my fall must haves

my fall must haves

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I love fall fashion and get so excited when the season comes around. Who doesn’t love putting on a cute sweater and boots to go to a pumpkin patch? I am more than excited for all of the festivities that come with fall!

Recently I have been looking for a few new staple items to add to my closet and came across a few favorites. I have been searching for a coat that is not too heavy and that can be worn with a number of different outfits.When I found this cute, army green coat I fell in love!! Everyone needs a jacket that they can wear throughout the season and this is great one because the sleeves can be rolled up when it’s too hot to wear a full on coat.

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I also thought that this grey sweater wrap and pair of black jeans were items that I could wear consistently and pair with a number of outfits. It was time for me to get a few solid versatile items. I thought these jeans were extra cute with the slightly ripped knees.
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What girl doesn’t love SHOES? I would wear pointed flats every day if my job allowed it. These flats are super cute, affordable, and have a strap around the ankle to add a little detail and support. I have found a few pairs of pointed flats that are adorable but really pricey. I go through shoes really fast, so I thought these were cute and even if they just lasted for the season, they were definitely worth $28! I also found these cute boots over at Forever 21 and absolutely adored the buckles. I have been obsessed with gold lately so when I saw these I was ecstatic!


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My choice accessory is always my shades! I have found a few pairs of glasses over the years that I treasure but they are getting a little old and beat up. It was time to get a new pair and while I was looking, I came across these lovelies! They are a little different but I adore the round cat eye shape. Go out on a limb and try something new– maybe some cat eye sunnies for a change?!

Floppy hats are definitely in right now and are taking over! I wish I had every shade and color of floppy hats. I always find myself wearing my floppy hat when I don’t feel like doing my hair and want to look dressed up! Floppy hats can be worn as a casual accessory or a way to dress up your outfit. I have worn my hat with jeans and a striped shirt but I have also worn it with a dress and heels. I was really nervous to give floppy hats a try, but I am so glad I tested the waters and got one. I am thrilled about this new hat and the pop of color that it adds.

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We bring our phones everywhere we go that it’s practically an accessory, so why not dress it up too? I have always been a fan of black and white because it goes with everything! This phone case it so classy and sassy and I can’t wait to get my hands on it. Best part is that it is a charging case and you don’t have to worry about your phone dying before the day is over. I have always enjoyed having different phone cases to alternate with but when I get this case I may never take it off!

Thanks for reading… don’t forget to check back for some of my yummy fall recipes and activities!

California Trip Part 1 with Caitlyn McDonald

California Trip Part 1 with Caitlyn McDonald

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Hey y’all! It’s Michaela and I’m going to be writing today along with my best friend Caitlyn from pureaquarian.com about our California trip! We’re collaborating on this so that we can remember the details together. (Two brains are better than one right?)

C: We had such a great time catching up; the whole trip started because we wanted to attend one of our best friend’s and former roomies weddings in LA. Michaela lives up in the bay area and I hadn’t seen her since February so it worked out well for me to fly into San Jose and for us to travel down to Southern California for the wedding.

M: I’m laughin’ just writing this because I’m thinking about all of the incidents we had on this trip! I picked Cait up late on Thursday night and we left early the next morning to drive down the coast. Our first stop was Monterey, CA. I had been there with Michael last year but was excited to see more and get to explore a bit.

C: I had done this same trip when I was little with my family. I think I was about 8 so it was fun to remember little things about that trip that I had since forgotten. We both adored Monterey and got a great lunch at a place called Hula’s. We’ve always called my mama “Tour Guide Barbie” because she has everything planned out perfectly for our trips… even down to the exact restaurants we are going to eat! (I can only hope to develop that skill.) Anyways, we called my mom and asked her to find us a yummy restaurant in Monterey and Hula’s didn’t disappoint. It was sooooooo good.

M: I got the hula burger and Cait got the shrimp salad. It was a good start to a whole lottta good food we were fixin to have over the next few days. After Monterey we drove thru Carmel and drove the 17 Mile Scenic Drive.

C: I was taking pictures of Pebble Beach Golf Course and sendin’ them to Jord cause I know it’s one of his dreams to play there. It’s breathtaking.

