Change is…

Last summer, my then boyfriend, now husband and I were driving home from the beach when I asked him what he would title the summer we had been enjoying. My answer was “The Summer of Love.” Oh so cheesy but I am cheesy especially when it comes to my husband (my best friend is reading this nodding her head in agreement). Anyways, this year has been a very unique year. At this point if I had to title my year it would be “The Year of Change.”

Change

This year has included moving apartments, starting to teach at a new gym, writing a blog and getting married mixed in with races and vacations. Needless to say, it has been a year filled with constant change. Let’s be honest here:

Change sucks. Change is hard. Change is scary. Change is inevitable.

BUT

Change= growth. Change makes you stronger. Change brings new life. Change is exciting.

I find it funny how much I let my fear of change cripple me at times when I crave a change of scenery (literally) every day of my life. Why does the change of a different country excite me when other changes frighten me? I have concluded it is all in my perception. Every change I listed from this year has been amazing and beneficial. All change including those that were stressful and emotional, were for the better. Sometimes you have to get through the growing pains to get to the beautiful result. Just like I look at traveling as an exciting change I crave, I need to learn to crave change in other aspects of my life. It is how we grow, improve and push ourselves.

With that being said, there is one big  (sometimes stressful) but exciting change coming for the blog. I am in the process of switching over to a self-hosted site. The majority of my site will be moved from WordPress to Planks and Planes. As this process happens, I appreciate your continued support of the blog as the back end stuff gets worked on. You will notice some changes in appearance but there will be minimal disruption. Same blog, same blonde girl rambling on – just a different website title at the top of your screen. I do owe a special thank you to everyone who has read my blog filled with my wordiness (my mother always said I was a talker not a listener), amateur pictures and type A personality. Again, this change has been one I never expected to be so well received and please know that every comment, like, view and subscription is noted and extremely appreciated. See, change can be good!

Today is a perfect day for Thinking Out Loud Thursday. Linking with Amanda at Running with Spoons.

Fill in the blank: change is _________________________

 

Meeting New People in New Places

Recently, I have been trying to condense all of my pictures into one location (which is proving to be a tad bit more work than I thought). As I was organizing the pictures, I stumbled across the pictures from when my mom and I visited Luxembourg Gardens in Paris, France. The gardens were absolutely beautiful with vibrant flowers and immaculate gardens. After we spent time in the gardens, we finished walking around and started to plan where we would go for lunch.

Luxembourg Gardens Paris France

As we headed out, I saw an older couple near the garden entrance with the wife trying to take a picture of her husband. Although my mom was with me, her voice was in my head reminding me like she always has, “Always offer to take someone’s picture.” I asked the lady if she wanted me to take a picture for them which she replied in her (adorable) British accent, that she would love that. The second the words came out of her mouth, her husband replied “I did not say I wanted to take a picture with her.” They both just laughed. I instantly loved this couple. My mom and I ended up talking to them about where they are from, their views of the US, our government, their travels and how long they have been married. They had been married over 50 years and were traveling around the world together. We enjoyed talking to them for over 20 minutes before I walked away smiling and txtng the hubby to tell him how I wanted to be like that couple when I was older.

Meeting new people in different places is one of the best things about traveling. Not only have my international travels led me to meet some amazing people but my US travels have been entertaining as well. My husband and I sat next to a world-traveling Westminster Kennel Club Show Winner who shared his life story about his divorce, raising dogs, music and travel. When in Rome (literally) I sat next to a very sweet guy on the plane who let me grab the arm rest in between our seats as we were taking off. As he saw I was very nervous, we started talking to discover that we were both from So Cal. In New Orleans, my best friends and I sat next to sweet, 4 year old Genevive on our swamp tour. She sang The Beatles to us in her adorable accent while showing us her teddy bear the entire tour.

All of these people and many more have made my experiences all the better. Traveling is amazing for so many reasons but the people I have encountered will always be a memorable part of the experience.

Tell me: Do you have memorable interactions with new people while traveling? Have you continued contact with any of them after your trip?

Friday Favorites #9

“It’s the freakin’ weekend baby I’m about to have me some fun…” Ignition is that one song that always, no matter what pumps me up! It is going to be a glorious weekend because I finally got a Sunday off. With the 10 classes I subbed last week I needed a break to catch up on some things and relax. So after my usual Saturday class, hopefully seeing “Ant Man” at night, Sunday will be a fun day at the beach. I am looking forward to tackling some of my July goals by reading at the beach and *fingers crossed* taking a Soul Cycle or Orange Theory class! Without further ado let’s get to the wonderful fun post of Friday with Friday Favorites as I link up with Katie & Heather!

