Friday Favorites: Bears, Elephants & New Link Up!

This week has been nice and short with me being out of town last week Thursday to Monday. But as usual I’m so happy it’s Friday!

I have been holding on to a secret for the last 15 months and finally get to share it today! And my blogging friend Mattie over at Northwest Native and I are announcing our very first link up today too! Hope you all have great weekends, can’t wait to read about your plans in all the link ups!  the-new-youDave has been working in Alaska on and off for the last year and a half and this past weekend I finally got to go and visit him! We did a mini road trip to Denali National Park and we saw moose, a bear, and sheep!

bearrthe-new-you1Last year in May I was asked by a friend of ours to go to Africa to be a translator for a National Geographic documentary. Hmm let me think about that for a second….um YES PLEASE!!!

I have been on lock down for the last 15 months not being able to talk about it but finally this Sunday the documentary is going to premiere on National Geographic at 8pm Eastern Time.

I was able to see a rough edit of it in May when we were in New York but I’m super excited to see the final cut. Sadly my part of the doc didn’t make it but I had the most amazing time and met some lifelong friends. Two of the photos I took while I was there are featured on the website though and that’s pretty cool!

ngRecently the host of this doc Bryan Christy was on NPR. You can listen to the interview here. There was also an article by USA Today and it’s the main cover story for National Geographic’s magazine out this month (I already picked up my copy!)

It’s an incredibly sad and serious topic about the illegal ivory trading that is going on all over the world. I’d love for you all the check it out and I’d love to hear your thoughts on it! I will try to put together a post next week about my time in Togo (which is Western Africa, it’s right next to Ghana.)

THE NEW YOU(2)In line with the documentary I was just talking about AOL also recently had a feature with Chelsea Clinton talking about stopping the demand for ivory:

ccTHE NEW YOU(3)Great article about the ‘rules’ of Instagram:

voguefiveLastly Mattie and I want to announce that we are going to be hosting our very first link up together! We came up with some ideas to finish out the year. We hope you will join us at the first weekday of each month. Our first one starts Tuesday September 1st!Linking Up2

sept 1 fave

Friday has become the day of the link ups. Here are the wonderful women I’m linking up with each week: Hill Collection and Running 4 Cupcakes




Own It Link Up

own-it-threeI think this is my first time linking up with Christina for her Own It series. I’ve done other similar posts but here we go:


Truthfully I’m not where I thought I’d be financially at this age. I need to really start looking at my finances and getting them in order. I am not great at saving money, spending money on the other hand comes pretty easily to me. :)

Fish-MemeBut I actually just signed up to go to a Rich Dad Education workshop next week so hopefully I’ll pick up some good tips from that! I’d love to hear your money saving/investing tips as well! I’m also excited to read Katie’s new link up starting this Friday called Final Friday Finance!


I have a serious case of wanderlust. I know I just got back from Alaska but there are still so many places I still have yet to go to. I’m dying to get to Europe! I’m so envious of people who get to travel all the time and those travel bloggers, don’t even get me started! Getting paid to travel sounds like a dream to me. Now if only I could figure that one out…maybe one of these days :)

00e8ef2a78547d63f311e7028b33d0dc8b2c53ca21f79d98a52d92c9a87642beI turned 28 this year and have had a lot of different jobs. I’m still trying to figure out where my passion lies and for right now I’m thinking it’s working at a nonprofit. I’ve heard Seattle is a great place for that and I’ve heard over and over again that the Gates Foundation is a dream to work for and are always hiring. I’m really looking forward to starting a new network up there and seeing where it will take me. I’m ready to start a career and be in a job I’m excited about and happy to talk about.

ab24506128bc00f22de10736b7654769Alright well that’s about all I’ve got for today. Can’t wait to read what you are all owing up to today in the link up. Thanks for hosting Christina!

My Alaska Trip Part 2

So yesterday I blogged about the first part of our Alaska trip in Fairbanks and Denali National Park. We drove about a third of the entire road of the park. We made it a little past Sanctuary River on day 1.   denaliDay 2 of our trip into Denali, we drove to mile 66 at Eielson Visitor Center.

