aloha Hawaii

Our trip included 10 days on O’ahu which allowed us to circle the island twice. We stayed in several different places on the island in several different areas. During our trip we hiked, shopped, explored, and hung out at the beach. This packing list that I am providing includes the items that worked for us. I have offered commentation on the big “why” behind the items listed. You may need to add to this packing list if you are staying longer, doing different activities than we did, or attending an event.

What To Pack While On O'ahu


cute Tanks & T-shirts
multiple pairs of Shorts
1 pair of Moisture-Wicking Pants/Shorts
1-2 pairs of pants, jeans are appropriate
2-3 Sundresses
Lightweight Hoodie or Sweater
Lightweight Jacket
3-4 Bathing Suits (in Hawaii, the tinier, the better!)
a couple of swimsuit cover-ups
comfortable Underwear
Sports Bras

Winter in O’ahu is warm enough for the beach during the day, but it gets chilly at night so be sure to pack clothing that is appropriate for both times of the day. Also, there are several amazing hikes available on the island, we did a few hikes before sunrise and they were wet and chilly, which is why I recommend the moisture-wicking gear. Honolulu people were dressed up for dinner, otherwise shorts, a tank, and flips were the standard uniform – go with it.

What Tt Pack While On O'ahu


Hats: Sun Hat, Ball Cap
multiple pairs of Sunglasses
Bandana / Headbands
small Umbrella
Surf attire (if you plan on surfing)

I would imagine the majority of your time will be spent at the beach, hiking, touring or eating. You won’t need much for any of these activities – just you, your clothing, and a small day pack or beach bag. Don’t over-think it.

What To Pack while on O'ahu


comfortable Flip Flops
Hiking or Trail shoes
Running Shoes
lightweight Hiking Socks

You’ll find that most people on the island wear flip flops, no matter what they’re doing. The only time I wasn’t wearing flips while on the island is when I was hiking and jogging along the beach.

What to Pack While On O'ahu 


Bobby Pins
Hair Ties
Nail Clippers / File
Lip Balm w/ SPF
Insect Repellent
Cortisone Anti-Itch Cream
Hand Sanitizer

Most of these items are readily available for purchase on the island, so pack light and stock up when you arrive – just know that the items are more expensive on the island.

What To Pack While On O'ahu


Waterproof Video Camera, I recommend a GoPro Hero Cam
Selfie Stick (everyone on the island has them!)
Laptop (I recommend you dump your memory cards at the end of each day)
Travel Alarm Clock
Spare batteries
Spare Memory Cards

I always hesitate to pack so many electronics, but never regret having them with me. The island as safe, so don’t worry about your stuff being stolen unless you let it sit in the front seat of a rental car. Take a good camera, you’ll get some amazing photos. Dump your memory cards at night, just in case. Be shameless about selfies, everyone on the island is doing it. Take an alarm clock to wake you up before sunrise – trust me, you’ll want to get up to watch the sunrise. You’ll need a flashlight to hike in the dark.

Kailua, O'ahu Hawaii


Reading Books
Guidebook (I liked Fodor’s O’ahu Guidebook)
Pens & Pencils
Art supplies (if you’re in to that)
Mesh Laundry Bag
Travel Yoga Mat
Backpack Food (for hiking & beaching)
a Beach Bag
a Beach Blanket 
a Day Pack (for hiking or tours)

Don’t worry about packing beach towels, anywhere you stay will most likely provide them. Take a blanket though, it’s a great supplement to a beach towel and it will keep you warm on your sunset/sunrise viewings. If you’re an artist, take your supplies – there is plenty of space and time to create art. With goggles alone, we were able to see a lot of fish underwater – we never even rented snorkel gear because we could see so much with the goggles.

What To Pack While On O'ahu


Driver’s License
Credit Cards 
Travel Itinerary

I would highly recommend reading though a guidebook and doing research PRIOR to your trip – have an idea of what you’d like to do/see before you get there. There is so much to see and do, you won’t be able to do it all in one trip (chances are) so find what is important to you! 