Friday Favorites

1) On Wednesday night I posted a picture on Instagram at Pedal Spin (one of my favorite cycle studios). It has been awhile since I have been to a cycle class as a student and I loved every minute of it. I love pushing myself and getting lost in the music. It is such a different vibe not in front of a class! Plus I LOVED getting to go with my sister for her first class and the hubby of course. It reminds me that I need to keep taking more classes as a student because I love it!

Pedal Spin Studio Cycling

2) As I talked about yesterday, acupuncture has been my favorite this week. Tuesday night I started to notice my back and legs were sore but luckily I had an appointment scheduled the next day. I went in during my lunch break and came out 20 minutes later feeling much better. I think that helped in pushing myself in cycle class that nighr as well!

Acupuncture Review 2

3) While watching this week’s episode of True Detective, a teaser for one of my very favorite shows was aired. I am counting down the days until the fall when The Leftovers comes back. Such a crazy show that ended with me asking a million questions so I am hopeful answers are coming this season.

4) “8 Quotes Only Wanderlusters Would Understand” – My favorite has always been ‘not all those who wander are lost.’

5) My mother visited my grandparents in Kentucky a few weeks ago. She asked if there was anything I wanted as they were going through some of their items. Over the past few years visiting my grandparents I would remember my nana sitting at her vanity overlooking their beautiful backyard where deer would come run past. As she sat putting on her makeup, she would tell me stories, always calling me darling. So I requested a trinket that she had off that vanity to put on my own jewelry shelf to remind me of them everyday. My mom brought me back this lemon which I absolutely love. It fits perfect in my shelves and makes me smile when I see it everyday.

Friday Favorites

Tell me in the comments some of your favorites from the week! Have you watched the Leftovers? What is one of your favorite quotes?

Missed the past Friday Favorites? Check out #1, #2, #3, #4#5, #6, #7 and #8.

Complete & Utter Randomness

Welcome to Tuesday! At this point, it is more like welcome to the end of Tuesday. It has been one of those days where it is hard to think in full sentences so lets keep it short and easy with bullet points today.

  • Why is it that some days just drag on and on while others like today make it seem like there is never enough time! I feel like my life is a mix between counting hours until quitting time and feeling like a chicken with no head. Today= definitely a headless chicken day. Cluck cluck!
  • Speaking of chicken (like that transition) I need to stop being one and sign up for a triathlon already! The Newport Beach Triathlon is in October and as it closer I somehow talk myself out of signing up. I need to just bite the bullet and sign up for one already, especially before pricing goes up on this one!
  • I saw this this bracelet from Alex & Ani from today One of my life motto’s is “Everything Happens For A Reason” so I would love to wear it on my wrist to remind me!

Everything Happens for A reason

  • I love using the notepad on my Iphone to jot things down when I am out and about so I do not forget or can refer back to later. However, lately a lot of my notes have been just a word or numbers. The problem is I have NO idea what I was trying to remind myself about. I may need to come up with a better system for my note jotting. This one from today is a set of three numbers which I think are combos. To what? I have no idea.

Iphone

  • Although we have Thailand booked for November as well as Miami and Portland in the next two months, I cannot stop thinking about our Greece trip early next year. As we have been planning, it seems the best time to go would be the end of March or first week of April. There is so much to see, do and plenty of beaches to relax on. I cannot wait to finally visit Mykonos, Athens and Santorini!
  • I am very excited about my next certification renewal which will be next weekend (I need to write about my cycle certification already, soon I promise). My gym is offering a cycle certification locally but since I already have my certification it will just be a refresher course to help with my recertification next year. Regardless as I have mentioned before, I just love learning how to improve myself as an instructor and taking as many classes as possible.

Is it Friday yet? I wish but tonight is going to be a busy night with my best friend’s Scentsy party and my Tuesday night Bootcamp class. Catch you here tomorrow for some Workout Wednesday action!

Tell me: Do you have a life quote or motto? Do you use your notepad to remind yourself of things?

Friday Favorites #8

I do not think I could be more ready for a Friday. Last night I finished teaching my 10th fitness class in 8 days. Added on top of my 7-4 job, I am looking forward to a relaxing night in! This weekend I have my two regular cycle classes, a planned hike in Malibu and hopefully just lots of relaxing and sun. So Cal has been having some very weird June gloom that has rolled into July. Regardless I am looking forward to the weekend with the husband and Emma of course. However, before we get to the weekend, it is time for Friday Favorites. Thanks to Heather and Katie for hosting!

