sugar pushers

j and i just came off 6 weeks of no added sugar. it actually wasn't as hard as i thought it would be. before i committed to the challenge i would have thought 1 week without treats was not possible, but we made it and it felt really good! i had a few interesting observations about the whole experience but the funniest one was how social sugar is. people really don't like to enjoy treats without other people. i'm know i've been guilty of sugar pushing too, but i couldn't believe the responses i got when i would talk about the challenge. it got to the point where i wouldn't even want to bring it up. made me think about my responses to others making goals. cheerleader > debbie downer 
whatever you're doing to make good stuff happen in your life, GO YOU! (even if it sounds crazy to me)


trip to asia | intro!

last month we got lucky enough to be able to go on a super special trip to aisa. (hong kong, cambodia, and thailand.) because jordan was graduating from business school, had some time off, and I have an awesome job/co workers who helped make this all possible we decided it was now or never. we got really blessed that everything worked out. we were able to celebrate jordan's graduation and our 5 year anniversary with a little adventure and relaxation.

before i slam you in the face with a ma-zillion pictures i'm going to have to make some disclaimers:

1. 98% percent of the photos here were taken with my iPhone (or jordans) i also used my canon powershot and 40D, but sparingly. truthfully as much as i love a great picture the iPhone was good enough and just far easier to carry around/pop out for pic. i'm absolving myself of the guilty feeling that i needed to be consumed with getting the right shots at the right exposure and so forth. i believe in that don't get me wrong, but that wasn't what this trip was about for me. i really just wanted to enjoy myself and that meant not carrying around a heavy camera. so sometimes things are dark or blow out or noisey and i'm ok with it.

2. i kept my captions to a minimum. i will probably wish one day that i'd written more, but in the words of the lovely scarlett, "I'll think about that tomorrow."

3. i also ignored grammar, punctuation, and sometimes spelling when i did eek out commentary. there are probably a lot of typos too. didn't have time to proof. time is money people. i'm ok with it, but i'm sorry for you readers.

4. i didn't have time/was too lazy to get each picture in every post in proper order. hopefully it all makes sense.

5. if it sounds like im mayor of bragsville on how awesome this trip was i apologize in advance. it was pretty wonderful and there was just no pretending it wasn't. feel incredibly grateful to have been able to do it.

mostly for my own journaling, but for anyone else who might find it useful here's what we did/a few tips that i emailed a friend who is planning a trip:

we flew into Hong Kong, spent a day and two nights there> Chiang Mai for 3 days> Chiang Rai two nights and day>Bangkok for a night>Siem Reap two days>Bangkok for a night>Krabi for 6 days>Home
that's the gist of it in a nutshell. i think i got the days about right. 

the journey there and back is intense. we downloaded a TV series to watch during plane rides. a few seasons of something addicting does wonders to distract you from 14 hours on a plane. saved us. We shared a laptop and used an audio splitter so we could use our own head phones.

Where we went:
We LOVED Chaing Mai. super fun and TONS to do. We did tiger kingdom, elephant camp, temples, markets, great food. 
Chiang Rai was cool def do the white temple if you go there.
Bangkok is basically NYC on crack. haha its a big city, but we loved the terminal 21 mall and weekend market was a sight to see.
Siem Reap was AMAZING!! we hired a tuk tuk from our hotel to drive us around the ruins, best way to do it. id recommend doing angkor wat in the evening. we went just before closing and basically had the place to ourselves. its was life changing. 
Krabi is incredible. WE did the phi phi island and rai lay and lots of beach lounging and adventures.

Some things I forgot to bring but wish I did:
Bug repellent. I planned to buy there since we were carrying on, but this stuff is so great and worth getting ahead of time. the mosquitoes there are not messing around.  
Good cover ups. I brought shorts and shirts, but a good toss on tank dress would have been nice.
Spray conditioner. my hair was pretty knotted after boating etc. good spray conditioner would have been really handy in my beach bag. 
Waterproof camera. there's bags you can buy to waterproof your own camera, but i probably would have done one of the disposable ones. there's too much amazing underwater stuff i missed shooting. 

Things I was SUPER glad I packed:
I packed plenty of meds for us both (pepto bismo, advil, tylenol pm, etc) we downed chew-able airbournes vitamin C the whole trip. with all the planes/jet lag i seriously think it helped us not get sick. 
All you need is sandals and maybe one pair of good walking shoes. I wore my nike frees on the plane and for more heavy duty activities and these target sandals the rest of the trip. I did wear my flip flops a few times for pool etc but was glad i brought the bare minimum in shoes. i usually don't :)  
I didn't bring anything i wouldn't be sad about if it got lost or grossly dirty. This just helped me relax and enjoy myself more bec i wasn't worried about stuff. left my ring at home and bought a $10 target band to wear so i wouldnt panic every 5 mins when i forgot i didn't bring it and think my ring has fallen off. (i know im so strange)
Ziplocks/wipes/tissue. I stuffed the outer pocket of my backpack with a few big and small ziplocks, wipes and travel pack of kleenex. came in SUPER handy multiple times.
Adapters. just ordered a pair from amazon for charging stuff. your hotels may have some you can barrow though.
Water proof watch. nuff said.
This hat. game changer for packing!
Sleep masks and travel pillows. so needed especially for the planes.
Day bags. Jordan had a roll up/light weight back pack. we used it for snacks, market treasures we found, day trips etc. i brought a small cross body bag for wallet, camera, passports etc. it was SO nice not carry much on us. especially in that heat.
Copies of all our docs (hotel confirms, passports etc) It was really handy to have all our info/itineraries on hand. i also scanned the whole lot and sent to my mom so she would know where were etc in case of an emergency.

