Auckland: Best of

Piha Beach

Piha Beach

Piha Beach: Favorite photo so far
Ryley took some pretty amazing panos on our trip. These are a few favorites from Auckland.
Looking at the photo on the bottom is nothing compared to the raw beauty of seeing it in person. 
This is what I dream about at night. 

viral vomit

This is my vow. One day I will go to Jimmy Fallon's show
and we will be friends


Auckland Part II

The next few day in Auckland were pretty great as well. We were starting to feel a bit more adjusted and less tired. Not so scared of the food and feeling a bit better about driving on the wrong side of the road. We woke up to rain, but we didn't let it slow us down. We stopped by a local farmers market to look around. People in New Zealand don't go to farmers markets for a trendy fun time. They really do a majority of their grocery shopping there. Their grocery stores are very small and expensive and no where near as fresh as the locally grown food at the farmers markets. Plus the fruit and veggies were super cheap and mouth watering delicious. The market was beautifully designed with a chalk board by each booth describing what each vendor offered. A live band was performing in the middle of the semi-circle of busy customers. And of course everyone was dressed very beautifully to fit their personal style. We tasted organic peanut butter, home made cheese, freshly caught fish, and ate an entire delicious Scandinavian treat. Mostly we just sat in the middle and people watched. We love just sitting and watching. It really was fun seeing people from a different culture. So the same, but then completely different.

After the farmers market and checking out a few thrift shops we drove around just checking out our new world. We drove out of town and in seconds were surrounded by vineyards,  lime-green fields spotted with white sheep, and lush hills jutting up along the flat road. We saw a tiny sign for a hike and we flipped around and tried it out. Good thing we did because it again took our breath away. 5 minutes away from the city and you would never know. We were surrounded by such thick vegetation that seeing any sort of sky was impossible. The trees seriously were at least 5 to 10 stories high. The only time we saw the sky was when we hiked up a waterfall on the edge of a mountain. I've never been somewhere so green in my life.

After the hike we raced home to change out of our muddy hiking clothes to get ready for the rugby game. The All Blacks were playing Ireland. We were super excited for this. The train station was only a few blocks away from our house and if you showed them your All Blacks ticket the ride is free. Again, it was the perfect time for people watching. Ryley was a little over excited about getting to the game on time and we ended up being there about 2 hours early. That definitely gave us enough time to take some good shots of the field, to explore all the fan gear, walk around the stadium about 15 times, and be first in time for some fish and chips which were *amazing!* The game was super fun. Ireland had lost to the All Blacks for the past 107 years, but they were on fire that night. We were sitting down low and were surrounded by a surprising amount of Ireland fans. Everyone was screaming and wild. Beer and wine were being inhaled by the seconds. Sometimes I wondered if people spent more time watching the game or going back and forth buying more drinks. People kept sliding by us and as we let them by saying "cheers mate," in thanks. The best was when the came up through with their wine and fish and chips. For the inconvenience of us having to stand up to let them by they would say, "Sorry mate. Take some chips." When I got the first offer I looked at the guy thinking he was talking to someone else. He saw my expression and told me again to take some chips. I grabbed one fry feeling a little bad for eating this strangers food. He then said, "Aw come one. Get some more!" So I did. He did this all the way down the row, offering his chips and a cheers to go along with it. I'm sure he had about 5 fries left when he got to his seat. I loved this because I could NEVER imagine someone doing this at a baseball game in America. If some stranger gave you their food you would either think they were crazy or would give them all away because some germ infested stranger just touched your food. Another completely awesome thing about the game, besides the incredibly intense players on the field, was the fact that this stadium holding 50 thousand people did the wave with every person in every section standing up and waving their arms and screaming over 7 times. Seven. The entire crowd. Now I'm sure it helped that everyone was drunk, but again, this would never happen with everyone participating seven times at any game at home.  We were laughing so hard by the end watching these crazy people party it up. In the end the All Blacks took the win, but Ireland made a good dent in the game. Walking out of the game some fan friendly music was playing and just like in the movies the man sitting in front of us who looked like a drunk Colin Firth in rugby gear started signing to the music and giving a little tap dance on the steps. He was singing loud. And just like we were in the movies all the people above say this guys great moves and raised their beers to him, cheered him on, and sang right on back to him. This got old Colin moving even more and we got quite an exquisite show. Best part of the night hands down. My only regret was that I couldn't pull my phone out fast enough to record it. Next time I'll be faster on the draw.

