No, Karen. They Don’t Have Your Brand of Bottled Water

Travel diarrhea, lost baggage, shady hostels-oh my!

These are the best parts of travel, amiright?

I’m actually only being half-sarcastic. The super crappy (often times, literally) parts of travel are always the most memorable.

My memories of The Rainbow Hostel in Dingle, Ireland are some of my fondest, and not just because I didn’t contract hepatitis. But, said memories do have something to do with a coed shower room.

(Hang tight for a blog post about this gem.)

I’m the kind of international traveler who realizes that when traveling in another country, THEY MIGHT NOT HAVE MY FAVORITE TOILET PAPER AND THAT’S OK.

Also, I realize that my accommodations might not be decorated to my tastes and the free continental breakfast might include gray-brown lunchmeat.

IT’S ALL PART OF THE EXPERIENCE, SO SHUT YO MOUTH AND ENJOY IT.

I’m always amazed (but not really, because people) at the kinds of concerns and non-issues people have/had when on vacation.

Whenever you have some time to spare, scroll through some Trip Advisor or hotel reviews. I promise you won’t be disappointed.

Here are some “issues” I’ve read about from review and comment sections that are ridiculous with a capital “maybe you just shouldn’t travel”.

1. Complaints about decor:

WHY DOES THE DECOR OF THE HOTEL/HOUSE/YURT/TREEHOUSE DETERMINE HOW YOU FEEL ABOUT YOUR TRIP?

Maybe I’m missing something, but do people really go on vacation for the sole purpose of staying in a well-designed hotel room? For example, do people want to see France only if they can stay in an all-white hotel room?

Balthazar, I am not going to Scotland unless we stay in a house that is all tartan. And, when I say “all“, I fucking mean if the carpets, wallpaper, and coffeemaker aren’t tartan, it will ruin my entire fucking experience!”

No?

So, why are these people filling up the review sections with gripes about the decor in their accommodation? ALL I want to know is if it’s decently clean and bed bug-free. THAT’S IT.

You also don’t need to tell me you found a pube on the bathroom floor. I would like to know, however, if you found any kind of hair in supposedly clean sheets. That’s just nasty.

There’s nothing wrong with wanting a nice hotel room or house rental, but if how it’s decorated can make or break your entire trip, how about just stay home?

Our gorgeously hideous London hotel room. Sure, none of the furniture matched and their “AC” was a stand fan, but it was close to a tube station, was affordable, and they folded our towels on our bed fancy-like.

2. Food options:

How can people be so unaware that they don’t realize beforehand that a place like Myanmar maybe won’t have a drive thru Taco Bell? This is totally my own made-up not-so-exaggerated exaggeration. But still.

I’ve read about travelers complaining about India having curry, and expecting to find a Mexican server at a Mexican restaurant in ITALY.

Read more of these idiotic and true traveler reviews here.

When I went to the U.K. for the first time I ate cheese and tomato sandwiches literally every day. Only a few times did I deviate from my newfound comfort food. I chose this option because it was (is) freaking tasty as hell and also because I’m not very adventurous, food-wise. I knew ahead of time to be prepared to eat different foods. Instead of complain how a different country from mine had different foods (shocker), I found new foods that I could enjoy without activating my gag reflex. It’s really not that hard.

My mother swore up and down she found the last and only jar of mayo while in England. It was found dusty and alone on a top shelf in a tiny shop. My good friend professed that not a bottle of ketchup could be found anywhere on the British Isles. Naturally, I had to take photographic evidence of their LIES.

3. Expecting things to go your way and ONLY your way:

Another thing that really chaps my lips (I don’t like the phrase “chaps my ass”, because when does an ass get chapped? And, chapped lips are the worst) is how too many travelers don’t leave their stubborn ways at home.

When you’re in another country, with an entirely different culture, maybe you won’t necessarily have experiences that are exactly how you experience life in your home country. In fact, I know you won’t.

One of these differences I learned the hard way was how some English toilets flush. After a long flight and no comfortable bathroom time, it was no surprise that when I got to our hotel room in London, it was go time. When it came time to flush, it just was not happening. Thank God my boyfriend at the time figured out that pumping the handle did the trick, because having to call down to the front desk for help flushing my plane poo, would have been embarrassing.

