Some After Vacation Thoughts

There must be something in the air in California. When I go there I feel at home. It is where I want to be. I see myself living there long term. The main area we visited was Santa Barbara. I love the atmosphere, scenery, being near the ocean, all the bike lanes and the open-mindedness that the locals have. I still need to visit some other major cities and states before really deciding 100% where I'd like to stay long term. Heck, part of me dreams of moving overseas somewhere. For now though we are stuck in Wyoming. It was a bit depressing to come back home after being somewhere we didn't want to leave. Here are a few photos I took around Santa Barbara....

Palm Trees SB
I love the building that this Starbucks was in..
Open Air bikes
Bike shop in Santa Barbara
Open Air bikes

After visiting California and dreaming of living in a place like Santa Barbara, it left me feeling like I need to make some changes in my current life. One thing I realized was how stressful my job is and what silliness it is to put myself through it day after day. I'm not ready to throw in the towel yet. I'm hoping things will calm down and I can stay there the next few years. Things could be worse, but life is too short for nonsense! :) For now I try to put a smile on my face and carry on.

AfterlightBad Hair Day
Ponytail because of bad hair day. // After ponytail: Complete craziness!!

After being somewhere with high humidity and having a week full of bad hairs days, I'm sick of dying it. I miss having normal healthy hair. It's been probably ten years since I had "normal" natural hair. I just had my hair cut to "clean it up" a little bit. Also, my hair is apparently wavy when I let it dry on its on. I currently blow dry it and straighten it daily. Frankly it's gotten old and I'm ready to simplify my daily hair routine. Any advise on how to style wavy hair? Help! I am planning to dye my hair a darker blonde so that I can start letting it grow out. I will miss my platinum blonde, but it will simplify my life. That is exactly what I am seeking!

Open Air bikes

Back to my thoughts on Santa Barbara: I want to live there. How though? We actually straight out asked someone how they afford it. The response we got was, "Move here, then worry about it." The gentleman who told us this also said that he had to run up some credit card debt while he was out of work for a few months. Well since I don't believe in credit cards, that won't work for me. Moving to a place that has a very high cost of living may seem out of reach for us, but I believe if there is a will there is a way. I am perfectly happy with living in an RV, on a houseboat or renting a piece of land for a tiny house on a trailer to sit on! My new slogan is, "Mortgage free is the way to be."

Open Air bikesOpen Air bikes
Cute houseboat and tiny house I found for sale on tiny house listings.com!

On a positive note, Cody and I may be able to get out to California with the Air Force. We would be an hour from Santa Barbara, which would be affordable and better then being 1200 miles away from the ocean like we are now. If we are plan things out right and save money, I think our dream of living in California can and WILL come true.

What do you think of California?
I find people either love it or hate it.

I am currently working on getting all of my photos organized from our vacation. I will be sharing our whale watching experience, our trip to the Grand Canyon, cute photos of Muffins and Chloe at the beach and many other things. Stay tuned! You can view all my posts about California by clicking HERE.


Netflix Must See: Nature: Animal Odd Couples

At first I thought this movie was a bit cheesy. As I watched it though I found it very moving and inspiring. I always see photos online of animals that are a bit "odd" together. Yet I've never seen actually video footage of it. The film shares remarkable stories about animals that have built friendships outside their own species. It proves that animals do have emotions and do seek similar things that humans do, such as friendship, companionship and love.


The story in the film that made me shed some tears, was a story about a blind horse and an old goat. The goat somehow learned that the horse was blind and started leading the horse everywhere for 16 years. The goat would never leave his side. It was such a heart touching story.


There was also a cute story about a male lion and a female coyote that had been raised together at an animal sanctuary. Neither animal shows any signs of knowing they are different. They live and play together daily as if it's "normal".


This movie left me feeling like there is hope in the world for peace. If animals that are natural born predictors can be raised together and live peacefully, people should be able to do the same. We as a species could learn so much from wildlife if we would just learn to pay attention. The main lesson that we could learn is compassion.

If you don't have Netflix it's okay, here is the full episode....

This is a scheduled post while I am on vacation in California! Be back soon! :)


At The Moment

Biking w/Scott

This is a photo of us from last month. We haven't been riding our bikes as much this month because of my new work schedule. It's been kinda of a bummer, but at the same time nice to take a break from the long rides. I rode 220 miles on my bike last month and only 85 miles this month. Honestly, I'm just tired. hahaha

Biking w/Scott
I took this funny picture with my friend Scott when he visited in June. (This proves how light my bike is.)

This is how Chloe plays cards. Apparently she thinks standing on the table is part of the game.


Groceries for our vacation. Yes, a vacation. A much needed one I must add. Cody and I are heading out to California. I will be absent (even more) from the blog next week. When I get back though I will have many things to share! I am excited to have things I WANT to blog about when I return. :)

IMG_8697Earlier this year I thought these were weeds. I'm so glad I didn't pull them!

This has to be my favorite picture I've taken so far this month.
Simon always looks so pretty in all the photos I take of him.

