A Girl Should Be Two Things: Classy & Fabulous. - Coco Chanel


Friday, March 31, 2017

Packing Like a Boss

With all of the traveling I have done, I have packing down to an art. I really know how to pack my backpack well with room to spare. On this last trip to Iceland, I flew with WOW Airlines. They are a newer airline and I had never flown with them before. All I knew is that it was cheap. What I quickly figured out while buying the ticket is that it is cheap for a reason. If you want to pick a seat you have to pay, if you have a checked bag, you have to pay, if you have a carry on... you guessed it! You have to pay! I wasn't having it. So I didn't pick a seat and I decided to pack everything I needed in a personal bag that fits under the seat... which was free. How was I going to do it? I wasn't sure at the time, but I was going to take the challenge.

So 5 days in Iceland in a personal bag that fits under the seat. I did it! How did I do it you ask? First of all I decided it was going to be cold enough in Iceland that I was just going to wear my snow boots everyday. I decided I wasn't going to pack any other shoes. So I wore those shoes the entire trip. I also did this with my duck down parka. I knew that I would be wearing that everyday as well. My layover in LA got pretty hot.... but it was worth it not having to pay $50-$70 for a carry on bag.

What about everything else? It is not like I was going to wear the same clothes everyday. And I had other things I needed to bring as well. It just so happens that I purchased a travel bag from Cotopaxi late last year. It is small enough that it fits in any size overheard on a plane. It has handles that you can carry the bag or there are  straps that come out so you can wear it like a backpack or a long strap that you can throw over your shoulder... which is how I carry it most of the time. Sounding pretty cool so far? I think it is pretty awesome (which is why I bought it).

It doesn't look like much from the outside, but it has so many different pouches and compartments. They seemed to think of everything. I'm going to show you each compartment and what I was able to pack in it. First, they have a separate zipper for a slim compartment that you can carry your computer in. I have used that for another trip, but I wasn't taking my computer on this trip... so I used it for leggings and my swim suit.

There is a small compartment on the front that I used for chargers and adapter and stuff for the plane like earplugs and headphones etc...

Now let's open this bad boy up! On one side you have one mesh compartment. Zip that open... and here is everything I was able to fit inside. In eluding a scarf, two beanies, snow pants, gloves, socks, and some t-shirts!

On the other side, you have a little compartment on top of the bigger mesh compartment. Here is what I packed in that little pocket.

And the last compartment... well... even I was surprised how much I fit in there. I mean, I got a try-pod and SLR camera in there. That a lone is amazing. Let alone a water bottle (which I don't typically pack on trips but is a great idea to bring to Iceland) some crampons... which I didn't end up using. Nor did I use the headlamp (but that is something I always bring just in case), but I did use my GoPro, towel, brush and backpack.

Did you look at that picture and think... wait... where was the backpack? Another total space saver that I bought for Havasupai but is TOTALLY going to continue to come in handy is this Osprey collapsible backpack. Check out how sweet this is!

Close those zippers up and I still squeezed a few things in before zipping the backpack shut. A book, wallet and passport.

ALL of that... in this. It was a challenge, but I did it. I wouldn't say that I would pack like this for every trip... but I know that if I need to, I totally can. :)

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Confessions of a Brunette on the Internet 368

Starting where I left off in my exciting life....

Friday I went to Ikea after work with my co-worker Drew. We both have exciting lives.... Friday night shopping at Ikea. I know I know. He was nice enough to help me shop for a bed frame for my new bed. I'm very indecisive so it is good to have someone to talk things through with. We were there until it closed.... but I did end up picking a frame that I am happy with.

Saturday was gloomy so I stayed in bed. Nothing new there... I like to stay in bed on Saturday anyway because I can. Good enough reason right? Anyway... Eli ended up texting me (you know... my Jerusalem boyfriend) and I told him I was just laying in bed not doing anything, so he decided to video chat with me. We had only done that once before and it wasn't for super long... but I had forgotten how different conversations are when you video chat with someone so far away. You can tease each other, you can see each other's facial expressions when you are talking. It's nice. We ended up talking for 3 hours! Seriously. We have fun chatting and we get each other. So it was nice to catch up face to face. After that I met up with Kyle and we went to Bowl of Heaven. We were going to do something outdoors... but with the rain, we both just decided to get something healthyish to eat instead. Hanging out is better than not doing anything at all. Later that night I hung out with Rachel. We just went to get dinner and hang out at her house. Nothing exciting. But again... better to do nothing with someone else than do nothing by myself. I enjoy having company. It's the extrovert in me.

