Wednesday, July 31, 2013


I haven't been to many weddings (like literally 3 in my whole life), but I've been told that you're supposed to ask your closest girlfriends to spend lots of money to show you that they love you!  Seriously though...being a bridesmaid is not all it's cracked up to be.  Sure, your friend chooses you out of all of her friends to be shown off in photos for years to come but it's incredible how much money you, as a bridesmaid, are asked to spend...

There's the dress (obviously), any accessories / shoes you're forced to wear in order to match 3-20 other girls.  The airfare, the lodging, the food - and that's not even the wedding yet, that's the bachelorette party and the bridal shower!  Ugh.

Vagina high slits are coming back in right? And chucks because...duh source
I am trying to be sensitive to the fact that I'm being an asshole and asking people to come out to Arizona for my wedding.  I mean...seriously, it's a destination wedding for pretty much everyone on our guest list.  Terrible.

I might just have to demand a photo like this.  It's classy, no? source
So I thought I would do a nice thing for each of my girls and show them how much they mean to me!  Since I haven't mailed them out yet I can't ruin the surprise and post everything on here...but, here's a little sneak peak for you (because my sister already knows she's the Maid of Honor)!

Sick-day Essentials

There's absolutely nothing worse than being sick and having to do things...such as work or travel!  Luckily I don't have to do the former, but the latter...well...I just arrived in San Francisco yesterday.  After my flight was delayed by an hour I felt as if my head was about to explode. So in honor of being sick, here are my sick day essentials!

Sick-day Essentials

Friday, July 26, 2013

Countdown to San Francisco

I know...I just travelled to LA and now I'm off again.  In case I haven't made myself clear, traveling is part of my life - I just love it!  So now, a countdown to San Francisco - only 4 days left!!  Going home and to one of the most beautiful cities in the world!

Also, in case you couldn't tell, I'm recently obsessed with PicLab - an iPhone photo editor app!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Goodbye LA

There is nothing like being back home and getting spoiled by family and friends. I had such an incredible time in LA. 

I brought my awesome dslr with me but, of course, I never even took it out of the camera bag! So here's a collection of photos from my trip all taken on my iPhone! 

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Fitbit - For Getting Fit

So I totally buy into fads. I love them. They're amazing. And right now I'm on this health kick due to, ya know, the fact that I'm 25, getting married, and super out of shape! Okay, maybe not "super" but I definitely need to work on myself.

That being said on Friday I received my final birthday present (it was on back order for 10 weeks)! My fitbit flex arrived in the mail and I couldn't be happier!

Isn't it sexy!? I can't wait to start using it.  Now I just need to figure out how it works!!

Friday, July 19, 2013

30 Before 30

If you read my post about achieving my 2012 goals (if you haven't, you can read it here), you would know that I've created a bucket list of 30 things to do before I turn 30!  I'm so excited about this list!

As you can see, some things are able to be tackled more easily (eg. Get married...this one is already in processed), while others will take some time.  Which is why I'm giving myself 5 years to complete this list.  All things are totally do-able, but many will be truly challenging for me.

I tried to balance my list between things that will cost money (2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 15, 16, 19, 23, 28, 29), and things that are relatively cheap/free (5, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 17, 18, 20, 21, 22, 24, 25, 26, 27, 30).  Overall I'm pretty happy about this list!

I can't wait to get started!!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Countdown to LA

Only 4 days left before I leave for Los Angeles!!  I'm going for school, but I'm so excited to spend some time with friends and family!!  Yay!!

View from the Hollywood sign
Typical LA view - Palm Trees!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Wednesday Wedding Wishes

I'm the worst at this wedding stuff.  I don't even like to organize regular parties, let alone a big shin dig. But I am kind of getting into this whole wedding thing.  While we may not have the date set (sometime early August 2014) or the location (somewhere near our small town in Arizona), we do have a theme of sorts.  We both want it to be fun, frivolous, and relaxing.  Think outdoorsy, chill lawn games, and just a bunch of friends getting together to drink champagne.

In light of my lack of party skills, I've decided to throw together a fun post of wedding awesomeness.  These items may or may not be used in our wedding, but at this point it doesn't matter!


