Top 3 Places to Drink Wine in LA

Top 3 Places to Drink Wine in LA

One thing I miss about Los Angeles, is that you have access to so many amazing things- music, wine, outdoor activities, etc. An activity my friends and I all agree upon is wine tasting. We don’t just like to order wine at restaurants, we like going to wineries and learning about different ones. Going to try a new winery has become a fun, occasional activity with my friends, so I’ve tried a few. Here are my top 3 places to drink wine in LA: Rosenthal Winery, Malibu Wines, Malibu Wine Safari.

Rosenthal Winery

Rosenthal Winery is located in Malibu on the Pacific Coast Highway. From the road, you think it is a small shop that sells wine and snacks , but that assumption is wrong. When you walk towards the shop you pass a set-up of a huge wine bottle and beach chairs facing the ocean- this is a perfect picture spot.  In the shop area you can just buy wine or you can taste wine and then buy it. Since I’ve always gone to Rosenthal Winery with different friends, we end up doing a wine tasting and then buying a bottle to drink in the back. The outdoor area is very cute and casual, which is a fun atmosphere to casually talk and drink with friends. The wine is affordable, ranging from $44.50 to $95 and parking is cheap for the area too.

  • Outside Rosenthal Winery
  • Rosenthal Winery Rose
  • White wine at Rosenthal Winery
  • Friends and I outside Rosenthal Winery

Malibu Wines

Malibu Wines is located in the mountains in Malibu and it is a large property. There are shuttles that go from a parking lot to the actual area where you can picnic and drink wine. The wine is affordable, ranging from $29 to $95. Plus it is a fun place to hang out with friends for a few hours. It is best if you get there early, so you can get a spot in the shade- it gets hot in the sun! Also, make sure to bring a blanket or something to sit on, so you’re not on the grass. Sitting and casually drink wine with friends is the perfect way to spend a day. If you love Malibu Wines and don’t live in LA, they have a Wine Club. You can join for $85 and get free shipping on all other orders.

  • Malibu Wines
  • Atmosphere at Malibu Wines

Malibu Wine Safaris

Malibu wine Safaris is owned by the same people who own Malibu Wines. Malibu Wine Safaris allows groups to get a tour of the property where the wine is made. During the wine safari you get to try six different wines. The reason it is called a safari is because you ride around the property in an open-air car and you get to feed the different animals. This is my favorite part (I LOVE ANIMALS). I love all of the wines that I tried on the safari, which is rare because red wine is not my favorite. The views from different are stunning, and I highly recommend this as an experience to do in Los Angeles.

  • Malibu Wine Safari
  • Views from Malibu Wine Safari
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Even though I don’t live in LA anymore, when I visit, I still go back to these wineries! It truly is the best way to spend a nice day in LA.

My Top 10 Favorite Podcasts

My Top 10 Favorite Podcasts

I love learning and podcasts are one of my favorite ways to educate myself and grow. I love how accessible they are and that you can multitask while listening to them. There’s such a variety in topics and goals of podcasts. These are my 10 favorite podcasts:

Girlboss Radio

This is probably one of my favorite podcasts. It is hosted by Sophia Amoruso, founder of Nasty Gal and Girlboss Media, and she interviews different successful career women. Each woman has had an interesting career and has created success in her way. After each episode, I feel energized to master something new or explore a new hobby.  The part that I truly love about this podcast is that with every guest, Sophia asks them what their Girlboss moment of the week was. I love hearing all of the different answers and it just shows how everyone views success in different ways.

Lady Lovin’

I have been a fan of the Lady Lovin’ Podcast since it started. It is hosted by Jilly Hendrix, Lo Bosworth, and Gretta Titelman and it is possibly one of the most hilarious and relatable podcasts I have ever listened to. They always interview interesting people who are doing amazing things, which is inspiring. After every episode, I always think about what I want to do next or how I can improve- for me this is a type of motivation. I also have probably supported every author that’s come on the podcast, I probably have a stack of at least 15 books. Sometimes they talk about topics that are so relevant and I love listening to their advice; it feels like you’re getting advice from older siblings. If you need a good laugh and want to get inspired, then this is the podcast for you. While this podcast is on hiatus, I enjoy relistening to episodes.

