Wednesday, November 22, 2017

thankful to travel to...

I read that only 35% of Americans have their passport. And the statistics of how often those are used are even lower. So on the eve of Thanksgiving, I'm incredibly thankful that I have learned the value of travel. 

Monday, November 20, 2017

the logistics of planning an Alaskan Cruise

Dear Alaska, 
I dreamt of you again last night. Only, I could never be creative enough to dream up anything so gorgeous on my own. You live on in my dreams because you live on in my heart. You keep your beauty hidden and are so hard to gain access to. But I want to share you with the world because "to the lover of wilderness, Alaska is one of the most wonderful countries in the world" -John Muir 

Sunday, November 19, 2017

101 in 1001: Update #3

It's that time again! Time to check-in along with a few others on our 101 in 1001 lists. Since my last update in August, I gave myself the goal of crossing six more items off my list. And I'm happy to say that I did that. 

101 in 1001 update
Let's delve right in shall we? 

Saturday, November 18, 2017

a day in the life of a dental student: yesterday

Yesterday was the craziest busiest day for me. This whole week has been actually because it's right before Thanksgiving break with finishing up lots of projects. But Friday especially was hectic in the best way. I treated pediatric patients all morning and took my clinical practical on exodontia (pulling teeth) in the afternoon. Did I mention it was on a live patient? eek! 
a day in the life of a dental student
I realize that it's been a long while since I've shared a day in the life of a dental student. That's because I'm such a perfectionist about capturing all the best photos and writing good descriptions etc. And that rarely happens. But yesterday felt like the best day (I actually felt like a dentist) that I need to document. So here impromptu day in the life of a dental student.

Friday, November 17, 2017

friday favorites 11.17.17

happy friday all! 
We are so close to Thanksgiving that I can almost taste the turkey. Though if I'm honest, I more excited about the fact that it will give me a few days off from dental school than I am about Thanksgiving itself. I definitely need a break. 

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Mexico Road Trip: The Yucatan Peninsula

We're putting the finishing touches on this year's Christmas trip, which got me thinking about last year's trip to Mexico. And while I did share tons from that experience, I never quite got around to linking it all together, so here it is..."the great big everything you need to know to take a road trip around mexico" post. 
Mexico Road Trip: The Yucatan Peninsula
Well...maybe not everything you need to know. But at the very least, it includes our itinerary, tips, and budget. 

Friday, November 10, 2017

fall friday favorites: 11.10.17

It's Friday and I couldn't be more grateful because it's been a rough few days in dental school lately. Thankfully, there has also been lots of good moments to hold onto in between and I'm thankful to share them now. 

Thursday, November 9, 2017

a few rough days in dental school

These last few days have been a bit overwhelming, an emotional rollercoaster really. The harder you try, the more you care and work towards something, the more difficult it is to deal with the setbacks. And dental school is nothing if not a constant of highs and lows.  
There has been so much craziness these last few days that this has turned into a mini update of dental school lately.

Monday, November 6, 2017


every month, i end up with one these massive collages because it's just too difficult to pick only one photo to sum up an entire month. wouldn't you agree? 
october life lately
i love doing these recaps and looking back because it really puts everything into perspective. the end of a month always seems so stressful for me with feeling like i haven't accomplished enough, but all these random snaps from the month are proof of just how much i did get done and experience. 

Sunday, November 5, 2017

a G-R-E-A-T day in great smoky mountain national park

Despite the torrential downpour of rain, 
the fog obscuring our mountain views, 
and even the snow flurries that were 
proof of how cold it was, we had a great day at 
great smoky mountain national park! 
alum cave trail fall
Believe it or not, the great smoky mountains is the most visited US national park. More than the grand canyon or yosemite or yellowstone. And it also happens to be one of the closest parks to me, so it's crazy that we hadn't visited it yet when it's right in my backyard. We definitely needed to remedy that, but were waiting for the timing to be right. great smoky national park autumn

Friday, November 3, 2017

autumn road trip: the blue ridge parkway

Tom and I have both been on the parkway dozens of times passing though to here or there. But this time was different. We took the long route and really enjoyed our time hiking, camping, and cruising along the blue ridge parkway. After all, it is America's best drive. 
autumn blue ridge parkway
I think driving the parkway during autumn foliage was the best timing. The leaves hadn't changed too much yet so there was still the perfect contrast of green and changing falling leaves. We overdosed on fall thanks to this road trip with the best stops along the parkway in between. 
autumn blue ridge parkway

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

trick or teeth!

