Little life update

Hola from San Felipe!

It’s been nearly two months since the last time we spoke *inserts crying emoji face here*

When you go so long without writing it’s difficult to hop back on the blogging train. Where do I start? What do I say? What to catch you up on? To get the blogging ball rolling again I thought I would do a little photo dump for you about the past two months of my life and travels.

  1. Last time we spoke I just started my month working at the Moon Farm Pumpkin Patch in Fruita, Colorado. It was a great way to get kick off the season of fall with the yellow leaves and pumpkins all around. I also learned how to make the best pumpkin pie!
  2. Disneyland, oh glorious Disneyland. The smell of Pirates of the Caribbean, squealing and laughing down the Matterhorn, It’s a Small World for the holidays, Tigger tails and giant turkey legs.
  3. Salvation Mountain and non-photographed Slab City. So interesting! The people are totally cool and the colorful mountain just makes your heart sing.
  4. I’m currently in San Felipe, Mexico which means sunshine and tacos until mid-December. Did I mention I’m obsessed with octopus tacos?

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Stay sunny!

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Here’s why it’s important to get the hell out of your hometown.

It isn’t easy but it’s worth it.

Since graduating high school from St. George, Utah in 2010 I have moved around a lot and currently planning another move. Although I have lived in St. G a few times as “pitstops” I have lived in Portland, Oregon…San Jose Del Cabo, Mexico…Denver, Colorado….Burlington, Vermont….San Felipe, Mexico….and currently planning my move to Grand Junction, Colorado!

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I always felt lucky to how strict my Mother was to make sure I left the state after high school, not because I was a pain in her ass (okay, maybe a little) but because she wanted me to experience more than Utah. She refused to help pay for my college and living at all right after high school if I stayed in Utah. Go, Mom! (Hi, Mom! I love you)

Why do I still do this after college? It keeps life interesting! People ask what keeps me moving around and it has been a variety of things such as school, work, family, and even relationships.

I have always found it extremely important to not only leave your hometown but also the state and take a chance to move somewhere new, even if it’s for a year or two. Your hometown will always be there. However, take a leap and leave for once.

Here’s why you should live in new places and get the hell out of your hometown.

You’re a local and not just a tourist • One of the main reasons why I love to live places for months at a time rather than just fly and visit is because you become a local instead of a tourist which means you are actually living the culture rather then wandering too all of the basic tourist locations and taking the same photos as every other tourist. When you live somewhere you discover something new everyday & you can be the one helping all of the lost tourists.

Experience culture shock • Culture shock does not only come from country to country but also state to state in the US. My culture shock didn’t come from living in Mexico but actually living in New England. The attitude and environment is much different in New England than the western states. The “New England attitude” is a real thing and something a sweet Utah girl was not ready for.

Become more openminded • When you live in other places you experience people that are not only different from you but different from everyone you grew up around. There is a difference from politics, religion, and lifestyle. You quickly figure out that there is good in people who are different from you and you might end up becoming very good friends despite your differences.

Create your identity • The thought of “Go out and find yourself” sounds incredibly cliche but it’s very important and something I think can only truly be done if you leave what you’re used to. You might discover new passions and hobbies, a new religious path or even just grow yourself as an individual by interacting in a new place with new people. I have changed & grown a lot since high school and in ways I knew I wouldn’t have if I didn’t leave.

Make friends for life • I think when you live somewhere and meet people, that’s when you can make friends for life instead of just a new Facebook friend. Because I move so much I have friends all over the country. I know some of the most amazing people from all different backgrounds who have helped me shape into the person I am today.

Experience homesickness & appreciation • When you become homesick you actually find a lot more appreciation to your home and the place you grew up in then you ever would have before. For me, my homesickness was not only my physical home where my family was but the dry heat and surrounding red rocks. I never had appreciation for it until I left the nest.

