For those of you who did not know, I am finally studying abroad in Europe for a few months! It is my fourth day traveling around Italy with my mom until Friday when I begin my studies in Rome. So far, the trip has been both beautiful and shocking! While everyone gave praise for my upcoming trip, they also gave advice and wished good luck… I now understand! It has really been an eyeopening experience into other cultures’ history, scenery, and average-day lifestyles. Below, I have posted some of my favorite pictures from Venice! Enjoy!
Ah, the last day of a too-short two day weekend – Sunday! We look forward to the weekend when Sunday ends and Monday begins because we can rest and worry less. After a week full of work, class, studying, and emotionally exhausting mind wandering, we use the weekend to catch up, take an adventure, and Sunday especially to relax. Here are a few of our Sunday funday binge-worthy activities!
Netflix & Binge
his: I love shows. Anything that grabs my attention, I’m a sucker for. I do not have cable so I rely on Netflix/ Amazon instant video.
her: While my week doesn’t allow me much time to watch tv, when I get to, I turn on TLC for my favorite reality tv shows. I also love romantic comedies, especially in series.
Food Frenzy Binge
his: I love whipping something up. I am a huge grilled cheese fan and have a science for it and really enjoy cooking. I always love to make breakfast, maybe that’s why her is so into me? lol
her: Hands down, breakfast food is my favorite type of food. If I could crawl out of my bed and make breakfast and get back in bed all day, I would. Sometimes it is best to just snack on snacks all day. I love to munch on pretzles, cheez-itz, popcorn and other salty snacks!
Stress-free Activity Binge
his: I find a lot of joy in editing photos. I have always told her that I want our home to be filled with photos of us, or ones we have taken.
her: I love relaxing in ways that keep my mind moving. When its rainy and we are just in pjs, I love playing games, doing puzzles, or doodling in my free time! Anything to take my mind of the daunting week ahead.
And when all else fails, stay in bed!
Till next time, xoxo
If you have not yet heard the news, I am out of here! Well…only for a few weeks, but my trip is almost a month away and I am beyond excited!
Months ago, I was accepted in my university’s study abroad programs for this upcoming Spring quarter. The program is through the university’s business department for International Business. We are traveling to three countries to see how each country does its business differently and in comparison to the United States. It is mostly just an excuse to travel to three beautiful countries: Italy, Czech Republic, and France! As my preparation time gets down to the final count before I leave at the end of March, I thought that it might benefit some of you to consider these things that I have already stressed about for you!
1. What is a Euro?
I am learning that traveling with money is very scary and there is no right way to transfer, receive, or cash out money without worrying about its safety. Especially in Europe, some places will not take a credit card and then you are left to find an ATM who accepts your card. Most credit card companies charge a fee for international transactions as will some debit card companies or money machines in each country. If you search, some companies will work out a plan for you with no transaction fees or my mom and I found a company that gives you a debit card linked to an account in the United States. This will allow me the money I transfer in the account and if the card is lost or stole, not all of my money will be at hand. I have heard that it is best to get your cash in each country in small amounts.
2. You call THAT a “carry on”?
Because I will be traveling between countries on an international plane, it is important to look up airline requirements before you reach the gate. Weight limits are different, carry on sizes vary and it costs different amounts to check bags of each airline. It might also benefit you to purchase a traveler’s luggage scale to weight your baggage before you realize that you need to repack your floppy hat in a different bag. As an excited female, it will be difficult for me to both restrict my clothing choices that I pack and refrain from buying too much while I am away. After all… it is the shopping center of Europe and I do need a new pair of shoes!
3. Now that we are talking about clothes…
Coincidentally, everyone has been asking me how I will pack everything for 10 weeks away to which I reply…I do not know. I love clothes and I would travel with three suit cases if I could but as the say, be prepared to walk. Also make note of the weather before you travel. While it feels like a vacation, it could be 80 degrees in Rome and snow the next week in Prague. We had a guest speaker in my study abroad class in the evenings who gave us this helpful hint: when you go to pack, lay out all of your clothes you would like to pack and cut that pile in half. When you are done packing that half, walk down the block with your luggage and then repack. Pack in basics and layers, ladies!
4. Look at your calendar for the trip
Sometimes it helps to print out a physical calendar to see what your trip has in store. Especially for me, it is important to know what days I have class and at what time, also what field trips we will be going on and what days I am free to plan my own day trips. My future roommate and I sat down with a calendar and mapped out a few places that we would like to go and looked over our calendar to see what we should anticipate on the entire trip. Be aware of what days you travel far and what days you need to be awake on time!
5. Do not forget your calendar at home
Because of the season that I am traveling in, I am missing quite a few celebratory events back at home. My best friends 21st birthday, Good Friday, Easter, his and I’s three year anniversary, and mothers day. While there are a lot of things to plan while you are away, don’t miss the little things at home that might deserve a pre-given card or small gifts. Send a small text or a phone call home, too, to let them know you’re thinking about them.