That was the end of our Auckland experience. The next day, Sunday, we were able to find our church to attend. This was another highlight of our trip. There is something very calming about finding your church in the a foreign country, being surrounded by strangers and the unknown to have that one known. To be able to walk into this new church and feel at home. To be loved. We experienced a very spiritual Sunday in a little chapel in Auckland and then blew it a kiss goodbye as we drove out of town on the opposite side of the road.


Auckland Part I

Auckland is by far the biggest city in New Zealand. In the entire country of New Zealand there are about 4 million people. 3 million live in Auckland. {as told by our cab driver with an awesome accent} What I absolutely loved was that even though Auckland was still a big, and somewhat dirty city was that you could drive a few miles away and find beautiful tropical forests and beaches. You could be 10 minutes to downtown and 5 minutes away from nature.

Our first few days in Auckland were a nervous blur. Ryley and I didn't really know what to do with ourselves, almost like we didn't actually believe that we were really there. Plus we hadn't really slept in 36 hours which never makes a person feel that good. The first day we went downtown and looked at an art museum and took in the culture. I will say that I was very surprised at the personal style. Ryley and I were the only ones in jeans and t-shirts. Everyone was dressed very sleek and in blacks. No one had big name brands across their shirts. Everyone looked classy. I don't know why, but that's not what I was expecting. I was thinking more of very laid back Hawaiian style where basketball shorts and flip-flops were all anyone needed. Anyways, Ryley and I were walking around and hadn't really had a meal in days that wasn't from an airplane, which hardly counts. We started wandering around and all were saw where Asian shops after Asian shops where no one really spoke English, the food didn't look like the Asian food we were used to, and absolutely no one was in any of their shops which made us feel a bit worried about why there was no one in there. Ryley, having never been out of the country, was extra worried about what he could eat. The only other places we found were cafes. {which are very popular and trendy there}There was seriously a cafe on every corner and usually 5 in-between. Seriously everywhere. We finally found an Asian place that was way too expensive and tasted more like beef soup in rice. Oh well, our stomaches were full, and that's all that matters. We went home to our little house we were renting and passed out.

The next days we adjusted a bit better. We did more beach and out doorsish things which is way more our style. We drove to beautiful beaches that took our breath away. The first beach we drove to the road literally drove straight into the ocean. It's a good thing we weren't going fast because our car would have been gone. {the cars drive on the opposite side of the road and the steering wheel is on the right instead of the left. A bit scary at first let me tell ya!} When we walked through this park path {picture directly above} just covered in plantation we were seriously giddy. It was so insane how lush and full and beautiful every inch of land was there. We also went to Piha beach. This is a black sand beach that the sand is actually magnetic. {another side note... all the sand on the west side of the island is black and all the sand on the east side is white. Pretty cool I thought} This is the first beach in my life where I was taken back at how powerful and intimidating the ocean was. I felt completely helpless against those massive waves pounding like bombs over the cliffs and rocks. Ryley and I climbed around and through rocks pressed up against the water. I found out later there is a tv show that is all about people having to be rescued from the very places we were climbing. Woops. This is one of my favorite beaches that we went to our entire trip. Because it was winter, and because I didn't want to die, we didn't go swimming. It wasn't cold, but I wasn't craving any suntan time. Everyone we passed was bundled up in wool coats and Uggs and scarves. Ryley and I were rocking shorts and jackets and got looks like we were crazy. Turns out 60 degrees is freezing there. That's my kind of winter!

The next morning we took the advice from the lady who's house we were staying in and we walked to Humbug cafe right down the street. I have never eaten such mouth melting breakfast. Not only was it delicious, but it was beautiful. The entire cafe was beautiful. This is one thing that I loved about New Zealand. People care about design and originality. They take time to make things beautiful and it makes your experience so much better than walking into a ugly cafe with no style at home. Ryley had french toast with fried bananas, sweet bacon, and butterscotch home-made syrup on top. I'm pretty sure we inhaled out mean in about 4 minutes. We washed it down with some gourmet hot cocoa. {People drink tea and coffee, and well wine as well, more than anywhere else I've ever been! I seriously don't know how people get dehydrated because no one drinks water and all they drink is tea and coffee.} Ryley didn't mind since he is a hot-cocoa-aholic.

