Storytime: My first tattoo

Storytime: My first tattoo

 

From my personal Facebook account

June 22nd

It seems most of you have heard the news that our beautiful Courtney has died of cancer.

Courtney was my best friend and like my little sister, but I always looked up to her. I think a lot of us did. She was so freaking smart, such a talented dancer, a born leader, funny and so kind. Always had a smile for everyone and people just wanted to be around her. She was annoyingly good at everything…except crafts. She sucked at crafts.

But you all should know how strong she was through it all… even when the pain was impossible; she still had a smile for me. And during these last days, her hospital room was filled non-stop by her closest friends and family.

I love her so very much and will forever remember her beautiful, smiling face.

July 12th

Today was my best friends memorial service. Sitting there in a church full of friends, family and strangers; We laughed, we cried, we held each other tight… never will there ever be anyone like you my love.
This is the Birthday present I gave her on her 32nd Birthday less than 2 months ago. A sign with her favorite quote from the movie Hope Floats:
“Beginnings are scary, Endings are usually sad, but it’s whats in the middle that counts. So when you find yourself at the beginning, just give hope a chance to float up. And it will.“
And while I find myself at this horrible new beginning- a life without you by my side, I sure as hell am glad I got to spend 17 years of my “middle” with you. #foreverandalways #tothemoonandback

Happy 2018

Happy 2018

2017 was a year of some really high highs – traveling to the PNW, watching our little muchkin grow and closing on our dream house. But also some really shitty lows with our house flooding again, having to throw away so many of our belongings and praying we would be able to sell that house…

2018 can only be better!

San Francisco to Seattle – 10 day road trip

San Francisco to Seattle – 10 day road trip

One thing that I have found super helpful in planning all of our road trips is planning out our stops ahead of time and then google mapping the amount of miles we see as do-able in a day. Now this doesn’t necessarily end up being set in stone but it gives us a good idea on what areas we will be at what times. This helps me be able to do the research on best places to eat, must see stops along the way, etc. I then actually go through and print out my google maps, so that I have a map in case our phones lose service and then suddenly we don’t know where to go. This has come in handy many times!

For this particular trip, we flew into San Francisco and picked up a rental car. The Cruise America location ended up being a way outside of the city, so for us it made more sense to cruise around San Francisco with a rental car for a day and then pick up the RV the next day and drop off the rental at a place near the Cruise America. And because I had done my research, we knew that there was a Wal-Mart a mile from the car rental place and we stopped and stocked up on everything we needed for our week long trip.

When planning out our stops, I make sure to consider not only what we want to see but stops that allow us not to have to drive for too many hours at a time. And having a toddler with us means we have to have stops to let everyone get their wiggles out. So here is a rundown of our stops between San Francisco and Seattle:

Day 1:

  • Coit Tower
  • Embarcadero
  • Pier 39
  • Trolley
  • Marin Headlands (Overlook)

Day 2:

  • Alamo Square
  • Cruise America in Newark, CA
  • Supply run to WalMart
  • Ft. Bragg

Day 3:

  • Glass Beach
  • Chandelier Tree
  • Redwoods State Park
  • Fern Canyon/ Prairie Creek
  • Bandon, OR

Day 4:

  • Portland
  • Ainsworth State Park

Day 5:

  • Multnomah Falls
  • Latourel Falls
  • Oneonta Gorge
  • Cannon Beach

Day 6:

  • Olympic National Park
  • Quinault Lodge
  • Ruby Beach

Day 7:

  • HOH Rainforest
  • Forks
  • Rialto Beach

Day 8:

  • Crescent Lake
  • Kingston Ferry
  • Bellingham

Day 9:

  • Fly to San Juan Islands
  • Friday Harbour
  • Seattle

Day 10:

  • Seattle

There you have it! The overview of our 10 day trip. We definitely drove A LOT of miles but we got to see so much. This trip exceeded my expectations by a long shot. The Pacific-Northwest definitely stole a piece of my heart.

