Always be yourself

Unless you can be a mermaid, then always be a mermaid.

  • Health & Wellness, Lifestyle

    75 Hard

    75 Hard, Andy Frisella, Lyman Winn, Power Couple, Fitness Couple

    I have invested thousands of dollars looking for “the secret”, you know that one thing that all the successful people are doing that is going to fast track your success. I was under the impression there must be some extra special technique that you could buy in a program and THEN you would have everything you needed to find success. Ironically, the first program that I followed that didn’t cost money, was the one that taught me everything I needed to know about creating success. It’s simple really, show up and do the work.

    75 Hard Journey - weekly Sunday Sprints

    75 Hard Journey – weekly Sunday Sprints

    While the concept is simple, the lesson was hard to learn, 75 hard to be exact. I kept looking for the shortcut, the easy path, and I thought if I bought enough programs, that “easy path” would magically appear. It does not exist. Read that again. The easy path does not exist, the past 75 days has taught me that.

    It’s nearly impossible to explain what you experience going through the 75 hard challenge by Andy Frisella. If you are unfamiliar with what the 75 hard challenge is, I highly recommend listening to the podcast he did on it, where he explains in depth the concept of this challenge. There’s a follow-up podcast for after you complete 75 hard, I highly recommend listening to both. He explains it far better than I can, and it’s incredibly important to understand why it’s designed the way it is, especially if you decide it’s something you want to do. It’s also important to understand it’s not a fitness challenge, even though a physical transformation is a part of it, that’s not the point. 75 hard is a mental toughness challenge, and it radically changed my life. And yes, as I said above, it doesn’t cost anything, but it certainly isn’t free.

    I had to sacrifice my old self to go through the program.
    It was the best decision I ever made.

    Here’s a simple run down of how it works, for 75 Days straight you must follow these rules:

    1. Workout 2x a day for at least 45 minutes each (One of the workouts has to be outside…no matter what)
    2. Follow a diet with zero cheat meals for 75 days straight, no alcohol
    3. Read 10 pages of a non-fiction entrepreneurship / personal development book per day, audio books don’t count
    4. Drink a gallon of water per day
    5. Take a progress photo every day
    -No exceptions. If you change it at all, you’re not doing 75 hard.
    -If you mess up or miss anything, you have to start over at Day 1

    75 Hard Transformation

    75 Hard Transformation

    I started 75 hard on March 11, 2019 and I failed on Day 50 in May, setting me back to Day 1. That’s probably one of the hardest parts of this challenge is holding yourself accountable, no one knows if you actually do any of this. You can lie to yourself the whole way through the 75 days and pretend you did it, it’s easy to do that. What makes it so hard is you actually show up and do the work and also be able to admit when you fail.

    75 Hard Journey - Ran my first half marathon, Salt Lake City Marathon, Utah

    75 Hard Journey – Ran my first half marathon

    When I first saw Andy launch this program in March, I had a really hard time understanding how these 5 tasks could radically change my life in 75 days. But I was up for the challenge, I thought I was tough stuff and said let’s go. HA! You think it’s all fun and games from the outside looking in, till you get in and you realize this isn’t a game, this isn’t a “cute” internet challenge, this isn’t some trendy bandwagon thing, this isn’t so you can show everyone else how tough you are, this is a full on battle with yourself. You VS. You for 75 days.

    If you do this correctly, the person you show up as on Day 1 will no longer exist on Day 75. This challenge will break you down and build you back up into the baddest version of yourself in a short, yet incredibly long 75 days. However, the break down part is the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life. I can tell you one thing for sure, this challenge was appropriately named, because it sure as heck isn’t easy.

    It’s 75 days of battling your own worst enemy, yourself.
    It’s 75 days of facing every excuse you’ve ever made in your life.
    It’s 75 days of realizing all the the lies you’ve told yourself.
    It’s 75 days of uncovering what you’re capable of.

    75 hard changed me as a person, I don’t act, operate or even think the same. It’s been interesting to observe how much I’ve changed in 5 months since I had to do a big reset on Day 50 back in May. As hard as it was to start over and do 75 hard for this long, looking back, I am incredibly thankful the reset happened. A couple weeks after restarting 75 hard I entered one of the toughest emotional periods I’ve had in a really long time. June 2019 rocked my world on a personal level and 75 hard was the only thing that saved me from myself. I didn’t understand how powerful this program was until my darkest demons came out to play.

    75 Hard Journey - Embracing the elements, running in a white out blizzard at 6AM

    75 Hard Journey – Embracing the elements, running in a white out blizzard at 6AM

    These habits I created from doing 75 hard carried me through the incredibly tough days when I was feeling weak. I felt paralyzed by events in my personal life for a few weeks and this program was the only reason I got out of bed some days. I have gone through many seasons of severe depression and extremely hard life events, those periods of life usually throw me down a dark rabbit hole and off track for MONTHS. I’ve never seen myself overcome a paralyzing season of depression this quickly before, I can 100% attest that sticking with 75 hard through that storm is what helped me conquer it with a clear mind and not let it throw me off course. Every day in June I woke up so incredibly thankful for this program and these habits to help me keep my head above water and not fall down the dark rabbit hole I’ve been down so many times before.

