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Pond Skating.

19 Jan


Believe it or not, the above picture is Boca Lake (near Truckee, CA) completely frozen over.  While visiting with my good friends recently, they took me to go pond skating which was SO much fun.  They get to go pretty often and have some friends they play around on the ice with.  They had some extra skates that fit so I got to even do some skating.  This was a first for me but I love being outside and used to love ice skating when I was a kid!

imageHere’s Emily and I playing pass with some hockey sticks and a puck.


The ice was beautifully crystallized.  I’ve never seen anything like it!

We skated all the way out to the middle of the lake, it was unreal.

Can you imagine having an entire lake to ice skate on?  It was pretty great.

I was worried I may have forgotten…

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Maori Culture.

16 Jan

DSC_0338When we visited Rotorua, New Zealand, we took in the story and culture of the Maori people at Te Puia. They danced and played music for us. It was a lot of fun and they were very interactive, our friend Bryan was chosen to be the chief of a different tribe. We weren’t allowed in until Bryan was deemed safe.

DSC_0344_2(This was part of the dance that the men were performing)


DSC_0369_2(Nick and Bryan were told to get up and dance with the tribe. I think the little boy with the red glasses stole the show though)

Similar to Hawaii, the Maori culture performs for visitors and is excited to share their history and culture with guests. I thought it was a lot of fun and would recommend it to anyone visiting the North Island of New Zealand!

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Found Object Art.

15 Jan

1About a year ago, my friend Lindsay dragged half of a broken tree to my doorstep because she knew I was on the lookout for good piece of branch for an art project. What a friend, I mean she stumbled up them gem on a walk and carried it to me! I didn’t have the end result in my mind at the time but I knew it needed to be big; it had to with a start like this one. I began by taking my favorite piece and spraying it gold. It sat like that for about a year until I was inspired by something I saw on Pinterest. After scooping up some yarn and strings of leather, I quickly put together a great piece of wall art.

2(I tied together pieces of leather in order to hang the branch)

3(I chose colors that tied in with what I am…

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Glowworm Caves.

12 Jan

glowworm-caves-waitom-3[6]Photo Credit: Glowworm Caves

In Waitomo, New Zealand we ventured down into the famous glowworm caves. We weren’t allowed to take photos inside so above is a professional photo of what we saw. There were thousands of tiny bits of light above us as we floated in a small boat below. It was hauntingly beautiful and quiet. We learned a lot about the glowworms, they are not as magical as you would think but interesting nonetheless. They use their light to attract food and have a long sticky string (below) that catches flies and other insects for them to eat. It’s wild, I know.

Waitomo-Glowworm-Caves-New-Zealand-Glowworm-strings-Closeup(Glowworm’s sticky string. This catches their food, much like a spider’s web)

Photo Credit: Glowworm Caves

We also walked into a separate cave called Ruakuri Cave. This was less about observing the glowworms and more about the cave formations inside. The walk was filled with stalactites and stalagmites which…

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Te Puia.

8 Jan

DSC_0385_2The main attraction of Rotarua, New Zealand is a huge geyser and thermal land called Pohutu. It has been ranked as one of the top 10 geysers to visit in the world by Lonely Planet. It erupts like clockwork and for 20 minutes at a time, it does not disappoint.

DSC_0382_2(A close up of the mineral rock that is continuously being added to as the geyser erupts)


DSC_0427_2(The back side of the geyser)

DSC_0433_2(It erupted for at least 30 minutes straight when we were there)

DSC_0462(The steam in the distance)

DSC_0440_2(The thermal land also created bubbling pools of clay)

DSC_0449_2(Notice all of the steam arising from the clay)

The Earth is a crazy thing, huh? Isn’t it cool to think about what is going on below our feet every day? It’s fun to be able to actually see the activity through water or mud or clay.

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Queenstown, New Zealand

7 Jan


Our very first day in New Zealand was spent in the South Island in Queenstown. Completely majestic, it sits on a pristine lake surrounded by beautiful mountains and hills. It was a bit chilly that day, the clouds were rolling in quickly and it began to drizzle.

DSC_0620(On our walk around the lake, there were dozens of benches inviting us to take in the scenery)

DSC_0562(When we arrived, the clouds started moving towards us rapidly, bringing the rain)

DSC_0639(That’s it, tiny Queenstown)


DSC_0748(We found this great bridge on our walk)

DSC_0770(A tiny little duck not far from his family)

 Queenstown was my favorite city that we visited on our trip. It has a lot of fun activities for tourists and is filled with foreigners looking to live somewhere beautiful even if only for a few months.

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Easy Hair DIY.

6 Jan


On New Years, I was googling different easy hair styles to put together to use for the night.  However, in looking I realized they all said easy but were not so I made it super simple.  You have to start with a head of full curled hair so that may take a while but then after that it’s super simple.

If you choose to add an headbands or flashy pieces, do it first before you pin any other pieces of hair.  I added this bedazzled headband so I locked it in first thing.

After that, pull some of the curled pieces from in front of the band and behind to twirl behind and pin in a half up position.

I stopped here (less than 3 mins) but you can keep pinning sections like this.  The next small section would pin below the first and so on.  Once the bottom is…

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Coastal Winter Myth.

5 Jan


Before I lived in San Francisco, I heard so many myths people tell about the city and believed them because I didn’t know myself.  Now that I live here, it’s funny how different I see a lot of these “urban myths” if you will.  One of the biggest myths is how freezing it is in the winter especially at the ocean.  I love spending time at Ocean Beach so I just prepared to bundle up during the winter.  However, it’s actually much less windy in the winter.  Not sure why that is but it can actually be incredible weather in the winter.  Last year I posted about one of the most perfect winter weather nights at Ocean Beach here.  Now that I know it wasn’t just a one time thing, I thought I’d share the secret : ).

Sunset is one of the busiest times at the beach but…

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Walking Amongst the Giants.

31 Dec


The temperatures are slowly starting to drop but the sun is still shining so what better way to spend the time then to get outside and enjoy it.  Rob and I headed to Muir Woods over the weekend so get a good hike in and breathe the fresh air.  We ended up hiking up through the redwoods to the Panoramic highway and then back down through the Dipsea trail.  It was beautiful and refreshing and a great way to have a staycation.

imageThe trees are so massive and beautiful.  Most of them are over 2,000 years old, pretty incredible.

Playing around with the Hipstomatic App.  My favorite is still the Pro HDR app for photography.

The canopies stand at over 300 ft tall.

It is the true Fern Gully.  Simply stunning.


Someone had strewn christmas ornaments along the trails!

imageWe thought we might get lucky and the Tourist Club would…

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Cotton Cover Ups.

30 Dec

Let’s face it, after the holidays of non-stop eating and maybe a little (or a lot) of drinking, it’s hard to hop right back into your regular clothes.  Cotton tops are my go-to’s in these times since they are nice and stretchy as well as very comfortable.  I had an awesome colleague at my last job send me off with tons of cute new blazers and cover ups for my next job.  They were a life saver after I came back from my Bosnian horse trip of a lifetime late on a Sunday night only to start my new job early Monday morning.  I pretty much wore the same pants and black short sleeved body suit all week and just kept swapping blazers and cover ups.

(Similar, affordable styles here)




 These were great gifts to send me off to a new job as they were very wearable and saved…

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