Friday, February 28, 2014

I'm Engaged!!!

I am so excited to finally share our engagement story! I'll be sure to just give you the short version.  Joe and I got engaged on Saturday, February 8th.  I was told by Joe to have a bag packed and a dress picked out for a nice night away. The day started with Joe going to work because of issues that he had at work the day before. He texted me to tell me to be ready at 2 and to dress comfortable because we had a long drive. 2 o'clock  came around and I was sitting on my couch waiting for him to come home. I got a knock at the door and was greeted by a limo in my driveway. The drive told me to pack my bags because Joe had a fun filled day and evening planned for me. I grabbed my bag and got into the limo. 

The limo drove me to the beautiful Broadmoor Hotel! Once I got out of the limo I was greeted by a hotel employee telling me that Joe had planned a trip to the spa! I was walked to the spa and had an amazing facial planned. After I spent sometime enjoying the spa another note was left at the front desk with my room key instructing me to head to the room to get ready for a special night out. The room was beautiful! Joe had a plate of fruit with a note that told me to be ready at 7 for dinner. As I was getting ready a bottle of champaign and chocolate covered strawberries were delivered. The whole time I was getting ready I was texting Mal and getting really excited!! I have already had a really great day and had a pretty good idea about what was going to happen next. 

I was ready at 6:30, 30 minutes too early. I texted Joe to let him know and a few minutes later I had a knock on the door. It was 3 hotel employees that took me to a private room. Joe was there in his Army dress blues, as I entered the room he got down on one knee and asked me to merry him. After a day filled of excitement I was so happy to be there. I was nervous and my hand was shaking, but of course I said yes. My ring is amazing and absolutely perfect!

Joe had a photographer there to capture our special moment. We were able to go around the beautiful Broadmoor and take pictures through out the property. After the photos we had dinner at the Penrose Restaurant. Dinner was amazing and we met the cutest 80 year old couple who were celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary. They gave us some amazing advise and wished us a lifetime of happiness together. 

The next day Joe had a photography class planned for me with the head photographer from the Broadmore. The day was perfect and Joe put so much planning and thought into it. I loved every moment! I am so excited to spend the rest of my life with such a thoughtful, loving, kind man. Thank you Joe for planning such a special day! I love you. Now, let the wedding planning begin!!

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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

A Perfect Quinoa Salad

One of the things I wanted to do in 2014 was actually use my Pinterest. I have been on Pinterest for a long time now and have a ton of things pins. But I have never really tried to duplicate what I have pinned on Pinterest. I finally did it!! I made an amazing quinoa salad that I found on Pinterest. The original pin can be found on my food board. This salad was really easy to make and is a healthy meal. The portions made enough for me to eat it for a few days.


  • 1 cup Quinoa
  • 1 Cucumber 
  • 1 Bell Pepper
  • 1/2 Shallot 
  • Cilantro
  • 3 Limes 
  • 1 Avocado
  • Garlic
  • 1 Jalapeño  
  • Salt

  1. Bring water to a boil and fully cook 1 cup of quinoa. I cooked the quinoa according to the package. 
  2. In a small bowl mix a garlic paste ( I watched this YouTube Video to learn how to make garlic paste), diced jalapeño, and diced shallot, and lime juice into a bowl. This mixture will be your dressing. 
  3. While quinoa is cooking start to cut the cucumber, bell pepper, and cilantro. 
  4. Once the quinoa is fully cooked place it on a cookie sheet to cool.
  5.  Once the quinoa is cooled mix the quinoa with the cut cucumber, bell pepper, and cilantro. Add 1/2 of your dressing. Make sure everything is mixed well. Add salt to taste. 
  6. When you are ready to serve the salad, add slices of avocado to it wand top it off with some of the dressing. 
This recipe was the perfect first attempt for me. It was so easy to make and had everything in it that I really enjoy. I have already made this a few times and I can't wait to try some more of the recipes that I have pinned.

Have you ever made anything from your Pinterest?
Follow me on Pinterest and I'll be sure to follow you back! 

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Monday, February 24, 2014

On Again, Off Again!

It is Monday and I am ready to get back into shape! I know it is easier said then done, but I will be challenging myself with posting some Motivational Monday posts about my fitness journey. Every Monday I will share some of my favorite gym tips, health topics, and just discuss random fitness/health related issues. I really hope that these posts will keep me accountable for getting back to where I was in the picture above. I hope you will enjoy them and feel free to ask questions, share posts, or give me ideas on what to write about.

