The Siberian American

Friday, February 24, 2017

2017 Galentine's Blogger Gift Exchange Reveal and Linkup

It's time for another exchange reveal for the 2017 Galentine's Blogger Exchange I hosted with Mattie. Reveal days are some of my favorites-it's so fun to see what everyone gave each other! This time, I received my gift from Lindsay from The Flynnigans, and I gave my gift to Lacey from Perks of Being a JAP.

Lindsay sent me the kindest note with my gift. The best part of these exchanges is getting to know other bloggers. Since I found out she sent me my gift, I have been reading her blog, and I love how much of an animal lover she is!

I was so excited when I opened up the package from Lindsay and saw the new Beatriz Williams book! Y'all know my love for the Schulyer Sister series, so I am super excited to read The Wicked City. I've also been needing a neutral pink color for spring, and I love the Essie ladylike color Lindsay sent me! I am planning to use it on Saturday before our road trip to Colorado! She also included a beautiful bookmark that will look so pretty in my books! Thank you so much for the wonderful gifts, Lindsay!

If you participated in the exchange, link up with us below (it will take you to Mattie's page to link up). I can't wait to see what you got!

Just a quick note: it's finally time for our trip to Colorado! If you'd like to follow along, I will be posting on Instagram (thesiberanamerican) and SnapChat (SiberianOlya).


Wednesday, February 22, 2017

New Instagram Hashtag Announcement + Giveaway

Instagram is by far my favorite form of social media. Not only is it full of gorgeous photos, but I think there are many people wanting to build a genuine community. I am one of those people. I don’t care nearly as much about the number of followers I have as I do interacting with people and reading their stories. This is why I decided to create my own hashtag. I plan to check it constantly and like and comment on all the photos.

If you have been around here for a while, you know I believe every day is an adventure. I was recently discussing this with my little brother, and he asked me how a regular old day can be an adventure. I told him there are big adventures and small adventures. For me, an adventure can be finding a new route to walk Skyler, trying a new flavor of tea, or painting my nails a fun color. Life is what you make it. Adventure is everywhere.

For that reason, I am so excited to announce my new hashtag:


You can post anything that made you smile that day: whether you are on a fun vacation or your dog did something cute.

To celebrate the launch of the hashtag, I am holding a giveaway for a $20 gift card of the winner’s choice. You get an entry every time you use the hashtag. I will also have an Instagram post this evening where you can tag people for extra entries. You must be following me on Instagram to win. The winner will be selected on April 3.

Here’s to more adventures, friends!

Monday, February 20, 2017

Five Reasons You Should Visit the Great Smoky Mountains National Park

I have mentioned our trip to the Smokies about a million times in passing, so it’s about time I share more about our latest adventure. There’s a reason why the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the most visited park in the United States. It actually gets twice as many visitors as the second place park, the Grand Canyon. Today I wanted to share five reasons I think you should visit the park as soon as you can.

Amazing Views
The minute you drive into the Smokies, there is a stunning view at every corner. My favorite view was of Newfound Gap, which is also the border of Tennessee and North Carolina.

Gorgeous Hikes
Christopher and I love to hike, and the Smoky Mountains are filled with amazing options. My favorite hike was to Clingman’s Dome. It is very steep (you gain 332 feet in half a mile!), but the view at the top is so worth it.

I am obsessed with waterfalls, so, of course, I loved the ones in the Smokies. You could spend a month in the mountains and still have waterfalls to visit. We did a hike to the Laurel Falls, which I can’t wait to share!

Gatlinburg is the cutest mountain town! We loved walking around the shops and trying some delicious food in a gorgeous mountain setting. Out of all the towns near the Smokies, Gatlinburg was my favorite.

Cade’s Cove
Cade’s Cove is a historic valley featuring several 19th century historical structures. It’s a one-way 11-mile loop that includes beautiful views and plenty of historical significance. I’m excited to share more about this area with y’all in the future.