The Luscious Hustle Podcast

This is an awesome podcast for anyone interested in entrepreneurship. The podcast is hosted by Betsy Milne and Laura Milne, and they bring a unique perspective to entrepreneurship. They focus on designing the life you want and how to harness different types of energy to thrive in your entrepreneurial endeavor. They interview amazing entrepreneurs, and I love learning from them. After each episode, I always have a list of things to do or think about, and I’m just starting my side hustle!

Almost 30 Podcast

This is a phenomenal podcast for anyone interested in health, wellness, entrepreneurship, relationships, and more! It is hosted by Krista Williams and Lindsey Simcik, and they are HILARIOUS! They have very honest and relevant conversations in each episode, and I love it. All of the topics they discuss are relevant to anyone, so don’t be afraid of the title. No matter what the topic of the episode is, I’m always motivated to improve or try something new. Another cool thing about this podcast is that they are traveling to different cities around the world to host events and engage with listeners. When I lived in LA, I was fortunate enough to attend a few of the events, and they are AMAZING. I can’t wait to see them when they come to Chicago this September! There’s a great energy in the room and there’s nothing better than meeting like-minded people.

Straight Up with Stassi

This is my newest obsession. I’ve always enjoyed Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, and I recently started watching Vanderpump Rules. Once I learned that Stassi, had a podcast, I had to start from the beginning. I loved listening to the podcast while catching up on the show. I learned more about the show and got to learn from the different guests Stassi has on. She’s hilarious, real and fun. I love listening to the podcast while working or when I just need a break.

Your Biggest Vision

This is a special podcast for me. I have worked with the Leah Gervais for about a year. I’ve found her to be so knowledgeable, inspirational and a great teacher. I’ve done a few programs from her, and she’s the reason I finally figured out what my side hustle should be. When I heard she was coming out with a podcast, I was ecstatic. Leah interviews people I’ve done courses with and other inspirational entrepreneurs. By listening, you will learn from the experts and take pieces of wisdom away.

I Love Wellness with Lo Bosworth

This is Lo Bosworth’s new podcast and I LOVE IT! While there have only been five episodes, I love learning more about wellness. Everyone has a different definition of wellness and this show examines that. I’ve been on my wellness journey and exploring what my definition is, is fascinating.

Influencer Podcast

Want to learn how to be an influencer? Julie Solomon is an expert. She is an incredibly knowledgeable branding and marketing expert-, especially for influencers. She knows about blogging, social media and obviously, podcasting. Julie shares her knowledge and interviews some of the most well-known influencers and entrepreneurs.

Lauren Conrad: Asking for a Friend

I have been waiting for this to happen for years! Seriously, I was so excited when I heard that Lauren Conrad would be hosting a podcast. I’ve loved listening to all of the interviews and learning from her guests. She talks about everything from how to start a non-profit, which she’s done, to how to plan a party.

Live Your F*ck Yes Life Podcast

Wanna learn about wellness, health, entrepreneurship and how to just be a badass? Amanda will show you the way. Amanda has been on quite a journey and I’m impressed with her vulnerability and drive to live a f*ck yes life. Amanda lives in Chicago too and hosts some awesome workshops with local health and wellness experts. I’ve loved learning and growing from her.

These are my 10 favorite podcasts and I love learning from them. I hope that you enjoy learning from these awesome entrepreneurs too.

Do you have a favorite podcast? I wanna know what it is- comment below with it!

Chef Time #5: Four Smoothie Bowl Recipes

Chef Time #5: Four Smoothie Bowl Recipes

In this Chef Time post, I tell you about four different smoothie bowl recipes I made. Recently, I’ve been inspired by all of the smoothie bowls I’ve been seeing online and in restaurants. I love how healthy they are (obviously depending on what you put in them) and how pretty they can look depending on what toppings you use.

