A Cabin for 2 and a Pup

It was so great to get away,  disconnect, and recharge in Brown County this weekend. Never underestimate the power of a quiet weekend in the woods – with limited connectivity – to put some zing back into your zen. The weather didn’t feel like fall at all, but that’s okay… We’ll keep our soup recipes and sweaters handy for a future fall cabin adventure.

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Snowy Peaks and Bourbon

S refuses to go to Alaska with me during winter. I’ve been haunted with the biggest urge to ski recently, and home – yes, Alaska – has the most gorgeous views you’ll ever see. Snowy peaks and bourbon… Wine by the fire… I think a ski trip back home could be a sexy time. 

Mountain views have always held a high position in the romance category for me. Taking in the sight of nature’s first castles with that special someone has a way of inspiring a love at its most peaceful. Massive and majestic… range upon range… mountains stand as a representation of the best and worst relationships in their makeup and existence alone. 

(us on our way back to Anchorage from Seward in Alaska, summer 2014)

I picture us in a scene from some GQ magazine shoot taking place at a modest mountain resort. Warm lighting enhance our grins as we settle into broken-in leather chairs. With a Maker’s Mark (neat) in my hand and a tequila soda in his, we’d enjoy some of our favorite tunes and make the most of our chilly backdrop. S genuinely hates the cold – I’m not a big fan either – but as I write this I’m realizing this is a vacation fantasy I’ve had for quite some time now. 

Snowy peaks and bourbon after a few hours on the slopes… I was never the best skier but it sounds therapeutic at the moment. Some of you may think that sounds awful, and S would agree, but the rest of you are already picturing yourselves in a similar setting. A workout, views, drinks and a little romance? There’s no way this wouldn’t be a trip to remember. 

*goes to drawing board and checks available air miles* 

Adventures in La La Land

I had no idea that uploading and processing would take close to three hours today! What the #^&%, but whatever. Thank you for your patience.

There were a ton of things I wished had worked out better with filming, but I’m beyond pumped about the final product.  We didn’t get to go hiking, see the Hollywood sign, or do a handful of other touristy California things, but we were so happy to be outside of Indiana for a bit that it didn’t even matter.

The video you’ll see is a collection of moments spent in Los Angeles with Queen Ebeth Warren herself. We spent a lot of time in West Hollywood – duh – checked out an awesome ketogenic coffee bar, I bumped into some random cute guy I follow on Instagram in a bar called Trunks – a mess, I know – checked out Venice Beach, ate Kardashian salads, and caught some cool views on the Go Pro while driving around town.

(We tried to see the Chinese Theatre, but the road was blocked off by Oscars setup crews. That was kind of neat to see – the setup for a crazy huge red carpet event.)

There was this amazing moment in the Frolic Room in Hollywood. An older gentleman came over to the three of us and shared a story of how he met a sultry Doris Day as a young delivery boy in LA. I began recording only a couple short minutes after he’d come over to us. I knew he’d share some Hollywood gold with us. His energy was so warm and you could tell this man had lived. The only reason the clip didn’t make the video was because of music in the background. Damned licensing and copyright laws…

I hope you enjoy the following bits of our trip! Thanks for watching and stay tuned for the Seattle video – I’m pumped to get to work on that one.

Back from the West and Ready for Ink

Hello, everyone! Long time no WordPress post, huh? As most of you know we’ve been busy traveling, visiting friends out west in Los Angeles and Seattle. What a trip. Man, we hated to come back, but more on that later. I’m currently going through all the video footage we collected on the trip and will be putting together TWO YouTube videos – one for each city – to share with all of you.

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FRIDAY. This Friday I get my new tattoo. I’m nervous and excited. Mostly excited, though. The nerves are probably coming from the anticipation of getting the tat done. Originally, I planned on getting this done on my thirtieth birthday, but I unexpectedly had to get a new car. The time is now and it’s going to be epic. My fresh ink will meet me on the upper right part of my arm. A strong representation of my personality and representation of the North, this will be my biggest and grandest tattoo to date.

I view tattoos as an expression of who you are. Not every tattoo needs a story or a meaning, but that’s the theme I try to stick to with mine. I have a scorpion on my foot, because I’m a Scorpio and complete Astrology nerd. I have a trumpet on my left forearm because I’m a trumpet player and music has been, and continues to be, a huge part of my life. The lyrics underneath it read “It’s a bittersweet symphony this life” because that’s what life has been for me. I have a totem style Alaskan salmon on my right thigh to rep my home state, Alaska, and persistence, instinct, and determination. I got this one a week before I graduated from Indiana University. Those of you who know me personally know what that journey was like for me.

So what will my next one represent? Stay tuned! And comment with pictures of tattoos you have and what they mean to you.