M: We drove basically that whole stinkin’ day! Big Sur is one of the prettiest, if not the prettiest, sights I’ve ever seen. My mom had asked me if I thought it was prettier than Yosemite and The Grand Canyon, and I honestly I couldn’t compare them, but it’s definitely a drive I recommend for everyone to do in their life.

C: It was so hard not to spend hours stopping and taking pictures at every turn in the road because it’s that pretty!

M: The drive ended up taking us 12 hours to get down to Redondo Beach where my aunt and uncle live. (We stayed with them).

Click here to see the route we took.

C: The next morning we woke up and started getting ready for Mel’s wedding. The ceremony was at the LA LDS Temple. It was a gorgeous but hot (especially for California) day. We spent all morning getting ready with no AC, then when we arrived at the temple and I looked in the mirror in my car, I realized that all my makeup had literally MELTED off my face! I looked like a freak because the spots were seriousy bright orange with makeup clumped together from sweat.

M: I was dying laughing because we had spent all morning getting ready and bless Caitlyn’s heart, her makeup had just melted off. We got into the temple only to find out that the AC wasn’t working there as well, PLUS the water had been turned off. It was a comical few moments watching her frantically try to reapply her makeup in a public bathroom, with no water.

C: I was being overly dramatic but now looking back on it I die laughing. Everything turned out well though and all I can say is I’m glad that didn’t happen to me on MY wedding day hahah!

M: We went down to Rodeo Drive immeadiately after the ceremony to get lunch and walk around. We ate at a cute place called the Panini Cafe. Cait got a sandwich and salad and got my favorite….French toast. We walked around and shopped for a bit and stopped for Sprinkles Cupcakes on our way back to the car. We drove straight down to Temecula, CA where the reception was. We allowed an extra hour for driving (luckily) because we got lost about 10 times on our way there. The reception was gorgeous and we had so much fun dancing our little hearts out we didn’t even get any pictures!

C: That night we drove back up to Michaela’s aunt and uncle’s. We woke up the next morning to get brunch with one of my best friends from Utah. I finally got to see her sweet baby which was a highlight for sure.  We went to Bottega Louie and got the yummiest beignets. It was a mad house in there but it was so cute. We went straight to Venice Beach after that so we could see a southern California beach then drove back up to San Jose.

M: Our trip mainly consisted of driving which was totally fine since we were just happy to be hanging out together! When we drove up that evening we took a different route via the 101. It was neat because we got to see a lot of vineyards and missions which was so cool! I felt as if I saw the whole state of California within a few days!

We will be posting on Caitlyn’s blog about a fabulous day in San Fran next. Thanks for reading!

Tribal Fringe Poncho

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Fall is my favorite time of year! The season is quickly approaching which means, I finally get to whip out my sweaters, scarfs and boots. Not to mention all the pies, pumpkins, and decorations. I went by target the other day and the dollar section was filled with halloween decorations, so of course I filled my basket and started making my apartment extra spooky! Cute ideas for crafts and halloween treats will be coming up on the blog in the next month!

Speaking of cute sweaters —I found this amazing colorful poncho that’s great for anytime of year, but looks extra cute for autumn! It is on sale for 29.99!! I am obsessed with it and already want to wear it all the time. There are only 2 left– make sure to snatch yours up today! —

Tribal Fringe Poncho

Stayin’ Classy

Stayin’ Classy

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    Outfit Details 

Shirt C/o // Capital City Boutique  —

Use Code: Knight for 20% off the entire store

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Skirt// Target// Cupcake Skirt

Shoes//Nine West

Purse// Kate Spade

Paul Smith Glasses // Glasses.com

I don’t know about any of you, but I LOVE dressing up! This past weekend I decided to go for the Breakfast at Tiffany’s look. My Mom is named after the movie, so I’m naturally a fan.

I got this shirt from Capital city Boutique and I knew it would go great with this skirt and bag! I love the shirt because the neckline is gorgeous and adds the perfect touch of style and class to any outfit.

I’ve always loved the color of my Kate Spade bag and this past year my husband surprised me by getting me this bag for Christmas! I love the pop of color it brings and the style that it adds to some of my outfits.

