Friday Favorites

Now, I can say hello from Gatlinburg! Our girl’s trip is officially underway! We will check into our little cabin today and get settled!

Here are some highlights from this week!

one. Travis and I have been eating dinner late this week (around 8:30 p.m.) so that he can get as much work done with painting our house as possible. I had a crockpot meal going on Monday so I sat outside to join him, talk, and go through some pictures.


My laptop, which I got my senior year of high school, is starting to get slower and it huffs and puffs like an old man when I have too many tabs open. All of my pictures are on this laptop, and I was starting to get worried that it would crash and leave me pictureless.

Instead of buying an external hard drive, like I was planning, we decided that I would just upload everything to Google Drive for now to keep it more secure.

Man, I love Google. (Our school got new MacBooks for teachers and students and is a Google school now, which makes it so convenient too!).

two. On Tuesday night, some of our softball team met up at Taco Lucha (another favorite of mine!) for their Tuesday night special of peanut butter tacos.

You know my love for peanut butter, so I was intrigued! They were salty and spicy with just the right amount of peanut taste!

MHK, I love you! Living here is the absolute best!

three. On Wednesday, I met up with a couple of my coworkers on the Language Arts team to talk about some things for next year. I usually try to avoid all things school for as long as I can in the summer, but since students will each have their own laptop next year, we needed to discuss how we are going to utilize the technology into our current lessons.

I love that we are getting more technology (because our school seriously needed it), but I hope we don’t become too reliant on it. My challenge for this next school year is going to be finding that balance.

four. You gotta love when you have friends who remind you that it’s National Lobster Day (last Thursday, June 15). They always have my back. 😉


five. Since I am going to be gone for this girl’s trip, I made extra trips to the grocery store to get easy meals for Travis, left him like five notes (most of which reminded him to WATER MY PLANTS!) and made lists of possible snacks/meals that he can make. I think I’m more stressed about his meals than he is. 😉

He’s a good cook, but I love cooking so much that he hasn’t had do it to in quite some time. He’s also hoping to get close to finished with painting our house, so he doesn’t want to spend a lot of time in the kitchen.

If you see Travis this week, ask him how his meals are. He told me he wanted to grill brauts each night that I’m gone (I think he will be sick of them by around day three, but we will see 🙂 ).

Enjoy your weekend! I can’t believe it’s already the end of June! Summer is flying!

(Random) Question of the Day: Would you rather be able to control the weather or be able to talk to animals?

Daily Life

Hello from Gatlinburg, Tennessee (Almost!)

Good morning and happy Thursday!

My girlfriends and I are officially en route to Gatlinburg, Tennessee for our girl’s trip!

It’s a ten hour drive to get to my friend Courtney’s apartment in Lexington, Kentucky. Tomorrow, we will start our day with a CycleBar class and then drive four more hours to get to the cabin we rented in Gatlinburg!

There are five of us squeezed into a five-person car for the ten hour drive today! I’m praying that I’m not stuck in the middle seat the whole time, and that we have plenty of stretching breaks! 🙂 I brought lots of snacks (including my peanut butter and honey popcorn), so we should we covered there!

I’ve been friends with these girls since elementary school, and now that we are somewhat scattered, it’s rare to get everyone together! I’m looking forward to our “reunion” and five days of girl time! (Bring on the wine!)



Hope you have a good Thursday! It’s almost the weekend!!

Question of the Day: What are your favorite road-trip snacks?

Coastal · House

House Tour- Upstairs Guest Bathroom

Last week, my mom and I got our upstairs guest bathroom painted. I was honestly dreading it because the bathroom has full beadboard paneling, and I knew it would all need to be hand-brushed.

The paneling is very rough in some places too so we weren’t sure how easily it would be to brush the paint on.

After a couple years of looking at this dingy yellowish/tan color, I was beyond ready for a change though.

The before:



Thankfully, we sped through the painting, and it took no time at all (Leaving us plenty of time to goof off, shop, and drink mojitos 🙂 ).

I chose the color Sea Salt by Sherwin Williams, and because we have terrible lighting in this bathroom, it came out a little different than I expected. It looks very baby-bluish, and I thought it would be more of a light seafoam green. It’s cute, but doesn’t blend as well with my accent decor as I thought.

My mom offered to repaint it if I wanted, but I told her I would learn to love it. I was not up for redoing it :). It is growing on me now…after some time, and I still think that color would be perfect in other rooms with more natural light (I’m not giving up on you, Sea Salt!).

The after:




Sorry for the glare. I have one my favorite quotes by Emerson framed. I was so excited to find a buoy in Maine that matched the color of it perfectly!



I think my last project with this room will be to paint the frame around the mirror white to make it look a little more crisp and clean!


