A sweet little travel gadget, and where we are headed in August!!

Friday, July 3

To be honest, I’m a little old fashion when it comes to things I need verses things I want. I tend to be a minimalist that does not need all the latest technology or frills; the simpler the better for me!  The same goes when it comes to travel gadgets!

But, one gadget I do love is the luggage scale from a Great Life.Since we do so much international travel, I’m always trying to figure out how much my bag weighs, making sure it’s under the required 50 pound maximum.

This scale is so easy to use! Just simply latch it under your suitcase strap, and pick it up. The scale will quickly tell you how much your suitcase weighs! Then you can adjust the contents of your bag to make sure you are under the 50 pounds! The great thing is that this scale is a steal of a deal! 

Aaannnndddd...... we’ll be using it when we go to Sweden in August!! (Anyone guess Sweden here?) We are off to Sweden to hang out with my cousins for about 10 days! As many of you know, my dad's family is from Sweden and we are super close with our family over there!! Our cousins are pretty much planning our whole trip, so it should be a blast!! These are the same cousins we spent a week in Yosemite at our Swedish/American reunion last summer, and then they came to visit us in Southern California here. So so fun!! 

Happy Friday Friends!!! 



You are adored {even without fame or fortune}

Wednesday, July 1

About six months ago, Kevin and I were approached by a popular TV network asking if we'd consider being a part of their new tv show. To be honest, their invitation took me by surprise.

The premise of the show was to follow different couples who all had a particular dream. Each couple was then asked to do certain things in exchange for living their dream. The tagline to this new show was "how far would you go to get what you've always wanted?"

Of course it was exciting getting an email from a well known TV station, and the thought of being on TV was rather thrilling. Hollywood just seems to magical in some ways, larger than life. (The industry, not the actual city! Have you been to downtown Hollywood? It's creepy!). But at the bottom of fame and money, it can be rather empty.

I sat, pondering the tagline…."how far would you go to get what you've always wanted?". And I realized, without a shadow of a doubt, that right now, in this very moment, I truly have all that I've ever wanted….
I have a husband who loves and adores me
I have family who enriches my life with laughter, good advice, and safe refuge
I have friends on all corners of the globe who welcome me into their hearts
and I have a God who pours out grace, hope, love and purpose into my life every day.

Why would I ever want to compromise what I have, for something so fleeting such as fame and money? It seems as though so many people these days are reaching for fame. To be noticed, to be adored. But I love that we don't need either fame nor money to be adored. In total obscurity, we are already so prized by our Heavenly Father.

Friend, let me encourage you today. You may feel so small, so unnoticed, so alone. You are not. You are lavishly loved in all your uniqueness by a God who intricately made you, and adores every inch of you. You don't need followers on social media, your own TV show, or adoring fans to measure your worth. You are more precious than gold, your life has purpose whether lived out on TV, or in the moments when no one is watching but God.

Live it brilliantly. Live it with purpose.
Neither fame nor money can measure the impact of your life.
So seek after the things that truly make your heart overflow with love.
And don't follow the lie that you need to be famous to make an impact.
Right now, where you are, holds so much possibility for joy and blessing! Lean into that!

Happy Wednesday!!
PS- I've been in Santa Cruz this week with my family (as evidenced here), so if you've sent me an email, my total apologies for not getting back to you yet! I've hardly checked my email…but promise to get back to you next week!!
PSS- Just as a disclaimer, I don't believe either fame or money is bad in and of themselves. They can be used for great good. It's just that when we put all our hope in them, they certainly can disappoint!

love love love!

Things I'm loving this summer

Friday, June 26

Eeep!!! It's summer, and I couldn't be more excited. Even though I really do love and look forward to every season, I have to say I think summer is my favorite!! I mean... I'm a sucker for the heat, the beach, swimming, tank tops, flip flops, watermelon, summer fruits (nectarines, peaches, cherries, apricots), bbq's, but mostly summer vacations with my family and friends!! Today Kevin and I are leaving for Santa Cruz to spend time with my family on the beach, and on the way we are making a pit-stop in Monterrey to see my sweet college friend Amanda before she moves with her family to Croatia!!

So, as summer starts to unfold, I thought i'd share some of the fun things i'm loving so far this season!! Here goes....

