I’ve got summer vacay brain…like really bad. All I want to do is pack up and run away to an island, lay in a hammock and read a good book. Who’s with me??
A fun fact about me is that I love packing. Like if I could be a professional suitcase packer I’d be in heaven. Weird, I know. Picturing me folding and stuffing suitcases with people’s things is kind of funny! Despite loving to pack….I loath unpacking. That feeling you get after a trip…having to wash clothes and get back to the daily grind is just no fun. But let’s not talk about that part, let’s focus on the FUN part! Packing that suitcase!
I’m sharing with you a few quick tips I’ve learned over the years about how to successfully pack a suitcase. I’ve gone from one extreme to the other when it comes to over and under packing. I’ve crammed a suitcase so full it’d break your arm to lift it…but it zipped! (haha 🙂 ) I’ve also vowed to myself that I would only pack the essentials and then get to my destination and wish I had that 1 thing I didn’t pack. That’s just plain frustrating, am I right?!
So, let me help you find your happy medium and pack everything you may need to fit in 1 suitcase. Yes, just one because who actually enjoys checking a bag? Not this girl.
I love Saturday mornings. I love the sun beaming through the window and the idea of abandoning all of our weekday routines for more adventure. I turn off my work emails and put all the to-do lists aside. I do more dreaming and exploring. I simply live for Saturdays.
We got lucky last Saturday with some amazing weather in the middle of January and we seized the opportunity to get in the car and explore. One of my most loved things about living in the northwest part of Arkansas is that my local bucket list is just overflowing with places to see and they are all within a day’s drive.
I grabbed our backpack, water bottles and put on my usual Saturday attire – workout pants, of course – and we headed out to one of the most beautiful trials in the state, Centerpoint to Goat Trail in Ponca, AR.
Every single time we set out for on a new hike, we are never disappointed. This state’s natural beauty is breathtaking. We knew we were in for the long haul on this one with a 1.5 hour drive to the trail head and a 3.5 mile walk to the view, but without hesitation we trekked on.
The hike began pretty easy as expected, after reading the reviews. It was a downhill, rocky hike with a little mud in places until we reached the bluffs. The bluffs lead us through it’s bending trees that grew on the side of the mountain. These trees were so neat the way they twisted and bent around the bluff. It was like walking through a fairy tale of sorts.
Once out of the trees, it opened up. The edge of the bluff led us along the entire side of the mountain overlooking a beautiful blue-green river. We walked the side of the bluff and exploring the little cave-like overlooks and even meeting a few campers who had stayed overnight. After taking in the view and of course grabbing a few photos, we headed back down.
Well sorta “down”. Oddly enough our 3.5 mile hike to the view was all downhill and now we had to hike back UP 3.5 miles to get back. Whew! That view and the full 7 mile trekk was more than worth it. It was everything we had hoped for our Saturday adventure.
This is what Saturdays were all about for us. The views, the irreplaceable experiences and the exploration of this beautiful earth that God gave us. If anything, I encourage you to make a local bucket list of your own. Our very own backyards are crawling with spectacular places and experiences just waiting on us to arrive.
For those of you that don’t know me well, I am about 98% type A. I love a good plan, I thrive on knowing ALL the details and when it comes to traveling, there’s always going to be an itinerary. BUT, let me tell you, the 2% of non-type A in me is a lot of fun and spontaneous. 🙂
A few weeks ago, we decided to take a spontaneous trip to the small farm town of Pawhuska, Oklahoma to visit the Pioneer Woman’s new restaurant and shop, The Mercantile (they call it the ‘Merc’ for short). It was an easy 3 hour drive from Northwest Arkansas so we packed some snacks and the camera and off we went!
Now that we are married and back to normal life, I am finally able to share with you our adventurous excursion in the Mayan village while in Mexico on our honeymoon.
We were so excited to explore Mexico in our one short week we had on our honeymoon, so we went on an excursion to learn about the historic Mayan culture and get outside of our resort for a bit. Camera in-hand and backpack loaded up, we were ready for a full day of adventure and that’s exactly what we got!
The excursion started early at 8 am. We loaded up on a bus and off we went. There were a few other groups with us on the tour. A family of 5, a family of 4, another newlywed couple and us. The bus filled quickly and J and I had to sit up front with the guide. (The best seat on the bus if you ask me!) We had a front row view of everything! Continue reading Mayan Culture Adventure→
Week after week we are stuck in our same ole’ routines. Wake up, work, dinner, sleep, repeat. Ok…there is a little more laughter and food in that routine 🙂 , but you get the picture. We just don’t hardly get to relax and enjoy life outside of work mid-week. Can you relate? Well grab yourself a fuzzy blanket and a cup of coffee because I am sharing our mini mid-week getaway with you right now!
Picture this, its early morning, you open the drapes to a beautiful foggy view of the Fall foliage overlooking a lake. You grab your warm cup of coffee and step out on the balcony to take in the crisp morning air. Room service delivers a warm cinnamon roll and you eat your breakfast in a rocking chair while curled up in a fuzzy blanket on the balcony. Do you feel relaxed yet? Ahhhh.
We spent a few days working at the Big Cedar Lodge in Missouri and it was refreshing to say the least. This little piece of the South is too close not to visit more often!
The views are spectacular, the rooms are cozy and the entire lodge is beautiful! We arrived at the lodge and it was like a southern paradise. My favorite part was that we had gotten there just in time to see the beginnings of their Christmas decor setup. Talk about extravagant and stunning. Continue reading Mini Getaway at Big Cedar Lodge→
For many of you married folks out there, I’m sure you can relate to our wedding planning madness. We had almost a full year of wedding planning. What a whirlwind the past few weeks were leading up our wedding day. Looking back it was all such a blur, but one thing I do know is that it was everything we wanted and we had the time of our lives! We left our fairy tale venue that night in route for the beaches of Mexico. Don’t worry, pictures and a recap of all the wedding details are coming!