I wish I had an epic halloween share for the day, but that would require having my life organized. Plus, we traded in the traditional halloween celebrations this year for a few days in the mountains instead. More on that later this week. 

Monday, October 30, 2017

autumn camping

I'm just back from a weekend of hiking and camping in the mountains. And while it was nice to wash the campfire smell out of my hair and sleep in an actual bed last night, I already miss it. 

Thursday, October 26, 2017

how much does an Alaskan Cruise really cost?

I never would have imagined that we could swing the cost of an Alaskan Cruise at this stage in our lives. Because with the husband and I both in graduate school, we feel fortunate enough to afford a day trip to the beach, yet alone a week long luxury cruise. I've always assumed that an Alaskan Cruise would cost at least $5k. And I was right. It was $5,305.24 to be exact. Thankfully, we found a way to do things on a much smaller budget. 
cost Alaska cruise blog
 Everyone's budget for an Alaskan Cruise will obviously look a bit different depending on the type of room you chose, the time of year (peak vs. shoulder season) you travel, and the types of excursions you chose to do. We held off on taking this cruise for a long time because we thought that we couldn't afford it. And boy were we wrong. I wanted to show how we made things a bit more reasonable by sharing our exact budget here.
cost Alaska cruise blog

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Alaskan Anniversary Adventure

I always tell Tom that anniversaries are extra special when you're practicing a long distance marriage the way we do. Simple things that other couples don't have to think about take work for us with being over 700 miles apart on a daily basis. So we were happy to celebrate four years of marriage together in this extra special way with an Alaskan Adventure. 
Alaska anniversary cruise
Since, I've been sharing a lot from our Alaskan Cruise this past week, I thought I would put things into context by detailing our exact itinerary here. Though if I'm honest, I'm mostly cataloguing this for myself so I can always look back and reminisce. Either way, here's our itinerary for a 7 day cruise through Alaska...with a few travel days tossed in. 

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

facing failure

As is common amongst us millennials, we share everything. Well not everything. We share what others will envy, we create picture perfect facades on instagram, present pretty packages on twitter, and we do it all without telling the whole story. Basically, we share everything, but we don't really share anything at all. 

Monday, October 23, 2017

a week of dental surgery

If you follow my insta-stories, then you know I had the opportunity to do dental surgeries last week. It's one thing to drill on someone's tooth and place a restoration. But it's a completely different story to cut away someone's gum tissue, remove parts of their jaw bone, teeth, and then stitch them back up again!

Saturday, October 21, 2017

day trip diaries: juneau

Of all our port stops, we had the longest day in Juneau, but it flew right by with everything we packed in. I must have been exhausted in the moment, but when you're in a new place for such a short period of time, you really learn to appreciate every second of it and really soak in all in. 
juneau alaska cruise
  We kicked off our day at Mendenhall Glacier; standing on a the base of a waterfall...with ice glaciers in view, I'm a fan!
juneau alaska cruise
hello ice glacier!
juneau alaska cruise

Thursday, October 19, 2017

misty fjord

fjord: a long, narrow inlet of the Sea between high cliffs 
misty fjord alaska
As a girl who loves her nature, is always looking for a mountain to climb, a new place of harmony to traverse...I have always wanted to venture to a fjord. Mountains that are literally popping up right out of the sea, no one could dream up a place as glorious as this, yet it exists.   
misty fjord alaska

Wednesday, October 18, 2017


Yea, I had never heard of it either
But it's most known for being Alaska's first city
ketchikan alaska
This place may have boomed with the establishment of the salmon industry, but I still see it as a sleepy little fishing town constantly surrounded by mist and fog and rain. 
Basically, I'm in love. 
ketchikan alaska
ketchikan alaska

Monday, October 16, 2017

a train ride to nowhere

My absolute favorite adventure during our Alaskan Anniversary Adventure was our train ride to nowhere. We followed the White Pass & Yukon Route along the original track that was built back in 1898 during Alaska's Klondike Gold Rush. 
white pass yukon route alaska excursion

Sunday, October 15, 2017

pumpkin cornbread & sweet potato crockpot chili

This is how we celebrate fall in the South...taking classic Southern recipes and adding a taste of Autumn into the mix. 

