A little Minnesota for this #ForestFriday

I’ve got Minnesota on my brain. I have a lot of things on my brain, but Minnesota is sticking out. I’m returning to the land in the Great North mi- August to go to the cabin off the grid and check out of society for a while. My friend’s cabin is one of my favorite places to be because it makes me slow down and take in every minute of daylight. There’s always some work to do, always a trip to the Boundary Waters, and usually a lot of beer and cards by lantern into the night. Northern Minnesota is truly dark at night, silent in terms of the modern world for the most part, and completely refreshing.

Here are some photos from over the past 15 years of visits to the cabin for your viewing pleasure.

#WayBackWednesday - My Heart Will Go On

I know, I know… What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas. Pfffft… unless it’s funny. In May of 2013, my dear friend Ashley and I set out to meet in Vegas. I had moved to Texas in 2011, and she was still up in Michigan, so this was a fun way to hang out somewhere new! So, we planned it out - the hotels, the activities, and the adventures. My best bud Kevin was coming as a surprise, and surprising Ashley is nearly impossible. Seriously, this girl can figure anything out! Anyway, Kevin and I boarded our Southwest flights from Dallas Love Field and were headed to Las Vegas. We landed and headed to baggage. Ashley had landed before us and told me to meet her there. I gave it away in a text, but she was surprised nonetheless. Mission accomplished. Story over! JUST KIDDING. Enjoy some photos! These events are not in any order, so don’t try to piece it together. Also, this is probably one of my all-time-favorite trips simply because of how ridiculous things got - with the surprise, the drunken nights by the fountains, and our adventurous hotels. I know Vegas isn’t for everyone, but I sure do enjoy the flashy absurdity every now and then.

We had street beers…

I took the “princess” koozie and we just recently lost it or it melted, not sure. Good stuff.

I took the “princess” koozie and we just recently lost it or it melted, not sure. Good stuff.

The spring gardens somewhere, I think the Bellagio?

The spring gardens somewhere, I think the Bellagio?

We did a lot of random shit the first day, which made us “sleepy”

We “fell asleep” instead of going to see Mystere, oops… I think Ashley went and actually fell asleep at the show, but I can’t be 100% sure because I was passed out on the far bed in this photo.


Kevin flew home, after changing his flight to a day later so we could have more day drinks…

Kevin, Ash, and I getting prickly pear margaritas as Kevin delayed his flight another day. Gotta love Southwest for that feature!

Kevin, Ash, and I getting prickly pear margaritas as Kevin delayed his flight another day. Gotta love Southwest for that feature!

Ashley and I drove to the Hoover Dam, then on to the Grand Canyon. NEAT. (may have also stopped at Lake Mead)


We did Vegas things at night…


We watched the Bellagio fountains A LOT… Usually with some alcohol. We sang along, we laughed, we made fun of people, we had so much fun.


We went up in the fake Eiffel Tower and saw the fountains at the Bellagio again.


The best part was how many times we heard “My Heart Will Go On” at the fountains - including when we were up in the fake Eiffel Tower.

We stayed at Circus Circus, after two fabulous nights at Treasure Island. This was Circus Circus pre-renovation, so it was SHITTY.

We stayed at Golden Nugget, also, and went down the water slide in the shark tank! We did the Fremont Street stuff too, and enjoyed more drinks of course.


We had all-you-can-eat-and-drink brunch AND got to-go mimosas for our adventures.

We saw other, prettier things in Vegas, and had drinks.

#MondayMotivation - Going Forward

I’ve been on a quest to improve my overall health.  I’m eating less crap, moving more, and exploring my thoughts more thoroughly.  It’s been a great move, as I am feeling better and more motivated than ever in all aspects of life.  I’m using my newfound motivation to strengthen my financial health now too. I have been terrible about money management and have tried and failed with budgets and living within my means.  I’ve overextended myself and that stresses me out, which leads to overeating and laziness. So, since I’m trying to be more active and trying to be better, I’m going to work on managing my money in better ways.  I’m going to start with a simple budget and move on to more complicated things like actual long-term saving, home ownership, and investing. Financial health will mean I’m going to have to get creative with my travel and really prioritize places and people for the year.

Disclaimer: 1) I prefer car travel any day of the week. Flying can be the worst if you’re not frequent enough to have all the perks, so let me just say that my Outback is my number one. I’m not here to shit on flying, because most of the time it is fine, but… the scenic route and stuff. 2) I love camping more than hotels, but again, when flying to a destination camping is sometimes out of the question with time and planning. 3) I already utilize my Texas State Parks pass monthly, but I want to explore those trails I’ve not hiked and parks that have been on my list for a while. I’m also going to use the hell out of my Annual Pass and visit those NPS sites in Texas this year that I’ve been casually learning about too.

What are some things you’re changing on the fly this year? What is motivating those changes?