None of these recipes have exact measurements- you get to decide how much you want to put in! The Dragon Fruit has a pretty strong flavor, so it will cover up any veggies you try to sneak in 🙂

Here are the four recipes I created:

Recipe #1

This is my favorite smoothie bowl recipe- I think it had the best base in terms of taste and consistency. For the base, I used: 1 Dragon Fruit pouch, some almond milk, 1 Avocado and some mixed frozen berries. You can’t taste the Avocado, but it makes the bowl nice a creamy. For the toppings, I used: a spoonful of almond butter, chia seeds, fresh strawberries and granola.

Recipe #2

In this smoothie bowl, I mixed: 1 Dragon Fruit pouch, some almond milk, 2 frozen bananas, some frozen raspberries and some frozen mango chunks. The base came out too soupy, so if you use almond milk or something similar, make sure to watch for this. The toppings I used were granola and chia seeds.

Recipe #3

In this smoothie bowl recipe, I used: 1 Dragon Fruit pouch, 1 frozen banana, some riced cauliflower from Trader Joe’s, some frozen raspberries, some frozen mango chunks, and some almond milk. I promise that you can’t taste the cauliflower; I put it in to provide some additional nutrients. For the toppings, I used chia seeds, granola and almond butter- I love how the almond butter accidentally came out looking like a flower!

Recipe #4

In this recipe, the bowl ingredients are: 1 Dragon Fruit pouch, 1 frozen banana, some frozen mango chunks, some frozen raspberries, and 3 strawberry yogurts. The toppings are chia seeds and granola (I like Udi’s granola!). I used yogurt to give the bowl a creamier texture, I don’t like it when the base gets too soupy.

I hope that these recipes inspire you to make smoothie bowls at home. If you do make them, tag me in the pictures on Instagram @thecrosscountrymillennial- I would love to see them! Also, a great spot to look for the dry goods (granola and chia seeds) used in these recipes is Thrive Market – I’m obsessed with the prices. If you use this link, you’ll get 25% off your first order (this post is not sponsored, I just love Thrive Market). Bon appetite!

2019 Goals

2019 Goals

In the past few days, I’ve done a lot of reflecting on the year, and I realized I never had goals for 2018- this might be why the year felt so weird. I moved across the country, started a new job, lived with my parents for a while (thank you guys), moved into an apartment and made new friends. 2018 was truly a year of transition and I was so lucky to be able to surround myself with great friends, family and an amazing life coach- THANK YOU MISTI!

So cheers to 2019. May it be a year that’s calmer and full of growth. Here are my goals for 2019:

  1. Be healthy and happy. This is an interesting one because I’m dealing with another injury. I can’t really exercise to my fullest extent and I’m starting PT again as a way to hopefully prevent needing surgery. So, I’m going to work on eating healthier, cooking more and taking care of my mental health.

2. Read more. A year or so ago I accidentally ordered about 15 books off Amazon, and I still haven’t read them. It is such a waste to have a stack of great books and not read them, so I’m going to try to read at least one book a month. This way I get to enjoy my books and learn new things.

3. Travel more. I did some traveling in 2018, but I didn’t cross any new states off my list. For my 28th birthday, I’m going to New Orleans, making Louisiana the 40th state I’ve been to. I’m hoping to plan more trips, so I can accomplish my goal of going to all 50 states by the time I turn 30.

4. Get my finances in order. This is still a continuous process and I’m still working on figuring out the best way to do things.

5. Learn to say no. I say yes to wayyyy too many things, and then I get overwhelmed by everything I’ve committed to. Some of the things I might not actually want to do, but I feel obligated to do.

6. Do more good. As a social worker, I picked a career to do good in the world. I need to get back to my roots and volunteer more and contribute positively to society.

7. Be more consistent on my blog. I have a lot of posts that have been drafted for a while, but I never finished them. I need to work on finishing my posts and be current with everything.