LATER... after I got home from Rachel's house late and was in bed, Tyler shows up at my house. I told him not to come over because I was tired... but he said all he wanted to do was come hear about my Iceland trip and then he would go home. Wasn't trying to get anything physical out of me... just wanted to see me and hear about my trip because he hadn't seen me in a long time and then would go home. Have I told her he lives a half hour away? It's true. He was going to drive a half hour just to hear me talk about my trip and then drive a half hour back. I couldn't argue with that... so I told him he could. He can be sweet... but he can also be a pain. We have an interesting friendship.

Oh and I forgot! I went to the Festival of Colors for the 10th year in a row! Kyle went with me and we went to take pictures... which I think I got at least one good one. I always have these visions of getting these amazing pictures... but then get a couple of ok ones. It is fun to go anyway and Kyle and I always have fun on our little adventures.

Sunday was dinner with the family and Dale and Teresa came over. Always fun when they stop by. Love them. They are so fun to talk to... so I always stick around longer than usual when they are there.

Monday after work I went back over to Rachel's house because she had rented Moana and I hadn't seen it yet and heard that it was really cute. So I watched it over at her house. It was super cute. Will it be one that I own? We shall see. Maybe.

Tuesday after work I didn't do anything.

Wednesday I had to work late... like until 9. So that was a buzz kill for my evening... except that I probably wouldn't have done anything... so maybe it isn't a buzz kill because at least I was getting paid over-time.

Tonight? No plans again.... just watching tv while I blog. I know... the exciting life of Tracy.  I know I know... I'm normal. Not everyday can be filled with excitement. I just feel lame when I have nothing to report.

We will see what next week has in store.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Holi - Festival of Colors - Take 10

10 years going to the Festival of Colors! I must love it. ha ha. It's true. It is a fun festival that for some reason I haven't gotten sick of and I continue to find people to go with me every year. Not sure how much longer that will last. Last year, I went with Stacey. This year Kyle went with me. I love that about Kyle. He is always up for whatever adventure of festival I want to go to.

Every year my face looks different. It is like new art every year. ha ha. This is what my face ended up looking like this time.

Kyle and I enjoyed hanging out and taking pictures. It's what we both love to do. We stayed for a couple of throwings and then went home to clean up. Always a fun and positive festival.

This year, this was my best shot. And guess what? It ended up getting featured on WeRUtah Instagram account. It has A TON of followers. Since they have featured me a couple of other times, they gave me my own hashtag. ha ha. I felt special. Happy Spring! Happy Holi!

Monday, March 27, 2017

Havasupai Video - Take 2

My friends have been asking me for months and months when I was going to finish this video. Well... I finally finished it. I guess you can say that I am excited for summer so I got excited to work on it again. Enjoy!

Sunday, March 26, 2017

9th Year Blogiversary

My blogiversary was a few days back. I almost forgot about it and almost forgot that I review my year on my blogiversary. How could I forget when I have been doing it for so many years? I don't know... but here we go.

What did I accomplish in my last year?

