• Travel

    Our Epic Wedding Adventure

    For nearly a decade my dream travel destination was to visit Paris, and in 2017 my dream finally came true when my amazing boyfriend at the time took me to Europe over the summer! We had an epic 2-week adventure through Europe, visiting Belgium, Venice, Milan, and saving the best for last, Paris! Just when I thought my first trip to Paris couldn’t get anymore magical, he proposed to me on our last night there in front of the Eiffel Tower! Talk about a dream inside of a dream come true. On our way back home from getting engaged in Paris, I came up with crazy idea that it would be so fun to take my wedding dress back to Paris on our one year wedding anniversary to take some photos…

    As we continued the wedding planning process, we started discussing what we wanted to do for our honeymoon. We both agreed that we definitely wanted to go back to Europe for another epic adventure, after all we had SO MUCH FUN the first time. When we were talking over logistics of the date we chose to get married and when we could go take a 2 week honeymoon trip to Europe, we decided to go on our honeymoon two weeks before the wedding, I know, not your typical wedding timeline. After all , we definitely aren’t your typical couple either, we don’t play by the rules.

    Once we decided we were headed back to Europe for a totally unconventional honeymoon, I got so excited because here was my opportunity to take my wedding dress back to Paris to get photos where we got engaged. I became dead set on bringing my wedding dress with us on our trip to Europe and not only getting photos taken in Paris, but to find photographers to take pictures of us in Rome and Greece too. I mean, the dress was going to be there with us anyway…why not?! Everyone thought I was absolutely INSANE, and maybe I was. But looking back, what’s insane to me is the fact that I almost let everyone’s comments talk me out of doing it.

    Just about everyone I told that I was taking my dress to Europe to get bridal photos done before the wedding said something along the lines of…
    “…but what if your dress gets lost?”
    “…but what if you ruin your dress?”
    “…but what if your dress gets dirty?”
    “…but what if someone steals your dress?”
    Every single one of those things were 100% possible and valid concerns…and all I could think was, “But what if it doesn’t…?” If everything goes as planned, I get the most insane, once in a lifetime, fairytale photographs of my dreams. So, I took a chance of everything going wrong…because maybe, just maybe, everything would turn out absolutely perfect.
    And it did.

    Yes, my dress got dirty.
    Yes, my husband saw my dress before the wedding.
    Yes, my dress wasn’t absolutely perfect on my wedding day.
    Yes, I was concerned it would get lost.
    Yes, my dress momentarily got stuck in the trunk of an Uber in Paris.
    Yes, it was a pain in the butt to carry around Europe from plane, to train, to car, to hotel…
    But, it was 1000% worth it!

    I had this beautiful vision in my mind I was 100% set on making a reality. Despite everyone making me feel crazy about my wedding adventure idea (even my husband) I was determined to make this vision in my head happen. (PS – he’s now so thankful that we got a little crazy and captured all of these amazing photos on our honeymoon.)

    The experience of taking my wedding dress to Rome, Santorini, and Paris to take photos is something I will NEVER forget. We saw and experienced these cities in a way we wouldn’t have without taking these photos. It was truly magical to see Rome in the early hours when it was deserted and free of the massive crowds of tourists. It was the craziest adventure to be guided through the tiny streets of Santorini by the local photographers, standing on rooftops to see all the “picture perfect” views on the island. It was an absolute dream come true to create my fairytale vision, wearing my over the top princess wedding dress, in my “dream city” of Paris, where we got engaged.

    When you travel, you typically take pictures of all the sights and places you go. This was a truly remarkable experience to not just take a picture of these places, but to BE a part of the picture. There are somethings in life you only get ONE chance to act on, if you miss it, the chance is gone forever. I am so glad I trusted my heart instead of listening to everyone else’s concerns, so I didn’t miss this chance to create the most amazing lifetime memory.

    Moral of the story: Quit listening to what everyone else has to say and trust your heart.
    This is your life, you get one shot at it…make it absolutely legendary.

    My favorite part of this adventure? Knowing I left a trail of sparkle everywhere we went. A piece of my dress will forever be glittering the streets of Rome, glimmering in the Santorini sunsets, and sparkling next to the Eiffel Tower.

    Don’t worry, there’s more! Dragging my beautiful (and very big) Liliya wedding gown across Europe with us was an adventure in and of itself, not to mention the insanely beautiful photos we captured along the way. Click the links below to see the magic we captured in each stop!

    Wedding Adventure Part 1: Tomorrowland
    Wedding Adventure Part 2: Rome, Italy
    Wedding Adventure Part 3: Santorini, Greece
    Wedding Adventure Part 4: Paris, France
    Wedding Adventure Part 5: Wedding Day, Salt Lake City, Utah, 8.11.18

  • Food

    Cinnamon Vanilla Chia Seed Pudding

    I have a confession, my new favorite obsession is chia seed pudding! Which is totally unexpected because I am a texture person and if the texture of something is weird, I don’t eat it! And we can all be 100% honest, the texture of chia seed pudding is the weirdest thing ever…yet I am oddly totally with it. I find myself constantly wondering, “How is this so weird and so delicious at the same time?!”

