Saturday, July 22, 2017

My Traveling Diaries - Seattle, Washington, USA


It's really hard to argue with your best friend when she requests to spend the weekend with you in a beautiful city in honor of her birthday. In all reality, the thought of arguing never even crossed my mind! I happily accepted the 12 hour crusade to the sea port city before she had to wait for a response. Seattle is one of those cities that glimmers with creativity and musical talent reverberating on every street corner. The sun decided to shine all weekend long and we followed the sounds of guitars and pianos playing to take us somewhere new...


There was no way we were missing out on Pike's Place Market. We took a lyft downtown and planned on spending the entire day in the city. We were stopped at the very front of the 'Public Market Center' sign by a cat man playing an accordion. We found giant lobster tails, crabs, salmon, shrimp and more at Pike's Fish Market. Buckets of flowers lined the entrance of the market where you could make customizable bouquets. Fruit and vegetable stands carrying the most vibrant and colorful food out on display where I snagged my free sample of a delicious nectarine. Designers and artists line up along the board walk to sell handmade trinkets, clothing, paintings, jewelry, hats and journals. We stopped at every single stand and were fascinated by people's craftmanship.













We meandered uptown to the Space Needle and snapped a few photos. We also went down the street to the Museum of Pop Culture and spent a few hours looking at some incredible movie and pop star memorabilia. They had an entire exhibit dedicated to the legend himself, David Bowie. A hallway of people glancing at old photographs and intently listening to his live performances playing in the background. Spectators with big smiles were singing along. It was a very peaceful moment, as if they had come to pay their respects to him. There were exhibits dedicated to Star Trek, The Muppets, horror films and fantasy worlds. Time had flown by for Natalie and I, we even had a chance to touch genuine muppet fur and let me tell you, it is so soft. 









After wandering past the International Fountain, we decided to head back to the port for a seafood dinner. We found Anthony's on Pier 66 and sat alongside the board walk over looking the ferries and sailboats. After a scrumptious dinner, we split a delicious cheese cake covered in an array of local berries. I'm not lying when I say it was the softest and sweetest tasting cheese cake I've ever had. 

Although neither of us had any desire to leave the city the next morning, we had accomplished what we wanted to while we were there. We were there for Natalie to kick start another chapter in life, to go somewhere new and experience a little more. Life is meant to throw curve balls and trip you on the sidewalk, because let's face it... you wouldn't have any good stories to tell if nothing happened! All of life's stories are meant to shared, and who else to share it with than with people you love! Good friends also make pretty good travel buddies and needless to say we'll be back out on the open road soon enough...

Thanks for Reading
Love, Nick


Tuesday, July 11, 2017

30 Days As A Vegetarian



The topic of vegetarianism can be a politically and sometimes sensitive subject for people. When I first told friends, family and colleagues that I was taking on a month long meatless experiment, I received a number of different reactions. I got all sorts of encouragement, shock and even a little disappointment. Our health, fitness and eating lifestyles have been put more and more into the spotlight through the influence of social media and new research. These platforms create that discussion (usually arguments) about which lifestyle is the best for living your best self.

Instead of giving you a really long list of the points and arguments from the multiple articles I read, I simply want to give you my hands on experience of what changes my body went through. I have heard that going vegetarian helps you get more energy, feel better and all around healthier, so I wanted to test it. I have many friends that are vegetarian and I am always asking them questions. I wanted to really know what kind of differences they were talking about, so I wanted to give it a shot!

THE EXPERIMENT

The first week I felt like I had so much energy! I felt very awake at work and I was focused on my work and getting it done. I had many cravings all day long, but I had a lot of determination. The hardest thing was that I never felt fully satisfied. To be honest, it felt more like I was just eating to survive and sustain myself rather than enjoy my food. Going meatless did help me to not eat as much fast food, so that is an all around better and healthier choice.

From the second week on, I didn't feel much different from regular self. I've seen a lot of people say they feel a huge difference in sleeping patterns, every day life with this zest and energy for life, but I didn't really feel that. I wasn't craving meat hardly at all. I got into my routine and was doing just fine by the end of it. I did feel good though. The first time I ate meat after my experiment, I actually felt really sick to my stomach. It did not settle well at all. The whole month was very interesting to say the least!

