Travel Thursdays: Jumping for Joy!

Dave and I love to travel. We’ve gone on numerous cross country road trips from Chicago to Washington DC, Chicago to Seattle, Chicago to California, LA to Seattle, etc.

We’ve also been to the US and British Virgin Islands, Hawaii, and Vietnam together. And separately we have been to Afghanistan, Peru, Mexico, Germany, England, Canada, and Togo. (All stories for another day!) And of course there are a million more place we want to go to (all over Europe, New Zealand, Australia, Banff National Park, Glacier National Park, etc)

A fun little thing we’ve done over the years, starting in 2010, was the infamous jumping photo. I don’t remember how it came about, but we did it and thus a tradition was born. :)

As you will see from these photos, there are a lot of trips we have taken that I have yet to blog about, but intend to. I’ll be going back into the archives to dig up some of the pictures. In the meantime check out the fun places we’ve been.

South Dakota, 2010
Our first road trip together from Chicago to South Dakota (to the Badlands and Mount Rushmore.)


Vietnam, April 2010

Got my cousin and some neighborhood kids to join us on this one.



Washington DC, summer 2011


Starved Rock State Park, Illinois – 2011

 The Orcas Island – Washington state 2011


Grand Tetons, Wyoming- Summer 2011

What a gorgeous park, we can’t wait to go back someday soon!


 Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming- Summer 2011

We took advantage of a beautiful sunset.

302792_801445794527_5108545_nI look like a mix between a frog and a super hero :)


Denver, Colorado-2012


Maroon Bells  in Aspen, Colorado – 2012

Is one of our favorite places we have ever been.



 Imogen Pass off roading in Colorado – 2012

We took our beloved 4Runner off roading in the San Juan Mountains that connect Ouray and Telluride. We found a really cool old abandoned mining town. I’ll definitely have to blog about this one and show you more pictures.


Some random forest in Colorado – 2012

IMG_1273 copy

San Francisco, California – Summer 2012

This was my first time ever in San Francisco and I fell in love with this city. The crooked street, the Bay, the Golden Gate Bridge, the trolleys etc.



Somewhere in Nevada- Summer 2013

I love big, long stretches of open road. It’s also nice to get out and stretch your legs on long road trips.


Somewhere in Utah – Summer 2013

We are obviously wearing the same clothes from the last picture, this was from the same day and same road trip. And again I look like a super hero. Dave is way better at these jumping pictures than I am. :)


San Francisco, California – January 2014

Took a road trip with Dave’s parents from San Francisco to LA.


Moro Rock Hike, Sequoia National Park, California- March 2014

We went camping with a group of friends and Moro Rock was definitely the highlight of the trip.



 Horseshoe Bend in Page, Arizona – July 2014

After hiking the Narrows in Zion National Park with two of our friends from Chicago, we road tripped back to LA and stopped here. Dave just edited the pictures from our hike in Zion and it will be up shortly! It’s an amazing hike that I highly recommend.

071411 Horsehoe Bend-9

Maroon Bells in Aspen, Colorado – December 2014

 It was really beautiful to come back here in the winter. We went cross country skiing for the first time here. A place near and dear to our hearts. unnamed

Las Vegas, Nevada – April 2015

Went to Vegas twice in one month. Our first trip we visited the Neon Museum which was awesome! Not all our jumping pictures are successful :)

CaptureFor our second trip, Dave was out of town working. I went with my brother and family from Minnesota and my cousin is here jumping with me.


We’ve gone on a few trips this year, we drove to LA to Seattle in March, we drove to Vegas for a weekend in April, went home to Chicago in May, and went to a wedding in New York in May. But I guess we haven’t taken any jumping pictures together this year yet (unless I’m forgetting any.) But we are going camping in July, as well as two more trips home in July and October. We are also planning a move to Seattle in the fall.

So hopefully we will add another jumping picture or two to our collection this year. :)

What fun traditions do you all do when traveling?

Favorite Quotes Link Up

I love quotes. I’ve been a big fan since high school (this fall will be my 10 year reunion, crazy!) There are some really inspiring and great quotes out there. And Pinterest has so many that I love to browse.

My friend and I actually text each other every couple of days with inspiring quotes to motivate one another. :)

So I was really excited when I saw this link up with I Heart Grade 3 to share favorite quotes. The link up is open for another 2 days if you want to join in.


 There is no way I could pick just one, so here are a few that I love:ade654ca6b54bb2b9dd2b959f134f985






Weekend Recap

Friday night I went to The Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach for the Night Dive event with some friends, where they had food trucks and drinks and opened the aquarium until 11pm. It was my first time there and it was really cool, I enjoyed it. I took only a few pictures. The coolest part was getting to pet jellyfish, small sharks, and sting rays! I’ve never done that before so that was awesome.




