Pick me ups

I love to be happy. I feel like it's my thing! I'm often told that I am a little too happy for some people's taste. (sorry not sorry!!)
However, I am human and there are times where I'm just not feeling life. During this time I get really sluggish and I have NO motivation whatsoever. It's quite terrible to be honest because not only do I suffer but so do the people I am around at the moment.

I've learned though, that there's just times where I am sad and just not feeling up to par, but it will pass and my happy feelings will come back in no time! It's bound to happen!

With that said, I thought I would share things that really make me feel good on my down days! It varies from people, to things, to places but in the end after feeling a bit spoiled with these things I feel SO much better and I bounce back like nothing ever happened!

Uplifting Friends
   When I am feeling down my friends just know. It never fails that they know, and I don't know how but they do. (wow I said know a lot..) I do however love this about them because they'll do anything to cheer me up! Whether it be with their kind words, funny jokes, or small gifts like chocolate or ice cream (yum!)

 Most of the girls that really come to mind when I think of these types of friends are in this picture! About 10 of them in this picture I'm pretty freaking close to and I wouldn't have it any other way! They were my rock my first year of college in Hawai'i and have not failed me since I've left. I absolutely love them to pieces.

Coffee and Bagels
 This may sound really weird, or not. I love coffee as most people know, but I also really love bagels! For some reason when I bring these two together it just really makes my heart sing with happiness! (or stomach for that matter).

Good Pictures of Myself
 Now I know this may sound shallow to some of you, but I just want you to know I rarely EVER let people take pictures of me unless it's a selfie and they're in it! So often I am behind the camera and forget to actually capture memories I'm making with me in them! 

My sister Katrina took this picture a few weeks ago. To some this may look like I'm just posing or trying to show off a cool new cruiser. I'm not! Katrina was actually trying to teach me how to ride a bike again. A few years ago I had a serious knee surgery (i'll speak more on that in a much later post) and I haven't been able to ride a bike since. It really meant a lot to me that she took the time out of her day to kind of just try to show me. It really didn't go very well haha. But it's the thought that counts and that's what I see when I look at this picture. It's a very special memory that I will cherish forever.

Honestly anything to do with cameras can easily change my mood from good to bad. Instantly, without a doubt. I love all things camera. (especially canon)

I mean look how happy I am in these pictures!! Sadly those aren't my cameras but nonetheless I was a very happy person that day. Why? Because I got to love on some amazing canon cameras that's why!!

Living in Hawai'i I was very spoiled when it comes to beaches. If there was any day I was feeling down I would immediately throw on my swimsuit and head to the nearest beach and guess what? I was automatically in a much cheerier (is that a word?) mood! 

I mean honestly, how can you get any better than these two views? You can never go wrong with the beach ladies and gentleman! 

(Last but definitely not least!!)

Oahu, Hawai'i
This is pretty obvious to most people who know me. I love Hawai'i. And I mean really LOVE Hawai'i! I don't think I ever really realized how could I had it until I didn't have it anymore. (go figure!) But I can not wait until I get to go back again!

Do you guys have any special pick me ups that get you through the tough times? Comment below and tell me about yours! I would love to know I am not alone (insert crying emoji here).

Until next time..

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Beyu Caffe Sunday Brunch

Brunch is actually one of my favorite things in the world and I could not give you a good enough reason as to why, except for the fact that I just LOVE food! The past two sundays I have gone to brunch at the Beyu Caffe on Main st in Durham, North Carolina with my sister Katrina and her friend Destiny. It has been soooo great every time we have gone. I absolutely love this place and I wish I could take it back to Arizona with me!

I really liked their brunch menu because there were enough choices for me to choose from but not too many so I didn't feel overwhelmed! The first sunday we went I got the French Toast Victorio and it was delicious!

My sister Katrina got the sandwich and Destiny got the tacos. They leaned more towards the lunch aspect of brunch haha. 

Of course I had to get coffee while there! And might i say it was really really good! The coffee is what made me want to go back a second time.

Here we are after we had brunch. Smiling because we are so very full and happy about it!

This past sunday when we went it was really full in the cafe. I guess a lot of people really wanted brunch. I know I did! 

This time I went for the breakfast burrito and of course I had my coffee!!

And as I expected, it was delicious! 

I've really loved going to this cafe the past two weeks and I hope to go again for brunch next sunday! The food is delicious, the coffee amazing, and the whole vibe of the place is really great! Did I mention that it's also a jazz caffe? They have live jazz during brunch and during the week they have different jazz artists come and perform at night! 
Oh Beyu Caffe, why can't you come back home with me?

Do any of you enjoy brunch as much as I do? If so, comment what your favorite places to go are!
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Easy Cheesy Pasta & Vegetable Casserole

So, to start off I just want to say that this casserole was absolutely delicious! I knew that as soon as I took my first bite I HAD to share it with you all! I made this casserole with my sister Katrina a few nights ago and it was really easy to make!