What To Pack While On O'ahu

What To Pack While On O'ahu




On a trip to O’ahu, a typical tourist would probably stay at a resort in Waikiki – there is nothing wrong with that because Waikiki has everything: beaches, shopping, restaurants, night life – however, it’s not my style at all. While in O’ahu, we spent one day in Waikiki, but I would have felt cheated had we spent any more time there because there is so much more to see and do on the island. 

So many people in my world have recently spent time in Hawaii, are in Hawaii now, or are planning a visit soon – which is one of the major reasons I am writing this post. 

This blog post was written based on my own experience, if you have had a different experience and know of “things-to-do” in O’ahu, I welcome you to share in the comments below :) 

 aloha Hawaii

1. Find & Visit some Hidden Beaches

I found an article on Conde Nast titled “Hawaii’s Best Hidden Beaches ” just a few days after returning to the main land. When reading it, I found excitement because we visited a few of the beaches on the list, however I was also bummed because we would have visited one of the beaches on the list had we known about it while we were there. I guess I’ll have to go back sometime soon to visit that beach -Luckily, we have friends in Hawaii who were able to show us a few hidden beaches!

The hidden beaches are worth looking up and seeking out, trust me. Do some research before you visit the island and plan which ones you’d like to find and visit. 

Beach in O'ahu

Yoga North Shore

North Shore Hobbit Hut

2. Visit the North Shore

There aren’t many hotels on the North Shore, so I don’t think many tourists get up to the North Shore unless they are bussed from Waikiki. While you are in O’ahu, you’re going to need to rent a car, as far as I’m concerned. There is too much to see and do on he island to be stuck in one place without a car. 

The North Shore is a beautiful, tropical part of the island, chockful of beautiful hidden beaches, surfers, farms, and lush greenery. It is a part of the island that you should definitely spend time at. Situated on a vast, green farm, we found a little hut to stay in for a few nights. The Hobbit Hut we stayed in sat amongst 2-3 other huts, a few tents, an open-air kitchen, and a yoga deck. We had beautiful views of Mt. Ka’ala, which is the highest point on the island. 

If you don’t get up to the North Shore on your trip to O’ahu, you are cheating yourself. 

North Shore Beach

Sunrise in Hawaii

3. Watch the Sunsets / Sunrises 

It’s not easy to think about setting an alarm clock and getting up at 5am while on vacation, but it’s WORTH IT to catch the Hawaiian sunrise. We got up on Christmas morning and did the Pillbox hike to watch the sunrise over the ocean. On a different morning, we planted ourselves on the beach (Waimanalo) to watch the sunrise before we went out for breakfast. Makapu’u Point is another place we loved for watching the sunrise -although it was packed with people, we loved it – arrive early! 

Our favorite place to watch the sunset was definitely at Mount Tantalus, a short drive to the top plants you in the perfect place to watch the sunset over the city of Honolulu. This is a place that you want to arrive early to, there will be a lot of people there, all racing to find the perfect place to plant themselves for one of the most beautiful sunsets they may ever witness.

Sunset over O'ahu


4. Hike 

There is no shortage of hikes to do while in O’ahu – ranging from “easy” to “dangerous”. It’s like a “choose-your-own-adventure” type situation – you get to choose how strenuous a hike you are up for. Regardless, all of the hikes are worth it. Our favorite hike was the Pillbox hike. When you get to the top, you have close to a 365 degree view of the island – it’s pretty sweet. 


Giovanni's Shrimp Truck O'ahu

5. Seek out the Food Trucks

There are several food trucks on the island, mostly scattered throughout the North Shore. If you drive up to the North Shore, you will surely run in to them. Our favorite food truck was Giovanni’s Shrimp Truck. They make some killer shrimp with rice and tons of garlic. If you’re a non-vegan, you’ve def got to check out Giovanni’s. (If you’re a vegan, find Beet Box on the North Shore instead of visiting the food truck – then thank me later)

Surf North Shore 

6. Surf / SUP

 There are surfers and SUP’ers (SUP = Stand Up Paddle Board) on several of the beaches we visited on O’ahu, it’s hard to not involve in the activities. Riding the ocean water is an experience that goes unmatched. 

If you are the adventurous type, and you’re up for a thrilling experience, do yourself a favor and take surfing lessons. You may or may not get up on the board your first time out, but either way you will have the opportunity to experience some waves. 