Not even sure we'll be having cake, but if we MissSarahCake on Etsy
Beautiful Glitter Dress by WillowMoone on Etsy
Floral Crown by littlehoneypies on Etsy
Lawn Games sign by TRUECONNECTION on Etsy
Lawn Games score cards by SunshinePartyStudio on Etsy
Found on Style Me Pretty
Succulent boutonnieres as seen on Ruffled Blog
That's all for this week folks.  You can check out my Pinterest page for other wedding ideas.

xx Maddy

Monday, July 15, 2013

Wilderness Orientation

My school likes to torture people before allowing them to take any classes!  Jokes.  Well...I'm not entirely joking.  Prescott College has a Wilderness Orientation for all incoming students - Fresh-persons and transfers alike.  

Under the best circumstances the orientation is 3 weeks of serious trekking through Arizona wilderness that few venture to.  Add on the fact that I was an incoming student in the Spring, meant we got to do our orientation during the winter.  Oh, and I had never backpacked before, nor truly camped, was a great addition.

Our group was lucky enough to trek through the Grand Canyon and Superstition Mountains - something that most people only dream of.  We were 'lucky' in the sense that we were given an incredible opportunity to see some of the most beautiful spots in the US.  The 'luck' didn't really carry over to the weather...

Day 1 - At the Rim of the Grand Canyon

Now, I'm usually a baby when LA gets "cold weather", but winter in the high desert meant something else entirely.  Before this trip, I could count the number of times I have been to snow on one hand.  Now, I'm well into the double digits!

Before I went on this trip we were each given a gear checklist.  Upon reading the list I saw that they were requesting we bring a 0 degree sleeping bag.  
"That's not bad", I thought, "They think that we're going to be around freezing conditions. I can do that."
You see, growing up in New Zealand I have a very skewed sense of measurements.  I can read temperature in fahrenheit, but I have a better grasp of freezing and boiling points in celsius - I mean really...who came up with the freezing and boiling points of fahrenheit!? I was reading the checklist I read it in terms of celsius not fahrenheit!  Much to my dismay, Andrew pointed out that a 0 degree bag meant that we would be in temperatures far below freezing point!  Damn.

Our first night was spent in a miserable -14 degrees - that's in fahrenheit!  Over the course of the next 3 weeks we went through an impressive 92 degree weather change.  Unfortunately the majority of the time the weather hovered at a balmy 35 degrees.

Snow everywhere.  At times it came above our knees...
My group went through an incredible journey.  We lost one team mate around the second day due to a terrible ankle sprain.  We spent the next week and a bit descending and then ascending the Grand Canyon.  We trekked from Rim to river, along the river, and then back up to the Rim. And that was just the first half!

Ami (the girl who sprained her ankle) and me.
It was the first time I had ever seen the Grand Canyon!

Everyone sticking close on the trail
Day 1 - Looking back up while breaking for lunch
For more photos and the rest of the story, click below!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Achieving my 2012 Goals

I just recently turned 25 ~ gasp ~ I know...I'm soooo old...

Since reaching this momentous year I've been looking back at everything I've accomplished throughout my short lifetime.  I have done a lot.  Like seriously, heaps of stuff has been checked off my bucket list.  I have found, however, that to grow as a person we need to continually challenge ourselves and our preconceived notions.

For example, last year I set out with two major goals; to quit smoking and to complete a triathlon.  Now each of these goals in their own right are difficult (trust me I tried quitting a million times), but trying to conquer them both in the same year?  Crazy!

Well I am pretty crazy.  I had always been in awe of people who compete in triathlons.  How put your body through 3 serious sports one after the other!  But I wanted to do that.  I wanted to be one of those insane people who could say to others,
"Ya, I've finished a triathlon.  No biggie!"
I got this crazy idea from my superbly awesome dad.  When I was younger he was crazy enough to compete in an Ironman!  What a weirdo.  He trained for 4 hours a day, everyday, for almost a year!

What a stud!
 My dad wasn't in peak physical condition when he started out for his Ironman, so why couldn't I accomplish my pretty achievable goal of a Sprint Triathlon?  I could.  The only person stopping me was, well, me!  As cliched as that sounds, I would be the only one capable of completing my goal, or standing in my own way.

So I trained, and I trained.  And then I trained some more.  I certainly wasn't (and still am not) in the best physical shape.  Having worked at an office where it was very regular to be sitting at a desk 10+ hours a day, smoking around a pack a day, and routinely eating terrible foods, I knew I had my work cut out for me.

