Religion & Possessions


Today I had a green smoothie alongside my breakfast. It was delightful.

The weather is a bit windy today, but the sun is shining and spring is in full bloom. What is not to love?

I spent a large chunk of my morning slash afternoon at the lake reading.

I found a rad shelter.

I have been doing a lot of thinking lately trying to figure out what I believe. I know it is a lifelong process, but I feel really lost right now.Β  I feel like I am navigating my own path, one I haven’t ever known. The more I read, the more there is to love about God. I absolutely love the values taught by the church. A relationship with God can be such a positive aspect in your life. I see it firsthand. At the same time however I have a few reservations. I don’t agree with some of the teachings and I am struggling to get past this. I am very loving and open minded and see some of the ideas taught as limiting. I don’t know how to fit everything together and make sense of it. I don’t see religion as an all or nothing thing and I believe there are many paths to God, I just have to find the right one for me.

How can there not be more to this life?

The most important things in life are not things at all. They are family. They are memories. They are experiences. They are the things without a price tag.

I have realized how unattached I am to my “stuff”. Often when I clean my room I throw a lot away. It has no real meaning to me. My shoes, my clothes, my bed sheets what relevance does it have in the grand scheme of life?Β  Granted there are a few, which could be named on one hand, items I LOVE. I would be a bit sad if I lost these few things, but it would not be detrimental.

Everything I truly need comes from within.

Happiness. Strength. Optimism. Open-mindedness. Love. Good Character.

A trust in something greater.

Ask yourself what makes you truly happy? And I bet it isn’t stuff.

Peace & Hugs,



ABC’s Workout

Hi there! I hope your are in good spirits.

Today has been a bit rough for me, but I will touch on that in a bit. First this is what I have been up to the past couple of days.

Monday I drove up to Colfax to pick up my Grandpa to drive him to an appointment to get eye injections. He has macular degeneration. Hence why I need to eat a lot of kale and fend it off. But anyway, there ended up being a huge miscommunication. Long story short I essentially waited in an empty parking lot for 4 hours, confused. I couldn’t get a hold of mi madre and didn’t want to leave my grandpa stranded so I was patient. When I did get a call from my mom 4 hours into waiting, it turned out he missed his bus. It was ok because it was a really pretty drive and I found an awesome place to go exploring one of these days. πŸ™‚Β  Focus on the positive! It didn’t exactly start my week out productive, but oh well.

Yesterday I went to a gym class and met up with Rikke. Neither of us felt too taxed so we walked down to the lake and did a nice ABC’s workout courtesy of one of our instructors, Michelle.

We did each exercise for 45 seconds.

ABC workout:
A- Abs
B- Butt lift bridge w/ alternating legs
C- Crunches
D- Deadlift
E- Extension tricep (overhead)
F- Front raise w/ dumbell or rocks in my case ;)
G- Glute squeeze
H- Hammer Curl
I- Interval i.e. jumping jacks
J- Jump squats
K- Knee ups
L- Lateral raise
M- Mountain climbers
N- Narrow stance squats
O- Overhead press
P- Plank
Q- Quads
R- Reverse flys
S- Side leg raise
T- Tricep dips
U- Upright rows
V- V ups
W- Waddle like a duck.
X- Make and x out your of body stretch in all directions
Y- Yoga stretch like a warrior stance
Z- Z0ttman curls.Β  Or just a bicep curl works.

Since we were at the lake we had to get a bit creative with the equipment and used rocks, water bottles, and logs. πŸ™‚ It was beautiful watching the sunset. I highly recommend getting active outdoors. Nothing beats it.

My newest foodie love:

Tomato, swiss laughing cow light, basil, & poached egg whites on a whole wheat bagel thin. It’s amazing.

So onto today. Basically there was a lot of miscommunication in my family and I found it very frustrating. Maybe twice within the same week was too much or maybe the fact that the exact situation that occured has happened multiple times in the past, but hasn’t been prevented from reoccurring. Family situations really pull on my heartstrings. There may or may not have been a few tears shed. I think it was just a build up of multiple things going on in the past few months.

I was feeling pretty lousy especially after getting a concerning text from a friend, but out of respect I am not going to post about it. It is not my situation to discuss. I still went to the gym hoping to clear my mind or get an endorphin high. I ran a bit and went to HGG’s class. Which I am just going to come out and say it- it stands for Hot Gym Guy. Know I am blushing writing this because it is embarrassing and shallow. In my defense despite being true, I didn’t come up with it. After taking his class for the first time I told one of my friends that I had the best gym motivation; a really super attractive gym trainer. From then on she would be like oh how was HGG’s class? Anyways I had a good heart to heart with him at the end. It’s hard letting people in and talking about tough stuff going on. I feel like in the past people haven’t necessarily been very understanding and even though HGG can’t necessarily relate he just listened which is what I needed. He also talked about his values which I respect, admire, and look up to.