    Which brings me to a few of the biggest lessons I learned through this journey:

    Lesson #1: Create good habits. They will be there to help carry you through the tough times. The opposite is also true, your bad habits will drag you down a rabbit hole when life happens and things get hard. Life will always happen, tragic, unexpected events will randomly hit you like a ton of bricks throughout your life, so you better figure out how to get yourself through the tough times without sending yourself into a downward spiral.

    Lesson #2: Keep promises to yourself, it’s important. Show up and do what you said you were going to do when you said you were going to do it, no excuses. No matter the condition, no matter how you feel, show up and put in the work. I used to be the queen at altering the plan to make it more convenient for me when conditions and circumstances changed. How is it I am the first person to show up for everyone else, yet constantly failed to show up for myself? Not anymore. I deserve the best, especially from myself.

    Lesson #3: Be consciously aware and intentional about finishing the job 110%, whatever it may be. Do the extra rep, go the extra mile, push forward for one more minute. Intention is everything in this challenge, you have to intentionally show up and challenge yourself the whole way through. I noticed as I became aware of being intentional throughout this challenge, I started to become more intentional in every area of my life.

    Lesson #4: If you’re looking for an excuse, any will do.

    Lesson #5: You are grossly underestimating what you are capable of, I guarantee it. I know I have been selling myself short for far too long. The limitations I have put on myself for so many years were absolutely shocking, 75 hard showed me EXACTLY how I’ve been slowing myself down. Completing 75 hard doesn’t only make you feel unstoppable, it makes you realize you are unstoppable if you actually apply yourself.

    All I can keep thinking in attempts to sum up 75 hard is it all boils down to overcoming yourself, overcoming the lies you constantly feed yourself, the excuses, the reasoning, the stories, we tell ourselves so much BS on a daily basis and we usually buy into it without a second thought. I don’t tolerate my own excuses anymore, or anyone’s excuses for that matter. It’s sad we all make so many excuses for ourselves because the reality is every single one of us is made for so much more. I promise there is so much untapped potential hiding under all those excuses. You will be absolutely amazed what you find hidden inside yourself if you have the courage to dig deep and uncover what’s underneath.

    75 Hard - I've NEVER had abs like this..ever.

    75 Hard – I’ve NEVER had abs like this..ever.

    This is a mental toughness challenge, as I said before, you will emerge an entirely different person at the end of it. But it’s also impossible for it to not spill into every other area of you life in the process.

    Since I started my 75 hard journey on March 11, 2019 through my completion of the 75 hard program on August 8, 2019 here’s just a few highlights that I loved about the journey and some pretty incredible things that happened along the way.

    • I ran my first half marathon
    • I ran over 150 miles, clocking over 313 miles so far this year. (This actually inspired me to set a massive goal of running over 500 miles by the end of 2019!)
    • I ran in every weather element, rain, hail, extreme heat and a white out blizzard
    • Read 6 books (almost done with #7), not to mention the countless audio books and podcasts I listened to along the way. I’ve definitely consumed more educational/personal development content in the past 5 months than ever before.
    • Earned my biggest check with my company to date
    • Quadrupled my income
    • Featured in my company newsletter
    • Launched my first online course
    • Broke my fastest 5k time
    • Finally found my 6 pack I’ve been looking for for 6 years
    • I’m hands down in the best physical shape I’ve ever been in
    • Discovered I have a gluten intolerance, learned how to cut gluten out of my diet
    • I’ve spent more time outside in the past 5 months than I probably have my entire adult life
    • I’ve watched the seasons change from winter, to spring, to summer and it was the most remarkable thing I’ve ever seen
    • Started hiking for the first time in my life…then the hikes naturally turned into trail runs
    • My marriage is thriving, our conversations, communication and every aspect of our relationship is better from doing 75 hard together
    75 Hard Journey - Weekly hikes/trail runs with my husband

    75 Hard Journey – Weekly hikes/trail runs with my husband

    There’s so many emotions that have come up as I finish 75 hard and get ready to start phase 1 (oh yes, there’s more.)
    Mostly extreme gratitude and pride. I am extremely thankful to Andy Frisella for creating this program, even more thankful he made it free so ANYONE can have the opportunity to experience the life transformation that happens if you complete it.

    75 Hard Journey

    75 Hard Journey – Embracing the elements, running in the heat

    I am extremely proud of myself for sticking it out, seeing it through, and completing 75 hard, because lord knows it was not easy. I am thankful I didn’t quit when I had to reset on day 50, I’m thankful I didn’t quit all the times it was incredibly hard, because I would have never met the woman that showed up on the other side of 75 days.
    I love her, I am proud of her, and I know without a shadow of a doubt she is unstoppable.
    I am her.
    I am proud.

    75 Hard Journey, the finish line!

    75 Hard Journey, the finish line!

    You want to know the secret? Every single one of us already has the “secret sauce” to be successful. If you’re like I was, going to every conference, buying every course, hoping that someone out there is going to give you some secret hack that they are using to jump start you to where you want to go. Thinking if you just buy “x” or sign up for the next “z” you will FINALLY have what you need…here’s the secret, you can’t buy it. You can’t buy it, because you already have it. It’s tucked down beneath all those excuses and lies you tell yourself every single day. It’s up to you to dig it up, it’s up to you to overcome yourself, face your excuses one by one and decide if you are stronger than every excuse you make. You have so much untapped potential hiding underneath all those silly little excuses, once you start to overcome them, you realize just how ridiculous they actually are.

