Niagara Falls

My friend Alice, who is visiting during the holidays, has always wanted to see the Niagara Falls. We went to the Canada side over the weekend and we were blessed with some good weather and great views!

Best. Wedding. Ever.

As I currently lay in bed with puffy eyes, a clogged nose and a sore throat, I try to reflect on the good of 2019.

2019 was by far the most challenging year I have under my belt. It was the epitome of struggle and adversity (especially when it comes to family and work). But 2019 has also brought many unexpected blessings, which shouldn’t be overlooked.

One of those blessings (perhaps THE best thing that happened this year) was the honor of standing by my best friend’s side as she married the man of her dreams.

Looking back at these photos makes me feel nostalgic and homesick in a way, because Carolyn, Ryan, their friends, family and bridal party all made me feel welcomed immediately. I might attend nice weddings in the near future, but none of them will ever top this feeling…

Lunch in an Igloo

I took my Little Sister to one of my favorite hometown restaurants: The FireHall. As you can probably infer from the name, this used to be Fenton’s fire station, which now has some of the best BBQ, homemade mac and cheese, and unique eats.

Another unique thing about this restaurant is that you can dine in heated “igloos” during the winter months. There is usually a long waiting list to dine outside, but we were able to snag it this time!

The food, the ambiance and the company were all 10/10!

Fall Feels

Autumn is a wonderful time of year; the air is brisk, the colors are vibrant and the clothes are cozy as can be. This weekend truly felt like fall with my loved ones.

Witches Night Out

My parents live where I grew up (Fenton, Michigan) and recently moved into the oldest home downtown. On Friday night, we dressed up as witches and spent the night shopping, drinking and dining in costume!

Pumpkin Patch

My little sister and I went to a giant pumpkin patch in Saginaw. Aniya and I escaped from the corn maze in 40 minutes (our new record!) and had lots of hot cider on such a cold and windy day!

Brunch in Downtown Flint

Say what you want about Flint, but their downtown is booming and better than ever. The Flint Crepe Co. never disappoints, especially when you can order all of the gluten-free goodness your heart desires. The company didn’t hurt either, because my best friend Danielle always has me crying from laughter! There’s even some new murals downtown.

Apple Orchard

Nothing screams fall more than visiting an apple orchard, getting some donuts and strolling around with your mom and pup!

I hope you’re enjoying autumn as much as we are!

Why I Left Social Media (Part III)

Thank you for reading about this and for all of the support! I really appreciate it, and I appreciate all of you.

The final part of this series has to do with privacy. Even though I’m too extroverted and social for my own good, I am a very private, guarded person. I have had my fair share of fake friends, bullying and criticism thrown my way to be as open as I once was.

On social media, I chose to share about my engagement. To my dismay, tons of people came out of the woodwork: old friends who I’ve grown away from, old friends who I’ve had a falling-out with, and even judgmental family members who haven’t ever treated me or my husband with respect.

With all of that said, however, I received a lot of support from my parents, in-laws, true friends and Juan. We had our parents and pup at the wedding, that’s it!

Immediately following our private ceremony, we had 60 of our closest family members and best friends join us for dinner, dancing and pool. Our venue was small and life was good; it was truly a night I will never forget, with those who have supported us every step of the way.

What does this have to do with deleting Instagram? If my own wedding ceremony and reception were private, I’d like to keep my personal life this way, too 🙂

All wedding photos were taken by David Lucas at dsphotomi.com!

November 16, 2018: Wedding Photo Essay

Juan and I went on our first date Friday, November 16, 2012 and were married Friday, November 16, 2018; it was truly a night to remember.  Being his wife is my biggest and best adventure yet…

All photos were taken by the lovely David Lucas at http://www.dsphotomi.com/index2.php#!/HOME

My husband is the greatest thing that has ever happened to me.  He has shown me love since the beginning, as others did not.  He has taught me to feel confident in myself, even when I have not.  Juan is my best friend and I am incredibly proud of the man he is today.

Machu Picchu, Peru in iOS (July, 2018)

Being with my mom was obviously the best part of Peru.

The second? Walking the steps of Machu Picchu (llamas are the third)!

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My favorite movie growing up was The Emperor’s New Groove (lets be honest, it still is!) and being here made me feel like I was alongside David Spade and John Goodman. I’m so happy my mom found these Kuzco shirts!

More importantly, I have been fascinated with The Inca Empire since the sixth grade. I had a teacher who had been to Peru many times and shared his experience and stories with us in great detail. Plus, my fiancé is Ecuadorian and I somehow felt closer to his culture and past.

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Our guide, Jamie (“Hi May” in Spanish, Jamie in English) was THE BEST! He provided us with unique information that we otherwise wouldn’t have learned. We also had a phenomenal group with us (one guy lives ~30 minutes away from me)! The experience as a whole was incredible. My mom and I also felt like Amazon women walking through the ancient city, standing at 5’8” and 5’10”!

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After our amazing day, we had to take a bus back down to the city centre. Unfortunately, I was a bit car sick and my mom had a killer migraine! We relaxed in town, then headed back to Cusco via train. Our Machu Picchu Train was awesome and I was even able to dance with the god Carmen during the staff’s “fashion show!”

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Cusco, Peru in iOS (June/July, 2018)

Although my mom and I enjoyed our time in Lima, Cusco was our favorite!

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Spending all of this quality time meant the world to me! The only downside about Cusco? The altitude adjustment (or lack thereof on my end)! I instantly felt hungover, even when I was only drinking hot water. Being with my mom and petting/holding baby animals made me feel better though!

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Our first night in Cusco consisted of me puking and the two of us watching old Denzel Washington movies 😂 At least the next day I seemed to make a full recovery…

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We ate at the chocolate museum (twice!), saw amazing parade floats, visited more animals, climbed the cathedral for the best views, ate more incredible meals, and met some of the kindest people. Cusco, we’ll be back for sure!

Sharing this experience with my mom is indescribable. We brought back lots of memories (and llamas)!

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Lima, Peru in iOS (June,2018)

Toward the middle of June, my mom and I FINALLY decided to visit Peru! We were on the fence for a while, given the fact that I’m starting a new job in September and getting married in November…but our better judgment prevailed!

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I mean c’mon! Look at that itinerary (courtesy of my mom)!

We mainly stayed in Lima to become acclimated to the altitude change; however, we really enjoyed it! Aside from my mom feeling the initial culture shock while departing from the airport, all went smoothly!

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We had so much fun in the city! The Starbucks barista’s spelling of “Dawn” was my favorite part!  At the hotel, we even made friends with the pet guinea pig!

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From strolling through Parque del Amor to eating and shopping at Larcomar, Lima didn’t disappoint 🙂

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