Category Archives: Giveaway

Aloha Maui Giveaway

This giveaway has now ended. The winner of the giveaway is Terri B. Congrats, Terri!

Aloha! I am back to talk about my incredible birthday trip to Maui. I wish I could celebrate with a trip to Hawaii every year! Being in Hawaii certainly eased the sting of being one year older. It may have been my birthday, but I want to give you a gift. Usually my giveaways are something I pick up from the place I visited, but I thought I would change it up this time by giving away something I bought for the trip and absolutely loved.

In searching for the perfect beach towels (because every beach trip needs the perfect beach towel, obviously), I ran across recommendations for Turkish towels. Because Amazon Prime is my BFF, I eventually found and ordered these: and, orange for me and blue for Brandon.

I know it may be weird to get excited about a beach towel, but this one is seriously the best! It’s thin and lightweight so it’s easy to pack, the fabric is soft and you can easily shake out the sand, it dries quickly while also being absorbent, it’s a great size, and let’s not forget the most important thing, it is stylish and colorful. I did, after all, find the towels because my initial internet search was “cute beach towel.” A girl’s gotta have priorities.


The towels held up wonderfully at the beach, in the wash, and in subsequent trips to the river. It could also make a great picnic blanket or even a sarong.

If I haven’t already sold you on how awesome a Turkish towel is, today I’m giving one reader a chance to win one! For this giveaway, the winner will get to choose a Dandelion Textile Turkish Towel from Amazon in any available color (up to a $25 value). There are so many options: Yellow, Turquoise, Purple, Green, Blue, Pink, or even plain old Gray if neutral is more your thing. Seriously, there are well over a dozen color options. Check out all of the options here. To enter the giveaway, comment on this post with your must have beach essential(s). Or your favorite Turkish towel color. Or your favorite beach. Or even why you hate the beach, although in that case I might think you are crazy! The giveaway ends Saturday June 18 at 11:59 pm PST. A winner will (probably) be announced the following day. Good luck! And if you don’t win, you should probably buy one anyway!


South Korea: Fueled by Coffee and Friendship Part IV

Update: The winner of the giveaway is Courtney Barriga!!

My trip to South Korea had been one of the most impulsive, fun, and exhausting few days of my life. The only appropriate way to end it? More of the same.

Coffee #13: In case you’re still keeping track, coffee thirteen was early Monday morning. It was another morning of waking up extra early because I couldn’t sleep, so I did my usual – drank coffee and FaceTimed the boyfriend.


I again managed to navigate Seoul independently, finding my way to another palace, Gyeongbokgung, the primary palace in Seoul. Originally built in 1395, it has been systematically reconstructed after it was most recently destroyed by the Japanese in the early 1900’s. It was incredible. One of the things I love about traveling alone is getting to wander at my own pace. So that’s exactly what I did as I savored my final morning in Seoul.


I arrived at 9 am, just as the gates opened. For a while, I had the entire place practically to myself, although the crowds quickly grew.
I arrived at 9 am, just as the gates opened. For a while, I had the entire place practically to myself, although the crowd quickly grew.


























The only interruption to my morning was being approached by multiple groups of adolescent boys who asked me to take a picture with them. It was either some type of school project or some type of teenage boy field trip dare. I’m not sure which explanation I prefer…

Coffee #14: I was not ready to leave Korea. Absolutely 100% not ready to leave. I consoled myself with yet another cup of coffee.


After one last stop to say a quick goodbye to Shannon (who was, you know, my entire reason for being in South Korea), I headed to the airport.


I left Korea unwillingly, completely exhausted, feeling strung out on excessive caffeine and inadequate sleep. I left Korea on the first day that I did not feel like I was going to die, just as I began to recover from jet lag. I left to go home and back to work the day after getting back. And yet, it was perfect.

Coffee #15: After a 10.5 hour flight, during which I was thankfully able to sleep, I drank my last cup of coffee of the trip.


I arrived back in San Francisco intact, but rather disheveled. And notice that I’m still wearing the exact same thing I was at the beginning of the post. Which was well over 24 hours before. Just keeping the reality of long distance travel alive. #itsnotglamorous


The things I do for friends.

To wrap things up, I am hosting a small giveaway from my trip. Small to reflect the short time I spent in such an incredible place.

To enter to win this hand painted mirror, comment on this post, perhaps sharing the most fun or impulsive or ridiculous thing you have done in the name of friendship. The giveaway ends at 11 pm PST on Saturday January 23. A randomly selected winner will be announced on this post Sunday January 24.

