Happy (Early) Thanksgiving Friends!

charlie brown

I grew up loving Charlie Brown and watching it at all the holidays so I couldn’t resist with this pic. But back to what everyone is talking about this week: Thanksgiving of course!

I’m 28 and this is only my second year being away from my family, but that also makes it my second Friendsgiving. Last year Dave and I were in California with our roomies (one of them being my brother.) This year Dave is away working in Alaska so I’m having dinner with our Seattle friends. I hope wherever you girls are and whoever you are with, you have a wonderful holiday filled with yummy food, football, and stretchy pants Joey Tribiani style ;)  quote

I love this quote. (And JFK!) But he makes a great point. It’s easy to get wrapped up in this holiday about being grateful and #blessed (that hashtag cracks me up, with people on social media and their humble brags.)  But I think it’s important to remember everyday how lucky we all are to be living the lives we are. Life can and will throw a lot of things at you but it helps to get some perspective and remember what’s most important to you, like our family and friends!

give take

I’m thankful for so many things:

My family- they are all spread out over the US and Vietnam and I love and miss them all. Families support, encourage, and are there through thick and thin. They shape who we are and allow us to fly away from the nest and still come home anytime. Families really do love one another unconditionally.

Friends- Living away from home, gives me major FOMO (fear of missing out) at times but it also puts my relationships in check. Friends who want to be in your life will make the effort. I make a very conscious decision to celebrate my besties with their engagements, birthdays, and other special occasions. Who doesn’t love getting care packages in the mail? I also love hand written notes and postcards. And friends really go become your family you get to choose, as you grow older and move away from home.

Good Health-We don’t realize how healthy we are until we get sick. Ain’t that the truth? So many people and families have to deal with disease and sickness and it’s heartbreaking. Let’s all be aware and grateful of our health and continue to stay healthy and be there for the people who aren’t.

Blogging World-Allows me to express myself and remember my travels. It’s also been so fun getting to know you girls. I appreciate your feedback and am flattered that anyone reads and comments. And I have this amazingly supportive blogging community and new (blogger turned real life) friend Katie for my new job!

A New City- For anyone who reads my blog, you all know how much I love travel. It’s a huge part of who I am and what I am passionate about. I jump at the chance to travel every time it comes up. And living in a new city is so much fun! New friends, new adventures, new towns to explore, etc etc. It’s so refreshing and exciting. I already love Seattle.

I could go on and on about the things I’m thankful for, but these are the main ones in my life right now. Thank you all for reading, for being my blogging friends, and your constant encouragement and feedback. Happy Thanksgiving kids! :)


North Carolina Trip Day 3-Bald Head Island

Day 3

After spending a full day and a half in Chapel Hill, we headed to Bald Head Island for the rehearsal dinner for our friends Kate and Hayes’s wedding. We drove down to Southport and hopped on the ferry that was 30 minutes.  southportferry

It was a beautiful day out. Our friend Jesse, and Hayes’s brother Britton, picked us up on a golf cart (because the island doesn’t allow cars there are only golf carts and bikes!) They dropped us off at our house rental for the weekend, which was so cute!


There was a porch in the front and the back. porch

The roads are tree lined and so adorable. It definitely felt southern and was so inviting and quaint.

treesThe rental houses came with bikes, so we rode our bikes over to the wedding house for the rehearsal dinner.

bikeThis is the gorgeous wedding house the wedding party stayed in and where all the weekend activities took place.

weddinghouseThis is the beach that was in the backyard of the wedding house. It felt very East coast and reminded Dave and I of the Kennedy compound in Hyannis Port. This is also the beach where they had their wedding ceremony. beach

It was such a laid back wedding and the rehearsal dinner was very informal and was a great way to meet and chat with everyone. It was a perfect first day on Bald Head.

Chapel Hill, North Carolina Travels (Day 1&2)

The end of September started our whirlwind month and a half off of travel and moving. (Knowing I wouldn’t be working for a little while, I hoarded my checks from work and saved them to use for those curious about how I took so much time off from the working world.) A little recap of our adventures:

  • At the end of September we went to Seattle to house hunt (unsuccessfully, it’s an ongoing process) then flew home to Chicago to say goodbye to my childhood home (my parents sold it.)
  • Then we were home for a few days in California to pack for our big move
  • We went to North Carolina for the first time ever, to see Dave’s best friend, go to our friend’s wedding on Bald Head island, and went to Chapel Hill
  • Drove to our old roomie’s new place in Tuscon, Arizona
  • Picked up our friends from Chicago to go on an epic road trip to Grand Canyon, Horse Shoe Bend, Antelope Canyon, Zion National Park, and Las Vegas

It has really taken me out of my blogging routine of posting, commenting, and reading my favorite blogs. So I’m sorry that I haven’t responded to so many of your comments. Thank you all for reading and still commenting and for your patience.