Extra Info:
We flew around with air asia. cheap flights and reliable, but there's a few good airlines.
We each had a light weight/hardcase small rolling suitcase and back pack. so easy to pack up and get around with. worked out great. 
Don't know who your cell carrier is but we have at&t so we just called and added the $30 120mb global data plan before we left. we kept our phones in airplane mode when we didn't need it and used cellular data as needed. it was plenty and a total lifesaver to have data! we didn't make any calls, but i hear magic jack app is good.  
We didn't exchange any money to avoid fees. we just took out cash at atms and budgeted when we would need more. 
We used trip adviser a ton once we got there, huge help if we were scooping a dinner spot or something.
Don't know what you're planning for hotels. we have the starwood amex- the starwoods in thailand are super great!
The massages!!!!!!!! your in for a treat. we got at least one daily. 

with out further adieu! 

trip to asia | vol. 1 arrival/hong kong

bec I was trying to be budget general i booked the cheapest southwest flights to SFO (where we were catching our flight to hong kong. so after staying up all night to flight jetlag and finish packing we caught a 600am flight with a 2 hour layover before landing in SFO. jordan was not please to say the least haha, but i love SWA.
we grabbed some tasty mexican at SFO.
apparently SFO has some good light. free photoshop effect! i was soooooo excited to board.
some the essentials. hello kitty nails, our travel book, and gelato.
jordan had the genius idea of downloading a few seasons of our fav tv show which was a HUGE lifesaver on the14 hours over. so much easier to watch something addicting than movie after movie. also the sleep mask was a game changer... even though i look like batman.

we landed 14s hrs later and it was evening of the next day. we grabbed dinner and conked out. the next day was jam packed.
we took the ferry to kowloon where jordan hunted down this amazing meal.

if you are ever in HK go there!!! get the bbq pork buns.
this ex new yorker has seen a lot of scaffolding, but never made of bamboo. thought is was pretty good stuff. 
when i first traveled out of the country at 16 i made it a habit of taking my photo in front of every tiffany's i came across. cant give up now.
this is the tram to victoria peak. SUPER AMAZING. 
i know... look we didn't mean to match it just happened. hashtag old married couple.

it was just so breathe taking!
im a BIG sucker for hotel robs/slippers
then there was DISNEY!
for my senior year graduation trip i picked france/greece. my mom and i planned the trip and somehow my brother brandon jumped on board for part of it. fine by me. on one of the last days in france i was dying to go to disney paris, but it was both out of our way and expensive. rockstar brother that he is brandon navigated us by train after a long day at versailles and we arrived a few hours before closing. since tons of people were leaving the park he convinced me we should look for english speaking tourists and ask for their tickets. we took turns and eventually found a couple. we ran through the park riding rides. it was a night i will never forget.

so when jordan told me disney hong kong was not far i really wanted to make it happen. i did my best persuasion on jray and we spent the evening exploring hong kong's version of disneyland.
small world! seemed fitting across the world form home.
this part looks a lot like home.
maybe bec it was hot and we hit the second half of the day... or bec disney ca is SO crowed these days, but it kinda felt like we had the place to ourselves. we rode a ton of rides, some twice. the best part was their toystory land. super cute and fun new rides.
i felt like i would have been happy if we had turned around and flew right home after this. but we didnt :)

trip to asia | vol.2 chiang mai

start with vol.1 here

1. im too lazy to re order these. ugh.
2. theres too many animal pictures, but they make me happy. sorry not sorry.
3. here goes nothing.
i giggled the entire bath time portion. soooooo cute.
the elephant show.
view from up top our elephant.
cutest puppy in the long neck village.
colors are wonky. whoops.
pretty bird
the juice was crazy good everywhere we went.
view of chiang mai on our way to the temple on the hill.
this place was really beautiful (i'll probably be saying that a lot of over the next few posts) it was so peaceful despite the crowds.
got blessed by the monks. loved it.
love our cotopaxi day bag
these pants are the "i heart NY" shirt of thailand, but they are SO comfortable.
i hate feet, but you had to go without shoes in this temple and it was actually kind of nice.
checking out the temples in chiang mai on our first day there.
night bazaar near our hotel. we are glowing from the humidity :)
love me a hotel robe.

i couldn't even contain myself. i loved them so much!
elephants are quite the artists apparently. jray wouldn't agree to buying one no matter how much i begged. can't wim em all.
i can't even find the words for this part. 
he gave me a nice wet hug after our ride. i loved (&hated) it.
those tusks are more beautiful than you imagine.
man i loved them!
visit to tiger kingdom! i wasn't as scared as i thought i would be. we got talked into going and even though i have mixed feelings about the animals there i'm glad we went. it was once in a life time.
none of the tigers were fiesty, but there were definitely alert. they would play with the trainers.
afternoon pool time.
mango smoothie!
hands down the best indian food ive ever had and probably will ever have. blew my mind.
massages ery day! 
bahahaha. you really should have seen the tiny thai women trying to tangle up jordan. "relax, relax, we stretch!" 
another foot shot? we were regulars.
 FYI if you go to a restaurant on the water... WHERE MOSQUITO SPRAY!
dinner by the river.
pad thai!

then it was onto chiang rai. 


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