Couchsurfing in China: The Giveaway

Update: The giveaway has ended. The winner is Sara Thomas!

China. The word alone evokes sights and scents and scenery.


I have much more to say about my trip to Shaoxing, China. My cousin, Justin, and his wife, Candi, who is also a longtime friend, allowed me to stay with them for one amazing week of catching up, exploration, and new experiences. I am now home, unpacked, with laundry mostly done, but my mind continues to drift back to memories made and ahead to new possibilities. Fair warning: this will not be a short series of posts, so if you’re not interested in hearing about China, you might not want to read for a while!

If you are interested (and why wouldn’t you be?), I’m kicking the series off with a giveaway. Both items were purchased in Hangzhou during a day of mad shopping on a pedestrian shopping street amid heat and the smell of stinky tofu. The giveaway includes hand lotion and a scarf.



The giveaway closes midnight PST on Saturday April 25. To enter, comment on this post telling me the craziest thing you’ve ever eaten. I need to know that I am not the only one who intentionally tries weird foods!

The Oregon Moving Trail: Giveaway

Update: This giveaway is now closed and the winner is Jen Shipley. 

Contrary to the extensive worries of my mother, I managed to drive halfway across the country alone without dying, being abducted, or otherwise coming to harm. And contrary to my somewhat more realistic concern, I managed to do so without getting hopelessly lost along the way. To celebrate the not insignificant accomplishment of moving from Texas to Oregon, I am hosting another giveaway!


The giveaway is for this pair of earrings that I picked up in Arizona. To enter to win, leave a comment on this post telling me about a major change you have made in your life. Or about the craziest thing you have ever done. Or just say that you want to win the earrings. 🙂 Entries will be accepted through midnight Pacific time on Saturday September 27 and a randomly chosen winner will be announced on Sunday September 28. Good luck!

I cannot wait to share more about my move to Oregon, the amazing things I saw along the way, and how I kept myself and sort of kept my dog from going crazy during the long and lonely drive (seriously, have you ever seen Nevada?)!

I Love Arkansas: Introduction and Giveaway Winner

First things first – the giveaway winner is Lucy Gaddy! Congrats, Lucy!!

Okay. Let’s talk about Arkansas. Probably because I am about to move 2000+ miles away, this Arkansan has recently been quite nostalgic about my home state. There are so many things that I love about Arkansas and I will dearly miss living a 6-hour drive away from my family and some of my best friends. Thankfully, I was able to spend a week in Arkansas before the move to Oregon (I still cannot fully comprehend that in a matter of days I am moving halfway across the country. Alone).

During my trip, I had a conversation with my dad about a time when he was working in Little Rock with coworkers from out-of-state. He would suggest one of Little Rock’s many great restaurants and a delicious dinner would inevitably be followed with a comment such as, “That was a great restaurant…for Arkansas.” Always said with a slight tone of surprise, his co-workers comments suggested that Arkansas was not a place where one would expect great restaurants. This (il)logic would extend to other areas – Arkansas could not possibly have culture or history or nightlife or anything fun to do. And when such things would be encountered, as they of course would, they would be met with the surprise of surpassed expectations. Because I think it is a shame that the world at large expects so little from a place that I love, I am taking it upon myself to share some of the amazing things about Arkansas – the food, the outdoors, and other activities. Some of these are things I enjoyed during my recent trip, whereas others are activities or restaurants I have either experienced in the past or have always wanted to do. I am by no means an expert, but I want to share some of my favorite parts of a special corner of the world before (and while!) I move far away. So up next on the blog (on an as yet to be determined time frame contingent upon internet access during the move) will be some of the great things about Arkansas!

I Love Arkansas: The Giveaway

Update: The winner of this giveaway is Lucy Gaddy. 

Last week, I was browsing the cute shop attached to an ice cream parlor in Little Rock where I had just enjoyed a delicious ice cream cone with my cousin and her family (more to come on what they dubbed “The Day with the Crazies…”). The problem was I really wanted to buy something. That was a problem because I hardly needed one more thing to pack up and move to Oregon. So, I decided to host my first ever blog giveaway! I got to buy something fun, but without having to keep it.

The giveaway includes a handmade soap and a chapstick. Both are all natural and made in my very own home state of Arkansas. As I prepare to move to Oregon, I know I will miss being close to “home.” There are so many things that I love about the state where I grew up. To enter to win, leave a comment on this post telling me where home is for you and/or what you love about it! Entries will be accepted through midnight central time on Saturday August 16 and a winner will (probably) be announced on Sunday August 17. Good luck!