Actually, now that I’m thinking, that would have made an even better story! Damn.

So, I learned that many of the toilets I’d encounter required pumping. No big.*

(This same toilet also tried to kill me when I sat down on the seat and went sailing off the base of the toilet, because it was just sitting there, not attached at all. And, you don’t see me complaining.)

If you check out the above link, you’ll read about people complaining how a beach was too sandy and how Spain has too many Spanish-speaking people. You’ll read it and instantly feel better about yourself. You’re welcome.

So, I guess what I’m saying is, if your outlook is so cloudy and full of shit that you can’t enjoy the weird/funny/exotic experiences you will have when traveling abroad, why even do it?

Just splash the hot and cold together to get warm (Sage advice from a friend). Duh.

So, unless you’re complaining about travel diarrhea from tainted escargot, lost or tampered with baggage (because there ain’t any way to make that a positive), or filthy, insect-ridden hostels, maybe check yourself before you wreck yourself. Your absurd review could end up on the next “Ridiculous Travel Complaints By People Who Suck”.

The person who sat down next to us, took her gum out, placed it on this ledge to eat her chips AND THEN LEFT IT THERE is totally Karen’s weird cousin, Gayle. She for sure complained about the hostel’s lack of trash receptacles.

This is the first in my Travel Tuesday series in honor of my upcoming trip abroad this summer. I can’t wait to share some travel stories, tips only idiots need, and much more! Buckle your seat belts and ready your barf bags, people. We’re bound to hit some gnarly turbulence.

*British friends, was I imagining this or are many toilet flushers pumped to get the toilet to flush?

My First FabFitFun Box

Ya’ll! I finally broke down and joined every other basic bitch and got me a FabFitFun box. It was a splurge (even at the discounted price of $39.99) that I really didn’t need, but TREAT YO SELF! 

I love, love, love the excitement that exists when you know a package is headed your way. It’s why I do Snack Crate and Ipsy, and why I order far too often from Amazon Prime, Zulily, and many others I’m too ashamed to list.

I decided to spare everyone a cringe-worthy Tori Spelling-esque “unboxing” video. I’m super awkward on film, and so many other *greats* like Snooki and Teresa Giudice are doing video “unboxings” for your viewing pleasure. 

So, let’s just get on with it, eh? 

What a beautiful fucking sight. This is totally staged, btw. How I really found my box was dented, dirty, and wedged into the bushes. I think our mail delivery people just toss our packages from their truck. It’s the only explanation.

The very same day I received my box, my darling guy got me this sweet and quite apropos treat, and somehow, my FabFitFun box didn’t seem quite as fabulous.

10000% my kind of gift

So, when I was done feeling all the feels, I finally got around to opening my box. 

The packaging is nice, and I like how they add the paper “grass” (what is that shit called?).

What I didn’t like is that these “high end” items come in mass-produced-feeling  plastic. This type of packaging takes away the “expensive” feel of the items.

Now might be the time, especially if you’re not familiar with the concept, to mention that FabFitFun profess that their $49.99 box is worth $200+.

More on that as we continue.

Let me show you my perfectly staged photo of the contents. Aren’t I so talented in such a basic-bitch-taking-a-photo-for-Insta-way?


Now, let’s review each item and their supposed cost. 


The MER SEA & CO scarf is one of the items in the box that I feel lives up to its apparent cost. Even so, there is no way in hell I’d ever intentionally buy a $98 scarf. With Target, Marshall’s and TJ Maxx’s amazingly low priced on-trend pieces, I can get a decent scarf for $12. 

I asked my live-in photographer (boyfriend) to snap a couple shots of me in my new scarf. What you will notice in the images is that the scarf is behemoth (maybe that’s why it’s so expensive-each one is made from 50 polyester trees) and that my Blog-Instagram Boyfriend was not having it, as I now have 82 random, blurry images of me getting ready to pose. Great job, Babe! 

Had to pick off all of the paper confetti from the box that was stuck on the scarf.
After spending “10 minutes” positioning the scarf in the mirror. 67 of the 82 images are of my wide ass at said mirror.
What an awesome, artistic action shot of my three chins!
Really glad he got such a great shot of my Bingo Wings!
After all of the prep, I was not pleased with the photo, but the photographer was 100% not having it anymore.
But, guess what? This beast of a scarf can totally be worn as a shirt! Fucking score!

