img_3196

I love keeping a journal. I think there are so many benefits to writing things down. Writing in a journal is not only something to pass on to the next generation; writing can help keep your stress levels down and help you keep a more positive and creative outlook on life.

With the many benefits that come from journaling, more and more people are turning to writing down their thoughts. However, it can be hard sticking to it. I have been journaling my entire life but sometimes I would go months or even years without physically writing something down. It’s just something that can be hard to do when life gets so crazy!

I realized that the way to stick with journaling is to find the method that works best for you. There are so many ways you can write down what happens with your day- just find what speaks to you the most. Throughout your life, you may even change how you journal. So try different things and just have fun with writing! Here are some ideas to get you started:

1.) Jar Journaling – I actually tried this for a year while I was away at school and it was just perfect for me at that time in my life. All you do is get a big empty jar (or whatever container you want) and just put stuff in it. Sometimes, I would write down a journal entry on a piece of paper, fold it up, and put it in the jar. Other times, I would put in a wristband from an event or a movie ticket stub. This is a simple way to remember the things you do!

2.) Daily Journaling – You can purchase different kinds of daily journals. Some may ask you to write one line about something that happened that day. Others may ask a question for that day that you can answer. Barnes and Noble has as awesome selection of daily journals that give you some type of guideline to help you along in starting to write.

3.) Traditional – If you prefer keeping things simple and original then go out and but a journal or notebook and just write in that. Find one that appeals to you the most- it can help you to write more if you like what you are writing in. It also helps to set attainable goals for yourself. Try just journaling once a week or once a month to help you get into the habit.

4.) Electronic Documentation – Maybe you are not much of a write. Maybe you prefer typing and being on the computer. Awesome! Writing your thoughts down electronically is so easy nowadays. Whether you decide to have a personal blog or just use a word document, storing your thoughts online is a great alternative to traditional journaling.

Wednesday Inspiration

img_3101

Do you have those days (or weeks or months) where it just seems like your entire world is unraveling? That everything you have worked so hard to build is being torn down? Maybe I am being a little dramatic. It’s just- recently I was given news that is changing my entire life. Before you get too excited- or nervous- I’m not pregnant. So, don’t worry about that.

Anyway, here I am, having freak outs every single day because my life is changing majorly. Then, I thought of something:

I CAN DO IT

I know that it doesn’t seem like that hard of a concept to realize. But, when you are right in the middle of a hard time, it can be hard to remember that you can come out of it.

Whenever you are having one of those days (or weeks or months) when it feels like it’s too hard and it will never end- just remember: You CAN do it! You can climb that mountain, you can walk that tightrope over the precipice, and you can get through anything! Even better- you WILL get through it.

image

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner and I love this holiday! It is tied with Halloween for my favorite. Sometimes, you get to spend the entire day with your loved one for Valentine’s Day- other times, you may only get a couple hours to grab some breakfast or a drink before needing to do other things.
So, I wanted to give a few different ideas for the whole day that you can use together or just one idea for whatever you may have time for!

image

8:30 AM – Treat yourself to donuts. Chances are your local donut places also has milk, chocolate milk, or coffee. Start your day with a yummy, sugary treat. If all you have is the morning together on Valentine’s Day, then this is a fun thing to do because you get some time to yourself while eating a delicious (although fattening) breakfast.

image

1:00 PM – If you get to leave work early and you and your honey love relaxing together, why not get a couple’s massage? These tend to book out quickly for Valentine’s Day (I know this firsthand because I work in a spa). But, if you book your appointment in advance and try a few different places, you should be just fine! Couple’s massages are so intimate and relaxing and several places offer lots of specials to make this special date even more special.

image

5:30 PM – Watch the sunset. Whether you have a picnic in the last light of the day, or catch the last bit of light and then go stargazing- watching the sunset is very romantic. This date idea also doesn’t cost anything! So go find a tall building or a mountain top this Valentine’s Day.

image

8:00 PM – Now you have had a long day of either needing to be at work, taking care of kids, or spending a lovely day with your sweetheart. No matter how your day has been, you’re probably ready for a drink. I am not sure what this may mean to you- to me, it means soda or hot chocolate. There is this adorable place by where we live called Pop N’ Sweets. They have candy, chocolate, and soda from all over the world! They even have a cute little hot chocolate bar. When Wesley and I went, I got dark hot chocolate and he got… ButterBeer! I know… I know… way cool.

Whether you have an early breakfast, a nightcap, or all of the above with your love- I hope you have a wonderful Valentine’s Day!

Top 5: Utah County

img_2911

If you have come to visit me and Wesley while we have lived in Utah, chances are we took you to at least 1 of these places. This list is definitely not all there is to do in Utah County (that would require writing an entire book) but this is a small list of places we love taking our family and friends when they come to visit; we got hiking trails, driving trails, food places, etc… So, here is where Wesley and I will probably take you when you come to visit.