Saturday we went for a morning hike in Laguna Beach at the Top of the World trails. There are 30 miles of trails to choose from. It was nice and cloudy and not at all hot. It even started to drizzle a little on our way back (which is a big deal for us in California with the drought at all.)

oOCwMo_w-UJ_cDj6g-ZVu5p3DtjPannZbXVxnjplHjE=w680-h906-noxmRFoLTH3gkAb1PYg04EBLAS9o0ZjTnq6BixGl8EUww=w1208-h906-noBefore we started the trail a lady warned us to stay away from the bushes because she saw rattlesnakes. We didn’t see any on the trail until the very end we saw the skin of one!  jiZlStsdJ8vJqaw1kIL9M-zCmGD8d0ATaj2ov_Auh7s=w680-h906-noAfter our hike we went to lunch at a Vietnamese restaurant, followed by a quick trip to Target where I picked up the Tone It Up book, yay! After seeing these girls at the Hermosa Beach work out event last weekend, I am following along their fitness adventures and their infectious energy.


Sunday went to breakfast with my roommates and ran some errands. I also got ready for the week food wise with cutting and prepping. Had a lazy Sunday and blogged while watched a bunch of movies on tv: Horrible Bosses, Friends with Benefits, and How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days.

What fun things did you all do this weekend?

Favorite Things Link Up: Summer Shoe

Favorite+ThingsHappy Monday everyone!

On Fridays I always link up with Erika and Andrea and today I’m doing it again. They are two of my favorite bloggers and I check their blogs everyday, I love following their sweet families. And Erika was kind enough to participate in my interview series, check it out here if you missed it.

And here is their schedule if you want to link up in the coming months. Today’s topic is favorite summer shoe.


the-new-youI’ll start out by saying, I’m not one of those girls who loves shoes and has a closet full. I’m very practical when it comes to buying shoes. I like comfortable, versatile shoes.

I heard about these shoes from Shay, the Mix and Match Mama, whom I adore. You can read about her and her family in my interview with her and definitely check out her blog.

She went on and on about how comfy they were and perfect for walking long distances, especially when you’re traveling. They’re called Sketchers Go Walk. They come in other colors too, but hot pink is one of my favorite colors.

I bought mine for $60 at Kohl’s but have since seen them there on sale for $45. They can also be found at other shoe stores. They really lightweight, way more comfortable to walk in than flip flops, and I love the pop of color especially for the summer time.


the-new-you1Even though they don’t offer great support I still am a sucker for Old Navy flip flops. They’re so cheap (2 for $5) for the generic colored ones and they also have the occasional fun patterned ones for $5. They’re cheap and easy to match with cute outfits.



I love browsing Target’s shoe section. They always have cute affordable options. As of late I have been wearing flats because I think it ties outfits together in a simple way and is cuter than normal flip flops. Here is a pair that is currently $22.99. They’re called Kendall D’Orsay Flats.


And lastly for summer wedding and parties that we all have coming up, I think a wedge is a nice way to dress up a little without sinking your heels into the grass. Wedges can be tricky though, because even though they can be super comfortable, it’s a fine line between cute and being too bulky looking.

Here’s a really simple pair from Payless that is just $15. It also comes in 3 other colors. CaptureExcited to see all your favorite shoes in the link up! Thanks for hosting Erika and Andrea! Hope you all have a great start to your week. It’s almost July 4th weekend!!

Friday Favorites: Books, Beach & Bloggers

Happy Friday friends! I’m linking up with the ladies at A Little Bit of Everything BlogGrace and Love Blog, and Momfessionals as usual!  :) Head on over to all their sites if you wanna join in the link ups!


I’m also linking up with other blogging women at A.Liz AdventuresCarolina CharmHello! Happiness, and The Good Life Blog.p-txt

 And last but not least The Farmer’s Wife, September Farm, Fitting It All in Blog, Life in Leggings and Meet at the Barre!


the-new-youThis week I finished My Year with Eleanor by Noelle Hancock and I loved it! If you’re looking for a light, uplifting, summer read I’d totally recommend this one. She chronicles facing her fears for an entire year from cage diving with sharks to doing stand up comedy.

It got me thinking about my fears and how we build up things in our minds and they usually aren’t so bad!