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

4th anniversary weekend

With being apart right now in a long distance marriage, it makes marking the milestones extra important. And since we always love to celebrate with experiences, we ended up on an epic Alaskan Anniversary Adventure this year for our big gift to each other a month before our anniversary. But we wanted to acknowledge the actual day too. 

Monday, October 9, 2017

weird places I've lost my wedding ring

Tom and I celebrated four years of marriage at the end of September and husband gave me another wedding band, which I love and will happily add to the stack. But I also think it's kind of funny that was the gift he chose considering how many times and how many places I've lost my engagement ring/wedding band.
 Well, not lost so much as got them stuck in the craziest weirdest places. Here's just a few. 

Friday, September 29, 2017

september snippets

Happy Friday
I can't believe it's the last one in September. I actually have an an exam tomorrow (yep on a Saturday) so I'm calling it a wrap for the month. But before I do, needed to share all my favorites from this month. 

Monday, September 25, 2017

the tooth fairy works on weekends

 Happy Monday All! 
Though personally, it's getting harder and harder for me to distinguish the days from each other. It's all one big blur. Probably because I've been spending every single day drilling on all the teeth at dental school.
tooth fairy dental school
 Yesterday I spent 9 hours at the dental school practicing. And can you guess what I did with my Friday and Saturday night? Yep, this is how I've been spending my weekends lately. I sit for the first portion of my licensing exam at the end of the month and it's kind of a big deal if I ever want to be a dentist. So every spare moment has been dedicated to drilling on plastic teeth. It's why I've been a bit MIA around this space lately. Anything can happen the day of the exam. Nerves can get to you. You could make a mistake you've never made before. The odds may simply not be in your favor. That's the nature of taking a practical exam compared to a regular test. 
tooth fairy dental school
But for now, I'm practicing around the clock to develop speed, precision, and muscle memory because I want to pass this exam more than I've ever wanted anything in my life. And if I don't pass, it certainly won't be from lack of effort because this particular tooth fairy works on weekends.  

Friday, September 15, 2017

friday favorites 09.15.17

So thankful that it's Friday, this week has been...well, let's just say that I'm glad it's over. Every single day, I've felt crabby and unmotivated. I haven't even wanted to see patients this week, which is so unlike me. And I have no idea why, especially since my appointments have been going so well. I think I just had a few too many assignments due this week and I'm exhausted. I definitely thought about skipping out on friday favorites this week, but if ever there was a need to focus on the positives from the week, it's today. 

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

cruise control: life at sea

I've never thought of us as "cruise people". It's such a commercial way to travel and Tom and I normally go out of our way to avoid crowds and plan unique adventures. But we were pleasantly surprised by how easily we settled to life and sea and loved living and traveling by cruise ship. 
alaska cruise anniversary
alaska cruise anniversary

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

what's in my [clinic] bag?

Linking up with some lovely ladies today to share "what's in my bag". I thought I would do things a bit differently since the bag that I carry most is my clinic bag for treating patients at dental school. Minus a few errant strands of floss and a whole lot of granola bar crumbs I found at the bottom, I'm showing you exactly what's in my clinical bag as a medical dental student. And while it's not nearly as glamorous as last year's edition, I wouldn't want it any other way. 
what's in my medical clinic bag

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Alaska by Numbers

My head is still spinning a bit from our recent Alaskan Cruise. It's one of those things where you're left thinking to yourself, did I really do that? Or am I just dreaming? We loved our first glimpse of the Alaskan wilderness and are already working on a way to get back there. 
alaskan cruise inside passage
I'm still not sure where to begin with sharing everything (literally have thousands of photos), so I thought starting out with a fun list would be a good way to get things organized. And since sharing Europe by Numbers, this seemed like the best way to share an overview of our trip. 