At mile marker 47 is the Polychrome Overlook which was so gorgeous. There is a little walk way and the view is epic.

I love this picture I took of Dave, because it really puts the size of the mountain in perspective.

Here is the road that leads up to the Polychrome Overlook. Most of the roads don’t have guard rails and I definitely have a fear of heights.

road11We had so much fun with more jumping poses.


small1Dave calls this the Walmart photo because it looks like a fake background it was so pretty.

two1j21tree1valley1This is Dave in action. He wasn’t messing around :)

cameraThe remoteness and openness of Denali is so cool for lack of a better term. It was so nice to be in the car with just the two of us away from everything, and to unplug from our emails, texts, and work even just for a few hours.

road11It’s pretty hard to see in this picture because it’s so tiny but there is a sheep at the top of the mountain. There were white sheep all over way up in distance and they mostly stuck together.

sheepIt rained on and off again on Saturday and for a few moments the sun came out and it was breathtaking. The sun acted like a spotlight and it was a really pretty.

lightsThe next moment it is cloudy but the snow capped mountain make for such a great background.

mountainThe entire trip we were hoping to see a bear and we talked to another guy on the road who mentioned he just saw one past Sabel Mountain. So we were adamant that we would find it. We had our eyes peeled and we did see it! It was absolutely surreal and I could not believe. I was in shock.

bear bear
It did not seem affected by our presence or the buses that stopped by. We were about 100 yards away from it or a football field. We felt safe in the car and it was amazing to enjoy the bear’s company and not fear for my life. :) I cannot imagine seeing one while hiking.

1bearbearrAnd if it seeing the bear wasn’t amazing enough, Denali also treated us to a rainbow to end our beautiful day.

rainbow1This was the view of Sanctuary River and it was so pretty to see the leaves changing colors.

river11I love that it is so light out even at night time in the summer, it is just so cool. And gives you so much time to be outside and get things done!

watchWe tried to get dinner at 229 Parks Restaurant & Tavern but they were closed so they suggested Prey which was right down the street. It was really good and a super cute restaurant. DY9rc6dVl4vB8ulXNWT6Lrfm4jb1oRLO3LMRxxjVRoM=w681-h907-no



One of Dave’s outfitters he worked with said that 229 Parks had the best food in Denali. So after getting there too close to closing the night before, we made sure to make reservations for brunch the next morning. It was really good and we always love to support local establishments that have sustainable practices.

229The food really was delicious and the omelette Dave got had lemon zest in it and it was so good! Bc20aR6Lh9gSHD_HY_xf_d5IfetcLXBqyBwyyi_RMcs=w681-h907-no

After brunch we headed back to Fairbanks with a quick stop back to the coffee shop for drinks for the road.

F20XY0SgvPhff6aUv2658VcrdWHpCf-fqVxRPUC20Yg=w681-h907-no We stopped by Fred Meyers again to grab some snacks for me for the plane ride home. We had dinner with Dave’s work friend Ross at the hotel’s restaurant Lavelle’s which was also really good. I had the scallops and calamari and Dave had the lamb. Then we caught up with our friend Johnny CC, it was so good to see him I can’t believe it’s been over a year. Soon we will all be reunited in Seattle. :)

That night Dave dropped me off at the airport at close to midnight and I made it home to LA at 9:30am with another layover in Seattle.

(I know some of those details aren’t super important or interesting to you all but I want to remember these things when I look back on this trip, so thanks for bearing with me!)

Alaska is a huge state and I still can’t believe I got to experience it with Dave. I totally get why people love it up there. There’s so much to see and do. Granted we only had a few days together but it was so awesome and just what we needed. And now I get to check Alaska off my bucket list! (But of course I’d love to go back and see so many other parts of the state.)