But on November 3, 2012 I completed my first ever triathlon!  I somehow even convinced my dad to compete with me!

My dad and I after completing the Marin County Sprint Triathlon
My biggest fan!
My entire family came out to support us!  It was the most incredible feeling...accomplishing something you knew was going to be extremely challenging.

I would never have been able to finish the triathlon if I hadn't stuck to my first goal...quitting smoking.  That in itself would have been enough of an accomplishment for me.  I had been a smoker for 5 years before finally quitting.  My life will never be the same again.

I don't bring up my incredible feats to rub it in your face!  Far from it.  I share with you these goals to remind myself that you have to keep challenging yourself.

Which brings me to my next list of goals - 30 things to do before I turn 30.  To be shared soon!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Popping the Question

Photo Booth shots from the night of our engagement...We obviously weren't ready for the first photo!

Since so many of my friends have been asking about how Andrew proposed to me, I figured I would share it here.

Andrew and I had a whirlwind romance.  We had only been dating for 6 months before he popped the question, which seemed a little short for a few people in my life!  Never the less, I had known that Andrew was going to ask me to marry him.  Andrew is not a subtle kind of guy, and throughout our courtship he kept dropping hints that I was the one.  
"Maddy, you had better be nice to me otherwise I won't get you a big ring!" - Andrew
Like I said, subtle...

Ultimately I decided to go to Brazil for 3 weeks for a much needed vacation.  He bugged me everyday I was there, and later he told me that time spent apart is what solidified his decision!  I guess distance does make the heart grow fonder!

I arrived stateside and the following day I picked up Andrew from the airport - he had flown in to ask for my dad's permission.
"Don't worry Maddy, I talked him out of it!" - Dad
That weekend Andrew and I flew down to LA.  I had already booked a flight for one of my besties birthdays, so while I was catching up with her Andrew went ring shopping.

Being the romantic that he is, I had assumed Andrew had planned an elaborate proposal.  And really, I had assumed correctly, however, mother nature had other plans!  That weekend we had a horrible heat wave and the temperature climbed to 105!  His original plan was to take me to the rose gardens at Caltech, but quickly decided he did not want us both to be sweating during the proposal.

Since it was so hot, in order to cool down I hopped into a cold shower.  We then proceed to watch some TV before we had to get ready for dinner with his parents.  Andrew tried to lie and say he wasn't able to find a ring he liked in order to throw me off.

Well not even 10 minutes later, while I'm still sitting on the couch in my towel, he retrieves something off the bookshelf!
"I'm only going to ask once" - Andrew
"Omg...get down on one knee!  I don't care if you're a cripple!" - Me - Our third date Andrew had knee surgery and was, at this time, still recovering.
"Maddy.  Will you marry me?" - Andrew
"Omg...there's a light in the box....I mean...YES!" - Me - seriously though...there was a freaking light in the box! It did make the ring sparkle like no other!
After several minutes of me screaming and jumping around like a little girl I told Andrew that we had to go shopping because the only nice dress I brought was not wife material - is was mistress material!

With a new dress and a sparkling ring we headed off to dinner with his parents.  They were a little peeved, because apparently he was supposed to ask me at dinner.  Andrew is not a very patient person! After a wonderful dinner we trekked out to West Hollywood for my besties birthday were I was able to show off the ring to a few close friends!  All in all, it was a wonderful, totally Andrew & Maddy kind of proposal!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Leisurely Nature Stroll

Andrew doesn't like hiking, but in my attempt to stay active while away for the weekend I convinced all our friends and Andrew to go on a 'leisurely nature stroll'!  This was certainly not a hike.  It ended up being a little shorter than I was hoping it to be, only 0.7 miles, but we did get to see a beautiful part of California!

Photos taken by me

Monday, July 8, 2013


I know I already said it, but fireworks are my favorite part of July 4th.  There's something so captivating about them!  My fiance's family has a tradition of being on their boat for the show.  Unfortunately this year we were not able to do so.  Something terrible happened to the engine earlier that day which meant we couldn't take the boat out on the lake.  Instead, we crashed a family friends house and viewed the fireworks from their deck.  Everyone was pretty bummed we couldn't be on the boat...except secretly I was glad because I was able to get some pretty cool shots (which wouldn't have been possible had we been on the boat).

Here are an assortment of photos from the fireworks display I witnessed this year.

Photos taken by me

Click below for full photos.