Sundance Resort

This is a beautiful mountain escape located up Provo Canyon. Robert Redford bought the land in the 1960’s and wanted to preserve the beauty of this new property. He envisioned “the balance of art, nature and community”. That’s what Sundance is and you don’t even have to book a room at the resort to experience this. Not only are there delicious dining options and an incredible spa, there’s a ski lift that is open all year round- for skiing in the Winter and beautiful views in the Summer. There are also numerous trails to walk around the resort and the surrounding forest.

When we bring people up here, we usually like to walk through the General Store, located right by a ski lift. We then like to get hot chocolate from next door and then walk around the grounds, taking lots of pictures!

 Bridal Veil Falls

This picturesque waterfall is in Provo Canyon; in fact, you drive right by it on your way to Sundance Resort. When you get to the falls, you can either drive up a ways and park right in front of the falls to enjoy the view. Or, you can park at Nunn’s Park and walk along a nice trail to the waterfall. Either way, you will get a beautiful view of Bridal Veil. If you want a little more adventure, you can actually follow a steeper, switch back trail to go up the waterfall! It does give some amazing views of the canyon.

Thanksgiving Point

The best part about Thanksgiving Point is you have so many options of fun things to do! You can just spend an afternoon at the gardens, or you can spend a day or two experiencing everything you can!

You have your choice of 2 museums: The Museum of Natural Curiosity and the Museum of Ancient Life. There are also beautiful gardens that expand for 55 acres! You can even go to Farm Country and check out all the different animals. With an amazing local movie theatre and lots of places to eat, this is a place you can check out over and over again.

Alpine Loop

This is one of my most favorite places in the world. Alpine Loop is a scenic byway that cuts from American Fork Canyon to Provo Canyon and actually goes right by Sundance Resort! The road cuts alongside mountain edges, follows rivers, and takes you through magical Aspen Groves. Wesley loves this because it’s a fun drive with his Subaru. I love it because I see something new and different about the scenery every time we go. We both love it because we can either drive straight through, or stop and have ourselves a little adventure on one of the various trails.

We love bringing people on this drive and walking around to take pictures. It really gives our friends and family a nice chance to see the beauty of Utah- away from the noise of the city.

img_0677

Station 22

By the time we are done taking our friends on one of these adventures, we are ready to eat! We have soooo many favorite restaurants in Utah (hmm… that’s a good blog post idea…) but we decided to pick one that was different from other places we had been and not something you can really find anywhere else.

Station 22 is the perfect place for delicious comfort food. Not only do you have your choice of burgers and salads- the menu also includes chicken and waffles, mac & cheese, fish and chips, and delicious appetizers. They even have huge wall of craft sodas- colas, creams sodas, root beers, birch beers, sarsaparillas- and much, much more! You get to eat all this food and drink your yummy soda and the cutest, eclectic cafe. I’m getting hungry just writing this!

There you go! Those are some of mine and Wesley’s favorite places to take our friend and family! I hope you got some fun ideas for your next adventure!

*The picture of Thanksgiving Point is not my picture*

Master Esthetician

As of last month, I am officially a licensed Master Esthetician in the state of Utah!

img_2804

I honestly can’t believe it. Before I started my education in esthetics, I had attended 4 different colleges (2 community colleges and 2 universities). I had changed my major 4 times and was about to change it again. I was interested in a lot of different things; For some reason, nothing I did felt like something I could be excited about learning for the rest of my life.

One day, I decided to make a list of everything I enjoyed learning about, reading about- stuff I never got tired of. No matter how silly it was, I wrote it down. Believe me, there were some really weird things on that list. At the very top of that list was skin care. I had loved skin care for a long time but never associated it with a career. I had grown up with this vision in my head that I needed t go to a University. I had to get a well rounded education and a degree I could do anything with. While I was so focused on that, I never took the time to think if that was the right path for me.

I love esthetics and I loved my education at the Aveda Institute in Provo, Utah. I am also so grateful I have been able to remain in the Aveda network, as now I am working at an Aveda spa and salon.

Everyone has a different path. This was right for me and I am so glad I realized that. Thank you to everyone who supported me, let me ramble on about the skin, helped me pass my state tests, and everyone who loved me and was patient with me this year.

I love you all!

Winter Wonderland

I am definitely a summer girl.

I love green trees, lakes, waterfalls, barbecue, clear nights, the sun… I just can’t lie. I have a favorite season. And it’s Summer. It’s a good thing the seasons are not my children- that might be problematic.

