Saturday, July 30, 2011

Our Yearly Honeymoon - Guest Post by With Gratitude

Let me just start this by saying that this is my first time guest posting and for whatever reason I feel like I'm about to do a public speaking engagement so I'm a little nervous.
Over reacting a tad? Yes, that would be me.

And if you don't know me over on a little blog, With Gratitude, well then let me introduce myself.

My name is Courtney, I'm 25 {in a week, happy birthday to me!}, I've been married to my best friend for a little over 2 1/2 years and together we are co-parenting the cutest little Yorkie-Poo named Willow until {Lord willing} real babies come along someday. {Which I'm being told by impatient family and friends that we need to speed up the process. All in good time people...}


And because I can't resist putting up a picture of above mentioned puppy, here's little Ms. Willow this past 4th of July. In case you were wondering, I'm only allowed to dress her up on holidays.

I'm addicted to chocolate, coffee, shopping, taking way too many pictures, shoes, blogging, my puppy and oh yeah... traveling. {But I PROMISE you I'm not as shallow as I just made myself sound.}

When Rose asked me to guest post about anything related to fashion or travel I was quite a bit excited because those two things are right up my alley and I knew I could actually talk about something I know rather than make things up on the spot. {Which I will still probably do by the way.}

My husband and I agreed back during our engagement year that we wanted to make traveling and vacations a huge priority in our marriage.

I grew up with a dad whose idea of a vacation was camping in the great Rocky Mountains or touring Mt. Rushmore 3 different times during my childhood {Yes, that's right. 3.} I love my father but if you know me in real life you know I am not a "camping-type" of girl. And this comes from a born and raised Coloradoan so don't believe everything you hear; we are not ALL out-doorsy type people. Another thing you shouldn't believe about us? We don't all like snow and winter and there are some of us who don't know how to ski even a little bit.

Anways, my husband, Jeremy, on the other hand went on vacations 2-3 times a year with his parents growing up. There's not a lot of places he hasn't been and it's his main way of relaxing now that we're older. He's a bit of a work-aholic and only takes time away from his lab when we have a vacation to go on.

So far in our 2+ years of marriage, we have been to Hawaii, Mexico, a Caribbean cruise and are currently planning a week long trip to New York next year with my in-laws.

Our Hawaiian Honeymoon

Our Mexian Dream

We have a thing for oceans

Our Caribbean Cruise

Now... something I wanted to mention before you get the wrong idea about us; we are not rolling in money. Quite simply, we are experts on traveling on a budget. With a husband receiving a PhD student's income and me in social work, we aren't exactly raking in the dough right now. We make sacrifices in other areas of our life and have a portion of each of our paychecks that go directly into our "vacation savings account" every month to cover the cost.

Another tip? Check it out weekly, look and research all the amazing deals and thank me later. Seriously, our trips would never have been possible without that little beauty and something I like to call 60% off when you strike at the right time. =)
{And go with the golden apple ratings, they've never been wrong.}

I would say the biggest theme on these trips are the death traps my dear husband always manages to talk me into somehow.

Whether it's a  Hawaiian helicopter tour of the island...

Zip lining and rock climbing through Mexican rain forests...

Or riding random donkeys to the tops of cliffs, he's lucky we're still alive.

And in exchange for these life-threatening activities, Jeremy has to take as many kissing pictures as I want in front of oceans and sunsets.
Skip ahead of you don't want to be grossed out.

Although, some of us take these pictures more seriously than others.

But before I bore you with any more pictures I'll just go ahead and wrap this up.

Bottom line? One of the most important things we have done for our marriage are these little trips together. I can't stress enough how important it is to just get away from the world for awhile! Even if you can't afford to fly somewhere, take the time to do something small even if that means just staying in a fancy hotel for a night or two. It's so easy to get caught up in the day-to-day stress and craziness and vacations are the one time when we have each other's undivided attention for days on end. It's like going on your honeymoon every year which I personally think should become tradition.

Who's with me?