We were both beyond excited to venture out of the states to explore new culture, new food and new adventures. In fact, this was the first time either of us had ever been out of the U.S.!
Now, because you asked for it, here is our review on our honeymoon resort: Barceló Maya Palace in Playa del Carmen, Mexico.
The countdown is on! We are about 2 months out from our big day and I am so excited about putting together our packing list for our honeymoon to Mexico (did my Type A come out too much there? You can never be too prepared, right?).
I am one of those that likes to have options. Everyday my outfit is determined by what kind of mood I’m in that day. So how can I possibly pack for a whole week in advance?? Can you relate? Well that’s why I am creating a packing list, because I will sooo over pack if I don’t! Not to mention, I’ve never traveled outside of the country much less to an all-inclusive resort, so I have to be even more prepared and strategic on the necessities, while not packing up our entire bathroom and closet. I sure don’t want to be lugging around a big bulky suitcase. Ekk!
Being in your twenties is hard work…should it be? No one will ever know. As I sit and stare at the cardboard boxes in my living room I think to myself, am I moving to fast?
This month will mark my 5th move in 4 years. That includes some moving during college as well. After graduation in December of 2012, I packed up my “life” and moved to Tulsa to pursue my career in Advertising. After 6 months I quickly realized that although I still enjoyed my career choice, I needed to get back to a passion of mine that truly fulfilled me, retail marketing. So here I am…moving. Again. Watch out Arkansas, I’m coming back.
Arkansas is truly a place I call “home.” I grew up in a small country town in Central Arkansas and continued my journey after moving to Northwest Arkansas for college. I love everything about the state. The outdoors, the people, the opportunities, the community…I could go on and on. With that said, I am very thrilled to get to go back to my college home town. Since moving to Tulsa I have in fact realized a few things about myself. I have grown and discovered what I want in life. It has given me a chance to venture out on my own to experience the world in a different light. And that I did.
Tulsa gave me a new passion and joy for life and others. I have met people along the way that I can honestly say have become some of my best friends. They opened their arms and hearts to me and made me feel like I was apart of their lives in a big way. I fell in love with not only my new church, but God. I am so thankful for the people God has given me during this season of my life. A new light has been shed on God’s mission for my life. And I believe this is just another step in his big plan.
With that said, moving is still dreadful. After making this sweet little Tulsa apartment a place that I call “home” it makes me sad to take the decor off of the walls and pack my belongings into bags and boxes once again. There has got to be an easier way. I need some help when it comes to being organized and efficient when packing. Not to mention, saying goodbye to some great people. I know its not forever, but I will miss them dearly.
Even though I am moving to the next season in my life I need a constant reminder that I am ONLY in my twenties!!! I have a lot of life to live and I want other people to experience the adventure with me! So, whether you are in your 20s or not, let me share with you a few things that you should accomplish!
1. Be You.
You can never be anyone else. Be the best you, you can be! Take time to figure out who you are and what you want in life! Make some personal goals for yourself and set out to accomplish them. Trust me, you learn so much about yourself along the way.
2. Be a thrill seeker.
Being young gives you the authority to do some risky things. Now when I say “risky” don’t go get yourself in trouble. Find something that pushes your boundaries. Pick up an adventurous hobby or take a leap of faith on something. I have been making a “life list” for a long time now and I can honestly say that I have crossed off more things since I have been in my 20s. That counts for something right?
Hard times brings out the good in people. I have struggled in so many different ways throughout my life and each have taught me a very valuable lesson. Push through the hard times and don’t let failures get in your way or even define you. Do not dwell on the struggles, but take them and keep moving forward.
4. Be on the go.
Make sure you are continually finding new things that excite you. Do not get stuck in a rut of life or a lifestyle. It is important to keep trying to better yourself and don’t let anyone or anything hold you back.
5. Be with your family.
Your parents and family are your support system. They will love you when others don’t. They will pick you up from the lowest bottom and bring you back to where you need to be. They are advice givers. Wise and smart. Trust them and love them forever. I cherish my family in more ways than I can possibly imagine. They have stuck by my side through the thick and the thin. Spend time with them while you can.
6. Open your eyes and close your mouth.
Go out and meet new people. Learn about others. And learn to love yourself. Listen to other’s stories and opinions. Get to know people on a deeper level. People are interesting!
7. Get involved.
Now is the time to start giving back and being apart of your community. It is so important to serve and become a source for helping others. This is one of my favorite things to do when I am given the opportunity. Volunteer it makes the heart grow and become soft for others.
8. Find a new hobby.
I love learning new skills. As a competitive person, I enjoy mastering new skills. Now is the time to pick up that sport you have always wanted to do and give it your best shot!
Above all keep pushing forward. Keep living life to the fullest. What ever and where ever life may take you keep your eyes open and make your time worth while.
Now back to that packing…I can not wait to see what Arkansas has in store for me! Wish me well!
Keep up with my crazy, adventurous life on Instagram! @Candablair
My Life List is more than a bucket list. It contains ideas, dreams and maybe a few things that I will never accomplish. It is my little reminder to live life to the fullest everyday. My goal is to do something for the first time wherever I go, inspire others and leave a legacy. Take a look at my list (in no particular order). What are some of your dreams? Are you exploring and experiencing all this world has to offer?