THINGS I LEARNED

Less Meat, More Veggies >>> In all reality, the world consumes way too much meat, maybe more specifically the United States. After reading multiple articles with many arguments that usually only build up one side, it became very clear that people don't have enough variation in their diets. We need healthy servings of vegetables and fruits everyday.

Moderation Is Key >>> When it comes down to it, moderation is key in almost every aspect of your diet, your time, your life...everything! Meat is delicious and full of nutrients, vegetables are also full of nutrients, but we all know too much a good thing, turns out to be bad thing. Take care of yourself and be aware of you put in your body.

Be Respectful, Be Chill >>> Whatever lifestyle you may choose, whatever beliefs or opinions you have, you need to remember that being respectful is so very important. You are the only one that is in control of your actions and reactions. Live your life the way you think you should, and others are allowed to do the same. It never hurts to have that discussion and share your knowledge with others, but always show respect.



What other social experiments should I try?
Thanks for Reading
Love, Nick



Thursday, July 6, 2017

Adulting 101 | Ways To Be A Savy Shopper

I'm a firm believer in retail therapy, but like any true adult you've got to get your priorities straight first. Whether you're single or in a relationship, managing your money can be easier to do when you plan things out and watch your spending. If you're at a time in your life when you are trying to buckle down and save some money, let me give you some advice. This article will have My 5 Golden Rules for Savy Shoppers, as well as some tips for clothing, traveling and food saving ideas.



THE 5 GOLDEN RULES FOR SAVY SHOPPERS

Create Your Budget >>> I'm sure we all dread the word budget, but it really is a necessary and useful tool that can help you not overspend. Create something that helps you achieve your savings goals and helps you live within your means (An in-depth post to for Budgets coming soon)

Make A List >>> The best way to shop without any unexpected and expensive distractions is to create a shopping list. It's far to easy to get sucked into the extra do-dads that you think you might need, but in reality you don't need them at all. Keep your focus, buy only what you need and that will help you stay within your budget.

No More Hidden Fees >>> Start paying things on time! There is no way to avoid it, so get used it! If you can set up automatic payment withdrawals, that would be ideal. You'll end up paying a lot of interest/fees with your bank if you just let those payments pass through. Stay on top of it! Mark down on a planner or calendar if you have to, but keep up with the due dates.

Attitude is Everything >>> You may be in the mood to boost your wardrobe a little, but all you feel like you're doing is shuffling through endless racks of random clothes. Your attitude can affect how the day goes. Channel your creativity and get thinking about what you'd like to say with your clothing. Maybe you're a little overwhelmed with an upcoming family party and you've got a lot of food to get. Stay positive, ask questions and make your list!

The 3 P's >>> Before making a purchase, big or small, consider the 3 P's... patience, practicality and priority. It takes patience to find exactly what you're looking for and for the right deal to come along. Is your purchase practical? Is it something that will get plenty of use or has a meaning? Is what you're purchasing a priority? Is it something you need or is it something you want?



SAVE ON CLOTHES
  • When trying on new clothes, wear nude colored underwear or the underwear you would wear with that outfit. If you're in search for a strapless dress, wear your strapless bra. That will help you visualize exactly what it will look like and you'll know exactly how it'll feel.
  • If you're trying to match an outfit or dress to a shoe, bring the shoes! Have that visual right there with you in the store!
  • Try Out-Of-Season shopping. You can find good deals on sweaters during the spring/summer and vice versa. Stores are trying to get rid of as much product as possible when it's the end of the season, and normally you can find really good deals on those kind of clothes.
  • Even though sales are a lot of fun and you may feel like you're getting a great deal, the truth is, that cute top is more likely to not last long at all. It's a total judgement call on your part, but sometimes quality is better than quantity. Instead of buying five shirts in different colors that will dull after one wash... maybe buy one shirt that's a bit more in price but has durable fabric and won't lose it's shape after one wash.
  • Know your measurements! Don't let sizes fool you. Unfortunately, clothing sizes might not be the same for all stores. If you're online shopping always make sure to check the sizing chart they provide. If you're at the store, grab a couple sizes to take with you to the dressing rooms.
  • Make a pinterest wish board! Did you find an outfit or style you really like? Pin it and take it with you when you go shopping! Try and recreate the look for cheaper!

