Friday Favorites: Our New Link Up Topics!

I’m continuing my blogging streak this week and finishing with Friday Favorites.



I know it’s already the end of January but we have finally gotten our stuff together and come up with some monthly topics! Katie is going to be joining Mattie and I with the link up this year.

She made these amazing graphics and I’m in love with them! So grab our button and join us this coming Monday February 1st and tell us about your favorite girls’ night chick flicks/rom coms and cocktail recipes!






Last weekend my friend Gretchen and I went for a little walk at Gas Works Park and it was a crisp Seattle “winter” afternoon. Winter here is so mild, it’s just cloudy and rainy and in the mid 50s. Seattle winters have got nothing on the brutal Chicago winters.

It’s so nice to take a walk in the park and be out in nature but still see the skyline close by.



I found two new Seattle based blogs this week: Seattle Bloggers Unite and Lindsay Living on Mil’s blog. I’m excited to find other Seattle bloggers and go to some meet ups! I love finding blogs in areas I’m familiar with or where I’m currently living.

I’ve mentioned it before how Katie and I were blog friends first, met up and then became real life friends and now coworkers! So I know the power of social media and blogging! If you’re a Seattle blogger, please leave a comment or send me an email. I’d love to chat and check out your blog too!SSB-button-214sbu+logo+header+copy+blogger


I’m really excited to see Shay’s cookbooks that are coming out this month. She’s one of my favorite bloggers and I’m happy to support her.





Have you guys SEEN the little 3 year old girl singing Part of Your World from the Little Mermaid?! She is too cute. I’m so impressed with her knowing all the words. Love her little princess dress.

Have a great weekend everyone! My friends from Texas are coming in this weekend and staying with me while they house hunt. SO excited to have more friends here in Seattle 🙂



Our Link Up- Favorite Thanksgiving Traditions

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It is that time again friends! It’s Mattie and I’s third link up! With it officially being November yesterday that means that Thanksgiving is right around the corner! Now that we have officially moved to Seattle (which is why I’ve been so MIA in the blogging world) it finally feels like fall. The leaves are beautiful, I love the colors up here. I’ve missed having seasons living in sunny Southern California for the last two years. I’ve worn my Hunter rain boots more in the last week of living here than I ever did in California. 🙂

But I digress. I know that we have some silly Hallmark holidays like Sweetest Day and how not everyone is a fan of Valentine’s Day. But I love that as a nation we have an entire holiday dedicated to being grateful. Life happens so fast and

we easily get wrapped up in the everyday busy-ness. I love that this holiday is about eating lots of food and pie and being surrounded by loved ones.

This year’s Thanksgiving will be another Friendsgiving because sadly my family doesn’t live here (yet!) My mom and brother are in California still, my sister is in Chicago, and my dad and stepmom are in Georgia. We are all over the map! But having good friends to share the holiday with will fill the void of not being with family. Last year was actually Dave and I’s first year to not be home with our families.

Our Thanksgivings have also worked out so nicely when we used to live in Chicago. Dave’s family would also have late lunch gatherings instead of dinner time. And my family would have later eating times. So we were always able to go to both sides of the families to stuff our faces twice! 🙂

We usually play games together mostly charades, occasionally video games, sequence and cranium or pictionary are our go-to. We also watch the Macy’s day parade and watch football (which reminds me of the friends episode!)  I’m pretty sure those are normal traditions that most families have, but I’m excited to read your rituals and see what fun things you guys will be up to come Thanksgiving.

Be sure to link up by clicking below and the link up will be open until Froday night if you missed posting today. And next month we are talking about our favorite holiday traditions!

Lastly Mattie, Katie, and I are all going to meet up tomorrow somewhere in Seattle! We are all super excited to get together especially before Mattie leaves us for Portland. Yay for blogging friends becoming real life friends. I’m constantly in awe of this awesome little blogging community. We will for sure take a pic and blog about it later!