Paint- Sherwin Williams Sea Salt

Shower curtain- Target

Bath mat- Bed, Bath, & Beyond

Crab picture- Tuesday Morning

White frame- Ikea

Quote art- Etsy

Buoy- Bar Harbor, Maine

Blue frame and candle holders- Marshalls and/or gifts


Enjoy your day! 🙂


Daily Life · Family · Recipes

Help Me Out- Share a Story!

Today, I have a random request for you. It deals with a little project that I have been thinking about.

I’ve always full heartedly believed the quote that “The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.”


Luckily, thanks to my mom and grandma, I have inherited a deep love for cooking and truly believe that cooking is a labor of love.

When I think of my Grandma Marilyn, I always think of the cooking that she does for our family and for friends, community members, etc. I think specifically of her rolls and cinnamon rolls. They are basically famous in our small town.

I was lucky enough to see my grandma very often growing up and got the chance to bake with her many times. Thus, I learned her tips and tricks to making the rolls just right.

There are a lot of lessons to be learned in baking or cooking too. I think back to my ten-year-old self who went to bake with Grandma: the amount of patience, preciseness, and perseverance one must have while baking is immense.

Waiting an hour for dough to rise or kneading dough for twelve minutes?! Often times, I wanted to rush through it, but to do so would be to miss out on so much.

You see, that labor of love, and the work that goes into preparing something yummy to share is also why it is so rewarding to complete.

My grandma has almost created a “legacy” from her love of baking for others, which I feel so grateful that I will get to continue.

So, here’s what I want to know from you. Please comment: don’t be shy!

When you think of your own family, is there a “dish” or “recipe” that you associate with a certain family member?

Comment below with what that dish was and who the person you connect it with is. Feel free to also share any memorable stories you have about baking with that person.

I greatly appreciate your participation, in advance!

Have a good day! Happy baking!

Question of the Day: What is your favorite recipe to make?


Weekend Recap!

Good morning! I just realized that Friday’s blog was my 40th post here! I’m loving this new little hobby of mine!

That being said, I forgot to take any pictures of this busy weekend! Dang it!

On Friday night, we grabbed dinner and drinks with some friends from our softball team.

We got right in at Coco Bolos, one of my favorite spots! I ordered another mojito, and I feel like I need to get the recipe from them. Theirs are always on point!

One of the guys on the team is Travis’ coworker and his wife is also a teacher so we have lots of stories to swap. One of those being, our hatred of spinner toys. The husband, Zach, had a spinner that his nephew left with him, and he let Travis try it at work. Travis said he’s calling BS on my students who say it helps them focus as he didn’t get much done when he was “playing” with it. (If only we could tell our students’ parents that!!) Emily, Jessica, and I all agreed that we hope that trend has passed come August time!

On Saturday, Travis headed to a bachelor party for his friend, Paul. Travis is one of the best men so he was in charge of planning most of it and picking up the keg. They were going to go a shooting range and then fish/camp and just hang out.

I ran some errands, including picking up wedding gifts for our two weddings to attend in July. Paul and Carly’s wedding is next weekend- yay!

On Saturday night, my co-worker friend Erin came over for a wine night. We are both fans of shows on Netflix with an element of mystery like, “Making a Murderer” and “The Keepers” so we decided to try “The OA”, which was a recommendation I got from my friend Nicole.

We watched two episodes, and I don’t really know what to think about the show yet.

It is so odd, but we’re curious enough to want to know what happens next in the story. It doesn’t take much for me to get hooked on a show though.

Sunday morning, I drove to Topeka to meet up with my parents, my Grandpa and Carlita, and an aunt and uncle for lunch. We went to Texas Roadhouse, and I think everyone had the same idea as us. I swear, that place is always packed.

After a quick lunch and some “Happy Father’s Day” wishes to my dad and grandpa, I got back to Manhattan just in time to take a quick nap before our softball game at 6 p.m.

For this week’s softball game, we played the Manhattan Special Olympics team. The rules were a little different for playing this team, and it was fun to have such a positive, light-hearted game as we cheered their team on even more than our own. 🙂

This game was earlier than our usual games so after it ended we decided to head to another field to get more practice in. We ended up having each person on our team bat through a bucket of balls and the rest of the team members were in the field practicing defense. Our practice was longer than our actual game! #WeAreDedicated 🙂

This week will be a short one as I leave Thursday for our girl’s trip to Tennessee.

Have a wonderful Monday!

Question of the Day: What are your favorite tv shows to watch?




Coastal · Daily Life · Friday

Friday Favorites- Bar Harbor, Maine Edition

Happy Friday! This week has flown by!