Here are a few things you will quickly learn leaving the place you grew up in

  • There’s more to life than hometown gossip. Who’s doing what and who’s doing who. Who Cares?
  • Your past doesn’t matter anymore, your mistakes are miles and miles away now and currently disintegrating.
  • You’ll get a boost of confidence because let’s face it – you’re a badass for taking this big step in your life!
  • You’ll be more inspired and creative.
  • You learn who your real friends are back home – miles away won’t change your friendship and love for each other.
  • There are so many opportunities in this world and it’s very exciting.

Leaving your hometown is not easy and moving in general takes a lot of work. What happens if it doesn’t work out though and you feel like you’ve made a terrible mistake? Mistakes are okay. Understand the comfort that your hometown will always be there and it was a good life lesson in the long run. Besides, comfort zones are made to be broken.

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Mexican food-hopping with Dad.

There’s something that my Step-Dad and I have a lot in common and that’s our love of food! He’s also a really great cook and has taught me a lot about cooking since him and my Mom have been together. Since I leave in a few days he decided to take me out for a daddy daughter day date to go shopping and out to eat but let’s be honest, our day was planned around what we were going to eat and where. I love eating out in Mexico because it’s a little bit here…a little bit there! We first hit up the dulceria where we spent a hand full of time looking at different Mexican candy and getting bags full for me to take home. I got 2 bags full for only $10! I think a “Mexican candy haul” blog will soon be on the way! There’s this cute little orange taco truck that I’ve been eyeballing for awhile and we decided to give it a go! They were actually taquitos though and not tacos which was cool because it was something new to try. The taquitos are definitely not what you find in the frozen section of your local grocery story. They double up the tortillas and grill them with red chili sauce. This made them very messy but extremely delicious! Halfway through our shopping we stopped at a little quiet place that sold tortas which are basically sandwiches, but obviously better because it’s Mexico. We ordered one pork and one steak and although the steak was good I think pork was a winner for us! Afterward we stopped at our favorite ice cream shop because what’s a day out without ice cream involved? I had my favorite cookies y crema. As you can imagine, my stomach was very full by the end of the day but it was incredibly worth it! A solid day for the books!

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Stay Sunny!

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Plans change and that’s okay.

I’m sorry I’ve been away. My mind has been on a lot as of lately because of changes that are happening a little sooner then I expected them to and also plans I didn’t expect to happen in the first place.

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My original plan was to stay in Mexico until April and move somewhere new afterward. California and New Mexico were both big possibilities or just go straight to Denver. Going back to Utah was not part of my plan.

I had to make the responsible decision to go home and start working again so I can not only save up for my next big move but to also feed more of my wanderlust. I need to take this time now while I’m doing school full-time online to be where it’s convenient for me to work and save money so I can travel as much as possible because I know once I settle down in a expensive city that opportunity to travel around will be much more difficult. Denver is still in my heart and soul but I’m also not holding my breath because I am blessed enough to lead a life that’s open to new possibilities and opportunities! Who knows, I might even get married in the near future. I decided to go for my masters online because it does give me great flexibility to travel and I am planning on visiting a new place at least once a month if that’s alone or with a friend. (Here is my open invitation to adventure buddies!)

It always sounds so degrading when you tell others “I’m going back home.” Why has that become a sign of failure? Sometimes in life you have to do things that will help you in life in the long run because life’s success really is a long run. I am very guilty when it comes to what other people think about me and my life. I often feel the need to impress or explain and here’s the thing…I’m done. This is my life, my path, and the pages of my story. I have to remind myself that there is no failure in what I’m doing at all and I’m just still on the road to where I need to be and on a great path to where I’m going. I’m 24, single, and still have a gypsy spirit that I’m not ready to let go of quite yet.

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I have enjoyed my time in San Felipe greatly and sad to see my time has come to leave so quickly and much sooner then planned. I have had many incredible experiences, explored new land, and learned how to slow down a little bit and enjoy life’s little moments.  I love my San Felipe family and looking forward to coming back for many visits in the future!

A girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do!

Stay Sunny!

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Life as of late.