I hope this post spikes your interest for all the amazing things about the Smoky Mountains because I will be writing individual posts on all of these in the future!

Other Smoky Mountains Road Trip Posts:

Have you been to the Smoky Mountains? What was your favorite part? If you haven’t been, what would you most like to do?

Friday, February 17, 2017

Five Islands I Want to Visit

Lately, I’ve been itching to go on another cruise. If you’ve been around this blog for a while, you know we used to cruise often (in 2014, we went on a fall color cruise to Portland and Bar Harbor, Maine, Halifax, Nova Scotia, and St. Johns, New Brunswick and a New Year’s cruise to Mexico, Belize, and Honduras), but Chris has banned us from cruising for now because of Zika. A few years ago, I shared my three favorite Caribbean cruise ports with y’all, so today I wanted to share five islands I still want to visit. I’m not limiting my list to the Caribbean since there are islands I want to visit all over the world!

Bora Bora
I had to start off my list with Bora Bora because it’s my dream destination. As someone obsessed with water, the idea of waking up in one of their overwater bungalows sounds amazing. Plus, you can’t beat the gorgeous scenery.

St. Thomas
St. Thomas is the Caribbean island I want to visit the most. I really enjoyed St. Croix, and St. Thomas looks even more beautiful.

I have wanted to visit Guernsey since reading The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society several years ago. The island looks so picturesque. I’ve seen it on some of the itineraries for England, Ireland, and Scotland cruises, so I would love to do that someday.

Canary Islands
The Canary Islands have both mountains and adorable seaside villages, so I know I would love them.

I’ve already mentioned Santorini as one of the five places I want to visit in Europe, but it’s definitely worth another mention. As much as I love the beautiful blue roof buildings, the main reason I want to go is because I’ve heard they have some of the best sunsets in the world.

Check out some of my other travel lists: 

What is your favorite island? What island would you like to visit?


Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Let’s Have a Coffee Date (Vol. 4)

It’s time for my first coffee date of 2017! I always feel like I do these too often (which is strange since this is only my fourth one), but I looked back, and I haven’t written one since October. So grab your beverage of choice and let’s chat!

If we were getting coffee, I would tell you we spent last weekend in the country at my in-laws’ house, and it was so refreshing. I loved spending some time with my in-laws and taking some time away from our busy schedule. Skyler loved running around in their huge backyard.

I would definitely mention our trip to Colorado and how excited I am to spend a whole week with Chris (and his parents). After our trip, his schedule will get even more crazy, so I am super thankful for this time year.

I would mention that my brother is having a fantastic time studying in Prague, and I am so glad he got to study abroad. Studying abroad in college is still one of the best things Chris and I have ever done together, and I am so grateful for that time.

I would ask what you have been reading lately. I just finished I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh and even though it started out super slow, I ended up really liking it. I’m currently reading Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult.

If I know that you like sports, I would ask if you think your basketball team is making it to the NCAA Tournament this year. Baylor is really good this year, but they have done a terrible job during March Madness the last two years, so we’ll see!

I would tell you I’m super proud of myself because I haven’t bought any clothes since the beginning of the year. Chris and I are really focused on saving right now, so I’ve been trying to be good! I know it will get harder once the weather gets a bit warmer.

I would also share how nervous I am about what our apartment is going to cost when our lease is up. I really don’t want to move (I have already moved 20 times in my 27 years, and I really like our current location), but we currently live in the hottest market in the country, so the prices have been insane lately. I’m trying not to worry about it until we get our renewal offer in April, but everyone has been asking us our plans, so it’s hard not to keep worrying about it!

I would also tell you how much I am loving my HoneyGlam Ink eyeliner. Since my post about it, I also bought some HoneyGlam Ink lip gloss (which is only $10!) and eye shadow, and both are amazing! Erika and Leanne are offering my readers 10 percent off with the code SiberianAmerican through the end of February if anyone wants to try out cheap, amazing makeup. (This isn't a sponsored blurb-I just really love the makeup!)

Now it's your turn! What's going on in your life?