Entries in Snapshots (34)


You, Me, and the Sea

It's a bit crazy how quickly life sucks you right back into its nonstop whirlwind after a nice, relaxing vacation. I finally found some time this past weekend to sort through all our photos (selfies galore), and they totally reminded me how vital it is to come up for air once in a while.

I had a wonderful time with Chris on this trip. It was great to unplug, spend quality time with each other, and focus on making memories. We ate sooooo much, I was such a happy camper. To balance it all out, we did a whole bunch of sightseeing, and, of course, a ton of yoga! As promised, here are some of my favorite moments from our trip :)

First stop, Venice! Our first visit to Italy was rather chilly, so it was awesome to get a second peek at this special city. Although Venice can get pretty touristy in the warmer months, it was still as gorgeous as ever.

I’d heard about a bookstore named Libreria Acqua Alta that keeps its books stacked in boats and bathtubs in order to protect them from the periodic flooding that is common to the city. As book lovers, it was a no-brainer- we had to go check it out. We spent the day walking around the maze that is Venice looking for this store, and got insanely lost for hours. I was ready to give up, but Chris was hell-bent on finding this place.

When we finally got there, I was so glad we followed through. We climbed staircases made out of old encyclopedias, and wandered through room after room, filled with dizzying towers of books. Boats and tubs were piled to the ceiling with books from all over the world, spilling over onto the floor. It was magical. Something about the musty smell of old books just makes me so very happy.

We visited the opera house to watch La Bohème, which was a fun experience. We had a great view from our private balcony room, and were happy to find that there were digital subtitles displayed above the stage throughout the show. This really helped us understand and appreciate the opera on a whole new level!

The next day, we took a water taxi to catch our ship! I was sad to say goodbye to beautiful Venice, but so excited to get on board and sail off into the sunset.

We had a private balcony in our room, which was such a treat because it allowed us to see all the ridiculous ocean views when we pulled in and out of port through the islands. It was also a great private space to get some morning yoga in. There I am in Boat pose.. on a boat :)

First port, Kotor, Montenegro! I didn't know much about this country prior to our trip, and we only stayed on land for a few hours. All I can tell you is that it is extremely mountainous and densely packed with a mesmerizing variety of flora and vegetation.

Steps into the sea in Kotor- there were tiny fish swimming around everywhere!

Most of our time aboard the ship was spent poolside on the top deck. We also got a few games of mini golf in! (That was me imitating a putter.. don't ask.)

The best thing we did on the cruise was make new friends! We met people from all over the world, and all walks of life. These new friendships added an additional element of fun to our trip, and I am so glad we are all still keeping in touch :)

One lovely couple, Joe and Megan, had been traveling the world for six months! They are sharing their journey through their fascinating and gorgeous travel blog - Check it out here!

Chris is a pretty big history buff, so he was excited to make the climb up the Acropolis to see the Parthenon. It was a steep, sweltering trek up the mountain, and not so fun in sandals. But my goodness, the view from the mountaintop was definitely worth it. Thankfully, it rained a bit while we were up there, which cooled things down - and lured some adorable turtles to come out and play!

We also strolled through the National Garden in Athens, and found ourselves walking through a purple sea of flower petals. Absolutely amazing.

This guy is my favorite travel buddy. I am really thankful to be with someone who is responsible, but willing to be adventurous, try new things, and photograph all my yogabombs. We make a good team <3

The countryside in Greece is rich in depth and colors. There are trees everywhere you look!

There were citrus trees everywhere! They were so pretty and smelled delicious.

Now i really want a little lemon tree for our home. How fun would that be?

Once we reached Mykonos, we drove up to a ranch for a day of horseback riding. This ranch was filled with the cutest animals! A tiny litter of kittens roamed the grounds, and there were geese, chickens, and turkeys everywhere.This was my first time on a horse, so I was pretty nervous in the beginning. Luckily, our horses, Hector and Spring, were so sweet and well-mannered! I quickly became comfortable and then deeply enamored with them.

We rode down the mountainside to a deserted beach.

Here we are at Fokos Beach!