Thanks to all of you who are still dropping in and saying hello. It means a lot to me considering that I feel like I've fallen out of the blogosphere. I'm behind on emails, posting and especially reading other blogs. My bloglovin app hasn't been working on my phone either. I miss blogging sometimes but it just doesn't fit into my life as well as it used to. Again, thanks. I look forward to sharing my vacation photos and adventures with you!


My Dream Of Traveling The World

I grew up in a very tiny town with very few people in it. There probably was more cows then people now that I think about it. As I got older I became fascinated with big cities. Places like New York, San Francisco and Chicago. Something about the tall skyscrapers and bright shiny lights really appealed to me. I still haven't had the chance to live in a big city. I wish I would of moved to Cincinnati when I had the chance. Lived in Ohio most of my life and didn't even explore the city while I was there, bummer!


Once I got away from Ohio and started to see more areas of the United States I was bitten by the travel bug. I now have a dream of traveling the world. I'm just a small town girl who wants to see it all. A fulfilling life for me, would be exploring as much of this beautiful planet as I can. There is nothing more that I want out of life then to see historical places and the natural wonders of the world.

IMG_3241Somewhere in Arizona on my cross country drive in 2011

Jen from Red Parka Dairies wrote a really cool post about "Impossible Things" she wanted to accomplish in her life. When I read it I knew my only true dream in life was to travel. Honestly though I didn't think it was ever going to be possible. I always say that you can do anything that your heart desires, but the dream of traveling requires lots of dollar signs. I didn't see myself ever having enough money to travel the world.

Then I stumbled across the whole tiny house movement. (Read my post HERE.) The lightbulb went off over my head!!! If I could build my own home, live debt free/mortgage free, save money and live a simple life, I could spend my money and time traveling. YES PLEASE! I can't explain the happiness I have been feeling since discovering tiny houses. For the first time in my life I felt like my dream was achievable. THAT'S A BIG DEAL! So where will I go?

e8fa38e01917c49ed72f297827e2997bVenice and Rome, Italy

I have to admit, I'm not a history buff. Growing up I hated history and really anything that had to do with learning. As I've gotten older I have become very interested in learning about other countries and cultures. Italy to me is just simply gorgeous. I would love to see all the buildings and take in the sites. I think this will be our first overseas vacation. Now I just have to start saving money for it.

I mentioned a few posts back that I got a promotion at work. I am now full time which means more money. I was scared to go full time, but I decided there are way too many awesome things I want to do in the future to not be making the extra cash while I can. I may not have a high paying job but I know how to save money. For the first time in our lives we are saving money and not wasting it. Saving money to build a tiny house and travel the world is a dream come true for me.

Needless to say there aren't many places in this world that I don't want to visit.
I figured I would spare you the long list and just share Italy for now. hahaha
What do you dream of doing in your life?


Kitchen Remodel Update

It has been a long time since I posted anything about our kitchen remodel. It's been a slow and painful process since we would rather be outside biking then cooped up inside working on our house. We started the kitchen remodel in mid-April. The kitchen has been painted gray and the cabinets have been painted white. Let's take a look...

Our Kitchen BEFOREAnd currently.....
Kitchen Progress

I honestly didn't even recognize the old kitchen. When I looked at the old photo, I had forgotten how ugly it was. The painting took us forever. It was hard to stay on task and motivated. We did two coats of primer and three coats of Benjamin Moore Advance paint. The paint is pretty awesome. It has a super high gloss finish.

Kitchen Progress

I really love our little chrome knobs. They were less then a dollar each because they were on clearance at Lowes. It's so nice having doors on my cabinets finally!!! I was sick of my house looking like this...

Kitchen Progressand all the doors taking over my living room...Kitchen Progress

I'm glad to have my house back now. Things are put away where they should be again. The next projects will be installing new windows and counter-tops. After that we will put up our back-splash! I need to spray paint our light fixture that is hanging over the dining room table also. I have plans for a fun painting as well. We are kinda of putting off the rest of the work till the fall. We are too busy cycling right now to worry about remodeling projects. We figure it's better to do that stuff in the winter months when you are forced to be inside.

Our Kitchen BEFORENow...Kitchen Progress
Kitchen Progress

So what do you think? I can't wait to get everything else done.
It's going to be so pretty! Have you or would you paint your kitchen cabinets?

You can see more before photos of the kitchen HERE.


Hiking at Curt Gowdy

Hike at Gowdy 6.23.13

Here is another photo dump of a beautiful hike we did last weekend. When friends visit us we love taking them to the local parks. They can get a real feel for the natural beauty Wyoming has to offer. When I am hiking I forget about how much I don't like living in the near by city. It's such a wonderful feeling. It really helps me to put things into perceptive.

Hike at Gowdy 6.23.13Hike at Gowdy 6.23.13
Hike at Gowdy 6.23.13Hiking at GowdyHike at Gowdy 6.23.13
Look at this little cutie! I was so excited that he stood still for a photo.
Hike at Gowdy 6.23.13
Hike at Gowdy 6.23.13
I enjoy hugging trees.
Hike at Gowdy 6.23.13
Hike at Gowdy 6.23.13
All my friends are dudes.
Hike at Gowdy 6.23.13
Hiking at Gowdy
Hike at Gowdy 6.23.13
Hike at Gowdy 6.23.13
Hiking at Gowdy
I want one!!!!!
Hiking at Gowdy
Hike at Gowdy 6.23.13

Do you have a favorite park? I'd love to hear about it.
I may travel there someday, so please do tell.