SAVE ON GROCERIES
  • Don't shop on an empty stomach! It is far too easy to walk into the grocery store and grab things off the shelf that sound good to eat right then and there. Have a snack before you shop, and that will help prevent impulsive buying!
  • Coupons and rebate apps are seriously some of the most helpful things! In my opinions, coupons really only apply if you're going to buy that certain item again. I haven't mastered the art of couponing yet, but this is what I do whenever I get coupons. I keep all of the coupons I get in a bag and before each grocery trip, I'll pull some out and look at the ones I've got. If they match up with some things I need, I take them with me! Rebate apps are so much fun to use! My top 3 are Shopkick, Checkout 51 and Ibotta.
  • There's a general theme of distraction around grocery shopping, and for very obvious reasons! Food is delicious and sometimes everything looks good! Try setting a time limit when you're at the store! Stick to your shopping list and don't spend more time there than necessary. Get in, get out and start cooking!

SAVE ON EATING OUT

  • Ask about student discounts. Many college towns like to treat their students with a little love and offer a small discount. Don't ever be afraid to ask if a given store or restaurant offers that. There are also some restaurants that give special discounts and codes to their social media followers!
  • Day-of-the-week deals are great for saving a dollar or two when you can't help but go get some frozen yogurt. Remember to keep track of your favorite days!
  • Punch cards are also a nice benefit. A lot of the time, I like to save up punch cards to use on a week or month that money is tight, that way I can get a little pick me up on a rough day.
  • Try eating out only once a week, or better yet once a month. Make eating out something special! Try going out only when there are deals and only on special occasions.

SAVE ON TRAVELING
  • Pack light! The less you take the better it'll be on your back and your budget. Consider what you'll really need on your vacation. If you'll be gone for only a week, try packing just a carry-on instead of checking in another bag.
  • Travel during the "off peak" times. That's usually February (after the new year and holidays) and September (after school starts.)
  • Cheap flight apps and email services. There are a lot of different ways to track down cheap flight deals! (a more in depth article for Finding Cheap Flights is in the works)
  • AirBnB vs. Hotels? A lot of the time AirBnB might be cheaper than a hotel room, just make sure to look at all your options and where you want to go during your trip.
  • Find free things to do! Ask the locals where some of their favorite places are. Restaurants? Sight seeing? Anything at all! Discover the culture as a local!
  • Show your phone bill a little love and save money by only using wifi and messaging apps to contact friends and family members back at home. 

What are some ways YOU save money?
Thanks for Reading!
Love, Nick



This post will guide you into all of the things I have learned with all my traveling! Everything from road trips to international flights, check it out!





Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Story Prompt | Wonderland

This place is real. I didn't think it existed. It was like I was stuck in a dream. I had never seen anything so beautiful. The five of us just stood there for a few minutes not believing our eyes. Blankets of soft green grass cascaded around pools of spring water. Tall trees created hallways of shadows throughout the surrounding forest. This place was more than I ever imagined. We had come so far already that I didn't think we would ever look back. I know we can make a new life here. We all know we needed to escape our  past and prepare for a new future. I know we'll be safe here. No one will ever know we are here, and no one can hurt us. Who knows what this wonderland will do for us; but one thing is for sure, it has to be better than what we had before.

Thanks for Reading
Love, Nick

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Journal Prompt | What Qualities Do You Admire In Others?



It always seemed when I was growing up that my friends never got a long with each other. Every time I would introduce a friend to one another, they would end up hating each other. On separate occasions both of them would come up to me and explain to me why they didn't like the other and begin listing off the reasons why I should stop being their friend. I always thought that was so strange. Every time I would think they would get along, it would backfire horribly and it never went well. I never understood why that always happened.