Friday, September 8, 2017

friday favorites 09.08.17

This transition from August to September has already been a bit of a crazy rollercoaster ride (thanks to favorite #5), but I've been sprinkling in lots of fun adventures and still getting a good bit of work done too. Can't wait to see what the rest of the month brings, in the meantime, I'm sharing a few favorites below. 

Thursday, September 7, 2017

harvard museum of natural history

This past labor day weekend, we had a pretty wet Sunday. While I'm sure this rained out some people's plans, it was the perfect timing for us. Because there is nothing better than a rainy day museum visit

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

boating boston: kayaking the charles river

Don't you just love long weekends? Especially with being in a long distance relationship, having a little extra time to visit over the weekend makes a big difference. We had a relaxing labor day weekend and spent our time catching up on work, napping, shopping, brunching, and museum hopping. But my favorite thing we did was kayak the Charles River in Boston.
kayak boston charles river

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

white jeans for every season

A couple of years ago, I finally bit the bullet and bought a pair of white jeans, these ones to be exact. And while this wouldn't be a big deal for some, I am not the kind of girl that should own white anything, but I guess that's what they invented bleach for. But the biggest issue for me is that I felt that white jeans were for summer only and that I would only get real use out of them a few months out of the year. Oh how wrong I was. 
white jeans for every seasonWhen it comes to style blogging, I never want to be one of those people whose just show casing what's currently on trend. Instead, I like to buy and wear pieces that will work for my wardrobe long-term. According to my monthly clothing budgets, I paid $54 dollars for these white jeans (now on sale) two years ago and I think I've got my money's worth with wearing these year-round. With labor day having just passed, I was remembering the old adage of "no wearing white after labor day", but here's proof that you can wear white jeans all year long. 

Saturday, September 2, 2017

august lately

Oh August. You have been the busiest month. Hustling in dental school Monday through Friday and then out of town every single weekend this month. All in all, I'm a little shocked by how productive I managed to be with how much got done this month. It's a lot to take in and remember. So here's the best glimpse of August.
august lately

Friday, September 1, 2017

train of thought

My mind has been all over the place lately. It's gotten so bad that I can't focus on anything because I'm too busy thinking about what comes next.
train of thought
train of thought

Friday, August 25, 2017

dental school lately : vol. 1

It feels that there has been so much going on for me with dental school lately with hitting a milestone marking a year away, a year back and starting a new semester. And I need to start documenting all these big changes.
When I first created this space, I blogged about dental school semi-frequently, but then this space became my stress-free zone, which meant talking about and sharing anything but dental school. But, I would be remise if I didn’t document my journey. I’m in a unique position with being a woman, a black woman and pursuing a career where there are few people like me. As I’ve been getting back into sharing more and more about this journey, I want to do regular updates, hopefully bi-monthly. I’m hoping that this gives motivation to others, but also serves as a time capsule for me to look back on when graduation day finally comes. 

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

day trip diaries : Seattle

We’re just back from an Alaskan Cruise celebrating our four-year anniversary. Our cruise left out of Seattle, which gave us a great opportunity to visit the Pacific Northwest again and reminisce about our time Wandering Washington last Fall.
visit Chihuly
We landed in Seattle late Saturday night, then had a few hours to spare Sunday morning before our cruise took off. We wanted to make the most of our time on the West Coast, especially in the PNW, so we ditched our luggage and headed downtown. Last time we were here, we had the chance to visit Pike Place Market, go rock climbing at the REI flagship store, see the Space Needle, explore the arts area of Fremont, and our favorite with exploring the Japanese Garden in the rain. Since we only had a few hours to spare this time around, we had to pick just one thing to do. Too many great options, but we ultimately chose to visit Seattle’s Chihuly Garden & Glass House. 
visit Chihuly