    75 Hard Journey - Weekly hikes/trail runs with my husband

    75 Hard Journey – Weekly hikes/trail runs with my husband

    The secret is simple;
    You have to show up and do the work, every single day.
    Even if you don’t want to, even if the conditions suck.
    Show up and give 110% anyway.
    Take care of your body and your mind.
    Move your body.
    Feed your mind.
    Hydrate your body.
    Fuel your body with good food.
    Capture the progress.

    Do that for 75 days straight and you’ll understand what I mean.
    This is truly one of those things that you can’t fully understand until you experience it for yourself.
    It’s not easy, but it’s 100% worth it.

    75 Hard Journey - Embracing the elements, running in a hail storm

    75 Hard Journey – Embracing the elements, running in a hail storm

    I love that Taylor and I completed 75 hard 3 days before our one year wedding anniversary. I can’t think of a better way to celebrate our first year of marriage than by completing this challenge together. To me, finishing 75 hard encompasses all of the growth and change we’ve experienced since getting married. We are showing up to conquer another journey around the sun together stronger than ever before.

    75 Hard Journey - 4th of July hike, we loved staying sober and getting active over the holiday weekend

    75 Hard Journey – 4th of July hike, we loved staying sober and getting active over the holiday weekend

    One of my favorite things about coming to the end of 75 hard is it actually helped us complete an old goal. Back in 2015 we set a goal to be sober for 30 days and if we did that, we would do a fitness photoshoot together to celebrate. Well, we never accomplished that goal, I remember how impossible being sober for 30 days seemed in 2015. 4 years later, we were finally able to cross off that goal and do a fitness photoshoot together to celebrate being sober for well over 30 days, completing 75 hard and celebrating one year of marriage. It makes me so proud to look back and see how much we’ve grown and evolved over the years. I love who we have become together and as individuals.

    75 Hard - Photo by Lyman Winn

    75 Hard – Photo by Lyman Winn

    75 Hard Transformation

    75 Hard Transformation

    75 Hard - Ran over 300 miles by August 2019, going for 500 by the end of the year!

    75 Hard – Ran over 300 miles by August 2019, going for 500 by the end of the year!


    75 Hard - Books I read

    75 Hard – Books I read

  • Uncategorized

    Wedding Adventure Part 4: Paris, France

    Paris, France - Le Secret D'Audrey

    Immediately after getting engaged in Paris in 2017, I started envisioning bringing my wedding dress back to Paris to take pictures. That vision in my head was really how our epic wedding adventure across Europe even began. Going back to Paris to capture these photos was a literal dream come true for me, it felt like I was living in a real life fairytale.

    Paris, France - Le Secret D'Audrey

    Paris, France – Le Secret D’Audrey


    Dream Come True – Paris, France


    The reality of what it actually looks like to take your wedding dress to Paris..snuggling with it on an airplane.

    The reality of what it actually looks like to take your wedding dress to Paris..snuggling with it on an airplane.


    Honeymoon Vibes - Shangri-La Hotel, Paris

    Honeymoon Vibes – Shangri-La Hotel, Paris


    I was 100% obsessed with the fresh flowers they had in the lobby of the hotel – Shangri-La, Paris

    We stayed at the Shangri-La hotel in Paris, our room had a balcony that had the most amazing view of the Eiffel Tower. On our last night there we stayed in, ordered room service and sat on the balcony all night having the time of our lives with the best view in the city. Also, a quick side note about the Chinese restaurant located in the Shangri-La hotel, even if you don’t stay at the hotel, I highly recommend eating at that restaurant, the food is insane!

    Shangri-La Hotel, Paris, France

    The best dining in Paris is on your own private balcony – Shangri-La Hotel, Paris


    Shangri-La Hotel - Paris, France

    Shangri-La Hotel – Paris, France

    The day before the shoot we spent the day getting lost and wandering the streets of Paris, that’s the best way to experience any city in my opinion. It was the perfect time to arrive in Paris because the Tour de France was finishing in Paris that day! It was such a cool experience to be there and see the city completely transform, entire blocks were closed and flooded with massive crowds of people. We were lucky enough to be close enough to go watch part of the race! Unfortunately for me, I was too busy living it up in Paris that I didn’t even think about the sun exposure I was getting walking around outside all day. In my defense, it was overcast in the morning, so putting on sunscreen didn’t even cross my mind. However, the sun came out shortly after we had left the hotel and it ended up being a nice and very sunny day…as a result, I got INCREDIBLY sunburnt…

    Finding my zen - Paris, France

    Finding my zen – Paris, France


    French Fries & Crepes in Paris are a MUST!

    French Fries & Crepes in Paris are a MUST!