Anyway! So, Summer is great, Spring is beautiful, and I definitely do not mind Autumn. But, Winter and I have not had the greatest relationship. When I lived in Southern California, I never really noticed it because my Winter in Huntington Beach consisted of 75 degree weather and beach days. No, it wasn’t until I moved to Utah that I found out me and Winter don’t really get along.

It’s cold. It’s dark. My heating bill goes up. I slip on ice all the time. Driving is a hazard. The list can go on and on. So, every once in awhile I just need that little reminder that Winter is beautiful in it’s own way.

Today I got that little reminder.

imageimageimage

I mean- yes, it is still dark and cold. But it is oh so magical.

Memories From 2016

What an amazing year 2016 was!

image

As I look back on this year, I am filled with so much gratitude and happiness. Wesley and I were able to explore so much of our beautiful state of Utah- from waterfalls and lakes to forests and views. We love this amazing place we live in; We were even able to buy our first home together here!

I graduated as a Master Esthetician from the Aveda Institute in Provo. It was an amazing education and I love having a career where I am continuously learning. I feel so blessed to work in a field where I feel I can help people.

Wesley and I are so excited for the adventures to come in 2017!

The Worst advice people gave me about Europe

A couple weeks ago marked 1 year since I went to Europe for the first time! I love traveling and adventures and experiencing cultures so I, of course, loved every single second. Before I went- people loved giving me “helpful” advice about what to expect in Europe. After I came back, I decided to do a blog post about the advice people had been giving to me and I thought I would re-share that for my 1 Year Europe anniversary!

*This post originally appeared on an old blog I used to have before I switched to this one!*

People give you advice all the time- whether you want it or not. They just think that sharing their little words of wisdom will help you with whatever it is you are doing. When I told people I was going to Europe, they were not shy about telling me their thoughts and experiences. I listened to a lot of what they said. But, now that I have gone, I thought I would share some of the worst things people told me about traveling to London and Paris…
“Don’t stay in hostels. They are so sketchy. Splurge on a nice hotel.”
My questions to this are ‘have you ever been in a hostel?’ and ‘when was the last time you stayed in a hostel.’ Hostels are not what they use to be. Cities all over Europe have hostels and “budget hotels”. Every hostel I stayed in had wifi, a private en suite, and they range from 2-6 beds (because I went with a group, I knew everyone in the room with me). Hostels are normally in a central location so they are close to public transportation, good food, and local hang outs.
My advice- check out the websites and reviews for hostels, do your research, and don’t freak out about them.
“Don’t sleep on the plane. You have to get use to the time difference and if you sleep on the plane, you won’t be able to fall asleep at night. “
When someone told me this I thought okay yeah that makes sense. Then, you realize you are pretty much tired all the time AND chances are you are walking around all day. So, no matter how much you sleep- you are going to be tired.
My advice- Sleep as much as you can. You are in an amazing place and you are going to be so busy all day that you need all the sleep you can get. SLEEP.
“Don’t carry cash on you. You should always use your card because you can cancel it if it gets stolen. “
It is a good idea to carry your debit/credit card with you. If you do- make sure you call your card company ahead of time and tell them you where you will be traveling so your card isn’t declined when you are trying to make a purchase. However, you should definitely bring cash with you. Some places only take cash and your bank will more than likely charge you money to make withdrawals from foreign ATM’s.
My advice- bring cash and keep it in your front pocket or in a crossbody bag so your money is safe from pickpockets.
“Don’t get your hopes up. The Paris Syndrome is totally real.”
For those of you who don’t know- The Paris Syndrome is when you build up a european city in you head and think it is going to be so amazing and then when you get there you become disappointed because it’s just a ‘normal city’. When people told me this, it actually scared me. I have been dreaming of going to Paris my entire life and I couldn’t imagine being sad while being in this city I have always wanted to see. It’s true, it is a city- people live there and work there like anywhere else. But when I got there, I realized nothing anyone said could make me be disappointed in Europe. The history, the food, the culture, the art, the people- you just cant be bummed out when you’re there. It really is incredible, don’t worry.
My advice- get your hopes up. Be excited. You’re seeing new places! You’re going on adventures! It’s going to be an amazing experience! You are going to have so much fun and do not let other people and what they say bring you down!

Sunday Adventure #3

Link to Sunday Adventures #3 here —> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QH9UdfAOvWI

For our latest Sunday Adventure, Wesley and I drove the Alpine Loop Scenic Byway. It is my favorite drive and definitely my happy place. IMG_0831

Alpine Loop connects American Fork Canyon and Provo Canyon. It goes by Sundance Resort, past beautiful rivers and aspen groves, and has amazing campgrounds. You can go hiking, mountain biking, and spend an amazing time with your friends, family, and pets!

Alpine Loop is beautiful and I definitely recommend it to everyone!

IMG_0833IMG_0836IMG_0834