Friday Favorites

1) I have been eating wayyyyyy too much ice cream this week. On Wednesday night, the husband and I went to a local Nitrogen ice cream spot- N7 Creamery. Not only was the ice cream delicious (I got salted caramel of course) but the atmosphere of the shop was so unique to our area. Wooden floors and walls, travel inspired decorations (of course I loved those) and a live mic night in back of their store front. I like that they not only use local farm ingredients but organic as well. I am even more excited for Portland as friends have told us that this type of food spot is very common over there. .

Friday Favorites N7 Creamery

2) I have definitely had too much ice cream when my #2 is also ice cream again. We tried a second Nitrogen ice cream shop last night called the Creamistry. They have 4 bases you can choose from which includes two non dairy bases- coconut milk and sorbet as well as organic. You can add toppings mixed in or on top. I did salted caramel base with caramel mixed in and whipped cream. Can you sense a trend with the salted caramel? I cannot get enough.

Creamistry

3) “Why Couples Who Travel Aren’t Your Average Couple” was one of my favorites from the week. #5 describes the husband and I to a tee.. Portland is my birthday trip, Miami is the husband’s.. who needs presents when you can see the world!

4) How do you spend $100 in 10 mins? Usually the answer is go to Target. This week the answer is go to Charming Charlie’s. Ahhhhh I get suckered in I tell ya. Their jewelry and dresses are adorable and a great price. It is one of my favorite stores (hint hint family.. my birthday is next month). I bought this dress and one on clearance. I cannot wait to wear them this weekend.

5) When my sister and I went to see Lady Antebellum and Hunter Hayes, they played this song and I have had it on repeat since I heard it. I love the message. #newlifesong

And of course, the best way to finish Friday Favorites off is with the laziest bulldog I know.. this is her every morning as I beg her to get up, tell her she gets food and ultimately get her out with a treat. Hope you have a wonderful relaxing weekend, see you back on Monday!

Emma Rose

Tell me in the comments some of your favorites from the week!

Missed the past Friday Favorites? Check out #1, #2, #3, #4#5, #6 and #7.

Stitch Fix #2 Review

Christmas came to my house last night!!! Ok, ok, it was not Christmas but it sure felt like it when I received my Stitch Fix box yesterday. Then again, I LOVE getting mail (besides bills of course, who likes those?) and a white box with blue letters is my favorite mail to get. I was very hopeful for this box because I made sure to give more specific requests to my stylist. My note to my stylist mentioned that I would like to see clothes I could use on any of my upcoming trips – Portland, San Fran and Miami as well as one pair of low-mid waist jeans (cropped or regular). I was happy to see at least one pair of cropped jeans but at first glance, I was not feeling this box at all. Welp… that is why Stitch Fix tells you to try everything on.

Stitch Fix Review July #2

Here is my review of my latest Stitch Fix box.

1)  Neptune Racerback Top $38.00  –  KEEP

Kent Cuffed Jean Neptune Racerback Tank Stitch Fix         Neptune Racerback Top Stitch Fix

I loved this top! The style was completely my taste, the fit, although loose fitting, would be perfect for the summer. I liked that she noted this tank would be perfect for all of my vacation because I can definitely see myself wearing this throughout the summer. When it gets a bit cooler in winter, the tank will be perfect with a cardigan. Add in the Kent capri jeans from my box and you have the perfect outfit.

2)  Mario Dress  $98.00  –  KEEP

Ivy + Blu Mario Dress Stitch Fix

This dress is just perfection. The color, the style, the pattern. Anyone who knows me knows that dresses are my thing. I wear dresses every single day at work (I don’t even own a pair of work pants) so I was thrilled and excited to get this dress in my box. The navy blue with the large polka dots make this dress perfect for work with a cardigan and in the summer with sandals. Figure flattering, comfortable and versatile- it does not get better when it comes to dresses. I cannot wait to wear this dress!

3)  Gander Lace Back Cardigan  $48.00  –  RETURN

Gander Lace Back Cardigan Stitch Fix

This was the only item I did not think I would like which was confirmed when I tried it on. Although the back detail was beautiful, I do not like drapey cardigans and usually do not prefer open cardigans. This one swallowed me up and was not figure flattering at all. Definitely a return for me.

4)  Simpson Halter Blouse  $58.00  –  RETURN

Simpson Halter Blouse Stitch Fix

Funny enough, this was the top I thought I was going to love because I pinned it on Pinterest. The pattern was adorable and fitting for summer. With delicate front buttons and a soft fabric, I thought it would be a definite keeper. The fit however was all wrong for me. The loose fit was too loose that it added unnecessary weight (and Lord knows I do not need extra weight added in clothes) I might consider asking if it comes in XS for my next fix because I still loved everything else.