This fun and spunky skirt I found at Target! For months I have been looking for a black and white striped skirt and I love Target because of all of the fun little finds that I come away with.  The skirt was one of my most recent and I couldn’t be happier to have found it!

Santa Cruzin

Santa Cruzin

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Shirt // Capital City Boutique

Shorts// H & M

Hat// old but similar // Maroon Floppy Hat

Jawbone Fitness Tracker // Up

This past weekend my husband and I decided to head over to Santa Cruz with a few of our friends. We had been before with some other friends who took us to this beach that we love, but it had been a while, so we wanted to go back! The beach is named Panther Beach and it’s just north of Santa Cruz as you drive along Highway 1. There’s even a cool old railroad track that runs along the road that you will have to cross over in order to get down to the beach.

Growing up in Florida I have always loved the beach. Although California beaches are different than Florida beaches, I’m still happy to be by the ocean. This beach is a lot of fun though – it’s sandy and there are cool rocks you can go explore along the beach. There always seems to be a group of people there with music or games and an occasional fire. My friends and I splashed in the water and sat in the sand and were able to enjoy the sound of the waves crashing; it was a nice change to the stress of having to sit through traffic and go through that. We were also able to watch an amazing sunset, which reminds me… this beach always seems to have amazing sunsets as well! It was really nice to get away though and it’s close enough to the Bay Area that it’s an easy getaway. I hope that if you are ever in the area you’ll go and check out this beach and visit Santa Cruz! You’ll love it!

I wore this beautiful boho shirt from Capital City Boutique that I LOVE! It can be worn as a bathing suit cover-up, or paired with jeans for a date night…lots of different options for outfits! I love how intricate the detail in the sleeves are and how lightweight and breathable it is. I’ve always loved wearing this brand and I already have my eye on some other cute clothes that I’m hoping to sometime add to my wardrobe! Take a look!

Lake Powell

Lake Powell

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White Kimono // White flower Fringe // Nordstrom Rack

Sunglasses // Francescas

I found the black Kimono at my local Nordstrom Rack, most stores have plenty to choose from!

Lake Powell… I don’t know if you have ever been there but you NEED to go! Lake Powell is a great place to go with family or friends. I went with my husband’s family and we had a blast! We flew in to Utah to meet up with Michael’s family and then we drove through all of the cute, small towns of Utah.

If you haven’t ever been to Powell or if you haven’t heard of it, it’s located in southern Utah/northern Arizona and the further south you go in Utah, the mountains turn to a reddish-orange color.  Lake Powell itself is amazing!  Picture the Grand Canyon, but full of water!  Powell is an awesome place to visit because you can go out on a day trip, you can camp, or you can go out on a houseboat, which we were lucky enough to do!

The Marina where our boat was docked is called Antelope Point. They have a cute restaurant on the dock that we tried out the night we arrived and then we went grocery shopping to stock up on all of the food we needed for the week; it was A LOT of food! Michael’s family has come down to Powell quite a bit, so they seemed to know what they were doing!  Each couple had a day or two which we were assigned to prepare the meals and Michael’s Mom was smart enough to have the grocery list all set up ahead of time for each of the meals, which I would definitely recommend.  Another option is to order your groceries online at Safeway.com and they’ll deliver the groceries to your boat! We decided we’d go in ourselves though!

The next day we were able to take off from the marina and go look for “beaches” where we would anchor the boat to.  Being a Florida girl, I was picturing the nice, white, sandy beaches I’m used to, but these beaches were a little different!  The beaches at Lake Powell were sandy, but there were also all sorts of other things (rocks, branches, bushes) that you would have to swim around in some places.  It was still fun to be able to swim and play on the beach, but it just wasn’t what I was used to!

Because the water levels are always rising or falling, it’s hard to know which beaches will be under water, or a lot higher than the water mark, but we found a really cool beach this year that we had all to ourselves.  We also had Wave Runners, which were great because we could go exploring through some of the canyons and we could see places that even a ski boat couldn’t get to at times.  We also threw out some tubes behind them, and my sister-in-law (Matilde) and I had a lot of fun doing that.