    I love how simple chia seed pudding is to make, the awesome health benefits of chia seeds, one of them being it’s an easy plant based protein source, and the fact that this recipe is 100% dairy-free! If you need a healthy summer treat, give this recipe a try. There are so many different ways to make chia seed pudding, you can use maple syrup to sweeten, you can take out the cinnamon and vanilla, or change up what dairy-free milk you use. I encourage you to play around with some different combinations. I found a basic recipe on the internet then made my own creation. This is what I came up with and it’s super yummy!

    Cinnamon Vanilla Chia Seed Pudding

    • 2 cups dairy-free milk (I use unsweetened coconut milk)
    • 1/2 cup chia seeds
    • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 1 tablespoon coconut sugar (optional)
    • You will see a lot of different options on how you can sweeten your chia seed pudding, if you choose to. A common one I read a lot was maple syrup, when I compared the sugar content of adding a tablespoon of maple syrup to coconut sugar, I preferred the option of coconut sugar!

    Combine ingredients into a 32oz. mason jar, shake thoroughly
    Refrigerate till pudding sets
    Make sure to shake the mason jar every 1-2 hours so your chia seeds don’t settle at the bottom.
    Top with fruit of your choice and enjoy! I like to drizzle a little honey on top of mine.

    *You don’t have to use a mason jar to mix your ingredients in. I found that was the easiest way to thoroughly mix all of the ingredients and made it hassle free to go back every 1-2 hours and shake up the bottle so the chia seeds didn’t settle!

    This recipe makes about 4-5 servings.
    If you choose to double the recipe, don’t double it in the same 32 oz. mason jar, I learned this the hard way. The chia seeds need room to expand and the 32 oz. jar doesn’t allow enough room for doubling the recipe! Mix everything in a different container or grab another mason jar to make a bigger quantity of the pudding.

  • Beauty, Self-Love

    How to Get a Bikini Body

    Have you ever felt embarrassed of your body?
    Has that embarrassment prevented you from living it up during summer or on vacation?
    You can’t seem to fully enjoy yourself because too worried about covering up so people can’t see your flaws.

    Trust me, I’ve been there. For 5 years I only wore pants through the summer so people couldn’t see my scars.
    I was so worried about what people would think if they knew the truth. I was so paralyzed by fear, scared that people would judge me for what I did. I let that fear rob me of joy, I let that fear hold me back from fully enjoy summer, I let that fear of people’s judgements stop me from loving myself, scars and all.

    I literally thought traffic would stop, people would gawk, point, and stare at me if I dared to show my bare legs to the world. So I hid, I hid my legs from the world for years because I was so afraid of what people might think of me. I finally realized it’s JUST SKIN!! I came to the terms with the fact that these scars weren’t going to magically disappear one day and they would be with me for life.

    So I really had two choices:
    I can be embarrassed and hide from the world for the rest of my life because I’m scared of peoples opinions..
    I can embrace who I am, even if it’s not perfect, stop caring about what people might think and enjoy my freaking life!

    As you can tell I picked option number two, I set myself free from worrying about other’s opinions of me and I put that energy towards loving myself and my scars. And guess what, traffic didn’t stop when I showed my bare legs to the world, people didn’t point and stare…the only person that cared about these scars on my legs was me.

    I hope you let go of your fear this summer.
    I hope you let go of any embarrassment you may have about your body have this summer.
    I hope you fully embrace who you are and love yourself a little more this summer, flaws and all.

    Life is way too short to wait for the “perfect bikini body” before you finally decide to rock the bikini.
    Guess what, if you have a bikini and you have a body, congratulations!

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m all about self improvement and working towards being my absolute best self, I’m working towards the next best version of me all the time! But you can’t wait till you “arrive” to your best self before you “allow” yourself enjoy life, celebrate your body, and rock out in a bikini at the pool! You will never fully arrive to your “perfect self” (perfect doesn’t exist by the way). There will always be something more to work on, something else to improve, another level to rise to, and that’s great! That’s the whole purpose of this life is to continue to grow and evolve into our best selves. But please don’t forget to enjoy the journey along the way and celebrate your body as it is right now!

    So what if you have scars, stretch marks, fat, cellulite, extra skin, whatever! Who cares?!
    You. You are the only person that cares. You are the only person judging you. You are the only person holding you back from rocking that outfit or swimsuit you so desperately want to wear. Stop it!

    Wear it.
    Rock it.
    Live it up.
    Embrace yourself! Embrace your body! Embrace your flaws!