    Louvre Museum - Paris, France

    Louvre Museum – Paris, France


    Sucre Daddy (;


    Tour de France - Paris, France

    Tour de France – Paris, France

    Model 101 is you definitely DO NOT want to be sunburnt for a photoshoot..especially your wedding photos. Come on, what is this, amateur hour? Apparently so, because my chest was BRIGHT RED and 1000% noticeable in my deep v-cut wedding gown. A year later I can only look back and laugh as I see my bright red lobster chest in all of the photos from Paris. It also made for some epic tan lines on the wedding day, yolo.

    Paris, France - Le Secret D'Audrey

    Paris, France – Le Secret D’Audrey


    Bright red chest and all, the pictures still turned out absolutely amazing, I definitely felt like a real life princess in Paris. I will forever cherish these photos we captured in Paris with Le Secret D’Audrey, she was an absolute delight to work with. She is the only photographer I have worked with that shoots on film, there is a completely different feel to her photos and I love it, she is definitely a master at her craft. I still have the candle she gave me as a gift sitting on my office desk, I love when the aroma of vanilla fills my office, it always takes me back to that magical day in Paris. You can see more of Audrey’s work on instagram, @audreyparisphoto

    Leaving all the glitter in Ubers in Paris…oops

    Paris will always have a special place in my heart, there is no place in the world like it. It’s hard to describe, but for some reason while I am there, it feels like home. If you want an extra magical moment while you’re in Paris, go into the Eiffel Tower park at night and lay on the grass that’s next to the Eiffel Tower right before it starts to sparkle. Seeing the Eiffel Tower, large as life, sparkle above you is truly the show of a life time, it is absolutely breath-taking. For those of you wondering when the The Eiffel Tower lights up and sparkles, it sparkles for 5 minutes at the top of the hour, every hour from dusk till 1AM. At 1AM when it sparkles for the last time, they shut off the yellow lights on the Eiffel Tower and it goes all black and just sparkles the white lights, that is my personal favorite!

    Eiffel Tower, Paris

    Eiffel Tower, Paris


    Shangri-La Hotel, Paris, France

    Shangri-La Hotel, Paris, France

    Anxiously awaiting our return to Paris, it will forever be one of my favorite places to visit. But until then, here are some of the magical moments we captured while we were there for our wedding adventure.

    Paris, France - Le Secret D'Audrey

    Paris, France – Le Secret D’Audrey


    Louvre Museum - Paris, France - Le Secret D'Audrey

    Louvre Museum – Paris, France – Le Secret D’Audrey


    Paris, France - Le Secret D'Audrey

    Paris, France – Le Secret D’Audrey


    Shangri-La Hotel - Paris, France - Le Secret D'Audrey

    Shangri-La Hotel – Paris, France – Le Secret D’Audrey

    Shangri-La Hotel - Paris, France - Le Secret D'Audrey

    Shangri-La Hotel – Paris, France – Le Secret D’Audrey

    Paris, France - Le Secret D'Audrey

    Paris, France – Le Secret D’Audrey

    Paris, France - Le Secret D'Audrey

    Paris, France – Le Secret D’Audrey

    Shangri-La Hotel - Paris, France - Le Secret D'Audrey

    Shangri-La Hotel – Paris, France – Le Secret D’Audrey

    Paris, France - Le Secret D'Audrey

    Paris, France – Le Secret D’Audrey

    Louvre Museum - Paris, France - Le Secret D'Audrey

    Louvre Museum – Paris, France – Le Secret D’Audrey

    Louvre Museum - Paris, France - Le Secret D'Audrey

    Louvre Museum – Paris, France – Le Secret D’Audrey

    Louvre Museum - Paris, France - Le Secret D'Audrey

    Louvre Museum – Paris, France – Le Secret D’Audrey

    Shangri-La Hotel - Paris, France - Le Secret D'Audrey

    Shangri-La Hotel – Paris, France – Le Secret D’Audrey

    Louvre Museum - Paris, France - Le Secret D'Audrey

    Louvre Museum – Paris, France – Le Secret D’Audrey

    Paris, France - Le Secret D'Audrey

    Paris, France – Le Secret D’Audrey

    Paris, France - Le Secret D'Audrey

    Paris, France – Le Secret D’Audrey

    Shangri-La Hotel - Paris, France - Le Secret D'Audrey

    Shangri-La Hotel – Paris, France – Le Secret D’Audrey


    Louvre Museum - Paris, France - Le Secret D'Audrey

    Louvre Museum – Paris, France – Le Secret D’Audrey


    Paris, France - Le Secret D'Audrey

    Paris, France – Le Secret D’Audrey

  • Lifestyle, Travel

    Wedding Adventure Part 2: Rome, Italy

    After dancing our hearts out in the hills of Belgium, we hopped on a plane over to Italy! We learned a huge lesson from our first trip to Europe, taking a train is NOT the best transportation traveling from Belgium to Italy (19+ hour commute, YIKES!). Also, I definitely wanted to limit how many different planes and trains I had to drag my dress through, she was already A LOT of dress to carry through Europe with us as-is. The only airlines that allowed me to store my dress in the captains closet was our Delta flight from the United States to Paris (we love you Detla), all the European airlines didn’t have any additional storage space…so we just had to make it work.

    Off to Rome!

    I never said bringing my dress with us was easy!