1 - I went to the Festival of Colors for my 9th year. Went with Stacey this time
2 - I was a model for my friend Josh and wore a dress he made for the Trash n Fashion Show
3 - Went to the Sun Tunnels for the first time and made some amazing new friends in the process
4 - Started redecorating my rooms
5 - Went to the Lantern Fest for the second time
6 - Saw my niece perform in Hope of America show
7 - Went to Capitol Reef National Park for the first time
8 - Bought a Paddle Board
9 - Went to Puerto Rico with my friend Lexi
10 - Kayaked in Bio Bay off an island of Puerto Rico which is one of the best bio bays in the world
11 - Went Cave Exploring in Puerto Rico
12 - Watched lots of summer fireworks
13 - Started working out with my personal trainer, Josh
14 - Sister Jamie and fam came to visit and we went on a sister hike to Stewart Falls
15 - Went paddle boarding with Becca (the one who introduced me to paddle boarding) at Silver Lake
16 - Nephew Lincoln was born
17 - Cousin Lisa was in town and we hiked to Lisa Falls
18 - LOTS of hikes and paddle boarding and summer adventures with my friend Kyle
19 - Threw more themed dinner parties for my friends (they keep getting better and better)
20 - Went to Havasupai for the 2nd time
21 - Went hiking in the wild flowers up in the mountains with my friend Lacy
22 - Went to the Provo Rooftop concert for the 3rd time
23 - Went to the Payson Salmon Supper for the 4th time
24 - Went to Lagoon (for work) for the first time. Went with Lacy
25 - Continued taking my nieces and nephews out for birthday treats
26 - Went to see Josh Groban in concert for the 3rd time. This time for free with VIP tickets
27 - Went to the Drive in theater for the first time in YEARS with MacKenzie
28 - Saw the Grid competition (it's like Cross Fit on Crack)
29 - Went to the Boyz II Men Concert (also for free) and got to shake hands with one of them
30 - Went to Grand Teton and Yellowstone with new friend Hillary
31 - Went to nephew Grant's baptism
32 - Got my eyebrows microbladed (Best decision ever)
33 - New Fish (Luna) that cousin Dave bought me died. Bought new Beta fish named Bowie
34 - Sister Lori and family came to town
35 - Got to celebrate Lori and William's birthday's while they were in town
36 - Had a couple picnic's in the mountains
37 - Started getting surprise boxes, like FabFitFun & Cairn. It's like Christmas every month
38 - Hiked to the Spanish Fork Hot Springs with Jaylene
39 - Went to Thriller show for the 2nd time (free tickets from Hillary)
40 - Put on an epic surprise birthday party for Kristy and Jess for their 40th Birthday
41 - Went to Witches Night out with Cousin's wife Heather
42 - Contributed to Halloween Dinner for the kids for the 6th time
43 - Went to see Catch Me if You Can at the Hale with my mom
44 - Went to Israel
45 - Went to Jordan
46 - Met up with my friend Deb from Switzerland to travel the Middle East
47 - Had a week fling with a Jewish guy while staying in Jerusalem
48 - Went to where Jesus was born in Bethlahem
49 - Walked through the Garden of Gethsemane
50 - Watched the Sunset from the Mount of Olives
51 - Floated in the Dead Sea
52 - Worshiped at the Western Wall at the beginning of Sabbath
53 - Explored Petra (Another Wonder of the Wold)
54 - Was invited for tea in a local's cave in Petra (took a Donkey ride there)
55 - Saw Petra by Night (Magical)
56 - Stayed in a Bedouin Camp
57 - Went on a 2 day camel trek through the Wadi Rum desert
58 - Went to the MoTab Christmas concert for the 3rd time. Went with my mom and aunt Joanne. Thank you for the ticket's Desiree!
59 - Went out for Sushi for my birthday with Kyle
60 - Had a family party for my Birthday
61 - Went to see the Lights at Temple Square by myself in the rain on Christmas Eve
62 - Binge watched an entire show in one sitting with Stacey
63 - Recorded a Christmas dance with Stacey in onsie PJ's
64 - Went to Cancun, Mexico for the first time (went with Jaylene and her friends)
65 - Went Scuba diving in Cancun (got a sweet picture with a sea turtle)
66 - First scuba dive at an underwater museum
67 - Went to (and explored) Chichen Itza (Another Wonder of the World checked off the list)
68 - Swam in a Cenote in Mexico
69 - Celebrated New Years Eve and the New Year with fireworks in downtown Cancun Mexico
70 - Got to be on a warm beach while everyone else was back home in the snow
71 - Attended Paint Nite for the 2nd time (with my new co-worker, Candice)
72 - Had lots of features on lots of Instagram accounts which got me lots more followers on Instagram
73 - Went to the Ice Castles for the 2nd time with Lacy
74 - Kristy started up monthly card making with my mom and I
75 -  Went snow shoeing to camp in a yurt for the 4th year
76 - Went to a John Allred concert at the Velour with Kyle
77 - Had a craft night with MacKenzie and painted planters
78 - Went to Rockwell to get ice cream to support Stacey having his own flavor of ice cream there
79 - Went on a weekend road trip with Kyle to Snow Canyon and met an awesome group
80 - Hung out with Lolly at her new cabin in the mountains of Cedar City
81 - Celebrated 8 years of working at Novell/ Micro Focus
82 - Went to Iceland
83 - Saw the Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis) for the first time
84 - Explored a naturally formed Ice Cave
85 - Snuggled with an Icelandic Horse
86 - Walked on Crystal Beach in Iceland
87 - Quit my personal trainer, Josh and started working out with Jack at the gym at work (he plays Ruby for BYU)
88 - Took my mom out for her birthday to see the new Beauty and the Beast in the IMAX theater in luxury seats
89 - Bought a new memory foam bed
90 - Still only have 71 followers on the blog (does anyone read blogs anymore?) and my blog has been visited 205,079 times

Another great year! Can't wait to see what this year brings me!

