pretty late, we jumped right into the nightlife. We went to OMNIA, a club in Caesar’s Palace, chosen for convenient location and the fact that Calvin Harris was one of the DJ’s for the night. We couldn’t pass that up.

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Flyer handed out for the event

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Review: Omnia Nightclub in Las Vegas

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Omnia is a club in Las Vegas, Nevada. While Vegas is full of night clubs, you will find this one located in Caesar’s Palace. All of this is my own opinion thrown in with basic information on the club. They have not asked me to do a review or promote them.


My experience at Omnia was a memorable one. I was able to go to celebrate my sister’s 21st birthday with her. While Omnia seemed to offer a celebration for birthday’s we decided to keep it low key since it was just the two of us.

We were able to go on a night when Calvin Harris was the DJ for the club, which was pretty spectacular in itself. If you ever have a chance to see him DJ, don’t pass it up!

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Flyer being handed out for the event

Getting In

My sister and I purchased a V.I.P. bar card deal prior to going. This cost us $115 each. This included guaranteed entrance before midnight and $100 gift card to the bar. So technically our entrance fee was $15 rather than the $20 it usually costs women to get into the club. Men’s prices were about $10 more last I checked.

This V.I.P. bar card was SO worth it. It is no secret that drinks in Vegas are expensive. So with two $100 gift cards we were each able to get about 5 drinks and a shot each. Having this card helped us keep to a budget. It’s easy to get carried away when you’re having a good time.

Another option, besides waiting in line for regular admittance, is to get a V.I.P. table. My understanding for this option is that you have to request a reservation for a table prior to the night you would like to go. Omnia did have quite a few tables, all of which were full on the night that I went. If you have a big group you are going with, it may be worth looking into.

For more information on admittance check out their webpage here


Club Dress Code

Dress codes for clubs in Vegas all seem to be fairly similar. Men, be sure to wear button down shirts and nice pants, no jeans or shorts. Ladies, this is the time and place to dress up, so pull out your party outfit and heels. Below is an example of what my sister and I wore.

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All of the clubs in Vegas seemed to open around 10pm. Omnia stays open until 3am.

I had a great time at this club, and that is saying something since clubs are not usually my scene. It felt like it still maintained class and had a very chill and fun atmosphere. The special affects and lighting were definitely something to behold.

I went for Calvin Harris, but this place is definitely one I’ll be going back to the next time i’m in Las Vegas.

What clubs in Vegas have you been to? Let me know in the comments! :)

Chao Beautifuls!

Welcome to Meraki

I created Meraki as a virtual planning website to help others plan their dream events and trips. The goal of my services is to help eliminate the amount of time you spend on researching and relieve you from the stresses that come with planning. I will help you to make your event or trip a huge success.

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I can help you plan any kind of event; my background includes setting up weddings, conferences, and seminars at Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort to working on logistics for the Gold Cup Soccer Tournament in 2013 and the World Cup in Brazil in 2014 with Cartan Global.

I will occasionally update the blog section of my site with tips on time management, event planning, and travel advice. Stay up to date and follow along :]