January 30, 2018

Fifty-Two Weeks

I have good and so-so news! You can choose which one you read first.


This winter I was gifted this 52 Lists project journal and I'm hyped about it. If there's something to know about me, I love making lists. I fill out a new list each Sunday and it's either a good reflection, ignites my inspiration, or makes me look at something in a new light. I'm only on List 5, but this instantly became one of my favorites because of how they worded the first List. It asks you to list your goals and dreams for this year. I'm not very into resolutions because I often find myself wanting to achieve something that is much larger than I thought and then I get into this cycle of negative self talk that I'm not good enough... blah blah blah. The re-wording of this idea to make massive changes in your life on January 1st inspired me to realize, wow, in 2018 I have some big dreams, some are attainable in 52 weeks, some I just like to write down so I can continue dreaming after the new year comes. I'm still going to do my best, but if I don't fully accomplish them, I have them listed as goals and dreams; implying that they might not come to pass in 2018, they might just need some more time. And most importantly, I'm still worthy.

Fun fact: the creators and illustrators of this journal are from Seattle!


I'm going on 9 days of being sick which is a glorious life of napping, watching shows, sleeping some more, drinking a lot of water, medicating myself, and slowing working my way through the pile of reading and homework I've got to get done. It actually looks pretty nice from an outside view; I mean who doesn't want to have a legitimate reason to stay in bed under blankets all day, wear pjs around campus, and get extensions on assignments. It is so much the opposite of empowering though. I feel like I've wasted so much time and am definitely not experiencing life like I like to enjoy. For a while, I forgot that this sickness would eventually leave me. I felt like I was slowly drowning in this little dark place because I can only fully hear out of one ear and swallow with force. When my Dad reminded me that I have to tell myself that I WILL get better, my mindset turned around.

There's no time like the present to understand that what you have now is already leaving you, and may not be there tomorrow. 


I will leave you with this:

How are you doing?
When I give this question a thought,
I truly have no complaints.
How could I?


That doesn’t mean Seasonal Affective Disorder isn’t real. All I want to do is bundle up on my bed, eat snacks, and make my to-do list go away. This week something has definitely hit me, and although I may see you and the look on my face is full of delight, know that I am struggling to make it, too.

When I smile, I genuinely mean it. It is a way to thank you for bringing joy in my life at that very moment,
because you are alive. 

If you’re out there, feeling the weight of anything bringing you down, don’t hesitate to reach out. No grand gesture or long explanation of how you’re feeling is needed.
Let this be an invitation for you,
to bring yourself,
and open up,
feel whatever it is you are,
and come out greater from this.

xo, Hallie



January 17, 2018

Lake Wenatchee

Hi, Winter! 

Larry and I drove up to Lake Wenatchee before classes started up again and it was the first time I had touched snow this season! It's interesting how life's experiences change throughout the years. Winter used to be a time I would spend surrounded by snow, skiing six days a week, wearing puffy coats, fuzzy socks, and running around to the nearest heater. These days I find myself being outside a little less, but when I go, I appreciate it that much more. 

Not going to lie, the past couple days in Seattle I've almost been okay without a coat. This winter has been so crazy! Hopping from swimsuits & summer dresses to down coats. I'm definitely not complaining. :)

Getting back into the swing of school is pretty dang overwhelming. I'm taking four classes this quarter so I'm running from building to building and spending a lot of time in the library. Times like these I find to sit down and write make me that much more appreciative and motivate me to get my homework done quicker. I find it truly empowering to be busy checking things off a to-do list each day, going to bed with satisfaction, knowing I am constantly working towards goals; better versions of myself.

1. I am taking a B&W Film Photography class; I'm getting my hands dirty in this medium and really enjoying it. The amount of growth and potential I see is incredible, I'm very excited to continue.
2. I've almost filled up my first journal!
3. Pretty much living by this TED Talk by Elizabeth Gilbert. It's worth a watch! 
4. It's okay to be vulnerable. It's actually super important and one of the best ways I learn. I lean into discomfort, it's uncomfortable, I cry, I take a breather, and I come out of the moment stronger than I did going in.
5. This last weekend was probably the best weekend I've had in college yet.
6. Currently putting myself out there and saying, "Yes!" to new experiences has impacted my days in significantly joyful ways.
7. On the top of my blog you can now explore different places of the 'Travel' drop down list.
8. I'm working on our Oahu video so that should be up soon! 

xo, Hallie

January 7, 2018

Oahu, Hawaii Travel Guide

  Airbnb was our best friend. We stayed in three very different spots so it was fun to get a little variation of our moving home on the island. You can totally customize your adventure. If you are new to Airbnb, you can sign up by using my link and get a $40 travel credit that can be used toward your first trip!

Waikiki Apartment
- This apartment we stayed in is downtown Waikiki near the Hilton so it's a quick walk to the beach and there are a lot of shops and restaurants in walking distance. It's a great, cheaper (college budget) version of staying in a hotel room in downtown Waikiki. Fits two easily and is a great home base. The Hilton has a firework show every Friday evening that can be viewed right from this place!