The End of Part I
Part II 
coming soon...


I'm back

Piha Beach Auckland, New Zealand

I'm back to the world of America, family, computers, cell phones, craziness, and life.
The past month has been one beautiful journey.
Since I've been away I've had the opportunity to:

* Rendezvous to Florida to meet up with worlds best college/life friends Becky + Rachel
* Take a vacation of a life time with my favorite person in the world, aka Ryley to beautiful New Zealand
* Visit sunny Southern Califiornia with beaches, waves, and the cutest nephews in the world
* Spend the 4th of July celebrating America, life, and family in America with family and saying goodbye to the wonderful life of my grandma Nina. {I love you}
* Visiting the one place on earth that makes my whole being fill with love and relaxation, Paris, Idaho

Looking back on all that has happened since June 1st I almost can't believe it was real. It seems more like a dream that I had a long while ago. It took me an entire week to recuperate from the traveling and the 5 time zones I crossed in those 30 days. I will be trying to recapture all of our adventures over the next few weeks. We have pictures and stories enough to fill 10 albums. However, we will be staying in Paris where I have very limited cell service and zero internet which makes things a bit more tricky. Be patient, enjoy your summer days, and keep checking for updates.


my bags are packed

My bags are packed. I'm ready to go baby!

This week has been CRAZY to say the least. 
R and I managed to get away for the long weekend to Bear Lake.
{umm.... yup it snowed. Awesome}
We packed up an entire house. A house where we have officially stayed the longest since we've been married for almost 3 years. We managed to stay in one place for 9 months. Wow right. 
We are now settled into a beautiful and spacious storage unit where we will be until August.
Until then we will be homeless. Wanderers. Travelers. Bums.

I have all my bags packed.
Bags for Florida, where I will be in the morning celebrating with my college favs Becky and Rachel.
I am seriously so excited I could cry.... or probably more realistically pee my pants.
Then next Tuesday I fly home at midnight only to get back on a plane 6 hours later for New Zealand with my most favorite college man, Ryley.
We are so excited/nervous/wondering what the heck is gonna happen
that I can barely stand it.
We will be there for most of June which means I will be gone for a bit.
But when I come back I'm sure I'll have millions of pictures and good times to share.

neon clutch

I've been working on this DIY project for over a year now. 
I know. Sad. 
Basically I've had it in my mind since last April to make my own clutch that was so in style last year...
One year later and I finally finished, just in time for something else to come in style. 
I found my last years inspiration over here. Check it out. Beautiful person and blog.
And check out that clutch. Don't you just have to have one after seeing it?

So last summer I went to a leather store in Idaho Falls and picked up some scrap leather to make my own clutch. Then 6 months later I finally busted out the sewing machine and got it done. If you want to make your own jump over here for a tutorial on just how to do that. 
When it was just brown I was told a few times that it looked like one of those old chalk bags that you used in Elementary school or at church. Then my dear grandma at dinner last night told me it looked like a money bag they used at their grocery store. I decided it was time for a little make-over.

First off, sorry for the not-so-good photos. I took the pictures with my phone because 
R had the camera on a job. Hopefully you get the point. 
Here are a few tips if you want to snazzy up one of your own bags or clutches.

1.  Use good tape to create a straight line to paint with. Make sure to get all sides taped. I used Frog tape from the Home Depot but masking tape would probably work as well as long as you have it on tight.
2. If you don't already have paint lying around to use {I did from my dresser so I made good use out of it} I would suggest going to a craft store and buying nicer acrylic paint. The nicer the paint you use the less coats you will have to put on. I just used a gloss wall paint. I personally think that using a gloss instead of a matt paint would be better, but it's up to you. 
3. Once you have everything taped off the go for it! I had to do about 5-7 coats of paint this my clutch. I got sick of waiting for each layer to dry so I busted out my hair dryer and sped up the process. 

