our time in cusco, peru

Since our trip to Peru in October, it feels like I’ve been hopping from state to state and haven’t had much time to go through photos and share vacation details. I finally started editing photos last night and have loved reliving everything my husband and I experienced in South America. I definitely consider this adventure one of our favorite trips of all time.

Here are a few photos from our time in Cusco.

Our Time in Cusco
Snapshots from Peru
Snapshots from Peru
Snapshots from Peru
Snapshots from Peru
Cusco, Peru

When we weren’t taking tours through the Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu, we spent most of our time wandering around Cusco. It took a couple of days to get adjusted to the high altitude and even when I was doing better it still felt as if a bowling ball was constantly resting on my chest, so eating a ton of food and staying well-hydrated was important. I was totally fine with that. Peruvian cuisine is hands down the best I’ve ever had so it was fun trying local restaurants. On one of the days we were both struggling with shortness of breath, we even found a chocolate museum with make-your-own hot chocolate. Yes!

Peru Chocolate
Peru Snapshots

We also fed Peruvian street dogs chicken nuggets and I carried around a large bottle of hand sanitizer for the sole purpose of being able to clean my hands after cuddling them all. My mom kept texting me reminders not to touch any of the stray dogs because she was worried about rabies and knows me so well, but they were sweet and sad and I couldn’t help it.

I woke up at 3 am one morning because I heard a dog yelping in the middle of the street, and then on one of our tours, I watched a car hit a terrier (we have two terriers). Let’s just say the stray dog situation is intense… and you’ll cry. But we will adopt a Peruvian pup eventually.

Peru Street Dogs
Cusco Tours
Things to do in Peru
Snapshots from Peru
Traveling to Peru
Peru statues

On one of the days the power went out, we ran into some sort of event or holiday going on in the city and it was fun to see people dressed up in different garb. We still have no clue what it was even after asking multiple people, but that’s ok. It was a unique experience nonetheless.

Snapshots from Peru
Snapshots from Peru
Peru Cathedral
Peruvian Vacation
Sightseeing in Peru
Snapshots from Peru

Have you been to Cusco?


Filed Under: Peru, Travel46 Comments

holiday gift guide for the glamper

If you’re like me, you’re still scrambling for gift ideas even though Christmas is a week away, and hey, that’s alright! With quality websites like Icebreaker you can pick up something unique for all of your travel-loving friends and family.

Icebreakers Gift Guide

The first thing you’ll notice about the Icebreaker website is that they have helpful gift guides for easy shopping. These gift guides are your one-stop-shop for glampers, globe trotters, over packers, fitness fanatics, snow bums, and the minimalists in your life, and you’ll find different items on each page. I decided to build my own gift guide with items from the “glamper” section because it’s something I’ve always wanted to do. Luxury camping? Sign me up. (It’s probably more enjoyable than camping in Scotland while insects attack your face and crawl into your nostrils, right?)

Holiday Gift Guide for the Glamper

Holiday Gift Guide for the Glamper:
+ This MerinoLOFT Chelsea vest looks chic and comfy and I’m sure it’s warm enough for chilly weather this winter!
+ I’m all about beanies this season so I included two different ones. My favorite has to be the magenta Skyline Hat.
+ Why are fingerless gloves so special, you ask? I wear these because it’s easier to type on my phone and use my DSLR.
+ I have these premium wool socks in grey and they are perfect for hiking! They’ll protect your feet and keep them warm without being too bulky.
+ And another hat because hats are definitely necessary in Virginia. This Valor Hat is unique and will go with anything!

That’s my glaming gift guide for you. If you’re in need of other ideas I highly recommend this women’s vest and wool beanie. I’ve been testing out both items for the past week and the quality is awesome, plus they keep my warm while walking the dogs.

Pick up a few Merino wool items for yourself and your loved ones!


Filed Under: Lifestyle, Travel Essentials5 Comments

aluminum free natural deodorant + giveaway

I recently had the chance to try Caitlin’s Super Natural aluminum free natural deodorant spray and because said deodorant worked so well and I’m sure everyone needs a few last-minute gift ideas, we’re giving away a bottle of this magical stuff! Other than being with family, my favorite part of Christmas morning is unique stocking stuffers, and I absolutely know that your health conscious — and smell conscious — friends and family will enjoy these easy-to-carry deodorants. The 2 ounce bottles are perfect for holiday travel, and doesn’t it feel like we do so much of that in December and January?

Aluminum Free Deodorant

Caitlin’s Super Natural uses 100% botanical ingredients, is vegan, cruelty-free, environmentally sustainable, and the deodorants come in three different scents that both women and men will love. I’ve been using all three — sandalwood olive leaf, bergamont cypress, and lavender currant — and if I had to choose a favorite, well, I’d be screwed. Buy them all and call it a day.