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Tell Us About It: Favorite Thing about Your State!

Today Mattie and I are hosting our second link up! We’re talking about our favorite things about our state. So please feel free to join us today or for our other link up dates. Here is the schedule of our upcoming topics:sept 1 fave

Linking Up2

So this one is a little tough for me. Because home for me means Chicago. But I don’t live there anymore. I’ve lived in California for the last 2 years. And yes I’m moving to Seattle next month but I’ll wait until I move there to call it ‘my state.’ Chicago and Southern California offer totally different things so I thought I’d pick a few of my favorites from both places.


Millenium Park is a gorgeous city park that I highly recommend anyone who visits Chicago to go see. There is also a great outdoor amphitheater that has great musical events. This park is beautiful during the day and at night. It’s also a great view of the city.

millenium-park_C_0The architecture in that city is so awesome. I went on an architecture tour in July and had a blast. It’s fun to hear the history behind the city. And Lake Michigan makes the skyline so much more picturesque.


Having lived on both the East and West Coast, I can say for sure that people from the Midwest are so nice, polite and welcoming. Not to say that people from either coast aren’t friendly. But people from Chicago are overly friendly and treat you like family. Having traveled a lot Dave and I have been told multiple times how polite we are, and how much we use (and maybe overuse) please and thank you. 🙂 I’d also say that people from the Midwest are very down to earth and easy to talk to.



Point Dume in Malibu is one of my favorite places in all of Southern California. When Dave and I lived in Santa Monica we used to take all of our visitors to this spot. It’s a quick hike and has such beautiful views of the ocean and the beach. We also almost always saw dolphins, whales, or seals here.


Yosemite National Park is a true California gem. There’s a reason Ansel Adams spent so much time there taking epic photographs. I can’t recommend visiting Yosemite enough. The hikes and views are really beautiful. I don’t know if I’m brave enough to hike Half Dome, maybe someday, but I’m not the biggest fan of heights so that might be a tough one. But I’ve been to Yosemite a few times since moving to California and I’ve loved it each time. ( I need to blog about it still!) IMG_8738

I love that California offers so much hiking. We’ve hiked in Sequoia National Park, Malibu, Laguna Beach, Yosemite, and a few others. I love that you can just drive to the mountains in no time.


Please join in our link up by pressing the button. And you can add your link until the 7th if you aren’t ready today. Excited to read your posts and find some new blogs hopefully!

Lauren’s Guest Post!

I mentioned it last week, but I’m out of town for a few days in Seattle and Chicago (house hunting for our new place and saying goodbye to my childhood home) and I’ve rallied a few of my favorite blogger friends to fill in for me for this entire week. The first guest blogger is Lauren, whose blog, Post Grad in Progress, I found through a link up. She’s super sweet and you’ll love her!

Hello, hello, thanks so much for inviting me Julie! I feel pretty honored, humbled, and thrilled by Julie’s gracious invitation for me to guest blog while she’s away. But before I get ahead of myself let’s start with an introduction. Hi, I’m the Post Grad and I blog at Post Grad in Progress. But my name is Lauren and I’m a new graduate navigating through the real world trying to dig deep into what makes me tick. The real world for me being, moving to a new city, starting a new job, and molding new friendships along the way.


My blog is my happy place. It gives me an opportunity to craft like my favorite Anthropologie Hack Coasters, write recipes like my delicious meatloaf, and detail my travels: Russia, San Diego (part 1), San Diego (part 2), and my new adventure of Eat, Pray, Loving it in Europe.


One of my favorite bloggers, Erika, does this series Owning It where you tell a little bit about your quirks and what makes you, well, you. Every time I read a new post on a new blogger I rack my brain of what I do that is unique to me. Alas, this makes the perfect guest post. I basically get all my junk on the table from the get-go! This could go one of two ways…some people will relate or just laugh at my craziness or some people might run in the opposite direction. But hey, I’m owning it. Today and everyday.


