Upstate New York

Esteban and I were fortunate enough to get to visit my cousins Susan and Matt and Susan’s husband Joseph, in Upstate New York over spring break. Susan and I were best friends growing up, so when she moved to New York I knew I had to go visit her. Bonus: as you can see in the picture on the right, Susan and I have pretty good style when it comes to beanies 😉

Before this trip, I had only ever seen snow fall once before on my bachelorette trip. I had been in slush one time before that trip, so basically snow to me is pretty foreign weather. The first day we arrived snow was falling, and it was also falling our last day there. I basically wore 4 to 5 layers every single day, while my cousins laughed at me and wore normal California clothing.

Out of the three destinations we visited, New York was definitely the coldest; however, I kind of liked the change. It was 80 degrees back home so not sweating for a week in the heat was a nice break. On the first day, we ended up eating at two different bakeries, going on base to see my cousin on her lunch break, and eating at the commisary. I have no idea how the military works, and thus exploring the base was enlightening. We also slept about 5 hours that first day because we had taken a red eye flight. When we woke up, we went to this great Italian place in Sackets Harbor and explored the area that had been part of the war of 1812.

On our second day, they took us to their favorite diner that had mimosas and if you ordered coffee you got a french press!! From driving around, you can tell immediately that diners are a big deal up here. We also went and visited the black river which flows in and out of multiple parts of the area. The river was booming and we kept reminding each other not to get to close to the edge as the current was strong.

Susan has always been braver than me, and this held true on our black river hike. I convinced Esteban to climb the tree, but I wouldn’t attempt it as heights terrify me. Of course I didn’t even need to try to convince Susan to climb it. She voluntarily climbed the tree to its center, even though it was icy and slippery. I obviously had to document her courage with a picture.

On our last day, on my request, they took us to the Adirondacks (mountains near them). We ended up finding a frozen lake that was thick enough to walk on.

My favorite part of this leg of the trip though, is what we didn’t take pictures of. We went to an escape room and it was the first time I had ever been a part of a group that escaped. We also went to a painting store in which Ban and I painted mugs and Susan and Joseph painted canvases. Matt ended up doing a vase. Susan’s painting was definitely the highlight piece. It was a picture of birch trees that was really cool looking.

We also hung out watching funny youtube videos, tv shows, and took a little walk around the complex with their cat. Most trips I’ve taken lately are packed with activities – this leg of the trip felt like the perfect amount of downtime and adventure. It was an actual relaxing, but fun vacation. Susan, if you’re reading this, thanks for having us and showing us a great time 🙂 I’m so thankful we were able to come visit all of you and truly loved the time we spent with you. Love you!

The Super Bloom at Walker Canyon, Lake Elsinore CA

It’s another El Nino year in California so I decided to take advantage of the rainy weather by taking a trip to the poppy fields in Walker Canyon. Fortunately, I corralled two of my besties and convinced them to come … Continue reading

Favorite First 7 SOCAL Hikes in Preparation for Machu Picchu

The idea for Machu Picchu started with Laura’s cousin’s wedding … in Columbia! She somehow convinced me to tag along and dangled hiking Machu Picchu in front of me to seal the deal. I agreed to go with her, under … Continue reading


December/January 2018 Book Reviews

I finally left my second job and have a bit of extra time again. It has been maybe a year or more since I got to read a book just for fun. Without further ado, here’s what I’ve been reading…


Behind Closed Doors - A NovelThis novel plays with time in that the chapters alternate between past and present. The past timeline eventually catches up to and explains the present timeline, which makes this book quite interesting and keeps you on the edge of your seat. It is about a newlywed couple who seems to have the perfect life, but not everything is quite as it seems. I can’t say more or I’ll be giving too much away. It is a slightly dark, thriller though so be aware! Continue reading

The NO SPEND Challenge!

wallet savingsI read an article on The Dough Roller’s blog here by Cait Flanders about not spending for an entire year. Of course, her goals and reasoning were different from mine, but nonetheless, I am really excited to try a “no spending challenge.” I am going to try to not spend for the next 3 months. I have been on a bad spending bender since Black Friday and I feel this is just the change I need to kick me back into normalcy when the 3 months are up.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not going to starve or not spend a penny for 3 months. I’m just not going to spend frivolously. Here are the following rules I am going to follow for the next 3 months (hopefully…): Continue reading

My Wedding on Pi Day 3.14.16

Thank you everyone who helped prep me for my wedding (Brittany,Jill,Maggie, and Susan for running back for the veil and flowers lol!) and thank you everyone who went out of your way to show up to a wedding that was ridiculously held on a Monday night so that our wedding date could be 3.14.16! It seems weddings are always surrounded by drama, but I felt so much love and support I cannot thank you all enough! It made me reflect on what great families and friends Esteban and I are so very blessed and honored to spend our lives with. I thought you all might enjoy some pictures from the night. Til the next wedding — make sure you’re ready to dance!

banandIlaughing Continue reading

Mexican Quinoa

I recently decided to become a Peskatarian (or pescatarian???) (kind of). To stay sane, I’m going to eat meat about one day out of every 2 weeks. Not that vegetarians aren’t sane, I just need a break to know I will commit to it. I was a vegetarian once for a month my freshman year of college, and well, it lasted one month. I’m hoping this allows me to last a year, or who knows how long? Anyway, I’m not putting a time frame on it because it may just last a month again. If you don’t know what a Peskatarian is, let me enlighten you with the Urban Dictionary definition: Someone who is too lazy to be a vegetarian, and will only eat fish. Refraining from the consumption of mammals. So there you have it folks.

Anyway, I’m going to begin cooking more since I feel like I have less options when I go out to eat. I started my cooking journey by making a one pan Mexican quinoa dish featured on Damn Delicious. I modified it just a bit!

one pot mexican quinoa

Mexican Quinoa:

Wedding Planning 102: Finding a Dress

I found my dress about a month ago, but haven’t had time or the willpower to post about it until now. I’ve talked to a lot of people about finding their dress, and unlike me, they knew “it was the one” by a matter of looking at a few dresses. Sometimes it was the first or second dress they tried on. But if you know me, you know that could never happen. I am SO indecisive. So, I looked at David’s Bridal, found two dresses I liked, and then went to look at Alfred Angelo. I found a dress I fell in love with there (Snow White dress with a cape – ridiculous, I know, but when else will wearing a cape in my life be appropriate?), but it was very expensive and they never offer discounts on their Disney collection dresses. So, I went back to David’s Bridal, but still didn’t fall in love with any one dress. Luckily, my friend (Lindsey) knew of a store in Rancho Cucamonga that had nice dresses, and I ended up falling in love with a dress there. It was the complete opposite style of what I wanted, but it looked great on and matched my theme perfectly 🙂

David's Bridal wedding gown with sleeves Continue reading