Vacation in Cabo San Lucas 

Waves, sand, and sunsetIt’s funny, it all started with an email about cheap tickets to Iceland. 

I immediately texted my friend K and asked if I could buy us tickets to Iceland. I think her exact words were something like “wtf?!?”. 

She wasn’t exactly out, but she did say that Iceland in December seemed like a very cold idea. Fair enough. After some talking and research, we definitely wanted a vacation and could afford something not too out of control- we decided on Mexico, and September ended up being the cheapest tickets. 

One of the amazing views from Mt. Solmar

One of the amazing views from Mt. Solmar

I haven’t been on vacation in years. And traveling with K was wonderful. She lives in a different city than I do, so we don’t get to see other that often. We did things and had a great time, but there was no pressure! I got to take naps and just chat with her all that I wanted, without feeling like I was making her miss out on vacation. She is also a big fan of naps. 

Chilled young coconut

A chilled coconut before your nap= epic. Travel diffuser and oils along with it… can’t be beat!


I have always wanted to go parasailing, and I’ve never been. I was beyond excited when K said that she wanted to go, too! Yay! Definitely go if you have the chance. I was really worried about getting sunburnt while up in the air, but I made it! 

Parasailing

Parasailing with the happiest parachute

K wanted to go hiking. I like the idea in theory, but reality is that it’s so hot and muggy that we had to get up at something like 5am (I’ve blocked out the exact time- it was very traumatizing) to not have a heat stroke. Guess what, though? It was completely worth it, and not even that hot. If you go: the base of Mt. Solmar is on a man named Enrique’s property. We walked there from our hotel on the other side of the marina. We had asked a few different people for directions. You have to walk out of tourist land and past a military base, then open this total stranger’s fence and walk on to his property (which is also a doggie daycare, and there are dogs everywhere). 

If you’re brave enough to get past all of that, your reward will be hiking the mountain and glorious views! When you come back down you will see the box where you leave your tip for Enrique. 

J and k’s hiking shoes
Our other main activity (besides eating guacamole, which we tried very hard to do at every meal. The best guac we found was at La Casa Country) was a sunset booze cruise. More amazing views. The drinks were not amazing, but we had a great time and enjoyed several anyway. We’re super brave like that. 

SunsetThe Arch

The next place that I really want to go is Greece. Do you have any dream trips in mind? 

Jillian 

My 35 Project- Update

img_2781-1Last year on my birthday, I started a project- 35 things to do before I turned 35. It was a mixed bag. I did have to make some alterations to the list after a big life change, but for the most part it remained the same throughout the year.

Things that went well:

The only category that I accomplished every single item was house/minimalism. I guess I should have seen that coming. I love to see clean, simple spaces. I also obsessively organize and discard things when I am stressed or anxious. Sometimes I see this as a bad thing, as I know it’s one of my biggest coping mechanisms. However, the fact is that I love the results. Until I started blogging, I didn’t really realize that minimalism was such a trend. This is probably the first time in my entire life that I have been trendy.

I loved having it be a priority to see people that I love and send mail. Sure, I wasn’t 100% successful on these, but it felt good to flat out tell myself that I “had” to do these things. Investing in relationships is the best thing that I can do for myself. My loved ones make life worth living. Sometimes it feels indulgent to be spending time being happy instead of doing chores. Could this philosophy be more dumb? Now that I have realized I feel that way, I can remind myself what I really want my life to be about. I also got to take a trip to Vermont to see a friend and meet her new baby, and spent time with my puppy taking her to classes.

Paying off my student loans was an incredible feeling. I literally cannot remember the time when I didn’t have this debt hanging over my head. It’s been so long. I feel like the world is at my fingertips. I’ve been putting so much money toward debt for so long, and this feels great! My goal for the next year is to save this money and build a “grown-up” emergency fund. The one I’ve had while paying off debt has never been very much. It has been able to cover my true emergencies, which I am very proud of, but I would like it to be enough to give me peace of mind.

I went to yoga less than half as much as I had intended. However, I’m still counting this as a win because I did find a yoga studio that I love. I also got a great deal on a membership ($29 a month, unlimited- normally $99). If I go once a week, my membership is still cheaper than paying per visit; and now I have no excuse not to go more. I can’t do yoga at home. I love the idea, but I will end up with two dogs on my head and then giving up and taking a nap.

Things that I learned:

I learned that I actually visit my grandparents more than I realized. There is a lot of guilt in my family about visiting grandparents, but meeting my goal of once a month was not hard at all. Most months it was more often. Tracking this made me feel like I’m not such a bad person, after all.

My blog energy definitely ebbs and flows more than I thought. My initial posting schedule (at least once a day) was just insane and definitely did not pan out. I didn’t want to post just to post, of course. Next year my goal will be once a week. If I do more, that’s great, but I don’t want to pressure myself.

I went to therapy for several months. Therapy is something that is brutally hard for me, because I am not good at opening up on a deep level. I do see the irony of this, given my blog and all. This helped me make some very tough decisions, and I am grateful that I pushed myself to be introspective. It hurts, but sometimes life does. Ya know?