Hector <3

There is nothing like seeing the world from between the ears of a horse. What a memory. I'll remember that for a long time.

I don’t think there is much need to mention how gorgeous the sea was from every single angle.

Of course, this had to happen - Mermaid pose by the sparkling sea.

To finish our trip, we visited Melissani cave in Kefalonia. It was pretty far from Arogostoli, where our ship ported, but I am so glad we decided to do this.

The top of this spectacular cave dissolved through chemical and physical water erosion decades back, allowing the sun to shine through and light up the shimmering blue underground lake below.

I'd heard about Melissani years ago, and had immediately put it on my bucket list. I never thought that one day I would actually be sitting there with my husband in that very cave, with the sun shining down on us. It was a dream come true, and the perfect way to end this amazing trip.

Well, I hope you guys enjoyed my plethora of photos! Now that we are back, I have tons of exciting projects that I have been working on and cannot wait to share with you. More later!


Happy New You.

Chris and I do this thing annually where we go out to a nice dinner and evaluate our past year. Sort of a year-end debrief, if you will. As we we sat there reflecting last night, I started to realize what an abundant year 2013 had been. It was packed with rewarding challenges and personal growth, and it was so much fun.

We've made new plans and set bigger goals for 2014, and I am very eager to see everything this year will bring. I'll keep a few to myself for now, but here are some goals I’d like to share with you:

Go outside. Sign out. Log off. Go for a hike. After all, we do have a 500-acre forest in our backyard. I really do not have any excuses to not take my shiny new bike for a spin. I need to make more time to step out and find some peace with nature.

Church.  Several evolving circumstances have led Chris and me to prayerfully consider and reevaluate where we need to be. While we love our home church, it is good and very important to be intentional about where we worship and serve. I do not want to grow complacent or live with one foot out the door. Wherever we end up, I want to be able to commit fully, continue investing in and building our community, and keep growing.

Get healthy. Remember that sinus infection I mentioned back in February? I still have it. It has taken a huge toll on my body, causing me to feel run down all the time. After battling this thing for almost a year, a recent CT scan revealed the root of my problem - a deviated septum. As much as I hate being sick, I must admit I’ve been putting off the corrective procedure. I've been using my insanely busy schedule as an excuse (totally legitimate), but the truth is... I’m scared. I just need to suck it up and get it done and over with. Plus, the constant sniffling is not cute.

Along the lines of healthier living, I want to cook and eat more healthy foods. I also need to spend a little less time stressing myself out, and a lot more time on my yoga mat. Oh yea, and I should probably give my wine opener a break once in a while. There, I've said it.

Travel. Our 5-year wedding anniversary is coming up this April, and I would love to plan an awesome getaway with my man. I also want to go on at least one group trip with my closest friends. With so much going on in our busy lives, it’s getting harder and harder to travel together, but that’s what makes it special. Let’s make it happen and check a few places off our lists this year!

Save more. With buying, renovating, and furnishing our new home, this past year has been hands down the most expensive year of my life. While Chris and I firmly believe in living within our means, I'd like to challenge myself to set aside a little more this year. I really do have everything I need, so it's time to save up for bigger things and dreams. Plus, it feels pretty darn good to stack that ca$h.

Read more. As much as I enjoy reading all the latest and greatest NYT bestsellers, nothing compares to the richness and inspiration found in classic literature. I've recently downloaded a bunch of novels on my Kindle, and cannot wait to dig in. First up – Great Expectations.

Write more. I am so thankful for this blog, which allows me to exercise my love for writing and share my thoughts and passions. Thank you all so much for your support and encouragement – your kind words have meant the world to me throughout this past year. You guys humble and inspire me to continue doing what I love.

Keep going. I've found that the more I achieve and overcome, the harder I am on myself to accomplish and reach for more. With broader horizons, more things appear on my radar. New doors have been opening up for me, and it’s time to be brave. I will continue to invest all of my best, stay positive, and most importantly, believe in myself.

Happy new dreams, happy new desires.
Happy new days, happy new ways.
Happy new year.
Happy new you.