8. Do more creative projects. I have a lot of ideas about different projects to work on and I need to explore them more and see what happens. I want to try new things and express myself in new ways.

I’ll keep everyone updated with how working on my goals for the year goes. I hope that everyone has a great year!

Comment below with your goals for 2019!

Life Update

Life Update

Sooo I realize that I owe all of you a life update, and I know it’s definitely overdue. If you follow me on Instagram, which you should, you might have noticed that I moved from Los Angeles back to Chicago. I got a new job, which I love, and I’m having a great time exploring a city that I’ve been away from for eight years. While my time in Los Angeles was fun, it was time to leave and start a new chapter of my life. Being back in Chicago has allowed me to be back with family and friends, explore new restaurants and just be me.

From here on out my posts will be a combination of old posts from LA and new ones from Chicago and my travels. Stay tuned for some fun places and restaurants to try!

Beginner’s Guide to Portland, OR

Beginner’s Guide to Portland, OR

After Austin, I figured that I had to go to the other U.S. city that had the motto of, “Keep _______ weird,” so I went up to Portland, OR with one of my best friends Before deciding to go to Portland, I had never really considered visiting the Pacific Northwest, and I really don’t know how or why I ignored this part of the country, but once I went to Portland, I instantly fell in love with it.

When I went to Portland for the first time in July 2016, I was still recovering from my stress fracture, so I wasn’t very mobile. Despite this setback, Portland is an easy city to get around without having to do too much walking. There is a train system, Lyft and Uber are there, and there are trolleys that can take you around different tourist areas within the city. We stayed at an Airbnb in Historic Kenton Area and it was a nice part of town. It was close to a MAX train stop and there was a little area that had a few shops and restaurants.

Day #1

To start off our first full day in Portland, we went to Cup and Saucer for breakfast and I got French Toast- it was perfection. My favorite way to start off the day is with a delicious breakfast that usually consists of comfort food, and French toast is that for me.

Once we finished, we took the train to Downtown Portland, and headed over to the meeting spot for the Pink Trolley. This trolley takes you all around the city and to a lot of the main tourist attractions, and it was an affordable way to see a lot of different parts of the city without walking. The two stops that we spent the most time in were the Rose Garden and the Arboretum. Both areas are beautiful and I loved being outdoors and just being able to explore a little- not being able to walk for three months really makes you appreciate the outdoors.

Once we finished with the trolley tour, we headed over to the Pearl District and went to Powell’s bookstore- this was heaven for me. I LOVEEE books, and I just loved being in a bookstore that was so historic and has such a variety of books in it.

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After a long day of exploring, we headed over to The Hairy Lobster for dinner. We started off with beers because you have to try local beers when traveling and the Parker House Rolls with lavender whipped honey butter. For dinner, I got the caramelized lamb served over potatoes and sweet potato mash, and it was delicious. However, for the price, I was a bit surprised at how small my meal was, but it was okay because we were heading over to Salt and Straw for dessert.

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We all know that I have an obsession with Salt and Straw in LA, so it’s no surprise that I had to go to one of the original locations in Portland. When we arrived at Salt and Straw the line wasn’t horrible- at least in comparison to the location I go to in LA, so we decided to wait. As we got closer and closer to the door, I got more and more excited. The décor in the shop was very different from LA, so I really enjoyed that. Since I knew that Portland has some different flavors than LA, I knew I had to try at least one of the local flavors. I got the Stumptown and Burnside Bourbon and Cinnamon Snickerdoodle in a waffle cone- this was a splurge because I usually just get a cup!

Day #2

The next day for breakfast we wanted to try a local donut place, but since I had already been to Voodo Donuts we decided to go to Blue Star.  We got four donuts including: real maple bacon, The O.G., chocolate almond ganache, and a blueberry bourbon basil. All the donuts were DELICIOUS! I LOVED the donuts! I think it was the fact that they weren’t greasy and the flavors were unique that helped a lot. To go with the donuts, I got a carton of Stumptown coffee with milk – best breakfast combination ever!