Things that didn’t go so well:

Weight loss was a total fail, no way around it. I actually weigh more than when I started. I wish I could change my thinking to remember that this truly is a health and quality of life issue.

My exercise goals completely tanked. I managed to work out four times a week… well. It’s just embarrassing. You can check for yourself if you want. I lowered my goal to twice a week for next year. I feel like that’s so low it’s not worth doing, but I know that is a defeatist attitude and one that I don’t want to have. If I feel I can’t reach the entire goal, I tend to do nothing. I want to learn that doing something in a less extreme manner is still okay and worth doing.

I am going to be doing a list of 36 things to do before I turn 36. This list will be more oriented toward things that I enjoyed this year, and experiences that I want to have. Is anyone else doing a list?

Jillian

Weekend Update- Staycation

My dear friend and bear, K, came to visit last weekend. She arrived Thursday night and we ran all over the place. We did way too much shopping and had so many delicious snacks.

Our Snickertinis at Bartini– my new favorite happy hour. $4 martinis and a huge menu of food, including fondue. snickertinis

I hate beer, I really do. However, a nice guy was handing out samples of this at Cost Plus and umm I just can’t even tell you. It really tastes like cherries. It’s amazing. cherry beer 

This one actually happened last weekend. J and I went to a picnic to benefit Shiba Inu rescue, and he won an awesome gift basket in the auction. On Saturday he gave me this super cool clock by Modern Moose from the basket! 

Desserts from the awesome Papa Hadyn on NW 23rd. K got the bourbon ball and sparkling wine, and I got baked Alaska. I had always wanted to try it, and it did not disappoint!desserts

We spent some time Sunday afternoon at Powell’s, the world’s best bookstore. I bought three books, but this was the one that got away. Next time!     powell's 

My grandma turned 90 today, so we had a party yesterday to celebrate.  grandma gladys
K’s survival kit for the train. Whipped cream vodka, gummy bears, and 7-Up. Nice ending to the weekend!emergency kit 

Something else I tried that I had always heard was great was Sizzle Pie. They had three vegan options out for slices. I could not believe it. They also do half slices, so I got to try two flavors. No picture because it disappeared in a flash! The flavors I tried were crazy- one had marinara, sweet onion, and nutritional yeast. The other had tofu, hashbrowns, chiles, fake bacon, and olive oil. I am probably missing some toppings, but it was nuts. Go try it if there is one near you!

❤️ Jillian

Top 10 Reasons Your Bartender Loves You (or at least doesn’t hate you)

chelle and jillWe see so many posts about why your bartender hates you. As a “retired” bartender, I thought I would put my positive spin on it. You want your bartender to love you? Do this!

Also, maybe I’m supposed to put a disclaimer about drinking responsibly? *play nice, y’all. Don’t make me pull this car over.*



 

How to Make Friends With Your Bartender

  1. Know what you want to drink, and have your money and ID ready. She has to check your ID. This is the law, it’s not a conspiracy. If you are underage and she gets caught serving you, she will never work in the industry again. No, really.
  2. If you HAVE to ask her to recommend something, try to do it when there aren’t 18 people behind you- and give her something to go off of. Don’t just say you need a recommendation, then have her list off eight things and shoot them all down. Tell her you like rum and fruity flavors. Then she’ll be able to make you something fun that you will actually like.
  3. If you’re going to open a tab, tip in cash on the first drink right then. This isn’t totally necessary, but it makes you look super cool and lets her know you do plan to tip her. She will remember and take care of you.
  4. Absolutely do not hit on her while tipping her. She’s not a prostitute. She will be so creeped out.
  5. Bring back your dirty glasses when you come for another round. She spends her life looking for glasses, and is happy to have them back. She can never find her bar back that was supposed to bring glasses. He’s probably either smoking out back or cleaning up whatever you did in the pool room.
  6. If you want a strong drink, order a double. If you’re nice, maybe you’ll get the next one for the price of a single. You will not get a stronger drink by asking her to pour heavy. You will get a weaker drink.
  7. Tell her your name every time you come back for another drink if you have a tab. She may remember, but maybe not. At the beginning of the night, everyone looks the same and she only knows your drink, not your name. If you keep telling her, it won’t be awkward and she will then remember because you made it easier.
  8. Ask her how her night is going. MEAN IT. For extra points, mention the drunk girl in the corner that’s been giving her drama, or the old guy that keeps staring at her. Feel her pain. Remember, she’s the only sober one in the room (and she feels right now that she may be the only sober person in the world). She can tell if you’re faking it or not.
  9. Say thank you. Again, mean it. It’s not a big deal, everyone can do this.
  10. Have fun! The bartender is there to help you have a good time. If you’re happy (and you’re not being a douche!), she is probably happy and thinks you’re just great.

Hey, guess what?! It’s Friday Eve! Time to go out and practice these skills 🙂

Jillian