10 ways to improve your health

No matter your age, circumstances or stage, there is probably something you can do to be healthier.  These are my favorite, small things to do to improve one’s health:

  1. Drink more water – aim for 8 cups a day.
  2. Regular and consistent exercise -find something you love to do that’s not a chore.
  3. Practice stress relief like meditation, deep breathing, stretching, yoga, etc.
  4. Walk more – take the stairs, walk on your lunch break, park farther away.
  5. Get enough sleep! – you will be mentally sharp and more able to maintain a healthy weight. One of the factors of obesity is a lack of sleep.
  6. Eat breakfast.
  7. Fill your body with whole foods – the less processed, the better it is for your body.
  8. Lift weights – You don’t need to become a body builder, but strengthen your muscles and bones.
  9. Look on the bright side – make an effort to focus on the positives instead of the negatives, don’t compare yourself to others.
  10. Serve and reach out to others – both parties will benefit in countless ways.

The one I feel like I’m ALWAYS working on is drinking more water! I don’t drink anything besides water and occasionally orange juice and have found carrying a water bottle around (even around the house) has helped me remember to drink more water. I’ve started to see minor improvements in my skin tone and texture. My current favorite water bottle is this Hydro Flask bottle. I wanted a bottle that would keep water cold (because Texas) and didn’t collect condensation or leak. This bottle is amazing and met all my requirements. Even outside at the park in 95 degrees, my water was still ice cold.


10-simple ways to improve your health

10-ways to improve your health



Top 10 things about my hometown

Even though we’ve moved about a dozen times, it’s been hard to beat San Diego as a hometown. I’ve loved things about every city we’ve lived in but would always love to move back to San Diego. Top 10 things I love:

  1. Weather- SD weather is hard to beat, generally sunny and warm with a little humidity and an ocean breeze!
  2. Beaches – between the beach and the mountains, I’m definitely a beach person! Nothing better than an afternoon relaxing or sleeping on the beach listening to the ocean waves.
  3. Relaxed culture – I feel like SD people are very relaxed, casual, and friendly.
  4. Vegetation – I love the rolling hills, finger canyons and coast.
  5. Mexican food – close proximity to the border makes for delicious and pretty authentic Mexican food. I could eat rice and beans everyday!
  6. LDS temple – This is the first temple I saw and where we got married. I love it’s grandeur that is manifest when you come around the freeway bend.
  7. Padres – I have a lot of good memories going to baseball games with my family! I still love hearing AC/DC’s ‘Hell’s Bells’ because it was Trevor Hoffman’s entrance song.
  8. Family activities like the San Diego Zoo, Wild Animal Park, Sea World, Balboa Park and the Aquarium.
  9. Location – it’s close to Mexico and LA/Disneyland. I love that Spanish culture has influenced the style of homes and street names. I also love that there’s a major airport downtown, complete with an amazing view when you fly into the city.
  10. Natural beauty – I feel that SD is naturally beautiful, clean and fresh. It will always be my hometown!


photo via

Would you want to go back to your hometown?!

Utah trip

Even though we only moved to Texas 4 months ago, it was so nice to take a trip up to Utah and see family, friends, the beautiful mountains, our old neighborhood and restaurants we loved when we lived there. Dave’s parents returned from their mission (LDS) in South America AND Soup and Loryn got married – needless to say it was an awesome weekend! The kids were great little travelers, the key to our success was new toys (Hot Wheels cars) and snacks. It also helped that our flight on the way back to TX (which departed at 8 pm, the kids’ bedtime) had TV screens. Brent fell asleep shortly after take off and Tessa stayed wide awake the whole 3 hours watching shows!


Ruth’s Diner ^ one of our Utah favorites up Emmigration Canyon. We also enjoyed Bruges, Penny Annes, Jamba Juice, Moochies, and Carl’s Cafe


“Mom, take a picture of my cars”^

Waffles and frites with the LeSueurs ^


At the SLC airport to greet Dave’s missionary parents ^


Awesome wedding at Log Haven up Millcreek Canyon. The scenery was picture perfect and the company couldn’t have been better. I love the group of guys Dave was friends with in high school and the fact that they’re all still friends.




and more cars ^🙂


Carl’s Cafe with Hobo ^





On the airport shuttle after landing back in TX around midnight. For a girl who goes to bed at 8 pm, she sure was a night owl!

