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The Adventure Backpack & 6 Other Weekend Highlights

Red Rock Morning (

My weekend was a mixture of everything….chores, work, interning, basketball, running, hiking, picnicking, chick flicks, cooking, homework, shopping, coffee shops. Here are 7 highlights:

1.) The Adventure Backpack: I bought this backpack to use as a purse, but I only ever seem to use it when I go on a hike and pack a picnic. It’s become a picnic basket :) I also put it in my closet and forget about it as soon as I get home, so I pull it out for the next hike to find it already stocked with sunscreen/hand sanitizer/chapstick/deodorant (essential for any outdoor activity right? haha) hence: The Adventure Backpack.

Hiking Bell Rock in Sedona (

2.) Day Trip to Sedona with my best friend: For us, it was just a quick day trip for lunch and a hike. But some of the license plates in the parking lot showed our fellow hikers had come from Minnesota, Illinois, Maine, Kentucky and Missouri. Our 70-degree February weather is probably making more than half the country pretttty jealous right about now.

Kerri and I have been best friends ever since we became cross country teammates freshman year of college and bonded over Sunday night ‘Desperate Housewives’ episodes and gossiping about boys. Four years later, Desperate Housewives is cancelled and boys have come and gone but we are closer than ever. After we graduate in May, we’ll be living in different states. So we are fitting in a few last girls’ days!

Kerri hiking in sedona ( Church Hunting and Traffic Jams: There is a church, The Church of the Red Rocks in Sedona, that is built in to the side of the mountain. I’m not even sure what denomination this church is affiliated with, just that it is absolutely beautiful and we wanted a picture. We asked Siri on Kerri’s iPhone for directions….first mistake. We saw the church in the distance, and watched it get farther and farther away as we followed Siri’s directions in the complete opposite direction.

Instead, we came upon one of the round-abouts at the perfect timing. Two cars were obviously confused by the counter-clockwise stop-sign alternative and a car crash caused the single-lane round-about to completely block traffic in both directions. We sat still for almost thirty minutes waiting for traffic to begin flowing again. Kerri had plenty of time to walk out of the car and take a picture of this sign.

Welcome to Sedona (

We had good music (Eli Young Band!) and even better views to keep us from growing impatient.

We kept making sarcastic comments like, “Gosh nature is just so ugly.”

“I’d much rather be looking at my cell phone right now.”

“These poor homeowners who have to look at that view every day. Must be rough.”

And no, we never made it to the church.

4.) This creepy photobomb:

Me in Sedona ( like a normal picture, right…..


Creepy photobomb (, we do not know this person, and we thought we were alone until we were flipping through pictures at home….

5.) S’mores Quest Bar: Kerri and I both love learning about nutrition and trying out new healthy snacks and products. (The first thing out of Kerri’s mouth when we found a flat-ish spot at the top of Bell Rock: WHERE ARE THE SNACKS?!)

Quest bars became popular last year for their high protein/low sugar formula and just introduced a new S’mores flavor. Currently they are only available in GNC in our town, so we made a special little stop on the way home for a protein-packed snack. Delicious :)

Taking pictures in Sedona (

6.) Jenna Marbles Videos: In high school, I saw the viral Youtube video “How to trick people into thinking you’re good looking” video from Jenna Marbles that launched her into Internet-stardom. I used to watch her weekly videos after that until I started college. Kerri and I decided to see if Jenna Marbles was still making videos (she is!) and watch some of the newer ones. We loved the “What a girl’s eyebrows mean” :D

7.) A big W for our basketball team today! I was working at the game for my sports marketing internship, and it was one of the most energetic crowds we’ve had this season. The pom-pom giveaway was a huge success and made the cheering spectators that much more spirited. Our boys played the leading team in the conference. The score was 70-69 in the last 30 seconds and they pulled away with a victory!

Aaaaand there’s still a full day of the weekend to enjoy. I hope where ever you are, you’re staying warm!


Hosting Thanksgiving (I’m still here!)

So that was quite a hiatus…I’ll admit that blogging is not a priority among the senior year scramble. Honestly I haven’t even read some of my favorite blogs in months! (PBFingers and Simply Taralynn withdrawals.)

The semester wraps up in about a week and that little light at the end of the tunnel has me fired up to get back to HOBBIES like reading that stack of books I bought over the summer, trying some of the recipes I pinned, and maybe even updating this little site here and there :) I’m honestly surprised to see that so many of you stuck around during my drought of posting. I missed you!

Back to normal, I’ll recap my *healthified* Thanksgiving. We deviated from tradition this year….my parents came to ME. For my first three years of college, I took the overnight train home for Thanksgiving two weeks before finals. It was always a little hectic and rushed. My new apartment this year is comfortable enough to have guests over (I feel so grown up!) so I invited my parents and Missy to spend the holiday weekend with me.

Before they arrived, I tried to make the apartment as festive as possible. I have an addiction to candles, so I started saving the empty glasses to refill with tea lights and festive fillers. Yay for recycling!

