Friday Favorites Link Up

Happy Friday everyone! Hope you all had great weeks. Any exciting weekend plans? I’m helping my friend with a garage sale Saturday and then heading out for our road trip to Seattle! And don’t worry I have posts scheduled for the days I will be gone!

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I’m linking up with A Little Bit of Everything BlogGrace and Love Blog, and Momfessionals.p.txt

I’m also joining 5 of Friday with  A.Liz Adventures, Carolina CharmHello! Happiness, and The Good Life Blog.VALENTINEohheyfriday_zps0d5af582

 

And last but not least, the ladies at The Farmer’s Wife and September Farm.

THE NEW YOU

If you watched the Oscars on Sunday, I named my list of Best Dressed. You can’t go wrong with Miss Jennifer Aniston. She always knocks if out of the park style wise. She is definitely one of my favorite style icons.

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THE NEW YOU(1)

 

Speaking of the Oscars from this past Sunday, I would highly recommend you all watching this documentary, Last Days in Vietnam. It is directed and produced by Rory Kennedy who is an award winning documentarian and youngest child of Robert and Ethel Kennedy.

This documentary is what my parents and so many of my family members went through at the end of the war in 1975 so it was very emotional and powerful to see so much footage. It’s a very popular topic in my household and I’m so glad it’s been made into an amazing documentary.

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THE NEW YOU(2)

I love Sunset Magazine. I use them all the time as a guide to place I shouldn’t miss on the West Coast especially when we go on a road trip. They share camping sites, food places, hikes, etc. It’s my go to place to plan.

 

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THE NEW YOU(3)

I mentioned we are going to Seattle this weekend and I’m looking forward to taking pictures at the gum wall in Pike’s Place. I’ve been there twice but still have yet to add my piece of gum there.

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0001-66688368Lastly have you tried a coconut macaroon from Whole Foods? They are delicious. I am obsessed. I want to look up some recipes to make them at home. Know any good ones??

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See you all soon, can’t wait to read all your posts in the link ups! Thanks for hosting ladies.

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Travel Thursdays – Joshua Tree National Park

In April of 2014 Dave and I went to Joshua National Park to celebrate one of our best friend’s birthday with a camping weekend. This was our first time there and it did not disappoint. It was a little hot in April but it was so much fun. We hung out, ate great food, had birthday pie, talked about our childhoods around the fire, and went off roading.

Here we are saving a spot while our friends check out the other campsites.

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We used the tarps to hide from the hot, hot sun.

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Here’s a picture to show how far away we were from everything and everyone. We were surrounded by these huge boulders and the Joshua trees, so peaceful and awesome.

IMG_2392We of course climbed the boulders and took our Pinterest Inspired Feet Picture.

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IMG_2415Off Roading

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We love our friends, national parks, camping, and off roading, so it was a really great weekend, one for the books!

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What’s Up Wednesday with Mel and Shay

So a week or two ago I was reading Shay’s blog Mix and Match Family and she did What’s Up Wednesday which came from Mel at The Larson Lingo. I thought it would be fun to do it this week as well. I did a shorter version and left out a few questions. Check out their blogs for all the questions especially if you want to do one as well.

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What I’m eating this week: I found this gelato brand at Whole Foods and I’m addicted. They have a lot of flavors and I particularly love their sea salt caramel and mint chocolate chip. And they make great snack containers after you wash them out. :)

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What I’m reading: I’m currently in the middle of reading two books.

The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman I just started this one but I’m loving it already. It’s so interesting to hear about the different love languages and I’m excited to find out which one mine is as well as my boyfriends. Hopefully this book will help us understand each other more. All couples can use a little help.

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The Kennedy Detail by Gerald Blaine I’ve waited years to read this book! I watched the documentary of the same name and then found out there was a book too. Gerald Blaine was on the Kennedy detail as a secret service agent and has a lot of great insider stories. I am amazed the memories he has and how they agents have held on to these memories for over 50 years.

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What I’m reminiscing about: I love reading people’s bucket lists and I have a loose one. It is also ever-changing and I’m always adding it to and checking items off. Here is one of my favorite posts I’ve done about items I’ve checked off my bucket list.

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What I’m looking forward to: This weekend Dave and I are heading to Seattle! We are going to be driving, we love a good road trip. (Here are a few of our other road trips Chicago to LA,  LA to San Fran, 2011 Road Trip) I’m really excited to see our family and friends in Eugene, and Seattle, and hopefully camp along the way.