I would love to sit here and tell you that I live a perfect, healthy, and fitness happy life. But, that would be a lie. I have struggled big time since my move to Colorado. I stepped on the scale today and realized that I have gained 15 pounds and I have been having back issues. I went from going to the gym 5 times a week, running 4 times a week, yoga 4 times a week, and Zumba 2 times a week. My schedule in LA was filled with plenty of opportunities to workout and lots of activities to keep me active and busy. Fast forward to Colorado, I wasn't going to the gym and don't even like to run in this horrible elevation.

The best way to describe my fitness routine is on again, off again. Sad, but true. I have a few reasons to be on again: 1. I will be in one of my best friends weddings this July! 2. I am planning a fabulous cruise around the Mediterranean with my sister in June. 3. I am not happy with the way I look. 4. I am getting married next year!!!

Here are my top 5 tips on Getting Back in Shape:

  1. Set goals - Write them down, tell a friend, put them in your planner. It ALWAYS helps when I let people know that I am back at it. But, make sure they are attainable goals. My goals this week is to lose 3 lbs ( I am sure most of it will be water weight) and to drink at least one green drink a day (I am trying to increase my veggies and eat cleaner)! 
  2. Drink Plenty of Water - I know you hear this all of the time, but it really works. It really helps me shift my focus when I think I am hungry (I tend to eat when I am bored). It also helps with the bloat. I have read in many fitness magazines and websites to drink a full glass of water when you wake up. I will be working on carrying a bottle of water with me and get the recommended amount of water daily
  3. Research - Every time I am back at the gym I find that I am more successful, the more I invest into it. Makes sense right? I spend my free time looking at Pinterest to get motivated and get ideas. I read fitness magazines, I read online articles. Anything that gets me motivated and educates me on how to stay healthy really helps. I am currently loving Jamie Eason and everything that she has to say! 
  4. Make Time to Workout - I am really guilty of "being too tired" or "not having time". But lets get real, there is always time. I wouldn't be so tired if I actually got off of my butt and worked out. When getting back in shape I have to make time to workout or it won't work. There will always be excuses so I set aside 1 hour a few times a week to go workout. I also try to so more physical activities with Joe on the weekends. This weekend we will be going snowboarding, sometimes it's as simple as a hike. 
  5. Challenge Yourself with New Ways to Workout - Last time it was Zumba, this time it is rock climbing. My gym has a rock wall, I am trying my best to get on the wall as much as possible. Even if it is for just 10 minutes after my normal workout. I am also trying new group fitness classes at my gym. You never know what you will like until you go out there and try it! Get out there and have fun! 

What are your go-to tips for getting back into shape?
Do you have any amazing fitness posts? I would love to read them. Share them in the comments!

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Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Fun New Things at Disney World!

Earlier this year, Joe and I went to Disney World to Run the 2014 Walt Disney World Marathon! I was a Disney World Passholder for 5 years so I figured it was just going to be a normal fun trip to disney. However, I noticed many new things. 

Magic Bands 

Joe and I stayed on property and I was really excited when our Magic Bands were delivered to our house. The box was really nice and the concept was neat. Magic Bands are given to all guest who stay on Disney property, their primary purpose is a way to get into your room. However, you can attached a credit card to the band which allows you the ability to purchase things through out the park. You can attach your ticket to your band. You can also use the bands for Fastpass+. Once you have made your reservations you can go online and set up your vacation. The website is really easy to use and has a ton of information. You can choose your favorite color and your band will be sent to you in that color with your name printed on the inside. The use of Magic Bands start the moment you arrive at Orlando International, so be sure to put them in your carry on. 

Over all the Magic Bands were great, they were not that bad to wear and easy to use. At times it was difficult to get the band to register, you really need to make sure the Mickey ears touch at the right spot. We did decide to attach our credit card to the band and all of the charges were correct. Although Magic Bands are in the test stage, I am sure we will continue to see them at the park. 

