Friday Favorites: Baby Besties, Royal Family & Travel

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 FarmFitting It All in BlogLife in Leggings and Meet at the Barre, and Style Elixir!

THE NEW YOUSo this is actually from an Us Weekly Magazine article that came on last week, but I had to share.
They’re 2 1/2 year old best friends, Ava and Ever, whose moms are also best friends. They model and have a huge following on their Instagram account foreverandforava. They wear matching outfits are are just precious!
THE NEW YOU(1)Any time there is anything to do with the Royal Family, I’m all over it. They are just so beyond precious. Look at that gorgeous, properly, British family. As all the kids are saying these days, “I literally can’t even!” Hah!
prince-george-3-495Even though the day was all about Charlotte and her christening, George always manages to steal the show. He has the cutest facial expressions and has the most adorable outfits. I can’t wait to see the fabulous clothes Charlotte will wear as she grows up, with a mama as stylish as Kate is.
prince-george-1-435And lastly I just love this pic of George standing up on his tippy toes looking at his little sister. So stinking precious.prince-george-5-495
Yesterday they release 4 new official portraits and I am, once again, IN LOVE. Wow just wow, they are perfection. And it’s their first family of 4 photo!
THE NEW YOU(2)date_-01-january-30004img_7402In case you missed my interview with Carrie on Wednesday, be sure to check it out here. She took a year off school and traveled to South East Asia, hitting 8 countries in 6 weeks, making friends with people and monkeys along the way 🙂
THE NEW YOU(3)My favorite post from this week was yesterday on Travel Thursday where I listed some of my favorite murals/street art from the last few years of our travels from New York to California.
fivekaitlyn-on-the-bachelorette-picLast week I mentioned that THIS Saturday I’ll be attending the Men Tell All taping in LA and I could not be more excited! (Did anyone else hear Chandler saying that? Hah!) I don’t think I’ll be able to have my phone in there to take pictures, but hopefully I’ll have some good stories for you all, come Monday! Have a fabulous weekend ladies!

Travel Thursdays: Street Art/Murals All Over the USA

Back in 2012 on one of our second major road trips we visited my cousin Chris in South Dakota. We met up with him in downtown Rapid City and after lunch he and his friend walked us to to Art Alley. It is such a colorful place with really cool artwork.




IMG_0090I saw this mural while we were walking around in Williamsburg, Brooklyn in New York and I loved how colorful and how fun it was. It was my first time to NYC in 2012.

578601_10100748029739529_776156408_nOn our road trip to San Fran from Chicago in 2012 we drove through Bishop, California which is a big climbing community, and at a random gas station this was on the wall.

IMG_2675In 2013 on a road trip to Colorado we were driving out of downtown Denver and came across this awesomeness.


207115_639621626457_5592381_nIn case you missed my post about us Jumping for Joy.

In December of 2013 we went to Austin, Texas for our friends’ Kristina and Patrick’s wedding and hung out in the South Congress (SoCo) area. This is a pretty famous staple of the SoCo area and it was fun to see in person. There was a line of people waiting to take a picture here.

CaptureIn December 2013 for Dave’s birthday we decided to drive up to Santa Barbara for the day to explore. While we were walking around town after lunch we came across these gems.


unnamedMarch of this year when we went on our LA to Seattle Road Trip, I looked up a few murals in major cities that I wanted to see.

Here were my favorites from San Fran:



img_20150301_170239Portland, Oregon had some awesome ones:



This was from a random street in Brooklyn during our trip in New York this past May. I love to travel and move around to experience new towns, but I am always a little homesick for Chicago IMG_20150501_111422This little snail was also from Williamsburg after we ate at the Rabbit Hole.


As you can see, I really enjoy finding murals/street art in different cities and states. It’s unique to that area and adds a lot of pizazz and color to a place.

Any fun murals in your city I should check out next time I’m there?

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?

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. 🙂

Travel Thursdays: New York City Day 2

Yesterday I shared Day 1 of our NYC adventure. The second full day we met up with some friends in Prospect Park, before the wedding in Queens at night.

The post yesterday was a little lengthy but there were still a few other pictures of High Line Park I wanted to share because I just love this park. I didn’t mention it yesterday but for those of you who don’t know what High Line Park is, it’s a beautiful park that used to be a train line and is now remodeled into a park where people visit, run, read, and just sit. I love that New York was smart enough to reuse this gorgeous space.