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Paddle Boarding at Utah Lake

Remember how I told you Kyle and I met up to do some paddle boarding at Utah Lake with a couple of his friends? And we both didn't bring out paddle boards but Joe (the guy who owns the Paddle board shop at Utah Lake just let us use a couple for free and gave us free drinks after? Well... here are a few pictures that Kyle got while we were out that make me excited to go back lots more this summer. :) I decided we needed to go every Wednesday as soon as it stays warm. Kyle agreed... so I am hoping that it actually happens. I guess I could just go by myself. Make it happen. Get good use out of my board.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Movies with Mom

Getting Birthday gifts for my mom and dad get's harder and harder every year. Since I take my nieces and nephews out for treats with their favorite aunt Tracy and I am all about quality time... I decided, why don't I do the same thing with my mom? Except a better treat. I have decided... and told my mom back on her birthday last month, that I am going to start taking her to movies for her birthday. My dad doesn't like going to movies, so a lot of times she doesn't have anyone to go with to the movies and goes by herself.... which I know she doesn't mind. I don't mind doing that either, but I still thought this would be a fun new birthday tradition to start. Not only did I tell her I would take her to the movies, but that I was going to take her to the IMAX theater and sit in the luxury seats. Doesn't get better than that.

I asked her what movie she wanted to see and she said she wanted to wait and see the new Beauty and the Beast when it came out. So we waited. Well.. now it is out and we went to go see it. We both LOVED it! Such a great movie. Glad we waited for a good one. So happy about this new tradition I am started. Hope my mom is too. Happy LATE Birthday Mom. Love you lots!

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Confessions of a Brunette on the Internet 367

March is coming to a close. Went by fast... which is good. Let's get Winter over with! Am I right? Taking a vacation in March was a good idea.

Starting where I left off... Friday after work, the weather was nice so I decided to hammock at the park. My favorite. While I was relaxing in the hammock, I got a call from my mother. She didn't have anyone to go to the play at the Hale with her, so since I didn't have any plans, I told her I would go with her.

So I went home and changed and my mom came and got me and off we were to the Hale Theater in Orem. We saw "Peter and the Star catcher" which I had not only never seen, but I had never heard of it. It is a SUPER small theater so they have to be creative with set and scene changes. It was very busy and hard to follow at first, but the second half got a lot better. It was a very upbeat and cute show. Nice little outing with my mom.

Saturday I decided to drive up to Sandy to check out the REI sale. Never a bad thing to get sweet camping gear on sale. I ended up getting some shorts for swimming for SUPER cheap. I also got a new sleeping pad which I am SUPER excited about. Not only is it super light and compact but my hips don't touch the floor when on my side. They really have engineered awesome outdoor gear these days.

Later I met up with Kyle at Utah Lake. It was such a nice day. It was the end of March and 80 degrees outside! Amazing. So we had to paddle board. I just met Kyle at the lake without getting my paddle board because I didn't think I would have enough time because he said he didn't have very long... but it didn't matter. Because I bought my paddle board from the company at Utah Lake, they just let me borrow their paddle boards for free instead of having to rent them like everyone else. Not only that but they gave me a free drink too. They are awesome and Kyle and his friends and I had a great time paddle boarding and soaking in the sun. Made us excited for summer.

A little later, after the lake, I met up with Candice and Drew from work. We got dinner and I made a sheet cake and baked it at Drew's house and made the icing there. We just hung out and saw Drew's place for the first time and just talked and laughed and had a good time while eating yummy cake. I like having work friends. It is a new thing for me since working at Novell. Well... not that I haven't had work friends... but single work friends that I can hang out with. That is new since I have been working there. I like it. It's nice.

Sunday I went to church. I also had my first Mid Singles Activities Meeting. Pretty sure they already hate me. Maybe that is good, then they will fire me from my new calling that I don't like. I'm super opinionated and question a lot of the things we do as single adults. At our age, nobody wants to do them anymore... so why are we doing them? That is what I'm saying. Anyway...  I gave them my opinion on everything whether they liked it or not.

After that it was straight to family dinner. My favorite part of Sunday. Sorry Jesus... it's nothing against you, I just don't really like my ward. Plus, my family is pretty awesome... you gave them to me so you would know.

After chillin with the family, Stacey came over and gave me a pep talk on meal prep. He told me we were going to do it together and because of that I was on board. However... he is super busy and it never happened... therefore my fresh food went bad and I never meal prepped because I hate meal prep which is why I never did it to begin with. And to be perfectly honest, I don't have the room in my refrigerator to store a bunch of food for the week. I'm sure Stacey will check in on my later and I will just have to be honest... I won't do it unless he does it with me because I just don't have the motivation to do it on my own. True story.

Tuesday I got together with my old roommate, Meg, after work. We met up in American Fork (in the middle of the both of us) and got Indian food and caught up because I hadn't seen her since before she had her first kid and she is pregnant with her second so.... it had been a while. I'm glad that we decided to get together and talk and catch up though. She is so fun and is such a great friend. We decided that we need to get together more often. So we are going to try and be better at that.

