Laguna Beach, CA

Planning vacations take a lot of work, they don’t tell you that growing up.

Remember back in the day when your parents had your vacations all laid out for you?

They had the hotels, cars, flights activities all sorted out, like magic it all came together & you always had the time of your life.

I assumed some sort of magic person would come tap me on the shoulder and say something like “Hey you’re due for a Vacation, here are your tickets, have fun.”

Lets all laugh together.

Since that doesn’t happen in the real world (besides those ads we all get from Travelocity and we must take the time to sit down & plan a vacations. Laguna Beach, CA was the first vacation I had planned for Shane & I.

Since I’ll avoid flying when I can, we drove. I love ROADTRIPS! Special thanks to Shane for driving, did I mention I love Roadtrips but don’t like to drive? I’m a great passenger; I’ll control the music, AC & occasionally fall asleep.

We landed a sweet deal in Henderson, NV on the way down (we’re all about those deals!)

First stop: Henderson, NV at The Hilton! It was gorgeous & it was right on the man-made lake, Lake Las Vegas. The night we stayed happened to be on a night where there was a small outdoor concert, we ate at a cute outdoor pizzeria & then had a summer night outdoor concert, it was my happy spot.

 (I’ll apologize right now for the blurry pics- it was dark & I was running around smitten ♥)

Our next little place to call home was a small beachfront hotel. It.Was.Tiny. But newlyweds gotta save right? We figured, hey we won’t be in our hotel much, we just need a place to crash while we’re here.

Anyone else obsessed with little hole-in-the-wall food joints? Same. Greek Greek GREEK!

If you’re ever wondering why Seagulls think that your entitled to feed them it’s because of me, I can’t say no to feeding them. It’s a problem I know.

Ice Cream for me, Salt Water Taffy for Shane

Oh & if you’re thinking to yourself “Gee Madi, what’s with the Ice Cream soup?”

It’s because I like it that way. Chocolate on Chocolate with Chocolate Fudge please.

SHOUTOUT to Ralphs & their amazing delicious sandwiches 

I wanted to show Shane everything I knew about Laguna. We use to go here almost every year with my family & I absolutely LOVE IT.

The cute little bakery my dad would go to every morning to get us chocolate croissants

My favorite Montage Beach (side note, our hotel was 3 miles away from this beach, & being right on Highway 1 we did not want to move our car from the hotel so, we walked hahaha sorry babe)

Ruby’s Diner, we hit it up on our trek back to our hotel, getting a Ruby’s Coke is a MUST/TRADITION while visiting


1,000 Steps Beach- exploring caves

Surfing. Ok so this one was Shane’s idea, he LOVES to surf but lets be honest, surfing in Cali vs. Hawaii is VERY DIFFERENT. Bless his heart, he surprised me with lessons from a local & off we went to go get pounded by waves. I’ll laugh about it now but it was pretty much a near death experience for both of us. I got sick from all the water that I swallowed & sand was embedded in my hair for a good week after. My favorite part was just sitting on the surfboard out past the waves looking down at all the fishies swimming in & out of the seaweed. On my last run I was able to stand up & ride in- that was pretty cool too but I was just glad I survived.

Note to self: Next time I surf make sure it’s in Hawaii.

On the way home- Henderson NV again, can’t go wrong this place so dreamy ♥

Two beds no problem

“Each adventure you plan, you will learn a little bit more each time, learning from your mistakes & develop new tricks to what works”- A Quote by Me

**A special shout out to family & friends who have worked hard putting trips together making every moment seem effortless as we all know the time, thought & energy goes in to everyone having a good time, a I have HUGE APPRECIATION FOR YOU**



San Diego- Part I

Going through all the photos on my computer I decided I needed to back track a little bit & share our First Anniversary Pictures! We had a blast traveling up & down the California coast. I wanted to dedicate this post to one of the days spent down in San Diego at the San Diego Zoo!

FYI Kids get in free all of October, which is a good side note to have whether or not you have kids 😉

Reasons why I’d go back to San Diego Zoo:

  1. The place is huge- you can get through everything is one day but you can’t really soak it all in, it would be a blast to try one of the “Special Experiences” next time
  2. Not only is the place huge but the animals are ACTIVE! They’re not all sleeping around & hiding, they’re out and about
  3. I’m all about the babies! I’d love to go back when more babies are born

My favorite were the Panda Bears (all of the bears) of course 🙂 we actually waited for over an hour for the Polar Bear but for some reason he wasn’t in the exhibit that day, so the Polar Bear Statue was the closest I got


If I hadn’t played Zoo Tycoon growing up I would called these creatures aliens but the striped guy is actually an Okapi & the longed-neck creatures are Gerenuks! (In Somali meaning “Long-Necked)

Otter Play date

Flamingos & their gorgeous colors

Always the classic Zebra and Giraffe, I’ll never get over their patterns

Pretty sure if I had a Koala napping on my lap all day work would be a breeze everyday


Look at that Toucan #hearteyes

So many different aviaries inside the Zoo! I was in Bird Heaven!

