Craters of the Moon.

DSC_0256_2In the North island of New Zealand, we visited Craters of the Moon in the city of Taupo. It was a 45 minute walk that showed off all of the thermal activity including bubbling craters and steam vents. You could hear the water under the Earth bubbling which in turn created all of the steam. It was unreal, like something out of Jurassic Park. They call it “Gollum’s Lair” in our guide book which isn’t exactly accurate (as they didn’t film that there) but it was fun to think that he lived there.

DSC_0283_2(The steam was huge and went high into the sky)

DSC_0301_2(Just take a look at all of this thermal activity!)

DSC_0325_2(Bryan and I walked into the steam and my sunglasses got all fogged up and blinded me. It was fun!)

DSC_0332_2(Each of those small holes created a ton of steam and were pretty loud as well)

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Just another natural wonder in New Zealand. Such fun, I can’t wait to go back!

Kupres.

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I realized I hadn’t finished sharing all of my photos from Bosnia and I really want everyone to see how beautiful it is.  Definitely worth a visit even if you aren’t an avid horse rider because there are many other things to do.  Every day was fun to wake up and look out the window because the weather was changing so fast.

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IMG_0913The horses coming in for the night.

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The cabins!

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Fred overseeing the horses going out in the morning.

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The beautiful mountain colors.

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Morning fog.

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The babies!

IMG_1201Petra and Fred.

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Hanne at the barn :)

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Barn chickens.

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Fred laying in the snow.

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Snow cover!

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Gorgeous snowy covered Kupres!

Kupres is a short 3 hr drive from Split, Croatia.  You get the best of both worlds by flying into Split because you arrive near the ocean and end up in the mountains in Kupres.

Outfit Re-do: Sleek Skirt

DSC_0288We believe in wearing your favorite piece over and over again because they are just clothes and it is fun to reinvent in outfit in a new way. But sometimes, there is that one skirt that just looks best with a basic tank and this is that skirt for me. You have seen it before here but I chose to wear it again on a crazy warm day in Sydney (think 95 degrees)! We were walking through the Botanical Gardens to the Opera House, this was a great day!

DSC_0290(The view isn’t too bad, is it?)

DSC_0295(This hat went through a lot on this trip, it flew off my head on a boat but was retrieved thankfully because it was my saving grace against the sun)

DSC_0309(A bit washed out but there is the Opera House behind us)

Sydney is such an active city, everyone is running, jogging, or walking around the city. It was a beautiful day and we were so happy to soak in the sites!

Milford Sound.

DSC_1002WARNING: This is real life. In the South Island of New Zealand sits a fjord which was created by glacier erosion. We glided through the water surrounded by mountains and waterfalls. I have never seen anything as magnificent as Milford Sound, and I imagine I won’t ever again. If you get a chance, I highly recommend seeing this, it is absolutely stunning.

DSC_0857(Part of our drive to Milford Sound)

DSC_0868(A rushing waterfall under the highway we were driving on)

DSC_0880(Still, just our drive to Milford Sound)

DSC_0898(Took a pit stop to take a photo)

DSC_0904(Your first view once you are on the boat is of this gigantic waterfall which supplies the majority of the tiny town’s power)

DSC_0916(We were lucky to be there on such a cold day, the fog created a majestic view)

DSC_1040(A waterfall behind me)

DSC_0919(A few hundred meters away from the first waterfall, it still looks huge!)

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DSC_1025(Bundled up and taking it all in)

DSC_1047(Just one of the dozens of waterfalls along the way)

I can’t say enough about how incredible this spot is, it was actually named a wonder of the world and I can see why. It is so much larger and astounding in person, see it! See it! You will not regret it!

Fakin’ It: Cookie Style

SMK_987796A_88862002_GingBrdMix_Ctn_R2_OLWe love cookies! We love to eat cookies! We love to eat holiday cookies even more! There are those special people who kill it when it comes to baking things from scratch, Brittany is one of those people. However, when she arrived at my house with a box of gingerbread cookie mix and said, “screw it, let’s use this box instead” I wiped the sweat from my brow because gingerbread cookies are the hardest to make! I tried once and it took 6 hours and they didn’t even taste good. But this box, this box is magic. All you do is add water and egg and heat those bad boys up in the oven for 8 minutes! It only took us 6 to eat them all up too!

DSC_0370(We grabbed some mint M&M’s and topped the warm cookies)

DSC_0379(And we force fed them to each other too)

DSC_0382(Nom!)

This cookie mix is amazing, they tasted homemade but without all of the hassle!

Sail Away to Whitehaven.

10620163_814025968653568_8993737879314789562_oWe stayed on a catamaran for a few days in the Whitsunday Island chain (north of Sydney). We swam, paddle boarded, kayaked, and snorkeled our way through. It was such a relaxing few days, I enjoyed every bit of it!