8 tips for RVing with a toddler

8 tips for RVing with a toddler

My husband and I have become what I think you would call Recreational Vehicle Addicts. We freaking love them! One of the main things that we have in common is our love of travel and we knew that when we had a baby, we would still want to travel. But being practical, we knew that some things would need to change as far as itinerary and time were concerned. So when Sophie was 15 months old, we went on our first RV adventure as a family of 3. We wanted to go on a epic road trip through Colorado and Utah. Renting an RV seemed like the best solution for us because babies/ kids need stuff, lots and lots of stuff! She was also still nursing, so the practicality of just being able to pull over and have all the comforts of a hotel room made it seem like a no-brainer. And honestly, the idea of staying in a different hotel every night (unpacking and repacking) seemed like a nightmare. So we decided to rent and RV and we loved it so much, that we did it again on our family vacation this year. Again, we embarked on a super epic road trip from San Francisco to Seattle. Having done this twice now with a baby and then toddler, I have picked up some tips along the way!

Here are my 10 tips on RVing with a baby/ toddler:

  1. Strap your babies car seat directly on to the wood part of the bench seat – this provides more stability than the squishy seat. And bonus – they have a table in front of them for toys or a tablet.
  2. Go to Wal-Mart as soon as you pick up the RV to grab all of your essentials – because Wal-Mart is a great 1 stop for everything from cleaning supplies to food.
  3. Use all stops to let your kiddos run around inside and get their wiggles out.
  4. Get a doormat and a mini broom. It does wonders for keeping the dirt/ sand to a minimum!
  5. Pack the RV full with snacks for easy access.
  6. Get a tablet holder with a suction cup to suction it to the window or table.
  7. Buy a couple of new toys your little one has never seen. Target dollar section is great for this!
  8. Bring your baby monitor. If you have a site with electricity, you can relax outside of the RV without having to worry.

The BEST paleo pancakes

The BEST paleo pancakes

You guys! I finally found what I consider to be the BEST recipe for paleo pancakes. They are toddler approved, husband approved and me approved, so that’s a win,win,win in my book!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk, at room temperature
  • 4 tablespoons virgin coconut oil, melted and cooled
  • 4 eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons coconut flour
  • 1/2 cup tapioca flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder

Directions:

In a mixer, place the milk, melted coconut oil, eggs and honey to combine. Then slowly add the coconut flour, tapioca flour, salt and baking powder, and whisk to combine well. Once all of the dry ingredients have been added, mix until very smooth. Allow the batter to sit for about 2 minutes (it will thicken and begin to appear a bit clumpy), and then blend again until smooth. The batter will be thick.

Heat a griddle or lightly greased nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. Pour batter onto the hot griddle and spread the batter into a circle, just less than 1/4-inch thick. Repeat with as many pancakes as can fit comfortably at one time, without touching (or if your like me just make a big giant pancake). Allow the pancakes to cook for less than 2 minutes, or until the underside is evenly browned. With a wide, flat spatula, carefully flip over each pancake, and continue to cook until set on the underside (about another 45 seconds). Remove from the skillet, and repeat with the remaining batter.

Tips:

Now that I have made these pancakes more times than I would like to comfortably admit, I have a few tips 🙂 It really is important to try and get all the wet ingredients to the same temperature! If you pour hot coconut oil into the eggs, they will scramble – not that this ever happened to me, I heard it from uhhh a “friend” 😉 Oh and if the coconut oil isn’t a similar temperature than the rest, it turns hard… it’s a little bit of a shit show but as long as everything is room temperature, you’re good to go!

Another tip, if you like a more crepe/ pfannkuchen pancake, only use a 1/2 cup coconut flour and a smidge more milk and they will be thin and super delicious.

Travel Diaries: 24 hours in San Francisco

Travel Diaries: 24 hours in San Francisco

Our road trip began with San Francisco and we only had about 24 hours in the city – my husband and I have both been before so this time around we wanted to see some of the things we had missed last time around.

Our first stop was Coit Tower and the view was awesome. We actually didn’t pay to take the elevator up because the view from even the parking lot was great! From there we drove down to the Embarcadero and walked over to Fishermans Wharf to see the sea lions and the view if the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz. Sophie kept mimicking the sea lions and it was so stinkin cute!

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Then we promised our little girl a trolley ride on one of the old fashioned trolleys and it was so much fun. We took a bus back to our car and then drove over to the Marin Headlands to see the sunset over the Golden Gate Bridge. Guys, stop what you are doing. If you go to San Francisco, do this!!! It was magical. To see the fog rolling in and a view of not only the bridge but the entire city…nothing better!

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We got up bright and early the next day and had breakfast near Alamo Square because I wanted desperately to see the Painted Ladies. Unfortunately, the whole park was fenced off due to construction but it was still very cool to see!

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