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Twin Peaks in Pictures

I totally get that this is going to be a niche blog post for some very special fans of a certain cult TV show. With the return of our beloved Twin Peaks after 25 long years and the 2017 Twin Peaks Festival happening in about a week, I thought it was time to take my readers to the area of North Bend, Washington in the Pacific Northwest in order to share some of my favorite images of the area where the show (old and new) and movie were filmed. I attended the Twin Peaks Festival in 2005 when it was just a few of us coffee & cherry pie loving nerds in a small, intimate setting. If you are attending this year, I am jealous for the excitement that it will carry unlike any year prior, since we are all watching the wonderful and strange world together again. 

Ronette's Bridge
The Roadhouse
What's left of the mill
Teresa's motel in FWWM
The Salish Lodge aka The Great Northern
View from Salish Lodge guest room
Twede's Cafe aka the Double R

Quick Post: Keeping fit this summer with Aaptiv

This summer I've been inspired by the Aaptiv fitness app. I have managed to use a variety of their workouts to get more activity in my days even during this crazy LA heat. Aaptiv has a clean, sleek interface and offers an abundance of workouts without feeling overwhelming. I usually end up giving up on fitness apps for one simple reason- the trainers drive me nuts! Somehow, I have not found one Aaptiv trainer that annoys me. There really is something for everyone on this app from meditation to training for a full marathon. Here are some of my favs:

I have been starting my mornings with the Good Morning Yoga Wake Up from the Fit for Summer collection. I can set my alarm 10 minutes earlier than usual and get in some activity first thing in the morning. 

They have a Walking collection-Yes! Both outdoor walks and treadmill walks. I like to take a walk in the evening after dinner and the Energizing Beginner Walk workout completely taught me how to walk properly and did not make me feel stupid while speed walking. I also love the music in Ray W.'s Incline Walking Will Make You Sweat for the treadmill.  It's all in the title!

I really can't say that I've mixed up my workouts this much in a long time and variety is key for me in EVERYTHING. I get bored way too easily. I love the stretches (and I love that complimentary stretches or workouts are suggested after you finish a workout) and the meditations have been great for those breaks in my office during a long day. They even have maternity programs

You can get a week long access to everything for free right now if you sign-up. Give it a try this summer! 

Maui Eats

Koa's in Lahaina

As promised, here's your guide to eating in and around Kihei and why I love these places. 

Kihei Caffe- If you want epic eats for breakfast in a casual setting, head here. I'm pretty sure we ordered one of everything including the incredible Loco Moco (substitute fried rice under that meat and egg). They also have a daily iced coffee that won me over with notes of coconut.

Cinnamon Roll Place- This little storefront is tucked under a stairwell in a strip mall, but is a piece of heaven in paradise. Be nice and get up early, grab a box for the whole family and enjoy on your deck. We went for traditional frosting and macadamia nut covered cinnamon rolls. My brother put it best when he said the entire roll tastes as good as the center of most other cinnamon rolls.

Donut Dynamite!- Think of this place as the cuter, younger sister to Voodoo Doughnuts; not as crude but still sassy and tasty. This is a bit out of the way (nearer the airport) so plan accordingly because they close when they sell out. And they are closed on Sundays.

Akamai Coffee Co.- As mentioned in my previous post, my go-to for coffee would have to be this coffee shop that reminds me a bit of being at home in LA. They roast their own beans and have a great space, complete with swimming basket chairs! I had a lovely iced lavender coffee and a turkey and cheese croissant that keep me going for a drive up the volcano.

Three's fish taco

Three's Bar & Grill- This was our first stop once we got into Maui and we made the effort to make our way back to happy hour later in the week. There is indoor and outdoor seating available (depending how much humidity you want served up with your meal). Each visit, we demolished fish tacos, pork nachos, panic sushi rolls, and ramen.  Everything on the happy hour menu is more than enough to share and delicious. This was also the restaurant that catered our sunset cruise!

Coconut's Fish Cafe- You'll be happy here for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. They are famous for their huge, fresh fish tacos, but I had a wonderful poke bowl here. Everything is really good, but it seemed even pricier than most places in town. Having said that, we went here three times during our stay. I'm just excited that they are opening one in DTLA soon!