Bath Time

I firmly believe that a bathroom should be incorporated into the rest of the home. We spend a great deal of time in this space, and it does not need to feel completely stark and sterile, if that isn't your thing. Just like any other room, your bathroom should reflect your personal style, and most importantly, it should make you feel happy!

Since our bathroom is a shared space, I focused on maintaining a balance between feminine and masculine elements in its design. Also, because this is the only bathroom in our apartment, I wanted to create a room that feels welcoming to our guests. On that note - Welcome to our bathroom!

Lighting is a vital element in creating ambience in any room. Our bathroom came with recessed lighting, but I couldn't resist adding a set of sconces and an overhead flush-mount. Each source is hooked up to separate dimmers, allowing lots of flexibility to set the tone for any mood and cast a flattering light from every angle.

A pedestal sink is an excellent space-saver and injects a dose of classic elegance. Although our sink offers a generous expanse of counter space, we did end up losing out on under-sink storage. This challenged me to explore additional storage options, and I'm glad to say I found several fantastic solutions.

Surprise! This may look like an antique mirror from the outside, but it's actually a fully functional medicine cabinet. It offers plenty of storage for all our grooming goodies and keeps everything concealed, yet readily accessible.

Isn't this overhead fixture so fun? It turns one pretty light bulb into seven pretty light bulbs :)

Okay, I know this sounds crazy, but can I just tell you how psyched I am to finally have a normal white toilet with a tank?? Like most pre-war buildings, our old apartment had a tankless flushometer toilet. It was basically a chrome pipe sticking out of a peachy-pink bowl. Although I must admit that thing was quite the power-flusher, it was a total eyesore, and I couldn't get past feeling like I was in a public restroom every time I used it.

At the risk of sounding even crazier, I'm going to go ahead and call this toilet "handsome" - Its bold lines balance out the feminine daintiness of the pedestal sink and add structure to the room.

The glass cabinet provides allows us to store and display our prettier toiletries. I've been having so much fun styling it and making it look nice! :)

Another perk of having a tank toilet? An additional surface area for storage and knickknacks.

Wainscoting is an excellent way to add streamlined interest to your walls without tiling the entire bathroom. The rustic feel of the beadboard pairs so well with the earthy look of the slate tiles. Together, they bring warmth into in a room filled with glossy porcelain, shiny tiles, and chrome and nickel fixtures. The vertical panels end just below eye level, lending an illusion of height to the space.

Chris picked Benjamin Moore's "Wrought Iron" for the walls, and I must say he made an excellent choice! The rich color echoes the slate flooring perfectly and brings a unified look to the room. Contrary to popular belief, dark walls can actually make smaller spaces feel larger! The deep hue creates a crisp, clean contrast against the bright white details. With all the whites popping forward, the walls are visually pushed back, making the room feel bigger.

I absolutely love having a window inside our shower. The custom glass enclosure allows natural light to pass through to the rest of the room, keeping everything airy and bright.

Here's the thermostatic shower I was telling you guys about! It automatically adjusts to your designated temperature preference and delivers a delicious array of spray settings. Apartment dwellers - If you're sick of getting zinged every time somebody in the building flushes a toilet, a thermostatic shower is a total game changer.

I've never met a single person who didn't like subway tiles. These beveled beauties exude the classic look of traditional subway, with a touch of unexpected flair. Oh, and that bench is SUCH a heavenly treat at the end of a long day!

His/Hers cubbies built into the pony wall offer plenty of storage and keep our personal toiletries out of sight. These hidden cubbies really keep the bathroom comfortable and inviting for visitors, because nobody (including you) needs to see our squeegee, razors, and loofahs. BTW - Did you know that they brought back the original Herbal Essences Smooth & Shine Collections?! Total 90's nostalgia, without all the sulfates! :)

And that's our new bathroom! (Befores here) We officially wrapped up rennovations two weeks ago. It's been a heckuva journey, and I could not be happier with the way our home has turned out. But wait! This doesn't mean the fun has to end - now the decorating can start! Lots more to come, stay tuned :)