Sometimes there are some things in my life that I would like to share with you all but that I wouldn’t necessarily share with you in a single post. So here is a post about life lately and my latest gossip.

One) I took a new self portrait for the new year. Hazah!

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Two) We took a run out to the desert on some Baja buggies to an interesting little hut this man owns and sells beer from in the middle of the desert. He also has some beautiful dogs and there was also a dead cow at our destination which was a really great photo opportunity. My camera needs a major cleaning now with all of the dirt and dust.

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Three) Speaking of dead things…a friend and I went out looking for bones on the beach and there was an interesting dead fish. Why are dead things interesting to photograph? Is it normal to have this fascination?

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Four) No, still no boyfriend.

Five) I downloaded some new Lightroom presets and have been totally geeking out about. You can find these free presents from NickCam and Sleeklens. It’s always fun to try some new editing styles and techniques.

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Six) I had a cavity which caused a quarter of my tooth to crack and break off. I went to the dentist and it only cost me $40 to fill…yes friends, $40 to fill a massive hole in my tooth. Did I mention it was totally painless? No, no drugs needed either.

Seven) I have officially started my Master’s degree online. OPA!

Eight) We are running out of gasoline in Mexico. Seriously….they are increasing gas prices but not increasing the pay of the truckers. So, the truckers are protesting by not bringing gasoline and other goods across the border. Time to whip out the bikes!

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Two thousand sixteen.

I for some reason have had the most difficult time writing this post. Mostly because I’m not sure what my goal or objective is post. Do I talk about my trials and tribulations of 2016? What I accomplished and what I wish worked out for me? Do cry over my presidential candidate not getting into office? Discuss the extreme violence we have seen this year? Getting through a broken heart and finding myself? Places I’ve traveled to? How do I even begin to wrap up 2016 without writing you an entire novel? There’s so many different ways I could approach this seemingly obligatory New Years post.

The beginning of 2016 I found myself with wild anxiety that was unfortunately turning into depression in Vermont. Although I was in a good relationship, had a steady job, and was living in a beautiful place I knew there was something that had to change and I had to find Mariah again…but to my surprise I never lost sight of who I was at all, I was just still trying to find who I was completely.

I packed up my car with my life in the backseat and moved across the country by myself back home to St. George, Utah. This alone was quite the adventure and helped me learn and gain a strong sense of independence. After working and running around the red rocks of Southern Utah for a few months I moved my way to Mexico where I am currently enjoying life of sunshine, tacos, and culture.

This year has been filled with travel which was my ultimate goal. I have traveled around to some incredible places and so grateful and blessed for all of the experiences. Aside from passing 7 new states on my move I have traveled and visited Providence, Rhoda Island…Portland, Oregon…Bryce Canyon and Moab, Utah…Palm Springs, Los Angeles, and Disneyland, California…and of course San Felipe, Mexico.

In 2016 I stepped into the dating world which made me realize I’m completely okay being single and independent for a while. I have found some new favorite places and discovered some new passions which turned into beautiful new projects. I gained friendships and grew current relationships. I have learned so much about myself and what I’m really looking for in both my career and personal life.

You actually did really well, 2016, I am not disappointed.

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Kahlua Mexican Hot Chocolate

It’s cold in Mexico!

Although we won’t be having a snow day anytime soon it’s cold enough that most of us are wearing clothing that is not shorts and a tank top. Since I get cold very easily I’ve been wearing my good share of leggings, sweaters, and fuzzy socks….it’s in the 60’s, I’m well aware that I’m quite the wimp.

A warm treat here in Mexico is Mexican hot chocolate! What’s the different between hot chocolate and Mexican hot chocolate? Mexican hot chocolate has spices in it such as cinnamon and chili powder for that sweet and spicy goodness! It’s so easy you can make it yourself! Or better yet some places in the US sell the chocolate blocks…I used the brand Ibarra.

Anybody who really knows me on a personal level knows I don’t drink alcohol but I honesty love Kahlua…surprise! I thought I would try some in my Mexican hot chocolate and happy I did!