DSC_0368(Life is hard on a catamaran! I spent a lot of my time reading on  the front of the boat)

1799025_814025675320264_698389114056329675_o(I’m off in the distance, paddling through the warmest water you have ever felt)

10818239_814029995319832_2592679323144212744_o(We had plenty of fishy friends who stopped by to say hello)

1493290_814028818653283_4703696648773467602_o(We stopped and swam with the stingrays at the famous Whitehaven Beach. The sand was unbelievably soft and white)

DSC_0376(We saw the most beautiful sunsets)

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DSC_0468(Trying to keep your hair tame at sea is virtually impossible)

DSC_0390(Sunset light reflecting off of rope tied to our anchor)

DSC_0518(By the end of the trip, I was completely freckled)

I have an underwater camera that I need to get developed with our snorkel photos at the coral reefs. I can’t wait to share those with you, the fish that we saw were so beautiful!

The Ultimate Rain Boots.

DSC_0796Before I left for my trip I picked up a pair of these awesome Sorel rain boots. I am crazy about combat style boots, if I could live in a shoe it would be a combat boot. So, you can imagine it was love at first sight. I wore them all throughout New Zealand as it was unseasonably cold. I can’t recommend these boots more, they are so comfortable and completely waterproof.

DSC_0835(I love the subtle wedge)

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DSC_0829(Queenstown, New Zealand. It was a pretty chilly day but these boots kept my feet cozy)

DSC_0824(Water just trickles off the boots)

FullSizeRender(Awesome photographer credit: B. Gould)

 There is an intense storm hitting San Francisco as we speak but it looks like I am prepared!

From Coogee to Bondi.

DSC_0002Before leaving for Sydney, my Australian friends and travelers told us the one thing we needed to do was the walk from Coogee to Bondi beach. It ended up being one of our best days there!

DSC_0016(Our starting point- Coogee Beach)

DSC_0034(We walked along the coast and saw some beautiful homes as well as these cool mosaic stairs – reminiscent of San Francisco)

DSC_0057(The waves were pretty high that day which was super refreshing as the temperature hit to around 90 degrees!)

DSC_0067(This was a cool find- a very old cemetery along the water)

DSC_0089(I found this oddly cool- a swimming club on the beach. Hmm)

DSC_0091(We made it to the famous Bondi Beach! This area is a lot like San Diego, people running around in bikinis and ice cream for days)

The water was too cold for me to brave but the scenery was spectacular!

Hobbiton.

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I have just returned from a 3 week trip to Australia and New Zealand. It was so much fun but I am happy to be home and sleeping in my own bed! While I have so many amazing things that I am going to share with you, I want to start with my favorite night of the trip- the evening we spent in Hobbiton. Oh yes, it’s real. And if you are anything like me- you are obsessed with the magic of these incredible films. Being there made me relive the fun and fantasy all over again. If you have a chance to go to the North island of New Zealand, don’t miss this one of a kind attraction!

DSC_0523_2(A glance of the Shire- 44 Hobbit homes in all)

DSC_0528_2(Each home is carefully constructed to look completely real, while the inside is hollow)

DSC_0559(I loved the grass on all of the rooftops and most of the flowers and vegetables were real! They have a full time gardener on hand to keep everything flourished and alive)

DSC_0007(Oh hey, is Bilbo home?)

DSC_0011(The home of our favorite Baggins’- Bilbo & Frodo)

DSC_0563_2(It’s just our size. We’ll take it!)

DSC_0565(Lookout Point of the Shire)

DSC_0071(Headed across the bridge to the Green Dragon for a drink and dinner)

DSC_0059(Enjoying some special Hobbit brew and apple cider)

DSC_0067(The view from the Green Dragon)

DSC_0082(Music played outside from the film so we decided to dance- when in Hobbiton!)

DSC_0023(Recognize this from Bilbo’s 111th birthday?)

DSC_0088(They cooked a feast fit for a Hobbit- no manners needed here!)

DSC_0134(To conclude the evening we were sent out with lanterns and explored the Shire once more)

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DSC_0163(Goodnight Hobbiton)

If you are interested in learning more, click here. I recommend booking the night tour which is available on Wednesdays, it was unbelievable and our tour guides were so much fun and accommodating.

Snow Update.

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If you love skiing or snowboarding like me, you love the winter time living near ski areas.  I like to get up to Tahoe as much as I can no matter what the season but I’m happy winter is here.  There isn’t much snow up there but most of the resorts have opened so it was nice to get back on my board with some friends.

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Squaw on Saturday.

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At certain points it was very hard to see with the low lying clouds.

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Being silly with Brie, my favorite snowboarder babe.

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The sunset was a beautiful one.  Normally, this area would be covered in snow.  We still need a good storm to come through and cover everything.

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It’s so weird to not see everything covered in snow by December!  Here’s the Truckee River.

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Shirley, Gold Coast, and Siberia were the main chairlifts open at Squaw this weekend.  The mountain run is not open yet and needs a lot more snow but it’s still worth it to get back on the snow!