And it's just that easy. I love how mine looks with the bright neon yellow that looks slightly green and lame in my photos. I promise, it's way better in real life. 


viral vomit

I know this video came out forever ago, but it's freaken awesome.
I will say I've never had the balls to do this while hiking in Southern Utah,
Maybe some day. Maybe some day...


happy birthday love

It's R's birthday today and I figured he needed a little shout out.
I love to celebrate people's birthday's, especially Ryley's. 1. because I love him most and
2. he loves his birthday and I think it's so cute.
I love having a reason to decorate and buy presents and plan parties. love it.
I also love husbands and marriage and best friends so it just makes for a great day.
{but all of that will come on later posts, after all the fun has been had}

Today I wanted to talk about Ryley.
I am truly a luck person to have this man in my life.
Here are a few personals about my man that you may like to know...

When Ryley was little his nick name was Dennis the Menace because he was everywhere. My favorite story is when he was being baby sat. Ryley was being naughty and so the baby sitter sent him to his room. Ryley, I think being around 3 or 4 wanted to get back at her. So he opened his window to make it look like he had escaped and then he emptied his toy box, crawled in with his favorite blanket, put toys on top of him, and closed the lid. A few minutes later the baby sitter came in to find little Ryley only to discover that he was gone. She freaked out and searched everywhere. Finally she had to call his parents. This whole time Ryley stayed in his toy box. He had fallen asleep and his mom came home and found him passed out under all of his toys. Seriously, who does that? So cute, and yet I'm a little scared to have our own little Ryley's.

Favorite food  is Chinese. We drive 20 minutes at least once a week to get our favorite Golden Jade melt-it-your-mouth Schezwan chicken. Ahhh so amazing.

R's job or future job is going to be in graphic design and photography. R just finished college and is looking for a solid job. He is incredibly talented. I love watching him work [I admit, it some times stresses me out too] because his thought process and ideas are completely different than mine. I never know what he's thinking or how he's going to solve the problem, but he always does. [if you need a logo or any graphic design work done let me know. He's your man]

Ryley hates pasta because it's mushy, or so he says. [he's hated it ever since he was little when forced to eat it, no fault of his parents, he's just that stubborn to hate it forever after being forced] But he LOVES to mush up grahm crackers with milk, loves cake with milk, loves oatmeal. All mushy foods. Do I understand this? No. Do I tease him about it? Of course.

Ryley's hair has been getting longer and longer as you have seen if you've kept up on my spastic blogging. His newest goal is to not cut it until Hayden, his little bro, comes home from Chili next year. Ha. I'll love it/laugh if he does. Secretly I know he wants to keep it long for our trips this summer so the sun will bleach out his golden locks and he'll become even more sexy than he already is.

One last fact. R loves sci-fi movies. Loves them.  Any movie that has crazy creatures, or space, or time travel, or anything just plain weird he loves. I'm still trying to cope with this one, but I definitely get a new flavor of films now that I'm married!

Seriously I am such a happy and lucky person. I am truly blessed to have this man in my life. He is my home. I hope you have a wonderful day! I love you      


It's a race

Today was a good day. Not much new. Nothing amazing. Just a warm day spent with R.
We wanted to be outside, but since we don't have a yard of our own we made our way to Ryley's grandpa's barn. [ps can I just say that I am dying for a yard of our own. Even more than wanting our own house I want a yard, with a hammock and a garden and pretty flowers and a place to just relax] Barn meaning beautiful yard and garden of veggies and flowers with horses and trees and lounging chairs. Yes please. Of course R found some little 90 cc's that he challenged me to race. Obviously I couldn't turn him down. We made the course. It looped around trees and through fields and around the barn. I had to ride standing up to throw my weight into the turns so I could keep up my speed. I had to beat Ryley. He always beats me. Always. In everything. It gets annoying, but I guess today was my day because I won. 46 seconds to 48. Best. Day. Ever.


R and I found an old school photo booth on our Saturday night day. Yea}

The school year is almost over. I'm 6 days aways from completing my first year as a teacher. It feels sooooo good. This has been one challenging year. New state. New city. New school. New subject. New dance coach. New life. I have worked my booty off. I have stressed my booty off. But I am in a happy place. I feel confident and good about where I'm at this day, this hour. {who knows where I'll be tomorrow}

The past few days I have been correcting my student's photography finals. They had to write a paper with their project and reflect on how their images represented them. Now usually when I assign writing assignments I get a lot of blah blah blah I'm trying to fill the page. And I did get some of that, but I also got some great stuff. I was inspired. So many of these high schoolers wrote about life and it's meaning to them personally. Their messages were about living life and not watching it go bye. Not getting caught up in things that don't matter and focus on family and friends and fullilling your dreams instead of watching your life go by. They wrote about having no regrets and making your dreams happen.