Linking up with : waiting+on+Wednesday+link+up+button+5-26+versionhap-pinninghappy

My Alaska Trip Part 1

I had the best time in Alaska this past weekend. It exceeded my expectations. Dave and I got to see so much wildlife, drove all over Denali National Park, and took lots of pictures and made great memories. So be warned friends, there are a lot of pictures in this post and tomorrow’s. :) Hope you enjoy them.

Thursday August 20th, 2015

Right from work I drove to LAX, parked the car and headed to my flight with Delta. I had a layover in our future home of Seattle for an hour, ate a quick salad then was off to Fairbanks.

I got in late at 11pm and Dave picked me up at the airport in Fairbanks which was small and super easy to navigate.



Dave and his film crew are staying at the Springhill Suites in Fairbanks.

Da7eWGi5FPaTZIcyI0A3_wipSIhpAdOzF6vzDf1cIVJN51-7iRu9J9f8Fp-FWL6CBoZ-2QugJlwxCTP9Y8NVoE2WuLELL-p6Zn6yn0QmNWJluohW7_5pljvPSvk5yR5LtfBLrRV7R7ZJOqLSO2u_xokYjCuZfnBmRNmb-r-iDq6oHpO25NVAAsZoovIK4oHEE91Po_9HzCwZMzlQTIaGbw551-ud1FNVOzQFIn the morning I got to see the town a little on the way to the airport to grab our car rental. We also stopped by Starbucks and Fred Meyer (their grocery store) to get a few things for our time in Denali and our mini 2 hour road trip there. We got bananas and nectarines. I also brought dried apricots, Goldfish crackers, dried bananas, coconut almonds, and mixed nuts. Side note I love snacking on road trips.

We got to our motel which was cute and $150 a night.



The receptionist suggested we go to the cafe next door called Rose’s. It was simple diner type food but had such a great outdoor patio.





Right before we went into the park, we stopped by the coffee house and grabbed some drinks. We love going to local coffee shops on our road trips.


image_1-2Here we are at the entrance of the park. Throughout the day it was sunny, cloudy and rainy. It was about 45 degrees out.



There were sweeping views of the mountains and it was really cool to see sheets of rain in the distance.


Here is a fun pic I took from our car window.



This was at Mountain Vista at mile 15, near where private vehicles are restricted and you need a permit to go in your own private car, or you can go in the park buses. Because Dave is currently working on season 2 of The Last Alaskans with Animal Planet, we were able to snag a permit so we could lug all our camera gear in the car.



We decided it would make the most sense to drive through the park since it’s 6 million acres! We wanted to cover the most ground and have increase our likelihood of seeing wildlife. We also had a lot of camera gear that we wouldn’t have been able to hike with.


We stopped at Sanctuary River and did our traditional jumping photo :) And in case you were wondering, Dave is holding a can of bear mace just in case.


The road that goes through the park is 90 miles and around mile 30 we turned around and headed back out and headed to dinner.

And of course on the way out we finally spotted a moose!


We went out to dinner and had delicious oysters as an appetizer, and there was such a nice view from the restaurant. We went to eat at Overlook which is part of the Crow’s Nest Cabins.





It was also cool to see how light it still was at almost 10pm.


The first two days in Alaska were awesome. We had so much fun and it was surreal to be in Alaska together, especially in Denali National Park! Tomorrow I’ll go over Saturday and Sunday of our trip. Get ready there’s a lot more pictures :)

Linking up today with Bonnie Rose blog and Sweet Little Ones:





Liebster Award Questions!

I got home early this morning from an awesome trip to Alaska and took the rest of the day off to run errands and catch up on some things. I will for sure be blogging about the gorgeousness that is Denali National Park asap. liebster3So a little over a week ago, Liz from Sundays with Sophie was kind enough to nominate for the Liebster Award. (Thanks Liz!) So today I’m going to answer the questions she asked and nominate my blogging friends!

Acknowledge the blog who nominated you
Look for an award image that you like, and post it on your blog
Answer the 11 questions asked by the person/blog who nominated you
Nominate 11 blogs
Let the bloggers know you nominated them
Give them 11 questions to answer

What’s your favorite candy bar?