This vacation is especially awesome because the water is SUPER warm! We layed in floats and played in the water all day, every day!  It did get pretty hot, so the water was so refreshing and nice.

One of my favorite parts of the trip was getting to play games! It seemed to break things up and give everyone something to do other than sitting out or swimming. Our favorite games were played UNO, Pit, Q’bitz, and Dominoes. We also brought quite a few movies to watch, and it was fun to be able to end the day with a few good movies.

The best part of it all though were the sunsets and the rain storms…. I don’t think I have ever seen anything more beautiful than a Lake Powell sunset; and the rain storms… I’ve always loved rain, but especially at Lake Powell! The rain comes in so quickly and cools everything off.  It’s so pretty to see it bring out the red rocks too!

While we were there, I loved wearing Kimonos…. I practically lived in them the whole week!!! I didn’t want to keep changing in and out of clothes the entire day, so I would throw on a Kimono over my bathing suit, and it was perfect little cover-up. They are super light-weight and breathable, which makes them perfect for any beach or pool day. If you like mine, I found them at Nordstrom rack for under $30. They had a great variety of colors and styles and after how often I wore them, I’m sure I’ll be back to pick up a few more!

For the Love of Yoga

For the Love of Yoga

In honor of National Yoga Day on Sunday, I thought I would share a little about my newfound hobby!

A few months ago my Mom sent me a yoga book, Richard Hittleman’s Yoga: 28 Day Exercise Plan, and ever since I’ve been hooked! Richard Hittleman specialized in introducing yoga in a way that’s easy-to-follow for beginners and so this was perfect for me! I know it’s not always easy to find a yoga class that you enjoy, that you have enough time for, or that’s smart (not too pricey) and I wanted to try yoga on my own before I got more serious, so I started by doing some of the poses from this book for about 15-20 minutes/day.  The book is a great way to get you going because you start out very basic and simple but it gets progressively harder.

Fast forward to a few weeks ago…We met the nicest couple and the wife had just finished a yoga instructor course up in San Francisco.  Because it was something we both had in common and something that I’ve really gotten into, yoga was all we could talk about!  Having just finished her instructor course, she’s offered to give me classes and it’s been so fun to build off of what I’ve learned in the book! She’s so patient with me and she gives great details on the different poses. There are some great yoga instructors out there, but the fact that my instructor is so motivating and helpful makes it that much more enjoyable and worth while.

One thing that has kept me from really getting into yoga is that I’ve always seen the cute yoga girls who always seem so athletic or naturally flexible, and I’ve never felt that I fit that stereotype.  Since I’ve gotten into yoga and since I’ve gotten over that stereotype though, I’ve realized that there’s a lot more to yoga than just being athletic or flexible.

Because I’ve recently started working full-time, yoga has been a great stress reliever for me and it’s really helped to relax and rejuvenate my mind and body.  I’ve felt much more at peace with myself and my body; I’ve felt a greater appreciation for the body I’ve been given and I’m grateful that some of the issues that I feel weigh me down aren’t worse than they could be; I’ve also felt like yoga has helped me to have more control over my body by working out and stretching those muscles that I didn’t even know I had; and most of all, I feel that yoga has really helped me to be able to better handle stressful situations.

Below are some of the basic poses that I really like and a few tips I’ve picked up from my instructor who’s fresh off of her licensing course and from Richard Hittleman’s Yoga: 28 Day Exercise Plan.  If you are looking for a quick way to take a break from your hectic lives, these are simple and relaxing and I hope you’ll take a peek!

“Yoga does not remove us from the reality or responsibilities of everyday life but rather places our feet firmly and resolutely in the practical ground of experience. We don’t transcend our lives; we return to the life we left behind in the hopes of something better.” ~ Donna Farhi ⌘

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Mountain Pose

For the Mountain Pose, start with your feet together and your arms down and relaxed to your side. Also, stand with your feet shoulder width apart, flat on the ground. Take a deep breath in and slowly raise your arms in a semi-circular motion towards the sky; in the same motion, stretch your calf and shin muscles by lifting yourself on your toes (like I’m doing in the picture) and stretching your body as high as you can.  Hold that pose for a few counts and exhale as you follow the same semi-circular motion as you bring your arms down and reach for your toes.  Again, hold this for a few counts and repeat the steps above.