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What I’m loving: A few new blogs I found in the last few days:
 
What I’m watching: I probably watch too much tv. Shows I’m currently watching: the Bachelor, 2 broke girls, 19 Kids and Counting, Cougar Town, Marry Me, and the Mindy Project. 
What I’m listening to: Hi my name is Julie and I’m obsessed with Sam Smith. :) It’s been out for months, but in case you missed it, you should listen to his version of Whitney Houston’s How Will I Know? It is so beautiful! I listen to it on repeat.

I’m also loving Say You Do by Dierks Bentley.

What am I wearing today: My business wear because I’m interviewing for a few jobs this week. Eek, fingers crossed!
What else is new: Tomorrow I’m bringing back Travel Thursday’s and sharing our camping adventures in Joshua Tree National Park.
What’s up with you?
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Jenny McCarthy’s Life Laughs

Life-LaughsI had previously read Jenny McCarthy’s book, Stirring the Pot and wanted to read another one of her books. So I chose this one called Life Laughs. And it was equally as real and funny. I’m a big fan of the way she writes. She writes like she is talking to her girlfriends.

She is so honest about universal women topics: sex, marriage, motherhood, cooking, and divorce. Yes she’s a celebrity but she doesn’t have a nanny, and she barely cooks (her ex got food poisoning when she tried to cook a meal with the slow cooker.) She shares a bunch of short stories so it makes it a super quick and easy read.

I laughed out loud twice within the first 20 pages of the book.

I think women relate to her because she doesn’t take herself too seriously and isn’t afraid to talk about subjects that other people shy away from, including lady parts and manscaping. If you’re looking for a laugh, I’d definitely recommend this book.

 

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Oscars 2015 Best Dressed

I always love award season and the Oscars are the big night and stars really brought their A games this year. Here were my favorites this year. Who were your favorites?

I think my favorite looks were Lara Spencer’s hot pink dress and turquoise necklace and of course Jennifer Aniston always looks so amazing and ageless.

Reese Witherspoon

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Jessica Chastain

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Jennifer Lopez

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Jennifer Aniston

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Cheryl Hines

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Cate Blanchett

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Rosamund Pike

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Kelly Ripa

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Dakota Johnson

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Lara Spencer

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Jamie Chung

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And I loved this moment during Patricia Arquette’s speech:  1904220_10153700732969852_853434950735179081_n

Come back tomorrow where I’ll be sharing my book review of Jenny McCarthy’s book, Life Laughs. 

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Friday Favorites Link Up – The Bachelor Edition

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It’s Friday again, woo hoo! I’m linking up with the ladies of A Little Bit of Everything Blog, Grace and Love Blog, and Momfessionals.

And today through the link up I found other ladies who also host their own link up. So today for the first time I’m joining 5 of Friday with A.Liz Adventures, Carolina Charm, Hello! Happiness, and The Good Life Blog.

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To keep the link up party going, I’m also joining The Farmer’s Wife and September Farm today as well!

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THE NEW YOU

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I watch the Bachelor and the Bachelorette and I’ve read their books (Trista Sutter‘s book that I haven’t blogged about yet, Sean Lowe’s For the Right Reasons, and Courtney Robertson’s I Didn’t Come Here to Make Friends).

So I love all things Bachelor. I love that Jimmy Kimmel talks about it so much, and was on the show this season. This is an old video but I love that he did the baby Bachelor with his nephew and I love that Des was a good sport and played along.

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I wasn’t planning on making this a Bachelor edition of Friday Favorites, but I might as well go with it. If you are watching this season of the Bachelor with Chris, then you will know that Whitney is one of the last three girls that are left. She is by far my favorite girl on the show, and for Chris.

I think they’re a great match. She seems level headed, sincere, and honest about wanting to be with Chris and being open to move to small town Arlington, Iowa. They look great together and I hope they end up together and can make it long term (because so many couple obviously don’t make it in the real world). I don’t read the spoilers and I don’t know who he picks but I hope it’s Whit!

If you guys are watching this season, who do you like? Kaitylnn, Becca, or Whitney? Also who would you like to be the Bachelorette? I think Kaitlynn would be really fun. She’s great but I don’t see her with Chris. And Becca is so sweet but I feel like she’s a little young and innocent for Chris. B7wjZ_-CAAAyMb0.jpg-large

THE NEW YOU(2)And lastly, I want to highlight the blogs and recaps that I love reading each week.

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  • It’s not a blog but each week Jason and Molly Mesnick do a podcast on their website Gossip and Reality and I love getting their perspective since they’ve been through it together

I know I read a lot of recaps, but are there any more that I’m missing and should be reading?

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I like to follow past Bachelor and Bachelorette contestants and leads from the show on social media and I love seeing what they are up to after being on TV. It’s fun to see all the Bachelor babies. Here are a few of my favorites.