If you’re looking for more of a leisurely activity, rent a SUP. SUP’ing requires a little balance, and a minimal level of physical fitness, so this is an activity well-suited for just about anyone. a paid-lesson shouldn’t be required to ride a Stand Up Paddleboard – once you’re up on the board, it’s pretty easy to get around.

SUP Hawaii

House in Kailua

7. Visit Kailua

Kailua is quite possibly one of my favorite towns on O’ahu. It’s definitely a “nicer” area, it’s close to the beach, and has an awesome Whole Foods! We rented a house via airbnb.com in Kailua, it sat in an adorable neighborhood just about 1 mile from the beach. In the morning, we got up and joked to the beach, swan for a few minutes, and jogged back. In the afternoons we went to Lanikai Beach, which is one of the most beautiful beaches in O’ahu.

If you can find a home to rent here for a few nights, I would highly recommend you do. 

fruit in Hawaii

8. Indulge in the Local Fruits 

Driving along the outer edge of the North Shore, you will find fruit stands along the side of the road that are stocked full of fruits and veggies that you can’t get here on the mainland. A few of my favorite finds were the Ice Cream Bananas and the Purple Sweet Potatoes, both could be compared to candy – they’re THAT good.

If you don’t get a chance to go to the North Shore for the fruits, check out the local grocery store (like Whole Foods) for the local fruits. Eat as much as you can while you’re there, and eat some more for me while you’re at it! 

China Wall O'ahu

9. China Wall

I would have NEVER known about the China Wall had it not been for my friends that live on the island. I feel lucky because  the China Wall was definitely one of my favorite places we visited. Lava rock, and pristine blue, blue beautiful waters make up your experience at the China Wall. We walked along the wall until we couldn’t walk anymore, and we saw people who were perched on the rocks for a “beach” day. There are a few places along the rock that are safe for swimming, and some places where the water is fierce. Had we been more prepared, we may have tried to snorkel around the wall. 

Coffee Garden

10. visit the Coffee Farm 

If you are a coffee drinker, you MUST check out the Green World Coffee Farm. They’ve got hundreds of flavors of coffees (or so it seems), and you can sample several of them! They also have a super sweet gift shop and you can tour the coffee garden! I’d never seen a coffee plant before, so this was a neat experience for me. We purchased some coffee from the farm, my boyfriend says it’s some of the best coffee he’s had.

Hawaiian Flowers

A few other things to do while in O’ahu: drink local Kona beer, eat everything with macadamia nuts, try an acai bowl (you can get them just about everywhere on the island including the coffee farm), and eat at Sweet Home Waimanalo’s (my favorite little veg-friendly restaurant on the island).




As I was checking in for a yoga class last week, the instructor handed me a post-it note and asked me to write down one word that I wanted to commit to for that particular class but also for the entire year.

I don’t typically make New Year’s Resolutions, because they are hard to stick to, they get forgotten about, and I don’t necessarily need/want to make any drastic changes. Instead, I consciously make decisions, on a daily basis, that will benefit and enhance the person that I already am. I try to make decisions that will improve my well-being, but just like everyone else I make bad decisions – I recognize them, don’t beat myself up over them, and get back on track as quickly as I can.

On my little post-it note that the yoga instructor handed to me, I wrote “maintain health and wellness”. Maintaining health and wellness is not hard to do, it’s the time and commitment that’s hard. My commitment to myself this year is that I will STAY committed and continue allowing myself the time – making my health and well-being my #1 priority.

Luckily, I have an awesome boyfriend who is supportive of my commitments and has committed to his own health and well-being as well. I think it’s important to surround yourself with people who are share the same goals, desires, and hobbies as yourself. I once heard someone say that you are the average of the 5 people that you spend the most time with and I completely agree. I took a look at the people I was surrounded by and realized that I had some negativity and bad energy in my circle – I got rid of them and can proudly say that my 5 people, the people I hang out with most often are positive, healthy, happy. successful individuals. I do realize that I became more happy, healthy, and successful when I changed my circle. 

Below are a few more things that I like to do and/or recommend my friends do in order to maintain my health and well-being:



Yoga is an exercise for your mental health, physical body, and spirit. It completely transforms your mind and body. Yoga helps to relieve stress, tension, muscle ache, heart ache, and anxiety. Yoga leads to meditation, which will help clear your mind and allow you to think more clearly.