I’d choose spending a day with a Gorilla over an Orangutan ANY DAY.  But I didn’t think it was fair to just be snapping pics of the Gorillas while the Orangutans just watched. So anywho I faced my fear (yes I have an actual fear) walked right up to the glass where this gal was sitting, I held up my camera & she gave me THE BIGGEST smile ever. Not even a year year later, Janey, passed away due to heart complications- I was happy I would have this memory of her.

Shane’s favorite part of the Zoo were all the reptile exhibits, they have anything and everything

All the cats were cool, & all of my pics have the same wire fence in front…

Momma & Baby Hippo sleeping


One thing I am really going to focus on is my camera work, one reason why I hadn’t posted anything from the Zoo was because I honestly didn’t like any of the pictures I took. As soon as I started following The San Diego Zoo on Instagram I instantly wanted to burn all of the photos, go back and take new ones. I’ve always wanted to get behind the scenes of this zoo & be able to capture the types of photos that on on their IG, maybe one day I’ll be able to 😉

Thanks for reading!

Au revoir December

Did anyone else feel like December was a magical month?

Thanksgiving was a blast & I felt like everyday after was filled with the holiday spirit!

I love that part of my husband business is to hang Christmas lights. I was able to go with him & see a couple client’s houses & even took some photos for his website.

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Lets talk about the snow ♥

Last year we hardly got any in the valley but this year it hit! It hit so hard that the first day of snow I wasn’t even able to drive to work.

Even though I’ll never be a huge fan of then cold, but the snow is absolutely gorgeous!

I’ve grown to love winter.

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Shane has made winter 100% more exciting than it’s ever been.

Last year was full of amazing skiing up at Park City, & this winter season we’ve gone ice skating, built a giant snow tower in our back yard, drove around looking at Christmas lights, drank more hot chocolate than you can imagine & Tim Tammed Slammed til we passed out.

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Christmas shopping was a blast (crazy right?). I felt like our second Christmas together was even better than the first.

Last Christmas spent together was amazing, but this year we actually had money set aside that we could spend.

We finally had a tree to decorate, Christmas decor, & stockings! I loved decorating for Christmas. I felt like I had an entire year to plan out things that Shane would want for Christmas, we were both spoiled with presents.

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The spirit of giving has always been in my heart. I love to give! I love seeing others happy, it brings me so much joy. I guess that is what the holiday season is really about right? I hope that everyone was able to give, even just a little bit.

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Acts of kindness never go unnoticed



Diving into November there has been many new changes

We left our perfect little loft/tree house/den in Sugarhouse & moved into Shane’s parents house while they leave to serve their mission in New Zealand

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There were so many mixed emotions with this ever since Shane & I got married. When we first talked about moving there I said yes immediately, helping them out, saving money, & being able to live in their gorgeous home was a dream to me.

As time went on & we moved into our first place together, the thought of leaving our Loft gave me so much sadness. Our little place was the perfect size for the two of us, no neighbors, beautiful scenery & everything was new! The thought of leaving got harder & harder.


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Moments came up when talking to him mom how there might be other people who could benefit from their place better than Shane & I. Blessing right? If that happened we wouldn’t have to move! As the year went on Shane & I had our own personal financial goals, where we wanted to be at the end of the year & what we wanted saved for a down payment for a home.

Life hits hard.

 When I felt like everything was in place & we were on the right track, I got severely sick. Medical bills piled from all angles & we watched our savings account slowly drain as insurance couldn’t even help. It was heartbreaking for both of us to work continuously, budget & see no financial growth.

Moving into the house seemed more like a blessing everyday & letting go of our first place got a little bit easier as Shane & I talked about our future.

 As Shane & I talked, the stress dissolved. There have been so many variables especially over the next couple of years who knows what could happen.

As scary as it all was, I’ve come to realize that this is only the beginning

Bring on new adventures.

“The only thing that remains constant is change”




Why I Write



I get into these moods that inspire me to write. I probably can’t even count how many drafts I have on my account, I’ll write, then stop, re-write & by the time I want to post it’s definitely too late & by then I’ve already written five other up-to-date posts.

I feel like I’m a lot better at taking pictures & posting those than I am about just writing about things going on.

I usually read other peoples blogs to get inspired, turn on my music & just go for it. Unfortunately, sooner rather than later I’m distracted by something else.