The recipe given below is enough for one casserole but can be doubled to make two.
Also as a side note, you can easily switch out the vegetables for whatever suits you!

Prep time: 15-20 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes

  • 1 box rotini pasta, uncooked
  • 2 1/2 cups milk
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 1/2 cup mild cheddar cheese(or cheese of your choice), grated
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 potato
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1/2 onion
  • 4-5 whole mushrooms
  • 2 carrots

This is the vegetables and noodles we used and the type of cheese we used (we're lazy and didn't want to grate it ;) 

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  •  Spray pan of choice with nonstick spray and set aside
  • Cook the pasta according to directions on the box, drain and return to pan
When we first started cooking the pasta we cut all of our vegetables to our liking 

and when the noodles were halfway done we started to saute the vegetables.

We used many vegetables and tried to be as colorful as possible!

  • Grate the cheese (if not already grated), reserving at least a 1/4 of a cup
  • When noodles and vegetables are done cooking, set aside

  • In a large skillet, melt the butter, add the flour and whisk for one minute
  • Slowly add the milk, whisk constantly
  • Turn the heat up to medium and stir until thickened
  • Slowly add the cheese, whisk until melted after each addition
  • Season the sauce with salt and pepper (or whatever suits your fancy)
  • Transfer noodles to baking dish and spread evenly
  • Add in noodles and mix together well

  Add cheese sauce to the pasta and vegetables

*Side note: Katrina and I waited to add the cheese sauce to pasta (as recipe says above), however you can add the cheese sauce to the pasta before putting into baking pan

  • Sprinkle with reserved cheese 

  • Bake at 350 degrees for about 20-30 minutes or until bubbly

After let it cool and then dig in and enjoy! I can guarantee you won't be disappointed with this dish. I hope that many of you try it and are as full as I was when you're done eating it! Comment below if you plan to try it and if you do I would love to hear how yours turned out!

Until next time..
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My Fourth of July

I know, I know.. This Fourth of July post is extremely late, however, I promise I have a reason (aka excuse) as to why I have not written my independence day blog post. I have been sort of busy this past week and I was lazy and didn't make time. Nothing big, just me giving into the laziness! Also because on Monday evening I flew from Texas to North Carolina to visit my sister Katrina! 

This is my sister Katrina, but more on her later in the week! 

I've been here and I have been  v e r y  lazy. It's hard not to be on vacation, but never the less here are some photos from my Fourth of July holiday!

My family and I went to this lake to swim, hang out and watch the fireworks!

After the lake my cousins headed home and the rest of us went back to my grandmothers house. We popped off some more fireworks there and just had a good time. I will definitely say that the best part of the night was seeing my brothers being closer and also lauren and I playing around with the sparklers.

Well, that was my Fourth of July. I hope all of you had a fantanstic day and enjoyed yourselves!
Until next time..

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Everything's Bigger in Texas!

So as of last saturday I have been in Texas! My family all came down to visit my grandmother who isn't doing well right now and we are staying here for the week. I have really enjoyed it so far here because I haven't been to Texas in about 7 years! Which means.. I haven't seen my grandparents, (or my two younger brothers) for 7 years! It really breaks my heart that I can't get down here more often to see my family, but I am so glad that I have the opportunity to see them now..

Pictured above is my beautiful family! Mind you, this isn't even a third of my dads side of the family but it's the family visiting at this moment. It has been such a joy to see them after so long! You truly don't realize how much you miss someone until you see them after so many long years. I feel so blessed to be surrounded by my loving family at this time because we all really need each other, especially now. It has been hard to see my grandmother "ill". You can tell that she isn't well by physical appearance but her spirit is still so strong! She is one of the strongest women I know and I have hope for her health in the future because of her strength thus far.

While in town I got to see my good friend of over 10 years, Brooke! The last time I saw her was also 7 years ago but luckily we have stayed in touch over these past few years and for that I am so grateful! She's seriously such a sweet heart and I am so glad I got to see her again! We met up at starbucks and then she took me to this amazing ice cream place called Andy's! 

I have never been to this place before, even when I lived in Texas I didn't know about it at all! The ice cream I had was absolutely delicious! I haven't had ice cream that good in a long time! I'm so glad she took me there because it was great! Brooke also was so kind as to take me to the mall, a candy store and to petland to see cute puppies!! Let me tell you, those puppies were so cute I wanted to adopt one right then and there and take it all the way back to Arizona with me! 

I decided I was a cowgirl when we first got to Texas, and I plan on being a cowgirl until I leave on Monday! I'll be heading out to North Carolina to see my sister that day, but that's a topic for another post.

What vacations are you taking this summer? Staycations count too! Tell me about them, I would love to know where you plan to spend your warm summer days!

Until next time..
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