Arizona Vacay

Happy Monday! I hope everyone had a great weekend! I am feeling refreshed and relaxed after a week in Arizona with Mike, my parents, and Amanda and Kevin. The weather was gorgeous (80-90’s and sunny everyday) and nothing beats time spent with my favorite people!

We spent a lot of time during the day outside relaxing by the pool. Unfortunately Amanda and Kevin had to work most of the week, but we met up with them for dinners after work. They took the day off Friday and we hiked Camelback Mountain. It was a tougher hike but the view at the top was definitely rewarding! 

We were foruntate enough to see Amanda and Kevin’s new house, it is beautiful! I can’t wait to stay there and see all the memories that are made within in. Congratulations to Amanda and Kevin!

I’m already missing vacation and my sister and Kevin, but have some exciting events coming up that are keeping the post-vacation blues at bay. I hope everyone has a great week and enjoys this Spring weather! 


– M –

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Sunny Weekend in LA

Hi everyone! I hope you had a great St. Patrick’s day weekend. Kevin and I were in LA Thursday through Saturday, and had a much needed couple of days away.


We stayed at the Beverly Hills Hotel in Beverly Hills and enjoyed our stay. Kevin was in town for a work event, and I flew out on Thursday to meet him. We enjoyed our favorite restaurant  in town, Il Pastaio, for yummy italian dinner on Thursday night and did some walking around town afterward. Unfortunately no celebrity sightings!
On Friday we enjoyed a morning work down rodeo drive taking in all of the amazing houses in the area. We later enjoyed lunch at The Farm of Beverly Hills and did some window shopping on rodeo drive. We found out Kenney, Kevin’s brother was also in town so we met up with him and his friend for dinner before joining some other MSU friends for the basketball game. It was great to see everyone and watch a good win for the Spartans!


Have a great week!

– A –

 

 

 

 

Ski Weekend

Happy Monday! I hope everyone had a good weekend!

I spent a long weekend up north at Boyne Highlands with my boyfriend, Mike, and a big group of his friends. We arrived on Thursday after a four hour drive and relaxed for the night. On Friday, we hit the slopes! I used to ski at least once a year when I was younger and actually snowboarded as well, but haven’t been in quite a while. Thankfully, it wasn’t too hard to pick back up (I only fell a few times)! There was fresh snow on the ground and we had a lot of fun venturing down the hills as a group. After a warmup and lunch at the lodge, the girls headed back to the house. More people arrived on Friday evening and we spent the night playing lots of drinking games (flashback to college!).

On Saturday, we went skiing again and I felt more confident overall. I enjoyed the fresh air, pretty views, and company and look forward to going again. After a full day at Boyne, we returned to the house. We watched the MSU basketball game and made a taco bar for dinner. While we had intentions to go out to the hot tub or bar on Saturday, we ended up staying at the house and played more games. It was such a fun weekend!

Talk to you guys soon!

– M –

Back Home

We are home! We landed in Phoenix Saturday night after almost 24 hours of travel. Our trip was amazing, full of adventure and some much needed relaxation! Every country was so unique, we enjoyed Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam so much. It feels good to be home. It cooled off in Scottsdale while we were gone and it finally feels like fall. Now it is time for Christmas shopping and enjoying the holiday spirit! Back to reality… 





– A –

Hello from Southeast Asia!

Hi all! I hope you had a great weekend. For those of you who do not know Kevin and I left for Southeast Asia on Wednesday! We are visiting Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam and we couldn’t be more excited for another adventure together. We started our trip in Chiang Mai, the northern part of Thailand after a long 20+ hours of travel. While we are here we are visiting an elephant camp, taking a cooking course to learn how to cook some local dishes, and enjoying the amazing scenery while we adjust to the time change. 



We then travel to Ko Samui, an island in southern Thailand for four days of relaxation! Here Kevin has some “surprises” he planned, and I cannot wait to find out what he has in store.

Next we travel to Bangkok for a couple of days in the city before we make our way to Siem Reap Cambodia to visit Ankor Wat and all of the surrounding temples. We have a tour planned to make the most of our time there and on the second day we get picked up at 4:30am to watch the sunrise over the beautiful temples.

The last leg of our trip will be spend in Hanoi Vietnam, where we travel to Ha Long Bay to enjoy a night on a boat (or junk as they call it) viewing the gorgeous water and surrounding scenery. If you are not familiar with Ha Long Bay, Google search it and you will see why  I am excited!