My mom came down in the middle of the week to help me paint my upstairs guest bathroom and to do a little goofing off! We also bought mint plants and made mojitos and since then I’ve been putting mint in my water and trying to find allllll the mint recipes. It’s so refreshing!

I know I said yesterday that it was my last daily recap of Maine. And I know, this week has been Maine overkill already, so… I thought I’d make a full week out of it and do one last one today. 🙂

Also, I forgot to mention in my other posts the easiest way to say “Bar Harbor” and sound like you’re from the East coast: “Baa Ha Ba.”

We saw so many shirts that had sheep on them and said that. Too funny!

Today, I’m sharing (and linking) some of our favorite things that we did and places we ate in Bar Harbor, Maine should you ever want to go there (as it should be on everyone’s bucket list!!). 😉

*These are in no specific order. Also, I realize that our trip was fairly short and we missed out on many other great activities and restaurants. I am just basing this list on what we experienced.

If you missed my daily recaps, you can check them out here: Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Days 4 & 5.BaaHaaBaa

A * denotes items that are in downtown Bar Harbor.

Things to Do

Places to Eat

Hope this list helps if you have any interest in visiting Bar Harbor, Maine! 🙂

Have a super weekend!

Question of the Day: Any special Father’s Day plans this weekend?

Coastal · Daily Life

Maine- Days 4 & 5

Today is my last daily recap of our trip to Bar Harbor, Maine. I’d be lying if I said I’m ready to be done writing these. It feels like I’m reliving each part of the trip as I write and sort through pictures, and I’m excited to have these to look back on!

If you missed any of the other daily recaps, you can click the links to check them out: Day 1, Day 2, Day 3.

The night before, we had seen several new couples checking into The Holland Inn. I remember jokingly saying to Travis, “But, this is our house. We like having it to ourselves!”

Day 4

As we got to breakfast the next morning, we saw two tables set and a lady was sitting at our usual table. She struck up a conversation with us and her husband soon joined too.

This couple was probably in their fifties/sixties and were visiting from Washington state. They had flown into New York and were spending a few days in Bar Harbor before going back to New York and then home.

As we got to talking about the trails we had hiked, the couple had a moment of realization and said, “OH! You’re the couple without a car.”

Apparently it’s uncommon to not rent a car here to get to everything. Thus, Evin had been telling other people about us and how much we had walked.

That made us laugh, and we started calling ourselves “The couple without a car” for the rest of the trip.

The husband really took a liking to Travis, so much so that Travis could hardly eat his breakfast because the guy kept turning around and talking some more. At one point, the guy even offered his personal email to Travis just in case we ever wanted to visit Washington, and he would give us some hiking/fishing tips.

After hiking so much the last couple days, I was ravenous at breakfast and ate about half of my plate before Travis said, “Aren’t you going to get a picture of it?”

Oops! Good thing he’s here to remind me! #BlogHusband 😉

Our final breakfast (*tear*) was nutty French toast, fresh veggie frittata, and nectarines with raisins. Evin knew that Travis and I loved the Fiddleheads so she snuck some more into our frittatas as well!


Our goals for the day were to hike down to Sand Beach and then on to Thunder Hole. It would mean a lot of walking but the trails there all looked like they were flat and smooth so we figured we could handle it.

We left town and started for Sand Beach, a 4.9 mile walk via Schooner Head Trail. The trail kept close to the road, but it was such a relief to not be forced to walking the shoulder!

Through most of our hikes, we rarely ran into other people, and this trail was the same. We felt like we had it to ourselves until we got to the more touristy places.


Walking to all of our destinations really allowed Travis and I to have good conversations that we wouldn’t have had if we had just driven there.

Along the way, the trail passed along the ocean for some incredible views!



We veered off to another trail that went to Compass Harbor. There, we passed the old ruins of George Dorr’s old farm estate. Dorr is known as “The Father of Acadia” because of his help in creating Acadia National Park.


I loved the herringbone floor pattern at the ruins!


The sand at Sand Beach is mostly shell fragments from the pounding surf.

I was hoping to find some sea glass there, but after scouring for awhile, we came up empty handed. I did put some sand in a water bottle to bring back home with me though. I always collect sand from the beaches we go to and put it in cute bottles as decorations in our house.


Here Travis caught me scrounging for shells and looking for sea glass.


Sand Beach was by far the chilliest beach I have been to. It is nestled in a little inlet and the water temperature rarely gets above 55 degrees!

Below, you can see how Sand Beach is tucked away.



Sand Beach was getting pretty busy so we headed onward to Thunder Hole, another mile away.

Thunder Hole is an inlet where waves roll into a small cavern and splash out, creating a thunderous sound.