9780061875038If you’re looking for other ideas for good summer reads, check out my book club page. I’ve put asterisks next to my favorite books. I’d also love to hear your book recommendations, please feel free to leave them in the comments!
the-new-you1I had so much fun last Saturday at the Summer Shape Up event in Hermosa Beach. I got to work out with P90x creator Tony Horton and Autumn Calabrese.



the-new-you2In the last week or two I’ve made some new blogging friends, who have been super sweet and supportive. I wanted to take a second to highlight them and their blogs and say thank you girls!

headerabout+meLauren at Post Grad in Progress is a Charlotte based girl navigating her way through life in her post college years.


Molly is a sweet, full time college girl sharing her life in Texas on her blog  Colors of Life.

cropped-img_05442Kylie McGraw is a grad student in the DC area who is also big into fitness and running. The runner in me relates to a lot of her posts. She blogs at Kylie McGraw.


CaptureJulia and Amelia are two best friends (like Vi and I!) since 6th grade, who blog together in the Seattle and Bellevue area. And since I’m moving up to Seattle in the fall, it’s fun to follow their adventures and see what they’re up to up there!


I saw this quote this week on Pinterest and just loved it. Life is too short to be surrounded by negative people. The people you invite into your life should be positive, inspirational, loyal, and supportive, to name a few traits. I’ve moved a lot in last few years from Chicago, to DC, Santa Monica, Orange County, and next up Seattle.

Each time I move I focus on making meaningful, lasting friendships. You get what you give. You have to be a good friend in order to have good friends. Friendships and relationships are what make a place home for me. I will continue to seek out positive vibes, real people, honesty, and humor in my search for new friends.

0001-66688368And lastly I wanted to feature again, for those of you who may have missed it yesterday. Continuing my interview series I interviewed Hanne who has visited more than 50 countries in the world, with the hopes of visiting every country! She speaks 5 languages and blogs over at Places, People, Stories. Be sure to check out her interview here.


Have a good weekend friends, see you back here Monday!!

Interview Series Featuring: Hanne, a World Traveler

A lot of the interviews I do in the interview series are about travel because I’m so interested in it and it’s a huge passion of mine.
A little while back I got an email from Hanne, who is a travel blogger at Places, Peoples, Stories, who asked to be a part of the series, which was so flattering and the first time someone asked. I usually seek out other bloggers and friends and ask them to be a part of it.
I am so happy to share Hanne’s stories from her 5 years of traveling to 50 + countries and counting!
At first I traveled a lot with my parents and sister. However, when I got older I started to travel alone. Now after getting married I usually travel with my husband.
I am actually not sure. I have always loved to travel, and see travel programs from all over the world. I guess I am just born with the wanderlust gene? I was also inspired by others that traveled a lot, like my grandparents.
Yes! That is a dream! But I have a lot of more countries to visit before that happens.
The next trip will be to Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary in July. I have wanted to see more of East Europe for a long time.
The people I meet on my way. I love to learn about new cultures, and that is why I love to stay with local people when I travel.
Actually, that must be home – Norway. Because even as much as I travel I have never seen anything as beautiful as the nature and fjords of Norway. It is also where my family live so that is also why this is my favorite place on earth.
So many things. Maybe the most important is that I do not need material things to be happy. As long as I have people around that cares about me and love me that is what matters. That I learned when I lived in Nigeria without water and electricity. I was still happy without these things, even if they are very basic.
That there are so many amazing and kind people out there. People that have almost nothing, but still give you a plate of food. You are never alone, wherever you are, I have experienced. There are always someone there to help you if you need it.
Oh… I have so many. One of my favorite was when I was in Benin, and I had no idea about the floating village of Ganvie there. That is the biggest community living on water in the world. It was amazing and a big surprise to see this, and I will never forget.
Some of them, I still keep in touch with over Facebook or email. And I am happy I can still do that! But I wish I had contact with so many more.
I do not buy souvenirs anymore, because they were never used. I take pictures, and then I have memories in my head which might be the mist precious. And the blog as well is helping a lot ro commemorate my trips.
No, I do not even have any pictures from my travels on my wall actually. But now that I am moving to Norway, I have been thinking about putting some of my favorites up on the wall.
Actually, I have two home bases. One in Norway, where I have some stuff stored at my parents house. The other is in Bolivia, where I have been living the last 3 years.
I have for many years saved up money when I was a student. I was working a lot, and I saved everything. I have also worked a bit when I was on travel.
Yes, now I am working as a freelancer. I was the director of a foundation called Yo voy a Ti here in Bolivia that worked with street kids for almost 2 years. I have also given English classes. I also volunteered in development projects in Nigeria and India.
I need my laptop, and camera with me on every travel. They are musts.
Yes, many times. But fortunately nothing serious have ever happened, besides a few accidents and robberies.
I speak 5 languages. Norwegian, English, Danish, Swedish and Spanish.
Not anymore. In the beginning, yes, they worried a lot. But now they are used to that I travel, and are more calm.
Yes, from Nigeria I was going to Uganda. They did not want to let me in to my connecting flight, as the first flight was delayed. I started to cry, so they let me in at the end.
Since July 2014. Soon to be 1 year!
Just do it! I do not buy excuses like “I do not have money or time”. It does not need to cost a lot to travel the world. I used 50 USD for 2 months in India. Who cannot afford that?
To relay on the locals. They know best – and much better than any guidebook.