After a yoga practice, I feel like I’m glowing inside and out.
On different days, I choose different types of yoga for different reasons – no matter what is going on in my life, no matter what my needs are, yoga is ALWAYS relevant.

Yoga is also about community – when you visit a yoga studio, you will find positive energy, make new friends, and leave will a feeling of fulfillment. When I meet fellow yogi’s, I’m always interested to hear their story – I know there is one, and I know it’ll always be a good one. 

Whether you are an athlete, non-athletic, spiritual, or not, flexible, or not, there is a yoga practice that will enhance your lifestyle, through words, meditation, or physical practice – I promise you that.

Green Smoothie: Avocado Pear


Green smoothies are the bomb! Looking at them, one may think they won’t be tasty, however when blended with sweet fruits, the taste of the healthy greens is disguised.

Green smoothies have a multitude of benefits including: an increased intake of fiber, an increased intake of fruits & veggies, natural weight loss, hydration, increased energy, mental clarity, clearer skin, reduced cravings, and overall better body function.

To kickstart health & wellness this year, one of the best things you can do is ditch the morning coffee and replace it with a healthy green smoothie! 

Here are a few green smoothie recipes to get you started:
Avocado Pineapple Smoothie
Orange Greensicle
Tart Green Apple
Strawberry Spinach Kiwi
Berry + Kale

Stand Up Paddleboard


New Year, New You, right?
We’ve all been there, and we’ve all said it.
We all also talk about getting in shape for bikini season.
Do yourself a favor this year, and don’t wait until bikini season to get in shape – start NOW!

There are so many fun things you can do in the winter months to stay in shape: hot yoga, indoor rock climbing, indoor swimming pools (+ sauna & hot tub!), or get a Class Pass… and since you’ll be indoors more during the cold months, it’s the perfect time to get more familiar with your kitchen and do some healthy cooking!

My boyfriend is a tri-athlete and trains hard during the season, then typically takes some time off during the off-season. This year, he decided to not take any time off so that when Tri Season approached, he wouldn’t have to get “back in shape.” I like his style, and am inspired by it.  

swim in O'ahu


We all know that vacations/getaways are necessary for your mind, your sanity, and productivity. Your mind and body both need breaks from routine. And anyway, life should be about having some fun! If you work, work, work, and never play – what’s the point? My favorite thing to do is go on vacation, or even take quick 1-3 day getaways. I feel like I’m winning when I allow myself the opportunity to do something different than I’ve ever done, go somewhere I’ve never gone, or even just do something out of my ordinary. I have made it my job to plan my vacations around eating healthy food, doing yoga somewhere new, being active, and experiencing something different than the typical traveler would experience. I also like to relax, unwind, beach, and enjoy a cocktail or two :)

When planning your next vacation, think about a place that offers hiking, stand-up paddle boarding, or fitness in the park.
If you’re booking a beach vacation, pack a pair of goggles so you can swim a few laps every day.
Look for yoga events, yoga on the beach, or yoga on a stand-up paddle board.
If you’re not near a beach, find a local state park, a cool place to hike, or even a local gym.

Regardless of where you go, there are always fun ways to keep yourself active, you’ve just got to look for them! 

veggie avocado bagel spread


In my opinion, there is no better gift that you can give yourself than feeding your body healthy, wholesome foods. The reason is obvious: You Are What You Eat.

The day I changed my eating habits, is the day my life changed. Don’t wait, start now.

Here are a few recipes to get you started:
Breakfast Quinoa w/Fruit & Almonds
Apple Pie Quinoa Breakfast Bowl
Deviled Avocados
easy peasy Pea Hummus
a Chimichurri Pumpkin Bowl
Curried Cauliflower Salad
Mushroom Caprese Salad
Stewed Tomatoes w/ Kale & Quinoa



The day I chose to change my lifestyle, start eating healthier, and to stop eating meat is the same day that I picked up books and started reading. Then I started following blogs, and I sought-out like-minded people. The day my boyfriend decided he wanted to be a pro triathlete is the day he subscribed to magazines and joined groups of like-minded people. 