I will post some pictures on Facebook as we travel if you are intersted in following our journey. Have a good week!

– A – 

 

 

Healthy Travel Tips

Happy Labor Day! I hope you are all enjoying a relaxing holiday. Kevin and I spent the weekend in beautiful San Diego at The Lodge at Torrey Pines. It was our second time spending Labor Day weekend  there and we really enjoyed it. We caught the first Michigan State football game at a local bar when we arrived on Friday and cheered on our Spartans to victory. On Saturday we enjoyed downtown La Jolla in the morning and spent the afternoon by the pool. Sunday we tested our luck at the Del Mar horse races. Not much luck this year but we still had a blast!



It is important to me to maintain a healthy lifestyle while on vacation. It is easy to go into vacation mode and skip the gym and over indulge in food that is not good for you. Although I do allow myself to have a few things I would not normally eat (bring on a good dessert), I make sure 80% of what I am eating is clean healthy food. A few guidelines I try to stick to on vacation are: 

  • Drink lots of water. Especially if drinking alcohol.
  • Skip the sugary vacation drinks. Opt for a glass of red wine or a vodka soda with lime.
  • Do not let a treat derail you. It’s okay to splurge on dessert after a healthy dinner, but make sure your next meal is a healthy one.
  • Keep your usual workout schedule. Take a long morning walk or run. Hit the hotel gym before heading to breakfast. I travel with resistance bands that make it easy to do a workout in the room or balcony.
  • Travel with healthy snacks. My go to snacks are protein bars and nuts. I always know I have something healthy on hand.
  • Keep a healthy mindset. Many people think vacation is a time to splurge in everything you would not normally do. Although a treat is okay, try to maintain your normal eating and exercise routine as much as possible.

Happy traveling and enjoy your week!

– A –

Trip to Peru

I’m back! This week I’ve been adjusting back to reality after an amazing 10 day vacation in Peru. Kevin and I hiked the Inca Trail for four days with our close family and friends to take in the view of the beautiful Machu Picchu! I can’t put into words how breathtaking Peru was. We arrived in Cusco and spent a few days there taking in the city and adjusting to the altitude (11,000 ft). We were all surprised by Cusco and really enjoyed the city. It’s such a cute but busy city with cobblestone streets, amazing history and the most welcoming people. There we met with our tour company for the hike and they led us on a tour of the Sacred Valley, which was once the heartland of the Inca Empire. We spent a full day learning about the Inca terraces that they used for farming and took in sights of Moray, Pisac, and the salt mines in Maras.


The next day we packed our bags for the trail and stayed the night with one of our porters family (workers who carry your stuff on the trail) in one of the local villages. It was so cool to be immersed in their culture and see Peruvian life first hand. We went to a Peruvian market, cut barley in a field with sicles, shucked corn and sorted lima beans. After a long day of work, we enjoyed a yummy meal with music and dancing with the family before bed. We didn’t sleep very well, as they were celebrating a holiday and had a marching band parading through the streets all night. What an experience!


The next day we left bright and early to head to the beginning of the trail. We hiked about 7.5 miles to our first camp site. We indulged in our first four course meal prepared by our team. It’s incredible how they prepare such great (and so much) food mountainside! Our guides, Freddy and Bruno briefed us about Day 2, which is the hardest day on the trail.


We woke up early the next day to start our hike towards Warmiwañusca, also known as Dead Women’s Pass. The first portion of the day was all uphill, hiking up stairs for what seemed like forever. Talk about a good glute workout! We finally reached the highest point at 13,828 feet and the views were worth the long hike uphill. We celebrated with a beer at the top before starting the steep decent down towards our campsite. We reached camp in time for a large lunch and our favorite, nap time!


Day three was the most enjoyable day of hiking, still lots of changes in altitude but not as many stairs and we visited four Inca sites to break up the day. The terrain was beautiful as we entered the rain forest and got closer to Machu Picchu. That night we celebrated with our “last supper” as a team with our guides and porters. 

We had an early morning the next day, waking up at 4am to start our final leg before reaching Machu Pichhu. We hiked for a couple of hours before reaching the Inti Punku (known as the Sun gate), which was a fortress and entrance to Machu Picchu. We walked a bit more before reaching the amazing Machu Picchu. Wow, it can really take your breath away! It made it that much more special that we had hiked for four days and were able to celebrate our accomplishment with such an amazing piece of history.


