January 8, 2018

Guide to Edinburgh

Scotland. One of my favorite countries that I have visited. It is just mind-numbingly beautiful. To get Scotland started off right, we took a visit to Edinburgh.
At first, Edinburgh worried me. Parts come across as a touristy major city. But we found some perfect pockets that made Edinburgh the perfect place to start out my Scotland/England Trip. And yes, these pockets were very touristy, but those touristy attractions were worth it!
I did not have an itinerary in Edinburgh. And you really don't need one. Just get lost and enjoy the city that is full of character and history.
Edinburgh is built atop two extinct volcanoes. The best views of the city and my favorite place to go was Arthur's Seat. Arthur's Seat has the most incredible views of the city and was a fun little hike. 
For breathtaking views with an easier hike, Calton Hill should be at the top of your list. With panoramic city views and a couple of monuments on the top, it is a must visit!
We also did the Scotch Whisky Experience. It is the perfect place to get tastings of whisky from different regions of Scotland (so you can learn what regions you prefer) and so you can learn about how the Scots perfect their whisky. It is also insane to see the largest collection of Whisky in the world!
We of course, ate at the Elephant House which is where J.K. Rowling wrote Harry Potter. Good food, service, and atmosphere! Speaking of Harry Potter (my favorite books of all time) we strolled through Victoria Street which is the inspiration for Diagon Alley.
Edinburgh is very proud of their literary history and especially of Sir Walter Scott. He has a beautiful Victorian Gothic monument in Edinburgh. It just so happens also to be the largest monument to a writer in the world.
Europe is well known for their graveyards everywhere, and we loved visiting Greyfriars Kirkyard. We saw many graves of names that J.K Rowling used for inspiration for Harry Potter (Tom Riddle, McGonagall, etc..) and also saw Hogwarts! Yes, it is a real school! I also never knew about Greyfriars Bobby, but saw and learned about him. He is the only dog buried in the graveyard and you can rub the nose of a statue of him for good luck. This was a terrier who became famous for guarding his owners grave until he died. I later found this story out to not be real, but it is a really cute story.
While wandering around Edinburgh, it is hard to miss St. Giles Cathedral. It is beautiful!
As for touristy things we didn't do, that would be Edinburgh Castle. The price just seemed really steep to go in. However, it is a beautiful castle to look at with a lot of history.

As for where we stayed, we stayed at an Airbnb! We flew into London and took a train to Edinburgh. In my opinion, you do not need to rent a car. Edinburgh isn't all that big and you can absolutely view it on foot.

The best part of the trip is that we got to explore Edinburgh with friends. So what are you waiting for? Go explore!

January 1, 2018

2017 Year In Review

Another year! I swear this year went by faster than all other years! I love to read people's year in reviews and I have done one every year. So thanks 2017 for a great year! Can't wait to see what 2018 has is in store!
January- We got back from Maui and enjoyed staying in Lahaina and doing the Road to Hana. I spent time staying active exercising, skiing, and hiking.
February- Continued experimenting in the kitchen and shared some recipe failures. So funny! I also shared my tips for gifting meals and two great meals: Buffalo Chicken Sliders, Broccoli Tortellini.
March- Took our annual Vail trip and gave tips on how to plan the perfect ski vacation!
April- April meant the start of baseball season! My parents and I had a baseball date.
May- Kevin and I took a trip to explore some National Parks for our fifth year anniversary. 
Recaps are here:
Antelope Canyon {coming soon}
Bryce Canyon National Park {coming soon}
July- We took trips to the Canadian National Parks. I haven't done my blogging about them, but I did blog about the cute city of Calgary. I talked about how I travel while working full time.
August- We saw the total solar eclipse. It was so amazing! We also got away for a weekend and went camping with some friends. Then we got away for a weekend hiking with my cousin and spending time with family!
September- We took a trip to England and Scotland and it was amazing! It was great to get to see friends while we were there. I have blogged about going to The White Cliffs of Dover and Surrey.
October- Lots of little stuff happened all month and it kept me happy and busy. Shared a post about becoming a traveler.
December- I had to work Christmas but shared a Christmas wish for all. I also shared how I organize my Christmas shopping and some takeaways from 2017.

Happy New Year!
Let's see what 2018 has in store!

December 29, 2017

Intentional Wishes for 2018

With the start of the new year comes a lot of blog posts on resolutions. Naturally, I have been thinking a lot about my own goals for the new year.

I don't know that I will write down a list of resolutions this year. Despite being a goal oriented, list lover, I want 2018 to be more about intention and cultivating a lifestyle that makes me happy.

We have been lucky enough to travel to some awesome places in 2017 -  Utah in February, Colorado in March, Zion/Bryce/Grand Canyon (North and South)/Horseshoe Bend/Antelope Canyon in May, Canada in July, Wyoming in August, England and Scotland in September, and Chiracahua National Monument in November have to be some of our highlights! I can't wait to plan more travel in the coming year! Whether that will be by hoping on a plane somewhere new and exciting or taking a mini adventure on weekend breaks. When I embrace adventure, big or small, that is when I truly feel happy, connected, and relaxed. 
In 2018 I want to continue to have less stress and more joy. I want to continue to feel focused, productive, and inspired.

I don’t know about you, but I learn and grow and change so much throughout a year. In 2017 I have discovered so much about myself, who I am, want is most important to me, and also grown so much as a person too. I feel so much more settled, self-aware, and connected to what matters most, and I know that this is only the starting point. I am so excited to experience all of the lessons the new year has to bring!

These are my intentions.
What are yours?

December 25, 2017

Merry Christmas To You!

Christmas is here and I am working. Whenever I work a holiday, it never fails to remind me how thankful I am. I am thankful for my health, my career, my family, my home, and carbs. Let's be real. Today will be all about the carbs for me. A big salute to everyone else working hard this holiday season! My husband and I wish you the best holiday season!

December 22, 2017

Magic Cookie Bars

I have said this before, and I will say it again...Christmas is the most magical time of the year! As I write this post in front of my Christmas tree, I am reminded of the reason for the season...Magic Cookie Bars! ;-)

I force myself to only make these at Christmas time because it is probably my favorite dessert ever. You can see how this could be a problem for me.

I got this recipe from my mom. She has made them for as long as I can remember. It was always a treat around the holidays to get a Magic Cookie Bar. Now she makes them and freezes them so she has them on hand for the entire holiday season (who wants to be chained to their kitchen more than they already are during the holidays). Best of all, if you take a frozen bar out, it takes 5-10 minutes max to thaw on the counter.


1/2 cup of butter, melted
1 1/2 cups of graham cracker crumbs
1 (14 ounce) can of sweetened condensed milk
2 cups of semisweet chocolate chips
1 1/3 cups flaked coconut
1 cup of chopped walnuts
cooking spray


Preheat oven to 350 degrees for metal pans and 325 for glass. Coat a 9x13 baking pan with cooking spray.

Combine the butter and graham cracker crumbs and press evenly into pan. Pour sweetened condensed milk evenly over the crumb mixture.

Layer with chocolate chips, coconut, and walnuts. Press down firmly with a fork.

Bake for 25 minutes or until slightly browned. Let cool and then cut into bars. Store covered at room temperature or frozen for up to 6 months.

What is your favorite dessert?
What tricks do you use to ensure you do not eat eleventy billion of your favorite foods?
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