After breakfast, we walked over to a cute Saturday market near the water. There were a lot of unique and eclectic sellers, which made it easier to find some cool gifts for people! We spent a few hours meandering around the market and then decided it was time for lunch.

We went to Deschutes Brewery for lunch, and I really enjoyed it. My friend and I split a sampler of the different Deschutes, and I really enjoyed most of the different beers. To eat I got the chicken wings, and I thought that they were perfect. It was definitely more of a unique type of chicken wings, but I enjoyed them.

After lunch, we were signed up for a brewcycle tour of Portland. The tour we picked was the Old Town tour and we went to PINTs Brewing, Old Town Brewing, and Fat Head’s Brewing. I thought it was fun way to see the city and we got to explore different parts that we hadn’t visited thus far. I really enjoyed trying new beers and touring the city, so I highly recommend this as a way to explore any city!

After the tour we headed to dinner, and we decided on sushi! We went to a sushi restaurant in the Pearl District right near The Hairy Lobster called Yama Sushi and Sake Bar. I ordered the love joy roll and my friend got a cucumber roll and the sunrise roll. We both thought the food was really good and there wasn’t a super long line for anything which is always a perk. Once we finished dinner we went back to the Airbnb, so we could both pack up because we were leaving the next day.

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Day #3

For my final meal in Portland, the next day, I went back to Cup and Saucer and I got a chai latte and a quiche. Everything was delicious and I need to go back sometime!

 

I loved Portland so much, that I ended up coming back a few months later! That blog post will be up soon 🙂

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Beginner’s Guide to Austin, TX and Oklahoma City, OK

Beginner’s Guide to Austin, TX and Oklahoma City, OK

When I started looking at all of the places I have left to travel to I realized that I haven’t been to the Southern States, and I decided to ease myself into venturing to this new area of the country by visiting one of my best friends in Oklahoma City (OKC). I had already been to OKC before, but that was two years ago, and a lot can change in two years. We figured out that neither of us had been to Austin, TX (ATX), so we decided that I would fly to OKC and then we would road trip down to ATX. I’ve always liked road trips, and then it allows you to hang out with a friend and see new parts of the country.

Day 1
When we first arrived in Austin, we checked into our Airbnb- I think that Airbnb’s are a great way to see a city and interact with local residents. After we settled in we headed over to Uchi, for a delicious sushi dinner. We started off the meal with drinks and for our main course we decided to get the signature tasting option- it is five courses which is a good amount split between two people. This allowed us to try a lot of different things. To start off we tried was the Hirame Usuzukuri, which is flounder with candied quinoa, and olive oil. The second course was the Machi Cure, which is smoked yellowtail, yucca crisp, marcona almond, and Asian pear. For the next course, we had the Maguro & Goat Cheese, which is one of the most unique sushi dishes that I have ever had. Then we had the Hamachi Nabe, which is yellowtail, koshihikari rice, soy broth, and an egg yolk. To conclude our dining experience, we had the Walu Walu which is oak-grilled escolar, yuzupon, candied citrus, and myoga. The food was delicious, well prepared, and truly unique. I think that Uchi has some of the best sushi I have ever had, and the unique dishes makes it worth the price.

After dinner, we went back to our Airbnb to relax and plan for the next day.

Day 2
To start off the day we had a relaxing morning and a quick breakfast and then headed downtown to the Austin Visitors Center. We walked around the center and got to learn more about the city, and then we boarded a bus for the Austin in 90 minutes tour. Some things that you see on the guided bus tour are the 360 Scenic Overlook, Graffiti Park at Castle Hills, Bullock Texas State History Museum, and UT- Austin.

Later on, in the day we had an early dinner and did a Bat Cruise. Fun Fact: The Congress Avenue Bridge is home to the largest urban bat colony in the world. During the Bat cruise you get to experience all of the bats leaving the bridge to go find dinner as the sun sets. It is possibly one of the coolest thing you’ll experience in Austin and I would never have guessed that so many bats could fit under the bridge!