          My family
          Good food

Five different languages and 50 plus countries?! I have major travel envy right now. It’s a big world out there and somehow traveling makes it smaller. I am so inspired by her travels and need to start collecting more passport stamps.

Thank you so much for being a part of my Interview Series Hanne! I’m excited to follow along on your journey now. :)

Super Saturday : 5K, Beach Workouts, & Cupcakes

So I’m a little late in doing a weekend wrap up, but better late than never, right? :)

So on Friday I told you guys about my weekend plans. I did a 5k in the morning and two beach workouts with Shape magazine.

My friend Erin had a new year’s resolution to do one 5k a month. So for the last two months I’ve been joining her. Last month we did one in Santa Monica on the beach path, and this month we did one on the beach, in the sand, in Manhattan Beach.

IMG_0047The morning started out a little chilly but by the end it was hot, so I took off my jacket that had my running number.

Fun fact: at the very end of the race, I decided to sprint in and pass anyone in my path. There happened to be a little girl probably 10 years old or so, and I sprinted to catch up to her. Her mom said, “She’s gaining on you!” Haha I showed no mercy and ran in right before her. It was pretty funny. It made me push myself and was just for fun. Don’t worry no one went home in tears or anything.

YwCf3zhLk7z5TxgTEio0nofQCJG-KPFE7cLksaaF_uI=w953-h714-noLast month it was just Erin and I, and this month Richard, Erin’s boyfriend decided last minute to join us. :) Selfies on the beach.

u_3olxjtESGIHvZRf8G6MfmUhmiKMFuH39d4M-al5uw=w681-h907-noAfter our 5k, we walked down the street to Noah’s Bagels which is pretty comparable to Einstein’s Bagels. It was really good. Erin and I always look forward to breakfast after our 5ks. Last month after our Santa Monica 5k, we ate at our favorite waffle place, Bru’s Wiffle, which I’ve mentioned before. If you ever find yourself in Santa Monica, definitely go there!

I don’t remember how I heard out about this beach workout but I signed up weeks ago. They were offering beach work out classes in Hermosa Beach, with well known trainers. Shaun T from Insanity, Tony Horton from P90x, Autumn Calabrese, and Katrina and Karena from Tone It Up.

IMG_0065I wanted to take the Tone It Up classes but they sold out. Those girls are popular! They’ve started a whole movement and have a lot of fans. I was able to get into two classes at noon and 1pm with Autumn and Tony. Their classes were really fun and energetic.

IMG_0068He is the creator of P90X and is 57 years old. He kept saying aging is for idiots. Hilarious and so true. What an inspiration though! I hope I’m still fit at that age.

IMG_0084 The Tone it Up girls did a meet and greet but this was the best I got because I had to rush to my next class. They’re gorgeous and super friendly though. Happy for all their success.IMG_0081Shape Magazine put on a great event. The classes were $5 each (so cheap!) and they gave away great good bags full of protein powder, their magazine, dvd workouts, Sun Chips, and Neutrogena sunscreen spray. I had a blast, got some vitamin D, and some fun goodies. Total success!IMG_0090

Part of why I like to work out is because I like to sometimes reward myself afterwards. Which leads me to this picture…as I was walking back to the car I came across the adorable cupcake shop called Frosted Cupcakery.


The girl working there suggested their strawberry cream cheese cupcake and it did not disappoint. It was delicious. A two hour workout deserves a little cupcake right? ;) IMG_0086

IMG_0089I had to stop myself from getting another one, it was that good. Highly recommend if you’re ever around one.

IMG_0087After I got home, I took a shower than a nice 2 hour nap. The sun and working out wore me out.

My friend came over that night with her daughter, and we had a girl’s night and watched the new Pixar movie, Inside Out, which was adorable. And speaking of adorable, look at that face! I adore that sweet little girl and her mama.



All in all it was a very productive and great day.