Also pictured in the above images is The Jetset Diaries cable knit beanie. This is probably my favorite item, because my day 4 hair loves the crap out of beanies. This came-in-plastic beanie is supposed to be worth $49, and I just can’t. I bet you all that right now, this very minute, in any Target across the nation, sits a black beanie, almost identical to the one from the box and it’s $10. Again, why is a thin cable-knit beanie $49? Who are the idiots buying $50 beanies? 

Next up is the Mytagalongs hot and cold pack ($15). I am actually really excited about this, because I totally needed another ice pack to add to the 20 already in the freezer. The reason: IT SAYS, “ICE ICE BABY”. 


This was totally appreciated, because BUTT WIPES ARE EVERYTHING, YO. 


I can’t speak too much for these products, as I have yet to use them. I am totally excited to try the apple cider vinegar hair rinse, though! I’m also really looking forward to never using the lipstick, because I don’t wear lipstick. The Whish Beauty mud mask is valued at $48, the DPHue rinse at $35, and the Trèstique lipstick at $28. 


The Deco Miami lavender cuticle oil is just too cute. When I was first opening the box, I thought it was nail polish. I was so bummed, because I get gel manicures, so nail polish is useless to me. When I used my reading decoding skills and saw that it was cuticle oil, I was giddy. My cuticles are inexcusably ghastly! The oil is priced at $12.50 and is the only reasonably priced item in the box (save for the Cottonelle buttwipes). 


The imm-Living ceramic and wire geometric heart jewelry holder is the exact thing I’d use my last $5 to buy at Ross. It really is adorable and is already proudly on display on my vanity. That said, IT’S A PIECE OF GARBAGE. 

When I got it, there was a nub of ceramic in one of the holes where the wire base goes. I had to take some skinny scissors and jam it loose. Even then, the hole was too tight (that’s what he (?) said) and upon jamming the metal into the hole some of the “metal” flaked off. 


This cheaply made piece of poo is priced at $33. Fuck me.

I saved the coup de grâce for last.
When I first saw the fall box on Instagram, I saw a gym bag that read, “Will Workout For Cupcakes”. That sealed the deal. I had to have it.

Well, in my box I got a Walmart special that reads, “Meet Me at the Barre”. I’ve never been to a barre fitness class, and this bodacious bod has never, ever been confused for that of a ballerina’s. There’s no way I’d ever carry this bag. Just embarrassing. 

Not only this, FabFitFun is claiming that the thin canvas Private Party bag is worth $59. Excuse my French, but FUCK YOU VERY MUCH. 

I don’t shop at Walmart and haven’t for a solid four years, but I guaran-fucking-tee that they have a similar bag for no more than $10. If not Walmart, Wish is guaranteed to have it for $1.50. 

So, I’m still laughing that Private Party and FabFitFun thinks this bag is worth $59. 

Final Thoughts 

I have a really, really, really effing hard time believing the items that came in my box truly total $377.50. If this is indeed an accurate sum, I’m appalled at what is deemed high quality just because it has a high price. If this is the true state of the world now, maybe I can start harvesting my boyfriend’s belly button hair and sell it as “organic inner ear warmers”. I bet I could get 40 bucks per pair. 

I do believe I got my $40 worth, though. For sure. I just don’t like being taken for a schmuck. 

***When I realized that I didn’t get the cupcake bag, I immediately emailed FabFitFun and asked if I could make an exchange. I explained that I was Fatty McCupcakes and that I needed the cupcake bag. I said I’d write a blog post about my box and everything.

They got back to me very quickly and said that they’d exchange the bag “as a one time courtesy”. No, “We’d love for you to write a blog post about us, and not only will we send you the “Will Workout For Cupcakes” bag, we’d like to offer you a job as a paid blogger for FabFitFun” or anything. Rude.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m grateful they are exchanging the bag, but the wording “as a one time courtesy” sounded kinda bitchy. 

Don’t let me discourage you. It really is a fun way to spend $39.99-$49.99. Just remember, it’s Reba Fancy, not Real Fancy. 

Is That Me? 