I finally have some free time to blog again (before I start my new job Monday!) and wanted to document some of my travels so I can look back on them later on.

Day 1

We went to Chapel Hill to see John and Holly. John and Dave have been friends since grade school. I think since 2nd grade! They have a real bond and it’s so cute to see.

The first night we got in, we ate at Kipos in downtown Chapel Hill, which was really good Greek food.


Isn’t is so cute inside?

k2We got home and chatted and watched the Entourage movie.

Day 2

The next day John was so nice and took the day off of work to hang out with us and show us around. I looked up a few places to go eat and this cute records cafe called Vinyl Perk.

recordsThis was a fun mural around the block. Love how they used the window as the eye.

wallAfterwards we walked the gardens at Duke University.

gardensWe ate at a BBQ place which was alright, but not my favorite type of food.

foodWe also walked around Duke’s campus, which was beautiful. The brick buildings are so classic and make for such a great looking campus.

buildingThe campus kind of reminded me of Hogwarts. :)

dukeWe stopped by John’s mom house but sadly she wasn’t home. But I did snap this adorable picture of these boys together. #bromance

boysFor dinner we had more Greek food at Kalamaki. They had a cute outdoor area with live music.



Linking up with these ladies today:weekend-snapshots




Book Club Suggestions

A few girlfriends and I are thinking about starting a book club after the holiday season. Because let’s face it, things are going to get busy here really quickly.

I’d love to hear what you girls do for book club. This will be my first book club I’ve ever been a part of. (Hard to believe since I love to read so much, but with moving the last few years it’s been hard to join one.)

Currently I’m reading a few books. I’m still finishing The Lost Girls (I got really far into it then we moved, and I am not picking it back up) Giliuana Rancic’s Going Off Script, The Kennedy Wives by Amber Hunt and David Batcher, and Molly Sims’ Everyday SuperModel.

lost girls

going off script

kennedy wives

molly sims

What books recently have you girls been reading that I should suggest to our book club?

How often do you girls meet up?

How do you pick the books you read?

How do you decide on a genre to read?


Vashon Island Day Trip

On Saturday Dave and I decided to go to Vashon Island. It’s pretty cool that we can just up and hop on a ferry and go to an island. :) I’ve never actually heard of it, but I looked at the map and decided that one was the closest to us.

The ferry runs every hour so it was super easy to get on. Side note, we had dinner Friday with our friend Denny and Sarah and they said before they moved here, they decided that they weren’t going to let rain stop them from doing things. And I really liked that and decided we need to adopt that motto too. So even though the weather channel said there was 100% chance of rain we decided to still go to Vashon.


It was a super quick ferry ride and we decided to drive around the island which is something like 18 miles in length. On Friday I looked up points of interests and a few things kept coming up. We heard about a bike that was locked up to a tree years ago and eventually the tree grew around the bike. Legend has it a young boy locked it to that tree before going to war and he never came back for it. Whether he passed away or just never moved back to the island is unknown.




We stopped by the general store across the street from the bike tree. They said they have good jam and lately I’ve been on a biscuit and jam kick (see best biscuits in Seattle : Morsel in Ballard)  so I had to pick up some local jam. It was only $4 a jar.


gen store

Then we drove to the lighthouse in Point Robinson Park. It was drizzling so not a lot of people were there.



Then we drove into town and stopped by a few shops. We saw the bookstore, the Vashon T Shop, Giraffe, and then ate at SnapDragon Cafe. Their sweets all looked delicious. We shared the lemon vanilla cream cheese cake. After that we took off back to the ferry back to the mainland.giraffe

snap dragon



It was a fun day adventure. We spent most of the time in the car, with a few steps outside so the rain didn’t really put that much of a damper on our day. We are super excited to explore all the islands in the Washington area.

Liz Jo’s Guest Post!

Hi I’m Liz Jo!  I blog over at sundays with sophie.  Wife to Kyle, and mama to Sophie.  I blog and bake in the very little spare time I have.  I started blogging back when I became pregnant with Sophie and it became so much more, a place where I talk about marriage and parenthood.

I love meeting new people, so here are some things about me :) I hope to learn more about you


The biggest way to my heart is food.  It’s the truth, food will most certainly get me to love you more.  I, more often than not, get hangry.  So food is a must.

I got a tattoo 5 months ago, but half the time I don’t even remember that I have it and am surprised when people notice it.

