Travel Thursdays: Chicago to LA Road Trip

In the past year and a half since we moved to California from Chicago, my boyfriend and I have been on a lot of adventures. But I didn’t blog about them as they happened as I should have. But I figure better late than never right?

So let’s take a little trip down memory lane. Back in October 2014, we made the big cross country move. 29 hours, 2,021 miles, across 5 states. What can we say, we like a good road trip. :) We, of course, made stops along the way.

I lived in the suburbs of Chicago my whole life. We briefly lived in Washington DC for 6 months and we got furnished apartments so we only packed our cars full of our clothes and things, but no furniture. So this move to California was my first time ever getting a UHaul.

Here is it empty:

IMG_0134 Boxing galore + the bed wrapped up.

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I found this fortune a few days before we left, it was perfect.

IMG_0141After about 20 minutes of being on the road it started pouring.

IMG_0173And on the road we also hit 100,000 on our beloved Toyota 4Runner.

IMG_0185 Beautiful corn fields of Iowa.

IMG_0208Even though we drove through Nebraska I didn’t take any pics of it. But we love Colorado and have been trying to move there for years and years. It’s still on our radar, but work keeps pulling us in different directions. Anyways here are gorgeous pictures of Colorado in the fall.

IMG_0264And this year, (which will be our third year of this blog!) we’ve decided to start sharing a few pictures of us, so you can all get to know us a little better. We are pretty private people, but I realize one of the reasons I love and follow other blogs is because I feel like I know the people I’m reading about and it feels like catching up with them when I read.

Here Dave and I are with the pretty fall Colorado leaves in the background. And yes I’m wearing my Chicago Bears sweater. :)

coI usually use my reusable cups whenever I go to Starbucks but with our car packed to the brim, I couldn’t find it. Here is my morning caramel macchiato, yum!

IMG_0266I love taking pictures of state signs, here is when we crossed into Utah.

IMG_0285The famous Welcome to Las Vegas sign you always see in movies and tv shows.

IMG_0319And finally we made it to sunny California to our new temporary home.

IMG_0390This trip we were able to visit our friends in Iowa, Colorado, and Vegas. It was a successful, no break down, beautiful, memorable, cross country road trip. I usually like to keep track of where we eat along the way, especially if it’s local, but this trip was so long ago that I don’t remember where we stopped.

Anyway road trips are great for so many reasons. They give you time to talk to and really get to know your car-mates, listen to podcasts, sing your heart out to your favorite songs, you get to eat fun local foods, visit friends and family along the way, and you get to see the open road. I’d definitely recommend a road trip in your near future. :)

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For the Right Reasons by Sean Lowe

book_softcover-e1410966026221I really enjoyed reading Sean Lowe’s book, For the Right Reasons. If you didn’t know by now, I’m a fan of the Bachelor franchise. (I’ve interviewed Shay, Sean’s sister, as well as Lesley Murphy who was on Sean’s season and is a luxury travel blogger.) I’ve watched the show for years and years, since I was in high school. It’s definitely a guilty pleasure of mine.

I was so excited when a member of Sean’s team contacted me asking if I’d like to review his book! I eagerly awaited my copy of his book in the mail everyday. As soon as I got it I started reading it and finished it within the first 24 hours of having it.

It’s super interesting to hear the real happenings behind the scenes of the show. Sean has been on both sides of it, as a contestant and as the lead of the show. Because I watched Sean’s season it was so cool to hear how he was feeling during specific parts of the show. Like how he was hurt when he saw Arie kissing Emily at the house in front of the other guys.

And even before all the Bachelorette and Bachelor craziness, Sean talks about his upbringing in Texas and his football glory days. If you watched his season you saw how sweet and wonderful his family is, so it was a real treat to hear more about them and their close bond.

Shay and her husband Andrew secretly signed up Sean for the show without him knowing. And he goes through his entire journey before, during and after the shows. He talks about his friendships with the producers of the show and how a lot of them were invited to their wedding.