    Because guess what? No one has a perfect body. Even that “perfect” girl on instagram has things she’s self conscious about. She has skin on her belly that folds over when she sits down. We all do. This human body isn’t designed to look 100% perfect all the time, so we need to quit expecting it to. We need to quit being so critical of ourselves because we don’t look like these photoshopped, filtered photos and love ourselves as we are.

    Stop spending so much energy hiding yourself from the world and use that energy to love yourself for all that you are. Use that energy to go live your life to the fullest. Use that energy to love that beautiful body of yours! You deserve it. Your body deserves it.

  • Food, Health & Wellness

    My Best Juicing Tips & Recipes

    When I first started juicing back in 2014, I didn’t have “recipes” I followed…I just started throwing stuff in a juicer following a few simple rules. Over time, throwing some stuff together eventually resulted in a few of my favorite juice combos!

    Whether you want to follow a recipe or just wing it like me, here are some tips you definitely want to follow when you juice:

    • Always make your juice from primarily vegetables, a 90/10 ratio is a good rule of thumb
    • Always use lots of green leafy vegetables in your juice. A few of my favorites are kale, spinach, and green collards
    • Regardless of what you decide to put in your juice, throw in a lemon and a green apple and you will end up with a decent flavor
    • Make sure to rotate the vegetables you juice to get a variety of nutrients
    • Peel citrus fruits before putting them in a juicer
    • Avoid fruits like berries and bananas
    • Less is more with the quantity of vegetables and fruits you use, try to stick to 4-5 ingredients!

    Over the years I’ve created some good juice combos and some…um, not so good combos. I’ve enjoyed experimenting on my juicing journey to see what I can come up with. Play around with it, and I’m sure you will find some combos you like too! While some juice combos definitely taste better than others, keep in mind the purpose of juicing isn’t necessarily for flavor, but for HEALTH!

    To help get you started, here are a few recipes to try! (And yes, I made up the names as I went.)

      Green Machine

    • 1 bunch spinach
    • 2 bunches of kale
    • 8 stalks of celery
    • 2 green apples
    • 3 lemons

      Everybody Loves Ginger

    • 2 bunches of green collards
    • 1 bunch of spinach
    • 2 green apples
    • 3 cucumbers
    • Approx 1-2″ fresh ginger root
    • 1 lemon

      I’m All About My Beets

    • 2 bunches of kale
    • 2 beets
    • 7 carrots
    • 2 oranges
    • 1 green apple

    Juices with beets are definitely my least favorite (this is where I remind myself it’s for health not for flavor), but since beets have such great health benefits I always cycle them through my juicing. I also don’t eat beets, ever, so juicing them is the only way my body gets to benefit from their powerhouse of nutrients.

    Each recipe made two 32oz. jars of juice. You will likely want to half each recipe, that will give you a cup of fresh green juice to start your day for a couple of mornings as long as you store it correctly! Keep in mind fresh pressed juice only stays good for up to 24-72 hours after juicing, don’t make more than you can get through. The juice will always taste the best and have the greatest nutritional value within the first 2 hours of making it. When I can, I like to make my juice first thing in the morning so I can drink it FRESH! I promise it doesn’t take that long, from start to clean up it takes me about 20 minutes.

    Additional Juicing Tips:

    • Drink your juice first thing in the morning on an empty stomach to get the most benefits, wait 20 minutes before eating.
    • Buy organic produce to juice!
    • ALWAYS clean your juicer immediately after use, I promise it makes clean up 10x easier. If the pulp hardens in the screen, it’s game over as far as clean up goes.
    • Clean the screen thoroughly, don’t leave anything stuck in there.
    • Yes, your juicer can affect the shelf life of your juice!
    • I’ve switched over to a slow juicer (also known as a cold press juicer) since it produces very little to no heat during the juicing process which ultimately means no oxidation takes place and will extend the storage life of the juice (up to 72 hours if stored correctly.) Why does it matter if oxidation is happening while juicing? Oxidation affects the freshness of your juice and may eliminate some of the nutritional value so that, even over a short period of time, there may be none left at all.
    • We just bought this Breville slow juicer! Both juicers I’ve had have been Breville, can’t say enough good about that brand, great quality! The first one I had lasted well over 5 years!
    • Store your juice in glass, not plastic, plastic will speed up the oxidation process. I recommend buying a case of 32oz. mason jars, they seal tightly which helps with preventing oxidation while storing.
    • Fill your glass container as full as possible, leaving little to no room for air
    • I always try to use vegetables I don’t enjoy eating or have a hard time fitting into my die. There’s lots of amazing vegetables that I don’t eat on a daily basis, so I get their nutrients by juicing them. Example: Beets, dandelion greens, butternut squash, collard greens are vegetables I don’t eat frequently (or ever) in my diet, but I rotate them in my juice often.

