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    Growing Your Own Food

    Growing your own food can be intimidating and time consuming if you’re new to the idea. However, the health benefits of growing your own food and immediately eating fruits and veggies after you harvest them are totally worth spending a little time, energy … Continue reading

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    Stirling Castle

    Just 45 minutes from Edinburgh lies Stirling, a pleasant medieval town and a castle that is arguably the most important castle in Scottish history. As the saying goes, “he who holds Stirling, holds Scotland.” Due to its geographical location, if … Continue reading

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    Top 10 Things To See and Do in Edinburgh

    Edinburgh Castle – A significant monument in the history of Edinburgh as well as an iconic part of the Edinburgh skyline. The castle is a must see site while visiting the city. It’s a great way to learn about the history of the city, … Continue reading

  • Weekly Photo Challenge: My Happy Place

    We’ve been traveling quite a bit recently, so it’s been awhile since I’ve been able to write a post on the blog. I thought this subject for the weekly photo challenge would be the perfect topic to reconnect.

  • Local San Diego Review: Torrey Pines State Reserve

    Located between La Jolla and Del Mar, Torrey Pines State Reserve is a fun coastal hiking, running or biking playground. The hiking is pretty easy, but it’s also fun and comes with spectacular views up and down the San Diego coastline. You … Continue reading

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    Are the Whitsunday Islands Worth the Trip?

    The Whitsunday Islands are located off the coast of Airlie beach on the Southern end of the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. Airlie Beach is a small beach town in Queensland, pretty much 8 hours from civilization to the North (Cairns) and … Continue reading

  • Channel Islands National Park: Camping and Hiking on Santa Cruz Island

    The Channel Islands National Park. One of the least visited National Parks in America…lucky for us! Even though I spent 7 years living in Santa Barbara, I sadly never made it out to the Channel Islands. Ironically, now that we have … Continue reading

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    Local San Diego Review: Laguna Campground

    Laguna Campground is located in the Cleveland National Forest just under 60 miles from the city of San Diego. Close enough to spend more time camping and less time driving, yet far enough away to relax, unwind, and explore. We weren’t really … Continue reading

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    Paleo “Green Monkey” Smoothie Bowl

    I love acai bowls. By love, I mean that I could eat them every day. However, it’s a pretty expensive habit, whether eating out or stocking the house with pure acai frozen packets. Alternatively, I occasionally make acai or other smoothie … Continue reading

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    Exploring Sydney Australia in One Day

    If you’re only spending a day in a city, you will likely have to make some tough choices about what to see. Thus, planning ahead is incredibly important. It will allow you to maximize your time and streamline your day. … Continue reading

Channel Islands National Park: Kayaking Around Santa Cruz

During our camping trip to Santa Cruz we decided to take a kayaking tour around the island, exploring caves, admiring the beautiful scenery, learning about the history and geology of the island, and spotting wildlife in and out of the water.

Lucky for me, my nephew, Lucas, decided that he would love to go kayaking with me. We listened to the orientation, and then hopped into our double kayak to start cruising around the island.

Not so lucky for me, after about 30 minutes in the kayak, Lucas decided that he was good for most of the remainder of the trip and didn’t really need to paddle anymore. I got quite the workout maneuvering a double kayak mostly maneuvered by me, especially when we rounded the one side of the island straight into a nice headwind. My brother went into this excursion thinking he’d have it tough partnering with Camille, Lucas’ twin sister, but he certainly had the last laugh🙂

Although my arms were couldn’t move for the remainder of the day following our kayaking adventure, it was truly an epic experience, and one I will not soon forget.

Navigating in and out of the caves was thrilling and beautiful.

The clarity of the water around the island is so incredible, you could see wildlife under the water from sitting in the kayak.

We got a visit from a curious and brave seal pup right off the side of our kayak. We also learned a lot about the interesting history of the island and its change from a Native American hunting ground to a private ranch, and finally to a National Park.

The tour company we booked this excursion with was called Aqua Sports, and they were great, however, I can’t really compare to the other tours aside from that they went a similar route as we did along the island, but didn’t seem to see quite as much as we did. The other tour companies include Santa Barbara Adventure Company and Channel Islands Kayak Center.