Hand-knit scarf: Buy 1, give 1

In 2009 we lived in DC, Salt Lake City and Edinburgh, Scotland – three amazing cities and also three cities that can get pretty cold. After seeing so many homeless people in the literal freezing cold, I decided I wanted to teach myself to knit with the goal of knitting scarves for those less fortunate in the winter. I’ve been doing this project since then and have found knitting relaxing, a way to boost my creativity and a way to help others. I realize knitting scarves isn’t a solution to homelessness but I feel it’s a small thing I can do to help someone.

I’ve lost count how many scarves I’ve completed to date, especially with breaks during the times when Brent and Tessa were born, but I would estimate around 45 scarves. I am now selling my hand-knit scarves with the promise of a buy one scarf and another one will be knit and donated to homeless or refugee shelter. You can buy one here through Etsy or contact me! Custom colors available. This will be an annual project from mid September to mid November every year. Thank you for your support!


chunky hand knit scarf

chunky hand knit infinity scarf buy 1 give 1 charity

buy 1 give 1 hand knit infinity scarf charity


Fiesta Friday: things to celebrate and links I love

I basically want to visit every country in the world and Iceland has been on my Top 3 list for a while. I’ve lived vicariously through other’s travels and especially Lauren and her cute family. Her photos and travel logs are amazing!

We’re in Utah right now for Dave’s parents missionary homecoming and a good friends wedding! Can’t wait to catch up with friends and family!

Brent started soccer last week! Like most kids his age, he didn’t really get the game yet but it was so fun to watch him! I hope he shares my love for the beautiful game!


Cake mix cookies

During freshman year at BYU, circa 2001, my roommates (who are still my best friends!) and I discovered cake mix cookies in a random cookbook at a grocery store. We didn’t actually buy the cookbook, just memorized the recipe ha,ha. They require just a few ingredients, very little prep/cook time, can easily be doubled, tripled, etc and can be adapted with different flavors –  the easiest recipe ever!


So simple, huh?!

There are SO many varieties and mix ins – here’s a few I’ve tried and love:

  • Lemon cake mix + white chocolate chips (pictured)
  • Funfetti cake mix (or you can us white or yellow cake mix and add your own sprinkles)
  • Chocolate cake mix + toffee chips
  • Strawberry cake mix + white chocolate chips
  • Chocolate cake mix + Andes mints (you can crush and mix in, or right when the cookies finish, add half an Andes mint on top, smush it around with a spoon and it will melt and be the ‘frosting’)

(baking directions are the same for all varieties)



Falling into Fall

Basically since going to BYU all those years ago, I’ve lived in a place with crisp falls and snowy winters. Since this is our first year in Austin, I’m looking forward to seeing how the fall and winter are. I’ve heard it can get ‘cold’ but no snow, and I’m not complaining! I do however, still enjoy the change of season and all the exciting things that fall brings – a little cooler weather, sweaters, scarves, boots, football, and pumpkin pie! Here are some of my fall favorites, I’m especially loving olive green right now.


olive midi $44 // drapey poncho $36 // chunky scarf $33 

riley blue jeans $38 // new balance $80 // arrow booties $42

The previous owners of our house had some weird make shift fire pit in the backyard because there’s an area with rock underneath where grass doesn’t grow. We figured it would be a great spot for an actual gas firepit to make s’mores once the temperatures drop.

gas firepit

Fiesta Friday: things to celebrate and links I love

The amazing story of Hayes Tate, a 1 year old triplet as he fights a rare form of brain cancer. We had a chance to meet his awesome family when we lived in Draper during a 5K that was organized to to support him.

60 things to toss out – I’m in the middle of reading a book all about de-cluttering and this list is a great place to start.


Enjoying this sitting space with perfect natural light for reading

natural light sitting and reading room