Fast Pass+

The Fast Pass is one of Disney's greatest inventions, if you plan your Fast Passes correctly you can spend almost no time at all waiting in lines. Fast Pass+ gives you the tools to plan correctly. You use the Diseny World website or an awesome app called "My Disney Experience" to plan your trip. You are allowed 3 Fast Pass+ passes in one day and your Magic Band to enter in a special Fast Pass+ line. The concept is amazing and I am sure once Disney figures out how to get all of the kinks worked out it will be awesome! But, there are currently kinks... You only can use your 3 passes at one park. For example, if you are spending half of your day at Magic Kingdom and half of your day at Epcot, you have to choose which park you want to use your passes at. Once you use 1 pass at a park you must use the rest at that park. You only get 3 passes a day, but if you have a hard ticket also, you can use both the Magic Band and your hard ticket to get regular Fast Passes. 

Interactive Games 

One last new thing that I wanted to share was Interactive games that were put into Magic Kingdom. There were 2 of them that we found. The first was called Sorcerers at it can be found at the fire station on Main Street. You are given a deck of playing cards, showed how to play the game,  and then handed a map of where all of the locations are.

To play the game you have to place your Key card against the card reader and a video will play. You have to watch the video carefully and then cast your "spell" in order to beat the villan.  Then the video will give you a clue to where you need to go next. The game takes you to a few locations through out the park. I was really impressed with the creative ways that the videos played. It is a good way to entertain small kids or good for someone who has been to the park many times and is looking for something new to do. 

The other game that we found was called A 
Pirate's Adventure. It can be found in Adventure Land just before you get to Frontier Land. Joe and I really liked this game. You are given a pirate map and have to go around and figure out the clues to go to the next spot. The animation for the clues were really good. I would recommend this game for people of all ages. There was no wait to play and only took 15-20 minutes to complete it! 

Joe and I had a such a fun time at Disney and I will be posting a Marathon Recap later this week! I will also be putting together a review of the new Fantasy Land at Magic Kingdom. 

When was the last time you went to Disney World?
Do you know of any fun new things at Disney World?

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Monday, February 17, 2014

Chocolate Covered Strawberries and a Dinner

Joe and I invited Mal and DLW over for Valentine's Day and my birthday! Between DLW's allergies to everything and Joe's pickiness, I decided that we would do a "Make Your Own Pizza Night"! This way, I wouldn't have to cook and it would be really easy to prepare (Like always, I waited really late to invite them over).  I must admit, I was a horrible blogger and didn't take very many pictures. 

The Drinks
Due to Mallory's very exciting news, I felt as though Shirley Temples where in order! They are a perfect go to non-alicohlic drink. 

What you need:
  • Sprite
  • Grenadine 
  • Cherries
  • Cute paper straws (not needed, but much more fun! 

The Pizza

DLW and Joe just watched as Mal and I tried our best to make the pizzas! It was a lot of fun and really easy to make. 

  • Pizza Dough - I bought mine from Safeway for only $1.50, it was in the cooler area. I know Pubix also sells the homemade dough. Mal also suggested the whole wheat Pillsbury Doughboy dough. 
  • Pizza Sauce - I bought a few small jars that I found near the spaghetti sauce.
  • Mozzarella Cheese
  • Toppings - I did pepperoni, bell pepper, and onion. 
Once the pizza has been put together we put them in the oven on 425 degrees for 15 minutes. 
Only photo that Joe took of us making pizza. 

The Dessert 

Mal brought some amazing mini cakes and I made some chocolate covered strawberries! I actually took a ton of photos of making the strawberries, because this was done before Mal and Dan came over. :)

Chocolate Covered Strawberries:
  • Strawberries 
  • Semi-Sweet Chocolate - I used Ghirardelli Chocolate
  • Small Pot
  • Microwave safe bowl 
I never realized how easy it was to make chocolate covered strawberries and I will be making some again in the future. 

1. Wash Strawberries
2. Bring water to a boil in a small pot
3. Place a microwaveable bowl on top of the small pot and add chocolate
4. Once the chocolate is melted dip the strawberries into the chocolate 
5. Place the chocolate covered strawberries on to parchment paper 
6. Let sit in the refrigerator for 30 minutes or until hard

It's always nice to have friends over and really nice when you don't have to prepare to much!

What is your go-to meal when inviting people over?
How was your Valentine's Day?