2DTNm5FkfNmxseSBEKVVD1PJgLudvsUewRzjsy7-J0E=w499-h882-noSo back to Day 2 of our trip. We stayed at the Paper Factory Hotel in Queens for the wedding, but in the morning we headed to Prospect Park to meet up with two of our friends. Because we live in the suburbs of Orange County we don’t usually take cabs anywhere. This weekend was our first time using Uber and they were fabulous.

We walked around Prospect Park, which was so pretty and had so many cute little shops all along the neighborhood. We met up with Bill, who lived in DC when we did, and he is one of my favorite  human beings ever. He is hilarious, smart, and so witty. We also meet up with Supriya again, who is also one of my favorite people. She really took me under her wing when we lived in DC and I’ll never forget it! Sadly we didn’t take pictures with them, and the one picture I have with Supriya we have our eyes closed.

But Prospect Park was blooming with flowers and it was so dreamy. When we lived in DC we left right before the cherry blossoms, so seeing them here in NYC was amazing and I was so happy!

HAamx0kPHK6wpcj-meVk0IvTxGkUOTIadAK9NLprruY=w499-h882-noI love a good mural.

TgPhLGq8UfFGhSrzIuv8fTrKvdd_6VyXx9ji4VlsTtI=w1262-h714-noWe all had brunch in a random Mediterranean restaurant that was really good. Being with those two makes my heart so happy and we all laughed so much. It was great seeing them.

H3b6m80LoLd82bUdf_Xurh8EvObgWjiACIKfXdlANpk=w499-h882-noToo bad my ice cream isn’t in focus in this picture, but it was two of my favorite things: ice cream and cherry blossoms in New York. Life is good. 🙂


After brunch we walked around a little more and then Bill and his friend had to take off. So Supriya was kind enough to hang out with us and take us to the Brooklyn Bridge Park. The last time we were NYC I wanted to see the Brooklyn Bridge but we weren’t able to. But this time we took a nice walk down there and saw the bridge in all its glory. It is magnificent and I loved it. And the park was so lively and fun.


JWJTsmm3z9MciRDMt7X7E7XsAB74F0j8e7ZTBHG27-4=w1262-h714-noHere are Supriya and Dave with flannel for days.




x7rFJMo1-MYAPXVr9sYJ-Oob3MauUODyMbaTzAvyzK4=w1262-h714-noI mean, come on! That bridge is ridiculous. So, so pretty.


Being from Chicago, I obviously favor and love that skyline, but New York is serious competition. New York is huge and the skyline is amazing. I totally get why so many movies and tv shows are made here now. It’s architecturally beautiful and a bustling city.

IbKPXf4CQEvxBufP5jPkLTklyhdEU6cBZuJmI4Prikw=w1024-h768-noI loved the pink skirt and crop top I wore to the wedding. It worked out quite nicely. I’m not generally a fan of crop tops but paired with the skirt it just looked like a dress.

The guy on the way right is Sean who was the groom. We had a picture with the bride as well but it was pretty dark and blurry, sadly. Dave and I are so thrilled for Sean and Jean. I didn’t use to cry at weddings, but apparently I do now. Their vows were so sweet. They’re a lovely couple together and we’ve had lots of fun memories with them and look forward to more in the future.

Travel Thursday – Neon Museum, Las Vegas, Nevada

So at the end of April a bunch of our friends went to Las Vegas to play in a volleyball tournament.  A few of us also went to see Britney Spears at her show. It was SO much fun! I listened to her growing up and us girls had so much fun dancing and singing at the top of our lungs. 🙂 I’ve been to Las Vegas so many times and have never been to a show so it was really awesome.

Everytime I’ve gone to Vegas I’ve only hung out on the strip and always frequent the same places. So this time I wanted to do something different. So I looked up things to do and came across the Neon Museum. It’s a museum that houses old marquee signs from the 1930’s until now. It was fun to see the signs up close and to hear the history behind them. It was a little smaller than I’d hoped but it was still really cool. It would also be really pretty at night to see the lights on.

It’s a guided tour and can be sold out so you have to book tickets online before you go. The tickets for adults was $18.










LA to Seattle Road Trip Overview

So two Saturdays ago on February 28th, Dave and I took off for our Highway 1, California coast road trip to Seattle, Washington. We are planning a move up to Seattle in the fall so we wanted to check out some neighborhoods and visit some friends and family along the way. 🙂

Here is a breakdown of our trip:

rt2We were gone for 11 days and saw so many gorgeous sites. It was a really great time. I will do multiple posts about where we went and share some pictures as well, over the next few days but in the meantime here is our trip at a glance.

Add subtitle text-2

Happy Monday Friends! It feels great to be back.


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.


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. 🙂


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.


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.


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.



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.


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?

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.







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.


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. 🙂