Learn about Curt Gowdy State park HERE.
See more posts like this one HERE.


Living Green // Around My House

Living Green

Awhile back I shared a post about things I do to be more environmentally friendly in my daily life. I thought I would share some photos of things around my house that are part of my "green" lifestyle. I love sharing my ideas and hearing new ones from you as well. I am always looking for new ways to go green.


This is a pretty common one, I know. I remember when the CFL bulbs first came out and how expensive they were. No one wanted to buy them due to the cost. Our last house had so much lighting in it, that when we got our first utility bill we about had a heart attack. That is when we realized that we better consider the energy saving bulbs. It made a huge difference in our electrical bill cost. Also, I still have light bulbs that I used in the house back from 2007. The cost of the bulbs is totally worth it in the end. They aren't a just a gimmick.

Living Green
I've talked about this a few times on my blog. Reusable bags have come a long way. There are so many out there now and they come in a million different sizes to fit any shopping need. Plastic takes over 100 years to biodegrade in a landfill. Plastic bags are polluting our planet big time and wasting our non-renewal resources. All for a silly bag that is used for a short period of time. I love my reusable grocery bags. They are strong and durable. We also reuse the plastic produce bags week after week.

Think about how many people you see daily holding a Starbucks paper cup? Even my tiny town has four Starbucks in it. I use this coffee mug when I go to work everyday and also when I treat myself to a cup of coffee while out running around. Starbucks will give you a discount on your drink if you bring your own cup. They also give you a free cup of coffee if you return a empty Starbucks coffee bag. They take them back so that they can recycle them.

Living GreenLiving GreenThe bowl I use for my pets water bowl.

Buy secondhand and vintage items to use in your home. Even if they are being used as decoration. You are keeping things from ending up in landfills and new things from being mass produced. I love owning vintage items because to me they are a part of history. Sounds a bit cheesy I guess, but I tend to love things from the mid-century modern period. Also it's very rewarding to donate things that you don't currently use to your local thrift stores.

Living Green
We have instant "canisters" for our spices by saving all our peanut butter jars. It's nice because they are all uniform looking as if we store bought them. Someday I hope to get some nice labels for them. For now I just write what the spice is on top of the lid. Why go out and buy a bunch of jars when you already paid for them when you purchased a food product?

Living Green
This is another product that has come a long way. You can get many different types and sizes of bottles. They also have them with built in filters to give you that bottled water taste. I love my Camelbak bottle because I can easily carry it around just using only one finger.
Living Green
Since almost everything we use is recyclable we now use our old trash can just for recycling. Once it is full we dump it in our large recycling trash can outside. It's so nice not to be throwing out a full trash bag of garbage daily. We now have a tiny trash can for the trash that we can't recycle.
Living Green

What do you do with all the plastic films and bags that products are sold in? In our kitchen we have a cabinet where we store all of this. Once we get a lot of it we take it to a recycling area. Our city doesn't pick up bags with the other recycling. This plastic is things like plastic that is as packaging around products, bread bags, bags that grapes come in, things that just can't be avoided when purchasing things at the store. The main large bag holding all the bags is a bag that was used to cover a pillow I purchased. It's hard to avoid getting all this plastic in our homes. It's used for everything.

Living Green

I framed some old maps that were in my cars glove box. They also have special meaning to me because I picked them up during a cross country road trip. They are of Phoenix Arizona and L.A. California. It's nice to be creative using things you already own instead of going out and buying new stuff.


I've gotten really good about buying vintage furniture verses new stuff. Honestly as much as I move around, I need the old sturdy furniture. That's what I love about mid-century modern things. Its durable and lasts forever.

Living Green

Since we recycle most of our trash we can get away with using smaller garbage bags now. These bags are actually less then $2.00 and we only use one a week. It works out really well for us and I'm keeping a lot of plastic trash bags out of the landfill. It feels good to make a difference. :)

Living Green

We used to use paper every week to write out our grocery lists and meal plans. We bought a dry erase board for our fridge to eliminate that. I now type out my list on my cell phone. I find that I don't forget things at the store anymore since doing this. Once the list is completely cleared off on the phone I know I got everything. It's helped me out a lot. I always would forget something when I used my handwritten lists.

Living Green

We all know that websites like Pinterest are flooded with ideas for making your own household products. I do make my own cleaner that I use mainly in my kitchen. It's pretty much half vinegar and half water with some scented oil added. I also make my own laundry detergent. Which seems to last forever and has worked out really well for us. I sure don't miss buying it! :)

This is just some of the things that I do in my daily life that I feel are making a difference.
I would love to hear some of your ideas as well. I've also just learned to not buy things that I don't need.
Here are some links to other posts I have done related to this topic:

Ways I have Gone Green
Bag It in a Reusable Bag Please!
Be Green at Starbucks
Netflix Must See: BAG IT
Why I Recycle & Hope You Will 2