I am always aiming to be more zen. When I want to rip into our neighbor after the tenth scrape of his chair across the kitchen floor (who sits down and gets up so often in a span of 20 minutes? As a concerned neighbor, I think he should see someone about that). When the driver in front of me is deliberately driving under the speed limit, like they are purposely trying to hold me up. When my boyfriend eats my last Skinny Cow salted caramel diet bar (the only thing I look forward to some days). When I’m asked the same questions over and over and over all day long, and then, “What should we eat for dinner?”, when I get home. I need more zen in my life. It’s certain. Coincidentally, I also need more fitness in my life, so yoga it is. 

My friend and coworker, Amy and I purchased Groupons for The Studio in Midtown. We decided that last Thursday would be the day to start. The only class we could both attend was Heated Vinyasa. If that didn’t terrify me enough, Katie, another friend and coworker, thought Thursday would be a fine day to start a squat and plank challenge. I would just like to go on record stating that whomever makes a squat challenge with 50 squats on Day 1, does not, in fact, need to do a squat challenge, and therefore does not know how many squats the layperson can actually do right out the gate. 

Immediately following our 50 squat nightmare, my students came in for the start of their day. I was sweating and could hardly catch my breath. I was asked six times if I was alright by my concerned 3rd graders. Then, upon sitting down to take roll, my leg gave out and I almost fell on the floor. I’m just glad my students are still super innocent, or it could have appeared I was drunk. I’m honestly gonna give it my all with this squatting business, but the last day requires 250 squats. I wonder if I could get a good deal on wheelchairs on Amazon? 

Because I’m a masochist, I actually didn’t bail on Amy and our yoga date. Throughout the day, we stole glances at each other that communicated, “Do you really want to do this? Should we go get Cold Stone instead?”, but not an actual word of protest was uttered, so we both found ourselves removing our shoes upon entering The Studio, and wondering how gross the floor might be. 

Heated Vinyasa yoga is a type of yoga that connects breath with movement in a room heated to 95 degrees. Basically, heated Vinyasa means sweating your balls off while you ignore the fact you have done so, because you must always concentrate on your breath during movement. I cannot do this. I can either breathe or move, not both, especially when I’m sweating from places I did not know existed.

It should also be known that this heated room will stink. Like so, so bad. So bad. I kept smelling a horrible stench that I thought had to be the men in the room; I couldn’t possibly smell like that. Well, during a stretch that brought me too close to my feet, I discovered the smell was, in fact, me. It was my sweat. It was the stank of my feet because I wore my Toms all day. It was the smell coming from crevices that aren’t usually sweaty. It was ME. That was a very humbling moment. 

The stretches spanned from beginner (I felt like a total pro when I was able to meet my knee with my elbow) to Never In My Life Will I Bend That Way. When your ankles are sweating, they are kind of hard to grab. Finally, those sweet words, “One more set and we will move into our floor series” were uttered. I love horizontal fitness! New to yoga, but not to Pilates, I’ve always been a huge fan of any exercise that is spent, for the most part, on the floor. Can it get any better for an über lazy person? 

It was during the floor series that I came up close and personal with my neighbor’s sweaty taint. There really ought to be a proximity rule in yoga. If I can taste your balls, you’re too close. I felt mildly violated, so I got into child’s pose and thought only of happy things. 

Despite the high temps and the fact that the sweat coming off of everyone’s body seemed to hang in the air, my first heated yoga experience was pretty positive. The Studio is clean, welcoming, and close to home. Amy and I both agreed that we got a positive vibe, and we will be back this week. 

The thing I know I need to work on the most is my “ohm”. I have always had a hard time with the “ohm”. I get the giggles big time, because everyone is so serious and their “ohm” sounds so zen, while I just sound like a gutted pig. I doubt I’ll actually practice this guttural yoga staple, but maybe I’ll just mouth it next time. 

Here’s to being zen. Maybe soon, I won’t care about everyone who annoys me, because I will be a calm yoga person, the kind who can say ‘Namaste’ seriously. Someone who has more peace and joy. Here’s hoping I can become a ‘yoga person’. 

If you want to read more about my experience and my review of The Studio, you can find me on Yelp. I’m Katie “Eh” P. I can’t figure out how to change that, or how or why I’m “eh”…