Fred's Mexican Cafe- A favorite from Southern California, Fred's is a solid place for Mexican food with a view. The homey, structure has a wrap around porch and lots of indoor/ outdoor seating with a view of the beach (and better yet the sunset!). The Cadillac margaritas and the calamari tacos during happy hour had the best reviews from our hungry group.

5 Palms Restaurant- Are you starting to see a happy hour theme here? Well, hang on to your forks & chopsticks because this is the mother of all finds in Kihei for that magic hour. Order yourself a Wicked Arnold Palmer and try to not loose your mind over the amazing treats to pick from on the happy hour menu.  Dinner looks fabulous here, but I don't know why anyone in their right mind would not have one of everything on the HH menu. We were there for hours eating sashimi, calamari, crispy brussels sprouts, and BBQ ribs. Honestly, some of my best memories of this trip are of sitting on this patio, laughing with my family and new friends, in the most beautiful of settings.

Here are a couple of extras for those of you who make it up to Lahaina. Enjoy!


Koa's- A gorgeous and tasty lunch on an upper deck, overlooking the ocean. Good photo ops here and even better Bloody Mary's. 

Ululani's Hawaiian Shave Ice- The quest for the perfect Shave Ice can be lost in all of the shave ice stands that line the streets of Hawaii, but Uluani's is among the best.  There is one in Kihei too. 

Dole Whip Maui- I was so excited to get a Dole Whip pineapple float on an extremely hot day in Maui! Nothing is cooler than soft serve pineapple ice cream with pineapple juice.

Maui Adventures Lite

We seriously did a whole lot of nothing on this trip, but then again that was the point.

This was a much needed family vacation that included Grandparents, old friends, and a kindergartner. After trekking the tallest peaks in So Cal and traveling a good deal last year, this was our week of spending quality time in paradise with loved ones who only come together a couple times a year. 

We booked our Maui Kamaole condo through VRBO, which was a first for me and a great experience (hint: book by phone and get a discount!). The property had two great pools, lots of BBQs, and gorgeous foliage that you just don't see at a non-resort property.  We were walking distance from the best beaches in Kihei, as well as our favorite place for happy hour (read about Maui Eats in Part 2 next week). 

But when you get a little restless and the pool or beach has run its course, there are plenty of other things to check out.  Here are a few of our favorites:

Drive the volcano

We did this the easy way and drove our rental up the volcano, Haleakala National Park

Loaded with iced lavender coffee and ham croissants from my favorite coffee shop in Maui, Akamai Coffee Co., it took about an hour and a half to the top.  There is a rest stop/ ranger station about 30 minutes from the top and it's a good place to stretch and get your National Park passport stamped. The summit offers two "stop and look out" areas that give you incredible views of the volcano and observatory.  The giant red flowers were near a little eatery on the road to the summit. Haleakala is very popular for its sunrise views and bike riding, but that just felt like too much work for this particular vacation...

 Water Sports

There are plenty of water toys to rent along the beaches of Kihei. The most popular seems to be kayaks, surfboards, and snorkeling gear.  Our condo was stocked with tons of snorkeling gear so we always made sure to bring that to the beach. But one day I wanted something easy and peaceful to do on the water.  We walked 15 minutes down the road to the Mana Kai Resort and rented paddle boards for an hour or so. It was a great workout and an even cooler way to lay on the board and float along with the roll of the waves. 

Reggae Sunset Cruise

One night when we were feeling like a little fun for the whole family, we booked a "reggae sunset cruise" through the Pacific Whale Foundation. Although not quite as advertised (more of a mix of music and no great views of the sunset) we all had a blast. The price included food, three boozy drinks, and fantastic live music.  We lounged on the top deck of the boat while nibbling on pulled pork sliders and fruit. After the Blue Hawaiians got flowing, we were all dancing to live renditions of Bruno Mars, Earth Wind and Fire, and of eventually some Bob Marley. The Grandparents let down their hair and the kiddo couldn't get enough of dancing with a bunch of adults. Book online for a discount on this one or any number of their other boat excursions. 