How did I get so lucky to have so many amazing people enter my life since last summer. I feel like I have made a lot of life long friends who I can truly count on. I am blessed.

Congrats if you got through all that writing.

Here’s a song. Rikke introduced me to Jonsi and I am OBSESSED.



“One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things” – Henry Miller

Hello loves,

The rest of my day went sort of like this.


Pizza should be its own food group.

I have been thinking a lot about personal goals lately and I feel like I having been falling short. In so many ways I am doing great, but I feel like a lot of the time I think short term and my patience wears thin. I lose sight of what I am working towards. Small changes make a big difference long term and I always forget that. Here’s to a productive, driven, structured new week ahead.

In other news I still have the travel bug. I haven’t decided whether it’s a good thing or not. When you travel your life is in a constant state of limbo while feeding your curiosity. It is exciting, but at the same time you lack any sort of stability and it’s difficult to make relationships spending one night here and another there.



Happy Easter!

Hi everyone. I hope you are enjoying your day πŸ™‚ I know I am!

Rather than tell you what I’ve been up to this morning I’ll just show you.

I woke up to an Easter basket and a very excited Alex. I requested a fruit filled basket, but I guess the Easter Bunny was too busy and didn’t get my memo.

I made myself a poached egg and had a banana for breakfast.

My older brother is home so I had something special up my sleeve for him…

Bacon, Whiskey, Chocolate Chip, Maple Waffles. He loved the flavor and described it as intense. πŸ™‚

Real bacon and by that I mean not turkey bacon.

Hash…Β Β Β  browns



After breakfast it was time for the Easter egg hunt. Alex was by far the most excited, but there is still a bit of competition between Eric and I.

Here are some action shots:

Run, run, run!

He looked high and low.

And in the end he found the most eggs. Oh snap!

Here are the results:

Alex- 12 eggs

Eric-11 eggs

Me- 10 eggs

I played around with some of the settings on my camera too.

Eric hates getting his picture taken.

I had to be a bit sneaky. :p

I am off to spend time with my family.

Have a glorious day. I’ll be back later.



Sugar Induced Coma

Β Life lessons I learned today:

1. Butter is not worth using in baked goods. Applesauce is more my style.

2. Refined sugar is gross.

3. My taste buds have changed and thank God for that!

4. Rikke is an awesome cooking buddy!

I am glad I had a baking fest today. It was a once in a lifetime thang and I don’t think it is something I will ever do again. At least not with these recipes anyway, but I do love being in the kitchen πŸ™‚

I am currently still coming down from a sugar high. I think I’ll stick to endorphins highs from now on. They don’t leave you feeling gross and sick.

What shall I do with the leftovers I won’t be eating? Hmmmmm.

Sugar Cookies

Chocolate Mint Whoopie Pies

Mint Frosting

The completed creation. I can honestly say I won’t be going into the Whoopie Pie business anytime soon.

Mint Chocolate Marshmallow Oreo Cookies. This was a recipe we created from scratch throwing together leftover frosting and Oreos and it turned out pretty well.

Nom Nom Nom

Banana cupcakes w/ Cinnamon honey frosting. Obviously shown w/o frosting here. The texture was more dense than a regular cupcake, but since I am obsessed with banana’s I was ok with that. They were a bit to sweet for my liking though. I like my banana’s barely yellow when they aren’t too sweet.

These FAILED. S’more brownies. I was so excited for them. Oh well. The graham cracker crust cooked way to long and tasted weirddd.

Red Velvet Cupcakes. These were also interesting

Fun rice krispies!

Another batch of Oreo stuffed chocolate chip cookies. πŸ™‚

Macaroons. These didn’t go so well either. The first batch were thrown out all together.

Who needs cooking school?

Oh I do, I do! Pick me!…please.

I resorted to something familiar and easy for dinner.

There was a lot of sugar and butter action going on today so I needed to have something a bit different for dinner. Savory was definitely the way to go. Brown rice, bean salad, and dill weed salmon. yum!

In all 12 sticks of better went into today recipes. Almost an entire bag a flour and far too much sugar. C’est la vie, right? I saw an opportunity to try out a bunch of recipes so I went for it with Rikke’s help!

I am sticking to applesauce, banana, and oats from now on. I love feeling good or at least not bad after eating them.

A few weeks ago I woke up to this. Alex made it πŸ™‚ He has recently really gotten curious about God. There is Veggie Tale’s galore loaded on Netflix right now and he has reread his junior bible a bazillion times. It’s adorable.

Have a good Easter everyone. I am happy my older brother, Eric, is home and I have some fun plans for tomorrow.