One student wrote on faith. She said, " Without faith what do we have to live for? Not just faith in a God, but faith in what the next day will bring. Faith that you will e able tolive another day. Faith that when someone you love is hurt that they will be ok. Faith that when a loved one dies that you might just be able to see them again. Faith, live with it." 

I was able to read these thoughts all day and it was awesome. I feel like it renewed my life goals and priorities. It made me realize that it's worth it to stress over what time dance practice starts and if R didn't wash any of his dishes. I have life. I have a love that makes my life worth living every day. I have so many great things and I choose to live my life dwelling on all that I have and love instead of what slipped away or will never be. I am so greatful to be plain, mediocre me.
Hello everyone. I'm excited to tell you that Ryley's amazing sister Ashley is highlighting us over on her blog today. Ashley has started an awesome post called wear//there where she picks a beautiful place around there world and composes a super fashionable outfit to wear so you are always traveling in style. This week she asked me to pick out my dream wear for our upcoming trip. I loved searching out my wish list of clothes. I just wish I could actually buy some of them... Come check them out over here!


Viral Vomit

Ok this is going to be a new and exciting addition to my blog. Viral Vomit. This is a bit like verbal vomit, ya know, when words just keep pouring out of your mouth and you can't stop them and you definitely can't take them back. Yup, verbal vomit. [just ask R about his first veral "I love you" vomit with me. Very romantic]  Well, viral vomit is about the same thing. We all know every person is guilty for spending secret hours wasting our time watching people do stupid/awesome things on YouTube and then you finally look down at the clock and realize that 2 hours went by without even noticing. Well, we do that at lease once a day, probably by ourselves and then when we get together at night.

When we lived in Idaho and all our family would get together for Sunday dinner we would sit at the computer for at least an hour after dinner and watch video after video. Totally awesome. Since we don't get together with anyone to show off our great finds I have decided to make a verbal vomit section on my blog. Now here's the great thing. If you watch these and think, "I have something that is equally as awesome, or maybe even more awesome," send me a link and then I'll get to laugh and perhaps everyone else will too. Hope you enjoy the videos today.

This little baby is great. Noah rocks the song and I may like it better than the origional.

Now this is for teachers, and if you have a sense of humor. It was teachers appreciation week last week and this came out on Jimmy Kimmel. Now I dont usually feel this way, so please dont take offense and laugh.


Now that it's finally warm I am getting the energy to actaully work on all the projects I've been putting off all winter. We have about a room full of thrift furniture that I've been "planning" on fixing up since November. I finally finished #1 on my list. As soon as I saw this beauty I was in love. R wasn't too sure. {which would make sence if I actually took a before photo like I should have but never do} But I told him to trust me on this one. And he did. I decided to go with a neutral grey that we alrady had from painting our dresser, but I felt like it needed a little something extra. Yellow. It's a little surprise when you open the drawer. It makes me smile every time I open up for my notebook.
ps. If anyone is interested on getting a little thrift furniture 101 let me know. I've been thinking about doing thrift posting....


R and I took a little weekend getaway to Bear Lake. 
I love driving through the canyon and coming around the corner
to see the lake in full view. It calms my crazy head.
We drove up for a goodbye party for one of my close high school friends. 
They're moving away to dental school far far away. 
Kaydi threw a big Cinco De Mayo party for them. 
I love the fact that even though it's been years
and we have completely changed [hopefully]
that we are all still friends. Even if we don't chat on the phone every week
or get together once a month, we are still happy and pick up where we left off. 
We understand each other. We know each other. I mean we grew up toilet papering houses and giggling at all night slumber parties.
We know each others families and they know my story. 
They know my dad. They went through my hardest years and stood by my side. 
Even if we don't talk for another 20 years it won't be awkward. 
They're my friends. And good friends never leave. 

ps. We are going to be spending a lot of time in Bear Lake this summer. 
Can't wait!