I used to eat a lot more candy than I do now. I mostly eat pretty well and only occasionally eat sweets these days. But I’ve always loved Reese’s peanut butter cups and Snickers.

What’s your least favorite chore?

I don’t love washing the dishes, nor do I love sweeping or mopping the floors. And don’t get me started on cleaning the toilets!


What would you say is your best quality?

I would say I’m a huge supporter. I am my friends’ biggest fans and love to celebrate their accomplishments and success with them.

Also, since I live half way across the country from my best friends back in Chicago, I also like to send cards and random surprise care packages in the mail. Who doesn’t love getting mail? :)


What’s a secret talent that you have that no one knows about (but now the world will after you post this)?

Hmm this is a tough question. I don’t know if I have any hidden talent, does moving my ears back and forth count? Hah! I don’t think I have any!

Favorite kind of date?

Something meaningful and thoughtful but not overly stuffy and formal. Dave and I love to go hiking, camping, go out to eat, cook at home, and walk around cute little towns.

What is your guilt pleasure TV show (that one you don’t want anyone to know you watch)

I talk about the bachelor franchise all the time, but it is a little embarrassing that i watch it :)


What was your worst date?

To be honest I didn’t date much before Dave. We started dating my freshmen year of college and have been together ever since :)

Your favorite hairstyle you love to wear?

My go to hairstyle is the half up, it’s easy and not fussy. I’m not big into makeup and getting all gussied up all the time.


Whats your LBD look like? (little black dress)

I have a few! I have one that has half sleeves to my elbow and is knee length, and I have I have a swimsuit coverup type dress that has a small opening in the back. (I’m currently at work or else I’d post photos of the dresses.)

Place you’d love to visit?


My European Bucket List is ever growing. I want to go to London, Paris, Rome, the Greek Islands, Amsterdam, Switzerland, etc etc! So many places. I’m dying to get over to Europe one of these days!

And within the US and Canada I really want to go to Glacier National Park and Lake Louise in Banff National Park. I already looked up how far they both are from Seattle and they’re both about a 9 hour drive. Hello road trip! ;)

saint_mary_lake_glacier_national_park-2560x14401Saint Mary Lake Glacier in Glacier National Park

What’s your favorite room in your house?

We are moving this October to Seattle and are super excited to start our house search, but in the mean time my favorite room in our place is the living room. We have our comfy couch where we watch our shows and documentaries, and we recently put up a gallery wall with some of our finds on the road. I want to do a separate post about our gallery wall one of these days!

I’d like to nominate 11 of my favorite blogger friends:

Kylie @ Kylie McGraw                 Molly @ Colors of Life

Katie @ Better Off Benedict        Katelyn @ Simply Sunflour

Lauren @ Post Grad in Progress  Emily @ Classically Comfortable

Emily @ A Little Bit of Emily      Jules and Mil @ South by Northwest

Jessica @ Semi Sweet Tooth        Mattie @ Northwest Native

Christina @ the New Mrs


Here are my questions for you all:

What’s your favorite thing about blogging?

How did you get started blogging?

What has blogging taught you?

What are some items on your bucket list?

What’s your favorite thing about where you grew up?

Where is the best place you’ve traveled to?

Who are the most influential people in your life?

What’s your favorite book you’ve ever read?

What are 5 things that make you happy?

Where or what is your happy place?

What has been a life changing experience for you?

Please feel free to also answer these questions, even if you weren’t nominated. It’s always fun to find out more about bloggers. :)

Linking up today with A Cute Lifestyle Blog and :


Friday Favorites!

We all made it to Friday, yay! :) Today will be my first full day in Alaska and we are heading to Denali National Park! Let me know if there’s any places we should check out! We will be staying in near Healy.

Hope you all have great weekends, see you back here Monday!THE NEW YOUI love this article about Tea Leoni with the title “I Earned Every Line on My Face.” I think it’s such a positive message to send to woman to love their wrinkles and laugh lines. Just means you wen through life and enjoyed it :) And how gorgeous does she look?