When we went, it was pretty calm and the splashes weren’t too grand or loud.

Here, you can see where the water is forced in the cavern and splashes back out.


Thunder Hole was packed. I’m talking several tour buses, tons of cars, etc. so we decided to head back and take a breather in a beautiful spot we had noticed along the way.

I packed a ton of Larabars, my favorite snack, and since we knew it would be a long time before lunch, we each enjoyed one with the view.




We had a Seagull land near us and hang out for awhile. I think he was eyeing our snacks.


Then, it was time to head back towards town, a six mile hike.

We were able to go nice and slow and stop as much as we wanted/needed since we didn’t have much planned for the rest of the day.




Even the roads in Bar Harbor are so gorgeous and serene!


As we got closer to town, we realized how starving we were. We nearly walked 13 miles round trip that morning!

It was past the usual lunch time, and we really wanted to try a restaurant called Peekytoes. As we got into town, we saw a sign on Peekytoes’ door saying they are closed on Tuesdays.

Dang it! It was our last day too so we were bummed to miss out on it.

We trudged back through the rest of town, looking for a good lunch spot.

Here was our problem though. We were hungry and exhausted so we just wanted to find somewhere to eat, but it was our last day so we wanted to be picky and get just the right place.

As we got to the end of town and still hadn’t decided on anything, we saw a bunch of people going into a restaurant called “Route 66.” It looked like it had tasty specials so we gave it a go.

That restaurant is my one regret from this trip.

The inside felt so tacky (tons of old decorations) and dirty. I ordered a crab cake sandwich and Travis got a Haddock sandwich, and both tasted like they had been frozen.

We still ate it all, as we were ravenous, but we were greatly disappointed that that was the place for our last lunch in Bar Harbor.


After walking so much and then stuffing ourselves with carbs, we needed some down time so we headed back to The Holland Inn for our afternoon coffee/tea time and took a quick nap.

The last item on our list to complete was walking out to Bar Island.


There is a half mile path to get to Bar Island, but it is only accessible during low tide. You have an hour and a half before and after low tide to get across, but you have to be back by high tide or you will be stranded. The path goes from walkable during low tide to having 11 feet of water at high tide.


Evin had warned us about getting back in time, and there were even many signs posted. She said that often tourists ignore the signs and park their cars on the path before hiking to the top of the island. They get a rude awakening and have to call special towing services, who are put-off about helping (understandably so!).



Once across the path, you go another half mile or so to reach the top of Bar Island.

The top had such pretty views looking back at Bar Harbor.


Our last “summit” picture.


We took our time coming back across the path, and I collected some pretty blueish/purple shells to bring home.


Then, we got cleaned up again for our last dinner in Bar Harbor.

We chose Finback Alehouse for dinner, and it definitely made up for our sub-par lunch.

I ordered a cup of lobster bisque and a whole lobster. Travis ordered a fried seafood platter.



That lobster didn’t stand a chance.


One last picture of part of downtown before it was time to leave.


I had really wanted to make it to 40,000 steps, because let’s face it, I’m most likely not ever going to get this many again (and I’m not planning on running a marathon…ever.) However, when we got back to our room, I thought “37,000 looks pretty good…and my bed looks even better!”

We quickly packed and set our alarms for 4 a.m.

Day 5

Because of the road construction in Bar Harbor, we needed to allow extra time to get to the airport for our 6 a.m. flight.

Our taxi driver arrived at 4:30 a.m. and as we were driving, we saw the most vivid sunrise. He saw that we had plenty of time, and stopped for us to snap a few pictures.


We got to the airport, had our bags weighed, and only two other passengers came in for the flight: a four person flight!

We loaded back up on the little plane and got our last glimpses of the island.




I didn’t want to be leaving!


Unfortunately, United changed our flights and seats on us (and it was a full flight), which meant that Travis and I had to sit apart from each other from Boston to Chicago. They put us both in middle seats, to boot. I had been spoiled and had all window seats for the flights getting there.

When we got to Chicago, the flight wasn’t near as full so we were able to get seats together, but they were in the last row, right in front of the bathrooms.

I swear that it smelled like stale pee that whole flight, but at least we got to talk to one another!

We got home in good time to unpack and regroup (aka crash).

Maine far exceeded our expectations, and we both agree that it is the best trip we have ever been on. There were so many active things to do and such wonderful food. I’m truly jealous of the people who get to call Bar Harbor home (Travis told me that I might take that back if I was there in the winter though!).

They call Maine “Vacationland,” and it is truly dreamy!

Until next time, Bar Harbor!

Question of the Day: Lobster Fan? Yes or No?

YES, all the way, as I’m sure you figured out! 🙂