thinking out loud

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If you told me a year ago where I would be now and what I would experience, I wouldn’t believe a single bit. My adventures abroad have opened new doors, giving me the opportunity to learn and grow as I go along. Now I know your eyes have already glazed over because, who doesn’t say that studying abroad or traveling to another country is life changing? I know I’m not different, however, everyone’s experience is special to him/her in some sort of way. That’s why, I hope that by sharing my adventures with you, you will be inspired to challenge yourself and dig deep to the root of who you really are.

I’ve gained a lot of clarity on this trip. Made new friends, strengthened old relationships, and learned to let go of what doesn’t serve me. It’s been a challenge (and believe me, those who I have complained to are fully aware), but despite my somewhat failed efforts to let everything go, I can say that I am learning to see the silver lining in most situations. If I were to take anything away from this experience, it would be that I have the most incredible support system and I am even more grateful than I was before to have such amazing people to be there for me.

My experience has served me in the best way possible. I am ultimately happy with the person I have become, and look forward to the future that I can make for myself. I can’t wait to keep traveling, learning, and growing to the point where my passion becomes my career. The American mentality is a tough pill to swallow–graduate, get a job, and that’s it for the rest of your youth. How will you know what you really want, when all you’ve been doing is following a path that most people take? If you have the opportunity, even if it’s for a month, travel! There’s so much to learn about yourself and others when you take yourself out of your comfort zone, and if anything it will give you the confidence to go in the direction of your dreams.

x


still on vacation

wow–long overdue post is needed from my trip to bali, byron, and everything in between! Bali was incredible, I would do anything to go back again someday! Here’s a rundown of where we stayed, what we ate, beached, and adventured on our 9 day trip x

Seminyak: hands down my favorite part of the trip. Seminyak is super busy, with tons of fun shopping and amazing food. We had so much fun roaming the streets popping into boutiques and checking out other local venues.

stay: Sahana Villas– we had the most incredible stay at the Sahana Villas! when we walked into our three bedroom private villa it was like walking into a Pinterest pin. the staff was incredible, always available and became family in just three days. the owners were also incredible hospitable, friendly, and made every minute of our trip enjoyable–we even went back to see everyone again on the day we left Bali!   IMG_2274 IMG_1863 eat: MAMA San– AMAZING! the food is fresh and flavorful and the drinks are incredible. we went back on our last night before flying back to Sydney. definitely get the crispy pork, chow mien noodles and the fish cakes. you won’t be disappointed.

Sea Circus– a must. try the salt & pepper calimari and fish tacos. and since you’re on vacation, try a pitcher of the guava margarita–yum! IMG_2267 La Lucciola– the most fresh, delicious Italian food paired with an incredible view of the ocean. carbs AND the beach? heaven! IMG_1940 Cafe Bali-we went on our first night and it was great. great variety of fish plates, pad thai, etc.! Earth Cafe-great lunch spot. plenty of healthy options and some amazing raw/vegan desserts–less guilt!

drink: Potato HeadKU DE TA IMG_2309 Ubud: after all the hustle and bustle in Seminyak, Ubud was a nice, quiet escape in the jungle. we had so much fun visiting the monkey forest, practiced yoga at Yoga Barn, the Batuan temple, rice terraces, and relaxed!

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stay: Five Elements-just outside town, off the beaten path, lies the most incredible, spiritual and serene retreat. we loved our cabana overlooking the water (with an outdoor tub and shower!). the raw/vegan cuisine was exceptional, as well as the spa services. i tried an energy massage and soaked in a coconut milk bath while looking at the moon rise over the water–is this real life?? IMG_2052IMG_2054 eat:  The Yoga Barn cafe: the perfect pairing after a challenging vinyasa class. there was a wide selection of vegan dishes and sweet desserts. be sure to grab the coconut “bacon” at the checkout–it was out of this world!

Viceroy– on our way to Padang Padang, we stopped for lunch at the Viceroy. woah! it was incredible. the food was super fresh and delicious, paired with a ping pong cocktail! the most incredible part was the view overlooking the forest. if it’s in your budget, i would definitely stay in a villa at the Viceroy. the architecture and landscape are breathtaking, and the service is wonderful. IMG_2065IMG_2070 Jimbaran/Uluwatu: stay: The Rimba at The Ayana– The Rimba was a great place for the ‘resort’ experience. truth be told, we didn’t spend too much time there. don’t get me wrong the resort was amazing, but we were in ‘villa’ mode and wanted to go see the quieter surf beaches. the perks of staying at either one of the hotels here is priority access to Rock Bar, which is definitely a must go! we watched the most breathtaking sunset while sipping on some drinks…i will never forget how beautiful that was!