I’ve never bought an actual spray deodorant, but the bottles makes the solution easy to apply and I don’t have to worry about white stains on my clothes!

All Natural Deodorant

If you’re on the fence when it comes to aluminum free deodorant, I promise it’s not a scary change. From Caitlin’s website: “How does aluminum free deodorant work? You can let your body perspire and still be odor-free: sweat in and of itself has no scent. When using an aluminum free deodorant, the key to preventing body odor is topical antibacterial agents. Nature provides us with lots of plants that are powerfully antimicrobial.”

Caitlin's Super Natural
Aluminum Free Natural Deodorant

Aluminum Free Natural Deodorant Giveaway

To enter to win a bottle of deodorant spray in any size, follow the prompts on the Rafflecopter widget. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Giveaway Rules:
+ Giveaway will be live from December 11 – December 18
+ Must be 18+ or have parental consent to participate in giveaway
+ One winner will be chosen and verified on December 18
+ Winner will be notified via email and given 24 hours to respond
+ If no response, a new winner will be chosen
+ Giveaway is open to residents in the USA
+ Hosts are not responsible for lost or damaged goods


Filed Under: Lifestyle21 Comments

taking stock | november

Taking Stock November

Making: Lists. Lots of lists. I’ve realized that the only way I can accomplish anything is to write it down. But speaking of writing things down… The awesome people at Colorvale are sending me the Photographer’s Planner and I can’t wait to tell you all about it! I’ve never been so excited about a planner.

Cooking: I’ve had great luck with Pinterest lately. My current favorite is this minestrone soup recipe by Chef in Training and this Louisiana chicken pasta.

Drinking: Casillero del Diablo Cabernet Sauvignon and peppermint tea. Simultaneously, usually.

Reading: Way too many books. I’ve spent $120 in Kindle books in October and November (gasp!) and B wants to murder me. That’s what happens when you travel to and from Peru, and take a random road trip to Florida. But, I highly recommend the Legend and Shatter Me series to everyone. And I highly recommend visiting your local public library so you don’t find yourself in my predicament.

Wanting: To put up our Christmas tree but I suppose I’ll wait until after Thanksgiving. Although we already have our Christmas lights and wreath up… along with our Thanksgiving pumpkins.

Looking: Forward to seeing my little sister on Friday. We’re going to watch old Grey’s Anatomy Episodes, take pictures of Brandon while he’s sleeping, and consume way too much sugar.

Playing: “Mess Is Mine” by Vance Joy because my Starbucks app told me to download it. It’s good!

Deciding: If I should renew my dogs’ BarbBox subscription. Their toy box is overflowing which is sad really.

Watching: New episodes of the Real Housewives of Beverly Hill. I can’t quit this train wreck.

Enjoying: This weather. Instead of sweating like a man, I’m perfectly content in a sweater and light jacket. Bring on the snow.

Waiting: To try and shave Ollie again tonight (super glamorous). We can’t take him to a groomer because he’s insane, and the last time we brought him somewhere to have his nails trimmed, he acted as if I was going to hit him… for an entire week. He has issues but he’s my evil baby.

Liking: Photo books by Artifact Uprising. I want to make mini travel books!

Artifact Uprising Photo Books

Wondering: About next week’s episode of Homeland.

Loving: The RIFLE PAPER Co. “Bon Voyage” collection. Their notepads are adorable.

Hoping: To book more 2015 weddings! I’m also hoping that my Thanksgiving turkey doesn’t taste like ass.

Marvelling: At the sheer number of pimples on my forehead. I’m completely mind blown.

Needing: More caffeine. This list is taking forever.

Smelling: Bath & Body Works fall candles and my chestnut praline latte from Starbucks. Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it.

Wearing: Loft sweaters. They’re the best.

Following: Lots of London bloggers. I’m not sure when this happened, but anyway, they have nice clothes.

Noticing: The teeth marks on our blinds. Damnit, Ollie.

Thinking: About giving Malcolm and Ollie baths. We had apple pie and ice cream a few nights ago and gave each dog their own bowl because we’re weird. Now the boys have crusty beards.

Admiring: My parents. They’re pretty awesome.

Buying: Nothing. I’m on a spending freeze because of my Kindle incident. I’m sorry I read so fast Brandon. Geesh.

Getting: Ready to foster dogs again. The application is filled out and I’m ready to fall in love and ugly cry at adoption events.

Bookmarking: Whenever I’m in a bad mood I watch this video. You should bookmark it too.

Disliking: Photos of body parts adorned with lotus seed pods. They’re always floating around my Facebook feed and make my skin crawl. Please stop.

Snacking: On capers. My love knows no bounds. I’ve been putting them in pasta, sandwiches, even salsa. Help.

What have you been up to lately?


Filed Under: Lifestyle26 Comments