    Rule #1 if you are traveling internationally with your wedding dress…the dress does not leave your sight, EVER. That means you DO NOT check the dress in a bag, don’t even think about it. Especially in my case, if I checked my dress and it somehow got lost, I literally would not have a wedding dress for our actual wedding when we got home, so the dress stayed with me at all times. I learned my lesson really quick, the ONE time I let an Uber driver put my dress in the trunk of the car, instead of holding it in my lap, the trunk got STUCK CLOSED!! Yes, my wedding dress got stuck in the trunk of a car, I only had a mild panic attack. After that incident, I refused to let the dress leave my sight, it was either right next to me or locked in a hotel room.

    You just make it work.

    Once we landed in Rome, the hotel arranged a driver to pick us up from the airport, lucky for us, our driver acted as our personal tour guide as he drove us into the city, telling stories and pointing out monuments along the way. We arrived at the Elizabeth Unique Hotel that afternoon and soaked in the magic of Rome! Rome is absolutely amazing and according to our driver, it has more monuments per square mile than any other place in the world. Everywhere you walk there is something to see, there is live music playing in the streets and of course, incredible food. If you’ve never been to Italy, the food is hands down the best part!

    Eating Your Way Through Rome is Half of the Fun


    Gelato Solve All Problems

    We chose our food wisely for our limited time in Rome and somehow stumbled upon the most amazing restaurant! Dilla ristorante, as they say in Italian, had THE MOST amazing pasta I’ve ever had in my entire life, here I am a year later and I still haven’t stopped thinking about it. Order the Aglio olio e peperoncino pasta, and the bruschetta (obviously) you will not be disappointed. If I can give you ONE recommendation of something you must do the next time you’re in Rome. GO. TO. DILLA. We only stayed in Rome for 2 nights, we ate at Dilla’s both nights we were in Rome. Yeah, it’s that good.

    Dilla’s Bruschetta


    Dilla’s Pasta – Aglio olio e peperoncino pasta

    Our photoshoot was scheduled for 6AM the next day. Rome is the busiest tourist destination in the world with more than 100 million tourists each year, meaning if you don’t get up early you will have swarms of people crowding your photos. The photoshoot was the greatest thing we could have done in Rome simply because it got us outside exploring the city so early, there was hardly anyone outside and it truly felt like we were the only ones there. Irina Odoardi was an absolute dream to work with, I’ve had so many people reach out to me asking about my experience with her and I would work with her again 1000x over! I especially loved working with Irina because she told us incredible stories about each place we visited, my favorite being the story of the Trevi Fountain.

    Trevi Fountain, Rome, Italy – Photographer: Irina Odoardi

    Legend has it if a couple drinks from the Trevi fountain they will be married forever. Naturally, we went back later that evening and drank from the Trevi fountain, our forever love was worth risking dying from any bacteria that was likely in the dirty water. Coincidence that we both woke up sick the next day…we’ll never know for sure. But what I do know is I still love him more than ever before, so I’d say it was 100% worth it.

    Trevi Fountain, Rome, Italy – Photographer: Irina Odoardi

    The photoshoot was scheduled for 2 hours and consisted of us walking around Rome from site to site, it was a personal tour plus a magical photoshoot at the same time. We visited the Spanish Steps, the Trevi Fountain, Pantheon, Ancient Rome and of course the Colosseum! By the end of our shoot it was mind blowing how many people had started to fill the streets, especially by the Collosuem. Each person we passed shouted at us in Italian, after several people kept passing us saying the same thing, the photographer explained they were all saying congratulations.

    I’m sure all of the Uber drivers loved me for the amount of glitter I left in their car…oops.

    Colosseum, Rome, Italy -Photographer: Irina Odoardi

    I couldn’t think of a more magical way to experience Rome, dancing in 1000 year old buildings in my princess dress, walking down the streets with my prince, and soaking in every moment without anyone else around. We went back and visited the Spanish Steps and Trevi Fountain that evening after our photoshoot and you truly don’t understand how many people pack the streets of Rome, until you see it without any people at all. If you ever visit Rome, my best advice is wake up super early and go explore at dawn, it truly an experience of a lifetime. Then don’t forget to go eat at Dilla’s for dinner, you won’t regret it. Perhaps my favorite thing about Rome is how it is a city full of stories, every person you came in contact with would tell you a story about the place you’re in or the food you’re eating and what makes special. Rome is definitely my favorite city I’ve visited in Italy so far, and most certainly will be going back. If for nothing else than to enjoy another meal at Dilla’s.

    Colosseum, Rome, Italy -Photographer: Irina Odoardi

    As Promised, here’s more magical moments we captured while we were in Rome. Huge thank you to Irina, I cherish every photo she captured. You can find more of her work on Instagram @irinaodoardi.photographer.

