Beach Day, Baby + 10 Things

How was everyone's Memorial Day weekend??

The weather here was SO beautiful! It really felt like Summer and it got me so excited for all of the fun outdoor adventures that we'll be having with James! We went to a beach near our house and it was so fun seeing how excited James was. He was having such a blast running around on the stones and stepping in the water and watching Gunner dive for rocks. :) It also got me really excited for Summer clothes. This dress is so comfortable and lightweight - perfect for a hot Summer day. It's also under $30. You can get it here.

I've seen other bloggers do "10 things" types of posts and I always really enjoy reading them. So I'm going to start doing them every now and then as well! They'll just be 10 random things on my mind.

  1. I'm having SO much fun picking out all of the details for our new house that's being built!! But it's also a little bit stressful, if I'm being completely honest! I'll share more in my new real estate series that I'll be kicking off soon!
  2. James has learned how to fake laugh and it is the CUTEST thing ever. It makes me laugh so hard, which just makes him do it more!
  3. Ben and I just finished watching 'The OA' - so creepy and weird and GOOD! Looking for new show recommendations, so send them my way!
  4. James has started napping much more regularly and for longer periods of time, which has been really nice because I've been able to get so much more done! But, I MISS him while he's sleeping!! haha
  5. I feel like I'm in a bit of a slump at this point in the Bikini Series...needing to snap out of it and find my motivation again! A new bikini, perhaps?? Stay tuned for my Swim Lust List, coming soon! ;)
  6. I want to go to Italy so badly! I've been seeing all of these beautiful pictures lately of Lake Como and am planning us a trip there because - SO BEAUTIFUL!!
  7. I'm planning out all of the things that I want to make sure to document/do for James' 1st birthday! We aren't having a party, but I for sure want to do a smash cake, and maybe a ball pit for him and do something super fun on his Birthday. What are MUSTS that you other mamas recommend absolutely doing/documenting for a little one's first??
  8. I shared in a recent blog post that the mini pill was making my skin break out and giving me horrible cystic acne, which I've never dealt with before! I switched birth control pills, and my skin is definitely getting better, slowly but surely. I've also found a few products and tricks that are helping, and I'll do a blog post about them soon.
  9. Ben and I have been talking about FINALLY trying to do an overnight getaway without James...but we both really dread leaving him over night!! It's going to be so hard, but I think once we're gone, Ben and I would have a blast. So we're working on planning that for sometime in the near future.
  10. I haven't done my toe nails in over a month now...what in the world. #momlifeI should probably go get a pedicure, STAT.

Have a wonderful day!

Why Having A Baby Doesn't Mean The End Of Adventure

When we found out that I was pregnant with our first child, my husband and I vowed that it would not mean the end of adventure for us. Rather than sidelining our excursions in the mountains, our road trips through wide open spaces, and our days spent swinging a fly rod overhead in wild creeks, we would incorporate our son into our lifestyle. Easier said than done, we were told...

Click here to continue reading the full post on The Outbound.

Travel Diary: The Big Island

Four Generations!

Where the heck have I been the past week or so, you may ask. Well, I was in paradise.

My little family and I jetted off to the Big Island of Hawaii!

My grandparents live near Kona, and we went to stay with them. It was our first time seeing their new house, and it was a DREAM. The views were out of this world and they have the best little jungle pool in their yard. Seriously...the entire trip was heavenly. My mom was even there for a few days, which was so fun! And it was SO nice to get to spend time with my grandparents!

I had only been to Oahu and Maui before, so the Big Island was new to me. It is SO different from the other islands that I've been to, and I LOVE it! There are so many different types of terrain and things to do and amazing features and places to explore!

This was our first time flying with James. I will write a blog post soon about our experience flying with a baby and some tips I picked up, so check back for that...probably next Monday!

Anyways, James did so well traveling such a long distance, and although there was a bit of an adjustment for him with the time difference and new place and everything, (PLUS he's TEETHING), he was such a little trooper! We had the best time adventuring with him!

Ok, I could ramble on and on, so let's dive right into it:

First things first: coffee.