Wednesday after work, I went to the movies with my mom. I always love going to the movies, so that was fun.

And that was my week! Not too busy, not boring. A good balance.  :)

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Photo of the Week 365

The only sunset that I got while I was in Iceland... but it was a good one. Sam and I ran after it. We jumped the fence and ran out to this reflection in the water and danced in it's beauty. Yeah... I was thrilled to be with someone more exciting than the person I went with who couldn't have been more boring, This moment was pure joy on this trip. A simple moment... but one that I will remember.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Golden Circle, Iceland

The Golden Circle is one of the most popular things to do in Iceland next to the Blue Lagoon. When you do it, you see why. You hit a lot of great sites in that circle. We didn't make it around the entire circle... but we got the highlights. Here are some of them.

The Geysers! I thought you could only see them at Yellowstone National Park. Wrong! Turns out they have them in Iceland as well. They do call it the island of Fire and Ice. One of the geysers erupted every 5 minutes or so. Since it happened so often, I watched a couple of times and was able to get a pretty good shot.

We also stopped at a lake. I am not sure what it was called. I am not sure it is one of the main highlights either... but I thought it was beautiful so I was glad that we stopped to check it out.

We also stopped at the Continental divide. Did you know that was in Iceland? The divide between North America and Europe. Pretty cool huh? You can scuba dive between the two continents. I wish I would have done it. If I ever go back, I am totally going to do that.

And our last stop and my favorite stop was another waterfall. Yes... the waterfalls in Iceland are rad. This waterfall is called Gullfoss You couldn't get as up close and personal with this one, but it is still impressive.  A great day seeing a lot of great sites in Iceland.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Seljalandsfoss, Iceland

Another great waterfall I really loved was Seljalandsfoss. Why did I love it so much? Because you can hike behind it! Sure, you got soaked, but how often do you get to go behind the waterfall? Pretty rad. I loved it.

And of course Drew and Sam got ahold of my camera and took a selfie. Funny dudes.  Would love to go back here someday.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Skogafoss, Iceland

There are a lot of waterfalls in Iceland, but Skogafoss was my favorite waterfall. There are stairs that you can climb up to see it from above... but the best view is at the bottom.

This is where we met up with Dave's friend, Drew. And another guy that was traveling with Drew, Sam. Guess what? I liked them more than my own travel companion. They were SO fun. So much so that this was my favorite day of the trip because we were with Drew and Sam. What fun guys.

Those crazies thought it would be funny to do a polar bear swim at this waterfall. While everyone else was in beanie's and parka's (like me) they stripped down to their swimming trunks and asked people while they walked by if they were getting in and then they jumped in the water. I would never do that, but it was fun to watch them. They were SO fun to be with for the day. I wish I could have done the entire trip with them.

We had a lot of cloud coverage on this trip... but as we were at this waterfall, the sun came out and created this AMAZING rainbow. Made for some pretty amazing photo's and experience. Also, I love the movie "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty" and he filmed a scene here... so that was pretty cool.

Thank you Drew and Sam for making this such a fun day.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Blue Lagoon, Iceland

One of the most popular things to do in Iceland is soak in the Blue Lagoon. It is kind of pricey, but it is beautiful and I felt like it was worth experiencing.

It is a man made hot spring... but it luxury and relaxing. Every blog I read about Iceland said to have it be the last thing before going to the airport... so that is what we did.

There are different packages you can get. The first is just an entrance fee. The next package up is the one I decided I wanted. Entrance fee, plus the use of one of their towels (so I didn't have to pack a wet town on my way to the airport) and a free drink at the Bar in the Hot Spring  AND a mud ask & algae mask.

I choose a fruit smoothie for my free drink. I drank while I soaked. It was nice. Then you put the mud mask on first. Leave it on for 10 minutes, rinse it off and then put on the algae mask. I left the algae mask on for the rest of the hour that I was there and rinsed it off right before I got out. My face was so soft. Felt amazing. Of course after they have a gift shop where they hope you will buy this stuff. Reminded me of the Dead Sea. Does amazing things for your skin... but it is SOOOO expensive. If I had problems with my skin I may consider it.

The rest of the time I just sat back and relaxed. Taking in my last hours in Iceland. The Blue Lagoon, although man made, is magical and doesn't feel man made. It is the perfect temperature, it's clean, your skin feels amazing after. I really enjoyed it. The very last pic is one that my friend Allison M. took on her trip to Iceland shortly after mine. I loved the way she captured it. What a wonderful place. I see why it has all the hype.