Living a healthy lifestyle does not come naturally to everyone – and that’s ok. Before I knew what I know now, I didn’t know that I didn’t know it. I know what I know now because I sought out the information. I spend a few hours (minimum) every week reading blogs, books, and magazines that fall in line with the lifestyle that I want to live, that I am living. 

Here are a few blogs that I read regularly: Edible Perspective, HeartBeet Kitchen, Minimalist Baker, Free People Blog, YumUniverse, and Dirtbag Darling.

Designate a quiet night, get your pj’s on, snuggle under some blankets, and read. You’ll never regret taking the time to acquire knowledge, or at least I never have.


Cheers to  the New Year!
What is it that YOU do in order to stay healthy and happy?




A few days ago, I got an e-mail explaining the final steps of my home purchase – that’s right, I’M BUYING A HOME. In Colorado. I thought I’d NEVER buy a home simply because up until this point I was never satisfied enough to plant roots. BUT, this is Colorado. Home. It’s good here. I think I was sent here to stay for a very long time. Shit is about to get real.

When I loved in Chicago, I was in a hurry to get things done, oh I rushed and rushed until life was no fun.
((“all I really wanna do is live and die, but I’m in a hurry and don’t know why”)) 
Yeah, it’s a song. you probably know it. Relatable to my life prior to my CO move. 
Colorado has taught me to slow down and enjoy life.

Everyone asks (jokingly) if I moved to Colorado because of legalized marijuana… which is weird because I’ve had never wanted anything to do with it my entire life. When people ask me that silly questions, I tell them “No, I moved to Colorado because it’s socially acceptable to drive a Subaru there.” They get all confused and shut up then. 

Rocky Mountains

My new home is further west of where I currently live, near the Highlands area which means easier (than ever) access to the MOUNTAINS !! Literally, a 20 minute drive puts me in the foothill. Yeeeeeeeeah babyyyyyy!!!

Deer Creek CanyonRed Rocks

On top of that, Red Rocks amphitheater is only 25 minutes away. Do you know about Red Rocks? It’s incredible – it’s a musicians DREAM to play there. And it’s my dream to see all of my favorite musicians there ((which is coming true)). During the day, the amphitheater is an outdoor gym – I can hardly keep up with the fitness fanatics in Colorado, but it sure is inspiring to watch them all. Walking up the steps to the amphitheater still takes my breath away (I’ll blame it on the altitude).


Oh, and – Yoga On The Rocks at Red Rocks – 

Beet Box Denver

Beet Box is the very first vegan restaurant cafe/restaurant and I wasn’t mad about it. Do you see that cinnamon roll? Served with a side of buttercream frosting, and I’m sitting on Cloud 9. I don’t go to Beet Box often enough, I need to get there again soon. Very soon.

steamboat springs, co

Luckily I met an awesome guy in Colorado (boyfriend!), he took me to Steamboat Springs to fall in l-o-v-e. We didn’t take many photos during that trip because we were busy relaxing, napping, and bathing in the hot springs. As a bonus, Jason Aldean & Luke Bryan own a restaurant in the Springs that we (OF COURSE) went to for some pre-dinner moonshine. Couldn’t eat dinner there, steakhouse (idk).


Glenwood Springs, Colorado 

That same awesome guy rode took a trip to Glenwood Springs with my dad & I. We didn’t do much, besides enjoy the mountains and hike Hanging Lake. You see, living in Colorado is cool because you can take a “vacation” in your own backyard – in 3 hours, I can be in a location where people spend their life savings to vacation at.


Near Glenwood Springs is a little town called Palisade. In Palisade, there are several wineries, vineyards, and fruit trees. Some of the best peaches I’ve ever had come from Palisade. I feel like no one knows about Palisade peaches besides Coloradans. All the more reason I feel lucky to be a Coloradan.

starter plants from Farmers Market

I got all of my starter plants for the garden at the Boulder Farmers Market this year. While the Boulder Farmers Market isn’t the most amazing farmers market I’ve ever been to, it may be the most adorable. Plus, it’s in Boulder, you couldn’t ask for a better location.

waterfalls, colorado

Oh, in between Red Rocks i Morrison and this cute little mountain town called Evergreen, there are waterfalls rolling down the mountain. It’s a pretty sweet little drive between the two towns. After hiking a trail at Red Rocks, my mom and I went up to Evergreen to visit a winery …(duh)…. When I talk about these waterfalls, I feel like I’m straight up bragging – I’ve never lived so close to a waterfall in my life.