    Rome, Italy – Photographer: Irina Odoardi

    Ancient Rome – Photographer: Irina Odoardi



    Trevi Fountain, Rome, Italy – Photographer: Irina Odoardi


    Ancient Rome – Photographer: Irina Odoardi


    Pantheon, Rome, Italy – Photographer: Irina Odoardi


    Spanish Steps, Rome, Italy -Photographer: Irina Odoardi


    Pantheon, Rome, Italy – Photographer: Irina Odoardi


    Spanish Steps, Rome, Italy -Photographer: Irina Odoardi


    Ancient Rome – Photographer: Irina Odoardi



    Pantheon, Rome, Italy – Photographer: Irina Odoardi


    Trevi Fountain, Rome, Italy – Photographer: Irina Odoardi



    Trevi Fountain, Rome, Italy – Photographer: Irina Odoardi


    Pantheon, Rome, Italy – Photographer: Irina Odoardi


    Pantheon, Rome, Italy – Photographer: Irina Odoardi

    Spanish Steps, Rome, Italy -Photographer: Irina Odoardi

  • Music, Travel

    Wedding Adventure Part 1: Tomorrowland

    When Taylor and I first started dating in the summer of 2012, we spent that entire summer going to concerts and dancing our hearts out together. Our love for music and dancing was something we bonded over straight from the beginning, we would get lost in the crowds at concerts and dance for hours together. Since that was such a huge part of our love story in the beginning, we couldn’t think of a better way to kick off our epic wedding adventure than heading back to Tomorrowland to dance in the hills of Belgium. Going to Tomorrowland was a huge bucket list item for both of us, we were able to cross off a bucket list item together in 2017 when we made our first adventure to Tomorrowland.

    Tomorrowland 2018

    Tomorrowland is one of the biggest music festivals in the world, with an attendance of approximately 180,000 people. It is a 3-day festival held over 2 weekends in July, in Boom, Belgium. You can choose to go the first or the second weekend, or both if you’re feeling crazy! Now that we’ve gone both weekends, I have to say the second weekend was definitely my favorite. Boom is a tiny town outside of Brussels, you have to take a 45 minute bus ride from the hotel to the festival grounds, unless you choose to camp on site in Dreamland. The entire city of Boom will welcome you as you drive into the city, hanging Tomorrowland flags out their windows and standing on the streets waving at you as you drive by.

    Tomorrowland is something that you will never be able to fully describe in words, capture in a video, or accurately explain to someone; it’s a place you just have to experience for yourself, which I highly recommend you do at least once. The insane attention to detail, intricate costumes, next level performers, massive art installations, impeccable stage production, and amazing music to truly unlike anything you’ve ever experienced. Every inch of the festival grounds is covered in decorations and filled with magic, it’s impossible to capture everything that goes on in a photo or video. They go above and beyond to give you an experience of entering an entirely different world from start to finish.

    It’s MASSIVE! Tomorrowland spreads over 185 acres of land.

    My favorite thing about going to Tomorrowland is there are over 75 countries in attendance, not everyone speaks the same language, but they all dance to the same beat. Love and music are both universal languages. It’s amazing to see so many people with different backgrounds, religions, and beliefs come together in harmony for the love of music. I love that we’ve made friends from all over the world that we met at Tomorrowland, friends that we have visited in their home town and have stayed in contact with ever since.

    My beautiful friend Ella!
    We had lunch while she was visiting Salt Lake City 6 months after I met her in Belgium, how cool is that?!

    Both years we have purchased the Global Journey Package, definitely recommend, since they take care of hotel stay and transportation to and from the festival, plus access into Invited, which is a private event the night before Tomorrowland begins. This year we stayed at The Hotel, which was nice, but I definitely preferred the hotel we stayed at the first year, but more on that in another post about our first time adventuring to Tomorrowland! We also went VIP both years and I wouldn’t go any other way, the VIP experience is definitely the way to go with private balcony areas, bathrooms, food areas, bars, hot tubs, pools, snacks and tons of other wild stuff you would never expect. It helps minimize the lines and crowds, which are my least favorite things about big concerts…I mean when you have to go to the bathroom the last thing you want to do is stand in line for an hour! So for me it made all the difference to have the option of private VIP areas at all the stages. If you’re going to go, I recommend going big, going VIP, and have the time of your life.

    The Hotel Brussels, Belgium


    Global Journey Check-In at The Hotel

    Invited – Tomorrowland 2018


    Making New Friends in New Places


    Belgium Fries, a must in Belgium.

    Exploring Brussels

    At least The Hotel is smart.

    The Hotel Brussels, Belgium

    VIP Tomorrowland 2018


    VIP Tomorrowland 2018


    Yes, there are actual swimming pools and hot tubs in the VIP areas at Tomorrowland. I saw people use the hot tubs all weekend long, you could put your clothes in a locker and rent swimming suits to use, then change when you were done. However, I never saw anyone get in the pool….

    VIP Tomorrowland 2018

    Taylor and I had the time of our lives going back to explore the world of Tomorrowland, which is basically the world’s biggest adult playground. We met up with old friends and made many new friends while we were there. While the people you meet are incredible, I loved spending the first stop of our honeymoon honoring the part of our relationship that created an amazing bond between us when we first met. Anytime we have a chance to dance the night away together, our love for each other always grows stronger as we reconnect back to the moments from when first started falling in love. You’re never too old to dance the night away with the love of your life, and I highly recommend you do it as often as possible.

    I love you.

    While the photos and pictures we captured will never do Tomorrowland justice, here is my attempt at capturing a small piece of the magic you will find while you’re there. I hope you get to go experience the real magic for yourself one day, it’s an experience that you will never forget.