Another more budget friendly option for kayaking can be to rent or bring your own kayak over on your ferry. The most convenient option would be to rent from Island Packers. They do charge a small fee to transport the kayaks to the island, so if you rent kayaks, you will have to pay the cost of the rental and the cost to transport them as well. If you’ve never kayaked around the islands before, it’s definitely worth it to have the guides’ extensive knowledge of the island and the experience of navigating through the caves, as the tides can make it quite a challenge to get into and out of some of the caves.

During your visit to the Channel Islands National Park, I highly recommend spending some of your time out in the water around the islands. It’s truly an awesome experience.

Local San Diego Review: Hiking in the Cleveland National Forest

A mere 60 miles from San Diego lies the Cleveland National Forest, a playground for hikers, mountain bikers, horseback riders, and backpackers. We recently spent 2 nights at the Laguna campground (checkout my review) and hiked various trails in the area.

We could walk just a few minutes out from our campsite in the Laguna Campground to all of the major trail heads in the area. It was awesome!

Using our guidebook A Foot and Afield in San Diego County by Jerry Schad and the National Forest map, we trekked across a good portion of the available trails. On the map below, we outlined all of the trails we hiked during our trip (the “O’s” outline the hike for day 1, and the “X’s” outline the hike for day two).


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Seven Day Road Trip up the East Coast of Australia: Sydney to Airlie Beach

One of the best ways to explore the East Coast of Australia is by car (or camper van if that’s your style). You could basically spend as much time as you wanted driving the east coast of Australia, as there are a ton of great stops along the way. Plus, you never know what you might see!


I would recommend allowing two weeks if you want to make more stops, spend more time at each stop, or to camp and explore some of the natural attractions in the region.

We only had a week to make it up to Airlie Beach for our Whitsundays adventure (more on that later…stay tuned!), so we researched the most intriguing stops and made the most of our time exploring the region.

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Cooking Inspiration from the Contents of my CSA Box

As I mentioned in a previous post about CSA’s, I recently joined a local CSA and have been happily receiving large boxes of veggies. I’ve made a commitment to using all of the items that I receive in my box, so I don’t waste any food. Sometimes that means getting a little creative, especially if it’s the first time I’ve ever seen the vegetable!

Contents of our last box:

  • Red Leaf Lettuce (lots!)
  • Swiss Chard
  • Kale
  • Basil
  • Radishes
  • Turnips
  • Beets
  • Carrots
  • Baby Broccoli
  • Sugar Snap Peas
  • Mixed Bean Sprouts (used these as a topping for salads)

Surprisingly, the contents of the box goes way faster than I would have expected! I guess I eat more veggies when they’re around and I don’t want them to go to waste🙂

So how did I make use of all of this for just the two of us?

  • Salads! Lots and lots of large salads with mixed kale and lettuce with tons of toppings:


  • Grilled Chicken Thighs with sautéed summer squash (from the previous week’s box) topped with a basil pesto. I saved the left over pesto and used it for various other dishes & on eggs throughout the week.


  • Sautéed Baby Broccoli & Kale using a bit of fat and seasonings (for side dishes). I’d also often top the kale with leftover pesto.
  • Creamy Coconut and Lemon Chard – I don’t have a picture of my personal creation, but this recipe is so incredibly simple and delicious. Since we received chard two weeks in a row, I made this dish a second time and added in grilled halibut to make a full meal out of it. SO good!
  • Simple Steamed Baby Broccoli with lemon pepper, garlic powder, and a bit of sea salt for side dishes with a simple protein (i.e. grilled chicken or fish).
  • Marinated Roasted Beets from Nom Nom Paleo…LOVE these. My husband isn’t usually a big fan of beets, but he said they were awesome. He even asked for a second helping the next day for his lunch at work!


Finally, we used the sugar snap peas (and carrots) throughout the week as snacks for around the house and to take to work.

Hopefully, this gives you a glance at how we eat at home on a regular basis as well as some ideas for new recipes to try!


What are some of your favorite recipes made with any of these ingredients? Share with us below!

