October Highlights + November Goals

October was an exciting, busy month consisting of lots of visitors, moving into a larger apartment, and fall arriving. There was something about the change of seasons that not only brought cooler weather and colorful trees but also a change of direction, attitude, and purpose. I’m thrilled to finally be succumbing to my need for a creative outlet and be back in the world of blogging. Happy November everyone.

1. Update 2014 scrapbook through October
2. Mail one just because care package (brother)
3. Finalize and order Christmas cards
4. Sign up for an instructional class (i.e. cake decorating, sewing, flower arranging)
5. Implement a daily vitamin regimen
6. Get sweaty at least two times a week (8/8)
7. Attempt Hummingbird Bakery’s Apple Pie recipe (recipe coming soon!)
8. Plan a two-day getaway to Vancouver to see this guy perform (would love suggestions)
9. Setup the 30th birthday savings account for completing this list
10. Weed through workout clothes and the closet to donate items to Goodwill

October Highlights1. The ironic colors of Lake Blanca
2. Considering my dad has been proudly sporting the salt and pepper look since his 20s, the need for this product was inevitable
3. By purchasing an indoor plant light we have officially been deemed true Seattleites
4. The easiest farmer’s market outfit and my go-to as of late (scarf/bag)
5. My three favorites playing at our favorite park
6. Celebrating Oktoberfest in the cutest town

April Highlights + May Goals

With my work load picking up, a trip planned at the end of the month, and my less than perfect track record with these monthly goals, I decided to scale down my expectations for myself this month so I can focus on the rare downtime and bask in the fun. Happy May!!

May Goals:
1. Frame four pictures (one from this fundraiser)
2. Run in my first COLOR RUN!
3. Take the two West-E Elementary Education teaching tests (scheduled for July)
4. Send another just because care package
5. Finalize San Francisco plans and cross #78 off my list
6. Update 2014 scrapbook and start/finish China pages
7. Run/workout three times a week (5/12)
8. Blog post at least three times a week (0/12)


April Highlights:
1. Trying to decide if I need this romper?
2. We kicked off our kickball season last month and are currently 2-0 #winning
3. Runs are made more enjoyable when you have a view like this
4. Our sidewalks are covered by this deliciously smelling, pink gorgeousness
5. Basically fly-fishing experts now
6. CHICKENS running free in our city neighborhood! Talk about free range!
7. Gasworks Park – the perfect view of downtown with room for the girls to run while we picnic
8. #thatpnwbridge that is becoming #instifamous and is super creepy
9. Friday night bowling sessions with new friends

Book Review x 6

My heart is happy when I am all consumed by a great book.

Traveling for ten months automatically disconnects you from time sucking activities like television and reconnects you with exploring, whether it be a city, literature, or history. We have attempted to maintain our detachment from TV (aided by our lack of cable) and our attachment to reading and exploring by allowing ourselves full nights dedicated to playtime at the park with the girls, long walks, and time spent cuddled up in a mound of blankets engrossed in our current books. Last night was one of those nights (I finished this and immediately started this). Here are some of my latest reads that had me reflecting on the past, future and my morals, while others were the perfect lighthearted escape from life. Have you read anything great lately? I am in dire need of some great book recommendations!!

20140423-145343.jpg The New American Road Trip Mixtape: Post breakup, Brendan hits the open road searching for healing and the meaning of life. Recommended to me by Justin, this book made me want to pack everything back up again and hit the road searching for the greater purpose of my life. A great book to get you thinking about your heart’s deeper desires and the purpose and destination of the road you are traveling on.

Orange is the New Black: Piper’s past catches up to her and lands her fifteen months in jail where she shares her attempts at navigating her new world behind bars. An easy, quick read that made me want to stay on this side of that barbed wire fence.

The Husband’s Secret: Imagine stumbling upon a letter written to you by your husband in the case of his death confessing his deepest, darkest secret that will change everything in everyone’s lives. That’s what happens to Cecelia while her husband is still alive…I’ve said it before and I will say it again: I’m a sucker for books featuring chapters from multiple character perspectives, each giving you a little more detail into the past, present, and future. You will not regret picking up this book as it is incredibly well written, keeps you engaged, and makes you reflect on how you would handle similar situations. Read it NOW.