For one reason or another, it happened a lot. I admit I did end up choosing some unhealthy friends at one point, which was pretty hard to give up on, because at one point they were, in fact, my friends. I decided years ago that I want to see people for who they are. I want to see people for how they present themselves. I want to look and search for the good in people because I know it exists in everyone.

Confidence has been something that I always struggled with during high school and sometimes even now. I was drawn to the people that were beaming with pride and radiated warmth. They embraced their personal style and owned their opinions. I admire the people that can speak freely and open all the while showing respect for others' opinions and views. I've always been attracted to people that are sure of themselves and aren't afraid to show it.  

The people that have a sense for adventure are probably some of the funnest ones to be around. They are some of the happiest people I know. It takes a special kind of person to be a true adventurer. Someone whose willing to go with the flow and try new things. I learn so much from those kinds of people, simply by talking to them and listening to their stories.

There's something that's a little more difficult to teach people, and that's selflessness. It's one of those characteristics that is not only an action but a feeling. I think finding someone who defines being self less is a person that takes the time to understand you, listen to you and take a genuine interest. We all make mistakes, they don't hold it against you. When you need to talk, they listen. When you need help, they're there for you. A selfless person is also a very loving person.

I admire the people that can express themselves. Even now after I finish writing this, I see that I look for these qualities in friends, but I also want these qualities for myself. I aim every day to be loving, confident, bold yet care-free. I think life is far to hard to take on by yourself, and that's why we all have friends in the first place. Find the friends that make you the best version of yourself. What you are and who you are will attract what you get.


Thanks For Reading,
Love Nick

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Every Day + Basic Rock Climbing Packing List



Rock climbing is physically challenge and equally mentally challenging. It's you and only you against yourself. You can easily spend hours in a canyon with your friends; and with that much time passing by, you'll want to make sure you're prepared for anything that could come your way. Here is my list of things to pack for an a day trip of rock climbing.
  • Climbing Shoes
  • Harness
  • Rope
  • Rope Bag/Tarp (to keep the rope clean)
  • Helmet
  • Chalk
  • Chalk Bag
  • Quick Draws
  • Headlamp + extra batteries
  • Locking Caribiners
  • Belay Device (ATC, grigri, etc...)
  • Belay Glasses (optional)
  • Gloves (optional, garden gloves work great to belay)
  • Rock/Boudlering Brush (optional)

Once your gear is packed and zipped up, there's also a few other things you should consider bringing! Climbing can be pretty rough on your hands, especially for beginners. I recommend bringing...


  • Nail Clippers (these will save your life, trust me)
  • Nail file
  • Tweezers
  • Hand Salve
  • Hair Ties (don't climb with your hair down, trust me on that one too)
  • Sunscreen + Bug Repellent (helpful)
  • Antiseptic/Cleansing Wipes
  • Cotton Balls
  • Q-Tips
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Toilet Paper
  • Pocket Knife
  • A Mini First Aid Kit is always a good idea too!

What you wear isn't a big deal, you can climb in something form fitting or a little more relaxed as well, it's whatever you're comfortable with!

  • Yoga pants/pants you can move in
  • T-Shirts or Tank Tops
  • Sports Bra
  • Snap back (warmer weather) or Beanie (colder weather)
  • Light jacket
  • Rain poncho (emergency)
  • Emergency Blanket
  • Warm socks + regular shoes
  • Bandana (optional)
  • Camera (optional)
  • Binoculars (optional)


Thanks For Reading
Love, Nick




Utah has some of the best rock climbing in the world, and Moab is one of those special places! Every year we gather up our friends and go climbing, hiking and exploring. Check out our most recent adventure!




Are you pretty new to this stuff? Don't worry I explain the very basics of climbing in this post...





DO YOU LOVE THE OUTDOORS?
I'm willing to bet that I love the outdoors more than you ;) But seriously, camping is one my favorite things to do. Check out my first ever viral blog post about the ins and outs of the beautiful woods!