    Tomorrowland 2018


    Finding Old Friends in New Places!


    Tomorrowland 2018


    Tomorrowland 2018


    Tomorrowland 2018

  • Travel

    Our Epic Wedding Adventure

    For nearly a decade my dream travel destination was to visit Paris, and in 2017 my dream finally came true when my amazing boyfriend at the time took me to Europe over the summer! We had an epic 2-week adventure through Europe, visiting Belgium, Venice, Milan, and saving the best for last, Paris! Just when I thought my first trip to Paris couldn’t get anymore magical, he proposed to me on our last night there in front of the Eiffel Tower! Talk about a dream inside of a dream come true. On our way back home from getting engaged in Paris, I came up with crazy idea that it would be so fun to take my wedding dress back to Paris on our one year wedding anniversary to take some photos…

    As we continued the wedding planning process, we started discussing what we wanted to do for our honeymoon. We both agreed that we definitely wanted to go back to Europe for another epic adventure, after all we had SO MUCH FUN the first time. When we were talking over logistics of the date we chose to get married and when we could go take a 2 week honeymoon trip to Europe, we decided to go on our honeymoon two weeks before the wedding, I know, not your typical wedding timeline. After all , we definitely aren’t your typical couple either, we don’t play by the rules.

    Once we decided we were headed back to Europe for a totally unconventional honeymoon, I got so excited because here was my opportunity to take my wedding dress back to Paris to get photos where we got engaged. I became dead set on bringing my wedding dress with us on our trip to Europe and not only getting photos taken in Paris, but to find photographers to take pictures of us in Rome and Greece too. I mean, the dress was going to be there with us anyway…why not?! Everyone thought I was absolutely INSANE, and maybe I was. But looking back, what’s insane to me is the fact that I almost let everyone’s comments talk me out of doing it.

    Just about everyone I told that I was taking my dress to Europe to get bridal photos done before the wedding said something along the lines of…
    “…but what if your dress gets lost?”
    “…but what if you ruin your dress?”
    “…but what if your dress gets dirty?”
    “…but what if someone steals your dress?”
    Every single one of those things were 100% possible and valid concerns…and all I could think was, “But what if it doesn’t…?” If everything goes as planned, I get the most insane, once in a lifetime, fairytale photographs of my dreams. So, I took a chance of everything going wrong…because maybe, just maybe, everything would turn out absolutely perfect.
    And it did.

    Yes, my dress got dirty.
    Yes, my husband saw my dress before the wedding.
    Yes, my dress wasn’t absolutely perfect on my wedding day.
    Yes, I was concerned it would get lost.
    Yes, my dress momentarily got stuck in the trunk of an Uber in Paris.
    Yes, it was a pain in the butt to carry around Europe from plane, to train, to car, to hotel…
    But, it was 1000% worth it!

    I had this beautiful vision in my mind I was 100% set on making a reality. Despite everyone making me feel crazy about my wedding adventure idea (even my husband) I was determined to make this vision in my head happen. (PS – he’s now so thankful that we got a little crazy and captured all of these amazing photos on our honeymoon.)

    The experience of taking my wedding dress to Rome, Santorini, and Paris to take photos is something I will NEVER forget. We saw and experienced these cities in a way we wouldn’t have without taking these photos. It was truly magical to see Rome in the early hours when it was deserted and free of the massive crowds of tourists. It was the craziest adventure to be guided through the tiny streets of Santorini by the local photographers, standing on rooftops to see all the “picture perfect” views on the island. It was an absolute dream come true to create my fairytale vision, wearing my over the top princess wedding dress, in my “dream city” of Paris, where we got engaged.

    When you travel, you typically take pictures of all the sights and places you go. This was a truly remarkable experience to not just take a picture of these places, but to BE a part of the picture. There are somethings in life you only get ONE chance to act on, if you miss it, the chance is gone forever. I am so glad I trusted my heart instead of listening to everyone else’s concerns, so I didn’t miss this chance to create the most amazing lifetime memory.

    Moral of the story: Quit listening to what everyone else has to say and trust your heart.
    This is your life, you get one shot at it…make it absolutely legendary.

    My favorite part of this adventure? Knowing I left a trail of sparkle everywhere we went. A piece of my dress will forever be glittering the streets of Rome, glimmering in the Santorini sunsets, and sparkling next to the Eiffel Tower.

    Don’t worry, there’s more! Dragging my beautiful (and very big) Liliya wedding gown across Europe with us was an adventure in and of itself, not to mention the insanely beautiful photos we captured along the way. Click the links below to see the magic we captured in each stop!

    Wedding Adventure Part 1: Tomorrowland
    Wedding Adventure Part 2: Rome, Italy
    Wedding Adventure Part 3: Santorini, Greece
    Wedding Adventure Part 4: Paris, France
    Wedding Adventure Part 5: Wedding Day, Salt Lake City, Utah, 8.11.18

  • Food

    Cinnamon Vanilla Chia Seed Pudding

    I have a confession, my new favorite obsession is chia seed pudding! Which is totally unexpected because I am a texture person and if the texture of something is weird, I don’t eat it! And we can all be 100% honest, the texture of chia seed pudding is the weirdest thing ever…yet I am oddly totally with it. I find myself constantly wondering, “How is this so weird and so delicious at the same time?!”