We toured Machu Picchu for the day before heading to our hotel to enjoy running water and a real bed that we had missed on the trail. Some of our group returned to Machu Picchu the next day to hike Huayna Picchu, the mountain that rises over Machu Picchu, which provides amazing views of the ruins and surrounding area.


Later in the day we took a train to Ollantaytambo for one more night together as a group. In the morning we toured the hotel’s organic farm and had a traditional Pachamanca, where they bury your food under hot rocks underground to cook it. It was so cool to see the process and the food turned out amazing. It was some of the best chicken I have ever had!


It was time to head to the airport and make the journey home. We had an incredible trip alongside our family and closest friends. It was truly a once in a lifetime trip and I’ll never forget the adventures of hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu!

– A – 

Road Trip Adventure

Hi everyone! Hope your week is off to a good start! 

My best friend and I had the opportunity to go on a road trip together in June and I wanted to share some pictures to recap the trip! We started in Seattle and drive down the west coast to Northern California. It was the trip of a lifetime and I was so glad we could take this trip together! 


Our favorite stops were Seattle, Napa Valley, and Lake Tahoe. The week was full of amazing views, lots of driving, yummy food and drinks, and most importantly time with my best friend. Until the next adventure! 
– M –

Until Next Week…

We are currently enjoying some quality time together and with our family in Arizona! We will be back next week with an update of all the fun things we have done together. Have a great week everyone!   

Chicago Weekend Recap

Happy Monday! I hope everyone had a great weekend 🙂

My family was reunited this weekend as my parents, my boyfriend, Nick, and I went to Chicago to visit Amanda and her husband, Kevin. I love when we all get to spend time together. Here is a look into our time in the Windy (or should I say rainy) City…Enjoy!

Friday

After our four hour drive, we arrived in Chicago in time to have appetizers and drinks at Amanda and Kevin’s apartment before heading to dinner at Wildfire. I ordered the chopped salad. I loved the avocado (one of my favorite foods), citrus vinaigrette and how each bite had toppings in it. It was very flavorful and filling.togetheratheart_chicagoAfter great conversation and food, we headed to the Berkshire Room to enjoy a cocktail.togetheratheart_chicagotogetheratheart_chicagoWhile chatting over drinks, Kevin asked my dad what he wanted to do the remainder of the night and somehow, Whirlyball came up. Kevin is known for turning talk into reality and before we knew it we were getting ready to play Whirlyball (Amanda and I in wedges!).togetheratheart_chicagoThe game ended in a tie and while it was a random end to the evening, we all had a lot of fun!

Saturday

We had a lazy morning before heading out to the local art fair to take advantage of the nice weather. On the way, I made everyone stop at the Cupcake ATM. I was very excited and my family claims I am too easily pleased. Sometimes it’s the little things in life  (especially if it’s something sweet)!togetheratheart_chicago We walked around the art fair for a while and of course had to enjoy a Goose Island 312 to cool us off as it was hot and humid mid-day. togetheratheart_chicagoWhen we all started getting hungry, we headed to Lux Bar for some lunch. Nick claims they have the best burger and I must admit my turkey burger was pretty darn good! It was topped with avocado (noticing a pattern here?), white cheddar cheese, lettuce, and tomato. Yum!togetheratheart_chicagoOur final thing on the agenda for the day was to attend a Cubs game at Wrigley Field. Amanda and Kevin got my dad tickets as an early Father’s Day present. My dad was very excited to be at the historic field and says he can check it off his bucket list now. togetheratheart_chicagoUnfortunately the weather didn’t cooperate and it started pouring in the 5th inning. We were still able to enjoy a couple beers and watch the Cubs get a few good runs. We ended the night with some Lou Malnati’s pizza (our favorite Chicago-style pie) and HGTV. Nothing like relaxing with your family on a rainy night!

Sunday

Amanda and I woke up bright and early to attend a Soulcycle class. We did cycling in college and we were excited to do it together again. It was definitely challenging! We will feature more on our Soulcycle class in a future post. Stay tuned!We then had brunch at Chicago Cut Steakhouse. We visited this restaurant the weekend of Amanda and Kevin’s engagement celebration and we were all happy to be back. I am a pancake lover and I was not disappointed by the warm stack of blueberry pancakes I ordered. togetheratheart_chicagoWe ended our trip in the city with a walk along the river. togetheratheart_chicagoWe had an eventful, but relaxing weekend. It is always fun to visit my sister and brother-in-law!

Until next time Chicago!

– M –