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I thought it was fun to hear how he dealt with being recognized in public once the show started airing. And after the Bachelor Sean went on Dancing with the Stars and he discussed how it was hard on Catherine, which I thought was very real and honest.

I highly recommend this book to fans of the Bachelor franchise. It’s a real inside look at the thoughts of the contestants and star of the super popular show. Sean Lowe did not disappoint this fan!

 

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Friday Favorites – February 6th Edition

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Friday, Friday, Friday! It’s the weekend again, and time for Friday Favorites. I’m linking up with A Little Bit of Everything Blog, Grace and Love Blog, and Momfessionals. In case you missed it, yesterday I interviewed Erika from A Little Bit of Everything Blog, and she is one of my very favorite bloggers!

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This week I finished reading Sean Lowe‘s book For the Right Reasons that just came out at the end of January. I will be reviewing it on Tuesday of next week so come back for that! It was my favorite book I read this week (I’ve been on a reading streak. I read three books alone this week and I’ll be blogging about each of them in the coming weeks, each Tuesday.) If you’re a fan of the show you will love this book and the behind the scenes peek he gives of the show.

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So back in September my brother and his girlfriend got a puppy and they named him Stitch. He is the sweetest little puppy. He was the most adorable puppy and looked fake – he was that cute! Everywhere we took him people stopped us because they wanted to pet him and play with him. Here he is when we took him to the park for the first time ever. stitch

And here he is a few days ago at 6 months. He now weighs about 11 or 12 pounds and do do a whole lot of tricks. he knows sit, down, roll over, paw, high five, double high five, and he can play dead when you say bang. And he’s working on spinning around and closing doors. He is full of energy and doesn’t mind when I hold him like a baby :) 1421289961300

THE NEW YOU(2)thLastly for this week, I want to share with you my favorite volunteer website. I use Volunteer Match to find organizations I care about and can help out with in my area. It’s a super easy website to use and I’ve used it in two different areas of California. it’s a nationwide side so you can use it wherever you are. I’m a big advocate for volunteering and helping others and this website makes it easy!

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Interview Series Featuring Erika, from A Little Bit of Everything Blog

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Today on the blog, I’m featuring Erika from A Little Bit of Everything Blog. She is so sweet and down to earth. She blogs about her adorable family, her life in Texas, fashion, and other fun things. She’s one of my favorite bloggers, and I’ve been a loyal reader for years, and wanted to share her with all of you! Without further ado:

Hi!!  I’m Erika, a Christian, a wife, mama to three, a planner by heart, Rodan and Fields’ consultant, a lover of all things girly, and I blog over at A Little Bit of Everything!  Feel free to invite me to go shopping or get a pedicure ANY time!  :)  I was so excited when Julie asked me to share with you guys today.  I am by no means an expert on any of these things, but I love sharing what works for me.

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PLACE YOUR TEXT HEREI started blogging in 2008!  I had several friends who had blogs and they encouraged me to do it.  That was pre-kids, so I hardly EVER blogged.  I remember them giving me a hard time about never posting and my response was always, “Do you want me to take pictures of Tab and I watching television every night?”.  hahaha!  Once I had kids it was the perfect way for my family who lives far away to stay updated.  Recently I shifted to include a more “lifestyle” approach.  I’m loving having my own little space to share “a little bit of everything”.

PLACE YOUR TEXT HEREI love the friendships you make just through blogging.  That has definitely been my favorite part!

PLACE YOUR TEXT HERE(1)Absolutely!!  I do share some personal things, but I not to have TMI via the blog.  :)

PLACE YOUR TEXT HERE(2)Link-ups are your friends!!  I began linking up any chance I got.  You can do giveaways as well.  They’re a great way to reach more people.  And…keep it up!  It can take a lot of time to grow a blog.

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BIRTHDAY

PLACE YOUR TEXT HERE(3)I’m sure people told me this, but I probably wasn’t paying attention….it’s HARD!  I had tons of friends who were good at their job and made it look so easy!