I’ve never broken a bone ever just for reference I’m 24.  However, a piece of my bone has broken off and is now resting to the side of  the fibula?  I’m horrible with bones, (just hear Dr. Brennan dying on the inside).  So essentially on the right side of my leg towards the shin, you can feel the “extra” bone just hanging out.  Kyle can feel it.

I actually decorated our house for fall this year, for once.  I hope to continue decorating it throughout the year with different wreaths.

I am a horrible enforcer….When it comes to parenting, Kyle is the bad cop, and I’m well not a cop haha.  Let’s take this picture for example, she wanted to play with a dirty bucket, she wanted to put rocks in it, and attempt to bring the bucket into the house (it didn’t make it in) but I totally would have let her until Kyle said no.

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading some new things about the people that make sundays with sophie so don’t be shy, and come over and say hi!


Thank you so much for letting me take over your blog for a day, Julie!  Good luck to your unpacking :) and can’t wait to see your new home and how the new life is in Seattle.

Image Map

Kathleen’s Guest Post!

Kathleen is one of my good friends from high school. She and I have kept in touch even though we no longer live in the same state. She currently lives in Colorado and I now live in Washington state. We played tennis together in high school and she’s been such a great friend ever since. We’ve traveled all over the US together and have visited each other in Colorado and California. Maybe someday she will move to Seattle ;)

She was my first interview on the blog that you can check out here. I’m so happy she’s guest blogging today. You can learn more about her tiny living journey which is so inspiring!


Julie and I go way back to high school. Back then, we’d exchange notes in our classes, which is a little like blogging, right?

Moving to Colorado

Julie and I grew up in neighboring hometowns. We both stayed in the Midwest for college, but after we graduated, I ended up moving from Chicago out west to Colorado. I packed everything that would fit in my Toyota Camry and drove by myself the 16 hours to the state with 300 days of sunshine.

I remember when I reached the Colorado border, I let out a little yelp (which was quite weird honestly, because no one was in the car with me). All of my daydreaming about living near the Rocky Mountains was finally coming to life.


Credit: BAMPhoto

Meeting Greg

After three years living in Colorado, I was feeling lonely after recent breakup from a long relationship. A friend joked about a dating app called Tinder. We played around with it one day, and I thought the whole thing was strange. How could I possibly find a date on this thing? Did people really take this seriously?

I was not at a point to take anything seriously, so I decided to have some fun with it, so I messaged some guys and scheduled some dates on the app.

Greg was my first Tinder date and he stuck. At dinner during our first date, I listened wide-eyed to ideas he had about permaculture and local foods. He had stories of backpacking in New Zealand and living out of a van.


We moved into my 1,000-square-foot apartment with my roommate, Stacey, after a few months of dating. When our lease ran out, Greg and I began to talk about what our next living options were.


Living Tiny

It seemed like everyone was telling us we should get an apartment or house in the city, but that’s exactly what Greg and I didn’t want to do. Every place we looked was expensive and lacked the backyard and garden we dreamed about.


Credit: BAMPhoto

Greg started bringing up living in a van during his travels but I wasn’t convinced. It was one thing to travel and live in a van, but how was I going to do that and go to work everyday?

In relationships, you have to compromise, and so, our compromise was buying a 1969 camper trailer (140 square feet).


Credit: BAMPhoto

We found our tiny home on Craigslist and immediately started looking for places to park it. We ended up messaging a few people in the area we wanted to live and found a backyard in the foothills.

In the past year, we’ve lived with limited access to electricity and Wi-Fi, but do not connect to their hose for running water. Instead, we fill galloon jugs with water at our local grocery store.


Credit: BAMPhoto

Our dog, Blaize, loves running around in her big backyard.


What I’ve Learned

Living small has taught me how to adapt to hardships. I know I could be self-sufficient living off the grid if I needed to be and that is a freeing feeling.

mapMy bags are always packed for adventures, and I take them as often as I can.


backpackI’m not the only one who has chosen this lifestyle. Others my age have also challenged themselves to live small or on the road. Every week, I feature a new tiny dweller on my blog. I would love for you to check it and leave comments.


Credit: BAMPhoto

Follow me on Instagram as well for photos of my camper trailer and lifestyle.


Credit: BAMPhoto

I am so beyond happy and proud of Kathleen and Greg for embarking on such a great journey. We all could learn a thing or two from them! I know I definitely have a lot of stuff I don’t need but hold on to for sentimental reasons or others. But it’s so refreshing to see them living tiny and getting outdoors as much as possible. Thanks again Kathleen for sharing more of your story with us!