I wanted to drag this post towards why I personally write & post.

Fun fact for you, this is actually my fourth blog. I’ve gone about them in all sorts of different ways but I started this one from scratch. Creating the website itself, & moving it onto Word press.

It started back to my senior year of high school when I took a creative writing class, you had a journal & just wrote. If you wanted to you could share. Just like anyone, high school was a very tricky time for me, finding out who I was & where I fit in. Full of plenty of mixed emotions I wrote down a lot of my feelings, or took those feelings & turned them into stories. I felt like the more I wrote, the better I felt. Not that I ever thought I was any good, it just always just a way for me to get my feelings out. Some of my friends would read my entries, & they’d tell me that I was a good writer. I even had a written entry go into our Rambler (A book that our High school would publish, full of short stories, poems, photographs and such.) It made me feel good that something that came so naturally to me other people liked.

So anyways it’s like my therapy, I love to write. I’ll admit, I don’t have a large vocabulary of words, I’m sure some English majors could look at my entries & find plenty of grammar mistakes or broken rules of writing the English language (that’s a thing I’m pretty sure), but that’s not really what I’ve specialized in so I don’t really care what’s correct or not.

I decided to start this blog at the beginning of this year because I’ve always had the impression of wanting to inspire others, I want people to read my entries and be like WOW, I want to go and try something new. Well, I’ll admit, running a blog or posting a ton of entries in a week is pretty much my weak spot. Like I said, I write these things down but hardly anything makes it to the final draft. So let me apologize for my “inspiring words” not being so inspiring.

I love writing others, over the past couple months, people have reached out to me with their trials. As heart-breaking as some people’s stories are, I love being the one people turn to. I love to listen to peoples stories, how they’ve handled situations or over-came something difficult. That’s all I’ve ever wanted this blog to be & people are inspiring me left & right!

Please don’t stop writing me

**This week: I want you to take 5 minuets (at least) every evening for yourself. To reset & refresh. Find a quiet place without any distractions whatsoever, & focus on your breathing. The trick with this, is not to think at all, to center your mind & to let everything from the day go.**

Love yourself a little more.


So Very Blessed

So I guess I thought the best way to end summer was with a bang.


On September 21st, I was on I15 southbound stopped in traffic

A car had flown up behind me & before I knew it..


Four car pile up within seconds, with me stuck in the middle crunched on both ends

So much was happened all at once, but at the same time everything was frozen

Terrified, I called Shane but I didn’t want to scare my him

But when I called I couldn’t stop crying (Sorry Shane..)

I don’t think my car is going to be ok

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My car is everything to me


How cheesy is that? But it’s the honest truth.

I have this weird attachment to my Boo (yes that is her name)


She’s been the one that has taken me on my best road trips

My  Adventure Buddy


We’ve gone all over Utah together

& now all of that was gone


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Yea I feel pretty weird talking about my car this way but she’s my # 1

So after all was said & done at Instacare (yea I refused to go to the ER..)

Hyped up on pain medications from all the whiplash

I spent the next day laying down, working on fall projects:

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I did not feel blessed at all.

I had to step back for a second & realize that yea I am blessed

Everyone told me that I was lucky I didn’t get seriously injured

Blessed that there was witnesses that called the police immediately

Blessed that my car did it’s job

Blessed to have auto insurance

Blessed that Police arrived within seconds

Blessed for pain medication

Blessed that my car loan had GAP Insurance

Blessed to have so many people in my life that love & care about me



. . Salt Between My Toes . .

 In Utah you will discover the best gems

Welcome to the Salt Flats

It’s by far one of my favorite places to take my camera

We got an incredible sunset too

Cheers to new adventures this summer



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Yoga // Do something that scares you

 I’m absolutely in love with yoga,

It immediately calms my mind from racing, I find my own balance & get in a good workout

About three classes ago my teacher decided introduce to our class to inversions*, not too bad right?


I’m absolutely terrified of balancing upside down

 I have this fear of my neck snapping or hurting my back, 

So of course, I completely bailed on this part of class, I didn’t even try.

I HATED that feeling of restriction.

As I watched the other people in my class start to go into their inversions, my yoga instructor told me,

“People feel different emotions while doing inversions, some people get excited, some panic, others get mad.”

I definitely panicked. 

As I kept watching I remembered a quote I had read earlier in the day:

“do something once a day that scares you”

  I knew that I needed to get over this “fear”,

while I was home alone one evening I decided to tackle the worst thing in the world, the dreaded headstand.

I got down into a crouched position, tucked my head in towards my neck & placed my head on the floor with my hands on the ground next to my ears for balance.

Nope nope NOPE, I was frozen.

