Friday Favorites: Bachelorette, Hiking, & Vacations

Another week has gone by and we’re officially about to be in August! Having lived in California for the last 2 years, I am seriously missing the fall weather and change of seasons and getting to wear boots! But with our impending move to Seattle this fall, I’m getting really excited! We still have a few months but I’m eagerly anticipating it.

What fun things are you all up to this weekend? Can’t wait to catch up with you all in the link ups!THE NEW YOUCall me a sucker, but I love these two together. I hope they will make it and be one of the Bachelor franchise success stories. Look how happy they are. I love love and am rooting for these lovebirds.


And I love that Jimmy Kimmel made them promise to marry each other or at least be together a year or pay him $1,000. 🙂

the-new-you1On Tuesday of this week, I was featured on my friend Molly’s blog Colors of Life about my love of hiking. (Thanks again for asking me Molly!)

Here is one of my favorite photos from a hike Dave and I did last July in Zion in the Narrows. I’ll blog about that hike this upcoming Thursday.

julie-hiking3THE NEW YOU(2)One of my favorite weekends so far this year happened in mid July when we went back home to Chicago for an extended weekend. It involved ice cream, a wedding, a half marathon, an architecture boat tour with my parents and a BBQ with a few of our closest friends.

071915 Julie's Half Marathon & House-13THE NEW YOU(3)This week US Weekly posted an article with pictures of the cast of Full House and their instagrams. It’s getting me so excited for Fuller House next year on Netflix! Bring it on. It was such a staple growing up in my house and I’m excited so much of the original cast is coming back. I can’t wait to see how they do it!jsfhfive10On Tuesday the team at Lauren Conrad came up with a list of their Top 10 Vacation Destinations. I am a lover of travel and am always interested to hear where other people enjoy going on their vacations. It makes me want to create a list of my own!


Friday has become the day of the link ups. Here are the wonderful women I’m linking up with each week:

 A Little Bit of Everything BlogGrace and Love Blog, and Momfessionals



Friday Favorites!

Because I flew in from Chicago Monday night, this week has flown by for me. Can’t believe it’s already Friday! So excited for this weekend. My little sister is in town from Chicago to hang out before she goes back to school in mid August so we’ve got some fun things planned for the weekend. What are you all up to this weekend?

the-new-youThis week I found two articles that were really sweet, sad, and inspirational.

Texas Girl Born with Rare Bone Disorder Raises $11,000 on Her Birthday for the Hospital That Helped Her Walk. You can read more about it here.



New York Couple Adopts Dying Friend’s Four Daughters. People Magazine did an article about them you can read about here. They also have a fundraising page you can donate to.

d862df2a-e0d2-4d2f-b932-f7c5fb462df9_profileTHE NEW YOU(2)Prince George turned 2 this week! I am such a sucker for anything royal. I mean just look how happy that sweet boy is. This is such a precious moment captured and I am officially obsessed.


THE NEW YOU(3)I had the best time at the Men Tell All Taping two weeks ago. I finally did my recap yesterday.

me +my friendfiveThis week I also participated in the List of 10 things I love and hate after I was tagged by Emily. Quick recap I love reading, playing tennis, and am a sucker for rom coms. I hate being late or rushed, clutter, and getting my blood drawn.

0973c21b26cff02884470cb1f045bef5Next week, I’ll share my trip back home and my half marathon experience! See you all next week!


Friday has become the day of the link ups. Here are the wonderful women I’m linking up with each week:

 A Little Bit of Everything BlogGrace and Love Blog, and Momfessionals

Men Tell All Taping 2015 Kaitlyn’s Season

Thank you all for your patience with me getting this post out finally. I attended the taping Saturday, July 11th, was told I couldn’t talk about it until after it aired, went on vacation back home to Chicago, and I’m just getting back into the swing of things again. I hope it was worth the wait!

Before I left for the Men Tell All, I read about Amy @ the Farmer’s wife blog and her Men Tell All experience so I took a page out of her book and got there early. An hour early. We were the first ones in line. Haha. We didn’t quite make friends with the cast and crew like she did but we did talk a mother daughter pair in line who were really sweet. They went to the finale last year with Farmer Chris and said it was super crowded so they wanted to get there early to ensure they’d get in.

hdzO-G_zSZV33Vonsv0qi0Xvq94vO0E9Qqzg2TY2r-c=w657-h875-noHere’s a picture of me and my friend Louise outside the studio where they filmed it. It’s totally a discrete building you’d never know they film the Men Tell All here.

I’m trying to remember the timeline. So we go there at 11, people started showing up around 11:30am up until 12:45pm. We had to fill out paperwork promising we wouldn’t spill the show secrets (there wasn’t anything super juicy in my opinion) but that’s why it took me so long to write this post, on top of being out of town. They started letting people in around noon. They took our phones away, searched our purses, and we went through a metal detector.

