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A sponsored video post.
Some of you may have noticed my enthusiasm and love for all things Japan.
I don’t know what it is – but it’s a country I could keep visiting again and again because it’s so different from my reality here in North America. I was so lucky to visit for the first time in 2013 and then again in 2016. The people are so incredibly kind and as a solo traveler, I always felt safe.
I have covered Tokyo and Kyoto so far, but I am super intrigued about Okinawa – a region with a cluster of 150 islands just south of Japan’s mainland. It’s perfect for a relaxing beach vacation because of Okinawa’s tropical climate, white sandy beaches and crystal blue water. It’s also a great place to go diving, snorkeling, and fishing.
Okinawa Island is also known for having the longest living people in the world. The local diet features handmade soba noodles, fresh seafood, vegetables and rice. It’s a great place to rest, reset and recharge, while immersing yourself in authentic Japanese culture without all the tourist traps.
‘Life, by Okinawa’ is a series of three videos that feature what this beautiful region has to offer and how it can benefit the physical and mental wellbeing for those who visit.
If you’re planning a trip to Japan in the near future, consider tacking on a beach vacation for a relaxing getaway in Okinawa, especially after a whirlwind visit to Tokyo. Flying time from Tokyo is only 3 hours direct.
To learn more visit Be Okinawa online
This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and the Coca-Cola Company. All opinions are mine alone. #StartYourYearRefreshed #CollectiveBias
If you’re new to smoothies and not sure where to start, this Strawberry Orange Banana Smoothie is a great jumping off point to start your year refreshed. From there, you can start incorporating spinach or other greens to get your full serving of fruits and vegetables in the morning.
This smoothie makes a delicious breakfast on-the-go. Just add your favorite vanilla protein powder to make it a meal and keep you full until lunch time. Or skip the protein powder and enjoy this as an afternoon snack. I like to pair it up with a hard-boiled egg if I’m still hungry. (more…)
This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and The Coca-Cola Company. All opinions are mine alone. #SimplyHoliday #CollectiveBias
Brunch is one of my favorite meals and I love having the time to put in a little extra care and effort this time of year for a full-on holiday brunch for friends and family. I definitely want things to be special, but at the same time – I like to keep things easy, simple and relaxed.
If you’re hosting a holiday brunch for your own family, here are 5 easy holiday brunch ideas and recipes to get you inspired! (more…)
2017 is just around the corner and I’m already planning all the traveling I want to do next year! It’s never too early to start dreaming of your ultimate travel wish list, and I find it easier to look at the whole year at once in a big picture.
Now, I know budget, time, and planning are the biggest travel constraints – so I thought I would put together a few tips to help you plan your best year of travel:
1) Where Do You Want To Go?
Make a list of your top 5 of places you want to go right now, in your lifetime. They could be a mix of big places or small places – just let your dreams run wild and put your goals on paper. It’s good to narrow down your destinations.
2) What Can You Afford?
Can you afford one big blowout trip on your travel wish list? Or would you prefer to hit 2-3 more affordable destinations next year? Set a budget and see how much you can squeeze out of it. Divide the amount you need by 12 and start putting that monthly amount away for your travel fund.
3) Time of Year
Research the best time of year to visit your destination and figure out when the shoulder season is. Summer is usually the busiest, but springtime, before schools let out, can be a more affordable time to travel. Don’t be afraid to call a couple hotels you are considering and ask them when they offer their most affordable rates.
Take some time to research the weather and look at flight prices. Once you’ve decided the best time to visit – request that vacation time off and start planning!
4) Get Pinning
I don’t know about you, but Pinterest is a visual search engine and a great place for me to bookmark anything trip-related. As you work towards your travel goals, don’t be afraid to start a Pinterest board for each destination today and start collecting ideas of sights to see, foods to try and cool hotels to research.
5) Look for Seat Sales
Once you know where you’re going and when – keep an eye out for seat sales and travel deals for your destination. It helps to know far in advance what you’re looking for as seat sales can start as early as 6 months out. Set a price alert with Kayak.com – they have an algorithm, which will predict whether a flight price will get cheaper or more expensive.
6) Maximize Your Credit Card + Start Collecting Points
Are you using a credit card that lets you collect points to use towards flights? Since flying is usually one of the most expensive parts of traveling, I definitely urge you to research a credit card that can help you bring down the cost of your trip.
So what’s on my travel wish list this year?
We just bought a house, so I’m planning on doing more domestic vs. international travel as we deal with closing costs, upgrades and purchasing furniture. I would love to finally visit New Orleans and try all the amazing food in this eclectic city.
I’m planning on visiting Toronto for a month at the end of the summer – just to spend quality time with friends and family. We are also considering a ski trip to Aspen or Telluride, Colorado near the end of the year to get some time up on the mountain.
Looking for the best of both worlds? Dunkin’ Donuts® at Home Bakery Series® coffee has a rich and delicious flavor with bakery-fresh taste that you can enjoy at home. Brew yourself a cup as you contemplate your travel plans! It’s the perfect companion to travel research at home.
Check out Dunkin’ Donuts® at Home new Bakery Series® coffee at your local grocery store and try one of their new six fully baked flavored coffees. Trying a new coffee and planning an adventure in a new city is the perfect way to spend an afternoon
What’s on your travel wish list for 2017? Share your answer with me in the comments!
This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #CarpetProtect #CollectiveBias
It’s crazy to believe that we adopted BINGO just over 18 months ago!
Paul and I couldn’t imagine life without him or with any other dog for that matter. We’ve made a lot of progress with his separation anxiety, but we’ve also taken a couple steps back when we picked up and moved from Los Angeles to Portland.
We love our rescue pup BINGO!
He’s a shy little guy who came to us with a lot of shelter stress after being abandoned by his family. We thought he was just going to be our foster dog, but he adopted us instantly! Neither Paul and I expected this, because he was labelled as aggressive when we decided to foster him.
We couldn’t believe how quickly he bonded with us and we fell in love quickly and adopted him pretty fast after that.
Here’s are 6 things I’ve learned so far about owning a dog and life with a pup: (more…)