10 Satisfying Paleo Travel Snacks

It can be pretty difficult to stay healthy on the road, especially when trying to make good choices when there are a limited number of available healthy options (in the airport or on the airplane).

Over the years, I have learned that once I get to a certain level of hunger, I tend to make poor food choices or get hangry.


Story of my life….

The solution to this problem for the sake of myself (and my husband) is to bring along a variety of healthy snacks and foods I enjoy in order to stave off hunger and to be able to eat well on the road.

Hopefully, this list below will help you find healthy snacks to bring along on your travels to stay well fed around the globe.

Paleo Travel Snacks

1. Fresh Fruit – My favorite types to bring along are ones that travel well and are easy to eat on the go with little to no fuss: apples, grapes, tangerines/oranges, cherries, blueberries, peaches, nectarines, pears, and bananas. Bananas need to be eaten relatively soon unless you like mushy brown ones, but they are great to eat while waiting for your flight, especially in the morning. Apples and bananas are usually pretty easy to find and purchase at the airport for a snack too!

2. Fresh Cut Vegetables – This one does take a little prep beforehand (unless you get a bag of baby carrots), but I like having a few low calorie nutritious snacks around. My favorites are carrots, snap peas, sliced cucumbers, sliced zucchinis, cherry tomatoes, and bell peppers.

One note: if you’re traveling overseas and you have to eat any fruit or vegetables you bring on board the plane before you land.

3. Nuts & Seeds – Easy, quick calorie dense snacks that have a substantial amount of fat and some protein. My favorites are macadamias, almonds, brazil nuts, pistachios, pepitas, and sunflower seeds. You can always create your own trail mix with some dried fruit, shredded coconut, and dark chocolate chips (like Enjoy Life Mini Chips) mixed in too!

4. Gone Nuts! (Cacao) – Of course my favorite packs are the cacao ones, but they have other varieties as well.


5. Jerky –  Sugar-free jerky is a great source of easy protein on the go (turkey, beef, bison, etc). I like the Tanka varieties, they are really tasty.

6. Epic Bars – An easy alternative to jerky and good source of protein too (bison is my favorite, but love the lamb and turkey too!). (Side note: my interaction with the customs officers when we arrived in New Zealand and they saw these in my bag was pretty hilarious…they had never seen them before and were incredibly curious/intrigued! They didn’t have a problem with them though and they saved our lives on many a hike throughout the trip🙂 )


7. Dang Toasted Coconut Chips – They comes in a few varieties (including without sugar) but the regular and chocolate covered ones are my personal favorites. SO good!


8. Dark Chocolate – (notice the chocolate trend here?!?!) – Great for a little treat on the road when you feel like something sweet. It’s a healthy alternative to the candy bars in the airport because it actually has antioxidants, vitamins and minerals to support your health! Alter Ego, Primal Chocolate, and Theo are a few of my favorite brands.

9. That’s It Bars – These are great – just made up of dried fruit. They come in a variety of flavors and are my husband’s favorite snack. Pear/apple, mango/apple, and apricot/apple are T’s favorites. I really like the apple/cherry ones too!


10. Larabars – Some varieties are healthier than others, but I find the blueberry muffin, apple pie, cashew cookie, and coconut varieties to be paleo friendly.


What are your favorite healthy snacks to travel with? Share in the comments below!

Should You Join a CSA?

Recently, I decided to join a CSA for the first time and thought it would be fitting to share some information about CSAs with you. If you haven’t heard of a CSA or you are potentially looking to join one, but aren’t sure, this post is for you!

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Weekly Photo Challenge – Forces of Nature: Sun & Sea

This week’s WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge encouraged me to share a local example of a force of nature. I chose incredible force of nature of the sun setting over the sea.

Sunsets are my absolute favorite part of the day. They happen every day, and are easy to take for granted. However, they are inspiring, calming, relaxing, and rejuvenating. Nothing gets better than sitting on a beach, boat, or cliff overlooking the ocean and watching the sun disappear into the water.

I am lucky to live in San Diego, California, where I can witness this amazing force of nature every day.


Forces of Nature

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