6. Speaking of him
There are so many ways to go about this, but strongly is the way to go. Make sure that if you’re doing long long…long distance you have talked about it and are on the same page. Set up expectations with open minds, knowing that things might come up and scheduled talk times might be slightly moved. Get together before and schedule talking times that you can count on each other for and be thankful for the little random moments that come along the way. It is going to be difficult to be away from your loved ones, but stay persistent and strong, the time will fly! He and I are taking a trip a few weekends before I leave to spend quality time with each other and strengthen our relationship more than ever.
7. Relax & enjoy
I find myself getting more stressed out about this trip than excited at times, but I remember how grateful I am for the opportunity and the experiences to come. Traveling can be difficult when there is so much anticipation building up, but the most important thing to consider is to relax and take life in where you are. I will be surrounded by some of the beautiful things on this earth, take it in and share later.
Let the count down begin!
Someone beautifully wise once taught me that when you are in doubt, be sure to count your facts. I am sure we have all a person or two in our lives who pour a simple richness into our soul that… all the sudden everything clicks and your mind is new. And in times of complete turmoil when there is no light at the end of the tunnel, that person speaks softly, and your track are moved onto a different path.
I will be blunt, last week was a rough one for me. Not only had school picked up its pace and work continued to possess such a negative environment, but I also acquired this over awareness that life is difficult. Yes, a simple epiphany almost anyone 16 and older has discovered by now, but I am talking… adult hard. Money, future careers, friendships, relationships, and every other little thing that my brain had blown up 10 times the size.
Thursday was the hardest. After a long phone call, I realized that I had reverse morphed into something I had worked so hard to break through the past two years. I began to depend on others for my source of happiness, I over dramatized events that meant nothing, I assumed my own worst possible situation and then over exaggerated my anger over…nothing. So, my beautifully wise one listened to my nonsense and she enriched me with words I would like to share: Sometimes, we get it in our head that things are different than they actually are and we assume that our life is crumbling at our feet, just count your facts.
Fact #1: Your roommates love you, and would not be living with you, laughing at your ridiculous work stories, and feeding you the food that they have made if they did not love you.
I have three extra human beings who love and care for me on a regular basis. And even when I feel like they are upset with me or too stressed out to ask how my day was, I know that they love me and will always have my back.
Fact #2: You are going to pass your classes and you are going to graduate with a degree.
I am blessed with the opportunity to go to the university that I do, be in my major, and have the ability to graduate with a bright future. Even when classes are difficult or I completely bombed a midterm, I am going to make it and with much confidence, something will come my way. It always does!
Fact #3: Your boyfriend loves you, despite what crazy girlfriend nonsense you have in your head like “Is he ignoring me?” “Why didn’t he text me when he got off work?” and so on… he is with you because he loves and cares about you, and would not ignore you.
I have, admittingly, been that crazy girlfriend the last few months (sorry, babe!) but I am just counting my facts and giving him the benefit of the doubt because that is what is fair and creates trust.
Fact #4: You will never be stranded without food, clothing, shelter, etc. because you have a family and friends who take care of you.
Money… oh money. Why stress over it? I know that I can take confidence in knowing that my family will always lift me and help me financially. Thanks family.
Count your facts my friends, they will help you stay calm and come to simple reason in the silly little things we stress about.
Ah, tis the season of love!
Women anxiously await it, men don’t understand it – it’s Valentine’s Day! A day to spend loving your honey and being in each other’s company. Typically couples will exchange gifts to show their love and appreciation for each other, but with Christmas less than two months ago, gift giving might get tricky for your lucky man. Here are a few ideas for gifts to give your hunk this holiday:
With Christmas just passing, maybe he got a new GoPro that deserves a carrying case or a new selfie stick. Or maybe that shiny watch at the store can be the perfect accessory for your V-Day date to spice up his outfit. Check out the condition of his wallet, his favorite phone case, or a manly necklace he’s been eyeing the last few weeks to give him a little something to add to his collection.
Support His Hobbies
While we may not be the best girlfriends when it comes to supporting his favorite sports team or winter sporting activity, we can show him we care by picking him up a new jersey or a new set of snowboarding gloves. Be mindful of what he already has, and make sure you pick up something he can use!
Send Him Away
Sometimes the best way to spend V-Day is away! You do not have to purchase him something from his favorite store, but rather look at places that you two can spend a weekend away together. Or find him tickets to his favorite concert or sports team to take him to. Activities together, too, can be a great way to show how much you enjoy each other’s company.
Show Him Your DIY Skills
When all else fails (meaning he most likely has bought himself anything he would possibly need or want…) remember that Valentine’s Day is meant for the thought of it. If you pass by something and it reminds you of the one you love, pick it up to show him you know what he likes and you know him well. But don’t be afraid to shower him with love through hand written letters, framed pictures, or sappy DIY crafts that remind you of him.
And in the end, love will be the greatest gift you can give and he will be thankful 😉
Close to three years in a relationship and it is hard work (hands up if you can agree!).
This past weekend we exchanged many moments of adornment and pride in one another, but not every day is sunshine and the smell of Bath and Body Works Pink Cashmere body mist. And to be completely transparent with you all, a week ago we were underwater. A missed alarm, a sleepless night, and a misunderstood set of text messages… and that was enough to burst the seams. And then it hit me… a healthy relationship consists of progress that is both mutual and continuous.