Our first morning in Kona, we found the. best. coffee shop. Seriously. Look no further, next time you're in Kona. Just head to Green Flash Coffee. Every morning (except two mornings when we made the mistake of trying different coffee shops) Ben, James, and I headed to Green Flash Coffee at the crack of dawn. I fell in love with their croissant breakfast sandwiches with ham, and Ben and I got coffee cake to share. And we got coffee...of course.

Some mornings we enjoyed our coffee and breakfast at the coffee shop in their outdoor courtyard, and some mornings we brought it all with us to the beach. Regardless, every morning we headed to the beach and swam, laid in the shade, and watched the body surfers. James LOVED playing with his toys on our big beach blanket. Ben took James into the ocean for the first time. We made such great memories.

After our morning outings, we would head back to my grandparents' house and my grandpa made us his special oatmeal and we would eat fresh papayas and read and relax...it was the best.

We did so many fun things while we were there! We took a tour of the Kona Brewing Company, Ben and I went out for a couple of date nights in Kona, we went and watched a dolphin show with my grandpa, and we went on a snorkel tour!

The snorkel tour was amazing! James did so well on the boat, we saw humpback whales, and SO many gorgeous fish. I highly recommend this tour if you're going to the Big Island. Click here for all of the info!

One day, Ben, James, and I drove around the entire island. It was such an amazing day! We went to Rainbow Falls, fell in love with the town of Hawi, (go get sandwiches at Kohala Coffee Mill!!!) and we saw SO many beautiful sights, including this black sand beach.

I had never seen a black sand beach before and it was so pretty! We were going to stop by a green sand beach, but the parking area was SO crowded, so we decided to continue on our way.

We also went to the southern most point in the United States of America. For a few minutes, we were the southernmost folk in all the land. Which was a pretty cool feeling. And very neat for James, at only 5 1/2 months old!

On our way back home after our drive around the island, we stopped at this cute, nice restaurant called The Strawberry Patch. It was some of the best food I've had - I had the Spring Salad, and Ben and I split the Rustic Roasted Garlic Bread. So yummy. BUT the service was reeeeeaaaallly SLOW.

That night we saw the most unusual sunset as we were driving back to my grandparents' house. I didn't manage to get any pictures of it, but it was magical.

We saw so many beautiful sunsets while we were on the Big Island. One evening, my grandpa took us to this beautiful spot where we had pina coladas and watched the sunset over the ocean. Our last night, my grandpa took us to another beautiful place...a rocky beach where you could wade out and look down and see fish swimming around. And the sunsets from my grandparents house were unreal.

Our last morning, we got our coffee and breakfast and headed to the beach for one last family beach morning. It was a gorgeous day.

After that, we headed to Huggo's On The Rocks for a farewell drink and to soak in the view. It was such an incredible trip and I'm leaving out so many details because there is just no way that I could get them all down in one blog post. But it was just the best and we love the Big Island and can't wait to go back some day!

We really want to go to the volcano and the space observatory, but we couldn't this time because James is too little. Next time! There is so much more to do and explore!

This trip was the BEST way to kick off 2017...this year is already shaping up to be one heck of an amazing ride! Soo many exciting things in store!

Outside Bozeman, Summer '16

The Summer issue of Outside Bozeman magazine is on stands now! It's their biggest issue of the year and I am SO excited to have two articles published in it! Be sure to pick up a copy! And check out pages 68 and 72! ;)

You can also read the issue online by clicking here!

Cheers to an adventure-filled season!

xo, Anna

 

Travel Diary: Babymoon In Paris

The most handsome man in the world! <3

In January, Ben took me to Paris and it was the best trip of my life! Let me back up a little bit and give some background. We had had a trip planned for almost a year, and it was to Cabo. We were going to go with two of our best friends and spend a week in paradise, drinking margaritas and eating chips and salsa in the sun. Our tickets were booked, all the details were set, shopping had been done, and we were ready to go and SO excited. 

Then, in November I found out I was pregnant (YAY!!)! This didn’t change our Mexico plans, other than ruling out the margaritas, and I was excited for a tropical getaway and to debut my little baby bump in a bikini. The WEEK that we were supposed to leave for Mexico, the CDC issued a notice advising pregnant women to avoid traveling to Mexico because of the Zika virus. The Zika virus is pretty harmless to everyone else, but it is thought to cause brain deformities in unborn fetuses. Ben and I were sick about it - we didn’t know what to do. The advisory was for all of Mexico, and for awhile we went back and forth, wondering if we could just go and keep me dripping with bug spray and swathed in long sleeves and pants. But ultimately, (and at the encouragement of our doctor), we made the difficult decision to cancel our Cabo trip a day or two before our flight. It was so hard to cancel and to bail on our friends, but we knew that we would be worried about our baby the WHOLE time we were there, and that if something ended up happening to the baby we would never be able to forgive ourselves. 