Friday, July 29, 2011

Costa Rican Adventure--Guest Post by Elle Sees

Hi! I'm Elle, from Elle Sees, a lifestyle blog featuring beauty and style. One of my favorite hobbies is traveling, having been to 50 states and 19 countries (so far!). Since it's the summer, I thought I'd share just a few pictures of Costa Rica, a perfect beach destination. Costa Rica (Rich Coast) is located in Central America and is bordered by Nicaragua and Panama. The native language is Spanish and you might know Costa Rica for its amazing coffee, but there is so much more!
I loved how green this country is--not only from lush lands, 
but from an environmental standpoint. 
It's amazing how much of Costa Rica remains untouched. 
There are literally waterfalls long the side of the road.
Costa Rica has a little something for everyone--
adventures and just lounging by the beach. 
On this trip, I did both! One highlight was seeing an active volcano erupt at night.
This was the view from my hotel! Note the volcano and wild horses in the background.

As I mentioned earlier, wildlife freely roamed around. 
I encountered geckos, toucans, monkeys, and sloths regularly.
Some were in my hotel room or peeking through the window!
While Costa Rica has established cities,
 I wanted to share what people in the "country" live in.
The food was amazing--very much like Peruvian food if you've had that. 
As far shopping, the artisan goods were the highlight.
 And here's what everyone wants to see: the beaches! 
I chose to go to non-touristy, rustic beaches.
 I loved being on a mostly uninhabited beach.
Obligatory feet-at-the-beach pic. 
The sand was shell & rock-free and ranged 
from black to medium and the water was clear. 
 The people were friendly and very proud of their country.
 I couldn't get over how beautiful the land and sea were. 
 While I did plenty of lounging on the beach, I also went to ecological centers, 
hiking through rain forests to see waterfalls, snorkeling, zip-lining, 
white water rafting, and to a hot springs spa.
 I'm terrified of riding horses, but I did it for this trip. 
As you can see, my horse Diablo (!!!) and I are at the very back of the pack.

And as the Costa Ricans say as a greeting or farewell, "Pura Vida!" 

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Guest Post Line-up

So delighted to have so many wonderful new and old readers fill in for me this next week and a half with their own special flavor. I have asked them to post on one of three things: travel, fashion, or inspiration. All of which I love and am guessing you do, too, as that's all I post on!

First up this Friday from Elle Sees, connoisseur of all things beauty and style, is a Costa Rican adventure - I've already seen her post, and I have to tell you, it makes me want to go to Costa Rica tomorrow. I can't wait for you to read it!

Saturday, you may be graced with the delightful and gorgeous Courtney, who blogs at With Gratitude about her adorable husband's and her's adventures, who are just as ridiculously hot and cute at the same time as Emily and her husband below.

After the weekend, enjoy D.C. through a bit of sweet Texas, and her precious family via A Texan Odyssey.

On Tuesday, now that the work week is in full swing, you'll be cheered up by Emily at the oh-so-clever name that I love, MeMe & He. Her man and her are absolutely adorable, as well as the list of things they love together - way to keep a relationship alive - and their pictures make me want to up the game on pictures of my man and I! Aren't they ridiculously hot and cute at the same time? Can't wait to see what she has to bring as she has studied abroad in Europe and learned a lot about traveling and loves adventures just as much as I!

For Hump Day (of which term I despise, but for this particular burst of color it seems completely appropriate - if every Hump Day were a burst of color I believe I would love the term) you will have the ever delightful, bright, colorful Artfully Awear. Ariel's fashion posts are inspired by art, and while I'm not sure what she has in store for us here, I guarantee you, you will be amazed by the color she brings into her posts.

Next up, you'll get the deliciousness which is Fabulous All Over who shares a love of all things California with me, and whose fashion and inspirational posts blow me away. How can someone be so gorgeous and so wise? She definitely has the best of both worlds.

Friday, get ready for some sweets, from the oh-so-stylish Candy (LOVE this bathing suit!).

On Saturday, for an extra special weekend retreat, you'll experience a vivacious love of life from the Crowley Party. She just got back from the beach, so perhaps you will see some beach photos from her - perfect for the weekend :) .

And, last but not least, get ready for Shalanda, a fellow Texan who also hearts Macy's just as much as I do.

I hope you read, enjoy, comment, and then make sure and bookmark these lovely ladies for future reads!



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