I usually repeat this about 3-5 times, but do this for as long as you’d like.  If there’s anything that I’ve learned so far, and if there’s anything that I hope you get from reading this, it’s how important your breathing pattern is!  As you push your diaphragm and your torso out, control how you are inhaling and inhale to a point that’s comfortable.  As you exhale, focus on slowly letting the air out and also on contracting your torso. Try to really focus on controlling every movement, even if it’s as simple as breathing! Also, for this particular pose, don’t use your momentum to swing your arms up or to let them fall after holding the pose – this will really help you to feel the full effect!

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Downward Dog

This is probably one of the most well known yoga poses. Begin on all fours with your hands under your shoulders, and your knees under your hips. Walk your hands forward and then spread your fingers, pressing all four corners of your palm on the mat. Make sure to curl your toes under and push your hips as high as you can without it being uncomfortable. Keep your feet hip width apart and bend your knees just a little. Once you’re in this pose, focus on breathing like I explained above.  I will usually try to hold this for three or four counts of inhaling and exhaling, and I will usually do this almost as a rest pose in between some of the poses that are harder to hold.

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Cobra

Lay with your face down on the mat, with your hands underneath your shoulders and your legs extended straight back with the tops of your feet on the mat. Push your hips downward towards the mat and tighten your glutes. Slowly Press on your hands and lift yourself up, stretching your torso, and slightly tilting your head back (I didn’t do this in the picture below, but it can really add to the pose).  Hold this position for about 15-20 seconds. Again, focus on your breathing – breathe in as you push your diaphragm out, and pull your diaphragm in as you exhale. Lower your body back to a resting position, relax for a few breaths, and repeat as many times as you’d like. This one really seems to help me after doing an ab workout.

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Child’s pose

Start by sitting on your heels with your knees less than shoulder width apart. Stretch your arms above you and slowly lay your body forward bringing your forehead towards the mat. Let your chest and stomach sit on your quads your knees.  Hold this for 15-20 seconds and use your core (torso) to slowly lift your body back to the starting position. This is my favorite pose because of how relaxing it is!  This is another resting pose that you can strategically place in between some of the poses that are harder to hold.

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Easy Pose

Sit on your mat with your legs crossed, your knees wide apart and your feet beneath one another. Draw your torso in and push your shoulders back slightly to straighten out your spine and again focus on the breathing pattern I mentioned above.  Hold this for as long as you’d like.  For me, this seems to be the pose where I am able to ease my mind, focus on my body and and let go of everything else.

As relaxing as this is, don’t forget to have fun and push your body to see what it can do! I was so surprised to see and feel how much stronger and how much more flexible I have become and I hope you’ll give it a try if you haven’t already.  Also, if you have any poses that you really like, don’t be afraid to share!  Tell a little about it (how you do it, how it’s helped you, etc.) and I’ll definitely give it a try!      

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When I go to Yoga class, I don’t like wearing my workout shoes because I have to take them off right when I get there.  My cute friend Sierra actually gave them to me when she found out I was into yoga and I’ve loved wearing them!  I thought they were a little funky at first, and I hadn’t ever heard of Gurus, but they really are so comfortable and they’re super easy to slip on and off. The best part about it is that for every pair that is bought they plant a tree. They come with this super cute bag you can put your shoes in as well. Take a look!

Shoes// Gurus

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Thanks for reading and don’t forget to check back for more post!

Michaela Knight

Boutique of Molly

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DSC01234Shirt // Boutique of Molly   Jeggings //  Boutique of Molly     Purse // Kate Spade                

Shoes //  Forever 21    Sunglasses // Francescas      Necklace // Old but similar // Guess

I have recently been working with the Boutique of Molly team, which I adore! Boutique of Molly is based out of the UK and they offer the latest celebrity inspired trends.They have been so helpful, kind and reliable! In working with the boutique, I was happy to find that they ship worldwide.  I also had a really good experience with this, as my items were shipped right away, they were in great condition and the sizes were exactly as they described!