THE NEW YOU(1)It’s no secret around here that I love the royal family. So I was so excited when recently rare behind the scenes photos of Diana and Charles’s wedding was released! How cool to get a glimpse behind all the pomp and circumstance.


THE NEW YOU(2) One of my friends posted this on Facebook recently and I just love it! It was a list of Love is the Little Things that went along with adorable illustrations like this:

Love Means Falling Asleep on Each Other’s Shoulders


THE NEW YOU(3)I’ve always loved Sophia Bush, ever since her days on One Tree Hill. She is featured this month on Health magazine and she talked about the word enough.

“The word enough is a monster for me,” she said. “I don’t know how anyone ever feels that they are enough: successful enough, smart enough, pretty enough, healthy enough.”

“I got so scared the first time I decided to say, ‘I am terrified of not being enough,’ ” she continued. “And what came back tenfold – women who identify, women who sympathize and women who experience all of that – was mind-boggling to me. We are so in this together. And that helps.”



I love Jillian Harris and her blog. She just seems so real and fun. She always gives great advice and this week is no exception. NN4sGVmT-eqk7gW01TEb6p4KHmUGAd964ND53eHUC1UiTxNT9YV8KfRD5bkgn0H4UZbHcqa0QduTsFS-MZGks4-copy


Friday has become the day of the link ups. Here are the wonderful women I’m linking up with each week: Hill Collection and Running 4 Cupcakes




Travel Thursdays: A Week Out West Part 2

In case you missed my post last week on Thursday, I shared pictures from the first part of our week on our week long road trip out West. You can read it here. We drove from LA to Glendale, Arizona to Taos, New Mexico, then to a wedding in Albuquerque. Today I’m going over the second half of our trip:

Albuquerque, New Mexico

Day 4 – We had plans to meet up with some friends for brunch at the Grove, which has a huge menu. It was a great place for brunch and I would recommend this place if you’re in town.

Afterwards we went to BJ’s and hung out with our friends to watch the World Cup (remember this trip was from July last year.) I don’t keep up with soccer on a regular basis but I do enjoy going to a bar and hanging out with friends. It’s fun to have everyone cheering and clapping.

After the game we went back to our hotel and got ready for the wedding of our friends who are currently living in the UK, so it was great to see them. It was an intimate wedding of 100 people and even though it was drizzling for a few seconds it quickly passed and it was a night full of love and laughter.

Drove from Albuquerque to Zion National Park 

Day 5 – Our friends flew in from Chicago to meet us in Albuquerque. We drove with them for 8 hours to Zion National Park in Utah.

So from Albuquerque to Zion National Park, is about an 8 hour drive. We left Albuquerque early in the morning and made to to Zion early evening. 

On the way to Zion we stopped at Horse Shoe Bend in Arizona and it was breathtaking! So gorgeous. I did more of a recap here.

071411 Horsehoe Bend-9

When we arrived at Zion, we got so lucky and got a camping spot in the Watchman campground. It was pretty hot so the people who had originally reserved the spot left early. People book campsites in the summer as early as January, so we really did get lucky to nab a spot.

There is a market right outside the South entrance where we rented our gear. We got shoes with grip, wet socks, and a walking stick. It was $21 all together.

We set up our tents and then headed out to dinner. We ate at the Flying Monkey. It was not my favorite but it did the trick for the night.

Day 6 – We spent the day hiking the Narrows in Zion National Park and I blogged about that trip here.


That night after our awesome hike we ate dinner right outside the park. To be honest I don’t remember the name of the restaurant we went to (it’s been over a year!) But it was good, but nothing super memorable. After dinner we drove home to LA which is a 7 hour drive. We thought about staying the night in Vegas but decided to push through to make it home.

It was such a great trip and we got to see so many cool things, our friends, and I’ll never say no to a road trip :)

Hope you’re all having a great Thursday!

Linking up today with :