We were pretty depressed after canceling our Mexican getaway. We moped, I cried, we were stressed out, and just SO disappointed. Then we realized that Ben already had the time off of work. We started playing with the idea of trying to find somewhere else to go for the next week. To make a long story short, Ben ended up booking us a flight to Paris! He booked the tickets at around 9pm and our flight left the next morning. It was SO exciting!! We packed hurriedly, and tried to get a few hours of sleep, despite our excitement. 

Our trip was (however cheesy it may sound) an absolute DREAM. Seriously, the best week of my life. It was so romantic and exciting and beautiful and fun. I had never been overseas before so the whole experience was just so meaningful and special. We saw so many incredible things and places: the Eiffel Tower, the louvre, Belleau Wood, Champs-Elysees, the catacombs, the love lock bridge, Notre Dame, and SO much more! We ate the most INCREDIBLE food at the best little restaurants, cafes, and coffee shops - we didn’t eat at the same place twice, there were SO many amazing places to try! We had so much fun together, experiencing a different culture and a new language and all of the amazing sights! It was the most magical week. We also met some amazing people! Everyone was SO incredibly friendly, helpful, welcoming, and nice! We stayed in two different flats during our week in Paris, that were both so nice and in amazing locations. The manager of one of the flats gave us a tour around the city and bought us pastries and took us to this little museum that we never would have found on our own because it was so tucked away. It was SO nice of him and so fun and interesting. 

It was also SO special because it was our babymoon! We celebrated hitting the second trimester and we got to spend such amazing quality time together! It was just the best most perfect most romantic most fun trip EVER! Paris made for the absolute best babymoon destination! We even got some photos of my baby bump by the Eiffel Tower, which was so cool and those pictures will be so special to have!

About 14 weeks pregnant - 2nd trimester, woohoo!

Our babymoon in Paris was a magical, dream-like blur. I am so blessed to have such an incredible husband to share all of life’s adventures with! :) I know that Paris is such a beloved destination for SO many people. But somehow it feels like Ben's and my special place...our Paris. It will always have a place in our hearts and the memories we made in that beautiful city are priceless and will stay with us for the rest of our lives! 

Have you gone on a babymoon? If so, where did you go?

xo, Anna

5 Backpacking Blunders And How To Avoid Them

There are plenty of mistakes to be made when going backpacking, especially if you are a newbie. Luckily for you, there are many of us who have gone before you and who have learned the hard way. Take note from our experiences and save yourself a load of grief. These tips will make your backpacking experience a lot more enjoyable, and will save you a lot of discomfort along the way.

Click here to continue reading on The Outbound...

How To Win The Camp Breakfast Game

Waking up with the sunrise is one of the greatest parts about camping. All cozy in your sleeping bag, you have the entire day full of adventure stretching out before you. We’ve all heard it said that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. This is even more true when you’re camping. Adventures call for hardy, hot food that will fuel your body. Next time you go camping, don’t sell yourself short by whipping up another basic freeze-dried omelet with a side of Clif bar. Instead, impress your camp mates and set yourself up for success with this breakfast of champions:

  1. Flapjacks. A classic, reminiscent of cowboys and the great wilderness explorers. Try out Kodiak Cakes. They are tasty and super easy. Just combine one cup of Kodiak Cake mix with one cup of water, pour onto a pan or griddle and cook for a few minutes on each side. Bring along a small container of maple syrup to top them off with.
  2. Potatoes. Plan ahead and you wont be sorry. Bring along a baggie full of cut up potatoes, rosemary, salt, pepper, and garlic powder, and a small vile of olive oil. Combine all of this, wrap it up in aluminum foil, and cook it by the campfire. If fires aren’t a good idea in your area, then combine all of the ingredients in a skillet or pan and cook over your camp stove. 
  3. Bacon. Yes, bacon. Cook it up ahead of time. Then, when you’re preparing the flapjacks and potatoes, throw it in a pan for a minute or two to heat it up, and voila! Bacon-y goodness to top off your superbueno camp breakfast.
  4. Coffee. Last but certainly not least - coffee. Do not forget to make the coffee. Instant coffee is easy and quick. Just boil some water, add the coffee mix, stir, and enjoy the life-giving goodness. 