When I was browsing through their site I came across these jeggings, which I love; they are comfortable and cute and can go with any number of other outfits. They are my new favorite pair of pants/jeggings and I wear them all the time.

I also love the blush blouse because of how light and flowy it is, which is great for summer!

I have a number of outfits that I’m really excited to pair these with. They have a wide selection of cute dresses and I love that they have a variety of clothes for all occasions!

Because Boutique of Molly is based in the UK, the sizes are different, so I would suggest looking up a sizing chart online before ordering. I know ordering from somewhere else can be a little bit of a gamble, but everything fit great, and I couldn’t be happier with my experience with this cute little boutique!

Let me know if you have any questions about my experience or anything else; I’m more than happy to help!

Use Code: MOLLY for a 10% discount!

Yosemite

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Since we live so close, this is our second time going to Yosemite this year! We love it there! This time around, we decided to camp.  For those of you who you know me, you know it wasn’t me who came up with that idea! Right when we got there, it started raining, which made it a pain to get everything  set up. I felt like we were running all over the place, trying to get everything in from our car to the tent before it got drenched.

After we got all settled in and bundled up, we sat by the fire and had some good camp fire talk.  It was so peaceful to actually be able to distance ourselves from the business of everyday life and to focus on and enjoy nature.  Life is too busy, and it’s easy to forget to take a minute to enjoy all of the beauty that nature brings to our lives, and this adventure was a little reminder for me to always do that.

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This time around, it was fun to go down to Yosemite with some of our friends who have had the opportunity of exploring many different parts of the world, and it was inspiring to hear about their adventures to other corners of the world.  It was also nice going with them because they really were fun and energetic when it came to exploring trails and hikes.

Like I was saying before, I’m not a big fan of camping.  Our first night was bitter cold, wet, and our air mattress deflated, so I’d definitely recommend that you bring a foam mattress and a high quality sleeping bag. After our first night, we woke up and made some breakfast quesadillas, packed some lunches, and were on our way.  Yosemite is so big that you really can’t see everything in a weekend, but there are definitely some hikes, trails and view points that you don’t want to miss out on.  We decided with our friends that we wanted to hike the Yosemite Falls trail, which was a pretty intense hike.  Michael and I had previously gone on this hike, but because we got a later start, we weren’t able to make it all the way to the top.  Because we got an early start (before noon), and we were better prepared with food and snacks, we were even more determined to make it all the way to the top this time!

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Something that we came to find out on this trip was that Yosemite Falls is the tallest waterfall in North America.  It drops 2,425 feet, which makes for a killer hike !! We hiked to a good lookout point along the trail (just off of the main trail as you get about 1/4 the way up), and we all decided to continue on to the top of the Waterfall.  It was nice that there were Search and Rescue hikers along our route as well, so it was reassuring to know there would be help for us or any hikers who needed it.

When we reached the top, I couldn’t believe how pretty the views were!  It honestly doesn’t even look real – it looks more like a painting.  Once we made it to the top, we had some snacks and enjoyed the view.  I’d also recommend that you go down the the lookout, which is a little scary, but totally worth it!  There are railings to help you get there, but even then, it is still scary to see the waterfall rushing out beside you and knowing you’re on the edge of a cliff!  Once you get to the lookout, the railings are the only thing between you and 2,000+ feet drop-off.  So scary, but such an adrenaline rush!

Another fun thing that we were able to do was to continue on the trail for another mile or so to another, even higher lookout point that has even more amazing views!  I didn’t think it’d get much better than the first lookout beside the waterfall, but this was even better!

Overall, it took us about 6 hours to finish the hike and a couple who was hiking up and down at the same time tracked the hike at about 11 miles or so (including the extra mile or two to the second lookout point).  It was totally worth it even though we felt sooooo sore the next day!

