Big news…

It’s been a while since my last post here, but I think I have a pretty good reason for my absence.

I got a job!!!!

DSC_1083

Now that it’s all official, I am thrilled to announce that I will be joining the Communications & Marketing team at the University of Virginia’s Curry School of Education in Charlottesville, Virginia.

UVA rotunda_treeless_cropped
U.Va. grounds (Photo credit: https://careers.insidehighered.com/employer/10481/university-of-virginia) 

Continue reading “Big news…”

Life lately & Friday favorites

This is what my life has looked like the past few weeks: traveling around back and forth between North Carolina and Virginia (and briefly, Texas!) Boat rides and long runs and afternoon thunderstorms. Opportunities and disappointments. Possibility and uncertainty. Waiting. Catching up on reading. List-making. (Always list-making.) More waiting. Taking pictures of flowers.

DSC_0845

The most exciting news as of late is that we booked a venue and a date for our wedding next spring (!!!), and spent a wonderful, relaxing Easter weekend at home with family.

But mostly, my days are made up of alternately 1) planning way far in advance and 2) trying not to think much about the future in hopes of avoiding panic attacks. I’m reveling in unstructured time (so much reading; so many breakfast sandwiches) and then also loathing it, because truth be told, I am a structure-loving gal at heart.

This is a season of me trying to lean into fear and uncertainty….and succeeding and failing in roughly equal measure.

Continue reading “Life lately & Friday favorites”

Across the country (and back) in 60 seconds

Months before my fiancé, Chris, and I left on our U.S. road trip, I had this idea for a project.

img_8646-1dsc_0666img_9348

I wanted to make a video. Kind of like a highlight reel—a way to capture the essence of our trip (and all the different landscapes we saw) and condense it into a quick video to share with family and friends. So, for two months—every day that we were traveling—I made sure to capture at least a few seconds of footage on my iPhone of our view from the road. The idea was to eventually edit it down into one second from each day of our road trip, then put it all together into one final video. Continue reading “Across the country (and back) in 60 seconds”

Three days in Austin, Texas

A couple of weeks ago, I got the chance to spend a long weekend in Austin, Texas!

Austin has been on my travel wishlist for years. Chris and I originally planned to visit during our cross-country road trip, but we didn’t end up making it there. So when my best friend Megan (who was there for work) asked if I wanted to join her for the weekend, I said, “UM, DUH!”

Three days in

Austin is known for being the blue dot in a deep red state. Home of the SXSW tech conference and the University of Texas’s flagship campus, it’s also the land of live music and breakfast tacos, street art and food trucks and swimming holes. Austin is, in a word, FUN. 6th street, the main drag that runs through the center of downtown, is lined with bars on both sides—most of which have rooftops and patios opening out to the street, making it feel like one big, never-ending party. (No wonder we saw at least 15 bachelorette parties in matching T-shirts roaming around.) Choosing a place to eat can be overwhelming, with endless options that run the gamut from traditional Texas staples (barbecue) to the trendiest ethnic/organic/local fare. The Colorado river also runs right through the center of the city, and is surrounded by miles of parks that are full of Austinites jogging, paddleboarding, kayaking, biking, swimming, strolling, doing yoga, etc. etc. This is a city that knows how to have a good time.

Continue reading “Three days in Austin, Texas”

10 tips for a dog-friendly road trip

During our big cross-country road trip last year (and in the months after), there’s one topic that we’ve gotten a lot of questions about: how we managed two months on the road with our dog, Callie.

DSC_0248

If you know anything about me, you know that I am OBSESSED with my dog. (Yes, I’m one of those dog people, and I will fly my freak flag proudly.) The truth is, like most aspects of dog ownership, road-tripping with Callie wasn’t always easy—but we wouldn’t have even thought about doing it any other way.

So for anyone who feels the same way and wants to plan a trip of your own, I put together a few tips and suggestions based on we learned from our experience. Whether you’re setting out on an epic adventure or just driving cross-country for a move, hopefully this can help you plan a smooth, stress-free trip for you and your pup!

Continue reading “10 tips for a dog-friendly road trip”

Grand Teton National Park: Backpacking the Paintbrush-Cascade Canyon Loop

dsc_0468
Bonus points if you can find Chris in this picture 😉

Oh, Grand Teton National Park! Of all the places we dreamed about visiting on our two-month road trip, I think I was MOST excited about the Tetons. A quick Google photos search will show you why I had permanent heart-eyes daydreaming about this place.

Of course, with our adventure pup Callie in tow, our options for national park sightseeing were mostly limited to scenic drives and the occasional paved trail—because those are (generally) the only spots where you’re allowed to take dogs. But we simply couldn’t visit the Tetons without a little backpacking action! After researching local kennels, we decided to board Callie for a few days so we could get out in the backcountry.