Thanksgiving 2014 decoration collage

I was CONVINCED that I would cook the entire Thanksgiving meal all by myself…….until I realized (or someone pointed out to me) that in order to cook a turkey, one must use their hands to remove the giblets and guts from the inside.

Well that’s not happening.

Next option?

A pre-cooked ham ;) glad we can be flexible! Our meal was rounded out with my lightened-up sweet potato casserole (no marshmallows allowed), roasted broccoli and brussels, and a corn bread stuffing that my parents brought.

Thanksgiving 2014 Dinner

Thanksgiving 2014 TableI’ll admit it isn’t as impressive-looking as last year’s Thanksgiving, but for a first attempt I’d say not bad :) Most important part was spending the day with my family! Aside from a malfunctioning can-opener, we avoided any major catastrophes. What more can you ask for.

I have to say, I was most proud of my bartending skills. I’ve discovered the simple perfection that is sangria this year. An apple cranberry sangria was a perfect afternoon cocktail for my mom and I, but I knew my dad wouldn’t be so appreciative of fruity wine to go with his football game. My mason jars were perfect for the “Fire Jolly Rancher” – sparkling apple cider with Fireball whiskey, over ice sprinkled with brown sugar. It’s a sipper!

Thanksgiving 2014 Cocktails

The night was rounded out by homemade praline pumpkin pie (and coffee, duh) with a good ole’ family movie night.

Obviously we couldn’t be sedentary too long after THAT meal so we took to the trails the next day for a hike in the gorgeous fall weather. I love that my family is as happy going on outdoor explorations as I am. Black Friday has nothing on these views:

Thanksgiving 2014 Sedona

Thanksgiving 2014 Devils Bridge

Hosting Thanksgiving was so much fun, I felt like I was playing “housewife” ;) Until reality kicked in that I have three final presentations, two research papers, and a couple finals exams in these last 7 days of school. But I missed this little online scrapbook. I’ve had so many workouts, recipes, adventures and stories that I’ve “wanted to post” and didn’t have the time. Hopefully I can play catch up over the coming winter break!

So I can’t promise that I’m back with the usual posts, but I can promise that I’m not done forever (though I thought I was for a bit.) And you know I have no shortage of cute Missy pictures: Thanksgiving 2014 MissyAs if there are any that aren’t cute… ;)

What happened to September?

Remember when weekends meant being able to sleep in and have some time to actually relax?

Good times. :)

My “free time” is currently combined with the 45 minutes to an hour I use to get in a workout or go for a run each day….but I shouldn’t complain because I am greeted with views as beautiful as this:

Fall leaves are changing ( that not the most gorgeous center-divider you’ve ever seen? I swear those leaves are that saturated in real life.  That totally set the mood for my long run Sunday that I tackled by myself in the afternoon with yet another SOLID playlist. Specifically:

{Daughtry’s new single Utopia; Famous by Kelleigh Bannen; Running with the Boys by LIGHTS; How to be a Heartbreaker by Marina and the Diamonds; Superheroes by The Script; Fire by Gavin DeGraw and Surrender by Cash Cash}

It finally feels like fall. Full on chilly air, chai tea, scarves and boots, football games, tailgate parties, roasted acorn squash and yellow leaves FALL. My roommate even brought home a carved pumpkin this past weekend that is currently residing on our kitchen counter. Some people say it’s a bit premature but I say WHO MADE THE RULES.

Now I have a week of autumnal life to catch up on. I definitely won’t admit to the fact that I’m blogging instead of editing the research assignment due tomorrow……  ;)

Remember last semester when I couldn’t stop going to Sedona for solo getaways? It happened again. I don’t think I’ll make a habit of it because I’ve found a few cute and more importantly local places to bring my homework. One of which conveniently includes my dining room. Go figure.

But it was a glorious, sunshine-y, short little reminder that I live in a pretty spectacular place.

Studying in sedona again ( was able to concentrate on GRE and “quantitative reasoning” for about 3 hours before the sunshine and my growling stomach told me it was time to pack it up. I made it home before a massive thunderous storm rolled in for the weekend, which I whole-heartedly welcomed because I think the dark skies and the sound of rain are so comfy and cozy.

Study spot // my happy place ( our second home football game of the season took place in an INDOOR stadium, so our fans and players didn’t get soaked during their epic WIN in the last quarter. In the last 2 minutes! It was a thrilling game, partly because I got one of the best seats in the house:

Sports marketing intern / home football game in the media box! (

Yep, I was feeling pretty fly sitting up in the media box. Next to me was the Director of Marketing, the Announcer, the Camera/Video Director, and the Digital Media Designer. I got a ton of hands on experience working with the video and advertisement screens. Another day in the life of a new sports marketing intern :)

Tangent –> Anyone else done the new iOS update? I was super excited when I saw the new “HEALTH” app put on the front screen on my phone. But I can’t figure out what to do with it! Am I completely missing something? It seems like it could be a great tool… me! :)

Health App (

I’ll wrap up this hodge podge of a recap now as I pour some coffee and join my roommate in our GRE study session. T-17 days til test day! Welcome, October :)

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