How To Cope With Living Far From The Wild

For outdoor lovers, it can be frustrating and even a bit depressing if you live in a place that is far from any wilderness areas. Sure, most cities and towns have parks, but for people who are into backpacking, mountain climbing, and a little peace and quiet, parks just don’t cut it. Ben and I recently moved to an area that is about two hours (minimum) from the nearest mountains. While that is definitely doable for a day trip (and trust me, we’ve spent plenty of days and nights in those mountains!), it’s not exactly convenient. Our ideal situation would be living in a place where we could walk out our back door and be in the mountains or be on a great fly fishing creek.

Over the past year of being an outdoor lover living far from the wild, I’ve learned three tricks for coping. Here you go!

  1. Schedule wilderness time. That’s right…put it on your calendar. Designate days in which you will take the time necessary to get yourself to the mountains. Treat it like an important business meeting and DON’T CANCEL. Just go, no matter how busy you are or how unpleasant the drive sounds. You’ll feel so much better once you are breathing that fresh, wild air. 
  2. Pack ahead of time. Make sure your gear is packed up and ready to go in your vehicle ahead of time. Waking up at 4am in order to hit the road, and then still having to pack up is tough. You’ll be more likely to just scrap your plans and take a raincheck on your adventures. So, pack up the night before or a few days before. You’ll be so glad you did once your alarm goes off. 
  3. Allow as much time as possible. Try to allow yourself as much time in the wild as possible. It will make the long drive feel less grueling. If you can, try to make your excursion an over night one, or better yet, a few nights. 

What are your tips for making time for the great outdoors, even if you live far away from the mountains?

xo, Anna

Subscribe to my NEW YouTube Channel!

I'm so excited to officially launch my new YouTube channel! Click here to subscribe so that you don't miss out on any new videos! I'll be sharing my adventures, beauty and hair tutorials, DIY projects, Q&As, pregnancy tips, gear reviews, book reviews, vlogs...you get the idea! 

Also, I'd LOVE if you'd share in the comments below some ideas of what types of videos you'd like me to make! You can also post any questions you have for me. I'm going to be doing a Q&A video soon, so ask away! :) 

Thanks for all of the positive feedback so far! I'm excited to be able to connect with you all in a new way! 

xo, Anna

5 Ways You Can Be Considerate Of Others In The Outdoors

One of the reasons why people head into the wild is to experience the peace and solitude that nature offers. That is why it is so important to be considerate of others while exploring outside. In fact, maintaining courtesy towards others while camping, hiking, or backpacking is one of the most crucial, but often times overlooked, ethical components of adventuring. Here are five ways in which you can #ProtectTheWild and make sure you are being considerate of other visitors: (Click here to read the full article at The Outbound.)

So, You Want To Have More Adventures?

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It’s the start of a brand new year. Perhaps one of your resolutions is to get outside and have more adventures. If so, I commend you! People contact me all the time saying that they want to have more adventures, but that they don’t know where or how to begin. Here are a few steps you can take to add a little more adventure to your life this year:

1. Do your research. Take the time to research cool areas near you. Websites, such as my personal favorite, The Outbound, can be really useful when it comes to finding hikes and backpacking trips for all skill levels. The Outbound even allows you to create lists of adventures that you want to go on, so you can keep track of everything and have your ‘To-Do’ list in one easy to access place. 

2.   Get the right gear.  Make sure that you are prepared with the proper gear needed for your adventures. You’ll need the right footwear, warm layers, sun protection, sleeping bag, backpack, food, water filtration and storage, etc… And all of this will depend on where you are going and how long you will be gone. Making sure that you have the right gear for the type of adventure that you are going on is crucial. There are few things more miserable than being in the wild and not having the right clothing or supplies with you. The Outbound lists the gear that you’ll need for each adventure. You can also go and talk to the guys and gals at the local outdoor supply store to get an idea of what you will need for your specific outing.