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After the cruise we headed to the “Dirty Sixth” or 6th street to go listen to some live music and enjoy a drink. Eventually we wanted a snack so we decided to head to Voodoo Doughnut Austin, and I got a Maple Bacon donut. It was tasty, and I was excited to try Voodoo because it is originally from Portland, OR and I was going there in a few weeks, so it was like a mini preview of Portland.

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Day 3
After our long day 2, we decided to sleep in a little and then grab breakfast at Whole Foods. Now I know that sounds funny, but considering that Whole Foods was founded in Austin and the original location has a lot of eateries, so we figured it was a good way to see the store and grab breakfast. I went to Taco Alley and got a breakfast burrito and it was divine.

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The next activity for the day was to go on the Deep Eddy Distillery tour. We got the tickets that have the shuttle to and from, so we avoided drinking and driving. The ticket is $25, and it included the round-trip shuttle ride, the tour, a cocktail and 20% off all merchandise. I really enjoyed learning about how they make their vodka and eating and drinking after the tour. They have some food trucks there, so you can get snacks while drinking and I obviously had to get BBQ. It is definitely a fun place to go, and it would be a great place to spend an afternoon with friends.

Once we got back to downtown Austin, we headed to the Roaring Fork for dinner. I got the Cedar Planked Salmon- its oven roasted with Teriyaki BBQ sauce and a Chilled Green Bean Salad. It was the perfect meal after spending a lot of time outside in the heat.

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After dinner we headed back to the Airbnb to hang out and go to bed early. Since we were heading back to OKC early in the morning to beat traffic.

Day 4
After a 4-hour drive, we arrived back in OKC and it felt great to get out of the car. We relaxed, ate dinner, and then we went to the OKCLA game (OKCLA is the minor league team for the Los Angeles Dodgers). I love baseball, so it was fun to get to see a good minor league team play.

Day 5
After a good night’s sleep, we woke up and went to breakfast at The Red Cup. I got a Peanut Butter and Banana sandwich and a Chai tea to drink. It was the perfect breakfast for a hot day. I really enjoyed the atmosphere of the restaurant and all of the art.

After breakfast we took a water taxi ride around downtown and we got to see some murals and sculptures.

For lunch we went to Big Truck Tacos, and it was amazing! I got the Okie-Wahoo and Rita’s Chicken Tacos. It’s an affordable and delicious place- highly recommend if you’re ever in OKC!

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Once we were done eating, then it was time for me to head to the airport and go back to LA. It was a great trip to Austin and OKC, and I definitely want to return to both cities.

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17 Things I Learned in 2017

17 Things I Learned in 2017

This year I worked really hard to work on myself and I set goals that I thought would be achievable. Here’s what I’ve learned from setting my 2017 Goals:

  1. Setting S.M.A.R.T. goals actually work. S.M.A.R.T is an acronym that stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely. I learned this acronym in college and I applied it more to academics, but never to life. When I made my goals for 2017, I applied the concept of S.M.A.R.T. goals to them because I wanted to make sure I could achieve them.
  2. Accountability is key. I don’t think I would have maintained my exercise routine without having it in my calendar, receiving reminders, and being charged if I cancelled a class too late. Also, sharing your goals with people is a good way to be held accountable.
  3. Traveling is a great way to learn more about yourself. Whether you want to learn more about yourself or other cultures, you will learn something new about yourself on each trip you take.
  4. One of my big goals was to learn how to budget more and actually stick to that budget. I found that apps really didn’t help me achieve this goal, so at the beginning of the month I’ve started writing out my expenses for the month, the days I get paid, and the amount I get paid to figure out how to manage my spending for the month.
  5. It is important to keep learning. Taking classes through UCLA Extension has been one of the best things I decided to do this year. I’ve loved what I’m learning and it’s been one of the more enjoyable things I’ve done this year.
  6. Setting goals related to exercise should be focused on seeing what your body can do and not just weight loss. When I initially set my goal of getting better at cardio, the real goal was to lose weight. A few months into the year, I made the mental shift to focus on pushing my body more vs. focusing on weight loss, and I accomplished more than I ever thought I would. I ran a mile faster than I’d ever run before- 12 minutes! Which to some is a bad time, but for me that broke a 13-year record! Due to my mental shift, I was able to accomplish my cardio goal and achieve my secondary goal of losing weight.
  7. Your body can do more than you think. I know this is related to #6, but it’s definitely a lesson I learned. Up until this past year, I had never really lifted weights. I had used little weights in PT or a gym class, but never truly lifted weights. This year I have learned how to lift weights and I’ve increased the amount of weight I can lift throughout the year. It’s been nice to see that I’m able to do this because I’ve had shoulder and neck issues.
  8. Cooking is a lot easier than you think. I usually get overwhelmed by cooking a meal, but recently I’ve started being creative in the kitchen and created my own recipes. I’ve actually found this process to be fun, and I’d never had that experience before. An example of this is my obsession with making a DELICIOUS egg sandwich.The-Cross-Country-Millennial-How-to-Make-an-Egg-Sandwich
  9. Eating out or ordering in usually isn’t as good as you think it’ll be. The more I ate out this year, the less I enjoyed it. I would go to some of my favorite places and I just didn’t like it or I felt sick afterwards; which is obviously not a reaction you want to have. I definitely think there needs to be a balance between eating out/ordering in and cooking at home.
  10. Find things that you love outside of work. This for me has been key- without this blog I wouldn’t have a creative outlet and work would be my life.
  11. Be open to exploring new places. Whether you’re exploring a brand-new country or city or walking around where you live and you stumble upon a new place, you should be open to trying new things. This is how I created my Ktown Hidden Gems series- it simply happened because I started walking around where I live.
  12. Stand up for what you believe in. This applies to politics, issues at work, with your friends- you get the point. This is an important skill to have and it applies to any aspect of life.
  13. Take care of yourself. This is easier said than done, but it’s important to learn. I’ve tried really hard to take care of issues before they become bigger problems, and I think this approach is making me more aware about how my body works and reacts to things.
  14. Go to interesting events. In 2017, I was really lucky to have the opportunity to see a lot of performers and speakers that I never thought I would see. This includes seeing Hamilton the Musical, movie screenings, the Backstreet Boys, and Dan Rather. Attending different types of interesting events makes you think differently about different aspects of life and you appreciate them. Every time an opportunity would arise, I would just ask myself, “when will I be able to do this again?” If the answer was probably never again, then I would decide to go. Taking advantage of opportunities is key.
  15. Don’t be afraid to try new things. I’ve always had the rule that I am willing to try anything once, but sometimes fear can make that hard to follow. This year I tried to actually force myself to try things that scared me or were completely new. The major thing I tried was skiing. I had never skied before, but I had always wanted to try. So, when the opportunity arose, I said yes. Was I great at it? No. Am I willing to try it again? Yes.
  16. Friends and family are everything. Going on all of my adventures in 2017 wouldn’t have been as memorable or enjoyable without everyone who participated in them. From Nashville, to trying new restaurants, to Hawaii, to going to concerts and speakers- these memories wouldn’t be half of what they were without the people who attended them with me. For this, I am eternally grateful.
  17. Be comfortable with the uncomfortable. This is just a key thing to be able to do in life. Things are going to happen in life and you need to be able to be okay with it.

Continue reading “17 Things I Learned in 2017”

Ktown Hidden Gems #4: Holy Roly Ice Cream

Ktown Hidden Gems #4: Holy Roly Ice Cream

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In this edition of Ktown Hidden Gems, I talk about my experience at Holy Roly Ice Cream. One of my friends, her husband, and I like to get dessert and explore Ktown; we’ve explored a few new dessert places, and so far they’ve all been great! Keep on Reading!