We also met many great, encouraging hikers along the way and we were surprised at all of the different places that people had come from to visit Yosemite.  It was also encouraging to have people regularly say “keep going, you’re getting there!” A lot of the people seemed to be from other countries, and it was another simple reminder to not take for granted all of the beauty and amazing nature that we often times have so close to us. IMG_7265
Tunnel view!
One of the highlights of our trip was a little adventure that my friend McKelle found on Trip Advisor.  Someone had posted about a secret tunnel that is about half way in the tunnel that is right after the Tunnel View land mark in the park.  I’d recommend you park at the Tunnel View parking lot and then be adventurous and head into the tunnel where all of the cars are passing through.  It’s a little scary because the sidewalk there is so narrow, but if you walk single file for about 1,000 feet, you’ll come to a secret tunnel.  Bring a flashlight or use your phone, because it’s a little dark, but once you make it out to the other side of the tunnel, the view is amazing and you don’t have to deal with all of the other tourists there snapping pictures around you.  The spot isn’t marked, so be careful, but also enjoy the wide open view of the valley (see the second picture below!)

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IMG_7327Finding a camping grounds apparently can be fairly difficult depending on the time of year, but if you look in the right place, you can most likely find space (we went on Memorial Day weekend and were still able to find space a few weeks in advance).  We camped in Crane Flats, which McKelle had found; it was an awesome camping ground, and I was really glad to have had her help in pulling this trip off!  Our camp ground was still was about a 20 minute drive to Yosemite Valley (where most of the hikes and sites to see are located), but it was still within the park and a fun little spot to camp.

On the day after our Yosemite Falls hike (our last day), we were all really sore, and wanting to do an easy hike.  When I say easy I mean REALLY easy…. we’re talking people with strollers and bikes on a paved trail!  It can’t get much easier than that! The site was Bridal Veil Falls, and because it’s so easy, you get a lot of people there (which made for a long wait in the parking lot for as we waited for other cars to leave).  The trail itself is paved and is about 500 feet until you come to some big rocks that you can climb over to get to the base of the waterfall.  People were climbing the rocks as far as they could to get pictures by the fall, and it can be a little slippery, but it’s an easy little walk to see a really pretty waterfall.

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My favorite stop on this trip was at Glacier Point (rated #1 best view in Yosemite on Trip Advisor).  The last time that we came, we went to the top of Sentinel Dome (which is on the way to the Glacier Point lookout), and the view there was amazing (it was an easy 1-2 mile walk/hike), but Glacier Point was even better!  We got there right at sunset and it’s here that you can get the best view of Yosemite! If you don’t have a lot of time, or are passing through, GO HERE! IMG_7270

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This can be a trip that’s great for the whole family, a road trip with friends, or even a solo getaway! There are so many different trails and the levels of difficulty accommodate all age levels. Yosemite is a place that everyone should visit at least once to experience nature and God’s creations at their best!

If you are considering taking a vacation to Yosemite or If you have any questions and want to know more, please let me know!! We even have a year pass to Yosemite and can help you save the $30 that you would otherwise have to pay to come in to the park for a week, so I’m more than willing to at least help you out that way! This trip can also be an easy fit into your budget by camping, packing food, planning ahead and making sure you have all the gear you need before hand, and after this trip, I can definitely give you some good pointers!

Thanks for reading and please keep checking back for more of our little adventures!

Michaela Desiree

Honeymooners <3

Welcome back and thanks for following!

I mentioned in my first post that I’m going to be covering this past year and all of the experiences we’ve had since our wedding, so I have a lot to cover!

With our one year anniversary being less than a week ago, I’ve been thinking a lot about a the fun time we had on our honeymoon, so I’ll be writing a little about that today.

On our wedding night my husband and I stayed at the Tampa Marriott Waterside hotel & marina right on Tampa Bay in Florida. We had a perfect ending to our wedding day and reception; we were taken by a cute little boat (it even had “Just Married” on it!) to the hotel. It was so peaceful and romantic, and my parents didn’t even tell us about it until right before it came to pick us up. The boat brought us around the bay and we were able to relax a little from our long, but exciting day!

When we arrived at our hotel and got to our room, we had an amazing view of the Bay! (see below for pictures!) I’m so grateful for my family and for all that they did for us on this special day and this was an amazing way to end it!

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The next morning we woke up and got breakfast nearby. I was so happy to walk around and finally say, “This is my husband!!” It’s one of the best feelings marrying your best friend and knowing that you have so many adventures ahead of you!