Flight Prep

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Only a couple more days until we’re headed to Los Angeles and Seattle! “Vacation. All I ever wanted. Vacation. Had to get away.” Shouts to The Go-Go’s. Here are a handful of my must have travel items for any flight:

  • Reading material. Part of my airport ritual is grabbing a men’s magazine of some sort – GQ, Details, Esquire, etc – to read on the plane. This time I’ll also have my kindle in tow. I’ve started a couple books recently and want to make sure I finish them.
  • Kick-ass earbuds and your phone/iPod. I love my Marshall Mode earbuds that I got for Christmas. I’m excited to try these babies out on a flight out west. I definitely started a California playlist, but never got around to finishing it. There’s still time, I suppose, but I’m generally down for any mellow vibe, curated playlist on Spotify.
  • Oil-absorbing sheets. Even on a flight, you won’t catch me slippin’. Packing my oil cleansing supplies in my cabin baggage would obviously be too much. On longer flights, before landing, I’ll go to the restroom and use these sheets to quickly get rid of any excess shine without stealing away all the moisture from my skin. Target brand is just fine.
  • A pair of casual shades to hide tired eyes. My shades are prescription, but if you go light on the shade, you also can use this excuse without looking too shady in between connections. Or maybe you just don’t give a %&#$. That’s more than cool, too.
  • ChapStick. DUH. Don’t have chapped lips on a flight. You’ll hate yourself.
  • Shooters. Yes. You can pack shooters in your carry-on luggage. They’re under the three ounce liquid limit and you save about $7 on overpriced airline booze.

What will I be wearing? Well, this flight is at 6 o’clock in the morning. A hoodie, a couple bracelets – I’ve noticed I always have on a bracelet – Nike sneakers, some trendy joggers, and a neutral messenger bag to tie it all together and hold my light jacket.

 

 

 

30

A great work friend of mine asked me if I had any anxiety about turning thirty. The answer is no. I’ve always been okay with aging – look forward to it most of the time – but I’m sure there will be moments when I’m not. Today is my thirtieth birthday.

I see making it to thirty as a cue to begin the next phase of my evolution. My student loans are almost completely gone – my closest friends know how much of a nightmare that has been over the years – I have a solid life and marriage with S, my work life and creative projects are going extremely well, and my closet is growing into the GQ dream I’ve always wanted.

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I foresee a good amount of travel for S and I. We’ve earned some vacations beyond just a week off at home. Through my twenties I’ve learned a great deal about finances. Because we’ve been so smart and plan realistically, I know travel around the world is something we could easily do; sooner rather than later and before kids enter the picture.  

<ponder> We never did have a reception for our marriage and plan on having a big anniversary party at this point. I will have a french bulldog, named Biscuit Habanero. I will find a way to become my own boss and escape the corporate world, but in the meantime, I’ll gladly collect the experience. I will add a Burberry blanket to my list of favorite personal items and brew my own kombucha. </ponder>

All of those facts, wants, and wishes? I believe them to be possible because I’ve grown into someone who puts in the work and gets what they want. Earlier this week, I was journaling in my notes app when this life breakdown came to mind:

  • I always did really well in school – K through 12, taking advanced placement classes early in high school and performing with an award-winning band (shoutout to BARTLETT HIGH SCHOOL!)
  • In college I realized I didn’t know how to study and began to learn – the hard way – about hardship and the struggle to pay out-of-state tuition for college. I also made some of the best friends I could ever ask for and traveled with some of the best groups and people I share the honor of being called an Indiana University Alumni with.
  • Living a low-carb, ketogenic lifestyle has helped me feel what living a healthy life should be. I’m sharp, never sluggish, and want to be active most days – lifting or yoga. I was over 300 lbs at one point. Battling weight-loss has without a doubt conditioned my perseverance in life.
  • As I leave my twenties, I’ve discovered balance. All of my past experiences have pushed me and helped me flourish as a human being. So thank you all for helping me get here.

I’m excited to be thirty and ready to see what levels I can reach before forty. Now, back to listening to Beyonce, watching S play video games, and chilling with my friend Mary Jane. I have a birthday to get ready for!

Have fabulously zen day, everyone.

CHI to IND Interlude

Brutally crisp air smacks me in the face as I get out of the car at Union Station in downtown Chicago. The weekend was fast and filled to the brim with family, fun, and sadly, a funeral for my great grandmother. My mom had flown in from Alaska – my home state – and to be quite honest with you, I probably would not have made the three hour bus ride up to Chicago from Indianapolis if she had not been there.  I always miss my Alaska family terribly. I’m never home sick, but I have days where I miss the hell out of my brother, sister, mom, and even my stubborn ass father from time to time. As I hug mom and my favorite aunt goodbye in front of the quiet bus station, I feel a mix of emotions. I’m sad because I’m not sure when I will see the both of them again. I’m happy that I had the chance, and time, to get to see my Chicago relatives; beyond elated to be there with them during this tough time. I smile as I reflect on the amazing time I had with family I’d just met, and those of whom I hadn’t seen for at least ten years. Watching my Alaska family drive down the hollow Chicago street, I finish my emotional equation and become warm with the thought of returning to my husband. When I’m down – and feeling like some sad, soulful Adele song – he’s usually the burst of light I need on my dark, rainy days. He’s the answer to most of my emo-life equations, and I needed hug; anything to prolong the feeling of my mom and aunt’s arms around me before today was gone. Pocketing my glasses, I replace them with my prescription Ray Ban shades… a single tear making contact with the inside of the dark lens just as my bus to Indianapolis arrived.