Private Room in Waialua (North Shore)
- This was the first time I stayed in a private room of an apartment and I'm so glad we did! We talked to Eduardo and his wife about what to do and what were their favorite parts about Oahu. By staying in someone's home you are able to have a friend who knows the area very well. It's a small little room but offers an amazing sense of community and feeling of home. It is steps from the beach, where we often picnicked and is close to the heart of the North Shore. He also has surfboards you can borrow when you book this place!

Sailboat in Waikiki Harbor
- This is definitely the most adventurous way to sleep on Oahu; it's pretty much camping on water! We stayed on this sailboat which was enough for what we needed; it fits two and is right downtown Waikiki so it's walking distance to pretty much everything.
We ended up meeting the owners of the sailboat linked above which looked like the ultimate pad on the water. From head to toe, it's outfitted for your stay on Oahu. It's a cozy environment, equipped with stand-up paddle boards to add adventure. I will definitely be going back and staying there!



Hale'iwa Bowls 
- Definitely a highlight, a must go on the North Shore for killer acai bowls. It's steps from a popular spot on the water where it's one of the best places to learn to surf. Perfect for a sweet breakfast or afternoon snack.

Sunrise Shack
- We stopped here as well which is the cutest lil cabana, right across from Sunset Beach. The yellow color of the shack is hard to miss and they have seats out back to enjoy your coconut bullet-coffee & papaya bowl. Our fave topping were the goji berries!

Waialua Bakery & Juice Bar
- Another fave up on the North Shore great for breakfast, lunch, nourishing smoothies, and treats! It has a local, family vibe (as our local friend showed us this place) which was super welcoming and full of regulars. They're known for their smoothies but I will say their acai bowl is topped with the perfect drizzle of honey and clusters of granola.

Aloha Shrimp Truck
- When in Hawaii, you have to try their shrimp! Our favorite plates were the lemon garlic shrimp and fried coconut shrimp. No place cuter to eat than out of a food truck too. We tried a bunch of different ones but this one was our fave! Don't forget to pack cash; many places (including this one) only takes cash!

Local Fruit Stands
- I hadn't had fresh papaya until this trip to Hawaii! I'm in love with it now, nothing compares to a little papaya boat filled with fresh granola, banana, and any other yummy fixins'. We found numerous fruit stands on the North Shore which we would load up on fresh eats and then go picnic on the beach.

Aloha Coconut Peanut Butter
- If there's one souvenir to bring home, it's a jar of the coconut peanut butter made on Oahu. You can find it at the Aloha Market (on Wednesday's at Aloha Stadium) or at Hale'iwa Trading Post on the North Shore. It will add a piece of paradise to your banana toast in the mornings or take your PB & J game to a whole new level. Serious about this one! (The only place I can find it online is in a three-pack on Amazon... I'd definitely stock up with this one...)


- My favorite spot we went! They have a beautiful rainbow latte in which they add a lovely hue of blue and green that reminds me of the color of the water we snorkeled in Hanauma Bay. The avocado toast I got here still makes my mouth water and the chai latte was out of this world. It has a sweet pinch to it I've never tasted anywhere else.

South Shore Grill
- Taco Tuesday is pretty much any day for this girl. This place has the raddest (fish) tacos and spicy fries to accompany them. It's a must stop for lunch and/or dinner. Where we went twice! Their peanut butter cup & macadamia nut cookies are legendary.

Rainbow Drive-In
- A great stop we came across which was a perfect American meal. You can park, sit down, and enjoy good, fast food. When you're tired from an adventure filled day, this is the place to go!


Snorkel at Hanauma Bay
- The sea life and shades of blue were so stunning, we went twice during our trip! It's easy to get lost in your mind staring at the schools of fish, colors you didn't know existed in living things, and the feeling of the salt water surrounding you and making your hair full of life.

Pink Pillbox Hike (Pu'u'ohulu Kai)
- We did it in the rain and it was awesome, foggy, total white out and still super rad. There are actually 5 pillboxes at the top of this one and stunning! It's a little hard to find, when you turn on Kaukama Rd, count 9 telephone poles and the entrance will be on your right! Street parking was totally cool, we didn't have any issues.

Crouching Lion Hike
- If you're pressed for time both in travel days and hours in a day, this is the hike to do. It's quick with a rewarding view the. whole. time. While going up I looked back almost every minute and was stunned.

Rope Swings
- There are rope swings all along the beach on the east side of the island up to the North Shore, you'll definitely be able to find one that sparks your fancy.

Chinaman's Hat Viewpoint
- An absolute dream. The mountains are incredible. I've grown up around mountains and these literally feel out of this world. They're like nothing I've seen before. We just hung out for a while taking it all in.

Oahu Market in Chinatown
- We took a "wrong" turn and ended up in Chinatown at this gem of an open market place! It was like we were transported to another country. The fresh fruit, veggies, and stands were abundant.

Chill In-between Two Palms
- Make sure to pack your hammock because once you set it up, you won't want to take it down! It is so important to take a breather, reading break, or journaling time for yourself. This is our way of choice, suspended, and your feet don't touch the ground.

I hope this inspires you to go plan a trip to explore a bright, balmy island! Feel free to reach out with any questions you may have.

xo, Hallie

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