  1. Hi I’m Lauren. 22 years old and I still sleep with my baby “blanket.” Yes, I put blanket in quotations because frankly, it isn’t a blanket anymore. He is the remnantof a former blanket tied together in a rag. Also, you might notice that I refer to my blanket as “he” because he just always has been. Weird, I know. I call him “T” because my babysitter called him my tranquilizer when I was little and it stuck. He’s a sense of comfort and may I say, a well-traveledblanket.

Good gracious, I’ve lost half of Julie’s readers by this point.

  1. I’m the clumsiest person you’ll meet but I’ve never broken a bone and I’ve never had stitches. Picture me knocking on wood at this moment.
  1. Raw potatoes give me the heebie jeebies. I love the taste of potatoes…french fries, baked potatoes, scalloped potatoes…but raw potatoes freak. me. out. Mostly because they smell like dirt and they can grow roots when they sit in your pantry too long. My skin crawls thinking about it. P.S. Just potatoes not sweet potatoes. I’m strange.
  2. I cry at the drop of the hat. One YouTubevideo of a soldier reuniting with his family and I’m dunzo. But on the flip side, I cry laughing so easily. It’s borderline embarrassing because once I get going I can’t stop. Also, my crying laughing doesn’t discriminate where I am. My coworkers have seen me crying laughing way too many times.
  1. When I was in 2nd grade and my family went to Jamaica I decided it was a good idea to get my ENTIRE head braided. I just got glasses, I burn easily, and I was going through an awkward stage so let’s just say those pictures are ROUGH. But my friends and I get a kick out of them.

I think I’ll stop there. I want to keep some of my cards close to my chest [Symbol]. But weirdness aside, I’m a girl who loves God, her family & friends, being creative, and traveling. See what crazy thing I’m up to next Monday, Wednesday, and Friday of every week @ Post Grad in Progress!

Thanks for listening! Have a great day, friends xoxo.

Thanks again for your post Lauren! I always love learning more about my blogger friends. I’m so excited for your very own Eat, Pray, Love adventure next month!


Who’s Coming to Dinner – Link Up


Today I’m linking up Andrea today for her Show and Tell Tuesdays and today’s topic is: Tell Us Who’s Coming to Dinner:momfessttues


1) John F. Kennedy

I have a fascination with the Kennedy family. They have such a fascinating history and so many productive family  members that have done so much for our society. JFK was such an inspirational figure in the 60s and he got people interested in politics that normally weren’t. He and Jackie were so glamorous. He led such an exciting (although brief) life and I know he would have so much to say at a dinner party. And what a charmer with his Boston accent.

OTTAWA, ON - JULY 02: Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge arrives at the Canadian War Muesum on July 2, 2011 in Ottawa, Canada. (Photo by George Pimentel/WireImage)

2) Kate Middleton

One of the main reasons everyone loves Kate is because she is a, as the English say, a ‘commoner.’ She didn’t grow up a royal in castles under the microscope. She has handled herself in such an impressive way and I’d love to hear how she deals with it all. And while we’re at it, I’d love some fashion tips too 😉 haha


3) Mindy Kaling

Mindy, Mindy, Mindy. Where do I begin? She is just perfection. She makes me laugh out loud, whether I’m watching her show or reading her book (Can’t wait for her next one to come out this month!) Everybody wants to be her best friend, and you’d better get in line, because she tells it like it is, is super confident, has an amazing sense of style, and just seems like so much fun to be around. And she’s a hard worker and is getting it done. #girlpower!


4) Reese Witherspoon

I feel like I always talk about Reese but I just can’t help it. She is so cute! She’s a great actress, supports other women, is a mom and a wife, and a sweet Southern bell. (She named her son Tennessee for goodness sakes!) Southern girls have impeccable manners, are so friendly, and are always dressed to the nines. Reese seems like she’d be a fun girlfriend to hang out with and drink some sweet tea.