Ready for the sun.

The past few days have been sort of dreary which has put me in a funk today. I am just in a sort of blah mood and I even already worked out today! I am sure after a few days of the sun and heat I will want it to be cold again.

So this is what I’ve been up to the past few days since I seem to have neglected my blog…

I’ve had some delicious stuff:

Greek yogurt, chia seeds, strawberries, banana. πŸ™‚

A flax seed, coconut oil, applesauce, oatmeal “cookie” for Alex.

This is my favorite chocolate. I can’t find it in California, so my sister sent it back with my mom from D.C. Thanks Anneliese!

I’ve hung out with wildlife:

A lizard that had been “flooded” in the lake, or was just in “deep sleep”. His words, not mine!

I went on an adventure up to Nevada City with Rikke.

After eating amazing raw food at The FIX and getting a tad lost πŸ˜‰ we made it to the Independence Trail.

At the raw food restaraunt I tried Durian for the first time. yay!

The weather ended up being not too bad.

The company was great and there was a really neat walkway/bridge type thing on the side of the mountain.

It ended up being a really fun day. We saw some snow, an old car show, ate some ice cream, got in some good people watching at the raw food cafe, and had pronunciation lessions; learning to say THunder instead of Funder πŸ™‚ Good times.

I also got another informational email from CBYX. It is pretty exciting, but still a bit unreal. People are starting to get their host families already. I am praying i’ll find out soon too. I want to know where I will be living. Sometimes though, people don’t find out until they are already in Germany. yikes!

I am have some really extremely amazing plans in store for tomorrow so stay tuned for that. I am pumped. Enjoy your day!

Happy Earth Day Everyone!!

Remember respect the earth everyday and not just today!


An unshakable case of wanderlust

Hello friends,

I have a problem. I have been consumed by desire. I have spent the better part of the day perusing travel blogs and googling. I have had a million conversations in my head and imagined many scenarios. I have fallen back in love with traveling. It is sinfully calling my name. I know I should be thinking about college, a career, and life after Germany which is exactly where I get stuck every time.

I have a huge concern. Am I really going to want to come home after ten months abroad? After all of my adventures and the world at my fingertips will my lust be satisfied? I am highly doubtful. Maybe I will be over it, but more likely I will just be getting started.

Whenever I am home I fall into the same monotonous rut. This adventuring urge rears its ugly head every few months until I can get my mind onto something else.

This Battered Suitcase. I love, love, love her blog.

I want to go to the unknown. Experience foreign cultures, food, & sights. The idea is beyond intriguing .

How would I ever explain this fervor to my family? I have been drilled from the ripe age of 0 that college is the number one priority. Money is life. Taking time off is not an option, but what if it was? What if I could chase my dreams?

What does living at home have to offer me? Nothing. Nada. Zilch.

I am independent. Solo. I do my own thing as it is.

College will be there in a year. In two. In three. I don’t even know what I want to do. The knowledge you gain while abroad isn’t something you can learn in a classroom.

I always find myself returning to this traveling affair. There is so much to be seen, experiences to be had, people to meet, and worldliness to be gained.

Now how would I fund such an adventure?

Simple. When a strong enough ambition is there, there is always a way.

Some of the options:

-Work for a few months. save. save. save. sell everything.

-Work along the way. Especially if I live in anywhere in the E.U.

– Teach ESL for a few months in Asia or another country. It is fairly easy and inexpensive to gain my credentials.

– Go crazy with blogging. Put a lot of time and energy into it and gain some revenue like this guy.

When traveling in Asia the estimate is $50 a day. That is completely doable. Experiences are more valuable than any posession I could ever own. Hostels and couch surfing are a great way to do go too.

When would I have time to do something like this? After college, when I am in debt? After I buy a house? After my kids are all grown up? There is no time like the present.

What’s a wanderlust stricken girl to do?

Thank God I am going to Germany in August. I am so lucky. It is such an amazing step towards what I want to do.

Oh I was also thinking maybe I could go to college somewhere in Europe. perhaps??

Yours truly,


p.s. I sincerely hope that CBYX will cure my lust for a few years, so I can finish college and save before I hit the road.

Here are some links:

Nomadic Matt

Positive World Travel
Anywhere There is an Airport
The World On a Toilet

This Battered Suitcase

πŸ™‚ I am obsessed.

My Saturday explained by pictures!

Muir Woods free park day.

The view after a two mile climb.

Rockin' the shades.


Visitors center amongst the trees.



We may or may not have broken the law today...

Marin Headlands.

An amazing view.

It was ridiculously windy.

I love me some graffiti.

and uplifing tangerines quotes.

A lighthouse.


Today was wonderful and now I am completely exhausted. Good night everyone!

Sweet Dreams,