Year of the Dog


Happy Lunar New Year!

It's been awhile since I've popped into to say hi. It's been straight back to work since I've gotten back from Europe. Of course in order to travel has hard as I do, a lot of work goes into it, to make trips like that happen. I'm happy to say though, with the new year coming into I have (of course) more trips planned for 2018. This April I will be headed to Disneyland (no surprise there), and this coming Fall I will be headed to East China and South Korea, with my friend Kristina. Here's to another great year! - JN

Château de Versailles


Just when we thought Paris couldn't be more luxUrious, there was the Château of Versailles.

With a quick train ride, just 45 minutes outside of Paris, you could easily spend 2 hours to half a day, at this beautiful tourist attraction. Formerly the kingdom for the king of France, King Louis XIV, today it stands as a museum for French history, taking you back in time to understand the inspiration for French style & the lives of the monarch. 


Of course when you find yourself in such a space that seems to literally be dripping in gold, you too, might be inspired to dress up for your visit, like I did. 

Of course, with it being a museum, keep in mind to have comfortable shoes. You'll want to be able to make your way through the entire inside of the Château, as well as the famous gardens in the back. Just be aware that the entire walk up to the Château & around the grounds, is riddled with uneven stonework.


To enter the château

First of all, it's closed on Mondays, so plan your days accordingly, just like how the Louvre is closed on Tuesdays. To enter the Château, save yourself some time & first buy your tickets on the left side of the courtyard, before the gates. About 60% of people who try to enter, see the line on the left side of gates, then join the line, only to be directed away to the ticket line. It's not hard to see why, since the doorway to the ticket room is a plain (almost unmarked) door on the left.

Once you do get inside though, and get through security, begin your self-guided walk through. If you're a big history buff, you can rent audio tours to wear. Depending on what kind of history you're into, there are different parts of the Château for you.


Besides the actual history aspect, the hall of paintings weren't really my thing. My favorite was actually the walk-through of their living quarters, like the king & queens bedchambers, and of course the Hall of Mirrors (above). At some point you turn the corner, and almost everyone in your vicinity is in awe.  


Do you see what I mean about incentive to dress up?

Anyhow, whoever told us we could do Château Versailles in 2 hours was lying. There's so much of the grounds to see! Due to the weather, we barely explored the Gardens, but we could have easily spent another 30 minutes there. Not to mention, there was also a special exhibit off the walk through course, that we really enjoyed. If you're in a rush, I would say, at least three hours, but half a day to really soak it in. All in all, definitely worth a visit! 

Coat from Express
Top from Zara

Getting around Paris on a budget


We're off to the museums again today!

This time, we booked ourselves some tickets to the Big Bus Tour.  If you're like us & not a fan of following big groups or time constraints, this hop on, hop off tour bus works great for getting around. For €38, we got a two day pass to unlimited use of their buses. The Big Bus tours in Paris, have two intersecting routes, with double decker buses (some open on top), that take you around to most of the tourist attractions you would want to see.

Buses started at 9am, with one route picking up from each stop every 15 minutes, the other every 30 minutes. This included places like Grand and Petit Palais, the Arc de Triomphe (where our hotel is), the Louvre, Tour Eiffel, Moulin Rouge, Montmartre, and Notre Dame. Not to mention, there are headphones on board the bus for an audio guided tour of wherever you go, in 8 different languages. 


Not to mention, there are headphones on board the bus for an audio guided tour of wherever you go. We started our day getting picked up at the Arc de Triomphe and heading to a short visit to the Petit Palais.

Then it was off to the Louvre

Despite this being my second visit to Paris, I was excited, since this would my first time inside the Louvre. (Last time to was shut down during Paris fashion week). 


And of course, whilst I know that most people tell me it's slightly overhyped, we made a bee-line to the Mona Lisa. I can now confirm, that yes, it is smaller than you expect it to be & indeed in a very large room. Although not alone, it is on lone wall, and roped off. After we crossed that off the bucketlist, we wandered to other parts of the Louvre.


The thing that makes me fall in love with Paris though, isn't their sweet confections, but their beautiful buildings. The Frenchs' attention to detail, from the grandeur of their arches, to their impressive vaulted murals, make their buildings beautiful works of art in their own right, in addition to the beautiful art pieces these buildings house. The French also have an admirable commitment to preserving their architectural history, and way of life. And for that, I will always appreciate Paris. Love, Jen

Coat from Express
Backpack from Michael Kors
Boots from Alexander Wang

Girls in Paris


Good morning from Paris!

Hello everyone! Guess who's back in Paris! Last time I was here, was in September of 2016. I was two weeks into a solo backpacking trip & post my third ever Disney half marathon. This time though, I'm on a trip with the girls!


Three girls, one week, and the beautiful city of Paris. I can't even begin to describe how excited I was, to start 2018 off this way. I've packed a little more than usual, I have more time here, and now we have each others company. You best believe that this trip is going to be a whole lot different than my last visit. It might be a little wilder, it might be a little girly (or a lot), but it'll definitely be a lot more stylish! You know, a girls girl kind of trip!