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The simple moments are definitely the most rewarding….like us all playing a board game at night and everyone is laughing (and getting along..ha!).  The most challenging part is teaching them EVERYTHING!  haha!  Seriously…it’s a little stressful thinking about every little thing you have to remember to teach them.

 

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I can’t think of anything, but I’m sure I do a lot of things my mom did.

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I always wanted three kids.  My grandparents had three girls and at holidays their house was always full of people during the holidays.  I just always imagined having three.

PLACE YOUR TEXT HERE(14)We both have the same values and beliefs.  Our marriage is based on our faith.  We both spend time in prayer and in the word daily.  I can’t imagine how hard it would be to “do life” with someone who didn’t have the same faith as me.

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I love the beach OR maybe I should say I love a warm climate with a view of the beach and a nice lounge chair by the pool.  :)

PLACE YOUR TEXT HERE(12)The Real Housewives of ANYWHERE!

PLACE YOUR TEXT HERE(10)I want to travel a lot more and see many places??  That’s not a fabulous item for a bucket list!  hahaha!  I don’t have anything crazy on my list!

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So many things make me happy!!  I’m going to go for super simple in my list…

1.  A quiet bubble bath at the end of a long night

2.  Board games with my kiddos

3. Chips and salsa

4. Family Getaways

5. Hearing my kiddos sing a worship song

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Julie…thank you SO much for having me!!

Thank YOU Erika for stopping by and sharing your life with us! Be sure to follow her on her blog and instagram.

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Full Speed Ahead

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Come back tomorrow where I’ll be featuring Erika from A Little Bit of Everything Blog for my interview series!

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Chelsea Handler’s Uganda Be Kidding Me

I’ve always been a fan of Chelsea Handler and her books. I’ve read a few of her books already and was excited to read her latest one, Uganda Be Kidding Me.

18127101In this book she talks about her travels to Africa, Telluride, the Bahamas, and Switzerland and other places. She has hilarious and outrageous stories of taking a London lover she met on the street, her bowel movements emergencies in the Bahamas, getting lost in the snow in Montana while skiing, and losing her dog while traveling.

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She travels with her family, makeup artists, and long time friends who are all characters. The antics they get up to when they travel is so entertaining. Chelsea shares very candid and real photos of her and her entourage traveling without makeup on. She is so vocal and I love that about her and her humor.

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I always enjoy reading her books and this one did not disappoint. She’s as funny as she always is. Plus it’s fun to imagine and see what it would be like to have a rich friend who pays for your trip on an African safari and flies in private jets. Definitely recommend this book to Chelsea fans and anyone who wants a good laugh.

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30 Day Ab & Squat Challenge

I am a big fan on the 30 Day Fitness Challenge and I want to continue it this year. So here is the challenge for February that I’m doing. I’d love for you to do it with me!

30-day-ab-squat-challenge-chart

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Pinspired – Vest Edition

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Today I’m linking up with Mix and Match Mama, Pinterest Told Me To, and The Larson Lingo to share outfit ideas from Pinterest. I’m currently obsessing over vests. Pink ones, green ones, striped ones. All of them! Here is some serious Pinterest vest outfit inspirations for you all! And can I just say that these ladies seriously know how to accessorize with Hunter boots, flats, clutches, and statement necklaces.

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As if this post wasn’t long enough, I thought I’d add a few vest options, if you’re as inspired as I am and want to look at some to buy.

 

This pink puffer from Kohl’s is on sale for $24.99!

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This pink one is from Nordstorm and is currently 50%, at $44.49 right now.

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I found a red puffer vest at Macy’s for just under $30, at $28.99!

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This navy vest is also from Macy’s but is a little pricer, coming in at $89.99.

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This striped vest is the exact one from the picture above, with the girl in hot pink with the braid and gold watch. It’s $68. I kind of love this one!

 

 

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Which ones are your favorites? I think I’d like a pink one or navy striped one or maybe both? :)

 

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