As for which trail to hike, the choice was obvious: the 19-mile Paintbrush-Cascade Canyon loop. This popular trail circles through the center of the park, cutting into the mountains through Paintbrush Canyon on one side and Cascade Canyon on the other. In between, the trail reaches its pinnacle at the Paintbrush Divide: a 10,700 ft. vista offering a sweeping 360-degree view of the Tetons’ signature rocky peaks.

Tetons map2 (1)
This is the route, as outlined on the free map that the park provides. Green areas are where camping is allowed (but only on designated sites and with a permit).

Continue reading “Grand Teton National Park: Backpacking the Paintbrush-Cascade Canyon Loop”

Roasted winter veggies with pecans & goat cheese

sweet-potatospinach-baconhash

Happy Friday!

It’s been a while since I’ve done a recipe post, so I wanted to pop in today to bring you one of my tried-and-true favorites.

I had thought that posting this recipe now would be a little more timely… but despite the fact that it’s barely March, around here it feels like Spring sprung a while ago. The daffodils all bloomed weeks ago, and the tulip poplars and Bradford pears weren’t far behind. So even though Punxsutawney Phil promised that we’d have several more weeks of winter, it sure doesn’t feel like it.

Nevertheless, in hopes of at least one more cold snap (and one more cozy night by the fire) before we’re into warmer weather for good, I wanted to share one of my absolute favorite recipes. Its backbone is the perfect trio, the three Bs of winter veggies: butternut squash, Brussels sprouts, and beets. I tend to make it most in the winter, since that’s when they’re in season—and these hearty, earthy flavors, hot from the oven and brightened up with tangy goat cheese, really hit the spot on a cold night. But, with that said, it’s delicious enough to eat year-round.

Continue reading “Roasted winter veggies with pecans & goat cheese”

A backyard escape

dsc_0488

I like to talk about how in my free time, I love to be outside. But if I’m being honest, here’s where you can find me a big chunk of the time: wistfully browsing breathtaking photos of faraway places on Pinterest, skimming articles on the trendy new travel destination, adding new spots in Sweden or Croatia or Alaska to an ever-growing mental bucket list. I’m daydreaming about the next spot on my list before I’ve even stepped off the return flight from the last one.

Part of this is an inevitable side effect of travel. It’s addictive. Anywhere you go, you’re bound to discover at least 10 more places you want to visit. There’s the local spot that you never knew existed until you visited the tourist destination nearby. And the city you never thought much about…until your hostel roommate gushed over for 20 minutes. Then there’s the places you’ve already been—but you just need to re-visit that tucked-away courtyard to sip the world’s best latte one more time.

Travel has the strange power to make you appreciate the comforts of home…while simultaneously making you itch to discover someplace new. It’s a part of the deal, and it’s fun to imagine where you might go next. Until it’s not.

Continue reading “A backyard escape”

This land is our land: a love letter to our national parks

on-now

A few months ago, I won an Instagram contest.

Let me just reiterate that for emphasis: I WON AN INSTAGRAM CONTEST!!! I don’t often win things, so it was pretty exciting.

The contest was from one of my favorite brands, Greenville-based The Landmark Project. They make gorgeous clothing and other goods inspired by the outdoors, and give a portion of their proceeds to helping at-risk teens through outdoor adventure. (Go ahead, click that link and check them out. I’ll wait. I should also clarify that I have no affiliation with this company whatsoever. I just really love their work!)

Anyway, on the National Park Service’s 100th birthday this summer, they ran this contest: re-post a photo of their line of national park graphics with a caption about why you love the parks for a chance to win a free T-shirt. The timing was perfect—Chris and I had just left on our two-month road trip, where we planned to visit 11 national parks (spoiler alert: we actually hit up 15!) This is what I wrote:

Continue reading “This land is our land: a love letter to our national parks”

In solidarity

quotefancy-471796-3840x2160

I had a post ready to go today about a hike we did in Peru…but it just doesn’t feel right. I may not have anything new to add to the fray, but I can’t ignore the significance of this weekend for our country (and our world).

To put it simply, I have not been impressed with how our almost-45th president has acted in the days since his election. Based on everything we have seen throughout the past year, I do not believe that he is fit to lead our country with dignity and compassion. If I am wrong—and I hope I am—I will be be thrilled to shout it from the rooftops.

But if I’m not, I want it to be known that I do not support bigotry and hatred in our highest office. I won’t be able to attend a march this weekend, unfortunately. But I want the record to show that I stand in solidarity with those who march for unity tomorrow.

Continue reading “In solidarity”