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Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Do What Makes You Happy

Last week, I had a rough week at work. I worked almost 50 hours in 4 days and little comments were said to me that were not needed or very professional. I was tired and overwhelmed. I left work Thursday morning thinking that I am no longer happy. As soon as the airport was out of my rearview mirror I was happy to be gone from work and ready to relax.

The days that followed I was getting little reminders that I need to "Do what makes me happy".  My best friend posted a quote on Instagram reminding me to "Do what makes you happy and be done with all the rest". While out shopping with Mal, I saw a pillow that said "Do what makes you happy". The people on the radio were even talking about "Doing what makes you happy". It was everywhere and I needed the reminders.
I am very blessed to be currently working in an industry that I love and truly do love doing what I do for living, however people that you work with, directly and indirectly, can really affect your happiness level. I sat there and thought about what I can do to be "happy". I thought about what makes me happy.

Here is a little bit of what I came up with:
Happiness is being loved by Joe and loving him back... Happiness is being with people I love and care about... Happiness is getting the opportunity to spend time with my family... Happiness is waking up in the morning and being truly thankful for what I have... Happiness is doing new things and doing things that I like... Happiness is going to the gym... Happiness is eating my favorite snack... Happiness is looking in the sky and seeing an airplane... Happiness is going for a hike.... Happiness is traveling to visit my friends that I haven't seen in awhile... Happiness is talking to those friends weekly and knowing the true meaning of friendship... Happiness is finishing a goal...

As I  sat there and thought about all of the joy and happiness in my life, I thanked God for giving me the ability to be happy with little things as well as the big. I thanked Him for the reminder to stay happy and content. Although it was a rough week, I made the rest of the week better. I have the power to turn a bad situation into a better one. I started this week with a smile on my face and will continue to remind myself about the things that make me happy.

What is makes you happy?

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Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Traveling to Iceland - Lava Tube and Blue Lagoon

Back in December, Joe and I went to Iceland! You can read about the first part of our trip here!

Day 2 brought an exciting adventure! We woke up bright (not so bright, the sun didn't rise until close to
10:30am) and early to meet our tour guide at our hotel. We were booked on a Lava Tube tour. Iceland is just a giant volcano with lots of lava tubes (kind of like a cave). I was really excited to get going to see what adventure awaited us. We drove for about an hour to a remote place that looked like it was out of a space movie. When we arrived we were given these awesome jail outfits. Bright orange jumpsuits, gloves and helmets. There was nothing but snow as far as I could see. We walked about a half of  a mile and found the entrance of the lava tube. Once at the entrance our guide told us that we would nee to have a leader to guide us through the lava tube. No one volunteered so I did. I was going to be the fearless leader that squeezed into very tight spots and make it through the cave. Our guide wanted or experience to be as authentic as possible, so he stayed back and only helped when I asked.
We all slide into the tiny opening in the snow down to the lava tube. Once our group was together I began to take lead and wander into the dark. Our head lamps gave us enough light to see right in front of us, but not enough to see ahead. It was fun and scary all at the same time!
I made it as far as I can go to the end of the lava tube. The guide let us all sit down and told us to turn off our head lamps. It became extremely dark. He told us old Icelandic tales of people who lived in caves and he also shared with us stories about christmas elves. After the short rest and story time, we headed back. There was still so much more of the lava tube to explore.

I finally found our way out of the lava tube and we headed back up to the cold snow. On the way back the guide had told me that I was one of the best leaders he has had. I was able to take my group through the lava tube with little guidance.

Fun facts about Lava Tubes:

  • They are formed from lava flowing though old lava
  • It was warmer in the tube then it was outside
  • There aren't any animals that live in them
Blue Lagoon
After the Lava Tubes we headed to the Blue Lagoon. I guess the Blue Lagoon is a tourist must if you are headed to Iceland. I had read many things on the internet talking about pros and cons of the lagoon, but we decided to go. If I was to plan my trip again, I would have went to the Blue Lagoon in the day time. It was far to dark to see the lagoon in its entirety. Other then that the lagoon was a good stop. We only stayed there for about 2 hours, Joe said it was too warm. It is pretty much a giant hot tub with minerals in the water. They also have a steam room, sauna, and face masks for you to enjoy.  Overall the Blue Lagoon was just ok, I would say a 3 out of 5. I was slightly disappointed. But, at least I can say that I did it, right?


Tell me about a tourist "must" that I should go to or one that I should avoid!

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