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Later that morning we went to the airport and because I left the honeymoon planning up to Michael, he decided to keep a secret and wouldn’t tell me where we were going! When we got to the gate, I was so antsy to see where we were going!  I was so excited when I finally read “Punta Cana, Dominican Republic!”  I had suspected we would go somewhere in the Caribbean since we were already in Florida, but I was so happy and I was still pretty surprised : ) I had never been there and I honestly did not know much about it.

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We arrived to Punta Cana late that night and the airport was literally a tikki hut! I started laughing because I couldn’t believe that it was an actual airport! One of the main ways to get around there was on scooters, and luckily we didn’t have to take a scooter from the airport to our resort, but I felt like we were going to hit a scooterist every time they’d zoom by!

When we finally arrived at our resort  ~the Melia Caribe Tropical~ they took our luggage and sent it to our room. We were given these cute little wrist bands! I loved them and thought they were a great memory and keepsake.

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While we were staying at the resort, we were treated so well, especially when we told the staff we were honeymooners!  Everything from the food to the beaches and pools were amazing! We went in the month of May, which I guess is a slower tourist season for the Dominican Republic, but it wasn’t super crowded, so I won’t complain! Michael also speaks Spanish, so he made friends with just about anyone he spoke Spanish to since they all thought it was so funny that this blonde, blue-eyed white gringo spoke Spanish!

This was my first time at an All-Inclusive resort, so I was loving the staff who brought us drinks (our favorite was the virgin Pina Colada!) or snacks (plantain chips, which were amazing!) whenever we wanted, and of course the restaurants and food was really tasty too!

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My favorite thing was our room. It was absolutely beautiful, and …… we had a jacuzzi in it, which was definitely a plus!

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We loved our Bellman, Roldan.  He was assigned to us for the whole time we were there and he was so helpful and friendly! He made us reservations every night, he’d pick us up in his decked out golf cart, and he’d make sure our room was always perfect! He made our experience at the resort amazing! All of the staff have amazing life stories, and it definitely made me appreciate my life and the things that I have so much more. They really are such hard workers and really appreciate even the smallest tip!

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We layed by the pool and out at the beach most of the days and just relaxed. The weather also cooperated the whole time we were there, which was nice since the DR can be a little stormy they told us!

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I mentioned before that Roldan really took care of us.  There were many nights we would come back to our room and the bath was filled with rose petals! He also always made sure our room was clean and he made our towels into cute shapes and animals. Everyone really was great though and treated us like royalty!

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FOOOOOOD!!! Who doesn’t love all you can eat food, every day and all day for a week? I don’t think I have ever ate so much food in my entire life. The resort had about 10 restaurants and you could order whatever you wanted!

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My all-time favorite day was when we went to a local ‘zoo.’  We gave in to the guys on the beach who came around offering all sorts of things and we liked this because you could swim with dolphins!  I begged Michael, who thought it was really sketchy, and he eventually agreed! I have always loved dolphins and wanted to swim with them, so it was good to check off of my bucket list!

The ‘zoo’ was a little sketchy, but it was something different than sitting on the beach or laying around by the pool, so I’m glad we did it!

Michael and I swam at different times with the dolphins so we could take pictures (that’s why the quality isn’t great). I loved every minute of it though!  Dolphins really are so smart – they had a cute little routine they did for everyone and then the dolphins would give high fives and kisses.  We also got to ride one of them! The dolphin swam under us and would come up and give us a hug and when we held on to its fins, it swam really fast for the length of the pool!  Overall, it was a little sketchy, and we felt  kinda bad for the dolphins, but we had a really fun time and would really recommend it!

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Overall, we had an amazing honeymoon and made some great memories! I would recommend Punta Cana to anyone, and know that you’d have a fun time! Prices were pretty reasonable as well, and it’s a fun alternative to Mexico or some of the other regular vacation hotspots.

If you ever consider going there or have any questions, be sure to ask!  I’d love to tell you more about our experience down there and would be more than willing to help you decide on a resort!

Thanks again for reading!

To give you a little taste of some of the posts to come, I’ll soon be writing about flying a plane and jumping out of one, some of our California adventures, school and work, and some of my newfound hobbies and stores, so be sure to check back often!

~Michaela Desiree