IMG_2107IMG_2586 eat: since we spent most of our time in Uluwatu, here’s some of our favorite places!

Buddha Soul– hands down, the best breakfast of our entire trip–we went both mornings (and for lunch too!) fresh juices, coffee, and the best omelet. lunch was just as great, laurie had an incredible coconut curry and we had a hand rolled sushi as well. you can’t go wrong with anything on the menu.

Single Fin– we enjoyed a wonderful lunch and sipped wine while overlooking the beautiful Indian Ocean for lunch and for the sunset. it was fun watching the surfers paddle out in the beautiful water. we spent the entire day there!

escape: Suluban Beach- after lunch at Single Fin, we ventured down through the rocks onto this little hidden getaway. it was a fun spot to watch surfers trek out and catch fun waves!we watched the beginning of the sunset from the beach and ended it up top (back at Single Fin) with Sangria and some yummy appetizers! IMG_2160IMG_2138 Padang Padang Beach-the perfect end to a wonderful trip (before going back to Seminyak!) we went for two days in a row, venturing past the beach-goers and vendors over to our own little private hideaway in the rocks. definitely check it out. you won’t be disappointed! IMG_2234


simple summer look

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During the summer, my makeup drawer is usually collecting dust. It’s such a hassle to put on makeup that I usually end up just showing my sunburnt face in public without a care in the world. In an attempt to clean up my look, the first thing I go for is a simple shimmery eyeshadow. I’m currently loving the Bobbi Brown Surf and Sand eyeshadow palette–it’s every beautiful neutral color in a fun case! It’s a great touch for the natural makeup look if you’re looking for something subtle. 

Happy weekend everyone! : ) 


rainy days

South Florida summers mean beautiful, sunny mornings for the early birds followed by dark rolling clouds by noon. The clear blue skies are engulfed by the rumbling thunder and lighting in just moments. I personally love this weather–it makes me wake up early and enjoy the day, then feel at ease snuggling up in the afternoon.

What better than to snuggle up with this cutie too?

IMG_0135I recently sent his paw print to this etsy shop called Cherished Sentiments, where she had it made onto a gold-fill pendant. Joanne was extremely nice and the item was shipped within a week. I love my new addition to my necklace collection, and now have Tucker’s paw print close to my heart : )

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independence

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Happy Fourth of July everyone! I hope you all enjoy the holiday with your friends and family. I am so grateful to those who serve for our country, and for my amazing family and friends surrounding me today.

Today, we are having a family barbecue with our close friends–hot dogs, cheeseburgers, the whole deal! I’ll be making a vegan strawberry shortcake with Clara. New post coming soon (if it turns out yummy!)


wish you were here

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I can’t believe how quickly summer is going by! I’ve been so wrapped up in my routine that I’ve hardly kept up with my blog. I can’t believe that I’m leaving in 2 weeks for Australia! It’s going to be the experience of a lifetime, and I can’t wait to see what’s in store for me. I’ll be sure to keep you all posted a lot more than I have been the past few months : )

Here’s a few shots I’ve captured this summer. I lucked out with this awesome South Florida weather! Happy Monday everyone!  


the little things

As we go through our days, the cycle of nature remains unstopped. The sun rises, the sun sets–the moon fills, the moon empties–the flowers bud, the flowers bloom. It’s a constant routine that is easily overlooked. I woke up to see the sunrise with a friend of mine the other day and was greeted with the most beautiful painted sky that can’t be bought. I find the little things to hold so much more than just an everyday occurrence.

It’s the little things that bring true joy to many people. For me, I felt present, grateful, and content while watching the sun rise over the ocean. The sun rises and lights a beautiful, endless path on the water that leads to the unknown. My future can only be planned so much, but what’s most important lies in fate. I believe in my ability to help myself before I can help others. I want to share my journey in order to inspire others.

I encourage you to stop for a few seconds when you’re outside, or meditate while imagining you are in a beautiful place, and really listen to the sounds of nature. You will be surprised at what thoughts may link to your observations. It’s the little things, like the cycles of nature, that can answer so many questions you may have, or problems you may hold on to. ImageImageImage