Shopping in Lahaina

When you need a little hustle and bustle, island style of course, head up the road 30 minutes to Lahaina. A quaint historic district plays host to many eateries and plenty of places to get that perfect souvenir. We strolled under a 300 year old Banyan tree and ate a perfect lunch overlooking the sea before scoring some shave ice and Dole pineapple floats. After a few hours we were ready to head back to Kihei to start living in our bathing suits again. 

Wall Traveled in DTLA

It's been fun getting to know Downtown LA now that I'm working here most days.  I've been especially drawn to the DTLA Arts District, which is changing at a rapid rate. But among the pop-up clothing stores and terrific vegetarian restaurants, is an impressive amount of, well, art. 

Wall art to be specific. Each corner you turn is like walking into another room adorned with the most chic, extravagant wall paper. Art that addresses political views, features female empowerment, and there are plenty of Global Angel Wings to remind us that we are all citizens of the City of Angels.  

Enjoy some of my Insta worthy favorites.   

Behind the Curtain

I had the pleasure of being interviewed by Dr. Justin Trosclair, a chiropractor and podcast host, who highlights the work of doctors from various disciplines.  This summer, his podcast, A Doctor's Perspective, is featuring 8 female doctors and dives into the secrets of their success (Here's a hint: hard work), struggles in their work, and how they maintain their own mental and physical wellness. 

My interview (here) goes in depth into the work I have done with sexual offenders and touches on some controversial issues that I have had to deal with in my work with this population. I am also quite candid in how the work has impacted me and what I do to ensure I still have a fulfilling, untainted home life. 

I am passionate about mentoring early career professionals and I am confident that this podcast series will not only help students and young people learn about potential future careers, but will inspire already established professionals to learn about other disciplines in the doctoral world. Aside from focusing on giving our clients the best care, it is so important for us to support each other and continue to learn from one another. 

A Distant Mentality Turns One!

This is been quite a year! I started this blog mainly as a travel diary and a much-needed creative outlet, but it turned into so much more.

Over the past year I've been able to share my family's previous trips, I've highlighted my favorite places in and around Los Angeles, and the blog also became a career advice column of sorts. When I started out, I knew that I wanted to teach others how to incorporate travel into their work but this outlet has really allowed me to do so much more in that area; inspiring others to pursue the field of psychology.

The year's highlights for me have been a road trip through the Southwest, exploring the far-flung Pacific Northwest and Alaska, a work-turned-family trip to Denmark, and collaborating with other creatives and academics.

I've learned so much this year and I thought I would share with you one of the biggest tricks to travel blogging; how I go about scoring travel sponsorships. Really it's a healthy mix of things I already do in my real work life, networking, good writing skills, and being dedicated to the effort. Here's the step by step:

  1. Once you have a travel spot in mind (in my case it usually revolves around a conference), start making a list of accommodations in the area. If you want to know which ones have worked with bloggers before, Google something like "Copenhagen hotel blog" and follow the blog sites for hotel names. 
  2. Next you will need to reach out. This is going to happen via email so scour the hotel sites for email addresses, preferably those for media or public relations associates. In your email, you will want to include the following: dates of travel, number of occupants, your blog's niche, and who your target audience is. Specify what you will highlight in your posts/ social media (museums, hotels, outdoors activities, etc.) and lastly inquire if they "work with travel bloggers." Include links to your site and social media under your signature so they can check you out and see if you are a good fit. If you want a sample template- email me! 
  3. Leave plenty of time for communication and research. I try to reach out as soon as I have secured my travel dates. There can be a lot of back an forth communication with a hotel and they don't like to accommodate discounted rates with short notice requests (plus it lacks professionalism). 
  4. Be ready to book within 48-72 hours after you are given a rate via email. Once you have committed to a hotel, try not to back out. Keep the rest of the travel community in mind and help encourage the positive working relationships with the blogging world! 

This technique absolutely worked for my first international trip as a travel blogger and I stayed in some lovely places in Denmark for next to nothing. I don't think I even had 300 followers on Instgram at that point! 

In closing, big thanks to my readers and I hope you are looking forward to some more valuable content and gorgeous photographs in our sophomore year! 

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