5) Chris Harrison

He has been at the helm of the Bachelor franchise from day one. Can you imagine all the stories he has?! I could talk to him for hours-hah! He also is really funny in his blogs he writes for the shows and seems very down to earth.

This is such a fun topic and it’ll be fun to read who your dinner guests would be!



Friday Favorites: Lions, Elephants & Bear Oh My!

See what I did there with the title? 🙂 Happy Friday blogging friends! I am ready for the weekend as usual, and Labor Day weekend at that! Three day weekends are the best. I feel so much more balanced having that extra day to balance the work week. I think people would be happier if every weekend lasted 3 days. Think of all the mini trips you could take! Anyway here are some of my favorite things from this past week:  the-new-youMy time in Togo, Africa was so wonderful. I’m so happy I was able to have a small part in the very important documentary called Warlords of Ivory that was featured on the Explorer series on National Geographic. I blogged about my trip in Part 1 and Part 2.

bcAnd I’d also like to add this video to go along with that documentary, because who doesn’t love elephants?! I actually got goosebumps watching this video. We have to help protect those elephants, I can’t even fathom the idea of them going extinct in our lifetime, but at the rate it’s going it’s a very real and sad possibility.

Orphaned Baby Elephants

How awesome that Kristin Davis posted about that same video on Twitter:

kristinShe has been very vocal about her passion for saving the elephants and is a patron of The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust. She and Bryan know each other through their wildlife efforts and love of elephants.

the-new-you1I’m loving these just released photos of Nikki Reed and Ian Somerhalder’s wedding that were featured on Bride Magazine. Such a good looking couple.

nikki-reed-ian-somerhalder-wedding-photos-couple-02THE NEW YOU(2)It was so much fun for Mattie and I to host our first link up! Thank you to all those who linked up, read along, and commented! Our next one is Thursday October 1st, where you tell us your favorite things about your state.

sept 1 faveLinking Up2THE NEW YOU(3)I am a total sucker for the royal family and I absolutely love that Prince Harry is currently spending 3 months in Africa concentrating on conservation efforts and promoting animal welfare. How amazing is this photo of him examining a sedated lion to check its vitals? Can’t wait to hear more about his travels and work.

prince-harry-5-800fiveLooks like I just missed a run in with the president! He is currently in Alaska filming a segment with Bear Grylls to check on the climate change effects and to test his wilderness survival skills. I can’t wait to see that episode 🙂 And I love that they took a selfie together hah!  grylls-obama-800

What fun weekend activities do you guys have planned? So far my plans are taking friends to the airport and going for a hike afterwards since I’ll already be up. Can’t wait to hear what you are all up to through all the wonderful link ups!

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!

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






Monthly Bucket List Link Up!

One of my favorite bloggers Erika, over at A Little Bit of Everything Blog, is hosting a link up today for a Monthly Bucket List. She is partnering up with Emily from They Call Me Mama. I thought this is such a good and fun idea! Also next week on Thursday Erika is the feature for my interview series, be sure to come back for it!

Bucket List


So last year I tried to do my own happiness project where each month I focused on just a few goals, as opposed to goals for the entire year. But as it usually goes, I did good for the first few months, then it fell away towards the end of the year. I did pick up some good habits from it though that I still do today, but I definitely need to be more on top of it all this year. So this monthly bucket list is a perfect way to get me back on track and remind me what I need to be working on!

1) Journal every few days. I love writing (which is one of the reasons why I love blogging.) I’ve kept a journal since high school, so over ten years ago! (My 10 year reunion is this coming summer, eek!) I love writing down memories to look back on later. It’s so easy to forget the little things that happen everyday.

This March my boyfriend and I will have been together for 9 years and it’s really cool to read my thoughts about him and our friendship before we started dating!

When I read old journal entries it takes me right back to that moment. I would like to say that I should write everyday but it’s just not realistic for me, so I’ll have to settle for every few days.