Riley Mesnick

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Addison Stagliano

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Fordham Rosenbaum

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Ava and Beckett Strickland 

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Max and Blakesley Sutter

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And lastly I want to say how cool I think it is that Dana from the Possesstionista website finds the clothes and accessories that the contestants on the show wear. Because sometimes things are so cute you just want to know where it’s from!

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Have a lovely weekend everyone! See you all Monday!

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Travel Thursdays – Venice Beach, California

So last year when we moved from Chicago to LA, we took full advantage of living in Santa Monica, near the beach (we lived 10 blocks away to be exact, and it was glorious.) When I was training for my marathon I use to run on the beach to and from Santa Monica and Venice Beach all the time. It was beautiful and so relaxing to run on the beach path.

Venice and Santa Monica are definitely different beach towns but the beaches are both so pretty.  Here are a few of my favorite Venice Beach pictures.

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JFK Jr, George, and Me by Matt Berman

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Matt Berman was John F. Kennedy Jr’s creative director for George magazine and he wrote a book based on their professional and personal life through those years.

Matt did a great job painting a picture of New York and the magazine world and how fast paced it is. He writes in short chapters which makes it more readable for me and also more addicting because I tell myself I’ll just read one more chapter, and then of course I read more.

He talks about how he met JFK Jr, Carolyn, and how close they all became. Matt compared John to his older brothers, how they teased him and were protective of him at the same time. He was a normal kid from Connecticut (as was Carolyn, a fact which they bonded over) and found himself in an exciting world filled with celebrities and working closely with the son of the most beloved president.

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Matt talks about photo shoots with big celebrities such as Demi Moore, Ben Stiller, Robert Di Nero, Drew Barrymore, Elizabeth Hurley, Cindy Crawford, and Barbara Streisand. He talks about what they were like and his interactions with him. Matt also said people lit up when they saw John.

Matt talked about his insecurities, which I thought was really refreshing and honest. He wondered if people were nice to him just because he was John’s creative director. He always sensed celebrities disappointment when he just showed up and they realized John wasn’t coming.  He felt the pressures and expectations from the media to deliver each month. But John gave Matt confidence he didn’t always have in himself. John had a way of putting people at ease.

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And no book about JFK Jr is complete without the heartbreaking ending of his untimely death. Matt recounts the day their plane went missing and how he was thinking about John’s last time doing everything from waking up, to locking his bike and the last meal he had. He went through all the emotions of numbness, denial, and anger.

I love the way he summed it up, “How could thing turn so quickly? In one minute, John was nothing. Just as nothing had turned into everything when I met him, everything turned into nothing when he died So many things turned out to be the opposite of what they initially seemed. The first cover of George was actually a woman; the Prince and the Vampire (me) were very much alike; John’s icy wife turned out to be warm and funny. The job I wasn’t sure I could handled helped me come into my own. When their plane crashed into the sea, pure water turned into a brick wall.”

 

It’s a really sweet look into their friendship and life at the George magazine. He shows you how real and down to earth both John and Carolyn were and it just breaks your heart to think they were cut down in their prime, just like that, taken away from all the people who loved and knew them, and people in the public who didn’t know them at all, but felt like they did.

 

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Valentines Day hike + Malibu Seafood

So this weekend consisted of eating, hiking, and then more eating. I hope you all had a lovely Valentines Day weekend as well! I feel lucky everyday to be surrounded by wonderful friends and family and on a day where it’s all about love, I feel it even more.

Make sure to tell the people you love that you love them while they are still around. Life moves pretty fast and if you don’t look around once in a while and appreciate it all, you might miss it.

Friday night we went out to eat with some friends in downtown Anaheim at Fire and Ice which is fun because they grill the foods you pick and make you a stir fry.

Saturday we drove to Malibu and went hiking at Escondito Falls. There are supposed to be waterfalls but with the recent drought California is going through, they weren’t so much waterfalls as it was a small water trickle. But nonetheless it was a great hike and work out. It is not for the faint heart, this hike. There are two or three tricky parts you have to go up with an incline, loose gravel, a rope to hang on to.

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I wish I took more pictures of the hike but here is a fun group shot of us all, Stitch came too!

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After our hike, we went down the Pacific Coast Highway and went to Malibu Seafood. Even though we used to live in Santa Monica and often went to Malibu, we never actually never stopped here. It is always crowded with a long line of hungry people.

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The views of the Pacific Ocean are gorgeous and there are 3 seating areas. The breeze is great and it’s a lovely spot to stop at.

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I ordered the tilapia and fries (fish and chips) and it was delicious. And Dave got the mahi mahi with rice and fries. The lemonade was also good but had a lot of sugar, 29 grams worth!

 

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It was a perfect lunch after a long but very enjoyable hike. Hope you all had a lovely Valentines Day weekend as well!

 

 

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