North Table Mountain // Golden, CO

Those are real, legit cowboys. On top of North Table Mountain. Seriously, cowboys. On horses. and a cute little dog. Oh, and that view. My life is complete.

Ypsilon Lake //Rocky Mountain National Park

I have a friend whose family visits Estes Park a few times a year, and they spend a pretty penny doing it. I get to drive to Estes Park whenever I feel like it. I can hike all day, have a few beers at a local brewery, and still be home in time for dinner. Oh, and I don’t have to spend much money doing it. 

Mt. Evans, Colorado

One of the coolest things I’ve ever done in my life is hike to 14,000 feet. It was not an easy task, however a satisfying one. On the way up, I told myself that I’d never volunteer to do such a thing again. After a few days of recovery, and reflection, I was anxious to do it again. There are 54 fourteeners in Colorado, and I’d love to climb them all (we’ll see how that goes….) and if all goes well, I’d love to climb Mount Kilimanjaro some day….

I could give you a million more reasons why I love Colorado, I’ve even blogged about some of them but I’ll stop here. I feel like I’m bragging. I can’t help it, I’m smitten with my new life.




Minnesota Cabin - Island Lake

My best friends family has a cabin on a lake in Minnesota and for 4 years (which is about how long I’ve known her) she’s been begging me to come up. Minnesota is home to 10,000 lakes so traveling “up North” to “the cabin” is the THING to do here. 

I lived in MN years ago, but I didn’t have any friends who had cabins up North so I spent most of my time on lakes that were closer to the city of Minneapolis. There were about 4-5 lakes that I frequented. 

In Colorado, we don’t have lakes. We hardly have water, period. We’ve got a few rivers, and a few man-made reservoirs. That’s about it. They come nowhere close to being as actively used as the lakes in Minnesota soooo shortly after moving to Colorado, I knew I needed to make the trip up North and get to the lake.

I grew up in the midwest which means I grew up “going to the lake” – it’s the thing that midwesterners do. Being on the lake is the #1 thing I miss since moving to Colorado – however, I’ll survive (I LOVE the mountains!!)

Minnesota Cabin Cross Lake

This super cute, adorable cabin has almost reached it’s last day. While it has history and charm, it’s not as functional as it needs to be in the modern day – the cabin is 100 years old and it has to go. The McClellan’s are bulldozing it to make way for a brand new cabin that should be ready just in time for 2015 Boating Season. I can hardly wait to see the new place! Hopefully I’ll be celebrating 4th of July there next year….

grillin - Minnesota - Crosslake


camp meal

I love the simplicity of meals during camping and/or cabin-ing. A veggie burger sandwiched between a gluten-free bun, dressed with some ketchup & mustard satisfies. Add a few veggie chips on the side for a bonus.

After boating all day, we hopped off for just enough time to grill the veggie patties – moments after dinner, we were back out on the lake to watch the sunset. Life is so good out there!

MN Cabin Cross Lake

MN Cabin

The beautiful cabin sits quietly and privately behind these amazing trees. This “master bedroom” (which is really a little nook just off the living room) has a GORGEOUS but private view of the lake and the sunset….

MN Cabin

MN Cabin

deer in Minnesota

The deer, Bernadette & friends are not shy about asking for food. They love the apples that are provided. I was shocked at how close they allowed me to get to them! 

Minnesota deer

MN Cabin

Shih Tzu dog

This little cutie, Riley is my BFF’s Shih Tzu, he is just ridiculously cute, don’t you think? He can also be a little naughty at times, tsk tsk tsk.

MN Cabin

I love this photo of Bill (my BBF’s dad) – he may or may not be feeling tipsy after drinking all day on the boat. Ha! Which, speaking of – have you ever mixed Orangina with vodka? I have. And it’s awesome. Especially if you’re on a boat.

Can you find Riley in that photo? Probably not because he’s so FAST! 