2017 Goals: Fall Update

2017 Goals: Fall Update

Okay, I’ve been bad at keeping you guys updated on how my goals for 2017 are going, so here’s the latest update.

*Goal 1: Exercise more and get better at Cardio

I’ve definitely been achieving this goal. I still exercise 3-5 times a week, and I’ve transitioned more into jogging vs. powerwalking. I’ve been proud of my accomplishments and the changes I’ve seen in my body. Trying to get things back to my pre-boot self has been difficult, and I still get pain in my foot sometimes; however, I will show up to class and I try my hardest.

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One of my accomplishments was that I got my highest amount of splat points ever- 15!!! I usually am in the 0-4 range- low resting heart rate problems :/ I am constantly inspired to do better in class by the other members and the coaches. This inspiration manifested itself into me setting another goal of running 2 miles in the 30-minute Cardio portion of class. Now I know 2 miles in 30 minutes doesn’t sound like a big accomplishment, but trust me, as someone who couldn’t do the 20-minute mile in gym class during middle school- this is a HUGE goal! The thing that was funny about setting and accomplishing this goal was that I did it within a 3-week time period. Seriously, one day I decided it was happening and then I just constantly pushed myself for the next 3 weeks until I accomplished it. This showed me that with focus and determination, you can rise to the occasion and achieve your goals.

Despite this inspiration, I still find that it can be really hard to get myself in the mood to attend class- sometimes I am truly fried from the day, but I always leave class feeling better. I think that having a consistent workout routine has saved me numerous times mentally from the frustration I’ve been experiencing in different aspects of my life.

*Goal 2: Go to all 50 states before I turn 30

This goal has been put on pause a bit, because I did a lot of traveling within a short period of time- I think it made me not want to get on another plane. I can say that I have 11 or 12 states left, and I definitely think my goal is feasible. I’m starting to think about planning trips for 2018 with some friends that I don’t get to see. I am however working on writing posts about some of my past trips, so for 2018 I can start posting in as close to real time as possible.

*Goal 3: Budget and Save Money

I’ve definitely had my ups and downs with this goal. I’ve noticed that when things get really hectic in my life, that I just forget completely about having a budget or paying attention to my finances. This is a really bad habit, and I’ve been working hard to break it. I’ve been utilizing the Mint app more, and I think it’s really helping. I am still using Ebates, Ibotta, and ThreadUp to earn money in more practical ways.

If you’re interested in Ebates, make sure to subscribe through the link and you’ll get $10 for just signing up! If you’re interested in Ibotta, use the referral code onjumjl for $10. This post is not sponsored by either company, but I genuinely think they’re great tools for earning money on purchases you were already going to make. If you’re interested in trying ThreadUp, here’s a link to get $10: http://www.thredup.com/r/C0GZL0

*Goal 4: Be more politically active

This goal is still one I’ve been working on trying to figure out how to achieve. I’ve tried to read different sites to understand what is going on in the country, and supporting candidates that I agree with. I would like to volunteer for a political campaign because that was something I really enjoyed in high school, but I haven’t been around any elections. I think right now the best I can do is be knowledgeable about the issues I care about and having discussions with friends about how to get more engaged. I saw that there is another Women’s March planned for January, and I think I will participate in that.

*Goal 5: Schedule Time for Self-Care

I would honestly say that this is the goal that I’ve been the worst at accomplishing this year. I keep doing too much, and then I get overwhelmed, and then I practice a lot of self-care to feel better, and then the cycle keeps going. I started getting regular massages because my body started having pain in places that I know act up when I am stressed out. Listening to my body forced me to take time for myself, but it still doesn’t address the overall issue of me not taking enough time for myself. I honestly think that I need to start putting self-care into my calendar more, and not just taking an exercise class a few times a week, but really taking some time to decompress a few days a week. I know that I am really good at following my calendars, so this is a better way to hold myself accountable.

Anyways, this is how things have been going for me and I hope you learned something that can help you! I’m starting to think about new goals for the next year and how to carry these goals over- if you have any ideas, please comment below!