Progress starts with a well made bed-
Not only is rest important to a healthy mind and body, it also gives us energy throughout the day. After that morning, I threw the covers off my bed and tucked everything in – the right way! When we take care of ourselves and do things how they are supposed to be done instead of cutting corners and slacking, we keep our lives in order and are able to take care of ourselves and our loved ones. Make sure you are both sleeping in a bed made wel.
Progress is accompanied by a strong cup of coffee –
For some of us, it is the the juices that fill our brain and heart with energy and efficiency! Sometimes all it takes to continue in the line of progress is a boost in the right direction. After all of the arguing is hashed out and done, recognize that change is mutual and self reflective. Allow the desire to change and grow stronger be the kick in the right direction and use your energy to power through!
Progress is a pen, a piece of paper, and a goal –
Sometimes we speak so harshly that we wish we could take it back, I will admit that I am both stubborn and snappy often times. Words are difficult to communicate and mean different things for others, but with a calm mind and collected thoughts, a note is sometimes the best thing we can do to progress. Write a note to each other or yourself and ask your partner what they need from you. Set goals and write them down.
Progress is reflection –
I am grateful for all that I have and at the end of the day, reflection is what will guide you to the next day. Progress is slow and steady and will continue to allow you to grow. Reflect and help each other be better people.
With love and patience,
For a few years now, I have been drawn to a soft sense of yoga called Hatha. While yoga can come in many variations such as fast flow, sculpting, or flexible, I find myself craving a nice deep stretch that helps me meditate and relax from stress and anxiety. Tonight, after feeling the weight of the weekend, I was reminded of how soothing and rejuvenating a light yoga routine can be for your mind and body.
All week, your body can not only build up mental stress and tense up your physical body and mobility. Yoga allows you to relax, take time to deepen each pose, and be in the moment with your own stillness and clarity. I, personally, use my yoga time to reflect, listen to soft music, stretch what feels good, and often time be with God.
Here are a few beginner poses to try out when you need a break of clarity:
Ah…Sunday night. Where the weekend wraps itself up into a crystal ball of your upcoming week’s horoscope. And when you get into bed to rest up for Monday, all of the daunting thoughts of now through Friday appear at once. Take heart, my friends!
On the car ride home to Seattle today, I thought of how many weekly rituals become little glimpses of happiness in what feels like a never ending week. And when we think of those weekday excitements, we can be even more excited for the small events that we have planned to look forward to.
What do you look forward to in your week?
Till next time, xoxo
Let’s go adventure!
Sometimes it’s nice to get out and go somewhere. We humans always get caught up in how busy our lives are, and it can detract from what’s important in life. So my request to all is that we get out and be go getters. Plan trips to somewhere that you see on Instagram or you’ve always wanted to go. You can never travel enough. This is how I like to do it
Pick a spot
Find somewhere that really makes you excited/ a travel buddy unless you want to travel alone
Check your budget
Although a trip across the world would be awesome, sometimes that’s not always realistic. A simple weekend get away is nice and can be done for only a couple hundred dollars.
Check your time
Work and school can also get in your way but we all can make time. Take a weekend to focus on yourself and get away and if you have to call out sick, live a little and enjoy what Is your life.
Don’t second guess your decision, you can be all excited and then realize that you have other stuff to do. Well put it on the back burner. This is your time to shine and go explore.
Explore while you’re young and free. Once you’re in the core of life it becomes harder and people/ couples or families lose sight of relaxing and enjoy yourself.
Till next time,
It’s 9:15 p.m… feeling like you should get ready for bed – start settling down, wash your face, brush your teeth, but you are hungry. You think, it’s been 4 hours since you’ve had dinner and you have plenty of easy things to eat as a quick snack, but nothing sounds good enough to hit the munchies spot. We’ve all been there, my friends! You’re just about to crawl in bed, and the late night munchies strikes again!
Because we tend to find ourselves hungry more and more before bed, we have collaborated a list of easy, but yummy midnight snacks to try to satisfy that crave!
One of our all time favorite snacks before bed is homemade popcorn. Throw some hot oil in a pop and listen to the delicious kernels pop into buttery, puffy munchies! If you find yourself in the Eastern Washington area, Smallwoods Farm has the BEST Snow Puff popcorn that we highly recommend.
Special Snack Mix
What a better way to snack than a pre-made snack mix of your favorite treats. This collaboration can go either sweet with chocolate chips, marshmallows, and typed of cereal, or savory with pretzels, goldfish, and mixed nuts. Grab a bowl of your mix and catch the end of a late night show.
Ham, Cheese, Croissants
If the thought of waiting for the oven doesn’t bring you anxiety, try a savory croissant as a filling snack. Using uncooked croissants, add ham, cheese, and a little seasoning to have a small snack to fill your empty belly.
Again, this will take some worthwhile patience from you! Tortilla pizzas are the new thing to eat instead of pizza dough. Just use a soft taco tortilla, spaghetti sauce, and cheese to brown a perfectly easy pizza!
When all else fails, we appreciate chocolate and cheese-itz!
Sweet dreams, late night munchers!
Till next time, xoxo.