1. Summer Reading!!


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I am a huge reader, and love nothing more than plopping myself on the beach all day with a good book. To get lost in literature is a great pleasure...a good book makes me weep, literally!! Some of my recent absolute favorites are:

- The Boys in the Boat: OMG, OMG, OMG!! Friends, this is one of the best books i've ever read! It's the true story of a college crew team from Washington who during the depression beat all odds to make it to the Berlin Olympics in Germany in 1936. I knew nothing about rowing before I started the book, but I was on the edge of my seat the entire ride. I cried tears at the end, lots of soppy happy tears, it was just such a crazy inspiration story. If you love history, sports, or just a good story, this one's for you!

- Anything by Kate Morton: Ok, so 4 years ago on our honeymoon, I bought a book at the Atlanta airport called The Distant Hours, by Kate Morton. I could NOT put it down...page turner from page 1. Since then, I've read all 4 of her books, and I will tell you, she's the JK Rowling of historical fiction. Friends, she is an incredible author. If you love Downton Abbey or anything British, you'll eat her books up! Here are her 4 books, all equally amazing:
The Distant Hours // The Forgotten Garden // The Secret Keeper // The House at Riverton

Also... Emily from Zuzanko's Journal posted a sweet book list the other day with novels that take place all around the world. Seeing as I LOVE to travel, and talk travel, and read travel, I was mesmerized by this list and thought I would share! See the list here! Thanks Emily:)

2. 100% Pure sun care! 

I LOVE the sun...bring on the rays!! But...I want to stay both protected and clean in my sun care options!! Lately, as you may have seen, i've been obsessed with 100% Pure cosmetics...they literally have nothing toxic for your skin and truly are 100% pure of anything bad!!  Here are a few of my summer favorites:
- Everywhere SPF Body Stick 30 SPF Sunscreen: This body stick has been SO convenient to put on! Kevin and I have been taking bikes rides and going to the part a lot lately, and I just swipe the sunscreen on right before we head out! It's easy to use, and totally healthy for my skin!
- SPF 15 Lip Balm: This sweet little lip balm moisturizers while keeps my lips nice and protected. And again, it's so clean for my body!! And...it's on sale now for $6.75...a total steal!
- Caffeine Mask: Ok, so I tried this mask out for the first time this past week, and can't tell you how much I loved it. Caffeine effectively restores sun damaged skin, is anti-inflammatory, stimulates circulation, and soothes redness.This mask will last you for a few month, and is totally worth the $7!
Also...as I raved about in this post, their foundation has spf 20 in it too! For the win!!


3. Peach or Berry Crisp!! 

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Anyone read Shauna Niequist's book "Bread and Wine"? Her first recipe in the book happens to be one that I fell head over heals for, blueberry crisp! Fruit crisps and cobblers have always been my favorite dessert, and since going gluten/dairy free, i've been looking for a replacement recipe that hits the spot. And this one does!! I've made it with blueberries, peaches, and blackberries...and all are equally delicious! Kevin even LOVED it, and he's the ultimate taste tester (as he is not gluten free!) If you don't have the book, you can see the recipe here on another blog! Since summer has the most delicious fruits, take advantage of the abundance and serve your family up something healthy and yummy! Could be a popular 4th of July dessert...just sayin':)

4. Traveling!! 
So Kevin and I have a few fun trips planned this summer, starting with Santa Cruz this week with my family, which is an annual vacation! My aunts, uncles, cousins, siblings and parents all pile into a beach house right on the sand and spend a week reading, eating, walking on the beach, doing yoga, singing around camp-fires roasting s'mores and playing games! This year my mom is bringing a murder mystery dinner game, and we are all evidently participating in togas! haha!

In a few weeks we are flying out to Arkansas for Kevin's family's reunion. His grandma came out to California during WWII, and never returned to Arkansas. This is my first time in the state, so i'm excited to experience a little of the South. All I know about Arkansas is that Walmart was invented there, so i'm hoping it's all uphill from there! ha! Any fun facts about the state I should know?

Lastly, Kevin and I have a trip planned abroad in early August. Can anyone guess where we are going? I'm not giving you any clues {like last time!}...but, I'd love to give some free ad space to anyone who can guess the country!!! Good luck!

Looking for someone to go on your next trip? Check out a few itineraries i've compiled:
3 Weeks in Southeast Asia
2 Weeks in Turkey and Greece

What about YOU? Any fun plans for the summer???? Love you all ladies, happy weekend!!