For our first full day, us three girls were quite productive! We woke up early, had some breakfast at a cafe near our hotel, by the Arc de Triomphe. Then it was off to the Musée d'Orsay! We made our way, floor by floor, up to the famous clock up top. It was fun to see what changed since my last visit. Then it was across the Seine to the Louvre. Museum-ed out, we decided to leave the inside for another day, and we were off to the top of the Eiffel Tower (my first time up)! Lastly, we ended our night with dinner at Carbon Paris.


Suddenly, everything I loved about this city was coming back to me. Coupled with the fact that I had been reading up on some French history & learning some more French words, this first day was more than I could ask for. I just can't wait to see what the next few days with these ladies have in store for more! Thanks for reading! Love, Jen

Coat & Top from Express
Backpack from Michael Kors
Boots from Alexander Wang

2017 Annual Review


It's that time of the year again!

If you've been following my blog, or me, for awhile, you'll know that at the end of every year, I do a kind of annual review. It's to look at the goals I sent for myself last year (not resolutions), what worked, what didn't work, what goals were met & to think about where I want to take my life for the next year. So let's start by looking at my 2017 goals.



  • Spend more time actually exploring the PNW that's already around me.
  • Disney birthday trip with my girls
  • Road trip & hike Canada


  • Read at least 1 book a month (Take two!)


  • Buy myself a new (adult) car. It's time for the Scion tC of  my 16-year-old self to go.


  • Workout on a more regular basis, despite work schedule - focusing on cardio & weights.
  • Teaching myself to cook more & eat out less.

So What Went Well, What Not So Well?

I'm actually proud to say, that of all the goals I set for 2017, I accomplished all but two: working out on a more on a regular basis, and reading a book a month. In total, I read like 4 books, which is still an improvement. As for working out, it's still a struggle to find a consistent time todo it, when you work a dynamic schedule like I do. I did pick up some, should we call, alternative workouts?  I manage to scatter my year with hikes & ski days, at least until I sprained my ankle skiing (picture 4), and after I recovered I picked up kick boxing!

The biggest thing in 2017, was me "cutting back on traveling."

Somewhere my coworkers are rolling their eyes at that statement. Ok, fine. I kind of cut back. Baby steps okay? I "only" went to Disneyland twice & did only one international trip. It was the challenge of shifting my financial responsibilities, but all that overtime, and 70 work hours week, paid off! I bought my dream car: the Lexus NX F (emphasis on the F), which I named Becky. It's such a good feeling too, because I know I earned it, and I feel so grateful everyday when I drive it, & with how safe I feel when I take it up to the pass, or on and hikes. 

Other than that, I set out to road trip to Canada & I did (with Becky). I set out to do a birthday trip with my girls & we blew it out of the water.  I set out to work on my cooking skills, and now I'm packing lunch 4 times a week. I even saw my first total solar eclipse & added Scotland to my travel resume. A successful year! Now my goals for 2018!



  • Put away a set amount each month so I can buy my own home at the end of 2018, or the beginning of 2019.
  • Any desired expenditures outside of that (like travel) or any other financial responsibilities (bills), must be financed by lifestyle changes to save money, or overtime! (Lots of overtime.)
  • Set a smaller amount aside each month, for a mission trip to Guatemala in February 2019


Be more consistent with working out in general, in any form (hike, ski, swim, kickboxing, etc)


  • Trip back to France with my friend Shahrzad, where I learn more French history.
  • Road trip deeper into Canada for hiking.
  • (Hopefully, pending approval) A trip to China: particularly Shanghai & Hong Kong.


  • Read at least 1 book a month (Take three!)
  • Take a surfing lesson - California?
  • Learn Spanish so I can communicate with patients at work & for Guatemala 2019
  • Teach myself to more 100% dairy-free meals & maybe put together my own personal cookbook.

And finally, the mission statement. 

2018: THE YEAR OF epic FInancial Responsibility & the Independent woman

In 2018, I will challenge myself financially, more than ever. I will set aside a big portion of my income every month, with the intention of own home in Seattle's housing market, on my own, by the end of 2018 or early 2019. That is my priority. Everything else I want do this year, whether it be traveling, fitness, or education, will only be a secondary a result of how successful I am at learning to save money & how hard I work (overtime). 

Can you tell I'm ready to take this year by storm? Watch out 2018. I'm about to slay this! Love, JEN

White Christmas


What a special Christmas it is!

Hope everyone is having a wonderful Christmas with your family & friends! Here it the Pacific Northwest, we've been fortunate enough to have our first white Christmas, in a long while! 


I've already worked 48 hours in the last week & I have another 44 hours in the next week to go, so it's truly wonderful to have today off. Not only that, to have been able to spend time with my extended family last night, see it snow, then be able to relax on Christmas Day.

My family & I woke up early this morning & go enjoy the fresh snow outside. Finally got to bust out this Jacket I've been saving from Zara. My friend Shahrzad & I officially leave for Paris in two weeks, and can bet I'll be bringing this pink treasure with me! Anyways, happy holidays! - Love Jen