Roxy Flip Flops

Friend-flops! Basically, we have friend-everything. Friend-bracelets, friend-boots, friend-lipgloss, the list goes on and on and on. Hey, we both have good taste – 

MN Cabin & Beach

Island Lake Cross Lake MN

I have definitely been spoiled by the sun setting over the mountains. HOWEVER, the sun setting over the lake doesn’t suck either. Not at all.

sunset over the lake





I could tell you a million things that I love about Colorado – well, how about just a few? Mountains, mountain men, Red Rocks, mild weather, accessible rock climbing, snow sports, fun stuff, more fun stuff, everyone here is super laid back, and…. there are WATERFALLS. Seriously, do I live in paradise? How GORGEOUS are these waterfalls that we accidentally stumbled upon while cruising up the mountain??

We didn’t stop for long…. but long enough to breathe in the crisp mountain air and experience the pure river water. 






Mom caught me taking a selfie right there with the falls… I was so happy at that moment…..
and overwhelmingly obsessed with my Colorado life….




Shortly after our arrival in to Nashville last weekend, we set out for Mas Tacos Por Favor, which was recommended to us by Whitney & Johnny, the Bluegrass Tour Bus owners. We were feeling slightly vulnerable in those first moments on the bus so we weren’t quite sure how to feel about their recommendation (an old ass tour bus parked in the ghetto can be slightly overwhelming) but we took the recommendation anyway. 

Mas Tacos Por Favor

 The building is a little sketchy on the outside but we felt instant relief upon entering. Immediately, we spotted a photo of Guy Fieri painted on the wall which led us to the assumption that Mas Tacos Por Favor has been featured on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives. (we were right, by the way)

Mas Tacos Por Favor

Mas Tacos

I was pretty satisfied with the meal I had at Mas Tacos, considering they had two AMAZING vegetarian taco options: Fried Avocado & Quinoa + Sweet Potato. I certainly wasn’t mad about the Plantains, the Black Bean Soup, or the Horchata either. Oh, and Laura obsessed over the Pineapple Cilantro fruit drink. I am mad at myself for not trying it…. (but the Horchata was soooo good) 

Mas Tacos

Mas Tacos

It was so nice to start our trip off with an amazing meal. We had plans of visiting Mas Tacos a few more times during our weekend in Nashville but we never did make it back. Next time, for sure. 




Bluegrass Tour Bus

I tend to do things that I know will gain attention. Life is more fun that way. When Laura & I were planning our trip to Nashville, we planned on staying at the Downtown Hostel again because it is inexpensive and in a perfect location – just one block off Broadway. The last time we stayed at the hostel, we were asked several times if it is a “whore house” (naive country boys….) Anyway, we loved it!

Well, of course the NCAA championships were going on in Nash the weekend we were there so the hostel was booked. Didn’t bother us one bit because we knew we could rely on airbnb to find a cool place – We about DIED when we found this Bluegrass Tour Bus available.  

Bluegrass Tour Bus

Bluegrass Tour Bus

The bus (#BGB), is parked in front of a Bluegrass-playing couples home and they actually still use the bus for touring. We had a BLAST on the bus despite a lack of heat on chilly nights, a lack of electricity part of the stay, and being forced to shower with cold hose water. AND we definitely got the attention we were looking for. “You’re staying WHERE?” everyone would ask….. “you heard us right, a Bluegrass Tour Bus….”

Bluegrass Tour Bus

Bluegrass Tour Bus

Bluegrass Tour Bus

We didn’t actually get to drive the bus… but can you imagine how cool it would have been if we did??? 

Bluegrass Tour Bus

Bluegrass Tour Bus

Bluegrass Tour Bus

This beat up couch was perfect for afternoon naps – during our afternoon naps, we listened to the band practicing from the front porch of their home….. SO GOOD.

Bluegrass Tour Bus

Bluegrass Tour Bus


Bluegrass Tour Bus

Bluegrass Tour Bus


Bluegrass Tour Bus

Although there were moments that we had to ask ourselves: “are we REALLY doing this??” …I think I’d do it all over again….

Bluegrass Tour Bus

Bluegrass Tour Bus

Bluegrass Tour Bus

Bluegrass Tour Bus

Bluegrass Tour Bus

If not now, my friends…. then when? …know what I’m saying?