Unbroken: A World War II Story: This story has sat on my Kindle since it gained popularity but for some unknown reason I never chose to start it, however, once I finally did, I was hooked. The unfathomable story of survival Louis Zamperini endured during World War II was heartwrenching, unbelievable, and powerful. Although I wish I wouldn’t have read this during my five flights to/from Nashville, I’m so glad I finally sat down to learn this story of such an incredible man.

Where’d You Go, Bernadette: Bernadette, a wife and mother, suddenly disappears and her daughter, Bee, is determined to find out just where she went. Lighthearted, witty, and page turning.

Cartwheel: Based off the Amanda Knox trial, I was hoping this book would throw some curveballs and perhaps even end with the reader knowing for sure what happened, but in the end it was just like the real-life trial: no answers, lots of acquittals. At best I grudged through it, just trying to finish, hoping for something, anything. Definitely not one I would recommend.

March Highlights + April Goals


Where does the time seriously go? No. Seriously. It is April people. Reflecting on my monthly goals has not been as uplifting as I first envisioned, but I am determined that will all change this month. I absolutely refuse to put any of these goals on May’s goal list so consider all the eleven goals below done and this will be me come April 30th otherwise I’m just giving up and going shopping and you’ll find me drowned in a pile of new clothes (not the worst way to go). What is on your April to-dosies list? Who wants to help keep each other accountable?

successApril Goals:
1. Send in my teaching application for the State of Washington and study for the West-E
2. Clean out my closet and organize jewelry, sunglasses, and handbags
3. Attend hot yoga at least three times (redo from Feb AND March – getting ridiculous) (1/3)
4. Finish Australia and New Zealand and update 2014 scrapbook pages
5. Bake a second recipe from this book (first one here)
6. Get sweaty at least three times a week (San Fran trip in 50 days) (11/12)
7. Participate in #100DaysHappy Instagram project (0/30) follow along here
8. Invest in a cute pair of non-running tennis shoes (would love suggestions)
9. Send one just because care package (#38 from this list)
10. Blog post at least twelve times this month (10/12)
11. Record all birthdays and anniversaries for the month of April and May

20140331-234758.jpgMarch Highlights:
1. With my mama at the Grand Ole Opry for our family vacation in Nashville
2. You have a puppy in a bar? You better believe it! Love how dog friendly Seattle is
3. Traveling to new places is always amazing, but being home is always sweeter
4. The epitome of cool I long to be
5. Family race day in Nashville for St. Patrick’s Day (did I mention my bro won?)
6. I have a weak spot for pretty things on sale
7. This wolf lecture from National Geographic changed my outlook on wolves forever
8. A cinnamon roll the size of my head is my fave
9. Can’t stop thinking about this mint wallet on a chain from here

Feelin’ the Blues

roadSometimes you’ve traveled so far in the wrong direction you can’t find your way.
Sometimes the confusion clouds any ability to think straight nonetheless creatively.
Sometimes the darkness just consumes your life.

The lack of recent blog posts is the result of my mind being constantly consumed by uncertainty – of the future, of the reason, of the end goal. To say I am finding myself and my desired purpose in life is an understatement. Traveling for eight months where I enjoyed every. single. moment. with my best friend laughing, learning, and exploring knocked my sense of reality on its ass. Is life really about working year round for those five precious days of vacation? Is life about working for ‘the man’ to make money for the pure purpose of buying things that I realistically don’t need and will never give me the fulfillment that a chance encounter with a stranger does? Is life about buying that house with the picket fence and having kids to fulfill the coveted American dream or is it about creating my own definition of a dream? What am I meant to do and be? The unanswered questions of our future haunt me daily. But at the end of the day these puzzling thoughts are the most difficult thing I struggle with and I am beyond grateful, appreciative, and joyous of the amazing life I live. We must focus on the positives and just live each day the fullest. Here’s to hoping a change of scenery and seasons will help me see, think, and feel more clearly. Thank you for your continued support and for reading my blog – it means the absolute world to me.