5)  Kent Cuffed Capri Jean   $178.00  –  UNDECIDED

Kent Cuffed Capri Jean Stitch FIx

I had a bad feeling about these pants from the moment I saw them! My stylist mentioned they were more than I noted for pants on my profile but to give them a try. They went on with ease and were as soft as butter. Thy were so comfortable and a fairly near perfect fit. Unfortunately the price is making these hard to swallow. I only just 2 pairs of jeans which happen to be the same $40 LC Lauren Conrad jeans so $178 is a bit higher than I wanted to pay. However, like the husband said sometimes you get what you pay for and maybe it is time to upgrade on jeans.

After trying on my box, I knew that I had to request my stylist again (shout out to Meg) because she totally nailed my style. I liked that she included two items I requested while giving me three that were totally up my alley. Again, posting to a Pinterest board and being specific in your notes, really do help get the very best box possible!

Wondering what Stitch Fix is or missed Stitch Fix #1 Review? Check it out here.

Stitch Fix #1 Review

Note: I have no affiliation with the company listed above nor was reimbursed or compensated for my opinions. The service is simply one that I like and want to share my experience with.  However, if you are interested in trying their service, they do offer a referral program which rewards a $25 credit for any referrals received. Click here to sign up with Stitch Fix today! Good luck! 

Top 3 Places To Visit in London

London- the land of Queen Mum, iconic attractions, tons of history, tea and scones and the big red buses. Before I visited London, I had so many wonderful associations with the city. Since visiting, my memories of the beautiful area are ones I will never forget. London will always hold a special place in my heart (and on my wrist) and is a place I will visit again in my life. However, I have many cities I plan to visit before returning (unless someone offers me a free trip which of course I would never refuse). This post is selfishly a way for me to reminisce on one of my favorite places in the world.

London

I am sure when most people think of London, they could name at least 5 widely known attractions which is why I narrowed my top places down to just 3. When I tried to narrow it down to my top 5 there were so many spots that were equally worth your time but very unique in their own sense. However, these 3 stand out above the rest for various reasons. If I was to have just one day in London, these would be the 3 spots I would have to see before I left. So without further ado, here are my Top 3 Places To Visit In London, England. 

Top 3 Places To Visit In London, England

1) National Gallery/ Trafalgar Square   Trafalgar Square is one of the liveliest areas in the city. Standing at the top of a grand staircase is the National Gallery which has free admission. Housing over 2,300 pieces of art including Leonardo Da Vince and Vincent Van Gogh, the museum is worth stopping into.  When you exit the National Gallery at the top of the stairs is the overview of the exquisite Trafalgar Square. The square holds water fountains with gold detailing, the well known lion statues and statues throughout the area. In addition, there are live street performers of all kinds. We saw a dance group, a mime, people in character costumes and an opera singer. The area is filled with tourists of all kind that it is one of a kind.

Trafalgar Square

2) Hyde Park   London has some breathtakingly beautiful parks throughout the city. The multiple parks we visited are some of my very favorite spots in the world. Hyde Park however is on a whole different level. While similar to Central Park in the vast area it encompasses, it blows Central Park out of the water (don’t worry New York I will always love you). It spans 625 acres starting from the Kensington Gardens and Palace to the bottom of Buckingham Gardens- I told you there are many gardens in London. Starting at the gorgeous Kensington Palace, you make your way through the lively Hyde Park, filled with many well done memorials. My favorite memorial was the Diana Memorial Foundation which paid respect to my favorite Princess. There are plenty of areas for sports or lounging on a deck chair by the Serpentine. I would recommend taking as much time possible in Hyde Park. If you are able to enjoy a meal, there are plenty of options for restaurants alongside the Serpentine with views to enjoy while you eat.

Hyde Park    Hyde Park 2

3) St. Paul’s Cathedral   The church where Princess Diana and Princes Charles were married was magnificent. Words cannot do justice to this Anglican cathedral. Exquisite detailing fill the church with a long aisle-way leading to the unbelievable altar. Unfortunately cameras are not allowed in the church (trust me I was yelled at by a security guard to put my camera away) but they are allowed if you climb to the top of the church. The church has a stairway with 127 steps that lead to the Whispering Gallery above the church. Another 401 steps that lead to a balcony at the top of the building with amazing views that are well worth the steps. The views are unlike any other. You can see all the way to the London Eye, Westminster Abbey and Big Ben. The tickets are approx $24 to get into the church but can also be purchased with other ticket packages for a lower rate.

St Pauls Cathedral 2   St Pauls Cathedral

I hope you get to enjoy the exciting city and all that it has to offer! Make sure to enjoy a tea and scones during tea time.