Because it is such a long day (11am-7:30pm) they kindly provided us Subway sandwiches for lunch along with chips, cookies, and drinks. It takes a little while to get everyone shuttled in and settled. We sat in that room until 3pm. They took us to the bathroom in groups which took a while because they only have a few bathrooms. It was a lot of waiting around. They were setting up and Good Morning America was there filming a segment too.

During this time I was able to meet Shay from Mix and Match Mama and Sheaffer from Pinterest Told Me To. They were so sweet. I interviewed Shay a while ago, and have been following her blog for years. It was a major fangirl moment for me to get to talk to her and take a picture with her. She has a slight hint of a Southern accent (I love accents) and was so friendly and gracious. I adored her before I met her and am an even bigger fan now. It was definitely the highlight of my night! (I look so under dressed next to gorgeous Shay, but I was scared it was going to be cold in the studio.)

vZi3OCE-UWI2hfbdbBCacdpxxwUPg22prMhvOscQ4sM=w657-h875-noOnce they finally let us in, they did a roll call for seating, based on who you got tickets from. To get into this taping you have to know people involved in the show. So people who know the creator, Mike Fleiss, or the executive producers, and people who donated money to certain charities got precedence and got to go in first. Some people got to do meet and greets too, not sure with who. It was funny to me because it’s already an exclusive group to get into the taping, then once you get in there’s another level of exclusiveness.

We were seated behind all the guys, but got a great view of ‘the hot seat’ Chris Harrison, Kaitlynn, and the guys that went up for interviews.

Once everyone was seated, a group of girls from past seasons showed up, that are also going to be on Bachelor in Paradise. From Chris’s season Ashley S, Carly, Jade, Juelia, and Ashley I. Tenley the runner up from Jake’s season and Clare the runner up in Juan Pablo’s season (who was also on last season of Bachelor in Paradise.) Being such a fan of the show it was really cool to see so many past contestants. They’re super pretty in person.

girlThere was a warm up guy who got everyone excited and we did a few shots of audience clapping and laughing. Then we watched the first half of the show that aired Monday (when Kaitlynn let Ben H go) so we’d be all caught up. Then around 4 or so Chris Harrison came out and thanked us all for being there.

Then the show finally started and all the guys came walking out at once (they wore very nice fitted suits and were very handsome and tall in person.) It was really fun to be there and having been a fan for so many years it was absolutely surreal to be sitting in the studio audience.

I wouldn’t say anything scandalous happened. But the intensity with which people online attacked Kaitlynn was very surprising and appalling. I’m glad they brought attention to it and to not encourage or put up with cyber bulling.

I really appreciated Ian’s apology and that he owned up to his mistakes and didn’t make excuses. I thought it was sincere. He said some things he didn’t mean and got caught up in the moment, while on the show. We all make mistakes, let’s move forward. I was sitting next to Ian’s college roommate in the audience and he said Ian was picked out at Century City mall and asked if he wanted to be on the show. I always find it interesting to hear how people get on the show, whether they’re recruited, nominated or if they apply for the show themselves.

me +my friendDuring the commercial breaks the guys would walk back and forth in and out of the studio, and chatted with one another. Since we were sitting by the guys they were walking near us so my friend I would hang out by the stairs and got Ben Z, Ben H, and Jared to wave back to us. You could tell they’re still getting used to being recognized in public. Because each guy looked a little confused when we said hi to them, you could tell they were trying to see if they knew us, then they’d wave realizing we were just fans. Hah! 🙂 Those boys better get used to it because I’m sure girls are going to be all over them in public.

Also during the commercial breaks the producers and make up artists came out and did little touch ups on the guys and Kaitlynn. Because I’m a super fan (or super nerd depending on how you look at it) I follow a lot of the Bachelor producers from the show. They are all on Instagram and share awesome behind the scenes pictures through out the season, so it was cool to see them in person too.

If you want to follow them here is a list of the ones I follow: Elan Gale, Megan Firestone, Lindsay Liles, Jessica Florence, Peter Scalettar, Peter G, Marco Franzitta, Jules, Lauren Spiegel, Cassie Lambert, and one of the make up artists   Lisa Iverson and the show’s stylist Cary Fetman who I saw at the show.



jfP.S. where do I go to sign up for their jobs? Looks like they’re having a blast!

We were in the room with everyone from about 4pm-7:30pm. After they finished filming they let us out, gave us our phones back and had shuttles waiting to take us back to our parking garage. They also gave us Bachelorette shirts on the way out.

My friend and I stayed a few minutes after they let us out and we saw Ian talking to his friend, and we introduced ourselves to Joe. I shamelessly asked him if he knew where they were going after and he said he had no idea. Haha! Can’t say I didn’t try.


Then once we got dropped off at the parking garage, a girl waved us over to her car. I thought she was asking for directions, turns out she was a reporter for E News that was looking for some inside scoop from the taping! How weird and shady is that?

That my friends, is how rumors start. What would that girl have reported to her boss? Two random girls from the taping told me this and that happened. Reliable sources huh? Doesn’t she know that we signed confidentiality agreements?