2) Wake Up and Make it Happen! So I found this little workout on Pinterest a few months ago. For a little while my boyfriend and I were doing this everyday and it felt really good. We are going to get back on this plan starting February! Feel free to join us 🙂



3) Eating Better. I recently went to Target and bought a bunch of cooking magazines. I struggle with meal planning because it takes a lot of effort. I like quick, easy, healthy meals. So I needed some inspiration. I like cook books but sometimes I feel like magazines are a little more updated. So this month I’m really going to focus on what I’m eating and make conscious decisions.

Here are three that I bought:







4) California/Out West Bucket List. Lastly for this month, I want to create a bucket list for activities to do and things to see. Come October my boyfriend and I are planning a move out of California, to possibly Boulder or Seatttle. So we want to make sure we take advantage of where we are living now and not regret not doing things once we move.

A few things on our list currently are: Potato Chip Rock Hike, Spending time in San Diego, Camping in Death Valley, Seeing Crater Lake in Oregon, Visiting Cannon Beach in Oregon, and taking a road trip from LA to Seattle. I’ll be sure to do a post on all those activities once I have an official list and we will take you along with us on our adventures!


(This picture comes from my friends over at Relay Rides, with a complete guide to Portland.  I did a guide to my beloved Santa Monica, California with Relay Rides a few months ago.)

I’d love to hear about all your goals for the year and the next month more specifically! And also Link Up with Erika to share your lists! Happy Middle of the Week Wednesday!

Friday Favorites: My Fall Line Up



It is Friday so you know what that means, Friday Favorites with some of my favorite blogger ladies from Texas! Be sure to check out and link up with A Little Bit of Everything Blog, Grace and Love Blog, and Momfessionals!

With it being October it is officially Fall people! Living in Southern California, you could have fooled me that the seasons have changed, because there is only one season here and it’s sunshine. Yes it’s nice, but it also means lots of sunscreen, sunglass tans, no changing leaves, no snow days, and no rainy days for my cute Hunter rain boots. I know, I know, first world problems, and California problems.

But trust me I know all about weather. I’m originally from Chicago, where it was literally negative 40 degrees last winter with the wind chill. It was one of the coldest winters in the history of Chicago. Here is the proof! A picture I took while watching the news.



Anyway back to the task at hand, my new favorite Fall shows.

A to Z  is a new romantic comedy show on NBC that is my absolute favorite! It is so cute and so fun. I love How I Met Your Mother, and the main character from this show is the mother from HIMYM, Cristin Milioti. She is so charming and lovable. And the guy is Ben Feldman who is most known for being on Mad Men. He is also on The Mindy Project, my other favorite show 🙂

Fun fact the work place from this show is filmed in Santa Monica at the Water Gardens which is about a mile from where I used to live in Santa Monica. It’s so cool to see it on tv!

This show is about the relationship of these two characters Andrew and Zelda (Hence the title A to Z) and it’s really fun to go along for the ride. It’s narrated by Katey Sagal (the mom on Married with Children, or more recently Sons of Anarchy). The show reminds me of 500 Days of Summer with its aura of romance and where the guy believes in love, fate, and destiny and the girl character is more cynical and realistic. I’m really excited about this show and already got two of my roommates hooked on it as well. So start watching!


I’m a sucker for romantic comedies. This show is fun because you can hear the character’s thoughts as they are thinking them. It’s a show about being young and dating in Manhattan. It stars Analeigh Tipton and Jake McDorman who are fresh faces and I think it will be a light, fun show to watch each week.


John Mulaney is a comedian who is most well known for being a writer on SNL for 5 years. He has a great stand up special that is on Netflix called New in Town which I would highly recommend. The show is very similar and reminiscent of Seinfeld. And if you are familiar with this stand up he does use a few of his jokes in the show. The show is loosely based on his life of being a stand up comedian and the people in his life. But I think he’s really talented and funny and am hoping that the show gets better. The pilot episode was kind of just mediocre for me. But I have faith in John Mulaney that the show will get better!