    Remember, just because you’re juicing and getting all these amazing nutrients from vegetables first thing in the morning, don’t forget to eat plenty of veggies throughout the day! The benefits of eating vegetables in your diet is equally as important as the benefits you get from juicing them.
    Juiced vegetables are beneficial mainly because you’re consuming raw food products. When you bake, boil, pickle or stew, you can lose antioxidants and other nutrients. However, juicing vegetables means that the skin, and consequently the fibrous part of these foods, is lost in the juicing process. Fiber is important for the function of your digestive system and helps regulate your blood sugar. When you eat raw vegetables, you get the beneficial fiber and all the other health-promoting nutrients.

    Moral of the story, MORE VEGGIES ALL AROUND!

    If you want to know what got me started on my juicing journey, I recommend watching Hungry for Change on Netflix. I distinctly remember watching that in 2014 and immediately diving into the juicing world. Starting my day with fresh pressed juice has become one of my favorite parts of my morning routine.

    Last but not least, HAVE FUN!

  • Food

    Protein Pankcakes


    Love protein pancakes?!

    Good, we are going to get along great!
    Here’s my favorite protein pancake recipe:

    • 1/2 cup Oats
    • 1 Egg (or egg white)
    • 1/2 tsp. Cinnamon
    • 1/2. tsp. Vanilla
    • 1/2 banana, sliced
    • 1 tbsp. Water
    • 1 scoop protein powder of choice

    Mix ingredients in food processor, put a small amount of butter or coconut cooking oil in a pan and cook till golden brown on each side.

    Drizzle with honey and coconut oil for a healthy and delicious syrup alternative!

    I love topping mine with french vanilla almond granola from Sprouts and fresh fruit! ???

    This recipe make 1 perfect, delicious and filling pancake! Enjoy!

    Click here to learn more about my FAVORITE vanilla protein to use that takes this recipe to the next level! It’s been a total game changer and makes for an amazing consistency, flavor, and fluffy like a real pancake!

  • Food

    Holiday Pumpkin Bars


    Are you a pumpkin spice everything kind of person? Even if you aren’t, these pumpkin bars are sure to bring some magic to any holiday party you have this year. These were my sister’s absolute favorite treat to make during the holidays. Since I don’t eat dairy I made a dairy free version of these recently and they taste just as good!


    • 2 Egss
    • ¾ Cup Butter, Soft
    • 1 2/3 Cup Sugar
    • 1/3 Cup Milk
    • 2 tsp Vanilla
    • 1 Can Pumpkin 16 oz
    • 1 ¼ tsp Baking Soda
    • 1 ¼ tsp Baking Powder
    • 1 tsp Salt
    • 1 tsp Cinnamon, ground
    • 1 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice
    • ½ tsp Cloves, ground
    • 2 ½ Cup Flour


    In mixing bowl, beat eggs. Add butter, sugar, milk, vanilla and pumpkin. Combine dry ingredients, add to mixing bowl. Pour batter (batter will be thick) into greased and floured 15×10 jelly roll pan. Bake at 350 for 25-35 minutes until bars spring back when touched lightly. Let cool then frost with cream cheese frosting.

    Cream Cheese Icing


    • 1 package (8 ounce) cream cheese, softened(microwave 15 seconds)
    • ½ stick butter
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla
    • 3 ½ cups powdered sugar (if dry, add 1 teaspoon milk)


    Cream butter, vanilla and cream cheese in mixer. Add powdered sugar. Mix until smooth and creamy!
    *If icing seems dry add 1 teaspoon milk


    Earth Balance or coconut oil instead of butter
    Cashew Milk instead of Milk (You can use your preferred milk substitute, I like cashew milk since it is creamier.)

  • Health & Wellness

    Feeling Sick? Try This Natural Antibiotic!



    But really though, did you know raw garlic is a natural antibiotic? And is more powerful than 2 of the most popular over the counter prescriptions?

    I’ve always been a fan of drinking garlic any time I’m feeling sick instead of going straight for the medicine. Whenever I can opt out of taking prescriptions or medicine I absolutely will!

    Chop up 1 clove of garlic, then let the chopped up garlic sit for about 15 minutes on a small plate or cutting board. Letting it stand for a few minutes exposed to the air powers up the anti-microbial properties in the garlic. Then, scoop up the chopped up garlic, put it in a glass of water and drink it down! Putting the tiny chunks of garlic in some water helps you swallow them just like a pill.

    I do this twice a day when I feel any sort of sickness coming on, once in the morning and once at night. The next time you are feeling sick or have an infection, I high recommend chopping up a clove or two of raw garlic and stirring it into some water before running to get a prescription!

    (Don’t freak out because I promise you can’t even taste it.)


    Apple cider vinegar has antibiotic properties as well! After I chop up my clove of garlic I will take a shot (Approx. 1 tablespoon) of apple cider vinegar and chase it with some juice.