    I love how simple chia seed pudding is to make, the awesome health benefits of chia seeds, one of them being it’s an easy plant based protein source, and the fact that this recipe is 100% dairy-free! If you need a healthy summer treat, give this recipe a try. There are so many different ways to make chia seed pudding, you can use maple syrup to sweeten, you can take out the cinnamon and vanilla, or change up what dairy-free milk you use. I encourage you to play around with some different combinations. I found a basic recipe on the internet then made my own creation. This is what I came up with and it’s super yummy!

    Cinnamon Vanilla Chia Seed Pudding

    • 2 cups dairy-free milk (I use unsweetened coconut milk)
    • 1/2 cup chia seeds
    • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 1 tablespoon coconut sugar (optional)
    • You will see a lot of different options on how you can sweeten your chia seed pudding, if you choose to. A common one I read a lot was maple syrup, when I compared the sugar content of adding a tablespoon of maple syrup to coconut sugar, I preferred the option of coconut sugar!

    Combine ingredients into a 32oz. mason jar, shake thoroughly
    Refrigerate till pudding sets
    Make sure to shake the mason jar every 1-2 hours so your chia seeds don’t settle at the bottom.
    Top with fruit of your choice and enjoy! I like to drizzle a little honey on top of mine.

    *You don’t have to use a mason jar to mix your ingredients in. I found that was the easiest way to thoroughly mix all of the ingredients and made it hassle free to go back every 1-2 hours and shake up the bottle so the chia seeds didn’t settle!

    This recipe makes about 4-5 servings.
    If you choose to double the recipe, don’t double it in the same 32 oz. mason jar, I learned this the hard way. The chia seeds need room to expand and the 32 oz. jar doesn’t allow enough room for doubling the recipe! Mix everything in a different container or grab another mason jar to make a bigger quantity of the pudding.

  • Beauty, Self-Love

    How to Get a Bikini Body

    Have you ever felt embarrassed of your body?
    Has that embarrassment prevented you from living it up during summer or on vacation?
    You can’t seem to fully enjoy yourself because too worried about covering up so people can’t see your flaws.

    Trust me, I’ve been there. For 5 years I only wore pants through the summer so people couldn’t see my scars.
    I was so worried about what people would think if they knew the truth. I was so paralyzed by fear, scared that people would judge me for what I did. I let that fear rob me of joy, I let that fear hold me back from fully enjoy summer, I let that fear of people’s judgements stop me from loving myself, scars and all.

    I literally thought traffic would stop, people would gawk, point, and stare at me if I dared to show my bare legs to the world. So I hid, I hid my legs from the world for years because I was so afraid of what people might think of me. I finally realized it’s JUST SKIN!! I came to the terms with the fact that these scars weren’t going to magically disappear one day and they would be with me for life.

    So I really had two choices:
    I can be embarrassed and hide from the world for the rest of my life because I’m scared of peoples opinions..
    OR
    I can embrace who I am, even if it’s not perfect, stop caring about what people might think and enjoy my freaking life!

    As you can tell I picked option number two, I set myself free from worrying about other’s opinions of me and I put that energy towards loving myself and my scars. And guess what, traffic didn’t stop when I showed my bare legs to the world, people didn’t point and stare…the only person that cared about these scars on my legs was me.

    I hope you let go of your fear this summer.
    I hope you let go of any embarrassment you may have about your body have this summer.
    I hope you fully embrace who you are and love yourself a little more this summer, flaws and all.

    Life is way too short to wait for the “perfect bikini body” before you finally decide to rock the bikini.
    Guess what, if you have a bikini and you have a body, congratulations!
    YOU HAVE A BIKINI BODY! Rock it!

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m all about self improvement and working towards being my absolute best self, I’m working towards the next best version of me all the time! But you can’t wait till you “arrive” to your best self before you “allow” yourself enjoy life, celebrate your body, and rock out in a bikini at the pool! You will never fully arrive to your “perfect self” (perfect doesn’t exist by the way). There will always be something more to work on, something else to improve, another level to rise to, and that’s great! That’s the whole purpose of this life is to continue to grow and evolve into our best selves. But please don’t forget to enjoy the journey along the way and celebrate your body as it is right now!

    So what if you have scars, stretch marks, fat, cellulite, extra skin, whatever! Who cares?!
    You. You are the only person that cares. You are the only person judging you. You are the only person holding you back from rocking that outfit or swimsuit you so desperately want to wear. Stop it!

    Wear it.
    Rock it.
    Live it up.
    Embrace yourself! Embrace your body! Embrace your flaws!

    Because guess what? No one has a perfect body. Even that “perfect” girl on instagram has things she’s self conscious about. She has skin on her belly that folds over when she sits down. We all do. This human body isn’t designed to look 100% perfect all the time, so we need to quit expecting it to. We need to quit being so critical of ourselves because we don’t look like these photoshopped, filtered photos and love ourselves as we are.

    Stop spending so much energy hiding yourself from the world and use that energy to love yourself for all that you are. Use that energy to go live your life to the fullest. Use that energy to love that beautiful body of yours! You deserve it. Your body deserves it.