I use milk for my hot chocolate…always! If you are making a serving for yourself grab the mug you are wanting to use and fill it with milk about 3/4 and then add a shot of Kahlua. Pour it into a saucepan and keep stirring until it gets steamy and drop in your block of chocolate! Keep stirring until the chocolate is melted and immediately pour it into your mug.

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Top it off with whipped cream and cajeta! Cajeta is caramel made with goats milk, vanilla, and cinnamon and so delicious!

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This rich delicious drink will totally warm you up this holiday season!

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The beautiful mug shown is by Ugly Mug Pottery…follow their blog here!

Enjoy!

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Is this water sanitary?

Yesterday about 15 minutes before leaving on a desert adventure and trip to the waterfalls here in Mexico I got sick. When I say I got sick I mean sitting in the bathroom puking my guts out until I was in tears. THE WORST. So, this canceled my trip for an adventure that day. The greatest adventure I had was laying like a slug in bed all day with ginger ale, munching on crackers, and Netflix. Which, I hope you are all happy to know that Catfish is on Netflix, my personal guilty pleasure.

Come to find out I got sick from the water. We went out to dinner a couple of days before and a few of us had iced tea, those of us who did are all ill, and assuming that the water the iced tea was made from was not clean and purified. How do we know it was from the water and not the food? Food poisoning kicks in right away most of the time…when it’s water it takes a little longer. For us it was between 36-48 hours to kick in.

When others joke to me saying “Don’t drink the water in Mexico” It’s a serious thing, I cannot drink the water unless it has been purified and/or boiled. The reason for bad water in Mexico has a lot to do with the pipes. The water pipes are old and rusted which causes impurities in the water.

Today, I woke up feeling brand new! Although I won’t be running a half marathon today, I can at least get a few things accomplished. You don’t realize how good it feels to be healthy after you’ve had a day from hell.

This actually reminds me of my favorite scene from Disney’s Tarzan. Little Tantor is seriously adorable.

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On a very serious note, today I am feeling blessed for clean water! I live in a place where we have many outlets and access to clean water but unfortunately, there are many areas in our world that do not come close to having access to clean water. Bad water is very critical to your health and can cause many waterborne illnesses and diseases much worse then what happened to me, even death. Not only is clean water critical to your health but also increases access to food and also education!  A charity group that I found myself looking and researching a lot about has been Charity Water. Please take a look at this video! It’s a really great video that gives you a better understand of how clean water can change everything.

 

Count your blessings and stay sunny!

The Wonder Seeker

 

 

 

 

 

DIY || Mexican Style Cactus Planter

A couple of weeks ago I bought an adorable succulent that was planted in a can for only 20 pesos, that’s only about $1 in US money. Although I loved the can it was in I decided it need a new little home. My Mom bought a drink that this mug came in at the Shrimp Fest and I thought it was so adorable, so obviously… I stole it.

I needed to get away from the negativity of the election so I figured it was the perfect day to stay in my room, blast music, and paint my way through it all.

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My favorite style of Mexican planters have been the Terracotta clay pots with some design and color to them but not totally covering the gorgeous red and brown natural color of the pot either. Terracotta in Italian also means “baked earth” which makes me like it being simplest even more.

Materials you will need are a little planter pot…I suggest upcycling something like I did! A notepad and pencil to sketch out your design, acrylic paints, clear spray paint, and of course your little cactus plant.

I found a design that tickled my fancy and I went from there. This is the actual photo that I based my design off of.  I added a few different colors and a lot of dots and circles. Also, a few other things due to mess ups. I do not paint as much as I wish I did because to be quite honest painting is not my forte.

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After I was finally happy with my painting I went out to go spray it with some clear spray paint. This helped give it a little umph of shine and it brightens and darkens the color as well. It didn’t take long for me to be able to plant my little succulent. I am very happy with my little project! He looks adorable in my room and now I’m debating on a name.

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Stay Sunny!

The Wonder Seeker