I decided to read other blogs to find out step-by-steps to accomplishing this what seemed simple headstand

(I know, I felt pathetic)

This time I got down to my forearms, I latched my fingers together,  placed my head in the middle, found my balance spot, and started to kick my legs up in the air.

(I wish I had this on video because I knew this looked hilarious)

After a couple solid fails I started to get frustrated, I was kicking my legs up but then my body would snap back down out of fear.

My problem at this point was that I am so terrified of over correcting & landing on my back.

Blogs had suggested going up against a wall,

which I thought was a good idea until I realized that having my head that close to a wall, claustrophobia started to set in.

I was having a down right panic attack alone in our house.

Once I started to breathe I thought to myself,

why is the exact reason I want to do something so badly that causes this type of anxiety?

My answer was, I hated feeling like I had a limit, a cap.

That restrictive feeling is one that I am not at all comfortable with.

Ok I KNOW I’m talking about a simple headstand that every 5 year old can do, but I learned something from this simple action.

My point from this is, my entire fear was mental.

The deep rooted fear of getting hurt.

Yes, I could possibly get hurt doing a headstand, BUT I finally figured out that if I was careful enough & moved slowly that I could keep in control on exactly what my body was doing.

I’ll admit it took a good solid failed attempts on falling over to realize that the slower I went the more progress I’d eventually have.

Once I sat back from the wall took a minuet to reevaluate how exactly get my legs up in the air, I broke down each step.

I took a deep breathe, got into position next to the wall & kicked my legs up.

My legs hit the wall, I was so excited I was screaming upside down.

That excitement hit me harder than the fear did

Once I practiced a few more times, soon I was kicking up and balancing in a fluid motion.

My whole point of this post is that we all have those weird restrictions that we put on ourselves, and if you don’t well then I applaud you.

The feeling of accomplishing/over-coming something that once restricted you is an amazing feeling,

I can guarantee you will feel so good about yourself.

Challenge #1 Go out and do something that down right scares you

Next, email me about it! Or comment below! I want to hear your simple success stories!!

*Inversion- Yoga positions that put you upside down, requires a lot of balance






shooting + stargazing

Earlier in March Shane & I set out to the west, finding a spot Shane had been out shooting before.

A little sweet piece of Utah called Stansbury Island

It’s our favorite because..

  • plenty of open space to shoot
  • awesome view for the sunset
  • space to build a fire
  • stargazing sweet spot

It only takes about 45 minutes from Salt Lake City to get to the island.

Our favorite spot though is up on a saddle back ridge.

It’s basically impossible to get to this saddle back mountain view from just a car so that’s when Shane’s truck comes in handy.

I could go on and on about how much I love Shane’s 93′ red pickup truck.

It’s the car he picked me up on for our first date & it’s also where Shane and I had our first kiss. We’ve had the best conversations just sitting in his truck talking laughing and bonding.

Now besides all the sentimental love I have for it, the power  it has also gives us the ability to take us places that we wouldn’t be able to go otherwise, plus it has the perfect truck bed for stargazing.

Ever since Shane & I first started dating this has been one of our most absolute favorite things to go do.

We end up filling the entire back of his truck bed with plenty of blankets & padding along with Red Bulls and snacks.

It’s where we go & can talk for hours on hours about anything & everything.









I don’t even know where to begin about how much Shane loves his guns, his newest purchase the M1A, is his pride & joy.

It’s funny how other peoples’ happiness make you happy as well. He loves teaching  me how to shoot, & to my own surprise I’m getting pretty good.

First time he took me out with the M1A I was able to hit a target from 200 yards away (first shot if I might add)

I’m not be personally into guns as much as he is but I feel pretty lucky because he has personally taught me so much about shooting & gun safety.

If you are slightly interested in guns I highly recommend getting into a class to get you comfortable with them Pete was amazing, that’s who I’d recommend if you’d like in person training & certification for a conceals permit

I especially recommend this to people who are terrified of them, I believe that most people are scared of them because they know nothing about them


side note:

I was uploading pictures earlier this day…thus leaving my memory card in my laptop, also taking my other camera bag which did not have my spare memory card, luckily my husband was sweet enough to take a detour leading to a gas station in Tooele that just happened to be selling memory cards. Classic Madi.




**My own adventures that get me lost in the world,

it’s where I grow, make new friends,

& get taken out of my comfort zone**

I’m here to write & inspire, in hopes to put you in a positive mindset where you feel that you are capable of doing anything.

The elated emotion after conquring something personal, is one of the most powerful perceptions a human can ever feel.

I want to encourage & motivate you to broaden your own abilities & to guide you to find your own

creative intelligence.

Go out & explore anything & everything!

Lets go get lost.


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