So that was my day at the Men Tell All taping in a nut shell. A really long, lengthy, wordy nut shell 🙂 I’d be happy to answer any questions you guys have, now that you’ve all seen the episode.

It was one of the coolest experiences I’ve had since moving to California and am so grateful that I was able to go and will never forget it!

Linking up today with Annie and Natalie on Thoughts for Thursday and Amanda for Thinking Out Loud!


I Didn’t Come Here to Make Friends by Courtney Robertson


I Didn’t Come Here to Make Friends, is a real, juicy, tell all of Courtney Robertson’s life before, during, and after her time on the Bachelor. She spares no one in her rampage. She names names and specific incidents of her time in “the Bachelor bubble” as they call it. I do remember watching Ben’s season that she was on, and thinking she said some really mean things. She explains that she was trying to be funny and that it was her way of dealing with the tough situation.

She talks about how hard it was for her as well as her family to have her name dragged through the media. People openly criticized her and her actions. And she tried to own up to them but it was too little, too late.

She detailed the time after the show was done filming and how her and Ben tried to make their relationship work. Courtney talks about how it was hard for her family and friends to see why she had fallen for Ben and that they had their doubts. She also felt judged by Ben’s family and mentioned the condescending things they said to her about not going to college.

This is the first real tell all from Bachelor Nation alumni and I thought it was really interesting and honest. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who watches the Bachelor / the Bachelorette!

Molly Mesnick

I’ve admitted it before and I’ll admit it again, I love watching the Bachelor/Bachelorette. It’s a guilty pleasure of mine.  I know it’s silly but it’s fun to watch the exotic dates and to travel all over the world. I’ve learned of a lot of places that I want to travel too because of this show.

Another part of the show I love is the fashion. The contestants really bring their A game when it comes to style because they know millions of people are watching. Molly Mesnick (formerly Malaney) is one of my favorites. She also has a fun blog. She’s got great hair (love her curls), wears fun colors, and does a great job accessorizing!

I’ve also featured Bachelorettes Jillian Harris and Ali Fedotowsky in previous posts, because I love their styles too!















My Reality by Melissa Rycroft


It’s no secret by now that I love watching the Bachelor and the Bachelorette. (I have done fashion posts on previous bachelorettes Ali Fedotowsky, Jillian Harris, and Emily Maynard.)

So naturally when Melissa Rycroft, a contestant on Jason Mesnick’s season 13 of the Bachelor, came out with a book, I was curious and wanted to read it. It is titled My Reality.

Here is the synopsis: Best known as the girl who was proposed to by The Bachelor star Jason Mesnick and then dumped on national TV six weeks later, Melissa Rycroft immediately turned her life around. Now married to her original love, Tye Strickland, and expecting her first child, Melissa shares her “Cinderella” story of overcoming heartbreak and finding happiness.

The main reason I wanted to read it was to get her perspective on the things that happened during the Bachelor, and to see if she would give any juicy scoop on her time in the Bachelor mansion. I was a little disappointed that she was brief on her time in the infamous mansion and didn’t really tell me anything I didn’t already know. It is probably out of respect for the contestants but I wish she would have given more details.

I’m actually surprised she was able to write about her experience during her time on the Bachelor at all. I hear they have very strict confidentiality contracts they have to sign to appear on the show and to not give away the show’s secrets. So maybe that is part of it too.

But it was interesting to hear how the process works from applying, to interviewing to getting accepted and going onto this well known show. She talked a lot about being in the “Bachelor Bubble” which was also refreshing to read about. She talks about how you are not allowed to have contact with your family or friends while on the show, you aren’t allowed to have any reading materials, etc. You are put in an environment with other girls all dating the same guy and how limited/small your world becomes.

And if you are a fan of the show you will know that it does have a great track record for couples making it in the real world after the glitz and glamour of the show has worn off. (In its 17 seasons only 3 couples have married their chosen one from the show) It’s no wonder though, because Melissa mentioned that she had only gone on 3 dates with Jason before he proposed! Three dates people! What can you really know about a person after such a short period of time?! It’s definitely a crazy whirlwind and it’s easy to see how theses people get wrapped up in the moment.

I also thought it was sweet to read about her roller coaster romance with her now husband Tye Strickland who she dated before and after the Bachelor. Their relationship went through a lot to get to the happy place they are in now and it really goes to show how fate leads you where you are supposed to be and how things really do happen for a reason.

And lastly I found it very interesting to hear how quickly things turned around for her after the Bachelor. She was offered a spot on Dancing with the Stars and placed third. Then Good Morning America asked her to become a correspondent for them, which lead to other jobs. Her life has changed a lot in the last few years and her book was a refreshingly honest and candid look at the road that lead her to where she is today.

It’s a nice quick read, I finished it the same day I started it. I would recommend it if you’re looking for a light summer read. If you have read it, I would love to hear your thoughts as well!

Next Tuesday join me as I review Chelsea Handler’s latest book, “Lie Chelsea Handler Told Me,” written by her staff, family, and friends.