3.   Get a buddy on board. Personally, I think adventures are a lot more fun with a buddy. So get your pal (or pals) in on the action and start planning your adventures together!

4.   Put your adventures on the calendar. The best way to ensure that you adventures actually happen is to plan ahead and schedule them on your calendar. That way, the time is blocked out, and you can prepare yourself leading up to it. So, put your adventures on the calendar and stick to them! But, don't get TOO hung up on planning. Spontaneity is a beautiful thing. When adventure calls, go ahead...answer!

Happy adventuring!

xo, Anna

P.S. Find me on The Outbound here!

Yosemite Valley In The Snow

This past Saturday, I was gently awoken at 4:30am by Ben asking if I wanted to go to Yosemite for the day. Well, needless to say we were both out of bed and ready to go in a matter of minutes. In the dark of the early morning, we began the roughly two and a half hour drive to the park. I find few things more exciting and fun then an early morning on the road, heading towards adventure with my husband and our little dog. 

We stopped at a little coffee shop in this tiny town, not far from the park, and picked up some of the BEST breakfast burritos we’ve ever had. Seriously, they were incredible. I wish I could remember the name of the place we got them. 

We got to the park before 9am, and it was very quiet and relatively empty, compared to how Yosemite has been in the past when we’ve gone. And the park was covered in a blanket of crisp, white snow. It was breathtaking (even more so than it is normally, which is saying A LOT). If you ever have the chance to visit the park in the winter, I highly recommend that you do it. It is an entirely different experience. 

We spent the day driving through the valley, stopping periodically to go on little hikes and take pictures. We had such a blast! It was an incredible way to kick off the new year. The day was perfect, El Cap and Half Dome looked even more out of this world than they normally do, rising high above the valley floor and looming off in the distance, dusted with snow and dripping with ice. 

Gunner had so much fun running around in the snow. He loves it when we kick snow at him. It’s hilarious to watch, as he jumps around trying to catch the powdery snow in his mouth. By the time we headed home, he was exhausted and slept the entire way back. Ben and I made some great new memories in the valley that day. I am so thankful for such an amazing adventure buddy that I can do so many fun things with! 

Happy New Year, from our family to yours!

xo, Anna

Mountain Standard Discount Code!

I am SO excited to officially announce on my blog that I am a Field Agent for Mountain Standard! Mountain Standard is a new company based out of Colorado that makes AWESOME, high quality outdoor gear and clothing for guys AND gals, for ALL of your adventures. I'm a fan, and I highly recommend that you check them out

Now through tomorrow (Monday) night at midnight, get 40% off your entire Mountain Standard purchase when you enter the code: BG40 at checkout. You will also receive a FREE Mountain Standard trucker hat! It's an awesome deal! 

Below are a few items from Mountain Standard that I've hand picked for my followers! Click the photo for details and to purchase using your special discount code!



Photo Journal: A Year In The Sierras, Part 2

Our adventures took us to pristine mountain lakes, beautiful valleys, stunning peaks, and gorgeous forests. We tried out new gear, including a tipi tent, which we quickly fell in love with. We ate many freeze-dried meals, slept under the stars, lost a pair of hiking boots, and spied on wildlife. We woke up beside glassy, backcountry waters, sat on mountain tops and read, scouted for animals from peaks, and swam in icey alpine lakes. It has been a year unlike any other. Here is another glimpse into our year in the Sierras. 

Pre Order Volume II Of The Lost Frontiers

When the team at The Lost Frontiers reached out to me a few months ago, I was intrigued. As I learned more about the publication and what it is all about, I knew I couldn't miss an opportunity to be involved. I am SO excited and honored to be a part of such an exciting new project! Check it out and pre order your copy of Volume II of The Lost Frontiers today! You will not be disappointed. Click here. 

 

Photo Journal: A Year In The Sierras, Part 1

In January, Ben and I packed up our things and headed for California. It was a big move, full of many adjustments. But one thing we acclimated to very quickly was our proximity to the Sierra Nevada. That is where we spent a good portion of our time this year. We spent more days and nights in the mountains than I could count, exploring, writing, testing out gear, taking photos, and soaking it all in. Here are some glimpses into our year in the Sierras. Part 1...